Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Quotes of the day

China is proving that American companies will throw freedom of speech out the window if the price is right.--Megan McArdle

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So much for the assertion -- made so confidently this year by Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Chuck Schumer -- that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would rescue the mortgage market from the housing slump.

It's time Mr. Paulson put taxpayers ahead of Wall Street.--WSJ

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Will a “debt burden” of 40% (publicly-held debt %GDP) bankrupt our grandkids? How about 80%, or 120%? Oops, wait a minute, 120% debt is what my grandparents’ generation bequeathed to their future grandkids in 1946. Well, I became one of those grandkids, and here we are sixty years later: not only has the debt failed to eat us alive, but we’ve run it back down to 40% of GDP—not because we reduced the debt, but because we grew the economy.--Steve Conover

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The most painful and frustrating economic policy blunder of the past 50 years was the Great Inflation of the 1970s. Painful, because it was the catalyst for three damaging recessions (1973-75, 1980, 1981-82), all the while eroding living standards and seriously undermining confidence in America.

It was also deeply frustrating. Despite the teaching of Milton Friedman -- which clearly explained that inflation was caused by too much money chasing too few goods -- a combination of bad economic models, denial and political expediency allowed it to happen.--Brian Wesbury

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There is something unseemly about Greenspan's conduct. Former presidents don't criticize U.S. foreign policy during times of war, Jimmy Carter notwithstanding. The same unspoken rule should apply to economic policy...

When the press calls, just say "no comment." This is an acquired skill, but I'm sure you'll catch on.--Caroline Baum

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The question of personhood is not definitionally religious, even if the only people interested in expanding society's definition of personhood are religious. Blacks are people, and those of us without any particular religious convictions are able to apprehend this, even if 150 years ago the only people much interested in prosecuting their claim to personhood were ministers and their flocks.--Megan McArdle

In effect, Mr. Obama is proposing to create or expand a slew of government spending programs that are disguised as tax credits. The spending on these programs is then subtracted from the total tax burden, in order to make the claim that his tax plan is a net tax cut overall.--Peter Ferrara

The time women spend putting on make up and getting dressed works out at 3,276 hours over their lifetimes while men only devote 1,092 hours to looking their best.--Jessica Salter

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Amazingly, 50 to 90 percent of the earth’s heat (no one is sure of the exact figure) comes from the radioactive breakdown of uranium and thorium, which make up 2 percent of the earth’s crust. The energy released from these radioactive elements is enough to raise the earth’s internal temperature to 7,000 degrees Fahrenheit — hotter than the surface of the sun.

Let’s mine small amounts of uranium, put them in a controlled environment, accelerate the breakdown a bit by initiating a chain reaction, and use the heat to boil water to produce electricity. In fact, this is what we do in a nuclear reactor.--William Tucker

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If God behaves differently in response to testing prayers than to non-testing prayers, then we will not learn whether non-testing prayers help (or hurt). On the other hand, if the null hypothesis is that prayer should have no impact, and we find one in patient-blind randomized control trials, then the atheists have some explaining to do.--Ian Ayres

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