quinta-feira, janeiro 31, 2013

Radical Health Care Reform

Radical Health Care Reform: An Anarchist Approach
parte 1 | parte 2

Ainda a despesa pública

Via O Insurgente, Ainda a despesa pública:
[A] dívida pública decorre da margem havida no passado de não fazer corresponder a um certo nível de despesa pública os impostos que a tornam sustentável.

Desde pelo menos o século xix que tem havido uma enorme tentação de adiar as consequências da responsabilidade de escolher certos níveis de despesa pública, que se traduziu em défices elevados, cuja acumulação corresponde, grosso modo, à dívida pública. Ou seja, também aqui não podemos fazer uma avaliação favorável.

Depois disto, não me venham dizer, por amor de Deus, que a despesa pública portuguesa não tem problemas de maior. Até porque dizer que a despesa não está demasiado alta equivale a dizer que os impostos estão demasiado baixos.

a França não é a Grécia


Wikipedia e mercados

If You Like Wikipedia, You Should Love Markets:
The ten thousand or so active editors, and a vast population of infrequent contributors, demonstrate the beauty of collaboration in producing Wikipedia. But everyone cooperates by way of market interactions, whether that is their intent or not. There is also a far greater degree of collaboration, which embodies staggering diversity—and that diversity is only limited by restrictions imposed from without by threat of force.

In markets, every participant’s preferences and values are incorporated into the results. Everyone who chooses to buy does so voluntarily, reflecting the fact that they place a greater value on what they receive than what they give up. Everyone who chooses to sell does so voluntarily, reflecting the fact that they, too, place a greater value on what they receive than what they give up. And those market relationships move goods and services to more highly valued forms, locations, and time periods, as well as to owners who place higher values on them, which are the only changes all self-interested parties mutually agree to. That is far vaster field of social cooperation than Wikipedia. And everyone who uses the prices that result as information about the tradeoffs others are willing to make—that is, everyone—benefits from it.

Because markets reflect the choices—and therefore the preferences, abilities and circumstances—of their participants, they also reflect the changes that impact them, communicating information by way of relative price changes. While Wikipedia is far more nimble than other reference sources in incorporating new information, markets incorporate vastly greater amounts of useful new information far more quickly.
The peaceful nature of market interactions is all the more amazing in view of the fact that unlike Wikipedia, markets do not advance a single goal. They do improve social cooperation, but that cooperation is in service of individuals’ widely disparate, often conflicting, particular goals. For example, we all desire food, clothing and shelter, but we do not want the same kinds of food, clothing, or shelter, nor do we want them at the same time or in the same place or for the same individuals.

Big Business: Friend or Foe?

Big Business: Friend or Foe? | Peter G. Klein

Citação Liberal do Dia

How to Get Anarchy por James Tuttle:
The most important thing in trying to establish Anarchy is to rid the minds of my fellows of the belief in the necessity of government. The next thing in point of importance is to get them to do something to help on the propaganda; to cease advocating and upholding law; to stop patronizing legal institutions when by association the necessity for so doing can be removed; to openly defy, or to ignore such laws as interfere more directly with their personal liberty.

Why Are Voters So Uninformed?

Why Are Voters So Uninformed?

Society of Lies

Society of Lies por Bryan Caplan:
There's one more factor, though, that makes our world extra confusing. On reflection, virtually everything you know is based on trust in other people! Life's too short to personally verify more than a sliver of facts. Unless you actually replicate the experiments in your physics textbook, even your knowledge of "hard science" rests on your unproven - and often false - belief that big groups of people don't converge on shared lies.
.. Under such circumstances, doubts aren't just defensible; they're a strong symptom of truth-seeking.

Global warming is a case in point. The vast majority of people who believe in global warming have only one real piece of evidence: Climatologists believe in global warming. In fact, most believers don't even have that. All they really know is that many non-climatologists say that climatologists believe in global warming. As far as most non-experts are concerned, the real issue is simply, "Are big groups of people lying?"

If this sounds paranoid, recall the plight of Ivan Ilych. Big groups of people often lie. Maybe you have enough first-hand knowledge to say, "Not in this case." Yet most people - even people who agree with you - lack such first-hand knowledge. Ridiculing skeptics may make them shut up. But when you do so, you're promoting not truth, but mere conformity.

quarta-feira, janeiro 30, 2013


12 minutos de pura genialidad

EU total opposite to peace

A propósito de Nobel Peace Prize brews hostility as winners renounce EU’s award:

'EU total opposite to peace': Nobel winners renounce EU's award

government depredation on the private product

The Flipside of the Trillion Dollar Coin por Joseph T. Salerno:
The total amount of government spending is therefore what Murray Rothbard called (p. 339) "government depredation on the private product." For Austrians, then, the method of financing government depredation—whether it be taxation, borrowing from the public, or money creation—is of secondary importance. Thus, at a given level of government spending, siphoning off resources from the private economy via deficits financed by money creation is no worse than extracting them through taxation. Indeed inflationary finance may even be preferable to taxation because the threat of physical coercion implicit in taxation has a detrimental effect on the direct utility of private individuals that goes beyond the expropriation of their income. As Rothbard (pp. 10-11) put it,

[W]hy should anyone believe that a tax is better than a higher price? It is true that inflation is a form of taxation, in which the government and other early receivers of the new money are able to expropriate the members of the public whose income rises later in the process of inflation. But at least with inflation people are still reaping some of the benefits of exchange. If bread rises to $10 a loaf, this is unfortunate but at least you can still eat the bread. But if taxes go up, your money is expropriated for the benefit of politicians and bureaucrats, and you are left with no service or benefit.

About Social Justice

No seguimento de Social Justice and Its Critics

What's Right About Social Justice

"We owe it to ourselves!"

One More Time, Part I por Don Boudreaux:
.. the question addressed by Buchanan in his work on debt was the very simple one: who bears the burden of repaying government debt?

That is, if government builds a bridge today by borrowing money, who ultimately pays for the bridge? Buchanan showed, I believe conclusively, that the bridge is paid for by the people whose taxes rise in order to pay off the bondholders (that is, in order to pay off the creditors who lent the money in the first place, or the successors of these creditors). Debt issued today, therefore, is a burden on future taxpayers.
.. you must concede that it is at least possible that today’s citizens will be tempted to consume today at the expense of unknown future taxpayers .. Spending other people’s money is so much more fun than spending your own, especially if those other people are faceless and, in many cases, not yet even born.
Scholars less careful than Buchanan – especially the Keynesians of the 1950s (and again today) – are misled into thinking that outstanding debt owed by government to its own citizens does not represent a genuine burden to its citizens as a group. (“We owe it to ourselves!” In the aggregate, then, there’s no net burden!”)

Buchanan’s argument is crucially important. The reason is that the belief that $X of outstanding yet internally held government debt is no net burden on the citizens of the country threatens to make people too sanguine about debt-financed government spending. (“Don’t worry so much about the outstanding debt. We owe it mostly to ourselves. It’s not like government is a private household or firm!”) But Buchanan insisted – again, I believe unassailably – that government is not a miraculously different institution that somehow is exempted from basic laws of arithmetic, finance, and economics. Debt that government incurs is costly no less so than is debt incurred by any household or firm.
LEITURA ADICIONAL - One More Time, Part II por Don Boudreaux

The Science of Economics is Corrupt

Doug Casey: The Science of Economics is Corrupt

The goal is liberty

School Choice Is Nice, but It’s Freedom That’s Key por Neal McCluskey:
.. Having the ability to choose a school is certainly better than being assigned to a single, government institution. But just being able to choose a school must not be the ultimate goal. That must be total educational freedom, both because freedom is the most basic of human rights, and because freedom best provides education for the whole of society.
Freedom means being able to choose from any options that others are freely willing to provide and that don’t force harm on others. We’re not particularly close to that, for any meaningful number of people, in any school choice program.
Not so with public schools. They take my money no matter how they perform, and my only hope for satisfaction is to vote in politicians who will reform them .. I can’t focus just on the politics of education. In contrast, teachers unions, administrator associations, and other edu-employee groups can and do focus on education, and will do so more than anyone else because their very livelihoods are at stake. And what do these self-interested people want? More money and less accountability, the opposite of my interest. But the politicians will tend to pay much more attention to the employees on education then to me because they are single-issue and highly motivated, while I am highly divided.

