Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday Round-up 2

Five more from the week’s reading.

  1. I’ve added to the list of blogs that I read. During this election cycle, many Republican intellectuals chose not to back John McCain in the final contest. This included the likes of George Will, Peggy Noonan, Christopher Buckley (who publicly announced his intention to vote Obama as he left The National Review), an David Frum. These people were not pro-Obama so much as they were embarrassed by what the Republican Party has become. Most are moderates; some lean libertarian; but all are intellectuals. NewMajority is David Frum’s new website dedicated to reasoned dialogue about where the Republican’s go from here. It’s worth keeping an eye on what the debate looks like here, and if possible having a voice. I think Objectivists need to get involved in mainstream, rational debates like this. I’d love to see Ari Armstrong’s “Toward a GOP Revival” get air time on forums like this.
  2. The Three Economists. Much publicized discussion by three leading macro-economists on the Obama stimulus plans. Healthy skepticism is growing on the prudence of such a plan, as it should be. [Hat tip: Megan McCardle]
  3. Buffett on whether the stimulus will work. Notice the complete lack of certainty he claims as to whether anyone knows what the right course of action is; and conversely the complete certainty that doing nothing is not an option.  A lesson in bad epistemology, and a fatal flaw in the logic. The question that exposes it: "What if government interference makes things worse? a lot worse?” [Hat Tip: Tyler Cowen]
  4. Univesity of Chicago professor Luigi Zingales has some continued advice for government regulators. He continues to advocate what I think is the clearest solution to the financial crisis: streamlined bankruptcy and speedy recapitalizations. This is also the most free-market solution one can get given the high level of government involvement in the financial sector.
  5. I wanted to echo Ari’s recommendation of the movie Slumdog Millionaire. It is a wonderfully told tale of the pursuit of values, where the plot is threaded through the 20 questions of a quiz show.


Katrina said...

Reading Buckley's article today is a bizarre experience. His prediction that Obama, being intelligent and a good writer, will not raise tariffs and taxes, increase regulation, and hand out money to special interests has been soundly disproved less than a month into the Obama presidency.

Kendall J said...

I don't want to imply that Buckley defected for the right reasons, only that the defection of those like him is an opportunity.