Archive for category: Economics

Friday Quote – Fredrich Hayek

03 May
May 3, 2019

If socialists understood economics, they wouldn’t be socialists.

Friday Quote – Milton Friedman

12 Apr
April 12, 2019

Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.

The Zuck Wants Hisself Some Regulation

03 Apr
April 3, 2019

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg penned an op-ed calling for regulations on the internet. Reason has its analysis.

From a crony capitalist standpoint, the Zuck is playing it smart. Facebook and the other big players in tech can play the compliance game to keep out competitors. Better to get out in front and help write the regulations rather than let Congress (or whichever agency Congress delegates writing the regs).

Friday Quote – John Taylor Gatto

29 Mar
March 29, 2019

By preventing a free market in education, a handful of social engineers – backed by the industries that profit from compulsory schooling: teacher colleges, textbook publishers, materials suppliers, et al. – has ensured that most of our children will not have an education, even though they may be thoroughly schooled.

State of Podcasts – 2019

27 Mar
March 27, 2019

State Of Podcasts 2018

I’m doing this on an annual basis. Part of it’s my own curiosity at how my podcast habits change. I’m also curious what others think about the same podcasts and which podcasts come and go. One thing I noted from last year were reader comments about this host or that host supporting positions the readers disliked (particularly when the host was anti-gun). I’m trying to incorporate diverse voices in my podcast consumption, both to understand those I normally oppose and find out when my side is wrong.

I list the podcasts into some broad groups, with any annotations about frequency I listen to them or general impressions. I listen to my podcasts in Overcast. The app deletes podcasts I’ve listened to, plus it has a smart speed feature which will speed up if it hears dead air. Generally, I listen to my podcasts at 2X speed. I use three playlists:

  1. Daily – This is a playlist of what I want to listen to during my commutes, work, and other times. I used to have certain podcasts for certain days/times, but the volume and rate I go through them makes that difficult. Some are “promotable”, which means they go to the top. The rest are filler, and I’ll get to them when I can.
  2. Writing – I use this as a warm-up for when I’m going to write as well as general knowledge to improve my writing
  3. History – Podcasts on History.

My podcasts as of March 2019:

Comedy/Entertainment

Friendly Fire – Three guys watching and critiquing war films. Sometimes they get a bit too much into the art of film, or into the wokeness world, but I generally end up enjoying what they bring to the film. It’s a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist.

The Incomparable Game Show – Rotating panels playing rotating series of obstensibly board games. Often hilarious, sometimes dangerously so when driving. It’s a filler podcast on my Daily playlist.

Penn’s Sunday School – Penn prognosticating on the world with a few of his friends and/or guests. It’s a promotable podcast on my Daily Playlist.

Unjustly Maligned – This one is currently ended (the host hints he’d like to do more), but I’d recommend going through the back of episodes.

Economics / Libertarian Theory / Free Speech

The Bob Murphy Show – Bob Murphy discusses different concepts with in Austrian economics. Some of it is a little too far off mainstream for me, but it’s still intellectually interesting.

Cato Events Podcast – Recordings of various panels put on by the Cato Institute. I’ve heard a lot of very interesting discussions and arguments. This one I use as filler on my “Daily” playlist. I will delete if the topic doesn’t interest me, as these can be pretty long.

Econtalk – Economist Russ Roberts does great interviews with a wide variety of guests and topics. I’ve been learning a lot. This is a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist.

Free Thoughts – Interview podcast on libertarian issues and theories. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist.

GAO Podcast – GAO discussing some of their reviews they’ve done on federal agencies. This one I use as filler on my “Daily” playlist

Make No Law – Ken White delves into the case law around the First Amendment and free speech. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist

The Pursuit – Not sure if this was just a limited series or if there will be a second season, but a great overview of government seizures of private property. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist

Short Circuit – From the Institute of Justice, this one discusses notable cases that IJ is arguing. I put it under libertarian theory rather than politics because it discusses legal libertarian arguments rather than issues of the day. This is a filler on my Daily playlist.

So To Speak – FIRE’s podcast discussing free speech issues. The guests and legal theories put this more into theory although it sometimes delves into the issues of the day. This is a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist.

Words & Numbers – Two economists from the Foundation For Economic Education discuss different aspects of economics from a libertarian perspective. Sometimes dipping into issues of the day. It’s filler on my Daily playlist.

