Posted tagged ‘George Gilder’

Why Do We Give Political Power To The Economically Ignorant?

July 14, 2015


We can all agree that a person has to have a high degree of expertise and ability to become a doctor. But does this expertise and ability in this particular field make this person knowledgeable in another field like, repairing his car? It has always amazed me that we give a degree of papal infallibility to politicians to make decisions outside of their area of  expertise. They have expertise in politics, which means they have expertise in verbal sleight of hand, which means they are great at fudging the truth without sounding like they’re fudging the truth. If the only negative consequences of the actions of politicians was to enrich themselves, break some rules, get family members government jobs, and live off of tax payers dollars, we could all live with that. But the amount of damage they do to the economy in general and each person in particular is exponentially more costly.

Here are some short comprehensive quotes from Thomas Sowell about economics and politics that we should think about before we proceed with the rest of the post.

1) “People need to be aware of the dangers in letting economic decisions to be made through the political process”.

2) “Just as a poetic discussion of the weather is not meteorology, an issuance of moral pronouncements or political creeds about the economy is not economics.”

3) “What is politically defined as economic planning, is the forcible superseding of other people’s plans by government officials.”

4) “In political competition accurate knowledge has no decisive competitive advantage, because what is being sold is not an end result but a plausible belief about a complex process.”


one book with a mortar board, financial charts and a world globe, concept of faculty of economics (3d render) - Elements of this image furnished by NASA

In a speech today, Hillary Clinton, a noted Nobel Prize winning economist, presented some “unassailable” economic logic that I will attempt to logically assail. Here are some quotes from her speech, here and here.

“The evidence is in, inequality is a drag on our entire economy“.

Since all people have different skills and abilities, on the one hand, and value things differently, on the other, there is no possible way equality can exist. In fact, inequality helps drive our economy. Having different skills and desires allows each person to specialize in producing what they are skilled at producing. If I don’t have the skill or desire to produce food, it wouldn’t be good for me, or the economy, if I attempted to produced food. I can use my particular skill to specialize in producing something else and exchange it for food. When individuals specialize, more is produced while using less land, resources, time and capital. These excess resources and time can be used for other productive activities.

Mrs. Clinton should place the blame for inequality on consumers. Consumers decide what is a more important use of scarce resources and time based on what their value scales of consumption are. Trying to use government force to incentivize or constrain individual value scales, in the name of equality, lowers the over all wealth in an economy, which hurts everyone.

We have to build a growth and fairness economy. You can’t have one without the other.

I’m assuming she means individuals in government when she says “We”. Government politicians and bureaucrats can’t build an economy, they can only intervene in the economy. First lets define economy. An economy is what results when each individual freely decides what he will produce, consume, exchange and save. It is no more complicated than that. Mrs. Clinton, I hate to inform you but, as we discussed above, economic growth and fairness are mutually exclusive if fairness is defined as equality.

What does Mrs. Clinton mean when she uses the word fair? Fair is a word that doesn’t have to be defined by politicians because they know each person will place his own idea of “fair”, on what is being discussed. Using the weasel word “fair” is like giving each person a blank check to fill out. Politicians verbal sleight of hand plus the economic ignorance of the people, combine to produce the economic conditions that we are witnessing in Greece.

Wages need to rise to keep up with costs.

I assume the costs Mrs. Clinton is talking about are the costs of goods and services we consume. Does Mrs. Clinton’s political expertise allow her to understand that a wage is a cost factored into the process of producing goods or services that we consume? Peoples wages are not set by the altruism of an employer. Wages are set by the evil consumer. A business doesn’t add up all the costs of producing a good or service and then set the price hoping it will be met. An entrepreneur takes an educated risk that a good or service might command a certain price, and then sets out to produce that good or service at that price or lower. But there is no guarantee that he will get that price. The process of determining the value of labor starts with the consumer and moves backwards through the production process, and not the other way.

The law of supply and demand states that more will be demanded at the lower price than the higher price. And more will be supplied at the higher price than the lower price. Wages are set by this law, no matter how much politicians wish they shouldn’t be. Simply put, if you raise the price of labor above what the market will bear, there will be less labor demanded.

