And here's what he's delivered.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
And here's what he's delivered.
The Obama administration has asked a federal appeals court to uphold a race-conscious admissions system at the University of Texas at Austin, aiming to stymie a lawsuit that conservatives hope will spur the Supreme Court to limit affirmative action at public colleges.
The Texas case tests a 2003 Supreme Court decision that upheld a race-conscious admissions system at the University of Michigan Law School. That ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger said the law school had “a compelling interest in attaining a diverse student body.” By a 5-4 vote, the court prohibited “outright racial balancing,” but said race could be a “plus” factor to build a “critical mass” of minority students.
I don’t blame any American diplomat for seizing the opportunity to criticize Canada for its lack of sensitivity and inclusiveness; they do it to us all the time and I don’t see why the Canadians should have all the fun. Let’s criticize them for riding roughshod over the rights of small countries and native peoples now and then just to let them know how pointless and infuriating that kind of self-righteous and empty posturing can be. Even so, lecturing one day and begging in vain on the morrow isn’t the most dignified diplomatic posture an American secretary of state can assume. And the pattern of poor relations with close allies is disturbing. Currently embroiled in a quarrel with Israel over Jewish housing construction in East Jerusalem, the administration recently angered the EU by refusing to attend a summit in Madrid, embarrassed Britain by seeming to side with Argentina over negotiations over the Falklands Islands, canceled an invitation to Afghanistan’s President Karzai, and cheesed off Brazil when President Obama made his last minute, ill-fated dash to Copenhagen to snatch the 2016 Olympics from Rio. And where the administration hasn’t figured out a way to insult an old ally, Congress steps in — this time by passing another version of the Armenian genocide resolution through a key House committee.
For the record over a 30 year period IQs increase anywhere from 10 to 21 points on a normalized 100 point scale depending upon the sample (Spanish schoolchildren, Dutch conscripts). The increases are almost all limited to the bottom half of the intelligence distribution.
It turns out that our parents really were dopes. And that our kids are right about us as well.
Our government has become incredibly cruel and destructive. It has completely lost the consent of the governed. It will not be long before it loses our cooperation as well.
TORONTO GLOBE AND MAIL -- "Canada's relatively low corporate taxes have helped to make this country one of the best places in the world for companies to set up shop. Canada ranks second among 10 key countries as a cost-effective place to do business, and relatively low taxes are one of the main factors, consultantsKPMG said in a report released yesterday.
Hat tip Carpe Diem.
Of course it would be a lot higher were it not for all the black men in jail for the same crimes BHO, GWB and WJC committed hundreds and hundreds of times.
But with Obamacare radically increasing the wedge between wages paid to workers and the cost of those workers, there's going to be a whole lot more poor and working class minorities on the dole soon.
Hope! Change! Justice!
Like in the Great Depression, the Capital Strike goes on and on....
Hat tip, Instapundit.
I'm betting the last 'independent' data series is even worse.
Hat tip Instapundit.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
We are running trillion dollar deficits and on a path to double our national debt in 8 years.
Medicare is in the red, with the deficits mounting exponentially.
Social security has gone red nine years early.
Our programs embed within them well over 100 trillion in unfunded, unpayable liabilities.
Interest rates are at historic lows and signalling a massive rise, meaning interest expense will go through the roof. To be paid by printing more IOUs.
A new, unsustainable, unfunded entitlement has been passed drenched in accounting and other fraud that upon implementation will immediately go red.
The housing market has been wrecked by government manipulation and subsidies, the President announcing a new subsidy and manipulation program this week which will lead to more wreckage down the line. Which will lead to more manipulation, more subsidies, which will lead to more wreckage.....
"Tax Eaters" (government employees) proliferate with the Feds making twice and state and local making 40 percent more than actual wealth producers. The "Leader" says they're important, after all they run everything.
The cost of school and college continue to rise at two to three times inflation, all paid for by a government that is broke.
The Federal government owns most of the domestic auto industry which is being run on behalf of its unions, they increasingly dominate the financial services sector with ever more intrusive and pointless laws.
The same people who've brought us educational, healthcare and financial chaos are working diligently to bring the energy markets under complete fascist suzerainty, actually seeking as a stated goal to double the price of energy.
