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Showing posts from February, 2008

Bastiat’s “The Law”

Frederic Bastiat was a Nineteenth Century economist, statesman, and author, born in France and served as a Deputy to the Legislative Assembly around the time of the French Revolution of 1948. "He did most of his writing during the years just before—and immediately following—the Revolution… As a Deputy…, Mr. Bastiat was studying and explaining each socialist fallacy as it appeared. And he explained how socialism must inevitably degenerate into communism. But most of his countrymen chose to ignore his logic."The Law is a masterpiece and a must read for anybody who wants to understand the purpose of the law in keeping a just society. "For Bastiat, law is a negative. He agreed with a friend who pointed out that it is imprecise to say that law should create justice. In truth, the law should prevent injustice. 'Justice is achieved only when injustice is absent.' That may strike some readers as dubious. But on reflection, one can see that a free and just society is wha…

Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?

A few months ago, I read another of Thomas Sowell's many books, this one published in the year I was born, 1984. As I'm sure you've figured out by now, I hold Mr. Sowell in very high regard. He is intellectually honest and, as an African-American, he's not shy to report the facts when it comes to race-related issues. Many of his books, if written by a Caucasian-American, may have never been published, or if they were, created wide-spread controversy and indignation. Not that what he writes about hasn't created indignation, it has, but because he's black, he's simply written off as an "Uncle Tom". The book I read is titled Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?, and is "a brutally frank, perceptive and important contribution to the national debate over the means to achieve equality and social justice for minorities and women." In this book, Mr. Sowell "has forced civil rights advocates to take a hard look at what has, and has not, been a…

Internet Anonymity

Dennis Prager wrote an excellent analysis in October 2007 on anonymity on the Internet, specifically anonymous comments posted in comment sections of blogs, online newspapers, etc. The column can be found here. An excerpt below:

"The Internet practice of giving everyone the ability to express himself anonymously for millions to read has debased public discourse. Cursing, ad hominem attacks and/or the utter absence of logic characterize a large percentage of many websites' 'comments' sections. And because people tend to do what society says it is OK to do, many people, especially younger people, are coming to view such primitive forms of self-expression as acceptable."

In Defense of Global Capitalism

I just finished reading an insightful book on globalization by Swedish think tank Timbro's Jonah Norberg titled In Defense of Global Capitalism. This book is the first to rebut, "systematically and thoroughly, the claims of the anti-globalization movement. With facts, statistics and graphs, [the author] shows why capitalism is in the process of creating a better world." Below I have selected my favorite parts of my favorite chapters from the book and hope that they will prove insightful to you as well:The Preface
"By capitalism I do not specifically mean an economic system of capital ownership and investment opportunities. Those things can also exist in a command economy. What I mean is the [classic liberal] market economy, with free competition based on the right to use one's property and the freedom to negotiate, to conclude agreements, and to start up business activities. What I am defending, then, is individual liberty in the economy. Capitalists are dangerou…

Economics for the Citizen

As part of my Basic Economics series, I'd like to also direct anyone who is interested in learning more about economics to read Walter Williams' short Economics for the Citizen, "a ten part series on basic economic concepts". The series can be found here. A few examples of what you'll read:

"The first lesson in economic theory is that we live in a world of scarcity. Scarcity is a situation whereby human wants exceed the means to satisfy those wants. Human wants are assumed to be limitless, or at least they don't frequently reveal their bounds. People always want more of something, be it: more cars, more food, more love, more happiness, more peace, more health care, more clean air or more charity. Our ability and resources to satisfy all those wants are indeed limited. There's only a finite amount of: land, iron, workers and years in a lifetime."

"In order for specialization to occur, there must be trade opportunities. It…

Once a Politician...

One of the worst things about a race for the Presidency is that its filled with politicians. And we all know that with politicians comes special interests, lies, deceit, flip-flops, you name it and it's there. It really doesn't matter if the politician has never worked in Washington either, as in the cases of Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Below you'll find various columns outlining the political characteristics on just a few front-runners:

Deroy Murdock on Mitt Romney's Flip-Flops
"Mitt is the born-again supply-sider who today swears he never raised taxes, even though he increased taxes and fees $983 million as Massachusetts governor. He is 2008's stalwart defender of traditional values and man-woman marriage who, in 2002, distributed a hot-pink flyer among Boston's gay community that read: 'Mitt and Kerry Wish You A Great Pride Weekend! All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual preference.' (Kerry Healey was the GOP nominee for …