Sep

20

 1. Everywhere one looks there is building going on in Washington DC. No vacancies and for rent signs appear on each block the way they do in every other city. The trains going to and from are full at every hour of the day including the 2 am arrival in New York, and all the restaurants are bustling with activity. Scaffolds and cranes seem to surround all the monuments, executive buildings, and lobbying areas. They said that 25% of all the world's cranes were being used in Dubai 3 years ago, but now they must all have moved to D. C. But this boom can be predicted to last.

2. A tremendous number of restaurants that were marginal in other big cities are moving into D.C. with great alacrity and success. I ate in the magnificent, opulent quarters, built with special private rooms for the three branches of Carmines and Kellari, both New York operations doing a land office business there after just a year, and note that Ducasse after his dubious starts in New York has found a can't miss operation there also.

3. A trip to the American Museum reveals the idea that has the world in its grip in every exhibit. As Dr. Voss says "It was sad to see the outrageous leftist propaganda at the Museum denigrating our country's achievements in every sphere of human endeavor. I recall seeing similar exhibits about the U.S. in Moscow in the 1980s." We visit a childrens play scientific exhibit and of course they have a demonstration to show that by turning a magnet around a coil very quickly you can generate electricity which goes by two paths to an old fashioned light bulb and a newfangled compact fluorescent bulb. The bulbs are set up to show that your energy lights up the fluorescent bulb, but not the incandescent. Fluor. bulb - - generator - - - incan. bulb. No consideration is taken of the cost, light quality, life span, disposal problem or human lives lost due to the mercury manufacturing or disposal process. The idea is to show that the old fashioned bulb takes so much more energy to light. But Dr. Voss and I switch the bulbs between the two forks, and find that when you switch the old fashioned bulb lights up. The idea of using this propaganda on kids would be something you would expect in the agrarian reform countries not here, if the entire museum was not filled with apologies for industry, and paeans to class struggle in every exhibit. A typical exhibit shows a sewing factory with 600 employees in Bridgeport that according to observers along with the telegraph and the steam engine were the key inventions of the century but then goes on to point the guilty finger at the classes of wealthy and poor that were created by the factory and the product. No consideration is given to whether the workers in these factories went to work there voluntarily with the idea that their life would be improving.

4. The ecology of the city is very clearly shown by a visit to the White House. Motorcade after motorcade comes there with 5 limos, an ambulance and a bus as visiting dignitaries from the various districts are escorted for tours. The helicopters are reserved to the President. A feverish level of activity emerges as the visitors from the new executive offices, all with windows that don't open, spills over. Outside a protestor against business has been conducting a 30 year, 24 hour a day vigil. Next to the white house, an office of the Bank of America in a neo classical building bigger than the Hoover Dam stands proudly just across from the Treasury. And in a forlorn gesture of Zacharian token opposition a flag waves from the chamber of commerce: Free Enterprise Creates Jobs.

5. New museums grow like Topsy in every corner not already occupied by the offices of the lobbyists and suppliers. One very reprehensible one is the Newseum which has a big exhibit on the coverage of Katrina as if such coverage and expense did not in some way violate the spirit of the separation of the Press and the branches of government.

6. Over the last two years, the number of employees in the Federal Government has increased by 15% while the private sector growth has been -5%. From the brouhaha of actvitity and building in all areas of DC, one gets the impression that they all are compressed and contracted into this one little town. When one considers the multiplier that each job causes with lobbyists, suppliers, family members, spending on local products, administrative staff necessary to support and create the jobs, it is no wonder. But a reverse multiplier is hidden as all the jobs created are extracted from the spending and savings of non-government employees. The negative multiplier is greater than the positive multiplier so total jobs had decreased . But the output situation is much flummoxed by the kinds of things that the money would have been spent on. Creating new offices, agencies, and energy efficiency a la the American Museum on one hand, and for rent and closing down signs in every other business.

7. As we go to DC, a new agency to protect consumers is created. And the idea that consumers are protected by competition and private information agencies is considered an absurdity just as described by Amity Schlaes in the waning years of the depression when the operatives at the White House walked out of a meeting with Good Housekeeping in disbelief that anyone could be against something so obviously good spirited as regulation of what consumers might buy.

8. The three underlying causes of everything that's wrong with health care are that doctors are not paid directly by consumers, doctors are unable to compete with each other, suppliers are forced to go through the three stage 500 million approval process to get a drug approved, and the insurers are not allowed to compete with each other across state lines. No wonder that Hayek's book has been a number one best seller on Amazon.

9. Shades of Willie Sutton when he wanted to turn himself in to headquarters after Thompson hit the home run. My whole party feels the same way after leaving the American Museum with propaganda in every exhibit similar to the fake lite bulb exhibit ( photographic evidence from Susan forthcoming), and going out to two of the most massive buildings one has ever seen outside of the coliseum in Rome, yes the EPA, and the Unmentionable. " Just take it all right now. ".

10. The Museum of Crime and Punishment, with its vivid memorialization of all the ancient torture devices, and its memorabilia and explanation for our fascination with all the great criminals of the past, and the Museum of Espionage, with its code of rules for the would be spy is a nice lagniappe after visiting the mammoth Smithsonian exhibits which must have 1/100 the number of visitors per square foot and 1/100,000 of the number of visitors per value of the exhibits as the private museums.

