Friday, July 13, 2012

FRIDAY MORNING RAMBLE

It’s Friday, so let’s get into it…

First tobacco, then alcohol? No, that would never happen.
No slippery slopes, nothing to see here – Eric Crampton, OFFSETTING BEHAVIOUR

Nine things that will disappear in our lifetimes?
Will these last our lifetimes? – HOME PADDOCK

A question many Americans are asking:
Is President Obama's Prostate Gland More Important Than Yours? – Paul Hsieh, FORBES

Difficult even for an honest European politician to do anything, even if one existed.
Eurozone's electorate becoming increasingly polarized – SOBER LOOK

A new quick and comprehensive resource for those interested in the history of inventors and intellectual property or who are personally involved in the creation of patents is. From Samuel F.B. Morse and the telegraph system to James J. Wynne and LASIK Eye surgery, this online tool compares over 450 of the world’s most revolutionary inventors, both living and dead, and their intellectual property.
INVENTORS: FIND THE DATA

We live in an era of technological wonder. Yet we fear every new wonder we produce. Why?
We Have Nothing to Fear but the Fear of Fracking – Alexander Hrin, THE UNDERCURRENT

While other brands trip over themselves to generate the impression they are new-age, planet saving, social-service adjuncts, Apple were busy building a formidable company, creating thousands of jobs and changing the lives of millions of people with kick-ass consumer products. Oh, and telling the U.S. government-backed registration of environmentally friendly electronics to naff off.
Apple Shun Environmental Registration – MOTELLA

You want to a fiscal cliff? Then look what happens when cans are kicked down the road.
The Real Fiscal Cliff – Peter Schiff, BASTIAT INSTITUTE

Repeat after me: World War II did NOT end the Great Depression.
The Keynesian Myth about World War II and Prosperity – ECONOMIC POLICY JOURNAL

Repeat after me: Cheap money DOES inflate the stock market.
Chart of the Year: The Fed Has Doubled the S&P Admits...the Fed – Tyler Durden, ZERO HEDGE

Repeat after me: Capitalism isn’t dog-eat-dog: It’s win-win. It’s the welfare state that’s lose-lose.
The dog-eat-dog welfare state is lose-lose – Don Watkins & Yaron Brook, FORBES

And despite the public’s and politicians’ Alice-in-Wonderland confusion about trade, even unilateral free trade is good. So why do trade negotiations never even acknowledge that?
Mercantilist Myths Persist – CAFE HAYEK

Message to Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke: A fall in interest rates cannot grow the economy. All that it can produce is a misallocation of real savings. So what’s with Operation Twist Again?
Yet Another "Operation Twist"? – Frank Shostak, MISES DAILY

Good news from the Philippines?
This country is the next economic tiger in Asia –SOVEREIGN MAN

If GDP measures production, then why do GDP figures and figures for industrial production diverge so sharply? The answer is that GDP measures money flow, not production—so when debt is fuelling a consumption-driven bubble, numb nuts who think GDP does measure growth are deluded into thinking things are growing. When instead they’re heading for disaster (as shown in this graph, blue showing US GDP, red showing US Industrial Production):
imageA question for a bonus point: If the real problem is increasing debt without increasing production, them how does more “quantitative easing” tackle that—isn’t deleveraging the answer, not the problem the central banks are trying to avert?
The Deleveraging Trap – John Aziz, ZERO HEDGE

So what’s wrong with the Labour Theory of Value?

You think things are bad now?
14 First World Problems From The 90s – BUZZFEED

Many parents say they want a successful kid, but what exactly does a successful kid mean?
A Successful Kid – Daniel Wahl, NEARBY PEN

What is a central purpose in life and do you need one?  In this post, John Drake takes another look at how a central purpose can guide and enhance your life.
Central Purpose in Life - Another Look  - TRY REASON

What about parenting as a central purpose in life?
More on Central Purpose – Diana Hsieh, NOODLE FOOD

Pandora Internet Radio and Spotify are now both accessible in New Zealand. If you love music, check them out. You won’t regret it.
Pandora Internet Radio
Spotify

Paul Krugman and friends need to get out into the real world:

Surreal.

You want trumpet? You got it.

The last three minutes of Wagner’s opera Die Walkure (The Valkyrie), with the full five hours coming soon to a New Zealand city near you
Great Opera Videos explains the scene: “Just as Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are protected by briar thickets to daunt prospective suitors, Brunnhilde will have a ring of fire, which Wotan lights in this Met performance of the Magic Fire Music from Wagner's Die Walkure.

