Steve Forbes: Why the Left is Wrong about the Morality of Capitalism
domingo, agosto 30, 2015
The 98 Percent of Americans Who Don’t Vote Libertarian Spoil Elections for Everyone Else.:
The reason libertarians don’t vote for candidates from the two major parties is not because they suffer from a false consciousness that leads them to misapprehend their own political preferences. The reason they don’t vote for Republicans or Democrats is because—brace yourself now—they don’t want either Republicans or Democrats to win.
As far as libertarians are concerned, the 2 percent of Americans who vote libertarian don’t spoil an election. Rather, the 98 percent of Americans who don’t vote libertarian are the ones who spoil it for everyone else.
Que se lixem os desempregados por André Azevedo Alves:
O aumento do salário mínimo é ainda mais irresponsável e reprovável se for tido em conta que as pessoas mais afectadas pela grave crise financeira e económica dos últimos anos foram precisamente todas aquelas que perderam o seu emprego ou que, já estando fora do mercado de trabalho, se viram impossibilitadas de a ele aceder. São essas pessoas – que continuam a ser muitas, como atestam as estatísticas sobre o desemprego – quem mais sofrerá com esta medida.
How to kill a million people:
Do you want to know what a sociopath looks like? Think of George W. Bush. Think of all the people he knew were killed due to his policies. Do you think he cared? Did you see him joking about finding weapons of mass destruction in front of the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2004? Do you think he had pangs of guilt later that night? I don’t think so. Sociopaths are people with no conscience. Many of those who have lost their consciences kill them over time by committing, ordering, approving or otherwise knowingly facilitate murder.
Psychopathy and sociopathy broadly refer to the condition of having little or no conscience, no guilt, no feeling of responsibility, no ability to feel sympathy for others. Sociopaths lie, cheat, manipulate, intimidate, use violence for their own benefit and do not feel as though they have done something wrong. Some of them occupy positions of power in big business, politics, the bureaucracy and security agencies. Do you think that matters?
Actually, all of us justify hurtful actions sometimes. If we tell ourselves we did the right thing, we are more likely to do it again and with less guilt. But not all of us benefit from doing things that make us feel guilty or repressing that guilt. I can lie, but I might lose the trust of those I rely on. I might steal, but I might face all kinds of social penalties if I do, including jail. Having power means not needing to take responsibility. Indeed, unless there is a sufficiently large scandal and perhaps scapegoating (in a democracy) or rebellion, those in power are rewarded with more money and power. The most powerful in today’s world wield their power through the state.
The state is an instrument of concentrated force. The small minority who control the state can use it to build consensus for their plans or simply impose them without asking, but ultimately the choice is theirs ..
.. Concentrating and institutionalising power incentivises sociopathic behaviour. If we considered everyone equal and thus not deserving of power over others we could achieve a free society with far less violence and suffering.
sábado, agosto 29, 2015
How Macroeconomic Data Encourages Government Intervention:
In a free market environment free of government interference, the “economy” doesn’t exist as such. A free market environment is populated by individuals, who are engaged in the production of goods and services required to sustain their life and well being, i.e., the production of real wealth. Also, in a free market economy every producer is also a consumer. For convenience sake we can label the interaction between producers and consumers (to be more precise between producers) as the economy. However, it must be realized that at no stage does the so called “economy” have a life of its own or have independence from individuals.
While in a free market environment the “economy” is just a metaphor and doesn’t exist as such, the government gives birth to a creature called the “economy” via its constant statistical reference to it. For example, the government reports that the “economy” grew by such and such percentage, or the widening in the trade deficit threatens the “economy.” The “economy” is presented as a living entity apart from individuals.
According to the mainstream way of thinking, one must differentiate between the activities of individuals and the economy as a whole (i.e., between micro- and macroeconomics). It is also held that what is good for individuals might not be good for the economy and vice-versa. Within this framework of thinking the “economy” is assigned a paramount importance while individuals are barely mentioned.
