sexta-feira, janeiro 31, 2014

The End of 20th century Socialism

The End of Barack Obama? The Stansberry's Investment Advisory

Polícias e Ladrões

Police, the Good Guys por Lujan Sterlin:
Our society implants us with the myth of police as heroes, as tireless protectors and servers of the people. The idea of police as the good guys permeates culture; television networks air shows that glorify them; Hollywood deifies them through film; educators condition our dependence on them, urge us to call on them for aid, settle disputes, and to tattle and snitch on bad guys. We imagine chaos without them. We envision the collapse of society, hallucinate rampant vigilante justice, and experience constant fear when we ponder a world without them.

But in truth, cops fail to serve and protect. They cause more violence and chaos than they prevent. Police duty relies on obeying political doctrine, even if doctrine undermines the protection-and-service belief. Furthermore, police adhere to “law” regardless of situation, and without considering objective circumstances. They simply act. They rush in. They violate. They blindly follow orders to harass and assault and cage people – even if the reasons for doing this resemble utmost stupidity and immorality. In essence, the police “service” and “protection” attitude equates to a schizophrenic, social superstition.
.. we think that police maintain order and peace by caging criminals. The police do apprehend and detain evil doers, but the majority of criminal activity involves nonviolent consent between people. These are the individuals who smoke plants; eat pills; make love with strangers for payment; make love with family members; who gamble with their personal money; or who sell lemonade without a permit. Where we may dislike these behaviors and tastes, people who behave in these ways do so privately, without harming anyone. One statistic from The Sentencing Project clarifies how many decent people the police lock up. The site states: “Nearly three-fourths (72.1%) of the population are non-violent offenders with no history of violence.”

placebo politics and placebo innovation

We need to talk about TED:
TED of course stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and I'll talk a bit about all three. I Think TED actually stands for: middlebrow megachurch infotainment.
I'm sorry but this fails to meet the challenges that we are supposedly here to confront. These are complicated and difficult and are not given to tidy just-so solutions. They don't care about anyone's experience of optimism. Given the stakes, making our best and brightest waste their time – and the audience's time – dancing like infomercial hosts is too high a price. It is cynical.

Also, it just doesn't work.
You see, when inspiration becomes manipulation, inspiration becomes obfuscation. If you are not cynical you should be sceptical. You should be as sceptical of placebo politics as you are placebo medicine.
If we really want transformation, we have to slog through the hard stuff (history, economics, philosophy, art, ambiguities, contradictions). Bracketing it off to the side to focus just on technology, or just on innovation, actually prevents transformation.

Instead of dumbing-down the future, we need to raise the level of general understanding to the level of complexity of the systems in which we are embedded and which are embedded in us. This is not about "personal stories of inspiration", it's about the difficult and uncertain work of demystification and reconceptualisation: the hard stuff that really changes how we think. More Copernicus, less Tony Robbins.

New perspectives - what's wrong with TED talks? Benjamin Bratton at TEDxSanDiego 2013 - Re:Think

Great Minds Think Alike - Hitler e Lincoln

Was Hitler Inspired by Lincoln’s Army? por Thomas DiLorenzo:
So it is not a stretch to believe that Adolf Hitler, who fancied himself to be a serious student and admirer of U.S. military history from the Lincoln regime to the end of the nineteenth century, would have been “inspired” by Lincoln’s maniacal, murderous, genocidal generals like Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, and Custer, as the historians John Toland and David A. Meier maintain. Indeed, Hitler was a rabid admirer of Lincoln’s compulsion to destroy state sovereignty and of the military tactics (i.e. waging total war on civilians) that he employed to achieve it. On page 566 of the 1999 Mariner/Houghton Mifflin edition of Mein Kampf Hitler repeated Lincoln’s historically false and absurd argument from his first inaugural address that the states were never sovereign. “The individual states of the American union . . . could not have possessed any state sovereignty of their own,” wrote Hitler, paraphrasing Lincoln. He did this to make his own case for the abolition of states’ rights or federalism in Germany and the creation of a centralized, monopolistic state.

The arguments in favor of states’ rights that were being made in Germany, wrote Hitler, were “propagated by the Jews” and should therefore be dismissed. “The mischief of individual federated states . . . must cease,” the dictator bellowed. “A rule basic for us National Socialists,” Hitler wrote in Mein Kampf, “is derived: A powerful national Reich.” The only real difference between this statement and Lincoln’s theory of the American union is that Hitler referred to a “national Reich” whereas Lincoln, ever the master of slick political rhetoric, called the same thing “the mystic chords of union.”

Entrevista con David Friedman

Entrevista con David Friedman

socialismo made easy

o socialismo: uma história fácil de entender:
.. Portugal é um caso exemplar de falência das ideias socialistas, com as quais vivemos há décadas. As “ineficiências” do mercado foram sempre colmatadas por um estado interventor, que durante décadas ofereceu a todos os portugueses, sem excepção e a título “gratuito”, saúde, educação, serviços públicos variados e crédito abundante para quem o quisesse utilizar. O resultado disso foi que hoje somos um país sem produção, dependente do estrangeiro para conseguirmos os bens essenciais à nossa existência. Sem produção e sem riqueza, deixamos mesmo de ser capazes de manter os serviços que o estado prestava, ainda que deficientemente, porque estes, por sua vez, têm também de ser pagos, seja nos recursos humanos utilizados, ou nos recursos materiais consumidos. O socialismo, e não o mercado, levou Portugal à falência, e parece querer perpetuar essa infeliz situação.

Politics and Regulation

Milton Friedman - Politics and Regulation

American fascism

Mussolini’s Idea of the State and Its American Defenders:
Political centralization was also central to fascism, for if the Nation is the embodiment of the people, and if it is through the Nation that every individual realizes his destiny, we cannot tolerate resistance by lesser jurisdictions within the Nation.

To say that there are fascist trends and features in the United States of today is not to say that this country is just like interwar Italy or Germany. There are some features of fascism as traditionally understood that can be found only faintly in American society today, and others than can be found not at all.

