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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Kate Herrick's LiveJournal:

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    Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
    12:16 pm
    Racist, Sexist, Exploitative Capitalism
    It was amazing to me how quickly she overturned the power structure within her family,” Leslie Chang writes in Factory Girls, her 2008 book on internal migration within China. Chang is marveling at Min, a 17-year-old who left her family farm to find work in a succession of factories in the rapidly urbanizing city of Dongguan. Had Min never left home, she would have been expected to marry a man from a nearby village, to bear his children, and to accept her place in a tradition that privileges husbands over wives. But months after Min found work in Dongguan, she was already advising her father on financial planning, directing her younger siblings to stay in school, and changing jobs without bothering to ask her parents’ permission.”

    “Are Property Rights Enough?” Reason, November 2009

    How could the noble communists let this happen in their country? They should have taken people off their family farms and put them into communal farms, so they could capitalize on - I mean, make the most of - their already communal culture, bringing to fruition the bounty of true brotherhood. Oh, wait, they did, and they starved by the tens of millions. (The people, that is - not the noble, selfless communists.) Does anyone remember that?

    Those were the good old days. But now they’ve turned to the Dark Side. And it all happened because some greedy people wanted to get rich. May they all reap what they sow.
    Thursday, October 15th, 2009
    9:41 pm
    Saturday, October 10th, 2009
    2:48 pm
    Help or Hindrance?
    Obama is willing to spend political capital to shut down payday lenders. Never mind that the people will pay for his good intentions.

    In a December 2008 working paper, [Dartmouth economist Jonathan] Zinman concluded that former payday customers in Oregon ended up using less desirable alternatives such as overdrafts and utility shutdowns, and that “restricting access caused deterioration in the overall financial condition of the Oregon households.” In summary, “restricting access to expensive credit harms consumers.”

    A February 2008 study for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found similar results: “Compared with households in states where payday lending is permitted, households in Georgia [after a May 2004 ban on payday lending] have bounced more checks, complained more to the Federal Trade Commission about lenders and debt collectors, and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection at a higher rate,” wrote Federal Reserve research economists Donald P. Morgan and Michael R. Strain. In North Carolina, where payday loans were banned in December 2005, “households have fared about the same. This negative correlation—reduced payday credit supply, increased credit problems contradicts the debt trap critique of payday lending, but is consistent with the hypothesis that payday credit is preferable to substitutes such as the bounced-check ‘protection’ sold by credit unions and banks or loans from pawnshops.”

    http://reason.com/archives/2009/09/25/payday-of-reckoning


    May we all seek disconfirming evidence for our theories, especially when we have the power to enact them.
    Thursday, September 24th, 2009
    9:09 pm
    Food for thought for my favorite audience
    Capitalism = voluntary trade

    Humanity is benevolent to the extent humans have satisfied their own needs.

    (Both empirical, as all good claims and concepts are.)
    Thursday, March 19th, 2009
    11:18 am
    Wednesday, March 18th, 2009
    9:21 pm
    Scoff while you can, before we give the world back to the people who wrought it.
    Atlas Shrugged selling better than ever since its year of publication.

    Atlas Shrugged No. 1 seller in Amazon "classics" category.
    Thursday, December 11th, 2008
    10:38 am
    Blagojevich Bliss
    Hopefully you've all heard about and delighted in the arrest of a corrupt politician, the governor of Illinois. I delight in the mild irony that this man's bad luck brings joy to good people.

    The FBI complaint, chock full of the most blatant corruption you may ever see.


    Thanks to john_j_enright for the link to the actual complaint. It's a fun read over breakfast, if you skim fast enough.

    Also, What the Fed Left Out, a parody.
    10:25 am
    Comedian Louis CK on Conan: "Everything's amazing, nobody's happy"
    "Did you partake of the miracle of human flight you non-contributing zero!"



    Hat tip to Stephen Hicks, who links to really neat stuff daily.
    Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008
    10:27 pm
    "Darwinian Conservatism"
    What a great theme for a blog:

    The Left has traditionally assumed that human nature is so malleable, so perfectible, that it can be shaped in almost any direction. Conservatives object, arguing that social order arises not from rational planning but from the spontaneous order of instincts and habits. Darwinian biology sustains conservative social thought by showing how the human capacity for spontaneous order arises from social instincts and a moral sense shaped by natural selection in human evolutionary history.


    Well, it's a false dichotomy, between an infinitely malleable human nature and an arational, instinctual nature, but at least we're moving in the direction of a scientific foundation for considering basic human values. It's been decades since leftists could pretend to any moral authority on scientific grounds, but instincts and tradition aren't what got us out of our caves.
    3:46 pm
    Birth of Venus, Alexandre Cabanel
    Friday, November 28th, 2008
    2:11 pm
    Communism and Starvation: the First American Experiment
    The Real Meaning of Thanksgiving: The Triumph of Capitalism over
    Collectivism

    by Richard M. Ebeling Monday, 24 November 2008

    ...

