31 mai 2009

Lucidité américaine (VI) Économie En Citations États-Unis Philosophie

Davy Crockett

Davy Crockett (explorateur, politicien, révolutionnaire & héros populaire américain) a déjà eu à voter pour un projet de loi visant à donner une pension à la veuve d’un soldat. En sa qualité de congressman, voici le discours qu’il a livré devant la législature du Tennessee quand ce projet de loi a été soumis au vote:

« We have the right as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week’s pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks. »

31 mai 2009

English mania Chine Économie En Vidéos Mondialisation

Un petit vidéo que Pauline Marois (et les autres nationalistes du PQ) auraient intérêt à écouter…

"Like the harnessing of electricity in our cities, or the fall of the Berlin Wall, English represents hope for a better future. A future where the world has a common language to solve its common problems."

P.-S. Beaucoup de gens ont dit que l'émergence de la Chine allait rendre la maîtrise du mandarin essentielle. Il semble que ces gens devront revoir leur pronostic.

31 mai 2009

Réforme scolaire États-Unis Philosophie Revue de presse

Los Angeles Times

Spitting in the eye of mainstream education
Los Angeles Times

Three no-frills charter schools in Oakland mock liberal orthodoxy, teach strictly to the test — and produce some of the state’s top scores. Not many schools in California recruit teachers with language like this: « We are looking for hard working people who believe in free market capitalism. Multi-cultural specialists, ultra liberal zealots, and college-tainted oppression liberators need not apply. »

School administrators take pride in their record of frequently firing teachers they consider to be underperforming. Students, almost all poor, wear uniforms and are subject to disciplinary procedures redolent of military school. One local school district official was horrified to learn that a girl was forced to clean the boys’ restroom as punishment.

It would be easy to dismiss American Indian as one of the nuttier offshoots of the fast-growing charter school movement, which allows schools to receive public funding but operate outside of day-to-day district oversight. But the schools command attention for one very simple reason: By standard measures, they are among the very best in California.

So what are they doing? The short answer is that American Indian attracts academically motivated students, relentlessly (and unapologetically) teaches to the test, wrings more seat time out of every school day, hires smart young teachers, demands near-perfect attendance, piles on the homework, refuses to promote struggling students to the next grade, and keeps discipline so tight that there are no distractions or disruptions. Summer school is required.

30 mai 2009

Billets verts Économie Environnement États-Unis

"Some businesses see nothing but profits in the green movement."

Wall Street Journal
The Climate-Industrial Complex

The Climate-Industrial ComplexSome business leaders are cozying up with politicians and scientists to demand swift, drastic action on global warming. This is a new twist on a very old practice: companies using public policy to line their own pockets.

The tight relationship between the groups echoes the relationship among weapons makers, researchers and the U.S. military during the Cold War. President Dwight Eisenhower famously warned about the might of the "military-industrial complex," cautioning that "the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." He worried that "there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties."

This is certainly true of climate change. We are told that very expensive carbon regulations are the only way to respond to global warming, despite ample evidence that this approach does not pass a basic cost-benefit test. We must ask whether a "climate-industrial complex" is emerging, pressing taxpayers to fork over money to please those who stand to gain.

This phenomenon will be on display at the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen this weekend. The organizers — the Copenhagen Climate Council — hope to push political leaders into more drastic promises when they negotiate the Kyoto Protocol's replacement in December.

The opening keynote address is to be delivered by Al Gore, who actually represents all three groups: He is a politician, a campaigner and the chair of a green private-equity firm invested in products that a climate-scared world would buy.

Naturally, many CEOs are genuinely concerned about global warming. But many of the most vocal stand to profit from carbon regulations. The term used by economists for their behavior is "rent-seeking."

