ENGLISH

The State’s Education Monopoly Increases Prices and Destroys Choice


Editor's Note: This selection is taken from Chapter 5 of Ron Paul's new book The School Revolution: A New Answer for Our Broken Education System.
The free-market principle of open entry is challenged by governmental restrictions on access to consumer markets. There are many official justifications for these restrictions, but the main one is this: “Customers do not know what is good for them.” They do not know what products to buy, what prices to pay, or what arrangements to negotiate with respect to return and replacement. Customers are in fact woefully ignorant of what they really need, so the state enters the marketplace to restrict what customers are legally allowed to purchase. The idea here is that state officials know what customers really need as distinguished from what customers are willing to pay for.

Robert Shiller’s Egalitarian, Regulated, and Subsidized “Good Society”

  by

(Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller, Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2012, 288 pp.)
What defines a “good society” and how can we use finance to achieve it? Robert Shiller takes the former question as settled, and dedicates his 2012 book Finance and the Good Society to the latter: what is wrong with modern finance, and how should it be restructured to reach this ideal?
What constitutes Shiller’s good society? He alleges this term has been used by philosophers, historians, and economists for centuries to signify the society we should aspire to live in, where everyone respects and appreciates one another. While everyone agrees we should respect one another, appreciation implies an obligation that is less universally accepted. Although this could be chalked up to a fairly unassuming statement, the definition, indeed the whole book, goes downhill from here. The good society is also an egalitarian one, according to Shiller, and finance should not be at odds with this goal.

Pro-Union, Crony-Capitalist Thinking Dooms Another Employer


It’s an old story. A manufacturing plant in a small town announces an impending closing, threatening to devastate the local economy and the many families that depend on it. Panic ensues, and politicians intervene. There’s a sense of injustice in the air. Can anything be done?
Although this scenario played itself out many dozens of times in the area now known as the Rust Belt, it was set in motion last week in Northwest Alabama with the announcement that International Paper planned to shutter its largest manufacturing facility in the world — a massive, 42-year-old paper mill in Courtland with more than 1,100 employees, including maintenance workers earning wages that range between $20 to $32 an hour. These were good jobs — if you could get into the union and if paper demand was sufficient to keep those workers productive enough to justify the union wage.

King Mohammed VI Of Morocco Builds New Financial City For The World

King Mohammed VI Of Morocco Builds New Financial City For The World

King Mohammed VI
King Mohammed VI
Ever since he ascended the throne in 1998, his Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, has nursed one persistent ambition: to transform Casablanca, the Kingdom’s largest city and economic center, into Africa’s leading financial hub.
To achieve this, in 2010 the King announced the creation of one of his most ambitious project, the Casablanca Finance City (CFC), a regional financial center and a privileged entry point for Northern, Western, and Central Africa.
The Casablanca Finance City (CFC) is a custom-made village being developed for large national and international foreign institutions looking to operate in the region and gain access to French-speaking African markets. The city will cater primarily to institutions in 3 key sectors: financial services, professional services and regional and international headquarters activities, offering eligible companies operating in these sectors a marketplace to undertake their activities on a regional and international level.

The Obamacare Rollout Debacle Is A Hayekian 'Teaching Moment'

The Obamacare Rollout Debacle Is A Hayekian 'Teaching Moment'


Healthcare.gov User Experience, after Andreas ...
Healthcare.gov User Experience, after Andreas Vesalius (Photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com)
By Steven Hayward
The necessity of re-learning fundamental truths at regular intervals should not surprise beings whose moral history begins with succumbing to the false temptation of the serpent before the Tree of Knowledge that “ye shall be as gods.”  The debacle of the rollout of Obamacare is yet another moment for re-learning the fundamental truth about how little we know about what we think we can control.
That last phrase comes from F.A. Hayek, of course.  Hayek died in 1992, on the cusp of the World Wide Web and the explosion of the Internet, which has transformed our economy and our individual lives profoundly.  In one of his last interviews with Forbes magazine shortly before his death, Hayek was asked whether the rapid advances in technology and computing power made economic management—planning and regulation—more feasible.  Hayek was emphatic that no matter how big and how fast our computing power got, it did not change the fundamental defect of all centralized economic control: the problem is not simply mastering or processing a large amount of raw data.  Information and circumstances change too quickly.  More fundamentally, the data necessary for centralized decision-making is not available at all.

Senator Cruz SLAMS Senate Deal 2 end Gov't Shutdown/Raise Debt Limit w N...

Judge Napolitano ~ House Republicans Float Their Own Debt Ceiling Plan

Judge Napolitano ~ Who Is Going To Preserve Our Freedom From The NSA Whe...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Not Raising the Debt Limit Equals a Balanced Budget

Richard Ebeling
 
 Not Raising the Debt Limit Equals a Balanced Budget

 The mainstream media and the Washington, D.C.-obsessed news pundits are in hysterics that the United States government is potentially facing default if the Congress does not increase the legal debt limit, so the U.S. Treasury can continue to borrow more and more hundreds of billions of dollars in the fiscal year 2014 to cover the government's spending in excess of what it collects in tax revenues. What has been given little attention in all of this anxiety is that if the debt limit is not raised the Federal government will have to operate within the confines of a balanced budget. That is, the government would be authorized to only spend what it collects in taxes. This, in itself, makes the case for not increasing the debt limit very appealing.

Tibor Machan Tibor Machan on Improvements of Liberty in the 21st Century

Tibor Machan Tibor Machan on Improvements of Liberty in the 21st Century
 
 With Anthony Wile

 The Daily Bell is pleased to present this exclusive interview with Tibor Machan

 Introduction: Tibor Machan is currently Professor Emeritus, Department of Philosophy, Auburn University, Alabama, and holds the R. C. Hoiles Endowed Chair in Business Ethics and Free Enterprise at the Argyros School of Business & Economics, Chapman University. He is also a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Machan, who earned BA (Claremont McKenna College), MA (New York University) and Ph.D. (University of California at Santa Barbara) degrees in philosophy, has written numerous books and papers in the field of philosophy, including on issues surrounding the free market. Machan was selected as the 2003 President of the American Society for Value Inquiry, and delivered the presidential address on December 29, 2002, in Philadelphia, at the Eastern Division meetings of the American Philosophical Association, titled "Aristotle & Business."

The Real Reason George F. Will Is Irritated With Obama

Anthony Wile
The Real Reason George F. Will Is Irritated With Obama
 
 Big news, from my point of view. Late this week, conservative columnist George F. Will wrote an editorial that compiled a list of what we call dominant social themes, even though he didn't explain them as such. The list was required to buttress accusations he was making about US President Barack Obama's reportedly disappointing speech in Berlin. We've already commented on the speech in staff reports but I wanted to write this analysis as a follow-up. First, attendance at Obama's speech was minute compared to the number who had flocked to his appearance in Berlin during his presidential campaign in 2008 – around 4,000 reportedly versus the more than 200,000 estimated by Berlin police in 2008. Second, the reviews of the speech were almost universally negative, and Obama is clearly losing his "mojo" with the mainstream Western media.

Anthony Wile View Bio 150 Lesson Learned: The Constrained Conservative Agenda

 Editorial By Anthony Wile
 
If we examine this week's main events, we observe some powerful dominant social themes in action. Perhaps the biggest continuing news was the US government shutdown. The memes were predictable enough, having to do with the efficacy of government and the necessity of its operation. None were very persuasive, in our humble opinion, and in some cases they didn't stand up to minimal scrutiny. A further word on that at the bottom of this article ... In this past week's article, "The Devious Manipulation of the Budget Debate," we pointed out that most of the government was not shut down and that the idea that the Tea Party was going to be irretrievably damaged by the event was part of a larger promotion. None of it really mattered very much, of course, because the larger issues remained intact.

Obama on Verge of ‘Impeachable Offenses’

Obama on Verge of ‘Impeachable Offenses’

Obama’s Debt Default Is on His Shoulders While We Shoulder His Impeachable Offenses

Apparently the president thinks he can furlough reality when talking about the debt limit. To suggest that raising the debt limit doesn’t incur more debt is laughably absurd. The very reason why you raise the debt limit is so that you can incur more debt. Otherwise what’s the point?
It’s also shameful to see him scaremongering the markets with his talk of default. There is no way we can default if we follow the Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment, Section 4, requires that we service our debt first. We currently collect more than enough tax revenue to service our debt if we do that first. However, we don’t have enough money to continue to finance our ever-growing federal government (with our $17 trillion dollar national debt that has increased over 50% since Obama took office). That’s why President Obama wants to increase the debt limit. He doesn’t want to make the tough decisions to rein in government spending. So, he’s scaremongering the markets about default, just as he tries to scaremonger our senior citizens about their Social Security, which, by the way, is funded by the Social Security Trust Fund and is solvent through 2038.
It’s time for the president to be honest with the American people for a change. Defaulting on our national debt is an impeachable offense, and any attempt by President Obama to unilaterally raise the debt limit without Congress is also an impeachable offense. A default would also be a shameful lack of leadership, just as mindlessly increasing our debt without trying to rein in spending is a betrayal of our children and grandchildren who will be stuck with the bill.
This article was cross-posted at Sarah Palin's Facebook page.

Palin to Iowa

Palin to Iowa


Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will return to Iowa on November 9, returning to the state that holds the country's first-in-the-nation caucuses. These are dominated by social conservatives who Palin appeals to as strongly as she resonates with independent-minded fiscal conservatives. 

BEYOND 'GLITCHES': Obamacare Nightmare Just Beginning

BEYOND 'GLITCHES': Obamacare Nightmare Just Beginning

"Train wreck." "Fundamentally flawed." “Not ready for primetime.” This is the rollout of Obamacare. 

Constant “glitches” keep people from logging into the exchanges. Humiliating live video of reporters normally favorable to Obamacare simply giving up in frustration because they cannot sign up. Consumers who are lucky enough to get through the system are stunned to learn that their premiums have skyrocketed by thousands of dollars. One Pennsylvania mother says that she can either pay her increased premiums or pay for her kids to eat, but she can’t do both.
Extremely personal information has already leaked from the system in Minnesota. Software security experts from McAfee predict millions of identity theft victims. And one of the healthcare exchanges was forced to acknowledge that information collected from patients will be shared with law enforcement.

Wise Words on Fiscal Sovereignty and Corporate Taxation (sort of) from Bill Clinton

By Daniel J. Mitchell

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Bill Clinton. In part, that’s because economic freedom increased and the burden of government spending was reduced during his time in office.
Partisans can argue whether Clinton actually deserves the credit for these good results, but I’m just happy we got better policy. Heck, Clinton was a lot more akin to Reagan that Obama, as this Michael Ramirez cartoon suggests.
Moreover, Clinton also has been the source of some very good political humor, some of which you can enjoy here, here, here, here, and here.
Most recently, he even made some constructive comments about corporate taxation and fiscal sovereignty.
Here are the relevant excerpts from a report in the Irish Examiner.

