Friday, 23 May 2014

Friday Morning Ramble: Edition #762

Here’s some of what caught my eye around this week’s traps…

According to local trade unionists, wages rates are higher in Australia because Aussie unionists have better legal protection. And yet, the International Trade Union Confederation reckons protection is better here than in Oz.

Not going to “reform” the RMA until after election? But it’s not like National were offering real RMA reform anyway. Just more blancmange.
Resource Management Act Reform – Amy Adams, BEEHIVE
Property rights urgently needed to allow mineral riches to be safely exploited – NOT PC, 2009
It's Time to Drive a Stake Through the Heart of the RMA – Peter Cresswell, FREE RADICAL, 2004

No wonder Labour would be happy to support the Nats’s tepid reforms.
Labour offers bipartisan support to National for a separate RMA reform bill to improve housing affordability – INTEREST.CO.NZ

“Good old Radio New Zealand doesn't usually incite me to violence, but the other morning I felt like throwing things at my wireless when I heard you being not very sorry over the Lombard Finance collapse.”
An open letter to Bill Jeffries – Maria Slade, STUFF

“Every week we rent, we keep earning interest on our growing savings. Every week we rent we don't pay interest on a $300k loan and save on rates, high insurance premiums and maintenance costs.
”Maybe one day the desire to invest in something solid, knock down walls and have cats, dogs, and chickens will become stronger than the need for flexibility. Hopefully the market will have settled down by then and our savings big enough to afford the house we want. In the meantime, I'll keep discussing it at barbecues.”
To buy a house, or not to buy – Cecile Meier, THE PRESS

“We have already seen how this experiment works in Auckland, New Zealand. There, a very tight urban growth boundary (the “Metropolitan Urban Limit” or MUL) has been in place for well over a decade, strangling urban land supply. Auckland now has one of the densest populations in the Anglosphere (see next chart), some of the most expensive housing in the OECD, and severe congestion problems.”
Melbourne secures land ponzi for our children / Auckland's mythical urban sprawl 'problem' – Leith Van Onselen, MACROBUSINESS

“We can't do much about distance. But we can get bigger.”
Fixed costs in small countries, again – OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR


“If you click on the link you’ll be able to see details, for example Australia’s highest value export is coal and ours is dairy products…. Of those, sugar was the highest value export for five.”
This map shows which export makes your country the most money – GLOBAL POST

“That the Thai military achieved complete surprise with this coup d'état is incredible in itself. Many people suspected that it was coming, but all the protest venues were caught flat footed. UDD, PDRC, Isara, Dhamma, KPT -- all were caught off guard. Well played by the Army, so far.
”PDRC has wanted a coup for a long time. Coup d'état was a bad way to go, yet there were no good choices remaining.
And hey, United States, my country! How did we miss this? The US Department of State had just said that we do not expect a coup d'état. What the heck are we paying the NSA and CIA for?!”
- Michael Yon at FACEBOOK

“I want to vote UKIP in the European Parliamentary elections today.  There have been and are a lot of reasons to commend UKIP, but despite a plaintiff claim by Nigel Farage on Conservative Home, I am strongly inclined not to put a cross beside UKIP - because UKIP is no longer the libertarian-inclined party I warmed to, and was a member of for a year. … What's the problem?  Well it's all about Romanians.”
I would vote UKIP, but it is not libertarian – LIBERTY SCOTT UK

“Selective enforcement of the law is a dangerous thing.”
Prison For D’Souza, Beach Time For Corzine – THE FEDERALIST

“The site of an American-enabled kinetic-action-lead-from-behind-super-duper NATO triumph that somehow led to U.S. Amb. Chris Stevens being croaked by really irate YouTube consumers, is now packed with more domestic terrorists than your neighborhood Tea Party HQ. ‘One U.S. military contractor working on counter-terrorism in Africa summed up the situation in Libya today as simply, ‘Scumbag Woodstock.’ The country has attracted that star-studded roster of notorious terrorists and fanatics seeking to wage war on the West.’”
Forget Benghazi! "Libya is Now 'Scumbag Woodstock'"! – REASON