The deep blue states: California, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York are functionally bankrupt and with the exception of New Jersey, flailing deeper into bankruptcy with each passing day.
And now the dollar is starting to falter - blue chips are getting rates better than the Federal government, the auctions are ever more sparsely attended. Nobody seems to be interested in holding dollars anymore. The Euro's collapse has hidden its weakness but not for much longer.
Whole countries are sliding into bankruptcy. First Greece, then Portugal, Spain, Italy.
Our "Leaders" are piling theft upon theft, chaos upon chaos, stupidity upon stupidity until the entire rotten stinking edifice collapses in total system failure.
People always think they have more time than they do. One day, sooner than we think, the end will come 'as in the twinkling of an eye' and the wails will be pitiful to behold. And when the hegemon goes bankrupt the world explodes in chaos.
And the "Leader" drones on and on and on. We turn to each other: "what did he say?". And we make a note: "Don't hire, don't invest, don't take risks....at least until this clown is gone".
Monday, March 29, 2010
Self delusion is the most dangerous form of deception. Particularly in a President.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
According to a report by Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation, the individual mandate in Obamacare lacks any real enforcement mechanism:
The penalty applies to any period the individual does not maintain minimum essential coverage and is determined monthly. The penalty is assessed through the Code and accounted for as an additional amount of Federal tax owed.However, it is not subject to the enforcement provisions of subtitle F of the Code. The use of liens and seizures otherwise authorized for collection of taxes does not apply to the collection of this penalty. Non-compliance with the personal responsibility requirement to have health coverage is not subject to criminal or civil penalties under the Code and interest does not accrue for failure to pay such assessments in a timely manner.
Thugocracy Whipsaws Capitalism [Andy McCarthy]
The notion that the pain of Obamacare would not really be felt for a few years has always been silly. It won't be fully felt, but he economy is dynamic. Corporations have to plan today for the conditions of tomorrow. More to the point, public corporations with disclosure obligations under the securities laws have to disclose today when developments change their outlook for tomorrow. Hence, AT&T's announcement that Obamacare will force it to take a $1 billion dollar charge — the most alarming (but entirely predictable) bad news in a parade that, the Wall Street Journal's editors note, "includes Deere & Co., $150 million; Caterpillar, $100 million; AK Steel, $31 million; 3M, $90 million; and Valero Energy, up to $20 million."
But here is the most frightful news yet about our new reality: People's Commissar Henry Waxman is now planning to haul the companies before his committee because their disclosures fail to play along with the our Leftist rulers' script that Obamacare "will expand coverage and bring down costs."
As the Journal's editors observe:
Black-letter financial accounting rules require that corporations immediately restate their earnings to reflect the present value of their long-term health liabilities, including a higher tax burden. Should these companies have played chicken with the Securities and Exchange Commission to avoid this politically inconvenient reality? Democrats don't like what their bill is doing in the real world, so they now want to intimidate CEOs into keeping quiet.
Let me echo that. I worked for many years in the U.S. Attorney's Office in whose backyard was Wall Street. If a company like AT&T failed to make a legally mandated restatement of its financial position while continuing to participate in the capital markets, it would be investigated and the responsible management officials would likely find themselves prosecuted while the SEC, concurrently, went after the company and its officiallys in civil enforcement suits. There are prosecutors and investigators who would salivate at the prospect of doing such a career-making case.
If we are now under a system where disclosure gets you a public whipping and other threats by the Powers That Be while nondisclosure promises the ruinous expenses of defending against criminal investigations and civil enforcement, this is no longer anything but a thugocracy.
Friday, March 26, 2010
After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on Jewish settlements, Mr Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu but invited him to stay at the White House, consult with advisors and “let me know if there is anything new”, a US congressman who spoke to the Prime Minister said today.
“It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House phone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.
“I see Africa as a . . . partner with America on behalf of the future we want for all of our children,” President Obama declared in Ghana last July.
However, three months later, the President signed an executive order requiring that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and other federal agencies reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with their projects by 30% over the next ten years. The order undermines the ability of Sub-Saharan African nations to achieve energy, economic and human rights progress.
Ghana is trying to build a 130-MW gas-fired power plant, to bring electricity’s blessings to more of its people, schools, hospitals and businesses. Today, almost half of Ghanaians never have access to electricity, or get it only a few hours a week, leaving their futures bleak.
