Posted tagged ‘Road to Serfdom’

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.

 

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The Essential HAYEK.

June 16, 2015

The Frasier Institute has come up with a project called Essential Hayek (here). It consists of a book, a website, and videos, that explain F.A. Hayeks ideas on liberty and economics in simple understandable language.

I remember reading The Road To Serfdom by F. A. Hayek in September of 1994. I don’t think I comprehended a quarter of the book at the time, but what I did comprehend opened my eyes to the fact that the US was traveling down this road rapidly. I have reread this book several times and have also read The Constitution of Liberty, all three volumes of Law Legislation and Liberty, The Fatal Conceit, Prices and Production, A Tiger By The Tail, Individualism and Economic Order, and many of his articles and essays.

When you first read Hayek he is not easy to understand because he was writing about abstract concepts and his native tongue was German. As you start to know his writing style, which includes the lengthy sentences he constructs, he becames much easier to comprehend.

Here are two short videos from Essential Hayek.

Economic Booms And Busts

Everything Has Its Price (And That’s A Good Thing)

 

My Favorite Hayek Quote, is at the top right of my blog.

“The coordination of men’s activities through central planning or through voluntary cooperation are roads going in very different directions. The first to serfdom and poverty the second to freedom and plenty.

Volumes have been written explaining this quote, or these two sentences explain volumes of writings.

Spontaneous Order

The spontaneous order of the market far exceeds coordination through central planning, in the use of knowledge, the use of scarce resources, the creation of a higher standard of living. If you don’t understand the concept of spontaneous order it will be difficult to understand how the world works.

F. A. Hayek—” The free market pricing mechanism has a double misfortune. It is not the product of human design, and the people guided by it usually do not know why they are made to do what they do.”

Here are some related articles about spontaneous order.

Related ArticleSpontaneous Order More Complex Than Top Down Planning, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleSpontaneous Order Utilizes More Knowledge Than Central Planning Could Ever Hope To Utilize, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleSpontaneous Order = Free Market Economy, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleSpontaneous Order Demonstrated By Traffic With No Signals, at austrianaddict.com.

Random Thoughts by Thomas Sowell

February 12, 2014

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell’s random thoughts columns always make you think. His most recent Random Thoughts Article (read here), is no exception. Here are some excerpts.

“It is amazing how many people still fall for the argument that, if life is unfair, the answer is to turn more money and power over to politicians. Since life has always been unfair, for thousands of years and in countries around the world, where does that lead us?”

“Despite the rhetoric, the goals or the intentions of the political left, the world they seek to create is a world where decisions are taken out of the hands of ordinary citizens and transferred to third parties. ObamaCare is the latest example of this trend, and can now join the long list of the “compassionate” catastrophes of the left.”

“With his decision declaring ObamaCare constitutional, Chief Justice John Roberts turned what F.A. Hayek called “The Road to Serfdom” into a super highway. The government all but owns us now, and can order us to do pretty much whatever it wants us to do.”

“Once, when I was teaching at an institution that bent over backward for foreign students, I was asked in class one day: “What is your policy toward foreign students?” My reply was: “To me, all students are the same. I treat them all the same and hold them all to the same standards.” The next semester there was an organized boycott of my classes by foreign students. When people get used to  preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination.”

 

Must Reads For The Week 6/29/13

June 29, 2013
The pen is mightier than the sword...

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

Guess Where The Country’s Highest Incomes Are? at economicpolicyjournal.com. These politicians and bureaucrats have the highest incomes and yet produce nothing of value in exchange for their income. We are forced to pay them for interfering with our productive activities, which makes it harder for our activities to remain productive.

Greenwald Smackdown Of NBC’s David Gregory, at economicpolicyjournal.com. Short video of Greenwald responding to charges that he aided and abetted Edward Snowden.

The Biggest Ponzi Scheme In The History Of The World, by Michael Snyder of theeconomiccollapseblog.com, care of zerohedge.com. The incestuous relationship between the Government and the Federal Reserve in a parable.

Recycling Anecdote at mungowitzend.blogspot.com. How do you treat the recycling police? With laughter and ridicule.

Know Your Rights When Dealing With Police, by Julie Borowski, at townhall.com. I found this on libertypenblog.blogspot.com. Knowing your rights when dealing with the police is a powerful tool in preventing abuses of power.

Elke’s Warning, is a youtube video I saw on tammybruce.com. The most interesting conversations you can have are with people who grew up behind the iron curtain. Watching this reminds me of how I felt the first time I read “The Road To Serfdom” by Hayek.

