quinta-feira, Abril 29, 2010

Sindicatos públicos

Cato Podcast - "Public Sector Unions Threaten Prosperity" featuring Armand Thieblot

Global Trash-In-Trash-Outing

Via What's up with that?, de uma publicação da NASA (PDF):
Global records of surface temperature over the last 100 years show a rise in global temperatures (about 0.5° C overall), but the rise is marked by periods when the temperature has dropped as well.

If the models cannot explain these marked variations from the trend, then we cannot be completely certain that we can believe in their predictions of changes to come.
Bottomline, os modelos actuais não têm poder explicativo para o passado, condição necessária para poderem prever o futuro.

segunda-feira, Abril 26, 2010

EconBD: Irwin Schiff

Via The Lew Rockwell Show, 146. Peter Schiff: How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes, e altamente recomendados, os seguintes livros de banda desenhada de Peter Schiff:

How an Economy Grows (and Why it doesn't) (PDF)The Kingdom of Moltz (PDF)

Want privacy? Erase yourself. (2)

No seguimento de Want privacy? Erase yourself., Can you disappear in surveillance Britain? no Times:
Leaving the detectives’ office, Bond used a term to describe his feelings that he’s since concluded is inappropriate, but it gives an idea how strongly he felt at the time. He called it data-rape.

The journalist and privacy campaigner Henry Porter told Bond that privacy is like eyesight, or touch: “It’s that important.” Phil Booth, national co-ordinator of the campaign No2ID, broadly agrees. “Privacy is not something that people feel, except in its absence. Remove it and you destroy something at the heart of being human.”

Drug Prohibition - Six Groups

Judge Jim Gray on The Six Groups That Benefit From Drug Prohibition
In 1992, Jim Gray, a conservative judge in conservative Orange County, California, held a press conference during which he recommended that we rethink our drug laws. Back then, it took a great deal of courage to suggest that the war on drugs was a failed policy.

golden rule

What If? por Gary D. Barnett:
What if a small group of extremist Americans high-jacked passenger planes in another country and flew them into skyscrapers in a major foreign city killing thousands of innocent people?

Would it then be proper and moral for that country, and with the full use of its military, to attack and occupy the entire United States? Would it then be right for that invading army to take over and demand that all U.S. citizens bow to their command? Would it be right for that country’s forces to kill and maim all who refused to comply with their demands? And would it be right for that foreign invading entity to destroy the entire infrastructure of America?

2081: Everyone Will Finally Be Equal

2081: Everyone Will Finally Be Equal
2081 depicts a dystopian future in which, thanks to the 212th Amendment to the Constitution and the unceasing vigilance of the United States Handicapper General, everyone is “finally equal….” The strong wear weights, the beautiful wear masks and the intelligent wear earpieces that fire off loud noises to keep them from taking unfair advantage of their brains. It is a poetic tale of triumph and tragedy about a broken family, a brutal government, and an act of defiance that changes everything.

domingo, Abril 25, 2010

Taxes and Voting (2)

Representative democracy cannot subsist if a great part of the voters are on the government payroll.
Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

"Dia da Liberdade"

O vídeo data de 1975 - por aqui ainda gozávamos um paraíso de liberdade e igualdade:

Margaret Thatcher: Free Society Speech (1975)

Taxes and Voting

Taxes and Voting por Walter Williams
..... nearly half of U.S. households will pay no federal income taxes for 2009 .... These Americans pay no federal income tax either because their incomes are too low or they have higher income but credits, deductions and exemptions that relieve them of tax liability.

This lack of income tax liability stands in stark contrast to the top 10 percent of earners .... who paid about 73 percent of federal income taxes. The top 25 percent paid 86 percent. The bottom 50 percent of taxpayers paid less than 4 percent of federal income taxes collected.
121 million Americans completely outside the federal income tax system .... become a natural spending constituency for big-spending politicians.

After all, if you have no income tax liability, how much do you care about deficits, how much Congress spends and the level of taxation? Political calls for tax cuts and spending restraints have little appeal .... Tax cuts to many Americans mean just one thing: They pose a threat to the federal handouts they receive.
Here's my perhaps politically incorrect question: If one has no financial stake in our country, how much of a say-so should he have in its management? Let's put it another way: I do not own stock, and hence have no financial stake, in Ford Motor Company. Do you think I should have voting rights or any say-so in the management of the company?


