Cool rain and the dismal science

IT’S BEEN RAINING a lot recently, and that’s cooled things down nicely. Even though it’s raining, I still head downtown most afternoons to sit at a sidewalk table with a nice café americano negro and my trusty Kindle.

It’s a good way to live.

My current book, and I’m just about finished with it, is Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics. It came recommended by young Ben Shapiro, a brilliant, conservative guy in spite of his not being a fan of President Trump.

Ain’t nobody perfect in this troubled world.

They don’t call economics the dismal science for no reason. Trying to get a good grip on the subject is a dismal undertaking, especially for someone like me who grapples with simple arithmetic.  But Hazlitt makes it pretty easy.

The book was first published in the late 1940s and updated in the late 1970s, but it’s quite relevant today because some things don’t change.

Hazlitt simplified things for me, and I’m going to make it even simpler for you:

A free market, unfettered by government meddling, works best 98 percent of the time. That’s the core message. But there’s more.

If government meddles in the free market, it should do this: 1. Look not at the immediate, desired effect of a policy, but at its long-term effects. 2. Look not just at the people a policy is designed to benefit, but at everyone it affects.

It’s quite common that a policy will help one group of people while doing harm to other, larger groups of people. And it’s common for a policy to right a perceived wrong today while creating greater wrongs over the long haul.

Hazlitt points out that most laymen do not take this into consideration when favoring something, and even professional economists can fail to take into account the long-term effects.

Speaking of professional economists, I cannot resist mentioning Paul Krugman’s prediction the stock market would tank if Trump became president. Of course, it did quite the opposite. One must chuckle.

On to the Irony Department, Starbucks, about as vocally leftist an outfit as you’ll find, is closing 150 stores in the United States due to minimum-wage increases and government regulations, putting scads of SJW employees out of work.

Nailed by their beloved socialism.

Minimum-wage increases is one of the things Hazlitt touches on at length as being an example of short-term vision. Government steps in to help “poor people,” but fails to realize the broader effects of a high minimum wage.

The higher salaries is money that comes from somewhere else. It is not pulled out of thin air. Starbucks sees that now. One must chuckle even more.

Hazlitt’s book is just 220 pages. I recommend it to you.

Obviously, it was not raining in the above video, which was taken a year ago, but it was raining in the video below, which was taken four years ago. Rain looks the same from one year to the next.

 

Good advice for black folks

HERE’S ONE OF my favorite black gals, Candace Owens.

She speaks so clearly that even professors at universities like Vassar, Reed and Brown can easily understand.

If you’re sitting at a green-felt table with your homies and a deck of cards, and the dealer tosses you the famous “Black Card,” fling it back at him, or on the floor, or into that trash can in the corner.

Everyone will be better off.

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(Note: This is one of an occasional series of political/cultural videos that, if watched entirely, will make you smarter than you might have been otherwise. I include them here as a public service. There is no financial benefit to me.)

America’s nonstop Loony Tunes

THIS BRIEF VIDEO is dedicated to my left-wing internet pal and victim of TDS, Alfredo S. Lanier, who, in spite of his politics, writes a fun blog.

Actually, it’s dedicated to most Americans and not a few Canadians who live in Mexico because they suffer from advanced stages of TDS.

If you’re unacquainted with the lovely Candace Owens, know that she’s a relatively new phenomenon on YouTube. Her videos are always short (for today’s attention spans) and invariably intelligent.

Democrats anonymous

ballot
Felipe’s first GOP ballot, ready Friday for the mailbox.

HELLO, MY name is Felipe, and I’m a recovered Democrat.

(Audience: Hi, Felipe!)

I was a Democrat for over 60 years. I’d like to blame it on my parents, especially my father who was a flaming socialist, but I think more than anything, I simply was ignorant.

I childishly believed we live in a world that can be perfected. I believed in the efficacy of collectivism, and that government basically worked in our best interests.

(Audience: Howling laughter!)

Yes, I know how silly that sounds, and I am so ashamed that it took me decades to kick the Democrat habit.

I know now that government is good only for basics like protecting our borders, forming police forces, building interstate highways, and so on.

In most areas, government does things badly.

(Audience: Right on, Felipe!)

I’m proud to tell you that this year, at the age of 72, I voted Republican for the first time.

(Audience: Wild cheering!)

I had begun to doubt the Democrat Party in 2008 after learning of Barry Obama’s 20 years of sitting in his Chicago pew listening to the rants of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, especially when Wright “damned America.”

We all know how fast the Democrat Party muzzled Jeremiah Wright. I sat out the 2008 presidential election.

By 2012, Barry Obama’s colors were blatantly obvious. I would have cast my first Republican vote that year, but the absentee ballot never made it to my mountaintop.

The ballot came this year. I checked the straight GOP ticket, and sent it Friday by registered mail.

(Audience: More wild cheering!)

Yes, I voted for Donald Trump!

(Audience: Goes berserk. Men stomp feet. Women weep.)

(Moderator: Thank you for sharing, Felipe. And now let’s all move to the rear of the hall for donuts and coffee.)*

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* The coffee and donuts turned out to be stale, but I hear it’s always that way.