Tagged Capitalism

Quote of the Day

I stand by what I wrote today: the videos of [ISIL] beheadings need to be independently confirmed before they are part of the historical record. They may well be completely accurate but there are not yet independent confirmations that they are accurate. On a larger picture note: had an evening with a group of well-informed international attorneys and prosecutors. A Pakistani lawyer who is a fourth-generation scion of a major Pakistani political family explained what I keep hearing from many parts of the plugged in educated elite of the Middle East: ISIS, he said, is grassroots Wahabism – the extreme…

Naomi Klein: Hack

I have written in the past about Naomi Klein’s seemingly pathological need to commit massive amounts of intellectual fraud. I see that nothing has changed: Naomi Klein keeps coming up with fresh new ideas about how to spark an elusive mass social movement against capitalism and corporations. In her 2000 bestseller No Logo, the progressive journalist attempted to harness the nascent anti-globalization movement to unleash “a vast wave of opposition squarely targeting transnational corporations.” In 2007, her book The Shock Doctrine bogusly asserted that free market institutions spread only by taking advantage of coups, wars, and natural calamities. The book…

Millennials Are Politically Confused

Nick Gillespie explains: A new national poll of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 — the Millennial Generation — provides strong evidence of a new generation gap, this time with the Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) playing the role of uncomprehending parents. When Millennials say they are liberal, it means something very different than it did when Barack Obama was coming of age. When Millennials say they are socialists, they’re not participating in ostalgie for the old German Democratic Republic. And their strong belief in economic fairness shouldn’t be confused with the attitudes of the Occupy movement. [. . .] Millennials use language differently…

Quote of the Day

Defenders of markets usually speak in the language of economics, while defenders of socialism speak in the language of morality. The problem is that most defenders of markets–from Adam Smith to F. A. Hayek to Milton Friedman to my own mentor David Schmidtz–concede the moral high ground to socialism. They admit that the market is a good system for bad people, while socialism is a good system for good people. Even if economics tells us that socialism is a bad system for bad people, the fundamental problem is that people are bad. Time for a different approach. Time to take…

There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch (French Edition)

The French have decided to make leisure time mandatory: Just in case you weren’t jealous enough of the French already, what with their effortless style, lovely accents and collective will to calorie control, they have now just made it illegal to work after 6pm. Well, sort of. Après noticing that the ability of bosses to invade their employees’ home lives via smartphone at any heure of the day or night was enabling real work hours to extend further and further beyond the 35-hour week the country famously introduced in 1999, workers’ unions have been fighting back. Now employers’ federations and unions have signed a new, legally…

The Wisdom of Crowds (Intelligence Analysis Division)

This should impress everyone, and surprise no one: The morning I met Elaine Rich, she was sitting at the kitchen table of her small town home in suburban Maryland trying to estimate refugee flows in Syria. It wasn’t the only question she was considering; there were others: Will North Korea launch a new multistage missile before May 10, 2014? Will Russian armed forces enter Kharkiv, Ukraine, by May 10? Rich’s answers to these questions would eventually be evaluated by the intelligence community, but she didn’t feel much pressure because this wasn’t her full-time gig. “I’m just a pharmacist,” she said. “Nobody…

Francis and Economics

As I have mentioned before, I like the current pope. But since I am unburdened by the belief that he is infallible, I heartily recommend this piece to readers, which critiques the pope for his less-than-accurate grasp of economics and the state of the world in general: It’s official: 2013 has been the Year of the Pope. The latest evidence? Time has named Francis its Person of the Year, noting that the pontiff, during his first nine months in office, “has placed himself at the very center of the central conversations of our time: about wealth and poverty, fairness and justice, transparency, modernity, globalization, the role…

Pope Francis and Economics 101

I like Pope Francis. I think that he is a down-to-earth fellow. I think he genuinely cares about people and is gifted in dealing with the masses. I think that he is good for the Catholic Church, and that overall, Catholics are lucky to have him. I also think that he would do well to hire on Greg Mankiw as an economics tutor. I should note that anti-capitalist/anti-business rhetoric does periodically emanate from the Vatican, and has in previous papacies as well, so I am not surprised by a lot of what Pope Francis says. But that doesn’t make what he…

Bono: Smarter than the Average Celebrity

Don’t believe me? Read this: Just recently drawing upon his Christian faith (and possibly the economics influence of Professor Ayittey?), in a speech at Georgetown University, Bono altered his economic and political views and declared that only capitalism can end poverty. “Aid is just a stopgap,” he said. “Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism take more people out of poverty than aid. We need Africa to become an economic powerhouse.” Quite so, and you don’t need to be particularly religious to know this. You just need to understand economics.