Thursday, August 07, 2014

What's New...

Has it really been two months since I last posted?  Sorry.  !00+ more resources.

NEW 8/07/2014: A Day in Rothbardian Anarcho-Capitalist Paradise [More...]
Rampant inequality, poverty, disease, crime and violence. "Libertarians have a major problem: there are very few people indeed who would want such a society or think that it would be a good place to live in."[more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: The Pay-for-Performance Myth [More...]
"An analysis of compensation data publicly released by Equilar shows little correlation between CEO pay and company performance. Equilar ranked the salaries of 200 highly paid CEOs. When compared to metrics such as revenue, profitability, and stock return, the scattering of data looks pretty random, as though performance doesn’t matter." [more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: As outrage grows, Reason editor rejects proof, denies that magazine denied the holocaust [More...]
Reason Magazine's leadership denies its own plain, printed evidence. Propaganda means never having to admit your were wrong. [more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: An Evening of H.G. Wells listening to Ayn Rand [More...]
A Dead Authors podcast where H.G. Wells (Paul F. Tompkins) welcomes the rather chatty Ayn Rand (John Hodgman). [more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: Austrian economics and Flat Earth geography [More...]
"... the point that Austrian economics is genuinely related to Flat Earth geography (as opposed to the use of this term as simple abuse) seems to be new." [more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: Repeal Prohibition, Again [More...]
The editorial board of the New York Times says: "The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana." [more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: How Noah Smith Should Have Criticised Austrian Economics [More...]
Noah Smith and Robert Murphy had an argument. An expert critical of Austrian Economics identifies 6 major problems he thinks Noah should have attacked instead. [more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: Paul Ryan, American Values and Corporatocracy [More...]
"Ryan calls the mixed economy anti-American. History, however, shows otherwise... My views in The Price of Civilization run to the very idea of America: a democracy of the people, by the people, and for the people, not a government of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations." [more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: The Big Casino [More...]
This paper uses an analogy to illustrate two things: (1) the economy is and will always be a casino, and (2) in existing societies and most libertarian, liberal, and socialist visions of society individuals are effectively forced to participate in the casino economy. It argues justice requires that individuals must be free from forced participation in such an economy and that the best way to free people from forced participation is the provision of a Basic Income Guarantee. [more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: The Sobering Truth about Business Failure Rates [More...]
"If one looks at these failure rates, one can only conclude that decentralised, private decision-making on production and investment mostly turns out to be wrong and a failure; it is not some incredibly efficient system at all, for a 50% failure rate after 5 years for new businesses means massive wasted resources and lost opportunity costs." [more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: Capitalism and Slavery: An Interview with Greg Grandin [More...]
"[...] 1804-1805, the highpoint of what Spanish merchants called “free trade in blacks” — the privatization and deregulation of mercantile slavery, which, decades before the expansion of chattel bondage in the US south, kicked off the Atlantic World’s capitalist market revolution [....]" [more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: Hutchison on the Socialist Calculation Debate [More...]
"It is just too facile to demonstrate that socialist planners may not be able to improve on the allocation of competitive markets if everybody in those markets -- more or less by definition -- is equipped with full or perfect knowledge." [more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: Capitalism Whack-A-Mole
"There is no general framework of morality or justice that supports laissez-faire capitalism. This is a problem of course for those who wish to argue on behalf of it. When you talk to such people, a familiar argumentative pattern emerges that I have come to call Capitalism Whack-A-Mole." [more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: Tragedy Of The Commons
There is only a tragedy of an UNREGULATED commons. Regulation is an obvious workable solution. Libertarians frequently claim that the problem can be solved by privatization with clear property title. But removing property from the commons has its own problems; moral, philosophical and economic. See also the Tragedy Of The Anticommons[more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: The Permission Problem [More...]
A good explanation of the Tragedy Of The Anticommons market failure based on the book "The Gridlock Economy: How Too Much Ownership Wrecks Markets, Stops Innovation, and Costs Lives" by Michael Heller[more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: Holdout (architecture) from Wikipedia [More...]
A holdout is a piece of property that did not become part of a larger real estate development because the owner either refused to sell or wanted too much. There are many examples of hold-outs in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Japan, and other countries. [more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: Holdouts
Construction projects are often halted or expensively modified because some owners refuse to sell property needed for a project. Called "nail houses" in China. [more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: Eminent Domain
Libertarians hate this limitation on property rights, ranting incessantly. And when used corruptly, it is detestable to all. But it does have an important role to play in overcoming a common market failure called theTragedy Of The Anticommons. The key concept is that property ownership is not an unmitigated good, and,
worse yet, it can lead to economic gridlock and underutilization of resources. [more...]