    The English Puritans, who left Great Britain and sailed across the Atlantic
    on the Mayflower in 1620, were not only escaping from religious persecution
    in their homeland. They also wanted to turn their back on what they viewed
    as the materialistic and greedy corruption of the Old World.

    In the New World, they wanted to erect a New Jerusalem that would not only
    be religiously devout, but be built on a new foundation of communal sharing
    and social altruism. Their goal was the communism of Plato's Republic, in
    which all would work and share in common, knowing neither private property
    nor self-interested acquisitiveness.

    What resulted is recorded in the diary of Governor William Bradford, the
    head of the colony. The colonists collectively cleared and worked land, but
    they brought forth neither the bountiful harvest they hoped for, nor did it
    create a spirit of shared and cheerful brotherhood.

    The less industrious members of the colony came late to their work in the
    fields, and were slow and easy in their labors. Knowing that they and their
    families were to receive an equal share of whatever the group produced, they
    saw little reason to be more diligent their efforts. The harder working
    among the colonists became resentful that their efforts would be
    redistributed to the more malingering members of the colony. Soon they, too,
    were coming late to work and were less energetic in the fields.

    As Governor Bradford explained in his old English (though with the spelling
    modernized):

    "For the young men that were able and fit for labor and service did repine
    that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives
    and children, without recompense. The strong, or men of parts, had no more
    division of food, clothes, etc. then he that was weak and not able to do a
    quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men
    to be ranked and equalized in labor, and food, clothes, etc. with the meaner
    and younger sort, thought it some indignant and disrespect unto them. And
    for men's wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing
    their meat, washing their clothes, etc. they deemed it a kind of slavery,
    neither could man husbands brook it."

    Because of the disincentives and resentments that spread among the
    population, crops were sparse and the rationed equal shares from the
    collective harvest were not enough to ward off starvation and death. Two
    years of communism in practice had left alive only a fraction of the
    original number of the Plymouth colonists.

    Realizing that another season like those that had just passed would mean the
    extinction of the entire community, the elders of the colony decided to try
    something radically different: the introduction of private property rights
    and the right of the individual families to keep the fruits of their own
    labor.

    As Governor Bradford put it:

    "And so assigned to every family a parcel of land, according to the
    proportion of their number for that end. . . .This had a very good success;
    for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted
    then otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could
    use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. The
    women now went willingly into the field, and took their little-ones with
    them to set corn, which before would a ledge weakness, and inability; whom
    to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression."

    The Plymouth Colony experienced a great bounty of food. Private ownership
    meant that there was now a close link between work and reward. Industry
    became the order of the day as the men and women in each family went to the
    fields on their separate private farms. When the harvest time came, not only
    did many families produce enough for their own needs, but they had surpluses
    that they could freely exchange with their neighbors for mutual benefit and
    improvement.

    In Governor Bradford's words:

    "By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them
    plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts
    of many, for which they blessed God. And the effect of their planting was
    well seen, for all had, one way or other, pretty well to bring the year
    about, and some of the abler sort and more industrious had to spare, and
    sell to others, so as any general want or famine hath not been amongst them
    since to this day."

    Hard experience had taught the Plymouth colonists the fallacy and error in
    the ideas that since the time of the ancient Greeks had promised paradise
    through collectivism rather than individualism. As Governor Bradford
    expressed it:

    "The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried
    sundry years, and that amongst the Godly and sober men, may well convince of
    the vanity and conceit of Plato's and other ancients; -- that the taking
    away of property, and bringing into a common wealth, would make them happy
    and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far
    as it was) was found to breed confusion and discontent, and retard much
    employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort."

    Was this realization that communism was incompatible with human nature and
    the prosperity of humanity to be despaired or be a cause for guilt? Not in
    Governor Bradford's eyes. It was simply a matter of accepting that altruism
    and collectivism were inconsistent with the nature of man, and that human
    institutions should reflect the reality of man's nature if he is to prosper.
    Said Governor Bradford:

    "Let none object this is man's corruption, and nothing to the curse itself.
    I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in his wisdom saw
    another course fitter for them."

    The desire to "spreading the wealth" and for government to plan and regulate
    people's lives is as old as the utopian fantasy in Plato's Republic. The
    Pilgrim Fathers tried and soon realized its bankruptcy and failure as a way
    for men to live together in society.