Michael D. Tanner’s latest study “The Work versus Welfare Trade-Off: 2013” is cited on WTIC’s Sound Off Connecticut w/ Jim Vicevich

Alex Nowrasteh discusses E-Verify not working during the shutdown on KTRH’s Morning News

Politics, Constitutional Decline and Government Overreach

Politics, Constitutional Decline and Government Overreach


“What’s the Constitution among friends?” asked Ohio’s John F. Follett in the House in 1884. Still in the offing, constitutional decline was only stirring. In fact, three years later, 100 years after the Constitution was written, President Grover Cleveland would veto a bill appropriating the paltry sum of $10,000 for seeds for Texas farmers suffering from a drought. “I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution,” his veto message said.

Why Growth Is Getting Harder

By Brink Lindsey


For over a century, the trend line for the long-term growth of the U.S. economy has held remarkably steady. Notwithstanding huge changes over time in economic, social, and political conditions, growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita has fluctuated fairly closely around an average annual rate of approximately 2 percent. Looking ahead, however, there are strong reasons for doubting that this historic norm can be maintained.

Government Waste Stifling Growth Worldwide

Government Waste Stifling Growth Worldwide


The International Monetary Fund announced this past week that it expects world GDP growth to be only 2.9 percent this year. This is below the 3.2 percent in 2012, which was below the 30-year average of about 3.6 percent, and far below the one-of-the-best recent four-year periods, from 2004 to 2007, when it averaged 5.1 percent. The differences may seem small, but the rate of GDP growth determines how quickly global poverty declines and real incomes rise.
From the end of the recession in 2009, real economic growth in the United States has averaged less than 2 percent, which means that it will take around 35 years for real income to double. Contrast this performance with the last four years of President Clinton’s administration and the four years under President Reagan after the end of the 1981-82 recession, when growth averaged more than 4 percent per year. If those rates had been sustained, real incomes would have doubled in a mere 17 years. The Chinese have been doubling real incomes about every seven years because their growth rates have been ranging between 7 percent and 12 percent per year.

Rising Prices Signal a ‘Devastating’ Global Chocolate Crisis: Should Government Act to Save Us?

Rising Prices Signal a ‘Devastating’ Global Chocolate Crisis: Should Government Act to Save Us?


Attention in Washington remains focused on the government shutdown. But a far more important issue confronts America while the president and congressional leaders dither: rising chocolate prices. When will the government address this terrifying global crisis?
Chocolate comes from cocoa trees, which have been cultivated for thousands of years. The early Mesoamericans, including the Aztecs and Mayans, turned the beans into cocoa solids, liquid, and butter. The Mayans probably created the first chocolate drink; in fact, the word chocolate likely derives from Mayan words for hot and water. However, the Aztecs highlighted the value of cocoa when they ordered some conquered peoples to pay tribute in cocoa beans.

US: Nanny Government Treats Its Citizens Like Children – by Walter E. Williams

US: Nanny Government Treats Its Citizens Like Children – by Walter E. Williams

Last month, at a Raeford, N.C., elementary school, a teacher confiscated the lunch of a 5-year-old girl because it didn’t meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines and therefore was deemed non-nutritious. She replaced it with school cafeteria chicken nuggets.
The girl’s home-prepared lunch was nutritious; it consisted of a turkey and cheese sandwich, potato chips, a banana and apple juice.
But whether her lunch was nutritious or not is not the issue. The issue is governmental usurpation of parental authority.
In a number of states, pregnant teenage girls may be given abortions without the notification or the permission of parents. The issue is neither abortion nor whether a pregnant teenager should get one. The issue is: What gives government the authority to usurp parental authority?

US: Ayn Rand’s 108th birthday – I’m with the Rand – by Elizabeth Gettelman

US: Ayn Rand’s 108th birthday – I’m with the Rand – by Elizabeth Gettelman

a1Celebrity fans of the cult of selfishness.
Angelina Jolie: ”I just think [Ayn Rand] has a very interesting philosophy…You reevaluate your own life and what’s important to you.”
Christina Ricci: “My favorite book is The Fountainhead…I relate to it because of the idea that you’re not a bad person if you don’t love everyone.”
Vince Vaughn: “The last book I read was the book I’ve been rereading most of my life—The Fountainhead.”
Rob Lowe: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand is a stupendous achievement and I just adore it.”
Eva Mendes: Any potential boyfriend “has to be an Ayn Rand fan.”
Mark Cuban: ”I don’t know how many times I have read [The Fountainhead], but it got to the point where I had to stop because I would get too fired up.”
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.): Recently tweeted, “Still reading Atlas Shrugged, quite the read.”
Hugh Hefner: The Fountainhead ”is a compelling tribute to man’s quest for personal freedom.”
Billie Jean King: “Like Dagny Taggart, I had to learn how to be selfish, although selfish has the wrong connotation. As I see it, being selfish is really doing your own thing.”
Jerry Lewis: The Fountainhead is “a very profound book…Makes you think!”
Brad Pitt: The Fountainhead ”is so dense and complex, it would have to be a six-hour movie.”
* Elizabeth Gettelman is a former managing editor at Mother Jones. To follow her on Twitter, click here.
Source: Mother Jones
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US: Ben Bernanke’s Fed Needs Help That Kevin Brady’s Monetary Commission Plans To Provide – by Ralph Benko

US: Ben Bernanke’s Fed Needs Help That Kevin Brady’s Monetary Commission Plans To Provide – by Ralph Benko

On July 10th Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke made a widely noted speech before the National Bureau of Economic Research, in Cambridge, Massachusetts: “A Century of U.S. Central Banking: Goals, Frameworks, Accountability.” The immediate takeaway? Rumors of the “tapering” are widely exaggerated.
Chairman Bernanke’s speech provided much more: an overview of the Federal Reserve’s history on the occasion of its centennial. Bernanke: “I’m glad to have the opportunity to participate [in this conference in recognition of the Federal Reserve's centennial]. In keeping with the spirit of the conference, my remarks today will take a historical perspective.”

