Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

Will robots put most people out of work?

July 21, 2014

You cannot possibly know that the only “niche” open will be “banditry” for buggy whip makers when buggy whip making is made obsolete by technology. Buggy whip makers found work at Ford Motor Company and in other places.

Some technology advances (robotics) scare many otherwise smart thinking people into thinking unemployment will rise, as in the referenced article.

For example, before technology T1 was adapted, say, n1 full time persons were required to produce product P1, and after T1 was adapted, n2 full time persons.

This does not happen in a vaccuum. n1 is greater than n2. The cost of n2 is less than n1.

But now n3 = n2 – n1 persons are now available to competitors, including new competitors, plus it is safe to assume that in most situations and generalizing here for the concept, there is now more competition for jobs that produce P1, which drives down the cost of P1.

With the consumer price of P1 lower than before, either (1) demand will usually go up for the product, or (2) consumers will buy other consumer goods.

So either (1) we must adjust n3 in the real world (job losses) upward, meaning there are fewer jobs lost due to technology T1, or (2) there is more “purchasing power” available for other products P2, P3, P4, etc., or (3) there is more leisure time for the producers, or (4) most probably, all of the above. Also, technology T1 may also require new jobs in both its production and/or consumption.

The changes that came with computing advances should kill this idea about robots leaving great masses of people unemployed. In the 1930s the biggest companies had multiple floors of accounting specialists and clerks using calculators all day to do the accounting for the company. In the late 1940s or early 1950s the CEO of IBM was still saying only three or four organizations in the world would ever need a computer. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates once said that people would never find much use for the Internet.

And yet we did not have great masses of former accountants and clerks on the street when computers automated so much of the accounting process. It rather enabled all kinds of new specializations in all kinds of industries, created an entire new information industry for both business and consumers, and made life easier in general. For the unskilled and uneducated included. The poorest barrios in one of the still poorest countries of Latin America have smart phones in at least one home every block.

The same will hold with robotics. We cannot have any idea how it will sort out. If 3-D technology is not crimped with stupid government interference, there will be a lot more people able to do some home-based manufacturing services, just for an example. IF.

But government interfering with the readjustment does not help, and that includes government-directed retraining. Let the market pull the resources to where the new demand will go, and let private investors take the risk instead of wasting economic resources for government middlemen and idlers. Those resources belong at private risk, no cost to you.

 

July 19, 2014

There was a comment on this web page that provoked my reaction below:

http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/35488/Illiterate-Twofer-Rise-of-Robots-Demands-Universal-Basic-Income/

Daily Bell wrote a good criticism of Reuter’s article wailing that technology will make most people unemployed and promoting a universal minimum guaranteed income. Jon said he was a computer programmer who had had a job writing software that eliminated thousands of jobs.

What Jon doesn’t consider is what happened outside the view from his cubicle. I’m a computer programmer myself, and my work reduces man-hours and waste. If you view the conditions before from the perspective of after, that’s how you see it. Waste eliminated by automation and computation. (Of course consider now that depending on the industry, up to half of programmer-hours spent in “compliance” coding to satisfy government dictates).

When it gets to the other end of technology, one thing I haven’t seen discussed is the fact we can deduce from human nature that it will greatly expand the (absolute) return available for investors with capital. Think guys in garages with 3-D printers, “doing” the tedious boring stuff on waiting the product his neighbor wants. Sophisticated 3-D programming will enable a sophisticated user of it (and low-entry entrepreneur) do custom tricks with the products for his customers.

Digital technology advances did not just eliminate the jobs in factory settings for making vinyl albums, it enabled many more consumers to get much more of the “entertainment” they wanted, AND LOOKY THERE it also created a LOT more “music studios”. My son built up his savings from playing gigs and invested in more musical equipment he rented out, and then built up his own studio in Miami Beach using tools of the trade that were available to him because some programmer somewhere at some time had robbed the vinyl industry of thousands of jobs.

That’s a high school dropout (the government school fare bored him and his brother out of their heads so I let them quit) that did that. He built that! With the help of modern technology.

He had the advantage of years of home schooling first, but it just showed that this technology scare is just another excuse they’re trying out on the plebes and peasants to continue centralizing control and making their plunder complete.