Most people in Ghana are forced to cook and heat with wood, crop wastes or dung, says Franklin Cudjoe, director of the Imani (Hope) Center for Policy and Education, in Accra. The indoor air pollution from these fires causes blindness, asthma and severe lung infections that kill a million women and young children every year. Countless more Africans die from intestinal diseases caused by eating unrefrigerated, spoiled food.
But when Ghana turned to its United States “partner” and asked OPIC to support the $185-million project, OPIC refused to finance even part of it – thus adding as much as 20% to its financing cost. Repeated across Africa, these extra costs for meeting “climate change prevention” policies will threaten numerous projects, and prolong poverty and disease for millions.
Megan McArdle Says:
Every time I write anything about Social Security, I get at least one person arguing that everything is fine because after all, the trust fund is not going to run out until 2036 or so.
I want to assume good faith, but I have a hard time believing that anyone takes this argument seriously. Today, because social security payments exceeded revenue, we’re going to either have to raise taxes, or borrow more money, in order to cover the benefits.
How would this be different if we didn’t have the trust fund?
So when they say such utter drivel are they ignorant? Or part of the scam?
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Independent analysts estimate that Obamacare will increase healthcare spending from 17 to 21 percent of GDP by 2015. According to the UN’s WHO, Singapore has the 7th best healthcare system in the world that costs a mere 3.5% of the affluent city-state’s GDP.
Now if you were a consumer and were offered the 37th best healthcare for 21% of income or the 7th best for 3.5% of income what would you choose?
So clearly our fearless leaders didn’t make the ‘consumer friendly choice’. Why?
Two possibilities present:
1. Many of the Democrats were educated by those crackerjack inner city public schools, maybe their math skills are a bit rusty. This could be a possibility, but BHO was educated at the tony Punaho Academy, Columbia and Harvard and we know that the Ivy leaguers are geniuses, so I assume BHO would have told the rest of the Dems that they could give the people better healthcare for one sixth the cost even if he did have to explain the concept of fractions to them.
2. The Democrat's goal was something other than high quality, affordable healthcare for the people.
So, the question of the hour is: what could that “other” goal be?
The real tragedy of the healthcare "reform" is the loss of republican modesty (no I’m not talking about Country Clubs banning walking shorts). In a Republic those in office should be circumspect and modest about using their temporary power. The modest republican recognizes that we all live here together and achieving any goal by shoving it down the other side’s throat is counterproductive, tearing at the ties that bind us together and make us civilized.
If you have (temporary) power and abuse it to shove something down your neighbor’s throat, if you cheat to do so, cut corners, bend the rules, lie about the outcome. If you mock your neighbor and call him clever obscene names. Then you are creating a burning resentment, a humiliation in that neighbor. The neighbor begins to think about what he will do when the tables are turned. You abandoned republican modesty so he will too. You humiliated him, he’ll humiliate you. Arrogance begets arrogance, dishonesty begets dishonesty, cruelty begets cruelty.
In a very real sense Barak Obama, the “Constitutional Scholar" is in fact a constitutional vandal, tearing down our institutions and hard won consensus so that he could have his place in the history books.
When I was in college one of my professors brought in a friend who was CEO of a pretty big business. He told the story of his first business – a machine shop in Western PA. It was unionized and he hated the union. So during a downturn he used some legal, procedural tricks to get the union decertified. He then proceeded to change a host of work rules and replace long time union employees with non union help.
Then one night a number of his employees broke into the factory after dark and ‘spiked’ every single machine tool. He went bust.
We were horrified, “what criminals” we said.
He nodded his head but pointed out: “I didn’t play fair with them, I had an opportunity to jam something down their throat and I took it. I humiliated my people and made them hate me. You don’t stay in business if you do that. I was wrong.” His experience made him a much more effective leader and led to significant business success.Barack Obama is still in his first business. You know, the one that goes bust.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Watching all the protests around the country. People who never have been interested in politics are at 212F. Drove to the next town, 500 people spilling into the street around Russ Carnahan’s congressional office – “Pelosi’s Puppet, Rubberstamp Russ” billboards all over town – In Dick Gephardt’s old district, usually 60-40 Dem – he’s toast.
Quick quiz: How do you tell a lefty protest from a righty one? Answer: One is flying flags, the other is burning them.
