sexta-feira, junho 28, 2013

Social Justice vs Self Ownership


Walter E Williams - Social Justice vs Self Ownership

state intervention

The nonsense behind state intervention:
The basic fallacy is to subscribe to ideas that are consistent with the cost of production, or the labour theory of value, and to try to shoe-horn it into the reality of consumer price subjectivity. The list of economists who have made this mistake is far longer than those that understand the error, including Thomas Aquinas, Adam Smith, David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx. It is the bedrock of socialist thought, which divides us pejoratively into the exploited and capitalist classes. The truth is very different: the consumer through his choices decides prices and what is made, and any producer that fails to respond goes out of business.
Through relentless government propaganda nearly everyone today believes that state intervention is a force for good, but the truth is very different. Government intervention amounts to reducing wages and destroying savings through monetary inflation, while putting prices up. Admittedly, there can be a short-term artificial boost from lower interest rates and monetary expansion, but this is quickly reversed when prices start to rise.

A reasoned analysis of the true effects of government intervention reveals the truth: it comes at considerable economic cost, disrupting economic progress and leaving us all worse off as a result. Is it any surprise that reflation has now finally ceased to even generate short-term benefits?

Imports, Exports & Exchange Rates


Milton Friedman - Imports, Exports & Exchange Rates

Insight Liberal do Dia

Snowden’s Flight to Freedom:
In the day-to-day machinations of the state, we are largely ruled by bad laws and legislation enacted by people long dead — the worst of it passed 100 years ago — and they are enforced by bureaucrats and players today who are not subject to any aspect of the democratic system. This combination of legislative cruft plus bureaucratic inertia on behalf of public and private elites is the real source of the tyranny of our times.

Profit, Loss and the Entrepreneur


Profit, Loss and the Entrepreneur | by Joseph T. Salerno

governos "liberais"

The tendency to impose oppressive restraints on private property, to abuse political power, and to refuse to respect or recognize any free sphere outside or beyond the dominion of the state is too deeply ingrained in the mentality of those who control the governmental apparatus of compulsion and coercion for them ever to be able to resist it voluntarily. A liberal government is a contradictio in adjecto.

a burocracia odeia as pessoas

A recordar neste maravilhoso dia de greve - para o funcionário público, não existem clientes -- existem utentes. No sector produtivo, um cliente traz mais dinheiro para a empresa. No sector não-produtivo um utente representa um esgotamento de recursos que poderiam ser melhor usados no "bem comum" - ou seja e por exemplo - melhores instalações e melhor equipamento, produção de material cívico, acções de sensibilização do público para não abuso dos serviços estatais pelos quais devem estar eternamente gratos, reformulação da imagem institucional, acções de formação, protocolos com outros serviços, café e bolinhos na cafetaria, observatórios e estudos, retiros de dirigentes, concursos para modernização dos serviços, representação sindical mais bem remunerada, etc etc

Reforma permanente

António Costa. “Reformistas de todo o mundo, uni-vos”

Have you ever noticed how statists are constantly “reforming” their own handiwork? Education reform. Health-care reform. Welfare reform. Tax reform. The very fact that they’re always busy “reforming” is an implicit admission that they didn’t get it right the first 50 times.
Laurence Reed

Intelectual-fascismo


Thomas Sowell - Our Intellectual-In-Chief

Freedom is Under Attack Incrementally

Freedom is Under Attack Incrementally por Julie Borowski:
Many Americans have probably read about oppressive governments in history books and thought, “Why didn’t the people stand up and stop this from happening?” In hindsight, it just seems so obvious that the people should have noticed and protested government overstepping its bounds. But often, it is less noticeable than some people might think.

Oppressive governments do not usually take away all freedom overnight. The government chips away a little freedom at a time. The slow and gradual process is done on purpose to prevent the people from rising up against the government. History shows how important it is for us to remain vigilant and know our rights.

Drug Myths


John Stossel - Drug Myths

Green nightmare

Obama: driving a green dagger into the heart of the American dream:
It promises another $2.7 billion for "Actionable Climate Science" (whatever that is) – almost all of which, we know from bitter previous experience, is going to end up in the sweaty palms of junk-science troughers in the tradition of Michael Mann and NASA's James Hansen rather than seekers-after-truth who genuinely care about the scientific method.
It will promote "Clean Coal" using a technology – Carbon Capture and Sequestration – which has not been tested successfully anywhere in the world, which is massively expensive, monstrously energy-inefficient and potentially quite stupendously dangerous.

It will give still more power to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a hard-left political organisation swarming with deep-green ideologues fully committed to reducing living standards, killing consumer freedoms and hamstringing business with ever-more-stringent, scientifically-ill-founded environmental regulations based on nothing more than the "precautionary principle."
Oh, and of course, it will create lots of "green jobs." The kind that so far has cost the US taxpayer up to $2 million per job in subsidies.

And more Solyndras. There'll be plenty more of those, too.

euro-presstitutes


Daniel Hannan - How the EU buys journalists

soluções partidárias

Eu continuo a acreditar que um entendimento entre partidos -- todos juntos, com cagança e com pensamento positivo!! -- permitiria sair da crise em dois tempos...

Resumo esquemático das soluções partidárias para a economia:

Unimpeachable Tyranny


President Obama: Unimpeachable?

o cimento socialista

Semear no cimento por João César das Neves:
Existe em Portugal uma máquina poderosíssima para destruir iniciativa, investimento, produção e emprego. Pervertendo as suas finalidades originais, muitos serviços públicos, mecanismos sociais e até algumas empresas perseguem, ferem e muitas vezes matam os projectos produtivos. Boa parte da nossa actividade e emprego dirige-se explicitamente a estragar, prejudicar e estiolar os negócios.
Se alguém persistir em afrontar esse desprezo público e criar o tal negócio, tem logo à sua espera uma multidão com a função de garantir que a coisa falha. Nominalmente as suas tarefas dirigem-se a propósitos louváveis, do notariado ao ambiente, higiene, cultura, infância, cidadania, etc. Só que todas essas finalidades tão prestimosas têm como único resultado comum os enormes custos, bloqueios e dificuldades que criam à vida empresarial. Cada fiscal e inspector aparece como anjo vingador, colocando um princípio abstrato acima da vida concreta. Como as leis foram escritas por deputados com ideias vagas da realidade do sector, as oportunidades de abuso são incontáveis. Para caçar o joio arrancam muito trigo. Tudo considerado, até devemos louvar os funcionários por se aproveitarem muito menos do que podiam.
Em cima disso, os impostos esmifram estupidamente os poucos que apanham, matando neles a galinha dos ovos de ouro. As pressões políticas sobre as grandes empresas e as autárquicas sobre as médias são constantes. Dá a sensação de que produção e comercialização são actividades nocivas que devem ser reprimidas a todo o custo. De facto, no deserto e cemitério não há problemas sociais ou ecológicos.

Myths about the Great Depression and the New Deal


Top Three Myths about the Great Depression and the New Deal

Rant Liberal do Dia

Não sei o que devo achar das reinvindicações dos grevistas, no que diz respeito a mais benesses, ou manutenção das que já gozam. É que têm que ser pagas por alguém. E é uma greve da função pública. Ora, vejo muito pouca gente a dizer que "paguem os privados". A não ser os alucinados do costume que bradam contra as multinacionais, etc, como se pudessem de repete meter metade da população portuguesa no seu payroll. A maior parte dos protestantes dirige-se ao Governo. Mas o Governo e a classe política no poder um dia sairá de cena, e esta gente -- que também reclama a demissão do presente Governo! -- de certeza quer continuar a ser paga pelo Orçamento de Estado. Se retirarmos à estrutura do Estado toda a função pública, assim como a classe política que também nada produz, não fica ninguém. Se houvesse um "Estado", uma organização para além dos produtivos, e dos funcionários públicos e classe política, que pudesse pagar os "direitos sociais"... mas não há. Não há intermediário entre os produtivos e os não produtivos. Ou seja, retóricas à parte, a ideia é mesmo os privados trabalharem, pagarem, e calarem - como bons servos feudais de uma aristocracia estatal.

quinta-feira, junho 27, 2013

The rhetoric of democracy


The rhetoric of democracy

Libertarian Anarchy

Libertarian Anarchy:
States are criminal organizations. All states, not just the obviously totalitarian or repressive ones.… I intend this statement to be understood literally and not as some form of rhetorical exaggeration. The argument is simple. Theft, robbery, kidnapping and murder are all crimes. Those who engage in such activities, whether on their own behalf or on behalf of others are, by definition, criminals. In taxing the people of a country, the state engages in an activity that is morally equivalent to theft or robbery; in putting some people in prison, especially those who are convicted of so-called victimless crimes or when it drafts people into the armed services, the state is guilty of kidnapping or false imprisonment; in engaging in wars that are other than purely defensive, or, even if defensive, when the means of defence employed are disproportionate and indiscriminate, the state is guilty of manslaughter or murder.

