Friday morning ramble [updated]
- “Let it not be said that the politicians gathering to celebrate an orgy of Keynesian delinqency and transnational socialism are letting this current financial crisis go to waste,” says Samizdata’s Jonathan Pearce after the G20’s announced crackdown on “those pestilential things, tax havens.” Read Never let a crisis go to waste, eh?
- Paul Walker examines the government’s broadband plan, and finds –wouldn’t you know it—several problems:
Muldoon is dead, long live Muldoon.
- Financial planning with “happyness” as your goal means making money fit your purpose, not making your purpose money: The Pursuit of Financial “Happyness”.
- Liberty Scott compares the National-led government’s performance against his post-election advice. Point number one: “John, sorry to say it but told you so. How many more swings at the ball is Nick Smith going to be allowed before you realise what a liability he is?”
Read: John Key starts to figure out Nick Smith.
- Government stimulus packages are not ways to deal with economic reality, says Ed Younkins. Quite the reverse. Government Stimulus Packages are Attempts to Deny Reality.
- Mathew Parris picks up where Daniel Hannan left off in castigating British PM Gorgon Brown, and offers some helpful advice:
Do the honourable thing, Mr Brown. Run away.
- Michael Labeit looks at the socialist agony that is Cuba.
Read: On Celebrating 50 Years of Marxist Misery.
- Ari Armstrong looks at the socialist agony that was the Great Depression—surveying Amity Shlaes's History of the Great Depression: Lest We Be Doomed to Repeat It.
- Diana Hsieh explains the the distinction between legislation and regulation:
Laws Versus Regulations.
- Alleged economist Paul Krugman and aspiring state-worshipper Brad De Long both demonstrate they still don’t understand Austrian economics, even though, as Bob Murphy gently explains, Austrians Can Explain the Boom and the Bust.
- We are seeing The End of Mainstream Economics says Icelandic economist Gunnar Tómasson in this fascinating interview.
- What the economy needs, says Onkhar Ghate, is Ayn Rand. “If Ayn Rand’s philosophy of rational self-interest is irrelevant today, then so is the Declaration of Independence.”
Read (and join in the debate): The Economy Needs Ayn Rand.
- Paul McKeever offers some advice For the Aspiring Politician: What to Study.
- Bubble, bubble, history and trouble. Douglas French examines some of history’s famous economic bubbles and discovers, guess what? That the likes of the tulip bulb mania and the Mississippi bubble were both results of government intervention that dramatically exploded the money supply: “Although these episodes occurred centuries ago, readers will find the events eerily similar to today's bubbles and busts: low interest rates, easy credit terms, widespread public participation, bankrupt governments, price inflation, frantic attempts by government to keep the booms going, and government bailouts of companies after the crash.”
Read Doug French Solves the Mystery.
- Frank Shostak looks at Timothy Geithner’s trillion-dollar “toxic assets” protection plan and asks Would Cleansing Banks' Balance Sheets Kick-start the US Economy?.
- Know why the G20 were so keen to have everyone act in concert. Simple. As Frankfurt banker Thorstein Pollett explains There Will Be (Hyper)Inflation.
- Oh, and by the way, keep an eye out for Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights discussing the G-20 summit on the Glenn Beck program on Fox News Channel later today. The program starts at 5 p.m., Eastern time (2 p.m., Pacific time)—if Glenn lets him get a word in.
- And finally, here’s a collection of the world’s most unromantic album covers:
25 Really Unromantic Album Covers .
UPDATE 1: NBR editor Nevil Gibson has two cracking links as a background to the decades-long Israeli-“Palestinian” conflict:
- Israeli academic Gerald Steinberg has this backgrounder putting the Israeli perspective.
- “Meanwhile, a stinging denunciation of the Arab world’s policy of keeping Gazan residents as stateless refugees has come from Nonie Darwish, the Gazan-born author of Cruel and Unusual Punishment.
“Mrs Darwish says Arab policy has made Gaza a prison camp for 1.5 million people for the past 60 years.
Arab countries implemented special laws designed to make it impossible to integrate the Palestinian refugees from the 1948 Arab war against Israel. Even descendants of Palestinian refugees who are born in another Arab country and live there their entire lives can never gain that country's passport.
Even if they marry a citizen of an Arab country, they cannot become citizens of their spouse's country. They must remain ‘Palestinian’ even though they may have never set foot in the West Bank or Gaza.
This policy of forcing a Palestinian identity on these people for eternity and condemning them to a miserable life in a refugee camp was designed to perpetuate and exacerbate the Palestinian refugee crisis.”
“Mrs Darwish also says it is a conscious policy to over-populate Gaza by rewarding families with many children. Gaza, it must be recalled, is getting $US4.5 billion in foreign aid without strings that would resolve the refugee issue or curb its ridiculously high birth rate.”
UPDATE 2: “Are we heading for Weimar 1923 rather than the USA 1932?” asks the Telegraph. More trillions poured down more black holes suggests we all are.