The type and formula of most schemes of philanthropy or humanitarianism is this: A and B put their heads together to decide what C shall be made to do for D. The radical vice of all these schemes, from a sociological point of view, is that C is not allowed a voice in the matter, and his…

"There’s no denying that there’s risk in taking a drug or medical procedure that hasn’t completed clinical trials. The question is: Who has the right to decide how much risk a person will take — he or some faceless Washington bureaucrat? In my opinion, the answer depends upon the answer to the question: Who owns you? If one owns himself, then it is he who decides how much risk he takes. If government owns you, then you don’t have the right to unilaterally decide how much risk you’ll take.

The FDA’s mission is to ensure the safety and effectiveness of pharmaceuticals. In doing so, FDA officials can make two types of errors. They can approve a drug that has unanticipated dangerous side effects, or they can disapprove or delay a drug that is both safe and effective.

FDA officials have unequal incentives to avoid these two types of errors. If the FDA official errs on the side of under-caution — approving a dangerous drug — the victims are visible, and he is held directly accountable. If he errs on the side of over-caution — holding up approval of a safe and effective drug — who’s to know? The cost and the victims are invisible. Politicians and bureaucrats prefer invisible victims."

Walter Williams, “Who Owns You?” (via laliberty)

(Source: laidbackliberty)

If you have the temerity to challenge calls for the government to take aggressive action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, you will probably have someone call you a “climate science denier.” You will further be lectured that “97% of climate scientists agree” on this consensus.

But there’s a bait-and-switch going on here, as Joseph Bast and Dr. Roy Spencer explain in the WSJ. Or, you can read David Friedman’s take-down here, which I think spells out the matter very simply.

What’s the source of this bogus stat? Cook et al. (2013) is a paper which claims to do the following:

We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11,944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming…Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research. [Bold added.]

To repeat, there’s a bait-and-switch occurring here. As Friedman spells out in a very straightforward way, all you need to do is actually look at Cook et al.’s own tables in their paper to see that others (including Cook himself in a subsequent paper!) are misrepresenting their findings. Only 1.6% of the surveyed abstracts clearly say that humans are the main cause of global warming. The 97.1% figure includes papers that merely claim that someamount of warming can be attributed to human activities.

Many of the prominent scientists associated with the “denier” label–such as Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, Pat Michaels, and Chip Knappenberger (whom I feature here a lot)–would fit into this “consensus.” You could quite consistently hold the following beliefs:

(A) Human emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases have made the earth warmer than it otherwise would be. (Thus this person would be in the “97.1% consensus.”)

(B) Human activity has had a relatively minor role in the changing temperature/climate since 1750; other factors are far more significant.

(C) Climate change is not a problem worth worrying about. Malnutrition, war, and sanitary drinking water are far more urgent issues for the globe.

(D) Even if climate change poses a potentially serious threat to humans in a few decades, having governments enact certain tax policies today is not at all a suitable solution to this genuine problem.

To repeat, there is nothing contradictory about the above beliefs, and yet anyone holding (B) through (D) would be denounced as denying the “consensus.” (A)

(Source: laliberty)

"Mises’ great insight was that the foundation of material civilization is the entrepreneurs’ patience in refraining from consuming a portion of their produced goods and returning it to the drawn-out production process. Only savings—that is, foregone consumption—creates capital goods and wealth. “Those saving—that is consuming less than their share of the goods produced—inaugurate progress toward general prosperity. The seed they have sown enriches not only themselves but also all other strata of society.” [14]
Don’t let Bernanke tell you otherwise. The Fed has in fact made this process much harder and much more treacherous, as we have seen, as capital structure profitability becomes highly illusory.
The great Austrian tradition and the market forces it elucidates in its a priori methodology for economic understanding provides an equally important, though unappreciated, methodology for investing.
It seems to me that “tail hedging”, as I’ve been practicing it for about 15 years now (and I dare not speak for any others who are so new to the game), could be called “central bank hedging”—or, better yet, “Austrian investing.”31 Indeed, this activity over my career likely would have been much less interesting without the insights of Dr. Mises and the actions of Drs. Greenspan and Bernanke."

