segunda-feira, Maio 31, 2010

In our hands

In Our Hands: A Plan To Replace The Welfare State featuring Charles Murray

Marés negras - mais naturais do que se pensa

Via Carlos Novais @ Facebook, Petroleum seep (Wikipedia):
A petroleum seep is a place where liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons escape to the ground surface. The hydrocarbons may escape through fractures and fissures in the rock, between geological layers, or directly from an oil-bearing outcrop.
Natural Oil Seeps vs. Oil Spills:
A 2003 National Academies study estimated that about 980,000 barrels of oil, or about 41 million gallons, seep into the Gulf - every year. Recall that the Exxon Valdez is estimated to have spilled about 250,000 barrels.
Oil "Seeps": Nature's Biggest Oil Spills:
The bottom line in all this discussion is that oil spills – even big ones – are natural occurrences. Those hydrocarbons are used as food and fertilizer by the bacterial life that sits at the bottom of local food chains. While we shouldn’t be in the business of making large messes, neither should we fall all over ourselves decrying the ultimate catastrophe when none exists. And we certainly should not use this as yet another vehicle to grow a large, ineffective, intrusive and overbearing government agency centered in Washington DC.

How long do you work for the tax man?

How long do you work for the tax man?

Nota: corresponde a um emprego na Economia produtiva (não pago pelo Estado) com um horário das 9 às 17.

euro-centralização fiscal

Fiscal Centralization Will Accelerate Europe’s Debt Crisis por Dan Mitchell:
.... a centralized fiscal policy would exacerbate Europe’s fiscal problems by creating a tragedy of the commons.

The existence of a pot of money in Brussels would encourage every nation to maximize its share of the loot, in the same way that a bloated federal government in Washington subsidizes bad fiscal behavior by state politicians. It wouldn’t matter whether the centralized fiscal policy replaced a portion of national budgets or (more likely) represented an additional source of government largesse.

Europe’s problems exist because too many people have learned to try to live off the labor of too few people. Another layer of government makes that problem worse, not better – especially since it would open up the possibility of having people from other nations bear the burden.

domingo, Maio 30, 2010

os serviços públicos como racionamento

Via Big Government,

A actividade privada reage a procura excessiva com mais produção, mais distribuição, mais oferta nos pontos de venda. O Estado impõe racionamento, o que reduz as hipóteses de realizar lucro, o que reduz os bens e serviços oferecidos no mercado. Assim como a liberdade económica de toda a sociedade.

Ora, toda a prestação de serviços "sociais" é uma forma de racionamento, porque o Estado tem os meios para expulsar os privados de qualquer sector económico. E assim faz colapsar a provisão livre de bens económicos. O que acaba por "justificar" a entrada do Estado para impor mais racionamento.

government bubble

Excertos do excelente post The U.S. Government Bond Bubble no ZeroHedge:
Perhaps the tendency that underlies policy mistake after policy mistake is the failure to think beyond first order effects. Politicians are especially adept at thinking at a linear level.
The rule of law is perhaps the most underappreciated aspect of functioning markets. Once the system degenerates into a form of crony capitalism, you know serious economic shocks lie ahead. When people realize they can "game" the system, believe me, they will. Economics is all about incentives.
Let's face it, markets are inefficient. The efficient market theory, manufactured from the ivory towers of academia, poses perhaps the greatest threat to the stability of our system.
In a circular manner, the strength of U.S. bonds is justified by low yields, which is evidence of the strength of U.S. bonds. But take a step back and remember that current yields are a product of government intervention. Stability, especially artificial stability, breeds instability. U.S. bonds are a bubble, and it's pretty damn recognizable at the present time.
Our leaders are going to spend like drunken sailors until the entire house of cards comes crumbling down. I'm telling you, the evidence is staring you in the face.

Are we f*cked?

Gordon Brown - Elephant in the Room

Teorias de Conspiração e Socialismo

Conspiracy-Theory Socialism por Steven Horwitz:
Conspiracy theories are as old as human thinking; they satisfy a deep desire to believe that some person or group is in control of everything and that the apparently chaotic way that social life evolves actually has an underlying unity. In this way, observers have argued, conspiracy theories substitute for religion, providing meaning to what would otherwise be a meaningless social world.
Ultimately, believing that a small group of evil people are manipulating economic and social processes for their own ends concedes to defenders of government economic planning that controlling and manipulating the economy is in fact possible! In other words, conspiracy theories are a form of socialism.

Dívida pública - roubando à próxima geração

National Debt

Prisões, Cigarros e Mercados Negros

No seguimento de Governance na Prisão e The Economic Organisation of a P.O.W. Camp, e via Marginal Revolution, Smoke 'em if you got 'em: cigarette black markets in U.S. Prisons and Jails:
Since the mid-1980s, cigarette-smoking policies have become increasingly restrictive in jails and prisons across the United States. Cigarette black markets of various form and scale often emerge in jails and prisons where tobacco is prohibited or banned. Case studies of 16 jails and prisons were undertaken to understand the effects of cigarette bans versus restrictions on inmate culture and prison economies.

This study describes how bans can transform largely benign cigarette “gray markets,” where cigarettes are used as a currency, into more problematic black markets, where cigarettes are a highly priced commodity.

quinta-feira, Maio 27, 2010

regulators are pathetic

Juan Bautista Alberdi

La Omnipotencia del Estado es la Negación de la Libertad Individual (1880) por Juan Bautista Alberdi:
La omnipotencia de la patria, convertida fatalmente en omnipotencia del Gobierno en que ella se personaliza, es no solamente la negación de la libertad, sino también la negación del progreso social, porque ella suprime la iniciativa privada en la obra de ese progreso. El Estado absorbe toda la actividad de los individuos, cuando tiene absorbidos todos sus medios y trabajos de mejoramiento. Para llevar a cabo la absorción, el Estado engancha en las filas de sus empleados a los individuos que serían más capaces entregados a sí mismos.

En todo interviene el Estado y todo se hace por su iniciativa en la gestión de sus intereses públicos. El Estado se hace fabricante, constructor, empresario, banquero, comerciante, editor y se distrae así de su mandato esencial y único, que es proteger a los individuos de que se compone contra toda agresión interna y externa. En todas las funciones que no son de la esencia del Gobierno, obra como un ignorante y como un concurrente dañino de los particulares, empeorando el servicio del país, lejos de servirlo mejor.

I Would Recommend You Panic

Via Zero Hedge,

Newsnight 26th May, Hugh Hendry, 'I Would Recommend You Panic'
"When you bring on a professor, and when you bring on a politician, they are unaccountable. If Jeffrey's wrong, you know what, he will survive in tenure. If I'm wrong, I'll go bankrupt, right? Who do want to bet with?"
Let's purge this system of its rottenness. Let's take on a recession. It's going to be tough, people are gonna lose their jobs. They are going to lose their jobs anyway. We can spread this over 20 years, or we can get rid of it over 3 years.

