domingo, março 31, 2013

Central Planning Money

Thomas DiLorenzo - The Role Of The FED

Bitcoin: the moment

Bitcoin’s Moment por Jeffrey Tucker:
.. Government paper is failing at a faster pace than anyone imagined would have happened in the past year. The Cyprus disaster took nearly everyone by surprise. No close observer believes that the latest bandage amounts to anything permanent. Moreover, the Cyprus save sets in place an incredible precedent: Bank deposits will hereafter be treated as government property first and belong to the depositors only at the discretion of the masters of the money.

It’s no wonder that Bitcoins are being brought from locales all over .. mainstream news outlets are starting to write about Bitcoin as if it were the real thing, something serious, something that really matters on the world stage.
.. How can property rights be enforced? This is the real brilliance of Bitcoin. The structure includes a ledger that keeps track of all existing coins and their owners (not by name, but by digits). There is absolutely no way for one coin to be possessed by two separate people. The ledger is open and changes second by second, depending on the trades.

This is why Bitcoin succeeds where every other attempt to make a digital currency (and there were plenty before) had previously failed. Bitcoin assigned property rights to each unit of exchange and made that ownership a major feature of the software itself. In other words, Bitcoin used computer code to reject what is seemingly the key advantage of computer code: its status as a nonscarce good. Instead, it built scarcity into the code.
Of course, the promise held out by an anonymous, market-created global unit of exchange with near-zero transactions costs can only be described as mind-blowing. Will it continue to advance? No one knows for sure, but my doubts are melting by the day, especially given the incredible failure of government money and the global clamor for a modern currency that serves human needs.

Bad History, Worse Policy

John A. Allison discusses Peter Wallison's Book "Bad History, Worse Policy" on C-SPAN 2's Book TV

BÓNUS - John A. Allison discusses the Cato Institute at CPAC 2013

Bitcoin: safe haven

Bitcoin May Be the Global Economy's Last Safe Haven:
Maybe Bitcoin’s devotees are right, and it’s the currency of the future. Or perhaps it’s a ridiculous joke—a speculative, hilarious enterprise taken to its most insane conclusion. Given that the founder is nowhere to be found, it feels like a hoax, a parody of the global economy. That the technology used to implement it has, so far, shown itself to be impeccable and completely functional, and that it’s actually being exchanged, just makes it a better joke. The truth is, it doesn’t much matter if it’s a joke or not. It works.
.. I’m increasingly convinced there’s one thing that Bitcoins do that’s genuinely interesting. They decentralize trust. Trust is hard to earn; verifying transactions is a brutal problem, which is why PayPal locks down your account when there’s too much money flowing into it ..
That’s where Bitcoin thrives: where people would prefer to throw in their lot with anonymous strangers instead of the world economy. It’s gold-bug thinking reinvented for an age of fluid transparency and instantaneous transactions. And as such it’s an excellent indicator of anxiety. Where you see Bitcoins in action you find a weird and heady mix of speculative angst, a fear of being left behind, and people who appear to have lost faith in institutions, who feel most left behind. These are people who’ll trade in purely arbitrary tokens, willing to forgo the comfort of banking systems for the weight of mathematics and the Internet behind it.

Bitcoin isn’t tied to any commodity—besides trust. As a statement on the global economy, Bitcoin is hilarious. As a currency for the disenfranchised and distrustful, it’s as serious as can be.

The Real Energy Problem

No seguimento de The Future Of Energy

Milton Friedman - The Real Energy Problem


'Capitalism' Yesterday, 'Capitalism' Today, 'Capitalism' Tomorrow, 'Capitalism' Forever por Walter Block and Jackson Reeves:
I don't really regard the debate over nomenclature as a substantive one. It merely concerns strategy, branding, labeling. And, as with all such issues, it is difficult to say which side is definitively correct. If we win, and economic freedom is maximized, will it be because of, or in spite of, our positions on this question? I think it will be difficult to ever know for sure. However, my "instinct" is that we should keep for ourselves as many words as we can.

Lei da Cópia Privada

- Lei da cópia privada. Discos rígidos, telemóveis e MP3 podem ser taxados

Taxing Email to Fund the Post Office Is Like....

- Governo quer nova lei da cópia privada no Parlamento em Fevereiro (Janeiro 2013)
- Aprender com os erros #pl118:
.. os argumentos que sustentam a lei da cópia privada são insustentáveis .. Cópia privada não tem absolutamente nada a ver com pirataria.
Ao contrário do que aconteceu há um ano, a proposta do governo para alterar a lei da cópia privada está a ser tratada com secretismo e confidencialidade. Para que não haja debate. Sabem que não têm argumentos que sobrevivam ao debate, portanto, não mudam as premissas da proposta, escondem-na, para que não seja debatida, escrutinada, criticada por todos aqueles que são a parte mais interessada (os que vão pagar).
- se é que ainda há esperança de escapar a tamanho liberalismo: CDS não vê necessidade de revisão da lei da cópia privada proposta pelo Governo
O CDS não vê “necessidade de mudar o quadro actual” no que diz respeito à cópia privada, afirmou ao PÚBLICO o deputado centrista Michael Seufert, para quem uma taxa para remunerar os autores e demais detentores de direitos “não faz sentido para lá do que já existe hoje”.


Calimeros II por Gabriel Silva:
.. Não é por uma medida temporária ter sido - e possivelmente vir a ser novamente - chumbada que retira a responsabilidade da actual maioria de fazer os cortes e as reformas necessárias para que de forma permanente se desça a despesa publica. Não é o TC que impede que se o estado se retire das milhentas funções onde não deveria estar . Ou que o estado permaneça a tudo querer regular e meter-se. Não é o TC que impede que se termine de uma vez com uma cultura de subíidios (que este governo tanto gosta de incrementar) nem de manter sectores de actividade protegidos, nem da manutenção de monopolios, nem de falta de liberdade empresarial, ou de livre escolha na escola e saúde. Nem é o TC responsável, mas sim este governo, por nacionalizar bancos, ou fundos de pensões com encargos centenas de milhões de euros/ano para futuro, nem de não fazer reforma administrativa, nem de não fazer reforma autarquica, etc.

Nem sequer aplicar as reformas com que se comprometeram no memorando de entendimento foi esta maioria e governo capaz de realizar. Foi apenas mais socialismo em cima de socialismo.

Teve esta maioria e este governo uma oportunidade como é raro suceder. E teve o poder para o fazer. Não fizeram. Por falta de vontade e incompetência. Agora já é tarde. Azar. O nosso.

sexta-feira, março 29, 2013

Eurozone: No Solution

The European Crisis Continues: No Solution on the Horizon (Václav Klaus Part I Part II)

país de tontos e ignorantes

João Miranda no Blasfémias:
Não deixa de ser extraordinário que um fulano que desorçamentou dívida, deixou um défice de 10%, levou a banca ao limiar da falência e o país à bancarrota venha dizer que a dívida subiu muito nos 2 anos seguintes a um pedido de um empréstimo para sanar a bancarrota, recapitalizar a banca e reconhecer as desorçamentações. Só num país de tontos e ignorantes é que alguém tenta sequer este truque.

quarta-feira, março 27, 2013

Printed Guns

3D Printed Guns (Documentary)

Defense Distributed's Cody Wilson Explains the Printed Firearm

BÓNUS - DefDist Printed AR Lower - Part III

Copyright Dies

The Last Gasp of Copyright Dies Within Me por Wendy McElroy:
IP and libertarianism are politically incompatible because of the incredible policing of individuals that is necessary to monitor the ‘crime’ of sharing ideas and expression. The policing would be necessary whether or not the copyright was contractual or state-enforced. If nothing else, the immense flow of information over the Internet means that more invasive methods are being and will be used in the name of IP protection.

And, now, 3D printers have the potential for transforming the flow of goods in much the same way as the Internet did for information. The downloading and creation of duplicate goods may become as convenient as the downloading of music is currently. This potential would devastate patents, of course. Again, the only way to protect patents would be to monitor, restrict or outright criminalize an individual’s use of 3D printers.

