sexta-feira, setembro 30, 2011

Imperial Christians

Are You an Imperial Christian? por Laurence M. Vance:
The tenets of imperial Christianity include things like blind nationalism, belief in American exceptionalism, willful ignorance of U.S. foreign policy, childish devotion to the military, cheerleading for the Republican Party, acceptance of the U.S. empire, and support for a perpetual war on terror – all, of course, with a Christian twist for effect. In other words, the views of Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry.

I have some simple yet pointed questions for Christians who subscribe to, or can be characterized by, the above things:
  • Is the president of the United States God?
  • Does God need the U.S. military to maintain order throughout the world?
  • Have U.S. wars always been just, right, and good?
O resto vale a pena ler.

Double Taxation Flowchart

Explaining the Perverse Impact of Double Taxation With a Chart:
There are a lot of boxes, so it’s not a simple flowchart, but the underlying message hopefully is very clear.
  1. We earn income.
  2. We then pay tax on that income.
  3. We then either consume our after-tax income, or we save and invest it.
  4. If we consume our after-tax income, the government largely leaves us alone.
  5. If we save and invest our after-tax income, a single dollar of income can be taxed as many as four different times.
You don’t have to be a wild-eyed supply-side economist to conclude that this heavy bias against saving and investment is not a good idea for America’s long-run prosperity.

batendo no ceguinho Keynesiano: Phillips Curve

Cochrane’s Kinky Curves (Cato@Liberty):
The modern version originated with William Phillips, a New Zealand-born economist who, in 1958 .. suggested that when inflation went up, unemployment went down. Keynesian economists Paul Samuelson and Robert Solow popularized Phillips’ idea as a reason to ratchet up government spending and inflate the money supply ..

.. in 1973, President Richard Nixon, who had famously declared “I am now a Keynesian,” leaned hard on Fed Chairman Arthur Burns to inflate the money supply and drive down unemployment .. as those of us who were around back then recall, both inflation and unemployment went up! This was a bit of a problem for Phillips Curve aficionados.

As if the stubborn stagflation of the 1970s wasn’t bad enough, subsequent efforts by new Fed Chairman Paul Volcker and President Ronald Reagan to stop inflation cold delivered another hammer blow against the Phillips Curve: both inflation and unemployment went down!

Antibailout car (2)

No seguimento de Antibailout car,

White House Bullies Ask Ford to Take Down Ad Lambasting Government Motors:
President Obama had assured everyone that just because GM and Chrysler got close to $100 billion in government money didn’t mean that the government would start bullying the companies to do its bidding. But evidently bullying their rivals that didn’t take government money is just fine.

Exclusive Interview: Ford ‘Pulls’ Anti-Bailout Ad After ‘Questions’ From White House:

In an exclusive interview with, the “star” of the popular ad, Chris McDaniel told me he was “a little bit flustered’ by Ford’s decision.
I understand the political world Ford lives in. I don’t fault them. But, I’m on the hook with my tax dollars on this Solyndra scandal. It’s exactly the same thing as the GM and Chrysler bailouts. Enough is enough! The only people on the hook in this country are the 50% of American who still pay taxes. And now we have the federal government butting their nose into this TV ad. Another example of them getting involved in things they have no business getting involved in. Where is the free speech of American citizens?
Scribecast: Chris McDaniel on His Anti-Bailout Ford Ad:
McDaniel humanized the issue in a very powerful way. He and his wife lost their home early in the recession, he explained, after his wife lost her job. “I am not immune to what’s going on,” McDaniel said. The two had to learn financial responsibility the hard way, and wonder why the federal government and the companies it props up have not done the same.

No one came and bailed me out. We just had to cut back our expenses, reduce our cost of living, and do without a lot of things that we could no longer afford. I couldn’t eat out at lunch every day. I carried around my lunchbox for a year and a half to reduce the amount of money it costs for me to get by on a daily basis.
The issue is: at what point in time does the government pack a lunch and go to work?

Prohibition Vogue

Prohibition Vogue: Why We're Still Talking About "The Noble Experiment"

Eurozone Market will crash (4)

No seguimento de Eurozone Market will crash (3), The "Muddle Through" Has Failed: BCG Says "There May Be Only Painful Ways Out Of The Crisis":
.. consultancy powerhouse Boston Consulting Group confirms, the "muddle through" is dead. And now it is time to face the facts. What facts?

The facts which state that between household, corporate and government debt, the developed world has $20 trillion in debt over and above the sustainable threshold by the definition of "stable" debt to GDP of 180%.

The facts according to which all attempts to eliminate the excess debt have failed, and for now even the Fed's relentless pursuit of inflating our way out this insurmountable debt load have been for nothing.

The facts which state that the only way to resolve the massive debt load is through a global coordinated debt restructuring .. which .. will have to be funded by the world's financial asset holders: the middle-and upper-class, which, if BCS is right, have a ~30% one-time tax on all their assets to look forward to as the great mean reversion finally arrives and the world is set back on a viable path.

But not before the biggest episode of "transitory" pain, misery and suffering in the history of mankind.

Good luck, politicians and holders of financial assets, you will need it because after Denial comes Anger, and only long after does Acceptance finally arrive.

Live Free or Die

Afterburner with Bill Whittle: Live Free or Die
After the tragic airplane crash at the Reno Air Races, a chorus of protests arose to calling for an end to the air races. But was the pilot to blame or faulty equipment? Bill Whittle breaks down the mainstream media narrative of the crash on this episode of Afterburner.

Eurozone Market will crash (3)

No seguimento de Eurozone Market will crash (2),

e pedindo emprestada a analogia de William Hague, Euro IS a burning building with no exits, says Hague as his warning of 13 years ago is proved right:
William Hague today compares the euro to a ‘burning building with no exits’ as he warns that Europe threatens to become a ‘dividing line’ in the Coalition.

The Foreign Secretary labels the currency a ‘historic monument to collective folly’ and calls for the EU to give more powers back to Britain.
Pela reacção dos media e dos pundits, hoje em dia parece ser imoral gritar "fogo" num teatro em chamas.

The "rights" of animals (4)

Na continuação de The "rights" of animals (3),

Tibor R. Machan: The Myth of Animal Rights
parte 1 | parte 2 | parte 3 | parte 4 | parte 5
In the concern about how human beings treat animals, whether as pets, as prospective nourishment, or for medical research or experimentation, one school has proposed the idea that animals have rights like human beings do .. , while another school has proposed that the well being of animals should be considered in a utilitarian assessment .. I aim to argue here that the concept of "rights" has not be shown to apply to animals in anything like the way it applies to human beings ..

Victimless crime contagium

Victimless Crime Constitutes 86% of The Federal Prison Population:
The 2009 federal prison population consisted of:
Drugs 50.7%, Public-order 35.0%, Violent 7.9%, Property 5.8%, Other .7%
Keep in mind that 86% of those men in federal prisons are there for victimless crimes. They have not stolen any property, damaged any property, or harmed anyone directly by their actions.
I find some dark humor in the fact that those who engage in victimless crime don’t create any real victims until they are put behind bars, at which point they cause the State to steal 47,000 dollars a year from the tax paying public. In our justice system today, victims are victimized twice. Once by the perpetrator of the crime against them, and the other by the State which then forces the victim to pay for the punishment of their assailant.

Clearly our society’s notion of “justice” is logically ridiculous. It’s apparently not OK for someone to steal from you, but its perfectly acceptable for the State to steal from you if the State is going to use that money to punish the person who stole from you. – what kind of asinine system of justice is that?

The only real justice that can be enacted in a free society is either physical punishment that costs next to nothing to administer ..; monetary punishment in the form of taking the perpetrators property and handing it to their victim, or ostracism by defamation of character.

Putting people behind bars does nothing but squander resources.

quinta-feira, setembro 29, 2011

The "rights" of animals (3)

No seguimento de The "rights" of animals (2),

Carl Cohen : Why Animals Do Not Have Rights
parte 1 | parte 2 | parte 3 | parte 4 | parte 5 | parte 6
This lecture will begin with an analysis of the concept of rights, and their relation to obligations. This relation, I will argue, is not reciprocal, although it is often mistakenly believed that it is. Therefore, although it is certainly true that we have many weighty obligations to animals, it does not follow that these obligations arise from their rights. Rights, I will show, are a central element in the human moral condition, but have no place in the moral lives of animals. I go on to explain the consequences of this view, and I vigorously defend the uses of animals - mice, and rats, and rabbits - in medical investigations. Such uses of animals, I argue, cannot infringe the rights of animals because animals are of such a nature that they cannot be the possessors of rights.

Definição Liberal do Dia

federast - One who is drawn towards a (immature) federation; eg the European Union. Somewhat degrading due to the resemblance with "Pederast".

The "rights" of animals (2)

Leitura de The "rights" of animals e Vampiria,

Murray Rothbard on Animal Rights

What is Wrong with Global Warming Anyway?

What is Wrong with Global Warming Anyway? por David D. Friedman:
.. nobody knows if the net effects would be good or bad, and probably nobody can know. We are talking, after all, about effects across the world over a century. How accurately could somebody in 1900 have predicted what would matter to human life in 2000? What reason do we have to think we can do better?
.. The earth and its climate were not, after all, designed for our convenience, so there is no good reason to believe that their current state is optimal for us ..

If we have no good reason to believe that humans will be substantially worse off after global warming than before, we have no good reason to believe that it is worth bearing sizable costs to prevent global warming.

quarta-feira, setembro 28, 2011

Government owns you (2)

No seguimento de Government owns you,

Mises & Anarchism

Uma resposta ao Rui A. por Rui Botelho Rodrigues:
«the right of self-determination of which we speak is not the right of self-determination of nations, but rather the right of self-determination of the inhabitants of every territory large enough to form an independent administrative unit. If it were in any way possible to grant this right of self-determination to every individual person, it would have to be done..»
A razão para Mises achar a coisa impraticável reside na ideia de que a escolha existe apenas entre um monopolista territorial (que inclui um determinado mas considerável número de habitantes) e a total auto-suficiência em termos de protecção no caso de levar a cabo a auto-determinação individual à sua consequência última. A inovação rothbardiana foi lembrar que existe uma terceira opção, que é recorrer à divisão do trabalho e à especialização no sector da protecção da propriedade privada sem que isso signifique um monopolista territorial.
BÓNUS: Was Mises an Anarchist?

Perpetual War

AntiWar 10 Years In The Middle East.wmv

Citação liberal do Dia

The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.
atribuído a Voltaire

Fiat Money

Fiat Money

Love It or Leave It (3)

No seguimento de Love It or Leave It (2), Love It or Leave It?:
It is undeniably true that one may expatriate or emigrate as a means of seeking greater freedom, but why should a person have to move? Being forced to move in order to exit a government means that one is subject to a government’s coercion. Moving should be voluntary. One’s country and one’s land are not the same as the government that claims to rule that country and the persons living in that land. Leaving the country, leaving one’s land, and leaving one’s relations and relationships behind in order to exit a government is not a solution consistent with full freedom. That action is chosen by some only because the government coercively claims jurisdiction over territory and all persons within that territory. Those who leave their country are being involuntarily coerced into a second-best solution.
Consent of the governed should be a matter of clear, open and free choice of each person. Consent of the governed cannot be inferred from a situation in which government has the guns and individual persons obey, or in which citizens must follow a set of highly complex voting procedures, determined by governments and parties, within and bounded by bordered territories in which governments reign without competition.

The Union is in a state

Nigel Farage: The Union is in a state, Mr Barroso

Monopolies breed monopolies

Controls breed controls, Monopolies breed monopolies:
First the state is granted a monopoly in dispensing justice. Then, it uses this position to grant monopolies, such as patent and copyright, to favored recipients. These recipients are thus able to charge monopoly prices, and to establish oligopolized industries relatively immune from competition.

This allows them to afford the purchase of more state monopolies (such as expensive patents) that smaller upstarts, newcomers, and competitors cannot, further entrenching their monopoly position. Barriers to entry are maintained, allowing the entrenched, established firms to reap monopoly profits.

A portion of these profits are returned to the state in the form of legal bribes (campaign contributions) which keep the legislators from rocking the boat. And so the cycle continues.

This is not too surprising to libertarians used to seeing state corruption. What is surprising is the spectacle of some libertarians bending over backward to try to justify this, in the name of intellectual “property.”

Why Wikileaks is good!

Why Wikileaks is good!

Control breeds controls

.. interventionism cannot work as a permanent system of society’s economic organization.

The various measures recommended must necessarily bring about results which—from the point of view of their own advocates and the governments resorting to them—are more unsatisfactory than the previous state of affairs which they were designed to alter.

If the government neither acquiesces in this outcome nor derives from it the conclusion that it is advisable to abstain from all such measures, it is forced to supplement its first steps by more and more interference until it has abolished private control of the means of production entirely and thus established socialism.

The conduct of economic affairs, i.e., the determination of the purposes for which the factors of production should be employed, can ultimately be directed either by buying and abstention from buying on the part of consumers, or by government decrees.

There is no middle way. Control is indivisible.
Mises, Economic Freedom and Interventionism, ch. 10.

Pigs on Camera

No seguimento de Police Abuse (2),

Cops Vs. Cameras: The Killing of Kelly Thomas & The Power of New Media

Mais sobre o modelo sueco

The right to wait:
What is the cause of these stories? The cause is the rationing. Why the rationing? Since the healthcare is "free", there are no incentives for people to think about the cost of healthcare. To keep the costs under control, to make sure they stay within the collective healthcare budget, they have to ration.

In Sweden our politicians brag about the public healthcare system. It is, allegedly, one of the best in the world. They also know that socialists, such as Michael Moore in the USA, greatly admires the European model that Sweden represent. Yet the same politicians do their very best to keep people from ever entering a hospital. Why? Because even though healthcare is a "right" and is "free", it costs a great deal of money.
The right to healthcare does not mean you will ever get any healthcare. That is a myth. In the immoral attempt to make healthcare a "right", to make it "free" for everybody, it has instead become less and less available for everybody.

This is not a "coincidence". This is the logical consequence of the very nature of socialized healthcare, just as the lack of food, housing, energy, cars, clothes - as well as anything remotely resembling a human life - is the logical consequence of socialism in general.

