quinta-feira, Fevereiro 28, 2013

a Lance Armstrong economy

Peter Schiff: We are a Lance Armstrong economy

AMN - desconfiar do Estado

Adolfo Mesquita: "Sou liberal. Nem tudo é mau nesta coisa de ser liberal":
"Sou liberal", assim começou a sua primeira intervenção como secretário de Estado do Turismo, à margem da entrega dos prémios BTL Portugal Trade Awards, que consagram marcas e serviços na área do turismo.

"Sou liberal. Nem tudo é mau nesta coisa de ser liberal. Não estou do lado do Estado, estou do vosso lado", explicou.

"Desconfio do Estado, desconfio muito do Estado, essa desconfiança não se atenua pelo simples facto de estar do lado do Estado", disse.

O secretário de Estado afirmou que não é "meramente ideológico" e que pretende libertar o turismo da influência do Estado.

Adolfo Mesquita apontou o dedo ao Executivo que criou licenciamentos que "não têm ajudado o turismo". O atraso nos pagamentos às empresas também foi alvo de críticas.
Mas assegura: "Este Governo está muito ciente disso, nesta e noutras áreas tem sido feito um trabalho notável."

O novo secretário de Estado garante que pretende contribuir para a independência do sector: "um euro dado pelo Estado custa sempre mais impostos, mais taxas, mais burocracia e mais licenciamento."

O político pretende contribuir para a consolidação das tesourarias das empresas, assim como centrar a sua estratégia na comercialização do produto.
Adolfo Mesquita revelou que em 2012 o turismo gastou 30 milhões de euros em comunicação e eventos. Em 2013, assegurou, serão gastos apenas 12 milhões, algo que elogiou, chamando-lhe uma "promoção mais barata, eficiente, ágil e moderna".

Freedom Means Free Code

Cory Doctorow: Freedom Means Free Code

Libertarianism: A Manifesto

Millennial Libertarianism: A Manifesto:
Because we are young, we do not want to be limited by the worldview of our parents’ generation ..
As Students For Liberty, we’re not making arguments to “liberals” or “conservatives,” .. Instead, we give voice to the yearnings of this generation’s generally skeptical but highly enterprising sentiments. We speak for ourselves, not to anybody. Ann Coulter frames the debate in terms of right vs. left, but that terminology is so outdated for describing our mindset that it doesn’t actually mean anything anymore. It has ceased to be usefully descriptive of what is happening on college campuses every day .. We are creating a new iteration of the idea of libertarianism that frees us from viewing the future through the mindset of the past. The future we are to have is the future we choose to create. This is the aesthetic of the young libertarian in the twenty-first century.
Social media has virtually and literally connected the worldwide student movement for freedom within the Students For Liberty network in a way that is unparalleled in the history of the libertarian movement.
.. None of these creations existed when our parents were our age, yet they have fundamentally changed the characteristics of life for anyone under the age of thirty today. Generation Y understands that the world is constantly changing, constantly responding, constantly communicating, constantly iterating. All of this has built a new sensibility. The youthful generation understands Schumperterian creative destruction because it is lived in the organic world of culture every day. The only thing that has yet to enter the twenty-first century and has resisted change is the logic and mechanisms of government power.

.. Decades of work by thinkers and think tanks have paved the way for a mature, twenty-first century, young libertarian aesthete. As Hayekians, we avidly make use of the knowledge of the past, while also looking forward into our boundless future. And the future must necessarily be boundless, because it is each generation’s right to shake off the cold dead hand of the past and create their own world. “The earth belongs to the living,” after all .. we are merely holding up a microphone for our generation, giving voice to its yet unvoiced sentiments of freedom.

quarta-feira, Fevereiro 27, 2013

Beyond Efficiency

Beyond Efficiency | Dr. Israel Kirzner

The Minimum Wage harms the most vulnerable

The Minimum Wage harms the most vulnerable por Sheldon Richman:
.. economic theory and empirical observation tell us that an enforced minimum wage destroys jobs, degrades the quality of other jobs, and prevents new jobs from being created.

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.
Years ago, unskilled youth cleaned windshields and checked oil at gas stations, showed people to their seats in movie theaters, and bagged groceries. Many of those kinds of jobs disappeared as the minimum wage rose. Teenage unemployment, especially among blacks, has been a scandal ever since.

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.

Libertarianism on Stossel

David Boaz Discusses Libertarianism on FBN's Stossel

The poverty industry

The poverty industry's weird anti-work agenda por Kristian Niemietz:
If you want to get an idea of the poverty industry’s attitude towards poor people, think of an ultra-overprotective parent, who thinks the best way to spare their children from experiencing disappointment is to persuade them to never try anything at all. That way, some of their positions which would otherwise seem bewildering start making sense.

It is the perhaps the poverty lobby’s most oft-repeated assertion that the notion of ‘working one’s way out of poverty’ is a myth. Work, they insist, merely means replacing one type of poverty (out-of-work poverty) with another (in-work poverty) in most cases. The reason for this, they claim, is the existence of low-paid jobs, or in their own terminology, ‘sub-prime jobs’. .. In their publications, the terms ‘work’ and ‘employment’ are rarely used in conjunction with positive attributes. They spell out the risks and downsides of low-paid employment in great detail, but problematically, they do not balance such descriptions against the risks and downsides of long-term welfare dependency. It is never explicitly spelled out like that, but the only logical implication would be that unless a job is well-paid, secure, fulfilling, and at sociable hours, it is better for poor people not to work at all.


Amity Shlaes on Coolidge, Budget Cuts, and Taxes


What about public debt? Rothbard provides the answer:
If sanctity of contracts should rule in the world of private debt, shouldn’t they be equally as sacrosanct in public debt? Shouldn’t public debt be governed by the same principles as private? The answer is no, even though such an answer may shock the sensibilities of most people.
[W]hen government borrows money, it does not pledge its own money; its own resources are not liable. Government commits not its own life, fortune, and sacred honor to repay the debt, but ours. This is a horse, and a transaction, of a very different color.
Rothbard’s recommendation: “I propose, then, a seemingly drastic but actually far less destructive way of paying off the public debt at a single blow: outright debt repudiation.” Repudiation is not only a sound economic solution to our fiscal crisis, but it is also the morally correct solution. Rothbard’s more detailed proposal, which was a “combination of repudiation and privatization,” should be considered a blueprint for an effective debt-reduction plan. As Rothbard argued, such a plan “would go a long way to reducing the tax burden, establishing fiscal soundness, and desocializing the United States.” As an added bonus, default would be as effective, if not more effective, than a balanced budget amendment, in reducing the likelihood of a future reoccurrence of the problem.

But “[i]n order to go this route, however, we first have to rid ourselves of the fallacious mindset that conflates public and private, and that treats government debt as if it were a productive contract between two legitimate property owners.”

The Future Of Energy

Milton Friedman - The Future Of Energy

Lincoln - live by the sword

(ontem, nos Óscares)

O Crescimento e O Emprego

O Crescimento e O Emprego por João Cortez:
Um pequeno àparte: não existe saúde gratuita ou educação gratuita ou nenhum direito que o estado possa providenciar que seja gratuito. A não ser que os médicos, enfermeiros, professores, pessoal auxiliar, juízes, magistrados, forças de segurança, etc. ofereçam os seus serviços gratuitamente em conjunto com quem constroi, mantém e fornece os hospitais, escolas, esquadras e tribunais, alguém (o contribuinte) terá sempre que pagar por estes serviços. E o alguém (o contribuinte) não são os outros (os ricos, a banca, os “capitalistas”) – somos todos nós!
Para todos os políticos, burocratas e para aqueles que acreditam que o governo pode criar (ou decretar) crescimento e emprego: o estado nunca pode criar crescimento ou emprego porque o estado é o sector não produtivo da economia que é financiado à custa do sector produtivo da economia! Em genética, o estado pode ser considerado como um gene inibidor do crescimento e ao emprego. E quanto maior for o estado, mais interventivo for na economia, e mais recursos consumir, menor será o crescimento e menor será o emprego. Todos os recursos que o estado (o sector não produtivo) absorve deixam de estar disponíveis para o sector privado (o sector produtivo). Por outras palavras – cada emprego que o estado cria, está a destruir um ou mais empregos no sector privado. Por cada investimento que o estado faz, existe um ou mais investimentos melhores que deixam de ser realizados.

E agora, a fórmula secreta e mágica de como o governo pode promover o crescimento e o emprego: baixar todos os impostos para todos! E já agora, eliminar muita burocracia e regulação que na prática funcionam como impostos escondidos. É na realidade tão simples quanto isso – as pessoas gostam de complicar as coisas que são simples – sobretudo políticos, burocratas, comentadores, jornalistas, etc. (afinal de contas, eles têm que se manter ocupados).

