Off-topic, firewalls: Ted Jacobson wrote the 26th followup of the AMPS firewall paper and he joined the majority that disagrees with the "original perpetrators", as he calls Polchinski et al. He declares that their paper assumes that one may tensor-factorize the Hilbert space and isolate inner and outer degrees of freedom which is incorrect in quantum gravity where the Hilbert space is "a priori constrained", something that doesn't make local measurements impossible. I rarely agree with Jacobson but here he's on the right side.Many American conservatives remain significantly proud about their country that they believe to be much more immune against socialism, top-down bureaucratic control, and other things they associate with the Eurotrash in their own old continent.
Well, I am afraid that this pride is exaggerated.
Economist John Cochrane (via Patria.CZ) noticed that The New York Times has published a breathtaking editorial (the opinion of all the important editors) on Saturday:
They just want the taxes to be high, more progressive, and they want all the types of taxes that were ever abandoned to be resuscitated and all the new taxes that have never existed but that were mentioned by anyone to be introduced.
So the Obama administration is told not only to increase the corporate taxes – in which the U.S. is already the 2nd most taxed Western country – but also to restore the real estate tax, surcharges on multi-million-dollar incomes, end to the deferral of tax for companies stashing their earning abroad, and to work on the establishment of new carbon taxes, value-added taxes, and financial transaction taxes.
The editors are clearly convinced that the closer to North Korea the American IRS will become, the more prosperous the country will be. When people don't have too much money to waste, the editors say, the government will have much more room to increase the GDP. Holy cow.
Der Steuersong (The Tax Song) was recorded by a rubber German ex-chancellor, Gerhard Schröder (SPD), as a satire – a great one. But if you look at the lyrics translated to English, you may notice that the content is pretty much equivalent to the "plan" of The New York Times that is apparently meant seriously!
So while I am still more worried about old Old Continent, I am almost equally worried about that great country that we could have relied upon as a reservoir and defender of freedom for the Western world. If the U.S. joins the EU and its Orwellian policies, the Western world may be screwed rather soon.