In stark contrast to buying a computer, I lose, the producer wins, and that is how the system is designed.
We need freedom, which is the most basic human right and the key to delivering the best education for the entire society. As we pursue school choice, we must never lose sight of this much bigger goal.

As causas da crise

"As causas da crise" - Tempo de antena - Episódio 1 com André Abrantes do Amaral

Official Lies

Official Lies por Walter E. Williams:
I believe our nation is rapidly approaching our last chance to do something about runaway government before we face the type of economic turmoil seen in Greece and other European nations .. In 1962, entitlement spending was 31 percent of the federal budget; today it is 62 percent. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security alone take up 44 percent of the federal budget, and worse than that, it's those expenditures that are the most rapidly growing spending areas.

Our federal debt and deficits are unsustainable and are driven by programs under which Congress takes the earnings of one American to give to another, or entitlements .. The undeniable fact of business is that a greater number of people are living off government welfare programs than are paying taxes. That's what's driving Europe's economic problems, and it's what's driving ours. The true tragedy is that just to acknowledge that fact is political suicide, as presidential contender Mitt Romney found out. We can't blame politicians. It's the American people who will crucify a politician who even talks about cutting their favorite handout.

Walter E. Williams

Leaders with Ginni Thomas: Dr. Walter E. Williams

Elephant prohibition

When You Ban the Sale of Ivory, You Ban Elephants:
In short, ivory prohibition has failed. It has been about as easy to stop elephant killing as to stop drug use. “As long as there is strong demand in the consumer countries, we probably will see people willing to risk going for ivory in the source countries,” warned Norwegian Oystein Storkersen, who chairs a CITES [Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flor] committee.

This demand makes ivory valuable. Explained Fitzmaurice: “The 1970s saw the price of ivory skyrocket. Suddenly, to a herder or subsistence farmer, this was no longer an animal but a walking fortune, worth more than a dozen years of honest toil. To currency-strapped governments and revolutionaries alike, ivory was a way to pay for more firearms and supplies.”
These incentives can be reversed. Explained CITES: “provided that their full value (i.e. both intrinsic and extrinsic) is fully realized by the landholders involved, not only will elephants be conserved but so will the accompanying range of biodiversity existing on such land.” Indeed, Fitzmaurice reported that in some parts of southern Africa today “Damaged land and crop losses are not only being tolerated, but villages are doing their best to guard against poachers. This surprising change in behavior is due to the proliferation of government programs that dispense licenses to villages, enabling locals, or paying hunters, to cull an allotted number of elephants each year.” In these areas poaching is down and some farmers have turned their marginal farms into game reserves.
In March CITES must decide whether it is better for elephants to be sacred and dead or commercial and alive. If elephants could talk, they almost certainly would prefer the second. So should the rest of us.

O AADF apoia President "Políticas de Crescimento" Camacho à liderança do PS

not on the individual to justify his freedom

Is Liberty Innocent Until Proven Guilty? por David Bier:
Free societies place the responsibility on those who would restrain the freedom of an individual to justify their action, not on the individual to justify his freedom.

But the proponents of government action have completely inverted this premise — government power now requires little justification — it is presumed valid — and exercising liberty requires a great deal of justification.
Marx’s maxim “to each according to his needs” could be applied to everything today. Rather than the Declaration of Independence’s “inalienable rights,” everything is now slowly becoming contingent on “need.” Do the rich really need their wealth? Do gun owners really need their weapons? Do you really need that 20 oz. soda? Do you really need caffeinated alcohol? Do you really need that cheap, incandescent light bulb? Do you need that high flow toilet? It has gone so far that you actually have to justify the liberty not to act: do you really need not to have health insurance? Do you really need not to subsidize abortifacients and contraceptives?

The philosopher may start the political debate at “Do we need government?” But the politicians begins it, “Do we need liberty?”
Just remember that the burden of proof is always on the prosecution.

terça-feira, janeiro 29, 2013

The Government Is Not Us

Murray Rothbard - The Government Is Not Us

Marginal Steps Toward a Better Life

Marginal Steps Toward a Better Life por Jeffrey Tucker:
I have a theory that if you understand it, you will be more civil. More friendly. More subtle and understanding. You will understand yourself and those around you better. It underscores the sheer complexity of human decision-making and shows why governments are utterly incapable of wise management of the world.
You see how marginal utility clarifies human decision-making? It means that we don’t think and act in black-and-white terms. It is not love or hate, embrace or reject, go for it or spit it out. We make decisions on the margin within the context of a wonderfully complex and infinite array of choices that are ultimately hidden from the view of others.
Small and great evils in the world have come from absolutism, the belief that there is only one way forward, and that if that way is not what you choose, that makes you the evil enemy. Governments think this way. They don’t think on the margin. A world of billions of people acting and thinking based on marginal utility is too complicated a notion for them. So they decide to just ignore it all and divide the world between us and them.

On the other hand, if you think in terms of marginal utility, you realize that the whole world is built in tiny steps as an extension of a complex decision-making process that is ultimately subjective, and that bringing people together can never come through force, but only through small acts of persuasion, one person at a time. Through the lens of marginal utility, we see the beautiful orderliness of anarchy.

Are profits evil?

The Social Functions of Profits | Robert P. Murphy

The economics that we want

The economics that’s in demand por Russ Roberts:
Keynes was right–good ideas are powerful. Economists aren’t just affected by public opinion, they affect it in turn. But I do think our profession (like journalists) have a view of ourselves that is quite romantic–we see ourselves as truth-seekers. Well, yes, there is an element of truth-seeking in what we do. But it’s not the only factor.
.. we get the economics we deserve, the economics that most everyday people want to hear. I’ve often wondered why my viewpoint (or Don’s or Pete’s or Adam Smith’s or Milton Friedman’s) has such limited traction in the marketplace for ideas. We have to concede that we are not the market leaders. Interventionism, market failure, Keynesianism–they are all doing “better” in the marketplace in that they dominate the best universities and much of political discourse.
What else might explain the varying popularity of our ideas vs. those of our competitors? Various answers have been given by Hayek and others as to why economists find the intervention mindset so attractive .. We get the economics that’s in demand, the economics that people want. It’s the reverse of the Keynes argument about the influence of defunct economists. Keynes saw economics ideas influencing policy. But maybe it is policy that influences economics. So as the world becomes more interventionist, the economists respond by finding arguments that rationalize that policy ..
Our product, the less interventionist, liberty product, is in demand but not nearly as popular. People generally don’t want to trust unseen, spontaneous order-based solutions that rely on invisible hand processes. They don’t trust solutions without top-down control–they are not as reassuring. Most people are eager to trust a person who says they care about them than they do a process they are unlikely to fully understand.

In this view, the market for ideas is not designed to produce truth, at least not as its primary output. The market for ideas is like any other market–it serves the customer ..

Geniuses and Heroes vs The Machine

TEDxOKC - Jeff Sandefer - April 8th, 2011

No More Corporate Welfare

No More Corporate Welfare por Sheldon Richman:
Essential to a free society is people's ability to go about their peaceful business unmolested by government. A good part of that activity includes producing goods and services for consumers, who in turn are free to say yes or no to the offerings. Corporate welfare is a way for politicians to maintain the façade of a free economy while rewarding some activities and punishing others. The politicians substitute their preferences for the preferences of consumers, distorting relative prices in the process. Thus if government artificially makes it more profitable to produce wind turbines than washing machines, political judgments replace economic judgments. This is not something to be welcomed. Such political judgments are made by men and women who never face the market test and who risk no capital of their own. The failures of their schemes will not be easily traceable to their decisions (what politician or bureaucrat suffered because of the Solyndra fiasco?), and much of the cost of those policies will be in the form of goods and services not produced because of the diversion of resources. Thus voters will be in a poor condition to assess the performance of politicians, making officeholders largely unaccountable for their economic meddling. Inevitably, the authors of corporate-welfare schemes will blame the nonexistent "free market."

