Thursday, June 23, 2011

Adirondack morning tab dump: In which I get agitated on many subjects 

Sorry it has been so quiet around here. The TH Son and I flew back from Europe on Sunday, and just about every moment since then has been taken up with work, catch-up chores, family time, and -- last night -- the drive up to our place in the Adirondacks. I am now here for two days off, and very much enjoying drinking strong coffee, catching up on the latest, and gazing out over an idyllic lake. So at least I can share my tabs and accompanying thoughts with you, our faithful readers.

Sarah Palin is called for jury duty. My first reaction was to think that if I were the prosecutor I'd make the defense burn a peremptory (meaning, for those few of you who are neither lawyers nor play one on TV, make the defense use up one of its limited number of opportunities to dismiss a potential juror without the agreement of the judge). Then I decided that Governor Palin might be a very sympathetic juror in certain cases, and would have the potential to hang a jury that included a Palin-hater.

John Hawkins of Right Wing News interviews my friend Ann Coulter about her new book. Among other things, Ann continues to push Governor Awesome for president, this time at the expense of Texas Governor Rick Perry:

Chris Christie could eat Rick Perry for breakfast — so to speak.

See, she says things even liberals can agree with!

This is no way to treat a Porsche.

Al Gore wants enlightened people to have fewer children so as to save the earth. There is a lot that is asinine in his argument -- click through the link if you can stand it -- but I rather like the eugenics of it: Fewer children of people who do what Al Gore tells them to do probably improves the gene pool.

Liberal cartoon of the day. I don't agree with it, but it is damned effective. To be clear, I would support repeal of all the Bush tax cuts in return for a root and branch dismantling of federal entitlement programs. The latter would unleash such a powerful response in both the real economy and the capital markets that it would easily replace the higher taxes even I would pay.

Another gender gap closes.

Michael Barone makes a point that I have long thought obvious -- there is a reason why the "Greatest Generation's" big government accomplishments (the vast public works of the Roosevelt administration, winning World War II, and so forth) was accompanied by stifling cultural conformity.
Victory in World War II conferred enormous prestige on the leaders of the big units—big government, big business, big labor—who had led the war effort at home. No wonder that levels of confidence in the big units and their leaders remained high for a generation—higher, I suspect, than they had ever been before the Midcentury Moment and higher, certainly, than they have been since.

No wonder, also, that Americans in the Midcentury Moment were unusually conformist, content to be very small cogs in very large machines: They married and bore children at record rates for an advanced society; they worked as organization men and flocked to mass-produced suburbs; they worshipped in seemingly interchangeable churches. This was an America that celebrated the average, the normal, the regular.

The liberals who long to return to the Midcentury Moment seem to forget that it was a time of enormous cultural uniformity that stigmatized being unmarried or unchurched or gay. The huge menu of lifestyle choices from which we can choose today was a very short menu with very few choices then.

In the end, why am I for small and limited government? Because history teaches that among the choices of (1) democracy, (2) heterogeneity, and (3) effective and efficient government, one must pick any two. It is no surprise that our only era of effective government on a large-scale came just after the only period in American history when we effectively banned immigration and before the political emancipation of blacks. Since I like democracy and am all in favor of a free, tolerant, and heterogeneous society, I believe that virtually any government program over which the voters have influence will descend in to a wasteful and counterproductive mess, ultimately captured by some narrow constituency. I believe that liberals instinctively agree, which is why they much prefer actions by federal judges and regulators, both of whom are effectively beyond the reach of voters, to detailed legislation from the United States Congress.

Next topic. Disingenuous claims of the Obama administration, one of the objectives of health care reform is to stifle innovation. That is why it includes a tax on the revenues of medical device companies, which will (obviously) substantially raise the return hurdles on investment in new products and thereby entrench old products. The reason for this is that the social engineers in the White House believe that most innovation in medical technology drives up costs -- that manufacturers use the opportunity of a next generation product to raise prices. This cramped attitude stands in stark contrast to the chaotic-capitalist view that seems self-evident to me: that most innovation in health care as in all industries does not occur in revolutions but in tiny incremental steps that, over time, add up to a great deal. One cannot point to very many incremental changes in automobile design between the Ford Model-T and, say, a Lexus 450h that accomplished a provable difference in "outcomes," but the accumulated innovation, each on top of the other, sure made our lives much better. So it is with medical technology, which is why even small innovation is important to our children.

Anyway, it is not only Obama care that is stifling innovation. So is the Obama FDA, which has massively increased the time it takes to get "substantially similar" new products approved.
The average time taken by U.S. Food and Drug Administration to clear a 510(k) application increased 37 percent between 2006 and 2011.

Many of you will live more painful, less comfortable, or even shorter lives because of Obama administration policy. Remember that.

More later.


By Blogger Rick, at Thu Jun 23, 09:54:00 AM:

I always hate it when bloggers apologize for not writing. You should be rather insisting that we freeloaders start clicking on links that pay you money.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 23, 10:42:00 AM:

The study says that the time it takes to clear 510(k) application increased 37% from 2006 to 2010.

To be fair, during that 4 year period, Bush was President three years out of the four.

Got any statistics of how long approval process had increased during period from when Obama took office in Jan. 2009 to today?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 23, 10:59:00 AM:

I recommend the Coulter interview, if only for the very last line (a free association answer that comprehensively describes Debbie Wasserman-Schultz)  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Thu Jun 23, 11:05:00 AM:

Obama was president 345 out of 365 days in 2009, too.  

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