NEW 8/06/2014: Giving everyone a basic income would work for the same reasons Social Security does [More...]
An outline of the costs and workings of a basic income plan. [more...]
The Kochtopus: Home-Grown Subversion Of The United States
During much of the 20th century, a great fear was communist subversion of the United States, and indeed there were spies and political movements that proved to be directed by the Soviet Union. During the last 40 years, a much larger and more thorough subversion has taken place to implant the anti-democratic political views of the Koch brothers in all parts of government and society. [more...]
Reason Magazine
Koch-funded propaganda mill that produces prolefeed for true believers. It would be better titled "Confirmation Bias". [more...]
As Reason’s editor defends its racist history, here’s a copy of its holocaust denial “special issue” [More...]
The January and February 1976 issues featured a who's who of American holocaust deniers and "revisionist history" by a mix of conspiracy theorists. A number of them are still on the Kochtopus payroll. [more...]
Koch High: How The Koch Brothers Are Buying Their Way Into The Minds Of Public School Students [More...]
"But with Youth Entrepreneurs, the Koch pipeline for creating a new generation of liberty advancers now starts early: A student can take the YE course in high school, participate in the YE Academy to earn scholarship money and then use that money to pay for a degree from a Koch-funded university." [more...]
Unions and Productivity [More...]
Cross-country studies show unions increase productivity. They are a more flexible alternative to regulation. They are also associated with lower CEO compensation. [more...]
Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition [More...]
"We've reissued Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition to shine a light on the Koch Brothers. We’re now delving even deeper into where their money is going, who their money is hurting, and how much they are making during this whole process leading up to the 2014 Elections." (An hour-long film.) [more...]
A Dilemma for Libertarianism [More...]
Anarcho-capitalism exists; property ownership just happens to be dominated by about 200 firms called “governments.” Libertarians have erred in calculating who owns property. [more...]
The Elasticity of Demand With Respect to Product Failures; or Why the Market for Quack Medicines Flourished for More Than 150 Years [More...]
Markets did not punish the quack medicine industry due to unusually low elasticity of demand with respect to product failure and bounded rationality. The conclusion mentions that recent resaerch shows the FDA increased consumer welfare. [more...]
July 4th Note to Tea Partiers: Your Politics Would Baffle the Founding Fathers [More...]
“What would the founders do?” is, from the point of view of historical analysis, an ill-considered and unanswerable question, and pointless, too. Problems with constitutional originalism. [more...]
Free markets killed capitalism: Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan, Wal-Mart, Amazon and the 1 percent’s sick triumph over us all [More...]
"The American economy is more concentrated today than it’s been in more than a century, since the days of the plutocrats. Pretty much every sector of the economy is dominated by a few Goliaths, sometimes a single dominant corporation. " [more...]
Austrian Economists, 9/11 Truthers and Brain Worms [More...]
"The Austrian worldview is like a brain worm that has infected large swathes of our financial industry, commentariat and general public [...] The years 2011 and 2012 were to Austrians like sunrise is to a vampire. It was simply amazing to sit there and watch Austrians writhe and contort under the pure, burning light of extant reality." [more...]
Take Away the Entire Welfare State From Employers [More...]
"The phrase "employer-provided welfare state" might seem to be a contradiction, but it's an apt description of what we have in this country. Employers don't just pay out cash incomes to workers, but are instead tasked -- whether by law or not -- with running complex social insurance schemes among their workforce." [more...]
Minimum prices for alcohol should work [More...]
"Addicts may not respond to price incentives as we would expect. This problem, combined with the fear of disproportionally taxing the poor, makes it difficult to address the consumption externalities caused by addictive substances. This column reviews recent literature showing the efficacy of minimum pricing on alcohol, and the curious result that alcohol consumption now seems to be increasing in household income."[more...]
How Big Tobacco Has Made Cigarettes So Much Deadlier Than They Used To Be [More...]
Cigarette companies still use every trick they can to make cigarettes even more addictive and more attractive to children as well as less safe. "Tobacco is still the greatest public health challenge of our time."[more...]
Supply-Side Economics
A failed Reagan-era crank theory used to cut taxes and services. It promised a boom in productivity and never produced one. Instead, it created an ever-increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of the rich.[more...]
Charlatans, Cranks and Kansas [More...]
Paul Krugman takes the KochtopusALEC to task for promoting long-discredited Supply-Side Economics policies. "And most of ALEC’s efforts are directed, not surprisingly, at privatization, deregulation, and tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy." [more...]
Adam Smith on how to make the working class happier and more productive: pay them more [More...]
