Saturday, September 29, 2007

Happiness is

Sending this link about killer amoeba in Arizona waters, and my friend's immediate reply of, "It killed 20 of my people...including my beloved wife."

Except that he hadn't even read the link yet -- he was watching "Star Trek II" and ICQd me that line as pure coincidence.

Oh, and the reporter's name...Kahn. Close enough for another laugh!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Read her lips: no new bureaucracy!

Hillary did a Sunday morning talk show blitz, appearing on all five that are nationally broadcast to defend her socialist health care agenda. I didn't watch any of them, as is my normal practice, so I can only wonder how she "giggled." Is it really a laughing matter to her? I guess it's all fun and games to her that she wants to take money forcibly from those who produce things of economic value, and give it to those who don't produce as much (if at all).

Remember that the supposed 47 million Americans aren't as numerous as is claimed. Many Americans voluntarily choose not to have it, because while they can afford it, they'd rather pay out of pocket. Many of these "uninsured" are illegal immigrants (who should be deported into the Pacific, along with others who leech off taxpayers, before the rest of us are coerced into giving them so much as a goddamn penny). Under Hillary's plan, those of us who work will have to pay for every Pablo and Maria who come here for our welfare state, and every Akisha on welfare with her five out-of-wedlock children. But of course, Hillary will raise taxes only on the richest Americans, right? Never mind that, as I said below, everyone else's jobs depend on the saving and consumption of "the rich." When "the rich" are taxed more, and assuming the unlikelihood of them continuing to produce as much economic output, they'll have less to spend and save. As Bastiat taught us, in the end the money merely shifts. Instead of hiring yard workers, going out to dinner, and buying fancy clothes, cars and jewelry, "the rich" will be paying taxes for everyone else. So some landscapers, waiters, Mercedes-Benz car dealers, jewelers in the Diamond District on 47th Street, et al, will be out of jobs when "the rich" cut back -- but at least they'll have health care, right?

Notice how Newt Gingrich, often hailed as a real conservative, and the architect of the bullshit called the "Contract With America" (the lies the GOP told in 1994 to regain control of Congress), actually said, "Some things that she proposes are interesting and useful." There's nothing "interesting" or "useful" about her plan. That's the problem with Republicans: for all their talk, they also want a bloated government, just with different programs than Democrats want. What happens is that both sides compromise, leading to further expanded government.

I didn't see the interview, so I don't know if she repeated her claim that there would be no new bureaucracy necessary for her plan. Who really believes that a plan costing $110 billion a year (meaning we can count on easily double that estimate) will require no new bureaucracy? Oh no, she says, no new bureaucracy, even though government will need a way to force you into the plan unless you want to work an underground job. Or is she technically speaking the truth, in the same way that Bill didn't create new taxes (or did he?). He merely increased them. So Hillary won't create a new bureaucracy -- she'll just expand the existing Department of Health and Human Services.

But forget the argument about logistics and economic efficiency. Her plan is based on the immoral notion of a "moral imperative" to coerce people into giving up their property for others. That's all there is to say. Only a state-worshipper can fail to understand.

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Let's try a new game: the Daily Star Trek Vidcap Challenge

I just didn't have time to continue the Daily Star Trek Quote Challenge. Also, it was coming down to whoever Googled the quote fastest, so let's try something a little different.

Name the episode, series and season number. We'll start off with a softball (pun intended) for the first one.

It's that new Democrat "fiscal conservatism"


September 21, 2007 -- ALBANY - Facing a projected $3.6 billion budget gap, the Spitzer administration expects to propose increasing spending next year "at no more than 5.3 percent."
And liberals have the audacity to accuse the GOP of fiscal irresponsibility? Not that I'm saying Republicans are saints, since both sides compete to be the party of big government, and God knows Bush is hardly a fiscal conservative, but I'm continually incredulous that voters can't see through Democrats' lies about their alleged "fiscal responsibility." Their only idea of balancing government budgets is to hike taxes, pure and simple. Sure, let's "soak the rich," shall we? Never mind that "the rich," through their saving and consumption spending, support the livelihoods of everyone else.

