quarta-feira, Março 31, 2010

Disastrous Economic Fallacies - Terror as Stimulus?


Disastrous Economic Fallacies - Terror as Stimulus?

A propósito de Golden Grahams (2)

Ora, disse eu no post anterior que a situação no porto melhorou substancialmente. Os efeitos tardam a aparecer porque o mercado demora a adaptar-se, mas estou confiante que dentro de alguns meses já poderei gozar os meus cereais em vez de uma qualquer porcaria de recurso. Não querendo eu mal nenhum aos produtores de bran flakes sul-africanos, a situação presta-se a outra reflexão sobre as dinâmicas de sistemas de gestão burocráticos.

Quando o porto começa a funcionar melhor, só é de esperar que a procura de bens e serviços aumente, aumentando a procura pelos serviços do porto. Esta dinâmica é bem entendida pelos líderes da iniciativa privada. Quando mais rápido o produto chegar ao cliente, menos stockagem é necessária. Não só diminuem os custos de operação, como é melhor servido o cliente, como a procura pelo produto aumentará.

Acontece que a diminuição de inventário imobilizado - que é desperdício - não é muito bem vista pelos chefes de armazém, ou pelos chefes de parques de contentores. A sua notoriedade e importância é medida pela quantidade, complexidade e custo dos recursos que utilizam. Não são simples despachantes, são pessoas incontornáveis para o funcionamento da organização. Costumam ser os principais agentes de resistência à mudança.

A iniciativa privada tem resolvido este problema com vários instrumentos incluindo mudanças na estrutura de incentivos, mudança nos planos de carreira, mudanças na própria cultura da empresa. O sector público, caracterizado por ossificação organizacional a todos os níveis, é o que se sabe. Tudo o que possa ser classificado como inventário cuja redução impacte positivamente na eficiência do serviço — bens públicos geridos, instalações, trabalhadores, papelada processual, ... — é tudo zelosamente mantido e multiplicado.

Broken Window Falacy, cartoon


Pearls Before Swine

A propósito de Golden Grahams

Hoje não havia os cereais que queria no supermercado, pela terceira vez consecutiva que lá vou. Contudo, havia uma meia-dúzia de outros cereais e outras papas, e em grande quantidade. Tal como acontece por vezes com os "meus" cereais. Este fenómeno acontece muito, e não só com os cereais. Por exemplo, ora há muitos vegetais, ou não há. Ou leite, ou ovos. Tanto não há, como há muito.

Este fenómeno não é de difícil explicação. Sempre que as pessoas descobrem no supermercado um artigo que esgote frequentemente, açambarcam logo unidades em excesso do que seria a sua necessidade normal. E logo o produto se esgota. O supermercado poderia entender que a procura é massiva, e pede grandes quantidades. Mas isso acontece com qualquer produto. O supermercado não tem informação correcta sobre o que os consumidores querem. Para o supermercado, os consumidores são completamente erráticos.

Isto não é bom para o supermercado, que procurará sempre aumentar a sua margem, optimizando o espaço de prateleira. Racionalmente, deveria diminuir as quantidades pedidas aos fornecedores para adquirir mais informação. Contudo, o mercado não está preparado para tal. "Falha de mercado"? Nem pouco mais ou menos.

É que até há pouco tempo, as coisas demoravam a sair do porto. E como os supermercados não queriam ficar com prateleiras vazias, encomendavam muito, mesmo em excesso. Como as encomendas sempre foram grandes, nunca houve distribuidores especializados em agregar encomendas pequenas, e a partir encomendas de contentores em parcelas mais facilmente escoáveis nos supermercados. A situação no porto favorecia políticas de reabastecimento pouco interessantes ao consumidor final.

Napolitano: Obamacare Is Unconstitutional

Via NewsMax:
He believes America is in danger of becoming “a fascist country,” which he defines as “private ownership, but government control.” He adds, “The government doesn’t have the money to own anything. But it has the force and the threat of violence to control just about anything it wants.

Judge Andrew Napolitano: Obamacare Is Unconstitutional

Rothbard sobre healthcare

Via Rothbard, Friedman on Health Care por Peter Klein do Organizations and Markets:
[T]here is one simple entity, in any sort of free society, that provides “universal access” to every conceivable good or service, and not just to health or education or food. That entity is not a voucher or a Clintonian ID card; it’s called a “dollar.”

Dollars not only provide universal access to all goods and services, they provide it to each dollar-holder for each product only to the extent that the dollar-holder desires.
Murray Rothbard

terça-feira, Março 30, 2010

Carneirada socialista

"A Tosquia", de Konk, via O Insurgente:

wake up little Susies

Dizem-nos os estatistas que sem o Estado-gestor público as coisas seriam bem piores.

Dito de outra forma, que o mercado só pioraria a condição das pessoas. O mesmo mercado que produz uma imensidão de produtos cada vez melhores e mais baratos, serviços cada vez mais acessíveis a cada vez mais gente, um intercâmbio de culturas sem precedentes na história humana.

Isto quando, convenhamos, é preciso muita cegueira estatista para dizer que o desempenho do Estado nas "funções do Estado-Social" melhorou nas últimas décadas. Hoje as pessoas não estão mais saudáveis, não estão mais instruídas, não estão mais protegidas do desemprego ou da velhice. Em alguns casos, é exactamente o contrário. O Estado consome cada vez mais recursos, gera cada vez mais conflitualidade social, e produz resultados cada vez mais medíocres.

Foram feitas experiências com o Estado a gerir os bens e serviços que hoje gozamos porque são produzidos pelo mercado. Miséria e brutalidade generalizada. E contudo persiste a ideia que a livre iniciativa não seria capaz de arrancar o Estado social-democrata e as suas "funções" do século XIX onde ainda hoje se encontra.

Há alguma coisa que não bate certo?

A nation of paedophiles


Paedofinder General

The role of self-interest in Economic Theory

Via página do Facebook Nobel Prize for Israel Kirzner, e um pouco na continuação de Christians and Capitalism,

- The role of self-interest in Economic Theory por Israel Kirzner

Adicionalmente:

- Gary North: Making a Difference in the World (MP3)

segunda-feira, Março 29, 2010

The Failure of Anti-Money Laundering Laws

PJ cria equipa para atacar lavagem de dinheiro (Jornal de Notícias):


The Failure of Anti-Money Laundering Laws

The Libertarian Alarm Clock

Via Division of Labour, "The Libertarian Alarm Clock", sobre a hipocrisia/estupidez do neosocialismo militante:
This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock built by the ingenuity of millions of individuals all working for their own gain, but whose efforts were coordinated by the prices for labor and materials and finished goods provided by the free market ....

At the time which millions of people coordinate their activities to take advantage of each other’s knowledge and skills, I leave for work. I get into my Japanese-designed, Mexican-supplied, Michigan-assembled automobile and set out to work ....

After work, .... I then log on to the internet to watch and listen to artists who don't appeal to a broad enough audience to make it onto one of the few channels that a government monopoly allows to be broadcast.