Claro que, para se poder baixar os impostos (o que implica uma redução da receita), é necessário reduzir a despesa – ou seja, reduzir o peso do estado. Mas isso é muito desejável num “inibidor” ao crescimento e ao emprego. Por isso, eu defendo um corte agressivo em todas as vertentes do estado: desde as PPPs, investimento público, transferências para autarquias e regiões autónomas até à massa salarial do estado e prestações sociais; de maneira a permitir uma redução de impostos generalizada.

Sex, Politics, and Disgust

It's Hard to Gross Out a Libertarian: Jonathan Haidt on Sex, Politics, and Disgust

Anarchy, State, and Gun Ownership

Anarchy, State, and Gun Ownership por David Greenwald:
The first result of ending the state’s monopoly on police protection, and replacing it with a competitive market composed of multiple private security firms, would be an immediate and dramatic improvement in quality of service. Not only would there be little reason for anyone to fear harassment or brutality by employees of private security firms, which would depend for their revenues on the voluntary patronage of consumers, but also, in stark contrast to government policing, the biggest markets for such firms would be where crime is most prevalent, i.e., the inner cities. Indeed, many security firms might well be “neighborhood-owned” and specialize in serving (and hiring from within) those areas most neglected by government police.
All this taken together would add up to a marked reduction in the demand for firearms among private individuals, especially those least competent to use them safely. Those on the left who are presently pushing for stricter gun laws would therefore be doubly satisfied: first by better protection services (and the resulting lower crime rates), and second, by the overall decline in gun ownership. Meanwhile, traditional conservatives could still maintain a strict from-my-cold-dead-hands posture if they wished, without fear of being forcibly disarmed by the collectivist zeal of their neighbors. But they would no longer have either poor policing or the looming threat of state tyranny as a justification for doing so.

How to Avoid Rape

How to Avoid Rape
Não querendo eu minorar um crime horroroso, a solução para a violação fiscal não é muito diferente...

a economia privada não consegue mais pagar a ideologia socialista que nos esmaga

Boa noite por André Abrantes Amaral:
O Governo falhou as previsões da execução orçamental de Janeiro deste ano. Uma análise dos números mostra o óbvio: a economia privada não consegue mais pagar a ideologia socialista que nos esmaga.

Chegámos a este ponto porque deixámos que o poder político dominasse o económico. Encarámos a economia, e o mercado, como algo intrinsecamente mau, ao mesmo tempo que vimos no estado, e nos políticos que o governam, o instrumento para corrigir os seus defeitos. Acreditámos que os homens quando faziam negócios eram naturalmente corruptos, e os que faziam política, obrigatoriamente impolutos.

Acreditámos em algo tão perigoso, que esquecemos que estávamos a destruir a liberdade. A liberdade de trabalhar, criar, investir, produzir, fabricar. A liberdade de usarmos o fruto do nosso trabalho como queremos. A liberdade de viver.

Pusemos o Estado no centro da vida. Tudo passa por ele: o emprego de metade do País; a vida cultural; a actividade económica; o ensino. Pouco resta fora da sua esfera. Entregámos-lhe os instrumentos ao nosso alcance, incluindo o futuro, e agora que não temos mais para lhe dar, não sabemos o que fazer. Há quem exija mais despesa pública, com o fito de salvar o que resta da lógica socialista. Uma ilusão que significa perpetuar o erro dos cidadãos sustentarem a máquina que os destrói.

E agora? Agora precisamos saber o que queremos da vida. Esta crise só se resolve se repensarmos as funções do Estado. Se quisermos que este garanta as liberdades individuais em vez de as oprimir. Não sufoque os indivíduos, que são a essência do País. Um Estado que veja nos cidadãos, pessoas livres e com sonhos, e não números; uma massa que segue atrás do discurso político que promete medidas que dão votos.

Precisamos de um Estado que se controle a si mesmo, refreie os ímpetos intervencionistas dos que detêm o poder, mas nunca, mesmo que à força do voto, a minha vida. Se não fizermos isto, precisaremos de uma boa dose de sorte para a noite que se aproxima.

terça-feira, Fevereiro 26, 2013


What most schools don't teach

where everyone is miserable

“If America was a startup, we’d all quit”:
I love this country but we have a management team that’s both evil and incompetent. And the way “stockholder rights” are implemented there’s absolutely no way to stop or even slow down the rush to misery. I wish people had the choice of voting with their feet. This tends to keep the individual states somewhat honest in their dealings with citizens because they have to compete against 49 other states. But there’s no escaping the fed. It’s like a startup where everyone is miserable but no one is allowed to quit.

Servitude - Taxation

Murray Rothbard: Involuntary Servitude - Taxation


Two Views of Libertarianism por Laurence M. Vance:
As libertarianism’s greatest theorist, Murray Rothbard, explains:
Libertarianism is not and does not pretend to be a complete moral, or aesthetic theory; it is only a political theory, that is, the important subset of moral theory that deals with the proper role of violence in social life. Political theory deals with what is proper or improper for government to do, and government is distinguished from every other group in society as being the institution of organized violence. Libertarianism holds that the only proper role of violence is to defend person and property against violence, that any use of violence that goes beyond such just defense is itself aggressive, unjust, and criminal. Libertarianism, therefore, is a theory which states that everyone should be free of violent invasion, should be free to do as he sees fit except invade the person or property of another. What a person does with his or her life is vital and important, but is simply irrelevant to libertarianism.
Do libertarians celebrate greed and selfishness? Some no doubt do. Do libertarians not care for the poor? Some no doubt do not. Are libertarians not bothered by social and economic inequality? Some no doubt are not. Are libertarians not concerned about the underprivileged? Some no doubt are not. But this has nothing to do with libertarianism. One can be a liberal, a progressive, a moderate, or a conservative and celebrate greed and selfishness, not care for the poor, not be bothered by social and economic inequality, and not be concerned about the underprivileged. And not caring for the poor, not being bothered by social and economic inequality, and not being concerned about the underprivileged does not involve committing violence against anyone. Greco’s solutions to righting what he perceives as the wrongs in society all involve aggression against person and property.

Libertarianism celebrates liberty, property, peace, laissez faire, anything that’s peaceful, individual responsibility, free markets, free thought, a free society, and the absence of government attempts to do violence to these things in the name of social justice, correcting inequality, or promoting fairness.

Libertarianism is glorious indeed.

Trade Deficits

Yaron Answers: Is A Trade Deficit Good Or Bad For The Economy?

onde está a inflação?

Embora caindo no homem-de-palha dos keynesianos - My Reply to John Carney por William L. Anderson:
I also believe that some of the Austrians, when they predicted near-instant hyperinflation, should have known better. An expansion in the monetary base can lead to what Milton Friedman called the "pushing on a string" effect, as an expansion of bank reserves will not increase the amount of money in circulation (at least not significantly) if businesses and individuals are not borrowing.
As Murray Rothbard points out in his book, America's Great Depression, the amount of money in circulation during the 1920s grew, and he terms that as "inflation." However, according to the Consumer Price Index of that time, consumer prices fell by roughly one percent a year, which the late Jude Wanniski used as "proof" that Rothbard was wrong when he claimed that the 20s was an inflationary period. What we witnessed was an apples-and-oranges kind of comparison, as most people (including most economists) generally are used to defining inflation as an increase in the government's CPI, but the Austrians would say that changes in the CPI would be the result of inflation and in our case, the result of the monetary policies of the Fed.
This point is vital, for the Austrians hold in their business cycle theory that when the central bank manipulates the banking system to increase the amount of money in circulation, the larger effect is not in consumer price changes but rather the fact that relative values of real goods are changed in a way that directs longer-term investment into lines of production that would seem to be profitable but over time turn out not to be. We certainly saw that in the housing boom and in the tech boom a decade earlier. Investments were directed into production lines that could not be sustained, given the preferences of consumers and their own financial constraints.
Austrians .. look for the cause-and-effect. Carl Menger, the original Austrian Economist, begins his classic 1871 Principles of Economics with: "ALL THINGS ARE SUBJECT to the law of cause and effect. This great principle knows no exception, and we would search in vain in the realm of experience for an example to the contrary." Why the "irrational exuberance?" Krugman holds to the Keynesian line of "animal spirits" of investors, but that is no cause at all ..

..The Fed has vastly increased its balance sheet and has been spreading dollars around the world, mostly to purchase "assets" that essentially have little or no value so that the holders of those assets do not have to take the necessary financial bath. Such actions would not necessarily result in a huge increases of consumer prices overall, but they would have the effect of directing real investment away from those lines of production that would be both profitable and sustainable. Whether it is protecting the banks or the "green investors" or governments that have spent themselves into financial oblivion, the Fed has stymied the recovery by forcing assets into production areas that are doomed to failure. The result is what we see around is in the anemic economic growth.

