quinta-feira, setembro 30, 2010

Better Lives Through Individualism

Better Lives Through Individualism (Strange Stuff):
Here is a really interesting piece of economic research about the way that productivity changes in collectivist and individulistic cultures. Their model, which seems to fit the data that they provide, is that .. individualism better encourages innovation than collectivism because it places a greater value on outstanding individuals rather than everybody being the same .. So over time a more individualistic culture will have better standards of living than a more collectivist one.

Precários sindicais

Na continuação de sindicatos públicos, Ununionized Union Workers, Schooling Teachers Unions,

CCOO y UGT fichan al 64% de sus empleados mediante "contratos basura":
Una cosa es criticar a los "malvados" empresarios que fomentan la precariedad laboral y otra muy distinta practicar el fomento del empleo estable y de calidad en su propia casa. Una cosa es pedir y otra es dar trigo.
Éso es lo que deben pensar las grandes centrales sindicales a la hora de contratar un empleado para el sindicato .. El 64% de los contratos son de los llamados precarios por los sindicatos y sólo un 9% de los contratos son indefinidos con 45 días de indemnización.
Otro dato significativo es que el 43% de esos contratos de trabajo son a tiempo parcial, lo que significa que el empleado tiene una jornada inferior a las 40 horas semanales.

Estos datos ponen de relieve el doble discurso de las centrales sindicales que, mientras critican duramente este tipo de modalidades de contratos de trabajo, son los utilizados mayoritariamente cuando contratan a sus empleados.

o modelo norueguês

Progress Party Leader Siv Jensen on Norway's Myths and Realities

EconBD: Irwin Schiff (3)

Via O Insurgente, e na continuação de EconBD: Irwin Schiff e EconBD: Irwin Schiff (2),

Teach yourself free market economics in two hours por Daniel Hannan:
If you want to understand what’s happening to the world economy, read Peter Schiff’s new book (co-written with his brother Andrew): How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes. You don’t need any background in economics to understand it; an intelligent child could follow its arguments.
As a general rule, if experts cannot explain an idea simply, we should be suspicious. The Schiffs explain their model very simply indeed, which is what makes it so convincing. If you feel that you want to get a decent grasp of free market economics, but you don’t have the time to tackle the complete works of Mises and Rothbard, this book is the perfect place to start.

The Right to Earn a Living

Timothy Sandefur on The Right to Earn a Living

quarta-feira, setembro 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Herr von Mises

The Philosophy of Ludwig von Mises:
Classical liberalism believed in liberty and justice for all; it severely restricted the role of government and politics; it stood for the Rule of Law, private property, and the free market economy. It designed a set of rules which maximized every person’s opportunity to pursue his personal goals; it worked for equal freedom by abolishing the legal privileges which had hitherto given some groups in society unfair advantages over others. It got rid of serfdom and slavery.

Mises was a liberal in this old-fashioned sense, at a time when the intellectual currents in Europe and America were nearly all moving in other directions.

Mises believed in the unhampered market economy, and with enormous erudition in several large volumes he expounded the operations of this intricate system. Starting with the self-evident truth that people would rather be more prosperous than less prosperous, other things being equal, Mises demonstrated with devastating logic that every political interference with the market hurts some people and makes the entire society poorer.
The ethical code is violated whenever you pick another person’s pocket or steal his purse, and the violation is compounded when you do it legally, that is, when you allow government to do your thieving for you. But only a people with larceny in their souls will write a form of theft into their statutes .. if people do covet their neighbor’s property they will surely find legal ways to get their hands on it, and conscience will bend around to approve.
Classical liberalism presupposes a religious philosophy which regards man as a created being who bears a unique relation to God, being formed in His image—meaning that man possesses free will and the ability to initiate and command his own actions. This free being is under the moral law laid down in the original constitution of things, responsible for discovering this law and obeying it. He is given dominion over the earth. He is commanded to work in order that he might eat; he is the steward of the earth’s scarce re sources and held accountable for their economic use.

Classical liberalism, in other words, is the secular projection of Christian philosophy.
When a nation’s cultural framework includes such spiritual ingredients as the rule of law, equal liberty, security for property, a high level of morality, and that respect for rationality which makes science and technology possible, then the impulses and incentives which everywhere produce the market will give rise to capitalism, or the market economy—which is the market institutionalized.

A realidade vista pelos socialistas

square peg round hole

Human Rights as Property rights

"Human Rights" as Property Rights:
.... human rights, when not put in terms of property rights, turn out to be vague and contradictory, causing liberals to weaken those rights on behalf of "public policy" or the "public good." As I wrote in another work:
Take, for example, the "human right" of free speech. Freedom of speech is supposed to mean the right of everyone to say whatever he likes. But the neglected question is: Where? Where does a man have this right? He certainly does not have it on property on which he is trespassing.

In short, he has this right only either on his own property or on the property of someone who has agreed, as a gift or in a rental contract, to allow him on the premises. In fact, then, there is no such thing as a separate "right to free speech"; there is only a man's property right: the right to do as he wills with his own or to make voluntary agreements with other property owners.
.... what he has in each of these cases is property rights .. There is no extra "right of free speech" or free press beyond the property rights that a person may have in any given case.

We Still Hold These Truths

We Still Hold These Truths

vertigem pelo desperdício

Governos gastam mal mais de metade do dinheiro dos impostos (Público):
Cerca de 52 por cento dos mais de 22 mil inquiridos pela GlobeScan/PIPA consideraram que o dinheiro pago em impostos não é usado em fins que servem os interesses e os valores da população dos respectivos países.

Declarada a falta de confiança nos governos, isso não impede os mesmos cidadãos de mostrarem um “consenso quase global”, segundo a própria BBC, de que os governos deveriam ter um papel mais activo na economia.
A dissonância cognitiva das populações parece não ter limites. São as mesmas populações que aceitam pacificamente que líderes populistas — como Sócrates ou Obama — proclamem que a despesa pública não pode ser reduzida sem cortes na prestação de serviços como a Saúde ou a Educação — sabendo perfeitamente o enorme desperdício que vai no Estado. Que o processo democrático coloque nas mãos desta gentalha o poder de decidir sobre o dinheiro dos outros é uma das grandes perversões morais dos nossos tempos — que não duram muito mais, o regime está em clara decomposição.