Most leftists think they can raise wages by decree and somehow that wage will be paid by the employer. Many conservatives think the cost of the wage will be passed on to the consumer. They are both wrong. If a good could bring in a higher amount of revenue at a higher price, it would already be priced at that level. The employer will have to figure out how to cut production costs before he raises prices, because the law of supply and demand says less will be sold at the higher price, and he doesn’t want to sell less. One of the first things he will look to cut is labor costs. This is why artificially raising the minimum wage above its market value leads to unemployment for minimum wage workers. Intervention into the economy by political do gooders, the economically ignorant, or tyrannical politicians, results in the same outcome. Their intentions don’t matter, the economic reality of their interventions matter.


Here are some quotes that show the arrogance of politicians in general and Mrs. Clinton in particular.

“This on demand, or so-called gig economy is creating exciting opportunities and unleashing innovation … but it’s also raising hard questions about workplace protection and what a good job will look like in the future.”

Here is how the last part should read because this is what she actually means. “… don’t you know that it’s also raising hard questions that you poor ignorant workers aren’t capable of answering. Only omnipotent government, led by someone with my superior intelligence, is capable of making these decisions. Government is the only thing that protects you from your bad decision-making, and a good job is what I think it should look like, not what you think it should be”.

“In an age of technological change, we need to provide pathways to get skills and credentials for new occupations and create online platforms to connect workers and jobs. There are exciting efforts underway and I want to support and scale the ones that show results.

I have a question for young people who have grown up using all this new technology. Are you more tech savvy than a sixty seven year old who, because of her status, has been sheltered from technology? Does she have any understanding of how Uber works? She has no idea how someone can make money using Uber, or how a person can make money sharing their house using Airbnb. She is stuck in the old economy of taxi cab medallions, hotel regulations, labor unions, licensing boards and government controls. She said she wants to “create online platforms to connect workers and jobs“. Does she not know that Uber is that platform, or does she just want government to be in control of the platforms? How much smarter are you about what is possible in the new economy, than Mrs. Clinton. She needs to be quite and get out of your way!

Mrs. Clinton’s totalitarian attitude reminds me of a quote by George Gilder: “The Ambitious agent of contemporary liberalism simply ensures that government will do nothing well, except to expand itself as an obstacle of growth and innovation. Government best supports the future by refraining as much as possible from trying unduly to shape it”.

We can’t let credentialed ignorance prevail, or as Thomas Sowell has so eloquently stated: “People who are very aware that they have more knowledge then the average person are often very unaware that they do not have one tenth of the knowledge of all of the average persons put together. In this situation, for the intellegentsia to impose their notions on ordinary people is essentially to impose ignorance on knowledge“.

Related ArticleThe New, Old, Buzz Words, Income Inequality, at

Related ArticleIncome Inequality Part II: Increase The Minimum Wage, at

Related ArticleThe “Equal Pay Day” Canard, at






Must Reads For The Week 10/25/14

October 24, 2014
The pen is mightier than the sword...

 The pen is mightier than the sword… (Photo credit: mbshane)

Minimum Wage Increase Blowback: McDonald’s Plans Major Automation By Third Quarter Of Next Year, at You can’t raise wages above what the labor produces. Why do you think private sector union labor was 35% of the work force in the 50’s, and it’s 7% today. Unions priced themselves out of the market. They are now focused on unionizing Government workers, because politicians will always give in to their demands for more tax payer money.

Wal-Mart That Economic Wrecking Ball, at Wal-Mart gets slammed for supplying consumers with products at lower prices.

The Affordable Care Act Will Push More Women Than Men Into Part-Time Work, at Talk about your war on women?

Pipe Lines Pose Fewer Risks Than Compared To Transporting Oil By Rail Or Truck, at I think it is funny when environmentalists paint themselves into corners when they think they are making the “environmentally correct” decision. Unfortunately they don’t understand that when it comes to making decisions, there are no solutions there are only trade offs.

Quotation Of The Day On The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels, by Mark J. Perry, at Our current standard of living was brought about, and is presently powered by fossil fuels. The only type of power that can compete with carbon based fuels is nuclear energy. Unfortunately we have been brain washed into being afraid of the word nuclear, we won’t even consider it as an alternative energy source.

