Yes, sorry to spoil your routine but this week it’s a Thursday Morning Ramble.
It’s a Thursday Morning Ramble because I had a lot of things I still wanted to present, and with a long weekend starting tomorrow for some of us, too little time to present them otherwise. So let’s go…
“The second three years of the Supercity could be called the ‘profligate’ years. Within a few days of the 2013 election Len Brown became a lame duck second term mayor after his philandering became public. With no possibility of a third term Brown decided he must leave a ‘legacy’ and so went on a spending binge. This forced up rates to an unsustainable level, created a debt mountain, and bloated the bureaucracy. As a result, Goff’s promises to spend even more on new projects are simply untenable. When coupled with a majority of his Councillors pledging fiscal responsibility for the next three years, it leaves Goff with little room to manoeuvre [If he and they are to keep their promises – Ed.]”
Auckland’s profligate years leave Goff with little room to manoeuvre – JO HOLMES BLOG
Question from a posuer.
Question of etiquette – DIM POST
“An important piece of work. Inequality is important. Measured inequality in NZ has been much smaller than people think. It would not have increased if it had not been for the self inflicted wound of our house prices.
That of course is now acknowledged even by the Greens and Labour to be the consequence of the RMA and council power and incentives.
“They removed property owners’ power to intensify spontaneously as all great cities and vibrant towns once could.” ~ Stephen Franks
The Inequality Paradox: Why inequality matters even though it has barely changed – NZ INITIATIVE
“Why is it that many hard-working factory workers, plumbers and waitresses never earn as much as some CEOs, best-selling novelists or A-list actors? Isn’t that unfair?”
J.K Rowling,billionaire author of Harry Potter, shows why inequality doesn’t matter if we’re all paid according to the value we create – Don Watkins & Yaron BRook, CITY A.M.
Translation: “Poverty line definitions of poverty are bad and you should feel bad.”
A 'national shame': Acoss report reveals worsening poverty in Australia – GUARDIAN
Translation: “This time it’s different.”
ANZ economists see signs of 'late cycle behaviour' emerging in the economy but believe the boom-and-bust pattern of previous cycles can be avoided this time – INTEREST.CO.NZ
“A weekend police survey in Hamilton discovered only two beggars were actually homeless and the others were bringing props and even dogs to help them appear poor.
“The survey found only two of the 15 beggars were homeless. The remaining 13 had brought duvet covers, cardboard signs and even sickly looking pets to give the impression they were living on the streets.”
Police find only two beggars on Hamilton streets are homeless – NZ HERALD
“Government doesn’t ‘give’ us tax refunds; it simply refrains from taking more of what we created.”
There is No Such Thing as Trickle-Down Economics - Steven Horwitz, FEE
“From the state to private corporations, many groups benefit from marijuana prohibition. And, they will fight to keep marijuana illegal.”
The Special Interests Behind Marijuana Prohibition – Mark Thornton, MISES WIRE
“Many Americans, not just conservatives, will cast essentially negative ballots. The only real argument for Hillary Clinton is that she is not Donald Trump . The only real argument for Donald Trump is that he is not Hillary Clinton. Neither argument is convincing. If someone is not fit for office, it doesn't matter that someone else may be even worse.”
How should a conservative vote? – Daniel Hannan, WASHINGTON EXAMINER
“Dear Mr. Trump:
“It is hard—perhaps impossible—to calculate the damage that you have done to the United States and its people, and the people of the world. The situation that the United States faces today is one of great uncertainty at home and great peril abroad.”
An Open Letter to Trump – Richard Epstein, HOOVER INSTITUTION
“"Mrs Clinton has been exposed to have no core, to be someone who constantly changes her position to maximise political gain. Leaked speeches prove that she has two positions (public and private) on banks; two positions on the wealthy; two positions on borders; two positions on energy....
“Voters might not know any of this, because while both presidential candidates have plenty to answer for, the press has focused solely on taking out Mr Trump. And the press is doing a diligent job of it."
Media is burying new details on Hillary Clinton’s record – Kimberley Strassel, THE AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS REVIEW
“Hacked e-mails released by Wikileaks reveal the Clintons are exactly what their nemeses feared.”
Forget the Election: Why Hillary Clinton May Be the Most Hated President of All Time – VANITY FAIR
“"In a series of candid email exchanges with top Clinton Foundation officials during the hours after the massive 2010 Haiti earthquake, a senior aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly gave special attention to those identified by the abbreviations 'FOB' (friends of Bill Clinton) or 'WJC VIPs' (William Jefferson Clinton VIPs)."
