Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution: ‘The Economic Ignorance of Barack Obama’

Full piece here.

Culturally, the boomer retirement is going to wash over us here in greater numbers, and Medicare is the most pressing issue.  Obamacare is going to kick in in 2014, and the costs will start to rain down on each one of us (the ones that haven’t already).   You will probably be paying between a hundred to two-hundred dollars for 2014, for not having health insurance.  This could increase to upwards of five-hundred dollars the following year, and the goal is to force everyone onto the exchanges.  It is looking like a big mess.


‘What the President seems determined to impose on the American people is a grand economic bargain that marches us down the road to economic stagnation or worse. His policies of increased regulation will continue to stifle productive labor markets, and his redistributive programs will continue to shrink the capital base. Both of these policies will only shrink the overall size of the pie, so that the whole country will suffer. This nation deserves far better, but the prospects are glum that it will get it.’

Politically, I suspect Obama would fit in quite well in the Bay Area, or Seattle, and but for the predominant ‘whiteness’ of these areas, that is to say, without the larger populations of black migration out of the South into Jim Crow era industrial ghettoes, his green and red alliance (enviromentalist and union, collectivist and redistributionist) reminds me very much of these areas.  The culture of Southern California produced the Reagan coalition and Reason magazine, both of which are more intimately familiar with this type of culture, and a more entrenched Leftism.

It’s a rather sorry state of affairs if you believe in private sector growth, as well as greater political and economic freedoms for individuals. 

A lost decade?

Related On This Site:   Covering the law and economics from a libertarian perspective: Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution Journal: ‘Three Cheers for Income Inequality’Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution: ‘Death By Wealth Tax’Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution: ‘The Obamacare Quaqmire’

Originalism vs. The living constitution: George Will Via The Jewish World Review: ‘True Self-Government’.

Repost-Eugene Volokh At The National Review: ‘Multiculturalism: For or Against?’Repost-’Kenneth Anderson At Volokh: ‘The Fragmenting of the New Class Elites, Or, Downward Mobility’

Victor Davis Hanson Via Youtube Via Uncommon Knowledge: ‘The New Old World Order’Victor Davis Hanson At The City Journal: ‘California, Here We Stay’

Dream big: Via Reason: ‘California’s Public Transportation Sinkhole’ A great city deserves great art extravaganzas…: L.A.’s New Public Art Piece ‘The Levitated Mass,’ Or As The American Interest Puts It: ‘A Moving Rock’

Richard Epstein At The Hoover Institution’s Defining Ideas: ‘California’s Kafkaesque Rent Control Laws’

California Dreamers From The Atlantic-A Brief Review Of Kevin Starr’s History Of California

The people who promise solutions to poverty and homlessness seem to be engaged in a utopian cost-shifting exercise which favors their interests and overlooks crime, violence and personal responsbility…hardly a way to balance the budget: Repost-Heather MacDonald At The City Journal: ‘The Sidewalks Of San Francisco’

Some concentrated wealth on top, a stalled legislature with members who know how to play the game…and a service sector beneath…that probably can’t go on forever: …From The WSJ: ‘Joel Kotkin: The Great California Exodus’

Virginia Postrel At Bloomberg: ‘Iron Lady Falls To The Anna Quindlen Doctrine’

Full piece here.

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.  It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so

‘These supposedly feminist filmmakers could have portrayed Thatcher as an ambitious woman who had nothing to feel guilty about. Instead they chose to inject guilt where it did not belong. They obscured Thatcher’s public accomplishments in a fog of private angst. The portrait of dementia isn’t the problem. The way the film uses old age to punish a lifetime of accomplishment is.’

Still looking for common cause with civil libertarian feminists, or anyone who highlights the fallacies of equity feminists and the oft misuse of statistics.  Economic scarcity, nature, human nature and world events will catch up with the movement.

What you choose to highlight and value in your life, is up to you.

Jesse Walker At Reason Links To Ross Douthat: ‘”The Meritocracy As We Know It Mostly Works To Perpetuate the Existing Upper Class’

Douthat’s column here.

Full post here

Walker quoting Douthat:

“…elite universities are about connecting more than learning, that the social world matters far more than the classroom to undergraduates, and that rather than an escalator elevating the best and brightest from every walk of life, the meritocracy as we know it mostly works to perpetuate the existing upper class.”

The WASP work ethic is still there, somewhere.  I still believe it’s possible to salvage a core educational mission and maintain economic dynamism and greater social mobility, but many people attracted to higher ed and entrenched there will naturally not agree.

From the comments section at Reason, which captures the sentiment nicely, and is wonderfully typical of comments at Reason:

‘Because there’s a large sector of our economic and cultural life dominated by nonprofits, foundations, and quasi-governmental organizations that are insulated from competition, have an outsized impact on economic and political policy, and are dependent on their own perceived intellectual prestige for influence.

Those organizations are infested with Ivy League graduates.

Destroy that sector by eliminating its funding, its tax advantages, and its connections to mixed-economy state policy, and I won’t care who goes to the Ivy League.’

We’ve backed our way into a lot of this.  I suppose there are always some sour grapes involved with State school, land-grant folks like myself.

Interesting reads:

-Kenneth Anderson at Volokh, during Occupy!: The Fragmenting Of The New Class Elites, Or, Downward Mobility

-Thoughts about our political class: Francis Fukuyama And Walter Russell Mead At The American Interest: ‘None Of The Above’

-Angelo Codevilla’s polemic: America’s Ruling Class-And The Perils Of Revolution.

-Megan McArdle at The Daily Beast: America’s New Mandarins

Related On This Site: Yes, they have high standards, but try and find an NPR story that doesn’t digest the days’ news without mention of feminism, environmentalism, diversity, multiculturalism: This leads to a rather liberal political philosophy.  Peace, justice (social justice) and all that: A Few Thoughts On NPR And Current Liberal Establishment Thinking Under Obama…Hate Is A Strong Word-Some Links On The BBC, The CBC, & NPR

Megan McArdle At The Daily Beast: ‘The Absurd Lies Of College Admissions’

Should you get a college degree, probably, but you also probably shouldn’t lose sight of why you’re going and divorce yourself entirely from the cost:  Gene Expression On Charles Murray: Does College Really Pay Off?…Charles Murray In The New Criterion: The Age Of Educational Romanticism

Repost: Mark Cuban From His Blog: ‘The Coming Meltdown in College Education & Why The Economy Won’t Get Better Any Time Soon’…From The New Criterion: ‘Higher Ed: An Obituary’,,,Ron Unz At The American Conservative: ‘The Myth Of American Meritocracy’

The Hoover Institution Via Youtube: Charles Murray On ‘Coming Apart’

The libertarian angle, getting smart, ambitious people off of the degree treadmill…or the very few for whom college doesn’t work:  From The American Interest: Francis Fukuyama Interviews Peter Thiel-’A Conversation With Peter Thiel’ I think it’s going too far, trying to apply libertarian economics onto education, but Milton Friedman on Education is thought-provoking.

A deeper look at what education “ought” to be:  A lot like it is now?: A Review Of Martha Nussbaum’s ‘Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.’

Allan Bloom thought about some of this in The Closing Of The American Mind, at least with regard to what he saw as a true liberal arts education: Update And Repost: ‘A Few Thoughts On Allan Bloom–The Nietzsche / Strauss Connection’

Harvard is no place for Larry Summers, at least running the place: Repost-Revisting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?From The Harvard Educational Review-