Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Quote of the Day: Consumption is the product of an expanding economy, not its cause


"The purpose of economic activity is consumption, both now and in the future. Nobody works for no reward. Month to month, and even year to year, consumers who decide to run down their savings can, of course, trigger greater demand and greater GDP growth.

"But that isn’t sustainable. Over long periods of time, consumption isn’t the real driver of growth: it is the product of an expanding economy, not its cause.”
~ Allister Heath, from his Telegraph article ‘Yes, Supply Does Create its Own Demand*'


* Technically not correct ...

[Hat tip Julian D.]
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Monday, 24 July 2017

Quote of the Day: On the effect of cheap money on housing


“The tidal wave of cheap money from … central banks has to go somewhere, so now it is flooding into housing and making serfs out of the middle class.”

~ Tweeter Rudolph E. Havenstein, quoting Ken Sherman, in reference to WSJ’s article: 'Meet Your New Landlord: Wall Street'

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Friday, 21 July 2017

Quote of the Day: On the Ponzi scheme of contemporary economic theory


"Both the neoclassical synthesis and the neoliberal consensus ... condition economists to argue, without irony, in their roles as professors, private consultants, and high-ranking public employees, that they have special expertise in setting economic policy, but also that the most reasonable economic policy is no economic policy. Mainstream economists acknowledge their inability to predict the effects of economic policy in order to emphasise that when the economic policies they endorse have adverse economic consequences, nobody is to blame. But they still contend that in moments of economic crisis, only economists possess the special expertise to fix a failing economy. This is the Ponzi scheme of contemporary economics….

"One is tempted ... to wonder whether the 'Queen of the Social Sciences is a dry cellar, a cactus land, a paralysed force, a headpiece filled with straw. What part of the record of economics should persuade us economists aren’t altogether expendable? 'What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow, out of this stony rubbish?'"

~ Matt Seybold, from ‘The End of Economics’ in the LA Review of Books

[Hat tip Per Bylund, who adds his own very pertinent comment … ]
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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: ‘Unpacking the Archive’


This to me is far more important than any election: Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) celebrating the work of Frank Lloyd Wright 150 years after his birth.

Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the most prolific and renowned architects of the 20th century, a radical designer and intellectual who embraced new technologies and materials, pioneered do-it-yourself construction systems as well as avant-garde experimentation, and advanced original theories with regards to nature, urban planning, and social politics. Marking the 150th anniversary of the American architect’s birth on June 8, 1867, MoMA presents Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, a major exhibition that critically engages his multifaceted practice. The exhibition comprises approximately 450 works made from the 1890s through the 1950s, including architectural drawings, models, building fragments, films, television broadcasts, print media, furniture, tableware, textiles, paintings, photographs, and scrapbooks, along with a number of works that have rarely or never been publicly exhibited. Structured as an anthology rather than a comprehensive, monographic presentation of Wright’s work, the exhibition is divided into 12 sections, each of which investigates a key object or cluster of objects from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives, interpreting and contextualizing it, and juxtaposing it with other works from the Archives, from MoMA, or from outside collections. The exhibition seeks to open up Wright’s work to critical inquiry and debate, and to introduce experts and general audiences alike to new angles and interpretations of this extraordinary architect.

Exciting!

Here's the lecture/interview celebrating what’s been and being unpacked.


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Quote of the Day: Politicians are always interested in people …



"Politicians are always interested in people. Not that this is always a virtue. Fleas are always interested in dogs.”
~ P.J. O'Rourke

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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Bonus Quote of the Day: On the ever-accelerating downward pull of the welfare state

"Morally and economically, the welfare state creates an ever accelerating downward pull. Morally, the chance to satisfy demands by force spreads the demands wider and wider, with less and less pretense at justification. Economically, the forced demands of one group create hardships for all others, thus producing an inextricable mixture of actual victims and plain parasites. Since need, not achievement, is held as the criterion of rewards, the government necessarily keeps sacrificing the more productive groups to the less productive, gradually chaining the top level of the economy, then the next level, then the next. (How else are unachieved rewards to be provided?)
"There are two kinds of need involved in this process: the need of the group making demands, which is openly proclaimed and serves as cover for another need, which is never mentioned—the need of the power-seekers, who require a group of dependent favor-recipients in order to rise to power. Altruism feeds the first need, statism feeds the second, Pragmatism blinds everyone—including victims and profiteers—not merely to the deadly nature of the process, but even to the fact that a process is going on…

