Friday, 23 September 2016

Friday Morning Ramble, 23.09.16



Remember when John Key promised his Government would reduce the number of grey ones? Nah, he doesn’t either.
In 2008, the number of “full-time equivalent” bureaucrats sucking off the taxpayer’s tit were 43,569. In 2015, that number had increased to 45,348. Roll on November, when this years increased numbers will be available.
Staff numbers in the Public Service, 2003-2008 - STATE SERVICES COMMISSION
Information about the number of people working in different occupations across the Public Service, 2015 - STATE SERVICES COMMISSION

Yes, when the Greens do get it, they really do get things right.
Greens would legalise euthanasia for terminally-ill adults – NEWSTALK ZB

The establishing of a literary establishment.
The Monday argument: New Zealand's literary establishment should be taken out and shot – SPINOFF
"The establishing of an establishment" - a different kind of censorship – NOT PC, 2006

The establishing of a race-based establishment.
Race appointees ammo for Winston – Mike Butler, BREAKING VIEWS

Nothing’s changed.
Self-harm threats soar for those who owe IRD – STUFF

“Fishermen’s self-interest shouldn't be viewed as just a risk, but rather as an asset in the recovery of the oceans.”
Fishermen: Our Best Hope for Abundant Oceans That Feed the World – Amanda Leland, HUFFINGTON POST


“Can a whole generation retire and live on speculation?
… In speculation, your profit comes from the savings
of someone else. You bought the asset, hoping the next
guy will buy it off you at a higher price. Well, that guy
buys in the hope that the next-next guy buys it at an
even-higher price. Speculation converts one
man's wealth into another man's income.”

~ Keith Weiner


“Kiwis continue to get into hock on their houses at record levels.”
Kiwis' debt pile now exceeds annual disposable income by nearly $100 billion – INTEREST.CO.NZ

“Quite simply, if helping the least well off in society is a priority, then fixing housing should be the focus.”
Help the poor by fixing housing – Jason Krupp, NZ INITIATIVE

“We hear constantly about record levels of immigration into New Zealand, and claims that this immigration drives the increasingly overpriced Auckland housing market.” But the only thing that is at record numbers is net migration. (“From 2013, New Zealand’s net migration has entirely comprised people identifying as New Zealand residents returning from short visits (less than a year) overseas, minus the same group of people embarking on short visits overseas.”)
And the movement of NZers is mainly “a reduction of people migrating to (mainly) Australia from provincial New Zealand.” Hmmm.
Keith Rankin’s Chart for this Month [below]: Immigration – EVENING REPORT
Immigration and Auckland Housing – why Unitary Plan is flawed and bubble burst prediction – Keith Rankin, DAILY BLOG



“After years of being in the ascendant, the centre-Left is being ruthlessly and methodically routed. Brexit is the most important incarnation of this revolution, of course, but Westminster is only just beginning to grasp the scope and scale of Britain’s coming transformation.”
Rejoice! The liberal Left that once ruled over Britain is now being destroyed – Allister Heath, TELEGRAPH

The man has a point.
Terence Crutcher's police shooting & racial bias in America – Trevor Noah, DAILY SHOW

This will be a fascinating story to follow ...
Libertarian Herman Mashaba elected mayor of Johannesburg – GLOBE & MAIL

“Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly” has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history.”
Americans' Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low – GALLUP

No, idiots, he is not the freedom candidate.
Donald Trump is going all in on banning abortion – VOX

“Why don’t people like Hillary Clinton? Why do they always believe the worst? Why, when some supposed scandal breaks and someone says she’s hiding something, do people, including many of her supporters, assume it’s true?"
Travel Back to an Early Clinton Scandal – Peggy Noonan, WSJ

“As usual, Hollywood is pushing a narrow box of choices through celebrity blowhards. For all the lip service these blowhards pay to ‘democracy,’ when put to the test, it's only a great system when everybody votes the way they prefer.”
And Now, a Condescending Message from Hollywood - Sean Malone, FEE

PS: “The American system is not a democracy. It is a constitutional republic.”
America is NOT a Democracy (Leonard Peikoff) – Michael Hurd, LIVING RESOURCES CENTER




“When environmentalists tell you openly that they’re lying to you and they think that’s okay, then you would be a fool not to be a skeptic."
The Garbage Philosophy Behind The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Myth – Robert Tracinski, THE FEDERALIST

“Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle: they only make sense if the economics work out. Otherwise, it's just silly piety.”
What's Wrong with the Three Rs of Environmentalism – FEE

“Spoiler: by embracing modern technology.”
How Humans Spare Nature – PERC

“Bottom Line: The only thing worse than killing elephants is leaving elephants vulnerable to murder. We can save them just as we save dogs and cats -- by giving them owners who value them, sometimes as dead trophies but more often as a thriving, growing herd.”
Demand for elephants can save elephants – David Zetland, AGUANOMICS


