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

Market Solutions to Crime?

Posted by The_Chef On 11:29 PM 1 comments

Here is a bit from NPR of all places about the use of private hitmen being used to combat the notorious gangs of Guatemala.

Now in general, I like market solutions to problems. But the libertarian in me does question the ability of businesses to guarantee their work. Or even the use of that kind of coercion to prevent the death of family members to gangs that are willing to chop a child up and send the bits back to dad so he'll pay his "Protection Money"

In all fairness though, this system of privatizing hitmen in order to keep the gangs in check has been successful. From the Article:

Lots of us have left the gangs. We don't want to return to that life. We're trying to do better.
I don't care if these people get weepy over the death of their counterparts. I honestly don't care. You willfully and brutally violate the property rights of other individuals and then suddenly you get upset when that populace you've been molesting refuses to look to the corrupt government for protection (protection incidentally that they won't find).

Now granted, much of the gang crime we see in the world is drug related, so ending the war on drugs and legalizing the distribution of substances will be a giant step forward in terms of eliminating the economic incentive for gangs to operate. Still I'm glad to see a free market solution to the problem. It would be interesting to see a contrast study done of losses paid out in protection money and the cost of using mercenaries to kill your extortionists.

[Hat tip to WoG]


Posted by The_Chef On 11:43 PM 0 comments

Comment moderation is now in effect.


What the hell?

After attempting to sneak the Xbox 360 classic Halo 3 into his house, Daniel Petric, aged 17, was caught by his parents who consequentially confiscated the game. The game was locked away in his parent's closet, where a 9mm handgun was reportedly kept.

Daniel Petric took the game and handgun from the closet and took them to his parents, asking them to close their eyes to await a surprise.

Mark Petric, Daniel's father, told the court that he had expected a pleasant surprise, but found his head had gone numb. He had been shot in the head, as had his wife Susa Petric, 43, who died instantaneously.
So wait... your kid is a self-centered brat who values an inanimate object, namely the Xbox over the life of his family members.
Just bury the damn thing, change the constitution and ban guns. Stop blaming violent video games and Marilyn Manson. Enough is enough. These tragic murders need to stop.
So ... let me get this straight. The Xbox is not at fault. The gun is. But wait... the author contradicts himself:
What's the biggest factor? Guns. Guns don't kill people, people kill people, but especially if they have a gun.
So this gamer is willing to acknowledge that the gun is merely a tool, but it's a tool that enables violence, therefore it's at fault. So a tool that is not a violence enabler is not at fault when used for a violent purpose? That doesn't seem consistent. Who gets to decide what things are enablers and what aren't?
Really, why do you need guns except to shoot a pigeon, or a deer? You're not a policeman. You can't ensure that you're children won't get hold of your gun. You can't hold yourself to be a responsible adult when you return home angry, drunk and volatile.
Actually My brother who is 14 knows how to use my Sig which is kept loaded at all times, he knows the four rules of using a firearm. And what the hell is that last sentence? I mean DAMNIT people, you ARE responsible when you drink for your actions.

Today, I'm ashamed to be a gamer.

This Guy Has Some Big Brass Ones

Posted by The_Chef On 2:09 AM 0 comments


Sorry this didn't show up earlier, Blogger had an aneurysm trying to handle an animated GIF file.

Why I feel Beaten.

Posted by The_Chef On 12:40 AM 3 comments

I'm worried, very worried. It seems like no one cares about liberty, freedom, trade, and wealth anymore. Not that your average person really gives a damn about the finer points of argument over freedom vs. slavery. Hell we've replaced rational discourse with emotional appeal, demagoguery, lies, and politics.

I'm just an "extremist". One of a precious few that seem to see the primrose path we're being led down. A path that will ultimately self-destruct in what I think will be a very Atlas Shrugged fashion.

What do we do? Do we run? If so, where? Fighting will leave us branded as domestic terrorists, and while I would love to see the established political power in this country torn to bits, I don't relish trying and only succeeding in spending the rest of my life in some prison where the government and people can forget about you.

Education is failing as every new crisis is used as evidence against free markets and free minds. I think it was Stalin that said education is a weapon. It's a weapon that is, I fear, no longer ours to wield in any effectual manner.

What are freemen to do? I don't have an answer and that troubles me greatly. I get to sit and watch our society grind itself up.