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Click for details.

[Hat tips to Marginal Revolution, Cafe Hayek, State of Innovation, Motella]

Thanks for reading.
Have a great weekend.
PC

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QUOTE OF THE DAY…

…is from page 572 of Paul Johnson’s 1991 book, The Birth of the Modern: World Society 1815-1830, discussing the freedom that caused and accompanied the birth of the modern world:

Such clever and enterprising men came [from all over Europe in the early 19th century] to the British Isles because of the opportunities provided by its great wealth and, still more, by its free economic climate.  The English universities might be comatose and the government indifferent to industry, but the law left the entrepreneur and the self-advancing artisan free to pursue their genius….
That was not the only advantage of the free climate. In early industrial Britain, qualifications, degrees, certificates, professional rules and trade conventions were swept aside by masters and men who were anxious to get on.

Discuss.

[Hat tip Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek]

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Giveaway: Christine Brewer singing Wagner and Strauss [update]

UPDATE:  Well, that question was obviously too difficult. So since we’re running out of time, how about I make it that the first person under 35 who texts on 021 1209443 gets the tickets. (Why under 35? Because youngsters should be thrilled by this music too.)

I have good news for two of you: I have two free tickets to give away to tonight’s performance with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra of leading soprano Christine Brewer—singing some of the most evocative music ever written.

Christine was a late replacement for an injured Deborah Voigt in tonight’s concert in Auckland’s Town Hall, and reports from those at rehearsals suggest Brewer (who was fortuitously in this part of the world singing Wagner in Australia) is going to be amazing. The New York Times declared her a “superlative Strauss singer” admired around the world for her range, golden tone, power and control, and BBC Music Magazine named her as one of the Top 20 Sopranos of the 20th Century.

Not a bad “replacement.”

This is going to be stunning!

Here she is singing Morgen, by Richard Strauss:

So, here’s the question to get your free tickets. Which piece is Ms Brewer singing tonight that has been called “the longest orchestrated orgasm in music”? (Leave your answer in the comments, and I can arrange with the winners to meet you beforehand.)

ANSWER: The answer, of course, is Wagner’s “Prelude and Liebestod” from his opera Tristan and Isolde—containing what Stephen Fry reckons are “the four notes that changed everything.”

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NZ leads the world!

The NZ Herald reports NZ lags in teaching about religion – and that “a number of primary schools in Auckland have opted out of teaching the Bible in class because of a lack of interest and support from students and parents.”

I think the headline is misleading. The word should not be “lags,” but “leads.”

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

GUEST POST: From Florence to Auckland

Kamante - Seated Nude ISeated Nude I, by Jasmine Kamante

Guest Post by Dr. Angela Mackie

imageTwo artists launching exhibitions this week offer Aucklanders an opportunity seldom found: to see in the flesh artists upholding Renaissance traditions and using them as a springboard into new territory.

Having studied in both Florence and Paris, it is not surprising that Jasmine Kamante’s work evokes that of late Renaissance artists such as Rosso Fiorentino yet, at the same time, suggest the works of Degas or Rodin or even Brancusi. In utilizing her thorough knowledge acquired through classical training to spring into another, seemingly non-classical, mode of expression, she follows the lead set by such as Manet, Degas, Cézanne, Matisse, and Magritte.

Jasmine Kamante and her husband Jesper Sundwall met whilst receiving their classical training at the Angel Academy in Florence. Jasmine also spent a year at an atelier in Paris drawing and painting the nude. These two talented artists form part of the late 20th century movement of classical realism—proponents of which wed traditional training methodologies with individual skill to produce representational work of great beauty combined with the necessary ingredient of imagination.

How fortunate we are that Jesper and Jasmine have decided to make New Zealand their home. In this exhibition Florence to Auckland we can enjoy the fruits of this journey. Jasmine’s figure work such as her Seated Nude I has the tactile quality of an Ingres bather enlivened by subtle patches of colour and twists of the upper torso, shoulders, and head. The angularity of her Female Nude Reclining and her Magdalena Poster Study recall not so much Cubism but the sharp angles of Rosso Fiorentino’s forms in his Descent from the Cross and Degas’s Carmelina.

