Anne Applebaum on Egypt’s Riots

Politicians like stability. Bankers like stability. But the “stability” we have so long embraced in the Arab world wasn’t really stability. It was repression.
. . .
We should speak directly to the Egyptian public, and not only to its leaders. We should congratulate Egyptians for having the courage to come out on the streets. We should smile and embrace instability. And we should rejoice—because change, in repressive societies, is good.



Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) Proposes Serious Cuts

Tad DeHaven:

Freshman Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has raised the bar in Washington by releasing a bill that would make substantial, specific, and immediate cuts in federal spending. While policymakers on both sides of the aisle have largely paid lip service to stopping Washington’s record run of fiscal profligacy, Paul’s proposal makes good on his campaign promise to seriously tackle the federal government’s bloated budget.

Paul’s bill would target $500 billion in cuts for fiscal 2011 alone. While audacious by Washington standards, cutting federal spending by that amount would still leave us with a projected $1 trillion deficit this year.

Finally, an elected official who understands the severity of the spending problem and acts on it.

What’s the Matter with Greece?

WHAT’S WRONG WITH GREECE? Ask An Entrepreneur. “Sitting in his office, Mr. Politopoulos took a long pull from a glass of his premium Vergina wheat beer and said it was absurd that he had to lobby Greek politicians to repeal a 19th-century law so that he could deliver the exports that Greece urgently needed. And, he said, his predicament was even worse than that: it was emblematic of the web of restrictions, monopolies and other distortions that have made many Greek companies uncompetitive, and pushed the country close to bankruptcy.”

Here. This is the same problem afflicting the U.S.

Cut Staff to Increase Corporate Profits?

Few things can give a stock a quick boost faster than a layoff announcement — evidence that the best interests of investors and workers are often not aligned.

But while fewer workers may mean lower operating costs and higher profit margins, it’s also true that companies need to add employees if they want to boost or maintain their top line growth.

Well, not quite.  Its evidence the author does not know what he is talking about. Reducing headcount increases cash flow, which can be used for a variety of purposes. Increasing profits is just one purpose, but that is not the end, just a means. And that means is to increase the stock price which makes raising equity capital easier. Raising capital is a means to grow the company. That is the end being sought, and presumably that entails hiring more people.

Increasing cash flow can also signal a new strategy is being executed, again with the intent of growing the company, and as I wrote before, presumably entails hiring more people.

So the stock may pop and drift back down in the short-term, but short-term fluctuations could just be traders playing on an event.  The layoffs could also signal the beginning of executing the strategy to grow the company.


The House Republicans’ first major technology initiative is about to be unveiled: a push to force Internet companies to keep track of what their users are doing.

A House panel chaired by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin is scheduled to hold a hearing tomorrow morning to discuss forcing Internet providers, and perhaps Web companies as well, to store records of their users’ activities for later review by police.

One focus will be on reviving a dormant proposal for data retention that would require companies to store Internet Protocol (IP) addresses for two years, CNET has learned.

Tomorrow’s data retention hearing is juxtaposed against the recent trend to protect Internet users’ privacy by storing less data. Last month, the Federal Trade Commission called for “limited retention” of user data on privacy grounds, and in the last 24 hours, both Mozilla and Google have announced do-not-track technology.

Here. Limited government, shimited government.  You know law-and-order conservatives want this more than limited government.  They just can’t seem to let go.  They’ll side with government employees who wear police uniforms every time.

Given the increased economic clout of IT workers with their high-than average salaries and their increased role in the economy, Republicans would think twice about more regulations.