Every Crime Needs a Victim

Every Crime Needs a Victim, excelente artigo de Laurence M. Vance:
Many people support legislation against victimless crimes only as long as it stops short of their particular vice. But vice or no vice, no advocate of liberty and a free society should seek legislation that would criminalize any victimless crimes. Liberty means liberty for everyone, even those who use substances and engage in practices that others in society don't use or find offensive. Our liberty is compromised and society is made worse off when we deprive a select few of liberty who are not themselves violating anyone's liberty.

Don’t Tread On Me: Rise of the Republic

Don't Tread On Me: Rise of the Republic - FULL MOVIE

Private Provision of Public Goods

The Private Provision of Public Goods por Donald Boudreaux:
Nobel laureate economist Elinor Ostrom’s important work shows that people are very good at using voluntary action to solve problems that economics textbooks insist require the forceful hand of government. Producing “public goods” .... often promises large enough gains to stir the creative juices of people—who, given enough freedom of action and security of rights, then figure out how to cooperate to provide them. This cooperation often takes different forms from what we witness in markets for typical private goods (such as shoes).

.... Sometimes it is achieved by firms seeking monetary profit, while other times it is achieved by people cooperating for gains that are real but not monetized or exchanged in conventional markets.
Também interessante, ’Market Failure’.

Ode à Democracia

Via Reason,
I've seen anything that outweirds this effort that the Anarchist Pogo Party put together in Germany five years back. The German public broadcasting network ARD was apparently required by law to air the ad uncensored. Now there's a country that takes its equal time rules seriously.

Anarchist Party Political Ad

Anarchist Pogo Party of Germany (Wikipedia):
The Anarchistic Pogo Party of Germany (German: Anarchistische Pogo-Partei Deutschlands, or 'APPD') is the self-declared party of the Pöbel (mob) and "social parasites".

Everyone Prospers With Free Trade (2)

No seguimento de Everyone Prospers With Free Trade, A Society of Mutual Benefactors de Jeffrey A. Tucker:
Well, if it is true, as I've argued, that an economic exchange is a two-way gift, an instance of mutual benefaction that is pervasive throughout society, it becomes clear that society would be completely sunk without as many opportunities as possible for economic exchange. Anyone who champions the well-being of society should especially celebrate commercial centers, stock markets, international trade, and every sector in which money changes hands in exchange for assets or goods. It means nothing more than that people are finding ways to help each other get by and thrive.
At some point today, you will undoubtedly engage in some economic exchange. Use the opportunity to reflect on what a glorious dynamic underlies it. You can say, "thank you." The person who takes your money can say, "thank you." Such opportunities account for most of the peace and prosperity we enjoy this side of heaven.

quarta-feira, Maio 26, 2010

emprestaria dinheiro a estes vagabundos?

Via The Portuguese Economy,
since democracy was implemented, no government was even close to achieving a balanced budget. Far from it. As we can see in the graph below, the Portuguese governments have always maintained significant budget deficits, even at times of fast economic growth, when revenues are higher.
In other words, if there is something that Portuguese governments are missing (in the eyes of the markets and the electorate) is credibility.

Portuguese budget deficit as % of GDP, 1976-2009

Funny money, funny inflation

How the government manufactures low inflation:
Hedonics is also the government's way of taking quality improvements and converting them into price declines when calculating the CPI. Sure, that brand-new Chevy you just bought cost 40% more than it used to, but it's a 40%-better car for a variety of reasons. So, the government says, the price didn't really go up.
Our government has admitted its Alice in Wonderland hedonic-adjustment exercise has produced numbers so distorted that it doesn't want to show them to you. Yet it continues to use the "analysis" and some of the data in calculations of real GDP, productivity growth and CPI calculations.
The government recognizes it has a problem with exploding health costs and is studying the use of that same quick fix which has "worked" when unwelcome rising prices have been an issue in other areas, i.e., to define the problem away
Traduzindo, não confiar no índice CPI como medidor da "inflação" de preços. Não só o cabaz de produtos usado para medir o índice não tem significado, excluindo-se os bens alimentares e os custos de energia, como os demais preços são massajados para dizerem o que é conveniente.


Via O Insurgente,

terça-feira, Maio 25, 2010

Towel Day!

How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet de Douglas Adams:
So people complain that there's a lot of rubbish online, or that it's dominated by Americans, or that you can't necessarily trust what you read on the web. Imagine trying to apply any of those criticisms to what you hear on the telephone.

Of course you can't 'trust' what people tell you on the web anymore than you can 'trust' what people tell you on megaphones, postcards or in restaurants. Working out the social politics of who you can trust and why is, quite literally, what a very large part of our brain has evolved to do. For some batty reason we turn off this natural scepticism when we see things in any medium which require a lot of work or resources to work in, or in which we can't easily answer back -- like newspapers, television or granite. Hence 'carved in stone.'

What should concern us is not that we can't take what we read on the internet on trust -- of course you can't, it's just people talking -- but that we ever got into the dangerous habit of believing what we read in the newspapers or saw on the TV -- a mistake that no one who has met an actual journalist would ever make. One of the most important things you learn from the internet is that there is no 'them' out there. It's just an awful lot of 'us'.

A Death Blow to Europe’s Welfare State

Via Pension Pulse:

Short Selling (5)

Posts antigos aqui no AADF:

What Would Obama Do?

quinta-feira, Maio 20, 2010

My Week in Haiti

My Week in Haiti de Robert Murphy:
So it's true, there are obvious "inefficiencies" in the way Haiti runs, and if it were suddenly populated by professional Americans — even if they only had the tools that the Haitians currently work with — things would be running much more efficiently within a few months. But is this really such a surprising observation? After all, one of the most important "tools" of a modern economy is the so-called human capital of its population.
In my brief time in Haiti, I saw the laws of economics at work. Entrepreneurs rushed to satisfy customers, as proven by the owners of motorcycles who suddenly became taxi drivers after the roads were filled with rubble. Government, in contrast, completely failed to deliver promised services to the people. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the "nongovernmental organizations," at least the one I worked for, were filled with some of the most interesting people I have ever met.

Although outsiders can definitely provide emergency relief, and even long-term advice, ultimately Haiti will remain mired in poverty so long as the majority retains their current hostility to open competition and commerce.
ADENDA: Resumo — Five Economic Lessons from Haiti no Independent Institute.