A hipocrisia da esquerda quanto às guerras de Obama (26)

No seguimento de A hipocrisia da esquerda quanto às guerras de Obama (25)


Jeremy Scahill's "Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield"

socialismos

Já terá dito o Molotov que o fascismo (ou "nacional-socialismo"), comparado com o comunismo (dito "internacional-socialismo") era só "uma questão de gosto pessoal"

descubra as diferenças:
entre o programa patriótico e de direita da Frente Nacional em França e o programa patriótico de esquerda do PCP em Portugal . A mim o do PCP parece-me menos isolacionista e menos intervencionista na banca. Mas admito ter de comparar melhor.

Assimilation And Acculturation


Thomas Sowell - Assimilation And Acculturation

política sindical

Financiamento e independência dos sindicatos por João Miranda:
O que é que acontece quando um sindicato em vez de ser financiado pelos seus membros é financiado pelo Estado?

1. Os interesses dos sindicatos tornam-se com o tempo diferentes dos interesses dos trabalhadores. Os sindicatos tornam-se fáceis de controlar por quem controla o financiamento. Sindicatos passam a depender de quem tem poder para legislar ou de quem tem poder para influenciar a legislação. Sindicatos ficam sob controlo dos partidos políticos.
5. Sindicatos tenderão a ser pouco construtivos e a defender reivindicações irrealistas e populistas. A função das reivindicações irrealistas é captar alguma simpatia de curto prazo dos trabalhadores. O sindicato tem interesse em manter o seu estatuto pelo custo mais baixo possível. Mas para o sindicato é indiferente o sucesso dessas reivindicações ou se estas são construtivas. Para o sindicato as consequências de longo prazo são irrelevantes. O sucesso do sindicato não depende do sucesso económico dos trabalhadores a longo prazo.

Caça a quem teme

O homem à esquerda foi não-oportuno, está em fuga, e refugia-se no submundo. é claramente um traidor. quem encontrar, é favor entregar ao quarto 101.


fonte

estado empresário

O fim do estado empresário? por André Abrantes do Amaral:
O que se passa no Brasil é diferente do desejado pelos portugueses. Se aqueles parecem compreender que o dinheiro que o Estado cobra em impostos não é distribuído, mas encaminhado para quem tem ligações ao poder político, por cá não é assim. Apesar do sucedido com as obras públicas, os financiamentos às empresas públicas e os contratos com as privadas protegidas pelo Estado, em Portugal pede-se mais despesa e intervenção estatal. Pagamos a factura de um socialismo que há muito deixou de ajudar os pobres e apoia quem está no topo dos contactos e da agenda política, mas, porque a maioria está instalada, pouco importa.

No same laws


There's No Reason We Should All Have To Abide By The Same Laws! from Amanda BillyRock

The Case Against Socially Responsible Business

The Case Against Socially Responsible Business:
.. for-profit companies that take a long time horizon in their decision-making are likely to make more social and environmental investments. Things like training workers, bolstering communities, and protecting ecosystems can take a long time to pay off for private companies. When they do, the return -- including a stronger labor pool, a wealthier consumer base, fewer working days lost to strikes and protests, and greater employee loyalty -- can be comparable to other for-profit investments.

In fact, strictly for-profit companies can be among the best social investors because they apply the same discipline to these investments that they would to other parts of their core business. Energy and mining companies, for example, have some of the longest time horizons in the private sector, and they tend to be big social investors as well. Some European companies have actually stopped issuing quarterly reports to shift the attention of analysts to the long term. And because they are still targeting a single bottom line, profit, there's no loss of clarity about their mission or erosion of transparency for shareholders.

Clarity and transparency are important parts of the for-profit model's inherent value. Chief executives know what shareholders expect of them, and there is a straightforward, verifiable, and comparable way to measure their performance: profit and loss. This is not the case for companies with triple bottom lines. Even if companies measure the effects of their operations on people and the planet, every company may choose a different set of metrics, and the weight given to each metric in their decisions may be far from obvious. Shareholders in for-profit companies already have to worry about executives piling up perks and building empires; a triple bottom line may muddy the waters even more.

Police soldiers


The Wire - This drug thing, this ain't police work.
This drug thing, this ain't police work. No, it ain't. I mean, I can send any fool with a badge and a gun up on them corners and jack a crew and grab vials. But policing? I mean, you call something a war and pretty soon everybody gonna be running around acting like warriors. They gonna be running around on a damn crusade, storming corners, slapping on cuffs, racking up body counts. And when you at war, you need a fucking enemy. And pretty soon, damn near everybody on every corner is your fucking enemy. And soon the neighborhood that you're supposed to be policing, that's just occupied territory.

Rant Liberal do Dia

Ministério corta salário total a professores em greve parcial

Esta notícia já é da semana passada mas ilustra bem um conjunto de incentivos perversos que dão origem a comportamentos canalhas.

Em qualquer emprego do sector produtivo, se um trabalhador (ou série deles) boicotasse cirurgicamente as funções mais importantes do seu trabalho (por exemplo faltando a reuniões-chave, ou falhando com relatórios-chave, ou escusando-se a tomar decisões-chave), como chantagem, ia para a rua - mais cedo ou mais tarde. Nem na empresa privada mais esclerozada isto seria admitido.

Ora, no muito socialista sistema de "educação" estatal, isto não tem importância. A sabotagem das avaliações é para ser penalizada só com o corte de um salário diário, e ficamos todos amigos. E discute-se que quanto muito que o desconto no salário devia ser proporcional à falta de assiduidade daquelas horas - quando obviamente o efeito no sistema é muito mais profundo.

Tanto de um lado (Ministério) como do outro (sindicatos) tratam os professores como se fossem jornaleiros, ou figurantes pagos à hora. É uma mentalidade feudal, quanto muito da idade da revolução industrial - ou não fossem as escolas estatais geridas como fábricas. Os alunos e os pais, esses, quesaestejamcalados.

Na nossa vida não confiamos nada a quem vai falhar de propósito justamente quando mais é importante - mas toda a gente parece feliz em proclamar que a escolaridade é importantíssima, e é tão bom que seja administrada por um sistema político-burocrático capturado por sindicatos mafiosos.

Truth in Media


Ben Swann "Truth in Media" Kickstarter Video

Criminal Government

What if Laws Applied to Everyone? por Andrew P. Napolitano:
What if government officials have written laws that apply only to us and not to them? What if we gave them the power to protect our freedoms and our safety and they used that power to trick and trap some of us? What if government officials broke the laws we hired them to enforce? What if they prosecuted others for breaking the same laws they broke?
.. What do we do about a government that breaks the laws we have hired it to enforce?

Ron Paul talking about computer surveillance


Ron Paul talking about computer surveillance in 1984
BÓNUS: Ron Paul's Texas Straight Talk 6/10/13: Government Spying: Should We Be Shocked?

Undermine State Power

State Power and How It Might Be Undermined por Robert Higgs:
State power is the most dangerous force in modern life. State rulers, seeking their own aggrandizement and enrichment, employ this power systematically to plunder and abuse their subjects. Of course, they cannot act in this way without the assistance of many others, among whom some assist willingly, some in return for adequate compensation, and many only under duress.

To maintain their grip on power, state rulers (1) bamboozle as many subjects as possible; (2) co-opt those whose cooperation or support is essential by bribing them with various sorts of payoffs; (3) intimidate those who are not essential and not fooled by threatening them with fines, imprisonment, and other punishments; and (4) kill those who are not essential, are not fooled, and will not bend to intimidation.
Anyone who seeks to stymie or overturn state power must block these state actions or render them less effective. Resisters therefore have many options.
  1. First, they may work to reduce the number of people who succumb to the rulers’ bamboozlement by exposing the rulers’ lies, spreading truthful information, and revealing the rulers’ venality and cynical disregard of the people’s natural rights and the general public interest ..
  2. Second, resisters may alter the incentives of those who cooperate or support the state in return for various payoffs ..
  3. Third, subjects who are currently intimidated by the state’s threats of fines, imprisonment, and other punishments might be encouraged by the proliferation of black markets ..
  4. Fourth, in response to the state’s resort to killing those who will not bend to its intimidation, the best course of action is probably emigration ..

