VOTING - the slave's suggestion box
choosing masters every few years doesn't make you free
There is always a conflict between pure theory and practical application. This is true in every field, in all locations, and in every time period. Timeless principles must be translated into policies. Policies are under the influence of time. Time brings changes. It forces compromises with timeless principles. The defenders of timeless principles face the criticism of "irrelevance!" from activists. The defenders of timeless principles respond with "sellouts!" Such is life.
So, I do not want to give the appearance that I think that an organization devoted to practical applications of general principles is a bad idea. There has to be some translation of general principles into action. The problem is this: When an organization moves into policy-making, it moves into the area of political compromise. Compromise is what politics is all about. You have to give a little to get something ..
The lust for power in Washington is greater even than the lust for adultery and booze. Combined.
There are conservative activists who are desperate to have influence. They want to be players. They want to be known as players. They want to get inside those formerly smoke-filled back rooms where the deals are made. So, they head for Washington. That is where power is concentrated.
Nothing that the Cato Institute has ever done has blocked anything significant that the federal government has planned. In too many cases, Cato has served as a cheerleader inside the Washington Beltway for terrible things that Republican presidents have done to extend the power of the federal government.
Many people assume that the increase in prices over time is just a natural occurrence. But that's not true. The Federal Reserve's manipulation of the money supply is primarily responsible for the rising prices of goods and services. The more dollars in circulation, the less the money is worth. It now takes more dollars to buy the same amount of goods as it had taken before. It used to take 79 cents to purchase a pound of bacon in 1962, now it cost approximately $4.77. The poor get hurt the most by rising prices since they have less disposable income.
Americans should be free to use whatever currency they desire. It’s time that the paper dollar is forced to compete with other forms of currency. The prospect of Americans using alternative currencies would likely encourage the Federal Reserve to stop destroying the value of the dollar through inflating the money supply.
While ending the Federal Reserve is the ultimate goal, repealing unconstitutional federal legal tender laws and legalizing competing currencies is a step in the right direction.
Austrian economist F.A. Hayek’s most famous work, The Road to Serfdom, is renowned for identifying two general rules in regards to politics and the state. As the title of the book suggests, Hayek was keenly aware of the massive centralization of power taking place during the World War II era as Keynesianism took off and planned economies seemed like the next, natural step in the art of governing. He correctly warned that economic intervention begets further intervention which would eventually lead to totalitarianism.
To reinforce this claim, Hayek explained a truth which haunts all those vying for public office. Because the state, by definition, acts as a monopoly of force and predation, those who seek to brandish its authority don’t always have the most charitable intentions in mind as they clearly prefer an occupation of violence over harmonious enterprise in the private sector ..
.. those who operate within the public sector have little regard for the money and privileges designated to them as it is paid for on the backs of taxpayers and not from their own personal funds..
Hayek .. was able to distinguish how political power attracts those who will use in the worst manner.
There is, first of all, this stark empirical fact: Government ownership, even socialism, has proved to be no solution to the problem of pollution .. Note, for example, the two crucial areas in which pollution has become an important problem: the air and the waterways, particularly the rivers. But these are precisely two of the vital areas in society in which private property has not been permitted to function.
.. when we peel away the confusions and the unsound philosophy of the modern ecologists, we find an important bedrock case against the existing system; but the case turns out to be not against capitalism, private property, growth, or technology per se. It is a case against the failure of government to allow and to defend the rights of private property against invasion. If property rights were to be defended fully, against private and governmental invasion alike, we would find here, as in other areas of our economy and society, that private enterprise and modern technology would come to mankind not as a curse but as its salvation.
It's difficult to be a good economist and simultaneously be perceived as compassionate. To be a good economist, one has to deal with reality. To appear compassionate, often one has to avoid unpleasant questions, use "caring" terminology and view reality as optional.
Affordable housing and health care costs are terms with considerable emotional appeal that politicians exploit but have absolutely no useful meaning or analytical worth ..
If you think my criticism of affordability is unpleasant, you'll hate my vision of harm. A good economist recognizes that harm is not a one-way street; it's reciprocal. For example, if I own a lot and erect a house in front of your house and block your view of a beautiful scene, I've harmed you; however, if I am prevented from building my house in front of yours, I'm harmed. Whose harm is more important? ..
.. I'd be worthless as an adviser to either the White House or Congress because if they asked me what they should do to get the economy going, I'd answer, "Do nothing!" ..
You say, "Williams, the White House and Congress should do something." The track record of doing nothing is pretty good compared with doing something. None of our economic downturns in the century and a half prior to 1930 lasted as long as the Great Depression.
It would be political suicide for a politician to follow my counsel – and for good reason. Americans have been miseducated into thinking that Roosevelt's New Deal saved our economy. That miseducation extends to most academics, including economists, at our universities, who are arrogant enough to believe that it's possible for a few people in Washington to have the information and knowledge necessary to manage the economic lives of 313 million people. Good economists recognize our limitations, making us not nice people to be around.
Há 220 anos, o dentista, comerciante, militar e ativista político Joaquim José da Silva Xavier era enforcado e esquartejado em praça pública pelo estado.
Seu crime? Defender a independência da colônia de Minas Gerais em relação à Coroa Portuguesa .. A motivação desta "revolta"? A decretação da derrama pelo governo local .. Para onde ia o dinheiro? Para a Real Fazenda, credora de uma dívida mineira que, àquela altura, já estava acumulada em 538 arrobas de ouro.
Quem delatou Tiradentes aos portugueses? Joaquim Silvério dos Reis, um fazendeiro e proprietário de minas que, devido aos altos impostos cobrados pela Coroa Portuguesa, estava falido. Qual foi seu prêmio por essa delação? O perdão dessa dívida de impostos.
A principal lição é a de que o estado não tolera pessoas que se recusam a abrir mão dos frutos de seu esforço, ao mesmo tempo em que ele sabe recompensar muito bem aquelas que o auxiliam a espoliar e destruir esses rebeldes ..
Como consequência direta, deduz-se que a tributação, de qualquer tipo, nada mais é do que um roubo, puro e simples.
