Thomas Sowell - Political Vs Market
quinta-feira, fevereiro 26, 2015
O Estado somos nós? por José Manuel Moreira:
.. dois sentidos muito diferentes do termo Estado. Um, que designa a sociedade organizada, com governo autónomo, em que nós somos todos membros do Estado: o Estado somos nós. E outro, como diria B. de Jouvenel, que denota o aparelho que governa a sociedade. Aqui os seus membros são os que partilham do Poder: o poder são eles. Ora a esperteza destes, que vivem da gestão e controlo dos interesses instalados, foi conseguir deslocar o sentido da palavra de modo que o Estado, em vez de significar o aparelho que comanda a Sociedade, passasse a traduzir a ideia de que a Sociedade se comanda a si mesma. Uma fraude intelectual inconsciente que levou a que o aparelho governamental, de expressão da Sociedade, se transformasse em máquina estatal com poderes e interesses próprios. Truque feito, antes, em nome de um Estado de bem-estar, e agora em defesa do bem-estar de um Estado cada vez mais capturado por uma oligarquia que se afirma como dona disto: num para si tudo e para os outros o rigor da lei.
Regulate the Dating Market:
The United States government has wisely chosen to regulate most other aspects of life, from what wage you are allowed to work for to what medicines a patient is allowed to buy over the counter. Voluntary interactions are all well and good, but the bottom line is that people have to be protected from themselves. The trade-off between liberty and security exists not only in privacy and foreign policy: we must strike a similar balance in the arena of love.
I propose the creation of a new government organization, the Committee to Assure Romantic Equity (CARE), to bring an end to the current Wild West of romance. Three powerful sets of regulations would bring much-needed stability to the chaos of dating.
Just as professionals — from hair-braiders to interior decorators — must be licensed, so too the government must step in to license daters.
It is self-evident by now that free markets aren’t qualified to distribute scarce natural resources. Unregulated capitalism causes intense inequality .. To remedy this situation, every man and woman should be forced to submit to CARE the number of dates he or she has planned each week.
Each man or woman preparing to let a partner go should have to fill out several forms showing due cause. No one should have to fear being dumped for trifling reasons
The Net Neutrality Scam:
The natural outcome will be more “regulatory capture,” in which the institutions with the most at stake in a regulatory agency’s decisions end up controlling the agencies themselves. We see this all the time in the revolving door between legislators, regulators, and lobbyists. And you can also be sure that once this happens, the industry will close itself off to new innovative firms seeking to enter the marketplace. The regulatory agencies will ensure the health of the status quo providers at the cost of new entrepreneurs and new competitors.
quinta-feira, fevereiro 19, 2015
How Truly Free Markets Help the Poor:
Everywhere the government intervenes to “help” we find not more choice, but less. Not more jobs, but fewer. Do you want to start up your own taxi service by driving people around? Forget about it if you have not obtained all the applicable (and costly) government licenses. Do you want to rent out your converted garage to tenants for cash? Too bad. Zoning laws don’t allow it. Do you want to get a job at five bucks per hour for your teenage son who has no skills? Sorry, that’s illegal too. Do you need a loan, but you’re a high risk borrower? Get lost. We’d have to charge you a high interest rate. That’s usury, and it’s not allowed.
We’re told every day that the only solution to poverty is more government power, more government regulation, more central planning, bigger deficits, and less freedom.
The true solution, however, is better described by a left-wing slogan: “Legalize Poverty.” The left usually says this when homeless people are being thrown off government property, but it’s better applied to the many types of free enterprise that are placed out of reach to the poor by government edicts. So many low-income workers must turn to black markets and low-wage semi-legal work because that’s all that’s open to them. It’s simply illegal for them to find entry-level work in mainstream enterprises, keep all of their meager wages, or start up small enterprises. Needless to say, these assaults on free markets help no one but the government agents paid to enforce them.
Whenever the government makes a power grab, people automatically expect everyone who opposes it to know exactly how the problem will be solved without government intervention. This can make for a rather busy study schedule for those of us who oppose government on principle. Government inserts itself into every aspect of the economy, whether it is medicine, or Internet, or food, or sex. It is rare to find some aspect of our lives over which the government doesn’t want to have some say in what happens. By the standard of statists, you would have to be an expert on damn near everything to make an argument against government as an institution, and that’s just plain ridiculous.
