Friday, July 25, 2008

One more reason to vote against Hope

He voted for the Farm Bill. You can't find something our legislature has passed that irks libertarian sensibilities more, and quite aside from irked sensibilities it just absolutely terrible policy. And, as i am a megalomaniac who loves independent validation I must direct attention to a Q&A with Daniel Sumner, and economist who specializes in agri-biz and policy. Key quote:

Q: Are there any good arguments that support farm subsidies? If so, to what extent and in what manner may they be justified?
A: No.
My longer answer is here.
I look at a dozen suggested rationales for farm programs and reject them all except the last one — which is we have farm programs because we have had them for 75 years and people are afraid of even thinking about a world without subsidies.

And if you want to how exactly this market distorting and price inflating policy keeps being renewed you have to get to the end but it pretty much sums things up:

Q: Why is there such a deep emotional attachment to growing cotton in the U.S.? Given the historical connection with slavery, I would have thought there would be no appetite to prop up an uneconomic industry.
A: The attachment is financial, not emotional. Cotton is a significant crop economically and politically in a few places and the cotton lobby has been very successful in explaining their case (and providing election assistance) to members of Congress.

Fantastic. On the bright side though I learned that Australia which has no farm subsidies recently passed the US as the worlds fattest nation. McCain voted against this malign behemouth now if only he weren't a senile ball of confusion I might have a candidate. At least this makes hash of the notion that we will all starve from high food prices without protectionism.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Comrade Zhang demands deregulation in the name of the people!

Once communist China advises Syria that "before we invest in Syria you most open your markets, cut your subsidies, and reduce regulation..." I guess one of the benefits of living in a plutocracy is that ever now and then the plutocrats get the right ideas, though something in me doubts this model is sustainable. And once the people really have control its obvious ho bad things can become. Irony of ironies, I think this will become a trade off between 10% growth under a free market plutocracy or 3% growth under a social democracy.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Not that I wasn't already sold on this but...

the greatest benefit of globalization has been revealed:

For instance, the real price (in 1988 prices) for the basket of the entire Top 100 list [for the U.S.] was $4,313 in 1988; $3,132 in 1993; $2,533 in 1999; and $2,421 in 2004. That is nearly a 44% decrease in prices from 1988 to 2004. At the same time, there was no significant change in the quality of the wines on the Top 100 list.

And lo! Globalization isn't just for wanna-be foodies and fake wine conneisuers.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm Starting to like McCain More

I do find it discouraging when the only candidate open to changing with the times in any specific way is the 71 year old Republican. Against a backdrop of Clinton and Obama peddling change as an ethos more than a plan, McCain goes to a group of people hardest hit by free trade and tells them that they really do need to change:

"I think the answer is to understand that, free trade or not, we are in an information and technology revolution," he said. "So we want people to be part of that revolution, and we've got to be part of that new economy, rather than try to cling to an old economy."

A world apart from the constant use of verbs without objects by the Democrats. "HOPE," "CHANGE!" Hope for what? Change to what? At least McCain gave an example.