Ron Paul on the Daily Show

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive - Ron Paul Extended Interview Pt. 1
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

parte 1 | parte 2 | parte 3

Eurozone Market will crash (2)

No seguimento de Eurozone Market will crash,

Step Aside BBC "Trader": Head Of UniCredit Securities Predicts Imminent End Of The Eurozone And A Global Financial Apocalypse:
.. the head of UniCredit global securities Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy, and former Chairman of the Hungarian stock exchange, who has written an unbelievable oped in the Hungarian portal which, frankly, make Alessio "BBC Trader" Rastani's provocative speech seem like a bedtime story.
.. "the euro is “practically dead” and Europe faces a financial earthquake from a Greek default"... “The euro is beyond rescue”... “The only remaining question is how many days the hopeless rearguard action of European governments and the European Central Bank can keep up Greece’s spirits.”...."A Greek default will trigger an immediate “magnitude 10” earthquake across Europe."..."Holders of Greek government bonds will have to write off their entire investment, the southern European nation will stop paying salaries and pensions and automated teller machines in the country will empty “within minutes.” In other words: welcome to the Apocalypse...

Government owns you

A propósito de Socialist Crackpot Elizabeth Warren Opens Senate Race With Unhinged Coffee House Rant (Video),

fonte: Facebook: · I bet Ludwig von Mises can get more fans than John Maynard Keynes's

Contágio social

The Financial Mess in the US and Europe por Walter Williams:
Growing social spending in the name of health is just one example of a much larger process affecting the whole of our societies. There's a process that we might call contagion, in which spending automatically and unavoidably breeds more spending.

For example, if government provides subsidies for wheat farmers, corn farmers will organize and protest that it's unfair not to grant them subsidies. .. How about government bailouts? There's contagion there as well. If Congress bails out General Motors, what's the justification for not also bailing out Chrysler .. and other failed enterprises? Bailouts are contagious both in the short and the long run. Bailouts create what's known as a moral hazard, in which people have reduced incentive to mend their ways.
The bottom line is that the sole tendency of the welfare state is for it to grow and consume more and more of a nation's income ..
.. we can't tax our way out of our fiscal mess. In order to avoid permanent stagnation or total economic collapse, governments must start the process of reducing welfare spending. I wouldn't recommend cold turkey for a heroin addict, neither would I recommend cold turkey for all those people who have been addicted and made dependent upon government handouts. We must find a compassionate way to wean people off government.

A Roma Antiga e lições contra o socialismo contemporâneo (2)

No seguimento de A Roma Antiga e lições contra o socialismo contemporâneo e A Queda de Roma e A Queda de Roma (2)

American Empire VS Roman Empire : monetary history repeats itself

The Dictator’s Handbook

It's Good to Be Boss:
.. it's not only unsurprising that politicians craft legislation with an eye toward re-election but also deeply rational. All leaders, whether of democracies or autocracies, dictatorships or monarchies, desire the same goals. "Why do leaders do what they do? To come to power, to stay in power and, to the extent that they can, to keep control over money."
Princípio aplicado às ditaduras autocráticas:
Autocrats .. need only reward only a small class of loyalists—the army, judiciary, an inner circle of advisers—who will reliably suppress opposition.
One might presume that a badly handled natural disaster greatly shortens time in office. It does—but only in democracies .. The higher the death toll in an autocracy, however, the more money leaders can extract from foreign governments and aid agencies, money that is then used to strengthen the position of government loyalists.
And how about those well-meaning debt-forgiveness campaigners? .. pardoning debt obligations tends to entrench authoritarian leaders and retard the development of democracy. With a wounded economy, autocrats find it more difficult to bribe their small group of key supporters.
.. almost all aid money is dispersed not to alleviate poverty but to purchase loyalty and influence.
While democrats likewise dispense rewards .. they are constrained by a system of government that requires the loyalty of fickle voters. This ensures that if a leader accumulates wealth and power in a few hands, his job security weakens.
Agora, se o sistema recompensar os tais "lealistas" (função pública, sindicatos, corporações, grandes empresas), a classe de líderes (políticos, burocratas) está resguardada dos caprichos dos votantes — cuja generosa "solidariedade fiscal" funciona exactamente como "ajuda externa"
So the next time a hand-wringing politician, Democrat or Republican, claims to be taking a position for the "good of his country," remember to replace the word "country" with "career."

terça-feira, setembro 27, 2011

Campus Speech Codes

John Stossel - Campus Speech Codes

Competing Currencies: Choice in Currency

Excertos de Choice in Currency (1975), de Friedrich Hayek:
The first reaction of many readers may be to ask whether the effect of such a system [AA: competing currencies] would not according to an old rule be that the bad money would drive out the good. But this would be a misunderstanding of what is called Gresham's Law.
Gresham's Law operates only if the two kinds of money have to be accepted at a prescribed rate of exchange. Exactly the opposite will happen when people are free to exchange the different kinds of money at whatever rate they can agree upon. This was observed many times during the great inflations when even the most severe penalties threatened by governments could not prevent people from using other kinds of money -- even commodities like cigarettes and bottles of brandy rather than the government money—which clearly meant that the good money was driving out the bad.
Make it merely legal and people will be very quick indeed to refuse to use the national currency once it depreciates noticeably, and they will make their dealings in a currency they trust.
This would deprive government of the power to .. depreciating their currency.
It would mainly be the tendency of all business and capital transactions rapidly to switch to a more reliable standard (and to base calculations and accounting on it) which would keep national monetary policy on the right path.
The convenience of use is decidedly in favour of a currency which can be expected to retain an approximately stable value.

The Failure of CRAPitalism

The Failure of CRAPitalism: Q&A with Barron's Economic Columnist Gene Epstein

Affluence And Influence

Days Of Rage Over Affluence And Influence:
Nor do forces perverting markets exclusively reside under the rubric “Crony Capitalism.” Securing government contracts frequently requires unionized workers. Many infrastructure projects ensconced in the myriad stimulus packages reflected sops to Democrats’ union benefactors. Plenty of pork fattened ACORN and other anti-capitalists too.
Instead, let’s make businesses compete for consumers’ spending. Make companies earn profits through superior performance. When firms fail, no matter how large, let them go bankrupt. It’s not government’s just role to protect us from ineptitude.
To make markets more equitable, it’s the state that must be constrained. Government should be an impartial referee charged with protecting against fraud and theft, not from incompetence and complacency. It must never pick winners. Wall Street can force nothing upon anyone without the state’s authority. Government commands the monopoly on legalized coercion.

Eurozone Market will crash

Trader on BBC says Eurozone Market will crash

BÓNUS satírico: Trader may have been acting in own self-interest

Rotten Apples

Government Stimulus: Polishing the Rotten Apples:
The Appleonian government grew very worried and, after brief consultation with academic experts, came up with an idea. To put people back to work and restore faith in the apples, the government hired lots of people to polish all the rotten apples.
Appelonia’s rotten apples are analogous to the unsound enterprises that people created during the boom prior to 2008―the houses and shopping centers that could not be sold, the mortgage loans that would not be repaid, the countless complementary investments that were made in order to take advantage of the real estate and construction run-up. These projects were, in effect, worm-infested. When the bust came, the pressing need was to liquidate them as quickly as possible, so that they would not cause other, good apples to be ruined and, especially, so that resources currently employed in maintaining and polishing them would be released for employment in the production of sound fruit that people actually value and will voluntarily pay for.

segunda-feira, setembro 26, 2011

uma boa ilustração do que é a Justiça estatal

The Road to the U.S. Supreme Court

...e as pessoas queixam-se dos processos de reclamação com as empresa privadas.

Free Speech Troubles Some People

Even Free Speech Troubles Some People:
You imply that if I claim the right to free speech for a Nazi, I’m endorsing his ideas as civilized. I reject your implication. You know full well that somebody who wants freedom of speech to be respected in a society does not necessarily endorse what’s being said. You probably respect the right of some to say what they want, even if you don’t agree with it. You just don’t want everyone to have that right. You can’t stand the absolutism of it all, can you? But if you’re not going to respect free speech as a universal right—then the obligation is on you to identify who will and who will not have that right honored.
Freedom of speech means freedom to speak and advocate ideas. The only way to prevent plunder and irrationality— especially by government—is through persuading the majority to adopt rational ideas. It takes years to persuade people to think rationally.
Claiming that government restriction of speech is the way to end plunder, oppression and chaos is the same as saying that government must shut down human thinking to ensure progress. This is one of the most unimaginably wrong things I have ever heard or read, and I couldn’t disagree with you more. Nevertheless, I’ll fight to the death for your right to think it--and say it.

domingo, setembro 25, 2011

Government Monopolies Are Bad

Economics 101: School Choice Example Shows Why Government Monopolies Are Bad

A class of bureaucrats

On the Rule of Law:
.. if we surrender more control over our economy to the governing class — then life in America will become defined by a new kind of : A class of bureaucrats and connected crony capitalists trying to rise above the rest of us, call the shots, rig the rules, and preserve their place atop society at the expense of working Americans, entrepreneurs, and the small businesswoman who has the gall to take on the corporate chieftain.
Freedom is lost by degrees, and the deepest erosions usually take place during times of economic hardship, when those who favor expanding the sphere of government abuse a crisis to persuade free citizens that they should trade in a little of their liberty for empty promises of greater economic security.

No bureaucrat left behind

Deficits are Bad, but the Real Problem is Spending

recovering statist

The Daily Anarchist’s New Editor:
Hi, my name is Mike. And I am a recovering statist. Through the redeeming power of anarchocapitalism, I’ve gone two years without advocating a single drop of state intervention. You see, I came to admit that I was powerless over the state — that my addiction to it had rendered my life unmanageable. And I came to believe that an idea greater than statism could restore me to sanity.

sábado, setembro 24, 2011

Nanny hates Cocktails

Cocktail Shakedown: The New War Against Classic Mixed Drinks

The Impossibilities of Social Planning

Walter Lippmann: The Impossibilities of Social Planning:
This points to the dark truth behind every “plan” for “improving society.” Governments, Lippmann said, are made up of people who meet to make speeches and write resolutions, of people who study papers, listen to complaints, and shuffle paperwork. These people suffer from indigestion, asthma, boredom, and headaches, and all of them would rather be making love than passing laws. They know whatever they have happened to learn, are aware of what they have happened to observe, and are interested in whatever has happened to catch their imagination. A power-holder may sometimes have high ideals, but he is in the end no more than a human being ..

Such a person cannot possibly know enough to devise wide-ranging schemes for society as a whole. No matter what the source of their authority human rulers are human beings, and as such have only a severely limited understanding of the world in which they find themselves. The social planner sits down to a breakfast that is the final link in a chain stretching far beyond his comprehension .. Anyone who attempts to plan everything is immediately trapped in a web of details ..

Wayne Allyn Root

Wayne Allyn Root Explains How He Will Become President

Suicide as Secession

Titles of Ignobility: Suicide as Secession:
Viewed as emigrant, the suicide moves from the land of the living to the land of the dead. Regarded as a personal secessionist, he separates himself from his family and society. Diagnosed as incompetent to know his own best interest, the suicide is declared insane, becomes the property of the federal government, and is stamped with the title of ignobility.

In the traditional religious worldview the sole agent with legitimate power to decide who should die is God, the Creator. In the modern medical view the sole such agent is the Therapeutic State. Secession—defiance of control by church and State—is the ultimate escape from oppression, the ultimate declaration of freedom.

Obama Nation - parte 2

No seguimento de Obama Nation - parte 1,

Articulate and handsome, Afghanistan held for ransom
By the hand of this black man, neo-colonial puppet
White power with a black face, he said f-ck it i’ll do it
A master of disguise, expert at telling lies
Then they gave him a Nobel Peace Price

Crony Unionism

Crony Unionism: Government Sector:
Elected government office holders are routinely lobbied by organized interests .. But neither they nor any other ordinary lobbyist can force any elected or appointed government official to bargain with them, much less compromise with them. In contrast union officials have the power to force government officials to bargain and compromise with them on what burdens will be placed on taxpayers. In effect government-employee unions (GEUs) are a fourth branch of government with which the legislative and executive branches must bargain and compromise on matters of public policy.

.. taxpayers are supposed to have access to and a voice in the legislative process.

In contrast the CB [Collective Bargaining] process is carried out behind closed doors. Taxpayers employ government workers but have no seat at the table. Government officials at the table do not represent the interests of taxpayers; they seek to expand the scope of their power and influence. To them bigger budgets are always desirable. GEUs seek better wages, benefits, and conditions of employment for government employees so they can justify raising dues. GEU bosses seek more perks and power for themselves. The two sides of the government-sector CB table are cronies. They both seek to pick the pockets of taxpayers.

Ron Paul for President 2012

Ron Paul Highlights in 9/22/2011 Presidential Debate

Bad Consciousness of Bad Structure

Bad Consciousness or Bad Structure?:
I frequently encounter arguments that the problems of our day — pollution, waste, economic decay, runaway corporate power — result from a lack of individual “awareness.”

But the problem in my opinion is not so much one of consciousness as a structural one. The consciousness is a problem in itself, of course, and a barrier to correcting the system. But it’s simply a side-effect of the structure, created as part of the natural process by which systems of power reproduce the kinds of “human resources” with the mindset required to keep those systems of power going.
The difference between then and now was that the people who saw contradictions in the system were isolated in a mass society in which information was controlled by the gatekeepers of a centralized, hierarchical, unidirectional hub-and-spoke media.

Now the transaction costs of such people getting in contact with each other, and aggregating into a critical mass, have fallen to near-zero.

Capitalism and Human Dignity

Leonid Nikonov on Capitalism and Human Dignity in the NEW BOOK - The Morality of Capitalism

Questions for Protectionists

No seguimento de Free Trade v. Protectionism, Eight Questions for Protectionists:
  1. Do you think politicians and bureaucrats should be able to tell you what you’re allowed to buy?
  2. If trade barriers between nations are good, then shouldn’t we have trade barriers between states? Or cities?
  3. Why is it bad that foreigners use the dollars they obtain to invest in the American economy instead of buying products?
  4. Do you think protectionism would be necessary if America did pro-growth reforms such as a lower corporate tax rate, less wasteful spending, and reduced red tape?
  5. Do you think protectionism would help, in the long run, if we don’t implement pro-growth reforms?
  6. Do you recognize that, by creating the ability to offer special favors to selected industries, protectionism creates enormous opportunities for corruption?
  7. If you don’t like taxes, why would you like taxes on imports?
  8. Can you point to nations that have prospered with protectionism, particularly when compared to similar nations with free trade?

Freedom and Economic Growth

Freedom and Economic Growth in the Poorest Countries:

trade account and savings

Does the trade account provide useful information?:
We have seen that an American producer has exchanged unconsumed final consumer goods that he produced, i.e., saved consumer goods for money — claims on real savings. This means that we have an increase in real savings.
What matters as far as real economic growth is concerned is real savings. The balance of payments statements, which deal with monetary flows, cannot tell us much about the flow of real savings. For instance, Americans are importing tools and machinery from Japan and exporting consumer goods to Japan. In terms of the net flow of money it turns out that the value of American imports from Japan exceeds exports to Japan — i.e., a trade deficit emerges.

The conventional wisdom would argue here that Americans are now saving less and are in fact funded by the Japanese. In reality the exact opposite takes place. Americans are in fact supplying real savings — final consumer goods — to Japanese producers of tools and machinery. In other words, it is the American real savings that in fact support (i.e., fund) the Japanese producers of capital goods.

Observe that Japanese tools and machinery do not as yet produce any real wealth, they are just potential future wealth. Also, note that it is not money that funds economic activity but real savings. Money is just the medium of exchange; it is not however the means of payment, and it never funds anything.

the Constitution

Business & Politics: the Constitution

The Constitution May Not Be Perfect — But it is Much Better than What We Have Now! (Fred Smith):
The Founders sought a balance between the need for a strong government (Madison’s observation that because men aren’t angels, governments are necessary) and George Washington’s warning that government, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a powerful master. Our Founders sought to restrain the fire of government to its proper sphere. The Constitution created firewalls: separation of powers; clearly enumerated and limited powers to the national government; and set forth basic rights of the people. That document — supported both culturally and legally — restrained Leviathan for almost a century.

Urban Sprawl as Government Failure

Urban Sprawl as Government Failure:
.. The provision of tax-payer subsidised road-space encourages would-be commuters to live further away from their places of work than might otherwise be the case and as a consequence increases the demand for the expansion of sprawling low-density suburbs. This tendency .. is further accentuated by the provision of road space according to that cherished principle of the social democratic left – that ‘public services’ should be ‘free at the point of delivery’. The refusal of governments to use road pricing mechanisms which charge people directly according to their personal level of road usage encourages excessive travel to work distances and again makes the demand for suburban development higher than it would otherwise be.
Critics of urban sprawl often highlight ‘market failure’ as its cause. Yet, with government ownership of roads, government refusal to charge consumers directly for the roads and ‘public transport’ that they use, and government-enforced land use regulations which encourage leap-frog development, it should be clear that ‘government failure’ is the primary source of any environmental externalities in this domain.

First steps towards internalising these externalities would involve the introduction of widespread road pricing, privatisation of major trunk roads, and the abolition of government subsidies for both road construction and for ‘public transportation’.

sexta-feira, setembro 23, 2011

Economic Vs. Civil Liberties

Economic Vs. Civil Liberties

Principal-Agent Problem Meets the Public Sector

Principal-Agent Problem Meets the Public Sector:
Markets work by rewarding the success of individuals who, at their own risk, venture forth and succeed – whether by brilliance or luck – in fulfilling unmet consumer needs. Bureaucrats, by contrast, are risk-averse and respond to political incentives. No “bonus” for making the right decision can change that.
The problem with trying to adapt business-like incentives to a government agency’s overall focus is . . . government. Government cannot utilize market mechanisms because it is a monopoly by definition, and that creates incentives unique to State actors. In government the distortion is built in.
Public Choice theory helps explain the incentives faced by those working in government. As Nobel Prize-winning economist James Buchanan, one of the founders of Public Choice, points out, “[T]here is no center of power where an enlightened few can effectively isolate themselves from constituency pressures.” In other words, actors within the bureaucracy cannot operate away from the political pressures of trying to please politicians and the voters who elect them. Thus institutional self-preservation wins out.
A government-guaranteed entity isn’t really allowed to die until the government says it can. Until that time (which rarely arrives), the risks were transferred .. to the taxpayer.

Absurd Reasons for Banning Drugs

3 Absurd Reasons for Banning Drugs

I want to become a serf

Peter Schiff : I want to become a serf:
Peter Schiff : medieval serfs had to turn 25 percent of what they produced to the Lord and that was considered really oppressive because they only got to keep 75 percent of what they earned, I wish that I can somehow be elevated to the level of a serf someone should have to emancipate me, my goal in life is to be treated like a serf , because that will be a vast improvement of how I am treated now

Beautiful Freedom

Stefan Molyneux - Beautiful Freedom

the Historical and Economic Illiteracy of the Political Class

Thomas Sowell Exposes the Historical and Economic Illiteracy of the Political Class:
In Part I, he decimates President Obama’s new stimulus scheme.
President Obama repeats the same kinds of things that have marked his past policies — more government spending for the benefit of his political allies, the construction unions and the teachers’ unions, and “thousands of transportation projects.” The fundamental fallacy in all of this is the notion that politicians can “grow the economy” by taking money out of the private sector and spending it wherever it is politically expedient to spend it — so long as they call spending “investment.”
In Part II, he exposes the historical illiteracy of folks who think government intervention ended the Great Depression.
The grand myth that has been taught to whole generations is that the government is “forced” to intervene in the economy when there is a downturn that leaves millions of people suffering. The classic example is the Great Depression of the 1930s. What most people are unaware of is that there was no Great Depression until AFTER politicians started intervening in the economy .. politicians decided that they had to “do something.” Within 6 months, unemployment hit double digits ..
And in Part III, he explains how tax changes in the 1920s provide great evidence for the Laffer Curve.
.. Mellon eventually got his way, getting Congress to bring the top tax rate down from 73 percent to 24 percent. Vast sums of money that had seemingly vanished into thin air suddenly reappeared in the economy, creating far more jobs and far more tax revenue for the government.

Capitalism and the Common Good

Ayn Rand - Capitalism and the Common Good

Free Competition in Currency

The Free Competition in Currency Act of 2011:
What are the likely economic consequences of removing legal tender status from US Treasury coins and Federal Reserve notes? The immediate consequences would be minimal. New forms of currency will not be introduced into the market any faster than the public is prepared to accept them. The longer-run consequence will be to enable a more level playing field for competition in the issue of currency.
Ron Paul’s Statement on The Free Competition in Currency Act:
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, allowing for competing currencies will allow market participants to choose a currency that suits their needs, rather than the needs of the government. The prospect of American citizens turning away from the dollar towards alternate currencies will provide the necessary impetus to the U.S. government to regain control of the dollar and halt its downward spiral. Restoring soundness to the dollar will remove the government’s ability and incentive to inflate the currency, and keep us from launching unconstitutional wars that burden our economy to excess. With a sound currency, everyone is better off, not just those who control the monetary system. I urge my colleagues to consider the redevelopment of a system of competing currencies and cosponsor the Free Competition in Currency Act.

Red Pill do Dia

Valedictorian Speaks Out Against School

Market Failure Compared to Government Failure

Market Failure Compared to Government Failure -Becker:
When an industry in the private sector is not performing efficiently or effectively, there is said to be “market failure”. The recommendation by economists and others typically is then for government actions to combat such failure, such as taxes to help reduce pollution. The diagnosis of market failure may be accurate, but the call for government involvement may be naïve and inappropriate.

The reason is that actual governments do not necessarily do what economists and others want them to do because there is “government failure” as well as market failure. Before recommending government actions to correct market failures, one should consider whether actual government policies would worsen rather than improve private sector outcomes. Since many factors often make for considerable government failure, considering such failure is crucial and not just a theoretical fine point.
Government actions sometimes not only fail to overcome market failure but rather worsen the failure.

Constitutional Republic vs. Democracy

Constitutional Principle: Representative Government

Citação liberal do Dia

Whoever in discussion adduces authority uses not intellect but rather memory.

[ Chi disputa allegando l'autorità, non adopra lo 'ngegno, ma più tosto la memoria. ]
Leonardo da Vinci

Berlin and Price Controls

Moderates, Extremists, and Liberty

Moderates, Extremists, and Liberty:
[T]he government … tends strongly to … expand indefinitely its sphere of action. Left to itself, it soon exceeds the limits which circumscribe its mission. It increases beyond all reason … It no longer administers, it exploits.… It no longer protects, it oppresses.
Were those who each year voted for more taxes than the nation could bear moderates? .. And are those who want to prevent the return of such excesses extremists?

I mean those who want to inject a dose of moderation into spending; those who want to moderate the action of the people in power .. those who do not want the nation to be exploited by one party rather than another ..
Frederic Bastiat recognized that, in his era, politically popular "moderation" resulted in expanding government coercion, while extremism, which was continually attacked, meant commitment to defending liberty ..

.. if we recognize with Bastiat what is really at stake — a liberty too precious to be bargained over — such misleading rhetoric cannot fool us into becoming accomplices in destroying liberty with our political choices.

Obama Nation - parte 1

Since 1945 the United States has attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments,
In the process the US has caused the end of life for several million people,
And condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair.
The wars on, and you morons were all wrong,
I call Obama a bomber cause those are your bombs.

Loose policies can only damage the economy

Why easy fiscal and monetary policies make things worse:
For instance when the Fed pushes more money to the economy all it is doing is increasing the amount of the means of exchange. An increase in money supply sets in motion an exchange of nothing for something i.e. it diverts final consumer goods or wealth from wealth generating activities towards non-wealth generating activities. This in turn undermines rather than strengthens the economy’s ability to expand real wealth. (It is exactly the same outcome produced by a counterfeiter).

Likewise loose fiscal policies produce the same results as printing money does – it diverts wealth from wealth generators to non-wealth generating projects. What then is the point of trying to boost employment by means of loose fiscal policies, which in the process weakens the economy’s ability to generate more wealth (such as digging ditches and making pyramids)?

Once the central bank tightens its stance for whatever reasons the diversion of wealth to non-productive activities stops and various useless projects must be aborted. Obviously various individuals employed in these projects become unemployed.

Intervenção de AMN (3)

No seguimento de Intervenção de AMN (2)

Cada euro a mais cobrado em impostos é um euro a menos na redução da despesa

The 100 Rules for Being an Entrepreneur

The 100 Rules for Being an Entrepreneur:
I) Competition is good. It turns you into a killer. It helps you judge progress. It shows that other people value the space you are in. Your competitors are also your potential acquirors.
EE) Have killer parties. But use your personal money. Not company money. Invite employees, customers, and investors. It’s not the worst thing in the world to also invite off duty prostitutes or models.

quinta-feira, setembro 22, 2011

Top Threats to Civil Liberties After 9/11

Top Threats to Civil Liberties After 9/11: Q&A w Mike German of ACLU/former FBI Agent

Time to break up the eurozone

Time to break up the eurozone?:
The irony, though, is that any number of people predicted this exact scenario over two decades ago, when the euro was little more than a dream for the most ardent of Europhiles. Even while the rules for the euro were being created, they were simultaneously being broken.
What the eurozone doomsayers knew .. was that a "one-size-fits-all" monetary policy was totally impractical .. Take Ireland, for example .. With accession to the eurozone came low interest rates and a flood of cheap money, a housing and construction boom, and the eventual catastrophic bust ..
At some point, political will must face economic reality, and that involves acknowledging that the money simply is not there .. This means at least a partial default by .. Italy, Ireland, Greece, Portugal and probably Spain keep bailing them out is just to throw good money after bad.
And, of course, bailouts only serve to increase the moral hazard – what incentive does a country such as Greece have to get its economic house in order when it implicitly knows that it will be bailed out if it fails to do so?
As with all political creations, there is often a yawning chasm between what should happen and what will happen. An orderly break up of the eurozone is what should happen .. What will possibly happen, however, is a fiscal centralisation .. A fiscal union to match the political union. It will surely not be sustainable – how long will already aggrieved German taxpayers be willing to fund less competitive Mediterranean economies?

John Galt and Paul Krugman

If John Galt is Bill Gates, Who is Paul Krugman? An Interview with Donald Luskin


It's Gangrene, Not Contagion:
It's possible that the problems in sovereign debt in Europe continue to get worse rather than better, because we are treating the wrong "disease". Everyone has been talking about the risk of "contagion". That makes me think of scientists working in pristine high tech labs searching for a cure, of technicians working on computer models, estimating spread patterns, and citizens walking around with face masks to stop the spread of the "disease".

What we have is gangrene. Doctors with leather aprons covered in blood and saws are the images that come to mind. Whether it was a genteel Confederate soldier or a grizzled Roman legionnaire, there was only one treatment. It was disfiguring and ugly, but effective. We have waited so long that the choice is no longer above or below the elbow. We have let it spread too long, things like EFSF have done nothing but let the disease spread. It is now time to amputate (let defaults occur) and begin the real process of recovery. It won't be easy, but it is better than continuing to ignore the real problem and avoiding taking the hard, painful, but necessary steps.

Law without Government

Law without Government
Part One: Principles
Part Two: Conflict Resolution in a Free Society

The bureaucracy versus you

The bureaucracy versus you:
Is anybody still taking this tiresome nonsense seriously? Does anybody really believe that the economy is just some tired old mule that is simply in need of a kick in the backside to get going again? Or, when you wake up on a Monday morning and feel a bit sleepy and you are longing for a strong cup of coffee – is that how the economy feels? Does it just need a bit of –stimulus?

I tell you what is wrong with the global economy: the global bureaucracy. That is what is wrong. Decades of rising taxation, increasing regulation, and persistent redistribution have fundamentally and structurally weakened the major economies of the world ..
The economic disaster that is now upon us is entirely the result of misguided policy and bad theory. The political class and their economic advisors are responsible and they should abdicate but like all political authority they are clinging desperately to their seats.
.. the bureaucracy has been spending your money, your taxes, your savings, your future income, and now they can only keep the show on the road for as long as you keep accepting the paper money that will have to be printed in ever larger quantities to support the ever-growing number of assets that you, the public, are no longer willing to support ..


But Wouldn't Warlords Take Over? (by Robert P. Murphy)

Free Competition in Currency

The Free Competition in Currency Act of 2011:
What are the likely economic consequences of removing legal tender status from US Treasury coins and Federal Reserve notes? The immediate consequences would be minimal. New forms of currency will not be introduced into the market any faster than the public is prepared to accept them. The longer-run consequence will be to enable a more level playing field for competition in the issue of currency.
Competition in general creates incentives to provide a high quality product by taking business away from low-quality producers. Competition in currency is a practical idea that offers sizable benefits to the public when the quality of the incumbent currency becomes doubtful. In particular, US citizens would benefit from freedom of choice among monetary alternatives though the removal of current legal restrictions and obstacles against currencies that could compete with Federal Reserve Notes and US Treasury coins. HR 1098 would give currency competition a chance.

Social Security is not a Ponzi Scheme!

Stefan Molyneux - Social Security is not a Ponzi Scheme!

End the Fed

Federal Reserve audit exposes major securities fraud and the embezzlement of $16 trillion:
An audit of the Federal Reserve has revealed that the privately owned Federal Reserve secretly doled out more than $16 trillion in zero interest loans to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world. The non-partisan, investigative arm of Congress also determined that the Fed acted illegally.

My Civil Liberty

PBS Travel Guru Rick Steves: Smoking Pot is "My Civil Liberty"

Citação liberal do Dia

We are born socialists in this sense: As babies, we want more of what somebody else has and we scream until we get it with no regard for the costs. We make a stinking mess and a lot of noise if we don’t get it now. As part of the maturing process, we must learn that we have to take responsibility, respect the property of others, and learn that 2 + 2 isn’t 7. The problem is that a lot of people never grow up. Then when they vote or get elected, the mess they create makes the previous one look like Christmas dinner
Lawrence Reed,

Is Civility Important?

Is Civility Important? from Yale Law School on Vimeo.

Personal Finance Principles

4 Personal Finance Principles That Would Make Your Grandfather Proud:
4. Non-Entitlement Attitude .. You deserve nothing. Remember that.”

.. In our current society of “I’ll take everything and I want it yesterday,” ..
Whenever I let my entitlement attitude creep back in, I find myself complaining, procrastinating, blaming, whining, and moaning.
The men and women of generations past combined .. attitude with an unwavering work ethic .. there used to be an admirable pride to owning property, transportation, and possessions without leveraging debt ..

Penn Jillette on God, No!

No seguimento de Government is Force,

Penn Jillette on God, No!, Atheism, Libertarianism, & More

Government is force

I don't know, so I'm an atheist libertarian por Penn Jillette:
It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness.

People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.

People try to argue that government isn't really force. You believe that? Try not paying your taxes. (This is only a thought experiment -- suggesting on that someone not pay his or her taxes is probably a federal offense, and I'm a nut, but I'm not crazy.). When they come to get you for not paying your taxes, try not going to court. Guns will be drawn. Government is force -- literally, not figuratively.

I don't believe the majority always knows what's best for everyone. The fact that the majority thinks they have a way to get something good does not give them the right to use force on the minority that don't want to pay for it. If you have to use a gun, I don't believe you really know jack. Democracy without respect for individual rights sucks. It's just ganging up against the weird kid, and I'm always the weird kid.

Socialismo - Hop in


NASA - Status quo cult

The Fable of the Shoes:
The highest achievement in the minds of many was landing a man on the moon, and such a feat is viewed as the epitome of a human spaceflight program, and the only model to follow .. It’s what I have called the Apollo Cargo Cult ..

The problem is that, while (fortunately) the government hasn’t always supplied shoes, in the minds of too many, it has always supplied human spaceflight, and when you propose to do it in any other way, no matter how much more cost effective, the same cries arise: “Are you crazy?! Why do you hate space exploration?! Spaceflight is hard! Only NASA knows how to put people into space! ..

Like people who can’t imagine life without a government post office, or air traffic control (it’s private in Switzerland), or other things with which they have no experience, they can’t conceive of space activities that don’t consist of a few government employees on top of a really big rocket, with lots more government employees at desks in control rooms directing the show.

quarta-feira, setembro 21, 2011


Lew Rockwell - American Jobs Act is more Obama-loney

how little they really know

Milton Friedman at 90 por Thomas Sowell:
Milton Friedman's 90th birthday on July 31st provides an occasion to think back on his role as the pre-eminent economist of the 20th century. To those of us who were privileged to be his students, he also stands out as a great teacher.
On a term paper, I wrote that either (a) this would happen or (b) that would happen.

Professor Friedman wrote in the margin: "Or (c) your analysis is wrong."

"Where was my analysis wrong?" I asked him.

"I didn't say your analysis was wrong," he replied. "I just wanted you to keep that possibility in mind."

terça-feira, setembro 20, 2011

Mutually Assured Respect

el Hong Kong del siglo XXI

Honduras pone en marcha el Hong Kong del siglo XXI:
Una ciudad-estado creada en medio de la nada. Así puede resumirse el proyecto que va a poner en marcha el Gobierno de Honduras con el objetivo de transformar el país en una potencia económica mundial.

La idea es simple: se toma un área deshabitada, se le otorgan leyes propias, diferentes a las del resto del país, que no obstaculicen la inversión ni la creación de empleo, y se abre la puerta a cuantos empresarios nacionales o extranjeros estén dispuestos a instalarse. El resultado, a juzgar por la experienca de Singapur, Hong Kong y otras ciudades asiáticas con legislaciones de este tipo, debería ser un desarrollo espectacular.

¿Es posible algo así? El presidente del Congreso de Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, cree que sí: "Bajo este régimen legal especial el resultado inmediato sería una cantidad masiva de empleo, el necesario para construir autopistas, puertos, aeropuertos y toda la infraestructura de las instalaciones de las empresas que vengan".

How to Create a Job: Creating Value, Not Just Work

Education—A Bad Public Good?

Education—A Bad Public Good?:
The problem with public provision is that the task of ensuring that the government supplies the proper quantity and quality of “public goods” is itself a public good .. When the government supplies a product, paid for indirectly by taxpayers rather than by the direct recipients of the product, few have an incentive to spend the time and resources to make sure that the government supplies the right quantity and quality. If the theory of public goods is correct, relatively few people are likely to spend time and resources making sure that someone else’s education (or health care or justice) is adequate.

In other words, monitoring and controlling a publicly provided good suffer from the same incentive problems that caused the supposed undersupply in the first place. Because very few people will benefit noticeably from, say, saving millions of dollars spread across the nation’s millions of taxpayers, only a few people will have a direct interest in monitoring and ensuring good management of public agencies. Their inability to capture major benefits from their efforts is likely to cause their efforts to be undersupplied. As a result, the public good may be provided badly—oversupplied, undersupplied, or poorly supplied.
All these movements—private schools, home schooling, and charters—are attempts to bring competition into a system where it is lacking. They face significant opposition from teachers’ unions and school administrators, who can muster considerable political power at the ballot box. The opposition appears to be grounded primarily in self-interest, not in the theory of public goods, because even if education is entirely a public good and subject to government support, nothing in public-good theory suggests that the state must operate the schools.

sábado, setembro 17, 2011

Antibailout car

Ford Drive One "Press Conference: Chris" Commercial

Somebody Deserves a Raise at the Ford Motor Company:
Ford did remain silent about the rescue operation (for reasons I never found particularly compelling).

Fast forward to Ford’s Summer 2011 television advertising campaign, which includes commercials featuring Ford customers giving press conferences to answer questions about why they chose Ford. One of those commercials (this one, HT Gene Healy) has the customer explaining that he’d never buy a car from a company that was bailed out by our goverment, which, as it turns out, is a compelling determinant of demand these days.

In branding itself as the unbailed-out Detroit producer, Ford has politely ended its silence on the matter of the GM and Chrysler bail-ruptcies, in a very smart, respectable manner. And by using actors instead of executives to speak ill of the auto intervention, Ford keeps its own bailout raincheck in a safe place, should the inclination to redeem it ever become irresistable.

The Vanishing Entrepreneur

The Vanishing Entrepreneur

I am an Austrian in Economics

Thomas Mayer: “I am an Austrian in Economics”:
In today’s publication Thomas Mayer writes that he is “an Austrian in economics.” Mayer is the chief economist of Deutsche Bank Group and head of Deutsche Bank Research. Mayer argues that Austrian theory fits recent events well. He suggests that
— In a world where people have imperfect foresight and do not always behave rationally, and markets are not always efficient, we need to accept that economic policy cannot fine-tune the cycle.

— For us economists, the lesson from recent events should be to rely less on the development of theories by ―deduction (like in natural sciences) and to apply more ―induction (like in social and historical sciences). Failure to study history makes us repeat the mistakes of the past.
A revival of Austrian economics could be a good start for such a research programme.
Unfortunately, however, the battle cry of the public and politicians is for more regulation: regulate banks, regulate markets, regulate financial products! But those who push for blanket regulation suffer from the same control-illusion that got us into this crisis.

Power to the Entrepreneurs

Power to the Entrepreneurs: A conversation with USD law professor Donna Matias

Germany woes

Euro Benefited Germany More than Others in Zone:
With the exception of the last two years, the German economy can only be argued to have benefited more than others from the euro if you believe a trade surplus is something fundamentally good. But then, the Japanese economy was doing great in the 1990s.
.. it is no surprise that the reallocation of German savings to the EU periphery was followed by an increase of exports relative to imports. However, while the current account turned positive .. the import share further dropped with sluggish investment in Germany. Therefore, to regain competitiveness, authorities of the Sick Man of Europe tried to cut deficits and employees had to wait for rising real wages for almost 10 years. It is hard to explain why wage austerity and unemployment are benefits from the euro.
..during the financial crisis, German GDP fell more than that of most economies as losses were made in the US and the EU periphery. The savings were mal-invested and capital destroyed.
The events of the debt crisis finally set an end to the excessive private capital exports to the periphery. The risk of investment in these countries is not ignored anymore. Now, politicians have trouble to finance the state budgets that relied on lower interest rates. On the contrary, with the return of the risk premiums, savings are more than before invested in Germany. In a way, the crisis restored the pre-1996 situation when the periphery was seen as risky.

Intercontinental Ballistic Microfinance

Intercontinental Ballistic Microfinance

Why Austrian?

Why Austrian? Interview with Higgs:
I immediately appreciated the realism of Austrian economics, which contrasts starkly with the often wildly unrealistic assumptions of neoclassical economic theory and the sheer silliness of many of its models and their implications .. Austrian economics provides a solid "logic of choice" that does not hinge on econometric findings or other sorts of "empirical testing." This logic of choice may then be applied in the interpretation of complex actions and interrelations in the empirical world.

Most of all, an understanding of Austrian economics reveals that mainstream economics is the exact opposite of what it claims to be: it is not science, but scientism. Relying on crude imitation of 19th-century physics, it implicitly or explicitly assumes that human actions can be understood in the same way that natural scientists understand the motions and interactions of material particles .. human beings — unlike particles, chemicals, and currents — have purposes, which they choose and may change, as well as a capacity for creativity in their choice or invention of means for the attainment of their chosen ends. Only a science that recognizes the essential nature of human beings, and how they differ from material particles and electrical currents, can achieve an understanding of human action.

Social Security a Ponzi Scheme?!

Social Security a Ponzi Scheme?! (CROWDER CALLS THE SEC!)

markets look pretty darn good

The Great Recession and Government Failure por Gary Becker:
The main reason is not that individuals in the private sector are intrinsically better than government bureaucrats and politicians, but rather that competitive pressures discipline market behavior much more effectively than government actions.

The lesson is that it is crucial to consider whether government regulations and laws are likely to improve rather than worsen the performance of private markets. In an article “Competition and Democracy” published more than 50 years ago, I said “monopoly and other imperfections are at least as important, and perhaps substantially more so, in the political sector as in the marketplace. . . . Does the existence of market imperfections justify government intervention? The answer would be no, if the imperfections in government behavior were greater than those in the market.” . . .

.. when the performance of markets is compared systematically to government alternatives, markets usually come out looking pretty darn good.

Ron Paul: The Only One We Can Trust

Ron Paul: The Only One We Can Trust

economics and human action

Why mathematics and modeling should not be equated with economics and human action:
Economists eager to give their art the patina of science and mathematicians searching for real world relevance have combined to render economics impenetrable.
It is little wonder that even intelligent people feel themselves cowed and run in terror from the thicket of abstraction that shrouds modern economics. It needn’t be like this. The great works of the discipline, those of Adam Smith or Carl Menger for example, managed to lay the foundations of the subject without it.
Do not leave economics to the abstract eggheads. Pick up Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt, Free to Choose: A Personal Statement by Milton Friedman or even Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics by P.J. O’Rourke: writers who, in these books and others, passed the economist Armen Alchian’s test of whether they truly understood the subject – they could explain it to someone who doesn’t know a darn thing about it.

sexta-feira, setembro 16, 2011

Rawls and Nozick on Liberty & Equality

Rawls and Nozick on Liberty & Equality

The Justification For Libertarianism

The Justification For Libertarianism:
Question 1: How much government do you want reduced? ..

Coercive funding of the State should be abolished. A distinction must be made between good government and the coercively funded State. Good government would be a system of private property rights enforcement funded by voluntary contributions in a free market.
Question 5: What do you feel the role of government is? ..

If you believe the role of government is to protect and provide for its people, then what do you believe the role of free markets is? What are free markets? Aren’t they nothing more than individuals voluntarily trading goods and services between each other? If people are left alone, don’t they engage in building and producing things to trade with one another? Do people need bureaucrats breathing down their necks before they manage to create new computers or cars?

Is the government capable of creating new cars or computers better than private markets? In order to eliminate poverty, don’t we need to produce an abundance of goods so that everyone can have more stuff to make their lives better? Is the government capable of producing more stuff than private markets? Aren’t private corporations the largest beneficiaries of government welfare, rather than consumers, through the use of patents, copyrights, government no-bid contracts, bailouts, stimulus spending, and tariff protections?

Antismoking nanny gets pwnd

Smoking Bans Are No Match for New Yorkers

gender pay gap

We can't afford this obsession with the 'gender pay gap':
.. people make different choices and there are financial consequences for those decisions. Yes, there are more women in lower paid jobs. Yes, there are more women in part-time roles and yes, those roles tend to pay less.

Crucially it reveals that people make different decisions about what they want from a job and how they want to live. It also shows that people have different experiences and skills they bring to a job. It is reasonable to expect that an employer will reward people differently depending on the skills and experience they have.

.. The alleged pay gap is simply not comparing like for like. People are not robots. If these statistics allow us to make any generalised statements about the trends of choices women make, it may be they show us that women .. do tend to opt to put family above career. These are vast stereotypes though .. Even then the data tell us nothing about why different women make different choices.