Entrepreneurship and Education

UFM.edu - Interview with Jeff Sandefer

Conscious Capitalism

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey Advocates Conscious Capitalism:
CEOs of consumer-facing businesses tend to be either reticent or vague about political matters for fear of offending potential customers. No so Mackey, who early on in the book mentions reading free-enterprise thinkers like Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, Jude Wanniski, Henry Hazlitt, and Thomas Sowell. “I learned that free enterprise, when combined with property rights, innovation, the rule of law, and constitutionally limited democratic government, results in societies that maximize societal prosperity and establish conditions that promote human happiness and well-being—not just for the rich, but for the larger society, including the poor,”
To the extent that Mackey wants to change current business practices—and he does—he writes that “the lead agents of change need to be those who are engaged in business—not politicians, bureaucrats, or regulators.” This, too, makes plenty of sense.
Here the book argues that “conscious capitalism”—an approach that gives a high priority not only to shareholders but also to “stakeholders” such as customers, suppliers, and employees, and that emphasizes a business mission other than profits—is “the secret to sustained high performance.”

Mackey’s best example is his own company. Its mission includes “to help end poverty around the word.” It has a policy that “caps the total cash compensation, including bonuses, for any team member at nineteen times the average pay of all team members.” It has a decentralized management approach and an innovative and flexible approach to non-cash benefits for employees.

Social Justice and Its Critics

revolution from the inside out

Do FB de Jeffrey Tucker:
The socialist left has been hyper conscious of never proposing things nationally that didn't have its private corollary. Think of recycling, suing your boss for sex and race discrimination, biking instead of driving, eating organic food, or whatever. All of these specifics are designed to accomplish social/political revolution from the inside out, getting people involved at the level of individual life as a precondition for social change. Meanwhile, libertarians are a bit short on such specifics beyond "read this book" or "come to this political rally." It hasn't been a strategic priority.

Toxicodependentes em socialismo monetário

Trying To Reform Government Is a Waste of Time

Trying To Reform Government Is Largely a Waste of Time:
.. I always hear from well-intentioned, conservative- and libertarian-minded people who want me to consider their solutions. Most of their ideas .. always miss the main point.

That is, they misunderstand the nature of government. They think that government is an institution that does all these necessary things and can therefore be reformed. But government is a vast force-based enterprise designed to take as much money from the public and give as much of it as possible to the clients of government. It’s a wealth transfer and any genuine services government provides can be done better, cheaper and more humanely in the private sector.
In my experience, the average reform-minded person thinks that legislators and even some government employees will come to support sensible reforms when they realize that we’re only trying to rein in excesses ..
The truth is government is like rust. It never sleeps. Government grows for its own sake and it has no intention to stay limited. Every bureaucracy, once taken root, will grow as long as someone feeds it.

.. Have you ever noticed how government always measures its success in terms of how much money it spends? It’s impossible to give government agencies enough money for anything. The more poorly they spend existing money, the better opportunity they have to clamor for more cash: "We never had enough to do the job right in the first place."
I honestly don’t know what we do about the frightening growth in government power, but I do agree with H.L. Mencken, who wrote: "I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time." Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate the people who want to fix the current system, but they need to remember that government needs to be stifled rather than reformed.

segunda-feira, janeiro 28, 2013

unusual, uncomfortable, and distant

The European Parliament: unusual, uncomfortable and distant
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

Amarrados ào socialismo

A precariedade laboral garante maior geração de riqueza e emprego. Se há algo que a esquerda ainda não percebeu, ou percebeu e não se importa, é que precariedade no emprego também é precariedade no desemprego. Dito de outra forma, rigidez no emprego tende a provocar rigidez no desemprego, beneficiando os trabalhadores actuais, mas prejudicando aqueles que estão desempregado.

Tornar o mercado laboral mais rígido pode beneficiar alguns, mas terá custos para o crescimento económico, para o emprego e para o nível de salários. Num país estagnado, sem empregos e com salários muito baixos é uma ideia assassina.

the Importance of the Mises Institute

Mark Thornton on the Importance of the Mises Institute

el libre mercado

«Lo más parecido a una democracia perfecta es el libre mercado»:
—¿Qué hay de la igualdad social sin Estado?

—El principal error de la sociedad es asumir que el interés de los Gobiernos es el mismo que el de la población y que fomentan la igualdad social. Eso es falso: cuanto más poder acumula un Gobierno, más fácilmente puede conspirar contra la gente que lo eligió. De hecho, es curioso como, al menos en EE.UU., los barrios de las clases más bajas tienen escuelas con tan malos resultados académicos cuando es el Estado el que presta estos servicios. Sin embargo, productos baratos producidos por el sector privado como la comida o la ropa no se diferencian en calidad tanto con bienes que las clases más altas pueden consumir. Otro punto que refuta que el Estado busque la igualdad social es que precisamente el Estado es el que mantiene leyes de inmigración que hacen que personas con pocos recursos no puedan entrar, por ejemplo, a EE.UU. y se queden en sus países de origen. Es decir, para que haya un Estado de Bienestar que fomente la igualdad dentro de un país, este Estado debe construir fronteras que potencian la desigualdad en todo el mundo. Sin esta estructura, todos tendríamos absoluta movilidad y la desigualdad sería menor.

Razão armada vs. destrambelhice desarmada (7)

Razão armada vs. destrambelhice desarmada (6)

Responding to Piers Morgan: "Why Does Anyone Need an Assault Rifle?"

The Trillion Dollar Coin (4)

No seguimento de The Trillion Dollar Coin (3), e via Incentives Matters:
The fancy of a $1 trillion platinum coin is so tantalising in part because it puts a monetary option in play. The larger attraction, though, is that it does so in a way that honours democracy by sticking to the letter of democratic legislation, yet also flirts with the heady unilateral decisiveness of fascism. This is, I'm afraid, a combination powerfully intoxicating to the pundit id. We'd be better served, however, if the commentariat would rein in its id, stop its idle chatter about exotic, coin-based, presidential monetary policy, and begin seriously to consider the more probable but less glittering eventuality of a Greek-style default.

the Austrian school of economics

Thorsten Polleit on the Austrian school of economics

"Intellectual Property" should fail

How “Intellectual Property” Impedes Competition por Kevin Carson:
In any case, for those whose libertarianism follows from the principles of self-ownership and nonaggression, whether or not intellectual property is necessary to profit from certain forms of economic activity is beside the point. That’s the same argument used by protectionists: Certain businesses would be unprofitable if they weren’t protected by tariffs. But no one has a right to profit at someone else’s expense, through the use of force. In particular, no one has the right to make a profit by using the State to prevent others from doing as they please with their own pens and paper, hard drives, or CDs. A business model that isn’t profitable without government intervention should fail.

Inflation Propaganda Exposed

Inflation Propaganda Exposed

The New Fourth Estate: –archy

The New Fourth Estate: Anonymous, Wikileaks, and –archy
As government and industry collude, the interests of the powerful trample the rights of the multitude. Technology has granted invasive new eyes and ears to government agencies, spurning the right to privacy. Felicitously, the individual has also been empowered with two new tools to check the corporate state: hacktivism and leaks. The press has been captured by a handful of news corporations that are generally uncritical of government and fail to expose corporate injustice. The techno-libertarian culture has birthed the do-it-yourself fourth estate—usurping the illegitimate media and furnishing a viable alternative to the cartelized press. Two entities, Wikileaks and Anonymous, have emerged under this banner. This inquiry seeks to understand their history, methods, and to ascertain whether use of the discrete figurehead is efficacious.
Regardless of whether Anonymous and Wikileaks survive in the face of the opposition, both of these crowd-sourced models have already been reproduced. The cat is out of the bag—Openleaks, Ruleaks (Russia) and Lulzsec are examples of such copycats. The fluid, spontaneous and international participatory political relations of the web are effectively digitizing the public sphere. This anarchistic structure is emblematic of the age, one of disillusionment with disingenuous representatives and figureheads.

