One of the most obvious dividing lines between old and young is the ability to recall free television. To anyone who has grown up in an era of cable and satellite TV, the concept of a handful of channels delivered free to your home is absurd. Americans went from a couple of channels in each market to a lineup only the most veteran couch potato can track. In 1992, Bruce Springsteen released the song 57 Channels (And Nothin On) and now we can look at that title and think it quaint. Limited options gave way to unlimited choice or so... continue reading
President Bush, in his State of the Union speech, said America was addicted to oil and the federal government would use billions of tax dollars to pursue alternative energy sources. Rather than accepting this at face value, we might ask if the presidents appeal to the green coalition makes sense. First, we are addicted to oil only in the sense that we use oil to produce goods and services, from plastic action figures to transportation. The United States uses a large percentage of the worlds oil because we have an economy that produces $13 trillion per year in gross domestic... continue reading
How much credit does Alan Greenspan deserve for Americas economic success over the past 18 years? Answer: a lot, but nowhere near all. I mean no slight to Mr. Greenspan. Indeed, the maestro himself likely agrees that the success of the economy during his tenure as Chairman of the Federal Reserve board is largely the product of millions of creative, energetic producers each one experimenting with ways to produce more and better output at lower costs. Microchip designers at Apple and Intel, retailing entrepreneurs at Target and Barnes & Noble, vintners in California and Oregon, venture capitalists in New York... continue reading
Ford and now DaimlerChrysler are the latest companies to take the layoff route to try and save their corporate skins. We watch our TVs day after day as the numbers add up 7,000, 20,000, 30,000 600,000 jobs lost. If you pay attention to the news, you might believe American business is creating a giant soup line stretching from Wall Street to Wal-Marts headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. Only that story is a fairy tale. Certainly, there have been job losses. Autoworkers have been particularly hard hit, as have residents of the Gulf areas savaged by Hurricane Katrina. But the real story... continue reading
CNNs Andy Serwer fired the medias latest salvo against American business with his January 19 swipe at corporate salaries. The Fortune magazine editor shut out defenders of corporate executives whom he hinted might be getting paid for a pulse while suggesting that a famous actress earns every penny she makes. Julia Roberts makes a movie, she gets big bucks, more than $20 million-a-film, Serwer opened his story quickly adding, Thats okay, her movies usually earn many times that. You could say she makes money the old-fashioned way, she earns it. But, asked the business contributor, can the same be said... continue reading
There are few guarantees in this life. The most widely recognized are death and taxes, but its also guaranteed that government isnt as concerned about your well-being as you are. Liberals claim to support guaranteed retirement benefits, regardless of the cost or our ability to provide them. The reality is that guaranteed benefit plans whether provided by government or private companies will not be able to survive the coming generations. Workers at IBM, home of the nations third-largest pension program, are among the latest to get the wake-up call, proving that a company doesnt have to be in bankruptcy to... continue reading
The recent economic expansion in the United States bolstered by news of 2 million jobs created in 2005 and an unemployment rate below 5 percent is in large part due to the 2003 tax reduction. Tax cuts create economic growth. There is little doubt that this is the case, both at the national and local levels. Lets look at how theyve worked through history. A Short History: Tax Cuts Work If we look at the U.S. economy, three historical examples are the Harding-Coolidge tax cuts of the 1920s, the Kennedy-Johnson tax cuts of the 1960s, and the Reagan cuts of... continue reading
There was a time when we had nothing to fear but fear itself. Those were the days. Now the home of the brave is anything but and Americans find ourselves in a constant state of fear. We only need consult Charlie Browns famed psychiatrist Lucy Van Pelt to know that America is afflicted with a case of pantophobia the fear of everything. We fear avian flu, a bust in the housing market, cloning, drugs, the economy, floods, gas prices, hurricanes Heck, kids could learn their ABCs from our worst nightmares. On Christmas Eve, Susan Lisovicz of CNNs In the Money... continue reading
The Christmas shopping season culminated a strong year for the U.S. economy. But instead of ringing out the old year and toasting the economys success, 43 percent of Americans think were in a recession and thats a crying shame. Call it Boo-Hoo Economics. According to the American Research Group, the public is split over the notion that were in a recession. Its no wonder almost half of the American public thinks things are bad, because most people only know what theyre told. For 43 percent of the population to believe something so wrongheaded, there can be only one culprit the... continue reading
Holiday traditions are grounded in stories from the past, including how St. Nicholas became Jolly St. Nick. But some storytellers are hard at work no matter what the season. You can always trust the liberal wing of the U.S. news media to come up with a whopper. Unfortunately, these tall tales arent harmless. They distort the facts, deliberately mislead the public, and form the basis for bad public policy. It is my hope that calling attention to media bias and distortion will empower the public and policymakers to be better news consumers in 2006. We must demand that the media... continue reading