The true state of the Union

Nigel Farage shows Barroso 'true state of the Union'

BÓNUS: The World’s Biggest Political Clown?:
Mr. Barroso .. is the President of the European Commission. This is not an elected position (perish the thought of letting voters have a say in such matters!). Instead, he’s the chief bureaucrat of the sprawling Brussels-based euro-bureaucracy .... Mr. Barroso obviously is not happy about the fact that nobody knows who he is or cares what he has to say .. my research on that issue has alerted me to a couple of stories about President Jose Manuel Barroso that cry out for immediate mockery and abuse.

terça-feira, setembro 28, 2010

Dívida pública para totós

Dívida pública para totós de Miguel Botelho Moniz n'O Insurgente:
Um pouco por toda a imprensa e comunicação social, sempre que o estado português coloca dívida pública nos mercados, através de leilões, é costume ouvir referências ao facto de que a procura ultrapassou “várias vezes” a oferta.
O facto da “procura” (definida como o somatório das licitações) ter sido superior à oferta, não significa que houvesse interessados em comprar títulos à conseguida taxa T. Todas as licitações não satisfeitas eram ofertas com preço mais baixo pelos títulos oferecidos. Os potenciais compradores apenas estariam interessados em adquirir títulos com yields superiores ... ao valor de yield mais alto de entre todas as licitações satisfeitas.
Por outras palavras, pelo processo competitivo do leilão, os potenciais compradores são levados a oferecer o preço mais alto (valor de yield mais baixo) que admitem suportar para o risco dos títulos de dívida em questão.

O mercado — a procura — não pode oferecer mais. Para que a procura igualasse à oferta, teria de ser a oferta — o Estado — a adaptar-se. Vendendo mais dívida, e a preços mais baixos, ou seja, valores de yield mais altos.

Ora, é politicamente incomportável apresentar valores de yield altos, porque o yield denota o risco da dívida. Por vezes, até acontece que os Governos decidem vender menos dívida do que originalmente se propunham, só aos preços mais altos, obtendo yields menores. Os Governos no fundo esperam que os mercados acreditem que o risco da dívida não é preocupante, e chutam o problema para a frente, o que obviamente só agrava o problema.

Seja vendida toda a dívida colocada a leilão, ou não, começa sempre a propaganda governamental. Os fazedores de opinião tentam virar o bico ao prego: se houve muita procura insatisfeita — o que quer dizer que a larga maioria dos investidores nem sonha pagar mais do o preço pedido pelo Governo — isso só "prova" que a dívida é extremamente popular. É o mundo de fantasia da política.

Licencing gone mad

Via Talk About the Bill of Rights, Get 90 Days in Jailby Bob Ewing,

The Paradox of the Welfare State

The Paradox of the Welfare State, um excelente artigo do The Freeman Online:
Welfare states face an inescapable paradox: The level of production needed to sustain a welfare state cannot be sustained by a welfare state. This paradox is created by policies that encourage the redistribution and consumption of wealth while discouraging its creation.
Welfare state policies discourage saving. When government helps pay for its citizens’ big-ticket items, citizens have little need to save for the future ... further reducing private capital.
Poverty must, therefore, be portrayed .. as the result of bad luck or oppression. Conversely, wealth must come to be seen .. as the outcome of .. greed and exploitation. The very concept of virtue must be questioned .. from “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods” to “Thou shalt not have goods thy neighbors covet.”
The philosophy underlying the welfare state, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” leads people to display minimum ability and maximum need.
Of all the changes wrought by the welfare state, a degraded, dependent culture will have the deadliest impact and will be the hardest to reverse. Yet the culture must be changed. This can occur only if government-created incentives that encourage people to live at the expense of others are replaced by market-created incentives ....

There is no such thing as public money

A propósito deste vomitado de Paul Krugman:
And among the undeniably rich, a belligerent sense of entitlement has taken hold: it's their money, and they have the right to keep it.

Thatcher: There is no such thing as public money

The Enduring Power of Bureaucracy

The Enduring Power of Bureaucracy:
Although written in 1944, this book not only stands the test of time, it renders time irrelevant. It is, in fact, alarmingly evocative of contemporary experience.
The thesis of the book is that there are only two ways society can be organized: on the basis of private ownership, capitalism, and freedom; or on the basis of government control, socialism, and eventual totalitarianism. He compares both systems of social organization, and investigates the nature of bureaucracies to reveal why socialism results "not only in impoverishment but also in the disintegration of social cooperation — in chaos."

He [Ludwig von Mises] explains that bureaucracies .. are ruinous when applied to the economic sector. Bureaucracies operate on the basis of rules and regulations issued by hierarchies located far from the realities they seek to supervise. Because resources don't belong to them, and there is no reward for efficiency, bureaucratic managers lack incentives to be prudent or to expeditiously serve the public.
The champions of socialism .. promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau.

the problem is a system that protects academic failure (3)

Na continuação de the problem is a system that protects academic failure (2),

Waiting for Superman Official Trailer

BÓNUS: Superman v. Education Unions

Daily Bastiat

The Economics of Napoleon Obamaparte: Spread the Wealth Aroundby por Christopher C. Horner:
On the flight out I pulled out my pocket Bastiat reader, which I carry everywhere but hadn’t re-read in a while. There, in the opening, brilliant essay “What is Seen and What is Not Seen” — a work that perfectly nails Obamanomics, and the entire ‘green jobs’ fallacy that is the latest re-branding of central planning (if in its most devastating form: mandating energy price hikes on top of generational debt) — I ran across a stunning reminder:
In noting what the state is going to do with the millions of francs voted, do not neglect to note also what the taxpayers would have done—and can no longer do—with these same millions.

You see, then, that a public enterprise is a coin with two sides. On one, the figure of a busy worker, with this device: What is seen; on the other, an unemployed worker, with this device: What is not seen.

The sophism that I am attacking in this essay is all the more dangerous when applied to public works, since it serves to justify the most foolishly prodigal enterprises. When a railroad or a bridge has real utility, it suffices to rely on this fact in arguing in its favor. But if one cannot do this, what does one do? One has recourse to this mumbo jumbo: “We must create jobs for the workers. ”This means that the terraces of the Champ-de-Mars are ordered first to be built up and then to be torn down.

The great Napoleon, it is said, thought he was doing philanthropic work when he had ditches dug and then filled in. He also said: “What difference does the result make? All we need is to see wealth spread among the laboring classes.”
Spread the wealth around. So here we have Obamanomics in a nutshell.

o crescimento do Estado parasita (2)

Na continuação de o crescimento do Estado parasita, o mesmo fenómeno acontece na União Europeia:

National budgets shrink, the EU budget grows

Eurofascismo incandescente (2)

Na continuação de Eurofascismo incandescenteSelling Incandescent Light Bulbs As Heating Devices:
"The European Union has banned by law trading of incandescent light bulbs due to their bad efficiency/ecology (most of the energy is transformed into heat). A company is now trying to bypass this restriction by offering their incandescent light bulb products as a heating device (article in German) instead of a light device. Still, their 'heat balls' give light as well as heating. So — every law can be bypassed if you have some creativity!"
(hat tip ao PL)

segunda-feira, setembro 27, 2010

What’s the Matter with Menthols?