domingo, janeiro 27, 2013

Conscription & Slavery

A propósito de Regresso do Serviço Militar Obrigatório nas mãos de Passos,

Murray Rothbard: Involuntary Servitude - Conscription

South Park

The genius of Parker and Stone was to see that in our day a new frontier of comic transgression has opened up because of the phenomenon known as political correctness. Our age may have tried to dispense with the conventional pieties of earlier generations, but it has developed new pieties of its own. They may not look like the traditional pieties, but they are enforced in the same old way, with social pressure and sometimes even legal sanctions punishing people who dare to violate the new taboos.
This is where libertarianism enters the picture in South Park. The show criticizes political correctness in the name of freedom.
This libertarianism makes South Park offensive to the politically correct, for, if applied consistently, it would dismantle the whole apparatus of speech control and thought manipulation that do-gooders have tried to construct to protect their favored minorities. With its support for freedom in all areas of life, libertarianism defies categorization in terms of the standard one-dimensional political spectrum of right and left. In opposition to the collectivist and anticapitalist vision of the left, libertarians reject central planning and want people to be free to pursue their self-interest as they see fit. But in contrast to conservatives, libertarians also oppose social legislation; they generally favor the legalization of drugs and the abolition of all censorship and antipornography laws. Because of the tendency in American political discourse to lump libertarians with conservatives, many commentators on South Park fail to see that it does not criticize all political positions indiscriminately, but actually stakes out a consistent alternative to both liberalism and conservatism with its libertarian philosophy.
The libertarianism of Parker and Stone places them at odds with the intellectual establishment of contemporary America.
South Park is a wonderful example of the vitality and unpredictability of American pop culture .. But one also must give credit to the commercial system that gave birth to South Park. For all the tendencies toward conformism and mediocrity in American pop culture, the diversity and competitiveness of its outlets sometimes allow creativity to flourish—and in the most unexpected places.

Think beyond coercion

Voice & Exit

Obamanomics Explained


Slavery Contracts and Inalienable Rights

Slavery Contracts and Inalienable Rights: A Formulation por Roderick Long:
.. if a person’s rights consist primarily, not in moral facts about the rights-bearer, but in moral facts about other people, then the rights-bearer cannot simply dispose of his or her rights. You cannot, by a simple act of will, release me from my obligation not to coerce you, since that obligation depends on my calling as a human being, something that is not in your control. Hence, on the supply-side conception of justice, no one can divest him or herself of the right not to be coerced. In short, the right to liberty is inalienable.

In forbidding A to sell him or herself into slavery (or, more broadly, any kind of indentured servitude) to B, then, we do not in any way infringe upon A’s liberty; for what A is offering to do is to transfer to B the right of decision over A’s life and actions; but in fact this right cannot be transferred, as it is not under A’s control. Thus A’s offer to sell this right is fraudulent; A is trying to sell something that is not hers to sell.
One objection that is sometimes raised against the defenders of inalienability is this: If slavery contracts are impermissible, how can any room be made for ordinary contractual obligation? ..
.. contracts can legitimately be “enforced” in the sense that a person who has received some consideration in exchange for an unperformed service can be required to pay back the consideration. Even “slavery contracts” could be enforced in that sense; for example, if, in exchange for 2000 drakhmas, I agree to do whatever you want, for the rest of my life, then if I ever back out of the contract (which I am free to do at any time), I have to pay you 2000 drakhmas (plus damages) — but I may not legitimately be forced to fulfill the contract. (If I do not presently have the money to pay, then I simply have a debt, like any other.)
.. nothing can release us from our obligation to behave like human beings toward one another, rather than like animals. Our classical liberal forebears fought a long hard battle against slavery, that disgrace upon human civilization. Two centuries ago, a newborn Free Nation’s compromise with slavery started it down the path that eventually destroyed its freedom. As for our future, a Free Nation that undertook to enforce slavery contracts would not be a Free Nation worth fighting to build or to defend.

The Libertarian Future

Ron Paul on "The Libertarian Future" - Mises Institute's Carl Davis Distinguished Lecture 1/26/2013

Citação Liberal do Dia

Lido no FB:
IP is in contradiction with physical Property Rights. You can suddenly lose some of your physical Property Rights involuntary, because someone does an invention somewhere in the universe.

A libertarian solution could be to let those who want IP also carry the costs of clubbing everyone in the universe over the head who violates it. I think that calculation quickly ends their desire for IP. They only want IP as long as others are coerced to carry the costs of policing it.

Cheers for the Coming Collapse

Two Cheers for the Coming Collapse of the U.S. Economy!

the State shall take

Hands Off My Gun por David Mamet:
Karl Marx summed up Communism as “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” This is a good, pithy saying, which, in practice, has succeeded in bringing, upon those under its sway, misery, poverty, rape, torture, slavery, and death.

For the saying implies but does not name the effective agency of its supposed utopia. The agency is called “The State,” and the motto, fleshed out, for the benefit of the easily confused must read “The State will take from each according to his ability: the State will give to each according to his needs.” “Needs and abilities” are, of course, subjective. So the operative statement may be reduced to “the State shall take, the State shall give.”

All of us have had dealings with the State, and have found, to our chagrin, or, indeed, terror, that we were not dealing with well-meaning public servants or even with ideologues but with overworked, harried bureaucrats. These, as all bureaucrats, obtain and hold their jobs by complying with directions and suppressing the desire to employ initiative, compassion, or indeed, common sense. They are paid to follow orders.

Rule by bureaucrats and functionaries is an example of the first part of the Marxist equation: that the Government shall determine the individual’s abilities.
LEITURA RECOMENDADA: Bureaucracy por Ludwig von Mises

sábado, janeiro 26, 2013

Evil Congressional Hearings

Citação Liberal do Dia

.. this is avowedly the only reason for the ballot: for a secret government; a government by secret bands of robbers and murderers. And we are insane enough to call this liberty! To be a member of this secret band of robbers and murderers is esteemed a privilege and an honor! Without this privilege, a man is considered a slave; but with it a free man! With it he is considered a free man, because he has the same power to secretly (by secret ballot) procure the robbery, enslavement, and murder of another man, and that other man has to procure his robbery, enslavement, and murder. And this they call equal rights!
Lysander Spooner

EU is not undemocratic, it is ANTI democratic

Nigel Farage - E.U is not undemocratic, its antidemocratic!

Nigel Farage - "EU is not undemocratic, it is ANTI democratic"

Gun Control Is Racial Socialism

Gun Control Is Racial Socialism:
But equally valid it to see gun control as Racial Socialism: a cost to be inflicted on Whites because of the deficiencies and faults of Blacks.
Nota - ver as coisas por raças faz perder de vista o crime inter-raça, ou seja as vítimas de raça negra, que também são vítimas do gun control.

Free speech

Com as ressalvas óbvias...

Hitchens - free speech

Rant Liberal do Dia

Que uma palhaçada imbecil como o "Acordo Ortográfico" ainda não tenha sido revogada serve bem como ilustração da inércia da máquina legislativa... e que estou eu a dizer?... é só um sinal da incompetência, indolência e imoralidade dos "nossos " "governantes". E há quem espere algum coisa seja "reformada"? Mesmo quando tudo serve de desculpa para protelar o inevitável - e é o não ter dinheiro, conversas sobre "legitimidade democrática", os debatinhos abertinhos à sociedade, etc etc etc?

sexta-feira, janeiro 25, 2013

the Earth is getting greener

The greening of the planet por Matt Ridley:
Did you know that the Earth is getting greener, quite literally? Satellites are now confirming that the amount of green vegetation on the planet has been increasing for three decades. This will be news to those accustomed to alarming tales about deforestation, overdevelopment and ecosystem destruction.
The latest and most detailed satellite data .. confirms that the greening of the Earth has now been going on for 30 years. Between 1982 and 2011, 20.5% of the world's vegetated area got greener, while just 3% grew browner; the rest showed no change.

What explains this trend? .. There are essentially two possibilities: climate and carbon dioxide itself. Warmer, wetter weather should cause more vegetation to grow. But even without warming, an increase in carbon dioxide should itself accelerate growth rates of plants. CO2 is a scarce resource that plants have trouble scavenging from the air, and plants grow faster with higher levels of CO2 to inhale.

