Quote of the Day – Confidence Edition

From Captain Capitalism:

If you recall high school economics or college freshman economics (both were the same, colleges just made you pay extra to re-learn what you did in high school) there were “The Factors of Production.”

These factors were essentially the ingredients you needed in order for a business or an individual to “produce” something. There were originally three of them.

Land – you can produce nothing without at minimum some kind of office space.
Labor – the machines will not only not take over the world, they’ll just sit there unless a human spends his or her time running them.
Capital – Nobody is doing nothing until they get paid. And that includes the people who produce the tools and machines you’ll need to get started.

A fourth one was entered as they realized even with the above three, nothing would get produced. You needed a leader. An innovator. A man with the plan.

The entrepreneur.

Since there it was commonly accepted that there are three original, but most likely four real factors of production.

However, I would like to tender a fifth.

I’m doing this not to make things more complicated or to somehow be enshrined in the Economics Hall of Fame, but because our economy today practically proves there is a fifth and final factor of production that is required to produce, but is not accounted for in the current list. That fifth component is:

A future.


And then read my February 2009 post, Confidence.

Vetting Obama

So, let’s start with this list.  Think the New York Times will touch on ANY of these points?

Nah, me neither.

Via Roger Kimball.

UPDATE: DJ points to this:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypAU28t5Ya0?rel=0&w=640&h=480]

Well, Mr. President? Put up or shut up.

Quote of the Day – EUtopia Edition

Officials lie like rats in times of financial panic; they do it out of a sense of duty. They will insist that a given country will never leave the euro until the moment that it does; they will say that a deposit freeze is unthinkable until they announce that they’ve done it; they will tell you a bank is rock solid until the moment they padlock its doors. This is all for your own good, of course. They don’t want you to panic — and they want to make sure that your money is trapped when they take it away or turn it from gold into straw. —  Walter Russell Mead, Ratcheting Up The Crisis In Europe

So Bad It’s Good

I went out and caught Battleship at the matinee yesterday. As a Science-Fiction film, it suffers from pretty much every problem that has plagued Sci-Fi films from the beginning, beginning with completely ignoring science. But OK, this isn’t really Sci-Fi, it’s a summer blowup movie.

As that, it’s pretty good. And if you remember that this is a film directed mostly at pubescent boys (and older ones that haven’t grown up), it has one major redeeming quality:  it does not denigrate the military. In fact, it shows a lot of respect, especially towards retired and wounded service members. In fact one major character, medically-retired Army Lt. Col. Mark Canales, is played by active-duty full-bird Col. Gregory Gadson, a bilateral above-the-knee amputee. Col. Gadson is currently the director of the Wounded Warrior Project for the U.S. Army and not a bad actor.

Hell, I’ll admit it, I enjoyed the film, cringe-inducing errors and all.

Quote of the Day – Your Teacher Said WHAT?! Edition

Last one from this book:

Progressivism may be hysterical, but it isn’t in retreat; it’s on the attack.  And it retains a powerful set of channels for communicating its philosophy, including television, newspapers, and the Internet.

Oh, and the schools.

Toward the end of the 2010 school year, and therefore the writing of this book, Blake brought home a writing project for her fifth-grade class entitled “Understanding Environmental Concerns.”  Here’s a sample.

Today you read about the environment and the importance of your country’s natural resources.  Currently a conflict exists between people who want to reduce the amount of chemicals in the air in order to protect the environement, and those who say it hurts business if we limit the amount of emissions they release.

Now, if you’re going to load a question for a bunch of ten-year-olds, you couldn’t really do much better than this:  The conflict is between people who want to protect the evnironment and those who want to help (or at least not hurt) business.  Environment or business:  Pick one.

But teachers aren’t pushing a Progressive agenda!  Just ask ’em!

As one commenter here has noted, they don’t see it for the same reason fish don’t notice water – they’re swimming in it.

Now This is Interesting…

Italian university switches to English

From opera at La Scala to football at the San Siro stadium, from the catwalks of fashion week to the soaring architecture of the cathedral, Milan is crowded with Italian icons.
Which makes it even more of a cultural earthquake that one of Italy’s leading universities – the Politecnico di Milano – is going to switch to the English language.
The university has announced that from 2014 most of its degree courses – including all its graduate courses – will be taught and assessed entirely in English rather than Italian.
The waters of globalisation are rising around higher education – and the university believes that if it remains Italian-speaking it risks isolation and will be unable to compete as an international institution.

And this bit is even more interesting:

The need to attract overseas students and researchers, including from the UK and non-English speaking countries, is another important reason for switching to English as the primary language.

“We are very proud of our city and culture, but we acknowledge that the Italian language is an entry barrier for overseas students,” he says, particularly when recruiting from places such as China and India.

There’s much more to the article, which I recommend you read, but this is the kicker, for me:

Professor Azzone says there is a stark choice between becoming isolated and parochial or trying to compete with these academic superpowers – and he argues that this will require European universities to work together.

“We have to give a sense that we are not a dying country – but we are not large enough to have a critical mass. We need to have a European alliance of strong universities.”

(My emphasis.) But Italy is a dying country – that’s why they need foreign students.  Italy’s reproduction rate has been declining for quite a while, and currently women in Italy bear 1.3 children each – way below the replacement level of 2.1.  That’s the definition of a dying country.

Your 18:52 of Zen

Via Rachel Lucas.  I’m not a huge fan of classical music, but I’ve been exposed to it. My wife is the one with eclectic musical tastes, running from Mozart to Nine Inch Nails.

Here’s a performance of the last movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the Ode to Joy by the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra and a chorus of ten thousand people, Yutaka Sado, conducting, at a concert in memory of those lost in the tsunami last year.

The chorus at 7:00 in raised goosebumps on my arms.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBlQZyTF_LY?rel=0&showinfo=0&w=640&h=360]


Quote of the Day – Ideological Purity Edition

From Robb:

The problem with Libertarianism is the same problem with Communism. Not everyone buys into your fantasy.

It’s…why Libertarians are powerless. Instead of trying to actually do something, they spend more time circle jerking in their purity tests than picking up their bowcasters and going door to door trying to explain their positions and heaven forbid – compromising where they can to move forward.