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The Navy Gets Woke

The popular resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement has compelled academic institutions and corporate America to make a public pledge to root out systemic racism and promote justice, equality, and diversity within their ranks, lest they face the cold-blooded mob for inaction. Internationally famed companies, including Ben & Jerry’s, JP Morgan, and Airbnb, released [...]

Another Fleeting Failure For NBC

Super Bowl XLVI was a good football game, marred once again by the bohemian elite at NBC. NBC could have prevented, but failed to stop, the broadcast of a female rapper "flipping the bird" at 114 million viewers during Madonna's halftime show. It was another "fleeting expletive" of the hand-gesture variety, and somehow, despite elaborate [...]

In Memoriam: Zane Greyhound

  Our family put our beloved greyhound Zane to sleep Friday evening about 6 p.m. A veterinarian who does such things for a living came to our house and gently administered a lethal injection. She was followed immediately by a tall, muscular man from Pet Care who carted the inert 80-pound dog to a pickup [...]

In Greed I Trust

  Last week's column started off asking: "What human motivation gets the most wonderful things done?" The answer is that human greed is what gets wonderful things done. I wasn't talking about fraud, theft, dishonesty, special privileges from government or other forms of despicable behavior. I was talking about people trying to get as much [...]

Whose Country Is It, Anyway?

  Half a century ago, American children were schooled in Aesop's fables. Among the more famous of these were "The Fox and the Grapes" and "The Tortoise and the Hare." Particularly appropriate this Christmas season, and every Christmas lately, is Aesop's fable of "The Dog in the Manger." The tale is about a dog who [...]

When the Constitution “Doesn’t Apply”

  What if the whole purpose of the Constitution was to limit the government? What if Congress' enumerated powers in the Constitution no longer limited Congress, but were actually used as justification to extend Congress' authority over every realm of human life? What if the president, meant to be an equal to Congress, has become [...]

How Did New York City Win the War on Crime?

  One December day in 1984, a man named Bernard Goetz boarded a subway train in Manhattan. Shortly after, he was approached by four young men, all black, who requested money in a manner he took as threatening. Goetz, who had been mugged before, pulled out a pistol and opened fire, wounding all four. Among [...]

Profits are for People

The Occupy Wall Street demonstrators are demanding "people before profits" -- as if profit motivation were the source of mankind's troubles -- when it's often the absence of profit motivation that's the true villain. First, let's get both the definition and magnitude of profits out of the way. Profits represent the residual claim earned by [...]

Borrowing from Paul

Next month, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, a 12-member subset of Congress that Congress created to make the hard fiscal choices Congress itself has failed to make, is expected to propose $1.2 trillion in cuts from projected spending during the next decade. This week, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who is seeking the Republican [...]

Politics vs. Economics

They say "all politics is local." But economic decisions impact the whole economy and reverberate internationally. That is why politicians' meddling with the economy creates so many disasters. The time horizon of politics seldom reaches beyond the next election. But, in economics, when an oil company invests in oil explorations today, the oil they eventually [...]

Making Things Worse by Trying to Do Better

The Department of Labor is about to release figures on long-term unemployment that suggest a major shift in employment patterns in the U.S. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, about 26 percent of the unemployed have not held a job in more than a year. Liberals point to these figures as proof [...]

Solutions for the ‘Tax Gap’

In 2010, there was a “tax gap” -- i.e., the difference between federal taxes owed and those actually paid -- of $410-$500 billion. Some of the gap stems from the complexity of the tax code. Much of it, though, is deliberate­­: self-employed individuals working for cash, table-servers under-reporting tips, taxpayers claiming unauthorized credits and deductions. [...]

The Overhyped Defense Cuts

Politicians often rail against government spending, except when it goes to the military. Conservatives believe there is no such thing as too much defense spending, and liberals don't argue, for fear of being labeled appeasers. So when there is talk of the two parties agreeing to cut the Pentagon budget, it sounds like a monumental [...]

Replacing Property as a Source of Wealth Creation

  One of the interesting things about our country, the independence of which the Founders declared 235 years ago today, is that we have been a property-holders' democracy. This is not something the Founders originally advocated. While they protested taxation by a British parliament in which they were not represented, they did not think that [...]

Politics Versus Reality

It is hard to understand politics if you are hung up on reality. Politicians leave reality to others. What matters in politics is what you can get the voters to believe, whether it bears any resemblance to reality or not. Not only among politicians, but also among much of the media, and even among some [...]

Stimulus to Nowhere

Mired in excruciating negotiations over the budget and the debt ceiling, President Barack Obama might reflect that things didn't have to turn out this way. The impasse grows mainly out of one major decision he made early on: pushing through a giant stimulus. When he took office in January 2009, this was his first priority. [...]

Actually, We Have Too Much Health Insurance

  One of the arguments for healthcare reform is that millions of Americans with employer-provided healthcare are underinsured. Proponents of this view are saying that people are underinsured if they are paying too many of their healthcare costs out-of-pocket. Quite the contrary, a little reflection on what insurance is and is supposed to do suggests [...]

The Missing Money

One of my earliest memories of revulsion against war came from seeing a photograph from the First World War when I was a teenager. It was nothing gory. Just a picture of a military officer, in an impressive uniform, talking to a puzzled and forlorn-looking old peasant woman with a cloth wrapped around her head. [...]

Our Moral Dilemma

Most of our nation's problems are a direct result of our being immune, hostile or indifferent to several moral questions. Let's start out with the simple and move to the more complex. Or, stated another way, let's begin with questions that generate the least hostility, moving to those that generate the greatest. If a person [...]

How to Kill the Housing Market

  And you thought things couldn't get worse on the housing front. The U.S. housing market is in the worst shape since the Great Depression, and now the Obama administration's solution is to impose new rules that would banish 60 percent of current homebuyers from the market. The proposed Mortgage Qualification Rules are the result [...]

Government Decisions Versus Private Decisions

Two unrelated news stories on the same day show the contrast between government decisions and private decisions. Under the headline "Foreclosed Homes Sell at Big Discounts," USA Today reported that banks were selling the homes they foreclosed on, at discounts of 38 percent in Tennessee to 41 percent in Illinois and Ohio. Banks in general [...]

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