The Case Against College Entitlements : Why We Don't Need More Public Funding For Higher Education
quinta-feira, agosto 11, 2011
The “Obama Law” Devastates Impoverished People in the World’s Second Poorest Country, The Congo:
People are going hungry, pulling their children out of school due to poverty, and joining criminal gangs to make ends meet in the poorest region of the Congo, the world’s second-poorest country. Residents of this African nation attribute this economic devastation to what they call “the Obama Law” — provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial “reform” law backed by Obama that have created a virtual embargo on minerals produced in the Congo’s desperately-poor mining towns.How Congress Devastated Congo (NYT):
The smelting companies that used to buy from eastern Congo have stopped. No one wants to be tarred with financing African warlords — especially the glamorous high-tech firms like Apple and Intel that are often the ultimate buyers of these minerals. It’s easier to sidestep Congo ..
For locals, however, the law has been a catastrophe. In South Kivu Province, I heard from scores of artisanal miners and small-scale purchasers, who used to make a few dollars a day digging ore out of mountainsides with hand tools. Paltry as it may seem, this income was a lifeline for people in a region that was devastated by 32 years of misrule under the kleptocracy of Mobutu Sese Seko ..
But once the advocacy groups succeeded in framing the debate as a contest between themselves and greedy corporate interests, no one bothered to solicit the opinion of local Congolese. As the leader of a civil-society group, Eric Kajemba, asked me, more in confusion than in anger, “If the advocacy groups aren’t speaking for the people of eastern Congo, whom are they speaking for?”
British rioters the spawn of a bankrupt ruling elite por Theodore Dalrymple:
THE riots in London and elsewhere in Britain are a backhanded tribute to the long-term intellectual torpor, moral cowardice, incompetence and careerist opportunism of the British political and intellectual class.
British youth leads the Western world in almost all aspects of social pathology, from teenage pregnancy to drug taking, from drunkenness to violent criminality. There is no form of bad behaviour that our version of the welfare state has not sought out and subsidised.
Of course, none of this reduces the personal responsibility of the rioters. But the riots are a manifestation of a society in full decomposition, of a people with neither leaders nor followers but composed only of egotists.
Los mercados malvados antipatriotas... ¡somos nosotros!:
Una de las cabezas de turco de esta crisis son, sin duda, "los mercados". A diario podemos leer y escuchar que los mercados nos están suicidando (sic) porque dictan órdenes (desde el capitalismo más salvaje) que a los gobernantes no les queda más remedio que obedecer ..
.. los mercados no pueden dirigir nada ni a nadie. El mercado es un proceso de tipo espontáneo constituido por numerosas interacciones humanas (a veces millones) que actúan persiguiendo sus fines individuales .. No tiene sentido, por tanto, hablar de ningún órgano de planificación central del mercado. Es un proceso no intencionado y espontáneo.
La mayoría de nosotros llevamos nuestros ahorros al banco y contratamos depósitos o suscribimos un fondo (como mínimo para que la inflación no los pulverice en poco tiempo). ¿Qué esperamos del banco? Corríjanme si me equivoco, pero lo que solemos esperar es que nos consigan la máxima rentabilidad posible .. Perfecto, es usted lo que suelen llamar un especulador malvado antipatriota que participa en la tiranía despiadada de los mercados.
En cualquier caso, pese a la explicación que yo le he dado, usted puede dejar de participar en esta lógica de los mercados si considera que es perversa e inmoral. Sólo tiene que sacar todo su dinero del banco e invertirlo directamente en letras, bonos y obligaciones del Estado Español. Así de sencillo. ¿Se atreve?
Interview Jesús Huerta de Soto
Goldmoneynews - In this interview, Professor Jesús Huerta de Soto outlines how central banks caused the financial crisis. And how the broken financial system needs to be fixed by applying an 100% reserve requirement backed by gold.
The Stateless Society por Stefan Molyneux:
In almost all Western democracies, the State chooses:
- where children go to school, and how they will be educated
- the interest rate citizens can borrow at
- the value of currency
- how employees can be hired and fired
- how more than 50% of their citizens’ time and money are disposed of
- who a citizen’s doctor is
- what kinds of medical procedures can be received – and when
- when to go to war
- who can live in the country
- just to touch on a few.
Most of these amazing intrusions into personal liberty have occurred over the past 90 years, since the introduction of the income tax. They have been accepted by a population helpless to challenge the endless expansions of State power – and yet, even though most citizens have received endless pro-State propaganda in government schools, a growing rebellion is brewing.