That famous socialist Adam Smith says: "If masters would always listen to the dictates of reason and humanity, they have frequently occasion rather to moderate, than to animate the application of many of their workmen." [more...]
Vergara vs. California: Are the top 0.1% buying their version of education reform? [More...]
"In case after case, theories and approaches favored by a handful of very wealthy individuals received preferential treatment in the education debate. You cannot call that a democratic process." [more...]
Inequality Is Not Inevitable [More...]
"Ensuring that those at the top pay their fair share of taxes -- ending the special privileges of speculators, corporations and the rich -- is both pragmatic and fair. We are not embracing a politics of envy if we reverse a politics of greed. Inequality is not just about the top marginal tax rate but also about our children’s access to food and the right to justice for all. If we spent more on education, health and infrastructure, we would strengthen our economy, now and in the future." [more...]
Molyneux makes no sense [More...]
"He’s a fanatical and extreme Libertarian who advocates for statelessness, Bitcoin, and other weird, impractical, libertarian schemes. He’s also a misogynist idiot." [more...]
Inequality Begins at Birth [More...]
The research is now undeniable. Inequality in America begins at birth, or, for those born to women who are ill during pregnancy or do not have adequate prenatal care, even before [...] Armed with the unambiguous findings of twenty-first-century neuroscience, we can no longer just tell children raised poor to study harder and find jobs as they grow up. [more...]
The Incompetence Dogma [More...]
The enemies of Obamacare made at least six distinct predictions about how Obamacare would fail -- every one of which turned out to be wrong. [more...]
Government Cannot Do Anything Well
A common assumption of libertarian ideologues, which is easily belied by experience. Governments do much better than markets for a number of goods. [more...]
Why the Worst Get on Top -- in Economics and as CEOs [More...]
Hayek’s critique of democratic government has proven to be the most monstrous blood libel of the post-World War II era -- falsely declaring that democratic government must end in tyranny and the mass murder of its own people." [more...]
A Thought About Property Without The State [More...]
"I’d like to use a thought experiment to show how a world of solely private property is little different from our current world and how private property contains many of the arbitrary coercion that libertarians so passionately denounce in states." [more...]
Why I left libertarianism: An ethical critique of a limited ideology [More...]
"To those of you who consider yourselves libertarians, I say this: You don’t have to reject your current beliefs. But you must expand them. Libertarianism’s narrow views do a disservice to yourself and to the world." [more...]
Libertarians’ reality problem: How an estrangement from history yields abject failure
"The libertarian tradition fundamentally misunderstands human life. No wonder its adherents get politics so wrong. [...] libertarianism cannot provide a coherent account of our capacity for choice. It presents freedom as its central concern, conceptually and normatively, but is indifferent to the conditions that nurture and sustain it." [more...]
Libertarians are very confused about capitalism [More...]
Elites didn't get rich off of some “free market.” Here's why libertarians should back radical wealth redistribution. Socks Rand Paul and Murray Rothbard for ignoring the coercive origins of capitalist wealth. [more...]
The Salon Hack List 17: John Stossel [More...]
"Stossel’s a ridiculous local-news “consumer watchdog” reporter who discovered Milton Friedman. He’s the worst of simple-minded sensationalist television news masquerading as a maverick because he’s “politically incorrect” (a term that when self-applied invariably means “an asshole”)." [more...]
Right-wing billionaires purchasing own professors [More...]
"The Kochs invest in higher education by donating money with ideological strings attached." [more...]
Yes, the Kochs fund groups out of self-interest [More...]
"Men who make their living emitting carbon pay thinkers to argue against government regulation of carbon." [more...]
Thrown Out of Court: How corporations became people you can't sue. [More...]
Two recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings [...] culminate a thirty-year trend during which the judiciary, including initially some prominent liberal jurists, has moved to eliminate courts as a means for ordinary Americans to uphold their rights against companies. [more...]
Spurious Quotations [More...]
A collection of quotations commonly misattributed to Thomas Jefferson. [more...]
The Return of Karl Polanyi [More...]
Karl Polanyi's The Great Transformation is an analysis of the enormously destructive and seductive nature of the market fundamentalist worldview that has been so influential over the last three decades. [more...]
Market Fundamentalism
The unholy ideological trilogy of Laissez FaireFree Market and Invisible Hand. Beliefs that supposedly will solve all the world's problems. [more...]
Karl Polanyi
Karl Polanyi's critique of Ludwig von Mises and Market Fundamentalism in 1934 still outlines the great fallacies and propaganda that have been foisted on us. [more...]
