Ancient Wisdom

intervention

ancient_wisdom

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joke

Uncategorized
girl_on_bridge

Girl on a bridge

courtesy of WildWeazel on reddit:

 

I was walking home one evening and came upon a clearly depressed man standing at the edge of a bridge, looking like he was about to jump. I called out to him to wait, and ran over to see what was the matter.

“It’s this country,” he lamented. “It’s falling into ruin and there’s nothing I can do about it. The election was the last straw. I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”

“Well cheer up,” I said. “We’re all in this together. Say, are you a conservative, or a libertarian?”

“A libertarian,” he said.

“That’s great!” I said. “See, you’re not alone. Are you a free-market libertarian or a libertarian socialist?”

“Free-market libertarian,” he said.

“Me too!” I said. “Paleo-libertarian or neo-libertarian?”

“Paleo-libertarian,” he said.

“Hey, so am I!” I said. “Chicago or Austrian school of economics?”

“Austrian,” he said.

“Me too,” I said. “Hayek or Rothbardian strand?”

“Rothbardian,” he said.

“Same here,” I said. “Are you a consequentialist or deontological libertarian?”

“Consequentialist,” he said.

So I said, “Die, statist scum!” and pushed him off the bridge.

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Human Bait

government, war
funeral

Funeral in Afghanistan

The US Military has a new tactic that they are using with there bomb-dropping drone airplanes. First, they will bomb a building, killing some and wounding others. Then the drones wait. When neighbors come to pull their friends and family out of the rubble, the drones drop another bomb, wounding and killing the rescuers. Then the drones wait. When the survivors manage to sort through the carnage and distant relatives come for the funeral, the drones drop another bomb, wounding and killing the mourners.

Each of these three bomb droppings makes sense. The first makes sense because dropping a bomb is a good way to kill a terrorist. It may kill people besides the terrorist, but if you are near a terrorist, then you are probably a terrorist, too.

The second bombing makes sense because if you are trying to help a terrorist, or someone who was near a terrorist when a bomb was dropped, then you must also be a terrorist, terrorist sympathizer, etc.

The third bombing makes the most sense of all

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Stone Mountain

militia

stone mountain > mount rushmore

 

 

Not only is it more beautiful, but the ideas that it represents are more noble. Independence, self determination, and freedom of association. As Murray Rothbard once said, “The South will rise again!”

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Some Ron Paul Videos

Uncategorized

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/july-dec11/ronpaul_07-20.html

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Video Introduction to Praxeology

science

Praxeology is the science of human action, encompassing both economics and ethics. It is my favorite science, and now there is a new video introduction being created by PraxGirl. Here is the first episode:

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Death by Regulation

economics, regulation

Total bliss is just one more regulation away.

Anyone who has read the Black Book of Communism knows that government kills. Death by government even has a name: democide. The staggering death toll of government in the 20th century has been estimated over 150 million people, not including wars. That means the number only includes people killed by “their” government.

Sadly, these studies ignore what Henry Hazlitt called the forgotten man. The forgotten man is not murdered in the night by government agents or starved to death by a dictator. No, he is murdered by bureaucrats who do not know or ever see him. He is killed with regulation.

For example, when the government mandates that cars have good gas mileage, car companies have to make them lighter. Lighter cars give less protection in the event of a collision, leading to more deaths each year. These unintended consequences are not limited to cars, but apply to all consumer products.

Another sad example is when the FDA outlaws potentially life saving medication.

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Will I Still Help People If Government Doesn’t Force Me To?

government
social workers

It costs $1,000,000 / year to keep each social worker, like the ones pictured above, helping people in Iraq.

One objection to anarchy is that many people will not choose to help others unless the government forces them to through taxes and wealth redistribution.  My main objections to this point are that government does not help people and the free market turns selfish people into public servants.

Why doesn’t government help people?  Well, the presumption is that government steals a dollar from rich Peter and gives it to poor Paul, and this helps Paul more than it hurts Peter.  The first mistake is that the government does not give Paul a dollar.  First, twenty five cents is used to murder brown people, mostly foreign ones.  Then another 25 percent is paid to government employees and retirees.  After all the corporate welfare, bank bailouts, boondoggles and bridges to nowhere, after every friend of every politician gets a cut, 12 cents are left over for welfare.

So the question should be: if there were no government, would I still spend twice as much money trying to destroy other countries as I did trying to help the poor?  If the difference was to spend only 20 cents on blockades to starve “insolent” people into submission, that could be considered a net positive for anarchy.

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Equal Opportunity

finance, government, intervention

The poor need not apply.

I was discussing hedge funds with my uncle a few weeks ago and he was impressed that many had very high annual returns.  Of course, with higher returns comes higher risk, as demonstrated by the massive losses hedge funds suffered during the 2008 stock market correction.

However, he was interested enough that he asked me how he could invest in a hedge fund.  I explained that he would have to buy into one with a large sum of money, typically $1-$5 million dollars.

He was disappointed, not so much that the investment was out of his reach, but that the system seemed rigged against poor people.  He didn’t like the idea that there were opportunities only available to the rich.  Rich get richer, and all that.

Well, I didn’t know exactly what to say about that.  Sure, having more capital will always open up more opportunities.  Not many individuals have the savings to start a competitor to FedEx.

I considered trying to justify the minimum buy in by arguing that it lowered administrative costs of dealing with lots of clients.  However, there are other investment vehicles, like close-end mutual funds that are exclusive, too.

Then today, I was reading a little bit about hedge fund history.  Apparently, Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933 requires that hedge funds be offered solely to “accredited investors.”  What is an accredited investor? 

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Stupid or Evil?

government

The Stupid Party versus the Evil Party

A question that occurs commonly in libertarian discourse is whether government agents are stupid or evil.

The reason this question comes up is because government agents do things that are detrimental to the economy (and life in general). They impose price controls that lead to shortages. They enforce edicts that have numerous unfortunate consequences. Etc, etc.

So, does an agent do these things because they don’t understand the consequences of their actions? Do they understand the consequences, but do them anyway?

The question turns out to be incidental from an ethical point of view. Not understanding the consequences of your actions does not indemnify you. “I didn’t know that feeding your dog anti-freeze would kill it” is not a valid excuse.

So even if a government agent thinks that killing foreigners in their own countries (and in their own homes) is self defense, that does not exonerate him.  He is still a murderer, just as he would be if he, in fear of his life, killed someone who was just walking in his general direction.

Some will say, “both” and then go on with their lives. Case closed. Yet, it is important to think about why stupid and evil people are in positions of power.

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