Friday, January 30, 2009

Ray Niles

Ray Niles has been doing some great activist writing lately. Paul Hsieh summarizes his contributions here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

RC on Banking

Doug Reich has an interesting post on banking over at the Rational Capitalist (be sure to check out the comments too, as the discussion continues there).

My simple take on the issue is that in a free market you'd distinguish between pure warehousing of money, versus using banks as investment vehicles. That is, a pure demand deposit would be akin to a warehousing or storage transaction, most likely resulting in the depositor paying fees, not receiving interest. OTOH, if someone has capital that they want to invest, banks could act as one type of investment vehicle, competing with mutual funds, hedge funds, etc. And just as the other types of investors have strategies with different risk levels, banks could too, ranging from relatively safe to relatively risky.

Of course, in a free market every transaction has some risk, but assuming the warehouse acted as a warehouse, and insured itself against theft and disaster, then that type of storage would be among the lowest risk transactions. I.e. you could consider your money safely stored.

For investment transactions, including allowing the bank to use its judgment in lending your funds out, there would be considerably more risk, and the payment you got for lending your money to them would have to compensate you for this risk. (If everyone understood the nature of these transactions, there would be no call for the government to step in when things went wrong, it would already be seen as a possible consequence of the activity.)

Saville's Commentary

Here's a good post on the nature of bubbles and the lunacy of the typical response to them. HT: Wealth is not the problem

Friday, January 16, 2009

Gold Standard in Indiana?

Though I can't see how this could actually pass and be put in practice, I think it's very interesting that Indiana has a senate bill proposing a gold standard. Here's hoping that something similar gains traction on the federal level.

Larry Fitzgerald

Despite the minimal TV coverage the Cardinals get, I'm quickly becoming a huge fan of Larry Fitzgerald. This article does a good job explaining why.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Lockitch on Environmentalism

Keith Lockitch has a great editorial out on environmentalism. It effectively raises the question: "what do environmentalists consider the ultimate good, and is that compatible with man's life?"

Monday, January 12, 2009

Government Worker's Benefits

As public spending pushes out private firms, the issue of state and municipal pensions and other benefits will loom even larger than it already does. This blog post makes some good points on the subject, including these quotes:
The runaway costs of pensions and health care are a major reason the city and state are in such deep fiscal holes. They must be reined in because taxpayers cannot afford to pay for salaries and benefits that are so much richer than their own.

It used to be that government paid less than the private sector but offered job security and solid benefits. Now, public wages have outpaced private ones - and public benefits have become gold-plated.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Next Spending Plan

Via OActivists comes this editorial discussing Obama's Keynesian program. Well worth reading...

Healthcare Editorial

Paul Hsieh scored another one, this time having his work extensively quoted in this excellent editorial from the Washington DC Examiner (arguing forcefully against more socialized medicine). Congrats and thanks again for all your hard work Paul!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

John Lewis - Facing Jihad

As I've mentioned previously, John Lewis is one of my favorite authors/speakers. Here (in 4 parts) is a lecture he gave in Israel entitled 'Facing Jihad'. (HT OActivists)

Healthcare and the Nanny State

Dr. Paul Hsieh has just published an excellent editorial in the Christian Science Monitor. I have forwarded it to my representatives with a short note imploring them to oppose further socialization of medicine and to instead fight for free market reforms. If you wish to do the same, you can find your elected officials' contact info here.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Cox Regrets Short-Selling Ban

Interesting article. I wonder if anyone will learn from it?

Of course the "unintended" consequences might have been just that, but they definitely weren't unforeseeable, except perhaps to an ignoramus like Cox. Maybe someday people will realize that regulation is nothing but damaging...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Washington is Killing Silicon Valley

The New Clarion recently blogged about this WSJ editorial which I recommend reading. I was struck by this paragraph, particularly the second sentence:
From the beginning of this decade, the process of new company creation has been under assault by legislators and regulators. They treat it as if it is a natural phenomenon that can be manipulated and exploited, rather than the fragile creation of several generations of hard work, risk-taking and inventiveness. In the name of "fairness," preventing future Enrons, and increased oversight, Congress, the SEC and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) have piled burdens onto the economy that put entrepreneurship at risk.
The idea that businessmen will just keep working and somehow "make things happen", no matter how the government and society treat and enthrall them is a central idea analyzed (and condemned) in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. It's nice to see a more mainstream author (at least partially) grasp this issue.