Overdose - The Next Financial Crisis : Official Trailer
This 46-minute documentary is a fast-paced look at how we got into the financial crisis and how our way of dealing with it is setting the stage for the next crisis. Produced for European television but also headed for American TV, the film features interviews with Vernon Smith, Peter Schiff, Robert Van Order, Megan McArdle, and former comptroller general David Walker. It is co-written and narrated by Cato senior fellow Johan Norberg, author of In Defense of Global Capitalism and Financial Fiasco: How America's Infatuation with Home Ownership and Easy Money Created the Economic Crisis.

aplicando as "leis da concorrência" ao Estado

Antitrust Regulators Should Break Up The Government no Let a Thousand Nations Bloom:
Federal governments are not only monopolists, they are the biggest monopolists in the world. The speaker talked about businessmen possibly transferring millions of dollars of value to them, but the government regularly transfers billions and more. If we’re going to worry about monopolies, let’s worry about the federal government, let’s decrease the barriers of entry, and make the government industry more competitive. Seasteading, secession, state’s rights, moving activities to cyberspace, spacesteading, tax competition – these are our weapons in the fight against low quality governance.

sábado, Abril 24, 2010

Jobs, jobs, jobs

Notícias da People's Republic of California:

More Taxes or More Jobs—California Shows You Can't Have Both

Estado, Mentiras, e Crony Capitalismo

An Economy of Liars, um excelente artigo de Gerald O'Driscoll:
Rather than truth telling, we are becoming an economy of liars. The cause is straightforward: crony capitalism.
The idea that multiplying rules and statutes can protect consumers and investors is surely one of the great intellectual failures of the 20th century. Any static rule will be circumvented or manipulated to evade its application.
Public choice theory has identified the root causes of regulatory failure as the capture of regulators by the industry being regulated. Regulatory agencies begin to identify with the interests of the regulated rather than the public they are charged to protect.
We call that system not the free-market, but crony capitalism. It owes more to Benito Mussolini than to Adam Smith.
If we want to restore our economic freedom and recover the wonderfully productive free market, we must restore truth-telling on markets .... No one admits to preferring crony capitalism, but an expansive regulatory state undergirds it in practice.

John Lennon Slams Socialism

John Lennon Slams Socialism & Presidential Hero Worship

global crony capitalism

Via No Pasarán!, Olavo de Carvalho:
What made the resurgence of communism easier — not only in Latin America, but around the world — was the cowardly timidity of Western right-wingers who, instead of taking the opportunity of the fall of the USSR to punish the communists for their crimes, chose instead a policy of “extending them a hand,” as if asking for their pardon for having defeated them.
I call “meta-capitalists” the individuals and groups which grew so wealthy with the market economy that they can’t stand anymore being at the mercy of the free market and seek, instead, to control everything, supporting bureaucracy instead of capitalism. Meta-capitalists are natural allies of the communists .... What we have is a gigantic symbiosis of all globalist and statist forces around the world.

quinta-feira, Abril 22, 2010

impostos, subsídios e desemprego

No seguimento da iniciativa do CDS de "disciplinar" a atribuição do subsídio ao desemprego:

o lado brilhante da núvem islandesa

The Parable of the Sooty Window por Steven Horwitz:
The economic consequences of the volcanic ash cloud covering Europe have been the topic of much discussion in the last few days.
What at first seems like a real mess is in fact a one-in-a-lifetime economic opportunity: think of all the jobs that will be created in cleaning up that ash! Given the double-digit rates of unemployment that affect much of Western Europe, the ash is something of a gift as it could conceivably create clean-up jobs for millions. Think of the new demand for brooms and vacuum cleaners and cleaning supplies that will be necessitated. Those folks will make nice profits and probably hire more workers as well. The volcano might be the best thing that ever happened to these industries.
I think we should be encouraging more volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, hurricanes, urban riots, terrorist attacks, and window breaking because each and every one of them create all kinds of job and profit opportunities for different parts of the economy when we have to clean up from the mess they make.

A Communist in the White House

Victoria Jackson: "There's A Communist Living in the White House!!"

quarta-feira, Abril 21, 2010

an insurance-based model

Scott Thomas do Dilbert Blog teve uma ideia interessante:
Today we will consider a model for replacing our current form of government with an insurance-based model.
The insurance model would also remove unproductive emotions from international affairs. Many of our problems in the world seem to revolve around which leaders have bruised egos, who is getting snubbed, and that sort of thing. If the United States of Insurance started making decisions based on actuarial tables, other countries would find it hard to find any negative emotion other than boredom.
I agree that this imagined future can never happen. We don't have the sort of government that can change. It's just interesting to think about.
A ideia falha ao considerar um monopólio da tal actividade seguradora. Mas é um passo interessante a um dos pilares da ideologia anarcocapitalista - entidades privadas semelhantes a seguradoras, assegurando a provisão de legislação, Justiça, e Defesa.

sobre patentes

NHD 2009: Jonas Salk: The Man Who Saved the Children
When news of the vaccine's success was made public on April 12, 1955, Salk was hailed as a "miracle worker", and the day "almost became a national holiday." His sole focus had been to develop a safe and effective vaccine as rapidly as possible, with no interest in personal profit. When he was asked in a televised interview who owned the patent to the vaccine, Salk replied: "There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?"

