Monday, April 6, 2015

OLS Quote of the Week: Ayn Rand

For the next seven days, the featured quote here at On Liberty Street will be:
“I am interested in politics so that one day I will not have to be interested in politics.”  — Ayn Rand­

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Quick Tax Quiz Question

First, can you read this blog post title out loud ten times quickly? Tough, huh? But that's not the real question.  As we move towards tax day, I though you might find this quiz question interesting:

According to recent data from the Senate Committee on Finance, the Top 1% of income earners in the US last year earned 19% of all the income earned in the US, but paid __________ % of all the taxes paid in the US last year. [Note: Consider your answer correct if you got within -/+5 of the correct total].

And here's a hint: unless you already have a good idea, you should be disgusted by the answer!

Obama's Faith in Iran

Ben Shapiro, always provocative, here explains how our President has faith in a country that has been at war with us for over 40 years.  Only someone with a penchant for ignoring reality could pull it off, alas.




Saturday, April 4, 2015

(Re-Post) Myth: Capitalism is "Dog-Eat-Dog"

Re-Post: This was a popular post when it first came out, so I'm running it again!

Original post 1/18/15:  One of the more effective liberal weapons in their collection of anti-captialism tools is the mantra that capitalism is system that breeds a "dog-eat-dog" mentality in the market place.  This is, of course, utter nonsense and easily refuted as Gary Galles does admirably in this article published by the Mises Institute.  Here's the opening paragraph:
When people want to add extra “oomph” to negative depictions of self-owners acting without coercion — that is, market competition under capitalism — they turn to name-calling. One of the most effective forms is describing such competition as dog-eat-dog. When that characterization is accepted, the mountain of evidence in favor of voluntary social coordination can be dismissed on the grounds that it involves a vicious and ugly process so harmful to people that it outweighs any benefits.
This is definitely a worthwhile article and does a great job of clearing away much of the confusion surrounding the nature of free-market mechanisms.

OLS Saturday AM Car Show: The Mercedes-Benz 540 Roadster

Produced for only six years, mostly just prior to WWII, this beauty was recenly listed on a BBC special report of the 5 most beautiful cars ever made.  While it won't make my top 5, it is very Mercedes-Benz. "This one epitomizes the quiet power and majesty of the big power plant up-front 2-seater design concept. It is akin to a 20,000-square-foot mansion with one bedroom."  Anyway, to the photos.  First, the quintessentail shot of a 1936 vesion:


Now, in red:


Looking very Deco:


And in this last shot, note the fire extinguisher:











Friday, April 3, 2015

(Re-Post) & (Related update 2): It's tough being young in the Obama economy

Reminder: Due to illness, I am forced to modify my posting schedule ending, hopefully, by June 1st. Consequently, I am reducing the number of posts to two per day and will be relying on audio, video, and re-posts to a much greater extent than normal during this period.  Thank you for understanding and for continuing to visit – and recommending! -- On Liberty Street! Now on to the post:

Re-post: More than a year later and this phenomenon has only grown.  Way to go Obama, way to go.
Related update 2 (2/17/14)  More evidence that young adults are getting pounded by the Obama economy:
But going back to the topic of Americans living with their parents, today Gallup reported that 14% percent of adults between the ages of 24 and 34 – those in the post-college years when most young adults are trying to establish independence — report living at home with their parents. By contrast, roughly half of 18- to 23-year-olds, many of whom are still finishing their education, are currently living at home.
Read more analysis of these data here and here.  [ht: collegeinsurrection.com]

Related update (2/11/14):  Here's a chart from a detailed look at the plight of 27-year-olds in the US published in Vanity Fair a couple of days ago [ht: Mark Perry]:

Notice that a higher percent make $15,000 or less than make $40,000 or more.  There are several other interesting graphs in the article, which is available here.

Original post (2/9/14):  Two recent reports highlight just how bad the Obama years have been on the nation's youth.  First, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that the teen unemployment rate is more than 3x that of the national average, coming in at about 20% currently (as many economists, and OLS as well, have noted, much of the blame for that figure involves the effects of minimum wage laws): 
The teen unemployment rate went up in January to 20.7% -- from 20.2% in December-- and is now more than three times the national unemployment rate of 6.6%,  according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

 The BLS numbers show there were 1,140,000 people ages 16-19 unemployed in December. For January, that number was 1,147,000 -- an increase of 0.6%.
And second, it appears that nearly one in four 26-year olds still live at home!! To folks in my generation, that is virtually inconceivable.  From an article at Breitbart.com:
According to a Pew Research analysis of the 2012 data, lower levels of employment, an increase in college enrollment, and a decrease in young people getting married are major factors in the increase of millennials living at home. 
 These are just a couple of the outcomes associated with Keynesian economic policies and government central planning. [ht: Drudgereport]
 
The teen unemployment rate went up in January to 20.7% -- from 20.2% in December-- and is now more than three times the national unemployment rate of 6.6%,  according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The BLS numbers show there were 1,140,000 people ages 16-19 unemployed in December. For January, that number was 1,147,000 -- an increase of 0.6%.
- See more at: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/teen-unemployment-207-more-three-times-national-average#sthash.jIEeSDbQ.LyG44qis.dpuf

Weekend Links

"Ignorance is no defense of the law." Or is it?

