FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE: It’s Bailout Week!
It’s the week that bailouts came to New Zealand, a week when taxpayers lost out three times over—one when our money was spent on stuff that’s worth less than what we paid; once when our payout ensured that the stuff would never fall to its real value; and once again because its apparent that neither politicians nor media have yet got their heads around the Broken Window Fallacy. It’s not like it’s complicated.
Because as Henry Hazlitt used to say, “the art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.” Sadly, it’s an art that is all but dead.
So as a homework exercise, work out what our economy will be now be short of because of that $1.7 billion given to people who haven’t earned it. When you do, you’ll be brighter than all those know-nothings writing about that payout as a “stimulus.”
And once you’ve done that. here’s your Friday morning roundup all ready for some good weekend reading.
But first, Neil Miller has a suggestion: “The Pakistani Ambassador who claims the cricketers were 'set up' might be an ideal candidate for the Investor Relations Manager role which was advertised on the South Canterbury Finance website.” And, for similar reasons, maybe Bernie Madoff really does need to be appointed to the Fed.
Okay, on with the show!
- Entitleitis is alive and well at TVNZ
TVNZ's culture of extravagance – KEEPING STOCK
- “No self-respecting NGO and campaign group would be seen these days without a Twitter account to spread the word (Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and WWF have over 200,000 followers between them for example). But last week's day of mass action by British “Climate Camp” protesters showed just how badly Twitter can backfire.”
Twitter backfires for Climate Camp – GUARDIAN
- Maurice Williamson announces the bleeding obvious. “Opposition to foreign investment is more about racism than overseas ownership, the minister charged with deciding whether a Chinese company can buy a large chunk of New Zealand dairy farms says.”
Minister accuses Kiwis of racism - STUFF
In response, Greens fail to see past the end of their nose.
Williamson and English running racial interference on foreign investment - FROG BLOG
- Since it’s the season to talk constitutions again in Wellington, allow me to re-post the contributions of myself and my colleagues to constitutional conventions past—including explanations for why a proper constitution is so important, and what one should look like. Why is it so important? If I may quote myself: ”Government in essence is like a guard dog: it is there to protect us from being done over by others. However, if that dog is badly trained and it gets off the chain, we can be badly savaged -- more than we would have been without the dog. A constitution is our means of chaining up the government and training it to act only in our protection… As history demonstrates however… a bad constitution poorly written can give the erstwhile guard dog control of the back yard and the house, and rather than protecting us it then has no impediment to doing us over. Liberty, as Thomas Jefferson suggested, requires eternal vigilance.”
Cue Card Libertarianism: Constitution – NOT PC
A Constitution for New Freeland – LIBERTARIANZ
- Best quip after the enviro-kook taking Discovery Channel staff hostage is shot: “Thank Gaia, they got him.”
Objective Standard - FACEBOOK
- “Toronto this week became the first city in the world to formally endorse the Vienna Declaration that states that war-on-drugs-style prohibitions are a costly failure…”
The rising trend against the war on drugs - Canada – Blair Anderson, CANVASSING FOR OPINION
- How do officials from the ruling Palestinian political party react to the murder of four Israeli civilians? Why, they celebrate and hand out candy, of course.
Gaza Celebrates Jewish Deaths with Candy – ARUTZ SHEVA NEWS
- Why are so many Palestinians still locked up in squalid refugee camps? Simple: The Arab world doesn’t give a shit about them, except as cannon fodder in their anti-Israali jihad. [Hat tip Thinking man's guide to the world]
Why Are The Palestinians Still Refugees? – Gina Bublil Waldman, THE PROPAGANDIST
- The only lower price than today’s closing price on a ton of carbon at the Chicago Climate Exchange is ZERO. Which means the scam artists hoping to set that up and get rich have been discovered for what they are and the investors are fleeing. [Hat tip reader Keith P.]
Chicago Climate Exchange still flatlining – employee cuts – WATTS UP WITH THAT
Carbon Dioxide Riches Disappear – CANADA FREE PRESS
- “There is no place for God in theories on the creation of the Universe, Professor Stephen Hawking concludes in a new book.” [Hat tip Per-Olof Samuelsson]
Creation was Godless says Hawking – BBC
- There’s no need for the God hypothesis in biology. Nor is there any need for it in physics.
Hawking: God did not create Universe – RICHARD DAWKINS.NET
- The Times pits Richard Dawkins against their religion editors in arguing the implications of Hawking’s statement.
Transcript from The God Debate – Richard Dawkins, TIMES ONLINE
- Naturally, however…
Hawking can't possibly be right until his results have been confirmed in an online poll - PHARNGULA
- Why is anyone still listening to this guy:
- Sadly, despite his manifest failure, Ben Bernanke is cranking up for Quantitative Easing II (QEII)—it’s inflation like you’ve never seen it before.
