Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"It Does Not Murder People as a Matter of Policy" 

On "capitalism": an excellent excerpt from John Chamberlain’s 1959 book, The Roots of Capitalism:

"When contrasted with a dream of perfection, capitalism was manifestly at a disadvantage.  But with the advent of socialist economies (Communist Russia, China) and the semisocialist, or “mixed,” systems of Scandinavia, Britain, and New Deal America (to say nothing of the “national” socialisms of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy), capitalism no longer requires apologists.  Under any comparative audit of systems it comes out very well indeed.  

....It may have its islands of poverty, its “contractions,” but it does not murder people as a matter of policy or shut them up in concentration camps.  It does not force men and women to accept uncongenial occupations or goods that are subjected to the approval of a small “planning” bureaucracy.  It does not reduce life to a continual round of abject permissiveness."

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Lib vs Conservative "Dialogue" 

Saw this great takedown of liberal-vs-conservative "dialogue" or what stands for dialogue​ in these times:

“To help poor children, I am going to launch flaming accordions into the Grand Canyon.”

“That’s stupid.”


Late 19th Century U.S. Success 

Thanks to Professor Boudreaux for this quote from the great economic historian Deirdre McCloskey’s 2006 volume, The Bourgeois Virtues:

"If you look into the way Carnegie and Rockefeller actually got their fortunes, it turns out that it was mainly by making steel and transporting oil cheaper than their competitors did.  They did not get it by hurting consumers with monopolies.  Nor did they get it by hurting workers by paying less than other people did."

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Great Mind Fallacy 

Professor Boudreaux helps to take down the Great Mind fallacy. Too many people, including those who should know better, look to government to correct things that may or may not be "problems" in the first:

“Got a problem? Pass a ‘law’ or appoint government agents to ‘solve’ that problem!” is about as common – and about as naive – a reaction as is possible in human society.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Don't Use Thinking From the 1500's 

From cafehayek.com. Worth a read, but the bottom line is that we should stop thinking like it is 1500, and more like 2017.

Quoting: Pierre Lemieux:

"The mercantilists of the 16th to 18th centuries thought that a country should export as much as possible and import as little as possible. This is an economic error. Just as today individuals sell (including labor services) in order to buy something, countries export in order to import. As James Mill wrote nearly 200 years ago, “The benefit which is derived from exchanging one commodity for another, arises, in all cases, from the commodity received, not from the commod- ity given.” In other words, exports are a cost because the United States uses its resources to produce goods and services for foreign countries; imports are a benefit because the United States uses the resources of foreign countries to obtain its own goods and services. So, contrary to what the mercantilists thought, the United States should import as much as it can and export as little as possible (assuming it were possible to maintain this regime for long). A reductio ad absurdum of this mercantilist argument is easy. Imagine that the United States ships its exports by sea and that the returning ships bring back imported goods. If the returning ships sank, would this situation of exports without imports be a bene t for the United States? Obviously not."

"Wealth Gap" a Big Lie 

When numbers are thrown around, the facts can get lost.

From cafehayek.com, quoting John Nye:

"It’s worth remembering that anytime someone says that the gap between rich and poor is increasing, what he usually means is that rich people are getting richer faster than poor people are getting richer – not that any group is becoming worse off overall.
Meanwhile, the difference between the lived experiences Americans at different income levels has actually been decreasing.  Changes in the quality of goods consumed by almost everyone mean we’re a whole lot more equal than the data superficially suggest."

Friday, June 02, 2017

Government Fraud 

Great quote from Robert Higgs:

"If I had to use a single word to describe what is fundamentally wrong with government today, I would use the word fraud.  Certainly nowadays – perhaps in every age – government is not what it claims to be (competent, protective, and just), and it is what it claims not to be (bungling, menacing, and unjust).  In actuality, it is a vast web of deceit and humbug, and not for a good purpose, either.  Indeed, its true purposes are as reprehensible as its noble claims are false.  Its stock in trade is pretense.  The velvet glove of its countless claims of benevolence scarcely conceals its iron fist of violence and threats of more violence.  It wants to be loved, but it will settle for being feared.  The one thing it will not do is simply leave us alone."

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