Jasmine’s story is one of an artist in revolt. Of Persian heritage, she fled a restrictive upbringing in which she was forbidden to draw, to paint, to make representative marks of any kind. We see this epitomized in her twenty small autobiographical works. In the Mask series, females hide their personality (or do they?) In another two paintings the subjects push against unseen restrictions. NO! a painterly Brancusi head, with overtones of Magritte, covers his ears with his hands but does not utter a Munch scream. No expression of the senses in a restrictive world is possible.

Two works of cell-like rooms in primary colours, one blue, the other red, are both empty and claustrophobic and more sinister than Graham Sydney’s Killing House. The only opening in these two works is that towards the viewer and, of course, the artist. Both are unseen but their mind is implied. Is this where we find true freedom?

It is to the still-life that Jasmine’s husband Jesper Sundwall turns his attention. His carefully composed and skillfully rendered paintings transport the viewer. In true classical tradition, the light in these works comes from the left-hand side. The shadows fall, as fall they must, but these shadows are alive, acting as alter-ego to the object depicted. The glossary of the Tate Museum defines the subject of a still life as "anything that does not move or is dead." Well, yes, all but one of the subjects of the pieces by Jesper Sundwall fit that description—the subjects are dead, but as paintings they are alive. These paintings live and breathe the same air as the viewer!

Walnuts spill out in Jesper’s Walnuts and Pot (below). Collectively it is a waterfall of walnuts yet each walnut has a character adding to the total image: little helmeted faces jostle for position.

Shearer, a word so familiar to the New Zealand public, is an image so intense in its simple depiction that it conjures up a narrative of round woolly sheep and black singleted, swarthy men. Bottles gains life from the shadows and from the cracked wooden shelf on which the bottles stand—the shadow of the drapery in the top right-hand corner creating a spear for the male figure shadowed in the blue bottle. Vitality in the yellow bottle comes from the reflected light and strange shapes, while the absence of the lid for the brown bottle raises a question about its contents! No-one would have guessed that the upturned bird shadow had its origin in the bunch of keys of Metal Rings.

The duck-like quality of Resin Containers comes largely from the colour, but the pairing of the two containers evokes male and female, a drake and a duck complete with suggestive aperture. We are reminded of how these modern day objects can pollute the very creatures from which they take their design. There is potential life here, but it is vulnerable. The opposite could be said of the Memento Mori 1, where the aggressive bite of the skull into the table-cloth is almost in denial of its usual description as the ultimate “memento mori.” And, lest you forget, put oil into the lamp!

Life is to be had in all of Jesper’s paintings, summed up in his award-winning self-portrait Sven and I, featuring an honorary tuatara if ever I saw one!

For all those who appreciate art that speaks to you, but can seldom find any worthy of the name, this is an exhibition that must not to be missed. Welding classical techniques to modern imagination, and with a rich knowledge of artistic history, these are two young artists to watch.

Florence to Auckland runs from Opening Night, Friday 13 July at 6.00 pm, to 1 August at the Railway Studio, Railway St, Newmarket, Monday to Saturday, 10.00 am to 2.00 pm.

And don’t miss their public ‘Artists’s Talk’ at the same venue this Sunday, 15 July, 4pm—bookings for which are essential!

Dr. Angela Mackie
www.duomo.ac.nz

Dr Angela Mackie is an art historian, a lecturer in art history, and an enthusiastic promoter of Renaissance art.
Her Cathedral Lectures, featuring both
full-sized and bite-sized art history classes, are legendary. Enrol now.

Sundwall - Walnuts and pot

Walnuts and Pot, Jesper Sundwall

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Asian History By Induction

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It’s impossible to contemplate the future without knowing what happened in the past. In the twenty-first century—said to be the coming Asian Century—it’s more important than even before to understand what made Asia today, and thus where it might go.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve found one of the most enjoyable and productive ways to learn history is with Scott Powell’s online history courses, using a unique method for teaching history he calls History By Induction. It works.

And you’re in luck, because his new online Asian History course starts this weekend with a free introductory lecture on Japanese history.

So what have you got lose ?

Especially when Chairman Mao warns you against it!

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Don’t count out Spain

Roving economic commentator John Mauldin reckons that however bad Spain is economically, it’s impossible to be pessimistic for very long about a place with the spirit to do this!

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The Prime Minister is wrong

Prime Minister John Key says it’s not possible to own water.

The Prime Minister is wrong.