But it would be foolish to pretend that America is the very opposite of the fascist dystopias. Whether it’s the emphasis on centralization, the glorification of the police and the military, the yearning for a “third way” between capitalism and socialism, the elevation of “public service” above the services we freely provide one another on the market, the creepy and incessant references to “my president” or “our president,” or the depiction of the state as a quasi-divine instrument, the commonalities are neither trivial nor few.

a School in the Cloud

Sugata Mitra: Build a School in the Cloud

quinta-feira, janeiro 30, 2014

Mais modelo sueco

The Market is Taking Over Sweden’s Health Care por Per Bylund:
My experience is first-hand with both alternatives, and they were at the time as different as night and day. While talking heads in the media cried out that private insurance created a “fast track” for “the rich,” the net effect for the already overwhelmed public health care system was relief through decreased demand. As we should expect from any shift toward market, everybody was ultimately better off thanks to this (limited) marketization of Swedish health care (perhaps excepting bureaucrats who previously enjoyed the power to directly control health care).
Liberals [socialistas americanos] tend to point to Sweden as a good example of how well an extensive welfare state functions. They are not completely wrong, since Sweden is a rather well-functioning country. But this is despite the welfare state; these live in the past, and assert that Sweden today is one part in the 1970s and two parts their own imagination. The fact is that the Swedish welfare state imploded in the early 1990s; it was crushed under its own weight after more than two decades of rapid decline.

The reason Sweden is doing so well at present is partly an illusion and partly a market story. It is an illusion since what other countries we have to compare with are also welfare states (or, as in the case of the United States, a warfare-welfare state); being best of the worst does not mean one is actually good. It is a market story since Sweden has for more than two decades consistently rolled back the welfare state, introduced market prices and private ownership, “experimented” with market-like incentives for public providers, and cut taxes

quarta-feira, janeiro 29, 2014

The Teenage Liberation Handbook

The teenage liberation handbook (4shared)

O fetiche da balança comercial

O fetiche da balança comercial por Telmo Azevedo Fernandes:
Um "deficit" nas transacções internacionais de mercadorias não reflete necessariamente uma economia débil. De igual modo, um "superavit" não é automaticamente sinónimo de pujança económica. O saldo da balança comercial tende a ser pró-cíclico, aumentando o deficit quando a economia expande e diminuindo quando a economia desacelera ou entra em recessão. Os anos de mais rápido crescimento económico em Portugal foram acompanhados por deficits da balança comercial.

Note-se que não estou a afirmar que o "deficit" gera crescimento económico. O que cria riqueza é o comércio internacional, sejam exportações, sejam importações. A balança comercial é, tão só, a diferença entre o valor em euros do que compramos lá fora e o valor do que recebemos pelo que vendemos ao exterior. Em termos estatísticos, normalmente acontece que o "deficit" acompanha períodos de expansão.

Ninguém nos obriga a importar ou exportar. O comércio internacional acontece por vontade própria e autónoma das partes. Se temos um "deficit" é porque, no nosso interesse, retiramos benefícios das transacções comerciais que lhe subjaz. Se cada troca é benéfica para os envolvidos (caso contrário não se estabeleceria essa relação), por que razão a soma de todas as compras e vendas ao estrangeiro resultaria em algo prejudicial para o país?

Nullification + Secession

Walter Williams on Nullification, Secession, and More

Power, Arrogance, Incompetence

Infinite Arrogance, Infinite Incompetence por Fred Reed:
Oh lord. Oh lord. Can the government do anything right? There is no evidence for it. None. Everything it touches turns to grotesque failure ..
Nothing works, government-wise. Ponder health care ..
The War on Drugs ..
Race relations ..
Open borders ..
The military ..
Economic policy ..
Constitutional government ..
Unfettered surveillance of absolutely everything, militarized police, the military as private presidential army, searches without probable or indeed any cause, photo ID required to buy train tickets, on and on.
Perhaps worse, the endless regulation ..
When a central government has unlimited powers, as Washington for practical purposes now does, the effect is to disenfranchise the rest of the country ..

Having power over every aspect of everybody’s life centralized in Washington means that any lobby, meaning self-interested predatory wallets, can pay Congress, venal by disposition, to enact any law the lobby chooses ..
I can’t stand it. Yes, I know, I am weak and lack moral character. It is shameful. But as I reflect on the stupid, corrupt, lunatic, and evil mass of brainless, half-assed dirtballs that run us, my only thought is to call for an air-drop of Padre Kino and an intravenous line. Drugs will get you through times of no government better than government will get your through times of no drugs. That’s just common sense.


The Stupidity of Political Hope

Citação Liberal do Dia

Wealth does not exist naturally; it does not rain down from the skies or bubble up from the ground. It is, as it has always been, a flow of consumable stuff that is created by human ingenuity, enterprise, and effort. Some people – again as always – do succeed in stealing wealth from others. But all wealth must first be created before it can be stolen or used and enjoyed honestly. Wealth in the vast quantities that we moderns enjoy it – quantities so vast that we moderns mostly take our prosperity for granted, mistaking it for being rather like gravity or breathable air – must be created and produced, all through incalculably huge and ceaseless outpourings of enterprise and effort. Such wealth can’t possibly have all, or even mostly, been stolen or ‘expropriated’ unjustly. Not even close.
Deirdre McCloskey

terça-feira, janeiro 28, 2014

Drug Regulation

Milton Friedman - Drug Regulation

No rulers

School ditches rules and loses bullies:
Ripping up the playground rulebook is having incredible effects on children at an Auckland school.

Chaos may reign at Swanson Primary School with children climbing trees, riding skateboards and playing bullrush during playtime, but surprisingly the students don't cause bedlam, the principal says.

The school is actually seeing a drop in bullying, serious injuries and vandalism, while concentration levels in class are increasing.
Mudslides, skateboarding, bullrush and tree climbing kept the children so occupied the school no longer needed a timeout area or as many teachers on patrol.
"The kids were motivated, busy and engaged. In my experience, the time children get into trouble is when they are not busy, motivated and engaged. It's during that time they bully other kids, graffiti or wreck things around the school."

Keynesian Failures

Bank Failures in a Keynesian World | Douglas E. French (a partir dos 8'30")


What Drives Success?:
Merely stating the fact that certain groups do better than others — as measured by income, test scores and so on — is enough to provoke a firestorm in America today, and even charges of racism. The irony is that the facts actually debunk racial stereotypes.
It turns out that for all their diversity, the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex — a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite — insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not good enough. The third is impulse control.

