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Showing posts from August, 2014

SWITZERLAND, NOT SWEDEN

I reserve the right to be wrong.



Go Swiss! Not bad advice at all. The most successful and prosperous country in Europe deserves a decent hearing as to how it is so successful. Perhaps all that economic freedom malarkey is something worth looking into after all. The map at the end of the second link is pretty cool. If you're a hella empiricist the Cato Institute currently runs several terrific projects on the efficacy of economic freedom.

Perhaps the greater overall economic freedom enjoyed by the Swiss would make a beter North Star for reform-minded Pommies and Yankees, rather than bloody Sweden. In any case, Sweden was in fact an exemplar of free-market liberalism for decades before it had its little dalliance with socialism after the war (particularly in the 60's and 70's, if I recall correctly). Stefan Karlsson lends his voice to the argument that Sweden doesn't owe its success to Socialism as well.

Freedom over slavery, 'bub.



Still, I reserve the right to be wro…

DYSON SPHERE IN THE UK!

I reserve the right to be wrong...



Engineering is the UK's deliverance, says James Dyson of fabulous vacuum-cleaner fame. While I would agree with the broad brush-strokes of his argument that the UK education system produces too few engineers, I cannot subscribe to a world-view like his that accepts the present-day production-line model of education.

Dyson sees his company's problem - a paucity of engineers - and ascribes national calamity or salvation to the next few years' engineering graduation rates. More will lead to glory, less or the same number to ruin. I have to take issue here.

First of all, the UK as a whole is not an economic actor in its own right. Hell, the nation doesn't even exist except on paper and in people's minds. It's a load of people with more power than sense who shape policies that we all have to live in accordance with, lest we incur the wrath of officialdom.

Secondly, the government decides educational priorities and ultimately shapes…

CAPITAL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

I reserve the right to be wrong...



Thomas Piketty caused quite a stir with the publication of his tome 'Capital in the 21st Century'. Chris Giles, writing in the Financial Times, finds fault with the data used by Piketty to proclaim a return to 1910 levels of income inequality. What kind of errors? .

Robert P. Murphy goes over exactly what's going on and shows the feebleness of the data that have come out of Piketty's analysis.

This is on top of the easy answer we Austrians had even back when we believed the data themselves. If inequality was as historically high as claimed then it was because of inflation brought on by central banks printing money and giving it to those financiers close to them. With government, proximity is everything.

So I'm in no hurry to pooh-pooh Piketty's data. It simply turned out to be wrong. As for what's right, I'll side with Bob Murphy again and wait and see. Certainly no grand challenge to freedom has been made here. Sorry …

HE BITCOINED OFF MORE THAN HE COULD CHEW

I reserve the right to be wrong...



BitCoin grows apace, as Jeffrey Tucker reports, being accepted by ever more physical merchants in cities throughout, presumably, the USA.

Also, however, a Fed insider has supposedly spilled the beginnings of some beans on Fed modelling of the future of BitCoin as a currency. Grant you, this person seems to think that the Fed losing control of people's money is a bad thing, but then can you blame abused children who know nothing but that abuse when they are frightened by the prospect that it could all come to an end? What on Earth could possibly be next?

I guess the march toward BitCoin being accepted as a unit of account is finally underway. You'll know you're winning when the government starts accepting BitCoins and LiteCoins themselves as tax revenue. Even then, Leviathan is no shoe-in for the control of humanity's future. After all, as people more and more see the pointlessness, meanness and stupidity of government expropriation, t…