El coche: fantástico

El coche fantástico por Gabriel Calzada:
El colectivismo, tanto de de derechas como, sobre todo, de izquierdas ha odiado siempre el coche, símbolo material de la libertad, la autonomía y la planificación personal.

El contraste con el ideal colectivista no puede ser mayor. Frente a las latas de sardinas del transporte colectivo en las que la comodidad brilla por su ausencia, el aroma corporal inunda los pulmones, el rumbo lo dicta un burócrata y el horario lo marca cualquiera menos el pasajero, el coche permite disfrutar del confort, de la ambientación sonora y aromática que a uno más le guste; permite, en definitiva, desarrollar los planes particulares y elegir el destino personal.

Jamie Oliver, food nazi, die, die, die

Reason.tv: The Case Against Jamie Oliver

Racismo intergeracional e interprofissional

No seguimento de discussões sobre pagamento a estagiários, Minimum Wage Cruelty por Walter Williams:
One of the more insidious effects of minimum wages is that it lowers the cost of racial discrimination; in fact, minimum wage laws are one of the most effective tools in the arsenals of racists everywhere, as demonstrated by just a couple of examples.

During South Africa's apartheid era, its racist unions were the major supporters of minimum wages for blacks. South Africa's Wage Board said, "The method would be to fix a minimum rate for an occupation or craft so high that no Native would likely be employed."

In the U.S., in the aftermath of a strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, when the arbitration board decreed that blacks and whites were to be paid equal wages, the white unionists expressed their delight saying, "If this course of action is followed by the company and the incentive for employing the Negro thus removed, the strike will not have been in vain."

Tragically, minimum wages have the unquestioned support of good-hearted, well-meaning people with little understanding who become the useful idiots of charlatans, quacks and racists.
Substituir whites por "profissionais estabelecidos" e blacks por "estagiários".

domingo, Abril 18, 2010

Be Stupid

The Official Diesel Be Stupid Philosophy

Uma questão fracturante: lavar loiça

Exemplificando alguns dos conceitos sobre inventários, aludidos nos posts abaixo, usando uma tarefa doméstica muito comum: lavar a loiça.

A maior parte dos lares tem uma máquina de lavar loiça. Que costuma ter capacidade para umas duas refeições de uma família de quatro pessoas. Quando os utensílios de cozinha ficam sujos, vão para a máquina, e o mesmo acontece com pratos, copos e talheres. E ao fim do dia a máquina é metida a funcionar.

Este método é conhecido como batching — juntar muita coisa para processar muita coisa junta — porque obtêm-se economias de escala (usar a máquina para pouca loiça é um desperdício de energia, água e detergente).
Ora, se a família é só uma pessoa, ou faz máquinas com pouca loiça, ou faz uma máquina por semana. Note-se que neste último caso precisará de tanta loiça como uma família de quatro.

A alternativa é lavar a loiça à mão. Para uma refeição individual, digamos que dois minutos. No limite, uma pessoa só precisa, para além das necessidades para cozinhar, de um prato de cada tipo, e um exemplar de cada tipo de talher, e um copo. Basta que não deixe a loiça amontoar-se.

Este sistema precisa de muito pouco capital - pouca loiça, nada de máquinas. Ou seja, liberta capital para outras utilizações. Se a filosofia do batching não fosse tão intuitiva, provavelmente teríamos outros electrodomésticos na nossa cozinha (mini máquinas da loiça turbo?), mas sobretudo melhor qualidade de vida.

Pouca gente adoptaria este sistema voluntariamente. Mas experimente-se suprimir a máquina de louça e metade da loiça. Os benefícios vêm ao de cima. É pertinente perguntar se não existe "falha de mercado" quando toda a gente funciona de uma maneira "ineficiente". É o mesmo que perguntar se as máquinas de escrever não se devem a uma "falha de mercado", quando os computadores começam a aparecer.

Novas tecnologias de gestão são novas tecnologias, mesmo que utilizem métodos mais simples. Pensar o contrário é legítimo, mas também fruto da filosofia de batching. Todo o progresso económico resulta em métodos mais humanos, mais produtivos, mais eficientes de produzir bens e serviços. Este não é um contra-exemplo, antes pelo contrário.

responsabilidade para com os pobres

Ouvi Passos Coelho a falar de responsabilidade para com os pobres e da responsabilidade dos pobres para com o resto da sociedade, e outros guterrismos...

