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Capablanca-Fan
23-09-2008, 01:23 PM
Some quotes from Dr Thomas Sowell (1930– ), an outstanding economist, author and political commentator, who has analyzed cultures around the world, history and the incentives driving much public policy. Oh, did I mention that he's black? ;)

Sowell's columns from 1998 till present (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell1.asp).
Sowell's homepage (http://www.tsowell.com/).


One of the bitter ironies of the 20th century was that communism, which began as an egalitarian doctrine accusing capitalism of selfishness and calloused sacrifices of others, became in power a system whose selfishness and callousness toward others made the sins of capitalism pale.
‘Entitlement’ is not only the opposite of achievement, it undermines incentives to do all the hard work that leads to achievement. It is the people who were born and raised in the welfare state atmosphere who seem to have great difficulty finding jobs.
Envy plus rhetoric equals ‘social justice’.
One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain.
Blacks were not enslaved because they were black but because they were available. Slavery has existed in the world for thousands of years. Whites enslaved other whites in Europe for centuries before the first black was brought to the Western hemisphere. Asians enslaved Europeans. Asians enslaved other Asians. Africans enslaved other Africans, and indeed even today in North Africa, blacks continue to enslave blacks.
The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.
Both free speech rights and property rights belong legally to individuals, but their real function is social, to benefit vast numbers of people who do not themselves exercise these rights.
Prices are important not because money is considered paramount but because prices are a fast and effective conveyor of information through a vast society in which fragmented knowledge must be coordinated.
The real minimum wage is zero [unemployment].
Imagine a political system so radical as to promise to move more of the poorest 20% of the population into the richest 20% than remain in the poorest bracket within the decade? You don't need to imagine it. It's called the United States of America.
A recently reprinted memoir by Frederick Douglass has footnotes explaining what words like ‘arraigned’, ‘curried’ and ‘exculpate’ meant, and explaining who Job was. In other words, this man who was born a slave and never went to school educated himself to the point where his words now have to be explained to today's expensively under-educated generation.
Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.
Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric.
One of the most fashionable notions of our times is that social problems like poverty and oppression breed wars. Most wars, however, are started by well-fed people with time on their hands to dream up half-baked ideologies or grandiose ambitions, and to nurse real or imagined grievances.
Like a baseball game, wars are not over till they are over. Wars don’t run on a clock like football. No previous generation was so hopelessly unrealistic that this had to be explained to them.
Would you bet your paycheck on a weather forecast for tomorrow? If not, then why should this country bet billions on ‘global warming’ predictions that have even less foundation?
Many of the same people who cry ‘No blood for oil’ also want higher gas-mileage standards for cars. But higher mileage standards have meant lighter and flimsier cars, leading to more injuries and deaths in accidents — in other words, trading blood for oil.
It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.
The simplest and most psychologically satisfying explanation of any observed phenomenon is that it happened that way because someone wanted it to happen that way.
Facts do not ‘speak for themselves’. They speak for or against competing theories. Facts divorced from theories or visions are mere isolated curiosities.
The march of science and technology does not imply growing intellectual complexity in the lives of most people. It often means the opposite.
The grand fallacy of the political left is that decisions are better made by third parties who pay no price for being wrong. Much of the 20th century has been taken up proving how tragically mistaken that theory is, all around the world. But those who want to be the third-party decision-makers still remain undaunted.
Liberal colleges and universities seldom have conservative speakers give talks on their campuses, but conservative colleges and universities often have liberal speakers give talks on their campuses. The kind of broad exposure to a variety of views that used to be called a liberal education is now available largely at conservative academic institutions.
Letter from a reader: 60 Minutes televised a suicide and justified it on journalistic grounds. Do you think they would air a live partial birth abortion?
Proposals for reform are often dismissed because they have no realistic chance of being adopted. But none of the major reforms of the past had any realistic chance of being adopted when they were first proposed.
The whole political vision of the left, including socialism and communism, has failed by virtually every empirical test, in countries all around the world. But this has only led leftist intellectuals to evade and denigrate empirical evidence.

Igor_Goldenberg
23-09-2008, 04:08 PM
Another quote:
-"This is worse than insanity. It is subsidized insanity."

TheJoker
25-09-2008, 04:26 PM
Oh, did I mention that he's black?

Why would you it has nothing to do with his economic credentials:eh:

Capablanca-Fan
25-09-2008, 04:28 PM
Why would you it has nothing to do with his economic credentials:eh:
Exactly my point :wall: :wall: :wall:
It might give him clout with his scathing denunciations of affirmative action, reparations for slavery, black victimitis etc. though.
Of course, I was just quoting the Obamessiah's claim about what GOP attacks would major on.

TheJoker
25-09-2008, 05:38 PM
Some quotes from Dr Thomas Sowell (1930– ),
[list]
Imagine a political system so radical as to promise to move more of the poorest 20% of the population into the richest 20% than remain in the poorest bracket within the decade? You don't need to imagine it. It's called the United States of America.

Or more importantly that in the USA the bottom 20% of income earners in the USA have seen no 'real income' growth in the last 40 years!




Many of the same people who cry ‘No blood for oil’ also want higher gas-mileage standards for cars. But higher mileage standards have meant lighter and flimsier cars, leading to more injuries and deaths in accidents — in other words, trading blood for oil.

I think you will find modern cars are far safer than those in the past and far more fuel efficient. As an economist Sowell should be encouraging people to demand for more efficient products it is that demand that leads to technological innovation causing economic growth. Probably best to remove this one from the list, I am sure in retrospect Sowell would agree it is a pretty stupid comment.



The grand fallacy of the political left is that decisions are better made by third parties who pay no price for being wrong..

The grand fallacy of political right is that two parties making a mutually beneficial decision will somehow consider affected third parties to which they have no financial relationship.

We had free-markets then we became civilised.

TheJoker
25-09-2008, 06:02 PM
Exactly my point :wall: :wall: :wall:
It might give him clout with his scathing denunciations of affirmative action, reparations for slavery, black victimitis etc. though.

Not really at the most his race may mean he some has personal experience that might count as ancedotal evidence. But outside of that, it makes his analysis of what are largley 'macro' issues no more or less valid.

One might even consider it a negative since his own personal experience might significantly influence his objectivity.

Capablanca-Fan
25-09-2008, 06:04 PM
Or more importantly that in the USA the bottom 20% of income earners in the USA have seen no 'real income' growth in the last 40 years!
Not so. The earners as individuals have seen huge increases, even though the earnings brackets haven't. Sowell's point is that lefties whinge about inequality between top and bottom brackets, ignoring the transfer of people upwards. It's only natural that people starting off will have fewer assets and lower income.


I think you will find modern cars are far safer than those in the past and far more fuel efficient. As an economist Sowell should be encouraging people to demand for more efficient products it is that demand that leads to technological innovation causing economic growth.
Yes, without any need for government bureaucracies.


Probably best to remove this one from the list, I am sure in retrospect Sowell would agree it a pretty stupid comment.
It was right at the time: it's a fact that the earlier "fuel efficient" cars were much flimsier.


The grand fallacy of political right is that two parties making a mutually beneficial decision will somehow consider affected third parties to which they have no financial relationship.
In most cases the third party should have no say, e.g. in the price of goods or wages.


We had free-markets then we became civilised.
Free markets do tend to increase civility, since customers are more likely to frequent friendly stores than unfriendly ones. Contrast that with the well known surliness in Soviet stores, which had a state-enforced monopoly so didn't have to attract customers to survive. Rather like government schools.

Capablanca-Fan
25-09-2008, 06:05 PM
Not really at the most his race may mean he some has personal experience that might count as ancedotal evidence. But outside of that, it makes his analysis of what are largley 'macro' issues no more or less valid.
I agree. But it makes it harder for lefties to demonize him as a racist.


One might even consider it a negative since his own personal experience might significantly influence his objectivity.
But it would make it more likely to come down on the side of preferences of his own race. Yet his studies of affirmative action worldwide have concluded that it's a disaster. I've explained the reasons before.

TheJoker
25-09-2008, 06:59 PM
Not so. The earners as individuals have seen huge increases, even though the earnings brackets haven't. Sowell's point is that lefties whinge about inequality between top and bottom brackets, ignoring the transfer of people upwards. It's only natural that people starting off will have fewer assets and lower income.

So you are saying it is more dependant on years in the workforce (i.e. the bottom bracket contains primarily those new to the workforce). It would be interesting to see some stats for real income growth for only a group of people that entered the workforce in the same year.

The fact still exists that in real terms the top brackets are growing while the bottom brackets are not. It counteracts the arguement that increase in the top brackets will envitably trickle all the way down the system to benefit all. That is by letting rich get richer the poor will automatically get richer



Yes, without any need for government bureaucracies.

There is a need because as we see with chinese milk crisis, consumers often have incomplete information about the safety of a product to make an informed purchasing decision, by the time the market cathes up (markets forces are purley reactionary) a significant amount of damage has been done. And while not meeting needs of there customers may cause these corporations to go out of business it's not going to reverse the health effects caused to thousands of infants. Bottom line is that unethical behaviour is going to happen and markets can only act a a reactionary force to such behaviour, whilst regulation can be proactive (preventative).


It was right at the time: it's a fact that the earlier "fuel efficient" cars were much flimsier.

I expect being an economist he did not understand the benfits of crumple zones. People of that time often thought of cars being flimsier because they would crumple in a accident, when in fact this was a safety feature. I would be surprised if there is any evidence of car safety standard getting worse but i could well be wrong.



In most cases the third party should have no say, e.g. in the price of goods or wages.

It is not about interfering with prices or wages. It is about considering the wider impacts of economic activities beyond that of the buyer and seller to the community at large.

Imagine a coporation without any managment do you think all the workers will work together efficiently to achieving goals off course not.

Why should an economy without any management be any different?

We all know in business that competition for scarce resources (budgets etc) has to be managed effectively to ensure the competition produces positive outcomes. In business competition for scarce resources often produces ineffecient unproductive outcomes as people try to benefit themselves at the expense of others and utlitmately the organisatin as a whole. It seems foolish to think that a competitive market without management will somehow only produce only effecient results.

Why is it that so many free-market advocates are happy for small economies such as corporations to have rules, policy and management oversight. Yet oppose exactly that at a macro level? You wouldn't dream of running a business econonmy without a management team so why a country economy?



Free markets do tend to increase civility, since customers are more likely to frequent friendly stores than unfriendly ones. Contrast that with the well known surliness in Soviet stores, which had a state-enforced monopoly so didn't have to attract customers to survive. Rather like government schools.

Again only between buyer and seller, how would you feel if your started a brothel in their house. Buyers and sellers might be very (and I mean very) friendly with each other. Doesn't mean your neighbour or his customers need to give a sh*t about you. You need some sought of laws or regulations to ensure conflicts like this are minimised as they cause unproductive behaviours. As Stiglitz said externalities are prevasive.

Capablanca-Fan
25-09-2008, 07:28 PM
So you are saying it is more dependant on years in the workforce (i.e. the bottom bracket contains primarily those new to the workforce). It would be interesting to see some stats for real income growth for only a group of people that entered the workforce in the same year.
Sowell has considered that, and found that indeed the lower income brackets are highly represented by beginners in the workforce.


The fact still exists that in real terms the top brackets are growing while the bottom brackets are not.
Doesn't matter, as long as people can move freely from the bottom to the top, which happens in a large percentage of cases.


It counteracts the arguement that increase in the top brackets will envitably trickle all the way down the system to benefit all.
Sowell has also pointed out that no free market economist uses the trickle down argument (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4183). This is a straw man invented by lefties. In fact, the flow of money is the opposite to trickling down: it's the company founders who are paid last (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=1115):


Those who imagine that profits first benefit business owners — and that benefits only belatedly trickle down to workers — have the sequence completely backward. When an investment is made, whether to build a railroad or to open a new restaurant, the first money is spent hiring people to do the work. Without that, nothing happens.

Money goes out first to pay expenses first and then comes back as profits later — if at all. The high rate of failure of new businesses makes painfully clear that there is nothing inevitable about the money coming back.

Even with successful businesses, years can elapse between the initial investment and the return of earnings. From the time when an oil company begins spending money to explore for petroleum to the time when the first gasoline resulting from that exploration comes out of a pump at a filling station, a decade may have passed. In the meantime, all sorts of employees have been paid — geologists, engineers, refinery workers, truck drivers.

Nor is the oil industry unique. No one who begins publishing a newspaper expects to break even — much less make a profit — during the first year or two. But reporters and other members of the newspaper staff expect to be paid every payday, even while the paper shows only red ink on the bottom line.


There is a need because as we see with chinese milk crisis, consumers often have incomplete information about the safety of a product to make an informed purchasing decision, by the time the market cathes up (markets forces are purley reactionary) a significant amount of damage has been done.
Yet prices catch up much faster than bureaucracies. E.g. if there is an airplane with safety issues, the airline will lose business right away. Indeed, bureaucracies stifle genuine safety improvements, and even costs lives, e.g. FDA holding up approval for life-saving drugs. They even admit this unwittingly by bragging about how they have now approved a drug that will save 10k lives a year after 10 years through the rigorous approval provess. They don't seem to realize that they are admitting that the delay cost 100k lives.


And while not meeting needs of there customers may cause these corporations to go out of business it's not going to reverse the health effects caused to thousands of infants. Bottom line is that unethical behaviour is going to happen and markets can only act a a reactionary force to such behaviour, whilst regulation can be proactive (preventative).
But because bureaucrats pay no penalty for being wrong, they can over-react, and the unseen costs are more lives lost because red tape holds up life-saving products. Also, in the free market, prices also reflect incremental preferences, while bureaucrats act categorically: ban something, allow something.

Even with food, the market will communicate information about a dodgy supplier far quicker than a bureaucracy. And government "safety" inspectors for chickens, say, will follow procedure but it's all pointless because they can't see the infectious agents.


I expect being an economist he did not understand the benfits of crumple zones. People of that time often thought of cars being flimsier because they would crumple in a accident, when in fact this was a safety feature. I would be surprised if there is any evidence of car safety standard getting worse but i could well be wrong.
This came later. The first reason for making cars flimsier was weight reduction.


It is not about interfering with prices or wages. It is about considering the wider impacts of economic activities beyond that of the buyer and seller to the community at large.
But Mises showed that no central planner has the ability to coordinate all this information.


Imagine a coporation without any managment do you think all the workers will work together efficiently to achieving goals off course not.

Why should an economy without any management be any different?

Because it is far larger than a company, which is also much more narrowly focuses. A manager may well be capable of coordinating the information of his employeers in their narrow specialty. But a government central planner hasn't a hope. This explains the moribund nature of centrally planned economies.
Also, a corporation is a voluntary arrangement between managers and workers.



Again only between buyer and seller, how would you feel if your started a brothel in their house. Buyers and sellers might be very (and I mean very) friendly with each other. Doesn't mean your neighbour or his customers need to give a sh*t about you. You need some sought of laws or regulations to ensure conflicts like this are minimised as they cause unproductive behaviours. As Stiglitz said externalities are prevasive.
That comes under public nuisance laws and such. It has no bearing on ordinary buying and selling, or hiring or firing.

TheJoker
25-09-2008, 10:14 PM
FDA holding up approval for life-saving drugs. They even admit this unwittingly by bragging about how they have now approved a drug that will save 10k lives a year after 10 years through the rigorous approval provess. They don't seem to realize that they are admitting that the delay cost 100k lives.

It may well have cost 100k lives but if the same testing process has identified a number of unsuitable drugs that could have potentially killed more than 100k people, then it is a benefit to society. You dont provide anywhere near enough information to make a logical arguement. Secondly dont underestimate the consumer confidence such a system brings about. Consumers do not have the time or expertise to research every purchase they make and price is a poor conveyor of information because it is reactionary. For example I am sure the chinese dairy companies milk price has gone through floor, but its too late the price change is reactionary the damage is done, price alone cannot convey complex information required to make an informed purchase, that is why we rely on set standards. Standards give us confidence to consume, whether they are industry group standards or government standards


But because bureaucrats pay no penalty for being wrong, they can over-react, and the unseen costs are more lives lost because red tape holds up life-saving products. Also, in the free market, prices also reflect incremental preferences, while bureaucrats act categorically: ban something, allow something.

CEOs rarely get a severe penalty for their failure, yes they might not pick up a bonus but they still get rewarded handsomely even when a company goes down the tubes.



But Mises showed that no central planner has the ability to coordinate all this information.

Just like a CEO of a multi-national can't control every aspect of everyday operations they provide overarching direction. Of course trying to implement the same level of control that centrally planned economies did is crazy. What we are talking about is the ability to maintain economic stability through monetary and fiscal policy. And to ensure markets players act ethically.

Governement are also a voluntary arrangement, albeit a contracted term.



That comes under public nuisance laws and such. It has no bearing on ordinary buying and selling, or hiring or firing.

But it does you want the government to intefere in your neighbours business activities. Surely under your model he should be free to trade how and when he pleases. He is not infringing on your property rights, he is not conducting fraudlent or coercive activities. How about if he demolished his house and puts up and industrial incinerator for rubbish! Or a factory with machines running 24/7. THe list can be endless a business transactions never only impact the buyer and seller there is always impacts on third parties to which neither the buyer nor seller either pay or are compensated by; hence regulations are required to control these impacts, whether it is noise pollution regulations, zoning of land exclusively for residential purposes etc. THis is the management role of government. Over the centuries of civilisation people have realised the need for such controls to minimise conflicts, and ensure a cohesive society. That's not say we have the balance right, there may well be room for far less regulation of economic activities. Or perhaps the China milk scandal and the USA financial crisis demonstrates a need to further regulate the practices of market players. I find it difficult to believe unfettered market activity will lead to optimal outcomes.

Capablanca-Fan
26-09-2008, 06:02 PM
It may well have cost 100k lives but if the same testing process has identified a number of unsuitable drugs that could have potentially killed more than 100k people, then it is a benefit to society.
Yet the incentives have held up helpful drugs that have been developed, and the huge expense caused by the red tape holds up many more.


Secondly dont underestimate the consumer confidence such a system brings about. Consumers do not have the time or expertise to research every purchase they make and price is a poor conveyor of information because it is reactionary.
And if I had a disease incurable by current meds, I would like the change to try something that is not FDA approved. Also, there are free market consumer choice organizations that depend on good analysis, and consumers can choose whether to buy something that's so approved. The FDA should be the same; there may well be a market for FDA approved.


For example I am sure the chinese dairy companies milk price has gone through floor, but its too late the price change is reactionary the damage is done, price alone cannot convey complex information required to make an informed purchase, that is why we rely on set standards. Standards give us confidence to consume, whether they are industry group standards or government standards
Yet regulatory bodies have been notorious at being lax at preventing problems. Remember, Sarbanes–Oxley post Enron was supposed to prevent failures like Fannie Mae.


What we are talking about is the ability to maintain economic stability through monetary and fiscal policy. And to ensure markets players act ethically.
Free market advocates want the government to insure ethics, such as honouring contracts and refraining from fraud and coercion.


Governement are also a voluntary arrangement, albeit a contracted term.
But the last century has seen the growth of bureaucracies and increased power of the courts, who are immune from the consequences of voter feedback. And even politicians have a time frame to the next election; the economic problems that come home to roost can be blamed on their successorts. We see this with the currenct crisis, caused by the Carter–Clinton Community Reinvestment Act, but being blamed on the free market.


But it does you want the government to intefere in your neighbours business activities.
Decency laws are a different matter from who to hire and fire, and for what wages; or about what to buy and sell. This is an absurd comparison.

In reality, the free market has helped to reduce pollution, unlike the regulated economies of India of a few decades ago, the Soviet Union and China.

The main principle is property rights, as Sowell's colleague Walter Williams explains:


In a free society, each person is his own private property; (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams080305.asp) I own myself and you own yourself. That's why it's immoral to rape or murder. It violates a person's property rights. The fact of self-ownership also helps explain why theft is immoral. In order for self-ownership to be meaningful, a person must have ownership rights to what he produces or earns. A good working description of slavery is that it is a condition where a person does not own what he produces. What he produces belongs to someone else. Therefore, if someone steals my computer, he's violated my ownership rights to my computer, which I earned through my labor, and therefore my human or civil rights to keep what I produce.

....

When handheld calculators were invented (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams010202.asp), manufacturers of slide rules were harmed. They were run out of business. When chain hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowes opened, many neighborhood hardware stores were run out of business. ...

In the case of the handheld calculator producer harming the slide ruler producer, it's property rights that decides. The calculator producer owns his materials and skills. Customers have private property rights to their money. That means they have the right to spend it purchasing calculators. The slide rule producer has no right to force customers to purchase his product. While the calculator producer has a right to harm the slide rule manufacturer by offering a more desirable product, he doesn't have the right to harm him by burning down his factory. That would violate the slide rule manufacturer's property rights.

A polluting neighbour is harming my property rights.


I find it difficult to believe unfettered market activity will lead to optimal outcomes.

Williams says (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams081398.html):

The free market and private property rights do not produce a Utopia; we'll have to wait for Heaven for that. But here on Earth, private property rights and free markets beat any other social arrangement in serving mankind's needs.

Capablanca-Fan
27-09-2008, 09:53 AM
Dr Sowell has good analysis of the problem:

Recycled ‘racism’ (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell092005.asp) 20 Sept 2005

Sub-prime politicians (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell080807.php3)8 Aug 2007

A ‘Stimulus Package’? (http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell013008.php3) 30 Jan 2008

Bankrupt ‘exploiters’ (http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell072208.php3) 22 July 2008

Bankrupt ‘exploiters’, Part II (http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell072308.php3) 23 July 2008

A political ‘solution’ (http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell0902308.php3 ) 23 Sept 2008

A Political "Solution": Part II (http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell092408.php3) 24 Sept 2008

Spiny Norman
27-09-2008, 09:58 AM
CEOs rarely get a severe penalty for their failure, yes they might not pick up a bonus but they still get rewarded handsomely even when a company goes down the tubes.
Really?? I was CEO of a software company once ... I must've missed that memo ... because when MY company went down the tubes in 2001/2002 everyone got paid out except me ... I didn't get paid for my last 2 months of work, I got no extra salary in lieu of notice, no severance pay, my annual leave wasn't paid out, superannuation not paid, nada, nothing, not a solitary cracker ... more than $50,000 of entitlements and superannuation were lost.

Capablanca-Fan
27-09-2008, 01:23 PM
They say cream rises to the top. However, among government employees, the cream tends to leave after a few years, allowing mediocrity to rise to the top.

"Entitlement" is not only the opposite of achievement, it undermines incentives to do all the hard work that leads to achievement.

Passionate discussions of the "haves" and the "have nots" seem completely unaffected by growing evidence that most of these are the same people at different stages of their lives.

If you have ever seen a four-year-old trying to lord it over a two-year-old, then you know what the basic problem of human nature is — and why government keeps growing larger and ever more intrusive.

Nobody talks more about "affordable housing" than liberals [lefties] — and nobody has done more to make housing unaffordable, with tons of red tape for builders, costly bureaucratic delays, restrictions that create artificial housing shortages, etc., etc.

One of many reasons why students need to be taught to use precise definitions and systematic logic is that it makes life safer for them and safer for the whole society. As the history of the 20th century shows, people do not usually create totalitarianism or start wars over clear ideas, but over nebulous nonsense that appeals to their emotions.

Parents who do not realize what a propaganda apparatus the public schools have become should read "Cloning of the American Mind" by B.K. Eakman.

Parents who kept their children out of the public schools and taught them at home used to have to take on a huge task all by themselves. But today there are home-schooling associations, home-schooling teaching materials, and a magazine called Home-Schooling News.

All sorts of institutions, including corporations and the army, manage to teach people not only their particular skills but often also the basics that people were supposed to get in our public schools. Yet those who run the public schools talk as if they have some mysterious "expertise" beyond the grasp of critics.

Now that we know what dumb teachers there are in Massachusetts, it is no wonder that the voters there keep electing people like Ted Kennedy and Barney Frank.

What do automobiles, guns, and home-schooling all have in common that makes the liberals hate them? All these things reduce individual dependence on the government and on the grandiose schemes for other people's lives created by liberals and imposed by government.

When a former White House spokesman said that the bombings of American embassies in Africa could be "a welcome distraction" from the president's domestic scandals, it was a revealing symptom of the underlying cynicism pervading the Clinton administration.

One of the most fashionable notions of our times is that social problems like poverty and oppression breed wars. Most wars, however, are started by well-fed people with time on their hands to dream up half-baked ideologies or grandiose ambitions, and to nurse real or imagined grievances.

Any philanthropist who is in doubt as to the best place to put his money to help others should invest in the private economy, where it will serve purposes determined by the consuming public, rather than by coteries of self-righteous and self-important people spending other people's money.

"Fair" is one of the most dangerous concepts in politics. Since no two people are likely to agree on what is "fair", this means that there must be some third party with power — the government — to impose its will. The road to despotism is paved with "fairness".

Among the many innocent casualties of the "war on drugs" are terminally ill patients who suffer needless pain because drug-control bureaucrats can create trouble for doctors who prescribe enough narcotics to give them relief.

The next time some academics tell you how important "diversity" is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.

Despite a widespread belief that hostility across racial lines is the worst kind of hostility, the worst atrocities of the past decade [written in 1998] have been committed by white people against other white people in the Balkans and by black people against other black people in Rwanda.

The American Council on Science and Health's publication "Facts versus Fears" exposes unfounded media scares over the past 3 decades — about DDT, asbestos, Love Canal, Three-Mile Island, Alar, etc.

No one can really understand the political left without understanding that they are about making themselves feel superior, however much they may talk piously about what they are going to do to help others. The left's lack of interest in testing the actual results of their bright ideas against hard facts betrays what their real interest is.

Gun control advocates have gotten a lot of political mileage out of the inflammatory phrase "assault weapons", without having to define it. This vague language lets them leave audiences thinking that they are talking about machine guns, which have already been heavily regulated for more than half a century.

Peter Bauer of the London School of Economics: "Ironically, the birth of a child is registered as a reduction in national income per head, while the birth of a calf shows up as an improvement."

The latest crusade among liberals is to seek release for older prisoners who are presumably harmless now. But anyone with enough strength left to pull a trigger is dangerous. Moreover, when someone is sentenced to 20 years, why should it not mean 20 years? Are such sentences just placebos for the public?

The environmental Nazis treat national parks as their own personal property and want the millions of other taxpayers who pay for these parks to be treated as interlopers, who are to be kept out if possible, and admitted if necessary, only if they conform to the vision of the environmental Nazis.

Sign on a San Francisco automobile dealer's wall: "We cheat the other guy and pass the savings on to you."

TheJoker
27-09-2008, 01:25 PM
Really?? I was CEO of a software company once ... I must've missed that memo ... because when MY company went down the tubes in 2001/2002 everyone got paid out except me ... I didn't get paid for my last 2 months of work, I got no extra salary in lieu of notice, no severance pay, my annual leave wasn't paid out, superannuation not paid, nada, nothing, not a solitary cracker ... more than $50,000 of entitlements and superannuation were lost.

I was talking about CEOs of corporations with significant economic impact. I dont know your circumstances but I doubt that fits. Check out what happned to the Enron CEO or the Fannie Mae CEO.

Capablanca-Fan
28-09-2008, 07:09 PM
I was talking about CEOs of corporations with significant economic impact. I dont know your circumstances but I doubt that fits. Check out what happned to the Enron CEO or the Fannie Mae CEO.
But even big companies start out small, so Sowell's point applies. Spiny is one example of that, unfortunately. Indeed, most new businesses fail, so entrepreneurs don't need any additional risk from lefties railing at them and demanding punitive taxes, like the Obamashiach proposes.

Desmond
14-10-2008, 12:30 PM
Not quotes by Sowell, but quotes he appreciates (http://www.tsowell.com/quotes.html). I thought it was worth a read.

Capablanca-Fan
14-10-2008, 01:19 PM
Not quotes by Sowell, but quotes he appreciates (http://www.tsowell.com/quotes.html). I thought it was worth a read.
Thanx Boris, definitely good reading there.

Capablanca-Fan
11-11-2008, 04:25 PM
“Intellectuals” (http://townhall.com/Columnists/ThomasSowell/2008/11/11/intellectuals?page=1)
by Thomas Sowell
11 Nov 08

Among the many wonders to be expected from an Obama administration, if Nicholas D. Kristof of the New York Times is to be believed, is ending "the anti-intellectualism that has long been a strain in American life."

...

Adlai Stevenson was certainly regarded as an intellectual by intellectuals in the 1950s. But, half a century later, facts paint a very different picture.

Historian Michael Beschloss, among others, has noted that Stevenson "could go quite happily for months or years without picking up a book." But Stevenson had the airs of an intellectual — the form, rather than the substance.

What is more telling, form was enough to impress the intellectuals ...

Similarly, no one ever thought of President Calvin Coolidge as an intellectual. Yet Coolidge also read the classics in the White House. He read both Latin and Greek, and read Dante in the original Italian, since he spoke several languages. It was said that the taciturn Coolidge could be silent in five different languages.

...

New York Times Moscow correspondent Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize for telling the intelligentsia what they wanted to hear — that claims of starvation in the Ukraine were false.

...

In the 1930s, it was the intellectuals who pooh-poohed the dangers from the rise of Hitler and urged Western disarmament.

...

How have intellectuals managed to be so wrong, so often? By thinking that because they are knowledgeable — or even expert — within some narrow band out of the vast spectrum of human concerns, that makes them wise guides to the masses and to the rulers of the nation.

But the ignorance of Ph.D.s is still ignorance and high-IQ groupthink is still groupthink, which is the antithesis of real thinking.

TheJoker
26-11-2008, 09:50 AM
Thomas Sowell:

"When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup."

Thomas Sowell's call for military intervention to supress political, media and intellectual opinion that he disagrees with. :eek:

You can't get much more hard-line totalitarianism than that.

Capablanca-Fan
26-11-2008, 11:31 AM
Thomas Sowell:

"When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup."

Thomas Sowell's call for military intervention to supress political, media and intellectual opinion that he disagrees with. :eek:

You can't get much more hard-line totalitarianism than that.
Nope, he was talking saving the country from the increasing totalitarianism of unelected and unaccountable government agents, who rip kids away from innocent parents on the flimsiest charges, tell parents how to raise their kids, order farmers not to drain swamps wetlands, throw home-owners off their property because big business interests persuade politicians that more tax would come from their businesses if they can take over the property at firesale prices ...

TheJoker
26-11-2008, 12:01 PM
Nope, he was talking saving the country from the increasing totalitarianism ...

By military force:doh: Which ardently more totalitarian in nature.

So because Sowell (and a few other right-wingers) dont like the actions of democratically elected governments (NB all government officials operate within the framework of legislation which is defined by the elected government), they should forego the democratic process and use military force to get their way.

I cant believe you would come to the defence of such a statement.

Anyway the fact that Sowell has called for a military coup against the government, media and intellectuals as a means of making a country conform to his ideals shows the nature of the man; a right-wing fundamentalist who will stop at nothing (military force acceptable to remove those with opposing ideals) to push forward his agenda.

Reminds of something Mao, Castro or Stalin might say.

Capablanca-Fan
26-11-2008, 01:39 PM
By military force:doh: Which ardently more totalitarian in nature.
It was by military force that America was founded, in revolt against unjust taxes and multiplication of "officers" to oppress the people.


So because Sowell (and a few other right-wingers) dont like the actions of democratically elected governments
The whole point was the multiplication of rulers who were NOT democratically elected, such as teachers unions, activist judges, judges, union bosses, environmental zealots, "child protection" Gestapo, oppressive taxation agents ...