More robots for less investment means more people who have enough to invest in it. If you eliminate government force, the result will be a lot more producers and production and more people who have the means to acquire the resulting consumer goods. And services.

AND BY THE WAY. Everybody seems to forget that more production, in general, as long as free trade is free, Biblical Christians will have the means to fulfill their mission of helping the poor and orphans. (Fake Christians and pious warmongers do not count).

Ron Paul talks sense on “border crisis”

July 17, 2014

Ron Paul talks clarity to the “border crisis”:

http://www.thedailybell.com/editorials/35474/Ron-Paul-Whats-Missing-in-the-Current-Immigration-Crisis-Debate/

My wife is from Honduras, and I know from experience of relatives that the coyotes have known that the Border Patrol treats minors very differently from the younger ones. The cover story of coyotes pushing lies about it are wrong. Why would they change?

Rumor has a strong effect down there, especially when it comes to stories about immigrating to the US.

But they also get the news reports down there, and USA treatment of incoming bodies from southward is always big news. So they have heard all last year the noise from Congress (Dems AND Repubs of course talking about “paths to citizenship”), and this year about Obama announcing unilaterally he’s going to stop deporting people, they hear it. (News flash: Obama has maybe deported more than previous presidents back to Honduras and presumably other countries). So they’ve paid more attention.

 

They already knew minors are treated well when they show up, especially unaccompanied.

 

BUT these “children” are about 90 percent 15 to 17 years old, and about 90 or 93 percent of those are males, according to one report. But that only confirmed my suspicions. It’s said they’re fleeing the gang violence, and for many that may be so, but there may be more than that.

 

Thanks Ron Paul. He’s absolutely right. The drug wars are killing the country. It’s called “murder capital” and some of it is gangs, but maybe even most of it is rivals in the drug wars. The best kind of “foreign aid” the USA can “give” to Honduras is to stop the drug wars altogether, and for the sake of the poor, stop giving money to the governments for this and that, especially these onerous “loans”.

 

IRONY: Joe Biden went down there to demand that Central American countries control their borders. Get it? But Honduras already controls the minors leaving at border stations. Central American nations have an agreement to allow free movement of their citizens within the group. On paper anyway. (But really, Honduras doesn’t let just any Nicaraguan walk across.) BUT minors have to get permission from the father to leave the country in a legal document, unless the mother gets complete legal guardianship (“custody” as we call it).

 

Who causes poverty?

June 28, 2014

Latinos cause poverty? Depends on which Latinos or Latin Americans, same as North Americans. Richest man in the world is Carlos Sims. But they have had their own versions of left-fascists, and residual poverty leaving them helpless.

The U.S. has enjoyed a history of traditional cultural importance of individual rights and free market principles and the robber barons are never capable of wreaking the havoc that governments do, and have historically done, every time and every place.
Foreign aid given to these governments, like Dambisa Moyo wrote, corrupts them, engenders obeisance to the oligarch interests here that use money they stole from us. Without the political payoffs of government to government, the politicians and political powers of those countries would have incentive to let their own economies generate a better tax base.
Maybe that’s what motivates Honduras with their new economic zones. After the United States joined the world in condemning Honduras for defending themselves against another socialist Cuban-Chavista tyrant, including the US Ambassador promoting dictator Zelaya’s plans and even helping plan the takeover, they figured they should get ready to take care of themselves.
After all, even the Chinese finally figured out there was no way to command the masses into prosperity.

 

Go for 100% freedom from aggression and theft but take what you can get.

June 7, 2014

Tom Bell said he is “cautiously optimistic”. With the kind of hell that the world-government-statist control freaks put Honduras through in 2009 when they rebelled against their program, you can’t blame them for wanting to go under the radar.

That, said, I don’t have any illusions about Honduran politicians any more than others, although 2009 was a bit refreshing. I know more than you about them. My wife is from there and was one and wanted out from the first day she got in. And has nothing but an attempt to murder her and the children to show.

I think in 2009 the politicians actually just buckled under the pressure of wives, husbands, adult children, cousins, lots of friends, most of the LOCAL press that refused to march to international orders, ALL the Protestant leaders, ALL the Catholic clergy in the country almost, their chambers of commerce, the UNIONS (except for the Marxist dictated PUBLIC teachers’ union, albeit with great numbers of teachers dissenting, ALL private schools, their equivalent of a bar association (lawyers), and ALL but 4 of the Congressmen.

