Monday, March 31, 2014

Out of Poverty: Through Sweatshops

Ben Powell, Out of Poverty: Sweatshops in the Global Economy:

    The very process of industrialization and development, of which sweatshops are part, is ultimately the cure for sweatshops.  As capital accumulates, technology improves, and as workers build skills productivity rises.  As firms compete with each other for the productive workers, total compensation gets bid up.  This process raises wages and improves working conditions, and it occurred in virtually all of the wealthy countries of the world today.

    I have studied sweatshops for the past ten years.  In that time I have become convinced that many well-meaning people advocate actions that are detrimental to the lives of sweatshop workers because they do not understand the economic forces that govern the creation of sweatshops and their alternatives….

    Rather than hold protests that risk cutting the process of development short by destroying sweatshop jobs, activists should instead buy products made in these factories and embrace the forces of economic development that will improve the lives of sweatshop workers.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

speaking clearly & mouthing a big ‘shtick’

“What we are now doing is organizing even more intensively to make sure that we have contingency plans and that every one of our NATO allies has assurances that we will act in their defense against any threats.”

-- U.S. President Barack Obama
is that speaking clearly & mouthing a big ‘shtick’

Monday, March 24, 2014


THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION WAS TOO BUSY SPYING ON TEA PARTIERS AND JOURNALISTS: Electronic Eavesdropping Gave No Warning Of Crimea Invasion. Interestingly, this article doesn’t mention Snowden at all, but it’s possible that the Russians learned some things about avoiding NSA spying from him.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Going into Politics with Horror and Shame

Going into Politics with Horror and Shame
Don Boudreaux
Although we today in the U.S. and other countries of the modern world have a healthier respect for bourgeois values and pursuits than was common among people in the pre-modern world, we can do better – and there’s no better place to start than by talking more openly of politicians as being generally a venal, duplicitous, megalomaniacal, predatory, and status- and power-mad bunch.  I would love to see the day when parents react to a child’s announcement that he or she is going into politics with the same horror and shame that would overcome them if their child were to announce that he or she is going into armed robbery.


Jack Hirshleifer) that lead up to the miracle and that describe matters following the miracle might well be the flawless products of unquestionable brilliance.  But it is simply, deeply, and inexcusably unscientific for economists (or any one, for that matter) to simply assume that government will perform as the social-engineering theory requires it to perform.  Put differently, despite more than a half-century of scholarship in public-choice economics, too many economists mysteriously regard warnings about government failing to act ‘perfectly’ as being unworthy or, at least, only of secondary or tertiary significance.  It’s unscientific – deeply so.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


H.L. Mencken was spot-on correct when he observed that “[t]he kind of man who demands that government enforce his ideas is always the kind whose ideas are idiotic.”
H.L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy (New York: Knopf, 1949), p. 623.

Thursday, March 06, 2014


Why Do Bad Things Always Happen to Him?
"Vladimir Putin has put President Barack Obama's vacation plans on hold. Obama is headed to Coral Reef High School in the southern part of Miami, Fla., on Friday for an event about education and the economy that first lady Michelle Obama had been expected to attend as well. What hadn't been known was that Obama's daughters were planning to come with them, and that the four were going to extend the trip for a brief family getaway. Now, the White House tells Politico that he's reconsidering.", March 5


Sheldon Richman’s definition of the state is spot-on accurate:

    The state is an organization of mere mortals who, by one dubious method or another, have been allowed to don the mantle of political legitimacy and to command obedience on pain of imprisonment even of those who never consented to the preposterous arrangement.

Zora Neale Hurston‘s 1942 autobiography, Dust Tracks On A Road:
    “There is no single face in nature, because every eye that looks upon it, sees it from its own angle.”

Monday, March 03, 2014

weak and indecisive president that invites aggression

 Quote of the Day

Every time the president goes on national television and threatens Putin or anyone like Putin, everybody's eyes roll, including mine. We have a weak and indecisive president that invites aggression. President Obama needs to do something.

-- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" in response to U.S. President Barack Obama's reaction to the situation unfolding in Ukraine.

Weighing in on the Ukraine crisis, Mike Cochrane of Nebraska predicted that "Russia will move in and take over as they gradually try to put the U.S.S.R. back together. The U.S. might warn Russia to not do that, but Putin knows the head guy in D.C. won't do anything and will ignore any warnings." From New Jersey, Gerard M. Benvenuto wrote that "[i]f it weren't for the English-speaking nations, Europeans today would be speaking either German or Russian. We should not forget that a strong United States is needed to counteract the forces of evil. Those forces today are led by Putin and radical Islam."

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: “The capitals of Europe have gone from complacency to a near panic in the last 72 hours, not simply over the crisis in the Ukraine but in the growing awareness that for at least the last half decade they’ve been standing on a trapdoor. At least president Obama, the leader of the Free World, has.”

 late, great Benjamin Rogge’s 1965 article “Note on the Election,” as it appears in Liberty Fund’s 1981 single-volume collection of New Individualist Review:

    It matters less what name I drop into the ballot box on election day than what ideas I drop into the common pool during my lifetime.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Ukraine Burns- Obama Fiddles and Spouts Double Speak

Ukraine Burns- Obama Fiddles and Spouts Double Speak
 ‘Uncontested arrival’ is the best Orwellian euphemism for war since ‘kinetic military action.’”
Update: “Ukraine threatened: Obama fires verbs at Russian tanks,” Neil Munro writes at the Daily Caller.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Obama Tells the World We Aren’t Going to Do Anything About Invasion of Ukraine.