Commentary

“They hate our freedom”

October 27, 2014
posted by

L. Neil Smith The Libertarian Enterprise
by L. Neil Smith  

"Some people think that it's only in fiction -- and bad fiction, at that -- that villains make speeches and declare themselves openly to be the villains that they are. I have long known that isn't true, Men and women have a need to justify and validate themselves that will not be denied. We have been presented with a perfect example of all this in the person of one Sir Iain Lobban, the outgoing head of something called the GCHQ, which is said to be the British equivalent of America's NSA." (10/26/14)

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2014/tle794-20141026-02.html  

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Political arrogance and lies

October 27, 2014
posted by

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux  

"I write these words from a coffee shop in Fairfax, Virginia. If I were to point a gun to the head of the man who is now standing second in line to buy coffee and order him to purchase cups of coffee for the two young women standing in front of him in line, no one would say that 'Don Boudreaux gave cups of coffee to some women today!' ... Yet when politicians in grand buildings commit essentially the same sorts of aggressions against innocent people, we tolerate their criminal actions -- and we also tolerate such actions being described as praiseworthy, noble, and helpful." (10/26/14)

http://cafehayek.com/2014/10/political-arrogance-and-lies.html  

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Tibor Machan: No “continued militarism” in the west

October 27, 2014
posted by

Tibor R. Machan The Daily Bell
by Anthony Wile  

Interview with Tibor Machan. Machan: "This is one of those kinds of questions -- 'Have you stopped beating your wife?' 'The West's continued militarism?' As far as I understand recent, modern geopolitics, there is no 'continued militarism' in the West. Luxembourg? Hungary? Lichtenstein? France? Poland? Etc.? Etc.? How about the USSR? Based on its ideology, the Soviet Union had to expand both territorially and so far as its belief system is concerned." (10/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lpvgvxu  

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Why money doesn’t measure value

October 27, 2014
posted by

Robert P. Murphy Mises Canada
by Robert P. Murphy  

"Let me be clear: Gordon (and Mises) are right; money is not a 'measuring rod' of value. However, the reason Tamny and Miles are astounded by Gordon's position is that they think he is denying the (obvious) fact that people acquire money merely as a means to a further end. In the present post, let me try to clear up all of this confusion that the mischievous Gordon stirred up. As we'll see, it's precisely because people use money as a means to a further end, that it is NOT analogous to a ruler or clock or scale." (10/23/14)

http://mises.ca/posts/blog/why-money-doesnt-measure-value/  

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The state is no friend of the worker

October 27, 2014
posted by

Sheldon Richman Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman  

"The surest way to eliminate wage discrimination is to keep government from impeding the competitive process with such devices as occupational licensing, permits, minimum product standards, so-called intellectual property, zoning, and other land-use restrictions. All government barriers to self-employment -- and these can take implicit forms, such as patents and raising the cost of living through inflation, or burdening entrepreneurs with protectionist regulation -- make workers vulnerable to exploitation." (10/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ox7e9v5  

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“We can’t have perpetual war”: The realism of Rand Paul

October 27, 2014
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"Senator Rand Paul is everywhere: campaigning for Republican candidates during the crucial midterm elections, on Fox News explaining to Hannity why going into Iraq with ground troops is a mistake, teaming up with Cory Booker to call for reform of federal sentencing guidelines -- and, as Olivia Nuzzi points out, the media is scrutinizing his every word as if he were already the GOP presidential nominee. When he gave his much-anticipated foreign policy speech to the Center for the National Interest, reporters were live-tweeting it as they would a presidential inaugural. And, unlike earlier media frenzies over such nonentities as Herman Cain, Michelle Bachman, and Chris 'close the bridge' Christie, this level of attention is surely warranted." (10/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ootkapm  

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On a top-heavy planet, a bit of a Nordic puzzler

October 27, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Sam Pizzigati  

"The latest annual Global Wealth Report from the Credit Suisse Research Institute has everything you would expect from a report on global wealth. And one thing you wouldn’t: a mystery. The media coverage of the new Credit Suisse report hasn’t focused much at all on that mystery. Reporters have zeroed in instead on the report’s host of startling stats on global wealth distribution. The top attention-grabbing stat in the new Credit Suisse study? The richest 1 percent of the world’s adults now hold nearly half the world’s wealth, 48.2 percent to be exact." (10/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/prqtqlx  

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Free society can survive just fine

October 27, 2014
posted by

Kent McManigal Clovis News Journal
by Kent McManigal  

"'But who will build the roads?' Not only does this question come up anytime someone discusses eliminating government altogether, it comes up when anyone discusses cutting it back as an example of 'essential' minimal government. What is it about roads that they can’t exist without government? Governments don't build roads. They hire contractors to do the work. So 'who would build the roads?' The same people who build them now." (10/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k266grd  

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Crony capitalism at work in Michigan