In fact one gets the impression that it is the “economy” that produces goods and services. Once the output is produced by the “economy” what is then required is its distribution among individuals in the fairest way. Also, the “economy” is expected to follow the growth path outlined by government planners. Thus whenever the rate of growth slips below the outlined growth path, the government is expected to give the “economy” a suitable push.
In practice, so-called macroeconomic indicators are fictitious devices that are used by governments to justify intervention with businesses. These indicators can tell us very little about wealth formation in the economy or individuals’ well-being.
A doutrina social da Igreja Católica e o capitalismo:
A principal dificuldade com boa parte daquilo que passou a ser chamado de 'Doutrina Social da Igreja' desde a publicação da encíclica Rerum Novarum (1891), do Papa Leão XIII, é que tal conjunto de ensinamentos pressupõe que a vontade humana é o suficiente para resolver questões econômicas, e que os ensinamentos e as conclusões das leis econômicas podem ser tranquilamente ignorados.
Com efeito, assim como a Escola Historicista Alemã à qual Ludwig von Mises se opôs, os proponentes da doutrina social efetivamente negam a própria existência de leis econômicas. Por conseguinte, as pessoas que seguem tal corpo de pensamento rejeitam por completo o papel da razão em avaliar as consequências de políticas econômicas "progressistas" e em compreender a ordem e a harmonia que podem existir em fenômenos complexos (neste caso, nos fenômenos de mercado).
Esta atitude é contraditória porque vai diretamente contra toda a tradição intelectual católica, segundo a qual o homem deve adequar suas ações à realidade, e não embarcar na impossível e tola tarefa de forçar o mundo a se adequar aos seus desejos. Os seguidores deste corpo de pensamento desejam obrigar a realidade a apresentar resultados que não podem ser efetivados apenas pela vontade.
The Breathtaking Arrogance of Two Statesmen:
I really do wonder if, in the entire history of preposterous displays of despotic statecraft, there has been anything so ridiculous as two men on opposite sides of the world, two men with a weak hold on power, two men who can barely claim to represent anyone, signing a piece of paper that purports to control the global climate by tightening the regulatory noose around the respective population’s neck sometime in the next 15 years.
It’s times like this when the regular news really does read like the Onion.
As for the policy and science behind the idea, consider how much these two masterminds do not know. The following just gets us started. They don’t know for sure in what way the climate is changing in departure from normal patterns, whether that change is on net a bad thing overall, whether and to what extent human activities are causing the change, the precise relationship between cause and effect, the precise kind of policy response that is required to reverse the change, whether the benefits of that policy will exceed its costs even if there were a way to measure it, whether that policy is actually realizable and enforceable, and whether there is any real test available to discern success from failure regarding this new policy.
They know none of this. No mortal truly can. True science is hard enough in the laboratory where human choice is not part of mix of what’s being studied. Make the entire world the lab and the human choices of 7 billion people, stretched out over a 15 or 30 year future, part of the control set and you are really entering into the realm of total fantasy.
The ‘Cult’ of Climate Change (née Global Warming) (artigo muito editado, leitura integral recomendada):
.. the proper name for climate alarmism is a cult. And these are the telltale attributes:
1) Climate alarmists pretend to possess indisputable truths about the past, present, and future. From minute details of the paleoclimate to the world state 200 years in the future, alarmists know everything.
2) The alarmist movement stubbornly refuses to debate its dogma, calling it “settled science” and viciously attacking its critics ..
3) The alarmist movement has a formal doctrine-setting body — the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ..
4) The alarmist movement has its own priest class: taxpayer-funded impostor “climate scientists” who have no independent (of the climate alarmism) scientific achievements ..
5) The climate change cult appears to worship the computer models that its shamans built with their own hands..
