Saturday, August 13, 2005

Why Sweden Works

The other day I was speaking to a friend of my dad's, who currently works at the World Bank, about an economic theory which takes credit for the prosperity in Northern European nations, namely in Sweden and Finland.

Sweden has the highest income tax rate in the world (51%) and Finland is not far behind. In fact, Finland appears to be so determined to redistribute the wealth that even speeding tickets are based on income. An incident in which an executive of Nokia was charged $98,000 for speeding on his Harley Davidson illustrates the fact (he later appealed and got it brought down to $5000).

However, these Scandanavians are far from anti-business socialists. Sweden has the lowest corporate tax rate in Europe (28%) and both countries pride themselves in the lack of regulation imposed on entrepreneurs.

"In some places, it takes thirty steps in six months to start a business, in others, it takes two steps in a day", said David, who has toyed with the idea of writing a book about the topic.

The Bad Hair Blog disagrees with me. The blogger, Fausta, earlier showed a graph that displayed recent job growth, and also indicated that Bush's tax cuts came right before the real rise in job creation began. However, Fausta ignores the fact that there have been two tax cuts during the Bush administration, one of which came right before the recession got worse.

Although it's plausible to assume that tax cuts cause some job growth, it's disingenious to give all the credit to tax cuts when the same congress that's giving them out is also spending oodles of money on pork-barrel public works projects.

Everyone But Corzine

A superior court judge ruled that the Codey administration's plans to "plug a gap in the state's budget" by selling bonds was unconstitutional. This comes as a suprise to some who witnessed Governor McGreevey tend to the budget deficit with a similar plan last year.

The ruling is not only a fiscal setback for the Codey administration, but will have political consequences for Democrats in Trenton as well. Although many saw the acting-governor's bond initiative as a standard method of deficit alleviation, the illegality of the plan demonstrates the administration's reluctance to cut spending.

In light of accusations of homeland pork being allocated along party lines, the ruling party in New Jersey will have to work hard to saving face.

However, despite all of the negative publicity, the governor's race between Jon Corzine and Doug Forrester seems to be virtually detached from state politics. Corzine continues to hold a substantial lead, according to Hedgehog Report, which has him winning in the polls over Forrester by ten points, down from twelve in mid-July.

Could it be that voters, despite Enlighten NJ's fervent campaign to prove Corzine's sliminess, do not associate the U.S Senator with Trenton politics? A pretty union girlfriend isn't doing it for the Republican campaign. What will?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

New Blogroll

I've begun to segregate the blogs on the roll by political affiliation. Please feel free to warn me of any incorrect classifications. ANY.

Shouldn't A Montanan Know Better?

Nancy Keenan is the president of NARAL. She's currently heading a campaign against Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, in attempts to portray him as an anti-abortion extremist. People aren't buying it, and as a result, neither will senators.

Keenan, a former Montana State Legislature, should know better. It's not suprising when the low ranking members of NARAL, who are mostly fresh out of college east coasters, throw a "screw abstinence" party, but it's another thing for a woman who is versed in Red-State politics to preside over the spending of such valuable political capital on such a token cause. NARAL's intention of keeping abortion legal isn't unreasonable, but their campagin to defeat John Robert's confirmation is.

John Roberts might have some skeletons in his closet. However, anti-abortion stances aren't significant enough to cause 45 Democrats and 6 Republicans to reject him. If NARAL's only interest in Robert's nomination is the abortion issue, than they need to understand that he's probably as close to a pro-choice justice as they can get from Bush.

However, NARAL knows this. They know that they have no input in the nomination process. They control few if any senators, despite GOP rhetoric that alleges that Democrats are controlled by extreme abortion interests. Further, the more extreme their voice becomes, the more Democrats will distance themselves from the group.

Demlog describes the reactions of pro-choicers to NARAL's campaign.

NARAL's Advertising Antics

NARAL Pro Choice America, the leading abortion rights lobby in Washington, has been under fire recently for running a particularly controversial commercial that referenced John Roberts', participation in a case involving attacks against abortion clinics, as the soliciter general for the first Bush administration.

