Issue CLXXXVIII

February 27 - March 4, 2009

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Economics
On the Transparency of the Fed:
Ron Paul

February 27, 2009
This week the Federal Reserve responded to the American people’s increased concerns over our monetary policy by presenting new initiatives aimed at enhancing the Fed’s transparency and accountability. As someone who has called for more openness from the Fed for over 30 years, Ron Paul was pleased to see the Fed acknowledge the legitimacy of this need. But the Fed has not done nearly enough to bring about the necessary level of transparency. 

Constitutional Neglect and Government Precipitation of Economic Crises:
G. Stolyarov II

March 4, 2009
The U. S. Treasury and Federal Reserve are spending trillions to bail out banks, homeowners who lived beyond their means, automobile companies, and anything that makes sufficient political donations. Mr. Stolyarov argues that it is unambiguously unconstitutional for the U. S. government to attempt to remedy economic crises. Moreover, the American Founders overwhelmingly opposed such intervention. Indeed, government meddling is the cause of virtually all economic crises, and politicians can only exacerbate the present crisis by offering more of the same. This essay was delivered as a speech at the Edward Everett Oratory Competition at Hillsdale College in 2009 and won a prize of $2,000.

Is Spending the Answer?:
Ron Paul

March 4, 2009
This week, Congress and the administration once again showed their lack of economic understanding, as they ramped up spending to record levels.  On the surface, maybe it does look to some like the economic crisis is a liquidity problem, that the economy is in trouble because money is not changing hands at the pace it once did in the boom years. They believe that to get back to a booming economy money needs to start changing hands again – and the quickest way to do this is for the federal government to massively expand spending to pump new money into the system.  If this is the extent of their understanding, no wonder they call for spending, taxing, bailouts and inflation. Rep. Ron Paul explains the genuine problems confronting our economy.

Money and Interest Are Different Things:
Robert P. Murphy

March 4, 2009
There’s an old joke where the first guy says, “What’s the difference between drapes and toilet paper?” The second guy says, “I don’t know, what?” Then the first guy responds, “You are not allowed in my house!” After watching the “expert” economists debate our financial crisis during the past year, Dr. Robert Murphy realized that we can modify the joke. Today he would ask the econobloggers and op-ed writers, “What’s the difference between monetary policy and interest rates?” If an economist answered, “I don’t know, what?” then he is not allowed to advise the government. Any “expert” who confuses money and interest is eventually going to give horrible recommendations under certain conditions, as Dr. Murphy explains.

Fiction
The Transcendent Tofu:
G. Stolyarov II

March 2, 2009
In the cafeteria, I once met an eater of raw tofu, who told me that what he was eating was not, in fact, raw tofu. “It is sjorg,” he said, his voice filled with conviction, “and you should eat it, too. Everyone should eat it.” This short story by Mr. Stolyarov satirizes religious fanaticism and intolerance and explores the manner in which certain arguments commonly advanced in favor of Christianity appear to many non-Christians.

Poetry
Locus of Identity:
G. Stolyarov II

March 3, 2009
This poem by Mr. Stolyarov explores the fundamental decision that every person has to make about whether to define his identity as inextricably linked to this work or as simply being a person who happens to be doing particular kinds of work. Mr. Stolyarov presents a case for why conceiving of oneself as doing X rather than being X leads to much greater resilience and an enhanced ability to accomplish.

Politics
What If There is No Man-Made Global Warming? What Then?:
Tom DeWeese

February 27, 2009
Tom DeWeese presents some questions all Americans should ask their elected officials – especially those supporting “climate change” legislation: If it is proven that climate change is not man-made, but natural, will you be relieved and excited to know that man is off the hook? Will you now help to remove all of the draconian regulations passed during the global warming hysteria, since it was all wrong-headed and harmful to the economy and our way of life?

Sick and Irresponsible CSR:
Paul Driessen

March 3, 2009
Paul Driessen raises an often overlooked question that all Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) advocates should ask: Shouldn’t charities, government agencies, legislatures and activist groups be held to the same CSR standards as profit-based industries? By any rational standard, preventing dangerous diseases promotes societal well-being – and actions that perpetuate disease contravene basic CSR principles. Certain environmental groups have actively fought approaches that would slash malaria death rates by over 90%. This, argues Mr. Driessen, is profoundly socially irresponsible. 

Energy Socialism:
Marita Noon

March 4, 2009
Newsweek garnered a lot of attention for their provocative cover: “We’re all socialists now.” For some the bold statement was cause for a victory celebration. For others, it was a wake up call. In brief, the core of socialism believes that government is the answer, that government knows better and can make wiser decisions about our lives than we can. Therefore, government has the control. Conversely, writes Marita Noon, the values on which America was founded state that individuals should be able to make their own decisions about their own lives. This is the heart of freedom. It is the foundation of private property and the free-market. We have been living under energy socialism far too long. It is time to deregulate.

Montana Has It Right on Second Amendment:
Chuck Baldwin

March 4, 2009
Dr. Chuck Baldwin argues that both Eric Holder and Barack Obama have made a career out of doing everything in their power to strip the American people of their right to keep and bear arms. Even under the rubric of their proposed “few gun-related changes,” there is the potential for widespread assault against our Second Amendment. Dr. Baldwin believes that the State of Montana has undertaken the proper course of action in notifying the U. S. Federal Government that it will not tolerate infringements on citizens' rights to bear arms.

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government." 
~ Thomas Jefferson

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