International number ones

Because every country is the best at something (Information is Beautiful):

(clicar para ampliar)

como o capitalismo ergueu a Argentina

Como prequel a como o socialismo meteu de joelhos a Argentina, Classical Liberalism in Argentina: A Lesson for the World por Jacob G. Hornberger:
The period from 1850 to 1930 in Argentine history is a model — a beacon shining through the darkness of history — a confirmation that what Adam Smith had discovered was true.
Upon Rosas' ouster, a new constitution for Argentina was drafted. The man most responsible for the new constitution was Juan Bautista Alberdi — one of the greatest men in Argentine history. Alberdi had been strongly influenced by the ideas of the Founding Fathers of the United States. The result: for the only time in all of South American history, government's power over the citizenry was extremely limited.
"By the outbreak of World War I Argentina had experienced almost twenty years of prodigal expansion. Per capita income equaled that in Germany and the Low Countries, and was higher than in Spain, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland. Having grown at an average annual rate of 6.5 percent since 1869, Buenos Aires had become the second city of the Atlantic seaboard, after New York, and by far the largest city in Latin America. . . . Except entrepôts like Holland and Belgium, no country in the world imported more goods per capita than Argentina. By 1911, Argentina's foreign trade was larger than Canada's and a quarter of that of the United States."
However, it was not to continue. In the 1930s, a military coup ousted the popularly elected government. Unfortunately, the new Argentine rulers rejected the Smith-Jefferson-Madison-Alberdi philosophy of economic freedom; instead, they turned to the socialist, fascist economic philosophy of people such as John Maynard Keynes, Benito Mussolini, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In your face Roddy and Lucas! (2)

No seguimento de In your face Roddy and Lucas!, o segundo trailer do filme independente finlandês Iron Sky, um sério rival à awesomeness do norueguês Dod Sno:

Iron Sky Teaser 2 - The First Footage

quarta-feira, Maio 19, 2010

a desumanidade do socialismo

Via Cafe Hayek, Capitalism vs. Capitalists por Jonah Goldberg:
If by “capitalist” you mean someone who cares more about his own profit than yours; if you mean someone who cares more about providing for his family than providing for yours; if you mean someone who trusts that he is a better caretaker of his own interests and desires than a bureaucrat he’s never met, often in a city he’s never been to: then we are all capitalists. Because, by that standard, capitalism isn’t some far-off theory about the allocation of capital; it is a commonsense description of what motivates pretty much all human beings everywhere.
The problem with socialism is socialism, because there are no socialists. Socialism is a system based upon an assumption about human nature that simply isn’t true. I can design a perfect canine community in which dogs never chase squirrels or groom their nether regions in an indelicate manner. But the moment I take that idea from the drawing board to the real world, I will discover that I cannot get dogs to behave against their nature–at least not without inflicting a terrible amount of punishment. Likewise, it’s easy to design a society that rewards each according to his need instead of his ability. The hard part is getting the crooked timber of humanity to yield to your vision.

No guns for negroes!

No Guns for Negroes Part One | No Guns for Negroes Part One

I don’t promote government failure, I expect it.

On Rooting for Government To Fail por Radley Balko:
I don’t promote government failure, I expect it. And my expectations are met fairly often. What I promote is the idea that more people share my expectations, so fewer people are harmed by government failure, and so we can stop this slide toward increasingly large portions of our lives being subject to the whims, interests, and prejudices of politicians.

In the private sector failure leads to obsolescence .... When government fails, .... It’s not that government did a poor job, or is a poor mechanism for addressing that particular problem, it’s that there just wasn’t enough government. [!]

Mosquitos first (3)

No seguimento de World Malaria Day: Demonizing DDT – How the Scare Campaign Against ‘the Excellent Powder’ Has Cost Millions of Lives.
In The Excellent Powder: DDT’s Political and Scientific History, Richard Tren and Donald Roberts argue that the infamous insecticide is the world’s greatest public-health success stories, saving millions of lives by preventing insect-borne disease. Unfortunately for those in areas still infested with mosquitoes and other flying bugs, DDT is also the world’s most-misunderstood substance, the target of a decades-long scientifically ignorant and ideologically motivated campaign that has vastly limited its use and applications.

You’ve made enough money! (2)

No seguimento de You’ve made enough money!, Enough Money por Thomas Sowell:
Are we really so eaten up with envy, or so mesmerized by rhetoric, that we are willing to sacrifice our own freedom by giving politicians the power to decide how much money anybody can make or keep? Of course, that will start only with "the rich," but surely history tells us that it will not end there.
Once you buy the argument that some segment of the citizenry should lose their rights, just because they are envied or resented, you are putting your own rights in jeopardy -- quite aside from undermining any moral basis for respecting anybody's rights. You are opening the floodgates to arbitrary power. And once you open the floodgates, you can't tell the water where to go.

Rand Paul for Senate - primárias ganhas

Rand Paul's Victory Speech [ACTUALIZADO]

terça-feira, Maio 18, 2010

Condenados a repetir erros do Passado

BREAKING: Leaked Doc Proves Spain’s ‘Green’ Policies — the Basis for Obama’s — an Economic Disaster (PJM Exclusive) (Pajamas Media):
Pajamas Media has received a leaked internal assessment produced by Spain’s Zapatero administration. The assessment confirms the key charges previously made by non-governmental Spanish experts in a damning report exposing the catastrophic economic failure of Spain’s “green economy” initiatives.
Put simply, Obama is currently promoting a policy in the U.S. which is based on a policy that he wishes to see Spain abandon. Welcome to Obamaland.
Energías Renovables: situacíon y objetivos (PDF):
El incremento del sobrecoste de las renovables explica más de un 120% de la variación de la factura electrica, y ha contrarrestado la reducción en los costes de la producción ordinaria (de un 25%).
Los mecanismos regulatorios de apoyo a las renovables han sido .... lo que ha provocado "efectos borbuja", como el de la fotovoltaica en 2008, y la incipiente de la termosolar .... así como un fuerte aumento de los sobrecostes de las renovables en la tarifa.

Find your philosophy quiz

Via Center for a Stateless Society, não cumpre aquilo que promete, mas é interessante:
On-line political quizzes are particularly tough for anarchists: there's often no way to distinguish between believing that a given state of affairs is desirable and believing that someone should bring it about by force — say, using state power. Thus, the typical online quiz makes it impossible to distinguish between people who oppose particular goals and people who oppose using the state to achieve those goals.

como o socialismo meteu de joelhos a Argentina

El desbarajuste institucional argentino no Diário de América:
En el país en el que Juan Bautista Alberdi sembró ideas liberales .... [que] permitieron que la nación fuera la envidia del mundo civilizado desde la adopción de la Constitución que el mismo inspiró hasta los años treinta que comenzó el desbarranque acentuado notablemente a partir de la década siguiente.

En esa Argentina en la que los salarios de la incipiente industria y los de los peones rurales eran superiores a los de Francia, Alemania, España e Italia en marcada tendencia a superar los de Inglaterra y Estados Unidos. Por ello la población se duplicaba cada diez años. Las exportaciones estaban a la altura de las de Canadá y Australia.
En nuestro contexto, nada alcanza para satisfacer las astronómicas tasas de crecimiento del gasto estatal (treinta por ciento anual acumulado en la era kirchnerista): deudas inmensas, impuestos asfixiantes y ahora inflación desbordada.

