Here’s a letter to the Weekly Standard:
You report that “Solyndra, a solar panel manufacturing company much ballyhooed by the Obama administration, declared bankruptcy. The company had received $535 million in September 2009 from a Department of Energy grant program funded by the stimulus” (“Green Jobs in the Red,” Sept. 12).
No surprise here. From Pres. Obama on down, none of the politicians speculating with taxpayers’ funds on “green” business ventures – and none of the pundits spellbound by their own imagined genius at knowing how to improve an unimaginably complex economy such as ours – has any material skin in the game.
Too bad that too few Americans, when presented with the latest Glorious Vision or Beautiful Plan, are as clear-eyed as is the economist Deirdre McCloskey, who writes “If you are prudent and bourgeois, not a romantic aristocrat or a gullible peasant, you say to yourself ‘Why is he telling me this? Why has he not put his money where his mouth is?’”*
Donald J. Boudreaux
* Deirdre N. McCloskey, The Vices of Economists / The Virtues of the Bourgeoisie (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1996), p. 103
Warren Buffett has persuaded 68 other billionaires to follow his example and promise to give at least half their wealth to charities. But why hasn’t Buffett proposed also that the very rich make large gifts to the federal government to offset what he considers ridiculously low taxes on their incomes and wealth? My guess is that he and the others who pledged to give away their wealth to charity would have little confidence in how the government would spend such gifts. Buffett, for example, is giving most of his wealth to the Gates Foundation, not to the federal government, and is relying on how this foundation will spend his vast gift. Given this reluctance to make large gifts to the federal government, why should anyone have confidence that the federal government will spend additional tax revenue in a sensible way?
[HT Joe Swanson]
… is from page 29 of Jim Buchanan’s 1958 book Public Principles of Public Debt:
[I]t is rather strange that it [an "essentially organic conception of the economy or the state"] could have found its way so readily into the fiscal theory of those countries presumably embodying democratic governmental institutions and whose social philosophy lies in the individualistic and utilitarian tradition. The explanation arises, of course, out of the almost complete absence of political sophistication on the part of those scholars who have been concerned with fiscal problems. With rare exceptions, no attention at all has been given to the political structure and to the possibility of inconsistency between the policy implications of fiscal analysis and the political forms existent. Thus we find that, in explicit works of political theory, English-language scholars have consistently eschewed the image of the monolithic and organic state. At the same time, however, scholars working in fiscal analysis have developed constructions which become meaningful only upon some acceptance of an organic conception of the social group.
Andrew Bolt – Sunday, September 04, 11 (06:56 am)
EMBATTLED MP Peter Slipper has promised to work with rival Mal Brough on the Sunshine Coast even though it will be “difficult”.
The LNP member for Fisher was yesterday rebuffed by his local branch, who voted for Mr Brough as their next organisational chairman…
The vote was viewed as a “de facto preselection” ahead of the next federal election when Mr Brough, a former Howard government minister, is expected to go up against Mr Slipper.
Mr Slipper last night said he would accept the Fisher branch’s decision not to reinstate his preferred candidate, chairman Greg Robinson…
There were reports yesterday Mr Slipper had written to branch members and threatened to move to the crossbenches if Mr Brough was elected.
He said last night that was not the case, but when asked to rule out walking he did not make a commitment.
“I never said I would move to the crossbenches, I never said I would take action,” he responded.
(Thanks to reader John.)
Andrew Bolt – Sunday, September 04, 11 (05:43 am)
Michelle Grattan says Gillard is dead meat:
Julia Gillard is still PM, of course. But, unless you believe in miracles, she’s a dead woman walking, to be dispatched by the people at the election or perhaps by her party before.
Michelle Grattan says Labour should keep her:
The power brokers and caucus need to breathe deeply and put off judgments about leadership for some time.
Honey in the ears of Tony Abbott.
Even on sick leave, Kevin Rudd can mess with Gillard’s mind:
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited ex-PM Kevin Rudd at his Canberra home from 10.10am to 10.50am.
Mr Ban then travelled 2km to Parliament House to meet with Ms Gillard from 11am to 11.40am…
A day earlier his spokesman had told the Sunday Herald Sun Mr Rudd would not be making any public appearances for the media, because he was still on leave after his heart operation.
Labor insiders said the discontent with the Prime Minister’s leadership was deeper with the back bench than it was with the factional leaders.
“The people who put her in are struggling to admit that they made a mistake,” one MP said.
Another MP likened the prevailing mindset among the federal party’s leadership to a cult of denial.
“There is more Kool Aid being drunk up in Canberra that at Jonestown,” one MP remarked.
The MP said that the calibre of the staff in the PM’s private office was a matter of deep concern to MPs.
“The people around her have no political judgment,” one MP said.
“The wattles they wore at the signing with the Greens, the carbon tax, the Malaysian solution ... it just goes on."…
The majority of Labor MPs contacted by the Sunday Herald Sun conceded that Ms Gillard could not be assured of remaining as leader of the Labor Party in the long term without a radical reprioritisation of the Government’s policies.
“We’re like a flock of sheep or a herd of cattle, milling around, not quite sure where to go,” one MP said.
“If someone fired a gun, we could all run in the same direction. “Or we could scatter. Something will probably happen, but I’m not sure what.”
Another said: “The mood is black, depressed, resentful, solemn and hateful.
“There is gross disappointment at her performance and the way we lurch from mess to mess.”
SOME of Julia Gillard’s own MPs have declared she is stuck ‘’spinning her wheels’’ and predicted an election rout ‘’in varying degrees of diabolical’’, as Labor’s internal despair spills out into public view…
In what one Labor insider has described as an ‘’end-of-empire’’ malaise, Labor and Liberal sources have confirmed that ministerial offices and other ALP sources are supplying ammunition for the opposition’s attack over the Craig Thomson/Health Services Union affair.