Thus, these early years of the twenty-first century are the end of an era, a collapse of mythology comparable to the fall of fascism, communism, monarchy, or political Christianity. The idea that the State is capable of solving social problems is now viewed with great skepticism – which foretells a coming change. As soon as skepticism is applied to the State, the State falls, since it fails at everything except increasing its power, and so can only survive on propaganda, which relies on unquestioning faith.
The idea that society can only survive in the absence of a centralized State is the greatest lesson that the grisly years of the Twentieth Century can teach us. Our choice is not between the free market and the State, but between life and death. Whatever the risks involved in dissolving the central State, they are far less than the certain destruction which will result from its inevitable escalation. Like a cancer patient facing certain demise, we must open our minds reach for whatever medicine shows the most promise, and not wait until it is too late.
Regulation of the Day 188: Cat Licenses:
San Diego’s city government is going through tough financial times. But legislators have found a lucrative possible revenue source: the city’s 373,000 cats. The city government could raise a lot of money by requiring cat owners to purchase a license for their little friends at $25 each.
If just 5 percent had been registered at $25 a head, the auditor’s office says the city could have saved $536,000 over the past three fiscal years.Note-se o propósito da regulação - não tornar regular, mas arrecadar receitas. Frequentemente a "regulação" é feita em nome de interesses instalados (o status quo corporativo, empresarial, político-burocrático). Aqui é só em favor do Estado.
Curiously worded. For the city government to save money, it would have to spend less. Here the city auditor is saying the city government would save money by taxing more. For that statement to be true, residents’ money couldn’t actually be theirs. It would be the government’s. They’re just nice enough to let the citizens have some of it. That ugly philosophical presumption alone is enough to discredit this proposal.
Why we're hosed:
Americans, despite the multitude of signs that we're up against it, still have our heads in cloud-cuckoo-land. There seems to be some kind of widespread delusion that a small tax increase on the rich, combined with cuts in not-very-important spending categories will somehow deliver us from fiscal ruin. There is little appetite for the cuts in military and entitlement spending necessary to bring America's books toward balance.
If I were a big credit-rating agency, this is what I would cite in support of the proposition that American debt is increasingly risky. Politicians naturally fear straying too far from public opinion, and this makes the incoherent cast of American public opinion dangerous.
America is a scooter-bound glutton who, when its continuously increasing mass finally overwhelms the doughtiest scooter's capacities, shakes its fat fists like a mad baby and demands deliverance from the laws of physics. America needs an extreme makeover, a heavy dose of tough love. America needs to grow up and get real. But our politicians always only tell us how beautiful and brave we are here in the best country in the history of the world.
via Thoughts on Freedom:
“At $60 billion a year [in 1989]… aid is already quite large enough to do harm. Indeed, as this book has argued at some length, it is often profoundly dangerous to the poor and inimical to their interests: it has financed the creation of monstrous projects that, at vast expense, have devastated the environment and ruined lives; it has supported and legitimised brutal tyrannies; it has facilitated the emergence of fantastical and Byzantine bureaucracies staffed by legions of self-serving hypocrites; it has sapped the initiative, creativity and enterprise of ordinary people and substituted the superficial and irrelevant glitz of imported advice; it has sucked potential entrepreneurs and intellectuals in the developing countries into non-productive administrative activities; it has created a ‘moral tone’ in international affairs that denies the hard task of wealth creation and that substitutes easy handouts for the rigours of self-help; in addition, throughout the Third World, it has allowed the dead grip of imposed officialdom to suppress popular choice and individual freedom.
“On the other hand, if the statement that ‘aid works’ is true, then presumably the poor should be in a much better shape than they were before they first began to receive it half a century ago. If so, then aid’s job should by now be nearly over and it ought to be possible to begin a gradual withdrawal without hurting anyone.
“Of course, the ugly reality is that most poor people in most poor countries most of the time never receive or even make contact with aid in any tangible shape or form .. After the multi-billion-dollar ‘financial flows’ involved have been shaken through the sieve of over-priced and irrelevant goods that must be bought in the donor countries, filtered again in the deep pockets of hundreds of thousands of foreign experts and aid agency staff, skimmed off by dishonest commission agents, and stolen by corrupt Ministers and Presidents, there is really very little left to go around.
The extraordinary collapse of Jatropha as a biofuel:
In a massive planting program of unprecedented scale millions of marginal farmers and landless people were encouraged to plant Jatropha across India through attractive schemes.
