Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Back in your old neighborhood
Sarah and I went to see Wilco on Saturday at the beautiful Chicago Auditorium. Jeff Tweedy and company put on a great show for the hometown crowd. If you're not familiar with Wilco check out their albums "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" and "Being There."

Friday, November 24, 2006

Free Markets and Freedom
Milton Friedman, the greatest economist in a generation, passed away last week. A Nobel Prize winner and a fervent supporter of freedom, Friedman argued that capitalism was essential to personal liberty. He used logic and numbers to take on socialism in all its forms and through his influence with Nixon, Reagan, and Bush 41, had an incredible impact on our society and economy. Friedman made a major contribution to the fall of the Soviet Union. To learn more about Friedman read '"Capitalism and Freedom" for the long version, Ben Stein's column for the short.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Conservatives care
Liberals are quick to characterize conservatives as uncaring towards the needy. This is because conservatives resist both forced wealth redistribution and government entitlement programs. However a new book, "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Conservatism," by social economist, philanthropy expert and liberal Arthur C. Brooks demonstrates that conservatives give more and volunteer more than liberals irrespective of income. Liberals talk more, conservatives do more.
Conservatives understand that government is not very effective or efficient with its programs. Private organizations usually can't get away with poor performance. They must compete with other charities for donations. The government has no competition, thus little motivation to perform. Who actually thinks the government would do better than Habitat for Humanity at providing for those in need of better housing?
I don't doubt that liberals care. I just think they are more interested in showing they care than actually seeing results. Example: they care more about tax rates (punishing the rich) than tax revenues. Bush's tax cuts stimulated the economy, leading to increased tax revenues. Despite this fact, the left continues to demonizes anyone in favor of lower taxes.
Face the facts liberals: conservatives care. We just have different (and I would argue, better) ways to care for our neighbors.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

One bright spot
Sorry for my lack of postings lately. I have been slacking for two reasons: my depression over the election results and being very busy with work. Anyway, a source for optimism: Michigan's Proposal 2 - the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative - passed with 58% of the vote despite being dramatically underfunded compared to the opposition (see great article from National Review Online). The proposal makes state-sponsored affirmative action unconstitutional in hiring and admisssions. One might argue it already was unlawful under the 14th amendment of the U.S. constitution, the Equal Protections Clause, which states: "no state shall... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Affirmative action denies the equal rights of one person to favor another. Of course this is a sticky political issue because the preferred group tends to be African-Americans and the groups suffering discrimination are whites and Asians. Proponents of afffirmative action argue that diversity is so important that more capable candidates should be bypassed for less capable candidates with a more desirable skin color.
This is especially problematic for college admissions. The University of Michigan won one and lost one in its Supreme Court battle to keep its affirmative action admission policies. Gratz v. Bollinger challenged U of M's undergraduate admissions policy of giving 20 points to any minority. A perfect ACT would not earn an applicant that many points. The Court ruled that this was unconstitutional because the affirmative action program was not "narrowly tailored." In Grutter v. Bollinger the Court ruled (basically) that the U of M law school could factor in race as long as they kept secret how big a role race played. U of M has already promised legal action against the proposition and the will of the people.
Discrimination based on race is wrong. Whether you are white or black, it feels no different to be passed up for a job, promotion, or college admission because of your race.
The people of Michigan may have re-elected a liberal Canadian who thinks macroeconomics comes in a box from Kraft foods, but at least they got one thing right.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Who would the terrorists vote for?
No need to theorize, they've told us. Hmm, I wonder which party emboldens the terrorists? They say W creates more terrorists because killing them makes them angry. The Democrats make them think they can win.