Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What's new

I've been adding all sorts of things according to suggestions, encountered articles and whim instead of the more orderly process of transferring links from my old site.  I've been a bad boy!

But enjoy the new things.

NEW 8/21/2013: The Myth of the Robber Barons: A New Look at the Rise of Big Business in America
Historical revisionism that portrays malefactors of great wealth as heroic entrepreneurs. A biased, one-sided take on history. No academic credibility. [more...]
NEW 8/21/2013: Amazon one-star reviews of "The Myth of the Robber Barons" [More...]
The Bookreader review provides a lot of good criticism based on other literature to show how one-sider the presentation is. Also, "A sad effort to justify greed and oppression." [more...]
NEW 8/21/2013: Robber Barons
Libertarians, largely in service of deranged billionaires whether they know it or not, have attempted to revise the dismal history of the robber barons as a glorious history of entrepreneurship. [more...]
NEW 8/20/2013: You Didn’t Build That: The Entrepreneurial State [More...]
A review of The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths, the new book by Mariana Mazzucato. [more...]
NEW 8/20/2013: The Entrepreneurial State (Anthem Press) [More...]
The publisher's web site for this book, with a list of links. [more...]
NEW 8/20/2013: The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths
This book debunks the myth of the state as market failure fixer, leaving entrepreneurship to the private sector. Case studies reveal the opposite: the private sector follows the state's bold, high-risk investments. [more...]
NEW 8/20/2013: Entrepreneurs
The importance of private entrepreneurs has long been widely appreciated, which is why the patent system exists. Libertarians ignore the historic importance of public entrepreneurship, product of government investment in research and development. [more...]
NEW 8/20/2013: Adam Smith's views in 1776 on the progressive burden of taxation [More...]
Adam Smith’s ideas about the justification for progressive rather than merely proportionate taxation. [more...]
NEW 8/19/2013: Joe Scarborough skips the dirty parts [More...]
William F. Buckley, Jr. inspired Joe Scarborough with his talk about freedom. Digby points out that "When men like that talk about 'liberty', it's wise to watch your back if you don't happen to be a member of their club." [more...]
NEW 8/19/2013: William F. Buckley, Jr.
A self-professed libertarian and conservative author and TV host who was famous for upholding white supremacy and McCarthyism. Later, he renounced racism, anti-semitism, Ayn Rand and various other conservative themes. [more...]
NEW 8/19/2013: Against Utilitarianism and Self-Ownership Defenses of Libertarianism [More...]
"Utilitarianism is too consequence-sensitive and self-ownership is too consequence-insensitive." [more...]
NEW 8/19/2013: Political Philosophy’s Fundamental Question [More...]
Libertarian philosopher Kevin Vallier explains why social contract theorists "got it right", which pretty much implies why almost all libertarians get it wrong. [more...]
NEW 8/19/2013: Contractualism [More...]
An essential outline of modern philosophical ideas of social contract and some common, erroneous objections. "Thus, the core normative idea of social contract theory (contractualism) is not consent or agreement but justification." [more...]
NEW 8/19/2013: A Libertarian Rehabilitation of Hobbes [More...]
"[...] you, libertarian, are prepared to coerce your equal to do what you demand [...] you are prepared to subordinate your non-libertarian fellows to your will [...] Traditional libertarian, in at least one sense, Hobbes was less authoritarian than you." [more...]
NEW 8/19/2013: Sobel’s New Argument Against Self-Ownership [More...]
"Sobel argues that SO [Self-Ownership] is implausible because it cannot differentiate between normatively significant and normatively insignificant impingements on other people’s bodies." [more...]
NEW 8/19/2013: Self-Ownership
No human society has ever treated people as their own inviolate property. Even if self-ownership was only an aspirational goal, it could not be implemented for children or incompetents. Libertarians frequently base their philosophy on this imagined right. [more...]
NEW 8/19/2013: Rousseau’s Challenge to Libertarianism [More...]
"What Rousseau brings into focus is that, at the most fundamental level, property rights are coercive and so trigger a requirement of justification to those who are putatively disadvantaged by the property system." [more...]
NEW 8/19/2013: On the Problematic Political Authority of Property Rights: How Huemer Proves Too Much [More...]
Kevin Vallier eviscerates Michael Huemer’s anarcho-capitalist "The Problem of Political Authority" by pointing out that the same arguments undermining political authority of a state also undermine the political authority of property. [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Paul Cienfuegos Links [More...]
Links to "organizations advancing democratic self-governance for all people, and dismantling corporate authority to govern and to define our future". [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Corporate Constitutional Rights Primer [More...]
