Archive for December, 2012

Two days remain for President Obama “to save the world”, as Germany’s largest newspaper recently put it. Meanwhile the Huffington Post suggests to stockpile frozen pizza because from January 1st, the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service might see some budget costs.

Put aside such utter nonsense and let us focus on some key facts.

First, we should not forget the difference between tax rates and tax revenue, as I wrote some months ago.

Next, Thomas Sowell writes in his “Fiscal Cliff Notes” for the Jewish World Review:

All the political angst and moral melodrama about getting “the rich” to pay “their fair share” is part of a big charade. This is not about economics, it is about politics. Taxing “the rich” will produce a drop in the bucket when compared to the staggering and unprecedented deficits of the Obama administration.

The very catchwords and phrases used by the Obama administration betray how phony this all is. For example, “We are just asking the rich to pay a little more.” This is an insult to our intelligence. The government doesn’t “ask” anybody to pay anything. It orders you to pay the taxes they impose and you can go to prison if you don’t.

It is also true that the fiscal deficit declined after the so-called Bush tax cuts. You get this information from the “Economic Report of the President 2012” (page 411).

Investor’s Business Daily has put these numbers into some figures:

White House Data Debunk Myth Bush Cuts Built Deficit

While President Obama insists the Bush tax cuts caused the recession and record deficits, his own economists say otherwise. He might want to consult their data for the truth.

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stossel on walmart

John Stossel discusses why many people either love or hate the world’s largest retailer and private employer, Walmart.

In reality, we have trade-offs.

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Some days ago, I presented a bunch of quotations on gun control. Over Christmas, however, I found a whole article to summarize much of what I thought. The article argues in favor of locally chosen (instead of federal-level) responses to school shootings. It can be found in the Voluntaryist Reader:

The Solution to Gun Control in a Free Society

As a result of the increased numbers of options in a free society, it would not take long to see which strategies actually produce results. Perhaps regional gun-restriction is the best policy and results in the fewest number of shootings; but perhaps when shootings do occur an attacker may be able to kill large numbers of people virtually unopposed, leading to large death counts. Perhaps the second scenario of not restricting guns in society but having armed, on-site security leads to more frequent shootings but far lower numbers of students actually being killed when they do occur.
How can we tell which would be most effective, unless the various policies are allowed to exist, undiluted, amongst those whom would pursue them?

The ability to rapidly iterate, to take multiple approaches to any problem, and for solutions to then rapidly spread through a society, is one of the greatest strengths in theory of a free society, marked by organizational individualism.

The truth few want to admit is that such attacks may not be entirely preventable at all. […] But politicians cannot admit this truth, cannot throw their hands up and say there’s basically nothing they can do. Because if they do so, people will vote for the other candidates that will claim they can do something.

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merry christmas 2012

Have a wonderful Christmas time with your loved ones.

I wish a Merry Christmas to you!

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Nobel laureate Milton Friedman on why government programs so often fail to achieve their goals:

The trouble is in the system.

When a private enterprise fails, it is closed down.
When a government enterprise fails, it is expanded.

 

 

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After the school shooting in Newton, Connecticut, several politicians, including President Obama, have suggested that stricter gun control laws are necessary. Here are a bunch of quotations to challenge their statements:

Thomas Jefferson:

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in Government.

Walter E. Williams:

The framers gave us the Second Amendment not so we could go deer or duck hunting but to give us a modicum of protection against congressional tyranny.

Phillip Van Cleave:

When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away.

William S. Burroughs:

After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.

Plato:

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.

Alan Eppers:

Dangerous laws created by well intentioned people today can be used by dangerous people with evil intentions tomorrow.

Robert H. Jackson:

It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.

Paul Harvey Aurandt:

They have gun control in Cuba. They have universal health care in Cuba. So why do they want to come here?

Neil Smith and Aaron Zelman:

Never Forget, even for an instant, that the one and only reason anybody has for taking your gun away is to make you weaker than he is, so he can do something to you that you wouldn’t allow him to do if you were equipped to prevent it.

 

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thatcher and a free society

Some decades ago William F. Buckley and Margaret Thatcher discussed the importance of capitalism in a free society:

Once you compress the incentives from the top and say “It doesn’t matter how much you earn, I am going to take the lion share away from you”, then they say “Alright, then I’m no longer going to do the lion’s part”. And then they stop creating the extra wealth which would both benefit them and society as a whole.

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The other day I came across this great quotation from Thomas Sowell’s “Basic Economics“:

Too often a false contrast is made between the impersonal marketplace and the compassionate policies of various government programs. But both systems face the same scarcity of resources and both systems make choices within the constraints of that scarcity. The difference is that one system involves each individual making choices for himself or herself, while the other system involves a smaller number of people making choices for millions of others.

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Although this interview took place before the presidential election, with president Obama’s victory it is all the more important. Peter Robinson and Thomas Sowell discuss Obama’s track record, the importance of the election, and what America can expect with the president’s reelection:

It’s like being a mosquito in a nudist colony: you don’t know where to start. We will not be able to be on air long enough to dissect all the faults in those few words. [on Michelle Obama’s speech]

It is painful for me to realize that youngsters growing up in the same places in Harlem where I grew up more than 60 years ago have far less chance of rising, economically, educationally or otherwise.

I want to stop politicians from trying to fix the economy.

 

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For the New York Times, Stefan Homburg, professor of economics, presents three reasons why Germany should leave the Euro zone:

Germany Should Leave

The protective measures of the Maastricht treaty have all been breached.

It makes no sense to export on credit when the credit is ultimately repaid by the German taxpayer.

Adherence to the common currency is apt to poison Europe’s political atmosphere all the more.

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