Posted tagged ‘Never let a crisis go to waste’

Solutions? Or Trade Offs?

March 24, 2020

Diagram of tradeoff

I heard this statement the other day about our present Covid 19 “crisis”: ” Do we save lives and kill the economy? Or do we save the economy and kill lives?

I’ve learned from economist Thomas Sowell that in our imperfect world, there are no solutions, there are only trade offs. What does that mean? It means that the two choices above are not the only choices. These choices are stated as all or nothing categorical decisions. But many of “experts” fail to see the incremental trade offs that can be made between these two extremes.

When a “crisis” pops up, a particular “solution” to the crisis is imposed on us by an “expert”. People who criticize the “solution are usually hit with this statement: “Even if it saves just one life, isn’t it worth it?” My answer to that question is, “NO” it is not worth it.

The question implies that there is no limit to the amount of resources that should be used in order to save just one life. But a price is put on life everyday. If these people were serious about “saving just one life” they would fight to get the speed limit reduced to 20 mph. Would any of us be willing to trade off the economic benefits of a higher speed limit as well as our ability to get places faster, for the lives lost in accidents.

The deaths of coal miners and power line workers are an acceptable trade off to have electricity in our homes. Some of the most deadly professions are fisherman, farmers and loggers. Yet we don’t think twice about the trade off of these lives when we eat crab legs or a steak or build a house.

The point is, there is a trade off between lives lost and the goods and services our free market economy produces. In fact the standard of living produced by free market capitalism has saved exponentially more lives than have been lost in the production of that standard of living.

Swine Flu data from 09-10 shows 60 million contracted the virus and 22,469 died. Influenza data for this flu season shows between 38-59 million contracted the flu and between 23,000-59,000 died. These were no big deal to the media. These lives were an acceptable trade off to the powers that be and the media. So why is our present “crisis” different?

 

Here are some great articles with great information.

Coronavirus Isn’t A Pandemic, by Richard Epstein, at ricochet.com.

Excerpt from the article:

“But why might the dire predictions be wrong? The theoretical answer to the question of how deadly the virus will turn out lies in part in a strong analytical relationship between the rate of spread and the strength of the virus. Start with the simple assumption that there is some variance in the rate of seriousness of any virus, just as there is in any trait for any species. In the formative stage of any disease, people are typically unaware of the danger. Hence, they take either minimal or no precautions to protect themselves from the virus. In those settings, the virus—which in this instance travels through droplets of moisture from sneezing and bodily contact—will reach its next victim before it kills its host. Hence the powerful viruses will remain dominant only so long as the rate of propagation is rapid. But once people are aware of the disease, they will start to make powerful adaptive responses, including washing their hands and keeping their distance from people known or likely to be carrying the infection. Various institutional measures, both private and public, have also slowed down the transmission rate.”

“At some tipping point, the most virulent viruses will be more likely to kill their hosts before the virus can spread. In contrast, the milder versions of the virus will wreak less damage to their host and thus will survive over the longer time span needed to spread from one person to another. Hence the rate of transmission will trend downward, as will the severity of the virus. It is a form of natural selection.”

 

Coronavirus Overreaction, by Richard Epstein, at ricochet.com.

Here is a point that jumps out at me: “Italy has taken the lead with 6,077 deaths……… which stems, it appears, from a conscious decision not to supply ventilators to anyone over 60.” Death panels anyone?

Excerpt from the article:

“Out of over 367,000 COVID-19 cases reported as of noon March 23, 2020, 16,000 people have died, a rough increase of about 9,500 from the past week. China has contributed about 3,500, a figure that is holding relatively stable — if we are to believe the reporting coming out of the People’s Republic of China — as is Iran’s total of 1,812 deaths (another potentially dubious total). In Spain, the death toll is 2,206. Italy has taken the lead with 6,077 deaths, 85 percent of which are of people over 70, which stems, it appears, from a conscious decision not to supply ventilators to anyone over 60. These four nations make up close to 13,000 deaths or about 82 percent of the total. Taken together, these four countries account for over 13,595 of the 16,097 deaths. The good news here is that the growth rates in both Italy and Spain have turned downward in the past 48 hours.