O Capitalista e o Empreendedor

The Capitalist and the Entrepreneur: Essays on Organizations and Markets - à venda e disponível em PDF:

In Capitalists and Entrepreneurs, Klein rehabilitates and expands the classical concept of the entrepreneur as a judgmental decision-maker, linking the capitalist-investor and the entrepreneur-promoter. Building on foundations laid by the Austrian school of economics, Frank Knight’s theory of uncertainty, and the modern economics of organization, Klein shows how an entrepreneurial perspective sheds light on firm size and structure, corporate governance and control, mergers and acquisitions, organizational design, and a host of managerial and financial problems.

He also offers a reinterpretation of the modern Austrian school and a critique of the “opportunity-discovery” perspective in modern entrepreneurship studies. In a series of shorter essays he tackles the economics of the Internet, network theory, the socialism of the intellectual class, the financial crisis, and the contributions of Carl Menger, F. A. Hayek, and Oliver Williamson.

Earth Day e capitalismo

Earth Day: Smile, don't shudder por Bjorn Lomborg:
So what should we do? Well, to begin with, we might consider one of the fundamental lessons of the past 40 years of environmental concern. You cannot expect people to care about what the environment may be like 100 years from now if they are worrying about whether their children have enough to eat. With this in mind, we should focus on the many more immediate problems faced by the developing world today — problems such as malnutrition, education, disease and clean drinking water .... As long as the electricity from sustainable sources such as solar panels costs us 10 times as much as electricity generated by coal-fired generators, no one but rich nations will go green (and then only if there are government subsidies).

"You want my property - you can’t have it!"


People want big health and big education

People want big health and big education, not big government por Kristian Niemietz (editado):
There are some big areas in which the statist post-war consensus has never been shaken, above all, health and education.

Over the last two decades or so, people’s preferences have shifted in favour of health-related and education-related goods. These are the areas where spending has grown most and where it has been most popular. If health and education had been private industries, their share of GDP would have increased at the (relative) expense of other industries.

Advocating small government without explicitly attacking the consensus that health and education must be state-provided will then be read as advocating a cap on the size of these sectors. This would not be in line with consumer preferences.

Advocacy of spending cuts should always be combined with advocacy of policies that increase people’s opportunities to move beyond basic state provision.

segunda-feira, Maio 17, 2010

Confiança no Estado

Via Reason,
The Most Encouraging Thing I've Seen in a Week — Running tally from the Pew Research Center's "Trust in Government" poll:

Nada contra o Estado

Nothing Outside the State por Robert Higgs:
What of any consequence remains beyond the state’s reach in the United States today? Not wages, working conditions, or labor management relations; not health care; not money, banking, or financial services; not personal privacy; not transportation or communication; not education or scientific research; not farming or food supply; not nutrition or food quality; not marriage or divorce; not child care; not provision for retirement; not recreation; not insurance of any kind; not smoking or drinking; not gambling; not political campaign funding or publicity; not real-estate development, home construction, or housing finance; not international travel, trade, or finance; not 1,000 other areas and aspects of economic and social life.
When the government makes a mess of things, eliciting complaints and protests, as it has for example in every area related to health care, it responds by making “reforms” that heap new laws, regulations, and government bureaus atop the existing mountain of counterproductive laws, regulations, and government bureaus. Thus, each new “reform” makes the government larger and more destructive than before.

Reasons to Legalize Pot

ReasonTV - 3 Reasons to Legalize Pot Now!

Guerra às drogas

AP IMPACT: US drug war has met none of its goals por Martha Mendoza, da Associated Press:
Until 100 years ago, drugs were simply a commodity. Then Western cultural shifts made them immoral and deviant .... Religious movements led the crusades against drugs .... In 1970 .... President Richard M. Nixon seized on a new war he thought he could win ....

His first drug-fighting budget was $100 million. Now it's $15.1 billion, 31 times Nixon's amount even when adjusted for inflation .... the only sure thing taxpayers get for more spending on police and soldiers is more homicides.
After 40 years, the United States' war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives, and for what? Drug use is rampant and violence even more brutal and widespread.

sexta-feira, Maio 14, 2010


NIA: Meltup

sobre a superioridade da democracia

Democracy, on Trial, Again:
Because of the spectacular success of American democracy over the last two centuries, we are apt to forget how discredited democracy was in 1776. The lesson of history was that, in democracies, demagogues would led the passionate and fickle masses would vote themselves the property of the rich minority, and tyranny would result.

The lessons–how Greek city-states destroyed themselves and were conquered by larger despotic empires, how Rome morphed from a republic into such a despotic empire–were well known to the authors of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. James Madison observed that the ancient “democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Even more familiar was England’s experiment in “commonwealth” democracy during their seventeenth-century Civil War. “Democracy” was a bad word at the time of the American Revolution.

The state governments under the Articles of Confederation repeated many of these ancient maladies. In particular, they engaged in the kind of inflationary debtor-relief polices that demagogues always proffer in times of economic distress. The American Constitution was in large part an effort to save democratic government from the tendency of majorities to vote themselves the property of minorities. Thus James Madison in the tenth Federalist argued that the new Constitution would help prevent a “rage for paper money, for an abolition of debts, for an equal division of property, or for any other improper or wicked project,” from going nationwide.

dois mundos (2)

Via O Insurgente,

dois mundos

Infelizmente, isto é só pelos EUA:
Por aqui (link do Público):
  • IRS volta a ser agravado
  • IVA aumenta nos três escalões
  • EP´s com menos um terço dos apoios
  • Mais impostos pagos pela poupança
  • agravamento da tributação do imposto de selo
  • Autarquias obrigadas a poupar 100 milhões
  • IRC das grandes empresas sobe para 27,5 por cento

You’ve made enough money!

Fox & Friends: The Morality of Money
An honest man is one who knows that he can’t consume more than he has produced.
Ayn Rand


Obeying is Low Status, So How Do We Convince People to Obey?:
A.J. Ayer says political philosophers claim to be interested in answering one question: What is the moral authority that makes political obligation binding? But while philosophers pay lip service to this high ideal of moral inquiry, Ayer concludes they’re really just ad men, advocating their preferred form of government. He offers a handy summary of the answers given by the “greats”:
  • You ought to obey because you are forced to. Hobbes.
  • You ought to obey because you have promised to. Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and other believers in the Social Contract.
  • You ought to obey because it is in your interest. Plato, Hobbes, Bentham.
  • You ought to obey because it is in the general interest. Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Green.
  • You ought to obey because it is you who are giving the orders. Hobbes, Rousseau, Bosanquet and other believers in the General Will.
  • You ought to obey because God wants you to. Mediaeval writers.
  • You ought to obey because the Sovereign is God’s anointed. Absolute Monarchists.
  • You ought to obey because the Sovereign is descended from someone who had the right to be obeyed. Legitimists.
  • You ought to obey because your government exemplifies the highest point yet reached in the spiritual development of man. Hegel. This can hardly be true of all governments.
  • You ought to obey because your government has history on its side. Marx. Again, this may not be true of all governments.
  • You ought to obey because you ought to obey. Some English moralists.
  • You have no obligation to obey. Anarchists.