"[A] real turning point came when the welfare statists switched from economics to physiology: they began to seek a new power base in deliberately fostered racism, the racism of minority groups, then in the hatreds and inferiority complexes of women, of 'the young,’ etc. The significant aspect of this switch was the severing of economic rewards from productive work. Physiology replaced the conditions of employment as the basis of social claims. The demands were no longer for 'just compensation,' but just for compensation, with no work required.

"So long as the power-seekers clung to the basic premises of the welfare state, holding need as the criterion of rewards, logic forced them, step by step, to champion the interests of the less and less productive groups, until they reached the ultimate dead end of turning from the role of champions of 'honest toil' to the role of champions of open parasitism, parasitism on principle, parasitism as a ‘right' (with their famous slogan turning into: 'Who does not toil, shall eat those who do’).”

~ Ayn Rand, from “A Preview,” The Ayn Rand Letter, I, 23, 1

Quote of the Day: Corbynomics explained


Satirical magazine Private Eye explains Corbynomics — and the electoral bribery thereof— better then the man himself. Metiria Turei, Gareth Morgan, and others, all appear to have been listening ….



[Hat tipHani Mustafa‏]

Monday, 17 July 2017

Quote of the Day: “You want a safety net, go do it…”

“…but don’t force me to participate if I don’t want to… [State] welfare is morally wrong. Spend your own money [if you want] to help the poor.”
~Yaron Brook

Friday, 14 July 2017

Quote of the Day: Individuals act


“All rational action is in the first place individual action. Only the individual thinks. Only the individual reasons.” ~ Ludwig Von Mises
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Thursday, 13 July 2017

Quote of the Day: On rap “music”


“Today the dominant voice [in popular music] is thug poetry or [so-called] rap “music,” which is lower than even the genuine, original jungle impulse. Growing from the helpless ghetto child’s fear and insecurity, it expresses an enormous defensive facade hiding his feelings of weakness, vulnerability and inadequacy, overcompensating with an exaggerated mask and pageantry of impervious toughness, threatening might; it is an aggressive parade of the thug’s willingness and readiness to commit crimes against you here and now. It is the essence of a thug’s character and persona: a life of physical, criminal force negating the mind.”
~ M. Zachary Johnson, from his book Emotion in Life & Music: A New Science

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Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Quote of the Day: On Dante v Shakespeare


"Dante made great poetry out of a great philosophy of life; and that Shakespeare made equally great poetry out of an inferior and muddled philosophy of life… Dante's pattern is the richer by a serious philosophy, and Shakespeare's the poorer by a rag-bag philosophy, [but] I should say that [as a writer skilled in the two arts of poetry and drama] Shakespeare's pattern was more complex, and his problem more difficult, than Dante’s.”

~ T.S. Eliot, writing in G. Wilson Knight’s The Wheel of Fire

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Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Quote of the Day: Sanity?


“Sometimes I think that this is an era when sanity has become controversial.”
~ Thomas Sowell

Monday, 10 July 2017

Quote of the Day: On ideas being immune to criticism


"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible.”
~ Salman Rushdie

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Quote of the Day: On the problem with the Treaty industry’s “quasi-judicial inquiry” into NZ’s colonial past

 

