The Kensington Review

30 August 2004

Latest Commentary:
Americans in Poverty, without Health Insurance up Again -- A double dose of bad news for the Bush campaign at the end of last week. It seems that, for the third year in a row, the numbers of Americans living below the poverty line and those without some form of health coverage has risen. Even better, the Census Bureau traditionally releases these numbers in late September rather than in August before a Republican convention. Apparently, if policy isn't working, one doesn't change policy, one hides the proof.

Blair May Face First Impeachment Debate in 150 Years -- British politics used to rely on the theory of "Ministerial Accountability." That meant that when there was an appallingly bad screw up in a government ministry, the top man would hand in his resignation. This allowed the appearance of a fresh start, and it didn't really matter if the resigning minister was personally responsible or not. He'd often get a new job in the next cabinet reshuffle. This has become less and less common as the years have passed, but the beauty of the British system lies in its antiquity. Since Mr. Blair has refused to resign over his mishandling of the Iraq war, and since a vote of no confidence would force new elections if successful, some MPs have decided to impeach Mr. Blair, removing him and only him from office. This hasn't been tried since 1848, and it's long over due.

Oil Drops on Profit-Taking -- Markets are the most efficient device the human race has created for the allocation of scarce resources, or more accurately, the least inefficient. They do so by the pricing mechanism, which according to theory, changes as new information reaches participants. Like most theory, it is accurate in broad terms and dead wrong when faced with short timeframes and irrational behavior by participants. So, the recent drop in oil prices is no reason to uncork the champagne just yet.

Celebrity Endorsements are Usually Worthless -- As the election in the US draws closer to some sort of end, more and more people in the entertainment world are making their opinions known. In most cases, what they think about the issues of the day is irrelevant. Alice Cooper, who was Marilyn Manson long before Marilyn was, summed it up when Reuters quoted him as saying, "If you are listening to a rock star in order to get your voting information on who to vote for, you are a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons." The great flaw in democracy, more opinions aren't necessarily better opinions.

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Copyright 2004 by The Kensington Review , J. Myhre, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent.