Wednesday , December 12 2018
Home / Tag Archives: Reality Is Not Optional

Tag Archives: Reality Is Not Optional

Some Links

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy is rightly appalled by the state’s and politicians’ blatant inconsistencies. A slice: Let’s focus on China’s state-owned enterprises — steel in particular. As the theory goes, by heavily subsidizing some of its state-owned steel producers, Beijing creates overcapacity. This overcapacity causes the global supply of steel to be too high and thus the world price of steel to be too low. American producers thereby suffer lost sales. True...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 351 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague James Buchanan’s 1979 paper “The Economic Constitution and the New Deal: Lessons for Late Learners,” as this paper is reprinted in Choice, Contract, and Constitutions (2001), which is volume 16 of The Collected Works of James M. Buchanan: Once a governmental program is instituted, a specific clientele is born, with clearly defined interests in both the maintenance and expansion of the program’s benefits. These interests make...

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Some Links

Jeffrey Tucker celebrates The Nutcracker. A slice: This was a world that loved globalism and celebrated cross-cultural exchange. It was an age before the creation of passports, and traveling the world and seeing it all was first becoming possible for many people. You could ride on ships and not die of scurvy. Trains could take people from place to place in safety. Goods crossed borders as never before, and multicultural chic invaded arts and literature of all sorts. And hence in the...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 87 of my colleague Richard Wagner’s superb 2017 intellectual biography of Jim Buchanan, James M. Buchanan and Liberal Political Economy: There can be many reasons why someone might think some modicum of force might be necessary to maintain good civil order. It is impossible, however, to guarantee that force will be limited to maintaining good civil order. Force will be deployed as its holders choose to deploy it. This is a basic, irremediable quality of human nature. DBx:...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 99 of Thomas Sowell’s 2018 volume Discrimination and Disparities (original emphasis; footnote deleted; link added): Similarly, people who discuss raising the government-mandated minimum wage talk as if this would automatically mean having the lowest-paid workers’ income rise, from $10 an hour to $15 per hour, for example. In reality, for millions of inexperienced and unskilled young workers, it can mean that the wages they receive in fact fall from $10 an hour to zero,...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 46 of Matt Ridley’s excellent 1997 book, The Origins of Virtue (footnote excluded): Indeed, [Adam] Smith pointed out that benevolence is inadequate for the task of building cooperation in a large society, because we are irredeemably biased in our benevolence to relatives and close friends; a society built on benevolence would be riddled with nepotism. Between strangers, the invisible hand of the market, distributing selfish ambitions, is fairer. Comments

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 44 of my colleague Richard Wagner’s excellent 2017 intellectual biography of Jim Buchanan, James M. Buchanan and Liberal Political Economy: To be sure, theorists of public finance readily embraced fictions, mostly ones that sounded pleasant. A common fiction was to treat the state as a benevolent despot that used its budget to maximize social welfare. A wish or a hope was substituted for an explanation of the operation of actual political processes. DBx: As Dick explains,...

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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 272 of my late Nobel-laureate colleague Jim Buchanan’s 1978 paper “Public Choice and Ideology,” as this paper is reprinted in Jim’s 1979 collection, What Should Economists Do? (original emphasis): It seems extremely difficult for anyone to adopt a socialist position and at the same time be familiar with and accept the analysis of public choice. Here I use socialist in the sense that this term was employed in the 1930s, when [Oskar] Lange, [Abba] Lerner, and others...

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The Right to Vote Isn’t Remotely Sufficient to Guarantee Freedom or Even ‘Voice’

In my latest column for AIER, I discuss what I believe to be an indisputable fact of reality – but a ‘fact’ that many people, of all political persuasions, resist. A slice: It’s true that you cast a ballot and that your vote was counted. But your vote – your “say” – was only the faintest of muffled whispers. If you voted for the losing candidate, your request for government not to intrude into your life in the ways promised by the victorious candidate is ignored. You must obey the...

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Some Links

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy is sour on sugar-industry cronyism. Dan Mitchell writes sensibly about trade deficits. Jonah Goldberg reflects wisely on the acrimony prevalent in today’s American politics. See also this fine essay by Nick Gillespie. Pierre Lemieux muses about the inescapability – and implications – of scarcity. Steve Landsburg suspects that many people are irrationally inconsistent, at least when they are reckoning the prospects of tiny chances of...

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