“What is politically defined as economic
planning is the forcible superseding of
other people’s plans by government officials.”
~ Thomas Sowell


“The answer is yes.”
Are firms that discriminate more likely to go out of business? – Paul Walker, ANTI DISMAL

Capitalism places a cost on racial discrimination.
Gary Becker 1, Rational Choice haters 0 – ORGTHEORY.NET

“By the ‘benevolent nature of capitalism,’ I mean the fact that it promotes human life and well-being and does so for everyone.”
Some Fundamental Insights Into the Benevolent Nature of Capitalism – George Reisman, MISES DAILY

“"Two hundred years ago, before the advent of capitalism, a man’s social status was fixed from the beginning to the end of his life; he inherited it from his ancestors, and it never changed. If he was born poor, he always remained poor, and if he was born rich—a lord or a duke—he kept his dukedom and the property that went with it for the rest of his life.
    “As for manufacturing, the primitive processing industries of those days existed almost exclusively for the benefit of the wealthy. Most of the people (ninety percent or more of the European population) worked the land and did not come in contact with the city-oriented processing industries. This rigid system of feudal society prevailed in the most developed areas of Europe for many hundreds of years."
The History of Capitalism – Ludwig Von Mises, MISES WIRE

“I wish there were a trillion humans in the solar system. Think how cool that would be. You’d have a thousand Einsteins at any given moment—and more. There would be so much dynamism with all of that human intelligence. But you can’t do that with the resources on Earth or the energy on earth. So if you really want to see that kind of dynamic civilization as we expand through the solar system, you have to figure out how to safely move around and use resources that you get in space.”
Jeff Bezos on nuclear reactors in space, the lack of bacon on Mars and humanity’s destiny in the solar system – WASHINGTON POST

“In Equal Is Unfair, Yaron Brook and I argue that one of the problems with the concept of “economic inequality” is that it lumps together two fundamentally different things: inequality that reflects differences in productive achievement and inequality that reflects some people’s ability to gain unearned wealth. Package-deals like this lay the groundwork for injustice.”
The Trouble With “Rent Seeking” – Don Watkins, VOICES FOR REASON

Socialism_bookstoreThe richest family in America is the one that best serves the poor.
More Silly Arguments Against Walmart – Don Boudreax + commenters, CAFE HAYEK

“The meltdown in Venezuela now taking place was predicted 80 years ago by the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises.”
‘We stand on the brink of a precipice which threatens our civilisation’ – Kevin Baldeosingh, GUARDIAN

A must-read – and free!
”I know only too well how hopeless it seems to convince impassioned supporters of the Socialist Idea by logical demonstration that their views are preposterous and absurd. I know too well that they do not want to hear, to see, or above all to think, and that they are open to no argument. But new generations grow up with clear eyes and open minds. And they will approach things from a disinterested, unprejudiced standpoint, they will weigh and examine, will think and act with forethought. It is for them that this book is written.”
Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis – Ludwig Von Mises, MISES LIBRARY

“The nationalisation of everything held back history, impoverished workers, and built an oppressive state.”
Communist Economics in One Page: A Refresher CourseFEE


"Instead of prosperity, socialism has brought economic
paralysis and/or collapse to every country that tried it. The
degree of socialisation has been the degree of disaster."

~ Ayn Rand.


“The morality of surge pricing at Uber.”
The Morality of Surge Pricing – Rudd Roberts, MEDIUM.COM

“Enesto Sirolli began his career working for an Italian non-profit … teaching Zambians how to grow food… “Sirolli’s colourful message: ‘If you arrive in a community with arrogance, and you don't listen to the local people ... you are going to have your pride chewed off by the local hippos.’”
The Pretense of "Thinking Globally" – Barry Brownstein, FEE

Central banks continue to navigate uncharted territory.
No, the Fed Doesn't Have a Plan. Yes, the Fed Really is Monetising Government Debt – Jeff Deist, MISES WIRE
US Federal Debt Is Expanding At The Fastest Rate Since The Crisis – ZERO HEDGE

Peter Schiff: “I said there was no exit from this policy when it was first implemented in 2009. That is why I said the Federal Reserve checked us into a monetary Roach Motel.”
The Federal Reserve confronts a possibility it never expected: No exit. – WASHINGTON POST

“Listening to Janet Yellen splitting hairs and blathering in circles about the state of the economy yesterday was enough to put you in mind of a paint-by-the-numbers robot built in the labs at MIT and programed by its Keynesian economics department.”
Duck And Run—-The Robot Doth Blather – David Stockman, CONTRA CORNER

Is a US$15 minimum wage a good idea? The always insightful and entertaining Don Boudreaux debates Mike Konczal.



“Austrian Economics is the most powerful explanation of why governments, no matter how well-intentioned, lack the knowledge, wisdom and ability to direct the lives of multitudes of people better than those people can do for themselves if left sufficiently at liberty to do so.”
Book Excerpt: Austrian Economics & Public Policy: Restoring Freedom and Prosperity by Richard Ebeling – CAPITALISM MAGAZINE

China my China: Another day older and deeper in debt.
China facing full-blown banking crisis, world's top financial watchdog warns - Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, TELEGRAPH

“China is using the patent system as a club to stop any production outside of China. It seems to be working.”
China's Patent Strategy Isn't About Innovation; It's An Economic Weapon Against Foreign Companies – TECHDIRT

“While all economic views of productivity growth may have a grain of truth, I argue that all of these theories of productivity growth are fundamentally wrong. The economic evidence shows clear relationships between the trend of decline in productivity growth and the trend in declines of the U.S. patent system.”
Causes and Consequences of Productivity Growth Declines – Neal Solomon, IP WATCHDOG

More regulation => more barriers to entry => more monopolies. How to reduce monopolies? Reduce regulation:



Land of the Free update.
Police Accidentally Record Themselves Conspiring to Fabricate Criminal Charges Against Protester – ACLU

“While Edward Snowden has done heroic things to expose our government's unjust mass surveillance programs, he's unfortunately promoting the same theory of privacy that gave rise to those programs.” ~ Amy Peikoff



“This woman has quite obviously penetrated the [popular] consciousness in a way that few, if any, modern philosophers have. So, why do we not study her?”
Objectivist philosophy should be taught in the classroom – Ethan Davis, THE DM ONLINE

“Through the lens of David Kelley’s polemical work, A Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand, a few critical issues in Objectivism get revealed.”
On David Kelley’s Idea of The Legacy of Ayn Rand – Anoop Verma, VERMA POST

“In my judgment, Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead is the greatest novel on the themes of independence and integrity.”
The Fountainhead — contrasting Roark and Keating – STEPHEN HICKS

“Here’s something you probably didn’t do this morning: Look in the mirror and ask, am I a jerk?
How to Tell If You're a Jerk – Eric Schwitzgebel, SPLINTERED MIND

Is religion essential to ethics?
On Natural Morality and Religious Amoralism – STEPHEN HICKS

New book; new website.
Creating Christ – JAMES VALLIANT

“The well-intentioned, yet harmful way members of the left prioritise tolerance over reform within Islam.”
Liberals Are Wrong to Tolerate Religion All the Time – Maajid Nawaz, BIG THINK

“Sorry, but no. Islam needs reforming but definitely not a Reformation.”
No Reformation for Islam, Please – Stephen Hicks, EVERY JOE

Rather cool.
Google’s Clever Plan to Stop Aspiring ISIS Recruits – WIRED

The best ever opening paragraph on Wikipedia ?



“A new book eviscerates the West's neo-racialism.”
The principled, left-wing case against multiculturalism – Teri Murray, SPIKED

“If you believe everything you read, you are probably quite worried about the prospect of a superintelligent, killer AI.” Experts, not so much.
Are the Experts Worried About the Existential Risk of Artificial Intelligence? – MIT TECHNOLOGY REVIEW

“A common argument you see with regard to computers and employment is that computer automation leads to major job losses. A modern version of the Luddite story.”
How computer automation affects occupations: technology, jobs, and skills – ANTI DISMAL

“Poor research design and data analysis encourage false-positive findings… The persistence of poor methods results partly from incentives that favour them, leading to the natural selection of bad science.”
The natural selection of bad science - Paul Smaldino, Richard McElreath, ROYAL SOCIETY OPEN SCIENCE

“Do you know what’s happening in this picture [below]? Literally one of the most important events in human history… But here’s the most amazing part of the story: Hardly anyone paid attention at the time.”
When You Change the World and No One Notices – COLLABORATIVE FUND


“A heartwarming family recipe that isn't fucking gross! I’m gonna eat the fuck out of this.”


Every man’s dream: ‘Barnfind Jaguar E-type sees the light of day for the first time in 40 years


To the Big 3 Tenors add the name of saxophonist Ben Webster.
The Big 3 Tenors – uDISCOVER MUSIC


Especially for those for whom the words “new King Crimson” makes your heart beat faster! (“A taster from the new King Crimson album – Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind.")


And new, very solemn, Cave.


"Incomparable and bewildering,” said Debussy.”Parsifal is one of the most beautiful monuments of sound ever raised to the serene glory of music." Sibelius reckoned "Nothing in the world has made so overwhelming an impression on me.” Debussy and Sibelius were smart men.


[Hat tips, quips and thank yous to, from and back and forth including Jim Rose, Amanda, Michael F Ozaki MD, Monica Beth, Andrew Sheldon, Michael Earley, Adam Mossoff, Judith Curry ‏]


1 comment:

  1. A libertarian mayor of Johannesburg! Good grief, it will be interesting to see how he goes.


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