Thursday, July 19, 2012

Deadweight Loss

The news has discussed the "economic recession" much lately, in terms of unemployment, GDP, and spending rates. I prefer the term "economic correction". These figures are not measures of prosperity. In a time of war or disaster, unemployment would be low but it would not be prosperous. In a debt bubble GDP and spending might be high, but it would not be prosperous.

Prosperity is the goal, and how do you maximize prosperity? Someone might compare the governments of Somalia and the United States saying "Somalia has anarchy. Look how poor they are. The US Government makes us prosperous." Except it's because America is bountiful that we've prospered, mostly despite the government.

So hold on to your Keynesian worship of central banks and Marxist contempt of the bourgeoisie. There is just one simple economic concept I wish everyone would ponder: "Deadweight Loss".

This simple relationship of the demand-supply curve shows that when an interference restricts price or supply, the market will not perform at equilibrium (where consumers pay producers a negotiated price for goods). Demand will not meet supply. A market inefficiency is introduced with any such interference, e.g.: subsidies, taxes, licenses, permits, regulations, price caps, etc. This is waste, aka "deadweight loss" (yellow chart area). The money taxed or taken is also surely to be spent on a subsidy elsewhere, creating further deadweight loss.



Folks go on about "social goals", but let's refute any bullpucky about "government investment". Government is taxation, force, and special interests. Politics is my gang vs. your gang, so drop the humanistic spin because charity works just fine in free markets too. Check yourself and the chart again if you truly hold faith in government "fixing the economy". The point to take home is that government makes the economy as a whole less efficient and therefore less prosperous. The path to prosperity is free markets.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Violence against the State

Imagine a colonial slave tried to escape the plantation, and in a violent struggle killed his master who tried to stop him. Is this unethical? No, the law was unjust and therefore anybody enforcing the law deserved equal force used in self-defense.

Take for example the final scene in Star Wars, when rebel Luke Skywalker blows up the Empire's Death Star. Audiences cheered. There were surely many stormtroopers and maintenance crews killed in the explosion who merely took that job for their technical skills, even though they didn't shoot the planet-death-ray. Did they all deserve to die? Not necessarily, but working in a support function is not innocent either.

In my estimation, those who are most closely supporting the arm of the law are the most guilty. If you are a lawmaker, you are the most unjust. If you are a cop or judge or juror enforcing the law, you are also unjust. If you are a clerk or paper-pusher, you might possibly evade some blame by ignorance of the law. However, if you are a voter who supports the unjust law... you are more guilty than that clerk just doing their job.

If the drug laws are unjust (and they are), then if a cop busts into my home to lock me away, am I justified defending myself with equal force? Absolutely I am. Sadly, the odds would be against me... but it would be the exact same as the colonial slave trying to escape the plantation.

So, violence against the State is just. This is because the State itself is violent. It has a monopoly on violence which it abuses towards unjust laws about non-violent acts (e.g. drugs, prostitution, tax-evasion, etc). There is only one reason I do not wage war against the State... it's because I'm selfish. I care too much about my kids and family, and my own life to undertake such a brave yet self-destructive mission against overwhelming odds.

A couple years ago Joe Stack flew a plane into an IRS building. Joe Stack flew his X-Wing straight into the Death Star. Today, Tax Day April 15th, I will make a toast to that american Luke Skywalker and his last brave kamikaze flight. News headlines will always draw Joe Stacks as disturbed radicals, and those shot by police as a criminals. They give cops and soldiers free pass for murder. I know better. Sometimes that cops victim was just someone suffering from addiction who desperately wanted not to be locked up. (Rest in peace, DD)

The only way to reduce the unjust violence is to have just laws. If you don't support this, you share guilt for the blood of innocents on both sides.





Thursday, March 29, 2012

Top 10 Manliest Men of Television

10) Al Bundy - His life sucks, but he stakes his claim and bears it like a man.

9) Fred Flinstone - He works hard at a blue collar job, and makes sure there's time for bowling and the Water Buffalo Lodge.

8) Crixus - He gives his fellow gladiators hell and is always pissed off.

7) Captain James T. Kirk - Sure he's over dramatic, but he hooks up with green alien broads. At least he doesn't like Shakespeare and Earl Grey Tea like that Jean Luc Picard. His middle name is "Tiberius".

6) Kenny Powers - High on ego, utterly crass, and has a jet ski.

5) Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli - While actor Henry Winkler is totally unmanly, the Fonz kept his peers respectfully fearful of him at all times.

4) Ron Swanson - A libertarian boss of a government office. His brain has big balls.

3) Charles Ingalls - Works hard, has heart, and does right by his family and friends. This guy is why I have my daughters call me "Pa".

2) Don Draper - He's got the skills and he knows it. He works hard and plays hard. Rarely loses his cool, if ever.

1) Walter White - Former high school teacher turned bad ass, for his family's sake. This guy kicked cancers ass. He kicked the cartels ass. He uses his brain and always wins.