Wednesday, July 2, 2008

We Can Lower Oil Prices Now

Martin Feldstein:
Any policy that causes the expected future oil price to fall can cause the current price to fall, or to rise less than it would otherwise do. In other words, it is possible to bring down today's price of oil with policies that will have their physical impact on oil demand or supply only in the future.

For example, increases in government subsidies to develop technology that will make future cars more efficient, or tighter standards that gradually improve the gas mileage of the stock of cars, would lower the future demand for oil and therefore the price of oil today.

That means an immediate combination of more drilling, development of alternative sources of energy (i.e. nuclear and solar), subsidies to encourage and speed up that development, requiring more efficient vehicles or even a Pigovian tax on oil/carbon-based energy. It would also be helpful to aid China and India in developing and implementing more efficient energy consumption methods to reduce their demand for oil.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Obama, Guns, and the Supreme Court

Robert Novak on Obama's Dodge on Guns:
While Scalia's opinion for now saves Obama from defending a court that had emasculated gun rights, one inconvenient truth confronts the candidate. He has made clear that as president he would nominate Supreme Court justices who agree with the minority of four that the Second Amendment is meaningless. Would he want a reconstituted court to roll back the D.C. decision when the Chicago case gets there?
Obama has been making a shrewd "move to the center" since winning the nomination. While being the most liberal Senator in the U.S. Senate (more liberal than Ted Kennedy or John Kerry), he has been somewhat successful in convincing certain segments of the population that usually vote Republican or lean conservative that he's not all that liberal. McCain needs to expose this. It would be to the severe detriment of the conservative movement if Obama was allowed to successfully cast himself as a centrist and then stack the Supreme Court with at least 2 liberal judges who will outlast his tenure as president. Despite what many believe, there is not yet a conservative majority on the court. There needs to be at least one more solid conservative appointed before a majority is attained. That, and all the issues that will be determined by the court in the coming years, is what is at stake this year.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Culture of Corruption

Over at McCarville, a picture (or five) says a thousand words.

The Tragedy of America's Disappearing Fathers

Read it. Juan Williams:

The extent of the problem is clear. The nation's out-of-wedlock birth rate is 38%. Among white children, 28% are now born to a single mother; among Hispanic children it is 50% and reaches a chilling, disorienting peak of 71% for black children. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly a quarter of America's white children (22%) do not have any male in their homes; nearly a third (31%) of Hispanic children and over half of black children (56%) are fatherless.

This represents a dramatic shift in American life. In the early 1960s, only 2.3% of white children and 24% of black children were born to a single mom. Having a dad, in short, is now a privilege, a ticket to middle-class status on par with getting into a good college.