Friday, 28 October 2016

Friday Morning Ramble, 28.10.16



There’s still a lot of serious work to be done critiquing capitalism and solving its problems, but right now the radical left aren’t doing any of it.” Several interesting Dim Post posts (and comments) summarised …
Smashing capitalism and the failure of communism – YOUR NZ

“The IPCA's take on the police's use of a fake breath-testing checkpoint to gather data on euthanasia supporters is likely to be severe - and so it should be.”
'Phoney' checkpoint a direct challenge to NZ's freedomsJarrod Gilbert, RADIO NZ

“So negotiations continue, with the threat of eminent domain in the background. But why?”
Christchurch: SimCity, South Frame – Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

Something for all Aucklanders next Wednesday: “Mr. Darby will discuss many of the myths about immigration and provide a summary of what economists have shown in terms of the effects of immigration.”
Economics of Immigration, with Julian Darby – Liberty on the Rocks, FACEBOOK

Libraries gave us power …
Leave our libraries alone – Greg Presland, FUTURE WEST
Library cost-cuts cultural vandalism – Deborah Hill Cone, HERALD

“It is often said that economists don't agree on anything, well that's not quite true. One thing they do agree on is that building sports stadiums is just not worth it.”
There is a lot of stupid in JAFAland – Paul Walker, ANTI DISMAL

“There's apparently been Cabinet-level discussion of whether the government should throw money at the boxing match to make sure it happens in New Zealand rather than someplace else. I covered a few points…”
The bout round the bach? The fight in the Ferns? –Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

More eyewash. (“First in the world” for the speed of construction permits – and other assorted lies.)
World Bank names NZ best country for business – STUFF
A wooden spoon for the Fraser Institute’s “economic freedom” medal – NOT PC, Sept. 2016
NZ: Prosperous? – Peter Cresswell, NOT PC, June, 2016




Is this U.S. election “a 1933 moment”?
Election 2016: This Is Not a Drill – Paul Blair, MEDIUM

Five responses when confronted with the why-can’t-we-all-be-more-like-Sweden argument.
The Swedish Case for Limited Government – Daniel Mitchell, FEE
In One Chart, Everything You Need to Know about Big Government, the Welfare State, and Sweden’s Economy – DANIEL MITCHELL BLOG

"Socialism requires force--not only force against those whose earnings are to be seized, but also force against its purported beneficiaries: the poor. For if we left the poor free, they would do the ‘wrong’ things--such as coming to America, where they will only be ‘ripped off’ (i.e., employed) by profit-seeking capitalists. It seems that only the wise rulers know what is actually in the interest of the poor."
Socialism Loathes the Poor, Capitalism Loves Them – Harry Binswanger, REAL CLEAR MARKETS
Immigration Restrictionism Is for Losers – Shikha Dalmia, REASON

“Very large increases in the Muslim population in the United States due to immigration have not stalled assimilation of those immigrants. Rather, they are demonstrating Americans’ incredible capacity to encourage immigrants to adopt their ways.”
US Muslim Population Becoming More Socially Liberal – David Bier, FEE

“Both sides in the child-refugee debate are astonishingly self-obsessed.”
You’re so vain you think the refugee crisis is about you – Brendan O’Neill, SPIKED

“Left-wing people used to like working-class people…. Nowadays left-wing people are middle-class people. Working class people are a big disappointment to left-wing people.”
A handy guide to Left-wing people for the under 10s – SPECTATOR

Best political ad yet? (The competition is slight.)


“Most discussion of global warming would not stand up to 15 seconds of scrutiny by Socrates.”
Wrapping our minds around climate change – Alex Epstein, NATIONAL POST

"As a result of such [anti-GMO] campaigns, speaking out in favor of genetic engineering automatically gets one labeled a Monsanto defender, even though any party can wield the technology. It’s an effective tactic for anti-GMO organizations to paint their opposition as corporate apologists rather than people who want the best technology used to meet challenges."
Don't Like Monsanto? Then You Should Be Pro-GMO, Not Anti. Here's Why. – Kavin Senapathy, FORBES

"Greenpeace, advancing beneath the banner of the “natural,” is prepared to watch you die."
Scientists Plead with Greenpeace for Blind, Dying Children – SAVVY STREET


“Contrary to the ecologists, nature does not stand still and
does not maintain the kind of equilibrium that guarantees
the survival of any particular species - least of all the
survival of her greatest and most fragile product: man.”

~ Ayn Rand, from her essay ‘“The Anti-Industrial Revolution,”


“With all of our emphasis on academics and what it takes to get into college, essential life skills, such as how to do laundry, balance a checking account or cook a meal, have been overlooked. ‘Life skills are essential for your child to learn how to be independent and become self-sufficient.’”
The key life skills parents should be teaching their children – WASHINGTON POST

“Parents must put down the electronic tablets and start reading to their children if they want them to be successful in the world of tech and science.”
Reading to children 'more effective than technology at boosting science skills' -  IRISH INDEPENDENT

“The essentials of Ayn Rand’s philosophy and their practical significance for each individual’s life.”
The Philosophy of Objectivism – Leonard Peikoff, CAMPUS.AYN RAND

“’In Aristotle’s eyes, ethics does not begin with thinking of others; it begins with oneself.’”
Rational Man by Henry B. Veatch – Anop Verma, VERMA POST

“Half of academic papers are never read by anyone other than their authors, peer reviewers, and journal editors.”
Academics Write Rubbish Nobody Reads – FEE

“In school, students are rewarded for how well they have played the game and jumped through the hoops, not based on how deeply they have assimilated knowledge, and how much this knowledge has improved their character.”
Vast Libraries in Our Pockets, and Nobody's Reading - FEE

“If we examined the scriptures of the world's major religions, how much would nowadays be considered unethical? Many believers would certainly be surprised…”
Here Are Some Contradictions And Verses That Are Now Considered Unethical/Illegal (And Are Ignored) – WAKELET

“Author and columnist Thomas Sowell's work has been called ‘myth-busting’ and a ‘bath of cold logic.’ .. Though he is a prolific writer, Thomas Sowell grants few interviews,,, What follows is a no-holds-barred look at the key issues facing America in the 21st century and what we need to do to make this a better place to live and work for everyone."


