Welcome Aboard the maiden voyage of The Texas Pilgrim, a personal odyssey of reflection, commentary, and seeking. Depending on how you might know me—professionally, personally, through civic, political, or social venues, or barely at all—this project may strike you differently. Believe me, I have given it plenty of thought and trust it will not evoke visions of boredom, presumption, or egomania. There will be views on a mix of public policy issues, philosophy, current events, books, and other aspects of our culture that give me an urge to expound and, I hope, some opportunities for dialogue with readers who are prompted to respond. My models for this initiative are several, but I particularly want to thank my friend, Colorado State Senator John Andrews, for his example and encouragement. Current plans are for ten issues per year and, after a few samples, I will probably ask for a small subscription fee to continue. Thanks for your indulgence. I will appreciate your critique.
The Y2K Election
I promise that this periodical will not be a political tract, except to the extent that our politics drives ideas that have consequences. Contrary to many, particularly in the mainstream media, I believe this Presidential election is all about ideas and their consequences. It’s also about the struggle for survival of the old politics that thrives on ideas that have had bad consequences. This is the old politics that has stultified the Democratic Party, of labor union protectionism, government programs financed by a confiscatory tax system, “top down” initiatives by political elites to collectivize behavior, and apparent disdain for the virtues of civic republicanism that made this country the hope of the world. And the Al Gore Democrats have dumped
In Pursuit of Excellence in Higher Ed
Don’t Tax the Internet
Columnist Thomas L. Friedman has written that the transformational changes being wrought by the Internet require a reconvening of the Founding Fathers because he believes we are due for as revolutionary a period as the period between 1776 and 1787. He further predicts that the states will lead the revolution as they lose their tax base to e-commerce. Harold Furchtgott-Roth, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, feels strongly that the exploitation of telecommunications and e-commerce competition can’t be centrally managed and that we should allow thousands of “flowers to bloom” and generations of archaic telecommunications regulation to be swept away in the process. I agree, and would add that a rush to tax these new revenue streams would be counter-productive to wealth and job creation that are as yet inconceivable. According to the Cato Institute, state and local governments are awash in funds, and between 1992 and 1998 state revenues grew at almost twice the rate of inflation. As Max Schulz of The Washington Times has written, “the Founding Fathers in their wildest dreams could never have imagined computers or the Internet. But in their wisdom they defined the regulation of interstate commerce as one of the few clearly marked responsibilities of federal authority.” We should make the Internet tax moratorium permanent and let the flowers bloom.
Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be.”—William Hazlitt