We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, October 1. 2015
1. Eliminate all deductions in the individual income tax code
The main problem with the above would be an unemployment crisis for lobbyists, accountants, and tax and estate lawyers, and we can't have that. And golly, what would it do to the muni market?
Tuesday, September 29. 2015
Problem is that people who think they are really smart enough to run things for others are often or usually wrong. Only humility grows wisdom, and vice versa. "Rational," "scientific" social planners have created far more misery, and far less freedom, than anybody else on earth.
Why is the welfare state under attack when happiness economics shows it is the system most conducive to human wellbeing?
Bread and circuses for the proles? It's a strange article, from my viewpoint, but I understand that Denmark is a tribe of Danskers, all related. Quite alien to America or current American values. Perhaps child-like. I am certain that it was not written satirically. Where does this guy think that things and money come from?
Most hard workers I have known find dignity in work and do not find any work degrading or "commodifying." In fact, it is "getting free stuff" which is degrading and humilating. And what about the ambitious, the self-employed, the farmers, the self-sacrificing, the doers and makers and builders? Where do they fit in? How do you "give" a farmer or a doctor or a plumber or a writer a family leave or a six-week vacation?
I hope Americans do not aspire to bovine contentment, but instead to challenge, difficulty, and self-reliance. The only people happy to live on the dole, as I see it, are sociopaths and moochers taking advantage of their neighbors. OK, some deeply mentally-disturbed or profoundly brain-impaired people without families to care for them.
Sunday, September 27. 2015
He's right. Free markets are like a force of nature with sunny days, rainy days, and hurricanes. Government and politics seem to demand a response to demonstrate that they care, but how often does the response make things worse?
Tuesday, September 22. 2015
The last time I looked, patents were government-protected monopolies. The benefits of patents are debatable in the discussion of free markets. Most economists recognize their value as an tool for creating the incentive for innovation. However, it is recognized as a temporarily assigned privilege.
I don't hold a particular stance on whether or not patents are viable tools. Unlike Jeffrey Tucker, I'd venture that removing patents altogether would not be good for innovation. I'm willing to accept his arguments, they do make a great deal of sense, I just don't think they have practical applications (I could be wrong...saying something doesn't have practical application just means it hasn't been tried, so we're wary. In fact, patents didn't exist for many years and humans still made tremendous innovations without intellectual property rights.)
Since patents are a government rigging of market management (controlling production), perhaps the length of patents should be reduced. Or perhaps upon the sale of a patent, the protections are eliminated within a shortened time frame.
Patents are government regulation and an inhibition on markets. Thus, the government has the means to 'fix' what it broke with patents. That said, the journalist needs to learn quite a bit about what a free market is.
Late note: A comment mentions that Daraprim is off-patent and the firm purchased 'exclusive rights', which the journalist failed to look into and assumed was a patent. I looked into it at lunch, because I'd assume the same thing. There are no 'exclusive rights' without a patent. What the firm purchased was the only factory currently making the drug. There are no 'exclusive rights' at all. By keeping the price down, the current company was making a profit and reducing competition (which should have, oddly enough, brought it up on anti-trust laws). But the new owner may make a short term large margin, only to face a competitor who decides to now enter this market and drive prices down.
All in all, the free market is working far better than this journalist ever imagined, even if the short term hit for people is substantial. My guess is the competition will push the price for the drug far lower than it was previously.
Thursday, September 17. 2015
Wednesday, September 16. 2015
Sunday, September 13. 2015
"Ever since Hegel or maybe Plato, statists have been telling a story about government in which government itself is the hero in an epic struggle..."
Not from the article, but I saw this somewhere:
Saturday, September 12. 2015
Corny as it sounds, my idea of America is individual freedom. Placing individual liberty as the major factor in every policy and political equation, despite all of the risks entailed, is what is supposed to make our nation unique. As the Founders reiterated, that can only work with a population with a strong foundation of Western Judeo-Christian morals and responsibility, culture, and traditions.
Reno goes to our cultural roots, just deeply enough for me. Powerful stuff. Renewing a Culture of Freedom featuring R.R. Reno:
Just click "Watch on Vimeo" -
Just click on it to see it.
Sunday, September 6. 2015
Wednesday, September 2. 2015
Friday, August 28. 2015
Lind is a reasonable guy, but my three questions to people he terms "left-liberals" are these: "What is the end-point of the Progressive, big government project?"; "Whence your faith and trust in governmental enterprises anyway?" and "How much does individual freedom enter into your political thinking?"
I have never heard satisfactory answers to those three questions.
Sunday, August 2. 2015
Wednesday, July 22. 2015
Saturday, July 11. 2015
Times haven't really changed. But views and perspectives certainly have.
We are in a better economic place today than we were during the Bush/Reagan debate. Yet, somehow, the conversation has devolved. There is a problem today - but it's the same problem it was 35 years ago. In fact, the question was about "the problem" of illegal immigration.
We don't need to just welcome them in, but a path to citizenship for those who work hard should be available.
Tuesday, July 7. 2015
So what can be said about Trump's removal? Not much, really. NBC has every right to employ whomever they choose. On that basis alone, Trump's dismissal isn't worth talking about. What is worth talking about are the reasons NBC used. Had they said "We do not choose to work with him anymore" or "We really just don't like his comb-over," I doubt many people would pay much attention to this tempest in a teapot. But they didn't. NBC called him out for his comments about Mexicans, citing these as the reason for the parting of ways. It's an odd reason, considering their other employees' stated views.
Continue reading "Politicians, Flags, Cakes, and Double Standards"
Saturday, July 4. 2015
Happy Independence Day! If you're like me, you're with your family and being independent together (h/t to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer).
If you're like me, you're probably having hot dogs and hamburgers, potato or macaroni salad, soda or beer, or other kinds of foods which were purchased at a store after being shipped from some other part of the U.S. or even another nation.
If you're like me, you probably don't spend time worrying about the details of how your food reached your table. But you may know people, as I do, who think the whole "eat local' idea will save our health and economy. We have a restaurant here which is excellent, but very expensive, and always booked. We need to make reservations several months in advance to get a table. They only serve locally grown foods (I believe it's a 50 mile radius), and it's BYOB (so I guess they're OK with bringing French wine to go with the Jersey Tomatoes).
Normally I don't go in for faddish trends, and I really don't buy the whole "local food" movement. But this is a good restaurant and just because I don't agree with it doesn't mean I'll avoid a good meal. Good food is good food. There are reasons why I don't necessarily think the local food movement is ever going to change how we live, and it certainly is not going to make our lives better.
As this video (45 minutes long - so be prepared) points out, most nations with small farms have economic problems. This doesn't intrinsically mean small farms are impoverishing those nations, but there's no doubt being a food exporter (and the U.S. is by far the largest) is an indication of economic strength through size. This video also points out the hypocrisy of our nation's politics and its 'solutions' to perceived problems. We have deemed some banks "Too Big To Fail" and willingly subsidize their moral hazard, while at the same time pointing to large agricultural firms and saying they are "Too Big To Succeed" and impose excessive regulations on them while subsidizing failing small farms. So the policy of the U.S. that we subsidize failure, and engage double standards wherever we see fit.
The Jungle is often touted as an example of what would happen if we did not support regulation of the food industry. Unfortunately, this novel was a work of fiction designed to draw attention to the plight of the working man. It was the lies of Upton Sinclair about the Chicago Packing District that stick in people's memory, however. By and large, most food businesses provided healthier foods than smaller firms. It was in their best interest to do so. One does not win new consumers by killing or injuring those you have. In fact, most of these businesses wanted regulation as a means to raise barriers to entry against their smaller competitors, and to prevent foreign foods, which had raised trade barriers, from being too competitive.
Thursday, June 25. 2015
Thursday, June 11. 2015
A friend of mine who absolutely loves Obama enjoys sharing little things with friends via Facebook and email. I've put a few below the fold, though I'm still searching for the one which claims that Obama lowered unemployment, increased the stock market to record highs, and lowered gas prices to recent lows. That one was a hoot.
They are factoids which support the concept that Obama is a good, gracious, and successful president despite claims to the otherwise.
By the same token, this same person (and many others like him) continually complain about the 'state of the economy' and how 'corporations are ruining the US' and how we're still plagued with high unemployment and poverty.
I suppose they can make the claims they make because they believe if Obama had the full support of the nation and Congress, these things would finally be 'taken care of' and we'd all live in Candyland.
But it doesn't square. These folk are deluded enough to say the things they say, and make no mistake - none of the facts used are untrue, they are merely out of context and misunderstood by the dopes who use them (to be fair, I've seen plenty of similar stuff by Republicans, and the information used just as poorly). Yet if things are just so dandy, what else does Obama need to really 'fix'? That's what I don't understand. These people are incapable of leaving well enough alone. Once you've got something working, you don't keep fiddling with it. That is, if you actually assume the economy is working. I don't. It's functioning. Sort've. You can't really shut down an economy, it just shifts its activities to more profitable and easier methods. So yes, the economy continues to function despite the damage Obama has done. Measurements are just data. They don't tell you about the health of the economy. These fools have misconstrued momentary data for meaningful analysis, and completely missed out on the fact that correlation is not causation.
Continue reading "Ridiculous Claims"
Sunday, June 7. 2015
Tuesday, May 19. 2015
I am completely opposed to any death taxes. The income has already been taxed.
Why tax the dead? Well, it was because the turn of the century (last century) Progressives hated the wealthy families. Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt, etc. appeared to hate the wealthy because their influence, like that of churches and large businesses, competed with government - as they should wish to compete. Government is not God. Over the years, many families have fallen victims to that tax other than those who are slick enough to dodge it.
My view is that I want all families to be free to be as wealthy and independent as they chose to be, and to be free to accumulate whatever they want to for their futures. Farm, flower shops, whatever. It means a lot to people. In America, wealth is never the most important thing in life but everybody cares about their family and their families' futures. You can call it love, not greed.
Greg Mankiw said this in 2003, and it is still right.
Monday, May 4. 2015
And it is sad that it turned out to be. From Charles Cooke's Why the American Bill of Rights Would Never Pass Today:
"The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau."
Ludwig van Mises, as Eratosthenes noted, 70 years ago
Wednesday, April 22. 2015
This is not nearly as funny as the Yale vs. North Carolina soccer shoot-out. But since News Junkie stumbled on Studio C, the group of young comedians who made Scott Sterling famous across the globe, I thought my fellow farmer would enjoy this skit. The ending is in his sweet spot.
Friday, April 17. 2015
Sultan offers The Deconstruction of Marriage and deconstruction in general. A quote:
Other topics there, but I can say that, without my marriage of many years, my life would be terrible. To each his or her own, though. Invent your own life if you want, and go for it! Just do not ask me to pay your bills because I have organized my life to pay my own.
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