- Quando, em comentários, se tenta explicar alguma coisa ao anónimo infeliz, ele argumenta sempre com alguma coisa que não tem rigorosamente nada a ver, ignorando deliberadamente o que se acabou de lhe explicar e tornando a troca de opiniões absolutamente exasperante;
- O anónimo infeliz é raivoso e pode até morder (se para isso houvesse oportunidade). É incapaz de manifestar desacordo de modo cordial e civilizado (normal, vá), tendo sempre de recorrer ao insulto para fazer valer a sua opinião (geralmente, com um "tu deves ser mas é estúpida/atrasada mental/idiota". Às vezes anima-se e sai-se com um "és uma puta/cabra/vaca/porca");
- O anónimo infeliz esfrega as mãozinhas de alegria de cada vez que se prepara para deixar mais um comentário descerebrado, como quem diz "com este é que eu te vou tramar". E mesmo sabendo que tem como destino o lixo virtual, gosta sempre de dizer "eu sei que não vais publicar, mas ao menos ficas a saber o que eu acho de ti" (a frase pode ou não acabar com um "sua puta"). Como se tivesse alguma espécie de interesse.
- O anónimo infeliz fica ainda mais infeliz quando seus comentários são banidos, deixando novos comentários a queixar-se que é um atentado à liberdade de expressão, que o autor do blog exerce censura, e que é uma vergonha. Regra geral, remata com um muito adulto "dói ouvir as verdades, não é?".
- O anónimo infeliz é cobarde e poucochinho e, por isso, mesmo, nada há a temer. Vive do outro lado do ecrã e acredita piamente que está completamente protegido e impune no seu anonimato. Até ao dia.
.. Sin dinero no se puede hacer política, no al menos la que depende de subvencionar toda actividad y prometer a todo ciudadano, desde electricidad barata en cualquier punto de un país hasta garantizar el derecho al paisaje.
.. el propio Estado procura racionalizar sus cuentas recortando aquí y allá sin llegar a profundizar en nada. El objetivo de las reformas no es cambiar la forma política sino garantizar su viabilidad. Como párasito .. cuando la actividad económica deje de producir y por tanto no haya impuestos que recaudar solo quedará desplumar la gallina y comerla.
.. Tras años de expansión y endeudamiento incontrolado asistimos a un teatro inaudito en el que los actores que nos gobiernan intentan enmendar con múltiples medidas las irresponsabilidades perpetradas hasta la fecha .. La lucha del leviatán estatal por su supervivencia no ha hecho mas que empezar ..
A major issue in this year's presidential campaign is the growing disparity between rich and poor, the 1% versus the 99% .. The source is not runaway entrepreneurial capitalism, which rewards those who best serve the consumer in product and price. (Would we really want it any other way?) There is another force that has turned a natural divide into a chasm: the Federal Reserve. The relentless expansion of credit by the Fed creates artificial disparities based on political privilege and economic power.
The Fed doesn't expand the money supply by uniformly dropping cash from helicopters over the hapless masses. Rather, it directs capital transfers to the largest banks .., minimizes their borrowing costs, and lowers their reserve requirements. All of these actions result in immediate handouts to the financial elite first, with the hope that they will subsequently unleash this fresh capital onto the unsuspecting markets, raising demand and prices wherever they do.
The Fed, having gone on an unprecedented credit expansion spree, has benefited the recipients who were first in line at the trough: banks .. and those favored entities and individuals deemed most creditworthy. Flush with capital, these recipients have proceeded to bid up the prices of assets and resources, while everyone else has watched their purchasing power decline.
The Fed is transferring immense wealth from the middle class to the most affluent, from the least privileged to the most privileged. This coercive redistribution has been a far more egregious source of disparity than the president's presumption of tax unfairness (if there is anything unfair about approximately half of a population paying zero income taxes) or deregulation.
El profesor de macroeconomía del IESE, Pedro Videla, un buen conocedor de los países emergentes, ha declarado hoy que tras la nacionalización del 51% de YPF, "si esto les sale bien a los Kirchner, continuarán las nacionalizaciones".
Videla, que también es doctor en Economía por la Universidad de Chicago, apuesta a que en los próximos días "las agencias de rating como Standard & Poors incrementarán el riesgo país de Argentina por culpa de esta nacionalización".
"Pero esto no parará a los Kirchner, que además cuentan en Argentina con una gran tradición de gobiernos populistas que siempre han necesitado un enemigo exterior para justificarse. Lo hicieron hace 30 años con la guerra de las Malvinas y ahora lo están haciendo con Repsol", ha recordado este profesor de Economía.
Pedro Videla advierte que "el gran perjudicado por esta nacionalización no va a ser ni Repsol ni España sino el argentino medio, que aunque ahora pueda jalear la nacionalización, a medio plazo va a ser más pobre, porque los de siempre le van a seguir robando".
Pedro Videla recomienda a España que "no tome represalias comerciales, que siempre empobrecen todavía más a las clases más bajas" y que centre sus medidas en castigar a las clases dirigentes argentinas y "y siempre desde el paraguas de la UE, porque esto no es una agresión a España. Es una agresión a Europa".
Entre estas medidas podrían estar, según este economista, exigir visado a todos los argentinos que quieran viajar a la UE o limitar la apertura de cuentas bancarias en el espacio europeo "algo que haría que las clases dirigentes que ahora critican a los Kirchner en privado empezaran a hacerlo en público".
A las nuevas generaciones. Por ahora, los nombres de algunas formas o maneras de agrupar, clasificar, enumerar, los tipos o clases de comunismo socialismo. Para algunos estudiosos son simples mascaras, para otros, modalidades. Luego, nos referiremos a algunas de ellas.
- Socialismo árabe. Socialismo autogestionario. Blanquismo. Boulanquismo. Socialismo científico. Socialismo cristiano. Socialismo democrático. Ecosocialismo. Socialismo corporativo. Laborismo. Socialismo libertario. Economía de mercado socialista. Socialismo de mercado. Socialismo del siglo XXI. Sionismo socialista. Socialdemocracia. Socialismo con rostro humano. Socialismo melanesio. Socialismo utópico. Yamahiriya.
