sábado, Junho 30, 2012

Socialist or Fascist

Socialist or Fascist por Thomas Sowell:
What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.
One of the reasons why both pro-Obama and anti-Obama observers may be reluctant to see him as fascist is that both tend to accept the prevailing notion that fascism is on the political right, while it is obvious that Obama is on the political left.

Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely -- and correctly -- regarded as being on the political left ..

Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.
What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people -- like themselves -- need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.
Only our own awareness of the huge stakes involved can save us from the rampaging presumptions of our betters, whether they are called socialists or fascists. So long as we buy their heady rhetoric, we are selling our birthright of freedom.

sexta-feira, Junho 29, 2012

Poverty Intellectuals


Thomas Sowell - Race, Poverty & Intellectuals

Monetary Freedom

Why Not Monetary Freedom?:
.. In a world that claims to have rejected socialism, central banks remain one of the most powerful socialist institutions around the world—because make no mistake about it, central banking is monetary central planning.
Monetary central planning is one of the last vestiges of socialist central planning. The fact is, the Federal Reserve can no more correctly plan for the “optimal” quantity of money or a targeted rate of inflation than any other branch of government can properly plan for the optimal supply and pricing of shoes, cigars, soap, or scissors. And the history of monetary central planning in the United States and around the world has demonstrated the same inevitable failures as all other forms of socialist planning.

The best monetary policy would be no monetary policy at all. The advocate of the free market, therefore, calls for the abolition of the Federal Reserve and the operation of a market-based system of private and competitive free banking.
In the absence of government regulation and monopoly control, a free monetary and banking system would exist; it would not have to be created, designed, or supported. A market-based system would naturally emerge, take form, and develop out of the prior system of monetary central planning. And monetary freedom would be established.

The Calculus of Consent


Gordon Tullock and James Buchanan: The Calculus of Consent After 25 Years

Politólogos e macacos

Political Scientists Are Lousy Forecasters:
It’s an open secret in my discipline: in terms of accurate political predictions (the field’s benchmark for what counts as science), my colleagues have failed spectacularly and wasted colossal amounts of time and money.
.. in the 1980s, the political psychologist Philip E. Tetlock began systematically quizzing 284 political experts — most of whom were political science Ph.D.’s — on dozens of basic questions, like whether a country would go to war, leave NATO or change its boundaries or a political leader would remain in office ..

Professor Tetlock’s main finding? Chimps randomly throwing darts at the possible outcomes would have done almost as well as the experts.

These results wouldn’t surprise the guru of the scientific method, Karl Popper, whose 1934 book “The Logic of Scientific Discovery” remains the cornerstone of the scientific method. Yet Mr. Popper himself scoffed at the pretensions of the social sciences: “Long-term prophecies can be derived from scientific conditional predictions only if they apply to systems which can be described as well-isolated, stationary, and recurrent. These systems are very rare in nature; and modern society is not one of them.”

Solitary Confinement society


Is Solitary Confinement a Form of Torture? Q&A with journalist James Ridgeway

Celebrating Che Guevara (2)

No seguimento de Celebrating Che Guevara, The Cult of Che:
The cult of Ernesto Che Guevara is an episode in the moral callousness of our time. Che was a totalitarian. He achieved nothing but disaster. Many of the early leaders of the Cuban Revolution favored a democratic or democratic-socialist direction for the new Cuba. But Che was a mainstay of the hardline pro-Soviet faction, and his faction won. Che presided over the Cuban Revolution's first firing squads. He founded Cuba's "labor camp" system—the system that was eventually employed to incarcerate gays, dissidents, and AIDS victims.
And yet he succeeded in inspiring tens of thousands of middle class Latin-Americans to exit the universities and organize guerrilla insurgencies of their own. And these insurgencies likewise accomplished nothing, except to bring about the death of hundreds of thousands, and to set back the cause of Latin-American democracy—a tragedy on the hugest scale.
I wonder if people who stand up to cheer a hagiography of Che Guevara, as the Sundance audience did, will ever give a damn about the oppressed people of Cuba—will ever lift a finger on behalf of the Cuban liberals and dissidents.

Tax Reform Is Impossible

Nanny gone wild

18 Examples Of The Nanny State Gone Wild:
If you look back throughout history, the societies that have really thrived have had a very high degree of liberty and freedom. When the bureaucrats get the upper hand, it can suck the life out of any economy. Unfortunately, our political system seems to be a magnet for control freaks. These control freaks truly believe that they know better than the rest of us and they are systematically moving toward taking total control of our lives.
#1 New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that he wants to ban the sale of all large sodas and sugary drinks ..

#2 In North Carolina, authorities are threatening to send a blogger to prison for blogging about his battle against diabetes....

#3 In San Francisco, if you do not recycle your trash correctly you can be fined up to $500.
Our founders intended to create a society where liberty and freedom would be maximized, and all of that liberty and freedom helped create an environment that gave birth to the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen.

But now the control freaks are choking the life out of our society. Please take a stand against them while you still can.

Patrioteirismo e Nacionalismo Romântico


quickmeme
I attak German idealism, romantic nationalism and corporatist economics — and you accuse me of being a Fascist?

Elinor Ostrom (2)

No seguimento de Elinor Ostrom, Property Rights Aren’t Always the Libertarian Solution — Between State and market:
At FEE’s seminar last week on libertarian perspectives on current events, a participant asked: “How do we privatize the air?”

The student may have had in mind the economic principle, popularized by Ronald Coase, that externalities–especially negative externalities such as air pollution– result from ill-defined or unenforced property rights. The question also seems to reflect a common libertarian idea that in a free society all scarce resources must be owned by somebody. That would include the atmosphere when clean air is scarce.
Don’t get me wrong! Private property rights prevent the kind of free riding that hinders economic development. And of course private property is essential for personal freedom: Property rights not only help to avoid or resolve interpersonal conflict–such as the tragedy of the commons–they are what provide a person with a sphere of autonomy and privacy in an economically developed world where contact with strangers is commonplace.
Consider the work of Elinor Ostrom, winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in economics, the only women so far to be so honored. Sadly, Ostrom died on June 12, a great loss for social science. While few would consider her a libertarian–I don’t believe she thought she was–libertarians can learn a lot from her work. She is perhaps best known for her 1990 book, Governing the Commons, in which she presented her methods and findings regarding how people coped (or didn’t cope) with what has come to be known as “common-pool resource” (CPR) problems
In those instances the nonstate, nonmarket institutions she studied were, when successful, conventions that the users of common-pool resources agreed to and used sometimes for centuries. They were made voluntarily and evolved over time, but they were not market outcomes, at least in the narrow sense, because no one “owned” the resource in question and it was not bought and sold.

Nazi Future


Former Hitler Youth Whistleblower Warns Of America's Nazi Future (Full Length • HD)

The death of the family is the life of the state

The Welfare State's Attack on the Family:
Most people listening to libertarian ideas are thrown off by the thought that private charity, in absence of government programs, will handle problems involving truly helpless people ..

When a person becomes old without savings, what is he or she supposed to do without socialist programs such as Social Security? The forgotten institution of charity here is the family. When libertarians talk of charity, we don't just mean the Salvation Army, but taking care of your relatives as well.
So was the rule everywhere before the welfare state: your parents who took care of you financially as a child — you may need to help them in the future. This basic element of family life seems to be mind-boggling to supporters of the welfare state. Proponents of the welfare state constantly speak about our responsibility to society through redistributionist taxes.
I have no responsibility to society as a whole, to some stranger I've never met. I personally feel that I do have a responsibility toward my immediate family. Programs like .. Social Security, and unemployment insurance take away our responsibility to the family and place it in the hands of the state. They crowd out our sense of moral responsibility.
The agenda of the state is to break up the family. The more you depend on the state, the more you justify its existence, and the larger it grows. The idea that people can provide things for themselves either individually or through the family frightens the state. It delegitimizes its role. The role of the family is dangerous to its survival.

The death of the family is the life of the state.