    They, instead, accepted man as he is: hardworking, productive, and
    innovative when allowed the liberty to follow his own interests in improving
    his own circumstances and that of his family. And even more, out of his
    industry result the quantities of useful goods that enable men to trade to
    their mutual benefit.

    In the wilderness of the New World, the Plymouth Pilgrims had progressed
    from the false dream of communism to the sound realism of capitalism. At a
    time of economic uncertainty, it is worthwhile recalling this beginning of
    the American experiment and experience with freedom.

    ...
    Tuesday, November 25th, 2008
    12:14 pm
    Government Failure and Mary Ruwart's PWNing of Pharmaceutical Regulations
    My, this is a skimpy Wiki article on government failure - each of these types of failures is so massively widespread and such an oppressive burden on the economy that without it, life would be so much better, under laissez faire political economy, that people wouldn't recognize it as their own world, would in fact be as stunned by the reality as if they were visiting a more technologically advanced alien culture.

    My favorite example of this is Mary Ruwart's work on regulations' effects in the pharmaceutical industry, and how many hundreds of thousands of deaths in the American health care system are irrefutably caused by the precautionary principle (net difference in death rates from those that would happen under an unregulated, more risk-taking medical market). Thre are so many unintended consequences of the invisible foot of government on the market for health that it's shocking even to us in the choir leading the alto section.

    For now I can only point you to her book, Healing Our World, Chapters 5 and 6. It'd be nice to think I'd find time to synopsize that here at some point, but for now, let us absorb the broad categories of destruction visited on us by political power taken too far.
    11:27 am
    Lord Leighton Parade
    Flaming June

    Study

    The Fisherman and the Siren - HOT

    The Music Lesson

    Continue on Google Image Search without me, I've gotta split.
    Monday, November 24th, 2008
    3:23 pm
    Fruits of the Profit Motive
    Imagine all your favorite products. They are made in profit-based organizations such as this one. Love it, or oppose it at your own risk and with no misunderstandings about your program of destruction by selflessness.

    Sunday, November 9th, 2008
    6:32 pm
    Regulate and Bail Out Approach Going Bankrupt
    Fantastic entry on the the UAW's great contributions to humanity by kraorh.

    I showed Jack. Jack responds:

    Uncle Sam Goes Car Crazy
    Your government gets into the auto business.

    "Any business would be hard-pressed to survive if obliged to make consistently maladaptive choices. Any rescue mounted today in Washington won't be so much a "rescue" as a final admission that the industry can no longer bear its regulatory burdens without direct subsidies. Any life supports GM, Ford and Chrysler are hooked up to now, for that reason, will have to be permanent."


    Fred also replies.Collapse )
    Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
    10:43 pm
    Post-Election Bonding Meme
    I'm mostly paying dues here, but if you want to, go for it.

    Leave me a comment and I will reply with why I like you. If I don't know you, I'll either make something up or tell you why I like your LiveJournal. You must pay for the privilege by posting a message like this one on your LiveJournal.
    8:24 pm
    The Obvious
    Okay, now that I've done my dour duty in opposing our new socialist leader throughout the campaign, I can take a moment to rejoice: We elected a black person for President!
    Monday, October 6th, 2008
    11:12 pm
    What part of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac don't you understand?
    Some people are pretty incredulous at the causality cited in this chart. This I find very amusing. What part of it do you deny? That these things happened, or that they had any effect on the market?

    Heavy lobbying by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac congress critters and power-lusting bureaucrats:

    (Video link.)

    More on what's happening to our beloved, usually-more-responsible, always-a-net-blessing, at-least-partially-free capitalist system. And a note on media coverage by the same author as the previous link, boffo. Thanks, boffo.

    You can't blame the free market system (I don't mean the particular bankers, but free market principles) when the free market system was being raped at the time.
    Sunday, October 5th, 2008
    9:42 am
    First-time Freedom via Web Ads for Foreign Hiring
    Jobs uae
    Top Recruiters In Dubai Will Send You Jobs That You Are Suitable For.
    www.TeleportMyJob.com/Dubai._Jobs

    I really enjoy the thought of high-skilled Americans working in wealthy but unfree countries, and the liberalizing effect that may have over the long term of a country's cultural life. There is always much hope for the next generation, if there is any seed of liberalism in a dominant or prominent culture within a repressive nation. People have overcome tyranny before, and they can do it even, someday, in areas where liberalism has never yet once been given a try by the people in power.
    Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
    12:22 pm
    Bailout
    I would never have guessed at the united support for corporate welfare from everyone left of far right - on behalf of the stock market. Do we believe in trickle-down now?

    Update: So, we get the same deal, only with a whole bunch of political favors for unions and other special interests. Thanks for nothing, congressional Republicans.

    Current Mood: thanks, Republicans
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