The Democrats and the White House are lost in a legislative “fog of war” right now. They are focused on twisting enough arms, offering jobs and negotiating specific “deals” (bribes) to get them to 216 votes. Their attention and energy is focused exclusively on a final vote in the House tonight. No one is looking even one minute beyond that horizon. They are like a general who pours all his reserves into taking a symbolic bridge, never realizing that his lines have already collapsed and his flanks have been turned. They may take the bridge and get to 216 votes. (I’ve learned to never bet against Congressional leadership and an Administration united for a single legislative victory. ) But, they have already lost the war. They have deluded themselves that if they can…just…get…this…bill…passed, the public’s anger and attention will subside, they can put health care ‘behind them’ and they can focus on other ‘popular’ measures that will shore up their election prospects in November.
What they don’t realize is that today’s vote isn’t the end, but just a new beginning in the debate over health care. Buckle up, because if they manage to cobble together enough votes to pass the Senate Health Bill today, we’re set for weeks and perhaps months of a constitutional and political crisis the likes of which we haven’t seen in our lifetimes. . . . A representative democracy cannot long endure a political class that is so out of touch with the populace. In some respects, what happens tonight is almost beside the point. The politics are set. Some Democrats are deluding themselves that they can put this behind them and somehow survive in November. They are most assuredly wrong.
Sometimes people have a hard time taking Singapore seriously as an example of how healthcare could be far cheaper and better than in the United States. For those who suffer from parochialism I offer a US based example: Lasik Surgery. In 1998 the average price of Lasik per eye in the US was $2,200. By 2004 this had fallen to $1,350. Today, you can get Lasik in St. Louis for as little as $699 per eye
- Lasik is not a third party paid procedure – the people who get the benefit pay for it and as a consequence shop around.
- This means that the sellers of Lasik have incentives to drive down the cost – lower prices at a given standard of care deliver more patients
- Knowing this, the equipment makers had strong incentives to reengineer their solutions to deliver the two things that deliver lower costs:
a. Automation, reducing the amount of skilled labor in the assessment, procedure and follow up and,
b. Minimizing complications – more automation, more process control, means fewer problems and less cost in follow up
- Lasik is a ‘bundled’ price – the Lasik provider is accountable for ALL the costs of the procedure and for delivering it at a FIXED price. Therefore they manage it as a system.
- The Lasik market has rapidly shaken out with a number of specialty providers dominating each market. By specializing they get better at delivering the results in 3.
Note that virtually everything described as a reason why Lasik prices are falling is exactly the opposite of the way mainstream ‘third party paid’ healthcare is done in America. And with the opposite result.
Friday, March 19, 2010
CINCINNATI — A Democratic Ohio congressman said a group opposed to health care overhaul went too far by taking out a newspaper ad that included a large photo of him with his two young daughters.
Rep. Steve Driehaus was upset by the advertisement, which appeared Wednesday in The Cincinnati Enquirer, his spokesman said Thursday.
"Rep. Driehaus thought the ad was outrageous," said the spokesman, Tim Mulvey. "He can take more than his fair share of political attacks, but this one crossed the line."
The ad was paid for by the Committee to Rethink Reform, a Washington-based group. Committee spokeswoman Sarah Longwell said showing the children was a mistake and that the group was taking out another ad to apologize. She said the committee already apologized directly to Driehaus.
I was brought up on a farm. My father participated in bombing Tokyo in the second World War. He taught me that the United States has never claimed to be perfect. It’s just better than the alternative, and if you don’t believe that it’s better than the alternative, there’s no reason for it to continue, really. That idea — that humans are not perfect and they make mistakes, but of enduring and adjudicating the mistakes, of correcting them, and having some tolerance for human frailty — that idea is very important not only in war, but also in farming and in the human experience itself. This prevalent utopianism that now characterizes our society — it has become a new barbarism in which we insist on perfectionism or else we’re no good.
Excuse me, but it is embarrassing—really, embarrassing to our country—that the president of the United States has again put off a state visit to Australia and Indonesia because he's having trouble passing a piece of domestic legislation he's been promising for a year will be passed next week. What an air of chaos this signals to the world. And to do this to Australia of all countries, a nation that has always had America's back and been America's friend.
