Archive for March, 2012
By Paul R. Hollrah
The 111th Congress was sworn in on Tuesday, January 6, 2009. Two days later, on Thursday, January 8, the 533 members of the House and Senate (Obama’s Senate seat was still in dispute and Democrats had not yet completed their theft of Coleman’s Minnesota Senate seat) filed into the House chamber for the purpose of certifying the votes of the U.S. Electoral College.
The results of the Electoral College vote were read by the House and Senate tellers. The tally was 365 votes for Barack Obama (D-IL) and 173 votes for Senator John McCain (R-AZ). Not one member of Congress, House or Senate, Democrat or Republican, rose to question Obama’s eligibility to serve as President of the United States.
These were men and women who, just two days earlier, had stood in their respective chambers and recited the following Oath of Office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
It took just two days for every member of Congress to violate that sacred oath.
Just The Numbers, Mam
By: Les Dunaway
An article by Alberto Mingardi was published in the Friday 23 March 2012 Wall Street Journal titled The European Union According to Hayek. It is an impressive, short summary of key ideas from Friedrich Hayek and an explanation of how Hayek predicted the collapse of the EU, which we are now witnessing. Notice that Mingardi refers to the breakdown of the European social model.
Friedrich August Hayek, who passed away 20 years ago today, was one of foremost social scientists of the last century. A Nobel laureate in economics, Hayek is often associated with a crucial intuition that informs his critique of socialist systems. There is, in society, a “knowledge problem”: Economic life requires the coordination of individual planning. The relevant knowledge for economic planning is dispersed rather than concentrated in society. If this makes coordination challenging enough in a market system, it also makes coordination a virtual impossibility under central planning: The planner can never secure and process all the necessary information to provide detailed guidance to any given development in society.
Even though this argument was originally deployed against hard-core socialism, it works pretty well against the soft-core version widely adopted by European democracies. Centralized welfare systems are necessarily run by a bureaucratic leadership. Pace Max Weber, the “technical superiority” of such an organization is simply not enough to master the nuances of a complex society. Centralized government allocates resources badly—regardless of its intentions. The very nature of centralization makes impossible for it to collect and compute all the information that is needed. This is as true for any grand scheme of industrial planning as it is for the government-led welfare systems that characterize Europe’s “social model.”
By: J. Randolph Evans
In 2011, the best team in baseball on paper was the Philadelphia Phillies. Indeed, virtually every sports commentator expected the Phillies to win their division, pennant, and the World Series. On the other hand, no one gave the St. Louis Cardinals much of a chance. In fact, with 31 games to go, the Cardinals were ten and a half games behind the Atlanta Braves in their division. As painful as it was to watch, the Braves collapsed and the Cardinals went on to win the division, the pennant and the World Series. The Phillies were not even in the World Series. As the old adage goes, that is why they play the games.
By: J. Randolph Evans
2012 will be an historic election – no matter what happens. Right now, all eyes remain fixed on the GOP nomination. In November, the world will focus on the Presidential election to see whether President Barack Obama can get reelected. But, on November 6, 2012, control of another branch of government – the Congress – will also be at play.
Currently, Republicans control the United States House of Representatives by a 242-193 margin. Democrats control the Senate by a 53-47 margin. Control of the House and Senate has see-sawed back and forth in recent years.
By: J. Randolph Evans
ONE BILLION DOLLARS. That is how much the State of Georgia spends every year on corrections. According to the Report of the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform for Georgians, “[d]uring the past two decades, the prison population in Georgia has more than doubled to nearly 56,000. …If current policies remain in place, analysis indicates that Georgia’s prison population will rise by another 8 percent to reach nearly 60,000 inmates by 2016, presenting the state with the need to spend an additional $264 million to expand capacity.”