Congressmen and others involved in the effort travelled to South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, and other places that moved from poverty to prosperity.

Lobo, not so honest himself, had asked for suggestions from various sectors on how to escape poverty. My suggestion to the representative from the expat community that was invited to contribute, was education, technology, gold currency base, and among other things, a study of what was successful elsewhere.

My understanding is that some folks from Universidad Franciso Marroquin, a school that teaches Austrian economics theory, also participated in the planning of the zones.

I say, with Wendy of Daily Bell and many others, preach the actual radical solution of the NAP, anarcho-capitalism, and complete economic freedom from aggression and theft, but take everything you can get. Ron Paul voted for every single tax reduction that came along, including the ones with labels like “exemption”. but we all know he wanted to abolish them all.

 

 

Alexañdr Solzhenitsyn on the Communist war against workers, and the Communist-Capitalist alliance

May 4, 2014

I found this excerpt from Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s address to the AFL-CIO convention in 1975:

http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/globalism/monteith/1-communist-capitalist-2007.htm

You cannot understand the tragic events that are taking place throughout the world today, or the terrible events that lie ahead, unless you understand the alliance that exists between the leaders of the communist world, and the CFR-Globalists who control our nation. Alexandr Solzhenitsyn discussed that relationship when he addressed the AFL-CIO convention in Washington, D.C. on June 30, 1975, but he didn’t understand it. Since Alexandr Solzhenitsyn’s June 30, 1975, address is not readily available on the Internet, the first segment of his talk is reproduced in this letter:

Alexañdr Solzhenitsyn
June 30, 1975

“…Workers of the world unite.” Who of us has not heard this slogan, which has been sounding through the world for 125 years? Today you can find it in any Soviet pamphlet as well as in every issue of Pravda. But never have the leaders of the Communist revolution in the Soviet Union made application of these words sincerely and in their full meaning. When many lies have accumulated over the decades, we forget the radical and basic lie which is not on the leaves of the tree, but at its very roots. Now, it’s almost impossible to remember or to believe….

For instance, I recently published – had reprinted – a pamphlet from the year 1918. This was a precise record of a meeting of all representatives of the Petrograd factories, that being the city known in our country as the ‘cradle of the Revolution.’

I repeat, this was March, 1918 - only four months after the October Revolution – and all the representatives of the Petrograd factories were cursing the Communists, who had deceived them in all of their promises.

What is more, not only had they abandoned Petrograd to cold and hunger, themselves having fled from Petrograd to Moscow, but had given orders to machine-gun the crowds of workers in the courtyards of the factories who were demanding the election of independent factory committees. … Scarcely anyone now can recall the crushing of the Petrograd strikes in 1921, or the shooting of workers in Kolpino in the same year.

Among the leadership, the Central Committee of the Communist Party, at the beginning of the Revolution, all were émigré intellectuals who had returned, after the uprisings had already broken out in Russia, in order to carry through the Communist Revolution. One of them was a genuine worker, a highly skilled lathe operator until the last day of his life. This was Alexander Shliapnikov. Who knows that name today?…

In the years before the Revolution it was Shliapnikov who ran the whole Communist Party in Russia – not Lenin, who was an émigré…. In 1921, he headed the Workers’ Opposition which was charging the Communist leadership with betraying the workers’ interests, with crushing and oppressing the proletariat and transforming itself into a bureaucracy.

Shliapnikov disappeared from sight. He was arrested somewhat later and since he firmly stood his ground he was shot in prison and his name is perhaps unknown to most people here today. But I remind you: Before the Revolution the head of the Communist Party of Russia was Shliapnikov, not Lenin.

Since that time, the working class has never been able to stand up for its rights, and in distinction from all the western countries our working class only receives what they hand out to it. It only gets handouts. It can not defend its simplest, everyday interests, and the least strike for pay or for better living conditions is viewed as counterrevolutionary…. This story will shortly be published in detail in your country in Gulag Archipelago, volume 3. It is a story of how workers went in a peaceful demonstration to the Party City Committee, carrying portraits of Lenin, to request a change in economic conditions. They fired at them with machine guns and dispersed the crowds with tanks. No family dared even to collect its wounded and dead, but all were taken away in secret by the authorities.