Guns & RKBA

Assorted Calibers Podcast – The spiritual successor to the Gun Blog Variety Cast. Weer’d Beard and Erin Pallette are the real reason I listen to this, but the other segments are generally pretty good. This is a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Black Man With A Gun Podcast – Kenn’s podcast was one of the first I started listening to, and then I wrote Zombie Strike for him. It’s filler on my Daily playlist.

Civilian Carry Radio – I just subscribed to this one and haven’t made up my mind about it. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist

Down Range Radio – Right now, this is promotable, but it may get downgraded to filler. Some of Bane’s nonsense and glad standing is getting on my nerves. On my Daily playlist.

Firearms Nation – Interview podcast with leading competition shooters and others to discuss both competition and practical shooting techniques and strategies. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist.

Geeks Gadgets and Guns – A couple of geeks discussing guns and other geeky stuff. It’s filler on my Daily playlist.

Gun and Gear Review – Another new (to me) podcast I’m evaluating. Currently, it’s a filler on my Daily playlist.

The Gun Nation – This one I’m pretty sure is defunct, but I’m keeping it on the list just in case it isn’t. It’s promotable on my Daily playlist on if it drops.

Handgun Radio – This one I’ve been enjoying. Especially the in-depth histories of different firearms companies. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Handgun World – This one is filler on my Daily playlist. Bob has good information, but sometimes his views annoy me, particularly when he goes off on rising evil.

Polite Society Podcast – Good information, but often too long if I have a backlog. This one is filler on my Daily playlist.

Pro-Arms Podcast – This one hasn’t been updated since 2017, but I recommend any serious shooter (new or old) go through the back episodes. If it ever updates again, it’s a promotable on my Daily playlist

Riding Shotgun With Charley – Interesting, but sometimes hard to follow the conversation due to road noise. It’s currently filler on my Daily playlist

Rifleman Roundtable – Not sure if this one is defunct, but it hasn’t updated in a while. Hosts from other gun podcasts discuss the gun issues of the day. It’s filler on my Daily playlist

Safety Solutions Academy– This one hasn’t updated in a while, but I still think everyone should go through the back episodes, Real good information. This is also one I recommend to new shooters. Paul is one of those trainers I’d like to learn from if I could scrape together the time and money. This one is promotable on my Daily playlist.

The Second Is For Everyone (2A4E) Podcast – Tony Simon’s been doing great work up in New Jersey spreading gun culture. His podcast with his friend Sean often has a different take than most gun podcasts.

Self-Defense Gun Stories – I like the analysis of what went right and wrong from a variety of professional trainers. This is another I recommend to new shooters and those who are thinking about using a gun for self-defense. This one is a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Skip’s Tactical Solutions Podcast – Avery’s a new voice in the gun podcast world, and I find some of her insights fascinating. It doesn’t hurt that she’s local. I may end up taking a class from her if I can scrape up the cash/time. It’s filler on my Daily playlist.

This Week In Guns – It’s the week in gun issues. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist

Trigger Words – Just subscribed to this one and haven’t made up my mind. It’s filler on my Daily playlist

History

Clear and Present Danger -A History of Free Speech – This is a filler podcast on my “Daily” playlist. It’s okay from a history perspective, and I might move it over to that playlist and refresh all of the episodes.

Hardcore History – Dan Carlin’s storytelling on various historical events is spellbinding. This is promotable on my History playlist on the infrequent occasions new podcasts show up.

Hardcore History: Addendum – A companion to the Hardcore History podcast where Dan Carlin does segments outside his normal narrative style. This one is promotable on my History Podcast.

The History of Byzantium – This is a sequel to the History of Rome podcast and the host tries to keep the same style. I would highly recommend listening to the History of Rome before jumping into this one. It’s filler on my History playlist.

A History of Europe, Key Battles – Haven’t actually listened to this one yet, but I’m keeping the first episode on my History playlist until I work through the backlog of History of Byzantium and Revolutions

The History of Rome – This is a great overview of Rome from its founding until the fall of the Western Empire. It’s a finished series. I’ve listened to all the episodes, but I’m keeping it on the list as a recommendation for others.

History On Fire – This one came highly recommended, and I have the first episode downloaded. I’m waiting to get through my backlog on my History playlist before getting into it.