Any individual, from any background, can have what we call this Triple Package of traits. But research shows that some groups are instilling them more frequently than others, and that they are enjoying greater success.
The United States itself was born a Triple Package nation, with an outsize belief in its own exceptionality, a goading desire to prove itself to aristocratic Europe (Thomas Jefferson sent a giant moose carcass to Paris to prove that America’s animals were bigger than Europe’s) and a Puritan inheritance of impulse control.

But prosperity and power had their predictable effect, eroding the insecurity and self-restraint that led to them. By 2000, all that remained was our superiority complex, which by itself is mere swagger, fueling a culture of entitlement and instant gratification.

Equality Vs Liberty

John Stossel - Equality Vs Liberty

Separação entre Casamento e Estado

Oklahoma Considering Separation Of Marriage & State (VIDEO):
Oklahoma Republicans are promoting a bill that could make marriage a private institution in their state. The legislation, filed by Rep. Mike Turner, could end all government regulation of marriage and leave the matter to individuals and their churches.

Estado da Nação

Um grande discurso de Ron Paul:

Do We Live in a Police State? | Ron Paul

Citação Liberal do Dia

The world is infested by armed gangs that call themselves governments. These people presume that they have a right to order us around, to take our money and other property as they please, and to make our lives as miserable as their interest and caprice dictate. Their numerous victims, unfortunately, often accept these preposterous presumptions as natural and proper. The development of this absurd situation goes back for millennia, and along the way many philosophers and others have offered various rationales for what is, on its face, a stupid and destructive arrangement of human affairs. Whatever the proffered explanations and rationales, however, most people accept the situation out of nothing but habit: it existed when they came into the world, and they never stumbled across any pressing reason to question or challenge it. Yet, very little serious thought is required to grasp its many absurdities and to become perplexed that human beings ever allowed themselves to submit so meekly to their own degradation and exploitation by the minority political class that composes the governments, their cronies, and their accomplices.
Robert Higgs

sábado, janeiro 25, 2014

Why Be Happy?

Why Be Happy?

(pena a citação do estatista no fim...)

Turismo AMN

É verdade. Enquanto os cultistas do governo (tanto os laranjo-socialistas big-government, como "neoliberais" com sanha de controlo) saltam giram e pulam com a última informação macroeconómica, "lamentando" não ter sido possível mitigar o défice por lado da despesa, e nem falando nas "funções do estado" (aka "somos muuuito fiscalmente responsáveis, e estamos a fazer a coisa moral, mas queremos o poder todo aqui para não termos problemas, espalharmos umas benesses, interferir na macroeconomia e sermos reeleitos, tá quieto e está calado com essa conversa impopular")... há quem trabalhe.

Turismo: Novas regras facilitam instalação de hotéis em Portugal

quinta-feira, janeiro 23, 2014

Radicals Of The Right

Sam Tanenhaus - Radicals Of The Right

Citação Liberal do Dia

So-called macroeconomics has never been real economics but rather an endless series of engineering-type models purporting to guide politicians in centrally planning an economy. In the bizarro world of macroeconomics all capital is the same, and all workers are the same, as one big lump, expressed as 'K' and 'L' in the models. Relative prices and their role in allocating resources in a market economy are mostly ignored, while 'economic aggregates' are said to influence 'the' price level. In macroeconomics it is taken as a given that markets are incapable of allocating resources in an acceptable way; that's why there is supposedly a need for macroeconomic central planning in the first place. No such 'failures' are assumed on the part of the macroeconomic central planners.
Thomas J. DiLorenzo

quarta-feira, janeiro 22, 2014

Socialism Stealing from the Poor

Stealing from the Poor to Give to the Rich: An Anti-Robin Hood Story | LearnLiberty

American Fascism

American Fascism por Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.:
Americans today give the police the benefit of the doubt, consenting to searches and tolerating behavior that would have elicited revolt in centuries past. For the fascist regime as for our own, the public must be overawed by the state’s shows of force. And although more people are beginning to stand up against police abuse, those who speak up for the rights of individuals against the tactics of a police state are widely thought of as the blameworthy parties. We must be united as one against the Enemy, we are told, for he lurks everywhere. Those who insist too strongly on their individual rights in times of danger do not properly appreciate the righteous cause on which their righteous government is embarked.

If some of the superstitions of fascism have made their way into American life, it could be because both fascism and whatever it is that America has become share a superstition in common – namely, the state itself. The state has been cloaked in all manner of flattering but obfuscating rhetoric. The state looks after the general welfare, provides economic stability, protects us from the bad guys, prevents inequality, and binds us together in a common cause greater than ourselves.

It’s time we viewed the state for what it really is: a mechanism by which rulers enrich themselves at the expense of the ruled. Everything else is a smokescreen.
The fascists, and the rest of the state’s adepts, manipulate the crowd with irrational appeals. Speaking of the political rivals to liberalism, Mises wrote: “Rhetorical bombast, music and song resound, banners wave, flowers and colors serve as symbols, and the leaders seek to attach their followers to their own person. Liberalism has nothing to do with all this. It has no party flower and no party color, no party song and no party idols, no symbols and no slogans. It has the substance and the arguments. These must lead it to victory.”

What is Capitalism?

What is Capitalism? by Ayn Rand

Socialistas vs Realidade

Fact-Free Liberals por Thomas Sowell:
Someone summarized Barack Obama in three words — “educated,” “smart” and “ignorant.” Unfortunately, those same three words would describe all too many of the people who come out of our most prestigious colleges and universities today.

President Obama seems completely unaware of how many of the policies he is trying to impose have been tried before, in many times and places around the world, and have failed time and again.
Facts are not liberals’ strong suit. Rhetoric is.
When words trump facts, you can believe anything.
The vision of the left is not just a vision of the world. For many, it is also a vision of themselves — a very flattering vision of people trying to save the planet, rescue the exploited, create “social justice” and otherwise be on the side of the angels. This is an exalting vision that few are ready to give up, or to risk on a roll of the dice, which is what submitting it to the test of factual evidence amounts to. Maybe that is why there are so many fact-free arguments on the left, whether on gun control, minimum wages, or innumerable other issues — and why they react so viscerally to those who challenge their vision.

terça-feira, janeiro 21, 2014

Why Does Big Business Love Big Government?