Milton Friedman on the Responsibility to the Poor

Responsabilidade individual gauchista

Este vídeo é um bom exemplo do que a esquerda - ou melhor, o colectivismo (de esquerda e direita) - entende ser "responsabilidade individual". É um pouco como a noção comum de "solidariedade social". Aparentemente é função do Estado socorrer quem caiu na vida por azar ou culpa própria — quem precisa —, pagando essa providencial assistência com o dinheiro de quem pode. A liberdade leva a excessos custosos para o Estado. Cabe a todo o cidadão cumpridor, voluntariamente pois claro, e sob pena de expropriação e encarceramento, fazer o que o Estado manda. Só obedecendo e nada tendo contra o Estado pode um indivíduo ser verdadeiramente livre. Vivemos em belas democracias sociais que respeitam todos os princípios radicais do totalitarismo.

sábado, Abril 17, 2010

Escola Austríaca

No seguimento de Escola Austríaca - Mercado e Criatividade Empresarial, uma fenomenal série de vídeos: An Introduction to Austrian Economics por Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Jörg Guido Hülsmann.

Eis um excelente exemplo:

Capital and Interest (by Hans-Hermann Hoppe) - Introduction to Austrian Economics, 5of11

Homenagem ao Hummer

An Homage to Hummer por Penn Jillette:
.... all over the world we humans have so much in common, so much love, and need, and desire, and compassion and loneliness, some of us still want to do things that the rest of us think are bug-nutty .... I love people doing things I can't understand. It's heartbreaking to me when people stop doing things that I can't see any reason for them to be doing in the first place.
Lack of freedom can be measured directly by lack of stupid. Freedom means freedom to be stupid. We never need freedom to do the smart thing. You don't need any freedom to go with majority opinion. There was no freedom required to drive a Prius before the recall. We don't need freedom to recycle, reuse and reduce. We don't need freedom to listen to classic rock, classic classical, classic anything or Terry Gross. We exercise our freedom to its fullest when we are at our stupidest.

sexta-feira, Abril 16, 2010

Land of the free enterprise

Pelo Tugal é melhor estar quieto.

I Am Free Enterprise Video Contest

vulgar economics

Recession and Recovery: Six Fundamental Errors of the Current Orthodoxy (PDF) por Robert Higgs:
Aggregation - This way of compressing diverse, economywide transactions into single variables has the effect of suppressing recognition of the complex relationships and differences within each of the aggregates.
Relative Prices - Vulgar Keynesianism takes no account of relative prices or changes in such prices. In this framework, there is only one price, which is called “the price level”
The Rate of Interest - The vulgar Keynesian does not understand what the rate of interest really is. He fails to comprehend that it is a crucial relative price—namely, the price of goods available now relative to goods available in the future.
Capital and Its Structure - Because the vulgar Keynesian is blind to these microdistortions and to the need
for their correction in the wake of an artificially induced boom, he fails to see any
need for the bankruptcies and unemployment that necessarily attend a substantial
economic restructuring.
Malinvestments and Money Pumping - With their great, simple faith in the efficacy of government spending as a macroeconomic balance wheel, vulgar Keynesians disregard malinvestment, past and future, and support government spending in excess of the government’s revenues, the difference being covered by borrowing.
Regime Uncertainty - Vulgar Keynesians are nothing if not policy activists. Like Franklin D. Roosevelt, they believe that the government should “try something,” and if it doesn’t work, try something else

sábado, Abril 10, 2010

the red brick road

Socialized Medicine is the Keystone to the Arch of the Socialist State.
Vladimir Lenin
The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened..
Norman Thomas, 1944, six times candidate for president on the Socialist Party ticket

Ronald Reagan Speaks On Government Health Care

not bad, just evil

Explaining Socialism's Moral Decay por Bryan Caplan:
Lord Acton and F.A. Hayek have inspired the two most popular explanations for the crimes of actually-existing socialism. While Acton never lived to see socialists gain power, their behavior seems to perfectly illustrate his aphorism that, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." For all their idealism, even socialists will do bad things if left unchecked. Hayek, with the benefit of hindsight, suggested a slightly different explanation: Under socialism, "the worst get on top." On this theory, the idealistic founders of socialism were gradually pushed out by brutal cynics as their movement's power increased.