I then log onto the democraticunderground.com to post about how DEREGULATING the medical industry is BAD because low-cost, quality health care can never be provided by greedy, self-interested people.

população e liberdade

The "Voting with Your Feet" Growth Standard e That's What I'm Talking About no Economic Way of Thinking:
.... here's what I found for personal freedom and the rate of population change over an eight-year period (2000-2008) .... at first glance it sure looks like people in free states are attracting more people, having more kids, and sticking around in their states longer.
Conclusões:

- o Estado não promove a estabilização demográfica — destrói-a, porque é um parasita da população.
- quem está preocupado com o tema só tem de defender mais liberdade individual.


John Stossel - Stealing from children


John Stossel - Stealing from our Children
parte 1 | parte 2 | parte 3 | parte 4 | parte 5

o Estado-gestor público

Aqui pelo A Arte da Fuga temos explorado porque é que o Estado é uma aberração sobretudo nos planos da moralidade, do interesse da sociedade, da racionalidade económica. Temos dedicado pouca atenção às técnicas de gestão inerentes ao Estado.

Mesmo que o Estado-gestor fosse moralmente justificável, mesmo que não destruísse os mecanismos de coordenação económica dos mercados, continuaria a ser uma máquina de destruição de valor.

Para já, não é possível ao Estado não funcionar em regime burocrático (o controlo político top-down assim o obriga). Uma boa introdução a este tema é Bureaucracy de Ludwig Von Mises. Por outro lado, os sistemas burocráticos são viveiros de worst practices e de deseconomias de escala. A esse tema iremos.

Treat me like a dog


Treat Me Like a Dog!: What human health care can learn from pet care

###
Um different take:

Hip-Hop Economics (3)

No seguimento de Hip-Hop Economics (1) e Hip-Hop Economics (2),

1. as excelentes anotações do Daily Kos [!] ao vídeo Fear the Boom and Bust:
That’s Fear the Boom and Bust by film maker John Papola and George Mason University economist Russ Roberts. They’ve distilled eight decades of economic debate into 5:26 of rap, been translated into a dozen languages (including Estonian "Karda buume ja surutisi") and have racked up almost a million YouTube hits.

But what does it mean? The rap is dense with economics and in-jokes. It almost requires an under-grad degree to get everything.

If you don’t know a liquidity trap from a malinvestment, if you think the Austrian School is where you learn to shred moguls, this Cliff Note’s version might help.
2. Podcast do Lew Rockwell show com John Papola.

In Defense of Slums

In Defense of Slums por Ben Sanders:

musseque em Angola
The reversal of opinion about fast-growing cities, previously considered bad news, began with The Challenge of Slums, a 2003 UN-Habitat report. The book’s optimism derived from its groundbreaking fieldwork: 37 case studies in slums worldwide. Instead of just compiling numbers and filtering them through theory, researchers hung out in the slums and talked to people. They came back with an unexpected observation: “Cities are so much more successful in promoting new forms of income generation, and it is so much cheaper to provide services in urban areas, that some experts have actually suggested that the only realistic poverty reduction strategy is to get as many people as possible to move to the city.”
In the big picture, it doesn't much matter what experts think of the growth of slums. As long 60 million people a year continue to make the decision to seek a better life in urban areas, squatter cities will continue to grow. If there were much hope for a decent life in the countryside of impoverished countries, people would happily live there. Instead, they realize that if they want to make a decent living, heading to the city is their best bet.

Hayek and Management

Listen to the bearers of bad news por Tim Harford no FT:
We are sometimes admonished: “Don’t shoot the messenger.” Since there is rarely a logical reason to shoot messengers, such advice should not be needed. But it is, because bad news hurts, and organisations find it difficult to deliver such news to the person in charge.
One of Friedrich Hayek’s obvious-once-pointed-out observations is that society is full of local knowledge, often of a subtle nature and only fleetingly exploitable. That is one reason why decentralised market processes tend to work well. When a hierarchy has to exist, Hayek’s insight is the reason why bosses should want to receive truthful assessments of what is going on the shop floor (they don’t) and subordinates should be happy to provide them (they aren’t).
What makes matters worse for any organisation is that the same dynamic is taking place at every level. Each middle manager is a fresh obstacle to the flow of truth up a hierarchy of wastebaskets. Sensible managers try to let information flow freely, but many are happy to reinforce the barricades for their own peace of mind.

Escola Austríaca - Mercado e Criatividade Empresarial

Jesus Huerta de Soto, Book review of The Austrian school: Market order and entrepreneurial creativity por Daniel D'Amico:
Jesus Herta de Soto .... explains his goal for the text as: "we shall explain the fundamental principles of the dynamic, Austrian perspective and the neoclassical paradigm". In short, de Soto tries to respond to the popular but pesky question, "what is so special about Austrian economics?"
I imagine that this book was a great challenge to put together because are so many different ways the material could be structurally organized and presented.
.... de Soto does an excellent job surveying the distintive features of Austrian economics.
Este é dos mais bem conseguidos resumos económicos, uma leitura obrigatória para qualquer liberal que se preze. Nas livrarias, e versão PDF no site da Causa Liberal.

Pretence of Knowledge - três textos

Friedrich Hayek, Lecture to the memory of Alfred Nobel:
.... economists are at this moment called upon to say how to extricate the free world from the serious threat of accelerating inflation which, it must be admitted, has been brought about by policies which the majority of economists recommended and even urged governments to pursue. We have indeed at the moment little cause for pride: as a profession we have made a mess of things.
The Pretense of Knowledge por Walter E. Williams:
Neither you nor the U.S. Congress has the complete knowledge to know exactly what's best for you. The difference is that when individuals make their own trade-offs, say between purchasing health insurance or investing in a business, they make wiser decisions because it is they who personally bear the costs and benefits of those decisions.

Is the Dismal Science Really a Science? por Russ Roberts:
We have the same problems in economics. The economy is a complex system, our data are imperfect and our models inevitably fail to account for all the interactions.

The bottom line is that we should expect less of economists. Economics is a powerful tool, a lens for organizing one's thinking about the complexity of the world around us. That should be enough. We should be honest about what we know, what we don't know and what we may never know. Admitting that publicly is the first step toward respectability.

domingo, Março 28, 2010

Campo de Férias

Mais pensamentos sobre a Earth Hour

Aqui em Angola todas as semanas temos "Earth Hour". Não é considerado "kido". De facto, só uma sociedade degenerada pode ver algo romântico em mergulhar um país na escuridão.

Não lembra ao diabo fazer uma hora sem cuidados de saúde. Ou sem água corrente. Ou sem telecomunicações. Ou sem qualquer tipo de transporte mecanizado. Ou — já agora — sem esgotos.

Lembrou aos tontos da WWF diabolizar a electricidade, e em particular a gerada com combustíveis fósseis. A energia que eleva a Humanidade acima da animalidade, que salva o Homem de uma vida curta, vivida no escuro, na imundície e em insegurança.