.. 50% is due to "relaxation of climate constraints," i.e., warming or rainfall, and roughly 50% is due to carbon dioxide fertilization itself. In practice, the two interact. A series of experiments has found that plants tolerate heat better when CO2 levels are higher.

The inescapable if unfashionable conclusion is that the human use of fossil fuels has been causing the greening of the planet in three separate ways: first, by displacing firewood as a fuel; second, by warming the climate; and third, by raising carbon dioxide levels, which raise plant growth rates.

Tearing down free speech

Ezra Levant - Tearing down free speech

Robbing children

Via O Insurgente, Money printing 'amounts to theft from our children':
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Davide Serra, founder of leading hedge fund Algebris, and Nouriel Roubini, the head of Roubini Economics known as Dr Doom for predicting the financial crisis, set out the case against those who think quantitative easing (QE) and low rates are benign policy tools.

“When governments borrow, they are taking money from our children. QE is the same – we are lowering returns for future generations. QE creates an inter-generational dilemma,” Mr Serra said.

a Internet está segura com o Estado (17)

No seguimento de a Internet está segura com o Estado (16),

Kim Dotcom: 'I want to encrypt half of Internet, total govt spying must stop!'

Privatize it

How and How Not to Desocialize por Murray Rothbard:
It is, again, generally accepted that free markets must be arrived at quickly, and that phasing them in slowly and gradually will only delay the goal indefinitely ..

.. the fact that you cannot plan markets applies also to planning for phasing them in. Much as they might delude themselves otherwise, governments and their economic advisers are not in a position of wise Olympians above the economic arena, carefully planning to install the market step by measured step, deciding what to do first, what second, etc. Economists and bureaucrats are no better at planning phase-ins than they are at dictating any other aspect of the market.

To achieve genuine freedom, the role of government and its advisers must be confined to setting their subjects free, as fast and as completely as it takes to unlock their shackles. After that, the proper role of government and its advisers is to get and keep out of the subjects' way.
Desocialization is a process of depriving the government of its existing "ownership" or control, and devolving it upon private individuals.
A final point: I have been criticized by libertarian colleagues for proposals of this sort because they involve action by government. Isn't it inconsistent and statist for a libertarian to advocate any government action whatever? This seems to me a silly argument. If a thief has stolen someone's property, it is scarcely upholding "robber-action'' to advocate that the robber disgorge his stolen property and return it to its owners. In a socialist state, the government has arrogated to itself virtually all property and power of the country. Desocialization, and a move to a free society, necessarily involves the action of that government's surrendering its property to its private subjects, and freeing those individuals from the government's network of controls. In a deep sense, getting rid of the socialist state requires that state to perform one final, swift, glorious act of self-immolation, after which it vanishes from the scene. This is an act which can be applauded by any lover of freedom, act of government though it may be.

Environmental Scare Tactics

John Stossel - Environmental Scare Tactics

Talvez valha a pena "privatizar" primeiro os "crimes" sem vítimas (2)

No seguimento de Talvez valha a pena "privatizar" primeiro os "crimes" sem vítimas, How and How Not to Desocialize por Murray Rothbard:
But simply to say "privatize" is not enough. In the first place, there are many government operations, especially in socialist states, that we don't want to privatize, but rather to abolish completely. For example, we would not, as libertarians and desocializers, wish to privatize concentration camps, or the Gulag, or the KGB. God forbid that we should ever have an efficient supply of concentration-camp or secret police "services"!

quinta-feira, janeiro 24, 2013

Recovery Fever Speech

Peter Schiff At The MoneyShow Las Vegas 2012 -

The Ghastly Idea of Equality

The Ghastly Idea of ‘Equality for All’ por Kirkpatrick Sale:
But whatever one means by "equality," this surely is a most dangerous and improper goal for a government to seek – for not only can it not be achieved in human society, it would not be desirous for it to be achieved and certainly not for a government to try to work for. It is one thing to be born equal, as the Declaration said, but quite another to be made equal. A government with that as its purpose would be an Orwellian nightmare and of course still leave some "more equal" than others.

No Regulation? No Problem

John Stossel - No Regulation? No Problem

A hipocrisia da esquerda quanto às guerras de Obama (22)

No seguimento de A hipocrisia da esquerda quanto às guerras de Obama (21) por Andrew Napolitano:
The president himself has more directly killed about 176 children in Pakistan by the use of CIA drones. These drones have been dispatched by him alone – not pursuant to any congressional declaration of war. At least two of these murdered children were Americans. But since the cameras were kept away, since all of this takes place 10,000 miles from America, and since the survivors are legally and politically helpless, no one here hears the Pakistani children's cries of pain and anguish.
Now back to our pop quiz: Who has killed more children, Lanza or Obama? Does a president with blood on his hands have any moral standing to infringe upon the natural right to self-defense of those whose hands are clean? Would you sacrifice your liberty to defend yourself and your children so that the government can kill whom it pleases?

The answers are obvious.

The Libertarian Roots of the Tea Party

The Libertarian Roots of the Tea Party (Emily Ekins)


El Parlament de Catalunya aprueba la declaración de soberanía de CiU y ERC:
El texto aprobado por el Parlament expresa la voluntad de iniciar un proceso de autodeterminación con una consulta y cuenta con amplio apoyo, porque ha sido consensuada entre CiU, ERC e ICV-EUiA, que suman 84 diputados de un total de 135, más uno de la CUP, que divide sus tres votos. El texto aprobado es muy similar a la propuesta inicial CiU-ERC, aunque se ha retirado su deseo de convertir a Catalunya en un Estado, y asegura: "el pueblo de Catalunya tiene, por razones de legitimidad democrática, carácter de sujeto político y jurídico soberano".

El segundo punto, referido al principio de "legalidad democrática", introduce una coletilla final según la cual la voluntad popular expresada democráticamente por la sociedad catalana "será la garante fundamental del derecho a decidir".

En consecuencia, este punto indica textualmente que "el proceso del ejercicio del derecho a decidir será escrupulosamente democrático, garantizando especialmente la pluralidad de opciones y el respeto a todas ellas, a través de la deliberación y diálogo en el seno de la sociedad catalana, con el objetivo de que el pronunciamiento que resulte sea la expresión mayoritaria de la voluntad popular, que será la garante fundamental del derecho a decidir".

The Trillion Dollar Coin (3)

No seguimento de The Trillion Dollar Coin (2)

Ron Paul: Krugman's Trillion Dollar Coin is NOT Real Wealth

Krugman’s Trillion Dollar Coin Is Not Real Wealth:
.. just another variant of the endless stimulus proposals, which purport to create greater aggregate demand in the economy by creating more money. Whether this is done by the Fed or the Treasury is of little importance, as long as government is creating demand-side “growth,” however artificial.

But in just a few short sentences Professor Hans-Hermann Hoppe eviscerates the Krugmans of the world by pointing out the obvious: If governments or central banks really can create wealth simply by creating money, why does poverty exist anywhere on earth? ..