Human Rights Council, vergonha

Keep Libya Off UN Human Rights Council

Human rights groups oppose U.N. Human Rights Council seats for Qaddafi’s Libya, Angola, Mauritania, Qatar, Malaysia:
A joint report last week by the human rights groups Freedom House and UN Watch called on all 192 member states to vote against Libya, Angola, Mauritania, Qatar, Malaysia, based on an examination of their record in protecting human rights at home, as well as on their UN human rights voting record. Click here for report with analysis of all 14 candidates.
UPDATE: Libya wins 80% support of UN for new seat on Human Rights Council; full results of elections

Krugman liar pants on fire

Is Paul Krugman, the Doctor, America's Most Politicized Economist?:
In Econ Journal Watch, George Mason University economics student Brett Barkley tries to quantify how likely economists are to change their tune based on whether the Silly Party or the Sensible Party is in power. He focuses on what may be the central fiscal question of the age: Does an economist change his or her view of deficit spending when political power shifts?

Barkley's finding is that of 17 prominent economists surveyed, six showed evidence of shifting their views on deficits when power shifted, and the most significant changes came in the prognostical pontifications of New York Times columnist Paul Krugman -- the Nobel Laureate, 2002 E&P columnist of the year, and three-time winner of the CableACE award.
Bónus: Las burbujas y las mentiras de Krugman

quinta-feira, Maio 13, 2010

A Igreja Católica: Construtora da Civilização

1.1 A Igreja Católica: Construtora da Civilização - Introdução

Eliminate the Public Schools

Achieve Educational Freedom, Excellence and Harmony: Eliminate the Public Schools, excelente artigo de Paul Galvin:
As resistance to ever-bigger government increases, with a commensurate greater appreciation for individual liberty, state constitutions will be re-examined, perhaps even amended. What follows is not a prediction, only an exploration which in turn may lead to better ideas. Finally, readers should bear in mind that eliminating public schooling is not the elimination of education, but rather the expansion of both freedom and education.
Um resumo dos pontos de discussão:
  • Freedom for Taxpayers
  • Freedom for Municipalities
  • Freedom for Parents
  • Freedom for Students
  • Freedom for Teachers
  • Freedom from Incompetence or Indifference
  • Freedom for the Uninvolved
  • Freedom to Choose.

The Future in 15 Seconds

The Future in 15 Seconds

Positivismo económico é falso

Via Vaticano (destaques meus):
.... vediamo un dualismo falso, cioè un positivismo economico che pensa di potersi realizzare senza la componente etica, un mercato che sarebbe regolato solo da se stesso, dalle pure forze economiche, dalla razionalità positivista e pragmatista dell’economia - l’etica sarebbe qualcosa d’altro, estranea a questo. In realtà, vediamo adesso che un puro pragmatismo economico, che prescinde dalla realtà dell’uomo - che è un essere etico -, non finisce positivamente, ma crea problemi irresolubili.
Bento XVI, algures no espaço aéreo europeu, 11/05/2010

o modelo sueco - Sweden’s March Toward Capitalism Sweden’s March Toward Capitalism – Economist Andreas Bergh on the “Capitalist Welfare State”

terça-feira, Maio 11, 2010

The crisis: a view from Portugal

Via O Insurgente, The crisis: a view from Portugal de André Azevedo Alves no IEA Blog:
The pervading lack of competitiveness is associated with .... an extremely rigid labour market, an inefficient and often unreliable justice system, a pervading culture of nepotism and corruption in numerous institutions, and growing government intervention in key economic sectors are among the main factors and all seem unlikely to experience major improvements in the short run.

Apart from the far-left parties (which have an electoral weight of close to 20% and hold radical anti-capitalistic views) there is a large social-democratic consensus in Portuguese society favouring .... a dangerous state of denial and to blaming external agents (greedy faceless speculators, the US, the ECB or even Germany) for the crisis.

domingo, Maio 09, 2010

Custos de conformidade dos impostos

The Onerous Compliance Cost of the Internal Revenue Code

Insurgências obrigatórias

Socialista à força por Carlos Guimarães Pinto:
Liberais, anarquistas, conservadores têm que sacrificar a vida dos seus filhos para que os socialistas, num assunto que apenas a eles diz respeito, organizem a sua vida em sociedade da forma que melhor entendem. Liberais, anarquistas, conservadores contribuem para as despesas de funcionamento dos serviços do Estado para que os socialistas, num assunto que apenas a eles diz respeito, imponham a sua noção de vida em sociedade.

Agradecia que alguém me explicasse porque sou eu obrigado a participar numa forma de organização de sociedade com a qual não concordo. Sou um feroz defensor da liberdade de associação. Agradecia que respeitassem a minha liberdade de não me associar. Começando por não me obrigar a contribuir financeiramente e com o meu tempo para a vossa vida de crentes.

Se querem oferecer educação, saúde, segurança social, investir em energias renováveis, magalhães e abortos façam-no com o dinheiro do vosso trabalho. Suponho que a força da fé vos chega para fazer esse sacrifício. Eu é que não tenho de fazer nenhum. Parece-me.


John Cleese vs Extremism


Via blogs do NYT, Somalia: Failed State, Economic Success? por Benjamin Powell no Freeman online:
.... by most measures Somalia’s poverty is diminishing and Somalia has improved living standards faster than the average sub-Saharan African country since the early 1990s. In that sense Somalia is at least a relative success story. The most interesting part of Somalia’s success is that it has all been achieved while the country has lacked any effective central government.
.... Somalia does demonstrate that a reasonable level of law and order can be provided by nonstate customary legal systems and that such systems are capable of providing some basis for economic development. This is particularly true when the alternative is not a limited government but instead a particularly brutal and repressive government such as Somalia had and is likely to have again if a government is reestablished.

Economist George Ayittey often refers to many African governments as “vampire states,” which suck the lifeblood out of their citizens and their economy. He recently wrote that the “rogue African nation-state should be left to the fate it deserves—implosion and state collapse.” Many would react with horror to such a suggestion and say, “If that happened you’d end up with another Somalia!” The lesson we should learn from Somalia is that that’s not so bad—at least when compared to the often ghastly alternatives.

Judge Napolitano: Legalize Marijuana!

A propósito do Weed Day,

It's Time To Legalize Marijuana! Judge Napolitano

Greeks: face reality

Greek protesters: Ready to face reality about the debt crisis?,carta aberta de Dan Boudreaux ao povo grego:
For decades your country has lived well beyond its means. Thirty years ago, your government’s debt-to-GDP ratio was 34.5 percent. Today that figure stands at 115 percent. In other words, for decades your government borrowed money to provide you with goods and services that you couldn’t afford.
Your only reasonable course of action, then, is to work harder, save more, and adopt wiser public policies that promote wealth creation. Chief among these policy changes is to reject the socialism that you have been infatuated with for too long now. You need greater respect for private property. You need entrepreneurship. You need competition. In short, you need free markets. Without these, you will never become more prosperous.

