Friday, 2 May 2014

Friday Morning Ramble, The ‘New Tool’ Edition


David Parker has a new tool. Oddly enough, the tool invokes compulsion.
Parker’s Plan is Anti-Innovation & Prosperity: Why There Must Be No Compulsory Kiwisaver. – Mark Hubbard, LIFE BEHIND THE IRON DRAPE

Oh, and if you read the fine print: “Labour may look at controlling immigration as a way to affect housing demand and general price inflation.”  And there are more signs that Labour is putting out the welcome mat to Peters…
Always read the fine print... – KEEPING STOCK

“Mr Cunliffe, cc Mr Parker, that mess of pottage you called a 'Big Tool' and all the condiments still being discovered from the small print, is all about spin and will have extremely minimal effect on what you are pretending to be a masterstroke in economic manipulation.
”It has merely illustrated the total dearth of any understanding of what will work in the modern world economy in the 21st century.”
That's It Cunliffe, I Wont Vote For You Now!! – Grave Dodger, NO MINISTER

“Labour’s proposed monetary package risks undermining Reserve Bank’s most important task…”
Labour’s monetary upgrade – Oliver Hartwich, NZ INITIATIVE

imageEnvy, Karl Marx, insults … must be David Cunliffe talking to a Young Labour Conference.
David Cunliffe Thinks the Labour Party is Like a Baby – WHALE OIL

Still, imagine the sort of folk who would consider Sue Bradford a capitalist.
Sue Bradford - capitalist mouthpiece? – LINDSAY MITCHELL

Of course. there’s no tool like an old tool. Is there Maurice.
Lack of judgment as worrying as it is bizarre – Audrey Young, NZ HERALD

“The power to regulate the economy is the same
thing as the power to distribute favours.”

- Jason Brennan

“Before he decided to leave the Labour Party, Shane Jones had been talked up by many as the party’s great hope. And indeed, he could have become New Zealand’s first Maori Prime Minister, and the only reason why this won’t now happen is that a lot of people never liked him.”
A lost opportunity – IMPERATOR FISH

So Judith Collins posted to Facebook this photo of herself in 1978 (right) claiming this was “the last time that crime rates were as low as they are now.”
Who is Judith Collins kidding – LINDSAY MITCHELL

And the important question for every bloke: If you knew in 1978 what you know about Judith now, would you have, um, you know … ?

BTW, still yet to be an actual “crusher”…
Boy racer's vehicle dodges crusher – WIRELESS

“If employers were ruthlessly honest about the primary purpose in asking for degree qualifications [they would say] degree courses are mainly quality sieves, set to filter for ability.”
Usefulness of a BA – STEPHEN FRANKS

“The notion that the Greens are fighting a lonely vanguard in a fundamental struggle is understandably appealing to an aging Marxist…”
Chris Trotter: the Greens are the last hope for "we" ? – LIBERTY SCOTT

“This is a good summary of this important new study from the New Zealand Productivity Commission.”
Why isn’t New Zealand richer and more productive? – EYE 2 THE LONG RUN

“The Government says it is working on plans to ease the price of building materials, which are among the dearest in the world. Phil Taylor spoke to a property company boss who says new home buyers in New Zealand are being ripped off.”
House of the rising sum – NZ HERALD

Reasons for Inequality and Child Poverty, #1: “There are around 1.07 million children aged 17 and younger. …  roughly 1 in 5 is dependent on a benefit.”
210,000 children on welfare – LINDSAY MITCHELL

Now this is cool: The latest timelapse video of the Waterview Motorway Connection construction …

The Obama Administration’s Benghazi cover-up has now become a cover-up of a cover-up.
Charles Krauthammer Leaves No Question That White House is Involved in a ‘Cover-Up of a Cover-Up’ – IJ REVIEW

Irony. Sydney socialists are flying to Venezuela for a $10,000 per head socialism celebration while Venezuelans are struggling to fly out.
No Seats Available – TIM BLAIR

Meanwhile, Capitalism saves another 3rd-world nation from grinding poverty…
Vietnam's Road Back From Serfdom – Bill Frezza, FORBES

Another example of Islam versus education. So why is the conflict in Nigeria and the stolen girls barely mentioned in the West?
Nigeria's Stolen Girls – Alexis Okeowo, NEW YORKER
After Two Weeks, 234 Abducted Nigerian Schoolgirls Are Still Missing - SMART NEWS

“The one really important inequality Piketty doesn't talk about is one of power.
Between the powerful ruling 1% & the powerless ruled. The inequality between
Bill Gates & a McDonald's worker is harmless. But not one between the likes
of Bundy & a militarized Bureau of Land Management. Piketty's 'solution' --
loot the rich -- will increase even more the massive inequality of power as
a parasitic ruling class becomes more powerful.”
- Screwed by State

We may well now be at Peak Piketty: There may never be more reviews around of his smash hit book, Capital in the 21st Century. Tyler Cowens’ might be the most useful so far, but there are others …
Why I am not persuaded by Thomas Piketty’s argument – Tyler Cowen, MARGINAL REVOLUTION 
Capital Punishment: Why a Global Tax on Wealth Won't End Inequality – Tyler Cowen, FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Piketty's New Book is a Great Book for Lazy Thinkers – Robert Wenzel, ECONOMIC POLICY JOURNAL 
Ramblings on Piketty – Alberto Mingardi, ECON LOG


“Piketty has no idea what Capitalism is.”
Sorry, Dr. Piketty, it's democracy, not capitalism, that is failing America's middle class – Peter Morici, FOX

Oh, and on the ultimate source of today’s genuinely unearned inequality?
"Fed Policies Have Made The Rich Much Richer", Fed President Admits – ZERO HEDGE

“The end of the gold standard marked the end of anything resembling honest money, and by extension anything resembling an honest economy …”
The real reason for increased inequality since the early 1970s. The end of the gold standard. – AGAINST CRONY CAPITALISM

“Should we worry about the so-called "wealth gap"? No, argues Max Borders in this powerful book. … -- The apparent increasing concentration of WEALTH (currently being demagogued by the statist Left) is the inevitable result of the concentration of POWER. The bigger the government, the more concentration of wealth there must inevitably be. The already-big and the politically well-connected get their favours and bailouts and the rest of society picks up the tab…”
Superwealth – Max Borders, AMAZON


“The very word “stimulus” has become a dirty word because so many view it as a failure. So the new argument admits that the stimulus failed politically, but chalks that up to a misinformed public…”
Why It’s Hard to Make the Unpopular Stimulus Look Good – John B. Taylor, ECONOMICS ONE

“When studying economics at a university today you undoubtedly learn a lot of things. … Fortunately, the stuff you learn at school has very little to do with economics. And if you read on, I will give you the top 10 things I think you need to know about economics that the average professor likely won’t tell you about…”
10 Secrets about Economics – Richard CB Johnsson

“There might be many other valid concerns about the concept of Gross Domestic Product, but the perhaps most acute one is that one particular component of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) remains on a net basis. How about that, such a widely used and supposedly gross measure has a mix of gross and net components! There can’t be any logical justifications for that at all.”
The Grossly Problematic Gross Domestic Product – Richard CB Johnsson

“Starting April 25, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis will release a new way to measure the economy each quarter. It's called Gross Output, and it's the first significant macroeconomic tool to come into regular use since gross domestic product was developed in the 1940s. … Gross Output will correct the fallacy fostered by GDP that consumer spending drives the economy.”
At Last, a Better Economic Measure – Mark Skousen, WALL STREET JOURNAL
A More Nuanced Measure of Growth – Jerry Jasinowski, HUFFINGTON POST
All Signs Are GO as New Indicator Challenges GDP Dominance – Nic Zaiac, THE CANAL

Andrew Haldane, who is well known among readers as being one of the most outspoken and truthy central bankers in the world, will become Bank of England's Chief Economist in June. That fact is what makes his comments - however factually honest - extremely uncomfortable for the Keynesian status quo…”
Bank Of England Chief Economist-To-Be Warns: "It's Time To Rethink Everything" – ZERO HEDGE

Taxing Away Prosperity: UK; New Zealand; Hong Kong: The difference between UK and Hong Kong prosperity in a photograph, below. “On the left is the UK’s various taxing legislation, on the right, the little thin blue book, that’s Hong Kong’s.”

“"But here's a peculiar feature of human history: We burst through such limits again and again. After all, as a Saudi oil minister once said, the Stone Age didn't end for lack of stone. … Economists call the same phenomenon innovation. What frustrates them about ecologists is the latter's tendency to think in terms of static limits."
The Scarcity Fallacy: The World's Resources Aren't Running Out – Matt Ridley, WALL STREET JOURNAL

“To the climate scientist, a 50:50 prediction is a safe prediction.”  To everyone else: “It is no better than flipping a coin.” “Quality risk communication involves providing the public with information that is useful. A 50:50 prediction is not.”
Let's prepare for weather's worst – Chris de Freitas, NZ HERALD

“Scientists have revealed how some corals can quickly switch on or off certain genes in order to survive in warmer-than-average tidal waters.”
Some corals adjusting to rising ocean temperatures – SCIENCE DAILY

Tell Russel Norman: renewable energy has been tried and … “In a stunning admission, the German Government recently announced that its transition to Renewable Energy was, ‘On the Verge of Failure.’”
GERMANY: Renewable Energy Policy “Complete Failure” – SRSrocco REPORT

“According to the Boston Globe, the United Nations has issued a new climate “tipping point” by which the world must act to avoid dangerous global warming.”
Earth ‘Serially Doomed’: UN Issues New 15 Year Climate Tipping Point – But UN Issued Tipping Points in 1982 & Another 10-Year Tipping Point in 1989! – Mark Morano, CLIMATE DEPOT

Pretty much everything wrong with the modern art scene in one picture…

Embedded image permalink

Oh, and there’s this.
The artist who lays eggs with her vagina – or why performance art is so silly – GUARDIAN

The best “modern art”? City skylines.
Skydweller is a portrait of London as seen from the top of Cromwell Tower, one of the three residential towers in the Barbican Estate. This film combines over 5,000 photographs taken from the top of the tower with specially composed music by Tom Rosenthal and ‘poetry’ by Paul Haworth…

“One of the common themes that runs throughout all Libertarian arguments against patents is that Libertarians do not seem to know what property rights are, or how they arise.”
Another Libertarian Argument Against Patents Bites the Dust – Dale Halling, STATE OF INNOVATION

Don’t forget the bigger picture.
The Illustrated Guide To A Ph.D – Matt Might, BUSINESS INSIDER

Yet, how could you resist a headline like that?
"There’s more to neoliberal hegemony than loss-leader pricing, but as ideological combatants those people know what they’re doing." – Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

“So I’m looking up more information related to a short story I’m working on and I come across this interesting fact.  It’s something you’d expect any journalist writing about the infamous “suicide factories” in China where Apple’s iPads and iPhones are made to mention, but surprisingly most do not.”
Apple’s “Suicide Factories” – Bretigne Shaffer, ECONOMIC POLICY JOURNAL

Beautifully done, sir. Crack a Brewdog tonight.
BrewDog apologises to Portman Group for ‘not giving a shit’ over marketing rules breach – THE DRUM


Run by cliquish, censorious editors and open to pranks and vandalism, Wikipedia is worthless and damaging. Controversial, and wrong, entries range far more widely than any list could cover.
Wikipedia: where truth dies online – Nigel Scott, SPIKED

American police and…

Dove commercials are wrong and misleading.
You Are Less Beautiful Than You Think – Ozgun Atasoy, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN

“Free will exists, not as an article of faith, but as an observable, provable fact.”
Free Will: Fact, Not Belief – Dr Michael Hurd, LIVING RESOURCES CENTER

The minor key v major difference is major. Here’s the US National Anthem... if they'd lost to the British.

Today’s kids react to my generation’s coolest gadget. “What’s a walkman?”

“Check it out, the ARI are offering FREE courses on Objectivism, such as this one: Objective Communication. Two Thumbs Up.”
Objective Communication Lecture 1 – ARI CAMPUS

And good reading…
Novels by authors inspired by Ayn Rand – AMAZON

“I propose something that has never been thought of, a National Day of Thinking.”
God is Imaginary - 50 simple proofs. Proof #1 - Try Praying – GOD IS IMAGINARY

“So John Paul II gets to be a saint. A woman named Floribeth Mora Diaz recalls how John Paul II saved her from an aneurysm.”
How John Paul II became a saint. – WWJTD, PATHEOS

This exists. At Salon. The title does not do it justice. Read it.
Jamaican, gay and Ayn Rand made it OK: My amazing “Atlas Shrugged” love story – Jason Hill, SALON

Amazing what tunes stick in my head for weeks. Like Hound Dog Taylor and the House Rockers.

Captain Beefheart (“like two flamingoes in a fruitfight”)…

Scott Walker (getting a little darker now) …

And maybe the best thing written by Tchaikovsky?

[Hat tips Hot Topic, Auckland Transport Blog, Geek Press, Architecture Lab, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (Official), Ifat Glassman, Lawrence Reed, Jim Matzger, Capitalists for Intellectual Property, Gena Davidovich, Diana Hsieh, Phil Sage, Alex Epstein, Laissez Faire Capitalism, Dale B. Halling, Vinay Kolhatkar, Olivia Mary Pierson]

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

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