Note the tags I'm using here. "Big government," "Democrats" and "Liberal hypocrisy" are inextricable, aren't they?

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Even in China, market forces are stronger than...gravity

My friend JK linked to Pillage Idiot's post on the first Hooters in Beijing, which is the fourth in China (ABC News article here). China is still not free, but I'm always pleased to see further evidence that, being at that crossroads between central planning and free markets, it often moves in the right direction. Some might say it's "the right direction" because of this particular type of restaurant, but I say it because it's toward free markets. After all, why would someone open up a Hooters except in response to anticipated consumer demand?

I've written before and before about uplifting things, but this will be my most uplifting post ever. What really caught my attention (not for that reason, but the economics behind it) was Pillage Idiot's link to this China Daily article. It seems that Chinese bra makers have been shifting, for years in fact, toward larger sizes. There's a serious lesson in this, because it shows that no amount of central planning, whether the type of 1984 or China today or Mao's or Lenin's, could respond effectively to Chinese women's increasingly larger busts. Only the free market can, and only the free market can, ahem, defeat the forces of gravity.

The article says that "The growth trend is credited to women eating more nutritiously and taking part in more sports." This is correct only superficially. The growth trend is fundamentally because of China's increasing prosperity, through which more women can eat protein and develop more muscles, and more significantly, they can eat more excess calories (which are stored as fat, including in the chest).

And how is China becoming so prosperous? Certainly not by producing things for themselves, but producing things for us. Meanwhile, the United States becomes more prosperous because all these inexpensive Chinese goods increase our buying power. What's not to like?

In looking through some of my older posts, I left replies here and here to protectionists (who had left their comments long after my post, so I didn't see them until today). There are things protectionists say that sound right, but they aren't valid when you look at the real economics, and they certainly aren't valid when you consider them from a perspective of freedom.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

There's bad customer service, atrocious customer service, and Best Buy

I recently bought a Wii, which is perhaps the most fun purchase I've made in my life. They're still very hard to find, at least here in the New York metro area: you need to be lucky and hear of them available online (I saw them available on Toys R Us' site) or in a store you can get to in time. Some people take their chances at the Nintendo store at Rockefeller Center: even today, their daily shipments sell out immediately after the store opens. People still line up starting at 6 a.m. for the 9 a.m. opening, hoping to be among the lucky few.

Well, I bought only a basic package with just one Wiimote and nunchuck, and I'll need a second set for when a friend and I play games this weekend. Normally I don't ever bother going to Best Buy, which has a deservedly bad reputation. Even their best sale prices are rarely worth a consideration. Well, there's one on my way from work to Grand Central, so I figured I'd check their Wii accessories for the sake of saving time. First, I fruitlessly called several times to make sure they had some in stock. The phone kept ringing and was never answered, so I popped in on my way home from work. There were plenty of Wiimotes on the shelves, but no nunchucks, and no sales staff who'd pay any attention to me. It took several minutes before I could get a hold of someone, in this case, some kid who looked and sounded straight from the ghetto. He said in a disinterested voice that he'd check, but several minutes later he still hadn't returned. I walked out the store in disgust.

I don't know why I bothered, because any of us who've tried looking around Best Buy already knew what was going to happen to me. Yes, I would have saved a bit of time rather than going to another store, but I could have decided to spend more time in the first place and avoid the high probability of aggravation. Tomorrow I'll just go to the Wal-Mart in Wilton, Connecticut, a bit of a ways from my friend's house but not too bad.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dude, I got another Dell

Disclosure: none, actually. I'm not being compensated by Dell in any way. I'm just a very pleased, very satisfied, very happy customer. Most of us have no compunction about reporting bad experiences with businesses, but we rarely report good experiences, so I try to make an effort with the latter.

