Monday, August 25, 2008

"We're inferior!", etc.

Government 101: India has a form of “affirmative action” in the form of state sanctioned discrimination in favor of the lowest castes. The practice runs directly counter to fundamental laws preventing discrimination based on caste, much as racial preferences (aka “affirmative action”) in the US directly contradict the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

As you would expect, the Indian version creates to the same kind of perverse incentives as does our own. Enter the Gujjar tribe, which is part of a group called (I’m not making this up) the “other backward classes.” This puts it one rung above the bottom of India’s traditional social structure. And this really pisses off the Gujjar.

Well, sure, you say, who would want to be considered a backward class?

Umm, no, you’re forgetting how “affirmative action” works. See, the Gujjar have been rioting throughout this year because they want their caste to be downgraded. So they too can get preferential treatment from the government for university placements and government jobs. In one particularly ugly stretch in May, more than 45000 police were deployed and at least 39 Gujjar were killed during daily rioting.

Could anything possibly better capture the essence of “affirmative action?”


I’m a fan of the new Hornets uniforms and logos, which is notable since I am usually a bit of a curmudgeon on such things.

As for the team wearing them, I’ll continue to hate, thank you.


A London Telegraph poll of Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia showed Obama preferred over McCain by a 52% to 15% margin. The poll also found “a striking level of anti-American feeling in every country.”

Kind of goes together, doesn’t it?


Do you remember the last president who made raising taxes on high earners and increasing protectionist trade policies the centerpieces of his economic plan? You’re probably not old enough, it’s been a long time since the Herbert Hoover administration.

Worked out well, didn’t it?

Trade rose from 40% to 55% of world GDP between 1990 and 2004, according to the World Bank. During the same period, the world economy grew by 50%. The five fastest-growing countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Ireland and Vietnam) all had double-digit percentage increases in trade. The countries that traded the least (Iran and most of Africa) have stagnate economies.

Free trade is the world’s best hope for lifting people out of poverty. No other issue, not even school vouchers, so clearly pits the desires of narrow special interest groups against the welfare of the poor.

To be against free trade is to be for poverty, it’s really as simple as that.


Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus: "The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious,
arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism."

At least I’m in good company!

The possibility that governments will gain the power to ration energy is one of the greatest threats we face in the coming decades. Like the rationing of food and other necessities that are fundamental features of the various flavors of communism and socialism, it will always be sold in moral terms and as for the good of the people, even as it destroys their lives.

We must diligently work to defeat it, at every opportunity and at any cost.

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