Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Emergency Powers

I wonder if the President could invoke emergency powers to suspend the debt ceiling until Congress gets its act together.

It could be viewed that he has a Constitutional duty to protect the validity of the national debt, even against a Congress that is failing in its duty.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013


For years now I've been accumulating references for Critiques Of Libertarianism as bookmarks to eventually add.  Because it's much faster and easier to add a bookmark than to code and index an entry at my old site or my new wiki.  Today I wondered just how many I'd accumulated.

3,000.  Add to that the 600 or so from my old site and at roughly 6 an hour, that's 600 hours to get it all in.

I also have a library of around 250 relevant books, each of which should get about an hour of attention to identify how it is relevant.

I have several hundred quotations to move to my new site.

Over all, it looks like about 1000 hours of work.  (There is the issue of linkrot: I have that partially solved.)

This is just a hobby, but I wonder if I should try a KickStarter to get more of it done.

The wiki could allow many others to contribute effort, but would have its own stack of problems with consistency of cataloging, very mixed levels of expertise, need for training, inconsistency of coding, etc.  Scaling up a project beyond one person is a big undertaking.

What do my readers (both of you!) think?

Sunday, October 06, 2013

What's New

NEW 10/06/2013: Harms Of Libertarian Policies
Libertarian policies can be harmful both as public policies and as private sector practices within corporations. [more...]
NEW 10/06/2013: It is not just government: How insane hedge fund Objectivist libertarianism is destroying Sears [More...]
"Just look at what has happened to Sears after it hired insane free market hedge fund libertarian Eddie Lampert to run their company [...] We're dealing with a full-fledged cult that is just as willing to destroy business as it is to destroy government." [more...]
NEW 10/06/2013: Pondering Pax Americana and the government shut-down [More...]
David Brin points out that the enormous US defense spending which created the Pax Americana allowed other nations to spend less on military and more on education and development. [more...]
NEW 10/06/2013: American Exceptionalism... versus what has made America exceptional [More...]
David Brin points out that counter-merchantilist US government policies of the Pax Americana have created unprecedented economic development around the world and a vast reduction in warfare and violence. [more...]
NEW 10/06/2013: Pax Americana
One of the few valid claims to American exceptionalism, the degree of international peace brokered by the US since WWII has been unprecedented both in nature and duration. This has resulted in vast increases in wealth and freedom for the US and especially for the rest of the world. [more...]
NEW 10/04/2013: The Magic Of The Market
An appeal to blind faith in markets, ignoring inconvenient experience of how markets often fail and haven't solved certain problems historically. [more...]
NEW 10/04/2013: Poverty
Libertarians like to claim that poverty will be solved by "The Magic Of The Market". But high levels of poverty persist despite US markets, and has been nearly eliminated in strongly socialist nations such as Denmark. See also inequality[more...]
NEW 10/04/2013: It is Not a School Problem
Diane Ravitch used to be a supporter of school reform. But now she is the author of Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools. The problem is poverty and segregation. [more...]
NEW 10/01/2013: Ayn Rand (graphic novel) [More...]
A 63 page webcomic detailing the nasty life of Ayn Rand. No sugar-coating from her sycophants here: lots of hypocrisy illustrated clearly. Based on Ayn Rand And The World She Made, and Goddess OF The Market: Ayn Rand And The American Right[more...]
The Golden Goose Award [More...]
"The Golden Goose Award is a new award that recognizes scientists and engineers whose federally funded research has had significant human and economic benefits." The intelligent alternative to Proxmire's "Golden Fleece Awards". [more...]
Thirty Years Late to a Class War [More...]
"The past three decades of market liberalism’s predominance has had a devastating impact on civil society. The transition and return to a more feudal arrangement that Hayek and others of a libertarian ilk have aspired to over the past seventy years is nearing completion. [...] Market liberalism is nothing short of an agenda to destroy fundamental bonds that tie us together as humans." [more...]
Private Sector Waste
It is widely assumed that government is wasteful but the private sector is not. Every kind of market failure presents opportunities for private sector waste. Everybody who has worked in the private sector can tell stories of waste in their business. Competition may not be strong enough to eliminate very much waste. [more...]
Does competition get rid of waste in the private sector? [More...]
Can we assume that competition eliminates ALL waste in the private sector? Obviously not. How strong does competition need to be to eliminate how much waste? Some real world examples of weak competition and private sector waste are obvious. [more...]
Class War
The current class war is between the first-class citizens (large corporations and the ultra-wealthy) and ordinary people (the 99%.) The first-class citizens have subverted representative government with propaganda, lobbying, campaign finance and revolving-door politics. The result is greater inequality due to state support of the wealthy.[more...]
The Myth of the Free Market and How to Make the Economy Work for Us [More...]
Robert Reich lays out the facts about what the "Free Market" really is: a large set of rules managed by government that creates and enlarges markets. [more...]
We use infrastructure as we breathe the air: we hardly ever think about it unless it fails. But the infrastructure of roads, communications, education, science, defense, law, and many other institutions is largely a product of government efforts. [more...]
Ronald Coase, a Pragmatic Voice for Government’s Role [More...]
"Mr. Coase’s work cannot be read as a case for minimal government. On the contrary, his message was more purely pragmatic: Because we can’t negotiate efficient private solutions most of the time, we must ask whether laws and other institutions can help steer us toward solutions we would have chosen if negotiation had been practical." [more...]
Public Expansions Of Liberty
Government creation of enforceable rights makes markets for those rights, as in cap and trade. Public safety protects us from crime and accidents, giving us the freedom to use our resources productively rather than protectively. Infrastructure such as roads lets us travel and do many things more freely. [more...]