10 Reasons to Bailout Bloggers Instead

Everyone is out hat in hand looking for a bailout, so let me throw in my two cents. Bail out bloggers. Pick the million most serious bloggers in the US and give loan them $500,000 each. This would be the last big bailout the economy needed. It would fix everything.

  1. It’s cheaper than TARP, the standard by which all such boondoggles will be judged in the future, and no worse for the economy.
  2. Instead of a million bloggers complaining about how the bailouts favored the rich or the well connected or the corrupt, you’d have a million bloggers singing the praises of the bailout.
  3. Instead of a million bloggers saying the economy was doomed and the bailouts only make it worse, you’d have a million happy bloggers blogging about all the new things they were buying.
  4. Votes. The pen is mightier than the sword or the fractional reserve. 😉
  5. Everyone knows Franklin Roosevelt saved the American economy with the introduction of Social Security by getting old folks out of the job market. This plan would attack the other end, getting thousands of young folks out of their day jobs and back in their jammies. Speaking of which…
  6. A boom for American industry. Billions of dollars in pajama sales are just the start. Mountain Dew and coffee sales would skyrocket. Pizza sales, through the roof. MP3 players, Amazon Kindles, Netbooks, wireless routers…
  7. Supplier jobs. A flood of money into blogging will create at least 40 or 50 new jobs at Godaddy and half a dozen smaller hosting companies. These companies have suffered in the wilderness with no bailout since 2000, the last time the Federal Reserve set out to wreck an industry. Think: Every basement in American with its own T1 line. No need to worry about a future bailout of AT&T. Speaking of basements…
  8. It would save the housing industry. 999,999 bloggers moving out of their parents’ basements and buying houses and 1 blogger paying his house off.
  9. Good for the auto industry. I know the first thing I’d do with my money is buy a new car. Probably an American made car. Probably a Ford. Probably a few hundred Tesla Roadsters would be purchased, too, and thoroughly reviewed online.
  10. It will be good for Google. More content, more pages to index, more Adsense publishers. Google has a market capitalization of $81 billion; GM has a market cap of $2.19 billion. It’s about time somebody said it:

    What’s good for Google is good for America.

Hope

Congratulations are due to President-elect Obama and his supporters on a well earned and historic victory.

Senator McCain hit the nail on the head:

…his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving…

President-elect Obama’s victory speech in Grant Park was another example of his oratorical mastery. If he meant the things he said, there is, indeed, much to be hopeful for. (Pardon the note of cynicism in that, but I still remember a past President’s pledge not to raise taxes. It’s never certain what a politician really believes.)

He returned to the themes of his New Hampshire speech, the themes of American exceptionalism:

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer…
And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world–our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down–we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright–tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

Barack Obama and John McCain

Barack Obama and John McCain

If President-elect Obama believes those things, and, more importantly, if he can convince the Democratic Congress to act as if they believe them, he could well be much more than just a great speaker.

A message to his supporters on the Obama campaign website says this:

You proved that change can happen. You built an unprecedented grassroots organization in all 50 states that brought a record number of people into the political process — many for the first time, many for the first time in a long time.

Now, the $600 million spent on the Obama campaign was not, could not be, completely funded by small grass roots donors, but the effort that transformed his long shot candidacy in less than two years to defeat one of the most powerful and ruthless political machines of modern times was a testament to grassroots organizing, to the best in American politics.

The campaign is over and while there will be much to debate and disagree with in terms of policy, in January the new President should have our support. Rather than hissing and booing like ill-mannered reprobates at the mention of the name of the next leader of the free world, we should join Senator McCain in “offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.”

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1964, Senator

“You know I don’t know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness”

Well, Senator, the simple answer is 1964. Since I know you’re a little fuzzy on the math, you were 3 years old then.

The Virtue of Selfishness

The Virtue of Selfishness

In the introduction to her collection of essays on ethical philosophy, The Virtue of Selfishness (VOS), Rand writes that the “exact meaning” of selfishness is “concern with one’s own interests” (VOS, vii). In that work, Rand argues that a virtue is an action by which one secures and protects one’s rational values—ultimately, one’s life and happiness. Since a concern with one’s own interests is a character trait that, when translated into action, enables one to achieve and guard one’s own well-being, it follows that selfishness is a virtue. One must manifest a serious concern for one’s own interests if one is to lead a healthy, purposeful, fulfilling life.

The Atlas Society

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