The world's largest wind-turbine manufacturer, Copenhagen Climate Council member Vestas, urges governments to invest heavily in the wind market. It sponsors CNN's "Climate in Peril" segment, increasing support for policies that would increase Vestas's earnings. A fellow council member, Mr. Gore's green investment firm Generation Investment Management, warns of a significant risk to the U.S. economy unless a price is quickly placed on carbon.

Even companies that are not heavily engaged in green business stand to gain. European energy companies made tens of billions of euros in the first years of the European Trading System when they received free carbon emission allocations.

American electricity utility Duke Energy, a member of the Copenhagen Climate Council, has long promoted a U.S. cap-and-trade scheme. Yet the company bitterly opposed the Warner-Lieberman bill in the U.S. Senate that would have created such a scheme because it did not include European-style handouts to coal companies. The Waxman-Markey bill in the House of Representatives promises to bring back the free lunch.

U.S. companies and interest groups involved with climate change hired 2,430 lobbyists just last year, up 300% from five years ago. Fifty of the biggest U.S. electric utilities — including Duke — spent $51 million on lobbyists in just six months.

The massive transfer of wealth that many businesses seek is not necessarily good for the rest of the economy. Spain has been proclaimed a global example in providing financial aid to renewable energy companies to create green jobs. But research shows that each new job cost Spain 571,138 euros, with subsidies of more than one million euros required to create each new job in the uncompetitive wind industry. Moreover, the programs resulted in the destruction of nearly 110,000 jobs elsewhere in the economy, or 2.2 jobs for every job created.

The cozy corporate-climate relationship was pioneered by Enron, which bought up renewable energy companies and credit-trading outfits while boasting of its relationship with green interest groups. When the Kyoto Protocol was signed, an internal memo was sent within Enron that stated, "If implemented, [the Kyoto Protocol] will do more to promote Enron's business than almost any other regulatory business."

The World Business Summit will hear from "science and public policy leaders" seemingly selected for their scary views of global warming. They include James Lovelock, who believes that much of Europe will be Saharan and London will be underwater within 30 years; Sir Crispin Tickell, who believes that the United Kingdom's population needs to be cut by two-thirds so the country can cope with global warming; and Timothy Flannery, who warns of sea level rises as high as "an eight-story building."

Free speech is important. But these visions of catastrophe are a long way outside of mainstream scientific opinion, and they go much further than the careful findings of the United Nations panel of climate change scientists. When it comes to sea-level rise, for example, the United Nations expects a rise of between seven and 23 inches by 2100 — considerably less than a one-story building.

There would be an outcry — and rightfully so — if big oil organized a climate change conference and invited only climate-change deniers.

The partnership among self-interested businesses, grandstanding politicians and alarmist campaigners truly is an unholy alliance. The climate-industrial complex does not promote discussion on how to overcome this challenge in a way that will be best for everybody. We should not be surprised or impressed that those who stand to make a profit are among the loudest calling for politicians to act. Spending a fortune on global carbon regulations will benefit a few, but dearly cost everybody else.

Mr. Lomborg is director of the Copenhagen Consensus, a think tank, and author of "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming" (Knopf, 2007).

29 mai 2009

Raciste Coup de gueule États-Unis Hétu Watch

SotomayorDepuis quelques jours, Richard Hétu est désemparé parce que de méchants droitistes ont osé dire que Sonia Sotomayor, la candidate de Barack Obama pour un poste de juge à la Cour suprême, est raciste.  Avant de grimper dans les rideaux, Hétu aurait dû faire un peu de recherche…

En 2003, les services d'incendie de la ville de New Haven (Connecticut) ont fait passer un examen parmi ses pompiers pour déterminer lesquels devaient obtenir une promotion.  Tous les candidats ayant réussi l'examen étaient caucasiens; aucun hispanique et aucun Afro-Américain n'ont pu obtenir la note de passage.  Les pompiers ayant échoué l'examen ont porté leur cause devant les tribunaux invoquant qu'ils avaient été victimes de discrimination.  La juge Sonia Sotomayor, qui a présidé ce procès, s'est rangée du côté des plaignants et elle a fait annuler toutes les promotions décernées par les services d'incendie de la ville de New Haven.

