Archive for September, 2004

Detroit And Racial Separation

Thursday, September 30th, 2004

The Detroit Free Press writes,

A majority of the Detroit City Council wants to implement an economic development plan it commissioned for $112,000 that preaches racial isolation and rails against immigration in its bid to gain economic success for poor blacks.

The crux of the plan is the creation of a business district — dubbed African Town — that would be funded in part with city money and made up of black-owned businesses catering to a black clientele.

The report also complains that immigrants from Mexico, Asia and the Middle East are stealing resources, jobs and other opportunities from blacks and calls on city leaders to stop the economic shift.

How Good Is Fox News?

Thursday, September 30th, 2004

So good that it beats all rivals combined.

This lends credence to the argument that Fox News is not a right wing news, since it gets the vast majority of viewers, showing that it is in sync with the population at large. The reason Fox News seems on the right side of the spectrum, is because those who most despise it are on the far left of the spectrum.

More Proof That Vouchers Work

Wednesday, September 29th, 2004

From an MIT study that researched the benefit of vouchers in Columbia,

Angrist et al. estimate that attending private school increased the probability of finishing eighth grade by 13-15 percentage points or 25 percent. Test scores increased by .29 standard deviations which is equivalent to about an extra year’s worth of schooling which has been estimated to increase yearly wages by 10 percent. Other markers such as teen cohabitation also improved.

Some of the authors of the above study also conducted a follow up study, writing,

The results of our follow-up study point to lasting benefits for voucher winners, with substantially higher high school graduation rates and, after adjusting for selection bias, higher test scores among those who took the ICFES exam [a college entrance test, Alex]….The size and persistence of the impact suggests PACES was a cost-effective intervention … there is substantial economic return to high school graduation in Colombia.

Hat Tip: Marginal Revolution.

The Cuban Economy

Wednesday, September 29th, 2004

I blogged yesterday about how Che brought economic ruin to Cuba by bringing in communism. But just how bad did the Cuban economy suffer? Here is a good overview,

Before Castro, Cuba was as rich as Italy, and richer than Spain. Cuba has not merely lagged behind, it has actually grown poorer, and is now more than five times poorer than these countries. It used to be among the richest in Latin America, now it’s among the poorest.

Cubans had better access to food than all other Latin American countries, except Argentina, before Castro, but now they have worse access than almost all the others. Cubans are the only people in Latin America who have seen their intake of calories decrease since then. It is now better than in the 90s, but more than every tenth Cuban is chronically undernourished.

Cuba had lower infant mortality than all other Latin American countries before Castro, and lower than France, Italy and Japan. It is the only area where progress has continued since then, but it has been much slower than in other similar countries.

(Source: Manuel Sánchez Herrero och Arnaldo Ramos Lauzurique: Los llamados logros.)

But hasn’t anyone benefited from the revolution? Sure, Castro has amassed a fortune equal to ten percent of Cuba’s GDP. This is one dictator who does not wear his uniform because he can’t afford a suit.

And, oh, did I mention that Castro has murdered more than 70 000 of his own citizens for political reasons? That’s about seven times more than Pinochet, who is hated by all leftists who love Castro. Apparently murder and brutality is not what they object to in Pinochet.

Reminds me of this quote,

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism[communism] is the equal sharing of miseries.” – Sir Winston Leonard Spenser Churchill

Black Vote Suppressed In Florida In 2000 Election?

Wednesday, September 29th, 2004

Democrats continue to promote the myth of black voter suppression in the 2000 Florida election.

Whats The Deal With Che Guevara?

Tuesday, September 28th, 2004

Why do so many of my Hispanic brothers and sisters look up to him? I’ve often found this very puzzling. I can understand the admiration for the fact that Che had balls. He knew what he believed in and wasn’t afraid to fight for it. But his positives stop there. That one positive pales in comparison to the utter misery he brought to Cuba. He was a strong supporter of one of the most destructive political/economic systems around, communism. And not light communism either, but the Soviet Union type, the worst one of them all.

What makes matters worse is that he got what he wanted. And Cuba is under dictator rule because of it. Che shouldn’t be adored, he should be deplored. Yet the opposite is true.

Paul Berman, writing for Slate Magazine, writes about The Cult of Che. A definite worth read for anybody interested in Che Guevara.

