Archive for the ‘Must Reads For The Week’ category

Must Reads For The Week 2/17/18

February 19, 2018

OPEC Future In Doubt As US Production, Fig Count Surge, at zerohedge.com. America’s shale revolution has changed the world oil market. OPEC wants to cut production to “balance the market”. What “balancing the market” means to OPEC is increased prices. Unfortunately for OPEC American shale is balancing the market. When the price of oil rises, because of OPEC’s production cuts, it now becomes profitable for frackers to produce more oil which ultimately lowers the price.

Inconvenient Energy Fact Of The Day, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog. Solar and wind are going to provide a small percentage of of the worlds energy for the foreseeable future. So why are we wasting tax dollars to subsidize these non productive energy sources? It makes no sense outside of the political arena.

The Boston Globe Editorial Board Unloads On The ‘Pipeline Absolutism’ Of Environmentalists, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog.com. Once again environmentalists activities are increasing the cost of energy. Excerpt from the article: “Why is LNG coming 4,500 miles for Boston from the Russian Arctic when the US is the world’s No.1 natural gas producer? The simple answer to the question is a lack of natural gas pipelines in New England due to the “pipeline absolutism” of anti-fossil fuel environmentalists who have blocked all new pipeline expansions…

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Updates Mars Colonization Plans, by Jason Davis, at planetary.org. I’m going to throw a wrench in the spokes of Elon’s plan. How will this colony be supplied with food, water, oxygen, and other supplies to sustain life on Mars? Since there are no Walmarts on Mars, these life sustaining supplies will have to be continually transported from Earth to Mars. Is this logistical nightmare even possible? And what would the cost be (probably to tax payers) if it was possible?

Why Don’t Schools Use The Most Effective Teaching Methods? By Joy Pullmann, at thefederalist.com. The simple answer is because our educational system is essentially a monopoly. Excerpt from the article: “ …and monopolies create very powerful special interests whose sole purpose is to protect those interests. And they undermine the public’s interests using the public’s money. In short, to get U.S. public schools to actively care about better instruction, what we need is some massive trust-busting.”

Loan Shark Nation: Forcing Our Kids To Choose Between Student Loans and Everything Else, at zerohedge.com. The result of Government taking over the student loan business is the cost of college has increased dramatically. Forcing our kids into debt serfdom.

How To Kill 300,000 Americans With Opioids, by Trey Goff, at mises.org. This is a great article explaining the unintended consequences of government intervention.

FBI Admits “Protocols Were Not Followed” Before Florida Massacre, at zerohedge.com. This isn’t the first time the FBI missed the warning signs of mass shooters and terrorists. But here are few points. 1) It is easier to connect the dots after the fact than it is before the fact. 2) I didn’t think we are allowed to profile, are we? 3) I think we all agree it is a good idea to keep guns out of the hands of people with mental problems.

CIA Argues The Public Can’t See Classified Information It Has Already Leaked To Favored Reporters, at zerohedge.com. Our “public servants” are really self servants.

The Media Stopped Reporting The Russia Collusion Story Because They Helped Create It, by Lee Smith, at thefederalist.com. Excerpt from the article: “But the first vehicles of the Russiagate campaign were not bloggers or recent J-school grads lacking wisdom or guidance to wave off a piece of patent nonsense. They were journalists at the top of their profession—editors-in-chief, columnists, specialists in precisely the subjects that the dossier alleges to treat: foreign policy and national security. They didn’t get fooled. They volunteered their reputations to perpetrate a hoax on the American public.

 

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Must Reads For The Week 2/3/18

February 4, 2018

Patients Are “Dying In Corridors” Of Britian’s Socialised Health System, by George Pickering, at mises.org. Why do people continue to believe that economic central planning doesn’t produce the results the planners planned? The only way to “fix” a health care system is to turn over the decision-making to the individuals involved in the economic exchange (the consumer and the producer). All attempts by central planners to “fix” the problems brought about by the previous “fixes” are treating the symptom, not the problem. Central planning is the disease. Individual decision-making is the cure.

Will Unfinished Train Overpasses Become California’s Stonehenge?, by Victor Davis Hanson, at victorhanson.com. Another example of central planners plans not turning out as planned. In 2008 planners convinced voters that high-speed rail was an affordable way to cure their crowded freeway system. California may not have enough money to finish the project. Even if the project gets finished there will never be enough riders to cover the initial cost of building it, let alone the day-to-day cost of running the railroad.

