domingo, julho 31, 2011

The History of Ernesto Che Guevara

educação estatal, deseducação cívica

Education in Seven Questions:
Our system of public education destroys diversity and fosters a hostile environment plagued by forced intolerance. Textbooks, curriculum, and religious expression (to name a few) often incite heated debate about what's permitted inside the walls of schools. On any issue there are always as many opinions as there are parents — and since they should have the power to determine how their children are educated, the parents are all in a sense "correct."
If one father's child is educated according to the father's personal values, he might be quite tolerant of his neighbor's views on, for example, intelligent design. However, if one common curriculum is forced on both of their children, this tolerance will evaporate rather quickly (and vice versa).
Mass standardization in education destroys diversity of opinion and forces unnatural conflict on parents. If allowed to spend their education dollars freely (instead of paying "twice" for private education) parents would be able to choose the course of education that best suits their values without the need to politicize every issue ad nauseam. The issue du jour has only one real solution: school choice. Diversity and tolerance would thrive in a system that reflects every parent's opinion, not just the opinions of those who are politically connected.

o Ensino Estatal é racista (4)

Na linha de o Ensino Estatal é racista (3), Latinos and School Choice - Q&A with Julio Fuentes

great teachers of Liberty

The Calling of Teaching:
.. only recently has the libertarian movement begun to think seriously about how important really good teachers are to opening people’s minds to our ideas, especially at the high school and college levels, when students are most amenable to them. Part of this new focus has been driven by the realities of higher education, where we have done well at producing more Ph.D.s but face a climate where tenure-track jobs are dwindling and competition makes it hard for everyone to get one at a research-oriented school. More libertarian academics are going to wind up at places like mine, and to be successful both as a professor and at generating student interest in liberty, they will need to be excellent teachers.
The power of great teachers is never to be underestimated. If we are to move forward to freedom, a key part of that process will take place in the classroom, where young people’s views of the world are up for grabs. No matter how right we think the ideas of freedom are, they have to be communicated and taught in ways that are powerful and effective. That means great teaching. The more great teachers we have and the more we think about how to do the job well, the better the prospects for liberty.

Debt Ceiling

Remy: Raise The Debt Ceiling Rap

Regulação e o Quarto Poder

“How Campaign Finance Laws Made the British Press So Powerful”:
.. By trying to prevent parties from spending large sums of money and stopping wealthy independent organizations from dominating the campaign, the relative voice of the newspapers is enhanced. But rather than admit that campaign finance laws are futile, one might also conclude that controls on campaign spending should be complemented by attempts to address media power.

sábado, julho 30, 2011

Media War

Andrew Breitbart — Media War

The failure of monetary socialism

The failure of monetary socialism:
It is crucial for people to understand that what central banks with boards of price setters represent is not a free market but what Baker called “monetary socialism”. And the central planners have proved no better at setting the price of money then they ever were at setting any other price.

It was the driving down of interest rates by these planners which flooded the financial system with liquidity after the twin shocks of the bursting of the internet bubble and 9/11. It was this liquidity, hosed about by the planners, upon which the housing market floated to ever giddier heights. And it was when the planners acted to raise interest rates to counter the inevitable inflation they had caused that the bubble burst. It was not capitalism but monetary socialism which failed.

Economists of the Austrian School are highly sceptical of the possibility that this central planning of money will produce optimum results. They are cognisant of the long and dismal history of such central planning in other spheres, and their theories have been borne out by recent experience. The Austrians were right about socialism not working. And they have been right about monetary socialism not working.

Ezra Levant with Geert Wilders

Ezra Levant with Geert Wilders

"Global Warming" is coming down

New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism:
.. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.
The new findings are extremely important and should dramatically alter the global warming debate.
In short, the central premise of alarmist global warming theory is that carbon dioxide emissions should be directly and indirectly trapping a certain amount of heat in the earth's atmosphere and preventing it from escaping into space. Real-world measurements, however, show far less heat is being trapped in the earth's atmosphere than the alarmist computer models predict, and far more heat is escaping into space than the alarmist computer models predict.

When objective NASA satellite data, reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, show a "huge discrepancy" between alarmist climate models and real-world facts, climate scientists, the media and our elected officials would be wise to take notice. Whether or not they do so will tell us a great deal about how honest the purveyors of global warming alarmism truly are.

Hazlitt on video

Henry Hazlitt interviewed on Longines Chronoscope(1951)

O socialismo é um clientelismo de Estado

Manuel Villaverde Cabral: “Para aquela coisa da esquerda, eu realmente já não dou.” n'O Insurgente:
Primeiro, se nós não devêssemos dinheiro não tínhamos que nos preocupar com as agências de rating. Nunca tínhamos ouvido falar delas porque, embora estivéssemos endividadíssimos, na altura isso era parte do jogo. De repente, com a crise mundial – é verdade que é a crise mundial que põe à mostra a nossa situação que não vai poder ser compensada com dinheiro, empurrando com a barriga – fomos apanhados literalmente com as calças na mão. E agora temos que puxar as calcinhas e disfarçar o máximo. Mas é preciso um governo liberal e no xadrez político-partidário português só podia ser este governo PSD-CDS, não podia ser outro. Nós estamos a tentar sair por obrigação e também por virtude de uma situação pela qual o Partido Socialista é 100 por cento responsável, na minha opinião.
.. O socialismo é um clientelismo de Estado! Levei 70 anos a descobrir. Claro que isto é soft, evidentemente, somos livres, podemos dizer mal do governo, não serve para nada mas podemos, e isso é fundamental. Mas com Guterres e depois com Sócrates .. chegou-se ao ponto em que no país o Estado, que quer dizer muitas vezes o governo, que não quer dizer outra coisa senão o partido do governo, que é o Partido Socialista que governou em 13 dos últimos 16 anos. Um Estado que controla directamente mais de 50% do PIB e indirectamente controla, com as golden-shares, com essas coisas todas, as participações, a EDP, nomeia, decide, compra, vende, etc., 80% do PIB. O Estado manda em 80%. E depois ficam 20% de pequenas e médias empresas exangues, porque não há crédito para elas.

Military Draft

The Economics of the Military Draft

Too much "safety", less safety

Too Much Safety Could Make Drivers Less Safe (Wired):
The Yerkes-Dodson law, as it became known, describes the relationship between arousal and performance. Give people too little to pay attention to and they’ll become complacent. Give them too much and they’ll become overwhelmed ..

In automotive terms, this means drivers are at their best when they’re paying attention to their surroundings but they aren’t flummoxed ..

This is important because, as automakers pack their cars with more and more semiautonomous safety technology like adaptive cruise control and automatic braking, driving a car becomes easier and easier. We are, essentially, given less to pay attention to while we’re taught that our cars are watching out for us.
Therein lies the paradox of semiautonomous vehicles: They’re very good at avoiding some problems but may exacerbate — or even create — others. We may not even know what those problems are until we see a lot more vehicles with the technology .. how human drivers react to, and rely upon, these technologies could create new, unseen problems.

The Non-Aggression Principle

Stefan Molyneux - The Non-Aggression Principle

How Your Government Deceives You

How Your Government Deceives You, ‘Social Insurance’ Edition:
The trick to weaving an effective and politically-robust safety net for those who most need one is designing it to appear to benefit everyone, especially those who don’t need it. The whole thing turns on maintaining the illusion that payroll taxes are “premiums” or “insurance contributions” and that subsequent transfers from the government are “benefits” one has paid for through a lifetime of payroll deductions. The insurance schema protects the main redistributive work of the programme by obscuring it.

As a matter of legal fact, payroll taxes are just taxes; they create no legal entitlement to benefits. The government can and does spend your Social Security and Medicare taxes on killer drones.

But the architects of .. big social-insurance schemes, .. thought it very important that it doesn’t look that way. That’s why you you see specific deductions for Social Security and Medicare on your paycheck. And that’s why the government maintains these shell “trust funds” where you are meant to believe your “insurance contributions” are kept.

