We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

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.

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.