How Hillary's State Dept. Gave Special Attention to 'Friends of Bill' After Haiti Quake – ABC NEWS
Former Haitian Senate President Calls Clintons 'Common Thieves Who Should be in Jail' – PJ MEDIA
Bizarrely,and on policy at least, the private face of Two-Faced Hillary may be better than the public.
”According to Wikileaks, at the same time Hillary Clinton was wooing the support of radical greens, at a behind closed doors meeting with pro-energy unions, she was telling those same radical greens to ‘get a life.’”
The Two Faces of “Green” Hillary Clinton –Eric Worrall, WATTS UP WITH THAT
Here Are Hillary Clinton's Three Speeches To Goldman Sachs For Which She Was Paid $675,000 – ZERO HEDGE
“The amazing thing about America? Most people have the right emotional reaction: ‘Throw the bums out.’ But they have the wrong idea. Their idea is that government will protect and take care of them. Actually, that is the proper role of government when it comes to purse snatchers, identity stealers, computer hackers, car thieves and rapists/murderers. It’s also the proper role of the national government when it comes to criminal spies, international secret-stealers, terrorists and invading armies. But it’s NOT the role of government to feed, clothe, hospitalise, educate and provide all the creature comforts of life for us. Government cannot do these things, and should not try.
“The fact that this no longer occurs to most Americans is why the two major candidates – whomever they are – disappoint us every single time. Americans sense that neither Trump nor Clinton have the answer. But they don’t have the willingness or ability to define the right answer. And most are unwilling to let go of their fantasy that government somehow can and should feed, clothe, educate, provide creature comforts and otherwise take care of them.”
Why Don't We Have Better Candidates? - Michael Hurd, LIVING RESOURCES CENTER
“Do you want to make the world a better place or do you want to impose socialism? You really can't have both.”
Socialism Kills More Babies than War – Chelsea Follett, FEE
“President Nicolás Maduro’s government has begun dismantling price controls… ‘I used to look for anything, whatever was going, even if it meant getting in line the day before,” she said. “I haven’t had to line up for two months now.”"
Venezuela Backs Away From Price Controls as Citizens Go Hungry - WALL STREET JOURNAL
“#JeSuisCharlie survivor Zineb El Rhazoui is as hard as steel!” ~ Maajid Nawaz
Zineb el Rhazoui, Charlie Hebdo survivor, discusses why the world needs to ‘Destroy Islamic Fascism’ – Zineb El Rhazoui, NY TIMES
“When you set up a system that inflicts deliberate harm as a deterrence, it's really hard to find another name for it than torture" ~ Amnesty International
'I was not prepared for what I saw': Australia intentionally torturing refugees, report claims – SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
“Sustained foreign aid, such as rice, undermines markets and drives many local producers out of business, creating more dependency on aid.”
The Curse of Charity in Haiti - Mary Anastasia O’Grady, WALL STREET JOURNAL
“If we eliminate paradoxes and contradictions like public or government “ownership,” then we will allow people to fix problems associated with those things. Let the market and economics reign supreme and let entrepreneurs solve the issues that present themselves.”
Privately Owned Roads Would End Congestion – FEE
“A seasoned anti-piracy advocate couldn’t have said it any better.”
Content Thief Turned Content Creator Rails Against Piracy – Kevin Madigan, CENTER FOR THE PROTECTION OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
If young followers of the Mises Institute actually read what Ludwig Von Mises said about anarchy, their heads would explode.
Mises on Anarchism: Five Quotations – STEPHEN HICKS
“So what I am about to say this evening about the state of climate science is not in any sense anti-science. It is anti the distortion and betrayal of science…
“Why do I think the risk from global warming is being exaggerated? For four principal reasons.
1. All environmental predictions of doom always are;
2. the models have been consistently wrong for more than 30 years;
3. the best evidence indicates that climate sensitivity is relatively low;
4. the climate science establishment has a vested interest in alarm.
“I will come to those four points in a moment. But first I want to talk about global greening, the gradual, but large, increase in green vegetation on the planet…the most momentous [yet largely unreported] discoveries of recent years and one that transforms the scientific background to climate policy”
Globl Warming versus Global Greening – Matt Ridley, GWPF
“Should Chris Wallace ask our presidential candidates about climate change? Absolutely, but only as part of a broader discussion of the role of fossil fuels in America’s energy future.
“’Climate change’ — more precisely, man-made warming — is a side effect of using fossil fuels for cheap, plentiful, reliable energy. To ask candidates to address climate change without addressing the unique benefits of fossil fuels is like asking the candidates to address vaccine side effects without addressing the unique benefits of vaccines.”
