Black Gold Friday?

It is 'Black Friday'. Since I am still in Afghanistan, I will have to order from what Glenn Reynolds calls 'Old Reliable'.

Anyhow, the media has been bemoaning he conventional wisdom that since there has been dire economic new, that we will see poor retail sales this holiday season.

However, I think that this will end up being fairly wrong. Why would I think this, especially since "everyone knows" that we are in a recession and people are hurting? I think this for one reason. And that reason is graphically depicted by this image:

Six or even three months ago, people may have forgone Christmas spending because they knew they had to buy gas at historically high prices. But now that we are seeing prices that we haven't had in 2-3 years, people will be more willing to put those $$ to use for Christmas cheer.

Gas prices have the most direct correlation of any economic measure on how people view their personal economic situation. With prices low and dropping, I am betting thaat people will feel ok to buy more for Christmas.

I am sure that Paul Krugman will label it the 'Obama Effect', but I think I would rather term it 'Black Gold Friday'.


Bizarro World Economic Incentives

I guess we could see this train coming down the tracks, but the new economic rules continue to amaze me....
- Fail miserably and catastrophically, and the government will reward you will Billions of dollars that you *did not* earn

- Succeed fantastically and legitimately by providing a product that everyone wants & needs, and the government will slap a windfall-profit tax on you and confiscate Billions of dollars that you *did* earn
Talk about a zero-sum game!

I am sure the classes in Business Schools will be extremely interesting over the next few years....


The Greatest Country on Earth

Alas, the election is over. Congratulations to Barrack Obama.

While his election is disappointing based on my personal political philosophy, I believe that it is a demonstration on many levels as to why the United States of America is the greatest country on the face of the earth. He was not my candidate by a long shot, and I will not agree with him on probably 95% of issues, but he will be my President. Because I am an American, thick or thin.

And because the liberties of America allow me to do so, I look forward to Nov 2012 when we can hopefully elect a Conservative president to right the many things that I think President Obama will do wrong.

Thus, when I get home shortly from my posting here in Afghanistan, I have 3 books that I intend to read before Inauguration Day to put me in the right frame of mind to fight for conservative reform in a country that will be politically dominated by liberal rule.

1) Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand: Who is John Galt? I don't know, but I am going to find out....and hope that the next four years don't follow this plot.

2) Real Change - From the World that Fails To the World That Works by Newt Gingrich: what would sensible conservative reform look like. I have always been drawn in recent years to Newt Gingrich's common sense words on producing changes from the 'right' perspective.

3) Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream by Ross Douthat & Reihan Salam: While the GOP may have proven itself moribund, it is the only viable political vehicle for conservative reform. How might we set it right? I will start with this tome

God bless and good reading.....