"Without the necessary cash on hand, no innovation will see the light of day."
What business leaders can learn from the Renaissance - Fortune Management
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
"Without the necessary cash on hand, no innovation will see the light of day."
"Effectively, wage earners have been fooled."
ONS inflation slip-up leaves millions out of pocket | Business | The Guardian
"Reason.tv editor in chief Nick Gillespie appeared on Freedom Watch to talk about government debt."
Nick Gillespie Talks Government Debt on Freedom Watch With Judge Napolitano - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine
"Here were hundreds of students who actually understand that government creates many of the problems, and freedom -- personal and economic liberty -- makes things better."
Students Who Get It! - Page 1 - John Stossel - Townhall Conservative
"The vexing question confronting regulators is whether this rising share of finance has been a necessary condition of growth in the past half century, or coincidence. In moving forward with regulatory repair, we may have to address the as yet unproved tie between the degree of financial complexity and higher standards of living."
FT.com / Comment / Opinion - Dodd-Frank fails to meet test of our times
"Alan Greenspan has suggested (in Wednesday's Financial Times) that financial complexity encourages economic growth. Lex's John Authers and Edward Hadas discuss how robust the former US Federal Reserve chairman's theory is."
Greenspan and complexity - lex - global economy - FT.com
"This is where what might very well be good science turns into sketchy political science theory"
The anxiety of choice versus the tyranny of others choosing for us | The Rational Optimist…
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
"But being a male parent with a typical dad-like involvement in my children’s lives—I know all of their names—I thought Battle Hymn was great. That is, I thought it made me look great."
Irish Setter Dad | The Weekly Standard
Monday, March 28, 2011
"Human nature and the structure of reality itself doesn't change. Only the gizmos we use change."
Pushing Buttons Like the Jetsons - Jeffrey A. Tucker - Mises Daily
"In this sense, the left is smart to target the Kochs. They have been absolutely essential in the libertarian project to create a set of institutions that together constitute a mild countervailing force against both progressive and conservative statism in America's economy of political influence."
Money and politics: The Koch brothers and the progressive master narrative | The Economist
"Oberhelman wrote that he has received letters from governors all over the country that would welcome Caterpillar with open arms. Their arguments are 'compelling,' he said."
Caterpillar CEO Oberhelman: Illinois budget hurts business - Mar. 28, 2011
"Warned Lord Acton, a devout Catholic, “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” No where is that more dangerous than in politics, since no power is more absolute than that to arrest, imprison, and kill, all of which are used by the state to enforce its dictates."
Balancing The Federal Budget: What Would Jesus Cut? - Doug Bandow - The Politics of Plunder - Forbes
"It will not surprise Reason readers that the study found that libertarians show (1) stronger endorsement of individual liberty as their foremost guiding principle and correspondingly weaker endorsement of other moral principles, (2) a relatively cerebral as opposed to emotional intellectual style, and (3) lower interdependence and social relatedness."
The Science of Libertarian Morality - Reason Magazine
"What dissenting Libyans in Tripoli witnessed was a parade of well-paid visitors flattering their half-mad dictator, and a squad of Harvard-connected consultants bent on creating a National Security Organization for the government, designed to augment the existing security apparatus with a new corps of MBA-trained personnel officers."
Economic Principals » Blog Archive » A Recent Exercise in Nation-Building by Some Harvard Boys
"Atlas Shrugged: Part I certainly has its flaws, and the lack of a major marketing campaign will probably hurt its chances of success, but it is a movie that goes against everything Hollywood is known for. That alone makes it worth seeing."
Atlas Shrugged: Part I Rubs Capitalism in Hollywood's Face - HUMAN EVENTS
Sunday, March 27, 2011
"Human consciousness, society, life on earth, the cosmos — it’s bits all the way down."
Book Review - The Information - By James Gleick - NYTimes.com
"For all the debate surrounding the causes of the financial crisis, one thing is for sure: the government made a huge mistake guaranteeing mortgage financing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."
5 Ways the Government Screws Up Housing Finance - Daniel Indiviglio - Business - The Atlantic
Saturday, March 26, 2011
"The Japanese government, in particular, has aggressively pushed nuclear in its quest for energy independence, perverting with political considerations the market’s natural ability to take safety issues into account."