Hacking Higher Ed. With Competency-Based Education, by Joanne Jacobs, at I saw this at carpe diem blog. Big college’s monopoly in higher education is going to start to crack. The best teacher in a particular subject can teach an unlimited amount of students online, why would you want a countless amount of average college professors who can only teach the limited number of students who attend their classes.

Fed Up With Govt. Misconduct, Federal Judge Takes Nuclear Option, by Sidney Powell, at Eric Holder’s  Justice Department used false evidence to accuse Sierra Pacific of starting a wild-fire. Chief Judge Morrison C. England Jr. ordered every federal judge from the Eastern District of California to recuse themselves. The $55 million settlement will probably be set aside because of the misconduct. Why would anyone trust Government bureaucrats to do their job in a non political and unbiased way?

Google vs. The Entire News Industry: And The Winner Is…. at This is the creative destruction of the free market happening before our eyes.

Citizen Pulls Cop Over Gives Warning, youtube video. I don’t know if this guy is right. I am impressed with how both acted in this situation. Both were respectful and neither one escalated the situation to a point that it got out of control.

Predatory Journalism, by Thomas Sowell, at Anything Thomas Sowell writes is a must read.


This cartoon is really about big bloated Government in general not just the present administration. Republicans wouldn’t be able to make the present bureaucratic and regulatory mess work more efficiently. Even if they could, they would just be intervening in every aspect or our lives more efficiently. (I saw this at












Two quotes about the incompetence of big Government.

Murray Rothbard – “Bureaucracy incompetent enough to plan a stationary system, is vastly more incompetent at planning a progressing one.”

George Gilder – “The ambitious agenda of contemporary liberalism simply ensures that Government will do nothing well, except to expand itself as an obstacle of growth and innovation. Government best supports the future by refraining as much as possible from trying unduly to shape it.”



George Will: Faith In Government?

October 19, 2014

George Will was on Fox News Sunday, and here are his comments to the questions, 1)Can we have faith in Government? and 2) Can we trust the Government to do its job?

Here are the highlights from his comments.

“…you asked: ‘can we have faith in Government’? I think we have much more to fear from excessive faith in Government than from to little faith in Government.”

“You asked: ‘can we trust the Government to do its job’? What isn’t it’s job nowadays…this is a government that doesn’t know when to stop.”

The distilled essence….of progressivism is that Government is benign, that it’s a disinterested force. That’s false,  and b) it is stocked with experts who are really gifted at doing things…..Republicans do this Democrats do this also…a common theme is excessive faith in the skills of Government.


When we use the word Government we mean individuals in Government. Government doesn’t make policy and decisions, individual politicians and bureaucrats make policy and decisions. The reason these politicians have the power to make and implement certain decisions is because “we the people” set up the frame-work of Government that allows them certain areas in which to legislate. We also elect these politicians to sit in the seat of power. Unfortunately we have allowed them to ignore the boundaries that surround their power, because we don’t hold them accountable once they are elected.

Here are some examples of incompetence at different levels of Government. 1) The Nurse who flew to Akron after being exposed to Ebola, had contacted the Center for Disease Control twice asking them if it was alright to fly, and they said yes (read here). 2) The Parents who called the cops to help with their mentally ill son who locked himself in his room and threatened to harm himself. Eleven shots later their son was dead. The police succeeded in not letting him harm himself (watch here). 3) A 5-year-old girl pointed a crayon at a class mate, and school officials punished her by making her sign a contract that she wouldn’t kill anyone or commit suicide (read here). 4) Need we say more than the Obamacare web site that cost $2 billion (read here). This list is literally endless.

Here is a George Gilder quote about big Government, “The ambitious agenda of contemporary liberalism simply ensures that Government will do nothing well, except to expand itself as an obstacle of growth and innovation. Government best supports the future by refraining as much as possible from trying unduly to shape it.

It is our fault that we have arrived at this point where Government is this big. We are the only ones who can reel this monster in, because politicians and bureaucrats will never vote to reduce their power.

Related Article – “I’m From The Government And I’m Here To Help“, by

Related ArticleTyranny Is Hidden Inside The Bureaucratic Maze, by

Related ArticleProof Once Again That Power Corrupts, Will We Have Enough Courage To Believe It This Time, at



What Creates Wealth? Freedom

September 10, 2014

Front Cover

George Gilder talks about what creates wealth in this short video below from Prager University. He talks about knowledge and innovation leading to economic growth. But the most important point he makes in this video is that freedom is the foundation on which knowledge and innovation is expanded and used productively to create economic growth. Here are some excerpts from the video.

