Recommended Reading – Tuesday, April 3rd

Apr 3, 2012 by

Public Debt Is The Prince of Policy Problems (National Post)

“Politicians spend money they do not possess and can get only by borrowing, leaving the citizens and their descendants to repay it. And for this we call the politicians warm-hearted, kind, farsighted and generous. Politicians who do not follow this practice are widely condemned as misers.

The Progressive Conservative leader in the Ontario legislature, Tim Hudak, remarked last week that in government “You can only spend what you have.” That’s not true, of course. Governments routinely spend far more than they have — they spend what they have, what they hope to have, and also what they (or their successors) might conceivably have on some happy day in the future. For this they receive thanks.

Hudak also said, “We just can’t keep piling up deficits.” That’s true now, apparently, but most governments in most democracies have, for the last few generations, believed just the opposite. That’s why we’re suffering.”  (Click here for to read more)

Canada’s red-ink budgets: 45 of the last 65 years  (Fraser Institute)

“Ever since the last recession, Canadians have been informed by pundits and the political class that stimulus spending—perhaps better labelled as “binge” spending—was critical to Canada’s economic recovery.

But extra government spending had little to do with Canada’s exit out of the recession. The recession ended in mid-2009; it was only about then that federal and provincial governments started spending extra (borrowed) stimulus cash.

To credit stimulus spending for the end to Canada’s recession, one must argue that extra dollars mostly spent after June 2009 somehow magically rescued the Canadian economy before June 2009. Right. Only if one believes in budgetary time travel.

All the borrowed money did have this effect: it added to the large federal debt mountain already in place. The federal debt will hit $614 billion in 2015, up from $457 billion in 2008. Such debt resulted from the decades-long practice by governments to transfer wealth from future generations—by chronic borrowing—to pay for current needs and wants.  To wit, it is in that context that the 2012 federal budget should be placed and graded.”  (Click here to read more)

The Coming Medical Ethics Crisis  (Cato Institute)

“For the past several years, the medical profession has been undergoing a disturbing transformation. The process was begun by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in an effort to control exploding Medicare costs, and was accelerated by the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. As a surgeon in practice for over 30 years, I have witnessed this transformation firsthand. I fear that my profession will soon abandon its traditional code of ethics and adopt one more suited to veterinarians.

For centuries, my predecessors and I have been inculcated with what has come to be called the “Hippocratic Ethic.” This tradition holds that I am ethically required to use the best of my knowledge to recommend to my patient what I consider to be in my patient’s best interests — without regard to the interests of the third-party payer, or the government, or anyone else.

But gradually the medical profession has been forced to give up this approach for what I like to call a “veterinary ethic,” one that places the interests of the payer (or owner) ahead of the patient. For example, when a pet owner is told by a veterinarian that the pet has a very serious medical condition requiring extremely costly surgery or other therapy, the veterinarian presents the pet’s owner with one or more options — from attempt at cure, to palliation, to euthanasia — with the associated costs, and then follows the wishes of the owner.”   (Click here to read more)

The Biggest Carbon Bomb is Disinformation (Frontier Centre for Public Policy)

“Donna LaFromboise, William Kay and others have exposed environmentalists and the IPCC global warming scam. These “scientists” cited their own unpublished and non-peer reviewed ‘research’, and acted as their own ‘editors.’ It has become clear that the biggest ‘carbon bomb’ is disinformation.

And look out if you publicly disagree with AGW!  SLAPP suit coming your way to silence you – Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.

Disinformation and public myth-making has left people believing that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a pollutant. Or that carbon dioxide exists in overwhelming volume.”   (Click here to read more)

Are We Oppressed By Technology  (The Daily Reckoning)

“To really engage life to its fullest today means being willing to embrace the new without fear. It means realizing that we have more mental and emotional resources to take on new challenges. If we can marshal those and face these challenges with courage and conviction, we nearly always find that our lives become more fulfilling and happy.

The biggest canard out there is that the digital age has reduced human contact. It has vastly expanded it. We can keep up with anyone anywhere. We make new friends in a fraction of the time. That sense of isolation that so many feel is evaporating by the day. Just think of it: We can move to a new region or country and find ourselves surrounded by communities of interest in a tiny fraction of the time it used to take us.

As a result, digital media have made the world more social, more engaging, more connected with anything and everything than ever before. This isn’t a scary science fiction world in which the machines are running us; instead, the machines are serving us and permitting us to live better lives than were never before possible. Through technology, millions and billions have been liberated from a static state of existence and been granted a bright outlook and hope.”  (Click here to read more)

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