Crony Capitalists vs. Value Makers

Crony Capitalists vs. Value Makers: Q&A w Max Borders

Banco público

O Banco Público por João Cortez:
Na prática, um banco público é um instrumento politizado e que irá distorcer o mercado ao:
  • Praticar concorrência desleal (afinal de contas um banco público não precisa de ser eficiente e goza de um privilégio que é a segurança do estado com o seu poder de taxar de forma ilimitada os seus cidadãos).
  • Conceder crédito a projectos, entidades e indivíduos que de outra forma não o conseguiriam obter. Como o crédito é finito, assim como os recursos que se podem obter com esse crédito também o são, o que ocorre é uma alocação menos eficiente de capital e de recursos na economia.
Outras consequências são que:
  • Um banco público tem propensão para incorrer em práticas de risco maiores do que o que seria normal porque têm a expectativa de que o estado virá ao seu socorro no caso de algo correr mal. É o efeito do moral hazard. Ao conceder empréstimos que de outra forma o mercado não concederia, por definição está a assumir riscos maiores.
  • O contribuinte será sempre o fiador dos empréstimos e outros negócios que corram mal e terá que assumir os prejuízos em que o banco possa incorrer.
Temos então que um banco público não é na realidade necessário. É acima de tudo um instrumento político que distorce o mercado e que causa mais danos do que benefícios à economia.

domingo, Fevereiro 24, 2013

Stossel vs. Coulter

Ann Coulter Battles Stossel, Calls Libertarians 'Pussies,' And Gets Booed By Room Full Of Students

Rant Liberal do Dia

Continuo a achar interessante que tantos revoltados 'apartidarios' nunca tenham pegado no 'senhor engenheiro' dos Xutos. Lá apareceu o 'Que parva que eu sou' dos Deolinda - perfeita para a geração da birra fácil e para a do tanto-esperámos-por-uma-nova-revolução. Agora vão repescar uma música com quarenta anos, uma espécie de Internacional, porque a revolução tem de aparecer em HD no YouTube, e ter mais likes que o trailer dos Les Miserables. Não se percebe se o regime infantilizou, ou senilizou, ou se esta gente é tipo aqueles teenagers do moribundo PCP e a vida continuará, ou se vai ser este o derradeiro legado da social-democracia tuga. Enfim tudo está longe de ser digno ou heróico.

Freedom and the Child

Frances Kendall: Freedom and the Child

os pândegos

Os fascistas espontâneos por Alberto Gonçalves:
Não é novidade a exibição da figura do saudoso "Che" Guevara em manifestações a favor de melhores salários. Novo, pelo menos para mim, é o recurso a bandeiras da Venezuela em eventos similares ..

Corrijam-me se estiver enganado, mas não seria preferível ostentar iconografia de países onde, com ou sem salário mínimo definido, se ganha muito mais do que aqui, género Holanda e Alemanha? Porque é que os desfiles da CGTP não incluem crachás em forma de moinho e t-shirts com o rosto de Angela Merkel? Idolatrar economias arruinadas é como marchar contra a pedofilia empunhando cartazes de crianças despidas: uma confissão de estupidez e um argumento de peso em prol dos ordenados baixos ou de ordenado nenhum.

Minimum Wage (2)

No seguimento de Minimum Wage,

Robert Murphy - More on Minimum Wage

¿Es el liberalismo una ideología al servicio de los empresarios?

¿Es el liberalismo una ideología al servicio de los empresarios?:
Los enemigos de los mercados libres suelen caracterizar el liberalismo como una ideología sometida a los intereses del empresariado, sobre todo del gran empresariado. Al muy conspiranoico modo, tratan de describir el liberalismo como un conjunto de hipótesis ad hoc dirigidas todas ellas a beneficiar a la plutocracia gobernante .. la hipótesis podría resultar verosímil, si bien cuando escudriñamos un poco en la realidad podemos comprobar su escaso fundamento.

Para empezar, hay que decir que el liberalismo busca descubrir aquellos principios normativos universales y simétricos que permiten que cada individuo o grupo de individuos pueda satisfacer sus fines vitales de manera voluntaria, cooperativa y mutuamente beneficiosa con otros individuos o grupos de individuos ..
.. baste decir a este respecto que si el mercado no es un juego de suma cero –y no lo es–, todos pueden salir ganando de la cooperación social, por mucho que algunas personas (las más perspicaces) sean capaces de obtener más beneficio de esa cooperación que otras personas, pero el caso es que todas tienen el potencial de salir ganando (unas más, otras no tanto) ..
.. En realidad, el mercado libre sólo beneficia a aquellos empresarios o capitalistas que sean capaces de invertir adecuadamente su capital para satisfacer, mejor que el resto, las cambiantes necesidades de los consumidores… y sólo mientras sigan siéndolo: se trata, pues, de un entorno bastante incierto, hostil y mutable en el que pocos empresarios se sienten permanentemente confortables. Lo que la gran mayoría de empresarios desearía es que el Estado les garantizara su acotada parcela de actividad, sus beneficios mínimos anuales y otro tipo de canonjías que les permitieran disfrutar de la vida sin quebraderos de cabeza. Si los liberales estuvieran al servicio del empresariado, sus principales reivindicaciones consistirían en exigir al Estado regulaciones y gastos que maximicen el lucro empresarial. Pero es justamente al contrario: reclaman derogar todas esas regulaciones y gastos públicos que tan lucrativos resultan para cierta casta corporativa.
En suma, que los liberales defiendan un marco jurídico donde los mejores empresarios puedan prosperar y enriquecerse no significa que estén a su servicio, pues también es un marco donde los malos empresarios –sin las redes y los privilegios estatales– están condenados a fracasar y arruinarse; y sucede que los empresarios exitosos de hoy pueden ser los fracasados de mañana. Si los liberales defienden ese marco es porque es el marco óptimo para que todos satisfagan sus necesidades: pues los mejores empresarios se enriquecen sólo después de haber generado mucho valor para los consumidores. La realidad, pues, es más bien la opuesta: son los antiliberales intervencionistas quienes recurren a todo tipo de argucias estatistas para socavar la soberanía del consumidor y, consciente o inconscientemente, llenar los bolsillos de los cuatro empresarios afines al régimen.

sábado, Fevereiro 23, 2013

Ordre spontané et égoisme

Ordre spontané et égoisme - Conférence d'Alain Laurent

Bubble trouble

Bubble trouble: Is there an end to endless quantitative easing? por Detlev Schlichter:
The publication, earlier this week, of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee minutes of January 29-30 seemed to have a similar effect on equity markets as a call from room service to a Las Vegas hotel suite, informing the partying high-rollers that the hotel might be running out of Cristal Champagne. Around the world, stocks sold off, and so did gold.
Here is how one may freely translate it:
Guys, let’s face it: All this money printing is not without costs and risks. Three problems present themselves: The bigger our balance sheet gets (currently, $3trillion and counting), the more difficult it will be to ever offload some of these assets in the future. When we start liquidating, markets will panic. We might end up having absolutely no maneuvering space whatsoever. All this money printing will one day feed into higher headline inflation that no statistical gimmickry will manage to hide. Then some folks may expect us to tighten policy, which we won’t be able to do because of 1). We are persistently manipulating quite a few major asset markets here. Against this backdrop, market participants are not able to price risk properly. We are encouraging financial risk taking and the type of behaviour that has led to the financial crisis in the first place.

National Decline

A question of debt
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

Lincoln Warmonger

Hollywood Confers Sainthood on Warmonger Lincoln (Again) por James Bovard:
The Lincoln movie is on the verge of picking up a heap of Oscars at the Academy Awards on Sunday night. That movie did not quite capture Honest Abe’s full record. I was raised in a county that was devastated (and lost much of its population) as a result of Lincoln-approved Scorched Earth tactics in the final year of the Civil War. The northern armies treated Confederate soldiers who resisted the barn-burning and crop-burning as war criminals and hanged them ..
How can the same people who vigorously support indicting Serbian leaders for war crimes also claim that Lincoln was a great American president?

Lincoln bears ultimate responsibility for how the North chose to fight the Civil War. The attitude of some of the Northern commanders paralleled those of Bosnian Serb commanders more than many contemporary Americans would like to admit.
Lincoln was blinded by his belief in the righteousness of federal supremacy. The abuses and tyranny that he authorized set legions of precedents that subverted the vision of government the Founding Fathers bequeathed to America.
The more vehemently a president equates democracy with freedom, the greater the danger he likely poses to Americans’ rights. President Abraham Lincoln was by far the most avid champion of democracy among nineteenth century presidents—and the president with the greatest visible contempt for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Lincoln swayed people to view national unity as the ultimate test of the essence of freedom or self-rule. That Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, jailed 20,000 people without charges, forcibly shut down hundreds of newspapers that criticized him, and sent in federal troops to shut down state legislatures was irrelevant because he proclaimed “that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”
Lysander Spooner, a Massachusetts abolitionist, ridiculed President Lincoln’s claim that the Civil War was fought to preserve a “government by consent.” Spooner observed, “The only idea . . . ever manifested as to what is a government of consent, is this—that it is one to which everybody must consent, or be shot.”

sexta-feira, Fevereiro 22, 2013

Israel Kirzner (2)

No seguimento de Israel Kirzner,

Dr. Israel M. Kirzner's Contributions to Market Process Theory and Entrepreneurship Studies


The Gas Price Story of Hurricane Sandy por Jeffrey Tucker:
For those schooled in economics, the gasoline shortage during Hurricane Sandy last November was no surprise. Demand for gas goes up. Supply lines are disrupted. It’s the old supply-and-demand thing. The price goes up. Higher prices attract new supplies from unconventional paths. Prices respond and fall back again. The market handles it just fine.

