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Who do I owe?

Lisa Casanova writes in the comments to this post

One of the posters asserted that there’s really no foundation for saying “I earned this, it’s mine", because you’ve never really earned anything without the help of other people. Without others, you would never have gotten to the point where you have the capability to earn anything (you wouldn’t be educated, etc), so there really is no such thing as “I did this myself.”

Feudalism from natural law?

Elizabeth Anderson thinks that properly free markets based on Natural Law would lead to feudalism. I cannot figure out where she gets this idea. The historical record is that feudalism rests on two claims of ownership - right by conquest and divine right. Feudalism came to England in full force with the conquest of England by William the Bastard. His claims to ownership of England lie in divine right (he carried the Papal banner into England) and right of conquest (he won at Hastings). Read more »

Why I don\'t listen to Lou Dobbs

Don Boudreaux says Dobbs is making up meaningless numbers. Seems to me that Dobbs is double counting. The essence is that Dobbs takes the current-account deficit and adds it to the government budget deficit. The current-account is an accounting of how goods and services flow between nations, while the government budget is just government transactions. Don is right saying the combination is meaningless, after all they measure two entirely different things. Read more »

Libertarians on tsunami relief

Matt - For the libertarian who believes that a government is necessary to provide for the national defense, what greater provision of defense can there be than to cause millions of other people to think "hey these gringos are are right decent folk"?

As for this anarchist, I'll just point out that had the affected nations been more free-market longer, they would have been better able to cope. Read more »

On \"How not to complain about taxes\"

God does not play dice with the universe.

That's Albert Einstein, the great discoverer of quantum mechanics, writing. It pays for theorists of quantum mechanics to listen to Einstein, so as to avoid silly theories about uncertainty in quantum physics.

A quick bit of the socialist calculation problem

Tyler Cowen has some questions pertaining to the socialist calculation problem, and his own brief discussion here. I just have a few points to make. First is that business, especially the larger ones, do suffer from the socialist calculation problem. The second is that unlike a nation, a business has a much narrower field of interest, and thus a much smaller problem. Read more »

If pharmaceuticals were produced and sold like computers

In my Saturday morning just woke up way too early fog, I could have sworn I heard some "expert" proclaim that vaccines and drugs are produced and sold just like computers. (CNN Headline News between 8:00 and 8:15 AM PST [11:00-11:15 AM EST] if anyone wants to confirm or deny it.)

Anyway, if vaccines and drugs were produced and sold like computers:
- Vaccines and drugs would be available at really low prices, and be even cheaper next week.
- If some business-person guessed wrong about how much vaccine he'd sell and ran out, the place next door would still have plenty. Read more »

Competition and the Market Economy

The free market, capitalism, is often described as a competitive system. Most economists appear to hold this view. Is competiton really a feature of capitalism or is it something else? Read more »

America\'s Space Prize

$50 million + purchase orders for $800 million to the first company that flies a 5 person spacecraft into a 400km high circular orbit on one vehicle twice in 60 days. And another $200 million in purchase orders for the company who isn't first but has a system that Bigelow really likes.

I can't wait to see who all attempts this. Further info here.

Enough Whining and Bitching Already!

It hasn't even been one week yet, and I'm already fed up with the Left whining and bitching about the election. The Left has won in a big way and they don't even realize it. The reason they cannot see their winnings though, is that they only understand direct control over others. Read more »

Markets and Knowledge: A different view

I have to take exception to my co-blogger Don's post about information, markets, and valuation. Don writes:

The belief that markets are fundamentally tied to knowledge and the distribution of information is a common belief, but without merit. It is almost certainly a result of a belief in the fallacy of intrinsic economic value, and a belief that a perfect market is one that results in a price that reflects intrinsic value.
Read more »


Someone didn't like seeing the recent events in Mojave involving Burt Rutan, Paul Allen, and Sir Richard. Recent information suggests that the Private Space community might be getting regulated out of existence. There are a lot of suspects, but certain very large aerospace companies (and maybe a government agency?) have the most to gain from this. Read more »

Human gives Ivan the finger!

Hurricane-proof house
This house survived Ivan the Terrible.
Dome Home after Ivan

I'm thinking we'll be seeing more of these, even if doesn't have the charm of a Cape Cod. What other crazy ideas will spring forth from individuals free to do their own thing?

Whole lotta shakin goin\' on

Actually just a gentle reminder that those of us on the West Coast of the U.S. have our own type of natural disasters to deal with. Initial estimate was 5.8, USGS now rates it as a magnitude 6.0 quake. The epicenter was in the most heavily instrumented piece of land in the world. Siesmologists have been waiting for a 6.0 earthquake there for the last 16 years. The good news is that there are no reported deaths and minimal damge. Read more »