Well, is has been for a while on major campuses across the USA.  "Is Free Speech Dead in Universities?"

The Knights Templar.

Modern Liberalism is neither modern nor liberal, as James Pethouskious explains in this op-ed.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

(Re-Post + 1 New Q!): The Thursday Night Quiz!

See how many of the questions below you can answer correctly:

1.   T/F  Recent research suggests that income mobility in the United States has steadily declined over the last 3 decades.

2.  T/F  One-in-five US females college students have been sexually assaulted on campus.

3.   According to a recent report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the cost of government regulations in the United States is an amount that, if it were its own economy, it would be the ______________  largest economy in the world.
a.  100th
b.  75th
c.  50th
d.  25th
e.  10th

4.  T/F  In a recent Rasmussen poll, only 25% of Americans surveyed said they opposed Affirmative Action in college admission decisions.

5.  (New Q!)  23 years ago today, April 2, 1992, Mafia Don _____________ is convicted of murder and later sentenced to life in prison. Who was he? [Hint: he had several nicknames including "The Teflon Don"].

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Mid-Week Mirth

1.   The humor.

2.   The humor.   The story.

3.   The humor.      

And What a Scam It Is!!

Prager University recently released an absolutely must-see -- multiple times!-- short video that looks at the "University Diversity Scam" that is destroying college campuses in America  The specific target is the University of California system, but the story is identical at universities across the land.  I can't recommend this video strongly enough -- watch it, and then send it to someone else to watch as well; it's that good!




Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday NIght at the Links

OLS heroine and true feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the subject of a superb piece by Craig Biddle of The Objective Standard.  Ali recently made a "clarion call" for reformation of Islam that included, among other items, these biggies:
1. Repudiate “Muhammad’s semi-divine status, along with the literalist reading of the Quran.”2. Deny “the supremacy of life after death.”3. Repudiate “Shariah, the vast body of religious legislation.”4. Reject “the right of individual Muslims to enforce Islamic law.”5. Reject “the imperative to wage jihad, or holy war.”
Click here to read the rest of Biddle's excellent analysis of Ali's powerful declaration.

The Law of Unintended Consequences is everywhere, even on board the recent tragic GermanWings flight.

When Kevin Williamson writes, people listen.  And Williamson says Ted Cruz can win.

Zo Nation explains why the Democrats are the party of racism and slavery.  And he's right.

[ht: instapundit.com]

(Re-Post): If You Know Your American History, this is Not Surprising

Reminder: Due to illness, I am forced to modify my posting schedule ending, hopefully, by June 1st. Consequently, I am reducing the number of posts to two per day and will be relying on audio, video, and re-posts to a much greater extent than normal during this period.  Thank you for understanding and for continuing to visit – and recommending! -- On Liberty Street! Now on to the post:


Re-post: Scrolling through some posts and landed on this excellent article.  Given my medical situation, I thought I'd go ahead and re-post it today.

Original post 4/17/14:  In a recent Washington Post article, Michigan State political scientists Matt Grossmann discussed the results of his recent historical work on domestic policy law-making in the US since 1945.  He finds, not surprisingly, that the large majority of domestic policies passed by Congress since then are liberal rather than conservative in nature.  Sixty percent of policies passed during this period have expanded, rather than reduced, the scope of government spending, regulation, and/or responsibility, whereas only 20% of such policies reduced the scope of government power.  Here's an excerpt from Grossmann's excellent article:
These trends are not a product of the unique perspective of policy historians. Other scholars’ analyses of major laws identified by journalists find similar results but even less conservative lawmaking. Liberal policies are self-reinforcing because they create beneficiaries who act as constituencies for their continuation and expansion. Policy debates center on what additional actions government should take, not whether to discontinue existing roles.  [Emphasis Marc Street].
This is a definite must-read article.  [ht: Chris Edwards, Cato-@-Liberty]

Monday, March 30, 2015

Think on This, Folks!

