Posted by Gabriel Kent on December 22nd, 2008
Recently, Lessig posted a two-part election reform proposal for comment:
I propose a two part “citizens’ funding of the Nation’s elections” bill:
(1) modeled on the clean money systems of Arizona, Maine, and the Durbin-Specter bill in Congress, this part provides national funding to candidates who meet a threshold of support. That funding would be designed to enable a candidate to compete effectively in a race for Congress, or the Senate, with the precise amount determined by the cost of media in the particular districts;
(2) inspired by the Obama campaign, every candidate would be free to supplement national funding by an unlimited amount raised through small contributions (I recommend a ceiling of no more than $250 per citizen but keeping it small is the key).
While this appears to be a noble cause to some, my reply makes clear how ignoble I feel it actually is:
By what right does one have to limit how I choose to spend my money? As a business owner, by what right does one have to limit my expenses?
Lessig, I am sure your goal is well-intended but do you value your liberty and that of others so little that you propose its loss as a solution?
Doesn’t it seem wrong to any of you that this proposes the loss of your liberty as the solution — and if this were to pass– that loss would be kept from you by force?
The real solution is clear: there is little reason to bribe someone with little power.
How we limit the power given to those likely to be bribed is the real problem here, not how are we to further limit the liberty of individuals.
Posted by Gabriel Kent on November 7th, 2008
Gabriel Kent at 3:02pm November 3
Fearing more war is obvious. I am surprised how little fear people have of socialism these days. I wish I could vote for a free market and not have to settle between 4 more years of bush or 4 years of increasing socialist policy. Even the libertarian candidate is not so free market…wtf.
Rose Roberto at 11:22pm November 3
Comment on socialism: It ain’t that bad. Imagine going to a hospital, having major surgery, like a c-section in my case, then having no medical bills. Then imagine your children getting free prescription drugs until they’re 16. After that you pay like £8 (about $16) for all medicine. I don’t think the US would go for it, really, though.
Posted by Gabriel Kent on August 25th, 2008
This is in response to Vaclav Smil’s A Reality Check on the Pickens Energy Plan.
While you take every other issue to task, you miss the opportunity to dispel the ‘transfer of wealth’ myth.
Your readers may appreciate this clip from a Library of Economics and Liberty podcast addressing just this myth:
In summary, we send $700b/yr but receive that amount back in oil, so while there is indeed a transfer of wealth, it is bi-directional and no debt is created in the process between the two parties doing the ‘trading.’
Though I suppose, ‘we buy $700b/yr in oil…’ isn’t as sensational as ‘we transfer $700b/yr of our wealth to oil producing nations.’ Oh well.
In any case that podcast is a good listen, enjoy.
Posted by Gabriel Kent on July 7th, 2008
at 01:40 on June 12th, 2008
“While Pinker’s questions are valid their conclusions do not appear to be consistent with how China is growing both technologically and scientifically.”
Were it not for Western capital investments in China and greedhead capitalists outsourcing their fellow Americans jobs to China, China wouldn’t have such growth “both technologically and scientifically”. But ‘Muricans are too stupid to realize that. Keep voting Republican and Democrat. Let’s all enjoy our economic race to third-world wages.
at 03:47 on June 12th, 2008
I don’t think invoking the stupidity of Americans is important to your argument. Namely, should jobs be outsourced to China (or anywhere else for that matter)? As a firm believer in free markets, I am inclined to answer yes. Every private organization should do what they feel will bring more value to their shareholders, including capital investments in foreign ventures.
The problems do not really stem from the changing employment patterns in the U.S., the problems stem from government repression in the marketplace, specifically, allowing less money to be controlled by the people to act in their own interests. These policies have a further effect on supporting local monopolies by shielding them from competing with monopolies in other countries which further inhibits smaller competitive growths in those markets.
Small business is adaptable and fuels much of the economy so that the outsourcing of jobs is a temporary adjustment in an open market. Again, the problems you seem adamant about come from the Governments intrusion on our rights, not cheaper labor in China.
Posted by Gabriel Kent on May 26th, 2008
Milton Friedman (July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) was an American Nobel Laureate economist and public intellectual. He made major contributions to the fields of macroeconomics, microeconomics, economic history, and statistics. In 1976, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his achievements in the fields of consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and for his demonstration of the complexity of stabilization policy. He was an advocate of economic freedom.
According to The Economist, Friedman “was the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century…possibly of all of it”. Alan Greenspan stated “There are very few people over the generations who have ideas that are sufficiently original to materially alter the direction of civilization. Milton is one of those very few people.” In his 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom, Friedman advocated minimizing the role of government in a free market as a means of creating political and social freedom. In his 1980 television series Free to Choose, Friedman explained his view of how free markets work, emphasizing his conviction that free markets have been shown to solve social and political problems that other systems have failed to address adequately. His books and columns for Newsweek were widely read, and even circulated underground behind the Iron Curtain.
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