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“Conservative Ideology”

“…the conservative abhors all forms of ideology. An abstract rigorous set of political dogmata: that is ideology, a “political religion,” promising the Terrestrial Paradise to the faithful; and ordinarily that paradise is to be taken by storm. Such a prioi designs for perfecting human nature and society are anathema to the conservative, who knows them for the tools and the weapons of coffeehouse fanatics.”

–Russell Kirk, The Conservative Mind; Foreward to the Seventh Revised Edition


Why Win?

Assuming the graph is accurate, there is no economic advantage in winning, at least until you get near the 90-win mark. Otherwise, fans won’t reward a team for being around the .500 level. From a purely business perspective, unless you can regularly hit that 90-win mark, year after year, it doesn’t make too much sense to spend a lot of money trying to buy wins.

[I think I got this graph from JC Bradbury’s now-defunct Sabernomics blog, but I’m not sure. I save a lot of graphs but I don’t always track sources as I should. Normally I save the post or article I get a graph from; as you can imagine, my hard drive gets hard to navigate doing this.]

A funny thing happened on the way to El Dorado…

Thirty years ago today, sometime around 8pm, the Supreme Court deemed my life worthy of legal protection. It’s not a big deal to me.

Market Timing

Found this chart very interesting:

Not that I would ever give stock advice, but, according the chart, we’re somewhere near the trough of the historic cyclical trend, assuming the previous trend actually means anything. Will we ever see a 2oz to DOW ratio again? I doubt it, so don’t expect to see it (that would be the DOW under 4,000). There may be more downside with the coming recession, and fundamentally the market is overvalued (based on PE ratio). Still, partially investing in some index funds would be a better investment than a Jose Canseco rookie card. Speaking of, if anyone needs a Jose Canseco rookie card…


Maybe a little:

See that? That tiny little drop on the right side of the graph? That looks like a decline. Maybe there’s a tomorrow after all. (Via Gallup)

Beat the horse when he stalls, and when he pulls

“The rich are doing well, if the rich really were the job creators, why are they not creating jobs?”

You’re the one’s vilifying the producers, you’re the one’s punishing them; you’re the ones who have removed the incentives to create; layered regulation upon regulation, made the businessman the enemy; you’re the one’s who have created uncertainty. What did you expect? Did you really believe there weren’t consequences? That capital flight was a myth?

And if the rich were creating jobs, they would still be the villains, in your eyes. The only thing left for them to do is retire or leave.

Reserve Currency Collapse?

If you probe far enough into the apocalyptic economic literature of our times, you will find some writers warning that the US dollar is at risk of losing its place as the world’s reserve currency. Inflation, anemic economic growth and Ben Bernanke are the commonly cited catalysts for this coming event. So, is there good evidence this process has begun?

Not really:

Yes, there’s a slight downtrend for the dollar, and the Euro is making a corresponding movement up, but there’s nothing here to get panicked about. The Euro probably has as many fundamental problems as the USD, so there’s no reason to switch out your currency. Gold is being used as a store of wealth by large institutions, but it’s not passing regularly as everyday exchange for most people or businesses. There’s a case for investing in physical silver and gold, but an American reserve currency collapse isn’t part of it.

(And remember, in no way should you take financial advice from me, everything on the blog is for entertainment purposes only.)

To the person who emailed me recently…

Your gmail address didn’t go through, so you should re-contact me through the about page. (Re:yearbooks)

Arguments I’m Tired of Hearing; Episode #389567

“Why can’t we go back to the tax levels of 90’s, you know, when America was experiencing a lot of growth and people had jobs”

This classic cum hoc argument ignores the fact the growth of the 90’s led to the dotcom bubble and a recession. There were plenty of accounting scandals (Enron anyone?) to go around. The growth, at least some of it, was not real. The same way increasing housing prices didn’t reflect a true, underlying value (what used to be called a “natural” value).

And there’s still the problem of the mechanism, how will increasing taxes now give us back 3%+ GDP growth? How does it work? The fact of the matter, and I’ve published this graph and other iterations of the idea correlating government spending to GDP growth, the bigger chunk of the pie eaten by government in the form of spending, the slower an economy grows (on average):

From the Notebook

Gilbert Keith Chesterton, (b. 29 May 1874 – d....

Image via Wikipedia

-Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years…

– The links posts are gone for good. Some of you may have noticed the same links getting published every hour for about a week. The app I used to produce them, Delicious.com, is a mess. Since being transferred from Yahoo to the youtube guys, none of the service requests get answered. Whatever is going to happen to Delicious, they must be preparing to abandon the current platform. I’ll keep bookmarking sources on it, but I don’t expect it to last.

-I’m hoping to ease back into semi-regular blogging. After the book got published I tried to force myself to write another one right away, and my writing muse just stopped in its tracks. I shouldn’t be surprised, writing a book is hard work and I should have taken a break. Instead I got burned out and made things worse. So, I’m now working on smaller projects, and I hope the occasional blog post will once again spur me back into the writing mode.

Books Read:

-Orthodoxy by GK Chesterton. This work of Christian apologetics is considered Chesterton’s best work. In it he defends the Christian faith from the point of view of the skeptic, at one point suggesting the atheist to choose their own god, and suggesting their choice would be Him. The book is really fantastic, Chesterton is a wordsmith, and reading him is an endless pleasure.

-Lew Lipset’s “Encyclopedia of Baseball Cards; Volume One: Nineteenth Century Cards”. Not exactly a ‘reader’ book, but I enjoyed it. Lipset and a few other enthusiasts worked hard at the beginning of the 1980’s to catalogue the paper ephemera related to baseball; these cards would later turn into a popular hobby. It’s a cottage-industry book, written on a typewriter and copied and bound outside of the publishing world. It’s obsolete, but because the value of these cards has increased so much since first being published, this book is likely as close as I’ll get to many of these cards.

-Porter Stansberry’s “The End of America”. Mister Stansberry is a controversial figure, a professional investment guy who is currently touting the benefits of protecting against a tail-event. He’s gotten into some legal trouble over some of the things he’s done. But this pamphlet, which was mailed to me, was interesting enough. He discusses the debt problem, the possibilities for inflation, the danger posed by loss of dollar as an international reserve currency, and so on. The last ten pages of the book are a sales pitch for his various publications. If you’re looking for the absolute pessimistic vision of the future economy, try this book (or his 77 minute youtube video under the same name).