Omnibus! With Ken Jennings and John Roderick – The conceit of the show is the hosts are leading an audio time capsule of odd bits of history for some far-future civilization. The choices are interesting bits of historical trivia. It’s filler on my History playlist.

Revolutions – Really good series on various revolutions. Each season goes through one of the more pivotal revolutions in history, starting with the English Revolution. This is filler on my History playlist.

Slate Presents – The first season was a history of Ruby Ridge. It’s Slate, so it came at it from a different perspective. It’s filler on my History playlist.

Slow Burn – The first season dealt with Watergate and the second with Bill Clinton’s impeachment. I’m fairly certain the producers were hoping the third season would be the Trump impeachment. Still, it’s a compelling podcast. It’s filler on my History playlist

War Stories – Good military history podcast. It’s in filler on my History playlist.

Politics

Cato Daily Podcast – A good quick bit in various topics from a libertarian viewpoint. This one I use as filler on my “Daily” playlist.

Contra Krugman – Bob Murphy and Tom Woods tear apart a Paul Krugman column using Austrian economics. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist.

The Economist – I listen to the Economist, because it provides a different perspective and reports on areas that barely hit my normal feeds. This is a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist.

The Editors – Editors from National Review discussing the issues of the day. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

The Federalist Radio Hour – Editors of the Federalist website interviews guests about the issues of the day. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist.

The Femsplainers – Christina Hoff Summers and her sidekicks discuss free speech and free thoughts issues of the day. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

The Fifth Column – This is a really good roundup focusing on the issues of the day and how the media reports them. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

The Long Game – Long interview form podcast with different former and current politicians. It’s filler on my Daily playlist.

LRC Presents: All the President’s Lawyers – I picked this one up because Ken White is one of the hosts. It’s a different perspective on Trump’s legal issues than most of my normal feeds. I’m impressed with the other host, I may pick up the parent podcast “Left, Right, and Center.” It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen – Charles Cooke. That’s why I listen to this podcast. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Neal Boortz Daily Commentaries – I loved listening to Boortz when he was on syndicated radio, and now I get two minutes of him. It’s interesting to see how I’ve diverged from him over the years. It’s promotable on my Daily playlist.

Ordered Liberty – This is a National Review podcast that started mainly discussing liberty from a traditional conservative side, but it’s meandered into daily politics. A bit heavier on the freedom of religion and abortion than I’d like, but understandable from the hosts’ perspective.

The One With Greg Gutfield – Greg does interviews in the way only Greg can do. Currently promotable on my Daily playlist.

Part of the Problem – Rabid anti war libertarian comedian Dave Smith is interesting. He’s certainly challenging some of my ideas. Particularly when he beers over to the conspiracy theories. Promotable on my Daily playlist.

Popular Front – A look into smaller conflicts going on or unusual aspects of modern warfare. It’s filler on my Daily playlist.

Power Problems – A Cato podcast focusing on foreign affairs. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist

Reason Podcast – Reason’s weekly podcast with their editors is promotable on my Daily playlist. The others are filler. Some good content and some that just don’t interest me. The latter might get deleted if the subject doesn’t sound interesting.

The Rubin Report – Long form interview with an eye to free speech and social justice zealotry issues. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist

Something’s Off With Andrew Heaton – Take the Daily Show, except with a libertarian bent. Funny and thought provoking. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist

Squirrel Report – Three former bloggers talking over the issues of the day. Amusing with gusts of hilarity. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

The Tom Woods Show – I found this one when Tom interviewed Larry Corriea, and I like his take on many issues. It’s a filler on my Daily podcast.

Unregistered with Thaddeus Russell – Thaddeus interviews a varied list of guests. Some were very interesting, some less so. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist.

War College – This is a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist. An interesting look at politics and military issues.

Wrongspeak – Another one devoted to the issues of free speech and SJWs. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist

Science and Skepticism

The Prism Podcast – A dentist and a pediatrician interview guests and discuss skeptical topics. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist

Skeptics Guide to The Universe – This was my first science podcast and really helped forge my skepticism. It’s a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist.

Science Salon – Michael Shermer interviews scientists, scholars, and other intellectuals on a variety of topics. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist

Skeptoid – Another one that helped in developing my skeptical outlook. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist.

