Welfare programs change behaviour

Many people like to envision worlds where the State will tax the rich and help “the needy” – this ranges from free health care to unemployment insurance to disability insurance, etc.

There are many problems with these schemes. One of them is the fact that people respond to incentives. We are not bricks, we . . . → Read More: Welfare programs change behaviour

Public Goods

Let’s play spot the fallacies:

We do not just have governments in order to rob Peter to pay Paul. We have governments because there are things they can provide that the private sector is either unable or unwilling to provide effectively – courts, police, schools, roads, other infrastructure, etc. Conservatives focus so much on . . . → Read More: Public Goods

On Wealth Inequality

Joseph Stiglitz:

Inequality is bad for growth, stability and efficiency. … Inequality peaked both before the Great Depression and before the Great Recession, and it’s not an accident. So basically, when we have a lot of inequality, demand goes down. … All this inequality was offset by creating a bubble. The bubble allowed people . . . → Read More: On Wealth Inequality

Chuck Moulton: Open Letter to Gary Johnson on the "Fair" Tax

I’m not going to post the whole letter here — you can read it at Independent Political Report. And you should. As a teaser, here’s the opening:

Main libertarian objections to the Fair Tax: 1. The prebate would start a new welfare entitlement. 2. The transition would redistribute from savers to borrowers. 3. There . . . → Read More: Chuck Moulton: Open Letter to Gary Johnson on the “Fair” Tax

Redistributing Wealth

In an axiomatic sense, wealth is always distributed in some way. Likewise, any transfer or exchange of wealth is a redistribution of wealth.

Redistribution of wealth comes in two forms: coercive and voluntary. The former method of redistribution is associated with socialism and, more generally, any statist attempt at transferring the goods or wealth . . . → Read More: Redistributing Wealth

Is a Great Big New Tax Such a Bad Idea?

‘Where have you been? Have you been hiding from me?’ I saw it was Jim speaking when I looked up from reading the paper. I hadn’t exactly been avoiding him, but then I hadn’t really missed not seeing him for a few months.

Jim asked me if I could give him a lift home. . . . → Read More: Is a Great Big New Tax Such a Bad Idea?

Strong Feelings

I’ve been rude to a friend of mine (Simon Phipps) on Twitter. On the one hand, why should I be rude to a friend of mine? On the other hand, if I don’t call him out for quoting stupid things (as if he agrees with them), then how much of a friend do . . . → Read More: Strong Feelings

Should We Expect the Rules of a Good Society to be Good for Everyone?

In my view, we should expect the rules of a good society to have the assent of nearly everyone but that does not mean that these rules are good for everyone. In particular, the law of liberty – preventing people from interfering with the protected domain of others – cannot be expected to be . . . → Read More: Should We Expect the Rules of a Good Society to be Good for Everyone?

Obamanomics Are An Obamanation

Obamanomics are an Obamanation.

Robin Hood. President Obama.  Are they the same persona?  Based on TV and Obama’s news conferences both he and the media seem to think so.  “Rob from the rich; give to the poor.”  Of course, he uses the words “you should give more, because you have more”.  But the reality . . . → Read More: Obamanomics Are An Obamanation