The ad condemns Roberts for his alleged "defense" of anti-choice fringe groups, who were responsible for abortion clinic bombings during the 1990s. I say alleged because defense attorney was not the role Robert's played in Bray vs. Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic, moreover, he was not defending the actions of Bray, who was rightly convicted of murder. The most important fact is, of course, that Roberts was arguing this case seven years before the Bray bombing took place.

Robert's case that he presented to the court was one of constitutional clarity. While abortion rights groups were suing by the argument that they were being denied the "equal protection" clause of the 14th amendment, Roberts argued that the actions of anti-abortion terrorists was not one of discrimination, but rather ideological differences. Bray objected to abortion, not to women.

E Pluribus Unum, a liberal blogger, revised the advertisement to make it more "fact friendly". Go here to see it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Who Do We Hate More?

In New Jersey, not too many names are thrown around in relation to the 2008 presidential race. Garden Staters are mostly excited or dismayed by the anticipated Hillary Clinton candidacy, and still others assume that Hillary's challenger will be the 9/11 hero in former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Nevertheless, the above case is highly unlikely. Although Clinton does enjoy a substantial lead in the polls and could possibly win the Democratic nomination, Guiliani, as well as Governor George Pataki, can count himself out of the 2008 election. Unless the 2006 midterms go terribly for the GOP, they are in no position to compromise by nominating a moderate candidate over a true party man, such as Bill Frist, or more interestingly, Jeb Bush.

However, the candidacy of another Bush would probably not be good news for Republicans. If there's one name the nation will hate more than Clinton in 2008 it's Bush. The nomination of yet another member of a politically elite family would convince voters that the GOP is out of touch. Although Hillary is not the strongest candidate the Democrats have, the Republicans would be foolish to dismiss the truth that even her strongest suppporters understand: the only way Hillary can win is if she runs against somebody that the nation hates more than her.

The last thing the GOP wants is an election that is essentially a referendum on the policies of the 90's vs the policies of the first eight years of the 21st century.

Ann Coulter And Reverand Al

These two are what FOX News is made for.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Ron Paul: The Guy Who's Against Everything

One can usually find his name in the Nay section, accompanied usually by only the most liberal Democrats in the House. He votes against virtually every spending bill, every environmental protection bill, every regulatory bill, and all legislation that apparently infringes upon civil liberties. He doesn't like pork, he doesn't like socialism, and he doesn't like to allocate more power to himself. What does he like to do?

What he likes is Hemp. Paul (R-TX), along with several House Democrats, has helped introduce a bill that will authorize states to grow hemp for economic purposes, and will, with all probability, lead to the complete legalization of marijuana. The bill will fail miserably. It won't even be close.

Paul is considered a libertarian. He represents a coastal section of Texas which has long been business oriented in its politics, even when it was Democratic, and is less in tune with the Bible-Belt politics that currently dominate much of Texas. After visiting his website, you learn that he only votes for legislation that he believes is specifically authorized by the Constitution. Because of this, neither party can count on his vote on any spending or regulatory project.

Of course, he also has personal ideology. He is pro-life and pro-hemp. Nevertheless, as anyone versed in basic congressional politics might see, those stances don't get one very far, especially combined. He won't deliver weed to his constituents and he can't make abortion illegal. Hence, one would have to reason that some constituents in his district would make noise about the lack of bacon he brings home at the recess.

His vote against the recent transportation bill was token, it passed by about 400 votes. However, does his Nay mean that the people of the 14th district of Texas aren't getting billions for bridges and highway beautification as well?

30 Year Treasury Bond

From the New York Times:

The U.S. Treasury's 30-year bond, long the benchmark of the world's credit markets, is back. The first new 30-year bond will appear in February, a little more than four years after the last bond was sold, according to the Treasury Department.

Analysts believe that the 30 year bond, which is expected to bring $20 to $30 billion to the government during the first year, will not only be another tool to fund the upcoming deficits, but also provide assistance to the country's barely solvent pension system.

The bond is considered an adjustment to the future, as foreign investors are anticipated to buy less U.S government bonds. It also provides a safe, longterm investment for individuals.