“We need a public debate on the political response to COVID-19, and we need it now. I fully understand the need for immediate responses to immediate threats, like fires, but not for crises that may last for three months or more. At this point, everyone knows that people who are elderly, especially those with chronic conditions, should stay out of harm’s way. But that prohibition is self-enforcing because those people know that it is in their best interest to self-quarantine, at least in place of high incidence, but by no means nationally. But for low-risk groups, a different set of precautions may fit the bill — an emphasis on thorough hand washing, reduced work hours, reducing workers per shift, and better availability of ventilation equipment.”

“The central Hayekian principle applies: All of these choices are done better at the level of plants, hotels, restaurants, and schools than remotely by political leaders. Our governors have failed to ask a basic question: When all the individual and institutional precautions are in place, what is the marginal gain of having the government shut everything down by a preemptive order? Put otherwise, with these precautions in place, what is the extent of the externalities that remain unaddressed?”

“Progressives think they can run everyone’s lives through central planning, but the state of the economy suggests otherwise. Looking at the costs, the public commands have led to a crash in the stock market, and may only save a small fraction of the lives that are at risk. In addition, there are lost lives on both sides of the equation as many people will now find it more difficult to see a doctor, get regular exercise, stay sober, and eat healthily. None of these alternative hazards are addressed by the worthy governors.

 

Podcast: Richard Epstein Talking With Nick Gillespie About Coronavirus, at reason.com. Listen to this podcast. Epstein makes good sense.

 

Article here: The Costs Are Mounting In This Government-Imposed Economic Collapse, by William L. Anderson, at mises.org.

Excerpt from the article:

“Federal and local authorities are stretching their constitutional limits well beyond anything our ancestors would have recognized in their attempts to keep people away from each other and prevent social contact.”

“…….. Military terms such as “shelter in place” now are part of ordinary language as governments at every level issue orders, with governors competing to see how they can be perceived as being “in charge” as they bark out increasingly draconian commands, threatening deadly force if necessary.”

What we are seeing is how many people want governments to respond to a situation characterized by uncertainty. In such circumstances, they demand “solutions” that only can make things worse, and there is no better way to make the masses vulnerable to disease than to impoverish them. Furthermore, the New York Times and the American Conservative’s one-two punch demanding total subjectivity to the whims of government makes it very difficult for there to be even a smidgen of rational discussion as to what is taking place no matter what one’s ideological stance might be.

As noted earlier, all of this is a response to the uncertainty of just how much this virus will spread and what its actual effect will be on the health of Americans. What we do know (at least at this point), however, does not exactly raise our confidence in American politicians and the media, especially the elite media.

 

Prevention Expert:Data Shows Our Fight Against Coronavirus May Be Worse Than The Disease, by James Barrett, at dalywire.com.

Excerpt from the article:

“…..By taking an “at war” approach to fighting COVID-19 widespread shutdowns and isolation of the entire population rather than a “surgical strike” approach focusing on the truly vulnerable, Katz argues, we have set ourselves on the path to “uncontained viral contagion and monumental collateral damage to our society and economy.” 

“The reason this is so dire, he underscores, is that our current approach is rapidly causing severe damage socially, economically and in terms of public health.”

“I am deeply concerned that the social, economic and public health consequences of this near total meltdown of normal life — schools and businesses closed, gatherings banned — will be long lasting and calamitous, possibly graver than the direct toll of the virus itself,” Katz writes.”

“While the stock market might rebound, many businesses and thus many jobs, may never come back, a result that has massive societal ramifications. Meanwhile, by stretching our limited health care resources “so widely, so shallowly and so haphazardly,” we are likely setting ourselves up for failure on multiple levels.”

