Archive for January, 2006

Canada’s Stephen Harper

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/19/2006

A bit of background:

HARPER moved to Canada’s conservative West as a young man and received a master’s degree in economics at the University of Calgary, home to many or most of Canada’s respected and “radical” right wing scholars. He probably has a more thorough grounding in Hayek, Friedman, and classical liberalism than any comparably famous figure on the national scene down south.

Posted in International | Leave a Comment »

House Majority Leader Candidate

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/18/2006

John Shadegg weighs in. From today’s Wall Street Journal:

Republicans promised the American people two things in 1994. First, we promised to rein in the size and scope of the federal government. Second, we promised to clean up Washington. In recent years, we have fallen short on both counts. Total federal spending has grown by 33% since 1995, in inflation-adjusted dollars. Worse, we have permitted some of the same backroom practices that flourished in the old Democrat-controlled House. Powerful members of Congress are able to insert provisions giving away millions — even tens of millions — of dollars in the dead of night. The recent scandals involving Duke Cunningham and Jack Abramoff have highlighted the problem, but this is not just a case of a few bad apples. The system itself needs structural reforms.

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The Lobbist Problem

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/18/2006

Walter Williams recounts the Hayekian solution:

Nearly two decades ago, during dinner with the late Nobel Laureate Friedrich Hayek, I asked him if he had the power to write one law that would get government out of our lives, what would that law be? Professor Hayek replied he’d write a law that read: Whatever Congress does for one American it must do for all Americans. He elaborated: If Congress makes payments to one American for not raising pigs, every American not raising pigs should also receive payments. Obviously, were there to be such a law, there would be reduced capacity for privilege-granting by Congress and less influence-peddling.

Posted in Hayek, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Berlin vs. Berlin

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/18/2006

Sizing up Isaiah Berlin. Quotable:

his essays on value-pluralism .. contain what is surely his worst writing. They are repetitive, shaggy, shapeless, filled with labored sentences and tortuous digressions. By contrast, his essays on imaginative anti-liberals are alive with the exuberance of discovery ..

Posted in Liberty | Leave a Comment »

Alcoa Dumps Company Pension for New Hires

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/17/2006

A trend has become a stampede.

Posted in Business | Leave a Comment »

Unions Bend, Germany Revives

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/17/2006

How German manufacturing hangs on — one company’s story.

Posted in Business, International | Leave a Comment »

McClintock on the Schwarzenegger Budget

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/17/2006

The Governor released his budget proposal for the 2006-2007 fiscal year. It projects general fund spending of $97.9 billion with income of $91.5 billion, for a general fund operating deficit of $6.4 billion. This brings the accumulated three year operating deficit to $9.8 billion.

This deficit is funded entirely with borrowed funds from Proposition 57, approved by voters in 2004. Although the public was promised that this bond would only be used to pay for past deficits, it is in fact being used to cover deficits for 2004 ($0.6 billion), 2005 ($2.9 billion) and now 2006 ($6.4 billion).

In November, the Legislative Analyst projected that if nothing were done to rein in spending, the 2006 budget would consume $95.1 billion. The governor proposes spending $2.8 billion above this figure.

In the last three years, combined population and inflation will have grown 16 percent; revenues 19 percent; spending 25 percent. For the budget year, combined population and inflation will increase 4 percent; revenues 5 percent; spending 9 percent. Revenues continue to outpace inflation and population; spending continues to outpace revenues.

I have always applied two fundamental tests to a budget: it must be balanced within existing revenues and it must contain a prudent reserve. The proposal as submitted to the legislature fails both tests.

Tom McClintock’s Blog.

Posted in California | Leave a Comment »

Mitterrand & the French Disease

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/17/2006

“there is something wrong at a deep level in French society” — Frederic Sautet on Mitterrand and the decline of France.

Posted in International | Leave a Comment »

$18,000 more per classroom in California

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/16/2006

Money the state will borrow and pay for “someday”. If you watched John Stossel on 20/20 the idea of sending more money to the education monopoly has got to make you sick. Daniel Weintraub has some ideas for spending the 8% increase in a manner that might actually do some go. I say “might” because the experience shows that the schools typically get proportionally worse with every additional dollar the education monopoly consumes.

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Carnival of the Capitalists

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/16/2006

Here it is.

Posted in Economics | Leave a Comment »