Wouldn't it be great if the treasury introduced an 100 year bond? The United States is probably the only nation that could. You'd buy the bond for $1000 today and 100 years from now, assuming you can't pick up the check yourself, your closest heir would get a nice suprise in the mail. Anybody who knows they have one of those coming immediately becomes a strong opponent of inflation.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The Philosophy Behind Blogrolls

While navigating the blogosphere, it becomes apparent that there are many philosophies concerning blogrolls. Many believe that blogrolls are simply ways to link to other blogs who will therefore reciprocate the act. Some believe that a blogroll serves as a collage that illustrates a culture, or in the case of The Art of Getting By's blogroll, a whole state. Janet, the author of the blog, has scores of links that pertain to just about everything associated with New Jersey (except of course, the new political blog from Montclair). Still other bloggers believe that a blogroll is created to serve their own cause, usually politically, and hence only link to blogs that echo similar opinions. However, the Jersey Perspective does not necessarily intend to use any of the above options exclusively.

In an effort to create a credible and welcome environment for visitors of all political background, I hastily added some blogs to our blogroll that I would never consider worth reading. Some of them were hateful, but popular, and if their readers came to the Perspective, would therefore guarantee a diverse readership and comment section. However, since I'd rather have insightful and intelligent commentary from readers than recycled hackery, I've decided that it's best to get rid of some of these partisan national blogs. I'll keep the New Jersey ones though, because it's useful to understand the state political climate. Understanding the nation's political climate can be found in the mainstream media much easier.

I just want to let some of our critics understand that this blog is dedicated to love of politics, not simply ideology. Therefore, feel free to submit any comments on new scoops concerning politics, although it will be much slower during the congressional recess.

Sloppy Dawg's Take On Corzine

Sloppy Dawg, who is one of the only legitimate liberal bloggers I have found so far in Jersey, gave an interesting perspective on the issue of Corzine's gift to his former girlfriend (Sloppy Dawg).

Sloppy Dawg reasons that since labor unions are expected to endorse Democrats, Corzine's gift to a prominent member of one shouldn't be examined to closely. However, it's hard to believe that his relationship to Katz was simply romantic. Any rising star in New Jersey politics understands the significance of labor boss, and hence, is naturally inclined to date a union leader rather than say...a non-union leader.

Nonetheless, Dawg also goes on to compare the allegations against Corzine versus those against Tom DeLay, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives. While Tom DeLay has actually committed House ethics violations by accepting vacations from lobbyists, Corzine is only guilty of acting "suspiciously". Of course, we must also keep that in mind when we examine DeLay's involvement in the shady deals concerning Indian Reservation casinos. Because again, he is not guilty, he is merely suspect.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Redskins to Rednecks

The NCAA has announced that Native American mascots will be prohibited during the NCAA tournament, but will be fine otherwise. Complete story here, at The Record Button.

What exactly is the reasoning here? Does the NCAA have a distinct appreciation for New Federalism? Why is a regular season game considered out of the jurisdiction of the governing body? The NCAA subjects all teams to the same regulations concerning eligibility, steroids, and endorsements. However, the "Indian Issue" is one to be resolved by the states.

Actually, it's probably reasonable. If a local team that is associated with an Indian tribe, such as my uncle's basketball team (above) in Tahlequa, Oklahoma (the capital of the Cherokee Indian Nation) takes pride in the origin of its mascot, it should not be restricted from celebrating it at their own games.

As for more national teams, such as the Washington Redskins, the solution is clear. Change the name from Redskins to Rednecks.

Drunk Driving In Essex County

David, at Clifton Blogs, wrote an interesting post about the regular appearence of drunk driving stories in the (Clifton news). For the whole story, go here.

David proposes several ideas that would help to curb drunk driving. Although he admits to not being an expert, he wonders aloud if cars could be made that could sense a high level of alcohol on the breath of the driver.

Although this proposal might sound to many as widely unpractical, it shouldn't be immediately dismissed. We need to first examine the possible scenarios a breath sensor in an automobile could create. For instance, if a car will not turn on if it senses a certain alcohol level, while a person can easily deal with this dilemma by taking a few altoids, the car's initial refusal will at least serve as a warning to the driver that he or she is indeed too intoxicated to be driving a car. To make the warning more effective, maybe the car should be unable to turn on for another ten minutes, which allows the person to think about their condition, and perhaps even retrieve somebody who is better equipped to drive the car.

Free Counter
Web Site Counters Who Links Here Listed on BlogShares