Six Years After Bankruptcy, Stockton Is Preparing To Start Handing Out Free Money, at zerohedge.com. Another example of central planners arrogance. Excerpt from the article: “The pervasive poverty in his city has led Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs to announce….the city would soon begin an interesting social experiment. Starting later this year, a random sample of 300,000 Stockton residents will receive $500 every month with no strings attached. This program is set to become the US’s largest experiment with a policy that has become a favorite topic of Mark Zuckerberg and his Silicon Valley peers: Universal Basic Income.” One question: Where is the money coming from? We know Stockton doesn’t produce anything that can be exchanged for enough money to cover the cost of their budget and this social experiment. The money either has to be taxed away from other individuals, or it has to be borrowed (which means it has to be paid back by future tax payers). This is like taking a bucket of water from the deep end of the pool and dumping it into the shallow end, while spilling half the water on the way to the shallow end.

Republicans’ Latest Family Leave Scheme Shows Why We Can’t Be Free, by Robert Tracinski, at thefederalist.com. A majority of Republicans in office aren’t for free markets and smaller government. Family leave is another example of central planning brought to you by the “free market” party. Big government politicians have to be purged from the Republican party through primary election process.

Great Moments In Government Regulation: Meijer Charged By Wisconsin Price Police Of Hurting Consumers By Charging Too Little, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog. Excerpt from the article: “When Meijer opened its first two stores in the Badger State, the greeting Meijer received was far from “Wisconsin nice.” Rivals filed complaints accusing it of pricing 37 items…..below cost…..Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection sent the superstore a letter explaining the requirements of the state’s Unfair Sales Act.” How can lower prices hurt consumers? The simple fact is lower prices hurt Meijer’s competitors. The quote about “rivals” filing complaints with Wisconson’s Department of Agriculture tells us that consumers are not being thought about. This is an example of government central planners setting price floors. Allow prices to be set by individuals freely exchanging in the market. Central planners can’t possibly know where Meijer’s prices should be set. If Meijer is wrong it will bear the cost of its mistake.

Chart Of The Day (Century?): Price Changes 1997 to 2017, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog.  Intervention by Government central planners increases the prices of goods and services. The freer individuals are to make decisions in a market the lower the prices. Of course we know money printing and artificially low interest rates, courtesy of the Federal Reserve, are the ultimate intervention in the market.

 

EXCERPT FROM THE ARTICLE: ” 1) Blue lines = prices subject to free market forces. Red Lines = prices subject to regulatory capture by government. Food and drink is debatable either way. Conclusion: remind me why socialism is so great again. 2) Almost all of the items above the line are protected industries while those below the line are subject to generally robust competition…3) This is one of the most important charts about the economy this century. 4) Imagine that, prices are cheaper with more competition and less government. 5) What areas are government most intrusive? Education and healthcare or manufacturing? ”

Connecticut’s Towns Are Crying For Help: But Will Hartford Listen? at zerohedge.com. Because central planners have no incentive but to cave to the demands of public sector unions over the years, the government of the State of Connecticut has a serious debt problem. If Connecticut was forced to respond to signals sent by market prices over the years, they wouldn’t be in this mess. These losses wouldn’t have been able to pile up year after year. Market prices send signals to stop unproductive activities. But of course Government can negate market forces for only so long. Paying labor more than it produces is an unproductive activity. Of course Governments think that they can ignore market forces. But ultimately you can’t hide the cost of consuming more than you produce for an extended period of time. Ultimately someone will have to give something up.

Plastic Straws Bill In California Makes Them Illegal Unless Requested, by Josh Hafner, at usatoday.com. This can’t possibly be true can it? Of course we can never underestimate the length which central planners will go to control the decisions of the masses.

Ratings For Grammy Awards Drop 24%, nytimes.com. Politics ruins everything. People want to watch the Grammy awards to be entertained. They don’t want to be preached to by a bunch of people who don’t understand that the very system they denigrate allows them to be as prosperous as they are.