6) The alarmists deny, ignore, or distort elementary scientific facts, some of which should be known even to kids:
– Photosynthesis. Plants grow by converting atmospheric CO2 into biomass ..
– Archimedes’ principle. Melting of Arctic ice cannot increase the sea level ..
– Sunspots and the effect of solar activity changes.
7) The alarmists appeal to medieval science errors.
8) The alarmists have created and spread climate mythology, sometimes intentionally modeled on archaic misbeliefs ..
– Incorrect association of CO2 with warming because of the word “greenhouse”—the mother of the global warming scare ..
– Incorrect claim that (allegedly anthropogenic) global warming causes glacier melting or Antarctic ice sheet collapse ...
– Incorrect claim that global warming causes droughts. Droughts are popularly associated with high temperatures but not caused by them..
– False attribution of wildfires, New Orleans’ devastation from Hurricane Katrina, current California water shortages, and various disasters to global warming ..
– Time scale confusion. Processes that take hundreds of years are described as if they happen overnight.
9) Like an established religion, the climate change cult has its own “start of the time”—usually 1880 (sometimes the 1880s), which is allegedly the beginning of instrumental temperature records.
10) Climate change cult has its own eschatology—calamities, catastrophes, and the end of the world caused by global warming.
11) The climate change cult calls its dogma science but fails to make any scientific .. statements.
12) The climate change cult seeks and actually exerts control over governments.
How Communities Can Flourish in the Wake of the State:
Learning from Katrina: How Communities Can Flourish in the Wake of Disaster
Learning from Katrina: How Communities Can Flourish in the Wake of Disaster
Dances With Elephants por Bionic Mosquito:
But once property rights are disrespected – no matter the theoretical soundness of the professor’s idea – will the masses listen to libertarian reason about where to draw the line?
If I have a right to control the borders to my property, I along with my neighbors have the right to delegate this to an agent, acting on our behalf. This is as perfectly libertarian as it gets.
The only issue is that today’s provider is the monopoly state; I have only one way to put my sound libertarian right into practice. Only one. It is also true that those libertarians who wish to allow any and every biped from all corners of planet earth onto their property also have only one way to put their desire into practice. Only one.
Libertarian theory supports both. Libertarian theory offers no answer.
Of course, we have no way of knowing how many people would choose this service given that the agent today is the monopoly-state. We do know that where property owners have freedom to discriminate, they do so.
sexta-feira, agosto 28, 2015
Against “Net Neutrality”:
The Internet is not public property. Telecommunications companies have spent billions of dollars on network infrastructure all over the world. They did so in the hope of selling communications services to customers willing to pay for them. The government has no right to effectively nationalize ISP’s by telling them how run their networks.
Proponents of a mixed economy like to invent hypothetical scenarios of ways companies could abuse customers. It is true that a free society gives people the freedom to be stupid, wrong, and malicious. The great thing about capitalism is that it also gives people the freedom for the most consumer-friendly business to win. A regulated Internet takes away that freedom and turn it over to politicians and lobbyists. History shows that most attempts to improve outcomes by regulating markets worsen the very problems they were intended to solve. That is how the USA ended up with the current overpriced, monopolistic oligopoly providers. Why do “net neutrality” advocates ridicule politicians for comparing the Internet to a “series of tubes,” and then trust them to regulate it?
How to convince a climate skeptic he’s wrong:
Here is the mountain the tax-gobbling classes who tend to favor profitable alarmism must climb before they can make out a rational, scientific case for doing anything about our greenhouse-gas emissions.
The tax-gobblers’ mighty mountain
Step 10. Would the benefit outweigh the cost?
Step 9. Can we afford the cost of CO2 mitigation?
Step 8. Will any realistic measures avert the danger?
Step 7. Will warmer worldwide weather be dangerous?
Step 6. Will temperature feedbacks amplify that warming?
Step 5. Will greenhouse-gas emissions cause much warming?
Step 4. Are humankind raising CO2 concentration substantially?