US: As We Approach The Federal Reserve’s 100th Anniversary, A Reform Of The Fed Gains Currency – by Ralph Benko

US: As We Approach The Federal Reserve’s 100th Anniversary, A Reform Of The Fed Gains Currency – by Ralph Benko

We approach, on December 23rd,the centenary of the Federal Reserve System.  This anniversary has not gone unnoticed.
The nearly million-strong, militantly Jeffersonian, Campaign for Liberty — the classical liberal counterpart to MoveOn.org — is using the occasion to press for anaudit of the Fed as championed in the Senate by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky).
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives is calling for a Congressional commission to study the real world effect of various Fed policies over its century-long history.  This may be more pragmatical — yet no less incisive.  Both previous Congressionally-impelled monetary reforms were impelled by a commission.  The Centennial Monetary Commission, HR 1176, sponsored by Joint Economic Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), continues to pick up momentum.

US: Harvard study shows gun control doesn’t save lives – Examiner.com

US: Harvard study shows gun control doesn’t save lives – Examiner.com

In the spring of 2007, the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy released a study of the relative effects of stringent gun laws. They found that a country like Luxenbourg, which bans all guns has a murder rate that is 9 times higher than Germany, where there are 30,000 guns per 100,000 people. They also cited a study by the U.S.National Academy of Sciences, which studied 253 journal articles, 99 books, 43 government publications, and it failed to find one gun control initiative that worked.
In fact, in many cases it found that violence is very often lower, where guns are more readily available. The report points to a myth that guns are more easily obtained in the United States than in Europe. That is factually incorrect.

US: The Story Behind the Government Shutdown – by Amy Payne

US: The Story Behind the Government Shutdown – by Amy Payne

Much like the day after sequestration budget cuts kicked in, most people will wake up today to find that the country and their lives aren’t much different. All the fearful fretting over shutting down the government—which is reaching Y2K proportions in the media—is really a distraction.
Government funding isn’t the issue. It’s Obamacare.
The House has passed multiple bills that would fully fund government but would defund or delay Obamacare. The Senate has rejected these plans, and Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges are supposed to open today.

US: For Struggling Middle Class Families, The Gold Standard Is No Fairy Tale – by Ralph Benko

US: For Struggling Middle Class Families, The Gold Standard Is No Fairy Tale – by Ralph Benko

Once upon a time — September 17th — Reuters published a delightfully preposterous blunderbuss of a blog. It served up a one-sided attack on conservatives.
It did so as part of what it calls The Great Debate. Well, a debate has two sides. Here’s the side Reuters declined to publish.
The very distinguished author of that blog, Prof. Charles Postel, author of The Populist Vision, purported to tell his readers why conservatives spin fairytales about the gold standard. The good professor manages to defame both conservatives and the gold standard. He, subtly, misrepresents even fairy tales. And he did not deliver the goods.

US: Fallacious claims prop up ethanol – by Paul Driessen

US: Fallacious claims prop up ethanol – by Paul Driessen

How can members of Congress still support rising renewable fuel mandates?
Arguments put forward to support ethanol and other biofuels hold water like sieves – leaking billions of gallons of precious fresh water that are required to produce this expensive, unsustainable energy.
These and other renewable energy programs may have originated for the best of intentions. However, the assumptions underlying those intentions are questionable, at best, and many are rooted in anti-hydrocarbon worldviews and Club of Rome strategies that raised the specter of “looming disasters” like resource depletion and catastrophic manmade global warming, in which the “real enemy” is “humanity itself.” They also underscore how hard it is to alter policies and programs once they have been launched by Washington politicians, creating armies of special interests, lobbyists and campaign contributors.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Doomed Economics of Drug Prohibition


Why the war on drugs can't overcome the economic incentives of the black market

One indisputable achievement of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, which overthrew a regime that alternately cracked down on opium production and profited from it, was an enormous increase in drug seizures. Between 2000 and 2010, according to a study published last week by the online medical journal BMJ Open, "seizures of raw and prepared opium increased by more than 12,000%." To put it another way, the amount of opium seized in 2010, 57,023 kilograms, was 126 times the amount seized in 1990.
Since Afghanistan produces the raw material for something like 90 percent of the world's heroin, you might expect such a dramatic crackdown to produce noticeable results. But the authors of the BMJ study, led by Dan Werb of the Urban Health Research Initiative in Vancouver, found that heroin purity in the United States rose by 60 percent from 2000 to 2007, the most recent year for which data were available, while heroin prices in Europe fell by 74 percent. This is what success looks like in the war on drugs.

 

 

Coase and Immigration

By Alex Nowrasteh



Ronald H. Coase was one of the most interesting and influential economists of his century. He was born in 1910 in a suburb of London and recently passed away at the age of 102 in Chicago, close to the economics department that he, Milton Friedman, George Stigler, and so many others helped elevate into the intellectual stratosphere.
Coase’s insights were few but great — which deservedly earned him a Nobel Prize in economics in 1991. His dissertation about why firms exist started an entire field of economic inquiry continued by Oliver Williamson who himself won a Nobel Prize in 2009. His paper, “The Federal Communications Commission,” eventually influenced governments around the world to sell or lease some bands of the electro-magnetic spectrum. He poked fun at economic orthodoxy by showing that public goods, like lighthouses, were provided by private methods rather than through the government as had been assumed earlier.


