Archive for November, 2011

Do You Believe in Magic? »

I protested when San Francisco began cracking down on Happy Meals with its cleverly worded edict to prohibit restaurants from giving away toys aimed at children with food that did not satisfy its nutritional standards. But perhaps I despaired too soon. As it turns out, the magic of the market, the ingenuity of McDonald’s,...
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Richard T. Ely’s Social Gospel of “Progressivism”: Socialism, Fascism, Racism, Eugenics and Militarism »

In a recent podcast interview (please see below) of the economist Clifford F. Thies at Econ Journal Watch (EJW), he discusses the ideas and impact of Richard T. Ely (1854–1943), the highly influential “Progressive.” Ely was co-founder, first Secretary, and subsequent President of the American Economic Association (AEA), that continues to take great pride...
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The Government Is Expropriating Private Wealth at a Rapid Rate »

About a month ago, I posted in regard to what I called “the euthanasia of the saver.” This comment had to do with the fact that nominal interest rates in the United States for financial investments such as bank certificates of deposit and bank savings accounts—the kinds of investments traditionally employed by retired persons and small savers, who...
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Job Creation »

With the unemployment rate remaining persistently high at 9%, politicians seem intent on passing legislation that will create jobs. Never mind that job creation legislation hasn’t worked for four years now. What the job creation rhetoric fails to recognize is that jobs fall on the cost side of the ledger. The benefit is what...
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No War for Oil Confronts a Key Premise of U.S. Foreign Policy »

Ivan Eland‘s new book, No War for Oil: U.S. Dependency and the Middle East, challenges a long-standing pillar of U.S. foreign policy—the belief that U.S. national and economic security require that American taxpayers fund the military protection of oil-rich foreign lands, especially in the Persian Gulf. According to Eland, senior fellow at the Independent...
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The Welfare State Neutralizes Potential Opponents by Making Them Dependent on Government Benefits »

From time immemorial—from Etienne de la Boitie to David Hume to Ludwig von Mises—political analysts have noted that because the number of those in the ruling elite amounts to only a small fraction of the number in the ruled masses, every regime lives or dies in accordance with “public opinion.” Unless the mass of the people,...
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Another Agency in Search of a Mission: Department of Homeland Security Issues Warning on Turkey Fryers »

Thank goodness for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—the $57 billion per year super-agency created when the already bloated Department of Defense turned out to be incapable of defending even its own Pentagon headquarters. I mean, if it didn’t exist, how else could Americans learn that vats of boiling oil pose a danger? For...
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Climategate 2.0 »

As reported in The Guardian and elsewhere, a new batch of 5,000 emails (“FOIA2011″) has just been leaked that follow up on Climategate of 2009 and the more recent scandal of the BEST studies that further reveal the deliberate and coordinated efforts by key climate alarmist scientists to distort the scientific record in order...
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Invocation: A Gala for Liberty »

The following invocation was delivered by the Very Reverend Alan W. Jones, Dean Emeritus at Grace Cathedral of San Francisco, at the Independent Institute’s 25th Anniversary Dinner: A Gala for Liberty, November 15th, in San Francisco: INVOCATION We thank you that you have called the human family into freedom and shown us its painful...
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Anti-Chinese Bipartisanship »

A troubling agreement among divergent ideological strains in America has emerged over the years: China’s growing wealth is a problem worthy of a political solution. It is a focus of anger and frustration that unifies much of the left—unionists, opponents of free trade and corporations, agitators for regulatory harmonization, consumer “advocates” demonizing the Yellow...
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