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Saturday, January 08, 2005

JOKE OF THE DAY   

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 1:22 PM | link  

IS REDEMPTION A CHOICE?    Sylvain Galineau, who blogs at ChicagoBoyz, responds to my post about Keith Burgess-Jackson's views on conservative and liberal appraisals of human nature:
I don't really agree with Burgess-Jackson's thesis. Because socialism, communism and much liberal orthodoxy does not acknowledge the existence of human nature in the first place. Stephen Pinker laid it out very well in his most excellent book, The Blank Slate. Overall and in my experience, much leftist ideology follows one of two main, compatible tracks. One, our values and behavior are entirely constructed by society; our vices and limitations therefore reflect the 'bugs' of society, which must be fixed. The second, which connects with the first, is the Rousseauist concept of the noble savage i.e. man is inherently good until society corrupts him; this concept has obviously been recycled - pun intended - most recently in the service of environmentalism.

Either way, human nature is a product, the outcome of a running collective process which, if tweaked this way and fixed that way, will produce better or worse men. Capitalism, according to this narrative, makes them worse. Socialism and other collectivist offshoots, will make him better. Ultimately, these conceptions are overly optimistic about the collective and its ability to improve man precisely because they assume individuals to be not only bad, but incapable of self-improvement.

Because conservatives are more optimistic about human nature, they assume individual redemption to be a likelier and preferable alternative to the collective kind. Religion may be practiced and organized collectively, it is still very much considered an individual choice. Of course, not making this choice can result in the same arbitrary judgment of non-conforming individuals their opponents are fond of, since both sides assume redemption must be the goal of the individual. While it may be grudgingly tolerated in the short run, non-conformance is not an option for either affiliation. You are one of us, or one of them.

Which is why libertarians are the odd ones out since the need or desire for redemption of any kind are believed to be the choice of the individual.

Update [1/9/2005]... Dave Nadig chimes in:
I agree completely with Sylvain's analysis. But there's an interesting subtext. We fall into a pattern, certainly in this country, of associating "conservative" with "religious" and "liberal" with "atheist" -- obviously I'm overstating, but the phrases "religious right" and "godless communists" aren't successful stereotypes for no reason.

Libertarians then end up even more the odd ones out. It is completely possible to be a Christian Libertarian without living with any worse internal paradox than most Libertarians have to wrestle with every day. In fact, Libertarians probably fall most in line with Quakers, who believe that religion is really a one on one thing between a person and whatever entity is defining their religion.

The great thing about being a Libertarian is that in any typical crowd of any political/religious/social leaning, you can choose whether to have a nice chat or an argument just by guiding the topics of discourse.


Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 11:53 AM | link  


Friday, January 07, 2005

TSUNAMI APOCALYPSO    Michael Crichton's latest novel is about the religiosity of environmentalism. Now here's its apocalyptic side, in an AP story about the tsunami:
Many believe the tsunami that devastated this tourist hotspot and killed thousands had one positive side: By washing away rampant development, it returned the beaches to nature.
Peter Mork has some trenchant comments about this on his Economics With a Face blog.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 5:10 PM | link  

JOKE OF THE DAY   

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 3:22 PM | link  

ANOTHER GREAT KRUGMAN FISKING    You gotta love a Krugman takedown that ends by saying "Krugman has become Maureen Dowd without the upper-lip bleach. And with a combover." Read the whole thing on VodkaPundit. Thanks to reader Jason Legel for the link.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 1:55 PM | link  

LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES ARE BOTH PESSIMISTS    Interesting posting from the blogging philosopher Keith Burgess-Jackson, asserting that conservatives are pessimisitic about human nature while liberals are optimistic:
Conservatives are pessimists. They believe that human beings are essentially bad (evil, selfish, vain, power-hungry) and that the best we can hope for is that their worst impulses are constrained by religion, the family, community, and the state. Liberals are optimists. They believe that human beings are essentially good but are corrupted by society. If corruption is caused by society, then changing society will free humans to be good. Their innate goodness will shine forth like a diamond. This explains the liberal fervor to change (remake, engineer) society.
I agree that today's liberal orthodoxy stems from the Social Gospel movement of a century ago (chronicled in Robert Willam Fogel's excellent book on the religio-economic history of the United States, The Fourth Great Awakening) -- the major tenet of which was that the state was to be made responsible for alleviating the socio-economic conditions that were conducive to sin. Remedies were regulation of big business, redistribution through taxation, anti-vice laws, environmental remediation, and the whole panoply of what became the New Deal and the Great Society. And yes, that does suggest optimism about the innate nature of individual men -- though it suggests pessimism about the nature of men acting collectively: it is society that must be controlled for the sake of the individual. Of course the fatal flaw in this outlook is that society is nothing but the aggregation of individuals, and any attempt to control society, said to be corrupt, ends up being a control on the individuals who were said to be virtuous. But that makes it sound like a paradox, or a situation of unintended consequences. I think it's more than that. I think that the liberal dogma only pretends to be optimistic about individuals, and only pretends to seek to enlarge government for the sake of providing the necessities of a virtous life to basically good individuals. Instead, I think liberalism regards individuals as weak and flawed, and seeks to use the power of government not to empower them to be virtuous, but to force them to be virtuous. If charity is a virtue, and the rich are insufficiently virtuous, then we'll tax the bastards. That reining in of individual vice is the same thing that Keith says conservatives seek. And that explains why, in the end, today's liberals and conservatives end up at pretty much the same place. They both want to control you.

Now libertarians, on the other hand, are the real optimists about individual men. We seek to rein in the coercive power of collectives -- be it church, state, or corporation -- so that the largest possible number of transactions in the society are voluntary and individually determined. That's because we really believe in people -- we want them to make their own voluntary choices, right or wrong, win or lose. The only coercive role of the state is to protect individuals from force and fraud. Beyond that, we're optimists: you're on your own, and you'll do just fine.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 1:54 PM | link  

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THE STONING OF HAROLD FORD BEGINS   
Representative Harold Ford, the courageous black congressman who recognizes the truth that personal accounts for Social Security will empower the poor and the disenfranchised more than anyone else in our society, is being condemned for departure from Democratic partisan orthodoxy, as though such were a betrayal of his race. Here's an unsigned broadside against Ford from something called The Black Commentator, accusing Ford of selling out to "corporate" interests:
Ford’s personal ambitions and utter lack of principle have propelled him beyond the boundaries of the Black Consensus and, therefore, outside of the African American conversation. The problem is: Black people don’t control the terms of their own conversations. Corporate dominion over media is just as endemic to the Black airwaves and print outlets as to general media, and these media corporations celebrate crossover dreams even when they are the product of treachery against historical and current Black aspirations. ...Harold Ford styles himself as the candidate of youth. However, we know that greed and ambition are as old as dirt.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 1:43 PM | link  

EXACTLY    "Snitzel is a good colt. But he's no Luskin Star."

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 10:00 AM | link  

FUTURE OF THE TIMES?    Here's a piece from BusinessWeek called "The Future of The New York Times." A one sentence summary of my view on that would be to quote the Uma Thurman character from "Kill Bill, Volume 2" -- "Bitch, you don't have a future." But BusinessWeek has more detail on that. They say of Times Company president Janet Robinson "'She's never met a number she couldn't spin positively,' one analyst says." Maybe we should get Gretchen Morgenson on the case, because there isn't too much that's positive in the New York Times' numbers:

Through November, the Times's ad revenues were just 2.3% ahead of the previous year -- a surprisingly weak performance, considering that the newspaper industry as a whole reported a 9.7% gain in national advertising revenues during the first nine months, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Expenditures on local newspaper advertising in the industry rose 6.6%.

A strengthening U. S. economy would help the Times in 2005 but wouldn't necessarily restore it to competitive parity. The huge runup in advertising rates over the last decade is forcing more U.S. companies to economize, either by shifting into lower-cost media or by homing in more precisely on their target markets. Neither trend bodes well for the Times, whose unique status as America's only metro daily with national reach appears to be putting it at a tactical disadvantage in some ways.