The left’s shift on this issue, as on many issues, was purely tactical.The left’s leading lights were racists who jumped into civil rights. They were sexists who became feminists. They were advocates for the working class who despised the idea of working for a living.
”The culture war does not emerge from the left’s deeply held beliefs. Its leaders could care less about the things that they pretend to care about. It emerges instead from the need to maintain a constant state of domestic conflict.”
The Left Isn’t Pro-Gay — It’s Pro-Power – Daniel Greenfield, FRONTPAGE

“In a recent debate on the welfare state, I was asked whether I thought it was important to help others. That, I said, was not the right question. In a free society, people help others all the time — parents help children, neighbours help neighbours, private charities help orphans.
”The question you need to ask when you’re thinking about the welfare state is not, “Should I help others?” It’s, “Do some people have a right to be supported by others…”
How to end the welfare state with one simple question – Don Watkins, VOICES FOR REASON

Yaron Brook and Doug Casey Debate The Need For Government…

“Why urban yuppies have it all wrong.”
Sprawl Is Good for You – Robert Bruegmann, POLITICO

“Ira Einhorn was on stage hosting the first Earth Day event at the Fairmount Park in Philadelphia on April 22, 1970. Seven years later, police raided his closet and found the “composted” body of his ex-girlfriend inside a trunk.
Earth Day Founder Was Into Composting…People – DOLLARS & CROSSES

“The author, a self-admitted leftist, concedes that today’s environmental movement is no longer concerned with global warming…er…climate change, but rather de-industrialization at any cost…”
Environmentalism’s Zero-Sum Game – Derron Matthews, DOLLARS & CROSSES

Patrick Moore, founder of Greenpeace, on where greens went badly wrong.
‘Environmentalism has become a religion’ – SPIKED

Ed Cline reviews another book (right) exploding the global-warming-is-all-man's-fault nonsense. Looks to be full of evidence that people need to read.
Roosters of the Apocalypse – Ed Cline, RULE OF REASON

"In recent decades, we have seen advances in agriculture that have been more environmentally friendly and sustainable than ever before. But they have resulted from science-based research and technological ingenuity by farmers, plant breeders and agribusiness companies, not from social elites opposed to modern insecticides, herbicides, genetic engineering and "industrial agriculture."
Organic Farming Is Not Sustainable – Henry Miller, WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Hillary Clinton’s latest speech revealed some of her thoughts about reviving the economy. It suggested that she does not understand how jobs are created.
”She said she was trying to ‘encourage more companies to come off the sidelines and, frankly, for some to use some of that cash that is sitting there waiting to deploy.’
”This echoes the naïve idea embraced by the Obama administration that economies are fuelled by ever more borrowing and spending. But this is not how jobs are created.”
Hillary Clinton Shows Ignorance of How Economy Works and Ben Bernanke Cashes In – Hunter Lewis, AGAINST CRONY CAPITALISM

“’A property market slump remains a tail risk, but the tail is getting fatter…’  A reasonable assessment with the exception that this is not a tail risk. It’s a reality.”
China property bust risks growing – MACROBUSINESS

“A living standards measure shows Australians have gone backward over the last two years…”
Why consumers are so pissed off – MACROBUSINESS

“There is apparently a new economic danger out there. It is called “very low inflation” and the eurozone is evidently at great risk of succumbing to this menace..”
Keynesian madness: central banks waging war on price stability, savers – DETLEV SCHLICTER

“He even invokes the famous remark of Keynes regarding the “euthanasia of the rentier” where he supported the ruination of people who earn interest on their savings.”
How Central Banks Are Waging War on Your Savings – Mark Thornton, MISES DAILY

“The government forces us to use their paper as if it were money, and they have several different mechanisms for doing it.”
Legal Tender Forces Gold Out – Keith Weiner, FORBES

“Sometimes, though, the source of the economic fallacy surprises, as it did when reading a brief John Redwood commentary on Britain’s latest Budget from its Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.”
The Infernal Resilience of Economic Fallacies – THE ORGANIC TORY