Ever since it arrived a month ago, I've been incredibly pleased with my new Dell desktop, and especially the gorgeous 22" widescreen LCD panel I ordered with it. Then it came time to buy a laptop, and I asked a friend what he thought of certain Toshibas and Acers advertised at brick-and-mortar stores. He's the same friend who had pointed me toward Dell in the first place, and he recommended Dell again. I didn't know that their prices are comparable, and that their Vostro line is a terrific value: designed for small business, but still great for personal use if you don't need fancy paint jobs, or preinstalled software beyond Windows and drivers. For productivity applications, most people will do fine with OpenOffice, the free alternative to MS Office.

My desktop order was delayed a week because Dell was having LCD supply problems, but with the back-to-school rush now over, my laptop order didn't have the same trouble. It was initially calculated to ship 14 days after I placed the order, shipped out after 15 days, and arrived after 17. That included an extra week for the "TruLife" screen option -- a stunning display well worth waiting longer for, and at the time I ordered, no additional charge over the regular XGA. Overall, it's a beautiful machine, and in fact a gift for someone. Once I get everything tweaked and finish installing software, oh yeah, she'll love it.

I was initially very displeased with Dell, after getting notified of a second production delay and wondering if I'd wait weeks like some people said. But, I admittedly tend to be more demanding than most people, and Dell's customer service placated me by being spectacular every time. Because my desktop order suffered delays, they upgraded me to overnight shipping at no extra charge -- which that rep apparently forgot to do, but another call fixed that right away. I've talked to their call centers in the Philippines and India, and there was a little language barrier sometimes, but ultimately they were all as helpful as any Americans I've ever talked to.

Credit where credit is due, and I'd totally recommend Dell for the buying experience.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tut tut! Tutton our Moron Liberal Troll can't keep from humiliating himself

(In advance, I apologize to my friend Don Luskin for shamelessly using his writing style. You'll see.)

"Moron liberal" seems awfully redundant. In any case, last night Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll e-mailed me a bit of an accusation that I'm unable to respond to his previous e-mail. Click here to see the full history of how I've been verbally abusing him. As I always say, liberals deserve no mercy, on here as well as other blogs.

Despite Tutton's paranoia mixed with delusions of grandeur, I simply haven't had the chance to get around to his e-mail. I've bought a couple of new computers, not to mention booking plane tickets and finalizing other itineraries for an upcoming tropical vacation with a beautiful woman. So Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll had better think otherwise if he thinks he's a priority to me.
Subject: Sifflez tandis que vous travaillez!

I thought you were going to post my e-mail (a couple of weeks ago)? But it's OK; I'm sure every one of your 10 readers has figured out that it must have answered your uninformed insults in a manner too embarassing for your ego to bear, n'est-ce pas vrai?

Can't you whistle?
Considering Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll can't spell, he'd better cease trying to speak English. The subject, roughly translated, is "Whistle while you work." Before he fancied himself a German speaker, and now he thinks he can speak French. Who'd like to bet that he used Babelfish or the like, or maybe asked a friend? After all, as they say, hic puer est stultissimus omnium.

As a matter of fact, as I'm writing this paragraph, I still haven't read the e-mail to which he refers. Let's get to that now:
Since you call yourself "Der Eidelblogger", I assumed that you were a "wannabe Kraut", hence the sarcastic German comments.
This is the problem with moron liberals like Tutton. Their first error is to assume.
If you called yourself "Le Eidelbloggeur", I would have used sarcastic French.
A lingual absurdity, since my last name is German. Besides, I'd have shot myself before calling myself that. This blog has never refrained from France-bashing when possible.

Then again, absurdity is the norm from the liberal mind, especially from the mind of Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll.
Whatever the language, if you cannot see the difference between selling apples on the street corner and working in the mines, I am afraid you are hopeless. Saying "I make no value judgement" is the same as saying "It's OK by me".
Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll still doesn't understand the point. Will he ever understand that some societies are simply too poor for adults alone to feed the population, or is he too dulled by his 20th/21st century comfort?

