sexta-feira, maio 31, 2013

Government unemployment

3 Reasons You Can't Find a Job

Justice Movements Fail the Poor

On Justice Movements — Why They Fail the Environment and the Poor:
The theory of climate justice tells us that the gap between rich and poor and the looming threat of catastrophic climate change are not simply unfortunate circumstances that demand our attention and action, but rather the result of active efforts on the part of rich nations, wealthy elites, and powerful corporations to profit on the backs of the global poor and the environment. In this telling, the failure to deploy plentiful renewable energy in the developing world is the fault of the developed world.

There is, of course, no shortage of injustices that have been visited upon the global poor for which the wealthy developed world bears some responsibility. But denying impoverished people their rightful access to clean renewable energy is not among them. Many parts of the developing world are indeed blessed with abundant wind and sunlight. But solar and wind energy are still intermittent, difficult to scale, and substantially more costly than fossil energy, which is why they require significant subsidies.

Demands for climate justice too often ignore basic practicalities of energy, poverty, and climate change, directing our gaze away from the issues that really matter to the future prospects of both the global poor and the planet and toward issues that don’t.
Contemporary demands for climate justice have been, at best, indifferent to these rather remarkable developments and, at worst, openly hostile. Some activists reject development and modernization altogether, lauding poor indigenous communities for living a simpler, more virtuous life in a closer relationship with nature. Others almost unavoidably find themselves reinventing archaic international socialist tropes in the name of sustainability.
Climate justice .. often doesn’t confine itself to redistribution and successful global amelioration of, or adaptation to, climate change. Rather it imagines a profound rearrangement of politics and society away from corporate capitalism and the consumption that sustains it ..
.. climate justice for what it really is: an essentially bottomless advocacy agenda that serves polarizing constituency-building politics, not a pragmatic agenda for shared global growth and prosperity. As a global movement for social justice, climate activists can tap sources of institutionalized sympathy for socialism and social democracy — strong trade unions, left-wing parties, indigenous movements, cultures influenced by radical egalitarianism ..
.. if one really wants to address poverty head-on, it’s unclear why climate change would be the place to start ..
.. “justice” activism has all too often failed to deliver on its promised vision for the poor. Even more, it has proven to be a distraction from more effective efforts. Rather than moralize about climate debt and reparations, those who truly care about poverty and the climate should focus instead on the kind of disciplined and pragmatic forms of advocacy it will take to build a prosperous and equitable future for the poor.

Thugs Standing Around

Walter E Williams - TSA (Thugs Standing Around)

Free banking

Free banking was robust and effective por Steve Davies::
In Scotland, unlike England, there was no officially chartered bank with public responsibility for the currency and a possible lender of last resort role. Instead you had free banking where the circulating medium consisted mainly of paper notes issued by private banks .. In the entire history of the system there were only two failures due to overissuing of notes or credit – in marked contrast to the fragility of the English country banking system of the same period. There was also sustained competition and innovation with a move after 1810 to an extensive branching system (again unlike England).
As Adam Smith and many other contemporary observers pointed out the system was robust and effective and played a major part in Scotland’s transformation from one of the poorest and most backward countries in Europe to an economic powerhouse. In 1750 Scotland’s income per capita was half that of England, yet by 1850 is was equal to England’s – despite sustained growth in England as well as Scotland. This monetary independence ended with the passage of the Scottish Banking Act of 1845 (following on from Peel’s Bank Act of 1844), which took away the right of free note issue and made Scottish banks explicitly subordinate to the Bank of England.

Economics And Personal Liberty

Walter E Williams - Economics And Personal Liberty

Privatize everything (2)

No seguimento de Privatize everyting, The Man Who Outsourced the Government — An Interview with Oliver Porter:
.. The Sandy Springs model is a public-private partnership (PPP) in which the city contracts with private industry for all of its basic services other than public safety—that is, police, fire, and courts. The model has been an outstanding success, both financially and in response to citizens’ service needs, over the seven years since the city’s incorporation. Financially: The city has not increased tax rates at all; has paid for a major capital improvement program from savings in the operating budget; has built a $35 million reserve fund despite a recession; and has no long-term liabilities—that is, no loans, no bonds, and of most importance, no unfunded liabilities for pensions and other benefits.

Abolish the Minimum Wage

IQ2: Abolish the Minimum Wage- Debate

- Does the minimum wage reduce employment? por Russ Roberts
- The Minimum Wage Is a Jobs and Freedom Killer por James A. Dorn

Falhanço socialista

Falhanço 2.0 por André Abrantes Amaral:
.. Quantos milhares de milhões de euros teremos ainda de gastar para que um Governo desista do sonho utópico que é formar toda uma população? O mesmo se diga do financiamento da economia: como é que um Estado falido pode financiar a economia privada que o sustenta? Melhor ainda: qual é mais valia de uma economia privada que precisa do Estado para sobreviver? A maioria do programa de Santos Pereira peca do defeito que é considerar que uma pessoa, uma empresa, para investir precisa do apoio do Estado. Daí as medidas para consolidar e revitalizar as empresas. Mas não precisa. Do que necessita é que o Estado cobre menos impostos. Sejam directos ou indirectos; taxas ou meras multas. Se o Governo quer que a economia cresça, o Estado tem de baixar a carga fiscal.

Para descer a carga fiscal, o Estado tem de reduzir a despesa ..

The IRS’s Job Is To Violate Our Liberties

Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk 5/20/13: The IRS's Job Is To Violate Our Liberties

BÓNUS - The IRS’s Job Is To Violate Our Liberties

the minimum wage is racist (2)

No seguimento de the minimum wage is racist, Minimum Wage Mandates: The Tools of Racists Everywhere:
The high-skilled worker is not stupid and knows that’s exactly what you’d do. He will do a bit of organizing first, convincing decent, caring people that low-skilled workers are being exploited and not earning a living wage and that Congress should enact a minimum wage in the fencing industry of at least $20. After Congress enacts a minimum wage of $20, what then happens to the chances of a high-skilled worker’s successfully demanding $55 a day? They go up because he’s used the coercive powers of Congress to price his competition out of the market. Because of the minimum wage, it would cost you $60 to use the three low-skilled workers.

The minimum wage not only discriminates against low-skilled workers but also is one of the most effective tools of racists everywhere.
Whether support for minimum wages is motivated by good or by evil, its effect is to cut off the bottom rungs of the economic ladder for the most disadvantaged worker and lower the cost of discrimination.

A hipocrisia da esquerda quanto às guerras de Obama (24)

No seguimento de A hipocrisia da esquerda quanto às guerras de Obama (23),

Bill Maher Gets Owned by Glenn Greenwald Over Benghazi and Interventionism - May 10, 2013

Absurd pitches

Absurd pitches (pull out the Hayek and Polanyi lesson):
  • Facebook - the world needs yet another Myspace or Friendster except several years late. We’ll only open it up to a few thousand overworked, anti-social, Ivy Leaguers. Everyone else will then join since Harvard students are so cool.
  • Dropbox - we are going to build a file sharing and syncing solution when the market has a dozen of them that no one uses, supported by big companies like Microsoft. It will only do one thing well, and you’ll have to move all of your content to use it.
  • Amazon - we’ll sell books online, even though users are still scared to use credit cards on the web. Their shipping costs will eat up any money they save. They’ll do it for the convenience, even though they have to wait a week for the book.
  • ...

Morality without Religion

Frans de Waal: Morality Without Religion

I Do Not Care About Income or Wealth Inequality

Excerto de I Do Not Care About Income or Wealth Inequality por Don Boudreaux:
I care – very deeply – whether the process for pursuing one’s life’s goals is fair or not. I want everyone to have as fair a chance in the economy as is humanly possible. I despise special privileges that stack the deck either in favor of Jones or against Smith .. But I do not care about differences in monetary income or wealth as such.

If (by whatever criteria) the process is fair, then the outcomes are fair ..

.. Again, income differences can at best serve as evidence of a problem; the differences themselves – the income inequalities themselves – are not the core problem.

Worrying about income (or wealth) differences as such has always for me smacked of childishness. It’s envy elevated into public policy .. the very thought of fretting about how much money other people make relative to what I make has always seemed to me to be grossly impolite, anti-social, pointless, corrosive of one’s character, and in horribly bad taste ..

the Secret to Ending Poverty

How Nations Succeed: What's the Secret to Ending Poverty?

