Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

The Ant and The Grasshopper

Two Different Versions! Two Different Morals!


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

Be responsible for yourself!

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving. CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. Americans stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so ? Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green.’ Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant’s house where the news stations film the group singing, ‘We shall overcome.’ Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper’ s sake. Nancy Pelosi & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share. Hillary and Barack go on national television agreeing that the plight of the grasshopper is the fault of George Bush. Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government. Obama gets his old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients. The ant loses the case. The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around him because he doesn’t maintain it. The ant has disappeared in the snow to start over again. The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be very careful how you vote in 2008!

Words I Wish I Wrote

Andrew Coyne on Kyoto: Reinventing Kyoto from scratch:

Somewhere between now and 2050, we may get it through our heads that global warming, as serious a challenge as it may present, is not fundamentally different from the everyday problem of scarcity, the predominant concern of economics since its founding. Indeed, if you stop to think about it, scarcity — the yawning imbalance between our limitless wants as consumers and the finite resources at hand to meet them — is an even scarier prospect, implying widespread privation and conflict, and not in some far-off future but here and now.

Imagine if we were to become as seized with this problem as we are now with global warming, and imagine if we approached it in the same way: with commissions, and studies, and subsidies; with government pamphlets instructing us how to cut back on our consumption of essential foods and outright bans on peculiarly “wasteful” practices like dining out. The young might bring the same religious zeal to improving efficiency that now they bring to curbing CO2 emissions. Rock stars might encourage us to buy one shirt instead of two, to “leave more for others.”

Or we could just leave it to prices. I mean it when I say that scarcity is no less urgent a problem than climate change, and requires the same universal social commitment to frugality that is now urged upon us in the name of carbon neutrality. And in fact that is exactly what prices extract from us. No matter where we go or what we do, in any sale or purchase we make, prices are there, forcing us to economize in our use of scarce resources –in effect, to take account of the needs of others, whether we wish to or not.

On Global Warming

“Climate change got off on the wrong foot in 1974, when TIME magazine’s cover pronounced the coming of “Another Ice Age,” somewhat prematurely, it turned out. Now, the same TIME magazine is warning us that the old globe is on the verge of burning up, but no one giggles.”
– The Daily Reckoning

I believe this is now known as something called the “Magazine Cover Indicator”.


Rep. Ron Paul on US Economic Awareness

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, was able to read aloud for the cameras some of his prepared statement at the Feb. 15 meeting of the House Financial Services Committee. He also spoke before Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Ron Paul is seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2008. He cites that the Fed should:

Begin publishing the M3 statistics again. Let us see the numbers that most accurately reveal how much new money the Fed is pumping into the world economy.

Tell us exactly what the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets does and why.

Explain how interest rates are set. Conservatives profess to support free markets, without wage and price controls. Yet the most important price of all, the price of money as determined by interest rates, is set arbitrarily in secret by the Fed rather than by markets! Why is this policy written in stone? Why is there no congressional input at least?

Change legal tender laws to allow constitutional legal tender (commodity money) to compete domestically with the dollar.

His full speech can be found here.

February 21, 2007

A True 50-50

I would have to say that the most amazing story this week wasn’t in the financial news at all, although maybe it should be.

Senator Tim Johnson underwent successful surgery to relieve bleeding in his brain and treat a congenital malformation of his arteries. He is nevertheless in critical condition and so may Senate. The Democrats currently hold a 51-49 majority. In the case that Senator Johnson will not return, South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds, a Republican, may appoint a Republican replacement. The 50-50 vote would then be decided by Vice President Dick Cheney. (So he is necessary).

The fate of some of America’s most important decisions may shift views overnight. I bet you nobody called this one.

Full Story from Bloomberg


Quote of the Day

“The U.S. Congress is usually far removed from both facts and consequences. Members of Congress routinely vote on legislation that they haven’t even read. Not only do they readily vote to spend other people’s money, they often spend money that hasn’t even been earned yet by taxpayers who have not yet been born. And recently, they went along with a war in a country they’d never been to, for reasons they didn’t understand, paid for with money they didn’t have, and fought by soldiers who were not their own sons and daughters.”

Bill Bonner, excerpted from The Daily Reckoning