Too Much College


facebook


Too Much College por Walter E. Williams:
In President Barack Obama's 2012 State of the Union address, he said that "higher education can't be a luxury. It is an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford." Such talk makes for political points, but there's no evidence that a college education is an economic imperative. A good part of our higher education problem, explaining its spiraling cost, is that a large percentage of students currently attending college are ill-equipped and incapable of doing real college work. They shouldn't be there wasting their own resources and those of their families and taxpayers.
Primary and secondary school education is in shambles. Colleges are increasingly in academic decline as they endeavor to make comfortable environments for the educationally incompetent. Colleges should refuse admission to students who are unprepared to do real college work. That would not only help reveal shoddy primary and secondary education but also reduce the number of young people making unwise career choices. Sadly, that won't happen. College administrators want warm bodies to bring in money.

Obamacare is not dead (1)


Is There a Silver Lining to the Supreme Court's Obamacare Decision?



Reality Check: If Healthcare Law Is A Tax Is It Now Invalid?

O mito mentiroso de Abraham Lincoln

Six big lies about Abraham Lincoln, the Slaves and the War:
The first big lie, which is universally believed, is that Lincoln, dubbed the “Great Emancipator” by his cult of worshippers, went to war in order to free slaves .. “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it.”
A second wicked lie is that Lincoln championed natural rights and racial equality. Both his words and his deeds utterly repudiated any belief in or respect for these admirable principles. “I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races,” .. “I will to the very last stand by the law of this state, which forbids the marrying of white people with Negroes.”
A third myth is that Lincoln’s war saved the Union. Clearly, it did so geographically; just as clearly, however, by destroying its voluntary nature ..
A fourth blatant lie, cherished by Republicans, is the assertion that Lincoln was a “Defender of the Constitution.” The polar opposite is true: Lincoln was a tyrant and the despoiler par excellence of the Constitution. Generations of historians have accurately labelled him a “dictator.” ..
A fifth lie is that Lincoln was a “great humanitarian” who bore “malice towards none.” The truth is that Lincoln planned and managed a total war upon Southern civilians .. Like Robert Mugabe today and sordid host of dictators during the 20th century, Lincoln ordered his troops to murder women and children.
A sixth lie, perhaps the most despicable of all, is that the War of Northern Aggression was necessary .. During the 19th century, dozens of countries, including the British, Russian and Spanish empires, abolished the indefensible institution of slavery. They did so peacefully and by means of compensated emancipation ..


politicians cannot creat jobs


How politicians destroy jobs

Privatize everything

A Georgia Town Takes the People’s Business Private:
Cities have dabbled for years with privatization, but few have taken the idea as far as Sandy Springs. Since the day it incorporated, Dec. 1, 2005, it has handed off to private enterprise just about every service that can be evaluated through metrics and inked into a contract.
The town does have a conventional police force and fire department, in part because the insurance premiums for a private company providing those services were deemed prohibitively high. But its 911 dispatch center is operated by a private company, iXP, with headquarters in Cranbury, N.J.
NOTHING about Sandy Springs hints that it is one of the country’s purest examples of a contract city. Even those city hall employees betray no sign that they work for a jumble of corporations ..
As a fan of Ronald Reagan and the economist Friedrich Hayek, Mr. Porter came naturally to the notion that Sandy Springs could push “the model” to its nth degree. His philosophical inclinations were formed by a life spent in private enterprise, and cemented by a visit to Weston, Fla., a town that had begun as a series of gated communities.
HOVERING around the debate about privatization is a basic question: What is local government for? ..
Town leaders say .. “A 94 percent vote in favor of incorporation speaks to the broad community support for self-government and a desire to have local dollars remain local.”
The privatized approach saves money, he continues, because corporations hire superior workers and give them better training. Work handled by 15 public employees can be done by 12 privately employed workers, he says: “It’s all about the caliber of employee and the customer focus that comes out of the private sector.”

the Follies of Central Planning


Adam Smith and the Follies of Central Planning


BÓNUS - The Adventures of Mark Twain — The Mysterious Stranger

terça-feira, Junho 26, 2012

Elinor Ostrom

No seguimento de Private Provision of Public Goods, What Elinor Ostrom Means For All Of Us:
.. I choose to focus on what Ostrom has done to help us understand how we can indeed govern ourselves, a question that oddly enough is situated within the core premise of both American and anarchist experiments. I also choose to focus on our responsibility to act upon that treasured knowledge Ostrom worked so hard to provide for us.

Ostrom remains an academic unlike many others. She transcended the debates found in most of the dogmatic Marxist, libertarian and heterodox economic circles by subverting the ideological divides, understooding that complex questions would require involved and complex answers, complex because the findings would have major social and economic implications:

- Are individuals motivated by considerations other than crude selfishness?
- Are individuals forever locked in a struggle against each other for power and control?
- Can individuals overcome substantial barriers to address critical issues such as climate change?

Ostrom (and her husband Vincent who survives Elinor and also a principal theorist in polycentric institutional orders) explored these questions by trying to understand how the “science and art of association” is utilized by real people situated in social dilemmas. The evidence of Ostrom’s work points to yes; humankind has the capacity to develop community based solutions and act concertedly to avert disasters.

But, were it not for the pioneering work of Ostrom, we may very well be stuck mired in the old debates of hegemony, public versus private, or the efficacy of expert over local, tacit knowledge. Ostrom leaves us a legacy of aspiration for the greater good of individuals, individuals with the capacity to work together for a better future, and to manage their own affairs. Because of her work, we are freed from having to apologize for challenging public policies which place authority in the hands of the few, and instead we are all now bolstered with the knowledge that “the many” have enormous capacity to control their own fate.

sabedoria monetária


15 years of the MPC

Notícias não inteiramente não-relacionadas

Baratas invadem Lisboa por falta de limpeza urbana:
Em várias zonas da cidade de Lisboa está a assistir-se a uma invasão de baratas. As empresas de desinfestação e os moradores acusam a Câmara Municipal de Lisboa (CML) de ter diminuído a limpeza dos esgotos. Mas os serviços camarários garantem que fazem diariamente desinfestações nos espaços públicos.
De acordo com Célia Cardoso, são três tipos de baratas que andam pela cidade:
- a germânica (que não ultrapassa os 2 cm),
- a oriental (entre 2 e 3 cm), e
- a barata americana (a maior, que atinge 3 a 4 cm)

A que está neste momento a ‘invadir’ a capital é a americana, que vive nos esgotos.
Deputados do PS subscrevem texto contra país “amarrado à troika”:
Um conjunto alargado de deputados e destacados militantes do PS vão participar no Congresso Democrático das Alternativas, que tem como principal objectivo unir e criar uma alternativa de esquerda num país que “continua amarrado a um Memorando da troika que não é do seu interesse”.

- Pedro Nuno Santos, Isabel Moreira, Mário Ruivo, Maria Antónia Almeida Santos, Duarte Cordeiro, Pedro Alves, Ana Catarina Mendes, Sérgio Sousa Pinto e João Galamba

- .. Ana Benavente ou António Arnaut ..

- .. Carvalho da Silva .. João Semedo .. Vasco Lourenço, António Pedro Vasconcelos, José Castro Caldas e Boaventura Sousa Santos .. Mário Soares e Manuel Alegre ..
[alguma formatação e edição não presente nos originais das notícias]

Bock + Medical Marijuana


Alan Bock, rest in peace

Eat Local, Degrade the Environment

Eat Local, Degrade the Environment:
“The Locavore’s Dilemma” argues that the benefits of eating local have been vastly overstated by food activists and its serious detriments swept under the rug ..

.. local self-sufficiency is the worst thing you can do for the environment, since it requires many crops to be grown in the wrong places, with damaging ecological consequences. American farmers .. used to grow wheat locally in the Shenandoah Valley, tilling steep and rocky slopes—and unleashing a torrent of soil erosion. With the shift of grain farming to the far more productive and erosion-resistant soils of the Midwest, “more grain is now being produced on fewer acres and, overall, more habitat is available for wildlife.” ..