Fazer uma hora sem electricidade é de um paganismo retrógrado. É idealizar a ausência de civilização, ou seja, a barbárie. É literalmente uma barbaridade.

Pia Varma

Não tão eloquente como o judge Napolitano, mas outro produto da geração Ron Paul:


Pia Varma - The Best Tea Party Speech

Pia Varma of Laissez Faire Lounge:
Being cool is being anti-establishment, right? Conservatives are against every establishment there is: media, education, government, big business. Plus, there is nothing cooler than capitalism!

not socialized medicine?

Via Cato Institute, Fidel Castro Endorses ObamaCareDubious endorsement? Cuban leader endorses US health care reform, says it's about time:
Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Thursday declared passage of American health care reform “a miracle” and a major victory for Obama’s presidency, but couldn’t help chide the United States for taking so long to enact what communist Cuba achieved decades ago.
A friendly definition of communism:
Cuba provides free health care and education to all its citizens, and heavily subsidizes food, housing, utilities and transportation, policies that have earned it global praise [global???]. The government has warned that some of those benefits are no longer sustainable given Cuba’s ever-struggling economy [quite an understatement], though it has so far not made major changes [that's "progress"].
BTW, Cuba has 1/10 per capita GDP of the US - if you believe their stats. And it's a dictatorship — you cannot enforce "free" healthcare, education, social security, food, housing, utilities, press, central planning, and political unity without repressing a lot of people.

o verdadeiro hockey-stick (2)

No seguimento de o verdadeiro hockey-stick,



Global Warming Consensus Reaches 130% with -50% Against no The People's Cube:
It's official: the consensus for Man-made Climate Change is now over-unanimous. The results from a recent poll conducted by the Mann-Hansen Group strongly support Man-made Climate Change theories by 130% for to -50% against. This unprecedented result was obtained by counting a 'no' vote as a negative response which is added by subtracting.

Explained a Mann-Hansen expert, "Yes, the numbers don't exactly add up to 100.... In any case, .... we've produced some overwhelming numbers to back us up."

sábado, Março 27, 2010

Hora da Terra - emulando o regresso à Idade das Trevas, um fuso horário de cada vez

Earth Hour in North Korea a stunning success (What's Up With That?):

The WWF sponsored Earth Hour has already come and gone in the Korean time zone, and the North Korean proletariat has claimed a stunning victory over its evil capitalist neighbor, South Korea.

Moral Hazard, por Russ Roberts

Less now, more later no Cafe Hayek:
Imagine your son getting arrested for shoplifting. The policeman asks for a bribe so your kid can avoid a criminal record. Easy choice, right? You don’t want your kid to have a criminal record, do you?

Then your kid is caught breaking and entering. The policeman asks for a really big bribe so your kid can avoid jail. You don’t want your kid to go to jail, do you? A really big bribe is the lesser of two evils, right?

So when your kid is arrested for operating a Ponzi scheme on Wall Street and gets fifty years in prison, it’s too late.
Eu acrescentaria que num regime democrático o miúdo é o mesmo, os pais adoptivos sabem que não vão ser por muito tempo.

Earth Hour?


Celebrate Human Achievement Hour

Obama quotation of the century

Via The Bulletin:
The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency.

It will be easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to an electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails us. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.

The republic can survive a Barack Obama. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.

o descrédito das instituições

Hoje é um dia bom para o liberalismo. Pedro Passos Coelho foi eleito líder do PSD. Atenção, Pedro Passos Coelho não tem uma gota de liberalismo dentro dele. É um Sócrates cor-de-laranja. Mas o descrédito das instituições políticas é bom para as liberdades individuais. O PSD serviu bem o país. Estava à beira do abismo, e deu um passo em frente.

Profits - Lucros


Profits - Sean Malone

ONGs no Haiti

How can lawyers help Haiti?:
Haiti .... had a staggering 10,000 NGOs before the earthquake. For an island with a population of fewer than 10 million, there is at least one NGO per 1,000 people.
Exagera-se o papel da sociedade livre na assistência e reconstrução de zonas de catástrofe humanitária.

Não que muitas dessas ONGs não sejam meras sarjetas para o dinheiro dos contribuintes. Não que seja melhor alternativa a condução dos processos directamente por políticos e burocratas do Estado.

As ordens espontâneas podem funcionar para o Mal. A esmagadora maioria das ONGs tem a sua razão de ser em preconceitos anticapitalistas. A esmagadora maioria das ONGs defende agendas progressistas anti-capitalistas. A esmagadora maioria das ONGs funciona como um travão ao desenvolvimento económico, político e humano dos países onde actuam.

Separados à nascença

Barack ObamaCondoman

sexta-feira, Março 26, 2010

de boas intenções está o socialismo "moderado" cheio (2)

No seguimento de de boas intenções está o socialismo "moderado" cheio, via ThinkMarkets, Hayek’s Knowledge Problem, as Applied to New Paternalism:
If well-meaning policymakers possess all the relevant information about individuals’ true preferences, their cognitive biases, and the choice contexts in which they manifest themselves, then policymakers could potentially implement paternalist policies that improve the welfare of individuals by their own standards.

But lacking such information, we cannot conclude that actual paternalism will make their decisions better; under a wide range of circumstances, it will even make them worse.
.... when government planners go about crafting policy, they will lack the necessary knowledge of targeted people’s preferences.

As a result, they will tend to rely instead on their own preferences, or those of other interested parties, instead. That is the beginning of a slippery slope toward implementing their own preferences in other ways as well.

quinta-feira, Março 25, 2010

Retirement Armageddon: The Video Seminar


Retirement Armageddon: The Video Seminar por Gary North

Decadaperdidevelopmentalism

Developmentalism: old wine in new bottles por Kristian Niemietz. Já assisti a uma palestra de Ha-Joon Chang, e não achei uma experiência especialmente divertida, mas vale a pena ler:
Who would have thought that protectionism could be entertaining? Professor Ha-Joon Chang’s lecture at the LSE .... proved that it can be.
In the main, Prof. Chang’s speech was a plea for a new “Developmentalism”, an economic policy strategy in which the state takes on the role of a development catalyst.
State-led development is old hat. It has been tried in a lot of places, creating highly politicised economies with stagnant productivity.

Prof. Chang referred briefly to the Latin American experience and pointed out that when this model was at its height, the region experienced high growth rates. What he omits is that these rates were built on sand. They were based on an increase in the utilisation of labour and physical capital, while total factor productivity stagnated. They also depended on ever-increasing foreign debt, which led to the debt crises and economic meltdowns of the 1980s – ‘la decada perdida’ in local jargon.

A pig stopped me for nuthin’!


