Thursday, June 26, 2008

Spreading the Wealth

But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages. Nobody but a beggar chuses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow-citizens.

Still genius.

Give Us More Sweatshops

Econ professor Ben Powell tackles the issues here. This is one of those areas in which the law of unintended consequences runs amok, usually negating any and all good** sought by the busy-bodies seeking to the rid the third-world of self-perceived first-world "exploitation."
** This is assuming, of course, that the "good" being sought is the health, welfare, and overall standard of living of the workers at issue and their respective communities.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Law of McCain

Jacob Sullum at Reason sums up the candidates' respective views on warrantless wiretapping here. It doesn't surprise me that a man who cites T.R. as his favorite President would hold a rather expansive view of executive power; but, I would also think that a four-term Senator might exercise, at least, some loyalty to the concept of separation of powers...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Boudreaux on Obama'nomics


According to today's Wall Street Journal, Barack Obama alleges that "Globalization and technology and automation all weaken the position of workers." If this presidential wannabe is correct, then some of the world's most prosperous workers must be the people in that newly discovered tribe in Brazil -- persons with absolutely no contact with the global economy or with modern technology. Less extreme cases, of course, include persons not so cut off from the world as these Brazilian tribes. Sub-Saharan Africans should be more prosperous than eastern Europeans, who, in turn, should be more prosperous than Americans and western Europeans.

Via Cafe Hayek. I typically reach for the earmuffs when Obama talks trade-policy (and pretty much every other topic within the realm of economics). Whether its pandering or a simple misguided distrust of markets matter not, particularly to those of whom we deny access to our markets.

Beware of Turkish Prisons

Via Tyler Cowen, the 10 cities to avoid (if you have a tendency to violate the law).

More of the Same From McCain

Doing all he can to fuzz up the middle, rumor has it that Johnny Mac's leading choice for Veep is Minnesota governor, Tim Pawlenty - no friend to the small government man. Michael Tanner has put together a quick summary of Pawlenty's positions:

Supported government subsidized health care for all children as the first step toward universal health insurance, and opposed President Bush’s veto of a Democratic bill that would have expanded the State Children’s Health Insurance program (SCHIP) to families earning as much as $83,000 per year;

Supports Massachusetts-style health care reform, including a “health care exchange” and an individual mandate;

Has called for banning all prescription drug advertising, and seeks government imposed price controls for drugs offered through Medicare;

Proposed a $4000 per child preschool program for low-income children;

Pushed a statewide smoking ban smoking ban in workplaces, restaurants and bars;

Increased the state’s minimum wage;

Imposed some of the most aggressive and expensive renewable energy mandates in the country;

Was an ardent supporter of the farm bill;

Received only a “C” ranking on Cato’s 2006 Governor’s Report Card, finishing below such Democrats as Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack and tied with Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.

Keep on pushing, Johnny.

Friday, June 13, 2008

McCain's Constitutionalism

While addressing the SCOTUS decision in Boumediene v. Bush yesterday, Johnny Mac let us on, once again, to his disdain for classical conceptions of liberty:

We are now going to have the courts flooded with so-called, quote, Habeas Corpus suits against the government, whether it be about the diet, whether it be about the reading material.

Seriously? Using the scare quotes with respect to "habeas corpus?" How in the hell can so-called "conservative"-voters continue to support a person with such antipathy toward personal liberty and a sound belief in the benevolence of the state (in the right hands)? Does he have no understanding what-so-ever of the historical significance of the Great Writ? I am assuming that it must have crossed his mind at some point during his not-so-short tenure in Hanoi.
Over the last few years I have come around to thinking that we, American-citizens, are pretty freakin lucky to have been birthed on our side of these imaginary boundaries drawn by our expansionist country-builders. I can think of a rather lengthy list of worse places that my gametes could have fused. Anyway, as a true believer in "natural rights," absolute human liberty," and utopian-minarchism, it is my philosophical duty to support and defend the rights of all people against the ever-increasing intrusion of any state; notwithstanding the side of the line those people happen to reside. So here I go: any reader of this blog knows of my disgust for, and distrust of, McCain's desire to use the federal state to promote his notion of "National Greatness," whatever that may be. Well, here's a proposal for Mr. National Greatness, how about using your bully pulpit to explain to the world that the United States believes in absolute human freedom and will always defend that freedom, even against it's own over-zealous executives?
Too much to ask, I know. Particularly from someone who has had a tendency to even scare-quote the "First Amendment."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Do Something

Protectionist Republicans

Oh, how I love economic populism and free trade hypocrisy:

InBev SA, whose brands include Beck's and Stella Artois, delivered an unsolicited all-cash bid of $65 a share for Anheuser-Busch, which makes Budweiser, Michelob and Bud Light. That's well above the St. Louis-based company's closing share price of $58.35 Wednesday.

But politicians and activists are already lining up against the deal, saying it could cost jobs in the United States and send ownership of an iconic American company overseas. With economic concerns at the front of voters' minds, the opposition could cause a headache for InBev.

Republican Gov. Matt Blunt said Wednesday he opposes the deal, and directed the Missouri Department of Economic Development to see if there was a way to stop it.

Excuse me, governor; but the corporation belongs to the shareholders. Not to you, Lou Dobbes or the state of Missouri. Butt out.
Oh, and your beer sucks too.

House Divided

At least 14 Republican members of Congress have refused to endorse or publicly support Sen. John McCain for president, and more than a dozen others declined to answer whether they back the Arizona senator.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

rEVOLution in Minnesota

Give 'em hell, Ron!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Why McCain is No Reagan

I found this old Reagan quote from 1975 that clearly distinguishes his philosophy from that of McCain's ill-conceived brand of "National Greatness Conservatism," and further serves as a rather stark rebuke of the Huckabee quotation below:

If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals-if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.

Whole fascinating interview can be found here.
More on McCain's frightening "National Greatness" doctrine here and here.