Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Challenging the Morality of the Welfare State

Onkar answers the question: Does America Need Ayn Rand or Jesus?

Update: See also this story on CNN.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Unfunded Government Pensions

I thought this was a good way to present the numbers:
U.S. state and local governments will need to raise taxes by $1,398 per household every year for the next 30 years if they are to fully fund their pension systems, a study released on Wednesday said.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Individual Rights Concretized

I enjoyed Paul Hsieh's editorial which both concretizes the effects of a government no longer limited to protecting individual rights and then indicates what a return to such principle might look like. (I must confess, though, that I personally don't see the issue of gun control as central to these types of arguments.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Keynes vs Hayek

I'd previously posted a link to a very clever Keynes vs Hayek video, this page has it and its followup plus various explanations and lyrics.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

On the positive side, people are starting to take notice of Ayn Rand

Tom Bowden's blog post "The Constitution of Ayn Rand" is well worth reading.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dependence and Poverty

I'm starting to come around to the view that government redistribution of wealth is even worse than I'd thought previously. Even the people it purports to help aren't in fact helped. Yaron Brook often talks about the culture of dependence that such aid creates. Here's a John Stossel column making the same point.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Four Dirty Secrets about Clean Energy

Alex Epstein has a nice piece out at Fox News.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Slow Death of our Public Markets

The NY Times reports on a phenomenon I've discussed a few times: companies are less likely to go public, or if they do, they'll be more likely to do it outside of the US. From the article:
Nearly one in 10 American companies that went public last year did so outside the United States. Besides Australia, they turned to stock markets in Britain, Taiwan, South Korea and Canada, according to data from the consulting firm Grant Thornton and Dealogic.

The 10 companies that went public abroad in 2010 — and 75 from 2000 to 2009 — compares with only two United States companies choosing foreign exchanges from 1991 to 1999.

The trend reflects a decidedly global outlook toward stocks, just as the number of public companies in the United States is shrinking.

From a peak of more than 8,800 American companies at the end of 1997, that number fell to about 5,100 by the end of 2009, a 40 percent decline, according to the World Federation of Exchanges.


A variety of factors explain each company’s decision to list on a foreign exchange, like the increased regulatory costs of going public in the United States. Underwriting, legal and other costs are typically lower in foreign markets, companies say.

The Alternative Investment Market, or AIM, a part of the London Stock Exchange intended for small company listings, is a popular destination for some American companies. The cost of an initial public offering there is about 10 to 12 percent of total capital raised, compared with 13 to 15 percent on Nasdaq, according to Mark McGowan of AIM Advisers, which helps American companies list on AIM.

In addition, the extra annual cost of maintaining a public listing, including with Sarbanes-Oxley rules, can be typically much higher in the United States: $2 million to $3 million each year depending on the size of a company compared with a cost as low as $320,000 on AIM or $100,000 to $300,000 in a market like Taiwan, according to advisers.
For more see my article "Stop the Assault on our Public Markets"

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

DOE Pulls Out the Gun

Perhaps another reason to privatize education post-haste? There's no way a private entity could get a SWAT team to collect a student loan.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Facing Reality

Dr. Beth Haynes has an excellent editorial out at PajamasMedia today. Here's a point that needs to be hammered home:
Before the government created the means to “tax, spend and go into debt” for health care, people had to make those difficult decisions for themselves looking at their own resources, unable to take advantage of their neighbors’ bank accounts — at least not without directly asking. The family’s doctor would talk with his patients about the pros and cons of various treatment options, including the cost. Some of the time that meant forgoing treatment in order to “save the widow the farm.” Tough choices? You bet. Sometimes tragic? Without a doubt. But it kept us living consistent with the reality of limited resources and personal responsibility, preventing the drift off into fantasy land where every need can be met by reaching into our neighbor’s (or our children’s) pockets while they aren’t paying attention.