…since the Revolution, there’s never been such a thing as a free trade union….

The American workers’ movement has never allowed itself to be blinded and mistaken slavery for freedom….

When liberal thinkers and wise men of the West, who had forgotten the meaning of the word ‘liberty’, were swearing that in the Soviet Union there were no concentration camps at all, the American Federation of Labor published in 1947, a map of our concentration camps….

But just as we feel ourselves your allies here, there also exists another alliance… one which is well-grounded and easy to understand. This is the alliance between our Communist leaders and your capitalists.

This alliance is not new. The very famous Armand Hammer, who is flourishing here today, laid the basis for this when he made the first exploratory trip into Russia, still in Lenin’s time, in the very first years of the Revolution. He was extremely successful in this intelligence mission and since that time for all these 50 years, we observe continuous and steady support by the businessmen of the West of the Soviet Communist leaders.

Their clumsy and awkward economy, which could never overcome its own difficulties by itself, is continually getting material and technological assistance. The major construction projects in the initial five-year plan were built exclusively with American technology and materials. Even Stalin recognized that two-thirds of what was needed was obtained from the West. And if today the Soviet Union has powerful military and police forces - in a country which is by contemporary standards poor – they are used to crush our movement for freedom in the Soviet Union – and we have western capital to thank for this also.

…Certain of your businessmen, on their own initiative, established an exhibition of criminological technology in Moscow. This was the most recent and elaborate technology, which here, in your country, is used to catch criminals, to bug them, to spy on them, to photograph them, to tail them, to identify criminals. This was taken to Moscow, to an exhibition, in order that the Soviet KGB agents could study it, as if not understanding what sort of criminals, who would be hunted by the KGB.

The Soviet government was extremely interested in this technology, and decided to purchase it. And your businessmen were quite willing to sell it. Only when a few sober voices here raised an uproar against it was this deal blocked. Only for this reason it didn’t take place. But … Two or three nights were enough for the KGB there to look through it and to copy it. And if today, persons are being hunted down by the best and most advanced technology, for this, I can also thank your western capitalists.

This is something which is almost incomprehensible to the human mind: That burning greed for profit, which goes beyond all reason, all self-control, all conscience, only to get money….

Lenin foretold this whole process. Lenin, who spent most of his life living in the West and not in Russia, who knew the West much better than Russia, always wrote and said the western capitalists would do anything to strengthen the economy of the USSR. They will compete with each other to sell us goods cheaper and sell them quicker, so that the Soviets will buy from one rather than from the other. He said: They will bring it themselves without thinking about their future. And, in a difficult moment, at a party meeting in Moscow, he said:

‘Comrades, don’t panic, when things go very hard for us, we will give a rope to the bourgeoisie, and the bourgeoisie will hang itself.’

Then, Karl Radek, whom you may have heard of, who was a very resourceful wit, said: ‘Vladimir Ilyich, but where are we going to get enough rope to hang the whole bourgeoisie?’

Lenin effortlessly replied, ‘They’ll supply us with it.’

Through the decades of the 20s, the 30s, the 40s, the 50s, the whole Soviet press wrote: Western capitalism -
– your end is near. But it was as if the capitalists had not heard, could not understand, could not believe this.

Nikita Khrushchev came here and said, ‘We will bury you!’ They didn’t believe that, either. They took it as a joke.” 

And then came Gorbachev, after the Soviet Union had dissolved, and warned in a speech to the Chicago commodities exchange, “If you think socialism is dead, you have another thing coming”.

Psalm 2 talks about this unholy alliance between the political leaders of Communist nations and the political leaders of the capitalist world:

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,

Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.

11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

It was so way back then, but this chapter seems to foresee, foreshadow, the more organized secret alliances in the highest circles of political power  action today obsessed with more power.

To add to Solzhenitsyn’s examples of how the socialist regimes are all about exploiting the working class and the peasants, and not at all about helping them, of course their war against the workers and against unions, even the ones that their own ideologues have taken over, has continued, and that is exactly what it is, a war against the workers and against everybody else, with the goal of taking all power over all the subject populations.