“But this is by no means a history of ‘fatal impact,’ in which European contact and colonisation lead unremittingly to the destruction of an indigeneous people that was throughout the innocent victim of European aggression and manipulation …
    “[My] emphasis on (bilateral) ‘outcomes’ rather than (unilateral) ‘impacts’ leads to a “dual agency’ view of settlement history – ‘Maori and Europeans sharing the initiative in developments and, by implication, responsibility for them.’ This perspective fits uncomfortably into the adversarial framework of Treaty claims history, to which admissions of joint initiative and responsibility are anathema pro facto.
    “Such quasi-judicial inquiry into our colonial past threatens to reduce it to a world of binary opposites: Pakeha were villains; Maori were victims. Colonisation was bad; indigneous society was good. Pakeha were devious; Maori were honourable. Maori were destroyed; Pakeha flourished.
    “By implication [then in the way history is now told], Maori became passive and Pakeha active participants in the encounter situation. Maori ‘agancy’ is acknowledged only in terms of political resistance, its exercise in economics ignored in the rush to blame the Crown for the material losses of Maori.
    “Although anthropologists have brought valuable cultural perspectivesto the inquiry,they have also widened gaps by reinforcing notions of the ‘other,’ making cultural dissonance between Maori and Europeans inevitable .. [and] have tended to reinforce notilns of frozen culture.
    “Giselle Byrnes articulates the concerns of many when she writes: ‘… treaty claims history is tending to invert colonialist paradigms of hegemony and reinvent old binarism’s.”
~ quoted from Paul Monin’s 2006 book Hauraki Contested, 1769-1875

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Monday, 3 July 2017

Quote of the Day: On bludging sailors and subsidised Cups


“It’s starting to look as if Grant Dalton is well-named, because he’s after another one. A grant. A handout. A reach-around from taxpayer to pocket -- the pocket being his and his colleagues, the lever to extract the dosh being the fear “we” may not have [an] America’s Cup [defence…
    “Because his America’s Cup programme is looking increasing like it’s just welfare for well-fed sailors.
    “If he and his colleagues want to run another challenge, then I suggest they approach a few of those businessmen and women who can be heard saying the America’s Cup would be “good for the economy.” People like
Marine Industry Association bludger-in-chief Peter Busfield [who says “a decision not to invest would be disastrous for New Zealand.” If people like Mr Busfield think it would be good for their economy, then let them either front up, or shut up. Put your hand in your own pocket, Peter, and keep it out of ours."
~ quote from this blog’s 2014 post ‘Piss Off, Grant.

“The bottom line is this: if people with their own money want to enjoy having a team in the Cup,  then all power to them. Great. Put up your own dosh.
    “If businessmen and women think a Team NZ in the America’s Cup will help their business, then all power to them too. Let them put up their own money to help their business out.
    “And if politicians, like [Bill English] and Steven Joyce et al want a place at the international sporting table, then let the bastards go out and get a real job to earn it.
    “[And] don’t employ economists to write bullshit on your behalf to justify your expensive grandstanding.”

~ quote from this blog’s 2014 post ‘Sailing in Subsidised Waters

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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Bruce Goff's Crystal Chapel

 

Bruce Goff’s Crystal Chapel, designed in 1949 - unbuilt, but recently modelled digitally so you too can see the genius …

[Hat tip SOCIETY OF ORGANIC ARCHITECTS]

Monday, 29 May 2017

The naked & the nudes


I spent the weekend with several dozen nudes. it was thrilling!

There were women and men, big and small, young and old. They were bathing, washing, dancing. There were groups picknicking, drinking, playing. One (or two?) were sitting strangely in armchairs. One was trying on hats. Another caressing a dying young hero. One woman was even lying down as a fish.

And there was a couple kissing, or about to. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Flesh-like marble. Intertwined and interlocking. Erotically charged. Moving and alive. Only a true master at the top of his game could have created it, and it took him a decade.

Of course, I’ve seen it before. In protographs. But photographs can give only the suggestion of a story like this. The shadow, but not the substance. Nothing prepares you for the real thing, live and in the flesh and in front of you. There is nothing else in the world like it!

It took me several hours to walk around it — studying it, enjoying it, imbibing it — and I look forward to many more before it returns home in July. It seems to have the whole world in it, and create whole new worlds of its own.

If you have an ounce of soul yourself stiil unstrained, still unfiltered, then take it along to Auckland’s Art Gallery to see the Tate Gallery’s exhibition of nude masterpieces. Take an hour, at least, to walk around Rodin’s The Kiss. Any direction. Sit with it. Study it. if there is a greater work of art in the world, I don’t know it.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Postmodernism is bunk


If you want to know what’s wrong with the modern world, then most of what’s wrong (apart from Geelong’s inability to play consistent football) is due to bad philosophy. And most of that bad philosophy in the modern world comes under the heading of postmodernism.

