Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Pumping gas prices: "Price controls have been around as long as prices. And price controls have had disastrous effects for just as long. They discourage production and encourage waste, creating shortages. They also penalize emergency preparedness -- stockpiling, for instance. But counterproductive effects have never deterred demagogic politicians seeking votes. Advocates of price controls apparently believe that the oil companies are artificially jacking up prices. It's a convenient theory, but it makes no sense. After all, if ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell could simply conspire to push up prices, they would have done so last year. And the year before. And the year before that. In fact, Americans have been spoiled over the last two decades. Adjusted for inflation, gas prices have been historically low. Even today prices remain lower than in Europe."

Poor Africans made REALLY poor by socialist regulations: "Niamey, Niger -- In countries like this, children end up being killed not only by malaria and measles, but also by an insistence on the six-week paid vacation. This land of mud huts and malnourished babies is the very least developed country on the planet, but local regulations stipulate that companies must give all employees six weeks and two days of paid vacation a year. Not surprisingly, there are almost no employers in Niger... ...The minimum wage is set at $35 a month in Niger, higher than the local market level. Employees are allowed to work no more than nine hours a day, weekend work is basically prohibited, and women are not allowed to work evenings at all. Layoffs are usually not allowed. Perhaps those rules (typically inherited from European countries during colonial days) sound as if they protect workers. But the upshot is that companies don't come to Niger and don't hire anyone they don't want on the payroll forever. So almost all people toil in the informal labor sector where there are no protections whatsoever." (Cafe Hayek picks up on much the same points).

The Economic Freedom of the World, 2005 Annual Report has just been published by Canada's Fraser Institute... The report's conclusions include the following: "Countries with more economic freedom have substantially higher per-capita incomes and higher growth rates." These findings show economic freedom is not just desirable from some philosophical viewpoint but is a necessary and absolute good. Countries that move from less economic freedom to more raise their citizens' well-being much faster than the more restrictive regimes. "Life expectancy is over 25 years longer in countries with the most economic freedom than it is those with the least." Those who argue they support socialism or the "social market economy" because it is more humane ignore the fact that people in most free market economies live longer and healthier lives than those in most of the very regulated economic systems.... Economic freedom is reduced by high taxes and regulation; failure to secure proper rights; restricting domestic and international trade; unnecessarily costly regulation of credit, labor and business; and denying access to sound money. Almost all poor countries are poor because their political leaders have restricted economic freedoms. The next time we see a political leader on global TV blaming others for his people's plight and demanding aid, we should insist a condition of aid would be removing restrictions of economic freedom".

EU boss goes for globalization: "Europe will become “nothing” if it fails to meet the challenge of globalisation and succumbs instead to the demands for protectionism and xenophobia that are sweeping the Continent, José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, has said. In terms that will be seen as strong backing for the British stance and condemnation of French protectionist policies, Senhor Barroso called on all “civilised and rational” people to fight the kind of populism that is opposed to free markets and to embrace globalisation rather than turn Europe into a fortress".

Nothing succeeds like success: Bryan Caplan explains why poor countries generally stay poor and why rich countries tend to get richer. In summary, economic rationality is only persuasive once it has already been shown to work.

There is a very sad story here about what 70 years of communism has done to a nation that once dominated the world -- Mongolia. Incentive and motivation seem to have been almost wiped out.



I occasionally link to the writings of far-Left San Francisco columnist Mark Morford. His rantings are so extreme, so vituperative and so ignorant (in all senses of that word) that they are usually far more amusing than anything else. His recent attack on the Duggar family however is utterly reprehensible. Somebody should fund the Duggars to sue the pants off him for claiming that they are psychologically disturbed because they have a large family. Though I am sure that the Duggars feel too full of blessings to be bothered by the screechings of Morford. One commenter referred to Morford as "heterosexually challenged" and that did rather make things fall into place for me. There is a pervasive bitchiness and egotism among some (but not all) homosexuals which outdoes the worst of female bitchiness and egotism (and women have been very kind to me in my life so I am again not speaking of ALL women). And I think it is that extreme egotism and bitchiness that we see in Morford. And I am sure that my valued homosexual readers will recognize the phenomenon of which I speak. By the way, I always use the objective term "homosexual" rather than "gay" as I see no reason why I should make any judgment about what the characteristic mood of homosexuals is.

Good to hear that there were in the end proper celebrations in Britain of Nelson's great victory at Trafalgar, despite British government fear of "offending the French": "The Queen lit a beacon beside the flagship on which Admiral Horatio Nelson died leading Britain to victory at the Battle of Trafalgar 200 years ago, as Nelson mania gripped the country.... First Sea Lord Sir Alan West said Britain was abuzz with Trafalgar Day celebrations. Amid a year characterised by Nelson mania, some 6000 events were taking place this weekend to mark the historic fight. "I was amazed how it has gripped the spirit of Britain across the country. It's almost a Nelson fever going on," he said". (My own tribute to Nelson is here)

I recently put up a post on Leftists as Elitists that looked at one long sneer at Australia and Australians by a noted Australian playwright. Andrew Bolt has just sneered back -- to excellent effect.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. And on Social Security see Dick McDonald


Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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