- Socialismo utópico: Socialismo tradicional o clásico o socialismo científico. Leninismo. Comunismo. Marxismo – Leninismo. Socialismo del siglo XXI. Socialismo Bolivariano del Siglo XXI.
- Socialismos moderados. Socialismos extremos.
- Socialismos democráticos. Socialismos totalitarios. Socialismo comunista. Socialismo democrático. Socialismo liberatario o de la nueva izquierda.
- Socialismo utópico. Socialismo científico.
- Socialismo científico. Socialismo corporativo. Socialismo cristiano. Socialismo de cátedra. Socialismo de estado. Socialismo democrático. Socialismo ético. Socialismo Guildista. Socialismo libertario. Socialismo verdadero.
- Socialismo utópico. Socialismo conservador. Socialismo reaccionario.
- Socialismo real o de las economías tipo soviético. Socialismo democrático o socialdemocracia. Socialismo conservador o socialismo de derechas, militar, gremial, agrario. Socialismo cuentista – intelectual – ingeniería social. Socialismo real, democrático y conservador. Socialismo cuentista, cristiano – solidario y sindicalista.
- Socialismo utópico = Socialdemocracia, Cooperativismo, Cristianismo social. Socialismo científico = Socialismo democrático, Socialismo del siglo XI.
Let us begin by considering the means employed to achieve socialism. We observe two phenomena that are not unrelated. First, wherever socialism has actually been enacted, as in the Communist-bloc countries and Nazi Germany, violent and bloody means have been used to achieve it and/or maintain it. And, second, where socialist parties have come to power but abstained from wholesale violence and bloodshed, as in Great Britain, Israel, and Sweden, they have not enacted socialism, but retained a so-called mixed economy, which they did not radically or fundamentally alter.
Even if a socialist government were democratically elected, its first act in office in implementing socialism would have to be an act of enormous violence, namely, the forcible expropriation of the means of production. The democratic election of a socialist government would not change the fact that the seizure of property against the will of its owners is an act of force.
This explains why it takes the Communists to achieve socialism, and why the Social Democrats always fail to achieve socialism. The Communists, in effect, know that they are out to steal all of men’s property from them and that if they expect to succeed, they had better come armed and prepared to kill the property owners, who will attempt to defend their rights. The Social Democrats, on the other hand, are held back by fear from taking the steps that would be necessary to achieve socialism.
The implication of this is that unless Marxists can be satisfied, as the Social Democrats have apparently learned to be, with merely partial and largely token movement toward their goal, such as provided by the establishment and expansion of the welfare state, they are doomed to permanent frustration. At the same time, those of them who continue to be committed to the actual achievement of their goal of socialism, cannot be expected to tolerate such frustration permanently. At some point, it would seem, almost inevitably, they must erupt into violent action, because that is the only path that can ever achieve their goal.
Such Marxists, such socialists, i.e., the serious, dedicated ones, are not at all saints or martyrs, but dangerous people with a criminal mentality.
Paul does not censor himself. He comes across as sincere, earnest and independent of his party's fat cats. In the debates, only he called out the American Empire's meddling in the business of countless nations around the world. He assails the Pentagon's bloated budgets and has worked with liberal Democrat Barney Frank to shrink the military-industrial complex. He wants to end our boomeranging wars.
Paul, 76, draws a distinction between libertarian conservatives and those corporatist conservatives entrenching a corporate state in which Big Business merges with Big Government. That's why he is against bailouts. His defense of privacy and civil liberties and his opposition to the war on drugs endear him to people beyond his libertarian base. They even include some progressives who cannot abide his views against health, safety and economic regulations or his denunciation of the Federal Reserve's fiat money and social-welfare programs like Medicare.
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2111975_2111976_2111999,00.html #ixzz1sc0wLWuH
The actual difference between how tax reliefs affect the rich and the poor is less that the rules particularly favour the rich, though they do in some cases. It is more that the rich are much better equipped to take advantage of them. Unclaimed tax reliefs and benefits save the Chancellor billions every year and under claiming is almost certainly concentrated among people on lower incomes, who are less likely to have lawyers and accountants to help them. The take-up rate for Working Tax Credit is only 57 per cent, for example, and businesses have failed to claim tax relief on fittings in commercial properties worth billions.
That is one reason why the simplification of taxes and benefits can be more progressive than it appears. Simpler rules help those without the time or professional support to work their way through a thicket of regulations and reliefs. Tax reform is the only way to cut through that thicket and make it easier for everyone to pay no more, and no less, than their fair share.
So here we see the first element of political sophistication in this film. It taps into the observation first recorded by Etienne de La Boetie (1530-63) that all states, because they live parasitically off the population on an ongoing basis, depend on eliciting the compliance of the people in some degree; no state can survive a mass refusal to obey. This is why states must concoct public ideologies and various veneers to cover their rules (a point often raised by Hans-Hermann Hoppe in his work). “National traditions” such as the Hunger Games serve the purpose well.
The political sophistication of this film doesn’t stop there. The Hunger Games themselves serve as a microcosm of political elections in modern developed economies. Pressure groups and their representatives are thrown into a hazardous, vicious world in which coalitions form and reform. Survival is harrowing, and hate is unleashed as would never exist in normal life. Candidates fight to the death knowing that, in the end, there can only be one winner who will take home the prize.
Slight differences of opinion are insanely exaggerated to deepen the divide. Otherwise irrelevant opinions take on epic significance. Lies, smears, setups, intimidation, bribery, blackmail and graft are all part of a day’s work. All the while, the people watch and love the public spectacle, variously cheering and booing and rating the candidates and the groups they represent. Everyone seems oblivious as to the real purpose of the game.
.. We should copy the Finnish education system, for example – it is, after all, the number one such system in the world. There they divide into academic and vocational at 16 and there's none of this nonsense that all must go to university – that's reserved for the small fraction that are indeed academic. Or the Swedish system of education vouchers. Parents decide on the school they want children to go to and the local council stumps up the fees – whether it's a public or private school.