All is well except for one thing: There were anti-gouging laws on the books. These laws restrict the upward path of prices. Plus, most people anticipated exactly what happened. By executive order, governments at all levels impose even more restrictive controls. These controls prevented prices from being licitly raised at the onset of the crisis.
The markets became very sophisticated very fast. People were including delivery in their price at premiums. Within hours, the terms became more complex, varying by quantity purchased and service provided ..

Earle calls the sellers of gasoline and other essentials “disasterpreneurs” — business people who know how to make a buck while providing the services people need. We think of black markets as consisting of sketchy people selling to sketchy people, but this was not the case. Absolutely the whole population was involved.
Did any of the controls make any difference at all? According to Earle, they managed only to drive legitimate markets underground. They slowed markets and distorted them, but did not end them. From the point of view of what was actually being bought and sold, they made no difference whatsoever. People from all walks of life threw themselves into the black market to survive.

People never imagine that they will openly defy the powers that be. Americans like to think that they are law-abiding people and that their government has their best interests at heart. But matters change when your refrigerator stops working, your house is freezing, cellphones die, and your car has no fuel to get to the store or the hospital.

Suddenly, regular people in New Jersey and New York found themselves having to make the decision between obeying and surviving. They chose surviving. You probably would too.

The State of the Union (2)

No seguimento de
- The Real State Of The Union
- The State of the Union

Rand Paul on The Peter Schiff Show - 2/13/2013

Collapsing the State

The Four Signs of a Collapsing State:
Does public opinion matter? Absolutely. Government an inherently unstable situation because they are few and we are many. The real question is not why revolutions happen but why isn’t there a revolution every day? What is it that keeps these guys in power, aside from the threat of violence? There has to be more to it.

David Hume, in his First Principles of Government, argued that it is public opinion that keeps the racket going. That is a more important thing than violence or guns. It is what people believe about themselves and their government that is the key. Without it, government would collapse. And we see this in history. The precondition for every revolution is the lack of belief in the system that governs them.

The government has strong interest in shoring up public opinion.

According to Hoppe, it does this through the control of four institutions:
  • education
  • communication
  • money
  • security
A government that fully monopolizes these four institutions and prevents any alternatives from forming is secure in its rule for decades if not centuries. But when they begin to fall, the rulers begin to lose their grip on power. For this reason, all governments have made the control of these institutions a priority.
Hoppe’s checklist provides an extremely revealing look at the stability of the political system today. How far are we from a real or de facto revolution in which private society displaces the corrupt and bankrupt public system? It could be sooner than anyone predicts.

quinta-feira, Fevereiro 21, 2013

Lincoln, neomercantilista assassino

Lincoln's Tariff War por Thomas J. DiLorenzo:
With slavery, Lincoln was conciliatory. In his first inaugural address, he said he had no intention of disturbing slavery, and he appealed to all his past speeches to any who may have doubted him. Even if he did, he said, it would be unconstitutional to do so.

But with the tariff it was different. He was not about to back down to the South Carolina tariff nullifiers, as Andrew Jackson had done, and was willing to launch an invasion that would ultimately cost the lives of 620,000 Americans to prove his point. Lincoln’s economic guru, Henry C. Carey, was quite prescient when he wrote to Congressman Justin S. Morrill in mid-1860 that "Nothing less than a dictator is required for making a really good tariff" (p. 614, "Abraham Lincoln and the Tariff").

Lincoln's Tariff War | by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

Relvas e a "crítica" símia

Aparentemente é a extrema-esquerda pulha e arruaceira que define quem é que merece ter lugar na "democracia" -- da qual parece ser dona. Relvas uma e outra vez, Macedo há dias, Passos Coelho por breves instantes e quem sabe persistentemente no futuro... e os "idiotas úteis" de serviço aplaudem. (atenção, neste grupo há alguns muito espertos, a expressão atribui-se a quem está bem no bolso da esquerda totalitária)... E muito provavelmente lá estarão a 2 de Março, como estiveram no 15 de Setembro "espontâneo", e no 29 de Setembro da CGTP... como "por coerência" estarão em tantas outras marteladas "apartidárias" no caixão de uma sociedade civilizada. É que não há crítica sem civilização. Só guinchos modernaços, valentões, e liberticidas.

Patent Trolls Kill Innovation

How Patent Trolls Kill Innovation

Who knows the value of anything anymore?

The impossibility of economic calculation in a fiat world por Alasdair Macleod:
The purpose of keeping accurate accounts is to quantify net worth at any given point in time – as well as the change from a prior date. It goes without saying that the measure used, money, should be constant if comparisons over time are to mean anything. Only then do prices of capital goods, consumer goods and services truly reflect their changing values, giving important signals to businessmen. With unstable fiat money market signals lose much of their meaning.
Instead of bringing about a Lazarene recovery in the economy, this approach is already failing, because the very basis of economic calculation is being destroyed. Who knows the value of anything anymore? We do however know the inevitable outcome of this lunacy, and it is not good.

Funcionários públicos não pagam impostos

A good friend of mine got a job working for the government last year. After getting his first paycheck, he complained to me about how much money was taken out. My response "without taxes, how would we pay for government employees like you."

The truth is that no matter how much money is taken out of the paychecks of government employees, in reality they do not actually pay taxes. Instead they are paid out of the tax revenues which are extracted from the rest of us.

In regards to this issue, there are two main groups of people in our society: tax payers and tax consumers. Tax payers are the productive members of society, those who create value and work hard and who end up reluctantly turning over a significant portion of their earnings to the government. Tax consumers, on the other hand, are those who--despite the fact that they may do important jobs--receive their salaries (or subsidies, or welfare payments, etc) from revenue which is forcibly extracted from the tax paying class of society. Tax consumers are parasites who feed off of the productive members of society.

The work being performed by some government workers may be necessary, but that does not excuse these workers from receiving their compensation through the forced extraction of wealth from the productive class.

salário mínimo vs. brains

Obama’s Minimum Wage Hike: A Case of Zombie Economics:
President Obama’s proposal to increase the federal minimum wage is a case of what Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman calls “zombie economic ideas.” According to Krugman, “a zombie idea is a proposition that has been thoroughly refuted by analysis and evidence, and should be dead—but won’t stay dead because it serves a political purpose, appeals to prejudices, or both.”
A fundamental law of economics—the law of demand—states that when the price of anything (including labor) increases, the quantity demanded will decrease, assuming other things affecting demand remain unchanged. In the case of labor, this means as the price of labor (the wage rate) increases, the number of jobs will decrease, other things constant. Moreover, the decrease in employment will be greater in the long run than in the short run, as employers shift to labor-saving methods of production.
Economic growth, not price fixing in the form of a federally mandated minimum wage, is the only path to prosperity. Economic freedom and limited government are paramount in the process of wealth creation through mutually beneficial market exchanges ..

The minimum wage has the most serious impact on the least productive workers who are likely from poor families. Increasing wage rates by government fiat is not a solution to the problem of poverty; increasing economic freedom so people can lift themselves out of poverty is a better alternative to zombie economics.
Reducing the size and scope of government, lowering taxes on labor and capital, ending corporate welfare, lowering the costs of doing business, and safeguarding freedom of contract are the best practices necessary for a harmonious society and future prosperity.

Everything Is Offensive

Tudo é Ofensivo - Everything Is Offensive - Legendado PT-BR (The Amazing Atheist)

o nosso Monstro, o Estado

Recuperar a respública por José Manuel Moreira:
É verdade, usando uma metáfora de Bento XVI, que a situação resultou de "tentações" feitas por gente sorrateira que soube usar o Estado, sem nunca nos empurrrar directamente para o mal, antes para falsos bens: dos direitos adquiridos ao Estado de bem-estar. Mas mais que estar alerta para novos embustes, o que importa agora é perceber, num tempo em que tanto se grita a demissão do Governo, que o essencial é resistir à presunção do Estado de modo a libertar a sociedade para a resolução dos nossos problemas, incluindo os públicos. O que torna urgente recuperar o sentido da "res pública" e a diversidade de entendimentos do que é comum, implicando políticas de descentralização e liberdade de escolha, como acontece no modelo nórdico.

