Commentary

Mr. Bernanke vs. the structuralists

August 27, 2014
posted by

Scott Sumner EconLog
by Scott Sumner  

"Lots of people talk about the 'Yellen Fed,' but so far it seems a continuation of the Bernanke policy. I see no important changes. There is also optimism that Draghi may act to boost the eurozone economy. While he makes the right noises, the markets don't seem convinced. The 10-year German Bund yields 0.94%, the 30-year is at 1.8%. Those yields suggest to me that Draghi's vague promises lack credibility." (08/26/14)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/08/mr_bernanke_vs.html  

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Broken

August 27, 2014
posted by

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Matthew Harwood  

"Members of the American armed forces are props. They wave from convertibles as Independence Day parades make their way down Main Street U.S.A. They are trotted out at football games to bless the proceedings as some kind of martial event. They wish us happy holidays from countries many Americans can’t find on a map. The traditional narrative is that these men and women are the best of us. They risk life and more likely than not limb to protect us from al-Qaeda or rogue states such as Iraq or Iran. They are the vanguard of liberty, knocking down odious regimes so that freedom can be planted in foreign soil and contribute to a democratic peace sometime in the near future. Ann Jones will have none of that. Her They Were Soldiers is a suppurating wound of a book -- the 21st-century equivalent of Dalton Trumbo’s horrifying antiwar novel, Johnny Got His Gun." (08/27/14)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/broken/  

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This month’s ultimate enemy: The Islamic State

August 27, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Jack Shafer  

"At an Aug. 21 Pentagon press conference, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel claimed that the Islamic State 'is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen. They’re beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded.' Perhaps sensing that his comparison hadn’t reached sufficiently hyperbolic velocity to escape earth orbit, Hagel immediately amended himself. 'Oh, this is beyond anything that we’ve seen. So we must prepare for everything,' he said. ... Hagel wasn’t so much fear-mongering as he was fear-tending. War is the health of the state, as Randolph Bourne observed a century ago." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nzzmhfp  

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Fight against militarized police is a culture war worth having

August 27, 2014
posted by

Gene Healy Reason
by Gene Healy  

"America was born amid fear and loathing of standing armies at home. 'It was easy to foresee the consequences [that] followed upon sending troops into America to enforce obedience to acts of the British Parliament,' John Hancock proclaimed in his 1774 address commemorating the Boston Massacre: 'cruelty and haughtiness ... citizens hourly exposed to shameful insults.' Thomas Jefferson worried that a peacetime military force would 'overawe the public sentiment' and harm the republican character of our government. If we share the Founders' concern about domestic militarization, maybe we should stop subsidizing it." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k86zaue  

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Sending money home: Technology or bureaucracy?

August 27, 2014
posted by

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Iain Murray  

"Some of the world’s poorest people depend on the money they receive from relatives working in developed countries. In fact, this money dwarfs the world’s official foreign aid budget -- and the gap is increasing. In 2011, total private flows of aid totaled $680 billion -- almost five times the $138 billion official figure. As I noted in 2005, 'the future of aid to developing countries is private.' This is great news for all concerned. Except perhaps bureaucrats, who are loath to let good deeds go unpunished." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pfmq5ev  

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Let’s privatize Medicare

August 27, 2014
posted by

John C. Goodman Independent Institute
by John C. Goodman  

"Paul Ryan proposed a private health insurance alternative to Medicare for future retirees, liberal critics pounced. It’s another scheme to undermine health care for the elderly by 'privatizing' and 'voucher-izing' the program, they said. Yet, almost one third of seniors are already in private health insurance plans. They are called Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage, plans. And you would be hard pressed to find any Democratic office holder who wants to abolish them. The reason? Seniors choose to be in these plans because they like them better than traditional Medicare." (08/25/14)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=5071  

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Eric Holder avenges investor fraud by taking from victimized investors

August 27, 2014
posted by

Competitive Enterprise Institute Competitive Enterprise Institute
by John Berlau  

"[W]hatever Bank of America’s misdeeds -- and there were many by the company and those it purchased (Countrywide and Merrill Lynch) -- it is certainly not 'appropriate' to take from the investors the government itself says were victims to give to homeowners that the government never alleges were defrauded." (08/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pzoex6j  

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Till ICE do us part

August 27, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Yana Kunichoff  

"On November 17, 2013, Brigido Acosta Luis was walked across the U.S.-Mexico border by immigration authorities from Brownsville, Texas, to the northern Mexican city of Matamoros. He was dressed in the pajamas he had been wearing the evening that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested him at his home in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Illlinois, four weeks earlier. Deportation was an abrupt end to the life 33-year-old Acosta had built in the six years since he illegally crossed the border to the United States in 2007. In Schaumburg, he had a wife, Maria Paz Perez, a 3-year-old son, Xavier, and a teenage stepdaughter, Isabel, all of them American citizens. He had also started a small insurance business with Perez. After Acosta’s deportation, the daily lives of Perez and her two children swiftly began to unravel." (08/25/14)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17072/till_i.c.e._do_us_part  

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Harry Reid, immune to foot-in-mouth disease?