The Essence of Society Is Peacemaking

The Essence of Society Is Peacemaking por Lew Rockwell:
The recent opening of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity was a watershed moment in American history. There has never been anything quite like it. Ideologically diverse, the Ron Paul Institute reaches out to all Americans, and indeed to people all over the world, who find the spectrum of foreign-policy opinion in the United States to be unreasonably narrow. Until Ron Paul and his new institute, there was no resolutely anti-interventionist foreign-policy organization to be found.
At this historic moment, I thought it might be appropriate to set down some thoughts on war — a manifesto for peace, as it were.
  1. Our rulers are not a law unto themselves.
  2. Humanize the demonized.
  3. If we oppose aggression, let us oppose all aggression.
  4. Never use “we” when speaking of the government.
  5. War is not “good for the economy.”
  6. Support the free market? Then oppose war.
See through the propaganda. Stop empowering and enriching the state by cheering its wars. Set aside the television talking points. Look at the world anew, without the prejudices of the past, and without favoring your own government’s version of things. Be decent. Be human. Do not be deceived by the Joe Bidens, the John McCains, the Barack Obamas and Hillary Clintons. Reject the biggest government program of them all. Peace builds. War destroys.

Intensive Farming

Matt Ridley - The Rational Optimist: Intensive Farming

O Zé não fica

O Zé não fica por Carlos Guimarães Pinto:
Entre os 25 países da União Europeia, Portugal é o nono com a maior fiscalidade .. Entre os países que estão à frente de Portugal, apenas dois têm PIBs semelhantes ao português (a Grécia e a Hungria, outros dois atletas em grande forma). Todos os restantes países têm PIBs bastante superiores (portanto, têm uma economia capaz de suportar cargas fiscais superiores) ..
A questão final que se coloca aqui é: e isto afecta de facto a economia? As análises empíricas em economia são sempre um exercício complicado ..
.. A correlação é bastante forte. Em média, por cada 100 a mais no índice de Zé, a economia cresceu menos 3% ao ano entre 2008 e 2013.

A análise empírica aqui quase seria desnecessária. É evidente que um país onde um empresário tenha tão poucos incentivos a criar riqueza, dificilmente terá uma economia dinâmica, dificilmente criará emprego. O Zé, se puder, emigrará, de preferência para fora do inferno fiscal europeu. Não é muito complicado entender as razões. Complicado mesmo é entender o porquê de se andar a insistir nas mesmas políticas fiscais há décadas.

quinta-feira, maio 30, 2013

Barrack Obama: Into Darkness

Jon Stewart Destroys Obama Over IRS Scandal, 'You've Vindicated Conspiracy Theorists'
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - Barack Trek: Into Darkness

BÓNUS - Let’s Thank President Obama for Reminding Americans that They Should Distrust the IRS

BÓNUS - How The Obama Administration Is Having The Worst Week Ever

La alternativa a la democracia

La alternativa a la democracia por Albert Esplugas Boter:
No hay que confundir democracia con libertad. La democracia es una forma de decidir sobre los asuntos de todos, la libertad es el derecho a decidir sobre lo que es tuyo. Aunque hoy la gente asocia ambos términos y a menudo, como dijera Ortega y Gasset, gritan lo uno queriendo lo otro, lo cierto es que la edad dorada del liberalismo tuvo lugar en un contexto dominado por monarquías constitucionales y democracias restrictivas.
La democracia no sirve para producir buenas políticas. Bryan Caplan, en su libro The Myth of the Rational Voter, explica que el votante medio es peor que ignorante: es irracional ..
Porque la alternativa a la democracia no es la dictadura, ni la monarquía, ni el sufragio censitario, ni cualquier otra forma de gobierno. La alternativa a la democracia es el mercado.

"Free Trade" agreements

Yaron Answers: Do Free Trade Agreements Actually Promote Free Trade?

Regulation through Competition

Regulation through Competition:
Free markets are extraordinarily – tightly – ceaselessly – impressively regulated. And nearly all of this regulation is spontaneous; it’s the result of the competitive market order. Unlike that species of regulation called “government regulation,” the kind of regulation that remains dominant in markets is not designed by government officials; it doesn’t amplify collective manias; it doesn’t treat consumers, workers, or business people as morons; and it’s not able to be captured and corrupted by special-interest groups. Nor is it one-size-fits all regulation. Call this regulation “competitive regulation.” It works so well and so smoothly that most people don’t even notice it, much less recognize it to be regulation-in-action.

Campus Speech Codes (10)

No seguimento de Campus Speech Codes (9)

Feds Push Insane New Speech Codes!


Equality: The Unknown Ideal por Roderick Long:
When Thomas Jefferson, in the Declaration of Independence, set out to enunciate the philosophical principles underlying the American Revolution—the principles of ’76, as later generations would call them—that’s the one he put down first, as the foundation and justification of all the rest. Equality—not, as one might expect, liberty.

The original draft of the Declaration highlights the importance of equality still more clearly. The final and better-known version states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

But what Jefferson originally wrote was this:

We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable: that all men are created equal and independent; that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, and liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

As far as I can tell, the wording was changed for stylistic reasons rather than substantive ones. The final draft does flow more smoothly. But the original draft is more philosophically precise.

The Economy of Self-Governed Communities

System D: The Economy of Self-Governed Communities

Hayek, Bangladesh, Pope Francis

F.A. Hayek: His 114th Birthday por Mario Rizzo:
Hayek, of course, was more than economist. He also had profound things to say about the mind, the rule of law, and ethics. Recently, I saw a stark example of the difference in ethical thinking between Hayek and more conventional moralists. This was in the case of the tragic fire in a Bangladeshi factory making clothes for western companies. The new Pope Francis condemned it as an example of corporations only caring about their bottom-line.
The morality of the extended order that is, the world-wide system of social cooperation, cannot be a morality simply of the seen. We can eliminate fires in factories producing western goods by eliminating the production of western goods in Bangladesh. Not good. We can reduce these by requiring higher safety and this labor costs but then there will be fewer people employed in the best alternatives. Who will examine the health and safety consequences of the employment to which the poor are driven?

Perhaps the pope believes that people should not be concerned with profit and loss signals. We can focus on this one issue in Bangladesh only because it is right before us. But, in general, we do not have the epistemic capacity to investigate all of the circumstances of supply and demand with simple moralisms.
Morality is not equivalent to advocating feel-good courses of action when something bad happens. Sure, we can and should be beneficent. It is good to help fire victims. But it is a good thing in the long run to understand economics. As Jean-Baptiste Say said: A good book on economics should be the first volume of a treatise on ethics.

The Austrian Business Cycle

Banking With Life: The Austrian Business Cycle

Insight Liberal do Dia

Government… IS… PEOPLE!:
Government will misbehave because it, like Soylent Green, is made from people. Fallible, foible-ridden people. Therefore, government’s unique powers must be strictly limited to avoid miscarriages of justice.

Natural Law Origins of the Common Law

Natural Law Origins of the Common Law

“Friedman Is Not an Economist”

Mises: “Friedman Is Not an Economist”:
.. Mises was not name calling but had a very specific meaning in mind. For Mises .. a “statistician” was someone “who aim[s] at discovering economic laws from the study of economic experience.” But Mises maintained that statistics is not a method useful for research in economic theory because it deals with historical facts.
Indeed in his magnum opus, A Monetary History of the United States, co-authored with Anna Schwartz, Friedman confirmed the accuracy of Mises’s characterization. In their Preface .., Friedman and Schwartz stated that their aim in writing the book was “to provide a prologue and a background for a statistical analysis of the secular and cyclical behavior of money in the United States and to exclude any material not relevant to that purpose.” In the final chapter, entitled “A Summing Up,” the authors .. listed three propositions regarding money that they discovered to be “common” to U.S. monetary history and concluded, “These common elements of monetary experience can be expected to characterize our future as they have our past.” It would be difficult to find a better expression of the statistician’s view of the social world.