By 2008, Jatropha had already been planted over an estimated 900000 ha globally of which an overwhelming 85% was in Asia, 13% in Africa and the rest in Latin America, and by 2015 Jatropha is expected to be planted on 12.8 million ha worldwide.
But the results are anything but encouraging. In India the provisions of mandatory blending could not be enforced as seed production fell far short of the expectation and a recent study has reported discontinuance by 85% of the Jatropha farmers. In China also until today there is very little production of biodiesel from Jatropha seeds. In Tanzania the results are very unsatisfactory .. Even on normal fertile soils .. Jatropha was no match for sunflower.
It appears to be an extreme case of a well intentioned top down climate mitigation approach, undertaken without adequate preparation and ignoring conflict of interest, and adopted in good faith by other countries, gone awry bringing misery to millions of poorest people across the world.
A Triple-A Country? The Audacity of Socialism:
America's socialists .. are spoiled. Unlike North Korean socialists, Cuban socialists, or Soviet socialists of eras past, American socialists already enjoy a nice big pot of wealth from which to redistribute. Socialists and communists in the rest of the world had to start out with poverty, and make the ridiculous claim that redistribution of wealth (wealth that hardly existed) would create wealth for all.
In America, it's different. There is already a base of wealth creation.
But now, the socialists have hit a brick wall. Their policies will not generate economic growth.
America is still producing, but it has stopped growing. The downgrade in its credit rating is .. a reflection of the fraud that has been government debt and spending for nearly a century .. The greatest perpetrators of the fraud .. are blaming their chief victims. It's like a robbery gone bad, where the robbers blame their hostages for making too much noise and bringing the police on the scene ..
Obama, who has never earned an honest private sector dollar in his life, lecturing the nation on the economy? It's breathtaking. And not in a good way.
quarta-feira, agosto 10, 2011
Because The State Loves You por Michael Suede:
Without the State, I might walk down the street texting my friend about pot while carrying a shingling hammer, distributing free pamphlets about where to buy raw milk, all while video taping myself in action. If anyone tried to do that in real life the entire world would implode in an apocalyptic disaster. Only the State can keep us safe from ourselves.
It must do the following to you:
- Arrest you for distributing free pamphlets.
- Fine you for selling lemonade.
- Arrest you for feeding homeless people.
- Arrest you for dancing in public.
- Arrest you for not giving your child medication that they have a reaction to.
- Arrest you for walking down a sidewalk while texting.
- Arrest you for giving out hugs.
- Arrest you for farting.
- Fine you for eating doughnuts in public playground.
But these acts of benevolence pale in comparison to the outpouring of love that occurs when:...só uma amostra
- The State beats you because your kid committed suicide.
- The State beats you because you didn’t zip up your sweater.
- The State beats you for clapping your hands.
- The State kills you for getting into an argument with your mother.
- The State kills you for defending your home from armed invaders.
Um vídeo de tempos passados:
Aug 5, 2011 - The Price of a U.S. Credit Rating Downgrade
Aug 5, 2011 - United States federal government credit-rating downgrade, 2011
Aug 5, 2011 - The Price of a U.S. Credit Rating Downgrade
Aug 5, 2011 - United States federal government credit-rating downgrade, 2011
Anticipating the Coming Convulsions as the Welfare State Dies:
The problem with the Tea Partiers, in the eyes .. establishment .. is that it dares to point out the indisputable truth that must be hidden at all costs: That the social welfare state is unsustainable and will collapse.
The .. establishment can ignore math, but math won’t ignore it. There is simply not enough wealth that exists or can be imagined into existence through borrowing to support the redistributionist utopia they seek.
It’s over. The system must crash and reboot. The choice is a hard landing or a harder landing.
The hard part is the entitlements all of us were promised and none of us will ever see. It means .. returning the responsibility for health care to where it belongs – the individual. The same with retirement – Social Security is a ponzi scheme and everyone knows it.
Government student loans, farms subsidies, corporate bailouts, food stamps, Section 8 housing .. These should be eliminated .. they are counterproductive, ineffective and soul-crushing for recipients .. And let’s not forget eliminating vast swaths of federal regulations ..
There is a major change coming, and it could get ugly ..
The Tea Party did not cause what will be a brutal reckoning. It only pointed out the truth and said, “No more” – an unforgivable crime to the people who caused this disaster and want to keep milking the system for as long as possible. The key to getting through the coming trauma .. is for the productive citizens of the United States to stand firm and stand fast.