(NB all government officials operate within the framework of legislation which is defined by the elected government),
Sowell provides copious documentation in his book Knowledge and Decisions how the bureaucratic agencies and judges circumvent the elected government even if it wants to change them. Yes Minister is a satire on the same thing in the UK.

Sowell despaired of the "politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia" doing their job to expose and oppose tyranny, so mused about a day when the only answer to an increasingly tyrannical government was a military coup.


they should forego the democratic process and use military force to get their way.
It's notable that neither Sowell nor any other right winger have made the huge fuss after Obamov's election that lefties made about GWB's, including threatening to leave the country. Or more recently, the homonazis who can't accept the result of the referendum using violence and intimidation.


Anyway the fact that Sowell has called for a military coup against the government, media and intellectuals as a means of making a country conform to his ideals
No, he said "the day may yet come". Are you saying that a military coup against a tyrannical government and government agencies is never justified? Might have been nice if the generals of Hitler and Stalin had overthrown them. And note, the American revolution was a military coup but it resulted in a Republic; nothing Sowell said can be construed as advicating a permanent military dictatorship.


shows the nature of the man; a right-wing fundamentalist who will stop at nothing (military force acceptable to remove those with opposing ideals) to push forward his agenda.
Moron. Typical lefty. But I repeat myself.

TheJoker
26-11-2008, 02:01 PM
It was by military force that America was founded, in revolt against unjust taxes and multiplication of "officers" to oppress the people.

it wasn't a democratically elected government.



The whole point was the multiplication of rulers who were NOT democratically elected, such as teachers unions, activist judges, judges, union bosses, environmental zealots, "child protection" Gestapo, oppressive taxation agents

As pointed they operate under the legislative framework



Sowell provides copious documentation in his book Knowledge and Decisions how the bureaucratic agencies and judges circumvent the elected government even if it wants to change them.

An issue for the government not the military


Sowell despaired of the "politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia" doing their job to expose and oppose tyranny, so mused about a day when the only answer to an increasingly tyrannical government was a military coup.

Only if a government refuses to hold fair elections, otherwise elections are always a better answer than military force.



It's notable that neither Sowell nor any other right winger have made the huge fuss after Obamov's election...

Yet using childish names such as Obamov and the like



he said "the day may yet come". Are you saying that a military coup against a tyrannical government and government agencies is never justified?.

Only if a government refuses to hold fair democratic elections and it is obvious that the majority of population supports such a military coup. Nothing of thesort is remotely forseeable is the US.


Moron. Typical lefty. But I repeat myself.

Yes you do repeat yourself, using childish name calling tactics over and over due to a lack of a sophisticated argument. That's ok I understand.

Capablanca-Fan
26-11-2008, 02:06 PM
it wasn't a democratically elected government.
It's notable that many of the grievances against King George III apply even more to the IRS and the bureaucratic agencies that both write and enforce law, and pay no penalty for being wrong.


As pointed they operate under the legislative framework
No, as Sowell documented, they write much of the legislative framework, which violates the separation of powers.


Only if a government refuses to hold fair elections, otherwise elections are always a better answer than military force.
Which no one doubts.


Yet using childish names such as Obamov and the like
Stop whinging. Now that is childish.


Only if a government refuses to hold fair democratic elections and it is obvious that the majority of population supports such a military coup. Nothing of thesort is remotely forseeable is the US.
Not at present. But as Sowell said, the media and intelligentsia are not likely to oppose tyranny, as long as it's leftist tyranny.

TheJoker
26-11-2008, 02:45 PM
No, as Sowell documented, they write much of the legislative framework, which violates the separation of powers.

And who are you proposing writes the legislation? People with no experience in administering it? The point is that parliment has the final oversight and the ability to quash or amend any legislation put forward via government departments.



Not at present. But as Sowell said, the media and intelligentsia are not likely to oppose tyranny, as long as it's leftist tyranny.

This was exactly Fidel Castro's reasoning for his military action (except replace leftist with rightist).

Well considering the extreme measures leftist tyranical governments have had to implement to control the media and intelligentsia, such as the Hundred Flowers campaign etc. I'd be extermely surpirsed if Sowell was at all right. And in light of the history of such regimes such comments might even be considered humourous.

Either way the support or opposition of media or intelligentsiaof a government regime has very little to do with enacting a military coup. The only thing IMO that would justify a military coup is majority public support for such action and the lack of an alternative democratic process.

Capablanca-Fan
26-11-2008, 03:21 PM
And who are you proposing writes the legislation? People with no experience in administering it?
It was a fundamental part of America's founding that the legislative, judicial and executive powers should be separated. Judges who legislate from the bench, and bureaucratic agencies who both write and enforce laws, violated this separation of powers.


The point is that parliment has the final oversight and the ability to quash or amend any legislation put forward via government departments.
But as Sir Humphrey shows, bureaucrats are good at keeping the elected representatives in the dark. Reagan pointed out that the nearest thing to eternal life in this world is a government program.


This was exactly Fidel Castro's reasoning for his military action (except replace leftist with rightist).
Not at all. Washington had elections and relinquished power; Castro still hasn't.


Well considering the extreme measures leftist tyranical governments have had to implement to control the media and intelligentsia, such as the Hundred Flowers campaign etc. I'd be extermely surpirsed if Sowell was at all right. And in light of the history of such regimes such comments might even be considered humourous.
Obamov and the Dems want to implement the "fairness doctrine" that would control what was said on talk radio, and in practice see a big reduction in conservative talk show hosts (because liberal talk radio has been a flop).


Either way the support or opposition of media or intelligentsiaof a government regime has very little to do with enacting a military coup. The only thing IMO that would justify a military coup is majority public support for such action and the lack of an alternative democratic process.
Sowell was wondering if it would get to that stage: tyrannical government agents, and no opposition from those who should be opposing.

Mephistopheles
02-12-2008, 12:55 PM
I'd like to take this back to the original quotation...

"When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup."

I am first interested in Sowell's "target" groups. Politicians and (presumably state-employed) educators, OK. A libertarian (if he is one) has every reason to be suspicious of such groups. What I find alarming about the statement is that his implication is that any coup would deal with the (privately owned) media and with the intelligentsia, who are private citizens.

In short, the government and educators are institutions that may well be regarded as implicitly corrupt or inefficient but the media and intelligentsia appear to be groups that simply disagree with Sowell's ideology.

Suppressing dissent = a bad thing, as I'm sure Jono would agree.

I am also highly suspicious about the notion that any military coup could save a modern democracy. Thus far coups have had a fairly poor track record when it comes to delivering a free, democratic society back to the people.

Capablanca-Fan
02-12-2008, 02:35 PM
I am first interested in Sowell's "target" groups. Politicians and (presumably state-employed) educators, OK. A libertarian (if he is one) has every reason to be suspicious of such groups.
Yes, he is one in philosophy, although he doesn't support many libertarian fetishes.


What I find alarming about the statement is that his implication is that any coup would deal with the (privately owned) media and with the intelligentsia, who are private citizens.
More likely, Sowell despairs of the media and intelligentsia exposing the corruption of leftist intrusive government, so there are no longer any checks and balances.


In short, the government and educators are institutions that may well be regarded as implicitly corrupt or inefficient but the media and intelligentsia appear to be groups that simply disagree with Sowell's ideology.
Not about throwing out the media and intelligentsia, but whether they would oppose growth of a dictatorship.


Suppressing dissent = a bad thing, as I'm sure Jono would agree.
It is.


I am also highly suspicious about the notion that any military coup could save a modern democracy. Thus far coups have had a fairly poor track record when it comes to delivering a free, democratic society back to the people.
True. Which is why Sowell and I don't advocate it at the present time. It might have been justifiable for the American revolution, yet it seems that King George was far less greedy for taxes than the IRS, and far less intrusive on everyday life than the plethora of bureaucratic agencies.

Another possible justifiable military coup, despite its later abuses, was that of Pinochet. That Allende fool, a racist and antisemite and eugenicist (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/chile/1489845/Allende-branded-a-fascist-and-anti-Semite.html), won just over a third of the vote then acted as though constitutional requirements were expendable if they stood in the way of his Marxist dream. Daniel Mandel explains in Moral Chaos (http://www.aijac.org.au/review/1999/241/essay241.html):


Pinochet is credited with destroying Chilean democracy. The charge is strictly untrue. That was done, in all important respects, by the man he ousted, Salvador Allende, who narrowly won the presidency with 36% of a three way vote and the confirmation of a fair-minded Congress, aware that he had run unsuccessfully on three previous occasions. In winning parliamentary acquiescence, Allende’s committed himself to a Statute of Guarantees of individual liberties, a mere tactical ploy (as he told the French communist writer Regis Debray) which he never intended to honour.

Allende never sought by referendum or parliamentary means to pursue his goals; he knew he lacked support. This did not end the matter; it started it by a process of by-passing parliament and the courts.

Another article “Patriot Enchained” by William F. Jasper, explains what a ruthless despot Allende became:


Dr. Susan Huck, who visited Chile a year after the overthrow of Allende, wrote in the November 1974 American Opinion (a predecessor of The New American) that “by September of 1973, over 5,800 farms had been expropriated, giving the Marxists control of sixty percent of all irrigated land in the country and thirty percent of the unirrigated arable land. By replacing farmers with Marxist ignoramuses, only nineteen percent of the arable land under government control was even planted.”

Time after time, rural property owners, like their urban counterparts, attempted to fight these illegal actions in the courts. And, time after time, Chile’s judicial officers, recognizing the illegal, unconstitutional, and immoral nature of the expropriations, ruled in favor of those whose property had been taken. That did not matter to Allende and his worldwide supporters, who prattled incessantly about their pretended reverence for the “rule of law.” Angelo Codevilla, professor of international relations at Boston University, told The New American that “Pinochet’s critics, and the American media in general, have studiously ignored the hard fact that the Allende regime illegally ignored, violated, and refused to enforce more than 7,000 court rulings. His was a totally lawless government.”

...

Allende’s transparent lust for power was well recognized in Chile by the time of the 1973 coup. On August 23, 1973 the Chamber of Deputies, the equivalent of our House of Representatives, adopted a resolution charging: “It is a fact that the present Government of the Republic [the Allende administration], from its inception, has been bent on conquering total power, with the evident purpose of submitting all individuals to the strictest economic and political control by the State, thus achieving the establishment of a totalitarian system, absolutely contrary to the representative democratic system prescribed by the Constitution.”

Earlier that month, on August 8th, the General Council of Chile’s Bar Association issued a declaration charging that Allende’s egregious violations of the Constitution threatened “collapse of the rule of law,” and asserting that the “obvious fracturing of our legal structure can no longer be tolerated.” Still earlier, on May 26, 1973, Chile’s Supreme Court issued a unanimous resolution denouncing the Allende regime’s “disruption of the legality of the nation” by its failure to uphold judicial decisions.

The total ruthlessness of the Allende drive for power was not fully realized until after he was overthrown. Then numerous documents were discovered revealing the bloodbath he and his foreign controllers had planned for Chile.


Unfortunately, Pinochet certainly committed vile atrocities, but compare (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20928842-7583,00.html):


About 200 people died in the shooting on September 13 and a little more than 1000 in the first three months of virtual civil war.

But not the civil war the Communists were perfectly prepared to accept as their price for power: 500,000 to one million. Indeed, in all 17 years of military rule, the total of dead and missing - according to the only serious study - was 2279. The Chilean Revolution thus was, by far, the least bloody of any significant Latin American revolution of the 20thcentury, though you would never guess that from reading or watching news reports.

The Chilean revolution was different from other Latin American revolutions in another respect: it left the country far better off than the one it found.

Pinochet eventually allowed free elections, something that the Left's darling Castro still hasn't after half a century.

TheJoker
03-12-2008, 02:20 PM
I'd like to take this back to the original quotation...

"When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup."

Perhaps Sowell should have linked up with Timothy McVeigh, certainly they have similar ideas about how to "save" democracy.

Capablanca-Fan
03-12-2008, 04:47 PM
Perhaps Sowell should have linked up with Timothy McVeigh, certainly they have similar ideas about how to "save" democracy.
Moron. Sowell never advocated killing innocent civilians the way McVeigh does. But evidently the Joke doesn't think that any tyranny justifies revolt.

TheJoker
03-12-2008, 05:29 PM
Moron. Sowell never advocated killing innocent civilians the way McVeigh does. But evidently the Joker doesn't think that any tyranny justifies revolt.

A militant revolt should be an extreme last resort. To suggest a military coup in the USA might be necesarry in the foreseeable future is the truly moronic (and dangerous) statement.

While Sowell might not support McVeigh's actions it is comments like his that both incite and provide personal justification for the actions of such terrorists.

I am sure that if an Imam in Australia stood up and said:

"When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup."

Because he felt society was being indoctrinated with immoral values. And that military action might be remove this "tyranny" because there werre no longer any checks and balances.

Where would you stand then?

Because you share Sowell's ideology you've become blinded.

Capablanca-Fan
04-12-2008, 08:13 PM
"When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup."
Evidently the teaching of grammar in our public schools is so bad that the Joke can't tell that it's a subjunctive future, not present indicative.

TheJoker
05-12-2008, 12:34 AM
Evidently the teaching of grammar in our public schools is so bad that the Joke can't tell that it's a subjunctive future, not present indicative.

It is a prediction of the future based on present indicators.That anybody could make such a prediction based on the current environment is disturbing in the least.

Capablanca-Fan
09-12-2008, 04:35 PM
It is a prediction of the future based on present indicators.That anybody could make such a prediction based on the current environment is disturbing in the least.
Rather, evidently the Joke thinks that no amount of government tyranny could ever justify a military coup, given that his motto is "in big government we trust".

Mephistopheles
10-12-2008, 09:07 AM
Rather, evidently the Joke thinks that no amount of government tyranny could ever justify a military coup, given that his motto is "in big government we trust".
The above looks like an enormous straw man to me. It is a facile task to knock it down and set it on fire.

You see, Jono, TheJoker used some very important words: "...based on the current environment..."

In no way does that even imply that "no amount of tyranny could ever justify a military coup" but rather it indicates that the current situation is not likely to give rise to one where a coup could be countenanced in the future, based on current evidence.

On another note, why are you so angry all the time? You are constantly name calling ("TheJoke", "homonazi", "gaystapo") and attempting to coin awkward neologisms ("misotheist", "leftmedia") that have negative connotations. Happy people who are confident in their own debating skills seldom use these tactics; choosing to play the ball rather than the man.

Capablanca-Fan
10-12-2008, 09:30 AM
The above looks like an enormous straw man to me. It is a facile task to knock it down and set it on fire.
Joke's whole argument is a straw man about Dr Sowell.


You see, Jono, TheJoker used some very important words: "...based on the current environment..."
You see, Meph, and Sowell used some very important words indicating a possible future, while the above implies that he thought that the military coup would be justifiable.


In no way does that even imply that "no amount of tyranny could ever justify a military coup" but rather it indicates that the current situation is not likely to give rise to one where a coup could be countenanced in the future, based on current evidence.
Many tyrannies became that way gradually, including the Nazis. It's like the apocryphal frog being slowly boiled to death.


On another note, why are you so angry all the time? You are constantly name calling ("TheJoke", "homonazi", "gaystapo") and attempting to coin awkward neologisms ("misotheist", "leftmedia") that have negative connotations.
On another note, why are you trying to read my mind and emotional state? There is nothing wrong with accurate labelling, which make the point that radical homosexuals are doing far more than conservative Christians to try to intimidate those who disagree.


Happy people who are confident in their own debating skills seldom use these tactics; choosing to play the ball rather than the man.
Those confident in their debating skills would try to deal with the arguments not cheap psychologizing of their opponents.

Igor_Goldenberg
10-12-2008, 09:33 AM
Sowell's views are quite clear from his writing.
It is also quite clear that the single quotation some are chewing on is a hyperbole used by Sowell to demonstrate his disapproval.
Trying to imply that it shows his totalitarian inclination is laughable.

Mephistopheles
10-12-2008, 10:19 AM
Joke's whole argument is a straw man about Dr Sowell.
That may be but if it is then you are straw manning his straw man.


You see, Meph, and Sowell used some very important words indicating a possible future, while the above implies that he thought that the military coup would be justifiable.
And TheJoker (note lack of name calling) has simply disagreed with Sowell's prognosis. From this disagreement, you assert that "evidently the Joke thinks that no amount of government tyranny could ever justify a military coup". This is an obvious straw man, as TheJoker (note lack of name calling) has not made any such statement.


Many tyrannies became that way gradually, including the Nazis. It's like the apocryphal frog being slowly boiled to death.
That is merely a restatement of Sowell's position. The position itself is being disputed, i.e. TheJoker (note lack of name calling) argues that conditions in the USA at present do not indicate any future deterioration into tyranny.


On another note, why are you trying to read my mind and emotional state?
Because I am wondering about your insistence upon name calling.


There is nothing wrong with accurate labelling,
Quite. There is something wrong with inaccurate labelling, though. I would argue that you are frequently guilty of the latter.


which make the point that radical homosexuals are doing far more than conservative Christians to try to intimidate those who disagree.
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/two-wrongs-make-a-right.html

I'd be learning that one pretty quickly if I were you.


Those confident in their debating skills would try to deal with the arguments not cheap psychologizing of their opponents.
Translation: "Mephistopheles has my number. Darn it!"

Capablanca-Fan
11-12-2008, 03:13 PM
And TheJoker (note lack of name calling) has simply disagreed with Sowell's prognosis. From this disagreement, you assert that "evidently the Joke thinks that no amount of government tyranny could ever justify a military coup". This is an obvious straw man, as TheJoker (note lack of name calling) has not made any such statement.
One must wonder.


That is merely a restatement of Sowell's position.
Which as Igor noted was hyperbolic, and I noted was subjunctive and future anyway, and despairing of the lack of any opposition from the media and academica, even if taken as hyper-literalistically as you and the Joke do.


The position itself is being disputed, i.e. TheJoker (note lack of name calling) argues that conditions in the USA at present do not indicate any future deterioration into tyranny.
The proposed free-speech–destroying "fairness doctrine" would kill the conservative talk radio, the only mass media opposition to the leftist agenda. The government is expanding to take over more and more industries. The Gay-stapo in effect want to abolish the preaching of Judeo-Christianity. Unelected and unaccountable judges and bureaucrats are becoming more and more despotic. It seems like that Washington et al. revolted against King George III over less. Of course, no one, including Sowell in his many writings, has any illusions of the dangers that a military coup present.


Because I am wondering about your insistence upon name calling.
Stop whinging. It's fairly mild compared to the mainstream Left with their Bush=Hitler crap for example.


Quite. There is something wrong with inaccurate labelling, though. I would argue that you are frequently guilty of the latter.
Pure assertion.


http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/two-wrongs-make-a-right.html

I'd be learning that one pretty quickly if I were you.
You'd better learn first, since my argument was not that two wrongs make a right, but that the Left whinges about virtually non-existent Christian intolerance and ignores the intimidation and bullying of the Gay-stapo.


Translation: "Mephistopheles has my number. Darn it!"
Dream away.

Kevin Bonham
11-12-2008, 04:19 PM
Many tyrannies became that way gradually, including the Nazis. It's like the apocryphal frog being slowly boiled to death.

I'm surprised you would touch that dodgy metaphor in any way given that Al Gore has his grubby fingers all over it (and with no indication in his case that the science of it is about as flimsy as his environmental scare campaigning).

It surprises me that no-one has yet repeated the 1880s experiment that claimed to show frog death from boiling if the heating was extremely slow. (There were failed attempts to repeat it with faster heating.) Maybe experimenters cannot get ethical clearance or maybe nobody thinks it's worth killing a frog over. I'm sure there are cane toads nobody would miss all that much. :lol:

Capablanca-Fan
11-12-2008, 04:44 PM
I'm surprised you would touch that dodgy metaphor in any way given that Al Gore has his grubby fingers all over it
Could be a case of a stopped clock being right twice a day.


(and with no indication in his case that the science of it is about as flimsy as his environmental scare campaigning).
Yet a Pommy court found almost a dozen serious errors in his film. Gore definitely grossly exaggerated the rise of sea levels.


It surprises me that no-one has yet repeated the 1880s experiment that claimed to show frog death from boiling if the heating was extremely slow. (There were failed attempts to repeat it with faster heating.) Maybe experimenters cannot get ethical clearance or maybe nobody thinks it's worth killing a frog over. I'm sure there are cane toads nobody would miss all that much. :lol:
I've heard that it's a myth, which is why I said "apocryphal". Bull in a china shop is another, as shown on Mythbusters.

Igor_Goldenberg
11-12-2008, 09:02 PM
It surprises me that no-one has yet repeated the 1880s experiment that claimed to show frog death from boiling if the heating was extremely slow. (There were failed attempts to repeat it with faster heating.) Maybe experimenters cannot get ethical clearance or maybe nobody thinks it's worth killing a frog over. I'm sure there are cane toads nobody would miss all that much. :lol:

One of those cases when it does not really matter whether it's true or false.

Capablanca-Fan
24-12-2008, 03:29 PM
Sowell's latest "Random Thoughts" (http://townhall.com/Columnists/ThomasSowell/2008/12/24/random_thoughts)

The fact that sales at Starbucks are going down, while sales at McDonald's are going up, shows that people are adjusting to economic adversity by cutting back their spending. Only in Congress do people adjust to economic adversity and growing deficits by spending more money. [He evidently doesn't know about Chairman "Spend, spend, spend" KRudd]

Wal-Mart has done more for poor people than any ten liberals, at least nine of whom are almost guaranteed to hate Wal-Mart.

Ronald Reagan had a vision of America. Barack Obama has a vision of Barack Obama.

One of the signs of how easily we are bullied by small and vocal groups is how many universities, among other institutions, dare not even refer to the Christmas vacation but instead refer to "the winter holiday."

As American incomes have risen over the years, liberals have kept changing the definition of "poverty." Otherwise, the dwindling numbers of people who could be called "poor" would take away the liberals' main claim to influence and power.

If you didn't know that Governor Rod Blagojevich was a Democrat, you are unlikely to find out from the mainstream media. But, if you didn't know that recently convicted Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska was a Republican, the media made sure to tell you.

Capablanca-Fan
25-01-2009, 11:11 AM
An excellent 5-part National Review Online interview with Thomas Sowell (http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2008/03/thomas-sowell-economic-facts-and.html), based on his new book Economic Facts and Fallacies (http://www.rightwingnews.com/mt331/2008/02/an_interview_with_thomas_sowel.php):

Part 1: (http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=OTBlMDAxYWM0YWQ5OGYwNGVhNDliOGQxNDQ1ODA4OTU=)Th e conventional wisdom instructs that the rise of women in corporate America in the latter half of the 20th century was due to the implementation of anti-discrimination laws championed by the feminist movement. In reality, a greater proportion of American women held high-level occupations in the first half of the 20th century. Thomas Sowell sets the record straight on this and other male–female employment fallacies.

Part 2: (http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=ZGQ4ZGM3MjYzNDc2MjA1NzBmMzEyYWQ2OTJjYzYyNjY=) It has been reported that the incomes of most American households have remained flat in recent decades. But Sowell says this is a misleading statistic, since “households” are a moving target — varying over time in size, among population groups, and from one income level to another. Says Sowell, “Whenever I see somebody quoting household income, he's trying to make things look bad.” The mainstream media, it turns out, works overtime to make most income data look bad.

Part 3: (http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=NTllZTg0NDk4MWMwMzgwNmE1YmQ5NWM2Y2M3YTU5NmU=) Sowell discusses the outrage that is faculty tenure. Tenured faculty members, he says, run universities for their own best interests — not the interests of students. They schedule classes on their own time, not students’ time. They wield tremendous influence, in particular into areas where they have no expertise. Why, asks Sowell, should someone who teaches French literature decide whether ROTC should be allowed on campus? The trouble with tenure extends far and wide.

Part 4: (http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=OGQxMTE3NzNkYjNmZmMzYTI2OGRmMjkzNGY5OTk3Njg=) We’re programmed to think that if we want to make it big in life we need to attend the crème de la crème of colleges. Thomas Sowell says that’s not true at all. Higher-ed institutions also spread the notion that the price of tuition — though astronomically high — doesn’t even cover the full cost of educating each student. Another misleading statement, says Sowell. How can one separate higher-ed truth from fiction? Sowell has the answers.

Part 5: (http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=MWRhMTNhOTA5MzY4YzBiNDEyNGZiOGZjY2FjMTI2NTk=)Fa llacies about race run rampant through our culture. For instance, racial discrimination is often listed as a root cause of criminality among blacks, but Sowell points out that black crime was declining prior to the 1960s and the civil-rights and anti-poverty laws that emerged during that decade. What then is the source of black criminality in the post-1960s? Simple, says Sowell: “They stopped punishing criminals.”

TheJoker
26-01-2009, 04:13 AM
An excellent 5-part National Review Online interview with Thomas Sowell (http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2008/03/thomas-sowell-economic-facts-and.html), based on his new book Economic Facts and Fallacies (http://www.rightwingnews.com/mt331/2008/02/an_interview_with_thomas_sowel.php):

Part 1: (http://tv.nationalreview.com/uncommonknowledge/post/?q=OTBlMDAxYWM0YWQ5OGYwNGVhNDliOGQxNDQ1ODA4OTU=)Th e conventional wisdom instructs that the rise of women in corporate America in the latter half of the 20th century was due to the implementation of anti-discrimination laws championed by the feminist movement. In reality, a greater proportion of American women held high-level occupations in the first half of the 20th century. Thomas Sowell sets the record straight on this and other male–female employment fallacies.

I think Sowell is a little out of touch with the modern business world he still concerned with the idea of some sort of glass ceiling; an idea that has long since been dismissed by all but the die-hard feminists. What is recognised by businesses (via research) is that boards or executive management teams gain an advantage by having gender diversity. That is, research shows that a similarly skilled gender diverse team is likely to perform better than a team consisting of a single gender. Business leaders are aware of the conflicts that can arise between domestic and professional role for females, that causes them exit the work workforce or take on lesser roles during key points in their careers. This not only affects the gender diversity of top management teams but also can represent a large cost in lost knowledge capital for the organisation. These are some of the reaons why it is important for organisations to find ways to reduce the conflict between domestic and professional roles for women, such as work from home arrangements, flexible working hours, child care facilities etc.

Sowell is about 5-10 years behind the game.

Capablanca-Fan
26-01-2009, 01:37 PM
I think Sowell is a little out of touch with the modern business world he still concerned with the idea of some sort of glass ceiling; an idea that has long since been dismissed by all but the die-hard feminists. What is recognised by businesses (via research) is that boards or executive management teams gain an advantage by having gender diversity. That is, research shows that a similarly skilled gender diverse team is likely to perform better than a team consisting of a single gender. Business leaders are aware of the conflicts that can arise between domestic and professional role for females, that causes them exit the work workforce or take on lesser roles during key points in their careers. This not only affects the gender diversity of top management teams but also can represent a large cost in lost knowledge capital for the organisation. These are some of the reaons why it is important for organisations to find ways to reduce the conflict between domestic and professional roles for women, such as work from home arrangements, flexible working hours, child care facilities etc.
If so, then no laws are needed, because the market would encourage "gender diversity" anyway!


Sowell is about 5–10 years behind the game.
Then what does it say about Comrade Obama, whose official White House site (http://www.whitehouse.gov/agenda/women/) still spruiks forth the "women still make only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes" crap.

TheJoker
26-01-2009, 09:23 PM
If so, then no laws are needed, because the market would encourage "gender diversity" anyway!.

Anti-discrimination laws are required fr a wide range of reasons. Many countries still have huge discrimination against women, such laws are a welcome protection, even if rarely used.


Then what does it say about Comrade Obama, whose official White House site (http://www.whitehouse.gov/agenda/women/) still spruiks forth the "women still make only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes" crap.

It says nothing that is probably a valid statistic, as Sowell pointed in many cases the domestic role played by women interferes with there ability to earn an income. As Sowell also pointed out this is largley to do with gender roles rather physiological differences between the sexes.

By ensuring that women receive an equal income over their careers means resolving these conflicts. Doing so means greater productivity out of the female workforce which is good for the econonmy and should be strived for at all levels including government.

Also while discrimination against women in the workplace may not be widespread enough to justifiy the concept of a glass ceiling, that doesn't mean that it doesn't occur at all, I have no problem with the concept of equal pay for equal work espused by Obama, do you? If so what? I tend to think that labour market/business forces often address this issue faster than laws, however where discrimination can be established it can be discouraged through law.

In the next few days I'll post something on Sowell's take on meritocracy, his analysis is flawed because of a number of false assumptions.

Kevin Bonham
26-01-2009, 09:24 PM
If so, then no laws are needed, because the market would encourage "gender diversity" anyway!

I don't think the assumption that the market automatically knows best is in very pretty condition at this moment.

Capablanca-Fan
26-01-2009, 10:41 PM
Anti-discrimination laws are required fr a wide range of reasons. Many countries still have huge discrimination against women, such laws are a welcome protection, even if rarely used.
But not America or Australia. Such laws just created bloated bureaucracies with little Hitlers interfering in the workplace. They often hurt the people they are ostensibly meant to help, except for those in that group who are already best off.

Why even bother trying to tell me that alleged research showing the benefits of gender-mixed companies if you want to use government force to enforce this mix.


It says nothing that is probably a valid statistic, as Sowell pointed in many cases the domestic role played by women interferes with there ability to earn an income. As Sowell also pointed out this is largley to do with gender roles rather physiological differences between the sexes.
Right, not to discrimination.


By ensuring that women receive an equal income over their careers means resolving these conflicts.
Why? Women make these choices freely. Lefty feminists don't really believe in free choice for women.


Doing so means greater productivity out of the female workforce which is good for the econonmy and should be strived for at all levels including government.
The market is the best place to decide this, because it means that people are freely voting with their own money.


Also while discrimination against women in the workplace may not be widespread enough to justifiy the concept of a glass ceiling, that doesn't mean that it doesn't occur at all,
Then prove it. The lefy Anointed argue that mere disparity in numbers is proof of discrimination, since it allows them to expand government power over the private workplace.


I have no problem with the concept of equal pay for equal work espused by Obama, do you?
Did you listen to what Dr Sowell said about that? The 77 c/$ is crap because the work is NOT equal. When allowances are made for number of hours and years worked, avoidance of dangerous jobs (by far the most workplace deaths are men), time off for child raring, there is no discrimination, which would be insane if Obamov's feminazi-parroting claim were true.


If so what? I tend to think that labour market/business forces often address this issue faster than laws,
Yes, Sowell has documented how private businesses resisted Jim Crow laws (see Rosa Parks and history (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell102705.asp)). It's governments and non-profits where discrimination was most widespread, not businesses in the free market.


however where discrimination can be established it can be discouraged through law.
Good, then you'd better oppose affirmative action for women and blacks then, because this is discriminatory sexism and racism.


In the next few days I'll post something on Sowell's take on meritocracy, his analysis is flawed because of a number of false assumptions.
As if you'd know.

Capablanca-Fan
26-01-2009, 10:44 PM
I don't think the assumption that the market automatically knows best is in very pretty condition at this moment.
It should be better than it is, because the present crisis was largely due to government sticking its fat beak into the market. Look at KRudd ruining non-bank lenders with his bank guarantee, and of course Dems protecting Fannie and Freddie from proper scrutiny.

Kevin Bonham
26-01-2009, 10:47 PM
It should be better than it is, because the present crisis was largely due to government sticking its fat beak into the market.

To the extent this is so, the market has known the government was doing so all along and has failed to foresee the seriousness of the consequences.

TheJoker
27-01-2009, 01:09 AM
But not America or Australia. Such laws just created bloated bureaucracies with little Hitlers interfering in the workplace. They often hurt the people they are ostensibly meant to help, except for those in that group who are already best off.

Evidence?


Why even bother trying to tell me that alleged research showing the benefits of gender-mixed companies if you want to use government force to enforce this mix.

Strawman. I said i support anti-discriminatin laws, this has nothing to do with gender diversity. It seems you are having a troube understanding that they are two separate concepts, which is crucial is you're going undestand the arguments.


Right, not to discrimination.

In the wider context probably not, but this does rule out isolated cases of discriminatation that need to be addressed.



Why? Women make these choices freely. Lefty feminists don't really believe in free choice for women.

It's about expanding choices, again it looks the argument has gone over your head. It about facilitating the option for women to both fulfil the domestic and professional roles mutually. This will help the loss in productivty created when women exit the workforce or reduce their role capacity due to family responsibilities. It also save the organisations the cost associated with the loss of knowledge capital and recruitment costs. Strategies such as work from home as a good example of such productive intiatives.



The market is the best place to decide this, because it means that people are freely voting with their own money.

Government can facilitate by provding incentives.



Then prove it. The lefy Anointed argue that mere disparity in numbers is proof of discrimination, since it allows them to expand government power over the private workplace.

Simply look at the many court cases that involve discrimination against women, you will find it has often been proved time and time again.




Did you listen to what Dr Sowell said about that? The 77 c/$ is crap because the work is NOT equal. When allowances are made for number of hours and years worked, avoidance of dangerous jobs (by far the most workplace deaths are men), time off for child raring, there is no discrimination, which would be insane if Obamov's feminazi-parroting claim were true.

Did you listen to what I said, obviously not, I said there are isolated cases of discrimination (well documented), laws need protect against these cases.

It is also in the governments interest to facilitate programs that assist in the reuction of the facotrs mentioned by Sowell for causing the disparity, particularly the time spent out of the labour force, as the could potentially contribute to increased productivity and GDP.



It's governments and non-profits where discrimination was most widespread, not businesses in the free market..

Typical moronic minarchist statement, the real point is that discrimination exits primarily where there is little or no consequence, these situations occur just as frequently in private enterprise.



Good, then you'd better oppose affirmative action for women and blacks then, because this is discriminatory sexism and racism.

Dont really have an opinion on this since I have little or no experience with it.



As if you'd know.

It's not hard when there are some fundamental flaws in hi argument that are immediately apparent to anybody with a remote idea about labour process in the modern business organistation.

TheJoker
27-01-2009, 01:14 AM
It should be better than it is, because the present crisis was largely due to government sticking its fat beak into the market.

This is not true. It was largley due to incomplete information. The transfer of risk to third parties through mortage securtisation and the fact that this risk was incorrectly priced due to incomplete information in the transactions is regarded as the primary cause.

Capablanca-Fan
27-01-2009, 03:22 PM
What Are They Buying? (http://townhall.com/Columnists/ThomasSowell/2009/01/27/what_are_they_buying?page=full&comments=true)
by Thomas Sowell
27 Jan 2009

...

The government is putting money into banks, even when the banks don't want it, in hopes that the banks will put it into circulation. But the latest statistics shows that banks are lending even less money now than they were before the government dumped all that cash on them.

Even if it had worked, putting cash into banks, in hopes that they would put it into circulation, seems a rather roundabout way of doing things, especially when the staggering sums of money involved are being justified as an "emergency" measure.

Spending money for infrastructure is another time-consuming way of dealing with what is called an immediate crisis. Infrastructure takes forever to plan, debate, and go through all sorts of hearings and adjudications, before getting approval to build from all the regulatory agencies involved.

Out of $355 billion newly appropriated, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that only $26 billion will be spent this fiscal year and only $110 billion by the end of 2010.

Using long, drawn-out processes to put money into circulation to meet an emergency is like mailing a letter to the fire department to tell them that your house is on fire.

If you cut taxes tomorrow, people would have more money in their next paycheck, and it would probably be spent by the time they got that paycheck, through increased credit card purchases beforehand.

If all this sound and fury in Washington was about getting an economic crisis behind us, tax cuts could do that a lot faster.

None of this is rocket science. And Washington politicians are not all crazy, even if sometimes it looks that way. Often, what they say makes no sense because what they claim to be doing is not what they are actually doing.

No matter how many times President Barack Obama tells us that these "extraordinary times" call for "swift action," the kind of economic policies he is promoting take effect very slowly, no matter how quickly the legislation is rushed through Congress. It is the old Army game of hurry up and wait.

If the Beltway politicians aren't really trying to solve this crisis as quickly as they could, what are they trying to do?

One important clue may be a recent statement by President Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emmanuel, that "A crisis is a terrible thing to waste."

This is the kind of cynical revelation that sometimes slips out, despite all the political pieties and spin. Crises have long been seen as great opportunities to expand the federal government's power while the people are too scared to object and before any opposition can get organized.

That is why there is such haste to do things that will take effect slowly.

What are the Beltway politicians buying with all the hundreds of billions of dollars they are spending? They are buying what politicians are most interested in-- power.

...

Capablanca-Fan
27-01-2009, 03:58 PM
Evidence?
We have discussed affirmative action before, and this included evidence for the above. In Malaysia, their apartheid bumi-putra laws have increased the inequality between rich Malays and poor ones.


Strawman. I said i support anti-discriminatin laws, this has nothing to do with gender diversity.
And as I've documented, the market is the best cure for discrimination. Where the cost of discrimination (http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams100406.php3) doesn't matter, e.g. in government and non-profits, there is the greatest discrimination. Sowell points this out with both women and blacks, where the greatest gains were in the decades before equal pay and civil rights laws laws were enacted.

It's about expanding choices, again it looks the argument has gone over your head.[/QUOTE]
Nothing you say is capable of that. But the Anointed like to argue by dismissal, as Sowell documents.

It about facilitating the option for women to both fulfil the domestic and professional roles mutually. [/QUOTE]
Famous feminazi Simone de Beauvoir argued that women should not be given a choice between work and home because “too many women would make the choice to stay at home and care for their children.”

Government can facilitate by provding incentives. [/QUOTE]
Government incentives usually have adverse unintended consequences.

Simply look at the many court cases that involve discrimination against women, you will find it has often been proved time and time again. [/QUOTE]
What is the standard of proof? Often that there is a smaller percentage of women.

Did you listen to what I said, obviously not, I said there are isolated cases of discrimination (well documented), laws need protect against these cases. [/QUOTE]
Hard cases make bad law. They have done far more harm than good. One case is alleged discrimination against blacks in aptitude tests. Now employers just insist on a uni degree, which fewer blacks obtain, making it even harder. And if employers have to pay women for a year when she's not working and raising her child, they are more likely to find an excuse not to hire yuong women in the first place.

Typical moronic minarchist statement, the real point is that discrimination exits primarily where there is little or no consequence, these situations occur just as frequently in private enterprise. [/QUOTE]
Typical moronic Anointed statement. It stands to reason that if behaviour is costly, there is likely to be less of it.

Ian Murray
27-01-2009, 06:07 PM
...If you cut taxes tomorrow, people would have more money in their next paycheck, and it would probably be spent by the time they got that paycheck, through increased credit card purchases beforehand.

If all this sound and fury in Washington was about getting an economic crisis behind us, tax cuts could do that a lot faster...
Or better stiill, follow the Australian example and stimulate spending even faster by giving direct cash grants to the populace

TheJoker
27-01-2009, 06:24 PM
We have discussed affirmative action before, and this included evidence for the above. In Malaysia, their apartheid bumi-putra laws have increased the inequality between rich Malays and poor ones.

Affirmative action has nothing to do with anti-discrimination. In fact it is a form of discrimination. You said that anti-discrimination laws are bad I asked for evidence you provided none.


And as I've documented, the market is the best cure for discrimination. Where the cost of discrimination (http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams100406.php3) doesn't matter... there is the greatest discrimination.

That is true but you fail to realise that discrimination in private organisations often occurs because they do not pay the cost of that discrimination or the cost is not significant enough to deter the behaviour.

For example a retail outlet sacks a worker when they find out she is a muslim, the drop in sales or loss of customers may be insignificant. However the action is morally wrong and should be discouraged by law.


Nothing you say is capable of that.

Many things make expand this capability like flex-time, child care at workplace etc.


Famous feminazi Simone de Beauvoir argued that women should not be given a choice between work and home because “too many women would make the choice to stay at home and care for their children.”.

Well she was an idiot. There correct thing is women shouldn't have to chose between the two because there is no reason why they need to be mutually exclusive in this day and age.


Government can facilitate by provding incentives.
Government incentives usually have adverse unintended consequences.

Possibly they also often have positive intended consequences


What is the standard of proof? Often that there is a smaller percentage of women.

I dont know of any such cases, it usually involves harrasment, employment decisions that go against merit etc. I know of no anti-discrimination laws that impose quotas on anybody. This would not be anti-discrimination, it would be affirmative action a totally separate and distinct concept.



Hard cases make bad law. They have done far more harm than good. One case is alleged discrimination against blacks in aptitude tests.

Never seen any anti-discrimnation laws that would enforce such garbadge. If such a case has been made I would that is stupid.


And if employers have to pay women for a year when she's not working and raising her child, they are more likely to find an excuse not to hire yuong women in the first place.

Again this has nothing to do with discrimination, and such measures should be adopted by the business voluntarily. However government can provide incentives if its in the national interest such as to combat the ageing population.


Typical moronic Anointed statement. It stands to reason that if behaviour is costly, there is likely to be less of it.

Exactly, but it often costs just as little in private enterprise as public.

Capablanca-Fan
27-01-2009, 06:24 PM
Or better stiill, follow the Australian example and stimulate spending even faster by giving direct cash grants to the populace
No, only to selected parts of the populace as a one-off vote bribe, rather than tax cuts to all (all those who pay tax anyway) which have both immediate and long-term effect. The targeted bribe was oh-so-well used: pokies were the largest beneficiary.

Capablanca-Fan
27-01-2009, 06:34 PM
Affirmative action has nothing to do with anti-discrimination. In fact it is a form of discrimination.
I know that, but you and most lefties (including Obamov) support this.


That is true but you fail to realise that discrimination in private organisations often occurs because they do not pay the cost of that discrimination or the cost is not significant enough to deter the behaviour.
Who says? Competition with other businesses is a strong incentive to hire the best staff.


For example a retail outlet sacks a worker when they find out she is a muslim, the drop in sales or loss of customers may be insignificant. However the action is morally wrong and should be discouraged by law.
Why should the government tell a private employer who to employ? In any case, Christians are far more likely to be sacked for religious reasons (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23375867-details/BA+backs+down+over+cross+ban+after+storm+of+critic ism/article.do).


Many things make expand this capability like flex-time, child care at workplace etc.
Should be up to employers. Attracting capable female staff should be enough incentive. We don't need more government bureaucrats sticking their fat beaks in.


Well she was an idiot. There correct thing is women shouldn't have to chose between the two because there is no reason why they need to be mutually exclusive in this day and age.
Fine. The government should not favour one choice over another, as it does with government daycare, which means poor single-income families are subsidising rich double-income families.


Government incentives usually have adverse unintended consequences.

Possibly they also often have positive intended consequences
Outweighed by the former. The biggest one is where government anti-discrimination busybodies presume that a business is guilty of discrimination until proven innocent.


Exactly, but it often costs just as little in private enterprise as public.
Wide experience shows that it costs more in private. I've already pointed out private businesses resisting the government-imposed Jim Crow laws and the fact that non-profits and government departments were often more segregated.

Ian Murray
27-01-2009, 07:05 PM
No, only to selected parts of the populace as a one-off vote bribe, rather than tax cuts to all (all those who pay tax anyway) which have both immediate and long-term effect.
Personal tax cuts for all are already on the way this year and next year, with the added $10b stimulus for those who get no tax cuts. Hardly a vote-bribe when there is no election in sight


The targeted bribe was oh-so-well used: pokies were the largest beneficiary.
Garbage. A $15m (0.15% of the bonus) spike in pokies receipts was reported in Queensland - the rest of the bonus went into retail spending, reducing mortgage and credit card debt, and savings.

www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24927776-5007133,00.html
http://money.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=718268
www.consumernews.com.au/news/finance/news/569/consumers-to-spend-govts-cash-bonus-wiselysurvey/

Capablanca-Fan
27-01-2009, 10:05 PM
Personal tax cuts for all are already on the way this year and next year, with the added $10b stimulus for those who get no tax cuts.
Let's hope KRudd doesn't follow Obamov in rolling back tax cuts and slapping more taxes on.


Hardly a vote-bribe when there is no election in sight
He hopes that voters will have long enough memories this time, but not too long that they remember how much better they had it under Howard.


Garbage. A $15m (0.15% of the bonus) spike in pokies receipts was reported in Queensland - the rest of the bonus went into retail spending, reducing mortgage and credit card debt, and savings.
"Largest beneficiary" means it benefited more than any other single industry, not that most of the savings went there. It's still disturbing though.


www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24927776-5007133,00.html
http://money.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=718268
www.consumernews.com.au/news/finance/news/569/consumers-to-spend-govts-cash-bonus-wiselysurvey/

Good links, thanks. I see that Talkbull is finally talking some sense:


"The great virtue of tax cuts is that they provide incentives to hire, incentives to invest and they provide those incentives right across the economy."

Ian Murray
27-01-2009, 11:16 PM
"Largest beneficiary" means it benefited more than any other single industry, not that most of the savings went there. It's still disturbing though.
The banking and retail sectors were the big winners. Gambling got a very small piece of the pie, but much bigger headlines.

Capablanca-Fan
03-02-2009, 10:53 AM
I think Sowell is a little out of touch with the modern business world he still concerned with the idea of some sort of glass ceiling; an idea that has long since been dismissed by all but the die-hard feminists. What is recognised by businesses (via research) is that boards or executive management teams gain an advantage by having gender diversity. That is, research shows that a similarly skilled gender diverse team is likely to perform better than a team consisting of a single gender. Business leaders are aware of the conflicts that can arise between domestic and professional role for females, that causes them exit the work workforce or take on lesser roles during key points in their careers. This not only affects the gender diversity of top management teams but also can represent a large cost in lost knowledge capital for the organisation. These are some of the reaons why it is important for organisations to find ways to reduce the conflict between domestic and professional roles for women, such as work from home arrangements, flexible working hours, child care facilities etc.
The Courier Mail today cites a study by UQ finance professor Renee Adams and her co-worker Daniel Ferreira from the London School of Economics, published in the Journal of Financial Economics:


However, the average effect of gender diversity on firm performance is negative.

The report goes on:


Prof. Adams said yesterday that boards around the world were under pressure to recruit more women. In 2006, slightly more than 8 % of Australian directors were female.

"Since January last year, companies in Norway have been required to ensure that at least 40% of directers are female," she said.

Bur Prof. Adams said she did not advocate female quotas.

So the government bureaucracies should butt out, and let the market determine what's best, since the market comprises free buyers and sellers risking their own money.

Desmond
03-02-2009, 11:23 AM
So the CM is not a leftist rag for the purposes of this discussion Jono? ;)

Capablanca-Fan
03-02-2009, 11:27 AM
So the CM is not a leftist rag for the purposes of this discussion Jono? ;)
Oh it is, Boris ;) The heading was "Women tackle the issues men skirt around". I.e. the feminist-favouring heading missed the main point of the study, buried in the column, and pictured a pro-diversity woman.

Desmond
03-02-2009, 11:33 AM
Oh it is, Boris ;) The heading was "Women tackle the issues men skirt around". I.e. the feminist-favouring heading missed the main point of the study, buried in the column, and pictured a pro-diversity woman.Yeah it's funny how they feel the need to dumb it down for their audience and reel them in with a catchy title. Maybe if they gave it an apt title people, would read it for the right reasons.

TheJoker
03-02-2009, 11:36 AM
Here is the full abstract:


Although some argue that tokenism drives the selection of female directors, we show that they have a significant impact on measures of board effectiveness. In a large panel of data on publicly-traded firms from 1996-2003, we find that (1) the likelihood that a female director has attendance problems is 0.29 lower than for a male director, (2) male directors have fewer attendance problems the greater the fraction of female directors on the board, (3) firms with more diverse boards provide their directors with more payperformance incentives, and (4) firms with more diverse boards have more board meetings. We also show that the positive relationship between corporate performance measures and gender diversity documented by previous studies is not robust to attempts to address the endogeneity of diversity. Instead, the average effect of gender diversity on both market valuation and operating performance appears to be negative. This negative effect is driven by companies with greater shareholder rights. In firms with weaker shareholder rights, gender diversity has positive effects. Our results suggest that diverse boards are tougher monitors. Nevertheless, mandating gender quotas in the boardroom may not increase board effectiveness on average, but may reduce it for well-governed
firms where additional monitoring is counterproductive.

The full article can be found here (http://www.business.uq.edu.au/download/attachments/18415929/genderdiversityintheboardroom05122008complete.pdf)

On reading the paper I suspect there will be some debate over the authors corrections for endogeneous gender diversity (i.e. firm specific factors that may give rise to gender diversity)

- “progressive” firms that may have better performances and also more female directors.

- Firms with strong past performance that may be able to "afford" to appoint women directors as tokens

- Where women select firms based on past performance

Without making these "corrections" they confirm past research that firms with gender diverse boards perform significantly better.

Capablanca-Fan
18-02-2009, 04:55 PM
The real public service (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell052799.asp)
Thomas Sowell
27 May 1999

...

Commencement speakers express great reverence for "public service," as distinguished from narrow private "greed." There is usually not the slightest sign of embarrassment at this self-serving celebration of the kinds of careers they have chosen — over and above the careers of others who merely provide us with the food we eat, the homes we live in, the clothes we wear and the medical care that saves our health and our lives.

What I would like to see is someone with the guts to tell those students: Do you want to be of some use and service to your fellow human beings? Then let your fellow human beings tell you what they want — not with words, but by putting their money where their mouth is.

You want to see more people have better housing? Build it! Become a builder or developer — if you can stand the sneers and disdain of your classmates and professors who regard the very words as repulsive.

Would you like to see more things become more affordable to more people? Then figure out more efficient ways of getting thousands of things from the producers to the consumers at a lower cost.

...

Those who have helped the poor the most have not been those who have gone around loudly expressing "compassion" for the poor, but those who found ways to make industry more productive and distribution more efficient, so that the poor of today can afford things that the affluent of yesterday could only dream about.

The wonderful places where you are supposed to go to do "public service" are as sheltered from the brutal test of reality as you have been on this campus for the last four — or is it six? — years. In these little cocoons, all that matters is how well you talk the talk. People who go into the marketplace have to walk the walk.

...

Desmond
18-02-2009, 04:58 PM
No wonder he knows so much, he has a goddamned time machine!

Capablanca-Fan
18-02-2009, 05:14 PM
No wonder he knows so much, he has a goddamned time machine!
Fixed (oops :eek: :wall: )

Capablanca-Fan
19-02-2009, 04:24 PM
Tortured reasoning (http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell112205.asp)
Thomas Sowell
22 July 2005

Some people seem to see nothing between zero and infinity. Things are either categorically all right or they are categorically off-limits. This kind of reasoning — if it can be called reasoning — is reflected in the stampede to ban torture by Congressional legislation.

As far as a general policy is concerned, there is no torture to ban. Isolated individuals here and there may abuse their authority and violate existing laws and policies by their treatment of prisoners but the point is that these are in fact violations.

When some individuals violate laws against murder, no one thinks that requires Congressional legislation to add to the existing laws against murder. What it calls for is enforcement of existing laws.

Banning torture categorically by federal legislation takes on a new dimension in an era of international terrorist networks that may, within the lifetime of this generation, have nuclear weapons.

If a captured terrorist knows where a nuclear bomb has been planted in some American city, and when it is timed to go off, are millions of Americans to be allowed to be incinerated because we have become too squeamish to get that information out of him by whatever means are necessary?

What a price to pay for moral exhibitionism or political grandstanding!

Even in less extreme circumstances, and even if we don't intend to torture the captured terrorist, does that mean that we need to reduce our leverage by informing all terrorists around the world in advance that they can stonewall indefinitely when captured, without fear of that fate?

...

After decades of ignoring the fact that rights and responsibilities go together, it was perhaps inevitable that an under-educated and easily confused generation should include some who do not understand that the rights granted to captured troops by the Geneva Convention apply to those who have accepted the terms of the Geneva Convention. It does not apply to people who are not troops and who have blatantly violated the whole framework of that convention.

...

Capablanca-Fan
08-04-2009, 04:25 PM
Glenn Beck talks with Thomas Sowell (http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/196/20343/)
19 January 2009

Dr Sowell points out that Obamov is repeating the mistakes of Hoover and FDR leading to the Great Depression. These morons think that socialism has failed every time it's been tried only because it wasn't big enough.

Mephistopheles
08-04-2009, 07:52 PM
If a captured terrorist knows where a nuclear bomb has been planted in some American city, and when it is timed to go off, are millions of Americans to be allowed to be incinerated because we have become too squeamish to get that information out of him by whatever means are necessary?
Well, it was Sowell but I have some issues with it in any case.

How effective is torture? Although there is little data available about it, intuitively, torture would appear to elicit answers that the interrogators would wish to hear rather than the truth. Even in the "ticking time bomb" scenario, a tortured prisoner would (I imagine) quite happily send his captors on a wild goose chase while he waited for the bomb to go off. My issue here is not moral but pragmatic.

Kevin Bonham
08-04-2009, 10:14 PM
In just-released Red Cross investigations into the behaviour of medics who were essentially accomplices to torture*, terror suspects stated that they lied under torture in order to bring the torture to a stop.

Of course they could be lying about that, but if so those lies would be quite easily refutable.

And it seems it was more than "isolated individuals here and there" getting in on the act. At least, there was a significant minority culture of torture, with waterboarding (which some have attempted unconvincingly to argue not to be torture) an authorised technique.

* What is meant by this is that they were willing to provide advice on how much the prisoner was suffering especially badly in conditions where their duty as medics should have been to advise the torturers that the nature of the torture was medically unacceptable, fullstop.

Capablanca-Fan
08-04-2009, 10:18 PM
Well, it was Sowell
Definitely a point in favour then.


but I have some issues with it in any case.

How effective is torture? Although there is little data available about it, intuitively, torture would appear to elicit answers that the interrogators would wish to hear rather than the truth.
Agreed. That's another reason apart from the moral one why it shouldn't be used on a mere suspect, as opposed to someone who is known to be guilty as hell.


Even in the "ticking time bomb" scenario, a tortured prisoner would (I imagine) quite happily send his captors on a wild goose chase while he waited for the bomb to go off. My issue here is not moral but pragmatic.
Presumably there would be assurances of even worse torture if he lied. How would you go about obtaining information that would prevent thousands of casualties?

TheJoker
09-04-2009, 02:29 AM
Tortured reasoning (http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell112205.asp)
Thomas Sowell
22 July 2005.

Th big question is who determines when torture is an isn't acceptable how do you make this objective and accountable. THe answer of course is you can't and by allowing a government to legally torture you put yourself on slippery slope. I am sure Stalin would have been able to justify his mass murder as being for the greater good.

I think a bigger issueis is, what is being done to address the underlying causes terrorism. That is the conditions/perceptions that cause people to turn to such violent acts in the first place. The answer of course is nothing. How can you possibly deter suicide bombers with punishments.

Mephistopheles
09-04-2009, 12:06 PM
Presumably there would be assurances of even worse torture if he lied.
Not much use should the bomb go off, really. In your proposed scenario, any sensible individual would easily be able to determine that such a threat would be entirely empty. I would hope that Sowell (and you) would not condone post facto torture as punishment.


How would you go about obtaining information that would prevent thousands of casualties?
The simple answer (and you should read some of Bruce Schneier's writing) is that the information should have been gathered before the "ticking time bomb" scenario was reached. It is certainly way too late when the only thing that you can do is interrogate a suspect constrained by a ticking clock.

Two things bear consideration. One, torture has a very rich history of being used to extract obviously false confessions (refer to the early Church for that one). Two, the TTB scenario itself is very much the stuff of action movies and I honestly cannot think of a single example of it having occurred in the real world.

Capablanca-Fan
09-04-2009, 01:48 PM
The simple answer (and you should read some of Bruce Schneier's writing) is that the information should have been gathered before the "ticking time bomb" scenario was reached.
20/20 hindsight is wonderful. But if it has got to the stage of the scenario outlined, then we should try to obtain this life-saving information any way possible, despite squeamishness about torturing the KNOWN scumbag. Same goes for a captured kidnapper who brags about locking your little girl in a room with filling up with water.


Two things bear consideration. One, torture has a very rich history of being used to extract obviously false confessions (refer to the early Church for that one).
Try the atheist Stalin's show trials, more likely.

In any case, I strongly oppose torturing people merely suspected of crimes, no matter how strong the apparent evidence. I'm talking about a brash terrorist or kidnapper who proclaims that lives are in danger unless his demands are met.

Capablanca-Fan
09-04-2009, 01:57 PM
The big question is who determines when torture is an isn't acceptable how do you make this objective and accountable.
When a person proclaims that lives are in danger unless his demands are met. This includes terrorists as well as kidnappers. What if you got your hands on someone who had kidnapped one of your loved ones (who has been missing), and threatened that she would drown by a room slowly filling up with water (he showed the photograph) if the ransom wasn't paid in time? I would have no compunction about torturing the scumbag to find out the location, with the promise that if he lied, he would die the most horrible death imaginable.


I think a bigger issue is, what is being done to address the underlying causes terrorism. That is the conditions/perceptions that cause people to turn to such violent acts in the first place.
Islamofascism for one.

Root causes are a crappy leftist idiocy. In America, the crime rate was dropping in the 1950s and early 60s. Then lawyers and judges pushed all this root cause crap, and started treating criminals more leniently and finding technicalities to release them. Since crime was less likely to result in unpleasant consequences, the crime rate skyrocketed.

Yet when a root cause is proposed that has enormous evidence, lefties don't want to know, because it criticises one of their mascots: single parent families.

Note the terrorist leaders like OBL came from fabulously wealthy families.

Mephistopheles
09-04-2009, 03:48 PM
20/20 hindsight is wonderful. But if it has got to the stage of the scenario outlined, then we should try to obtain this life-saving information any way possible, despite squeamishness about torturing the KNOWN scumbag. Same goes for a captured kidnapper who brags about locking your little girl in a room with filling up with water.
The captured, delusional lunatic who has done no such thing and hears voices, more likely. You may have consumed a diet of just a few too many movies, I fear...The real world doesn't work that way, as I indicated in a previous post.

I am not talking about hindsight, by the way. I am saying that if you are interrogating a suspect with a serious time constraint then the horse bolted some time ago.


Try the atheist Stalin's show trials, more likely.
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Rather sensitive, aren't you? I capitalised Church quite deliberately and I am fully aware that your lot probably aren't terribly fond of the RCs so I'm somewhat surprised at your defensiveness here.

I definitely agree with you about Stalin's show trials, although the torture didn't actually occur at the trials themselves... (insert appropriate emoticon here)


In any case, I strongly oppose torturing people merely suspected of crimes, no matter how strong the apparent evidence. I'm talking about a brash terrorist or kidnapper who proclaims that lives are in danger unless his demands are met.
1) Such a person is unlikely to be dissuaded by torture and will almost certainly lie in any case.
2) So you take time out to try and convict that person before attaching electrodes to their testicles??? Time must not really be of the essence after all. You do understand that the standards of legal guilt and innocence are very rigidly defined? Until someone is convicted, they may be suspected of a crime but they are not guilty of that crime. That's the way we do things here and I would hope that you are not an advocate of curtailing our justice system in some kind of capricious fashion.
3) Have you ever visited the planet...Earth?

TheJoker
09-04-2009, 04:11 PM
When a person proclaims that lives are in danger unless his demands are met. This includes terrorists as well as kidnappers. What if you got your hands on someone who had kidnapped one of your loved ones (who has been missing), and threatened that she would drown by a room slowly filling up with water (he showed the photograph) if the ransom wasn't paid in time? I would have no compunction about torturing the scumbag to find out the location, with the promise that if he lied, he would die the most horrible death imaginable.

So if a person claims not to be involved in terrorism you don't support torture. Only if they are overtly making demands and threatening lives. :eh:

I don't think you've quite thought this through. Who sanctions the use of torture? Do you simply try to claim justified torture as in self-defense cases? Again looks like a slippery slope. And as killing someone based on the failure to disclose information well that would certainly be going to far in my opinion


Islamofascism for one.

I think more generally religous extremism, e.g. Tokyo subway attacks


Root causes are a crappy leftist idiocy. In America, the crime rate was dropping in the 1950s and early 60s. Then lawyers and judges pushed all this root cause crap, and started treating criminals more leniently and finding technicalities to release them. Since crime was less likely to result in unpleasant consequences, the crime rate skyrocketed..

Strawman!!! Unrelated to terrorism where the majority of the perpetrators are on a suicide mission therefore punishment does enter into the equation.

Root cause isn't crap you need to understand why someone might become a terrorist if you want to prevent it. Generally I think they harbour a lot of false perceptions etc.



Yet when a root cause is proposed that has enormous evidence, lefties don't want to know, because it criticises one of their mascots: single parent families.

I'd like to see your enormous evidence for the link between terrorism and single parent families.

Even if single parent was a cause of terrrorism, which I seriously doubt!, what do you propose to do about it? Force people re-marry, stay in abusive relationships etc. Grow a brain!

[QUOTE=Jono]Note the terrorist leaders like OBL came from fabulously wealthy families.

Yes, so what was it that caused him to become a terrrorist?

Capablanca-Fan
09-04-2009, 05:26 PM
So if a person claims not to be involved in terrorism you don't support torture. Only if they are overtly making demands and threatening lives. :eh:
Of course. Torture is such a drastic step that it requires drastic reasons (i.e. lives in danger) and certainty of guilt. Is it too hard to grasp that when your child is missing, someone shows up demanding ransom, and produces a live feed of the child in a room filling up with water, that guilt is proven way beyond reasonable doubt. Even though you're a squeamish wimp, any real parent would have no qualms about torturing the scumbag to save the child's life.

Same with terrorist who threatens to kill thousands. Such people give up their rights.


I think more generally religous extremism, e.g. Tokyo subway attacks
Mostly Islamofascist extremism.


Root cause isn't crap you need to understand why someone might become a terrorist if you want to prevent it. Generally I think they harbour a lot of false perceptions etc.
Pushing this root cause crap hasn't done a thing to curb crime; rather, crime skyrocketed when punishment was de-emphasized and judges found technicalities to release the scum to prey on their communities.



Yet when a root cause is proposed that has enormous evidence, lefties don't want to know, because it criticises one of their mascots: single parent families.
I'd like to see your enormous evidence for the link between terrorism and single parent families.
I was talking about the link between crime and single parent families.


Grow a brain!
You're volunteering a brain cell to use as a seed? Are there enough to spare one?


Yes, so what was it that caused him to become a terrrorist?
He is evil, and so is the Islamofascism he follows..

Capablanca-Fan
09-04-2009, 05:44 PM
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
That killed 2000 people over three centuries. Atheopaths like Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot killed that many before breakfast.


Rather sensitive, aren't you? I capitalised Church quite deliberately and I am fully aware that your lot probably aren't terribly fond of the RCs so I'm somewhat surprised at your defensiveness here.
It's called not bearing false witness. See An Inquiry on the Inquisition (http://www.tektonics.org/qt/spaninq.html)


I definitely agree with you about Stalin's show trials, although the torture didn't actually occur at the trials themselves... (insert appropriate emoticon here)
To extract the previous confessions though.

