Friday, August 05, 2011

Sorry

My apologies for such a poor effort on the blogging front this week. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint) an old back injury flared up again, putting me out of action for most of it.

But fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint) a crash-hot physio has me almost back to normal--and just in time to head to the test match tomorrow night.

How's that for timing!

So hopefully you will enjoy your weekend as much as I will, and I will see both of you back here on Monday, if not before.

Cheers,
PC

Location:Jervois Rd,Herne Bay,New Zealand

Monday, August 01, 2011

So the (over) spending can now continue…

It has just been announced that Republicans, Democrats and and President Obama have reached a deal to raise the US government's debt ceiling.

Bugger.

Because as Peter Schiff said last week, “The real crisis will occur not if we fail to raise the debt ceiling, but if we succeed.”  The door is now open to new borrowing, new spending, more stimulus of the kind that has already signally failed … and many more crises to come down the road—and in very short order.

And don’t think that raising the government’s debt ceiling will comfort America’s producers, or avert a downgrade of US Govt Debt.

As former Chairman and CEO of BB&T Corporation John Allison notes

    It is important to recognize that the down grade [will not be] fundamentally based on the debt ceiling issue.  The credit rating agencies are focused on the long term deficits faced by the U. S. government.  Raising the debt limit may (or may not) help in the short term.  However, if federal government spending and deficits are not reduced U. S. government debt will be downgraded and rightly so.  The government will ultimately default on some of its obligations unless spending is brought under control…
    Corporate America is fundamentally concerned about the financial instability of the U. S. government and the very destructive regulatory environment, which is why businesses are holding so much excess cash.  It is impossible for a business to be fully prepared for a downgrade, but CEO’s see the government deficit problem, and out of control spending  as far deeper than the debt limit fight.

That’s what virtually every party to this argument, and every report from the MSM, has wilfully ignored. The fight over the debt limit has been a fight over consequences—when the real battle should have been over causes.

Even now, they fail to recognise that.

What would 'Party X' do about the environment? - CONCLUSION: A Kyoto plan with a difference

IMAGINE A ‘PARTY X’ that was actually committed to opposing statism ,and to advocating for free enterprise. Imagine such a party had a cabinet committing to rolling back the state, and an environment minister brimming over with ideas to do that.
    Over the last week, I’ve been throwing out the sort of environmental policies such a party (and such a minister) could advocate. Seven simple policies using present-day political realities to roll back the state without introducing any new coercion along the way.

I conclude today with an idea and an invitation.  The idea: a Kyoto Plan that makes the whole thing plain. The invitation: you’ll find that at the end of the post.

7. The Kyoto Plan for Tax and Regulation

Here’s one last suggestion that sums up the aim of all seven environmental policy planks presented so far. A plan explicitly designed to clean up the human environment, using the language of those who seek to shackle humans in the name of trees, rocks and mud puddles.

If you recall, to save earth’s environment from man’s allegedly climate-changing pollution the Kyoto Protocol to which Simon Upton signed us up required carbon emissions to be cut to 1990 levels by 2010. Which was never going to happen.

Whether or not you accept either the science or the politics behind that notion, however, it certainly concentrated minds on the proposition and elicited great pressure to achieve the goal, or something like it.

So what I propose—what a Party X could proposes—is to do something similar, but in the name of human freedom instead of human bondage.

What I propose quite seriously is a similar protocol to limit a far more serious and provably destructive pollution: the legislative pollution emanating from parliament that punishes achievement, destroys freedom, and requires the productive to go cap in hand to the unproductive just to ask permission to produce.

And along the lines of the Kyoto Protocol, I’d make it one that restricts the levying of taxes and the emission of regulations to 1990 levels, by about the time of the next parliament.

That shouldn’t be a big step to take, but it would at least concentrate minds on the enormous stack of new rules and regulations pouring out of parliament every year. While the jury is still out on the possible destructive consequences of emissions of carbon dioxide, there is no doubt at all of the destructive consequences of the emission of new taxes and ever more intrusive regulations.

Time to put a stop to the explosive growth in these emissions. 2014 works for me. Now would be better.

* * * * *

That concludes the series as written.

But now you’ve seen how easy it is to devise reforms that advance freedom one step at a time without implementing any new coercion, why not have a go yourself? I invite you to post in the comments your own ideas on reform in any policy area. And I invite members of political parties who claim to stand for freedom and small government to give serious thought to making their’s a property Party X, instead of just lapdogs to power.

THE COMPLETE SERIES:
INTRO: 'What Would 'Party X' Do About the Environment?'
PART ONE:
Un-taxes
PART TWO: 'A Nuisance and a BOR.'
PART THREE:
Making Life Easier for Small Consents
PART FOUR: “Iwi then Kiwi” - A Unique  Privatisation
PART FIVE: A Very Special Carbon Tax
PART SIX: A Fishy Story

THE SERIES IS BASED ON THE PRINCIPLE DEVELOPED HERE: 'Transitions to Freedom: Shall We Kill Them in Their Beds?'

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DOWN TO THE DOCTOR'S: Dentists and dickheads

_richardmcgrathLibertarianz leader Dr Richard McGrath invites you down to his surgery for an inoculation against this week’s stories and headlines on issues affecting our freedom.
This week: Dentists and dickheads…

THE DOCTOR SAYS: No, dental fees are not out of control. They have settled according to the economic law of supply and demand. High demand + low supply + over-regulation by government = high prices. If you restrict the number of people graduating from the Otago University dental school (as they do), and then you block qualified dentists from setting up shop in New Zealand (as is done), then of course prices will be high.
        Look at some of the comments made online at the Herald website however:

        "These people who are responsible for our health should not be doing it for personal profit, which
    they do."

    Written by a person who has clearly abdicated responsibility for his own health. Well, I have news for him. Each person is responsible for their own health. Why should anyone else be responsible for my health? It's my body, and I make the decisions that affect my health. The profit motive is what incentivises people to work hard. What dentist is not going to try to make a profit after paying for five years of training and then sitting vulnerable throughout his working career to anyone who cares to make a complaint to the Health & Disability Commissioner? 
    There were lots of other bleeding hearts evident in the online comments, positing the argument that dental care should be paid for with other people's money, but one comment resonated with me: a woman who had dental work done in Thailand at a fraction of the cost in NZ and recommended that others do the same. From my own personal experience, I can recommend travelling to Bangkok where there are top-notch dentists who can even arrange discounted accommodation at four or five star hotels within walking distance of their office.
     I have been over twice and my experience was good.
    For any dental work costing more than $4k, I would think a trip to the dentist in Bangkok would be more economical in dollar terms. Needless to say, let the buyer beware: do your homework first!

3 NEWS: “Family mourn loss of 'big-hearted girl' in Norway” - A 14 year old New Zealand born girl was among those apparently killed in Norway….
THE DOCTOR SAYS: This mass murder was tragic, and the murderer should spend the rest of his life compensating the families of his victims in every way possible—if indeed there is any way possible.
    There were a couple of other interesting angles to this outrage, though.  First, this young lass joined the Labour Party a year ago, aged 13. Thirteen! Isn't it a little unusual to join up children into political parties at such a tender age and take them out on 'camps'? Plenty of potential for brainwashing/indoctrination/child abuse—not sure I'd go as far as Glenn Beck and compare the murdered teenagers to the Hitler Youth movement, but it all seems a little strange to me. 
     Not that it excuses the actions of her killer.
    Like many countries, Norway has strict gun laws. As is the case in many other jurisdictions, a Norwegian's desire to be capable of acting in self defence is not considered a valid reason for him to own an instrument by which he could defend himself. To own a firearm over there, one must be a certified hunter or sports shooter.   
    But if one—just one—of the people who had the misfortune to encounter the killer had had recourse to a firearm, how very different the outcome might have been. How ironic that the inspiration for many little socialists such as those killed eight days ago, Chairman Mao, once opined that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.
    And it didn't take long before someone from the misanthropic greenie left, a soulmate of Ted Kaczynski, expressed the opinion that the killings in Norway were trivial compared to the slaughter of animals to provide protein for human nutrition.
    What a dickhead.

That’s all for me this week.
See you next Monday.
Doc McGrath

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

“Evolution made us all”

Here’s a nice hymn for a Sunday:

by Ben Hillman

Here’s another: 

‘by Monty Python’s Flying Circus

[HT Linda K.]

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