Stories / Writing

This Is War – The host relates a combat veteran’s story interspersed with the veteran providing his/her own insights. This is the brutal personal side of combat and its effects on a person – both physical and emotional. It’s filler on my Daily playlist.

The Way I Heard It With Mike Rowe – After growing up with Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story”, this one is a wonderful substitute. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.

Writing Excuses – If you are a fiction writer, I can’t recommend this one highly enough. It’s currently the only one on my Writing playlist.

Tech

Clockwise – This is a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist. I like the format and it helps keep me up to date on tech issues and trends.

Daily Tech Headlines – Good summary of big tech stories. It’s promotable on my Daily playlist.

Friday Quote – Thomas Sowell

22 Mar
March 22, 2019

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.

There Are No Bounds For Government Avarice

13 Mar
March 13, 2019

Two stories to prove that revenue starved governments will stoop to remarkable levels to squeeze every last dollar.

First, comes a story of New York taxmen chasing people leaving the state to wring whatever they can. The story says New York is examining not only public records, but private records as well, such as airplane and hotel costs. The kicker is the auditors conducting “in-home” audits. I would have a dim view of anyone trying to look inside my home to see if they can tax me more.

Before you think they’re just going after the rich who aren’t “paying their fair share” (another time, another post), we find Chicago is seizing and quickly selling people’s vehicles. At least with civil asset forfeiture, there’s the pretense of a trial. This is quickly ticket, boot, impound, and sell. A scheme that is aimed at the lower income folks who can’t afford the time and money to fight city authorities.

Friday Quote – Thomas Sowell

08 Feb
February 8, 2019

I cannot understand people who say that minorities should be represented everywhere and yet are upset when there are blacks represented in the conservative movement.

Tax the Texts!

24 Jan
January 24, 2019

California’s Public Utilities Commission is considering taxing text messages. People aren’t doing voice calls as much and the commission is spending a lot more for its subsidy program for telecommunications for low income people.

I’d laugh, but this is something I could see spread across the nation. The states have trillions in unfunded obligations, and they’ll be looking for any way to extract more cash from the populace.

Derek’s Immigration Scheme

17 Jan
January 17, 2019

I’ve been listening to the subtext to the wall debate, and it really comes down to immigration. How many people should we let in and how should we decide to let in? It isn’t easy, because America has a long tradition of being the beacon of hope for people who want to make a new life. We’ve always accepted, if not easily, immigrants, and integrated them into the larger American ideal.

Some of the issues that I’m seeing: 1. A demand for low-skilled, low-cost labor for some segments of the economy. 2. Democrats hoping to import a large enough voter base to replace the blue-collar white demographic that their current identity politics agenda is alienating. 3. Republicans (under Trump) supporting a backlash against what it thinks is an invasion of illegals coming up from the southern border, as well as a strong nativist element. 4. Humanitarian issues in Central and South America as well as the Middle East driven mostly by corrupt regimes exacerbated by American policies (namely the War on Drugs and the War on Terror). 5. The need to keep out individuals who have a demonstrated pattern of causing harm to others (i.e., criminals, terrorists).

In another of my early morning/half-asleep ruminations, I started fleshing out a system. This is the kind of system I would consider implementing if anyone was foolish enough to give me full autocratic power. Because I have a streak of the patriotic, I’m calling these Blue, Red, and White paths.

Citizenship – Blue Path

My general requirements for citizenship would generally be limited to ensuring the individual does not have a demonstrated pattern of causing harm to others (i.e., criminals, terrorists) and is willing to swear the oath. The reason I would make it that simple is because I would limit the number of people allowed in under the citizenship path each year to approximately 5% of the last census. So, for a country of 320 million, that would mean 16 million slots. So, how to decide who comes in? I break it into three groups.

  1. Merit-based immigrants – These would be based on a point system designed to find those immigrants who will have an estimated net benefit to society and the economy as well as having few integration issues. Things that would provide high points would be in-demand job skills, literacy in English (it is the current lingua franca of the country), immediate family that are already citizens, willingness to serve in the military, and prior work visas or temporary residency visas with no issues. These would be approximately fifty-percent of the available slots.
  2. Asylumn Seekers – These are not refugees (which will be addressed later), but those who are coming to America because of dangers in their country of origin and wish to settle here permanently. There should be a demonstrated danger to life. These would be approximately forty-percent of the available slots.
  3. Fee Immigrants – These are people who may not qualify based on points or for asylum, and are willing to pay for citizenship. The cost should be equal to two years’ of the median salary. So, as of 2019, approx. $96,000. The immigrant or a sponsor may pay this fee. This fee would go specifically to funding immigration processing. These would be approximately ten percent of the available slots, or any unused slots from the above two groups at the end of the fiscal year.

