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Archive for September, 2008
Treasury Opens Vault; Gangs of Robbers Rush In

As the fierce lobbying and politicking proceed on the government’s proposed bailout of banks and other lenders holding iffy paper (not necessarily related to mortgages, it now appears), one thing is perfectly obvious: if you invite people to steal from their fellows, using the government as a middleman, a great many will avail themselves of this opportunity. The…
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And Now a $700 Billion Bailout

The Bush Administration’s proposal to ram through without any deliberation a $700 billion Treasury Department, blank-check bailout of Wall Street firms is astounding and unprecedented and would increase the federal debt ceiling to an incredible $11.3 trillion. In response, Democrats have unhesitatingly joined in as is reported by the Los Angeles Times: Democratic leaders…
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Does Wall Street Have a Death Wish?

After several days of violent fluctuations, the world’s stock markets registered a massive increase in share prices on Thursday afternoon and on Friday, September 18 and 19, 2008. Why? As the Associated Press put it, “investors stormed back into the market, relieved that the government plans to restore calm to the financial system by rescuing…
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Robert Conquest Quote of the Day

Further to David’s post, I recently came across this amusing passage from John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr’s In Denial: Historians, Communism, and Espionage, about the whitewashing of Soviet crimes by the Western intelligentsia. Singled out for special condemnation is J. Arch Getty who consistently downplayed Stalin’s brutality, portraying him as “a moderate unable…
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Pro-Stalin Film: “Mission to Moscow”

In this short clip from the notorious, pro-Stalin film from 1943, “Mission to Moscow,” Walter Huston, playing the American ambassador, Joseph E. Davies, smears pre-war non-interventionists, defends the Soviet invasion of Finland, and depicts the Soviets as peace-loving. Apparently, Davies was not a typical fellow traveler. According to Soviet archives, he purchased art at…
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The Fed’s AIG Loan/Takeover: Another New Deal Legacy

My idea of the ratchet effect in the growth of government, which I first described in detail in an article published in 1985 and employed extensively in my 1987 book Crisis and Leviathan, has received a degree of acceptance among scholars. One aspect of my model, however, has received relatively little notice, although I have…
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Thank Goodness for the Senate Commerce Committee!

Without its wise leadership we might not have portable electronic devices. Asked what work John McCain did as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee that helped him understand the financial markets, the candidate’s top economic adviser wielded visual evidence: his BlackBerry. “He did this,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin told reporters this morning, holding up his BlackBerry. …
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Technological Innovation Has NOT Increased the Cost of Health Care

Today, reading a report of a recent RAND study, I came across a claim that I have seen at least a thousand times: “the cost of health care has increased rapidly, thanks largely to the pace of technological innovation.” This claim has been made so often that it has become almost a ritual incantation…
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Nobelist in Peace Desmond Tutu on Advice for the Next U.S. President

A very timely, new article by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu, has just been published in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Advice for the Next U.S. President,” by Desmond M. Tutu Archbishop Tutu is one of three honorees at the Independent Institute’s gala dinner event, A Gala for Liberty, to be held…
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The Academic Gulag: Are You Politically Correct, Comrade Professor?

Years ago, I predicted that colleges would write commitment to “social justice,” “diversity,” etc., into mission statements and then make it part of their job descriptions. I never imagined they would get so brazenly specific in their interrogation of candidates. And then to put it on their web site for all to see! Little…
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