10 Rules for Dealing with Police

PEC for dummies

PEC: Parvos, Estúpidos e Calhaus (O Pão e a Razão):
Imagine que precisa de pagar 15 mil euros de uma dívida qualquer … todos os anos, após o que recebe de ordenado e/ou outros rendimentos ….. Na verdade, as dívidas que acumulou nos ultimos vinte anos ascendem a um montante de 145 mil euros. Acha que resolve o problema se cortar 35 euros por mês (420 euros/ano) na mesada do puto? Imagine então qual seria o objectivo de uma familia responsável: reduzir as despesas para eliminar o saldo negativo de 15 mil euros e viver dentro dos seus rendimentos ou, ao invés, estabelecer como meta passar a perder apenas 4950 Euros em cada ano e ficar contente da vida?

Agora experimente acrescentar seis zeros à equação: de 15 mil euros, passemos para 15 mil milhões, o valor do déficit em 2009 (9.3% do PIB). De 145 mil euros, para 145 mil milhões (o valor da dívida pública acumulada - cerca de 87% do PIB e a aumentar). De 420 euros, para 420 milhões - o valor estimado da "poupança" prevista com as alterações ao IRS propostas no quadro do PEC. E de 4950 Euros, imagine a grande meta de 3% do PIB para o déficit: uns belos 4,950 milhões de euros/ano.

quarta-feira, Março 24, 2010

Magical thinking

Via Coordination Problem:

Believing this bill will somehow improve health care is the political equivalent of the South Park underpants gnomes.

Phase 1: pass bill.
Phase 2: ????
Phase 3: health care improves.

O Estado e a regulação

Can You Help Me Find My Market?:
Socialists believe in two things which are absolutely different and perhaps even contradictory: freedom and organization.
Élie Halévy
Given that people and incentives always exist, the primary outcomes which government regulation can produce are negative. Among them: rent seeking, artificially-high barriers to entry, and outright fraud. The existence of these tendencies cannot be eradicated by regulation. Instead, two of the three mentioned here – rent seeking and higher-than-expected barriers to entry – are direct results of regulation.
"The upshot is that efforts to extract people from markets (e.g., communism, socialism, fascism) encourage them to revert to the innate savagery of dealing fairly only with kin and fellow tribespeople."

If one set of people can use a monopoly of coercion, as a means to further their ends, they will inevitably do so – at the detriment to another set, or as is our current case, everyone else. Returning to Bailey, "Successful societies are those that adopt market norms and they tend over time to outcompete societies organized in more primitive top-down ways." Primitive is an excellent descriptor for the gun-wielding cesspool of self-interest that is the coercive state.

Facial Conducting


Leonard Bernstein conducting Haydn's Symphony n.88

Obamacare, the seen and the unseen, 2020

Health Care 2020 por Ronald Bailey:
The seen aspect of health care reform is that it has had some success in providing more Americans with access to vintage 2010 medical therapies. The unseen aspect is that more people are suffering from and dying of diseases that might well have been cured had the Obama version of health care reform never been enacted. As a result of health care reform, Americans forfeited 2020 medicine in favor of more equal access to 2010 treatments.

Obamacare, Socialism

Healthcare Intervention: The Bigger Picture por Doug French:
The prospect and reality of Obamacare have woken up many people to the need to stop the socialization of medical care in America. It will produce here what it has produced everywhere: stagnation, overutilization, rationing, and the sacrifice of individual well-being in the name of collective justice.

This is the result not only of every experiment in socialized medicine but of every experiment in socialism generally.

Serviço público

Professor da Universidade do Minho criou código de cores para daltónicos

Disaster Socialism

Um excelente post no Volokh Conspiracy: Crisis, the Health Care Bill, and the Growth of Government por Ilya Somin:
The passage of the health care demonstrates the ways in which economic crises create opportunities to expand the power of government, often in ways that have little connection to any effort to alleviate the crisis itself.

Back in the fall of 2008, I expressed my fear that the combination of an economic crisis, political ignorance by voters, and unified Democratic control of the federal government would lead to a vast expansion of government if Obama were elected. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel famously said that the Democrats shouldn’t let “a serious crisis go to waste” because a crisis represents “an opportunity to do things you could not do before.”
I. Once Again, a Crisis Facilitates the Growth of Government.
II. Crisis-Enabled Measures that Make the Crisis Worse.
III. Will the Health Care Bill Become Permanently Entrenched?
Ultimately, the political lesson of the health care bill is that the combination of crisis and single-party control of the White House and Congress leads to massive government growth even in a situation where the proposal in question faces public skepticism and unified opposition by the minority party. I don’t claim that this by itself proves that the bill is a bad policy. But it does teach an important lesson about the dynamics of government in times of crisis.

segunda-feira, Março 22, 2010

Ron Paul: No one has a right to medical care


Ron Paul on House Floor 9.23.2009
1. No one has a right to medical care. If one assumes such a right, it endorses the notion that some individuals have a right to someone else’s life and property. This totally contradicts the principles of liberty.

2. If medical care is provided by government, this can only be achieved by an authoritarian government unconcerned about the rights of the individual.
....
Transcrição: More Government Won't Help por Ron Paul

Consumindo capital

Relacionado com o post abaixo, Consuming Our Capital por Butler Shaffer:
A sure-fire sign of a business enterprise in decline is when it begins using its invested capital to pay operating expenses. Such signs of ill-health are not confined to the world of commerce and industry, but can exhibit themselves in the life of any system. We are witnessing the practice in the collapse of Western Civilization, as we scurry to meet short-term demands by sacrificing the foundations upon which our culture has long been grounded.
Civilizations are created and sustained by individuals; they are destroyed by collectives. In our case, the institutionalized collective has found the most expedient course of action to be found in consuming the capital upon which Western Civilization has long thrived. Like a spendthrift heir to an estate – whose upbringing has provided him with little sense of responsible behavior – far too many of us have been eager to scuttle the values that have kept us relatively free and prosperous. Being willing to play the political game of accepting short-term benefits in exchange for long-term costs – particularly if such are to be borne by others – we have helped to destroy the capital of our basic social system.

What an American will have to do to get a government-paid surgery


source: Günter Reimann, The Vampire Economy: Doing Business under Fascism (1939)

Deus e Socialismo

God, Socialism, and the Free Market - entrevista de Paul Kengor a Shawn Ritenour:
Forcibly taking money from someone to give to another in an attempt to “grow the economy” is a violation of Christian ethics. It also fails to achieve the explicit goal of its advocates.

Government spending must be financed by taxes, borrowing, inflation, or some combination of the three. Economics teaches us that all three ways hamper the market economy and result in capital consumption, which causes relative impoverishment, not prosperity.

As recent economic events teach us, trying to achieve permanent prosperity by ignoring the economic laws that God has created is a fool’s game. Violating the morality of private property has disastrous consequences.

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag Herr Bach


J.S. Bach: The art of fugue, Contrapunctus 1
Johann Sebastian Bach (Eisenach, 21 de Março de 1685 — Leipzig, 28 de Julho de 1750)

a diabolical mockery of the Church’s genuine Social Doctrine

Obamacare: A Social Justice Nightmare for the Whole World (Big Government):
The Doctrines on Social Justice are, perhaps, the most misunderstood and lied-about facets of the Catholic faith.

