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Month: October 2010

Made in the USA

Originally Published in eFlourishing Issue 8, March 16, 2010 We hear our friends say, “The US doesn’t make anything here anymore!” But we do. Last Thursday, the Commerce Department announced that as a percentage (39%) of the growth in our Gross Domestic Product (5.9% in 4Q2009), goods exported from the US hit a thirteen-year high in 4Q2009. But wait! That’s not the good news, which is that the US is still – far and away – the number one manufacturer in the world, producing more than 20% of global output… Read more Made in the USA

The Last of the Mohicans, Almost

Originally Published in eFlourishing Issue 10, May 30, 2010 There is nothing new under the sun, but the history you don’t know; or in my case, the genealogy. One of the oldest Indian reservations in North America is reserve land granted to the Schaghticoke Indians (descendants of the Mohicans) in the year 1736 by the General Assembly of the Colony of Connecticut, forty years prior to the formation of the United States. As far as I know, the Schaghticoke do not run a casino. Still, they have my attention. My great-grandfather,… Read more The Last of the Mohicans, Almost

A Brief Economic Update on Oil

Originally Published in eFlourishing Issue 10, May 30, 2010 The theory of “Peak Oil”, like the theory of “anthropogenic global warming”, is, I believe, factually unsustainable. Both theories conveniently discount the scope and effects of natural phenomena and the unlimited potential of the liberated human mind. Fortunately, as Mrs. Cunningham taught her history students nearly fifty years ago, the truth will out. According to a recent Gallup poll (http://www.gallup.com/poll/126716/Environmental-Issues-Year-Low-Concern.aspx) , the number of people who take “Global Warming” seriously has fallen to 28%. “Peak Oil” is headed for the dust-bin of… Read more A Brief Economic Update on Oil

Happy Birthday, Mr. Jefferson!

Originally Published in eFlourishing Issue 12, April 19, 2010 OK, I’m late to the party. Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743. That I missed Mr. Jefferson’s birthday is more than an oversight. It is an injustice. Thomas Jefferson’s birthday should be a bold, red-numbered day, just as Washington’s and Lincoln’s once were, and should be again. Washington was the father of his country, Lincoln its savior, and Thomas Jefferson was, in a very real sense, the author of America. Like America itself, Thomas Jefferson was, first and foremost, a… Read more Happy Birthday, Mr. Jefferson!

Big Oil

Originally Published in eFlourishing Issue 13, May 3, 2010 A few days ago, British Petroleum lost the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Lawsuits have been filed, and many are probably justified. The loss to BP, just in terms of oil not produced, is about $600,000 per day. The Deepwater Horizon disaster will undoubtedly cause companies working offshore to amend their safety procedures. Who can afford not to learn from their own and others’ mistakes? Nevertheless, this disaster will give the environmental activists plenty of ammunition to rouse… Read more Big Oil

Optimism is Realism

Originally Published in eFlourishing Issue 18, June 9, 2010 That three-word epigram has informed Nick Murray’s written and spoken work for at least twenty years, forty is more likely. Now, Mr. Murray recommends The Rational Optimist, Harper Collins, 2010. The author, Matt Ridley, earned a PhD. in Zoology from Oxford and, for several years, was the science editor at The Economist. In 1999, he authored, and I read, the best-seller, Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters. He is also the author of The Red Queen: Sex and… Read more Optimism is Realism

The Catallaxy Revisited

Originally Published in eFlourishing Issue 19, June 15, 2010  “We see in almost every part of the annals of mankind how the industry of individuals, struggling up against wars, taxes, famines, conflagrations, mischievous prohibitions, and more mischievous protections, creates faster than governments can squander, and repairs whatever invaders can destroy.” – Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800 – 1859), quoted in The Rational Optimist, by Matt Ridley. Because I am a confirmed optimist, some of you may think that I don’t understand how bad things are out there. I assure you that I… Read more The Catallaxy Revisited