In 1960, Johnny Horton hit the charts with this song. An excerpt of the lyrics below:
"'Cos a man needs a woman to love him all the time.
Remember, Sam, a true love is so hard to find.
"I'd build for my Ginnie, a honeymoon home.
Below that old white mountain just a little south-east of Nome.
Where the river is winding,Big nuggets they're finding.
"North to Alaska,
"They're goin' North, the rush is on.
"North to Alaska,
"They're goin' North, the rush is on."
Alaska was admitted into the Union in 1959. And the nation has been better for its admission. What makes Alaska different? Maybe, it's as simple as the people who make that state as great as it is.
But this story, found at Ace's place brought a cheer to my lips. Imagine, a Governor seeking to place the needs of her state's people ahead of the needs of the Federal government! De-centralization, instead of increasing centralization.
Amazing. (And I don't need a passport to travel there!)
You can get to Governor Sarah's website here. Click on the link at the bottom to join SarahPAC.
The obtuse author writes briefly on Oregon's continued ascendancy toward the number one spot on the chart of unemployment. We are unemployed, with a bullet.
The prized graph of this obtuse author follows:
"Economists continue puzzling over Oregon's high unemployment rates, which result from more than just layoffs. People continue moving into the state, and both retirees and non-working spouses are seeking jobs, increasing the size of the labor force, which drives up unemployment."
It begs the question; "What economists? Or, which economists?"
Does one need be degreed in economics in order to be considered an economist? How much post-baccalaureate work needs to have been completed? Does one need the phud? (I don't know of any "masters" programs for econ at any major uni. Generally, masters were handed out to the guys who didn't make the phud cut.)
I believe that one needs only an understanding of economics to think like an economist. Mebbe it's reassuring to think that one has completed a certain body of work that allows oneself to claim a certain cache of Economist. How many of Chris Baum's papers must one have read to proclaim oneself "Economist"? Must one have a complete understanding of the Pigou Effect in order to have, or hold, certain beliefs about ones own wealth?
I don't think so. I've watched shoppers at the local supermarket, and rarely do I find expressions of surprise as clerks ring-up their customers' purchases. Which would be the case if the only way one could shop would be to receive from that market a randomly filled shopping cart that was issued to the shopper. Under this model, vegans would be buying meat. Men would be buying lipstick. And kids would be buying vitamin supplements.
And there would be expressions of surprise as their purchases were being toted up.
I see none of that.
Every customer of that supermarket is an economist. They enter the store with certain ideas about which products they will demand. And then they will attempt to satisfy that demand through such market signals as price and quality. Why do I buy Del Monte instead of the generic store brand? Quality. When Del Monte goes on sale do I buy more than usual? Yes.
So I puzzled by these "puzzled economists" written of by this obtuse author.
Oregon's central planning models are causing inefficiencies in the market place for labour. And there are a plethora of these inefficiencies.
Here's just a couple. What is Oregon's Minimum Wage Rate? $8.40 an hour. The federal rate? $6.55. So, for starters, there is this thirty percent premium one must pay to hire someone in Oregon rather than hiring this same entry-level worker in Idaho. Or North Dakota.
Building and new construction costs in Oregon are another barrier. The voters in the Metro area want to retain the park-like quality of their visits to the Coast, so they have put in place rules that prohibit rural counties from allowing development of affordable housing first, and then any type of commercial development, second. That is, rather than allowing us to build starter homes for families that are starting out, we instead create a financial scheme that requires those families to buy homes that are too expensive, with subsidized mortgages.
We can then add in the administrative and regulatory atmosphere that any business must deal with when attempting to conduct business in Oregon. Micro-managing pollutants, the excessive zeal of Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality is a group of environmental brown-shirts parading as green. In train, a collection of psycho-environmentalists whose financial well-being is assured by grants and gifts of this cryptically motivated agency.
But, our author is not able to find economists with a clear understanding of the current in situ reasons for our state's decline in employment. So, I checked on the author. Who is able to maintain his own wiki page. A Pulitzer Prize winner.
People wonder why newspapers like the Oregonian are victim of declining sales. It's reportage like this that underscores my reason for no longer spending my money on this periodical.
Several Sundays ago, I was at my club and came across a copy of the Oregonian. I read with interest an article on food preparation in a Lesser Developed Country. Of course it included a condemnation of those practises, since they--the reader was assured--were contributing to the current Climate Crisis. The lack of editorial function was astounding. Here was an article that was condeming the practise of using charcoal for cooking since it increased the amount of particulants in the atmosphere. While noted scientists have pointed out that it is in fact these particulants that have helped to ameliorate the increase in planetary warming in the face of their theoretical curse of increasing carbon dioxide levels.
The point is, any story can be manipulated into supporting whatever crack-pot theory one wishes to hold. As long as there is a lack of intellectual honesty. Or, perhaps, simple curiousity.
Do you need to be an economist to make sound judgements about your own wants and needs? Nopers. And you prove that every time you enter a supermarket and return home with the items you wanted. That's how economics works. You don't need a nanny standing over your shoulder approving what it is that you buy.
(Click on pic, or click here. You will be taken to a C-Span webpage. Click on the "Flash Video" icon on the right side and a video window will open.)
