Thursday, February 04, 2010

Test Bubble- At least war spending has decreased

Perhaps you noticed the President’s proposed budget this week- if approved by Congress, for every Dollar spent by the Fed in 2010-11, 40 cents of will be borrowed:

But shouldn’t our reduced presence in Iraq save money . . . ?

07 and 08 TOTAL war spending under Bush (Iraq and Afghanistan): $ 171 B and $ 185 B respectively.

10 and 11 Total war spending: $130 so far (likely to end up at around $ 163 B with $33 B interim gap-filler proposed) and $159.3 B in the fiscal ’11 budget.

I don’t think a 9.47 % reduction in war spending constitutes the “change” that the People expected.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Laissez-faire or just L-A-Z-Y?

Below is a email I composed to my Congressmen. It concerns the recent news that the recording industry's governing body (self-regulated, I believe) is going to hike rates in a prohibitive way for online radio stations.

Dear Congressmen,

I urge your attention to the recent decision of the Copyright Royalty Board to retroactively apply exorbitant new per listener rates on internet music. These rates are irrational as to internet radio which is a medium that will be necessary for furture growth for the music industry. The music industry no doubt struggles to adapt to the modern formats and a shift away from traditional packaging of its products (i.e., cd's, tapes, records). Nevertheless, this group has targeted an irrational industry (internet radio) that will have the effect of harming consumers like me who enjoy a wealth of information and sampling of new music.

Online radio has induced an abundance of music purchases from myself and like-minded consumers. These sales were generated by industry-partnered downloading services, such as Real Networks based upon my listening to "free" online radio which the industry now targets. If the decision by the Copyright Board proceeds without intervention, quality and variety will be harmed. Marketplace choice would be diminshed, until such a time as the Record industry regains its touch with reality and learns that online radio FOSTERS sales of music in the long-run. Let's prevent this vicious cycle of adjustment by checking this decision at the onset.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Risk-Reward Failure

This survey of the most dangerous jobs in America reveals some significant assymetries of benefit to cost. For instance, the AVERAGE farmer makes $29,000 annually and is twice as likely to die on the job than a policeman. Four times more likely is death for farmers at work than even firefighters. Having myself lived in a significant farm economy at one time, I recognize that many areas still significantly dependent on farming offer few opportunities for work. However, if that were my lot, I would seriously consider a relocation.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Same Old Song

This post at Truth on the Market is merely a recitation of how the existence of Wal-Mart has benefited people around the world. Sadly, those that are blind as to how economics works still won't get it...and probably never will.

With that being said, I'm back.

Monday, August 14, 2006

ABA up to good work again

Among their resolutions at the annual delegate's meeting in Hawaii, the ABA decided against review of judicial errors and also against the President's abuse of signing statements. My favorite part is where they decided that the President should veto decisions that "he or she" feels are unconstitutional. I like the sense of inclusion there. Oh Hilary!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Walmart Victorious

Earlier I wrote about Maryland's Anti-Walmart law. Well, it turns out that a federal judge ruled in favor of the Retail Industry Leader's Association, the group that brought suit on behalf of Walmart.

I was unable to find any links to the opinion or basis thereupon, but I would guess it was preemption based upon the federal ERISA laws, rather than Equal Protection, which I think was also a problem. Keep an eye out for the news story. I will likely be too busy in the final Bar Exam push to blog any more until then. Best to my colleagues taking it in Minnesota.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Valerie Plame & Joe Wilson Sue all the President's Men

In the civil suit (complaint here) filed recently in Federal District Court, attorneys for Plame and Wilson argue that a bevy of constitutional rights have been violated by Cheney, Rove, and Scooter Libby. It seems that even if every factual allegation is true, there are likely no legally-cognizable theories of relief.

Two thoughts that I have from my quick read are thus:
1) Does a CIA Agent have a Fifth Amendment property right in her classified status not being revealed for public consumption? This seemed like Plame's weakest claim.
2) Do political officials not have the right to rebut directed charges against their veracity and political objectives by discrediting the credibility of their attackers? This seems like Rove/Cheney/et al's best defense. Namely when Wilson hit the "Meet the Press circuit" blasting Bush, could not Bush's people respond by placing Wilson's experience in "context"? Playing other than nice does not equal constitutional right violation. (I should also that Cheney may have official immunity for any of his acts. This would naturally be his best defense.)