Marijuana, Sex and Amsterdam

By Jeffrey A. Miron



For the past twenty years, I have researched the economics of drug legalization versus drug prohibition. Based on this work and much other evidence, I have come to regard legalization as a policy no-brainer. Virtually all the effects would be positive, with minimal risks of significant negatives.
An important piece of that research has been examination of drug policy in the Netherlands, where marijuana is virtually, although not quite technically, legal. Until recently, however, I had never visited that country.
That changed last month when my wife, college-age offspring, and I spent a week in Amsterdam. The trip was not an excuse to smoke marijuana in the city’s famous coffee shops; despite my pro-legalization position, I do not consume illegal drugs (dry martinis are another story).


Unwise and Undeterred

By Richard W. Rahn



 
Doubling down on mistakes is a fool’s gamble
Leaders who cannot see beyond Stage One often cause great harm. Unfortunately for the United States and the world, President Obama continues to exhibit a strange naivete and a lack of wisdom about domestic and foreign problems — Syria just being the latest example. The famous Russian “reset” was one of the first policies that later turned into an embarrassment.
The president was naive when he supported the election of Mohammed Morsi as president of Egypt. He assumed that having a democratically elected leader would result in greater freedom for the Egyptian people, while ignoring the fact that many democratically elected leaders have turned into oppressors — such as Adolf Hitler in Germany and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Mr. Obama often and unwisely confuses democracy with liberty, seemingly not realizing that the goal is liberty.


America’s Two Economies: Wal-Mart and Wall Street

By Gerald P. O'Driscoll Jr.



Successive economic reports on consumer behavior have sown confusion among analysts. For instance, a recent newspaper headline read: “Wal-Mart Deepens Gloom as Retailers Feel Left Behind.”
It’s not just the Bentonville giant that’s feeling pain; both Macy’s (M) and Kohl’s (KSS) reported disappointing results as well. Weakness in retail sales is across the board, hitting even cosmetics and beauty products.
Meanwhile, another recent headline read: “U.S. Car Plants to Shift to Top Gear.” While car sales are not back to their 2005 peaks, plants are operating with record capacity utilization. Additionally, the housing market is improving.
In what kind of world do cars sell and cosmetics don’t?


Capitalism’s Triumph

By Michael D. Tanner



‘Entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid.” That statement came not from a tea-party leader or a congressional Republican, but from Bono, singer, celebrity, and global anti-poverty activist, speaking to Georgetown’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative last year.
As we mark the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street this week, it is worth recalling just how much Bono is right and OWS, at its anti-capitalist core, is deeply and profoundly wrong.
Occupy Wall Street did have a point when it took to criticizing the crony capitalism that helped precipitate the economic crisis of 2008 and the recession that followed. But that unholy alliance of Big Business and Big Government, a dog’s breakfast of regulation, guarantees, and bailouts, has nothing in common with free markets and entrepreneurial capitalism.


Steve H. Hanke discusses the Fed on Financial Sense Newshour


Next Fed Chair Will Be Another Insider


UK NHS Disaster: Death Rates 45 Percent Higher than in the US

By Daniel J. Mitchell



Back in 2010, I guest-hosted Larry Kudlow’s CNBC program for a couple of days. During one of the segments on my last show, I crossed swords with the other host, Simon Hobbs, as we argued whether patients needlessly died because of the government-run healthcare system in the United Kingdom.
Since neither one of us had data at our fingertips, it was basically a he-said/he-said exchange.
A few days after that tussle, however, I posted some evidence supporting my side of the discussion.
And over the past few years, I’ve posted additional material showing thousands of extra fatalitiesresulting from the U.K.’s government-run healthcare system. Including the fact that hundreds and hundreds of patients are allowed to starve to death!


Model Meltdown

By Richard W. Rahn



This week, the United Nations‘ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is slated to release its fourth report since 1990. Leaked copies indicate an admission that there has been no global warming for the past 16 years, but the report will also increase its probability from 90 percent to 95 percent that global warming — if it does occur — is caused by man. Not one of the major climate models on which the panel bases its predictions forecast the lack of warming over the past 16 years, even though the models do vary widely as to how much warming they predicted.
Not to be outdone, President Obama again is warning us that if the Republicans do not vote for more government spending in the budget battles that are now upon us, we will go back into a recession. You may have not noticed we had left the recession, since employment levels are still below where they were five years ago. The president, of course, does not make such statements off the top of his head, but on the basis of his economic-forecast models. You might ask: “How accurate have these models been in forecasting?” Please note the accompanying table for the answer.


ObamaCare — What’s Already Gone Wrong

By Michael D. Tanner



Like the Yankees sputtering through the last few games of a season filled with injuries and frustration, ObamaCare is limping its way toward its official launch next Tuesday, dragging with it an ever larger trail of disappointments.
Supporters of the health-care overhaul can still celebrate the opening of 50 state exchanges next week, where individuals unable to otherwise find “affordable” insurance can shop for federally subsidized plans.
Oops, not 50 exchanges: Vermonters will be able to look at plans on their exchange in October, but they won’t actually be able to buy them until November. Exchanges in Minnesota, Oregon and Utah also won’t be fully functional either, and several other states are rushing to fix last-minute “glitches.”
So let’s just say that next Tuesday, lots of states (including Connecticut, New York and New Jersey) will open their exchanges for business. But those exchanges may have some problems, too.


Three Defunding Myths

By Michael D. Tanner



In less than a week, the continuing resolution (CR) that is currently funding the government will expire, possibly precipitating what one and all refer to as a “government shutdown.” This term is usually uttered in terms that suggest an event falling in severity somewhere between Hurricane Katrina and the zombie apocalypse.
Unfortunately, much of the debate surrounding this question has been misleading, if not completely wrong. Among the most frequently repeated myths:
Republicans voted to shut down the government. House Republicans voted this week to fund the government through December. In fact, the CR that Republicans passed would actually increase federal spending by roughly $21 billion over current law. They did include a provision, or rider, prohibiting the use of any money for implementation of Obamacare, but that would have no effect on the rest of government. On the Senate side, one could argue that, if Senator Cruz is successful in his filibuster of the House CR, Republicans should be held responsible for the consequences. On the other hand, if Senate Democrats refuse to pass the House CR, they would be responsible for whatever followed. Regardless, the only bill on the table right now does not shut down the government.

Friday, September 20, 2013


Senate Toys with Open-Ended War Resolution


Free Trade in Energy


Remember the Anti-Federalists!


Immigration Benefits the U.S., So Let’s Legalize All Work

By Doug Bandow



Immigration reform, once the top priority coming out of the 2012 presidential election, has stalled. The Senate has passed legislation, but the House is badly divided.
The current system is a shambles. Legal categories and subcategories, quotas, and lotteries have created a flourishing legal industry. The immigration bureaucracy is a lower level of Dante’s Hell. Foreign students are turned away from U.S. universities, highly-skilled individuals are barred from working in America, and even political refugees sometimes are denied entry.
Finally, some 11 million people live in the U.S. illegally. They invest less in America, are vulnerable to abuse, and disrupt an already incomprehensible immigration policy.


Libertarians Want to Make World Better for Everyone

By Aaron Ross Powell



If you believe Nick Hanauer and Eric Liu, libertarians are nuts. In a recent commentary, they gave a litany of reasons for “Why libertarian society is doomed to fail” (Sept. 11 Kansas.com). The trouble is, they’ve managed not only to misunderstand libertarianism, but also to ignore the very problems libertarians see in the authors’ own preferred big government solutions.
Hanauer and Liu attack “radical libertarianism,” which they define as “the ideology that holds that individual liberty trumps all other values.” Yet this isn’t quite right, whether we’re talking about moderate or radical libertarianism. Liberty isn’t the ultimate value. But it is the ultimate political value. It holds this status not because we shouldn’t care about other values, but because a state that aims at liberty will enable us to realize much more of what we value than one that aims at something else. Whether the goal is wealth, happiness, health, culture or any other value we hold dear, political liberty will bring us more of it than officious government.


On Constitution Day, Remember the Anti-Federalists

By Trevor Burrus



On September 14, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention got a little rowdy. Joining a group of elite militiamen who staged a party in honor of George Washington, the 55 men, delegates and militiamen together, drank 54 bottles of Madeira, 60 bottles of claret, 50 bottles of “old stock,” and ample amounts of other spirits. The final bill included an additional fee for “breakage.”
They certainly had something to celebrate. In three days they would sign the Constitution. Today is the 226th anniversary of the signing, and it is a good time to reflect on the document and the men who created it.
Yet, if we want to understand that monumental event, we should not reflect on it using the myths that have sprung up around the convention or that have been manufactured by leftist historians. The Constitution’s existence and ratification was not foreordained, and to think so is to eschew a deeper understanding of the times.


Americans’ Faith in Government Is Waning - and That’s Good

By Tad DeHaven



A Gallup poll released last week revealed good news: Americans’ confidence in the federal government’s ability to handle foreign and domestic problems has reached an all-time low. In both areas, a minority of those polled said that they had either a great deal or fair amount of confidence in Uncle Sam.
Yes, I said that’s good news.
Skepticism of government is as American as apple pie. The experiment that is the United States was borne out of a colonial revolution against an overbearing master. As the decades have passed, however, the federal government has steadily acquired powers that are vastly beyond what was intended by our founding Constitution. And like a frog in pot of water that is slowly brought a boil, Americans have become acclimated to a world in which the federal government intrudes into every nook and cranny of our lives.


Capitalism’s Triumph

By Michael D. Tanner



‘Entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid.” That statement came not from a tea-party leader or a congressional Republican, but from Bono, singer, celebrity, and global anti-poverty activist, speaking to Georgetown’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative last year.
As we mark the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street this week, it is worth recalling just how much Bono is right and OWS, at its anti-capitalist core, is deeply and profoundly wrong.
Occupy Wall Street did have a point when it took to criticizing the crony capitalism that helped precipitate the economic crisis of 2008 and the recession that followed. But that unholy alliance of Big Business and Big Government, a dog’s breakfast of regulation, guarantees, and bailouts, has nothing in common with free markets and entrepreneurial capitalism.


Singapore Leads the Way in Doing Business

By Steve H. Hanke



Since 2004, the World Bank has produced the annual ‘Doing Business’ report, which ranks countries on 10 factors reflecting the ease with which entrepreneurs and businesses may conduct economic activity in a given country.
At first glance, such a survey would hardly seem controversial. After all, with so much unreliable data coming out of official government statistics offices these days, one would think that an unbiased system for ranking the ease of doing business would be a useful tool — not only for businesses, but for governments as well. Indeed, since 2005, a total of 1,940 reforms have been implemented by countries to improve their rankings. And, several prominent heads of state, such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, have made public pledges to improve their countries’ Doing Business rankings.