“If freedom promotes knowledge and innovation, which leads to economic growth; why don’t all people and Governments embrace it? Innovation is a surprise, it’s unpredictable. This unpredictability makes many people uncomfortable. Their goal is to eliminate surprise. One finds this in all utopian vision, from communism, to socialism, ….in Europe with its failing welfare states and more and more in the US. We see their desire to eliminate surprise in the ever-expanding role played by Government, bigger bureaucracies, more rules, and more regulations. Every new crisis, real or imagined, brings ever more laws….Ironically the ones that benefit from all these regulations are big corporations and their teams of lawyers, lobbyists, and accountants. They’re the only ones who have the resources to untangle the mess and survive it. This drift away from freedom can be reversed, and quickly within a matte of a few years….Because it’s an economy of mind, the future can change as fast as minds can change. The opportunity for dynamic growth exists not only in the US, but all over the world if we’re only courageous enough and free enough to seize it.”


Here are some related quotes by George Gilder from his books  Wealth and Poverty and Knowledge and Power.

“Socialist and totalitarian Governments are doomed to support the past, because creativity is unpredictable, it is also uncontrollable. If the politicians want to have central planning and command, they cannot have dynamism and life. A managed economy is almost by definition a barren one. “

“Knowledge is about the past; Entrepreneurship is about the future regulations are rules based on past experience. Regulators are political appointees responsive to their bosses and to the rules. Only entrepreneurial owners taken their cues from the subtle signals on the crests of creation.”

“Under capitalism, economic power flows not to the intellectual, who manipulates ideas and basks in their light, but to men who gives himself to his ideas and tests them with his own wealth and work.”

“The real issue is between the rule of law and the rule of leveler egalitarianism, between creative excellence and covetous “fairness”, between admiration of achievement versus envy and resentment of it.”

“The leading enemy and obstacle for accomplishment throughout the ages is the philosophy of victimization and socialist redistribution.”

In my opinion Wealth and Poverty is a must read, not only because it will expand your mind, but also because his writing style will be pleasing to your ear buds.

Related ArticleUnleash The Mind, by George Gilder, at

Related ArticleCapitalism vs. Crony Capitalism, at


Capitalism vs. Crony Capitalism

April 23, 2014

Many people who decry capitalism do so from a position of ignorance of what capitalism really is. They look at the market system that exists in the U.S. today and mistakenly call it capitalism. Our present economic system is not free market capitalism, it is crony capitalism. Crony capitalism is a branch on the same central planning tree that includes socialism and fascism. In a true free market capitalist system, businesses wouldn’t be able to lobby government to pass laws that protect their position in the market and raise the costs on their present and future competitors, because government wouldn’t have the power to make these rules. Under free market capitalism businesses are incentivized to first serve their fellow-man before they can profit in any way. They must produce a good or service that consumers will freely exchange a portion of their labor for. Under crony capitalism businesses are incentivized to protect their own self-interest at the expense of the consumers and tax payers who are usually the same people.

Here is a video titled,  Why Capitalism Works, from Prager University, featuring George Gilder. He talks about the role of the entrepreneur in free market capitalism, as well as the incentive of giving before you receive.



The problem with how people perceive an economy is they don’t understand that a utopian world can’t be created on earth. The first rule of economics, scarcity, combined with the imperfections of man, make a utopian world impossible. The real question should be: What economic system can use limited means to supply the most ends for the most people? Put another way: In a world of scarce means and unlimited ends, which economic system can satisfy the most desires, with the knowledge that many desires will remain unmet? Free market capitalism,  produces the best possible result. History shows the branches of the central planning tree, whether it’s called crony capitalism, socialism, fascism, progressivism, communism, et al, produce a system were people have a lower standard of living and less individual freedom. A free market is nothing more than individuals freely producing, consuming and exchanging what they want, and in whatever quantities they want. Any interference by government, no matter how small, in the freedom of the individual to produce, consume, and exchange, moves an economic system down the central planning road, which is what Hayek called, “the road to serfdom”.

