Links for October 31, 2011: Stanhope on Liberty; Voices from the “1%”; Government owns polluted rivers; others….

October 29, 2011
  1. Fifteen minutes of brilliance. (NSFW: Language)

  2. Priceless. Uncut footage available here, here, here, and here. I would love even more. Apparently, the conversation lasted three hours.

  3. A different voice from the 1%, This one from the “tax me” contingent. Sorry. You can raise you own taxes if you want, but you got no moral authority to raise your neighbor’s taxes, as far as I’m concerned.

    I have spent far more hours than I should have these last few weeks … trying to understand who these people are and why they would possibly care about my taxes.

    It’s called empathy. It’s called reciprocity. I make more money than some unfortunate people, but I don’t like the idea of other people reaching into my pockets and taking my money on that account. On the other hand, I don’t think I’m better than everybody else. If there were a rule that said: “You may reach into anyone’s pocket but Tim G.’s.” I would consider that rule to be arbitrary and unfair to others. A more fair rule would be: “Nobody reaches into anyone else’s pockets.” I don’t have a particular love for this guy. I just think there ought to be predictable, non-arbitrary, even-handed rules of private property. Is that so wrong?

    The author also extols the government and union help his family received during his impoverished youth. It’s tough to play the “what if” game, but if the government did not interfere so much in the economy to limit people’s productive capacities there is reason to believe that his youth may not have been as bad as he assumes that it would have been. Again, I don’t have a crystal ball, but another way is possible.  Read the rest of this entry »


Links for October 24, 2011: Money in politics a feature, not a bug; Immigrants and jobs: don’t hate; Gary Johnson ignored; others….

October 22, 2011
  1. Money in politics: That’s not a bug. That’s a feature. (Aside, the excellent tunage is Hans Zimmer’s Time, from the Inception soundtrack)

  2. A government that can make or break great fortunes invites a bruising and wasteful competition for its favor. It cannot be surprising, then, that those with the most — thus most to lose — assiduously seek favor from the state.

    This is why the often heard Occupy Wall Street demand to get money out of politics will never happen. Politicians will be bought so long as they are for sale.

  3. TV commercial that aired during one of the Republican primary debates turned my stomach. Rather than hiding passively-aggressively behind “numbers” and “levels”, these scared, sad people should be a little more direct. They should look potential immigrants in the eye and say: “You are not welcome here. If you come near our borders, we will release the hounds and they will tear you apart.”

    Immigrants are not just employment black holes that come here to suck up jobs. Immigrants also demand goods and services, so jobs are created to accommodate them. In the end, they cause no net change in unemployment.

  4. Let Ben Powell explain.  Read the rest of this entry »


Links for October 17, 2011: Protesters arrested for demonstrating inside of Citibank; Justice Scalia eschews federal drug prohibition; More economic myths.

October 15, 2011
  1. Well, this really happened (see video). The truth, however, did not stop such prominent blogs as Daily Kos and InfoWars from uncritically repeating the facially ridiculous claim that over twenty customers were arrested for nothing other then asking tellers to have their accounts closed. The blogosphere lit up in the meantime. By the end of the next day, two of my progressive friends on facebook had unquestioningly posted the fraudulent headline to their news feeds. Some people, it seems, will swallow, without a second thought, just about any accusation leveled against a corporation.

    Two days later, Daily Kos published the above clarification explaining exactly what happened inside the bank: a disruptive demonstration, and not an innocent series of business proposals. InfoWars, on the other hand is staying the course. It has published a new story called Big Banks Refuse To Let People Close Accounts, which not only reiterates the hideous libel, but alleges further that banks all across America are forbidding “people” (people who carry signs or bullhorns into the banks, that is) from closing their accounts. No shame.

  2. Come on, people. Let’s repeal federal drug laws and free up Scalia’s Wednesdays for golf. He needs it.

  3. Responding to each of Kevin Drum’s claims here will take a bit too long. I’ve begun a feature on this, which I hope to finish some time soon (I think I have three half-finished drafts cooking). Suffice to say here that Austrian economists have already presponded to these claims, and the Austrian presponses have been predictably ignored.

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


Links for October 10, 2011: Elizabeth Warren’s Social Contract; The Poor Get Richer; The Poor Get Poorer, others….

October 8, 2011
  1. I like Elizabeth Warren. I think she makes a lot of sense a lot of the time, especially on the issue of spending. I don’t want to see her on any sort of ideological hit list. Still, those who have labored even a moment to process such thoughtless sloganeering must have cocked their heads in bewilderment. What social contract is Elizabeth Warren reading?

    Even assuming that the “social contract” theory is valid, which I do not, her timing is weird. It sure is odd to imply that everybody BUT the factory owner has paid for the roads, etc. Indeed, the factory owner very likely paid more in taxes for them than did most other people (albeit at possibly a lower rate compared to income, a la Warren Buffet). Why not simply acknowledge that the factory owner is entitled to a share of the road and police service commensurate with the taxes he or she has paid? Doesn’t that satisfy the social contract? Since when was “pay it forward to the next kid” a part of the social contract? Even if “pay it forward to next kid” was a part of the social contract, the factory worker does this not only by employing the next kid, but also by mass-producing a useful good and making it available to the next kid at a competitive price. I do not appreciate this misguided portayal of producers as take-take-takers.

    I wish there was some more context to this clip so that I would know exactly what evil she is attempting to remedy with her newly-amended social contract.

    See also Robert Murphy’s response:

    Warren alludes to an “underlying social contract.” Well it’s very convenient for her to discuss this contract, which none of us has ever seen but apparently she can interpret.

  2. Yes, this is the economy as Elizabeth Warren has described it.  Read the rest of this entry »