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Friday, July 25, 2008

Why I <3 The WSJ

...because they use their brains and common sense. Check out these pieces:
  • Batman & Bush:
    Leftists frequently complain that right-wing morality is simplistic. Morality is relative, they say; nuanced, complex. They're wrong, of course, even on their own terms.
  • Economics as Metaphor:
    Although markets are volatile and segments of the country are having a hard time, the national output is up, not down, this year. How has the economy pulled this off? Is there something the pessimists were missing? ... What's excessive now is fear, not debt: Fears of insolvency and private-sector indebtedness are misplaced and harmful. They place obstacles in the way of ill-used capital that seeks to move toward safer and more profitable employment. They plunge the stock market into turbulence. They push government into hasty actions that intrude more aggressively into private choices and decisions. They undercut the market-price system, without which the economy cannot allocate resources productively. Last but not least, these fears trigger the proverbial false alarm in a crowded theater, sending everyone stampeding for the exits. ... We are not a nation of whiners, but we do have a lot of alarmists. It is becoming politically incorrect to suggest that the economy is basically sound. ... Failure to recognize this endangers the mental health of our society. We create a far bigger tragedy when we lose heart, change the rules of the game, or act recklessly with quick fixes.
  • Dumb Minimum Wage Increase:
    Only 15% of employees making the minimum wage are single earners with dependents. "A minimum wage increase today is a middle-class family entitlement," says EPI Executive Director Rick Berman, "because that's who's working at the minimum wage in second and third jobs." Repeated studies have shown that minimum-wage increases are more likely to slow job creation than reduce poverty. A large share of the costs of these mandates are borne by the same low-income families the wage hike is supposed to help. Employers inevitably pass wage increases onto consumers as higher prices for goods and services, which erodes the spending power of all consumers but especially the poor.
  • Baghdad, Berlin, Barack:

    "But in the darkest hour," said Sen. Obama, "the people of Berlin kept the flame of hope burning. The people of Berlin refused to give up. And on one fall day, hundreds of thousands of Berliners came here, to the Tiergarten, and heard the city's mayor implore the world not to give up on freedom. 'There is only one possibility,' he said. 'For us to stand together united until this battle is won…. The people of Berlin have spoken. We have done our duty, and we will keep on doing our duty'." This, from a U.S. Senator whose consistent message to the people of Baghdad, a similarly besieged city, also dependent on America's protection, has been, in effect, to give up.

    Mr. Obama reiterated this view earlier in the week while traveling in the Middle East, in an interview with ABC's Terry Moran. Mr. Moran asked the Illinois Democrat whether -- "knowing what you know now" -- he would reconsider his opposition to last year's surge of U.S. troops in Iraq. "Well, no," Mr. Obama replied.

    What Mr. Obama "knows now" is that the surge he opposed has saved Iraq, much as Harry Truman's airlift saved Berlin and underlined America's intention to defend Europe throughout the Cold War. The surge has also saved American lives in Iraq, with combat-related deaths (so far, there have been seven this month) at an all time low.

Excerpts on expand; they're all 2-minute reads, check them out.

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