As soon as A observes which seems to him to be wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B and they propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X.  Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X or what A, B and C can do for X.  I want to look up C to show you the manner of a man he is.  I call him the Forgotten Man.  Perhaps the appellation is not strictly correct.  He is the man who is never thought of....He works, he votes, generally he prays - but he always pays...."

William Graham Sumner
Yale 1883

Getting Better With Age

Dennis Prager recently penned an interesting opinion piece that defies conventional wisdom 'that the older the person, the less young people are inclined to listen to him or her'.  Prager writes, "Most young people have tremendous respect for older people's views. I saw this firsthand in my own life. I began lecturing publicly at the age of 21, and I give you my word that young people (and certainly older people) are far more respectful of my views today than when I was their age. All things being equal, it is very rare for a 25 or 35-year-old to command the respect that a 50 or 60-year-old commands."

He goes on to challenge any adult as to whether "they have more wisdom and insight into life 'now than they did ten years ago".  Of course this is true for nearly everyone (except maybe our Vice President).  Prager goes on to ask why people are more likely to get conservative as they get older  and also more idyllic in nature because of their wisdom.   He poses the following;

If you were walking in a dark alley at midnight, which would you fear more -- a group of teenagers or twenty-something or a group of senior citizens?

Do older people or younger people give more of their time to charitable institutions?

Are our prisons filled with young people or old people?

"The fact is that not only do people get more wise and more conservative as they get older, they get more kind and more generous, too." 

Well done Dennis and thanks for pointing out that we get better with age.  That gives The Forgotten Man some hope as he approaches 50.

Not So Softly Strumming...

In case you thought that foolish regulations and government intrusion on a private business, were just a myth, read this story about Gibson Guitar.  They were basically forced to settle a claim for $350,000 to avoid millions of dollars and years of distraction defending their reputation.

Gibson has been making guitars for over 60 years including the iconic Les Paul introduced in 1952.   They have been legally importing mahogany and other luxury wood for their guitars for many years.  However, the government came up with some new regulations a few years ago that allegedly banned the import of those woods.  Someone at the Fish and Wildlife Service got wind that Gibson may not be up to date on their import/export paperwork and sent in agents with SWAT gear to shut them down.  Seriously, wouldn't a phone call of worked.  Imagine strumming a Bob Dylan song to check the quality control of a guitar and the government breaks down the door carrying machine guns.  Kind of reminds me of the Elian Gonzalex case....Anyway, Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz decided to settle and get back to business.  Fortunately for all of us, part of the settlement included a "community service payment" of $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation -- to be used on research projects or tree conservation activities.  This should save all of us from that nasty imported wood from India that caused the problem in the first place.   

Ice T is an Originalist?

'The last form of defense from tyranny'.  If you thought those words were uttered by Sam Adams, John Hancock or Alexander Hamilton, you would be wrong (OK maybe one of those guys said it too), but the quote is actually from Ice-T!  In this interview with Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Ice T defends gun rights in the wake of the tragic massacre in Aurora, Colorado last week.  Attempting to make guns illegal only takes them away from the good guys, the bad guys will always find a way to get them.  Or as Ice- T says. 'Well, I'll give up my gun when everybody does. Doesn't that make sense? If there were guns here, would you want to be the only person without one?'

Rewarding Bad Behavior

North Korea is back in the news.  As Patrick Goodenough reports here , the Obama administration has decided to re-engage North Korea, but reassures us that we are not rewarding their bad behavior.  Read this and decide for yourself if it's coherent.

"As it prepares to hold “exploratory” talks with North Korea, the Obama administration Wednesday repeated the standard assurance that it would not “reward bad behavior” – but also voiced concern that a failure to talk could prompt the Stalinist regime to do something provocative. "Our concern is that if we don’t engage, that could result in miscalculations by the North Koreans, as we’ve seen in the past,” a senior administration official said in a background briefing.  “Sometimes when engagement has been broken off, it causes them to lash out in dangerous and unsettling ways,” added the official, who is traveling with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Afghanistan. “But again, we are not prepared to reward bad behavior and we are not prepared to move forward to the next stage unless they show a true commitment.”

Does the state department have any idea what they are saying when they speak?

Uncle Sam, the Rich Uncle

From the WSJ, comes this reminder that Uncle Sam is the rich uncle everyone wishes they had.  On it's 40th anniversary of government ownership, they set a record for riders and still lost $560 million.  "Since Richard Nixon nationalized passenger rail service in 1971, Amtrak hasn't made money in a single year."  No problem if you have Uncle Sam to cover you though.

Public vs Private

The data keeps rolling in to prove how much better the private sector works than public sector when it comes to picking winners and losers.  As Michael Barone writes, 'Again an older technology has been improved and adapted to fill a need, while government dithers.  The old technology in this case is buses."  He goes on to describe how private businessmen have developed  new bus lines that "has attracted legions of price-conscious travelers".

"Chinatown bus service started in 1998 to provide a cheap way for Asian immigrants to get from New York to Boston. You lined up at the curb, paid your $20 fare to the driver and settled into a comfortable bus for four hours or so. Now there's service to multiple destinations (including gambling casinos) from New York and on the West Coast, too. And competitors have arisen. Megabus routes exist between Maine and Memphis and Minneapolis, notably including many college towns. The buses have bathrooms, AC power outlets and free wi-fi. They're not as fast as the much more expensive Acela train, but they tend to run on schedule."

Funny thing, my college aged son told me a few weeks back he was going to take the bus from Indianapolis to Chicago.  My immediate thoughts went to grimy, unsafe buses that pick up/drop off in dilapidated areas of big cities.  Or worse, another beheadeding like the one in 2008.  However as Barone writes, "Chinatown and Megabus operators ditched this model for one that works for travelers for whom money is scarce and time plentiful. Who needs a station? Intercity buses can occupy curb space briefly just as city buses do. Who needs multiple stops? You can make money on people who want to go from one specific location to another. "

Meanwhile government run rail service lost over $500 million last year moving passengers through multiple stops into/out of grimy trains in dilapidated parts of town. 

In Terms We Can Understand

Americans are clamoring for a fact-based debate about the budget, but the numbers they're hearing from Washington are terribly confusing, says John B Taylor, Professor of Economics at Stanford.  In an editorial in the WSJ here, he asks a simple question, 'If government got by with 20% of GDP in 2007, why not in 2021 when the GDP will be substantially higher?"  He goes on to present the chart below that is very revealing about the direction that President Obama is taking the country.

This is the first analysis that The Forgotten Man has seen that puts government spending in terms we can all understand.  It just doesn't seem reasonable that we should be increasing our spending (ie, our tax dollars) to historically high levels.

What in the Hell Are We Doing in Libya?

Is the President already bored with LIbya?  As Byron York reports here. President Obama hasn't mentioned Libya publicly in 12 days,.  Meanwhile Qaddafi battles back and forth with the 'rebels', American's are on the sidelines and the Brits are sending in troops.  So just why are we in LIbya?  Pat Buchanan asks that here.  He has been highly critical of this 'war', though he also criticized the Iraq war for the same reasons.  I differed with him there, but think he is right about Libya.  We didn't take him out in 1986, let him go after Lockerbie, then struck a deal with him after he gave up his WMD's in 2003.  He's a schmuck, but seems like we have bigger fish to fry.  President Obama has stuck the prior administration policies in Afghanistan and Iraq and it has served our country well.  This one may not turn out so well unless he re-commits our military soon and stops relying on the Europeans to lead it.  They haven't won a war since they burned down the White House and even that didn't work out so well for them.

Permit to Carry, Likely to Kill?

It seems that everytime a horrific shooting incident occurs, the anti-gun crowd ratchets up their agenda to eliminate guns.  It's happened again in Illinois as the Democrat Governor Pat Quinn has actually endorsed the idea of conceal-carry (48 other states already have it) and is being vilified for it.  As Steve Chapman writes, "By that, I refer to gun control advocates alarmed that the Illinois legislature may vote to let licensed individuals carry concealed handguns. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence calls the measure "dangerous." Kristen Rand of the Violence Policy Center says that it would lead to Tucson-style mass shootings as well as the killing of police."  However the statistics don't bear that out.  Chapman reports, "In fact, (Violence Policy Center) VPC's own data, when inspected closely, doesn't dent the case for gun rights. Over the past four years, there have been more than 60,000 homicides in the United States. The slayings carried out by permit holders amount to fewer than one of every 200 murders. For every licensee who killed someone, there are more than 20,000 who didn't.....What is extremely rare is a homicide committed by a permit holder in a public place in a fit of anger. Reviewing an earlier two-year database compiled by VPC, Kleck found only five cases "where possession of a carry permit may have contributed to the occurrence of the killing." Such episodes are not quite flying pigs, but almost."  The fact is that the murder rate in the United States has dropped by 50% in the last 20 years which as Chapman says, "The record of the past two decades demonstrates that you can strengthen the right of law-abiding adults to protect themselves against crime without making the world more dangerous."

Where is the Outrage?

Have you heard much about gas prices at the pump lately?  It seems like just yesterday that gouging was the hysteria of the liberals and the media.  Not sure what has changed, but according to this chart, gas prices have nearly doubled since the last presidential election. 


Recent Entries

  1. Getting Better With Age
    Friday, August 10, 2012
  2. Not So Softly Strumming...
    Tuesday, August 07, 2012
  3. Ice T is an Originalist?
    Tuesday, July 24, 2012
  4. Rewarding Bad Behavior
    Thursday, October 20, 2011
  5. Uncle Sam, the Rich Uncle
    Wednesday, October 19, 2011
  6. Public vs Private
    Monday, October 10, 2011
  7. In Terms We Can Understand
    Saturday, April 23, 2011
  8. What in the Hell Are We Doing in Libya?
    Tuesday, April 19, 2011
  9. Permit to Carry, Likely to Kill?
    Monday, April 18, 2011
  10. Where is the Outrage?
    Sunday, April 17, 2011

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