We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Gotta love the nerve of these jerks: Harry Reid: "I had nothing to do with" bad economy. In my view, there is little government can do to help a free-market economy, but much it can do to damage it. Its efforts to "help" are usually efforts to undo their damage by adding new layers of damage.
Kudlow's optimism is starting to look a little silly. Large businesses are showing profits and holding a lot of cash because they are afraid to spend it. They aren't hiring - often not even backfilling positions of people who leave. They aren't investing in new equipment or facilities - the climate is too uncertain. And they are bracing for massive increases in taxes, regulations, and health care expenses.
Small businesses are the economy's growth engine. Whenever I talk to my small business friends, I hear things similar to the Stossel article. Most of the work and effort they put in is dealing with the government, not satisfying customers.
NJSoldier - I agree.
WHEN they spend, it's going to be BIG and INFLATIONARY. Too much cash sloshing around out there. That's what happens when you "print" alot of money in a fractional reserve banking system. It's designed to spur economic activity, but always leads to bubbles and inflation. Always.
I think the most interesting link is the final one. I've always said (and said here many times) that government can't do much to boost the economy, but can do much to damage it.
THE BEST the government can do is to help redirect economic activity from one sector to another. But this is unnatural, leads to massive deadweight loss, and creates bubbles when none should exist.
C'est la vie - as humans, we like to believe we can actually CONTROL things. That's why the Global Warming debate exists - between those who believe they can control climate and those who realize it's uncontrollable.
These same people often are split down similar lines on economics, too.
(Note, Sept 9, 12:30 a.m.: Unfortunately I did not make a copy Jones's articles for VFR, and all through Wednesday evening it has been impossible to load his church's website to read them. I assume that this is because the site is overwhelmed with readers, not because the site has been blocked. I've also been unable to find a copy of the article at any other site.)
From the website of Terry Jones's Dove World Outreach Center, an article dated September 2 on "Ten Reasons to Burn a Koran." And here is a follow-up: "Five More Reasons to Burn the Koran."
At the very least, one must say that Jones's planned act is not mindless. He is performing a certain act, and he has laid out his reasons for performing it. His reasons are that Islam is anti-Christ, anti the West, anti liberty, and anti human decency. His view is that Islam is a danger to everything we cherish and everything we are. By burning a Koran, he is expressing his complete rejection of Islam, and causing other people to think about why he is rejecting Islam. Since I myself believe and have frequently stated that Islam does not belong in the West, how can I condemn a man who is expressing the same idea through a strong symbolic act? An act that is not illegal and is not harming anyone. An act that will force people to think--is Islam the enemy of ourselves and of everything we cherish, or not? Does Islam belong among us, or not?
People are saying that the Koran burning will cause Muslims to kill innocent people. Perhaps it will. But the Danish cartoons caused Muslims to kill innocent people. Islam demands aggressive war against non-Muslims, including the killing of innocents, because from the Muslim point of view there is no such thing as an innocent non-Muslim. The clearest and most frequently repeated message of the Koran, appearing on almost every page, is that all non-Muslims are guilty of the monstrous crime of rejecting Allah and his prophet, and thereby deserve death and eternal torture. Why should we respect such a book? Why should we respect such a religion? Sooner or later, people in the West (and people in the non-Muslim world generally) must come to recognize the nature and teachings of Islam. They can have that recogition sooner, and prevent much violence, or they can have that recognition much later, only after Muslims have gained substantial power over our societies and get in a position to harm anyone who opposes them. My view is: the sooner the truth comes out, the better; the sooner things come to a head, the safer we will be.