Yes, of course you can own water. Rights in water are not generally rights to water molecules themselves—not unless you own the Evian Corporation—they are more usually either a riparian right to a water flow; a harvesting right to fish or shellfish; a useage right to swim or surf or paddle on; or a right negotiated with other rights-holders to take etc.

If you have rights in water you can prove, to a proper legal standard of proof, then your rights in water should be recognised.

Neither the Prime Minister now his advisers may have ever read a book of common law—and the loss is very much ours—but if they did choose to crack one open they would discover that none of those rights listed above are at all problematic under common law, and if they crack open one old enough they will discover all were well-recognised property rights when the Treaty was signed.*

The collectivisation of water has failed New Zealanders.  Recognising ownership rights in water however is not only possible, it’s often highly desirable. It’s not only moral, it’s practical:

It de-politicises arguments about resources.**

It solves the Tragedy of the Commons in water.

It solves the increasing problem of dirty dairying.

It solves the problems involved in the South Island river systems, where there are many competing uses for the limited water available.

Properly recognised, it could even solve the apparent political impasse caused by the objection to water being taken for powr generation against the will of the putative owners.***

Truth is, there is no greater protection for environment and water users both than the protection of property rights and the legacy of common law – if only these were allowed to function as they should, by placing the power of law behind those who truly value the specific resource under threat.

Ownership of water not only could happen, it should happen.

If the way to open those floodgates**** is by recognising specific claims to ownership, however flawed initially,  then so be it.

Better it begins some way than never to begin at all.

* * * * *

* I make no comment at all here on the veracity of claims now hitting the headlines, nor on the anachronistic argument asserting property rights were recognised in New Zealand before 1840.
But as Ronald Coase points out, once a property right is finally recognised in law then (as long as these rights are tradeable and  transaction costs are kept low) it will end up in the hands of those who value it the most. And that would be a good result, right?

**So in addition to the excellent links I’ve provided above, I’d like to highly recommend a Canadian organisation called Environment Probe who have written many excellent things on The Role of Property Rights in Protecting Water Quality, including these many wonderful publications.

*** Interestingly however, in terms of the latest Waitangi claim, even in the common law of 1840 taking water for “non-riparian use” (such as the abstraction of water for power generation)  was “a wrong actionable at the suit of any riparian owner whose portion of the stream is thus affected…” If the non-riparian use, however, “is unaccompanied by any permanent abstraction, and so causes no diminution of the stream as it flows past plaintiffs’ land, is not actionable…” [Law of Torts, John Salmond, 1910]
Suggesting that even if iwi rights to water were proven, there was no case in common law either now or in 1840 that using water for power generation and then putting it back would damage those rights in any way at all.

****Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tear

tear2

Monday, July 09, 2012

ECONOMICS FOR REAL PEOPLE: “Ten-Minute Talks”

While students are still on their break, participants in the weekly Econ Group meetings have been invited this week to deliver “ten-minute talks” on an economic subject of their choice.

Feel free to come along and join in!

When: Tonight, Monday, 9 July
Time: 6pm
Where: Room 215, Level 2, Business School Building, Auckland University

All welcome.
Look forward to seeing you there.

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GUEST POST: Cut-price sections for #EQNZ red-zone residents

"Cut-price" sections are being released in Christchurch for residents of red zones. Where in Christchurch? Rolleston. How many sections? Eighteen. What price is cut-price? $113,000 to $139,000. Still, let’s not be churlish.

Hugh Pavletich of Cantabrians Unite responds:

_hugh-pavletich-smlTHE TEAM INVOLVED WITH the Canterbury Cooperative Land Trust is to be applauded for bringing sections to market for Red-Zoners in Rolleston for between $113,000 to $139,000. This is is not as good as things could be, but it is an extremely helpful step in the right direction.

There is still massive scope to lower prices further, but only when the serious structural and infrastructure issues in Christchurch are effectively dealt with by the Authorities at both central and local level.

Back in early 2010, well before the earthquakes, I set out the whopping differences of new-home costs between an affordable North American housing market  such as Houston, where housing costs 2.9 times household incomes, and, Christchurch—where the multiple between housing and income is a "severely unaffordable" 6.3.

There’s a a huge difference in building costs. On the fringes of the affordable US housing markets, starter-housing stock has an ALL UP build price of around $US600 per square metre. Compare that to here in Christchurch, where we enjoy a staggering build-cost of $NZ2,500 per square metre  and beyond.

