Backbone Radio, September 12, 2010: Burning the Koran, politicizing the judicial system; the real voodoo economics
Terry Jones, pastor of a small “fundamentalist Christian church” in Gainesville, Florida, had planned “Burn a Koran Day” for today, the 9th Anniversary of the 9/11/2001 attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. It’s caused quite an uproar in America and abroad. Within America, some argue that the church has the right to do this, but they shouldn’t do it. Some argue they shouldn’t have the right. Some argue they should do it. We’ll discuss this, along with parallels to the outcry over the “Ground Zero Mosque.” My take is perhaps a little different than that of many conservatives.
The Facebook page for the “event” certainly seems to be bringing out the worst in all sides. It’s certainly “R-rated", so be warned if you take a look.
As of Thursday afternoon, Jones said he had suspended the burning after a somewhat bizarre claim of having reached an agreement that the Ground Zero Mosque would be moved, a claim almost instantly disavowed by the proposed mosque’s leader. We also learned that Defense Secretary Robert Gates called Jones. We’ll see how this develops…
Earlier this week, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter replaced outgoing State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey with the state’s deputy Attorney General, Monica Marquez. Marquez, who has never been a judge, seems to have three primary qualifications in the mind of our outgoing governor who need not face the political consequences of his choice: she’s Hispanic, lesbian, and fought for the state to be able to raise taxes despite the clear language of the TABOR Amendment. The chance that the State Supreme Court has improved by the disappearance of Mullarkey is gone, although Marquez will have to face a retention vote of her own in two years.
When reading the Denver Post’s quote of Bill Ritter saying that he chose Marquez because he’s certain that she would “uphold and respect the rule of law”, I can’t decide whether to laugh or cry at such an obvious bit of idiocy or dissembling.
One can’t help but wonder if Ritter was working to make up for his failed attempt to get another Hispanic female employee, Stephanie Villafuerte, appointed to a big job.
In our first hour, after talking about other news of the week, we’ll be joined by Matt Arnold, Director of Clear the Bench Colorado, to discuss the Marquez selection as well as his broader campaign to vote out three other liberal activist Supreme Court justices in November.
For much of the rest of the show, we’re going to focus on economics, covering in particular some of the aspects of Keynesian theory (which I had intended to cover last week until we had the chance to have a long conversation with Tom Tancredo.)
The cornerstone of Keynesian economics, the expression of which in today’s world is government “stimulus” programs of various sorts, is the assumption that a dollar of government spending will create more than a dollar of net economic activity. In other words, it is the assumption that the “multiplier” on government spending is greater than one.
The data do not support such a conclusion with multiple studies suggesting multipliers less than one, and perhaps even less than zero. It is Keynesianism, not “supply side” economics, which is based on voodoo, on hopes and prayers, and mostly on a desire to increase the size and scope of government.
In our second hour, we’ll be joined by one of the nation’s smartest and most influential economists (and a long-time friend), Steve Moore, currently of the Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board.
Steve is a tremendous writer, of course. One of my favorite articles of his is entitled ‘Atlas Shrugged’: From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years. Although Steve wrote it in January of 2009, it still rings true (and important) today. Read it at the above link, and HERE you can see a video of Steve talking about that particular article. More recently, Steve has taken note of the Colorado Health Care Freedom Act, championed by the Independent Institute’s Jon Caldara, which has qualified for the November ballot.
We’ll discuss the multiplier and other follies of Keynsians ideas (which is to say the follies of everything Barack Obama believes) as well as getting into the economic and political aspects of the current debate surrounding which of the Bush tax cuts should (or will) be extended and which will be allowed to expire. As the founder of the Club for Growth, Steve has more insight into and experience with the nuts and bolts of politics (double-entendre, at least on “nuts”, is intentional) than almost any other economist in America.
In our third hour, we’ll continue discussing a wide range of politics and economics, and perhaps have a few moments for a “global warming” update. Again, I hope you’ll join in the conversation. We can consider the third hour “open lines” this week, and talk about whatever’s on your mind – as long as it relates at least a little bit to politics or economics.
If you’re not in range of the radio waves, you should be able to listen to the show online by clicking HERE.
I hope you’ll actively participate in the conversation with me: Call the studio at 303 696 1971, e-mail me at ross(at)710knus.com, or instant message from my site at http://rossputin.com or through AOL Instant messenger to screen name Rossputin.
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