THE TIMES HAS MANY FEWER READERS outside of New York City than do the two largest national newspapers -- USA Today and The Wall Street Journal -- both of which have circulations far in excess of 2 million. "Those two papers tend to be a more cost-effective buy than the Times just because their circulation across the country is so much larger," says Jeff Piper, vice-president and general manager of Carat Press, a big media buyer. Even in the New York region, where the Times reaches only 14% of all adult readers, the paper's circulation is too diffuse to allow for effective targeting by ZIP Code -- a technique that has enriched many other metro dailies with revenue from inserts.

Here's what BusinessWeek has to say on the matter of the Times' liberal bias:

One of the few things on which Bush and Kerry supporters agreed during the Presidential campaign was that the press was unfair in its coverage of their candidate. [Executive editor] Keller says the Times was deluged with "ferocious letters berating us for either being stooges of the Bush Administration or agents of Michael Moore." Complaints from the Right were far more numerous, even before the newspaper painted a bull's-eye on itself in running a column by public editor Daniel Okrent headlined "Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?" Okrent's short answer: "Of course it is."

Dan Okrent has told me many times that, in fact, the Times gets far more complaints from the left (for not being liberal enough) than from the right (for being too liberal). So either Keller or Okrent is lying. And BusinessWeek gets it wrong by quoting Okrent's "Of course it is" diagnosis -- he was specifically not referring to the paper's campaign coverage. BusinessWeek goes on to quote publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. repeating the same sound-bite that that encapsulates what Okrent really meant:

The publisher has been less outspoken in responding to the paper's political assailants. In an interview with BusinessWeek, though, he denied his paper is biased in its coverage of national politics or the war in Iraq or even that it is liberal. The term he prefers is "urban," says Sulzberger. "What we saw play out in this election was urban vs. suburban-rural, not red state vs. blue state," he says. "We are from an urban environment; it comes with the territory. We recognize that, and we can't walk away from it, but neither can we play it politically. I don't think we do."

So that's the Times' story, and they are sticking to it -- both its publisher and its "public editor" who is supposed to be watchdogging him. "We're not liberal, we're urban." So -- by definition -- any bias in the Times simply can't be political in nature. Now don't you feel stupid for thinking the Times is politically biased? Next question.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 8:57 AM | link  

FAHRENHEIT TSUNAMI    Surely he's joking:
there are many provable irregularities in the official American tsunami story that simply have to be recorded now, or forever be lost in the sands of time. It is beyond any doubt that a giant tidal wave (tsunami) smashed its way through South and South East Asia, and still had enough legs to continue all the way across the Indian Ocean to Africa, where it killed and injured a few hundred more. So the only question we must ask, is whether this tsunami was a natural or man-made catastrophe
Thanks to reader Jill Olson for the link.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 8:39 AM | link  

NICE WORK    Jon Henke does an excellent job of fisking Krugman's Tuesday column on his Q&O blog. I'll weigh in on the same topics at length for NRO on Monday.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 8:34 AM | link  

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KRUGMAN ADMITS IT!   
The final sentence of Paul Krugman's New York Times column today on the Republican majority:
"And reality will continue to be worse than any fiction I could write."
Nuff said.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 1:50 AM | link  


Thursday, January 06, 2005

A HINT FROM SNOW?    Can the Bush administration -- dare we hope! -- be hinting that it might try to reform the excesses of Sarbanes-Oxley, and rein in the inquisitorial zeal of the Eliot Spitzers of the world? From a Business Week interview with Treasury secretary John Snow:
"I get a sense -- and you can't quantify this -- but I get a sense that the system may have become too prosecutorial, and without enough consultation between and among the regulators and the prosecutors. The sense that many businesspeople have is that they're under siege from serial investigations, and serial regulatory prosecutions, and criminal and civil prosecutions.

"That's what I worry about here. And I hope that we'll find ourselves getting into a more balanced environment.... I think that good judgment and common sense and balance are what's called for, so we don't have this perception by business that there is an uncoordinated, duplicative, and excessively harsh set of things they have to contend with all the time... what I'm talking about here is coordination among the SEC, U.S. attorneys, other regulatory agencies, and state's attorneys general."

Thanks to reader Tom Demas for the link.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 8:07 PM | link  

THE TIMES PLAYS BEARD FOR SONTAG    Why did the New York Times' obit of Susan Sontag not mention her lesbian relationship with Annie Liebovitz . Gay City News has the story:
In a 2000 New Yorker interview, Sontag said, "That I have had girlfriends as well as boyfriends is what? Is something I guess I never thought I was supposed to have to say, since it seems to me the most natural thing in the world."

