The Walker Boomlet -Scott Walker isn’t addressing the principal issue in the 2016 election. – NRO

It’s been a good week for Governor Scott Walker.  He received rave media reviews for his speech at Steve King’s Iowa Freedom Fest.

An unnamed “Republican Party observer” informed the Washington Times that Walker was a smash in Iowa, proving his appeal to all parts of the conservative coalition.

Slate columnist Jamelle Bouie even speculated that the Kochs’ $889 billion network might act as a counter-establishment to the Bush and Romney machines, and “give Walker better ground to stand on. He can run an insurgent campaign, and unlike Mike Huckabee in the 2008 race, he won’t run out of cash. Suddenly, there’s a real alternative to the original consensus candidate . . . ”

Marco Rubio, it turns out, won the informal straw poll of Koch-networked donors at the Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage, Calif., according to Politico, but, no matter, the Walker Boomlet was on.

When I analyze speeches by would-be presidents I am looking for two things: Is the candidate in touch with American voters’ principal economic pain?  Does he or she understand that the big problem the middle class faces is the declining standard of living, caused by the one-two punch of wage stagnation and mild but persistent inflation?

Before you can provide a plausible answer, you have to get the diagnosis right.  At this stage it is for me the first and most important sign of potential political success against the Democrats.

For me, in other words, this issue functions as a girl’s beauty did for Lorelei Lee: “It isn’t everything. But my goodness it certainly helps!”

Read the Full Article at the National Review Online

The Failure of the Monetarist Creed -National Review Online

In the late 1980s, I attended a speech by my friend, the brilliant George Gilder, in which he said: “When I was a single man, all I thought about was sex, and all I wrote about was sex. Now that I’m a married man, all I think about is money, and all I write about is money.”

Marriage doesn’t quite have the same effect on women, apparently, or on me at any rate, because I have been very slow to spend much time thinking about money, either before or after marriage, but it appears to me now that Republicans ought to.

debate took place last week between Paul Krugman and Robert Samuelson on whether Reagan’s supply-side economics had anything to do with the economic boom let loose in the 1980s. Krugman argued that the credit belongs solely to Paul Volcker for squeezing inflation out of the economy. Samuelson agreed that monetary policy was the key, but said that Reagan deserved credit for supporting Volcker while he did the necessary painful work. Both agreed, however, that monetary policy is the key to growth.

Nowadays inflation is not the issue. “Secular stagnation” — meaning widespread stagnation that might well be permanent — and deflation are what the central bankers are worried about.

Consider for example what Larry Summers said this week at Davos: The great danger is that Europe is poised to become Japan and will thus experience a decade or more of economic stagnation. In this context, Summers supports the newly announced European quantitative easing, on the theory that doing something about “secular stagnation” is better than doing nothing. But he warned us not to expect much from it. “I come back to the central importance of demand,” he said. “The focus has to be on providing adequate economic energy, adequate demand, so we avoid these liquidity traps and avoid the problem of secular stagnation. What is striking in Europe today is how much it looks like Japan, seven years in after the bubble. I think Europe is on its way to being the new Japan unless there is a substantial departure.”

Read the Full Article Here

Why Stick With Marriage?

Dear Friends,

My latest column on National Review is a response to two recent books by major family scholars Andrew Cherlin, and Isabel Sawhill–both of whom suggest we should give up on promoting marriage per se and promote stable committed relationships:

I explain why that is not a practical suggestion:

“In Generation Unbound, the Brookings Institution’s Isabel Sawhill regretfully says she no longer believes reviving marriage is possible for the less-educated two-thirds of America. The old marriage norm should be replaced with a new social script: It is wrong to have children that are unplanned. “The old norm was ‘don’t have a child outside of marriage.’ The new norm should be ‘don’t have a child before you want one and are ready to parent.’” How would a young adult know whether he or she is “ready”? Like Cherlin, Sawhill retreats to the idea of “commitment”: “For most people it means completing their education, having a steady job, and having a committed partner.”

Here’s my problem with this nice-sounding new script: I think the majority of young people who have children outside marriage are already doing that, to the best of their limited youthful abilities.

Sixty percent of births to unwed mothers, as Sawhill notes, are to cohabiting women. Most of the recent increase in single motherhood has come from increasing births to women who are cohabiting, not solo moms.

The problem with retreating from marriage as a bright line is that, in practical terms, young women in love are not very good at figuring out whether or not they are in a committed relationship.

A 2008 study by Kathryn Kost and colleagues, found that . . . .cohabitation is one of the most serious risk factors for contraceptive “failure.” In 2002, one out of five cohabiting women reported contraceptive “failure,” double the risk for married women. Compared with never-married or divorced single women, only cohabiting women had a significantly higher risk of contraceptive failure than married women.”

Retreating from marriage to “stable relationships” doesn’t work because cohabiting women believe they are in stable loving relationships, that is one reason they aren’t that motivated to prevent birth. I end with a modest proposal:

“[T]he truth is we simply haven’t tried to do very much to encourage marital childbearing in this country. Before we give up completely, may I suggest one idea that would cost virtually no money at all and would involve no new government program?”

Read the rest of the story here.

NRO: I am Not Charlie Hebdo

The people of Paris and the civilized world, looking for a way to express solidarity after the heinous murders of twelve editors and illustrators, have leapt upon the phrase “I am Charlie Hebdo,” or sometimes,“Nous sommes Charlie!”

The instinct was and is understandable — noble, even — but, alas, it is one I cannot share.

I am not Charlie Hebdo because, well, while I can admire it, I cannot personally imagine dying for the cause of printing juvenile and occasionally borderline pornographic cartoons that mock religion (all religions, he and his colleagues insisted). I could die for my faith, I hope, and my family, certainly, but not for naked cartoons.

I am not Charlie Hebdo because I cannot agree with David Harsanyi that Islam is “not mocked enough” and the answer is to mock more. Respect for the idea of the sacred, and the way people attempt to find God, forbids that pathway to me.

Read the Full Article Here

Daily Beast Quotes Maggie on “Inevitability”, Shift to 2016 Elections

The Daily Beast interviewed Maggie Gallagher on the state of the marriage debate in America.  Asked whether she thinks gay marriage is “inevitable” Maggie responded:

“Nothing is inevitable. ‘Inevitability’ is the progressive substitute for the idea of Divine Providence,” Gallagher, the former president of the anti-gay National Organization for Marriage, told The Daily Beast. “Either God is in charge, or the future hasn’t yet happened and is freely determined. Or God leaves us free.”

Ultimately, 2015 might be the year American anti-LGBT advocates wish they could skip. Asked about potential victories this year for those who oppose gay marriage, Gallagher replied, “I suspect the focus is going to be on 2016[‘s presidential race,] and that social conservatives are going to struggle between choosing a champion and choosing a conventional ‘winner.’”

The full article can be found here.