At every turn, as technology offers greater freedom and prosperity, IP reaches out to snatch it away…if not through controlling the technology, then by controlling individuals.
For an action to be politically and legally permissible in a libertarian framework, it must include what the philosopher Robert Nozick called “no morally impermissible” steps. With regard to IP, the protection of one person’s rights cannot involve the violation of another’s. This principle applies whether natural-rights or contractual IP is being argued. I now believe that any form of IP would inherently contain morally impermissible steps.

free markets succeed in culture

The Walking Dead vs. the Feds! Paul Cantor on TV's Zombie Apocalypse

reductios ad absurdum

Elizabeth Warren's Unwarranted Wage por Walter Block:
Murray N. Rothbard used to say that it is impossible to convince the economically illiterate with reductios ad absurdum. Why? This is because the very purpose of this type of logical argument is to embarrass our friends on the Left (and the Right too, sad to say, see below) by taking up the premises of their proposals and applying them to cases not contemplated by them. But suppose they are unable to be embarrassed? Suppose they cannot grasp the fallacy of their own position even when it is obvious to all of those with even half a brain? Then, while the logic of the critique is impeccable, it still cannot convince the intelligence-deprived true believers.

Money Without Copyrights

Can Artists Make Money Without Copyrights?

Not equal

Are We Equal? por Walter E. Williams:
Soft-minded and sloppy-thinking academics, lawyers and judges harbor the silly notion that but for the fact of discrimination, we'd be proportionately distributed by race across incomes, education, occupations and other outcomes. There is absolutely no evidence anywhere, at any time, that proportionality is the norm anywhere on earth; however, much of our thinking, many of our laws and much of our public policy are based upon proportionality's being the norm. Maybe this vision is held because people believe that equality in fact is necessary for equality before the law. But the only requirement for equality before the law is that one is a human being.

segunda-feira, março 25, 2013

The Nature and Role of Government in a Free Society

Gene Burns: The Nature and Role of Government in a Free Society

Tribunal Constitucional fiel ao caminho para o socialismo

A história que vou usar quando um dia tiver de explicar aos meus filhos o ano de 2013 por Maria João Marques:
O tribunal constitucional, qual aristocrata arruinado, não se importa que o país tenha inadiável necessidade de reduzir a despesa pública, desinteressa-se pelo facto de a troika já ter dito que acabou o tempo de equilibrar as contas com aumentos das receitas fiscais, ignora os sacrifícios acrescidos que recairão sobre gente mais vulnerável do que os pensionistas premium que um chumbo do TC protegerá; enfim, o TC não quer saber se o estado vai ou não falir à conta das suas incursões pela política. O TC simplesmente impõe um imobilismo fundamentalista na esperança de congelar o país num mundo que já não existe.

Confiscating Deposits vs. Using Inflation

Peter Schiff: Cyprus More Honest Than US By Confiscating Deposits Rather Than Using Inflation

Citação Liberal do Dia

Via O Insurgente, e na continuação de Mere Liberty and the Evils of Statism (3),
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C. S. Lewis

jail drug warriors

Rand Paul: The Last Two Presidents Could Have Been Put in Jail for Their Drug Use


A questão do Chipre é de complicada análise - ou melhor, de impossível resolução - não porque o sistema financeiro está baseado numa aldrabice contabilistica.

Há por aí uma baboseira a correr no FB em que A deve x a B, e B deve x a C, e C deve x a A; e que seria "fácil" anular as dívidas, e as pessoas não precisariam viver em função das mesmas. É pirosamente bonito, mas não é assim que as coisas funcionam. No mundo real, em virtude do socialismo monetário em que vivemos (inventado para financiar os Estados à custa de inflação futura), há muito mais dívida do que activos que a sustentam, pelo que é impossível anular a dívida. Não sem fazer brutais writeoffs. Qualquer solução sistemática passa por aí, o que é politicamente inadmissível.

Encontrar uma "solução" unicamente para o Chile para já não altera nada do sistema (aliás pode argumentar-se que o objectivo de tal solução é perpetuar o sistema), e porque não é possível fazer a quadratura do círculo, fazendo honrar todos os compromissos, necessariamente obriga a um cálculo pollítico - a quem prejudicar. Nestas coisas quem se lixa é o mexilhão, e os depositantes apanharão sempre com o grosso do ajustamente, seja directamente, seja indirectamente pelo colapso, que é inevitável, seja a seguir, com o colapso do Chile, ou seja um dia, com o colapso do sistema financeiro.

A maior parte dos raciocínios procura salvaguardá-los (aos depositantes), e existem muitos raciocínios, mas suponho que se resumam a "não têm culpa causal" (mas "menos" terão os contribuintes europeus, não é verdade, e os bancos falindo lá se vão os ditos depositantes). Existe uma contra-corrente que diz "não, isto de meter dinheiro nos bancos é arriscado, têm de participar" (fechando os olhos à imoralidade do sistema - isto de aplicar conceitos de "livre mercado" a mercados viciados em que tais conceitos só reforçam o socialismo instituído...).

Myths of Anti-trust

Myths of Anti-trust: Speak Truth to Power | Dominick Armentano

salário mínimo

Uma moção de censura fantástica:
É evidente que se o aumento no salário mínimo for insignificante os efeitos no desemprego podem ser limitados, mas nesse caso pouco se ganha. Com uma subida sensível, a queda do emprego será inevitável. Ou será que o leitor conhece algum caso em que um aumento do preço leve a um aumento da procura? Quando o preço da gasolina sobe, anda mais de carro? Quando o preço das viagens aumenta, passa a viajar mais? É evidente que o aumento dos custos do trabalho levará a uma redução da procura e logo a uma diminuição do emprego.

Com as nossas empresas tão endividadas como estão, a ligação entre o aumento do salário mínimo e o aumento do desemprego teria efeitos imediatos. Não existe margem para atenuar ou dilatar no tempo esses efeitos. Absurda é também a noção de que um aumento do salário mínimo aumentaria a procura interna, com efeitos positivos na criação de emprego. É preciso não ser capaz do mais elementar raciocínio económico para não perceber que o efeito seria anulado pela correspondente subida nos preços (custos de trabalho maiores para as empresas são refletidos nos preços dos bens de consumo).

domingo, março 24, 2013

Stark choices

Stark choices

Earth Hour (2)

No seguimento de Earth Hour, e via WUWT, 'Earth Hour: A Dissent' por Ross McKitrick:
I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity.
The whole mentality around Earth Hour demonizes electricity. I cannot do that, instead I celebrate it and all that it has provided for humanity.

Earth Hour celebrates ignorance, poverty and backwardness. By repudiating the greatest engine of liberation it becomes an hour devoted to anti-humanism. It encourages the sanctimonious gesture of turning off trivial appliances for a trivial amount of time, in deference to some ill-defined abstraction called “the Earth,” all the while hypocritically retaining the real benefits of continuous, reliable electricity.

People who see virtue in doing without electricity should shut off their fridge, stove, microwave, computer, water heater, lights, TV and all other appliances for a month, not an hour. And pop down to the cardiac unit at the hospital and shut the power off there too.
I don’t want to go back to nature. Travel to a zone hit by earthquakes, floods and hurricanes to see what it’s like to go back to nature. For humans, living in “nature” meant a short life span marked by violence, disease and ignorance. People who work for the end of poverty and relief from disease are fighting against nature. I hope they leave their lights on.
I like visiting nature but I don’t want to live there, and I refuse to accept the idea that civilization with all its tradeoffs is something to be ashamed of.

Bourgeois Dignity

Um pouco relacionado com How Come We’re So Rich?

Deirdre McCloskey on "Bourgeois Dignity"
(quem quiser passar por cima da "introdução", avance para os 42', e as conclusões aos 56')

sábado, março 23, 2013

Turismo AMN

Via O Insurgente, no Expresso desta semana (página 12, primeiro caderno):
Ao fim de quase dois anos em que o Governo subiu quase todos os impostos e taxas existentes, e ainda inventou mais taxas e sobretaxas, o novo secretário de Estado do Turismo, Adolfo Mesquita Nunes, prepara-se para tomar uma atitude contra a corrente: reduzir e eliminar taxas no sector que tutela. (…) Algumas actividades serão liberalizadas, deixando de precisar de autorização governamental – será o caso de autódromos, kartódromos, parques temáticos, marinas, portos de recreio e docas de recreio, balneários termais e terapêuticos, spa, centros equestres e hipódromos. Todos passarão a estar dispensados de registo e do pagamento de taxas de actividade turística. Por outro lado, as taxas existentes vão baixar de €1500 (€950 para microempresas) para menos de metade (…) Ao mesmo tempo, as novas taxas reduzidas deixarão de ser aplicadas por igual, passando a variar de acordo com a complexidade do serviço efectivamente prestado pelo Estado, e o registo na actividade vai deixar de estar dependente da autorização da administração pública, passando para o regime de comunicação prévia. Também no sentido de facilitar a requalificação da oferta existente, Mesquita Nunes já comunicou aos parceiros da Confederação do Turismo de Portugal que irá avançar com uma proposta para que sejam eliminadas as taxas devidas ao Turismo de Portugal pelas vistorias obrigatórias de classificação e reclassificação de empreendimentos.