Richter's novel advances a very different explanation for socialism's "moral decay": The movement was born bad. While the early socialists were indeed "idealists," their ideal was totalitarian. Their overriding goals were to engineer a new society and a New Socialist Man. If this meant treating workers like slaves - depriving them of the freedom to choose their occupation or location, forbidding them to quit, splitting up families without their consent, and imposing draconian punishments on dissenters - so be it.
De acordo com Ilya Somin:
The three theories aren’t mutually exclusive. All of them may have some validity. Still, the evidence supports “born bad” much more than the others. Acton and Hayek’s theories both imply that there should be a significant time lag between the time when the socialists take power and the start of really serious oppression. Even if absolute power corrupts absolutely, it doesn’t do so immediately. Similarly, it takes time for the “idealistic founders” to be replaced by “brutal cynics.”
Some still argue that the system could work if it were headed by more idealistic leaders or was more democratic. The validity of the “born bad” theory stands the idealism argument on its head. More idealistic leadership leads to more oppression in socialist regimes, not less. “Born bad” also weakens the democracy argument. If socialism inherently requires massive coercion and repression, any socialist system is unlikely to stay democratic for long.

quarta-feira, Abril 07, 2010

guerra aos estágios (3)

Via OpenMarket.org (Intern Sweatshops?), como é fácil expor o anticapitalismo primário de alguma esquerdalha.


BÓNUS: a ler esta carta do leitor de Dan Boudreaux:
Mr. Obama should not only apologize to the thousands of young, unpaid volunteers whom he exploited in 2008 for his own profit – namely, to win his election to the highest pulpit in the land – he should also give to each and every one of them back pay (with interest) for their efforts on his behalf.

Oust Nancy Pelosi (2)

Nos seguimento de Oust Nanci Pelosi, The Man Who Would Dethrone a Queen: An Interview with John Dennis, Congressional Candidate, CA-8 no America's Right:
.... the people in government need to learn that the free market must be allowed to work. The laws of economics are as immutable as the laws of physics. To pretend that any one person can design a better health care market makes absolutely no sense. It simply cannot be done, because markets are self-organizing; they can’t be designed.
As a practical matter, those involved in a centrally-planned government have to protect their own interests, their friends and political connections, and the interests of those people as well. A centrally-planned economy is all about allocating resources according to political connections, whereas capitalism is about the free market and the individual’s freedom to choose for himself.
Whatever the political class is practicing has nothing to do with capitalism. It has everything to do with cronyism, and it’s just not right. It’s a racket, that’s all.

Governments will not hesitate to take your money against your will. Think of it this way: if we really wanted all the services that the government provided, the government wouldn’t have to force us to pay for them.

One Big Mess

No seguimento de A Libertarian View of Urban Sprawl,

Porventura Portugal caberia no concelho de Lisboa. Pergunto ao caro leitor: alguma vez divertiu-se numa reunião de condomínios? O que faria a uma sociedade toda a gente viver amontoada? Utopia eco-friendly ou inferno social?

guerra aos estágios (2)

War on Internships por Jeffrey Tucker:
Since at least the 12th century until very recently, entry into a profession has come via an apprenticeship, or, in the American terminology, a formal internship. A young person comes to work with people experienced in a trade, usually in exchange for office space, housing, tools to use, but little or no monetary compensation. Everyone wins: the employer gets to scope out a potential hire, and the intern gains priceless experience and a later job offer, new contacts, or a letter of recommendation.

What is the alternative? It is the completely la-la-land view, emerging sometime after World War II, that a student can sit at a desk listening for 16 to 20 years and thereby be prepared to call down immediately a substantial salary from a firm by virtue of the great value he or she provides.
Who loses if this crackdown succeeds? The same groups that are winning under the present increase in internships: young people and their employers and would-be employers.


negative space

guerra aos estágios

E quando menos se espera, o Governo atravessa-se com uma zapaterada daquelas mesmo mesmo estúpidas: Estágios não remunerados serão proibidos:
As empresas que recorram a estagiários para desempenharem funções permanentes serão obrigadas a colocar esses trabalhadores no quadro. A medida está prevista no documento que a ministra do Trabalho, Helena André, entregou ontem aos parceiros sociais e que visa proibir os estágios extracurriculares não remunerados.
Note-se: isto vindo do mesmo Estado que:

- gere um sistema de Ensino Superior 1) completamente alheado das necessidades profissionais do sector empresarial; 2) completamente descoordenado do mercado laboral; 3) tendencialmente grátis, logo uma ratoeira para tanta juventude que se atira por capricho a licenciaturas que nada valem, mas a preço de desconto;

- impõe uma legislação laboral absurdamente rígida 1) que protege as "vacas sagradas" de qualquer empresa, fomenta um ror de maus incentivos internos, e perpetua uma guerra de classes; 2) que onera absurdamente o factor mão-de-obra do sector produtivo da sociedade; 3) que dificulta novas contratações ao torná-las caras e arriscadas;

- dá cobertura a tudo o que é corporativismo e sindicalismo que 1) se diverte a limitar os numerus clausus de profissões escassas; 2) protege o status quo de qualquer mudança especialmente a que é provocada por novas gerações 3) existe para dificultar a mobilidade laboral e o sucesso profissional de quem está disposto a vingar pelos seus próprios meios.

