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 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 »


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. 😦

  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 »