Filmmaker Michael Moore Demands Government Engage In Violence Against Credit Rating Agencies Over US Downgrade:
Liberal firebrand Michael Moore called on President Obama to respond to the U.S. credit downgrade by arresting the leaders of the credit-ratings agencies.
Does the guy actually blame credit rating agencies for an economic disaster caused by artificially low interest rates, federally imposed moral hazards, credit expansion, rampant speculation fueled by monetary policy, and crony capitalist regulations?
Last time I checked, all Standard & Poor can do is either point out problems or ignore them. They can’t actually cause them to come into existence in the first place .. Arresting those who are the bearers of bad news is typical fare for communist dictatorships.
The US treasury markets are in the world’s biggest bubble and have been for some time. The dollar itself is in a bubble .. As the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet expands with Treasury debt, this too is an act of default. This is nothing more than printing money. Government’s don’t default by declaring bankruptcy, they default by devaluing their currency – which the US is in the midst of doing right now. The AA+ rating is a joke, the US should have a “C” credit rating as of this moment.
terça-feira, agosto 09, 2011
Nos seguimento de The History of Gun Control (2), The London riots and the right to self defence n'O Insurgente:
.. letting the Police do their job means letting the damn looters and arsonists do their job, without anyone laying a finger on them, laying a finger on them being illegal. This is a doomed policy. If most people are compelled by law to be only neutral bystanders in a war between themselves and barbarism, barbarism wins. The right to, at the very least, forceful self defence must now be insisted upon. The Police, as we advocates of the don’t-disarm-the-victims-of-crime policy have been pointing out for decades, can’t be everywhere. They cannot instantaneously attend every crime, and magically prevent it. Only the potential or actual victims of crime can sometimes immediately prevent or immediately punish crime, provided only that they not forbidden to.
No seguimento de Stop Spending, Stop Spending, Stop Spending!
Rick Santelli Rant: We'd be rated BBB without the Tea Party
Rick Santelli Rant: We'd be rated BBB without the Tea Party
How the Debt Addicts are Blaming the Victims:
These out of control D.C. spending addicts are exactly like drug addicts who have abandoned their spouse, kids, and job to snort crack cocaine 24 hours a day. Even though they’ve stolen from us, we do all we can to help, doing our best to get them into rehab. But since they don’t want to stop snorting their drugs, what we get in return is hate, anger and blame. They accuse us of being horrible people for not willingly handing over more money to feed their spending addiction. They absurdly assert it’s all our fault and that we’ve forced them to rob us at gunpoint. And they scream that we are “extreme” while they keep snorting.
Like all addicts they don’t blame themselves for their addiction, it has to be someone else’s fault. In this case they blame the taxpayers and the Tea Party. It’s our fault because we won’t willing give them more money, to buy more drugs. Just like the crack addict, in their mind the answer to their drug problem is holding up the taxpayers at gunpoint for more money. The addicts are sick. Insane. Delusional. And headed for death.
Obama and Congress must learn to live with the money they’ve got. No more blaming the victim. The Tea Party and the taxpayers are the heroes here. We are the only sane ones in the room. We understand a spending addiction can’t be solved with more spending. It’s time to force the addicts to get help, or let them crash. It’s time to stop blaming the victim.
Keeping on the Offense: More Lessons for Our Side:
People whine about fighting, cry over “bickering,” stammer out clichés about “bipartisanship,” “compromise” and being “reasonable.” Well, I reject bipartisanship, compromise and reasonability, and so must you. I want to fight and to win; death or glory. Compromise is for losers – half a turd is still 100% turd.
But to start, the key is your small-scale interaction with people you know or encounter in daily life. You have incredible power in this arena – face-to-face and/or social media communication with those who know you is the most effective way to change minds of the undecided and to back-up those allied with you. But remember, your objective is to reinforce those who agree with you and sway the uncommitted. Those so dumb they actually believe liberal nonsense are beyond your help; don’t ever try to convert them. Your interactions with them should either raise the morale of our side, or convert the neutral – usually by demonstrating how ridiculous the lib’s pinko agenda is.
Responde Larry the Liquidator:
Amen. And amen. And amen. You have to forgive me. I'm not familiar with the local custom. Where I come from, you always say "Amen" after you hear a prayer. Because that's what you just heard -- a prayer. Where I come from, that particular prayer is called "The Prayer for the Dead." You just heard The Prayer for the Dead, my fellow stockholders, and you didn't say, "Amen."
