Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Scatter Shooting

  • I am re-reading a book that was once a college assignment. Because of the nature of required reading, I gave it the minimal amount of attention. I am really enjoying the second and more thoughtful look at Milton Friedman's Free to Choose. Friedman is a Nobel Prize winner for economics and applies his theories to just about everything in this book. The political implications are especially striking. This book was written in the late 1970's, but it quite relevant in its discussion of oil prices and other trends that seem to be affecting us again. Some of the quotes that struck me so far are:
    We have shifted from a expectation of equality of opportunity to the expectation of equality of results
    Experience shows that that once government undertakes an activity, it is seldom terminated.
    Major wars aside, government spending from 1800 to 1929 did not exceed about 12 percent of the national income. Two-thirds of that was spent by state and local governments, mostly for schools and roads. As late as 1928, federal government spending amounted to about 3 percent of the national income.
    (Today the federal government spend 6 times that, about 18% of national income)
    Sincerity is a much overrated virtue.
    (In other words, being convinced that something is correct does not make it so)
    We refer to ourselves as a free private enterprise society, as a capitalist society. Yet in terms of the ownership of corporate enterprise, we are about 46% socialist... The federal government is entitled to 46 cents out of every dollar... The federal government therefore owns 46% of every corporation.
    (This was using the 1979 high tax rate. Change the # to the current standards. It is quite a thought.)

  • Fred Thompson's speech last night at the Republican National Convention reminded me of why I liked him so much during the primary race. No, he is not the most polished public speaker. He does however have a keen sense of how to break apart the issues in a way that is easily understandable. He knows how to refute the other side in a clear concise way. He is very good on policy, just not flashy enough.

  • I recently watched Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The 1977 Spielberg film that shows aliens and such. One of the biggest questions was how well the graphics would hold up. For the vast majority of the movie they did a very good job. The aliens at the end felt somewhat more like claymation than a modern movie would present them, but that was my only main complaint. Richard Dreyfuss does a great job of playing a lunatic. His ability to play that role sometimes scares me. Is he really acting? I was surprised at the novelty of the film. In recent years we had the film Signs. A lot of the ways in which they show you alien interaction were just copied from Close Encounters I think. They were very similar. Communicating with colored tones... ok. I guess that is one way we could do it. I would give it a 3 out of 5. Some of the crazy scenes went on a bit long for me.

  • Our small group at church is reading Everyday Christianity by Grumpy Smith this quarter. So far it seems like an enjoyable read. Since I go to church with his daughter Miranda, it is even more fun to laugh at his stories. His ordinary man approach looks promising.

  • Preseason College Poll - Is there anything more worthless?


III said...

After the GOP lose out on this election, they need to go find the young Fred Thompson that is out there somewhere & start propping him up for 2012. Someone with disciplined conservative principles (socially, legislatively, and fiscally -- across the board). Also, and this is key, he needs to be someone educated. Bush & McCain just come across as too simpleton to too many folks.


Jordan said...

You appear to be a bit more absolute in the outcome of the election than I would ascertain at this point. There are too many toss us states to 'call it' at this point. Obama certainly comes in with the advantage, but this is no landslide year.

As for your main point, I certainly hope that Fred mentors younger politicians. I was impressed with his 'escort' of John Roberts through the supreme court nomination. I think he has a lot to bring to the table.