In Venezuela, the biggest organization of workers’ unions joined the biggest capitalist association, Fedecamaras, to go on strike against the Chavez government and its taking on the role of dictatorship. Almost the entire work force went on strike. The Communist leaders’ war against workers in the real world had found a way adapted to the calls for “democracy”, and simply go hook and crook to win “elections” by fraud when they cannot win with majorities. But since when is a majority vote so sacred? There is no more wisdom in a majority vote than a minority vote!

Historians will probably put semantical sugar on the fact that Chavez-government agents and partisans showered cold-blooded murderous gunfire into the million-strong crowd of  absolutely peaceful marchers protesting Chavez dictates and power grabs. They were caught on video, and the Chavez-created courts watched those videos and cleared all charges against the murderous thugs who were so filmed, using the flimsy excuse that they could not match a shot on the film with any particular hit.

So having a minimum knowledge of real-world evidence is not required in a Chavez court, or more likely compliance with dictatorship priorities is required. We all know that in the United States, anybody caught on camera doing something like that would get plenty of jail time.

The kings of the earth have indeed set themselves, but The Lord Himself shall have them in derision.

Maduro caled for peace in Venezuela? Really? Maduro?

April 6, 2014

This is an open letter to Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation, in reaction to his article of April 5, 2014, at http://www.lewrockwell.com. I am copying it to my blog at http://www.trutherator.wordpress.com.

His article is found here:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/04/jacob-hornberger/us-out-of-venezuela/

Mr. Hornberger,

I’m an anarcho-capitalist that found out with Ron Paul’s campaign in 2008 that my 40-year-old views had lined up with what are called “libertarian”, and as a former missionary that lived since early 1970s in Latin America or in Hispanic-dominated Miami-Dade Count. My ex-wife is from the Dominican Republic and my wife is from Honduras. I plan on retiring in Honduras. I hope it will not be overwhelmed by a socialist regime such as Maduro’s. What they have today would be better, but I hope to add to the libertarian conversation in Honduras.

I have a personal interest against USG and UN interventions around the world. Foreign aid and drug wars are killing men in great numbers in my wife’s country -and killing their economy. Maybe the new special economic regions, designed artfully with the help of some libertarian economists from the US and from the Mises-associated institute in Guatemala will help them. I hope.

No doubt the CIA is around somewhere doing whatever they do, and let us be honest here: Neither of us knows what they are really doing, except in general terms. I used to think we could presume they consistently support American capitalist interests. After Honduras, Libya, Syria, with the evidence from these episodes of the USG helping socialist dictators and its purported Number One enemy to gain power in these places, I’m not so sure. Honduras I know best; and they did not hide their efforts to support the socialist dictator there.

I am surprised and a bit irritated at the reaction to regimes like Maduros’. Especially since I read it on http://www.lewrockwell.com.

Before I get to why, I totally agree with your concluding paragraph:

Leave Venezuela to the Venezuelans. If private Americans wish to involve themselves in the controversy, that’s fine. But the U.S. government should butt out entirely. What happens in Venezuela is none of the U.S. government’s business. Unfortunately, given the secret nature of the U.S. national-security state, the American people will never know the extent of U.S. involvement in the Venezuelan crisis until the CIA’s files on the matter are opened several decades from now.

Maybe they’ll open the files, maybe not, but I doubt that any files that will be available either now or later will reveal anything on the subject worthwhile, and more likely misleading.

But it is an amazing spectacle to see all the well-deserved condemnation of probable USG involvement, and absolutely nothing about what the Venezuelans might actually want in reality independently of both the American government and their own dictatorship.

I don’t remember any such outrage over Obama’s demands and Hillary Clinton’s interventions in Honduras to try to force them to put the socialist dictator Manuel Zelaya.

The American ambassador to Honduras at the time, Hugo Llorens, made an appearance in a commercial aired by the Zelaya regime, propaganda to get public support for his very unpopular effort for his so-called “referendum” (later relabeled “survey”).

Hillary Clinton made a personal call to Roberto Micheletti to resign, which would of course make it easier to force Honduras to take Zelaya back as the dictator he already was.

This “referendum” horrified Hondurans, because they knew three things for sure. (1) One, the thing would be fraudulent. They know their politicians. (2) Two, Zelaya had already advocated presidential re-election (already defined as “treason” by the Honduras constitution because of earlier attempts at lifetime presidencies. (3) Three, and worst of all, it would open up for more fraudulent “elections” to create an irrevocable socialist dictatorship, Chavez style, in Honduras.

