Thomas Sowell

/> Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Maybe the current bailout fever is Congress' way of getting into the spirit of the season-- saying in effect, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus." They will undoubtedly also be saying, "Yes, New Jersey, there is a Santa Claus... Yes, Ohio, there is a Santa Claus. . ."

A reader suggests that members of Congress should wear uniforms, like NASCAR drivers, so that we will know who their corporate sponsors are. Many of those in Congress should also wear logos representing the teachers' unions, environmentalist extremists and other special interests.

They say we live and learn. Often what we learn is what damn fools we have be


If there are still any educators or others who think that both sides of an issue should be presented, the non-profit Heartland Institute has put together Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" and the British Channel 4 program "The Great Global Warming Swindle" in one package with two DVDs.

People who are impressed by how many of Barack Obama's advisors have Ivy League degrees seem not to remember how many people with Ivy League degrees mismanaged the Vietnam war and how many people with Ivy League degrees mismanaged economic policy during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The fact that sales at Starbucks are going down, while sales at McDonald's are going up, shows that people are adjusting to economic adversity by cutting back their spending. Only in Congress do people adjust to economic adversity and growing deficits by spending more money.

Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke seems to be pretty popular thus far. My own preference is for Federal Reserve chairmen who are unpopular. When Paul Volcker was chairman of the Fed back in the 1980s, he was hated like poison, but his policies finally broke the back of the inflation that had been out of control for years-- not without some painful costs, but few benefits can be gotten without costs.

It is fascinating to see that politicians whose interventions in mortgage lending have created a disaster in financial institutions are now moving on to intervene in the automobile industry.

After the San Francisco 49ers' interim head coach Mike Singletary has breathed some new life into that team, if the 49ers do not make him their regular head coach some other team probably will. What happens to Singletary may tell us more about the 49ers management than about Singletary.

Wal-Mart has done more for poor people than any ten liberals, at least nine of whom are almost guaranteed to hate Wal-Mart.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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