What's the Matter with Menthols?

Social Responsibility of Business (2)

Quando se diz que as empresas não têm responsabilidade social quer dizer-se que

1) é social e economicamente suicida que a "sociedade" - ou melhor dito os indivíduos que a compõem -, exija às empresas que ajam de outra forma que não a de maximizar o valor para os accionistas;

2) é imoral que o Estado intervenha a impôr uma qualquer moralidade empresarial - uma religião de Estado - ao sector privado.

O que não é dito é que as pessoas — nomeadamente os detentores de capital &mdash, devem ser livres de assumirem a "responsabilidade social" que entenderem.

o crescimento do Estado parasita

via Dan Mitchell, Obama’s Stimulus Means Redistribution from Poor to Rich,

This New York Post chart shows that the already-bloated federal workforce has expanded since the downturn began. And since compensation for federal bureaucrats is twice the average for other workers, it certainly seems like Obama is playing a perverse game of class warfare – particularly since ordinary Americans pay the price when so-called stimulus spending drains money from private capital markets and misallocates resources.
O gráfico mostra que quanto mais centralizado é o poder (e é absolutamente descentralizado no caso do mercado, que serve de comparação), mais irracional é o comportamento organizacional do Estado.

Mais importante, o perverse game of class warfare é obviamente a guerra de classes entre políticos e burocratas, e contribuintes esmifrados. Se é verdade que pelo processo político alguma coisa muda em termos de cargas fiscais e assistenciais, muda muito pouco relativamente à imparável dinâmica de crescimento do Estado que a todos parasita.

Não há soluções milagrosas para o estado a que o Estado chegou. Mas é óbvio que urge descentralizar e despolitizar muitas áreas em que o Estado se alojou. Ignorar o cancro não fará com que ele desapareça.

Social Responsibility of Business

Um pouco na continuação de Bad corporate governance oaths (3),

The Social Responsibility of Business is to Increase its Profits por Milton Friedman, artigo cuja leitura se recomenda na íntegra:
The discussions of the "social responsibili­ties of business" are notable for their analytical looseness and lack of rigor. What does it mean to say that "business" has responsibilities? Only people can have responsibilities. A corporation is an artificial person and in this sense may have artificial responsibilities, but "business" as a whole cannot be said to have responsibilities, even in this vague sense.
.... the doctrine of "social responsibility" taken seriously would extend the scope of the political mechanism to every human activity. It does not differ in philosophy from the most explicitly collectivist doctrine. It differs only by professing to believe that collectivist ends can be attained without collectivist means. That is why, in my book Capitalism and Freedom, I have called it a "fundamentally subversive doctrine" in a free society, and have said that in such a society, "there is one and only one social responsibility of business–to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud."


Via O Insurgente

Gavin de Becker & Craig Ferguson on Sept 11 - parte 1, parte 2

o copyright não tem lugar numa sociedade livre

Proprietary Content: A Force for Totalitarianism:
But because of copyright enforcement problems presented by digital technology, the “cognitive capitalism” model requires increasing levels of authoritarianism — DRM, anti-circumvention legislation, DMCA takedown notices and mass lawsuits — to stay tenable.

Johan Soderberg, in Hacking Capitalism: The Free and Open Source Software Movement, compares the digital copyright lockdown that the Western corporate ruling class depends on to the lockdown of photocopiers and fax machines that protected the power of the old Soviet nomenklatura (it’s not by accident, comrade, that the KGB used to refer to samizdat distributors as “pirates.”).

And the totalitarian proclivities of the proprietary content industries are very real. In the recent past, for example, global uplifter Bono mentioned Communist China’s suppression of online dissent as an encouraging example of governnment’s ability to combat piracy if it would just take the gloves off.
It’s a good thing the Copyright Nazis are so incompetent at actually implementing their grand designs, because proprietary content industries are one of the leading political forces for totalitarianism in our time.

estatismo terminal, infographics

Via Bankrupting America - Poll reveals government spending is personal to voters,

roubos verdes

The Thanet wind farm will milk us of billions pelo sempre excelente Christopher Booker:
In all the publicity given to the opening of "the world's largest wind farm" off the Kent coast last week, by far the most important and shocking aspect of this vast project was completely overlooked. Over the coming years we will be giving the wind farm's Swedish owners a total of £1.2 billion in subsidies. That same sum, invested now in a single nuclear power station, could yield a staggering 13 times more electricity, with much greater reliability.
And these turbines are only the first stage of a project eventually designed to include 341 of them, generating subsidies of £1 billion every five years.

.... The Government gaily prattles about how it wants to create "400,000 green jobs", which on this basis would eventually cost us £22.8 trillion, or 17 times the entire annual output of the UK economy.
But a crucial first step towards getting some grip on reality must be for those who report on these wind farms to stop hiding away the colossal price we are all now having to pay for one of the greatest scams of our age.

domingo, setembro 26, 2010

The Last Best Hope

The Last Best Hope

Down with Policy Libertarianism (2)

Na continuação de Down with Policy Libertarianism, e a propósito do dito "Menos Estado, melhor Estado", ‘Government Efficiency’
.... policymakers should focus their reform efforts on reducing government’s size.

Government efficiency proponents make the mistake of viewing the cost of government in the same light as the cost of operating a private business. However, government cannot operate like a business because it isn’t a business.
.... the question of how efficiently government provides services is less important than deciding what services government should provide.
The bottom line is that the road to smaller government won’t be paved with efforts to make government “more efficient.” In its most benign form, government efficiency is a political tool wielded by policymakers who probably aren’t serious about downsizing government. In its more pernicious form, it can lend credibility to activities that government should not be undertaking to begin with.

Big spending drives budget deficit

Na continuação de A crise das contas públicas e É a despesa pública, estúpido ,

O gráfico seguinte exemplifica várias noções, a mais importante da qual é que a tendência de crescimento do estado (spending) é praticamente independente da receita fiscal. Aumentar a opressão fiscal pode resolver o problema contabilístico dos défices não resolve o problema estrutural de um Estado irresponsável com o dinheiro dos outros.


