Links for October 25, 2010: Interview with Marakay Rogers, Libertarian Candidate for Pennsylvania Governor; More “Quantitative Easing” to Come; others….October 24, 2010
- World Socialist Party (US) | Making Bread
Daryl Larson, who farms 1,500 acres in Kansas sold nearly half of his wheat crop but will keep the rest in the silo in the expectation that the prices will at least climb further. Most analysts would concur with Mr Larson’s strategy of holding on to some grain for added profit. The [Socialist Party of Great Britain] only asks: why do some in this world face destitution and hunger, while others hoard food to obtain higher profits?
Farm subsidies complicate the issue, but the simple answer is: Daryl Larson, the producer of the food, has the perfect right to do anything he pleases with it. He was under no obligation to make the food. Similarly, he is under no obligation to distribute the food. If Mr. Larson were forced to sell his grain at prices he did find agreeable, he probably not stay in the wheat business for very long.
If we added farm subsidies into the mix, then, depending on why the subsidies were paid in the first place, there could be a basis upon which to demand that Mr. Larson make some concessions to taxpayers….
- AFL-CIO NOW BLOG | Public to Lawmakers: Tax the Rich1) Aren’t you glad that the public has no authority to confiscate and redistribute your private property?? 2)Never trust anyone who classifies tax cuts as ‘spending’. 3) This article quotes labor secretary Robert Reich who believes that the ‘fundamental cause’ of the financial crisis is wealth disparity. If not for wealth disparity, the argument goes, Americans would not have needed to borrow so much. I’ve never heard this one before… Read the rest of this entry »
Links for March 8, 2010: Philly Bars Raided for Serving Unregistered Beers, Hitchens on Rand, others….March 18, 2010
Philadelphia Daily News | Troopers raid popular bars for unlicensed beers: Dozens of gallons seized after 'citizen complaint'
"'My main beef with this whole convoluted situation is that the PLCB is the sole regulator of a set of products that they do not even know the names of,' she said." … "Maida said that the couple's attorney had told them that they have until 6 p.m. tonight to compile evidence to prove that the confiscated beer is properly registered. 'The onus is on us to prove our innocence,' she said."
I'm trying to imagine these citizens who apparently carry the PLCB list of registered beers in their hip pockets, just in case somebody offers them a beer they do not recognize….
YouTube | Hitchens Destroys the Cult of Ayn Rand
I've never read any Ayn Rand. I bought "The Fountainhead" in audiobook form on clearance a couple months ago. I have not yet listened. Based on what I've heard about her and her cult, I do not disagree with anything Hitchens says here. I understand that Rand had no love for the Libertarian Party. Read the rest of this entry »
- World Socialist Party (US) | Labor Theory of Value
Looking for a simple, concise explanation of the theory, I find instead this litany of apologetics. Written almost entirely on the defensive, the article explains nothing about the Labor Theory of Value except why Marx scoffed at requests to explain it: — “if one wanted to ‘explain’ from the outset all phenomena that apparently contradict the law, one would have to provide the science before the science” (Collected Works vol. 43, p. 68). I don’t know if that explanation satisfies you, but I find it wanting. I think, ultimately, Marx uses the word “VALUE” as a term of art that means simply that part of an item’s existence attributable to the labor required to produce it. So, if I spent 50 man-hours making 50,000 turd sandwiches, Marx would “VALUE” those turd sandwiches at the going rate for 50 man-hours of labor. Sure, the labor theory of value makes sense in THAT context, but what about real life, in which we don’t always have the luxury of defining words as we please?
Update: It has come to my attention after listening to a lecture on the opening chapter of Marx’s Capital that Marx believed that useless items had no value. He actually employed three terms of art, and what he saw as the relationships between them, to describe what a layman would call “value”. The terms are: use value, exchange value, and value. An explanation of this in the linked article would have been helpful.
- reason.tv | Don’t Get Hurt
Fear of addiction and other harms resulting from prescription pain-killers is overblown, argues Ted Balaker at Reason. Read the rest of this entry »