Milton Friedman @ 99

Environmental Doomsday Theories

Environmental Doomsday Theories:
A fundamental difference between religion and science is that a scientific theory is testable, while a religion is not. Religion ignores facts and believes in faith. All environmental doomsday theories are religions, not science. This is true no matter how much they disguise their religion with scientific jargon or call what they are doing a science.
The same is true of Global Warming (Climate Change), Global Cooling, Malthus, Club of Rome Limits of Growth, Population Bomb, Nuclear Winter, etc. None of these hypothesis are testable. The proponents cannot name a single test that would prove their hypothesis incorrect.

death by regulation

Government Overregulation Threatens Economic Growth

Essential Rules of Tyranny

The Essential Rules Of Tyranny um post de cariz orwelliano:
  1. Keep Them Afraid
  2. Keep Them Isolated
  3. Keep Them Desperate
  4. Send Out The Jackboots
  5. Blame Everything On The Truth Seekers
  6. Encourage Citizen Spies
  7. Make Them Accept The Unacceptable

os EUA não são a Grécia... ainda

(clicar para aumentar)

Men of experience succeed even better than those who have theory without experience

Does America Defaulting on Its Debt Mean We’ll Need a Bailout Like Greece?:
Two years after the president’s ’stimulus’ plan, with consumer confidence at all time lows and with unemployment at 9.2% and rising, the plan has obviously been a failure. That is why it is difficult to understand why someone of Krugman’s stature, as late as July of this year, would argue for more stimulus spending and downplay the need to address our massive national debt when it’s obvious that the stimulus package has failed ..
Professor Krugman has spent his entire professional life in academia and liberal journalism, I doubt he has ever had a true private sector job in his life. If he had, he would understand that the theory of stimulus spending doesn’t work (and it hasn’t worked anywhere its been tried in the world). The theory is deeply flawed because it fails to heed Aristotle’s wise words of recognizing the individual in the marketplace.

The free market system is a complex system of individual buyers and sellers engaging in commerce with prices determined by what someone is willing to pay for a product and what a seller is willing to sell his product for. “The Invisible Hand”. It is also a market that consists of infallible human beings who make decisions that are not always logical and that you can fit into an academic equation. The theory of stimulus spending/Keynesian economics does not take into account a marketplace that now consists of consumers who are worried about their economic futures and businessman and wealthy investors worried about the government excessively taxing them to make up for budget shortfalls caused by new spending such as the president’s healthcare mandate. In addition to a debt crisis that could potentially have the United States default on it’s debt.

FDR - Obamanismo

FDR Redux: A Cartoon Guide to Cutting the National Debt by 40% with the Stroke of a Pen!
( parte 1 | parte 2 )

Prosecute Bush *And* Obama

Bottomline, o Estado safa-se com acções que seriam crimes se cometidos por qualquer pessoa. Eis o sector judicial independente cultivado pelas democracias por esse mudno fora.

Prosecute Bush *And* Obama for Torture:
A couple weeks ago, Human Right Watch issued a report calling for a criminal investigation of Bush administration officials for the illegal regime of torture and detainee mistreatment implemented following the attack of September 11th.
The report focuses on investigations of Bush era abuses and individuals For the most part, the Obama administration appears in the report as having neglected its responsibility to enforce the law and initiate these criminal investigations.
Obama has more than just failed to fully commit to criminal investigations of Bush crimes, he has actively protected these Bush officials from judicial scrutiny by invoking states secrets privileges as well as pressuring other governments to stop investigating these crimes, which ought to be considered obstruction of justice.

sexta-feira, julho 29, 2011

Non-Aggression Principle

Non-Aggression Principle

dignidade através da liberdade (2)

No seguimento de dignidade através da liberdade , Portugal, Spain and the future of the euro por André Azevedo Alves:
Even though the tax increase was not totally surprising given the very difficult context, it was very disappointing since it fails to invert the previous path of trying to consolidate the budget by capturing more and more receipts from the economy. If Portugal is to improve its situation the focus needs to shift quickly to real and immediate reductions in public spending. Simultaneously, the country needs to greatly improve its competitiveness and that can only be done through policies that promote greater economic freedom. Portugal’s rankings in the economic freedom indexes suggest there is great room for improvement in this regard.

Estado, Política e Corporativismo

George Carlin- theres a reason

AMN nas notícias

Bloco sugere "não pagar" às agências de "rating":
Adolfo Mesquita Nunes (CDS-PP) argumentou que “quem atribui crédito às agências de rating são os investidores e podemos criar as agências de rating que quisermos que, se os mercados não as entenderem como credíveis” de nada valerá.

Prosseguindo o debate de cariz ideológico, o deputado dos populares duvidou que uma agência de rating pública tivesse “o critério justo e certo”. “É uma visão mecânica a de pensar que uma agência pública terá um funcionamento diferente”, sintetizou.


Let’s Make More Regulations!

A Principle without Principle

The Problems with Precaution: A Principle without Principle:
The real teeth of the principle, as articulated in the Wingspread Statement, come from shifting the burden of proof to “the proponent of an activity.” Here, “better safe than sorry” means that no activity which “raises threats of harm to human health or the environment” should proceed until proven “safe.” Interpreted this way, the principle erects a potential barrier to any activity that could alter the status quo. Applied literally to all activities, it would be a recommendation for not doing anything of consequence, as all manner of activities “raise threats of harm to human health or the environment.” As Sunstein observes, “Read for all its worth, it leads in no direction at all. The principle threatens to be paralyzing, forbidding regulation, inaction, and every step in between.”
Sunstein has identified several cognitive biases that reinforce the precautionary principle’s appeal. These include loss aversion, the myth of a benevolent nature, the availability heuristic, probability neglect, and system neglect. In a variety of ways, the precautionary principle reinforces people’s natural preference for avoiding risk and the fact that most people “dislike losses far more than they like corresponding gains.” .. As a consequence, sensational and unusual risk may command public attention and generate the demand for a policy response, even at great cost, while larger, more mundane risks remain largely ignored. Precautionary rhetoric feeds on, and is fed by, these concerns.
While the advocates of the precautionary principle rely on the rhetoric of prudence and public health protection, they encourage the exclusive focus on one set of risks while ignoring others. Contrary to what your mother may have told you, “better safe than sorry” isn’t always safer. In fact, when it comes to policies to protect public health and the environment, this type of thinking could do us in.

quarta-feira, julho 27, 2011

Why Socialism Fails

Why Socialism Fails

El camelo de los eurobonos

El camelo de los eurobonos:
No, la filosofía que subyace al eurobono no conviene ni a corto ni a largo plazo a Europa. A corto, porque si descargamos las culpas de quien las tiene (la sobreendeudada periferia) a quien no las tiene (el centro prestamista), sólo estamos incentivando que los culpables no rectifiquen echando los balones contra la cara de las víctimas. A largo, porque la unificación de la hacienda es el paso previo a la unificación política, y nada positivo puede surgir de otro mega-Estado mundial que externamente pretenda subirse a la parra y tratar de tú a tú a EEUU, China, Rusia o a "los mercados" (con todas las refriegas, enfrentamientos y restricciones que ello supone) e internamente busque unificar las tributaciones nacionales en una especie de cártel fiscal con el que esquilmar al contribuyente. Más Estado europeo significaría irremediablemente menos globalización y más control interno.

No lo necesitamos.

terça-feira, julho 26, 2011


Gary Johnson 2012: "Tolerance is American"

Amy Drughouse

Sermão ao cadáver de João Pereira Coutinho:
.. é preciso perder tempo com filosofias. Melhor ler as letras das canções de Amy Winehouse, onde está todo um programa: uma autodestruição consciente, que não tolera paternalismos de qualquer espécie.

