Half Full
Saturday, November 08, 2003
  incoherence is one of the luxuries of impotence

America versus the world, Greatest danger, or greatest hope? In the Economist this week.


Friday, November 07, 2003
  Inspiration from C-span

Having a lot of fun watching C-span, I was introduced to Congressman Bernard Sanders independent from Vermont, as he argued for national health care, and protectionist trade policies. What I find the saddest about protectionist trade policies is the assumption that if moving a factory hurts American workers its a bad thing.
Yes America has lost some jobs due to trade with China. But the number of Chinese lives that have been improved are much greater than the number of Americans that have been hurt.

The fact is we can make a trade policy that would make every American rich. In real world terms we have already accomplished this. And if you read any liberal media you will see how America is cast as a world villain for this. If our exporting factories leads to more jobs in Mexico, China and India then that is a good thing.

But American factories are more productive than the rest of the world so we produce more with fewer people. Currently 3% of our country men are farmers but we make enough food to feed the world. I suspect in 30 years only 3% of our country men will be working in factories, and we will be producing just a much crap as we are today.

Government saving Jobs is always a loser game. Saving jobs goes against increasing productivity which is the key to wealth.

Thursday, November 06, 2003
  Hard Core POV
One key lesson we should draw about expeditionary warfare in the Age of Terror is that we need not feel obliged to rebuild every government we are forced to destroy. Sometimes the wise approach will be to employ our military power to topple a regime, then to withdraw promptly and let the local population sort themselves out. We should always seek to be as humane as possible - but the key word is "possible."

Exemplary punishment may be out of fashion, but it's one of the most enduringly effective tools of statecraft. Where you cannot be loved, be feared.

Indeed, a classic punitive expedition may prove to be the perfect model for Syria.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003
  What may be my last post on Bush's foreign policy

In following the debate about Iraqi and other issues. You get the feeling that you are allowed only one of two points of view. The first Bush is God and everything he does is right. The second is Bush is Evil and that he is following his own evil road of oil and crusades paved with your civil rights, and the blood of Arabs and American soldiers.

Well I don't believe either.

I believe George, Colin, Don and Condoleeza are doing their very best to get a handle on a complex and unstable world. And their hearts are in the right place. I believe they could use some constructive criticism to improve their performance, unfortunately it is not coming from the opposition who are effectively throwing rocks at them at every opportunity.

Anyone who doesn't believe that every call by the democrats to withdraw American troops every time one or two is killed in Iraq encourages anti American forces to kill even more of our soldiers is either a fucking idiot or just lying to themselves.

Before the invasion of Iraq we were told that 5,000,000 children under the age of 5 died due to sanctions. Well the sanctions are over. Why is no one saying thank God that a 21 day military campaign that took less than 10,000 lives is a net positive.

Why is no one saying isn't it Amazing that we fought a war with Zero refugees, Zero famine, Zero ethnic warfare.

There is right and wrong in the world and I believe Bush and his team are trying to do what is right.
  Does not play well with other children

Reason has an excellent article that looks at wether Bush is a unilateralist. Its a little short has no camparison to our last president suposed multiateral self despite deploying troops again and again without UN approval.
Bush is not going it alone. He is setting his agenda and then looking for support, rather than the other way around. That is what presidents and countries typically do. It is certainly what France does—and how. France's intransigence on farm subsidies has been the single greatest impediment to progress at the World Trade Organization. France's determination to set up an independent European military-planning center risks splitting NATO. France's refusal to comply with the European Union's fiscal rules may result in the rules' collapse. France freely uses its E.U. clout to bully dissenting European countries. It does not shrink from calling on them to "shut up." It did not shrink from announcing it would unilaterally veto any Security Council resolution authorizing military action against Iraq, "whatever the circumstances." This is not exactly team playing, although critics of American unilateralism rarely see fit to mention it.

September 11 brought horrible clarity to the fact that America needs desperately to keep the world's most dangerous weapons away from the world's most dangerous people. Most other countries, being less of a target, care much less (Israel possibly excepted). They worry more about unconstrained U.S. power. This divergence of interests is manageable, but it is also fundamental. A Democratic president might change the tone, which might make some difference on the margins; but the choices would mostly be just as tough, and the stresses just as painful.

Bush is not a unilateralist, but even if he were, multilateralism is no free lunch. What critics of American unilateralism are really unhappy with is not Donald Rumsfeld's big mouth or Dick Cheney's big stick. Their complaint is with the hard geopolitical facts of life in a new and uneasy time. It's the world, stupid.

  Wall Street Journal stands up for hip hop

As for Mr. Combs, it tells you something about the mixed-up world we live in when the gravest threat to a hip-hop mogul's reputation is . . . trade. When these charges were leveled at him last week, he did the reasonable thing, saying he'd look into them. When he does we suspect he'll find that the accusations have nothing to do with improving the conditions of Setisa workers and everything to do with trying to gum up ongoing negotiations for a U.S. free trade agreement with Central American nations that would give a huge boost to the Honduran textile industry.
Tuesday, November 04, 2003
  Moral Hazard: Part 1 Basics

Main Entry: moral hazard
Function: noun
Date: circa 1917
: the possibility of loss to an insurance company arising from the character or circumstances of the insured


Sometimes, however, people do better than break even when misfortune strikes, and this possibility has greatly interested economists. If, for example, the misfortune costs a person $1000, but insurance will pay $2000, the insured person has no incentive to avoid the misfortune and may act to bring it on. This tendency of insurance to change behavior is called moral hazard.



The idea is simple. If you are continually willing to protect people from the consequences of their own errors, your benevolence will be factored into the future decisions of the persons rescued. In the long run, they will make even more errors. The principle exists at all levels. The teacher who changes grades when students plead hardship isn't helping in the long run. The teacher is rewarding and thereby encouraging poor study habits. He is creating moral hazard.

http://www.rich.frb.org/pubs/eq/pdfs/winter1999/prescott.pdf paper of models



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