The bad effects of government unions deserve much greater attention.
The Telegraph offers six theories and actually chooses a couple.
It certainly seems the case. The death of the musician Prince, at the age of 57, just a day after Victoria Wood died from cancer, aged 62, has shocked their millions of fans. But it also appears to prove that 2016 is cursed in some way. The two entertainers are the latest in a long line of celebrities to die in 2016, following Ronnie Corbett, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Sir Terry Wogan, Harper Lee,David Gest, Garry Shandling, Johan Cruyff among others.
Tell me how the banks will inevitably game the system Mervyn King proposes and I'll tell you whether it's a good idea.
The first thing that King thinks must be done is to separate the boring bits of banking (providing a safe place to deposit money, facilitating payments) from the exciting ones (trading). There is no need, he thinks, to break up the existing institutions. Deposits and short-term loans to banks simply need to be separated from other bank assets. Against all of these boring assets, banks would be required to hold government bonds or reserves at the central bank in cash. That is, there should be zero risk that there won’t be sufficient cash on hand to repay people wanting to flee any bank at a moment’s notice -- and thus no reason for those people to flee.
The riskier assets from which banks stand most to gain (and lose) would then be vetted by the central bank, in advance of any crisis, to determine what it would be willing to lend against them in a pinch if posted as collateral. Common stocks, mortgage bonds, Australian gold mines, credit default swaps and whatever else: The banks would decide, before any crisis, which of their risky assets they would be willing to pledge to -- basically, pawn with -- the central bank. The riskier the asset, the less the central bank would be willing to lend against it.
Four teacher strikes in less than 25 years is enough, yes? Obama education secretary Arne Duncan calling the system "a national disgrace" is enough, yes? And then there's this:
Residents keep fleeing the city, and students keep leaving the school system. Enrollment is down to just 49,000, from 168,000 in 2000.
As Stuart Scott used to yell, "Ring the bell. School is out!" I recommend reading the three excerpted pieces in order:
The state of our union can be summed up pretty easily: Democratic policy ideas don’t work, and the Republican Party is melting down. From New York state, where Democratic power brokers are beginning to be herded into prison, where so many of them belong, to Chicago, where a civil war between Democrat-run public unions and the Democratic mayor rages even as the city’s finances fall apart, to the collapsing cities of Detroit and Flint, and on out to the high-speed rail boondoggle in California, the country is covered in the ruins of decades of “progressive” governance. Take Obamacare itself, a “reform” that is already making health care more bureaucratic and less affordable. Even as premiums and deductibles rise and the provider networks shrink, special interests like labor unions, insurance companies and hospital chains seek to rewrite its rules and regulations to achieve windfalls for themselves at the public expense. They will almost certainly succeed, and over time, Obamacare like other programs will become increasingly encrusted by sweetheart deals, carve-outs and other provisions that reduce its positive qualities while making it ever more expensive and bureaucratic.
The more “Democratic” an institution is these days, on the whole the less well it is working. What institution in the United States has been under Democratic control longer and more thoroughly than the failing public school systems of major cities? Or their police departments?
Philip Wallach, "Farewell to the Administrative State?"
Because administrators style themselves as above-the-fray solvers of collective problems, it makes it very difficult for them to question their assumptions or open themselves to exchanges with critics on equal terms. Doing so would threaten their pose as “wise rulers” and show the political choices embedded in their thinking, and so their natural tendency is to hunker down—the very thing that has led to legitimacy problems over the long run, even as it fends off some short-term headaches by branding critics as “political” or as working for “special interests.” Legislatures, on the other hand, institutionally specialize in openness and the ability to find compromises even among people who remain in open political disagreement.
Glenn Reynolds, "How to make the U.S. collapse-proof".
So one answer would be for a society not to become so complex. This is easier said than done, of course. Human nature being what it is, bureaucrats want to expand their empires, politicians want to employ their constituencies on the taxpayers’ dime and various groups are always trying to mobilize the state’s resources on their own behalf. . . .
So one thing you’d want would be to limit the growth of this web. That means smaller government, government that’s less involved in administering the things that special interests care about, and one that provides more opportunities for citizens and groups who want to do things to break the web somehow. . . .
Of course, in describing a limited federal government, ruling over a nation made up of semi-sovereign states, subject to the rule of law and judicial review I’m not describing anything shocking or new: That’s precisely the kind of government we in the United States are supposed to have under our Constitution.
At the end of an interview Ms. Foster states that these days she finds it difficult to listen to the news. Hear, hear! But then Ms. Foster is quoted as saying this:
“How do these people have all the time to know the things that they know?” She searched for the answer to her own question, and smiled. “I think I’m just not . . . I’m not a fact person. I don’t really care about facts. I don’t even really retain them and I find them anxious-making. I like ideas.”
With all due respect to Ms. Foster, in most realms--at least outside of Hollywood--ideas without facts are pretty useless and can even be counterproductive.
"'There Are Dumpster Fires In My Town More Popular' Than Clinton or Trump, Complains Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse"
I like a good part of when Senator Sasse has had to say. For instance, I agree with this:
"Washington isn’t competent to micromanage the lives of free people," writes Sasse. Our next president should instead commit to "focusing on 3 or 4 big national problems," such as national security, budgeting and entitlement reform, "empowering states and local governments to improve K-12 education," and "retiring career politicians by ending all the incumbency protections, special rules, and revolving door opportunities."
Mark Hemingway, "The Selling of the Iran Deal: Lies, Lies, and More Lies":
It's jarring when you consider that Obama's two signature accomplishments, Obamacare and the Iran deal, were both achieved by systematically and deliberately lying.
True evil returns. (But it never goes away.)
More, for those with strong stomachs:
And Florida has got other non-American critters, too.
Florida is the world’s number one hub for invasive reptiles and amphibians. It has several ports, a large population of potential pet-owners, and a warm, humid climate. Almost 140 alien species have made their home there, including cane toads, panther chameleons, Burmese pythons, giant tegu lizards, green anacondas, and tentacled snakes.