Speaking to Labor elders outside the Parliament this week, many were utterly bereft of hope. ‘’I feel absolutely despairing about the whole situation,’’ said one. ‘’There’s a fair risk that Julia will turn out to be the double bill of the first female prime minister and the last Labor prime minister.’’
Andrew Bolt – Sunday, September 04, 11 (05:29 am)
Just 14 months since being toppled, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has been named as a possible contender for the Labor leadership in the wake of the High Court’s decision. Cabinet ministers Stephen Smith, Simon Crean, Greg Combet, assistant treasurer Bill Shorten and former Queensland premier Peter Beattie have also been named.
“This sort of media talk and gossip is nothing more than that and it should be treated with distain,” he said.
Andrew Bolt – Sunday, September 04, 11 (05:22 am)
Sacked for something he said somewhere else? This is star-chamber stuff:
VETERAN political journalist Glenn Milne has been dumped from ABC TV’s The Insiders because of a column he wrote in News Ltd’s The Australian.
The column, retracted in full after furious demands from Julia Gillard, made claims about the Prime Minister’s one-time relationship with former unionist Bruce Wilson, the embezzlement of union funds and his eventual fraud conviction.
Milne was told he would no longer be part of future episodes of the program on Thursday evening after a meeting by the ABC’s news management team.
The ABC’s head of policy, Alan Sunderland told The Sun-Herald, last night that Milne had not been “sacked ... because we don’t employ him and never have” but confirmed the column had been the catalyst for the decision to cancel his scheduled appearance on the show this morning.
The ABC should at least answer this: were any calls made to the ABC about Milne by Gillard, Communications Minister Steve Conroy or anyone speaking on their behalf?
Professor Sinclair Davidson sums up:
That notoriety was dramatically boosted by the case brought by Treasurer Peter Costello and wife Tanya, and Tony and Margaret Abbott, who alleged they were all defamed by a passage in Goodbye Jerusalem. It’s a story supposedly recounted to Ellis by former State Labor MP Rodney Cavalier, alleging that in the distant past of university days, a long-haired Peter Costello, and the young political firebrand Tony Abbott, were both in the right wing of the Labor Party till Tanya Coleman slept with both, married one of them, and induced them into the Young Liberals. The story was completely untrue.
Is the difference that Ellis merely slimed a Liberal politician, while Milne alarmed a Labor one?
Andrew Bolt – Sunday, September 04, 11 (05:07 am)
Congratulations. With your encouragement, the warmist Sunday Age is forced to answer The Question about tackling global warming.
The very point of Australia’s carbon tax is to reduce global warming. How much will reducing 5% of Australia’s around 1.5% contribution of global CO2 emissions reduce global temperature by? If the amount is negligible (which it is), then given the present economic turbulence, what is the probability of Australia’s carbon tax inspiring major emitters like USA, China and India to make ACTUAL cuts to their C02 emissions (as opposed to mere carbon intensity) and economic growth? - -Jason Fong,
The Sunday Age today gives the answer:
Victoria University climate scientist Professor Roger Jones has calculated that if the rest of the world did not act and Australia reduced emissions until 2020, then did nothing else, Australia’s policy would knock 0.0038 degrees off the global temperature rise by 2100.
One-three hundredth Not quite one-four thousandth of a degree. Provided the climate really is as responsive to carbon dioxide emissions as claimed.
It really doesn’t seem worth the pain, does it, when China and other giant emitters won’t cut their own emissions?
(UPDATE: Thanks to the many readers who corrected my maths.)
Andrew Bolt – Sunday, September 04, 11 (04:58 am)
The abuse, the shovel left outside her front door, the threats to her faction ... All that pressure has finally got to the union official who referred the allegations against Craig Thomson to the police:
Ms Jackson’s partner, Michael Lawler, confirmed yesterday that she had been ‘’put under medical care’’ on Friday and was not capable of speaking to the media.
Mr Lawler, a deputy president of Fair Work Australia, said he believed the breakdown may have been caused by the pressure that Ms Jackson had been under in recent weeks over the Thomson allegations.
And so yet another threat to the Gillard Government is, coincidentally, silenced.
(Thanks to reader CA.)
Andrew Bolt – Sunday, September 04, 11 (12:05 am)
HAS any intellectual current ever been so disparaged and demonised, so ferociously harangued by the chattering classes, as climate-change scepticism?
Every slur in the book has been hurled at those who dare to question climate-change orthodoxies.
They’ve been compared to Holocaust deniers. They’ve been branded psychologically disordered. They only use their “reptilian brain”, says one eco-author, which means their outlook on climate change is not “modulated by logic, reason or reflective thought”, Al Gore says.
And now, putting the icing on this cake of abuse, Gore has compared climate-change sceptics to racists…
In their pathologisation, demoralisation and even criminalisation of dissent, greens unwittingly expose their deeply censorious, inquisitorial instincts.
(Thanks to reader Tom.)
Andrew Bolt – Sunday, September 04, 11 (12:01 am)
ASYLUM-SEEKERS claiming to be minors among the group spared deportation this week are so frustrated by a ban on smoking they are considering changing their stories to say they are adults.
Some of the 57 “unaccompanied minors” are addicted to smoking and increasingly irritated by a ban on cigarettes within their detention compound on Christmas Island, sources say.
Asylum-seeker adults are allowed to smoke by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship but this is not the case for the unaccompanied minors, with the department applying Australian laws to the group.
The source, who does not want to be named, said there were some among the males who were clearly children but others who were obviously over 18.
(Thanks to reader Steve.)