Archive for October 2009

The FCC, Net Neutrality, Property Rights and the First Amendment

October 29, 2009

“The American”, The Journal of the American Enterprise Institute, reviewed a great article written 50 years ago. An economist, Mr. Coase wrote about the Federal Communications Commission and the effect of government regulation on the process. The article covers three of Coase’s points about the problem with government regulation. Mr. Coase’s points are:

“(1)    The existence of a market failure or externality does not in and of itself justify government intervention; indeed, government is often the underlying cause of the problem.

(2)    Government intervention is seldom either administratively efficient or politically neutral; to the contrary, it often results in what Coase called the “mal-allocation” of resources.

(3)    Government control of the economy is a threat to political liberty; for example, government control of the broadcast spectrum has consistently been used to limit free speech.”

These three points appear to be applicable to any project the government takes on. For FCC just substitute Health Care Reform, Cap and Trade, failed Bank and Financial Institutions, etc. The article is applicable to today’s world as it was 50 years ago.

Recently the BBC radio had a 3 part program on conservatism called “Conserve What”. It was basically historical, yet it attempted to place David Cameron, the current head Tory, in line with other Tories like Benjamin Disraeli and Margaret Thatcher. How do Cameron’s principles compare with their principles?

The BBC reached a conclusion about the major differences between Tories (conservatives) and the Socialist, Communist, Fascist groups. That conclusion was that Tories, when they determine the need for change they first assess what they have and then and only then do they start to make smaller changes. The Socialist, Communist, or Fascist changes systems by throwing the existing system out and making broad sweeping changes without regard to the parts of the system that works well. Many people call this throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Thought’s on Capitalism and an Opposing System

October 11, 2009

There is much confusion about capitalism, what it is, and how it works. Dr. Walter Williams, economic professor at George Mason University has a good article to answer these questions. It is a misunderstood economic system that has never been completely tried in the U. S., like other systems tried or in current use in the U. S. we currently have some capitalism, socialism, and a mix of other systems. We might be more clearly defined as a free enterprise system.

The current debate about reforming health care is an exercise by a group of elites setting the priorities for the populace, things they continue doing, apparently because the populace isn’ smart enough to decide what is good for us. Another one of my favorites, uses a childhood story to bring home the point that we are often times better off with what we have than in what our neighbor has that we might think is bigger or better than what we have.

Dr. Sowell uses the childhood story of a dog with a bone in its mouth who crosses a stream walking on a downed tree. Looking down the dog sees a larger dog with a larger bone in the reflection from the stream. He decides that he would like the bigger bone so he drops his bone and jumps in the stream to get the other bone. Of course, the bone he dropped couldn’t be found and so he ended up without a bone.

We may all end up without any bone as well.


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Choosing The Right College

October 1, 2009

Want some information on how to choose the right college? Here are some various helps I have come across.  A really good article is by Thomas Sowell published on Townhall.com. There are quite a few matters he investigates that many people might not consider.

Another columnist considers your child’s education and where it should happen. Walter Williams in this article talks about secondary education.  A couple of comments we really eye opening. One about where public school teachers send their children to school. In Philadelphia 44% of public school teachers choose private schools for their children, in Chicago 38% and Cincinnati 41%. In the U. S. House of Representatives 37% choose private schools, and 45% in the U. S. Senate. The President of the United States sent his children to private school in Chicago and now in Washington DC. Dr. Williams likens this to him taking you to dinner at a restaurant and then informing you that the chef and the wait staff won’t eat in this restaurant.
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