If I Gave a High School Graduation Speech | Arnold Kling

Arnold Kling

I am going to talk about community service…and why I am against it…

If you judge people by how their life’s work contributed to better lives for people and less poverty in the world, then I will gladly stack up the Henry Fords and Thomas Edison’s against the Mother Theresa’s. Collectively, the capitalists and entrepreneurs have a much better claim on our gratitude than do the icons of community service.

What would you rather have in your community? Would you rather have the Wal-mart that hires the workers that other businesses cannot use and for whom politicians can offer no assistance–people with little education or training, including people with disabilities? Or would you rather have the “activists” who fight to keep out Wal-Mart or who insist that they should dictate Wal-Mart’s labour policies?

via If I Gave a High School Graduation Speech | askblog.

Murray Rothbard and the Bourbon Democrats

The American political system is complicated with the Republicans and Democrats moving around the political spectrum. Remember, Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive Party, with its rather left wing agenda split from the Republicans, not from the Democrats in 1912.

Murray Rothbard saw a lot of anti-big government sentiments in the pre-1896 Democratic Party under the Third Party System, and especially in the Second Party System prior to the Civil War with Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. The 19th century Democratic Party tended to be the party of peace, anti-militarism, and anti-imperialism. Rothbard referred to Grover Cleveland

The Third Party System was dominated by the newly created Republican Party, which supported national banks, railroads, high tariffs, homesteading rights and aid to the land-grant colleges.

The Fourth Party System from 1896 to 1932 was made up of a majority centrist Republican Party against a minority Democratic Party from the South together with urban Catholics in the Northern cities – a volatile brew – which soon had an ideology scarcely distinguishable from the Republicans.

Both parties under the Third party System that operated prior to 1896 comprised broad-based voting coalitions divided between the parties on racial, ethnic and religious lines with high voter turnout and strong partisanship.

  • Methodists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, and Scandinavian Lutherans were closely linked to the Republican Party.
  • Catholics, Episcopalians, and German Lutherans, looked to the Democratic Party for protection from moralism and prohibition.
  • The Democrats gained more support from the lower classes than did the Republicans.

Bourbon Democrat was a term used in the US from 1876 to 1904 for members of the Democratic Party, conservative or classical liberal, and especially those who supported President Grover Cleveland in 1884–1888 and 1892–1896. Rothbard referred to Grover Cleveland as “a hard-money laissez-faire Democrat” and

the continuity of quasi-libertarian thought that the Democrat Party brought to the United States throughout the nineteenth century

The Bourbon Democrats represented business interests, generally supporting the goals of banking and railroads but opposed to subsidies for them and were unwilling to protect them from competition.

Bourbon Democrats were promoters of laissez-faire capitalism (which included opposition to the protectionism that the Republicans advocated). The Bourbon Democrats opposed imperialism and U.S. overseas expansion, fought for the gold standard, and opposed bimetallism.

The notion that the Democratic Party was once the home of classical liberals in the USA at one time and the Republican Party was the party of regulation and big government is so foreign to the modern party divides in the USA today. Political parties in the United States certainly are big tents as they say.

No One Cares How Many Predictions Earth Day Founders Got Wrong

 “Air pollution… is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.”

Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist

“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.”

Paul Ehrlich

“By… [1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.”

Paul Ehrlich

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation.”

Denis Hayes, chief organizer for Earth Day

“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa.

By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…

By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”

Peter Gunter, professor, North Texas State University

“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support… the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.”

Life magazine, January 1970

via No One Cares How Many Predictions Earth Day Founders Got Wrong.

Alternative energy sources are no substitute for low-cost, zero emissions nuclear power | AEIdeas

nuclear

via Alternative energy sources like wind and solar are no substitute for low-cost, zero emissions nuclear power | AEIdeas.

Alchian and Allen’s list of economic fallacies

  • Price controls prevent higher costs to consumers;
  • reducing unemployment requires creating more jobs;
  • larger incomes for some people require  smaller incomes for others;
  • free, or low, tuition reduces costs to students;
  • unemployment is wasteful;
  • stockbrokers and investment advisors predict better than throwing a dart at a list of stocks;
  • international trade deficits are bad and surpluses are good;
  • inflation is caused by government deficits;
  • government budget deficits reduce saving and raise interest  rates;
  • new taxes are borne by the consumer of the taxed items;
  • employers pay for "employer provided" insurance;
  • tax-exempt bonds avoid taxes;
  • minimum wages help the unskilled and minorities;
  • housing developers drive up the price of land;
  • foreign imports reduce domestic jobs;
  • "equal pay for equal work" aids women, minorities and the young;
  • very low unemployment causes inflation; and
  • the Federal Reserve Board controls the rate of interest.

Source: Universal Economics

On net, are the results good or bad?

Groucho Marx on the economics of Karl Marx

Wise Words on Minimum Wage, Jim Buchanan edition

via Spontaneous Order: Wise Words on Minimum Wage, Jim Buchanan edition.

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