You are browsing the archive for 2013 November 18.

Avatar of admin

by admin

Outrageous: Young Conservatives of Texas Campus Group Launches Their Own Undocumented Immigrant 'Sting'

November 18, 2013 in Blogs

By Jenny Kutner, Salon

They didn't think their affirmative action bake sale went over well enough.


Updated 4:04 p.m., eastern: The YCT chapter president, Lorenzo Garcia, has created a Facebook event for the sting, which will actually be called “Catch an Illegal Immigrant.” The Facebook page also reflects information that has recently come to light about Garcia’s “nonpartisan” political affiliation with Texas Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, for whom he works as an intern.

After their wildly successful affirmative action bake sale earlier this fall, a conservative campus group at the University of Texas has come up with a competitively–if not equally–offensive stunt to tackle immigration reform. On Wednesday, the Young Conservatives of Texas will host a mock immigration sting, during which other students will have the opportunity to “catch” an undocumented immigrant in exchange for a $25 gift card.

YCT will rely on volunteers bearing name-tags that say “illegal immigrant,” and not simply on participants’ suspicions of their classmates. According to a brief statement from the group’s chairman, Lorenzo Garcia, the event is meant to “spark a campus-wide discussion about the issue of illegal immigration and how if affects our everyday lives.” Neither he nor YCT’s executive director, Jenna White, has offered any additional comments about the event.

Immigration reform is, obviously, a hot topic in Texas, which is home to over 1 million undocumented immigrants. It’s also a major issue with regard to higher education at the state’s public universities, where there is ongoing debate over a state law that allows undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition if they graduated from a Texas high school. YCT–a self-proclaimed nonpartisan organization–supports measures to eliminate the law. While it’s great if the group hopes to open a dialogue about immigration as it pertains the university as a whole, it’s already pretty clear where the young conservatives stand.

Related Stories

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Click HERE To Tell Rand Your Obamacare Story

November 18, 2013 in Politics & Elections

…read more

Source: RAND PAUL

Avatar of admin

by admin

VIDEO: Bob Murphy Explains His Upcoming Mises Academy Course on Obamacare

November 18, 2013 in Economics

By Mises Updates

To see more details for the “Economics of ObamaCare” online course, see: http://academy.mises.org/courses/obamacare/

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

The Failed Fed

November 18, 2013 in Economics

By Richard W. Rahn

Richard W. Rahn

“I wouldn’t start here if I were you,” is the punch line of an old Irish joke, which monetary scholar Kevin Dowd cites to illustrate the deeper and deeper hole the Federal Reserve is getting us into.

Mr. Dowd, in a paper delivered last week at the Cato Institute’s 31st annual Monetary Conference, concluded: “The modern financial system has not only kicked away most of the constraints against excessive risk-taking, but positively incentivized systemic risk-taking in all manner of highly destructive ways. We have gone from a system that managed itself to one that requires management, but cannot be managed. We have gone from a system that was guarded by market forces operating under the rule of law to one that requires human guardians instead — but we have not solved the underlying problem of how to guard the guardians themselves.” These last two lines could equally be applied to Obamacare, because both are examples of F.A. Hayek’s description of the “fatal conceit” so often exhibited by those who believe in government more than markets.

A central bank vulnerable to political pressure was never intended.”

Speakers at the monetary conference included current and past Fed bank presidents, other former senior Fed officials, members of Congress and noted monetary scholars. All concluded that the Fed has gone well beyond its original mandate and has had a long record of failure, owing not only to its own misjudgments, but also as a result of pressures by various administrations and Congress to do the wrong thing.

The Fed was originally established to be a lender of last resort to stop bank runs, a payments’ processor to clear checks, and an issuer of a uniform national currency (rather than have individual banks issue bank notes). From this limited beginning, it quickly evolved into a full-fledged central bank. The list of failures is long. Once the United States went off the gold standard, the Fed was charged with maintaining the value of the currency — yet the dollar is only worth roughly one-twenty-third of what it was worth when the Fed went into operation a hundred years ago. The Fed is supposed to maintain full employment, which cannot be done by monetary policy alone when excessive government spending, taxing and regulations sap the vitality out of the economy. The Fed has been given powers to regulate banks and, most recently, to “protect consumers,” which is undefined and infinitely elastic.

A former president of the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank, Jerry Jordan, explained the fundamental dilemma. “The existence, per se, of …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

It's Not the Stasi, But the NSA Is Bad Enough

November 18, 2013 in Economics

By Gene Healy

Gene Healy

Leave it to the Washington Post, this overgrown company town’s paper of record, to put things in perspective.

Along with “how to get rich in the new Washington,” the WaPo website announced Nov. 18 that “NSA’s got nothing on German Stasi.”