Step 3. Are humankind increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration?
Step 2. Is a consensus among climate experts compatible with science?
Step 1. Has any climate warming beyond natural variability taken place?
If the answer to the question at any Step from 1 to 10 on the stony path up the tax-gobblers’ mighty mountain is “No”, there is no rational, scientific basis for climbing any further. Unless one can legitimately reach the top by answering Yes to all ten questions, there is no credible justification for any investment of taxpayers’ funds in trying to make global warming go away.
The question is why, in the teeth of the scientific and economic evidence, nearly all of the global governing class were so easily taken in or bought out or both by the strange coalescence of powerful vested interests who have, until now, profited so monstrously by the biggest fraud in history at such crippling expense in lives and treasure to the rest of us, and at such mortal threat to the integrity and trustworthiness of science itself.
É muito triste que o Papa -- este Papa tão simpático e tão bom comunicador --seja um anticapitalista primário, um analfabruto económico, e (como se isso não bastasse), sobranceiramente alheado dos efeitos nefastos dos lugares-comuns marxistas que não se coibe de papaguear. Ou se calhar é um teste à caridade dos crentes direitistas, que se ouvissem tamanhas barbaridades da boca de qualquer leigo, não tardiam em fustigar a personagem. Que Deus o ilumine.
The Pope Should Stick to Theology:
The Pope Should Stick to Theology:
Asserting that it’s “pure scandal” that women, on average, are paid less than men, Pope Francis demands equal-pay-for-equal-work legislation (“Pope Francis: It’s ‘pure scandal’ that women earn less than men for the same work,” April 30).
What is really pure scandal is that this man arrogantly supposes that his premier perch on the moral high ground gives him leave to pronounce on matters about which he clearly knows nothing ..
And has the Pope familiarized himself with the large body of research that warns of the great risks of negative unintended consequences from well-meaning legislation? ..
The Pope should stick to studying the mysteries of theology, for the realities of the economy seem to be beyond his grasp.
A government big enough to give you the marriage you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have
Gay Marriage, Like All Marriage, Not Worth Celebrating:
The idea that the state should promote, sanction, and regulate monogamous relationships gained currency in the 16th century as a reaction to Europe’s first sexual revolution. Public, group, and what we now call homosexual sex were commonplace, prostitution was rampant and generally unpunished, pornographic books and pamphlets were widely popular, and laws against adultery and divorce went unenforced. Martin Luther and other leaders of the Protestant Reformation seized upon marriage as a means though which to curb unchristian freedoms and bring about social order.
Until then, the Church alone had recognized and overseen marriages, but Luther and the reformers wanted a more powerful and “worldly” enforcer of God’s laws .. Moved by these injunctions, governments across Protestant Europe seized control over marriage and instituted rules to enforce it.
On this side of the Atlantic, shortly after the ratification of the Constitution, the newly-formed states, acting in their own professed self-interest, enacted laws that made it more difficult to end marriages .. According to the lawmakers, the “dissolution [of a marriage] ought not to be dependent on private will, but should require legislative interference; inasmuch as the republic is deeply interested in the private business of its citizens.”
The Union government required that all newly freed slaves under its care in refugee camps “who have been living or desire to live together . . . be married in the proper manner.”
After the war, administrators of the Freedmen’s Bureau, who were charged with making the ex-slaves conform to American norms, were ordered to coerce their charges into marriage so as to bring them into civilization
Dissolving a marriage became slightly less onerous in the 20th century .. but the institution’s state-sanctioned moral apparatus continued to keep most of us from pursuing our individual desires ..
So let us say to our gay brothers and sisters fighting for the “freedom to marry,” who once led the fight for freedom from marriage: be careful what you wish for—you’ll probably get it.
