Sep 182009
 

I’m often challenged in political arguments with progressives, particularly on Twitter, to define socialism. My opponents claim that I’m abusing the term. I’m inclined to see such a claim as an example of conversational terrorism, but it happens often enough and I care enough about productive dialog that I’ve decided to relent and offer a definition. I might not have done so entirely to my satisfaction had I not been listening to an audiobook version of Frederic Bastiat’s “The Law” this morning. I offer here his laudably simple and clear definition.

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Aug 222009
 

Most of the time of a big fan of the folks at the Mises Institute. I’m also a big fan of agorist approaches to health care/insurance. However, I don’t think I can get behind Han’s-Hermann Hoppe’s “Four Step Healthcare Solution“. It lends itself too well to Margaret Sanger’s brand of eugenics. Continue reading »

Aug 182009
 

As a fan of zombie movies, books, and video games, I was intrigued by a recent “study” of how a zombie epidemic might spread and how we might survive it – or not.

Mathematical Model for Surviving a Zombie Attack

“It is possible to successfully fend off a zombie attack, according to Canadian mathematicians. The key is to ‘hit hard and hit often.’

“Oh yes, somebody actually did a study on mathematics of a hypothetical zombie attack, and published it in a book on infectious disease. So, while we still don’t know what to do if a deadly asteroid takes aim at Earth, an unlikely but technically possible situation, we now know what to do in case of a zombie attack.”

What really made me chuckle, though, was a quote from the paper.

“‘Clearly, this is an unlikely scenario if taken literally,’ they wrote. ‘But possible real-life applications may include allegiance to political parties, or diseases with a dormant infection.'”

Allegiance to political parties is zombie behavior. I like that. 😉

Aug 112009
 

I love when overambitious politicians accidentally speak the truth – to their own detriment. I mean, how could I top a gem like this?

“Obama sought to dispel talk that his ultimate goal is a single-payer federal health care system, like that in countries such as Canada.

He also disputed the notion that adding a government-run insurance plan into a menu of options from which people could pick would drive private insurers out of business, in effect making the system single-payer by default.

As long as they have a good product and the government plan has to sustain itself through premiums and other non-tax revenue, private insurers should be able to compete with the government plan, Obama said.

‘They do it all the time,’ he said. ‘UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. … It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.’

  1. The Post Office has a monopoly on standard mail delivery.
  2. The Post Office struggles to sustain itself through non-tax revenues such as stamp sales.
  3. The Post Office is inferior to UPS, FedEx, et al., for shipping.
  4. The Post Office is an inefficient pseudo-monopoly that eats tax revenue and keeps mailing prices high due to lack of competition and innovation.
  5. The Post Office is no worse than any other government bureaucracy.
  6. Why should we expect government insurance/health care to be any better?

Update 08/13/09: Lew Rockwell has tossed in his two cents about this gaffe.

Obama and the Post Office

“Writing in The State and Revolution in 1917, Vladimir Lenin summed up the economic aim of socialism as follows: ‘To organize the whole economy on the lines of the postal service….’

“Incredible, isn’t it? After centuries of treatises and miles of paper and tubs of ink, this is the great historical turning point: government employees carrying sacks of paper mail from house to house, and operating at an economic loss.”

Update 08/18/09: John Stossel has chimed in.

Obama’s Post Office Mistake

“His mistake is telling. If he didn’t notice that the Post Office, despite providing worse service than UPS and FedEX, is bailed out by Congress, will he notice when a government-run health care plan is feeding off billions of your tax dollars?

“Or would he care? Before the election he supported a single payer system. Subsidized co-ops would be an easy back-door way to achieve the same thing.”

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