Inconvenient truths

Team of Ex-NASA Scientists Concludes No Imminent Threat from Man-Made CO2

  1. The science of what is causing global climate change or warming is clearly not settled and never has been.
  2. There is no convincing physical evidence to support the man-made climate change hypothesis. The standard test of a hypothesis is whether it is supported by real observations, which seems to have been ignored by climate alarmists.
  3. Claims made by proponents of catastrophic man-made warming are dominantly supported by non-validated computer models and the output of these models should not be relied upon by policy-makers. Some TRCS team members have been making critical decisions using complex computer models for decades.
  4. There is no immediate threat of catastrophic global warming even if some warming occurs. The sea level is not going to suddenly begin a steep acceleration of its 18,000-year rate of rise. Global sea level rise is not currently accelerating despite what climate change alarmists claim.
  5. The U.S. Government has overreacted to a possible catastrophic warming. The probable negative impacts to the economy, jobs and an increased cost of food, transportation and utilities will be severe and hurt the poor and middle class the most. Real experiments show that Earth’s habitats and ecosystems could be damaged if CO2 levels are actually reduced. Environmentalists have been grossly misled to believe CO2 is a pollutant.
  6. Empirical evidence shows that Earth is currently “greening” significantly due to additional CO2 and a modest warming.
  7. Money saved by abandoning a premature rush to lower CO2 emissions could be better spent by continuing research on alternative energies that are not currently competitive or reliable.

top 10

Antes que venham dizer "ai e tal não-sei-quantas-mil-pessoas" agora têm diploma graças às Novas Oportunidades, e o equivalente para outros "programas" estatais, talvez valha a pena relembrar que os diplomas não são instrução, os RSIs não são integração, muitas autoestradas vazias não é progresso, espalhar dinheiro por aí não é dinâmica económica, etc etc

top 10 successful government programs

Por uma sociedade mais livre

Por uma sociedade mais aberta, mais eficiente, mais saudável por Rodrigo Adão da Fonseca:
.. sem prejuízo de ser um sinal positivo dadas as nossas circunstâncias actuais, festejar com euforia o regresso do país aos mercados de dívida, equivale a ficar contente por ver um viciado em heroína a voltar ao vício depois de um tratamento de metadona. Espero vir um dia a festejar o regresso do país a uma vida saudável, livre da dependência da acumulação de dívida para lá da nossa capacidade produtiva, sem défices.

quarta-feira, janeiro 23, 2013

Shoot a Cop (2)

No seguimento de Shoot a Cop,

When Should You Shoot a Civilian?

O Monstro vive

O Monstro ganha um novo fôlego por Carlos Guimarães Pinto:
O monstro foi salvo e tem mais uns meses de vida. Mas há muito pouco a celebrar para aqueles que não vivem à sua sombra. Olhando para as contas, vislumbram-se poucos motivos para confiança no futuro: o monstro continua tão grande como antes, os impostos estão aos níveis mais altos de sempre e não existiu qualquer restruturação do estado ..

A cedência do Banco Central Europeu à monetização parcial da dívida é um motivo de festejo para os estatistas, porque retirará força à necessidade de reforma do estado. Todos os grupos parasitários que se sentam à mesa do orçamento, têm agora uma bolha de oxigénio e argumentos reforçados para rejeitar qualquer reforma. O estado ladrão sobrevive mais uns meses e ganha credibilidade, mas o estado não somos “nós”. Não há motivo nenhum para “nós” estarmos satisfeitos. “Nós” continuamos a pagar impostos altos, continuamos forçados a contribuir para um sistema de segurança social insustentável, continuamos a ter um país centralista e burocrático e um estado intervencionista. “Nós” continuamos a querer sair do país. Há um grupo de parasitas que irá sobreviver mais uns meses e conseguirá endividar-nos um pouco mais. Eles têm motivos para celebrar: “nós” não.

Science Set Free

Isto começa interessantemente - e acaba interessantemente...

Rupert Sheldrake at EU 2013—"Science Set Free"
(Part 1) | (Part 2)

BÓNUS - Physicists Find Evidence That The Universe Is A 'Giant Brain'

the worst on top, and institutions

Why do the worst get on top? An answer from Public Choice por John Meadowcroft:
.. we should expect that the people most willing to work to attain political office will be those who expect to gain the most from holding it. Those who would seek elected office in order to pursue other-regarding ends may not be sufficiently motivated to invest large amounts of time and effort to win political power. Those who desire to wield power over others for personal gain, on the other hand, may only be able to realise this end by personally achieving political power, creating a powerful incentive to devote substantial resources to securing elected office.

It may also be the case that the benefits of political power will be greatest for those whose views or preferences are at most variance with those of the majority of the population. An individual who desires an outcome different from the outcomes that most other people would choose is likely to gain the most from acquiring the monopoly right to exercise political power over others. For this reason Brennan and Buchanan argued that we should expect that ‘political institutions will be populated by individuals whose interests will conflict with those of ordinary citizens’ ..

This analysis would seem to reinforce David Hume's dictum that political institutions should be designed as if every person was a knave with no end other than his or her own private interests, even though we know that not all people behave knavishly. To design political institutions on the basis that those who hold political power will always be benevolent is too great a risk. Limits on the power of government, then, are an essential part of political settlements.

Drive For Power, Drive for Corruption

liberdade de Escolha

Oportunidade perdida:
Por exemplo, por que é que não se dá a todos os cidadãos o direito (obrigatório) de escolher entre um seguro de saúde ou um imposto especificamente consignado ao SNS? Desse modo, colocar-se-ia toda a gente em pé de igualdade, responsabilizando a população e permitindo a redução da factura tributária que, através do Orçamento do Estado, financia a rede pública e universal.

Dependendo da percentagem da população que optasse por uma ou por outra solução, parte dos hospitais e dos centros de saúde poderiam ser privatizados ou concessionados, com benefício para o erário público e sem perda para os utentes que permaneceriam todos cobertos de uma maneira ou de outra.

A evolução demográfica faz do financiamento da Saúde um debate premente. Por isso, nada melhor que seguir as melhores práticas internacionais, sendo que o exemplo da Suíça, em certo sentido retratado no parágrafo anterior, é seguramente um desses bons exemplos. Na Suíça todos os cidadãos - dos recém-nascidos aos idosos - são obrigados a ter um seguro de saúde, que poderá ser subsidiado pelo Estado em caso de insuficiência económica dos agregados familiares.

A esta responsabilização individual, acresce uma regulação forte que, em troca da desestatização do sector, obriga todas as seguradoras a facultar planos de cobertura básica independentemente das circunstâncias de saúde do segurado. Somente nas coberturas suplementares é permitida a diferenciação dos prémios de seguro. O sistema funciona, e funciona bem, sem insuficiências de financiamento, com equidade e com qualidade.

Why Hayek Matters (2)

No seguimento de Why Hayek Matters,

Eamonn Butler: Are We Still on the Road to Serfdom?

War on poverty warriors

Why does the poverty lobby wage war on markets instead of on poverty? por Philip Booth:
Our current anti-poverty strategy, based on ever-higher benefits, is a failure and feeds the problem it is meant to solve. Increases in income transfers require increases in taxes. The combined effect of high benefits and high taxes leads to huge financial penalties when families earn more money. The vast majority of families with three children are now in a situation where they lose nearly 75 pence in every pound that they earn because of taxes and withdrawn benefits. This leads to strong disincentives to work, train and form families with more than one adult.
Kristian Niemietz argues that those who believe in a market economy should take on the poverty lobby. They should attack it head on, with reasoned argument. We should make the case that only a free economy can reduce absolute poverty (whether one is talking about Britain or the poorest countries in the world). We should point out that the government needs to liberalise the economy and that the poor will benefit from this the most. We should reinforce the message that income transfers are no solution and can, indeed, compound the problem of poverty.

Just like the Anti-Corn-Law League, believers in free markets should champion the cause of the poor, campaign to win and hope that, like the anti-tariff campaigners, they can disband after victory. The poor are, indeed, our cause: the left has failed them!

The Morality of Capitalism (13)

No seguimento de The Morality of Capitalism (12),

The Right Side - A Moral Argument for Capitalism

Lifeboat Situations

Expanding on Rothbard’s “Lifeboat Situation”:
Rothbard’s analysis has exerted a defining influence on how many libertarians approach ‘moral dilemma’ constructs that are used as hypothetical debating points. He wrote:

“[A] lifeboat situation is hardly a valid test of a theory of rights, or of any moral theory whatsoever. Problems of a moral theory in such an extreme situation do not invalidate a theory for normal situations. In any sphere of moral theory, we are trying to frame an ethic for man, based on his nature and the nature of the world — and this precisely means for normal nature, for the way life usually is, and not for rare and abnormal situations. It is a wise maxim of the law, for precisely this reason, that ‘hard cases make bad law’. We are trying to frame an ethic for the way men generally live in the world; we are not, after all, interested in framing an ethic that focuses on situations that are rare, extreme, and not generally encountered.”