O tema "Rehab", aliás, pode ser musicalmente nulo (opinião pessoal) mas é de uma honestidade libertária que chega a ser tocante: reabilitação para o vício? Não, não e não, diz ela. Três vezes não.

Respeito a atitude.
.. o uso de drogas implica um voluntarismo e uma disciplina que são a própria definição de autonomia pessoal. E, muitas vezes, o uso de drogas é o pretexto para que vidas sem rumo possam encontrar um. Por mais autodestrutivo que ele seja.

Moralizar o cadáver de Amy Winehouse? Não contem comigo, abutres.

Independent Money

Gold: Independent Money

The tunnel vision of macroeconomics

Bernanke’s blind side:
.. one of the reasons .. is the inability of large sections of the political and financial establishment to even grasp what is going on. Of course, the reason for this is not any lack of intelligence. These are smart people. The reason is the oppressive dominance of an economic belief system that only provides a very narrow perspective on the full effects of an expanding supply of money.
The problem is not that he [Bernanke] is evil or dumb – I think he is neither – the problem is much bigger. Evil and dumb people can be dealt with. The deeply-convinced do-gooders in positions of almost unchecked power, those are the ones we should worry about, those who are full of good intentions but suffer from tunnel-vision, incurably in awe of their own theories and incapable of even beginning to grasp how what they are doing could make things worse ..
It is almost comical how Mr. Bernanke seems to say, why are you criticizing me? I am spending all this money but it doesn’t add to the federal deficit. I am printing this myself. I just press a button. Money printing is costless. And I can help the economy.
What the Fed is trying to do is destined to fail. It cannot solve the problem. It must exacerbate the problem .. For him his job appears to require simply an astute balancing act between the two phenomena his macro-tunnel vision .. macro-statistics – the present-day fetish of the economics profession. He cannot grasp the distortions in prices he creates, the misallocations in capital he constantly furthers, and the accumulation of debt he encourages. None of them register on his statistical radar.
The economy will stay in the dumps. And like a little hamster in his hamster wheel, Mr. Bernanke will only run faster and faster .. Some day inflation will rise to uncomfortable levels, and inflation is a macro-phenomenon that does appear on the Fed chairman’s radar screen. But then it is too late.

brick by brick

"WE ARE STILL HERE!" 2011 Porcupine Freedom Festival - Stefan Molyneux

Debunking the clichés in economic policy making

Myth buster: Debunking the clichés in economic policy making:
The most important challenge .. is to question, and shatter, the myths and clichés in populist economic thinking that inhibit creative policy making. Once our economic policy is free from these myths, the policy will become a tool for the ultimate aim of growth – wealth creation.
Government should provide everything or at the very least, it should engineer society just like the East Asian Model.
Make poverty reduction an end in itself, or adopt inclusive growth, lest the poor will be left out.
the solution is .. more education
Control corruption and the entire country will set on a path of prosperity.
Nothing is more important for a political government than building new infrastructure

The Tiny Dot

Bitcoin (4)

No seguimento de Bitcoin (3)
The Economics Of Bitcoin – How Bitcoins Act As Money:
Bitcoins act in exactly the same manner as if one were exchanging physical nuggets of gold represented by electronic gold receipts.
Bitcoins are money because of the properties they have. They act in exactly the same capacity as gold when used as a money. The fact that Bitcoins are not represented by a physical commodity is totally irrelevant from the perspective of their use as a store of value. The free market has decided Bitcoins do have value and can be used as a trade facilitator because of the properties they have; therefore, they are free market money.

fraud & other people’s money

Entitlement Bandits Rob Medicaid/Medicare

cash only (3)

No seguimento de cash only e cash only (2), Give directly por Alex Tabarrok:
Here is Tyler summarizing the principles of charitable giving:
1. Cash is often the best form of aid.
2. Give to those who are not expecting it, and,
3. Don’t require the recipients to do anything costly to get the money.
A new charity is formalizing Tyler’s system and reducing the transaction cost of efficient donation ..
GiveDirectly intentionally provides unconditional, rather than conditional, cash transfers. We do this for three reasons. First, empowering the poor to make their own decisions advances our core value of respect. Second, it lets recipients purchase the things they need most, enhancing impact. Third, imposing conditions on the use of funds requires that costly monitoring and enforcement structures be put in place. One detailed estimate put the administrative costs of a conditional cash transfer scheme at 63% of the transfers made over the first three years of the program ..

Debt and Spending

"Cut, Cap and Balance," the Debt Ceiling and Federal Spending

Bondholders and Victims

Bondholders and Victims de Sheldon Richman:
.. most people assume the government is something noble and its word must be kept at all costs. The pundits and politicians go beyond claiming that missing the deadline would bring economic calamity; they also say that a late payment — not a default, not a repudiation, but merely a late payment — would be a moral calamity. This is laughable ..

In truth a late payment would expose government for what it is, in case anyone forgot. The lesson would be instructive. Government is not some higher super-competent entity like the man pretending to be the Wizard of Oz wanted the people to think he was. It’s a coercive organization of limited, flawed, and essentially ignorant men and women who, having been anointed in an election after campaigns hawking snake oil, are presumptuous enough to think they are capable of making wise decisions on our behalf.

There’s also a forgotten moral dimension with respect to those who receive government payments .. Someone who lends money to the government does so freely, knowing that taxation will make repayment possible. (If you doubt this, ask yourself how many bond buyers there would be if government had no power to tax.) In contrast Social Security/Medicare recipients were financially raped all their working lives and pushed into dependence on government at a stage of life when earning an income is difficult or impossible.
I am not justifying taxation to pay welfare state beneficiaries — quite the contrary. I am saying only that victims of the State have a stronger claim to resources in its possession than those who freely speculated in and hoped to profit from its power ..

Visualizing Your Doom

A Picture History Of Fiat Money – Visualizing Your Doom

o sistema corporativista

Their System is Breaking por David S. D'Amato:
Whether or not any particular state is currently in default, the economic system of statism, built on theft and exploitation, is at all times unstable and on the verge of collapse. By rendering inefficient business models and pursuits profitable where they otherwise would not be, the state promotes the accumulation of wealth in losing commercial activities.
To brace its crony capitalism against the constant pressure of economic reality, the state must spend ever more, both allaying the strains of widespread poverty and unemployment and — more significantly — subsidizing the operating costs of huge, powerful companies. “Too big to fail” became the familiar refrain in the incipiency of the present economic downturn, and it is indeed true that in the current, statist economy, many of the most important pivot points of the system are the most thoroughly intertwined with the state.
The state is an always has been in the service of a small elite. Genuine free markets, the voluntary exchanges we would all make absent coercion, are by definition the instrument of “the people” at large. It’s time we finally stop trusting monumental decisions about the world economy to a handful of corrupt politicians. It’s time we see what free people will do when left to make those decisions one at a time, on a human scale without aggressive interference.

segunda-feira, julho 25, 2011

Monkton showdown

National Press Club Debate Christopher Monckton v Richard Denniss 2011 Address

BÓNUS - Lord Monckton wins National Press Club debate on climate:
The National Press Club debate’s results:
- Lord Monckton – 10
- Former Greens adviser Richard Denniss – 1
- Journalists – 0.

I the Person versus We the People

I the Person versus We the People por Wendy McElroy:
.. there is no flesh-and-blood entity known as "society" that has an existence independent of its individual members. "Society" is an abstraction that arises from the massive interaction of individuals who function within a specific context. In terms of forming the abstraction "society," the required context may be nothing more than individuals living within certain geographical boundaries.
Methodological individualism has profound implications for the nanny state. If a collective is a "mental process" within individuals, not a concrete entity with independent existence, then it makes no sense to claim there are unique rules that apply to a collective but not to the individuals who compose it.
The person who assumes the mantle of society in order to self-righteously dictate how you must live has carved an idol called "the greater good" and has fallen on his knees to worship it as god. But there is no social good greater than the individual, without whom society itself does not exist. And any man who demands that others sacrifice themselves to a false god deserves only disdain.