Famines were common in the past precisely because food security rested on the vagaries of local conditions rather than the resiliency of trade .. “Subsistence farmers periodically starve while commercial agricultural producers who rely on monocultures for their livelihood don’t.

A Queda de Roma (2)

No seguimento de A Queda de Roma,


Stefan Molyneux - The Fall of Rome and Modern Parallels

Money Improves Society

In Countless Ways, Money Improves Society:
First, it inspired more industriousness: there was now incentive to work harder to earn more in a day than you could spend in a day. Second, savings enabled ambitious entrepreneurs to make big capital investments: labor-saving machines, warehouses, transportation.

If the saver didn't have any big plans in mind for his money, he could still make it productive by lending it out. Finance was nearly impossible without money ..

.. Money also made specialization more practical. If you were really good at one thing - manufacturing nails (to borrow Adam Smith's famous example) - you could make a living just by making nails.

Without money, someone who spent his whole day making nails would have to find (a) someone with excess food who wanted nails, (b) someone with excess shelter who wanted nails, (c) someone with clothes to spare who also wanted nails at that moment, and so on. Once money is introduced, the nail seller only needs to find (a) people with money who want nails, and (b) different people with everything the nail seller needs who want money. Facilitating specialization creates efficiencies, as folks get to divide up labor according to skill and interest. In countless ways, money improves society. - in GoldSeek

the Dallas effect (2)

No seguimento de the Dallas effect


How TV's 'Dallas' Won the Cold War

The Socialism and Fascism of the New Deal

The Socialism and Fascism of the New Deal por Jacob G. Hornberger:
In the ongoing debate over Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, there are important things that pro-New Dealers would prefer not be mentioned, such as the similarities between Roosevelt’s philosophy and programs and those of Mussolini, Stalin, and Hitler.
Roosevelt’s system was based on using the force of government to take money from people in order to give it to other people. That’s what Social Security was all about. It was also based on the power of government to control and regulate the economic activities of the people. That’s what the SEC was all about.
.. the New Deal was rooted in the same philosophy and ideas on which Mussolini’s fascist system in Italy and Stalin’s and Hitler’s socialist systems in the Soviet Union and Germany were based. One of the best books to read along this line is Three New Deals: Reflections on Roosevelt’s America, Mussolini’s Italy, and Hitler’s Germany’s 1933-1939 by Wolfgang Shivelbush.

Be Libertarian With Me


GARY JOHNSON Be Libertarian With Me

Trickle Up Economics

Trickle Up Economics por Peter Schiff:
The political left wing .. have long called for policies to redistribute wealth or for government to inject funds directly into the economy. Either mechanism puts money into the hands of everyday consumers who they claim to be the true engines of economic growth. They believe that consumer spending lies at the root of the economic pyramid. When people spend, business owners are able to sell more products, hire more workers, and reap more profits. In essence,they believe in a system of “trickle up” economics, whereby prosperity flows upward from government into the lower and middle classes and ultimately to the upper class.

Conversely, they argue, if consumers aren’t buying, business sales decline and workers lose jobs .. This leads into a vicious cycle of falling sales and increased unemployment. They believe that if a shock is not applied to reverse the cycle it is possible for an economy to regress, in theory, right back to the Stone Age. Using such logic, it is easy to identify the foundation upon which the economy rests: it’s the spending, stupid ..
But as usual, they have it exactly backwards. The savings that they find so unproductive is actually the foundation upon which the economy rests. Nothing can be consumed until it is produced. The act of spending is meaningless without something to buy. The savings of the rich forms the capital that funds business investment which increases productivity. The more that society produces, the more that can be consumed. The key here is the supply, not the demand. The grass that feeds the zebras comes from seeds, not rain. Capitalists provide the surplus seeds that are planted.

segunda-feira, Junho 25, 2012

LS Atlas Shrugged


LS Atlas Shrugged (MIXTAPE 6 ORAS JÁ DISPONÍVEL)

No que deu o choque socialista

Transcrição integral de No que deu o choque socialista de André Abrantes Amaral n'O Insurgente:
Um dos vice-presidentes do PSD, Jorge Moreira da Silva disse, na entrevista que deu ao jornal Público (exlusivo assinantes ou em papel) que o “país precisa de um choque de empreendedorismo.” Não deixa de ser fantástico que os políticos ainda tenham, depois de todos os recursos que o estado e os seus governos já consumiram, o à-vontade para o discurso do dava-nos muito jeito se trabalhassem mais.Se se esforçassem mais. Se fossem geniais. Genial é, aliás, o termo. Pois só um génio, empreende no quer que seja, quando, e ainda antes de começar, é castigado com regras e impostos. Só alguém genialmente desinteressado, empreende para mais de metade daquilo que produz ir para os bolsos de quem, de ar sério, ponderado e reflectido, lhe diz que precisa de dar mais. E lhe diz ainda que a “mudança de mentalidades” se faz com “políticas públicas e fiscalidade”. Ou seja, com mais impostos e mais favorecimentos arbitrários.

As metas do défice público estão a derrapar devido à queda nas receitas. Com conversas como as do teor da entrevista que referi em cima, só merecem que desçam muito mais. Talvez assim percebam que o que o país precisa não é de mais gente disposta a trabalhar, mas menos gente disposta a ver nos outros uma árvore das patacas. Mais do que um choque de empreendedorismo, precisamos de um choque, sim, mas de fim de socialismo.


dedicado ao Cinco de Mayo


Ask a Mexican Already! Q&A with Gustavo Arellano

Rent-seeking

An Introduction to Rent Seeking por John Samples:
Economists refer to an economic rent as a return to the owner of a resource in excess of what might be expected under normal competition. Market competition tends to reduce such rents; high profits attract new entrants who offer lower prices or better value for the same goods and services.

Government can create an economic rent by limiting market competition .. Who is harmed by government providing economic rents? Consumers are harmed ..
Rent seeking involves other costs to society. The economic rents provided by the government are not economically productive. The resources spent seeking to persuade officials to grant an exemption from competition to an organized interest are wasted. This waste includes not only money but also the diversion of talent and time into rent seeking. Smart lobbyists might have done something more productive with their brains and their time.
Some people do benefit from economic rents and therein lies the problem of reform. The owners of a license gain the right to abnormally high profits. The public officials who grant the freedom from competition receive votes, electioneering efforts, and campaign contributions from the taxi industry. Everyone in the industry has a clear material interest in continuing the licensing whatever its effects on everyone else.
Those who see government officials as benevolent seekers after the general welfare have a hard time accounting for rent seeking. It is not enough to say that bad people in office should be replaced by a better sort. The incentives created by awarding rents to organized groups would remain when the better sort arrive.

The idea of rent seeking tells us to be skeptical of government, pessimistic about reform, and morally outraged about the status quo.

Friendship with Ayn Rand


John Hospers on His Friendship with Ayn Rand

State Solutions Always Lead to New State Solutions

Why State Solutions Always Lead to New State Solutions:
.. The opponent of liberalism (the statist) describes a problem, invariably with roots in a government infringement of freedom. In response, he prescribes more government interference with freedom, at which point the liberal interjects that the best and only just solution is the repeal of the culpable state power. The statist replies that this will not do because the liberal’s proposal won’t solve every related problem and may even reveal hitherto overlooked problems ..

.. the politicians and bureaucrats have made a royal mess of things. Then liberals are faulted for not being able to clean it up tidily with the wave of a hand. That they can’t make everything right at once is then held against liberalism.
.. That the freedom approach can’t make everything new overnight, or even in the next few years, is hardly an argument against it. The fact is, what we’re doing now is causing misery, insecurity, and advancing serfdom. To add insult to injury, that very misery and insecurity are made to justify more measures that will only add to the misery and insecurity, not to mention the serfdom ..