Interestingly, this is an issue upon which the oft-conflicting Rothbard and Ayn Rand are in accord. The chapter entitled “The Ethics of Emergencies” in Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness described those who argued ethical positions from emergency situations. Rand commented, “Observe also that the advocates of altruism are unable to base their ethics on any facts of men’s normal existence and that they always offer ‘lifeboat’ situations as examples from which to derive the rules of moral conduct. (‘What should you do if you and another man are in a lifeboat that can only carry one?’ etc.) The fact is that men do not live in lifeboats—and that a lifeboat is not the place on which to base one’s metaphysics.”
It is not reasonable to judge systems by a standard of perfection. The only reasonable method is to examine how well a political or moral system works in the real world and, then, to contrast its performance with that of competitors. And by that standard, natural rights does very well indeed.

Why Are Interests So Powerful?

Why Is The NRA So Powerful?


Political Message of the Rising Zombie:
The social messages of a zombie apocalypse generally include: the government is entirely ineffectual or counter-productive; the media is useless; don’t trust the infrastructure; people must defend themselves; cooperation increases the chance of survival; and, the inability to cooperate is a fatal human flaw. It is a nihilistic, anti-establishment, cynical commentary with flashes of heroism and humanity set against a background of violence.

terça-feira, janeiro 22, 2013

A hipocrisia da esquerda quanto às guerras de Obama (21)

No seguimento de A hipocrisia da esquerda quanto às guerras de Obama (20),

President Obama Wants To Protect Children? Why Not End U.S. Drone Strikes?


Públicos que são privados:
A ADSE é um sistema injusto porque discrimina os portugueses entre funcionários do Estado e todos os outros? E, para além de injusto, implica um grande esforço financeiro ao Estado, sendo que a sua extinção permitiria poupança na despesa pública? E, em vez de extinguir, seria possível generalizar a ADSE, extinguindo apenas a sua exclusividade para funcionários públicos, dando assim liberdade de escolha na saúde aos portugueses?

O debate podia (e devia) ser esse. Mas não. Será dominado, como sempre é, pelo preconceito contra os privados que prestam serviço público. Na Saúde, e já agora na Educação, o problema dos privados que prestam serviço público é que se confunde sempre a sua natureza (privada) com o serviço que prestam (público). E, claro, o financiamento público que recebem para a prestação desse serviço com lucros. 270 milhões de euros transferidos para privados? Blasfémia. Acabe-se, então, com a coisa.

A hipocrisia da esquerda quanto às guerras de Obama (20)

No seguimento de A hipocrisia da esquerda quanto às guerras de Obama (19),

Dr. Cornel West: "MLK Today Could Be Taken to Jail Without Due Process Under the NDAA"

BÓNUS: Cornel West Explains Why It Bothers Him That Obama Will Be Taking The Oath With MLK's Bible


Freedom and Chaos:
The yearning for freedom is built into our bones. Of course, human beings are corporeal like other animals. We are bodies, subject to the laws of physics, chemistry, and biology. But unlike other animals, the human person has the additional capacity to transcend himself. Even non-believers can observe this aspect of human personhood, for example when a person falls in love and discovers more of himself or herself, even while giving that self away to the other. We also experience this transcendent aspect of the human person in the exaltation we feel in beautiful music, great art, or poetry.

The Failure of African Socialism

No seguimento de

George Ayittey: Cheetahs vs. Hippos for Africa's future

Refundar a educação

Refundar a educação: o financiamento:
Como fazê-lo? A resposta é simples: crie-se uma fórmula de financiamento igual para todas as escolas públicas (do Estado e com contrato de associação). E, para garantir um financiamento justo, use-se como factor principal o número de alunos matriculados em cada escola, introduzindo outros factores para ponderação (o número de alunos com necessidades especiais ou as diferenças regionais nos custos, por exemplo).
.. esta reforma aprofundaria a autonomia das escolas quanto à sua gestão financeira. Assim, para além de gerir todo o seu financiamento sem interferência da tutela, as escolas poderiam obter, através de parcerias, fontes de financiamento privado. Estas possibilitariam diversificar a sua oferta educativa e, ao mesmo tempo, diminuir a sua dependência no financiamento público.

O modelo e as suas vantagens são claros. A sua implementação permitiria mais eficiência, mais poupança, mais autonomia e maior independência das escolas face ao Estado. Há reformas que, poupando muito, pouco ou nada mudam. E depois há reformas que, mesmo poupando menos, fazem a diferença e ajudam a construir o futuro. São estas últimas que se espera de uma refundação do Estado.


The Problem with Hurricane Sandy Aid

um país sério não institui "direitos adquiridos"

Estão a ver o filme? por João César das Neves:
A maioria das críticas olha, não para a situação nacional, mas para os interesses afectados. Falam então em "direitos adquiridos", sem notar que esse é outro nome da doença. Existem direitos básicos que o país tem de garantir a todos. Nesses não se pode tocar, nem ninguém quer que se toque. Mas grande parte dos supostos direitos não foram de todo adquiridos, mas atribuídos irresponsavelmente com dinheiro alemão. Foi bom recebê-los e custa a deixar, mas não há alternativa. Se quisermos um dia lá chegar de forma sustentável.

Cortar 4000 milhões de euros de forma permanente à despesa pública não é a solução. Apenas o primeiro passo para Portugal voltar a ser um país sério.

Antifragile Libertarianism

Nassim Taleb Talks Antifragile, Libertarianism, and Capitalism's Genius for Failure

empurrar com a obesa barriga do Monstro

A “mensagem”:
Passos quer fazer passar a noção de que tem uma ideia para o futuro de Portugal para além do mero cumprimento das exigências da “troika”, e portanto arranja umas palavras bonitas que insinuem uma “visão”; ao mesmo tempo, são palavras que não o comprometem a nada, e um governo que quer começar a debater as funções do Estado dois anos depois de ter tomado posse é tudo menos um governo que sabe para onde quer levar o país.

Nem para si o executivo sabe ser bom: a conjugação dessa retórica reformista com uma prática limitada a cortes de benefícios e aumentos de impostos junta também contra si o descontentamento com as consequências do imobilismo real e o receio do reformismo, mesmo que não mais que imaginário. Se a “mensagem” de um Governo revela o seu carácter, o nosso não passa de um grupo de desonestos ou de incompetentes. Ou pior, de uma letal combinação dos dois.

Free Market Judaism

Sacks on... Free Market Judaism ... e algum socialismo

global warming ice age

It’s snowing, and it really feels like the start of a mini ice age – London Mayor Boris Johnson:
As a species, we human beings have become so blind with conceit and self-love that we genuinely believe that the fate of the planet is in our hands — when the reality is that everything, or almost everything, depends on the behaviour and caprice of the gigantic thermonuclear fireball around which we revolve.
When the solar acne diminishes, it seems that the Earth gets colder. No one contests that when the planet palpably cooled from 1645 to 1715 — the Maunder minimum, which saw the freezing of the Thames — there was a diminution of solar activity. The same point is made about the so-called Dalton minimum, from 1790 to 1830. And it is the view of Piers Corbyn that we are now seeing exactly the same phenomenon today.
I am speaking only as a layman who observes that there is plenty of snow in our winters these days, and who wonders whether it might be time for government to start taking seriously the possibility — however remote — that Corbyn is right.

segunda-feira, janeiro 21, 2013

The Failure of African Socialism

Descrer da classe política

Quatro por cento por Alberto Gonçalves:
.. Descrer da classe política não é, ao contrário do que a própria classe gosta de sugerir, meio caminho andado para o advento de uma ditadura, mas o primeiro passo para a consolidação de uma sociedade livre. As ditaduras erguem-se sobre a adesão excessiva aos "salvadores" nascidos justamente da veneração e da fé cegas. Numa democracia autêntica, criatura nenhuma depositaria nos políticos mais confiança do que a estritamente indispensável. Os políticos são um mal necessário, que se tolera com a resignação dedicada a uma gripe em Fevereiro. É óptimo que os portugueses suspeitem dos políticos. É trágico que, provavelmente, isso seja mentira.

domingo, janeiro 20, 2013

Citizen Journalism


Playing games with people

Playing games with economics por Philip Booth:
.. the policy conclusion should be that we should allow the greatest scope to come to enforceable co-operative agreements with others (in this respect, one thinks of the huge networks of co-operation that existed in private stock exchanges or of the way in which football is organised, but there many other examples). The market provides a great forum for co-operation. Competition is the process by which the best forms of co-operation are discovered and are copied. But it is true that enforceability is vital, though enforceability could be by tacit means (exclusion from future ventures to the bar) as well as explicit means (legal action for breach of contract).

