Saturday, August 25, 2012

Today's Lesson in Economics


If you start from a belief that the most knowledgeable person on earth does not have even one percent of the total knowledge on earth, that shoots down social engineering, economic central planning, judicial activism and innumerable other ambitious notions favored by the political left…Elites are all too prone to over-estimate the importance of the fact that they average more knowledge per person than the rest of the population -- and under-estimate the fact that their total knowledge is so much less than that of the rest of the population….The ignorance of people with Ph.D.s is still ignorance, the prejudices of educated elites are still prejudices, and for those with one percent of a society's knowledge to be dictating to those with the other 99 percent is still an absurdity. …Thomas Sowell

Dear Readers,

This next article is a must read article. So often the issues surrounding economic policy are emotion laden. We must develop the intellectual arguments against them in order for people to see reality….and the reality of central planning is dystopia. That is history….that is what we must convey....the pathways of history. They are fixed, they are immutable, these pathways of the past are the foundation of understanding. We must know and understand what is now the past...whether it is the recent past or the ancient past....if we are to plan the stepping stones into the future.


This cartoon appears HERE

Economic Inequality is a Small Price to Pay for Staying Human
By Oleg Atbashian
To paraphrase Baudelaire, the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world of the moral superiority of collectivism. According to Ayn Rand, if we don't convince the world otherwise, nothing else will work. Our greatest ally in this fight is human nature. Our greatest asset is morality itself, which is really, truly, undeniably, and absolutely on our side. Today's political debates often end up in the following compromise: capitalism may be more economically efficient, but it's no moral match to economic equality that benefits most people.

But the only way economic equality can benefit people is by pandering to their class envy. In all other aspects -- economical, political, cultural, philosophical, and spiritual -- it's a dastardly, immoral cause.

To begin with, it is the efficiency of capitalism that benefits most people. Among other things, it raises everyone's living standards and quality of life; expands consumer choices; boosts innovation that reduces the share of low-paying, mind-numbing manual jobs; increases the pool of well-paid professional jobs; gives the poor access to things that only the rich could enjoy a short while ago; promotes the creation of new cures of diseases; extends life expectancy and makes old age much more enjoyable.

Markets, Not Mandates, Are the Key to Sustainable Development
By Fred L. Smith, Jr., Michelle Wei
What exactly is sustainable development? Former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Brundtland, speaking at the United Nations' Stockholm Conference in 1972, described it as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

Today's advocates of sustainable development, however, take a more short-sighted view of the concept. They believe resources are necessarily finite; thus, they call for caps on human activity. These advocates are asking for a return to a pre-industrial mindset - a path that will result in massive depopulation, poverty, and inequality.

America's disastrous experiment with Fascist economics is still leading its privileged life
by Jim Powell

Big government programs often have results that are very different than what was intended. We can gain particular perspective by reflecting on the experience of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's most ambitious infrastructure program, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

It was heralded as a program to build dams that would control floods, facilitate navigation, lift people out of poverty, and help America recover from the Great Depression. Yet the reality is that the TVA probably flooded more land than it protected; much of the navigation it has facilitated involves barges of coal for coal-fired power plants; people receiving TVA-subsidized electricity have increasingly lagged behind neighbors who did not; and the TVA's impact on the Great Depression was negligible. The TVA morphed into America's biggest monopoly, dominating an 80,000 square mile region with 8.8 million people—for all practical purposes, it is a bureaucratic kingdom subject to neither public nor private controls.

Iran’s Big Crisis: The Price of Chicken
By Meir Javedanfar

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran has a lot on his mind these days. Especially chicken. The rising price of this food staple is the cause of such anxiety among Iranian officials that last month, Iran’s police chief, Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam, urged the country’s TV stations not to broadcast images of people eating the birds. He was worried it could lead to social unrest. Khamenei is Iran’s most powerful man, but he knows the chicken crisis is one he must address. He needs to find a solution to it and, like any politician, someone to blame.

Final Thoughts!

Will Rogers once said that "A politician is just like a pickpocket; it's almost impossible to get him to reform." However Joseph Sobran notes that there is a clear moral distinction between pickpockets and politicians. "The difference between a politician and a pickpocket is that a pickpocket doesn't always get indignant when you tell him to keep his hands to himself."

Of course policy must be made my someone, but as Milton Freidman observed “If you really want to engage in policy activity, don’t make that your vocation. Make it your avocation. Get a job. Get a secure base of income. Otherwise, you’re going to get corrupted and destroyed.” Which makes G. K. Chesterton’s observation more than profound; "It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." Thomas Sowell says that "one of the great paradoxes of life is that really good people will find many things about themselves that they don’t like. The really bad people can’t find anything about themselves that they don’t love.

This of course explains why so few are found guilty and given the appropriate punishment; it's up to the political class to find this corruption and stamp it out! However, in most cases they seem to be incapable of seeing corruption, so it requires that others who have made it their avocation to observe them as they practice their vocation; and then make as big a stink as they can whenever they have to. Is that reasonable? Perhaps someone could name one...just one.... unassailable obstacle that was ever overcome by being reasonable!

I always thought that was the media's job, yet it seems that even being close to all that power and money corrupts. Now it has become the job of the "Pajama" media.

Is there anything quite so interesting as life?


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