Intellectuals and capitalism

August 18, 2015

I think Mr Mackey makes a good point early in this clip about what amounts to snobbery, in a word. (After the mid-point, he gets off onto other topics.)

A free market is the most reliable way to let the next mad genius succeed.

Glenn Reynolds had a good op-ed on a related topic this week.

Fast moving bad news builds prosperity

Nassim Nicholas Taleb recently tweeted: “The free-market system lets you notice the flaws and hides its benefits. All other systems hide the flaws and show the benefits.”

This drew a response: “The most valuable property of the price mechanism is as a reliable mechanism for delivering bad news.” These two statements explain a lot about why socialist systems fail pretty much everywhere but get pretty good press, while capitalism has delivered truly astounding results but is constantly besieged by detractors.

It is simple really: When the “Great Leader” builds a new stadium, everyone sees the construction. Nobody sees the more worthwhile projects that didn’t get done instead because the capital was diverted, through taxation, from less visible but possibly more worthwhile ventures — a thousand tailor shops, bakeries or physician offices.

At the same time, markets deliver the bad news whether you want to hear it or not, but delivering the bad news is not a sign of failure, it is a characteristic of systems that work. When you stub your toe, the neurons in between your foot and your head don’t try to figure out ways not to send the news to your brain. If they did, you’d trip a lot more often. Likewise, in a market, bad decisions show up pretty rapidly: Build a car that nobody wants, and you’re stuck with a bunch of expensive unsold cars; invest in new technologies that don’t work, and you lose a lot of money and have nothing to show for it. These painful consequences mean that people are pretty careful in their investments, at least so long as they’re investing their own money. […]


House of Claire

August 14, 2015

I’m not surprised that this happened. All’s fair in love & war, after all.

But I am a little shocked to see Senator McCaskill writing about her scheming – just calling a spade a spade – in Politico.

How I Helped Todd Akin Win — So I Could Beat Him Later
By SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL August 11, 2015

It was August 7, 2012, and I was standing in my hotel room in Kansas City about to shotgun a beer for the first time in my life. I had just made the biggest gamble of my political career—a $1.7 million gamble—and it had paid off. Running for reelection to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat from Missouri, I had successfully manipulated the Republican primary so that in the general election I would face the candidate I was most likely to beat. And this is how I had promised my daughters we would celebrate.

But first let me go back to the beginning. […]


Tell us what you really think

August 4, 2015

Here are a couple of interesting videos about free speech, political correctness, and all like that. This first one is a comedy routine by Steve Hughes.

I liked his comparison of political correctness to health & safety rules. That’s another "Mother, may I?" category.

This second clip in an interview by Reason.TV with Jim Doti, president of Chapman University.


Props to the cop

August 1, 2015

Here’s an interesting post at reddit: “Free Inhabitant” claims she can not be arrested. Cites Articles of Confederation. Gets arrested. Literally cries rape.

The discussion at reddit speculates that she was quoting Article 4 of the Articles of Confederation (predecessor to the U.S. Constitution) as the basis for her claim to be a Free Inhabitant who is immune to civil authority.

So this lady tried citing the Articles of Confederation, which made her a “free inhabitant”, which she claims gives her all the rights of a US citizen without having to follow any US laws.

Yes, she does really say that.

Clearly, she is unaware that the Articles of Confederation were superseded by the US constitution. She is also unaware that “free inhabitant” is literally referencing people who are not slaves, not some sort of protected super-class of people. She is also unaware that the Articles of Confederation are not part of US code. She is, finally, also unaware of the definition of rape.

Taking this video at face value, it seems evident that someone doesn’t know the laws. But I don’t think it was the officer who had to deal with this woman.

Instead, I’d say that officer deserves a lot of credit for handling this as calmly as he did. And it makes me wonder how many "roadside lawyers" like this the police have to deal with. (Too many in their opinions, I’m sure.)


Another example that value is subjective

July 31, 2015

I didn’t know a movie was being made about Kelo v City of New London.


More spoilers

July 30, 2015

This reminds me of a recent post. Thank goodness my neighbors don’t practice this kind of passive-aggressive assholery.

H.T. Paul


Corporate water is soulless

July 30, 2015

A bit of humor for a change.

H.T. Jeff G


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