The only hopeful alternative is freedom, the progressive removal of the many levels of state interference with our peaceful activities .. It is not liberalization that will have created those problems. On the contrary, persistent liberalization will solve them.
.. While we should advocate quick abolition of intervention, abolition all at once is unlikely to happen .. But while liberalization is likely to be gradual, it doesn’t follow that we should advocate gradualism. As the great anti-slavery activist William Lloyd Garrison understood, “Gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice.”

Fools


Fools on the Hill Movie

Doug Casey (1)

Doug Casey on Ethics, Part One:
.. I believe in giving the other guy the benefit of the doubt and maintaining an attitude of good will towards others whenever possible. And I absolutely believe in cultivating a benevolent approach towards other people, creatures, and even inanimate objects. But to love one’s neighbor as one’s self is idiotic and degrading; it leads to self-abasement and destroys self-respect.
.. My view is that free-market capitalism is the only ethical economic system. It maximizes everyone’s advantage and does so without coercion. That’s no accident; that’s the proof of the soundness of the principles .. And it’s no coincidence that the two ethical principles I outlined are also the only laws you need ..
.. These laws are cranked out by governments like there’s no tomorrow – they are basically visible dramatizations of the psychological aberrations of lawmakers and the people they pander to. In brief, I have no automatic respect for either law nor morality – which I know sounds horrible. But that’s only because they subvert people’s judgment. They actually work to make a personal code of ethics unnecessary, by telling people all they have to do is obey the law and current morality. This tends to transform people into unthinking automatons who don’t feel responsible for their own actions.

The Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged (2)

No seguimento de The Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged


Ayn Rand & The Prophecy Of Atlas Shrugged

Caring libertarians

Libertarian Caring por Aaron Ross Powell:
Of course libertarians value liberty. But a great many of us, myself included, value caring very highly too. In fact, the reason I shifted from being a progressive to a libertarian was not because my moral foundations changed but because I came to realize that genuine caring means making an effort to actually help people—and that government programs intended to help have a rather poor track record.

I am a libertarian because I want a better—more caring, more fair—society and I believe enhancing the private sphere at the expense of government power is the best way to achieve that. I also strongly believe that liberty, which is after all entirely about how we treat other people, is central to both caring and fairness. Expansive government not only makes things worse from the standpoint of economic consequences, but also creates a world that is less caring and less fair.
Liberty does not come at the exclusion of all other concerns. Rather, liberty is the best way to maximize all other concerns. Yes there are libertarians who want nothing more than “to be left alone.” But that feeling doesn’t carry with it Haidt’s implied “and screw all the rest of you.” Instead, “left alone” means freed from officious government so we can better go about making the world a happier, healthier, richer, and more caring place.

Direitos sobre a liberdade dos outros

Free Zimbabwe

We Should Lift the Sanctions on Zimbabwe por Matthew Feeney:
If we really care about the impoverished in Zimbabwe we should be arguing for the lifting of sanctions, not for their renewal.
.. sanctions hurt the poor. Moss dismisses this argument calling it ‘silly’ ..That the sanctions target seventy-seven particular people is of little consequence. Investors must undertake additional costly work to prove that none of these particular people will benefit from a trade in Zimbabwe, a piece of regulation that puts off many would-be investors.
.. the argument that lifting sanctions will remove a scapegoat the Zimbabwean government has been using for years .. While it might be the case that ZANU-PF wouldn’t stop blaming sanctions for poverty, it is certainly the case that they couldn’t do so with any credibility .. Sanctions have a poor track record of helping the poor or motivating change. Iran, Cuba, and North Korea have not been motivated to change their policies as a result of sanctions, and there is no reason to think that Zimbabwe is any different.

Marijuana Policy Kills Patients


Transplant Denied: How Medical Marijuana Policy Kills Patients

the Dallas effect

No seguimento de Social Cooperation Under the Division of Labor, How 'Dallas' Won the Cold War por Nick Gillespie e Matt Welch:
.. April 1978 was the first time our nation turned its lonely eyes to Southfork Ranch, the winningly diabolical genius of J.R. Ewing (as played by Larry Hagman) and Victoria Principal's high-waisted pantsuits. It was the booze-and-sex-soaked caricature of free enterprise and executive lifestyles that proved irresistible not just to stagflation-weary Americans but viewers from France to the Soviet Union to Ceausescu's Romania.
Joseph Stalin is said to have screened the 1940 movie "The Grapes of Wrath" in the Soviet Union to showcase the depredations of life under capitalism. Russian audiences watched the final scenes of the Okies' westward trek aboard overladen, broken-down jalopies -- and marveled that in the United States, even poor people had cars. "Dallas" functioned similarly.
"I think we were directly or indirectly responsible for the fall of the [Soviet] empire," Hagman told the Associated Press a decade ago. "They would see the wealthy Ewings and say, 'Hey, we don't have all this stuff.' I think it was good old-fashioned greed that got them to question their authority."

.. the show provided a luxuriant alternative to a communism that was forcing people to wait more than a decade to buy the most rattletrap Romanian car.

Stimulus and Inflation


Milton Friedman - Stimulus and Inflation

Falácias da "criação de emprego"

3 Fallacies in Obama's Public-Sector Stimulus Strategy — Paying people to do busy work won't revive the U.S. economy. por Shikha Dalmia:
.. more government spending means a shrinking private sector, and there are three main reasons why.
One. Obama’s talk of a public-sector stimulus is guided by the Keynesian conviction that what’s necessary to restore overall economic growth is large aggregate demand. If local governments are handed money to hire more public workers—teachers, cops, librarians, social workers—these people will consume more goods and services, which will stimulate other industries. Every dollar pumped into their pockets will magically multiply into several more.
If boosting aggregate demand is what’s needed, why bother creating jobs? Uncle Sam can simply send every unemployed person a generous check with the proviso that it can’t be saved ..
Every (unsubsidized) job in the private sector exists because it generates more in wealth or value than it consumes in resources—and hence grows the economic pie. That’s not the case with the public sector.
Two. But suppose that “free” money appeared like manna from heaven to finance the stimulus spending Obama craves. Then boosting aggregate demand would complement private-sector activity and boost overall growth, right? Wrong.
.. this money produced not private-sector growth but retrenchment. Indeed, in every state, virtually every affected firm—large and small—cut payroll, investment, and other expenses. Why? As publicly funded enterprises grew, they crowded out demand and resources from private ones.
Three. The public sector doesn’t just indirectly crowd out private job growth but directly clobbers it as well. That, in fact, is why the regulatory state—the main public-sector enterprise—exists ..
Can anyone seriously argue that handing more stimulus funds to more regulatory agencies—something that would inevitably happen given that money is fungible—to hire more bureaucrats to write more regulations will mean more net job growth?

What If Democracy Is Bunk?

Via O Insurgente,


Andrew Napolitano - What If Democracy Is Bunk - ?

it was the government, stupid

It wasn’t Milton Friedman’s fault:
Krugman’s story of the crisis is that it was just one of those things, as Cole Porter would put it — just one of those crazy flings. One of those episodes of exuberance that markets are prone to when things are too quiet for too long. He also blames free market dogma — an ideology “that was not just pro-market but religiously pro-market that markets are never wrong, that all government regulation is bad, that government is never the solution it’s always the problem, so that we had a kind of reckless removal of the safeguards on the system all on top of what would probably have been a gradual march to crisis anyway.”
But regulation is only one measure of government intervention. The last three decades saw government intervene relentlessly in financial markets to bail out creditors of large financial institutions making it easier to borrow money and finance imprudent risk-taking with other people's money.
So the calm of the last three decades was unnatural. There should have been more defaults and bankruptcies that would have reminded investors of the real risks they were taking. And by refusing to let creditors pay a price for bad bets, the government encouraged more reckless risk-taking. How much of the mess we’re in is due to the creation of moral hazard by government is an open question. Monetary policy played a role in creating the bubble. There was destructive housing policy. And surely human fallibility is part of the story. Just don’t tell me that what happened was the result of a hands-off government. When it comes to coddling banks and destroying the natural feedback loops of profit and loss, government’s fingerprints are everywhere.

domingo, Junho 24, 2012

teaching is an assembly line

É o que acontece quando se adapta um sistema nascido na Revolução Industrial, avesso à competição e à inovação, e profundamente hostil à dimensão humana dos indivíduos - o socialismo - à instrução das novas gerações.