Good on Paula Stern for her short, powerful blast at the rest of the world on Israel's behalf.  She's responding to Obama's latest attack on Israel:
For the past 24 hours, after hearing that the United States, under the leadership of Barack Hussein Obama, deliberately stabbed Israel in the back by releasing documents that confirm what most of the world has known or suspected for decades, I was rendered mute with anger. Every post I thought of making usually included at least one four letter word and often many of them.
I love how she invokes her mother's story into her post; you'll have to click here to see what I mean and to feel the power of Stern 's missive to the West.

OLS Quote of the Week: Vince Lombardi

For the next seven days, the featured quote here at On Liberty Street will be:
“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing.  You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do the right thing once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing”. – Vince Lombardi [ht: Al Chandler]

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Think Kentucky is Unbeatable? Not in This Ranking!

The folks at Market Watch have compiled a ranking system of this year's 64 teams in the NCAA Tournament and guess what? Real hoops season champ and undefeated #1 seed Kentucky doesn't even make the Top 10! Why? This ranking is based on academic performance. Consequently the Wildcats come in at number 38. Here's the MW Top 10:

RankingSchoolAverage SAT score
1Harvard University2260
2Duke University2185
3University of Notre Dame2145
4Georgetown University2107
5Northeastern University2070
6University of Virginia2025
7Davidson College1995
8University of Maryland-College Park1965
9University of California-Los Angeles1950
10Villanova University1950
Click here to see the rest of the schools in the ranking. I'm proud to say that my ugrad alma mater, UMD, comes in a very respectable #8!  [ht: good friend of mine, Mark Coppola]

A LIttle Moonshine with Your Sunday Brunch?

Well, if not the real stuff, how about watching this really fascinating video on the history and significance of the moonshine "industry" in America. It's from the folks at Reason.tv and like most videos they create, it's high quality and well done.  The interviewer, Anthony Fisher, asks excellent, insightful questions, and the expert is Jaime Joyce, who just finished a book on the subject.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Saturday Smirlks

1.   The humor.

2.   The humor.

3.   The humor.  

OLS Saturday AM Car Show: The 1934 Voisin Type C27 Aerosport Coupe

A while back, Popular Mechanics featured a series on Art Deco-inspired cars from the 1920s and 30s.  Included was the 1934 Voisin Type C27 Aerosport Coupe. Throughout the 20s and into the 40s the sleek needs of aviation products influenced design philosophies in automobiles, as is clearly evident in the C27. From the PM article:
Gabriel Voisin was an aviation pro, who created the first manned, engine powered, heavier-than-air plane capable of a sustained, controlled flight. His military aircraft greatly helped France during World War I.
And now to the photos:


Here's an interior shot:


At an auto show:


Finally, the Grand Sport version, topless!


Friday, March 27, 2015

(Related update 2): Closer to a cure for Alzheimers?

Reminder: Due to illness, I am forced to modify my posting schedule ending, hopefully, by June 1st. Consequently, I am reducing the number of posts to two per day and will be relying on audio, video, and re-posts to a much greater extent than normal during this period.  Thank you for understanding and for continuing to visit – and recommending! -- On Liberty Street! Now on to the post:

Related update 2 :  And now comes this highly encouraging story about a new Biogen drug:
Biogen Idec's drug aducanumab has been shown to slow mental decline in patients with early or mild Alzheimer's disease in a small drug trial, the full results of which were released Friday. The New York Times reports 166 patients were randomly given low to high doses of the drug (meant to eliminate amyloid plaque in the brain) or a placebo. Experts say the trial was designed to assess aducanumab's safety rather than effects, but the drug proved to be the first to both ease plaque and slow cognitive decline, Forbes reports. "It would be kind of hard to get those kind of results by chance," a doctor says. Another adds the drug was "impressive" when taken in the highest dose. Over a year, placebo patients fell 3.14 points on a 30-point cognition scale, while those taking the highest dose dropped 0.58 points. Patients on a middle dose slid 0.75 points.
Click here to read more about this intriguing new development from the front line of cognitive functioning research.

