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From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict with each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time

-- F.A. Hayak

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Any Lefties Out There Care to Refute

From Cafe Hayak, Prof. Boudreaux writes that Obama's unequal pay is of a kind. Specifically,

These gender-disparity claims are also economically illogical. If women were paid 77 cents on the dollar, a profit-oriented firm could dramatically cut labor costs by replacing male employees with females. Progressives assume that businesses nickel-and-dime suppliers, customers, consultants, anyone with whom they come into contact—yet ignore a great opportunity to reduce wages costs by 23%. They don’t ignore the opportunity because it doesn’t exist. Women are not in fact paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.
Far too many policy proposals are premised on the absurd notion that privately available profit opportunities exist but remain unnoticed by all but professors, politicians, pundits, and preachers – officious observers who never offer to stake their own funds and efforts on seizing these opportunities

Monday, April 7, 2014

Michael Ramirez Does It Again


From the best cartoonist at work today.



 h/t Investors Business Daily

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Part II: Robin Hood Economics and Income Inequality

The previous post was an argument against Robin Hood economics. But such posts are not particularly useful in the absence of a positive argument. So, here's an example of a proposal by Jack Kemp in 2007 to institute a pilot program based on democratic capitalism in the inner cities of America. The meat of the proposal is quoted below:
To wage a real war on poverty, we should launch a 21st century Marshall Aid Plan in the cities of America to reform education; create job opportunities; and provide access to capital, credit and ownership opportunities for low-income Americans. This plan must be based on equal opportunities to get jobs, own homes and launch businesses.
The first step is to create Enterprise or Empowerment Zones that would eliminate the capital gains tax in the newly "green-lined" zones, allow for expensing of all investment in plant machinery and technology, and eliminate payroll taxes for men and women who are first-time job holders up to 200 percent of the poverty line.  
Next we need to cut the bureaucratic red tape that makes development in urban areas. We need to look at the legal barriers to production and commerce. Local impact (development) fees, application processing costs, building codes, zoning and land use restrictions, and nongrowth policies greatly increase construction costs. Instead of creating regulations that make it more difficult to build in urban areas, entrepreneurs need to be offered incentives for investing in cities.  
We must develop a tax reform system that rewards labor, savings and capital formation. A sure way to harm the economy and slow growth is through a capital gains tax, which is not a tax on the rich but rather on the poor who hope to improve their situations. You can't get rich on wages. The only way to create wealth is to work, save, invest, make a profit and reinvest.Finally, we need to provide homeownership opportunities and affordable housing to the most impoverished in society who often become trapped in public housing. Through public-private partnerships with organizations such as the Federal Housing Administration, Fannie Mae and the Federal Home Loan Bank, we need to dedicate a percentage of profits to help develop work-force and affordable housing while encouraging homeownership policies to get people on the path out of poverty. 

The real problem is not income inequality. It is that some people are not afforded the opportunities necessary to succeed. Conservatives believe that by ensuring equal opportunity to all, all will succeed as their talents and energy permit. The complete article can be read here.

Part I: Robin Hood Economics and Income Inequality

Boil their proposals to the bone and what you'll find is a redistributionist strategy that takes from the successful and subsidizes the poor. Leftist economic theory has never matured beyond the infantile fantasy that flourishing can be achieved by limiting freedom. Theirs is the Robin Hood theory of economics. Take from the rich and give to the poor.

Will such strategies reduce income inequality? Absolutely. Here's how Robin Hood economics works: suppose we have two citizens, A and B, with incomes of 8 and 4 respectively. If the government were to subtract 2 from Mr. A's income and add 2 to Mr. B's, we would achieve, voila, income equality.

Note that Robin Hood economics have been tried time and time again and never, ever worked. Income equality was never achieved. Instead, these economic systems have left their countries even more stratified economically (think Soviet Union, Communist China, Iraq, Nazi Germany, much of socialist Europe, etc.,). F. A. Hayak said it best, redistributionist economics can not achieve equal outcomes and still support a free people (see the masthead above). To achieve equality between Mr. A and Mr. B requires force.

Conservatives have a better plan and it's very simple and has always, everywhere, and across all of history been successful. That plan is to institute democratic capitalism by removing government imposed restrictions on those who wish to pursue their own economic interests. The problem with this approach, and it's a very real one, is that almost everyone who has attended college since 1960 has not a clue as to what democratic capitalism is all about. The new pope is a classic example in his denunciation of "unfettered" capitalism. He's an ignorant (but kindly) schmuck.

The term "unfettered" is a lefty trope invented by collectivists who, rather than address the substantive principles of democratic capitalism, sought to demonize their opponents. Democratic capitalism is, by definition, fettered. Laws and the moral institutions necessary to enforce those laws are necessary to ensure that contracts are enforced, transactions are transparent and freely executed.

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Picture is Truly Worth a Thousand Words



Are the people who bought into Obamacare being played like suckers, or are they just being taken for granted? In either case, it speaks volumes about those who identify with pajama boy.

From PJ Media's Post -- Caption This

Thursday, December 19, 2013

More on the Duck Dynasty Controversy

Andrew Sullivan just nails it:

Robertson is a character in a reality show. He’s not a spokesman for A&E any more than some soul-sucking social x-ray from the Real Housewives series is a spokeswoman for Bravo. Is he being fired for being out of character? Nah. He’s being fired for staying in character – a character A&E has nurtured and promoted and benefited from. Turning around and demanding a Duck Dynasty star suddenly become the equivalent of a Rachel Maddow guest is preposterous and unfair.


The Phil Robertson Kerfuffle: Hook, Line, and Sinker

Here's the sub-headline from The Live Feed, a blog from an article in the Hollywood Reporter:
"UPDATED: The news comes after the reality star compared being gay to bestiality, drawing ire from LGBT groups including GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign."
Here's what he actually said:

"Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there," he says. "Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men."
Get it? He did not compare “being gay to bestiality.” He very explicitly put homosexual behavior — not the status of being gay — into a category of behavior that includes bestiality. In the Bible, these include fornication, adultery, incest, and promiscuity.

So, it's all a crock! Those who are offended are so blinded by their ideology that they are willfully ignorant of the distinction between behavior and impulse. 

However, I think the more likely explanation is that the indignation of those who claim to be offended by Mr. Robertson's comment have another agenda in mind and that would be to expunge from the public square the opinions of those with whom they disagree. If you don't think so, then where is the indignation of the men and women who commit those other sexual behaviors?  For example, do you see heterosexual men (or women) who enjoy multiple sex partners rising up in indignation over being "slurred"? Where are the heterosexual hotheads?

So those who are organized and in the middle of a movement are taking Robertson’s bait -- Hook, Line, and Sinker

Saturday, July 6, 2013