Commentary

Now that Al Gore has won an Oscar for “An Inconvenient Truth,” he headed to Capitol Hill to perform before an even more important crowd: lawmakers who could pass legislation that would make energy unaffordable for many Americans. And the media have already rolled out the red carpet for his activism, taking every opportunity to promote green politics, from personal carbon “offsets” to massive legislation. “An Inconvenient Truth” purports to be a non-partisan, non-ideological exposition of climate science. In reality, it is a Sci-Fi disaster film in the guise of a documentary. Example: Gore bombards us with scene after scene... continue reading
Recent data on the number of people receiving assistance from the federal government has created some stir and discussion as to whether welfare reform in the U.S. has been successful. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has warned that a failure to address exploding entitlement costs will cause economic harm. Rather than look at the technical aspects of welfare and other entitlement programs, including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, it is useful to begin with a discussion of the role of government in creating a social safety net and how attitudes towards receiving government aid affect the system. In 1850 Frederic... continue reading
If the Hoover Dam isn’t one of the wonders of the modern world, it’s not for lack of trying. Tens of thousands of people spent years building this amazing mountain of concrete. But some on the crazy eco-left want to tear it down – along with as many other dams as they can get their hands on. They clearly don’t care that those same dams provide power to a country reliant on it. I got a taste of this attitude several years ago at the conclusion of a Hoover Dam tour. After the guide detailed the dam’s wonders and how... continue reading
I’m an American, and I believe passionately in freedom. I believe in the individual pursuit of happiness. So it troubles me when my president wants to take that away and starts sounding like a socialist. In a socialist society, no one gets to keep the product of his work. Instead, the government redistributes money to force financial “equality” upon the people. Bush recently chimed in on the popular political notion of “income inequality,” claiming an increasing gap and the possibility that something should be done about it. Something … like what? Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave us a clue... continue reading
After making a brief appearance in 2005 and spending 2006 in the wings, Social Security reform took center stage again last week with the inclusion of “personal retirement accounts” in President Bush’s budget proposal. Following the delivery of that budget blueprint, Congressional Democrats announced they were no longer willing to discuss reform options. A bipartisan working group being shaped by the Administration to explore solutions to the looming entitlement crises all but fell apart. Unfortunately, ignoring the situation isn’t an option. The president’s fiscal year 2008 budget envisions providing resources for voluntary accounts funded by a portion of a worker’s... continue reading
Longtime Internet users will recognize the phrase “ All your base are belong to us.” It’s a comically stupid but popular English translation from a late ’80s Japanese video game. In a nutshell, it is a declaration of dominance – everything of yours is now mine. That sentiment has emerged in Washington – from Hillary Clinton. The presidential candidate used it when she made her feelings about private property known at the Democratic National Committee’s winter meeting. Clinton must have been shocked that the free market works so well that some Americans actually profit from dealings other than Whitewater. So... continue reading
If you want to shut down a debate, simply call your opponent a Nazi. It’s quick, easy and requires no thought whatsoever. Laugh at your opponent without allowing him to speak. Oh, and make a film about your point of view and name it “The Truth.” It’s worked well for the global warming bandwagoners – and conservatives can’t seem to get out of defensive mode. “Every time you address the Holocaust, you don’t bring somebody in that says it didn’t happen. And we’re at that stage now. We have Holocaust deniers; we have climate change deniers. And to be honest,... continue reading
"The Power of Choice: The Life and Ideas of Milton Friedman" is scheduled to air on PBS Monday, Jan. 29, 2007 at 10 p.m. ET. For local listings click here . “The Power of Choice,” a documentary on the life and ideas of Milton Friedman, is an excellent film, but it should have been titled "The Power of Ideas." It is the inspiring story of how a son of poor immigrants by the power of his ideas changed the lives of millions of people for the better. Milton Friedman was a true champion of freedom, as the film makes clear,... continue reading
President Bush announced in his State of the Union address that Americans should reduce gasoline usage by 20 percent over the next 10 years. But how will this be achieved? With or without government In 1931 Harold Hotelling published a paper, “The Economics of Exhaustible Resources,” that showed that the market process efficiently allocates the exploitation of a non-renewable resource over time. His basic point is that as the supply of a resource shrinks, the price begins to rise. That leads to an effect on the demand side. As the price of oil rises, people will use less oil. Automakers... continue reading
The Depression was only “great” because of the great harm it caused to millions. While the Dust Bowl devastated farmland, the stock market crash wiped out companies and unemployment overwhelmed the nation’s workforce. Folk singer Woody Guthrie captured the gritty spirit of the Great Depression like no one else. In “Talking Dust Bowl Blues,” he spun the tale of a typical farm family that had lost nearly everything. “ We got out to the West Coast broke, so dad-gum hungry I thought I'd croak,” he sang. Hardly a fit metaphor for the 2006 economy, is it? Only news people seem... continue reading