Our residential development / construction sector is a shambles.

In her lead article this week’s Listener, Rebecca Macfie illustrates just how woeful our residential development & construction costs are in comparison with those in Australia. Yet Australia is not even in the same ballpark for cost efficiency as the United States.

TO OFFER RED-ZONE RESIDENTS sections at the $113,000 to $139,000 quoted in The Press, the Canterbury Cooperative Land Trust has taken the approach of attempting to wipe out developer margins—while no doubt allowing within this pricing a risk/costs overrun contingency. No doubt there will be further "savings" to end purchasers if, in the final wash, costs are controlled and the contingency is not required.

The Trust is being somewhat generous in suggesting the savings are quite as much as 40%. After all, this is South Rolleston. Lets just call it novice developer enthusiasm! In having said that, all involved (for little if any personal financial reward in most cases) are playing a hugely important role: first, in bringing better priced sections to market; and second, in illustrating to the wider public just how this is possible.

This is, however, a “one-off” deal. The major impediments to allowing affordable sections at and below $50,000 are not addressed at all by the Trust’s initiative: first,  the urgent need to eliminate the artificial fringe scarcity values created by planners strangling land supply; and second, the need to finance new infrastructure appropriately. (These points were covered in more detail in my article "Christchurch: The way forward.")

IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE. New housing construction internationally today is a very formulaic business, and has been ever since the creation of the modern production construction industry by Bill and Alfred Levitt following World War Two.  Professor Peter Bacon Hales of the Art History Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago outlines this remarkable history—the "democratization of prosperity" if you like.

The truly remarkable Levitts supplied new starter homes for $US8,000 to single-earner  young families (yes....single-earner) earning an average of just $US3,800 a year—that means starter homes selling at just 2.1 times annual household earnings, with a mortgage load of only 18% of the family’s annual gross income!

Our young people today deserve these same opportunities. Buying a house should be as easy as buying a car (although the former is of course more expensive and financed over a longer period).

The major reason this was allowed in Levittown—because even then in the States planners were out there arguing against what the Levitts were doing—was because the Authorities in the end were too frightened to deny affordable housing to soldiers returning from World War Two. They didn't want a repeat of the civil unrest that occurred with returning veterans following World War One, which in Europe helped usher in Mussolini and worse. Indeed, when politicians and planners got in the road, Levitt often called the Veterans Association in for support.

You would think there would be abundant political pressure around Christchurch to similarly focus attention!

ON THE FRONT PAGE of my archival website www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org I offer a clear definition of an Affordable Housing Market:

DEFINITION OF AN AFFORDABLE HOUSING MARKET
For metropolitan areas to rate as 'affordable' and ensure that housing bubbles are not triggered, housing prices should not exceed three times gross annual household earnings. To allow this to occur, new starter housing of an acceptable quality to the purchasers, with associated commercial and industrial development, must be allowed to be provided on the urban fringes at 2.5 times the gross annual median household income of that urban market (refer
Demographia Survey Schedules for guidance).
The critically important Development Ratios for this new fringe starter housing, should be 17 - 23% serviced lot section cost, with the balance being the actual housing construction cost.
Ideally, to ensure maximum stability and optimal medium and long term performance of the residential construction sector through a normal building cycle, the Median Multiple should move from a Floor Multiple of 2.3, through a Swing Multiple of 2.5 to a Ceiling Multiple of 2.7.

So even with the commendable numbers at which the Canterbury Cooperative Land Trust is offering these sections—and I do applaud them for what they are trying to do—we are still a million miles from where fringe sections should be priced.

Recovery Minister Hon Gerry Brownlee is well aware of all this too, as he chaired Parliament’s Commerce Committee Inquiry into Affordable Housing Inquiry back through 2007/08.

He knows it, but he’s not prepared to do anything about it.

Hugh Pavletich
Coordinator, Cantabrians Unite

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QUOTE(S) OF THE DAY: Isabel Paterson

Taxes

There is no means by which "the rich" can be taxed without ultimately taxing "the poor" far more heavily. And one tax tends to increase all other taxes, instead of lessening them, because tax expenditure goes into things which require upkeep and yield no return (public buildings and political jobs).
            - Isabel Paterson, God of the Machine

Government Spending

When paper currency is depreciated, the difference has to come out somewhere; and the main cut is in wages. The fact is that heavy government expenditure must always be taken from the workingman's wages; there is no other possible source. But the depreciation in currency comes out of wages immediately; whatever anyone gets in his pay envelope will simply buy him that much less in goods.
            - Isabel Paterson, God of the Machine

Great Depression

What was the cause of the panic [that led to the Great Depression]? Enormous government loans abroad which were not repaid; and the existence of the Federal Reserve system, a political creation, which made an inordinate credit extension possible.