August 27, 2014
posted by

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

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the Asian Chamber of Commerce last week, 'The Asian population is so productive. I don't think you're smarter than anybody else, but you've convinced a lot of us you are.' In remarks videotaped by the GOP group America Rising, Reid also joked that he had trouble 'keeping my Wongs straight.' Then followed this apology: 'My comments were in extremely poor taste and I apologize. Sometimes I say the wrong thing.' Sometimes? Reid is being far too humble." [editor's note: Stuff that gets a GOPer (or anyone not dressed in a blue t-shirt?) suspended/fired/censured/pilloried in the media, etc. ... Just SOP for Happy Harry - SAT] (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k5vjs2y  

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Fed follies: Central bank continues to force economy in wrong direction

August 27, 2014
posted by

Richard M. Ebeling Future of Freedom Foundation
by Richard M. Ebeling  

"For more than a decade, now, Federal Reserve policy has been guided by the fear of one economic bogyman: the presumed danger of 'price deflation.' The fear is unfounded and the inflationary 'solution' only leads to disaster." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pqr7h4w  

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Caliph Cameron brings ISIS-style intolerance to Britain

August 27, 2014
posted by

Brendan O'Neill spiked
by Brendan O'Neill  

"We know from their Four Lions-style Twitterfeeds and video statements that some ISIS members dream of co-opting Britain into their unforgiving caliphate. They fantasise about raising their black flag over Downing Street and enforcing harsh sharia law on us, doing away with what they see as our foolish traditions of tolerance and democracy. But it turns out they don’t need to. They don’t have to traipse across Europe to London, for our leaders have proved themselves willing to trash tolerance and democracy on ISIS’s behalf. Giving new meaning to the word irony, in the name of tackling the threat posed by the Islamic State David Cameron and Co are adopting some of the methods of the Islamic State, undermining free speech, free movement and universal justice." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pexhhfz  

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Bad Quaker Podcast, 08/25/14

August 27, 2014
posted by

Bad Quaker Dot Com
by  

"Part 1 of 2, Ki returns to the podcast to discuss agorism, the police state, history, drugs, and stupid Marines." [Flash audio or MP3] (08/25/14)

http://www.badquaker.com/archives/3125  

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A lesson in economic analysis from the minimum wage debate

August 27, 2014
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Ken Zahringer  

"In the ebb and flow of interventionist politics, there are some issues that surface periodically regardless of how many times and how completely they are proven to be harmful to the very people they are purported to help. Currently the tide is once again carrying the minimum wage to the forefront of collective attention. Supporters of this and similar measures often use straw-man arguments, like the one in the picture below." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q28hbhp  

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Recreating the unique

August 27, 2014
posted by

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by Jo Ann Skousen  

"One of the more unsettling scenes of [Get On Up] occurs in the week after Martin Luther King’s assassination. Bart encourages [James] Brown to cancel their concert in Boston, but Brown insists on keeping the date. The tension between the mostly black audience, right on the edge of rioting, and the mostly white police officers, right on the edge of using their billy clubs, is eerily like the situation in Ferguson this week. As audience members climb onto the stage to dance next to Brown, chaos looms and the police ready themselves for action. Brown’s calm reaction made me think of the way George Banks (James Stewart) reacts to the bank run in It’s a Wonderful Life." (08/25/14)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1295  

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“Approved responses to the civil unrest in Ferguson”

August 26, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Tom Tomorrow  

Cartoon. "From your friends at the Ferguson Police Dept." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ohwz3ue  

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Everything Voluntary Podcast, 08/26/14

August 26, 2014
posted by

Everything Voluntary Everything Voluntary
by  

"Episode 035 is a conversation on several strategies to promote liberty, that everyone can do right now." [Flash audio or MP3] (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k4kob6l  

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Safety in a riot

August 26, 2014
posted by

Idaho Liberty
by Ted Dunlap  

"I posted some great Lessons from Ferguson that Daisy Luther put up at The Organic Prepper. I fully agree that the safest place when angry mobs roam the streets is barricaded in your home ... with your well-armed neighbors preventing violence from entering your neighborhood. The problem with that approach is that the safest place for your neighbors is barricaded in their homes as well. Oops, nobody is protecting the neighborhood." (08/25/14)

http://www.idaholiberty.com/2014/08/25/safety-in-a-riot/  

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The bailout of Robert Mugabe

August 26, 2014
posted by

A Lightning War for Liberty
by Michael Krieger  

"The $100 million figure mentioned above that flowed directly to Zimbabwe’s brutal dictator Robert Mugabe was more than just a cash infusion to a corrupt dictator. Rather, it was a veritable political lifeline to a desperate and vulnerable despot. Facing defeat in the initial round of elections to the opposition, and with the nation’s currency hyper-inflating, the only thing he had at his disposal were valuable platinum assets that were at the time held by Anglo American Platinum. So Mugabe did what any desperate tyrant would do. He expropriated the assets from Anglo-American and immediately put them on the market to raise money to crush his opposition. Enter Wall Street." (08/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ocoup7g  

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Secession Tales Revisited

August 26, 2014
posted by

Zero Gov Zero Gov
by Bill Buppert  

"In the spirit of both celebration and reflection on what could have been, I offer you one of my flights of fantasy where I speculated on what Idaho’s secession from the Federal leviathan may look like." (08/25/14)

http://zerogov.com/?p=3583  

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A methodological point and its substantive implications

August 26, 2014
posted by

Bleeding Heart Libertarians Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Jacob T. Levy  

"Starting from the status quo at any given time, tax cuts, spending cuts, deregulation, free trade agreements, and privatization (group 1) are policy changes. That means that they must go through the same policy process, legislative and administrative, that tax increases, spending increases, regulation, trade barriers, and nationalization (group 2) do. It’s methodologically illegitimate to use public choice-inflected scepticism about the policy process to the policy changes in group 2 but not to those in group 1." (08/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kcthnmf  

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Rise of corporate right the greater menace

August 26, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner  

"The latest reports from Europe indicate that the continent is slipping back into recession. The U.S. is doing only slightly better, with positive economic growth but scant progress on the jobs front, and no growth in the earnings of the vast majority of Americans. Meanwhile, global climate change continues to worsen, producing unprecedented policy conundrums of how to reconcile the very survival of the planet with improved living standards for the world's impoverished billions, and for most Americans, whose real incomes have declined since the year 2000. Amid all of these serious challenges, what common strategies are top U.S. and European leaders pursuing? Why, a new trade and investment deal modeled on NAFTA, to make it harder for governments to regulate capitalism." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ns3evlz  

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Fulfilling a duty to expose pompous displays of ignorance

August 26, 2014
posted by

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux  

"Sen. Brown: You call on consumers to boycott Burger King for taking steps to keep its shareholders’ taxes as low as possible by moving its headquarters to Canada -- that is, for responding predictably to incentives that you yourself, as a legislator, helped to create." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mue8q24  

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Thomas Mountain on The Scott Horton Show

August 26, 2014
posted by

The Scott Horton Show
by  

"Journalist Thomas C. Mountain picks up where he left off in last week’s interview, discussing the genocide of Somalis; how the US creates instability in Africa to maintain political and economic control; and the virtually unknown Gayle Smith -- President Obama’s 'quiet consigliere' on Africa affairs." [Flash audio or MP3] (08/25/14)

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2014/08/25/082514-thomas-mountain/  

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Calling for a different approach to tobacco and nicotine regulation

August 26, 2014
posted by

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by Jeff Stier  

"United States law allows companies selling lower risk products to point to that difference in risk. Those wishing to make the claim must first prove to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that the product is not only less harmful to the individual user, but to the population as a whole. At the heart of this regulatory approach is adherence to rigorous science. This approach promises to significantly reduce the harm from tobacco by giving consumers accurate information that could prompt them to switch to lower risk products, even if they don’t (or can’t) follow the best advice: quit all forms of tobacco. Yet regulators in much of the rest of the world eschew the scientifically rigorous approach in favor of grandstanding, anti-business rhetoric, and bizarre theories that seek to punish tobacco companies rather than help smokers." (08/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q8btmcu  

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The fate of Galt’s Gulch Chile

August 26, 2014
posted by

Wendy Mcelroy The Daily Bell
by Wendy McElroy  

"Many have wondered about the status of Galt's Gulch Chile (GGC), the libertarian community that was planned and sold in lots as a liberty oasis for those who wished to live freedom before they died. My husband and I purchased an option on 1.25 acres in July 2013. Others bought 10- or 25-acre lots and some invested in the agricultural side of the venture; extremely savvy investors committed small fortunes. GGC has been an unexpectedly wild ride since then." (08/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lr9no2x  

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