October 27, 2014
posted by

Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor  

"Lawmakers and the Governor of Michigan last week bowed to the crony capitalism interests of franchised car dealerships in the state by enacting legislation specifically aimed at blocking rival competitor Tesla Motors, the new kid on the block, from doing business there. The sneaky bastards accomplished a back door deal to amend existing law governing relationships between car manufacturers and their associated franchised dealers to include Tesla Motors which does not operate its business with car dealerships. Tesla’s business model is to sell cars directly to individual buyers thereby benefitting consumers by cutting out the costly dealership middleman." (10/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/osy5dtm  

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With no final arbiter, disputes easily escalate to violence

October 27, 2014
posted by

Gene Callahan La Bocca Della Verita
by Gene Callahan  

"Bob Murphy is incredulous: Don't I realize that making an activity illegal tends to produce violence in those conducting that activity? Yes, I do realize that, but the question is 'Why does it do so?' Let us look at some history to answer this question." (10/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k8qslxj  

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Life in New York in the time of Ebola

October 27, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Jason Fields  

"New York is a disgusting place. There are strange, unpleasant smells that greet you every morning as you leave your apartment and walk to the subway on your way to work. Often, you can’t even identify the lingering foulness. As you walk, you’re likely to step in puddles of godknowswhat that appear days after the last rain. Always the same gray, brownish color, with hints of oily iridescence. Maybe that’s where the smell is coming from, but maybe not. ... Now Ebola has reached the city, and the man who has it joined us on our trains, went bowling with us and took an Uber car. He probably wasn’t the first patron in that car that day, and he probably wasn’t the last. And yet, if you live through what we all live through every day, come home to your children or your cat, you’re likely to live through this latest scare." (10/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pj66ec8  

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To Paul Krugman: Thou art the man

October 27, 2014
posted by

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"Not only did the rule of Robber Barons in fact never end, but in denouncing them Krugman reveals himself as one of their foremost apologists. Far from bringing Robber Baron rule to an end, the Progressive Era stabilized it in a web of government protections and subsidies." (10/23/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/32854  

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Rand Paul continues brilliant media manipulation

October 27, 2014
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"As I've probably made clear by now, I am 1) abundantly skeptical of Rand Paul's ability to be president of the United States, and only somewhat less skeptical of his ability to win the presidency; and 2) in tremendous admiration of Paul's skill at working the media. There will be abundant time to explore #1 in the months ahead, but today offers us yet another example of #2. Paul, you see, is convening a super-secret meeting of his brain trust to discuss his upcoming presidential campaign, and somehow, news of the meeting found its way to the National Journal and reporter Shane Goldmacher." (10/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q5c9x7v  

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Good-bye, Uncle Kodie

October 27, 2014
posted by

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by Robert Watts Lamon  

"The recent bankruptcy filing by the Eastman Kodak Company was a shock to me, but not exactly a surprise. It was certainly another sad reminder that the world I once knew was gone forever. I worked for the company at its Kodak Park Works in Rochester, New York in the 1960s, leaving of my own accord in 1970. A detailed autopsy of its decline and fall must await a soul with perceptions keener than mine. But I suspect its decline was a result of its very domination of the imaging market. With little competition, the company’s leaders had simply forgotten how to compete -- which involves adjusting to changing market conditions, which involves making sound and timely decisions." (10/26/14)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1322  

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Airline Deregulation Act of 1978

October 27, 2014
posted by

Independent Institute Independent Institute
by William Shughart  

"President Jimmy Carter signed the Airline Deregulation Act on October 24, 1978. That law phased out the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) over the next four years, ending five decades of federal regulation of passenger airfares on interstate commercial flights and entry into the airline industry. One of prime movers behind this first legislative initiative to deregulate a major U.S. industry was Alfred Kahn, a respected academic specialist in the economics of regulation from Cornell University’s faculty, then serving as the CAB’s chairman. Ostensibly intended to protect the flying public against excessive ticket prices, the CAB did no such thing." (10/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oczr4pc  

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Henderson on Piketty, part 4

October 27, 2014
posted by

David Henderson EconLog
by David Henderson  

"How does Piketty handle this serious problem? [The problem that his proposed tax on capital would hurt labor?] He doesn't. The only behavioral response to a tax on capital that he discusses at length is that owners of capital would move to lower-tax countries. And to avoid that happening, he puts a lot of thought into how to form, essentially, a tax 'cartel' in Europe. He would have countries in the European Union agree to tax capital, making it harder for people to move to lower-tax countries. Even an economist who likes Piketty's book and favors his tax on capital has pointed out its bad effects on economic well-being." (10/26/14)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/10/henderson_on_pi_3.html  

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Beatifying Aaron — while “disappearing” him

