sexta-feira, agosto 31, 2012

Rand Paul @ RNC (2)

No seguimento de Rand Paul @ RNC

Rand Paul's RNC Speech and the Future of the Republican Party

The Passive Voice of Tyranny

The Voice of Tyranny:
In George Orwell's "Politics and the English Language," he lists the passive voice as part of a "catalogue of swindles and perversions" — techniques in political writing "designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

In the active voice, the subject of the sentence takes a direct action. For example, you might say Richard Nixon made a mistake. Or a policeman hit Olsen with a tear-gas canister.

In the passive voice, the subject of the sentence is the recipient of the action.[1] Mistakes were made. Olsen was struck in the head. Responsibility was avoided.

Telling a story of violence in the passive voice is like putting on a play where figures in shadow beat a man lying in the spotlight. The dramatic focus is on the injured party, and the attackers remain undefined.

.. passives are also devilishly useful for expressing imprecise collectivist thoughts; they squeeze the human action out of an event, taking responsibility away from real persons and casting it into thin air or onto vague collectives.

Orwell wrote that this is a vicious cycle: our language "becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts."

the future of the Ron Paul revolution

Ron Paul Full Speech With Rand's intro - We Are the Future Rally in SunDome Tampa Florida

estupidez proibicionista

Cigarette plain packaging, has it worked on illicit drugs?:
Today Big Prohibition is celebrating its High Court victory over ‘Big Tobacco’ on the issue of plain packaging of cigarettes. Tobacco companies had challenged the legislation to have all cigarettes sold in drab green packs without logos or company identification ..
… Ms Roxon said the plain packaging laws were a vital preventative public health measure, which removed the last way for tobacco companies to promote their products ..

Curiously, only the manufacturers seem to note the fact that the legislation will probably be counterproductive .., ”… The illegal cigarette black market will grow further when all packs look the same and are easier to copy.”

The legislation is in fact an exercise in cognitive dissonance. Illicit drugs such as marijuana, coke, heroin, speed, and the rest are, and always have been, sold in plain packaging. Manufacturers and distributors of these products seem to studiously avoid the use of identifying logos; in fact they avoid anything that can be used to identify them. Even with increasingly draconian measures being used to stamp out their activities, sales of their products seem to be increasing.

Big wowser, big prohibition, and their ally, big government have never learned the lessons of history in relation to attempts to ban popular products ..

the height of rudeness and stupidity

The Daily Show: Michael Steele Former RNC Chairman Rips The RNC Over Treatment of Ron Paul

Privatise business schools

Privatise business schools por Len Shackleton:
Higher education has many purposes, but one of the most important is the preparation of young people to enter the world of work, either employment in managerial and professional roles or starting their own businesses. This purpose should clearly be pursued most determinedly in business schools ..

.. business schools should be encouraged to break away from universities to encourage a greater emphasis on preparation for employment, more effective and focused learning, and cost savings to government and students.

.. Schools are too detached from business, arguably overly concerned with theory rather than practice. Staff have inadequate private sector experience and are often rather keener on personal research projects aimed at the costly and unnecessary ‘Research Excellence Framework’ than on working with businesses.

Many students have little or no contact with those currently employed in business, particularly since placements and internships have gone into decline, partly as a result of employment regulation .. there are few sanctions for persistently poor or ineffective teachers.

Short academic years and undemanding assessment requirements can’t prepare students for the pressures of business life, and it is no wonder that employers continue to report dissatisfaction with many of the business students they interview ..

Indeed, the over-charging of business students to keep arts and humanities departments open is a hidden national scandal ..

It’s time to change things. Business schools’ location within a university culture of excessive regulation, backward-looking trade unions, anachronistic contracts and a medieval calendar does nothing to promote excellence ..

The government .. can make it clear that there will be no more public funding for business teaching. It can allow universities to keep the proceeds of the sale of their schools, a one-off gain at a difficult time. The rest of the higher education sector will profit from the example of the innovation which will be unleashed, and it may be that other parts of universities could seek to follow in due course – law schools are promising candidates.

Ron Paul RNC Tribute Video

Ron Paul RNC Tribute Video

clarifying the Global Warming policy debate

Global Warming Is about Social Science Too por Steven Horwitz:
To help clarify what’s at stake, I offer a list of questions that are (or should be) at the center of the debate over anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming ..

1. Is the planet getting warmer?

2. If it’s getting warmer, is that warming caused by humans? ..

3. If it’s getting warmer, by what magnitude? ..

4. What are the costs of global warming? ..

5. What are the benefits of global warming? ..

6. Do the benefits outweigh the costs or do the costs outweigh the benefits? ..

7. If the costs outweigh the benefits, what sorts of policies are appropriate? ..

8. What are the costs of the policies designed to reduce the costs of global warming? ..
First, it is perfectly possible to accept the science of global warming but reject the policies most often put forward to combat it. One can think humans are causing the planet to warm but logically and humanely conclude that we should do nothing about it.

Second, people who take that position and back it up with good arguments should not be called “deniers.” They are not denying the science; they are questioning its implications. In fact, those who think they can go directly from science to policy are, as it turns out, engaged in denial – denial of the relevance of social science.

Ethics and Entrepreneurship

Israel Kirzner on Ethics and Entrepreneurship

Intervention is Violence

The Hidden Fallacies Behind Intervention por Clarence B. Carson:
The necessity for government to intervene in the economic realm is widely accepted today. The media of communication frequently report interventionist measures in much the same manner as they do natural occurrences.
Government is not analogous to a physician, a surgeon, a veterinarian, a mechanic, a plumber, a tailor, or a repairman. It has no healing in its wings. It cannot heal, mend, repair, alter, or otherwise fix things. It is that organization with the monopoly of the use of force in a given jurisdiction. It can only be effectively used in the ways that force can be used.

If we must conceive of government on analogy with some job or function, we had best choose one that fits it. Analogous figures by which government may be personified are: soldier, policeman, jailer, judge, tax collector, law maker, foreign diplomat, and executioner. Although opinions will differ as to which is the best for personifying government, my preference is jailer ..
.. it will never do to forget that beneath the velvet glove of government is the mailed fist. That mailed fist cannot heal or mend; it can only be used to force people to some course of action against their will.
.. There is an order for things and an order for man. The law of gravity, for example, is a part of the order for things. The market and economy belong to the order for man .. man is an acting participant in the market and economy by way of his reason, volition, morality, and the use of his faculties. Man cannot alter the nature of the market and economy, but he can disrupt, distort, and obstruct their operation. He can use them or abuse them. They are a part of the moral framework within which he lives, and he may choose his course but not the consequences of it. That is the order for man.

The essential feature of the market is this. It consists of those exchanges which take place when willing buyers and willing sellers meet .. Economy is the reasonable means available to man to deal with the condition of scarcity which he confronts. The market is the social way for man to dispose of his surplus and acquire what he most wants from others.
Intervention, then, proceeds on the basis of two fallacies. One is a misconception of the nature of government. The other is a misconception of the nature of the market and economy. No one is likely to make these errors when he keeps clearly in mind that government can be personified as a jailer, that the market consists of that order within which willing exchanges are made, and that economy is simply using as little of one’s scarce materials to get the most of what is wanted.

Rand Paul @ RNC

2012 RNC Rand Paul

Going Anarcho

Give It Up! por Jeffrey Tucker:
.. I looked at history. It’s always the same. Political rule never results in what you think it should. Why? After reading Ludwig von Mises, Henry Hazlitt, and Murray Rothbard, it finally dawned on me. The government doesn’t do anything that the market can’t do better.

I ticked through the list in my mind. Helping the poor, getting people health care, providing education, building roads, providing retirement income, inspiring virtue, boosting the economy, making people secure. Even the whole court system is a mess, and so people resort to private solutions…and profitably.

Plus, government does tons of stuff that shouldn’t be done at all, like giving privileges to elites, bombing innocent people, meddling in business where it has no business, taxing people into poverty, and debauching the currency.

Finally, I gave in and embraced an idea that was floating around the margins of opinion at the time but has since become huge. We don’t need this thing called the state. Whatever problems exist in the world are best solved — or attempted to be solved — by people themselves. The politicians and bureaucrats contribute nothing, and they cause an astonishing amount of destruction.

What liberation that moment was! It was a bit scary at first to think this way. Then it became easier. Then the world started making a lot more sense to be. This step helped frame up events. I could see things for what they were without all the political illusions. And crucially, I realized that I had to take responsibility for my own life rather than banking on someone else’s (sometimes deadly) pipe dream.

