22 Feb 2011

The Inevitable Failure of Private Charity

It doesn’t take long in discussions of dismantling social safety-nets before you butt up against the conservative position that private charity will fill in the gaps left by removing social welfare. It’s not at all clear that this is true –or even plausible–, but even if we grant that it is absolutely the case that a Dollar-for-Dollar uptick in private charity will offset social welfare expenditure in the short-term, it is still a certain failure as a policy. Why?

12 Jan 2011

Why Would a War on Guns Be More Effective than the War on Drugs?

Sadly, though predictably, with the tragic shooting in Tucson, AZ a barrage of calls and proposals for a variety of material bans on firearms and their accessories have begun to swarm the liberal blogosphere and media.

Sadly, though predictably, almost all of them are either completely arbitrary (like magazine capacity), completely misguided (like asserting a correlation between legal gun ownership and violence), or just outright fear-based authoritarianism (taking something away from huge swaths of people who’ve done nothing wrong).

08 Dec 2010

Obama: “this country was founded on compromise.”

I know what you’re thinking. This must come as quite a shock to the British, right?

05 Nov 2010

Corporate Civil Liberties: Do Sock-Puppets Have Freedom of Speech?

To say that a corporation shall not have its freedom of speech infringed is to make a completely nonsensical statement. It has no useful meaning at all. The corporation cannot speak. Only its directors can, and abridging the speech of a corporation doesn’t abridge the speech of its directors. They only way one can claim that it does is if one concludes that the corporate entity is completely inextricable from its directors, and if one wants to make that case, then it seems like the entire concept of the “corporate veil” should be called into question. The corporate veil is explicitly the liability protection that’s provided to directors of the corporation, the explicit statement that the assets of the corporation and its directors are not in fact the same.

04 Nov 2010

This is Exactly How They Are Going to Cut Social Security

This, folks, is the way Social Security will be dismantled.

The political cover of a manufactured pending crisis used as leverage by one Party against the other. Long-term distant deficits don’t agitate voters enough to give the necessary cover for this kind of duplicity, but with the debt ceiling issue on the table it gives the politicians a supposedly credible way to say, “Yeah, that problem is 37 years away, but this one is RIGHT NOW!”

03 Nov 2010

Nevermind Those People NOT Working, They’re Not Unemployed

There’s stalwart refusal by the media and blogosphere to abandon reporting U3 as the measure of unemployment in the United States. I expect this from the mainstream media, but I can’t figure out why bloggers clutch to such a dubious standard.

28 Oct 2010

Republican Gains Will Mean Democratic Policy Gridlock!!! Wait, What?

We see this narrative everywhere. This apparent paralyzing fear that if the Republicans make gains in Congress, the Democrats won’t be able to accomplish anything to resolve any of our still ongoing crises (banking, healthcare, employment, civil-liberties, foreign wars, etc), and thus you have to make sure you vote for Democrats; now!

However, there’s no such movement or initiative forthcoming from the Democrats to solve those problems, and thus there’s absolutely nothing for the Republicans to be standing in the way of. There can be no gridlock when there’s no grid to be locking. Democrats have done nothing, but stand in the way of themselves, and not ironically that’s exactly why they’re getting punished this election cycle.

26 Oct 2010

You Can’t Make a Rational Electoral Choice, so Stop Trying

As we race ever further forward into the frackas of the mid-term election we’re going to be inundated with headlines of various congressional and gubernatorial races. You’ll be pressured by your peers and your own conscience to make tough decisions about where to cast your vote. Some of you will be admonished for throwing up your hands, and voting outside the major Party duopoly. Others will be heckled for continuing to support the Parties, despite the evidence that they’re corrupted. You’ll do your very best to make a rational, educated decision about how to cast your vote. Here’s the good news, you can’t.

30 Sep 2010

Why is Obama throwing the election for Democrats?

If it’s true that, “But nobody, and I mean nobody, thinks that hectoring voters will get them to the polls.” then just why is the President using his administrations resources to further depress Democratic and liberal turnout for the mid-term elections?

26 Aug 2010

If We Need to Raise the Retirement Age, We’re Doing it Wrong

As our economies and markets advance ever further forward, and we gain tremendous efficiencies in production, we should be retiring earlier; not later.