October 27, 2014
posted by

The Zelman Partisans The Zelman Partisans
by Claire Wolfe  

"Word came out earlier this week (to those not previously in the know) that JPFO founder Aaron Zelman received a postumous 'Bill of Rights Award' at Alan Gottlieb’s 2014 Gun Rights Policy Conference. Now, the GRPC is a big deal and surely few people on this planet deserve a Bill of Rights award more than Aaron (my friend, co-author, and tireless crusader for ALL the Bill of Rights). But as fellow TZP blogger Sheila Stokes-Begley wrote in an email: 'Coming from SAF, is this a little like Obama congratulating someone for being an excellent constitutional scholar? They may well be an excellent constitutional scholar, the problem lies in knowing the compliment came from a man who wouldn’t know a constitutional scholar from a cartoonist.'" (10/24/14)

http://zelmanpartisans.com/?p=185  

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Cliches of Progressivism #28: “Government spending brings jobs and prosperity”

October 27, 2014
posted by

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Henry Hazlitt  

"[T]he broken-window fallacy, under a hundred disguises, is the most persistent in the history of economics. It is more rampant now than at any time in the past. It is solemnly reaffirmed every day by great captains of industry, by chambers of commerce, by labor union leaders, by editorial writers and newspaper columnists and radio commentators, by learned statisticians using the most refined techniques, by professors of economics in our best universities. In their various ways they all dilate upon the advantages of destruction or they declare that the mere act of government spending 'stimulates' without ever asking where the money must come from." (10/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pdjnoe4  

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The return of moral panic

October 26, 2014
posted by

Reason Reason
by Cathy Young  

Review of The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology and the Sexual Abuse of Children, by Ross E. Cheit: "Twenty years ago, the elderly owner of the McMartin Preschool in Manhattan Beach, California; her daughter, grandson, and granddaughter, who worked at the day care center; and three female teachers were charged with unspeakable crimes against children. The allegations, which included not just sadistic sexual abuse and the production of child pornography but Satanic rituals, became fodder for newspaper headlines and breathless TV reports. After a three-year trial that remains the longest and costliest in United States history, the case ended in 1990 without a single conviction." (10/25/14)

http://reason.com/archives/2014/10/25/the-return-of-moral-panic  

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Yes, the public health people are lying to us again

October 26, 2014
posted by

Tim Worstall Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall  

"Given that weight is a straight function of calories consumed to calories expended we’ve the cause of our obesity epidemic right there. Calories consumed have fallen in that timescale but calories expended has fallen faster. We can thus junk 90% of the current public health programs over addictive sugar, trans-fats and all the rest as simply being nonsense. This part of the public health sector has told us what is really happening. But it is, of course, worse than that. Our public health people do not seem to understand the economics, nor even the accounting, of public health ..." (10/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kt3zjlc  

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Consumers win as WTO condemns protectionist meat labels

October 26, 2014
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by K. William Watson  

"In the guise of informing consumers, U.S. country-of-origin labeling (COOL) regulations are being used to protect a small number of cattle growers from competition at the expense of everyone else. This week, a World Trade Organization dispute panel found that the program violates U.S. trade obligations for unjustifiably discriminating against foreign cattle. With the threat of trade retaliation from Canada and Mexico looming, the loss at the WTO strengthens domestic opponents of COOL and makes it more likely that Congress will finally act to end this shamefully protectionist boondoggle." (10/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o3d4dej  

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My unusual libertarian journey: How a former outlaw broke the political mold

October 26, 2014
posted by

Salon
by Brandon Loran Maxwell  

"For me, a progressive outlook and libertarianism are not incompatible. It didn’t radicalize me -- it moderated me." (10/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n9shwcy  

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A real-life nightmare: Federal monitoring of speech

October 26, 2014
posted by

Andrew P. Napolitano Tenth Amendment Center
by Andrew P. Napolitano  

"Earlier this week, the federal government's National Science Foundation, an entity created to encourage the study of science -- encouragement that it achieves by awarding grants to scholars and universities -- announced that it had awarded a grant to study what people say about themselves and others in social media. The NSF dubbed the project Truthy, a reference to comedian Stephen Colbert’s invention and hilarious use of the word 'truthiness.' The reference to Colbert is cute, and he is a very funny guy, but when the feds get into the business of monitoring speech, it is surely no joke; it is a nightmare." (10/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mgryzv7  

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Defence: Admissions of failure

October 26, 2014
posted by

Libertarian Alliance Libertarian Alliance
by Richard North  

"In terms of the bigger picture, in every theatre in recent times, the Army has been badly led, badly generalled and under-performed. One warms to the idea of slashing the Armed Forces to the bare minimum. At least then our politicians will not longer be tempted to deploy them." (10/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o5qcghm  

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San Francisco’s land-mine law for landlords

October 26, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"Buy a property here, and you might as well paint a target on your back. That’s what Dan and Maria Levin discovered after they bought a two-unit North Beach home in 2008. They moved into the upstairs one-bedroom apartment and told the downstairs tenant that they eventually planned to use the downstairs apartment for friends and family. (The state Ellis Act allows property owners to evict tenants without cause if they plan to take the property off the rental market.)Five years later, the Levins served a notice of termination of tenancy and paid their tenant $2,600 -- the first half of a city-mandated relocation payment, with the second half due when the tenant moved out 120 days later. The tenant claimed a disability, which entitled her to to a one-year extension and an extra $3,500." (10/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p867q8a  

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