Back in the early 1980s at Auburn University, Roger Garrison (now retired from teaching there) had to give an undergraduate student an “A” grade for an answer to a test question about minimum-wage legislation. The student endorsed the legislation precisely because the legislation prices many blacks out of the labour market – and that southern-boy student believed that consequence to be just dandy. The kid, like Unz, has values that I (and Roger Garrison) abhor. But that kid, like Unz, got the economics right.
- Don Boudreaux
“Yes, just as homeowners with guns make home invasions less likely. Given that merchant vessels have been armed for nearly all of human history, the real surprise is that anyone finds this surprising. On the other hand, the near-elimination of piracy was a major accomplishment of the two centuries of British/American naval dominance that appears to be coming to an end. This is just one small way in which the world will pay a price.”
- Glenn Reynolds, talking about the sharp fall in piracy attacks on vessels in the Indian Ocean since merchant ships began to use armed protection.
“Never in human history has the general health of most ordinary people been better than it is now. But paradoxically, there can scarcely ever have been a time when health care has been a more difficult political problem for the governments of advanced countries than it is now. These two apparently contradictory facts are not unconnected. It is precisely because of the stupendous advances in the treatment of disease that the role of government has become so contentious. With the scope for life-prolonging medical intervention now virtually limitless – and thus spending on it being potentially limitless as well – there are moral and practical questions about its availability and distribution which every democratic society has to address.”
- Janet Daley.
As she explains, the lessons that ought to come out of the UK’s nationalised, socialist model of healthcare ought to give pause anywhere to reformers trying to impose a similar system. Which naturally leads her to look at the disaster of the Affordable Care Act. (US economics blogger and long-distance athlete Charles Steele has smart observations on this.) And the Marginal Revolution blog has an interesting perspective on the IT disaster of the ACA.
Tangentially, a rather fine novel, called Nobel Vision, was published a few years ago in which the lurch towards socialist-style healthcare was part of the plot. (The Ayn Rand influence is pretty clear on the author, it seems.)
If we had state regulation of the press, the BBC would be free to carry on recycling its establishment clichés. But newspapers would find themselves having to answer to the same sort of grandees that preside over the BBC. Is that really what we want to see?
- Douglas Carswell
There was a time — and it really wasn’t that long ago — when if you were a financial firm, you had to have an office in Lower Manhattan, when film studios had to have offices in Los Angeles, and high-tech firms really needed to be in Silicon Valley. If Travis Brown’s big data set shows us anything it is that those days are done. You can build very fine automobiles in the United States, but if you aren’t already in Detroit, you’d be a fool to set up shop there. For the feckless governors of high-tax, big-government states with Governor Perry and Governor Scott breathing down their necks, the only question is which Rick they’re going to get rolled by.
- Kevin Williamson
The BBC seem to have (by and large) ignored this case of another bomber Lib Dem – just as they did the other bomber Lib Dem.
I wonder if they would largely ignore the case of a UKIP councillor who planted bombs?
- Paul Marks
To put it another way, Law itself is a prison and the fewer people who ever see its bars, the better. That ‘not that many’ people can transform the lives of the rest of us by force of law is undoubtedly true. It happens all the time, but does not strike me as a thing to be happy about.
- ‘Tom Paine’
The House of Lords is also talking shale gas this morning. The Economic Affairs Committee is discussing the economic impacts and, like their colleagues in the lower house, decided that the right people to speak to are a group of people who oppose economic development on principle (they took evidence from the experts a couple of weeks ago).
I have no objection to their lordships listening to Swampy et al, but the point has to be made again and again: where is the voice of the taxpayer and the consumer, the voice of those campaigning for economic development and jobs? What is it that members of both houses of Parliament have against ordinary people?
- Bishop Hill
Enjoyable as it is to read Huhne’s opinions on law, order, liberty and privacy, funny he never felt so strongly about the activities of our security services while he was in power and could actually do something about it.
- Guido Fawkes
Politicians never accuse you of ‘greed’ for wanting other people’s money, only for wanting to keep your own money
- Joseph Sobran
There was no hope once the politicians and media were fully on board with the “default” meme. There was never any possibility of a debt default. The government has plenty of money to cover debt service, which requires less than 10% of average monthly tax revenues. It could also have rolled over any bonds which came due. The only thing it could not have done was issue new debt in excess of the limit. True default was never a risk (not that it would have been the end of the world, anyway; the US has defaulted before). But when even the Wall Street Journal adopted that language (their article today about the congressional deal on “reopening” the government and increasing the debt ceiling began with “A potentially crippling U.S. debt default was averted late Wednesday…” there was no hope left. We all knew that the Republicans would cave. They always do. But they were not able to extract a single concession from Obama and Reid. Truly pitiful.
Coincidentally, this afternoon I attended a speech given by Robert Guest, US editor for The Economist magazine. Before launching into what was actually a rather interesting talk he treated us to a diatribe about the pending “default”, comparing the Congress to a bunch of petulant teenagers (OK, that’s actually not too far off the mark). Nothing he said was correct. Quelle surprise.
- Samizdata commenter ‘Laird’
It’s not an energy crisis any more than our wrecked economies are the result of an actual economic crisis – these problems, and many more, are the intellectual and moral bankruptcies resulting from the fraudulent ponzi scheme the tranzi political class have been running for most of the last century. The progressive claim at end of the 19th century was that an expert ruling elite could manage the diverse elements of a modern society and construct a paradise of progress, equality, and freedom from want, both material and spiritual.
For the past century, we have endured one variation of “planned utopia” after another, and it has been a grotesque carnival of incompetence, corruption, repression, violence, and shattered dreams. We are now approaching the end game of this pathetic charade, and the desperation of the imploding elites is palpable, and ominous. They cannot admit, or accept any hint, that their ideas are irrational, their policies counter-productive, and that their promises are not only unfulfilled, but impossible to ever succeed.
Therefore, the venom and viciousness of their scapegoating and evasions of responsibility will only increase, and their urge to resort to extra-legal measures will become irresistible to them.
These are perilous times.
- Samizdata commenter ‘Very Retired’