50 to 1

50 to 1 - the cost of 'action' on climate change

a Saúde debaixo do Socialismo corporativista

Enfim, esta malta vem de um lado meio esquerdista, mas em comparação com os social-democratas, não falha por muito - The Palliative Machine: Medical Monopoly Under the Corporation-State:
The American medical system is corrupt, ineffective and unnecessarily costly. These outcomes are due to state violence on behalf of the politically connected elite (namely private insurers, physicians, pharmaceutical and medical device companies). Artificial scarcity, price-gouging, misallocation of research funding and the suppression of alternative (non-patentable) therapies can be ameliorated by revoking state-conferred elite privilege and re-establishing cooperative, mutualized healthcare financing.
The state, as disorganized as it is, has less incentive to ruthlessly minimize costs, but immense waste is written off as necessary humanitarian spending. The state suffers diseconomies of scale, bureaucratic inertia, lacks incentive to economize and by its nature the state is centralized and prone to corruption. Hospitals, drug companies and doctors take advantage of the inept Panopticon by price gouging, pushing drugs and executing unnecessary procedures.
Property rights are limited to that which is finite, or of limited reproducibility. Ideas are not physically scarce. Likewise, oxygen is not scarce so it is impractical to consider it property. Land is scarce—they ain’t making any more of it. There is a good reason to utilize property rights to organize non-violently. But what happens when supposed property does not physically exist? This is the case with intellectual property. It is an illegitimate, artificial form of property that only exists because of state violence. The byproducts of patent “rights” are monopoly rents to the owner and artificial scarcity for everyone else.
Well-meaning statists declare certain services rights. Everyone acknowledges certain rights, particularly negative rights, like not to be killed or enslaved. There should be no right to scarce goods or services when that right is rooted in taxation (theft). If a free society wishes to recognize such a right, it can only morally be accomplished voluntarily, borne out of human decency and goodwill rather than monopoly and mandate.
The argument that the state is necessary to enforce beneficence is circular. If nobody cared about charity, they would not use it as a justification for state-control. People value charity and justice prior to the state, which expropriates their property and gives only a sliver of it to the needy.

Razão armada vs. destrambelhice desarmada (12)

No seguimento de Razão armada vs. destrambelhice desarmada (11),

The Case Against Gun Background Checks

Competing currencies

Gold Is Money, in Spite of Mr. Keynes por Pedro Schwartz:
I will defend the freedom and the opportunity of having private and public gold currencies to compete with the fiat moneys of present day governments. Gold can be used as money without it being imposed by law. We should be free to make payments in gold or gold instruments and hold them among our assets, but it is not for governments to fix the rate between their paper money and gold. That would skew the market and defeat the object of the innovation: to have individuals enjoy a real choice of currencies. Government currencies have dismally failed us in the past and are still failing us at present. We need effective monetary competition for individual freedoms to flourish. Hence, I will argue in favor of the creation of public and private currencies, none of which should be proclaimed legal tender and one or more of which could be linked to gold.

Vote Rigging

How to Rig a Majority Vote

Uma Defesa Libertária dos Preconceitos

Uma Defesa Libertária dos Preconceitos por Daniela Silva:
.. existe uma diferença crucial entre o que é denunciar práticas mafiosas entroncadas no governo e o assumir que as mesmas práticas, quando apoderadas e promovidas por particulares, passam a usufruir de um prestígio irrepreensível no domínio social ..
Existem pessoas (os tais, potenciais aliados que ficam pelo caminho) que mantêm uma ideia incorrecta acerca dos princípios em que assenta o libertarianismo porque não encontram um único exemplar libertário, uma única criatura que dê a cara pela defesa da família tradicional como unidade fundamental da sociedade, que rejeite o aborto com frontalidade, que não aceite a descaracterização do casamento por artimanha legislativa, que condene a promiscuidade das relações sexuais e censure socialmente o consumo de drogas. Estas e outras tomadas de posição são possíveis e desejáveis, já que não é suposto existir uma estandardização de opiniões em favor de um admirável futuro novo; um futuro onde desapareça a noção de altamente imoral ou em que seja impossível insultar comportamentos de terceiros.

Parecem idealizar um indivíduo despido de preconceitos e da herança de séculos que o conduzem a ajuizar, ostracizar, recomendar, elogiar, repreender… Parece que foram filtrar apoiantes do mercado livre a Woodstock e os incumbiram de formatar seres humanos inteiramente tolerantes e desprovidos de capacidade para emitir juízos. Não desprezam, não preferem, não sentem repulsa, não honram, não conservam nada. Eis um possível cenário totalmente oposto a um ideal libertário que deve nortear-se pela natureza humana e pela observância de normas sociais que a amparam num equilíbrio sustentado.

quarta-feira, maio 29, 2013

We Steal Secrets

WikiLeaks, Assange & the End of Secrecy: Alex Gibney on "We Steal Secrets"

Salário mínimo FAQ

Salário mínimo FAQ por Carlos Guimarães Pinto:
Mas o actual salário mínimo não garante condições de vida decentes aos trabalhadores!

Quais trabalhadores? Certamente não garantirá um nível de vida digno a uma mãe solteira de 3 filhos a viver em Lisboa. Nem um salário mínimo de mil euros, daria. Já para um membro de um casal com casa própria a viver em Chaves, o salário mínimo garante boas condições de vida. O segundo erro desta forma de pensar é julgar que a única compensação do trabalho é o salário. O trabalho em si, a experiência, a possibilidade de se manter empregado podem valer mais para um trabalhador do que o próprio salário. Ao impôr um salário mínimo, ou seja, uma produtividade mínima aop trabalhador para que ele possa ter emprego, está-se a impedir muitos trabalhadores de acederem aos benefícios extra-salariais de ter um emprego.

Já percebi, mas não aceito! Qual a melhor forma para eu e a Raquel Varela fazermos com que o salário mínimo suba?

Simples: invistam, montem uma empresa e paguem mais aos vossos trabalhadores. Quanto mais trabalhadores empregarem, menos estarão noutros lugar a ganhar o salário mínimo.

Government Is Violence

Government Is Outsourced Domestic Violence

Roubo intergeracional

"A nossa dívida nunca poderá ser paga" por César das Neves:
Estas são verdades "incómodas" que "muitos tentam esconder", ..

.. os reformados, que hoje estão "entre os críticos mais vociferantes", "não descontaram o suficiente para as reformas que agora gozam", pelo que não faz sentido protestar contra os cortes anunciados pelo Governo "como se fosse um roubo nos montantes acumulados". As actuais pensões são pagas pelos descontos dos actuais trabalhadores, lembra o economista.

"Se alguém pode dizer-se roubado, não são os actuais pensionistas, mas os nossos filhos e netos, que suportarão as enormes dívidas dos últimos 20 anos, e não apenas na Segurança Social", considera César das Neves.

What Libertarians Mean

What Libertarians Mean By "The Free Market"

Memorial Day (2)

No seguimento de Memorial Day, The Troops Don't Defend Our Freedoms por Jacob G. Hornberger:
There is one — and only one — solution to this threat to our freedoms and well-being: for the American people to heed the warning of our Founding Fathers against standing armies before it is too late, and to do what should have been done at least 15 years ago: dismantle the U.S. military empire, close all overseas bases, and bring all the troops home, discharging them into the private sector, where they would effectively become “citizen-soldiers” — well-trained citizens prepared to rally to the defense of our nation in the unlikely event of a foreign invasion of our country. And for the American people to heed the warning of President Eisenhower against the military-industrial complex, by shutting down the Pentagon's enormous domestic military empire, closing domestic bases, and discharging those troops into the private sector.

“Oh, my gosh, if we did all that, how would our freedoms be protected?”

Protected from what? Again, there is no threat of a foreign invasion. And again, terrorism is not a threat to our freedom. Moreover, dismantling the standing army would remove the primary means by which presidents have succeeded in engendering so much anger and hatred against our nation — anger and hatred that in turn have given rise to the threat of terrorism against our nation. And finally, the worst threat to our freedom is our own government, and by dismantling the standing army we would reduce that threat significantly.

What would happen if a foreign nation ever began constructing thousands of ships and planes and mobilizing millions of people to invade the United States? The answer to that threat was also provided by our Founding Fathers: the foreign nation in question would be met by a nation of free well-armed citizens who would be prepared and willing to rally quickly to oppose any invasion and conquest of our nation. Invading a United States filled with well-trained, free men and women would be much like invading Switzerland — like swallowing a porcupine. Don't forget that the men and women who currently serve in the U.S. armed services wouldn't disappear; instead they would join the rest of us as citizen-soldiers, people whose fighting skills could be depended on in the unlikely event our nation were ever threatened by invasion by a foreign power.

terça-feira, maio 28, 2013

The failures of "market-failure" arguments

Fractional-Reserve Banking: Not Fraud, Not Folly

Fractional-Reserve Banking: Not Fraud, Not Folly por Wendy McElroy:
The disagreement on fractional-reserve banking is twofold. Is it fraud? Is it economically prudent? Only the first question is a libertarian one.

