Framing the Dialogue

Archive for February, 2011

BHO Network

The new, open media has allowed virtually anyone to produce their own media outlet. For less than ten dollars you can register your domain name at GoDaddy, set up a WordPress account and be on your way. It’s getting the audience that is the tough part. (By the way thank all of you for continuing to read FramingTheDialogue! – tell your friends) If you have ten or twenty million dollars you can start your own cable network like Al Gore’s “Nobody Knows The Name Network” or Oprah’s “O” network. Even for big names like Oprah and Gore getting the audience is still the rough part. Neither of them has done particularly well.

Update: Liberal Alters – Unions

Unions and local Democrat politicians have devised wicked schemes to favor union companies from minimum wage rates, to prevailing wage requirement, to Project Labor Agreements (prevent non-union companies from bidding on publicly funded projects). Allegheny County (Pittsburgh area) has reached a new low with the latest tactic. Rather than their usual playbook favoring union shops, they now are going directly after local businesses that are not unionized.

Hannibal Crosses the Alps

“Evidence regarding Hannibal and the crossing of the Alps does not exist.  No one has ever found a single piece of archaeological evidence to prove conclusively that Hannibal ever even set foot in Italy.”

John Prevas provides an exhaustive yet highly readable search for Hannibal.  Prevas’ research included at least five years climbing through the Alps trying to find Hannibal’s route.  In Hannibal Crosses the Alps I was treated to the historical rise of Hannibal and his in-grained hatred of all things Roman in defense of his beloved Carthage.  Most of us were taught extensively about the great Roman empire, but few of us know they were proceeded by the strong merchant culture of the Carthaginians whose navy and army dominated the region for centuries.  The rise of the Romans created unavoidable conflicts and the ultimate demise of Carthage at the hand of the Romans.

Barry’s Choice

We were blessed on Valentine’s Day with the release of the Obama Administration’s 2012 budget proposal.  The cover of the document perhaps should have been red, but give him credit Obama is coming out swinging in defense of his vision for our economic future (sound of toilet flushing in the distance).  It is an interesting tactic to produce this and immediately have his lackeys and media dogs go on the attack because the Republicans have not given their proposal for the 2012 budget.  Perhaps that is because they are working to cut from the current budget before taking on the next one.  The 2011 bloated Democrat budget is not a done deal.

Hip Hop Economics

I am not even sure how to introduce this other than that the YouTube revolution has given voice to subjects that many will find boring.  I would estimate that 99% of Americans would quickly shut this video off (I loved it).  What I found most interesting is that this video had nearly 2 million hits.  Not bad for a couple of “de-funk’t economists.” 

F.A. Hayek is a free-market guy (and right)

John Keynes is a government spending guy (and wrong)

If you are really interested in economics this discussion is both informative and entertaining.

True American Hero – Milton Friedman

I have read the works of many great economists and the better ones have the innate ability to frame complex economic theories into words and images that are easily understandable.  On the other hand (a favorite economist phrase) perhaps all other economists make easy theories sound complicated.  Either way a favorite of mine is Milton Friedman.  Mr. Friedman has a quality that makes economics simple, practical, perhaps even fun.  Yes I said fun. 

IRS Offers Revised Plan to Tax Cheats

In this series I choose a current news article and you decide via a multiple choice format which terms were used and whether others would have been more accurate…….

NEW YORK — The IRS unveiled a new __________ (initiative, set of rules for politicians, plan to hire thousands of agents, kinder-gentler enforcement approach)  yesterday that’s intended to lure tax evaders, but with stiffer penalties than in a previous program.  Americans with hidden offshore accounts have until Aug. 31 to report the accounts to the Internal Revenue Service in exchange for penalties below what __________ (politicians, Hollywood stars, they would, we) ordinarily pay.  Defense lawyers had been ________ (wondering how to make money on, speculating about, getting ready to turn themselves in, suing someone over)  a possible new program after recent statements by IRS officials.  The agency created the latest program amid a widening crackdown on offshore accounts sold to wealthy Americans.

Update – A Rough Pitch

My last post chronicled how the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team with EIGHTEEN STRAIGHT losing seasons, were forced through arbitration to give pitcher Ross Ohlendorf a nearly 400 percent raise even though he was often hurt and only compiled a 1 win versus 11 loss season.  In Pittsburgh the Steelers’ season is over so football, the city’s favorite sport, until the NFL draft.  The Penguins are limping so badly with injuries that their season is on the brink of collapse.  They still enjoy strong fan support and are exciting to watch in anticipation of Sidney Crosby’s return (hopefully).  Other than college basketball, hoops is not a big sport in the town.

The Liberal Hour

I guess I’d describe reading this book as if I was walking in a strange world…a liberal world…I didn’t like it.  It is interesting that liberals, like author John Kenneth Galbraith, from that era (this book was first published in 1960) were not quite as socialistic as they are today.  They were socialistic, but not as shrill.  Perhaps one of the endorsements on the back cover says it best, “a reasoned attack on the productivity ethic and a concrete, provocative program for altering the economic structure to maintain a new social balance.”  [emphasis added]

Separated At Birth – Simpson/Clapper

Homer Simpson:  Homer is the “leader” of the animated television series “The Simpsons.”  While lovable he frequently finds himself intellectually lacking and often appears rather dumb when faced with logical issues.   Homer’s family and friends often have to come to his rescue when he makes massive mistakes.  Viewers watch in awe at his antics in anticipation of further mishaps.