If you were king

¡Viva la especulación!

¡Viva la especulación!
La realidad, como suele acontecer, es bastante distinta a la que narran los prejuicios liberticidas. Primero por el hecho nada desdeñable de que, en cierto modo, todos y cada uno de los seres humanos, desde el más ilustre de los indignados al más despreciable de los Rockefeller, seamos especuladores: especular viene del latín speculare, es decir, observar con detenimiento algo.
Sin especuladores, una persona sólo podría vender un bien o un activo si encontrara justo en ese momento a otra persona que deseara comprar ese mismo bien o activo a un precio y en unas condiciones que beneficiaran a ambos.
.. los especuladores también actúan como intermediarios para conectar a los dispersos compradores y vendedores finales. Son ellos quienes sirven como contraparte para comprar o vender cuando pocos más quieren hacerlo.
Gracias a la función de la creación de mercado, por consiguiente, los especuladores orientan la valoración de los bienes o activos (en momentos en que nadie más quiere intercambiarlos) y, sobre todo, les proporcionan un volumen de negociación lo suficientemente amplio como para que otras personas, al saber que casi en cualquier momento podrán desprenderse de ellos a buenos precios, ahorren e inviertan en su producción.

Vernon Smith

Civilization vs Socialist Stupidity

Why The Great Stagnation Thesis is the Most Subversive Libertarian Argument of Our Age por Peter Boettke:
Cowen’s work is a subversive track in radical libertarianism because he identifies that government growth (both measured in terms of scale and scope) was possible only because of the rate of technological improvements made in the late 19th and early 20th century. We realized the gains from trade (Smithian growth) and we realized the gains from innovation (Schumpeterian growth), and we fought off (in the West as least) totalitarian government (Stupidity). As long as Smithian growth and Schumpeterian growth outpace Stupidity, tomorrow’s trough will still be higher than today’s peak. It will appear that we can afford more Stupidity than we can actually can because the power of self-interest expressed through the market off-sets that negative consequences. But IF and WHEN Stupidity is allowed to outpace the Smithian gains from trade and the Schumpeterian gains from innovation, then we will first stagnate and then enter a period of economic backwardness unless we curtail Stupidity, explore new trading opportunities, or discover new and better technologies.
The Great Stagnation is a condemnation of government growth over the 20th century. It was made possible only by the amazing technological progress of the late 19th and early 20th century. But as the rate of technological innovation slowed, the costs of government growth became more evident. The problem, however, is that so many have gotten used to the economics of illusion that they cannot stand the reality staring them in the face.

domingo, julho 24, 2011

Khan Academy

Salman Khan talk at TED 2011 (from

How Khan Academy Is Changing the Rules of Education:
Khan Academy is an educational website that, as its tagline puts it, aims to let anyone “learn almost anything—for free.” Students, or anyone interested enough to surf by, can watch some 2,400 videos in which the site’s founder, Salman Khan, chattily discusses principles of math, science, and economics (with a smattering of social science topics thrown in) .. In addition to these videos, the website offers software that generates practice problems and rewards good performance with videogame-like badges ..
Whatever Khan’s limits, his site has become extremely popular. More than 2 million users watch his videos every month, and all told they answer about 15 questions per second. Khan is clearly helping students master difficult and vital subjects. And he’s not alone: From TED talks to iTunes U to Bill Hammack the Engineer Guy, new online educational tools are bringing the ethos of Silicon Valley to education. The role these sites can (or should) play in our nation’s schools is unclear. But classes like Thordarson’s are starting to find out.
BÓNUS: Salman Khan Talk at the MIT Club of Northern California

A visualization of United States debt

A visualization of United States debt


Downfall: Europe's Failed Political Class:
.. another cause of reform-failure is that most European politicians have little-to-no experience of life in the business world.

Five years ago, a survey of the French Senate revealed that a mere 30 of its 331 members had ever worked in the private sector. Not surprisingly, they turned out to know little about hum-drum matters such as how to meet a payroll, why heavy labor market regulation makes you reluctant to hire people, or how high taxes dampens your entrepreneurial enthusiasms.

Hence, no-one should be surprised that so many EU politicians' response to the continent's current problems is to advocate more centralization of economic policy and more regulation, and all in the name of more European-wide "coordination." Nothing could be more foreign to such mindsets than imagining that they and their rather sheltered outlook on life might be part of the problem.

Time, however, is against them. As Europe's crisis worsens, the ancien régime's efforts to control matters through yet more intergovernmental loans, bailouts, and accounting sleight-of-hands will continue yielding meager results. Unfortunately, like the Bourbons, most of Europe's political class have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing. And, as in the past, it will be ordinary Europeans rather than their political masters who pay the price.

Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids

Do Parents Matter? Q&A with Bryan Caplan, Author of Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids

euro-economic meltdown

The euro now threatens the world with economic meltdown por Christopher Booker:
Right at its heart, the single currency was based on two crucial flaws. On the one hand, its founders took pride in the fact that all the countries which joined it could borrow money at a single, low interest rate.
Exactly as predicted, the Greeks, the Irish, Portuguese, the Spaniards and others all borrowed hundreds of billions of cheap euros as if there was no tomorrow — enabling each of them to enjoy runaway economic booms, which were hailed as wonderful examples of how ‘Europe was working’.
We could be entering the darkest time the world has seen since World War II. And the terrifying fact is that, as yet, not one of Europe’s supposed leaders has the slightest idea what to do about it.
Instead, they have resorted to the final desperate measure of attempting to bail out the countries in crisis by chucking at them ever more astronomic sums of money, which the hapless recipients have little or no prospect of ever being able to pay back.

Laffer: Obama is wrong

Famed economist Art Laffer on air with Rick Amato on Pres. Obama, 2012, and our economic future

Population miracle

Population boon:
For more than 200 years the population alarmists have been predicting the worst, and for more than 200 years their predictions have failed to come true .. on the whole human beings are living longer, healthier, cleaner, richer, better-educated, more productive, and more comfortable lives than ever before.

When human beings proliferate, the result isn’t less of everything to go around. The planet doesn’t run out of food and fuel, minerals, and metals. On the contrary, most resources have grown cheaper and more abundant over the past couple centuries - in tandem with rising population.

The explanation is no mystery. Yes, more babies mean more mouths and therefore more consumption. But more babies also mean more minds and arms and spines - and therefore more new ideas, more effort, more creativity, more initiative, more enterprise. “Human beings do not just consume, they also produce,’’ ..

It is a beautiful and uplifting insight, but the population misanthropes never seem to grasp it: Human beings, on the whole and over time, usually create more than they destroy. With more people tend to come more progress and more prosperity ..



the end of statism

The End of the Growth Consensus por John B. Taylor:
In my view, the best way to understand the problems confronting the American economy is to go back to the basic principles upon which the country was founded—economic freedom and political freedom.
As the 21st century began, .. Public officials from both parties apparently found the limited government approach to be a disadvantage, some simply because they wanted to do more—whether to tame the business cycle, increase homeownership, or provide the elderly with better drug coverage.

And so policy swung back in a more interventionist direction, with the federal government assuming greater powers. The result was not the intended improvement, but rather an epidemic of unintended consequences—a financial crisis, a great recession, ballooning debt and today's nonexistent recovery.
If these government interventions are the economic problem, then the solution is to unwind them. Some lament that with the high debt and bloated Fed balance sheet, we have run out of monetary and fiscal ammunition, but this may be a blessing in disguise. The way forward is not more spending, greater debt and continued zero-interest rates, but spending control and a return to free-market principles.

Eminent domain fascism

The Battle For Brooklyn: Eminent Domain Abuse Gone Wild

What would Rothbard do?

