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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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What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican


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


Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050


Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008


Socialism equals Animism

Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Sacrifice

[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values


Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


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


Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District


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


Physics, Religion, and Psychology

Paul Dirac: “When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion. However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.”
John Farrell, “The Creation Myth”


Pentecostalism

Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill