Lots and lots of buzz lately in the libertarian media about these TSA searches. Reason.tv has posted a series of reductioadridiculum videos about them. Of course, airlines stand to lose customers if they can not ensure their safety. Nobody wants to see planes hijacked and crashed into buildings. The airlines should be free to handle security as they see fit, without government intervention and mandates.
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….
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 »
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.
Every time a libertarian stays in the closet, an angel gets its wings ripped off.
“One of the problems that the marijuana reform movement consistently faces is that everyone wants to talk about what marijuana does, but no one ever wants to look at what marijuana prohibition does. Marijuana never kicks down your door in the middle of the night. Marijuana never locks up sick and dying people. Marijuana does not suppress medical research. Marijuana does not peek in bedroom windows. Even if one takes every reefer madness allegation of the prohibitionists at face value, marijuana prohibition has done far more harm to far more people than marijuana ever could.” ~ Richard Cowan
… and Marijuana never shoots expectant fathers in the face for making “furtive movements”. If you are not speaking out against these tragedies, then you are telling our lawmakers that you tacitly approve of them. Spread the word, to your legislators and across your social networks, that you do not approve.
It lays out the basic argument. Progressives might revile at the suggestion that the minimum wage is more that a worker “is worth”, but I think this ignores economic reality. Read the rest of this entry »
The fun part of being a libertarian is that you get to blame the government for all your problems. The hard part, and the part that drives people away from the ideology, is that you have to relinquish your sense of entitlement. No, you are not entitled as a matter of natural right to carry your luggage onto an airplane at no charge. The airlines are providing a service for you, and they have certain terms that you must either accept or reject. Who knows? The baggage charge might reward those who economize by reducing their overall ticket price…..