The Incentives Of Affirmative Action


Thomas Sowell - The Incentives Of Affirmative Action

Libertarian countries

Answering Michael Lind’s Question: Why Is No Country Libertarian? por Marlo Lewis:
.. when political communities adopt libertarian institutions, principles, and policies such as property rights, freedom of speech and association, freedom of contract, free trade, and legislative checks and balances, the results are generally good, and when communities adopt antithetical institutions and policies the results are generally bad.
Why are there no full-blown libertarian regimes in the real world? The answer to this question is so obvious it’s a wonder Lind hasn’t thought of it. Libertarians have actually explicated it in detail. It’s called public choice theory.
Most countries throughout history have been ruled by thugs and thieves. Fleecing ‘enemies’ for the benefit of ‘friends’ has been the central art of politics from time immemorial ..
.. Limiting and scaling back government is contrary to the class interest not only of politicians but also of bureaucrats, lobbyists, activist groups, and much of the media, which would have fewer controversies and scandals to cover if government were smaller and less important.

Big government, moreover, is truly an addiction — an appetite that grows with feeding ..
In addition, each disaster spawned by government intervention (e.g. the recent financial crisis) sets the stage for further interventions (e.g. the stimulus program). Blame-shifting politicians attribute their policy debacles to “market failure,” the liberal media disseminate the anti-capitalist narrative, and rationally ignorant voters typically are too busy to research the issue for themselves.
E.J. Dionne’s big question:
..Might it be there are no libertarian “countries” because people like E.J. Dionne (who apologize for central power) and people like Lindsey Graham (who crave central power) and people like Jeffrey Immelt (who benefit financially from central power) belong to a parasitic nexus that feeds on the fears and hard work of average citizens?

This nexus forms through processes generally referred to as “public choice economics.” James Buchanan (a libertarian) won a Nobel Prize for explaining how and why this process happens, and libertarians understand these dynamics better than anyone. Understanding why power corrupts doesn’t make us long to have power. It makes us long for a way to dissipate it.
Fundamentally, therefore, libertarians are anti-utopian and skeptical of power. We think people who are determined to be thoroughly facile in the face of growing government abuse are simply enchanted by the idea that if you get the right people at the top of the hierarchy, everything’s going to be okay.
The Myth of 19th-Century Laissez-Faire: Who Benefits Today? por Roderick Long:
.. Libertarianism is great for ordinary people, but not for the power elites that control countries and determine what policies they implement, and who don’t welcome seeing their privileged status subjected to free-market competition. And ordinary people don’t agitate for libertarian policies because most of them are not familiar with the full case for libertarianism’s benefits, in large part because the education system is controlled by the aforementioned elites.

Lind’s question is analogous to ones that might have been asked a few centuries ago: If religious toleration, or equality for women, or the abolition of slavery are so great, why haven’t any countries tried them? All such questions amount to asking: If liberation from oppression is so great for the oppressed, why haven’t their oppressors embraced it?
‘The Question Libertarians Just Can’t Answer’:
So this is the unanswerable question? What’s supposed to be so hard about it? Ninety percent of what libertarians write about answers it at least implicitly.

Let’s reword the question slightly, in order to draw out the answer. You’ll note that when stated correctly, the question contains an implicit non sequitur.

(1) “If your approach is so great, why doesn’t local law enforcement want to give up the money, supplies, and authority that come from the drug war?”

quarta-feira, junho 26, 2013

The Morality of Capitalism


Yaron Brook - The Morality of Capitalism

Is Market Failure Sufficient?

Is Market Failure a Sufficient Condition for Government Intervention? por Art Carden e Steve Horwitz:
.. In introductory economics classes, students learn about several types of "market failure," which occurs when some attributes of the market prevent it from producing an efficient outcome ..
Externalities, public goods, asymmetric information, and market power provide necessary—but insufficient—conditions for intervention to be justified. ..
.. the mere existence of a negative externality does not ipso facto mean that government can improve on the market. Note that externality problems are market "failures" only in comparison to the perfectly competitive model's equilibrium. In other words, the "failure" here is not that markets "do not work" in practice, but that they fail to live up to a blackboard ideal. As it turns out, by that criterion, markets "fail" all the time!
.. Implicit in negative-externality arguments for intervention is the claim that the political process will actually do what economists say it should do. ..
.. those who use "negative externalities" as a justification for government action must show two things: first, that the supposed market failure cannot be corrected either through entrepreneurship or by changes in the rules of the game (e.g., more clearly defining property rights to solve the negative externalities associated with a commons6); and second, that the government-imposed solution is both consistent with political incentives and superior to the imperfect market outcome. Unfortunately, people who argue for government intervention to correct externalities rarely carry out this second step. Even more unfortunately, economists rarely carry out this second step.
People make some obvious mistakes when discussing public goods. The most common one is to take the word "public" in "public good" to mean "provided by government."
.. Pointing out imperfections in the market does not ipso facto justify government intervention, and the only certain way that market "failures" are "failures" is by comparison to an unreachable theoretical idea. Market imperfections are not magic wands that make market solutions and government imperfections disappear. Real understanding of comparative political economy begins rather than ends with the recognition that markets are not always perfect.

Technology vs Politics


How technology moves society - not politics: Lasse Birk Olesen at TEDxCopenhagen 2012

Are Libertarians "Anarchists"?

Are Libertarians "Anarchists"?, um artigo interessante de Murray Rothbard, antes da sua fase mais canónica, quando terá cunhado (e/ou popularizado) o termo anarco-capitalismo:
We must conclude that the question "are libertarians anarchists?" simply cannot be answered on etymological grounds. The vagueness of the term itself is such that the libertarian system would be considered anarchist by some people and archist by others. We must therefore turn to history for enlightenment; here we find that none of the proclaimed anarchist groups correspond to the libertarian position, that even the best of them have unrealistic and socialistic elements in their doctrines. Furthermore, we find that all of the current anarchists are irrational collectivists, and therefore at opposite poles from our position. We must therefore conclude that we are not anarchists, and that those who call us anarchists are not on firm etymological ground, and are being completely unhistorical. On the other hand, it is clear that we are not archists either: we do not believe in establishing a tyrannical central authority that will coerce the noninvasive as well as the invasive. Perhaps, then, we could call ourselves by a new name: nonarchist. Then, when, in the jousting of debate, the inevitable challenge "are you an anarchist?" is heard, we can, for perhaps the first and last time, find ourselves in the luxury of the "middle of the road" and say, "Sir, I am neither an anarchist nor an archist, but am squarely down the nonarchic middle of the road."
PS - pergunta-se, face às blasfémias proferidas por um jovem Rothbard ao que viria ser o Rothbardismo &mash; enfim&mash;, parte do processo de amadurecimento pessoal e de uma subdoutrina que praticamente não existia... se alguém tomasse este texto para descreditar o Rothbard e a filosofia ancap... qual dos três tipos de erro estaria a cometer — petulância por ignorância, fraqueza de raciocínio, ou malícia?

VID The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure (2)

No seguimento de The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure

Ludwig von Mises was right

Ludwig von Mises and the current economic crisis:
Next October 10th will mark the 40th anniversary of the death of Ludwig von Mises, one of the prominent figures of the Austrian School of economics and one of the founders of modern libertarianism. Von Mises devoted his entire life as a scholar, first in Vienna in the early 20th century and then in New York, where he taught until 1969, to the rebuttal of the socialist theories and to the development of praxeology as a basic concept of human actions.

The anniversary of his death coincides with the worst financial crisis that the world has been through since the end of World War II – a crisis that has its origin in the excessive indebtedness of private and public sectors and the bubble burst on subprime mortgages. For many economists, it was caused by the easy-money monetary policy followed by the Fed for many years.

If Von Mises were alive today he would see that many of his predictions have become reality.