— Mark Spitznagel Chief Investment Officer of Universa "The Austrians and the Swan: Birds of a Different Feather"

"There is no scientific evidence that GMOs are harmful to health. But it does seem like even though anti-GMO groups say labeling is only about empowering customers, what regular people hear is that GMOs need to be labeled because they are dangerous to eat. According to an ABC News poll conducted last year, 52 percent of people believe GMOs are unsafe, 13 percent are unsure, and just over a third believe they’re safe to eat. Nearly everyone in the same poll—93 percent—said they supported GMO food labeling, and most of those people said that if they knew which foods contained GMOs, they would be less likely to buy them."

The Atlantic (via prettayprettaygood)

LTMC: A Whole Foods market just opened up about a half hour from where I live.  I went there yesterday, and they were selling “organic” rotisserie chickens for $15.  I can get the same product at my local grocery store for $5, but without the “organic” label.

Herein lies yet another problem with the unscientific hysteria over GMO: companies like Whole Foods are exploiting customer’s fears to charge them outrageous prices on the presumption that they’re buying healthier food.  But GMO’s have never shown to be harmful to health.  As former anti-GMO activist Mark Lynas said last year at Oxfam:

[T]he GM debate is over. It is finished. We no longer need to discuss whether or not it is safe – over a decade and a half with three trillion GM meals eaten there has never been a single substantiated case of harm. You are more likely to get hit by an asteroid than to get hurt by GM food. More to the point, people have died from choosing organic, but no-one has died from eating GM.

I highly suggest reading or watching Lynas’s speech in full.  It goes in depth into policy reasons why GMO technology is not only safe, but essential to feeding the world’s growing population.

(via letterstomycountry)

(via letterstomycountry)



Not that we really needed anybody to prove that members of both major political parties can be absolutely stupid…

from National Review:

Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R., Fla.) and Lois Capps (D., Calif.) have, at the urging of reformed adman Seth Matlins (D., formerly of Creative…

(Source: laidbackliberty)


With the recent upswing in violence in Iraq, the calls are already starting to come for Coalition countries to “re-invade” Iraq and stop the Al-Qaeda splinter group ISIS from gaining more control of Iraqi territory. Here is John McTernan, pleading with the British Government:

There is…





Dr Robin Niblett warns new radicals in European Parliament could halt economic progress.

Couldn’t they just encourage their citizens to just have more children?

It’s almost impossible….

EDIT: For some reason tumblr is cutting off your part that I responded too. For everyone else here it is in it’s entirety

"I normally hate government intervention but I’d be in favor of a tax credit for people who are raising children. Like if you have a kid then you get -2% to your tax rate. Not only would that incentivize childbirth but it would give people an incentive to adopt."

They already do that, it’s called dependents.

From the page: “Being able to claim a dependent on a tax return is tied to a number of related tax benefits. Taxpayers who claim dependents can claim an additional personal exemption for each dependent. Also, taxpayers may be eligible to claim the child tax credit, the child and dependent care tax credit, and the earned income tax credit. Unmarried taxpayers…”

Big surprise, it doesn’t work because monetary incentive will NEVER convince people who have no interest in raising children. The non-monetary incentives are just way too high for comfortable people in industrialized countries. In my view it’s not at all a problem more and more people don’t want some fuck-cunt copies of themselves running around the world. Just allow easier immigration and a vast draw down of the welfare state and the problem is solved. 

"If I said ‘what’s a sweatshop country’ and we were talking in 1960, it’s gonna be Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea… These were the places that garment production shifted in the post World War Two years to, and that had pre-industrial standards of living (under $3,000 per capita for the year). And they had these same poor working conditions that we had had in Britain and the U.S. and that exist in Bangladesh and India today. But in about a generation and a half they went from pre-industrial to post-sweatshop, first-world living standards, to today, in some of their cases (Hong Kong), being wealthier than the United States. And it’s because the world has so much more capital and technology now, that when you get your institutions right, these things can flow in and drive the process of development much quicker.

Some people mistakenly characterize this as a ‘race to the bottom’. Those sweatshops, that as soon as a country gets richer they leave and go find poor labor somewhere else. Well, yeah but it’s not like Hong Kong was left in shambles when the sweatshops left. The problem was labor got too productive in Hong Kong, so it was too valuable to use in making garments, and garment factories could not bid enough to get those workers there, compared to the other industries they were competing with. So they left and went to another place. Sweatshops are like the second to bottom rung on the ladder of economic development, and as they leave you country it’s a sign that you’ve graduated to a higher standard of living and someone else is about to get on that chain."

Benjamin Powell (via eltigrechico)

(Source: laidbackliberty)


Thunderf00t destroys another I-fucking-love-science-ism