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June 22, 2015

"Where Should Poor People Live?"

Interesting and entertaining.

AMHERST, Mass. — When Peter Gagliardi first heard about an owner looking to sell an old farmhouse in this college town, he thought it seemed like an ideal place for an affordable housing complex. The property was across the street from a bus stop, near a bike path, and had access to two different sewer lines. What’s more, the city of Amherst, concerned with rising housing prices, had made a commitment to developing more affordable housing for residents in the town and region.

So Gagliardi’s nonprofit, HAPHousing, hired an architecture firm that would convert the farmhouse into 26 affordable units, a development that would blend into the bucolic landscape of ramshackle barns and rolling hills.

But when the plan for the development, called Butternut Farms, ended up in front of the community, opposition was vociferous.

Why entertaining? Because Amherst voters are pretty Liberal. For instance, in 2012 they voted for Obama over Romney more than 6 to 1.

"The Maleficent 7"

"Today I’m offering up a mash-up from these movies to outline what I’m calling the Maleficent 7 – seven inherent human problems and limitations that impede our ability to make good decisions generally and especially about money."

June 17, 2015

"Why Are The 2016 Obamacare Rate Increases So Large?"

Robert Laszewski:

Instead of moderate rate increases for one more year, the big rate increases have begun. They are particularly large among the health insurers with the most enrollment—the carriers with the most data. . . .

There will be lots more big rate increases coming. For two months we’ve been hearing warnings out in the market that this is going to be widespread. It is also important to note that none of these insurers knew what increases their competitors were going to submit when they prepared their rate actions. What would some of these smaller players have done if they had known in advance the big players with the most data and experience were giving such large increases?

June 16, 2015

"California Democrats Should Heed Obama on Trade, Not Labor"

Featuring this interesting bit:

In a raw display of financial muscle, the AFL-CIO has frozen all contributions to Democrats until after the TPA vote. Not only that, but labor and anti-trade “progressives” promise to spend lavishly on primary challenges to defeat Democrats, and if that doesn’t work, to spend more against them in the general election—to the benefit of Republicans.     

Remember that the next time you hear progressives bemoaning the sinister power of money in American politics. It’s insidious all right, but it’s hardly confined to the Koch brothers and right-wing super PACs. 

June 15, 2015

"Bureaucracies: Dinosaurs Run Amok in Technological Civilization"

Kevin D. Williamson with yet another fine piece.

One of the rarely appreciated aspects of the capitalist model of innovation is that the wealthy subsidize the development of products for everybody else: The mobile phone is a case study in that process, as is the electric car, as indeed were ordinary cars. 

Something to remember . . .

. . . when a Liberal says private firms can't be trusted because they act in their selfish interest, but we can trust the government because it's run by . . . the People:

When it comes to Title IX, quaint notions of the people’s representatives having anything to do with the law ended when the law passed. 

Also on the "Government is the name we give to things we do together" topic, I recommend the chilling "Why the 'biggest government hack ever' got past the feds".

June 08, 2015

"Have we stopped investing in poor people?"

Angela Rachidi, AEI:

Spending on poor families has also increased dramatically over the past few decades. The figure above shows spending in constant dollars on the four largest means-tested programs (excluding public health insurance programs). Food and nutrition assistance alone increased 78% since FY2005. And Medicaid spending far overshadows other means-tested programs at $276 billion in FY2014, an increase of 40% since FY2005. As a percent of GDP, federal spending on means-tested programs was 3.5% in FY 2014. It was 2.7% in FY2005 and 2.4% in FY2001, the last recession.

"China's new silk road could change global economics forever"

Maybe. Maybe it'll be a huge waste.

June 02, 2015

"Where the Supply-Siders Totally Blew It"

I absolutely agree.

As a short-term strategy in the 1980s, the supply-side tax cut agenda brought political success to the Republican Party and an economic boom to the country that lasted for two decades. The problem is that the short-term strategy of focusing on tax cuts and ignoring the spending problem got locked onto autopilot and became a long-term strategy. . . .

The supply-siders failed us all by not making a case against leviathan government. They never put forth a coherent voice addressing the key political question that our founding fathers grappled with at the constitutional convention: What should government do? The founders, such as John Adams and Madison, understood the suicidal tendencies of democracy and concluded that our liberty and prosperity depended on keeping government small and limited (see Ninth and Tenth Amendments); the supply-siders, by contrast, have been largely silent about the proper scope of government. Nor have they examined the question of the proper size of government from a more practical, utilitarian standpoint by asking the question: What does government do well? The answer to that question suggests a far more modest, constrained role for government.

It was a reasonable first effort, but with bitter experience, we should now do better. A lot better.

"Hillary Will Run Against The 1980s -- What Were The 1980s Again?"

Fine answer.

Bonus: some fun commentary on Liberals' dopey nostalgia for 1979-80.

Only tangentially related but also fun: Jonah Goldberg on Ms. Clinton.

Only the hyper-partisan, the extremely uninformed, the incurably gullible, and, of course, the heavily bribed can get really excited about Hillary Clinton.

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