I don’t need to be a doctor to tell you that the State is inefficient, malicious, and irresponsible. I don’t need to be an IT professional to tell you that the State will ruin the Internet with net neutrality. I don’t need to be an expert on sexuality to tell you that the government has no place in our bedrooms. I don’t need to be a nutritionist to tell you that government shouldn’t be telling us what to eat. All I need to know is that the system of incentives provided by the State, an institution that claims the authority to violently force people to do things they would not otherwise do, creates an environment for victimization, and little else.
So if somebody were to tell me “We need XYZ government policy or the human race will cease to exist” part of the reason I would choose the extinction of the human race, is because I know with certainty I’m just calling a bluff. If anything is going to put the survival of humanity at risk, it is the State itself.
terça-feira, fevereiro 17, 2015
How Economic Aggregation Hides the Problems of Interventionism:
The main point, however, is that to rely on aggregates as the focus moves attention away from individuals, who are the only ones who choose, act, and bear consequences. Even without further complexities and problems, that approach can hide everything from income redistribution between different groups (net taxes) to income redistribution within groups (minimum and living wage laws) to supply-side effects on production (taxes and means tested government benefit programs) to the impossibility of central planners directing an economy efficiently (with statistics that throw away details that are crucial to the creation of wealth) to the ambiguity of measures of the value of output (government production assumed to be what it cost). That is a lot to disguise or misrepresent, and such issues provide more than ample reason for suspicion whenever someone puts forth an argument from a major premise that “government aggregate X did Y, therefore we know that Z follows.”
The Eugenics Plot Behind the Minimum Wage:
.. the minimum wage is in a special category because, these days, its effects are so little understood. One hundred years ago, legislating a price floor on wages was a policy deliberately conceived to impoverish the lower classes and the undesirables, and thereby to disincentivize their reproduction. A polite gulag.
.. A national minimum wage passed in 1931 with the Davis-Bacon Act. It required that firms receiving federal contracts pay prevailing wages, which meant union wages, a principle that later became a national minimum wage.
Speeches in support of the law were explicit about the fear that black workers were undercutting the demands of white-only unions. The minimum wage was a fix: it made it impossible to work for less. The sordid history of the minimum wage law is harrowing in its intent but, at least, realistic about what wage floors actually do. They stop upward mobility.
.. The eugenics movement, however evil its motive, understood an economic truth: the minimum wage excludes people from the job market. It takes away from marginal populations their most important power in the job market: the power to work for less. It cartelizes the labor market by allowing higher-wage groups access while excluding lower-wage groups.
King wrote of the cruelty of government in his day. That cruelty extends far back in time, and is crystallized by a wage policy that effectively makes productivity and upward mobility illegal. If we want to reject eugenic policies and the racial malice behind them, we should also repudiate the minimum wage and embrace the universal right to bargain.
quarta-feira, janeiro 28, 2015
Moving Money Around Won’t Make Us Richer:
One of the great debates today between left and right is whether government stimulus is worth it. The left says “yes, early and often.” And the right says “only in the right circumstances.” Unsurprisingly, both left and right are completely off — stimulus is the quickest way to impoverish an economy.
Stimulus isn’t some magical leprechaun dropping ice cream and puppies from heaven — it’s merely redistribution of resources. Stimulus is taking from those who have and giving to the government’s pals.
So the question “does stimulus work?” is completely missing the point. Putting aside the injustice of redistributive theft, the productivity question is whether the guys who got the bidding tickets did more market-led investment than the guys whose tickets were devalued.
There is no economic reason to think mere redistribution would make us richer. In fact, there are excellent reasons that show redistribution hurts the economy. “Stimulus” itself is nothing more than widespread impoverishment so a clutch of politicians can buy friends.
Everything You Love You Owe to Capitalism:
... sitting on the other side of the table are well-educated people who imagine that the way to end the world's woes is through socialism. Now, people's definitions of socialism differ, and these persons would probably be quick to say that they do not mean the Soviet Union or anything like that. That was socialism in name only, I would be told. And yet, if socialism does mean anything at all today, it imagines that there can be some social improvement resulting from the political movement to take capital out of private hands and put it into the hands of the state. Other tendencies of socialism include the desire to see labor organized along class lines and given some sort of coercive power over how their employers' property is used. It might be as simple as the desire to put a cap on the salaries of CEOs, or it could be as extreme as the desire to abolish all private property, money, and even marriage.
Whatever the specifics of the case in question, socialism always means overriding the free decisions of individuals and replacing that capacity for decision making with an overarching plan by the state. Taken far enough, this mode of thought won't just spell an end to opulent lunches. It will mean the end of what we all know as civilization itself.
In short, the wish for socialism is a wish for unparalleled human evil. If we really understood this, no one would express casual support for it in polite company. It would be like saying, you know, there is really something to be said for malaria and typhoid and dropping atom bombs on millions of innocents.
Je suis Page 3:
I’m perplexed when otherwise intelligent women assert that there’s a causal connection between things like Page 3 and actual physical harm done to women, because there’s almost no research to back up such claims. On the contrary, the regions of the world in which women are most at risk of physical harm — places like northern Iraq, where Yazidi women are raped, tortured and sold into sexual slavery, or parts of rural India, where suttee is still practised — are those places where pornography is strictly forbidden. As a general rule, the more sexually repressed a society is, the more likely women are to be abused. That suggests Orwell was on to something when he argued that seaside postcards and the like were an integral part of a civilised society, not a threat.
They are the direct descendants of the bluestocking temperance campaigners who took a similarly dim view of gin and beer -— the sandal-wearing scolds who tried to stamp out all traces of vulgarity from the public square. Orwell thought they’d never succeed because the common people would always greet their efforts to improve them with a chorus of raspberries. But they have succeeded, and our society is a duller — and more dangerous — place as a result.
quinta-feira, janeiro 15, 2015
Take Back the Word “Liberal”
The other advantage to using the word liberalism properly is that it provides an opportunity to bring up names like Thomas Jefferson, Adam Smith, Frédéric Bastiat, Lysander Spooner, Benjamin Tucker, Albert Jay Nock, Rose Wilder Lane, plus the more modern tradition with Rand, Mises, Rothbard, and Hayek, plus the tens of thousands of people who long for liberty today in academia, business, punditry, and public life generally. Just using the old term in its proper way provides an opportunity for enlightenment.
It’s true that liberalism of the old school had its problems. I have my own issues with the positions of the old liberals, and they include a general naïveté over democracy, too great a tolerance for the mythical “night-watchman state,” and some latent affection for colonialism.
The more important point is that genuine liberalism has continued to learn and grow and now finds a more consistent embodiment in what is often but awkwardly called libertarianism or market anarchism, both of which are rightly considered an extension of the old liberal intellectual project.
I've decided to become a maxarchist. I want the maximum amount of authoritarian control possible. Of course, we have to allow SOME freedom, or no wealth will be produced and we will all starve. But I want to push that limit, having as much extortion and state violence as possible, allowing only the minimal amount of freedom that will keep the human race alive. You might ask, how does that differ from the Republican and Democratic parties? Well, apparently they want to get there slowly, and I want to get all the way there right now! No point doing it piecemeal! If we're going to do it, let's be quick about it! If elected, I promise to tax and regulate everyone and everything as much as possible, as soon as possible! Who's with me?! VOTE MAXARCHIST!!
Other than just being silly, there is almost a point here. The term "minarchist" doesn't actually mean anything. EVERY statist can claim to be a minarchist, as long as he says that what HE wants "government" to do is "necessary." He might think the "necessary" minimum is 90% of the way to totalitarianism, and you might think it's 1% of the way there. But if you advocate a ruling class at all, there is no actual PRINCIPLE separating you. In short, those who wear the label "minarchist" do so because they want THEIR advocacy of authoritarian domination to look nicer than that of other statists. But if you're not an anarchist, then by definition, you are a statist. The fact that you want a more permissive slavemaster to own and control me does NOT mean you advocate freedom. And it does not mean you are "on my side."
Há um conceito que infeliz, infalível, e obviamente muita esquerdalha supostamente economicamente literada não capicha - oportunidade. Uma empresa pública dar "lucro" (esquecedo toda a contabilidade criativa, e previlégios regulatórios, etc etc) não é de todo argumento para não se privatizar. Nem é razão privatizar-se só porque dão prejuízo. Para além de todos os argumentos paralelos (incluindo morais), a gestão de qualquer empresa com maior ou menor presença do Estado é sempre envenenada pelos incentivos perversos causados pelo Estado. Uma empresa "pública" que dê "lucro" não deixa de estar a destruir valor - dito de outra forma, em mãos capazes produziria _mais_.