Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
The east side of Colorado Springs is a ill-conceived sprawl of suburbia. This has led to increases in schools with no funding to provide new schools (i.e. Falcon School District. In the mix on the development is the question of water availability. Furthermore, as the population of Colorado Springs heads east, no insight has been given to improving our east-west travel. I do realize that growth has periods of changes and adjustments yet, our city council and county commissioners have given little consideration to responsible growth, rather a green light to developers to keep building.
It is interesting that this land can be so easily rezoned without thinking of the ramifications of the development. A moritorium on building is not a viable answer. The plans of developers should be closer scrutinzed to examine their appeal, need and sustainability. It appears to me that our local government is thinking in a short term mentality of stimulating our economy, when a long run plan is in the other back room waiting to rear its ugly head.
Friday, April 27, 2007
So, I can understand that in schools the board and the administration is subject tot he desires of the parents. There may have been some people who were offended by the article. There were probably people that were not offended. Certainly on the grounds of liberty this is a ridiculous situation. The teacher is being punished because she let a student express her views. the teacher did not even write the content in question. Certainly the teacher was preserving the students rights. Certainly no harm was inflicted on other people due to the article. If people found it offensive they could certainly opt not to read it. I might suggest that it is the parents responsibility to direct the students in what is acceptable. Generally, if the parents are doing their job and they feel that something is unacceptable the children will know that and also feel that way and avoid content that offends them. The school and the disapproving parents have overstepped their boundaries. Maybe people don't like it, but everyone has a right to express their opinion.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Social security has been a dark cloud hovering over the
How can the government get out of this major problem they have created? The obvious solution is to increase public savings and slowly reduce the benefits of social security until it no longer exists. Unfortunately, a politician running on that campaign could not get elected for dog catcher in
The idea that we are paying for something we may never see is a very serious infringement on our liberty, and by many, could be construed as stealing. Why do we allow them to forcefully steal our money with almost no hope of repayment? Because their coercive force is greater than the individual, we do not have a choice. Only in large aggregates can change be made. It will just take time for Americans to realize the shear size of the problem, and create political demand for a solution.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
It is of course not surprising that a government entity is inefficient. A company was contracted recently by the Department of Defense to make tourniquets for Iraq, which cost about $40.00 apiece and consisted of a piece of webbing and a couple d- rings (a glorified scout belt). The story of hammers that cost $70.00, etc, etc. And especially FEMA, after all the previous mismanagement and misspending estimated to have cost 1 billion dollars. This sort of mismanagement of a national disaster really makes for a sound argument for privatization of certain government sectors. Real fodder for Rothbard's argument. Even when government contracts private firms it cannot do so in a way which is allocatively efficient. A small group profits while the majority suffers, in this case taxpayers. According to Rothbard: The essence and the glory of the free market is that the individual firms and businesses, competing on the market, provide an ever-changing orchestration of efficient and progressive goods and services: continually improving products and markets, advancing technology, cutting costs, and meeting changing consumer demands as swiftly and as efficiently as possible (For a New Liberty, 195). When government is left to do the allocation, it becomes inefficient.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Opportunity cost is the foundation for much of economics, it also has deeper applications. Accounting for opportunity costs is the first step in building an abstract or higher model for an individual's thinking and the supreme aegis against the demagoguery of destruction.
The ability for one to explain, “the only cost incurred in selling these tickets is five dollar price tag the tickets carry” is about as common as a glutton for embarrassment at an American Idol audition. In this thought process the individual only sees the immediate cost, the price of the tickets and ignores all the costs, where as the individual keeping opportunity costs in heart would see all the costs like, what the money used to buy the tickets could otherwise be used for and the time it takes to actually sell the tickets. An understanding of opportunity costs will impart everyone from the stay-at-home mom to the prospective businessman with an invaluable tool in accounting for the mundane and monumental.
After 9/11 and Katrina it was common to hear arguments along the lines of, “well at least the rebuilding process will stimulate the economy and add jobs.” What is even more unfortunate about such statements is that sometimes they were coming from economists themselves. The slightest understanding of opportunity costs would prevent the proliferation of such pro-destruction rhetoric. The offending party correctly thinks that some parties will benefit, such as Home Depot, what they fial to understand however is that this benefit comes at an overall detraction to society. Home Depot benefits from the home owners now buying a large amount of their goods whereas previously they would have not. Home Depot then buys more goods from its suppliers, hires more workers and invests more, the workers buy more goods like Ipods and milk, Apple invests more, hires more works etc; and I cant object, this is all true. However, what the destruction dunce fails to account for is the hidden costs. In my example this is the homeowners who had to purchase drywall and beds instead of computers and shoes. So where society had previously had a house and a computer we now have a house and we are all that much worse off because of it. Or maybe we should just run around and firebomb entire cities to stimulate the economy.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Lincoln comes to my immediate attention for two reasons. Not only was Lincoln assassinated but he is considered by many to be a great American hero because of his manner of death. Furthermore, Lincoln is responsible for the most salient and enduring anti-liberal action undertaken by a president, the American civil war. When I was just a stripling in middle school I can recall doing a presentation on American presidents. Each student was assigned one president, as you can guess, I had Lincoln. I also remember concluding my presentation on, “the greatest American president” with the end of his life and something along the lines of, “those last four days were the happiest days of his life.” Lincoln, of course, was actually Americas greatest tyrant and is responsible for the death of over 600,000 men and the American liberal spirit.