If you wish, of course, you can continue to deny this reality – a reality that is now slapping you in your face. But as the economist Thomas Sowell is fond of pointing out, reality is not optional. He is both right and reasonable.

sábado, Maio 08, 2010

Ludwig von Mises - A Primer

Altamente recomendado, Ludwig von Mises - A Primer do Institute of Economic Affairs,

In Ludwig von Mises – A Primer, Eamonn Butler provides a comprehensive yet accessible overview of Mises’ outstanding achievements. At a time of economic crisis, this monograph makes it clear that Mises’ work is highly relevant today. Indeed, while mainstream economics has been found wanting, the latest recession appears to have been entirely consistent with his analysis. Furthermore, the poor performance of state health and education services can be explained by Mises’ Austrian theories. Nevertheless, Mises remains neglected by the economics profession, policymakers and academics. This readable primer explains why his work should be at the core of economic thinking.
Aqui o post de Eemonn Buttler

welfare state : failure

welfare state por Rui de Albuquerque, um post aqui reproduzido numa forma muito retalhado, mas cuja leitura se recomenda vivamente:
A maioria das pessoas incomoda-se muito quando se critica o “Estado Social” .... Depois, quase todas as pessoas que se revêem neste modelo de organização social queixam-se do excesso de burocracia, .... da elevada carga fiscal, das empresas que fecham portas, do crescimento descontrolado do desemprego, da falta de competitividade da nossa economia, etc.

Existe, como não podia deixar de ser, uma óbvia articulação.... : o Estado Social cresce na proporção directa em que aumenta a sua ineficiência. Isso deve-se à natureza do sistema, que é independente da bondade das intenções de quem o gere.
A verdade dos factos é que o sistema não funciona.
  • Em primeiro lugar, porque o estado nada produz a não ser serviços .... com custos reais mais elevados do que se oferecidos por entidades privadas.
  • Depois, porque para sustentar esses serviços, o estado recorre-se do rendimento de quem produz .... provocando descapitalização das empresas e dos indivíduos e, consequentemente, desemprego e falências.
  • Em seguida, porque este sistema cria incentivos para que as pessoas não trabalhem ....
  • Por último, porque .... o estado descura as suas funções de soberania, como a segurança e a justiça

O “Estado Social” é, assim, um entrave e um impedimento ao desenvolvimento de uma sociedade e um factor de subdesenvolvimento, de pobreza e, consequentemente, de abandono dos mais pobres e carenciados à sua sorte. Este modelo tem de mudar e aquilo a que estamos a assistir na Europa mais não é do que o seu inevitável fim.

Happy Birthday Mr. Hayek

Milton Friedman remembers Friedrich Hayek
Friedrich Hayek, 8 May 1899 – 23 March 1992

sexta-feira, Maio 07, 2010

a Economia é contra-revolucionária

Via Marginal Revolution, Economic enlightenment is not correlated with going to college — algumas conclusões:
Economic enlightenment is not correlated with going to college .... Economic enlightenment is highest among those self-identifying “conservative” and “libertarian,” and descends through “moderate,” “liberal,” and “progressive.”
When the White House changes party, do economists change their tune on budget deficits? .... Six economists are found to change their tune – Paul Krugman in a significant way, Alan Blinder in a moderate way, and Martin Feldstein, Murray Weidenbaum, Paul Samuelson, and Robert Solow in a minor way – while eleven are found to be fairly consistent.
Via Volock Conspiracy — The Further Left You Are the Less You Know About Economics::
Some of the results .... are startling:
  • 67% of self-described Progressives believe that restrictions on housing development (i.e., regulations that reduce the supply of housing) do not make housing less affordable.
  • 51% believe that mandatory licensing of professionals (i.e., reducing the supply of professionals) doesn’t increase the cost of professional services.
  • Perhaps most amazing, 79% of self-described Progressive believe that rent control (i.e., price controls) does not lead to housing shortages.
It would be hard to find a set of propositions that would meet with such a degree of consensus among economists to rival these propositions–which boils down to supply restrictions raise prices and price controls create shortages.

Congressman Paul on Greek Crisis

Congressman Ron Paul on Greek Crisis and How it Relates to the U.S.

European elites are ignorant

Ignorant European elites fume at financial markets nos blogues do FT:
One reason why the eurozone is sliding into ever deeper trouble is because its political and bureaucratic elites do not like, do not understand and have no wish to understand financial markets. This is an attitude embedded in European history and culture.
What hypocrisy! The EU’s authorities might like to remember that between 1999, the euro’s launch year, and 2007 the financial markets, far from going on the attack, gave Greece the benefit of the doubt, valuing its debt at roughly the same level as that of Germany and France. Did the EU complain? EU governments had, of course, merrily ignored the fact that Greece had lied about its public finances to get into the eurozone in 2001!
It was none other than Standard & Poor’s .... to suggest that the politicians’ and markets’ confidence in Greece was misplaced. The agency downgraded Greek debt at a time when everyone else took the view that there could be no such thing as a “Greek problem” or an “Italian problem”, because all eurozone countries were supposedly converging towards some blissful state of eternal economic unity.

Short selling - em diagramas

Via Wikipedia:

Short SellingNaked Short Selling

.... it's tough to deny that short selling makes an important contribution to the market by:
  • Adding liquidity to share transactions. The additional buying and selling reduces the difference between the price at which shares can be bought and sold.
  • Driving down overpriced securities by lowering the cost to execute a trade
  • Increasing the overall efficiency of the markets by quickening price adjustments
  • Acting as the first line of defense against financial fraud. For instance, in 2001, famed short seller James Chanos identified fraudulent accounting practices that occurred with the Enron Corporation, an energy-trading and utilities company. The company's activity became known as the Enron scandal when the company was found to have inflated its revenues. It filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of 2001. (To learn more about this scandal, see The Biggest Stock Scams Of All Time.)

Cómo el socialismo destruye Europa

Cómo el socialismo destruye Europa no ABC:
Los fundamentos de la Unión Europea son incompatibles con la manera en que se gestionan los Estados europeos. Es decir, la Unión Europea es de origen liberal, concebida como tal en filosofía política y en economía y sólo es posible gestionarla de manera liberal, mientras que todos los gobiernos nacionales, aunque fueran de derechas, crearon, de hecho, unos gigantescos Estados del Bienestar de inspiración socialista.
Ese socialismo de hecho, sedimentación de promesas electorales y de derechos adquiridos, se desarrolló en Europa infinitamente más rápido que la economía y que el número de habitantes. Por tanto, este socialismo de hecho sólo podía financiarse a crédito, se creía que sin riesgos, ya que el euro parecía «fuerte». Este euro fuerte enloqueció a sus poseedores: de repente todo parecía asequible con el crédito. Ello tuvo como consecuencia un endeudamiento notablemente homogéneo, en todos los países europeos, del orden del 100% de la riqueza nacional .... Todos los Estados europeos han sido gestionados «a la socialista», en contradicción con los principios liberales de la Unión Europea ....

El socialismo domina los espíritus en Europa, mientras que el mundo universitario, mediático e intelectual acosa al liberalismo. Apoyar al mercado frente al Estado y preconizar el Estado modesto se considera en Europa una perversión «estadounidense». Y la ideología socialista está lo suficientemente arraigada como para que a un político le sea casi imposible resultar elegido sin prometer aún más solidaridad pública y aún menos riesgo público.

Estos Estados del Bienestar, debido a su coste financiero y a la falta de responsabilización ética que legitiman, han asfixiado el crecimiento económico en Europa: somos el continente del declive, pero del declive solidario.

quinta-feira, Maio 06, 2010

Mister DAX - um Peter Schiff alemão?

La FED debe abolirse, es el mayor pulpo del sistema:

La fama convirtió a Dirk Müller, hasta entonces un anónimo corredor de Bolsa, en asiduo de periódicos, radios y televisiones en los que se ha revelado como un analista de Bolsa especialmente agudo y acertado. Tal vez porque tiene bien aprendida la “Teoría del dinero y del Crédito” de Ludwig von Mises, un libro escrito hace un siglo que define con precisión las causas de una expansión incontrolada del crédito como la que han llevado a cabo los bancos centrales en los últimos años.
A la pregunta sobre quién es el próximo arbusto en arder, España o Italia, Müller se decanta por la primera. “España tiene que refinanciar este verano grandes sumas de dinero, y el resultado no está claro”. Después de eso, el Reino Unido, cuyo “déficit presupuestario no es inferior al griego”.

Citação do Dia

You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the industrious out of it. You don't multiply wealth by dividing it.

Government cannot give anything to anybody that it doesn't first take from somebody else. Whenever somebody receives something without working for it, somebody else has to work for it without receiving.

The worst thing that can happen to a nation is for half of the people to get the idea they don't have to work because somebody else will work for them, and the other half to get the idea that it does no good to work because they don't get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Youtube, A Queda, e censura de paródias

3 Reasons YouTube Shouldn't Censor Downfall Parodies

bónus: Hitler reacts to the Hitler parodies being removed from YouTube

Insurgências obrigatórias

Custo de Capital para Tótós por Miguel Botelho Moniz:
No caso do estado não existem propriamente capital próprios. Existem “clientes” cativos que geram receitas anualmente através de impostos. Existe por isso um limite nas receitas potenciais, função da capacidade da economia de gerar (e suportar) os ditos impostos. Com custos superiores a esta receita, o estado financia-se por recurso à dívida. Sendo o stock de dívida elevado face à capacidade de pagar os seus juros e de a amortizar face às receitas previsíveis, o estado, tal como outra entidade excessivamente alavancada, vê o seu custo de capital agravado.

É fácil de ver que a realização de projectos, via dívida, que correspondam a vários pontos percentuais do stock de dívida existente, tem uma alta probabilidade de levar a um aumento do custo de capital. Num ambiente de (alguma) racionalidade, mesmo que utilizando taxas que não deviam ser usadas, quando estas aumentam seria expectável que as decisões de investimento fossem alteradas. Não há muito tempo a dívida pública a dez anos do estado português tinha yields de cerca de 4%. Hoje de manhã a mesma dívida estava com yields de 5,6%. O governo vai actuando como se nada fosse.

George Carlin, plastic

A propósito de ‘Chunky soup’ of plastic in Atlantic, ou Jeremy Jackson: How we wrecked the ocean, George Carlin:

George Carlin - Saving The Planet

Insurgências obrigatórias

O Governo finge que existe por Bruno Alves:
.... não consta que o problema do desemprego em Portugal se deva a uma chusma de preguiçosos que ficam sentados a sugarem os contribuintes enquanto os empregos florescem no mercado de trabalho. Pelo contrário. Os dois grandes problemas do desemprego devem-se, por um lado, à morte de certas actividades que, pura e simplesmente deixaram de ser rentáveis, e que lançam no desemprego uma série de pessoas que nunca de lá sairão, e por outro, à falta de flexibilidade do mercado de trabalho: é difícil despedir, o que faz com que seja difícil contratar, o que faz com que o problema do desemprego não seja um problema de falta de procura por parte dos desempregados, mas essencialmente de oferta de empregos.

Ser menos “generoso” na atribuição dos subsídios de desemprego, nestas circunstâncias, pouco ou nada fará para resolver o problema, pela simples razão de que o problema não está aí. Com tais medidas, o Governo (e Passos Coelho) apenas deixarão desempregados de longo prazo, que, devido à rigidez do mercado de trabalho, terão dificuldade em arranjar emprego por muito que o procurem, em maiores dificuldades.

Peter Schiff is right (2)

No seguimento de Peter Schiff is right,

Why the Meltdown Should Have Surprised No One | Peter Schiff

Uma parábola sobre o Socialismo

Anda a circular pela net, fonte é incerta:
An economics professor said he had never failed a single student before but had, once, failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer. The professor then said ok, we will have an experiment in this class on socialism.

All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A. After the first test the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

But, as the second test rolled around, the students who studied only a little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too; so they studied less than what they had. The second test average was a D! No one was happy. When the 3rd test rolled around the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame, name calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else. All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great; but when government takes all the reward away; no one will try or want to succeed.

quarta-feira, Maio 05, 2010

o Muro de Bruxelas

Via O Insurgente,

EU will go same way as Soviet Union which it so resembles - Godfrey Bloom MEP

Estatísticas enganadoras (2)

Grasshopper Society...:
We are bombarded with news about the widening wealth gap between the "richest" and the "poorest" and take that as a portend of societal collapse. "The rich have far greater income gain than the poor" is how one article in the Washington Post characterized the issue.

However, if you follow the data by specific people, rather than as percentages of a whole bucket, you find that the income of those in the bottom 2o% in income in 1996 rose 91% by 2005, while those that were in the top 20% in 1996 rose by only 10% by 2005, while those in the top 5% and 1% in 1996 actually declined.

How do reconcile these two apparently disparate statistics? Obviously, because those that were in the bottom 20% don't stay in the bottom 20%. We don't have a static society. This is affected by a variety of issues. Young people entering the workforce, better jobs in other areas. In any case, doesn't this bit of information change your perception of wealth in our society altogether?

Moreover, more than 75% of Bottom 20%ers in 1975 were in the Top 40% of earners in 1991. 5% of those initially in the bottom 20% were still there in 1991. 29% 0f those in the lowest 20% in 1975 were in the top 20% 15 years later. THIS is the success story of America. For every "failed case" or "permanent poor" member of our society, there are 6 cases that rose to the very top from the same rung.

We the Living

Via We The Living Trailer for 1942 Italian Film Version of Ayn Rand's Novel, We The Living Trailer for 1942 Italian Film Version of Ayn Rand's Novel

Estatísticas enganadoras (1)

Grasshopper Society...:
Whenever the term "households" is pulled out, grab your wallet, because the number of people within households has been declining over the years. The number of households is increasing faster than the per capita number of people. The only reason to use it is to HIDE per capita results.

In fact, that the number of houselholds is increasing faster than per capita population is itself a sign of prosperity. More per capita income allows smaller households to emerge. The use of "households" statistics consistently understates rises in per capita standard of living and consistently overstates income inequality trends.

For instance, there are 39 million people in "bottom 20% households", and 64 million people in "top 20% households". In other words, if everyone in the US had exactly the same income, there would STILL exist a significant disparity between Top 25% and Bottom 20% of households. The appropriate metric is "per capita".

A pig stopped me for nuthin’! (2)

No seguimento de A pig stopped me for nuthin’!

10 Rules for Dealing with Police Now Free on YouTube
The advocacy group Flex Your Rights has posted its latest video 10 Rules for Dealing With Police on YouTube in four 10-minute installments. Part one is below. Click through to the YouTube page for parts two, three, and four.

10 Rules for Dealing with Police

Exxon e BP

Why Not Feel Sorry for Exxon? por Murray N. Rothbard:
Note the difference between the berserker reaction to the Valdez oil spill, and the response to the last great oil spill in 1978, off the French coast, when the Amoco Cadiz let loose no less than 60 million gallons of crude oil into the Atlantic – the worst oil spill in history. There was no hysteria, no screaming headlines, no bellyaching on television. The courts quietly forced Amoco to pay $115 million to compensate for costs of the accident, and that was that. The reactions were different because, in the meantime, the virus of environmentalism has deeply infected our culture.
Why Not Feel Sorry for BP? por Lew Rockwell:
How about reality? The incident is a tragedy for BP and all the subcontractors involved. It will probably wreck the company, a company that has long helped provide the fuel that runs everything from our cars to our industries, and keeps alive the very body of modern life ....
.... we might ask who is happy about the disaster: the environmentalists, with their fear mongering and hatred of modern life, and the government, which treats every capitalist producer as a bird to be oiled and plucked.
If they have their way, oil prices would be vastly higher, there would never be another refinery built, and all development of the oceans would stop in the name of "protecting" things irrelevant to human life.

Licencing Madness

Licensing Madness por John Stossel:
“The state has no moral or lawful authority to restrain A and B from agreeing to exchange a service for a payment, providing that the agreement is voluntary.”

No License, No Business!

O paradoxo da escolha, sempre e ainda uma baboseira

Diz o 'paradoxo da escolha' que quando uma pessoa tem demasiadas alternativas, tende a bloquear e a ficar infeliz, pelo que seria melhor que as pessoas tivessem menos alternativas. Acrescente-se algum paternalismo, e nada melhor que meter a legislação a limitar as escolhas disponíveis no mercado. Como é óbvio, esta teoria - muito divulgada por meios progressistas (como aqui e aqui) - é muito popular com os socialistas de todas as cores.

Acontece que é mais um caso em que a teoria, ou uma experiência, refuta a realidade. Como se escreve em The Non-Paradox of Choice:
stop to notice that if this result were valid and applicable with the kind of generality required to be relevant as the basis for social policy, it would imply that lots of retailers could simultaneously eliminate 75 percent of their inventory and increase sales by 900 percent. I don’t believe in purely efficient markets, but that doesn’t seem very plausible to me.
É mais um cientismo perigoso e ignorante. Diminuir escolhas por decreto erode as condições pelas quais novas escolhas alternativas podem existir, substituindo as antigas.
As a store adds more and more products to a given product line assortment – say, canned soup – sales will rise sub-linearly with product count. The first product in a category will generally be the one with the highest sales – say, Campbell’s tomato soup – and the 1,000th one added will generally have a small market. Further, people will not indefinitely add consumption of canned soup as a category just because more choices are available. Costs, on the other hand, continue to rise as the store adds more and more kinds of canned soup. At some point, incremental products in the assortment will add some small positive revenue, but will also add enough cost that they will be unprofitable. The paradox of choice will surely occur in some contexts – it’s just that markets don’t seem to produce this outcome very often.
Cabe aos empreendedores descobrirem as poucas excepções à regra - que políticos e burocratas obviamente são incapazes de sequer compreender.

melhor imagem MySpace de sempre

terça-feira, Maio 04, 2010

HHH sobre imigração

On Free Immigration and Forced Integration por Hans-Hermann Hoppe:
The current situation in the United States and in Western Europe has nothing whatsoever to do with "free" immigration. It is forced integration, plain and simple, and forced integration is the predictable outcome of democratic – one-man-one-vote – rule. Abolishing forced integration requires a de-democratization of society, and ultimately the abolition of democracy. More specifically, the authority to admit or exclude should be stripped from the hands of the central government and re-assigned to the states, provinces, cities, towns, villages, residential districts, and ultimately to private property owners and their voluntary associations.

Space entrepreneur, e regulação

Peter Diamandis on the X PRIZE and Private Space Flight

Destruição ’social’ de emprego - na primeira pessoa (2)

Screwing business — the LibDem way por Devil's Kitchen:
Iain Dale has a letter from one of his readers concerning the LibDim manifesto policy of taxing capital gains at 50%.
I'm a young entrepreneur (26). I've so far set up two, soon to be three, companies that between them employ 7 full-time members of staff - hopefully more soon.

.... there's a bigger issue that hasn't been getting very much attention - the Lib Dem's proposed Capital Gains Tax changes.

From the point of view of an entrepreneur these changes are a real kick in the teeth. They basically mean that, should any of their endeavours bear fruit in the form of the sale of a company, they would be taxed not at 10-18%, but at "income" rates of up to 50% (and with a reduced annual allowance too). That's hardly encouraging anyone start or grow a business; in fact quite the opposite.

This would effectively make the investments of many ....'angel' investors, once risk is taken into account, uneconomic - they therefore just won't invest. This could cripple many startup companies at a time when we should surely be looking to expand the economy and create jobs by encouraging new businesses.

Stuck in the middle?

Via Café Hayek, um strategy map para o Afeganistão.
This is supposedly from a powerpoint presentation (HT: Drudge) to US Army Generals to help them make sense of Afghanistan. But relabel it and it could be anything. It could be our health care system after ObamaCare is put in place. Or our current health care system with all its distortions. Or the connections between people making a pencil. In the latter case, it works even though we don’t understand it. In the other examples, it’s a mess because someone is actually arrogant enough to think he can actually control such a complex process and set of relationships.