Now, here’s the kicker for Blue Path. I would let the states accept additional immigrants under the own rules. These additional immigrants must meet the basic citizenship criteria. The states would be allowed to accept up to three percent of their last census population. So, for Florida, the state would allowed to bring in an additional 600,000 immigrants based on its own criteria. The states would be responsible for processing these immigrants to the federal standard. Failure would result in suspension of that state’s immigration authority until federal courts were satisfied that the state was in compliance.

Temporary Residency – Red Path

This would allow for people to stay in the United States for a determined period. They must have no demonstrated pattern of causing harm to others (i.e., criminals, terrorists). While here, they can work, study, or travel. They can come and go as much as they like within the defined time period. What they cannot do is vote or receive federal benefits. I don’t like the concept of permanent residency or limited scope visas. If you want to come here for a limited time, I don’t care. I would set these to:

  1. Sixty-day visas – These are aimed at travelers and short-term workers. These would not be available for renewal. If a person wants to come twice in the year, they would have to apply for a second sixty-day visa. These would be on a first-come, first-serve basis. These would be limited to twenty percent of last census per year. So, for 2019, approximately 64 million sixty-day visas would be issued.
  2. Two-year visas – These are aimed at longer-term workers, graduate students, and those who want to live in America while applying for citizenship. These can be renewed once for an additional two years and bypass the annual issuance thresholds. These would be issued on point basis with a preference for work or study. These would be limited to twenty percent of last census per year. So, for 2019, approximately 64 million two-year visas would be issued.
  3. Five-year visas – These are aimed at university students, entrepreneurs, workers, and family members of citizens. These can be renewed without limit and bypass the annual issuance thresholds. Yes, I know this means a person can be a permanent “temporary resident” if they are diligent about renewing their visa. These would be limited to 10 percent of last census per year. So, for 2019, approximately 32 million five-year visas would be issued.

So, what happens if someone overstays their visa? Automatic deportation to their country of origin and a ban on applying for a visa for a minimum of one year, or the length of the original visa, whichever is longer. A temporary resident convicted of a violent felony will be deported to their country of origin after serving their sentence with an additional ten years added to their ban on applying for a visa.

Refugees – White Path

Refugees are fleeing a temporary humanitarian emergency in their country of origin and are expected to return to their country after the emergency is passed. Because of the nature of the emergency, it may not be possible to screen for demonstrated pattern of causing harm to others. As such, refugees will be settled into camps. These camps will consist of no more than 10,000 refugees and provide minimum amenities and basic services. All able-bodied persons above the age of 16 will be required to work in the camps. People designated as refugees may not apply for sixty-day visas, but may apply for any other visa or citizenship. Failure to work will result in deportation to country of origin. Conviction of a felony while in the camp will result in deportation to country of origin. Being outside the camp without authorization will result in deportation to country of origin. Refugees may not stay in the camp longer than the duration of the emergency or one year, whichever is longer.

Illegal Aliens

So, what about those here illegally? I would break them up into three classes.

  1. Class 1 Illegal Aliens – These are those who overstayed their visas. I’ve already detailed in the Red Path what would happen to these individuals.
  2. Class 2 Illegal Aliens – These are those who are back in the country after being deported or without ever having a visa. First violation would be deportation with a five-year ban on applying for a visa or citizenship. Second violation would be deportation with a lifetime ban on applying for a visa or citizenship.
  3. Class 3 Illegal Aliens – Intruders – These are individuals who are back in the country who already have two violations under the Class 2 criteria, those without a visa who are convicted of a violent felony, and/or those who have a demonstrated pattern of causing harm to others. This is going to sound contrary to my opposition to capital punishment, but these individuals would be executed. These are people who have shown a pattern of invasion and/or causing harm to the citizenry of this nation. At that point, they’re intruders. We kill intruders.

For the ones currently in the country at the time of implementation, I would give them thirty days to apply for either a visa or citizenship. After that, they will be treated as Class 2 Illegal Aliens.