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 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 June 28, 2010: Some Thoughts on Slavery and Reparations

    June 28, 2010
    1. Walter Block | On Reparations to Blacks for Slavery

      The issue of reparations for slavery came up in conversation with a friend of mine last week. I’m not particularly well read on the issue, but here is something from Walter Block’s libertarian perspective. See also: Block’s Reparations, Once Again.

    2. A page from the 1850 Congressional Globe.

      The Library of Congress | A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 – 1875: Consideration of the Seventh Census

      Mr. BUTLER. The census heretofore taken has only required the number of slaves, and I see no useful information the obtaining of the names of the slaves can afford. On a plantation where there are one, two, three hundred slaves, there are perhaps several of the same name, and who are known by some familiar designation on the plantation. It can afford no useful information, and will make a great deal of labor. I made the same objection in the committee, and I move to amend in accordance with that objection now.
      Mr. DAVIS. If we are only to get the aggregate number of slaves, how are we to ascertain the owners?
      Mr. BUTLER. By providing that the number of slaves owned by him shall be put opposite to the name of each owner.
      Mr. DAVIS. Then we shall lose the benefit of the classification of ages.
      Mr. BUTLER. Not at all. The age and sex will remain—everything but the name. Read the rest of this entry »