Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thomas Sowell: The voice of doom?

From the Ideas in Action series. In a wide ranging discussion, among other topics, Sowell argues that a combination of financial overburden, and overreach of the U.S. Federal government and a soon to be nuclear Iran does not bode well for the future of the U.S.

Sowell argues that evidence indicates that large scale government intervention during the first few years of the great depression actually worsened unemployment rates. He sees in this a warning for present attempts to stimulate the economy and employment via government spending, coupled with detailed government guidance of private sector business and lending practices, undertaken via ambitious large scale and evolving legislation, which leaves businesses unsure as to the stability and nature of the business and tax environment within which they must operate. This epistemic uncertainty inhibits risk taking, and thus inhibits economic growth and job creation.

On the subject of a nuclear Iran, he points out that the toxic mix of an apocalyptic ideology combined with a desire for personal reward for dying while undertaking to precipitate the onset of that apocalypse poses an obvious and novel threat we did not see during the cold war.

Along the way Sowell discusses many other things, including the interesting tidbit that he was an avowed Marxist in his 20s, that is until his empiricism got the better of him!

U.S. Marine Corps humor circa 1944

Received this from one of my always reliable wiki sources, and one of the funniest human beings I know. A marine, naturally.. Behold the regulations for rotation home crafted by a Marine somewhere in the Pacific during 'the big one'. Comedic genius. Must read the whole thing. "Stop Loss" on steroids.

Click the images for larger more readable versions.