August 30, 2010

 
"It only stands to reason that where there's sacrifice, there's someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there's service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master."
– Ayn Rand

WSJ Discovers the Austrians & Boettke – but not the Mises Institute

Monday, August 30, 2010 – by Staff Report
Peter J. Boettke of George Mason University is the emerging standardbearer for a revived Austrian school of economics. But the 50-year-old professor of economics at George Mason University in Virginia is emerging as the intellectual standard-bearer for the Austrian school of economics that opposes government intervention in markets and decries federal spending to prop up demand during times of crisis. Mr. Boettke, whose latest research explores people's ability to self-regulate, also is minting a new generation of disciples who are spreading the Austrian approach throughout academia, where it had long been left for dead. To these free-market economists, government intrusion ultimately sows the seeds of the next crisis. It hampers what one famous Austrian, Joseph Schumpeter, called the process of "creative destruction." Governments that spend money they don't have to cushion downturns, they say, lead nations down the path of large debts and runaway inflation. – Wall Street Journal
Dominant Social Theme: Finally, someone takes up the humble cudgel of Austrian finance.
Free-Market Analysis: Peter Boettke is a terrific spokesperson for Austrian economics and has been at it for years. He deserves all the credit he can get for being in the right place at the right time – and for being correct about economic history as well. We here at the Bell wish we had interviewed him already. He's a brilliant scholar and apparently a nice fellow to boot. But this Wall Street Journal article is another loopy piece of writing that shows fully – and once again – how unsophisticated the mainstream economic conversation really is. We cover elite promotions here at the Bell, but we don't see a meme here so much as ignorance, perhaps willful. We'll try to explain ... 

Australia Next Afghan Domino?

Monday, August 30, 2010 – by Staff Report
It's time to talk on Afghanistan ... When Australia eventually and inevitably pulls out of Afghanistan, the country will still be a brutal, bloody mess – the rule of the gun will trump law, women will suffer, and extremism will remain. By all means, let's have a parliamentary debate on the conflict, as the Greens now demand. But in almost nine years of fighting, neither Labor nor the Coalition has been able to explain what victory in Afghanistan would amount to. Don't expect they can start now. Julia Gillard confessed as much. Asked repeatedly yesterday if the war was ''winnable'', she refused to even utter the word. ''I'm not going to adopt your terminology,'' she told reporters. No, Australia has very narrow and defined aims. Train the Afghan army to fight for themselves and get out. Gone is the once brave talk of building a democracy, enshrining the rights of women and eradicating the drugs trade. That's for the Afghans to sort out. How much longer might training the local army take? The government is really only guessing. – The Age/Australian-Daniel Flitton, Diplomatic Editor
Dominant Social Theme: What must be done now or fairly soon ...
Free-Market Analysis: One of the issues that we've focused on fairly intensely is the rationale that the West (specifically the Anglo-American axis) has in fighting in Afghanistan. We believe the Anglo-American axis is trying to defeat the Pashtuns, a 2000-plus-year-old Afghan tribe and the Punjabis – the leading tribe of Pakistan.

Most Americans Just Don't Get It

Monday, August 30, 2010 – by Dr. Tibor Machan
Guest Editorial

Dr. Tibor Machan
It bothers me to no end that millions of Americans simply don't get just how dangerous this current administration's views are, especially about the nature of our basic rights.
I suppose I should not be surprised, given the utterly perverted primary and secondary education most people receive now in their government run schools. After all, those very schools and everyone with a job in the system, depend upon the flat out rejection of the idea of our basic, natural rights spelled out in the Declaration of Independence. For if each of us does in fact have an unalienable right to our life, our liberty, our pursuit of our happiness and the rest, then those schools exist in direct contradiction to these rights. They are built with the loot the politicians and bureaucrats confiscate from the citizenry, loot that involves the violation of those basic rights the Declaration states every human being has!
So then in order to continue the confiscation of our resources with impunity at all levels of state, it is required that the confiscators deny those rights. And that is just what has transpired – in our era the White House and its legal team, lead by Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein, insist that government creates our rights, that we have none based on our human nature.

Steve Forbes on Overseas Wars, the Coming Gold Standard and the Rise of 'Citizen Agitation'

Sunday, August 29, 2010 – with Ron Holland
Exclusive Interview

Steve Forbes
The Daily Bell is pleased to present an exclusive interview with Steve Forbes (left).
Introduction: Steve Forbes is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Media. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine. The company's flagship publication, Forbes, is the nation's leading business magazine, with a circulation of more than 900,000. Steve Forbes writes editorials for each issue of Forbes under the heading of "Fact and Comment." A widely respected economic prognosticator, he is the only writer to have won the highly prestigious Crystal Owl Award four times. He was a Republican candidate in the U.S. presidential primaries in 1996 and 2000. The Internet site, Forbes.com, averages 18 million unique monthly visitors, and has become a leading destination site for senior business decision-makers and investors. Other Forbes Web sites are: Investopedia.com; RealClearPolitics.com; RealClearMarkets.com; RealClearSports.com; and the Forbes.com Business and Finance Blog Network. Together with Forbes.com, these sites reach nearly 40 million business decision-makers each month. Mr. Forbes serves on the boards of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, the Heritage Foundation and The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.
A brief synopsis:
Daily Bell: Ron Paul has emphasized a less aggressive foreign policy. What do you think of the Afghanistan war? Do you think America ought to leave?
Steve Forbes: No, America is not going to be able to leave Afghanistan any time soon. I think what we should be doing now that we're there is following the precepts of counter insurgency: work with the local people and maintain sufficient forces to be able to do that and hope for some semblance of stability. To leave now would set in motion a Cambodia-like blood bath.
Daily Bell: Is there going to be war with Iran?
Steve Forbes: I think Israel at some point – and I have learned not to give a timetable on these things – will make a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities.
Daily Bell: Does Israel have too much influence on the American political system and foreign affairs?

Tea Party Infighting?

Saturday, August 28, 2010 – by Staff Report
Splitting the Conservative Vote in Michigan's First District ... In the aftermath of the very close MI01 Republican primary, won by Dan Benishek of Crystal Falls by 15 votes, several things have transpired that has tested the friendships and trust of tea party members and patriots, and the movement itself. Glenn Wilson, a self-proclaimed independent, has entered the first district race and has co-opted former leadership of the tea party movement. In a Politico article Wilson is cited as being, "backed by several tea party groups." When in reality, he has hired the former leader of the Petoskey Tea Party and has the support of disgruntled libertarians. Rich Carlson is no longer the leader of any tea party group, and his friend, Randy Bishop, has completely alienated the tea party folks in Emmet County and many of the supporters he had in his bid to become State Senator to replace Jason Allen in Michigan's 37th. – Jennerationx
Dominant Social Theme: Fresh approaches will be the best.
Free-Market Analysis: This blog-article, while not "mainstream" of itself, touches on plenty of mainstream issues. It was also posted after being written on the "conservative" RedState website, and we found the discussion that took place there to be enlightening in terms of what is going on the Tea Party movement. The comments show quite clearly that Tea Party itself has significant rifts, as we wrote about months ago.