What Is the “Ideal” Distribution of Wealth?

March 17, 2013

I’ve seen this video at least four times on facebook. I’d say it has achieved a critical mass of re-posts to warrant some sort of comment. The topic is America’s calamitous distribution of wealth, and the fear and loathing it should allegedly strike in the hearts of poor and middle-class Americans. Here is the video:

My attempts to find an organizational source with further information for this video have failed. Politizane‘s YouTube account appears to be the video’s origin, although others have re-posted it. As of this writing, no other videos appear under that name.  Read the rest of this entry »


Links for December 5, 2011: OccupyPhilly evicted, Jury Nullification speech under fire; Newt sounds half reasonable sometimes; others….

December 3, 2011
  1. In spite of the “police state” rhetoric, I think Philly has still handled the Occupy movement better than other municipalities. This eviction was undertaken so that a long-planned construction project could begin in Dilworth Plaza.

  2. A facebook friend wrote, “This is how Philadelphia police treat non-violent protesters.” Not quite. Police did not just up and drive a horse through a permitted demonstration. Those who disobey orders to disperse are no longer mere protesters. They are then civil disobediencers. Police up the ante at that point. I’m not denouncing the protesters. Good for them–but let’s be honest about what happened.

  3. Prosecutors are offering their first detailed explanation for why they charged Mr. Heicklen, arguing in a brief that his “advocacy of jury nullification, directed as it is to jurors, would be both criminal and without Constitutional protections no matter where it occurred.”

    The key phrase is “directed as it is to jurors”.  Read the rest of this entry »


Links for Monday, June 27, 2011: Marine Killed in Drug Raid; How to Create a Job; Intro to Constitutional Law; others….

May 22, 2011
  1. Raw video: PCSD helmet cam clip shows SWAT raid and shooting

    The raid that killed marine Jose Guerena. Story above.

  2. The officers were mistaken in believing Mr. Guerena fired at them. However, when Mr. Guerena raised the AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle in their direction, they needed to take immediate action to stop the deadly threat against them.

    Police need to try to understand: when a team of them kick down someone’s door for no good reason and infiltrate with guns drawn, they are guests in the other people’s homes.

  3. I’m not necessarily agreeing that cutting government and regulations is a “race to the bottom”, but they are asking the right questions about government claims of job creation. Read the rest of this entry »


Links for March 21, 2010: Backlog O’Links 2

March 13, 2011
  • It just makes sense.

  • But it’s been a challenge to convince anyone otherwise. “This is the heart of the problem—money from the Byrne grants,” Piper says. It’s money for overtime. Money for promotions. It’s policing for profit.”

    This great Philadelphia Weekly cover story highlights the embarrassing racial disparity among marijuana arrestees. There is also a great discussion on police incentives to boost pot arrests to show they are making use of stimulus money. And for what? Marijuana prohibition is simply crooked all around.   Read the rest of this entry »


  • Links for January 24, 2011: Planet Money Compares Socialism and Libertarianism; When Is a Mural not a Mural?; SCOTUS Revisits “Knock and Announce”; others….

    January 23, 2011

    Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

  • Tom Woods | People Who Deserve to Be Better Known

    I knew one only one of the five on this list. I’m sure you will be reading more from them all here in no time. Thanks to Tom Woods for sharing, and I’m glad to pass it along!

  • http://public.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/blog/2010/09/20100917_blog_pmoney.mp3?_kip_ipx=1874937601-1295886944

    Nice talk with socialist economic professor Richard Wolff. If anyone out there could possibly convince me that socialism is the way to go, it would be a professor of economics who believes it. I don’t believe he makes his case here in this segment, but I’m sure it would be impossible to do so in such a small window time.

    Wolff seems to think that part of the problem with capitalism is that there is a conflict of interest between business leaders and laborers. Of course there is such a conflict, but in a world of scarce resources, there will always be conflicts of interest between producers and consumers. Everybody has an interest in producing less and consuming more, and that interest conflicts with everyone else’s interest to do the same. Abolishing capitalism will not alter this reality.

    Wolff advocates a more democratic workplace. He evidently wants rules of some kind that would limit the types of businesses that people are allowed to create. Only those businesses that allow workers the prescribed amount of say in the goings on of the business are to be permitted. Wolff does not say here whether he expects everyone to adhere to these rules voluntarily or if he has in mind some sort of enforcement apparatus. But here in our capitalist society, people are perfectly free to create democratic workplaces. The usually do not, because they want a certain amount of control over their own creations and they want to ensure adequate returns for themselves. If all these other rules are placed upon the act of starting a business, I’m sure you will see far fewer people willing to take the risk.

    Not that I’m entitled to the increased productivity the a capitalist societies, but why not freedom? Nobody forces one particular person to work for another particular person, and nobody should force business models that they find appealing on the entrepreneurs who are producing, innovating, and making things happen.

  • http://public.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/blog/2010/09/20100921_blog_pmpod.mp3?_kip_ipx=1614643902-1295887909

    Adam Davidson: I’m just trying to think how my life would be different [in a libertarian society].

    David Boaz: You would be much richer, you would be happier, you would be better looking, you would be taller.

    Adam Davidson: Would I be stronger?

    DB: Absolutely.

    AD: Could I eat fattening foods but somehow maintain a slim physique?

    DB: Yes, probably. … With faster economic growth, we’d have better technology. And we probably would have all these miracle fats that don’t put any weight on you.

    This is the promised Libertarian follow-up to the above discussion with a socialist. The exchange above, I’m sure, is a tongue-in-cheek jab at those who describe libertarians as utopian. Do not take it all literally, but we surely would at least have faster economic growth. It’s a shame that I feel like I have to explain this.  Read the rest of this entry »


  • 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.


    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 »