Just about everyone in public life, including even the majority of Catholics themselves, completely ignore the fundamentals of Social Justice teaching.

They summarily conclude that Social Justice is a synonym for socialist redistributive policies, which seek to equalize material outcomes for all.

Democrats vote to keep poor kids out of good schools


Barack Obama & the DC School Voucher Program

When State Capitalism Fails, We Have Each Other

When State Capitalism Fails, We Have Each Other por Darian Worden:
Statists say that people can’t be trusted to interact with each other without someone lording over them. They view the state as a solution for inevitable problems of human relations.
.... the statist system, in which most people are at best just another file for some bureaucrat trying to get through the day, another annoyance for some cop trying to do his job, another resource for some politician looking for glory – and at worst a target for thugs with government privilege or trash to be removed when in the way.
If government can’t save us, who will? We will save each other through mutual aid, solidarity, and other enterprising activity.

la union sovietica al descubierto


parte 1 | parte 2 | parte 3 | parte 4 | parte 5 | parte 6 |

Ecological Science as a Creation Story

Via The Independent Institute, Ecological Science as a Creation Story por Robert H. Nelson:
.... ecologists told and retold a creation story over the course of the twentieth century. Despite the large differences in language, this story was surprisingly similar to the older biblical version, which was also growing in popularity among traditional Christian creationists during much of the same period. Even the moment of the fall was surprisingly close: for a literal creationist, in the Garden of Eden about six thousand years ago, and for an environmental creationist, beginning with the rise of organized agriculture and then civilization about ten thousand years ago.

sábado, Março 20, 2010

Como responder aos censos


Christopher Walken, SNL - how to complete a census

Say ‘Yes’ to Capitalism

Say ‘Yes’ to Capitalism por Walter Block:
There are some new kids on the libertarian block. Their group is called Libertarians Against Capitalism .... They describe themselves as follows:
"We are a group of libertarians who understand that historically the word ‘capitalism’ has meant, not the free market, but crony capitalism – that is, collusion between business and State at the expense of consumers/workers. Thus we refuse to use the word ‘capitalism’ to describe what we favor: individual liberty in all respects and free, competitive markets. We believe that what we have today IS capitalism – and we oppose it."
I say, let us hang on to all the words we can, up to and certainly including "capitalism." ....
Yes, indeed, what we have nowadays "IS capitalism"; that is, crony capitalism, not laissez faire capitalism. In order to progress from the former to the latter, we need all the verbal tools we can lay our hands on. And, one of them is certainly "capitalism."
Yes, "capitalism" was originally used as a slur against those of us who favor private property rights, free trade and economic liberty. But, instead of abjuring this word, we should adopt borrow a leaf from homosexuals and blacks. "Faggot" and "queer" were initially used to deprecate the former. Instead of running from these words, they proudly adopted them as their own. A similar situation has taken place with regard to the "N" word, within the black community. There, it is often used not as an insult, but as a badge of honor. Should we libertarians be less "in your face" than these groups of people? No, say I. They have thumbed their noses at their detractors, and so should we.

Capitalism versus Freed Markets

Via Center for Stateless Society,

Economic Liberty Lecture Series: Sheldon Richman from The Future of Freedom Foundation on Vimeo.

Markets and Fairness

Science Shows That Markets Make People Fairer (Reason):
A fascinating new study, "Markets, Religion, Community Size, and the Evolution of Fairness and Punishment," that is a big step toward resolving this question is being published today in the journal Science[subscription required]. The researchers find strong evidence that market institutions cause people to treat each other, especially, strangers more fairly.
This is exactly the sort of argument that libertarian thinker and economics Nobelist Friedrich Hayek made, especially in his last book, The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism. Successful societies are those that adopt market norms and they tend over time to outcompete societies organized in more primitive top-down ways. The upshot is that efforts to extract people from markets (e.g., communism, socialism, fascism) encourage them to revert to the innate savagery of dealing fairly only with kin and fellow tribespeople.

Delirante

O episódio "Trocas-te" acabou por desviar as atenções do programa Novas Energias, mais uma incineradora de dinheiro do contribuinte, tanto ao gosto dos socialisas da praça. Ainda por cima o dito programa ostenta o piroso slogan "Re.New.Able", nome nem é original. A política económica do Governo passou de simples ignorância perdulária para a mais delirante bullshitice.


The Love Guru - Guru Pitka's Mini Sutras - Short Snappies

Matas limpas

É bonito o projecto Limpar Portugal. Por todo o país milhares de portugueses saiem de casa para recolher lixo que desfeia as nossas bonitas paisagens. E o que fazem esses portugueses nos outros dias do ano? Vivem a sua vida. Incluindo manterem a sua propriedade limpa. Enquanto o que é propriedade "pública" vai ficando emporcalhado.

As matas deste país não ficam sujas por causa da falta de civismo de alguns. Nem ficarão limpas graças ao civismo de outros. Ficam sujas porque não pertencem a ninguém. E continuarão a ficar sujas enquanto for perpetuada a ideia de que são nossas e que todos nós só temos de dar as mãos para cuidar do que é nosso.

Colectivizar a propriedade é a forma mais eficiente de a destruir. É o que acontece com as matas, com as áreas urbanas sujeitas à Lei das Rendas, com as empresas públicas, com o mercado do trabalho sujeito às mais absurdas leis laborais, com a Saúde, Educação, Segurança Social, com o Orçamento do Estado, com a sociedade cada vez mais politizada.

Um pouco por todo o lado há apelos para que demos as mãos para salvar experiências socialistas fracassadas. Quanto mais grandioso o projecto, mais consciência social se exige. Mas é com pequenos projectos como o das limpezas das matas que a endoutrinação é feita.

sexta-feira, Março 19, 2010

Separadas à Nascença

Nanci PelosiBlack Hole Sun

Subsídios para o avanço da zombiologia

Via meu camarada Insurgente Bruno Alves (post Zombies e civilização), cheguei ao texto Dawn of the Theories of International Politics and Zombies de Daniel Drezner.

É difícil escrever um texto que seja “tão mau que é mau” sobre um assunto tão silly como zombies, mas Drezner lá consegue. As obras-primas de Romero eram eficientes enquanto alegorias sociológicas porque estavam escudadas em suspension of disbelief. O humor negro da coisa consiste em não discutir os zombies, e apreciar os paralelismos como sendo uma grande revelação à Humanidade. Drezner lá consegue a proeza de querer discutir medidas anti-terrorismo com estudos palermas sobre zombies. Patético.