How bush league, how undisciplined, how kid's stuff.
You could see the startled looks on the faces of reporters as Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who had the grace to look embarrassed, made the announcement on Thursday afternoon. The president "regrets the delay"—the trip is rescheduled for June—but "passage of the health insurance reform is of paramount importance." Indonesia must be glad to know it's not
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
As Glenn Reynolds says: “Better Living through Looting”.Or as Orwell would put it: Proles and Party members. We have always been at war with Eastasia.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Monday, March 08, 2010
One of the most important questions that never gets asked is "where did the health care 'crisis' come from?". As a student of George Stigler who won the 1982 Nobel price for economics in part for answering this question, I have a point of view. There was a French economist named Frederic Bastiat who coined the phrase "Things seen and things unseen" - his basic message was that the effects of an economic policy include the intended ones and the many unintended ones and to fully understand the consequences of any economic choice, one must understand all of them. This means that both the intended 'first order' effect and the unintended 'second, third, fourth and so on order effects' need to be taken into consideration before evaluating the efficacy of any policy.
By coincidence, the current health care crisis derives from a Bastiat unintended consequenc of another progressive policy innovation from the Great Depression: income tax 'reform'. In the twenties, the Federal income tax was 15% of only the highest earners' incomes. When the Great Depression hit, Hoover inexplicably raised it to 60% of a much broader group of earners. Not to be outdone in perversity by that Republican piker, FDR raised it to 70% and then even 79% for a time. Aside from pure vindictiveness it is hard to see what FDR sought to accomplish by this. Indeed the 'first order' effect of this policy was to contribute mightily to the 'capital strike' which defined the Depression, ensuring that almost 20% unemployment persisted right up to WW2.
But there was a second order effect. With high marginal rates, 'progressive' politicians had a 'product' to sell. Any industry or business who could get a deduction or exemption written into the tax code for what they were selling could make a fortune. And they would share that largesse with the politicians and parties who made it happen. One of these industries was health insurance/health care. They persuaded the New Dealers to make health insurance premiums paid for by companies on behalf of employees exempt from personal income tax. As a result, company provided health insurance exploded. It's not hard to see why: pay me an incremental $1 I pay most of it to the government. Pay my health insurance and I keep all the benefits.
The second order effect of the employee benefits exemption led to a third order effect. Historically 'health insurance' had been sold only to individuals and only as a catastrophic policy. The great majority of health care expenses were paid out of pocket by consumers or financed by providers. But now, given confiscatory rates, it made tax sense to provide employees not with insurance but with 'prepaid health care' to sweep as much of the costs into the tax exempt bucket. So almost all healthcare expenses became "third party" expenses.
And this led to a fourth order effect: a radical change in consumer behavior. Bear with me for a minute while I provide an analogy of what happened using a commodity that we are all familiar with:
What if your company gave you 'first dollar' Food and Drink insurance? In other words, your food and beverages are part of your compensation. When you're hungry, you whip out your insurance card and for free or a de minimis charge at the point of delivery, you can order whatever you want. How would your behavior change? Three ways:
First, you would consume more food. After all, taking a second loaf of bread to make sure we don't run out doesn't cost anything. Some of it will be wasted, yes, but that would be no skin off of your nose. Can't decide between the triple chocolate tort and the blueberry ice cream? Order 'em both.
Second, you'd 'class up', replacing Two Buck Chuck with Ten Buck Charles. I mean why starve yourself of the finer things in life? Particularly when someone else is picking up the tab?
Third, you would no longer waste time on all that 'good consumer' activity: price comparing, looking for 'deals', stocking up, clipping coupons, going to mega discount chains, bagging your own groceries. Essentially we would become a nation of Bluto Blutarskys of Animal House fame: "Want a beer? Don't cost nuthin"
And the food retailing industry would quickly get the message. You want a lot? We'll give you bigger package sizes. You want class? We'll cut the discount stuff and line the shelves with 'super premium' product. You don't care about price? We'll raise it through the roof. They'll also pour money into facilities and amenities that can be tied to food. WalMart will cover its floors in terrazo and will win an award for the best complimentary valet parking service in food retailing. Just like hospitals do today. And the per capita cost of food will explode. So long as the company is willing to pay more each year, that is.
Get the picture?