You know, at one time there must've been dozens of companies makin' buggy whips. And I'll bet the last company around was the one that made the best goddamn buggy whip you ever saw. Now how would you have liked to have been a stockholder in that company? You invested in a business and this business is dead. Let's have the intelligence, let's have the decency to sign the death certificate, collect the insurance, and invest in something with a future.
Take the money. Invest it somewhere else. Maybe, maybe you'll get lucky and it'll be used productively. And if it is, you'll create new jobs and provide a service for the economy and, God forbid, even make a few bucks for yourselves.LINKS - Other People's Money speech by Danny DeVito | texto
New Low: 17% Say U.S. Government Has Consent of the Governed:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 17% of Likely U.S. Voters think the federal government today has the consent of the governed. Sixty-nine percent (69%) believe the government does not have that consent.
Democrats and voters not affiliated with either political party are more inclined to think the government does have the consent of the governed, but sizable majorities of all three groups don't believe that to be the case.
segunda-feira, agosto 08, 2011
Doctor Cures Cancer – Gets Charged By The FDA 5 Different Times For Regulation Violations:
Dr. Burzynski found a cure for cancer that works better than chemo and radiation, while producing almost no side effects. He managed to patent the drugs before a major pharmaceutical could.
In response to this, the FDA and NCI attempted to throw him in prison by launching over 5 attempts to indict him on fraud and regulations violation charges. Dr. Burzynski was acquitted in every instance, with jurors leaving the court house and lining up with protesters outside the courthouse protesting the FDA’s actions.
At the same time the FDA was attempting to throw the doctor in prison, the FDA and NCI filed for patents on the very drugs they were prosecuting Burzynski for using, claiming that the drugs were worthless and that Burzynski was a fraud.
What? Don’t believe me? Watch the movie.
Ciudades de libre mercado: cuatro modelos de planeamiento
por Gonzalo Melián Marrero (UFM)
The New Fed por Sheldon Richman:
The problem is that while we’re watching for inflation, we might be missing the Fed’s real mischief elsewhere. In stage magic this is called misdirection.
.. “[Fed chairman Ben] Bernanke has so expanded the Fed’s discretionary actions beyond merely controlling the money stock that it has become a gigantic, financial central planner.”
.. what we should be concerned about today with respect to the Fed is not inflation but central, nonmarket control of the allocation of scarce capital. In our obsession with inflation, we are missing an ominous leap further into corporate statism.
Bernanke’s efforts to channel capital to particular firms and sectors, including insolvent financial institutions, are breathtaking in scope. Previous Fed chairmen, notably Alan Greenspan, poured new money into the economy in response to anticipated crises, but they did not attempt to direct the money to chosen destinations. That was left to the market (however distorted). Things are different now. Bernanke directs the flow of credit – and has been doing it generally without creating new money.
sexta-feira, agosto 05, 2011
Via O Insurgente (vale a pena ler os comentários), Sanguessugas por João Rodrigo:
Pairam campanhas pelo ar para “dar sangue”. O slogan do regime mais habitual é, “dê sangue ou não haverá o suficiente para si quando precisar”. Os paladinos do mesmo regime chamam-lhe “uma prova de altruísmo, apenas superada pelos dadores de medula”, os cépticos dizem “tácticas de medo”. Aí os paladinos dizem que os meios justificam os fins. Os cépticos vão-se embora e a conversa acaba. Pretendo advogar a introdução do mercado no negócio do sangue.
Stimulus Optimists vs. Economic Reality por Kevin Hasset:
Every stimulus effort has not two but three stages.
- When the stimulus is imposed, there is some positive short-run increase in GDP.
- When the stimulus is removed, there is an approximately equal and opposite reduction in GDP.
- But after that, the stimulus must be paid for with higher taxes or ongoing borrowing—causing a further reduction in GDP.
Thus the total impact of the Keynesian policy is negative over its life.
in the lengthy, slow‐slog out of a financial crisis, the stimulus hangover arrives before the recovery has taken off. Temporary stimulus therefore hurts the economy when it is removed and again when it is paid for. The hangover is virtually guaranteed to arrive at a moment when it can push us back into recession.Outra acha para a fogueira: “Keynesian Death Spiral” de Jerry O'Driscoll:
Worse, aggressive stimulus sets off a kind of Keynesian death spiral in which nervous politicians adopt repeated stimulus packages in order to avert near-term distress, the cumulative effect of which can be ruinous.