Property Rights


Armen Alchian - Property Rights

Tyranny brewing

All the Infrastructure a Tyrant Would Need, Courtesy of Bush and Obama:
The American people have no idea who the president will be in 2017. Nor do we know who'll sit on key Senate oversight committees, who will head the various national-security agencies, or whether the moral character of the people doing so, individually or in aggregate, will more closely resemble George Washington, .. or Vladimir Putin.
What we know is that the people in charge will possess the capacity to be tyrants -- to use power oppressively and unjustly -- to a degree that Americans in 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, or 2000 could've scarcely imagined. To an increasing degree, we're counting on having angels in office and making ourselves vulnerable to devils. Bush and Obama have built infrastructure any devil would lust after.
It's time for the people to pressure their elected representatives, so that, through Congress, we can dismantle the infrastructure Bush and Obama have built. In less than four years, an unknown person will start presiding over the national-security state. He or she will be an ambitious power seeker who will guiltlessly misrepresent his or her character to appeal to different voters, lie countless times on the campaign trail, and break numerous promises while in office. That's a best-case scenario that happens every time!

For once, let's preempt that threat.

no such thing as ’consumer policy’


There's no such thing as 'consumer policy'

afinal já não há modelo sueco??

Is the British left falling out of love with Sweden?:
Now that Sweden is shaken by riots which look embarrassingly similar to the 2011 London riots – the politically correct interpretation of which was that they were an outcry against inequality, poverty and spending cuts – our bien-pensants are hastily rewriting their image of the country. The BBC now reports:
‘Many said there was a wider context of a growing gap between rich and poor in Sweden. […] Sweden has seen the biggest increase in inequality of any developed country over the past 25 years.’
The Guardian adds:
‘After decades of practising the Swedish model of generous welfare benefits, Stockholm has reduced the role of the state since the 1990s, spurring the fastest growth in inequality of any advanced OECD economy. […] successive governments have failed to substantially reduce long-term youth unemployment and poverty, which have affected immigrant communities worst.’
The comments below the latter article are a delight. Suddenly, everybody has known it all along: Sweden is a neoliberal hellhole. People riot because Sweden has private schools, private welfare providers, spending cuts, and worst of all, private healthcare. The rioters may not be quite aware of it, but they are ‘really’ rioting against the free-market fundamentalism of PM Reinfeldt and his predecessors. The symbolic Sweden has been moved into the past, and we have always been at war with Eastasia.

I’m not an expert on Sweden, but as far as I can judge, it is a very unusual model which, by British standards, would be considered highly interventionist in some respects, and very liberal in other respects. Of course, no country is simply ‘more liberal’ or ‘more interventionist’ than another country in every single respect, but the Scandinavian countries show an especially diverse policy mix.

So far, British Scandinavophiles have ignored this heterogeneity entirely. They have clung to their symbolic Sweden, a place where people do little else but pay taxes, consume public services, and then pay some more taxes. I have been complaining for quite a while about this wilfully selective, reductionist perspective. But now that it’s gone, I don’t think I like what has replaced it any better.

Street capitalism

Jornalismo piroso à parte...


Child's Play: Indian street youth develop model banking system

the Government is Vicious and Foolish

Why the Government is So Often Vicious and Foolish por Aaron Ross Powell:
.. I want to show how a sort of moral thinking the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle gave us—today called virtue ethics—illuminates the “libertarian attitude” of skepticism, distrust of power, and an attraction to freedom of choice about how we live our lives ..
My libertarianism, then, is an attitude about state power, but it’s an attitude grounded in the idea that the sort of life I ought to live—the sort of person I ought to be—means that I should reject the state in all but its most minimal form.

There’s something morally distasteful about both exercising state power and wanting the state to exercise power, about the desire to use the state’s monopoly on violent force to get your way.
Instead of virtue, the state often displays its opposite, vice. Instead of wisdom, the state acts with foolishness.

This shouldn’t surprise us. The state’s power makes it attractive to the unvirtuous. If you enjoy the use of force, there’s no better spot to do it than within government. If you want to rig the rules in your favor, the state’s where you turn. If you have an urge to rule, the best place for that is obvious.
Skepticism finds its source in thinking that a person must not be very wise if he thinks he can run other people’s lives better than they can. Distaste for power grows from watching the imperiousness of politicians and the officious meddling of bureaucrats. And a deep caring for others as beings worthy of respect leads us to reject calls to override their judgements with the opinions of majorities or elites.
Very nearly everything the state does is either vicious or foolish, which is why the state so often appears as a cudgel wielded by clowns. So we have good reason to be skeptical of its claims to virtue and wisdom and its pleas for more power. A libertarian attitude finds itself on firm ground.

Selfish


Yaron Answers: Why Use The Word "Selfish"?

People Liking Different Things

The Problem of People Liking Different Things:
Although my libertarianism has many different “foundations,” I want to focus on this one in particular. I take it as a truism that people like different things, and likewise that the world is full of scarce resources with alternate uses. Any system of human “governance” (in the broadest sense of the term) must come to terms with these two facts. I am a libertarian, at least partially, because I believe the market system tends to better rationalize different tastes and to produce more abundance of those scarce things.
.. there is only one solution that produces a rational, socially optimal result: property rights and rights of transfer. ..
.. Property rights create social cohesion because they keep us from fighting over how property will be used. They are a socially optimal solution to the problem that people like different things, and they can be endorsed by people with severely contrasting tastes. I let you have dominion over your property because I want dominion over mine. I’ll let you play your Barry Manilow if you let me play my Bob Dylan. And if you’re playing your music too loud, I’ll knock on your door.

Yes, this doesn’t solve all the problems that come with people liking different things, but it does an amazing job of solving most of them. Moreover, a system of respect for property rights does not invent new, unnecessary problems. Under normal situations, it is not a problem that you listen to Barry Manilow and I listen to Bob Dylan, as long as we respect property rights. If we politicize music preferences, however, we will invent a problem out of thin air, namely what are “we” going to listen to?
After something is politicized, “keeping to yourself” is no longer an option. Instead, you have to play the political game if you want to live your life according to your values.
I am a libertarian because I hate the game. We live in a time that increasingly fetishizes democratic choice as a method of rationalizing our disparate preferences. This is ludicrous. Democratic choice is at best a method of solving some collective action problems that are truly problems, and it is hardly ever a real problem that people like different things.

Education And Bureaucracy

’end all taxpayer funding’ & hipocrisy

On Cheap Shots por Don Boudreaux:
.. If I could push a button to end all taxpayer funding of higher education, I would emphatically do so immediately, even if doing so meant the elimination of my job. No qualifications; no conditions; no transition period. I would end it all, now and unconditionally.
Is it hypocritical for people who believe that the use of petroleum will destroy the earth to drive or to ride in petroleum-powered automobiles and airplanes? To buy food from supermarkets and books from Amazon or Barnes & Noble if these retailers are supplied by trucks fueled with petroleum? To accept, in the midst of a heart attack, a ride to the hospital in a petroleum-powered ambulance? I actually don’t think so. I accuse such people not of hypocrisy but of obliviousness to the enormous benefits of modernity. Now you might accuse me of obliviousness to the enormous benefits of state intervention. That’d be an acceptable line of argument – unlike the unacceptable line of argument that, because I work at a state university, my arguments against state intervention should be ignored.
BTW, suppose that I – an employee of a state university – argued in favor of high taxes and state intervention. What is it about my status as a state employee that would give that argument more credence than is the credence accorded to my arguing against my narrow self-interest that society would be well served by a dramatic roll back of the role of government?

Mugged by reality


Milton Friedman - Hope And Change

RELER - The role of ideas

escravatura intergeracional

The welfare commons por Philip Booth:
.. the welfare state is a kind of ‘commons’ where we all graze at the expense of everybody else .. In particular, we all graze at the expense of future generations. Pension and healthcare costs – probably the biggest two items of the welfare state – involve huge inter-generational transfers. Today’s workers vote for pension benefits to be paid by people who are not yet born. The same applies to health as health spending is mainly incurred at the end of life. Instead of saving for health costs, we expect future voters to pay for it. Of course, as populations age, this leads to bigger obligations on proportionately smaller workforces.

Economists have worked out the rough order of magnitude of the debts that we are passing on to the next generation. In the UK, the explicit national debt is of the order of 80 per cent of national income. But, the implicit welfare debts are about 400-500 per cent of national income. We are facing huge increases in taxes to finance these costs. Some countries may not survive the demographic transition. So, the government is in debt – the debt we all know about – because it cannot finance current welfare commitments. But, this is nothing compared with the future commitments which it has made.

terça-feira, junho 25, 2013

Façade Capitalism Means Façade Freedom


DONALD BOUDREAUX v1 FOR PUBLIC
Façade Capitalism Means Façade Freedom:
The dogma that says that economic activities are somehow less important or uplifting than are non-economic activities is mistaken. And it is also dangerous because it helps to fuel the fatal and false distinction between economic and non-economic liberty.