Does Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll have such a problem with the English language that he didn't see how my father had a very real risk of starvation? My father missed meals more than once, because selling apples (and his mother's bathtub gin) went only so far. When he was old enough to work at a store, he labored every hour he could, for every dime he could earn. Now, if he had found an opportunity to work in a dangerous factory at the mere age of 11 years, you're damn right he'd have taken it. Those were desperate times, when a relatively rich nation found many of its people reduced to what we today would call Third World living -- a day-to-day struggle for the basic need of food, let alone shelter.
The liberals always like to say that they are personally against abortion, but they don't want to force their opinion on anyone.
No, that's not even a smidgen true. There are plenty of liberals who believe in the necessity of strict family planning, because they hold to this myth of planetary overpopulation. "Freedom of choice" is only their cover story, because such freedom never applies to your wallet, your house or with whom you transact commerce.
If everyone thought like that, slavery would still be legal in the US, and children would still be pulling carts in the tunnels.
Only a moron like Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll could mix a complete non-sequitur with absurd comparisons. The difference between slavery and child labor is simply that they are different: slavery is involuntary servitude, but child labor is voluntary, like it or not.

And for his information, slavery persisted in the United States because the federal government sanctioned it, ever since the Constitution was drafted in 1787. Let him mull that over a bit.

I pointed out,
And I'd like Tutton to point out anytime that children were doing such things. The sheer logic escapes him: a cart won't fit much at all if it must fit in a tunnel smaller than a grown man. A mine owner wasn't going to hire children when he needed the strength of grown men.
Well, Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll said,
I am happy now to point you to just a small portion of the massive amounts of documentation a person can find, if he cares to look.

And, yes, as I am sure you will note, Engels is quoted below. If the Brits and Americans had not addressed the most egregious forms of labor exploitation, the Communists would have taken over, but luckily good people saw the worst injustices and remedied them.
Good lord, for all the times that Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll claims he's not a liberal, he sounds like a Marxist. Just listen to him say it: "labor exploitation."

And he points to this, written by some liberal professor by the name of David Cody. The thing is, Cody hardly qualifies as an authority to cite, because he isn't a historian! He's a professor, but actually only an associate professor of American literature at Hartwick, a tiny liberal arts school in upstate New York.

So as the claptrap on this site goes:
That the shameful practice of child labor should have played an important role in the Industrial Revolution from its outset is not to be wondered at. The displaced working classes, from the seventeenth century on, took it for granted that a family would not be able to support itself if the children were not employed.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, entire families toiled in the fields and woods, risking starvation if they couldn't produce enough. Is "Dr." Cody (who is not a trained economic historian) really as much of a moron as Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll to think that the pre-industrial, agrarian West allowed children to play happily?

When they were in elementary school, my sister and her friends wrote some ridiculous tune about "little pioneer children" singing happy songs. "Pioneer children," living with their families in mainly in pre-industrial conditions, had to labor as soon as they could walk. School was unheard-of, because young children were needed to help milk cows, pull crops, draw water, gather wood, etc.