The Seamless Web of Liberty por Ron Paul:
Scholars, commentators, and other public figures who defend liberty in some areas and authoritarianism in other areas — or combine a defense of economic or civil liberty with a defense of the warfare state — undermine the case for the liberties they claim to cherish. Restoring the link between economic liberty, civil liberty, and peace is a vital task for those seeking to restore a society of liberty, peace, and prosperity.
Who Really Cares About the Poor?: A Socratic Dialogue por Bryan Caplan:
Glaucon: .. Fine, I'll tell you. The democratic faction - to which I happen to belong - proposed a new law to give ten gold pieces a year to every poor Athenian....uma história de hipocrisia socialista.
Socrates: From the public treasury?
Glaucon: Yes, from the public treasury. Anyway, we democrats called a vote - and the aristocratic faction voted us down. How can they be so uncaring?
Socrates: Why do you assume the aristocrats voted No because they were uncaring? Did they say, "I'm voting No because I don't care about the poor"?
Glaucon: Of course not. No one admits such things.
Socrates: So, what objections did the aristocrats voice?
Glaucon: Oh, the usual. They said our meager program would turn poor and rich alike into lazy bums. The poor wouldn't want to work if they got free money, and the rich wouldn't want to work if they had to pay the taxes required to fund the program.
Socrates: Sounds overstated. Divide by ten, and they're right. Any other argument?
Glaucon: Yes. Many also insisted that, "It's my money." They earned it, so they shouldn't have to share it.
Socrates: And they're wrong?
Glaucon: Of course they're wrong! We're a community, we all depend on each other and we're all obliged to take care of each other. If they had an ounce of compassion for disadvantaged Athenians, they would have voted Yes.
quinta-feira, agosto 20, 2015
No serious economist in modern era supports the trickle-down theory, nor is the IMF study about it at all. Rather, the trickle-down concept remains a straw man of liberal partisans used to attack any supply-side plan to cut taxes.
Certainly wealth can trickle down in the sense that lower taxes for a business could mean more revenue to expand their production and create jobs. However, wealth also trickles up through savings and investment. After all, the savings that lower- and middle-class people put into the bank are loaned out to businesses for profit. Similarly, their retirement savings are usually in the form of investments for big business.
This is fundamentally why supply-side economists support tax cuts for everyone: so both the rich and poor will have more money to spend, save, and invest in markets, fueling the private sector’s engine of prosperity. It’s not a trickle so much as a whirlwind.
As economist Thomas Sowell has repeatedly pointed out in his columns at Townhall, “no economist of the past two centuries had any such theory.” Sowell again:Years ago, this column challenged anybody to quote any economist outside of an insane asylum who had ever advocated this “trickle-down” theory. Some readers said that somebody said that somebody else had advocated a “trickle-down” policy. But they could never name that somebody else and quote them.
To Hell with the Culture War por Jeffrey Tucker:
In the end, there is only one winner: the master of us all, the government that concocted this crazy system to begin with.
What seems like a great culture war of our time is actually a wide and growing set of conflicts that are rooted in government intervention.
So long as there is a central plan, there will be vicious arguments about whose values should prevail in the implementation of that plan. Get rid of all mandates and we would finally, at last, see the dawn of peace. It really is possible, though hardly anyone can imagine it right now.
Culture wars are a lot more exciting to fight than real wars over the nature and reach of government. This is why so many people encourage them and fight them.
This is the way states conquer and divide. They turn a diverse group of people loose in the arena and tell them to kill or be killed. Democracy encourages this; more importantly, overweening government in every area of life would seem to require it. Government is a zero-sum game: what you get I lose.
This is the very opposite of the way the market economy works. Through market exchange, both parties win. They come away with more value than they brought to the table. It draws on our internal sense of what is valuable.
If you are fighting the culture war, you are fighting the wrong war. As they say in Hunger Games, let’s try to remember who the real enemy is.
A Climate Falsehood You Can Check for Yourself por David D. Friedman:
The fact that one prominent supporter of a position is dishonest does not prove that the position is wrong. For all I know, there may be people on the other side who could be shown to be dishonest by a similar analysis. But it is a reason why those who support that side because they trust its proponents to tell them the truth should be at least somewhat less willing to do so.
Where Pope Francis Got His Advice on Global Warming:
The Holy Father’s encyclical will do greatest harm to the very people dearest to him, the poor. It appears that radical environmentalist political ideology has trumped science in this field and given all of science a bad name in the process. This all started from global warming theoretical predictions made by the highly politicized (and now discredited) United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control (IPCC), predictions that have been thoroughly disproven by experimental data yet have been widely used as a benchmark by alarmist environmental groups. In some circles this brouhaha is also giving the papacy a bad name by associating it with Pope Francis’ and Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga’s Marxist controlled home countries of Argentina and Honduras, since environmental extremism and liberalism/socialism are closely linked.
domingo, agosto 16, 2015
Why Do Libertarians Pay Taxes?, leitura integral recomendada:
There are some important reasons why libertarians pay taxes. But before looking at them, perhaps it would be beneficial to look at reasons why libertarians don’t pay taxes; that is, erroneous reasons why libertarians pay taxes.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they believe it is just what Americans do.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they are confused about the tax code.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they believe the government is entitled to them for services provided.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they don’t understand that the U.S. income tax cannot tax earnings from the common, ordinary occupations of life.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they believe paying taxes is the right thing to do.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they believe taxes in the United States are lower than they are in other countries.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they believe the Sixteenth Amendment was properly ratified.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they believe taxes are the price we pay for civilization.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they believe taxes are a necessary evil.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they believe the tax code requires them to.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they aren’t aware that most Americans aren’t legally required to pay income tax.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they don’t understand the tax code.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because millions of Americans are dependent on government handouts.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they are not educated tax scholars.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they believe the Constitution gives the government the power to tax.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they don’t know how to read the tax code.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they think it is patriotic.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they haven’t yet figured out how to lay a proper factual evidentiary foundation on how not to pay the income tax.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they don’t understand that the federal government has no constitutional power to tax the wages of ordinary Americans.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they think the government needs the money.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they don’t believe the income tax is part of the contract involved with acceptance of a government privilege.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they don’t know the history of the income tax.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they never noticed in the withholding statute in Subchapter C of the tax code that the only people subject to withholding are government employees.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they are not enlightened about the income tax.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they believe the constitutional functions of government should be funded.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they don’t realize what an excise tax is.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they would feel guilty if they didn’t and other Americans did.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they don’t understand from Title 26, Subtitle A, that most Americans aren’t engaged in engaged in ordinary occupations liable for the income tax.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they don’t understand the difference between a privilege and a right.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they don’t understand the difference between direct and indirect taxes.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they have misinterpreted the Supreme Court tax cases.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they don’t realize that paying taxes is voluntary.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they don’t read the tax code with the understanding of the history of the tax.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they believe they have engaged in an excise taxable activity.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they don’t understand that the income tax is a classical liberal tax on federal employments, offices, and privileges.
Libertarians don’t pay taxes because they believe “non taxpayers” are screwballs.
Why, then, do libertarians pay taxes?
Libertarians pay taxes so they don’t end up in a cage ..
Hoppe and Immigration:
I will add other examples: homeowners associations, apartments, condominiums, hotels, amusement parks, multi-tenant office buildings, companies of all sorts. Each of these – in areas where the government has not established “forced integration,” to use Hoppe’s perfectly formed term – has rules and guidelines for those who would like to enter.
They do not allow any and all comers with any and all behavior. They do not allow uninvited visitors free use of the cafeteria, bathrooms, telephone and internet. They do not allow trespass-occupation of temporarily unused conference rooms or hotel rooms. They do not allow tents in common areas known as hallways or lobbies.
In each of these examples, the owners control access to their property. This is what a libertarian, free-market immigration policy would look like.