Economist Deirdre McCloskey will soon release her new book entitled "Bourgeois Equality:  How Ideas…
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Image of the Day: A Powerful Tribute to Free Market Capitalism

Economist Deirdre McCloskey will soon release her new book entitled "Bourgeois Equality:  How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World." It it, she describes the unprecedented transformation  and improvement of human wellbeing through the power of economic freedom, as illustrated by this graph:

. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="568" caption="The Power of Free Markets"][/caption]

. As McCloskey summarizes, that's the result of the free market revolution:

. [I]n the two centuries after 1800, the trade-tested goods and services available to the average person in Sweden or Taiwan rose by a factor of 30 or 100.  Not 100 percent, understand - a mere doubling - but in its highest estimate a factor of 100, nearly 10,000 percent, and at least a factor of 30…[more]

August 18, 2017 • 01:52 pm

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Notable Quotes
 
On What Identity Politics Has Wrought:
 
 

" ... Americans have grown increasingly accustomed to the view that your politics is determined by your racial, ethnicity or gender identity. Politics is seen as a zero-sum battle for government favor. College and corporate leaders join in.

Universities sponsor separate orientations, dormitories and commencements for identity groups (are separate drinking fountains next?). A corporate CEO fires an employee who challenged the dogma that only invidious discrimination can explain gender percentages in job categories different from those of the larger population.

America today is a long way from Weimar. But identity politics threatens to get us a little closer. Possible solution: Unequivically condemn bigotry and violence and, in the fired Google engineer James Damore's words, 'Treat people as individuals, not just another member of their group.'"

 
 
— Michael Barone, Washington Examiner Senior Political Analyst and AEI Resident Fellow
— Michael Barone, Washington Examiner Senior Political Analyst and AEI Resident Fellow
Posted August 18, 2017 • 08:25 am
 
 
On American Resolve in the Face of NoKo Threats:
 
 

"North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un appears to have blinked and President Trump can claim a foreign policy victory and justification for his strategy.

"Reminiscent of President Ronald Reagan's 'peace through strength' approach to deterring adversaries, Mr. Trump stood up to the blustering despot and forced him to back down from his threat to launch missiles at Guam.

"China, North Korea's biggest ally, no doubt played a role in getting Mr. Kim to change his mind, but primary credit should go to the president. ...

"American resolve has been tested and has prevailed, at least for now. Mr. Kim has lost face. His military leaders and others will take notice, as will the rest of the world. The significance of the unanimous U.N. resolution imposing new sanctions on North Korea, which included the support of China, could not have been lost on Mr. Kim."

 
 
— Cal Thomas, Nationally Syndicated Columnist
— Cal Thomas, Nationally Syndicated Columnist
Posted August 17, 2017 • 08:05 am
 
 
On Getting the U.S. Economy Back on Track:
 
 

"The American economy has been in a funk for a decade. Donald Trump was elected largely on his promise to see the economy regain traction and resume speed on the road to prosperity. There are encouraging signs that his strategy of releasing the regulatory brakes is working. Combined with changes in immigration policy, the years in the doldrums may soon be at an end.

"A study by the free-market think tank, American Action Forum, demonstrates that the president's administration has made tangible progress in rolling back the regulatory state that has been choking the economy. ...

"Reeling back the red tape is already enabling the economy to pick up speed. From 2013 to 2016, the years of Barack Obama's second term, the growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) had averaged only an unimpressive 2.1 percent, by the account of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Since Mr. Trump took office in January, GDP leaped from 1.6 percent during the first quarter of 2017 to 2.6 percent during the second quarter. It's a promising trend, one bolstered by the continuation of job creation that added 1 million jobs nationwide."

 
 
— The Editors, The Washington Times
— The Editors, The Washington Times
Posted August 16, 2017 • 08:28 am
 
 
On Stopping China’s Intellectual Property Theft:
 
 

"President Trump on Monday instructed the office of the United States Trade Representative to consider an investigation into China's sustained and widespread attacks on America's intellectual property. This investigation will provide the evidence for holding China accountable for a decades-long assault on the intellectual property of the United States and its allies.

