January 9, 2011

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The Reality of the Tax Deal:
Robert P. Murphy

January 9, 2011
Economists and other pundits have been discussing the deal struck between Obama and the Republicans. It is an interesting topic, writes Dr. Robert Murphy, because it showcases the enormous gulf between what makes good political sense and what policies are economically beneficial.

Story of the Decade: The Financial Crisis:
Charles N. Steele

January 9, 2011
We have reached the end of the first decade of the 21st Century.  In the opinion of Dr. Charles Steele, the biggest story of the decade is, depressingly, the financial crisis.  Even more depressing, it is questionable whether it will be told correctly.  Was it the private sector being victimized by the government, or was it the free market?  Well, it was neither.  Dr. Steele explains.

Foreclosures and the Rule of Law:
Charles N. Steele

January 9, 2011
The state supreme court in Massachusetts has ruled that banks must hold the proper legal title to a mortgage in order to foreclose on it. The court has just overturned two foreclosures and returned the properties to the homeowners. Dr. Charles Steele writes that, if private property rights and the rule of law are to have any meaning, it will be necessary that in every case in which this happened that goes to court, the banks lose.  It will also be necessary that they not be bailed out. 

Interwar Presidents and the Fantasies of Historians:
Robert P. Murphy

January 9, 2011 
It is understandable, though still harmful, when economists completely mischaracterize the policies of the Herbert Hoover Administration. But in his recent Salon piece on Sarah Palin's new book, historian David Greenberg distorts the legacies of both Calvin Coolidge and his ill-fated successor, Hoover. Dr. Robert Murphy believes that, to set the record straight, it's worth pointing out exactly where Greenberg goes wrong.

Recipe for a Successful 2011:
Ron Paul

January 9, 2011 
The year 2011 brings in a host of opportunities and challenges to America. Rep. Ron Paul asks, "Will we accelerate toward economic insolvency by continuing the policies that have created this crisis, or will a new Congress elected on the energy of the Tea Party movement find the courage to change course?"

Driving US Families into Fuel Poverty:
Niger Innis, Samuel Rodriguez, and Amy Frederick

January 9, 2011
This is a vital and timely column from the leaders of the Affordable Power Alliance, which represents the interests of poor, minority, and senior citizens, employees, and energy consumers.  It challenges EPA attempts to impose costly, job-killing new regulations on our nation’s energy producers – and warns that those rules could subject Americans to the same devastating consequences that Great Britain’s companies and citizens are suffering in the wake of obstinate climate-change, fossil-fuel and renewable-power laws. Congress rejected cap-tax-and-trade and other economy-killing legislation in the last session. For the White House, EPA, and Interior Department to impose equally destructive controls, through a regulatory power-grab, is intolerable and unconstitutional.

EPA's Texas Power Grab:
Paul Driessen and Willie Soon

January 9, 2011
As many people are learning, Lisa Jackson and her EPA have issued Texas an ultimatum: knuckle under to the EPA’s blatant global-warming regulatory power grab, or else. Follow EPA edicts, or the agency will run roughshod over the Lone Star State’s air-quality program, which it had administered to the satisfaction of all prior administrations. In fact, Texas has met or exceeded all prior standards. So now, in a blatant political ploy, the EPA has made them more draconian. In this article, Willie Soon and Paul Driessen take a lighthearted but determined position on this unjustified attempt to take over the state’s economy, refineries, and electrical generation plants. They do it with cowboy humor, but the issue is very serious. If the EPA and its bogus science succeed in Texas, the rest of the nation will be at its mercy.

"Animal Rights" are Not Animal Welfare:
Tom DeWeese

January 9, 2011
Most people take up the animal-rights cause because they care about the “welfare” of the animals. Few want to see animals suffer, and they want something done when it happens. But, writes Tom DeWeese, animal welfare and animal protection have nothing to do with the "animal rights" movement. Mr. DeWeese presents numerous quotations from "animal rights" activists to support his case.

Humans, Get Over Yourselves!:
Alan Caruba

January 9, 2011
Alan Caruba argues that the greatest absurdity has been the belief that human beings have any influence over the planet on which they live. His message to today's humans is this: "You do not control the biosphere of life on Earth. You do not control its natural calamities. Your attempts at governance are fought with conflict, conquest, and oppression." So why, asks Mr. Caruba, do so many humans believe that their activities can dramatically affect the Earth's climate?

Reasons Not to Pursue a PhD - Video:
G. Stolyarov II

January 9, 2011
Research increasingly shows that a PhD is not economically advantageous to most graduates. In fact, pursuing it may well waste the most productive, energetic years of a person's life. Mr. Stolyarov discusses why a PhD education may be a consumption good rather than an investment good, and why entrepreneurship and more tailored certification programs are more suited in today's uncertain economic climate.

Video References:

* "The disposable academic: Why doing a PhD is often a waste of time" - The Economist

* "No Jobs? Young Graduates Make Their Own" - The New York Times

* "The Effects of the Economic Crisis on Young People" - by G. Stolyarov II

* "Commonly Misunderstood Concepts: Education" - Video by G. Stolyarov II

 "Definitions are the guardians of rationality, the first line of defense against the chaos of mental disintegration." 
~ Ayn Rand