Warming is mild and manageable: Opposing view – Alex Epstein, USA TODAY
“Elinor C. Ostrom, the first female Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, believed that people are perfectly capable of taking control of decisions that affect their lives, without external authorities imposing rules. Her extensive fieldwork focused on how people interact with ecosystems, such as forests, fisheries and irrigation systems, while maintaining the long-term sustainability of these resources.”
Are ordinary people able to self-organise? – Nobel Perspectives, UBS
“All the highest concentrations are downwind of warm water… There is little or no significant excess CO2 above or downwind of major population centres such as Western Europe or the North Eastern USA.”
Evidence that Oceans not Man control CO2 emissions – Stephen Wilde, NEW CLIMATE MODEL
“’How race complicates the way we view Haiti and the environment.’ … He had discovered a rarity in today’s world: a good-news environmental story in one of the planet’s poorest countries [Haiti]. But then he had a troubling thought: 'People won’t like this.'”
One of the most repeated facts about Haiti is a lie – NEWS.VICE.COM
"[W]e have to reject the false alternative of 'climate
change believer' or 'climate change denier' and
become 'climate thinkers'—people who think
carefully about the magnitude of man-made warming and
compare it with the unique benefits of fossil fuels.
"Candidates who are climate thinkers will conclude
that man-made warming is mild and manageable,
not runaway and catastrophic. And thus they will
conclude that fossil fuels should be liberated, not restricted."
~ Alex Epstein, ‘Warming is mild and manageable: Opposing view;
“Years ago, experts in the hardware industry would have had more sympathy for Sherman. Now, no one does—not even Sherman himself. While discussions of intellectual property in China’s manufacturing centers once focused on how brands and investors could protect their designs from China’s rapacious copycats, things have changed. Startups and foreign manufacturers are embracing a new reality—someone in China is going to make a knockoff of your unique invention, almost immediately. All any company or entrepreneur can do is prepare for it.”
Your brilliant Kickstarter idea could be on sale in China before you’ve even finished funding it – QZ.COM
“Think about how little you know about the politics, race, gender, or even nationality of the person who makes the bread you buy. You don't know because you don't care. What you care about is getting the best deal on bread.”
The Free Market Wins against Discrimination – David R. Henderson, FEE
“Everybody relies on those four letters far more than they should.”
The Myers-Briggs Personality Test Is Pretty Much Meaningless – Rose Eveleth, SMART NEWS
A scientist examines the science.
Science-Based Alternative Cancer Treatments
“With congestion getting worse, proponents advise techniques, such as preventing bottlenecks, letting others cut in; the problem with tailgaters”
One Driver Can Prevent a Traffic Jam – WALL STREET JOURNAL
“In countless fields and by innumerable devices we
see the deliberate contrivance of scarcities, the
abolition of which would surely enable the dissolution
of what we to-day regard as physical poverty.”
~ William Hutt, from his book Economists and the Public, quoted by Don Boundreaux at Cafe Hayek
"We allowed economics to be lost when we decided it was too complicated and too technical for intelligent laypeople to understand."
How We Lost Economics – Jeff Desit, MISES WIRE
“Falling prices are so obviously beneficial that only academic economists don't get it.”
VIDEO: "Why Falling Prices Are Good for Business" – Joseph Salerno, MISES WIRE
“Keynesian economics is a perpetual-motion machine for statists.”
More Evidence against Big-Spending Keynesian Economics – Daniel Mitchell, INTERNATIONAL LIBERTY
“Central banks appear more powerful than at any time in their history – has something changed? Not really – because of their role in government debt management and fractional reserve banking, central banks have always possessed this power.”
A History of Fractional-Reserve Banking - or, Why Interest Rates are the Most Important Influence on Stock Market Valuations? Part 1 – Colin Lloyd, COBDEN CENTRE
“The Federal Reserve is, at last, acknowledging at top levels that its economists are completely baffled, its recovery is failing, that the Fed cannot raise interest and may even have to heat up its stimulants … or we may end up with a permanently scarred and stagnant economy.”
Federal Reserve Admits it Never Knew What it was Doing – THE GREAT RECESSION BLOG
“The positive economic case for free trade is straightforward. Here I distill it into ten – well, as you’ll see, really eleven – elemental points.”
The Elemental Case for Free Trade – CAFE HAYEK
“Yes. [The UK] should go for total free trade. Unilaterally if necessary. [Britain] will still be better off.”
The EU’s maddening, opaque, and illogical import tariffs must be scrapped – CITY A.M.
Who would've guessed that the Fed's assessment of human behaviour might be flawed … ?