Libertarianism can be loosely defined as the political and social philosophy based on the right of every person to the peaceful use his own body and property. Stated in a ‘negative’ manner: libertarianism opposes force and fraud; the latter is a form of theft because it is the wrongful assumption of a property title.
Thus, if fractional-reserve banking is fraud, then it falls squarely within the realm of libertarian theory, and it would be outlawed by a free-market system. But if it is not fraud and merely imprudent, then it falls outside of libertarian analysis however interesting or useful an economic issue it may be. In other words, if fractional-reserve banking is voluntary and non-fraudulent, then a libertarian society would not outlaw the practice even if it proved to be a foolish one.
As long as both parties accept the logic of the exchange, it is not the business of an .. 3rd party to intervene and invalidate the contract. Just as the free market and libertarianism do not outlaw stupidity, neither do they prohibit a breach of logic. And a 3rd party has no business substituting his logic for that of the contracting parties.
The question has become “Which is the best banking system: fractional or 100% reserve?” My answer: let the free market decide. Let individuals choose for themselves.

Apple witch-hunt

Sen. Paul Defends Apple Against HSGAC Subcommittee - 05/21/2013 PART 1

Sen. Paul Defends Apple Against HSGAC Subcommittee - 05/21/2013 PART 2

Excerpts from Sen. Paul's comments a few minutes ago, in which Apple executives were summoned before a Senate subcommittee
Tim Cook Tells Senate Apple Pays All The Taxes It Owes:
Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook strongly defended the company's tax practices Tuesday at a Senate hearing highlighting the technology giant's use of Irish subsidiaries to shelter billions of dollars in income from U.S. taxes.

"We pay all the taxes we owe — every single dollar," Cook told the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

"We not only comply with the laws but we comply with the spirit of the laws," he said. "We don't depend on tax gimmicks."

Cook said the tax code "has not kept up with the digital age" and restricts the free movement of capital in comparison to the codes of other countries. He called for a "dramatic simplification of the corporate tax code," including lower tax rates and a "reasonable tax on foreign earnings."

Citação Liberal do Dia

The great political superstition of the past was the divine right of kings. The great political superstition of the present is the divine right of parliaments.
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State

Anarchism Without Hyphens

"Anarchism Without Hyphens" (by Karl Hess)

Progressive Chauvinism

The Book of Progressive Chauvinism: Rules for Usurpers por Red Square:
.. Snobs and radicals often act in accord because they are not opposites, as some believe, but rather spiritual cousins - equally despising "the bourgeois," sharing a low view of humanity as herd animals, and sorting people not on their individual merits but by color, income, occupation, ethnicity, gender, and any other characteristic except the content of their minds.

Elitists share the presumption that people of the world cannot think for themselves and have no room in their souls for individual ambitions and achievements outside of what the government is giving them. Short of stating it explicitly, elitism implies that "the masses" are mindless, spiritless creatures without free will, always in need of the largesse of the state, and for their own good the state ought to nationalize the country's resources in order to feed its subjects.
The term "elites" doesn't do justice to such a vanguard, which in addition to powerful snobs has its share of drug addicts, bohemians, housewives, union workers, and students, drawing its members from all classes, ethnicities, and professional backgrounds.

The trait that unites this diverse demographic is their smug and prejudiced belief in the superiority of their own ideology, often accompanied by malice and hatred towards those they deem inferior.

Perhaps, it's time to introduce a new term to the national discourse: Progressive Chauvinism.

a mentira e a hipocrisia são parte do sistema desde início

Why Do Politicians All Sound the Same?

Inside the Progressive Mind

Inside the Progressive Mind por N. A. Halkides:
The Progressive believes in precisely two things: his own magnificence and the constructive power of brute force. In combination, they lead him naturally from the role of pestiferous busybody to brutal dictator. Where the productive man dreams of the things he might create if only left alone by his fellows, the Progressive dreams of the world he could create if only the lives and property of his fellows were at his disposal. The roots of his pathology lie in that oldest and most destructive of all human vices, the desire for the power to rule over other men.

As naked power-lust is a rather ugly motive, the Progressive rationalizes his desire to rule as a concern for human welfare, seeing himself as a great humanitarian, far superior morally to the lesser beings who pursue merely “materialist” ends such as their own prosperity and who frequently object to his program for achieving Utopia. This assumed moral superiority spills over into fields of practical accomplishment, and the Progressive imagines himself capable of allocating resources and even directing entire industries far more efficiently than a free market, often despite not even having any business or scientific experience. But despite what the Progressive believes about himself, the desire to compel others to obey his orders is what drives him forward. To satisfy this desire, there is ultimately no limit to what actions he will take, for he respects none of the restrictions on government officials intended to guarantee individual freedom that have been developed and set forth in written or unwritten constitutions.
.. In fact the transformation from irritating but superficially benevolent nanny to ruthless dictator not only occurs rather quickly, it is a logical consequence of the Progressive’s zeal to usher in Utopia and of the means he must use to achieve the smallest of his goals – brute force. We should recognize the following principle: Once the Progressive is permitted to intrude however slightly into matters that are properly beyond the sphere of government, then all aspects of the individual’s life may be subjected to control. Once any degree of coercion is permitted, then no level of force is out of bounds.

Liberty is Indivisible

Listen Up, Gays: They're Coming to Recruit You:

Totalitarians Screaming to Get Out

Inside Every Liberal Is A Totalitarian Screaming to Get Out (III):
That educational campaign is the soft tyranny we see all around us. The educational campaign is a nanny state in which we are forever being educated by our betters for our own good.

The nanny state has a short term purpose and a long term purpose. Its short term purpose is to educate us out of our selfish freedom of choice. Its long term purpose is to incrementally “civilize” or “evolve” a free people into collectivism through smaller measures undertaken in the name of the public good.

Instead of a single explosive burst of revolution, instead of terrorists rushing in with guns in hand, instead of bombs exploding and assassins gunning down public officials, there is the slow creep of laws that remake attitudes and accomplish the same purpose not in a day or a year… but over the decades.

Instead of one great revolution, there are a million smaller revolutions stripped of overt ideology and pretending to serve the public good.
The creeping pace of the soft revolution forces the inner totalitarian to practice some discretion, mummifying his tyrannical aspirations in the embalming fluid of political correctness, but no flood of words can conceal the inner contempt behind the false benevolence of the tyrant who makes policies that deprive the people of their freedom for their own good.

Property Rights

Property Rights 1: Private v. Collective | 2: Titling | 3: Communal Property, Enclosure and the State

Bangladesh e a solidariedade venenosa dos 'progressistas' ocidentais

A Deadlier Disaster for the Third World: Unemployment por George Reisman:
One of the most elementary propositions of the science of economics is that the higher the price of anything, the smaller is the quantity of it that will be purchased. This applies to labor no less than to goods. If wage rates in Bangladesh are arbitrarily increased, fewer workers will be employed in Bangladesh. In that case, workers who would have earned low wages will earn no wages. They will starve. If employers in Bangladesh are compelled to make improvements in working conditions of a kind that do not pay for themselves, the cost of those improvements represents the equivalent of a rise in wage rates. Again, there will be unemployment ..
These are not outcomes that the advocates of imposing labor standards want. What they want is higher wages and better working conditions. Their problem is that they do not realize what is actually necessary to achieve these results.
What will achieve these results is leaving business firms in Bangladesh and throughout the Third World alone, to be as profitable as they can be.
Economic freedom, not government interference, is the road that the wealth of nations travels.

No just tax

The Myth of a Fair Tax | Joseph T. Salerno

Citação Liberal do Dia

I used to be a libertarian but they had too many rules

No Such Thing As A Right To Government

There Is No Such Thing As A Right To Government

Private Defense

No seguimento de Defense?, It’s Time for Private Defense por Douglas French:
The Hobbesian view is that without the state, men would be in a constant state of war with each other. It is argued that defense must be provided collectively. However, once the government becomes one big protection racket, it will have every incentive to become larger and larger.

Monopolists have no incentive to protect life and property, but have every incentive to provide the least amount of service for the most cost. Also, in a free market, those charged with protecting life and property would not spend resources aggressing against those engaging in peaceful transactions.

The state police force operates under political objectives. If drugs and vice are demonized and politicians see political advantage in arresting drug addicts and prostitutes, that’s where the priorities will lie.
Something as important as life and death can’t be left to the whims of government officials that prioritize assets for political considerations .. And while the state may get its pound of flesh .., there will be no restitution to the victims.

It’s time to allow the miracle of the marketplace to keep citizens safe and sound. Until then, the state remains .. accomplice while it imprisons thousands for victimless crimes.

Libertarian Moochers

The Problem of the Libertarian Moocher

the Hard Facts of Obamacare

A Small Business Owner Explains the Hard Facts of Obamacare to Employees:
Back in the 1940s, our federal government enacted wage controls that restricted what some businesses could pay their employees. (There were smart people who spoke out against this terrible idea but unfortunately not enough.) This resulted in businesses looking for other ways to compensate their employees and the IRS decided that it would not treat benefits such as health insurance as taxable wages. Until then people generally paid medical fees out of pocket in the same way they paid for virtually anything else out of pocket. The fees up until were relatively small for two reasons: 1) medicine was not very advanced so when something catastophric happened there was not often much that could be done to help the patient and therefore no huge expenses were incurred and 2) since people were paying their doctors directly it was a very efficient and fair market.