Repudiating the National Debt by Murray N. Rothbard:
.. when government borrows money, it .. commits not its own life, fortune, and sacred honor to repay the debt, but ours .. It can only get money by looting our resources through taxes, or through the hidden tax of legalized counterfeiting known as "inflation." ...
.. the public creditors are willing to hand over money to the government now in order to receive a share of tax loot in the future ... The public credit transaction is not a genuine contract that need be considered sacrosanct ..
Government spending, therefore, rather than being "investment," is consumer spending of a peculiarly wasteful and unproductive sort, since it is indulged not by producers but by a parasitic class that is living off, and increasingly weakening, the productive private sector .. by creating new money—matters become still worse, since credit inflation creates permanent and rising price inflation as well as waves of boombust "business cycles."
I propose, then, a seemingly drastic but actually far less destructive way of paying off the public debt at a single blow: out-right debt repudiation. .. we the living did not contract for either the past or the present debts incurred by the politicians and bureaucrats ..
.. why should more private capital be poured down government rat holes? It is precisely the drying up of future public credit that constitutes one of the main arguments for repudiation, for it means beneficially drying up a major channel for the wasteful destruction of the savings of the public. What we want is abundant savings and investment in private enterprises, and a lean, austere, low-budget, minimal government. The people and the economy can only wax fat and prosperous when their government is starved and puny.


Carmageddon or Lameageddon? Billion Dollar Project Isn't Apocalyptic After All

Jail Murdoch, not Assange

Jail Murdoch, not Assange:
When it comes to comparing the cases of two publishers of secret information — WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange and billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch — the hypocrisy from politicians and media is huge.
Unlike Murdoch’s, WikiLeaks’ motivation was admirable: to expose lies and human rights abuses, and to make powerful people accountable for the decisions they make behind closed doors.

Unlike NOTW, WikiLeaks stole nothing: the secret US cables it published were given to it by an anonymous source, alleged to be US soldier Bradley Manning.
Murdoch’s media outlets all over the world led the charge in condemning WikiLeaks, hypocritically moralising about a government’s right to secrecy.

While defending a government’s right to keep secrets about its activities from its citizens, Murdoch’s leading tabloid violated this right for many ordinary citizens

Socialismo e dívida, um grande amor

3 Reasons Why The Debt-Ceiling Debate is Full of Malarkey

bring down the whole Euro project and save Europe

The official start of the European transfer union por Phillipp Bagus:
The transfer union implies a transfer of power to the European Commission. We get ever closer to a European superstate. Incentives to reduce deficits will be reduced both in the periphery and in the core. Germans will start to resist cuts in public spending. Why save if the savings flow to the periphery? Instead of reducing German pensions to guarantee Greek pensions, German voters will push for more public spending. To pay for welfare states and transfers, more taxes (maybe a European tax) and money production will become necessary. The centralization of power allows for harmonization of regulations and taxes. Once tax competition ends, there will be a tendency towards ever higher taxes. With the transfers, the power of Brussels will continue to rise. There seems to be only one bold, albeit costly way, to stop the process towards a EUSSR: withdrawal from the transfer union. With an exit from the Euro, Germany could bring down the whole Euro project and save Europe.

Incentives Matter

Incentives Matter

Private Investment and Public “Investment”

Private Investment and Public “Investment”:
In the absence of a true market price mechanism, how do you tell if an investment is profitable? And where is the incentive to avoid unprofitable investments? If a government program is deemed successful, there are calls to provide more funding. If it is a failure, we are told we must double down on the spending in order to turn it into a successful program.

Private investment means putting your own money at risk in anticipation of realizing a gain later; public “investment” means taking and spending someone else’s money to support your idea of how you think they should live, or to satisfy the special interests that help get you reelected. Private investment requires putting off spending today so that you may (hopefully) earn more in the future; public “investment” is all about spending today.

Unfortunately, the federal government has not learned the lessons history has tried to teach us about subsidizing business and illusory job growth. This ignorance is especially on display when politicians react to the onset of a recession. The prescription made famous by economist John Maynard Keynes is to “stimulate” the economy through government spending and job creation (otherwise known as “make-work”). Never mind that this means fighting a problem of too much debt by incurring even more debt. As Freeman columnist Robert Higgs, senior fellow in political economy at the Independent Institute and author of Crisis and Leviathan, has said, “Every drunk understands this way of fighting depressions.”

Capitalism & Space

TEDxSanJoseCA - Jeff Greason - Rocket Scientist: Making Space Pay and Having Fun Doing It

quarta-feira, julho 20, 2011

Debt and Dionysius

Greek Economics: Drachmas, debt and Dionysius:
In 1929 the Harvard economist Charles Bullock published a magnificent essay on a monetary experiment conducted by Dionysius the Elder, ruler of the Greek city state of Syracuse from 407 BC until his death in 367. After running up vast debts to pay for his military campaigns, his lavish court and spectacles for the common people he found himself painfully short of ready cash. No one wanted to lend him any more money and taxes were drying up. So Dionysius came up with a great wheeze. On pain of death he forced his citizens to hand in all their cash. Once all the drachmas were collected he simply re-stamped each one drachma coin as two drachmas. Simple. Problem solved. Syracuse was rich again.
Dionysius couldn’t make Syracuse richer by re-stamping the coins. And the European Central Bank couldn’t change the course of a few hundred years of Greek history by enforcing a one size fits all monetary policy. That simple truth is now catching up with all of them.

terça-feira, julho 19, 2011

John Allison

No seguimento de
- Give BB&T Liberty, but Not a Bailout
- Leadership and Values
- the Banking Crisis

Using Ayn Rand's Values to Create Competitive Advantage in Business
parte 1 | parte 2

Price Controls messages

Price Controls Make A Statement About Society por Art Carden:
Interventions make statements, to be sure, but they aren’t statements to be proud of. In the case of various forms of interference with the market–minimum wages, redistribution, price controls, immigration restrictions, and so on—the messages are unmistakable and unflattering.
[ price controls] say that our society doesn’t know the lessons economics has to teach .. They say that our society is elitist .. They say that our society is violent .. They say that our society is superficial.

Positive Rights Vs. Negative Rights

segunda-feira, julho 18, 2011

How libertarianism helps the poor

How libertarianism helps the poor:
People make three important errors when thinking about libertarianism and the poor.

The first mistake is to believe the government when it claims that its policies are intended to help the poor. They almost never are ..

The second mistake is to confuse intentions with results. Even if government policies were intended to benefit the poor, we would have good reason to expect them to fail ..

The last mistake is to think that a concern with regulation and taxation is the sole defining feature of libertarianism. Libertarianism is about individual liberty, and while economic liberty is a part of that, it is not the whole.


Stefan Molyneux - Putting off Procrastination... from Freedomain Radio

dignidade através da liberdade

Excertos "La salida de Portugal del euro tendría un coste brutal para la población" por André Azevedo Alves:
La combinación de un clima político e intelectual de fuerte oposición hacia políticas de libre mercado, junto a las oportunidades de búsqueda de rentas en el poder político proporcionadas por la integración en la UE, demostró ser una combinación letal para la economía portuguesa.
..el país necesita mejorar notablemente su competitividad y eso solo puede hacerse a través de políticas que conduzcan a una mayor libertad económica. Como evidencia la mala posición de Portugal en las clasificaciones de los índices de libertad económica, hay gran margen de mejora en este sentido, pero apuntaría tres prioridades: 1) reducir las interferencias distorsionadoras del Gobierno en la actividad empresarial, 2) promover un mejor funcionamiento del sistema judicial y hacer que sea más confiable, y 3) aumentar la flexibilidad en el mercado laboral.

Obsolete States

Twilight Zone - Obsolete

The Free Market Currency Manifesto

The Free Market Currency Manifesto por Michael S. Rozeff:
We need monetary freedom. That is only a start to ending democratic totalitarianism, but it is the essential start.