Um estudo sério é “How many zombies do you know?" Using indirect survey methods to measure alien attacks and outbreaks of the undead (PDF) por Andrew Gelman e George A. Romero (mais ou menos):
Zombification is a serious public-health and public-safety concern (Romero, 1968, 1978) but is difficult to study using traditional survey methods. Zombies are believe to have very low rates of telephone usage and in any case may be reluctant to identify themselves as such to a researcher. Face-to-face surveying involves too much risk to the interviewers, and internet surveys, although they originally were believed to have much promise, have recently had to be abandoned in this area because of the potential for zombie infection via computer virus.
We originally wrote this article in Word, but then we converted it to Latex to make it look more like science.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Prequel

Na continuação disto,


Dawn Of The Dreadfuls

Why Paul Krugman Should Lose His Nobel Prize

Why Paul Krugman Should Lose His Nobel Prize por Peter Schiff:
Krugman does not believe that a tanking dollar will translate into higher interest rates or higher consumer prices at home. No matter how many dollars the Fed creates, or how much value those dollars lose relative to other currencies, he is confident that as long as unemployment remains high, rates will stay low and inflation will remain under control. This is absurd.
Most economists, Krugman included, see cheap money as a panacea for all ills. And while it's true that a falling dollar, by lowering the real value of U.S. wages, would help make U.S. goods more competitive, it would also lead to skyrocketing consumer prices, rapidly rising interest rates, and a collapse in American living standards. Make no mistake: this is the end game of Krugman's "get tough on China" policy.

BÓNUS: Schiff On Paul Krugman Nobel Prize

quinta-feira, Março 18, 2010

Weekly GOP Address on Health Care


3/13/10 - Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) Delivers Weekly GOP Address on Health Care

Competition, Stigler

Do site Facebook da Competitive Enterprise Institute: The Wisdom of George Stigler:
George Stigler won a Nobel Prize for his work on the economics of regulation. He wrote extensively about regulatory capture, and in fact coined the term. He was one of only a few sane souls who stubbornly insisted that regulations be judged by their actual results, not theirintended results. Good intentions, however noble, are not enough. Here’s an example of Stigler at his finest:
Regulation and competition are rhetorical friends and deadly enemies: over the doorway of every regulatory agency save two should be carved: “Competition Not Admitted.” The Federal Trade Commission’s doorway should announce , “Competition Admitted in Rear,” and that of the Antitrust Division, “Monopoly Only by Appointment.”
-George Stigler, “Can Regulatory Agencies Protect the Consumer?”, from The Citizen and the State: Essays on Regulation (1975), p. 183.

Climategate - os pilares começam a ruir

A reacção ao Climategate passou de questões metodológicas para os fundamentos da teoria do aquecimento global antropogénico. Aliás, a primeira reacção dos que foram apanhados a cozinhar os livros, como de responsáveis como Pachauri ou Ban Ki-Moon, foi dizer apressadamente que alguns erros não punham em causa os princípios e conclusões do Aquecimento Global. Contudo, move-se.

Por altura dos séculos X-XI, o planeta era mais quente do que é hoje em dia. E nada de catastrófico aconteceu. Esta verdade inconveniente foi progressivamente apagada dos relatórios do IPCC para provar que "estamos" a caminhar para o abismo - When the IPCC ‘disappeared’ the Medieval Warm Period.



The Logarithmic Effect of Carbon Dioxide - esta explicação é um pouco mais complicada, mas resume-se facilmente. Segundo os modelos do IPCC, cada molécula de CO2 "piora" o efeito de estufa numa determinada medida. Contudo, as previsões de aquecimento do IPCC necessitam que as moléculas de CO2 produzidas pelo Homem tenham um efeito muito mais gravoso. É caso para dizer que todas as moléculas são iguais, mas há moléculas mais iguais que outras...

Competition, Hayek

The Meaning of Competition por Friedrich A. Hayek:
Competition is essentially a process of the formation of opinion: by spreading information, it creates that unity and coherence of the economic system which we presuppose when we think of it as one market. It creates the views people have about what is best and cheapest, and it is because of it that people know at least as much about possibilities and opportunities as they in fact do.

It is thus a process which involves a continuous change in the data and whose significance must therefore be completely missed by any theory which treats these data as constant.

Libertarianism and Rap


Kid Cudi-Pursuit of Happiness


That Papola Talk Last Night:
There were moments when John brought down the house. For example, he jokingly spoke about the affinity between libertarianism and rap. There is the belief in gun rights. And drug freedom. People laughed uproariously about that. But then he went one better: he said that after all the rap community is on the gold standard.

Competition, Stossel

The Right to Work - How occupational licensing laws restrict liberty por John Stossel:
Competition is better than government at protecting consumers from shoddy work. Furthermore, licensing creates a false sense of security. Consider this: When you move to a new community, do you ask neighbors or colleagues to recommend doctors, dentists, and mechanics even though those jobs are licensed? Of course. Because you know that even with licensing laws, there is a wide range of quality and outright quackery in every occupation. You know that licensing doesn't really protect you.

A free competitive market for reputation protects consumers much more effectively than government can. Today, online services like Angie's List (www.angieslist.com) make it even easier for consumers to get better information about businesses than government licensing boards will ever provide. We do need protection from shoddy businesses. But it's freedom and competition that produce the best protection.

domingo, Março 14, 2010

O modelo sueco (5)


Economics 101: Learning From Sweden's Free Market Renaissance

O ar está a ficar mais limpo

Eis a prova de como se pode combater a poluição sem entrar na histeria do CO2 - The Air is Getting Cleaner: But the Media are Nowhere to be Seen

On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) quietly released their annual report on air quality trends. You would never know it from picking up a newspaper or reading news websites, but the report contains great news. Air quality in the United States has dramatically improved and, according to all indicators, it will continue to improve.

sábado, Março 13, 2010

dois idiotas perigosos


Sean Penn Suggests Prison Time For Calling Chavez a Dictator

O modelo sueco (4)

Ainda "So Why Is the Swedish Welfare State So Successful?" por Michael C. Moynihan:
My favorite Sweden-know-it-all, incidentally, is lefty blogger Matthew Yglesias, who .... claims that former conservative party leader Bo Lundgren is the "architect" of the Swedish model.

As Lundgren, author of the 1989 book Sänk skatten för alla (Lower Taxes for All), recently explained to the Telegraph, "I am a market liberal. I was even called the nearest Sweden had every (sic) come to having a party one could call libertarian."

O modelo sueco (3)


Johan Norberg - Swedish Myths and Realities


Swedish Models por Johan Norberg:
In the early 1990s a deep recession forced Sweden to abandon a lot of the excesses from the 1970s and 1980s. Marginal tax rates were cut, the central bank was made independent, public pensions were cut and partially privatized, school vouchers were introduced, and private providers were welcomed in health care. Several markets were deregulated, like energy, the post office, transportation, television and, most importantly, telecom, which opened the way for the success of companies like Ericsson.

o verdadeiro hockey-stick



Agora um pouco a sério: Gallup: Americans’ Global Warming Concerns Continue to Drop:

O modelo sueco (2)

No seguimento do O modelo sueco, "So Why Is the Swedish Welfare State So Successful?" por Michael C. Moynihan:
For those of us who place more trust in free markets than state-directed economies, we must inevitably (and repeatedly) confront the skeptical interlocutor who details the "successes" of Swedish social democracy. "If state intervention into the economy is so bad, high taxes so destructive, then why is Sweden such a success?" It's an irritatingly simple question with a incredibly complicated answer, though I do recommend pointing out, when the conversation turns to health care and secondary education, that nothing, in a state the confiscates a massive portion of your income, is "free." But as many have pointed out, during its boom years, Sweden was a pretty free market place; from the 1970s through the 1990s—when taxes and regulation dramatically increased—the economy slowed until it spun out in the early 1990s.

em todo o lado governa-se ao centro...