US: Why America’s Political Destiny Hinges On What Happens Next In Texas – by Ralph Benko

US: Why America’s Political Destiny Hinges On What Happens Next In Texas – by Ralph Benko

The political stakes could hardly be higher.
Latinos, who have leaned Democratic, demographically are surging in Texas. And if the Democrats can turn Texas blue (or even purple) they would have a huge leg up at winning control of the executive branch of the U.S. government in future presidential elections. By achieving sufficient Democratic preeminence in Texas progressives could turn the White House blue.  And they know it.
As the Democratic party’s George Washington Plunkitt of Tammany Hall once famously said, “I seen my opportunities and I took ‘em.”  So, too, are Plunkitt’s Democratic Party successors taking their opportunity … announcing a full court press in Texas.


US: Nobel Winner Coase Showed The Limits Of Big Government – Investor’s Business Daily

US: Nobel Winner Coase Showed The Limits Of Big Government – Investor’s Business Daily

Economics: It wouldn’t be right to let the passing of one of the 20th century’s great economists, Nobel winner Ronald Coase, go without comment. You might not know his name, but his ideas have surely affected you.
The unassuming Coase died this week at 102, productive to the very end: He published his final book, “How China Became Capitalist,” in 2012. Talk about longevity. The article that won him fame — “The Nature of the Firm” — was published back in 1937. It’s still called the most-cited economic text ever.


US: Community organizer goes to war – by Ann Coulter

US: Community organizer goes to war – by Ann Coulter

obamawarispeaceOh, how I long for the days when liberals wailed that “the rest of the world” hated America, rather than now, when the rest of the world laughs at us.
With the vast majority of Americans opposing a strike against Syria, President Obama has requested that Congress vote on his powers as commander in chief under the Constitution. The president doesn’t need congressional approval to shoot a few missiles into Syria, nor — amazingly — has he said he’ll abide by such a vote, anyway.


The Nuclear Option: Terror Reigns in the Land of Gun Control

The Nuclear Option: Terror Reigns in the Land of Gun Control


For those of us foolish enough to live in a crime-gripped city while also summarily denied our constitutional right to protect ourselves, this week's massacre at the Navy Yard pretty well sums up our insane, defenseless existence.

Our Capitol Hill neighborhood drowned in the scream of sirens as police cars, vans, trucks, and armored vehicles streaked through the narrow streets at deadly speeds. The skies filled with the constant wapping of countless helicopters.
Just back from dropping children off at school, neighbors began frantically calling, texting and emailing one another to see what was wrong. The crisp morning reminded many of Sept. 11, 2001.
Police dispatched text and email alerts to residents that there was an "active shooter" at the nearby Navy Yard, just blocks from where our children play little league baseball. Many were dead and more injured, we were told.


Home Depot Moving Part-Time Workers to Obamacare Exchanges

Home Depot Moving Part-Time Workers to Obamacare Exchanges



On Thursday, Home Depot became yet another company that announced it would shift part-time workers to the government-run healthcare exchanges. In addition, a company spokesperson conceded that full-time employees, though they will still get health benefits, would pay more due to an increase in costs next year. 

 

Americans’ Faith in Government Is Waning - and That’s Good

By Tad DeHaven





A Gallup poll released last week revealed good news: Americans’ confidence in the federal government’s ability to handle foreign and domestic problems has reached an all-time low. In both areas, a minority of those polled said that they had either a great deal or fair amount of confidence in Uncle Sam.
Yes, I said that’s good news.
Skepticism of government is as American as apple pie. The experiment that is the United States was borne out of a colonial revolution against an overbearing master. As the decades have passed, however, the federal government has steadily acquired powers that are vastly beyond what was intended by our founding Constitution. And like a frog in pot of water that is slowly brought a boil, Americans have become acclimated to a world in which the federal government intrudes into every nook and cranny of our lives.


Capitalism’s Triumph

By Michael D. Tanner





‘Entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid.” That statement came not from a tea-party leader or a congressional Republican, but from Bono, singer, celebrity, and global anti-poverty activist, speaking to Georgetown’s Global Social Enterprise Initiative last year.
As we mark the second anniversary of Occupy Wall Street this week, it is worth recalling just how much Bono is right and OWS, at its anti-capitalist core, is deeply and profoundly wrong.
Occupy Wall Street did have a point when it took to criticizing the crony capitalism that helped precipitate the economic crisis of 2008 and the recession that followed. But that unholy alliance of Big Business and Big Government, a dog’s breakfast of regulation, guarantees, and bailouts, has nothing in common with free markets and entrepreneurial capitalism.


Singapore Leads the Way in Doing Business

By Steve H. Hanke





Since 2004, the World Bank has produced the annual ‘Doing Business’ report, which ranks countries on 10 factors reflecting the ease with which entrepreneurs and businesses may conduct economic activity in a given country.
At first glance, such a survey would hardly seem controversial. After all, with so much unreliable data coming out of official government statistics offices these days, one would think that an unbiased system for ranking the ease of doing business would be a useful tool — not only for businesses, but for governments as well. Indeed, since 2005, a total of 1,940 reforms have been implemented by countries to improve their rankings. And, several prominent heads of state, such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, have made public pledges to improve their countries’ Doing Business rankings.


US: Why America’s Political Destiny Hinges On What Happens Next In Texas – by Ralph Benko

US: Why America’s Political Destiny Hinges On What Happens Next In Texas – by Ralph Benko

The political stakes could hardly be higher.
Latinos, who have leaned Democratic, demographically are surging in Texas. And if the Democrats can turn Texas blue (or even purple) they would have a huge leg up at winning control of the executive branch of the U.S. government in future presidential elections. By achieving sufficient Democratic preeminence in Texas progressives could turn the White House blue.  And they know it.
As the Democratic party’s George Washington Plunkitt of Tammany Hall once famously said, “I seen my opportunities and I took ‘em.”  So, too, are Plunkitt’s Democratic Party successors taking their opportunity … announcing a full court press in Texas.


US: Nobel Winner Coase Showed The Limits Of Big Government – Investor’s Business Daily

US: Nobel Winner Coase Showed The Limits Of Big Government – Investor’s Business Daily

Economics: It wouldn’t be right to let the passing of one of the 20th century’s great economists, Nobel winner Ronald Coase, go without comment. You might not know his name, but his ideas have surely affected you.
The unassuming Coase died this week at 102, productive to the very end: He published his final book, “How China Became Capitalist,” in 2012. Talk about longevity. The article that won him fame — “The Nature of the Firm” — was published back in 1937. It’s still called the most-cited economic text ever.


US: Community organizer goes to war – by Ann Coulter

US: Community organizer goes to war – by Ann Coulter

obamawarispeaceOh, how I long for the days when liberals wailed that “the rest of the world” hated America, rather than now, when the rest of the world laughs at us.
With the vast majority of Americans opposing a strike against Syria, President Obama has requested that Congress vote on his powers as commander in chief under the Constitution. The president doesn’t need congressional approval to shoot a few missiles into Syria, nor — amazingly — has he said he’ll abide by such a vote, anyway.


The Nuclear Option: Terror Reigns in the Land of Gun Control

The Nuclear Option: Terror Reigns in the Land of Gun Control


For those of us foolish enough to live in a crime-gripped city while also summarily denied our constitutional right to protect ourselves, this week's massacre at the Navy Yard pretty well sums up our insane, defenseless existence.

Our Capitol Hill neighborhood drowned in the scream of sirens as police cars, vans, trucks, and armored vehicles streaked through the narrow streets at deadly speeds. The skies filled with the constant wapping of countless helicopters.
Just back from dropping children off at school, neighbors began frantically calling, texting and emailing one another to see what was wrong. The crisp morning reminded many of Sept. 11, 2001.
Police dispatched text and email alerts to residents that there was an "active shooter" at the nearby Navy Yard, just blocks from where our children play little league baseball. Many were dead and more injured, we were told.


Home Depot Moving Part-Time Workers to Obamacare Exchanges

Home Depot Moving Part-Time Workers to Obamacare Exchanges



On Thursday, Home Depot became yet another company that announced it would shift part-time workers to the government-run healthcare exchanges. In addition, a company spokesperson conceded that full-time employees, though they will still get health benefits, would pay more due to an increase in costs next year. 


Congressman: 'Close to 250' House Members Ready Defund Obamacare Today

Congressman: 'Close to 250' House Members Ready Defund Obamacare Today



Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said he expects there to be somewhere close to 250 House members to vote for the plan to defund Obamacare in the Continuing Resolution (CR) on Friday, when House GOP leadership brings the plan up for a vote.


Dems Walk Out Before Parents of Benghazi Victims Testify

Dems Walk Out Before Parents of Benghazi Victims Testify


On Thursday, all but two Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee walked out before the parents of two of the victims killed in the Benghazi attacks testified. 

Patricia Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, and Charles Woods, the father of Ty Woods, spoke after the committee questioned the heads of the Benghazi Accountability Review Board (ARB) and the Independent Panel of Best Practices.
But among Democrats, only Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking member on the committee, and Jackie Speier (D-CA) stayed to hear Woods and Smith.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the chair of the committee, tweeted a picture of the empty seats:
Democrats who reportedly left the hearing include: Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY); Danny Davis (D-IL); Gerald Connolly (D-VA); Jim Cooper (D-TN); John Tierney (D-MA); Mark Pocan (D-WI); Matt Cartwright (D-PA); Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM); Peter Welch (D-VT); Stephen Lynch (D-MA); Steven Horsford (D-NV); Tammy Duckworth (D-IL); Tony Cardenas (D-CA); William Lacy Clay (D-MO); and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).

House Votes to Defund ObamaCare

House Votes to Defund ObamaCare



On Friday, the House voted to defund ObamaCare in a continuing resolution that keeps government open for several months. The vote was 230-189, with just two Democrats crossing the aisle to defund the health care law. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Exposed: The Obama Invasion of Syria (SHARE)


Justin Logan discusses the situation in Syria on WWL’s The Think Tank with Garland Robinette


NSA Document Dump Raises New Questions


Unwise and Undeterred

By Richard W. Rahn





 
Doubling down on mistakes is a fool’s gamble
Leaders who cannot see beyond Stage One often cause great harm. Unfortunately for the United States and the world, President Obama continues to exhibit a strange naivete and a lack of wisdom about domestic and foreign problems — Syria just being the latest example. The famous Russian “reset” was one of the first policies that later turned into an embarrassment.
The president was naive when he supported the election of Mohammed Morsi as president of Egypt. He assumed that having a democratically elected leader would result in greater freedom for the Egyptian people, while ignoring the fact that many democratically elected leaders have turned into oppressors — such as Adolf Hitler in Germany and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Mr. Obama often and unwisely confuses democracy with liberty, seemingly not realizing that the goal is liberty.


Obama’s Bad Case for War

By Doug Bandow





To his credit, President Barack Obama has gone to Congress for authority to attack Syria. To his discredit, he is making a disappointing, even dishonest, case for taking America into another unnecessary Middle Eastern war.
For two and a half years the president took a cautious approach to Syria’s tragic implosion. But now, after over one hundred thousand deaths, he perceives global disaster arising from the violation of heretofore unenforced international norms: “If we won’t enforce accountability in the face of this heinous act, what does it say about our resolve to stand up to others who flout fundamental international rules? To governments who would choose to build nuclear arms? To terrorists who would spread biological weapons? To armies who carry out genocide?”

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