 

Never Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste

Thomas Sowell: “The first rule of economics is scarcity, there are not enough resources to meet the desires and needs of everyone. The first rule of politics is to ignore the first rule of economics.

If that is the first rule of politics than the second rule of politics is: Politicians are always trying to increase the power of government. But when a crisis hits that effort increases exponentially.

I don’t like the fact that the multiple trillion dollar “Stimulus” bill will bail out banks and corporations that previously used The Feds printed money to buy back their stock in order to prop up their stock price. You and I also know that this will end up being more like 4 trillion dollars when you add everything up. This 2-4 trillion is all debt. This debt will be purchased directly or indirectly by the Federal Reserve’s printing press. We are piling more debt on top of what we all ready have. This is what we did in the 2008 crisis (TARP Bailout). Non of the 08 debt has been repaid. We have a Empire State building of debt built on a sand foundation. It is totally top heavy like an inverted pyramid. But we’ll address the Fed money printing in another post.

I also don’t like the Democrats 1400 page bill that is nothing more than the democrat policy platform for the 2020 election. They are trying to implement their agenda before the election takes place.

Here are a few things that are in the 1400 page bill. Increased fuel emission standards for airplanes. Same day voter registration, early voting, voting by mail, and something called ballot harvesting (no potential for voter fraud here). Reserve collective bargaining power for unions. Expand wind and solar tax credits. Money for planned parenthood.

The Democrats, Republicans and the Federal Reserve are definitely not letting this crisis go to waste.

These articles have more info in them.

Nancy Pelosi Proposes 1,400 Page Coronavirus Bill Stuffed With Pork, at breitbart.com.

McConnell: Dems Holding Up Coronavirus Relief Over solar Panel Tax Credits, at breitbart.com.

Everyone In America Should Read About Dems Killing Emergency Relief Package, at theblaze.com.

 

Thoughts About Covid 19: Pandemic, Panic And Power

March 19, 2020

world Corona virus attack concept. world/earth put mask to fight against Corona virus. Concept of fight against virus, danger and public health risk disease. Virus attack isolated on green

MATHEMATICAL RISK

Compared to other “pandemics” the number of people dying from the Covid 19 virus doesn’t measure up. Look here: A Visual History Of Pandemics, at weforum.org. And I know this has a ways to go before it is contained.

We know the number of people who have died form the virus, because we can count the bodies. But we do not know, and can not know, the number of people who have, or have had, the virus. We know the listed number of people who have the virus are only the people who have been tested. But we don’t know how many people have, or have had, the virus who have yet to be tested or will never be tested. So the number of infections is much higher than the posted number. The math is just a guess because it looks like this: Known Number of Deaths/Unknown Number of Infections.

Here are the statistics: Coronavirus Update (Live), at worldometers.info.

People over the age of 60 and people who have existing medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, hypertension, and cancer are where a vast majority of the deaths occur. And most of the people with these medical problems are older people. Here is the breakdown: Coronavirus Age, Sex, Existing Medical Conditions, at worldometersinfo. Access your mathematical risk according to these charts?

 

An Asian woman storing tissue toilet paper during Coronavirus outbreak or Covid-19, Concept of Covid-19 quarantine. Wuhan epidemic outbreak. Dangerous COVID virus, Doomsday panic people panic lockdown

PANIC

The media has pushed this story hard. It doesn’t matter why. But they haven’t panicked everyone. It has been hard for me to find someone who doesn’t think this is a bit over hyped.   Read this article: As Government AuthoritiesUrge Panic Over Coronavirus One Doctor Breaks Rank, at mises.org.

But if you panic enough people on the margin, they can make grocery store shelves look bare. I went to a store to look at what people hoard during a “pandemic”. Here is what I observed. They hoard toilet paper, which I don’t understand at all. Bottled water, which I also don’t understand because the water from their tap is safe. Cleaning products, hand sanitizer, alcohol, pasta, frozen pizzas and cans of soup. Although they don’t buy split pea soup, french onion soup or minestrone. They also don’t buy popping corn or cookies.