So 70 years later, even though the wage controls thankfully disappeared, the IRS treatment of health insurance did not. Health insurance benefits continue to not be taxed as income. At first glance by the uninformed citizen (such as me until a few years ago), this appears to be a good thing. But in reality it is actually a terrible thing. Here is why.

First, let's look at the first obvious and intended consequence: ..

Vale a pena ler

segunda-feira, maio 27, 2013


Alastair Parvin: Architecture for the people by the people

What Is a Libertarian?

What Is a Libertarian? por Douglas French:
In recent years, calling yourself a libertarian has become, at least in some circles, cool. Desperate media characters like comedian Bill Maher and radio host Alex Jones claim the “L” moniker from time to time in the midst of their nuttiness: leftist environmentalism by Maher, rightist conspiratorialism by Jones.
The Ron Paul presidential runs in ’08 and ’12 have, indeed, ignited an interest in libertarianism that bears no resemblance to the Maher-Jones clown shows. It’s quite probable that you can meet reasonable, normal people at the chamber of commerce or some other local gathering that consider themselves fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Maybe that’s not “big L” libertarianism, but it’s a start ..
Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement is the authoritative history of a movement that progresses onward and upward in fits and starts, challenging government’s monopoly in all things ..

The result is a book that will be considered the go-to reference on the libertarian movement for years to come. Libertarianism is about people and freedom, not policy and force. So it’s appropriate that the book is written around the five major catalysts for libertarianism: Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, and Murray Rothbard.

no victim, no crime

Footage: Adam Kokesh Getting Carried Away by Police at Pro-Marijuana Rally in Philly- May 18, 2013

beta-test country

Larry Page wants to 'set aside a part of the world' for unregulated experimentation:
Google CEO Larry Page is holding a rare Q&A session with attendees of today's Google I/O keynote, and he's been offering up some pretty unfiltered answers. In response to a question about reducing negativity and focusing on changing the world, Page noted that "the pace of change is increasing" and said that "we haven't adapted systems to deal with that." Specifically, he said that "not all change is good" and said that we need to build "mechanisms to allow experimentation."

That's when his response got really interesting. "There are many exciting things you could do that are illegal or not allowed by regulation," Page said. "And that's good, we don't want to change the world. But maybe we can set aside a part of the world." He likened this potential free-experimentation zone to Burning Man and said that we need "some safe places where we can try things and not have to deploy to the entire world." Google is already well-known for coming up with some pretty interesting ideas — the idea of seeing what Page could come up with in this lawless beta-test country is simultaneously exciting and a bit terrifying.

Over it and up hers

P&C Martim "over it"

Página Facebook da Over It

BÓNUS - do Helder Ferreira

«Caro Martim, quando ontem te ouvi no Prós e Contras, ao fim de 20 segundos pensei: "Este puto está lixado, vão desfazê-lo". Certinho direitinho. Num primeiro momento, só quem sabe o que te custa, como te sai do corpo e o esforço que é necessário para empreenderes e tentares fazer alguma coisa por ti mesmo percebeu-te e aplaudiu. A maioria dos idiotas que co-habitam este arremedo de país, precisa de tempo. É como aquelas anedotas óbvias em que há sempre um estúpido que só se ri um minuto depois de acabar quando finalmente alguém lhes explica a piada. A gentinha tipo a sra (?) que te interpelou demora sempre algum tempo. Funciona a válvulas nos melhores casos.

Hoje a turba caiu-te em cima. Naturalmente. Sabes que para esta gente (?) a dignidade é directamente proporcional à dependência de favores. Só é digno quem depende do feeling good deles próprios e dos esforço alheio. Seja quem for que faça por si próprio, que rasgue com o consenso estatista desta gentinha miserável é um inimigo a abater. Não suportam que haja alguém que não lhes pede que o defendam, não suportam que haja quem não se renda ao infortúnio, não suportam que haja quem lhe meta pelos olhos dentro as inutilidades que são. Putos como tu minam-lhes a própria existência. Arruinas-lhes a fé.

Dito isto, sei como te será difícil aguentar as críticas desta gente que não vale a sola dos teus sapatos e é nisso que tens que te focar: não prestam mesmo. Não lhes dês a importância que não têm. Nunca construíram nada, nunca fizeram nada, viveram sempre à custa de tipos como tu. Com a Over It ajudas que haja gente que tenha (pouco ou muito) trabalho, a Sra que te insultou, a única coisa que garante é que tu e eu e outros assim continuaremos a pagar-lhe as contas. É ela que vive à nossa custa, é ela que nos deve a nós. Nem tu nem eu devemos nada a ninguém e isso, não há nem retórica nem dinheiro que pague.

Um grande abraço e com orgulho por haver putos como tu neste arremedo de país»

War on images

Beware the Coming War Against Personal Photography and Video:
One would hope that politeness, common sense, and evolving voluntary social conventions would deal with these issues appropriately, reducing the pressure for governmental involvement.

But again, we’re dealing here with emotion more than logic, and emotion makes laws. Bad laws usually, but laws nonetheless. And laws are often written with the minority of people who are bad actors in mind, not the bulk of reasonable folks.

Coolidge (2)

No seguimento de Coolidge,

Dan Mitchell Commenting on Amity Shlaes' New Coolidge Book and Lessons from the 1920s


Anarchism at The New Yorker:
.. Rothbardian anarchism would allow for the legitimacy of alternative choices–provided, of course, they are choices and the not violently enforced preferences of “leaders.” Rothbard says we all have rights and as long as we respect those, anything goes.

The philosopher Robert Nozick called this a framework for utopia, and it’s a powerfully moving vision. All of us can choose the sorts of lives we want to lead, and live them without the threat of coercion, provided we afford the same right to everyone else. Many of us will choose market capitalism–perhaps because it so clearly works better at enriching us than other systems–but we don’t have to .. That’s what anarcho-capitalism tells us it offers. Not a utopia, but a utopia of utopias.
.. the anarcho-capitalists are right: the Occupy anarchists aren’t really anarchists at all.

But, then, neither are most libertarians. Anarchism is certainly one kind of libertarianism, but then Nozick wasn’t an anarchist, nor was Hayek, nor Friedman, nor Locke, nor Rand. Still, even for the many libertarians–and non-libertarians–who reject anarchism as a political goal worth aiming for, the philosophy of anarchism has value. An anarchist stance (a true anarchist stance) takes no aspect of the state for granted. Every last bit must be justified.
What separates anarchist libertarians from non-anarchist libertarians is that the latter believe there are some steps the state can successfully clear. What unites both groups is the belief that the current state has taken far more steps than it legitimately should have.

Corporate and social welfare courtesy of crony capitalism

Corporate and social welfare courtesy of crony capitalism

educação vs. ensino soviético

Who’s Afraid of School Profits?:
.. (Does it make sense to complain that other businesses are profiting “on the backs” of their paying customers?) ..
Those who denounce “profits” in education simply don’t understand the role of profits in a market .. profits (and, just as importantly, losses) provide valuable information .. :

In a capitalist economy, profits are the reward earned by firms that maximize the quality of services and goods, minimize overhead and bureaucracy, motivate their workers to achieve high and consistent levels of productivity, and avoid unnecessary expenditures. Successful firms sell better, cheaper, or better and cheaper products and services than do other firms. Customers notice, and business gradually shifts from inefficient to efficient firms. […]
In our existing education system, only the financially well-off can afford to live in the expensive districts with high-performing government schools or to pay for private schooling. Without school choice programs, low-income families are locked out of these markets. Instead, their only option is the local, assigned, government school. If I blogged for WaPo, I might say that these underperforming schools are built on “the backs of our nation’s most vulnerable children.”


Bitmesssage Introduction

Abolish the IRS

Abolish the IRS (and the Income Tax With It) por Sheldon Richman:
The Internal Revenue Service has been caught engaging in political profiling while processing applications for tax-exempt status. In this case it was against organizations with “tea-party” or “patriot ” in their names and other right-wing groups. Next time it could be libertarian or left-wing antiwar and pro-civil-liberties groups. No dissenter can ever rest assured he is safe from the arbitrary power of the IRS.
It should be apparent that this power, which is inherently arbitrary, ill suits a society that sees itself as free.
.. once government undertakes to tax income, it acquires even more power through its authority to define “income,” “taxable income,” subsidiary terms, and the rules of exemption. There is no escape from arbitrariness and caprice.
There’s a better way to go that’s demanded by liberty and justice. Since taxation is nothing less than the confiscation, under threat of force, of what belongs to productive individuals, it has no place in a free society. In other words, everyone should be exempt from income and other taxation ..

.. If something can’t be accomplished through consent, contract, and cooperation — without aggressive force — we should ask whether it is worth doing.

Government Paranoia

On Target Pressure Points: Government Paranoia


Anestesias por Hélder Ferreira:
Uma empresa não passa de uma ficção legal que serve para organizar a produção e a divisão do trabalho. Seja qual for o imposto é sempre pago por pessoas e no caso do IRC devemos perguntar-nos sobre quem incide. Quem o paga? Como só pode ser pago por seres humanos concretos, sabemos que incide sobre três tipos de pessoas: accionistas (menores dividendos recebidos), consumidores (preços mais altos) e trabalhadores (sob a forma de salários mais baixos). A percentagem que recai sobre cada um depende de elasticidades. Quanto mais aberta e mais pequena for uma economia maior a percentagem paga pelos trabalhadores.
.. o princípio que orienta todo o sistema fiscal indígena é a anestesia e a opinião comum de que são as empresas que suportam o IRC, apesar de errada, sossega consciências e ilude. Por outro lado, e sabendo que os lucros não distribuídos não ficam parados numa gaveta, quanto mais alto o IRC mais se desincentiva o investimento e menos possibilidade há de aumento de produtividade e de criação de riqueza.

build a peaceful world on full stomachs

Norman Borlaug on Penn and Teller: BS


Does Libertarianism Diminish Freedom? por Lawrence Vance:
In a libertarian society; that is, a free society, government (the antithesis of freedom) is strictly limited, a real free market exists, property rights are supreme, and individual liberty abounds.
  • Libertarianism embraces financial freedom ..
  • Libertarianism embraces educational freedom ..
  • Libertarianism embraces medical freedom ..
  • Libertarianism embraces economic freedom ..
  • Libertarianism embraces gun freedom ..
  • Libertarianism embraces personal freedom ..
For the libertarian, freedom is not the absence of morality, the rule of law, or tradition; it is the absence of government paternalism. Libertarianism is the absence of the ability of puritanical busybodies, nanny-statists, and government bureaucrats to make it their business to mind everyone else’s business.

Preços e temperaturas (8)

No seguimento de Preços e Temperaturas (7),

Hurricane Sandy and Gas Lines

The False Choice between “Austerity” and Economic Growth

The False Choice between “Austerity” and Economic Growth:
.. The failure of governments to promote robust economic recovery since the “Great Recession” will persist if a majority of the voting public is lured into thinking that voting against austerity is a vote for economic growth.

The key to understanding the falsehood of contrasting austerity budgets with promotion of economic growth is simple enough. First, whatever a government spends, it must first take from taxpayers and buyers of its bonds .. there is merely a one-to-one substitution in spending between the private sector and the government sector ..

Second, individuals are far better at managing their own funds or investments (out of savings) than government bureaucrats .. Austerity—that is, cutting government spending—particularly when revenue collection has decreased, is thus the rational path to reducing the inefficiency drag that most government spending has on an economy.
In a 1755 lecture Adam Smith explained that “Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things.” .. We’ve come so far in this version of what Smith described as “folly and presumption,” or “conceit,” that politicians talk about “growing” the economy as if they were farmers planting crops.
Were government budgetary allocations the best way to promote economic prosperity, the economies of the defunct Soviet Union and Maoist China would be the models for the world.

It is time the Keynesians recognized their failures and spared humanity the prolonged agony of economic malfunctioning—anemic growth or contractions and continued high unemployment. Budgetary austerity is not an alternative to economic growth promotion but the rational path to it.

sábado, maio 25, 2013

Rant Liberal do Dia

Se "ai e tal não interessa quem de facto organiza as manifs, o que importa é protestar contra a desorientação do Governo", "não estou a legitimar a extrema-esquerda com a minha presença -- antes idiota-útil ao lado dos que berram por mais estatismo, do que calado", então estou à espera de ver muitos "apartidários" "independentes", bem alinhados com a CGTP em Belém. Ou só é cool, e "eu fui", participar em manifs "apartidárias" organizadas pelo Bloco?

What Anarchy Isn’t

What Anarchy Isn't

quinta-feira, maio 16, 2013

os socialistas acham que o meu dinheiro é deles

Jorge Miranda acha que o meu dinheiro é dele por Henrique Raposo:
O constitucionalíssimo Jorge Miranda, um dos grandes reaccionários do actual momento da pátria, resolveu considerar a pensão de reforma como algo equivalente à propriedade privada. É um pouco triste ..
Tal como existe em Portugal, a segurança social é um sistema estatal que obriga os cidadãos a fazer x descontos. Repito: é estatal e obrigatório. Além disso, os descontos do cidadão Jorge Miranda não ficam anexados a uma conta pessoal e intransmissível. Era bom que assim fosse, mas não é assim que o sistema funciona (aliás, aposto que Jorge Miranda consideraria inconstitucional ..). Nesta realidade colectiva e a milhas da noção de propriedade privada, os descontos do contribuinte Jorge Miranda são atirados para um saco comum que alimenta quem já está reformado. Quando chegar à idade da reforma, .. dependerá da propriedade privada de outrem. Sim, é isso mesmo: em Portugal, a pensão de reforma não é propriedade privada do reformado, porque depende da propriedade privada de quem está a descontar ..

E este é precisamente o centro da falácia de Jorge Miranda: o Sôr Doutor Constitucionalíssimo está a pedir um efeito capitalista para uma causa socialista, está a pedir uma protecção individual para algo que foi sempre colectivo, está a ver um PPR privado onde só existe um saco colectivo. Ora, um PPR é mesmo propriedade privada, porque o seu proprietário colocou dinheiro numa conta pessoal abrangida pelo direito de propriedade. Aquele dinheiro existe mesmo, não é um cálculo virtual. Ao invés, as pensões dos sistemas colectivos são meros cálculos virtuais que não resistem à frieza dos números do PIB e da demografia ..

Socialistamente sós

How Protectionism Hurts Hawaii: Why It's Time to Repeal the Jones Act

Turismo AMN (5)

No seguimento Turismo AMN (4),Governo reduz taxas de atividade de animação turística e elimina registos:
O Governo decidiu reduzir em cerca de 80% as taxas de acesso a atividades de animação turística e eliminar o registo como condição à entrada e permanência no setor, informou hoje o secretário de Estado do Turismo.
Adolfo Mesquita Nunes declarou, no mesmo documento, que "só existe criatividade e inovação quando o Estado sai de cima" e que "nenhum jovem cria uma empresa de animação turística, ou põe a sua criatividade ao serviço do turismo, se tiver de percorrer um calvário de licenciamentos e pagar um amontoado de taxas".

quarta-feira, maio 15, 2013

Choice in Schools and in Education

mistrust of government

Why All of Us Should Mistrust the Government:
It should come as no surprise that President Obama told Ohio State students at graduation ceremonies last week that they should not question authority and they should reject the calls of those who do. He argued that "our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule" has been so successful that trusting the government is the same as trusting ourselves; hence, challenging the government is the same as challenging ourselves. And he blasted those who incessantly warn of government tyranny.

Yet, mistrust of government is as old as America itself. America was born out of mistrust of government ..
The government that has come about by self-rule derives its powers from the consent of the governed. Because the tyranny of the majority can be as dangerous to freedom as the tyranny of a madman, all use of governmental power should be challenged and questioned. Government is essentially the negation of liberty. If we fail to challenge government at every turn, there will be no liberty remaining for us to defend when the government tries to negate it.

Culture And Success

Thomas Sowell - Culture And Success

Euro Crony Capitalism

Monty Python Policy-Making por Don Boudreaux:
Let’s re-write the opening of your report with words that make the facts clearer: “Chinese solar-panel manufacturers European consumers of Chinese solar-panels will face import tariffs additional taxes of up to 67.9% on the price of solar panels at European Union borders under a plan scheme from the 27-nation bloc’s executive body, according to a copy of the plan scheme viewed by The Wall Street Journal (“EU Plans Tariffs Taxes of Up to 67.9% on Europeans Who Buy Chinese Solar Panels,” May 9).

“The tariffs taxes, which will come into effect by June 6, will range from 37.3% to 67.9%, according to the document, drafted by the European Commission. Some of the largest Chinese manufacturers Even the poorest Europeans, depending on which Chinese manufacturers they patronize, will face duties on the higher end of that range.

“The proposal is likely to spark one of the largest battles over unfair trade crony capitalism ever waged under the decades-old system of international trade rules. European manufacturers say Chinese firms are selling their products well below fair-market prices European consumers are buying Chinese products at prices well below the monopolistically high ones that European manufactures would like to fetch for their panels. To justify their proposal to force European consumers to pay unnecessarily high prices for solar panels, European politicians – who thrive by doling out corporate welfare – prey upon the gullibility of the typical European voter by making the baseless assertion that if Europeans aren’t forced to pay higher prices for solar panels the Chinese will dominate the world market for solar panels.”

Donald J. Boudreaux
If ‘our’ government subsidizes green energy, that act (we are assured) is noble and wise and far-sighted. If ‘their’ government subsidizes green energy, that act (we are warned) is unlawful and devious and dangerous. (And we’re supposed to trust politicians to spend other people’s money – and, simultaneously, to prevent people from spending their own money – all in an effort to stimulate a ‘green’ economy. It’s like a Monty Python skit.)

Hayek vs. Colectivismo

F A Hayek - The Right Philosophy

F A Hayek - The Power Of Pricing


In Defense of Liberty: State of Denial por Michael Hendricks:
One of the most common cries of the Statist is “Who would provide defense without the State?” The idea that the State somehow provides protection is observably false. If one examines military campaigns throughout history they will find that armies always defend the capital of the State as its top priority. It defends government facilities and officials first, and civilians are low on the priority list.
The military “defends” a civilian population in the same way that a wolf defends a calf, by consuming it. When an army moves into an area it expropriates all it needs. If its logistics cannot support it, it takes what it wants, and needs, from the population. It is of no consequence whether that population is its own citizenry or if they are foreign. The atrocities are brutal in either case. This is what the Statist who cries, “Defense! Defense!” either doesn’t realize or chooses to ignore. Even when the State does defend a civilian area, after it has prioritized its own facilities and those necessary to win the conflict, before any of that happened the civilians were already aggressed against to pay for everything the army does.

It doesn’t matter whether the priority of the military is truly to defend its civilian ward or not. Because of what it is, and how it runs, the military simply cannot defend the civilians! The claim that it does so is entirely fallacious, even if we naively assume that the military is there for us, to protect us, and its members are loyal and trustworthy. And because the nature of the State is consistent across time and distance, there is no reason to believe the US and its military will not eventually behave like other foreign, despotic governments.

As we can see from all these examples, State armies don’t defend their civilians when it doesn’t suit them. Armies always prioritize securing strategic positions and supplies, even at the expense of civilians, and States always prioritize conquest and the protection of their own centers of power. When States aren’t murdering their own people they are failing to defend them, as they prioritize defending themselves.

Segurança pública privada

Dale Brown of Detroit-based Threat Management Center is On-Point

The Public Choice Revolution

The Public Choice Revolution in the Textbooks por James D. Gwartney:
Why does the exclusion of public choice analysis from mainstream economics make any difference? The asymmetric treatment of the political process relative to markets diminishes the relevance of economics and leaves students with a romantic, and highly misleading, view of government and the operation of the democratic political process. There are three major reasons why this is the case.
  1. The omission of public choice from mainstream economics creates a central planning mentality.
  2. The democratic political process is shortsighted and, if unconstrained, will lead to excessive debt.
  3. Like markets, unconstrained political democracy has deficiencies.
The imbalance of the mainstream approach also deters understanding of the current economic situation. Economics provides considerable insight on the structure of the institutional and policy environment consistent with growth and prosperity. Stable and predictable policies, rule of law, and economic freedom establish the foundation for gains from trade, private investment, and innovation, which are the key sources of the growth process. In contrast, persistent policy changes, temporary tax-and-spending policies, and discretionary regulatory action generate uncertainty and play into the hands of the rent-seeking special interests. Public choice analysis highlights both of these points. However, because of its omission of public choice, mainstream economics misses the fundamental causal forces underlying the excessive debt, constant policy changes, and crony capitalism that are undermining prosperity throughout the world.
Economic analysis is equally applicable to market and political decisionmaking. It indicates that there is both market failure and government failure. It is long past time that this realism be incorporated into mainstream economics. George Stigler once remarked that a person who considers only market failure is like the judge of a singing contest who immediately declares the second contestant the winner after hearing the performance of the first. This is precisely what happens when mainstream economics treats government as a corrective device and continues to exclude public choice analysis. It is time for the profession to consider the second singer.

Objectivist call to the warfare state

Não concordo com metade, ou seja com a parte sanguinária e trigger-happy pintada como "de senso comum", mas enfim cá vai...

Call to Action Foreign PolicyHD 720p

Rant Liberal do Dia

Aqui o mal é a malta achar graça a uma abstracção (a "democracia representativa"), e nem sequer pensar nos incentivos do sistema que se segue, incentivos que ditarão aquilo em o sistema se vai tornar - o "sistema". Portas, Barroso, Sampaio, Sócrates não são a excepção. São a norma. A excepção são políticos com coluna vertebral moral. Ora, como é que alguém acha que este estado de coisas é uma boa forma de governar os assuntos de todos - e até assuntos que só deviam ser privados - é coisa que roça a patologia psicológica.

a vergonha na cara não tem cotação política em portugal

E cá está mais um que julga um sistema pelas boas intenções místicas, indignando-se porque os resultados não correspondem ao wishful thinking mágico - em vez de perceber que com incentivos "democráticos", promovem-se dos piores comportamentos em sociedade - tiranetias em nome do "bem comum"

Elite antidemocrática

comentário político

tipos no estimulam el crecimiento

BBajar tipos no estimulará el crecimiento sano:
En España, ahora mismo, ambas restricciones se hallan plenamente operativas: ni familias y empresas encuentran abundantísimas oportunidades de ganancia como para cargar con nueva deuda sus ya saturadas espaldas, ni los todavía infracapitalizados bancos patrios tienen capacidad o voluntad de prestar a un sector privado español que sigue siendo de alto riesgo. La reducción de tipos del BCE y la promesa de una provisión ilimitada de crédito para entidades financieras hasta al menos 2014 sólo servirán, por consiguiente, para beneficiar a aquellos dos agentes a los que siempre ha privilegiado un banco central: entidades financieras y gobiernos. Las primeras verán rebajar sus costes financieros (ensanchando su cuenta de resultados con cargo al envilecimiento de la moneda europea) y los segundos experimentarán una cierta moderación de sus tipos de interés (pues los bancos privados sí están, por lo general, dispuestos a seguir extendiéndoles crédito a las condiciones algo más favorables del momento). En la medida en que, además, los Estados se tomen está relajación monetaria como un impulso a perpetuar sus desequilibrios presupuestarios (esto es, en la medida en que los gobiernos busquen endeudarse a un ritmo todavía mayor que el actual), el euro tenderá a depreciarse frente al resto de divisas, de manera que ya podemos afirmar que Draghi nos mete de lleno en la pauperizadora guerra de divisas global.
.. Ya tenemos una economía hiperapalancada y de bajísimo rendimiento debido a las reducciones artificiales de tipos que propició el BCE a partir de 2002. No hay margen para reinventarnos en ese desastre. Lo llamativo, con todo, es que los mismos que aplaudieron entonces sigan jaleando al BCE ahora para que suceda exactamente lo mismo que hace una década. Ni aprendemos ni, lo que es peor, queremos aprender.

Anarchist Kid

Anarchist Kid - A King in New York (1957)


Não partilhando eu algum fetiche por alguns egalitarismos sociais, e proximidades políticas poucos recomendáveis, desta maltosa... — Sheldon Richman Talks About Bastiat, Left-Libertarianism, and (shudders) Jimmy Buffett:
Joseph S. Diedrich: You often associate yourself with the concept of "left libertarianism"? What exactly do you mean by that? How does it differ from "right" or "neutral" libertarianism?

Sheldon Richman: It's a matter of emphasis and nuance. I believe that the historical concerns of good-faith leftists regarding the poor, minorities, immigrants, and vulnerable wage-workers, which I share, can be achieved only by market-anarchist means. There's a story that reaches back into history. Frederic Bastiat, a great favorite of libertarians everywhere, sat on the left side of the French legislature. This is where the terms left and right come from. The left were the people who were opposed to the old regime and were forward-looking. The right were the defenders of the old regime who wanted to restore the monarchy. Bastiat favored a forward-looking progressive view that the free market represents.

If we jump to America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the most active libertarians were the people around Benjamin Tucker. He published the magazine called Liberty, including in it [the writings of] Lysander Spooner. They called themselves socialists — they saw the left as an umbrella for any opposition to corporatism or state favoritism to business. We have this heritage that comes from the left. What modern left libertarians are trying to do today is to reach out to leftists and say you can achieve your ends through market means. At the same time, we're trying to reach out to standard libertarians and explain to them that there is a leftist heritage which they're not aware of.

Affirmative Action and Self-Help

Walter E Williams - Affirmative Action and Self-Help


The State Is A Religious Institution por Michael Suede:
There is no state that a person can point to. A person cannot point to a building or a street and say, “Here is the state!” The state doesn’t even exist except within the confines of our own minds. The great monuments states erect in their own honor are a means of providing a physical structure for beliefs to cling to, much like the great religious monuments of ancient times. The entire apparatus of the state is born out of fear, rather than out of necessity; something which all religions have in common.

The state has a vast array of ceremonies to solemnify and justify its existence. Judges’ chambers and garb come right out of the protestant church. Flags are treated with the same reverence as a religious icon. The pomp and circumstance of a presidential inauguration is only surpassed by a Papal coronation. The singing of hymns mirrors the singing of anthems, and on and on it goes.

The state is predicated on the initiation of force. If the collection of people who call themselves the state could not tax or inflate, those people could not exist as we know them today. If the use of force to gain compliance was impossible, the state would collapse within days. It is only through threats of violence that the collection of people who call themselves the state are able to exist at all. What a disgraceful religion. Certainly it is miles apart from peaceful tenants of Buddhism or the teachings of Christ.
The state is a mental construct born of fear, forged in chaos, and tempered in the fire of violence. This destructive religion will one day topple under the weight of its own fictitious beliefs, to be replaced by truth and reason. A hundred years ago, the primary mode of transportation was horseback. We are toddlers in the cosmic universe, still threatening each other for the control of each other’s toys. This will come to an end, and that’s a belief worth having faith in.

Sundown in America (4)

No seguimento de Sundown in America (3),

"The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America" (David Stockman)

os socialistas são crianças a vida inteira

Os meus filhos são socialistas:
Não sei se são só os meus filhos que são socialistas ou se são todas as crianças que sofrem do mesmo mal. Mas tenho a certeza do que falo em relação aos meus ..

Ora o primeiro sintoma desta deformação ideológica tem que ver com os direitos. Os meus filhos só têm direitos. Direitos materiais, emocionais, futuros, ambíguos e todos eles adquiridos. É tudo, absolutamente tudo, adquirido. Ele dão como adquirido o divertimento, as férias, a boleia para a escola, a escola, os ténis novos, o computador, a roupinha lavada, a televisão e até eu. Deveres, não têm nenhum. Quanto muito lavam um prato por dia e puxam o edredão da cama para cima, pouco mais. Vivem literalmente de mão estendida sem qualquer vergonha ou humildade. Na cabecinha socialista deles não existe o conceito de bem comum, só o bem deles. Muito, muito deles.

O segundo sintoma tem que ver com o aparecimento desses direitos. Como aparecem esses direitos. Não sabem. Sabem que basta abrirem a torneira que a água vem quente ..

Outro sintoma alarmante é a visão de futuro. O futuro para os meus filhos é qualquer coisa que se vai passar logo à noite, o mais tardar ..

O quarto tique socialista das minhas crianças é estarem convictas de que nada depende delas ..

Por fim, o último mas não menos aterrorizador sintoma muito socialista dos meus filhos é a inveja: eles não podem ver nada que já querem. Acham que têm de ter tudo o que o do lado tem quer mereçam quer não. São autênticos novos-ricos sem cheta. Acham que todos temos de ter o mesmo e se não dá para repartir ninguém tem. Ou comem todos ou não come nenhum. Senão vão à luta. Eu não posso dar mais dinheiro a um do que a outro ou tenho o mesmo destino que Nicolau II. Mesmo que um ajude mais que outro e tenha melhores notas, a “cultura democrática” em minha casa não permite essa diferenciação. Os meus filhos chamam a esta inveja disfarçada, justiça, os socialistas deram-lhe o nome de justiça social.

A minha sorte é que os meus filhos crescem. Já os socialistas são crianças a vida inteira.

terça-feira, maio 14, 2013

Technological Disruption

Singularity University's Salim Ismail on the Age of Technological Disruption

O ’contrato social’

O “contrato social” por Bruno Alves:
Durante anos, ouviu-se gente como Francisco Louçã a gritar na defesa do sistema público de pensões, como algo de moralmente superior à suposta entrega das pensões à “economia de casino” que os sistemas privados implicariam. Talvez vá sendo altura de se começar a perceber que o sistema público não é menos inseguro: não só está tão sujeito à “economia de casino” como os privados, como também tem a insegurança adicional de uma das partes – o Estado- poder de forma unilateral escapar-se aos compromissos que assumiu, sem que qualquer compensação tenha de ser atribuída à outra parte, os cidadãos, que nem sequer têm a liberdade de não “assinar” o “contrato social” que enche a boca dos políticos, mas que, como a evidência demonstra à saciedade, não tem qualquer validade.

Keynesian Theory in 5 min

Keynesian Theory in 5 min

Razões liberais para dar prioridade à consolidação orçamental

No seguimento deste abastardanço - razões liberais para se dar prioridade à consolidação orçamental pelo lado da despesa, ou seja utilizar o método mas não os fundamentos — ao género dos "cromos" dos "Ídolos"...

Razões liberais para dar prioridade à consolidação orçamental:
Podendo até admitir que a terapia fiscal poderá ser temporariamente necessária para cobrir os défices públicos, ela matará, a prazo, o doente, se não se atacarem prontamente as razões da própria maleita. Assim, parece evidente, pelo menos do ponto de vista liberal, que é necessário reduzir a despesa pública a níveis que permitam sustentá-la com impostos toleráveis e não destrutivos da economia, isto é, da poupança, da produção, das empresas e da iniciativa privada. Manter impostos altos e não reformar a estrutura de gastos do governo, é o mesmo que tirar a heroína a um toxicodependente e substituí-la por metadona: vai continuar a drogar-se, embora possa viver mais algum tempo.

Por essa razão, numa economia debilitada por um estatismo gastador, como é a nossa, só reformando profundamente o estado é que se poderá pensar em controlar o défice, manter impostos razoáveis e permitir a retoma da economia. São as tais «reformas do estado» ..

property rights

Land Property Rights: The Key to India's Future

Citação Liberal do Dia

Via Cafe Hayek:
Envy is provoked by a person comparing his situation with the situation of certain others and perceiving inequalities. If one perceived inequality is eliminated, and the person is a comparing sort, his antennae are soon bound to make a half-turn and perceive another inequality (in terms of which he is “relatively deprived”), out of the countless ones which might catch his eye, because such scanning is inherent in his need to see his situation in relation to that of others - or else he is immune to envy.
Anthony de Jasay, The State

segunda-feira, maio 13, 2013

Richard Epstein

parte 1 - Liberty and Law
parte 2 - presidential speech


Disparates plausíveis por João César de Neves:
Portugal tem uma das dívidas externas mais elevadas do mundo. A história mostra que nunca se saiu de situações semelhantes sem fortíssima queda do consumo e redução do nível de vida. Gritar contra os sacrifícios ou, pior, fingir que seriam evitáveis pode ser compreensível, mas é tolice ou, pior, flagrante desonestidade. Por dolorosa que seja a quimioterapia, perante um cancro não há alternativa.

O nosso mal agrava-se porque, como a dívida foi acumulada ao longo de décadas, a estrutura económica ficou distorcida, adaptando-se a níveis de despesa insustentáveis. Isso significa que muitos empregos e capitais estão em actividades condenadas. Assim, além da perda conjuntural de empresas, devida ao aperto da austeridade, sofremos a eliminação definitiva de ocupações fictícias, que a dívida alimentou. Em cima das radiações, há que fazer dolorosa fisioterapia.

Logo, os que se indignam com a famigerada austeridade só podem ignorar a realidade da situação. Os caminhos fáceis que recomendam gerariam mais, não menos, sofrimento. Repudiar ou renegociar a dívida, sair do euro, rejeitar a troika são vias para o isolamento e alienação dos mercados, que nos afastariam de vez da estabilidade e de-senvolvimento. O Governo tem errado muito, mas a oposição mente com todos os dentes. E sabe quem mente.
A economia funciona mal no absoluto, pois face à transcendência não há escolhas. Ora um dos truques mais usados pelos que não querem mudar de vida é fingir que a questão em debate é metafísica. Por isso, boa parte das argumentações actuais parecem religiosas, invocando valores imperiosos, taxativos, que apenas admitem a solução inelutável que o arguente preconiza. Assim não há escolha e a discussão cessa.