Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: February 16, 2012

Economic Statistics for 16 Feb 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US Economy:

Housing starts rose 1.5% to a 699,000 annual rate, following last month’s -1.9% drop. Housing permits declined to a 676,000 annual rate.

Initial claims for unemployment fell 13,000 last week to 348,000. The 4-week moving average fell to 365,250.

Producer prices rose 0.1% overall last month, but the core rate, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.4%.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose for the 4th straight week to reach the highest level in a year, which is…-39.8.

The Philadelphia Fed Survey’s General Business Conditions Index rose 3 points this month to 10.2.

Dale Franks
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Nanny state: The lunch inspector

Stories like this infuriate me.  They again point to the depth to which government has come to intrude in our lives.  And yes, while this is an anecdote, it points to the wider problem of increasing intrusion and the loss of our freedoms.  Tyranny by a thousand paper cuts.

The incident took place in a North Carolina pre-school of all places.  There, a “lunch inspector” rejected the home packed lunch a 4 year old and required the child eat a school provided lunch instead, claiming the home packed lunch didn’t meet USDA requirements.

The child in question then ate all of 3 chicken nuggets for lunch as provided by the school and threw the rest away.

Now, the fact that the “lunch inspector” was wrong isn’t the story.  The lunch provided by the mother was more than acceptable by the USDA standard which requires 1 serving of meat, 1 serving of grain and one serving of fruit or vegetable.  The mother had packed a turkey sandwich, a banana, potato chips and apple juice.  The “lunch inspector” mistakenly believe that the lack of a vegetable disqualified the lunch.

The story, as far as I’m concerned is that the “lunch inspector” exists at all.

This is the problem:

The state regulation reads:

"Sites must provide breakfast and/or snacks and lunch meeting USDA requirements during the regular school day. The partial/full cost of meals may be charged when families do not qualify for free/reduced price meals.

"When children bring their own food for meals and snacks to the center, if the food does not meet the specified nutritional requirements, the center must provide additional food necessary to meet those requirements."

Really?  If ever there was a place the state has no business, its poking its long nose in my child’s lunch box.  None of the Nanny’s freaking business.

Who knows better what their child will eat, the state or the family?  Ever try to feed a 4 year old?  Forget the fact that the lunch packed was better than the meal the child was served and ate at school, or that the home provided lunch met and exceeded the USDA guidelines.  The fact that someone poked their state approved nose where it had on business is the problem.

Oh, and here’s reality of these sorts of misguided programs.

The bottom line: back off, government!  The responsibility for children belong to parents whether you like it or not.  You can’t both demand they take responsibility and then usurp that responsibility at will when the state decides it “knows better” for whatever arbitrary and god-awful reason.

This anecdote highlights a mostly silent and progressive usurpation of parental rights and authority.  It is happening everywhere, because, you see, the “experts” always know best.




Twitter: @McQandO

Wind farms and hurricanes don’t mix – d’oh!

Of course you’d think the bright set would know that:

Gone with the wind? Hurricanes could destroy the offshore wind farms the US is planning to build in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.

The US Department of Energy set a goal for the country to generate 20 per cent of its electricity from wind by 2030. One-sixth is to come from shallow offshore turbines that sit in the path of hurricanes.

Talk about a “d’oh” moment.

Stephen Rose and colleagues from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, modelled the risk hurricanes might pose to turbines at four proposed wind farm sites. They found that nearly half of the planned turbines are likely to be destroyed over the 20-year life of the farms. Turbines shut down in high winds, but hurricane-force winds can topple them.

You don’t say.  Each wind farm costs about $175 million.

Safe, reliable and eco-friendly – well except for the birds they regularly grind up.  But hey, in the ocean those birds drop into the sea and no one ever sees them.  They provide chum for the fish (if a bird gets chopped up in the ocean and no one sees it does it make a sound?).

That’s good … right?  No?  I’m confused.  PETA, where are you?

Reading the obvious and understanding that they’re going to do this anyway (somewhere in this you, Mr and Mrs. Taxpayer, are paying a hefty chunk of the bill and taking most of the risk) makes you realize how, well, “not so bright” many of those who “lead” us are or how much they really don’t care about the outcome of what they do if it satisfies some voting constituency.  As long as they have access to your tax dollars or borrowed dollars with little or no accountability, this sort of nonsense will continue unabated.


Twitter: @McQandO