domingo, janeiro 30, 2011

Libertarian porn (3)

No seguimento de Libertarian porn (2):


NIA Economic News Update

Citação Liberal do Dia

If people behaved like governments, you'd call the cops.
Kelvin Throop

When All Drugs Were Legal

When All Drugs Were Legal
For most of U.S. history, all drugs were legal. How legal? .. "Few people are aware that before World War I, a 9-year-old girl could walk into a drug store and buy heroin." .. All these products were available "over the counter." A doctor, pharmacist, or anyone else could advertise them and sell them with no prescription or other special permission. Drugs were like any other good on the market.
Opium addiction rose in the decades after the Civil War, but soon so did education and understanding about drugs and their addictive, dangerous nature among both physicians and the public. The rise of mass media helped .. Meanwhile, the market produced safer medicines, such as aspirin. As a result of these factors, addiction peaked near the end of the nineteenth century and then began a long decline without any need for a government "war."

.. there was virtually none of the violence, death, and crime we associate with the present-day drug problem. Most drug users were not street criminals; instead, the typical addict was, as author Mike Gray put it, "a middle-aged southern white woman strung out on laudanum." Many or most opium addicts led more or less normal lives and managed to keep their addiction hidden .. there was no real crisis when all drugs were legal.

Anarcocapitalismo

Impuestos no, drogas y prostitutas sí:
Ellos son los llamados liberales radicales o anarcocapitalistas. Sus grandes figuras provienen, sobre todo, del ámbito anglosajón, y es en esos territorios donde han cuajado con más solidez las enseñanzas de Ayn Rand, Ludwig Von Mises, F. A. Hayek, Lysander Spooner y, sobre todo, Murray Rothbard y David Friedman, quienes llevan las creencias liberales a su máxima expresión.
.. como asegura Albert Esplugas, “el liberalismo es simplemente la sistematización de dichos populares como "vive y deja vivir" o "tu libertad empieza donde acaba la de los demás". Para ser liberal basta con preferir la cooperación, los intercambios voluntarios y la persuasión a la coerción y la imposición ..
Como argumenta Huerta de Soto, católico practicante y uno de los defensores españoles del anarcocap, “lo bueno de este sistema es que defiende la libertad para todo el mundo ..”. En síntesis, el sistema anarcocap propone la desaparición del Estado y su sustitución por diferentes agencias no territoriales, a las que cada cual se suscribiría en función de las creencias que mantenga y de los recursos que posea. Cada una de ellas tendría sus propias leyes y sus mecanismos previstos en caso de incumplimiento de las mismas (las funciones de justicia y policía, por lo tanto), con lo que bastaría adscribirse a aquella que tuviese las normas morales adecuadas a nuestras creencias ..
Lo resume Esplugas: “No se me ocurre ningún ámbito en el que un grupo de burócratas dando órdenes pueda hacerlo mejor que millones de personas cooperando y compitiendo entre sí con sus ideas y sus recursos”.

Como tu me mentes


José Sócrates feat. Rihanna - Eu sou o PM (Rui Unas feat. Claudia Semedo) - A Última Ceia

clear thinking

In Defense of Clear Thinking por Butler Shaffer:
.. many college graduates who are unable to bring the art of critical thinking to an analysis of events. An example is found in the incapacity of so many persons to identify causal connections between actions undertaken by political systems and the consequences thereof ..
.. we have grown up with certain expectations of the political system. Among these are lies such as that government exists to protect our lives and other property interests; that the state is necessary for the creation and maintenance of social order; and that we – the ordinary people – control it.

In recent years, men and women .. are beginning to see through the fraud and deception that has long been practiced upon them. There is a growing awareness that the system does not serve its avowed purposes, thus producing a frustration of expectations which, in turn, produces more aggression.
Those who refuse to recognize the causal connection between state action and the epidemic of anger sweeping the world, would do well to ask this question: why do political systems have to rely on the use of violence to accomplish their ends? .. this is what clearly distinguishes the state from a free market system. Buyers and sellers in the marketplace prosper by appealing to – not frustrating – one another’s purposes .. Why do we not grasp the obvious fact that we are destroying our lives, as well as the lives of our children and grandchildren, by refusing to withdraw our energies from the kind of antiquated, organizational thinking ..?

Steps to Empire


Eight Steps to Empire: The Culture Wars - Official Trailer

Monopoly Money in Europe

Via O Insurgente, No More Monopoly Money for Europe:
The euro should be made a competing common currency--as envisaged by the U.K. government in the 1990s—and not a monopoly single currency. The treaties should be amended to allow any euro-zone government to make any other currency it wishes legal tender alongside the euro—including a new local currency, privately issued currencies, sterling or even the dollar. Germany, for example, may opt to keep the euro and only the euro. Ireland may opt to have sterling, a new punt and the euro all as legal tender. No country would be able to opt out of the euro but no country would be forced to have the euro as a single legal-tender currency.

The existence of competing currencies within the EU would ensure that pressure was kept on the ECB to ensure that the euro is a low-inflation currency. Under this plan, businesses could still use the euro, contracts could be written and settled in euro and so on—but contracts could also be written in new national currencies. Transactions costs would be kept low and trade within the EU would still be facilitated by the existence of a common currency. Currency competition and a common currency would replace monetary monopoly and a single currency.

A century of achievements


IBM Centennial Film: 100 X 100 - A century of achievements that have changed the world

Socialismo educativo

Tiger Moms and the Central Plan por Jeffrey A. Tucker:
.. The old priorities are not repealed but rather become like a layer in an old growth tree, the branches of which are a gigantic bureaucracy living off the taxpayer. But who can complain since the system is "free?"
Has this system reinforced a certain pattern of negligence among parents, the sense that there is no real need to push the child in this direction or that or otherwise insist on excellence and help the child achieve it? Certainly that is the usual path that central planning takes. When we are no longer owners of a resource, and no one in particular takes responsibility for outcomes, and the things we do to affect those outcomes don’t produce substantial results anyway, why bother?
.. We let the state take over the core responsibilities from the age of 5 through 22, and then we are shocked to discover that kids leave college without a sense of work ethic, without marketable skills, and even without the ambition to succeed in the real world .. Growing up takes longer and longer because the machinery we have in place saps individual initiative and punishes any outlying behavior.

sábado, janeiro 29, 2011

How to be a Rational Egoist

Um grande vídeo:


Yaron Brook, How to be a Rational Egoist

tipinhos

Recebido por mail:
DE ESQUERDA OU DIREITA?

Quando um tipo de direita não gosta das armas, não as compra.
Quando um tipo de esquerda não gosta das armas, quer proibi-las.

Quando um tipo de direita é vegetariano, não come carne.
Quando um tipo de esquerda é vegetariano, quer fazer campanha contra os produtos à base de proteínas animais.

Quando um tipo de direita é homossexual, vive tranquilamente a sua vida como tal.
Quando um tipo de esquerda é homossexual, faz um chinfrim para que todos o respeitem.

Quando um tipo de direita é prejudicado no trabalho, reflecte sobre a forma de sair desta situação e age em conformidade.
Quando um tipo de esquerda é prejudicado no trabalho, levanta uma queixa contra a discriminação de que foi alvo.

###
Quando um tipo de direita não gosta de um debate emitido por televisão, apaga a televisão ou muda de canal.
Quando um tipo de esquerda não gosta de um debate emitido por televisão, quer prosseguir em justiça contra os sacanas que dizem essas sacanices. Se for caso disso, uma pequena queixa por difamação será bem-vinda.

Quando um tipo de direita é ateu, não vai à igreja, nem à sinagoga, nem à mesquita.
Quando um tipo de esquerda é ateu, quer que nenhuma alusão à Deus ou à uma religião seja feita na esfera pública, excepto para o Islão (com medo de retaliações, provavelmente).

Quando um tipo de direita tem necessidade de cuidados médicos, vai ver o seu médico e, seguidamente, compra os medicamentos receitados.
Quando um tipo de esquerda tem necessidade de cuidados médicos, recorre à solidariedade nacional.

Quando a economia vai mal, o tipo de direita diz-se que é necessário arregaçar as mangas e trabalhar mais.
Quando a economia vai mal, o tipo de esquerda diz-se que os sacanas dos proprietários são os responsáveis e punem o país.

Quando um tipo de direita leu este teste, fá-lo seguir.
Quando um tipo de esquerda leu este teste, não o transfere de certeza.

African Presidents Index


The African Presidents Index: the good, the bad and the ugly
(Scribd)

Private law

Hayekian Anarchism:
Should law be provided centrally by the state or by some other means? Even relatively staunch advocates of competition such as Friedrich Hayek believe that the state must provide law centrally. This article asks whether Hayek’s theories about competition and the use of knowledge in society should lead one to support centrally provided law enforcement or competition in law.

In writing about economics, Hayek famously described the competitive process of the market as a “discovery process.” In writing about law, Hayek coincidentally referred to the role of the judge under the common law as “discovering” the law in the expectations and conventions of people in a given society. We argue that this consistent usage was more than a mere semantic coincidence — that the two concepts of discovery are remarkably similar in Hayek’s thought and that his idea of economic discovery influenced his later ideas about legal discovery.

Moreover, once this conceptual similarity is recognized, certain conclusions logically follow: namely, that just as economic discovery requires the competitive process of the market to provide information and feedback to correct errors, competition in the provision of legal services is essential to the judicial discovery in law.

In fact, the English common law, from which Hayek drew his model of legal discovery, was itself a model of polycentric and competing sources of law throughout much of its history. We conclude that for the same reasons that made Hayek a champion of market competition over central planning of the economy, he should have also supported competition in legal services over monopolistic provision by the state — in short, Hayek should have been an anarchist.

apostles of macroeconomics


Hayek on Milton Friedman and Monetary Policy

Citação Liberal do Dia

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
H. L. Mencken

Democracia

Capitalism is Peaceful, Socialism is Force

Capitalism is Peaceful, Socialism is Force:
Now imagine this question: "Should affluent people be forced to give money to the poor, at gunpoint or the threat of jail?" Put that way, you'd have a lot fewer than 99 percent saying, "yes." You'd have about a third of Americans, those who form the base of Obama's socialist constituency, saying "yes" for sure. To people like this, it's inconceivable that any one person should have more wealth than another, and it's impossible to bring this about without the force of government.
.. liberals and socialists are assuming that the imperative to serve others trumps civility and justice .. "You have more, therefore you must give up some of it."
This is the exact opposite of an ethics based on individual achievement, individual responsibility, freedom, capitalism and private property. None of these things can survive if you operate on an ethics that undermines them. For a time, America had it both ways. It operated on a system of freedom, capitalism and private property, including profit. But the idea likewise spread that you should feel guilty for your achievements and accomplishments, at least when those accomplishments lead to material success (as accomplishments tend to do).
In reality, it's not the purpose of government to do anything -- except to ensure that people are left alone. Anyone who values freedom, independence and life on earth wants only one thing: Protection ... including from government itself.

FCIC is a sham!


Peter Schiff: FCIC is a sham!

macroeconomics is a fraud

Copernican Revolution Coming to Economics por Steve Forbes:
The entire way we measure the economy is fundamentally flawed .. The current methodology has been a critical enabler for the obese growth of Big Government.
.. economic activity is composed of transactions between two or more parties .. how in the world can consumer spending make up 70% of the economy? We're all consumers, and we're all suppliers.
Countless other absurdities .. Take, for instance, the Keynesian notion of "aggregate demand," .. a single number can truly sum up how an economy does as a whole. Quality goes by the boards .. GDP numbers couldn't tell the difference between East Germany's clunky, junky Trabant and West Germany's Volkswagen ..
.. Ben Bernanke and other central bank pooh-bahs will be regarded as emperors with no clothes, men who fundamentally misunderstood the nature of money and fell for the fatal conceit that a central bank can steer the course of an economy ..

Indeed, government efforts to "temper" the "ups and downs" of business cycles will eventually be regarded as preposterous and hubristic. We'll no longer have .. declaring the Keynesian axiom that if consumers don't spend on a scale satisfactory .. then the government must seize their resources and spend them for them.
Put more simply, the whole idea of macroeconomics is a fraud.

Abolish the Federal Reserve


Milton Friedman - Abolish the FED!

quinta-feira, janeiro 27, 2011

mais sobre o modelo sueco

The Swedish Model por Johnny Munkhammar:
In the mid-1800s, Sweden was one of the poorest and underdeveloped countries in Europe. Then, Finance Minister Johan August Gripenstedt, a proponent of de Tocqueville and Bastiat, launched far-reaching economic reforms that forged Sweden's transition to capitalism ..

.. By 1890, Sweden's economic growth was the fastest in the world, and remained so through 1950 ..
But Socialism was fashionable in post-War Europe and Sweden was not immune. The 1970s were a decade of radical government intervention in society and in markets, during which Sweden doubled its overall tax burden, socialized a slew of industries, re-regulated its markets, expanded its public systems, and shuttered its borders. In 1970, Sweden had the world's fourth-highest GDP per capita. By 1990, it had fallen 13 positions. In those 20 years, real wages in Sweden increased by only one percentage point.
By the late 1980s, though, Sweden had started de-regulating its markets once again .. These decisive economic liberalizations, and not socialism, are what laid the foundations for Sweden's success over the last 15 years .. as businesses have become more productive and people's incomes have risen, living standards improved ..
Challenges such as youth unemployment, inflexible housing markets, waiting lists for health services, and too-high taxes, still plague the country. So reforms that increase economic freedoms should and will continue —the results so far have been more than encouraging. That is the real lesson to be learned from "the Swedish model."

Language

Via O Insurgente,


Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography - Language

Curiosity

Muito interessante, Curiosity Thrilled the Cat:
.. the free market promotes another virtue that is rarely mentioned: curiosity .. the field of curiosity and interest is now undergoing a “renaissance.” Psychologists are doing research on curiosity and its connections to emotions and creativity, among other areas, that could shape our understanding of personal and professional success.
Curious employees. Competition to get and keep jobs favors those who are curious about new knowledge and opportunities.
Curious employers. Similarly, competition among companies favors employers, and particularly entrepreneurs, who not only seek novelty but are comfortable with uncertainty.
Curious consumers. Advertisers also understand the power of curiosity .. the abundance of choice in the free market also encourages us to be curious about our options;

State of the Union (3)

No seguimento de State of the Union (2),


State of the Union 2011

quarta-feira, janeiro 26, 2011

Government Failure Caused the Great Recession

How Government Failure Caused the Great Recession:
But then why didn’t a banking crisis erupt sooner—say, in the recession years of 1990-1991 or 2001-2002? What changed in recent years that led to business risk-taking capable of wrecking the U.S. housing market and the U.S. banking system and other banking systems throughout the world?
..we identify a potent mix of six major government policies that together rewarded short-sighted collective risk-taking and penalized long-term business leadership:
1. Bank misregulation, in particular the international Basel capital rules, including a U.S. adaptation to them..
2. Continually increasing leverage—driven largely by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac credit policies and the political obsession with taking credit for increased homeownership ..
3. The enlargement of the riskier subprime and Alt-A mortgage markets by Fannie and Freddie through the abandonment of proven credit standards ..
4. The FDIC, Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, and Congress undertook .. regulatory decisions led to an absence of creditor discipline .. and the “too big to fail” expectation of a government bailout.
5. The increase in FDIC deposit insurance .. Today, virtually no depositor has any “skin in the game” .. almost no incentives in recent years to monitor the excessive risk-taking by banks that contributed to the housing bubble and financial crisis
6. Artificially low and sometimes negative real federal funds rates from 2001 to 2005—a result of expansionary Fed monetary policy ..
Underlying all these six government policies is the underappreciated problem of government failure, a problem rooted in the absence of incentives to reconcile a policy’s social costs and benefits with the costs and benefits to the policy makers. Therefore, the banking crisis should be understood more fundamentally as a government failure than as a market or business failure.

State of the Union (2)

No seguimento de State of the Union,


Ron Paul "We're NOT Threatened Militarily By ANY Country AT ALL! IT'S ALL A POLITICAL GAME!" pt.1

The History of Gun Control (4)

No seguimento de The History of Gun Control (3),
"Gun control" is a job-safety program for criminals.
John R. Lott Jr.

Rounding Up the Guns por John R. Lott Jr.:
.. guns do make it easier to kill people, but guns also make it easier for people to defend themselves. The defensive argument is especially important for people who are weaker physically — women and the elderly — and for those living in crime-infested neighborhoods, such as poor blacks in urban areas. Criminals are overwhelmingly young males who are physically stronger than their potential victims. Police are extremely important in deterring crime, but they understand that they almost always arrive on the scene after the crime has been committed. Simply telling people to behave passively or to defend themselves in some other way is not very good advice. Having a gun is by far the safest course of action for those left to confront a criminal alone.
I really wish that I could point to something that seems to work here .. The big question that people have to ask when examining a law is, who is most likely to obey it? If the law-abiding, good citizens are the ones most likely disarmed by the law, the law can actually make crime rates worse.

State of the Union


Sen. Rand Paul: State of the Union Response

The State Against Blacks

The State Against Blacks, sobre Walter Williams:
Analysis of this issue launched Mr. Williams's career as a public intellectual, and in 1982 he published his first book, "The State Against Blacks," arguing that laws regulating economic activity are far larger impediments to black progress than racial bigotry and discrimination. Nearly 30 years later, he stands by that premise.
Over the decades, Mr. Williams's writings have sought to highlight "the moral superiority of individual liberty and free markets," as he puts it. "I try to write so that economics is understandable to the ordinary person without an economics background." His motivation? "I think it's important for people to understand the ideas of scarcity and decision-making in everyday life so that they won't be ripped off by politicians," he says. "Politicians exploit economic illiteracy."

WikiLeaks (16)

No seguimento de WikiLeaks (15),


Ron Paul: Don't Blame WikiLeaks!
We should view the Wikileaks controversy in the larger context of American foreign policy. Rather than worry about the disclosure of embarrassing secrets we should focus on our delusional foreign policy. We are kidding ourselves when we believe spying, intrigue and outright military intervention can maintain our international status as a superpower while our domestic economy crumbles in an orgy of debt and monetary debasement.

ovelhismo eleitoral

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
No dia das eleições, o que deve fazer a ovelha:
  • votar no lobo que promete mudar o sistema;
  • votar no lobo menos mau;
  • votar nulo, porque nenhuma das alternativas é aceitável;
  • votar nulo, como protesto;
  • votar em branco, porque nenhuma das alternativas é aceitável;
  • votar em branco, como protesto;
  • sobretudo votar, é um direito conquistado;
  • sobretudo votar, um carneiro não pode deixar os outros decidirem por si;
  • sobretudo votar, quem não vota não pode reclamar;
  • sobretudo votar, porque um bom carneiro vota;
  • ir votar, porque sempre se sai de casa;
  • não votar, e ir aproveitar o dia.
Bom dia de eleições a todos os nossos leitores. Façam o favor de exercer os vossos direitos individuais.

[ postado n'O Insurgente no último domingo ]

The History of Gun Control (3)

No seguimento de The History of Gun Control (3)


Guns versus Crime [John R. Lott, Jr.]

Environmental policies hurting the poor

Um artigo interessante: How Western Environmental Policies Are Stunting Economic Growth in Developing Countries:
Governments and large agribusinesses are increasingly using the environmentalist movement and its policy arm of green nongovernmental organizations to justify imposing protectionist non-tariff barriers on developing countries. Wrong-headed environmental policies and “green” protectionism are contributing to a resurgence of malaria in some countries and endangering millions of jobs in developing countries. Even the World Bank’s mandate to foster economic development is being subverted to serve environmentalist and protectionist objectives. The EU and the U.S. need to eliminate protectionist policies and regulations that are masquerading as environmental safeguards and refocus the World Bank on promoting economic development to alleviate poverty.

School Choice and the Middle Class


School Choice and the Middle Class - Q&A with Matthew Ladner of the Goldwater Institute

go bankrupt

Interviewing Thomas Sowell On Basic Economics:
We're getting very close to the point where we could have states default on their debts for the first time. What should happen then?

They should go bankrupt. I'm looking forward to it.

There are three possibilities -- bankruptcy or bailouts or ruinous taxations. Of the three, bankruptcy is the one that makes the most sense because it's the one that conveys the most accurate knowledge -- which is that they've run out of money and couldn't cover all the promises they made ..
What do you think we should replace it [the Federal Reserve] with? What do you think we should do?

Well, it's like when you remove a cancer, what do you replace it with? I understand the wonderful theories about the great things the Federal Reserve can and should do. That's totally different from what the Federal Reserve has done and is likely to do in the future .. The incentives are there for both the Fed and for the political branches to interfere with the economy, to the detriment of the economy.

terça-feira, janeiro 25, 2011

The Fed is responsible


Ron Paul "The Federal Reserve Is Responsible For The Inflation, The Business Cycle, Unemployment!"

Capitalism Q&A

Capitalism Q&A:
1. What is capitalism?
Capitalism is a social system based on the principle of individual rights. The term capitalism is used here in the broader philosophical political sense, and not in the narrower economic sense, i.e. a free-market.

2. What is a capitalist?
An advocate of laissez-faire is known as a capitalist, i.e., novelist Ayn Rand is a capitalist; i.e., though economically Engels came from a wealthy background, politically he is recognized as a socialist/communist because of his ideas.

3. What should I do first?
Visit the Capitalism Visual Tour first. The Tour is the most popular feature of this site. The rest of The Capitalism Site assumes you are familiar with the material provided in the tour.

Festa da democracia



Reportando à imagem acima, a maior parte das pessoas reconhecerá que o resultado já estará decidido, e que um voto não faz a diferença, pelo que não vale a pena votar nestas eleições. Contudo, por todo o mundo, em "democracia", há eleições em que um voto não faz a diferença. E as pessoas vão votar.

segunda-feira, janeiro 24, 2011

Keynes is evil

Vatican bank chief issues warning about US, European economic policies:
In addition, also following Keynesian wisdom, the U.S. is printing more money and has looked at increasing taxes in an effort to generate more public revenues.
"Zero interest rates factually equal a de facto transfer of wealth from he who was a virtuous saver (although not for Keynes) to he who has become virtuously (for Keynes) indebted," he said. "Practically, it's about a hidden tax on poor savers, a tax transferred to the wealthy, (that is), over-indebted states, business people and bankers.”
"They destroy savings, which is an essential resource to create the base for bank credit; they promote speculation on real estate and securities, create illusory artificial values rather than scaling them down; they push consumption to more risky debt; they alter the market with artificial values and thus lead to belief that the very markets do not know how to correct themselves."

The biggest danger, Tedeschi said, is that zero interest rates "permit, or impose governments into management of the economy, without correcting inefficiency and facilitating distortions in the competition."
"Someone," he said, "is hoping for new taxes to sustain a new statism that reinforces a rather weak political class in the whole western world."

Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle

No seguimento de
- Visions and Frameworks in Macroeconomics
- Mainstream Macro in an Austrian Nutshell
- Pontes Keynes-Hayek (numa perspectiva Austríaca)
- Keynesian And Austrian Theory, AS-AD Paradigm


Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle | Roger W. Garrison

sábado, janeiro 22, 2011

Greenspan e o gold standard

Stunner: Gold Standard Fully Supported By... Alan Greenspan!?:
.. the most recent addition to the motley group of contrite voodoo shamans is none othe than the man who is singlehandedly responsible for America's addiction to cheap toxic credit ..: former Fed Chairman - Alan Greenspan!
"We have at this particular stage a fiat money which is essentially money printed by a government and it's usually a central bank which is authorized to do so. Some mechanism has got to be in place that restricts the amount of money which is produced, either a gold standard or a currency board, because unless you do that all of history suggest that inflation will take hold with very deleterious effects on economic activity... There are numbers of us, myself included, who strongly believe that we did very well in the 1870 to 1914 period with an international gold standard."
sobre o gold standard:
In his autobiography, former Randian Alan Greenspan says he has, "always harbored a nostalgia for the gold standard's inherent price stability--a stable currency was its primary goal."
Gold and Economic Freedom por Alan Greenspan em 1967:
Under a gold standard, the amount of credit that an economy can support is determined by the economy's tangible assets, since every credit instrument is ultimately a claim on some tangible asset ..
In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation .. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.

.. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard.

eis a política monetária a matar gente

The Darker Side of Inflation… is Death:

As you can see, it wasn’t until the Fed announced its QE lite program that agricultural commodities exploded above long-term resistance. And in case there was any doubt, QE 2 sent them absolutely stratospheric. As a consequence of this, many developing nations (where food accounts for a larger percentage of income) have already broken out in riots, protests, and other demonstrations.
It’s really a striking situation to see academics employ policies that result in actual people starving and still say with a straight face “inflation is contained.” Seriously, how does Bernanke see the situations occurring abroad (and now in the US) and NOT think he might be off base ..

Most folks talk about inflation and think of the images of Weimar Germany where people literally burned money for fuel. They don’t think of starvation and food riots. But that’s exactly what’s occurring in the world right now as a result of Bernanke and his cronies attempts to keep the big banks (all of which are insolvent) in business ..

Free to Smoke

The Tobacco Freedom Index por David Klein:
I want to first start off by saying that I am not a smoker, I do not like cigarette smoking whatsoever and in fact am allergic to it. However I still believe that smoking has become somewhat of a gauge when it comes to liberties enjoyed by the individual and how they have slowly diminished in this "land of the free."
It is not up to an elected official to choose which portion of society gets what sort of privilege. If an individual business owner wants to offer his services to cigarette smoking patrons, then so be it. If he does not, then so be it. It is after all his business and his property so it is his decision. In this manner if a smoker wishes to go to a restaurant or bar to smoke and eat in peace without being discriminated against, he may choose to go to an establishment that allows this.
.. May I as an individual with certain unalienable rights be allowed to make my own decisions as to how I want to engage in my daily activities? Or should I be told how to carry on and be told that perhaps this is for the best and for my own safety and health? Thanks for caring, but I would rather be allowed to choose ..

not piracy (3)

Na continuação de not piracy (2)

getting it wrong again

Europe risks getting it wrong again on rate rises por Hugh Hendry:
The euro project has not gone according to plan. It reminds me of the story of the James Bond character Q, based on the British intelligence officer Charles Fraser-Smith. It was he who invented a compass for spies hidden in a button that unscrewed clockwise. The contraption was based on the simple yet brilliant theory that the unswerving logic of the German mind would never guess that something might unscrew the wrong way.

This is really what happened with the euro. New member states were supposed to take lower German interest rates and invest their resources wisely to improve and deepen their productive capacity. Instead, they used the advantage to finance speculative asset bubbles. The peripheral nations of Europe turned the wrong way. The Germans are unhappy.

not piracy (2)

Na continuação de not piracy,

Euphemisms for Socialism

The Many Euphemisms for Money Creation (Mises.org):
With monetary-policy experts making increased use of confused language, the corrective counterforces against a damaging monetary policy are greatly diminished. This is because confused language — and its result, confused thinking — makes it increasingly difficult for the public to understand the medium- to long-term consequences of policy measures; and that knowledge is clearly needed to resist damaging policies.
Thanks to the doublespeak of monetary-policy experts, the launch of monetary policy leading to high inflation may not be discernible by the public at large. A monetary policy can thus be unleashed that the public would presumably not agree to if it were informed of the medium- and long-term consequences.

As a result, there is strong reason to fear that confused, Orwellian language and the confused thought it produces pave the way to high inflation.
Leitura recomendada: George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language," 1946

not piracy

sexta-feira, janeiro 21, 2011

Ozzy Osbourne Caused the Arizona Shooting

Ozzy Osbourne Caused the Arizona Shooting:
Blaming anything for the Arizona shooting is insane, because the shooter, Jared Loughner, is insane.
I remember when Dungeons and Dragons was causing an outbreak of mayhem and badness around the country. And when it was heavy metal. And then it was video games. At one point it was the Ouija board. Oh, and television. And comic books. Movies. At one point, of course the madness was caused by reefer, and teen sex by Rock & Roll. Oh, let’s not forget science fiction... pure evil.
Let’s not forget the most laughable example:

When Ozzy Osbourne caused an outbreak in teen suicide.

What we have, right now, are corrupt political thugs on both sides trying to doubly victimize Gabrielle Giffords and 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green by exploiting Arizona massacre, claiming it’s caused by freedom of speech .. or legal guns .. or too much freedom for the dangerously common folk .., et cetera.
But, really, you might as well blame Ozzy Osborne.

Destroying Capitalism from Within


Ayn Rand - Destroying Capitalism from Within (o som vai melhorando)


Retirado daqui:
Altruism is incompatible with capitalism - and with businessmen. Businessmen are a cheerful, benevolent, optimistic, predominantly American phenomenon. The essence of their job is the constant struggle to improve human life, to satisfy human needs and desires - not to practice resignation, surrender, and worship of surrfering. And here is the profound gulf between businessmen and altruism: businessmen do not sacrifice themselves to others-if they did, they would be out of business in a few months or days-they profit, they grow rich, they are rewarded, as they should be. This is what the altruist, the collectivist and the other sundry 'humanitarians' hate the buinessmen for: that they pursue a personal goal and succeed at it. Do not fool yourself by thinking that altruists are motivated by compassion for suffering: they are motivated by hatred for the successful.

Fuga de cérebros e socialismo (5)

No seguimento de Fuga de cérebros e socialismo (4), Young people are fleeing Portugal in droves. But is this a bad thing?:
The question remains whether these highly skilled workers would want to go back to Portugal once they've found success abroad .. A side effect of our Roman Catholic heritage is that we aren't very good at praising people for their successes and rewarding merit. Portuguese elites are suspicious and small; they are distant from the rest of the population, which in turn does not trust them either .. We have problems with words like meritocracy and competitiveness, seen as part of a vocabulary used by capitalists or by over-achievers.

humanidade


Meet 2011 TED Prize Winner: JR

An Open Letter to Statists Everywhere

An Open Letter to Statists Everywhere por Lawrence Reed:
.. If you’re among those many people who spend most of their time and energy advocating a litany of proposals for expanded government action, and little or no time recommending offsetting reductions in state power, then this letter has indeed found its mark.
Why is it that if I disagree with your means, you almost always assume I oppose your ends? I want people to eat well, live long and healthy lives, get the prescription drugs and health care they need, etc., etc., just like you. But I happen to think there are more creative and voluntary ways to get the job done than robbing Peter to pay Paul through the force of government ..
Why is it that you statists never seem to learn anything about government? You see almost any shortcoming in the marketplace as a reason for government to get bigger but you rarely see any shortcoming in government as a reason for it to get smaller. In fact, I wonder at times if you are honestly capable of identifying shortcomings of government at all! Do we really have to give you an encyclopedia of broken promises, failed programs, and wasted billions to get your attention? Do we have to recite all the workers’ paradises that never materialized, the flashy programs that fizzled, the problems government was supposed to solve but only managed into expensive perpetuity?

Power for Purchase


Walter E Williams - Power for Purchase

Does Your Vote Matter? (10)

No seguimento de Does Your Vote Matter? (9), Why Vote?:
Why would an economist be embarrassed to be seen at the voting booth? Because voting exacts a cost - in time, effort, lost productivity - with no discernible payoff except perhaps some vague sense of having done your "civic duty." As the economist Patricia Funk wrote in a recent paper, "A rational individual should abstain from voting."

The odds that your vote will actually affect the outcome of a given election are very, very, very slim ..
As pessoas tardam a compreender este racicínio — que o resultado das eleições já está decidido no princípio do dia da votação, e que as hipóteses de um voto mudar algo são ínfimas, primeiro porque sempre foram ensinadas a pensar o contrário, ou seja a pensar mal; depois, porque caso admitissem o contrário teriam de enfrentar a evidência que pouco podem fazer para mudar a política nacional (denial, learned helplessness); e por fim por uma espécie de vertigem pelo paradoxo.

De facto, se toda a gente não votasse, então faria sentido ir votar e influenciar o resultado. Mas demasiada gente sempre vota, pelo que esse paradoxo é puramente hipotético. Deixar que toda uma linha de pensamento seja poluída por um paradoxo hipotético é algo infelizmente demasiado comum. Uma dinâmica semelhante acontece na utilização do chamado princípio precaucionário - desperdiçar recursos para precaver acontecimentos trágicos imensamente improváveis.

Pior é o que esta prática nos diz acerca da atitude das pessoas relativamente às suas acções. Se votar nada muda, então votar esperando que algo mude é pensamento mágico. Aproximadamente metade da população eleitoral vota.

quinta-feira, janeiro 20, 2011

Rothbard on Friedman


Murray N. Rothbard on Milton Friedman (audio - removed noise)
part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4 | part 5

triste sina liberal

É, também, por isto por Maria João Marques:
Cavaco Silva é um centrista, um estatista, um defensor dos benefícios do Estado e está a léguas à minha esquerda. No seu tempo, no entanto, não se pode deixar de reconhecer que protagonizou um (o único?) projecto político estruturado de centro-direita em Portugal, tendo deixado em 1995 um país consideravelmente mais livre do que o país de 1985 – as privatizações e a liberalização da comunicação social são os paradigmas disto mesmo.

O que Cavaco Silva e o seu sucesso eleitoral demonstram é que os eleitores se estão nas tintas para os complexos de esquerda dos políticos (até dos políticos de direita ou que se dizem de direita) e que em Portugal um projecto de centro-direita não vinga não por culpa do tal país sociologicamente de esquerda mas porque a direita não encontra líderes que dizem, sem vergonhas nem desculpas pelas suas convicções, o que são e ao que veem. (Ou, em alternativa, são socialistas de facto, estão na direita por engano e, novamente, os eleitores não os escolhem porque não dizem o que são e ao que veem.)
Faz-se a pergunta se o mesmo se aplica aos liberais, ou se o país é mesmo povoado por gente que se sente confortável com o estatismo dominante...

What do taxes pay for?


Simpsons - What do taxes pay for?

Monetary Cranks

Where Have All the Monetary Cranks Gone? por Lawrence W. Reed:
John Law of Scotland ranks as one of history’s more colorful monetary cranks. When Louis XIV died in 1715, he left the French treasury flat broke and a five-year-old successor on the throne. It wasn’t hard for the snake-oil salesman Law to secure an audience with the toddler king’s regent, Philippe d’Orléans. Philippe embraced Law’s recommendation, which was to simply print the money the regime needed. The regent then appointed Law the official controller general of finances, a perch from which he orchestrated a massive hyperinflation that ruined the currency in a mere five years.

The French did it all over again during the 1790s, when Robespierre and the revolutionaries argued that the recipe for a currency of reliable value was paper and ink mixed with guns, bayonets, and confiscated Catholic Church property. That little ride took about five years too — and ended in a similar wreck.
Maybe we don’t hear the words “monetary crank” these days because the culprits truly have vanished and everybody has smartened up when it comes to money. But wait a minute! If that were the case, how do we explain a dollar that’s now worth about a nickel of its 1913 value, the year something called the Federal Reserve was created?

Nader & Paul


Ralph Nader & Ron Paul Interviewed Together!

quarta-feira, janeiro 19, 2011

Citação Liberal do Dia

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
But the wisdom of Government .. took away .. the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them [the poor] a dependence on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness. In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase of poverty.

Capitalist rules


Paul Romer's radical idea: Charter cities

terça-feira, janeiro 18, 2011

Unfunded Liabilities (2)

No seguimento de Unfunded Liabilities, Pension pledges have left UK and US 'insolvent':
Daniel Hofmann, chief economist at Zurich Financial Services and a co-author of the report, said: "Under a proper accounting framework, most advanced economies would be fiscally insolvent... In the absence of far-reaching structural corrections, there will be a high risk of sovereign defaults."

The UK economy is "close to unsustainable", he said, due to its mix of high public debt and deficit. The US finances, though, would already be "no longer sustainable" were the dollar not the world's reserve currency, he added.

.. People will have to work longer, pay more towards age-related care and receive less in old age. In the European Union, 16pc of the population is currently above 65. Within 40 years, it will be 28pc, he added.

Statism’s Assembly Line


Statism's Assembly Line

Everybody loves Global Warming (2)

No seguimento de Everybody loves Global Warming e via O Insurgente, A Case Against Precipitous Climate Action por Richard Lindzen:
The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the earth .. The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations. Such hysteria simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public .. Climate is always changing ..
Given that the evidence .. strongly implies that anthropogenic warming has been greatly exaggerated, the basis for alarm due to such warming is similarly diminished .. history tells us that greater wealth and development can profoundly increase our resilience.

.. numerous agendas are developed to exploit the issue. The interests of the environmental movement in acquiring more power, influence, and donations are reasonably clear. So too are the interests of bureaucrats for whom control of CO2 is a dream-come-true .. Politicians can see the possibility of taxation .. Nations have seen how to exploit this issue in order to gain competitive advantages .. organizations selling offsets to one’s carbon footprint while sometimes acknowledging that the offsets are irrelevant. The possibilities for corruption are immense .. And finally, there are the numerous well meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them ..
Uma amostra das credenciais democráticas dos simpáticos ecologistas — MICHAELS: China-style dictatorship of climatologists

Lessons from Atlas Shrugged


Lessons from Atlas Shrugged
The winning entry of the Ayn Rand Institute's ATLAS SHRUGGED video contest

Zimbabwe Ben (2)

No seguimento de Zimbabwe Ben, ‘It Can’t Be Any Worse’:
.. Gideon Gono has been at the center of Zimbabwe's economic decline since he was appointed governor of the country's Reserve Bank in 2003 .. Gono is known in some circles as "Mr. Inflation" because he has overseen the printing of billions of dollars in worthless notes .. He blames most of his country's woes on Western economic sanctions .. Gono sees himself as a rags to riches success story ..
Your critics blame your monetary policies for Zimbabwe's economic problems. I've been condemned by traditional economists who said that printing money is responsible for inflation. Out of the necessity to exist, to ensure my people survive, I had to find myself printing money. I found myself doing extraordinary things that aren't in the textbooks. Then the IMF asked the U.S. to please print money. I began to see the whole world now in a mode of practicing what they have been saying I should not. I decided that God had been on my side and had come to vindicate me.
.. If you raise the interest rate you'll be friends of people who have access to money. If you lower the interest rate, you'll be the darling of borrowers, but pensioners will curse you to hell. It's never about popularity. At all times you are definitely hurting some people in the economy.

Ron Paul vs. the Fed



Ron Paul:
.. apologists for the Fed have been recycling the old canard about how increased transparency threatens the Fed's so-called political independence.

By independence, they are referring to the Fed's ability to greatly impact the economy with virtually no meaningful oversight .. This is extremely dangerous for our country, yet this power and secrecy is defended as some kind of public good, which is patently ridiculous.

sábado, janeiro 15, 2011

The Tragedy of the Euro (2)

No seguimento de The Tragedy of the Euro, Europe's Tragic Crisis — The Tragedy of the Euro por David Howden:
.. Anna Schwartz on the topic: "Contagion, if the term is used accurately, occurs only in circumstances in which other countries are free of the problems of the country that first experienced trouble and yet suffered unwarranted investor disaffection."

.. the word "contagion" does not seem to apply in any way to the eurozone's current debt crisis. A centrally directed monetary policy through the ECB in Frankfurt promoted a program of instability for over a decade. A unique interest-rate policy for the greater monetary union led to wildly divergent real interest rates. High-inflation periphery countries — those affectionately known as the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain) — witnessed their real interest rates dive to the lowest levels that most of their citizens had ever witnessed.

Not one country within the Eurozone today seems to fit the conventional definition of the word contagion — all their crises are linked by the same root cause.

###
.. Lacking an exit from the common currency or a direct monetization of their debts, .. there are five avenues that a highly indebted European country may pursue to evade default.

1. Reduce public spending
2. Increase competitiveness to boost tax income
3. Increase revenue through higher taxes
4. Pursue deregulation-induced growth
5. Finally, seek external aid
Without an understanding of the true nature of the crisis, policies will fail to rectify its root causes .. the institutional setup of the monetary union not only allowed but also encouraged the type of imbalances that are now becoming increasingly apparent. Continual bailouts will not solve the real issue at hand.

How Free is America’s Economy?


How Free is America's Economy? The 2011 Index of Economic Freedom

The History of Gun Control (2)

No seguimento de The History of Gun Control,
"When Seconds Count, The Police Are Only Minutes Away"
A Nation of Cowards por Jeffrey Snyder:
Should you ever be the victim of an assault, a robbery, or a rape, you will find it very difficult to call the police while the act is in progress .. The idea that protection is a service people can call to have delivered and expect to receive in a timely fashion is often mocked by gun owners, who love to recite the challenge, "Call for a cop, call for an ambulance, and call for a pizza. See who shows up first."

Many people deal with the problem of crime by convincing themselves that they live, work, and travel only in special "crime-free" zones. Invariably, they react with shock and hurt surprise when they discover that criminals do not play by the rules and do not respect these imaginary boundaries ..
It is by no means obvious why it is "civilized" to permit oneself to fall easy prey to criminal violence, and to permit criminals to continue unobstructed in their evil ways .. a society that stigmatizes the carrying of weapons by the law-abiding -- because it distrusts its citizens more than it fears rapists, robbers, and murderers -- certainly cannot claim this distinction ..

.. The necessary implication of these propositions, however, is that life is not worth defending. Far from being "civilized," the beliefs that counterviolence and killing are always wrong are an invitation to the spread of barbarism. Such beliefs announce loudly and clearly that those who do not respect the lives and property of others will rule over those who do.

I, Toaster (2)

No seguimento de I, Toaster,


Thomas Thwaites: How I built a toaster -- from scratch

Liberalism

The Case for Freedom por Thomas E. Woods — the introduction to the new Mises Institute edition of Ludwig von Mises's Liberalism:
.. Classical liberalism stands for individual liberty, private property, free trade, and peace, fundamental principles from which the rest of the liberal program can be deduced ..
Indeed Mises firmly anchors liberalism to private property .. Mises shows in this book and throughout his corpus of work that the system of private ownership of the means of production redounds to the benefit not merely of the direct owners of capital but indeed to all of society.
The principal tool of liberalism, Mises maintained, was reason .. a much sounder foundation than the fickle irrationalism of emotion and hysteria by which other ideologies seek to stir the masses. "Liberalism has nothing to do with all this," Mises insists. "It has no party flower and no party color, no party song and no party idols, no symbols and no slogans. It has the substance and the arguments. These must lead it to victory."
.. As Mises argued, there is no stable, long-term substitute for the free economy. Interventionism, even on behalf of such an ostensibly good cause as social welfare, creates more problems than it solves, thereby leading to still more intervention until the system is entirely socialized, if the collapse does not occur before then.
.. Mises advances a compelling argument for classical liberalism, which sees "economic harmonies" – to borrow Frédéric Bastiat’s formulation – where others see antagonism and strife. Classical liberalism, so ably defended here by Mises, seeks no coercively derived advantage for anyone, and for that very reason brings about the most satisfactory long-run results for everyone.

Kids Aren’t Cars


"Kids Aren't Cars" trailer - kidsarentcars.com

Mosquitos first (5)

No seguimento de Mosquitos first (4) e via O InsurgenteGreens lie, Africans die:
.. Why does half the world’s population remain at risk of getting malaria? Why are some 250 million people infected annually – with 90% of the agonizing chills, fevers, nausea, brain damage and death occurring in sub-Saharan Africa?

.. But malaria is also, and much more so, a disease of callous, intransigent environmental extremism and wanton disregard for human life. A disease whose prevention is hampered, and actively thwarted, by pervasive opposition to mosquito-killing insecticides, and mosquito-repelling DDT.
But the lies and obstruction are prevalent, and effective. Here are just a few of the most egregious.
  • Lies and obstruction: “Nets are just as good as insecticides”
  • “Bednets are more cost-effective than indoor spraying.”
  • “Mosquitoes will become resistant to DDT.”
  • “DDT has dangerous side effects.”
  • “DDT will poison the global biosphere”
The “net” effect of these bald-faced lies is that anti-pesticide zealots are perpetuating poverty, misery, disease and death in malaria-endemic regions all over the world. Safe in offices .. these baby killers and their financial benefactors are violating the most basic human rights of people in poor nations: the right of access to technologies that enhance and safeguard life.

Unions and Bankrupt Cities


Former LA Mayor Richard Riordan on Schwarzenegger, Unions, and Bankrupt Cities

A free market agenda for economic stability

The Rent’s Still Too Damn High — Here’s How to Lower It por Kevin Carson:
.. far from being the result of the “free market,” the recent speculative bubble was the result of over a century’s worth of government intervention .. Someone recently challenged me to describe exactly what government interventions I’d eliminate to remedy this situation .. So here, without further ado, is my free market agenda for macroeconomic stability.
  • I’d eliminate all patents and copyrights ..
  • I’d eliiminate all legal barriers to the competitive supply of secured credit ..
  • I’d cease to enforce all absentee title to vacant and unimproved land ..
  • I’d fund all long-distance transportation with user fees, and make the heavy trucks pay 100% of the cost of the roadbed damage they cause ..
  • I’d eliminate zoning laws which impose enormous costs on small producers by making it illegal to run microenterprises out of their homes ..
  • And I’d eliminate “safety” codes ..
O artigo merece ser lido.

Escola Austríaca vs. ignorância económica


Entrevista a Francisco Capella por Luis Figueroa

sexta-feira, janeiro 14, 2011

esquizo-Krugman-frenia

Strange Case of Dr. K and Mr. K por Don Boudreaux:
Paul Krugman again insists that trade with low-wage countries – especially China – threatens to depress wages in America (“Dealing With the Dragon, January 4). So I again refer Mr. Krugman (the shrill pundit) to Dr. Krugman (the skilled scholar of trade).

In his excellent 1996 essay “Ricardo’s Difficult Idea,” Dr. Krugman pointed out that wages are determined by worker productivity. Therefore, low wages reflect low productivity. This fact, once grasped, reveals that low-wage countries have no general competitive advantage over high-wage countries. Dr. Krugman continued: “Someone like [James] Goldsmith [a protectionist] looks at Vietnam and asks, ‘what would happen if people who work for such low wages manage to achieve Western productivity?’ The economist’s answer is, ‘if they achieve Western productivity, they will be paid Western wages’ – as has in fact happened in Japan.”

Substitute “Mr. Krugman” for “Goldsmith,” and “China” for “Vietnam,” and Dr. Krugman’s learning should calm Mr. Krugman’s fears.

Violence in Political Discourse


Stefan Molyneux - True News: 'No Place for Violence in our Political Discourse' ?!?!?

esquizo-Krugman-frenia

Strange Case of Dr. K and Mr. K por Don Boudreaux:
Paul Krugman again insists that trade with low-wage countries – especially China – threatens to depress wages in America (“Dealing With the Dragon, January 4). So I again refer Mr. Krugman (the shrill pundit) to Dr. Krugman (the skilled scholar of trade).

In his excellent 1996 essay “Ricardo’s Difficult Idea,” Dr. Krugman pointed out that wages are determined by worker productivity. Therefore, low wages reflect low productivity. This fact, once grasped, reveals that low-wage countries have no general competitive advantage over high-wage countries. Dr. Krugman continued: “Someone like [James] Goldsmith [a protectionist] looks at Vietnam and asks, ‘what would happen if people who work for such low wages manage to achieve Western productivity?’ The economist’s answer is, ‘if they achieve Western productivity, they will be paid Western wages’ – as has in fact happened in Japan.”

Substitute “Mr. Krugman” for “Goldsmith,” and “China” for “Vietnam,” and Dr. Krugman’s learning should calm Mr. Krugman’s fears.

running out of schemes


Gerald Celente: Internet nuke bomb waiting to go off

Optimizing Happiness

De um professor meu, um paper que eu oportunamente tive oportunidade de criticar — mas não de influenciar directamente — Optimizing Happiness (PDF) de Manel Baucells e Rakesh K. Sarin:
An underlying tenet of our human condition is that to gain happiness, you must either earn more or desire less. Indeed, in our model, initial adaptation level and social comparison act to reduce the available budget. Reference levels can be moderated through reframing or perspective seeking activities. Such activities, however, require an investment of time.
While adaptation and social comparison are unavoidable to a certain extent, we believe that individuals do have some tools available to moderate these factors. It is possible that through
reframing activities such as spiritual practices, meditation or prayer, one might gain a better perspective on life and reduce the harmful effects of comparison. Such practices, however, require considerable time, effort and discipline. An admiring fan congratulated a violinist for playing so beautifully and said “I would love to play like you.” The violinist answered: “Yes, but would you love it even if you had to practice 10,000 hours?”
In a preliminary attempt, we show that reframing activities, such as meditation or other spiritual practices, may improve happiness, but that these activities require a commitment of time.
Time is the ultimate finite resource; therefore, its allocation between work and leisure to improve happiness needs further empirical and theoretical inquiry. Restoring a harmonious balance between work and leisure is a precondition to “catching” the elusive goal of happiness.

Socialismo monetário


Why the World Is Financially Doomed in Four Charts
:

1. When money is dear and difficult to borrow, then productivity and capital accumulation are encouraged, speculation, malinvestment and debt-based consumption are discouraged.

2. When money is "free" (zero-interest rate policy) and liquidity is unlimited, then the opposite conditions hold: speculation in risk assets, malinvestment and debt-based consumption are all encouraged, and productivity and capital accumulation are heavily discouraged.