Don Boudreaux, Low-Cost Explanation of Cost, sobre Cost and Choice de James Buchanan:
Do you want to understand cost really, deeply, and profoundly – to understand cost in ways that even most economists don’t quite understand it? If so, read James M. Buchanan’s Preface to his little 1969 masterpiece, Cost and Choice:
You face a choice. You must now decide whether to read this Preface, to read something else, to think silent thoughts, or perhaps to write a bit for yourself. The value that you place on the most attractive of these several alternatives is the cost that you must pay if you choose to read this Preface now. This value is and must remain wholly speculative; it represents what you now think the other opportunity might offer. Once you have chosen to read this Preface, any chance of realizing the alternative and, hence, measuring its value, has vanished forever. Only at the moment or instant of choice is cost able to modify behavior.

o socialismo deriva de psicologias da idade da pedra

Stone Age Minds: A conversation with evolutionary psychologists Leda Cosmides and John Tooby

O estado fatal

Um pouco na continuação de A lengalenga do Estado Social , O estado fatal de Miguel Sousa Tavares:
Fala-se nos gastos galopantes da saúde e respondem-nos com o Estado social; fala-se nos custos exorbitantes com o ensino público e respondem-nos com o Estado social; fala-se na insustentabilidade financeira da segurança social e respondem-nos com o Estado social. A nossa esquerda - a parlamentar, a presidenciável e a honorífica - descobriu o seu hit de Verão e daqui não vai sair.

Qualquer alusão à situação crítica das finanças públicas ou ao nível insuportável que a fiscalidade atingiu junto da imensa minoria que paga a imensa maioria dos impostos é vista como uma ofensa de lesa-majestade: aos 'direitos adquiridos', ao Estado social, à Constituição de Abril e aos 'pais espirituais' deste iminente colapso nacional.
Queria dizer uma coisa a esta improvável esquerda. Somos, seguramente, e mesmo após tanto e tão continuado despesismo público, um dos países ainda mais atrasados e injustos entre as nações desenvolvidas. Mas, a essa injustiça estrutural, e supostamente para a combater, estamos a acrescentar outra: não uma luta de classes, mas uma luta de gerações. Os 'pais espirituais' e guardiões da fé do tal Estado social pertencem a uma geração privilegiada: dispõem de saúde para si e ensino para os seus filhos, "tendencialmente gratuitos"; recebem reformas do Estado, depois de terem trabalhado 36 ou 40 anos e têm uma esperança de vida paga próxima dos 80 anos. Mas os seus filhos e netos não vão ter nada disso: vão, sim, ter de pagar a dívida deixada por eles para sustentarem em vida o seu Estado social. E vamos ver se ao menos deixam a democracia de pé...

Se isto é justiça social, se isto é a esquerda moderna, que venha antes Fidel Castro, que é mais inteligente e, embora tardiamente, se dá ao trabalho de fazer contas.

sábado, setembro 25, 2010

Stephen Colbert no Congresso

Stephen Colbert foi ao Congresso dos Estados Unidos falar sobre a questão dos imigrantes ilegais. O resultado não podia ser outro:

Stephen Colbert Opening Statement Before Congress

Private Infrastructure

Why Not Private Infrastructure? no Downsizing the Federal Government:
Looking ahead, there are no technical or economic reasons why the highways of the 21st century should not be private toll roads once again. Modern GPS-based technology enables mileage-based tolls to be debited to road users, and the revenues credited to road providers, without vehicles having to stop, and without invading the privacy of road users...
By subsidizing the states to provide seemingly "free" highways, federal financing discourages the construction and operation of privately financed highways. A key problem is that users of private highways are forced to pay both the tolls for those private facilities and the fuel taxes that support the government highways. Another problem is that private highway companies have to pay taxes, including property taxes and income taxes, while government agencies do not. Furthermore, private highways face higher borrowing costs because they must issue taxable bonds, whereas public agencies can issue tax-exempt bonds.
The bottom line is that the private sector can satisfy our transportation needs if given the chance. Unfortunately, myopic policymakers are stuck in the 20th century, which is exactly where the special interests they bemoan would like them to stay.

Hollywood Hates Capitalism

Na continuação de Why is Hollywood Anti-Capitalist?,

Hollywood Hates Capitalism - Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Edition

Citação liberal do Dia

Na continuação de Intellectual Property And Libertarianism, Nothing is Original, So Steal Everything, atribuído a Jim Jarmush:
Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to the soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to."
Só uma correcção semântica: Copying is not theft.

É a despesa pública, estúpido

Na continuação de A crise das contas públicas e ZeroHedge


sexta-feira, setembro 24, 2010

mais uma ilustração da irracionalidade do estatismo

The Laffer Curve Strikes Again por Dan Mitchell:
In the private sector, no business owner would be dumb enough to assume that higher prices automatically translate into proportionately higher revenues. If McDonald’s boosted hamburger prices by 30 percent, for instance, the experts at the company would fully expect that sales would decline. Depending on the magnitude of the drop, total revenue might still climb, but by far less than 30 percent. And it’s quite possible that the company would lose revenue. In the public sector, however, there is very little understanding of how the real world works.

Here’s a Reuters story I saw on Tim Worstall’s blog, which reveals that Bulgaria and Romania both are losing revenue after increasing tobacco taxes.
Bulgaria increased taxes by nearly half this year and stepped up customs controls and police checks at shops and markets. Customs office data, however, shows tax revenues from cigarette sales so far in 2010 have fallen by nearly a third .... Overall losses from smuggling will probably outweigh tax gains as Bulgaria struggle to fight the growing black market, which has risen to over 30 percent of all cigarette sales

Intellectual Property And Libertarianism

Intellectual Property And Libertarianism | Stephan Kinsella

Prisões e Mercados

No seguimento de Prisões, Cigarros e Mercados Negros,

Self-Governance in San Pedro Prison:
Inmates of Bolivia’s San Pedro Prison are allowed to open restaurants, offer carpentry services, and operate commissaries that serve nonprisoner visitors and any wives or children who may live with them. They also purchase their own prison cells from each other, provide for their own medical care and often their own meals, and adjudicate their own disputes, leaving the prison’s administrators with little more to do than to keep the prisoners from escaping.
BÓNUS: Wikipedia.

quinta-feira, setembro 23, 2010

um bom retrato do nosso país político

CEI in Europe: Travelblog 1–Porto, Portugal:
Here in Porto, the students are mostly active members of Portugal’s Republican Youth group .... Many of them are having trouble accepting the libertarian and Objectivist arguments put forth by the teachers ....
“It’s our tradition,” he explains. He says the Portuguese government has long provided goods and services for the people, ever since the government first started sending tall ships around the world and bringing back foreign goods for the Portuguese market. “For us, the government is like a father,” he says with an apologetic shrug.
CEI in Europe: Travelblog 2–Porto, Portugal:
The Portuguese Constitution guarantees the provision of many social services, including free health care .... Even the more libertarian-minded of them say society would suffer too much without high unemployment benefits, socialized medicine, and a healthy welfare state. The Portuguese people have learned to depend on it.
This generation will suffer for the nation’s economic problems; yet many in Portugal are reluctant to change their way of life. “The thing is that in America, you have the American dream,” the businessman says. “But here, we don’t have a Portuguese dream.”
CEI in Europe: Travelblog 3–Porto, Portugal:
One problem is political labels. They call us “liberals,” meaning classical liberals. The teachers call themselves libertarians. In lectures, some of the teachers criticize “liberals,” meaning leftists. The politically-active students told us they belonged to the equivalent of a Republican Youth group, but their group is Juventude Social Democrata—Social Democrats.

They’re the right-wing of Portugal, and they thought we’d understand that better by thinking of them as Republicans. In truth, most of them would be considered moderate Democrats in America. They are right-wing because the rest of the country is far left.

Obamacare in pictures

fonte: Obamacare in Pictures Busts Health Care Myths

A lengalenga do Estado Social

Excerto de A lengalenga do Estado Social do artista Adolfo Mesquita Nunes:
Mas o pior nem sequer é esta incompreensão genética da lusa esquerda para qualquer medida que procurar impor racionalidade nas contas e no despesismo.

O pior é mesmo a triste circunstância de, ninguém sabendo ao certo o que é o Estado Social, este servir, afinal de contas, para legitimar, sem contestação de maior (que o politicamente correcto tem muita força), qualquer política que apareça saída do gene canhoto.

Ou seja, o conceito de Estado Social, que não inexiste, cristalizou-se de forma a albergar qualquer coisa que venha da esquerda. Mesmo que a coisa seja um desastre.

schooling teachers unions

Gov. Chris Christie Schools New Jersey Teachers Unions

- Chris Christie tells teacher she doesn't have to teach
- Chris Christie: A Message for President Obama
- Conservative Governor on his "confrontational tone"

Este vídeo é interessante para ilustrar os benefícios da competição fiscal entre regiões do mesmo país:
- Chris Christie's Plan to Get New Jersey Working Again - parte 1, parte 2, parte 3

Down with Policy Libertarianism

Down with Policy Libertarianism:
Libertarian thinkers can be plotted on many axes. Presently, the axis I am most concerned with is Policy Libertarianism vs. Structural Libertarianism.

Policy Libertarians (PLs) include the vast majority of the most visible organizations and writers in the modern libertarian movement: the Reason Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Ron Paul campaign, the LP, the Constitution Party, most libertarian economists (e.g. Milton Friedman), and single-issue organizations like Students for a Sensible Drug Policy. PLs, as their name suggests, focus their energies on inventing and advocating a list of policies that governments should follow.
Structural Libertarians (SLs) are much rarer in modern times than PLs, although the opposite used to be the case. Structural libertarians include Patri Friedman, Mencius Moldbug, David Friedman, Murray Rothbard, all libertarian Public Choice economists, Lysander Spooner, and the classical liberals that libertarians have adopted as intellectual ancestors. SLs often have the same moral and policy beliefs as PLs, but they focus their energies on the alternative ways to structure a government and the effect that government structure has on its incentive to adopt good policy.
My faith in democracy is at a low ebb, so I think structural libertarianism should be given more thought and policy libertarianism less.

The Mountain of Debt

Link recomendado: The Government Spending/Debt Mountain

Creative Destruction, Destroyed

Via Don Boudreaux, The Dodd-Frank Act: Creative Destruction, Destroyed:
The competitiveness, innovativeness, and risk taking that have always characterized U.S. financial firms will, under this new structure, inevitably be subordinated to supervisory judgments about what these firms can safely be allowed to do. But the worst element of this system is that the extraordinary power given to regulators--and particularly the Federal Reserve--is likely to change the nature of the U.S. financial system.

Where financial firms once focused on beating their competitors, they will now focus on currying favor with their regulator, which will have the power to control their every move. What may ultimately emerge is a partnership between the largest financial firms and the Federal Reserve--a partnership in which the Fed protects them from failure and excessive competition and they in turn curb their competitive instincts to carry out the government's policies and directions.

These wholesale changes in traditional relationships are hard to explain except as the triumph of a fundamentally different view--a corporatist political model more characteristic of Europe--of the government's role in the U.S. economy

The child-driven education

Uns geniais últimos minutos - se a educação é um sistema auto-organizado, então meter o Estado a gerir o Ensino é mesmo das ideias mais estúpidas alguma vez engendradas pela Humanidade.

Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education

Drogas, ¿seguir con la prohibición?

Muito recomendado, Drogas, ¿seguir con la prohibición? por Araceli Manjón-Cabeza Olmeda, ex directora general del Plan Nacional sobre Drogas:
He de reconocer que cuando se trabaja dentro del sistema represivo es fácil dejarse seducir por sus "éxitos", pero estos son muy parciales y cuando se mira el conjunto, entonces vence la decepción, al contemplar un instrumento salvaje e ineficaz que no es la "solución" sino, más bien, una parte importante del problema.

Lanzarse a cualquier opción despenalizadora da vértigo, desmontar la prohibición no será fácil, pero el mantenimiento del actual prohibicionismo planetario es una locura.

Do whatever the * you want to do whenever you want to do it and unless you harm somebody else or put them in jeopardy

Adam Carolla Uncensored: Legalize Drugs, Cut Taxes, Drive Through Red Lights! (Explicit Language)

Tax madness

New Orwellian Tax Scheme in England Would Require All Paychecks Go Directly to the Tax Authority por Daniel J. Mitchell:
.... now the statists over in London have decided to go one step farther and have proposed to require employers to send all paychecks directly to the government. The politicians and bureaucrats that comprise the ruling class then would decide how much to pass along to the people actually earning the money. Here’s a CNBC report on the issue.

This is withholding on steroids. Politicians love pay-as-you-earn .. largely because it disguises the burden of government. Many workers never realize how much of their paychecks are confiscated by politicians .. some people might even begin to think that their pay is the result of political kindness. After all, zoo animals often feel gratitude to the keepers that feed (and enslave) them.
Tired of Filing Out Tax Forms? What If the IRS Did Your Taxes For You? por Peter Suderman:
If anything, I would worry that a proposal like this could lead to increased tax-code complexity, as forms would increasingly be designed around the needs and wants of the bureaucrats who actually filled them out. Pre-filled out tax forms might save some taxpayers time, but they would also encourage taxpayers to pay less attention to what’s being done with their money.

