Sunday, July 31, 2011

Francisco D’Anconia published in Ecuador

When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed.

The above quote was published in Ecuador to protest the imprisonment of newspaper publishers and editor for an op-ed critical of the Equadorian president. Freedom of speech and economic statism can not co-exist. In Ecuador, statism is expanding.

What will we tolerate in the U.S.?

If you think it is far fetched, remember Sebelius' threats and Waxman's subpoena to companies who revealed inconvenient truths about the effects of ObamaCare.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

The World is Getting Richer

Developing Economies Fall from 58% to 39% of All Countries in 15 Years

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The President is Wrong About Taxes.

from Carpe Diem:

During Monday night's national address, President Obama recited the Buffet line that millionaires and billionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. Democrats in Congress routinely cite Mr. Buffett's tax confessions as irrefutable evidence that tax rates on the very rich are too low and the system is unfair.

Except it is not true.

(Data is from the IRS.)

2008 Crash--unfettered government, not unfettered capitalism

Washington and Wall Street: The Revolving Door

The recent report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission blamed all the usual suspects — Wall Street banks, financial regulators, the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and subprime lenders — which is tantamount to blaming no one. “Reckless Endangerment” concentrates on particular individuals who played key roles. --NYT Sunday Book Review

In particular, "when the Clinton administration called for a partnership between the private sector and Fannie and Freddie to encourage home buying...[T]axpayers were unknowingly handing Fannie billions of dollars a year to finance a campaign of self-promotion and self-­protection."

In our mixed economy, statists like to blame capitalism---when it is actually the toxic mixture of free markets and government intervention that is so destructively destabilizing.

For explanations which counter "market failure" theories of our recent financial crash, read the rest of the book review, and then consider reading the book.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Presidential Ignorance, or Duplicity?

[W]hen the president says that thanks to the debt ceiling "there may simply not be the money in the coffers" to send out the $20 billion in August Social Security checks, he either does not understand the way the system works, or the administration intends to spend the money on something else.

--Thomas Savings, WSJ, Obama's Debt-Ceiling Scare Tactics


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Other Important Lesson from 1776

Economist John Taylor reminds us that another very important document was published in 1776: Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations.

Time To Renew the Principles of 1776
What’s the best way forward for American economic policy? On Independence Day it’s natural to look to the country’s founding principles—political freedom and economic freedom—for an answer. 1776 was not only the year when Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, it was the year when Adam Smith wrote the Wealth of Nations. We can learn what to do by studying the alternating periods in American history when careful attention was paid to these principles and when they were recklessly neglected.

Read the rest here.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Celebrating Individual Rights: The foundation of civilization

Two hundred and thirty five years ago, Americans cast off the bonds of tradition and stood up for liberty based on inalienable individual rights. At the time, we were the only nation of the then-developing world to take this principled stance. What the rest of the world was doing was irrelevant. What was important was acting on what was right.

Thanks to the courage, foresight and principled thinking of those early citizens, a country was created which made the rights and lives of individuals the basis for placing limits on the power of the community. Eventually, a constitution was written limiting the power of government and protecting the wide and grand sphere of individual freedom. America set the standard for respecting human dignity.

In the subsequent two centuries, America led the world toward freedom and prosperity. Progress occurred commensurate with our loyalty to those founding principles. Where we strayed, painful lessons were learned at the cost of great suffering. A civil war. A lingering great depression. Where we stayed true, liberty was extended.

We need to reclaim those founding principles. Listening to the ideas of other nations is fine—but when they take us in the direction of increasing government control over our private lives, we must ignore the childish cries, “But Mom, everyone else is doing it.”

In particular, we need to find our own unique solution to the problem of rising health care costs, one that respects the rule of law and the property and liberty rights of individuals. In the long run, abandoning those ideals will not bring us peace, prosperity—or for that matter, affordable health care.

If some future study unquestionably demonstrated that we could achieve universal access to medical care at a sustainable cost--if only we would be willing to reinstate chattel slavery—all men worthy of respect would turn away in horror and disgust. The civilized world understands that slavery is never justified.

So too must we turn away from all solutions which entail coercion in place of persuasion and voluntary exchange—for exactly the same reasons that we reject slavery. The fundamental premise of the new health care law--that a proper function of government is to coerce one man into being another man’s keeper—must be rejected outright. Nobody has a moral claim to another man’s life or honestly earned property—not even to a little of it.

This country has recently seen the revival of the sentiments of the Boston Tea Party. It is time to move on to the next step and once again declare to the world: We will live in freedom. We will honor each individual’s right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness—and the political solutions we craft will stay within these bounds, even if the rest of the world does not.

Our founders began with what they held to be self-evident moral principles, and then looked for solutions consistent with those principles. Mistakes were made, but by holding to the standard of individual rights, legal protection has been extended to people of all races, to women as well as men—not as members of a class, but as individual human beings.

We must do the same with the challenges we face today—start with what is right. We must be ruthlessly loyal to equality before the law and the respect the rights to life, liberty and property. Any solutions to our sluggish economy or costly health care must be consistent with these fundamental principles of a moral and civil society. An individual mandate to purchase health insurance initiated and enforced by government should not even be in the tool box.

It’s time to recommit to our original oath and once again be leaders of the world in the cause for human dignity.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Let us live, not just celebrate, the meaning of July 4th.