Love of theory is the root of all evil

Afterburner with Bill Whittle: The Train Set

Rant Liberal do Dia

Sei que há muita gente ainda chateada porque alguns supermercados cobram pelos sacos de plástico. Independentemente da parte regulatória da coisa (sim, é verdade que o saquinho anda a destruir a nossa sociedade, o ambiente, e a fazer desaparecer a roupa interior dos armários), e independentemente da sabedoria dessa política comercial... o facto é que muita gente -- a esmagadora maioria -- passou a não levar mais sacos do que precisa, e isto por causa de uns míseros cêntimos de euro (um preço da mesma grandeza do custo de um saco).

Isto demonstra que quando há preços razoáveis, as pessoas _pensam_ e moderam o seu consumo - e os prestadores de serviços moderam a sua oferta, e esta racionalidade de acção resulta numa cultura de consumo zeloso e consciente ("responsável") - e numa poupança de recursos (leia-se matéria prima - "ambiente", trabalho, dinheiro, tempo de labor e de pensamento).

Quando as coisas são "gratuitas" (ou baratas), é o regabofe. E para mais quando não são fruto de uma troca comercial, e são um "direito" em que alguém tem de receber só porque está vivo, outros têm de prestar contrariados porque têm orçamentos limitados, e terceiros pagam esses orçamentos inchados com impostos sobre tudo o que mexe ou está parado -- e tudo isto é a constituição genética dos "serviços" estatais -- é a orgia de despesismo, ineficiência, indolência, incompetência, corrupção, irracionalidade e imoralidade.

E mesmo assim há quem conceba que partes vitais do mundo em que vivemos sejam geridas com este sistema.

it usually begins with Ron Paul

'Ron Paul's rEVOLution' discussion w/ Rand Paul and Brian Doherty

Division of Labor & Time Structure of Production

Whatever Happened to the Division of Labor?:
... mainstream economics treats production as timeless and capital as homogeneous. That is, it describes production as an instantaneous transformation of inputs into output. In mathematical form: Output = f(Labor, Capital), where “f” stands for a mathematical function that turns labor and capital into output. Now “capital” in this expression would have to stand for the wire, the cutters, the whitener, and other things that go into pin production, which implies that all kinds of capital inputs are perfectly interchangeable with one another–that is, homogenous. For some purposes that may be a useful simplifying assumption, such as when explaining why adding units of (homogenous) capital at some point increases output at a decreasing rate, the principle of the diminishing marginal product.

But treating production as timeless and capital as homogenous doesn’t allow us to distinguish different stages of production (or capital heterogeneity, as Austrian economists would call it) from one another and it doesn’t allow us to include the passage of time in the production process. It does, however, sometimes allow economists greatly and unhelpfully to simplify certain concepts in microeconomics, such as market competition, as well as allow them to use the kind of aggregates we see in current versions of macroeconomics, such as Keynesian macroeconomics.

Heterogeneous capital and the passage of time, or what taken together has been called the “time structure of production,” are not only features of Adam Smith’s DOL; as you might suspect, they are also essential for understanding how real economies develop. Fortunately, those Smithian insights are today still a vital part of Austrian economics, especially in Austrian theories of capital and the business cycle.
Many libertarians harbor an understandable suspicion bordering on hostility toward modern macroeconomics, given the crony bailouts and economy-distorting stimulus policies that a number of macroeconomists have advocated in recent years. Beware though of tossing the Smithian baby out with the Keynesian bathwater!

Corporations, People, Freedom

No seguimento de
- Annie, a melancia mentirosa (4)

What Citizens United Didn't Say

quinta-feira, agosto 30, 2012

Citação Liberal do Dia

The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.
George Orwell, in a letter to Malcolm Muggeridge (4 December 1948), published in Malcolm Muggeridge : A Life (1980) by Ian Hunter


No seguimento de Cronyism in America

Libertarians and Drugs

Libertarians and Drugs:
.. you do not have to be an extreme individualist to oppose the war on drugs. Nor do you have to be terminally naïve about your own physical and mental limitations. Indeed, it is perfectly possible to look at the society around you and observe that, well, the war on drugs has not worked and has not achieved any of its objectives, really – and therefore some sort of alternative approach makes sense if one can step away from the “grrr drugs are evil” mindset for a couple of minutes. It is also perfectly possible to think that if cocaine was legal then I, as an individual, might be tempted to take more of it despite the effect it has on me physically* – and then choose not to do so for precisely this reason.

And that is at the very core of the argument for the legalisation of drugs – it is about giving individuals the choice about what they consume and how they act. It allows individuals to factor in a whole host of different interests and concerns, and then decide based on those concerns – which include those around them, wider society, and their own mental and physical limitations – what they choose to consume. It is basically giving adults the choice to decide on what they want to do; in short, treating adults like adults.


Barefoot Gen, HIroshima Destroyed

Syria, Hayek, and the Puppeteers’ Fatal Conceit

Syria, Hayek, and the Puppeteers’ Fatal Conceit:
The Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek labeled this indefatigable arrogance in the economic realm a “Fatal Conceit,” arguing that “the knowledge of the circumstances of which we must make use never exists in concentrated or integrated form but solely as the dispersed bits of incomplete and frequently contradictory knowledge which all the separate individuals possess.” Or, as Ralph R. Reiland summarized it, ”the flawed concept…that one man or one group, one cabinet of commanding officials or one central committee, or one team of planners from Harvard and Yale, can gather and understand enough information in order to reshape the world around them according to their wishes, reshape human nature, and design” their own outcome.

The fatal conceit of the crafters of foreign policy is that, with their limited knowledge and nearly unlimited power, they can play marionette and pull the strings of the entire Middle East to shape it in their own cruel fashion, without adverse consequences. The history of misbegotten foreign policy schemes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the covert interventions preceding them that brought so much initial blowback, are enough to prove they still don’t know what they’re talking about in the case of Syria.

The Mystery Of Happiness

John Stossel - The Mystery Of Happiness

there can be no unregulated, or unfettered, markets

The Free Market Doesn’t Need Government Regulation por Sheldon Richman:
What’s overlooked—intentionally or not—is that the alternative to a government-regulated economy is not an unregulated one. As a matter of fact, “unregulated economy,” like square circle, is a contradiction in terms. If it’s truly unregulated it’s not an economy, and if it’s an economy, it’s not unregulated. The term “free market” does not mean free of regulation. It means free of government interference, that is, legal plunder and other official aggressive force.
What regulates the conduct of these people? Market forces. (I keep specifying “in a freed market” because in a state-regulated economy, competitive market forces are diminished or suppressed.) Economically speaking, people cannot do whatever they want—and get away with it—in a freed market because other people are free to counteract them and it’s in their interest to do so. That’s part of what we mean by market forces. Just because the government doesn’t stop a seller from charging $100 for an apple doesn’t mean he or she can get that amount. Market forces regulate the seller as strictly as any bureaucrat could—even more so, because a bureaucrat can be bribed. Whom would you have to bribe to win an exemption from the law of supply and demand?
.. there can be no unregulated, or unfettered, markets. We use those terms in referring to markets that are unregulated or unfettered by government. As long as we know what we mean, the expressions are unobjectionable.

poder local e União Europeia

EU politics begins at home

Rant Liberal do Dia

De passagem pela Alemanha dei por mim a pensar o que é que os alemães pensam do Estado Português. Muitos, com certeza que nada de muito agradável. É uma lei económica que a ajuda internacional a países em vias de desenvolvimento acaba por sustentar os regimes corruptos que mantêm os países na pobreza. Com a "ajuda" da "Uropa" a Portugal, aconteceu mais ou menos a mesma coisa. Não que esteja a dizer que haja corrupção em Portugal -- aliás toda a gente vê quão bem aplicado foi o brutal endividamento estatal dos últimos anos. Até dá gosto pagar impostos. E os alemães, esses, devem acotovelar-se para enviar o dinheiro deles para cá.

Economic Mobility

Surprise: Economic Mobility is Alive and Well in America!


Excertos de Automutilação de Tomás Belchior:
.. o Estado não tem conhecimento, nem incentivos, para resolver os problemas do País. Tem conhecimento e incentivos para usar e tentar manter o poder que lhe é oferecido pelos que lhe exigem soluções para os problemas do País. São duas perspetivas diferentes que, para mal dos nossos pecados, raramente estão alinhadas.
O Estado regula para tentar proteger as empresas que existem hoje (mais vale um emprego na mão do que dois a voar) e taxa-as se estas e os seus acionistas começarem a ganhar demasiado dinheiro (somos todos contra a desigualdade desde pequenos). Até lá, como governar para todos é o mesmo que não governar para ninguém (e não se ganham eleições se não se governar para alguém), distribui uns subsídios e abre umas exceções.