Ununionized Union Workers

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Working Stiffed
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

quarta-feira, setembro 22, 2010

é preciso um desastre natural para eliminar um desastre humano (4)

No seguimento de é preciso um desastre natural para eliminar um desastre humano (3) e via O Insurgente,

New Orleans: Lessons from the flood (Telegraph):
Visiting the city last month, the scars of the disaster remain visible, with derelict streets and houses still displaying “Katrina tattoos” (the markings made by search-and-rescue teams). But although only 16 of the city’s 128 schools survived the catastrophe intact, and about one-third of school buildings were totally destroyed, schools have improved significantly since Katrina.

The reason is simple. In the wake of the disaster, state politicians unleashed a bottom-up revolution in the city’s schools beyond even our .... wildest dreams. The breaking of the levees breached a mindset that excused failure. A bureaucratic system run by local officials was torn up and handed over to a hotchpotch of philanthropists, entrepreneurs, ambitious teachers and even local universities. Parents were given freedom over where to send their children, unions were sidelined, and now standards are rising to such an extent there are lectures on the experiment at .... Harvard Business School.

Battered Voter Syndrome (2)

Não tão bom como o Battered Voter Syndrome,

CRNC | The "Break Up"

to which side shall the progressive masses incline? (2)

No seguimento de to which side shall the progressive masses incline?,

Must We Do Something, Anything, about Global Warming?, um excelente artigo por Robert Blumen:
The first problem is that this argument proves too much .... there is a virtually unlimited supply of hypotheses about things that might go wrong .... Craven's mode of argument could be used to prove that we should "do something" about any — or all — of them.
The argument can be used to prove whatever conclusion you want, depending on what you posit as the worst case. For example, try using the argument on the following worst case: we implement restrictive carbon-emission legislation and that causes even worse climate change. Or this: destroy the world's economy fighting a problem that doesn't exist (AGW), and then a very real — and much bigger — crisis emerges (and, as Mr. Craven points out, science cannot prove whether this will or will not happen), but we have no more wealth left to address it. Craven's contention proves that we should do nothing now so that we can address the real worst case that has not yet shown its face.
[t]he precautionary principle is a very useful one for consumer activists precisely because it prevents scientific debate. The burden of evidence and proof is taken away from those who make unjustified and often whimsical claims and placed on the scientific community which, because it proceeds logically and rationally, is often powerless to respond. This is what makes the principle so dangerous .... Its inherent irrationality renders it unsustainable.
AGW promoters have good reason for steering people away from the science. Once you start to tug on that ball of yarn, the entire politically motivated fraud starts to unravel.

o Estado-Criador

Obama Leaves "By their Creator" Out of Declaration of Independence at Hispanic Caucus Speech

A “Living” Declaration?:
Obama has taken artistic license with the Declaration. He conspicuously omits “endowed by their Creator" .... It is consistent with the progressive understanding of government as the true source of rights – a role which validates expanding welfare, universal health care, and, generally, a government that knows what is best for the people.

Short and Sweet

Na continuação de , Short and Sweet:
There is still some confusion over short selling. This confusion leads people to support bans and restrictions on short selling which make very little sense.
All this silliness can be dissolved by looking at another example of a short sale: a cash loan. If I borrow $10 for a week and use it to buy lunch I am short $10. I have borrowed the cash at a set rental rate, sold it immediately at the market price, and need to repurchase it before the loan is due. It is exactly the same process as short selling a stock, except now it is much less strange and scary.
The effect of short sales is unambiguously positive in terms of market efficiency. Markets work by agglomerating information from many buyers and sellers. Some people think a security is underpriced: they buy it and push the price up. Some people think it is overpriced: they sell (if they own it) or short sell (if they don’t).
From this perspective short sales are not very strange or scary. On the other hand if short sales are ‘selling securities you do not own with the intention to benefit from a fall in the price’ they sound quite strange and dodgy, possibly dangerous.
Short sellers are a convenient scapegoat for a crisis. Restrictions create the appearance of government action during a public panic. A witch is burnt; the villagers are appeased. Nothing changes. When the harvest fails again there will always be someone else to blame.

Hendry on Hedge Funds

Hendry on Hedge Funds
parte 1 | parte 2 | parte 3

Intellectual Monopoly is an Evil

Intellectual Monopoly is an Unnecessary Evil:
In their 2008 book Against Intellectual Monopoly, economists Michele Boldrin and David Levine dropped a bombshell .... they show how patents actually reduce, rather than encourage, innovation. Innovators like steam engine pioneer James Watt, devoted enormous amounts of time and energy to defending monopoly rights rather than to creating new value .... this delayed the onset of modern economic growth.
In his recent book The Gridlock Economy, legal scholar Michael Heller argued that intellectual monopoly reduces the pace of innovation. He notes that innovative rap music, like Public Enemy’s initial work, was an early casualty of intellectual monopoly. Demands that artists pay royalties for borrowed music sharply restricted rap musicians’ ability to innovate.
While some people might not care about innovative rap music, many care about access to life-saving new medical technologies. Heller explains how this industry is particularly susceptible to the “tragedy of the anti-commons” created by intellectual monopoly. If an invention requires multiple patented innovations to be implemented, then every individual holder of one of the necessary patents can block further innovation. This slows the pace of economic progress.

Eurofascismo incandescente

The Nanny State vs. Light Bulbs

The Nanny State vs. Light Bulbs, EuroVision 75(watt) Version:
Via Instapundit comes this UK report of Europeans "panic buying" incandescent light bulbs before the ban on 75-watters goes into effect (last year, 100 watt jobs were pulled from the market).

Keynesian theory should be removed from our texts

Keynesian theory should be removed from our texts por Steven Kates:
There was a time when Keynesian economics was fresh and new, so there might then have been some reason to find its arguments attractive. Now, with the consistent and continuous series of failures it has left in its wake, there is no reason anyone should pay the slightest attention to any of it other than as an historical relic. Keynesian theory should be removed from our texts.

And what should replace it? This, too, the book deals with. It focuses on the classical theory of the business cycle. It explains how in a world in which the future is unknown, decisions made in the present often turn out to be wrong. Recessions are explained by system-wide problems that lead businesses into wholesale investments in areas where no positive returns ultimately take place.

Look at the housing industry in the United States if you would like an example of how classical recessions start. Try to use Keynesian economics to explain why the world’s economies crashed in 2008. Too much saving? Not enough demand? No explanations could be more absurd, yet that is what modern mainstream theory has to offer.

