Week in review

Quote of the week

“All the so-called ‘economists’ around government today are really just political hacks. Their world views are totally unsound.” – Doug Casey

The Unenforceable Mandate

by Jeff Duntemann

“Insurance companies will be required to take (and keep) all comers, irrespective of pre-existing conditions. That’s called ‘guaranteed issue.’ To make it work, all people will be required to buy health insurance, including people who choose not to buy it today, typically because they’re young and healthy. This requirement to buy insurance is the ‘individual mandate.’ The individual mandate enlarges the pool of the insured and thus the amount of money available to pay claims. Without the individual mandate, people would buy insurance only when they needed it, which really isn’t ‘insurance’ in any honest sense of the word. The pool of funds to pay claims would shrink, and claims would explode. The insurers would be gone like that.

“The bill outlaws its own enforcement. If you refuse to buy insurance and refuse to pay the fine for not buying insurance…nothing happens. The individual mandate is thus unenforceable, but you can lay odds that guaranteed issue will be mercilessly enforced against the insurance companies. I’m sure there’s some legal interpretation to be done here, but Noah’s point is that there is considerable temptation for mass civil disobedience on the individual mandate without any downside for those disobeying. What he doesn’t say is that such mass civil disobedience could lead to the collapse of the private health insurance industry.” more… [I’m thinking that this bill may well have been designed to collapse the private insurance industry. On the other hand, nobody really read it in its entirety, right?]

The Ivy League Hates Nullification

by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

“Over the past few years, but especially during the past several months, there has been an extraordinary revival of interest in Thomas Jefferson’s idea of state nullification of unconstitutional federal laws. According to Jefferson, if the federal government were to monopolize constitutional interpretation, it would of course interpret the Constitution in its own favor and consistently uncover previously unknown reservoirs of additional federal power. Only a fool would consent to such a system, thought Jefferson, and the peoples of the states were not fools.” more…

Thinking Rationally About Terrorism

by John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart

“Many people hold that terrorism poses an existential threat to the United States. But a look at the actual statistics suggests that it presents an acceptable risk — one so low that spending to further reduce its likelihood or consequences is scarcely justified.” more…

Terrorism: How will you react to the next attack?

by James Leroy Wilson

“There is going to be another terrorist attack, and innocent Americans are going to die. It probably isn’t a matter of “if” this will occur, but when. But the most important thing is how we react to it when it does happen.

“This time we must not over-react and run off doing stupid things, the way we did after 9-11. We must not trash our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, or start self-destructive wars, like has happened so often before.” more… [There’s a nice history lesson in this article.]

The War on Internships

by Jeffrey A. Tucker

“As the New York Times reports, employers posted 643 unpaid internships on Stanford’s job board this academic year, which is three times the number posted two years ago. The National Association of Colleges and Employers found that 83 percent of graduating students had held internships two years ago. In 1992, during boom times, only 9 percent held internships.

“The government is saying that all of this could be illegal. M. Patricia Smith, as New York Labor commissioner, led a crackdown last year, and now, as a federal Labor Department enforcer, she is doing the same on a national level. The reason is that many of the internships are said to violate the minimum-wage law, among many other laws governing employment.” more… [Note that the unemployment rate among 20-somethings is currently over 25%. As such internships provide an individual needed real-world experience and an edge over their peers.]

Regulars

Politics and Such

  • The “Tea Party” is comprised 41% by Democrats and Independents.
  • Rainbows and Unicorns… from National Republican Senatorial Committee (a rather distasteful organization, but this time with a pretty funny video, at least the first two thirds).
  • Congressman Phil Hare doesn’t worry about the Constitution, doesn’t know where the authority for ObamaCare comes from.
  • Toyota faces $16.4 million dollar fine for supposed hiding defects in its products from regulators. I hear the fine is being levied by the owners of General Motors. In my fantasy world Toyota shuts down its entire United State operation – manufacturing, sales, service, the works.
  • The United States puppet in Afghanistan might be bucking his masters.
  • John Dingell protest in Monroe County. He’s the 50+ year incumbent Congressman from Michigan.
  • FCC’s net neutrality rule was thrown out in court. Win one for freedom…

Miscellany

  • Genetically engineered pork may be coming to a table near you.

Education

  • A less often heard viewpoint about the purpose of government schools. Creating independent thinkers was not the goal…
  • Learn about derangements.

Well, we’re a little late this week, and I’m away from my main computer so if you want to see the numbers you’ll have to look at my raw data. In fact we’re in St. Louis this weekend and just couldn’t get to the computer before now. Made it to a brew pub yesterday in downtown St. Louis. Can you belive they didn’t have an IPA? They gave Baby Girl a balloon and she just loved it. Like everything else, she tried to put it in her mouth… It didn’t fit. If you’re friends with Little Wife on Facebook she’ll probably have pictures up.

Then we went down to the arch, which requires you to go through an  “airport style security check” in order to enter. At a monument dedicated to Thomas Jefferson you have to get barefoot and panty-scanned. We didn’t go in, but you can walk right up to the arch anyway so that was cool. The Mississippi River was flowing high and fast.

Then we drove up to Forest Park to see the zoo, but it was closing when we got there. That’s what you get for flying by the seat of your pants…

One bit on the net neutrality thing. It cuts with two edges. On the one hand government regulation of the Internet is only bound to screw it up.  On the other hand ISPs often have monopolies or near monopolies in their area and if they regulate what you can see that’s bad too.

I suppose that as wireless technology gets better and less expensive the second part will matter less and less. On the other hand if the government ever sinks its dirty little claws into it you can guarantee that it will never let go and will progressively ruin it.

Plus if we are going to have “net neutrality” enforced by the government Congress really ought to vote on it. We certainly don’t need more executive branch power grabs. That’s what was struck this week, a FCC power grab. So yeah, win one for freedom.

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