"The key to propping up this corporate machinery is the collection of constitutional rights that the Framers never meant corporations to have. Such rights were illegitimately interpreted into the U.S. Constitution by a century of corporate-driven court decisions." [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Corporate Rights (Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund) [More...]
"The structure of federal and state law – both statutory and constitutional – empowers corporations to override local democratic decision making." [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Redesign Corporate Rights And Charters
Corporate rights are a toxic mish-mosh of judge-made law that in effect creates monsters. These first-class citizens dominate our society through control of media, contributions to non-profits and the legalized bribery of lobbying and campaign contributions. [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Community Rights (Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund) [More...]
Harmful corporate activities that directly impact a community are banned as Community Rights are elevated above corporate “rights.” [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Community Rights
Communities should be empowered to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their residents and the natural environment, and establish environmental and economic sustainability. [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Rights of Nature: Background [More...]
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund proposes changing the status of natural communities and ecosystems from being regarded as property under the law to being recognized as rights-bearing entities. [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Rights Of Nature
A proposal to make natural communities and ecosystems rights-bearing entities, instead of merely being property. [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Removing deadweight loss from economic discourse on income taxation and public spending [More...]
When analyzing taxation and public spending, the one-sided concepts of inefficiency, deadweight loss, and distortion bias the discussion. Optimal income taxation maximises aggregate net (after tax) income. [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: The economics of man's nature [More...]
Lee Drutman points out just how silly and inconsistent Michael Shermer is in "The Mind Of The Market". [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Shermer's March to Nirvana [More...]
Robert Carroll rips Michael Shermer a new one as he savages "The Mind Of The Market". "This is Shermer the libertarian, not Shermer the skeptic." Followed by a list of other mixed to harsh reviews. [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Michael Shermer
Michael Shermer is prominent in the traditional (non-denialist) skeptical movement, and has written a great deal of good criticism of religion and pseudosciences. He has also written some amazing libertarian twaddle about capitalism. [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Perilous Optimism [More...]
Extended criticisms of the cornucopianism of Julian Simon and Mark Sagoff. "Prof. Simon's ideas have been universally dismissed by environmental scientists as crackpot, and yet he was something of a hero among libertarians, neo-orthodox economists, and their political disciples." [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Ultimate Confusion: The Economics of Julian Simon [More...]
Some examples of the unrealistic exaggerations and mistakes in Julian Simon's books. [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Julian Simon
The foremost "cornucopian", someone who posits that there are few intractable natural limits to growth and believes the world can provide a practically limitless abundance of natural resources. An anti-environmentalist denialist of global warming, lead pollution, asbestos, and other contamination. [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Patrick Michaels' 1992 claims versus the 2012 reality [More...]
"Michaels just ignored the last 20 years of science showing the effect of air pollution because it destroyed the argument he wanted to make." [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Patrick Michaels: Serial Deleter of Inconvenient Data [More...]
"In fact, not only does Michaels misrepresent climate research on a regular basis, but on several occasions he has gone as far as to manipulate other scientists' figures by deleting parts he doesn't like." [more...]
NEW 8/18/2013: Patrick Michaels
Patrick Michaels is a global warming skeptic who has admitted that 40 per cent of his funding came from the oil industry. He is a "fellow" at George Mason University and theCato Institute[more...]
NEW 8/17/2013: Paul Ryan: Murderer Of Opportunity, Political Coward, Candidate For Vice President Of The United States
"Paul Ryan is an authentically dangerous zealot. He does not want to reform entitlements. He wants to eliminate them." [more...]
NEW 8/17/2013: Bjorn Lomborg
Author of the pseudoscientific The Skeptical Environmentalist. He has been a darling of corporate lobbyists and front groups. He was long a climate change skeptic, and now merely claims we shouldn't do anything about it. [more...]
NEW 8/17/2013: John Stossel
A free-market evangelist notorious for distorting and misrepresenting the facts. He bashes unions, science, government with a one-sided, pro-business bias. [more...]
NEW 8/17/2013: Fairness And Accuracy In Reporting on John Stossel [More...]
A few of the FAIR (Fairness And Accuracy In Reporting) articles about the ideologically one-sided reporting of John Stossel. Search the site for another hundred or so articles. [more...]
NEW 8/17/2013: Paul Ryan
A Republican congressman who claims major inspiration from libertarian writers, especially Ayn Rand. Best characterized as "the zombie-eyed granny starver" for his willingness to eliminate Social Security[more...]
NEW 8/17/2013: Libertarian Hypocrisy
The classic "I never got a government handout" from libertarians is usualy a hypocritical lie. For example, Friedrich von Hayek and Ayn Rand were both hypocritical users of Medicare. [more...]
