Friday, December 31, 2010
"Several lawsuits over the health-care reform’s individual mandate hinge on interpretations of the constitution’s Commerce Clause. This clause is widely believed to grant Congress broad power over national markets. But that isn’t what the founders had in mind."
Obamacare, the Constitution, and the Original Meaning of the Commerce Clause: Newsroom: The Independent Institute
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 10:51 AM
"Politicians are so arrogant that they think they can make people wealthier just by mandating it."
Minimum Wage Hurts Workers (Tonight on Fox News @ 10pm ET) « John Stossel
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 10:47 AM
"What's the track record of those most worried about global warming?"
FoxNews.com - Eight Botched Environmental Forecasts
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 9:47 AM
"America’s impressive economic growth during the nineteenth century was in fact the result of free trade—trade unhampered within the expansive boundaries of a country that was huge, growing, and diverse in both its geography and its population."
Tariffs and Freedom | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 9:43 AM
"If you seek to measure the cost of a government, its budget is a good place to start. But your search won’t end there. Only some of the costs imposed by government in any given year show up in its operating budget."
John Hood's Syndicated Weekly Column | Government Costs More Than You Think | John Locke Foundation
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 9:40 AM
"As we get ready to ring in the New Year, it is fun to look into the crystal ball and see what 2011 will bring us in the world of tax policy."
The Tax Foundation - Looking into the Crystal Ball for Tax Policy in 2011
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 9:28 AM
“The problem is that, at the moment, it [the mortgage market] is not competitive enough.”
FT.com / Companies / Property - Minister warns on mortgage regulation
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 9:24 AM
A not very scientific list of 10 highs and lows we taxpayers saw in 2010, mostly from the IRS, but some from our elected representatives in Congress.
IRS 2010 Milestones - Robert W. Wood - The Tax Lawyer - Forbes
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 9:16 AM
"Prospective university students are a fairly small and powerless group which is probably why they were among those targeted for these relatively minor cuts. Given the considerable amount of disruption this small group has caused after being asked to contribute more for their subsidised education, it is disturbing to contemplate the public disorder that would likely erupt should more drastic cuts occur down the road. "
Spending Cuts, Student Revolts, and the Debt Crisis » The Cobden Centre
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 9:13 AM
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 9:05 AM
Thursday, December 30, 2010
"While the 'American Consensus' has run off the rails in recent years, that does not mean its model of economic liberalization and freedom has failed. The problem is that America has fallen off the free-market wagon and is acting more like China - not the other way around. Both nations need more free-market economics and less Chinese-style 'consensus'-directed solutions."
Freedom Trumps China's Economic Model | The Heritage Foundation
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 8:59 AM
"Attack ads, TSA follies, Beck/Stewart rallies, dramatic Olbermann vs. dramatic chipmunk, and more."
Reason.tv's Greatest Hits in 2010! - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 8:55 AM
"For my last column this year, I'd rather tap into my inner Scrooge for a list of the worst op-eds of 2010."
The Five Worst Op-Eds of 2010 | Gene Healy | Cato Institute: Commentary
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 8:48 AM
"It was the year that the economy started to recover and then slid back into a slump — only to offer reason for renewed hope in the final weeks."
Assessing 2010’s Economy and Looking Ahead - David Leonhardt - NYTimes.com
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 8:40 AM
"It is hard to believe, but it looks like the government will soon use the taxpayers' checkbook again to create a vast market for mortgages with low or no down payments and for overstretched borrowers with blemished credit."
Articles & Commentary
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 8:38 AM
"Images of kindling currency and economic chaos are an essential element in our understanding of the rise of Hitler. Mr. Fergusson adds valuable nuance to a familiar story. His tale begins not, as would be popularly assumed, in the aftermath of Germany's political and military collapse in 1918 (by which point the mark had halved against the pound) but in the original decision to fund the war effort largely through debt—a decision with uncomfortable contemporary parallels (one of many in this book) tailor-made for today's end-timers."
Book Review: When Money Dies - WSJ.com
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 8:34 AM
"The current debt, recession, wars and political infighting have depressed Americans into thinking they soon will be supplanted by more vigorous rivals abroad. Yet this is an American fear as old as it is improbable."
End Of American Era? Don't Count On It - Investors.com
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 8:22 AM
"Israelis tell a joke about a Jew who takes to reading Arab newspapers. A friend, puzzled, asks him why. If I read the Israeli papers, all I hear is bad news about the Jews, he replies; but the Arab papers constantly claim we are all rich and successful, and rule the world."