The Tragedy of the Anticommons

The Tragedy of the Anticommons

BÓNUS: Tragedia de los comunes y anticomunes en las ciudades

A crise das contas públicas

Agora que o FMI já deve andar a conhecer Lisboa no eléctrico 28, julgo ser pertinente o que escrevi para a Magazon em A crise das contas públicas:
Sejamos claros. A crise que agora se vive é uma crise de contas públicas. Os sucessivos governos gastaram mais do que conseguiam esbulhar aos contribuintes. Endividaram-se para sustentar o despesismo público. E agora os Estados não têm dinheiro para pagar os juros que se acumulam no “cartão de crédito”.
Quando a confiança dos mercados na capacidade de pagamento dos Estados está tão abalada como está – e atenção, para honrarem as suas dívidas os Estados podem lançar impostos, imprimir moeda a partir do nada, confiscar riqueza das pessoas – uma panóplia de imoralidades que são o sonho que qualquer inimputável – é seguramente sinal de fim de regime.

terça-feira, setembro 21, 2010

big spenders

Via Bankrupting America

BUSH or OBAMA: Can 8-28 DC rally-goers match spending facts with the right president?

senhor engenheiro dê-me um pouco de atenção (2)

Urgent Letter To The President no The Daily Capitalist, hat tip ao PL:
Here are some guiding principles for “what works”:
  • Economies can repair themselves without a lot of government help. History has proven this time and again.
  • Government interference in the repair process can hinder recovery or even make things worse.
  • Government spending is very inefficient.
  • Individuals can make better choices about what to do with their money than the government.
  • Economic growth only comes from private enterprise. The corollary of this is that government can only spend money, not make money.
  • Since government produces nothing, then real growth and real jobs can only come from private enterprise.
  • If government spending is inefficient and if economic growth comes only from the private sector, then taking vast amounts of money out of private hands and putting it into government hands will hinder growth.
  • Government spending to revive an economy has failed wherever and whenever it has been tried.
  • More legislation increases uncertainty for businesses, making them reluctant to expand (called “regime uncertainty” in economic terms).

o sistema pode ser consertado!

If You Think Your State is Broke Now, Just Wait Til The Pension Bomb Explodes!

Peter Boettke

Leitura recomendada: Spreading Hayek, Spurning Keynes no WSJ:
Peter J. Boettke, .... the 50-year-old professor of economics at George Mason University in Virginia is emerging as the intellectual standard-bearer for the Austrian school of economics that opposes government intervention in markets and decries federal spending to prop up demand during times of crisis.

Mr. Boettke, whose latest research explores people's ability to self-regulate, also is minting a new generation of disciples who are spreading the Austrian approach throughout academia, where it had long been left for dead.

senhor engenheiro dê-me um pouco de atenção

Via The Foundry:

Intel CEO Paul Otellini and taxes and growth
Take factories. ‘I can tell you definitively that it costs costs1 billion more per factory for me to build, equip, and operate a semiconductor manufacturing facility in the United States,’ Otellini said. The rub: Ninety percent of that additional cost of a $4 billion factory is not labor but the cost to comply with taxes and regulations that other nations don’t impose.

os amiguinhos do mercado livre

Na continuação de Peter Schiff: Obama Is Bought and Paid for by Wall Street , The Friends of the “Free Market” Are Its Worst Enemies no C4SS:
The people who talk most about “free enterprise” and “free markets” in American political discourse, far from actually favoring those things, have appropriated the label “free enterprise” for their system of corporate welfare, corporate protectionism, and crony capitalism.

Quite frankly, I’m thoroughly sick of seeing right-wing Republicans referred to as “free market fundamentalists” by people like Thomas Frank. I’m sick of seeing “free market” treated, on the Left, as synonymous with a modernized version of Robber Baron capitalism. But it’s hard to blame them for this, considering that about the only people you see praising “the free market” in the mainstream media are, well, Robber Barons.

It’s a shame they’ve managed to get away with it. I have a more respect for those who, no matter how morally odious, at least are honest enough to admit where the interests of the corporate piggies at the trough really lie when it comes to free markets.

Educação: Realidade vs. Ficção

In The Know: Are Tests Biased Against Students Who Don't Give A Shit?

Walter Block, interview

Daily Anarchist Interviews Walter Block:
Seth: Dr. Block, you identify yourself not only as a libertarian and Austrian Economist, but more specifically as an Anarcho-Capitalist. Would you mind explaining to me exactly what Anarcho-Capitalism means to you?

Walter: The first part of this phrase, Anarcho-Capitalism, means that there shall be no government. Private firms will undertake all supposed government functions, such as protection from foreign and domestic enemies, adjudication, supplying supposed public goods such as light houses (in a by gone era), flood control, education, welfare, health, money, etc. The second part means that the law will support private property rights, money, etc., in contradistinction to left wing or socialist anarchism.
A não perder a lista de livros.

The Privatization Of Roads And Highways

The Privatization of Roads and Highways [Walter Block]

quero emigrar

Madeira: Proprietário do Ilheu da Pontinha quer independência
(Diário Digital):
O proprietário do ilhéu da Pontinha, o rochedo no porto do Funchal que foi vendido pelo rei de Portugal em 1903, solicitou hoje ao Estado Português o reconhecimento daquele território como «Estado soberano e independente».
Nota: o título é tirado deste blogue

segunda-feira, setembro 20, 2010

11 de Setembro

Mais vale tarde, e regressado de férias, do que nunca:

Everyone Prospers With Free Trade (3)

No seguimento de Everyone Prospers With Free Trade (2), e via O Insurgente,

A free economy, virtue and externalitie por Philip Booth:
A market economy forces participants to be trustworthy (in most circumstances), do things on time, take account of the value of other people’s time, smile and be pleasant to customers and so on. Sometimes, of course, this does not work out as it should. There are opportunities for sharp practice and imposing costs on others. These problems can be managed in a market economy – especially by extending property rights and by developing an appropriate legal system.

Indeed, it is often the government that discourages the practice of virtues by bailing out banks, encouraging box-ticking approaches to regulation etc. The opportunities for imposing costs on others and not caring about the needs of others are much greater when the government is in control.

o poder dos estímulos

Via The People's Cube

Falta de vergonha na cara

Reprodução integral do post Falta de vergonha na cara do nosso Adolfo Mesquita Nunes no O Insurgente:
A propósito de uma eventual proposta de criação de um imposto europeu, acabo de ouvir Durão Barroso dizer, textualmente, o seguinte: ” Agora vamos ser completamente honestos: se estamos numa situação em que os Estados-Membros têm uma grande pressão sobre os seus orçamentos, se eles não podem manter ou aumentar a contribuição para a União Europeia, e se a União Europeia precisa de fundos para levar a cabo os seus objectivos, de algum lado têm de vir esses recursos”.

É muito comum, mesmo entre os contribuintes, esta ideia de que os Estados-Membros têm dinheiro. Mas não têm. O dinheiro que têm provém, directa ou indirectamente, dos contribuintes. Portanto, com toda a lata deste Mundo, aquilo que Durão acaba de sugerir é nada mais nada menos do que a total asfixia fiscal dos europeus: já esmagados pela necessidade de alimentar as vorazes máquinas do Estado Social em que vivem, são agora obrigados a alimentar a voraz máquina de uma constelação institucional que nunca referenderam ou validaram e que, em tempos de crise, prefere atingir os cidadãos a reformar-se.