But once fifteen to twenty percent of the population is panicked, it seems like everyone is panicked. That’s when the politicians have to step in and “do something”. When politicians see a parade coming down the street they have to get out in front of it so it looks like they are leading.

Our governor in Ohio shut down schools, sporting events, restaurants and Tuesdays primary election, among other things. This raises a few questions.

Why did he shut down these particular activities and allow other businesses, like day care facilities, to stay open? What are the parameters that will make him reopen what he had shut down? Where does he get the power to shut down businesses?

Read this article: Fear Can Spread From Person To Person Faster Than The Coronavirus – But There Are Ways To Slow It Down, at theconversation.com.

 

Hand holding piece of jigsaw puzzle with word problem & solution.

NEVER LET A CRISIS GO TO WASTE

After 9/11, individuals in government passed legislation that gave government more power over “we the people”. We had our civil liberties taken away when congress passed, and Bush signed, The Patriot Act. The bill had a sunset clause where congress had to vote on and pass the bill again after a certain number of years.

I was in favor of this bill because of the sunset clause. How stupid was I? I have read enough Milton Friedman to know this quote: “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program“.

We know our politicians and bureaucrats are going to make a power grab because of this “crisis”. Every time a “tragedy” happens in our country, a particular article gets a lot of hits on this site. The article is: “You Never Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste“. It shows the blue print of how politicians and bureaucrats attempt to expand government power after a perceived or real “crisis”.

Tyrannical power grabs by politicians, bureaucrats and other individuals in government are the norm, not the exception. Here is an example: During this coronavirus panic Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen, of Champaign Illinois, has granted herself  the power to ban the sales of guns and alcohol. Another example: Coronavirus patient from Kentucky has police surround his home forcing him to self quarantine. (Will they shoot him if he doesn’t comply?)

The biggest threat from the Coronavirus is the threat to our individual liberty by politicians and bureaucrats using the power of government to “do something” in order to find a “solution” to the “crisis”.

Here are a few excerpts from this article: Coronacrisis And Leviathan, at mises.org.

“…..the growth of government in the twentieth century can largely be explained by patterns of crisis and response. These crises can be real (World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, stagflation) or imagined (inequality, the various isms). In either case new government programs, agencies, and policies are established, purportedly as temporary responses to the perceived emergency. But, as…..history shows us, most of the temporary measures become permanent—either explicitly or in a revised form based on the original.”

“How will leviathan expand—temporarily and then permanently via the ratchet effect—in response to COVID-19? It’s too early to make any definite predictions, but we can make educated guesses based on experience and our knowledge of how governments work.”

Read this article: They Should Have Called It CONTROLavirus, at theburningplatform.com.

 

Immune bacteria system sign. Antibacterial virus sign. Immune protection antiseptic, anti desease immune icon.

VACCINES AND OUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS.

Read this article: Researchers Discovered How The Body Kills  The Coronavirus, at bgr.com 

Excerpt from the article:

“The coronavirus pandemic is far from being contained, with countries all over the world reporting more and more cases. It’s up to everyone to step up and do their part……….social distancing and hand washing will help do the trick — so that medical systems around the world aren’t overwhelmed. Doctors need time to treat severe cases while some of their peers attempt to develop vaccines or new drugs that will speed up the healing process. The good news for people who catch the new COVID-19 virus is that most people will recover, and that’s because of the body’s immune system. Researchers in Australia have already figured out how the body kills the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and their early results will help others develop new treatments that could extend immunity, and maybe even eradicate the disease.”

“Australian researchers discovered that the human body fights the infection the same way it would deal with the regular flu. The conclusion is valid for mild-to-moderate cases for the time being, which leads to full recovery. It’s still unclear how long the immunity lasts and there’s no guarantee that once healed, the body will not contract the same COVID-19 disease again.”