Liberty is whole; it is indivisible. To treat it otherwise is to threaten it in full – to weaken it on all fronts. And the consequence will be anything but progress toward a more civil, more peaceful, and more prosperous society.

"Social Justice"

What's Wrong With Mushy? por David Friedman:
An issue that I keep coming back to in my exchanges with various of the Bleeding Heart Libertarians is what I see as their unwillingness to offer a clear description of their position. It comes up in details of what they write, such as Jason Brennan’s use of the phrase “minimally decent lives,” a term I have been describing as dishonest mush.
Clear language promotes clear thought, fuzzy language makes possible unclear thought. The less clearly your ideas are defined, the harder it is to see problems with them, the easier to evade problems when other people point them out.
Cartoon Libertarians, Social Justice, and Bleeding Hearts:
One possible response is that advocates of social justice believe that the justification of the society depends in part on the implications for poor people. But so does very nearly everyone else. Utilitarians believe that the justification of the society depends on how well it serves everyone’s interests, the poor and disadvantaged included. Similarly for alternative candidates. The concept that, according to Brennan, has a definite meaning in philosophy either has a meaning that nobody could take seriously or a meaning that distinguishes it from practically none of the alternative concepts—the only exception I can think of is a pure deontological position that pays no attention at all to consequences. I agree with Jason that consequences matter, but that agreement does not define social justice.

restitution and opposition


Yaron Answers: Should Opponents Of Social Security Accept Social Security Payments?
Government Grants and Scholarships:
The recipient of a public scholarship is morally justified only so long as he regards it as restitution and opposes all forms of welfare statism. Those who advocate public scholarships, have no right to them; those who oppose them, have. If this sounds like a paradox, the fault lies in the moral contradictions of welfare statism, not in its victims.

Since there is no such thing as the right of some men to vote away the rights of others, and no such thing as the right of the government to seize the property of some men for the unearned benefit of others—the advocates and supporters of the welfare state are morally guilty of robbing their opponents, and the fact that the robbery is legalized makes it morally worse, not better. The victims do not have to add self-inflicted martyrdom to the injury done to them by others; they do not have to let the looters profit doubly, by letting them distribute the money exclusively to the parasites who clamored for it. Whenever the welfare-state laws offer them some small restitution, the victims should take it . . . .

Clientelismos

O que se vê e o que não se vê por Bruno Alves:
.. o dito estudo fala apenas do positivo efeito “que se vê”, mas ignora olimpicamente o negativo custo “que não se vê”. Satisfeitos por verem os “incentivos” públicos permitirem às empresas que os receberam criar empregos, tendemos a esquecer que o dinheiro para pagar os ditos “incentivos” teve que vir de qualquer lado – tendo em conta que o “negócio” do Estado é obter receita dos cidadãos, todo e qualquer “apoio” que este dê é proveniente do dinheiro dos indivíduos e empresas que, com os seus impostos, financiam a “generosidade” pública. Esse dinheiro que tanto jeito deu aos que dele beneficiaram terá certamente feito alguma falta aos que dele tiveram de abdicar. Infelizmente, o estudo não diz quantos empregos se perderam por um restaurante ter perdido dinheiro com a subida do IVA, ou por uma empresa não poder suportar os descontos para a Segurança Social de um dos seus empregados.


O estudo ignora também um outro aspecto pernicioso desta aparentemente positiva criação de postos de trabalho: ela resulta apenas e só da decisão política de atribuir a esta ou àquela empresa o “apoio”, em detrimento de outra. Enquanto que numa “normal” situação de “mercado”, uma empresa é “premiada” através da preferência individual de cada um dos “clientes” que a ela recorrem, sempre que o Estado escolhe dar o seu “apoio” a uma e não a outra, está a fazê-lo independentemente dessas livres preferências das pessoas. A obtenção do “apoio” depende assim, não da satisfação dos interesses dos potenciais clientes, mas (na melhor das hipóteses) da navegação eficaz no mar burocrático que o Estado português traz para tudo o que faz, ou (na pior das hipóteses) na satisfação dos agentes do “mercado” de “influências”, que pelos vistos nunca está em crise no nosso país. Aqueles 8000 postos de trabalho são, é verdade, 8000 pessoas que estão empregadas e têm a sua vida melhorada em resultado disso. Mas as incontáveis que viram o seu rendimento diminuir ou o seu emprego desaparecer também. E não é por não darem jeito à propaganda que têm menos importância.

Dating in the Atlasphere


Dating in the Atlasphere: Joshua Zader Brings Love to Ayn Rand's Fans

Amigos do alheio

Amigos do alheio por João César das Neves:
Uma das características mais bizarras do nosso tempo é a quantidade de pessoas que vive e dispõe do dinheiro dos outros. Aliás a comunicação social quase só trata disso. Do défice orçamental aos fundos da troika, das exigências de apoios e cortes, despesas e subsídios, esta crise é, no essencial, uma luta pelo dinheiro alheio.
É verdade que estas novas formas retiram muito do pejorativo da expressão tradicional "amigos do alheio". Hoje boa parte do gasto de dinheiro dos outros não constitui roubo. O funcionário público trabalha duro para receber o merecido ordenado, e o sector subsidiado tem razões para o ser. Apesar disso o facto de a verba vir de outrem traz sempre elementos perturbadores.
.. Numa escola pública, onde propinas e ordenados nada têm a ver com os valores do produto envolvido, pais e professores fazem exigências ao ministério que nunca se ouviriam em estabelecimentos cujas verbas disponíveis vêm do bolso dos alunos. Note-se a displicência com que ministros e autarcas se apropriam dos montantes orçamentados e fundos estruturais, que não lhes custam a ganhar. Um médico de um grande hospital, mesmo privado, receita exames e tratamentos que omitiria se ele ou o doente tivessem de pagar a conta. Em certos casos essa facilidade torna-se uma verdadeira toxidependência.

O aspecto mais curioso são as razões que levam pessoas honestas e bem intencionadas a despender com vigor o que não é seu. Elas nascem de duas perigosas armadilhas. A primeira é a convicção de que o dinheiro não faz falta aos donos. As pessoas fingem acreditar que as verbas públicas vêm de ricos, o que permite, sem peso na consciência, exigir mais apoios, subsídios, estradas e despesas. Isso apesar da evidência de, mesmo que os milionários pagassem o que devem, seriam largamente insuficientes para metade do PIB. O outro engano é achar que, se eu não o gastar, outro departamento o vai desperdiçar, o que equivale ao mesmo: o dinheiro não faz falta aos outros. Em qualquer caso, só pode ser patética uma época que tanto abusa do dinheiro alheio.

Conrad the Constitution


Conrad the Constitution - Episode 1 | Episode 2

Outlaw government

Rulers vs Ruled: 10 Things Government Can Do That Would Land You in Jail por Michael Suede:
Take a look at the top ten things the government can do that would land you in jail:
  • Spying: ..
  • Insider Trading ..
  • Hacking ..
  • Kidnapping ..
  • Stealing ..
  • Extortion ..
  • Counterfeiting ..
  • Molestation ..
  • Assault ..
  • Murder ..
We’ve now reached a point in society that Ayn Rand warned about: “We are fast approaching the stage of ultimate inversion: the stage where government is free to do as it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission.

The Wage Gap

Enfim, com o pecado "anti-discriminação"...

Straight Talk About The Wage Gap

Serviços não solicitados e cobrança mafiosa

Chris Lyspooner:
If government "services" are in fact what more than 50% of the voters want, then clearly there is enough demand that there is no need for a central apparatus of coercion to be in charge of administering it. Nor is there any evidence that taxes are payments for services in the first place. The state grants itself the right to levy taxes. Nowhere does it say that it owes anyone any services in return. The state is under absolutely no legal obligation to provide anything to anyone. If they do provide anything it is only because they feel like it and only in the quantity and quality that they choose. Taxes are by far the worst possible way to fund public services.

Campus Speech Codes (11)

No seguimento de Campus Speech Codes (10),


The Battle for Free Speech on Campus: Greg Lukianoff at the Museum of Sex

black hole of government

In the physical realm, "a black hole is a region of spacetime from which gravity prevents anything, including light, from escaping. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole."

