Gongol.com Archives: October 2009
Brian Gongol

October 30, 2009

Business and Finance GDP rose in the third quarter of the year
But here's the important question: Did it rise due to real new activity, or was that increase a figment of accounting fiction, brought on by "stimulus" programs that will just create hangovers later and massive new debt-financed government spending? The White House is trying to claim that it "saved" a million jobs by "stimulating" the economy. Putting aside how offensive it is for the government to claim that it "creates" jobs (when, really, the private sector does the heavy lifting), the real problem with such claims is that the government is taking credit just for the top-line figure -- economic activity attributed to the deficit spending -- and not taking responsibility for the long-run costs of that spending. A job "created" today with $100,000 in borrowed money not only has to still be around in a few years to have been worthwhile, it also has to pay back that $100,000 -- with interest. Otherwise, it was nothing but a deadweight expense incurred by the government to buy votes for the party in power. A lot of attention is paid to "job creation" that should instead be devoted to "wealth creation". America would be a perfectly fine place to live if we all worked ten hours a week while technology and ideas and robots and other things we created did the work of the other 30 hours (or more) we're doing today. (For example, a brief history of solar power tells the story of humans finding ways to turn our own labor into things we can get the sun to do for us.) Jobs themselves are nothing but a means to an end -- that end being productive activity. We're saving more than we have in a while, but it's still not enough. Too little savings means too little investment. Too little investment means we're going to have to work harder instead of working smarter.

Science and Technology Some drivers may be awful because of their genes
Maybe they could benefit from the weepy little dashboard robot being tested by Audi and MIT researchers. A bit of fake emotion from the robot may be enough to make some drivers more conscientious about things like seat belts and careless driving.

Threats and Hazards Don't let environmentalism become cover for government overactivity
Liberty may mean the right to contribute to environmental damage. We can fix the environment, but it can take much longer to fix eroded liberties.

News The new owners of the Chicago Cubs sure talk like they're serious about winning a World Series

Broadcasting Podcast: Why 10% across-the-board spending cuts won't save us

Water News The Missouri River is now a bit high, exactly the opposite of what was happening a couple of years ago

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