Archive for July, 2012

I am always amazed that the loudmouths from the sixties’ campuses are now in charge of most universities and are the worst offenders about squelching free speech on campus. Maybe it’s because they’re the ones in charge now?

FIRE’s Essay Contest will award $20,000 in scholarships to high school juniors and seniors this fall! Visit http://www.thefire.org/contest to enter. Deadline Nov. 25, 2012.

Did you know that some colleges and universities restrict student speech rights? Don’t be surprised by campus censorship when you get to college — know before you go! Visit http://www.thefire.org to learn more.

via What Every Student Should Know Before Starting College – YouTube.

Archived from the live Mises.tv broadcast, this lecture by Robert Higgs was presented at the 2012 Mises University in Auburn, Alabama. Includes an introduction my Mark Thornton. Music by Kevin MacLeod

via Warfare, Welfare, and the State | Robert Higgs – YouTube.

Where have I heard this political platform before?

All citizens must possess equal rights and duties.

The first duty of every citizen must be to work mentally or physically. No individual shall do any work that offends against the interest of the community to the benefit of all.

Since every war imposes on the people fearful sacrifices in blood and treasure, all personal profit arising from the war must be regarded as treason to the people. We therefore demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

We demand the nationalization of all trusts.

We demand profit-sharing in large industries.

We demand a generous increase in old-age pensions.

We demand the creation and maintenance of a sound middle-class,

We demand an agrarian reform in accordance with our national requirements

We stand against those who work to the injury of the common welfare.

We will make it possible for every resident to obtain higher education

The State has the duty to help raise the standard of national health by providing healthcare.

We demand the abolition of the regular (volunteer) army and the creation of a national (draft) army.

We demand that there be a legal campaign against those who propagate deliberate political lies and disseminate them through the media.

We demand freedom from all religious faiths in the state

COMMON GOOD BEFORE INDIVIDUAL GOOD

In order to carry out this program we demand: the creation of a strong central authority in the State, the unconditional authority by the political central parliament of the whole State and all its organizations.

I usually observe Godwin’s law, but “When the shoe fits”, throw it.

These platform planks were lifted (with very minor alteration, such as substituting “healthcare” for “maternity care”) from the official platform of the National Socialist German Workers Party. (Nazi Party for those with recent educations)

Do you see any similarities between the Occutard movement and Kristallnacht? I’m afraid I do.

Bill Whittle gives you a history of the Fourth of July. Hear about the brave men who fought to protect our freedoms and preserve the union, and the historical challenges America faced on each Independence Day.

via Afterburner with Bill Whittle: The Glorious Fourth – YouTube.

Prompted by:
The Laffer Curve Wreaks Havoc in the United Kingdom
in which was written:

I’m more mystified by the behavior of economists. Let’s look at a couple of examples. Justin Wolfers and Mark Thoma recently cited some survey data to claim that the Laffer Curve was universally rejected by the profession.

But as James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute explained, the survey actually showed just the opposite, with economists by a margin of nearly 5-1 agreeing that lower tax rates could boost GDP (and therefore taxable income).

Those economists did say that a reduction in tax rates, based on current levels, would not cause taxable income to jump by a large enough amount to fully offset the revenue-losing impact of the lower tax rate. But the Laffer Curve says that only happens in extreme circumstances, so there’s zero contradiction.

So why did Wolfers and Thoma create a straw man in an attempt to discredit the Laffer Curve?

OK. First Let’s review what the Laffer Curve is:

I have a couple of quibbles with that video, but nothing important and it’s short and clear.

Now probable reasons for economists disdain:

1. Lowers demand for “erudite economic opinion” involving tax policy
2. Adoption of a “Flat” or better* still a”Fair Tax” would make optimizing the balance between growth and revenue so simple that the institutionalized obfuscation of who pays what by 80,000 pages of political favours in the laughingly referred Tax Code would be tossed out, robbing the politcrats of much of their power to reward or punish selected groups for political advantage (also #1 again).
3. No one can state they “know” where the optimum rate is except by simplification of the code and experimentation with the rate to observe where market forces place it. That takes us back to #1. Theory is much more fun (and lucrative) than experimenting with “messy” market forces and simply observing results to influence rate changes.

* The “Fair tax”, because it is collected at point of sale is more responsive, thus we wouldn’t have to wait very long for the market forces to show us where we were on the curve and whether we could safely raise tax percentages or should lower them. It would also build in a guage of whether we are encouraging or stifling growth by our tax rate. A Twofor!