Thu, 30 Oct 2008

Rainbows vs. the USFS

Here's my advice to the rainbow family people of influence. I don't want to say "leaders", because as a herd of cats, they have no leaders, and they're not kidding when they say that.

Posted [21:28] [Filed in: ] [permalink] [Google for the title] rainbow,rainbowgathering,rainbowfamily,usfs,forestservice [digg this]

Wed, 29 Oct 2008

O'Reily repeats the common foolishness

Sigh. Tim O'Reilly says:

The financial crisis we face today is a damning indictment of a philosophy that insists that the market is always right, that government only gets in the way, and that unfettered capitalism is the best system.
I say Sarbanes-Oxley and wonder how he (and many other people) can say that capitalism is unfettered.

Yes, I know that Tim is just repeating the common wisdom, but I expect uncommon wisdom from Tim.

Posted [15:42] [Filed in: ] [permalink] [Google for the title] freemarket,economics [digg this]

Tue, 28 Oct 2008

Christian Crumlish is totally creepy

Christian Crumlish, whose twitter username is mediajunkie, posted this totally creepy tweet, which I reproduce in whole here: Been thinking lately that we don't invest in government; govt invests in us. Taxes are dividends issued to investor (govt).

I hope that it's perfectly clear why this thought is so horrifying. In case it isn't, consider that businesses pay dividends to their investors. The investors own the company. The investors are free to kill the company. So, pursing the analogy Christian proposes, if governments are investing in their citizens, and the citizens pay dividends (taxes), then the government owns the citizens, and if the government wishes to liquidate that portion of its business, it should be free to do so.

Is there anybody who does NOT think that's totally creepy??

Posted [12:28] [Filed in: ] [permalink] [Google for the title] totalitarian,economics [digg this]

Sun, 26 Oct 2008


The success of any enterprise is predicated on the steps it takes to handle the inevitable misteaksakes.

Posted [21:07] [Filed in: ] [permalink] [Google for the title] economics,enterprise,mistakes [digg this]

The Crisis, understood in six sentences

Regulation on the part of legislators was lacking.

Regulation on the part of corporations was lacking.

Nobody thinks people are capable of self-regulation.

The Corporations have competitors, and their malfeasance is limited by customer flight.

The States compete with each other, and their malfeasance is limited by citizen flight.

The Federal government has almost no power to tax, and a strictly limited set of powers.

Or not.

Posted [01:31] [Filed in: ] [permalink] [Google for the title] economics,bailout,recession,depression,depressionof2008 [digg this]

Wed, 22 Oct 2008

New Scientist, Old Nonsense 2

Feel free to send me email in liu of commenting. I'm happy to reply to any comments.

Michael Augden writes:

I just read your post about the new scientist article. I'm not an economist, but it seems your argument against their assertion forgets one thing. My apple is grown in Washington, your banana is grown in Central America, a great deal of resource goes into transporting those two products to their respective markets. Am I not seeing something here??

No, you're seeing too much. Ordinarily in economics, a good thing. The assertion made by the non-scientists at the New Scientist (maybe that's why they're new scientists?) is that economic growth always requires consumption of resources. In order to prove them wrong, I only need to show that economic growth can happen without consumption of resources.

Yes, resources were consumed transporting the apple and banana to the same location. That was economic growth. However, when you and I trade our bananas and apples, we're in the same location. No more resources will be consumed than have already been consumed. Yet when we trade, we grow economically. No resources consumed in *that* trade, which is my point. Resources do not need to be consumed to have economic growth.

In case the appleness and banananess are confusing you, consider the case where somebody needs coins for a vending machine that doesn't take bills. They take a bill and ask somebody for change. They get the change, so they're better off. Somebody else gets a bill which they value equally to the change. They bothered to make the change because being nice has intrinsic value to them.

Posted [18:04] [Filed in: ] [permalink] [Google for the title] economics [digg this]

Sat, 18 Oct 2008

New Scientist, Old Nonsense

The New Scientist has published a special report: How our economy is killing the Earth. It's a farrago of economic nonsense. Tim O'Reilly recommended this article on twitter. I told him it was nonsense. He accused me of being an ideologue. Here is my response to him.

Okay, so, an ideologue is someone who continues to apply a theory in spite of contradictory facts. So if you're not an ideologue yourself, then if I supply a contradictory fact to "most important link", then you will stop applying that theory, okay?

The New Scientist article is built around this question:

This one is built on a long-standing question: how do we square Earth's finite resources with the fact that as the economy grows, the amount of natural resources needed to sustain that activity must grow too?

It's NOT a fact that a growing economy requires more natural resources. Here's the extremely obvious fact which refutes that:

If I have an apple and you have a banana, but I want a banana and you want an apple, and we trade, we are both economically better-off, and yet no more natural resources have been consumed. Without this growth, you would have eaten your banana and me my apple and both of us been economically poorer.

Now, you may say "but no money was involved, so this isn't economic growth." If you think that matters, then substitute a dollar for my banana. Same conclusion, except that you weren't going to eat your dollar, and neither am I.

This fact shows that it is indeed possible to have economic growth without consuming natural resources. The New Scientist article collapses in a heap since it's core assumption is false.

Further, you can see that unhindered trade consequently causes economic growth. So if you don't want unlimited economic growth, you MUST stop people from trading. Everyone must be self-sufficient, live on a farm, eat the products of their own dirt, and die when the crops fail.

Posted [11:05] [Filed in: ] [permalink] [Google for the title] economics [digg this]

Mon, 13 Oct 2008

Nobel Jumps the Shark

Okay, the Nobel Committee has jumped the shark. Any claim they may have had to authority has melted away in the sunlight. Krugman wins the Nobel price for Economics?? Krugman?? That's absurd. He's completely incompetent. Perhaps, in the past, he deserved his PhD, but at this point, MIT should demand that he return it to them.

Posted [08:23] [Filed in: ] [permalink] [Google for the title] economics,novel,rubbish [digg this]

Wed, 08 Oct 2008

Health Care is a Right??

So, Obama thinks that health care is a right, eh? But without sufficient calories, nothing will keep you healthy. Thus food care is a prior need to health care. So Obama is in favor of food care, then.

Way to go, Barack! Let's turn the doctors and farmers into slaves, whose productive output belongs to all of us.

Oh. Wait. You want to pay them. How are you going to pay them? Right, with our own money.

And you want us to vote for you?

Are you stupid?

Or are we?

Posted [01:51] [Filed in: ] [permalink] [Google for the title] economics,healthcare,medicine,socialist [digg this]

Reasons to be Depressed

Posted [01:49] [Filed in: ] [permalink] [Google for the title] economics,failout,bailout [digg this]