TheJoker
10-04-2009, 01:56 AM
Of course. Torture is such a drastic step that it requires drastic reasons (i.e. lives in danger) and certainty of guilt. Is it too hard to grasp that when your child is missing, someone shows up demanding ransom, and produces a live feed of the child in a room filling up with water, that guilt is proven way beyond reasonable doubt. Even though you're a squeamish wimp, any real parent would have no qualms about torturing the scumbag to save the child's life..

Actually it is hard to imagine such a stupid hypothetical situation ever occuring. Given me a real world situation, one I can look into where you think torture was a justified option. Not these pie in the sky sceanrios that are about as likely to occur as pigs flying backwards.


Mostly Islamofascist extremism..

Again I'll what is your prosposed solution to what "you" see as the primary cause?


Pushing this root cause crap hasn't done a thing to curb crime; rather, crime skyrocketed when punishment was de-emphasized and judges found technicalities to release the scum to prey on their communities.

Another strawman from Jono surprise surprise, Punishment has nothing to do what so ever with trying to identify the underlying causes of certain behaviours and taking proactive steps to address them before the behaviour occurs. Punishment is about dealing with behaviour after it has been committed. They are mutually exclusive.



I was talking about the link between crime and single parent families.

Typical of you to change the topic to push some stupid agenda. Firstly could you point out the overwhelming research you're talking about. Author and year should suffice.

Secondly the reason anyone with a brain would ignore this even if you could shown casue and effect. Is because, as far as I can tell there isn't a viable solution. Unless you want to propose one?



He is evil, and so is the Islamofascism he follows..

Of course..... he is evil and the devil made him do it!!! Why did I miss this obvious logic yet again:rolleyes:

So the real question is how do we get rid of this Satan fellow so there will be no more sin. Perhaps we can torture some terrorists so they will tell us where he is hiding.

Capablanca-Fan
10-04-2009, 09:38 AM
Actually it is hard to imagine such a stupid hypothetical situation ever occuring. Given me a real world situation, one I can look into where you think torture was a justified option. Not these pie in the sky sceanrios that are about as likely to occur as pigs flying backwards.
It was perfectly reasonable to give situations where torture would be justified. I notice that you don't dispute it, merely try to pretend that such things would never happen.

I've already told you that torture is NOT justified for mere suspects of a crime, to gain a confession, or as punishment.


Again I'll what is your prosposed solution to what "you" see as the primary cause?
Wipe the terrorist bases out, and warn any government supporting them that they will face the full wrath of the free world. Basically, do what destroyed the Nazis and Japanese warlords, who were just as fanatical.


Another strawman from Jono surprise surprise, Punishment has nothing to do what so ever with trying to identify the underlying causes of certain behaviours and taking proactive steps to address them before the behaviour occurs. Punishment is about dealing with behaviour after it has been committed. They are mutually exclusive.
Rubbish. Fear of punishment deters criminals. When the "root cause" crap became popular with the American judiciary in the 1960s, crime skyrocketed precisely because there was less likelihood of suffering the consequences.


Typical of you to change the topic to push some stupid agenda. Firstly could you point out the overwhelming research you're talking about.
Don't you ever read? Poverty and race are merely asserted to be factors in raising criminals, while broken single-parent families are prevalent. But the Left don't want to know.


Of course..... he is evil and the devil made him do it!!! Why did I miss this obvious logic yet again:rolleyes:
Who said anything about the devil (cf. your ilk who claim ‘My genes made me do it! (http://creation.com/my-genes-made-me-do-it)’ and ‘Evolution made me do it! (http://creation.com/evolution-made-me-do-it)’ Fact remains that most terrorists are Islamofascists.

There really should be another thread, "Is torture ever justified?" or some such.

Mephistopheles
10-04-2009, 12:20 PM
That killed 2000 people over three centuries. Atheopaths like Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot killed that many before breakfast.
You're still hunting around for that elusive sense of humour. I am not attempting to denigrate Christianity here. A certain part of Christian history merely provided an example of torture being particularly good for obtaining erroneous confessions. Your own example of Stalin's show trials was considerably better and goes even further towards proving my point.


It's called not bearing false witness. See An Inquiry on the Inquisition (http://www.tektonics.org/qt/spaninq.html)
And I was not bearing false witness. Even your source acknowledges the use of torture and also implies strongly that any confessions obtained were implicitly unreliable. Demonstrate where I was bearing false witness, Jono.

To be blunt here, you've been pummelled on this issue. All I really see in what you're posting at the moment is some wannabe he-man puffery about how you would hurt the "scumbag" or even kill him under certain circumstances. If that makes you feel big and strong then I am pleased for you. What you have utterly failed to do is justify the use of torture under any circumstances.

Capablanca-Fan
10-04-2009, 12:33 PM
You're still hunting around for that elusive sense of humour. I am not attempting to denigrate Christianity here.
You can't help yourself.


A certain part of Christian history merely provided an example of torture being particularly good for obtaining erroneous confessions. Your own example of Stalin's show trials was considerably better and goes even further towards proving my point.
Since I never disputed it, why make it? I'm talking about torturing scumbags known to have life-saving information precisely because they are the ones who threatened these lives in the first place.


To be blunt here, you've been pummelled on this issue.
To be blunt here, your pummelling blows have merely landed on your own head and you're too dazed to see it.


All I really see in what you're posting at the moment is some wannabe he-man puffery about how you would hurt the "scumbag" or even kill him under certain circumstances. If that makes you feel big and strong then I am pleased for you. What you have utterly failed to do is justify the use of torture under any circumstances.
More likely, you're just a lefty atheopathic wimp who's too squeamish to admit that saving lives threatened by a killer justifies drastic means. But lefties usually sympathize with criminals rather than their victims, and have sissified the West. Why not just admit that you don't believe that even a kidnapper who provenly endangers your own child has lost any right to protection.

Mephistopheles
10-04-2009, 12:47 PM
Since I never disputed it, why make it?
So now you admit that torture is implicitly unreliable? You are making progress, albeit slowly.


To be blunt here, your pummelling blows have merely landed on your own head and you're too dazed to see it.
Really? I have almost conclusively demonstrated that torture is ineffective, even in the artificial situations that you describe. You are being massacred here and it's almost getting torturous (ha!) to watch.



More likely, you're just a lefty atheopathic wimp who's too squeamish to admit that saving lives threatened by a killer justifies drastic means.
It justifies effective and drastic means. Torture is the latter but not the former and this is the point that I have been slamming you to the ground on upon every occasion.


But lefties usually sympathize with criminals rather than their victims, and have sissified the West. Why not just admit that you don't believe that even a kidnapper who provenly endangers your own child has lost any right to protection.
More breast beating, Jono, with zero substance and that does not address my point at all. I have not once talked about somebody's "right to protection". That is a straw man that you have brought into our discussion and it can be discarded straight away. I have only been talking about torture being ineffective the vast majority of the time, especially in the situations that you, yourself, have raised as examples.

Capablanca-Fan
10-04-2009, 01:30 PM
So now you admit that torture is implicitly unreliable? You are making progress, albeit slowly.
But I never doubted it. Thanks for the straw man. I also oppose it for most things on moral grounds. But a kidnapper who wants money might think better of it if pain were inflicted. They are cowards and would break easily. Ideological terrorists might be harder to break, but everyone has a breaking point.


Really? I have almost conclusively demonstrated that torture is ineffective, even in the artificial situations that you describe.
You've done no such thing, and these situations are realistic. Terrorism and kidnapping are realistic.


You are being massacred here and it's almost getting torturous (ha!) to watch.
Only a losing debater needs to brag that he's winning or declare "the debate is over" :rolleyes:


It justifies effective and drastic means. Torture is the latter but not the former
What would you propose? Some of Joke's "root causes" crap?


and this is the point that I have been slamming you to the ground on upon every occasion.
More self-delusion. Lefties often resort to such self-serving rhetoric rather than facts.


More breast beating, Jono, with zero substance and that does not address my point at all.
You're the one who's acting not only as debater but debate judge as well!


I have not once talked about somebody's "right to protection".
Why, don't you believe in that?

Mephistopheles
10-04-2009, 02:51 PM
But I never doubted it.
So why are you continuing to attempt to justify torture, albeit using hypothetical situations that have never, ever occurred in the real world.


You've done no such thing, and these situations are realistic. Terrorism and kidnapping are realistic.
TTB situations are not realistic, Jono. I honestly doubt that you could point to a single real world TTB situation involving a captured terrorist and I am absolutely certain that your kidnapping scenario is nothing but pure fantasy.


Only a losing debater needs to brag that he's winning or declare "the debate is over" :rolleyes:
Read your own words above and take a good, long look in the mirror.


What would you propose? Some of Joke's "root causes" crap?
Not germane to this discussion. I set about demonstrating that torture is the incorrect approach to your proposed situation and the cause of people doing bad things is of little interest to me in this context.


More self-delusion. Lefties often resort to such self-serving rhetoric rather than facts.
Thus far, given the absence of very much real world data (although the content of Kevin's post does rather emphatically back up my position), I have given common sense reasons why my point is valid whereas all you have done is toss out red herrings.


You're the one who's acting not only as debater but debate judge as well!
When I see a paragraph devoid of substance but full of ill-considered rhetoric I feel honour bound to point it out, Jono.


Why, don't you believe in that?
Did I ever say that I did not? I merely pointed out that it is not relevant to the case that I was making. Yet another straw man put forward, though, I note.

Capablanca-Fan
10-04-2009, 05:06 PM
So why are you continuing to attempt to justify torture, albeit using hypothetical situations that have never, ever occurred in the real world.
Kidnapping and terrorism have. And it seems that the "torture" at Gitmo really did provide life-saving information.


TTB situations are not realistic, Jono.
Who says? And if you're right, that means for all practical purposes I oppose torture, so stop being so self-righteous.


I honestly doubt that you could point to a single real world TTB situation involving a captured terrorist and I am absolutely certain that your kidnapping scenario is nothing but pure fantasy.
What would you do in this situation though?


When I see a paragraph devoid of substance but full of ill-considered rhetoric I feel honour bound to point it out, Jono.
Then it's still not to late to remove your posts, at least within the editing time window.


Did I ever say that I did not?
Sounds like it.

Mephistopheles
10-04-2009, 06:38 PM
Kidnapping and terrorism have. And it seems that the "torture" at Gitmo really did provide life-saving information.
Can you provide a reliable citation for that?


Who says? And if you're right, that means for all practical purposes I oppose torture, so stop being so self-righteous.
Sweet Buddha, you are incredibly dense sometimes. I am not being remotely self-righteous. My point is not based on morality at all and I have not demonised you (or any other advocate of torture) in this conversation but have rather pointed out that, as information gathering methods go, it is particularly ineffectual.


What would you do in this situation though?
What situation? One out of a movie? I would be the action hero and save the day with my superpowers, which is about as likely as the situation actually arising.


Then it's still not to late to remove your posts, at least within the editing time window.
TRANSLATION: Jono has been caught short and therefore lashes out with a petulant flame.

My posts in this thread have contained essentially a single point that you are unable to counter. Lacking any kind of coherent response, you have engaged in logical fallacies (a specialty of yours, it seems) and insults. I'm a big boy and can deal with the insults but they do rather point to your foundering very badly indeed.


Sounds like it.
And still Jono clings to the remnants of his straw man.

Capablanca-Fan
10-04-2009, 09:27 PM
Can you provide a reliable citation for that?
How about no terrorist attacks on American soil since 11-9? What do you want, a videotape?


Sweet Buddha, you are incredibly dense sometimes.
You sound like you eat sprinkle lead shot over all your meals.


My point is not based on morality at all
It is the main reason to object to torture, BTW freely practised in the Arab countries Obamov is sucking up to.


have rather pointed out that, as information gathering methods go, it is particularly ineffectual.
How would you know? And you haven't told me of an alternative method in the situations I mentioned.


Jono has been caught short and therefore lashes out with a petulant flame.
Once more, the debater appoints himself as debate judge. What a loser. And a mimophant, happy to dish it out but whinges at any riposte.

TheJoker
11-04-2009, 12:02 AM
It was perfectly reasonable to give situations where torture would be justified. I notice that you don't dispute it, merely try to pretend that such things would never happen..

Not would never are but are extremely unlikely to happen, given two things a caputred terrorist is unlikley to admit to being a terrorist. Given that certainty of guilt is highly unlikely, if not impossible. Bias and predjudice effect people perception of whether some is indeed guilty. There have already been cases of fatal torturing of innocent people due to mistake of identitiy and other such mishaps. I have yet to hear of a case whether torture has caused a confession that actually prevented any such crime. Perhaps you could provide me with evidence of such. Therefore from a risk management point of view (Sowell's underlying rationale) the use of torture appears to be unjustified.


I've already told you that torture is NOT justified for mere suspects of a crime, to gain a confession, or as punishment.

I take it that means you would require judicial proceedings to establish guilt prior to torture being availbe to obtain information?


Wipe the terrorist bases out, and warn any government supporting them that they will face the full wrath of the free world. Basically, do what destroyed the Nazis and Japanese warlords, who were just as fanatical.

But this is an unseen enenmy such strategies are impossible. Bases are only a fraction of the terrorist operations, you only need to loo at Ireland to understand that terrorists dont need any such bases.



Rubbish. Fear of punishment deters criminals. When the "root cause" crap became popular with the American judiciary in the 1960s, crime skyrocketed precisely because there was less likelihood of suffering the consequences..

I'll leave this one be, it is obviously beyond you to undestand that preventing a crime by eliminating the motivating factors and punishment of crime are separate issues.



Don't you ever read? Poverty and race are merely asserted to be factors in raising criminals, while broken single-parent families are prevalent. But the Left don't want to know..

You have not provided any reading material!!! Where's the research? Author and Year will suffice!!!

I just saw a program on SBS the other night that identified a bunch super successful individuals who where the product of single parent families. I noticed Barrack Obama was on the list, which explains your agenda:rolleyes:


Who said anything about the devil... Fact remains that most terrorists are Islamofascists.

Here you arein one point saying that there are no root causes, and in the next identifying religios extremism as a root cause.

I thought that by calling a person evil you are implying that the devil has corrupted them. Isn't that your belief, we are all born God's children, but the devil corrupts us and makes us sin? Maybe I didn't understand Adam and Eve correctly?

Mephistopheles
11-04-2009, 08:14 AM
How about no terrorist attacks on American soil since 11-9? What do you want, a videotape?
I would like something an awful lot less tenuous than the above rubbish. There are any number of factors that could have led to the lack of attacks on American soil (such as, for example, a larger US presence in the Middle east that was more convenient to attack) and, as a trained scientist, I would hope that you had long ago learned that correlation is hardly causation. Evidently not.


You sound like you eat sprinkle lead shot over all your meals.
You should probably endeavour to post your next pointless ad hominem in English. Apologies for my own, however, which was borne out of frustration with your refusal to debate the point that I raise and your insistence upon discussing irrelevancies.



It is the main reason to object to torture,
Irrelevant here, as it is not the reason under discussion.


BTW freely practised in the Arab countries Obamov is sucking up to.
Also irrelevant here. Your strike rate really isn't good, Jono.


How would you know?
Kevin has posted some fairly damning information that supports my position. I have also pointed to historical uses of torture and its excellence in producing erroneous information. On top of that, we have the intuitively obvious fact that a prisoner only has to tell his captors something that they want to hear to make the hurting stop.

Even in the first TTB scenario that you have put forward, a captive will be very aware that a plausible lie will buy enough time for the bomb to go off, which is the aim of the exercise. In the second (which is so unlikely as to be risible - lay off the Hollywood, Jono), I suspect that a captured kidnapper would realise that no money was forthcoming and simply give away the location. That would be the rational thing to do with no torture being even remotely required. If a kidnapper captured under those circumstances did not immediately acquiesce then I would say fairly clearly that you would not be dealing with a rational person and who know what kind of results one could expect from torturing a prisoner who was simply not all there.


And you haven't told me of an alternative method in the situations I mentioned.
I have given you two separate (and consistent) answers, actually. You have merely chosen to ignore them because they tell an uncomfortable truth about your position, I suspect:

1) By the time you are in a TTB situation, you are pretty well hosed. It indicates significant failure of your intelligence process considerably earlier down the line.
2) A TTB situation is so ludicrous and artificial that my claim of mind reading and superpowers used to address the situation would be no more ludicrous than any claim that such a scenario could arise in the first place.


Once more, the debater appoints himself as debate judge.
If you insist on pulling out irrelevant insults then it's' no skin off my nose but certainly does little to give your position any impression of strength. That's all I'm saying here.


What a loser.
Abusive ad hominem noted.


And a mimophant, happy to dish it out but whinges at any riposte.
And again.

Perhaps you might like to play the ball rather than the man next time? You'll find that it is considerably more constructive...

Capablanca-Fan
11-04-2009, 04:47 PM
Sowell describes the critical differences between interests and visions. Interests, he says, are articulated by people who know what their interests are and what they want to do about them. Visions, however, are the implicit assumptions by which people operate. In politics, visions are either "constrained" or "unconstrained". A closer look at the statements of both McCain and Obama reveals which "vision" motivates their policy positions, particularly as they pertain to the war, the law, and economics.


OGvYqaxSPp4

Capablanca-Fan
23-04-2009, 01:50 AM
The Best quotes from the Last 52 Thomas Sowell columns at Town Hall starting 3/25/04 (http://www.rightwingnews.com/quotes/sowellquotes.php)

Mephistopheles
23-04-2009, 09:18 AM
The Best quotes from the Last 52 Thomas Sowell columns at Town Hall starting 3/25/04 (http://www.rightwingnews.com/quotes/sowellquotes.php)


People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.
Pure gold.

However this is a bit of a howler:

It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer "universal health care.
Rather overlooking the private bureaucracies that exist to administer private health care. Oopsie.


While American companies can hire computer programmers in India to replace higher paid American programmers, that is because of India's outstanding education in computer engineering. By and large, however, the average productivity of Indian workers is about 15 percent of that of American workers. In other words, if you hired Indian workers and paid them one-fifth of what you paid American workers, it would cost you more to get a given job done in India. That is the rule and computer programming is the exception.
Evidently, Sowell knows very little about the realities of IT. My own extensive experience indicates any number of hidden costs of outsourcing IT work, particularly to India. While degrees are relatively common amongst Indian IT workers, the actual level of expertise is extraordinarily poor. Add to this difficulties in communication (including the language barrier, time zones, etc.) and the actual cost of escalation processes arising through lack of expertise, it simply isn't even nearly worth it.


Politics is the art of making your selfish desires seem like the national interest.
Also gold.

I have mixed feelings about Sowell. He is certainly a calm voice amongst pundits who would identify as "strongly conservative" and I appreciate that, although I often disagree with him.

Sometimes, however, he writes something so gobsmackingly idiotic that it actually makes me angry.

Oh, well, at least he rarely stoops to mindless insults, which is something that cannot be said for low brow conservative pundits.

Capablanca-Fan
23-04-2009, 11:51 AM
Rather overlooking the private bureaucracies that exist to administer private health care. Oopsie.
Yet if there is a genuine free market for health, then those irritated by bureaucratic bungling can switch providers.


I have mixed feelings about Sowell. He is certainly a calm voice amongst pundits who would identify as "strongly conservative" and I appreciate that, although I often disagree with him.
He is also quite libertarian in philosophy while rejecting many fetishes of self-described libertarians, as he puts it.


Sometimes, however, he writes something so gobsmackingly idiotic that it actually makes me angry.
I can't see why a mistake about Indian computer programmers, if mistake it is, should do that. Indeed, if you're right, that would reinforce his general point, since it would remove what he explicitly says is an ‘exception’.


Oh, well, at least he rarely stoops to mindless insults, which is something that cannot be said for low brow conservative pundits.
Or ‘high-brow’ liberal pundits. See for example that harridan Garafolo's rant against the "Tea Parties" rightly protesting against ballooning government spending.

As you say youself, there is some pure gold in his writings.

Mephistopheles
23-04-2009, 12:50 PM
I can't see why a mistake about Indian computer programmers, if mistake it is, should do that. Indeed, if you're right, that would reinforce his general point, since it would remove what he explicitly says is an ‘exception’.
That is not something in his writings (or the collection of quotations) that makes me angry or has made me angry. Nor do I regard it as stupid. I just felt that it was rather misinformed and somewhat out of place, which is why I highlighted it.

It was certainly not an example of the occasional (and I mean occasional) stupidity of which he is capable.


Or ‘high-brow’ liberal pundits. See for example that harridan Garafolo's rant against the "Tea Parties" rightly protesting against ballooning government spending.
Scare quotes aside, I am yet to discover in what way, exactly, Janeane Garofalo is "high-brow". That would be like calling Bill O'Reilly "high-brow".

She has a certain point, although she makes it extremely poorly and with unnecessary confrontation (although one hardly expects more from a comedian and actress) - where were the tea parties during Bush's profligate Presidency? If she had calmly raised that question without the vitriol then she may have had a leg to stand on.

Capablanca-Fan
23-04-2009, 01:13 PM
That is not something in his writings (or the collection of quotations) that makes me angry or has made me angry. Nor do I regard it as stupid. I just felt that it was rather misinformed and somewhat out of place, which is why I highlighted it.
OK then.


Scare quotes aside, I am yet to discover in what way, exactly, Janeane Garofalo is "high-brow". That would be like calling Bill O'Reilly "high-brow".
OK, there were quite a lot of media celebs who were quite obscene about these tea parties protesting against the skyrocketing debt and coming inflationary money-printing quantitative easing.


She has a certain point, although she makes it extremely poorly and with unnecessary confrontation (although one hardly expects more from a comedian and actress) — where were the tea parties during Bush's profligate Presidency? If she had calmly raised that question without the vitriol then she may have had a leg to stand on.
But note that some Republican congressmen were booed at these tea parties, and other party-goers excoriated GOP big spenders (http://townhall.com/columnists/MichelleMalkin/2009/04/17/million_taxpayer_march?page=full&comments=true). Also, while Bush presided over big spending (and that a major reason the GOP got hammered), I'm not sure that the "hope and change" many people voted for meant quarupling that!

Kevin Bonham
23-04-2009, 01:15 PM
He is also quite libertarian in philosophy while rejecting many fetishes of self-described libertarians, as he puts it.

Is there an article where he describes these "fetishes" in (hopefully lurid) detail? Is he talking about what I call flippant autonomy cases (like the right to not wear seatbelts) or is he talking about the application of libertarianism to sexual fetishes or sexualities?

By the way I like this one that is currently in your sigfile:

“Numbers do not ‘speak for themselves’. Politicians, media and others speak for them — very loudly, very cleverly and often very wrongly.”
— Thomas Sowell.

...but I would add that I'm disappointed by how much abuse of statistics by politicians and media is not even cleverly deceptive but genuinely stupid and clueless.

Capablanca-Fan
23-04-2009, 01:29 PM
Is there an article where he describes these "fetishes" in (hopefully lurid) detail? Is he talking about what I call flippant autonomy cases (like the right to not wear seatbelts) or is he talking about the application of libertarianism to sexual fetishes or sexualities?
Not sure, because I just saw that one paragraph in one article (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=5079):


I believe in libertarian principles but not in libertarian fetishes. In any context, the difference between principles and fetishes can be the difference between night and day.

By coincidence, I was also wondering if he meant things like seatbelts — “flippant autonomy” is a good phrase. Maybe also the "right to smoke" in restaurants, chess tournaments and airlines, but maybe not because his good friend Walter Williams is a smoker.


By the way I like this one that is currently in your sigfile:

“Numbers do not ‘speak for themselves’. Politicians, media and others speak for them — very loudly, very cleverly and often very wrongly.”
— Thomas Sowell.

...but I would add that I'm disappointed by how much abuse of statistics by politicians and media is not even cleverly deceptive but genuinely stupid and clueless.
Thanx. A big problem is that they are repeated a lot by people who should know better. One that comes to mind is Obama repeating the "women earn 77c in the dollar of what men earn" canard (http://www.lewrockwell.com/mcelroy/mcelroy38.html).

Mephistopheles
23-04-2009, 01:35 PM
OK, there were quite a lot of media celebs who were quite obscene about these tea parties
They don't really count as worthwhile commentary regardless of their political viewpoint. I find (for example) Maureen Dowd to be a good writer and very funny on occasion but she does not constitute serious commentary.


Also, while Bush presided over big spending (and that a major reason the GOP got hammered), I'm not sure that the "hope and change" many people voted for meant quarupling that!
They were probably not aware of it because it seems that nobody had predicted or recognised the financial crisis until well and truly after it had started. BTW, it was the Bush administration who first put forward a rescue package to the tune of nearly a trillion dollars and Obama was complicit in this (it all started, IIRC, in December 2008).

As for the tea parties themselves, they have attracted a disproportionate number of kooks and, even if you take the most generous attendance figures, have attracted a grand total of 1/3 of one percent of US citizens. I have quite negative feelings towards the events, not so much because they are protesting excessive government spending, but because they are pointless tokenism amounting to little more than breast beating and wailing. I have seen enough of that from the left to know that a) it is supremely ineffectual and b) it annoys the living walrus out of me.

Kevin Bonham
23-04-2009, 10:14 PM
Not sure, because I just saw that one paragraph in one article (http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=5079):


I believe in libertarian principles but not in libertarian fetishes. In any context, the difference between principles and fetishes can be the difference between night and day.

I saw that too and have been trying to find elaboration re what he is referring to.


By coincidence, I was also wondering if he meant things like seatbelts — “flippant autonomy” is a good phrase. Maybe also the "right to smoke" in restaurants, chess tournaments and airlines, but maybe not because his good friend Walter Williams is a smoker.

Of course even for an extreme libertarian, such a "right" can only exist with the consent of the owner of the premises. Also, the degree of concern over the health effects of smoking is now such that I suspect any chess tournament that allowed it would find itself boycotted by too many players to be worth it, so that is certainly a flippant autonomy case. Something like smoking in pubs, where the impact of the change on business was quite substantial, is less flippant - although I was personally very happy when smokers were no longer allowed to poison me on licensed premises.

Capablanca-Fan
15-05-2009, 11:38 AM
Of course even for an extreme libertarian, such a "right" can only exist with the consent of the owner of the premises.
I finally got a reply from the Thomas Sowell appreciation group on Facebook: the libertarian fetish might be military isolationism.

This makes sense, because some of the leading Libertarians claim that America shared blame for 11-9 because of her interference in the middle east. Sometimes their blame-America-first ideology sounds like the radical Left. Some of them even swallow Pat Buchanan's nonsense that blames Churchill and FDR for WW2 rather than Hitler.

This is supported by the explicit statement by Larry Elder, another black libertarian, explaining why he switched from the Libertarian Party to the GOP: it was over the need for America to have a strong national defence and preparedness to move against deadly enemies like Saddam. Elder is an admirer of Sowell but a "purer" libertarian who does support the "flippant autonomy" you mentioned, so it's less likely that Sowell meant that.

Elder defends this party by the idea of "homeostasis of risk"—that many people subconscously allow for a certain risk. Since "safety features" reduce risk by themselves, the people's behaviour will become riskier to compensate. It seems that bicycle safety helmets (which we never had when I was a kid) have encouraged riskier behaviour by cyclists, as well as by motorists who tend to drive closer to them.

Kevin Bonham
15-05-2009, 07:04 PM
I finally got a reply from the Thomas Sowell appreciation group on Facebook: the libertarian fetish might be military isolationism.

Ta. That makes sense (that he would think that.)

I can well understand why many libertarians go into freak-out mode and swing to the pacifist left when confronted by the Middle East conflict though. For a person who is a libertarian from principle, the fundamental principle is that violence is unacceptable except in response to violence. But in the Middle East violence goes back so far that unravelling who started it and when and saying where each side should have to stop, from (true) libertarian principles, is impossible.

But for a libertarian to extend this to the idea that America had what was coming to it over 9-11 is ridiculous, since 9-11 was an attack perpetrated primarily and clearly deliberately against civilian targets, and libertarians should be the first to agree that a random civilian is neither to blame for, nor to be held violently accountable for, the policies of their nation.

Capablanca-Fan
20-05-2009, 09:56 PM
Interview with Dr Sowell in 1999 (http://www.salon.com/books/int/1999/11/10/sowell/index.html), where among other things he explains what turned him right away from leftism:


What began to change my mind was working in the summer of 1960 as an intern in the federal government, studying minimum-wage laws in Puerto Rico. It was painfully clear that as they pushed up minimum wage levels, which they did at that time industry by industry, the employment levels were falling. I was studying the sugar industry. There were two explanations of what was happening. One was the conventional economic explanation: that as you pushed up the minimum-wage level, you were pricing people out of their jobs. The other one was that there were a series of hurricanes that had come through Puerto Rico, destroying sugar cane in the field, and therefore employment was lower. The unions preferred that explanation, and some of the liberals did, too.

I spent the summer trying to figure out how to tell empirically which explanation was true. And one day I figured it out. I came to the office and announced that what we needed was data on the amount of sugar cane standing in the field before the hurricane moved through. I expected to be congratulated. And I saw these looks of shock on people's faces. As if, "This idiot has stumbled on something that's going to blow the whole game!" To me the question was: Is this law making poor people better off or worse off?

That was the not the question the labor department was looking at. About one-third of their budget at that time came from administering the wages and hours laws. They may have chosen to believe that the law was benign, but they certainly weren't going to engage in any scrutiny of the law.

What that said to me was that the incentives of government agencies are different than what the laws they were set up to administer were intended to accomplish. That may not sound very original in the James Buchanan era, when we know about "Public Choice" theory. But it was a revelation for me. You start thinking in those terms, and you no longer ask, what is the goal of that law, and do I agree with that goal? You start to ask instead: What are the incentives, what are the consequences of those incentives, and do I agree with those?

...

Liberals [Lefties] tend to describe what they want in terms of goals rather than processes, and not to be overly concerned with the observable consequences.

...

I'd like to get them [Lefties] to think in terms of incentives and empirical evidence, and not in terms of goals and hopes. Over the years, I've reached the point where I can hardly bear to read the preamble of proposed legislation. I don't care what you think this thing is going to do. What I care about is: What are you rewarding, and what are you punishing? Because you're going to get more of what you're rewarding and less of what you're punishing.

Relevant to the above posts is the following:



I know you're usually referred to as a conservative. Do you think of yourself that way?

I don't. Because if by "conservative" you mean trying to preserve something from the past, I have no particular reason to do that. Right now, the public schools as they exist I would not want to conserve. There are other things I would want to conserve. But conserving something just because it's there has no appeal for me.


What would your preferred label be?

I prefer not to have labels, but I suspect that "libertarian" would suit me better than many others, although I disagree with the libertarian movement on a number of things -- military preparedness, for instance.

He also explains cosmic v traditional justice, as per his book The Quest for Cosmic Justice:


Traditional justice, at least in the American tradition, involves treating people the same, holding them to the same standards and having them play by the same rules. Cosmic justice tries to make their prospects equal.

Capablanca-Fan
12-08-2009, 08:58 PM
The Housing Boom and Bust (http://www.reason.com/news/show/133593.html?ref=patrick.net)
Thomas Sowell on how government policies made the housing crisis possible
Brian Doherty
ReasonOnline, 20 May 2009

...

n [I]The Housing Boom and Bust (Basic Books), Sowell contemplates the greatest expansion of government power in a generation, which was itself occasioned by the greatest economic crisis in as long. A quick but thorough guide to the causes of the crises, Sowell's book shows how government policies led to a huge increase in highly risky housing loans. As he notes, the immense local variability in housing prices and failed loans reveals that the government mistook a set of local problems for a national one, and then imposed a single troublesome national solution. Sowell argues that while foolish decisions to indulge in complicated investment vehicles affected the specifics of how the financial contagion spread, at its root the housing problem is one of bad mortgages. And those came from bad decisions by government and by borrowers themselves.