Ce n'est pas Martin Luther King qui avait dit: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character" ?

29 mai 2009

Double standard Économie Gauchistan Québec

Santé QuébecImaginez si pour sauver quelques dollars, un établissement de santé privé avait bâclé les analyses pathologiques pour des patients ayant reçu un diagnostic de cancer.  Imaginez si en agissant de la sorte, 1 patient sur 3 aurait reçu un traitement inapproprié.

Les gens seraient probablement descendus dans les rues pour dénoncer cet échec du capitalisme.  Les médias auraient probablement exigé une nouvelle réglementation pour nous protéger de l'avarice des businessmen.  Bref, pour tout le monde cette situation aurait été une preuve incontestable de l'échec du privé en santé.

La situation que je viens de décrire est celle qui prévaut actuellement dans le réseau de santé publique québécois.  Par contre, si la population et les médias ont manifesté leur préoccupation, on sait tous que les politiciens ne feront rien pour remédier à la situation.  Encore plus significatif, personne n'osera dire que cette situation représente une preuve incontestable de l'échec du public en santé.

Le résultat de plusieurs décennies de pensées uniques anti-capitalistes…

29 mai 2009

Vous chantiez ? Dansez maintenant ! Canada Économie Gauchistan Récession Revue de presse

National Post

Don’t blame deficit on the economy
National Post

Earlier this year, National Revenue Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn launched an advertising campaign to promote the Conservatives’ various tax credits, including the $1,350 home renovation tax credit, also known in some circles as the Home Depot bailout.

The message was that Ottawa had created all these great tax deals that stimulate the economy and put cash in pockets. The ad slogan was: « You’ve earned it. Claim it. »

News that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is projecting a budget deficit this year of « more than » $50-billion suggests Ottawa needs a new advertising campaign and some fresh language to bring the message up to current fiscal conditions. Recommended new slogan: « We’ve borrowed it. Now you pay for it. »

Mr. Flaherty was quick to blame this big expansion in debt and spending on the economic climate. Technically, that’s true. But that obscures the real problem. The real culprit in the ballooning fiscal mess is the chronic inability of governments to control and limit spending. In good times and bad, politicians of all political stripe spend until they create crises that can be resolved only with draconian measures.

Blaming growing deficits on the recession and unforeseen turns in the economy is a political device rather than a solid explanation. Today’s deficits in Ottawa are a direct product of five years of fiscal expansionism and continued spending increases. Spending has been rising at twice the rate of population growth and inflation, an unsustainable trend.

28 mai 2009

Vive l’indépendance ! Économie En Chiffres En Vidéos États-Unis Hétu Watch Philosophie

Voici comment l'appartenance des Américains aux partis politiques a évolué depuis 6 ans:

Pew Research Center

Si Richard Hétu n'ose pas en parler, Glenn Beck de son côté ne cache pas sa satisfaction:

28 mai 2009

Le prix de l’opposition Économie Gauchistan Venezuela

Voici comment Hugo Chavez a mis son pays sur la la route de la servitude:


« In 2004, the Chávez regime in Venezuela distributed the list of several million voters whom had attempted to remove him from office throughout the government bureaucracy, allegedly to identify and punish these voters. We match the list of petition signers distributed by the government to household survey respondents to measure the economic effects of being identified as a Chavez political opponent. We find that voters who were identified as Chavez opponents experienced a 5 percent drop in earnings and a 1.5 percentage point drop in employment rates after the voter list was released. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the loss aggregate TFP [Total Factor Productivity] from the misallocation of workers across jobs was substantial, on the order of 3 percent of GDP. »

Leon Trotsky a déjà dit : « In a country where the sole employer is the State, opposition means death by slow starvation. The old principle: Who does not work does not eat, has been replaced by a new one: Who does not obey shall not eat. »