Será que ainda se vai a tempo de ver que o Estado é uma invenção moderna, um deus mortal, que se deixou capturar por grupos de interesse que usam em seu benefício a sua colossal capacidade de saque? .. os grandes beneficiados da política distributiva são a classe política, os interesses instalados e a burocracia: que consomem sem produzir nada. É por isso que cortar a quem vive a partir do Estado é o caminho certo: o bem que o Estado pode fazer é muito limitado, já o mal é quase ilimitado.

quarta-feira, Fevereiro 20, 2013

The Real State Of The Union

Peter Schiff - The Real State of the Union - 2013

Salário mínimo e inteligência mínima

Aspirin por Don Boudreaux:
I protest the legislated minimum-wage because I have a visceral hostility to shabby economics.

Encountering arguments premised on the (typically unconscious) notion that most employers routinely sit on figurative piles of excess profits or returns that can be tapped into by government diktat (“Raise your workers’ wages!”) without any compensating adjustments or reactions by employers makes my head ache. Encountering otherwise respectable economists performing rococo theorizing in their attempts to explain why unskilled human labor is somehow exempt from the simple application of the law of demand makes my head ache.
Encountering claims that human welfare can be increased so easily and so surely by mere diktat makes my head ache.

Israel Kirzner

Kirzner - Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fund for the Study of Spontaneous Order


If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it.
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln por Walter E. Williams:
My colleague Thomas DiLorenzo .. exposed some of the Lincoln myth in his 2006 book, "Lincoln Unmasked." Now comes Joseph Fallon .. with his new e-book, "Lincoln Uncensored." Fallon's book examines 10 volumes of collected writings and speeches of Lincoln's ... We don't have to rely upon anyone's interpretation. Just read his words to see what you make of them.

.. Lincoln said, "I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of ... making voters or jurors of Negroes nor of qualifying them to hold office nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality."

.. Lincoln's words: "I view the matter (Emancipation Proclamation) as a practical war measure .." He also wrote: "I will also concede that emancipation would help us in Europe, and convince them that we are incited by something more than ambition." ..

.. The Emancipation Proclamation was not a universal declaration. It detailed where slaves were freed, only in those states "in rebellion against the United States." Slaves remained slaves in states not in rebellion ..
.. Following the money might help with an answer. Throughout most of our history, the only sources of federal revenue were excise taxes and tariffs. During the 1850s, tariffs amounted to 90 percent of federal revenue. Southern ports paid 75 percent of tariffs in 1859. What "responsible" politician would let that much revenue go?
BÓNUS - Mais Lincoln nas suas próprias palavras

The State of the Union

Rand Paul Responds To The State of the Union 2013 [In Full]

Minimum wage - playing with people’s lives

Imagining a world of minimum wages por Russ Roberts:
.. the minimum wage creates a reserve army of the unemployed. That in turn allows employers to be less thoughtful, helpful, and kind. It destroys the civilizing effect of competition by muting it. That encourages exploitation. It reduces the cost to employers of racism or cruelty. Before the increase, being obnoxious or racist made it much harder to find employees. A minimum wage makes it easier to indulge in bad behavior. The costs are lower. Before the minimum wage, a cruel, selfish employer might have had to mentor his employees or train them or be nice to them despite his nature. Now he won’t have to. He can still get workers to work for him. Even more cruelly, the minimum wage encourages workers to exploit themselves. They work harder and put up with more abuse from the boss because the minimum wage reduces the alternatives that are available.
The people who are pushing for a large increase in the minimum wage are playing with people’s lives. I don’t understand their certainty. As Hayek wrote, “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”

Anti-Freedom Traps

Harry Browne - Anti-Freedom Traps

Collective Guilt, Blame & Punishment

Vale a pena ler - Collective Guilt: A Socratic Dialogue de Bryan Caplan:
Socrates: It seems, then, that when our Persian enemies attack, we should be equally careful not to respond by attacking those Persians who remain our friends. Indeed, we should be equally careful not to respond by attacking neutral Persians who simply wish to mind their own business.

Pericles: Your approach would leave us powerless against evil. We can easily tell the difference between Persians and Macedonians. We can't easily tell the difference between Persian enemies and Persian friends and neutrals.

Socrates: Is it so hard to tell the difference between a Persian child and a Persian adult?

Pericles: No, but it is hard to burn down a town full of Persian enemies without burning Persian friends and neutrals along with them.

Socrates: I see.

terça-feira, Fevereiro 19, 2013

Social Security And Other Deceptions

Walter E Williams - Social Security And Other Deceptions

he who lives by the sword dies by the sword

Beware the Consequences of Pre-Emptive War por Ron Paul:
Particularly in the past decade or so, we have lived in a society increasingly marked by belief in the use of force as a first and only option. We have seen wars of preemption and aggression, everywhere from Iraq to Pakistan to Libya, Yemen, and elsewhere. We have seen an unprecedented increase in the use of drones to kill overseas, often resulting in civilian deaths, which we call “collateral damage.” We have seen torture and assassination (even of American citizens) become official US policy. When asked by Senator Ron Wyden last week if the president has the right to assassinate American citizens on US soil, President Obama’s nominee to head the CIA, John Brennan, could not even give a straight answer.

The warning that "he who lives by the sword dies by the sword" goes not only for individuals but for entire societies. It is a warning to all of us. A country or a society that lives with the violence of pre-emptive war in fact self-destructs.

Conscious Capitalism (3)

No seguimento de Conscious Capitalism (2)

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey Discusses 'Conscious Capitalism'

Gobernados por bandidos

Gobernados por bandidos:
Muchos ciudadanos se preguntan: ¿Pero es que no hay político honrado? ¿Por qué todos están pringados? Es como si fuéramos presa de una maldición, como si fuera cuestión de mala suerte. Pero no, no es mala suerte. Es lo lógico. Ya lo decía Lord Acton: "el poder tiende a corromper, y el poder absoluto corrompe absolutamente"
Cuando los políticos pueden tomar decisiones arbitrarias que suponen una ganancia para unos a costa de pérdidas para otros, que es en lo que se basa cualquier política intervencionista, se crean los perversos incentivos que conducen a la corrupción ..
Este pecado original, el del uso del poder para beneficio de unos a costa de otros, está en la propia esencia del Estado ..
.. La política sigue siendo un potente mecanismo que permite a unos vivir a costa de otros. Los gobernantes son elegidos por votación mayoritaria, sí, pero a partir de listas cerradas, sin competencia, entre partidos casi iguales y por un mecanismo con insuperables barreras de entrada. El ámbito de intervención del Estado es inmenso y arbitrario. Los políticos siguen sin ser responsables por el incumplimiento de ese supuesto contrato que contraen con los ciudadanos al presentarse a las elecciones, ni tienen que responder por los daños y perjuicios que puedan provocar. No se hacen responsables de sus actos, y eso se nota. Lo que nos han demostrado es que tampoco se molestan en disimular su verdadera naturaleza. No pierden la ocasión para recordarnos que en esencia siempre fueron iguales; que seguimos gobernados por bandidos.

Education bubble

How Do We Break the Cycle of Higher Tuition and More Debt?

The Errors of Keynes

The Errors of Keynes:
Another important Keynesian idea that Rallo tackles is the famous liquidity trap. A liquidity trap exists when, in a depressed economy, interest rates are very low. In such a situation Keynes regards monetary policy as useless, because speculators will just hoard newly produced money. Speculators will not invest in bonds because they are at maximum prices and will fall when interest rates finally rise. At this point monetary policy becomes impotent. Public spending becomes necessary to stimulate aggregate demand.

Rallo shows that after an artificial boom, in a situation where there are many malinvestments and a general over-indebtedness in the economy, there is indeed almost no demand for loans even at very low interest rates. We are actually faced with an illiquidity trap, as agents struggle to improve their liquidity. They want to reduce their debts and not take on more loans. The monetary policy of low interest rates actually worsens the situation, because with low interest rates, there is no incentive to prepay and cancel debts (because their present value is raised). The solution to this situation of general uncertainty is hoarding, stable institutions, the liquidation of malinvestment and the reduction of debts.
In contrast, for Keynes, the problem is always insufficient demand. So what can we do if consumers and investors do not buy the goods of that companies offer, but instead hoard? Well, Keynes recommends lowering taxes and interest rates, to devalue the currency, or that the government buys the products for consumers. But, why, asks Rallo, should consumers and investors buy goods they don't want?

Keynes’s answer is that otherwise unemployment will increase. Rallo responds astutely: But if a person is forced to buy with his salary something that he does not want, why shall this person work at all? The alternative to forced buying is to lower wages to their discounted marginal value product, which increases production and demand. As Rallo points out, society does not get richer if the government induces or forces people to buy goods they don't want. Thus, for Rallo the essence of TGT is the following: when people do not want to buy what is produced, the government should force them to act against their will.

Heresia antiestatista

La corrupción se viste de gasa

La corrupción se viste de gasa:
.. la transparencia en política es como la gasa en el vestir: deja ver pero oculta lo que no se quiere mostrar. Si usted tiene ya una edad y quiere seguir luciendo palmito, la gasa es su aliada, los lunares, las arrugas, la flacidez, todo, queda tamizado por la ilusión transparente de la gasa.

