Randoms of the weekend

The reduction in crime, like so many other modern "achievements," is really a failure of modern governance masked by technological improvement. For a more nuanced view, see Steve Sailer’s review of Steven Pinker’s latest. The review concludes:

I was born in an America in which women could walk downtown streets freely at night, where both infanticide and abortion were uncommon, where the prison population was small, and prison rape was not the default punchline as TV detectives handcuffed the bad guys. I have some hopes that, just as with my neighbor’s unlocked car, I might someday live in that America again.

Aretae makes the case for small, competitive states. Obviously when people make this case, they’re thinking about Singapore and Hong Kong. The argument is generally that small, competitive states make exit easier. But, I think it also makes discrimination against potential citizens easier. For example, do you really think it’s an accident that Singapore and Hong Kong are numbers 1 and 2 on this list?

Regulatory stupidity of the last few days: Again, it goes to Yglesias, who says:

But more broadly, I think it’s worth pointing out that it’s easy to overestimate the extent to which everyone in the DC area is just busy lobbying. According to the Washington Post’s 2010 “Post 200″ take on the regional economy the largest lobbying firm in the area, Patton Boggs, employs 150 lobbyists. The biggest law firm, Covington & Burling, employs 501 lawyers. By contrast, the University of Maryland, George Mason, George Washington, Georgetown, Howard, and American University combine to employ slightly over 100,000 people.

I regularly meet with lobbyists. The groups that come in to lobby always include more lawyers than people employed as lobbyists. I’ve also been lobbied by professors from at least three of the universities listed. Indirectly, many professors lobby all day long – what are policy papers if not lobbying documents?

HH Hoppe on immigration.

Alrenous on Genoans.

15% of people will say yes to anything.


The inconvenient truth is that modern banks lie in dangerous economic shadow zone that is part government and part commercial company.

It’s not often that I disagree with Vox, so I suppose it’s worth noting. If I have to pick between violent, furiously-masturbating hippies and the Oakland Police, I’m with the Oakland police. As Jim says, "Whosoever allies with one leftist, allies with every single one. . ."

Here’s a good solution to the problem of our electorate being overly well-informed.

Ulysses directs us to patriactionary – I haven’t read anything there yet, but you’ve got to love the name.


14 Responses to Randoms of the weekend

  1. aretae says:

    When I talk small states that you can exit from, I’m talking 1450-1850 Europe (& America), (and specifically comparing against 1450-1850 China)…where the intellectuals left any country that didn’t like them…and went to other countries, and made the other country richer.

    I guess Hong Kong/Singapore are good modern examples.

  2. I think the high IQ average of Hong Kong and Singapore have a lot to do with the prosperity of their trading and later finance sector in history. People were driven on that path.

  3. dearieme says:

    “…because of the existence of a welfare state, immigration has become to a significant extent the immigration of welfare-bums…”


    “For this is not an argument against immigration but against the welfare state.”

    Hold on, the opinion of the electorate is overwhelmingly supportive of most aspects of the welfare state. They may be open to a little reform, but not to abolition.

    “However, in any case the problems of immigration and welfare are analytically distinct problems, and they must be treated accordingly.”

    Nope. If you are stuck with the existence of the welfare state, the problems are not analytically distinct. You have to analyse immigration in the context of a welfare state.

    The interesting question is quite different. Why is the electorate allowed a democratic veto on the abolition of the welfare state but not a democratic veto on mass immigration?

  4. tenkev says:

    High IQ does not explain the success of other small states such as Qatar (78 avg IQ), Brunei (92), Cyprus (92), Andorra (98), UAE (84), Bahrain (83), The Bahamas (78 or 84), Kuwait (83), Seychelles (81), or Malta (95). And that’s not to mention Liechtenstein, Monaco or San Marino which are doing better than anywhere else in Europe.

    • Describe the variances in IQ for each state you name. What are the racial compositions of each? Enumerate the natural resources contained in each state’s geographical boundaries which require high IQ to utilize.

      • tenkev says:

        “Describe the variances in IQ for each state you name. What are the racial compositions of each? Enumerate the natural resources contained in each state’s geographical boundaries which require high IQ to utilize”

        I won’t do all that but I will say that the whole point of my comment is that there are a large amount of small states with varying IQs, natural resource levels and forms of government that all seem to be doing pretty well and very few counter-examples of very small states that are doing poorly given what they have to work with.

    • RS says:

      There’s something in common there, though. Almost every one of those lands (my guess is every one), has stupendous natural resources per capita, whether it’s oil or superb beaches. Diamonds in the case of, what is it, Botswana. Bahamas rents and sells a lot of beaches, but it didn’t create them.

      That’s not how it is in the US or South Korea or most of the world — there’s nothing economically valuable here except the people. There’s a lot of oil production here in the US, as well as a lot of fine places to spend a vacation… but it doesn’t amount to much per capita per year. It might be something like $5,000 a head — just a guess.

    • Anonymous says:

      Also these are small states, and thus more able to organize and maintain an economically advantageous situation without the thing being sabotaged.

      Thanks for the immigration link that points out the analysis changes when one considers the quality of the immigrants.

      • tenkev says:

        “Also these are small states, and thus more able to organize and maintain an economically advantageous situation without the thing being sabotaged.”

        This is the whole point.

  5. Toddy Cat says:

    Yes, for whatever reason, Vox just hates the police, and loses all rationality when it comes to any issue dealing with them. It’s too bad, he’s usually pretty level-headed, at least when he forgets that he’s a member of MENSA…

  6. lesterhunt says:

    “If I have to pick between violent, furiously-masturbating hippies and the Oakland Police, I’m with the Oakland police.” Ugh! What a choice! These are just two different kinds of authoritarians. The Oakland police were notoriously thuggish when I was a student at Berkeley in the sixties and a friend from those days who still lives in the area tells me they haven’t changed much. Eschew false dichotomies, my friend!

    • icr says:

      The whole world has changed quite a bit since the 60s-apparently except for the Oakland PD. Or maybe George Wallace is still governor of Alabama.

  7. Matt says:

    I wonder if this site is going to do anything about the REINS act. It’s probably unpassable and futile even if passed, but it is within this blog’s purview, and I wonder what the author knows about it that we folk don’t.

  8. RS says:

    An Asst. Ed. of the Telegraph, writing in the same, recommends a coup d’etat to Italian elites:

    Some believe this could be corrected by Silvio Berlusconi’s immediate resignation (which is possible by the end of the week, though I’ll believe it when I see it), and the installation of a technocrat government which is nominated by the president, but not elected. This would not be a first for Italy. It happened once before in the early 1990s, when Carlo Ciampi presided over a so called “technocratic government”. [lolzlozlozoll, which ‘it’ happened before – a technocratic coup, or a technocratic gov?]

    To have an election is judged to take too long, and in any case would likely result in a government too weak to push through the desired reforms. There is a sense in which the opposition doesn’t in any case want power. What’s required is too painful to allow for popular support.

    With democracy suspended, the technocrat government could rapidly impose the sort of changes demanded by the eurocrats and the markets. These would go well beyond fiscal fiddling with wealth taxes and entitlements. Root and branch supply side reform, making business start ups easier and so on, would have to be imposed.

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