Will the Fed Save the Day? – SEEKING ALPHA
Former Fed Vice Chairman vs. Mish: Is the Fed Out of Ammo? – MISH’S ECONOMIC ANALYSIS
The Fed Can't Solve Our Economic Woes – Gerald O’Driscoll, WALL STREET JOURNAL
Quantitative Easing Ahoy! – Axel Merk, EURO PACIFIC
Bernanke Out of Bullets, But Not Bombs – Michael Pento, EURO PACIFIC
- And Ben knows he can always rely on Paul Krugman to sell his schtick. And all Paul needs is a little sleight of hand with a graph…
Proof" that the "Stimulus" Worked? – William L. Anderson, KRUGMAN IN WONDERLAND "Spending" versus Consumption: Does Economic Theory Actually Assume People are Human? – William L. Anderson, KRUGMAN IN WONDERLAND
- Summer of recovery? No, it’s the …
Summer of Economic Discontent – WALL STREET JOURNAL
- “It should be obvious by now that these economists only have the capacity to describe where the economy is moving in the short-term...they have no ability to explain the reasons behind the macro trends or make predictions that go beyond the next data release….
”The major mental block is that most economists believe that an economy grows as a result of spending. Any policy that encourages spending and discourages savings and investment is considered beneficial. Unfortunately, these policies, which only succeed in growing debt and government, act more as an economic sedative than a stimulant.”
Flying Blind – PETER SCHIFF
- Reader Daniel A. recommends this 46-minute doco narrated by Johan Norberg. “In times of crisis people seek strong leaders and simple solutions. But what if their solutions are identical to the mistakes that caused the very crisis? This is the story of the greatest economic crisis of our age, the one that awaits us.”
Overdose: A Film about the Next Financial Crisis – CATO
- Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water. [Hat tip Terry V.]
- There were maybe ten times that Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert were right this year. Maybe ten. Maybe eight. Watch ‘em all and let your own mind sort them out.
Top 10 Times Stewart and Colbert Were Actually Right This Year – NEWSREAL BLOG
- Since we fly one of these flags over our house (doesn’t everybody?), this was a story bound to catch my eye.
‘Don’t tread on me’ flags start disputes around the US – YAHOO NEWS
- Julia Gillard is a Post Turtle. [Thanks to reader Phil P.]
- “The director general of the BBC admitted Thursday that his organisation had been guilty of a "massive bias to the left"... Kate at the Small Dead Animals blog won’t be the only one taking the remainder of the day off to gather their shattered assumptions....
BBC has "massive bias to left:" Director General – BBC
- Given how both major Australian parties were pandering to anti-immigration populism during their election, this video summary of a pre-election immigration debate between the leaders of various think tanks is encouraging.
Should we apply the immigration brakes? – CATALLAXY FILES
- Okay, listen up parents. Here’s a few ways to help foster feelings of competence in kids and how that helps them succeed when faced with challenges.
Feeling Competent – Rachel Miner, THE PLAYFUL SPIRIT
- And for homeschooling parents, here’s something to think about when drawing up your programme: ““When I work with my kids to develop plans for our homeschool year, I have a chance to learn more about them and help them learn how to pursue their values in an organized way. Also, it’s fun!”
Homeschool Plans – RATIONAL JENN
- “In this podcast we discuss ideas for dealing with a child experiencing feelings of jealousy, handling money/finance issues with kids, and how our relationships with other adults changed after we became parents.”
Podcast #11: Money – CULTIVATING THE VIRTUES
- Something missing in your life? It might be its central purpose.
Central Purpose in Life: A Clarification – SHEA’S BLOG
- Understanding China means understanding its transformation. This BBC doco explains it with style.
- Now this is really cool. A cartoon strip explaining one of the most inexplicable events in twentieth-century history: the reasons for the tragedy that was World War 1. Click on the tiny strip, and expand it to full size to read. [Hat tip Scott Powell]
World War One: Colored – DEVIANT ART
- And this is really, really cool. The world needs more entrepreneurs. [Hat tip reader Russell W]
The long walk to success for NZ robot leg makers – NZ HERALD
- A philosopher talks about humour for the non-humorous.
Why do you say that humor is a destructive element? [AUDIO] – LEONARD PEIKOFF
- And about being insulted—something most bloggers have to get used to.
Is it ever rational to get upset about insults from strangers if the thing you are being insulted about isn’t actually a deficiency...? – LEONARD PEIKOFF
The moral contradiction between the biblical mandate of
self-sacrifice and the factual need for human beings to pursue and
protect their life-serving values is destroying the Republican party. Republicans face a decision. They may conclude that they have
failed their faith and that they must seek redemption by injecting
religion more deeply into politics. Or they may realize that their faith has failed
them and that they must abandon the crusade, commit themselves to
individual rights, and set forth to defend freedom, limited
government, and capitalism.
- John Lewis, “Reason or Faith: The Republican Alternative”
- They haven’t got the World Cup now, but this Aussie haka is hilarious. “Take your thong off your foot…!” [Hat tip YH Lee]
- Here’s another song I can’t get out of my head. Damn that David McComb.
- And God, this symphony’s good. Just listen to how the cellos and basses start going wild about seven minutes through this last movement. It sounds like John Cale is back there!
That’s all for today.
Have a great weekend!