Pero así es como nos han educado nuestros políticos ..

Lo sorprendente es que los mismos cuyo dinero está siendo mal utilizado son los primeros en excusar ese comportamiento ..
Esta falta de exigencia para con nuestros políticos nos está pasando factura ahora y nos llevamos las manos a la cabeza. En mi opinión, es lo mínimo que nos merecemos .. sin embargo, los españoles siguieron votando a esos mismos partidos ..
¿Por qué los políticos son corruptos? .. Porque pueden. Y así es .. Y así nos va.

Salário mínimo vs. os menos qualificados

Let’s review the adverse effects of raising the minimum wage on teenagers when it increased 41% between 2007 and 2009

The final countdown

The final countdown:
Governments are refusing to let markets clear: prices have not been permitted to fall to a clearing level. They put it off because the American economist Irving Fisher came up with a plausible theory about financial deflation in the 1930s, and they don’t want to face the bankruptcies of the over-indebted, the businesses that rely on the state for their survival, and the banks that have foolishly lent them too much money.

Reality is now catching up with western governments. Their underlying financial position is rapidly deteriorating, with welfare costs spiralling out of control and governments already heavily in debt. They cannot realistically underwrite the global banking system, which is insolvent and considerably larger than the governments themselves. The economic recovery which is the governments’ get-out-of-jail card will not occur without that economic readjustment.

We are long past the point of no return .. We have progressed to the point where governments have chosen to protect themselves, in preference to looking after the true interests of their electorates.

Governments are now reduced to screwing their electorates for their own survival, which is their last refuge from reality.

Public vs. Private Enterprise

Fred S. McChesney: Public vs. Private Enterprise

segunda-feira, Fevereiro 18, 2013

economistas voodoo

FB de Robert Higgs:
Austrian economists sometimes mock mainstream positivist economists by saying that such economists would insist on accumulating data by taking empirical measurements of real-world triangles in order to "test the hypothesis" that the interior angles of a triangle sum to 180 degrees. In similar fashion, I suppose, they would insist on a random sample of all fair plays of Russian roulette in order to measure the proportion of plays that result in a player's being shot. Yet, for all games played fairly with a six-shot revolver, we know precisely a priori that in a large sample, the proportion is exactly 1/6. There is no need here to waste time doing "empirical work."

There is likewise no need for empirical work to test a variety of economic propositions. Indeed, because of the general inability to control properly for everything that should be controlled in an empirical test, such methods only ensure that controversy will persist endlessly about the relationship in question, even though the Austrian, by thinking the matter through a thought experiment, can often know for certain what the qualitative nature of the relationship must be (e.g., setting the legal minimum wage rate above the prevailing market wage rate will necessarily reduce the quantity of labor demanded, ceteris paribus).

Of course, because in the real world other things may not be unchanged, this theoretically valid relationship may be unobserved (and often unobservable), leading positivist economists and lay persons to conclude erroneously that the theoretical relationship does not hold -- that is, that the law of demand has been refuted. Pathetic.

domingo, Fevereiro 17, 2013

Social Thinking And Politics

Thomas Sowell - Social Thinking And Politics

Sodoma fiscal

Sodoma e Camorra:
Venho por este meio confessar um delito, o de não exigir facturas aos comerciantes. Se as facturas forem emitidas automaticamente, atiro-as ao lixo. Se as facturas me forem úteis para efeitos de garantia do produto, procuro guardá-las algures (e consigo perdê-las logo a seguir). Mas se as facturas apenas pretenderem denunciar uma transacção às Finanças para que estas beneficiem de um processo que lhes é moral e materialmente alheio, não contem comigo.

Convencido de que o cumprimento universal aliviaria os contribuintes cumpridores, houve um tempo em que o bem-comum me parecia mais importante do que a margem de lucro dos particulares. Hoje, sei que, salvo pormenores, o bem comum é largamente uma artimanha propagandística e que os particulares em causa saberão dar à verba um destino melhor do que os senhores que nos governam: qualquer que seja o destino e quaisquer que sejam os senhores, não existe alívio para o contribuinte, excepto na medida em que invariável e crescentemente é aliviado do que é seu. Se o dono do restaurante X aproveita os rendimentos não declarados para adquirir um Mercedes ou 2 mil pares de sandálias, antes o Mercedes e as sandálias do homem do que o patrocínio de amigalhaços, grevistas, excedentários e aberrações em que o Estado desperdiça considerável parte do saque fiscal.
Os resultados do nosso trabalho já são extorquidos em quantidade suficiente e segundo métodos impossíveis de contornar. É da mais elementar lucidez resistir, dentro do possível, a extorsões adicionais .. os verbos "levar" ou "apanhar" chegam e sobram para um Governo com aura liberal, hábitos socialistas e processos napolitanos.

The Art of Being Free

Wendy McElroy on The Art of Being Free

O estado predado

O estado predador por André Abrantes Amaral:
Fui contra a proibição de fumar em restaurantes .. No entanto, a maioria não achou assim .. Se isso se traduzia numa violação da liberdade de escolha de quem tinha instalado e pago o restaurante, já não vinha ao caso. A maioria quando quer algo, não olha a meios, nem perde tempo com minudências.

O estado, que devia servir para proteger as minorias contra afrontas deste género, de proteger a propriedade privada, há muito que deixou essa função.

.. a maioria facilitou e deu ao estado o poder de se intrometer no que lhe era alheio. Conseguiu .. Aos poucos, vamos abrindo portas. Sem que nos demos conta disso, e num dia não muito longínquo, será a da maioria que pagará um preço muito caro por ter transformado o estado numa máquina predadora a seu favor.

David Friedman

David Friedman on Triple-V: Voluntary Fractional Reserve Banking, Anarchy, Fiat Currency, ...

Anticapitalismo pró-pobreza

Para quem acha que isto é tudo muito obscuro. A filosofia socialista-light diz que basta roubar o produto da criação da riqueza (ou a sua utilização) para um mundo maravilhoso acontecer. Os socialistas-não-envergonhados querem é a expoliação do património - do próprio stock de riqueza. Acontece que para que o dia de amanhã seja melhor do que o dia de hoje, alguém tem de absters-se de consumir, e reinvestir. Precisamente as pessoas mais brutalizadas por tanta "solidariedade". Com tanto socialismo (impostos, burocracia, justiça tipo empresa pública, corrupção, guerra de interesses privados, incerteza legislativa, corporativismo galopante, sindicalismo terrorista, constituição comuna, etc etc) só um maluco investe ou reinveste. Não é só o facto de não haver respeito por quem assume riscos - é que há mesmo um clima agressivo contra quem quer ser deixado em paz para prosperar. Acontece que a maior parte dos tugas acha bem promover agendas anticapitalistas. Depois queixam-se do desemprego, e da "austeridade", etc etc etc.

Não vale a pena fingir que temos soluções à mão para «o» problema, porque não temos por Jorge Costa:
Se é de acelerada destruição irreversível da estrutura produtiva existente que efectivamente se trata, é muito provável que o stock total de capital líquido na economia esteja a diminuir. Está? Está.
O consumo de capital anual na economia passou a ser superior ao investimento, de modo que o pouco que resta deste não chega para repor os níveis do stock. A formação líquida de capital fixo tornou-se negativa, pela primeira vez desde que há memória.
Sem novo investimento – em capital físico mas, também, obviamente humano -, capaz de alterar de facto o perfil da economia por forma a inseri-la competitivamente na economia global não haverá reversão antecipável do desemprego capaz de alterar significativamente o efeito mais dramático deste desfazer inevitável.

favorite statist arguments

10 more favorite statist arguments

A Factura (a sua)

A Factura (a sua) por Ricardo Lima:
Estou certo de que, neste momento, você já se indignou com os “fiscais da factura”. Já arremessou o comando ao televisor, já se juntou ao tal grupo do facebook que pede a demissão da classe política e, num acto de rebeldia nata, já fez estremecer o café berrando indecências contra a progenitora do Ministro. Mas você, caro Leitor, é uma besta. E eu vou-me abster de lhe pedir para que não se ofenda. Eu quero que se sinta ofendido. Porque você, caro Leitor, é um idiota chapado.
Hoje, observando o culminar da tirania que tem defendido, sente-se incomodado. Chega mesmo a sentir que o Estado se está a intrometer na sua vida. Chega ao ponto de, na sua inocência, citar chavões dos tais extremistas, dos mesmo anarquistas que tem vindo a insultar no café, no facebook e nas caixas de comentários dos blogues que lê. Mas você perdeu a guerra no dia em que deixou o Estado entrar na casa do seu vizinho. Abriu o precedente - a caixa de pandora – para que ele um dia entrasse na sua. E esse dia chegou.

sábado, Fevereiro 16, 2013

the Industrial Revolution

Ralph Raico: The History of the Industrial Revolution and the Social Policies of Otto von Bismarck

compulsory unemployment

Outlawing Jobs: The Minimum Wage por Murray N. Rothbard:
In truth, there is only one way to regard a minimum wage law: it is compulsory unemployment, period. The law says: it is illegal, and therefore criminal, for anyone to hire anyone else below the level of X dollars an hour. This means, plainly and simply, that a large number of free and voluntary wage contracts are now outlawed and hence that there will be a large amount of unemployment. Remember that the minimum wage law provides no jobs; it only outlaws them; and outlawed jobs are the inevitable result.
It is obvious that the minimum wage advocates do not pursue their own logic, because if they push it to such heights, virtually the entire labor force will be disemployed. In short, you can have as much unemployment as you want, simply by pushing the legally minimum wage high enough.
The fact is that they have always been shrewd enough to stop their minimum wage demands at the point where only marginal workers are affected, and where there is no danger of disemploying, for example, white adult male workers with union seniority .. the concrete effect of the minimum wage laws has been to cripple the low-wage competition of the marginal workers as against higher-wage workers with union seniority, the true motivation of the agitation for the minimum wage becomes apparent.

This is only one of a large number of cases where a seemingly purblind persistence in economic fallacy only serves as a mask for special privilege at the expense of those who are supposedly to be "helped."
Unfortunately, this system does not give those numerous workers who still prefer to be producers rather than parasites the privilege of making their own free choice.

The Constitution For Dummies

"The Constitution For Dummies" by Judge Andrew Napolitano

Not Debating

The Voluntaryist Art of Not Debating:
There seems to be a penchant, if not almost insatiable urge among those in our movement to constantly confront and debate those who adhere to one statist philosophy or another. Voluntaryists/Libertarian Anarchists burn up thousands of hours on social media like Facebook, Twitter, and such arguing our case, constantly trying to break through the mental barriers of those who do not or will not accept the tenets of the Non-Aggression Principle. The incentive isn’t difficult to decipher. We want to live in a better world. We do not want to exist in chains. We want to be truly free.

But there’s a reason why we find this course of action such a daunting and frustrating task. And it lies in understanding the latest findings in psychology. Without citing chapter and verse, it boils down to this: Whenever someone who holds a perceptual belief is challenged by a different or opposing view, the result is almost invariably that the affronted person becomes even more resistant to change – regardless of how cogent, rational, or objective the case being made might be ..
.. Life is precious. It is finite. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend however much of it I may have left trying to make my case to those to whom it cannot be made. I have better and more important things to do with my remaining time. I expect you do too, whatever those things might be. Realizing this in itself is another big and indispensable part of being free. Don’t let it pass you by.

.. Don’t argue. Don’t debate. Don’t allow yourself to be controlled by others like that. I hope I’ve made my case. And if you find I haven’t to your satisfaction, that’s fine. I have other things to do right now.

Economic Freedom

socialists are socialists

The Conservative Party – where telling the truth is a sackable offence por James Delingpole:
Hitler was a socialist. It's an indisputable fact. The word Nazi is a contraction of "National Socialist"; the red in the background of the Nazi flag is a reference to its origins in communism; and as Hitler himself said in a speech of May 1, 1927:
"We are Socialists, we are enemies of the capitalistic economic system for exploitation of the economically weak…"
It's what Hayek argued in The Road To Serfdom. It's what Jonah Goldberg demonstrated very convincingly in Liberal Fascism. Yes, it may be upsetting for socialists to be told this – in the same way that it's upsetting for them to be told that socialism doesn't work. But the truth hurts, sometimes.

Involuntary Commitment

Murray Rothbard - Involuntary Commitment

A parasitagem "cultural" organizada

A parasitagem "cultural" organizada não descansará enquanto não obtiver do Estado, e dos socialistas no Governo, uma gorda e preguiçosa renda, que tenderá a ser vitalícia, paga (sobretudo) por quem não quer ter nada que ver com eles.

Independentemente da legalidade da coisa (ou seja, do que está ou estará na legislação), isto é flagrantemente imoral.

E dizem que é em nome da "cultura"? Desde quando é que um punhado de "criadores", bem aburguesados, que _são_ o status quo, e pelos vistos bem alcovitados com o poder político... desde quando é que esta gentinha representa a "cultura"? Desde quando é que "a cultura" é definida à excepção dos produtores que são comercialmente bem sucedidos sem sanguessuguices, e sobretudo à excepção dos públicos consumidores? Desde quando é que as tecnologias do futuro têm de ser castradas para perpetuar o artesanato pedante do passado?

E o que tem de "culto", de sofisticado, de "preservação da identidade cultural de um povo", e esse bullshit todo, esta barbárica e mafiosa extorsão?

>Autores voltam a ameaçar levar Estado a tribunal devido à cópia privada

Capitalism and Marxism

Dr Madsen Pirie on Daily Politics discussing Capitalism and Marxism


I'm reposting a comment I made on the thread in which I posted a picture of McFish. Of course it immediately gave rise to the usual tut-tutting of the horrors of McDs. Please listen: the furrow browed, puritanical McD haters completely miss the big picture. I just spent 7 hours in a DMV for a stupid government document and ended up not getting it. These people produce NOTHING of value and STILL can't provide it. I took a break and went to McDs where they were thrilled to see me and gave me glorious fish (the real stuff and it is GREAT and I didn't have to do anything to get it) for $1 and I was in and out in 4 mins. Food, and it cost $1! The whole history of humanity has basically consisted of the great struggle of getting stuff to eat day to day. That alone defines 99.999% of the human experience. The market has solved it and how! Meanwhile, the state can't even get me one idiotic document without the most insane bureaucratic whatever. Government consists of idiots spinning in circles making us do stupid things and then stealing from us, making us suffer, and killing us if we resist. Then, what do we hear the Prez of the "land of the free" extol in his state of the union? The notion that government should run all things. This is all a measure of how insane and mixed up the world is. Why do I celebrate McDs? Because the sector that gave rise to McDs will SAVE THE WORLD. The sector that gives us drivers licenses will DESTROY THE WORLD. That is a hugely important difference, and it is why I am an anarchist. A world of anarchism would be world with infinite McDs for even cheaper plus everything else people want essentially without limit. The world run by the state is the prison, the gulag, internment camp, the concentration camp, drones, poverty, and death. So, please, understand the significance of McFish. It is a tiny thing that embeds a big idea. Society can feed itself and save itself -- flourish and be amazing -- provided we don't have to deal with the thugs, bureaucrats, killers, and parasites that this institution called the state creates. In that tiny McFish, we see the hope of humanity, the dream of all of history, the only promise for a future of human happiness and progress.

Minimum Wage

Robert Murphy - Obama's $9/Hour SOTU Minimum Wage


The Basement Beneath the Wage Floor por Jeffrey Tucker:
“Let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. This single step would raise the incomes of millions of working families.”

Why stop there? Let’s also declare that everyone should make $9,000 or $9 million per hour. If all that stands between us and total riches is the word of a president and an action by Congress, let’s get on with it!
A wage floor of any sort traps people in the basement. The higher the floor, the larger the basement. Today, millions are rattling around down there, unable to find their way out. And now the U.S. president, in the name of creating jobs, wants to make more of the unemployed more permanently unemployed.

quinta-feira, Fevereiro 14, 2013

Libertarianism: Natural Rights

Arguments for Libertarianism: Nozick’s Natural Rights:
Our rights function as “side-constraints,” Nozick says, limiting what others—including the state—may do to us. We can’t trade rights away for benefits. For example, we are prohibited from deciding that a little more happiness or a little more wealth (or a lot more) is sufficient grounds for violating a person’s rights. People “may not be sacrificed or used for the achieving of other ends without their consent,” Nozick writes. “Individuals are inviolable.”

From this Nozick moves to a basic principle of self-ownership. I own myself and thus have a right to do with myself as I please. You own yourself and have the same right. I don’t own you and you don’t own me. This gives each one of us rights not only to ourselves, but also to the fruits of our labor. (Nozick argues for this last point along Lockean lines.) In other words, Nozick takes our fundamental rights to be of the negative sort. These are rights to be free from certain acts by other people (assault, theft, enslavement, etc.), not rights to be provided with certain goods and services (a right to healthcare, or a right to education).

But this leads to an enormous question when it comes to politics, one Nozick helpfully points out: “So strong and far-reaching are these rights that they raise the question of what, if anything, the state and its officials may do. How much room do individual rights leave for the state?”

The shortest answer is “not much.”

Live abroad

Why America Should Default and You Should Live Abroad: Q&A with Doug Casey

o drama social chamado liberdade individual

A cruzada desta gente abominável nem é contra a coca-cola -- é mesmo contra a lamentável tendência das pessoas fazerem aquilo que gostam na vida --, em vez de terem respeitinho por quem tem ideias melhores para a sociedade, assim como a vontade, o poder, e a sociopatia para forçar toda a gente a comportar-se obedientemente.

O drama social chamado coca-cola

State of the Union Address

Libertarian Party Response to President Barack Obama's 2013 State of the Union Address

Lincoln, mais um tirano-chic

Agora que o filme Lincoln está nas salas de cinema, e nomeado para uns poucos Óscares, vale a pena relembrar que o verdadeiro Lincoln estava longe de ser o santo descrito pela estatolatria dominante, aliás representou - e representava - uma antítese de valores liberais.

Nas palavras de Lysander Spooner, notável liberal e autor de The Unconstitutionality of Slavery, em No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority (1870):
The principle, on which the war was waged by the North, was simply this: That men may rightfully be compelled to submit to, and support, a government that they do not want; and that resistance, on their part, makes them traitors and criminals.
The pretense that the "abolition of slavery" was either a motive or justification for the war, is a fraud of the same character with that of "maintaining the national honor."
If their object had really been to abolish slavery, or maintain liberty or justice generally, they had only to say: All, whether white or black, who want the protection of this government, shall have it; and all who do not want it, will be left in peace, so long as they leave us in peace. Had they said this, slavery would necessarily have been abolished at once; the war [1861 to 1865] would have been saved ..
Still another of the frauds of these men is, that they are now establishing, and that the war was designed to establish, "a government of consent." The only idea they have ever manifested as to what is a government of consent, is this -- that it is one to which everybody must consent, or be shot. This idea was the dominant one on which the war was carried on; and it is the dominant one, now that we have got what is called "peace."
All these cries of having "abolished slavery," of having "saved the country," of having "preserved the union," of establishing "a government of consent," and of "maintaining the national honor," are all gross, shameless, transparent cheats -- so transparent that they ought to deceive no one -- when uttered as justifications for the war, or for the government that has suceeded the war, or for now compelling the people to pay the cost of the war, or for compelling anybody to support a government that he does not want.

Minorities and Unemployment

Walter E. Williams on Minorities and Unemployment

Silly Stoopid Socialists

Hoje em dia o adjectivo "estúpido" está um pouco gasto. Por exemplo, muita gente chamou "estúpido" ao Ulrich, quando o senhor pouco inteligente obviamente não é. Quanto muito, desbocado, ou pouco dotado de "inteligência emocional". Mas, no domínio da "inteligência emocional", que dizer dos burgueses que ficaram ofendidíssimos, com imensa vergonha alheia por alguém com quem não se identificam, ao ponto de chamarem "estúpido" ao homem? Adiante.

O facto é que há coisas estúpidas. Alguém - um adulto em sociedade - que insista que 2+2=5 ou de facto -- coitado -- não tem capacidades cognitivas -- por inteiro--, ou até pode parecer ou comportar-se normalmente, mas alguma coisa na cabeça tem bicho. Alguns níveis acima deste exemplo de aritmética, por exemplo é estúpido argumentar que o salário mínimo não provoca desemprego. Ou que limitar as rendas de arrendamento não vai causar a prazo a destruição do parque imobiliário construído.

E é estúpido (esta é porreira) achar que trabalhar menos seja solução para uma crise económica. Claro que assim se alcança "pleno-emprego". Também podiam partir todos os computadores, carros, maquinaria -- aliás tudo o que facilite o trabalho. Porque o que se faz ao _ilegalizar_ trabalhar mais... é mesmo "partir" ferramentas chamadas "tempo" e "trabalho humano". Mas há quem não se envergonhe de levantar bem alto estas bandeiras socialistas.

Desemprego: solução é cortar semana de trabalho para 30 horas

Assange vs. Drones

Julian Assange on Real Time With Bill Maher _NDAA Kill List

bureaucrats vs time+money

Heathrow Notes de David Friedman:
Non EU passengers are required to show their passports, although it is not entirely clear what purpose that accomplishes. The line for doing so took about half an hour to get through. My rough estimate, based on two different calculations (one from the number of people in the line, one from the rate at which they were being processed), was that the line used up about fifty person hours per hour. Assuming that’s the average for twenty hours or so a day, it comes to a thousand person hours a day. Valuing the average traveler’s time at ten dollars an hour, that is ten thousand dollars a day worth of waiting time. To be fair, many of those people, including us, have checked luggage, so some of the time would be spent waiting for luggage if it was not spent waiting to have someone glance at their passports, so call it five thousand dollars a day of wasted time. The airport functions 365 days a year, so upwards of a million and a half dollars a year.

Eliminating that waste would not require more person hours of checking, since in any case they have to check everyone’s passport. It would require the airport to put more people on at busy times, fewer when not many passengers are coming through. I find it hard to believe that the cost of such an arrangement would come to anything close to the value of the time saved.
.. decisions on running the airport are being made by people who put very little value on either the time or the money of the airport’s customers.

A solução para a crise

A solução para a crise em livro, disponível gratuitamente para download

o contrário do comércio livre

"Comércio livre" acontece quando os políticos e burocratas saem da frente.

O que estes crápulas (Obama, Barroso, et al) estão a falar é de supressão de concorrência externa e interna; proteccionismo e favorecimento de grandes produtores politicamente bem relacionados em prejuízo dos consumidores, trabalhadores e contribuintes; levantamento de obstáculos ao exercício da liberdade económica através de regulamentos e legislação ou feita por burocratas burros ou por insiders extremamente inteligentes; mais impostos, mais corrupção, mais chicana política, mais conflito social, mais retórica bélica aplicada a questões económicas entre países, mais conflito económico permanente que exigirá mais e mais intervenção "decidida" das entidades estatais.

A incrível estupidez do aumento do salário mínimo é apenas um exemplo. Ilegaliza o trabalho das pessoas que menos valor podem produzir, que menos oportunidades terão de ascender na vida, que passarão a depender do Estado, ou a trabalhar no mercado negro (ou em actividades ilegais), reduz a actividade económica e a prosperidade que daí origina... e ao fim de algum tempo vêem estes imperialistas a pedir "guerra económica" aos patifes dos outros países que não seguiram a mesma política imbecil. Estamos entregues a estes intelectuais de talho.

Obama propõe zona de comércio livre com Europa


Are Bitcoins the Future of Currency? | Idea Channel | PBS

The role of ideas

Dani Rodrik: The Tyranny of Political Economy:
.. Frus­tra­ted by the re­a­li­ty that much of our ad­vi­ce went un­hee­ded (so many free-mar­ket so­lu­ti­ons still wai­ting to be taken up!), we tur­ned our ana­ly­ti­cal tool­kit on the be­ha­vi­or of po­li­ti­cians and bu­reau­crats them­sel­ves. We began to exa­mi­ne po­li­ti­cal be­ha­vi­or using the same con­cep­tu­al fra­me­work that we use for con­su­mer and pro­du­cer de­ci­si­ons in a mar­ket eco­no­my. Po­li­ti­cians be­ca­me in­co­me-maxi­mi­zing sup­pliers of po­li­cy fa­vors; ci­ti­zens be­ca­me rent-see­king lob­bies and spe­ci­al in­te­rests; and po­li­ti­cal sys­tems be­ca­me mar­ket­pla­ces in which votes and po­li­ti­cal in­flu­en­ce are tra­ded for eco­no­mic be­ne­fits.
.. The more we clai­med to be ex­plai­ning, the less room was left for im­pro­ving mat­ters. If po­li­ti­cians’ be­ha­vi­or is de­ter­mi­ned by the ve­sted in­te­rests to which they are be­hol­den, eco­no­mists’ ad­vo­ca­cy of po­li­cy re­forms is bound to fall on deaf ears. The more com­ple­te our so­ci­al sci­en­ce, the more ir­re­le­vant our po­li­cy ana­ly­sis.
There are three ways in which ideas shape in­te­rests. First, ideas de­ter­mi­ne how po­li­ti­cal eli­tes de­fi­ne them­sel­ves and the ob­jec­ti­ves they pur­sue ..

Se­cond, ideas de­ter­mi­ne po­li­ti­cal ac­tors’ views about how the world works ..

Most im­por­tant from the per­spec­ti­ve of po­li­cy ana­ly­sis, ideas de­ter­mi­ne the stra­te­gies that po­li­ti­cal ac­tors be­lie­ve they can pur­sue ..
Po­li­ti­cal eco­no­my un­doub­ted­ly remains im­por­tant. Wit­hout a clear un­der­stan­ding of who gains and who loses from the sta­tus quo, it is dif­fi­cult to make sense of our exis­ting po­li­cies. But an ex­ces­si­ve focus on ve­sted in­te­rests can ea­si­ly di­vert us from the cri­ti­cal con­tri­bu­ti­on that po­li­cy ana­ly­sis and po­li­ti­cal en­tre­pre­neur­ship can make. The pos­si­bi­li­ties of eco­no­mic chan­ge are li­mi­ted not just by the re­a­li­ties of po­li­ti­cal power, but also by the po­ver­ty of our ideas.

Aaron Swartz (4)

No seguimento de Aaron Swartz (3),

Freedom to Connect: Aaron Swartz (1986-2013) on Victory To Save Open Internet, Fight Online Censors