Obama '12: The record he’ll run on
President Obama is described — or demagogued, depending on your view — as many mutually exclusive things; he’s been called a left-wing or socialist ideologue, but also a pragmatist and post-partisan dealmaker.
The 44th president is more elusive than many of his predecessors, and yet THE 2012 ELECTION WILL BE ALL ABOUT HIM.
But even if the man himself is difficult to define, his achievements and failures with regard to his 2008 campaign promises are much more concrete.
Obama cannot be accused of being a do-nothing president; what is unclear is whether his progress toward his goals will hurt or help him
Be sure to read the comments on the article. As one person said, the title should be Obama 12: The record he’ll run from.
Tyler Cowen: The Great Stagnation
Businessweek has a very flattering article on Tyler Cowen and how his book The Great Stagnation HAS PROMPTED A SHIFT IN THE DEBATE ABOUT POOR ECONOMIC GROWTH. Having read the book I strongly recommend reading it.
The Great Stagnation runs through three centuries' worth of what Cowen calls THE "LOW-HANGING FRUIT" OF ECONOMIC GROWTH: FREE LAND, TECHNOLOGICAL BREAKTHROUGHS, AND SMART KIDS WAITING TO BE EDUCATED. FOR DEVELOPED ECONOMIES, HE ARGUES, NONE OF THESE REMAINS TO BE PLUCKED.
Even more important than land, in my view, is energy. As Peter Tertzakian pointed out in his book A Thousand Barrels a Second, previous energy transitions of the last couple of centuries WERE TO ENERGY SOURCES THAT WERE CHEAPER AND/OR MORE CONVENIENT. The transition to petroleum combined both cost and convenience advantages. For example, the transition from coal to oil for heating eliminated the need to load coal into the furnace and to clean out ash. OIL ENABLED A HUGE GROWTH IN PRODUCTIVITY OF FARM EQUIPMENT, CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT, AND IN THE TRANSPORTATION OF HUMANS AND GOODS. The orders of magnitude increases in energy usage made possible our high living standards far more than did widespread college education. Many of the technological innovations were basically to use petroleum in more ways (e.g. to power jet engines). Our problem: Supplies of our most convenient fuel are looking pretty limited. What passes for good news on oil supplies (e.g. hydraulic fracturing of tight oil shale) costs more and projected flow rates aren't high enough to enable a return to the years of substantial annual increases in oil production.
"WE THOUGHT WE WERE RICHER THAN WE WERE."
Yet America, Europe, and Japan have built political and social institutions on the assumption of endless growth. Cowen summarizes the financial crisis in eight words: "We thought we were richer than we were."
It's not that he disagrees with any of the better-known explanations for the crisis—easy credit, flawed ratings—it's that he sees a more fundamental problem, ONE THAT CAN'T BE FIXED WITH REGULATION, BAILOUTS, OR TAX CUTS. Cowen thinks that now that America has used up the frontier, educated all of the farm kids, and built a couple of cars for every family, WE MIGHT BE DONE GROWING FOR AWHILE.
A slowing or halting of growth is highly problematic because SO MUCH HAS BEEN SET UP BASED ON THE ASSUMPTION OF CONTINUED ECONOMIC GROWTH AT A RATE CLOSE THE POST-WWII AVERAGE. Debt instruments have been issued and entitlements promised based on assumptions about long term growth that are not realistic. Pension funds project their funding needs based on rates of return from their stock market investments that are too optimistic. EVEN WORSE, WE COULD BE LOOKING AT SOMETHING EVEN MORE PAINFUL THAN STAGNATION: A RECEDING TIDE OF PROSPERITY.
I definitely agree about energy being a huge factor in our prosperity. The industrial revolution wasn’t so much a revolution of machinery, but a revolution of power. This appears to be a very important book to read.
Elites: Give us some respect!
Since the very first tax-day Tea Parties popped up in April 2009, a raging sense of puffed-up indignation has possessed our ruling class. Emerging as the single truly bipartisan issue of our day, this how-dare-they-question-us obsession has grown from spurts of shocked angst among media talking heads to hands-on-the-hips Capitol Hill lectures to full-blown rhetorical assaults on populist candidates.
JUST AS ALL HUMAN BEINGS FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL HAVE, OUR OWN RULING CLASS OF ELITES CRAVE THE ONE THING WHICH MUST STILL BE EARNED -- R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Unfortunately, our elites just can't get no respect from the people. This irks them down to the marrow of their souls. From sunup to sundown, day after day, they squirm and fret and bellow for the respect they've lost among the governed….
