“The Economist” hates America

Those wacky conservative Brits continue to try to make some inroads with the non-reality-based community with little obvious effect. Relevant excerpt:

But the bad news outdoes the good. The Republicans, by getting rid of inheritance tax, seem hell-bent on ignoring Teddy Roosevelt’s warnings about the dangers of a hereditary aristocracy. The Democrats are more interested in preferment for minorities than building ladders of opportunity for all.

I couldn’t agree more. A couple years ago, an acquaintance in Austin inherited a ton of money from his parent, and as a result doesn’t currently hold a job (by choice), and argued very strongly that the inheritance tax (even with its huge exemption which has only gotten huger since then) is unquestionably bad, both practically and idealistically. I can’t even imagine somebody who truly believes in the American dream holding those views (i.e. better to tax work than inheritance), but they’re all over the place, and they voted W. Far better to idolize somebody who inherited his wealth and all his jobs than somebody like Clinton, who had to work his way out of trailer-trashdom, I suppose.

And the semi-permanent corporate pseudo-aristocracy (once you’re an executive, you can kill 20 or 30 companies and still get executive jobs) ain’t helping my mood either. The CEO of my last clerking factory single-handedly destroyed the place, and yet I’m sure he won’t see even a remote economic hit from it, while the people he callously and frivolously fired when he was in a bad mood had to struggle to get by.

This isn’t the America I believe in, and I don’t have a lot of optimism that it’s coming back anytime soon.

The Reason To Fight Globalization

(the bravest man I’ve seen in my lifetime, presumed dead).

We shouldn’t have opened our trade relationship with these bastards, and they arguably aren’t any better now than they were then, putting the lie to the theory that trade inevitably leads to freedom. Much of the Chinese goods sold at places like Wal-Mart is produced by prison labor, not middle-class factory workers.

Followup on Our Friends The Saudis

Kevin Drum points out that the media continues to ignore the fact that the Saudis are the only major producer with unused short-term oil pumping capacity. This is the other piece of the story which bugged me for a long time – two years ago, when it was clear that these asswipes were behind a big chunk of the 9/11 attacks, it seems like the mass media in this country bent over backwards to ignore the fact that we were afraid to confront them for it – and the biggest reason for that fear? The Saudis have the only reliable control over world oil prices.

What’s Buggin’ Me About Saudi Arabia Today

So in every article I’ve read so far on the shootings in the residential complex over the weekend, the mention of higher oil prices is always tempered by comments that the oil infrastructure is well-protected. (example).

Why is it that none of these journalists have the balls to say why these attacks are bad?

The fact is that the Saudis can’t run their own oil industry. They rely on foreigners (Westerners) for nearly all of the human capital involved – and the Americans and British have advised all their citizens to leave the country.

It just amazes me how pansy our press has become. This is a huge deal; and yet they’re focusing on the infrastructure instead of the workers.

Oh, and I just filled up the Civic. 36 mpg on last tank. Had to wait 15 minutes in hot sun at Costco behind megaSUVs. We also filled up the Prius this weekend – averaging upper 40s so far. (It was our fourth fillup since we bought the car in late February).