781955734“I’ve just published a short book, Advanced Introduction to the Austrian School of Economics, which is designed to give people with some knowledge of economics an explanation of what ideas distinguish the Austrian school from mainstream economic thought. The paperback is relatively affordable ($22.36 if ordered on-line). The book is much slimmer in person (144 pages) than it appears in the graphic ….”
New Book: The Austrian School of Economics – Randall Holcombe, THE BEACON

“It is not too early to ask how the present US business cycle expansion, already more than five years old, will end. The history of the last great US monetary experiment in “quantitative easing” (QE) from 1934-7 suggests that the end could be violent.”
Echoes of 1937 in the Current Economic Cycle – Brendan Brown, MISES DAILY

Through inflation (expanding the money supply), as I will show, the state and its cronies "drink our milkshake" every day. Only, it does so surreptitiously, with nary a sucking sound to be heard.
How Inflation Picks Your Pocket – Dan Sanchez, MISES DAILY

“History is repeating itself as farce.”
On Top of Piketty: The new Marxism has nothing to offer us but chains – Tim Cavanaugh, NATIONAL REVIEW

“[Piketty] points out that wealth captures politics and this is a problem; but I think he’s got cause and effect reversed. If you look at the historical examples it’s not the case that wealthy people bought political power, its that politicians want economic power.”
Thomas Piketty and the great inequality debate: The Ayn Rand response – Yaron Brook, CITY A.M.

“How would you translate your new book’s title into English?  Andreas Marquant: I would like to say The State Causes the Poverty It Later Claims to Solve. This is the title of my article on last December. An even better title could be The Austrian Answer to Thomas Piketty.”
How Fractional Reserves and Inflation Cause Economic Inequality – Andreas Marquart, MISES DAILY

“Rand is often caricatured as an advocate of the rich and an enemy of the poor… ‘This, of course, is simply wrong. It’s not ‘the rich’ who go on strike, but the producers. The good and evil divide for Rand is not between rich and poor, but between producers and takers. There is no remotely plausible reading of Atlas Shrugged where the “1%” are unambiguously heroes and where everyone else is a ‘moocher.’ ’”
The Rich, the Poor, and Ayn Rand – VOICES FOR REASON

“In other words, there are two ways to explain why the mean wealth of the x% has grown faster than the mean wealth of the whole population. According to Piketty, it means that the richer you are in the first place, the faster your capital grows over time (hence, the dynastic wealth world he foresees). But it might also be the opposite: this phenomenon is exactly what we should expect to see in a world of high wealth turnover, a world where fortune rewards skills, hard work and risk taking. Quite symptomatically, Piketty and its numerous followers have completely dismissed that possibility.”
The x% puzzle - Guillaume Nicoulaud, ORDRE SPONTANÉ

“But what if people don’t spend down their savings? That seems to be Piketty’s assumption, at least for the very rich: they build more and more wealth which they don’t spend, and that wealth generates capital income, which they also don’t spend, and so on. If that happens, then the capital-output ratio does keep rising.
”But this also means that Piketty’s rich-get-ever-richer projection can happen only if the rich don’t live like rich people…”
A question on Piketty - Andrew Biggs, AEI

“Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being interviewed for half an hour by John O'Donnell on The interview was wide ranging, covering economic inequality, the 99% and the 1%, and the fact that the wealth of the 1% is the source both of the supply of the products that the 99% buys and the demand for the labour that the 99% sells, and thus operates in the self-interest of everyone.”
Interview with John O'Donnell on – GEORGE REISMAN’S BLOG
Capitalism with Dr. George Reisman – TRADING ACADEMY

“Economist Bob Murphy joined me last week to take apart Thomas Piketty’s celebrated book Capital in the Twenty-First Century. It isn’t just Austrian economists who find fault with the book, it turns out; quite a few economists have noted that Piketty makes basic, even embarrassing mistakes in treating basic concepts. I realize it must sound as if I am making this up or being unreasonable, but listen for yourself.”
Thomas Piketty Refuted – TOM WOODS

“I wish that the divorce rate were higher. I know some people who’ve been married for decades, and they’ll likely never divorce. Yet life in that marriage is miserable due to ongoing dishonesty, …”
A Controversial Thought on DivorceDiana Hsieh, NOODLE FOOD

“You’ve probably seen the recent glut of sensational headlines in the media proclaiming that non-celiac gluten sensitivity is some kind of widespread collective delusion—simply a figment of the imagination of anyone who claims to experience it…”
Is Gluten Sensitivity Real? – Chris Kresser, HEALTH FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

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“A child's education baseline should be fun and trial-and-error exploration, not imposed standards and fear…”
Expert says growing number of children are risking their mental health because they are so terrified of getting bad results – MAIL
Montaigne on educating for independence – STEPHEN HICKS

“It works so well that it is, as The New York Times' John Markoff put it, "boring." The implications, however, are breathtaking.”
The Trick That Makes Google's Self-Driving Cars Work – THE ATLANTIC

“From Citizen Kane to The Great Gatsby to American Beauty, the critics’ favourites are savaged using the incisive blade of objective standards. As the literati mission is laid bare, the innocent are now forever spared the hypocrisy of professing a love for the dull and the insipid, a love that that they never felt.”
The Search for Romanticism in Hollywood – Vinay Kolhartkar, THE STORY DEPARTMENT


image“It seems inevitable … that [Terry Teachout] would turn to Ellington, the most important jazz composer of the 20th century and a person of intense aspirations and rich achievement; someone whose life scarcely took second place to the music he wrote and the musicians he led.”
Take the ‘E’ Train: A definitive life of the great American composer. – WEEKLY STANDARD

“As a solitary, bookish schoolboy, Jonathon Green was tickled by outrageous words. He scoured the library for them.”
Slang shows us how language is always changing – FT

“In its third generation the Microsoft Surface Pro remains what it was: As beautifully engineered as it is ill-conceived. It’s still the laptop you can’t use on your lap and the tablet you can’t fully use with just your finger.”
Introducing the Surface Pro 3 – VODKA PUNDIT

“Great article on free speech and importance of debate with opponents. About abortion but true for all issues.”
The Pro-Choice Lobby Should Celebrate Not Censor Debate – SPIKED

Stealing tunes? When hasn’t Led Zeppelin stolen tunes.
Led Zeppelin and plagiarism – Stephen Stratford, QUOTE UNQUOTE

“A Florida pastor has been jailed for trying to sell fake paintings by the British artist. But why does the art world give Hirst's talentless artworks any financial value at all?”
Faking a fortune: why Damien Hirst's paintings are poor imitations of art – Jonathan Jones, GUARDIAN

“Sumtimes people tweet and there spelling isn’t quite what it should bee. Sumtimes it’s meaks things better. Hear are sum of those tweets.”
The 25 Worst (Best) Spelling Mistakes on Twitter – THE POKE

On the eve of being dismantled, in the midst of a snowstorm, a Frank Lloyd Wright house of rare quality is captured in its original location for the last time…”

“Foster + Partners is part of a consortium set up by the ESA to explore the possibilities of 3D printing to construct lunar habitations. Addressing the challenges of transporting materials to the moon, the study is investigating the use of lunar soil, known as regolith, as building matter…”
Foster + Partners works with European Space Agency to 3D print structures on the moon - ARCHINECT

[Hat tips Geek Press, Home Paddock, Hugh Pavletich, Architettura Matassoni, Scott Powell, Jim Matzger, Harry Binswanger, Michael Neibel, Mark Tammett, Friends of Kebyar, James Stannard, Lawrence Reed, Film Producer, Yaron Brook, ROMANTICISM WATCH, Justin Templer, Jeff Perren Novelist, Paul Litterick, Nelson Brackin, Stephen Hicks, Claire Finn, Old Holborn, Fergus Hodgson]

Thanks for reading,
Have a great weekend!


  1. Daniel Greenfield sounds an oddball sort of chap; his article is rather bizarre - remind me of John Campbell's show the other night in joining the dots and coming up with preposterous conclusions.

  2. Peter, what did you think of the link Lindsay Mitchell has "The ultimate call for compensation" via Samizdata - I thought brilliant; sort of link you put up


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