When women stay home, wealth increases

From David Frum’s diary:

Here’s a phenomenon social scientists just cannot explain. In the oil-rich Canadian province of Alberta, personal incomes have been soaring as a booming economy drives down unemployment. And yet as the incomes of male workers rise, more and more women with children seem to be … staying home with the kids. How to explain this baffling phenemonon? Here’s Canada’s Globe and Mail:

“The working women of the province are disappearing, just as the province’s superheated economy is becoming increasingly short-handed. Unemployment has fallen to unimaginably low levels, and help-wanted signs plaster the windows of retail businesses throughout the province. Businesses are scouring Alberta, indeed the entire country, for workers, going so far as to launch recruiting drives in prisons.

“And while that desperate search goes on, women such as Ms. Carvey are turning away from work to become not-so-desperate housewives. Ten years ago, Alberta had nearly the highest proportion of working women (or women looking for work) with daycare-age children and a spouse, second only to Prince Edward Island.

Supply and demand… price always comes down to supply and demand. Needless to say, Alberta has prospered, much to the mystification of the equalitarians.

“Personal incomes have soared since the mid-1990s, with Alberta leapfrogging Ontario to sit 15 per cent above the national average…. And here emerges another paradox: Alberta’s prosperity might have given some families the means to live on a single income.”

It’s not a paradox, economically illiterate morons! It’s utterly predictable. And as for worries about future workers, you’d think Europe’s example would serve to demonstrate that it is much better to have a woman home with three children rather than working herself with one child in day care and importing a Mexican to make up the difference.

Our brave women warriors

Derybshire despairs:

Thank God the Moussaoui trial is over. I have never been so embarrassed for my country. The low point of the thing — and a low point for our nation in its accelerating slide to oblivion — was when that U.S. Navy Lieutenenat sniveled and blubbed on the witness stand while Moussaoui jeered at her — quite rightly, in my opinion. I expected Jimmy Carter or Oprah to show up at any minute. An American officer, in uniform, weeping IN THE FACE OF THE ENEMY! She should be court-martialed….

“When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, naturally they will favor the strong horse.”—-Osama bin Laden. Yes, they will. We are doomed, doomed.

I rather doubt that famous battle for the hearts and minds is going all that well.

The great flaw of economics

A good piece on the strange revenant relevance of socialism:

And this leads to the question I want to address, namely, Why isn’t socialism dead?

The Peruvian economist, Hernando de Soto, has argued in his book, The Mystery of Capital, that the failure of the various socialist experiments of the twentieth century has left mankind with only one rational choice about which economic system to go with, namely, capitalism. Socialism, he maintained, has been so discredited that any further attempt to revive it would be sheer irrationality. But if this is the case, which I personally think it is, then why are we witnessing what certainly appears to be a revival of socialist rhetoric and even socialist pseudo-solutions, such as the nationalization of foreign companies?

It is not only a flaw in economics, but most analysis of Man and human endeavor. Many economic formulations begin “assuming a perfectly rational market….” and then proceed into detailed and irrelevant conclusions.

Man is not a rational creature, he is a rationalizing one. This explains a whole host of seeming irrationalities such as why conservative women will vote for Hillary Clinton, why people pay $495 for Microsoft Office, why men date foreigners without green cards, why women who want to get married and have children go to law school and why parents go into debt to send their child to get a Sociology degree.

It also explodes the atheist’s argument against the reality of Man’s free will given by God. Who would knowingly choose Hell? is a question often asked, ignoring the copious evidence set before us every single day by millions of people putting themselves through Hell on Earth.

Socialism will survive its many proven absurdities as long as there is a single fat man on the planet who, when faced with a choice between a candy bar and a piece of jerky, picks up the candy bar.

The foolishness of pragmatism

Jonah Goldberg appears to be waking up to it. Will Hugh Hewitt be next?

When you stand on a clear principle, clearly expressed and understood, you get credit even from those who disagree with you. And to be fair to Bush, he has stuck to principle in defiance of the prevailing winds of opinion on a host of issues. But when it comes to a vast swath of domestic policy, there seems to be no principled boundaries to his thinking. Much like Nixon and other presidents in the Progressive tradition, public policy is driven by pragmatism and do-gooderism rather than classically liberal principles about the role of the state.

I didn’t give Bush credit for his Social Security plan — in part because it failed so miserably, alas. But that plan when put alongside his Medicare plan certainly demonstrates that there is no binding set of rules which govern Bush’s approach to domestic affairs. This creates a trap unique to conservative presidents. If you refuse to “help” the poor with Plan A, but you have no objection to a similarly statist Plan B, critics and friends alike have to look to something other than philosophy to explain your support. Critics will opt towards explanations of cronyism, corruption and hard-heartedness. Friends, over time, will assume political expediency.

Of course, that one principle Dear Jorge has stuck to is his loyalty to transnational globalism. Conservatives should have known he would sell them out at the first opportunity. Perhaps it will make conservatives feel better to look at it this way, they didn’t have much say in governance for the last eight years, but at least they’ll get to bear the blame for them as the country gets handed over to an even more left-wing set.

This demonstrates why it was the height of idiocy for conservatives to rush to embrace a man who was manifestly never one of them. It’s bad enough to be damned for something you did, but it’s even worse to be damned for something you didn’t do.

That this is happening can be seen in the piece to which Goldberg was, in part, responding: “Notwithstanding the fact that the Bush administration has violated every tenet of this strain of conservatism for the last five years, conservatives will not be permitted to distance themselves from this administration — as they are transparently and pitifully trying to do now that Bush’s presidency is failed and is dying a rapid death (see e.g., this characteristically dishonest attempt by Jonah Goldberg to characterize the two failed Republican Presidents – Nixon and Bush – as “liberals” in order to imply that their failure is not a failure of conservatives; funny how we never heard any of that when The Commander had approval ratings in the 60s’. With rare and noble exception, conservatives did not repudiate Bush until very recently. To the contrary, they have vigorously supported and claimed him (while he was popular), and he is their creation. They are and should be stuck with him.

And the critic – Glenn Greenwald – has a point. For all that Jonah points out a few criticisms that have been made of the Bush administration by National Review, (and from my perspective, only Ponnuru’s have been consistent and substantive), it’s telling to note that even now, Goldberg refuses to repudiate Bush or deem his presidency a failure.

That being said, I see nothing dishonest about what Goldberg is writing either. While he’s apparently caught between conservative principles and the seductive appeal of pragmatically embracing the realities of power, he has never been a mindless Bush cheerleader like a number of his NRO colleagues and has been rightfully suspicious of both compassionate conservativism and its crunchy variant from the start.

A question for Chicagoans

Is El Norte Taqueria still there? It was just a hole in the wall next to a bar some fifteen years ago and I was just wondering if it was still around and if they still made those enormous burritos.

Man, those were good. I’ve eaten plenty of good Mexican food, but that place was tops.