Random Thoughts of an Economist


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Random thoughts on the passing scene:

The next time a member of the British royal family gets married, I hope they elope and spare us all another 24/7 media orgy.

Does the “not guilty” verdict in the Casey Anthony child murder trial mean that the jury succumbed to the confusion between “beyond a reasonable doubt” and “beyond any conceivable doubt”? The word “reasonable” is not put in there just for decoration.

We seem to be living in an age when nobody can be bothered to answer their telephone, but everybody has a recorded message telling us how important our phone call is to them.

President Obama often talks about wanting to raise taxes on “millionaires and billionaires” but — in his actual tax proposals — higher taxes usually begin with couples earning $250,000 between them. Apparently that makes you a millionaire or a billionaire.

It doesn’t seem very scientific to have a good-looking nurse taking a man’s blood pressure.

As the British have lost their empire and, more important, lost their respect for laws and standards, Britannia has gone from ruling the waves to waiving the rules.

The difference between mob rule and democracy was never more sharply demonstrated than by labor unions’ attempts to prevent the Wisconsin voters’ elected representatives from carrying out their official duties at the state Capitol. What would it matter what the voters want if any mob can stop it from happening?

My favorite birthday card this year said on the outside, “Ageing is Inevitable” — and, on the inside: “Maturity is optional.”

Theodore Roosevelt said that his foreign policy was to speak softly and carry a big stick. Barack Obama’s foreign policy in Libya has been to speak loudly and carry a little stick. Too often Obama’s foreign policy around the world looks like children happily playing with fire.

Class-warfare politics is bad enough when it is for real. But often it is as phony as a three-dollar bill, when the same politicians pass high tax rates on “the rich” to win votes — and then get financial support from “the rich” to create loopholes that enable them to avoid paying those high tax rates.

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  • rtthinker

    The problem is that the government is NOT spending "their own money," but, rather, your money and my money that we are forced to give to them and then have little say how they use it!

  • alexander

    What economy? There is no connection between DOW or NASDAQ companies with American people……Chinese companies also sell their goods in USA, so minus well you may show their profits………rrright…….so what?
    Goods are made by Chinese people or Mexicans, Americans keep on losing jobs.
    DOW soon to hit 5,000 and may not stop at that.
    20 yards tall Bama's pictures will follow soon.

  • bill

    "Learned scholars still debate the reasons for the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. Learned scholars of the future, looking back on our decline and fall, may simply be baffled as to how we could have been so stupid."
    This is so right! I've been wondering for years how we americans can take this good thing we have and just beat it to death!

  • tagalog

    I agree with Bill; I have never understood how a society that is doing things well can destroy itself (destruction from external forces I understand perfectly). But now we're living through the same phenomenon here in the U.S.A.

    When I was a kid, I never got the story about killing the goose that lays the golden eggs; how could a sensible person do that? But here we are…

  • Dennis X

    The rich create jobs? The bush tax cuts have been in place for at least six years, where are the jobs. The sale of high end goods is increasing daliy, the rich have to do something with all that money, but they are not creating jobs.

    • Jim_C

      hear hear–I get so sick of that canard. At a time when the rich got EXPONENTIALLY wealthier, by design, through greater access to government who worte the rules in their favor, their tax rates are at HISTORIC LOWS. This is not the thing to make an ideological point about–the rich need to be taxed more–end of story.

      I do take Sowell's point, however: when I say wealthy, I mean "multi-millionaire-wealthy," not the couple who make $250,000 between them. I am not crazy about increasing their burden–you are also talking about small businesses here just trying to make payroll.

  • Chris

    The jobs went away when businesses saw a Marxist about to enter the whitehouse. When Obama leaves, the economy has at at least a chance to recover. Thinjgs will suck until then. Of course Obama has NOTHING to do with the dismal economy. And keep blaming Bush, That ''ll get people back to work!

    Fools and tools and idiots all