Related Video – Walter E. Williams, The Free Market Is Not Allowed To Work, by

Related ArticleWe Can’t Recreate The Garden Of Eden, by

Related Video Milton Friedman vs. Phil Donahue, Greed Is In The Eye Of The Beholder, by

Related ArticleUnleash The Mind, by George Gilder, by

Unleash The Mind, by George Gilder

February 10, 2014

I recently reread  an article titled, Unleash The Mind by George Gilder, that I originally read in 2012 shortly before I started this site. It is filled with great insights into what an entrepreneur really is, and the importance of his role in the economy.


I love reading whatever George Gilder writes for few different reasons. 1)  Just like a chef who invigorates my taste buds by how he seasons and prepares a dish, Gilder puts words together in ways that invigorate my earbuds. His words not only sound good, I also enjoy the pictures his words paint in my mind. It’s my personal taste, it may not be yours. 2) He explains complex things in an understandable way, which is a rare skill. 3) He always makes me think, even though I believe some of his analysis slightly misses the mark. I don’t think he has a total understanding on how scarce resources are misallocated when the Federal reserve starts down it’s road of low interest rates and monetary expansion, and I don’t think he understands spontaneous order as Hayek explains it.

Milton Friedman had the same gifts as a speaker and debater, as Gilder has as a writer, although neither is a favorite of the Austrians. I see these two men much differently than Austrians do. I look at their ability to explain complex economic concepts, to regular people like me, as a more important asset than any theoretical differences Austrians may have with them. I read and listened to Gilder and Friedman, along with Thomas Sowell, before I could ever tackle Mises, Hayek, and Rothbard in any serious or understandable way. I suggest you read Wealth and Poverty, by Gilder, watch the Free to Choose videos by Milton Friedman, and read Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell before you tackle books like Human Action by Mises, Prices and Production by Hayek, and Man Economy and State by Rothbard. You don’t try to bench press 300 lbs the first day you walk into the weight room. You start with a manageable weight and work your way up to heavier weights.


People have to be educated about how economic reality will always get in the way of the plans of our ruling elite. The result of allowing politicians and bureaucrats to pursue unattainable ends is, in the words of Hayek, “the road to serfdom”. Throwing people aside who have talent in communicating complexity to regular people because they don’t pass some purity test is not very smart. Their ability to move peoples thinking in the right direction is important to maintaining individual freedom.  As  Mises said, “Economics must not be relegated to classrooms and statistical offices and must not be left to esoteric circles. It is the philosophy of human life and action and concerns everybody and everything. It is the pith of civilization and of man’s human existence…..All present-day political issues concern problems commonly called economic. All arguments advanced in contemporary discussion of social and public affairs deal with fundamental matters of praxeology and economics…..There is no means by which anyone can evade his personal responsibility. Whoever neglects to examine to the best of his abilities all the problems involved voluntarily surrenders his birthright to a self-appointed elite of supermen. In such vital matters blind reliance upon “experts” and uncritical acceptance of popular catchwords and prejudices is tantamount to the abandonment of self-determination and to yielding to other people’s domination. As conditions are today, nothing can be more important to every intelligent man than economics. His own fate and that of his progeny is at stake.


I don’t think Gilder has a total understanding on how scarce resources are misallocated when the Federal reserve starts down it’s road of low interest rates and monetary expansion as explained by the Austrian Business Cycle Theory, and I don’t think he understands spontaneous order as Hayek explains it. Having said that, he is great at explaining how ideas of individuals are the human capital on which our expanding standard of living rests. You can click on the full article above to read the article. Here are some excerpts below.

“America’s wealth is not an inventory of goods; it is an organic entity, a fragile pulsing fabric of ideas, expectations, loyalties, moral commitments, visions….. As President Mitterand’s French technocrats discovered in the 1980s, and President Obama’s quixotic ecocrats are discovering today, government managers of complex systems of wealth soon find they are administering an industrial corpse, a socialized Solyndra.”

“The belief that wealth consists not chiefly in ideas, attitudes, moral codes, and mental disciplines but in definable static things that can be seized and redistributed—that is the materialist superstition. It stultified the works of Marx and other prophets of violence and envy. It betrays every person who seeks to redistribute wealth by coercion. It balks every socialist revolutionary who imagines that by seizing the so-called means of production he can capture the crucial capital of an economy.”

