Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Spreading the GPA

A student sent me this amusing story which puts President-elect Obama's economic aspirations in some perspective:

"In a local restaurant my server had on an "Obama 08" tie. I laughed as he had given away his political preference - just imagine the coincidence. When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept.

He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need--the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed away.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I've decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away money he did earn even though the actual recipient needed the money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application."

President-elect Obama's desire to spread the wealth has inspired in me a wonderful idea. I wonder if those of my students who voted for Obama and who are doing well in class would mind if I took some of the points they've earned and gave them to those students who are doing less well so that everyone gets a decent grade. If they do mind I could point out to them that according to Vice-president elect Joe Biden they're just being selfish. What do they need with all those points anyway? They have more than enough points to pass the course whereas some of their fellow students are struggling below the academic "poverty line" and need help.

We'll call it "spreading the GPA". I'm sure anyone who voted for Senator Obama will see the fairness in taking from the haves and giving to the have nots.


Fighting the Orcs

The war for civilization continues in Afghanistan. Here's a report of the fighting that ensued when 250 insurgents ambushed a 30-man Marine patrol. The Marines were outnumbered 8 to 1, but it still wasn't a fair fight - sort of like the Fellowship of the Ring versus the orcs.

Thanks to Hot Air for the link.


Yes, He Could

We noted a while ago that since it became clear that Barack Obama was going to be the next president the stock market has lost about 30% of its value. Investors are clearly assuming that Obama is going to make life difficult for business and they're getting out of the market while they still can. People are asking, "Where's Obama?" Why isn't he stepping forward to calm the markets with his soothing mellifluence?

We suggested that Obama could give the markets a jolt and reverse the downward plunge simply by promising that he has rethought his previous position and that in light of the current crisis he will not impose any further burdens on business and may even reduce them. We wondered further why he doesn't do this. One reason, of course, is that he really does want to raise the minimum wage, tax businesses more heavily, and pile more regulations upon their faltering backs.

Suppose, though, his advisors have prevailed upon him to dampen his enthusiasm for sophomoric socialism and to do the prudent thing to help turn around the economic nosedive. If so, would he announce his willingness to forego the imposition of onerous taxes and regulations now? Perhaps the Machiavelli in him reasons this way: "If I promise to create a business friendly environment now, the markets may respond enthusiastically and by the inauguration everything will be hunky-dory. Bush will get the credit for the recovery and I won't. On the other hand, if I wait until after the inauguration to goose the markets, it'll look like I have the Midas touch, when, in fact, all I did was promise not to do something I should never have promised I would do in the first place."

So, I might be completely wrong about this, but look for Obama to either wait until after he's in the White House or perhaps at least until after the holidays to announce that he's going to refrain from crushing business with any new taxes, etc. If he can make this sound credible, investors will start buying back in and the market will regain some of its former luster. Unfortunately for Obama, he'll lose a lot of luster in the eyes of his devotees on the left who'll be wondering what happened to the change that they believed in.