Schumpeter: Beyond the start-up nation | The Economist
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Please join us in welcoming Dr. Doug Walker from the College of Charleston Economics Department.
Dr. Walker received his Ph.D at Auburn in Economics in the Spring of 1998. His research focuses on economic and social effects of gambling. Walker published the book titled The Economics of Casino Gambling in 2007 and has been published in numerous journal articles on the economic impact of gambling. He currently serves on the editorial board of the Annals of Tourism Research, the UNLV Gaming Research and Review Journal, and is a member of the Bastiat Society.
His talk is entitled:
'Is Legalized Casino Gambling Good for the Economy?'
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
"I would argue that the Austrian school of economics, long forgotten amongst the elite is the only school that has consistently explained why economies grow and why they collapse, and how it is government intervention, primarily through the central planning of money and credit in a bank like the Federal Reserve that sows the seeds of ultimate collapse; and secondarily through intervention in confiscatory taxation, subsidization, protectionism, incessant regulation and redistribution of wealth that ends up bankrupting nations and has done so historically, with the central bank as the trusty aid of the politicians who perpetuate this system by helping pay off chosen constituents."
» Where We Stand and Where We Must Go - Big Government
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 7:49 PM
"This post could be entitled, “So many bad decisions, so little time"
Local Government Stupidity Contest | Cato @ Liberty
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 7:58 AM
"These students, however, are not exhausted from “working on” anything. Rather, their state of mind is akin to how someone looks at a second slice of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving dinner after he has already downed 5000 calories of turkey, gravy, stuffing, potatoes, green bean casserole, and that first slice of pie. "
NAS - The National Association of Scholars :: Articles and Archives Undoing College Jason Fertig
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 7:56 AM
The interaction of six government policies explains the timing, severity, and global impact of the financial crisis.
How Government Failure Caused the Great Recession — The American, A Magazine of Ideas
"Progressives consider the Constitution, and our elected representatives, disposable nuisances."
Political End-Runs - Thomas Sowell - National Review Online
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 7:37 AM
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 7:23 AM
Monday, December 27, 2010
Perhaps science has explained, unwittingly, why so many people think well-intentioned government policies work better than they actually do.
Even Knowingly Taking A Placebo Seems To Help : NPR
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 6:53 AM
Definition: what happens when government policies encourage people to acquire the skills used in an already troubled industry.
Persistent unemployment and the jobless: The New Yorker
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 6:47 AM
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 6:31 AM
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 6:28 AM
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 8:30 PM
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 3:37 PM
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Journalists' tall tales included praising GM for 'keeping faith' with taxpayers, comparing soda to cocaine, and attacking the Chamber of Commerce over baseless 'foreign money' claims.
The Top 10 Economic Myths of 2010
"Environmentalists have been very good at identifying the problems we need to solve. They are horrible at picking the answers. I believe most environmentalists most of the time are getting in the way of answers that make economic sense. Economic gravity always wins. That's why I have the mantra about unsubsidized market-competitiveness."
Vinod Khosla: Searching For The Radical Solution: Scientific American Podcast
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 8:12 AM
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 7:59 AM
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Why is collecting cans in New York, then redeeming them for deposit in Michigan a form of arbitrage? How can a local chicken restaurant produce negative externalizes? Find the answers on this website, which is making the dismal science a little less dismal.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
from the Economist:
FOR philosophers the great existential question is: “Why is there something rather than nothing?” For management theorists the more mundane equivalent is: “Why do firms exist? Why isn’t everything done by the market?”
Happy 100th birthday to Ronald Coase.
Posted by Brad DeVos at 6:30 AM
Monday, December 20, 2010
Made on Earth: How Global Economic Integration Renders Trade Policy Obsolete | Daniel J. Ikenson | Cato Institute: Trade Policy Analysis
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 9:14 PM
Inflected Form:plural -ties
1 : the quality or state of being austere
2 a : an austere act, manner, or attitude b : an ascetic practice
3 : enforced or extreme economy
Let's hope that our leaders actually read the definition...
Posted by Brad DeVos at 5:45 PM
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Here's a statistically proven college strategy that will deliver more ROT (Return On Tuition) for parents and high school seniors: get accepted to an elite college, then go to a cheap one.
Going to an Elite College Won't Get You More Money; Being Good Enough to Get Accepted at One Will - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 10:23 AM
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Obama Announces Estate Tax Deal With Republicans: 35% Tax Rate And $5 Million Exemption, For Two Years - Hani Sarji - Estate of Confusion - Forbes
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
When Do People Care About Civil Liberties? When Their Team Doesn't Run the Federal Government, That's When - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 6:56 PM
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
And these are the people who think themselves our betters?
Assange Says Document Dump Targets 'Lying, Corrupt and Murderous Leadership' - ABC News
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Nation-builders want to use the power of the state to quickly accomplish what otherwise might take decades, perhaps even centuries. For these people, the pace of organic change is too slow.
Unfortunately, like an athlete on steroids, nation-building has unpleasant and unmanageable side effects.
By the way, business-builders face the same temptation: organic and unpredictable bottom-up growth, or technocratic and planned top-down growth.
Thomas L. Friedman: Nation-Building at Home Just as Crucial a Slogan Now as it Was 14 Columns Ago - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine
Saturday, November 27, 2010
First, the love...
Lilly: Principles must be defended, liberty reclaimed | News-Leader.com | Springfield News-Leader
Then the dis...
Government needs to adapt to times | News-Leader.com | Springfield News-Leader
Now let me summarize the dis:
"Anything written before today is worthless. The Ethics of Aristotle, the poetry of Dante, the plays of Shakespeare, the novels of Dickens, and everything else that was written before some unspecified date in the modern world is as useless as an old loaf of bread. Only what is modern counts."
But, curiously, the writer reaches back to a dead white male for validation. Thomas Jefferson, nonetheless. And as you might suspect, the writer misses Jefferson's point.
Jefferson wrote his words at a time when freedom was the "new coat" and loyalty to state experts was the "old."
Reverting to rule by experts who know better is not "government adapting to the times." Rather, it is a throwback to the kind of world Jefferson and his peers attacked and successfully conquered in the American Revolution.
Another lesson in intellectual humility for experts.
If we cannot successfully predict the outcome of a game where there are only 22 players and a clock, how in the world can we successfully predict the outcome of a game with 6.5 billion players and no clock?
Nevada Stuns No. 3 Boise State 34-31 - NYTimes.com
Matt Ridley responds to Bill Gates' criticism of his views on Africa and climate change, and in so doing gives us a motto for the decades ahead. Not "Don't worry, be happy," but "Don't despair, be ambitious."
Matt Ridley on Where Progress Comes From - WSJ.com
Friday, November 26, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 8:10 AM
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Explaining the Pro-Market/Monetarist and Anti-Market/Fiscalist Correlation, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 8:15 AM
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 7:16 AM
Monday, November 15, 2010
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 7:34 PM
Saw this movie this weekend. Loved it.
Read more here.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Imperial Athens. Imperial Rome. Imperial Washington. Centers of power and, therefore, money. Power is Washington's product, and the more power it has, the more money it attracts.
As Washington gains power and wealth, it grows as an obstacle to production and innovation in the rest of the nation. Silicon Valley is just outside of San Francisco. LA produces world-class entertainment. What does Washington produce? Very little that does not depend on spending other people's money and telling them how to live.
As my hero Bastiat might have said, Washington is no longer a town that uses law to protect men and their property, it uses law to plunder both.
Why is Washington now home to 7 of the 10 richest counties in the United States? Because it is better to be the plunderer than the plundered.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Standard? What's a standard?
World Bank Chief Riles Up Economists By Talking Gold Standard - Agustino Fontevecchia - Moral Hazard - Forbes
"This group feels strongly that science and politics can't be divorced and that we need to take bold measures to not only communicate science but also to aggressively engage the denialists and politicians who attack climate science and its scientists," said Scott Mandia, professor of physical sciences at Suffolk County Community College in New York.
"We are taking the fight to them because we are … tired of taking the hits. The notion that truth will prevail is not working. The truth has been out there for the past two decades, and nothing has changed."
Saturday, November 6, 2010
"China has also pulled off a breathtaking economic transformation which will soon see it become the mightiest economic power in the world. It will challenge American hegemony as never before in modern times."
Read more: John Humphrys, in the Daily Mail
Question: How did China pull off its breathtaking economic transformation?
Answer: By encouraging markets more and using government less.
Question: How might a country pull off a breathtaking economic decline?
Answer: By doing the exact opposite.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Why do we spend so much time talking about politics and elections?
The vast majority of the really important decisions that we make as try to improve our lives have nothing to do with who wins and who loses elections. The technological innovations that will change our lives don't, either.
In fact, the work that makes the world better doesn't occur in legislatures. It occurs in homes, offices, factories, and all the other places where individuals trade what they know with each other.
Unfortunately, all that trade is too small to matter. It's not big enough, splashy enough, or noisy enough to get attention.
Politics is everything that trade is not. Politics is big, splashy, and noisy. We can see politics, whether we like it or not. In an election year, we can't avoid it.
Trade is almost invisible.
It's easy to overestimate the importance of something that is all about overstating its importance.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
According to the 2011 "Business Tax Climate" published by the Tax Foundation:
1. Worst state in the union for business taxes: New York.
2. Best state in the union for business taxes: South Dakota.
3. Most improved: Illinois.
4. Heading down fast: New Mexico.
5. At risk: Washington State
Full report here.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
So one of the lessons of our century is: Beware the intellectuals. Not merely should they be kept well away from the levers of power, they also should be objects of peculiar suspicion when they seek to offer collective advice. Beware committees, conferences, leagues of intellectuals! For intellectuals, far from being highly individualistic and nonconformist people, are in fact ultra-conformist within the circles formed by those whose approval they seek and value. This is what makes them, en masse, so dangerous, because it enables them to create cultural climates, which themselves often generate irrational, violent and tragic courses of action.
Paul Johnson, "The Heartless Lovers of Humankind"
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
"The greatest evils inflicted upon humanity have been the work of those who are so confident of their efforts to do good that they do not hesitate to use the instruments of evil available to them on behalf of their righteous cause."
Monday, October 25, 2010
This is a story about consumer abuse.
A consumer signs a contract he is told will make his life better. He pays $60,000 per year for three years, and ends up unhappy with the results. The promises of the original contract remain unfulfilled. He asks for his money back. He is denied.
The product? A law degree. The promise? A job. The response? You've got to be kidding. We don't give anybody their money back. What do you think this is, a business?
Read more here.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
"[While] there is a lot of interest in the psychology and neuroscience of markets, there is much less in the psychology and neuroscience of government. Slavisa Tasic, of the University of Kiev, wrote a paper recently for the Istituto Bruno Leoni in Italy about this omission. He argues that market participants are not the only ones who make mistakes, yet he notes drily that "in the mainstream economic literature there is a near complete absence of concern that regulatory design might suffer from lack of competence." Public servants are human, too.
Mr. Tasic identifies five mistakes that government regulators often make: action bias, motivated reasoning, the focusing illusion, the affect heuristic and illusions of competence."
Matt Ridley, in the Wall Street Journal
Saturday, October 23, 2010
"Maureen "Moe" Tucker, former drummer of the Velvet Underground, has done the best job ever of explaining where the tea party stands and why it stands there. She also suggests the breadth and variety of the movement. In an interview this week in St. Louis's Riverfront Times, Ms. Tucker said she'd never been particularly political but grew alarmed by the direction the country was taking. In the summer of 2009, she went to a tea-party rally in southern Georgia. A chance man-on-the-street interview became a YouTube sensation. No one on the left could believe this intelligent rally-goer was the former drummer of the 1960s breakthrough band; no one on the left understood that an artist could be a tea partier. Because that's so not cool, and the Velvet Underground was cool.
Ms. Tucker, in the interview, ran through the misconceptions people have about tea partiers: "that they're all racists, they're all religious nuts, they're all uninformed, they're all stupid, they want no taxes at all and no regulations whatsoever." These stereotypes, she observed, are encouraged by Democrats to keep their base "on their side." But she is not a stereotype: "Anyone who thinks I'm crazy about Sarah Palin, Bush, etc., has made quite the presumption. I have voted Democrat all my life, until I started listening to what Obama was promising and started wondering how the hell will this utopian dream be paid for?"
Peggy Noonan, in the Wall Street Journal
Here's the video...
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
"I do not address myself to those philosophers who, if not in their own names, at least in the name of humanity, profess to adore poverty.
I speak to those who hold wealth in esteem -- and understand by this word, not the opulence of the few, but the comfort, the well-being, the security, the independence, the instruction, the dignity of all."
Economic Sophisms, Second Series, "Natural History of Spoilation"
Je ne m'adresse pas à ces philosophes qui font profession d'adorer la misère, sinon en leur nom, du moins au nom de l'humanité.
Je parle à quiconque tient la Richesse pour quelque chose. — Entendons par ce mot, non l'opulence de quelques-uns, mais l'aisance, le bien-être, la sécurité, l'indépendance, l'instruction, la dignité de tous.
Sophismes Économiques, Physiologie de la Spoliation
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
by Chana Joffe-Walt
This is a story about how an economist and his buddies tricked the people of Brazil into saving the country from rampant inflation. They had a crazy, unlikely plan, and it worked.
Twenty years ago, Brazil's inflation rate hit 80 percent per month. At that rate, if eggs cost $1 one day, they'll cost $2 a month later. If it keeps up for a year, they'll cost $1,000.
In practice, this meant stores had to change their prices every day. The guy in the grocery store would walk the aisles putting new price stickers on the food. Shoppers would run ahead of him, so they could buy their food at the previous day’s price.
The problem went back to the 1950s, when the government printed money to build a new capital in Brasilia. By the 1980s, the inflation pattern was in place.
It went something like this:
1. New President comes in with a new plan.
2. President freezes prices and/or bank accounts.
3. President fails.
4. President gets voted out or impeached.
The plans succeeded at only one thing: Convincing every Brazilian the government was helpless to control inflation.
There was one more option that no one knew about. It was dreamed up by four guys at the Catholic University in Rio. The only reason they enter the picture now — or ever — is because in 1992, there happened to be a new finance minister who knew nothing about economics. So the minister called Edmar Bacha, the economist who is the hero of our story.
Listen to the story HERE.
Posted by Brad DeVos at 5:08 PM
Sunday, September 19, 2010
"[In Chicago] the 5 percent sales tax forgiveness on back-to-school purchases last month, as study after study confirms, only shifts spending from other time frames with no net gain in sales. Ditto for last year's dollop — cash for clunkers — and this year's homebuyer tax credit.
In each of these examples, a politician or legislative body was either seeking to do good — reduce energy consumption, make something more affordable or put more money in workers' pockets — or was perhaps duped by, or just pandering to, a special-interest group or constituency.
As 19th century French economist Frederic Bastiat put it, "There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: The bad economist confines himself to the 'visible' effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be 'foreseen.'
The same bad vs. good demarcation holds for political candidates, city halls, lawmakers and public agencies."
Allen R. Sanderson of the University of Chicago, Chicago Tribune
Sunday, September 5, 2010
1a : expenditure of physical or mental effort especially when difficult or compulsory
b (1) : human activity that provides the goods or services in an economy (2) : the services performed by workers for wages as distinguished from those rendered by entrepreneurs for profits
A thought on labor:
Your labor is your most valuable asset: Capitalism compensates you for it, and socialism steals it from you.
Enemies of freedom and liberty often accuse entrepreneurs and capitalists of "exploiting" the working-class. Profits and greed, they argue, inevitably pit the employer and employee against each other. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yet, contempt for the employer and fear are the tools socialists use to spread their own ideals. Once the workers are convinced that capitalism is evil, they then look to the government for the wealth and security that capitalism once provided.
Below are some various quotes regarding labor, wages, and profit. As you read them, ask yourself which group (capitalists or socialists) truly value the worker, the product of their labor, and the entrepreneurial spirit:
"On the basis of political economy itself, in its own words, we have shown that the worker sinks to the level of a commodity and becomes indeed the most wretched of commodities; that the wretchedness of the worker is in inverse proportion to the power and magnitude of his production..."
- Karl Marx (1844) on the Political Economy
"We have stopped thinking in terms of a minimum wage. That belongs to yesterday, before we quite knew what paying high wages meant. Now so few people get the minimum wage that we do not bother about it at all. We try to pay a man what he is worth and we are not inclined to keep a man who is not worth more than the minimum wage."
- Henry Ford (1912) on Minimum Wages
"To establish, that in cases of even one unexcused day's absence from work, the worker should be fired from the enterprise or establishment, with loss of the right to use ration and commodity cards issued to him as a worker in said enterprise or establishment, and likewise with loss of the right to use an apartment given him in the housing of said enterprise or establishment."
- Resolution of the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR (1932)
“We do want more, and when it becomes more, we shall still want more. And we shall never cease to demand more until we have received the results of our labor.”
- Samuel Gompers, leader and first President of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) (1850-1924)
"Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long rugged path towards prosperity and freedom."
- Barrak Obama (Jan 8th, 2009)
"Reckless greed and risk taking … must never endanger our prosperity again"
- Barrak Obama (Jan 20th, 2009) (Notice the contradiction...?)
"I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious."
- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) on the role of government
"These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people."
- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
- Thomas Edison (1847-1931) on hard work and commitment
"The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay.
- Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple (1955- )
"Particular obstructive workers who refuse to submit to disciplinary measures will be subject, as non-workers, to discharge and confinement in concentration camps."
- Article 9 of a decree, signed by Lenin (14 November 1919)
"No one would have any argument with government, provided that his person was respected, his labor was free, and the fruits of his labor were protected against all unjust attack. When successful, we would not have to thank the state for our success. "
- Frederic Bastiat (1850) The Law
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Michael Shermer writes in the Huffington Post:
"Trade makes us less likely to kill our potential trading partners. As Jared Diamond once told me about his research on Papua New Guinea hunter-gatherers: "Should you happen to meet an unfamiliar person in the forest, of course you try to kill him or else to run away. Our modern custom of just saying hello and starting a friendly chat would be suicidal." And yet something happened in the 1960s to bring about more peaceful interactions. Initially, peace was imposed upon the native New Guineans by fiat from the Western colonial government that ruled over the territory, but officials then insured continued peace by providing goods that the people needed, as well as the technologies to enable them to continue producing more resources on their own. In less than one generation, New Guinean hunter-gatherers who were fighting each other with stone tools were suddenly New Guinean consumer-traders operating computers, flying planes, and running their own small businesses. Where goods crossed New Guinea frontiers, New Guinea armies did not.
This is an example from my book of what I call Bastiat's Principle, from an observation by the 19th-century French economist Frédéric Bastiat: "Where goods do not cross frontiers, armies will." Although trade is not a sure-fire prophylactic against between-group conflict (there are exceptions to Thomas Friedman's observation that two countries with MacDonalds don't fight, but as a first order approximation it is accurate), it is an integral component to establishing trust between strangers that lessens the potential volatility that naturally exists whenever groups come into contact with one another, especially over the allocation of scare resources that have alternative uses, the very definition of economics.
And that brings us back full circle to trade, markets, and morality."
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
"The State is also subject to Malthus’s Law. It tends to exceed the level of its means of existence, it expands in line with its means and what keeps it in existence is the substance of the people. Misfortune thus afflicts those peoples who cannot limit the sphere of action of the State. Freedom, private activity, wealth, well-being, independence and dignity will all disappear."
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
"BP put form over substance and took their eye off the ball. Beyond Petroleum was a failed corporate strategy that resulted in heedless, dumb cost-cutting that put profits losses ahead of people and the environment.
Reality can be a harsh mistress. BP went after an environmental fad, basked in the glow of the Left environmental movement, and now may have destoyed itself in the process. As with Enron, another ‘progressive’ ‘green’ company, the Left environmentalists got what they deserved.
If only John Browne had given a Lee Raymond-type speech and had conducted BP’s business in the manner of its more reality-grounded brethren. The blame for the fatal attraction goes deep, and it lands at the doorstep of the mainstream environmental movement that got BP into greenwashing."
Rob Bradley, at MasterResource, a free-market energy blog.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Organized Crime noun [awr-guh-nahyzd krahym]
1. Interstate theft that occurs within a centrally controlled formal structure.
2. The people and the groups involved in such criminal activities; e.g., the Mafia in Sicily and the Legislature in the United States.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Cuba continues to be in the news. It appears that Raul Castro understands the pitfalls of communism more than his brother. First, Raul lifted restrictions on Cuban farmers, now he is letting Cuban barbershops work for profit.
Can the U.S. re-learn the benefits of a free market from Cuba? Or will the lessons learned there fall on deaf ears?
Why does the media portray capitalism as evil in free societies, yet celebrate when communist countries turn capitalistic?
By Michael Voss BBC News, Havana
Cuba is turning over hundreds of state-run barber shops and beauty salons to employees in what may be the start of a long-expected privatisation drive.
All barbers and hairdressers in shops with three seats or fewer will be allowed to rent the space and pay taxes instead of getting a monthly wage.
The retail sector has long been derided for poor service and rampant theft.
The country's former President, Fidel Castro, nationalised all small businesses in 1968.
'Slow and cautious'
Now his younger brother and successor Raul Castro is trying to modernise the system without jumping to full-scale capitalism.
Other communist countries such as China and Vietnam have long since pushed through market reforms while maintaining political control.
President Castro's first economic reforms involved giving unproductive state-owned land to private farmers.
Some taxi drivers are allowed to work for themselves.
This is his first attempt to deal with shops in the retail and service sector.
It is likely to be a gradual process, though.
These beauty salon changes have not been officially announced or mentioned in the state-controlled press.
In a recent speech to the Young Communist League, Raul Castro acknowledged that people were impatient for change but warned that he planned to move slowly and cautiously.