Stages of the Libertarian Movement

Murray Rothbard: Six Stages of the Libertarian Movement

The Dallas Accord

Dallas Accord (Wikipedia):
The Dallas Accord was an implicit agreement made at the 1974 Libertarian National Convention to compromise between the larger minarchist and smaller anarcho-capitalist factions by adopting a platform that explicitly did not say whether it was desirable for the state to exist.

The purpose of the Dallas Accord was to make the Libertarian Party of the United States a "big tent" that would welcome more ideologically diverse groups of people interested in reducing the size of government. Therefore, the 1974 platform focused on statements arguing for getting government out of various activities, and used phrases such as "where governments exist..." It was agreed that the topic of anarchism would not even be on the table for discussion until a limited government were achieved.
The Dallas Accord Is Dead:
At the LP Convention in Dallas, Texas in 1974, disagreement on whether police, courts, and large-scale defense ought to remain government functions or be provided on the free market threatened to derail hopes for libertarian anarchists and minarchists to work together. Apparently at the behest of members of the platform committee representing both viewpoints, an informal agreement was made that, for the purpose of developing the platform and party activities in general, the question of the ultimate legitimacy of government need not be settled.
Time for a new Dallas Accord?:
The Dallas Accord seems to be lost in the fog of history. I don't know the names of the principals who hammered it out, or in what official manner it might have been endorsed, but it came down to an agreement that anarchists and minarchists would set aside their fundamental disagreement over the legitimacy of government per se. While working for more freedom and less government, the Party would, in its official operations, make no comment on the ultimate question of whether government should be dispensed with entirely or kept alive, albeit as a shadow of its former self.

How Come We’re So Rich?

How Come We're So Rich? | Gary North

Limitação de mandatos

Excerto de sobre a limitação de mandatos autárquicos:
De facto, um cargo só pode ser exercido vitaliciamente se for um cargo concreto, e não um cargo considerado em abstracto, em razão da natureza das funções exercidas. Ou seja, ser “presidente de câmara” designa um tipo de função política. Ser “presidente da câmara x” (ou Presidente da República Portuguesa…) designa um cargo político em concreto. Parece elementar que só neste último é que se pode estar vitaliciamente. Alguém que tenha desempenhado, em períodos sucessivos de quatro ou oito anos, as funções de presidente da câmara de Tondela, de Viseu, do Porto, de Mangualde e de Freixo de Espada à Cinta, não está a exercer vitaliciamente nenhum desses cargos, mas a desempenhar as mesmas funções em cargos e sítios diferentes. Se optarmos pela interpretação restritiva daquela norma, como o fez a sentença do Tribunal Cível de Lisboa sobre a candidatura de Seara, ninguém deveria poder ser, por exemplo, “ministro” mais do que um número determinado de anos, ainda que de governos e de pastas diferentes. Ou “gestor público”, ainda que de empresas distintas e em funções diversas.

Conscious Capitalism (4)

No seguimento de Conscious Capitalism (3),

John Mackey on Whole Foods, Conscious Capitalism, and Life Beyond the Profit Motive

Earth Hour

Apesar de engolir a patranhada do climate change e das green energies...

Earth Hour: Switching Off the Lights Sends the Wrong Message


Tirar a Fidúcia da Moeda Fiduciária por Ricardo Campelo de Magalhães:
O que o Chipre acaba de fazer é de uma gravidade sem paralelo. Afinal:
- Que a Europa taxava o trabalho, já se sabia.
- Que a Europa taxava o consumo, já se sabia.
- Qua a Europa taxava o rendimento empresarial, já se sabia.
- Que a Europa taxava o rendimento das poupanças, já se sabia.
- Mas que a Europa ia ao ponto de confiscar uma parte dos depósitos…

Eu não aceito isso da parte do Zimbabué. Ou do Idaho, vá. Agora aconteceu aqui! Num dos 5 países intervencionados da Europa! .. este episódio recorda-nos quão frágil é o direito à propriedade privada quando um estado precisa de dinheiro.

sexta-feira, março 22, 2013

Vaclav Klaus - Europe, a failure

Former Czech President Vaclav Klaus on Europe's Failures


Penumbra por André Azevedo Alves:
Outro perigo é que as médias deixam na penumbra importantes problemas estruturais, como o nepotismo que continua a predominar em muitos sectores e níveis da administração pública. Em contextos onde predomina o nepotismo, a atractividade é naturalmente maior para quem melhor se movimenta no domínio dos concursos viciados. A manifesta incapacidade pelos sucessivos governos (incluindo o actual) para melhorar e credibilizar os processos de recrutamento, selecção e promoção no âmbito da administração pública - com consequências especialmente danosas nos cargos de maior responsabilidade - é um dos mais pesados entraves ao sucesso da reforma do Estado.

Why Many Cities Are Broke

Walter E Williams - Why Many Cities Are Broke

Minimum Wage is Completely Wrong

The Minimum Wage: Apparently Benevolent, Completely Wrong:
Perhaps the worst of the President’s many bad ideas was raising the minimum wage. Of course, he made it seem so easy: “No one who works full-time should have to live in poverty.” Hiking the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour “would raise the incomes of millions of working families.” Moreover, “For businesses across the country, it would mean customers with more money in their pockets.” Most important—though left unsaid, of course—was that raising the minimum would likely yield more votes in the next election and more political contributions from unions.

The minimum wage always has been a dumb policy. The government obviously can mandate that companies pay a certain amount whenever they hire someone. But government cannot require firms to add new workers—at least not at present. This means the higher the wage set by the government, the more people who will be priced out of the marketplace. Most vulnerable are those with the least skills, education, and experience (African American teenagers, for example).
.. there is something otherworldly about politicians claiming to do good by punishing the very companies hiring the workers with the least opportunities. Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer complained about “private low-wage companies,” but some of them eventually turn into private high-wage companies. And all employ people who would otherwise be worse off—otherwise they would not be working at such firms.

Ironically, the minimum wage does help some workers, namely those already earning more who gain when companies respond to a rising wage floor by automating and reshuffling duties. If a firm is forced to pay extra, it will hire someone who is more skilled and can produce more. That’s why labor unions support the minimum wage, even though it directly applies to few of their members.
The minimum wage is typical of the sorts of economic policies concocted by Washington: apparently benevolent but completely wrong. Raising the minimum wage would be bad economics. It would also be unjust. It is time the American people understood that the government does not have its own money to give away. What politicians call compassion would be theft if carried out by anyone else.

Communism + Fascism

Via Reason, 20th Century Death no Information is Beautiful:
According to a disturbingly pleasant graphic from Information is Beautiful entitled simply 20th Century Death, communism was the leading ideological cause of death between 1900 and 2000. The 94 million that perished in China, the Soviet Union, North Korea, Afghanistan, and Eastern Europe easily (and tragically) trump the 28 million that died under fascist regimes during the same period.

the single most damaging policy mistake of the past three decades

Should We Have Let Wall Street Go Bust? - Maybe—but the real problem was, and still is, the coddling of creditors por Russ Roberts:
The coddling of creditors is the single most damaging policy mistake of the past three decades. If we can stop the cycle of creditor rescue, banks will shrink naturally and too-big-to-fail will no longer be relevant.