Update: A Cubans view of Che.

Update2:Brad DeLong, Professor Of Economics at UC Berkeley, chimes in.

Update3: Even more on Che.

Update4: FrontPage has more on Che as well.

Another Reason Why I Can’t Support A Liberal On Foreign Policy

Tuesday, September 28th, 2004

Christopher Hitchens, writing in Slate Magazine, gives more reasons why liberals are not to be trusted on something so important as foreign policy.

Who Supports The Patriot Act?

Tuesday, September 28th, 2004

Dozens of former criminal justice officials and political leaders sent a letter to Congress supporting the USA Patriot Act. They claim that it has significantly helped in the fight against terrorism.

I am not sure about the Patriot Act. I have heard good arguments for and against it. It’s good to hear that it is doing some good though.

Who Volunteers The Most?

Monday, September 27th, 2004

According to Marginal Revolution, Norwegians, with 52% of their population. The United States is fifth, and Mexico is last.

The History Of Judical Restraint By Congress

Monday, September 27th, 2004

Former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, has a great article defending congress decision to strip the courts of the power to remove ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Free Market: For Or Against Immigrants

Monday, September 27th, 2004

Some seem to think it is against, but not those that know about the principle of comparative advantage.

Poverty In A Capitalist Country

Friday, September 24th, 2004

A couple days ago I commented on how the middle class is doing in America. But how are the poor in America doing? Robert Rector, writing for the Heritage Foundation, talks about this.

The following are facts taken from various government reports about persons/people defined as “poor” by the Census Bureau:

  • Forty-six percent of all poor households own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and porch or patio.
  • Seventy-six percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, 30 years ago, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
  • The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens and other European cities. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
  • Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 30 percent own two or more cars.
  • Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television. Over half own two or more color televisions.
  • Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
  • Seventy-three percent own a microwave oven, more than half have a stereo, and a third have an automatic dishwasher.

In the United States of America our poor have an obesity problem. In other countries, especially the ones dominated by some sort of socialists or communists economic system, people are dying of starvation.

The joys of being ‘poor’ in a capitalist country.

Update: The study can also be found on Fox News.

Is Fox News Biased Continued

Thursday, September 23rd, 2004

I’ve commented before on this blog on my belief that most (all?) criticism against Fox News misses its mark. Well apparently, David Langworthy, writing in the Houston Chronicle, agrees. He writes,

A while ago on these pages, we carried an opinion piece (“Where is media swarm looking into Dem 527 groups,” Outlook, Sept. 2) by Benjamin Ginsberg. He is the lawyer who came under intense, connect-the-dots scrutiny because he represented both the Bush-Cheney campaign and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

Ginsberg’s main gripe is that there are the same connections on the Democratic side that received nowhere near the media attention that his did. In the op-ed, he supplied chapter and verse.

I can’t help but agree with Ginsberg. The 527s on the Kerry/Democratic side have been given a virtual free pass compared with the swifties, and people notice it.

Those same folks vote with their remotes for Fox News.

Which brings us to the Dan Rather/CBS handling of supposed memos from George W. Bush’s days in the Texas Air National Guard. At the very least, CBS’ handling of this story suggests what the theater folks call “a willing suspension of disbelief.” In its eagerness to nail Bush on his military service, CBS checked its professional skepticism at the door. Where was the network’s vetting process?

He concludes with the same points I made in my blog, he writes,

Is it fair and balanced? For my money Fox news coverage is as down the middle as CNN’s — or CBS’s. Hannity, O’Reilly and the rest of the network’s commentators aren’t — but they’re not paid to be.

For anybody who wants to know both sides of the issues, Fox News, amongst others, is a must see/watch.

More On The Middle Class Squeeze

Thursday, September 23rd, 2004

I mentioned a couple days ago on this blog how the ‘Middle Class Squeeze’ results in a push to the upper class, not the lower class, like everybody assumes.

Well I guess Slate Magazine has been reading my blog 😉 , because they picked up on the same topic.

Is ‘Neoconservative’ Synonymous With A Jewish Slur?

Thursday, September 23rd, 2004

Ms. Gorin, a contributing editor of, seems to think so.

Why I Trust The United States Over The UN

Thursday, September 23rd, 2004

The Wall Street Journal spells it out.