NEW 8/17/2013: Economics Alternatives
There are many different well-respected branches of economics that libertarians ignore because they conflict with libertarian ideology. These provide much needed economic theory for opposing libertarian claims. [more...]
NEW 8/17/2013: Institutional Economics
The idea that institutions play an import role in explaining the economic behavior of buyers and sellers, bosses and workers, investors and managers, public officials, and citizens. A leading heterodox approach. [more...]
NEW 8/17/2013: Where Private Investment Fails [More...]
Institutional economics. "[...] under rather common circumstances it is efficient (maximizing of profits, minimizing of long run average costs) for explicit rules, regulations, commands, organization charts, and social contracts to replace the invisible hand. [more...]
NEW 8/15/2013: Invisible hand (Wikipedia) [More...]
Wikipedia (8/2013) documents many interpretations and criticisms of the neoliberal propaganda usage of Smith's metaphor. [more...]
NEW 8/12/2013: Who Was Milton Friedman [More...]
Paul Krugman reviews three roles. The third (section 4), is "Friedman the ideologue, the great popularizer of free-market doctrine." "Friedman’s effectiveness as a popularizer and propagandist rested in part on his well-deserved reputation as a profound economic theorist." [more...]
NEW 8/12/2013: Who Was Milton Friedman? [More...]
Paul Krugman reviews three roles. [more...]
NEW 8/12/2013: The Failed Prophet: As Wall Street collapses, so does Milton Friedman’s legacy. [More...]
Senator Bernie Sanders writes about the Milton Friedman Institute: "Friedman’s ideology caused enormous damage to the American middle class and to working families here and around the world. It is not an ideology that a great institution like the University of Chicago should be seeking to advance." [more...]
NEW 8/12/2013: When Congress Busted Milton Friedman (And Libertarianism Was Created By Big Business Business Lobbyists) [More...]
Milton Friedman wrote propaganda for the Foundation for Economic Education, considered the first libertarian think-tank. "That is how libertarianism started: As an arm of big business lobbying." [more...]
NEW 8/12/2013: Anti-Government Ideologue Megan McArdle's Amnesia About Her Privileged, Govt.-Funded Upbringing [More...]
"Megan McArdle is just a second-generation product of the sleazy NYC construction business, which has been using public money for private gain since the Tammany Hall era." Megan and her husband live in the "deeply hypocritical world of free-market shills who make their money playing the murky world where big government and big business overlap." [more...]
NEW 8/12/2013: Megan McArdle
A noisy libertarian blogger and shill for the free market who has written widely for the mainstream media. Infamous for extremely poor arguments. [more...]
NEW 8/02/2013: Firm Market Power and the Earnings Distribution [More...]
Market power, a form of market failure, produces a positive relationship between a firm's labor supply elasticity and the earnings of its workers. This paper provides empirical evidence measuring market power and showing that employers with more power pay lower wages. Especially at lowest incomes. [more...]
NEW 8/02/2013: The Failed Promise of Prison Privatization [More...]
After 25 years experimenting with prison privatization in the U.S., even in the best private prisons, quality of prisoner care is no better than in public prisons and the cost advantage of privatization is steadily eroding as the private prison industry matures into oligopoly[more...]
NEW 8/02/2013: There Is No Invisible Hand [More...]
"But if the brightest economic minds failed for a century to show how some invisible hand could move markets toward equilibrium, can any such mechanism exist? [...] In a tribute to academic insularity, most supposedly practical economists are dimly aware, if at all, of theorists' instability results." [more...]
NEW 8/02/2013: Basic Income: A simple and powerful idea for the twenty-first century [More...]
Philippe Van Parijs presents a 24 page overview of Basic Income. The 2005 version. [more...]
NEW 8/02/2013: Basic income and social justice: Why philosophers disagree [More...]
A brilliantly clear presentation about why John Rawls and Ronald Dworkin disagree with the idea of Basic Income and Philippe Van Parijs' solution. [more...]
NEW 8/02/2013: Basic Income in a Globalized Economy [More...]
The authors discuss the problems of extending basic income beyond national borders, and find some really ingenious starting points, such as basic income for the elderly.[more...]
NEW 8/02/2013: About Basic Income [More...]
An introduction and 40 question FAQ to the ideas of Basic Income, as explained by Philippe Van Parijs. Part of the Basic Income Earth Network. [more...]
NEW 8/02/2013: Guaranteed Annual Income Links [More...]
A crowdsourced scholarly index to Basic Income (and Mincome articles, research, conferences, etc. Many, many links. [more...]