Naomi Klein Strikes Back at Critics of Her 'Shock Doctrine' Book [More...]
Naomi Klein responds to the shockingly poor criticisms from the Cato Institute's Johan Norberg and The New Republic's Jonathan Chait[more...]
Not content with failing at economics, the Mises Institute decides to fail at history too. Hint: They side with the Confederacy and the Axis Powers. [More...]
A review of Reassessing the Presidency : The Rise of the Executive State and the Decline of Freedom. "The book has conspiracy theories, bad history, bad economics, a strong libertarian bias, etc." [more...]
The Second Amendment: A Biography
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What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets
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Justice as Fairness: A Restatement
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Invisible Hands: The Businessmen's Crusade Against the New Deal
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Property-Owning Democracy: Rawls and Beyond
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The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey
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Reassessing the Presidency : The Rise of the Executive State and the Decline of Freedom
A revisionist look through the lense of extreme libertarian ideology. [more...]
Economics: A Very Short Introduction
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The Non-Lockean roots of American democratic thought
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Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
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The End of the Free Market
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The Power of Market Fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi's Critique
"Polanyi teaches us that periods of prosperity and rising living standards [...] were a direct result of democratic gains in politics and civil society. The greatest prosperity in living memory in Europe and the United States came during the social democratic moment -- in the 1950s and 1960s -- when the constraints on business were the greatest." [more...]
The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State
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The myth of Big Government in the Redskins trademark case [More...]
"Government intervention is the engine that makes the economy what it is. Watching what happens when that intervention is occasionally removed, as in the Redskins trademark case, should make that as clear as day." [more...]
Gaming the Poor
"Examining 15 types of legal gambling, the researchers came to a striking conclusion: Casino gambling had by far the most harmful effects on people at the lower end of the income ladder." [more...]
Libertarian ideology proposes completely legal and unregulated sex, including prostitution, polyamory (bigamy and polygamy), child sex, child marriage, etc. Regulation for protection from disease, protection of family, exploitation of women, etc. is ruled out. [more...]
Public Health Approach
The public health approach treats problems (such as addictive drugs, gambling, and extramarital sex) with harm reduction, rather than simple moral judgements or prohibition. [more...]
Drugs, Gambling and Sex
Libertarian ideology takes an absurd total unregulated legalization position. But these have enormous externalities having to do with health, crime, family problems and neglect of other responsibilities. These are all economically irrational on a grand scale. [more...]
Gambling is the classic example of economic irrationality. Worse, it has enormous externalities due to crime, family relationships and neglect of other responsibilities. The best solution may be the Public Health Approach[more...]
Tech workers should not be libertarian [More...]
Many libertarian tech workers benefit from government policies that libertarians seek to eliminate. Even worse, they complain about private industry practices that could be rectified with government intervention while holding a viewpoint that the private industry is always right. [more...]
Welfare economics: an introduction [More...]
Steve Waldman at Interfluidity presents a 4 or more part blog posting on the basics and limitations of Pareto Optimality. The takeaway message in part 4 is that we must decide on distribution before letting markets move towards a Pareto Optimum. [more...]
Sympathy for the Trustafarians [More...]
Paul Krugman ridicules Greg Mankiw for arguments defending plutocracy by ignoring opportunity costs and undermining of democracy. [more...]
Libertarianism: The FAQ [More...]
A simple demonstration of the narrowness of libertarianism's ideological peephole. [more...]
Jeet Heer on Robert A. Heinlein's Navy Disability Pension [More...]
Heinlein was able to reinvent himself several times as a graduate student, miner, architect and writer thanks to security of having a Navy pension at age 27. [more...]
Agrarian Justice
Thomas Paines' prescient proposal which advocated the use of an estate tax and a tax on land values to fund a universal old-age and disability pension, as well as a fixed sum to be paid to all citizens on reaching maturity. [more...]
The Common Sense Entitlements of Thomas Paine [More...]
"In other words, the people would receive Social Security, including widows' benefits, welfare, unemployment benefits, veterans' benefits and free education, plus a sum to every married couple to help them start out in life, and these would be rights, things that you were ENTITLED to. Not in any way a charity! Paid for through general taxation." [more...]
The Dark Enlightenment loons and HBD [More...]
A posting from an escapee about neoreation cult-like practices along with comments from PZ Meyers about the pseudoscience of the "human biodiversity" beliefs: a fancy code name for racism. [more...]
The cult-like "Dark Enlightenment" movement whose developing ideology includes racism (coded as "human biodiversity"), men's rights, anti-democratic monarchism, libertarian adoration of plutocrats, technological utopianism, secret mummery (with handshakes, initiations, and plenty of code words!) Another Scientology is aborning. [more...]
