Issue CCCV

November 24, 2011

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Economics
European Debt Crisis Threatens the Dollar
Ron Paul

November 24, 2011

The US has a relatively small exposure to overwhelmed Greek banks, but much larger economies in Europe are set to follow, and that will have serious implications for US banks.  Greece is technically small enough to bail out.  Italy is not.  Germany is not.  France is not.  It is estimated that US banks have over a trillion dollars tied up in at-risk German and French banks.  Because the urge to paper over the debt with more credit is so strong, the collapse of the Euro is imminent.  Rep. Ron Paul asks: Will the Fed be held responsible if the Euro brings the US dollar down with it?

The Importance of Failure
Steven Horwitz and Jack Knych

November 24, 2011

In today’s society failure has become something to fear, avoid, and therefore prevent at all costs. Whether it is unemployment compensation, farm subsidies, or bailouts for failing companies, the world seems to view failure as having no redeeming social value. If success is all good and failure is all bad, then it seems as though we should do everything we can to remedy or prevent failure.
But, ask Dr. Steven Horwitz and Jack Knych, is that so? Without denying the value of perseverance, and recognizing that the slogan “never give up” can be useful in overcoming certain obstacles, we must keep in mind that failure can act as a guide to more worthwhile activities.

Unemployment: What Is It?
Warren C. Gibson

November 24, 2011

Unemployment has regained center stage now that the debt crisis has receded from that position, at least for a time. Unless things change dramatically over the next year unemployment will be the number one issue in the forthcoming presidential election. Hardly any proposal will escape being labeled “job-killing” or “job-creating” or both. To begin with some basics, what is work and what is a job? Warren Gibson analyzes the ideas of paid work and unemployment and dispels some commonly held misconceptions.

Literary Analysis
Glengarry Glen Ross: A David Mamet Word Play
Edward W. Younkins

November 24, 2011

David Mamet’s 1984 Pulitzer-Prize-winning play, Glengarry Glen Ross, is about the struggles of four shady small-time salesmen in a small branch of a larger real estate company located in Chicago. Taking place over two business days, the play portrays the dog-eat-dog world of real estate and the ends ruthless salesmen will go to in order to sell overpriced and undesirable land to uninterested and reluctant potential buyers. The cutthroat conniving salesmen resort to trickery, bribery, deceit, lying, and theft. This dark play successfully illustrates the social Darwinistic nature of the shady world of real estate in a big city and the Darwinian rules of the desperate salesmen’s game. The title of the play refers to two unattractive and overvalued parcels of Florida land—Glengarry Heights and Glen Ross Farms. Mamet’s play was also made into a fine 1992 film which incorporated two additional scenes. Dr. Edward Younkins offers an analysis of Mamet's work.

Politics
On the Supercommittee
Ron Paul

November 24, 2011

This week marked the deadline for the so-called congressional Supercommittee to meet its goal of cutting a laughably small amount of federal spending over the next decade.  In fact the Committee merely needed to cut about $120 billion annually from the federal budget over the next 10 years to meet its modest goals, but even this paltry amount has produced hand-wringing and hysteria on Capitol Hill, leading to the Supercommitee's failure.  This is only cutting proposed increases.  It has nothing to do with actually cutting anything.  To Rep. Ron Paul, this shows how unserious politicians are about our very serious debt problems.

Real Monsters Didn't Disappear After Halloween
Harry R. Jackson and Efrain Piñeda

November 24, 2011

Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. and Reverend Efrain Piñeda offer an informative article on the adverse impacts of “green” energy policies on workers and poor families. They make the excellent point that – while Halloween is a fun time of kids in “scary” costumes, an overabundance of candy, and a lot of monster and “slasher” movies – when the holiday is over, adults and children alike must still deal with real monsters: in the form of over-zealous federal environmental bureaucrats and job and economy-killing federal laws and regulations.

