Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson's blog

Meet the unknown energy superpower

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Saudi Arabia has long been the dominant producer of petroleum on the planet. Nature endowed the Arabian Peninsula with gigantic deposits of this vital source of energy. Many of us have lamented the quirk of nature that placed much-needed oil in the most geopolitically unstable region in the world. Read More»

Inflation: Food, fuel and the Fed

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As Americans increasingly feel the pinch of higher prices for food and fuel, the Federal Reserve’s QE2 policy of creating more money has been called into question. Asked if the Fed bore some responsibility for these vexing price increases, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke essentially replied, “It’s not our fault.” Instead, Bernanke blamed the price increases on “global supply and demand conditions.”

Is Chairman Bernanke correct? To use a well-known phrase: Not exactly. Read More»

Millionaires in America: They just ain’t what they used to be

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Recently, CNN’s Money.com posted an article bearing the title, “U.S. Millionaires Population Expanded by 8 Percent in 2010.” According to the article, there are now approximately 8.4 million millionaires in the United States, and last year’s increase was due primarily to rising stock prices, following a 27-percent decline in the number of millionaires in 2008 due to the stock market’s plunge that year.

What is one to make of this information? Read More»

Randians and Christian conservatives: Finding common ground

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According to a 1991 Book of the Month Club/Library of Congress survey that asked what book had most influenced their lives, the two top picks by respondents were the Bible and Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” Coincidentally, it was a big week for both Christians and Randians last week. The former are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ; the latter, the long-awaited release of the film version of “Atlas Shrugged” (part one of three). Read More»

How radical is Ryan’s budget plan?

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Question for those of you concerned about the size of federal debts and deficits: Would you endorse a plan which would add another five or six trillion dollars to the federal debt over the next decade while increasing Uncle Sam’s annual expenditures by $1.1 trillion? If so, you’re in luck. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently unveiled just such a plan. Read More»

Who objects to free speech? Here’s a short list of leading contenders

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Free speech has always been one of our most cherished rights. It has come under attack repeatedly by those who find it to be an inconvenient and unwanted obstacle to the attainment of their political goals. Sometimes, those in positions of power ignore the First Amendment and issue laws and regulations to silence their opponents. Other times, politicians or citizens work on an unofficial level, resorting to influence or intimidation to achieve censorship. Read More»

Budget tightening in Pennsylvania — and around the nation

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Pennsylvania’s new governor, Tom Corbett, has submitted his first annual budget to the state legislature. It includes proposals for spending cuts and no new taxes. In some ways, the budget is a model of what must be done nationwide. Read More»

In Wisconsin, a battle for America’s soul

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[Editor’s note: A version of this article was first published by the Christian Science Monitor.]

It is hard to overstate what is at stake in the dramatic showdown between Wisconsin’s teachers and their Republican governor and legislature. The political and economic course of our country hinges on how the issue of public-sector unions is resolved, in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

For the sake of our country’s political and economic future, Gov. Scott Walker and his Republican colleagues need to prevail in the current contest with the Wisconsin teachers’ union and their allies. Read More»

U.S. debt situation is calamitous, worse than anybody said

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Brace yourself. This isn’t going to be pleasant. If you’re in a bad mood or get easily upset, you may wish to pass on reading this article.

The country is in even worse shape economically than we thought. We awoke on Feb. 14 to find that this year’s federal budget deficit is going to be larger than previously projected — a record $1.65 trillion.

Recently, the official accumulated debt of the federal government passed the $14 trillion threshold. Read More»

Honoring Bill of Rights Day

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Dec. 15 is Bill of Rights Day. This year is the 219th anniversary of the adoption of the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution—the Bill of Rights.

Few Americans notice Bill of Rights Day. That isn’t surprising, since we have done such a poor job of upholding and abiding by its provisions. (From my perspective, only the Third Amendment is completely intact, while the Seventh, Ninth, and 10th have been most completely ignored. Check them out for yourself.) Read More»