Keynesians might dispute this logic, saying that their policy prescription helps avert "catastrophic panic" in the economy. But there is no established connection between higher government spending and the mental health of consumers and investors, and there likely never will be. A policy that reduces long-run output should, if anything, increase the likelihood of panic.
The more powerful one believes fiscal stimulus to be, the more adept the Keynesian policymaker must be .. An economist would ask from whence the knowledge to do this would come.
Why Compromising on Principles is Stupid:
The entitlement and transfer-of-wealth state that we created was always morally wrong, and now it's self-evidently unsound. Wrong principles got us into this mess; and only right principles can get us out of it.
.. You don't build a house or a bridge based on compromise. You don't ignore half the principles of engineering and physics, while honoring the other half -- and then proclaim this as a virtue because it's a compromise. You don't ask a brain surgeon whom you're counting on to save you from brain cancer to please, "Be reasonable and compromise. Apply some of the principles of medicine, but not all of them."
Similarly, Americans shouldn't be asking their elected leaders to do the equivalent with our government and economy. They shouldn't be saying, "Split the difference between what's right and wrong."
Americans have no business being confused that our government has reached this state. We empowered our government to do stupid and immoral things for decades. The results should be no surprise at all. By adhering to proper principles of government, we need never have been here.
I, Tea Party Imam, Declare Jihad on Big Spending!:
Tea party members have been called names like astroturf, right-wing extremists, evil mongers, teabaggers (by our own President), liars, baby killers, greedy and, of course, racist .. The current name du jour of the tea party is “terrorist.” No less than the Vice President of the United States ..
As an imam with the Dallas Tea Party, I declare jihad on the big-spending practices in Washington. I reject the term “terrorist.” The tea party is fighting a holy war against the political party of evil and the other political party of stupid and their combined efforts to destroy our great nation. The tea party is immune from the pitiful weapon of name-calling from the ideologically corrupt. We demand the big-government infidels in Washington abandon their evil practices and embrace the fiscal sanity of the Grand Fiscal Conservative Muftis of the past .. (may peace and limited government be upon him). Our jihad will destroy the great Satans of out of control spending, massive deficits, and the creeping tyranny of the federal government.
The imam of Dallas cries repentance unto the corrupt infidels in Washington who have forsaken the truths contained in the holy book of the Constitution! Repent from your evil ways or each will surely be electorally destroyed in the Mother of all Political Wars…the November 2012 election! Alihu liberty!
The alcabala (or alcavala Spanish pronunciation: [alkaˈβala]) was a sales tax of up to fourteen percent, the most important royal tax imposed by Spain under the Antiguo Régimen.
.. in 1341 it was conceded to Alfonso for three years to defray the costs of the siege of Algeciras, extended in 1345 to maintain the costs of frontier castles, further extended in 1349 for the siege of Gibraltar and in 1388 for the war with Portugal, finally becoming perpetual in 1393.
While Isabella I considered applying the alcabala to Spain's American colonies as early as 1503, in fact it was not applied there until the late 16th century .. Typically the capitulaciones (contracts) for those who set out to conquer territory for Spain gave them a certain period of exemption from the alcabala. For example .. Peru was supposed to be exempt from the alcabala for a century, though in practice the Crown did not wait quite so long
No seguimento de Intervenção de sua excelência o deputado Adolfo Mesquita Nunes na A.R.
Do Estado e da (in)utilidade das golden share
Do Estado e da (in)utilidade das golden share
quinta-feira, agosto 04, 2011
Snake oil economics por Sean Corrigan:
Similarly, anyone analyzing an ‘economy’ – if there truly is such an animal – by fixating on this damnable number and/or its childishly tautologous, Keynes-Kuznetz building blocks (and especially, its narrow, final consumption constituents) without probing more deeply into the dynamics of the beast, is doomed before he starts.
Any one who succumbs to the all-pervading temptation to appear authoritative by making scientific sounding extrapolations from blind, numerical entanglements of sub-indices whose own validity is equally questionable, is furthermore likely to suffer from a serial inability to make any demonstrably-skillful predictive statements about the shape of that uncertain future into which it is our intent honestly to try to peer.
Remember that is unequivocally better – and certainly more useful – to be imprecisely right than to be embarrassingly wrong to three significant figures.
It is of course the case that so deeply engrained are statistics such as these in the vocabulary of both the market and the voodoo of Maynardian macro-economics that it is unrealistic to expect any practitioner to avoid any reference to them whatsoever.
