Short Takes – October 1999

George Soros — Socialism For Thee, But Not For Me

       International financier George Soros
has been complaining that free market capitalism is on the verge of disaster
and can only be saved by government intervention. Finally someone took
him seriously — Malaysian Prime Minster Mahathir Mohamad decided to try
to shore up Malaysia’s economy by imposing foreign exchange and capital
control measures.

       Soros suddenly got that free-market
religion. “The effect on the economy will be disastrous,” Soros
told U.S. lawmakers. “The measures taken by Malaysia will hurt the
other countries which are trying to keep their financial markets open
because it will encourage the flight of capital.”

       Not to mention the fact that Soros
makes his money by speculating on currency which currency control boards
and make much harder to do — in fact Mahathir complains that Soros caused
Malaysia’s economic problems to worsen by attacking Malaysia’s currency.

       Apparently Soros thinks it is just
the rest of us great unwashed who need the “protection” of government


When Did Liberals Start Reading the Constitution?

       As far as I’m concerned Investor’s
Business Daily is one of the best newspapers in the country and they showed
why on Sept. 25, l998 with the best commentary yet on Bill Clinton’s potential
impeachment. IBD notes that many prominent Democrats are claiming that
the Constitution sets strict guidelines for what Constitutes an impeachable
offense and, they argue Clinton’s White House affair, however unseemly
it is, doesn’t meet that test.

       In an editorial, IBD wants to know
when the Democrats actually began reading the Constitution. “Where
are they,” IBD asks, “when the federal government repeatedly
ignores the Constitution to build up the leviathan welfare state?”

       Ask a Democrat whether a law is
compatible with the Taking Clause test what the original intent of the
General Welfare Clause was, and their eyes will glaze over.

       All of a sudden, however, liberal
Democrats are turning into regular Constitutional scholars and even going
to the heresy of citing the actual words of the Founding Fathers. As IBD
sums it up, “If Congress cares about the Constitution, it can prove
it. It should ax departments, from Agriculture to Veterans Affairs. There
are also more than 100 programs and agencies that can go, as shown by
the Cato Institute Total Annual Savings? More than $200 billion. It’s
a start. Let’s call it a constitutional test.”

North Korean crackup

       It’s bad enough that North
Korea’s Stalinist government has seen its economy decline 30 percent in
just a few years and much of its citizens faced with massive famine. But
North Korea took the extraordinary step in September of looking to the
past to get itself out of its trouble when it named Kim Ii Sung, who died
in 1994, as President. Sung’s son, Kim Jong Il, will stay on as chairman
of the Central Defense Committee and presumably act as a messenger for
his dead father’s dictates.

       Well, if Bill Clinton could raise
the taxes of dead people, why not appoint one as president?

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