Thomas Sowell - Political Vs Market
quinta-feira, fevereiro 26, 2015
O Estado somos nós? por José Manuel Moreira:
.. dois sentidos muito diferentes do termo Estado. Um, que designa a sociedade organizada, com governo autónomo, em que nós somos todos membros do Estado: o Estado somos nós. E outro, como diria B. de Jouvenel, que denota o aparelho que governa a sociedade. Aqui os seus membros são os que partilham do Poder: o poder são eles. Ora a esperteza destes, que vivem da gestão e controlo dos interesses instalados, foi conseguir deslocar o sentido da palavra de modo que o Estado, em vez de significar o aparelho que comanda a Sociedade, passasse a traduzir a ideia de que a Sociedade se comanda a si mesma. Uma fraude intelectual inconsciente que levou a que o aparelho governamental, de expressão da Sociedade, se transformasse em máquina estatal com poderes e interesses próprios. Truque feito, antes, em nome de um Estado de bem-estar, e agora em defesa do bem-estar de um Estado cada vez mais capturado por uma oligarquia que se afirma como dona disto: num para si tudo e para os outros o rigor da lei.
Regulate the Dating Market:
The United States government has wisely chosen to regulate most other aspects of life, from what wage you are allowed to work for to what medicines a patient is allowed to buy over the counter. Voluntary interactions are all well and good, but the bottom line is that people have to be protected from themselves. The trade-off between liberty and security exists not only in privacy and foreign policy: we must strike a similar balance in the arena of love.
I propose the creation of a new government organization, the Committee to Assure Romantic Equity (CARE), to bring an end to the current Wild West of romance. Three powerful sets of regulations would bring much-needed stability to the chaos of dating.
Just as professionals — from hair-braiders to interior decorators — must be licensed, so too the government must step in to license daters.
It is self-evident by now that free markets aren’t qualified to distribute scarce natural resources. Unregulated capitalism causes intense inequality .. To remedy this situation, every man and woman should be forced to submit to CARE the number of dates he or she has planned each week.
Each man or woman preparing to let a partner go should have to fill out several forms showing due cause. No one should have to fear being dumped for trifling reasons
The Net Neutrality Scam:
The natural outcome will be more “regulatory capture,” in which the institutions with the most at stake in a regulatory agency’s decisions end up controlling the agencies themselves. We see this all the time in the revolving door between legislators, regulators, and lobbyists. And you can also be sure that once this happens, the industry will close itself off to new innovative firms seeking to enter the marketplace. The regulatory agencies will ensure the health of the status quo providers at the cost of new entrepreneurs and new competitors.
quinta-feira, fevereiro 19, 2015
How Truly Free Markets Help the Poor:
Everywhere the government intervenes to “help” we find not more choice, but less. Not more jobs, but fewer. Do you want to start up your own taxi service by driving people around? Forget about it if you have not obtained all the applicable (and costly) government licenses. Do you want to rent out your converted garage to tenants for cash? Too bad. Zoning laws don’t allow it. Do you want to get a job at five bucks per hour for your teenage son who has no skills? Sorry, that’s illegal too. Do you need a loan, but you’re a high risk borrower? Get lost. We’d have to charge you a high interest rate. That’s usury, and it’s not allowed.
We’re told every day that the only solution to poverty is more government power, more government regulation, more central planning, bigger deficits, and less freedom.
The true solution, however, is better described by a left-wing slogan: “Legalize Poverty.” The left usually says this when homeless people are being thrown off government property, but it’s better applied to the many types of free enterprise that are placed out of reach to the poor by government edicts. So many low-income workers must turn to black markets and low-wage semi-legal work because that’s all that’s open to them. It’s simply illegal for them to find entry-level work in mainstream enterprises, keep all of their meager wages, or start up small enterprises. Needless to say, these assaults on free markets help no one but the government agents paid to enforce them.
Whenever the government makes a power grab, people automatically expect everyone who opposes it to know exactly how the problem will be solved without government intervention. This can make for a rather busy study schedule for those of us who oppose government on principle. Government inserts itself into every aspect of the economy, whether it is medicine, or Internet, or food, or sex. It is rare to find some aspect of our lives over which the government doesn’t want to have some say in what happens. By the standard of statists, you would have to be an expert on damn near everything to make an argument against government as an institution, and that’s just plain ridiculous.
I don’t need to be a doctor to tell you that the State is inefficient, malicious, and irresponsible. I don’t need to be an IT professional to tell you that the State will ruin the Internet with net neutrality. I don’t need to be an expert on sexuality to tell you that the government has no place in our bedrooms. I don’t need to be a nutritionist to tell you that government shouldn’t be telling us what to eat. All I need to know is that the system of incentives provided by the State, an institution that claims the authority to violently force people to do things they would not otherwise do, creates an environment for victimization, and little else.
So if somebody were to tell me “We need XYZ government policy or the human race will cease to exist” part of the reason I would choose the extinction of the human race, is because I know with certainty I’m just calling a bluff. If anything is going to put the survival of humanity at risk, it is the State itself.
terça-feira, fevereiro 17, 2015
How Economic Aggregation Hides the Problems of Interventionism:
The main point, however, is that to rely on aggregates as the focus moves attention away from individuals, who are the only ones who choose, act, and bear consequences. Even without further complexities and problems, that approach can hide everything from income redistribution between different groups (net taxes) to income redistribution within groups (minimum and living wage laws) to supply-side effects on production (taxes and means tested government benefit programs) to the impossibility of central planners directing an economy efficiently (with statistics that throw away details that are crucial to the creation of wealth) to the ambiguity of measures of the value of output (government production assumed to be what it cost). That is a lot to disguise or misrepresent, and such issues provide more than ample reason for suspicion whenever someone puts forth an argument from a major premise that “government aggregate X did Y, therefore we know that Z follows.”
The Eugenics Plot Behind the Minimum Wage:
.. the minimum wage is in a special category because, these days, its effects are so little understood. One hundred years ago, legislating a price floor on wages was a policy deliberately conceived to impoverish the lower classes and the undesirables, and thereby to disincentivize their reproduction. A polite gulag.
.. A national minimum wage passed in 1931 with the Davis-Bacon Act. It required that firms receiving federal contracts pay prevailing wages, which meant union wages, a principle that later became a national minimum wage.
Speeches in support of the law were explicit about the fear that black workers were undercutting the demands of white-only unions. The minimum wage was a fix: it made it impossible to work for less. The sordid history of the minimum wage law is harrowing in its intent but, at least, realistic about what wage floors actually do. They stop upward mobility.
.. The eugenics movement, however evil its motive, understood an economic truth: the minimum wage excludes people from the job market. It takes away from marginal populations their most important power in the job market: the power to work for less. It cartelizes the labor market by allowing higher-wage groups access while excluding lower-wage groups.
King wrote of the cruelty of government in his day. That cruelty extends far back in time, and is crystallized by a wage policy that effectively makes productivity and upward mobility illegal. If we want to reject eugenic policies and the racial malice behind them, we should also repudiate the minimum wage and embrace the universal right to bargain.