Links for Monday, October 3, 2011: Ron Paul on Health Care; Gibson Guitars Raided; The “Monkeysphere”; others….

October 1, 2011
  1. Though Paul spoke to the larger issues of health care and government-backed health insurance–both pivotal in the 2012 election–the audience’s reaction has overshadowed the substance of the exchange between the candidates.

    This is a sort of self-perpetuating observation. The author gives the headline to the clowns in the audience, then observes in bewilderment that the audience’s reaction overshadows the substance of the debate. Gee. How does that happen? Here’s a thought: Try writing an article–with matching headline–about the substance of the debate, and then relegate the peanut gallery’s guffaws to a footnote in the article. Video embedding disabled by request. ūüė¶

  2. Kent Snyder: One man's tragedy is another's opportunity.

    This is one of the most callous, ruthless attacks on Ron Paul’s principles that I have ever read. Ron Paul and his supporters must answer this one.

    Kent was Ron Paul’s 2008 campaign manager.¬†Jesse Benton, the Paul campaign’s communications director¬†apparently said¬†that it was Kent’s idea not to offer insurance due to costs. This apparently was not unusual in the realm of political campaigns.

    He apparently had a pre-existing condition that made insurance prohibitively expensive. Even if the Ron Paul campaign offered insurance, it is unclear to me that Kent would have received it.¬†Kent’s obituary in the Washington Post states that Kent spent two months in a hospital before he died. It is unclear to me how health insurance would have saved his life, even if he had it.

    When we remove the appeal to emotion associated with the man’s death, this a comment only on the outrageous cost of health care. Libertarians like Ron Paul have plenty to teach us about how health care came to be so expensive and what should be done to reduce costs. See, e.g.: True News 46: The Death of Health Care, Part One, John Stossel: Insurance Makes Health Care Far More Expensive.

  3. The government raided Gibson Guitars, alleging dealing in illegally logged wood. Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz defends his company:

    The Indian government allowed the exports. We have a letter from the Indian government that says that it’s absolutely legal to export rosewood and ebony fingerboards, certified letter, and the wood was certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, which is a third-part independent auditor, if you will, that establishes the legality and appropriateness of wood sourcing.¬† Read the rest of this entry »

Links for Monday, September 26, 2011: Gary Johnson Debates; Gibson Guitars Raided; Wall Street Occupied.

September 24, 2011
  1. For the record, he always was a real candidate.

    I think the biggest threat to our national security is that we’re bankrupt.” (We’re not, technically, but this a nice line to co-opt from the Tea Party.)

    When will the government be “technically bankrupt”? When it files for bankruptcy with itself? Anyway, it’s good to see Gary Johnson getting some press and some airtime. The best line, by the way, was: “My next door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than this president.” Rush Limbaugh apparently said it first.

  2. [Andrea Johnson, director of forest programs for the Environmental Investigation Agency,] defends the Lacey Act and the government’s efforts to enforce it. “Nobody here wants this law to founder on unintended consequences,” she says. “Because ultimately everybody understands that the intent here is to reduce illegal logging and send a signal to the markets that you’ve got to be asking questions and sourcing wood in a responsible way.”

    What constitutes that responsible way may only become clear when the government finally charges Gibson and the company gets the day in court it says it wants so badly.

    Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz claims he the Indian government certified that his wood was harvested legitimately. This did not stop a U.S. government raid.¬†I can understand the people’s desire to protect certain species of things, but at what cost? Raiding without charging?¬†Is this legitimate governance?

    A short lesson on how to think like a libertarian: Whenever you see government environmental regulations designed to prevent some thing or other from going extinct, think: “tragedy of the commons”. Why is this Indian wood being plundered? Could either private ownership or better enforcement of private property rights encourage people to steward the sources of this type of wood better? More research is due.

  3. Don’t let the title fool you: Tamar Gendler rains on Robert Nozick’s parade. I kind of lost interest at “suppose each of us starts out with the same amount of money.” I’m not sure exactly what we’re supposed to glean from thought experiments that begin with such bizarre suppositions. She might as well have begun, “Suppose each of us starts out with our own flying, wish-granting luck dragon.”¬†Wellll, OK!?! So we all start out with the same amount of money. And a luck dragon. What now?¬† Read the rest of this entry »