Why Does Big Business Love Big Government? (Domhoff, Rothbard, and Evers)
(saltar para o minuto 17)

Triumph of the Bureaucrat

Triumph of the Mediocre por Theodore Dalrymple:
The mediocre triumph because, having little or nothing else to do, they can devote themselves to intrigue, backstabbing, and jockeying for power. In my own little career, I have often seen the genuinely gifted and morally upright pushed aside or thwarted by schemers and apparatchiks who viewed their betters with a mixture of fear and hatred. An apparatchik may be defined as a person who doesn’t mind how long a meeting goes on unless he has another meeting to attend. He is interested in power for its own sake, divorced from purpose though he claims to want it for the good of humanity, but has very sensitive antennae for the power of others. When that power is strong, he retreats; when it shows a weakness, he pounces. Apparatchiks, like the Clintons, never forget; their minds are like filing cabinets.

There are Mrs. Clintons now in all organizations, each according to his or her level. Some dictate the fate of nations and others decide on the most trivial of local matters, but their manner of proceeding is identical. Why, almost everywhere you look, should such mediocrity triumph?

a queda de Roma e a queda da social-democracia

Benjamin Powell on "Are We Rome?" at Freedom Fest 2013

The Minimum Wage Forces Low-Skill Workers out

The Minimum Wage Forces Low-Skill Workers to Compete with Higher-Skill Workers por George Reisman:
This is the fact that a low wage constitutes a competitive advantage for less-skilled workers that serves to protect them from competition from more-skilled workers. In other words, a wage of $7.25 per hour for fast-food workers serves to protect those workers from competition from workers able to earn $8 to $15 per hour in other lines of work. The workers able to earn these higher wage rates are not interested in seeking employment at the lower wage rates of the fast-food workers.
Between less employment overall in the least-skilled lines of work such as fast food, and the incentive created for vastly increased competition for employment in those lines coming from more qualified workers, the effect could well be to close those lines altogether to the employment of workers at the low end of skill and ability. That, of course, would deprive these people of the opportunity to acquire skills and abilities from work experience that otherwise would have enabled them to become capable of performing more demanding jobs later on.
No one can question the desirability of being able to earn $15 an hour rather than $7.25 an hour. Still more desirable would be the ability to earn $50 an hour instead of $15 an hour. However, it is necessary to know considerably more than this about economics before attempting to enact sweeping changes in economic policy, changes to be achieved by attempting to organize a mass movement that is based on nothing but a desire for economic improvement and no real knowledge whatever of how actually to achieve it.

Piracy is Great

Joss Stone "piracy is great"


30 Lectures that Will Help You to Become a More Knowledgeable Libertarian

Competition, Monopoly, and Antitrust

Dominick Armentano: Competition, Monopoly, and Antitrust

Ten Reasons Not To Abolish Statism (2)

No seguimento de Ten Reasons Not To Abolish Statism, Ten Reasons Not to Abolish Slavery:
Slavery existed for thousands of years, in all sorts of societies and all parts of the world. To imagine human social life without it required an extraordinary effort. Yet, from time to time, eccentrics emerged to oppose it, most of them arguing that slavery is a moral monstrosity and therefore people should get rid of it. Such advocates generally elicited reactions ranging from gentle amusement to harsh scorn and even violent assault.
Today these reasons or very similar ones are used by opponents of a different form of abolitionism: the proposal that government as we know it—monopolistic, individually nonconsensual rule by an armed group that demands obedience and payment of taxes—be abolished. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to decide whether the foregoing reasons are more compelling in this regard than they were in regard to the proposed abolition of slavery.

segunda-feira, janeiro 20, 2014

The Rules

Triste é que isto atinge uma quantidade impressionante de blind spots dos estatolátras...

The Rules

Bitcoin vs the State

Krugman said that Bitcoin is evil is his article .. saying that bitcoin looks like it was designed as a weapon intended to damage central banking. Money issuing banks with libertarian political agenda in mind to damage states ability to collect tax and monitor their citizens’ financial transactions. What type of impact do you think Bitcoin will have on central banking?

Patrick Byrne: Well hopefully it will do exactly what Krugman said and destroy it. Let me remind you that the central banking is.. we laugh at Soviet Union. We oldtimers look back and laugh at this complex society tried to run with $23 million prices set by some Mandarins and building in Moscow. And they really did they tried to run the whole society they had great big ledger books and they did all this Marxian accounting and tried to run society with prices being set by some Mandarins 23 million prices. And how visible was that to us? And yet here the most important price our civilization faces is the price at which we discount the future against the present which is to say interest rate and in a case of that price that overwhelmingly important price that decideds our own future. That price is being set by central planners just like Soviet Union being set by central planners at a central bank called the Federal Reserve. Milton Friedman was aksed in 1992 the Minneapolis Federal Reserve did their magazine interview with Friedman with a reporter ask him what’s the most issue facing America. And Milton Friedman said the most important issue facing America is how do we get rid of you the Federal Reserve and had a horrible track record and it never right and they missed all the big calls and they missed all the big turns. Their original function was because there were bank runs but the F.D.I.C. come along and probably does a better job on preventing bank runs by guaranteing the deposits. It caused the Great Depression according to Friedman and Schwartz by contracting the money supply by a third and starving the economy just when it should have been provided liquidity. Now we had so many mistakes they’ve made horrible track record but in general it’s an institutional problem it’s not gonna get better with smarter people they are smarter people the pople there Bernanke and Yellen are really really smart people. It’s institutional design when you have central planning doesn’t matter how smart you make the planners. You can’t, central planning doesn’t work so one could only hope that Bitcoin will do some of these things that Krugman finds evil like destroy the Cental bank but this is what so crazy about Krugman. He should remember the goal isn’t having a Central Bank the goal is we’re all trying to find what institution is allow us to cooperate with each other and some of those institutions can be price based and some government based. But he’s confused the means with the purpose. The purpose isn’t to have a central bank, the purpose is for the central bank to accomplish something which it has a history of not accomplishing and now can be accomplish by somebody else and in fact and the central bank has a history of preventing the accomplishment of stable prices in it’s 100 year history and we’re a 100 years into the history of the Federal Reserve the dollar has lost 98% of their value. So how have they done on the mandate of maintaining stable prices in such? It’s just got a horrible – if they were a business they would have been out of business long ago cause they never get anything right.

sábado, janeiro 18, 2014

Estado destinado a falhar

Nada mudou por André Abrantes Amaral:
Nos EUA do século XIX as empresas, fossem grandes ou pequenas, não precisavam do Estado para fazerem negócios. O poder político, que apelidou esse período de selvagem, não descansou enquanto não o pôs na ordem ou, para ser politicamente correcto, o regulamentou.

