Monday, August 9, 2010

Surprises in the News Today

Socialist Canada?

Dean has bashed the anti-free speech nature of the human rights commissions in Canada and in particular their harassment of freedom fighter Ezra Levant with good reason. Also, I have visited Canada and followed their travails with their socialist health care system as a good warning for America. Imagine my surprise when the WSJ's Jason Clemens praises the Canadians for their much smaller government, which seems to be helping them weather the current economic crisis better than we are.

Government austerity has been accompanied by prosperity. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), between 1997 and 2007 Canada's economic performance outstripped the OECD average and led the G-7 countries. Growth in total employment in Canada averaged 2.1%, compared to an OECD average of 1.1%.

During the mid-1990s, Canada's commitment to reform allowed it to tackle two formerly untouchable programs: welfare and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), equivalent to Social Security in the U.S. Over three years, federal and provincial governments agreed to changes that included investing surplus contributions in market instruments such as stocks amd bonds, curtailing some benefits, and increasing the contribution rate. The CPP is financially solvent and will be able to weather the retiring baby boomers.


Most strikingly, Canada is emerging more quickly from the recession than almost any industrialized country. It's unemployment rate, which peaked at 9% in August 2009, has already fallen to 7.9%. Americans can learn much by looking north.

The article does allow that health care is still a problem, but it was an interesting read.

Unfilled Jobs?

Image from Carpe Diem.

Also, from the WSJ was an article about unfilled jobs in specialized industries. Although there was no definitive answer, the theories offered indicate that Obama administration policies are making things worse not better. One cause might be the extended unemployment benefits. Another might be the financial losses people would suffer if they move to a new location and sell their homes, lowering mobility. Another issue is the lack of good technical skills to fall back upon when managerial positions are lost. America's high schools and colleges aren't providing very much technical training. In fact, some colleges seem to be a complete waste of time and dollars, where students spend five years in an alcoholic haze, or worse. From the article:
If the job market were working normally—that is, if openings were getting filled as they usually do—the U.S. should have about five million more gainfully employed people than it does, estimates David Altig, research director at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. That would correspond to an unemployment rate of 6.8%, instead of 9.5%.

Beer Label Bashing Obama, Not from Shiner TX?

Image from

Iowahawk has a great article on Lagunitas WTF brew that seems to take aim at Obama's policies. Lagunitas makes some pretty good beers, so I am not surprised that the reviewer liked this particular concoction. From the 'Hawk:

Now I don’t know about you, but if a brewery in a liberal city, in one of the most liberal counties, in the most liberal state can gather the courage to post that on their locally-sold product, then I think they need to be brought to the attention of good Americans everywhere, who are tired of the bad politics, and bad politicians on both sides of the isle, and would also like a damn fine beer while they wait for one to come along.
I also have to ask the natural question, "Why does B-Daddy scoop Beers With Demo on beer stories?"

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I was scooped. Especially because I was aware of that rant on the side of the bottle. It stood out because Lagunitas rants on all their beer bottles, but they are usually of the whimsical, mildly profane, marijuana-inspired variety.

    And talk about useless regulations. The beer is named as it is because you cannot put on the label what is not in the vessel, otherwise they would've gone with "Whiskey" rather than "Wilco".

    As it is, the Lagunitas guys are big fans of the alt-country band Wilco, who incidentally have an album called, wait for it.... "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" so it all kind of worked out.