Then in 2001, Time magazine reported that Sontag and Leibovitz were raising a child. This was mentioned in a People magazine obit.

A Times spokesperson told a New York Daily News gossip columnist that "Our extensive reporting in recent weeks did not substantiate the widespread reports of any relationship of Miss Sontag and Miss Leibovitz beyond friendship… We should probably have mentioned the friendship, but nothing further was warranted by the facts we could gather."

After "extensive reporting" over a period of "weeks," The Times was unable to locate the public sources I mentioned above? Perhaps I don’t understand the meaning of "extensive" or "reporting."

The Times did note that Sontag was once "photographed by Annie Leibovitz for an Absolut Vodka ad" and the Daily News columnist concluded that that "has to be the best euphemism for 'lesbian' I've ever heard."

The Times promptly made a liar out of its spokesman in a press statement issued by Daniel Okrent, the paper’s public editor. The "extensive reporting" apparently consisted of asking Sontag's son from her marriage to Philip Rieff and Leibovitz if the two women had a romantic relationship.

"Ms. Leibovitz would not discuss the subject with The Times, and Ms. Sontag's son, David Rieff, declined to confirm any details about the relationship," the statement read.

This is offensive for a number of reasons. It shows just how lazy the Times was in chasing down this fact.

More important, the newspaper effectively gave Sontag's son and Leibovitz a veto over what information would be contained in the obit by restricting its reporting on this subject to just those two people. That is not journalism.

No, that's not journalism. That's the Times covering up for one of its intellectual paragons.

Update [1/7/05]... Reader Matthew Harris says,

Just wondering how sensitive the Times is when the deceased, not quite out of the closet gay is a conservative, say Roy Cohn. And do kids of passed-away conservatives get to decide what the obit can and can't say?

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 7:55 PM | link  

OFFER REFUSED    Our antitrust guru Skip Oliva has a harrowing tale of Don Eliot, the boss of all bosses on the Mises blog:
Mario Puzo wrote in his classic Mafia novel, The Godfather, that “a lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns.” Spitzer, the consummate lawyer with his briefcase, stole nearly $3 million in broad daylight under the guise of an antitrust lawsuit, but that wasn’t enough. So now a 61-year man faces the loss of all personal liberty for up to seven years—the maximum penalty for perjury in New York—because he didn’t do a sufficient job of groveling when Spitzer and his thugs came to rob his company.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 11:24 AM | link  

KOHN FISKS MOYERS    Bob Kohn has a remarkable one-line-at-a-time fisking of Bill Moyers' final PBS show, the one in which his farewell message consisted of warning that "The biggest story of our time is how the right-wing media has become a partisan propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee. We have an ideological press that's interested in the election of Republicans." This is one to savor. Read the whole thing!

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 9:40 AM | link  

THE TIMES SHOULD BE SO CANDID    Here's Wall Street Journal publisher Karen House, in her annual letter to readers, describing the editorial page's point of view:
Respected and successful newspapers, much like respected and successful people, must know who they are and where they stand. Thus, our editorial pages espouse a clear and consistent philosophy that we summarize as "free people, free markets" and that encompasses a passionate belief in the virtue of individual liberties, free markets, free trade and even the free movement of people. We stand by this philosophy not just in the U.S. but around the world. Whether you call our philosophy conservative or classical liberal or libertarian matters little. The point is that we espouse it with clarity and consistency regardless of its popularity in any particular time or place.
Well, that's pretty frank. Why can't the New York Times make an equivalent statement about its own liberal slant? Simple -- it's because liberals treat their point of view as fundamentally correct, beyond ideology, not requiring a label, what Shelby Steele describes as "decency itself." The presumption is a rhetorical dirty trick. Conservatives, by and large, don't use it -- much to their credit and, sadly, to their great cost.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 9:27 AM | link  


Wednesday, January 05, 2005

BOTHERING WITH OKRENT, ONE MORE TIME    It's been months since I've wasted my time being lied to by New York Times "public editor" Dan Okrent. But today there was one I couldn't pass up. Here's my email to him today:
I know we have stopped "corresponding," and that you claim such as a victory for your columnist corrections policy (imagine what a victory you could claim if you just stopped checking email altogether). But this one is so egregious I had to bother, though I'm sure it will go down the hole like all the others.

In today’s op-ed "Choose and Lose" by Barry Schwartz, the author states:

What's more, the administrative costs of keeping track of these private accounts, according to President Bush's Commission to Strengthen Social Security, will be 10 to 30 times the cost of administering the current system, eating up almost all of the hypothetical gains that equity investments could provide.
Here is the report of the Commission. On page 9 and again on page 97 it sets the administrative costs at 30 basis points, which means 3 tenths of one percent. This figure was agreed by the Commission and the Office of the Actuary of the Social Security Administration.

Here is the statement of the Social Security Trust Fund from its Board of Trustees. You can see that administrative costs for the existing system are $4.6 billion on an asset base of $1530.8 billion, or 30 basis points. The costs are the same. They are not "10 to 30 times."

Why the Times would have ever let a professor of psychology mouth off about the administrative costs of Social Security I have no idea. But I'm sure you and Gail Collins will come up with one.

Update [1/6/2005]...The editor of a regional paper writes,
"Thanks for the post on Barry Schwartz's error. Molly Ivins, in the column sent out by Creators Syndicate today, repeats the '10 to 30 times' error (and since she is an unrepentant plagiarist, we know where she got it, don't we? but we won't say so) and because of your warning we took that paragraph out."
Update [1/7/05] Reader Michael Dowding notes,
I guess the unasked question is -- why does an editor of a regional paper feel it's OK to regularly run the work of a writer he considers an unrepentant plagiarist?
Best regards,

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 1:54 PM | link  

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FLOODING THE SOCIAL SECURITY ZONE   
At last, the New York Times has found something to make life worth living again (what with John Kerry soundly defeated and the Augusta National still defiant about admitting women members) -- the defeat of George Bush's initiative to reform Social Security with personal accounts. The Times is pulling out all the stops, flooding the zone. On Sunday financial reporter Edmund Andrews had two (count 'em, two) negative stories about it (here and here). On Monday there was a sprawling house editorial railing against it (with the promise that this was only the first installment). On Tuesday Paul Krugman came out with yet another column (his fourth, recently) opposing it. He even went so far as to promise to "outline a real plan to strengthen Social Security" in a future column. Hmmm, let's see now... two words, the second is "taxes"...

And today there are two more on the op-ed page. One is from Gene Sperling, the Kerry campaign's top economic advisor (that's a helluva credential), arguing that the richest 1% of Americans are just going to have to pay higher taxes to right Social Security's finances (but didn't Krugman say that the system has no problem?). But it's the second one today that is truly remarkable -- by Barry Schwartz, a psychology professor at Swarthmore. He spends the first half of his op-ed offering his opinions on the pitfalls of investing in stocks (that makes sense -- don't you seek your investment advice from psychology professors?). But then he gets down to his real business -- the idea that the increased choice and control Social Security participants would have through personal accounts is in and of itself a bad thing:

"Whether people are choosing jam in a grocery store, essay topics in a college class, or even potential partners in an evening of 'speed dating,' the more options they have, the less likely they are to make a choice. In other words, increasing options induces people to opt out of choosing altogether, and this comes into play when people decide how to invest their money for retirement."

Schwartz goes on to cite various "scientific" evidence for this view -- without even hinting at any substantiation that it applies in this case -- that offering people a couple of index funds to choose from in a personal account would in fact cause them "to opt out of choosing altogether." And he never explains why such opting out, even if it did occur, would leave anyone worse off than he is now. But that's the way it is with public intellectuals like Schwartz -- the pseudoscientific talk is just a rationale for a political agenda that has nothing to do with any of the cited evidence. If you have any doubt about Schwartz's agenda, check out this column he wrote for The New Republic in August, defending Kerry's plan to increase taxes on the rich. According to Schwartz, it's practically our duty to tax them because it will make them feel better.