Em Portugal essa mudança não foi necessária. O Estado, mesmo quando durante a monarquia constitucional acreditamos ter sido liberal, tinha uma palavra a dizer sobre os grandes investimentos que se faziam. Aquilo que a Primeira República não modificou, o Estado Novo acentuou: pouco ou nada se passava à margem do poder político para quem, o grande investimento devia ser vigiado por ter repercussões públicas. Esta lógica continuou com o 25 de Abril, reduzindo em muito o impacto político-social que se crê ter tido a revolução dos cravos. Durante as décadas que se seguiram o aval do estado tem-se mantido imprescindível para quem queira investir.
Ayn Rand escreveu no seu livro Atlas Shrugged que "(...) when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors (...) you may know that your society is doomed." Destinada a falhar. Podemos ficar impressionados com a influência económica de alguns políticos, mas mais útil que isso seria questionarmos os nossos preconceitos e percebermos o que está mal para que possamos verdadeiramente mudar.

Laissez Faire and the Love of Life Itself

Jeffrey Tucker - Laissez Faire and the Love of Life Itself

Salário Mínimo

The Minimum Wage por Walter E. Block:
What of the ethics of the matter? Here, again, there can be no controversy. The minimum wage law violates people’s rights to engage in consenting adult behavior. An employer and an employee agree to a wage contract of, say, $5 per hour. Both are considered criminals under this pernicious legislation. But it is a victimless “crime” to pay someone $5 per hour for his labor services, and/or to receive such an amount of money for working. Both parties agreed to this contract! Our society is now in the process of legalizing other victimless crimes, such as those concerning prostitution, drugs, gambling, etc. Many people favor “choice” when it comes to adult behavior without victims. The minimum wage law is a step backwards from these moves in a moral direction. And, yet, paradoxically, it is to a great degree precisely those people who advocate the legalization of these victimless crimes who are the staunchest supporters of the minimum wage law.
We should instead eliminate it entirely, and sow salt where once it stood. More than that. We should criminalize passage of this law. That is, we should throw in jail, or deal with these miscreants as we would other criminals, all those responsible for the passage of this law and for its implementation, such as the legislators who passed such a law, the police who enforced it and the judges who gave it their seal of approval ..

.. Suppose there were a law that explicitly did consign people to involuntary unemployment, not implicitly and indirectly as does the minimum wage law, but direcetly. That is, an enactment such as this: It shall be illegal to employ black people. It shall be illegal to employ white people. It shall be illegal to employ young people. It shall be illegal to employ old people. It shall be illegal to employ Jews. It shall be illegal to employ Christians. It shall be illegal to employ gays. It shall be illegal to employ heterosexuals. It shall be illegal to employ men. It shall be illegal to employ women. How would we treat all those responsible for the passage of such laws and for their implementation such as the legislators who passed such a law, the police who enforced it, the judges who gave it their seal of approval? Precisely, we would throw the book at them. We would penalize them to the fullest extent of the law. Why should we do any less for those responsible for the minimum wage law?

Free Market Environmentalism

No seguimento de Classical Liberalism Environmentalism,

Free Market Environmentalism (Robert J. Smith)

Net Neutrality

On Net Neutrality por Robert Wenzel:
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia struck down a Federal Communications Commission order from 2010 that forced internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner Cable to abide by network neutrality regulations.

Net neutrality is the idea that internet service providers should be forced by government to treat all data on the internet equally, that is, the government plays the role of enforcer by not allowing ISPs to discriminate or charge differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication.

The libertarian position is pretty clear cut here. Government should keep its hands off ISPs and allow them to operate any way they want. The ISPs, using their own equipment, are providing a service and should be allowed to use their equipment and provide their service in any fashion they choose without interference from the government. Thus, the court ruling is is consistent with a libertarian view.
Net-neutrality law can be compared to law that would force out of retail malls top retailers to be replaced by, say, a greasy spoon diner in the name of “mall neutrality.”

Bottom line: Net neutrality is evil government meddling. Let the markets rule!

Politics Makes Us Worse (3)

No seguimento de Politics Makes Us Worse (2),

Politics makes us worse. Find out why.

Rant Liberal do Dia

El arte contemporáneo es una farsa: Avelina Lésper

Também se aplica às "ciências" "sociais" contemporâneas. Incluindo "investigações". Isto numa altura em que o nosso iluminado Ministro da Economia acha que sabe quais empresas financiar com dinheiro roubado às pessoas, e numa altura em que logo os rendeiros do Sistema Nacional de Discipinas-"Sociais"-Que-Querem-Passar-Por-Ciências acham que é uma grande arrogância intelectual do Ministro decidir e destinar. Porque não, _eles_ é que sabem que campos do Saber (note-se letra maiúscula) devem ser generosamente "apoiados" (e surpresa-surpresa, são precisamente os campos do Saber dos interessados - ou então, vamos ser magnânimes e "justos", todos os campos do Saber -- por uma questão de equidade e progresso). Porque há quem queira destruir o Saber! Aqueles os Deuses querem destruir, primeiro fá-los socialistas.

quinta-feira, janeiro 16, 2014

Abolish all departments (3)

Downsize the Department of Health and Human Services

Estupidez máxima

Estupidez máxima? por José Manuel Moreira:
Tudo isto sem que os estatistas e moralistas percebam quanto o salário mínimo impede jovens de fazerem trabalhos básicos, que seriam condição - um 1º degrau - para chegar a melhores empregos. E que, em consequência, uns recorrerão à criminalidade e outros ao assistencialismo governamental.

