The Economist's Cookbook

Recipes For A More Free Society

  • "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they know about what they imagine they can design."

    - F.A. Hayek

You're an Asshole!

Posted by The_Chef On 6:41 PM 2 comments

And I think that this will be one of the ones I want to do on a semi-regular/regular basis.

So now on to business. Today's candidate for the asshole crown can be found in the recent hubbub over gas prices and the *puts on a creepy chilling voice* eeeeevil of eeeeexcessive oil profits.
Oh let's get a picture of our lovely candidate up here shall we? Well look at that ... a Joseph Goebbels pose for the readers! How appropriate Ms. Waters.

Now for those of you that don't know, Congresswoman Waters recently made a spectacle of herself at a House hearing. Here she is grilling the President of Shell Oil Co.

Props to this John Hofmeister guy for understanding the ideas of Supply and Demand. When Supply is fixed and not moving and Demand rises a price increase is necessary for the market to remain as it should. In other words, with world consumption of gas going nowhere but UP! we should expect the price to rise Ms. Waters. All this seems lost on her however.
Allow me to quote her.

"This liberal would be all about socializi- ... uh uh ... would be about ... [pregnant braindead pause] ... basically taking over and the government running all of your companies."
My my Congressman Waters, showing your true colors are you not? I think the word that eluded you was "nationalize". You want to nationalize the oil companies. You've learned nothing from history have you? In Soviet Russia, Oil drills YOU!

Thank you for letting us know what you really think you pompous windbag. And for that wonderful insight on solving the oil price increase ... you Maxine Waters are an asshole.

Unite for Change ... yeah right!

Posted by The_Chef On 12:48 PM 2 comments

So people in our neighborhood were invited to a Obama House Meeting or whatever they are called. Essentially it's a meeting to socialize and connect with Obama supporters and drum up grassroots volunteers for voter registration and door to door campaigning.

It was ... hilarious.

I have never seen such a cadre of worshipful intellectual fools before. Well maybe I have but this came close to making me want to scream.

I walked in knowing I was in enemy territory, but I went enemy. Sun Tzu says, "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles." Well this was an attempt to know my enemy. Not that McCain is any better mind you, this was simply an opportunity.

Several things stood out to me:
1.) These people were very good at regurgitating talking points about the war in Iraq, the supposed "energy crisis", that we are in, the state of health care, the "rich-poor gap" growing, the "disappearance" of the middle class, and various other bits of CNN soundbyte nonsense.

2.) One lady told me "Obama has libertarian leanings." I nearly fell out of my chair. I must have looked poleaxed. The man is a raving socialist and social engineer. He wan
ts to "protect the workers" by destroying the system that puts bread on their table.

3.) The same lady as mentioned above told me that she read and loved Ayn Rand. I almost threw up at that one. I like lots of the tenets of Objectivism, but I think Ayn Rand was a bitch and very shallow from a philosophical perspective and it has taken years to more fully develop her ideas. This woman had no idea what she was talking about because somehow Rand's vision of how society should be can somehow be moved toward by electing a politician who believes in a command and control economic system.

4.) This Messiah complex is completely out of hand. I mean the blind devotion in these people's eyes is just ... scary. It's like a CULT! And they all swear up and down that the democracy will die if we have another 4 years of a republican president. I kind of wanted to mention that this country was founded as a representative republic and still is such.

5.) No one in this group understands economics. They say that government should do X without consideration beyond X. Simple ignorance really, but even the ignorant vote
.

6.) No one knew what the definition of a recession was. When I told them it was two quarters of negative GDP growth or a net loss in GDP they looked at me like I was speaking Greek. MORONS!

7.) My my how they spoke about how eloquent a speaker Obama is. Oh how they went on about how this was a smart man that could lead this country. You know who else was eloquent? Joseph Goebbels, General Santa Ana, Mussolini, Stalin, Lenin, Ho Chi Mihn. Shall I go on? The point is that it's not the eloquence or the sophistry of the speaker ... it's the nature of the message. Has everyone forgotten this?!

The revolution will come. Here's a little reminder for anyone who values freedom:


(Image by Satansgoalie)


Quote of the Day

Posted by The_Chef On 11:31 PM 0 comments

Voltaire:

So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.


So I ask you, what gods do men currently serve to justify the shackles they put on men today?

Yousa Wan' Change? Pt 2.

Posted by The_Chef On 11:44 AM 0 comments


I BRING YOU: BAR BAR Obama!

Photoshop ... just enough rope to hang myself with....


Yes! Mesa wan' Change!

You Can't Say That!