Are we in a catch 22 situation with regard to Covid 19? There is currently no vaccine for Covid 19. So in order to build up immunity to this virus you have to get infected and recover. But the spread will not only take some of the lives of older people and those with certain medical conditions, the spread might overwhelm the medical system.

Are you old enough to remember “Chickenpox Parties”? Here is an excerpt from an article: Chickenpox Parties: Benefits, Risks, at medicalnewstoday.com.

“People use pox parties as a way to deliberately infect their children with chickenpox. The idea is that the child gets the illness sooner rather than later and builds up a natural immunity to the virus.”

“During a pox party, parents or caregivers encourage uninfected children to play, eat, and interact with a child who currently has chickenpox. This close contact makes it much more likely that the children will catch chickenpox.”

“Chickenpox parties were popular when the vaccine for chickenpox was not yet available. Nowadays, some people who do not want their child to have the vaccine see pox parties as a natural way for them to acquire immunity to the illness.

I have a couple of questions. Would it be better for individuals and the medical system to allow people, who are not in the high risk groups, to get infected in order to build up their immunity to the virus since we don’t have a vaccine yet? So instead of shutting everything down for 90% of the population who are not high risk, would there be lower cost to the economy and a lower psychological cost for everybody if the high risk groups were quarantined to protect them and allow others to go about their normal business?

 

CONCLUSION

I have seen two viruses that were politicized in my life time. AIDs and Covid 19. The government didn’t implement any of the measures it has taken to combat Covid 19 even though it would have been easy to contain AIDs. Why? Because the affected group was a politically protected identity group. SARS in 2002, Swine Flu in 2010, Ebola in 2014, and MERS in 2015 were never politicized. And the main stream media and  politicians don’t even mention the tens of thousands of people who die every year from influenza. Why?

I am skeptical of the statements of politicians, government bureaucrats and the main stream media. The main stream media has hyped a lot of things over the last three years that have proven to be wrong. So they have no credibility. Politicians are not credible because of their incentive to get reelected by any means. Government bureaucrats have no credibility because all they want is to keep or grow their power.

That is what makes this tough to figure out. We know there is a virus afflicting the US and the world. But what do we know for certain after that? Read a lot different articles and trust your instincts. I hope these articles help.

 

Must Reads For The Week 6/18/16

June 19, 2016

 

Dealing With An Active Shooter, at targetforcetraining.com. After hearing about the shooting in Orlando last week I wondered how 320 people could let one individual with two guns inflict so much damage. The first thing people have to understand is each person is a first responder in these types of situations. The police are the second responders. I think it is important to have an understanding of what to do in a situation like this. Here’s a video that can help you be prepared for a situation that 99.9% of us will never have to deal with. Always be prepared.

You Never Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste, at austrianaddict.com. Whenever there is a mass shooting this article I wrote after the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012 gets many views. It covers how politicians use every “crisis” to advance their political agenda. They have been trying to politicize mass shootings to advance their agenda to make the second amendment obsolete. The process on how they deal politically with a crisis is explained in this article.

After Terrorist Attack In Orlando, Bigoted U.S. Gun Owners Everywhere Offering FREE Shooting Lessons To Gays, at burningplatform.com. No comment necessary.

Five Alligators Killed And Opened Up To Find Signs Of Boy Who Was Attacked By Alligator, at reuters.com. The 2-year-old getting killed by an alligator shows the tragedy of the human condition. It is sad indeed. But as I look at this situation I can’t find any outrage by animal rights activists because the 5 alligators were killed and cut open to look for the boys remains. I conclude that 5 alligators aren’t equal to the 1 gorilla. Remember the outrage over what happened to the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo two weeks ago. Not a peep from these groups this week.  Would it have taken 10 alligators being killed to bring the outrage? All we can say is 5 wasn’t enough.

