September 20, 2008

They Had to Step In

In watching CNN this week and now Bill Maher's show, the consensus seems to be that the government absolutely had to step in and do something.  As Paul Krugman put it, "There are no libertarians in financial crises."

Actually, I'm against the government stepping in here.  I am actually for allowing all of this to take its course and pulling the government out of trade including the finance industry.  It's been obvious for years that a correction is necessary and we all knew that the longer this went without correction, the more devastating it would be.

It's like how forests need fires to bring in fresh new life.

The thing that rankles me is how some people describe the government's recent socialistic actions.  Naomi Klein on Real Time supports socialism and the nationalization of things like the oil industry.  She didn't care for the government buying up Lehman brothers because she says "this bubble wasn't created because the American people demanded it.  It was because it was spectacularly profitable for Wall Street."

Two questions Miss Klein:
1) Who is on Wall Street?  I always thought there were a lot of Americans involved there, like my coworkers who are not rich people.

2) If the American people did not want this, then why did they buy into it?  Someone bought all these houses.  Someone ran up these credit card bills.  Someone signed their names to contracts and agreements that are now coming to fruit.

For a socialist, she is shockingly ignorant of how the rich and "poor" are connected.

And that's the thing about money.  Anytime these people talk politics and money, this resentment toward the rich comes up.  They hate the rich for being rich.  They don't think it's "fair" that the rich are rich.  They're like little children who complain that it's not fair that they aren't the children of some other parents.

Miss Klein is right about one thing: "This isn't real capitalism.  This is Crybaby Capitalism."  Brought to you by Republicans. When things are good, they want the government out.  When things are bad, they want the government to save them.

But she turns this around to suggest that having the government out in the first place is bad.  She seems to think that free markets mean anarchy.  She seems to think that capitalism means lawlessness.

This is absolutely false.

There has to be a government to protect people from criminals.  But that's it.

I think I'll make a video ranting about this...


Posted by: Flibbertigibbet at 09:02 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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September 19, 2008

Does my Weatherman Understand Statistics?

The weatherguy on the NY1 just said that tomorrow's high is to be 73 and that  "the average is 74, so we're getting pretty close to normal."

If the high is 73 and the average is 74, then I would bet we are at normal.  Not pretty close to normal.

Now, I know most people will think, "But it's not normal.  It's one degree less."

And my issue is that "normal" in this case should be used to represent a range of temperatures calculated by some fraction of a standard deviation from the mean.  If your doctor takes your temperature and the reading comes back as 98.4 degrees instead of 98.6, he's not going to freak out.

The reason this inaccuracy in scientific language from my weatherman bothers me is because that is the sort of off-the-cuff remark that leads people to look at minor deviations from average as evidence for climate change.

This is the kind of thing that people look at and say, "It's the global warming, you know.  Things just aren't the way they used to be."

And that makes me think that this problem isn't just with my weatherman.

Posted by: Flibbertigibbet at 10:06 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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