...isto para além de todas as medidas economicamente destrutivas que o Estado impõe a seu bel-prazer. Depois queixem-se que ninguém contrata jovens licenciados e que as criaturas se manifestem pelas ruas.

terça-feira, Abril 06, 2010

’left’ and ’right’ libertarianism

Lee Doren debates Charles Johnson at the 2010 FSP Liberty

Exemplos de ecologia de camisa negra

Will the real ClimateGate please stand up? (part 2):
Pressuring politicians on climate change is not working .... We need to hit them where it hurts most, by any means necessary: through the power of our votes, our taxes, our wallets, and more.
If you're one of those who have spent their lives undermining progressive climate legislation, bankrolling junk science, fueling spurious debates around false solutions, and cattle-prodding democratically-elected governments into submission, then hear this:

We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.
James Lovelock: Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change:
This is the stark conclusion of James Lovelock, the globally respected environmental thinker and independent scientist who developed the Gaia theory.
One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is "modern democracy", he added. "Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while."


Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song

Um filme extremamente interessante, que de facto poderia ser um excelente rallying cry contra The Man [refers to the government, leaders of large corporations, and other authority figures in general]. Pena que tenha sido aproveitado para promover um dos mais violentos programas de inspiração marxista.

A Libertarian View of Urban Sprawl

Um pouco na sequência de In defense of slums, A Libertarian View of Urban Sprawl por Randal O’Toole:
American cities sprawl because Americans, like people all over the world, prefer to live in single-family homes and like to have a little land they can call their own for gardening, entertainment, and play areas. The automobile made it possible for almost everyone to achieve this dream, where before the auto only the upper classes could do so.

So which is the appropriate libertarian view? .... simply eliminate zoning codes .... and let people do what they want (including, if they want, living in high-density developments or low-density developments with deed restrictions providing the stability that zoning once offered)?

The real hypocrites are the so-called progressives .... who claim to care about low-income and disadvantaged people yet support policies that will prevent most such people from ever owning single-family homes.

segunda-feira, Abril 05, 2010

conselho aos governantes

Neo-marxist fascists

Um muito randiano post — The Progressive Left Goose Steps into History por Dr. Sanity:
.... the left with their regressive agenda are in complete denial about the sinister motives that drive their so-called "compassion" for others. Progressivism is just another strategy to obtain power over the lives of others. Getting this kind of power over others--and at the same time reinforcing your own grandiosity and sense of superiority!-- is far more important than trying to convince others of your position.
The creation of wealth is only dependent on human thought, human ingenuity, and human desire.
When Marxists (or closet Marxists like Barack Obama) talk about "controlling the means of production" they are quite simply talking about controlling the human MIND. And when they talk about limiting your ability to pursue your happiness, i.e., obtain goods that you value; they are talking about controlling the human spirit.

’Market Failure’

Uma excelente lecture por David Friedman:

David Friedman's speech on market failure @ the 2010 Free State Project Liberty Forum
Parte 1 | Parte 2 | Parte 3 | Parte 4 | Parte 5 | Parte 6 | Parte 7

Neo-comunismo verde

Global Warming Alarmism is a Grave Threat to our Liberty por Vaclav Klaus:
.... environmentalism and its most extreme version, global warming alarmism, asks for an almost unprecedented expansion of government intrusion and intervention into our lives and of government control over us
It is, however, not only about freedom. Environmentalism also wants to suppress economic growth, reduce prosperity and hinder human progress .... Some of us know that freedom and prosperity cannot be separated but it is evident that environmentalism – as the recent Copenhagen conference demonstrated – wants to impair prosperity and stop human progress especially in the developing world. And that is unacceptable.
Politicians, their bureaucrats as well as many well-meaning individuals who accept the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change probably hope that – by doing so – they are displaying intelligence, virtue and altruism. Some of them even believe they are saving the Earth. We should tell them that they are merely passive players in the hands of lobbyists, of producers of green technologies, of agrobusiness firms producing ethanol, of trading firms dealing in carbon emission rights, etc., who hope to make billions at our costs. There is no altruism there. It is a political and business cold-hearted calculation.
Bónus: EU President-"Global Warming" Being Used As A Vehicle To Suppress Human Freedom

Declaration of Dependence

Declaration of Dependence: Self-Evident Truths for the New Age no Independent Institute:
We hold these Truths to be self-evident; that through the beneficent hand of government, Society (50%-plus-one) ought to

1. Provide money solely to public education. History shows that public schooling does not discriminate based on color, creed, or ability.

2. Provide health care — paid for and regulated by the federal government but only available for sale within state borders. It is important to preserve “States Rights,” something southern Democrats taught us prior to 1964, but we have forgotten.