“Allah Knows Best” Child Sex Grooming, Prison Brainwashing And A Month Of Islam In Great Britain, at zerohedge.com. Mark Steyn’s book “America Alone” published in 2006 predicted this. Read this book. It is probably too late for Europe to turn the trend around, but it is not too late for America.       A Short Coarse On Understanding Muslims, at theburninngplatform.com. When do the actions of members of a particular group cross the line of being an outlier activity to being an observable pattern of behaviour?

Obama Legacy Will Be Power Blackouts, at cfact.org. 1) Producing electricity from”green” energy is more costly than producing it from carbon based fuels. Why would we want to replace a more expensive way of producing electricity with a more expensive way of producing it? 2) Producing electricity from wind and solar can’t be done when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t shining. Where as electricity can be produced from fossil fuels every second of every day. Why would we replace a constant flow of electricity with an intermittent flow of electricity? Because of power and politics.

Supreme Court Delivers A Second Defeat To EPA’s Agenda In Last 7 Days, at cfact.org. Excerpt  from the article, “...the decision re-affirms that property owners across the country can hold overzealous federal bureaucrats immediately accountable in court for erroneous assertions of control over wetlands,…..”  We will take any victory we can against the federal governments use of force against the individual.

Three Facts Prove Climate Alarm Is A Scam, at cfact.org. Unfortunately there is no convincing the environmental extremists that they may be wrong no matter how much evidence you show them.

Police: Rancher Lassos Bike Thief Outside Oregon Wal-Mart, at tammybruce.com. Being a cowboy is a compliment.

CARTOONS

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

More cartoons from the burningplatform.com.

Must Reads For The Week 10/3/15

October 2, 2015

Every time there is a mass shooting there’s one thing you can count on. The President will trot out in front of the cameras before the bodies are even cold and play politics. I wrote an article in December of 2012 after the Sandy Hook shootings titled “You Never Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste” (click here). It showed the template politicians and radicals use to exploit a crisis. The President followed the template then, he has followed it religiously since then and he is following it now. I don’t even have to update this article, just read it as is.

Investing In Schools: Capital Spending, Facility Conditions, and Student Achievement, at nber.org. Study by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds no evidence that capital sending by schools improves student achievement.

Pro-NYC Charter Schools Group Airs TV Ad, ‘Progressives’ Scream Racism, at tammybruce.com. Teachers Unions don’t care if children get a better education. They only care about growing the number of teachers, and the salaries and benefits of the teachers.

Milton Friedman – The Way To Improve Schools video from libertypenblog.blogspot.com.

Questions To Millennials: Why Are You Not Mad As Hell Yet? at davidstockmanscontracorner.com. Millennials are going to be stuck paying for their student debt, Obamacare, social security (that they will never see), early retirement for government workers, all the debt Government officials have piled up just to name a few. It is inter-generational theft. You should be pissed off at my generation for getting you into this mess, I know I am. The question is: What are we going to do about it?

UN Aims To Eradicate Extreme Poverty, Hunger, Illiteracy and More, at tammybruce.com. The UN panel of 27 eminent thinkers said the number one threat to achieving these goals is, drum roll please, climate change (aka global warming). It is easy to set dates on goals, when your excuse for not reaching these goals can never be denied.

The Dirty Truth About “Organic”, by Henry Miller, at hoover.org. If Government officials are involved in setting the standards for what constitutes organic, do you think organic could possibly be a scam?

Crony Socialism: Government Bailouts Do Not Save Jobs, by Doug Reich, at capitalismmagizine.com. Businesses fail because the consumer has decided that they are not productive economic activities. Government officials bailing these businesses won’t change this reality. HT libertypenblog.blogspot.com.

From Ireland to Germany to Italy to Mexico: How Americas Source of Immigrants has Changed in Each State From 1850 to 2013, at pewhispanic.com. Hat Tip to Carpe Diem Blog. It is interesting to see the changes in the country of origin of immigrants to the United States over the decades starting in 1850. In certain periods in history you would have thought we were being invaded by the Irish and later by the Germans. The difference is these immigrants weren’t immigrating to a welfare state.