In the political realm, a black hole of government is a region of socialtime from which violence prevents anything, including truth, from escaping. The theory of general political relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass of predatory and unscrupulous individuals will deform socialtime to form a black hole of government.
Robert Higgs

Doug Casey


Doug Casey on charities (hates them) & U.S. going bankrupt (they should do it!)

Against Paternalism

The Case Against Libertarian Paternalism — There is no practical, objective way for an outside observer to define another individual's best interest. por Anthony Randazzo:
The idea of libertarian paternalism was popularized five years ago by the legal theorist Cass Sunstein and the behavioral economist Richard Thaler, in their bestselling book Nudge. Sunstein and Thaler argue that policymakers can preserve an individual’s liberty while still nudging him towards choices that are supposedly in his best interests. A classic example is having employees automatically enrolled in a 401(k) retirement account, rather than asking employees to opt in to such a program. The nudge doesn’t stop employees from opting out, and it encourages people to invest in their future, which Sunsteing and Thaler think is in their best interests.

To this, White replies that there is no practical, objective way for an outside observer—even a super-rational economist—to define another individual's best interest. And that undermines the very premise of libertarian paternalism.
Practically speaking, therefore, nudges can’t do what they are intended for—to design a system to help individuals overcome cognitive biases make choices in their best interests—because economists and policymakers can’t understand the full range of motives that determine “best interest” when picking a retirement planning strategy to consuming a sugary beverage. Instead of helping people overcome cognitive weaknesses, policy makers are just nudging people towards the interests that policy makers prefer. "Libertarian" or not, paternalism is paternalism.

Better Ideas In Education

Citação Liberal do Dia

But to call ‘law’ everything that the elected representatives of the majority resolve, and to describe as ‘Government under the Law’ all the directives issued by them – however discriminating in favour of, or to the detriment of, some groups of individuals – is a very bad joke. It is in truth lawless government. It is a mere play on words to maintain that, so long as a majority approves of acts of government, the rule of law is preserved.
Hayek, “Whither Democracy?”

Educación, escolaridad y aprendizaje


Educación, escolaridad y aprendizaje

de boas intenções está o inferno socialista cheio

Pathological Altruism: The Road to Hell Really Is Often Paved With Good Intentions Argues New Study:
In a remarkably interesting new paper, “Concepts and implications of altruism bias and pathological altruism,” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Oakland University systems engineer Barbara Oakley argues that intentions to help people all too often hurt them. Unintended harm is the outcome of she what calls pathological altruism.

She defines pathological altruism “as behavior in which attempts to promote the welfare of another, or others, results instead in harm that an external observer would conclude was reasonably foreseeable.”

In her study Oakley explores the psychological and evolutionary underpinnings of empathy and altruism and how they can go wrong. It turns out that pathological altruism is a pervasive problem affecting public policy.

segunda-feira, junho 24, 2013

Does Capitalism Exploit Workers?


Does Capitalism Exploit Workers?

Drug Policy Anarchy

Drug Policy Made Me An Anarch por Darryl W Perry:
I was shocked to learn that in the early 1900′s not only were marijuana, cocaine & heroin legal, but they could be ordered from the Sear’s catalog! .. “None of the drugs that are currently illegal became illegal before they were associated with what were commonly regarded as ‘deviate groups.’” And by “deviate groups” he of course meant, minorities. I was astounded to learn that marijuana was made illegal because of racism, yellow journalism and propaganda. Cocaine and heroin were made illegal for similar reasons.

I began to question how one substance (alcohol) required a Constitutional amendment to make illegal, while other substances (marijuana, cocaine & heroin) did not.
Seeing through the drug propaganda lifted a veil for me. I remember asking myself, “if I was lied to about the drug war, what else have I been told that was a lie?” Skepticism became my default position.
You have a right to consume any substance you wish, as long as you do not cause unjust harm to another person! The more I measured society by this traditional value the more the edifice of the government dissolved. We can’t have a government that supports this traditional value, because governments can only violate it.

Ponto de situação sobre o "consenso"

Começando pelo Climategate - Warmists: 'We can't win the game, so let's change the rules':
.. Trenberth is the arch-warmist perhaps best known for writing the Climategate email which went:
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.
Climategate: Follow the Money:
Why did the money pour in so quickly? Because the climate alarm kept ringing so loudly: The louder the alarm, the greater the sums.

this is only a fraction of the $94 billion that HSBC Bank estimates has been spent globally this year on what it calls "green stimulus"—largely ethanol and other alternative energy schemes—of the kind from which Al Gore and his partners at Kleiner Perkins hope to profit handsomely.

Supply, as we know, creates its own demand. So for every additional billion in government-funded grants (or the tens of millions supplied by foundations like the Pew Charitable Trusts), universities, research institutes, advocacy groups and their various spin-offs and dependents have emerged from the woodwork to receive them.

Today these groups form a kind of ecosystem of their own.

IPCC Railroad engineer Pachauri acknowledges ‘No warming for 17 years’ por Christopher Monckton of Brenchley:
Inferentially, the bureaucrats have decided they can no longer pretend I was wrong to say there has been no global warming for 16 years. This one cannot be squeezed back into the bottle. So they have decided to focus on n years without warming so that, as soon as an uptick in temperature brings the period without warming to an end, they can neatly overlook the fact that what really matters is the growing, and now acutely embarrassing, discrepancy between predicted and observed long-term warming rates.

Leaked IPCC Climate Report Shows UN Overestimated Global Warming:
Such evidence has brought a number of critics out of the woodwork, as they challenge the UN’s assessment in determining the effects of so-called global warming. And the leaked IPCC report only solidifies this notion. “This one chart is all we need to prove, without a doubt, that IPCC analysis methodology and computer models are seriously flawed,” notes Ira Glickstein, writing for Wattsupwiththat.com. “They have way over-estimated the extent of Global Warming since the IPCC first started issuing Assessment Reports in 1990, and continuing through the fourth report issued in 2007.”

Global Warming theory has failed all tests, so alarmists return to the ‘97% consensus’ hoax e The Collapsing ‘Consensus’ e No significant warming for 17 years 4 months por Christopher Monckton of Brenchley:

STILL Epic Fail: 73 Climate Models vs. Measurements, Running 5-Year Means:
Hundreds of millions of dollars that have gone into the expensive climate modelling enterprise has all but destroyed governmental funding of research into natural sources of climate change. For years the modelers have maintained that there is no such thing as natural climate change…yet they now, ironically, have to invoke natural climate forces to explain why surface warming has essentially stopped in the last 15 years!

Forgive me if I sound frustrated, but we scientists who still believe that climate change can also be naturally forced have been virtually cut out of funding and publication by the ‘humans-cause-everything-bad-that-happens’ juggernaut. The public who funds their work will not stand for their willful blindness much longer.
BÓNUS: UN climate delegates unaware global warming stopped 16 years ago

totalitarian

Noonan: Privacy Isn't All We're Losing:
How did we get here? You know. In the days after 9/11 all the clamor was for safety. Improve intelligence, find the bad guys, heighten surveillance. The government went to work. It is important to remember that 9/11 coincided almost exactly with the Internet revolution. They happened at pretty much the same time.

In the past 10 years technology sped up, could do more and more—big data, metadata. Capabilities became massive, and menacing.

Our government is not totalitarian. Our leaders, even the worst of them, are not totalitarian. But our technology is totalitarian, or rather it is there and can be used and abused by those whose impulses tend, even unconsciously or unthinkingly, in that direction.

Conservative Case for Drug Legalization


Conservative Case for Drug Legalization

as socialistas elites

As elites, novas e velhas
:
Agora que se sente no ar alguma descompressão e se aproxima a saída da Troika vale a pena seguir as soluções propostas pelas velhas e novas elites. Estas soluções serão de vários tipos:

Soluções “culto da carga”: A ideia será sempre simular os sintomas de desenvolvimento imitando-os. Por exemplo, países ricos têm taxas de juro baixas, a solução para Portugal é taxas de juro baixas. Os países ricos têm elevados níveis de educação, a solução para Portugal é aumentar o número de licenciados e gastar dinheiro em educação. Os países ricos têm um número elevado de patentes, sai um subsídio para promover o registro de patentes.

Soluções “políticas”: São as soluções em que um passe de mágica político resolve um complexo problema económico. O grande exemplo desta categoria de soluções é a proposta já quase unânime entre as elites de demitir Vitor Gaspar. Mas podia ser demitir o governo, fazer um governo de salvação nacional, eleger um líder alternativo etc.

..

Videojogos vs Instrução


"Father of Video Games" Nolan Bushnell on Learning through Gaming

Rant Liberal do Dia

Esta coisa da limitação de mandatos serve para esconder a perversão do sistema "democrático". A ideia da não eternização do poder de "governantes" pretende minorar os abusos de poder, que mais facilmente são cometidos, e com menos escrutínio, quando mais longo o exercício do dito poder. Ora, para já esta doutrina deixa de fora toda a classe burocrática instalada, essa seguramente um cancro de qualquer sociedade, livre ou não livre. Mais, assume que gente má pode ser eleita, e que a única forma de parar tal gente é privá-la do poder - não da "qualidade" e da "quantidade" de poder, mas do exercício do mesmo -- mas só depois de um período de tempo administrativo -- entretanto, esssa gente má governa sobre todos. Adicionalmente, ou então, que o poder corrompe, mas que importa antes manter as estruturas do poder e rodar quem o exerce, do que limitar tal poder -- o que o tornaria o poder bem menos atraente para quem gosta de mandar na vida dos outros, ou tirar proveito indevido de tal privilégio. Resumindo, a limitação de mandatos funciona (não estou a dizer que de propósito, ou por "conspiração") para perpetuar um regime corrupto e corrompível. Alguns fazem parte da máquina, alguns maquinistas vão e vêm, a maquinaria infernal prospera.

Eduardo Cintra Torres:
Esta coisa de serem os tribunais a decidir quais os dinossauros autárquicos que podem candidatar-se noutra autarquia é surrealista, própria do Jurássico da Idade Contemporânea e imprópria de uma democracia funcional e transparente. O parlamento deveria ter vergonha da lei obscura que produziu propositadamente e se recusou a aclarar. Quanto aos dinossauros autárquicos, parece que estão a caminho da extinção. Ainda vamos ficando com dinossauros mediáticos, dinossauros tudólogos, dinossauros sindicais, etc. Somos um, ou o Parque Jurássico.

Privacy, Regulation, and the Internet


Privacy, Regulation, and the Internet (Exploring Liberty)

Turismo AMN (6)

No seguimento de Turismo AMN (5), Mesquita Nunes defende que nova revisão de metas sirva para baixar impostos:
"As revisões de metas do programa nunca foram utilizadas para diminuir a carga fiscal. No fundo, mais tempo tem servido para fazer o mesmo. Se houver nova revisão ou flexibilização, seria positivo que ela servisse para nos permitir aumentar o rendimento disponível das famílias e das empresas", defendeu.
"Enquanto a redução dos impostos não for uma opção, política mas também económica - e explicamos isso na moção -, tarde ou nunca teremos a redução de despesa necessária para diminuir a carga fiscal", afirmou Adolfo Mesquita Nunes.

É isto


via FB

The Regulated States of America

Niall Ferguson: The Regulated States of America por Niall Ferguson:
Tocqueville would not recognize America today. Indeed, so completely has associational life collapsed, and so enormously has the state grown, that he would be forced to conclude that, at some point between 1833 and 2013, France must have conquered the United States.
Genius that he was, Tocqueville saw this transformation of America coming. Toward the end of "Democracy in America" he warned against the government becoming "an immense tutelary power . . . absolute, detailed, regular . . . cover[ing] [society's] surface with a network of small, complicated, painstaking, uniform rules through which the most original minds and the most vigorous souls cannot clear a way."

Tocqueville also foresaw exactly how this regulatory state would suffocate the spirit of free enterprise: "It rarely forces one to act, but it constantly opposes itself to one's acting; it does not destroy, it prevents things from being born; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, compromises, enervates, extinguishes, dazes, and finally reduces [the] nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd."

If that makes you bleat with frustration, there's still hope.

Sticky Wages & Prices


Business Cycles Explained: Sticky Wages & Prices

The Moral Crisis of Crony Capitalism

The Moral Crisis of Crony Capitalism:
We've got to change the incentive structure that exists in Washington, and that incentive structure is driven by cronyism, where the state and private sector intersect. If I were to define crony-capitalism, I really use the term cronyism because I don't think that it speaks of capitalism per se, but cronyism is essentially where economic decisions in terms of who accumulates wealth and who doesn't, is not based on merit, it's not based on economic prowess or success or meeting needs in the marketplace. It's based on political connections and relationships whereby you are able to either manipulate the state to your advantage, and to the disadvantage of your competitors.

It's an enormous threat to our country because there are very few advocates for outright socialism anymore. But what you are seeing is that many people on the left are basically looking to use the market system for progressive ends and so they come up with very seductive ideas like public/private partnerships. They talk about the need we have that will be beneficial to our economy and to our country for there to be a growth in, say, green energy. And it's a very noble sounding ideal. The problem is that when it actually comes to implementation, given human nature and given the nature of politics, the loans and grants go to friends and allies rather than to people who are most deserving based on technological breakthroughs and consumer demand.

So I think it is undermining what creates prosperity in this country, which is free market capitalism.

deflation as salvation


Could deflation be salvation? George Selgin | Adam Smith Institute

Frederick Douglass (5)

No seguimento de Frederick Douglass (4) e de Citação Liberal do Dia, What Frederick Douglass Stood For por By Michael D. Tanner:
Douglass understood that the proper role of government was to protect individual rights and guarantee equality before the law, not to dispense favors to this group or that. For example, in his famous April 1865 speech, “What the Black Man Wants,” Douglass declared, “The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us. … I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! If the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone!”

“Congress is erecting a monument to him, but they’d be better off remembering his ideals.”
Douglass’s message was not just about African Americans. Rather, it offers a stinging rebuke to all those who believe that men and women cannot be the masters of their own fates.
Moreover, Douglass understood that economic liberty was a crucial component of liberty more generally. He believed in private property and the accumulation of wealth. When a speaker from the Rhode Island Anti-Slavery Society compared “wage slavery” to “chattel slavery,” Douglass declared such sentiments to be “arrant nonsense,” and argued forcefully that “so far from being a sin to accumulate property, it is the plain duty of every man to lay up something for the future.”

He rejected class warfare, saying, “I have no sympathy for the narrow, selfish notion of economy which assumes that every crumb of bread which goes into the mouth of one class is so much taken from the mouths of another class.” And while acknowledging the imperfections of capitalism in practice, he nonetheless saw it as the best engine for both individual betterment and economic progress.

Glenn Jacobs


Glenn Jacobs discusses Austrian Economics, Internet Sales Tax, & the Federal Reserve

Citação Liberal do Dia

In pursuit of what’s deemed as worthy objectives, decent people often pave the way for tyranny.

The process usually begins by the piecemeal destruction of the foundations of liberty: private property, rule of law, voluntary exchange, and limited government. Those basic rights often stand in the way of do-gooders’ objectives.

Once those foundations have become seriously eroded, it’s an easy matter for egoists and tyrants to take over and produce an agenda quite different from do-gooder intentions.

terça-feira, junho 04, 2013

Paleofantasy?


The Paleo Diet Delusion: Paleofantasy's Marlene Zuk on Dietary Myths

ao cuidado dos engenheiros da natalidade

A Singaporean strategy for increasing the fertility rate:
I explained to my students the creative (and often racist) ways in which the Singaporean government has encouraged people to have more babies. As noted in this 2006 article, Prime Minister Lee set up an institution in 1984 called the Social Development Unit (a perfect year to create such an Orwellian sounding agency), which would find innovative ways to get young people to procreate. He was worried that the well-educated women (who typically were of Chinese heritage) were not having babies, while the lesser educated women of Malay descent were procreating much more rapidly.

So what did the SDU try?

1. “Increased financial incentives to encourage bigger families, amounting to cash gifts of S$3000 (US$1889) for the first child and savings of up to S$18,000 each for the third and fourth child.”

2. Tax rebates

3. Tax cuts on maids plus more childcare and maternity benefits.

4. “Offer graduate women with three children priority in securing places at the top nursery schools, an advantage in helping children get ahead at school, university and in the workplace.”

5. Set up “love cruises” for singles!

6. “Speed-dating and online dating services, along with an agony aunt called Dr Love.”

Somehow all of those awesome ideas didn’t make Singaporean couples want to procreate. So now the government has paired up with Mentos (huh?) to urge citizens to do their patriotic duty and make babies on “National Night.” You truly cannot make this stuff up.

Libertarian Anarchy


Libertarian Anarchy: Tom Woods Talks to Gerard Casey
BÓNUS
- Gerard Casey: 'No property is safe in the EU'
- The great Gold vs Bitcoin debate: Casey vs Matonis

Defendendo o Gaspar

Defender o Gaspar! por Miguel Pimentel:
Ouço cobras e lagartos do nosso ministro das finanças. O homem faz tudo errado e falha em todas as previsões. Pois eu não sou economista, estarei muito longe de um dia saber como ele de ciência económica mas de gestão sempre estudei um bocadinho e se me visse a aceitar um lugar como responsável financeiro de uma empresa perto da falência ver-me-ia, por certo, a fazer o mesmo que ele ou parecido, nas devidas proporções.

The European Union Will Fail


Why The European Union Will Fail: Q&A with Austrian Economist Barbara Kolm

The Ron Paul Institute

‘The neo-conservative era is dead’: Ron Paul announces DC think-tank:
“The neo-conservative era is dead. The ill-advised policies pushed by the neo-cons have everywhere led to chaos and destruction, and to a hatred of the United States and its people. Multi-trillion dollar wars have not made the world a safer place; they have only bankrupted our economic future. The Ron Paul Institute will provide the tools and the education to chart a new course with the understanding that only through a peaceful foreign policy can we hope for a prosperous tomorrow.”

Ron Paul, 77, says he will formally unveil his latest endeavor next Wednesday at a conference in Washington, DC, only a stone’s throw from the congressional office he occupied for nearly three decades. Slated to attend the conference are the members of the Institute’s board of advisors, which contains a number of high-profile names including noted economist Lew Rockwell, the CEO of the Ludwig von Mises Institute and a longtime collaborator of Paul’s — he served as the congressman’s chief of staff from 1978 to 1982, and later advised the politician as he vied for the presidency.

Also on the Institutes board is Rep. Walter Jones, Jr. (NC), Rep. John Duncan, Jr. (TN), former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH) and Judge Andrew Napolitano.

The Coming Non-Intervention Revolution:
We need something new.

We need a hard look at the key issues of our time: the future of freedom, the future of the human race, and of the United States. Neither the Republican nor the Democrat party are pro-peace. They are merely partisan. How many of our pro-peace allies during the Bush administration have disappeared now that a Democrat is in office pursuing the same policies? Also, see how many of the Bush-era hawks have questioned "Obama's wars" only for petty partisan reasons. It is about political advantage rather than principle. But this is all coming to an end. It cannot be sustained. Every day more and more come over to our camp, the non-interventionists.



- Ron Paul speaks at opening of Institute for Peace and Prosperity
- Ron Paul launches Institute for Peace and Prosperity

Smoking Age


Raising the Smoking Age to 21? Young New Yorkers React

UKIP

Ukip vote is payback time for a political class that has lost the plot por Christopher Booker:
.. I had been invited to give the keynote address to the first Ukip national conference in Central Hall Westminster. I told the 900-strong audience that there would be only two parties fighting that election. One consisted of the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems who, not just on Europe but on a whole range of issues, had become almost identical. The other was Ukip, the only party trying to fight for the people of Britain against a “political class” that, in alliance with Brussels, had hijacked our democracy. For some years I had been reporting on an astonishing revolution taking place in how Britain was governed. Thanks not just to the increasing powers of the EU, but also to those of our own officials, we were now being ruled in a new way. After talking to ministers and politicians of all parties, I had been struck repeatedly by how they seemed to have become mere ciphers in a vast, unaccountable bureaucratic system that appeared to have lost any contact with reality and the concerns of ordinary people ..
.. The sense that we are now ruled over by a political class cut off from the rest of us in a bubble of unreality has become the most conspicuous feature of our politics. We see it everywhere, from the powerlessness people feel over uncontrolled immigration to the insanity of our energy policy. Above all, we see it in the all-pervasive power of that weird system of government centred in Brussels, which has so blatantly now lost people’s trust not just in Britain, but also across Europe. It is not only here that this profound sense of alienation is finding political expression in the rise of new parties not dissimilar to Ukip ..

Reduce Spending


The Grover Norquist of Spending Cuts: Jonathan Bydlak and the Coalition to Reduce Spending

Factual Free-Market Fairness

Factual Free-Market Fairness por Deidre McCloskey:
How do I know that my narrative is better than yours? The experiments of the 20th century told me so. It would have been hard to know the wisdom of Friedrich Hayek or Milton Friedman or Matt Ridley or Deirdre McCloskey in August of 1914, before the experiments in large government were well begun. But anyone who after the 20th century still thinks that thoroughgoing socialism, nationalism, imperialism, mobilization, central planning, regulation, zoning, price controls, tax policy, labor unions, business cartels, government spending, intrusive policing, adventurism in foreign policy, faith in entangling religion and politics, or most of the other thoroughgoing 19th-century proposals for governmental action are still neat, harmless ideas for improving our lives is not paying attention.
Yes, I know, you want to reject all these factual findings because they are “right-wing” or “libertarian.” All I ask you to do is, once in a while, consider. Don’t believe everything you read in the papers.

Govt Spending vs. Reality


5 Facts About Govt Spending: Nick Gillespie at Reason Weekend 2012
Gillespie argues that:
  • We're spending too much ..
  • We've got too much debt ..
  • Debt overhang kills growth ..
  • Spending growth is driven by entitlements ..
  • Trust in government is at historic lows.

Citação Liberal do Dia

Words That Replace Thought por Thomas Sowell:
.. But if you don't stop and think, it doesn't matter whether you are a genius or a moron. Words that stop people from thinking reduce even smart people to the same level as morons.

Escape From Collectivism


...sobretudo na educação, explicando o seu modelo de school voucher.

Sundown in America (5)

No seguimento de Sundown in America (4), The Corruption of Capitalism in America por Detlev Schlichter:
David Stockman’s new book is a brilliant, penetrating analysis of the present state of the US economy and the US political system, and a detailed account of how the nation got into this mess. The book will upset Democrats and Republicans alike, and quite a few other constituencies as well, which can, in this case, be safely accepted as proof that Stockman’s narrative is spot on.
Here are the main myths that Stockman exposes:
  • Myth one: The 2008 financial crisis was the result of unregulated markets. TARP and the Fed saved the country from Great Depression 2.0
  • Myth two: There was such a thing as the ‘Reagan Revolution’ and it revitalized American capitalism.
  • Myth three: The Great Depression was caused by the gold standard and was ended by Roosevelt’s Keynesian policies.
  • Myth four: Free floating paper monies are a sign of free market capitalism
  • Myth five: Modern financial markets represent free market capitalism.
.. He closes the book with a few pages of policy recommendations, all of them sensible, I guess, and naturally following from the preceding extensive analysis. But Stockman is under no illusion – he knows that his policy ideas do not stand a snowball’s chance in hell of being implemented. In any case, the book is not really, first and foremost, about a new policy program but about shifting the parameters of the debate by providing a thorough and accurate description of America’s economic and political problems. And here the book succeeds with flying colors.

Price Gouging is Good (6)

No seguimento de Price Gouging is Good (5) e Preços e Temperaturas (8)


Is Price Gouging Immoral? Should It Be Illegal?

A hipocrisia da esquerda quanto às guerras de Obama (25)

No seguimento de A hipocrisia da esquerda quanto às guerras de Obama (24), Pessoas de Guantánamo párem de torturar o senhor Presidente Obama:
Petition Statement
Dear Hunger Strikers,

We understand that indefinite detention is not a picnic and that many of you are probably homesick. But the hunger strike is doing nothing to hurt the Congressional Republicans, who are actually the ones responsible for your imprisonment. Meanwhile, the man who has pledged repeatedly to free you is said to be suffering from deep anguish. Obama has your back, but do you have his? Please call off this ill-advised hunger strike.

P.S. We’re serious and if you continue to push Obama, we will call you terrorists and urge the president to throw the book at you.

Petition Background
For several years, President Obama has stated his intention to close the prison at Guantanamo, but the Republicans have thwarted him at every turn. Unfortunately, the hunger strikers at Guantanamo – many of whom may be well-intentioned – do not understand how America’s political system works. The hunger strike will do nothing to sway the stubborn Republicans who don’t care whether the prisoners live or die. But it is causing President Obama – who frankly probably cares too much — great anguish and tarnishing his awesome presidency. And if the hunger strikers damage Obama and the Democratic Party, they’ll be worse off, as will women and gays.