URLs du Jour

Thanksgiving 2019

  • Friends, if you haven't heard the lessons already, as if we haven't been telling you about them for decades, Mark J. Perry has them: Thanksgiving lessons about the failures of socialism and the success of private property and capitalism.

    The origins of our Thanksgiving Day celebration provide some very important economic lessons about the original dismal failure of Bernie Sanders-style socialism, collectivism, and common property that resulted in starvation and death for the early Pilgrims, and the subsequent success of private property, the profit motive, and capitalism that led to the prosperity and abundance for the Pilgrims that we still celebrate today nearly 400 years later.

    Click through, if necessary, to remind yourself why socialism makes us all poorer, sicker, and hungrier.

  • Veronique de Rugy can be relied to bring us the latest bad news about the Export-Import Bank (still alive) and tariffs (still in place). But her latest is day-appropriate: On Thanksgiving, Take a Moment to Focus on the Good News.

    At a time when our country seems as divided as ever and many are talking as if the end times are coming, it's more important than ever to look at what we should be thankful for.

    Unemployment is at its lowest level in nearly 50 years. Poverty is down, too. Since 1990, average life expectancy in the United States increased from 75.4 to 78.6 years. Our workplaces are also safer, as demonstrated by the 30 percent decline in the rate of workplace deaths from 1992 to 2017 and a 69 percent drop in the rate of workplace injury and illness.

    Our cities and country as a whole are safer, with crime rates falling dramatically. In fact, Washington, D.C. experienced an incredible increase among the world's safest cities ranking. It jumped from the 23rd safest city in the world in 2017 to number 7 in 2019. Negative indicators, such as teen pregnancies and abortion rates, are also declining.

    … and there's more. Veronique can't resist a slam at exclusionary zoning, occupational licensing, etc. later in the column, but that's OK.

  • At Cato, David Boaz notes the Washington Post reporting something pretty darn obvious as news: Voters Like Benefits But Don't Like Paying for Them.

    Funny, that. When you ask Americans if they support a proposal that would "create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States; invest in the infrastructure and industry of the United States to sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century; [and secure] clean air and water; climate and community resiliency; healthy food; access to nature; a sustainable environment; and justice and equity" — they approve!

    But when you tell them that it might "increase federal spending by trillions of dollars"—gee, ya think?—support collapses:

    Click through for the deets. I would imagine that support would have collapsed even more if the respondents were presented with an honest estimate of their new tax bill and probable hits on the economy.

  • I'm thankful for Kevin D. Williamson, who sets out a goal for Congresscritters who (after all) took an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States": Executive Overreach & Imperial Presidency: Congress Must Reclaim Proper Place in Constitutional Order. (An NRPLUS article, don't know what that means.)

    "Presidents are not kings,” Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote in the course of ordering former White House counsel Don McGahn to comply with a congressional demand that he testify in the impeachment inquiry. Judge Jackson is perhaps too optimistic: Absolutist rhetoric notwithstanding, few if any kings of old ever aspired to the scope of real-world power exercised by American presidents. There has never been a kingdom quite like this one.

    The presidency is the greatest domestic threat to liberty that this country faces today — not President Donald Trump, nor the president who preceded him, nor the one who will succeed him, but the presidency itself. It is right that so much attention has been given to the character of the current president, but more important is the character of the office he occupies. Those who see in Donald Trump a would-be strongman and autocrat owe themselves some careful meditation upon the nature of the presidency that he inherited from his predecessors. Many went before him to prepare the way.

    KDW gives a brief tutorial on the correct understanding of the Constitution's distibution of powers to the three branches.

    Bonus quote:

    All that power is seductive: Senator Obama just about peed himself out of fear that Dick Cheney might peek at somebody’s library card; President Obama created a hit list of Americans he intended to assassinate and boasted about it in the New York Times.

    Although it's not discussed in the article, it's not just the Executive/Legislative power imbalance that needs to be fixed. The Federal/State one needs lots of work too.

  • And the latest news concerning Russian puppet… Tim Cook?! Apple Changes Crimea Map To Meet Russian Demands.

    Apple has complied with Russian demands to show the annexed Crimean peninsula as part of Russian territory on its apps. Russian forces annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014, drawing international condemnation. The region, which has a Russian-speaking majority, is now shown as Russian territory on Apple Maps and its Weather app, when viewed from Russia. But the apps do not show it as part of any country when viewed elsewhere. The State Duma, the Russian parliament's lower house, said in a statement: "Crimea and Sevastopol now appear on Apple devices as Russian territory." Russia treats the naval port city of Sevastopol as a separate region. The BBC tested several iPhones in Moscow and it appears the change affects devices set up to use the Russian edition of Apple's App Store. Apple had been in talks with Russia for several months over what the State Duma described as "inaccuracy" in the way Crimea was labelled.

    Apparently, according to this site, Google Maps made a similar change years ago, very soon after the "annexation".