During South Africa's apartheid era, its racist unions were the major supporters of minimum wages for blacks. South Africa's Wage Board said, "The method would be to fix a minimum rate for an occupation or craft so high that no Native would likely be employed." In the U.S., in the aftermath of a strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, when the arbitration board decreed that blacks and whites were to be paid equal wages, the white unionists expressed their delight saying, "If this course of action is followed by the company and the incentive for employing the Negro thus removed, the strike will not have been in vain."
Tragically, minimum wages have the unquestioned support of good-hearted, well-meaning people with little understanding who become the useful idiots of charlatans, quacks and racists.
Quarta-feira, Dezembro 11, 2013
Minimum Wage Cruelty por Walter Williams:
NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks:
His encyclical is about economics, and it reveals a disturbing ignorance ..
Thank God, so to speak, that his teaching authority is limited to faith and morals, because in matters of economics, he is wide of the mark.
His encyclical, titled “Joy of the Gospel,” attacks free-market capitalism because it takes too long for the poor to get rich. “They are still waiting,” the pope wrote. Without capitalism, which rewards hard work and sacrifice, they will wait forever. No economic system in history has alleviated more poverty, generated more opportunity and helped more formerly poor people become rich than capitalism. The essence of capitalism goes to the core of Catholic teaching: the personal freedom of every person. Capitalism is freedom to risk, freedom to work, freedom to save, freedom to retain the fruits of one’s labors, freedom to own property and freedom to give to charity.
The problem with modern capitalism — a problem that escaped the scrutiny of His Holiness — is not too much freedom, but too little. The regulation of free markets by governments, the control of the private means of production by government bureaucrats, and the unholy alliances between governments, banks and industry have raised production costs, stifled competition, established barriers to entry into markets, raised taxes, devalued savings and priced many poor out of the labor force. The pope would do well to pray for those who have used government to steal freedom so as to satisfy their lust for power, and for those who have bowed to government so as to become rich from governmental benefits and not by the fruits of their own labors.
The pope seems to prefer common ownership of the means of production, which is Marxist, or private ownership and government control, which is fascist, or government ownership and government control, which is socialist. All of those failed systems lead to ashes, not wealth. Pope Francis must know this. He must also know that when Europe was in turmoil in 1931, his predecessor Pius XI wrote in one of his encyclicals: “[N]o one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true Socialist.”
Minimum Wages and Unemployment: Case Closed por Dom Armentano:
The only relevant issue in the debate about a government mandated minimum wage is: Does it reduce employment opportunities? The debate is not whether some workers will be better off after legal minimums are increased; some workers will. The debate is not whether “consumption” may increase when some workers are paid higher wages; it may, although unemployed workers will consume less. And the debate is not whether “rich” employers can afford to pay higher wages; some surely can, but whether they should be forced to do so by law is another matter entirely.
.. Raising the price of anything, while holding other variables constant, always reduces consumption somewhat. With income fixed and substitutes available, private employers use marginally fewer workers when their wages are increased by law. Simply exaggerating the wage increase will make the point obvious: If we double the minimum wage and leave productivity unchanged, is there anyone on the planet who believes that employment would not dramatically decline?
Everyone at some point needs an entry-level job and a chance to climb an employment ladder to higher pay. There is no moral or economic reason why government should discriminate against such jobs or eliminate the first few steps of that ladder.
Segunda-feira, Dezembro 09, 2013
Provide inadequate obedience. If the state requires you to perform a service, then do so in a manner that does not rise to the state’s standards.
Render only supervised obedience. When an authority figure is present, obey. When he is absent, then you do as you peacefully please.
Display false obedience. This occurs when a person pretends to obey but acts in a manner that constitutes thinly veiled disobedience.
The Pope's Rhetoric por Greg Mankiw:
First, throughout history, free-market capitalism has been a great driver of economic growth ..
Second, "trickle-down" is not a theory but a pejorative used by those on the left to describe a viewpoint they oppose. It is equivalent to those on the right referring to the "soak-the-rich" theories of the left. It is sad to see the pope using a pejorative, rather than encouraging an open-minded discussion of opposing perspectives.