Every student at every institution will have encountered it, and then either absorbed it (in whole or in part) or, if they’re particularly courageous, combatted it. Every one of those students — and you! — needs this book by Stephen Hicks in their backpack: something now made infinitely easier by author Stephen Hicks having made the first edition available to download completely free!

Download free here.

As my friend Jeffrey Perren says,

This is your chance to get FREE one of the best books on philosophy written in the past 25 years. If you want to understand much of what's happening today, read this.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Projects, Day 7: Howick renovation

 

ConceptSketch

So some of you have been asking why blogging here has been so light, recently. There’s a simple answer: it’s not just that politics is so dire, it’s that the workload of my current projects has been so heavy.

Among the (too) many projects is this one, another renovation project for a ‘mid-century modern’ in Howick which, like every good renovation project, involves a bit of untangling …

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Monday, 15 May 2017

Quote of the Day: On automation & A.I.


Author Henry Hazlitt makes an interesting differentiation between types of automation that is entirely pertinent to what some are calling “the Fourth Industrial Revolution,’ i.e., the predicted revolution in robotics artificial intelligence, the differentiation being:

1. Automation of a task previously done manually ("labour saving")

2. Automation of a task inherently impossible to humans ("possible-making")

3. Automation of a task via usage of superior materials ("quality improving")

4. Automation of tasks via breaking into contexts formerly unknown or inaccessible ("integrating") 


(NB: The expansion and the terms in brackets were chosen by online commentator Felix Mueller.)

Hazlitt’s original quote is here:

"Not all inventions and discoveries, of course, are “labour-saving” machines. Some of them, like precision instruments, like nylon, lucite, plywood, and plastics of all kinds, simply improve the quality of products. Others, like the telephone or the airplane, perform operations that direct human labour could not perform at all. Still others bring into existence objects and services, such as X-rays, radios, and synthetic rubber, that would otherwise not even exist."

Friday, 5 May 2017

Projects, Day 6: Remuera bungalow

 

So some of you were asking why blogging has been so light here recently – and it’s not just that politics has been so dire, it’s that the workload on my current projects has been so heavy.

So among the projects that have been keeping me away from the writing keyboard is this one, untangling an existing Remuera bungalow, and better connecting its occupants to sun, to views, and to its difficult site.

 

Bungalow-Remuera002

 

Bungalow-Remuera001.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

The Commerce Commission should ban itself

 

Here’s a post from February that is relevant again today in the wake of the Commerce Communist Commission’s prohibition of the Fairfax/NZME merger. ACT’s David Seymour calls the Commission a dinosaur, suggesting it had its day once. It’s more like a dangerous man-made virus that should never have been released into the wild at all.

So Vodafone and Sky want to merge with each other. And so do Fairfax and NZME.  But the Commerce Commission has ruled the former two may not, and has now declared the latter two must not.

Who is this Communist Commission when it’s at home, and what gives it the right to tell shareholders of major businesses what they should do with their property? I went to their website to find out:

The Commerce Commission [they say] enforces legislation that promotes competition in New Zealand markets and prohibits misleading and deceptive conduct by traders. The Commission also enforces a number of pieces of legislation specific to the telecommunications, dairy and electricity industries. In ensuring compliance with the legislation it enforces, the Commission undertakes investigation and where appropriate takes court action; considers applications for authorisation in relation to anti-competitive behaviour and mergers; and makes regulatory decisions relating to access to telecommunications networks and assessing compliance with performance thresholds by electricity lines businesses.

So we have a monopoly that allegedly fights monopolies, a Quango that allegedly “promotes competition”; as if it were possible for bureaucracy to do that, or a bureaucrat to even fathom what competition looks like and how it works in the real world –  as if “competition” itself were a primary, and not the result of the freedom of free people to do deals and make contracts with each other which are the job of governments to enforce.