Related update 1 (1/28/15): A recent Fox News story reports on the positive outcomes of a study at Wake Forest University involving a nasal spray and alzheimers disease:
Researchers say they’ve developed a nasal spray that could potentially improve memory and other mental capabilities for the more than 5 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Participants who received 40 international unit (IU) doses of insulin detemir over the course of the trial showed significant improvement in their short-term ability to retain and process verbal and visual information, compared with those who received 20 IU doses or a placebo. According to Craft, performance on tests of mental manipulation and memory improved by as much as 25 percent.
Along with the original post below, this study suggests that researchers are starting to make serious inroads in dealing with this horrific disease that affects 5 million Americans.  Kudos to the researchers and scientists working in this area! [ht: instapundit.com]

Original post 8/17/13: Let's hope so....good news out of California: researchers at Stanford University's School of Medicine have identified a new protein thought to play a significant role in the deterioration of cognitive functioning in such diseases as Alzheimer's:
In a groundbreaking study from Stanford University School of Medicine, researchers detailed the significance of a protein called C1q, which was previously known as the initiator of the immune system response. After analyzing brain tissue in mice of varying ages, as well as postmortem samples of a 2-month-old infant and an elderly person, they discovered that C1q exponentially increases in the aging brain – creating as much as a 300-fold buildup. Comparatively, most age-associated increases of proteins in the brain are only three- or four-fold.
Much more information about this potentially huge breakthrough can be found here.  Ovations for the great researchers at Stanford University!

Weekend Links

With any luck, the the Benghazi scandal will follow Hillary around during her campaign.  But if you're like me and your memory is hazy or needs refreshing as to what, who, when, and why on this important incident, this is a must-read article.  Heck, it's a must-read article anyway!

"Inconvenient truths about race", according to Britian's leading critic of multiculturalism, Trevor Phillips.

Think minimum wage laws were originally designed to help the poor and minorities? Think again.

For every dollar US corporations spend lobbying and engaging in cronyist behavior, they get back how much? HOW MUCH?

[hts: NotPC; instapundit.com; drudgereport.com]

Thursday, March 26, 2015

(Re-Post + 1 New Q!): Thursday Night at the Quizzes!


1.  Excluding English and Spanish, what is the most common language in the Great State of Texas?
a.  Navajo
b.  French
c.  German
d.  Russian
e.  Vietnamese

2.  According to Transparency International's ranking index, which of the following countries is the most corrupt in the world?
a.  Russia
b.  Somalia
c.  Iraq
d.  North Korea
e.  Libya

3.  T/F  According to data from the FBI, the incidence of rape in the United States has nearly doubled from 24 incidents per 100,000 population in 1993 to 45 incidents per 100,000 population in 2013.

4.  T/F According to a recent Fox News poll, a larger percentage of Americans consider themselves to be happy with life in 2014 than in 2004: 68% now vs. 53% in 2004.

5.  16 years ago today, __________ was found guilty of second-degree murder for helping a terminally ill man end his life by lethal injection  [Hint: He was a Dr.]


[ht: Carpe Diem]

(Re-Post): Bush was horrible, Obama is worse

Original post 2/20/14:  In terms of the amount of economically significant regulations their respective administrations are responsible for.  From an article at The Daily Caller:
The 1996 Congressional Review Act (CRA) requires federal agencies to submit reports to Congress on economically significant rules. According to CRA data, the Obama Administration has a 29 percent higher average of yearly major rulemakings than Bush did after his two terms in office. Bush’s overall average was 63 and Obama’s currently sits at 81.
There were 77 major rules in 2013, 67 in 2012 and 80 in 2011. In 2010, the administration added 99 major rules to the books — more than any other year since the passage of the CRA.
New regulations cost money, but they also cost a lot of man hours.
The average person has virtually no idea of the massive amount of government control over our lives as reflected in the absurdly large levels of regulation.  Thus, articles such as the one linked to here are valuable in fighting that ignorance. [ht: instapundit]

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mid-Week Mirth

1.   The humor.

2.   The humor.   The story.

3.   The humor.   Another beauty from Ramirez!

Instapundit: GOP Should Attack Big Business, Hollywood

My favorite blogger is Glenn Reynolds, he of instapundit.com fame. In addition to running one of the most important and influential blogs on the web, he's also a full-time law professor at the U of Tennessee and writes a weekly column for the USA Today.  To paraphrase an old TV commercial, when he writes, people listen.  And this week he provides a strategy for the Republicans to make large gains in 2016 -- attack the massive cronyism element that drives the Democratic party and, along the way, bang on leftest Hollywood and the entertainment industries.  Here's his opening:

The Republicans have a real opportunity to connect with voters and win big in 2016. But to do so, they'll have to get over their traditional love for Big Business. Will they be smart enough to do that? The prospects don't look especially bright.
But the fact is that many big businesses are unpopular with the public, aligned with the Democrats, and wide open for attack. And after eight years of the Obama administration's naked cronyism and support of Wall Street even as the middle class has suffered, the opportunities are there.
One of the most appealing targets would be the tech industry's wage-suppressing hiring habits. Not only have tech giants like Apple and Google engaged in what a federal court called an "overarching conspiracy" to prevent wage competition, but Silicon Valley firms also abuse H-1B visas to bring in immigrant competition at lower wages, a practice that's now spreading to other industries. (In Los Angeles, Southern California Edison is firing workers and replacing them with immigrants now).
Click here to read the rest of this intriguing article.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday Night Links