The question then becomes, if Lincoln was in fact responsible for the death of all these men and and innumerable violations of property how should he be held responsible? I would advocate a market solution, the violated parties seek restitution or injunction. If a thief is to break into my home would I not take action to prevent and recover my losses? This motivation to protect ones property is actually a result of market forces. The butcher, next to the baker sees that his neighbor has been robbed because he left his back door unlocked every night. The butcher not wishing to be victim to a similar fate locks his door. In this way, the bank has the safe, the home owner the shotgun.
Government officials, being constituted of humans like you and I are no exception. For example I pay my neighbor to murder my wife I'm no less responsible for the murder of my wife than my neighbor. Yet, the above is exactly what government officials around the world do. When an official in the production of say, votes, encroaches on another's property, in say eminent domain, and does not have to account for the costs of his action these actions will tend to be oversupplied. In the case of Lincoln and his Proclamation of Blockade Against Southern Ports the injured parties should, in a market driven society, seek injunction and restitution to make further officials aware of all costs associated with their actions. We can even apply the principle to a smaller scale, such as police officers.
Finally, we come to my title, Assassination, Government Officials and Liberty. Assassination is warranted on a far larger scale than it is currently practiced. There is a reason why leaders around the world have come to a consensus on the matter, why all government officials from the lowly street thug with a badge to the president and chancellor with a pen are hailed as unconditional heros upon their slaying, why assassination is considered one of the most barbaric things one can do in a modern society. The only thing barbaric is a cowardly official hiding behind a title or an army to impose his will on the unwilling.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
This whole debate does not make much sense to me. How is the U.S. going to make sure that these laws are enforced? Enforcing these kinds of laws would be a waste of our time needless to say inefficient. The whole point of trading with these countries is for their cheep labor which in turn makes their goods cheep. By enforcing these laws we are increasing the cost of labor. The Democrats are in a way pushing for unions. Of course the labor unions in the U.S. are supporting the Democrats in this legislation. To me it sounds a little bit like rent seeking behavior. If international labor laws are enforced then labor around the world becomes more expensive; therefore, raising the price of goods and possibly allowing unions in the U.S. to compete.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Aside from certain states attempting to pass laws that would lower overall car emissions, little has been done to decrease the impact that American drivers have on the environment. Of course there are other ways of lowering the pollution that American vehicles produce, but they’re not very likely. Some would suggest that we take advantage of public transportation or walk to our destinations. Doing either of these would significantly lower our impact on the environment. However, unlike many European and Hispanic countries, the Landscape of most of American states is not built for this. Colorado Springs is a prime example. Most people are living in one area and working in another. With the open landscape that we have, walking anywhere is simply out of the question. Public transportation wouldn’t be much better. With the variety of destinations that residents travel to every day, an hour of errands would turn into an entire day of traveling. Not to mention that a prevalent trait among U.S. citizens is their love of the open road and its symbolism of freedom. So, people can gripe all they want about our car pollution, but until pollution-free fuel is created, Americans will continue to drive their gas guzzlers and love doing it while the rest of the world blames us for global warming.
Monday, April 09, 2007
In the article On Democracy on the website Free Market News Network Corp. author Steve H. Hanke writes about democracy and U.S. documents. He explains that the intention of the Framers of the Constitution was never democracy as many people in the public think. Hanke states that “the Constitution was designed to further the cause of liberty, not democracy”. Within the Constitution are set limits(rules) for each branch of the United States Government: legislative, judicial, and executive. These limits give the branches certain powers to exercise and to check the other branches of government while ultimately protecting people from abuse of government powers. Democracy isn’t even mentioned in the Constitution, Bill of Rights, or the Declaration of Independence. I think it is interesting to look at the principles of which our Constitution and other documents were founded on and the direction our government is taking today with domestic and foreign policy. Our government seems to be forcing democracy, not liberty, on other nations as well as our own. It would seem more rational to me to take the route of the Framers of the Constitution and push for liberty. I am not saying that democracy is evil or bad, but I am saying that I could see where democracy could move our country towards more government intervention and control that would result in less freedom for the people. I think the Framers of the Constitution realized this as well and that is why they wrote the Constitution and other documents the way that they did.
Monday, April 02, 2007
As of now there has not been any notable rise in prices for beef but if demand continues to increase for corn and the price continues to rise, this will undoubtedly rise beef prices in the near future. So not only does the government subsidizing of ethanol encourage a switch to a less efficient, less cost effective fuel, it is also increasing the prices on our dinner menu.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
As the theme for our class has been on economic freedom, I can't think of a better example of how this type of freedom works. I have been reading a biography on F. A. Hayek and one of the things mentioned is that socialism does not work and that our century will be remembered by the battle between socialism and capitalism/economic freedom. I can't help but think that we are living in a time where we will see the end to socialism and the re-birth of the economic freedoms our founders so desperately wanted to impose on future generations.
Within so many news articles today (many you have to look for) describing the benefits of property rights and economic freedoms, I think our primary role as economists should be coming up with solutions to help those in countries that do not yet have the economic freedoms we have. How can we help Mexicans want to stay in their own country. Do micro loans really help those in developing countries.
Before I started this class, liberalism was a dirty word to me- I did not understand it's first, or true, meaning. Now, I can not think of other solutions to the problems we, as Americans, and those needing freedoms, other than property rights and free markets without government interference. The roots of all of the solutions I can come up with begin with these simple, yet
I find it so discouraging that the main stream press does not report on such progress like that seen in Kurdistan. This lack of reporting also shows to those in oppressing regimes (such as Venezuela) that economic freedom is not important to us. I wonder if more Americans knew about the success in Kurdistan and, say Lebanon or Lybia, if the support for our troops would increase. We see how bad it is, we don't see any success. I think countries like Iran like that- how unfortunate.