Randoms

"And no one can say that John Adams and Alexander Hamilton were a worse danger to the Republic than the omnipresent bureaucracy that rules in the name of Dwight D. Eisenhower." ~ Frank Meyer

Scotch – “it’s as good as life used to be.”

Top 5, baby

A short history of the enlightenment.

Dalrymple on the riots.

Lord Sacks on the London rioters (h/t Kalim Kassam):

The truth is, it is not their fault. They are the victims of the tsunami of wishful thinking that washed across the West saying that you can have sex without the responsibility of marriage, children without the responsibility of parenthood, social order without the responsibility of citizenship, liberty without the responsibility of morality and self-esteem without the responsibility of work and earned achievement.

What has happened morally in the West is what has happened financially as well. Good and otherwise sensible people were persuaded that you could spend more than you earn, incur debt at unprecedented levels and consume the world’s resources without thinking about who will pay the bill and when. It has been the culture of the free lunch in a world where there are no free lunches.

OneSTDV on the riots.

"British prime minister David Cameron has said he wants to get advice from authorities in the United States on how to deal with runaway mob violence." (from here). He’s gonna be pissed when he finds out that the US has no idea how to control riots. The whole reason we imported an underclass was so that subject the population to the constant possibility of riots.

Mark Steyn: "In Britain, everything is policed except crime"

From the WSJ: "The Obama administration is now launching a pilot program giving local housing authorities wide discretion to pay higher rent subsidies to allow Section 8 beneficiaries to move into even more affluent zip codes." Surely, this will finally close the gap.

Game and reaction

I’ve said before that the free trade absolutists refuse to admit that economic growth is path dependent. Here’s an example of what I was referring to.

Vox links to a nice video of Keynes talking about how prices won’t rise once there’s no more gold standard (wasn’t that the whole point of going off the gold standard?). I remember reading a debate about going off the gold standard in the US. The debate was about whether gold would ever rise about $35/oz. The anti-gold standard people were sure that gold would never get about that price. Oops.

Reason number 20394823 why I don’t understand Robin Hanson. If that’s bias, may your life be filled with bias.

Chuck on guaranteed income. I don’t understand how this idea isn’t just a reform to good, old-fashioned slavery. The government is now your master and it would be required to provide you some basic services. Let’s just call it what it is and stop bullshitting ourselves.

The CRB is only about three years behind Steve Sailer:

In sum, though the only evidence available is circumstantial, Barack Obama, Jr.’s mother, father, stepfather, grandmother, and grandfather seem to have been well connected, body and soul, with the U.S. government’s then extensive and well-financed trans-public-private influence operations.

A reasonably good article in the CRB on ’60s radicalism:

The transitive properties of the "No enemies to the Left" rule meant that respectable liberals couldn’t bring themselves to criticize the tame activists, who couldn’t bring themselves to dissociate from the fierce ones. They were all so disposed because the historicism of American progressive thought provides no basis for drawing lines in the sand. The American republic had an unfolding destiny rather than an essence; progressivism’s raison d’être was to discern and build that destiny, to take us beyond our "political and governmental phase of democracy," in Dewey’s words, to the next, higher phase of human and social development. Thus, liberals had always looked to radicals for their "vision" of "secular transcendence," the leftist historian Michael Kazin wrote in Liberalism for a New Century (2007), a collection of essays. Having lost confidence in their own technocratic vision—justifiably, since McGeorge Bundy and Robert McNamara personified it—the liberals of the 1960s could find no basis to reject the idea that the "idealistic" young had the surer grasp of America’s destiny, even when the idealism degenerated into irrationality and violence.

Uh oh. "Careful now, the initial entry sounded like you were channeling Mencius for a moment."

Blacks and gays. I can’t seem to find out if the cops that refused to help were black, but I’d be willing to make a wager.

"A gentleman is only interested in lost causes" ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Winterspeak on Scott Sumner: "Scott Sumner is great because he’s extremely logical and impervious to facts. This makes him the go-to source for the nonsense that is Monetarism, because he will happily make the baldly ridiculous statements." . . . "’Unconventional monetary policy’ means the Fed targets some level of nominal GDP and keeps buying things until that level is met. . . .Scott argues that the Fed can buy other things, like road repair services, bridge building services, etc. etc. and therefore hit any NGDP target it chooses." Obviously, this is wildly outside the Fed’s legal authority, but I don’t suppose that matters at this point.

