Quotation of the Day…

(Don Boudreaux) The principal job – certainly the first job – of the economist is to explain to the general public how economic order arises spontaneously, guided largely by market-determined prices. This job, I believe, is a high calling. Without a correct understanding of the emergence and maintenance of economic order, the typical person supposes that the economy is created and run consciously, and the only question then being whether the conscious directors of the economy are to be private parties or government leaders (with the former always acting only to promote their own narrow interests, while the latter at least have the potential to act to promote the public interest).

Source: Quotation of the Day…

Fake religion from Timothy Cardinal Dolan

(Scott Johnson) Even more surprising than fake religion from Pete Buttigieg is fake religion from the formidable Timothy Cardinal Dolan. In his Christmas Eve New York Post column “A Christmas lesson on housing the poor,” Cardinal Dolan writes: “The Son of God was homeless; his earthly parents were immigrants and refugees.” I’m not Christian and mean no disrespect.

Source: Fake religion from Timothy Cardinal Dolan

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Era of ‘Good’ Fascism? If and when fascism comes to America, it will …

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Era of ‘Good’ Fascism? If and when fascism comes to America, it will not arrive with jackboots, stiff arms, and military uniforms. The attempt to suppress political opposition in anti-constitutional fashion, to regiment the economy by denying constitutionally protected freedoms, and the efforts to change the Constitution to reflect political utility, will come under the auspices of “equality,” “fairness,” “saving the planet,” and “social justice”—as a way to combat “climate change,” “racism,” “homophobia,” and “sexism.” The old Confederate idea of state nullification of federal law—the great bane of a century of civil rights movements—is now a progressive trademark.

Source: VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The Era of ‘Good’ Fascism? If and when fascism comes to America, it will …

"Transferism" — Not socialism, just plain greed

When polled, Americans express relatively well-defined views on both. And while nowhere near a majority of the American electorate favors a completely socialist system, a recent Gallup poll indicates that more than four in ten Americans think “some form of socialism” is a good thing. But what is “some form of socialism?” A society is either socialist or it isn’t. The state either owns the means of production or it doesn’t. There is no middle ground. Even our openly socialist politicians rarely advocate anything near as drastic as government control of the means of production.

FEE.org

These four in ten Americans, and the politicians who speak for them most vocally, are not advocating socialism at all; they are advocating what we should really call “transferism.” Transferism is a system in which one group of people forces a second group to pay for things that the people believe they, or some third group, should have. Transferism isn’t about controlling the means of production. It is about the forced redistribution of what’s produced.

Federal transfers are money the federal government gives directly to people or to state and local governments. These are not purchases. To be a transfer, the money must be given in exchange for nothing. The earned income tax credit, income assistance, and payments from various welfare programs are transfers. So, too, are Social Security benefits. While workers tend to regard Social Security benefits as returns on their Social Security taxes, legally, Social Security taxes are simply part of the government’s tax revenues. Workers are not entitled to Social Security benefits. Who says so? The Supreme Court in Flemming v. Nestor (1960). In reality, Social Security benefits are simply transfers—gifts—from the federal government to retirees.

ibid

Contrary to type, politicians speak in very clear terms about the benefits they would like to finance by transferring money from one group to another, and they have had predictable success with it. Most Americans cannot imagine a country without Social Security, Medicare, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. And politicians never seem to run out of new ideas regarding what they might be able to achieve with even more transfers of wealth. New ideas are typically well-defined, at least on the benefit side. Student loan forgiveness, universal basic income, Medicare for All, and every other piece of proposed redistributive legislation offers an obvious benefit for an equally obvious group of people.

The lack of clarity comes when the politicians get around to explaining who will pay for all of it. Their answer is inevitably some form of “the rich,” who will finally, we are told, pay “their fair share.” None of this is ever defined, which explains the United States’ present $23 trillion debt. Transfers are tricky political business because politicians need to point to who benefits and by how much while at the same time hiding who will actually be paying.

ibid

Socialism Is A Political Movement For People Whose Reasoning Never Advanced Beyond Childhood

From Advice Goddess:

The New York Times’ David Brooks outgrew socialism, he writes , a movement he was enamored with in his early 20s: The best version of socialism is defined by Michael Walzer’s phrase, “what touches all should be decided by all.” The great economic enterprises should be owned by all of us in common.

Source: Socialism Is A Political Movement For People Whose Reasoning Never Advanced Beyond Childhood

Climate Change: How Lucky Do You Feel?

Ronald Bailey is becoming less skeptical about climate change as he accumulates more data.

“The age of climate panic is here,” declared David Wallace-Wells, author of The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming (Tim Duggan Books), in a February 2019 New York Times op-ed. He’s certainly right about the panic. University of Cumbria Professor of Sustainability Leadership Jem Bendell predicts that man-made climate change will result in a “collapse in society” in about 10 years.

Source: Climate Change: How Lucky Do You Feel?

Tolerance and Intolerance: A Blast from the Past

The Writer in Black

Not one word needs to be changed.

So there’s this going around:

popper paradox

A popular interpretation of this is that it allows the use of force to shut down people who aren’t using force but simply engaging in speech that the person finds objectionable.  Some of the common expressions of this is “bash the fash” and “punch a Nazi”. In neither case do they actually mean folk rounding up minorities or other “undesireables” and sending them to concentration camps or engaging in any other actual violence or use of force.  No, they mean people who simply speak in ways they find objectionable–arguing in favor of policies they don’t like or voting for and speaking in favor of politicians to whom they object.

When you use force to shut down others speech, however repugnant you may find that speech to be, you aren’t resisting intolerance.  You are the intolerance that needs to…

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What Climate Science Tells Us About Temperature Trends

This article expands on claims about global temperature trends made in Ronald Bailey’s article in the January 2020 issue of Reason , ” Climate Change: How Lucky Do You Feel? ” for readers who are keen to dive deeper into the topic. (The print article is currently only available to subscribers.) I began my time on the climate change beat as a skeptic.

Source: What Climate Science Tells Us About Temperature Trends

The (Trans) War On Women, Circa 2019

I remember one time in eighth grade, the teacher decided to have a “boys vs. girls” spelling bee. It came down to one boy (me) against six girls. Back then, the girls didn’t have the option of identifying as boys to have a chance at being the winner of the contest.

Stately McDaniel Manor

I have often written about the contemporary trend of pandering to the demands of the smallest, most mentally ill factions among us. 

I speak of doing whatever various Trans this or thats, and their leftist supporters, demand: men in girl’s/women’s bathrooms, and men dominating women’s sports.  The lunacy continues as sport sanctioning organizations, particularly in leftist states, willingly participate in the destruction of women’s sports.  I haven’t written about this for awhile (most recently here, here and here), but Dani Shugart, at T-nation.com,has a useful summary.

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A recent WaPo piece exposes the rot behind the impeachment press

When it comes to Trump and Impeachment, with apologies to Mary McCarthy, every word the Washington Post writes is a lie, including “and” and “the.” I. Introduction As a lawyer, when I receive a brief that argues to the judge that my client is lying about facts central to the matter at issue, I expect the brief to contain quotations from my client’s alleged lies, along with hard evidence proving that my client’s statements were, in fact, lies.

Source: A recent WaPo piece exposes the rot behind the impeachment press