(... cortesia do comportamento constatado pelo Median Voter Theorem)

Madeira Wine e Liberdade

Da Wikipedia:
Madeira was an important wine in the history of the United States of America. No wine quality grapes could be grown among the thirteen colonies so imports were needed with a great focus on Madeira.

One of the major events on the road to revolution in which Madeira played a key role was the British seizure of John Hancock’s sloop the Liberty on May 9, 1768. Hancock's boat was seized after he had unloaded a cargo of 25 pipes (3,150 gallons) of Madeira and a dispute over import duties arose. The seizure of the Liberty caused riots to erupt among the people of Boston.
Do site MadeiraWine.Com:
After 1668, and for about one hundred years following the English king's edict forbidding the importation of any other wine except Madeira to America, the wines were in the limelight on the continent.

.... five years before the "Boston Tea Party" there was a Madeira Wine Party! The sloop "Liberty" had tried to smuggle into Boston Harbour a cargo of Madeira wines detained for John Hancock, who was the first signer of the Declaration of lndependence.

Unfortunately the shipment and the sloop were seized by the British warship "Romney", and that set Hancock into a fury. A conflict took place, and, as the story goes, Hancock won out and finally received his precious cargo of smuggled Madeira wines. This successful demonstration supposedly set a precedent for the monumental Boston Tea Party some years later.

sexta-feira, Março 12, 2010

Small States and Centralization

O sempre obrigatório Hans-Hermann Hoppe:



The Advantages of Small States and the Dangers of Centralization (Hans Hoppe)

reguladores matemático-desafiados

Toyotas Are Safe (Enough) por Robert Wright:
My back-of-the-envelope calculations .... suggest that if you drive one of the Toyotas recalled for acceleration problems and don’t bother to comply with the recall, your chances of being involved in a fatal accident over the next two years because of the unfixed problem are a bit worse than one in a million — 2.8 in a million, to be more exact. Meanwhile, your chances of being killed in a car accident during the next two years just by virtue of being an American are one in 5,244.

So driving one of these suspect Toyotas raises your chances of dying in a car crash over the next two years from .01907 percent (that’s 19 one-thousandths of 1 percent, when rounded off) to .01935 percent (also 19 one-thousandths of one percent).

quinta-feira, Março 11, 2010

Dead Aid

El 95% de lo recaudado por Bob Geldoff para Etiopía fue para la compra de armas (Libertad Digital)


Ethiopian charity scam

Un ex comandante de las tropas rebeldes corrobora la información y acusa al líder de los insurgentes de haber planeado el expolio con el fin de mantener la guerrilla. Se da la circunstancia de que aquél líder de la guerrilla rebelde es el actual presidente de Etiopía, quien en aquellos momentos decidió que todo el dinero proveniente de la ayuda exterior, incluido lo enviado por la organización de Bob Geldoff, fuera repartido de la forma siguiente: la mitad para la compra de armas, otro 45% para “gastos de organización” (sic) y el 5% restante para darle alimentos a la población civil.
Por su parte, el portal "Ethiosun" opina que “Geldoff es incapaz de comprender que millones de personas han muerto de hambre y víctimas de un genocidio en Etiopía con el apoyo que él y los organizadores de Live Aid prestaron a los tiranos que actualmente gobiernan un país de 80 millones de personas".

bring the troops home from Afghanistan


Five Minute Speech in Support of Kucinich's Afghanistan Resolution

quarta-feira, Março 10, 2010

Governance na prisão

Um interessante artigo de David B. Skarbek - Self-Governance in San Pedro Prison (PDF):
The San Pedro Prison case study provides an example of self-governance in prison that results in order because alternative institutional features mitigate violence. The violence associated with a Hobbesian jungle ignores the fact that self-interested people often have incentives to develop mechanisms to reduce conflict. These mechanisms emerge more easily when the return to productive activity improves. Specialization and the division of labor expand with the extent of the market, reducing the need to resort to violence. The arrangements in San Pedro Prison suggest that self-ordering communities in a prison can establish property rights, vibrant markets, and safety, thereby avoiding the predation highlighted in past research on self-governed prisons.

Algo relacionado: The Economic Organisation of a P.O.W. Camp.

Barcelona / nieve


(fonte)

Libertarian pela corrida a governadora de NY

Kristin Davis On NY Governor's Race:
I'm a Libertarian. Barry Goldwater is a personal hero. I believe in free men, free women and free markets. I distrust government. I believe in the individual. I think a woman must control her own body when it comes to abortion or choosing to rent it for an hour. I like Ron Paul and much of what he stands for. I support gun rights...
NY Governor candidate Kristin Davis's Fiscal Conservatism:
I advocate returning to limited government, accompanied by a minimal amount of confiscatory taxation to support only essential services along with Pay as Go budgeting; means testing for all government assistance programs; abolition of all member item pork barrel spending, balanced budgets; actual surpluses and payments to reduce long term state debt
Davis is regarded as merely a "celebrity candidate," however, she takes economic issues and budgetary matters quite seriously .... On her reading list .... economic texts by free market illuminaries Frederich Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Ludvig von Mises. She's also reportedly a big fan of the writings of capitalist philosopher and one-time New Yorker Ayn Rand.
Foi submetida ao Colectivo Insurgente como reforço de Inverno; ainda não percebi porque é que os meus colegas não fizeram caso...

de boas intenções está o socialismo "moderado" cheio

Economic Policy 'Nudge' Gives Way to a 'Shove' (WSJ):
The opening weeks of the Obama administration were a coming-out party for economists who hold that incomplete information, subtle obstacles to participation and confusion tend to make people act in economically irrational ways. Economic policy can “nudge” people and institutions into more efficient, economically beneficial behavior without heavy-handed command-and-control measures in regulation and legislation, they argue.
But in recent weeks, President Barack Obama has proposed regulating health-insurance rate increases, separating commercial banking from investing on behalf of their own bottom lines, and prohibiting commercial banks from owning or investing in private-equity firms or hedge funds.
Todas as engenharias socias partem de uma premissa perigosa - mudar a sociedade. É uma questão de tempo até os "sinais" muito neutros, discretos e elegantes passarem a golpes de cassetete.

terça-feira, Março 09, 2010

Entrepreneur State of Mind


THE NEW DORK - Entrepreneur State of Mind

O modelo sueco

The Scandinavian-Welfare Myth Revisited no Mises.org:
.... there's a common misperception that the Scandinavian countries are borderline Cuban in terms of economic freedom, while the rest of the developed world (particularly the United States) is far more free-market oriented.