We need currency issuers that uphold clear property rights transparently in the light of day. Only competition can secure quality and advance. We need customers in markets to drive out of business those companies that undermine the value of their currencies by investing in the wrong assets or by not living up to their charters. We do not need legislators who clumsily and criminally claim and misuse the power to control financial institutions. We do not need legislators accepting money and favors from financial lobbyists and writing laws in their favor.

We do not need central banks with powers to create credit that bail out failing banks, failing insurance companies, failing foreign central banks, and failing governments. We do not need misbegotten attempts to control entire economies by controlling credit. We need to scourge government-sanctioned credit and central banks from the marketplace. We need to separate currency and finance from government power.
In order to rid ourselves of the currency monopoly, we need alternative currencies up and running. But before that we need the will and commitment to open free markets in currency, in both money and credit. We need to know the goal and to know that it is right and to know that what we now have is wrong. We need a Free Market Currency movement.

contra standards estatais nacionais

Note-se que o novo Ministro Nuno Crato tem-se afastado destas posições liberais:

Washington's Latest Education Overreach: National Standards for Schools

domingo, julho 17, 2011


.. watch what starts happening from 2008 and 2009.

The AAA bubble re-inflates and suddenly sovereign debt becomes the major force driving the world’s triple-A supply. The turmoil of 2008 shunted some investors from ABS into safer sovereign debt, it’s true. But you also had a plethora of incoming bank regulation to purposefully herd investors towards holding more government bonds, plus a glut of central bank liquidity facilities accepting government IOUs as collateral. Where ABS dissipated, sovereign debt stood in to fill the gap. And more.

It’s one reason why the sovereign crisis is well and truly painful.

Democratic Book burning

No seguimento de Democratic book banning,

Mimi & Eunice

Was the Space Shuttle Worth It?

Was the Space Shuttle Worth It?:
But there is another sort of calculation problem that faces government-funded science, beyond the questions of average versus marginal costs, or whether or not to count inflation, or whether or not a particular expense is shuttle-related. This calculation problem afflicts every form of government spending: What is the opportunity cost of the government's spending? All those resources used for the shuttle program had to come from somewhere. As Ludwig von Mises pointed out as early as 1920, it is impossible for a government that is dispensing with the market process to make the vital calculations of costs and benefits that would be necessary to make efficient resource allocations for society.
The problem of unknowable opportunity costs puts a dent in the idea that government science programs create a "multiplier" that generates more than their cost in private-sector advancements. The research, new technologies, and discoveries that might have been products of the space-shuttle program exist in the shadow of other research, technologies, and discoveries that might have been produced with the resources had they remained in the private sector. Any NASA "multiplier" exists because a private-sector multiplier has been destroyed.
Sadly, the memorable theatrical displays NASA has produced over the years have distracted from the true costs of government enterprises. We are tempted to regard the federal government's space program as a bright symbol of American greatness, when in fact it has been a hindrance to American ingenuity and prosperity.

Weiss Ratings (2)

No seguimento de Weiss Ratings,

United States Receives Sovereign Debt Rating of C (Fair)

BÓNUS: Weiss Ratings Downgrades United States Debt to C-Minus

Weiss Ratings

Introducing The Weiss Sovereign Debt Ratings:
Weiss Ratings is an independent rating agency, covering 19,000 U.S. banks, credit unions and insurance companies, with the primary mission of protecting the public from financial risks without bias or conflicts of interest. With that mission in mind, we see an urgent need to unambiguously warn of growing risks related to investing in the United States and various other nations. Therefore, we are initiating coverage of their sovereign debts.

We believe that the AAA/Aaa assigned to U.S. sovereign debt by Standard & Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s and Fitch is unfair to investors and savers ..
6. The AAA/Aaa U.S. debt rating has also helped create an environment of chronic public complacency. Many institutional and individual investors, who, in other circumstances, might demand greater fiscal discipline, have been largely content to accept the U.S. government’s fiscal decline. At the same time, efforts to educate voters about the importance of more prudent fiscal policies have typically fallen on deaf ears. Today more than ever, an honest and fair rating for U.S. government debt is urgently needed to help provide public support for the political compromises and collective sacrifices the U.S. must make in order to restore its finances.

the lifecycle of the welfare state

Via Dan Mitchell,

These images are remarkably accurate. The welfare state starts with small programs targeted at a handful of genuinely needy people. But as politicians figure out the electoral benefits of expanding programs and people figure out the that they can let others work on their behalf, the ratio of producers to consumers begins to worsen.

Eventually, even though the moochers and looters should realize that it is not in their interest to over-burden the people pulling the wagon, the entire system breaks down.


Grecia, país de cerdos (I): ¿Por qué es moral y justo que se hunda en la miseria económica?:
Es como en España, los indignados y los manifestantes defienden unos “derechos” que disfrutan otras personas (funcionarios, la casta universitaria, políticos, etc.) en base a cercenar su propio futuro (paro y la marcha de empresas a otros países). Es delirante. Hay una casta de privilegiados y el resto de puteados los mantiene. Lo curioso es son los puteados los que se baten el cobre para defender los privilegios de los primeros.

o BCE e os PIIGS

Patético e trágico

Não há nada como uma boa teoria da conspiração*:
Andamos, desde 1995, a consumir por ano sensivelmente mais dez por cento do que produzimos? A culpa é da Moody”s e das outras agências de rating. Entrámos para a moeda única e praticamente nunca conseguimos cumprir com os critérios de convergência? A culpa é dos “camones” que querem destruir o euro. Suportámos um primeiro-ministro que mentiu até ao fim sobre a dimensão dos problemas nacionais? A culpa é dos analistas das agências que dizem alto o que, por cá, todos sussurram. Na Europa ninguém se entende e cada um puxa para seu lado? A culpa é dos americanos, que por acaso também não se entendem e puxam cada um para seu lado.

Seria patético se não fosse trágico.

The hard Left is dead right

The hard Left is dead right

Citação Liberal do Dia

Much of the social history of the western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.
Thomas Sowell

Obrigado Moody’s

Obrigado, Moody's por André Abrantes Amaral:
Portugal não faliu. São muitos os portugueses que sempre tiveram cuidado e controlaram a despesa para que não fosse maior que a receita. Atreveram--se até a poupar. Precaveram-se e também estão a pagar a factura. Há empresas que têm liquidez, apesar de sofrerem as dificuldades inerentes a uma crise estatal desta dimensão. Estas pessoas, estas empresas, também são Portugal. O nosso país não se reduz ao Estado. Essa ideia é uma invenção socialista que procura tirar proveito do amor que temos pelo nosso país. Pretende roubá-lo e usá-lo para outros fins que não são ajudar Portugal, mas o Estado.

sexta-feira, julho 15, 2011

Eat the Rich

Bill Whittle - Eat the Rich
Want an interesting thought experiment? Take a trip in a liberal dream world of total wealth confiscation, where for one year, politicians confiscate profits from major corporations, professional athletes, Hollywood, and the like—all in the name of paying for their big spending ways. Would it be enough? Watch the above video to find out.
BÓNUS - mais sobre o mantra We are not broke — we were robbed!