Reminder: Due to illness, I am forced to modify my posting schedule ending, hopefully, by June 1st. Consequently, I am reducing the number of posts to two per day and will be relying on audio, video, and re-posts to a much greater extent than normal during this period.  Thank you for understanding and for continuing to visit – and recommending! -- On Liberty Street! Now on to the post:

Recently, several US Senators have abused their authority and tried to intimidate climate skeptic scholars and organizations such as the Cato Institute.  Click here to read Cato President John Allison's awesome response.

Germany has successfully increased the use of solar power as a source of viable energy. Or so we're told.  This is both funny and pathetic.

Sticking with the enviro theme, Greenpeace co-founder tells why he's a climate skeptic.  This is excellent and will become part of my undergraduate course next fall semester.

Lastly, Seattle is about to enact the highest minimum wage rate in the country.  How are businesses there reacting? How would you react?

[ht: drudgereport.com]

(Re-Post)(Related Update): What Occupation is the Most Dangerous?

Related update:  One of the key points of the original post below is that an element in the so-called "gender wage gap" is the fact that males are many times more likely to take on dangerous work than are females.  This results in, predictably, higher wages and has nothing to do with workplace gender discrimination.  Today I offer an excellent article from the Mises Institute that goes into much more detail in exposing the gender wag gap for the fraud that it is.  Here's a good excerpt to entice you:
But a second problem comes up after just briefly scratching the data; why isn’t this wage gap even remotely close to being consistent across industries? It’s not just models (who make 10 times as much as their male colleagues), but also a variety — albeit minority — of different fields. Forbes recently ran an article based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics titled “15 Jobs Where Women Earn More Than Men.” These jobs include bakers (104 percent), teacher assistants (105 percent), nutritionists (101 percent), and occupational therapists (102 percent). Do those hiring bakers just happen to be some of the few people in this country who aren’t sexist?
This is a highly educational and interesting article, one you should find time for if you have an interest in this topic.  It's an important topic, because the left is going to try and use as a hammer the entire campaign season, so you need to arm yourself properly; and OLS is a place to do just that.

Original post 9/12/14:  When "dangerous" is defined in terms of workplace fatalities, the top ten are:

The point behind this chart (ht Carpe Diem; click here to read Mark Perry's comments) is to show how males are much more likely to work in dangerous occupations than females.  And if you want someone to do a dangerous job, you got to pay them more to do it, all things equal.  Thus, the concept of "hazard pay" and it's role in understanding the gender wage gap differential.  In other words, part of the reason that men make more than women is that men are much more likely to work in dangerous industries than are women.  And they'll receive more pay for doing so.

Monday, March 23, 2015

(Re-Post): Economic Myths that Need to Die

Original post 11/9/14:  But won't, as this article from The Freeman explains.  This is a valuable article, particularly if your economic understanding is limited.  It contains five myths that most folks would probably accept as true but, as the article shows, are definitely not.  Here's the first of these myths:
Myth 1. The idea that economic growth helps the poor is trickle-down economics … it doesn’t actually help them.
In a 2001 paper titled “Growth Is Good for the Poor," economists Art Kraay and David Dollar of the World Bank found that when average incomes rise, the average incomes of the poorest fifth of society rise proportionately. This result held across regions, periods, income levels, and growth rates. In 2013, more than a decade after their original paper, Kraay and Dollar explored the relationship between economic growth and poverty again, using data from 118 countries over four decades. They came to the same conclusion. According to the economists, this evidence confirms the central importance of economic growth for poverty reduction … institutions and policies that promote economic growth in general will on average raise incomes of the poor equiproportionally, thereby promoting “shared prosperity” … there are almost no cases in which growth is significantly pro-poor or pro-rich.
This means that policies that enhance economic growth through methods such as limiting the size of government and lowering barriers to international trade are key to alleviating poverty. Economic growth, not transfer programs, is in fact the primary driver of poverty reduction, and this empirical truth has been proved for a long time.

OLS Quote of the Week: Victor Hugo

For the next seven days, the featured quote here at On Liberty Street will be:
“My colleagues spend their days visiting each other, sitting and posing in cafes and talkig about writing.  But I am not like them. I write.  That is my secret. What I achieve is done by hard work, not through miracles”. 
                            – Victor Hugo [ht: Jim Powell, The Triumph of Liberty, pg. 303]