Posted by The_Chef On 4:08 PM 0 comments

The thought police strike again!
God forbid you be offended by a standup comic.

From the Comedian:

Mr. Earle said the complaint is an attack on comedians' right to perform. "I would never have expected it would get escalated to a philosophical battle."
Oh really? Of course it is, didn't you know that people have a RIGHT not to be offended. According to the article this is a "Human Rights Violation". This makes me sick. What about the slave labor camps in China? What about the butchery in Africa? What about the abuse of womens rights in States following Sharia Law?!

Of course ... I like this thought of his:
"I don't care if they're lesbians, heterosexuals, homosexuals or giraffes."
They're coming for you:

Yousa Wan' Change?

Posted by The_Chef On 3:38 PM 0 comments

Apparently George Lucas thinks Obama is a Jedi ...
Oh my god some of these comments are hysterical!

Let me just get this right ....

Senator? Check.
Power Monger? Check.
Sacrifice the freedoms of his people for a "better" place? Check.
Megalomaniac? Check.
Hailed by his peers? Check.
Delusions of grandeur? Check.

Sounds more like the rise of the Emporer than a Jedi.

John Stossel on Drug Legalization

Posted by The_Chef On 3:34 PM 0 comments

Here is John's great piece over at Townhall.com.

Personally I couldn't agree more. But the current war on people smoking doobies is what we get when people with political power wield it for the "good of us".

"It is indeed probable that more harm and misery have been caused by men determined to use coercion to stamp out a moral evil than by men intent on doing evil." -F. A. Hayek

So ... In honor of this I'd like to represent the smokesperson (yes yes I know, bad play on words) for the Drug Legalization movement:

Progressives = Regressives

Posted by The_Chef On 11:09 AM 0 comments

I love how many politicians in modern politics talk about how progressive their ideas are. Well this of course begs the question: Progressing toward what exactly?

Barack Obama just helped me to answer this question. Allow me to elaborate a bit. Here is a recent Wall Street Journal article about Obama's plan for the economy.

Allow me to respond. Keynesian Economics DOES NOT WORK. Those pretty ISLM curves that you draw and that money that you arbitrarily create and then spend on public works do not create long term growth in the economy and while we might see a slight bump in the short run markets, we will see the distortion of government action in the markets have a long term negative effect.

I don't understand this idea. FDR's presidency should have been more than enough evidence for even the Left to admit that the idea of government 'fixing' the economy but simply creating worthless fiat money and then buying up goods and services that could have been used by consumers is somehow going to make our lives better off. This is ridiculous. If anything the simple idea of deficit spending with money that we don't have will heavily distort various markets and when the Federal Reserve tries to inject money into the economy through open market operations to target inflation then we get additional distortions all the way through the loanable funds market.

The Austrians won the Socialist Calculation Debate! F.A. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, and their intellectual followers showed that the planning of an economy even on a small scale is something that central planners cannot effectively or even realistically achieve.
Here is the other part of this article that pisses me the hell off:

Sen. Obama cited new economic forces to explain what appears like a return to an older-style big-government Democratic platform skeptical of market forces. "Globalization and technology and automation all weaken the position of workers," he said, and a strong government hand is needed to assure that wealth is distributed more equitably.

WHAT THE HELL SENATOR? Have you ever taken an Economics course or are all your decisions made for you by "economic advisers" that are nothing more than Leftist stooges for the ideas of socialism? Globalization is doing more to raise the quality of life for people in the third world than any sort of aid program could even think about. Now which part are you opposed to, freedom or the third world? You're either a fascist or a racist now.

As to automation... this is even more absurd! Yes Senator, lets go back to hand assembling cars. That made cars so affordable for everyone. As I recall it was the Ford Model T which was built on an assembly line that made those cars affordable for the everyday man. That technology helps to reduce the costs of production which in turn reduces the cost to consumer in a competitive market.

And I don't care about income inequality. Those funds go into the loanable funds market or into the underwriting for other companies to continue to make our lives better. Income inequality is a fact of life. And if the government would stop propping the rich up with protections against free trade, we wouldn't have some of the inequality. The rich are the driving force in the economy and we should THANK THEM for the jobs they helped to create.

Workers of the world unite ... for Barack. As for me? Galt's Gulch looks like it's becoming a realistic possibility.

Thus is the death of liberty greeted ... to thunderous applause.

Papers Please...

Posted by The_Chef On 11:53 PM 0 comments


This makes me sick.

Do we have to look forward to these checkpoints all over the country? This is absolutely ridiculous. Thank you D.C. for showing us how a police state looks.

