Like many of my fellow Americans, I have been forced to economize and become more of a bargain hunter than I was in the happy days of go-go prosperity. Having been brought up in the great Depression, I still pick up pennies, and I have always loved a bargain, but now more than ever. So now when I receive three colorful supermarket circulars in the mail each week, I examine them closely to see where the bargains are.
Although rarely looked at as such by the typical person, labor is an economic transaction. It’s a simple trade — one where the worker willingly gives to his employer, in exchange for monetary and benefit compensation, the use of his physical and mental services. As with any free market economic activity, either party can prevent ongoing transactions, whether such termination is based on dissatisfaction with what the exchange garners or on the influence of supply and demand in the micro- and macro-markets.
It’s time to originate a new joke: “What do you call 10,000 statists at the bottom of the sea?
A good start.”
If the Palestinians really wanted peace, they would have to stop shooting rockets from Gaza into Israeli towns. The rocket attacks have been going on for years. But the Palestinians have decided to acquire statehood, not by an agreement with Israel that would require them to end their war against the Jewish state, but by a vote of recognition in the United Nations General Assembly. They have been told that the United States would veto such a bid in the Security Council. But a positive vote in the General Assembly would upgrade the Palestinians’ observer status in the UN and permit them to participate in that body’s activities virtually as if they were a member state.
On the night of September 14th, I was watching Piers Morgan interview the great British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airlines. Branson’s house had burned down, but no life was lost. He and his son, mother, and relatives had been able to escape the flames which burnt this very large house to the ground. Morgan asked Branson if he believed in God. He said only vaguely. He said he also believed in evolution. Morgan then asked Branson if he had ever prayed. Branson admitted that he had prayed when he was facing death in a balloon that was in serious trouble. He simply asked God, “If you exist, please help me.” The fact that his life was saved did not turn him into a born-again Christian. He said he would like to believe, but that he needed something more tangible to prove God’s existence.
Ninety years ago — in 1921 — federal income tax policies reached an absurdity that many people today seem to want to repeat. Those who believe in high taxes on "the rich" got their way. The tax rate on people in the top income bracket was 73 percent in 1921. On the other hand, the rich also got their way: They didn't actually pay those taxes.
The victory of conservative Republican Bob Turner in New York’s Ninth Congressional District to replace the disgraced Democrat Anthony Weiner in the House of Representatives is an indication of the political earthquake we can expect in November 2012.