Unrelated: I'm not saying it's because of Obamacare's passage that I'm listening to the blues, but let me tell you, Eric Bibb is fantastic. I highly recommend his album "Painting Signs." Brilliant.
First off this morning, a column from earlier in the week by Richard Rahn, a senior fellow at Cato. He writes on the importance of failure--especially as it relates to regulation of financial markets--in a capitalist society. I know that the self-esteem society has infected much of our debate about practically everything, but it's important to remember that people have to be allowed to fail. Does this make me a heartless conservative? Probably. I can live with that. Better that than the alternative.
Next, a column by another one of those conservative ideologues from whom I mindlessly take my marching orders, Mark Steyn. But seriously, folks, in this column about civilizational decline, he draws important lessons from the decline of the British empire and why it wasn't bad, because America took its place, but also how if/when America declines, it will be bad because, well, who's going to take America's place? Who's going to be the benevolent hegemon, allowing the rest of the world to free ride on its guarantee of peace and prosperity? The hard lesson is that there isn't anyone else.
Lastly, a bit of optimism in the form of a look at Paul Ryan. In case you hadn't picked up on it yet, I'm a big fan of the guy. He singlehandedly took on the economically ignorant progressives on the House Budget Committee. Some have called him "Jack Kemp on steroids." Before all you deficit hawks get your panties in a bunch over that comment and the hypocrisy of conservative economics, let me say that unlike Kemp, Ryan is concerned about deficits and has proposed your kind of policy solution to what ails America. The GOP isn't just the party of no. (though if you're a small-government type, isn't that a good thing?)
FWIW, we liked Kemp because he, like Paul Ryan, was an unabashed defender and advocate of free market capitalism. There are too few of those.
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