"For too long, the United States has treated China as a developing nation to be coaxed and lectured, while tolerating its bad behavior as merely growing pains. There has been an expectation that as China's economy matures, it will of its own accord adopt international standards in commerce, including protection for intellectual property. There has also been a tendency to excuse mercantilist behavior, including industrial espionage, as a passing phase, and to justify inaction as necessary to secure Chinese cooperation on other, supposedly more important, issues.

"Chinese companies, with the encouragement of official Chinese policy and often the active participation of government personnel, have been pillaging the intellectual property of American companies. All together, intellectual-property theft costs America up to $600 billion a year, the greatest transfer of wealth in history. China accounts for most of that loss."

 
 
— Dennis C. Blair, Former DNI and Keith Alexander, Former US Cyber Command and NSA Director
— Dennis C. Blair, Former DNI and Keith Alexander, Former US Cyber Command and NSA Director
Posted August 15, 2017 • 08:30 am
 
 
On the Need to Declare an Armistice in Hyper-Partisan Politics:
 
 

"Consistency of principles is neither foolish nor small-minded. It is the essence of any moral system. Principled consistency may be difficult to achieve, especially in our current hyper-partisan atmosphere. But if we are ever to end the partisan bickering and name-calling that is coarsening dialogue and making reasoned compromise impossible, we must insist on a single standard of legality and morality that applies equally to Democrats and Republicans. We are far from that in the current shouting match in which each side calls the other 'criminal,' 'racist' or worse.

"We must declare an armistice in this divisive war of words and agree to do unto your political opponents what you would have your political opponents do unto you. That golden rule of consistency should be as applicable to political debate as it is to personal morality."

 
 
— Alan M. Dershowitz, Harvard Law School Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus 
— Alan M. Dershowitz, Harvard Law School Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus 
Posted August 14, 2017 • 08:05 am
 
 
On the Latest Scandal Involving Former DNC Chair and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
 
 

"The chatter about a House leadership post is gone. So is talk of statewide office. After Hillary Clinton's defeat, there's no prospect of an administration job for Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

"One year after the Florida congresswoman's resignation as national party chair at the Democratic National Convention -- where activists booed and shouted 'shame!' at her during a Florida delegation breakfast speech -- the once-rising star's political fortunes continue to fade, beset by critics on all sides.

"Wasserman Schultz is again on defense after steadfastly refusing to explain why she continued to employ Imran Awan, an IT staffer who was under a federal investigation for an alleged equipment and data scam in the U.S. House since February. She finally fired him on July 25, one day after authorities arrested him on a seemingly unrelated mortgage fraud charge. He was at the airport leaving for Pakistan, after wiring $283,000 there. ...

"The drama ensured Wasserman Schultz would play a central role in a murky congressional summer 'scandal' story playing out from Washington to Weston, her South Florida congressional district's base. "

 
 
— Marc Caputo, Politico
— Marc Caputo, Politico
Posted August 11, 2017 • 14:06 pm
 
 
On Obama Administration's Knowledge of North Korean Mini-Nukes:
 
 

"Tuesday's bombshell Washington Post story that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has determined North Korea is capable of constructing miniaturized nuclear weapons that could be used as warheads for missiles -- possibly ICBMs -- left out a crucial fact: DIA actually concluded this in 2013. The Post also failed to mention that the Obama administration tried to downplay and discredit this report at the time.

"During an April 11, 2013, House Armed Services Committee hearing, Congressman Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., inadvertently revealed several unclassified sentences from a DIA report that said DIA had determined with 'moderate confidence' that North Korea has the capability to make a nuclear weapon small enough to be launched with a ballistic missile."

Read entire article here.