From Denmark we'll take a couple of policies. Privatise the ambulance and fire services certainly. They've been working well there for nigh on 90 years. We'd want their taxation system as well: the national income tax is 3.76% and the top national rate is 15%. True, total income taxes are high but the rest is levied by the commune, a political unit as small as 10,000 people ..
From all of them we'll take the abolition of the national minimum wage, for none of the EU Nordics has one.
Sweden has also abolished inheritance tax, gift tax and the wealth tax. Those sound like three excellent ideas to copy.
We'll also need to decentralise, even dismantle, the National Health Service, for none of the Nordics has anything like it. Instead, it's local taxation paying for local care in all instances: a real postcode lottery.
So, yes, we really should do as Polly asks. Let's make this a country she can be proud of. School vouchers and academic and vocational streaming. Privatised emergency services. Local, not national, taxation. Abolish the national minimum wage. Get rid of inheritance and gift taxes .. Finally, destroy the "national" part of the NHS. I'll sign up to all of that. Thanks, Polly!
For the sake of the argument, let’s go ahead and assume that everything you’ve heard about the dangers of drugs is completely true. That probably means that using drugs is a terrible idea. It doesn’t mean, however, that the drug war is a good idea.
Prohibition is a textbook example of a policy with negative unintended consequences. Literally: it’s an example in the textbook I use in my introductory economics classes ..
.. the myriad ways in which government promises to make us safer in fact imperil our safety and security. The drug war is an obvious example: in the name of making us safer and protecting us from drugs, we are actually put in greater danger. Without meaning to, the drug warriors have turned American cities into war zones and eroded the very freedoms we hold dear.
Freedom of contract has been abridged in the name of keeping us “safe” from drugs. Private property is less secure because it can be seized if it is implicated in a drug crime (this also flushes the doctrine of “innocent until proven guilty” out the window). The drug war has been used as a pretext for clamping down on immigration. Not surprisingly, the drug war has turned some of our neighborhoods into war zones. We are warehousing productive young people in prisons at an alarming rate all in the name of a war that cannot be won.
Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses.
Murray's strategy was to devote educational efforts to educating people like the millions of young (and not-so-young) Ron Paul supporters that we now read about on a daily basis (and whose existence reportedly infuriates Charles Koch). It was never to pretend that it was possible to take over the Washington establishment. Murray was never so naive as to believe in such a fool's errand. He believed instead that the opposite was much more likely to occur: that the Washington establishment would force CATO to compromise its principles as the price of being treated "respectfully" by the likes of the company newspaper, the Washington Post. He understood that the Washington establishment would only use an institution like CATO to fool the public into believing that there is actually a public policy debate in Washington, and that it is not just a matter of choosing minor, miniscule variations of the combination of welfare/warfare statism when choosing between the two political parties.
CATO began compromising its principles the moment it moved from San Francisco to Washington, D.C .. everything I sent to CATO was all-of-a-sudden watered down so much that it sounded more like something coming out of the liberal Brookings Institution .. seemed to be on the same ideological wave length as a leftist like Ted Kennedy or a neocon like Newt Gingrich. I was apparently too much of a Misesian and not enough of an intellectual prostitute for CATO ..
Murray Rothbard was right, and Charles Koch's lawsuit against the CATO Institute inadvertently admits it.
Lobbying conducted by individuals, businesses, or a group of businesses for the purpose of securing some sort of economic advantage over their competitors through legislative channels rather than through private innovation and competition is known as rent seeking. Among other things, the economic advantages that rent seekers try to obtain often include government-sanctioned monopolies, tax breaks, loans, and subsidies. For example, a pharmaceutical company might seek to have its product mandated, thus creating a continual demand for it while simultaneously squelching competition from other companies. The consequences of such rent seeking actions were once humorously demonstrated by Frédéric Bastiat when he suggested that French legislators ban the light of the sun in order to promote the candlemaking industry.
The practice of rent seeking has been around as long as there have been government funds to be had; however, it was not expounded on until 1967 by Gordon Tullock in The Welfare Costs of Tariffs, Monopolies, and Theft. Tullock declared that many studies which examined the economic impact of tariffs and monopolies - two of the possible goals of rent seeking - failed to show the many hidden costs involved with these issues. As Tullock pointed out, one of these hidden costs can come through increased consumer prices on imported goods. For instance, when a particular business uses rent seeking to secure a protective tariff against its foreign competitors, the market price of that product will be artificially increased over the base cost of the lower-priced imported good. Additionally, the government’s enforcement of the tariff means increased taxes for the consumer.
Tal como D. Branca e os restantes colegas, o Estado é tido como uma pessoa de bem, que honra os compromissos perante os cidadãos. Se estes lhes entregam os descontos de uma vida de trabalho, esperam que depois lhes seja paga uma pensão aproximada ao salário auferido. Mas sendo a aritmética aquilo que é, o funcionamento do esquema depende da manutenção de um relativo equilíbrio entre o dinheiro que entra pela base da pirâmide e o dinheiro que sai pelo topo. Depende, por outras palavras, de o Estado conseguir um relativo equilíbrio entre as contribuições que entram e as pensões que saem.
Ora, se a esperança de vida aumenta e as pensões se prolongam no tempo; e se a natalidade desce e as contribuições são cada vez menores, só um milagre conseguirá garantir a sobrevivência do esquema (assumindo o milagre as vestes perturbadoras de uma epidemia de gripe, benigna para os trabalhadores mais novos e mortal para os pensionistas mais velhos…).
A nossa Educação Pública vive há décadas sobre uma mentira: a ideia romântica e inquestionável de que todas as crianças e adolescentes são capazes de chegarem até onde elas ou os pais delas quiserem.
Chegámos a uma situação em que é de mau tom afirmar aquilo que todos conhecem: há crianças muito inteligentes, outras que o são medianamente e outras ainda que são muito lentas a aprender. E há crianças que se esforçam muito, outras que se esforçam pouco. E há algumas que adoram aprender e outras que se cansam facilmente.
E, por fim, há crianças que adoram a escola e outras que a detestam.