Very often, of course, government prevents such co-operation ..
.. co-operation in the market may not always produce the theoretically optimal result. But, the market is the forum where people will solve these problems most effectively. As von Mises said in Human Action, markets are places where people are ‘competing in co-operation and co-operating in competition’ in order that people can find the position from which they can best serve society. The idea that regulators can centralise all the necessary knowledge and act purely in the public interest (and not be captured by outside interests) suggests that the alternative of government regulation to promote the optimal outcomes is not promising. After all, with regard to the financial crash, some people say that banks were over-regulated; some say that they were under-regulated; some say that they were badly regulated ..

.. Government regulators have, though, bull-dozed private regulatory mechanisms that might have been more effective. It is imperative that theoretical economics professors consider wider political economy issues, otherwise they will jump to dangerous reductionist conclusions from ground-breaking work that has subtle implications.

Walter E. Williams

Walter E Williams - Up Close And Personal

Can You Sell Yourself Into Slavery?

Can You Sell Yourself Into Slavery? por Wendy McElroy:
No. The reason requires a considerably lengthier response.
Of the various ways to argue against the possibility of a slave-contract, a powerful approach involves the inalienability of the human will. Free will is a defining aspect of man’s nature. From the instant of awareness, he chooses. Sometimes the available options are limited or utterly unappealing but even the refusal to choose constitutes an act of choice.
The idea of a slave-contract is what Ayn Rand called “the fallacy of the stolen concept” – the act of using a concept (slave-contract) while denying the validity of other concepts upon which it logically depends and from which it attempts to derive meaning. In short, a slave-contract is a self-refuting idea.

Aaron Swartz (2)

Feds Hounded 'Net Activist Aaron Swartz, Says EFF's Parker Higgins

Let the market handle it

Via Marginal Revolution, Don Boudreaux:
People too often suppose that large social problems can be solved only by deciding ahead of time which particular group of people and procedures hold the key to the solution.

While declaring “Let the government handle it” comes across as a solution, it’s no such thing. Instead, it is merely a sign of a simple and baseless faith — a simple and baseless faith that people invested with power will not abuse that power; that political appointees possess or will find better answers than will millions of people pursuing solutions in their own ways, and staking their own resources and reputations on their efforts; that only those ‘solutions’ that are spelled out in statutes and regulations and that have officials paid to implement them are true solutions.

So yes, show me a problem and I’ll likely respond “Let the market handle it.” I’ll respond this way because I know that not only is my own meager knowledge and effort never up to the task of solving big problems but that not even the Einsteins or Krugmans or Bushes amongst us can know the best solution to any social problem.

Solutions to complex social problems require as many creative minds as possible — and this is precisely what the market delivers.

Disaster Socialism

PJTV: Disaster Socialism: Why Gun Hysteria Could Lead to Another Expansion of Government

Estratégia e Princípios

Freedom: Because It Works or Because It’s Right? por Robert Higgs:
.. I am now struck by a different aspect of this longstanding debate, which has to do with our strategy for winning people over to libertarianism. Strategy 1 is to persuade them that freedom works, that a free society will be richer and otherwise better off than an unfree society; that a free market will, as it were, cause the trains to run on time better than a government bureaucracy will do so. Strategy 2 is to persuade people that no one, not even a government functionary, has a just right to interfere with innocent people’s freedom of action; that none of us was born with a saddle on his back to accommodate someone else’s riding him.
.. If libertarians choose to fight for freedom solely on consequentialist grounds, they will be at war forever. Although one may accept this prospect on the grounds that “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” this kind of war is deeply discouraging, given that the anti-freedom forces with which libertarians must contend possess hundreds of times more troops and thousands of times more money for purchasing munitions.

In contrast, once the libertarian has persuaded someone that government interference is wrong, at least in a certain realm, if not across the board, there is a much smaller probability of that convert’s backsliding into his former support for government’s coercive measures against innocent people. Libertarianism grounded on the moral rock will prove much stronger and longer-lasting than libertarianism grounded on the shifting sands of consequentialist arguments ..
If we are ever to attain a free society, we must persuade a great many of our fellows that it is simply wrong for any individuals or groups, by violence or the threat thereof, to impose their demands on others who have committed no crime and violated no one’s just rights, and that it is just as wrong for the persons who compose the state to do so as it is for you and me. ..

The Morality of Capitalism (12)

No seguimento de The Morality of Capitalism (11),

Free Market Reforms and the Reduction of Statism

Alguns pensamentos úteis - Free Market Reforms and the Reduction of Statism:
When the state is controlled by “legal plunderers” and every decision for or against state intervention in a particular circumstance reflects their strategic assessment of the ideal mixture of intervention and non-intervention, it’s a mistake for a genuine anti-state movement to allow the priorities for “free market reform” to be set by the plunderers’ estimation of what forms of intervention no longer serve their purpose. If the corporate representatives in government are proposing a particular “free market reform,” you can bet your bottom dollar it’s because they believe it will increase the net political extraction of wealth.

The corporate ruling class’s approach to “free market reform” is a sort of mirror-image of “lemon socialism.” Under lemon socialism, the political capitalists (acting through the state) choose to nationalize those industries that corporate capital will most benefit from having taken off its hands, and to socialize those functions the cost of which capital would most prefer the state to bear. They shift functions from the private to the state sector when they are perceived as necessary for the functioning of the system, but not sufficiently profitable to justify the bother of running them under “private sector” auspices. Under “lemon market reform,” on the other hand, the political capitalists liquidate interventionist policies after they have squeezed all the benefit out of state action.
We must remember that the measure of statism inheres in the functioning of the overall system, not in the formal statism of its separate parts. A reduction in the formal statism of some separate parts, chosen in accordance with the strategic priorities of the statists, may actually result in a net increase in the overall level of statism. Our strategic agenda as libertarians, in dismantling the state, must reflect our understanding of the overall nature of the system.

Blueprint to the future

3D Printing and the Future of Shopping: Shapeways CEO Peter Weijmarshausen

Violent Revolution

The Problem of Violent Revolution:Contrary to popular belief, advocates of violent revolution have historically been a minority within the anarchist movement. Although it could be argued, that in a narrowly logical sense, violence against the state would be justified philosophically by the anarchist as a direct application of the principle of non-aggression (the state is by definition the institutionalization of aggressive violence against the people), anarchists are, in their great majority, opposed to the idea of violent revolution.

Balance of Trade

Rothbard on Balance of Trade

Libertarian Strategy

Thoughts on Libertarian Strategy for the New Year:
Taoism is ultimately a kind of strategic individualism. Whereas Confucianism favors a grand, organized strategy in which all libertarians should participate, Taoism is more a way of life in which personal development is merged with social and political change. Taoism can accommodate a wide range of different plans. These plans adjust to each other and form a coherent movement largely by spontaneous methods, rather than by conscious design. Taoism leads to a libertarian movement that is at once harmonious and individualistic. It encourages unity in diversity.

Perhaps the most valuable feature of strategic Taoism is its stress on creativity. Fully aware that the benefits of freedom cannot be predicted or foreseen, it taps into the creative energy of every libertarian by stimulating original ideas and perspectives. Activities within the movement (internal debates, supper clubs, etc.) are vital to the success of libertarianism, largely because we don’t know what will emerge from them. By generating controversy and excitement, they make the libertarian movement an interesting place to be, even when it isn’t moving anywhere.
While working to achieve a free society, the strategic Taoist understands that his ideal may never be realized, for such is the nature of every ideal. He upholds freedom not for the sake of a future that does not exist but for the sake of the ideal itself. Even if he thinks that freedom will eventually die, the Taoist will never forsake it—just as he will not forsake his loved ones because he knows that they, too, will eventually die.