"The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they know about what they imagine they can design."
- F.A. Hayek
Well when I saw this article here on Newsmax my first reaction was to chuckle and then I realized that this was serious. the House has passed a bill that will modify the anti-trust rules allowing them to sue other companies in other countries for "price fixing".
WHAT THE HELL!?!
Since when do we get to dictate business policy to companies or organizations in other countries? this is completely absurd and the statement from the White House saying that such a suit could cause a series of backlashes from the middle east and make our oil situation worse is surprisingly correct. You don't bite the hand that feeds you, apparently the House has yet to figure this out.
Stephen Schwartz of TCS Daily says no.
Here is his fascinating article. The things brought up in this article are veeeery interesting.
Question: Is this silence because the Mainstream Mass media (MSM as Schwartz calls it) obsessed with fear-mongering because it makes for good news, or do they just not care? So pretty much: Negligence or Apathy?
Addendum: This is an article on the suppression of a Film called Islam vs. Islamists by PBS who sponsored the film which supposedly gives the views of various US groups of moderate muslims who are speaking out against the hijacking of their religion.
Props to Russell Roberts over at Cafe Hayek for this little gem:
Roberts on George Will on Price Gouging
Here is the link to the full article from the Washington Post:
Posturing At the Pumps By George F. Will
Wow, just wow, the inane nature of politics in this country continues to amaze me! This short bit especially got me riled up:
"The bill does not explain how a gouger can gouge when his product is obtainable more cheaply nearby. Actually, Pelosi's constituents are being gouged by people like Pelosi -- by government. While oil companies make about 13 cents on a gallon of gasoline, the federal government makes 18.4 cents (the federal tax) and California's various governments make 40.2 cents (the nation's third-highest gasoline tax). Pelosi's San Francisco collects a local sales tax of 8.5 percent -- higher than the state's average for local sales taxes."
Wait wait wait .... those KAZILLIONS of dollars that the oil companies are making in profit is eclipsed in profit by the Federal, State, and Local governments?!?! NO WAY! *chuckle* This foolishness truly has risen to new levels.
By the Way, that picture makes me chuckle.
Ron Paul (R) Texas
From the Washington Times in regards to a debate televised by FOX:
Mr. Paul, Texas Republican, stood firm, saying "blowback" to U.S. actions is real: "If we ignore that, we ignore that at our own risk. If we think that we can do what we want around the world and not incite hatred, then we have a problem."
He's quite right, perhaps the best policy is one of NOT pissing people and countries off, especially ones that are willing to kill you to prove how upset they are with you.
Now the idea that he would actually win the Republican nomination is nothing short of a pipedream for Libertarians but I can still hope can't I?
Maybe someone like Paul would actually push for some real policy changes in Washington.
I "borrowed" this from Walter Williams' GMU homepage.
"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should also have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." -- George Washington
There's what the founding fathers thought about guns.
WARNING: This is a rant.
So today Jerry Falwell dropped dead. He will awake in the next life wondering "where am I going in a hand basket and why is it so hot?"
On a more serious note, what will this do to the "religious right"?
This leaves the last major rallying figure for them to be Pat Robertson, who has proven himself to be a nearly irredeemable dope. Well, maybe this means that a new figure will rise up and take his place in the realm of absurd "christian" rhetoric. Still, all in all I would consider this a benficial thing for even the "religious right". The problem with most of the people in that category is that they, like the late Jerry Falwell, tend to sacrifice other people's freedom and and their own logical faculties in service to their higher more "enlightened" view of morality. THis might push some of them to look beyond their ideal theocracy and look toward a more free society, one based on tolleraance, not acceptance, but tollerance.
The man horribly represented what christianity is, and what christians should act like and I shall not for a moment mourn his death.
So as an undergrad last year in my Austrian Econ class, Dr. Tony Carilli assigned for us, among other scholarly articles, the Reader's Digest summary of Hayek's famous, or perhaps infamous depending on your views, work The Road to Serfdom. Well being the free market hound that I am, I have been reading through the actual book.
So I asked myself "are we on this road to serfdom?"
Now the answer is not something that I have at this time as I have not finished the book and dare not begin an analysis of this question until I have fully finished TRS but I wanted to note a few things that I have picked up on. I wish to address one here.
Hayek's analysis of the shift away from the radical socialists of the early 20th century to the gradual "progressives" that we see today is exactly what I see and what scares me. As Hayek states in his introduction of the 1969 printing of the book there is a feeling "toward piecemeal change."
Whether because of ignorance or active planning, we see this effect in modern American society. The drive to socialize the economic activity of the country's citizens is still quite alive and well. This includes the vaunted National healthcare plan that is coming, whether we want it or not. This, among a series of what I see as violations of the government contract which we agreed to in the Constitution, is one of the reasons that I think we are on slowly sliding into neo-socialism as I'll call it.