Chinese Ghost Cities – Not as Cool as it Sounds

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I had trouble sleeping last night so I stayed up and watched the Bill Maher produced show ‘Vice’, which I have seen a few times before. While I don’t agree with Maher or think he is particularly funny comedian (he panders to his audience unlike many other GREAT comedians out there right now), but he has done a very good job with ‘Vice’.

Anyway, last night they did a story on the “Ghost Cities” of China. The Chinese government in their infinite wisdom has implemented a policy of massive construction projects throughout the country. Specifically, they have built cities for the sake of building , complete with high rises, parks and layouts that copy other world famous cities such as Paris (they even built an Eifel Tower).

Now, not surprisingly, the cities sit largely unoccupied. And when I say largely I mean like 90%, not like Detroit which people have been fleeing for years.

What does this tell us?

First, it tells us that central planning DOES NOT WORK. Period. Second, it tells us that governments “investing” in various construction projects for the sake of construction projects is stupid policy. Progressive liberals have been pushing this sort of nonsense for decades and occasionally have been successful. See: The bridge to nowhere and here in Massachusetts the proposed green line and south coast rail extensions.

A large component of why China is doing this is because it creates jobs. Milton Friedman had a great anecdote about this mentality:

At one of our dinners, Milton recalled traveling to an Asian country in the 1960s and visiting a worksite where a new canal was being built. He was shocked to see that, instead of modern tractors and earth movers, the workers had shovels. He asked why there were so few machines. The government bureaucrat explained: “You don’t understand. This is a jobs program.” To which Milton replied: “Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it’s jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels.”

In addition, think how much this misallocation of resources inflated prices across the globe for labor, fuel, cement, steel and every other imaginable commodity that could have been used elsewhere.

Remember folks, progressives like Paul and Obama truly believe that cutting back on any spending – austerity – is wrong. They want to keep the various bubbles going as long as possible. But nothing lasts forever and when this one pops it will make the 2008 subprime mess look like a mild case of diarrhea.

ICYMI: Krugman lost MSNBC

When you lose the left wingers over at MSNBC you’ve truly gone off the deep end. Seriously, how much does our fuzzy faced professor muddle to himself “just ignore the debt, it doesn’t matter, we can’t keep this up FOREVER, bwahahaha”? Listen folks, he is not the renegade scientist who has stumbled upon a new theory of physics and is being laughed at by the scientific community. He is more like the junky in very deep denial. I sort of feel bad for him, but then I remember what an arrogant prick he is.

Mika let out a gasp when Mr. Krugman suggested Medicare and Medicaid shortfalls should be ignored. She compared Krugman’s “head-in-the-sand” approach to the one taken by climate change deniers. Krugman took exception, saying that no one could predict the future of entitlements so there was no need to worry until the programs became insolvent.

That response drew a spirited email from former Treasury official and “Morning Joe” regular Steve Rattner in defense of Mika’s analogy, who wrote the following:

“We are putting millions of tons of carbon in the air every day; we are also adding billions of dollars to our future entitlement obligations every day. We are borrowing (stealing?) from our children to pay far more in benefits to seniors than we are paying into the system.

We have something like $60 trillion in unfunded liabilities to Medicare and Social Security. Paul Krugman would like us to just wait until those programs run out of money, at which point those unfunded liabilities would be just that much larger.”

File under: Denial ain’t just a river you build a bridge over even when nobody needs the bridge

A Little Inspiration Since Star Trek Opens Friday

Breaking News: Krugman is STILL wrong!

While it has been some time since I’ve posted on this site, I figured I should update my dear readers on what is going on. I had to shelve any krugmaniswrong activity since launching my congressional campaign. Needless to say no one is calling me “congressman” since I lost, but make no mistake about it, It was a worthy endeavor that has enriched my life in too many ways to mention.

While an immediate update of Paul’s bi-weekly column will be pretty tough going forward. I will try to keep this site a little more fresh, perhaps even give it a facelift?

Anyway, my new hero is Michael Tanner who yesterday wrote a terrific piece on the dear professor’s arrogance and ignorance (my words not his). If he comes to Boston any time soon, drinks are on me.

Still, it never ceases to amaze me the level of pomposity those who quote Krugman and the man himself possess. All this despite monumental evidence that he is wrong.

Oh, while in D.C. I met a VERY well-known conservative commentator you see all the time on TV. I’ll leave you with a quote from him: “Krugman is a real asshole, seriously, the guys a complete jerk. A total asshole.”

Nuff said.

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This is Why I’m Running

Paul Krugman did it again. He reminded me why I have to do more than just explain why Paul is wrong. I have to get involved and that is why I’m running. Like many Americans, I lost people close to me on 9/11 and to hear Paul say the people who lead us through 9/11 “cashed in” is further fuel to my fire.

Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?

Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.

What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. Te atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.

A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?

The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.

I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.

Paul asked: Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?

Paul, it IS you. You are the problem.

If you want to see America turned away from the doomed path of progressive liberalism please visit http://www.jeffin2012.com/