NEW 8/02/2013: Basic Income
A simple social welfare program that ensures everyone has sufficient income to raise them above the poverty line, whether or not they work. Milton Friedman proposed this as a negative income tax. In Canada, an experimental version was called Mincome. In the US, the Alaska Permanent Fund is a basic income system. [more...]
NEW 8/02/2013: Types of market failure [More...]
Simple summaries of 10 categories of market failure with links to more extensive pages. An Economics Online page, part of their large index on market failures. [more...]
NEW 8/02/2013: Market Failure -- Introduction [More...]
The tutor2u introduction to the economic theory of market failures and government interventions. Concise and easy to understand. British examples. [more...]
A Shuffle of Aluminum, but to Banks, Pure Gold [More...]
Goldman Sachs has used its control of aluminum warehousing to artificially raise the price of aluminum by several percent. Other investors are now planning to do the same for copper. [more...]
Jury Nullification
Juries have the power (if not the right) to acquit if they oppose a law's results. This can be for good or bad: defying the Fugitive Slave Act or freeing white racists who have murdered blacks. This does not repeal or invalidate laws for more than the single trial. There is controversy about it, but it is not really important. [more...]
Federalist Society
A large, well-funded, conservative and libertarian intellectual network attempting to mold legislation and judicial practice in the United States by promoting conservative and libertarian viewpoints through all levels of the legal community. Members include Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court John Roberts. [more...]
Economics As Religion: From Samuelson to Chicago and Beyond
An examination of the religious-style rhetoric upon which economics is founded and promoted. Themes of genesis, prophets, prophesies, salvation and more are illustrated.[more...]
Libertarians understand economics better than people with other political positions. Especially liberals.
The vast majority of libertarians who actually learn some economics learn either Austrian Economics or Chicago Economics. Those conflict so seriously that one side (or both) MUST be wrong. Both choices are seriously afflicted with the idea that economics is about capitalism, rather than actual human behavior. [more...]
Herbert Hoover Myths [More...]
Steven Horwitz and other Austrians have been claiming Herbert Hoover was a Keynesian interventionist. Lord Keynes (pseudonym) sorts out this revisionist nonsense.[more...]
The Strategy To Privatize The Public Domain [More...]
There is a coordinated and decades-long effort to privatize the public lands of the United States, controlled by a network of corporations and conservative foundations and think tanks intent on gaining control of the public domain. [more...]
Libertarians have no way of constraining damage to the environment. It is an issue they prefer to pretend does not exist, which is why global warming denialism is so popular among libertarians. [more...]
Free Market Environmentalism
An astroturf public relations effort to privatize public lands, enriching large corporations. [more...]
Economics in One Lesson
Henry Hazlitt's Austrian-style anti-progressivism reactionary rant. Peddled as an introduction to economics, because anyone with some knowledge of economics would laugh at it. 65 year old "the world is coming to an end tomorrow" doomsaying. [more...]
How Intellectual Property Reinforces Inequality [More...]
"Economic power often speaks louder, though, than moral values; and in the many instances in which American corporate interests prevail in intellectual property rights, our policies help increase inequality abroad. In most countries, it’s much the same as in the United States: the lives of the poor are sacrificed at the altar of corporate profits. "[more...]
Joseph Stiglitz
A Nobel prizewinner in economics whose work focuses on income distribution, asset risk management, corporate governance, and international trade. [more...]
Thomas Paine
Tom Paine is much loved by libertarians (and other freedom lovers) for many of his writings about liberty and freedom. But he also wrote "Agrarian Justice", which proposed the first realistic government anti-poverty program. [more...]
Thomas Paine’s “Agrarian Justice” and the Origins of Social Insurance [More...]
Thomas Paine proposed the first realistic plan to abolish poverty on a nationwide scale, a universal social insurance system comprising old-age pensions and disability support, and universal stakeholder grants for young adults. Compared to Condorcet, Locke, Spencer, Rawls and especially Hayek[more...]
Greg Mankiw and the Gatsby Curve [More...]
While Greg Mankiw is a conservative, his economics position is often repeated by libertarians. Three lines of critique against justification of the one percent plus Paul Krugman's take on historical change. [more...]
How to Avoid More Enrons: Legalize Fraud [More...]
Libertarian fairy dust will magically make currently unrestrained private contract enforcement much more powerful once government is no longer backing it with criminal penalties for fraud. Investors would suddenly be so much more careful: that couldn't hurt, could it? [more...]
The Private Sector can solve that.
Hand-waving arguments that because the private sector is already involved, there is no need for government. If you ignore market failures, game theory, historical evidence, psychology, transaction costs and more, why, it all makes sense! [more...]
