Sometimes it does it subtly and sometimes it does it obviously, but regulation always changes the market place in ways we may not understand. It seems to me that Consumer Law attempts to give power to consumers because some people are convinced that large firms have all the power. But do they?

In a free market every trade is voluntary. There is no legal method to initiate force. Not even government can initiate it. Free market advocates often complain that there is no need for anti-trust or consumer law.

Take, for example, the scenario of a dominant market player (like Intel) using its size to drive other players out of a particular market by lowering its prices so much that they are sometimes selling below cost.

The U.S. has 4% of the world’s population and consumes 25% of the world’s power.

This time I heard it on the NBC Evening news. The reporter never bothered to ask why the speaker made this comparison. What the Bleep do these two things have in common?

Okay. At first glance this statement seems to hold some substance. What could only 4% of the world’s people be doing that accounts for so much power usage? Hmm. I wonder if production might tell us something?

Gross Domestic Product provides of the best measures to compare countries or populations. According to the International Monetary Fund the 2006 World GDP was $48,245,198,000,000 and the U.S. GDP is $13,194,700,000,000. Isn’t it a coincidence that the U.S. GDP is about 27% of the World GDP and the U.S. power consumption is 25% of world power consumption?

Daniel Botkin was featured on the EconTalk podcast for November 26, 2007. In the interview he says some really neat things about nature.

Most species have evolved and adapted to change and depend on change, so assuming steady state goes against their needs.

He’s referring to more than just climate change. In some forests the vegetation has adapted to fires. When we stop allowing fires to control wilderness, we actually destroy nature. Daniel illustrates that our perception of what nature should be often influences what we do to nature.

I ran across this argument in a political thread about libertarians.

… the fact that your lap top just went up in flames and distorted a years work product is of little concern. You will get your check for $1000 to replace the Lap Top. You talk to a lawyer You are told it will cost at least $35,000 and maybe 5 years to make a claim for the work product you lost. a work product might have a worth in the Millions but do you have the time and the money to recover the loss …

In your scenario the idiot consumer placed millions of dollars worth of information on a single device with no backups. Even if the battery was well made, the potential for loss of the information is too great to warrant such a risk. I wouldn’t leave that kind of information on any single device.

The whole is more than the sum of its parts — Aristotle

I read something recently and it got me thinking. Basically, I have always relied on the old axiom the the whole is more than the sum of its parts. People, working together, often can accomplish tasks that could not be done working separately.

The mathematician in me, balks at this idea. The whole could never be greater than the sum of its parts. So, I compartmentalized my thoughts on this. Sometimes math doesn’t work in the real world.


The worst traps are not those which opponents deliberately place in your path. No, the worse traps are those placed there by people who are unaware they are laying a trap. Can you spot the trap in the question blow? I was asked it on a forum while debating free markets with a mixed market enthusiast. My answer is also presented.

Please explain The actions of the robber barons and the dismal conditions of workers health standards not to mention child labor laws and more in the 19th century? Business had little regulation and did what they always do without outside regulation.


Uh-oh! Look out. Those economists are at it again. This time, they are using statistics to show that the trade deficit is actually good for the U.S.


Yesterday (2/23/2007) 20/20 reported on the use of vaccines and the hazards associated with them. Some hazards are not founded, while others are suspect. One point not covered is the reason for the controversy. Vaccinations are required by government to protect citizens.

The term required by government seems innocuous, but liberty lovers realize it means enforced by government through violence or the threat of violence. Unethical people try to convince us that the ends justifies the means. After all, forced vaccinations have ended many diseases which hurt, maimed and killed children. The end result can never ethically justify the means to that ends.

It is not uncommon to run across arguments which insist that if a particular society does not exist now, it is unlikely to exist in the future. I often find this situation with free markets. The argument goes something like this.

If free markets are such a good idea, why aren’t there any free market societies?


Milton Friedman died this morning after a bout with pneumonia. As a sufferer of a rare respiratory disease and as a libertarian I feel a real loss on more than one level. There are already many tributes to him around the web. If you are unfamiliar with his work and with his passions I urge you to look him up. Mr. Friedman, you will be missed.

« Previous Page