3. Provide “Money for Nothing” if a person cannot otherwise afford a house. See: “Dire Straits–Mortgage Theory.”
As the George Washington of our time put it:

“Can we do it? Yes, we can!”

domingo, Abril 04, 2010

A irracionalidade dos ministérios da agricultura

Via John Stossel, uma imagem da irracionalidade dos subsídios agrícolas:

Nota: o mesmo Estado que distorce o mercado alimentar depois usa os "maus" hábitos alimentares das pessoas como justificação para "medidas correctivas" castradoras das liberdades individuais.

I wish Lord Acton were here today.

Infallible Evasion of Scandal? por Mario Rizzo, sobre um grande liberal — Lord Acton:
It was one of the great virtues of Lord Acton to have realized that the Catholic Church is subject to all of the imperfections of any other human institution, especially those with little transparency. The current sex-abuse scandals in the Catholic Church would have been of great concern to him. He was also concerned with the issue of papal infallibility on faith and morals. He opposed the doctrine and helped organize opposition to it at the First Vatican Council .... He believed that it had no basis in history or theology.
My point is that although the doctrine of infallibility has not been used much, it has colored all of the pronouncements of the pope and Church .... The pope may not be speaking ex cathedra (from the Chair of Peter – infallibly) but various formal statements seem to have different degrees of seriousness and hence somehow partake in the infallibility aura.
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” said Lord Acton. This seems more consistent with Jesus’s statement, “The truth shall set you free” than the Church’s institutional desire to avoid scandal.

give an appearance of solidity to pure wind

Nos dias que correm, a Academia depende do Estado, e o Estado está capturado por produtos da Academia. É de estranhar que a Academia produza trabalhos tão exotéricos que deviam ser considerados arte? É de estranhar que as políticas públicas definidas por tantos professores, mestres e licenciados (em dias úteis e não só) não façam qualquer sentido, a não ser no papel ou num mundo ideal?

O que aconteceria se a Academia trabalhasse para o sector produtivo (privado) da sociedade?

Nota: o título foi retirado de Politics and the English Language de George Orwell

good role models vs. genes

The Male Brain: More Complex Than You Think por Laura Fitzpatrick na Time:
Q: Doesn't suggesting that a propensity to cheat is hard-wired in some guys give unfaithful husbands the perfect excuse?

A: I don't think it lets you escape responsibility, but I think it lets one honor that underlying impulse and then realize why it's so important to have all the religious and social principles that we're raised with. No matter what [a boy's] genes are, we need to be laying out good role models for how one behaves in one's life. I feel very strongly: this is not an excuse for men to behave badly. But it is something to help men have a deeper insight into themselves, and women to have a deeper insight into men.
Bottomline, quaiquer que seja a "programação" genética de cada um de nós, não se comporte como um selvagem quem quer ser tratado como uma pessoa civilizada.

sábado, Abril 03, 2010

Want privacy? Erase yourself.

ERASING DAVID festival trailer

Trying to Escape the Surveillance State:
Britain is one of the world's leading surveillance states. Privacy International, an advocacy group, ranks the U.K. right behind flagrant offenders like Russia and China. But such concerns didn't hit home for British filmmaker David Bond .... decided to see what it would take to escape detection for a month in his data-happy homeland.
".... the British government has drawn the line in a pretty frightening place. I think those reasons are terrorism, fear of crime and also the fact that we didn't we have the problems in the Second World War that our European neighbors did. We don't have the kind of collective memory of what its like to live in a state that surveils its population.

A gripo H1N1 e a "Saúde" pública

The H1N1 Vaccine: An Example of Government Health Care por Randall Holcombe:
Government planning has never been a good way to allocate resources. Didn’t we figure that out after the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the demise of the Soviet Union? Here’s an example where health care was rationed and unavailable to some even as a surplus was produced that will be wasted. Is there any reason to think that this won’t become more common as government becomes increasingly involved in the administration of our health care system?

Thomas Sowell on Intellectuals and Society

Via Incentives Matter:

Thomas Sowell on Intellectuals and Society

personalismo e individualismo colectivismo democrático

Muito embora Pedro Arroja chame "liberalismo" àquilo que em Portugal só os "liberais"-sociais chamam (o liberalism à Americana), o texto personalismo e individualismo tem pontos curiosos que vale a pena destacar:
Vou dar um exemplo. Nunca me senti à vontade com a democracia de sufrágio universal, em parte porque nunca encontrei uma explicação racional para ela.
Existem semelhanças entre mim e um rapaz acabado de nascer, e são sobetudo exteriores. Mas as diferenças são muito mais consideráveis, e são sobretudo interiores. E a conclusão mantém-se válida se a comparação for feita com um jovem de 18 anos. Quando a democracia de sufrágio universal me considera igual a um jovem de 18 anos e atribui ao meu voto um peso igual ao dele, aquilo que, na realidade, está a fazer é a depreciar-me, a pôr-me ao nível de um miúdo. E isso eu não aceito.
Eu aceito participar num processo democrático quando os outros eleitores sejam meus pares .... Ora, eu considero que um miúdo de dezoito anos não é meu par coisa nenhuma. Na realidade, tem idade para ser meu neto.

