The Bat is Back!
The bat is back
. This time they are going for a million dollars during the Sleepless Summer Tour. Give today (they are more than 30% of the way there already.)
Blurring the Lines
Here's my approach to establishing religion in the US. Start with blurring the lines between religion and government. Set precedents like putting God on the money and in patriotic pledges, then move on to claiming that God established our laws. Eventually, there would be so many precedents, that I would be able to effectively establish Judeo-Christianity as the de facto official religion. If I were persuasive enough, I might be able to repeal parts of the first amendment.
Funny thing is, this is the exact same way I'd try to prohibit the free exercise of religion as well.
I say, let them have the statue in the court. Keep blurring the lines until there is enough precedent to regulate religion. This is what pro-religion in government activists should fear.
How Rich People Save Money
From Brad DeLong
, I see this excerpt of an Economist article
Tax cuts aimed at low earners are more likely to be spent than handouts to the rich, for they save more...
I've seen quotes just like this all over the place, and most of the time it's just left as obvious that no good can come from rich people saving money. I'm no fan of the tax cuts, and I'm certainly no economist, but I do know this: Rich people do not stuff money into mattresses. I am not rich, but if the government were to send me a check for a couple of thousand dollars, I'd most likely invest it in the stock market -- I expect that the top 1% would do this as well. Potentially, they could also invest in funds and venture capital that I have no access to given my comparatively paltry funds. The net effect is that we would expect a rise in the stock market since there is now more demand for stock with the excess unspent (or "saved") capital in the hands of the rich.
Now, I'm not saying that this will lead to job creation or growth, but it's not the "no effect" that is usually implied by saying the rich just save their money.
I'd like to hear a serious analysis from the left on what they think the net effect of that would be.
"Blog" from 1992
I was poking around for some accounts of the 1992 primaries and I found this page
which is a collection of newsgroup entries by a political pundit named Gregory Berry. The format is very blog-like, except in chronological order and is a fun read. It starts with
22:40) Gregory Berry: A dollar says that Clinton will be the Democratic nominee and the victor in the general election.
And ends with a post-mortem of the 1992 election. Here is a link to his political site
if you want to read more, but it appears not to have been updated for a while.
That Liberal Krugman
When the Democrats win the White House in '04, I think a lot of us lefties will be surprised at Krugman's columns. I'm in the middle of reading Pop Internationalism
by Krugman, which is a collection of essays originally published elsewhere, debunking popular economic theory. The book was published in the mid-nineties, and attacks the economic theory (but not necessarily the policies) of the Clinton administration.
I've only just started, but the first few essays deal with the notion that nations are in competition with each other (like big corporations). Krugman offers data to show why that theory is wrong, and shows that domestic policies are more responsible for a nation's economy. This flies right in the face of the NAFTA detractors on the left and specifically the policies proposed by Kucinich, Gephardt and to some extent Dean. I'd really like to see one of the campaigns pick up Krugman as an advisor -- especially when it comes to talking about NAFTA effectively. The big problem is that to bring along the unions, you have to back extremely bad policy with regard to free trade -- perhaps Krugman has some ideas.
The one consistent message from Krugman then and now, is that he hates bad math, misleading statistics, and bad economic theory, whether it comes from the right or left. Sometimes, this combination actually leads to the right policy -- which he points out might only have come about from this type of disingenuous "sell", but it's dangerous nonetheless, because there are certainly bad policies that follow from those beliefs as well.