The Old-School Liberal

“Freedom granted only when it is known beforehand that its effects will be beneficial is not freedom” — Friedrich Hayek

Archive for November, 2007

Will the GOP Reduce the Size of the Government?

Posted by Poorsummary on November 30, 2007

In the GOP Youtube debate, Emily Ekins asked a very straightforward question which begs for a simple answer: “What are the names of the top three federal programs you would reduce in size in order to decrease [spending]?” Here are the answers:

Fred Thompson seemed to be answering the question when he started talking vaguely about Medicare and Social Security reform, but he makes it clear that he is not providing a straightforward answer:

Cooper: So of the top three you would say Social Security?

Thompson: No. I didn’t say that. There is — the OMB has come out with a list of over 100 programs. I would take all 100 of them, the ones that are full of waste, fraud and duplication.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2008 Presidential Race, Current Events, Politics, Ron Paul | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Stossel Shares the Lost Lesson of Thanksgiving: Property Rights

Posted by Poorsummary on November 21, 2007

TurkeyStossel reports:

“When the Pilgrims first settled the Plymouth Colony, they organized their farm economy along communal lines. The goal was to share everything equally, work and produce. They nearly all starved. Why? When people can get the same return with a small amount of effort as with a large amount, most people will make little effort.”

Sharing is good, but only when it is voluntary, motivated by the goodness of one’s own heart, rather than from a fear of punishment at the hand of the government. “Public charity” is a bit of an oxymoron, since charity means “benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity” and the presence of actual charity in the heart of the giver would obviate the need for any threats from the government. In fact, public charity reduces the actual amount of true charity, as it spawns a sense of resentment on the part of the giver and a sense of entitlement and dependence on the part of the receiver, and since there’s no sense of urgency to help one’s fellow man if the government is already taxing you under the auspices of performing this sacred task.

This Thanksgiving, let’s be grateful to live in such a prosperous land where wealth has flourished due to adherence to the oft forgotten advice of its founders:

“To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, ‘the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.'” –Thomas Jefferson

Thanks to Greg Mankiw for the Stossel link.

Posted in Constitution, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ron Paul: the Centrist Republican

Posted by Poorsummary on November 14, 2007


While the mainstream media has panned Ron Paul as a “fringe candidate,” it turns out he may be the most centrist of all the Republican candidates. Ask any democrat you know what the 2 most important issues are in this presidential election and you’re likely to hear “the environment,” and “the war.”

Since its hard to know exactly what a candidate will do based on what they say in debates (remember Bush’s “humble” foreign policy with no nation building?) it’s important to look at their actual previous behavior. For congressman and senators, this means their voting record.

The environmental advocacy group League of Conservation Voters publishes a National Environmental Scorecard for every Congress since 1970. According to their website, “The Scorecard represents the consensus of experts from more than 20 respected environmental and conservation organizations who selected the key votes on which Members of Congress should be graded.”

Suffice it to say the democrats lead the pack on the environment (bear in mind that the costs of such bills are not taken into consideration), but when it comes to the Republicans, something very interesting has occured. Ron Paul was the most environmentally friendly Republican presidential candidate rated. Here are the life-time scores (note that the other front-runners, Guliani and Romney, are omitted since they were not congressmen or senators): Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2008 Presidential Race, Current Events, Politics, Ron Paul | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Getting the Facts Straight About Global Warming

Posted by Poorsummary on November 12, 2007

Global Warming

A few weeks ago, I posted a link to a John Stossel article on global warming. My link to the article elicited the following response from Jonnonogood:

“This is wrong. Maybe get your facts correct…Thats is a 20ft rise if Greenland melted. This what the 2007 IPCC report agrees with. You sad little man, learn your facts. He never stated a date to when this would happen. Go read a book!”

Jonnonogood wants me to get my facts correct– or to be more precise, he wants me to get Stossel’s facts correct, since I merely posted a link to Stossel’s article– but fair enough. Let’s consider the facts in my excerpt of Stossel’s article:

Fact 1: “Gore says that if we allow the globe to warm, ‘sea levels worldwide would go up 20 feet.'”

This should be easy enough to check. Either Gore said that allowing the globe to warm would result in a 20 foot increase in sea levels, or he didn’t. Thankfully, Greg Hoke has posted the transcript to Gore’s movie (from which Jonnonogood quoted in his comment) here. Here’s what Gore said:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Current Events, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »