Archive | January, 2004

The Government’s Accounting Shell Game

Americans shell out more than $2 trillion each year to keep our federal government running. The least we should expect in return is honesty. Alas, Washington officials aren’t telling the truth about how much they’ve spent, are currently spending or plan to spend. Consider the omnibus spending bill the Senate will consider later this month. […]

Michael Jackson is Not Black

Sick and tired of hearing about Michael Jackson’s standing in the “black community?” First, the black individuals in America are not a homogenous group of automatons, and second, it used to be racist to refer to a whole group of people based on nothing other that superficial skin pigmentation. Plus there is one other problem, […]

Expensing Options Revisited

Paul Atkins this month became the first SEC commissioner to criticize openly a proposal to require companies to treat employee stock options as current expenses. Atkins began by questioning whether the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which has aggressively pushed the change, is truly seeking to address a serious accounting problem. “Is there a significant investor […]

When Did The Howard Dean Meltdown Really Begin?

Supporters of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, aka “Deanie-boppers,” accuse the media of piling on by repeatedly playing his now infamous Iowa caucus “concession speech,” punctuated by his banshee-like “Yeeeaaaaaarggh!” Dean’s admittedly un-presidential behavior gave his opponents, say the Deanie-boppers, a cheap excuse to pound him, causing his sudden drop in the polls and his […]

Phony Democratic Debates

The so-called “debates” among the Democratic candidates in the primaries are not really debates — and that is a real shame. In a real debate, opponents could question each other’s statements — and there have been a lot of questionable statements made already in this young political season. Senator John Edwards, for example, has included […]

Third World Sweatshops: Multinational Opportunity vs. Nihilistic Indignation

Those who vent their moral indignation over low pay for Third World workers employed by multinational companies ignore the plain fact that these workers’ employers are usually supplying them with better opportunities than they had before, while those who are morally indignant on their behalf are providing them with nothing. Some of the more rational […]

Sweatshop Expoitation

Here’s a question. Suppose you see people lining up for hours, and people willing to pay a month’s salary in bribes, in order to get a $2 a day factory job. What might you conclude? Would you guess there are higher-paying jobs around, but the people are too lazy to look for them? Here’s my […]

Third World Sweatshops: Why Cambodian Workers Bribe for ‘Sweatshop’ Jobs

“Low-Wage Costa Ricans Make Baseballs for Millionaires.” That was the headline on one of those New York Times “news” stories that continued its recent tradition of disguised editorials. The headline said it all but the story ran on and on anyway, with details and quotes that added nothing to the familiar story that Third World […]

The Patriot Act vs. the U.S. Constitution

I do not think our government is evil, but I do think evil men could be elected to lead our government. It happened in Germany in the 1930s. During the last century, governments given totalitarian powers killed an estimated 169,000,000 people. If you don’t think it can’t happen here, I would remind you of the […]

Laissez Faire vs. Interventionism

In eighteenth-century France the saying laissez faire, laissez passer was the formula into which some of the champions of the cause of liberty compressed their program. Their aim was the establishment of the unhampered market society. In order to attain this end they advocated the abolition of all laws preventing more industrious and more efficient […]

Paying Homage to the Architects of the American Welfare State

Would-be defenders of individual rights and liberty, the fundamental ideas of the founding fathers who created the United States of America, have recently decided to pay homage to the Presidents who created the modern American welfare state. I refer of course to people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, scions of the “New Right,” who […]

Great Investing Secrets Revealed

Successful investing all about having the right information. That must be why I frequently get emails from readers asking me what sources of investment information I like best, or where on the Web to locate this or that specific piece of data. So today’s column is going to be my own personal “best of the […]

Rewarding the MVPs of the Business World

As millions of Americans watch the New England Patriots take on the Carolina Panthers, every minute of the game will be scrutinized, from all angles and with action replays. But, amid the cheers of victory and cries of disappointment, you won’t hear a whisper of complaint from fans about the players’ multi-million dollar salaries–$3.8 million […]

Spaced Out: George W. Bush’s Mission to Mars

Last week, President Bush proposed an extra $1 billion dollars in spending for NASA over the next five years as part of his plan to put a permanent base on the moon and land astronauts on Mars. In a speech prepared for delivery Wednesday, Bush is calling for a lunar base to be established within […]

On WMDs: What Did the Democrats Say?

Did Saddam Hussein and his interest in weapons of mass destruction pose a threat to the United States? Just ask the Democrats. Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean (D), appearing on “Face the Nation” in September 2002, said, “There’s no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat to the United States and to our allies.” In […]

A Radical Solution to America’s Moribund Space Program

After years of declining budgets, public apathy, and failed missions, NASA has gotten a big boost from the Bush Administration’s recent promises of extravagant missions to permanently settle the moon and eventually explore Mars. No one knows what it would cost, but a similar idea in 1989 was estimated to cost up to $500 billion. […]

Stretching the Poor

What do you do when you don’t have as much of something as you need? One of the things you can do is stretch it out to make it last as long as it can. That is what the political left is doing with the poor. A lot of noise is made about how we […]

Howard Dean’s Political Bubble: Lessons from Iowa

The headline story out of the Iowa caucuses is Senator John Kerry’s surprising victory and the collapse of Governor Howard Dean’s political bubble. This is all very well for those in the media who treat politics as the personal stories of politicians. But, for those who see politics as being about the fate of this […]

Improving Education for Black Americans

What needs to be done to improve black education? Whether it’s civil rights organizations, politicians or the education establishment, you’ll get answers that cover the gamut from more money for teachers and smaller class sizes to school desegregation and racial preferences in higher education. Despite these claims, there’s no evidence whatsoever that these are absolutely […]