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Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

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Must Reads For The Week 1/27/18

January 28, 2018

Trump Slaps Tariffs On Imported Solar Panels And Washing Machines, at npr.org. Trump is wrong on this issue. On the one hand he has taken the foot off the brakes on the economy by rolling back government regulations and taxes. On the other hand he is increasing taxes (tariffs) on certain imports which is like putting his other foot on the emergency brake.

US Rig Count Soars Most In 10 Months As Production Hits Record High, at zerohedge.com. American fracking has forced oil to trade in a narrower range. Huge upside swings in prices have been negated because oil can be supplied by fracking in the US at a lower price then it could before the fracking boom.  Which leads to this story. “Leave Us Alone” – Saudi Oil Minister Slams Shale Hype, at zerohedge.com. OPEC has lost its ability to increase the price of oil by decreasing their supply of oil. OPEC thought they had it made when the price of oil went to $125+ in early 2012. But the high price allowed fracking to be profitable at this price. Now look what has happened. OPEC cut its own throat.

“It Just Gets Worse And Worse”: A Record 32% Of Used Car Trade-Ins Are Underwater, at zerohedge.com. Is trading in a car which has negative equity, and financing the balance owed in the new loan on the new car a good idea? The person would be paying interest on the new car as well as the old car which of course they no longer own.

STUDY: Sandwiches Cause ‘Global Warming’ , by Rob Bushway, at climatedepot.com. These researchers are studying the carbon footprint of the production of the contents and packaging of sandwiches. My question is; won’t the contents still be produced even if sandwiches were outlawed? People will still eat. It just won’t be in the form of a sandwich. But let’s get to the main point. CO2 is not a pollutant. It is plant food. CO2 is used by plants in the process of photosynthesis. Oxygen is the waste product of photosynthesis. Which, by the way, humans need to live.

Embarrassment For NBC News After Lester Holt Apparently Falls For North Korean Propaganda, at foxnews.com. Are they really embarrassed? Remember NYT reporter Walter Duranty reporting how great communism was while millions were killed by Stalin. Communism fits the media’s vision of the world, which is central planning by our bettors.

Facebook Says ‘Insignificant’ Overlap Between Russia Ads, Trump, at bloomberg.com. Facebook says it can’t substantiate or disprove collusion. Since the charge is Trump colluded with the Russians. The burden of proof is on the side that brings the charges. Collusion has to be proven. When you use the term ‘disprove’ you are trying to leave doubt in people’s minds. Until there is proof, collusion didn’t happen.

Starbucks Will Spend $250 Million On Worker Benefits, at zerohedge.com. Here is what Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said, “Investing in our partners has long been our strategy…Due to the recent changes in U.S. tax law, we are able to accelerate some significant partner investments.” Taxes and regulations have a negative affect on business activity.

THE RESULTS OF ILLINOIS SOCIALIST POLICIES

The Incredible Shrinking Illinois: High Taxes And Low Economic Freedom Have led To State Crisis, at zerohedge.com. People ultimately vote with their feet when they think government regulations and taxes become too oppressive. The population of Illinois is shrinking to the point where it could possibly lose a house seat.

Illinois Unveils Another Shocker: Sell A Record $107 Billion In Debt To Fund Insolvent Pensions, at zerohedge.com. You don’t solve a debt problem by taking on more debt. With people leaving Illinois (as we see in the above article) how will the new debt be pay back with fewer tax payers? Especially if you can’t pay off present debt with the existing tax base?

COLLEGES ARE PROGRESSIVE INDOCTRINATION CAMPS

Students Hold ‘Bleed-In’ To Demand Free Menstrual Products, By Daniel Weldon, at camppusreform.org. How ignorant are you about how the world works if you think that something is free. Nothing is free. Everything has to be produced before it can be consumed. Do these people think that menstrual products magically grow on the feminine hygiene tree.

Judge Forces University of Iowa To Recognize Christian Student Group On Same Terms As Muslim Group, by Greg Piper, at collegefis.com. U of Iowa derecognized a Christian student group because of its requirement that its leaders must abide by sexual moral conduct rules. A Muslim student group has similar requirements for its members but the U of Iowa didn’t seem to care about these requirements. A judge has ordered the U of Iowa to treat all organizations the same. She said, “…groups are permitted to organize around their missions and beliefs.” I guess Christian ideas don’t fit well with the ideology of the progressive left. Can we all agree colleges and universities are indoctrination camps for the progressive left.