11. As one is back to the day and fray of trading, I can't check all the above figures rite now, but I am confident that any numbers adduced that support my point of view above that are inadvertently too favorable are counterbalanced 100 times by things I left out that would have carried my point of view of this reverse horn of plenty much more forcibly.

Kim Zussman shares: 

Here is a pertinent article.


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4 Comments so far

  1. Emmett Moore on September 21, 2010 4:12 am

    Oh come on now Mr. Neiderhoffer, are things really that bad? Well, you conservative small government types have only yourselves to blame. All of the deregulation of the past 25 years proffered just enough rope for the capitalist to hang himself.

    And now you are stuck with leaders like Palin, Huckabee, Colburn, etc. all singing and dancing to the disco music played at Fox. Pretty sad stuff.

  2. steve on September 21, 2010 7:15 am

    I have visited Washington DC. for over 40 years. I first went during the Johnson Administration.

    I say without equivocation that every American and especially every youth should visit Washington D.C. at least once in their lives. Proper planning and time management is very important to ensure a pleasant trip.

    It is impossible to see all things at once however there are a few ways to simplify the process,

    I do not recommend driving into the city especially during the week. Traffic is horrendous and parking is at a premium. The subway system is very efficient and easy to navigate. You may easily access it from the suburbs. It is not nearly as complex as other large cities such as Boston Chicago and God forbid NY. It is formed in a large X and the intersection is just to the South of the White House East of the Lincoln Memorial and West of the Smithsonian.

    To properly visit all of the buildings that comprise the Smithsonian Institute takes days. My personal favorite is the Museum of American History where one may view the Star Spangled Banner, the coin exhibit, the hope diamond and other treasures. The Museum of Natural History is next on my list and the Air and Space Museum. Finally the National Gallery is wonderful and not to be missed..

    No visit is complete without looking out from the Lincoln Memorial East to the Washington Monument and over the reflecting pool. The view is just awe inspiring. On the Northwest end of the reflecting pool is the Vietnam Memorial sacred grounds and just a remarkable somber emotional place.

    Other points of interest are the National Zoo where one may visit the rare Panda.

    An evening in Georgetown is always appropriate and one might consider having dinner at one of the trendy restaurants. Jazz clubs about for nightime entertainment. The Sequoia is a touristy restaurant and one may view the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts across the Potomac.

    While in the area, one may consider a day trip to Annapolis to visit the marina and the U.S. Naval Academy. Or one might visit Gettysburg Pa. surprisingly not far away and well worth the time.

    All in all, Washington D.C. can be a remarkable and enjoyable experience and as long as one stays downtown it is a very safe and tourist friendly environment.

  3. Tibor R. Machan on September 22, 2010 10:57 am

    Deregulation my foot. In the last several decades government regulation of business has nearly quadrupled and been increasing by leaps and bounds. It must now be weighed by the tons! Here and there some adjustments may have been made but never sufficient to usher in a bona fide free market system anywhere in the economy. And, in any case, government regulation is a vicious attack on people by some other people, plain and simple. It is, also, rank prior restraint. (Liberals love due process when bona fide criminal conduct is involved but they have no problem with it when the victims are totally innocent merchants and professionals. See Rights and Regulation [Pacific Institute, 1983], edited by Bruce Johnson and Tibor Machan, for some sensible discussions, pro and con, government regulation.)

  4. steve on September 24, 2010 8:27 am

    Mr Moore’s comments are not only incendiary (which I assume are on purpose). They are flat out ignorant and one of the most imbecilic comments I have seen on this site in over 5 years of my work here. .

    Are things that bad? HMMM let’s see. 9.5% stated unemployment 15% real unemployment, no work for age groups 18-25. no money to borrow from banks, or other lending institutions. New York State is bankrupt, California is bankrupt, major cities around the country cannot pay employees. Real estate sales lowest on record ever. Stimulus package( this is a joke) did not work, willl not work it did not create growth, Economy is growing at a snail’s pace. Health Care program is a job killer.

    Highest taxed states in the country New York and New Jersey. Even Lebron James signed with Miami so he would not have to pay state sales tax.

    YES THINGS ARE THAT BAD OUT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!

    1982-1992 was the greatest growth in this country. After 1994 Newt Gingrich made a contract with America and Clinton was forced to work with Congress to get legislation through and the country enjoyed the greatest bull market ever.

    Palin, Huckabee Colburn whoever that is are not the leaders of any party and are not dancing to any music played at FOX. They are individual commentators.

    You want to talk theatre of the absurd . How about Olberman, Maddow, The Ed Show, Joy Behar, the View, Catie Couric, Brian Williams, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times.

    You want to talk civics. The Congress has been controlled by Democrats since 2006. It had a supermajority in the Senate and a huge advantage in the house and works on Health Care overhaul despite 60% of Americans against it. Cap and trade. FNMA and Freddie Mac bankrupt by no oversight for years. ACORN bankrupt and out of business.

    So as you can see Mr. Moore or whoever you may be that there are more holes in your statements than swiss cheese and in the future should you decide to attempt a cogent thought, I suggest you put a bit of research into your work.

    Good day and I will see you in the rubber room, and does Nurse Ratchett know you have access to a computer?

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