Thoughts on Buybacks

When CEO bonuses were paid in 2008 after the bailouts America was justifiably outraged and it is reasonable to include conditions to avoid this outcome again.  It is equally outrageous and irresponsible to load this bill with unrelated political swag and enforce long term changes in corporate governance and other purely political agendas in order to address a very short-term set of problems.

Read More

Covid-19 Saves the World

In the meantime, we will achieve long sought goals of dramatically reducing our carbon footprint, inequality, and even DUI’s and simultaneously realize they were far less important than we thought.  We will also hopefully learn to appreciate institutions, forces, and fellow citizens and workers we took for granted and even criticized a few months ago that are now critical to our survival.

Read More

Financial Risk and Political Risk

We will never know if we overreacted. If the threat turns out to be less than predicted, we will assume our actions were merited and responsible. It could be a dry run for a contagion that is far more lethal. Our agencies and professionals will always error on the side of overestimating an unknown threat to public health. Outrage and fear are hard risks to mitigate.

Read More

An Addiction to Low Interest Rates

It seems that this can go on indefinitely because we cannot envision the central banks losing control of interest rates, but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Believers in Modern Monetary Theory mistake this trend for a true principle. Central banks will remain active in controlling interest rates because the debt is so large that any spike in interest rates would be disastrous. We are stimulating a zombie economy reliant on low interest rates provided by a central government even more dependent on low interest rates.

Read More

True Power

We have taken a detour on Hayek’s Road to Serfdom; we have managed to cede more power to the central government while retaining much of the individualism of the Constitution.  This is a unique outcome in political evolution attributed to the genius of the Constitution itself combined with a unique American political culture that shrouds it. At its best progressivism expanded the promise of political equality into the economic sphere, assuring equal economic opportunity if not results; at its worst it was seduced by the false confidence of the historicists shared by its technocratic sisters in Europe.

Read More

Long Term Effect of the Kung Flu

The Corona virus may succeed in realigning the balance of trade better than any of Trump’s tariffs or negotiations.  The Chinese market is still so large that it cannot be ignored, but it also can no longer be depended on to be a consistent and secure source of supply of critical components for American manufactured goods.

Read More

We Are the Problem

The voters, however, cannot escape some responsibility for this outcome. The more dependent we become on the government to solve our local and personal problems the more disappointed we will become with the results and the more likely we will be seduced by radical solutions.

Read More

So, You Think Bernie Sanders is the Answer? Part Deaux

Capitalism becomes the basket where you place all your gripes about our economy. Capitalism is just a form of political freedom and like all rights and freedoms they’re not unrestricted and unregulated. There are good regulations and bad regulations. Good regulations support the proper functions of liberty and free markets; bad regulations undermine the institutions that support liberty and markets. If much of our problems come from bad regulation and bad government policy, then how is handing more power that source going to help? Progressivism grew to protect us from special interests, but what happens when the special interest we need to fear the most is the one that seeks to protect us?

Read More

So, You Think Bernie Sanders is the Answer?

Socialism hinges on a belief in a general or unified will that is a myth.  We are a diverse nation with diverse and competing interests and our Constitution is the most advanced political system ever devised for dealing with these competing interests. The belief in a unified interest becomes a justification for imposing one group’s interests on another. This is the essence of Hayek’s noted Road to Serfdom.

Read More

The Bernie Sanders Threat

Bernie is the moral supremacist progressive of the first Progressive Era of 1900-1920 that reacted to the Gilded Age and inequality of that period. Bloomberg is the elite technocrat Progressive of the second Progressive Era of 1932-1980; beginning with the New Deal and ending with the Great Society. The irony of a “progressive” reclaiming old and exhausted positions from fifty to a hundred years ago is lost on most who accept progressivism.

Read More

The False Identity of the American Founding

“Properly understood, the “1619 Project” isn’t about black history. It’s about today’s racial disparities. It’s about applying current ideologies to past events, in the continuing attempt to blame the past actions of whites for the current problems of blacks.”

Read More

The Nature of Knowledge

Levin observes that for the left it is forever 1965 and we are just one huge federal program away from supreme social justice. For the right it is forever 1981 and we are just one big tax cut away from economic nirvana. The conditions of 1965 or 1981 no longer exist.

Read More

Political Thoughts 2020 02 16

The problem with greater federal power is no longer legitimacy but competence. The failure of the left to maintain control of their sacred institutions has not led them to decry it’s competence but to question its legitimacy; but by not supporting the institutions they relied on they have brought their own legitimacy into question.

Read More

Rights Trump Democracy

“The destructive nature of socialism comes not from its tendency to trample on democracy (though socialism often does trample on democracy) but from its total disregard for rights — rights that are, in the context of the United States and other liberal-democratic systems, beyond the reach of mere majorities.”

Read More

Restricting Democracy

“The rising authoritarianism of our time is not an aberration but the ordinary natural fulfillment of mass democracy when it has overflowed its constitutional restraints”

Read More

A Bottomless Well of Misery

“The problems of socialism are problems of socialism — problems related to the absence of markets, innovation, and free enterprise and, principally, problems related to the epistemic impossibility of the socialist promise: rational central planning of economic activity. The problems of socialism are not the problems of authoritarianism and will not be cured by democracy.”

Read More

Impeachment Afterthoughts

The impeachment seemed liked a hail Mary from the inception, motivated more by rage than reason. That is precisely why the constitution designed the process as they did to start in the House and then move to the Senate.  Rather than viewed as a Constitutional crisis, it should be affirmed as its proper functioning. It does not become a threat to the constitutional order just because you disagree with the outcome.

Read More

Democracy and Property

“The right of property is of course always and everywhere a necessary but not insufficient condition for the flourishing of genuine liberty, which is a different thing from genuine democracy. Democracy despises property when it does not envy it and envies it when it does not despise it, and hence Senator Bernie Sanders et al. extol democracy in their war on property, which is a war on liberty, its sometime synonym. “

Read More

Impeachment Thoughts

A moderate Democratic party could have leveraged this impeachment to certain victory in Congress and the Whitehouse. The new radicalized Democratic party will have a much tougher time.

Read More

Democracy and Progressivism

Progressives wish for more democracy yet wish to move the accountability of the administrative state further from the accountability of the voter.  Progress comes from the unique output from a minority.  Minority rights should be protected from majority rule.  Freedom should not be sacrificed to the false god of democracy.

Read More