 
 
— Fred Fleitz, Center for Security Policy
— Fred Fleitz, Center for Security Policy
Posted August 10, 2017 • 07:55 am
 
 
On President Trump Vowing ‘Fire and Fury’ If North Korea Threatens US:
 
 

"Concern of an armed clash over North Korea's nuclear weapons program reached new heights Tuesday as an angry President Trump warned that Pyongyang could soon face 'fire and fury like the world has never seen' amid reports that the North has managed to build a nuclear bomb small enough to fit inside an intercontinental ballistic missile.

"Mr. Trump's outburst, which brought both criticism and praise from Capitol Hill, followed the revelation that Japanese analysts and at least one U.S. intelligence agency had concluded that the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was proceeding much faster than previously thought in obtaining a nuclear weapon capable of hitting much of the U.S. mainland as well as key American allies across East Asia.

"U.S. intelligence officials sought to calm nerves about the situation by asserting that a Washington Post news report about a confidential Defense Intelligence Agency analysis on North Korea's progress toward miniaturization had not revealed anything that American authorities haven't been aware of for months."

 
 
— Guy Taylor and S.A. Miller, The Washington Times
— Guy Taylor and S.A. Miller, The Washington Times
Posted August 09, 2017 • 08:38 am
 
 
On the Coming Collapse of Venezuela:
 
 

"The rampant inflation that has plagued Venezuela since Mr. Maduro ordered the printing presses to crank out more and more Bolivars has made it impossible to import much of anything from abroad. Medicine isn't available except on the black market at prices virtually no one can afford. City dwellers, who a few years ago, were dining at first-rate restaurants can now be found digging through the garbage behind those very restaurants looking for discarded food to stave off starvation. No one is safe on the streets of Venezuelan cities, which are now among the most dangerous on earth. ...

"It's hard to imagine the economy collapsing even further, but in October the regime is going to have to decide what to do about some $3.4 billion in international loan repayments due to creditors who are going to want to be paid in dollars, not worthless Bolivars. The loans were made to the state-run oil company and if Mr. Maduro defaults, his country will end up even more isolated than it is today.

"As things worsen, open civil war looms just over the horizon -- a civil war that could lead not just to tens of thousands of dead, but a wave of refugees the likes of which we have not seen in this hemisphere."

 
 
— David A. Keene, The Washington Times Editor-at-Large
— David A. Keene, The Washington Times Editor-at-Large
Posted August 08, 2017 • 08:25 am
 
 
On Democrats Who Want to Be President Backing Away from Israel:
 
 

"The shift to the left by Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York demonstrates the power of a party base that is abandoning the Jewish state.

"Both were once rock-solid supporters of Israel. But both have other priorities these days -- they are thinking about running for president in 2020. Their problem is that no one who plans to compete in future Democratic primaries can ignore the growing power of their party's left wing, which has grown increasingly hostile to Israel.

"The influence of the far left is the only thing that might explain why Booker and Gillibrand are presenting themselves to their party's base as less than fully supportive of Israel. The context for this development is a sea change in the Democratic party that has been taking shape over the past two decades. Where once the Democrats were the lockstep pro-Israel party and Republicans were divided about backing Israel, the parties' positions are now reversed. Republicans today are nearly unanimous in their enthusiastic support for the Jewish state, and they oppose all measures that endanger its security. Now it is the Democrats who are split, with polls showing that those who identify with the party are far less likely to back Israel than Republicans are."

 
 
— Jonathan S. Tobin, National Review Online
— Jonathan S. Tobin, National Review Online
Posted August 07, 2017 • 07:48 am
 
Question of the Week   
How many times between 1996 and 2016 did the U.S. Congress pass a full federal budget instead of relying on continuing resolutions or omnibus spending bills?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
" ... Americans have grown increasingly accustomed to the view that your politics is determined by your racial, ethnicity or gender identity. Politics is seen as a zero-sum battle for government favor. College and corporate leaders join in.Universities sponsor separate orientations, dormitories and commencements for identity groups (are separate drinking fountains next?). A corporate CEO fires an…[more]
 
 
—Michael Barone, Washington Examiner Senior Political Analyst and AEI Resident Fellow
— Michael Barone, Washington Examiner Senior Political Analyst and AEI Resident Fellow
 
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