Posts tagged ‘Milton Friedman’

“[T]he stupid anthropomorphism of collectives”

One of the greatest dangers of war – a danger that is simultaneously both a cause of war and a consequence of war – is the stupid anthropomorphism of collectives: “Us” versus “Them.” Individuals are lost sight of; they become invisible. All that is seen are the mentally-constructed wholes (usually, but not always, represented by governments that do indeed claim to be the living embodiments of their peoples).

“They” are “Our” enemy, so any damage, even if it’s “collateral,” to any of “Them” is proper, even good – and sometimes downright glorious. “We” treat “Them” as the Bad; “They” treat “Us” as the Bad. And because “We” must spare no effort to defeat “Them” the Bad, “We” turn on each other if and to the extent that any individuals amongst us dare to not join in “Our” crusade against “Them.”

Henderson on Epstein on War and Libertarians, by Don Boudreaux

Pro-tip: “Socialism really fixes the environment. Just ask the USSR and China.”
Daniel Greenfield

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Teach Your Children Well (Teaching Instruction is an “Industry Of Mediocrity”)

Who Is Teaching Your Children? And What Is Being Taught?

Sure, professional athletes have a certain celebrity appeal, but can they really convince Americans to embrace a product that a growing number have already written off as a shit sandwich? But to really win hearts and minds … Hey! How about using the public schools to recruit their captive audience of students to the cause, and then set the kids loose to proselytize their families on the glories of Obamacare? That should work wonders.
. . .
So public school teachers get paid taxpayer dollars to preach Obamacare to their co-workers and the students, so the kids will then go home and sing the glories of the health scheme to the same taxpayers who are funding the whole process. Everybody wins!

If this experiment in using the public schools as a medium for spreading the good news works out as school officials and health insurance exchange managers hope, expect more in the future.

Los Angeles Public Schools Train Students as Obamacare Missionaries

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The New Deal, The Great Depression

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana

The NIRA created monopolies and strengthened crony capitalism.

Where was Woodrow Wilson when we needed him?

Ozymandias

Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT) and to prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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Markers of Success, Cargo Cults, Statolatry

Fresh guacamole is certainly a marker of success:

And now, on to cargo cults!

Cargo cult: a religious practice that has appeared in many traditional pre-industrial tribal societies in the wake of interaction with technologically advanced cultures. The cults focus on obtaining the material wealth (the “cargo”) of the advanced culture through magic and religious rituals and practices. This same magical thinking is evident in modern cargo cults found in welfare states where it commonly manifests as statolatry, celebrity “wisdom,” higher ed credentialism, doublespeak, increased centralization, prohibition, crony capitalism, nannyism, denigration of the individual and individual liberty, and a sycophantic press.
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Life is not zero sum

Colonialism always costs the colonizing country more than it makes from the colonies.
Look at how people vote with their feet.
Life is not zero sum.
Incentives matter.

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Milton Friedman predicted the failure of the “War on Drugs” 40 years ago

In Oliver Cromwell’s eloquent words, “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken” about the course you and President Bush urge us to adopt to fight drugs. The path you propose of more police, more jails, use of the military in foreign countries, harsh penalties for drug users, and a whole panoply of repressive measures can only make a bad situation worse. The drug war cannot be won by those tactics without undermining the human liberty and individual freedom that you and I cherish.
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Your mistake is failing to recognize that the very measures you favor are a major source of the evils you deplore. Of course the problem is demand, but it is not only demand, it is demand that must operate through repressed and illegal channels. Illegality creates obscene profits that finance the murderous tactics of the drug lords; illegality leads to the corruption of law enforcement officials; illegality monopolizes the efforts of honest law forces so that they are starved for resources to fight the simpler crimes of robbery, theft and assault.

Drugs are a tragedy for addicts. But criminalizing their use converts that tragedy into a disaster for society, for users and non-users alike. Our experience with the prohibition of drugs is a replay of our experience with the prohibition of alcoholic beverages.

Milton Friedman, the War on Drugs, and Last Tuesday Night

LEAP | Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

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