...

Thomas Sowell: Since I was born in 1930 the economic crisis with the most impact of my lifetime was the Great Depression. As to whether this will match that, it’s too early to tell. Right now it certainly is nothing comparable to the Great Depression, but the Great Depression began as nothing comparable to the Great Depression. For the first 12 months after the stock market crash [of 1929], unemployment never reached double digits but the solution turned out to create more disasters than the problem they were trying to solve.

Whether that will happen again depends on how far and how long the current administration will push policies to solve the present crisis and what their repercussions will be. As mentioned in the book, parallel to the 1929 crash was the stock market crash of 1987. That had the potential to create another Great Depression had Reagan followed similar policies as Hoover and FDR did. He didn’t, so we just about forgot about the stock market crash of ’87.

...

[T]he people I would blame the most in the sense that without their interference other problems would have been within manageable means are the politicians—people in Congress and the president and regulators—who pushed the lenders and the banks and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into lending and buying mortgages based on people who didn’t meet standards that evolved in the marketplace and which had worked. Those politicians, in addition to that initial mistake, ignored all sorts of warnings from all sorts of sources. As I list in the book, the Economist in London, Fortune, Barron’s, people at the American Enterprise Institute, all over the map, saw that this policy of encouraging homeownership at all costs was leading to trouble. ...

Capablanca-Fan
27-10-2009, 01:29 AM
The Legacy of Marx: An Assessment (http://www.amazon.com/Marxism-Philosophy-Economics-Thomas-Sowell/dp/0688064264/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_cart_1)
from Marxism: Philosophy and Economics (1985)
By Thomas Sowell, Ph.D.

Marx and Engels argued that an individual or an era must be judged not by what they intend or conceive, but by what they actually accomplish. Marxism itself cannot be exempt from this standard. What Marx accomplished was to produce such a comprehensive, dramatic, and fascinating vision that it could withstand innumerable empirical contradictions, logical refutations, and moral revulsions at its effects. The Marxian vision took the overwhelming complexity of the real world and made the parts fall into place, in a way that was intellectually exhilarating and conferred such a sense of moral superiority that opponents could be simply labeled and dismissed as moral lepers or blind reactionaries. Marxism was – and remains – a mighty instrument for the acquisition and maintenance of political power. Once such an instrument has come into existence, those who wield the enormous power it makes possible have every incentive to use it and preserve it for their own purposes, regardless of what purposes may have motivated Marx or Engels.

But however instrumental Marxism becomes in the hands of latter-day power-wielders, its intellectual structure and foundation do not become irrelevant. On the contrary. Precisely as it is applied in the real world, intellectual flaws and blemishes too slight to be noticed amid the heady rhetoric become manifest in terms as concrete as hunger, terror, and death. Lenin was unique in having to confront the failure of his assumptions and having to improvise an alternative while literally millions died around him – some from starvation and others slaughtered by his secret police and the Red Army, both of whom drowned in blood the revolt of the very masses in whose name he ruled.

While in one sense this represented the unfolding of erroneous assumptions implicit in Marxism, in a larger sense it represented the hubris of imagining that a whole society could be constructed from the ground up on the vision of one man, rather than evolving from the experience of millions, spread over the generations or the centuries. It was not simply that Marx happened to be unequal to the task, but that anyone was foredoomed to be unequal to such a task.

Despite choosing a world stage on which to operate, Marx’s vision was a very insular one. Much of Marx’s conception of the capitalist and of the capitalist economy reflected the insularity of the urban intellectual. Marx repeatedly depicted and disdained the capitalist entrepreneur as an uncultured parvenu – someone lacking in bookish accomplishments, as if these were the universal litmus tests of contributions to society. Marx’s own life was the most overwhelming evidence that bookish accomplishments and economic effectiveness had no necessary correlation. Similar narrowness and snobbery were evident toward what the Communist Manifesto called “the idiocy of rural life” – a foretaste of Marxists’ inability to take farmers seriously, or to manage agriculture effectively.

The Marxist constituency has remained as narrow as the conception behind it. The Communist Manifesto, written by two bright and articulate young men without responsibility even for their own livelihoods – much less for the social consequences of their visions – has had a special appeal for successive generations of the same kinds of people. The offspring of privilege have dominated the leadership of Marxist movements from the days of Marx and Engels through Lenin, Mao, Castro, Ho Chi Minh, and their lesser counterparts around the world and down through history. The sheer reiteration of the “working class” theme in Marxism has drowned out this plain fact. But the crucial point is not privilege, as such, but the insulation from responsibility that that provides, particularly during youth.

Intellectuals enjoy a similar insulation from the consequences of being wrong, in a way that no businessman, military leader, engineer or even athletic coach can. Intellectuals and the young have remained historically the groups most susceptible to Marxism – even though the young have often abandoned it as they grew older and more experienced, being replaced by ever renewed sources of more youths following in their wake.

The disjuncture between vision and experience was nowhere better illustrated than in the traumatic post-revolutionary experience of Lenin, as he applied Marxist vision and watched a whole nation sink into economic chaos and starvation by the millions. The Leninist-Stalinist modifications – or “betrayals” – of Marxism have mitigated the severity of the Soviet Union’s economic problems, but at the cost of turning a humanitarian creed into a ruthless mode of power consolidation. Both denunciations and apologetics for this often miss the point that a vision that departs from reality must be either abandoned or changed.

Despite the massive intellectual feat that Marx’s Capital represents, the Marxian contribution to economics can be readily summarized as virtually zero. Professional economics as it exists today reflects no indication that Karl Marx ever existed. This neither denies nor denigrates Capital as an intellectual achievement, and perhaps in its way the culmination of classical economics. But the development of modern economics has simply ignored Marx. Even economists who are Marxists typically utilize a set of analytical tools to which Marx contributed nothing, and have recourse to Marx only for ideological, political, or historical purposes.

In professional economics, Capital was a detour into a blind alley, however historic it may be as the centerpiece of a worldwide political movement. What is said and done in its name is said and done largely by people who have never read through it, much less followed its labyrinthine reasoning from its arbitrary postulates to its empirically false conclusions. Instead, the massive volumes of Capital have become a quasi-magic touchstone – a source of assurance that somewhere and somehow a genius “proved” capitalism to be wrong and doomed, even if the specifics of this proof are unknown to those who take their certitude from it.

In agriculture especially, Marxists’ grand dismissals of what they did not understand had far-reaching practical consequences, including desperate food shortages in modern Communist nations, dependence on grain imports from the West, Stalin’s wholesale slaughter of the kulaks, and innumerable agricultural reforms – the most effective of which proved to be allowing some portion of agriculture to operate through a market system. In the Soviet Union, the market sector occupies only about 3 percent of the farm land, but produces about 30 percent of the Soviet agricultural output.

The supreme irony of Marxism was that a fundamentally humane and egalitarian creed was so dominated by a bookish perspective that it became blind to facts and deaf to humanity and freedom. Yet the moral vision and the intellectual aura of Marxism continued to disarm critics, quiet doubters, and put opponents on the moral defensive. It has provided both intellectual and moral insulation for those who wield power in its name. Some of the most distinguished names in Western civilization – George Bernard Shaw, Jean-Paul Sartre, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, among others – have become apologists for brutal dictatorships ruling in the name of Marx and committing atrocities that they would never countenance under any other label. People who could never be corrupted by money or power may nevertheless be blinded by a vision. In this context, there are grim implications to Engels’ claim that Marx’s name and work “will endure through the ages.”

Capablanca-Fan
27-10-2009, 09:24 AM
Thomas Sowell and a Conflict of Visions

Sowell explains the constrained v unconstrained visions, e.g. as represented in the revolutions in America and France respectively. America's founders recognized that humanity was flawed, therefore had many checks and balance, restricting power by dividing it. France's revolutionaries thought that utopia would result once the right people were in charge, and couldn't understand all the American restrictions on power. The unconstrained vision aims for social equality, but the means of achieving this is in gross inequality of decision-making power.

Sowell applies these visions to law; the constrained vision regards the law as the result of trial and error experience of millions of people over many generations, and is suspicious of elites who think they know better than this accumulated experience.

As for war, poverty and crime: the unconstrained vision is mystified and blames upbringing, misunderstanding; the constrained vision is not surprised because of human nature, and realizes that peace, wealth and law-abiding societies are unusual, and aided by deterrence. The constrained vision argues for free choices between millions of buyers and sellers; the unconstrained vision prefers to have elites second-guessing these free choices for what they claim is "fairness".

The unconstrained vision is not bothered by evidence, e.g. that socialism, pacifism/appeasement and mollycoddling criminals have failed miserably to achieve wealth, peace and lowering crimes. E.g. communism would have worked were it not for Stalin, overlooking that the inherent inequality of power needed to redistribute wealth will attract people like Stalin.

Obama and his followers epitomize the unconstrained vision: he is the messiah who will change the world for the better, and opponents must be racist or selfish to oppose his vision.

OGvYqaxSPp4

Capablanca-Fan
11-12-2009, 08:21 AM
“What does it take to create a job? It takes wealth to pay someone who is hired, not to mention additional wealth to buy the material that person will use. But government creates no wealth. Ignoring that plain and simple fact enables politicians to claim to be able to do all sorts of miraculous things that they cannot do in fact. Without creating wealth, how can they create jobs? By taking wealth from others, whether through taxation, selling bonds or imposing mandates. However it is done, transferring wealth is not creating wealth. When government uses transferred wealth to hire people, it is essentially transferring jobs from the private sector, not adding to the net number of jobs in the economy.”—Thomas Sowell

TheJoker
11-12-2009, 01:54 PM
But government creates no wealth. Ignoring that plain and simple fact enables politicians to claim to be able to do all sorts of miraculous things that they cannot do in fact. Without creating wealth, how can they create jobs?

Governments and more particularly governance is essential to creating wealth in markets. Rule of Law creates the environment that fosters increased economic transactions and opportunities.



By taking wealth from others, whether through taxation

Which is payment for the services that create the economic environment that companies and individuals use to create wealth



However it is done, transferring wealth is not creating wealth. When government uses transferred wealth to hire people, it is essentially transferring jobs from the private sector, not adding to the net number of jobs in the economy.”—Thomas Sowell

Another example of espousing the theory of the public sector "crowding out" despite the fact that empirical evidence shows the opposite.

Capablanca-Fan
11-12-2009, 06:07 PM
Governments and more particularly governance is essential to creating wealth in markets. Rule of Law creates the environment that fosters increased economic transactions and opportunities.
Sowell and I have both said this very thing.


Which is payment for the services that create the economic environment that companies and individuals use to create wealth
More likely, the red tape that prevents companies and individuals from doing so. There is no "multiplier effect", more like a "divider effect".


Another example of espousing the theory of the public sector "crowding out" despite the fact that empirical evidence shows the opposite.
Another example of lefties claiming that government spending creates things which are seen, ignoring the unseen things (http://www.econlib.org/library/Bastiat/basEss1.html) that can't be created because money was sucked out of the private sector.

TheJoker
14-12-2009, 11:55 AM
There is no "multiplier effect"

You obviously don't even understand the term multiplier effect. The multiplier effect is empirically observable and applies to both government and private spending. :rolleyes:


Another example of lefties claiming that government spending creates things which are seen, ignoring the unseen things that can't be created because money was sucked out of the private sector.

Actually rather than being a "lefty claim" it is a emprically observable economic feature.

"Crowding Out" seems theoretically valid, yet it doesn't hold up empirically. Possibly for a number of reasons, becasue the economy is never operating at full capacity therefore government spendings has little effects on interest rates or prices. Becasue economies are not closed systems and external investment is a significant funding source and therefore due to the accelerator effect government spending can "crowd in" rather than "crowd out" private investment.

As a far as I can tell the countries with the highest living standards all have significant amounts of public expenditure. Which defeats the right-wing fundy claim that economies with minimal public expenditure will produce the optimal results.

Capablanca-Fan
14-12-2009, 12:10 PM
You obviously don't even understand the term multiplier effect. The multiplier effect is empirically observable and applies to both government and private spending. :rolleyes:
Sez you? Yet government spending on expanding their bureaucracies has a notable choking effect on private industries, since red tape costs.


Actually rather than being a "lefty claim" it is a emprically observable economic feature.
The observation is that government bureaucracy harms business overall, except for the crony capitalists who use government power to exclude competitors.


"Crowding Out" seems theoretically valid, yet it doesn't hold up empirically.
It did for many charities that operated before FDR's new deal. First; people had less money to donate because more was confiscated by the government. Second, many people have the attititude, "Why should I donate any more? I pay so much in tax that the government should be able to take care of it."


As a far as I can tell the countries with the highest living standards all have significant amounts of public expenditure. Which defeats the right-wing fundy claim that economies with minimal public expenditure will produce the optimal results.
What was the cause and what was the effect? America became very wealthy before huge increases in government spending. Governments can spend lots is there is a lot of wealth in the economy.

TheJoker
14-12-2009, 03:13 PM
Sez you?

And almost any basic economics 101 textbook:rolleyes:



The observation is that government bureaucracy harms business overall.

That's garbage! You've already agreed that government insitutions that administer the Rule of Law as necessary for markets to function effectively.



It did for many charities that operated before FDR's new deal.

Based on what source?


What was the cause and what was the effect? America became very wealthy before huge increases in government spending. Governments can spend lots is there is a lot of wealth in the economy.

But if there was a better system (i.e. one that produced better results because of limited public expenditure) it would have prevailed. It hasn't.

Hong Kong is probably the best example of minimal public expenditure per capita with reasonable results. Still IMO Hong Kong has a lower standard of living than Australia.

Capablanca-Fan
14-12-2009, 05:06 PM
That's garbage! You've already agreed that government insitutions that administer the Rule of Law as necessary for markets to function effectively.
That's the main role of government. It should not interfere with free transactions between buyer and seller. The proper role of government was not what I meant by government bureaucracy, as well you should know by now.


Based on what source?
John Stossel (http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0805/stossel082405.php3), for example:

I once thought there was too much poverty for private charity to make much of a difference. Now I realize that private charity would do much more — if government hadn't crowded it out. In the 1920s — the last decade before the Roosevelt administration launched its campaign to federalize nearly everything — 30 percent of American men belonged to mutual aid societies, groups of people with similar backgrounds who banded together to help members in trouble. They were especially common among minorities.
Mutual aid societies paid for doctors, built orphanages and cooked for the poor. Neighbors knew best what neighbors needed. They were better at making judgments about who needs a handout and who needed a kick in the rear. They helped the helpless, but administered tough love to the rest. They taught self-sufficiency.

Mutual aid didn't solve every problem, so government stepped in. But government didn't solve every problem either. Instead, it caused more problems by driving private charity out. Today, there are fewer mutual-aid societies, because people say, "We already pay taxes for HUD, HHS. Let the professionals do it." Big Government tells both the poor and those who would help them, "Don't try."

Private charity develops a sense of personal responsibility for recipients, and it does something similar for donors, too. If I hadn't thought the government would take care of Cheech, I would've had to decide whether I thought he was worth my money — money I could spend on myself and my family, or on promoting freedom, or on any number of charitable causes.


But if there was a better system (i.e. one that produced better results because of limited public expenditure) it would have prevailed. It hasn't.
Hardly any worse system exists than socialism, as shown over and over again.

Here's another case of government's divider effect (http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=34326):


Since his inauguration — just shy of ten months ago — President Obama has stampeded Congress into a $1.2 trillion “economic stimulus” package that has caused unemployment to rocket to a 26-year high, a $3.6 trillion federal budget that will carry the federal deficit to a dangerous level of our Gross Domestic Product and taken over two of the three major car makers, losing tens of billions in “loans” to GM and Chrysler. (The only major American carmaker not owned by the government, Ford, reporting a positively bountiful profit last week.)


Hong Kong is probably the best example of minimal public expenditure per capita with reasonable results. Still IMO Hong Kong has a lower standard of living than Australia.
It's amazing what it achieved: a tiny island with no natural resources.

TheJoker
15-12-2009, 08:04 AM
That's the main role of government..

It may be the main role but government has plenty of other roles as defined by what the majoirty of people want its role to be. That includes providing essential services like education and healthcare is they so wish. What you personally want the role of government to be is not the "proper" role of government!




It should not interfere with free transactions between buyer and seller.

It most certainly should when that transaction impacts upon third parties, as is almost always the case.



John Stossel for example

That's the source:eek: Oh my!!!! It's nothing but a load of unsubstaintiated rhetoric from a right-wing political pundit.





$1.2 trillion “economic stimulus” package that has caused unemployment to rocket to a 26-year high

Sorry but I think cause and effect are not established here!



$3.6 trillion federal budget that will carry the federal deficit to a dangerous level of our Gross Domestic Product

Dangerous by what account, any evidence to support the case that the Federal Government won't be able to service this debt?


taken over two of the three major car makers, losing tens of billions in “loans” to GM and Chrysler. (The only major American carmaker not owned by the government, Ford, reporting a positively bountiful profit last week.)

About the only point I agree with is that bailing out the auto industry was a mistake. The comment about Ford is more rhetoric, the reason the government has stayed away from Ford was precisely because it had a sustainable business model. :doh:



It's amazing what it achieved: a tiny island with no natural resources.

I've called you time and time again on this incorrect statement, but you continue to regurgitate. Hong Kong has one of the world most valueable natural resources in the form of excellent strategically located harbour. This natural resource was the primary source of Hong Kong's development:wall:

Capablanca-Fan
16-12-2009, 10:50 AM
It may be the main role but government has plenty of other roles as defined by what the majoirty of people want its role to be.
Public choice theory shows that politicians and bureaucrats have their own incentives which are often very different from "what the majority of people want their role to be."


That includes providing essential services like education and healthcare is they so wish. What you personally want the role of government to be is not the "proper" role of government!
Big spending, poor results (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/big-spending-poor-results/story-e6frg6zo-1225810745078)
Stephen Kirchner
The Australian, 16 December 2009


“The literature on the optimal size of government finds that beyond a certain size, government hinders rather than helps the private sector to capture gains from trade and to generate income and wealth. This results in a narrower tax base, so that government revenue and spending actually become smaller in absolute terms than if the government share of GDP remained capped at its optimal size. Limiting the size of government as a share of GDP not only expands aggregate consumption possibilities, it increases the scope for improved distribution of consumption possibilities through the tax system.

“The threshold at which the government share of GDP begins to reduce rather than promote economic growth is necessarily imprecise. Gerald Scully calculated that the optimal size of government for the US and New Zealand was between 19 per cent and 23 per cent of GDP. It would be surprising if the optimal size of government were any larger in Australia. Remarkably, John Maynard Keynes took a similar view. Keynes agreed on 25 per cent as the maximum tolerable proportion of taxation. ...

“They found growth in the size of government in the post-war period was associated with worse outcomes in almost every economic and social dimension. They concluded the optimal size of government is less than 30 per cent of GDP and that most governments in the developed world exceeded their optimal size between 1960 and 1980.”


It most certainly should when that transaction impacts upon third parties, as is almost always the case.
Define "impacts". This is an excuse for massive bloating of government and interference in our lives.


That's the source:eek: Oh my!!!! It's nothing but a load of unsubstaintiated rhetoric from a right-wing political pundit.
I notice no refutation; rather, more poisoning of the well.


Sorry but I think cause and effect are not established here!
Don't forget that KRudd promised that it would create 75,000 jobs, but jobs have disappeared instead. Similarly, unemployment in the USA is higher after the Spendulus than Commissar Obamov screeched that it would be if they did nothing.


Dangerous by what account, any evidence to support the case that the Federal Government won't be able to service this debt?
It's common sense: when ordinary Australians face financial pressure, they reduce their debts rather than increase them.


About the only point I agree with is that bailing out the auto industry was a mistake.
Yes, and a bipartisan lie about what TARP was meant to be.


The comment about Ford is more rhetoric, the reason the government has stayed away from Ford was precisely because it had a sustainable business model. :doh:
Like not being so unionized. And the point remains that government bailouts didn't even help the bailees.


I've called you time and time again on this incorrect statement, but you continue to regurgitate. Hong Kong has one of the world most valueable natural resources in the form of excellent strategically located harbour. This natural resource was the primary source of Hong Kong's development:wall:
Not the same as resources such as oil, gold etc. The main reason for its success was early British governors supporting free market economics, so it became a centre of trade, making use of its harbour.

TheJoker
17-12-2009, 12:41 PM
Public choice theory shows that politicians and bureaucrats have their own incentives which are often very different from "what the majority of people want their role to be.".

This is known as the agency problem and it's just as big a problem in private industry.



Big spending, poor results (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/big-spending-poor-results/story-e6frg6zo-1225810745078)
Stephen Kirchner
The Australian, 16 December 2009


“The threshold at which the government share of GDP begins to reduce rather than promote economic growth is necessarily imprecise. Gerald Scully calculated that the optimal size of government for the US and New Zealand was between 19 per cent and 23 per cent of GDP.

....

“They concluded the optimal size of government is less than 30 per cent of GDP”.

A recent study by Davies (2009) found that:


"the optimal size of government with respect to human development measures is significantly larger than the optimal size of government with respect to GDP measures"

For developed countries he found that the optimal size of government spending was around 30% of GDP. Which supports some of the evidence listed above.

So the question is how much are governments spending as a % of GDP (OECD 2008):

Australia 34.3
Austria 48.9
Belgium 50.1
Canada 39.7
Czech Republic 42.1
Denmark 51.5
Finland 49.0
France 52.7
Germany 43.8
Greece 48.3
Hungary 49.2
Iceland 57.8
Ireland 42.0
Italy 48.7
Japan 37.1
Korea 30.0
Luxembourg 37.7
Netherlands 45.9
New Zealand 41.1
Norway 40.0
Poland 43.3
Portugal 46.0
Slovak Republic 34.7
Spain 41.1
Sweden 51.8
Switzerland 32.0
United Kingdom 47.5
United States 38.8
Euro area 46.9
Total OECD 41.4


This would indicate that there is some scope for a reduction in government expenditures. I note however that none of the studies mentioned factor in the business cycle to their analysis, which in my opinion is major short-coming. It may well be that different governm expenditure levels are optimal at points in the business cycle.



Define "impacts".

I suggest you use a dictionary if you are not sure of the definition the word impacts.


I notice no refutation

There was nothing to refute the article did not present a single piece of factual evidence.:rolleyes:



It's common sense: when ordinary Australians face financial pressure, they reduce their debts rather than increase them.

Actually that's not commonsense. If the debt is likely to increase revenue by more than cost of the debt. Then from a financial point of veiw it is better to take on the debt


Not the same as resources such as oil, gold etc..

No but just as valuable.


The main reason for its success was early British governors supporting free market economics, so it became a centre of trade, making use of its harbour.

Hong Kong was a major trading hub before the British took over:rolleyes:

Do some research on the Opium Wars, to discover how the Bristish Empire used opium to reverse the trade deficit with China.

Capablanca-Fan
17-12-2009, 02:24 PM
New Sowell book: Intellectuals and Society (http://www.conservativebookclub.com/products/BookPage.asp?prod_cd=C7525&sour_cd=CEE09408)

Intellectuals and Society introduces you to the thinkers of our society, many of them unknown to the general public, who mold our society and make an impact on people in every walk of life, both for the better and for the worse — but usually for the worse. Sowell's vision, as expansive as ever, ranges over economics, politics, the media, academia, the law, and even war as he shows the momentous ways in which this small group of people wields a baneful influence upon our nation and Western civilization as a whole.

These intellectuals, Sowell says, are surrounded by a huge array of people and groups who disseminate their ideas: journalists, teachers, staffers to legislators, law clerks, and other members of the intelligentsia. Thus their influence on the course of society can be considerable, or even crucial. He shows how intellectuals have — on issues ranging across the spectrum from housing policies to laws governing organ transplants — sought to have decision- making discretion taken from those directly involved, who have personal knowledge and a personal stake, and transferred to third parties who have neither, and who pay no price for being wrong.

Sowell shows how intellectuals have filtered information in the media, in the schools, and in academia, to leave out things that threaten their vision of the world. Intellectuals' downplaying of objective reality and objective criteria, says Sowell, extends beyond social, scientific, or economic phenomena into art, music, and philosophy. Above all, he reveals how intellectuals exalt themselves by running America down and turning Americans against each other. Whether the subject is crime, economics, or other matters, intellectuals hold positions that are conspicuously different from those held by society — while presenting themselves as intellectually and morally superior to ordinary folk.

Their vision of the world, Sowell explains, includes a role for themselves as a self-anointed vanguard, leading the ignorant masses toward a better world. They treat those whose ideas or vision are different as unworthy obstacles to progress, nuisances to be disregarded, circumvented, or discredited, rather than as people on the same moral and intellectual plane, whose arguments are to be engaged factually and logically. Sowell points out how college speech codes with subjective criteria and "re-education" provisions for those expressing "benighted" opinions emphasize how intellectuals demonize and marginalize their opponents.

...

TheJoker
17-12-2009, 03:27 PM
Intellectuals and Society introduces you to the thinkers of our society, many of them unknown to the general public, who mold our society and make an impact on people in every walk of life, both for the better and for the worse — but usually for the worse. Sowell's vision, as expansive as ever, ranges over economics, politics, the media, academia, the law, and even war

Their vision of the world, Sowell explains, includes a role for themselves as a self-anointed vanguard, leading the ignorant masses toward a better world. They treat those whose ideas or vision are different as unworthy obstacles to progress, nuisances to be disregarded, circumvented, or discredited, rather than as people on the same moral and intellectual plane, whose arguments are to be engaged factually and logically. Sowell points out how college speech codes with subjective criteria and "re-education" provisions for those expressing "benighted" opinions emphasize how intellectuals demonize and marginalize their opponents.

...

Finally Sowell writes an autobiography:lol:

Capablanca-Fan
17-12-2009, 04:06 PM
Finally Sowell writes an autobiography:lol:
Already done, ignoramus, in A Personal Odyssey (http://www.amazon.com/Personal-Odyssey-Thomas-Sowell/dp/0684864649), and to some extent A Man of Letters. I've read only the latter.

Intellectuals and Society seems to update ground covered in Vision of the Anointed (http://www.fff.org/freedom/1295h.asp) and Knowledge and Decisions (http://homepage.eircom.net/%257Eodyssey/Politics/Sowell/Decisions.html). Here is an essay about Sowell's view of constrained v unconstrained vision (http://www.quebecoislibre.org/010929-12.htm):


... Sowell's tragic (or constrained) vision of man and society is based on the acceptance of the realities of the human condition – we are all limited by independent realities which we ignore to our own detriment. According to Sowell's vision: 1) Human nature is essentially unchanging and unchangeable – there have been no great changes in the fundamental intellectual and moral capacities of human beings; 2) Human capabilities are severely and inherently bounded for all – man is sharply restricted in his capacity for improvement and has only a very limited ability to affect his surroundings; 3) Life is inherently harsh and difficult – suffering and evil are inherent in the innate deficiencies of human beings; 4) Man is basically self-centered; however, things can be improved within that constraint by primarily relying on incentives (rewards and punishments) rather than on dispositions; 5) Resources are always inadequate to fulfill all of the desires of all of the people; 6) Social outcomes are a function of incentives presented to individuals and the conditions under which they interact in response to those incentives; 7) Given the moral limitations of man and his egocentricity, the fundamental moral challenge is to make the best of the possibilities within the constraints of man's nature; 8) There are no solutions, only trade-offs that leave many desires unfulfilled and much unhappiness in the world; 9) It is imperative to have the right processes for making trade-offs and correcting inevitable errors; and 10) It is better to cope incrementally with tragic dilemmas than to proceed categorically with moral imperatives – for amelioration of evils and for progress it is generally preferable to rely on systemic characteristics of social processes (such as moral traditions, the marketplace, the law, or families) rather than solutions proposed by government officials. ...

Sowell explains that better decisions are made through the market process as opposed to the political process because markets economize on the knowledge needed by any one person to make good decisions and because they convey a sharper sense of constraints, trade-offs, and incentives (rewards and penalties). In addition, people can generally make a better choice out of numerous options than by following a single prescribed process. Another virtue of the market is the promptness and effectiveness with which it transmits feedback thus enabling decision-makers to correct errors and adapt to changing conditions. Feedback mechanisms (including incentives to act on that information) are critical in a world in which no decision-maker is likely to have enough knowledge to be consistently right the first time in his decisions. There is an independent reality which each person sees only imperfectly, but which can be understood more fully with feedback that can validate or change what was previously believed. Effective feedback is the implicit transmission of others' knowledge in the explicit form of effective incentives to the recipient. ...

Sowell argues that systemic rationality is superior to individual intentional rationality. Even the most outstanding individuals are very limited — man lacks the moral and intellectual pre-requisites for deliberate comprehensive planning. The inherent constraints of human beings are sufficiently severe to preclude dependence on individual articulated rationality. Sowell is highly skeptical about the capacity of elites to master complexity and to choose on behalf of others. Not only are the elite and the ordinary person close in capability and morality, there are no uniquely correct answers that would justify transferring decision-making authority to elite surrogate decision makers. There are no solutions, only trade-offs with respect to problems such as crime, poverty, and irresponsibility. As a result, the preferred decision-making mechanism is systemic processes that convey the experiences and revealed preferences of the many. The historic systemic wisdom expressed inarticulately in the culture of the many is more likely to be correct than the special insight of the few. The degree of social rationality does not depend on the degree of individual rationality. The relevant comparison is between that total direct knowledge brought to bear through social processes versus the secondhand knowledge of generalities possessed by a smaller elite group. ...

Law exists to preserve society. It follows that criminal justice is concerning with deterring crime, not with finely adjusting punishments to the individual. Sowell explains that law represents the evolved and codified experience of all men who have ever lived — it is the experience of the many, rather than the wisdom of the few.

TheJoker
18-12-2009, 09:03 AM
Already done, ignoramus

It was a joke, dufus.

Igor_Goldenberg
19-12-2009, 06:49 PM
This is known as the agency problem and it's just as big a problem in private industry.


Private companies are subjected to a much better feedback mechanism (in free market economy) then the government.

TheJoker
20-12-2009, 09:22 PM
Private companies are subjected to a much better feedback mechanism (in free market economy) then the government.

It makes little difference. Take Eron for example where management continually misled the market, making millions for themselves whilst most ordinary shareholders lost everything. In public sector the incentives for Government Agency managers to misrepresnt the public are small (there are very few benefits that can be misappropiated. In the private sector the incentives for senior management are huge.

Capablanca-Fan
20-12-2009, 10:05 PM
It makes little difference. Take Eron for example where management continually misled the market, making millions for themselves whilst most ordinary shareholders lost everything.
Enron, advised by leftard ecnomist Paul Krugman (http://www.capmag.com/news.asp?ID=217) and whose CEO Kenneth Lay was a good friend of Wilhelm Klinton who directed $1 billion in subsidized loans toward it (http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/2/21/153014.shtml). This is not a free market but crony capitalism.


In public sector the incentives for Government Agency managers to misrepresnt the public are small (there are very few benefits that can be misappropiated. In the private sector the incentives for senior management are huge.
A company that becomes known for misrepresentation soon loses out to competitors. Conversely, government bureaucracies are the closest thing on earth to immortality, as Reagan put it. They don't need to care because it's not their own money on the line, and they pay no penalty for being wrong.

