Progresso

I hardly ever have canned soup — I find it pretty easy to make from scratch, if I have the time. But I just tried some Progresso chicken with rotelli. I enhanced it with leftover chicken breast, and added water, but I still found it too salty, and the carrots and the noodles too mushy. I suppose that overcooking is inevitable with canning, but if this is the best (and they certainly price it that way), what are the rest like?

Change!

…but not much hope:

The situation is a striking turnabout from 2007, when more babies were born in the United States than in any other year in the nation’s history. The recession began that fall, dragging down stocks, jobs and births.

“When the economy is bad and people are uncomfortable about their financial future, they tend to postpone having children,” said Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University. “We saw that in the Great Depression the 1930s, and we’re seeing that in the Great Recession today.”

“It could take a few years to turn this around,” he added.

Then again, it might turn around on November 3rd.

Five Things We’ve Learned

from the Lightworker:

We know that when it comes to the high life, Democrats believe in partying hardy, sending taxpayers every bill they can while living lives of luxury the rest of us can ill-afford. We know, too, that Democrats cheat on their taxes and wrangle government deals for their relatives with a feeling of entitlement that is sure to put the term “public servant” in disrepute for the next century. Thanks to the growth of government on the Lightworker’s watch, we have seen public employees now eclipse the earnings and benefits of private workers, with the only end in sight the fate of Greece.

Praise to the Lightworker and his fellow Democrats for teaching us these essential lessons, which reinforce our will to throw them all on the unemployment lines posthaste.

I’m hoping that in a few weeks, we’ll be taking them to school.

Economic Liberty

taking it seriously:

…James Madison, one of the chief architects of both the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, echoed Coke’s words: “That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where arbitrary restrictions, exemptions, and monopolies deny to part of its citizens that free use of their faculties, and free choice of their occupations.” Similarly, Rep. John Bingham (R-Ohio), the author of the first section of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, which applied the Bill of Rights and other unenumerated rights to the states, said that the 14th Amendment included “the liberty…to work in an honest calling and contribute by your toil in some sort to the support of your fellowmen, and to be secure in the enjoyment of the fruits of your toil.”

So what went wrong? According to Sandefur, the blame falls largely on the Progressives of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who believed that government action should be the primary agent of all social change. To that end, the Progressives enacted a mountain of new legislation that touched on every aspect of human life, from workplace regulations and antitrust statutes to alcohol prohibition, racial segregation, and eugenics.

How “progressive.” Maybe we need a new amendment.

Egalitarian Policies

…that caused the economic disaster:

This does not strike me as a story about how income inequality caused the financial crisis. Rather, this is a story about how policies intended to reduce inequality had the unintended consequence of precipitating America’s worst economic slump since the Depression. It’s very important that we’re straight on what the story is, since different stories may have very different implications for policy. If the story is that the level of inequality itself—and not our ideas about or political reactions to it—indirectly caused the crisis, then we may think that narrowing the gap is a matter of urgent necessity. But if the story is that an ill-conceived political attempt to reduce inequality—and not the fact of inequality itself—led to apocalyptic economic devastation, then we may well conclude that it is better to refrain from equalising initiatives unless we are quite certain they will not backfire.

Darn those pesky unintended consequences.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!