Krugman Discovers Intellectual Property: The 1 Percent are the Takers [More...]
"[...] we spend $340 billion a year on drugs, more than 2 percent of GDP ($295 billion on prescription drugs, $45 billion on non-prescription drugs). We would probably spend about one-tenth this amount in the absence of patent protection." [more...]
How Did We Get Here? Or, Why Do 20 Year Old Newsletters Matter So Damn Much? [More...]
Steve Horwitz denounces the paleolibertarian strategy of Ron PaulLew Rockwell and Murray Rothbard. "What the media has in their hands is only the tip of the iceberg of the really unsavory garbage that the paleo turn produced back then." [more...]
Libertarians tend to be non-minorities, and thus not understand the obstacles (expecially discrimination) society creates for minorities. And they refuse to face the privately created obstacles that government can remedy. [more...]
How We Came to Misunderstand Meritocracy [More...]
"Much to the chagrin of the man who coined the term half a century ago, we’re missing the point [...]" Meritocracy was coined to satirize the idea of using "merit" to produce a new dominant class. [more...]
An FAQ for Libertarians [More...]
Nine common libertarian questions/accusations answered by UnlearningEcon. Gets to the heart of things nicely. [more...]
Stop Talking About Meritocracy [More...]
"[...] the current system of educational credentialing has the function of preserving and transmitting privilege, even though it was designed for much the opposite end. "[more...]
Meritocracy is an appalling idea that no one believes in even though everyone claims to [More...]
"In a meritocracy, all that counts for your success or failure is your biological merits. [...]" [more...]
Originally coined by Michael Young in 1958, who critically defined it as a system where merit is equated with intelligence-plus-effort, its possessors are identified at an early age and selected for appropriate intensive education, and there is an obsession with quantification, test-scoring, and qualifications. The word "meritocratic" has also developed a broader definition, and may be used to refer to any government run by "a ruling or influential class of educated or able people." Widely used in Asian governments. [more...]
Capitalist success is meritocratic.
The same way the scum floats to the top? Because libertarians usually define merit as success in capitalism, this begs the question. Meritocracy still has the problem of rule by a small clique. [more...]
The importance of redistribution [More...]
"democratic egalitarianism"--the idea that individuals flourish best in a free society that allows them to choose democratically the rules that govern their lives, with the understanding that the institutions must be sustainable and must allow all individuals to flourish, not just a select few. [more...]
Legalized Prostitution Increases Human Trafficking [More...]
"... countries that legalized have larger reported inflows of human trafficking than similar countries where prostitution is illegal." [more...]
Positional Goods
Positional goods are a zero sum game, and the more who participate in the game the more wasteful it gets. Luxury taxes can redistribute part of the wasted wealth to better purposes which are not zero sum. [more...]
Was Medieval Iceland an Example of Anarcho-Capitalism? [More...]
"Apparently a real world privatised justice system would require a high degree of equality of power and wealth, which I submit to you is grossly unrealistic." [more...]
The Middle-Out Moment [More...]
A symposium to make what “middle-out” economics the operating progressive theory of economic growth. ": That is, we must promote middle-out economics not just as a nice-sounding idea, but as the direct alternative to trickle-down economics. Where conservatives say investing in the top 1 percent drives growth, we say that investing in the broad middle does it." [more...]
Middle-out economics
Emphasizes that growth comes from promotion of a strong middle class, rather than by addressing the top 1% (as in Supply-side economics.) [more...]
Supply-side economics
A macroeconomics school centered around the Laffer Curve. Also called voodoo economics. Considered a gross failure. [more...]
Nick Eberstadt and the "Takers" Once Again: More Reflections on the General Theory of the Moocher Class [More...]
Brad DeLong criticizes Nick Eberstadt's "A Nation of Takers", claiming it fails to present an argument. [more...]
Moochers, Makers and Takers
Randroid division of the world into good guys and bad guys. Came to prominence in the Mitt Romney presidential campaign, to his detriment. [more...]
Vouchers in Sweden: Scores Fall, Inequality Grows [More...]
"Interest in the subject had been piqued by several developments including the dramatic growth in private school enrollments and a fairly precipitous decline in Swedish performance on international tests. Results in reading, science, and mathematics had fallen at all grade levels from 1995 to the present in the international studies." [more...]
Constitutional Rights and Civil Liberties
Almost all US political groups want Constitutional rights and civil liberties preserved or extended. Libertarians have their own myopic viewpoints that they want implemented. They oppose incorporation of Constitutional rights against individuals and business. They deny civil liberties such as privacy rights, except when government is involved.[more...]