“……As Marxist despots and tribal socialists from Cuba to Greece have discovered to their huge disappointment, governments can neither create wealth nor effectively redistribute it. They can only expropriate and watch it dissipate. If we continue to harass, overtax, and oppressively regulate entrepreneurs, our liberal politicians will be shocked and horrified to discover how swiftly the physical tokens of the means of production dissolve into so much corroded wire, abandoned batteries, scrap metal, and wasteland rot”

“Capitalism… dynamic, a force that pushes Human enterprise down spirals of declining costs and greater abundance.”

“…..Under capitalism, wealth is less a stock of goods than a flow of ideas, the defining characteristic of which is surprise. Creativity is the foundation of wealth. As Princeton economist Albert Hirschman has put it, “creativity always comes as a surprise to us.” If it were not surprising, we could plan it, and socialism would work.”

“The process of wealth creation is offensive to levelers and planners because it yields mountains of new wealth in ways that could not possibly be planned. But unpredictability is fundamental to free human enterprise.It defies every econometric model and socialist scheme. It makes no sense to most professors, who attain their positions by the systematic acquisition off credentials pleasing to the establishment above them….. Leading entrepreneurs – from Sam Walton to Larry Page to Mark Zickerbert- did not ascend a hierarchy; they created a new one. They did not climb to the top of anything. They were pushed to the top by their own success. They did not capture the pinnacle; they became it.”

“Most of America’s leading entrepreneurs are bound to the masts of their fortunes. They are allowed to keep their wealth only as long as they invest it in others. In real sense, they can keep only what they give away. It has been given to others in the form of investments. It is embodied in a vast web of enterprises that retains its worth only through constant work and sacrifice. Capitalism is a system that begins not with taking but with giving to others.”

“For this reason, wealth is nearly as difficult to maintain as it is to create. Owners are besieged on all sides by aspiring spenders –    debauchers of wealth and purveyors of poverty in the name of charity, idealism, envy, or social change. Bureaucrats, politicians, bishops, raiders, robbers, short-sellers, and business writers all think they can invest money better than its owners.”

“The distributions of capitalism make sense, but not because of the virtue or greed of entrepreneurs, nor as inevitable by-products of the invisible hand. The reason capitalism works is that the creators of wealth are granted the right and the burden of reinvesting it.”

“Entrepreneurial knowledge has little to do with certified expertise, advanced degrees, or the learning of establishment schools….Wealth all too often comes from doing what other people consider insufferably boring or unendurably hard.”

“Most people consider themselves above the gritty and relentless details of life that allow the creation of great wealth. They leave it to the experts. But in general you join the one percent of the one percent not by leaving it to the experts but by creating new expertise, not by knowing what the experts know but by learning what they think is beneath them.”

“The competitive pursuit of knowledge is not a dog-eat-dog Darwinian struggle. In capitalism, the winners do not eat the losers but teach them how to win through the spread of information far from being a zero-sum game, where the successes of some come at the expense of others, free economies climb spirals of mutual gain and learning. Far from being a system of greed, capitalism depends on a golden rule of enterprise: The good fortune of others is also your own.”

 “….entrepreneurs cannot in general revel in their wealth, because most of it is not liquid. Greed, in fact, only motivates capitalists to seek government guarantees and subsidies that denature and stultify the works of entrepreneurs. The financial crash of 2007 and beyond reflected orgies of greed among crony capitalists awash in government guarantees and subsidies, sitting on their Fannies and Freddies, feeding in the troughs of Treasury privileges and government insurance scams. Greed leads as by an invisible hand to an ever-growing welfare and plutocratic state—to socialism and near-fascist corporatism……”

“….Volatile and shifting ideas, not heavy and entrenched establishments, constitute the source of wealth. There is no bureaucratic net or tax web that can catch the fleeting thoughts of Eric Schmitt of Google, Jules Urbach of Otoy, or Chris Cooper of Seldon Technologies”

“… Capitalist economies grow because they award wealth to its creators, who have already proven that they can increase it. Their proof was always the service of others rather than themselves”