Sunday, April 22, 2012

Who is John Galt?

Ayn Rand was not very original: she stole the name "objectivism" from earlier philosophers such as Frege and/or the Objectivist poets of her own era.

It also seems she stole the character name "John Galt" from a real historical figure.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

What's new

NEW 4/05/2012: Pink Slime and the Slimy Tactics of America’s Food Elitists [More...]
The Competitive Enterprise Institute whines that "food elitists" ought not to reveal disgusting industry practices nor demand labeling. It's "The Jungle" all over again. "Food elitists" takes the same fallaceous approach as "credit snobs". [more...]
NEW 4/05/2012: Zoning: A Reply To The Critics [More...]
A scholarly examination of the arguments for and against zoning. It provides strong rebuttals to libertarian positions, a plausible explanation for the value of zoning and why it is so prevalent (Houston is the ONLY major US city without zoning.) [more...]
NEW 4/05/2012: Zoning laws and property rights [More...]
A clear explanation of how zoning is really an extension of property rights, and how proposals to abolish zoning by econourbanists are really uncompensated takings. [more...]
NEW 4/05/2012: Zoning
Libertarians generally oppose zoning, turning a blind eye to the benefits. Zoning is actually an extension of property rights. Libertarian efforts to abolish zoning amount to uncompensated takings. [more...]
NEW 4/03/2012: The Simple Analytics of Soaking the Rich [More...]
Why it makes sense (with standard microeconomics) to tax the rich more heavily, even if they were job creators. [more...]
NEW 4/03/2012: Progressive Taxation
Libertarians are generally antitax, but when they tolerate taxation they tend to prefer regressive taxation that favors their rich sponsors. Progressive taxation means that as you earn more, you are taxed at a higher rate. [more...]
Freedom and Money [More...]
G. A. Cohen points out the elephant in the room: property restricts freedoms of others, and money is the bribe needed to enjoy those freedoms. In this respect, the poor have much less freedom than others. [more...]
Child Labor
Many libertarians defend child labor because the alternative is for popular, labor, and government action to end the cycle of poverty, ill-education, and child labor. [more...]
Worked Up [More...]
Steve Landsburg's propaganda piece promoting child labor. He is taken apart in detail by commenters Harold and Philip who examine his sources and fake economic determinism. [more...]
Zombie libertarianism [More...]
Amanda Marcotte: "At the end of the day, libertarian ideology is about making sure that huge parts of our society are put out of the reach of the democratic system, meaning that oppressed people can’t use their power to vote to relieve their oppression." [more...]
The Liberty Scam [More...]
"Why even Robert Nozick, the philosophical father of libertarianism, gave up on the movement he inspired." [more...]
Friedrich Hayek Joins Ayn Rand as a Hypocritical User of Medicare [More...]
"This should put Hayek in some sort of libertariam circle of hell, along with Ayn Rand, who took Medicare and Social Security payments when she was diagnosed with lung cancer." [more...]
1992 National Platform of the Libertarian Party
A long, detailed platform that includes the extreme Children's Rights plank. [more...]
2004 National Platform of the Libertarian Party [More...]
The last of the long, detailed platforms before the 2006 purge. It already had been watered down from some of the extremism of earlier versions. [more...]
The Portland Plank Massacre of 2006 [More...]
What really happened at the Libertarian Party convention that reduced the platform from 61 lengthy planks to 15 paragraphs? [more...]
Libertarian Party Platforms
The various Libertarian Party platforms have been amazingly extreme and one of the best arguments AGAINST libertarianism. They grew more and more detailed and outrageous until 2006 when they were abbreviated so that they wouldn't frighten off newcomers. The newest platforms show only the mildest, vaguest tip of the libertarian iceberg. [more...]
Libertarians for Social Democracy [More...]
Peter Dorman points out that Alex Tabarrok's endorsement of apprenticeship systems will not work without the other trappings of social democracy that make them work. [more...]
Capability Approach (Wikipedia) [More...]
And unusually readable outline of the Capability Approach, who is developing it, and how it is being adopted. [more...]
Capability Approach
Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum's successor to liberalism. This approach to human well-being emphasizes the importance of freedom of choice, individual heterogeneity and the multi-dimensional nature of welfare. [more...]
Probing Tyler Cowen, or: When Libertarians Get Medieval on Your Vagina [More...]
Tyler Cowen confuses "being informed" with having a large probe stuck up a vagina. Maybe he's attempting to be witty, but failing. Links to several other libertarian misogynies. [more...]
Free-Trade Blinders [More...]
Dani Rodrik presents thought experiments to a class on globalization. He shows that justice issues play an important role in our judgements of what sorts of redistribution from free markets should be considered fair. [more...]
Koch vs. Cato Bibliography [More...]
Follow the action as the Koch brothers show the Cato Institute that he who pays the piper calls the tunes. [more...]
Crimes Without Victims
[Or victimless crimes.] If this term was explained honestly, it would be "crimes where we choose not to count the perpetrator as a victim and conveniently ignore distributed or indirect harms to family, friends, and other people through the environment, social relationships, and institutions." [more...]
Tears for Somali’s “Baby Soldiers” [More...]
Somalia now has a huge problem of child soldiers. [more...]
Somalia: The Libertarian Paradise
Somalia is notorious for having no significant government. As a result, it is rife with piracy, violence and human rights violations. [more...]
Libertarians: Only now, at the end, do you understand... [More...]
"Here are a bunch of smart people who truly, honestly believe in their worldview [...] discovering for the first time that they are in fact merely a proxy army for people who don't take them or their worldview seriously at all." [more...]
Brad DeLong continues to piece together the amazing story of the Koch lawsuit for control of Cato. A schadenfreude party for liberals! "From my perspective, of course, the delicious irony is that the arguments against the Kochtopus--powerful and convincing arguments--are not libertarian but rather Burkean, communitarian, and social democratic ones, and thus arguments that no true libertarian could ever possibly make..." [more...]
The Market as God [More...]
How market fetishization bears all the hallmarks of our familiar religions, in exquisite detail. [more...]