More Thoughts on Metaphors:
For libertarians, government is like a Mafia Godfather, carrying out a protection racket. It is a criminal organization that controls certain economic activities through the use of force. It obtained its status by ruthlessly stamping out competitors.
To someone on the left, government is more like the adult supervision at a day care center. It sets the rules, provides structure, and prevents what otherwise would be dangerous behavior and chaos.
quarta-feira, agosto 03, 2011
How minimum wages encourage discrimination:
In 1909, the prejudiced Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen demanded that the Georgia Railroad fire all Black workers .. the exclusion was accomplished through the imposition of wage controls .. The union stated: ‘If this course of action is followed by the company and the incentive for employing the Negro thus removed, the strike will not have been in vain.’
Similarly, white supremacist groups in South Africa under apartheid pushed for minimum wage laws as a way to reduce black participation in the labor force ..‘ It is not because a man is white or coloured, but owing to the fact that the latter is cheap … when that [minimum wage] is introduced we believe that most of the difficulties in regard to the coloured question will automatically drop out.’
Modern minimum wage laws are not imposed with such underhanded or targeted intentions. Still, the use of minimum wages to achieve discriminatory ends is indicative of the ability of wage floors to erase the cost employers must pay to discriminate.
Scary Story: The State vs. Anarchists no C4SS:
Yes, I am an anarchist. I state this without apology, understanding that you may find it strange or even scary, or may not understand the term well. I’d like to explain myself to you, while there’s still time, before someone else tells you a scary story and urges you to assist in my apprehension.
I’m not a nihilist — someone who rejects all structure in, or institutions of, society. Nor am I an agent of chaos, who believes that life absent government would consist of ongoing, unrestrained mass rampage and wants to see that happen.
In fact, I consider myself a defender of society and agent of order, opposed to the institution most responsible for the disintegration of social institutions and the attendant orgy of looting, torture and mass murder that was the 20th century: Monopoly government, also known as “the state.”
Why pick on anarchists? Why do politicians think you’ll find us scary? Because they find us scary, of course … and with good reason! Political government is the past. Anarchy is the future.
The Mythical Debt Ceiling Crisis Masks The Real Problem: Out of Control Government Spending Peter Schiff:
..the real crisis is not, nor has it ever been, the debt ceiling. The crisis is the debt itself. Economic Armageddon would not have resulted from failure to raise the ceiling, but it will come because we succeeded in raising it.
Essentially, the structure announced today allows both political parties to talk about reform without actually changing anything. To underscore that point, the deal involves less than $25 billion in immediate cuts! This is less than a rounding error in a $3.8 trillion dollar budget. This is politics as usual.
.. Once our creditors come to the conclusion that they have lent beyond our capacity to repay, they will be very reluctant to lend more. As trillions in short-term Treasuries mature, the dwindling pool of buyers will demand higher rates of return to compensate them for the risk. But our government is in no condition to afford those higher rates without gutting the rest of the budget.
I expect that as soon as our creditors decide that they are no longer willing to lend to us at ultra-low rates of interest, we will refuse to repay what they have already lent.
Besides default or major cuts to domestic spending, inflation provides the only other means for the government to deal with this intractable crisis. Because of its political palatability, inflation is, in fact, the most likely outcome. Once we go down that path, we risk high inflation turning into hyperinflation, which would decimate the remainder of our economy. So, as our leaders congratulate themselves for saving the nation, the reality is that they may have just sold it down the river.
Green agenda has parallels with excesses of communism:
In a Sydney hotel on Monday night, Czech President Vaclav Klaus, an economist who fought against communism, was warning of the new threats to our freedom he recognises in the doctrine of global warming.
"Twenty years ago we still felt threatened by the remnants of communism. This is really over," Klaus said.
"I feel threatened now, not by global warming -- I don't see any -- (but) by the global warming doctrine, which I consider a new dangerous attempt to control and mastermind my life and our lives, in the name of controlling the climate or temperature."
Global warming alarmists "want to change us, they want to change our behaviour, our way of life, our values and preferences. They want to restrict our freedom because they themselves believe they know what is good for us. They are not interested in climate. They misuse the climate in their goal to restrict our freedom. Therefore ...what is in danger is freedom, not the climate".
Misleading Words (parte 1, parte 2) de Thomas Sowell:
The whole future of the welfare state depends on how poverty is defined. "The poor" are the human shields behind whom advocates of ever bigger spending for ever bigger government advance toward their goal.