On the other hand, what industrialization does for economies is that it stabilizes output, allowing people to produce excesses that they can save and reinvest into ever-advancing technology. The reality is that at first, children will still have to work as economic forces adjust. They have to work, just like they did before, until the economy becomes progressively wealthy: eventually only teenagers and adults will have to work, and eventually they'll need to work fewer and fewer hours to support their families. As I've pointed out, this kind of productivity increase is thanks to technology, not because government decided we shouldn't work more than 40 hours a week. Government can legislate and regulate all it wants, but it has no power to help people produce the same amount in less time. I would presume Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll has heard of the term "blood from a turnip."
In Defoe's day he thought it admirable that in the vicinity of Halifax scarcely anybody above the age of 4 was idle.
This is a logical fallacy called "appeal to authority." Just because Daniel Defoe wrote books doesn't make him a great economist. Now, we're assuming that "Dr." Cody (who is not a trained economic historian) is telling the truth here, but if that's what Defoe really believed, he sounds more Keynesian than anything.
The children of the poor were forced by economic conditions to work, as Dickens, with his family in debtor's prison, worked at age 12 in the Blacking Factory.
The stupidity of "Dr." Cody's argument is that it ignores the reality that the poor in non-industrialized societies are, imagine that, also "forced by economic conditions to work."
In 1840 perhaps only twenty percent of the children of London had any schooling, a number which had risen by 1860, when perhaps half of the children between 5 and 15 were in some sort of school, if only a day school (of the sort in which Dickens's Pip finds himself in Great Expectations) or a Sunday school; the others were working.
Again, the stupidity of "Dr." Cody (who is not a trained economic historian) is that he ignores the reality that hardly any children in pre-industrialized societies could go to any school at all. Twenty percent was unheard-of, because children were needed to work lest the families starve. Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll just can't understand that last part, that in poor economies, if the parents alone work, the entire family won't have enough to eat.
Many of the more fortunate found employment as apprentices to respectable trades (in the building trade workers put in 64 hours a week in summer and 52 in winter) or as general servants — there were over 120,000 domestic servants in London alone at mid-century, who worked 80 hour weeks for one halfpence per hour — but many more were not so lucky.
"Dr." Cody (who is not a trained economic historian) would rather have them working in the countryside, hoping to scrape together a few potatoes and a small chance of a goose at Christmastime? Instead of 64 hours per week, he thinks it's a better life that they toil 80+ in the fields, starting before dark?

While 120,000 domestic servants sounds like a lot, London did have a population of over two-and-a-half million by 1850. These were also steady jobs where, though they may not have lived in luxury, guaranteed housing and food for the servants, as opposed to the real risk of starvation in the countryside.
Most prostitutes (and there were thousands in London alone) were between 15 and 22 years of age.
This is no different than non-industrialized societies. What does "Dr." Cody (who is not a trained economic historian) expect, that prostitutes would be elderly spinsters?
Many children worked 16 hour days under atrocious conditions, as their elders did. Ineffective parliamentary acts to regulate the work of workhouse children in factories and cotton mills to 12 hours per day had been passed as early as 1802 and 1819.
Atrocious conditions? Of course, because they were factories. Conditions weren't made intentionally bad, they simply were because of the nature of the work. What does "Dr." Cody (who is not a trained economic historian) expect, gilded machinery, marble floors, and beluga with Bollinger Grand Année?

The problem with liberals is that they ascribe malicious intentions to everything about the free market. The real reason the laws were ineffective isn't because the employers were evil and forced children to work long hours, but because the families needed the children to work. "Dr." Cody is not a trained economic historian, nor is Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll (obviously!), but you shouldn't have to be one to understand the simple reality that when a child brings home 75% of a paycheck and the family needed 100%, the family will starve if they don't break the law.
...(children as young as 3 had been put to work previously).
Now think about it: at age 3, what can a child really do? With what strength? Again, it's this stupidity that Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll demonstrated before, claiming that young children were used to haul coal through tunnels too small for grown men. Hauling what, a few coals at a time? Business owners and managers aren't stupid: they know what's profitable, and a tiny tunnel would never yield enough profit to break even. Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll said I was wrong but offered a non-sequitur as his "proof": the reality still remains that when it comes to physical labor, one strong adult can do far more output over time than several small children.
This act applied only to the textile industry, where children were put to work at the age of 5, and not to a host of other industries and occupations.
Who, besides Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll, is idiotic enough to think that a 5-year-old should go to school and be more of a burden on his starving family, rather than pulling a few levers to help feed them? Pulling levers and low-torque crankwheels is about such a young kid can do, though Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll and "Dr." Cody (who is not a trained economic historian) would have you think they were pushing huge carts and hauling large bales of cloth.
Iron and coal mines (where children, again, both boys and girls, began work at age 5, and generally died before they were 25)
Someone who is 25 years old is not a child, so it's a ludicrous implication that children were being sent to death sentences. The fact is that mines have always been dangerous work, but people have voluntarily done it to feed their families. Even today with all our safety equipment, we have miners who die in accidents when young.
...gas works, shipyards, construction, match factories, nail factories, and the business of chimney sweeping, for example (which Blake would use as an emblem of the destruction of the innocent), where the exploitation of child labor was more extensive, was to be enforced in all of England by a total of four inspectors. After further radical agitation, another act in 1847 limited both adults and children to ten hours of work daily.
There we go again, "exploitation." Who was being exploited? Families needed their children to work, bottom line.