Peter Schiff: Obama Is Bought and Paid for by Wall Street

Peter Schiff - MSNBC Sept. 16 2010

sobre o papel dos bancos na crise

Supostamente os bancos foram "irresponsáveis" ao cederem crédito barato antes da crise financeira.

Claro, se não tivessem "facilitado", já há muito que teriam sido ainda mais vilipendiados, regulados, e processados. É que os bancos estariam a vender dinheiro às pessoas quando tinham comprado dinheiro barato aos Bancos Centrais.

Foram os Bancos Centrais que produziram todo o crédito barato, mas na retrete-pensadora de muita gente, não são responsáveis pelo crédito barato. O anticapitalismo está de facto cheio de gente burra.

quarta-feira, setembro 08, 2010

Why Paul Krugman Is An Imbecile—or a Fraud

Why Paul Krugman Is An Imbecile—or a Fraud:
The prosperity the United States experienced in the two decades after World War II had nothing to do with deficit spending, and everything to do with the fact that it was the only industrialized nation still standing after a total world war—so the rest of the world was forced to buy from the U.S. because there was no one else left to buy from.

Deficits had nothing to do with it .... Krugman is too smart not to know this—I cannot really believe that he would be ignorant of this basic post-War history.

Therefore, it’s obvious to me that Paul Krugman will say literally anything in order to support his prescription of increased Federal government spending. Not even facts and brute history matter to the man. In a very real sense, Krugman is now Glenn Beck, only with a doctorate in economics, and a hysterical fear and hatred of austerity, rather than terrorists.

We Who Dared to Say No to War

We Who Dared to Say No to War
Do resumo aqui:
.... just because a politician declares something a “War” suddenly it’s acceptable for innocent people to die. If I have a legitimate beef with somebody who killed my brother, I can’t just go around his neighbourhood bombing and shooting everybody in the area, and yet when somebody calls it a “War” a whole bunch of new rules suddenly apply.

terça-feira, setembro 07, 2010

A Guerra às Drogas é racista

Instead of Marching, Let's End the War on Drugs:
Changing the policy that has broken up families and put thousands of men in prison would have a far more positive impact on the black community than any number of symbolic marches.
... the primary reason for this massive number of black men in jail is the War on Drugs.

The War on Drugs destroys black families. It has become a norm for black children to grow up with their fathers in prison and barely knowing them ....

The War on Drugs discourages young black men from seeking legal employment. Because the drugs' illegality keeps their price high, there are high salaries to be made in selling them ....
The War on Drugs brings firearms into black lives .... A striking difference between surveys of black ghettos before the War on Drugs and today is how common guns have become.

segunda-feira, setembro 06, 2010

Filling Up Prisons Without Fighting Crime

Filling Up Prisons Without Fighting Crime: Mark Kleiman on America's Criminal Justice System

African Success Story: Botswana

African Success Story: Botswana:
"Botswana has had the highest rate of per capita growth of any country in the world in the last 35 years. This occurred despite adverse initial conditions, including minimal investment during the colonial period and high inequality. Botswana achieved this rapid development by following orthodox economic policies. How Botswana sustained these policies is a puzzle because typically in Africa, ‘good economics’ has proved not to be politically feasible. In this Paper we suggest that good policies were chosen in Botswana because good institutions, which we refer to as institutions of private property, were in place...

Why did institutions of private property arise in Botswana, but not other African nations? We conjecture that the following factors were important. First, Botswana possessed relatively inclusive pre-colonial institutions, placing constraints on political elites. Second, the effect of British colonialism on Botswana was minimal, and did not destroy these institutions. Third, following independence, maintaining and strengthening institutions of private property were in the economic interests of the elite. Fourth, Botswana is very rich in diamonds, which created enough rents that no group wanted to challenge the status quo at the expense of ‘rocking the boat’. Finally, we emphasize that this situation was reinforced by a number of critical decisions made by the post-independence leaders, particularly Presidents Khama and Masire."

Why I hate cops

Quem costuma ser assaltado por polícias acaba por ganhar-lhes algum ...

Why I hate cops

follow the green money

Mafia cash in on lucrative EU wind farm handouts - especially in Sicily (Telegraph):
.... all over Europe of so-called "clean energy" schemes being used to to line criminals' pockets rather than save the planet. Some involve windmills that stand derelict or are simply never built, while others are used to launder profits from other crime enterprises.
In Italy, for example, power from wind farms is sold at a guaranteed rate of €180 per kwh – the highest rate in the world. In a country where the Mafia has years of expertise at buying corrupt politicians and intimidating rivals, the result is perhaps inevitable .... officials and developers are fighting criminal charges that include ´abuse of office, bribery and misappropriation of land in an attempt to secure EU subsidies.
One case in Spain, meanwhile, involved a solar energy plant which claimed, miraculously, to be generating electricity at night. Investigators found that that the power was in fact being produced by diesel generators - the "green" subsidies paid for the plant were so generous that the owners still made a handsome profit.
As well as the prospect of fraudulent grant money, wind farms are also attractive to criminals seeking to invest money from illegal activities such as drug dealing, prostitution and illegal waste dumping. Some Mafia clans have illicitly secured licenses to build a wind farm and then sold them on to legitimate firms who have invested in good faith.

Right to Free Ice Cream?

Na continuação de Is Capitalism Evil?,

Right to Free Ice Cream?

sábado, setembro 04, 2010

Vouchers Are Not Libertarian

Vouchers Are Not Libertarian por Jacb H. Huebert:
[Vouchers] still rely on tax dollars taken by force, still allow children to be forced to attend school, and possibly increase the amount of government compulsion with respect to school curricula by imposing new requirements on heretofore private schools.
[Vouchers] are a welfare program. That is, vouchers often transfer money from taxpayers to people who do not pay taxes because the programs are targeted toward people with low incomes.
Current voucher programs have strings attached, just as libertarian voucher critics would predict .... In this way, the vouchers will prompt schools to stray from their original missions and control what those schools teach.
Schools that accept vouchers must also accept restrictions on whom they may admit (or deny admission to) as a student .... The result of this will be a drop in the quality of private-school students .... students who receive something for nothing are unlikely to appreciate what they receive and may degrade the experience for everyone else, just as they do now in government schools.
[Independent schools] would have to compete against both regular "free" government schools and "free" private schools that accept vouchers .... willing to accept government control.

A program that would do this cannot be called libertarian.