Wal-Mart and Costco rationing rice?

But why? Raising the price is the answer. Technically all products are rationed. By the price. Prices convey information - and consumers get the message loud and clear. As a result consumers are forced to make choices. If the price is artificially low when demand is high, consumers will hoard the product (in this case, rice). If the price were higher:

1. Consumers would replace their rice with an alternate product, thereby reducing demand and helping to alleviate the underlying problem.

2. Have an incentive to buy less rice than they normally would, thereby increasing supply for other consumers, and again - alleviating the underlying problem. Think of it as self-rationing.

3. Farmer would have more incentive to grow more rice (and they will), which would increase the supply and thus - all together now - alleviate the underlying problem.

Rationing might help the "right now" problem, but it does nothing to fix the problem in the future. The FDC is bewildered why Wal-Mart and Costco would find it necessary to use a typically governmental solution that is doomed to failure.

Free markets and the invisible hand created companies like Wal-Mart and Costco - why would they abandon the same economic principles that made them what they are today? Methinks it's a public relations move so as not to look like they are "price gouging" the poor. There is no such thing as price gouging, but that is another post for another day.


Bush = Hitler?

It's been a common theme in the past four to six years for the left to call President George W. Bush a fascist, or to equate him with Hitler, i.e. Hitler = Evil and Bush = Evil; therefore, Bush = Hitler. Got it?

Today's Oregonian featured a commentary written by William B. Fischer, a professor of German in the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures at Portland State University that thoroughly destroys the Bush = Hitler comparison. Credentials? Professor Fischer received his Ph.D. from Yale University.

Professor Fischer:

Little more than seven hours after Hitler was installed in office (Jan. 30, 1933), the authorities halted a protest message that was being delivered on radio by the great German theologian and pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Seven years after Bush was installed in office (Jan. 20, 2001), nothing remotely comparable has happened to the media or, much less, individual free speech. (The Nazis hanged Bonhoeffer on April 9, 1945, three weeks before World War II ended.)

This is a good spot to recommend Jonah Goldberg's fine book Liberal Fascism.


US Army Chorus welcomes Pope Benedict to The White House

The US Army Chorus nearly stole the show on the South Lawn of The White House. The video quality is not great, but also not important. The audio is what counts.

A smattering of the YouTube viewer comments that stood out:

In-Your-Face, but makes a great point:

"TREMENDOUS!! The greatest version of this tune I've ever heard! The Pope at the White House!! Separate that you liberal facists!!! "

And this from the viewer with the best ears, and an awesome grasp of the history:

"Listen carefully to the last verse. They sang the original line: As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free. This line was rewritten later to "let us *live* to make men free". A small, but significant, distinction, given the times in which we live. As it was in 1861, it is today."

Great comment.


Mr. Smith is at work. Right now.

The Wall Street Journal writes the best editorials in the newspaper business - but this one stands out:

The Editorial Board:

"Today's credit panic isn't some "crisis of capitalism" that needs a vast new layer of regulation. We are living through the aftermath of a societal credit mania fueled by excessive money creation. The regulators are as much to blame as the regulated, and Adam Smith is providing more punishment and reform than Washington ever will."
The Invisible Hand? This might be more like the Invisible Fist, but if that's what Professor Smith says we need, then that's what we'll get - and it will be better than what Washington can do.