Peter Schiff for Senate

Peter Schiff - For Liberty
I’m Running For Free Markets, For Capitalism, For Liberty, For The Constitution

quinta-feira, Abril 01, 2010

janela quebrada (2)

...e porque é que a função pública é um custo líquido, e porque deve ser exercida o mais localmente possível — Milton Friedman no seu melhor:

Milton Friedman: The Most Persistent Economic Fallacy of All Time!

A política enquanto fonte de conflito

Conflict or Cooperation por Walter Williams:
Different Americans have different and often intense preferences for all kinds of goods and services. Some of us have strong preferences for beer and distaste for wine while others have the opposite preference -- strong preferences for wine and distaste for beer.

When's the last time you heard of beer drinkers in conflict with wine drinkers? It seldom if ever happens because beer lovers get what they want. Wine lovers get what they want. And they all can live in peace with one another.

It would be easy to create conflict among these people. Instead of free choice and private decision-making, clothing decisions could be made in the political arena. In other words, have a democratic majority-rule process to decide what drinks that would be allowed. Then we would see wine lovers organized against beer lovers. Conflict would emerge solely because the decision was made in the political arena.

Why? The prime feature of political decision-making is that it's a zero-sum game. One person's gain is of necessity another person's loss. That is if wine lovers won, beer lovers lose. As such, political decision-making and allocation of resources is conflict enhancing while market decision-making and allocation is conflict reducing. The greater the number of decisions made in the political arena, the greater the potential for conflict.
[texto ligeiramente alterado]

contrariamente aos parasitas biológicos...

3 Reasons Why Public Sector Employees Are Killing The Economy (artigo)

A propósito de Golden Grahams (3)

No seguimento dos posts anteriores, o preconceito a favor dos inventários existe também nas normas contabilísticas que são impostas por servirem de base à colecta fiscal.

As empresas têm interesse em reduzir inventários porque representam um custo, como estragam os parâmetros de performance financeira - como o return-on-assets. Contudo, acontece que segundo as normas correntes o inventário pode ser metido nos livros com custos fixos associados alocados — pelo que o armazém para além de guardar produtos, também guarda custos que não vão estragar o lucro declarado da empresa. Mas que condicionarão futuras estratégias.

Usar regras tontas não faz sentido em termos de gestão do capital. Num regime de mercado, práticas que não geram valor são punidas. Acontece que é ao lucro declarado antes de impostos que o Estado vai buscar dinheiro, muito dinheiro, constituindo-se como um accionista que recebe dividendos quando os resultados são positivos, e a mais não é obrigado.

Contrariamente ao "conhecimento comum", o lucro é um valor ficcional, sem grande significado operacional, e sem grande utilidade estratégica por ser de muito curto prazo. Orientar uma empresa em função do lucro pode conduzir a más opções de gestão. De novo, num mercado livre o parâmetro lucro não teria tanta importância como tem num mercado intervencionado.

Contudo, porque o talhão fiscal é tão grande, e porque são tão grandes as penalizações para quem não apresente as contas em conformidade com as normas oficiais, o Estado obriga as empresas a darem importância despropositada ao lucro. Obriga-as a engenharias financeiras pouco interessantes para além do curto-prazo. Entre elas, a gestão de inventários excessivos.

janela quebrada

John Stossel's Broken Window Fallacy

caça à próxima bolha

‘Canary in coal mine’ heralds bond trouble por Gillian Tett no Financial Times
In recent years, a key axiom that every investment manager learnt at school (or, more accurately, in an MBA class) was that the rate at which triple A-rated countries such as America could borrow money could be labelled the “risk-free” rate – and corporate (and) other borrowing costs could be measured against it.

But is it time to rethink that “risk-free” tag?
.... we do not live in “normal” markets right now. While the surface may look calm, the inner cogs of the financial system have been distorted by government intervention in ways that are still barely understood.

That, coupled with spiralling levels of government debt, has the potential to cause all manner of investment assumptions to go awry .... If we are moving into a world where government debt is no longer automatically deemed “risk-free”, partly because it no longer has any scarcity value, this will be a different world to the one investors know.
Ron Paul: "What The Federal Reserve Still Fails To Realize Is That Intervention In The Economy Is Always Harmful":
Unlike the late French economist, Frederic Bastiat, the Fed only sees what is seen, the superficial results of its policies, and not what is unseen, the effects of its monetary intervention throughout the economy. Monetary inflation leads to malinvestment ....