Myth: America is falling behind in technology and science

As most people continue to hear it is often said that us American are falling behind when it comes to technology and science. One of the first times I saw former Senator George Allen speak, he was worried about America falling behind. Since then many politicians have pushed for subsides and others incentives for engineers and scientists.

Well now you can rest assured that after a reason article from The Economist, we are more than likely not falling behind and this is part of a catch-up effect. Here is from the article:

“[America] accounts for 40% of the world spending on research and development, and produces 63% off the most frequently cited publications. It is home to 30 of the world’s leading 40 universities, and employs 70% of the world’s living Nobel laureates.”

So why do we hear so much stress from politicians and pundits about the technology race? This has to do with the fact that competition is inherent in the human race and we think we have to beat other countries. When it comes to places like China and India they started with hardly anything so of course they are growing much faster.

Plus who cares if other countries have smart people? Most of them flock to the United States because their aren’t many jobs for Civil Engineers in Uganda or India. Even more if they don’t come here, why do we want people in other countries to stay dumb and poor? These are the questions that are never asked on the news, but it is stemming from the idea that when people trade someone loses.


Published in: on June 29, 2008 at 3:39 pm  Comments (1)  
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Bob Barr for President

This video is long but it is well worth it and hear me out:

Tonight, I am endorsing former Congressman Bob Barr for President of the United States. He is the Libertarian party nominee. This was not an easy decision as I along with many others on this blog have always voted Republican.

Sure, every Republican hasn’t been perfect that I have voted for but the Democrat was always much worse. Due to the lack of the ability of being able to tell the difference between the two main party candidates, I believe it is time to vote for someone else.

Am I wasting my vote? I think not as this is a protest vote to the Republican party. We had a chance to pick a real conservative but we didn’t. I disagree with every candidate on something but I never disagreed with a candidate more. John McCain’s lack of being about to understand economics disheartens me and the direction of the Republican party.

I will not go on or try to sell you why Bob Barr is better than John McCain. You can do that research yourself. But I feel like the Barry Goldwater of 2008 so please join me and supporting Bob Barr for President of the United States.


Published in: on June 28, 2008 at 1:31 am  Comments (1)  
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Nigerian Police

In my Economics of Development class and my Comparative Government class, I took an interest into the country of Nigeria. Nigeria has a lot of potential for growth but one major problem is the police are very corrupt and The Economist has a recent interesting article on this. This is from the article:

“Many of those arrested never have their cases investigated at all “Often these arrest are not done with a view to taking the person through the criminal-justice process,” say Innocent Chukwuma, whose Cleen Foundation (formerly the Centre for Law Enforcement Education), researches criminal justice. “They are done with a view to extort and harass.” He estimates that just 5% of those arrested ever end up in court. Many are extracted from police custody only by bribes.”

This often brings up the old debate of should you give a homeless beggar spare change. The argument for is obviously it helps that person and you will probably drop or not use your change. The argument against is that you create a market for pan handling and that will not stop them from harassing people.

Now other countries like India are much worse than this but in the U.S. we only see moderate harassing. So you ask how is this like the police situation in Nigeria? Well do you pay the bribe because it would encourage those police to continue to harass you?

Is this a collective action problem? Where the group would be smart not to pay the cops in bribes but the individual will do so. This is somewhat like a collective action problem even though the decision to bribe is an individual decision.

Of course the person bribing is not doing anything wrong. The fact that there is a governmental monopoly on violence and they use it to make money is. I would suggest that an anarcho-capitalist state would work well there.

Their really really nice web site lays out the history of police which is funny because most of it is private, here. This is from it:

“When the first paid professional police force was proposed in Britain, it was strongly opposed by those who feared that such force would lead to repression and threat to the freedom of the individual and to democracy.”

Ironic? Their web site is amazing and might do something to fight corruption here you can write a thread in support or complaints. Here is an actual complaint form.

They have two web sites is one a fake? Here is the other one.

Published in: on June 27, 2008 at 3:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ross Perot is back…

…with more charts and graphs but this time with technology on his side, click here.


Published in: on June 26, 2008 at 1:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

So we have John McCain…

For a while now I have wondered if it was worth putting this blog post up. If anyone would read it and if anyone would do anything about it was a big concern of mine. So here it goes… I AM DONE DEFENDING REPUBLICANS!!!!!!!!!!!!

When the primary came around many Republicans were excited to see new faces emerge. After dealing with years of President Bush not being as right winged as we liked we could elect someone that would bring about the right amount of conservatism. As I used to be very active and still somewhat active in Republican politics, it has been a major concern of mine. We need to get back to the principles of Thomas Jefferson, Calvin Coolidge, Barry Goldwater, and Ronald Reagan. This is the type of government that stays out of the way of businesses and citizens and just protects us from enemies.

As usual with many Republicans believing in the same things I believe in but all having it bundled a little differently, I personally could not make up my mind on who to support. Who is the true right winger we need?

The argument continued and it was always electability vs. conservativism and you tried to have the most of both. Well we had Rudy then he was taken down with things in his closet and not being experienced. We then had Romney who was Mormon but conservative. Then we had Fred Thompson who seemed conservative and electable but thought it was a good idea to pretend to run longer than to actually run. We then had Mike Huckabee who started out conservative but then pandered only to the social conservative and he started to get populist. Last but not least we had Ron Paul who was the libertarian wing from the Goldwater days. For the most part he was right wing but his personality did not grasp people.

In the debate of electability vs. conservativism who won?

To me John McCain is mostly not a Conservative. He might be electable but against a young African-American who can guide a crowd with or without a platform (the political one) McCain is more than likely dead in the water.

Republicans, what did we learn? Conservatives are you voting for McCain or Bob Barr? I know it is a hard choice for me. As Barr has a almost nil chance it almost feels good to say to the Republican party, “find us real candidates!”