I did find this quote amusing:

Spitzer notes that homicides are actually relatively flat citywide in recent years, though there's been a big jump this year in that part of Northeast. "The sad answer is that there may be nothing that prevents crime in a crowded urban area in the summertime," he says.
Wait ... So this is all for nothing. I see. Do you know why your crime rates are fairly flat and pretty high compared to the national mean? Maybe it's because you won't let the citizens of Washington D.C. defend themselves legally.

Really, it's just a thought.

RANT!

Posted by The_Chef On 4:00 PM 0 comments

Hello Folks. I want you to meet someone special.
This is Paul Helmke:
Paul is the head of Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
aka
'The Brady Campaign to Disarm Law Abiding Citizens'

Now. He and his organization are poised to get their collective ass handed to them by the US Supreme Court. The Way things are looking with the DC gun ban case, the gun-grabbers are going to lose.

Here are two quotes from this ABC news article that astound me:

"We've lost the battle on what the Second Amendment means," campaign president Paul Helmke told ABC News. "Seventy-five percent of the public thinks it's an individual right."
You're damn right it's an individual right. If you all were real historians or constitutional lawyers you and your sainted organization would have run away from this path with your tail between your legs.
Here, try this on for size:
"The great object is, that every man be armed ... Every one who is able may have a gun."-- Patrick Henry
Or this one?
"That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms ... "
--Samuel Adams
I think the founders view of this is pretty straightforward.
Secondly:
"If the Supreme Court strikes down the D.C. gun ban, the Brady Campaign is hoping that it will reorient gun control groups around more limited measures that will be harder to cast as infringements of the Second Amendment."
What part of "...shall not be infringed" do you not understand?!

Here is a great bit by Don Boudreaux over at Cafe Hayek on the Copenhagen Consensus and Bjorn Lomborg.

Funny how when the economists examine the best ways to make the worst off people in the world better off, global warming is at the bottom of the list. Up near the top are steps to fight malnutrition and ... wait for it ... increases in Free Trade policies.

Here is a magnificent quote from Lomborg's piece in the Wall Street Journal:

The benefits of freer trade were estimated in a paper presented by Professors Kym Anderson and Alan Winters. They found that a successful Doha Round could generate up to $113 trillion in new wealth during the 21st century, at a cost of $420 billion or less from inefficient industries going bust. If you like ratios, that's a return of $269 for every $1 of cost. A less conservative projection puts the gains three times higher. More than 80% of this global windfall would go to the world's poorest countries.

Suck it Al Gore ...

This goes to reinforce something that I've come to believe: Modern Environmentalism as we know it in the west is a hobby of rich white people with too much time on their hands. People that are too busy being anti-capitalist rather than Pro-Earth.

More Government Idiocy

Posted by The_Chef On 5:17 PM 0 comments

Dave over at the War on Guns posted on this article, but I want to talk about it anyway.

So the Mexicans are telling us that the drug runners are getting their guns from the US. So now the US Government wants to give them $1.6 billion to help them stop this cartel crime.

So ... My tax dollars are not only going to the oh so successful War on Drugs, but they are going to help OTHER countries wage oh so successful wars on their drugs too? *sigh*

Prohibition was a failure in the 30s, has anything changed? Not when it comes to things like that.

Here's the other thing that bothers me. Apparently, at least according to this article, the guns are being purchased and shipped south. I'm sure there is a "Gunshow Loophole" argument in there somewhere. However the US Government is saying that the Drug cartels are using M16s and Grenade launchers. When was the last time you went to a gun show and saw on of these:

Can't say as I have. Is it possible that corrupt officials might be looking the other way when stores of Mexican weapons go missing? I wouldn't call it a stretch of imagination. We see it all the time in other countries with high levels of corruption (see Russia).

So thank you congress for more of my tax dollars going to absolutely worthless causes because ...



"Drugs are bad ... Mmkay?"

The Benefits of Sweatshops

Posted by The_Chef On 11:10 PM 1 comments

Here is a great article from Ben Powell. He was a student at GMU with my mentor Dr. Chris Coyne. Powell presented a defense of sweatshops at Hampden-Sydney College and I was fortunate enough to be invited to dinner and the pub later to talk to him and he's a really cool guy. He's passionate about his work and ruthlessly meticulous about his research. He defended his point very well during the Q&A period. And allowed one certain female economics professor to make an ass out of herself. All in all, it was a great speech.

Here is one of my favorite segments from the paper linked above:

Even in specific cases where a company was allegedly exploiting sweatshop labor we found the jobs were usually better than average. In 9 of the 11 countries we surveyed, the average reported sweatshop wage, based on a 70-hour work week, equaled or exceeded average incomes. In Cambodia, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Honduras, the average wage paid by a firm accused of being a sweatshop is more than double the average income in that country. The Kathy Lee Gifford factory in Honduras was not an outlier—it was the norm.

