Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 5:54 PM
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
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 7:21 AM
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.