Third, as far as I know, the pope did not address the tax-exempt status of the church ..
El libre mercado y la crítica del papa Francisco:
Afirmaciones categóricas en un documento de esta trascendencia deberían estar mejor respaldadas en su articulación. Para ser un documento de tanta trascendencia, deja ver un cierto desinterés o impericia en la forma de tratar problemas económicos. Imagínese la opinión en un texto económico crítico de la Iglesia con un claro uso superficial del lenguaje propio de la disciplina criticada acompañado de calificativos como “confianza burda e ingenua”. Utilizar definiciones imprecisas puede llevar a observar problemas donde no los hay.
La pregunta es, si usted sabe que va a ser pobre, ¿en qué tipo de país preferiría vivir, en unos de los libres o en uno de los no libres? El sector “pobre” en Estados Unidos, por ejemplo, posee ingresos por encima del 60% de la población mundial.
.. estos comentarios buscan desmitificar críticas al libre mercado que son opinión generalizada y trascienden al documento del Vaticano. Estos comentarios tampoco buscan cuestionar la autoridad espiritual y religiosa de las máximas autoridades de la Iglesia, pero sí evitar confundir autoridad espiritual o religiosa con autoridad económica.
Wealth, Inequality, and Pope Francis por David Applegate:
Once one properly understands wealth, it makes absolutely no sense for governments, churches, or other institutions to think they can make the world or the country better off by confiscating wealth from some people and giving it to others – especially after taking pieces of it for themselves. They are simply redistributing wealth, at both direct and indirect cost.
A decent society will always take care of its least fortunate, but mission-oriented civic organizations and individuals generally do a better and more cost-effective job of that than hierarchical organizations spending other people’s money.
So whether it’s the president or the Pope, be wary when anyone starts decrying the “inequality” of wealth in the world.
Chances are, they’re coming after yours.
Economics will not be mocked por Mario Rizzo:
Let us move on to ethics and the social gospel. I agree with Frank H. Knight and with Ludwig von Mises that the social gospel (in the sense of teachings about the social welfare policies of the state) is an expedient invention to keep the Church “relevant”. It has nothing to do with the gospels, the teaching of Christ or the ideas of the early Christians. Note that Jesus himself kept the question of the role or domain of the state open: Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.
If we move beyond Jesus’ exhortations to individuals about their moral behavior to papal exhortations about government policies to achieve the goal of eliminating or reducing avoidable human suffering, a scientific dimension is added. Policies have consequences, often unintended. The social interaction of people is more than the acts of people taken individually. There are complexities in these cases subject to scientific analysis.
The point is that policies are means to ends. They are not decrees about how the world should be. They can succeed or fail to achieve the desired moral ends. They can have consequences more undesirable than the problems they purport to solve. It is hard to see what the Church can authoritatively add to these discussions. Issues like income redistribution, globalization and financial speculation, however, are either above or below the papal pay grade. As Jeremy Bentham said about the state, the job is basically to “be quiet.”
But where social policy is concerned, fundamentally scientific issues are crucially involved and the Church has no greater teaching authority than the rest of us. To confuse matters by combining superficial scientific analysis with strictly moral teaching does neither the Church nor the world much good.
The Pope's Self-Defeating Anti-Capitalistic Rant:
Pope Francis doesn’t have to thank capitalism, a system that has done far more to alleviate poverty, his pet crusade, than the institution he leads. But he should at least stop demonizing it—not least because it enables the very activity that he cherishes most: charity.
Poverty is the default condition of humanity. It is the given. What needs explaining is wealth. And the greatest engine of wealth creation is the market. By raising productivity and lowering the price of goods, markets certainly help the rich, but they help the poor more. Capitalism’s most impressive achievement, Joseph Schumpeter noted, was not providing more silk stockings for the Queen, “but in bringing them within reach of factory girls.”
Indeed, far from promoting Social Darwinism that thrives on “the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless,” as the Pope claimed, capitalism does the opposite: It fosters economic competition among producers so that consumers don't have to compete for scarce goods. In 1900, it took an average worker in the West about an hour to earn a half a gallon of milk. In 1930, half an hour. And today? Scarcely a few minutes.