When Alan Greenspan was still young and sensible, he wrote:

"Reputation, in an unregulated economy, is a major competitive tool. It requires years of consistently excellent performance to acquire a reputation and to establish it as a financial asset… Thus the incentive to scrupulous performance operates on all levels… It is a built-in safeguard of a free-enterprise system… Government regulation is not an alternative means of protecting the consumer. It does not build quality into goods, or accuracy into information. It's sole "contribution" is to substitute force and fear for incentive as the "protector" of the consumer… What are the results?"

"To paraphrase Gresham's Law: bad "protection" drives out good. The attempt to protect the consumer by force undercuts the protection he gets from incentive. First, it undercuts the value of reputation by placing the reputable company on the same basis as the unknown, the newcomer, or the fly-by-nighter. It declares, in effect, that all are equally suspect…Second it grants an automatic guarantee of safety to the products of any company that complies with its arbitrarily set minimum standards… The minimum standards, which are the basis of regulation, gradually tend to become the maximums as well… A fly by night securities operator can quickly meet all the S.E.C. requirements, gain the inference of respectability, and proceed to fleece the public. In an unregulated economy, the operator would have had to earn a position of trust..."

"Protection of the consumer by regulation is thus illusory. Rather than isolating the consumer from the dishonest businessman, it is gradually destroying the only reliable protection the consumer has: competition for reputation…Government regulations do not eliminate potentially dishonest individuals, but merely make their activities harder to detect or easier to hush up."

TheJoker
21-12-2009, 08:20 AM
Enron, advised by leftard ecnomist Paul Krugman

What a joke:rolleyes: Krugman's advice had nothing to do with Eron management cooking the books through creative accounting and finance decisions.


CEO Kenneth Lay was a good friend of Wilhelm Klinton who directed $1 billion in subsidized loans toward it This is not a free market but crony capitalism.

Again has no bearing on the argument. Lay was also a personal friend of GWB. Eron had no problems raising capital in the ordinary financial market so the loans are irrelevant.

The point is there were massive financial incentives for the Eron executives to mislead the shareholders and misappropriate funds. Such financial incentives rarely exist in the public sector.



A company that becomes known for misrepresentation soon loses out to competitors. Conversely, government bureaucracies are the closest thing on earth to immortality, as Reagan put it. They don't need to care because it's not their own money on the line, and they pay no penalty for being wrong.

Yes but the management of the private firms often walk away with millions. It's also not their money on the line. Management of a private firm rarely pay any penalty for being wrong, as evidenced by the executive bonuses issued during the GFC. Just as in the public sector where the tax payers pay the penalty in the private sector the shareholders pay the penalty.

Also note that performance-based pay is not exclusive to the private sector and could be just as easily implemented in the public sector. In fact I think it would be a good idea if a third party like KPMG or PWC set some key performance indicators for the public sector organisation that were linked to public service pay.



When Alan Greenspan was still young and sensible, he wrote:

"Protection of the consumer by regulation is thus illusory. Rather than isolating the consumer from the dishonest businessman, it is gradually destroying the only reliable protection the consumer has: competition for reputation"

The agency problem has nothing to do with consumer protection. The consumer is irrelevant in the agency problem. Stick to the point being argued which is that the agency problem is often worse in the private sector due to greater incentives.

Capablanca-Fan
21-12-2009, 10:01 AM
The point is there were massive financial incentives for the Eron executives to mislead the shareholders and misappropriate funds. Such financial incentives rarely exist in the public sector.
Here there is another government interference at work: the law against "insider trading". Milton Friedman argued cogently that allowing this would provide an incentive for employees to communicate to the public that the company was in trouble: the stock would tank, and there would be warning signs against lending more money to them.


Yes but the management of the private firms often walk away with millions.
Shareholders are not active enough. And sometimes it's cheaper to pay people to walk away.


It's also not their money on the line. Management of a private firm rarely pay any penalty for being wrong, as evidenced by the executive bonuses issued during the GFC.
The companies should not have been bailed out.


Just as in the public sector where the tax payers pay the penalty in the private sector the shareholders pay the penalty.
That's a risk shareholders accept. But shareholding is voluntary, unlike taxpaying. Also, at least in the normal "long" shareholding, the worst the shareholder can do is lose his money; the taxpayer can be lumbered with huge debts through government mismanagement.


Also note that performance-based pay is not exclusive to the private sector and could be just as easily implemented in the public sector. In fact I think it would be a good idea if a third party like KPMG or PWC set some key performance indicators for the public sector organisation that were linked to public service pay.
Under Obamov, government workers have done very well recently. Whether it's performance-based is another matter though.


The agency problem has nothing to do with consumer protection. The consumer is irrelevant in the agency problem. Stick to the point being argued which is that the agency problem is often worse in the private sector due to greater incentives.
Doesn't even work out in practice. Government mistakes have proven far more costly than private ones. And unlike the private sector, there is no competition which encourages honesty.

Igor_Goldenberg
21-12-2009, 06:58 PM
It makes little difference. Take Eron for example where management continually misled the market, making millions for themselves whilst most ordinary shareholders lost everything. In public sector the incentives for Government Agency managers to misrepresnt the public are small (there are very few benefits that can be misappropiated. In the private sector the incentives for senior management are huge.
How long did it take for Enron to go bankrupt?
And how long does it take for the government?

TheJoker
21-12-2009, 10:40 PM
How long did it take for Enron to go bankrupt?
And how long does it take for the government?

Exactly the agency problem is far less in the government. No government official could ever get away with the scale of fraud that occurs in the private sector there is far more scrutiny. It simply wouldn't be possible to loose that amount of money and go unnoticed

TheJoker
21-12-2009, 11:09 PM
Shareholders are not active enough.

No they lack the information to be active. The only information available to shareholers is the information management releases to them.


The companies should not have been bailed out.

Nothing to do with bailouts, CEO bonuses were a contractual obligation that ranked above shareholder capital.


That's a risk shareholders accept. But shareholding is voluntary, unlike taxpaying. Also, at least in the normal "long" shareholding, the worst the shareholder can do is lose his money; the taxpayer can be lumbered with huge debts through government mismanagement.

Actually as pointed out before you are free to leave the tax system at anytime albeit with certain exit costs. You are under no obligation to repay any govenrment debt, leave the system and you leave the debt behind.

Secondly a primary factor in any income is the business environment facilitated by rule of law. It is precisely government legislation that removes the majority of business risk and facilitates the market. Just look at how the market function in countries where the rule of law means little.


Doesn't even work out in practice. Government mistakes have proven far more costly than private ones. And unlike the private sector, there is no competition which encourages honesty.

Hmmm... the recent GFC suggest otherwise. I think the purchasers of mortage securities cost their shareholders a bucket. Of course in some cases the costs of the private sector mistakes were unduly transferred to the public.

Igor_Goldenberg
21-12-2009, 11:24 PM
Exactly the agency problem is far less in the government. No government official could ever get away with the scale of fraud that occurs in the private sector there is far more scrutiny. It simply wouldn't be possible to loose that amount of money and go unnoticed
Au contrare. Government officials can squander billions without negative consequences. Private company would go out of business.

Capablanca-Fan
22-12-2009, 12:44 AM
No they lack the information to be active. The only information available to shareholers is the information management releases to them.
Shareholders have the voting power to demand transparency. But nothing is more opaque than a government bureaucracy.


Nothing to do with bailouts, CEO bonuses were a contractual obligation that ranked above shareholder capital.
Yet Congress voted to tax them at 90%. An evil deed; no matter what anger there was, a contract is a contract; good luck attracting future talent if Congress can renege at will with ex post facto bills of attainder.


Actually as pointed out before you are free to leave the tax system at anytime albeit with certain exit costs. You are under no obligation to repay any govenrment debt, leave the system and you leave the debt behind.
What a silly argument. Leaving the country is nothing like selling shares. Both IG and I have moved countries so know something of this.


Secondly a primary factor in any income is the business environment facilitated by rule of law. It is precisely government legislation that removes the majority of business risk and facilitates the market. Just look at how the market function in countries where the rule of law means little.
Are you totally obtuse? I've often stated that the proper role of the government is rule of law, including protection of private property and enforcement of contracts.


Hmmm... the recent GFC suggest otherwise. I think the purchasers of mortage securities cost their shareholders a bucket. Of course in some cases the costs of the private sector mistakes were unduly transferred to the public.
Read Sowell's book on the housing crisis for documentation that it was the government that created the conditions for these private sector mistakes. Government forced lenders to lend to borrowers of poor credit history, often playing the race card. Then there were carrots on top of sticks; businesses respond to the actual conditions created by government policies.

Desmond
22-12-2009, 07:42 AM
Au contrare. Government officials can squander billions without negative consequences. Private company would go out of business.
Name one such official.

TheJoker
22-12-2009, 09:54 AM
Shareholders have the voting power to demand transparency. But nothing is more opaque than a government bureaucracy.

The reality is that in the public domain there is far more information available on public sector budgets and expenditures than private sector ones.


What a silly argument. Leaving the country is nothing like selling shares. Both IG and I have moved countries so know something of this.

So have I, and whilst the barriers to exit are higher its certainly highly feasible in this day and age. I can also say that Australia has a great system, and is my number one choice for countries to live in.


I've often stated that the proper role of the government is rule of law, including protection of private property and enforcement of contracts.

Otherwise known as regulation. If you only objection is public schools, health and utilities.



Read Sowell's book on the housing crisis for documentation that it was the government that created the conditions for these private sector mistakes. Government forced lenders to lend to borrowers of poor credit history, often playing the race card. Then there were carrots on top of sticks; businesses respond to the actual conditions created by government policies.

Sowell ignores that market demand for mortage securities drove housing crisis. The demand was driven by incorrect risk assessments, that led people to believe that the securities where high return, low risk. The market held the view that the securitisation disversified away most of the risk.

The majority of sub-loans were issued outside of any regulatory requirment to provide low income credit. Those that were issued under the regulatory framework had a much lower default rate

The reason why Sowell's opinion appears in his own books rather than in the top economic journals is that it's not robust.

Ian Murray
22-12-2009, 10:20 AM
...I've often stated that the proper role of the government is rule of law
I've always admired the way Jono champions the rule of law, especially in areas like self defence, gun control, racial/religious vilification

TheJoker
22-12-2009, 11:13 AM
Jono would you be so kind as to provide a list of Thomas Sowell's academic articles published in leading business (http://www.journal-ranking.com/ranking/listCommonRanking.html?selfCitationWeight=1&externalCitationWeight=1&citingStartYear=1901&journalListId=265) or economic (http://www.journal-ranking.com/ranking/listCommonRanking.html?selfCitationWeight=1&externalCitationWeight=1&citingStartYear=1901&journalListId=294) journals in the last 10 years.

Capablanca-Fan
22-12-2009, 11:20 AM
Jono would you be so kind as to provide a list of Thomas Sowell's academic articles published in leading business (http://www.journal-ranking.com/ranking/listCommonRanking.html?selfCitationWeight=1&externalCitationWeight=1&citingStartYear=1901&journalListId=265) or economic (http://www.journal-ranking.com/ranking/listCommonRanking.html?selfCitationWeight=1&externalCitationWeight=1&citingStartYear=1901&journalListId=294) journals in the last 10 years.
So why the last 10 years, when he has been writing books and columns mainly, some of which earned high praise from Nobel laureates like Hayek and Friedman. What has changed so much since he was an economics professor who did write lots of papers. Here's a list of his publications (http://www.tsowell.com/writings.html).

Capablanca-Fan
22-12-2009, 11:28 AM
The reality is that in the public domain there is far more information available on public sector budgets and expenditures than private sector ones.
But they have a coerced source of money. And failure is often rewarded with more money!


So have I, and whilst the barriers to exit are higher its certainly highly feasible in this day and age. I can also say that Australia has a great system, and is my number one choice for countries to live in.
No where near as easy as simply selling one's shares.


Otherwise known as regulation.
This is just equivocating. Rule of Law doesn't mean the government should regulate prices and wages, or impose tariffs or other barriers to entry.


Sowell ignores that market demand for mortage securities drove housing crisis.
He ignores no such thing. But he points out the many government policies that drove such demand from both the borrowers and lenders.


The demand was driven by incorrect risk assessments,
Such as the Dems and some Republicans insisting that the government organizations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were sound.


that led people to believe that the securities where high return, low risk.
Such as the implicit guarantee by Fannie and Freddie!


The market held the view that the securitisation disversified away most of the risk.
Again, securitization ultimately by government bodies.


The majority of sub-loans were issued outside of any regulatory requirment to provide low income credit.
Enough low income credit was demanded under the Community Reinvestment Act that other lenders wanted to be in on the action. But without that evil law, and without Fannie and Freddie, none of this would have happened. To make a monumental stuff-up like the recession, it requires government; Enron was no where near as costly a failure as Fannie and Freddie.


The reason why Sowell's opinion appears in his own books rather than in the top economic journals is that it's not robust.
What would you know? Lots of economists agree with him. Remember also the huge number of university economists who opposed the Spendulus.

Capablanca-Fan
22-12-2009, 11:43 AM
I've always admired the way Jono champions the rule of law, especially in areas like self defence, gun control,
Of course. The police are there to protect life and property, but it's a simple fact that they can't be everywhere (now they are too busy revenue raising). So the first line of defence must be oneself: better to stand over the scumbag's dead body than the police writing a crime report over one's own.


racial/religious vilification
Again, the rule of law should protect life and property, not people's hurt feelings.

TheJoker
22-12-2009, 12:23 PM
So why the last 10 years.

Because that reflects current knowledge.


What has changed so much since he was an economics professor who did write lots of papers. Here's a list of his publications (http://www.tsowell.com/writings.html).

Lots has changed since the 60's and 70's.

TheJoker
22-12-2009, 12:45 PM
But they have a coerced source of money. And failure is often rewarded with more money!

This a problem that is primarily due to the media and the public. They take little interest in the efficiency of public funds employed and pay far more attention to the total amounts of funding.



This is just equivocating. Rule of Law doesn't mean the government should regulate prices and wages, or impose tariffs or other barriers to entry.

Yes I believe Rule of Law means having legislation and following enforcing that legislation consistently. The principle of Rule of Law does not proscribe any particular laws, that's just some twisted right-fundy misinterpretation.


He ignores no such thing. But he points out the many government policies that drove such demand from both the borrowers and lenders..

Does he point a the key factors such as the three major ratings agencies giving such high credit ratings to mortage securities



Such as the Dems and some Republicans insisting that the government organizations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were sound.

You are a dullard if you think anybody in business takes any notice of politicians financial risk assessments



Such as the implicit guarantee by Fannie and Freddie!.

You're even more of a dullard if you think investors rely self-assessment of the risk of financial instruments by the issuing. They rely on specialist financial analyst and independant credit rating agencies.



Enough low income credit was demanded under the Community Reinvestment Act that other lenders wanted to be in on the action.

If the government were forcing certain lenders to loan money to high risk clients and this was such a bad idea, then why on eath would somebody not forced to do so want to do the same? You can't have it both ways, either lenders were forced into issuing sub-prime loans against there will, or they willingly issued the loans. All evidence points to the later.

Note the CRA had been arounnd for donkey's years before the GFC.


But without that evil law, and without Fannie and Freddie, none of this would have happened.

Actually Japan experienced a similar housing bubble


What would you know? Lots of economists agree with him. Remember also the huge number of university economists who opposed the Spendulus.

Then why despite the large body of work published in scholarly journals about the causes of the GFC did Sowell wh wrote a book on the issue not manage to get a single article published on the matter. I suspect the answer is because his explanation is out of step with what actually happened.

Capablanca-Fan
22-12-2009, 12:58 PM
Because that reflects current knowledge.
He uses books and columns to get the message out, but cites papers in his books.


Lots has changed since the 60's and 70's.
The more things change ... There are unfortunate similarities between Obamov and FDR, who prolongued the Great Depression with his spending, taxes and interference in business.

Capablanca-Fan
22-12-2009, 01:17 PM
This a problem that is primarily due to the media and the public. They take little interest in the efficiency of public funds employed and pay far more attention to the total amounts of funding.
Bureaucracies are hard to control, cf. Yes Minister and public choice theory.


Yes I believe Rule of Law means having legislation and following enforcing that legislation consistently.
Indeed. But FDR, Obamov and Congress don't believe in that. FDR kept changing the rules, the current lot used TARP funds to bail out the auto industry, then retroactively taxing contracted bonus. Obamov also bullied lenders who had a right to be paid the money owed (http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/2009/05/06/cliff-asness-obama-chrysler/) so his union mates could get a better deal.


If the government were forcing certain lenders to loan money to high risk clients and this was such a bad idea, then why on eath would somebody not forced to do so want to do the same? You can't have it both ways, either lenders were forced into issuing sub-prime loans against there will, or they willingly issued the loans. All evidence points to the later.
As I said, there were carrots as well as sticks, in particular the guarantees from Fannie and Freddie.


Note the CRA had been arounnd for donkey's years before the GFC.
Effects are not immediate, but a disaster waiting to happen.


Then why despite the large body of work published in scholarly journals about the causes of the GFC did Sowell wh wrote a book on the issue not manage to get a single article published on the matter. I suspect the answer is because his explanation is out of step with what actually happened.
Did he try? He wanted to explain to the general public. The cliché-named "ClimateGate" shows that peer review is overrated anyway.

TheJoker
22-12-2009, 02:11 PM
Indeed.

Good to see you've modified your understanding of Rule of Law, and got rid of that the twaddle that the Rule of Law principle has anything to do with the type of laws the government should enact.


Effects are not immediate, but a disaster waiting to happen.

Yet bubbles happen regularly in a speculative market without any government interference. Seems remiss to blame this particular bubble on legislation that had been around for decades.

deanhogg
22-12-2009, 04:03 PM
Is jono apart of right-wing brigade ?,AX seems to admire jono work . Just
hope jono not a recluse like our paranoid friend next door

Capablanca-Fan
22-12-2009, 04:19 PM
Good to see you've modified your understanding of Rule of Law, and got rid of that the twaddle that the Rule of Law principle has anything to do with the type of laws the government should enact.
No modification at all. Elsewhere I've argued that even a bad law is often better than a changing one, if the bad law can be known in advance, since how can one know what the next change will be. Businesses and investors can't function properly if the rules keep changing.

But it's ironic that those who bleat most about the corrupting influence of big business on government refuse to make the one thing that will end it: getting the government out of business except for protecting life and property and enforcing contracts. As IG pointed out a while back, when buying and selling are regulated, the first thing bought or sold is the regulator.


Yet bubbles happen regularly in a speculative market without any government interference.
But without the Federal Bank, the Depression wouldn't have been great. Without government leaning on lenders then propping them up with Fannie and Freddie, followed by bailouts that became a slush fund for the politically connected, this current one wouldn't have been so catastrophic.


Seems remiss to blame this particular bubble on legislation that had been around for decades.
Bubbles take time to burst.

Kevin Bonham
24-12-2009, 12:45 PM
Is jono apart of right-wing brigade ?,AX seems to admire jono work

They have opponents in common but are coming from very different ideological positions.

Goughfather
24-12-2009, 11:22 PM
They have opponents in common but are coming from very different ideological positions.

I believe that the nature of the relationship is that they are "co-belligerents".

Capablanca-Fan
01-01-2010, 04:38 PM
Au contrare. Government officials can squander billions without negative consequences. Private company would go out of business.
Certainly right. People whinge about Madoff's Ponzi scheme, but this is basically the same as US Social Security, but on a much smaller scale and no one was forced to contribute to Madoff:
inAJVKO1Kkg

Also, when a business must cut costs, it lowers production of the least popular products and sacks the least productive staff. It must try to please the public to survive.

Government bureaucracies are the opposite. When their funding is "cut" (i.e., not increased as much as they like), they cut the most popular programs. That way, lots of naive people squawk piteously to their representatives for the funds to be "restored" (i.e. the bureaucrats' demands are met). In America, it's called the Washington Monument Strategy, after the National Park "Service" threatened to close that hugely popular attraction even though it's cheap to maintain. In Australia, the ABC threatened to cut its most popular programs if funding were cut, so of course the "Friends of the ABC" agitated.

The only solution is to take this out of the hands of the politicians and bureaucrats and put it in the hands of the market, which must be genuinely responsive to what people want.

Capablanca-Fan
02-06-2010, 02:20 AM
The Real Public Service (http://patriotpost.us/opinion/thomas-sowell/2010/06/01/the-real-public-service/)
By Thomas Sowell
1 June 2010



Commencement speakers express great reverence for "public service," as distinguished from narrow private "greed." There is usually not the slightest sign of embarrassment at this self-serving celebration of the kinds of careers they have chosen — over and above the careers of others who merely provide us with the food we eat, the homes we live in, the clothes we wear and the medical care that saves our health and our lives.

What I would like to see is someone with the guts to tell those students: Do you want to be of some use and service to your fellow human beings? Then let your fellow human beings tell you what they want — not with words, but by putting their money where their mouth is.

You want to see more people have better housing? Build it! Become a builder or developer — if you can stand the sneers and disdain of your classmates and professors who regard the very words as repulsive.

Would you like to see more things become more affordable to more people? Then figure out more efficient ways of producing things or more efficient ways of getting those things from the producers to the consumers at a lower cost.



It was Thomas Edison who brought us electricity, not the Sierra Club. It was the Wright brothers who got us off the ground, not the Federal Aviation Administration. It was Henry Ford who ended the isolation of millions of Americans by making the automobile affordable, not Ralph Nader.

Those who have helped the poor the most have not been those who have gone around loudly expressing "compassion" for the poor, but those who found ways to make industry more productive and distribution more efficient, so that the poor of today can afford things that the affluent of yesterday could only dream about.


TheJoker
02-06-2010, 01:42 PM
The Real Public Service (http://patriotpost.us/opinion/thomas-sowell/2010/06/01/the-real-public-service/)
By Thomas Sowell
1 June 2010



Commencement speakers express great reverence for "public service," as distinguished from narrow private "greed." There is usually not the slightest sign of embarrassment at this self-serving celebration of the kinds of careers they have chosen — over and above the careers of others who merely provide us with the food we eat, the homes we live in, the clothes we wear and the medical care that saves our health and our lives.

What I would like to see is someone with the guts to tell those students: Do you want to be of some use and service to your fellow human beings? Then let your fellow human beings tell you what they want — not with words, but by putting their money where their mouth is.

You want to see more people have better housing? Build it! Become a builder or developer — if you can stand the sneers and disdain of your classmates and professors who regard the very words as repulsive.

Would you like to see more things become more affordable to more people? Then figure out more efficient ways of producing things or more efficient ways of getting those things from the producers to the consumers at a lower cost.



It was Thomas Edison who brought us electricity, not the Sierra Club. It was the Wright brothers who got us off the ground, not the Federal Aviation Administration. It was Henry Ford who ended the isolation of millions of Americans by making the automobile affordable, not Ralph Nader.

Those who have helped the poor the most have not been those who have gone around loudly expressing "compassion" for the poor, but those who found ways to make industry more productive and distribution more efficient, so that the poor of today can afford things that the affluent of yesterday could only dream about.



You'd be pretty dumb to think that an efficient economy doesn't require both a well functioning public sector and a well functioning private sector.

Any idiot claiming one is more important than the other, like Sowel, is exactly that an idiot.

Capablanca-Fan
02-06-2010, 02:47 PM
You'd be pretty dumb to think that an efficient economy doesn't require both a well functioning public sector and a well functioning private sector.
The economy can work fine without big government, as long as lives and property were protected, fraud and coercion restrained, and contracts enforced. Indeed, in the 1980s, the USA, UK, NZ and Australia became more prosperous as government controls were sharply reduced.


Any idiot claiming one is more important than the other, like Sowel, is exactly that an idiot.
You have no clue, like all leftards. Sowell makes the very important point that the private sector is truly the one who has to serve the public to survive. The so-called public service is really public master, making reams of regulation to boss the public around, and answerable only to politicians and top bureaucrats.

TheJoker
02-06-2010, 02:59 PM
The economy can work fine without big government, as long as lives and property were protected, fraud and coercion restrained, and contracts enforced..

But can it work fine without a government to enforce all those things mentioned above, very unlikely.


You have no clue, like all leftards. Sowell makes the very important point that the private sector is truly the one who has to serve the public to survive.

You have no clue, without the public insitutions to uphold law and order, private sector would be devistated. Just look at the countries with poor public institutions and the state of their economies.

Of course it is possible to have a bloated public sector. But the idea that only the private sector contributes to overall wealth is just stupidity.

In fact you might argue that to have an expectional private sector a well functioning public sector is a prerequiste.

Capablanca-Fan
03-06-2010, 01:12 AM
But can it work fine without a government to enforce all those things mentioned above, very unlikely.
Yes, and that is why we need the government. But in many cases, it has overstepped these boundaries by interfering in free economic transactions and overturning contracts.


You have no clue, without the public insitutions to uphold law and order, private sector would be devistated. Just look at the countries with poor public institutions and the state of their economies.
Exactly, and I've always defended this role of the government, as well you know.


Of course it is possible to have a bloated public sector. But the idea that only the private sector contributes to overall wealth is just stupidity.
It does. The government doesn't create wealth.


In fact you might argue that to have an expectional private sector a well functioning public sector is a prerequiste.
Yes, and well-functioning means sticking to its roles as I've stated.

So any argument with Dr Sowell's main point that it's private industry that really serves the public, by responding to its wishes as expressed in the money freely spent.

TheJoker
03-06-2010, 11:19 AM
Yes, and that is why we need the government. But in many cases, it has overstepped these boundaries by interfering in free economic transactions and overturning contracts.

Again here we can differ in opinion, whilst the government interferring in certain economic transactions, might not lead to economic efficiency, it's for society to decide how emphasis they want to put on economic efficiency. There are other important factors outside economics that are the responsibility of the government. Social cohesion and long-term sustainability for example. Again here, I believe Sowell, being an economist overstates the importance of economic growth at teh expense of sustainability.


Exactly, and I've always defended this role of the government, as well you know..

Yes but you fail, time and again, to understand that this is part of the value creation process of business. Where a business can rely on these public institutions it allows them to create products and services more effeciently, therefore increasing the wealth generated.

To put it simply part of the private sector profits are generated by the value added from public institutions which facilitate their effecient operations, and the efficiency of the overall business environment. The government realises this and that is why it is able to tax.

You could argue that the tax collected by the government is more than the value created by its institutions. But I think you would be an absolute idiot to argue that these institution don't create any value.

This is probably to difficult for you to understand, because it goes beyond a simple primary school model of business and economics. Suffice to say modern businesses are usually well aware of the value created by these public institutions, which is why they will set-up in countries that might have higher tax rates, but stronger public instituions over countries with low tax rates and poor public institutions



It does. The government doesn't create wealth..

I understand you hold this position because you don't understand the wealth creation process. But ask yourself, which are the wealthiest countries those with well functioning public institutions or those with weak public institutions. It's not a coincidence.



Yes, and well-functioning means sticking to its roles as I've stated..

No that's were you are wrong again, since there is more to a market efficiency than freedom of transactions. A lot of the regulations you so despise are favoured by industry because they create consumer confidence, improving the efficiency of markets.

If the consumer prefers to have the Government develop and enforce safety standards, and that gives them more confidence to consume, then it is in both the public and private sector interest to have them do so. And in fact this creates value.

I not saying governments don't go to far with regulation, they often do, regulations are also often out of date and need reforming or removing. But stating that the regulation creates no wealth is incorrect.


So any argument with Dr Sowell's main point that it's private industry that really serves the public, by responding to its wishes as expressed in the money freely spent.

I don't disagree that the private sector responds to public demand. However, one must be careful to realise that each business only services a small segment of the public and only caters to that particular segments demand. It's quite possible for a business to be meeting the demand of its customers but performing a function which the wider community doesn't want. Selling drugs to children is a good example.

That said a regulated market economy appears the most efficient means of fulfilling public need and creating wealth. It's certainly better than centralised economies

The problem with Sowell is like most economists he see the economy as one big homogeneous market between the public and business.

Moreover, each consumer does not have equal purchasing power, so the market actually reflects the choices of the most powerful consumers. That's not a problem provided there are institutions to ensure that there choices do not infringe upon others.

I know all of this well over your head, but I post it here for the benefits of others that might be sucked in by Sowell's gross over simplifications.

Igor_Goldenberg
03-06-2010, 03:04 PM
Yes but you fail, time and again, to understand that this is part of the value creation process of business. Where a business can rely on these public institutions it allows them to create products and services more effeciently, therefore increasing the wealth generated.

You seem to have difficulties distinguishing between the government institutions that help keeping law, order and enforcing the contract (i.e. those that help to create wealth) and all other government institutions that do nothing in that regard.



I understand you hold this position because you don't understand the wealth creation process. But ask yourself, which are the wealthiest countries those with well functioning public institutions or those with weak public institutions. It's not a coincidence.

Ask yourself - do the the wealthiest countries have well functioning public institutions or most bloated public institutions?

TheJoker
03-06-2010, 03:25 PM
You seem to have difficulties distinguishing between the government institutions that help keeping law, order and enforcing the contract (i.e. those that help to create wealth) and all other government institutions that do nothing in that regard.

No difficulties, I have already said that wealth creation its not the government sole objective. Things like social cohesion and sustainability are also important objectives.

But there are also a number of government departments that are not involved with law and order that are essential in creating wealth. Education for example, has nothing to do with law and order, however an educated population is key component of wealth creation. I've already explained how regulation can improve market efficiency, if you need further explanation on that I suggest you read the Nobel Prize winning paper "A market for lemons" by Akerlof. IIRC it is available for free online.


Ask yourself - do the the wealthiest countries have well functioning public institutions or most bloated public institutions?

I'd say it's a simple case of an over-resourced public sector being a better option than an under-resourced public sector. Some while they might not be the most efficient they are by far the most effective.

Igor_Goldenberg
03-06-2010, 03:35 PM
Things like social cohesion and sustainability are also important objectives.

But don't create any wealth, or social cohesion and sustainability either.



But there are also a number of government departments that are not involved with law and order that are essential in creating wealth.

That's your opinion, hardly confirmed by the facts.


Education for example, has nothing to do with law and order, however an educated population is key component of wealth creation.

Education would be much better if the government butt out.



I've already explained how regulation can improve market efficiency
It could, but for some strange reason it almost always end up stuffing it.



I'd say it's a simple case of an over-resourced public sector being a better option than an under-resourced public sector. Some while they might not be the most efficient they are by far the most effective.
Over-resources is the euphemism for over-bloated.

TheJoker
03-06-2010, 04:18 PM
But don't create any wealth, or social cohesion and sustainability either.

Care to name some and I will try to explain to you what benefit they provide.



That's your opinion, hardly confirmed by the facts.

I'd say it is supported by the facts. Have a look at how our financial services sector performed during the GFC compared to less regulated financial services sectors around the world. It's also the opinion of many of the World's top economists.


Education would be much better if the government butt out.

Talk about not being supported by the facts. Show me a national education system without a public component that is a world leader. There isn't any again not by coincedence.


It could, but for some strange reason it almost always end up stuffing it.

Same applies to excessive deregulation usually ends up stuffing up markets.

Capablanca-Fan
05-06-2010, 12:36 PM
I understand you hold this position because you don't understand the wealth creation process. But ask yourself, which are the wealthiest countries those with well functioning public institutions or those with weak public institutions. It's not a coincidence.
Actually, the wealthiest countries have law and order and free markets. It is no accident that UK, US, Australia and NZ prospered under deregulation. The Communist countries and Europe have bigger "public services" and are economically moribund. It is no accident that Greece has a bloated public service and high taxes.


