Monthly Archive for November, 2004

Mexico After NAFTA

Johan Norberg writes,

But despite very real problems in Mexico, if you look at the statistics here and here, you see that since NAFTA, Mexico’s income per capita has increased by more than 50 percent, open unemployment has dropped from 4 to 3 percent, inequality has declined from a gini of almost 55 to about 50, child malnutrition has fallen from 17 to 7.5 percent, and infant mortality has dropped from more than 3.7 to 2.4 percent since 1990.

Since the crisis 1994-95 (Mexico has had one in every election cycle) progress has been much more rapid than after earlier crises. Between 1996 and 2002, extreme poverty declined from 37 percent to 20 percent, and unemployment was cut in half. Real GDP growth is expected to be 4 percent this year.

Is Wal-Mart Good For America?

Economist Bruce Bartlett argues that it is,

I patiently explained to Hedrick Smith, the chief correspondent and producer of the program, that the main beneficiaries of Wal-Mart’s low-price policy are the poor, who could now afford products that would be out of their reach but not for Wal-Mart, improving their lives and raising their standard of living.

Bruce Bartlett continues to give many more reasons supporting his claim and gives a devastating critique of the Frontline special produced with the same title.

Quote Of The Day

“For now, Rove’s goals are at once more immediate and more lofty: to design a legislative and philosophical agenda that will lead to further GOP gains, and beyond that to a political dominance that could last for decades, as FDR’s New Deal did.” —Howard Fineman writing in MSNBC

When Capitalism Starts To Replace Communism

You get some of the best malls in the world,

It takes about two days to explore Beijing’s new Golden Resources Shopping Mall – the world’s largest. Minnesota’s “Mall of America” is 4 million square feet. Golden Resources, built in an impressive 20 months and opened Oct. 24, is 6 million square feet.

Quote Of The Day

“It was an outcome that took even the President’s closest advisers by surprise. George W. Bush emerged from the election with fifty-one percent of the popular vote — the first outright majority for any presidential candidate since his father in 1988, and the first president since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936 to be re-elected while gaining seats in both the House and the Senate. “–Rolling Stone Magazine

Likely Bush Nominees To The Court

The New Republic has an article describing the likely Bush nominees to the high court, one possible nominee is,

Emilio Garza, 57. U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Bush has made no secret of his desire to appoint the first Latino justice, but, last week, he nominated White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales as attorney general, a move some suggest is meant to shore up his credentials with social conservatives for a future Supreme Court nomination. Since Gonzales will help pick Rehnquist’s replacement, he may prefer to keep the Latino seat open for himself. Garza has long been the conservative Latino justice-in-waiting on the appellate bench, but he, too, will run into trouble over Roe. In 1997, his court’s majority struck down a Louisiana law that allowed judges to deny abortion to a minor (and to notify her parents), even if she was mature and the abortion was in her best interest. Garza concurred in the opinion, but he added an injudicious and unnecessary polemic criticizing the Supreme Court’s entire privacy jurisprudence. Garza doesn’t have much of a paper trail in federalism cases and seems like less of an enthusiastic partisan of the Constitution in Exile than his colleague Jones or the Washington lawyer Miguel Estrada, both of whom are also potential Supreme Court candidates. But his lack of respect for settled Supreme Court precedents should set off alarm bells.

Of course my favorite would be Miguel Estrada.

Late Term Abortions In Britain

Why do (most) women in Britain get late term abortions? The BBC writes,

Speaking at a conference in London, Ms Furedi said: “It may be that they’re very young, and they’ve been in denial or haven’t been able to tell their parents.

“It may be that they’ve been very ambivalent about the pregnancy and it’s taken them a really long time to make up their minds.

“It may be that sometimes they’ve started off with a wanted pregnancy but something has gone horribly wrong in their lives.

“It may also be that they simply didn’t realise they were pregnant because they were using a very reliable method of contraception.”

Kerry And Hispanic Voters

From the Wall Street Journal’s political diary,

The recriminations over John Kerry’s failed campaign continue. The latest participant in the circular firing squad is Simon Rosenberg, founder of the centrist New Democrat Network, a 527 independent political group that spent $6 million to increase Democratic turnout among Hispanic voters. “John Kerry did not compete adequately for Hispanic votes, period,” Mr. Rosenberg told the Associated Press. “If we don’t reverse the gains that President Bush made, we can forget our hope of being a majority party again.”

Mr. Rosenberg says the Kerry campaign decided early on that Hispanics would naturally vote Democratic and that no extraordinary efforts were needed — a spectacular miscalculation, it turned out. Exit polls show Mr. Kerry only won Hispanics by 53% to 44%, down from Al Gore’s 27-point margin in 2000. It seems that more and more Hispanics are saying “Ya basta!” to the Democratic Party — “Had enough!”

Attention Camera Lovers

You must check out the world’s first 2.5 gigapixel photo.

You can zoom all the way into the windows on the buildings.

A Case Against Gay Marriage

Before I begin with my case against gay marriage, I want to make a note that my argument is based on the act of homosexuality, not the person. In addition, I make no judgement, good or bad, about homosexuality in general. The gay marriage debate is perceived by many as a debate about gays. It is not. It is a debate about marriage.

Why I Am Against Gay Marriage Continue reading ‘A Case Against Gay Marriage’

The Catholic Vote

Patrick Ruffini, webmaster for Bush/Cheney ’04 site, quotes an article that demonstrates the significance of the Catholic vote this election,

Bush’s strong performance among Catholics, it turns out, was crucial to his victory. Bush won Catholics 52%-47% this time, while Al Gore carried them 50%-46% in 2000. If Kerry had done as well as Gore, he would have had about a million more votes nationwide. According to Gallup Polls, only one Democrat since 1952 (Walter Mondale in 1984) lost the Catholic vote by this large a margin.

The Catholic impact was starker in key states. In Ohio, Bush got 55% of the Catholic vote in 2004 compared to just under 50% of them in 2000. That means a shift of 172,000 votes into the Republican column. Bush won the state by just 136,000 votes this year.

In Florida, Catholics made up 26% of the electorate in 2000. This year, they made up 28%. In 2000, 54% of Catholics went for Bush; in 2004, 57% of them voted for him. The combination of those two factors meant a gain of 400,000 voters in the Sunshine State—about Bush’s margin of victory.

Bush also did better among Hispanic Catholics, getting 42% of the vote in 2004 compared to 31% in 2000.

Immigration Is Good

There’s also evidence that migration is an overall net positive for the migrants and the countries they came from. That’s according to Yale Global.

The Road To Unemployment Is Paved With Good Intentions

How good intentions can cause high unemployment,

The employers´ organisation Almega reports that Swedish businesses are right now asking them a lot of questions about how to fire sick people, and what they can ask potential employees to make sure that they don’t have any health problems. Why this attack on the most vulnerable? Because from 1 January, the government will force employers to pay 15 percent of their workers’ sickness benefits (which are 80 percent of their incomes).

Most Important Job In The World

Is there such a thing?

Glen Whitman, Assistant Professor of Economics at California State University, Northridge, discusses the propensity of people to assume their job is the most important job in the world.

Quote Of The Day

“When Michael Moore begins to become a symbol and spokesperson for Democrats, we’re on the road to losing elections” — Sen. Joe Lieberman, on the Fox News Channel.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

Take some time today to give thanks for what you have. Hug a friend, kiss a family member, today is the day to spread thanks.