"Strip away the titles of 'capitalism' and 'socialism', and the responses become drastically different. A 2015 Reason-Rupe poll found that college-aged respondents are far more supportive of a 'free-market system' (72%) than they are of a 'government-managed economy' (49%). In reality, millennials—regardless of party or ideology—have arrived at a surprising consensus: We support free markets, are very much unhappy with the current state of affairs, and are still looking for change."
Millennials vs. Mutant Capitalism – Christopher Koopman, WALL STREET JOURNAL
“I will argue that the anti-liberalism is much deeper in Kant’s philosophy than the liberalism. That means saying something about the ringlingly liberal-sounding principles that are indeed integral to Kant’s philosophy. That something is this: One must always interpret a comprehensive philosopher’s remarks on applied matters in the context of his philosophical system.”
Does Kant Have a Place in Classical Liberalism? – Stephen Hicks, CATO
““In Aristotle’s eyes, ethics does not begin with thinking of others; it begins with oneself. The reason is that every human being faces the task of learning how to live, how to be a human being, just as he has to learn how to walk or to talk. No one can be truly human, can live and act as a rational man, without first going through the difficult and often painful business of acquiring the intellectual and moral virtues, and then, having acquired them, actually exercising them in the concrete, but tricky, business of living.” ~ Henry B. Veatch in Rational Man: A Modern Interpretation of Aristotelian Ethics, quoted in …
The Perfectionist Turn, by Douglas Den Uyl and Douglas B. Rasmussen – AMAZON
“People inquire about socialisation, but what they should be asking about is civilisation. Lots of animals live in social groups, but civilisation is unique to humankind.”
Homeschoolers Invent The Most Daring Ways To Educate Kids – Jenni White, THE FEDERALIST
“Today's schools teach students to be comfortable bandying about abstractions they don't understand and opinions they can't validate… Inversions of hierarchy turn kids into passive parrots able to recite - and unable to think.
“To say that knowledge is hierarchical means that there is a necessary order to its acquisition. Before you can learn calculus, you must learn algebra; before you can learn algebra, you must know arithmetic. This fact, that knowledge—to be real, meaningful knowledge—must be gained in a specific order is generally understood in the subject of math, but is woefully neglected in many other areas. The most abstract principles of science are taught as bolts from the blue to be memorized, with no presentation of the observations and intermediate principles that led to their discovery and that render them meaningful. Controversial political events are discussed and analyzed when students do not have the knowledge of history that would make an informed, intelligent judgment possible. These rampant inversions of the hierarchy of knowledge are turning children into passive parrots able to recite abstract formulas—and unable to think. If we want our children to be truly educated, to have a vast store of crucial knowledge that they grasp deeply and independently, then education must be radically reconceived with respect for the hierarchy of knowledge.”
Shop – Lisa Van Damme, VAN DAMME ACADEMY
[UPDATE: Lecture temporarily withdrawn from shop for some updating and revision.]
If you’re looking for a fun-filled concert experience, then get ye to one of Operatunity’s touring Mario Lanza afternoons. Still half of the country left to entertain … !
The Great Mario Lanza – OPERATUNITY
Hey, great news!
Pop-Up Globe returns for summer – NZ HERALD
“I don’t explicitly say so, but a lot of this analysis turns on knowing how writers on deadline work. By the time of the motorcycle accident, Dylan was so overcommitted that almost everything he did was phoning it in. The word salad would have started as a Loki joke, just to see if he could get away with it…”
Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize cheapens true greatness even as it insults his actual achievements – Greg Swann,SELF ADORATION.COM
“In their own terms, film and architecture are mutually inspirational, and filmmakers often look towards architecture for what it offers.”
Why Film Villains Love Modern Architecture – Linda Bennett, ARCHITIZER
“And the problem? These designs are created by brain dead extroverted managers who want to inflict their demented views of cognition onto those who actually need to focus and think.”
Programmers really hate open floor plans – QZ.COM
This is great! “Mapping Gothic France: database of images, texts, charts & historical maps…”
Mapping Gothic France …
[Hat tips etc. Felix Mueller, Anoop Verma, Marsha Enright, Phil Oliver, Jim Matzger, Monica Beth, Louise Lamontagne, Stuart Hayashi, Bastiat Institute, Taliesin Fellows, Jerome Huyler, Jim Rose, Marius Comper, Michael Strong, Michael John Cyril Fasher, Karen Bridgman, Andie Moore, Bernie Greene, The Questionist, The Friedrich Hayek Society, The Objective Standard, Climate Realists, Tom Bowden, Jeff Deist, Damien Grant, Emma Espiner, Salvation Army NZFT, Daniel Hannan, Learn Liberty, ATHE1STP0WER/Kriz, The Rational Walk, Trisha Jha, Alexi Baker, Phil Quin]
Thanks for reading!
And have a great (long) weekend.