There was one piece that circulated on the Internet at the time, how Zelaya “brought the country together”. Every group of any significance at all in those days demanded first his resignation and then supported his removal and the constitutional successor government of Micheletti. Half the population filled the plazas of the biggest and the smallest cities and villages to say so. The Chambers of Commerce, BOTH major political parties, ALL the Congress (elected by the same people that voted for president), the Catholic Church (Zelaya’s mob had to import a priest), all the Protestant churches, all the unions (except the hopeless teachers’ union, that had them on strike more than in the classroom literally by count of days– for the previous three years), and EVERY ex-pat in a forum where I was member.

What’s the CIA going to do there? What can they do? Why would they waste a dime getting the country to get rid of somebody they did not want?

Oh, yeah, because Soros wants power. But no doubt HIS dirty hands were in the pot FOR Zelaya. Keynote speaker at the regional summit the November previous.

Hondurans got panicked at the prospect of fixed elections creating another Cuba or Venezuela in their country. They vote with their feet by getting to the States at the first opportunity.

Why is it so hard to understand that so many Hondurans, or even Venezuelans, hate the serfdom of socialism, along with the miserable poverty it brings?

Maduro bragged in his op-ed in the New York Times about universal health care? Oh get out! The poor have to bring their own sheets into hospitals and sleep on the floor there! We’re already getting our own taste of that bitter poisonous “medicine” in the States!

That was the attitude of most of the Hondurans. Fortunately for them, apparently many or most of the richest and most powerful interests were inclined their way. BUT not all; one zillionaire and perennial presidential candidate was fingered in newspapers and “on the street” as the one who smuggled Zelaya back in to the Brazilian embassy (Surprise, Brazilia!)

And it is relevant that Maduro is the heir of the Chavista regime that has meddled in its neighbor’s internal political affairs and tried its best to save the imposition by external Force of a dictatorship that had no regard for anything but seizing power.

The phony pro-Zelaya demonstrations had some genuine bodies, but it was mostly marching-for-hire. They poured so much money into the country that the lempira went up a full 10 percent against the dollar for those several months!

Zelaya admitted in a Univision interview that he had won the election by fraud by saying that all elections have fraud.

After 2009, I have followed events in Venezuela.

Please note an unsung development in Latin America. It’s hard to see its long-term effect, but it has been noticed by some statesmen “down south”.

Honduras changed history in Latin America with its reassertion of some constitutional order inside its borders, such as it is. Don’t get a smug face about it; they did better in 2009 than the US has done in recent years. Will Obama in 2016 declare a federal election nationwide to vote for a new constitution? That momentum is building, from both the phony “right wing” and the phony “left wing”.

After the 2009 elections in Honduras, the president of El Salvador of the former “leftist” guerrilla party, declared dead the move to join Venezuela’s petro association. The mayor of Caracas demanded the importation of “cojones” from Honduras. Freedom-minded Latins were inspired all over. Honduran ex-pat communities felt relief unspeakable. Brazilian Congressmen went back to Brazil with the news that the entire Brazilian community living in Honduras were engraged at Zelaya’s refuge in their embassy.

No doubt Paraguay had Honduras in the back of their minds when they impeached and dethroned their own dictator aspirant for his dictatorial acts. Venezuela’s caudillo government whined about another CIA-backed coup.

It’s a political safe bet down south (and apparently among some libertarian circles in the US today too) to blame the CIA and the US for all their troubles.

Maybe the CIA is trying for a coup in Caracas, given the atmosphere in Latin America today. Soros has his fingers everywhere. He would love to have a dictatorship to deal with, to give him good deals, good power, after all…

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

P.S. There are videos of the police shooting at protestors there. There is video on youtube of Chavistas shooting into the million-person march (literally) in cold blood that resulted in twelve people dead. A false flag coup distracted the world’s attention from this slaughter of civilians and a de-facto socialist coup ensued thereupon by outing anti-Chavez military to purge them. These “CIA lackeys” and “coup plotters” got no punishment at all, they were cleared by the *Chavista* Supreme Court of all charges, with military pensions and all honors retained. And it was a “CIA” coup?

Can people be more gullible?

