May is the best month! Most of the following deserve their own posts, but I have been extremely busy, and a blurb will have to do…
- Everyone should be in favor of lowering taxes for the rich (and for all, of course). The reason, in sum, is that the capital goods sector, largely financed by those with an excess of wealth, needs to grow for our economy to prosper in the future. This growth is needed now more than ever, and tax relief on the wealthy is the greatest way to have it done. We must put the politics of envy aside and fix the focus of the economy, shifting from a consumer economy to a producer economy.
- Yet unsure, I am somewhat convinced that Objectivism and Randian libertarianism is incompatible with Christianity, perhaps as much so as communism. Though not excellent, this column may hint at why. Selfishness cannot be moral, and greed cannot be in itself good. However, the assertion commonly heard on the left, that those who protest forced welfarism are in violation of Christ’s commantments, are similarly mistaken. Of course, socialism, Keynesianism, and forced redistribution are similarly immoral, but I digress…
- The release of videos showing Kelly Thomas being beaten to death should give one pause at the injustice, as the Rodney King episode did 21 years ago. However, it seems that police brutality, exemption from the law, and oppression of lower classes has become almost normal. Can it get any worse when police can kill people and face little to no consequences for the fact?
- A judge ruled recently that an IP address is not an identifier of a person, which should strike most of the tech-wise as very basic. Even so, the RIAA and MPAA march forward with extortionary lawsuits. You can be sure that the government has an interest in this as well. The FBI wishes to monitor the internet in its entirety. Do we need this to protect us? Are we only good when an “authority” is watching? Do we only obey laws because they are laws? What level of protection is sufficient to say “finally, we are safe. We have reached a point where we no longer need to ratchet up the police state”? How long until the failing business model of copyrighted works is no longer worth the extractions from the private markets required to protect them?
- Leon Panetta, Obama’s defense secretary, recently declared that “climate change” is a threat to national security. By definitions and associations used in precedents (extra-judicial and within the legal system), this makes polluters terrorists. This growing ideology (the masked eugenics that states that humanity is the enemy of mother nature), when it is wrought large and into the law, will see the whole human race oppressed for mere conjecture. The implications are astounding, even if we do not extrapolate very far…
- Power is as addictive as cocaine. Obama is Scarface. Oh the morality of politicians:
- The narrative that everything is fine and our economy isn’t crumbling to dust is decaying. MIT estimates that there will be a substantial depression and reduction in population by 2030, while Robert Rubin, a Washington insider, former Secretary of the Treasury, and CEO of Goldman Sachs, admits that we are facing an economic cliff (and that is his optimistic prediction):
- John Rawls is renowned as one of the greatest modern American political thinkers for his theory of justice. In Rawls’ ideal world, we should all pretend that we don’t know where we will be in society, and then organize society accordingly. The thought is, if we don’t know where we will be, we will raise the lowest rung of the socioeconomic ladder artificially and the whole world will be filled with puppies and rainbows. One problem with this theory and the general theory that we are not doing enough for the poor in America is that on global terms, the absolute wealth of poor Americans is much higher than anywhere else. If you can see that the free market is what gave us this wealth in the first place, interventionism and artificial wealth creation will only hinder the growth of that absolute wealth.
- I am against the Civil Rights Movement for what it was. Racism was institutionalized by law, not by the markets. Blacks were prohibited by law from doing many things. Those laws were unjust and evil. But look at the results of the Civil Rights Movement. Blacks are poorer, less educated, and more likely to come from broken families today than before the Civil Rights Act. This is proof that intent matters far less than results. Blacks should not be held down by the law (no one should). But Malcolm X was absolutely right when he told blacks to refuse handouts from the government. Walter Williams elaborates.
- The free market is about competition between goods that all of us freely choose. The government is about competition between bads that only the rulers choose. The market creates wealth. The government destroys wealth. The market gives us choice between various goods. The government gives an illusion of choice in “R” or “D,” both sides having considerable contempt for the other while maintaining nearly identical policies. Politics and government foster hatred and divisiveness.
- Bob Murphy, arguably the greatest living Austrian economist and a devout Catholic, spends Sundays on his blog thinking about the Gospel of the week (I am thinking about implementing a similar policy here at SNV). Last week, his reflections on hell were not new, but refreshing nonetheless. He missed a chance to elaborate on C. S. Lewis’ contention that it is God’s Love itself that creates hell for people who choose to reject it, just as the sun burns your skin if you do not protect yourself or the love of even a parent can lead down the path of hatred, guilt, and self-pitying. Even so, it is worth the read.
- From the “doesn’t everyone know this yet” files: Diamonds are not worth nearly as much as they are sold for, as the scarcity is artificially created by a cartel.