Budget Politics (2)

No seguimento de Budget Politics,

Quando se fala de cortes no Estado, os estatófilos vêm falar sempre de desgraças iminentes - como se a lógica fosse destruir aquilo que (bem ou mal) é mais necessário. Neste "debate" o que interessa a essa gente não são as coitadinhas das pessoas - ou proporiam primeio cortes nos desperdícios mais flagrantes; o que interessa mesmo é que o Monstro Estado não sofra.

estato-dependência terminal

Cortinas de fumo criadas por pessoas de quem se esperaria que criassem cortinas de fumo por Maria João Marques:
A reforma do estado, a tal que permitiria reduzir estruturalmente a despesa e prometida em campanha eleitoral, não vai ser feita não porque PPC a tenha ingenuamente adiado tempo de mais mas porque PPC e o PSD que o apoiou nunca quis fazer qualquer reforma do estado e perder o seu ganha-pão. Sempre foi muito evidente que um PSD liderado pelo Pedro nunca poderia ter qualquer ímpeto reformista do estado. Claro que a fazer-se uma eliminação de serviços do estado e de funcionários públicos tal teria de ser feito nos primeiros meses de governo para aproveitar não só o estado de graça como o consenso nacional existente sobre a necessidade de diminuição da despesa pública (agora já ninguém pensa na despesa pública, de tão aflitos que estamos com a possibilidade de continuarmos com a nossa despesa privada). A reforma não foi feita atempadamente porque não era para fazer, preferindo-se a via de aumentos de impostos que destrói a economia mas deixa o estado incólume. A meio da legislatura lançaram esta cortina de fumo dos quatro mil milhões que teriam de ser reduzidos na despesa pública só porque já esperavam que já não houvesse qualquer aceitação da medida tanto de eleitos como de eleitores e pretendem agora desculpar-se com falta de condições políticas e económicas para mais cortes de despesa pública (que já começaram a ser adiados e mais dia menos dia serão cancelados). E os cidadãos, que dantes pediam redução de despesa, agora que pagam impostos em níveis confiscatórios impensáveis muito legitimamente não aceitam que com este confisco o estado ouse deixar de gastar dinheiro com os cidadãos e empresas fornecedoras do estado; se pagam mais, têm direito a pelo menos continuar a receber o mesmo do estado.

The State = Theft

Racist Intellectuals

Intellectuals and Race por Walter E. Williams:
It's lamented that blacks are "the last hired" and, during an economic downturn, "the first fired," because blacks are terminated before whites. That's seen as evidence of discrimination by white employers, but white employees are terminated before Asian-American employees. Is that employer discrimination against whites? Intellectuals accept statistical data as showing discrimination when it reinforces existing preconceptions and reject or ignore it when it doesn't.

It's the same story in the housing market. Newspapers, television commentators, civil rights leaders, academics and politicians see racial discrimination as the cause for black mortgage loan applicants being rejected more frequently than white applicants. In 2000, black applicants were turned down for prime mortgage loans twice as often as whites; however, white applicants were turned down nearly twice as often as Asian-Americans.
The racial discrimination explanation requires that we believe that white bankers racially discriminate not only against blacks but against whites, as well. It also requires that we believe that black-owned banks are in cahoots with white-owned banks, because they, too, turn down black mortgage applicants more often than white applicants. The true explanation is not rocket science. Lenders prefer to lend to people who will pay them back. Average credit scores are higher among whites than blacks and higher among Asian-Americans than whites.
My own conclusion is that black people waged a successful civil rights struggle against gross discrimination. It's white and black liberals, intellectuals, academics and race hustlers who have created our greatest hurdle.

Colossal Failure

America's Longest War: The Trailer

Krugman vs. Bitcoins

Don’t Hold Bitcoins; Krugman Won’t Like It por Jeffrey Tucker:
Fortunately, no one is asking for Krugman’s permission to mine, hold, or use Bitcoin. He is not in charge of designing this emerging alternative money. As for making society rich, a main reason why Bitcoin is taking off is because people want to flee government paper money or at least have some hedge against government money and all that it brings with it. Bitcoin might someday save the economy from being destroyed by government and its economic advisers.

quinta-feira, março 21, 2013

debaixo do colchão

Cyprus vs Bankocracy: 'Mattress better place to keep cash than banks'

Nigel Farage - Get your money out while you can
BÓNUS - Berlin calling

Save Traditional Marriage

To Save Traditional Marriage, End State Involvement in Marriage por Ben Shapiro:
There is only one way to stop this development: Get the government out of the business of marriage. Right now.
.. Conservatism has always been about preventing the power of government from invading the lives of citizens. Leftism has always been about using the power of government to restrict the behavior of others. It is time for conservatives to recognize the reality of their situation, realize the dangers inherent in their insistence on government interventionism and act quickly.

Getting the government out of marriage would mean voluntary lifestyle arrangements governed by contract -- a practice that has roots stretching back millennia. Religious people would not be forced by the state to approve behavior they find morally problematic. They would not have to worry about their children being taught about such behavior. Conservatives would be forced to rebuild a culture of marriage rather than focusing on a crumbling legal bulwark.

Conservatives lost the culture. Then they lost the law. They can only regain traditional values by removing legal coercion and incentivization from the table -- the left will never hesitate to use those means -- and focusing once again on the raising and production of children within a culture of traditional morality.

socialismo carbónico

Is a Carbon Tax Market-Friendly?

borda fora

Rescisões no Estado chegam tarde e a más horas por António Costa:
O Governo abriu o processo de rescisões amigáveis no Estado, uma decisão que chega tarde e a más horas. O Governo que se anunciou como o mais liberal desde o 25 de Abril deixa para o fim o que deveria ter sido uma das primeiras prioridades, o verdadeiro emagrecimento do Estado, depois de levar o confisco a níveis insuportáveis e a economia a uma recessão historicamente elevada.
.. o Governo perdeu uma oportunidade única, porque tinha o dinheiro e a cobertura política, externa e interna, para o fazer. Agora, percebe-se, o Governo nunca quis reformar o Estado, optou sempre pelas soluções mais fáceis, uma banda gástrica na despesa e idas ao mcDonalds nos impostos.

Gun Control Works

Gun Control Works

a razia operada por efeito da oferta universal e gratuita de serviços públicos

Do outro mundo... por José Manuel Moreira:
Face ao crescendo de pessoas que buscam comida em instituições sociais e públicas, vamos imaginar .. que se resolvia garantir a todos o direito a refeições diárias, abrindo cantinas públicas e gratuitas em todo o País. O que aconteceria a seguir? O sistema de restauração, com excepção de uns tantos restaurantes de luxo para ricos do regime, entraria em colapso. Com o tempo o próprio saber culinário da população iria desaparecer: quem daí em diante se daria ao trabalho de cozinhar com comida ao lado grátis? No fim do processo toda a gente ficaria como a minoria inicial: sem capacidade para se bastar a si mesma e entregue à máquina estatal.

Por analogia, pretendia mostrar a razia operada por efeito da oferta universal e gratuita de serviços públicos ..
.. Pena é que a acusação aos políticos de imediatismo poupe o clero e os académicos, que são os principais mentores da nossa incapacidade em perceber que o bem que o Estado pode fazer é muito pouco, ainda que o mal seja quase ilimitado. O que ajuda a descurar o perigo de transformar os pobres em indústria lucrativa para o poder político.
Mas ecoa no Papa do outro mundo, Francisco: "Não podemos responder com verdade ao desafio de erradicar a exclusão e a pobreza, se os pobres seguem sendo objecto, destinatários da acção do Estado e de outras organizações em um sentido paternalista e assistencialista, e não sujeitos onde o Estado e a sociedade produzem as condições sociais que promovem e tutelam seus direitos e lhes permitem ser construtores do seu próprio destino."

terça-feira, março 19, 2013

Constitutional Debt

No seguimento de Our Crisis

Keyes to the Republic Vol. 4 Constitutional Debt

Avaliando os programas

Avaliando os programas por Michael Seufert:
.. Face a tudo isto posso bem dizer que não sei se quero mais Europa como solução. A Europa é responsável por vários dos momentos que levaram a todo este imbróglio: incapacidade em desenhar uma zona Euro que equilibrasse as várias economias, conivência e até incentivo de níveis de despesa e endividamento associado incomportáveis, programas assentes em previsões irrealistas e agora a colocação em causa da confiança no sistema bancário dos estados-membros.

Os contribuintes dos países europeus estão hoje a pagar as desastrosas acções dos seus governos nos últimos anos. Muitas dessas acções, como já se disse, tiveram o aval e até o incentivo da Europa. O que se desejaria seria que, quanto aos estados, estes cortassem nas suas despesas deixando mais rendimento disponível aos cidadãos – e até agora ainda nenhum país intervencionado baixou os impostos – ao mesmo tempo que se limitam as capacidades de endividamento dos estados para balizas que permitam às futuras gerações usufruir do direito a serem donos do seu presente ..