That enforcement is the real job of government here. Instead, we have a quango enforcing what for them is a floating abstraction –so-called pure and perfect competition – a thing never seen alive in the wild -- so no wonder they can frequently be seen, for example, “enforcing” competition by prosecuting for “price gouging” when prices are too high, for “predatory pricing” when they’re too low, and for collusion when they’re the same. Such is the nature of bureaucratic enforcement of something they know nothing about. Yet due to their random decision-making all business activity becomes less certain, so by that amount already decreasing the range of options open to consumers – and so making monopolies even more likely, not less.

They are morons given power by idiots.

The idiocy leads to more idiocy. The Communist Commission's draft decision to discourage (in February) and now ban altogther the Fairfax NZME merger on the basis it creates a monopoly saw analysts tell Fairfax that if it doesn’t merge then it must withdraw from NZ, which would of course create the same alleged monopoly over which the Commission is this week wringing its hands. (I say alleged monopoly because the Commission ignores all the other national and international news sources by which New Zealanders may acquire their news now and in the future, many far superior to the superficial offerings of these two fat-headed giants.)

Meanwhile the Commissars’ determination that that Vodafone and Sky must not merge leaves shareholders in both already poorer, and consumers less able to access the sport the Commissars have decided is a human right -- and gives existing telcos less competition than would have otherwise been the case, the very reason some of these non-competitive vultures are crowing today: because they can now safely put their prices up.

  We should prosecute the Commissars themselves for false advertising:

  • They say they act to prevent monopoly, but their actions often encourage it;
  • They say they act to prevent monopoly, yet fail to break up government monopolies or (where they would face the same capital costs as their competitors) to call for their divestiture;
  • They say they enforce competition, yet they fail to recommend the abolition of legislation (such as the RMA, the OSHA, corporate taxes etc.) that helps prevent small companies being able to compete with big companies;
  • They say they enforce competition, yet in telecommunications especially they penalise the most competitive company and keep less competitive companies alive;
  • They allege to have consumers’ interests at heart, yet they delay mergers from which operational synergies can be gained -- thereby raising costs, lowering wages and profits, and thus further reducing capital accumulation and real wages; and
  • They allege to have consumers’ interests at heart, yet their months-long meddling raises investment uncertainty and thus capital costs and hurdles to new investment, so that new services that might benefit consumers are still born, never to see the light of day – and older services, that might have merged in a way that makes them compeittive again, are prohibited from simply trying to stay alive.

Quite simply, they are the legislative manifestation of the tall-poppy-syndrome - they attack any big private business and do nothing meaningful to the protected positions of bloated, wasteful, bullying government organisations just like themselves.

They are not a dinosaur, as David Seymour suggests, they are a dangerous man-made virus that should never have been introduced into the wild.

The idea that a bureaucrat could command competition sounds like it would be a product of a central planning mindset, yet the Communist Commission was not even a product of Muldoon’s command economy – it was a creation of Roger Douglas, a product of the flawed floating abstraction of 'pure and perfect competition' held by the Chicago economics he espoused, a floating, 'Platonic,' idea of competition bearing so little relation to the real world that it needs a bureaucracy with government power to try unsuccessfully to make it happen, damaging all and sundry in the process.

They should prosecute themselves as a predatory monopoly.

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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Bruce Goff, architect




While I was visiting Canberra recently (as my more astute readers spotted), I met up with inspirational practitioner of organic achitecture Laurie Virr — to the delight of both of us.

Bruce Goff has been an architectural hero for us both over many years, but never having heard him speak, I was delighted to find that Laurie had a video of Goff talking about and visiting many of the homes he’d designed: homes as unique as the characters he’d designed them for.

The video quality is poor, but I find every minute thrilling!

Monday, 1 May 2017

Occupational licensing doesn't protect who you think it does


Occupational licensing doesn't protect who you think it does. Rather than protecting consumers, its more about protectionism for those being licensed — and ideal way to bar competitors and minimize the dangers, to incumbents, of the new, novel and innovative.

In fact, argues Jason Sorens in this guest post, Licensing tradesmen and professionals is about little more than consumer exploitation, .

Do occupational licensing laws protect you from unscrupulous and unqualified practitioners? Or do they just protect the current practitioners against new competition?

These laws ban ordinary people from practicing a certain trade or profession — be it dentistry or hair-styling — until they have paid fees, undergone a certain number of hours of schooling, and usually passed certain examinations in order to get a license.