Glowing endorsement - WWW.THEDAILY.COM
Friday, March 25, 2011
"There is a certain irony in renting brightly lit advertising space to exhort us to save electricity for one hour — but this is apparently lost on the organizers."
'Earth Hour' won't change the world - USATODAY.com:
"The unsustainable long-run budget outlook is a growing threat to our well-being. Further stalemate and inaction would be irresponsible."
Opinion: Unsustainable budget threatens nation - 10 ex-chairs of the president's Council of Economic Advisers - POLITICO.com
"Businesses love to have government as their partner. There's safety in it. Why take chances in a marketplace full of fickle consumers and investors, when you can get secure money and favors from the taxpayers?"
RealClearPolitics - Corporate Welfare
"Almost five years into his state’s Romneycare plan, it turns out that spending is out of control, threatening public-sector budgets and private-sector wealth generation."
A glimpse of a future with Obamacare - The Washington Post
"Just how well rewarded are climate scientists? As it turns out, by some measures they are paid as well as corporate CEOs."
All Aboard the Climate Gravy Train | Competitive Enterprise Institute
"We're the good guys in this story."
Forbes.com Video Network | Intelligent Investing: Myth Of The Villainous CEO
"When someone is honestly 55% right, that’s very good and there’s no use wrangling. And if someone is 60% right, it’s wonderful, it’s great luck, and let him thank God. But what’s to be said about 75% right? Wise people say this is suspicious. Well, and what about 100% right? Whoever says he’s 100% right is a fanatic, a thug, and the worst kind of rascal."
Dublin Review of Books | All Things Considered - The Thought of Czesław Miłosz - Enda O’Doherty
Thursday, March 24, 2011
“Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”
Ce n'est pas parce que les hommes ont édicté des Lois que la Personnalité, la Liberté et la Propriété existent. Au contraire, c'est parce que la Personnalité, la Liberté et la Propriété préexistent que les hommes font des Lois.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
"Tax Freedom Day was created by Florida businessman Dallas Hostetler in 1948."
The Tax Foundation - When Will Tax Freedom Day Be this Year?:
"The gains in health and education over the last few decades have been unprecedented for much of the world."
‘Getting Better,’ by Charles Kenny - A Hopeful Message for the World - NYTimes.com
"The trouble with the state giving your employer a licence to ‘nudge’ is that your employers are not your parents."
The hole where doughnuts used to be, by Vivienne Raper | spiked
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
"I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet,' Chavez said in speech to mark World Water Day."
Chavez says capitalism may have ended life on Mars - Yahoo! Finance
Monday, March 21, 2011
"Freedom is not a unique cultural product. Every nation has a native set of ideas about liberty. The intellectual’s task is to identify and cultivate those ideas that promote the expansion of freedom and to boldly oppose those ideas that constrict it."
Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice | The Freeman | Ideas On Liberty:
"Modern economies, it turns out, are adept at rebuilding and are often startlingly resilient."
Japan and the Economics of Natural Disasters : The New Yorker
"A string of soon-to-be-published papers in the scientific literature finds that despite all hue and cry about global warming and recent extreme weather events, natural climate variability is to blame."
The Current Wisdom: Overplaying the Human Contribution to Recent Weather Extremes | Cato @ Liberty
Sunday, March 20, 2011
"But the N.F.L. isn’t capitalist in any traditional sense. The league is much more like the trusts that dominated American business in the late nineteenth century, before they were outlawed. Its goal is not to embrace competition but to tame it, making the owners’ businesses less risky and more profitable. Unions are often attacked for trying to interfere with the natural workings of the market, but in the case of football it’s the owners, not the union, who are the real opponents of the free market. They have created a socialist paradise for themselves that happens to bring with it capitalist-size profits."
Owners vs. Players in Football’s Labor Dispute : The New Yorker
"Brazil is an island of initiative surrounded by government."
Helio Beltrão: Austro-Libertarianism as a Starfish » The Cobden Centre
"A business is not in the business of taking from one person and giving to another."
Is this any way to run a government? | Statesman Journal | statesmanjournal.com
"Daniel Ben-Ami reminds the world how crucial economic growth has been – not just for better conditions for humanity over the past two centuries, including improvements not directly related to extra consumption, but also to many non-material aspects of our lives."
FT.com / Special Reports - Books: Ferraris for All by Daniel Ben-Ami
"Intentions are not outcomes. Showing others that we care about alleviating poverty and actually alleviating poverty aren’t the same thing."
Can You Love Free Markets and the Poor? - Art Carden - The Economic Imagination - Forbes
"Economists today tell government to accumulate debts and to pursue spending follies rather than giving incentives to rebuild equity."
Macroeconomics’ New Alchemy: Getting Something for Nothing - Leapfrogging - - Forbes
"Think bottom up, not top down; think exponential growth, not linear change; think crowd sourcing, not elite commanding; and think open access and transparency, not closed entree and secrecy."
Skepticblog » Egypt, Watson & the Future of Civilization
"Which would you rather have? A more realistic sense of your place in the world -- or your life?"
Wealth and technology make the death toll smaller, not larger | The Rational Optimist…
"Thanks to dysfunctional regulation of genetic engineering and misguided biofuels policy, the world's poorest are going hungry"
How we engineered the food crisis | Henry Miller | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk:
"Biofuels have led to the clear-cutting of rainforests, plastics are being burned rather than recycled and new generation lightbulbs have led to a resurgence of mercury production."
Germany's Eco-Trap: Is Environmentalism Really Working? - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
"In recent decades economists have increasingly come to recognize what most of us have long known: human beings don’t always make the best decisions."
Boston Review — Rachel Glennerster and Michael Kremer: Small Changes, Big Results For The World's Poor
"The federal government first issued energy standards for washers in the early 1990s. When the Department of Energy ratcheted them up a decade later, it was the beginning of the end for top-loaders. Their costlier and harder-to-use rivals—front-loading washing machines—were poised to dominate."
Sam Kazman: How Washington Ruined Your Washing Machine - WSJ.com
"For too long, we've subscribed to an overly individualistic model of success. If a trader is particularly effective, we tend to assume that he or she must have some special talent, some uncanny ability to decipher the market. But that's probably not the case. This research reminds us that the best traders can only be understood as part of a network."
Jonah Lehrer: A Herd Makes Money on Wall Street | Head Case - WSJ.com
All too often, we demand an accuracy from accounting that it does not possess.
Numbers in business are not like numbers in the hard sciences. Accounting is more like a language than the measurement of a physical constant, and like all languages, words and rules change over time.
This comic strip by Scott Adams humorously captures the idea. Imagine Wally saying "All language is intentionally misleading" and he would sound less like an office slacker and more like Umberto Eco.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
"It’s like clockwork: Whenever a natural disaster strikes, certain economists praise the “silver lining” of this “stimulated demand” and the positive economic effects that are sure to come from this calamity. The Japanese earthquake and tsunami are no exception."
Natural Disasters Are Good? [Mackinac Center]
"A nation isn’t richer when it has to allocate scarce resources to rebuilding. Just think how the money could have been used, in ways only entrepreneurs can envision, rather than rebuild what was destroyed."
Earthquakes Don’t Add to the Wealth of Nations: Caroline Baum - Businessweek
Russell Roberts is Professor of Economics at George Mason University and the J. Fish and Lillian F. Smith Distinguished Scholar at the Mercatus Center, and a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. His latest book is The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity (Princeton University Press, 2008). Told in the form of a novel, it's the story of how prosperity is created and sustained, and the unseen order and harmony that shape our daily lives.
We hope you can attend. Professor Roberts will be speaking on:
"Crony Capitalism vs. Real Capitalism:
Lessons from the Financial Crisis"
3:30 Wachovia Auditorium on the College campus
This event is part of Adam Smith Week at the College of Charleston. More events and information can be found here.
Friday, March 18, 2011
"It may be Michael Kinsley who first said that the scandal in Washington is not what's illegal, it's what's legal."
RealClearPolitics - A Run-of-the-Mill Half-Billion-Dollar Corruption Story
Thursday, March 17, 2011
"The early industrial cities were disease ridden and dirty. But they were, more importantly, efficient and profitable and there were enormous commercial and political incentives to make them work."
Literary Review - Bryan Appleyard on Triumph of the City by Edward L Glaeser
Friday, March 11, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
"The IRS proposal is part of a broader global effort to fight 'tax competition' i.e., people shifting their funds to nations with friendly tax and regulatory policies."
Florida Banks, Lawmakers Fear IRS-Led Capital Flight - Investors.com
"Here's the fundamental problem with public-employee unions: They exist to compete with, and undermine, public priorities."
Strassel: Ready for Unionized Airport Security? - WSJ.com
"LBJ wanted to be remembered for his Great Society legacy. And he has had his wish. His paternalistic and welfare state agenda is the Albatross that has a stranglehold around the fiscal neck of the American people."
Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society”: A Free Market Critique » The Cobden Centre
A man gives people a ride in his car. They pay him. He goes to jail.
Unrepentant Unlicensed Taxi Driver: “There's absolutely nothing wrong with what I do.” - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine
"Billionaires, even low on the Forbes list, have more money than they can spend. Lex's Sarah O'Connor and Edward Hadas discuss why they still strive to increase their fortunes."
Why bother being a billionaire? - lex - global economy - FT.com
Monday, March 7, 2011
"Dyson argues for the importance of what he calls heresy--challenging the scientific dogmas of the day. Dyson argues that our knowledge of climate science is incomplete and that too many scientists treat it as if it were totally understood."
EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty
"The combination of lower government spending and fewer regulatory burdens would increase the space in which the American people could discover opportunities to create mutually beneficial exchanges. At the end of the day, those are the basis of economic activity, job creation, rising incomes, and an expanding tax base essential to restoring balance to federal, state and local budgets."
To Increase Job Creation, Reduce Government Spending - Charles Kadlec - Community of Liberty - Forbes
"In this case, the sorry truth is that our savings aren’t worth as much as many of us think, and a rude awakening is coming. One way or another, some of our savings will be taxed away to make good on governmental commitments, like future Medicare benefits, which we currently are framing as personal free lunches."
The Fiscal Illusion and How to Face It - Economic View - NYTimes.com
"It said 3.7 jobs were lost for every one created in the UK as a whole and that political leaders needed to engage in 'honest debate' about the issue."
BBC News - Study says green sector costs more jobs than it creates
Sunday, March 6, 2011
"If Mr. Gleick has one overriding goal it is to provide an animated history of scientific progress, specifically the progress of the technology that allows information to be recorded, transmitted and analyzed."
‘The Information’ by James Gleick - Review - NYTimes.com
"When you drive gas prices higher to make a profit, you're bad; when you drive gas prices higher to save the environment, it's good."
Capitalism Magazine - Why Liberals and Environmentalists Want High Gas Prices
"Ten windows into innovation and wealth all relate to recent discoveries about a brain’s capabilities to win."
Neuro Windows into Novel Wealth - Mind Makeover - - Forbes
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 8:14 PM
Saturday, March 5, 2011
"Veronique de Rugy explains that today’s budget cuts are “missing an enforcement mechanism.” “If you have a constitutional amendment, Congress’s hands are tied,” says Rugy. With the rules that exist now, “They ignore them, or they pass rules that aren’t binding, or they do away with the rules.'"
Is amending the Constitution the only way to balance the federal budget? | Mercatus
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 3:22 PM
"Pessimists, he points out, have been predicting America's decline 'since the 18th century.' But whenever things are looking bad, America 'suddenly produces these wonderful things—like the tea party movement. That's cheered me up no end. Because it's done more for women in politics than anything else—all the feminists? Nuts! It's brought a lot of very clever and quite young women into mainstream politics and got them elected. A very good little movement, that. I like it.'"
The Weekend Interview with Paul Johnson: Why America Will Stay on Top - WSJ.com
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 3:17 PM
"We can test the distinction between greed and enterprise by substituting the word “enterprise” for “greed” in the fictional character Gordon Gecko’s famous speech from the 1987 movie Wall Street:
“Enterprise, for lack of a better word, is good. Enterprise is right. Enterprise works. Enterprise clarifies, cuts through, and captures, the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Enterprise, in all of its forms; enterprise for life, for money, for love, knowledge, has marked the upward surge of mankind and enterprise, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the U.S.A.”"
Enterprise, Not Greed, Creates A Better World | Community of Liberty
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 3:09 PM
"The efficient markets hypothesis has so few defenders these days that in a sense Roman Frydman and Michael Goldberg score an easy goal in their new book, Beyond Mechanical Markets. However, their ambition is not just to knock down a hypothesis many people already find implausible, but rather to make a deeper point about the nature of financial markets. This is that no conventional modelling approach can describe how markets behave, including the newly fashionable behavioural models."
The Enlightened Economist :: Beyond Mechanical Markets
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 2:57 PM
"Just because something is called a union does not make it automatically good and moral."
Catholic teaching’s pro-union bias | Acton Institute
"In short, if we socialize the costs of fighting piracy, we create both an incentive problem and an information problem. The incentive problem comes from the fact that shippers have incentives to be careless since they can expect a taxpayer-funded military to come to their rescue. The information problem comes from the fact that we forsake the social processes that tell us whether we are choosing wisely or not when we make these tasks the responsibility of the government rather than the responsibility of the firms in question."
What Can We Do About the Pirates? - Art Carden - The Economic Imagination - Forbes
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 10:03 AM
"IN A COLLEGE CAMPUS STUDY in 1989, physically attractive people approached opposite-sex students and asked, “Would you go to bed with me tonight?” Not a single woman said yes, but seventy-five percent of men accepted the invitation. This gender disparity forms the basis of the theory of “sexual economics,” which starts from the familiar premise that most guys want sex to be as easy as possible. Women generally want something else to be provided first, often along the lines of commitment, affection, security, love (perhaps you have heard this list before). These things constitute the “price” of sex for men. The going rate is governed by the norms in a given milieu, in much the same way that housing costs are determined by a local market. Since everyone is keen to (inconspicuously) compare notes, a web of interconnection takes shape so that each transaction has some effect on the marketplace as a whole."
Evan Hughes Reviews "Premarital Sex In America" | The New Republic
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 9:49 AM
"It is the connection between memory and creativity, perhaps, which should make us most wary of the web. ‘As our use of the web makes it harder for us to lock information into our biological memory, we’re forced to rely more and more on the net’s capacious and easily searchable artificial memory,’ Carr observes. But conscious manipulation of externally stored information is not enough to yield the deepest of creative breakthroughs: this is what the example of Poincaré suggests. Human memory, unlike machine memory, is dynamic. Through some process we only crudely understand – Poincaré himself saw it as the collision and locking together of ideas into stable combinations – novel patterns are unconsciously detected, novel analogies discovered. And this is the process that Google, by seducing us into using it as a memory prosthesis, threatens to subvert."
LRB · Jim Holt · Smarter, Happier, More Productive
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 9:38 AM
"Why are experts (along with us nonexperts) so bad at making predictions? The world is a messy, complex and contingent place with countless intervening variables and confounding factors, which our brains are not equipped to evaluate. We evolved the capacity to make snap decisions based on short-term predictions, not rational analysis about long-term investments, and so we deceive ourselves into thinking that experts can foresee the future."
Michael Shermer » Financial Flimflam:
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 9:17 AM
Thursday, March 3, 2011
"The root of all of these evils is excessive aggregation. The reigning macroeconomic analysis also has other important flaws, as I have suggested, but however these other problems might be dealt with, as long as mainstream analysts continue to work within the confines of such highly aggregated models, continued failures to understand and control the economy’s movements are well-nigh inevitable."
Extreme Aggregation Misleads Macroeconomists and the Fed | The Beacon
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 6:53 AM
"When addicts beat their addiction, they get their lives back. When states beat their federal-money addiction, we all get our country back."
When Governors Say No to Federal Crack - Merrill Matthews - Right Directions - Forbes
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 6:50 AM
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
"Entertaining, funny and clever, The Information puts our modern 'information revolution' in context, helping us appreciate the many information revolutions that preceded and enabled it. The internet certainly has changed things, but Gleick shows that it has changed only what has already changed many times before."
CultureLab: A vast history of information
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 7:36 AM
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
"International trade and investment linkages can't help explain either the late 20th-century uptick or recent collapse in civil wars within countries. What can, perhaps, is a corollary to the increased interconnectedness of the global economy: the end of global ideological debate on forms of government that followed the fall of the Iron Curtain. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of superpower tensions ushered in dramatic global gains in respect for human and political rights."
Iron Curtain Call - By Charles Kenny | Foreign Policy
Posted by Ben Asa Rast at 7:19 AM