A falácia da escolaridade obrigatória e de uma via única para todos é aceite de forma inquestionável. O resultado está à vista: os gastos com a Educação não cessam de subir e os resultados não passam da mediocridade.Quatro verdades simples sobre a mentira da educação:
#5. Os políticos não têm a noção de que existe uma enorme heterogeneidade intelectual entre as crianças e os jovens. Tendem a ignorar esta verdade simples: as capacidades diferem muito de indivíduo para indivíduo.
#6. É um erro pensar que é possível ensinar tudo a toda a gente. Por mais maleável que sejam os alunos há limites inultrapassáveis. Por mais que os professores se esforcem há alunos que não conseguem aprender determinadas matérias. E não conseguem porque não querem ou porque não têm conhecimento prévios ou capacidades intelectuais suficientes.
#8. É um erro obrigar todos os alunos, seja qual for o nível das suas capacidades, a seguirem uma via de ensino e um currículo que se destina a prepará-los para frequentar a Universidades. Fazer isso é negar aos alunos com menos capacidades intelectuais, pelo menos metade do total, uma formação técnica ou e profissional que lhes permitiria a aprendizagem de um ofício com aceitação no mercado de trabalho: carpinteiro, eletricista, mecânico, canalizador, cozinheiro, etc.
#9. Os alunos intelectualmente mais brilhantes estão a ser negligenciados nas escolas e nas universidades. Esses alunos precisam de programas mais exigentes e devem poder avançar a ritmos mais rápidos.
Evadir impuestos en economías con un elevado volumen de expropiación tributaria, como es el caso indudable de España, no sólo es algo razonable económicamente hablando sino también legítimo desde el punto de vista moral. Constituye, ni más ni menos, que un acto en defensa propia contra la brutal agresión que ejerce el Estado al apropiarse de forma injustificada con un porción muy sustancial de la riqueza que generan los individuos y las empresas. Al igual que sucede en los países comunistas, en donde eludir la legalidad es una cuestión de supervivencia, la evasión de impuestos injustos es una reacción natural al vil latrocinio que aplica el Estado español.
.. one thing needs to be stated as clearly and as often as possible: The United States is the least racist and least xenophobic country in the world. Foreigners of every race, ethnicity, and religion know this. Most Americans suspect this. Most black Americans and the entire left deny this.
Black Africans know this. That is why so many seek to live in the United States. Decades ago, the number of black Africans who had immigrated to the United States had already surpassed the number of black Africans who were forcibly shipped to America as slaves.
And members of other races and nationalities know this. Even Muslim and Arab writers have noted that nowhere in the Arab or larger Muslim world does an Arab or any other Muslim have the individual rights, liberty, and dignity that a Muslim living in America has. As for Latinos and Asians, vast numbers of them from El Salvador to Korea regard America as the land of opportunity.
And when any of these people come here - from anywhere, speaking any language, looking like a member of any race -- they are accepted as Americans the moment they identify as such. He or she will be regarded as fully American. This is not true elsewhere. A third-generation Turkish-German, whose German is indistinguishable from the German spoken by an indigenous German, will still be regarded by most Germans as a Turk. The same holds true elsewhere in Europe.
On the other hand, a first-generation Turkish American, who speaks English with a heavy Turkish accent, but who identifies as American, will be regarded every bit as American as anyone else.
El negocio del taxi en Estados Unidos normalmente funciona en detrimento de los pobres y los grupos minoritarios de dos maneras: como consumidores y como productores. Como consumidores, su situación se ve claramente por los “chistes de taxistas” étnicos y los problemas que sufren los negros para encontrar un taxi, lo que frecuentemente no pueden hacer.
El acceso restringido a taxis en áreas donde el transporte público es inadecuado es menudo más que incómodo. Por ejemplo, cuando se trata de salud, el taxi es un sustitutivo excelente y barato de una ambulancia. Pero en los barrios pobres, que se ven inadecuadamente atendidos por el transporte público y cuyos residentes no pueden comprar vehículo propio, normalmente es difícil encontrar un taxi.
Bajo el sistema actual, los pobres también sufren como productores ..
.. taxis “piratas” patrullaban la calles de los guettos que evitaban los taxistas con medallón y empezaron a ganarse la vida de forma honrada, aunque ilegal. Su éxito inicial en evitar sanciones bajo las leyes existentes se debió probablemente a dos factores: el miedo de la policía a “molestar” en el guetto y se acosaba a esos taxis y el hecho de que los piratas trabajaban sólo en el guetto y, por tanto, no quitaban negocio a los taxis con medallón.
¡No! Una solución apropiada a la crisis de los taxis no es asimilar el movimiento de los taxistas piratas ofreciéndoles incorporarlos al sistema, sino más bien destruir el sistema de licencias restringidas de taxis.
One of the main points of criticism of the CO2-dominated climate models is that they fail to reproduce the temperature fluctuations over the last 10,000 years. This surprises no one as these models assign scant climate impact to major factors, i.e. the sun. As numerous IPCC-ignored studies show, the post-Ice Age temperature curve for the most part ran synchronously with solar activity fluctuations. The obvious discrepancy between modeled theory and measured reality has been brought up time and again.
The journal Climate of the Past Discussions has published a new paper written by a team led by Gerrit Lohmann of the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Bremerhaven, Germany. The group compared geologically reconstructed ocean-temperature data over the last 6000 years to results from modeling. If the models were indeed reliable, as is often claimed, then there would be good agreement. Unfortunately in Lohmann’s case, agreement was non-existent.
.. the models do not even come close to properly reproducing the reconstructed temperatures of the past.
When Europe’s finance ministers meet for a group photo, it’s easy to spot the rebel — Anders Borg has a ponytail and earring. What actually marks him out, though, is how he responded to the crash. While most countries in Europe borrowed massively, Borg did not. Since becoming Sweden’s finance minister, his mission has been to pare back government. His ‘stimulus’ was a permanent tax cut. To critics, this was fiscal lunacy — the so-called ‘punk tax cutting’ agenda. Borg, on the other hand, thought lunacy meant repeating the economics of the 1970s and expecting a different result.
Three years on, it’s pretty clear who was right. ‘Look at Spain, Portugal or the UK, whose governments were arguing for large temporary stimulus,’ he says. ‘Well, we can see that very little of the stimulus went to the economy. But they are stuck with the debt.’ Tax-cutting Sweden, by contrast, had the fastest growth in Europe last year, when it also celebrated the abolition of its deficit. The recovery started just in time for the 2010 Swedish election, in which the Conservatives were re-elected for the first time in history.
He continued to cut taxes and cut welfare-spending to pay for it; he even cut property taxes for the rich to lure entrepreneurs back to Sweden ..
What even Borg did not expect was that his tax cut for the low-paid would increase economic growth so much that it has almost entirely paid for itself. Borg had created something that Osborne’s critics say does not exist: a self-financing tax cut. ‘There was some criticism at the time that we were borrowing to finance tax cuts,’ he says. But Sweden could do it, because it was expecting to return to surplus soon; Britain has no such luxury, he says. His main advice to Osborne is: ‘Keep on dealing with the deficit, because deficits destroy everything else.’
Far from being an amoral arena for the clash of interests, capitalist interaction is highly structured by ethical norms and rules. Capitalism rests on a rejection of the ethics of loot and grab, the means by which most wealth enjoyed by the wealthy is acquired in other economic and political systems. For much of human history, those who were rich were rich because they took from others, and especially because they used their power to gain monopolies and to confiscate the produce of others through taxes. It’s only under conditions of capitalism that people commonly become wealthy without being criminals.
It’s important to distinguish free-market capitalism from crony capitalism, a system that has mired many nations in corruption and backwardness and is, sadly, on the rise. In many countries, if someone is rich, there is a very good chance that he (rarely she) holds political power or is a close relative, friend or supporter – in a word, a crony – of those who do hold power, and that his wealth came not from being a producer of valued goods and services but from enjoying the privileges that the state can confer on some at the expense of others ..
Such corrupt cronyism shouldn’t be confused with free-market capitalism, which is based on the rule of law, on equality of rights for all, on the freedom to choose, on the freedom to innovate, on the guiding discipline of both private profits and private losses.
What all these tricks have in common is this: they're not arguments; they don't address any of the points we sceptics (or "realists" as we prefer to term ourselves) painstakingly make in article after article, blog after blog; they're simply rhetorical tropes designed to confuse, obfuscate, distract, wear down, bruise, irritate, hurt, clog up the comments section and give the illusion of moral and intellectual victory. Above all, though, their purpose is to distract from what you might call the climate alarmists' Polar Bear In The Room: the world stopped warming in 1998, even as CO2 emissions continued to rise; not only that but none of the computer modelers’ doomsday "projections" of runaway climate catastrophe have been even closely matched by observed real world data.
During the last two decades global warming alarmist propaganda has depended on Hitler's Big Lie principle (whoops: Godwin's Law. So shoot me). But that principle, as first Hitler discovered and now the AGW lobby is discovering too, is flawed. In fact there are only so many times you can tell a whopping great lie (be it on the solidity of AGW theory or that climate sceptics are lavishly funded by Big Oil) before the people see through it. And once the people discover that they have been consistently lied to (and cheated out of a great deal of money to boot) they don't like it one bit.
In 1974, Friedrich Hayek (an Austrian Economist) won the Nobel Prize in economics. The following excerpt is part of his prize lecture. I will be adding commentary to demonstrate why Hayek’s speech from 1974 is still relevant today. In the speech, Hayek points out the problems with mainstream economics (which has changed relatively little since Hayek first gave this speech) and why the Austrian view better explains the actions of the market.
Hayek states:… the very measures which the dominant “macro-economic” theory has recommended as a remedy for unemployment, namely the increase of aggregate demand, have become a cause of a very extensive misallocation of resources which is likely to make later large-scale unemployment inevitable.
..when the Fed ceases to print money, mass unemployment must result, because the printed money is diverting resources into unproductive tasks. Presently, the Fed has NOT yet ceased printing money. The housing bubble popped due to the banking crisis created by defaulting home loans, but that bad debt was not liquidated as it should have been, instead it was transferred to the tax payer. Now we are in a situation where if the Fed ceases to print money, it will bring about the collapse of the entire banking sector AND the collapse of state financing.
If you think the high unemployment rates from the bursting of the housing bubble are bad, just wait till you see what happens when the bond bubble implodes and the currency becomes worthless. The Fed can’t keep interest rates at zero forever. When they finally rise, economic chaos will ensue. Imagine if everyone working in finance and government were laid off tomorrow.
.. Before Mitt Romney, those seeking the presidency operated under the laws of so-called classical politics .. Under these Newtonian principles, a candidate’s position on an issue tends to stay at rest until an outside force — the Tea Party, say, .. — compels him to alter his stance, at a speed commensurate with the size of the force (usually large) and in inverse proportion to the depth of his beliefs (invariably negligible) ..
But the Romney candidacy represents literally a quantum leap forward. It is governed by rules that are bizarre and appear to go against everyday experience and common sense .. The basic concepts behind this model are:
Complementarity. In much the same way that light is both a particle and a wave, Mitt Romney is both a moderate and a conservative, depending on the situation (Fig. 1). It is not that he is one or the other; it is not that he is one and then the other. He is both at the same time.Leitura recomendada.
Probability. Mitt Romney’s political viewpoints can be expressed only in terms of likelihood, not certainty. While some views are obviously far less likely than others, no view can be thought of as absolutely impossible. Thus, for instance, there is at any given moment a nonzero chance that Mitt Romney supports child slavery.
In economics as with medicine any cure must begin with a sound diagnosis. But if economists were doctors the patient would have died on the table. Despite its pretensions to scientific exactitude, the discipline has offered a bewildering array of diagnoses; the doctors still arguing.
But there is another diagnosis which fits the symptoms quite well; Austrian Business Cycle Theory (ABCT), so called because it grows out of the Austrian School of economics founded in Vienna by Carl Menger in the nineteenth century. It describes the causes and course of the current crisis better than any other theory and offers some insights in to what lies ahead.
The Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises wrote:There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involvedThis is the Austrian choice; recognize the liquidation and allow zombie banks to collapse and stop soaking up scarce capital so we can get the recovery going or keep putting it off with more monetary and fiscal stimulus ..
True, this is a grim prospect, but that matters less than whether it’s correct. Anyone who says there is a third option, a painless way out which can be found simply by ticking a different box on a ballot paper, truly is peddling snake oil.
So, the questions naturally arise: Why does anyone place any confidence in anything a politician says? Why does anyone expect anything but deception and predation from these dishonest reprobates? Why does anyone seek social improvement or economic salvation from the programs these ne’er-do-wells devise and implement? Why, indeed, do people continue to tolerate politics at all? (This last question presupposes, of course, that those who wish to use the political process to commit a de facto crime—that is, an act that, if committed privately, would be seen as plainly criminal—will be entirely in favor of politics because using the government as their agent-perpetrator offers a way to legalize their crimes. My question pertains to the noncriminal element of the population.)
- If engineers were no more honest than the typical politician, all of the bridges would fall down.
- If accountants were no more honest than the typical politician, every firm would go bankrupt.
- If merchants were no more honest than the typical politician, Paris would not get fed; nor would any other city.
- If preachers were no more honest than the typical politician, everyone who took their sermons to heart would go straight to hell.
- If physicians were no more honest than the typical politician, all of the patients would die.
- If carpenters were no more honest than the typical politician, every house would collapse.
- If spouses were no more honest than the typical politician, every marriage would be on the rocks.
- If used car dealers were no more honest than the typical politician, no one would risk buying a used car.
- If electricians were no more honest than the typical politician, we would all be electrocuted.
- If soldiers were no more honest than the typical politician, both sides would lose every battle.
- And so forth.
The state’s an institution by which all of us, through the pooling of our resources, help both ourselves and our fellow citizens. The state keeps us safe, provides us with roads and schools, checks our food for pathogens, and so on. It stands to reason, then, that having received so much, we all should feel a debt of gratitude toward the state. A debt we must repay through obedience.
The crude form of the argument from gratitude .. doesn’t hold up to even passing scrutiny. The most obvious concern is with the form of repayment. Assuming I do owe a debt of gratitude to the state, why must I repay it with obedience? Why not cash or a day’s labor cleaning up the neighborhood? If you happen to pull me back onto the sidewalk just as I’m about to unknowingly walk in front of a bus, I should, out of a sense of gratitude, feel that I am in your debt. Yet if you were to respond with, “Okay, and to fulfill that debt, I demand you obey me,” I’d rightfully scoff. That’s not how debts of gratitude work.
If it’s the case that the state isn’t a net benefit to you then gratitude won’t apply and you’ll lack a duty to obey the law. Which is precisely what consequentialist libertarians like David Friedman argue. To them, we’d all be better off without the state. If they’re right that the state’s existence harms us more than it helps us–the consequences of the state’s existence are a net loss–then we owe it no debt of gratitude and thus no obedience.
It was prompted when I very vocally expressed my disgust at one of the standard phrases trotted out by Warmists and other eco-loons in these debates (as, of course, inevitably, they did again on Sunday): the one about "preserving the planet for future generations".
The reason this cant phrase makes me want to throw up every time I hear it is that it's such a grotesque inversion of reality. It's not people on my side of the debate who want to ravage the countryside with wind farms (with no provision for decommissioning them), rein in economic growth, introduce wartime-style rationing, raise taxes, destroy farmland and rainforests to create biofuels, and base heinously expensive public policy on hysteria and junk science. It's not people on my side of the debate who are condemning those "future generations" to a lower standard of living and an uglier environment in order to deal with a problem that doesn't exist. So how dare they have the gall to try to take the moral high ground?
Does anyone imagine that back in 1012 they were all agonising about how the children of the future might cope in 2012, what with all the scarce resources being used up at an alarming rate to make ships and spears and light warning beacons for the next Viking raid? Somehow I don't think so. Yet this is precisely the kind of unutterable boll***s you hear being advanced almost every day by people like this liberal-leftie media type with whom I had my big row.
As I note in Watermelons, the global warming scare – the biggest and most expensive outbreak of mass hysteria in history – has enabled some very bad people to do some very wrong things in the name of "saving the planet for future generations". And yet the eco-loons complain about people like me being rude? And they think I'm the one who should be knifed or head-butted?
The withholding tax makes it possible for the government to silently steal the wealth from its citizens with little or no outrage about the loss. And even in the case where the citizen receives a refund of all the taxes he has paid in, the withholding tax still serves two evil purposes. First, getting a refund of all the taxes one pays in amounts to an interest-free loan to the government. The government gets money to continue its spending orgy, and the citizen loses the ability to receive a return on money that could be invested. And second, getting a tax refund fosters the notion that the government is benevolent. Never mind that the money is yours. If the government sends you a check in the mail then the government can't be all that bad.
Surprisingly, it was a free market economist who helped the federal government implement the withholding tax in the first place. As was pointed out by the Austrian economist, Murray Rothbard (1926–1995), in his 1971 article "Milton Friedman unraveled":One of Friedman’s most disastrous deeds was the important role he proudly played, during World War II in the Treasury Department, in foisting upon the suffering American public the system of the withholding tax. Before World War II, when income tax rates were far lower than now, there was no withholding system; everyone paid his annual bill in one lump sum, on March 15. It is obvious that under this system, the Internal Revenue Service could never hope to extract the entire annual sum, at current confiscatory rates, from the mass of the working population. The whole ghastly system would have happily broken down long before this. Only the Friedmanite withholding tax has permitted the government to use every employer as an unpaid tax collector, extracting the tax quietly and silently from each paycheck. In many ways, we have Milton Friedman to thank for the present monster Leviathan State in America.
.. in the early 1840s, explorers made an exciting discovery .. Peru's Chincha Islands were found to be covered by mountains of bird excrement .. — at a time when guano was used worldwide for fertilizer. So, out of nowhere, a valuable natural resource was found, one which promised — if managed properly — to produce wealth that could "stagger the dreams of Oriental imagination," possibly ushering in a new era of development and progress.
.. The federal budget tripled by 1860 .. Rumors of an unrestrained spending binge resonated globally, and by the mid-1860s engineers, would-be industrialists, and hawkers from around the world were beating a path to Peru, feverishly pursuing state officials to get in on the construction boom ..
.. Peru's debt-saddled economy was suddenly upended by the Panic of 1873 .. a variety of other government projects defaulted amid a widening financial contagion culminating in January 1876, as Peru defaulted on its sovereign debt for the second time in a century: mountains of loans from European banks in stark juxtaposition against diminished avian dung heaps.
.. roads were in "ruins" with Peruvian citizens "liv[ing] from hand to mouth." .. between 1866 and 1877 alone, prices had nearly doubled, and between 1857 and 1876, the unemployment rate rose from 16.1 to 23.4 percent .. Duffield wryly summarized the period as not so much an era of guano as an "Age of Manure.
The nightmare was not over. At the end of 1878, with banks collapsing and government expenditures more than twice its revenue, the printing presses were put to work. Huge amounts of currency issued forth, and shortly thereafter hyperinflation struck .. "no transactions [were] being made in paper money [with] business almost at a standstill."
.. Peru was unprepared for the crash. It was riches to rags, with nothing to show in persisting economic advance .. Unrest swept through the nation, with some 36 attempted uprisings in four years. But soon things got even worse, as Chile responded to Pardo's seizure of the nitrate fields with an invasion of Peru in 1879. Militarily defeated by 1883 and burdened with a wrecked currency, massive debt, and the aftermath of war, Peru would take decades to recover.
O anterior governo, com o ex-primeiro-ministro à cabeça, deveria ser responsabilizado por tudo o que fez a este país ..
Actuam sem qualquer vergonha ou receio de poderem vir a ser punidos pelos desastrosos desempenhos em funções para as quais foram eleitos ou nomeados. Gerem um país inteiro da forma mais escabrosa possível, irresponsável e incompetente. Gastam o nosso dinheiro com tiques labregos de novo-riquismo próprios de gente que teve acesso ao que nunca deveria ter tido ..
Não entendo como alguém intelectualmente honesto ( e que não se sinta ou possa vir a sentir-se comprometido no futuro em relação ao que afirmou no passado - vulgo "comentadeiras" politizadas e de olho na AR) pode defender que não devem ser "criminalizadas" as políticas que destroem a propriedade, a liberdade, o direito ao emprego, as empresas e a Economia, o acesso ao ensino e à investigação, à saúde, à igualdade de oportunidades, a uma infância feliz, uma vida digna e a uma velhice condigna e aos mesmo tempo condenem de uma penada milhões de pessoas à extrema pobreza ou ao limiar cada vez mais esbatido que a separa da mera sobrevivência. Para mim isto é muito mais grave do que furtar, aliás muitas vezes coincide, e furtar ao que consta é crime.
The difficulty with most of the Titanic versions, Cox writes, is that they are “told as if all the important issues were easy to resolve.” “If we had operated the Titanic, it is suggested, we would certainly have taken the trouble to determine just how far from ‘unsinkable’ she really was. We would have provided her with every conceivable safety device and mechanism of escape. We would have anticipated every hazard she might conceivably have encountered.” Cox, however, won’t play the game of perfect hindsight, but asks about the situation that faced the decision-makers at the time, what information they had, what beliefs they held.
Consider, for example, the famous matter of the lifeboats. There were not enough lifeboats to provide places for all the passengers and crew members, and for that decision the White Star Line was pilloried. Supposedly, the firm’s decision to equip the ship with fewer than enough boats to allow everyone to be able to escape showed its disregard for the well-being of passengers and crew—putting profits before people, as anti-capitalists are so ready to chant .. this is far from the indisputable indictment of laissez faire that it is widely assumed to be.
First, there is the element of time. On a passenger liner, with large numbers of panicky civilians who don’t all behave ideally, getting everyone into lifeboats and safely launching them takes a great deal of time .. under perfectly calm conditions, did not have enough time to launch its full complement of boats ..
Moreover, the Titanic sank under the unusual conditions of calm seas and no port or starboard list. Why does that matter? Cox points out that, “if a ship is going to sink, it may well develop a list so severe that lifeboats on one side cannot be lowered ..” Therefore, the requirement to have a lifeboat place for everyone would in practice require substantially more than “enough places” because of the likelihood that not all boats could be launched.
Instead of putting more money into making certain that there was a lifeboat place for everyone, shipbuilders concentrated on trying to make each ship “its own lifeboat” .. Had the Californian come immediately to the aid of the Titanic—another issue that Cox tackles—there might have been few if any casualties.
In the last decade, something astonishing has happened that has escaped the attention of nearly every American citizen .. in the last 10 years, the world economy doubled in size at the same time the balance of the world’s emerging wealth shifted away from the United States and toward all various parts of the world. The gap between us and them began to narrow. The world’s emerging markets began to make up half the global economy.
.. localized institutions that are cooperating globally (trade!) to build capital, wealth and new sources of progress that no one planned and hardly anyone anticipated. Here is the story of the building of civilization as it has always happened in history, but tracked carefully and precisely in our times.
.. Nicaragua is not socialist. Medellín, Colombia (the “city of eternal spring”), is not violent. Brazil is no longer a land of rich and poor, but rather home to the world’s largest middle class. China is the world’s largest market for cars and cellphones; even in the rural areas you can buy Coke and a Snickers bar. India is the world’s leader in minting new millionaires. Cambodia (Cambodia!) ranks among the world’s most powerful magnets for investment capital. Mongolia has one of the world’s best-performing stock markets.
It’s particularly intriguing to read about how all these emerging-market entrepreneurs overcome terrible and destructive bureaucracies — they exist everywhere! — that try to gum up the works, as well as bureaucrats who know nothing of business yet have the power to kill it off. Yet their very inefficiency is the saving grace. They can’t control the future. The brilliance of the market somehow finds the workaround.