Reason.tv: Joel Klein on School Choice


green shock doctrine

No seguimento de The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein's green shock doctrine por Kristian Niemietz:
.. The environmental case for restrictions and restraint is never made with reluctance. It always comes wrapped up in a moralistic rant against lifestyle choices environmentalists disapprove of, so that most environmentalist arguments could be summarised as follows: catastrophic climate change forces us to do these things, but they are also the right thing to do, and we should do them anyway.
But don’t take it from me. Here’s what Naomi Klein, whose paranoid conspiracy theories made her a star among the anti-globalisation crowd, and who has now turned into a climate priestess, has to say on the issue:
  • ‘[P]lanning. Lots and lots of planning.’
  • End trade. Not just international trade, but also trade between regions within a country ..
  • End economic growth. Start a programme of economic shrinkage ..
  • Within what remains of the economy, shrink the share of the private sector
  • Stifle what remains of the private sector with taxes and regulation. To achieve this, centralise political power
  • If private companies try to find a way around this, nationalise them.
Needless to say, very little of this has anything to do with the climate .. Klein’s text reminds me a bit of a book I read a while ago. It was about a group of ideologues using a strategy of fear and terror to impose far-reaching social changes on a population that would otherwise reject it. Oh wait, that was Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine.

Murray Rothbard on Ludwig von Mises

Via O Insurgente,


Murray Rothbard Gives a Tribute to Ludwig von Mises

um país, múltiplos sistemas

Hong Kong and its Environs: “A Mega-cluster of Diversified Regulatory Districts”:
Indeed, Hong Kong is quickly becoming the hub of a new version of the “one country, two systems” motto used by the mainland to characterize its relationship with Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. The cluster of cities around (and including) Hong Kong forming the Pearl River Delta – from Shenzhen and Guangzhou in the north to Macao and Zhuhai to the west – are becoming an archipelago of inter-locking hubs with varying policies related to visiting, immigration, business and political freedom. Call it “one mega-city, many systems.”

This increasingly integrated urban cluster of almost 100 million souls constitutes China’s mostly densely populated urban corridor. Some experts say it’s actually the biggest city in the world, even if it bears several names. Like an archipelago of islands growing closer rather than farther apart, the Pearl River Delta’s main cities are fusing into a de facto mega city-state that easily would sit in the G20. The Pearl River Delta is China’s wealthiest zone, with an aggregate GDP of over $800 billion, slightly larger than that of the Netherlands.

But far from being unified, the Pearl River Delta region is the foremost model of the future multi-tiered pan-urbanism, a mega-cluster of diversified regulatory districts: physically linked but acting almost like micro-states unto themselves. In a single day, you can cross from Hong Kong, an open society with aggressively free media, to more state-directed but still very global Shenzhen or less-glitzy Dongguan, to the freewheeling and somewhat sleazy gambling haven of Macau, or the tax-free master-planned Zhuhai/Hengqin. Along the way, you will go through checkpoints ranging from full-fledged border crossings requiring visas to light security checks. The journey reveals the different constitutions and political priorities playing out even as the Delta region physically becomes ever more one single city.

Obama assassino - Fast & Furious edition


Afterburner with Bill Whittle: Follow the Ideology

The Negatives of Positive Rights

The Negatives of Positive Rights:
Lets first describe a positive right. When governments set aside provisions to specific services or goods (i.e. healthcare, welfare, schooling, etc) they are creating a positive right to those services. In effect, this creates non-contracted obligations from other to provide those services. When the state mandates a right to education, they are in turn forcing someone else to provide that education at that persons expense.
The direct opposite to positive rights are negative right. Negative rights allow an individual to act or not act in the absence of coercion so long as they do not infringe on the right of others to do the same. They do not rely on the initiation and use of force to produce a specific outcome. We enjoy the ability to express even the most unpopular opinions, worship whoever god we choose and own whatever weapon we want, but we are not granted the right to a microphone, a bible or a gun.
Forget that it is economically disastrous and impossible to achieve, as we can see by the devastation of those affected by these programs, but it is clearly a violation of property and is effectively making every citizen a serf to others "rights". Once these programs have been deemed a "right" by government, the freedom of every person who produces that service to engage in voluntary transactions is taken away. Their labor is now owned and administrated by the state on their own terms.

End of the Road


End of the Road Trailer

Libertarianism and Science Fiction

Libertarianism and Science Fiction:
Libertarianism is better represented in science fiction and fantasy than in any other literary genre. From Robert Heinlein to the present day, libertarian writers have been among the leaders in the field. Even many genre writers who are not self-consciously libertarian have often made use of libertarian themes in their work.

While there is no definitive survey data on the subject, libertarian readers also seem more likely to be attracted to science fiction and fantasy than other genres. Historians of the movement routinely emphasize the role of science fiction works in helping to inspire it….

Why is science fiction so much more libertarian than other genres? The answer matters both to people interested in the genre and students of political ideology….

The combination of receptiveness to radical ideas, technological optimism, skepticism about tradition and valuing of reason over emotion helps explain the relative prevalence of libertarianism in science fiction. No other genre combines all of these attributes, and few have more than one or two.

Moms against the Drug War


Moms Say, "No More Drug War!"

Socialismo, apagando as luzes

Detroit plans to shrink by leaving half the city in the dark:
Twenty Detroit neighborhoods are only 10 to 15 percent occupied, and the government can't force residents to leave their homes, and Michigan law makes it difficult for the government to seize them under eminent domain. So the government is instead "phasing out" these neighborhoods by turning off their streetlights; or, in many cases, just leaving them off. (Forty percent of Detroit's streetlights are currently broken.) Bing hopes the cash-strapped city can focus its bus and police services on the still-lit, more population-concentrated areas of the city.

I wonder if Detroit will provide any relief to folks whose homes are in these blighted neighborhoods. I can't help but feel that deliberately working to making a person's home worthless has a similar effect to eminent domain. And I suspect that a lot of folks won't want or be financially able to move to neighborhoods where the lights will still be on. They'll be left in the dark with little access to local services.

Liberdade ao Pepe


Haiti's Pepe Trade: How Secondhand American Clothes Became a First-Rate Business

Paul, Player

On Becoming a Political Player:
When a person looks back over 40 years or 50 years of activity in the realm of politics, he is hard-pressed to see that his investment paid off. A businessman can usually see that steady improvements in his product line or services can be measured. He can see that product quality has improved, or that the number of products he offered for sale continued to increase over a long period of time. He has a sense of progress that stems from the fact that he can see with his own eyes, or at least through the eyes of his advertisers, that he was able to affect positively the lives of customers.

The politician looks back at 40 years of service and probably finds that he either voted with large numbers of people in the legislature, which means that his vote really did not make a difference, or else he voted on the losing side repeatedly, in which case they can also be sure that he had little effect.

The great exception to this rule is Ron Paul. He voted against legislation from 1976 until the present, and he was usually outvoted by large majorities. At the same time, no bill that he ever proposed became a law. So, you might think that he would look back at his efforts and conclude that he might as well have stayed out of politics. Yet, in this unique case, his lack of victories in Congress contributed to his enormous success in talking to voters about the nature of American politics and economics. His defeats gave him what Teddy Roosevelt referred to as a bully pulpit.

Ron Paul's bully pulpit has now changed the thinking of millions of voters.

Celebrating Che Guevara


Humberto Fontova, Celebrating Che?

The Fascist Threat

The Fascist Threat por Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.:
Everyone knows that the term fascist is a pejorative, often used to describe any political position a speaker doesn't like. There isn't anyone around who is willing to stand up and say, 'I'm a fascist; I think fascism is a great social and economic system."

