The Good Fight

In this audio clip from CATO, David Boaz puts its so succinctly. We have the best and the brightest working to influence Congress instead of innovating and creating new products. That just says it all. What a waste.

If only we could just stop Congress from passing laws that inhibit the freedom of people to associate, all those billion of dollars oin resources could be used to make our lives better and not some politicians. If only we were free!

Citizens Against Government Waste: Don’t Let Congress Shoot Down 53 Joint Strike Fighters for the Price of One Engine!

What is a budget surplus? Let’s say that you normally spend $400 per month on groceries. This month you budget for $10,000,500 and you spend $500 on groceries. You are out $100 more than usual on groceries. You’ll have to make up for it some where else in your budget. But you have a $10,000,000 grocery budget surplus. You should celebrate. Sound good? Perhaps you should go into government.
I remember reading about a plan to grow algae and live on the sea on a man-made platform in a Scientific American sometime back in the 1980’s. I also recall seeing a show on big ships where millionaires could purchase an apartment on the ship. I believe there is a converted offshore drilling rig or two which are now tiny cities. Seasteading dreams have been around for decades. Perhaps with the advent of sea going apartments the Seastead is finally on the horizon. (Pun Intended.) :)
Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.
— Milton Friedman I think all too often we forget that people in power are ambitious and the person who reins in power to do some good now also reins in power for so many others to do so much bad tomorrow.
Every business owner can benefit from an article on pricing. With everyone buzzing about inline marketing, there is a danger of giving too much away for free. I recently wrote to an old client and friend that selling something for a price places certain conditions on the buyer and on the seller that are not available to the purchaser of free services. Another friend and client and I have spoken at length about under pricing products. The same quality product which sells for sells for $59 is viewed as inferior to something which costs $199. The purchaser will certainly return the higher priced item if it lacks value. The lower priced item may already be marked in the purchaser’s mind as inferior. My client found she sometimes sold more events at a higher price even though the market for the less expensive items seemed larger. I have had a similar experience comparing shoppers in New York (NY) with shoppers in Louisiana (LA). In a previous life I worked at The Home Depot. A big box retail store. In LA, shoppers were bargain hunters and had little respect for the products or the people servicing them. In NY, shoppers tended to be affluent people with money to spend. They had a great deal of respect for the merchandise and for the sales clerks. (more…)
Sheldon Richman worte the following in Obama’s Uninformed Optimism on the Future of Freedom Foundation web site.
There is more to fear than fear itself. There’s government and its dim-witted attempts to fix the economy.
The article articulates a pet peeve of mine. Lawyers, like President Obama, do not have the training needed to make economic decisions about a whole country. Heck, economists do not have the training to make economics decisions for a whole nation. IMO, we need a system of government which strips government of the power to affect the economy. Swearing a person into office does not magically imbue that person with a means to predict the future or to understand an economy. Relying on any government official to “fix” the economy reveals at least one major flaw in our system of governance. As long as we rely on a flawed system of government we do ourselves and our descendants a huge disservice.
It seems counter-intuitive to some folks that raising tax rates might lower tax revenues. Here’s a story about a story about oil companies leaving a high tax nation for a low tax nation. This is how we chase tax revenue from our country by raising taxes.
Steve Fambro is the inventor of an electric vehicle which gets something like 33 miles to the dollar. It is one of those prototypes, but has already sold a few thousand cars. In this short video of an interview with Steve he describes an interesting, but not uncommon problem with his suppliers. Regulation of industry is subject to change. Usually changes are attempted annually by some federal or state legislators. Many changes come from the industry itself. Big industry players like regulation because it allows them to eliminate or to greatly reduce their competition. Industries which are dominated by big bureaucratic companies are less likely to be as nimble as companies like Steve Fambro owns. When we use regulation to reduce competition we often clear the path for less nimble companies. That changes the landscape of the playing field for that industry. All the suppliers have to deal with a bureaucracy and they have to adopt priorities which cater to slow moving, slow changing customers. Regulators want a few big players in their industries. They can monitor them easier and there is less to do. Regulators have a better chance to keep control of their industry if they do not have a bunch of small competitors constantly innovating what they are attempting to regulate. That’s one reason why regulators pressure legislators for long laborious processes to get anything accomplished. If they let everything happen quickly they would never be able to keep regulations up to date with practice. Innovation drives progress. We are worse off as a species when we slow innovation. Why would anyone deliberately slow progress? The answer lies in our systems of government. The players in those systems are often rewarded for slowing innovation. Regulation is all about control. Innovation is all about chaos. Control and chaos are not best buds. Thus regulators, seeking to make their lives easier, reduce chaos, thus making everyone’s life worse off. Innovation can be found in controlled environments. It is just slower to happen. Slowing innovation has been the goal of many humans throughout history usually because they do not see where this chaotic future will take us. Invariably it takes us all to a better place.
What is a “But” libertarian? It is a libertarian who uses a phrase like, “I am all for free markets, but … [inset some government planned economy].” “But” libertarians are not real libertarians. John Stossel was (and probably still is a “but” libertarian. He is all for small government except for pollution control. Never mind that the U.S. government is the single largest polluter in the world. They can fix it. They’re the government! If you see a free market economist telling a reporter about his plan to fix the economy and his plan does not include removing the power to regulate from all forms of government then he is not a free market economist after all. His plan controls the economy and he is advocating a controlled economy, not a free one. I am a free market advocate. My advocacy plan is that we should have no plan for the economy. Let the market participants, not government decide if more people should own their own homes or drive new cars or if private banks should be lending money or holding on to every dime. Defend the right of each citizen to trade without government interference or support. Set us free of your plan. Please stop helping us.

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