Global Warming Hype

Global Warming Hype Process:
Here is the current global warming hype process as it exists today:
  • Identify a 2 or 3 sigma weather event. Since there are 365 days in the year and hundreds of different regions in the world, the laws of probability say that some event in the tail of the normal distribution (local high, local low, local flood, local drought, local snow, local tornado, local hurricane, etc) should be regularly occurring somewhere.
  • Play weather event all over press, closely linked as often as possible with supposition that this is due to manmade CO2. If the connection to global warming is too outlandish to make with a straight face (e.g. cold weather) use term “climate change” or “climate disruption” instead of global warming.
  • Skeptics will point to actual data that this event is not part of a long term trend, e.g. there is no rise in tornado activity correlated with 20th century rise in temperatures so blaming one year of high tornadoes on global warming makes no sense. Ignore this.
  • Peer reviewed literature will emerge 6-12 months later demonstrating that the event was not likely due to man-made global warming. Ignore this as well. Never, ever go back and revisit failed catastrophic predictions.
  • Repeat

Black market light bulbs

The Future of the Light Bulb Ban

The Ben, Money and Debt

It Ain't Money If I Can't Print It! por Peter Schiff:
By claiming that gold is not money, the Chairman demonstrates his ignorance of much of monetary history. He told Congressman Ron Paul that he had no idea why central banks hold gold, before speculating that it might have something to do with tradition. Yes, traditionally gold is money, which is precisely why central banks hold it. And gold is money because central bankers like Mr. Bernanke cannot be trusted with a paper substitute.

.. I can assure him that my gold buying has nothing to do with "uncertainty." In fact, it's just the opposite. I am buying gold because of what is certain, not what is uncertain. I am certain that Mr. Bernanke's incompetence will destroy the value of the dollar and unleash runaway inflation.
At one point, Bernanke said, "The right analogy for not raising the debt ceiling is going out and having a spending spree on your credit card and then refusing to pay the bill." .. Yes, Congress has gone on a spending spree and it's time to pay up. But raising the debt ceiling is like taking out a Mastercard to pay the Visa... it just makes the problem worse .. The point is that we would have to reduce current consumption to make up for the overspending in the past.

Ron Paul Ad - Conviction

Ron Paul Ad - Conviction

parceria público-privada

Três apontamentos de Nuno Garoupa:
É absolutamente ridículo ver grandes empresários, banqueiros e gestores portugueses falar de injustiça e moralidade neste contexto. Falamos de negócios, mercados financeiros, dinheiro, lucro; desde quando são a injustiça e a moralidade parte do assunto?

O mais triste de toda esta longa saga portuguesa contra a Moody's e as agências de "rating" é que não me lembro de todas estas vozes criticarem igualmente as políticas públicas que nos trouxeram até aqui.

Estes poderes fáticos são os primeiros responsáveis do buraco em que Portugal está metido, vivendo à sombra do Estado durante vinte anos como predadores dos recursos públicos, apoiando as loucuras do optimismo que faz bem a Portugal, defendendo o sobreendividamento do Estado e das famílias como modelo económico de futuro. E agora a culpa é da Moody's. Não, não é. A culpa é deles e só deles!

The Declaration of Independents (2)

Na continuação de The Declaration of Independents,

Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch, John Stossel: The Declaration of Independents

G+ Beneficial Unintended Consequences

A Battle that Everyone Wins por Steven Horwitz:
The beauty of competition is that it is how we find out what people want .. The only way they will know for sure is the market test ..

The broader lesson here is the importance of freedom of entry. Having had the market largely to itself for so long, Facebook may well have become unresponsive to users. Google’s ability to create a meaningful competitor is what will force Facebook to innovate, even if Google+ fails in the long run. This is why we need to be wary of complaints about firms being “too big.” If a firm like Google couldn’t leverage its size and unique market position to pose an effective competitor to Apple in the smartphone market or Facebook in the social network world, we would lose the competitive threat that keeps incumbents innovating.

The irony is that breaking up a large firm to avoid monopoly can enable monopolies elsewhere by removing that firm as a competitor. As the battle of the new century unfolds in the months to come, we should all celebrate that free entry and competition have their way and that we will all learn what people want in social networking. That’s a battle that everyone will win.

teaching the Austrian School

Teaching Austrian Economics to Graduate Students com Peter Boettke

Relevance of the Austrian School for the 21st Century com Peter Boettke

quinta-feira, julho 14, 2011

Not-Taxing-You-Enough Problem

One Difference between Statists and Non-statists por Michael F. Cannon:
To a statist, all resources belong to the state. The government doesn’t tax 40 percent of your earnings; it magnanimously spends the other 60 percent on you. When the government reduces your taxes, it isn’t taking less money from you; it’s spending more of its money on you.
We had a big surplus. It was time to do something with it. Brad DeLong, a former Clinton administration official and an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, didn’t want to see the surplus spent on tax cuts. He wanted to see it spent on public investments.
The above quote comes from an article titled, “We Have a Taxing Problem, Not Just a Spending Problem.” But since statists believe that not taxing equals spending, both halves of that title actually mean the same thing: “We Have a Not-Taxing-You-Enough Problem.”

If Air Travel Worked Like Health Care

If Air Travel Worked Like Health Care

If Air Travel Worked Like Health Care:
"Sir. Please. Calm down and be realistic. I'm sure the system can be frustrating, but consumers don't understand flight plans and landing slots. Even if they did, there are thousands of separate providers involved in moving travelers around, and hundreds of airports, and millions of trips. Getting everyone to coordinate services and exchange information just isn't realistic in a business as complicated as travel."

Austeridade Hannibal Lecter

Who Put Hannibal Lecter in Charge of Government Spending Cuts?:
How the Hannibal Lecter Ploy Works
  • Make a Victim List. People loved by those you want to influence. Their Moms and Dads. Families. Brothers and sisters. Babies. And then include innocent and helpless human beings. Then toss in workers and professions that people want and need.
  • Make a Harm List. Imagine bad things that can happen to people. Especially good people. Or innocent people. Problems. Poverty. Pain. Suffering. Injury. Disease. Death. Imagine the scariest, worst things that can happen.
  • Make a Spending Cut List. Start with spending cuts that are already on the table. Now imagine even more drastic, draconian, savage spending cuts. Write them down too. Fear is the key.
  • Make a List of Possible Consequences. Direct and indirect outcomes that these spending cuts could cause. Be sure to tie the spending cut list to the harm list, then to the victim list.
  • Act as though these consequences are as certain as the sun rising tomorrow.
That's the Hannibal Lecter Ploy Against Reducing Government Spending.

Democratic book banning

Lining Up to Ban Books at Literature Festival in Chicago

Chicagoans Overwhelmingly Vote to Ban Palin, Beck & Coulter Books at Book Fair in Obama’s Home Town:
The authors of the books we offered to ban were Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Andrew Breitbart, Ayn Rand, Michael Savage, Bill Clinton, Michael Moore, Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler and Barack Obama. While there were in fact less than two handfuls of individuals who did tell us they don’t think any books should be banned, unfortunately there were a shocking amount of guests at this book fair who were quite open to the idea, and in fact lined up quite excited for the opportunity to voice their opinion.

Participants overwhelming chose Sarah Palin who received 53 votes putting her at 36% overall, Glenn Beck at 23% and Ann Coulter at 22%.
Não são as escolhas que chocam. Nem tão pouco o à-vontade acéfalo das pessoas. Nem tão pouco serem só duas as pessoas que se recusaram. É ninguém ter reagido contra tamanha aberração (por muito experiência satírica que tenha sido).
Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

multibanco, uma ameaça económica

Barack Obama Thinks an ATM Ate Your Job:
Yesterday, Barack Obama gave away the game. Without actually using the words, Barack Obama admitted he is completely and utterly ignorant about job creation and economics. In an interview with the Today Show, Barack Obama declared that the unemployment rate remains so high because of ATMS.

Hammertime: The Real ATM

O fim da guerra à economia

Um post tão bom que merece ser reproduzido na íntegra — Keynes vs. Reality por Russ Roberts:
Here is Paul Samuelson in 1943:
When this war comes to an end, more than one out of every two workers will depend directly or indirectly upon military orders. We shall have some 10 million service men to throw on the labor market. We shall have to face a difficult reconversion period during which current goods cannot be produced and layoffs may be great. Nor will the technical necessity for reconversion necessarily generate much investment outlay in the critical period under discussion whatever its later potentialities. The final conclusion to be drawn from our experience at the end of the last war is inescapable–were the war to end suddenly within the next 6 months, were we again planning to wind up our war effort in the greatest haste, to demobilize our armed forces, to liquidate price controls, to shift from astronomical deficits to even the large deficits of the thirties–then there would be ushered in the greatest period of unemployment and industrial dislocation which any economy has ever faced.
From Paul Samuelson, “Full Employment after the War,” in S.E. Harris, ed., Postwar Economic Problems, 1943.