The Lesson of Grab What You Can [More...]
"But the Grab World baseline allows us to see that all economic institutions are restrictions and infringements on liberty. Property is the most liberty-destroying and all-encompassing of the restrictive economic institutions, but contracts, patents, copyrights, securities, corporations, and so on do the same thing." [more...]
Coercion and Distribution in a Supposedly Non-Coercive State [More...]
Robert Hale points out in 1923: [T]he systems advocated by professed upholders of laissez-faire are in reality permeated with coercive restrictions of individual freedom and with restrictions, moreover, out of conformity with any formula of "equal opportunity" or of "preserving the equal rights of others." [more...]
Child Poverty Across Political Traditions [More...]
Nations with social democratic institutions in the developed world have much less child poverty than nations with liberal market institutions. [more...]
Libertarians, lacking real world examples, eagerly swallow fictional examples, especially science fiction. [more...]
A Famous Science Fiction Writer's Descent Into Libertarian Madness [More...]
On Robert Heinlein: "Later in life, as a libertarian, he would rail against “loafers” and the welfare state but in his leftist days he knew how much he depended on the government." [more...]
The sharing economy hype [More...]
Although these companies facilitate the use of underutilized resources, the reality is that this new business model is largely based on evading regulations and breaking the law. [more...]
“Permissionless Innovation”: Using Technology to Dismantle the Republic [More...]
"Whether or not it is best for business to have democratic government looking over the shoulders of business, it is absolutely, indubitably necessary for democratic governance to mean anything. That is why libertarians had to come up with a new term for what they want; “laws and regulations don’t apply to us” might tip off the plebes to what is really going on." [more...]
Permissionless Innovation
Evasion of regulation, based on the view that entrepreneurs and “innovators” are the lifeblood of society, and must be allowed to push forward without needing to ask for “permission” from government, for the good of society. It is license to harm; it is a demand that government not intrude in exactly the area that government is meant for -- to protect the general welfare of citizens. [more...]
Libertarian pundit Adam Kokesh defends Las Vegas shooters for “not necessarily unjustified violence” [More...]
"[L]ibertarian pundit, gun rights activist and former resident of a D.C. prison Adam Kokesh partially defended the actions of Jerad and Amanda Miller, the far-right extremists who recently killed two police officers, a civilian and themselves in a Las Vegas public shooting." [more...]
An adviser to Pope Francis says Catholicism is incompatible with libertarianism. He's right. [More...]
"For Augustine, unlike secular legal realists, property has a spiritual dimension: All things in common belong to the people of God. But in temporal matters that heavenly distribution isn't honored, and so we rely on states to create institutions of property that are hopefully fair and just. " [more...]
The Libertarian Theocrats: The Long, Strange History of R.J. Rushdoony and Christian Reconstructionism [More...]
"It is true that today a secular -- and in some cases rabidly atheistic -- tendency dominates libertarianism. But this has not always been the case." [more...]
David Brat: Catholic, Calvinist, and Libertarian, Oh My! [More...]
"This isn’t the first time observers have wondered how politically engaged conservative Protestants can also claim to be libertarian." [more...]
Theocratic Libertarians
Libertarians who want an economic zone free of government regulation, but want religious dominion over government and economics. Libertarianism conforming to "biblical economics" and theocracy. [more...]
Libertarians range from staunch atheists like Ayn Rand to theocrats. A delightful miscellany of bad reasoning! [more...]
Regulation can protect important liberties, such as freedom from poisoning by pollution. Complaints that regulation "destroys jobs" are laughable because ordinary productivity increases routinely destroy vast numbers of jobs. How many of us have farm jobs any more? Meeting regulatory requirements may even create new jobs. [more...]
How The Theocratic Right Wing Guarantees Its Legacy: Grooming Future Judges [More...]
"There really is a vast right-wing conspiracy with no separation between the so-called libertarian wing and the theocratic wing. Not only do they coordinate at the top levels, but they are also actively working to inculcate young people with their view that there is no barrier between church and state by actively pursuing law students and offering them a paid fellowship to learn how to bend American law and the constitution to suit a fundamentalist Christian world view." [more...]
Protectionism and US Economic History [More...]
"The case for selected protectionism and also “infant industry protectionism” is a strong one. First, all the theoretical arguments in favour of complete free trade fail [....]" [more...]
Mises on the Ricardian Law of Association: The Flaws of Praxeology [More...]
The alleged economic advantages of free trade claimed by Misesian praxeology and by Ricardo are simply false, because of the false hidden premises in the argument. [more...]