"And we must find a way to reconcile our ever-shrinking world with its ever-growing diversity -- diversity of thought, diversity of culture, and diversity of belief." (President Obama, May 17, 2009.)
It's possible that for a great many of you who come here, that I have read or watched a lot of stuff you've never seen. My interest is in "how" Leftists get to where they have got, and how they create a system of thought and belief that is in such stark contrast to my system of thought and belief.
As an aside, if you have access to CNBC, tonight at 6pm there promises to be an interesting roundtable on capitalism. From the promos that have run so far this morning, one word repeatedly grabbed my interest: trust.
I also want to apologize to you. When I started the "Carrots" series, it was my intention to bring the reader up to a level of Freshman Econ 101. (Hence, the tag "Econ 101".) There still lies in the "draft" bin a post on resource allocation and the dilemma of scarcity. It's an important non-post, since I rely so much on an understanding of how the market deals with the problem of resource allocation and scarcity, and what passes for education on the Left. The propaganda that is being peddled by the Left on these issues was brought home last Summer, as my recently high school graduated son and I spent time repairing the damage to my home and office due to the December, 2007 hurricane.
My son's teachers adhered--and adhere--to a definite Leftist cant. English, science, history, his teachers repeated the mantra of the Left. Republicans are anti-science exploiters who are ruining the world with their greedy corporations. Class dismissed.
If this is the reduction of the education experience of our youngsters, it's not surprising that the silliness of this man's thoughts are treated with the apparent adulation that it received during the presentation of those thoughts.
This presentation is painful to watch.
But I implore you to watch it. This is the type of babble that you hear when Leftists get together. And it explains a great deal of how Leftists find themselves saying the things that come out of their mouths. In their rush to "reconcile", they throw the intellectual baby out with the bath water. Our President seeming to say one thing, and then contradicting that statement with his next? It isn't inconsistency. It's reconciling diversity. It's how the Left explains everything that it pronounces. Obama and the Dems quadruple our nation's annual deficit? It's because President Bush's administration sat over a large deficit. Sure, only a quarter of the size, but can't you see that there was no choice? There's old system concerns and new system concerns. And the job of our smart, sciency policy makers is to reconcile the old with the new.
What David Korten attempts to do is frightening in as much as he is able to make in-roads as a spokesman for the Left. When he talks about "phantom wealth," much of what he says could be interpreted by the Ron Paul crowd as a recognition that our fiat system is at the root of all faults found in Capitalism. Paulists are warned: this guy is going in a totally different direction.
If you follow--or attempt to follow--the sequence of utterances made by Mr. Korten, one is left with the idea that a better question than "how much does this cost?" would be "what good does this do?"
This is the starting point for the many folks in academia and the folks ensconced in policy offices around the state.
The market system, or what is referred to as our capitalist system, works because of our trust. I trust you to make your best, independent economic decision. You trust me, too. This is an essential feature of that old skeleton called liberty. It is in our economic liberty that we are truly free. Just like our farmer in the "Carrots & Bicycles", we move forward based upon our understanding of the opportunities that each of us has. Whether it's too much time on the x-box, or too much time landing that next big account, each of us makes choices.
And each of us is responsible for the outcome of those choices.
It is this economic liberty that is under assault by the Left. It is framed by the condemnation of money by Mr. Korten. Instead of asking how much is that SUV? and getting an answer of $50-thousand dollars, we should instead be told "three kids in the Sudan", or some such. For those of us who are well-read, the looney rantings of a guy like Mr. Korten should be dismissed as quickly as it takes to re-read the history of the former Soviet Union's attempt to create a moneyless society.
Markets are more powerful than governments. Whether it was the Lesser Developed Countries involved in the LDC crisis back in the '80's, or the current governments of Iran, Venezuela, and now, the United States, turning your back on the fundamentals of economic individualism and aggregation is a stupid policy. Even if it means that you're "putting things in terms of human value."
This is no different than the trendy profession of Lefty prof's from Lewis & Clark College during the '70's. Another restatement of the Labour Theory of Value. A policy that attempts to "put a human face" on political and economic policies. There is nothing new here. This is simply Marxism with another face. And it goes a long way in explaining how someone like our governor can see the expense of hiring more state workers is an economic solution to unemployment. While the money will come from the private sector, the benefits will accrue to us all. Beautiful, really. It's a closed-system.
Fortunately, we have the experience of such great men as Karl Popper.
What motivated me to mention Sir Karl was the role played by the Vichy during WWII. How many times must we be presented with "socialism with a different face" before we begin to see how important economic liberty is to us, to our system of government, and the future of our society? Are you surprised to find out that the Vichy accepted rule from Berlin? How was the socialism of the Germans different from the socialism of the Italians, and then different from the socialism of the French? How different will be the new face of socialism in America?
So, listen to the words of Mr. Korten, as painfully obscure as they are. Ask yourself how you would go about organizing an economic system if we continue to adopt the policies and practices of Mr. Korten, Governor Kulongoski, and Speaker of the House, Dave Hunt? It's not jobs, it's the "right" jobs. It's not investment. It's the "right" investment. And who will make the decision as to that which is "right"?
You can't guess?
They don't trust you. They don't trust me. We must be told, therefore, what to do or we will destroy the world, children, teachers and union employees. (Oh, I forgot, teachers are union employees.)