College Pays $55k To Settle Lawsuit With Arrested Students, by Adam Sabes, at campusreform.org. Campus police at Kellogg Community College arrested two students for passing out the Constitution of the United States. The two students sued and won. They will receive $55k in damages.

SOCIALISM IN VENEZUELA. HOW IS IT WORKING OUT?

In Venezuela, “We Loot Or We Die OF Hunger”, at zerohedge.com. Government economic planning destroys a countries standard of living. When you have to loot to eat you have hit bottom. Government planning, especially Government money printing, destroys wealth, it doesn’t create wealth. This won’t end well.

“It’s Not Politics, It’s Survival” – Bitcoin, Local Currencies Are Taking Over In Venezuela, at zerohedge.com. Excerpt from the article: “..in Venezuela, the collapse of the Bolivar has forced locals to turn to alternatives like bitcoin and local community-issued currencies with fixed exchange rates.” This shows that money is a market phenomenon. When a government debases its currency, the market (individuals making decisions), will reveal what will be used as the new medium of exchange (money). The idea of a medium of exchange (money) didn’t come from government, it evolved through the market process.

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Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

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Must Reads For The Week 1/20/18

January 22, 2018

GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN = POLITICAL THEATER

Do Taxpayers Want To Pay For Those Shut Down Government Services?, by Ryan McMaken, at mises.org. A Government “shut down” is important to bureaucrats, politicians and of course the media. Why? Because Government is the end all and be all for these people. No one else cares. Because of their bias toward big government, the news media creates stories to make a government shut down look worse than it is. This is all political theater. Excerpt from the article: “….. If the taxpayers were uniformly appalled and outraged at the thought of a government shutdown, it seems unlikely that the federal government would need to go out of its way to make a big show of what government services were being shut down. This is a time-honored strategy, of course, and even has a name: the Washington Monument Syndrome. For decades, the bureaucrats in the National Park Service have gleefully closed the parks whenever government shutdowns have occurred, …..The Park Service knows that the closure of parks plays a helpful role in angering American tourists and taxpayers who find themselves traveling a thousand miles to only end up at a closed National Park…..The National Parks are an extreme case, though, and the federal government knows it. The question remains as to whether or not taxpayers care much about all the other government “services” that may be closed or scaled back. Just how badly do the taxpayers want to make sure that their tax dollars keep going to fund NSA spying on Americans, or the study of wildlife mating habits, or the planting of trees in the front yards of millionaires?”

What The ‘Dreamer’ Fight Is Really About, by Victor Davis Hanson, at victorhanson.com. In this government shut down game of chicken between the R’s and D’s, the Democrats are betting all their chips on the DACA program. This article does a great job of explaining both sides of this issue.

THE GOVERNMENT DOESN’T REALLY SHUTDOWN.

What Closes During A Government Shutdown? Military, Social Security, National Parks, TSA? at cbsnews.com. Essential operations of government and essential personal don’t get shut down. The rest is non-essential. These two articles list what is and is not shutting down. What Won’t Get Done During A Government Shutdown, at nbcwashington.com.

OTHER STUFF

Glenn Greenwald Reminds Jeff Flake Who’s More Like Stalin Than Trump, at thelibertarianrepublic.com. Here is an excerpt from the article: “Comparing the president to a former dictator after not shooting down a bill (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act aka FISA)that grants him broad surveillance powers doesn’t make a great deal of sense. If the president is a dictator, there is no reason to trust him with oversight into civilians’ private lives.

Inconvenient Energy Fact” It Takes 79 solar Workers To Produce same Amount Of electric Power As One Coal Worker, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog. The economically ignorant would think subsidizing the solar industry creates more jobs in the solar industry. And they would be correct on the surface. But what a free market does in a world of scarcity is produce the most output with the least imput. And jobs are a part of this imput. Non productive jobs don’t last in the free market. Non productive jobs only last in government or in a market that is hampered by tax payer subsidies, taxes and regulations. Since solar is propped up by tax payer subsidies, non productive jobs are allowed to continue. Subsidizing the solar industry makes the recipients of the tax dollars wealthier but it makes the over all economy less wealthy.