"Intellectual Property"

SOPA and 3 Ways to think about Intellectual Property


Mente-me, por favor por Helena Matos:
O Estado que havia de tomar conta de nós do berço à cova - agora até às cinzas porque os cemitérios são uma coisa antiga que nos lembra que existe morte - tornou-se num monstro ávido de dinheiro que esbulha o possível e o impossível a uma população que o seu intervencionismo reduziu à anomia. Ninguém é responsável por nada mas apenas o resultado de uma política de apoio ou de um acto de discriminação. A própria demografia passou a ser confundida com os abonos de família.

Todos os dias mentimos e nos mentimos para tornarmos aceitável hoje o que ontem condenávamos: uma intervenção como a que agora foi feita no Chipre era dita impossível na UE, campeã tão campeã dos direitos que não há semana em que não legisle sobre o bem-estar das galinhas e dos porcos.

Pois o que era impossível tornou-se possível e a UE, essa estrutura tão democrática que não pode ser votada, continuará a impor os seus critérios de democracia às suiniculturas e às "questões de género" na composição dos conselhos de administração das empresas, enquanto os seus políticos garantem hoje que não é possível o que já sabem que vai acontecer amanhã.

Mas se alguém se pensa apresentar a votos dizendo isto não levará nem os votos da sua família. Se calhar nem o seu próprio voto. Porque nós somos como os amantes que no tango suplicam: "Ay/ abrázame esta noche/ aunque no tengas ganas/ prefiero que me mientas".

segunda-feira, março 18, 2013

force you to be free

Via O Insurgente, e notando a estupidez (ok ok, "dissonância cognitiva") da narração, que entende que "liberdade negativa" implica invadir países e matar gente...

BBC The Trap - Part 3/3 - "We will force you to be free" - Greek Subs

não vai ser bom

o que aí vem não vai ser bom:
.. por cada aumento de impostos para alimentar o défice aumentam as falências, com as falências aumenta o desemprego, com o desemprego aumentam necessariamente os subsídios e os apoios do estado, crescendo, assim, o défice público em vez de diminuir, como se pretendia com as medidas fiscais. Por outro lado, a falência das nossas empresas não resulta do livre jogo do mercado, no que seriam facilmente substituídas por outras, não resulta nem da concorrência, nem da insatisfação dos consumidores, mas da pura e simples destruição do mercado, provocada pelo excessivo intervencionismo do estado que asfixiou fiscalmente as empresas e as pessoas, e descapitalizou os bancos que as podiam apoiar nos momentos de dificuldade. Neste cenário, como pode conceber-se uma recuperação da economia portuguesa que simultaneamente pague uma gigantesca dívida pública, equilibre a despesa corrente do estado (sempre necessariamente crescente em momentos de crise social) e ainda consiga criar empresas, emprego e riqueza que sustentem tudo isto, num cenário de crescimento desmesurado da carga fiscal e dos custos de produção? Isto é materialmente impossível, como é óbvio.
Por outro lado, a [outra] solução socialista de suportar a dívida pública e produzir «crescimento» económico injectando dinheiro na economia, a velha fórmula que, no fim de contas, nos trouxe até aqui, é, ela também, uma impossibilidade ..

Manning (2)

No seguimento de Manning,

The War Against Bradley Manning


Fanatics who'll do anything to save the euro por Daniel Hannan:
Eurocrats have lost all credibility on this subject. Every single bailout, including this one, was preceded by sonorous assurances that it wouldn’t happen.

The underlying financial situation, we kept being told, was strong. Only last month, the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, declared that the euro crisis was over.

Yet again, the ‘experts’ have been spectacularly wrong. Not only the Eurocrats, but the central bankers, the economics graduates who write for the Financial Times and all the other clever-clogs who backed the bailout-and-borrow racket have been awry in their predictions.

Meanwhile, the eccentrics who kept their money out of banks, the handful of Austrian School economists and the bearded survivalists who kept telling us to buy gold have been proved right.
Our masters in Brussels are prepared to immiserate the continent rather than allow an orderly unbundling of the euro.

An Orwellian America

An Orwellian America por by Gordon T. Long:
As a young man, I voraciously read George Orwell’s 1984, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World .. During the era of the Vietnam War, I wondered seriously about the future and how it was destined to unfold. Now being considerably older, I have the vantage point to reflect back on my early ruminations and expectations. Unfortunately, I am too old to alter the lessons that are now so painfully obvious. Instead, I pass the gauntlet to those who can understand and take action on what I have unavoidably come to expect for America.

domingo, março 17, 2013

The Case For Private Education

The Case For Private Education

define your terms

Good Arguments Demand Careful Thinking:
If you watch enough people talk about politics, you’ll quickly conclude most people just aren’t very good at it. There’s often a kind of emotional intensity that clouds communication. But there’s also a general lack of skill at articulating the complex ideas and frequently-unexamined principles that motivate so much political disagreement.

Libertarians aren’t immune to this. And that’s too bad, because self-identified libertarians are a political minority, and so each interaction we have where the topic comes up is an opportunity to expose another person to our philosophy of liberty.

Rand Paul’s CPAC

Rand Paul's CPAC 2013 Speech - 3/14/2013

BÓNUS: Rand Paul wins CPAC straw poll

freedom from crime

The Euphemism of Libertarianism por Christopher Zimny:
The libertarian world can be summed up, ultimately, as freedom from crime.
The libertarian who stoutly extols the principles of private property and non-aggression stands admirably fast, but the world that some libertarians theorize as “the world that would exist absent the State” is simply misleading. In actuality, we are living in a libertarian society, and states do exist in it. Public opinion has been warped to such a degree that it allows the Leviathan state to have massive influence in the affairs of individuals. But it must be stressed that there is nothing particularly unnatural about this. Rather, it leaves it to the individual to decide for himself whether to succumb to aggression or to reclaim his right and ability to protect his own property.

Libertarianism is merely a euphemism for looking at reality in a different way. Libertarians, of course, think that we would live in a better world without the State or theft or crime. It is a matter of seeing these things for what they are and chasing the noble ideal of ultimately stamping them out. Every end toward that goal is a step in the right direction. In light of this, one may guard oneself more properly—in an intellectual regard—against systematic acts of aggression in the real world. At any given moment, one may simply withdraw consent from such aggression.

The Austrian school of economics

Free Markets Series E12 - Steven G. Horwitz - The Austrian school of economics

Egalitarian Core of Economics?

Interessante, esticado, revelador, e muitos non-sequiturs - A Profession With an Egalitarian Core por Tyler Cowen:
Economic analysis is itself value-free, but in practice it encourages a cosmopolitan interest in natural equality. Many economic models, of course, assume that all individuals are motivated by rational self-interest or some variant thereof; even the so-called behavioral theories tweak only the fringes of a basically common, rational understanding of people. The crucial implication is this: If you treat all individuals as fundamentally the same in your theoretical constructs, it would be odd to insist that the law should suddenly start treating them differently.

The right approach

'The right approach for Britain’s economy' - A speech by the Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP
Today's IEA speech by Doc Fox was a sharp reminder of how far we have strayed from the paths of fiscal righteousness. We have overspent, over-borrowed, and overtaxed. We have encouraged welfare dependency, and stifled the economic dynamism that made us rich. We have left undone those things we ought to have done, and done those things which we ought not to have done, and there is no health in us.


Os portugueses que ficam em casa por Alberto Gonçalves:
À semelhança dos que contrapõem ao saque dos privados o aumento da despesa pública, o dr. Gaspar acredita em milagres, e de facto só um milagre dos antigos permitiria resgatar a economia através de políticas destinadas à preservação do Estado. Grosso modo, seria idêntico a curar uma enxaqueca com pancadas sucessivas no cocuruto. Se calhar, já aconteceu. Mas não é provável que volte a acontecer.

O que garantidamente acontecerá, pelo menos enquanto o Governo guardar o liberalismo para a retórica, disseminar o socialismo na prática e desperdiçar uma raríssima oportunidade de reformar os vícios caseiros, é mais do mesmo. Mais previsões falhadas, mais preces à troika, mais austeridade, mais falências, mais postos de trabalho extintos, mais "Grândolas", mais desapontamentos e mais suspeitas de que assim não só não vamos longe como nem sequer temos para onde ir.

Police Militarization

John Stossel - Police Militarization

The Rise & Fall of the State

In Istanbul: The Rise & Fall of Society:
One of the books I had tucked in my bag that I read while in Turkey was Frank Chodorov’s The Rise & Fall of Society. This is a slender 168-page book by a great, if somewhat forgotten, essayist and editor. It gives a tightly reasoned answer to the question “Why do societies rise and fall?”