Che Mania and the Irony of It All

Posted by The_Chef On 1:27 PM 1 comments

I hate people that wear Che shirts. It's like a shining beacon that says "I want to be counter culture, but I'm too much of an idiot to read history."

Conservative estimates put the total death toll of communism around 130 MILLION people, this one is closer to 150 million. Forgive me if I want to spit on people who glamorize the revolutionary mindset of Che or Lenin or Mao. They have their right to wear what they want, I have a right to think them idiots for it.

In that vein here is on Che Merchandising:

Public Choice Theory

Posted by The_Chef On 4:18 PM 0 comments

I found this on youtube. Though I'm not sure that the Game Theorists are "right wing" I would suggest that they were rather Libertarian, especially the likes of James Buchanan, arguably the king of public choice theory.

Watch from about 0:22 - 7:14 for bits on the influence of Public Choice Economics


Posted by The_Chef On 2:25 PM 0 comments

Ah so the Governor of Illinois got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, or so it seems.

I find this hilarious. And when people freak out and say "How can he do this? He's a Governor for God's sake!" I just chuckle and ask: Well do you expect anything else from our elected parasites, thieves, and assholes? I mean just look at this guy ... that must be a toupee.

Do you really expect any different? There is really no incentive for them to behave themselves. I mean, this guy is trading favors. He's a powerbroker, it's what they do. In fact in the affidavit filed the conversation directly implicates our Messiah, the President-Elect, the One, the Only, Obama. According to some of my reading Obama was willing to trade positions on corporate boards to Blagojevich's wife in return for the good Governor naming OBAMA'S choice for his replacement.

*cackles madly*

Oh this is too much. Yes, that's right ignorant Caplanesque masses, Vote! Vote for your masters! Love them for they ... care about you.

What a crock of shit.


Posted by The_Chef On 10:36 PM 0 comments

Time for another one of my favorites.


Amorphis is a Finnish metal band started by Jan Rechberger, Tomi Koivusaari and Esa Holopainen in 1990. Amorphis absorbed and incorporated influences from many metal genres, and with time passing their sound evolved dramatically. Initially, the band was a Death Metal act, but with time they have evolved into making music that is more classifiable as doom metal with folk influences, and, more recently, progressive metal and hard rock, utilizing increasingly complex arrangements and a less brutal sound

Prohibition is Still Alive and Well

Posted by The_Chef On 11:53 AM 3 comments

I completely miffed this one folks. Yesterday was Repeal day. The day that politicians finally panicked enough at falling government revenue to re-legalize the sale of alcohol. So I hope everyone got out and had a beer.

In other news, I was reading Radley Balko's coverage of the Repeal Day lectures at CATO and he was struck by the reaction of a member of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Apparently she stormed out saying it was the most one sided set of lectures she's ever heard.

So I just went looking for their website. What DOES the CSPI support? Since it's in YOUR interest I thought everyone should know exactly what this group is advocating on their behalf.

  • Higher Alcohol Taxes
  • Alcohol companies prohibited from advertising during sports broadcasts
  • Keeping the minimum age for alcohol purchases 21
  • Skeptical and even fear mongering about Genetically engineered food.
  • Sueing companies to not target children in the advertising for ... candy.
  • Warning people of the DANGERS OF SALT.
Come on people. Aristotle had it right, consume things in moderation. But the response of the CSPI is not "Your health will thank you" Their response is, if you don't do it we'll lobby so you'll have to.
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
-C.S. Lewis
Yup, he got it right.

It's been a while.

Posted by The_Chef On 1:55 PM 0 comments

Sorry everyone it's been rough recently and I needed to get some things worked out.

So on to the news of the day.

Interesting to see the FBI actually doing something to reign in the corruption found in a place like Chicago. Still my question is: How did we get ourselves into this mess to begin with?

Seriously people, the war on drugs creates a black market which drives up the cost and hence the price of goods. You tag on the fact that the profit margins for uncut vs. street value for something like cocaine are ENORMOUS and you have a ready-made mixture that is going to blow up in your face.

Face it, everyone has their price, whether it is monetary or something else, you can "purchase" the services of anyone. This includes the vaunted police officers that are supposed to be UPHOLDING the law. whoops.

Drug War 0 Drugs 1x10^475