A Thought on Immigration

Greg Ip has a piece on demographics in Sunday’s Wall Street Journal.

Next year, the world’s advanced economies will reach a critical milestone. For the first time since 1950, their combined working-age population will decline…and by 2050 it will shrink 5%. The ranks of workers will also fall in key emerging markets, such as China and Russia. At the same time the share of these countries’ population over 65 will skyrocket.

There are two competing factors that dominate those statistics: people are living longer, in particular in retirement, and women are bearing fewer children over their lifetimes. As Ip put it,

Trust is a Two-Way Street

Of necessity, trust must flow both ways. If one does not trust another, the other cannot rely on the one even to behave in a predictable manner toward that other, much less be trustworthy in turn.

The IRS has begun pushing 501(c)(3) nonprofits—the sort of nonprofits that the IRS has been caught targeting punitively conservative versions of—to give up the social security numbers of their donors.

Under the proposed rule, the IRS would create an optional filing for 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Those participating would, as part of their yearly report, turn over the Social Security numbers of any donors who give $250 or more to a charity in a given year.


Corporate inversions occur when a business in a high tax country gets bought out by a company in a low tax country and the bought-out company moves its own headquarters to the buyer’s country. This is occurring increasingly with American companies laboring under US’ usurious corporate tax code.

The Treasury Department—the Obama administration—demurs from these, and it has written, and it is writing more, rules to interfere with such moves. For instance,

The government still is working on tighter rules for a corporate tax-avoidance technique known as earnings-stripping and could release them in the coming months.

And this one:

Political Experience

As the terrorist threat becomes ever more apparent—Paris, for instance—political experience in a Presidential candidate would seem to be at a premium, according to political…pundits. I agree: given the US’ role in the world, even after President Barack Obama’s seven-year retreat, a retreat actively supported by the Democratic Party, political experience is highly important. Especially with the damage done by that retreat, political experience is highly important. So is an ability to learn policy issues and rationally to form policy and adjust it as empirical data flow in.

Democrats and the VA

I’ve written a number of times about the Veterans Administration and the need to get rid of this dysfunctional government entity.

Now we get Democratic Party Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton doubling down on this failed VA and on her desire to expand Big Government further and to extend crony capitalism to a new arena.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is offering her vision for veterans’ health care, promising to fight full-fledged privatization while proposing the government contract with private providers for a range of health services.

Troops to Eastern Europe

Senior US military leaders have proposed sending more forces into Europe on a rotating basis to build up the American presence and are stepping up training exercises to counter potential Russian interference with troop transfers in the event of a crisis with Moscow.

In particular, the proposed moves are into eastern Europe to serve as a more blatant deterrent to Russian President Vladimir Putin. General Mark Milley, US Army Chief of Staff said over the weekend

Aggression left unanswered is likely to lead to more aggression[.]

A Look at Dodd-Frank

Banks are having trouble peddling risky loans they’ve made in conjunction with the current (and dying down?) mergers and acquisition boom. These are loans made when one company buys another for their mutual benefit, and the buyer borrows some or most of the purchase price.

Here’s the kicker:

In past decades, banks sometimes held the loans until markets stabilized, but such warehousing became prohibitively expensive because of high capital charges required under the Dodd-Frank law that was passed in response to the 2008 financial crisis.

If it becomes too difficult or expensive to borrow—or to lend—to support a merger/acquisition, those deals won’t get done.

Because Power Addiction

The headline and sub-headline in the Wall Street Journal article pretty much tells the story.

China Delays Economic Liberalization

As Beijing debates how to quickly boost economy, it delays long-term plans to loosen financial grip

The men governing the PRC do not see the contradiction between their behavior and their actions.

China has taken new steps to slow plans that had been meant to loosen control over the financial system, adding to similar delaying moves since summer.

Democrats, Pseudo-Science, and our Economy

President Barack Obama stopped the Keystone XL pipeline (fortunately, it’s not permanent; a better informed President can undo this damage, but that’s for another post). Obama, supported by his Democrat confreres (though, as I said, it was his decision), offered these excuses for the stoppage:

the pipeline would create few jobs

Even taking that as accurate (thousands of jobs are not “few,” though), job creation in our present economy is not a thing to be dismissed as casually as this. Further, the John Kerry State Department’s analysis that the jobs created would amount to fewer than 0.1% of “the nation’s total employment” is fatuous on its face: other than Big Government, there are vanishingly few enterprises that don’t employ fewer than 0.1% of our nation’s total employment.

Because There Isn’t Enough Regulation

Nature abhors a vacuum, and so do Democrats. The vacuum Democrats abhor, though, isn’t a natural one, it’s manmade—gaps in regulation. Americans are just too stupid to manage our own lives, on our own, insist Democrats, and so Democrats demand to regulate our lives for us. For our own good, you see. And for the good of Democrats’ political power. Here are two examples.

In Houston, the Liberal city government didn’t think bathroom accommodations for those who can’t accept who they are should be a matter of negotiation between employer and employee or prospective employee.