The American Sedan Is Dying, Long Live The SUV, at bloomberg.com. Evil consumers have made their decision. And auto makers will bow to the consumer. Lower gas prices, thanks to the American fracking industry, has made the trade-off for fuel economy not as important as it was when gas was four dollars a gallon. This is an example of how markets work to coordinate the decisions of millions of consumers and producers.

Are Crude Oil Prices Becoming Immune To Geopolitics? by Omar Lopez-Arce, at mises.org. Production cuts by OPEC countries have had no effect on world oil prices. Other factors are setting the price of oil. 1)World demand for oil is increasing at a slower rate. 2)The American fracking boom has increased supply and OPEC can’t control American fracking. 3)The US has pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement. This means American gas and oil companies only have to worry about EPA regulations. And the EPA under Scott Pruitt has cut many of these Obama era regulations.

CALIFORNIA PROGRESSIVE POLICIES CREATED THE HOMELESS PROBLEM AND WILL MAKE IT WORSE.

California’s Homeless Problem Revealed In One “Incredible” Video, at zerohedge.com. A cyclist takes a video as he rides a bike trail along the Santa Ana river in Anaheim California. It shows a tent city for homeless people that stretches for miles. He says it reeks of trash and feces, and is also unsafe. This is a jaw dropping video. Why doesn’t fake news organizations report on this? Is it because the biased media doesn’t want to see that decades of illegal immigration is finally raising its ugly head?

San Francisco’s Human Poop Map Shows City Is In Deep Doo-Doo, by Kira Davis, at redstate.com. Is San Francisco turning into a toilet? Once again the homeless are defecating and urinating everywhere. This is not a healthy situation. Will declaring yourself a “Sanctuary State” make this problem better or worse?

On a side note: The flush toilet has to be one of the greatest inventions of all time.

Oakland Supermarket Clerk Fired For Trying To Stop Shoplifter, at theburingplatform.com. Crime in this area is going up. It is the stores policy for workers to not physically engage customers.  Excerpt from the article” “The store clerk said….. he was just tired of seeing the shoplifting happening over and over again. Other employees said they’ve seen an increase in shoplifting, eve since customers have been asked to bring in their own bags. They fill up their bags and leave without paying at the register.” This is an example of laws having unintended consequences. California banned free plastic grocery bags in 2016. Stores must charge ten cents for a paper or plastic bag. So stores started to allow people to bring in their own bags. More shoplifting was the result. There are no solutions in life, only trade offs.

“New California” Conservative Movement Declares Independence As First Step Towards 51st State, at zerohedge.com. Here is another example of the unintended consequence of decades of California’s progressive policies. A group called New California, wants to split California into two states. One state would be the coastal counties from Northern San Francisco to Los Angeles. The 51st state would we the rest of the rural counties. I think this is a great idea.

 

Must Reads For The Week 1/13/18

January 14, 2018

House Passes Legislation Renewing Controversial NSA Surveillance Program, at zerohedge.com. Why do we allow the government to use warrantless eavesdropping on US citizens? The US Congress has essentially repealed our fourth amendment rights against illegal searches and seizures.

How The Government Hides Secret Surveillance Programs, by Aaron Sprecher, at wired.com. Local governments are breaking the law when they use Stingray surveillance devices. They are violating the fourth and fifth amendments of the Constitution.

No, We Don’t Need A Federal “Solution” To Infrastructure Problems, by Ryan McMaken, at mises.org. Cities and states not only have enough wealth to build infrastructure, they have the knowledge of what should be built. The Federal government has no business redistributing tax dollars from one state to fund another state’s infrastructure projects. Federal infrastructure spending leads to waste. Remember the bridge to nowhere in Alaska. What about Obama saying, ‘I guess all those shovel ready jobs weren’t so shovel ready”.

Army Finds $830 Million In “Missing” Helicopters As First Ever Audit Begins, at zerohedge.com. The fact that the audit of the Department of Defense is taking place is a good thing. A huge amount of waste will be found. This should not surprise anyone. Because where ever there is a pile of tax payer money to be given out there will be no shortage of corruption that will take place in the procurement of these funds. Making government more efficient is a good start. But if you are truly interested in cutting the size of government, you have to cut the amount of tax payer dollars that the government takes from the economy. Very few politicians are interested in cutting the size and scope of government. We the people have to get this done. By the way; How much waste do yo think there is in all the other government agencies?

