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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

A command economy is kind of like using steroids: Yes, your national biceps get bigger, which looks impressive, but at the same time your national testicles are shrinking.

Glenn Reynolds applauds the success of President Obama’s more private sector orientated space policies.

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5 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Paul Marks

    “Contracting out” may be a more efficient way for the state to achieve some of its gaols (even Lenin seems to have agreed with this – hence his relationship with Dr Hammer), but the fact of state finance (and ulitmate state control) still remains.

    What is needed is a formal rejection of any international “law of space” concept – and the allowing of PRIVATE PROPERTY in space.

    Only then we there be a real reason for private enterprise (civil society) to find the resources needed for the voluntary exploration of the Moon and so on.

  • Biceps == GDP in this analogy?

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Now there’s irony for you- countries that look good can’t perform, but those with expanding testes don’t look attractive! Is the Universe rigged, or what?

  • Paul Marks

    Well of the indepenedent countries (the problem with places like Guernesy is that their rulers will not formally declare independence – and tell the British government to burn) Liechtenstein is O.K. – both looks O.K. and is O.K.

    Big countries?

    Well Germany is in the E.U.

    India is committed to unsustainable spending schemes – and has hundreds of millions of desperatly poor people.

    Japan – long, slow bankruptcy.

    Canada is a big country with a government that is not actively hostile to general business (not just to “pet” enterprises, Dr Hammer style, but to ordinary enterprises).

    However, Canada is a welfare state – as is virutally everywhere.

    True Canada has vast natural resources (and a record of actually dealing with government spending when it appears to be about to bankrupt the country – unlike Britain where ministers just make tough speeches and the media report “savage cuts” whilst total government spending actually goes UP), but it will have to do a lot more in 2013 and 2014 as Canadian export markets dry up.

    Ditto Australia and New Zealand.

    By the way New Zealand is a classic warning against Milton Friedman style policy. Good in many ways but with a dark side.

    The “targeting” of benefits in New Zealand (to make sure, Milton Friedman style, that government benefits went to the poor) has led to growth of a welfare underclass – with big implications for government spending over the last couple of decades.

    Sorry – but “targeting” benefits (means testing them) is a policy with a very dark side.

    “But general benefits can not be afforded”.

    Neither, in the long run, can means tested benefits.

  • Tedd

    Reynolds’ comment is clever and memorable. But a more accurate analogy might be to say that politics ensures that a command economy never gets a full-body workout; some muscles are unnecessarily expanded at the expense of other muscles, which atrophy.