Official data cited by Rector show that 80 percent of "poor" households have air-conditioning today, which less than half the population of America had in 1970. Nearly three-quarters of households in poverty own a motor vehicle, and nearly one-third own more than one motor vehicle.
Virtually everyone living in "poverty," as defined by the government, has color television, and most have cable TV or satellite TV. More than three-quarters have either a VCR or a DVD player, and nearly nine-tenths have a microwave oven.
If we are concerned .. we can simply confine our help to those who are poor by some reasonable means test. It would cost a fraction of what it costs to subsidize everybody who reaches a certain age.
But the political left hates means tests. If government programs were confined to people who were genuinely poor in some meaningful sense, that would shrink the welfare state to a fraction of its current size. The left would lose their human shields.
People who say they want a government program because "I don't want to be a burden to my children" apparently think it is all right to be a burden to other people's children.
Concealed Carry Guns on Campus -- Why Not?:
So what's the reason for disallowing concealed carry on campus? To prevent shootings or crime? Criminals have no propensity to pay any sort of attention to gun laws, so that can’t possibly be the reason. In fact, "gun free" zones can actually encourage crime because criminals know full well that the innocent are defenseless .
Security personnel are not supermen. Their reach of protection is logically very limited. But every citizen’s reach of self protection is quite adequate in protecting the necessary area required.
Every law -biding citizen has the right to armed self-defense. Preventing students from carrying only makes students vulnerable, especially during crisis situations.
Why Capitalism Is Worth Defending:
.. if Marx and his ilk – whose ideas, to the extent they have been implemented, have yielded unparalleled human misery, starvation, and slavery – position themselves as the adversaries of capitalism, we should be so lucky to have these be the terms of the debate ..
.. capitalism simply exists wherever it is left unmolested. It is the part of the market that is free. But regardless of how we define it, in terms of feeding the masses and sustaining society, I will take flawed capitalism over flawed socialism any day. I will take state capitalism, crony capitalism, or corporate capitalism over state socialism, democratic socialism, or national socialism.
Yet we need not make that choice, since opposing state capitalism is part of the capitalist cause, as should opposing state religion be the calling of every religious anti-statist, opposing state schools be the goal of every libertarian who loves education, and opposing state law and order be the creed of those who endorse the natural law and peaceful social order.
No seguimento de The Declaration of Independents (2), George Will: "America is moving in the libertarians' direction":
.. Gillespie and Welch say "existence bias" disposes us to believe that things that exist always will. The authors say that the most ossified, sclerotic sectors of American life — politics and government — are about to be blown up by new capabilities, especially the Internet, and the public's wholesome impatience that is encouraged by them.
"Think of any customer experience that has made you wince or kick the cat. What jumps to mind?.. Whatever you come up with, chances are good that the culprit is either a direct government monopoly (as in the providers of K-12 education) or a heavily regulated industry or utility where the government is the largest player (as in health care)."
A generation that has grown up with the Internet "has essentially been raised libertarian," swimming in markets, which are choices among competing alternatives.
No seguimento de Bollywood vs. Bin Laden, Bollywood vs. Jihad:
Islamic fundamentalists have long worried about the threat that Bollywood poses to their puritanical demands. Of late, they have even taken to making videos—rap videos, no less—condemning Bollywood movies as being the product of an infidel culture trying to brainwash Muslims against their own religious values and duties. They have ample reason to be worried: About 3 billion people, or half the planet, watches Bollywood, and many of them live in the Islamic world. By depicting assimilated, modernized Muslims, Bollywood—without even trying—deromanticizes and thereby disarms fanatical Islam.
Bollywood, then, encourages young lovers to follow their heart by persuading their families of the rightness of their cause, not by turning their backs on them. It seeks to realize romantic love not outside the broader structure of faith and family but within it, at once reforming and affirming key social institutions—a resolution that legitimizes Muslim reformers against Islamist reactionaries. Bollywood is at once both progressive and conservative, a combination that appeals to Muslim youth.
There is another key reason for Bollywood’s appeal to the Islamic world. Since its inception, some of the Indian film industry’s biggest stars, both male and female, have been Muslims. Currently, the three highest grossing male leads are Muslims, all with the recognizably Muslim surname Khan. Bollywood’s most respected music composer—A.R. Rahman, who won an Oscar for the score of Slumdog Millionaire—is also a Muslim, as are many of Bollywood’s best lyricists and screenwriters.