Despite all the talk of the possibility of war with Iran, one encouraging piece of news has popped up: Iran is planning to spend $400 billion over the next 20 years to expand its gas and oil production facilities. That's a huge amount of money -- about the same as the US Federal budget deficit in 2006. If they're spending that much money on new construction, why would they want to get it bombed? More construction creates a bigger incentive for them to try to avoid war.
If the only way to stop the economic-development incentives battle among the states is for Congress to step in, then so be it. The news that Goodyear has just extracted $90 million from the state of Ohio -- just so it won't leave -- ought to be convincing evidence that the incentives have gotten out of hand.
Speaking of tires, Americans are driving more than ever before, but we aren't adding new miles to the road like we used to.
A pandemic flu outbreak could cost the world two trillion dollars, according to the World Bank. That's about as much as the US Federal government spends every year.
How to conduct a war without firing a shot: Undermine trust in a country's currency. It's just happened in Estonia, and Americans should take note: China holds hundreds of billions of dollars in American currency and assets, and as things get tough for the Communist politicians there, we have to consider the possibility that they'll use that power against us. We already know they've been conducting cyber-warfare against us, so dollar warfare isn't outside the range of possibility. It wouldn't be a good idea -- messing with the US economy would hurt them too -- but we can't count on them to be rational.
Applause to the voters of Venezuela, who (barely) defeated Hugo Chavez's plans to expand socialism.
We received some calls tonight from listeners in ice-storm-afflicted places like Oklahoma and Missouri. We appreciate their listenership and hope they appreciated some Midwestern company during the storm, and we wish them well amid the weather. It looks like we're going to have another winter storm or two of our own to deal with this week.