Next, Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll pointed to an excerpt of The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844. Here's how he quoted it to me in e-mail:
The transport of coal and iron-stone, on the other hand, is very hard labour, the stuff being shoved in large tubs
, without wheels, over the uneven floor of the mine; often over moist clay, or through water, and frequently up steep inclines and through paths so low-roofed that the workers are forced to creep on hands and knees. For this more wearing labour, therefore, older children and half-grown girls are employed. One man or two boys per tub are employed, according to circumstances; and, if two boys, one pushes and the other pulls. The loosening of the ore or coal, which is done by men or strong youths of sixteen years or more, is also very weary work. The usual working-day is eleven to twelve hours, often longer; in Scotland i t reaches fourteen hours, and double time is frequent, when all the employees are at work below ground twenty-four, and even thirty -six hours at a stretch. Set times for meals are almost unknown, so that these people eat when hunger and time permit.
Like other liberals, he resorted to the trick of selective quoting. His other mistake is to cite Engels' propaganda at all.

Now, Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll claimed previously that "Little children pulling carts through tunnels that grown men cannot fit through," but Engels himself said that the youngest children were manipulating doors for those doing the actual heavy work. Moreover, Engels contradicted himself in the same breath: "For this more wearing labour, therefore, older children and half-grown girls are employed. One man or two boys per tub are employed, according to circumstances; and, if two boys, one pushes and the other pulls." So which is it?

Note that even Engels admitted, "The standard of living of the miners is in general described as fairly good and their wages high in comparison with those of the agricultural labourers surrounding them (who, however, live at starvation rates), except in certain parts of Scotland and in the Irish mines, where great misery prevails." Nice, let Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll go right on proving my points for me! The point is that people will do what they must to survive.

Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll further blathered:
The 1842 Mines Act

No female was to be employed underground

No boy under 10 years old was to be employed underground.

Parish apprentices between the ages of 10 and 18 could continue to work in the mines.

There were no clauses relating to hours of work, and inspection could only take place on the basis of checking the 'condition of the workers'. Ironically, many women were annoyed that they could no longer earn the much needed money.
Exactly -- people were voluntarily working the hard, long hours, but the law forbade them. And God help a family if they happened to have all daughters, or a few sons early on when the husband and wife could barely support themselves.

So there we go. Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll proves he's as much of an economic and historical ignoramus as ever. At least he's also stopped claiming he's not a liberal, since his defense of government intervention has left no doubt that "nationalist" was merely a mask.

And by the way, Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll can leave comments here to continue the discussion. (Note I don't address him directly, as he's that much beneath us.) His e-mail address is now going into my spam filter, as I get too much e-mail already, and I have no more time to waste on him. I have one e-mail account with over 1000 unread messages, and another with over 1500 unread messages. I'm just really busy these days and don't have the time to answer all the messages I get, although Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll should feel honored that I deigned to pick on him so ruthlessly. I haven't really ripped on liberals in a long time, so this was more for the fun of it, and presenting real economic history, and not because I think Tutton our liberal "But I'm not a liberal!" troll is worth the time to refute.

He can deride me for not having a lot of blog readers, but as anyone with a single working synapse can deduce, my low readership is because I no longer blog that often. Furthermore, let's see him show the stats of his own blog. Oh, that's right, he doesn't have one.