 

Intellectual Property Monopolies Clarified

March 22, 2014

Tibor Machan always has something interesting to say in his columns at the Daily Bell web site. For example, his article “Intellectual Property, Anyone?”.

One comment pointed out that one reason that many intellectuals, even some libertarians, defend “intellectual property” monopolies, is “the envy that the intellectual suffer for the successful, troglodyte businessman”…

That may be true for many, but not for all.. But there is at least an idea that other parties who use someone’s new idea are somehow “freeloading”. I do believe in “credit where credit is due”, but this is impossible to do “justly” in the long run when you create incentives for “rent-seeking”. That’s what a copyright and patent regime does , especially in a land of corporations, or, the present land of corporations.

It inevitably becomes a battle of wits and trickery. Two people who have the same idea, but one of them lives closer to the patent office. Is that “fair”? I’m a software engineer, but some of my code is generic functions that I’ve written before. Whose code is that?

The US Constitution included the mention of copyright and patent, with a parenthetical clause that says the purpose was utilitarian. It a land of individual artisans, maybe, maybe not.

The most convincing argument, though, against “intellectual property”, in my opinion, is the total, absolute, unequivocal requirement by definition of an agency (government, mob, dictator, etc.) with powers to violate the non-aggression principle, PLUS the total, absolute, unequivocal arbitrary and capricious nature of where the boundaries are on “intellectual property”. That is, how far does it reach? How many years?

One science fiction writer, Robert Sawyer I think, wrote once that he thought copyrights should be limitless, without expiration, and inheritable to all generations!

This is all because we have come to think of copyright in this way. I have read that before the introduction of the printing press, there was no such thing as copyright, and copyright itself was “invented” by kings and authorities for the purposes of censorship. Think the “stamp act”. Think permits for the First Amendment akin to permits for the Second.

Although Thomas Cahill in his book “How the Irish Saved Civilization” pointed out that the reverence for books that the Irish learned from St. Patrick led to a noble’s exile for sneaking into his neighbor’s palace in the dark of night to copy the neighbor’s books in the dark!

The idea of monopoly rights for inventions for utilitarian purposes is also part and parcel with the idea that a monopoly of force over a bounded geographical area –or unbounded, as some world dictatorship advocates would have it– is necessary for scientific, artistic, and technological advancement.

One example demonstrates the lie of the collective utilitarian argument used in the USA Constitution. Tim Berners-Lee, and hypertext (and related ideas), and his colleagues, public-domaining the Web, and we all can see the results.

A more expansive article of evidence is the “open source” movement (as in the Open Source Foundation, which grew out of the idea of “free software”, with “free as in free speech, not free beer”, Richard Stallman’s preaching point. Tens and maybe hundreds of thousands of programmers are contributing to projects that by now ALL of us use.

Linux servers dominate the nodes used to carry the Internet. Firefox and Chrome and other freely shared browsers are pushing Internet Explorer out of the way. More and more of us are using Open Office or Libre Office or the Google applications to do their documents. This has inspired a parallel movement to do the same thing with hardware inventions, but not just computer hardware, but physical inventions. Open Source programs for 3-D printing for example.

And note that the barriers for entry into the class of patent-holders also holds back new inventions. With the new law Obama recently signed, it’s also a matter of who gets to the patent office first, and no matter if you had prior art, no matter if it was already in the public market. Get the patent and start trolling.

Another argument against patents as incentives for invention is the obvious fact of incentives to suppress them. A new energy patent holder (see infinite-energy.com, and use the hyphen!) might be tempted to sell it to an oil company for a billion bucks, and the oil company might consider it a bargain! And don’t forget the rumor of the light bulb that never burns out. Amazing how long those lights last in your car’s dashboard. And remember Tesla’s suppressed inventions. He might have been able to continue some of that today, with crowd-sourcing.

But the clincher, in my opinion, is the fact that no matter how you might enforce copyright or patent monopoly in the real world, there is no “natural” way at all, no “self-evident” way at all, to do it without arbitrary and capricious decree by somebody against any and all others.

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It’s wrong to force someone to do a service involuntarily

March 1, 2014

That’s why it’s called “involuntary servitude”. The term was used for chattel slavery of recent centuries (still persisting in some places) but it also applies to any service that a victim is forced to perform under threat of confiscations or prison or anything else, by a neighbor, a neighborhood crime syndicate, a political movement or a government.

