Just Asking – Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell, Just Asking

In a recent panel discussion on poverty at Georgetown University, President Barack Obama gave another demonstration of his mastery of rhetoric — and disregard of reality.

One of the ways of fighting poverty, he proposed, was to “ask from society’s lottery winners” that they make a “modest investment” in government programs to help the poor.

Despite pious rhetoric on the left about “asking” the more fortunate for more money, the government does not “ask” anything. It seizes what it wants by force. If you don’t pay up, it can take not only your paycheck, it can seize your bank account, put a lien on your home and/or put you in federal prison.

And please don’t call the government’s pouring trillions of tax dollars down a bottomless pit “investment.” Remember the soaring words from Barack Obama, in his early days in the White House, about “investing in the industries of the future”? After Solyndra and other companies in which he “invested” the taxpayers’ money went bankrupt, we haven’t heard those soaring words so much.


From the Wikipedia article:

…Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) created in 1958…

ARPA was renamed to “DARPA” (for Defense) in March 1972, then renamed “ARPA” in February 1993, and then renamed “DARPA” again in March 1996.

I wonder what that cost the American Taxpayer?

My problem with electric cars

I have been intending to write something on electric cars for a while, and  my friend Luther finally triggered the words for me during a conversation on Facebook today. (Thanks, Luther!)

  • I tend to look at the whole system, so electric vehicles
    • do not reduce emissions,
    • they increase them,
    • but the emissions get dumped “in someone else’s back yard.” (i.e. in the area of the coal or natural gas fired electric plant).
  • Making matters worse, the only thing that makes owning an electric vehicle financially feasible is:

A quote from Adam Smith that made me think of Tesla Motors

The interest of the dealers, however, in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public. To widen the market and to narrow the competition, is always the interest of the dealers. To widen the market may frequently be agreeable enough to the interest of the public; but to narrow the competition must always be against it, and can serve only to enable the dealers, by raising their profits above what they naturally would be, to levy, for their own benefit, an absurd tax upon the rest of their fellow-citizens. The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men whose interest is never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it.

 — Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

Just recently, I saw that Tesla Motors president, Elon Musk, had proposed that the government should increase taxes on gasoline. Continue reading