"...if people already have more choices in life than they can handle, then adding wealth only exacerbates the problem. Conversely, it should be possible to make the rich better off by reducing their wealth. ...The point is simply that we now know there is some significant subset of people likely to be made better off through heavier taxation, and that these people reside at the top end of the wealth distribution. Given that a concern for people's welfare has traditionally been one of the chief moral objections to taxing wealth (at least among those sympathetic to redistribution in principle), a policy of heavier taxation for the very wealthy may be the only moral course of action."

Don't you love the way pseudoscientists talk? Consider the presumption and the arrogance when he says, "we now know there is some significant subset of people likely to be made better off through heavier taxation." Who is "we"? Well informed scientists, as opposed to the grubby masses laboring under the delusion they want to keep the money they earned? Why "now"? Because, at last, "we" have finally performed conclusive experiments that absolutely prove it? And what does it mean to "know"? Do experiments in psychology produce definitive knowledge that can be applied to public policy? And what does it mean to "be made better off"? According to whom? "We"? What do the people in question, themselves, have to say about that? Did "we" even ask them? This is precisely why plaintiff's attorneys love pseudoscientists, and pay them vast sums to testify in product liability trials. They articulate fundamentally ungrounded and deeply opinionated views with such conviction, and with such great credentials, that they appear to be facts -- and the attorneys only bring in the pseudoscientists whom they have pre-screened to be sure they will represent the plaintiff's cause. And so it is with the Times, calling this expert witness in this political trial for the future of Social Security.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 9:15 AM | link  


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

AT LEAST HE WON'T WORRY    Kelly Freas, the painter who immortalized Mad's Alfred E. Neuman, is dead at 82.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 4:22 PM | link  

FALLING WITH A BULLET    For all the Bush administration's victories, the sad fact is that its blindspot for regulatory burdens has caused America, for the first time, to slip out of the top ten in the annual list of the world's most economically free countries compiled by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal. You could argue that the unique circumstances of the post-bubble world have maneuvered Bush into acquiescing to anti-capitalist legislation like Sarbanes Oxley. But would Ronald Reagan have given in? Based on every public statement Bush has made on the subject, he signed Sarbanes Oxley gladly. And how about antitrust regulation under Bush which is just as anti-capitalist as it was under Clinton? Why has nothing been done to rein in Eliot Spitzer? Why has Bush appointed an SEC chairman who follows in Spitzer's footsteps? Maybe this list will be a wake-up call, but I doubt it.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 8:35 AM | link  


Monday, January 03, 2005

CHUSID CELEBRATED    I normally berate the New York Times, but I'll make an exception for this excellent review of our friend Irwin Chusid's book, The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora. I have to wonder, though, if the Times would have been so flattering if they knew that Irwin contributes to this web site?

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 10:39 AM | link  

STARTING THE NEW YEAR HALF RIGHT    An Arthur Laffer op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. It's key message is simple stuff, really, but it bears repeating, and it explains why the handwringing about America's trade deficit is really just another version of "blame America first." Rather than seeing rising overseas purchases as lazy Americans "borrowing" from hard-working foreigners to buy their goods, look at it as foreigners urgently trying to get their money invested in America, and willing to sell us their goods at a discount in order to do it:
The only way the U.S. can have a trade deficit amounting to 5.6% of GDP is if foreigners invest that amount of their capital in the U.S. It's a matter of simple accounting. But once you realize that the trade deficit is, in fact, the capital surplus you would clearly rather have capital lined up on our borders trying to get into our country than trying to get out. Growth countries, like growth companies, borrow money, and the U.S. is the only growth country of all the developed countries. As a result, we're a capital magnet.
Laffer has it right on trade -- but sadly, by the time the op-ed ends, he's wandered into the weeds on the trickier subject of domestic inflation. It's one thing to say (correctly) that the falling dollar has nothing to do with the trade deficit (true) -- and quite another to say it has nothig to do with inflation (false). Oh well... nowadays, I'll settle for half right.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 9:55 AM | link  

JOKE OF THE DAY    Okay, so it's an old one. It's still a good one.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 9:47 AM | link  

HAPPY NEW YEAR    With the negativity and divisiveness of the election behind us, I'm expecting a pretty good year for the markets. Here's my take, as quoted in the local press.

Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 9:43 AM | link