Chodorov’s thesis is that “every collapse of which we have sufficient evidence was preceded by the same course of events.”

The course of events goes like this: “The State, in its insatiable lust for power, increasingly intensified its encroachments on the economy of the nation…” and finally gets to the point where the economy can no longer support the state at the level it is accustomed to. Society can’t meet the strain, so “society collapsed and drew the State down with it.”

The pattern is always the same, regardless of size or ideology. The state can grow only by taking. “Since the State thrives on what it expropriates,” Chodorov writes, “the general decline in production which it induces by its avarice foretells its own doom.”

sábado, março 16, 2013

Me Is Mine, You Is Yours

Me Is Mine, You Is Yours

Fw: O Papa Francisco e a economia

Via O Insurgente, No socialist: Pope Francis matters to the City of London,
But what does the new pope think? The BBC and other commentators have noted that the pope is a proponent of “social justice”. To the BBC this would mean that he is a proponent of socialism. However, the fact that Pope Francis cares deeply about the poor does not necessarily mean that he believes in a big state. In fact, he believes that government should create the conditions in which the poor can flourish. This is quite different from the social democrat view that sees the state as having a huge role in redistributing income and controlling the lives of the people.

Roy Childs vs Ayn Rand

An Open Letter to Ayn Rand (by Roy Childs)

I, Coke Can

I, Coke Can:
The number of individuals who know how to make a can of Coke is zero. The number of individual nations that could produce a can of Coke is zero. This famously American product is not American at all. Invention and creation is something we are all in together. Modern tool chains are so long and complex that they bind us into one people and one planet. They are not only chains of tools, they are also chains of minds: local and foreign, ancient and modern, living and dead — the result of disparate invention and intelligence distributed over time and space. Coca-Cola did not teach the world to sing, no matter what its commercials suggest, yet every can of Coke contains humanity’s choir.

Go to War for Oil?

David R. Henderson: Do We Need to Go to War for Oil?

The Minimum Wage Harms the Most Vulnerable

The Minimum Wage Harms the Most Vulnerable:
The victims are the most vulnerable people in society: the unskilled. For the most part, these are young people (many from the middle class) without work experience. Few people over 24 make the minimum wage, and those who do usually move up before long. Young people desperately need that first job to learn skills and work habits, and of course income, but “progressive” politicians, whether they know it or not, favor policies that destroy entry-level jobs. Remember, the minimum-wage law doesn’t create employment; it forbids jobs that pay too little.

Advocates of the minimum wage ought to explain why they believe competition among employers hasn’t already bid up the wages of unskilled workers to reflect their productivity. How can anyone know that a $9 minimum won’t throw people out of work or make low-skilled jobs more onerous? No one can know this because only the market process can generate and disclose such information. Nevertheless, “progressives” are willing to gamble with the lives of people who are vulnerable enough as it is.
If the advocates of the minimum wage really cared about people with low skills and low incomes, they’d support elimination of the myriad government barriers to entrepreneurship and small-business formation, which keep people down. These include occupational licensing, restrictions on street peddling, and zoning, all of which make it tougher for people living on the edge to start up modest businesses and hire people in a similar predicament.
The failure to move against these poverty-sustaining interventions indicates either that the self-styled champions of the poor are ignorant of economics or that they are poseurs. Let’s not forget that the biggest boosters of the minimum wage are the leaders of organized labor, whose members’ incomes are far above the minimum. Before we assume the motive is humanitarian, let’s recall that such legislation was first proposed years ago by people who wanted to exclude their competition—particularly blacks and women—from the marketplace.

Foreign Aid Is Immoral and Impractical

Ron Paul: Foreign Aid Is Immoral and Impractical - Cavuto 3/14/2013

Robar a los pobres para dárselo a los progres

Robar a los pobres para dárselo a los progres:
.. un sistema "que roba a los pobres para dárselo a los ricos", que es la mejor definición posible del socialismo, aunque la pobre pretendiera con su frase señalar en sentido contrario.

¿Quiénes son los pobres y quiénes los ricos? .. todos los presentes, en última instancia, viven precisamente gracias al dinero que el "sistema" extrae de los pobres que no pueden dejar de pagar al fisco. Así pues, siguiendo su propia lógica, trabajar en un sector fuertemente subvencionado como el cine español les sitúa inmediatamente en el conjunto de los "ricos", que lo son gracias a que expolian a los pobres, según el viejo esquema marxista compartido por todos ellos.

La constatación de su propia vileza podría tener consecuencias irreparables en gente tan emotiva, pero afortunadamente para todos ellos el presidente del tinglado había dejado sentado minutos antes el dato esencial que consagra la dimensión ética de sus trinques cotidianos. Fue cuando afirmó que el cine es "un derecho de todos". Un derecho "humano", le faltó añadir, con la propuesta formal de que la ONU lo incluya de inmediato en su Declaración Universal. Porque, a pesar de todas las apariencias, los progres no roban a los pobres. Simplemente detraen del Estado una módica cantidad para otorgar carta de naturaleza a un derecho esencial de las capas más desfavorecidas: el de no ir al cine a ver sus bodrios. Nunca tantos debieron tanto a tan pocos.

The Public School Monopoly

David Boaz: The Public School Monopoly

The Central Bank Revolution

The Central Bank Revolution I (well ‘nominally’ so):
Our reliance on ‘easy money’ as facilitated by credit has become terminal. Like drug users we continue to attempt to find a heightened state of nirvana. We continue to hark for the utopian days prior to the eruption of the post-2008 crisis, even though our well-being was fallacious and based on an illusion of wealth paid for by credit – a creditopia. The abuse of credit is what defined the Great Financial crisis and one that still defines our economic system and one which will define a much worse crisis to come.
Central banks are the devil. They are like drug dealers except they administer regular doses of supposedly legally prescribed barbiturates to their addicts. The ‘easy money’ or ‘credit’ they create is an opiate, and like all addictions there is a payback for the addicts, one exacted only in loss of health, misery, and death.
Our reliance on ‘easy money’ as facilitated by credit has become terminal. Like drug users we continue to attempt to find a heightened state of nirvana. We continue to hark for the utopian days prior to the eruption of the post-2008 crisis, even though our well-being was fallacious and based on an illusion of wealth paid for by credit – a creditopia. The abuse of credit is what defined the Great Financial crisis and one that still defines our economic system and one which will define a much worse crisis to come.

no public funding to the "arts"

Passion for government

A Passion for Government Leads to Neglect of Our Neighbor por Dylan Pahman:
.. When down on their luck, Americans have ceased to look to one another -- to families, friends, neighborhoods, churches, and other associations -- but now look, by and large, primarily to government support in times of crisis.

.. No one fails to realize that we must care for the poor, sick, and elderly among us, but most Americans are blinded by a “common passion” for state-sponsored solutions, forgetting whose responsibility care for the needy ought, firstly, to be.

According to the German philosopher Walter Schweidler .. “[T]he question for what we are responsible cannot fundamentally be divided from the question to whom we are responsible.” Yet if we believe that all state aid is indispensable, and fail to look around us at the people in our own communities and at what we can do for them ourselves, we create such a fundamental divide.
Meanwhile, the present generation continues, through debt, to spend the tax dollars of tomorrow, today. Instead of parents leaving an inheritance to their children, they are spending not only what they should pass on, but the very resources of the next generation. Indulging in unrealistic expectations and shirking the fundamental responsibilities of our most basic relationships fuel a passion for government provision in all areas of life, well beyond a safety net of last resort. Rather than arguing over which sector of civil society will carry each burden, the common passion today continually pushes to the state, considering centralization the only solution, despite its obvious insolvency in the long run.

All this has served as fertile ground for the sort of person Wilhelm Röpke termed a “centrist”: the cheap moralist who “does not seem capable of imagining that others may not be lesser men because they make things less easy for themselves and do take account of the complications and difficulties of a practical and concrete code of ethics within which it is not unusual to will the good and work the bad.”

Stoke the Fear

Krugman won't debate Murphy...

Stoke the Fear


Import-Led Growth por Don Boudreaux:
Greater exports are indeed an indispensable means of increasing a people’s consumption through imports. It is, however, highly misleading – it promotes the worst sort of economic fallacies and, hence, it promotes destructive policies – to speak of exporting as being the source of prosperity. Trade in such cases is the source of prosperity, not exporting per se.

