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Migration and Mexican Politics On Immigration, Just Keep the Economy Growing

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Bush Signs Tax Cut and Market Falls Out of Bed

by Christopher Chantrill
May 17, 2006 at 9:51 pm

PRESIDENT BUSH signed today the tax cut extensions recently passed by Congress. At the signing ceremony he said that

Our pro-growth policies stand in stark contrast to those in Washington who believe you grow your economy by raising taxes and centralizing power.

Meanwhile the stock market fell out of bed with the Dow declining by over 200 points to 11,205.61, down over 400 points since May 10. And the dollar has declined. And interest rates are going up.

Is this the end of the Goldilocks economy of the last three years? Or is the market testing new Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, who has waffled about future interest rate increases.

In the United Kingdom, Anatole Kaletsky thinks the problem is that Bernanke has been too clear about his policy, reversing the deliberate obfuscation of Alan Greenspan.

He started off by emphasising, quite rightly, his strong belief in the Fed’s dual mandate: to maintain price stability and achieve the highest possible rate of economic growth. He then promised to call a halt to monetary tightening and do everything to keep the economy growing, even if inflation continued to accelerate “temporarily” in the months ahead. When currency and bond investors, whose wealth is decimated by inflation, quite predictably took umbrage and started selling their dollar holdings, Mr Bernanke quickly changed his tune and started presenting himself as an aggressive inflation-foe. He then “clarified” this apparently hawkish message by repeating that he might call a “pause” in the Fed’s rate hikes if that was what the economic statistics dictated.

Is that clear?

The truth probably is that the runup in oil prices has finally started to bite on economic growth. People at my local Arco gas station aren’t quite as eager to fill ’em up as they were back in January.

Could it be that investors are looking at future earnings and don’t think the future is quite as rosy as it was a few months ago?

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


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Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Hugo on Genius

“Tear down theory, poetic systems... No more rules, no more models... Genius conjures up rather than learns... ” —Victor Hugo
César Graña, Bohemian versus Bourgeois


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Postmodernism

A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy


Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill