quarta-feira, Junho 30, 2010

less government spending would mean less economic trouble

Why less government spending would mean less economic trouble,
Politicians, who are always looking for plausible rationales for their insatiable spending, borrowing, and power-grabbing, had never abandoned Keynesianism, so they have been elated to find economic “experts” again confirming their self-interested inclinations. Indeed, several prominent economists, such as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, are urging Washington to spend even more, lest the economy slow.

History teaches that temporary surges in government spending give people money that, for the most part, they save or use to reduce debt, rather than setting in motion an upward spiral of income, expenditure, real output, and employment, as envisioned by John Maynard Keynes, the British economist whose theory spurred massive government interventions in the economy from the 1930s onward.

History also teaches that government “emergency” spending tends to fatten the coffers of the politically connected. Thus, much of the so-called stimulus spending has served only to increase the pay and benefits of government employees, transferring income from the private sector to the government sector, and reward groups, such as the United Auto Workers and low-income home buyers, for their support of the Obama administration.

Ronald Reagan Speaks on Freedom

Ronald Reagan Speaks on Freedom!

Despotism Then and Now

Hayek's Road to Serfdom: Despotism Then and Now por Thomas J. DiLorenzo:
Hayek's insights were remarkable, and remain so to this day. He understood and explained the power of ideas: European fascism could never have been adopted without a 25-year propaganda campaign against individualism (basic respect for the individual), classical liberalism, and free-market economics. He pointed out the "fatal conceit" of believing that government bureaucrats could "plan" an entire society. He explained why socialism — including its fascist variant — meant little more than "equality in restraint and servitude." "Marxism has led to Fascism and National Socialism," he wrote, "because, in all its essentials, it is Fascism and National Socialism [i.e., Nazism]."
"The worst" always rise to the top of the political heap under a regime of government planning, Hayek explained, for they are the ones with the least qualms about brutalizing their fellow citizens and depriving them of their liberties. All of this can only be sustained by what Hayek called "The End of Truth," or the effects of massive government propaganda that demonizes the civil society, individualism, and the system of peaceful voluntary exchange and private property (capitalism), while glorifying all aspects of the state.

Interview with a Zombie

Um pouco de humor geek de Tom Woods a propósito do seu novo livro Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century:

Nullification: Interview with a Zombie

Bastiat, Malthus e o Estado

Via The Bastiat Society,
The State is also subject to Malthus’s Law. It tends to exceed the level of its means of existence, it expands in line with its means and what keeps it in existence is the substance of the people. Misfortune thus afflicts those peoples who cannot limit the sphere of action of the State. Freedom, private activity, wealth, well-being, independence and dignity will all disappear.
Frédéric Bastiat

É interessante verificar que o mercado demoliu todas teorias maltusianas. Numa sociedade livre a população não cresce descontroladamente, o capital é multiplicado, os recursos são geridos de acordo com a sua escassez, e novas tecnologias permitem fazer mais com menos. A propósito, este artigo é interessante.

Mas onde quer que a população consumidora de riqueza não diminua, o capital seja desbaratado, os recursos sejam de todos, e a mentalidade sempre tenha sido burocrática - no Estado - as leis de Malthus permanecem válidas.

A Queda de Roma (2)

No seguimento de A Queda de Roma, cuja leitura recomendo para compreender a gravidade dos gráficos abaixo,

é mais fácil atacar mercados do que pessoas

Fettered Markets por Ron Pisaturo:
Obama opposes “markets that are unfettered”; that is, he is for “fettered” markets. But how does one fetter a market? A market is an association of consenting individuals, as are friendship and romance. The only way to fetter an association is to fetter the individuals who would associate.

When politicians, economists, and commentators depersonalize the idea of freedom, when they speak of free or unfettered markets but never of free or unfettered people, then freedom becomes easier for them to attack or more difficult for them to defend.

Teorias de Conspiração e Socialismo (2)

Tendo em conta este post, é claro que pelo facto do Estado ter evoluído tal como os "teoristas da conspiração" previam não prova, Post hoc ergo propter hoc que a conspiração internacionalista existe. O facto é que o internacionalismo existe como ideologia iliberal; e beneficia do desgoverno fiscal da social-democracia.

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America

sábado, Junho 26, 2010

Guia liberal para Campeonato do Mundo (2)

No seguimento de Guia liberal para Campeonato do Mundo, eis o ranking das 16 selecções qualificadas para os oitavos de final:

1. Chile (5)
2. USA (6)
3. UK (t-9)
4. Netherlands (t-20)
5. Slovakia (26)
6. Japan (t-28)
7. Germany (29)
8. South Korea (32)

9. Spain (39)
10. Portugal (45)
11. Uruguay (t-61)
12. Mexico (68)
13. Ghana (71)
14. Paraguay (91)
15. Argentina (t-105)
16. Brazil (111)

Unfunded Liabilities

O vídeo não é dos melhores, mas o ponto é que de nada serve reduzir as despesas correntes do Estado - são as obrigações futuras do welfare state que afundarão o Estado.

Deficits, Debts and Unfunded Liabilities: The Consequences of Excessive Government Spending

Keynesian policies have brought Britain to the brink of ruin

Keynesian policies have brought Britain to the brink of ruin:
In 1930, Maynard Keynes wrote a splendid essay (”Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren“) in which he looked forward 100 years hence. His musings did not age well: he anticipated that by then the economic problem – endless toil – would be resolved and we would be working 3 hour days to keep our hand in as it were, and he worried about the effects of so much leisure time and boredom on our mental health. This was the same genius who told us the government should spend its way out of recession and that in the long run we were all dead anyway.
The government can’t borrow much more, it can’t spend much more and it can’t tax much more; nor can it grow the economy out of its current mess (as if it ever could!).

The implications are national insolvency down the road and it is against this background – and the failure of Keynesian spend-your-way-out-of-it policies that the historic Emergency Budget must be judged. Keynesian policies of fiscal and monetary excess have brought the country to the brink of ruin and need to be repudiated.

The Federal Fiscal Crisis

Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker on The Federal Fiscal Crisis

Who Would Maintain Roads Worse Than the State?

A propósito da polémica das SCUTs - Who Would Maintain Roads Worse Than the State?:
.... the issue of transportation should be considered in terms of all transit options. New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which constantly fails to support itself financially, recently announced more service cuts after increasing fares last year. Amtrak is expensive and frequently delayed. New Jersey Transit train lines have experienced service cuts and fare increases. This will cause more congestion on trains as well as on the roads as the costs of using trains outweigh the benefits for many potential customers.

Clearly government is not very good at managing something that is in high demand — convenient mobility.

sexta-feira, Junho 25, 2010

bring Soros down

No seguimento do recente amor da esquerda portuguesa por George Soros, e via Zero Hedge,

Hugh Hendry Sees Opportunities to `Short' Credit in Asia

The Property And Freedom society

The Property And Freedom Society — Reflections After Five Years por Hans-Hermann Hoppe:
The goal of “limited”—or “constitutional”—government, which Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, James Buchanan and other Mont Pelerin Society grandees had tried to promote and that every “free-market” think-tank today proclaims as its goal, is an impossible goal, much as it is an impossible goal to try squaring the circle. You cannot first establish a territorial monopoly of law and order and then expect that this monopolist will not make use of this awesome privilege of legislating in its own favor. Likewise: You cannot establish a territorial monopoly of paper money production and expect the monopolist not to use its power of printing up ever more money.

Limiting the power of the state, once it has been granted a territorial monopoly of legislation, is impossible, a self-contradictory goal. To believe that it is possible to limit government power—other than by subjecting it to competition, i.e., by not allowing monopoly privileges of any kind to arise in the first place—is to assume that the nature of Man changes as the result of the establishment of government (very much like the miraculous transformation of Man that socialists believe to happen with the onset of socialism).

From this experience I learned a twofold lesson. First, a lesson that I had already come away with from my encounter with the Mont Pelerin Society was reinforced: Do not put your trust in politicians and do not get distracted by politics.

Second and more generally, however, I learned that it is impossible to have a lasting intellectual association with people who are either unwilling or incapable of grasping the principles of economics. Economics—the logic of action—is the queen of the social sciences. It is by no means sufficient for an understanding of social reality, but it is necessary and indispensible. Without a solid grasp of economic principles, say on the level of Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, one is bound to commit serious blunders of historical explanation and interpretation.

Hayek vs Keynes

Bruce Caldwell - 1930 and the Challenge of the Depression for Economic Thinking: Hayek vs Keynes

Who Is We?

Who Is We?, mais uma excelente carta de Don Boudreaux:
More importantly, the locations and nationalities of various producers are irrelevant. You make your living by writing and talking about sports. The Kornheiser family truly doesn’t “make things.” You earn an income by specializing in what you do best, and you use that income to purchase from persons outside of your household all the many “things” that you consume. As a result, you’re quite prosperous.

What’s true for the plural pronoun “we” used to describe the Kornheiser household is no less true for the plural pronoun “we” used to describe America. We Americans do indeed buy lots of things from non-Americans – a fact that is no more worrying than is the fact that, as you might say, “we Kornheisers don’t make things any more and, instead, buy all of our things from non-Kornheisers.”
Uma família que se meta a fazer tudo o que consome, ou que invista para ter capacidade para tal, rapidamente empobrecerá e terá de se contentar por consumir menos. Isto aplica-se às tontices do costume sobre a balança comercial e sobre todo o tipo de "auto-suficiências".

Kelo: Five Years Later

Cinco anos numa luta contra o esbulho do Estado:

Kelo: Five Years Later

Bónus: Property Rights Five Years After Kelo:
The Kelo experience offers several valuable lessons. First, there is the need to combine litigation and political action in any reform strategy. IJ and the broader property rights movement could not have been as effective if they had stuck to just one or the other. For example, most of the public would have remained unaware of the problem of eminent domain abuse if not for the media coverage generated by the Supreme Court case. Although preexisting Supreme Court precedent and eminent domain law in most states was even more hostile to property rights than the Kelo decision, the “rationally ignorant” general public was oblivious to this reality.

o que acontece quando o Estado tenta consertar crises

A Mind-Changing Page por Thomas Sowell:
Although the big stock market crash occurred in October 1929, unemployment never reached double digits in any of the next 12 months after that crash. Unemployment peaked at 9 percent, two months after the stock market crashed– and then began drifting generally downward over the next six months, falling to 6.3 percent by June 1930. This was what happened in the market, before the federal government decided to “do something.”
Within six months after this government intervention, unemployment shot up into double digits– and stayed in double digits in every month throughout the entire remainder of the decade of the 1930s, as the Roosevelt administration expanded federal intervention far beyond what Hoover had started.
.... there was a similar stock market crash in 1987 that most people have long since forgotten. What was the difference between these two stock market crashes? The 1929 stock market crash was followed by the most catastrophic depression in American history, with as many as one-fourth of all American workers being unemployed. The 1987 stock market crash was followed by two decades of economic growth with low unemployment. But that was only one difference. The other big difference was that the Reagan administration did not intervene in the economy after the 1987 stock market crash– despite many outcries in the media that the government should “do something.”

O espectro do fim do welfare state americano


Saramago, ponto final. (3)

No seguimento de Saramago, ponto final. e Saramago, ponto final. (2), There is no ‘good’ communist,
If José Saramago, the Portuguese writer who died on Friday at 87, had been an unrepentant Nazi for the last four decades, he would never have won international acclaim or received the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature. Leading publishers would never have brought out his books, his works would not have been translated into more than 20 languages ....

But Saramago wasn’t a Nazi, he was a communist. And not just a nominal communist, as his obituaries pointed out, but an “unabashed’’ (Washington Post), "unflinching" (AP), "unfaltering" (New York Times) true believer .... Yet far from rendering him a pariah, Saramago’s communist loyalties have been treated as little more than a roguish idiosyncrasy.
There was a time, perhaps, when dedication to communism could be absolved as misplaced idealism or naiveté, but that day is long past. After Auschwitz and Babi Yar, only a moral cripple could be a committed Nazi. By the same token, there are no good and decent communists — not after the Gulag Archipelago and the Cambodian killing fields and Mao’s “Great Leap Forward.’’ Not after the testimonies of Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Armando Valladares and Dith Pran .... the savageries of communism and of Nazism are morally interchangeable — except that the former began much earlier than the latter, lasted much longer, and shed far more blood.
( também publicado n'O Insurgente )

quinta-feira, Junho 24, 2010

Mais sobre o modelo sueco

Reason.tv: Sweden - A Supermodel for America?:

Sweden: A Supermodel for America?
Sweden adopted its famously progressive policies during the 1970s, but after years of sluggish economic growth the land of ABBA altered its course in the 1990s, adopting a host of free-market reforms, from deregulation to tax cuts.

Although much of the disco-era welfare state remains, economist Andreas Bergh credits the free market reforms with reviving his nation's economy. "Sweden is moving in the market economic direction," says Bergh, "but that does not mean America should be moving in the socialist direction."

What if the two nations continue on in different directions? Maybe some day when America is looking for a way to rejuvenate its economy, pundits will point to a different kind of Swedish model. One that increases individual choice and competition.

Animal sex (2)

No seguimento de Animal sex, Nobel Laureate Steven Chu in 2007: BP is Going to Help Save the World (Video):
This is one of the ironies of the disaster in the Gulf. From all available evidence, BP is as committed as anyone to the “comprehensive energy reform” agenda of the White House. No doubt this reflects both political realism and market opportunism on their part, but BP’s 2009 “Road Map for America’s Energy Future” could have been written by John Kerry. Higher energy prices, cap and trade? Bring it on, says BP.
This also explains why BP has been so willing to prostrate themselves in front of their Democratic overlords in Congress and the White House. Here they thought they were trusted partners in saving the world from impending climate disaster. It turns out that their allies in the Obama Administration might soon be the only thing saving BP from the anger of a raging public... and insolvency.

Lower public spending leads to more jobs

Lower public spending leads to more jobs

Source: Eurostat, pre-2007 EU Member States

What Libertarians Should Learn From Radical Socialists

What Libertarians Should Learn From Radical Socialists (PDF):
Should libertarians adopt a spirit of radicalism, refuse to be governed, and attempt to secede, they will present an intimidating force .... As stated in the Communist Manifesto, the working class has nothing to lose but their chains. All individuals are working class when contrasted with those who benefit economically through the state’s power.
If libertarians can see themselves being content in fifty years with their marginal triumphs of school voucher programs and marijuana legalization, then the electoral politics route might be best for them to engage. If libertarians want to actually create their paradise they need to be brave, and be radical, and begin immediately.


Mais dívida, mais despesa pública, pagar a mais gente para cavar mais buracos para si e para o Estado:

"To dig holes in the ground," paid for out of savings, will increase, not only employment, but the real national dividend of useful goods and services.
If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again ...., there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is.
John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money

Defending the Speculator

Defending the Speculator por Walter Block:
The effect of the speculator on food prices is to level them off. In times of plenty, when food prices are low, the speculator by buying up and storing food causes them to rise. In times of famine, when food prices are high, the speculator sells off and causes prices to fall. The effect on him is to earn profits. This is not villainous; on the contrary, the speculator performs a valuable service.
A speculator cannot be expected to have a perfect record of prediction, but if the speculator guesses wrong more often than right, he will tend to lose his stock of capital. Thus he will not remain in a position where he can increase the severity of famines by his errors. The same activity that harms the public automatically harms the speculator, and so prevents him from continuing such activities. Thus at any given time, existing speculators are likely to be very efficient indeed, and therefore beneficial to the economy.
Contrast this with the activity of governmental agencies when they assume the speculator's task of stabilizing the food market. They too try to steer a fine line between storing up too little food and storing up too much. But if they are in error, there is no weeding-out process. The salary of a government employee does not rise and fall with the success of his speculative ventures. Since it is not his own money that will be gained or lost, the care with which bureaucrats can be expected to attend to their speculations leaves much to be desired. There is no automatic, ongoing daily improvement in the accuracy of bureaucrats, as there is for private speculators.

Putting the Gulf Oil Spill in Perspective…

Via Independent Institute,

a majority of the people themselves are too easily seduced

Eric S. Raymond: Why I Am An Anarchist:
What the willful self-destruction of Weimar Germany demonstrates is that the terminal instability of democracy is not a marginal or distant phenomenon. A modern, educated, civilized, and cosmopolitan people in the heart of the liberal West can — and will, at the behest of even a single, sufficiently skillful demagogue — surrender their liberty and condemn millions of innocent victims to mass death.

In doing so, it raises a trenchant question. If constitutional democracy has failed so catastrophically to solve the problem of government, what system possibly can?
We already knew that kings, priests, emperors, and autocrats of all kinds have failed this test, as have noble classes and other oligarchies. We know from the aftermaths of the French and other revolutions that the sovereign people, unchecked by constitutional restraint on their tribunes’ use of force, can be fully as arbitrary and vicious as any tyrant.
I am left with the bleak conclusion that no attempt to hold the arrogance of government in check will work — because a majority of the people themselves are too easily seduced into abandoning their own institutional protections against tyranny by the false promises and poisonous dreams of statist propaganda.

quarta-feira, Junho 23, 2010

Dez mil mandamentos

Ten Thousand Commandments - An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State:

10,000 Commandments

Firms generally pass along to consumers the costs of some taxes. Likewise, some regulatory compliance costs that businesses face will find their way into consumer prices. Precise regulatory costs can never be fully known, because, unlike taxes, they are unbudgeted and often indirect. But scattered government and private data exist on scores of regulations and on the agencies that issue them, as well as on regulatory costs and benefits. Some of that information can be compiled to make the regulatory state somewhat more comprehensible. That is one purpose of the annual Ten Thousand Commandments report.

Saramago, ponto final. (2)

Un marxista che detestava Dio:
"Un populista estremistico come lui, che si era fatto carico del perchè del male nel mondo, avrebbe dovuto anzitutto investire del problema tutte le storte strutture umane, da storico-politiche a socio-economiche, invece di saltare al per altro aborrito piano metafisico.
È stato un uomo e un intellettuale di nessuna ammissione metafisica, fino all'ultimo inchiodato in una sua pervicace fiducia nel materialismo storico, alias marxismo. Lucidamente autocollocatosi dalla parte della zizzania nell'evangelico campo di grano, si dichiarava insonne al solo pensiero delle crociate, o dell'inquisizione, dimenticando il ricordo dei gulag, delle 'purghe', dei genocidi, dei samizdat culturali e religiosi.

How Bush’s Wars Became Obama’s

The American Way of War: How Bush's Wars Became Obama's

Empreendedorismo literário

The Plague (Fr. La Peste) is a novel by Albert Camus, published in 1947, that tells the story of medical workers finding solidarity in their labour as the Algerian city of Oran is swept by a plague epidemic. It asks a number of questions relating to the nature of destiny and the human condition. The characters in the book, ranging from doctors to vacationers to fugitives, all help to show the effects the plague has on a populace.
The Day of the Triffids is a post-apocalyptic novel written in 1951 by the English science fiction author John Wyndham .... The narrative begins with Masen in hospital .... During his convalescence he is told of the unexpected and beautiful green meteor shower that the entire world is watching. He awakes the next morning to a silent hospital and learns that the light from the unusual display has rendered any who watched it completely blind .... After unbandaging his eyes, he wanders through a largely sightless London, watching civilization collapsing around him.
Blindness (Portuguese: Ensaio sobre a cegueira, meaning Essay on Blindness) is a [1995] novel by Portuguese author José Saramago .... Blindness is the story of an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness afflicting nearly everyone in an unnamed city, and the social breakdown that swiftly follows.
Toda a arte baseia-se em arte anterior. Mas alguma arte não passa de um sub-produto de obras-primas que a antecederam.

Raise kids to be entrepreneurs

Cameron Herold: Let's raise kids to be entrepreneurs

domingo, Junho 20, 2010

Saramago, ponto final.

Desde muito novo orientei-me para a consciência de que o mundo está errado. Não importa aqui qual foi o grau da minha militância todos esses anos. O que importa é que o mundo estava errado, e eu queria fazer coisas para modificá-lo. O espaço ideológico e político em que se esperava encontrar alguma coisa que confirmasse essa idéia era, é claro, a esquerda comunista. Para aí fui e aí estou. Sou aquilo que se pode chamar de comunista hormonal. O que isso quer dizer? Assim como tenho no corpo um hormônio que me faz crescer a barba, há outro que me obriga a ser comunista.
Reinaldo Azevedo:
Então é mesmo doença. Poucos se dão conta de que essa visão autoritária, tirana mesmo, de mundo, está presente também na sua literatura. Saramago acredita que um partido tem de ser o olho dos cegos. Lixo político e moral.

the Fight Between Free Enterprise and Big Government

Artur Brooks sobre o seu novo livro The Battle: How the Fight Between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America’s Future

AIM: Arthur Brooks of AEI at the Blogger's Briefing

uma burocracia útil

A New Government Agency I Can Support por Radley Balko:
Kansas GOP gubernatorial candidate Sam Brownback is proposing an "Office of the Repealer," tasked with seeking out bad or repetitive laws, wasteful programs, and archaic state agencies for elimination.

As a general rule, the media venerates politicians who propose new government programs as bold and visionary, while anyone daring to suggest perhaps there might be cause to eliminate an agency or two is depicted as some fringe draconian nut. Or just quaint and silly .... Not prudence or good governance or fiscal responsibility.

EPA Regulação

A EPA lançou um concurso de propaganda para promover as virtudes da "regulação"...

Heritage Foundation EPA Contest Entry: How to Kill Jobs and Harm the Economy

Federal Regulations & You: Partners in Democracy

- EPA Rulemaking Matters! Subtitled For Your Protection
- EPA Rulemaking Matters! Video: Let Your Robotic Voice Be Heard! Let Your Robotic Voice Be Heard!
- EPA Regulation Video Contest Entry (Americans for Freedom)
- Red Eye: The EPA's Video Contest

sábado, Junho 19, 2010

The Machinery of Freedom

The Machinery of Freedom is Webbed de David Friedman:
Today I got permission from my publisher to web the full text of The Machinery of Freedom; I have now done so. The file I am using is a pdf that some unknown person posted some time back without permission. Since he felt free to pirate my work, I think it only fair to free ride on his effort scanning the book in.
O A Arte da Fuga recomenda vivamente este livro.

Mais sobre o salário mínimo

The Job-Killing Impact of Minimum Wage Laws

Minimum Wage Cruelty: Update por Walter Williams:
Poor people are not poor because of low wages. For the most part, they're poor because of low productivity, and wages are connected to productivity. Congress can easily mandate higher wages, but they cannot mandate higher worker productivity or that employers hire a particular worker in the first place. The late Sen. Ted Kennedy, echoing the vision of many, said in his support of higher minimum wages, "I believe that anyone who works 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, should not live in poverty in the richest country in the world." It's breathtakingly stupid to think of minimum wages as an anti-poverty tool. If it were, poverty in places such as Haiti, Ethiopia and Bangladesh could be instantly eliminated simply by proposing that these country's legislators mandate a higher minimum wage. I'm wondering whether the Obama administration has proposed a $7.25 minimum wage as part of the cure to Haiti's poverty.

sobre o Estado protector

No seguimento de animals sex, The Government Cannot Protect Us From Every Catastrophe We Face por Andrew Napolitano:
So, the government that foolishly limited BP's maximum liability, the government that claimed it knew where best to drill, the government that actually stopped locals from protecting their own shoreline — that would be that same government that bankrupted Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Post Office, Amtrak and virtually everything it has managed — now wants to decide who gets BP's cash.
The government cannot protect us from every catastrophe, especially ones its rules have facilitated. How about this: That government is best which governs least.

...na Europa voa-se para outro continente

In the U.S., When People Vote With Their Feet...:
They move to freestyle Texas and away from the Regulatory Republic of California.
Black lines indicate incoming migration to a specific county, while red lines indicate outward movement. Here’s a comparison of Travis County, TX, with Los Angeles County, CA:

morte por socialismo

N. Korea lifts restrictions on private markets as last resort in food crisis:
In the mid-1990s, amid a total collapse of the central planned economy, somewhere between 3 and 5 percent of the population -- perhaps 1 million people -- died of starvation.
Compared with the peak of the food crisis, in the mid and late '90s, "the actual amount of food -- less is available now," .... "But back then, the food circulation industry wasn't as built up."
In recent months, North Korea's chronic food problems have probably worsened.

Tributação Transparente

Campanha Tributação Transparente 1

sobre salários dos gestores públicos

Don’t raise salaries to eliminate corruption por Sukrit Sabhlok:
Why would we want to encourage India’s smartest men and women to enter politics? Far better to have them go into private sector jobs where they actually create something of value.

It should be remembered that politicians in a democracy are inevitably thinking about their short-term careers .... it is in their interests to extract the maximum benefits they can from taxpayers before they are voted out at the next election. It is emphatically not in their interests to put in place long-term reforms that will improve the overall health of the nation.
Rather than looting taxpayers to arbitrarily enrich government agents in the mere hope of reducing corruption, what we need is .... moving towards the free-market, rather than socialism and corporatism. It means eliminating reams of paperwork and unnecessary complexity in the legal system. The ultimate aim is to do away with the need for citizens to supplicate in front of government agents just to set up a business or perform other routine day-to-day tasks.

What if (2)

No seguimento de What if,

Ron Paul's What If ? Remastered

o utente nunca tem razão (2)

Economic Myths, Fallacies and Stupidity por Walter Williams:
Compare our level of satisfaction with the services of those "in it just for the money and profits" to those in it to serve the public as opposed to earning profits.
If Wal-Mart, or any of the millions of producers who are in it for money and profits, were to deliver the same low-quality services, they would be out of business, but not public schools. Why? People who produce public education get their pay, pay raises and perks whether customers are satisfied or not. They are not motivated by profits and therefore under considerably less pressure to please customers. They use government to take customer money, in the form of taxes.
Government-owned nonprofit entities are immune to the ruthless market discipline of being forced to please customers.

politicians will be politicians

People’s Romance por Don Boudreaux:
Mitt Romney joins the chorus of those who lament that politicians’ responses to the BP oil spill are infused with politics.
Why are we surprised whenever men and women with personalities and skill sets that enable them to succeed at the very competitive (if perverse) sport of politics act like politicians? That’s what these people are! So it’s childish to imagine that we can turn any aspect of our lives over to politicians without inevitably subjecting that aspect of our lives to politics.

sexta-feira, Junho 18, 2010

Obama is Frodo!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Respect My Authoritah

Is Obama Frodo? Or Liberalism in General?:
the real Frodo in America is the liberal movement in general. Starting off as an essentially freedom-oriented movement in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, American liberalism became the premier champion of state power in the twentieth. Initially a movement interested in breaking down government power structures to liberate the common man, liberalism was taken in by the lure of power and the promise that it could be exercised for the good of all.

At first a movement interested in ridding of coercive redistribution of wealth, correctly seeing it as a bane on the poor and a blessing for the politically connected wealthy, liberalism eventually succumbed to the temptation of utilitarianism and socialism—the ghastly prospect that the same tyranny that for centuries enslaved man and empowered oligarchs could somehow be turned to the benefit of the masses and against the interests of those same oligarchs. Along the way the movement embraced war, militarism, corporatism, the police state, secular puritanism, mass imprisonment, social engineering, central planning and all the other great enemies of mass prosperity and freedom that we now suffer under, regardless of the man with the ring.

o utente nunca tem razão

Government Services: Where the Customer is Always Wrong por Kevin Carson:
Let’s do a little thought experiment: Imagine a bakery that, instead of selling you what you ask for when you go inside, enrolls you on their customer list against your will, charges your account for whatever package of goods they think you should buy, and sends someone to collect the bill at gunpoint. If you want any of the pastries or loaves they have on display, you’re expected to take them along with the bakery’s choice of other offerings whether you want them or not.

And if you walk in to pick up a loaf of fresh-baked bread, and the baker beats you senseless or tasers you, you’d better not complain if you don’t want to be called a hypocrite. After all, you badmouth the baker, you dirty stinking hippie, but you sure don’t mind coming to him when you want bread! Anyway, you little ingrate punk, I’ve seen what it’s like when people don’t have bread, and believe you me the bakers are the only thing standing between you and hunger!

Obama’s Satanic Empire

No seguimento de Disaster Obamunism e America’s Slow-Motion Fascist Coup,

152. Obama’s Satanic Rogue Empire (MP3) no Lew Rockwell Show
Naomi Wolf, a former progressive tending towards libertarianism, attacked the police state under Bush, and she does not spare Obama. Indeed the spying, rendition, torture, and militarism may be worse under the Democrats. Obama promised to close the Guantanamo concentration camp, but has expanded it. He even claims the right to kill anyone any place on earth whom the US security organs claim is a terrorist, though that dread name carries no firm definition. Indeed, Obama’s use of brutal, black-garbed federal police troops against demonstrators in Pittsburgh is an alarming precedent at home. Now there is a move to allow any American citizen suspected of terrorism to be secretly arrested, secretly tortured, and secretly held forever, on the sole word of some security bureaucrat. As we face such systematic assaults on our freedom, everyone who opposes the omnipotent state – libertarian, progressive, conservative, and liberal – must join together in massive resistance. It is our only hope, says Naomi Wolf.

Animal sex

Costuma-se dizer que o big-government anda na cama com o big-business, mas isto é melhor descrito como animal sexObama Blocked Clean Up of BP Oil Spill by Friendly Countries; International Assistance Blocked by Regulations Obama Had The Authority To Waive (excertos, o texto merece leitura:
Crucial offers to help clean up BP’s oil spill “have come from Belgian, Dutch, and Norwegian firms that . . . possess some of the world’s most advanced oil skimming ships.” But the Obama administration wouldn’t accept the help, because doing so would require it to do something past presidents have routinely done: waive rules imposed by the Jones Act, a law backed by unions.
In April 2009, the Obama administration granted BP, a big supporter of Obama, a waiver of environmental regulations .... Obama is now using BP’s oil spill to push the global-warming legislation that BP had lobbied for.

Obama’s global warming legislation expands ethanol subsidies, which cause famine, starvation, and food riots in poor countries by shrinking the food supply. Ethanol makes gasoline costlier and dirtier, increases ozone pollution, and increases the death toll from smog and air pollution. Ethanol production also results in deforestation, soil erosion, and water pollution.

Subsidies for biofuels like ethanol are a big source of corporate welfare: “BP has lobbied for and profited from subsidies for biofuels . . . that cannot break even without government support.”
The $800 billion stimulus package is also using taxpayer subsidies to replace U.S. jobs with foreign green jobs. And its regulations destroy jobs in America’s export sector.

yes it does

Organized Crime

Organized Crime noun [awr-guh-nahyzd krahym]:
1. Interstate theft that occurs within a centrally controlled formal structure.

2. The people and the groups involved in such criminal activities; e.g., the Mafia in Sicily and the Legislature in the United States.

meltup (2)

No seguimento de meltup,

Meltup Update Video

Burocracia = guerra aos ’utentes’

Sabotage! Or How “Dilbert” Won The War no Volokh Conspiracy:
In January 1944, the Office of Strategic Services created a secret document entitled “Simple Sabotage Field Manual” to assist operatives in disrupting the Axis war effort. It contains the expected stuff about starting fires and shorting electrical systems.

But the most enlightening stuff comes at pages 28–31, in a section entitled “General Interference with Organizations and Production.” There, we learn that our secret weapon against the Nazi war machine was . . . bureaucracy. Note these ingenious plots:
(a) Organizations and Conferences
(1) Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
* * *
(3) When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committees as large as possible–never less than five.
(4) Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
(5) Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.
(6) Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.
(7) Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reasonable” and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
(8) Be worried about the propriety of any decision–raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated lies within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.

quinta-feira, Junho 17, 2010

Understanding the Financial Crisis

Understanding the Financial Crisis

Artificial Stupidity

Artificial Stupidity por Thomas Sowell:
People are all born ignorant but they are not born stupid. Much of the stupidity we see today is induced by our educational system, from the elementary schools to the universities. In a high-tech age that has seen the creation of artificial intelligence by computers, we are also seeing the creation of artificial stupidity by people who call themselves educators.
It was once the proud declaration of many educators that "We are here to teach you how to think, not what to think." But far too many of our teachers and professors today are teaching their students what to think, about everything from global warming to the new trinity of "race, class and gender."
When we see children in elementary schools out carrying signs in demonstrations, we are seeing the kind of mindless groupthink that causes adults to sign petitions they don't understand or — worse yet — follow leaders they don't understand, whether to the White House, the Kremlin or Jonestown.


Via EUReferendum — se isto faz-se com imagens, o que não pode ser feito com números:

Urban Dictionary:
Fraudulent photography. News images that have been faked by various means, generally to promote an ideological agenda or to manipulate the emotions of the viewer.

Brownies à moda da Burocracia

How to Make Brownies, Pentagon-Style:
The Pentagon's brownie recipe is 26 pages long.

Just grab a copy of document MIL-C-44072C and gather your ingredients:

- water that conforms to the "National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (Copies are available from the Office of Drinking Water, Environmental Protection Agency, WH550D, 401 M Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20460)," and

- some eggs in compliance with "Regulations Governing the Inspection of Eggs and Egg Products (7 CFR Part 59)," and you're ready to go!
- Wondering about adding walnuts? Simply consult section from the "30 April 1990 SUPERSEDING MIL-C-44072B 9 December 1987 W/CHANGE 12 February 2003 MILITARY SPECIFICATION COOKIES, OATMEAL; AND BROWNIES; COCOLATE [sic] COVERED."

Estatísticas estatais e realidade reaccionária (2)

Stimulus Was a Clunker no Coyote Blog:
I have found a reason to love the Cash for Clunkers program: it is a fabulous demonstration project for just how utterly pointless government stimulus programs can be. Stimulus programs tend to be hard to evaluate in our complex economy — sort of like trying to calculate the effect of a butterfly flapping its wings on world climate. But since cash for clunkers only lasted a few weeks and hit only one industry, we can learn a lot about the effectiveness of government stimulus.

Here is the US Census data for auto dealer sales:

A crise financeira explicada de maneira simples

Este texto, recebido por mail, está engraçado. Contudo, a analogia falha no principal. Um bar que vai à falência não leva ao colapso toda a cadeia de fornecimento de bebidas, e todo o sistema financeiro. E sempre houve bares com práticas contabilistas duvidosas. Daí que os bancos sejam cuidadosos na concessão de crédito a pequenas empresas. A catástrofe só acontece quanto todos os bares fazem o mesmo. A explicação, seguindo a analogia, fica para outro post.
La crisis financiera sencilla

Heidi es la propietaria de un bar en Berlín, que ha comprado con un préstamo bancario.

Como es natural, quiere aumentar las ventas, y decide permitir que sus clientes, la mayoría de los cuales son alcohólicos en paro, beban hoy y paguen otro día. Va anotando en un cuaderno todo lo que consumen cada uno de sus clientes. Esta es una manera como otra cualquiera de concederles préstamos.

Nota: Pero en realidad, no le entra en caja ningún dinero físico.

Muy pronto, gracias al boca a boca, el bar de Heidi se empieza a llenar de más clientes.

Como sus clientes no tienen que pagar al instante, Heidi decide aumentar los benefícios subiendo el precio de la cerveza y del vino, que son las bebidas que sus clientes consumen en mayor cantidad. El margen de beneficios aumenta vertiginosamente.

Nota: Pero en realidad, es un margen de beneficios virtual, ficticio; la caja sigue estando vacía de ingresos contantes.

Un empleado del banco más cercano, muy emprendedor, y que trabaja de director en la sección de servicio al cliente, se da cuenta de que las deudas de los clientes del bar son activos de alto valor, y decide aumentar la cantidad del préstamo a Heidi. El empleado del banco no ve ninguna razón para preocuparse, ya que el préstamo bancario tiene como base para su devolución las deudas de los clientes del bar.

Nota: ¿Vais pillando la dimensión del castillo de naipes?

En las oficinas del banco los directivos convierten estos activos bancarios en "bebidabonos", "alco-bonos" y "vomita-bonos" bancarios. Estos bonos pasan a comercializarse y a cambiar de manos en el mercado financiero internacional. Nadie comprende en realidad qué significan los nombres tan raros de esos bonos; tampoco entienden qué garantia tienen estos bonos, ni siquiera si tienen alguna garantía o no. Pero como los precios siguen subiendo constantemente, el valor de los bonos sube también constantemente.

Nota: El castillo de naipes crece y crece y no para de crecer, pero todo es camelancia; no hay detrás solidez monetaria que lo sustente. Todo son "bonos", es decir, papelitos que "representan" tener valor siempre y cuando el castillo de naipes se sostenga.

Sin embargo, aunque los precios siguen subiendo, un día un asesor de riesgos
financieros que trabaja en el mismo banco (asesor al que, por cierto, despiden pronto a causa de su pesimismo) decide que ha llegado el momento de demandar a Heidi el pago de su préstamo bancario; y Heidi, a su vez, exige a sus clientes el pago de las deudas contraídas con el bar.

Pero, claro está, los clientes no pueden pagar las deudas.

Nota: ¡¡¡Porque siguen sin tener ni un céntimo!!! Han podido beber cada día en el bar porque "se comprometían" a pagar sus deudas, pero el dinero físico no existe

Heidi no puede devolver sus préstamos bancarios y entra en bancarrota

Nota: Y Heidi pierde el bar.

Los "bebida-bonos" y los "alco-bonos" sufren una caída de un 95% de su valor. Los "vomito-bonos" van ligeramente mejor, ya que sólo caen un 80%.

Las compañías que proveen al bar de Heidi, que le dieron largos plazos para los pagos y que también adquirieron bonos cuando su precio empezó a subir, se encuentran en una situación inédita. El proveedor de vinos entra en bancarrota, y el proveedor de cerveza tiene que vender el negocio a otra compañía de la competencia.

Nota: Porque los proveedores de vinos y cervezas también le fiaban a Heidi, creyendo que estaban seguros de que cobrarían con creces al cabo del tiempo. Como no han podido cobrar dado que el dinero no existe, la deuda de Heidi se los ha comido a ellos.

El gobierno interviene para salvar al banco, tras conversaciones entre el presidente del gobierno y los líderes de los otros partidos políticos.

Para poder financiar el rescate del banco, el gobierno introduce un nuevo impuesto muy elevado que pagarán los abstemios.

Nota: Que es lo que de verdad ha pasado. Con los impuestos de los ciudadanos inocentes, los gobiernos han tapado el agujero financiero creado por la estupidez de los bancos.

retrato de uma sociedade imoral e decadente

Via O Insurgente, O que os Chineses pensam de nós:

Cours d'économie du Vénérable Professeur Kuing Yamang.

big government can’t deliver on its promises

The Gulf Spill, the Financial Crisis and Government Failure por Gerald O'Driscoll:
What is the missed lesson from all this? When President George W. Bush had his Katrina moment, the federal government's bumbling response was blamed on him, on the Republicans, and on conservatives. Now it is President Obama's turn. His administration's faltering response to the disaster in the Gulf is attributed to his personal failings, staff ineptitude, communication failures, etc. And, of course, the two administrations have shared responsibility for the poor handling of the financial crisis.

A big-government conservative administration failed in crisis, as has a big-government liberal administration. The regulatory state did not prevent excessive risk taking whether in financial services, nor perhaps in offshore oil drilling. Government response to crises once they occur is slow and inept. All this is not because either Republicans or Democrats are in power, but because big government doesn't work. It can't deliver on its promises. Big government overpromises and underdelivers. In reaching to do more, big government accomplishes less. That is not an ideological statement, but an empirical observation.

In the case of financial services, virtually all the proposed regulatory reform offers more of the same. Additional regulations will be added to existing ones without addressing why existing ones failed to prevent the crisis. The same process will likely happen with respect to offshore drilling.

quarta-feira, Junho 16, 2010

Estatísticas estatais e realidade reaccionária

Via Stossel, More Job-Killing Regulation,
Agencies like OSHA are job-killers that rarely make us safer. Here’s a graph showing that workplace deaths declined since OSHA was created:
OSHA administrators like showing that graph. It looks impressive if you don’t look at the next graph, which shows that deaths had dropped just as fast before OSHA existed.


For-profit education is good for the poor

For-profit education is good for the poor no blogue da IEA:
The main case for market competition is that we cannot know in advance which way of delivering a particular good or service works best in which context. Successful business models do not arise from tea parties between ministers and prospective customers or suppliers. They arise by being put to the market test, with profit acting as a feedback signal. Unless a business idea has been tried in this way, we can speculate but we cannot know whether it will be a success or a failure. After all, Walt Disney was initially laughed at; distributors told him that a talking cartoon mouse was a ridiculously silly idea.
Evidence from experimental school voucher programmes in the US, conducted with control groups, shows that children from disadvantaged backgrounds benefit more than others from market forces in education.

A diversidade só existe pela discriminação

Via The Economic Way of Thinking,

Bigger government is bound to be worse government

The era of Big Government is coming to an end. But do we really know what is next?:
Part of the problem is, I believe, that government has grown so big – that it regulates, licenses, forbids, encourages, subsidises, taxes, moralises, employs, delivers services, on such a scale, across such a wide spectrum of society and the economy. It is really hard these days not to be told what to do, or what not to do, by some agency of the State every day of our lives. As ever, those who are sufficiently upset, dissatisfied, or feel short-changed by what government delivers to them are likely to be more vociferous than those left reasonably content.
What has happened in recent years is that the state has tended to monopolise the provision of these desirable goods and services in its own hands, freezing out alternative models, even if they may be better or less expensive, on the spurious grounds that uniformity matters more than quality, choice or variety. At its extremes this infantalises the citizen and increasingly baroque, overmanned and high cost structures are designed to give an illusion of choice.
Bigger government is bound to be worse government.

Why We Need Fewer Public School Jobs, Not More

Why We Need Fewer Public School Jobs, Not More, as imagens falam por si:

Não se governam nem se deixam governar

O que é que realmente quer dizer a frase "os Portugueses não se governam nem se deixam governar"? Alegadamente, terá sido escrita no século III a.C., por um general romano em carta ao Imperador, e aludia à resistência dos Lusitanos ao avanço do Império Romano.

Da Wikipédia:
Lusitania's rich land was praised by ancient authors. Polybius in his Histories "speaking of the natural wealth of Lusitania [...], tells us that owing to the favorable climate both men and animals are very prolific, and the land is constantly productive."

The Romans charged the native tribes with heavy taxes: a fixed vectigal or land-tax, the tributum and a certain quantity of cereals. Taxes were not the only source of income, mine exploitation and peace treaties were a source of denarius as well as war spoils and war prisoners that were sold as slaves. The indigenous towns had to deliver their own treasures to the Romans, which left them only with the yearly earnings to pay the taxes. Between 209 and 169 BC, the Roman army collected 4 tons of gold and 800 tons of silver looting the native tribes of the Iberian peninsula. The governors extorted as much as they could from the tribes. .... The exploitation and extortion reached such an extreme degree in the provinces that Rome had to create a special tribunal and laws, like the Lex Calpurnia created in 149 BC. Also as part of the payment, it was required a certain number of men to serve in the Roman army.

The Lusitanians revolted first in 194 BC against the Romans.

terça-feira, Junho 15, 2010

Leadership: private edition

Via Coordination Problem,
Even if you don't have an interest in basketball, Wooden's home-spun philosophy of leadership, learning and life is well worth studying. In many ways he captured the folk philosophy of America -- a philosophy of hard work and responsibility; of excellence and of humility; and of individual talent and commitment to team.

Business as usual para a burocracia estatal

You Don’t Need to Waste More Money to Shrink Government (Cato):
It’s rather symbolic of what’s wrong with Washington that a commission ostensibly created to promote deficit reduction is seeking a bigger budget, as noted in the Tax Notes story excerpted below.
Saddled with a tight deadline and great expectations, members of President Obama’s deficit reduction commission say they may not have the resources necessary to meet their task.
The more we pay, the less we get (EU Referendum):
Notwithstanding that a considerable number of people in the private sector are grossly over-paid, the point made by Booker in his column this week is that the grotesque inflation of salaries has gone hand in hand with a deterioration of almost every public body. We've all heard the old saw, "pay peanuts, get monkeys" but we are paying gold bars and getting monkey droppings.

One glaring example of this, notes Booker, is the BBC, the head of which, Mark Thompson. He now receives a staggering £834,000 a year yet, twenty-odd years ago, the director-general was paid a mere £80,000. Yet in almost every respect over the same period, the performance of the BBC's bloated empire, awash with £3.5 billion a year of licence-payers cash, has declined, to the point where it has become a national scandal.

EconBD: Irwin Schiff (2)

No seguimento de EconBD: Irwin Schiff, a propósito do novo livro de Peter Schiff,

How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes

The Best Introduction to Economics in Print:
The genius of this book comes from neither Peter nor Andrew Schiff, however. Much of the credit belongs to Irwin A. Schiff, who created the first draft of this introduction to Austrian economics back in 1985. The Schiff brothers acknowledge that “this story would best be described as a riff on the original.” But Peter and Andrew Schiff have perfected their father’s already brilliant work, which had some presentational shortcomings. The sons have new illustrations by Brendan Leach, and additional material that brings the text up to date.
The genius of this book is that even a middle-school economics student could understand the basic concepts outlined in this book. As a teacher of high-school students, I can testify that this book could be understood by even the most basic of my students. It would make an excellent textbook for an “Introduction to Economics” course in any high school or middle school.

Somalia (2)

No seguimento de Emancipation, Who needs Government? e SomaliaSomalia — Is That Really All You Got? no C4SS:
We’ve lived through centuries of the process which Pyotr Kropotkin described .... by which centralized territorial states suppressed bottom-up, self-organized alternatives, and caused civil society to atrophy. Under such circumstances, when the state suddenly disappears, the result is likely to be a power vacuum with nothing ready to take its place, and the proliferation of all sorts of social pathologies.
What most of us want to do is reverse the centuries-long process Kropotkin described, by building alternative social institutions, organized on a voluntary cooperative basis, to supplant the state.
Third, the proper comparison to Somalia is not the United States and similar societies in the West, but to the actual state that existed in Somalia before the collapse of central power. Given that comparison, things in Somalia aren’t that bad at all.
.... while Somalia is often celebrated by anarcho-capitalist types, in reality it hardly fits the anarcho-capitalist stereotype (especially in those areas away from Mogadishu). For example, there’s widespread communal ownership of land by extended families and clans, with only possessory or usufructory rights by individuals.

Libertarian pela corrida a governadora de NY (2)

No seguimento de Libertarian pela corrida a governadora de NY, via Reason,
Kristin Davis rose to notoriety as the madam who provided New York Attorney General and Gov. Eliot Spitzer with the escorts that led to his demise. Davis ended up going to jail for providing a business populated by and for consenting adults. Spitzer’s penalty? Possibly getting a show on CNN.

Now Davis herself is running the Empire State’s top slot in Albany, on a platform this is simple and straightforward in libertarian sanity: She wants to legalize (and tax) marijuana and prostitution. For a state as deep in the red as New York, that’s no joke. She has also proposed liberalizing gaming laws and called for gambling casinos in the Catskills.

Madam-Turned-Pol Kristin Davis: Can NY Stand a Gov Who's Convicted *Before* Taking Office?

Was Margaret Thatcher the first climate sceptic?

Was Margaret Thatcher the first climate sceptic?:
Certainly, Mrs Thatcher was the first world leader to voice alarm over global warming, back in 1988
In bringing this about, Mrs Thatcher played an important part. It is not widely appreciated, however, that there was a dramatic twist to her story. In 2003, towards the end of her last book, Statecraft, in a passage headed "Hot Air and Global Warming", she issued what amounts to an almost complete recantation of her earlier views.

She voiced precisely the fundamental doubts about the warming scare that have since become familiar to us. Pouring scorn on the "doomsters", she questioned the main scientific assumptions used to drive the scare, from the conviction that the chief force shaping world climate is CO2, rather than natural factors such as solar activity, to exaggerated claims about rising sea levels. She mocked Al Gore and the futility of "costly and economically damaging" schemes to reduce CO2 emissions. She cited the 2.5C rise in temperatures during the Medieval Warm Period as having had almost entirely beneficial effects. She pointed out that the dangers of a world getting colder are far worse than those of a CO2-enriched world growing warmer. She recognised how distortions of the science had been used to mask an anti-capitalist, Left-wing political agenda which posed a serious threat to the progress and prosperity of mankind.

Oust Nancy Pelosi (3)

No seguimento de Oust Nanci Pelosi e Oust Nanci Pelosi (2)

John Dennis Republican Primary Victory Speech

Why is Hollywood Anti-Capitalist?

Why is Hollywood Anti-Capitalist? no Division of Labour:
Alex Tabarrok offers a nice three-fold explanation at the WSJ Online here [AA: recomenda-se ].
Hollywood's anti-capitalism is not accidental. It stems from three sources: the rage of directors and screenwriters against their own capitalist backers, the difficulty of using a visual medium to depict the invisible hand, and an ethical framework which Hollywood shares with most of our culture that regards self-interest as inherently immoral or, at best, amoral.
A related though broader issue is why the intellectual class tends to be anti-capitalist. Robert Nozick offers a brief response in this Cato Policy Report: intellectuals resent that their talents are not rewarded in the marketplace. In The Intellectuals and Socialism, F. A. Hayek famously attributes the bias of intellectuals to their beliefs that human institutions can be scientifically designed as can physical systems (pdf here). Ludwig von Mises, in The Anti-Capitalist Mentality, says intellectuals become envious of capitalists because they rub elbows in the same social circles but don't have any of the money.

O ataque dos zombies esquerdistas

De El ataque de los zombies izquierdistas (entrevista de Iñaki Gabilondo):
De estas palabras podría deducirse que el peso del Estado ha estado disminuyendo cada día más desde la caída del muro. Sin embargo, la realidad es todo lo contrario. Según podemos ver en el informe del 2009 de la Heritage Foundation sobre el índice de dependencia de los habitantes de los Estados Unidos de su Gobierno, el papel del Estado no ha hecho más que aumentar. Durante la era Reagan dicho índice se mantuvo prácticamente constante, pero a partir de entonces, ha pasado de un valor de 114 en 1989 a 240 en 2008. Esto significa que cada vez un mayor número de personas dependen del Estado. Y este es el verdadero peligro para la democracia. Cuando una persona depende del Gobierno de turno para sobrevivir, se convierte en un esclavo de dicho Gobierno.


segunda-feira, Junho 14, 2010

Casamento: entre o estado e a Liberdade

Casamento: entre o estado e a Liberdade por André Azevedo Alves:
O estado não deve definir os termos da relação, mas sim permitir que as partes façam essa definição por si mesmas e depois limitar-se a aplicá-la dentro dos limites dos princípios gerais do direito. A abordagem atual – que consiste na imposição estatal de um modelo de casamento civil aplicável a todos – é por isso iliberal e deve ser abolida.

Reasons Obama Should Kick His Own Ass

Reason.tv: 3 Reasons Obama Should Kick His Own Ass

As três leis do funcionário público

1. Um funcionário público não pode prejudicar os interesses do aparelho do Estado ou, por inacção, permitir que o Estado sofra dano;

2. Um funcionário público obedecerá a qualquer ordem dada pelo aparelho do Estado — excepto quando tais ordens entrem em conflito com a Lei Primeira.

3. Um funcionário público protegerá a sua própria existência — sempre que essa protecção não conflitue com a Lei Primeira e com a Lei Segunda.
( inspirado neste post, que parodia isto )
Na prática, estas leis são interpretadas pelos funcionários públicos na ordem inversa:
1. Um funcionário público não pode prejudicar a sua própria existência ou, por inacção, permitir que a sua existência sofra dano;

2. Um funcionário público obedecerá a qualquer ordem dada pelo aparelho do Estado — excepto quando tais ordens entrem em conflito com a Lei Primeira.

3. Um funcionário público protegerá os interesses do aparelho do Estado — sempre que essa protecção não conflitue com a Lei Primeira e com a Lei Segunda.

Less Spending

Weekly GOP Address: Less Spending, More Jobs -- It's That Simple

Welcoming the Bankruptcy of the Welfare State

Welcoming the Bankruptcy of the Welfare State por Mario Rizzo:
The root of the problem is the welfare state’s bogus liberality. I am not opposed to helping the poor or to beneficence more generally. I am opposed to the involvement of the state in such matters. I am for the separation of state and beneficence. I am for the growth of voluntary institutions of civil society that focus on the solution of undesirable conditions of human beings in a way that does not do violence to the dignity and autonomy of those who have legitimately acquired wealth. I do not view the absence of wealth on the part of some as per se amounting to legally-enforceable moral claims on the wealth of others.
Some of these include to the political momentum that creates ever-greater government involvement in our lives. As certain policies create problems that “call for” further government intervention to solve those problems, we move from more to more.
We see the increasing tribalization of society as politicians play one interest group against another.
We, as a civilization, have come a long way from the society based on status (feudalism, for example) to a society based on contract or voluntary association. Now the government seeks to reinstate status with group-interest politics, the creation of a class of tax-consumers and tax payers, and crony capitalism.

The Economics of the World Cup

É favor clicar na imagem para vê-la maior:

domingo, Junho 13, 2010

Marcus Tullius Cicero (2)

No seguimento de Marcus Tullius Cicero e A Queda de Roma,
There are, though, many especially those greedy for renown and glory, who steal from one group the very money they lavish upon another. They think that they will appear beneficent towards their friends if they enrich them by any method whatsoever. But that is so far from being a duty that in fact nothing could be more opposed to duty. We should therefore see that the liberality we exercise in assisting our friends does not harm anyone. Consequently, the transference of money by Lucius Sulla and Gaius Caesar from its lawful owners to others ought not to be seen as liberal: nothing is liberal if it is not also just.

The final frontier

A new rocket, the Falcon 9, was launched successfully from Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA, last week. The Falcon 9, standing about as high as a 15-floor building, was developed by the commercial SpaceX corporation as a step toward a relatively inexpensive space launch system .... the Falcon 9 may be used to lift satellites and astronauts to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station in the coming decade.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Maiden Launch Totally Successful

In New Space Race, Enter the Entrepreneurs:
Four years from now, the company plans for real modules to be launched and assembled into the solar system’s first private space station. Paying customers — primarily nations that do not have the money or expertise to build a space program from scratch — would arrive a year later.

In 2016, a second, larger station would follow. The two Bigelow stations would then be home to 36 people at a time — six times as many as currently live on the International Space Station.
BÓNUS: Iridium and SpaceX sign major commercial launch contract

Austrian Light

Austrian Light on the History of Bubbles por Andy Duncan:
You know you have crossed into the Austrian light when you wake up one morning and everything has become clear. From that point forward, for the rest of your life, you realize that almost every societal problem you encounter, no matter how simple nor how complex, is usually something to do with involuntary coercion, threatened violence, or some other failure of state interference in the free market.

John Stossel & Friedrich Hayek

John Stossel, Friedrich Hayek & NewWaveSlave.com

Stossel: http://stossel.blogs.foxbusiness.com/2010/06/03/tonights-show-road-to-serfdom/