However, the reality is that the Scandinavian countries are among the top 10 and 20 "most liberalized" economies in the world, even despite their massive welfare states.
The misconception .... feeds the notion that more government expansion would bring joy and happiness to all, when in fact it would make things worse.

Let them go bankrupt


Jim Rogers Discusses Greece's Fiscal Woes, Euro: Video

segunda-feira, Março 08, 2010

Unintended Consequences

Via Incentives Matter, este excelente post de Steven Horwitz:

Consider the two-by-two matrix below.
We have moral language for three of the four possible combinations of intent and outcome. Vice and virtue are easy enough, as they are our common terms for discussing the morality or desirability of our actions when the outcomes match our intentions. But what about when they don’t? We have the category of “negligence” when we cause negative outcomes we did not intend, such as failing to set the brake on a car that rolls down a hill and damages property. But we do not have a word for the unintentional doing of good! That missing box is filled in by economics and good social science as they explain how, under the right institutional framework, the pursuit of self-interest leads to unintended benefits for society as a whole.
Mises also explored how profit and loss provide further signals that serve as “aids to the mind” in guiding our behavior. Entrepreneurs are led to use resources wisely, profiting for themselves but also improving the well-being of others, thanks to the signals of the marketplace. Hayek’s work on economics, knowledge, and the problems of socialism allowed us to see the opposite side of Mises’s analysis by exploring how socialist planners would be unable to replicate the workings of entrepreneurs.
The neglect of unintended consequences and the focus on motives lead us to celebrate the lives and mourn the deaths of politicians, although they may have caused undesirable unintended consequences, while inventors and businesspeople who benefit humanity while pursuing their own ends go unnoticed. As my matrix on the previous page suggests, we simply don’t have a moral category for people who unintentionally benefit others in pursuit of their self-interest. And we also highly overvalue intentions as a measure of moral worth, leading to praise for those whose “hearts were in the right place” even as they have caused incalculable damage to prosperity and freedom.

The True Cost of Public Education


The True Cost of Public Education

que não se chame impostos a tudo

Li algures que congelar pensões era de facto um imposto porque caiam os valores reais, etc. Nada mais falso. Chamemos os bois pelos nomes. Não é um imposto reduzir uma prestação. Prestações sociais são dinheiro de impostos. Também não é um imposto congelar salários dos funcionários públicos. Pela mesma razão. Funcionários públicos não pagam impostos. São recebedores líquidos de dinheiro de impostos.

Stossel Show - Prohibition!


parte 1 | parte 2 | parte 3 | parte 4 | parte 5 | parte 6


Keep Your Laws Off My Body por John Stossel:
The prohibitionists say their rules are necessary for either the public's or the particular individual's own good. I'm skeptical. I think of what Albert Camus said: "The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants." Prohibition is force. I prefer persuasion. Government force has nasty unintended consequences.

The Ethics of Adoption

Uma excelente série de três posts analisando a adopção numa perspectiva rothbardiana

The Ethics of Adoption in Haiti: A Libertarian Approach - parte 1:
.... far from improving the situation of Haitian children, Haitian and foreign states have done nothing but obstruct the flow of Haitian children out of abject suffering and into loving arms.

Economics of Adoption: A Libertarian Approach - parte 2:
It is also clear that a freely developed market for orphans is likely to be much more transparent than a statist monopoly system. This is because, in the transaction of a good as deeply important as the guardianship rights of orphans, secondary concerns such as safety, reliability, and health of the orphan are profoundly important to the consumers, parents.

On the free market, this preference by parents for the safe care of their new child would likely require firms to submit to levels of quality control and inspection absolutely unprecedented in exchange as we know it today.

"The Defense of Orphans: A Libertarian Approach" - parte 3:
.... adoption firms also have the incentive to pay defense firms to seek out and prosecute those tricksters who portray themselves as agents of the firm to kidnap and abuse Haitian children. This is because a brand name or uniform is meant to convey useful, positive information, and orphanages and parents will quickly become suspicious of doing business with any firm whose logo comes to be associated with trickery.

domingo, Março 07, 2010

O que fazer com os elefantes brancos do Estado


Daniel Hannan: Privatise the elephant

Socialismo: uma tragédia grega

Our own Greek tragedy por Mark Steyn:
What's happening in the developed world today isn't so very hard to understand: The 20th century Bismarckian welfare state has run out of people to stick it to.
We hard-hearted, small-government guys are often damned as selfish types who care nothing for the general welfare. But, as the Greek protests make plain, nothing makes an individual more selfish than the socially equitable communitarianism of big government.

Once a chap's enjoying the fruits of government health care, government-paid vacation, government-funded early retirement, and all the rest, he couldn't give a hoot about the general societal interest. He's got his, and to hell with everyone else.
Every year an irresponsible and corrupt bureaucracy awards itself higher pay and better benefits paid for by an ever-shrinking wealth-generating class .... The problem is there are never enough of "the rich" to fund the entitlement state, because in the end, it disincentivizes everything from wealth creation to self-reliance to the basic survival instinct, as represented by the fertility rate.

impossible to live without breaking laws (2)

An Inconvenient Tax - Official Trailer from Life Is My Movie Entertainment on Vimeo.

Lincoln boguslogia

English Plain and Simple:
In my previous column, I presented a letter supposedly written by Abraham Lincoln to his son’s teacher. The letter, contained in a poster displayed in the library of my sixth-grader son’s school, expressed in felicitous English some values that many parents devoutly wish their children would learn in school. As I found out to my dismay, however, Lincoln had not written that letter at all. An enterprising person had falsely appropriated the great man’s name to give more weight to the inspirational thoughts of some unknown writer.
Não há limites para a idolatria ao Dishonest Abe.

A Plan for a Freedom President

Ron Paul: My Plan for a Freedom President:
Of course, just as the welfare-warfare state was not constructed in 100 days, it could not be dismantled in the first 100 days of any presidency.

While our goal is to reduce the size of the state as quickly as possible, we should always make sure our immediate proposals minimize social disruption and human suffering.

sexta-feira, Março 05, 2010

Debasing Defacing currency

30 Bizarre Examples of Defacing Money, dois favoritos:



Dívida Pública e Escolha Pública na UE

Public Debt and Public Choice in the EU no Coordination Problem:
EU rules require members to cap debt levels at 60% of their gross domestic product and their annual budget deficits to no more than 3%. As any student of Public Choice economics would expect, this has led to all sorts of “exotic maneuvers” aimed at meeting the rules while in fact spending more than authorized. Governments’ deceitful actions range from off balance sheet budgeting to the use of currency swaps and other derivatives “to artificially massage cash flows and liabilities” in order to meet debt and deficit thresholds.
The irony is that private sector firms that have engaged in this type of behavior have been pilloried and their executives faced prison time. None of that will happen to government members and parliamentarians; that’s the privilege of making the rules and enforcing them.