Because sweatshops are better than the available alternatives, any reforms aimed at improving the lives of workers in sweatshops must not jeopardize the jobs that they already have.
Eat your heart out Berkeley students. You can wear your "fair trade" clothes all you want, just know that children are prostituting their bodies because your movement caused their factory job to be eliminated.

Intelligence Not Required...

Posted by The_Chef On 7:43 PM 0 comments


... apparently neither is knowledge of the laws you're supposed to be enforcing.

This is the story I'm referring to: Open Carry Arrest in Wisconsin
(Thanks to Dave Codrea over at War on Guns for bringing this up)

Now let me get this right.

1. Wisconsin is an open-carry state, meaning that the open (or unconcealed carrying) of a firearm is COMPLETELY LEGAL.
2. Officer arrests this guy who is open carrying for Disorderly Conduct saying that the open carrying of a firearm is disturbing the peace.
3. The District Attorney will not prosecute the guy because ... well he can't.
4. The police will not give him his gun, mags, or ammo.

My Reaction: WHAT THE HELL!?

The arresting officer should be suspended without pay for a period of no less than 3 weeks, He should be forced to handwrite an apology to the individual in question.

This is what pisses me off, so often cops do not know the laws they enforce. (This occurs because they are too busy guarding speed traps rather than guarding the populace.) Yet somehow this DA decides to act completely asinine about this whole mess! If I was this guy I would sue for harassment faster than Jesse Jackson could say 'racism'.

I have absolutely no respect for modern law enforcement. I know some good cops, guys that are genuine decent human beings. I still wouldn't show them an ID if they asked for one on the sidewalk ("Papers please" much?)

Where does this stop?! When are we safe enough from ourselves? People wonder why I don't trust cops and all you have to do is read news sources beyond the NY times and the Washington Post and suddenly you start hearing things about the rampant abuses of police power.

These cops and MANY of the legislatures want to disarm the peaceful citizen for our own protection. Here's what I don't get: if my life is in danger, I need that protection RIGHT THEN, not in 4 minutes when the police respond. Those four minutes are the difference between a live person and a corpse.

So to all the people that know better how to protect my life than I do, heres a thank you.

Musings

Posted by The_Chef On 2:22 PM 0 comments


So it's 90 something degrees here at home and I'm drinking English Breakfast Tea. I must be losing my mind...

Despite my agreement with my parents on many things political in nature (I think my libertarian views are rubbing off on a pair of republicans that have gotten very disillusioned with the party), I still seem to have these occasional knock-down, drag-out arguments. Mostly with my mom, whose answer to almost every question is "Because it's the right thing to do." or "You just don't want to hear about morals and God."

This lack of intellectual engagement with my mom probably explains part of the reasons for quite a good deal of tension in our relationship.

But back to the subject at hand. This time it was about the "gay marriage" debate. Now I'm not gay, don't plan to go bat for the other team, and don't like a lot of the politics of the "gay movement" in modern American politics.

However, What two people do behind closed doors is their own damn business. I dare any Christian to go to the US constitution/Declaration of Independence/Federalist Papers and find where government is granted to power to decide who people are allowed to have sex with or fall in love with. You may think it's morally wrong, but is there constitutional support for invading people's lives like this? I should say not.

Now I may not like the lifestyle and may find parts of it amusingly hysterical, but really, where is the line? Are you going to continue to abuse the "General Welfare" clause to the point where it doesn't mean a damn thing? (Hint: We've already done that in this country.) Where does the line get drawn? The Government already wants to tell people what to eat, what to drink, what to put in our bodies. [See the Foie Gras ban in Chicago| See Laws governing the sale of Alcohol | See the oh so successful 'War on Drugs']

Now the US government wants to tell people who they will recognize as a legitimate partner. The funny thing is that this is not old hat for the governments of the states. Many states have unenforced laws against sodomy and I think that Virginia even has one on the books banning oral sex (good luck enforcing that one).

So I ask this of people. "Who gets to decide where the lines are drawn?" and "Whom will these laws be directed against?"

If you honestly believe that the US Government and bureaucrats thereof can do this, you're a fool. They have been impeding on liberty for the purposes of enforcing personal morals or the morals of an interest group, rather than the morals that it was founded to enforce (namely property rights).

Sure, give the Government more power to get into people's bedrooms. Interracial marriage used to be illegal. Is what the Christian Right Wing wants to impose that much different?