But I submit that if they were honest, the vast majority of politicians, intellectuals, and political activists would have to say just that.

Fascism is the system of government that cartelizes the private sector, centrally plans the economy to subsidize producers, exalts the police state as the source of order, denies fundamental rights and liberties to individuals, and makes the executive state the unlimited master of society.

This describes mainstream politics in America today. And not just in America. It's true in Europe, too. It is so much part of the mainstream that it is hardly noticed any more.

Obese Government


Obesity in America: To Win, We Have to Lose Government

Ecopobreza

Sustainable Development: The latest UN scare:
In developed nations, government responses to the purported crises sent prices soaring for energy, increasing the cost of everything we make, ship, eat and do – and crippling economic growth, killing jobs and sending families into fuel poverty. In developing countries, governments restricted access to electricity generation and other technologies – forcing the world’s poorest families to continue trying to eke out a living the old-fashioned way: turning forest habitats into firewood, cooking over wood and dung fires, and living with rampant poverty and disease.

This year, recognizing that people are no longer swayed by claims of climate cataclysms, Rio+20 organizers repackaged their little-changed agenda to emphasize “sustainable development” and the need to preserve “biodiversity.” To garner support, they professed a commitment to poverty reduction, “social justice” and the right of all people to “fulfill their aspirations for a better life.”
Rio+20 was clearly not about enabling countries, communities and companies to do a better job of protecting environmental values, while helping families to climb out of poverty. It was about using sustainable development pieties to target development projects, limit individual liberty and market-based initiatives, and provide sufficient wind and solar power to generate and demonstrate modest improvements in developing countries’ living conditions – while ensuring that poor families never become middle class, and communities never actually conquer poverty, misery and disease.
If Rio+20 had achieved what its organizers had set out to accomplish, citizens of still wealthy nations would now have to prepare for new assaults on their living standards. Impoverished people in poor nations would now have to prepare for demands that they abandon their dreams for better lives.

Limited Government is Impossible


Is Limited Government an Oxymoron? | Thomas E. Woods, Jr. & Doug Casey


Frase do Dia: "politics is a dramatization of people's psychological aberrations"

Citação Liberal do Dia

We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage. What we lack is a liberal Utopia, a programme which seems neither a mere defence of things as they are nor a diluted kind of socialism, but a truly liberal radicalism which does not spare the susceptibilities of the mighty (including the trade unions), which is not too severely practical and which does not confine itself to what appears today as politically possible ..

... Those who have concerned themselves exclusively with what seemed practicable in the existing state of opinion have constantly found that even this has rapidly become politically impossible as the result of changes in a public opinion which they have done nothing to guide.

Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark.

But if we can regain that belief in power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost.
F. A. Hayek

Vote Hemp


Hemp History Week: Ending the War on George Washington's Favorite Crop

sábado, Junho 23, 2012

Kony 2012 (6)

No seguimento de Knoy 2012 (5)


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LEITURA COMPLEMENTAR - Large Oil Reserves Discovered in Uganda, Troops Sent For ‘Humanitarian Intervention’:
No doubt Uganda needs help; they are one of the world’s poorest nations (17th) and have failed thus far to combat the LRA effectively enough to stop them. It’s a good thing that we’re fighting this monster, but for a humanitarian crisis that has been ongoing for almost two decades, that has been the scourge of a nation and a domestic terror threat rivaling the worst guerillas in Africa, it took us this long?
Earlier this year, at least 2.5 billion barrels of crude oil were discovered along Uganda’s border. The Economist reports that the country expects to earn $2 billion a year beginning in 2015.
Reports indicate that Kony and his dispicable cronies have been hiding for years. However, last week President Obama announced that, without consulting congress, he has authorized the deployment of some 100 ”combat-equipped U.S. forces” to the country in order to fight and hopefully kill or capture the vicious militant who has an international warrant for crimes against humanity.

Ensinando pequenos burocratas

No seguimento de Uma evidência inultrapassável:
O actual sistema de ensino está implementado para promover os alunos com elevada capacidade de memória (essencialmente memória primária, i.e. de curto prazo). São eles que têm as melhores notas nos exames e, consequentemente, são os primeiros a escolher o percurso académico superior. Para os restantes ficam os cursos com baixo valor de mercado!
O que é que isso interessa? Não sai no exame.:
Na escola portuguesa também se despreza cada vez mais a capacidade de desenvolver projetos, em grupo ou individualmente, promove-se pouco o desejo de ir mais longe do que é debitado nas aulas e dá-se muito pouco valor à expressão oral. Depois de centenas de exames, um aluno com excelentes notas pode acabar a escola sem saber desenvolver oralmente uma ideia e sem conseguir argumentar num debate. Porque o essencial da avaliação é feita através de provas escritas, sem consulta, e iguais para todos.

Compreende-se esta opção: é aquela que melhor serve o raciocínio do burocrata. E para o burocrata a exigência não se mede por o gosto por aprender (ui, o que eu fui escrever!) e pelo desenvolvimento de capacidades que são forçosamente diferentes, de pessoa para pessoa. O burocrata abomina, pela sua natureza, as variações que lhe estragam os gráficos.
O que Daniel Oliveira parece não perceber é que a burocratização dos alunos é uma consequência de um sistema de ensino centralmente planeado... qualquer professor que se atreva a inovar é logo esmagado pelo sistema; e qualquer aluno que saia da forma, idem.

Uma obra indispensável para superar este tipo de problemas cognitivos é Bureaucracy, de Ludwig Von Mises:
The bureaucrat is not free to aim at improvement. He is bound to obey rules and regulations established by a superior body. He has no right to embark upon innovations if his superiors do not approve of them. His duty and his virtue is to be obedient.

Sex Offender Registries

No seguimento desta intenção da ministra da Justiça,


How Sex Offender Registries Fail Us

The Morality of Capitalism (9)

No seguimento de The Morality of Capitalism (8), The Morality of Capitalism: What Your Professors Won’t Tell You:
As Tom Palmer emphasizes in his introduction, capitalism (by which he means the pure free market) “is a system of cultural, spiritual, and ethical values,”
.. that free trade, far from harming the poor of Africa, has made them much better off. They enjoy higher incomes, better products, and easier lives because capitalism (to the extent that it is allowed) enables them to earn more and trade for better goods ..
In his essay Peruvian novelist (and Nobel Prize winner) Mario Vargas Llosa rebuts the idea, common among those who demonize capitalism, that it undermines indigenous cultures .. Vargas Llosa shows that people are enriched in their standard of living and through the cultural exchanges capitalism makes possible.
.. both the “welfarist” and the “egalitarian” cases for overturning capitalism are ethical failures.
Most critics believe that capitalism is based on greed .. The wealth created by capitalists is not confined just to themselves, but spreads in countless ways .. “a healthier outlet for energy than militarism, political conflict, and wealth destruction.” Just think of the lives lost, property destroyed, and misery caused by the anticapitalist regimes of the twentieth century.
.. advocates of capitalism have the moral high ground. Unfortunately, they often cede it to their opponents, forcing advocates of capitalism to make defensive, “yes, but . . .” arguments. That is a terrible mistake.

Social Cooperation Under the Division of Labor


Pete Boettke - Social Cooperation Under the Division of Labor --- UFM Lecture to Economics Students
Excelente exposição da abordagem Misesiana.

Paranóia ambientalista

Delusion is a big problem with the green crowd por Stephen Murgatroyd:
Delusion takes many forms. But the core symptoms of delusion are clear for the green movement.
1) PERSISTENT BELIEF THAT SOME-THING SERIOUS IS HAPPENING.

This has occurred over the last five decades as we have moved through the threat of the ice age, global warming, climate change, climate disaster, man-made natural disaster (another delusion) and the threat of sea-level rise flooding coastal cities around the world.
2) DISORGANIZED SPEECH.

3) FEELING THREATENED.
4) GRANDIOSE BELIEFS.