“Bacha Bazi” Obama’s Silence On Afghan Military Raping Children, at michellemalkin.com. All you multiculturalists who think that all cultures are equal and shouldn’t be judged, read this and tell me what you think. Our soldiers are being punished, by our military, for trying to stop child rape by Afghan military officers because it is part of their culture. Our guys should be receiving medals for stopping child rape.

Must Reads For The Week 8/15/15

August 14, 2015

The pen is mightier than the sword...

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

Fed Finally Figures Out Soaring Student Debt Is Reason For Exploding College Costs, at zerohedge.com. The Fed has figured out that when money, from debt and money printing, is injected into a particular area of the economy, it raises the price (creates a bubble). Does this revelation hold true for all of the Feds printed money that has gone into the stock market?

The Doctor Won’t See You Now, at Forbes.com.  The laws of economics will be strictly obeyed.  The money quote from the article, “Many exchange policies limit patients’ choices of doctors and hospitals in order to keep premiums down in the face of Obamacare’s intrusive regulations and costly mandates.”  Who could have predicted that?

Navajo Nation Vows To Hold EPA Accountable, at zerohedge.com.  The EPA is responsible for releasing 1 Million, 3 Million gallons of toxic waste water into Colorado’s Animus River.  Like all Government agencies they are currently blaming the contractor for the accident.  Tough luck for New Mexico and Utah who are downstream from the toxic release.  I haven’t heard a peep from the media or environmental groups about this.  I guess it’s neither illegal nor a big deal if the government does it.  I wish the Navajo nation good luck in any lawsuit.  It’s great to be the tyrant, king!

Did EPA Intentionally Poison Animus River To Secure SuperFund Money?, at zerohedge.com.  It appears that a retired geologist predicted that the EPA would foul the Animus River a week before it actually occurred.  The implications of his accusations are chilling.  Never let a good crisis go to waste?

The Battle Intensifies: Police Raid Uber’s Hong Kong Office, at economicpolicyjournal.com.  Car Wars! Return of the Jitneys continues.  At this point, a rational government would realize they can’t put the genie back in the bottle.  Protecting special interests always trumps rationality but it can’t defeat the basic laws of economics.

Going Breadless in Venezuela, at economicpolicyjournal.com.  Socialism and price controls rear their ugly head again as bread shortages are the new norm in Venezuela.  Weren’t there food riots last week?  Don’t they have a toilet paper shortage as well?  Hey, let them eat cake!  Sorry, that’s reserved for the rulers.

Minimum Wage Effect?, at Carpe Diem Blog.  January to June job losses for Seattle area restaurants reaches 1300.  While there are many reasons for declining employment, artificially raising the price of labor means you will have less of it.  Businesses must make adjustments to increased costs.  My guess is that one unintended consequence will be less tipping for servers.

China’s Currency Policy: Devastating Manipulation or a Form of Generous Foreign Aid to Americans?, at Carpe Diem Blog.  This is a very different take on China’s recent efforts to devalue their currency.  Government intervention in currency whether it is printing counterfeit money, zero point interest rates, fractional reserve banking, or devaluing will always have unforeseen and negative consequences.  As for devaluing currency, how do you jump off a cliff halfway?

The Disturbing Messages In Police Recruiting Videos, at The Washington Post.  You don’t have to watch all the videos to get the point.  Why would you stress violent confrontation in your recruiting videos?  Even the Marine Corps doesn’t do that and they have the best military recruiting videos bar none.  If it is part of the recruiting tactics then it is likely the emphasis of their training.  When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.  Make sure you check out the last recruiting video by the Decatur Alabama police.  Quite the difference!

Serfdom USA!, at economicpolicyjournal.com.  Let’s end the week with some laughs.  This is for all of the true Austrian Economics Addicts out there.