If the Federal Reserve had never been created

10 Things That Would Be Different If The Federal Reserve Had Never Been Created:
  • #1 .. the U.S. government could conceivably have a national debt of zero dollars ..
  • #2 .. the U.S. government would likely not be spending one penny on interest payments ..
  • #3 .. there would not even have to be a debate about raising "the debt ceiling" ..
  • #4 .. we would not even need the IRS ..
  • #5 .. we would not be on the verge of national insolvency ..
  • #6 .. the big Wall Street banks would not have such an overwhelming advantage ..
  • #7 .. we would have an economy with little to no inflation ..
  • #8 .. the U.S. dollar would not be a dying currency ..
  • #9 . we would not have an unelected, unaccountable "fourth branch of government" ..
  • #10 .. the American people would be much more free ..

quinta-feira, janeiro 13, 2011

Global Warming Panic explained


Global Warming Panic explained


I find your lack of faith disturbing — ou peer review segundo alguns.

In the long run it’s all microeconomics

In the long run it's all microeconomics por Tim Worstall:
Most of us are familiar with JM Keynes quip that in the long run we are all dead. To change this slightly, I want to point out that in the long run, it's all microeconomics.

Macroeconomics, the study of, among other things, demand, investment, equilibrium at the level of the whole economy and so on is, if you believe most macroeconomists, the only important thing about the whiole science of economics. And I would argue that that's entirely the wrong way around. Macro might be important, useful, possibly even interesting if you like equations, in the short term but the only thing that matters in the long term is microeconomics.
Which is why, in the long term it's all microeconomics. The plain old basics: incentives, prices, flexibility, rule of law and so on. Whatever macro tells us, the secrets of long term economic growth are still rooted in micro.

Liberty for Africa (2)

No seguimento de Liberty for Africa,


Atlas Freedom Champions: Adedayo Thomas

Mais sobre o modelo sueco (3)

No seguimento de Mais sobre o modelo sueco (2), Stagnating Socialist Sweden por Per Bylund:
.. There is now proof that Sweden, even in terms of official statistics, isn't that great and actually experienced no real economic growth (at least in terms of real jobs, which should be of obvious interest to Keynesians) for more than half a century.
Yes, you read that correctly: there was no net increase in the number of jobs in the private sector in Sweden over a period of 55 years. In other words, starting five years after the end of the Second World War, the Swedish economy was at a complete standstill.
While the private sector has provided zero net job creation, the public sector has seen monstrous growth during this period .. And the population has increased even more, which explains the higher unemployment rates as well as the great chunk of people of working age pushed into public universities to further "educate" themselves.

This, in turn, explains how the Swedish government was ultimately unable to continuously prop up the welfare state from the 1970s into the early 1990s. As there were no international wars to rely on for increased — however, temporary — exports, and there was no genuine international growth to piggyback on, the bluff was called and a return to reality called for.

Chile

Transforming the Americas – The Chilean Experience:
In 1972, Chile had the second worst economy in Latin America. Inflation reached 500%. Production lagged due to frequent worker strikes. Nationalization, price controls and high tariffs were the order of the day. The state controlled more than 70% of all economic output. Today Chile is an economic powerhouse. The first “Latin Tiger” has the best long-term development record on the continent and was recently first to join the prestigious Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). How did Chile go from basket-case to poster child in the Latin world? All signs point to the courageous free-market reforms ..

Telling the story of Chile’s success is complicated by the violent aspects of the military coup that ended Salvador Allende’s disastrous socialist experiment. Friends of liberty, of course, will never endorse human rights abuses committed by either the Left or Right. Nevertheless, some troubling aspects of Chile’s liberation from socialism should not obscure the lessons of its reforms, which began in the mid-70s ..

Over the course of more than 15 years, state enterprises were privatized, inflation was curbed, pensions reformed, imports and levies slashed and price controls abolished. Slowly, methodically, Chile became a model for reform and economic liberty. It was less a miracle than an incremental application of sound economic principles across all sectors ..

Latin America Needs Free Trade


Latin America Needs Free Trade & Drug Legalization: Q&A with WSJ's Mary Anastasia O'Grady

WikiLeaks (15)

No seguimento de WikiLeaks (14), How propaganda poisons the mind - and our discourse por Glenn Greenwald:
Last week, on January 3, The Guardian published a scathing Op-Ed by James Richardson blaming WikiLeaks for endangering the life of Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the democratic opposition in Zimbabwe.
There was just one small problem with all of this: it was totally false. It wasn't WikiLeaks which chose that cable to be placed into the public domain, nor was it WikiLeaks which first published it. It was The Guardian that did that. In early December, that newspaper -- not WikiLeaks -- selected and then published the cable in question. This fact led The Guardian -- more than a full week after they published Richardson's accusatory column -- to sheepishly add this obscured though extremely embarrassing "clarification" at the end of his column:
This article was amended on 11 January 2011 to clarify the fact that the 2009 cable referred to in this article was placed in the public domain by the Guardian, and not as originally implied by WikiLeaks. The photo caption was also amended to reflect this fact.
The undeniable truth from the start is that, with very few exceptions, WikiLeaks has only been publishing those cables which its newspaper partners first publish (and WikiLeaks thereafter publishes the cables with the redactions applied by those papers). This judicious editorial process -- in which WikiLeaks largely relies on the editorial judgment of these newspapers for what to release -- was detailed more than a month ago by the Associated Press.

quarta-feira, janeiro 12, 2011

Lilliputian Liberty


Lilliputian Liberty

Nudge nudge

No seguimento de de boas intenções está o socialismo "moderado" cheio, The politics of 'Nudge':
.. The aim of nudge is to make life easier by presenting opportunities, not about making life difficult for those who perversely take choices the state disapproves of.
Nudge is about altering the choice architecture .. The aim is to present people with an easy opportunity to express a choice.

It is, of course, open to abuse. People will clamour for what they call a nudge to stop people from doing things they disapprove of. Already Nanny State is looking for ways to make it difficult for people to do what they want to ..
.. watch out for any attempt to use your inertia to steer you. Freedom should be the default.

Keynesianismo



Private Wealth, Public Burden:
A private job pays for itself and more, a form of wealth creation that is self-sustaining;

But a government job only sucks at taxes, burdening the economy, until the money runs out.

terça-feira, janeiro 11, 2011

sobre Almoços Gratuitos e o Mercado Livre

Why Economists Hate Presents, And How 7th-Graders Solved The Problem:
.. we had no trouble conscripting 10 kids to participate in an economic experiment that aimed to improve the efficiency of gift giving.

We started by giving out gifts in the worst way possible: randomly .. we asked them: On a scale of zero to 10, how much do you value your gift? They were underwhelmed .. In all, the students gave a total of 50 points to the gifts they’d received.

We asked the kids how to improve the situation, without bringing anything new into the room .. So we gave them a chance to trade with each other. And suddenly, the classroom was like the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, with everybody swapping corn-futures contracts in a trading frenzy.

Then we closed trading in the market, and asked the kids to assign a value to the gift they wound up with .. After the trading session, the total value of the gifts in the room was 82, up from 50 before trading began — even though the gifts themselves had not changed.
A experiência demonstra que mesmo num jogo de soma-nula, a satisfação das pessoas é maior quando existe possibilidade de transaccionar de acordo com preferências individuais.

A analogia é com o assistencialismo estatal, em que os "direitos sociais", na forma de serviços prestados pelo Estado, podem ser equiparados a presentes com muito pouca liquidez — logo são despesas com uma ínfima eficiência em termos de bem social, isto quando comparadas com "presentes" mais líquidos (ou com maior liberdade de escolha).

LEITURA ADICIONAL: Cash only e Cash only (2).