Links for October 18, 2010: Hungarian Government Does Something Worthwhile, the Likelihood of an Informed Electorate, others…

October 17, 2010
  1. Vodpod videos no longer available.

    I didn’t know what to expect when I clicked the link. The lesson unfortunately has nothing to do with the economics of socialism. It has to do instead with the Hungarian government’s laudable efforts to hold accountable companies whose carelessness causes great damage to surrounding land. Yes, socialists can do some good things sometimes….

  2. The problem with democracy.

  3. Great work, ladies and gentlemen.

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

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Backlog O’Links for August 30, 2010: Old stuff that’s not even newsworthy anymore.

July 25, 2010
  1. 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….

  2. 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 July 19, 2010: To Stimulate or Not To Stimulate; What Police Can Do; much, much more….

July 18, 2010

    Paul Krugman: Boost aggregate demand! Muahahaha!!!

  1. It’s good to hear Krugman speak and respond to questions. The thrust of this discussion is that the opposition to the stimulus is a visceral reaction, not an intelligent one. Although some guests early on questioned the empirical efficacy of the stimulus, we did really not hear from any Thomas E. Woodses or any Peter Schiffs who maintained, in quite an intellectual fashion, that the stimulus is simply bad economic policy. Krugman remarks toward the end that he doesn’t see stimulus jobs as “makework” jobs. I do not understand how this position can be honestly defended alongside the position that we now need government to “boost aggregate demand”, i.e. create demand where none existed before. What is the purpose of the stimulus if it is not to “make work”? If these were not “makework” jobs, we would do them anyway. We would not need an economic crisis as a pretense for passing $700 billion spending bills. For a response to the assertion that Roosevelt’s slashing of the deficits caused a recession in 1937, see this. For a response to the assertion that World War II spending lifted the U.S. economy out of the depression, listen here, starting at 32:17.  Read the rest of this entry »


Links for July 12, 2010: Is the Energy Star Program a Rubber Stamp?; Much Ado About the Economy, Economics; Much, Much More!

July 11, 2010
  1. The Government Accountability Office tested the government’s Energy Star program with phony products and found it essentially to be a rubber stamp–except that only 15 of 20 products were accepted and two were rejected.  I wish they’d explained the rejections in a little more detail.

  2. Every time a libertarian stays in the closet, an angel gets its wings ripped off.

  3. We need you out here!!! I highly recommend listening to Mises.org podcasts and watching Reason.tv. After a while, you’ll come to realize that you have ready responses to every statist argument that comes down the tube.  Also, take Christopher Hitchens’s sage advice to heart.

  4. “The Conscience of a Liberal”: Calling your opponent “bizarre” and “crazy” = Checkmate!!! See full ThinkMarkets.wordpress.com response hereRead the rest of this entry »


Links for July 6, 2010: Kagan on Corporate Speech, an Easter Egg in the Health Care Bill, Knocking “Deficit Hawks”, others….

July 4, 2010
  1. Elena Kagan: How hard will she fight corporate free speech? (Photo: Doc Searls)

    An attorney’s job is to be a zealous advocate for her client. I becomes a sort of theater of the absurd. It does not necessarily follow that she will retain this mentality on the bench. On the other hand, perhaps it is not so wise to turn someone who has built a career arguing on behalf of the government into a Supreme Court Justice. Habits are sometimes hard to break. Contrast with Ralph Nader’s 36 Questions for Elena Kagan, wherein the author’s first ten questions attempt to gauge Kagan’s support for free corporate speech, seemingly unawares of her very office’s zealous efforts to limit it.

  2. I wouldn’t be surprised if this were one of many Easter eggs hidden in this bill that the American people did not bargain for. That’s generally how sprawling legislation works, is it not?

  3. The FAA has granted the company an extra 110 pounds to the LSA limit of 1,320 pounds maximum takeoff weight. Terrafugia says this will allow the extra safety equipment and a still allow the airplane to compete with other LSA aircraft in terms of range and the amount of payload it can carry.

    Kudos to the FAA for getting out of the way of progress. Read the rest of this entry »


Links for June 14, 2010: Christopher Hitchens on disagreeing with the Left, Study alleges progressives are poor at basic economics, others….

June 13, 2010
  1. I would never make a political disagreement the cause of a quarrel with a friend. I think it’s silly to do that. But there is a tendency on the left—and I bet there are people here who know what I’m talking about—to think that if someone in any way disagrees with the left, it must be for the lowest possible reason, and that if you’ve found the lowest possible motive, you’ve found the right one. There’s this whole culture of: no one would leave us or quarrel with us if they weren’t a sellout. It’s actually a very sick mentality, and very widespread, and people who think like that or feel like that can dump me if they want, but that’s almost to as much as to say that they weren’t much of a friend.

    Yes, I know what he’s talking about. Speaking of sell-outs, Christopher Hitchens will be speaking to a sold-out crowd tomorrow, June 15, at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

  2. This study purports to find that self-identified progressives and liberals are less “economically enlightened” as compared to conservatives and Libertarians. I believe the result is essentially correct because every day I read articles from progressives who advocate feel-good policy proposals without examining economic consequences or responding adequately to economic concerns. I regularly comment on this very phenomenon here on this blog. Unfortunately, this study is so biased and flawed that it will not convince anybody.  The condescending title of this article alone will rightfully repel the very people who should receive the message most.  See a rebuttal here and a forum discussion here. Read the rest of this entry »


Links for June 7, 2010: The Greecing of America, A Libertarian Answer to Oil Spills, Ayn Rand as a “Gateway Drug”, others….

June 6, 2010
  1. Debt crisis: Coming soon to a country near you…

  2. Greece PM threatens lawsuit against United States investment banks for their “role” in the Greek government’s uncontrolled spending spree. Whatever. In other news, the threat made Democracy Now! headlines, sans, of course, any reference to Greece’s massive public debt–apparently 113% of GDP. Maybe they already did a show on it??

  3. There has been an uneasy dearth of commentary from my favorite libertarian sources on the BP oil spill. Here is one of the best posts I’ve come across explaining what libertarianism could have done, and can still do, for the Gulf. Read the rest of this entry »