“Victims of the fearsome Communist East German secret police say: not so fast” to comparisons of National Security Agency spying with the Cold-War era Stasi, the Post reports.

The spy agency for the communist “German Democratic Republic” employed over a quarter of a million East Germans — nearly 1 in 50 — as agents or informants.

We don’t need to invoke the Stasi to understand the dangers of the NSA’s dragnet data collection.”

Anyone “who dared criticize their government” — even in private — “could wind up disappearing into its penal system for years.”

The Post quotes the director of Berlin’s prison museum saying “the Stasi was a lot worse.” So we’ve got that going for us.

Of course the Stasi was orders of magnitude worse than the National Security Agency. How comforting should that be?

We don’t need to invoke the Stasi to understand the dangers of the NSA’s dragnet data collection. We can look to our own Cold War history, when the political class built files on thousands of peaceful dissenters, swept up millions of Americans’ private communications and used the information gathered to amass and maintain power.

Under the NSA’s secret SHAMROCK project and its sister program, MINARET, Americans — including congressmen, protesters, and humor columnists — had their telegrams read, international phone calls tapped and secret files about them distributed to the FBI and other agencies the NSA viewed as its “customers.”

Liberal icon Jack Kennedy forged new frontiers in domestic surveillance, wiretapping steel executives who’d raised prices and members of the Washington press corps he suspected of accessing classified information.

In “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA,” journalist Tim Weiner notes, “long before Nixon created his ‘plumbers’ unit of CIA veterans to stop news leaks, Kennedy used the agency to spy on Americans.”

Political intelligence gathered from wiretaps on lobbyists in 1961 “contributed heavily to the administration’s success” in getting the sugar-quota bill it wanted, according to an internal FBI memo.

And there’s a reason J. Edgar Hoover was able to run the FBI virtually unchecked for nearly four decades. As Richard Nixon put it: “Hoover’s got files on everybody, g——-n it!” Hoover was “a master blackmailer,” according …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Europe's Bank Money Blues

November 18, 2013 in Economics

By Steve H. Hanke

image

Steve H. Hanke

Well, it’s official, the economic talking head establishment has declared war on Germany. The opening shots in this battle were fired by none other than the United States Treasury Department, which had the audacity to blame Germany for a weak Eurozone recovery in its semi-annual foreign exchange report. The Treasury’s criticisms were echoed by IMF First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton, in a recent speech in Berlin — a speech so incendiary that the IMF opted to post the “original draft,” rather than his actual comments, on its website. Things were kicked into a full blitzkrieg when Paul Krugman penned his latest German-bashing New York Times column.

The claims being leveled against Germany revolve around nebulous terms like “imbalances” and “deflationary biases.” But, what’s really going on here? The primary complaint being leveled is that Germany’s exports are too strong, and domestic consumption is too weak. In short, the country is producing more than it consumes. Critics argue that “excess” German exports are making it harder for other countries (including the U.S.) to recover in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

While a review of international trade statistics is all well and good, the ire against Germany actually comes down to one thing: austerity. Despite Germany’s relatively strong recovery, the international economic establishment is none too happy about the country’s tight fiscal ship. If only Germany would crank up government spending, then Germans would buy more goods, and all would be right in the Eurozone, and around the world — the argument goes.

The confused souls who point at German inspired “fiscal austerity” as the cause for the Eurozone’s struggling economy are flat wrong.”

Yes, the anti-austerity crowd has found a convenient way to both slam austerity and scapegoat one of the few countries to successfully rebound from the crisis. I would add that it is hardly a coincidence that this line of argument fits nicely into the fiscalist message of Germany’s Social Democratic party, with whom Chancellor Angela Merkel is currently trying to arrange a governing coalition.

In recent years, the fiscalist crowd has advanced the one-dimensional argument that fiscal stimulus is the only way to save struggling economies in the wake of the crisis. This follows the standard Keynesian line: to stimulate the economy, expand the government’s deficit (or shrink its surplus); and to rein in an overheated economy, shrink the government’s deficit (or …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Housing Bubble II is Cooling

November 18, 2013 in Economics

By Mark Thornton

It now appears that Housing Bubble II is cooling. After the Fed drove mortgage rates down to around 3.35% in May for a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage, home prices started climbing. In the sand states of California, Nevada, Arizona, and Florida, among the hardest hit areas, home prices increased by an average of about 25%. Bloomberg reports that mortgage applications have declined 17% since May and that price reductions are occurring on 25% of listed homes. Now that the rate on 30 year fixed-rate mortgages has risen to 4.35% buyers now face a 12% increase in their monthly payments.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE