What’s up – End of April 2008

Identify yourself if you want to participate in society

It looks like the courts have decided it is OK to require voters to identify themselves (WSJ, Fund). The left is not happy (see Big Lizards) but the fact is that the state depends upon being able to verify the identity of those who participate in its activities. This issue not only involves voting but many other interactions with the state. Passports have been in the news recently but welfare, taxation, healthcare, and other programs also depend upon an accountability in identification to prevent fraud and misuse. Right now, it depends upon an individual to carry some certification such as a driver’s license. In the future it may well be that a fingerprint or other biometric will be used as a key to a government list (database) that verifies your identity for a particular purpose. Either way, there is a lot of angst about the leaking of personal information or its misuse either from a personal data store or from a government database.

Doom and gloom frenzy takes a reality check

All the talk about economic gloom and doom and recession got a bit of a wake up call as the first quarter reports indicate an economy that is still growing. We see so much about the rate at which the rate of growth has slowed it is very easy to loose sight of the fact that it hasn’t yet started to go backwards.

Fuel cost inflation and a third world food crisis

The side effects of efforts to move away from oil are being seen on two fronts. One is the substitute front that advocates biofuels and that other is the NIMBY energy sourcing luxury. Biofuels are being seen as competing for basic foodstuffs and leading to food shortages and hoarding. Prohibitions about drilling for oil in ANWAR, oil shales, or off coast have limited the supply of oil and that has tended to make it more costly. Add to that the opposition to cost effective energy sources such as nuclear or hydroelectric and it is easy to see how pressure on the energy supply is increasing.

The effect of improper behavior for change

Some are starting to look at the effect of the anti-war rioting and its destructive effects. NRO notes one that indicates how the Viet Nam effort may have been dragged out by the egotism of the protestsers ad how, with a bit more political finess, the war might have been brought to an end sooner. There have also been some analysis about the opposition to the Iraq war and how it has dragged out the conflict and reduced the effectiveness of the effort.

Is college worth it?

Marty Nemko wonders if the bachelor’s degree is the right goal for the so-so high school graduate.

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