Bush Legacy: Fiscal Conservatism?


Published in: on June 25, 2008 at 1:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Hitler v. Einstein: Case of the Smoking Bans

I stumbled across an article that was written over a decade ago on Reason Online but is still very relevant. This is a great group that puts out a magazine that is well worth the money a year.


This is from that article:

“The end of the last century saw the birth of two Germans who are among the most famous individuals in history: Adolf Hitler, the bloodthirsty dictator, and Albert Einstein, the peace-loving scientific genius. Both men held strong views about smoking, and it is worth examining their opinions as we approach the end of the current century. This is especially true in light of the bills pending in Congress that would ban smoking in buildings open to the public, raise tobacco taxes by huge percentages, and regulate tobacco as a drug.”

This historical passage I found to be very powerful:

“Smoking has been around for hundreds of years, and it won’t go away, regardless of legislation. The Los Angeles Times recently observed: “Russia once whipped smokers, Turkey beheaded them and India slit their noses. The Massachusetts colony outlawed public smoking in the 1630s, and Connecticut required smokers to have permits in the 1940s. At various times between 1893 and 1921, cigarette sales were banned in North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Iowa, Tennessee, Arkansas, Illinois, Utah, Kansas and Minnesota.” Despite such efforts, about a billion people around the world continue to smoke.

Someone tell me why we are wasting our time trying to ban smoking? If it is profitable for a business owner to say “Come here we do not allow smoking,” then he will do that. If it profitable for a business owner to remove meat tainted with germs then they will do that. This is the free-market the market will provide the most efficient outcome.

Why do Democrats support this when legislating your business like this is like legislating your bedroom? It falls under the we disagree with how you do things so you should change it to make us feel better even though we may never go there.

The rest of the article can be found here.


Black Market Abortions

One argument we hear often about the legalization of abortions is that it brought abortions out of the ally ways and into a clean environment. As I am sure that a majority of them did, there is still a black market when an industry is highly regulated. People who have abortions probably have very steep demand curves and can be pretty desperate. That’s why it is no surprise we see that a non-doctor got arrested for providing abortions.

This from My Way News:

“Prosecutors said Bugarin at one time operated six clinics in Southern California that provided abortions. For her clinic in Chula Vista, near the Mexican border, she advertised her service on Spanish-language television and charged $500 for an abortion.”

The rest can be found here.

Pro-lifers obviously want abortions to be banned but to the pro-choicers, what is the right amount of regulation? This is also something important to note in the legalization of marijuana argue. They say that we can just tax it and regulate it a lot, but if people really want it they will find a way around the regulation.

My question to you is: Do we allow a complete free-market for abortions and illegal drugs?


Published in: on June 22, 2008 at 4:48 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Book Review: The Forgotten Man

The Great Depression is something that has always been taught in history classes as the time Capitalism failed us and President Roosevelt’s New Deal saved us. This book “The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression” by Amity Shales tries to combat this.

This book doesn’t try to tell you that a certain economic explanation of why the 1929 crash happened when it did. It instead let’s history tell the tale. It doesn’t take long before you realize that the author has done great extensive research. One thing that is amazing about this book is that it doesn’t take a macro approach to telling the story. Instead this book takes a look at a few individuals while hinting and reminding you of the macro points. Each chapter is outlined with the average Dow Jones and the unemployment rate.

The only drawback to this book is that it is subtle and doesn’t quite fill that much emotion in me until the later part of the book. I would like to read it again because I feel like I did not pay enough attention to the detail. I think partly this has to do with the fact that the people you are dealing with are not people you ever hear about in your history classes. I found myself in deep thought about the Hoover and FDR details of the book when in fact at the beginning it hardly focuses on them. As expected Hoover fades fast and FDR become more strong.

The part of the book I most thoroughly enjoyed was the end with the Presidential campaign Wilkie vs. FDR. This stirred emotions of a grassroots organization that got someone elected to a party’s nomination. This somewhat reminds me of the Ron Paul Revolution and the founding fathers because in fact at first Wilkie did not want to be nominated.

I would highly recommend this book to most people. I feel as if many people would not find it interesting enough because it does a good job of being subtle. This is a must read for any history or economics buff for sure. Even though I admit that someone unlike me who knows nothing of the horrors of FDR might have a life altering moment reading this book.



Bush’s Tax Cuts for the Rich?


Look at it for yourself. (HT: Dr. Greg Mankiw here.)

There is a article that Mankiw got this from here.This from Mr. J.T. Young:

“Despite liberal condemnation of the Bush tax cuts, virtually no one embraces a complete return to their pre-cut level — including the Democratic majority in Congress and both pending presidential nominees. There is good reason”

Then here is a CNN article on Mr. Obama’s tax plan:

“The tax relief plan he envisions for the middle class alone would mean $80 billion or more in tax cuts, he said.”

Last but not least John McCain’s tax plan from BNet here:

“John McCain’s tax plan may reasonably be described as Bush Lite. Like Bush, he cuts or eliminates the estate tax, the Social Security earnings test, and the marriage penalty; like Bush, he expands the tax credit for children. He falls short of Bush in cutting marginal tax rates: Where Bush cuts across the board, McCain only cuts rates for some people in the 28 percent tax bracket.”

I personally think that none of their tax plans do enough and Obama is at least trying to simplify the process which I believe is very important.

Winner: George W. Bush with good marginal tax rate cuts.

Loser: John McCain is trying to make his tax plan look like it is only for the rich and does nothing to simplify the code.

Word to Obama: if you made your tax plan more even like Bush’s you could draw over some tax-cutting Republicans.


Published in: on June 21, 2008 at 1:27 am  Comments (5)  
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