How do those Northern Europeans do it?

Responding to Ross Douthat’s latest column, Jamelle raises an interesting question: And finally, I wonder how Douthat explains away Northern Europe’s high economic growth rates and robust welfare states? I’m no economist, but I think this has something to do with the fact that government in Northern Europe, while large, is effectively limited and rather…

Bobby Jindal strikes an impressive blow for dishonesty

I’m embarrassed to say that I once had a little bit of respect for Bobby Jindal.  I mean, his retrograde social views notwithstanding, he seemed to be exactly what I was looking for in a Republican: intelligent, articulate and comfortable with public policy.  Granted, I would never vote for him, but it is critically important…

Prospects for Reclaiming Intellectual Conservatism

I read Steven Hayward’s article on intellectual conservatism with some interest, mainly because I thought Hayward – as a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute and frequent contributor to The Weekly Standard – would have enough movement credibility to convincingly argue that talk radio populists aren’t conservatism’s best standard bearers. The substance of this critique…

Another (predictable) liberal defense of Rep. Grayson

Justin, a Friend of the Blog, isn’t terribly happy with the language Rep. Grayson (infamously?) used to describe the Republican health care alternative: There is no sense in which the Republicans want people to die.  Nothing even approximately close.  Republicans have their reasons for disagreeing with health care reform, many of which I think are…

Hayek on Health Insurance

I don’t know how, during the long months of this health insurance debate, this quote from Road To Serfdom slipped my mind, but it certainly bears re-emphasis: “Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few…

That Horse? It Left the Stable Long Ago. We Called Him Seabiscuit

David Rivkin and Lee Casey take to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to claim that any individual insurance mandate would “likely” fail to pass Constitutional muster under even a modern understanding of Constitutional law and the commerce clause.  Whatever my thoughts on the value of an individual mandate, this is a shoddy piece of legal commentary…

The Speech

Well I listened to President Obama’s speech on NPR last night whilst playing with my daughter and Curious George.  Suffice to say, I didn’t catch the entire thing, though what I did catch sounded pretty good.  A few thoughts: CNN says it boosted support for Obamacare.  We’ll see if it lasts.  Speeches, especially those of…

Obama’s Well Nigh Impossible Wed. Night Task

President Obama’s two biggest problems politically are 1. a frankly crazy and irresponsible minority GOP party (with plenty of enablers to be sure) and 2. His own party affiliation. In the immortal words of Will Rogers, President Obama is not a member of any organized political party, he’s a Democrat. If the House Dems are…

Our Three Party Democracy

Creepy admiration for China’s authoritarian government aside, the main point of Tom Friedman’s most recent New York Times op-ed is actually pretty sound: the United States has become something of a neutered one-party democracy.  That is, for those interested in governing – at least on the national level – the Democratic Party really is the…

Partisanship! It’s good for winning!

Generally, I’m loath to give the Bush administration credit for much of anything, but if there is one thing they got right, it’s in their approach to passing legislation.  President Bush and his advisers realized, correctly, that the partisan make-up of any given vote matters far less than what Beltway insiders normally think.  It doesn’t…

A few meandering thoughts on racial anxiety and Obama’s right-wing opposition

As I’m sure most of you have noticed by now, I write (and think!) a fair amount about racial politics.  Indeed, it goes beyond my blogging – a good chunk of my undergraduate education focused on the intersection of race and politics, and my senior thesis expanded on some ideas I have regarding the nexus…

I Give Up

If there was ever even the faintest glimmer of hope for Wyden-Bennett or any other kind of meaningful health care reform proposal amenable to conservative and libertarian sensibilities, the Club For Growth just killed it.  Honestly, I find this nothing short of sickening.  It is now clear that supposedly free market leadership types really don’t…

It’s About Structure, Not Volume

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry has a good piece up that explores some of the same ground I explored in my self-critique of libertarianism, although he unfortunately does so without the assistance of Monty Python.  Gobry’s central point is one that bears re-emphasizing, though: “one thing that often bothers me about US defenders of free markets is how…

Medicare vs. Obamacare

[updated below] Andrew Biggs crunches some numbers on Medicare over at the AEI blog.   Contra Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann and others adopting the new “Obamacare vs. Medicare” talking points, Biggs rightly points out that Medicare is not a program conservatives should be defending.  Conservatives should be looking at ways to reform Medicare, certainly, but…

“Well, what are you doing creeping around a cow shed at two o’clock in the morning? That doesn’t sound very wise to me.”

In the comments to Scott’s post last week, greginak (who was one of the few to hone in on Scott’s central point) asked for the “posters to offer criticisms of their own theories.”  This seemed like an interesting and worthwhile exercise, so I figured I’d give it a try, with some help from Monty Python.  I…