This is what happened to healthcare starting in the '30s and accelerating in the 40s and 50s. In many respects it was a golden age because you had great health coverage. If you had employer provided health insurance, that is. For the poor and the elderly it was a dark time. Up until then, healthcare had largely been an out of pocket consumer purchase. As a result it wasn't that expensive to go to the doctor or pay for a whole range of procedures. And all the panoply of price shopping and competition was in full flower. But with the Blutarskys driving the healthcare Lincoln (the fourth order effect) and the healthcare industry rapidly restructuring itself to a third party payor model (the third order effect), they found themselves increasingly priced out of the market. The elderly in particular were hit. Because they use the most and the most expensive healthcare, they suffered first. They were the canary in the coal mine and by 1965 they were tweeting to their representatives at top volume.
So the best and brightest were pulled together. Flights from Boston were packed with brainy looking characters, their briefcases bulging with scholarly papers and 'therapeutic' visions. They all got together and said: you know what? Our policy of vindictively high tax rates coupled with an exemption for health insurance has provoked a roaring inflation that is sinking the elderly. Lets reverse course and relink healthcare price and value - deemphasizing third party payment. Lets put the people back in the driver's seat, not the large corporate interests. That makes sense, doesn't it? I mean we're the party of the People aren't we?
Well sadly, that scenario only happens in my dreams. In fact they used their impressive credentials and swollen crania to take the clearly bad existing third party driven system and made it infinitely worse. Old system provided tax subsidies? We'll provide massive cash subsidies. Old system stuck it to private companies? We'll make it a tax and stick to to our kids and grand-kids. Old system incented the insured to overconsume? We'll do that for a group that has a virtually unlimited demand for end stage healthcare exotica.
Washington is not completely bereft of people with brains that are loaded with logic software and some of them, most notably that right winger, The Monster Barry Goldwater asked some hard questions. Questions like: "so how much is all this hope and change gonna cost?" (they didn't actually say H&C, but they thought it). The boffins of the CBO, the OMB, the Accounting Firms, the Actuaries and half the faculty of Harvard dutifully trooped in and divided one number by a bunch of other numbers, carried the remainders, summed whole columns of historical numbers congealed from other numbers with out making a single arithmetical error and announced portentiously: "The Great Society has created a balm for the elderly everywhere. This program shall not cost 10.7 billion over 24 years, neither will it cost 14.098 Billion over 32 years. But verily we say unto you it will cost precisely 12 Billion shekels over 25 years." And Henry Wallace looking down from heaven pronounced it 'Progressive' and there were signs and wonders throughout the land: Watts, Detroit, Harlem were burned to the ground by a righteous God - wait, no, wrong testament.
And now we come to my point. George Stigler was a young economist at Chicago fascinated by 'hope and change' projects. He took a look at the precise cost estimates provided by the Wise Men of Washington and Boston and wrote a brief little paper. He told me later that he almost didn't even put any numbers or equations in the paper, so simple was the concept, but he was sending it to an economics journal and they like gobbledy gook, so he threw some in. Essentially what he said was this: "My Momma taught me that when you git somethin' you don't pay for, you waste it. This program will cost at least ten times what the experts say it will." And it did and in 1982 little Georgie Stigler won the Nobel Prize for Economics in part for channeling his Momma.
You see all the actuaries and newspaper editors and university professors and accountants and assorted analysts failed to recognize that the implementation of the Medicare "reform" would radically change the behavior of consumers and providers in ways that would make nonsense of all of their carefully tabulated numbers. Because of course, all of their equations and relationships and models were based on historical consumer and economic logic. Change the logic and all bets are off. They failed to realize this despite the fact that the reason they had passed this 'reform' was to cope with the previous mess that had been caused by the same policies that they were now implementing again in more extreme form. Thus the most brilliant experts in the field that the world had ever seen boldly marched into the Slough of Intellectual Despond and sank without a trace.
And now fast forward to Hope 'n Change 2010. The same portentous progressive experts are proposing the same sorts of radical changes to economic arrangements and the same "wise men" are providing precise estimates based on an old reality that the new policy sweeps away. One wonders why they don't just wheel out the 1965 numbers and add a zero.
And Bastiat's long stupid arm of past policy blunders reaches its bony hand towards us motioning as if to say: I have only just begun to screw with you.