Thursday, September 06, 2007

How might liberals explain the "jump" in young American girls' suicide rate?

From 2003 to 2004, "The suicide rate among preteen and young teen girls spiked 76 percent, a disturbing sign that federal health officials say they can't fully explain."

If you look at the data, the apparently huge percentage comes from things like "94 suicides [among 10- to 14-year-old girls] in 2004, compared to 56 in 2003." Out of a population of 300 million people, a difference of 38 people in anything is statistically and socially meaningless. Similarly, my blogfather Don Luskin recently noted Reuters' absurd sensationalism in reporting a layoffs increase in August versus July, which affected a whopping 0.02 percent of the 153 million-plus American workers. (Actually I calculated about 0.0238 percent, but who's counting when the numbers are this small?)

Call me a cold-hearted bastard, but I'm merely pointing out that the "experts" are trying to find a trend that just isn't there (it goes without saying that they won't mind generous government funding, meaning money coerced from the rest of us, while they continue their search). While each suicide is an individual tragedy, there's simply nothing to explain because they are individual cases. This isn't a single car model with a major design defect causing many to crash, but unique combinations of family, school and other circumstances of life. In an ideal world we could save every single person from harming himself or herself, but at a certain point we have to recognize and admit that we are individuals with our own minds, and despite all the families' love and counseling and medication in the world, some of us can't be stopped from harming ourselves.

Furthermore, if you look at the big picture:

Well how about that: the general trend in the most significant groups, males from 15 to 24, is actually a steady decline since the mid-1990s. For all we know, all suicide rates may drop from 2004 to 2005 (and I question why 2004 is the latest year for which they have data). In fact, suicide rates for males ages 10 to 14 did drop while other rates increased, so what does that say? It's simply ridiculous to interpret this kind of data from a nearly infinitesimal portion of the population.

But I was thinking, how might noted liberals use their ideology to explain the spike? Be sure to check the supplied links so you'll see why I think these liberals would say these.

Hillary Clinton: "It's clearly the lack of universal health care, because our present system makes psychological counseling and anti-depression medication too expensive."

Barack Obama: "These girls would still be alive today if we had universal health care, but Hillary ruined things with her closed-door process. And I am not inexperienced, my status as a non-professional on this topic makes my opinion more valid than doctors!"

John Edwards: "I can guarantee that these girls would be alive today under my universal care program, which requires preventative care."

Harry Reid: "I don't care what the long-term trend is, we're obviously losing."

Byron Dorgan: "Have you noticed the correlation between suicide rates and the price of oil? Oil has been going up, suicide rates have been going up. We need a federal investigation into Big Oil, and an emergency measure of a windfall tax on oil companies."

Ted Kennedy: "I wonder how many drowned?"

John Kerry: "Don't you see the obvious answer? It's a response to Bush's tax cuts for the rich, which he did again in 2003 and therefore caused the 2004 spike."

Paul Krugman: "Hey, Kerry stole my line!"

John Kerry: "And by the way, when I served in Vietnam, and don't forget that part, suicide rates for young Americans were never this high."

Eliot Spitzer: "I don't know exactly what happened, but I'm sure Wall Street is somehow the cause, and I intend to shake down some CEOs to get to the bottom of things."

Al Gore: "More and more girls are getting depressed about the environment."

Ralph Nader: "They're depressed about growing up and having no work because all our jobs are going to Mexico and China."

Jesse Jackson: "The African-American girls could not endure the despair from having to grow up in a white-oriented world. The white girls were expressing sympathy."

Al Sharpton: "Clearly it's that there aren't enough fast food restaurants open late at night when they're depressed, although some may have done it as their only method of protesting Vieques."

Keith Olbermann: "It's Bush's fault for getting us involved in Iraq. Don't you dare question my patriotism!"

Bill Clinton: "I feel the families' pain. These girls someday would have been great interns at the White House."