“To understand the marketplace, it is not necessary to believe in the existence of a selfish, profit-maximising human.”
The Homo Economicus Straw Man – Ryan McMaken, MISES WIRE

“Why does Ayn Rand argue that the moral justification of capitalism does not lie in the claim that it is the best way to achieve the ‘common good’?”
Capitalism: Individual Rights vs. “The Common Good” – Eric M., OBJECTIVISM FOR INTELLECTUALS

“The benefits of freer international trade accrue to consumers in the form of increased choice and lower prices. More imports mean more bang for the buck, and that effectively functions like an increase in pay.”
Small Special Interests, Big Influence – Nita Ghei, U.S. NEWS

How protectionism works.
Hotel CEO openly celebrates higher prices after anti-Airbnb law passes – WASHINGTON POST

"The smuggler is a radical and judicious reformer. The smuggler is essential to the well being of the whole nation. All external commerce depends on him." ~ Nassau Senior (1790-1864)
Mercantilism Was Monarchy's Planned Economy – Richard Ebeling, FEE

“It’s true that the public has mixed feelings about financial innovation; it has seen both good and bad consequences of such. But there are good reasons for believing that unhindered financial innovation, whatever its risks, is ultimately a lot safer than heavy-handed government interference in the financial sector…
    “Consider U.S. experience. Contrary to conventional wisdom, unwise regulations have  been responsible for most if not all of the 19th-century woes of the U.S. financial sector, from wildcat banking and counterfeiting prior to the Civil War to recurring banking crises afterwards. I would regale, or more likely bore you, with the details if I had time. But instead I must settle for pointing out that Canada, with its then-identical gold dollar, avoided practically all of them. Yet Canadian banks were less, not more, heavily regulated than their U.S. counterparts. Nor did Canada establish a central bank until 1935. (Can anyone guess how many of its banks failed during the 1930s?)”
The Perils of Financial Over-Regulation – George Selgin, ALT-M

Recommend it to any patent attornies you may know.
An Introduction to Austrian Economics, Parts 1 to 9 – Richard Ebeling, FFF

Very true words …


Economics in one movie.


Art and economic history …


Mid-century illustration. A point if you can name the house. Two, for naming the architect. Three, the illustrator.


Truth through humour …



“Does this cover everything? Probably.”
30 reasons why we need art in our lives – ART BY LINDY

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright but built after his death…
How Frank Lloyd Wright’s Marin Civic Center was finally built - SF CHRONICLE

Metal Machine made, not Music, but oddly listenable.


“It has been covered so many times that I would not be surprised if Cohen has made more money off that one song than all the rest of his repertoire. So imagine how it must have felt to have been famous a bit while young, almost completely ignored (outside of a cult following) for twenty years or so, and then have one of one's best songs become an institution.”


“Urlicht. Sehr feierlich, aber schlicht. [Ancient light. Very solemn, but simple.]”



And finally … cheeses, red beer matching, and seven footnotes.
It Gose on and on and on again: Hunt for the Red October comes to an end. – Neil Miller, MALTHOUSE BLOG

[Hat tips etc. The Salty Dog Inn, Vinay Kolhatkar, Paul Litterick, Keith Weiner, Michael Strong, Marvin Adams, Leonard Peikoff Study/Appreciation Group, The Mendenhall, History & Art, Libertarian Party UK, Louise Lamontagne, For The New Intellectuals, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (Official), Auckland Liberty on the Rocks, James Stevens Valliant, Julian Roô, Reason Matters, Maria Montessori Education Foundation, Wayne Niddery,Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, The Questionist, Econlib, Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, Chip Joyce, Stephen Hicks, Mark Hubbard, Wilhelm Scream, NIRP Umbrella, Ben Thomas, Alex Epstein, Cafe Hayek]

Thanks for reading,
And have a great weekend!



  1. Your pro-library links are interesting Peter. I've always been conflicted - ie, libraries are a good, but then, public money.

    The Dim-post pieces were interesting. I was commenting on the first, but Danyl started moderating me on the second, including my best comment that I didn't think inflammatory, so I won't be darkening his door again. On my blogs I did a lot of posts against wowserism, and find it significant the Left bloggers are almost wholly without a sense of humour.

  2. Mark, there's nothing about libraries that require them to be taxpayer funded. I used to belong to a video game library as a child (well, specifically, my parents did :) ). I imagine the same model would work with books, except it'd be an order of magnitude easier in the days of ubiquitous Internet than it was using photocopied paper catalogues.

  3. NZ is No. 1 in the world for speed of construction permits? A study that considers that even conceivable must be a complete and utter farce.

  4. There's a local second hand book store that gives you half what you paid for a book when you bring it back.
    J Cuttance


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