Many in the environmental movement believe that they are the keepers of truth and wisdom - a major delusion. They can't accept that other views or evidence may suggest alternative understanding of either environmental issues or climate change. For example, the idea that the pursuit of profit is a way to end poverty and take care of the environment is something that they reject, despite evidence that this is how poverty reduction has occurred on an unprecedented scale over the last 50 years.
5) MANIPULATION OF FACTS

6) THE USE OF THE BOGEYMAN.

7) SAFETY IN NUMBERS.
No one in their right mind expected Rio +20 to be a breakthrough for the planet, yet 50,000 will attend, including world leaders. No one in their right mind thinks that climate change will kill millions, yet many behave as if this is inevitable. No one in their right mind thinks that failure at Rio +20 will mean the end of these kinds of gatherings, although we can always hope.
PS - post dedicado a um Senhor cuja imensa lucidez só será reconhecida daqui a várias gerações.

Ataque ad hominem do dia


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To sum up Keynes. Arrogant, sadistic, power besotted bully, deliberate and systemic liar, intellectually irresponsible, an opponent of principle, in favor of short term hedonism and nihilistic opponent of Bourgeois morality in all of its areas, a hater of thrift and savings, somebody who wanted to liquidate the creditor class, exterminate the creditor class, an imperialist, an anti-Semite, and a Fascist.

Outside of that I guess he was a great guy.
Murray N. Rothbard, 1989 Seminar "Keynes and Keynesianism"

Capitalists Who Fear Change

Capitalists Who Fear Change por Jeffrey Tucker:
There is a pattern here. Every new technology that becomes profitable causes people to scream about the plight of existing producers. Then it turns out over time that the sector itself thrives as never before but in ways that no one really expected.

The great secret of the market economy is that it embodies a long-run tendency to dissipate profits under existing production and distribution methods. This is how competition works. This is how competition not only inspires improvement but makes it unavoidable. And this is one reason that so many capitalists hate capitalism.

The process goes like this. The new thing comes along and it earns high profits. Then the copycats come along and do the same thing cheaper and better, robbing the first producer of the monopoly status. Profits eventually fall to zero and then something even better has to come along to attract new business, earn new profits, elicit new copycats, and the whole thing starts all over again.
This is why business is always running to government for protection. Kill this crazy new technology! Stop these imports! Raise the costs on the competition! Give us a patent so that we can clobber the other guys! Impose antitrust law! Protect me with a copyright! Regulate the newcomers out of existence! Give us a bailout!
Capitalism is not for wimps who don’t want to improve. If you want guaranteed profits for the few rather than prosperity and abundance for the many, socialism and fascism really are better systems.

Objectivist Philosophy for Fun and Profit (2)


Using Ayn Rand's Values to Create Competitive Advantage in Business - part 1 | part 2

Imbecilidade keynesiana

On The Keynesian Lunacy Of Targeting Outcomes:
In any kind of complex system where the underlying outcome generating processes aren’t well understood – whether a company, or a society – the effects of changing the process won’t be well understood either. Unintended consequences must ensue.
Regular readers know how little time I have for macroeconomics. One reason is that it’s obsessed with the targeting of interest rates, GDP, inflation, unemployment, exchange rates, et cetera, as though such a thing was possible without unintended consequences. Since such variables are actually outcomes of a complex process, most macroeconomics seems to me to be an embarrassingly naïve study of outcomes which completely neglects process.

The Ethics of Idiocy


The Ethics of Idiocy

Objectivist Philosophy for Fun and Profit

Objectivist Philosophy for Fun and Profit:
While aspects of Rand’s philosophy might legitimately be called controversial, Allison points out that she is misunderstood more often than not. Rand is often viewed as “extreme” because her defenses of capitalism and “rational self-interest” are seen as promoting greed and selfishness. Yet Allison is quick to note that the strong values and ethics that Rand’s philosophy promotes allowed BB&T to steer clear of shortsighted and greed-driven decisions.

“A lot of people miss the fact that Rand has a very strong ethical system,” he observes. “Rand says you can derive ethics from reality. If anything, Rand is more rigorous in her ethical system than most codes are. If you’re dishonest, you are disconnected from reality, and that has consequences.”

Left vs. Right


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Os mitos socialistas do momento (3)

No seguimento de Os mitos socialistas do momento (2), Os mitos socialistas do momento (3) por Adolfo Mesquita Nunes:
Mito n.o 5: Os socialistas têm uma alternativa: pedir mais tempo.

Ninguém sabe ao certo o que querem dizer os socialistas quando pedem “mais tempo”. Que medidas devem ser adiadas e por quanto tempo? Qual o efeito económico desse adiamento? .. A ausência de respostas indicia que o discurso de “mais tempo” não passa de simples retórica política .. É claro que este género de retórica, apesar da dose de irresponsabilidade, é aceitável em política. Convém, no entanto, não a confundir com qualquer coisa de parecido com um programa alternativo de governação ..
Mito n.o 6: O governo deve pedir desde já as mesmas condições que são dadas a Espanha.

Não se conhecem ainda ao certo quais as condições da assistência que terá de ser prestada a Espanha. Não será precipitado pedir desde já a aplicação a Portugal de condições que ainda não se conhecem? .. Como é evidente, o governo não está menos preocupado que os socialistas com os sacrifícios que são actualmente impostos aos portugueses e que, curiosamente, nos são impostos por um Memorando assinado pelos socialistas depois de uma quase ininterrupta década e meia de governação socialista.

Eurolibertarians


Nigel Farage - "Barroso is a deluded idiot and the whole thing's a giant ponzi scheme"

Cargo Cult

Cargo Cult (Wikipedia):
Cargo cult activity in the Pacific region increased significantly during and immediately after World War II, when the residents of these regions observed the Japanese and American combatants bringing in large amounts of material. When the war ended, the military bases closed and the flow of goods and materials ceased. In an attempt to attract further deliveries of goods, followers of the cults engaged in ritualistic practices such as building crude imitation landing strips, aircraft and radio equipment, and mimicking the behavior that they had observed of the military personnel operating them.
Economist Bryan Caplan has referred to Communism as "the largest cargo cult the world has ever seen", describing the economic strategy of the 20th-century Communist leaders as "mimicking a few random characteristics of advanced economies", such as the production of steel.

domingo, Junho 17, 2012

Coming Apart (2)

No seguimento de Coming Apart


Charles Murray: Why America is Coming Apart Along Class Lines


having to choose between two diseases

Guest Post: Does America Face An Election Between Two Moderates?:
The question is, are Barack Obama and Mitt Romney really that moderate? .. Let’s account for the similarity in policy of both.
  • Both are large supporters of the military industrial complex ..
  • Both show no opposition to the Federal Reserve System and the banking cronyism it has institutionalized ..
  • Neither candidate has made a peep out of ending the needlessly expensive and socially degenerating drug war ..
  • And then there is the drug of which all of Washington is addicted to: spending and borrowing. Neither Obama nor Romney have presented budgets that have actually brought expenditures in line with revenues ..
In the end, Paul and others who are disgusted at the utter cronyism that is the state aren’t the extremists. What’s extreme is a blind adoration of government power. Paul isn’t a radical; he is practically the only politician in Washington who isn’t a closet socialist or fascist on an egotistical power trip.
.. Voting for the lesser of two evils is still evil and immoral. The freedom to not vote is still available to Americans. They would be best to exercise it before it’s too late.

sábado, Junho 16, 2012

Taxes - The customer always pays


Financial transaction tax - The customer always pays

“Anti-Capitalism”

Advocates of Freed Markets Should Embrace “Anti-Capitalism”:
II. Three Senses of “Capitalism”