O português não se transforma num santo quando vai para o governo ou para a administração pública. Na melhor das hipóteses fica o português que sempre foi. Na pior, com a polícia, o fisco e a Assembleia da República à mão, transforma-se no tiranete que nunca conseguiu ser. Sendo absurdo ter como objectivo de política económica mudar a natureza humana ou a estrutura do universo, resta-nos o caminho inverso. Resta-nos reconhecer que a única visão, a única estratégia, o único plano de que as empresas precisam é de um plano para levar euros do bolso dos consumidores para os seus próprios bolsos. Ou seja, precisam de começar a ajudar os portugueses a concretizar as suas visões individuais em vez de ajudarem o Estado a acabar com elas.
Há falta de procura? Tenho uma sugestão para os nossos empresários: comecem por exigir que o Estado deixe mais dinheiro na conta dos contribuintes e trabalhem a partir daí.

The Abolition of Public Schooling

Sheldon Richman and David Boaz: The Abolition of Public Schooling

the Problem of Security

Tiffany’s and the Problem of Security por Jeffrey Tucker:
I was just at a Tiffany jewelry store. If you know these places, you know that they have a serious security issue to deal with. What is the total value of the inventory? It’s a guess. It’s in the many millions, maybe tens of millions. And it’s all on display, out in the open, in a store that lives off its reputation for high-end products.
A security problem? I would say so! They have to protect against stupid criminals with guns and bags, but also real-life versions of brilliant criminals such as the legendary jewel thieves we meet in James Bond and Mission Impossible. This is serious business.
The employees are extremely nice, but formal. They want to help you shop, but there is an atmosphere in the room that seems to guide what you say and do.
.. the model at Tiffany cannot apply in every respect to places like airports or bus terminals or stadiums. Every institution and situation is different. As a private store with special needs, Tiffany set out to blend consumer service and happiness with maximum safety and security. It can be done. Only the market can truly discover the right path.
And that’s the real tragedy of the current system. It is stupid. It can’t learn. It cares nothing for the balance of rights and responsibilities. It is all about going through the motions and doing what the regulations require.

Tiffany’s security works because the company owns property and serves the public. TSA and the entire apparatus of Homeland Security does neither.

Justice in a Stateless Society

Jan Narveson: Justice in a Stateless Society

Economics Is Not Materialist

Economics Is Not Materialist:
One accusation made against economists, and particularly those of us strongly inclined to support free markets, is that we only, or mostly, care about material things. This totally misunderstands economics and how economists understand the world. In fact, the truth is just the opposite. For good economists the material world is secondary to the subjective perceptions of human beings, and what makes us wealthy is not more stuff per se, but rather the increasing satisfaction of our wants–whatever they might be.
What creates value–and makes people better off–is not physical things but the human mind. People are made better off not by physical goods per se, but by having their wants satisfied. We have wants that need physical goods to satisfy them, but we also have wants that can be satisfied by friendship, love, or a religious experience. Economics cares only that people have wants. For economic analysis, it doesn’t matter what those wants are. Material goods are a potential means to satisfy them, but material wants are far from our only ends.

Is Capitalism "Pro-Business?"

Is Capitalism "Pro-Business?"

um emprego criado politicamente, dois destruídos atrás

Jobs Versus Net Jobs por Thomas Sowell:
There is no free lunch in the job market, any more than there is anywhere else. The government can always create particular jobs or save particular jobs, but that does not mean that it is a net creation of jobs or a net saving of jobs.

The government can create a million jobs tomorrow, just by hiring that many people. But where does the government get the money to pay those people? From the private economy – which loses the money that the government gains.

With less money in the private sector, the loss of jobs there can easily exceed the million jobs created in the government or in industries subsidized by the government ..

In addition to reducing jobs in the private sector by taking money out of the private sector to pay for government-subsidized jobs, the Obama administration has made businesses reluctant to hire because of the huge uncertainties it has created for businesses as regards the cost of adding employees ..
When President Obama boasts of the number of jobs created during his administration .. What has been the net effect? During this administration, the proportion of the working age population that has a job has fallen to the lowest level in decades .. Creating particular jobs does not mean a net increase in jobs.

quinta-feira, agosto 16, 2012

The Equality Song

Subsídiodependência (2)

No seguimento de Subsídiodependência, Segurança Social… o que é isso? por Nuno Branco:
.. a maior diferença entre um sistema de poupança a sério e a fraude que é a SS está mesmo no acesso que temos ao nosso dinheiro. Se tiver por exemplo um PPR e amanhã me colocar no caminho de um autocarro o dinheiro que até então tinha poupado fica para os meus herdeiros. Na SS? Fica para o Estado .. Na SS? As reformas seguem critérios políticos de “bem social” sem respeito algum pelo conceito de esperança média de vida ou pela sustentabilidade a longo prazo da SS – esse é sempre um problema do “próximo governo”.
Mas mais importante que tudo no PPR o dinheiro é meu, não preciso que milhares de jovens sejam forçados a participar no PPR que eu escolhi para ter a minha reforma. Na SS? Já sabemos, o dinheiro é de todos, ou seja… não é de ninguém.

Acabar com a SS aumentaria o rendimento de famílias e empresas que ficariam com mais capital disponível para investir e criar emprego. Melhor que tudo, as nossas poupanças ficariam nas nossas mãos e até o pior gestor de fortunas do mundo consegue fazer melhor que o Estado, afinal basta não comprar dívida pública de países falidos.

the Mafia is Better than the State

Top 10 Reasons Why the Mafia is Better than the State

Friedman @ 100 (5)

No seguimento de Friedman @ 100 (4), An Ode to Milton Friedman por Bryan Caplan:
All of my other adolescent intellectual heroes - Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises - gradually came to seem less impressive in my eyes. But the greatness of Milton Friedman is as constant as the Northern Star. Whether he's calling for the abolition of medical licensing in Capitalism and Freedom, or analyzing the co-movement of the money supply and money velocity in A Monetary History of the United States, Friedman takes controversial stances, and actually convinces people.

Why does Friedman stand apart from my other idols? In the end, it's the absence of obscurantism. Friedman makes his points as simply, clearly, and bluntly as possible. He never rambles on. He never hides behind academic jargon. He almost never makes bizarre philosophical assertions to explain away obvious facts. He never tries to win fair weather converts by speaking in vague generalities about "liberty." Friedman never turned out to have feet of clay, because he played every game barefoot.

Many libertarians look down on Friedman for his moderation and statist compromises. I'm about as radical as libertarians come, but these critics have never impressed me. By any normal standard, Friedman was a very radical libertarian indeed. If you're going to take points off for a few deviations, remember to give him extra credit for earnestly trying to convince people who didn't already agree with him. His arguments for liberty weren't just intellectually compelling; he made them with humor and common decency. Friedman was a paragon of libertarian friendliness - a model of the nobility we should all aspire to.

Reason versus "Self-Ownership"

um ponto válido:

Justice and Law

Randy E. Barnett on Justice and Law

The Fed Has Forgotten Freedom

The Fed Has Forgotten Sound Money, And Now Just Manipulates Interest Rates por James Dorn:
The presumption is that the Fed can promote economic growth through easy money and “exceptionally low” interest rates. More likely, the Fed is creating another asset bubble, this time in the bond markets. Treasury yields are at historic lows. The quest for higher yields is inflating a bubble in junk bonds, and investors are taking on more risk as they try to improve their performance.
The underlying problem, of course, is that in a world of pure government fiat monies and no monetary rule, the Fed and other central banks are subject to political pressure to “stimulate” the economy—a goal that is unattainable via money creation or interest-rate manipulation.

.. Getting rid of monopolistic central banks and moving toward a rules-based system of competitive “free banking” would offer an alternative that is consistent with a liberal economic order.
Liberalism—in the sense of limited government, individual freedom, and responsibility—requires sound money. Central banks always pose a threat to liberty. Today, in Zambia, the central bank has outlawed all transactions using foreign currencies (mostly U.S. dollars). Those who disobey face a prison term of up to 10 years. Monetary freedom cannot be ensured while central banks have a monopoly on money.