If a financial system is unsound, it can only be so by the possibility of overextension of credit, and paper currency. A true remedy could only consist of limiting such facilities. Government "guarantees" merely put the property of prudent men at the disposal of speculators in case of loss. There is no such thing as a "money panic"; a financial panic occurs from collapse of credit.
            - Isabel Paterson, God of the Machine

Humanitarianism

Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends. This is demonstrably true; nor could it occur otherwise. The percentage of positively malignant, vicious or depraved persons is necessarily small, for no species could survive if its members were habitually and consciously bent upon injuring one another. Destruction is so easy that even a minority of persistently evil intent could shortly exterminate the unsuspecting majority of well-disposed persons. Murder, theft, rapine and destruction are easily within the power of every individual at any time. If it is presumed that they are restrained only by fear or force, what is it they fear, or who would turn the force against them if all men were of like mind? Certainly, if the harm done by willful criminals were to be computed, the number of murders, the extent of damage and loss, would be found negligible in the sum total of death and devastation wrought upon human beings by their kind. Therefore, it is obvious that in periods when millions are slaughtered, when torture is practiced, starvation enforced, oppression made a policy, as at present over a large part of the world, and as it has often been in the past, it must be at the behest of very many good people and even by their direct action, for what they consider a worthy object. When they are not the immediate executants, they are on record as giving approval, elaborating justifications or else cloaking facts with silence, and discountenancing discussion....
    Then there must be a very grave error in the means by which they seek to attain their ends. There must even be an error in their primary axioms, to permit them to continue using such means. Something is terribly wrong in the procedure, somewhere. What is it?...
    The root of the matter is ethical, philosophical and religious, involving the relation of man to the universe, of man's creative faculty to his Creator. The fatal divergence occurs in failing to recognize the norm of human life.... No one person, though his income be $10 million dollars a year, can take care of every case of need in the world. But supposing he has no means of his own and still imagines that he can make "helping others" at once his primary purpose and the normal way of life, which is the central doctrine of the humanitarian creed, how is he to go about it? ...
    There is only one way, and that is by the use of the political power in its fullest extension. Hence, the humanitarian feels the utmost gratification when he visits or hears of a country in which everyone is restricted to ration cards. Where subsistence is doled out, the desideratum has been achieved, of general want and a superior power to "relieve" it. The humanitarian in theory is the terrorist in action. ...
    Why do kind-hearted persons call in the political power? They cannot deny that the means for relief must come from production. But they say there is enough and to spare. Then they must assume that the producers are not willing to give what is "right." Further, they assume that there is a collective right to impose taxes, for any purpose the collective shall determine. They localize that right in "the government," as if it were self-existent…
    But if taxes are to be imposed for relief, who is the judge of what is possible or beneficial? It must be either the producers, the needy or some third group. To say it shall be all three together is no answer; the verdict must swing upon majority or plurality drawn from one or other group. Are the needy to vote themselves whatever they want? Are the humanitarians, the third group, to vote themselves control of both the producers and the needy? (That is what they have done.) The government is thus supposed to be empowered to give "security" to the needy. It cannot. What it does is to seize the provision made by private persons for their own security, thus depriving everyone...
            - Isabel Paterson, God of the Machine

On what moves the world

“An abstraction will move a mountain: Nothing can withstand an idea.”
            - Isabel Paterson, God of the Machine

[Hat tip Jeffrey Tucker]

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Sunday, July 08, 2012

Farewell, Wim Verhoeven

With the greatest sadness, I have to pass on the news to you that Wim Verhoeven has died, passing away in his sleep Sunday July 1st.

Many of you will know Wim. He was a regular contributor to the Libz party, both intellectually and financially, and actively participated in conferences, events and demonstrations right up until a couple of years ago when he no longer felt up to it.

Wim’s funeral will be held at 11am Wednesday 11th July at the Lychgate Funeral Home, corner Willis and Aro Street, Wellington City.

He was a good man. A very good man. Be sure, if you’re there, to give him the sort of send-off he deserves.

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