….POLICIES LONG HERALDED AS THE CURE FOR ALL THAT AILS NOW HAVE BECOME THE OOZING BOILS ON A DISEASED ECONOMY and every American middle-class family bears the pain.
THE HOME-OWNERSHIP-FOR-EVERYONE PUSH, backed by both parties for decades, has brought us a devastating bubble-burst, with worse housing-price declines than the Great Depression. OUR GOVERNMENT-RUN "EDUCATION" SYSTEM, operated by unions dedicated to feathering their own nests, under discipline constraints that ensure chaos, has produced whole generations of illiterate "graduates," who are unfit for any workplace. GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRATS, in a shoddy, self-justifying system designed by our elites, choke our entrepreneurial engines of success with ever-growing ropes of regulation.
The article goes on to praise Sarah Palin and her message, “We are Americans.” It’s a another way of looking at what the book above is talking about. It raises the question of can we recover?
Weiner fesses up
Embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner admitted to posting lewd photos of himself on Twitter at a Monday afternoon press conference.
While addressing the media at the Sheraton Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, Weiner made the following statement: “LAST FRIDAY NIGHT I TWEETED A PHOTOGRAPH OF MYSELF THAT I INTENDED TO SEND AS DIRECT MESSAGE AS PART OF A JOKE TO A WOMAN IN SEATTLE. ONCE I REALIZED I POSTED IT TO TWITTER, I PANICKED, I TOOK IT DOWN AND SAID THAT I HAD BEEN HACKED. I THEN CONTINUED WITH THAT STORY TO STICK TO THAT STORY WHICH WAS A HUGELY REGRETTABLE MISTAKE.”
I guess the little brain was in charge here.
Stem Cell Therapy To Fix Broken Bones
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have shown in an animal study that TRANSPLANTATION OF ADULT STEM CELLS ENRICHED WITH A BONE-REGENERATING HORMONE CAN HELP MEND BONE FRACTURES THAT ARE NOT HEALING PROPERLY. The UNC study team led by Anna Spagnoli, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and biomedical engineering, demonstrated that stem cells manufactured with the regenerative hormone insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) become bone cells and also help the cells within broken bones repair the fracture, thereby speeding the healing. The new findings are presented Sunday, June 5, 2011 at The Endocrine Society's 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.
Peak bone mass is reached most often in one's 20s. Well, WHY WAIT FOR BROKEN BONES BEFORE DELIVERING STEM CELL THERAPIES? ONCE YOUTHFUL BONE STEM CELL THERAPY BECOMES AVAILABLE IT WILL MAKE SENSE TO GET IT ONES 40S OR 50S TO REVERSE THE BONE LOSS LONG BEFORE BREAKS BECOME A RISK.
This is some very good news. One factor you frequently see is some older person will break their hip and this starts the beginning of the end. A therapy like this could eliminate needless death and reduce costs of medicine.
Palin was right
You may have heard recently something about that Sarah Palin telling a reporter that Paul Revere warned the British on his famous rousing revolutionary ride.
Now, that so many Americans have wallowed in their smug confirmation that Palin is an idiot unqualified for anything but repeating sixth-grade history, how far, wide and fast do you think the contradictory news will spread that THE FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA WAS INDEED CORRECT?
That the Republican non-candidate, in fact, knew more about the actual facts of Revere's midnight ride than ALL THOSE IDIOTS UNKNOWINGLY REVEALING THEIR OWN IGNORANCE BY LAUGHING AT HER FAUX FAUX PAS? HOW SECRETLY EMBARRASSING THIS MUST BE, TO BE FORCED TO FACE THAT YOU'RE DUMBER THAN THE REPUTED DUMMY.
As it happens, though, such phenomena are regular occurrences in American politics, reminding consumers of news to be wary when some fresh story seems to fit contemporary assumptions so absolutely perfectly.
The well-known fable is Revere's late-night ride to warn fellow revolutionaries that....
...the British were coming. LESS KNOWN, OBVIOUSLY, IS THE REST OF THE EVENING'S EVENTS IN WHICH REVERE WAS CAPTURED BY SAID REDCOATS AND DID INDEED DEFIANTLY WARN THEM OF THE AWAKENED MILITIA AWAITING THEIR ARRIVAL AHEAD AND OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION'S INEVITABLE VICTORY.
Ideology is one thing, but stupidity is forever. And the left keeps demonstrating a strong bias for stupidity.