Friday, February 27, 2009

Sheldon Richman's talking about Greed today:

LINK
Greedy people by definition want more not less. So they will be as concerned to hold on to what they have as they will be to increase their wealth. Risky investment is a way to get more but also a way to end up with less. Greed, therefore, will tend to restrain recklessness if people know their profits and losses belong to them. The corollary is that the restraints on recklessness will be weakened to the extent that people expect the losses to be absorbed by others. Market discipline is the key.

For large financial institutions in the United States, Scenario B is far closer to reality than Scenario A. As Gerald P. O’Driscoll Jr.writes, “Deposit insurance, access to the Fed’s lending, and the implicit (now explicit) government guarantee for banks ‘too big to fail’ all constituted a system of financial corporatism.” What these interventions have in common is the potential to shift losses forcibly from those who should be responsible for them to someone else—making reckless behavior and losses more likely than they would be. That’s the definition of moral hazard.

Greed is an easy target. But blaming greed gets us nowhere. As Lawrence White says, it’s like blaming gravity for a plane crash. It certainly doesn’t suggest any sensible policy response. The religion professor said we need more regulation. But if people are greedy, how do more regulators promise to improve matters? They are people too.

If we can’t trust people with freedom, how can we trust them with power?

People can't be trusted with anything. We should just drug 'em all up and keep them in tanks of saline solution like the whatchamajiggums on "Minority Report."

BTW, make sure you read the comments after the article as well.

I think Mises.org must be bugging my phone

Gresham's Law came up in a conversation with my brother the other day, so they post this article, Wage and Price Controls In The Ancient World, with this quote from Yuan Hsieh (AD 1223):
Now, the officials are anxious to increase wealth, and want to put both iron money and copper money in circulation. If money were suddenly made abundant during a period of scarcity, it should be very good. But the fact never can be so. Formerly, because the paper money was too much, the copper money became less. If we now add the iron money to it, should not the copper money but become still less? Formerly, because the paper money was too much, the price of commodities was dear. If we now add the iron money to the market, would the price not become still dearer? … When we look over the different provinces, the general facts are these. Where paper and money are both employed, paper is super-abundant, but money is always insufficient. Where the copper money is the only currency without any other money, money is usually abundant. Therefore, we know that the paper can only injure the copper money, but not help its insufficiency.[22]

The copper, in this case, goes to where it is most valued. Sometimes that's your mattress, but usually it goes to where "you get the most bang for your buck."

The footnote points to: Huan-ehang Chen, The Economic Principles of Confucius and His School (New York: Longmans, 1911) pp. 444–445.

I love the discussion of the Sumerian (Lagash) concept of Ama-gi, too. It means freedom, though, etymologically, it means, "return to the mother."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oh! In case you didn't notice

Ron's back! He's having trouble with the new interface, but hopefully he'll get that all straightened out soon.

Thomas Woods is going to be in town

this weekend (thanks for the link, Marianne). I just finished his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History today. I enjoy watching his speeches on YouTube, particularly this one from the Rally for the Republic last year.

The dude can flat rouse some rabble!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Want to know what I really think?

The proof that Marxism was crap came with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The proof that Keynesianism was crap came with the stagflation of the ‘70s.
The proof that Monetarism is crap is coming now with the collapse of the international banking system.

Feeding the crocodile in the hope that he’ll eat you last.

Who’s next? I'm attacking the vulgar versions of these theories, because vulgar people make policy.

How about that List guy? Note the "see also" section.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I believe I'll be adding

Brian Wright to my blogroll. A couple of those links are dead, I'm afraid. Let's put in one that works.

Here's a good one

from Wendy McElroy:
In 1914, Lord Edward Grey said of World War I, "the lights are going out across Europe. We shall not see them again for a long time." [In some versions, the quote ends "We shall not see them again in our lifetime."] And, yet, freedom recovered from the convulsing insanity of world war...as it will recover again. I believe this is inevitable because liberty is not an institution but an urge within man, and human nature will not change.

I like the last part.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Grigg mentioned Jeffrey Hummel's book

Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men. I don't have that one and haven't read it (excellent review here and Ross has a long article about it here), but the title comes from something Lincoln said about conscription, I believe, but I'm not finding it on the web, so I'll have to get ahold of Hummel's book. He mentions it in passing in this speech, Slavery in America, at FEE. (He gives a couple other speeches at their History and Liberty seminar, too: The Radicalism of the American Founding and One Nation Under Bigger Government: The Civil War

Ross, btw, contests Hummel's notion that slavery would have died quickly in the Confederacy if they had been allowed to secede. That idea predates Hummel's book, my Grampa, a history teacher in Oklahoma, used to say that too. It seems to me, though, that Hummel's speech (the first one) gives credence to Ross' argument in that he tells us that the theory of racism/slavery was given a strong boost by the Haitian uprising and subsequent events there.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Want to see a Libertarian Manifesto?

Well, I'll just link to it then. William N. Grigg, the author, linked to that from here. Follow the Salamis link, too, when you read the latter.

I just bought that Shenandoah at Buy.com because of this guy.

Oh, hey! I see there's a quote from the movie I just bought in my Google Ads. Actually a paraphrase. I bought a couple; I'll review the lot on Bourgeois Philistines. There's a link around here somewhere. That's where I do that sort of thing.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Amen!

From Keynesian Creationism - Part I, by Max Borders at TCS Daily:
As popular as the barb ["market fundamentalism"] has become in the titter-factories of the left blogosphere, it misses. For example, it's not that free-market types don't believe in "market failure." Indeed, far from being dogmatic about the power of markets to solve every problem under the sun, it's that we're skeptical about government power to solve any such problem. But prior to that, we start by asking "fail at what?" If we can agree on X and on the criteria for the success or failure of X, we want to then talk about alternative means—particularly those that involve the Rube Goldberg apparatus of state bureaucracy.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I feel like posting this graph

I got from Friesian.com:

It goes well with this quote:
We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong ... somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises.... I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started.... And an enormous debt to boot!

Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of the Treasury, testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee, May 9, 1939

The old boy jumped right off the reservation, didn't he?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Hey! Happy Birthday, Ron!

Here's the old geezer right here!



Why does the phrase, "Book 'im, Danno!" come to mind?

Dut da dut da Da-ah Da-ah...

Crap! It says "Embedding disabled by request." I'd have that video here in a second! My kinda thing.

No, he's not in Hawaii. I think he's been there, though.

I promise to send him there when I'm rich, how about that?