And now a quote from the The Economic Report of the President, page 1, issued by Harry Truman on January 8, 1947:
During 1946, civilian employment approached 58 million. This was the highest civilian employment this Nation has ever known— 10 million more than in 1940 and several million higher than the wartime peak. If we include the military services, total employment exceeded 60 million. Unemployment, on the other hand, remained low throughout the year. At the present time it is estimated at about 2 million actively seeking work. This is probably close to the minimum unavoidable in a free economy of great mobility such as ours.

Thus, at the end of 1946, less than a year and a half after VJ-day, more than 10 million demobilized veterans and other millions of war-time workers have found employment in the swiftest and most gigantic change-over that any nation has ever made from war to peace.

Failed Planned Societies & Promote Liberty Locally

Stephen Cox on Libertarian Literature and Prisons as Failed Planned Societies

Commodifying Compassion

Commodifying Compassion:
Religious progressives are often quick to condemn those who extol the virtues of market economies for focusing too much on material concerns. This charge of materialism is, in fact, a core and valid insight contained in most critiques of consumerism, a phenomenon in which people tend to equate their own value and meaning with the things they can buy or possess. But consumerism is just one manifestation of the problems with a materialistic mindset, and the commodification of compassion at work in the assumptions of many progressives is equally troubling.
We cannot truly measure compassion merely by looking at the level of government expenditures or the amount of money given, as easy and as tempting as that might be. These material concerns are important, but not all-important, factors in coming to grips with the complex realities of charitable activity. So just as we shouldn’t define the meaning of life in terms of income or GDP, neither should we commodify compassion by ignoring the spiritual realities of charity.

IMF, instituição de socialismo económico

More Harm Than Good — How the IMF’s business model sabotages properly functioning capitalism:
The IMF’s business model sabotages properly functioning capitalism, victimizing ordinary people while benefiting the elites. Do we need international agencies to enable irresponsible—verging on immoral—borrowing and lending? Instead of dreaming up too-clever-by-half schemes to stumble through crises after they happen, why not just stop imprudent banks from accommodating foreign borrowing by feckless governments? After all, it’s French and German taxpayers who are on the hook—not just the Greeks and the Irish.

Gerald Celente: 'IMF - International Mafia Federation'

Impoverishment by Governement

One President Left Behind: McConnell Schools Obama on Debt por Ann Coulter:
Democrats don't want to cut any government spending programs, not now, not ever. The country is on a high-speed bullet train to bankruptcy (the only kind of bullets liberals approve of), and the Democrats' motto is: Spend! Spend! Spend!

Democrats are at an advantage in the "should the U.S. go bankrupt or not?" debate because, based on their economic policies so far, they obviously favor bankruptcy.

This allows them to sit back and demand that Republicans propose all the spending cuts and then turn around and scream that Republicans have declared war on the poor and disadvantaged.
If Republicans cut government spending, recipients of government checks come after them with pitchforks. If the Republicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling to force spending cuts, the economy collapses.

In general, the trend seems to be in the direction of higher spending and endless debt.

The government will just keep spending and spending until we're all on bread lines.

Free to Choose

Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice, The Critique

nacionalização dos lucros, uma notícia por realizar

Diz a Helena Garrido (O pior do capitalismo e do comunismo), num artigo de apurado malabarismo retórico, que
Nacionalizar os prejuízos e privatizar os lucros é escolher o pior do capitalismo e o pior do comunismo.
Dito de uma forma clara:
- "nacionalizar os prejuízos" é o "pior do comunismo", e
- "privatizar os lucros" é o "pior do capitalismo".

O comunismo produz o inferno da Terra porque ao proibir ("abolir") a propriedade privada, esmaga a liberdade individual. Tudo passa a ser controlado pelo poder político, incluindo a actividade económica — nem se pode falar de lucros ou prejuízos. Quero pensar que ninguém civilizado acha que há algum aspecto "melhor" no comunismo. O único silver lining é que <sarcasmo> mais cedo ou mais tarde eles matam-se uns aos outros. Muito menos faz sentido falar de "pior" do comunismo, sobretudo com o afastamento de uma análise económica, precisamente porque estes regimes têm a sua génese em pilhagem, vivem de repressão, e descambam para a matança.

É deixada passar airosamente a ideia que "privatizar os lucros" é o "pior do capitalismo". Em rigor HG diz .. lucros e prejuízos pertencem aos accionistas ou proprietários. Só assim o capitalismo funciona bem. — o que compõe a noção, infelizmente com aceitação popular, que os lucros são um mal necessário.

O melhor do capitalismo — que não é a nacionalização dos prejuízos e a privatização dos lucros — não é a constante e efectiva ameaça de falência. Não é que os investidores financeiros possam perder dinheiro. Esta é uma visão destrutiva e odiosa. O melhor do capitalismo é permitir que as pessoas usem a sua propriedade para levar a cabo os seus objectivos, recolhendo as recompensas da sua acção, e assumindo as perdas da mesma. O "pior" é esta liberdade ser um bem muito escasso - mercê dos estatistas que invejam, cobiçam e abominam os ditos "lucros".

Num sistema capitalista os "lucros" não provêm de pilhagem obtida por vida política - obtêm-se por relações consensuais, mutuamente benéficas — obtêm-se quando pessoas abdicam livremente de capital que é seu em troca de bens e serviços que melhoram a sua vida. São recompensas integralmente merecidas que pertencem ao empreendedor — mas também atestados de valor social, e incentivos mais para servir o próximo.

É a ânsia estatista de nacionalizar essa riqueza moral e material que destrói as condições da sua criação. E que potencia que um dia primeiro os prejuízos sejam nacionalizados, e depois os infames lucros, e em consequência a liberdade das pessoas, e a prosperidade de toda uma sociedade. O jornalismo de serviço reportará imparcialmente, como diligente "consciência social" e agente de mudança que não se esquiva ser.

quarta-feira, julho 13, 2011

The Licensing Racket

No seguimento de cutting hair without a licence,

John Stossel - The Licensing Racket

Citação Liberal do Dia

Statism is but socialized dishonesty; it is feathering the nests of some with feathers coercively plucked from others – on the grand scale. There is no moral difference between the act of a pickpocket and the progressive income tax or any other social program.
Leonard Read

terça-feira, julho 12, 2011

Class Warfare (2)

No seguimento de Class Warfare,


Personal Market

The Market: This Time It’s Personal:
Economics teaches us of the virtues of the impersonal market. Indeed, if we had to know everyone who helped to make our daily bread before we could eat it, we’d all go hungry. But at the same time, when we turn our attention from the marvelous operation of the economic system as a whole toward human action at the “micro” level, another virtue of the free market comes into view in the way it lets us create and destroy social ties. Without that ability, extensive voluntary trade would not be possible either.
At the macro level, which encompasses the entire production process of a pencil (or of green onions), markets are highly impersonal. But at each of the myriad stages of that highly complex process, between for example the buyers and sellers of the cedar or rapeseed or raw carbon, is a relationship that is necessarily personal to one degree or another.
.. True liberty means not only being able to form ties with new people and new social networks, however, but also the freedom to cut ties to old business partners and customers, as well as to let go of old social networks, including those of friends, family, and community.

The ability to form and dissolve ties to social networks gives greater access to an existing array of diverse knowledge and tastes – much of which may not be useful but some of which undoubtedly is – while expanding the range of that diversity by stimulating new ideas in business, science, and culture. Liberty encourages economic progress and social diversity ..