No that's were you are wrong again, since there is more to a market efficiency than freedom of transactions. A lot of the regulations you so despise are favoured by industry because they create consumer confidence, improving the efficiency of markets.
No, big businesses love regulation because they hurt competitors more.


If the consumer prefers to have the Government develop and enforce safety standards, and that gives them more confidence to consume, then it is in both the public and private sector interest to have them do so. And in fact this creates value.
Yet hyper-regulation of drugs has hindered development and driven up costs.


I know all of this well over your head, but I post it here for the benefits of others that might be sucked in by Sowell's gross over simplifications.
Not that anyone needs lessons from leftards like you.

The fact remains that private businesses really do serve the public and have been responsible for almost all the improvement in our standard of living.

TheJoker
07-06-2010, 02:07 PM
Actually, the wealthiest countries have law and order and free markets. It is no accident that UK, US, Australia and NZ prospered under deregulation. The Communist countries and Europe have bigger "public services" and are economically moribund. It is no accident that Greece has a bloated public service and high taxes.

I said well functioning public sectors, of those wealthy countries you mentioned all have well functioning public sectors. Unlike Greece which is known for it poorly functioning public sector rife with corruption.



No, big businesses love regulation because they hurt competitors more.

Or they protect consumers from dodgy operators that would erode market profitability. Creating barriers to entry that protect the consumer, help market efficiencies. For example, imagine the damage that woud occur to the sushi industry as a whole, if a number of consumers died as the result of unsafe food handling practices by a single dodgy operator.



Yet regulation of drugs has hindered development and driven up costs..

And increased consumer confidence and seen the pharmacuetical industry continue to grow rapidly and be more profitable. Whereas a few a bad drugs in the market that result in significant number of mortalities would quickly erode consumer confidence in the safety of drugs and see the wholde industry decline.


The fact remains that private businesses really do serve the public and have been responsible for almost all the improvement in our standard of living.

The fact remains that an effective private sector, requires and effective public sector. Increase in standards of living require both.

Capablanca-Fan
08-06-2010, 04:21 AM
I said well functioning public sectors, of those wealthy countries you mentioned all have well functioning public sectors. Unlike Greece which is known for it poorly functioning public sector rife with corruption.
Britain is also in strife despite a large and non-corrupt bureaucracy. All the European countries have high taxes and big governments. Greece's problem included too large a public sector, and no-one asks the famous ancient Greek question: who guards the guardians, or who regulates the regulators?


Or they protect consumers from dodgy operators that would erode market profitability.
Yet in many cases, they are not protecting consumers from dodgy products but protecting big businesses from competition. That's why it's often the businesses rather than the consumers who call for more regulation.


Creating barriers to entry that protect the consumer, help market efficiencies. For example, imagine the damage that woud occur to the sushi industry as a whole, if a number of consumers died as the result of unsafe food handling practices by a single dodgy operator.
The history of hugely regulated industries is nothing special either, with unsafe practices, featherbedding, and screwing consumers.


And increased consumer confidence and seen the pharmacuetical industry continue to grow rapidly and be more profitable.
Yet America is about the only place where new drugs are developed now, with a few exceptions, thanks to even more government red tape in other countries.


Whereas a few a bad drugs in the market that result in significant number of mortalities would quickly erode consumer confidence in the safety of drugs and see the wholde industry decline.
It would see the company that produced these drugs decline. Meanwhile, because the FDA = Frustrating Drug Advances, people die because lief-saving drugs are held up for many years.


The fact remains that an effective private sector, requires and effective public sector. Increase in standards of living require both.
An effective public sector is a small one that sticks to enforcing the rule of law, including contracts, not telling people what to buy and sell and whom to hire.

TheJoker
08-06-2010, 12:53 PM
Britain is also in strife despite a large and non-corrupt bureaucracy. All the European countries have high taxes and big governments.

Europe has a decent standard of living if you ask me. What is you ideal country in terms of government structure?


Yet in many cases, they are not protecting consumers from dodgy products but protecting big businesses from competition. That's why it's often the businesses rather than the consumers who call for more regulation..

I agree, but just because some regulations are ineffecient it doesn't mean yuo throw the baby out with the bath water and get rid of the efficient ones:doh:



The history of hugely regulated industries is nothing special either, with unsafe practices, featherbedding, and screwing consumers..

Unless you got a feasible study comparing the practices of similar regulated an unregulated industries, then you aren't really saying much. Our financial sector performed better during the GFC compared to less regulated counterparts (as was the main industry responsible for us avoiding a recession).



Yet America is about the only place where new drugs are developed now, with a few exceptions, thanks to even more government red tape in other countries.

I a sure there are plenty of places with much less regulations, such as the carribean.



It would see the company that produced these drugs decline..

It would also see the whole industry decline.


An effective public sector is a small one that sticks to enforcing the rule of law, including contracts, not telling people what to buy and sell and whom to hire.

Prove it, show me the country that implements this so called effective model and why it has achieved the best social outcomes. I bet you I can show you countries with a broader public sector that have better social outcomes.

Capablanca-Fan
15-06-2010, 02:25 PM
Seen on Facebook:


The free market needs regulation to function, just like we need traffic regulations to get anywhere without chaos. But right now our "free market" is like a city block with a dozen streetlights, an army of traffic cops, and a 5 MPH speed limit.

I.e. just the way Commissar Hussein Obamov, Chairman KRudd and TheJoke like it.

TheJoker
15-06-2010, 03:04 PM
Anyone interested in an examination of the factors that make a country more prosperous might want to download the Legatum Index Report at http://www.prosperity.com/

It's a very interesting report that covers most of the dimension of prosperity regularly discussed on this board including economic fundamentals, governance, education, health, personal freedom etc.

Capablanca-Fan
19-06-2010, 12:16 AM
A Mind-Changing Page
By Thomas Sowell, 16 June 2010

his is more than just a question about history. Right here and right now there is a widespread belief that the unregulated market is what got us into our present economic predicament, and that the government must “do something” to get the economy moving again. FDR's intervention in the 1930s has often been cited by those who think this way.

What is on that one page in Out of Work [by Richard Vedder and Lowell Gallaway] that could change people's minds? Just a simple table, giving unemployment rates for every month during the entire decade of the 1930s.

Those who think that the stock market crash in October 1929 is what caused the huge unemployment rates of the 1930s will have a hard time reconciling that belief with the data in that table.

Although the big stock market crash occurred in October 1929, unemployment never reached double digits in any of the next 12 months after that crash. Unemployment peaked at 9 percent, two months after the stock market crashed — and then began drifting generally downward over the next six months, falling to 6.3 percent by June 1930.

This was what happened in the market, before the federal government decided to “do something”.

What the government decided to do in June 1930 — against the advice of literally a thousand economists, who took out newspaper ads warning against it — was impose higher tariffs, in order to save American jobs by reducing imported goods.

This was the first massive federal intervention to rescue the economy, under President Herbert Hoover, who took pride in being the first President of the United States to intervene to try to get the economy out of an economic downturn.

Within six months after this government intervention, unemployment shot up into double digits — and stayed in double digits in every month throughout the entire remainder of the decade of the 1930s, as the Roosevelt administration expanded federal intervention far beyond what Hoover had started.

...

Those who are convinced that the government has to “do something” when the economy has a problem almost never bother to find out what actually happens when the government intervenes.

Kevin Bonham
07-03-2011, 03:18 PM
[reply to http://chesschat.org/showpost.php?p=303280&postcount=419]


But then, why do they become more conservative with age? How about: exposure to the real world and human nature as it really is—flawed from day one as Sowell put it (below), so they are less likely to put their trust in more politicians and bureaucrats, and less likely to make excuses for scumbags:

Obviously many people do become less idealistic through experience and this explains why the radical left is so dominated by the young. But I don't think that is all there is to it. And also, isn't the belief that human nature is flawed itself a mitigating factor for scumbags? I would have thought those who want harsh sentences for criminals were more likely to be coming from a simplistic good/evil dichotomy.


Indeed. In my case, it was my second vote in my life (my first vote was for NZ Labour, I'm embarrassed to admit).

Could be argued mine was worse, it was for the Australian Democrats.

Desmond
07-03-2011, 03:52 PM
True; that's happened so many times. Although the QLD opposition never recovered from Beattie's rout of Borbidge in 2001.


But then, why do they become more conservative with age? How about: exposure to the real world and human nature as it really is—flawed from day one as Sowell put it (below), so they are less likely to put their trust in more politicians and bureaucrats, and less likely to make excuses for scumbags:

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Well at least that answers the question I had posed to you previously about how long and wide-spread his stint working for the government was. 1 summer. Hard to draw such far-reaching conclusions about governement in general from a few weeks in 1 department of 1 state of 1 country.

Capablanca-Fan
07-03-2011, 04:08 PM
Well at least that answers the question I had posed to you previously about how long and wide-spread his stint working for the government was. 1 summer. Hard to draw such far-reaching conclusions about governement in general from a few weeks in 1 department of 1 state of 1 country.
His books are amply researched. This summer was enough so show that at least one bureaucracy wasn't interested in consequences, and his subsequent researched showed that it was normal. Then he realized that it should be no surprise, considering the incentives and the visions involved.

Kevin Bonham
07-03-2011, 04:11 PM
This summer was enough so show that at least one bureaucracy wasn't interested in consequences, and his subsequent researched showed that it was normal.

I can certainly think readily of some government bureaucracies that are not interested in consequences. :lol:

Capablanca-Fan
08-03-2011, 04:16 AM
Obviously many people do become less idealistic through experience and this explains why the radical left is so dominated by the young. But I don't think that is all there is to it.
It was the case with Reagan as well: he was a Democrat and president of the Screen Actors Guild. But in his career with General Electric, he repeatedly learned by talking to the workers that government taxes and regulations made things worse (http://patriotupdate.com/articles/the-reagan-century). At the other political extreme, Democrat George McGovern, who won only one state against Nixon in 1972, found out first hand when he became a private business owner how litigation, regulations, and absurdly convoluted tax codes harm them:


I'm for protecting the health and well-being of both workers and consumers. I'm for a clean environment and economic justice. But I'm convinced we can pursue those worthy goals and still cut down vastly on the incredible paperwork, the complicated tax forms, the number of minute regulations, and the seemingly endless reporting requirements that afflict American business. Many businesses, especially small independents such as the Stratford Inn, simply can't pass such costs on to their customers and remain competitive or profitable.

I'm not expert enough after only two and a half years as a business owner to know the solutions to all those concerns. I do know that if I were back in the U.S. Senate or in the White House, I would ask a lot of questions before I voted for any more burdens on the thousands of struggling businesses across the nation.

For example, I would ask whether specific legislation exacts a managerial price exceeding any overall benefit it might produce. What are the real economic and social gains of the legislation when compared with the costs and competitive handicaps it imposes on businesspeople?

So this brings to mind another reason: younger people are largely insulated from the consequences of leftist policies. This applies to older people in universities and news organizations. It also applies to limousine leftards rich enough to hire tax attorneys, find tax shelters, live in gated communities in safe areas, and to send their own kids to the best private schools that money can buy.


And also, isn't the belief that human nature is flawed itself a mitigating factor for scumbags? I would have thought those who want harsh sentences for criminals were more likely to be coming from a simplistic good/evil dichotomy.
No, because human nature is flawed, it is more likely to respond to incentives. So conservatives reason that if the cost of crime (including likelihood of conviction) is increased, then many would-be criminals would reconsider. Also, because all humanity is flawed, there is less reason to explain away evil choices by upbringing or genetics, say. And there is less likelihood that "rehabilitation" will work, so a major point of the justice system is to keep scumbags separated from the society they prey on.

Sowell said in his classic The Vision of the Anointed (http://www.rightwingnews.com/quotes/anointed.php):


"One of the most important questions about any proposed course of actions is whether we know how to do it. Policy A may be better than policy B, but that does not matter if we simply do not know how to do Policy A. Perhaps it would be better to rehabilitate criminals, rather than punish them, if we knew how to do it. Rewarding merit might be better than rewarding results if we knew how to do it. But one of the crucial differences between those with the tragic vision and those with the vision of the anointed is in what they respectively assume that we know how to do. Those with the vision of the anointed are seldom deterred by any question as to whether anyone has the knowledge required to do what they are attempting." p. 109


Could be argued mine was worse, it was for the Australian Democrats.
Heheh ;) At least in my case, it helped pave the way for Rogernomics, bringing much-needed economic freedom to NZ, but I can't take credit since I didn't know that at the time.

Kevin Bonham
08-03-2011, 09:09 AM
No, because human nature is flawed, it is more likely to respond to incentives. So conservatives reason that if the cost of crime (including likelihood of conviction) is increased, then many would-be criminals would reconsider.

There being one small problem with that. It assumes that humans who are flawed morally are rational about their pursuit of self-interest. But this is often not a valid assumption.


Also, because all humanity is flawed, there is less reason to explain away evil choices by upbringing or genetics, say.

But you have already explained them away with a universal "all humanity is flawed" so you don't even need to look at upbringing or genetics.


And there is less likelihood that "rehabilitation" will work, so a major point of the justice system is to keep scumbags separated from the society they prey on.

This is another contradiction because if you assume that criminals can be successfully deterred by harsh punishments, then that also suggests they can be successfully rehabilitated by use of incentives combined with monitoring. Now it may indeed be true that we don't know how to successfully rehabilitate, but I'm not sure we know how to successfully target harsh deterrence strategies at those who are deterrable either. I don't think the "right" and the "left" are really so different on this.

Desmond
08-03-2011, 09:38 AM
His books are amply researched. This summer was enough so show that at least one bureaucracy wasn't interested in consequences, and his subsequent researched showed that it was normal. Then he realized that it should be no surprise, considering the incentives and the visions involved.Let's face it, a stint for a couple of weeks really can tell you bugger all. I wouldn't even bother listing it on a CV let alone go on about it.

Capablanca-Fan
08-03-2011, 11:53 AM
There being one small problem with that. It assumes that humans who are flawed morally are rational about their pursuit of self-interest. But this is often not a valid assumption.
It seems to work well in many cases, and the alternative has not. The most morally flawed can usually work out the likely cost of crime. That's one reason that gun massacres don't tend to occur at NRA meetings but in "gun-free zones".


But you have already explained them away with a universal "all humanity is flawed" so you don't even need to look at upbringing or genetics.
Indeed not. That universal has yet to be contradicted. Parents know what I mean, and I've seen it in my two baby granddaughters ;)


This is another contradiction because if you assume that criminals can be successfully deterred by harsh punishments, then that also suggests they can be successfully rehabilitated by use of incentives combined with monitoring.
I think that Sowell is using the term to mean changing their disposition, not just replacing punishment with rewards.


Now it may indeed be true that we don't know how to successfully rehabilitate, but I'm not sure we know how to successfully target harsh deterrence strategies at those who are deterrable either. I don't think the "right" and the "left" are really so different on this.
Yet we can know that he absolute number of murders committed in the U.S. in 1960 was less than in 1930, 1940 or 1950, even though the population was larger (murder is a particularly clear indicator of lower crime, since liberals can’t simply dismiss this with “there was just less reported crime back then”). This was back in the supposedly benighted days of punishing criminals. But then the Leftards introduced all this crap about "root causes" like poverty and racism (although they were greater in the periods of lower crime), increased dismissal of cases on legal technicalities, and rehabilitation. It should have surprised no one that crime skyrocketed when the likely cost of crime was lowered.

Kevin Bonham
08-03-2011, 07:18 PM
It seems to work well in many cases, and the alternative has not. The most morally flawed can usually work out the likely cost of crime. That's one reason that gun massacres don't tend to occur at NRA meetings but in "gun-free zones".

You mean like Arizona?


I think that Sowell is using the term to mean changing their disposition, not just replacing punishment with rewards.

He shouldn't care. He's supposed to care about outcomes and end results.


Yet we can know that he absolute number of murders committed in the U.S. in 1960 was less than in 1930, 1940 or 1950, even though the population was larger (murder is a particularly clear indicator of lower crime, since liberals can’t simply dismiss this with “there was just less reported crime back then”). This was back in the supposedly benighted days of punishing criminals. But then the Leftards introduced all this crap about "root causes" like poverty and racism (although they were greater in the periods of lower crime), increased dismissal of cases on legal technicalities, and rehabilitation. It should have surprised no one that crime skyrocketed when the likely cost of crime was lowered.

I so often find it necessary to write "correlation does not necessarily equal causation" in these debates that from now on I think I'll abbreviate it to Co<>Ca.

Did the US really have more poverty per head of population in 1960 than 1930, 1940, 1950? Particularly as concerns 1930 I'd be extremely surprised if that was true.

Capablanca-Fan
09-03-2011, 02:18 AM
You mean like Arizona?
Interesting that Gabby Giffords, the Dem who was shot, is a supporter of gun rights. All the same, most of the time it's in gun-free zones like Virginia Tech, or churches where the scumbag hopes that no one like Jeanne Assam is armed:
cqDVBWcBy2g


He shouldn't care. He's supposed to care about outcomes and end results.
He does. But he realizes that no one knows how to rehabilitate in the sense of changing dispositions, and that the best outcomes for society come from punishing crime.


I so often find it necessary to write "correlation does not necessarily equal causation" in these debates that from now on I think I'll abbreviate it to Co<>Ca.
No dispute there. Sowell also points it out, but also shows how leftard Anointed are very selective in application. Furthermore, Sowell points out that the Anointed spout this when results following the Anointed policies are just what the supporters of the Tragic Vision predicted, since the latter pointed out the incentives: what was actually being punished and rewarded.


Did the US really have more poverty per head of population in 1960 than 1930, 1940, 1950? Particularly as concerns 1930 I'd be extremely surprised if that was true.
I meant that poverty and racism were greater in those decades than in the 1960s and 70s where they were used as excuses for crime, and still are now.

Kevin Bonham
09-03-2011, 06:48 PM
He does. But he realizes that no one knows how to rehabilitate in the sense of changing dispositions, and that the best outcomes for society come from punishing crime.

These two claims are not necessarily connected. Once again, from Sowell's perspective, changing disposition isn't the issue, what's important is to change behaviour. That applies both to deterrence and rehabilitation.


I meant that poverty and racism were greater in those decades than in the 1960s and 70s where they were used as excuses for crime,

But if that is so and there was less crime in the 1960s then that is at least consistent with their explanation (even if it too is a case of Co<>Ca).

Capablanca-Fan
02-04-2011, 03:32 PM
1. Account of the life and thoughts of Thomas Sowell, and his influence on Rush Limbaugh and others.

2. What to do about higher gas prices. Answer: increase supply; don't control prices which are merely a symptom of scarcity. When told that even some republicans promote anti-gouging and other price control laws, he says that Democrats are the only good reason to vote for Republicans.

3. The Patriot Act, war on terrorism, and the Vietnam and Iraq wars. Sowell opposed the Vietnam war because there was no real will to win, so American soldiers died pointlessly. The current Leftmedia refuses to report heroism in the Iraq war, and expect the Iraq war to have an exit time unlike any other war in history.

4. Covers politics, showing that while liberals want to help the disadvantaged while they are disadvantaged, conservatives want to stop them being disadvantaged. Leftards have no interest in that, because they want the votes of the poor in return for handouts. Sowell is an independent, finding that even the GOP is not very conservative. Leftards care more about their Anointed Vision, not about whether their policies work. Social justice requires concentration of power in the hands of elites, more dangerous than the injustice they are ostensibly trying to combat. Conservatives recognize man's flawed nature, so there are no solutions, only trade-offs.

5. Race and ethnicity. He grew up a poor black orphan in the 1930s. Yet in hid household, there was love and attention, far more important than material things that liberals hand out. Blacks progressed far more before the civil rights legislation than after it. Affirmative action helps only the rich blacks. Discusses Black Rednecks and White Liberals (http://www.intellectualconservative.com/article4628.html).

6. Sowell slams self-righteous environmentalists who impose huge costs, and blacks suffer most, being driven out of Palo Alto because of huge expenses. Businesses have done far more to reduce poverty than all the intellectuals, because wealth is the only cure. Decline in values: less honesty, more entitlement.

-FD57ycST84&feature=player_embedded#at=567b-HCvPUsc2k&feature=related
5JSrr13W6Z4&feature=related2YUtKr8-_Fg&feature=related
P5fCIgce5uY&feature=related4B_7j3mK6Wk&feature=related

Capablanca-Fan
01-07-2011, 07:52 AM
Celebrating the 81st birthday of the world's greatest living conservative philosopher and columnist.:clap:

Garrett
01-07-2011, 03:29 PM
Happy birthday Thomas Sowell !

Rincewind
01-07-2011, 04:37 PM
Celebrating the 81st birthday of the world's greatest living conservative philosopher and columnist.:clap:

Yes 81 is pretty good even for an economist. :clap:

Adamski
02-07-2011, 12:01 AM
Celebrating the 81st birthday of the world's greatest living conservative philosopher and columnist.:clap:
Cool. Many happy returns to Tom!

Kevin Bonham
02-07-2011, 12:52 AM
world's greatest living conservative philosopher

I was going to suggest conservative philosophy was scraping the bottom of the barrel these days; it's not that easy to think of many contenders. Roger Scruton? Bleh. In a sense John Gray has become a real conservative because he attacks the humanist project and the promise of ethical progress, arguing that human nature doesn't really improve and modernisation just means bigger guns and more environmental damage. But that makes him a blue-green rather than a blue-blue and I think some of his concerns resonate with the dystopian far left as much as with the old tories.

Rincewind
02-07-2011, 10:24 AM
I was going to suggest conservative philosophy was scraping the bottom of the barrel these days; it's not that easy to think of many contenders. Roger Scruton? Bleh. In a sense John Gray has become a real conservative because he attacks the humanist project and the promise of ethical progress, arguing that human nature doesn't really improve and modernisation just means bigger guns and more environmental damage. But that makes him a blue-green rather than a blue-blue and I think some of his concerns resonate with the dystopian far left as much as with the old tories.

Did you consider Ted Honderich? He seems to have conservatism worked out. :)

Kevin Bonham
02-07-2011, 12:05 PM
Did you consider Ted Honderich? He seems to have conservatism worked out. :)

Ah, a philosopher of conservatism who is not actually a conservative philosopher. Very handy. :lol:

Capablanca-Fan
13-11-2011, 09:21 AM
Thomas Sowell on the 2012 elections and his latest book. (http://bcove.me/as5grhwn)

In five sections. In the first, he attacks those who demonize the "wealthy" like Chairman Obamao, although such attacks actually hurt the poorest.

Capablanca-Fan
27-05-2012, 06:14 PM
Affirmative action (http://www.economist.com/node/2765848)
Advantages for the advantaged
Economist, Jun 17th 2004

HERE are two books on “affirmative action” from the same publisher. One is by a black man, the other by a white woman. Thomas Sowell's “Affirmative Action Around the World” is a delight: terse, well argued and utterly convincing. ...

Mr [sic] Sowell takes the reader on a fascinating tour of the ways in which the preferential treatment of chosen groups has been applied in India, Malaysia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka and the United States. Some groups singled out for a leg-up are minorities whose members have suffered discrimination in the past, such as American blacks or India's untouchables. To atone for the injustices inflicted on their forefathers, these groups have been granted favours, such as preferential access to universities or jobs. Other groups favoured in similar ways have never been discriminated against, but nonetheless do worse at school and in business than their neighbours. Examples include Malays in Malaysia, who earn less and learn less than their Chinese compatriots, and the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, who have long lagged behind the Tamils.

Mr [sic] Sowell's insight is that regardless of the supposed moral basis for preferential policies, the results are often remarkably similar. Though such policies are supposed to help the poor, their beneficiaries tend to be quite well-off. The truly poor rarely apply to enter university or bid for public-works contracts, and so cannot take advantage of quotas. The better-off quickly learn how to play the system.

Once affirmative-action policies are instituted, their proponents tend to credit them with all subsequent advances by the intended beneficiaries. Mr Sowell shows that this is bunk. Malays, for example, have done better in Singapore, where they do not receive preferences, than in Malaysia, where they do. And in America, blacks were working their way out of poverty at a faster rate before affirmative action was introduced than after. Supposedly pro-black policies have in some ways made it harder for blacks to find jobs. “The ease with which discrimination charges can be made,” writes Mr Sowell, provides an incentive “for businesses to locate away from concentrations of blacks.” ...

Capablanca-Fan
29-05-2012, 07:17 AM
Sowell's own summary of his book Affirmative Action around the World (http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/8108)

...
Such data as can be gleaned from a variety of private sources in the United States suggest that the more fortunate American blacks receive a disproportionate share of the benefits going to blacks as a whole in the United States, just as the more fortunate Malays tend to benefit most from affirmative action in Malaysia or the more fortunate untouchables benefit from affirmative action in India.

Affirmative action programs also generate major social costs that fall on the population as a whole. Losses of efficiency are among these costs, whether because less-qualified persons are chosen over more-qualified persons or because many highly qualified members of non-preferred groups emigrate from a society where their chances have been reduced. However, the cost of inefficiency is overshadowed by the cost of intergroup polarization, violence, and loss of lives. Bloody and lethal riots over affirmative action in India are the most obvious examples, but there have also been young brahmins who have died by setting themselves on fire in protest against policies which have destroyed their prospects.

As the country which has had preferences and quotas for the less fortunate longer than any other, India presents the clearest historical picture of their consequences, as well as the clearest statistical picture. Its history is not one to encourage other countries to follow in India’s footsteps, much less the footsteps of Sri Lanka.

The history of Sri Lanka is even more chilling to those who are concerned about what actually happens in the wake of affirmative action policies, as distinguished from what was expected or hoped would happen. Sri Lanka’s well-deserved reputation as a country with exemplary relations between its majority and minority populations in the middle of the twentieth century has become a bitter mockery in the course of a decades-long civil war, marked by hideous atrocities. Despite Sri Lanka’s being a much smaller country than the United States, the number of Sri Lankans who have died in its internal strife exceeds the number of Americans killed during the long years of the Vietnam War.

The history of blacks in the United States has been virtually stood on its head by those advocating affirmative action. The empirical evidence is clear that most blacks got themselves out of poverty in the decades preceding the civil rights revolution of the 1960s and the beginning of affirmative action in the 1970s. Yet the political misrepresentation of what happened—by leaders and friends of blacks—has been so pervasive that this achievement has been completely submerged in the public consciousness. Instead of gaining the respect that other groups have gained by lifting themselves out of poverty, blacks are widely seen, by friends and critics alike, as owing their advancement to government beneficence.

Within the black community itself, the possible ending of affirmative action has been portrayed as a threat to end their economic and social progress. Thus whites are resentful and blacks are fearful because of policies which have in fact done relatively little, on net balance, to help blacks in general or poor blacks in particular. Among black students in colleges and universities, those admitted under lower standards face a higher failure rate and those admitted under the same standards as other students graduate with their credentials under a cloud of suspicion because of double standards for minority students in general.
...

Adamski
30-05-2012, 12:39 AM
Must put his Affirmative Action on my (rather large) list of books to read someday.:)

Capablanca-Fan
03-06-2012, 03:44 AM
Holder's Chutzpah (http://patriotpost.us/opinion/13680)
By Thomas Sowell
June 1, 2012

Attorney General Eric Holder recently told a group of black clergymen that the right to vote was being threatened by people who are seeking to block access to the ballot box by blacks and other minorities.

This is truly world-class chutzpah, by an Attorney General who stopped attorneys in his own Department of Justice from completing the prosecution of black thugs who stationed themselves outside a Philadelphia voting site to harass and intimidate white voters.



What Attorney General Holder has been complaining loudly about, and launching federal lawsuits about, are states that require photo identification to vote. Holder calls this blocking minority "access" to the voting booths.

Since millions of black Americans—like millions of white Americans—are confronted with demands for photo identification at airports, banks and innumerable other institutions, it is a little much to claim that requiring the same thing to vote is denying the right to vote. But Holder's chutzpah is up to the task.

Attorney General Holder claims that the states' requirement of photo identification for voting, in order to prevent voter fraud, is just a pretext for discriminating against blacks and other minorities. He apparently sees no voter fraud, hears no voter fraud and speaks no voter fraud.

Despite Holder's claim, a little experiment in his own home voting district showed how easy it is to commit voter fraud. An actor—a white actor, at that—went to a voting place where Eric Holder is registered to vote, and told them that he was Eric Holder.

The actor had no identification at all with him, either with or without a photo. He told the voting official that he had forgotten and left his identification in his car. Instead of telling him to go back to the car and get some identification, the official said that that was all right, and offered him the ballot.

The actor had the good sense not to actually take the ballot, which would have made him guilty of voter fraud—and, being white, he would undoubtedly have been prosecuted by Eric Holder's Department of Justice.

But the actor had made his point. When a white man with no identification can go to a voting site, impersonate a black man who lives in that district, and get his ballot offered to him, then it is far too easy to commit voter fraud.

Capablanca-Fan
28-07-2012, 09:03 AM
“Elected officials … cannot readily admit that some policy or program that they advocated, perhaps with great fanfare, has turned out badly, without risking their whole careers. Similarly for leaders of various causes and movements. Even intellectuals or academics with tenure stand to lose prestige and suffer embarrassment when their notions turn out to be counterproductive. Others who think of themselves as supporters of things that will help the less fortunate would find it painful to confront evidence that they have in fact made the less fortunate worse off than before. In other words, evidence is too dangerous—politically, financially and psychologically—for some people to allow it to become a threat to their interests or to their own sense of themselves.”—Thomas Sowell, Economics Facts and Fallacies

Mrs Jono
25-08-2012, 09:52 PM
‎"The word 'racism' is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything -- and demanding evidence makes you a 'racist'." ~Dr Thomas Sowell, A Political Glossary (http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2012/06/26/a_political_glossary/page/full/)

Capablanca-Fan
21-09-2012, 10:58 AM
G_sGn6PdmIo&feature=related

Capablanca-Fan
06-11-2012, 11:45 PM
Obama’s Unemployment Problem (http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/332601/obama-s-unemployment-problem-thomas-sowell)
The president refuses to let the economy recover on its own
By Thomas Sowell, 6 Nov 2012



Another gross misconception on the job front is that jobs created during a given administration are a result of the policies of that administration, as are any other signs of economic recovery. But this assumes that the economy is incapable of recovering on its own, without government intervention.

Yet the American economy recovered from downturns on its own for more than a century and a half, until President Herbert Hoover intervened after the stock-market crash of 1929. Indeed, this was one of those bipartisan interventions so much hoped for by the media — and the results were catastrophic.



Unemployment was never in double digits in any of the twelve months following the stock-market crash of 1929. Only after politicians started intervening did unemployment reach double digits — and it stayed there throughout the rest of the 1930s.



The annual unemployment rate was as high under Ronald Reagan as it has been under Barack Obama. The difference is that Ronald Reagan did nothing, despite media cries for action, and Barack Obama did virtually everything imaginable, to the cheers of the media. The economy recovered a lot faster under Reagan.



Contrary to political and media spin, President Obama did not “inherit” an unemployment problem from President George W. Bush. The annual unemployment rate never got above 6 percent during the eight years of George W. Bush’s administration. Unemployment has never been that low under Obama. Passing the buck backwards is a very poor excuse — especially for someone using “forward” as his campaign slogan.

Adamski
09-11-2012, 11:44 PM
Obama’s Unemployment Problem (http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/332601/obama-s-unemployment-problem-thomas-sowell)
The president refuses to let the economy recover on its own
By Thomas Sowell, 6 Nov 2012



Another gross misconception on the job front is that jobs created during a given administration are a result of the policies of that administration, as are any other signs of economic recovery. But this assumes that the economy is incapable of recovering on its own, without government intervention.

