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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


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


Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State


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


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.


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


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


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


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self


Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


Government Expenditure

The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill