Backlog O’Links for March 5, 2011: John Stossel on the regulatory juggernaut; Richard Wolff says weird stuff; Andrew Beitbart, I hardly knew ya; others….

  1. This could happen to you. They can take any law that they think you broke and take you to trial. And whether you win or lose, you’re going to lose, because by the time you’re done fighting it, you’re broke.

  2. The web site says “conservative”, but she markets herself as “libertarian” on facebook, hence my click of curiosity.

    I think this girl does pretty much what I do, but it looks like she actually makes a living at it. How cool is that? Unlike me, she actually goes out and talks to real people. That might be her edge.

  3. I wish I had all day to sit around writing blogs. This particular episode of Update is, well … weird. I can’t rightly criticize the guy, because he is a professor of economics and I am not. That is why I listen to him–but what should an economically aware consumer of online media make of a statement such as this?:

    The prices of Greek goods can’t compete with those in Germany, in large part because the workers, while they’re perfectly productive, and their wages are already low, the workers’ wages are covered by the prices of what Greeks produce, but so are the profits of the rich. And they jack up their prices to keep their profits and upper income people in the money that they demand. If you could reduce that, the prices could come down, the workers could get paid, and Greeks could be, quote unquote, “competitive”.

    It’s interesting, especially coming from a professor of economics, to hear that rich people in Greece got rich and stayed that way by over-pricing all of their products and handing their market share over to the Germans. Maybe there are other economic laws at work in Greece that I don’t know about. I just started a photo-restoration business. Should I move to Greece, hand my market share over to my competitors by charging a million dollars per job, and thereby become a millionaire? If this is happening in Greece as Richard Wolff describes, then one must ask what else is afoot over there that keeps these zombie businesses afloat while they fleece their consumers….

    Not a word, of course, is uttered about either the Greek government’s profligacy and debt, or about the Greek governments lying about and covering up it’s profligacy and debt, as exposed in this episode of This American Life. I guess that’s not so important.

    Toward the end of the podcast, Dr. Wolff pooh-poohs the idea of markets functioning without interference from government. Wolff calls this “neoclassical economics”, and I bet some Austrian economists and anarcho-capitalists would take issue with the label, but let’s put that aside. He dismisses the “neoclassical economics” of freedom from government by picking the low-hanging fruit of centralized banking, police, military, and utilities. Due to time constraints, I’m sure, he declines to mention the tens of thousands of pages of regulations, at various levels of government, that constantly and purposefully strangle markets. I think the professor should start talking there, and save his feel-good discussions about public police for later.

  4. Yeah, that's him.

  5. His Wikipedia page quotes his self-description as a “‘a Reagan conservative’ with libertarian sympathies,” so I guess he was on the right track. I never read his stuff closely, but I knew that progressives all loathed him, so I figured he was probably on to something.

  6. The most recent Toolkit report recommends that states create a “centralized, independent, decision-making body to manage privatization and government efficiency initiatives.” Michigan’s law grants far more sweeping powers to one appointee.

    I’d like to see how this all turns out in a few years. The article speaks of implementing some well-grounded libertarian-style idea, but a word of caution: A “centraliized, independent decision-making body to manage privatization,” is not necessarily a free market either.

  7. “The word ‘nullification’ was used, and nobody’s head exploded, and the earth didn’t tumble toward the sun.”

    Thomas Woods tells of a delightful recent instance of Nullification in Virginia. He maybe goes a bit too far with the “Think Progress are a bunch of thought control enforcers and narc creeps” trope. It would have sufficed to say that they’re allegations are unfounded, and that they are wrong.

  8. It’s sort of a touching response to a $1.2 trillion deficit, isn’t it?” Buffett, 81, said in an appearance on CNBC Monday morning. “That somehow the American people will all send in their checks and take care of it. …

    It’s sort of astounding to me that somebody that has the responsibility for being the minority leader in the Senate would think that you attack a $1.2 trillion or so deficit by asking for voluntary contributions,” he said.

    The real problem we have is we’re taking in too little money and we’re spending too much,” Buffett continued. “And that’s not going to be solved by voluntary contributions. What we need is a tax policy.

    It’s good to hear some feedback on this from Buffett. For some strange reason, though, he is not in the news for advocating a new government spending policy. Why not?  The fact of the matter is that the folly of government overspending does not legitimize the crime of government overtaxing.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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