Interesting Zakaria article a couple weeks ago about the whole Japan thing. You know how the prime minister went to the memorial for Japanese war heroes. He was saying how Japan in a sense is still in a state of denial about the war. The impetus is on them to apologize for their past actions.
The interesting thing he said was how China and Korea haven’t made it easy for Japan to do so by constantly spouting all this anti-Japanese sentiment all the time. His question is whether Germany would have been able to apologize to France if France had been spouting all this vitriolic speech. It’s Japan’s responsibility to apologize. But China and Korea could certainly make it easier.
George Will had an interesting article also, on the surplus issue. A lot of commentators, and certainly most Democrats, are going on and on about how the surplus will be less than they thought and how we need to go into the Social Security surplus and how terrible that is and by extension how terrible Bush is.
He points out something very simple and very true. First of all, that even with lowered estimates, this surplus will be the second biggest ever. But more fundamentally, a government surplus is not good, and definitely not something that should be preserved. Excuse my limited economic understanding, but the idea is, if there’s a surplus, that means the government is taking money out of the economy that isn’t being pumped back into the economy, and that is bad for the economy. It’s taking out more than it needs and that hinders growth (I think).
The government shouldn’t want a surplus. What should be argued is how to get rid of the surplus, not whether to preserve it. And there are different ideas about what to do, like paying down the national debt or other things. Bush’s idea is to return it to taxpayers. And you might disagree with that. But you shouldn’t bemoan the fact that the surplus is being reduced – that’s exactly what the government should do.
I don’t know, maybe I’m missing something, but it made sense to me. So I’m confused why all these people think a reduced surplus is bad. Explain that to me.
I don’t know, you might disagree with me, but to me it indicates how some liberal members of the media just take things for granted without thinking them through. I’m not a staunch conservative, and I get bothered by things like Will and Horowitz say also. It’s just, I think the media tends to be more liberal so their thoughtlessness is more often apparent.
Another thing is greenhouse gases. Henry brought my attention to this. I’m not sure where I stand on this; don’t think I feel as strongly as Henry does. But it is interesting – whenever you read articles on this, it’s taken as a given that these gases cause global warming. But it’s not. The world is warming, but it’s not clear whether it’s these gases that are causing it. It might be part of the natural fluctuations that the earth has gone through in the past, for example from the ice age to now. It’s not clear.
The thing is, it’s always assumed, and that’s fascinating. These studies look at the effects of global warming, which is (I think) real, and show all these bad things that are happening, and then say, as a given, that it’s caused by greenhouse gases. They use these bad effects as proof that we need to limit greenhouse gases, but I’ve never read an article (of the ones I’ve seen since Henry brought it to my attention) that establishes the link. It’s fascinating.