It is no exaggeration to say that charity is a balm for poverty but capitalism is the cure—or in Bono’s evocative mixed metaphor capitalism’s “job creators and innovators are the key, and aid is just a bridge."
The church itself is a big beneficiary of this capitalist largesse with its U.S. wing alone contributing 60 percent to its overall global wealth. Some of this money comes from donations, but a big chunk comes, actually, from directly partaking in capitalism: The church is reportedly the largest landowner in Manhattan, the financial center of the global capitalism system, whose income puts undisclosed sums into its coffers.
So the new Pope needs to be careful not to bite the hand that feeds his institution and its work. Otherwise, neither he nor the poor in whose name he is speaking will have much to be thankful for.
Ahistoric, Unscientific Papal Prejudice Is Okay When It’s About Capitalism, Anyway! por Matt Welch:
More people have escaped poverty the past 25 years than were alive on the planet in 1800. Their "means of escape" was largely the introduction of at least some "laws of competition" in endeavors that had long been the exclusive domain of authoritarian, monopolistic governments.
To look upon the miracles of this world and lament the lack of "means of escape" is to advertise your own ignorance. To call it a "tyranny" is to do violence to any meaningful sense of that important word .. And to make such absolutist statements as "everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest" is to admit up front that you are not primarily interested in spreading truth, but rather in exciting popular passions. Which I suppose makes sense.
It's a free world; .. But prejudice against global capitalism isn't some kind of twee affect coming from the mouth of one of the globe's largest religious institutions. It's an out-and-out attempt to rewrite measurable history to fit theological imperatives ..
Por qué se equivoca el Papa por Manuel Llamas:
Su posicionamiento ideológico en esta materia no es de extrañar si se observa, mínimamente, su larga carrera eclesiástica como obispo y, posteriormente, cardenal en Argentina. En este sentido, cabe señalar que Jorge Bergoglio siempre se ha caracterizado por comulgar con la denominada justicia social, doctrina socioeconómica de la que bebe, en mayor o menor medida, el justicialismo argentino, otrora conocido como peronismo. De ahí, precisamente, que su discurso económico se aproxime tanto a los postulados peronistas, llegando incluso a coincidir en ciertos aspectos con la Teología de la Liberación que tanto gusta a los socialistas, sean o no católicos.
.. cristianismo y capitalismo no sólo no son incompatibles sino perfectamente complementarios, tal y como sostienen diversos think tanks liberales, como es el caso del Instituto Acton de Argentina o el Centro Diego de Covarrubias de España. No por casualidad, el Instituto Juan de Mariana, referente liberal en España, adopta el nombre de un jesuita, el más prominente pensador de la Escuela de Salamanca.
En segundo lugar, porque, muy al contrario de lo que afirma el Papa, el capitalismo, cuyo eje es la libertad económica, ha posibilitado la etapa de mayor crecimiento, prosperidad y bienestar de la historia.
Sábado, Novembro 30, 2013
Stefan Molyneux The True Value of Bitcoin: What You Really Need To Know
Ensaio sobre a cegueira:
Funcionários, médicos, professores e muitos outros grupos profissionais, que tanto ganharam nos anos fáceis, tinham de conhecer a trajectória ruinosa que os seus sistemas seguiam. Só com enorme cegueira voluntária podem agora indignar-se perante os cortes de despesas insustentáveis que acumularam diariamente sem denunciar. Pensionistas, subsidiados, munícipes e utentes quiseram acreditar nas benesess que políticos irresponsáveis lhes concediam, apesar de os défices funcionais mostrarem a evidência do embuste. Não só os aceitaram mas erigiram-nos em direitos inalienáveis, apesar de muito superiores às receitas e liquidados por dívida externa. Agora, dizer-lhes que os seus descontos não garantem os níveis prometidos gera fúrias incontroláveis. Os realistas têm de ser corruptos, neoliberais, hipócritas ou mentecaptos, pois nada é mais negativo do que a sinceridade num povo embevecido pela ilusão. A verdade é crime de lesa-pátria.
Um "regime sacrificial":
As contribuições dos funcionários públicos cobrem cerca de metade dos mais de 8 mil milhões de euros pagos anualmente em pensões. O buraco de mais de 4 mil milhões é tapado pelo orçamento de estado, ou seja, pelos contribuintes. O diploma de convergência da Caixa Geral de Aposentações e da Segurança Social não elimina esse buraco, apenas o reduz um bocado, 728 milhões, ao que consta. Mesmo assim, Cavaco Silva fez um pedido de fiscalização preventiva da constitucionalidade do diploma do Governo, alegando, entre outras coisas, tratar-se de um “regime sacrificial” que frusta as “legítimas expectativas dos pensionistas. Muito bem. Os contribuintes e os mais jovens que aguentem e se sacrifiquem em nome das “legítimas expectativas” dos pensionistas, da confiança, da proporcionalidade, da equidade e de todos os outros valores consagrados em todas as constituições deste mundo. Ah, é verdade, e, ainda por cima, não se deve retirar este tipo de conclusões, porque isso equivale a promover um conflito intergeracional, a falta de solidariedade pelos mais velhos, a pressionar o TC, etc., etc.. Em Portugal, há de facto um “regime sacrificial”, o pensionista Cavaco Silva, perdão, o Sr. Presidente da República é que não vê, ou não quer ver, quem são as suas principais vítimas.
Masking Totalitarianism por Walter E. Williams:
One of the oldest notions in the history of mankind is that some people are to give orders and others are to obey. The powerful elite believe that they have wisdom superior to the masses and that they’ve been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. Their agenda calls for an attack on the free market and what it implies — voluntary exchange. Tyrants do not trust that people acting voluntarily will do what the tyrant thinks they should do. Therefore, free markets are replaced with economic planning and regulation that is nothing less than the forcible superseding of other people’s plans by the powerful elite.
Because Americans still retain a large measure of liberty, tyrants must mask their agenda.
Positive rights is a view that people should have certain material things — such as medical care, decent housing and food — whether they can pay for them or not.
What the positive rights tyrants want but won’t articulate is the power to forcibly use one person to serve the purposes of another. After all, if one person does not have the money to purchase food, housing or medicine and if Congress provides the money, where does it get the money? It takes it from some other American, forcibly using that person to serve the purposes of another. Such a practice differs only in degree, but not kind, from slavery.
The idea that one person should be forcibly used to serve the purposes of another has served as the foundation of mankind’s ugliest and most brutal regimes. Do we want that for America?
How a lay climate skeptic’s view can count on global warming:
I am in Grantham in Lincolnshire. It is a sunny day. A respectable looking man in a wig is sitting under an apple tree. It is Sir Isaac Newton. I greet him. He smiles back, but looks agitated. ‘What is wrong?’ I ask. ‘I have made a wonderful discovery,’ he replies. ‘I call is my Law of Gravitation’. ‘What does it say?’ I enquire.
‘It says that any two bodies in the universe repel each other with a force proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of their distance apart’. ‘Really?’ I respond. ‘But that is nonsense!’ ‘Nonsense?’ explodes the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. ‘Nonsense? How can you, a nobody, a nonentity, dare to question the mind of the greatest living scientist in the world?’
‘Sir, I refute your law quite simply’. And with that I take an apple from the tree and drop it on Sir Isaac’s head.
Quinta-feira, Novembro 28, 2013
On the Edge of Utopianism por Steve Horwitz:
Left-libertarians rightly argue, and the historical evidence amply supports, two related claims: 1) capitalists are not the primary beneficiaries of freed markets, society as a whole is and 2) capitalists are all in favor of using the state to advance their own interests in the face of free market results they do not like.
My own conviction is that the underlying market processes carry more weight than the distorting effects of the state along more margins than the left-libertarians believe.
One reason I leap to the defense of the Walmarts of the world is because they have done a great deal of good for the least well-off among us precisely due to the underlying market forces that critics would like to remove. In “playing defense” this way, I might look like a vulgar libertarian, but the larger strategic goal is to defend not the existing imperfect market processes but rather the freed market processes against those who would eliminate both.
To the degree that proposals to move us away from freed markets are based on a misreading of these data, defending the market forces at work in a mixed economy is not vulgar libertarianism, but an attempt to save us from even further statism and corporatism.
.. we should more carefully examine what parts of the status quo are driven by the underlying market forces and which by the state. Charges of vulgar libertarianism against legitimate arguments for the robustness of markets will do more harm than good.
No seguimento de Sundown in America (7)
David Stockman-This Is Not a Viable System-It's a House of Cards-The Great Deformation
David Stockman-This Is Not a Viable System-It's a House of Cards-The Great Deformation
What If Grocery Stores Were Run Like Healthcare?:
- Product prices will not be posted.
- The price will vary even within the same store, depending on who is buying and paying.
- You won’t be able to shop during evenings or weekends.
- If you need something, it probably won’t be there in the store. You may be told to come back days or weeks later.
- Even if you find the item, you may have a long wait to be able to buy it.
- If you want to charge your purchase, it won’t be at an automated machine; the transaction may be rejected; the necessary records may be missing; and someone from outside the store will have to approve the amount of the purchase. Since this all takes time, you may not be able to charge at all.
- You won’t have the right to return anything. Even defective merchandise will not be reimbursed. As a result there will be no incentive to maintain product quality.
- Your degree of satisfaction will not matter much to the store. What will count is the satisfaction of third-party payers, and the store will focus on how to get the most from their formula. If the third-party payer formula says you may not buy cherry pie and ice cream on the same day, you may grumble, but most likely you will have to return to get what you want.
- There will be very few brands to guide you in your selection. Labels and quantities will be all over the map, so direct comparison shopping will be impossible.
- Your chief protection against injury or death from what you buy will be hiring a lawyer to sue. These suits will in turn greatly increase the cost of the food you buy.
- The purchase of many food items will require permission from a licensed professional. The professional, fearing a lawsuit, will require you to buy items you do not need or want.
Segunda-feira, Novembro 25, 2013
Contrasting Good and Bad Science: Disease, Climate Change and the Case of the Golden Toad:
Anyone can write a model: the challenge is to demonstrate its accuracy and precision
The giants of history like Darwin’s “bulldog” Thomas Huxley relentlessly urged greater critical thinking arguing, “Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.” And Benjamin Franklin rallied, “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” In contrast advocate scientists and their followers like David Suzuki and Mark Hertsgaard try to bully the media if the media presentats any views skeptical of the consensus’ manufactured authority. Their insistence on “denying the deniers the right to deny” uses fear mongering like the Golden Toad’s extinction and every human tragedy to promote an intellectual tyranny. Such tactics are far more dangerous to our way of life than the current levels of CO2. We must demand more public debates between skeptics and advocates that are honestly moderated, so the world can separate good science from the bad.
Suíços Rejeitam Proposta Para Limitar Salários Mais Elevados:
A parte que me choca mais na notícia é que seja sequer possível referendar o que uma empresa privada pague de livre vontade a quem quer que seja. Sugiro à tal “juventude socialista” que se dedique à criação de empresas onde aplique a regra que tanto defende em vez de a querer impor coercivamente aos outros – sempre, claro, em nome de ideiais muito nobres e moralistas.
The Economics of ObamaCare:
We are now seeing many of the undesirable effects of the ACA. These are typically being described as “unintended.” However, this adjective is a bit of a misnomer, since these outcomes were entirely predictable, and in fact were predicted by many free-market economists in the debate leading up to the passage of the ACA. Cynics can justifiably speculate that at least some of the proponents of the ACA knew full well the outcome would be untenable, leading the public to embrace even more federal intervention in health care down the road.
This isn’t rocket science, as they say. If the government has to force employers to provide a benefit to their employees, it means it’s unprofitable; otherwise the employers would have already done it as part of their compensation package in order to attract quality workers. So if this costly, unprofitable employer mandate only applies to firms with 50 or more employees, and even then only applies to those employees who work 30 or more hours, then we shouldn’t be shocked — shocked! — to discover firms not growing past 49 employees, and/or limiting people to 29 hours per week.