There are at least three distinguishable senses of “capitalism”:
  • capitalism-1 - an economic system that features property rights and voluntary exchanges of goods and services.
  • capitalism-2 - an economic system that features a symbiotic relationship between big business and government.
  • capitalism-3 - rule — of workplaces, society, and (if there is one) the state — by capitalists (that is, by a relatively small number of people who control investable wealth and the means of production).
Capitalism-1 just is a freed market; so if “anti-capitalism” meant opposition to capitalism-1, “free-market anti-capitalism” would be oxymoronic. But proponents of free-market anti-capitalism aren’t opposed to capitalism-1; instead, they object either to capitalism-2 or to both capitalism-2 and capitalism-3
Distinguishing three senses of “capitalism” — market order, business-government partnership, and rule by capitalists — helps to make clear why someone .. might be consistently committed to freedom while voicing passionate opposition to something called “capitalism.” It makes sense for freed-market advocates to oppose both interference with market freedom by politicians and business leaders and the social dominance (aggressive and otherwise) of business leaders. And it makes sense for them to name what they oppose “capitalism.” Doing so calls attention to the freedom movement’s radical roots, emphasizes the value of understanding society as an alternative to the state, underscores the fact that proponents of freedom object to non-aggressive as well as aggressive restraints on liberty, ensures that advocates of freedom aren’t confused with people who use market rhetoric to prop up an unjust status quo, and expresses solidarity between defenders of freed markets and workers — as well as ordinary people around the world who use “capitalism” as a short-hand label for the world-system that constrains their freedom and stunts their lives. Freed-market advocates should embrace “anti-capitalism” in order to encapsulate and highlight their full-blown commitment to freedom and their rejection of phony alternatives that use talk of freedom to conceal acquiescence in exclusion, subordination, and deprivation.

Good people and Freedom


Judge Napolitano's Grand Finale - When Good People Do Nothing, Bad Things Happen!!!

On Appeasing Envy

On Appeasing Envy por Henry Hazlitt:
Any attempt to equalize wealth or income by forced redistribution must only tend to destroy wealth and income. Historically the best the would-be equalizers have ever succeeded in doing is to equalize downward .. "I have no respect for the passion for equality, which seems to me merely idealizing envy."
There can be little doubt that many egalitarians are motivated at least partly by envy, while still others are motivated, not so much by any envy of their own, as by the fear of it in others, and the wish to appease or satisfy it. But the latter effort is bound to be futile. Almost no one is completely satisfied with his status in relation to his fellows.
But the main objective test of a social proposal is not merely whether it emphasizes equality more than abundance, but whether it goes further and attempts to promote equality at the expense of abundance. Is the proposed measure intended primarily to help the poor, or to penalize the rich? And would it in fact punish the rich at the cost of also hurting everyone else?

This is the actual effect of steeply progressive income taxes and confiscatory inheritance taxes.
All this does not mean that we should hesitate to take any measure truly calculated to relieve hardship and reduce poverty. What it does mean is that we should never take governmental measures merely for the purpose of trying to assuage the envious or appease the agitators, or to buy off a revolution. Such measures, betraying weakness and a guilty conscience, only lead to more far-reaching and even ruinous demands. A government that pays social blackmail will precipitate the very consequences that it fears.

No they can’t


Uncommon Knowledge - John Stossel

Free-Market Fairness

Factual Free-Market Fairness:
The story is, in a few brief mottos to stand for a rich intellectual tradition since the 1880s: Modern life is complicated, and so we need government to regulate. Government can do so well, and will not be regularly corrupted. Since markets fail very frequently the government should step in to fix them. Without a big government ee cannot do certain noble things (Hoover Dam, the Interstates, NASA). Antitrust works. Businesses will exploit workers if government regulation and union contracts do not intervene. Unions got us the 40-hour week. Poor people are better off chiefly because of big government and unions. The USA was never laissez faire. Internal improvements were a good idea, and governmental from the start. Profit is not a good guide. Consumers are usually misled. Advertising is bad.
No. The master narrative of High Liberalism is mistaken factually. Externalities do not imply that a government can do better ..

.. It seems to me that a political philosophy based on fairy tales about what happened in history or what humans are like is going to be less than useless. It is going to be mischievous.
How do I know that my narrative is better than yours? The experiments of the 20th century told me so .. anyone who after the 20th century still thinks that thoroughgoing socialism, nationalism, imperialism, mobilization, central planning, regulation, zoning, price controls, tax policy, labor unions, business cartels, government spending, intrusive policing, adventurism in foreign policy, faith in entangling religion and politics, or most of the other thoroughgoing 19th-century proposals for governmental action are still neat, harmless ideas for improving our lives is not paying attention.
...e segue-se uma demolição implacável de vários mitos. Leitura recomendada.

Teaching and Communicating Economic Ideas


Teaching and Communicating Economic Ideas


Os mitos socialistas do momento (2)

Na continuação de Os mitos socialistas do momento (1), Os mitos socialistas do momento (2) por Adolfo Mesquita Nunes:
MITO N.º 3: O desemprego que temos é causado pelo Programa de Assistência Financeira

Muito antes de Portugal ter pedido assistência financeira já o desemprego crescia a olhos vistos. Desde 2001 que ele está em ritmo ascendente. Pior, o desemprego estrutural, aquele que a economia não consegue absorver mesmo a funcionar no seu máximo, quase duplicou na última década.
.. o modelo socialista que seguimos nas últimas décadas criou um contexto adverso à criação de emprego e à captação de investimento privado: carga fiscal atrofiante, hiper-regulamentação paralisante, desvio inconsequente de financiamento bancário e de recursos privados para políticas públicas, mercado laboral que dificulta a contratação, sistema de justiça desincentivador e um mercado impregnado de Estado e onde predominam as regras da política.
MITO N.º 4: A forma como o governo lida com o desemprego é sinal de insensibilidade social
Perceber que o emprego não aparece ao ritmo das expressões amarguradas dos socialistas, porque depende de políticas e não de expressões faciais, não implica menor sensibilidade social. Implica apenas maior sentido de responsabilidade no difícil momento por que passam aqueles que conhecem o desemprego.

Ron Paul and Libertarians in Politics

No seguimento de Why Young People Love Ron Paul e Ron Paul Revolution,


Brian Doherty on Ron Paul and Libertarians in Politics


Os mitos socialistas do momento (1)

Os mitos socialistas do momento (1) por Adolfo Mesquita Nunes:
Mito n.o 1: Os socialistas têm a receita para o crescimento económico

Se os socialistas têm a receita para o crescimento económico é pena que, estando quase ininterruptamente no governo desde 1995 até 2011, nunca a tenham colocado em prática.
Mito n.o 2: Injectar dinheiro na economia é o caminho

Que não existe dinheiro público, que o único dinheiro que o Estado tem vem directa ou indirectamente das famílias .. há quem ache que o Estado deve ir à economia real – às famílias e às empresas – buscar dinheiro, através de impostos e outros mecanismos estaduais, para, com magnanimidade, devolver à economia.

Dodd-Frank


Tom Easton on Dodd-Frank: "A Terrible Law"

What might cause another 9/11?

What might cause another 9/11? por Glenn Greenwald:
I absolutely believe that another 9/11 is possible. And the reason I believe it’s so possible is that people .. have spent the last decade publicly cheering for American violence brought to the Muslim world, and they continue to do so ..
How could any rational person expect their government to spend a full decade (and counting) invading, droning, cluster-bombing, occupying, detaining without charges, and indiscriminately shooting huge numbers of innocent children, women and men in multiple countries and not have its victims and their compatriots be increasingly eager to return the violence?
Running around screaming “9/11″ at Obama critics to justify his ongoing American violence in the Muslim world is like running around screaming “lung cancer” to justify heavy cigarette smoking ..
.. if it were done to the U.S. rather than by the U.S .. on U.S. soil.

In light of that, I can’t even conceive of the uncontrolled rage, righteous fury and insatiable desire for violence in which they would be drowning if those attacks lasted not a single day but a full decade, if it involved constant video imagery on American television of dead American children and charred American wedding parties and thousands of Americans imprisoned for years in cages in a distant ocean prison without charges and surveillance and weaponized drones flying constantly over American soil and unignited cluster bombs left on American soil that explode when American children find them.