Morality Crisis

Walter E Williams - Morality Crisis


Subsídiodependência por Nuno Branco:
Portugal é sem dúvida o país do subsídio. Nada origina maior indignação que o corte de subsídio. Perante a escolha de enfrentar grupos organizados ou de distribuir o dinheiro que é dos contribuintes o estado tem por hábito fazer a escolha mais fácil como vimos recentemente com o caso do cinema e os subsídios à "cultura" onde o Governo se apressou a criar um novo imposto para financiar os protestantes.

É importante que se diga que esta cultura do subsídio está a destruir Portugal. Não só financeiramente, porque origina uma carga fiscal que o País não aguenta, como também ao nível dos valores que orientam uma sociedade. O subsídio destrói a responsabilidade individual e a prazo mina a auto-estima daqueles que é suposto estarem a ser ajudados. A seu tempo criará uma geração de dependentes do Estado e um fardo para o sector produtivo da sociedade que, se nada for feito, conduzirá a um conflito entre uns e outros.
Dirão alguns que sem tais subsídios alguns bens de primeira necessidade deixarão de estar ao alcance de todos. É a política do medo. Quem não conhece outra realidade receia a mudança. Mas não diria o leitor que os sapatos são também um bem de primeira necessidade? E apesar da falta de subsídios quantas pessoas em Portugal andam descalças? A verdade é que na falta de subsídios o mercado é forçado a ser eficiente e a apresentar produtos para todas as carteiras e a solidariedade privada suprime o resto. Sim, solidariedade privada: se leu até aqui ainda fica surpreendido por esta ser muito mais forte onde o Estado tem uma presença reduzida?

Corporate Freeloaders

John Stossel - Corporate Freeloaders

Rant do Dia

Se há coisa que exaspera nas discussões políticas, é a tendência tribal das pessoas de argumentarem partidariamente -- os "bons" contra os "maus" -- como se fosse concebível que num sistema político-partidário que é uma fossa de maus incentivos (e consequentemente de péssimas práticas), houvesse gente impoluta a trabalhar com gente moralmente decadente, e tal classificação dependesse de uma questão estética do observador. E quando se explica "nem um nem outro", a resposta é INVARIAVELMENTE a mais infantil - ai e tal não são essas as regras do joguinho, não podes ser contra o sistema, deves ser fascista ou monárquico ou niilista, ou não tens coração, ou deves querer viver na Somália, etc e tal. As pessoas têm direito a não se chatearem com quem as trata como gado; mas quer dizer, compreendem que há quem não ache graça à plantação.


Montreal Student Riots, Quebec's Speech-Killing Bill 78, & Something Called the "Anarchopanda"

"Austrian" cooking

An Austrian theory of cooking … or a cooking metaphor for Austrian entrepreneurial theory por Lynne Kiesling:
One way to create value in cooking is through new combinations of what Mike calls “raw elements”. We can think of three categories of raw elements in cooking: ingredients, cooking techniques or the producer’s “interpretation”, and taste or the consumer’s “interpretation” ..

The first important point in this cooking-economics connection is fundamental to economics: the subjective nature of value. The consumer’s interpretation-perception-assessment of the dish is the most clearly subjective element of this dynamic process. Much of value rests in the perception of the ultimate consumer ..

The second important point that Mike raises is the entrepreneurship one. Value creation from cooking doesn’t just come from doing the same thing over and over, adding more cooks and more stoves to increase scale (OK, there’s some value in that, but diminishing returns). The cook who explores novel combinations of the raw elements (garlic-artichoke foam from a CO2 canister atop a sous-vide cooked and seared-finished halibut steak, anyone?) is an entrepreneur ..

Which brings us to the third important point in my Austrian theory of cooking/cooking as a metaphor for Austrian entrepreneurship. A system that will yield the most valuable and pleasing combinations of entrepreneurial economic or cooking activities will have low entry barriers (anyone can try to cook!) and a robust feedback-based system of error correction ..

Both cooking and economic activity are inherently purposeful, creative, and entrepreneurial, and are better when done in an environment that combines low entry barriers and robust error correction.

La crisis del estado del bienestar

Mauricio Rojas - La crisis del estado del bienestar

Citação Liberal do Dia

I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows.

This—the supremacy of reason—was, is and will be the primary concern of my work, and the essence of Objectivism.
Ayn Rand, The Objectivist, 1

quarta-feira, agosto 15, 2012

The Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle

No seguimento de
- Hayek conta como é
- Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle

the danger of Politics

The triumph of politics por Detlev Schlichter:
What I find fascinating is how many intelligent people are willing, even feel urged, to provide intellectual support for a system that is not the result of intellectual discourse but came about – rather non-intellectually – through sheer power politics, opportunism and hubris, and that is evidently failing. Our financial system (or non-system) offers a great example of Nietzsche’s dictum that investigating the true origin and the true motivation behind things most often leads to surprising results. The purpose and the clever design that most people later believe to be behind various institutions are often only projected onto them with hindsight.

Even more bizarre is the willingness to absolve the political class of their responsibility for the disaster they have inflicted on us, and to even look to the political class to now save us from this ever-growing mess. There is something disturbing and sickening about the pathetic reverence of commentators, analysts and economists for the policy bureaucracy, the central bankers, the G20, the finance ministers; how every word they say is scrutinized for any hint of another clever scheme, another policy initiative that could make all our past mistakes go away and that could make the status quo operable again. “The weak labour market could force the Fed into action,” as if the Fed had the key to the solution in some drawer, as if all that was needed now was another round of QE, another rate cut, another twisty price manipulation.

I wonder if forty years of paper money have made the politicians bolder and the economists dumber. But maybe at this stage they are both simply getting more desperate.

And nothing is more dangerous to your personal and material well-being, and your liberty, than desperate politicians. Desperate politicians think that the end justifies the means. No constraints on their ad hoc decision-making can be tolerated. Laws must be changed if they stand in the way.
Let’s face it. There is no master plan here. The political class is losing control. There is not even a conspiracy. There is a lack of control, of direction and of design. One quick-fix after another, and every one brings us a step closer to a very nasty endgame.
The biggest threat to your property and to your individual liberty does not come from markets and not even from the bankers. It comes from politics.

Gay Gun RIghts

Armed and Gay at the Right to Bear Arms Rally in Washington, DC

Democracia Directa

para registo...

Switzerland's direct democracy

Hard-Money Bank

Peter Schiff Opens Hard-Money Bank:
You can open accounts in dollars or gold bullion at the new Euro Pacific Bank Ltd, launched by Peter Schiff. this is an awesome idea

You can even get a “gold debit card” that you can use anywhere in the world. It’s backed by actual gold, which converts to whatever currency you’re needing at the time you visit an ATM.

There's one catch if you are an American: you can’t open an account at this bank if you’re a U.S. citizen.

U.S. security laws have become so intrusive, burdensome, and expensive to comply with, that it made it difficult for Schiff to offer the services in the U.S. So, Schiff opened his bank offshore, in St. Vincents and the Grenadines. It operates outside the jurisdiction of U.S. security regulations, and does not accept accounts from American citizens or residents.

Atlas Shrugged: Part II (2)

No seguimento de Atlas Shrugged: Part II

Atlas Shrugged Part II: Behind the Scenes

The Malthusian Fallacy

Decoding The Malthusian Fallacy por Luca Gattoni-Celli:
The Malthusian fallacy is a dreadful belief that human beings are net consumers of resources. Yet the productivity and ingenuity of humanity is presumably noticeable to those who do not hunt and gather their food barehanded. In 1974, two years after The Club of Rome published The Limits to Growth, an apocalyptic treatise warning of overpopulation and environmental calamity (linked above, see “tizzy”), the global population reached 4 billion people. Thirteen years later, in 1987: 5 billion people. Twelve years later, in 1999: 6 billion. Twelve more years passed and as of 2011 the global population stood at 7 billion individuals.

At no point during this near-doubling of most important number on earth did the sky catch fire. Life got better. And resources became less scarce! Julian Simon handily won his bet that copper, chromium, nickel, tin, and tungsten would be cheaper in 1990 than they had been in 1980, even though he let his pessimistic counterpart choose those five commodities. Resources held as private property are, as a rule, diligently stewarded. Historically, resources have been abandoned on a global scale in favor of superior substitutes, not because they have been depleted.
Human ingenuity should make us rationally optimistic about the future, in the words of scientific writer Matt Ridley. A community of sufficient size will inevitably spawn and adopt novel arrangements of resources which create unanticipated opportunities and generally improve the human condition. Presumably, solutions to problems like climate change are possible. We just have to create them.

We should look forward with abiding serenity to the unknown unknown wonders of our brilliant tomorrow. As Julian Simon pointed out, humanity is the ultimate resource. As valuable as it is, we should hold it in higher regard.

Why Bastiat is My Hero

Bob McTeer: Why Bastiat is My Hero

Loving Bastiat

Who Loves Bastiat and Who Loves Him Not:
Take the minimum wage. Normal people like it because the government waves a magic wand and makes mean employers give helpless workers extra money, with zero blowback. So inane, yet so convincing to a psychologically normal human. An intellectually serious argument, in contrast, begins by conceding the theoretical possibility of a disemployment effect, then defends low estimates of labor demand elasticity. This is a huge improvement in intellectual substance, yet persuades only wonks.

This is the real root of Bastiat's differential ideological appeal. Friends of the free market love him because Bastiat destroys the inane arguments that make the modern welfare state popular. Once you deprive the median voter of these inane arguments, friends of the modern welfare state have to resort to intellectually serious arguments to make their case. Alas, these arguments are utterly beyond the median voter's comprehension. Most college students can't even grasp them.

So what are friends of the modern welfare state to do when confronted with Bastiat? They can't really argue with him. They know what he says is largely true. Yet if they make a big deal out of Bastiat, they risk destroying popular support for the policies they favor.

Egalitarianism and Welfare Rights Theory

David Kelley on Egalitarianism and Welfare Rights Theory

o caminho de fuga do socialismo

Portugal has made progress but needs bigger spending cuts and radical structural reforms por André Azevedo Alves:
.. Portugal needs to step up and reinforce budget consolidation efforts through more substantial spending cuts, and also to enact structural reforms conducive to greater economic freedom, more competition, lower taxes and reduced levels of corruption and cronyism, which continue to be pervasive. To achieve this, internal political stability and the credibility and commitment of the Portuguese government will be essential. Equally important will be the external incentives coming from the eurozone: any sign of debt mutualisation at the European level or increased direct intervention by the ECB in debt monetisation is likely to reduce even more the prospects for the enactment of meaningful structural reforms.

European Noddy Land

It's the stupid economy - Welcome to Noddyland

socialismo olímpico

Gold Medal Central Planning por John Stossel:
The Olympics are one of the most popular sporting events in the world. So how is it possible that tons of seats are empty for even popular events?

Some tickets went to athletes' family members or VIPs. For most everyone else, the British Government demanded that fans go through a complex 13 step process, where they state which events they wanted to attend. Most (arbitrarily?) were turned down. Some were given tickets to other events, but many weren't interested in those.

No one, even those who got tickets to rhythmic gymnastics but didn't want to go...was allowed to make money reselling tickets. If they tried, they could be fined up to $7,800.

The result: empty seats. Because government didn't allow seats to be resold or purchased in an open market, there was inefficient allocation of seats. Tickets didn't get to those who really wanted to attend.

Only a government could take a popular sporting event, set up a "fair" system for tickets, and then disappoint fans, and leave embarrassing scenes like these.

Thank goodness the government doesn't dole out food.

Milton Friedman once said, "Put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand."

Hollywood Hypocrites

Gavin Polone on Hollywood Hypocrites, Bad Film Subsidies, and the Future of the Industry

Veterinária Privadas vs. "Saúde" Estatal

Human Medicine Could Learn a Few Tricks From Veterinarians
Yesterday, as staff at two different Arizona veterinary practices in cities many miles apart patiently explained to me the options for treating my snake-bit dog and the likely menu of costs for doing so, it occurred to me that I've rarely been treated with so much respect for my decision-making abilities or my wallet in any medical office geared toward two-legged customers. The reason is simple: At the vet's office, I'm the ultimate decision-maker and the payer-of-all-bills. At my doctor's office, I've allowed myself to be pushed to a secondary position as a responsible party. And the difference shows.
The idea of removing patients as responsible parties was to remove money from the decision-making process — to give us the illusion that care is free, and that treatment will be provided with no need for us to fret over the bills. It's not free of course. We've just bought the illusion, and transferred the cost-benefit analyses to somebody else. We still get some choices, but unless we're among the few who pay out of pocket, they've been winnowed and pre-approved ahead of time.

Actually, there is one place where people make real choices: The dentist. After a day of not discussing costs with her patients, my wife has been known to decide among a few tough alternatives at our dentist's office for treatment of her inherited slow-moving train wreck of a set of choppers. But, like veterinarians, dentists expect most of their patients to pay their own bills.

Yes, there are some costs that are beyond the means of many people, and there are resulting tradeoffs to be made. But if we want to get the same adult choices in a doctor's office as we do at an animal hospital, we have to take back more of the responsibility for, at least, the predictable costs of our own care.

Debate on Climate Change

Why We Need Debate, Not Consensus, on Climate Change:
Let’s restart the discussion by agreeing on these basic propositions:

First, people and organizations that break the law or use hate language such as “denier” should be barred from the global warming debate.

Second, recent weather and temperature anomalies have not been unusual and are not evidence of a human effect on climate.

Third, given the rapid and unstoppable increase in greenhouse gas emissions by Third World countries, it is pointless for the U.S. and other developed countries to invest very much in reducing their own emissions.

Fourth, tax breaks and direct subsidies to solar and wind power and impossible-to-meet renewable power mandates and regulatory burdens on coal-powered electricity generation plants have been disastrous for taxpayers, businesses, and consumers of electricity, and ought to be repealed.

Fifth, the world is entering an era of fossil fuel abundance that could lift billions of people out of poverty and help restart the U.S. economy. We have the technology to use that energy safely and with minimal impact on the environment and human health. Basic human compassion and common sense dictate that fear of global warming ought not be used to block access to this new energy.

Agree to these five simple propositions, Fred, and we can begin to work together to address some of the real environmental problems facing the U.S. and the world.

Henry Hazlitt

Bettina Greaves: A Tribute to Henry Hazlitt

La crisis de la socialdemocracia

La crisis de la socialdemocracia por José Carlos Herrán:
La socialdemocracia fue una alternativa durante el periodo en que el "socialismo real" le opuso resistencia, pero nunca lo fue a nivel interno, ni una vez caído el bloque soviético, dado que su dominio en el seno de las sociedades occidentales es y ha sido absoluto desde al menos el final de la segunda guerra mundial.
¿Qué papel político ha tenido el liberalismo durante este tiempo? Fundamentalmente, ninguno ..
La cuestión es si esta crisis va o no a suponer un antes y un después en la breve historia de la socialdemocracia. Por fin nos encontramos en una situación en la que el Estado aparece noqueado e incapaz de enfrentarse a la vorágine que él mismo ha creado. La socialdemocracia ha dejado de proporcionar respuestas completas, no concede esperanza a un pueblo cada vez más pesimista y desencantado.
La crisis de la socialdemocracia deja paso a tres mundos posibles:

1.- Una socialdemocracia agónica que arrastre consigo a toda la civilización occidental hasta su ocaso definitivo.

2.- Una socialdemocracia reformista, que sorprenda como siempre lo hace haciendo propios instrumentos liberales que logren asegurarla durante, digamos, los próximos veinte años.

3.- Un horizonte de sensatez y auténtica indignación donde se vea en el liberalismo la única baza nunca utilizada, la alternativa real al sistema que tanto desagrado e indignación, por uno u otro motivo, nos provoca a todos.

terça-feira, agosto 14, 2012

Libertad económica y desarrollo humano

Juan Carlos Hidalgo - Libertad económica y desarrollo humano


Manvotional: The Majesty of Calmness por William George Jordan:
The man who is calm has his course in life clearly marked on his chart. His hand is ever on the helm. Storm, fog, night, tempest, danger, hidden reefs – he is ever prepared and ready for them. He is made calm and serene by the realization that in these crises of his voyage he needs a clear mind and a cool head; that he has naught to do but to do each day the best he can by the light he has; that he will never flinch nor falter for a moment; that, though he may have to tack and leave his course for a time, he will never drift, he will get back into the true channel, he will keep ever headed toward his harbor. When he will reach it, how he will reach it matters not to him. He rests in calmness, knowing he has done his best. If his best seem to be overthrown or over-ruled, then he must still bow his head – in calmness. To no man is permitted to know the future of his life, the finality. God commits to man ever only new beginnings, new wisdom, and new days to use to the best of his knowledge.
When the worries and cares of the day fret you, and begin to wear upon you, and you chafe under the friction – be calm. Stop, rest for a moment, and let calmness and peace assert themselves. If you let these irritating outside influences get the better of you, you are confessing your inferiority to them, by permitting them to dominate you. Study the disturbing elements, each by itself, bring all the will-power of your nature to bear upon them, and you will find that they will, one by one, melt into nothingness, like vapors fading before the sun. The glow of calmness that will then pervade your mind, the tingling sensation of an inflow of new strength, may be to you the beginning of the revelation of the supreme calmness that is possible for you. Then, in some great hour of your life, when you stand face to face with some awful trial, when the structure of your ambition and life-work crumbles in a moment, you will be brave. You can then fold your arms calmly, look out undismayed and undaunted upon the ashes of your hope, upon the wreck of what you have faithfully built, and with brave heart and unfaltering voice you may say: “So let it be – I will build again.”

Reason Saves Cleveland

Reason Saves Cleveland With Drew Carey

The Decline of a Once-Great City, Ep.1 | Fix the Schools, Ep.2
Privatize It, Ep.3 | Take Care of Business, Ep.4
Encourage Bottom-Up Redevelopment, Ep.5 | Bring Back the People, Ep.6

People kill people

Why Do They Pretend To Care? por Butler Shaffer:
The idea that material objects have the capacity to direct and control our behavior is so childish that you can see how nicely it fits into the state’s interests in keeping us as obedient children. But if the proposition be true, none of us has "free will" (i.e., we are but billiard balls reacting – without intention – to forces outside us). Vector analysis, employing laws of physics, would be sufficient to explain human behavior. If this is so, what moral justification would the state have to punish anyone for anything that they do? If guns were responsible for the mass-killings in Colorado as well as in Wisconsin, why should those who pulled the triggers be held responsible? Perhaps we could revert to the practice in early England when, for example, if a gate collapsed and killed a man, the gate was put on trial and, if found guilty, punished for its "wrongdoing."

But if guns have the power to cause us to do things we would not be inclined to do in their absence, wouldn’t the same logic apply to weaponry in the hands of the state? Perhaps it is the guns, bombs, rockets, aircraft carriers, missiles, bombers, and other inanimate tools of death and destruction that cause wars. Those who desire peace in the world should organize themselves on behalf of disarming the state; of taking from the military and police officers the tools with which they are driven by unseen forces to inflict violence upon others. Perhaps the power of inanimate "things" explains why the United States leads the world in the percentage of its population in penitentiaries: in the language of chaos theory, prisons may serve as "attractors" that draw men and women to be incarcerated therein!
Given the pervasiveness of the thinking that sees war and violence as the nature of human beings in society, should we be shocked to find occasional individuals emulating the behavior of those who engage in such activity at political levels? When soldiers who kill innocent people in foreign lands are rewarded with medals and accorded the status of "heroes," why do we not extend the same approval to the man who kills his neighbor? .. Why are serial-killers rightly condemned for their mass slaughters, while those who play central roles in conducting wars that kill hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children receive the Nobel Peace Prize?

Gun Rights, Free Expression, and the Nanny State

Eugene Volokh on Gun Rights, Free Expression, and the Nanny State


Pela Helena Matos fico ciente que o PS espera que o "crescimento" brote amanhã, em Quarteira, num jantar do PSD. O PS nunca faz nada por menos.

Entre 1995 e 2011, com uma leve intermitência da "direita" que não durou três anos, o PS teve a possibilidade de fazer brotar "crescimento" onde lhe aprouvesse.

Aí pelos idos de Março, Abril de 2011, percebeu-se, sem necessidade de consultar os mapas de Medina Carreira, que o "crescimento" tinha sofrido, por assim dizer, um incremento negativo nos anos de ouro da governação socialista. Isso, junto com outras maleitas, obrigou à intervenção da Europa e do FMI, por sinal duas coisas que ainda não acertaram o passo relativamente ao dito "crescimento".

Álvaro Santos Pereira - uma pessoa serena e pouco espalhafatosa o que contradiz a "tradição" do frenesim mediático do "faz de conta" e do "photoshop" - tem estado, com discrição, a fazer um trabalho que acompanha o controlo das finanças públicas. Tem apenas o crédito de um ano de trabalho na economia, apesar da vasta "brigada de sapadores", enquanto o PS pode sempre exibir um passivo com mais de uma década de "saber de experiência feito". Cresçam.

Citação Liberal do Dia

Liberalism is no religion, no worldview, no party of special interests. It is no religion, because it demands neither faith nor devotion, because there is nothing mystical about it and because it has no dogmas. It is no worldview because it does not try to explain the cosmos, and because it says nothing and does not seek to say anything about the meaning and purpose of human existence. It is no party of special interests, because it does not provide or seek to provide any special advantage whatsoever to any individual or any group. It is something entirely different. It is an ideology, a doctrine of the mutual relationship among the members of society and, at the same time, the application of this doctrine to the conduct of men in actual society. It promises nothing that exceeds what can be accomplished in society and through society. It seeks to give men only one thing: the peaceful, undisturbed development of material well-being for all, in order thereby to shield them from the external causes of pain and suffering as far as it lies within the power of social institutions to do so at all. To diminish suffering, to increase happiness: That is its aim.
Ludwig von Mises

segunda-feira, agosto 13, 2012

Anarchast with Tucker

Anarchast Ep. 35 with Jeffrey Tucker

is it proper to take a tax funded job?

The Third Rail of Libertarianism por Wendy McElroy:
.. is it proper to take a tax funded job?

The answer may seem obvious. If you agree taxation is theft, then it is never correct to seek out and accept stolen money.
Why does the tax funding issue matter? After all, accepting tax money is so common that it has lost much of its stigma. To rephrase the question…Why does it matter if someone who praises monogamy flaunts an affair? Or if a purported animal lover kicks every dog he sees? And an advocate of non-violence beats up his wife? There is the issue of personal ethics, of course, but I leave that to the people involved. I am concerned with the broader issue of movement leaders invalidating their words through their actions.

Ron Paul and the GOP Convention

No seguimento de Ronulan Invasion,

Ron Paul and the GOP Convention

Mind the Theory

Mind the Theory de Thorsten Polleit:
The saying that things may work nicely in theory, but do not necessarily work in practice is well known.[1] It is typically meant to disparage the importance of theory, suggesting it would be too far removed from practical matters to help in solving the issue at hand.
.. Kant made the point that theory provides "principles of a fairly general nature," or general rules. However, theory does not tell man how to apply it, says Kant. For this, the act of judgment is required:
No one can pretend to be practically versed in a branch of knowledge and yet treat theory with scorn, without exposing the fact that he is an ignoramus in his subject.
In this methodological work Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973) emphasized the importance of theory for acting man at the most fundamental level, noting that theory and human action are in fact inseparable. Mises writes,
Action is preceded by thinking. Thinking is to deliberate beforehand over future action and to reflect afterwards upon past action. Thinking and acting are inseparable. Every action is always based on a definite idea about causal relations. He who thinks a causal relation thinks a theorem. Action without thinking, practice without theory are unimaginable. The reasoning may be faulty and the theory incorrect; but thinking and theorizing are not lacking in any action. On the other hand thinking is always thinking of a potential action. Even he who thinks of a pure theory assumes that the theory is correct, i.e., that action complying with its content would result in an effect to be expected from its teachings. It is of no relevance for logic whether such action is feasible or not.

the State hates balls

Save Our Balls

capitalism is sine qua non of prosperity

“You Didn’t Build That . . .” por Sandy Ikeda:
I need only refer, as I’ve often done before, to Leonard Read’s short and wise essay “I, Pencil,” which explains how no one could possibly marshal the resources, skills, and know-how to make an ordinary lead pencil because those things are spread across countless people around the planet. The same could be said, even more emphatically, of someone like the late Steve Jobs, whose Apple, Inc. created one of the first home computers. Even Jobs could not have made a pencil, let alone something like an iPad, himself ..

This is not to discount in any way Steve Jobs’s achievement. Again, Obama is wrong when he says, “You didn’t build that.” It’s true that without the Apple designers, manufacturers, marketers, and millions of others, the iPad could not be built. But that’s true in the same sense that without air, water, and land, the iPad also couldn’t be built. Yet Steve Jobs was the indispensible element, the sine qua non, of the iPad.
So who created the underlying order that politicians and bureaucrats want to control? The answer is–nobody. A free society is one in which people respect private property, freely associate, and do not tolerate legal privilege or persecution. Under those conditions, the free market is what happens when you just leave people alone.

Private property gives people a sphere of autonomy that lets them use their knowledge and skills as they see fit. The philosophy of individualism–that the individual is more important than society or the state–is the key because it enables and encourages free association, free trade, and an astonishingly complex division of labor and knowledge to spontaneously emerge out of individual choices. Nobody planned that degree of social cooperation, nobody could have planned it–any more than Steve Jobs could himself make a pencil.

eugenics and dysgenics

Richard Lynn explains eugenics and dysgenics

Exílio e morte

Reconheçam: é difícil viver com gente capaz de vos mandar para o exílio e para a morte, é difícil torná-los nossos íntimos, é difícil amá-los.
Milan Kundera, A Brincadeira
Exílio e morte:
A despersonalização é o primeiro golpe infligido pelo comunismo a uma população imprevidente. Começa aí, na identidade individual, nos laços sociais e naturais, na solidariedade voluntária e na própria condição humana ..

.. E é quando os homens se metamorfoseiam em animais perigosos, quando vivem num clima de guerra permanente, seja surdo ou aberto, seja literalmente sangrento ou apenas psicologicamente devastador, é nessa altura, dizia, que o comunismo e outras doutrinas totalitárias atingem o seu esplendor, o acme ilusório que anuncia já o estertor e as ruínas ..


Obamanomics: A Legacy of Wasteful Spending

Dark Knight Politics

No seguimento de Batman, Dark Knight Rises: Its Politics and Ours por Jeffrey Tucker:
The problem is that the film gives Gotham (and us) a choice between two forms of despotism, one “left wing” and one “right wing,” and asks us to choose the lesser of two evils. We can have one of two systems: bureaucratic/authoritarian or revolutionary/dictatorial. The idea of a self-managing society is just out of the question. The film biases that choice by showing one as offered by the evil villain and the other by a corrupt, yet stable status quo.

Do you see now? Dark Knight Rises replicates the choice that the present political system presents to us. We look at the choices and throw up our hands, knowing full well that neither really offers answers to the problem ..

It’s the two sides of the street fights between the Occupy protesters and the cops. It’s the left versus the right. It’s Republicans versus Democrats. It’s “law and order” versus revolutionary dictatorship. It’s Italian fascism versus Soviet communism. It’s the two sides of the Spanish Civil War. It is also the choice faced by old Rome in its late stage: rule by a corrupt oligarchy of the Senate or a cruel imperial dictatorship of Caesar.

It is the choice given to every nation in its late stages .. Dark Knight Rises doesn’t show us another way. It never shows us the option of a self-managing society where people are permitted to shape their own destinies apart from the will of two gangs of political elites. Whoever wins the great struggle over Gotham’s future, the results will be imposed from the top down.

The result is that viewers are left with a sense of hopelessness in the same way that the current political climate denies people authentic hope. Whatever happens will come from the center and top, leaving the rest of us unfree to manage our own lives, keep and use our own property, mind our own business and cobble together our own human associations. In The Dark Knight Rises, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not even distant memories.

We the tax cows

Borders are just another government scam

Rant do Dia

Proprietários de zonas ribeirinhas obrigados a reivindicar imóveis em tribunal

A ovelha vermelha deste Governo - a minista Assunção Cristas - já com provas dadas em várias modalidades olímpicas socialistas (ex. impostos indirectos, subsídios, planificação, oratória colectivista), agora insiste na expropriação despótica de propriedade privada, ao abrigo de uma lei com 150 anos, ou seja várias gerações e três regimes políticos atrás. Há quem lhe chame fascismo, mas esta é uma classificação redutora, uma vez que estes abusos tirânicos existem desde sempre -- pois sempre houve tribalismo de governantes iluminados sem escrúpulos em usar a força (e farsa) da legislação para subjugar a sociedade civil. (Tragicamente) foi graças a eles que se forjou uma cultura de liberdade e de dignidade humana, que inclui a tradição democrata-cristã, que a nossa Chávez de saias tão airosamente envergonha.

domingo, agosto 12, 2012

Los fallos del mercado

Martín Krause - Los fallos del mercado

Don’t eat the rich

The Rich Don’t Make Us Poor por Charles Kaupke:
We’ve been hearing a lot lately about the need for the wealthy to “pay their fair share” so that the federal government can pay down its debts and continue to fund programs to provide basic human necessities for the poor, such as food, shelter, and prophylactics ..
.. There are a number of errors embedded in the above explanation .. but let’s cut to the central one: the fallacy that there always has been and always will be a fixed amount of wealth in the world, and that wealth is merely shifted back and forth among people, but it is never really increased. Economists call this the “fixed pie” fallacy.
Historical reality bears out the fact that in capitalism, people become rich by putting what capital they have to good, productive use, and that anyone, no matter how poor they start out, can become wealthy ..
Sadly, it seems that many Americans, including the Occupy crowd and even our own President, are not aware of the unique and amazing power of entrepreneurship: the ability to use our resources and God-given talent to better the lives of those we work with and those we serve. Only when we as a nation remember that the phenomenon of money can be used in a dynamic way to participate as co-creators with God, will we begin to work our way out of the economic mess we are in.

segunda-feira, agosto 06, 2012

Private Hangovers

Hangover Heaven: The Vegas Hangover Cure on Wheels
This is really innovative, individualized healthcare that meets a very direct need," says ReasonTV's Kennedy. Kennedy subjected herself to excessive amounts of alcohol in order to properly assess the IV treatment.


Corporações por André Abrantes Amaral:
O mau funcionamento dos tribunais é uma das explicações para a fraca prestação da economia portuguesa. Evidencia as vantagens do não pagamento de uma factura, do incumprimento de um contrato e do desrespeito da lei.
Há anos que discutimos este problema e ele permanece sem solução à vista. Talvez porque a procuramos onde ela não está: na mera alteração de regras processuais, quando o drama vive na visão corporativista que ainda temos da sociedade e, neste caso concreto, do funcionamento da justiça. É esta visão que explica por que motivo, apesar de ouvirmos os representantes das diversas classes profissionais falarem no consenso como indispensável para que o sistema judicial funcione, as divergências se vão amontoando. Quem olha de fora vê um grupo de pessoas que, apesar de trabalharem na mesma área, não se entendem.
Nem sempre foi assim. Quem troque impressões com juristas mais velhos verá as diferentes experiências que tiveram: notários que outrora foram magistrados ou advogados; juízes que fizeram alegações e advogados que já foram juízes. Uma realidade rica e diversificada que a divisão do mundo em corporações matou. Uma dinâmica que não impedia apenas o pleitear desnecessário de inúmeras matérias em tribunal, como permitiria uma melhor adaptação da Justiça ao mundo de hoje. A desjudicialização implica entendimento, e este passa pela confiança que só nasce da partilha. Daí que, quanto mais barreiras pusermos no acesso ao mundo da justiça, pior.

Coping with Tragedy

5 Rules for Coping with Tragedy

Methodological Collectivism

Em The Statist Propositions of Protectionism:
The difference between the statist and the libertarian has to do with methodology. The statist begins his discussion of the economy from the perspective of the collective enterprise known as civil government. He equates the state (the monopoly of coercion) and society (voluntary institutions). He also identifies the state and the nation. He sees the state as the agency which alone legally represents the nation. In some cases, he actually believes that the state is the same as the nation. Rousseau is the best case. He argued for the existence of the General Will — collective humanity, but stripped of intermediate loyalties and bonds — which is represented by the state.

There is no doubt that there is a legal entity called the United States government. It is a judicial construct. It is marked by its proponents' assertion that it has final jurisdiction over the use of badges and guns inside its borders. It has a monopoly of violence that cannot legally be challenged by any other entity. It has the final say over who gets to point a gun at whose belly.

If we do not think of the state in this way, we will not understand what the state really is: legalized coercion. The state is the agency that asserts and enforces its right to stick guns in people's bellies. There is a great debate over the legal and moral foundations that undergird this judicial assertion, but the right of lawfully holding a gun and sticking it in somebody else's belly is the essence of the state.

Fan Fiction

Fan Fiction vs. Copyright - Q&A with Rebecca Tushnet

Laissez-Faire Learning

Laissez-Faire Learning por David Greenwald:
As a teacher in a public high school, I am daily confronted with the lamentable realities of state-monopoly education. Student apathy, methodological stagnation, bureaucratic inefficiency, textbook-publishing cartels, obsessive preoccupation with grades, coercive relationships, and rigid, sanitized curricula are just a few of the more obvious problems, attended by the cold-shower disillusionment and gradual burnout among teachers to which they almost invariably lead.
.. it is largely the refrain of embittered progressives for whom "free" universal education has long been the desideratum of social justice, and who cannot understand how the behemoth they so vigorously midwifed into existence and then wet-nursed for a century could have so thoroughly betrayed their loftiest and most cherished ideal.

Yet ironically, it is the unassailable faith in the achievability of precisely this ideal of universal equality that immunizes public education against every reasonable argument advanced in opposition to it. Notwithstanding its manifest shortcomings, none of which has found a remedy despite decades of legislative reform, hardly anyone is prepared to see this system replaced by anything resembling a real market in education ..
.. no two individuals would or could possibly educate themselves in exactly the same way. The self-directed intellectual, aesthetic, and spiritual explorations of millions of people simultaneously thus result in an unfathomable diversification of interests and activities that amounts to an educational "division of labor" – one that supports and enhances the division of labor of the market economy, and is in fact its logical precursor.

It must surely be obvious that such a philosophy is in every way wholly incompatible with systems of compulsory or universalized schooling aimed at "equalizing opportunity," ..
Education, if it is to be worthy of the name, demands a method opposite to that of bureaucratic management and entirely irreconcilable with it. It requires flexibility, parsimony, innovation, and above all, a means of daily subjecting the producers of educational services to the competition of their peers and the approval or disapproval of their clients.

It requires, in other words, the free market.

Legalize Obscenity

No seguimento de
- Obscenity vs. Freedom of Expression
- Legalize Porn

Should Obscenity be Illegal?: Lady Chatterley, Milk Nymphos, & John Stagliano

Crimes of the Communist Regimes

We, the participants of the international conference “Crimes of the Communist Regimes“ held in Prague on 24-26 February 2010, declare the following:

1.Communist regimes have committed, and are in some cases still committing, crimes against humanity in all countries of Central and Eastern Europe and in other countries where communism is still alive.
7.As democracy must learn to be capable of defending itself, Communism needs to be condemned in a similar way as Nazism was. We are not equating the respective crimes of Nazism and Communism, including the Gulag, the Laogai and the Nazi concentration camps. They should each be studied and judged on their own terrible merits .. Just as we are not willing to relativise crimes of Nazism, we must not accept a relativisation of crimes of Communism.
11.As an act of recognition of the victims and respect for the immense suffering inflicted upon half of the continent, Europe must erect a memorial to the victims of world Communism, following the example of the memorial in the USA in Washington, D.C.

How the Government Makes You Fat (2)

No seguimento de How the Government Makes You Fat,

How the Government Makes You Fat: Gary Taubes on Obesity, Carbs, and Bad Science

the miracle of capitalist operations

The Miracle at Mon Ami Gabi:
.. there is no way to know in advance what people will be ordering from the gigantic menu. The kitchen food inventory must be vast and adaptable to sudden changes of taste and interest. There must be perfect coordination between the prep chefs and the cooks, between the cooks and the wait staff, between the bartenders and hosts and hostesses and everyone else.

As I said, there were hundreds of people either dining or waiting to dine .. Every single person had an issue: Meat must be cooked this way not that, the wine must be dry not sweet, the potatoes must be replaced with broccoli, the water must come from a bottle and not the tap and so on through thousands of possibilities.

.. it could have been madness, riotous. Yet the situation was orderly in every way, not like the mechanical workings of a clock, but even more impressively the coordination of volitional human beings each exercising free will. It was like a market economy in miniature. No police. The “thin blue line” was profitability.

Every person there was a king, a paying customer who wanted everything exactly right. The staff worked tirelessly to oblige. As soon as one party left a table, it was cleaned and moved and reset to accommodate a new party with new demands, new tastes, new preferences.
The structure of production of this amazing place extends beyond what exists in its four walls. The food comes from all over the world. The coordination extends to transportation, agriculture and ranching, herbs and spices from remote places, liquors and beers from all corners of the earth. And the coordination extends back in time, even decades and even centuries from the first seeds planted in the vineyards that make the wines and liquors. And the technology to make it happen is all relatively new, from refrigeration all the way through digital communication between the kitchen and the maitre d’.

This stunningly complex operation — far more complicated than any operation attempted by any government bureaucracy ..

If you were to propose such a system to a person who had never seen it in operation, that person would never believe such a thing as this could happen .. The market has made it so ..
.. We repay this system by teaching our students that capitalism is evil, by protesting the market in mass demonstrations, by taxing the entrepreneurs, by spitting on the accumulators of capital who fund the system and take the risk.

Then we elect politicians, even presidents, who are sworn enemies of our great benefactor, the free market, which we — through crazy logic and deep historical ignorance — blame for all our troubles. Then, these same people praise government as the source of all good things.

O Evangelho segundo o Estado

Lies, lies, lies

The Trillion Dollar Lies
I feel bad. I feel like a sucker. Like one by one I fell for every lie. I talk about “don’t do this”, “don’t do that”, and yet I fell for all of them. I’ve been in everything from a cult to the cult of homeownership, the cult of college, the cult of sex, the cult of drugs, every cult imaginable, the cult of corporate safety, the cult of money. Why couldn’t I just be smart from the beginning? Why does it take stupidity to become smart? Or maybe I’m still stupid. Who knows?

Let’s do one of those psychology tests where I ask you something and you say the first word that comes to mind. Here’s the usual responses I get after years of doing this:

Me: Home ownership. Other: “Roots”
Me: College: Other: “Good job”
Me: Good war. Other: “World War II”
Me: Success. Other: “Fame and money”
Me: Iran. Other: “They want to kill all the jews”.
Me: Voting. Other: “Doing something for your country”.

Friedman @ 100 (4)

No seguimento de Friedman @ 100 (3)

Bob Chitester Discusses Milton Friedman and 'Free to Choose'

the world to be destroyed tomorrow

97 per cent of the world to be destroyed tomorrow!:
.. the broader point to be made is this: don't believe what the BBC (or NASA or the Royal Society or the Guardian or the Independent or the National Academy of Sciences or the Prince of Wales or Al Gore or any US TV broadcaster that isn't Fox) tells you about global warming, the environment, climate change, polar bears, sustainability, ocean acidification, glacier melt or Greenland, EVER.
Catastrophic Man Made Global Warming is a hoax. There is no real-world evidence whatsoever to suggest that the modest warming of around 0.8 degrees C which the planet has experienced since 1850 is in any way dangerous or unprecedented. Even the suggestion that it is mostly man-made is at best moot, at worst long since falsified by real world data and superseded by more plausible theories

So next time you hear the BBC (or similar) spouting some unutterable crap about some amazingly shocking new event/piece of research/paper showing that the glaciers or Greenland are melting faster than before, that polar bears or coral reefs are becoming more endangered, or that there's anything remotely worrying about the possibility that the planet has warmed by 1.5 degrees C since the Industrial Revolution, don't just take it with a huge pinch of salt. Treat it with about as much respect as you would a report from North Korea radio telling you that this year's bumper grain harvest has been more gloriously plentiful than ever before and that workers are now at severe risk of expiring due to an excess of nourishment, plenitude and joy.

The State Is Not The People

Karl Hess: The State Is Not The People

Friedman @ 100 (3)

No seguimento de VID Friedman @ 100 (2), Stephen Moore: The Man Who Saved Capitalism:
In the 1960s, Friedman famously explained that "there's no such thing as a free lunch." If the government spends a dollar, that dollar has to come from producers and workers in the private economy. There is no magical "multiplier effect" by taking from productive Peter and giving to unproductive Paul. As obvious as that insight seems, it keeps being put to the test. Obamanomics may be the most expensive failed experiment in free-lunch economics in American history.

Equally illogical is the superstition that government can create prosperity by having Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke print more dollars. In the very short term, Friedman proved, excess money fools people with an illusion of prosperity. But the market quickly catches on, and there is no boost in output, just higher prices.
Friedman stood unfailingly and heroically with the little guy against the state. He used to marvel that the intellectual left, which claims to espouse "power to the people," so often cheers as states suppress individual rights.
He loved turning the intellectual tables on liberals by making the case that regulation often does more harm than good. His favorite example was the Food and Drug Administration, whose regulations routinely delay the introduction of lifesaving drugs. "When the FDA boasts a new drug will save 10,000 lives a year," he would ask, "how many lives were lost because it didn't let the drug on the market last year?"

He supported drug legalization (much to the dismay of supporters on the right) and was particularly proud to be an influential voice in ending the military draft in the 1970s. When his critics argued that he favored a military of mercenaries, he would retort: "If you insist on calling our volunteer soldiers 'mercenaries,' I will call those who you want drafted into service involuntarily 'slaves.'"
Well over 200 million were liberated from poverty thanks to the rediscovery of the free market. And now as the world teeters close to another recession, leaders need to urgently rediscover Friedman's ideas.