Don't fire Jane Chu

A very strange story has appeared in my favorite Wall Street Journal, about a Yale administrator who was posting racially insensitive comments in her Yelp reviews. Jane Chu referred to some people as "white trash" and said that a particular Japanese restaurant might be good enough for white people, implying that they were not as sophisticated about Asian cuisine as she was, coming from a Chinese background.

The latest news is that Yale has put her on "leave" after more "insensitive" posts were discovered.

Why capitalism is so great, part two

In part one, I talked about the greatness of capitalism, and tried to show sort of a mathematical way of proving it. Capitalism likely improves the outcome of economic trades made by people versus trades authorized by, or restricted by, or controlled by, the government. A little improvement here and there, over millions of transactions a day, over millions of people, over thousands of days, yields a huge dividend to society. It sort of reminds me of the difference between getting 5% interest or 10% interest.

Why capitalism is so great

It is hard to write about the greatness of capitalism because it seems so obvious, like explaining why one plus one equals two. But there are so many people now who seem to embrace some form of socialism that it does seem necessary to remind them of why capitalism is a much better economic and social system. "Socialism," despite its label, is much worse for society.

Let me start by discussing a principle in Economics 101, which is that people act rationally and do what is best for themselves.

Former President Obama to receive Kennedy Center award

Former President Barack Obama has won the Kennedy Center's 2017 Profile in Courage Award for a speech he is to give to Cantor Fitzgerald, the Wall Street brokerage house. Obama will be paid $400,000 for the speech, which is expected to take him about forty minutes. That works out to about $10,000 per minute or $600,000 an hour, which means Obama will earn over 10,000 times more per hour than the average American worker.

How real journalists can combat "fake news"

There has been a lot of discussion about "fake news," with much it it fueled by the rise of the Internet. It used to be that getting your story in the newspaper faced a certain high barrier. Your item had to be newsworthy, of course, but it was also subject to review and confirmation by the reporter or editor. Publication conveyed a certain amount of legitimacy. If a mistake was made, a correction would be run.

But something strange started to happen several years ago, and maybe it was started by our love and fascination with celebrities.

Sanctuary Town fallacies

I wanted to thank Richard (Anping) Liu for his articles on the Sanctuary City/Sanctuary Town issue, as well as the other contributors we have had over the last couple of months on this topic. Richard's most recent article examines crime rates for Sanctuary Cities and Towns versus state averages.

How Chief Justice Roberts' decision helped Trump

There are probably a few big reasons and a million little reasons why Donald Trump won the Presidency, not the least of which was the flawed persona of his main opponent. But history will show that Chief Justice Roberts was a primary cause.

Roberts' correct decision not to intervene in overturning Obamacare led to Trump's victory as it galvanized opponents of President Obama and his policies, and Mrs. Clinton ran more on Obama's legacy than on her husband's. Embracing Obama allowed the many failures of Obama's presidency to be assigned to candidate Clinton.

Finance Committee fails Acton Town Meeting

At last night's Annual Town Meeting (TM), my friend Charlie Kadlec proposed an amendment to the town funding warrant article to transfer $1 million from our reserves to lower next year's tax rate, which would have saved the average taxpayer around $125. The average single-family property tax bill would still have increased to $10,988, a 2.77% increase, but would have stayed under $11,000. His amendment was defeated by about 160-110.

The clash of dictators with free societies

PART ONE IS HERE: http://www.actonforum.com/blogs/allenn/dealing-authoritarian-dictators

I'm up in Canada for a trip this week, and read the regional "Globe and Mail" newspaper, which reported on a recent attempt by the Canadian government to agree to a criminal extradition treaty with China.

Dealing with authoritarian dictators

The concept of free trade is great. We should assume every bilateral relationship with other countries would be based on the ideal of free trade. Free trade provides an economic benefit to our citizens, in that it brings cheaper, or better-quality, goods to our citizens than we otherwise would have had. And in general, competition improves the products made by domestic manufacturers.

Take the American car industry for example. Without competition, American manufacturers had a virtual monopoly and were able to make cars with planned obsolescence.