Um processo de marginalização que incita os iluminados à luta contra o modelo de "pobres salários", sem verem a causa: um Estado que asfixia a economia e a sociedade. Luta que não só acelera a substituição de pessoas por máquinas como impede os jovens de adquirir capacidades que lhes permitiriam, depois, ganhar salários mais altos.

Igualdade vs. Prosperidade

Do we care about income inequality, or absolute well-being? por Warren Meyer:
What has always frustrated me about income inequality arguments is that no one ever seems to compare the actual income numbers of the poor between countries. Sure, the US is more unequal, and I suppose from this we are supposed to infer that the poor in the US are worse off than in “more equal” countries, but is this so? Why do we almost never see a comparison across countries of absolute well-being?
Sweden is often cited as a model by the Left. Here are the income distribution numbers for the US and Sweden in 2004.
This is the kind of detail Gini and other income inequality mask. Even after all the Swedish "generosity", more than 90% of the citizens in the US are better off, on an absolute basis, than in Sweden. Even many among the poor.

Fascismo e Capitalismo

Fascism Is a Current Political and Economic System por David Gordon:
At the heart of fascism lies state control of the economy. As Mises long ago pointed out, socialism can come about while the form of capitalism remains. In this type of socialism, the government dictates economic decisions and the ostensible business owners must obey its orders. It was precisely this pattern that Mises found in Nazism, and, unfortunately, it has become increasingly prevalent in America today.

Abolish all departments (2)

Downsize the Department of Education

How an economy grows and why it crashes

Uma rábula associada - O peixe, os velhos e o pau por Carlos Guimarães Pinto

quarta-feira, janeiro 15, 2014

Abolish All Departments

Downsize the Department of Agriculture

Ayn Rand - The Early Years

Ayn Rand - The Early Years

We Cannot Predict the Many Ways Freedom Will Improve Our Lives

We Cannot Predict the Many Ways Freedom Will Improve Our Lives:
Defenders of liberty are often challenged to supply exhaustive descriptions of what would happen if some aspect of our increasingly government-dictated lives were returned to people’s free choices. What would happen if government didn’t educate our children? What would happen if Social Security didn’t force people to “save” for retirement or Medicare and Medicaid didn’t provide health care? What would happen if the Fed didn’t control the money supply and the FDIC didn’t insure bank deposits? What would happen if the FDA didn’t ensure that food was safe and the EPA didn’t protect us from pollution? What would happen if the SEC didn’t rein in Wall Street and the FTC and antitrust laws didn’t protect us from monopolies and collusion? These questions, and many more like them, make up an almost unending list.
The initial promises made with such conviction for new government “solutions” have been unrealized pipedreams .. there are no such “success stories” that demonstrate miraculous improvement from the intrusion of government that can match the historical successes of the market ..

One of my professors once said that “I have been an economist long enough to realize ‘I don’t know’ is an intellectually respectable answer.” In fact, when predicting the future, that is virtually always an important part of the answer. But when people are free, the results of their voluntary arrangements will be as good as they can discover, even if they are unknown in advance. In contrast, public policies based on what Friedrich Hayek called the “pretense of knowledge,” backed by coercion, are neither intellectually respectable nor a guarantee of improvement, however frequently or adamantly such promises are made. In fact, if the burden of proving its effectiveness was put on government, rather than liberty, vanishingly little of government would survive, and the shackles binding the miracles that are possible would be loosed.

Absurd Reasons for Banning Drugs

3 Absurd Reasons for Banning Drugs | LearnLiberty

O plano C

O plano C:
Sim, eu sei que a primeira linha de debate não deve ser económica, mas sim política e social. Mas em termos políticos eu sou um liberal, e por isso entendo que o Estado não tem de estar a enfiar o nariz no consumo de drogas leves. O que cada um faz com o seu corpo diz respeito apenas a si próprio, desde que o impacto na saúde e na segurança públicas não ultrapasse determinados limites. E se esses limites, como tantos defendem, são inferiores ao impacto do consumo do álcool e do tabaco, então não faz sentido proibir a cannabis – que, em média, já foi consumida por cerca de um terço da população dos países ocidentais – só porque historicamente ela chegou atrasada à mesa da legalização.

Austrian Economics for Managers

Austrian Economics for Managers | Peter G. Klein

raising the minimum wage hurts the poor

Via O Insurgente, Why raising the minimum wage is not the best way to help Britain's poorest:
The real impact falls on those seeking jobs. Rather than sacking existing workers (which can be costly and distressing), employers prefer to reduce new hiring and ask for more experience and qualifications. As a result, young people find it harder to get a toehold in the labour market. Among them, ethnic minorities typically get the toughest deal. Thomas Sowell, the prominent African-American economist, has argued against minimum wages in the US because any negative employment effects fall disproportionately on young black workers; the same is almost certainly true here.

Bear in mind, too, that the minimum wage is national, which means it has very different effects across the UK. In London, the NMW is only around 35 per cent of the median hourly wage; in regions like Wales, Northern Ireland, the North East and the North West, it is over 50 per cent. So following a significant increase in the minimum wage, you would not want to be a young job-seeker with few qualifications in Newcastle or Swansea.

The poorest-paid are also not necessarily in poverty. Well over half of minimum wage workers are part-time. Many are students, others are secondary earners in otherwise reasonably well-off households. So as an anti-poverty policy, it is poorly directed. Nor is it likely that the government will save much on in-work benefits like tax credits. Most of those on minimum wages do not access them. Those on housing benefit are likely to stay on it. And if job-seekers spend longer finding work as a consequence, other benefit spending is likely to increase.

O Papa anticapitalista

The Pope and Capitalism por Walter E. Williams:
First, I acknowledge that capitalism fails miserably when compared with heaven or a utopia. Any earthly system is going to come up short in such a comparison. However, mankind must make choices among alternative economic systems that actually exist on earth. For the common man, capitalism is superior to any system yet devised to deal with his everyday needs and desires.
Here’s my question to you: Are people who, by their actions, created unprecedented convenience, longer life expectancy and a more pleasant life for the ordinary person — and became wealthy in the process — deserving of all the scorn and ridicule heaped upon them by intellectuals, politicians and now the pope?

terça-feira, janeiro 14, 2014

But What Will Be Done About...?

But What Will Be Done About...?

Income Inequality

Income Inequality por Walter Williams:
.. income is a result of something. In a free society, for the most part, income is a result of one’s capacity to serve his fellow man and the value his fellow man places on that service. Say I mow your lawn and you pay me $50. That $50 might be seen as a certificate of performance. Why? It serves as evidence that I served my fellow man and enables me to make a claim on what he produces when I visit the grocer. Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are multibillionaires. Just as in the case of my serving my fellow man by mowing his lawn, they served their fellow man. The difference is they served many more of their fellow men and did so far more effectively than I and hence have received many more “certificates of performance,” which enables them to make greater claims on what their fellow man produces, such as big houses, cars and jets.

Brin and Page and people like them created wealth by producing services that improve the lives of millions upon millions of people all around the globe.

Should people who have improved our lives be held up to ridicule and scorn because they have higher income than most of us? Should Congress confiscate part of their wealth in the name of fairness and income redistribution?

Except in many instances when government rigs the game with crony capitalism, income is mostly a result of one’s productivity and the value that people place on that productivity. Far more important than income inequality is productivity inequality. That suggests that if there’s anything to be done about income inequality, we should focus on how to give people greater capacity to serve their fellow man, namely raise their productivity.

Government Surveillance

Candidate Obama debates President Obama on Government Surveillance

Small states

Taxes are expropriation por Hans Hermann Hoppe:
Take a look at the economic and cultural development. In the 19th century the area of what Germany is today was then the leading region in Europe. The major cultural achievements came at a time when there was no great central state. The small territories were in intense competition with each other. Everyone wanted to have the best libraries, theaters and universities. This region was significantly more advanced culturally and intellectually than France, which by then was already centralized. All culture in France is focused on Paris, the rest of the country fell into cultural obscurity.
.. Small states have to trade. Their market is not big enough and they are not diversified enough to live independently. If they are not running free trade, they are finished after a week. However, a large country like America can be largely self-sufficient and is therefore less dependent on free exchange with other states. In addition, small and sovereign states cannot permanently dump the blame on others when something goes wrong with them. In the EU, Brussels is often blamed for all sorts of ills. In independent small states governments would, however, have to take responsibility for abuses in their own country. This has a pacifying effect on the relations among nations.´´´

Small states could not afford their own currencies because of the transaction costs. They would therefore strive for a common currency that is independent of and uninfluenced by the individual governments. There is a high probability that they would agree on a commodity money such as gold or silver, whose value is determined in the market. Kleinstaaterei leads to more market and less state intervention in the monetary system.
How .. do Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco and Singapore manage to be economically at the top? My impression is that these countries are wealthier than Germany and that the Germans were wealthy before they embarked on the adventure of the euro. We should free ourselves from the idea that business takes place between states. Business takes place between people and companies that produce here and there. Economies don’t consist of states competing against states but companies against companies. It is not the size of a country that determines its prosperity, but the ability of its citizens.

sábado, janeiro 11, 2014

Surrender your personal freedom and right to privacy

TSA Kids Animation (Revised)

Socialism keeps poor people poor

The War on Poverty kept poor people poor por Steven Horwitz:
Market innovation has helped the poor the most, while government-funded wars on poverty have largely turned out to be wars on the poor’s upward mobility.
Of course, real poverty remains, especially in urban America. The solution to that poverty is not more government. Rather, there are three ways we could tap into the very forces of market innovation that have produced the long-run gains in human well-being.

First, eliminate all minimum-wage and occupational-licensure laws ..

Second, open up the public schools to competition ..

Finally, end the War on Drugs ..

We cannot afford a a new War on Poverty any more than the real wars we have been fighting. We need to recognize that the real increases in the standard of living of poor Americans of the last few generations were the result of the competition and innovation inherent in market economies, and encourage more of the same, instead of allowing government programs to continue to make matters worse for the poor in America.

Música Liberal do Dia

Dead Kennedys - Stars and Stripes of Corruption

Real freedom scares you
'Cos it means responsibility

So you chicken out and threaten me


President Obama, Stop Damning The Achievers For Their Virtues por Harry Binswanger:
The statists are swarming, energized by the cry: “Inequality is unfair!” .. Behind this preposterous and vicious campaign lies the doctrine known as “egalitarianism.”
What the egalitarians demand is not equality of rights but equality of condition. No one, they say, should be better off than another .. It is pointless to try to distinguish inequality of outcomes from inequality of opportunity. There is no more right to “equal opportunity” than to “equal outcomes.”
.. what began as a simple statistical calculation comes out the other side as pure communism: collective ownership. The national income is regarded as a common pot. Then some groups “take” from that pot more than their share.
.. who “we” are as individuals are people of different degrees of intelligence, ability, and moral virtue .. “all men are created equal” does not mean “all men must be kept equal.”
The essential is: inequality is morally irrelevant. Inequality is not “unfair,” nor is it “fair”: it has no moral significance at all.
.. it is to the interest of the poor man that those around him be as wealthy as possible. A man, for purely selfish reasons, should want to live in the richest possible society. Surrounded by billionaires, a man of modest ability can make a good living ..
.. The egalitarian hates inequality for a non-practical, non-venal reason: the sight of the successful and the happy stands as a reproach to him. It brings him face to face with his own failure and inner emptiness. Psychologically, emotionally, a man who is inferior can seethe with resentment at the sight of his betters.

Egalitarianism is a rationalization for the lowest of human emotions: envy. Not envy for what others have, but something much uglier: hatred of anyone for having achieved anything. Not “I’m upset because you have what I ought to have,” but “Punish those whose success makes me know I’m a loser.”

The Fed vs. The Market

The Fed vs. The Market (John Allison)

contra euro-socialismo

Mesquita Nunes. "Uma maior integração política na União Europeia não protege Portugal" com Adolfo Mesquita Nunes (AMN):
.. cedemos demasiada soberania a Bruxelas. É importante identificar as áreas e analisar as matérias em causa. Há demasiada centralização na definição das políticas económicas, por exemplo. A solução passa pelo retorno da União Europeia às três liberdades em que foi criada: de circulação de pessoas, bens e serviços. Por outro lado, passa pelo reforço do princípio da subsidiariedade. Ou seja, permitir que os Estados criem condições para que as suas empresas vençam. Preocupa-me que no debate europeu só se fale de soluções políticas para uma crise que é essencialmente económica, como se o modelo político pudesse resolver os problemas das nossas empresas.
Quando os estados têm políticas intervencionistas, seja através de quadros regulamentares, seja através de financiamento público, condicionam a actividade económica - que naturalmente lhes responde e se adapta. Podemos estar a correr o risco de ter empreendedores e empresas a olhar para que fundos disponíveis e para que áreas são apoiadas, em vez de começarem as suas ideias de negócio precisamente pela apreciação do que deve ser um negócio de futuro. Quando um estado ou uma união de estados escolhe e dá prioridade às áreas de actuação em que as empresas devem investir, se essa escolha estiver errada, toda a economia sofre com isso, ao passo que, se forem milhões de escolhas individuais, umas falharão, mas outras conseguirão sucesso. O risco com modelos como o actual é que os erros sejam multiplicados e contaminem toda a economia. Não acredito numa Europa que se fecha mas numa Europa que se abre. Não acredito numa Europa que crie mais e mais regulamentação mas numa que liberalize a existente.
Costumo dizer que uma das razões por que o turismo em Portugal pode progredir é não haver uma política europeia de turismo. Não preciso de me preocupar com o prejuízo da minha quota de turismo sobre países concorrentes com o meu. Nem me preocupo se as minhas ligações aéreas fazem Portugal um país dominante na América do Sul e nas ligações ao Brasil. Seria prejudicial ao turismo que tivéssemos de começar a acomodar as nossas opções estratégicas em função de interesses da Europa como um todo.

quarta-feira, janeiro 01, 2014

Costs of Discrimination

Walter E Williams - Discrimination and Freedom

TXT Lincoln and His Legacy

Lincoln and His Legacy por Joe Sobran:
.. if Lincoln was so great, we must ask why nobody seems to have realized it while he was still alive. The abolitionists considered him unprincipled, Southerners hated him, and most Northerners opposed his war on the South. Only when the war ended and he was shot did people begin to transform him into a hero and martyr of the Union cause. But that cause was badly flawed.

Subsidizing Innovation

Subsidizing Innovation


Parting Company por Walter E. Williams:
Here’s a question that I’ve asked in the past that needs to be revisited. Unless one wishes to obfuscate, it has a simple yes or no answer. If one group of people prefers strong government control and management of people’s lives while another group prefers liberty and desires to be left alone, should they be required to enter into conflict with one another and risk bloodshed and loss of life in order to impose their preferences on the other group? Yes or no. My answer is no; they should be able to peaceably part company and go their separate ways.

The problem our nation faces is very much like a marriage in which one partner has an established pattern of ignoring and breaking the marital vows. Moreover, the offending partner has no intention to mend his ways. Of course, the marriage can remain intact while one party tries to impose his will on the other and engages in the deviousness of one-upsmanship and retaliation. Rather than domination or submission by one party, or domestic violence, a more peaceable alternative is separation.

I believe our nation is at a point where there are enough irreconcilable differences between those Americans who want to control other Americans and those Americans who want to be left alone that separation is the only peaceable alternative. Just as in a marriage where vows are broken, our rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution have been grossly violated by a government instituted to protect them..
Americans have several options. We can like sheep submit to those who have contempt for liberty and our Constitution. We can resist, fight and risk bloodshed and death in an attempt to force America’s tyrants to respect our liberties and Constitution. A superior alternative is to find a way to peaceably separate into states whose citizens respect liberty and the Constitution. My personal preference is a restoration of the constitutional values of limited government that made us a great nation.

Nazi-Nanny of the Decade

The Mike Bloomberg Legacy: 12 Years of Little Tyrannies in 2 Minutes!
BÓNUS: Mayor Bloomberg's blacklisting highlights

O Papa anticapitalista

Is the Pope Right About the World? por Marian Tupydec:
.. here’s the problem: The dystopian world that Francis describes, without citing a single statistic, is at odds with reality. In appealing to our fears and pessimism, the pope fails to acknowledge the scope and rapidity of human accomplishment—whether measured through declining global inequality and violence, or growing prosperity and life expectancy.
The dystopian world that Francis describes, without citing a single statistic, is at odds with reality.
If anything, the speed of human progress seems to be accelerating. .. “4.9 billion people—the considerable majority of the planet—[live] in countries where GDP has increased more than fivefold over 50 years. Those countries include India, with an economy nearly 10 times larger than it was in 1960, Indonesia (13 times), China (17 times), and Thailand (22 times larger than in 1960). Around 5.1 billion people live in countries where we know incomes have more than doubled since 1960, and 4.1 billion—well more than half the planet—live in countries where average incomes have tripled or more.”
Pope Francis has a big heart, but his credibility as a voice of justice and morality would be immeasurably improved if he based his statements on facts.

What about the roads? (2)

No seguimento de What about the roads? e What about the roads (títulos iguais, diferentes posts),

Walter Block - Who Will Build the Roads?

Big Brother is staying

US will cling to mass surveillance like nuclear weapons - Assange to RT:
Julian Assange said there is “no hope” that mass strategic interception – as it is termed by the US – will go away. The whistleblower then drew a historical analogy with how the US has retained nuclear weapons in the past.
“These powers do not give up voluntarily any significant ability to control the world like that,” Assange told RT. He compared any US compulsion to cling onto such abilities as a form of need for global control, pointing out that after the end of the Cold War, the US retained excessive nuclear weapons, despite an enormous anti-nuclear lobby.

What would the U.S. look like if all of the secession movements in U.S. history had succeeded?

The 124 states of America:

Citação Liberal do Dia

Capitalism is not an 'ism.' It is closer to being the opposite of an 'ism,' because it is simply the freedom of ordinary people to make whatever economic transactions they can mutually agree to.
Thomas Sowell