Wednesday, March 15, 2006
1) Jonah Goldberg, Vive la Sloth!: Even the best French are a mess
The Sorbonne takeover is the most interesting and revealing part of the story because these are the best students France has to offer. In other words, these kids should have the least trouble finding work. But they're revolting because they understand that France isn't an egalitarian society — French propaganda notwithstanding. It is a system designed to lavish job protections, perks and, most of all, the French "lifestyle" on the upper-middle class.
2) BBC, A Tale of Two Argentinas
The Argentine economy appears to be booming. Unemployment is down, exports are up and the economy grows month after month. But do these statistics tell the full story?
3) Washington Times, GSA study finds rich contractors owe back taxes
Government-sanctioned contractors owe $1.4 billion in back taxes yet maintain million-dollar homes and luxury cars and go gambling at casinos, says a congressional oversight study.
4) NYTimes, Colleges Open Minority Aid to All Comers
Facing threats of litigation and pressure from Washington, colleges and universities nationwide are opening to white students hundreds of thousands of dollars in fellowships, scholarships and other programs previously created for minorities.
5) Oscar Arias, Latin America's Shift to the Center
If Latin American politics are moving in any direction, it is toward moderation and democracy. The age of ideological dictatorships in the region is, with very few unfortunate exceptions, over. Bolivia's elections were free and fair, and although the winner's politics represent a shift to the left, his ethnicity represents a shift toward democracy: Evo Morales, an Aymara Indian, is the first indigenous president in the history of this majority-indigenous nation.
6) John Tamny, The Fatal Conceit of Anti-Trust Laws: Arrogance and ignorance are what will block the AT&T/Bell South merger
What seemingly is missed every time the anti-trust crowd gets in a froth over a proposed merger is the nature of profits. If anything, consumers should hope that companies succeed in achieving monopoly profits. Large profits by definition speak to an unmet market need that is being met. More importantly, large profits attract competition. It can even be argued that if companies do not achieve monopoly gains, they’re engaging in activity that is not important to consumers and that will not attract competition.
7) Rich Lowry, Jobs Americans Won’t Do? Think Again
According to a new survey by the Pew Hispanic Center, illegals make up 24 percent of workers in agriculture, 17 percent in cleaning, 14 percent in construction, and 12 percent in food production. So 86 percent of construction workers, for instance, are either legal immigrants or Americans, despite the fact that this is one of the alleged categories of untouchable jobs.
Oddly, the people who warn that without millions of cheap, unskilled Mexican laborers, this country would face economic disaster are pro-business libertarians. They believe in the power of the market to handle anything — except a slightly tighter labor market for unskilled workers. But the free market would inevitably adjust, with higher wages or technological innovation.