It’s nice to live in DC. Even though all the men are pansies.

Ilkka: "Isn’t it funny how the fact that, say, the American black people are poorer than American white people undeniably proves that the black people are oppressed, but then the fact that the Swedes are poorer than Americans by practically the same dollar amount does not "prove" that the Swedes are oppressed by the Swedish system?"

Daphne: "If your political preference trends towards a tight blend of tea-party populism sprinkled with a heavy dose of neo-con bullshit, Rick’s your man. Nothing significant will change if he’s elected, but you’ll feel better about the inevitable decay nonetheless." While I agree with this diagnosis, I’d be tempted to vote for the guy because of these awesome pictures.

On Noah Webster and the people.

Someone needs to explain liquidity transformation to Matthew Yglesias.

Alternate history.

An early victory for austerity?

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2 Responses to Randoms

  1. Handle says:

    Welcome Back!

    1. We know perfectly well how to control riots. Heck, check out MacArthur, Eisenhower and Patton’s response to the Bonus Army in 1932. Nothing says “go home” like using a cavalry charge, fixed-bayonet infantry, and semi-toxic, hyper-emetic chemical agents against your own veteran civilians. It’s just a matter of balls.

    2. The way to understand Hanson here is to remember that he’s always constantly floating in his own context, and sometimes he forgets that other people aren’t always there too. If you want to get thin, but your need for the physical pleasure of consumption of delicious food overwhelms your self-control and causes you to make non-optimal, time-inconsistent impulsive decisions, then, in an abstract sense, if I were a non-human space-alien (or “academic”) trying to explain the discrepancy between your claimed desires and behaviors, I would say you have a “bias”. Beauty is pleasure too, and can lead you astray when such pleasure is not your sole aim. Or so he says.

    3. I read Charles Murray’s “In Our Hands” on the guaranteed income idea and I have to admit, he makes a convincing case that it would be better version of the welfare state than the system we have now. However, that’s an incomprehensibly low bar. And it also assumes that the purpose of the welfare state is solely to improve the welfare of the poor and that it would be much more efficient to get rid of the huge bloated bureaucracy and poverty-industry. But actually, that whole complex of millions of jobs is half the point. And they wouldn’t go quietly, that’s for sure.

    4. The one thing the CRB and even Sailer (surprisingly) miss about the nature of the government-funded East-West Center is that it was essentially a reconstituted version of the Institute of Pacific Relations – which was also founded in Honolulu, and like so much else in the WWI era, began as a “Progressive Wilsonian” institution and quickly evolved into straight-up “Communist”. It become a center of spying and treason which got McCarthy’s attention. But as soon as the heat was off after a few years, the same clique of people who survived the investigations get LBJ, Eisenhower, and State to green-light the project, selling “usefulness to the CIA” as part of the justification. At any rate, remember, Ann Dunham gets her Anthro. grant from the E-WC, and meets Obama’s stepfather there too. And she met Obama Sr. at a Russian language course. “Why Russian?” you ask?

    5. Hayek also proposed NGDP-targeting from an Austrian perspective and his argument was solid (even more solid than Milton’s Friedman’s constant growth rate of the money-supply proposal). Sumner may not be the best spokesman for what is, in truth, a good and very old idea which has become associated with him personally (and one which time has come, in my opinion), but alas he’s practically the only one making the argument. I maintain that within the fiat-money, fractional-reserve lending, central-bank controlled system in which we will continue to live for the foreseeable future, NGDP path level-targeting is the optimal, most stable, and least corruptible or abusable, strategy for the Federal Reserve to follow. No need to make the perfect the enemy of the good – and this idea would be a dramatic improvement. What we have now is clearly the worst management possible short of Zimbabwe.

    6. The Comments on Yglesias’ post are a trip. “You can just go buy some corporate bonds if you want” is a good one. Of course, if you buy them from a company like GM, don’t imagine that mere bankruptcy law will protect your priority of security when the company goes belly-up and the President is close, personal friends with a rival creditor. Politicians provide “Priority Transformation” or even maybe “Legality Transformation”. That’s why we bribe them so much – it totally pays off!

  2. icr says:

    What *is* all that crap that’s “made in U.S from U.S parts” ?

    Their economic advisers at agencies like the Fed also need to spend more time understanding what’s behind the numbers and begin to comprehend the people-related issues that will determine the economic fate of the country.

    First step, use the PATRIOT Act to send all the economists to Gitmo.

    ______________

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