Dem-Ordered Study To Expose Illegal Online Gun Sales Backfires, by Brooke Singman, at foxnews.com. The Government Accountability Office was tasked to try to purchase guns from online private dealers to show how easy it was to purchase guns illegally. After two and a half years, Their 72 attempts to purchase a gun illegally were unsuccessful. Have you heard about this from the main stream media aka fake news? Bias anyone!

Google’s Fact-Check Targets Conservative Sites, at zerohedge.com. No one is unbiased. Especially individuals who are in positions as keepers of the truth. These people are not supposed to be questioned about their bias. They are supposed to be trusted because in their minds they have the ability to leave their bias on the sidelines.

Project Veritas Exposes Twitter “Shadow Banning”, Blocking Opposing Views, at zerohedge.com. In the words of Ronald Reagan, “Well, there you go again”. Twitter shows its political bias by what it blocks.

On Duty Police Deaths Were Near A 50 Year Low In 2017, at mises.org. I am all about the truth. You have probably been lead to believe that police deaths are at all time highs. But that is not the truth. Perception isn’t reality.

Seattle Soda Tax Prompts Price Increases, Small Business Pain, at reason.com. Nanny state soda tax proponents claim the tax will not hurt business. They say it will change consumer’s preferences. This is an example of Progressives trying to force what they think is good on to other people who disagree. In this case progressives are using increased prices through taxation to curb the use of a product they don’t want people to have. They understand the law of supply and demand: Less is demanded at a higher price than a lower price. This will create a black market for soda, just like the NYC cigarette tax has created a black market for cigarettes.

Pink Pussyhats Of The Anti-Trump Women’s March Are Falling Out Of Favor. The Reason Is Quite Ironic, at the blaze.com. This could be a story from The Onion. Did you know there were other subdivisions inside the broad category labeled “women”? I get a smile on my face when I see the proponents of ‘identity politics’ have it blow up in their faces. We have allowed politicians to gain power over us by dividing us into different groups and pitting us against each other. The fact is there are only two groups. Group 1) Individuals inside government who wield state sanctioned power. Group 2) Individuals outside of government who have state sanctioned power used against them. The battle has always been the same. The State vs. The Individual. When individuals accept their placement into one of these identity groups, they become ignorant about the real battle taking place.

 

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Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

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Must Reads For The Week 1/6/18

January 7, 2018

U.S. Oil And Natural Gas Exports Soar, at theinstituteforenergyresearch.org. In 2011 oil was the 146th ranked export. By Sept 2017 oil became the 15th ranked export. Why has the US become the worlds largest producer of oil and natural gas? Because the ingenuity of American oil and gas producers was unleashed when the price of oil rose to over $125 a barrel. The profit incentive created more productive ways to extract oil.

Whose Ideas? at ericpetersautos.com. Excerpt from the article: It’s been said that good ideas don’t require force – while bad ones rarely get traction without it. True enough. But How about a qualifier? Whose ideas? Yours? Mine? There is a kind of tacitly agreed upon …. notion that we all agree on what constitutes a “good” idea. It’s the keystone of coercive collectivism, without which that ideology loses moral legitimacy. But in fact, we don’t agree about what a “good” idea is. Millions of individuals tend to have millions of individually variable ideas about that. So whose ideas will prevail?… If there is a free market – in ideas as well as economics – this will sort itself out naturally and non-violently, via the signals of supply and demand……Unfortunately there’s no way to know, because the market – millions of individual people’s freely expressed determinations about what’s “good” – hasn’t been allowed to operate. Instead, a handful of people’s idea that air bags (and the rest of it) are “good” has been imposed on everyone else, on the false presumption that everyone agrees it is good to have six air bags – and many other such things – installed in every new car. this is taken as a kind of collectively agreed upon noggin nodding. That illusion must be maintained, in order for the coercion and collectivism behind it to have any semblance of morel legitimacy…… The government only got into the car design  business in a serious way in the mid-70’s. Before then, we were largely free to buy what we wanted – not what coercive collectivism imposed on us. There was a market for bare-bones simplicity, high-end luxury and almost every conceivable thing in between. Not coincidentally, the golden age of car design is generally considered to be the pre-government design era….How did it happen that other people’s ideas of what’s “good” are binding on us? It’s the craziest – and the most dangerous thing imaginable. Coercive collectivism – the ideology responsible for literally hundreds of millions of murder victims – depends on maintaining the illusion that everyone is in agreement. That we are all one bit “team”. And of course, every team has leaders.”