So to young Mr. Yang – and to everyone – I ask that every time you encounter phrases such as “export-led growth” or “economy built on exports” that you hear or read these phrases in your mind as “trade-led growth” or “economy built on trade.” The reason, again, is that the economic improvement at home is found not in the sending of stuff to strangers, but in the receiving of stuff from strangers. Exporting can be a means to prosperity – and an important means, to be sure – but exporting itself is not what makes people wealthy; rather, trade – the receiving of valuable goods and services in exchange for exports – is what makes people wealthy.

Roots of the Fed

Thomas DiLorenzo - Roots Of The FED

Pork on Mars

The Search for More Pork on Mars Continues:
There isn’t any life on Mars. There is no evidence that there ever was life on Mars. But there is surely pork on Mars. NASA wants to continue to slice off plenty of it.

NASA today is eligible for sequestration, preferably 100% sequestration. NASA does nothing worth financing by the private sector. It never has. But now there are threats of sequestration. NASA is running scared.

So, what’s a bureaucracy to do? Recycle that old favorite, life on Mars.

World post-Ron Paul

CPAC: Rand Paul, Libertarians Rising

Quem não for socialista deve ter outras ideias e pensar melhor.

afinal, em que acredita esta direita?:
.. Assim, e de uma vez por todas, para ver se nos entendemos, quem acredita que é a engenharia económica e financeira do governo e do estado que cria emprego são os socialistas, entenderam? Quem não for socialista deve ter outras ideias e pensar melhor.

No fim de contas, a coisa resume-se a isto: em que política económica acredita a direita do regime, protagonizada pelo PSD e pelo CDS? Até agora, a resposta tem sido esta: nos mesmos princípios e nas mesmas políticas do Partido Socialista.

sexta-feira, março 15, 2013

The Myth of Scandinavian Socialism

How often an anarchist?

You Are An Anarchist. The Question Is: How Often? por Benjamin Powell:
Classical liberals have long debated whether they should support a minimal state or no state at all. Unfortunately that debate is usually framed as an all or nothing proposition. Either you believe that “a minimal state is everywhere and always necessary” or that a “state everywhere and always does more harm than good.” This polarization is a mistake. Everyone, at least sometimes, is an anarchist.
The real issue is found in an area economists call “comparative institutions.” That is, in a specific time and place, how well would anarchy work and how does that compare to how well an actual obtainable state would work? ..
.. it is my hope that classical-liberal minarchists will drop the label and realize that in many current situations, in other parts of the globe, they may prefer anarchy to any obtainable state. Furthermore, as classical liberals who are interested in a free and prosperous society, we should recognize that further study of anarchism is a valuable endeavor because it can inform where each of us believes we should draw the line in preferring no state at all to ones we live under. In short, all classical liberals should be interested in the study of the “A word.”


Manning Leaked Testimony: US Army a 'child torturing ants with magnifying glass'

'Manning fulfilled moral duty, conscience of US on trial'

Nanny dictator

What if nanny is a thug? por Andrew P. Napolitano:
What if the dictator was more interested in his own legacy as a reformer than in personal liberty in a free society? What if he thought he could write any law and regulate any event because his knowledge of human behavior and unintended consequences was superior to that of the people he swore to serve?
What if all of this really happened? What if this is not a fable, but a fair recounting of life today in America’s biggest city? What is the state of human freedom in New York City when the mayor can tell people what soft drinks to consume and how to consume them, and the voters let him do it? What will they let the government do to us next?

quarta-feira, março 13, 2013

Exhaustible Resources

Milton Friedman - Exhaustible Resources

discriminação legal contra os desempregados

Demagogia por André Azevedo Alves:
Todas as imposições legais que aumentam artificialmente o preço do trabalho potenciam efeitos adversos sobre o emprego.

No caso do salário mínimo - como sempre relembrava Milton Friedman - esses efeitos adversos concentram-se nos trabalhadores mais jovens e nos menos qualificados. Daí que possa ser considerado uma forma de discriminação legal dirigida especificamente contra os desempregados que mais dificuldades têm em entrar no mercado de trabalho formal. Uma barreira especialmente pesada e perversa em contexto de crise.

terça-feira, março 12, 2013

Defining Libertarianism and Austrian Economics

Defining Libertarianism and Austrian Economics with Walter Block

Minimum Wage e mais

The Myopic Empiricism of the Minimum Wage por Bryan Caplan:
The minimum wage is far from the most harmful regulation on the books. Why then do I make such a big deal about it? Because it is a symbol of larger evils.

From the standpoint of public policy, the minimum wage is a symbol of the view that "feel-good" policies are viable solutions to social ills: "Workers aren't paid enough? Pass a law so employers have to pay them more. Problem solved." From the standpoint of social science, the minimum wage is a symbol of the myopic view that you can become an expert on X by reading nothing but the leading research that explicitly addresses X: "Does the minimum wage reduce employment? Read the top papers on the minimum wage. Problem solved."

We need to get rid of the minimum wage. But that's only a first step. Our ultimate goal should be to get rid of the errors that the minimum wage has come to represent.

Spirit of Liberty

Ron Paul: Spirit of Liberty Lives in Canada - 2013 Manning Networking Conference

Fugir à seringa

Não é por aqui por André Azevedo Alves:
A via de limitar (ou, frequentemente, apenas atrasar) despesa do Estado para cumprir formalmente metas está esgotada e é um erro político grave se o Governo ainda não o compreendeu.

A única via sustentável em aberto é aplicar cortes estruturais na despesa, mas tal só é posível avançando com a reforma do Estado – em especial nas empresas públicas, nas rendas público-privadas, educação, na saúde e nas prestações sociais – que todos os interesses instalados (incluindo boa parte do PSD e do CDS) desejam evitar a todo o custo. Ainda que o custo seja o colapso do da economia portuguesa, o desemprego galopante e o empobrecimento generalizado do país para níveis impensáveis.

What Is Bitcoin?

What Is Bitcoin? Tom Woods Talks to Erik Voorhees
BÓNUS - Bitcoin - The Libertarian Introduction

Intelectuais multiculturalistas e racistas

Intellectuals and Race por Thomas Sowell:
Once we recognize that large differences in achievement among races, nations and civilizations have been the rule, not the exception, throughout recorded history, there is at least some hope of rational thought – and perhaps even some constructive efforts to help everyone advance.
The desire of intellectuals for some grand theory that will explain complex patterns with some solitary and simple factor has produced many ideas that do not stand up under scrutiny, but which have nevertheless had widespread acceptance – and sometimes catastrophic consequences – in countries around the world.
Intellectuals, whom we might expect to counter mass hysteria with rational analysis, have all too often been in the vanguard of those promoting envy and resentment of the successful.
The false dichotomy that it must be one or the other leaves more successful groups with a choice between arrogance and guilt. It leaves less successful groups with the choice of believing that they are inherently inferior for all time or else that they are victims of the unconscionable malice of others.
George Orwell once said that some ideas are so foolish that only an intellectual could believe them. Multiculturalism is one of those ideas. The intelligentsia burst into indignation or outrage at "gaps" or "disparities" in educational, economic or other outcomes – and denounce any cultural explanation of these group differences as "blaming the victim."
The biggest losers in all this are those members of racial minorities who allow themselves to be led into the blind alley of resentment and rage, even when there are broad avenues of opportunity available. And we all lose when society is polarized.

a Internet está segura com o Estado (18)

No seguimento de a Internet está segura com o Estado (17)

Porn Ban or Web Control? 'EU censorship a pretext to gag Internet'

Entrepreneurs Are The Good Guys

Entrepreneurs Are The Good Guys por Jeffrey Tucker:
It turns out to be very difficult to come up with ideas for goods and services that people will accept in exchange for money. It is even more difficult to take in more money than you spend in order to provide those goods and services. And there’s an even more difficult step: You have to compete with everyone else who is trying to do the same thing. This competition has a tendency to drive whatever fleeting profits you make to zero.

It is a common error to believe that entrepreneurship consists of coming up with one good idea and making one good judgment. Nonsense. Good judgment is a daily requirement. It affects everything you do from product development, research, inventory decisions, and employment to marketing. A bad decision tomorrow can negate all the good decisions of the last month.
The only way to accomplish this is to be wildly attentive to unmet needs in society, to be super attentive to accounting details, and to always be prepared to improve in your service to others ..