NSA’s Criminal Activity, at benswann.com. Ben Swann does a great job of telling the unvarnished truth.

The Tollkeepers On The Road To Serfdom, by D. W. MacKenzie

June 21, 2013
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The Road to Serfdom, by Hayek.(Photo credit: UniversidadFrancisco Marroquin)

In this article by D.W. MacKenzie titled,The Tollkeepers On The Road To Serfdom, at mises.org, he explains that when bureaucracies grow, “democracies could not be relied upon to hold it in check”. He calls the IRS the toll keepers on the road to serfdom, and we are  the tollpayers on this same road.This is an outstanding article and a must read. Here are some excerpts from it.

“Elected Federal officials can be voted out of office. But the entrenched army of empowered, unelected Federal bureaucrats remains to wield its power, and the Internal Revenue Service bureaucrats are some of the worst.”

“Politicians see the IRS and its tax code as a means of fixing perceived political problems…. Yet, regardless of the legislative agenda, it is largely unelected bureaucrats who decide where tax money goes.

“The potential for bureaucratic abuse is pervasive. The worst rise to the top of bureaucracies in part because the people who want power most are, as Hayek put it, single-minded idealists. Single-minded idealists are intolerant, by definition, believing that their plans for society are objectively superior to any competing plans. Those who have a comparative advantage at acquiring and wielding power are the most ruthless and insensitive people in society.”

“Hayek pointed out that people complete the path from citizenship to servitude only after a psychological (or sociological) change occurs. Today’s change is from a free people believing in the primacy of individuals to make their own choices to dependence and acceptance of government as the entitled class.”

“Once people accept bureaucrats as authorities, as persons who should direct the actions of others, and reject dissenting views as illegitimate or illegal, they have taken up the mantle of serf.”

“Obama most likely did not directly order Lois Lerner or Holly Paz to “punish enemies” in the Tea Party movement, but Tea Party members were singled out. Since Tea Party groups oppose the current Federal tax/spending system, the single-minded idealists at the IRS thought these targeting actions to be justifiable.”

I have said that the President is just the face of the problem. The expansion of Government power is the problem. The bureaucracy has an inertia of its own, no matter who is elected. Bureaucrats are self-interested individuals like the rest of us, which is why they will try to use their power to undermine any person, or group of people, who talk like they want to cut the size of Government. Politicians and bureaucrats both want power, the difference is politicians can at least get voted out if they abuse their power. A bureaucrat is immune from losing his position, and may even get a promotion for abusing his power.

Related article,  America’s Road To Serfdom? by Richard Ebeling, at mises.org.

Related article, Terminus On The Road To Serfdom, by D.W. MacKenzie, at mises.org.

Must Reads For The Week 6/15/13

June 15, 2013
The pen is mightier than the sword...

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

Jay Leno: “We Wanted A President Who Listens To All Americans- Now We Have One.” at economicpolicyjournal.com. If you can’t take a moment and laugh at this mess you would probably go crazy.

State Department Officials Covered Up Several Investigations, by Brandon Webb, at sofrep.com. What else is new?

Video: A New Monument In Our Nations Capital, at libertypen.com. This is going to be the response to Government if they keep intervening in our lives.

Sales of  ‘1984’ Spike Amid NSA Spying Scandal, by Michael Winter, at usatoday.com. Animal Farm, Atlas Shrugged, The Road To Serfdom, and 1984 should all be required reading.

Obama’s Africa Trip Counld Cost $100 million, by Lisa Barron, newsmax.com. The Government cut tours of the White House this spring because of sequestration. Remember, what people value is revealed by their action. What do these actions reveal?

GM Hopes To Boost Sales Of The Chevy Volt By Offering A $5000 Discount, at zerohedge.com. The Government is going to create a thriving market for electric vehicles even if they have to force car makers to give them away.

Why Delivering Beer Isn’t Easy, by Doug Altner, at libertypen.blogspot.com. Every Government intervention pushes prices higher. We need another stupid rule to fix this stupid rule.

Milton Freidman, Moving Toward Serfdom.

January 11, 2013

Not much more can be added to what is said in this video. This video I’m sure was made in the 80’s, how much farther down the road do you think we are today.

Here is an excerpt from the video, “We are getting what the public at large is asking for, and the public is asking for it , I believe, because they do not understand where it’s going to lead them, because they are misinformed and they are being led that way.”

We have to get people to understand that government regulation takes away individual freedom no matter how insignificant we may think a regulation is.

Read previous post, “We’re All Born In the Middle Of The Story.”

For more analysis read, “America’s Road to Serfdom?“, by Richard Ebeling at Mises.org.