Amish Anarchy & Uncle Sam, at zerohedge.com. This is an example of what the above article is about. Government busybodies in Wisconsin think Amish horse drawn buggies should have seat belts, child seats, air bags, back up cameras, safety glass, head lights, turn signals and tire pressure monitors. In this case we should be on the side of the Amish. Leave these people alone. We should then ask the question: “Why don’t you leave us non Amish people alone?”

America’s Top Five Inbound vs. Top Five Outbound States, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog. I know it is hard to believe. But lower taxes, less government and more economic freedom seem to attract people. While higher taxes, big government and less economic freedom repel people.

“Everything Is Overvalued”: Public Pensions Face Dangerous Dilemma In 2018, at zerohedge.com. Because the under funding of public pensions has taken place, public pension plans are seeking higher yields. This means they are taking a risk by putting money into over valued stocks and bonds. You are supposed to buy low and sell high. But these managers are going all in in an over valued market. Guess who bails these pensions out when the correction happens? Tax payers!

Socialized Medicine Update: Britain Cancels 50,000 Surgeries, at economicpolicyjournal.com. Healthcare is an economic good. Which means it is scarce and has to be rationed. Prices ration economic goods in a free market. In a socialist economy waiting in line is how economic goods are rationed. Excerpt from the article: “Every hospital in the country has been ordered to cancel all non-urgent surgery until at least February in a unprecedented step by NHS officials. The instructions on Tuesday night – which will see result in around 50,000 operations being axed – followed claims by senior doctors that patients were being treated in “third world” conditions, as hospital chief executives warned of the worst winter crisis for three decades. Hospital are reporting growing chaos, with a spike in winter flu leaving frail patients facing 12-hour waits, and some units running our of corridor space.”

The reality is being realized that healthcare can’t be made a non economic good by government decree. The laws of economics are always in play.

Venezuela Forced To Pay For Medicine With Diamonds And Gold, at zerohedge.com. Venezuela has destroyed its currency via the printing press. The Government of Venezuela is asking pharmaceutical trading partners to accept payment in gold, diamonds and other precious stones (real commodity money). The people of Venezuela have started their own system of barter for medicines. Printing money doesn’t make a country wealthier. Producing real goods and services represents the real wealth of a country. Consumption via the printing press destroys wealth.

Mistrial Declared In Cliven Bundy Standoff Case, at oregonlive.com. Here is another example of the break down of the rule of law. Government agencies used their power against US citizens in order to push the agencies agenda. The constitution was written to protect individuals from this government abuse of power.  Excerpt from the article: “A federal judge Wednesday declared a mistrial in the prosecution of Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy, his two sons and a co-defendant, citing the government’s “willful” failure to turn over multiple documents that could help the defense fight conspiracy and assault charges in the 2014 Bunkerville standoff….. The judge listed six types of evidence that she said prosecutors deliberately withheld before trial…”The failure to turn over such evidence violates due process,” the judge said.”

Trump Threatens To Cut Off US Aid To Palestinian Authority, at zerohedge.com. No Presidential administration ever cuts foreign aid. Trump is different. These countries are scared because they are figuring out he follows through with threats. Here is another example: A Furious Pakistan Summons US Ambassador, Calls Emergency Meeting After Trump Tweet, at zerohedge.com.

“Black Cities Are Still Bleeding To Death”: Baltimore Pastor Blames Police Absence For Surge In Killings, at zerohedge.com. Here is an excerpt from the article that I think is interesting: “…..on whether the community wanted police to back off after the death of Freddie Gray? No. That represented our progressives, our activists, our liberal journalists, our politicians, but it did not represent the overall community…..What I wanted to see was that people would be able to trust the relationship with out police department so that they would feel more comfortable……So we wanted the police there. We wanted them engaged in the community….I’m a preacher…..Not until we really have a conversation with our front line officers in the heart of our black communities that does not involve our people who are “leaders”. We need the front line police officers and we need the heart of the black community to step to the forefront of this discussion. And that’s when we’re going to see a decrease in crime.”