The proponents of such licensing laws generally claim that they help keep consumers like you safe from harm and fraud.

But let’s take a look at the evidence for ourselves.

Licensing’s Effect on Quality, Pricing, and Availability

We can examine the effects of occupational licensing on practitioner quality in part by looking at complaints to state governments. University of Minnesota economist Morris Kleiner has found in his book Licensing Occupations and a series of related papers that states that license practitioners see no fewer complaints than states that do not license them.[1]

In terms of pricing, an Obama White House report from 2015 noted that “the evidence on licensing’s effects on prices is unequivocal: many studies find that more restrictive licensing laws lead to higher prices for consumers.”

Furthermore, occupational licensing reduces the supply of new entrants into a profession. A study of Vietnamese manicurists in the American Economic Review found that lengthier training requirements reduced the number of practitioners significantly.

Occupational licensing also reduces low-income entrepreneurship activity significantly. Low-income workers often find it hard to pay for training, particularly when they have to go to school for a year or more to achieve certification for skills they already possess, over which time they still have to support themselves somehow.

Because licensing requirements vary by country and by state, and many do not automatically recognise those of other territories, licensing also prevents practitioners from moving easily or practicing across state lines.[2]

As Econ 101 tells us, that reduction in new entrants raises the wages of existing practitioners at the expense of increased prices to consumers—whom these laws are allegedly intended to protect.

How Licensing Laws Happen

You could call into question a lot of the prior evidence, and it’s not hard to find a few studies that find no effects of licensing (this isn’t too surprising, given the difficulty of measuring these effects). But what makes the incumbent-protection theory of licensing most plausible is actually the politics of the licensing process.

1. Legislators Only Hear from Lobbyists
Who proposes new licenses? It’s almost always a practitioner group that lobbies the state legislature. Very rarely do you see a new licensing proposal emerge because of consumer outcry for it. When state legislators hear testimony on a licensing bill, only practitioners show up to testify, and they are almost always unanimously in favor of licensing.

Consumers don’t show up, and neither do people who might want to enter the profession someday. So it would be really surprising if state legislatures didn’t overregulate occupational entry when the information and pressure they are getting is always so skewed.

2. Licensing Always Grandfathers Existing Practitioners
If licensing were about protecting the public, then licensing requirements would be applied equally to all practitioners. But that’s not what state governments do. Invariably, they exempt incumbents (known as “grandfathering”)and apply the new requirements only to future practitioners. This discrimination makes sense only if you want to restrict supply in order to help incumbents, not if you want to protect the consumer.

3. Strong Sunrise Review Helps
Some places (but very few) have strong “sunrise review” provisions. These require all new licensing proposals to be reviewed by an executive department before the legislature can vote on them, and specify that licensing is only justifiable if it is the least restrictive means necessary to achieve the objective of protecting public health and safety. Colorado and Vermont are two American states that seem to have strong procedures. And these two states have much less licensing than other states.

If review by government licensing bureaucrats (who are hardly free-market ideologues) results in less actual licensing, that fact suggests that the additional licensing seen in other states is probably not justified by consumer protection.

Certification Is Rare

If you want to protect the consumer, so-called ‘certification' almost always makes more sense than licensing. Certification — or “title regulation” —merely applies penalties to illegitimately calling yourself a certified practitioner if you haven’t met the criteria for certification. Laws against calling yourself a registered architect for instance wouldn’t forbid you from practicing architecture if you were unregistered, simply from claiming to be registered if you weren't. (And if registered architects are perceived to be superior, then consumers won’t be fooled by fellows fraudulently preteneding to be so.)

In essence, certification lets consumers decide if they want to get services from a certified or an uncertified practitioner, alllowing them to be the purveyors of quality.

But certification is in fact rare. Where it exists, governments usually end up replacing it with licensing. Why? Because certification doesn’t restrict entry — it doesn’t serve the interests of incumbents the way licensing does, and it’s incumbents who pay the lobbyists.

To be sure, government certification is hardly necessary today, especially as it can be easily achieved by private sector certification done by experts such as Underwriters Laboratory, voluntary organisations like Master Builders or Certified Builders, or by the public at review aggregation services like Yelp and Trip Advisor and in sharing apps like Uber, Lyft, and AirBnB.

The Upshot

The combination of all these facts strongly suggests that the motivation and function of occupational licensing is not to protect consumers like you and me, but to exploit them, and to protect existing practitioners from new competition.

Where there really a grave risk to public health and safety from incompetent practice in a certain industry, there is a simple and effective solution: bonding. Require a prospective practitioner to put up a bond or prove liability insurance coverage sufficient to cover the costs of a reasonable lawsuit judgment. And require both incumbents and new entrants to meet the requirement.

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Jason Sorens is a lecturer in the Government Department at Dartmouth College and received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University in 2003. He is also vice president of the Free State Project.
His post has appeared previously at Learn Liberty and FEE.

NOTES:

[1] Note that this research can look only at occupations that are licensed in some states but not others.

[2] From the Obama Administration report: “Forthcoming analysis of five licensed occupations finds that, controlling for observable differences that could affect migration rates, individuals in three of these occupations have lower interstate migration rates than their peers in other occupations, while their intrastate migration rates are similar. This is to be expected if a State-based licensure system depressed mobility” (15).

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Brazier! ‘Left Turn at Midnight’




When Graham Brazier died nearly two years ago, he’d been working with producer Alan Jansson on his fourth solo album — recording with him every Thursday night across several months.

Since his death, Alan Jansson has been continuing to produce the album. A labour of love in every sense, Alan has also produced it in virtually every sense: starting with just the raw acoustic tracks they’d originally laid down, he has summoned musicians; enlisted the help of friends and followers; and with the help of Kelly Addis initiated a ‘kickstarter’ (and more) to help complete the great work they’d begun.

It’s the final testimonial of this great man.

"I feel like all the experience in my life was leading up to this point,” [says Jansson].

Jansson said the songs on the new album are as good, if not better, than Brazier's Blue Lady with Hello Sailor and solo hit Billy Bold.

"There is no B-side, all of the songs pop out of the speakers.”

Jansson said Graham's sudden death, after a heart attack, had "hit him hard". He took a year off from producing the album because the grief was too raw.

"Losing him was heartbreaking. I have lost family and not cried but when I was told about Graham I just broke down," Jansson said.

"It was the saddest day of my life.”

The pair had were working on Brazier's album in the months before his death.

"I would sit there in the studio trying to start the album and I'd bring the track up and I couldn't do it. For a year it was too hard," Jansson said.

"Then a few weeks ago it was decided to finish the album for release around Graham's 65th birthday."


“This is such an important album for New Zealand music,” says Janssson, how helmed and co-wrote Paulie Fuemana’s US number one, ‘How Bizarre.'

And now it’s complete and ready for launch next week — May 5th — and with your help we can get it to number one (and wouldn’t that be a great thing to do for our mate).

All you have to do is pre-order the album (which you have to buy anyway; having heard an advance copy, I can tell you it’s up there with the very best things he ever did). And your pre-order will help maximise sales in the first week of release — which is next week.

So get on to it:


NB: Graham had to wait until death for the sort of mainstream press that could have done so much to help back in the day, but the (non) usual suspects have stepped up with stories — and good on 'em for that!:

Oh, and there’s an album launch party at the King’s Arms on Sunday afternoon, May 7th, complete with every guest musician you could ever hope for. See you there. :-)

Friday, 28 April 2017

Projects, Day 5: Montessori school


So I told you the other day I’d give you some idea of some of the things I’ve been working on recently that have kept me away from blogging.

This is a new three-classroom Montessori school in a central Auckland suburb, behind two existing houses used as admin and accommodation ...





Thursday, 27 April 2017

Projects, Day 4: Victoria country weekender


So I told you the other day I’d give you some idea of some of the things I’ve been working on recently that have kept me away from blogging.

This one is a small, inexpensive weekender on a tiny Victorian country street…


16018-Perkins~19 - Picture # 1
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16018-Perkins~FloorPlan-web


16018-Perkins~StreetFrontCutawayPlan-web