This is my reaction to somebody’s condemnation of “state’s rights”:

http://rcooley123.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/when-states-rights-are-wrong/

I say it is an outrageous wrong to require the Jewish owner of a bakery to create a cake with Nazi symbols for a Nazi celebration under threat of government-enforced extortion penalties. .

It is an outrageous wrong to require the Muslim owner of the bakery to create one that shows a pig on his imam’s grave.

It is an outrageous wrong to require a rape victim to do a birthday cake celebrating her rapist.

It is an outrageous wrong to require an Armenian print-shop owner to publish a book praising the Turkish treatment of Armenians in the early 20th century, or to require the Turkish counterpart to publish the Armenian version.

Extortion is a crime, whether an individual does it, a crime syndicate, or a government.

Compelling a person to perform a service under threat of monetary confiscation or imprisonment is a criminal violation of the victim’s rights, no matter how noble you think your cause is.

Theft is theft, it is not equality

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Coulter, Cubans, Immigration, Wages, Improving the Economy

March 1, 2014

Ann Coulter has a solution for raising wages to $14.00 an hour:
http://www.rightwingnews.com/column-2/raise-the-minimum-wage-to-14-an-hour-using-this-one-weird-trick/

Ann Coulter is often right, very right, especially when she talks about the effect of what she calls “liberal” policies, what I call “left-fascist” dictates. (When government enacts a law, that is a “dictate”, because you obey “or else!”). Her writing is entertaining too.

But she is also wrong sometimes. Conservatives are following the socialist plutocrat misdirection tricks when they beat the drums of immigration too loud.

It may be that “all other things being equal”, more immigration for a time may bring down wages, especially if the immigration is unskilled and doesn’t bring investment wealth along with it.

But if they bring wealth-creating aptitude, it doesn’t matter if they come into the country completely broke. The Cubans infused Miami, Florida in 1959 and then 1960s with more than just a major population boost. That first wave of Cubans had owned ranches, businesses, sugar cane plantations, they had been the organizers and investors in Cuba. They knew how to build things up.

They are a very big net gain for the economy, in proportion to their numbers. At first these penniless immigrants may have displaced an unskilled worker here and there, but their net effect was to increase production.

But take the unskilled workers. If you really and truly stop immigration and so restrict the labor supply by mandate to keep up the demand and pay for yourself, there some negative effects.

One, if you’re a computer programmer for example, this makes offshoring more attractive than it was before.

Two, on a more macro scale, restricting the labor supply (skilled or unskilled both) raises the production cost for the business. The cost going up increases pressure to raise the prices on the production of goods and services. That cost is borne by the consumer, eventually.

Consider that the consumer is everybody everywhere all the time.

So, that may seem it gives you an advantage. But let’s say a big number of people think the same way. Every other profession in industry does the same thing. But wait, with information technology, that’s all industries. Everything you buy costs more, because you’re financing the other guys who get the same benefits from restricting the supply of your skill.

But the middleman gets his cut, and he does not ask politely. The middleman is the tax man who takes his cut like it or not, to finance enforcement. You don’t usually make the connection between the higher cost of things and cutting down immigration numbers, or the extortion effect of enforcement, but those connections are there.

It’s the same principle with the minimum wage demands by unions.

It’s true that some “Democrat Party” strategist devil came up with this diabolical plot to do this big push for a minimum wage. They desperately want to change the subject away from Obamacare. Their polls and their focus groups tell them that this favors them.

But the Republican politicians are somewhere between stupid and opportunistic on this and other issues. The minimum wage is a fantastic opportunity to educate the public. But they use the stupidest arguments to oppose it.

The stupid argument is that it’s bad for the economy, it creates unemployment. This is true, and it should be part of it, but saying companies have to fire people is maybe not the best approach for convincing new numbers. They should emphasize at every turn that poor young whites and blacks should have a way to make at least a “training” wage. The marginally productive, like special needs youth, they should have an opportunity to feel productive.

Rand Paul is doing some of this. He is definitely not his father, I disagree sharply with some of his approaches, but that’s what he’s doing. He went to Detroit to set up shop in an urban area with the blight caused by decades of non-stop socialistic policies.

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