Real Monsters Didn't Disappear After Halloween
Paul Driessen

November 24, 2011

American billionaire Doug Tompkins acquired millions of acres in Chile’s Patagonia region, in a block of land from Argentina to the Pacific. He claims he wants to protect unique habitats and species. His real motive appears to be thwarting energy and economic development in Chile. The huge block of land, known as Pumalin Park, effectively prevents any north-south roads, travel, transmission lines and commerce, except by air or sea. Tompkins is also leading and financing campaigns to stop a major hydroelectric project that would provide much-needed electricity for Chile.
Equally as bad, Tompkins and his Deep Ecology activists consistently violate nearly every canon of corporate social responsibility that they demand of for-profit corporations. That is not just hypocritical. It enables them to present false and misleading information to support their campaigns, without having to worry about accountability for fraud … or even for the adverse consequences of the policies they want to impose on Chile. In other words, CSR for you but not for us. Tompkins calls his actions saving the planet. Many others, including Paul Driessen, call it energy and economic eco-imperialism.

Videos
Combating Aging's Ravages - Advances in Minnesota and France - Video
G. Stolyarov II

November 24, 2011

Mr. Stolyarov provides a layman-friendly discussion of two recent major scientific discoveries in the war on senescence by Darren Baker and Jan van Deursen at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and Jean-Marc Lemaitre at the Institute de Génomique Fonctionnelle (IGF) in France.

The Baker/van Deursen study highlights the possibility of extending health by targeting senescent cells. The Lemaitre study shows the promising possibility of creating pluripotent stem cells from the cells of very old individuals - paving the way for future genetic engineering and revitalization of these individuals.

Both advances are highly encouraging steps in understanding and reversing the ravages of aging and eventually greatly expanding the human lifespan.

References:

* "Purging Cells in Mice Is Found to Combat Aging Ills" by Nicholas Wade, The New York Times. November 3, 2011.
* "Forever young? A way to counteract part of the process of growing old". The Economist. November 5, 2011. 
* "Scientists Successful in Rejuvenating Cells in Elderly Patients" by Tiffany Kaiser. Daily Tech. November 8, 2011.
* "French Scientists Restored The Youth Of 100 Years Old Cells" by Andrei Riciuon. DoctorTipster.com. November 2, 2011.

Against Militant "Occupy" Protests - Video
G. Stolyarov II

November 24, 2011
The recent plans by Occupy Wall Street protesters to disrupt the function of the New York Stock Exchange cross the line between peaceful dissent and a threat to freedom, prosperity, and Western civilization itself. Mr. Stolyarov explains why a vibrantly functioning stock exchange is essential to a free society and why injustice cannot be solved through further blatant injustice.

Reference:
- "Occupy Wall Street takes a new direction" - Daniel Massey - Crain's New York Business - November 13, 2011.

The Trap of Binary Thinking Regarding the "Occupy" Protests - Video

G. Stolyarov II

November 24, 2011
A perilous fallacy is that, in opposing one commonly held position, one must necessarily support what many characterize as its antithesis - when in fact the very binary opposition may arise from idiosyncratic grounds, with many logical alternatives possible. Mr. Stolyarov seeks to transcend the trap of binary thinking with regard to common portrayals of the "Occupy" protests - which neglect to recognize that there are few heroes on either side of this debacle, and that opposing the protesters does not commit one to supporting the establishment, or vice versa. Instead, a rational, philosophically grounded, liberty-oriented, civilization-preserving alternative is necessary. The campaign of Ron Paul offers one such alternative.

References:

An example of the binary-thinking trap:
- "To the So-Called 53%: Stop Embarassing Yourselves" by Kevin Carson 

News and footage regarding the protests
- "Seattle Police pepper-spray 84-year-old woman, pregnant teen
- "Occupy Oakland clashes: Video of masked youths smashing windows" - Video from RussiaToday 
- "City Reopens Park After Protesters Are Evicted" - The New York Times

 "A stock market is crucial to the existence of capitalism and private property. For it means that there is a functioning market in the exchange of private titles to the means of production. There can be no genuine private ownership of capital without a stock market: there can be no true socialism if such a market is allowed to exist." 
~ Ludwig von Mises