Friday, August 19, 2011

Libertarian Links

A libertarian island?

Chavez nationalizes gold production and potentially fires the shot that crashes the world economy (though not really his fault this time.) (Must read)

More risible than rude was the President's comment that, "If we don't think there are more benefits than costs to [a rule], we're not going to do it." His own White House's recent report to Congress admitted that for most of the major rules the Obama Administration imposed on Americans in 2010, the government had failed to analyze both costs and benefits.

Taking on Warren Buffet's collectivist tax claims.

On Monday, the Wisconsin Education Association Council announced it will lay off about 40% of its staff, a change executive director Dan Burkhalter blamed on Mr. Walker’s “union-busting legislation.” In December the union will face another reality check, as 51% of its members must vote to recertify it as their representative. With members no longer captive dues payers, the union has been forced to begin new outreach efforts, including home visits, to sell its relevance to workers. 

SEC destroying key documents?

Paul Krugman advocates war based on lies to "stimulate economy."  Really.

Outstanding student debt has climbed 25 percent since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York — an increase from $440 billion then to $550 billion now. By contrast, every other major category of consumer debt, including mortgage debt, credit card debt, auto loans and home equity loans, is lower today than it was in the fall of 2008.

Green stimulus failure.

“I wrote letters to attorneys plainly marked ‘Legal Mail’ and addressed to lawyers with the title Attorney at Law. The FEDS opened those sealed letters, photo copied them, then sent them back to me as part of their pre-trial document production, a clear violation of US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment guarantee of ‘Assistance of Counsel’ to criminal defendants like me.”

You may have heard that Japan is a government-directed society, and in many ways it is. But in terms of the constituents of daily life being privately owned and marginally priced, it is a libertarian's dream world. For example, there are relatively few free city parks. Many green spaces are private and gated off (admission is usually around $5).

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Libertarian Links

Rick Perry's crony capitalism.

More against Rick Perry: "Rick Perry, you signed an executive order forcing young Texas schoolgirls to get the HPV vaccine even if it was against their will -- even if it was against their parents' will -- while your former chief of staff was a lobbyist for Merck. Rick Perry, your judgment was so bad the Texas legislature revolted against you and overturned your decision."

Radley Balko on Perry.

[W]e now have the Securities and Exchange Commission starting an insider-trading investigation of who inside S&P worked on the downgrade.  This comes on top of an announced Senate probe into S&P’s decision.
The National Association of Manufacturers asked its members last month how the National Labor Relations Board's decision against Boeing's Sourth Carolina plant case is affecting their decision-making. Some 60% said the government's case already has—or could—hurt hiring. Sixty-nine percent said the case would damage job growth. And 49% said capital expenditure plans "have been or may be impacted by the NLRB's complaint.

When you include the costs of federal deficit spending and the regulatory burden this year, however, you don't reach the Cost of Government Day until Aug. 12. Americans will work for 103 days to pay for federal spending, 44 days for state and local spending and 77 days to cover the cost of the regulatory burden.

“Health centers do not, as a matter of routine practice, ask about or collect data on citizenship or other matters not related to the treatment needs of the patients seeking health services at the center,” Andrews said.

NYPD admits to monitoring social networks for End the Fed rallies.

I think you have to pair this idea with the multiple studies showing that access to pornography in specific and violent entertainment in general reduces the prevalence of rape. Violent entertainment seems to contain violent impulses, not unleash them.

On some days, the pilots with Great Lakes Airlines fire up a twin-engine Beechcraft 1900 at the Ely, Nev., airport and depart for Las Vegas without a single passenger on board. And the federal government pays them to do it.

France, Belgium, Italy and Spain Ban Short Selling

Gold Falls Most in Seven Weeks as Margins Raised

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Libertarian Links

“There is a significant discrepancy between what most Americans – including many members of Congress – think the Patriot Act allows the government to do and how government officials interpret that same law,” wrote the Senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall.

Great video on Medicaid fraud.

Health-care costs rose about 8% in 2011 and are projected to rise by 8.5% in 2012.

An Obama alphabet.

More than half of alternate route teachers (53%) believe that abolishing tenure would improve education, while just 31% of traditional route teachers share that view.

Payments to individuals as a percentage of government outlays.

Obama's cabinet secretaries acting with undue power.

Medicare facts.

Officials in Longhui County, a rural area of Hunan Province, have a history of kidnapping unauthorized babies and selling them on the black market when the parents are unable to pay exorbitant fines that may amount to five times their annual income. "I can't even describe my hatred of those family planning officials," says Yang Libing, the father of a nine-month-old girl who was snatched from his parents' home in 2005 while he was working in another town.
Of the 34 generic cancer drugs on the market, as of this month, 14 were in short supply. They include drugs that are the mainstay of treatment regimens used to cure leukemia, lymphoma and testicular cancer.
Why? Because of what are essentially government prices controls on generic cancer drugs.

Thus, a cruise ship cannot start in Los Angeles and end in San Francisco unless it stops in Tokyo or Lima first. But it can start in Los Angeles, go to San Francisco, then later end in Los Angeles, as long as it stops in Ensenada, Mexico or Victoria, British Columbia first.

Which is why some homeowners in Old Town Alexandria were surprised to learn recently that their chain-link fences were historic and that removing them could put them in hot water with the city's historic preservation office.
In 1951, General Dwight Eisenhower said that if U.S. troops were still stationed in Europe ten years later to protect American allies, then NATO "will have failed."

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