Yet the American economy recovered from downturns on its own for more than a century and a half, until President Herbert Hoover intervened after the stock-market crash of 1929. Indeed, this was one of those bipartisan interventions so much hoped for by the media — and the results were catastrophic.



Unemployment was never in double digits in any of the twelve months following the stock-market crash of 1929. Only after politicians started intervening did unemployment reach double digits — and it stayed there throughout the rest of the 1930s.



The annual unemployment rate was as high under Ronald Reagan as it has been under Barack Obama. The difference is that Ronald Reagan did nothing, despite media cries for action, and Barack Obama did virtually everything imaginable, to the cheers of the media. The economy recovered a lot faster under Reagan.



Contrary to political and media spin, President Obama did not “inherit” an unemployment problem from President George W. Bush. The annual unemployment rate never got above 6 percent during the eight years of George W. Bush’s administration. Unemployment has never been that low under Obama. Passing the buck backwards is a very poor excuse — especially for someone using “forward” as his campaign slogan.Another insightful analysis from Tom. I too like him.

Kevin Bonham
10-11-2012, 12:01 AM
Contrary to political and media spin, President Obama did not “inherit” an unemployment problem from President George W. Bush.

He inherited an economic crisis that would have caused an unemployment problem under any new President whatever their politics. Pointing to the exact rate at the time Bush left office is disingenuous because it misses that point. Whatever can be said about whether or not Obama could have done better or worse, the American people were not fooled since only a very small proportion of those not identifying as Republicans believed Obama was more to blame for it than Bush.

Patrick Byrom
10-11-2012, 02:25 AM
The president refuses to let the economy recover on its own
By Thomas Sowell, 6 Nov 2012

Contrary to political and media spin, President Obama did not “inherit” an unemployment problem from President George W. Bush. The annual unemployment rate never got above 6 percent during the eight years of George W. Bush’s administration.
But when Bush left office in Jan 2009, the rate was 7.8% (http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000), and rising rapidly. Sowell seems to be applying a little spin of his own to the facts.

Capablanca-Fan
10-11-2012, 04:47 PM
But when Bush left office in Jan 2009, the rate was 7.8% (http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000), and rising rapidly. Sowell seems to be applying a little spin of his own to the facts.
I fail to see why. Remember, Obamov claimed that his trillion-dollar spendulus would reduce unemployment, but for most of his term it was higher, and only recently returned to what it was before the spendulus (if you are generous with figures). So the only difference was a massive debt, far greater than the level he denounced as "unpatriotic" and "irresponsible" under GWB.

Capablanca-Fan
14-11-2012, 11:51 PM
Is Demography Destiny? (http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2012/11/14/creators_oped/page/full/)
Thomas Sowell
14 Nov 2012


Conventional wisdom in the Republican establishment is that what the GOP needs to do, in order to win black votes or Hispanic votes, is to craft policies specifically targeting these groups. In other words, Republicans need to become more like Democrats.

Whether in a racial context or in other contexts, the supposed need for Republicans to become more like Democrats has long been a recurring theme of the moderate Republican establishment, going back more than half a century.

Yet the most successful Republican presidential candidate during that long period was a man who went completely counter to that conventional wisdom-- namely, Ronald Reagan, who won back to back landslide election victories.

Meanwhile, moderate Republican presidential candidate after moderate Republican presidential candidate has gone down to defeat, even against Democratic presidential candidates who were unpopular (Harry Truman), previously unknown (Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton) or who had a terrible economic track record (Barack Obama).

None of this seems to have caused any second thoughts in the Republican establishment. So long as that remains the case, demography may indeed be destiny-- and that destiny could be Democratic administrations as far out as the eye can see.

If non-white voters can only be gotten by pandering to them with goodies earmarked for them, then Republicans are doomed, even if they choose to go that route. Why should anyone who wants racially earmarked goodies vote for Republicans, when the Democrats already have a track record of delivering such goodies?

An alternative way to make inroads into the overwhelming majority of minority votes for Democrats would be for the Republicans to articulate a coherent case for their principles and the benefits that those principles offer to all Americans.

But the Republicans' greatest failure has been precisely their chronic failure to spell out their principles-- and the track record of those principles-- to either white or non-white voters.

Very few people know, for example, that the gap between black and white incomes narrowed during the Reagan administration and widened during the Obama administration. This was not because of Republican policies designed specifically for blacks, but because free market policies create an economy in which all people can improve their economic situation.

Conversely, few policies have had such a devastating effect on the job opportunities of minority youths as minimum wage laws, which are usually pushed by Democrats and opposed by Republicans. But these facts do not "speak for themselves." Somebody has to cite the facts and take the trouble to show why unemployment among minority youths skyrocketed when minimum wage increases priced them out of jobs.

Kevin Bonham
15-11-2012, 01:06 AM
Sowell doesn't have that much idea what he is talking about:


Meanwhile, moderate Republican presidential candidate after moderate Republican presidential candidate has gone down to defeat, even against Democratic presidential candidates who were unpopular (Harry Truman), previously unknown (Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton) or who had a terrible economic track record (Barack Obama).

Circumstances need to be considered here. None of Ford, Bush snr or Romney lost because they were moderates. Their losses had more to do with (i) fallout from the Nixon resignation (ii) Republicans in the White House for 12 years and economy dire (iii) failure to convince voters that the "terrible economic track record" is actually Obama's fault as opposed to the legacy of his predecessor. And I think Sowell exaggerates the extent to which Reagan was the opposite.

Somehow I doubt that preaching Sowellnomics to racial minorities is going to make the slightest difference.

The Republicans have two options. The first is they play identity politics by selecting a candidate who is actually going to appeal more to minorities, such as Rubio (if, that is, the rest of his policies don't do more than enough damage to cancel out the value gained). The second is they just do what most other parties facing this sort of demographic issue have done: wait for the other side to stuff up. When that happens the demographics take care of themselves.

Matchup polls through the race frequently showed that Romney had some sort of chance against Obama but was more likely to narrowly lose. Surprise, surprise, he narrowly lost (indeed had the swing been uniform he would have taken Ohio and Florida which would have made it extremely close, though he still would have lost.). Anyone who thinks Obama wouldn't have whipped most of the rest of that lineup senseless has some explaining to do.

Goughfather
15-11-2012, 01:44 AM
Meanwhile, moderate Republican presidential candidate after moderate Republican presidential candidate has gone down to defeat, even against Democratic presidential candidates who were unpopular (Harry Truman), previously unknown (Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton) or who had a terrible economic track record (Barack Obama).

Why didn't Sowell include that quintessential moderate Barry Goldwater in his analysis?

How's that conservative echo chamber treating you, Jono?

Damodevo
15-11-2012, 03:51 AM
Sowell doesn't have that much idea what he is talking about:



Circumstances need to be considered here. None of Ford, Bush snr or Romney lost because they were moderates. Their losses had more to do with (i) fallout from the Nixon resignation (ii) Republicans in the White House for 12 years and economy dire (iii) failure to convince voters that the "terrible economic track record" is actually Obama's fault as opposed to the legacy of his predecessor. And I think Sowell exaggerates the extent to which Reagan was the opposite.


At least on Romney this isn't true. Did you watch the presidential debates? It was basically contest on who could out Big Government the other. Romney did well because he basically promised a massive amount of free stuff. There was no talk about cutting medicare and social security. Both him and Ryan talked about how much they loved it.

On point (iii) Romney's problem was that he couldn't distinguish himself from big spending Bush. All he could say was that he was a different person! But he was an idiot for thinking that he could out Big Government Obama

Capablanca-Fan
15-11-2012, 08:37 AM
Why didn't Sowell include that quintessential moderate Barry Goldwater in his analysis?
What, should he cover everything? He has elsewhere: that Reagan essentially ran on the same platform, but the difference was that Milton Friedman had educated much of the American public on the good things about the free market and the harm of big government.

Kevin Bonham
15-11-2012, 02:16 PM
At least on Romney this isn't true. Did you watch the presidential debates?

Watched the first and third, missed the second but followed various recap coverage.


Romney did well because he basically promised a massive amount of free stuff.

Don't agree. Romney "won" the first in public perception terms primarily because he was energetic and enthusiastic while Obama was lethargic and flat, rather than for policy reasons. Obama, more narrowly, was seen to have "won" the other two.


On point (iii) Romney's problem was that he couldn't distinguish himself from big spending Bush. All he could say was that he was a different person! But he was an idiot for thinking that he could out Big Government Obama

So Romney presented as being as "Big Government" as Bush and Obama, on your assessment, unless you are saying he presented as being even more "Big Government" than Obama. But if Romney, Bush and Obama were all on about the same level in this regard, and assessment of them being "Big Government" was the factor deciding their vote, then why would the voters believe that Bush was more to blame for the current situation than Obama by a margin of 15 points?

It's not likely the voters really formed this judgement on the basis of ideology. It's more likely that they have a more nuanced view (as a whole) in which they not only consider the ideology of the President but also their competence in delivering that ideology. Some "big governments" are seen as more economically damaging than others. Generally people don't blame Bush for not being more small-government; they blame him for a regime of inadequate banking/finance industry oversight that contributed to the GFC. Whether rightly or wrongly is another question.

pax
16-11-2012, 12:25 AM
At least on Romney this isn't true. Did you watch the presidential debates? It was basically contest on who could out Big Government the other. Romney did well because he basically promised a massive amount of free stuff. There was no talk about cutting medicare and social security. Both him and Ryan talked about how much they loved it.

He may not have been the most conservative candidate, but he didn't lose because he was too moderate. You show me a 10% flat tax small-government Republican, and I will show you a 20% margin, 45 state wipeout.

Capablanca-Fan
16-11-2012, 06:10 AM
He may not have been the most conservative candidate, but he didn't lose because he was too moderate.
Yet he, unlike McCain, won the independent "moderates", but lost the conservatives, with 3 million fewer votes than that idiot.


You show me a 10% flat tax small-government Republican, and I will show you a 20% margin, 45 state wipeout.
If you are right, it will show how addicted most Americans are to the wealth produced by others. Why did they bother to fight a civil war over slavery then, since slavery is living off the labour of others?

Goughfather
17-11-2012, 04:36 PM
If you are right, it will show how addicted most Americans are to the wealth produced by others.

Even if this was correct, you should cut people a little slack, given that few people have the capacity or lack of moral scruples to be the effective con-man that you are.


Why did they bother to fight a civil war over slavery then, since slavery is living off the labour of others?

Even after your con-man antics, you still exhibit the hypocrisy to take from the government, just like the rest of your brethren from the South. Why can't you contribute to the national wealth like the Democratic North-East, instead of leeching from them despite your deceptive protestations to the contrary?

Kevin Bonham
17-11-2012, 05:26 PM
Yet he, unlike McCain, won the independent "moderates", but lost the conservatives, with 3 million fewer votes than that idiot.

I pointed out on the other thread that "3 million" is incorrect; it is now less than a million. And the reason he won the independents is not that they are still as "moderate" but that many right-ish ex-Republicans have ceased identifying as Republican. Winning the independents is no longer proof of a moderate position nor a guarantee of winning the election and the Romney camp blundered to the extent that they assumed either of these things. [edit: much more detail on this on POTUS thread now.]

Patrick Byrom
17-11-2012, 07:18 PM
If you are right, it will show how addicted most Americans are to the wealth produced by others. Why did they bother to fight a civil war over slavery then, since slavery is living off the labour of others?
But taxation is not the same as slavery. Slaves are not free to leave their country, and they don't get a vote.

Capablanca-Fan
18-11-2012, 08:47 AM
But taxation is not the same as slavery. Slaves are not free to leave their country, and they don't get a vote.
Yes, two things can have both differences and similarities. The similarities are what I said: both slavers and many welfare beneficiaries (whether corporate or individual) forcibly live off the labour of others. Leftards like GF just love the culture of mooching and looting of his Democrat and Labor idols. As Sowell said:

"One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain."

Patrick Byrom
19-11-2012, 06:58 PM
Yes, two things can have both differences and similarities. The similarities are what I said: both slavers and many welfare beneficiaries (whether corporate or individual) forcibly live off the labour of others. Leftards like GF just love the culture of mooching and looting of his Democrat and Labor idols.
But welfare beneficiaries do not "forcibly" live off the labour of others, since the 'others' are free to move to another country (and thereby avoid contributing their labour). By choosing to remain, they have chosen to contribute their labour voluntarily. Slaves are not given a choice.

Capablanca-Fan
19-11-2012, 11:51 PM
But welfare beneficiaries do not "forcibly" live off the labour of others, since the 'others' are free to move to another country (and thereby avoid contributing their labour). By choosing to remain, they have chosen to contribute their labour voluntarily. Slaves are not given a choice.
Rather, it's beyond the capacity of most people to move countries (moving from high-tax states to low-tax states happens a lot more). Thus most people are stuck being coerced to support moochers. But you raise a good point: in the face of high tax rates, many wealthy Americans are moving their companies and money overseas to avoid it.

Capablanca-Fan
13-12-2012, 03:09 AM
Taxing the Poor (http://www.humanevents.com/2012/12/11/thomas-sowell-taxing-the-poor/)
Thomas Sowell, 11 December 2012


If you define a tax as only those things that the government chooses to call a tax, you get a radically different picture from what you get when you say, “If it looks like a tax, acts like a tax and takes away your resources like a tax, then it’s a tax.”

One of the biggest, and one of the oldest, taxes in this latter sense is inflation. Governments have stolen their people’s resources this way, not just for centuries, but for thousands of years.

It is bad enough when the poorest have to turn over the same share of their assets to the government as the richest do, but it is grotesque when the government puts a bigger bite on the poorest. This can happen because the rich can more easily convert their assets from money into things like real estate, gold or other assets whose value rises with inflation. But a welfare mother is unlikely to be able to buy real estate or gold. She can put a few dollars aside in a jar somewhere. But wherever she may hide it, inflation can steal value from it without having to lay a hand on it.


The biggest and most deadly “tax” rate on the poor comes from a loss of various welfare state benefits—food stamps, housing subsidies and the like—if their income goes up.

Someone who is trying to climb out of poverty by working their way up can easily reach a point where a $10,000 increase in pay can cost them $15,000 in lost benefits that they no longer qualify for. That amounts to a marginal tax rate of 150 percent—far more than millionaires pay. Some government policies help some people at the expense of other people. But some policies can hurt welfare recipients, the taxpayers and others, all at the same time, even though in different ways.

pax
13-12-2012, 11:09 AM
Someone who is trying to climb out of poverty by working their way up can easily reach a point where a $10,000 increase in pay can cost them $15,000 in lost benefits that they no longer qualify for.


This is a complete fiction in Australia at least. Almost all government benefits phase out on a sliding scale, so there is never any absolute disincentive for earning money. Can you or Mr Sowell offer any example?

pax
13-12-2012, 11:11 AM
If you define a tax as only those things that the government chooses to call a tax, you get a radically different picture from what you get when you say, “If it looks like a tax, acts like a tax and takes away your resources like a tax, then it’s a tax.”

One of the biggest, and one of the oldest, taxes in this latter sense is inflation. Governments have stolen their people’s resources this way, not just for centuries, but for thousands of years.


I guess you are a big fan of Governments and Reserve banks intervening to control inflation?

pappubahry
13-12-2012, 12:11 PM
This is a complete fiction in Australia at least. Almost all government benefits phase out on a sliding scale, so there is never any absolute disincentive for earning money. Can you or Mr Sowell offer any example?
Here is the graph of effective marginal tax rates in Australia, compiled by Matt Cowgill of the ACTU (link (http://mattcowgill.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/what-is-the-effect-of-the-carbon-price-package-on-work-incentives/) to the accompanying blog post):

http://mattcowgill.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/newstart-emtrs.jpg

So it never reaches 100%, but it can get pretty high. I don't know what the same graph would look like in the US.

While it doesn't affect low-income earners, I'm pretty sure that there's still a spectacularly high (>> 100%) effective marginal tax rate for people who cross the repayment threshold for HECS-HELP debt. You don't have to repay anything if you earn $49095 in 2012-13, but you pay almost $2000 if you earn $49096.

Capablanca-Fan
14-12-2012, 12:56 PM
Here is an article from Kiplingers, a popular American financial magazine, Where Do You Rank as a Taxpayer? (http://www.kiplinger.com/features/archives/how-your-income-stacks-up.html), 10 Dec 2012. My summary:

The top 1% (>$369,691), that Obamov claims are so greedy, pay 37% of all taxes while earning only 19% of all income—and most are not ‘millionaires and billionaires’ that Obamov loves to demagogue against. The top 50% (>$34,338) pay 98% of taxes but earn only 88% of income. The other 50% earn 12% but pay only 2% But many of them are Obamov supporters who think that the ‘rich’ don't pay enough!

Desmond
15-12-2012, 06:48 PM
My summary:

The top 1% (>$369,691)Congratulations Jono, sounds like you have done quite nicely for yourself.

Goughfather
16-12-2012, 03:19 AM
Congratulations Jono, sounds like you have done quite nicely for yourself.

Indeed. Considering how well he is doing, he is a whingey little grifter, isn't he? He's not content to simply fleece the less fortunate of their money, but wishes to demonise them in the process.

Of course, Jono's little summary is true to form, dishonest. It only holds true for income taxes. When one considers other forms of taxation, the proportion paid by the bottom 50 percent would be somewhat higher.

Capablanca-Fan
16-12-2012, 10:01 AM
Indeed. Considering how well he is doing, he is a whingey little grifter, isn't he? He's not content to simply fleece the less fortunate of their money,
Even if GF and rr were right about my income or how I earn it, one thing that neither I nor the most demonized rich corporations can do but which their beloved big government can: force anyone to hand over their money to us.


but wishes to demonise them in the process.
I certainly do wish to criticise envy-addled jerks who pay no income tax but think that those who do should pay still more.


Of course, Jono's little summary is true to form, dishonest. It only holds true for income taxes.
It was totally honest. Income tax rate hikes on the "top 2%" that Obamov dishonestly calls "millionaires and billionaires" are now a major obsession of Obamov's, to fund even more of his reckless spending (and vacations that mean that Obamov's family costs US 20 times what the royal family costs UK (http://now.msn.com/president-obamas-family-costs-the-us-20-times-what-royal-family-costs-the-uk)). Note that even Obamov said in 2009 that raising taxes was the last thing we should do in a recession:

aufAtuTwKlE


When one considers other forms of taxation, the proportion paid by the bottom 50 percent would be somewhat higher.
And this is largely due to the Left's beloved social security, a highly regressive tax that has a cap above a certain income. This really is unfair. Everyone should be allowed to do what they do in Australia: put the money into a personal retirement account not into the government pyramid scheme. Similarly, as Sowell pointed out above, inflation is a huge tax that disproportionately affects the poor, as is the high marginal tax on welfare beneficiaries getting work, and I could add thing like petrol excises.

Goughfather
16-12-2012, 08:31 PM
Even if GF and rr were right about my income or how I earn it, one thing that neither I nor the most demonized rich corporations can do but which their beloved big government can: force anyone to hand over their money to us.

Your determination to justify your confidence trickery to exploit those less fortunate than yourself on the basis that they wish to be swindled by you really is sickening.


I certainly do wish to criticise envy-addled jerks who pay no income tax but think that those who do should pay still more.

As I said, you aren't content simply with your ruthless grifting; you also feel inclined to demonise those who you exploit.


It was totally honest.

You might choose to deceive those less fortunate than yourself for personal gain, but that strategy isn't going to work with me. You suggested that the bottom 50 percent paid two percent in taxes, when in truth this figure relates to income taxes, not taxes in general. Stop being dishonest.

pax
16-12-2012, 10:42 PM
You might choose to deceive those less fortunate than yourself for personal gain, but that strategy isn't going to work with me. You suggested that the bottom 50 percent paid two percent in taxes, when in truth this figure relates to income taxes, not taxes in general. Stop being dishonest.

As usual, Jono's answer, when confronted with his own dishonesty is to respond to something else entirely.

Capablanca-Fan
17-12-2012, 04:18 AM
As usual, Jono's answer, when confronted with his own dishonesty is to respond to something else entirely.
Trust an uncritical leftard like Pax to believe false accusations from a known shyster like GF. Maybe they, like RW below, should rant and rave against the apolitical Kiplingers too.

Rincewind
17-12-2012, 08:37 AM
Trust an uncritical leftard like to believe false accusations from a known shyster like GF.

Jono, you copied the response correctly out of your catalogue of standard replies for when you have painted yourself into a corner. However you forgot to paste in Pax's name after "like".

pax
17-12-2012, 03:23 PM
Trust an uncritical leftard like Pax to believe false accusations from a known shyster like GF.

Pardon? What percentage of all taxes do the bottom 50% of income earners pay again?

Capablanca-Fan
19-12-2012, 01:23 AM
Invincible Ignorance (http://patriotpost.us/opinion/15938)
By Thomas Sowell, 18 December 2012

Must every tragic mass shooting bring out the shrill ignorance of "gun control" advocates?

The key fallacy of so-called gun control laws is that such laws do not in fact control guns. They simply disarm law-abiding citizens, while people bent on violence find firearms readily available.

If gun control zealots had any respect for facts, they would have discovered this long ago, because there have been too many factual studies over the years to leave any serious doubt about gun control laws being not merely futile but counterproductive.

Places and times with the strongest gun control laws have often been places and times with high murder rates. Washington, D.C., is a classic example, but just one among many.

When it comes to the rate of gun ownership, that is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, but the murder rate is higher in urban areas. The rate of gun ownership is higher among whites than among blacks, but the murder rate is higher among blacks. For the country as a whole, hand gun ownership doubled in the late 20th century, while the murder rate went down. …

Yet many of the most zealous advocates of gun control laws, on both sides of the Atlantic, have also been advocates of leniency toward criminals.
In Britain, such people have been so successful that legal gun ownership has been reduced almost to the vanishing point, while even most convicted felons in Britain are not put behind bars. The crime rate, including the rate of crimes committed with guns, is far higher in Britain now than it was back in the days when there were few restrictions on Britons buying firearms.

In 1954, there were only a dozen armed robberies in London but, by the 1990s—after decades of ever tightening gun ownership restrictions—there were more than a hundred times as many armed robberies.

Kevin Bonham
19-12-2012, 02:01 AM
The key fallacy of so-called gun control laws is that such laws do not in fact control guns. They simply disarm law-abiding citizens, while people bent on violence find firearms readily available.

Sowell is descending into self-parody here with this cry which seems every bit as shrill and ignorant as he claims his opponents to be. After all this is a massacre committed by a person who apparently found firearms readily available by taking them from a non-disarmed law-abiding citizen.

The rest of the article is the usual tosh confusing corellation with causation and ignoring underlying cause (or in some cases reverse causation).

Capablanca-Fan
19-12-2012, 03:40 AM
Sowell is descending into self-parody here with this cry which seems every bit as shrill and ignorant as he claims his opponents to be. After all this is a massacre committed by a person who apparently found firearms readily available by taking them from a non-disarmed law-abiding citizen.
A massacre in a gun-free zone in a state with strong gun laws that the scumbag was already violating.


The rest of the article is the usual tosh confusing corellation with causation and ignoring underlying cause (or in some cases reverse causation).
Come off it. He was countering the usual correlation = causation fallacy used selectively by the gun control zealots. Nothing wrong with noting the crime increase in the UK which has both strong gun control laws and disgusting leniency on criminals. He could have mentioned the common punishment of UK citizens being jailed for defending themselves, which further emboldens criminals.

Ian Murray
19-12-2012, 08:36 AM
... Nothing wrong with noting the crime increase in the UK which has both strong gun control laws and disgusting leniency on criminals. He could have mentioned the common punishment of UK citizens being jailed for defending themselves, which further emboldens criminals.
There's quite a lot wrong with trying to put the UK into a worse light than the US. In 2009 there were 18 gun homicides in UK (0.0293 per 100,000) while in the same year there were 11,493 gun homicides in USA (3.7/100K - 126 times the British rate). Don't like gun killings statistics? Pick a crime, and we'll compare rates between the two countries.

Sources:
http://data.euro.who.int/dmdb
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/injury.htm

Capablanca-Fan
19-12-2012, 11:57 AM
There's quite a lot wrong with trying to put the UK into a worse light than the US. In 2009 there were 18 gun homicides in UK (0.0293 per 100,000) while in the same year there were 11,493 gun homicides in USA (3.7/100K - 126 times the British rate). Don't like gun killings statistics? Pick a crime, and we'll compare rates between the two countries.
But as Sowell says in the article:


The few counter-examples offered by gun control zealots do not stand up under scrutiny. Perhaps their strongest talking point is that Britain has stronger gun control laws than the United States and lower murder rates.

But, if you look back through history, you will find that Britain has had a lower murder rate than the United States for more than two centuries -- and, for most of that time, the British had no more stringent gun control laws than the United States. Indeed, neither country had stringent gun control for most of that time.

In the middle of the 20th century, you could buy a shotgun in London with no questions asked. New York, which at that time had had the stringent Sullivan Law restricting gun ownership since 1911, still had several times the gun murder rate of London, as well as several times the London murder rate with other weapons.

Neither guns nor gun control was the reason for the difference in murder rates. People were the difference.

Yet many of the most zealous advocates of gun control laws, on both sides of the Atlantic, have also been advocates of leniency toward criminals.

Kevin Bonham
19-12-2012, 01:24 PM
A massacre in a gun-free zone in a state with strong gun laws that the scumbag was already violating.

Can't have been strong enough if he was able to take guns from his mother's unnecessary stockpile.


Come off it. He was countering the usual correlation = causation fallacy used selectively by the gun control zealots.

No he wasn't. If he was he would just assert that the gun-control side had failed to make their case. Instead he directly asserted his own side's as fact.

Patrick Byrom
19-12-2012, 04:02 PM
But as Sowell says in the article:


In the middle of the 20th century, you could buy a shotgun in London with no questions asked. New York, which at that time had had the stringent Sullivan Law restricting gun ownership since 1911, still had several times the gun murder rate of London, as well as several times the London murder rate with other weapons.

But the UK had strict gun regulations in the middle of the 20th century.
For example, according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_the_United_Kingdom) short-barreled shotguns were restricted in 1937, so I don't know what Sowell is talking about - perhaps there is a reference to support his claim?

Damodevo
20-12-2012, 01:51 AM
But the UK had strict gun regulations in the middle of the 20th century.
For example, according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_the_United_Kingdom) short-barreled shotguns were restricted in 1937, so I don't know what Sowell is talking about - perhaps there is a reference to support his claim?

Here's a chart from their handgun man in the 90's

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_2SW2_lbrxgY/TSx_HwmwClI/AAAAAAAABaQ/SqgzulUPCwo/s1600/Screen%2Bshot%2B2010-12-01%2Bat%2B%2BWednesday%252C%2BDecember%2B1%252C%2B 3.10%2BPM.png

Basil
20-12-2012, 05:37 AM
Here's a chart from their handgun man in the 90's

The chart shows that the homicide rate in England Wales has remained steady since the introduction of the handgun ban. Do you have parallel figures for the US?

*I'm mindful that whether it's economic, cliimate or violence being analysed, charts are singularly useless in their own right, but nonetheless, the above chart was introduced, so I'd be interested to see the parallel one.

Damodevo
20-12-2012, 07:03 AM
Here's another one going back further. There is an upward trend after the '68 law but it would have to be analyzed against the preceding years to know for sure that whether it has actually aided the increase in homicides.

http://www.justfacts.com/images/guncontrol/england-full.png

One thing you definitely can't say is that gun restrictions decrease the rate of homicides.

Ian Murray
20-12-2012, 07:32 AM
But as Sowell says in the article:...
People in Britain are now 126 times less likely to be shot to death than in the US. So which country is safer?

Tony Dowden
20-12-2012, 07:42 AM
... Do you have parallel figures for the US?

Yes, something similar to this is discussed in 'The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone' (Wilkinson & Pickett, 2010, Penguin)

The (twentieth century?) Chicago and England/Wales murder profiles by age of the perpetrator look very similar except for one detail. The murder rate in Chicago was 30 times higher than England/Wales! (see also 'The Ant and the Peacock' by Helen Cronin, 1991). Thus, while the UK is a comparatively violent society (over one million violent crimes recorded in 2005-2006), the USA is off the scale. In the USA a child gets killed with a gun every three hours (see Wilkinson & Pickett for more).

Capablanca-Fan
20-12-2012, 03:11 PM
People in Britain are now 126 times less likely to be shot to death than in the US. So which country is safer?
But as Sowell pointed out, comparing London to NY, London had lower murders for the last two centuries. Most of this time, London had lax gun laws.

Now, the gun murders happen in "gun-free" zones, but places with lots of guns have a very low murder rate.

Let's now look at other crimes, e.g. home invasions. Rife in the UK, because scumbags know that the occupants are unarmed. Rare in the US, especially in states with the castle doctrine, precisely because scumbags know that they can be shot.

Goughfather
20-12-2012, 05:35 PM
Pardon? What percentage of all taxes do the bottom 50% of income earners pay again?

Given the fairly scandalous accusations thrown out by Jono, one would think that he would have the decency to actually answer the question asked by pax.

Basil
20-12-2012, 09:21 PM
One thing you definitely can't say is that gun restrictions decrease the rate of homicides.
Well I don't know about that. I said previously that charts, be they for economic, climate or gun control aren't able to be read in isolation as so many other variables are at play.

But what I *can* say! is that I have asked once for a parallel US chart (given that a chart for ENG and Wales was introduced), and now I am asking a second time!

pappubahry
20-12-2012, 10:22 PM
But what I *can* say! is that I have asked once for a parallel US chart (given that a chart for ENG and Wales was introduced), and now I am asking a second time!
Not a perfect parallel to the homicide or gun death graphs in this thread, but graphs of assault deaths per 100,000 population for various OECD countries:

http://www.kieranhealy.org/files/misc/assault-deaths-oecd-ts-all.png

(Source (http://crookedtimber.org/2012/07/20/america-is-a-violent-country/). The link also shows the country graphs individually.)

Damodevo
20-12-2012, 11:12 PM
Yes, something similar to this is discussed in 'The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone' (Wilkinson & Pickett, 2010, Penguin)

The (twentieth century?) Chicago and England/Wales murder profiles by age of the perpetrator look very similar except for one detail. The murder rate in Chicago was 30 times higher than England/Wales! (see also 'The Ant and the Peacock' by Helen Cronin, 1991). Thus, while the UK is a comparatively violent society (over one million violent crimes recorded in 2005-2006), the USA is off the scale. In the USA a child gets killed with a gun every three hours (see Wilkinson & Pickett for more).

Its not acceptable to just compare gun deaths as many factors influence crime rates. A comparison of before and after gun bans or the overturning of gun bans need to be made.

Damodevo
20-12-2012, 11:16 PM
One thing that's perspicuous about that chart is that the death rate is declining. But we know that gun ownership has been increasing in recent decades.

Damodevo
20-12-2012, 11:21 PM
But as Sowell pointed out, comparing London to NY, London had lower murders for the last two centuries. Most of this time, London had lax gun laws.

Gun ownership in London was incredibly prolific and there were virtually no restrictions on firearms until the 1920's. In 1900 out of the whole city of London there were 2 deaths from guns! Just 2!!!

Damodevo
20-12-2012, 11:28 PM
I wonder if that chart includes Switzerland, Israel, Finland or New Zealand with high gun ownership rates but low murder rates. So Switzerland had far more guns than Germany but far less murders.