The truth is that the commercial life is one of implausible self-sacrifice. It is a life of instability. You never go to sleep at night fully relaxed and you never wake with absolute confidence about what the day will bring. Every day brings changes and events that defy expectations. This tendency instills a level of humility in the commercial world unknown in politics or academia.
A free and prosperous society should marvel at the accomplishments of its businessmen and businesswomen. These are true public servants, people who endeavor at great personal sacrifice to drive history forward and grant the human race a greater degree of material prosperity tomorrow than it enjoys today. These are the people who really keep hope alive.

Ticket Scalping

John Stossel - Ticket Scalping

Democracia em falência

Democracia em risco (2):
A escolha será simples, mas difícil: ou a via liberal de um Estado controlado pelos cidadãos, ou o caminho populista da intervenção estatal e o espezinhamento natural das liberdades individuais. Qualquer das escolhas dará azo a discussões acesas nos anos mais próximos.

.. falindo o regime, a via populista será a mais provável. Qualquer opção pela liberalização política e o controlo efectivo da actividade estatal implica um exigente nível de consciência e responsabilidade individual. O desafio que vivemos não é apenas económico, mas também cultural. Apenas uma profunda mudança na cultura política portuguesa nos permitirá seguir a primeira opção.

Ron Paul - homeschooling

Ben Swann Interviews Ron Paul About His Upcoming Event In Cincinnati

domingo, março 10, 2013

Paródia - Krugman Declares Bankruptcy

Paul Krugman Declares Personal Bankruptcy:
Economist and columnist Paul Krugman declared personal bankruptcy today following a failed attempt to spend his way out of debt.
Between 2004 and 2007 Krugman splurged on expensive cars, clothes, and travel in hopes that the new lifestyle would convince his bosses at the New York Times to give him a giant raise.
"I still defend my analysis that on the macroeconomic level sovereign debt crises can be fixed by increasing government borrowing to lift aggregate demand. I admit, however, that on the microeconomic level this strategy has failed spectacularly."

Free Lunch

Milton Friedman: There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

sábado, março 09, 2013

Citação Liberal do Dia

Gentlemen, the time is coming when there will be two great classes, Socialists, and Anarchists. The Anarchists want the government to be nothing, and the Socialists want government to be everything. There can be no greater contrast. Well, the time will come when there will be only these two great parties, the Anarchists representing the laissez faire doctrine and the Socialists representing the extreme view on the other side, and when that time comes I am an Anarchist.
William Graham Sumner

The Economic Recovery?

The Economic Recovery: A Novel Perspective from Ed Leamer (The Numbers Game with Russ Roberts) mono


Transparência: entre Monti e Grillo por José Manuel Moreira:
De outro modo, ver-se-ia que o sucesso de muitos políticos, tidos como vigaristas ou mentirosos, não é um exclusivo da classe política, mas uma exigência do eleitorado. As manifestações de 2 de Março são mais uma prova disso: se as pessoas desejam o impossível, mais despesa e menos impostos, só grandes mentirosos as podem satisfazer.

Monti e Grillo são, afinal, a verdade da mentira: a fantochada da neutralidade do Estado e a paródia anárquica dos poderes indirectos constituídos em redor de uma multidão de desejos, sentimentos, caprichos e interesses.

Monetary hockey stick

How did we not expect the fall of the dollar??

Exploit price discrepancies, not people!

TGIF: Entrepreneurship and Social Cooperation por Sheldon Richman:
In the real world ignorance is pervasive, and we mustn’t fall prey to the mainstream economists’ unreal assumption that full knowledge about means, ends, and preferences is “just there” at the disposal of an economic planner. We know this is not the case in real life: First, knowledge is dispersed throughout society, not concentrated in some repository. Second, much relevant knowledge is in the nature of knowing how, not knowing that; that is, it’s tacit, unarticulated, and even inarticulable. Third, much relevant knowledge is discovered serendipitously in the course of acting, extinguishing ignorance that a person wasn’t even aware he suffered ..

If all that economics takes notice of is already known means, ends, and preferences, it misses the defining creative and entrepreneurial character of human action. Think about how you make real decisions, and you’ll see the point.

F.A. Hayek, beginning in the 1930s, called economics to account on this matter. What’s the point of thinking about an economy in equilibrium, with its assumption of complete knowledge about resources and preferences, Hayek asked, if no explanation is given of how an economy in theory could ever evolve to such a state. After all, we never have complete knowledge about resources and preferences. If economics as a discipline is to have any relevance for the real world, it must address the question of how a society rife with ignorance and incomplete knowledge can progress. Otherwise, economics is justly mocked in the joke about the economist who, stranded with nothing but canned food, “assumes a can opener.”
To fully appreciate the role of entrepreneurship, we turn to Israel Kirzner, one of Mises’s doctoral students. It was Kirzner who elaborated on what the entrepreneur does to help individuals better realize their objectives, that is, to facilitate cooperation that would not have taken place otherwise for lack of the necessary knowledge.
In effect, the entrepreneur enables A and B to cooperate in a way that otherwise would have eluded them — which is to say they would have been disappointed to learn that they missed out on an opportunity to exchange apples and oranges. The entrepreneur thus facilitates cooperation by being alert to potential price discrepancies, which are the inevitable result of our ignorance and error.
We now see that the battle cry “People before profits!” is based on a misunderstanding. In a freed market, profit is a sign of new social cooperation. Thus, a better battle cry would be “Exploit price discrepancies, not people!”

quinta-feira, março 07, 2013

Labels And Philosophy

Milton Friedman - Labels And Philosophy

El Estado de Bienestar y la violencia

El Estado de Bienestar y la violencia:
Al igual que el homosexual o la prostituta, la persona que decide no usar los servicios del Estado de bienestar (educación, sanidad, pensiones, etc.) no hace ningún daño a nadie. El disfrute de los servicios puede ser, y es, restringido y por tanto nadie que no participara en su financiación podría ser excluido sin el más mínimo problema.

Pese a esto, millones de personas que suscriben sin ningún pudor la máxima del vive y deja vivir se manifiestan a favor de monitorizar, auditar, perseguir y meter en la cárcel si es necesario a todos los ciudadanos del país con tal de que nadie se escape de mantener esa maquinaría de gastar dinero que tanto les gusta.

Pues ya va siendo hora de que se empiece a decir alto y claro que se puede estar a favor de los servicios públicos del Estado de bienestar. Pero siempre que se deje perfectamente claro que se está en contra del vive y deja vivir. Porque todo defensor de lo público es alguien que no deja vivir a los demás. Alguien que sustrae dinero, y por tanto horas, ideas, esfuerzo, y en general, la vida a otros, en nombre de lo que él cree adecuado por su moral, sin importarle lo que la otra persona piensa o lo que podría hacer con esos recursos si tuviera la oportunidad. En otras palabras: alguien que cree en la violencia y desprecia la libertad.


Doug Stanhope - Liberty

The Problem of Authority (2)

No seguimento de The Problem of Authority, Plausible Libertarianism: Philosophy, Social Science, and Huemer por Bryan Caplan:
Huemer’s “new pair of trousers” is a libertarianism designed to be plausible to non-libertarians as well as libertarians.

How does he make his brand of libertarianism plausible to non-libertarians? He starts with moral premises most non-libertarians already accept, argues methodically and transparently, and generously considers a wide range of objections. When social science is relevant, Huemer appeals to mainstream economics, political science, and psychology – not the heterodox approaches that libertarians love so well. While I don’t expect The Problem of Political Authority to make millions of converts, it as broadly convincing as a reasoned argument for an unpopular conclusion can be.

How does Huemer make his brand of libertarianism plausible to libertarians? He escapes objections to rights-based libertarianism by turning the “Non-Aggression Axiom” into a “Non-Aggression Presumption.” He escapes objections to consequentialist libertarianism by taking this Non-Aggression Presumption seriously. The result is a position immune to all of the standard counter-examples to rights-based and consequentialist libertarianism.

When libertarians want to appeal to a broader audience, they usually dial down their rhetoric and their radicalism. The Problem of Political Authority dials down the rhetoric, but leaves the radicalism intact. Libertarians don’t need Aristotelian metaphysics, exceptionless moral axioms, or heterodox social science to call the entire status quo into question. Michael Huemer shows that common sense, common decency, and careful observation are more than up to the job.