Isn’t it interesting that progressive politicians, progressive journalists and progressive activists have an agenda that has nothing to do with what the overall community wants. When will we understand that insiders in politics, government bureaucracy, journalism and education are not on the side of the individual. These progressive insiders are on the side of imposing their world view on the rest of us.

 

Must Reads For The Week 12/30/17

January 1, 2018

Christmas Tree Protectionism, by Scott McPherson, at mises.org. Excerpt from the article:”Chinese companies dominate thee domestic market, and their fake trees are “driving” Christmas tree-growers in Oregon out of business. The number of fake trees sold in the U.S. “more than doubled” from 2010 to 2016….while the number of Christmas trees cut and sold dropped by twenty-six percent.

Is this good or bad? Looking through the lens of economics it is neither good nor bad. It is just how the free market works. Looking at it from the perspective of the fake or real tree suppliers it is a different story. Each wants the biggest share of the market as it can get. Even if it means going outside of the market and getting Government to torpedo your competition. Unfortunately for suppliers, the subjective value of consumers is what ultimately decides if their business will survive. For the economy as a whole getting rid of non profitable activities stops scarce resources from being wasted, and allows these scarce resources to be channeled toward more productive uses according to consumer’s subjective valuations.

Dudley Dough, Boston ‘Fair Wage’ Pizza Shop, to Close After Two Years, by Jessica Chasmar, at washingtontimes.com. You can’t pay labor more than what it produces for very long. The forces of economics always win. This is good for the economy as a whole. Resources will no longer be wasted on an activity that isn’t profitable.

US Slashes United Nations’ Budget $285 Million Following “Stunning” Jerusalem Rebuke,  at zerohedge.com. The insiders haven’t figured out that Trump isn’t an insider. He isn’t like our four US Presidents. He is not playing the same game. It is as if insiders and the UN are playing baseball and Trump is playing hockey.

“$1MM Per Minute In Salaries, $22 BN Per Year In Vacation Pay” and Other Fun Facts About The Federal Workforce, at zerohedge.com. High pay and benefits for non productive work is what Government is all about. These salaries, benefits and pensions are paid for by your tax dollars. Which means there is no incentive to keep these costs down.

The FCC Needs To Abolish A Lot More Than Net Neutrality, by Sam Estep, at mises.org. Excerpt from the article: “….”so-called net neutrality” isn’t simply a regulation, it is a total reclassification of the Internet from an “information service” to a “telecommunication service.” This may seem like simple semantics, but the latter classification has been around far longer, and has, consequently, accumulated a bevy of regulations and restrictions confining it……..Declassification of common carriers and public utilities, repeal of charters, as well as other government constructed barriers, would allow more regional providers to compete with national ones. Such a deregulation would force companies that have exceeded their ability to function effectively due to their size, but are still being protected fro competition by regulations to fail.”

Why Republicans Need to Self-Deport From Washington DC, by Brad Todd, at thefederalist.com. The ideology of big government central planning is pervasive inside Washington D.C. In D.C. both parties have a incestuous intellectual relationship with other. Government intervention is the answer to every problem. The idea of shrinking government and allowing individuals make decisions is foreign to the insiders. Outside of D.C., Republican party voters want government to get out of their lives. The battle for individual freedom is taking place inside the Republican party, because the Democrat party has become the home of big government socialism. Small government outsiders are trying to take over the Republican party and the D.C. party insiders are trying to stop this from happening.

Weapons Went From The CIA To ISIS In Less Than Two Months, at zerohedge.com. Is what the media called a ‘conspiracy theory’ in 2013 now being reported as fact?

Time To Get Them Off Our Gravy Train, by Greg Walcher, at cfact.org. Environmental organizations are using ‘sue and settle’ tactics against the EPA to get their hands on millions of our tax dollars. This is what happens when government grows to the size it is today. It is easier to hide waste, fraud and corruption inside the bureaucratic maze. EPA director Scott Pruitt is trying to stop this gravy train.

Global Warming: Fake News From The Start, by Tim Ball and Tom Harris, at cfact.org. Is man made global warming climate change ‘crisis’ a scam to get money and power? These two scientists say yes.

CARTOONS from theburningplatform.

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne