Friday, 17 April 2015

Friday Morning Ramble …

The most important single central fact about a free market is
that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.

- Milton Friedman

Quel surprise.  This goes in the file titled ‘Told You So.’
CERA control holds back Christchurch rebuild – 3 NEWS
Christchurch Mayor urged to cut red tape – NEWSTALK ZB

Topical again…
Can you own water? – NOT PC, 2012
Water, water everywhere… – NOT PC, 2012
Undiscovered resources do not constitute wealth – Gary Judd, BREAKING VIEWS, 2012
The Prime Minister is wrong – NOT PC, 2012
Q: What would 'Party X' do about the environment?– A: They’d use it to push privatisation – NOT PC, 2011

Yes, it’s true. But New Zealand has nothing about which to boast.
Why Australia's still the world's most expensive place to live – SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

“Whether Campbell stays or goes should be irrelevant, because incisive political interviewing on New Zealand television is, at best, as scarce as a Macaya Breast Spot Frog.  So for my kiwi friends…”
Proper political interviews from the UK... – LIBERTY SCOTT


“"We should expect the Reserve Bank to provide in-depth analysis to back its claims around the housing market.  But in a 19 page speech, only five paragraphs are devoted to the ‘housing pressures are a threat to stability’ section." Go read the whole thing. He also hits on whether any tax advantage lies with unleveraged owner-occupiers or those nasty investors.”
Reserve Bank of NZ on Housing – Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

“Selling state houses to tenants worked before and it would again today, with consequent social benefits.”
Enrich poor with home ownership – Bob Jones, NZ HERALD

“Environment Minister Nick Smith is floating the idea of splitting the Resource Management in two. One Act would deal with urban planning issues and the other with non urban resource and environmental management.”
Will the RMA be split in two? – KIWIBLOG

A movie featuring a journalist’s interactions with Paul Henry has just been released. Journalist Andrew Goldman finds his life and career fall apart after he meets Paul Henry…
The Desk, The Henry, and business/media collusion – YOUR NZ

“When ‘the common good’ of a society is regarded as something apart from
and superior to the individual good of its members, it means that the good
of some men takes precedence over the good of others….”
Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal

If you want to learn, take notes by hand, not with a laptop. “The problem appears to be that the laptop turns students into stenographers, people who write down everything they hear as quickly as they can. Students who take handwritten notes, however, try to process the material as they are writing it down so that they only have to write down the key ideas. Forcing the brain to extract the most vital information is actually when the learning happens.”
Why you should take notes by hand — not on a laptop – Alex Tabarrok, MARGINAL REVOLUTION

Was there no-one in sign-off with a shred of decency?
Woolworths agency in hiding after disastrous Anzac advertising campaign – SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

“From a psephological point of view it is interesting… from a pure who does what with whom equation, it's interesting. However, in terms of the variety of what is on offer, it is more nomenclature than substance…. [and] my suspicion is that there will be another election later this year.”
Most exciting UK election in ages? In one sense... (Part One) – LIBERTY SCOTT

“Once upon a time, it was left to tinpot dictators, ecclesiastical zealots, illiberal judges or scary inquisitors to proclaim a ban, to demand that some publication or custom or subversive phrase be outlawed. In the twenty-first century, however, calls for banning stuff have come down to Earth: now, literally anyone with access to the internet can demand a ban, and many do.”
What's behind the fashion for banning? – Frank Furedi, SPIKED


“In our era of Keynesian economics on steroids, we should ask: How close is current Keynesian practice to original Keynesian theory?”
Can We Blame Keynes for Keynesianism? – Stephen Hicks, EVERY JOE

“... the truly scary numbers were in the details, which revealed unprecedented deterioration.”
China's True Economic Growth Rate: 1.6% – ZERO HEDGE

How economists are misleading the public on climate-change policy.
The Costs of Hysteria – Robert Murphy, F.E.E.

“An examination of the prediction spread from the 90 CMIP5 climate models makes it immediately obvious that the settled science of catastrophic man-made global warming is not at all well-understood.”
Computer Climate Model Incompetence and the Settled Science – OBJECTIVIST INDIVIDUALIST

“The basic ingredients for Hong Kong’s progress were not foreign aid and other handouts from Western nations but instead law and order and a free market.”
The Ticket to Prosperity: Free Markets and Rule of Law – Walter Williams, CAPITALISM MAGAZINE

“We live at a time when politicians and bureaucrats only know one public policy: more and bigger government. Yet, there was a time when even those who served in government defended limited and smaller government. One of the greatest of these died a little over one hundred years ago on August 27, 1914, the Austrian economist Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk.”
Eugen Von Bohm-Bawerk: Leading Austrian economist and finance minister of fiscal restraint – Richard Ebeling, COBDEN CENTRE

“On why zoning laws should not exist at all.
”In truth, there is no ‘public interest,’ only the interests of some individuals trumping the interests of others. As surely as Sharia law, much of zoning (perhaps not all) is the enforcement of one set of preferences. And that is incompatible with a nation founded upon the rule of law, not the rule of men.”
Sharia Zoning – Walter Donway, SAVVY STREET

“Creating paper money does not create goods.”
Cargo Cult Economics – CAPITALISM MAGAZINE


“Should this come as a surprise? Countries with no minimum wage have the lowest youth unemployment.”
Minimum Wage and Youth Unemployment – ECONOMIC POLICY JOURNAL

“It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a 'dismal science.' But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.”
The futility of increasing the minimum wage to reduce poverty – Jim Rose, UTOPIA, YOU ARE STANDING IN IT

“There’s an invisible potential to just about everything on earth. For example, mankind has long known that water was good for drinking, irrigation and floating boats. But with time we also discovered that water held a form of energy. Energy is invisible and intangible. Still, you can see what water energy does: e.g. turns wheels, moves ships along a river, turns a turbine for making electricity, etc. A few hundred years ago, mankind learned that water possessed that potential energy. In the 19th Century, water powered mills and factories. Today, river currents turn generators in large hydroelectric dams.
“‘Capital, like energy, is a dormant value. Bringing it to life requires us to go beyond looking at our assets as they are to actively thinking about them as they could be. It requires a process for fixing an asset’s economic potential into a form that can be used to initiate additional production.’”
Capital: It’s All in Your Head – Hernando de Soto, THE POWER OF THE POOR


“‘It angers me to see mobs burning our flags and chanting 'death to Americans',’ Rand Paul, who’s now running for president, is recently quoted as saying. ‘Until we name the enemy, we cannot win the war. The enemy is radical Islam. You cannot get around that.’
“He’s halfway there.”
Rand Paul’s Foreign Policy – Michael Hurd, CAPITALISM MAGAZINE

“The democracy export practiced by the U.S. is against the principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence.”
Should U.S. Foreign Policy be in Search of Monsters? – Robert Gore, SAVVY STREET

“Candidate after candidate declares for the 2016 presidential election in America. But apparently only ‘career politicians’ need apply.”
America 2016: The Dead-end of “Career Politicians” – Walter Donway, SAVVY STREET

“’The baby boom generation which started with so much promise when it came of age in the 1960s has ended up a colossal failure,’ Stockman wrote. ‘It has turned America into a bloody imperial hegemon aboard and a bankrupt Spy State at home where financialization and the one percent thrive, half the populations lives off the state and real main street prosperity has virtually disappeared from the land.’ … As for Clinton herself, Stockman says she has ‘betrayed all that was right about the baby boomers in the 1960s; and has embraced all the wrong they did during their subsequent years in power.’”
Hillary Clinton: Talking 'Bout Her Failed Generation – David Stockman, via MISH

“Is Clinton Foundation in effect selling American presidency?”
Clinton Foundation to Keep Foreign Donors – WALL STREET JOURNAL


“President Obama said Saturday that partisan wrangling over the nuclear agreement with Iran has gone beyond pale and said the harsh criticism of the deal “needs to stop.”
“Maybe he should tell this to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.”
Iran's Ayatollah and America's Obama: Dictators at Heart – CAPITALISM MAGAZINE

“Here’s the thing about agreements. The parties that enter into them have to actually, you know, agree.”
Iran's Supreme Leader Gets to No – Eli Lake, BLOOMBERG

“…a long piece on net neutrality in the latest issue of Reason Magazine entitled, “How to Break the Internet.” It’s part of a special collection of articles and videos dedicated to the proposition “Don’t Tread on My Internet!Reason has put together a great bunch of material, and packaged it in a special retro-designed page that will make you think it’s the 1990s all over again”
Don’t tread on my Internet – Geoffrey Manne,  TRUTH ON THE MARKET
Don't Tread on My Internet – REASON


“One cannot expect, nor is it necessary, to agree with a candidate’s total philosophy — only with his political philosophy (and only in terms of essentials). It is not a Philosopher-King that we are electing, but an executive for a specific, delimited job… [W]e have to judge him as we judge any work, theory, or product of mixed premises: by his dominant trend.
“A vote for any candidate does not constitute an endorsement of his entire position, not even of his entire political position, only of his basic political principles…
“It is the basic — and, today, the only — issue by which a candidate must be judged: freedom vs. statism.”
How to Judge a Political Candidate? by Ayn Rand – FOR THE NEW INTELLECTUALS

“Here is the right way to think through and argue with others about any proposed government policy, regardless of whether you are a liberal or conservative, Rawlsian, Randian, or Hayekian, consequentialist or deontologist, Christian, Muslim, or atheist.”
How to Think Through and Argue About Public Policies – JOHN P. McCASKEY


“Arguments for government involvement in education are many. They include the views that many parents cannot afford to educate their children, that private philanthropy cannot make up the deficit, that too many parents don’t care enough about education, and more.
“At the same time, government involvement in education has risks…”
Education’s “Public Choice” Dynamic – STEPHEN HICKS

Education’s ‘Public Choice’ Dynamic [click to enlarge]

On Mad Men: “He was so dull and pedestrian that even, from the standpoint of disinterested prurience, his many graphically-portrayed episodes of promiscuity and philandering were yawners… Hamm’s Don Draper invites one to redefine ‘average.’ …  he was so unexceptional a character that he never even left a bad taste in my mouth. He left no taste at all. One couldn’t hate him. How can one hate a nonentity?”
On House of Cards: “About half a century ago, President John F. Kennedy, not a man I admire by any means, confessed he liked Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels, popular adventure literature that dramatized good vs. evil. Well into the 21st century a sitting president and a former president have expressed admiration for evil and its triumph. To date, that is the thematic essence of House of Cards.”
Political Cinema – Ed Cline, CAPITALISM MAGAZINE

“[There is a] dangerous little catch phrase which advises you to keep an ‘open mind. ‘This is a very ambiguous term—as demonstrated by a man who once accused a famous politician of having ‘a wide open mind.’ The term is an anti-concept…”
“Open Mind” and “Closed Mind” – FOR THE NEW INTELLECTUALS

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others.
- Thomas Jefferson

“If you ask, most people can cite a day, which, to them anyway, changed the world. It may be the start or end of a war; the beginning or end of an administration; a specific piece of legislation; a birth or death; etc. Well, how about April 10, 1790? To patent folks the earth shook, the heavens opened, and history forever altered. This was the day the first version of the U.S. patent act was signed. It was the third Act of Congress…this legislation was specifically singled out by George Washington as legislation that the Congress ought to pass to help the young country get going.”
The Day that Changed the World: April 10, 1790 – I.P. WATCHDOG

“Perhaps the post-mortem assessment on the ‘movement’ ought to begin with the premise that the ‘service’ provided by The Pirate Bay and similar sites is not anything like a foundation for social change. Forget that digital theft of popular media is illegal, immoral, and rude; it’s also far too pedestrian to serve as a catalyst for political action that would effectively contend with a thorny problem like surveillance or ascend such lofty heights as universal education.”
Pirate Movement is Dead, Long Live the Cause? – David Newhoff, THE ILLUSION OF MORE

“People tend to focus on these nice, round numbers when looking at significant points in history. Here, however, we want to have a little fun with numbers and stick up for the little guy in this conversation, the ‘coulda been a contenders’.”
Near Miss Patents: Looking back at almost milestone innovations – I.P. WATCHDOG

“There are widespread complaints today that the “patent system is broken” and that the ‘smart phone wars’ and ‘patent trolls’ are killing innovation. Yet patented innovation has revolutionized our lives — tablet computers, smart phones and antiviral drugs are just a few of these modern marvels. How to make sense of this contradiction? This talk by Adam Mossoff, recording at ARI’s Objectivist Summer Conference 2014, answers that question.”

“Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye, Not uttered by based sale of chapmen’s tongues. So, like, what’s a Like worth anyway?  I mean a Facebook Like.”
Like’s Labour’s Lost – Facebook Advertising – THE ILLUSION OF MORE

“India’s answer to Sherlock Holmes is in the theatres now, and it creates an original niche for itself.”
Detective Byomkesh Bakshy: India’s Answer to Sherlock Holmes – Kurt Keefner, SAVVY STREET

Students, listen up: Up to US$90,000 in prizes to be won, and all you have to do is write an essay on Ayn Rand’s fiction!
Ayn Rand Institute International Essay Contests 2015 for Students - Up to $90,000 in Prizes – OPPORTUNITY DESK

““At the age of thirteen, Ayn Rand decided she was an atheist. Her reason: ‘the concept of God is degrading to man.’ One major form of this degradation is religion’s effect on genuine values, including sacred values…”
Video: Ayn Rand’s Sacred Atheism – Robert Mayhew, REASON V FAITH

Great songs can have simple origins…

Not an easy cover to pull off …

Like gamelan for electric rock orchestra …

PS: So you want to buy a Castle?

Thanks for reading,
Have a great weekend,

PS: Make mine a Liberty Halo … “quite positively a monument of New Zealand Pilsner.”

PPS: Oh, and this week’s actual Public Health Warning …


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