CategoryEconomics

Clearing the Browser Tabs

This week’s kind of a big one at the Ward household as we’re closing on the new Ward Estate of Northern Rural Suburbia. Yeah, I’ll explain that later. Today, it’s links.

From Military.com comes an older article on Sig delivering its final prototypes for the new Army SAW. Including chambering in a new 6.8mm cartridge. The article expects new individual rifles in that chamber next year.

In the “Yes, Please” category, Variety reports that the Justified crew are looking to bring Raylan back in a new series. Still need to get The Wife through that series.

The title of this NY Post story kicked over my giggle box. Cancel culture is out of control – and Gen X is our only hope. Considering how overlooked the Gen Xers, I find this highly amusing.

I’ve got two articles from The Wirecutter. The first is how to clean your ear buds.. The second one is on why many of The Wirecutter’s picks are on the expensive side. These are good principles when looking at any purchase.

I’ve got an article from the Mises Institute on why everyone is so more freaked out about the riot at the Capitol. I refuse to call that an insurrection any more than I’d call a violent BLM an insurrection. It was a violent political protest, not an attempt to take over the government.

Finally, The Firearms Blog has a look at the 1986 Miami Shootout. This is one of those seminal gunfights that people who are serious about using guns in self-defense should study. How to stay in the fight when you’re hurt, nothing seems to be working, and everything around you is going to hell.

State of the Podcasts 2021

This is the fourth year I’ve reviewed which podcasts I listen to, how I listen to them, and when I listen to them. 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. Here are my previous years’ entries:

State Of Podcasts 2018

State of Podcasts 2019

State of Podcasts 2020

I listen to my podcasts in Overcast. I prefer Overcast because 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.

An issue I ran into last year was podcasts that fit into multiple categories. So, instead of trying to put each podcast into one category, I’m adding all the applicable categories to each podcast. I also used to designate a podcast as promotable. What I’ve found is that I’m trying to get podcasts around current events (i.e., have a shelf life) up to the top. The rest I listen to as I have time.

Podcast Categories

Comedy – One of the central themes of the podcast is making me laugh

Debate – The podcast uses a formal debate format

Economics – Discusses economic theory and impacts

Entertainment – Main subject matter is an entertainment form or persons

Free Speech – Discussing the current issues and assaults on free speech culture and laws

Government – Discusses the review of government operations

Guns – Discussing gun hardware and associated technology and skills

History – Delving into history in general or one facet/era

Legal – Discussing legal cases and theories

Libertarianism – Discusses libertarian theory

Interview – Substantial episodes interviewing guests

Opposing Views – Hosts regularly espouse politics or theories that are substantially different to my own

Prepping – Discussing prepping gear, methods, and skills

Politics Of The Day (POTD) – Discussion of current political events

Right To Keep and Bear Arms (RKBA) – Discusses issues around gun rights

Science – Discussing current science news and skepticism-related issues

True Crime – Podcast is a narrative/story of real crime events

War – Discusses issues surrounding armed conflicts

Writing Improvement – Helps me improve my writing

My podcasts as of March 2021: 13 Hours Inside the Nova Scotia Massacre (True Crime, Writing Improvement) – This podcast relates the events surrounding an active shooter event in Nova Scotia in 2020.

Advisory Opinions (Legal, POTD) – David French and Sarah Isgur discuss legal issues and theory on the politics of the day. With some pop culture on the side.

Alienating the Audience (Entertainment, Libertarianism, Interview) – Andrew Heaton brings on guests to discuss different aspects of various science-fiction properties.

All the Presidents’ Lawyers (POTD, Opposing Views, Legal) – I picked this one up because Ken White is one of the hosts. It’s a different perspective on Trump’s – and soon to be Biden’s – legal issues than most of my normal feeds.

Angry Planet (War, Interview, Opposing Views) – Formerly known as War College, this podcast is an interesting look at politics and military issues through interviews with specialists.

Assorted Calibers Podcast (RKBA, Guns, Entertainment, Interview) – Weer’d Beard and Erin Pallette are the real reason I listen to this, but the other segments are generally surprisingly good. I’m also a patron, and listen to the Mag Dump round tables, Film Tracks, and Blooper Reels.

Black Man With A Gun (Guns, RKBA, Interview) – After an almost year-long hiatus, Kenn Blanchard continues his musings on gun rights, the black community, and other issues. Yes, I have a fondness for Kenn’s podcast since I wrote the Zombie Strike segment for a few years.

Blocked and Reported (Free Speech, POTD) – Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal discuss the various social media dust-ups with occasional interviews.

Bound By Oath (Legal, Libertarianism) – From the Institute for Justice, this podcast focuses on specific issues. The current season is focusing on the myriad of protections and immunities public officials enjoy.

The Bradenton Times Podcast (Interview, POTD, Opposing Views) – This podcast is focused on my local area. I’m using it to get better acquainted with the ins and outs of Bradenton, Manatee County, and the Sarasota area. It’s still new enough that I’m not sure if I have all the categories correct.

Bribe, Swindle, and Steal (Interview, True Crime, Opposing Views, Writing Improvement) – This one popped up when I was searching for podcasts on white-collar crime. It focuses on issues, challenges, and items that are of note for compliance officials.

Cato Daily Podcast (Libertarianism, Economics, Interview, POTD) – A good quick podcast that covers various topics from a libertarian viewpoint.

Cato Events Podcast (Economics, Libertarianism, POTD) – Recordings of various panels put on by the Cato Institute. I’ve heard a lot of very interesting discussions and arguments. Some, not so much. I would recommend listening even if the subject doesn’t seem interesting. I’ve been surprised by what I learned.

Clockwise (Tech) – Two hosts and two guests discuss four tech topics in thirty minutes. Sometimes those topics on current tech news. Sometimes it’s just musing on tech and life. Generally enjoyable.

Daily Tech Headlines (Tech) – Good fast summary of the big tech stories.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History (History, Writing Improvement)- Dan Carlin’s storytelling on various historical events is spellbinding. Unfortunately infrequent, which can be a bit daunting since he does multi-part stories. I highly recommend, when possible, going back and relistening to the previous parts before continuing onto the new one.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History: Addendum (History, Interview, Writing)- A companion to the Hardcore History podcast where Dan Carlin does segments outside his normal narrative style.

The Dispatch Podcast (POTD, Interview) – The flagship podcast of The Dispatch network, the Wednesday show has the main hosts discussing the politics of the day, while the Friday show is an interview with a newsmaker, thought provoker, or just someone the hosts like.

Econtalk (Interview, Economics)- Economist Russ Roberts does great interviews with a wide variety of guests and topics. I’ve been learning a lot on economics, and even more on some wildly different topics.

The Economist (POTD, Opposing Views)- I listen to the Economist, because it provides a different perspective and reports on areas that barely hit my normal feeds.

The Editors (POTD) – Editors from National Review discussing the issues of the day. Part of my keeping an idea of the conservative side of the issues of the day.

FBI Retired Case File Review (Interview, True Crime, Writing Improvement) – A former FBI Special Agent and current author interviews retired FBI agents about the cases that had a unique impact on them.

The Femsplainers (Interview, POTD, Free Speech, Opposing Views) – The hosts discuss free speech, free thoughts, and feminism of the issues of the day.

The Fifth Column (POTD, Free Speech, Opposing Views) – This is an excellent roundup focusing on the issues of the day and how the media reports them. They also bring on guests who will disagree with them and have excellent discussions.

Firearms Nation (Guns, Interview) – Interview podcast with leading competition shooters and others to discuss both competition and practical shooting techniques and strategies. I’ll be honest, if they’re just discussing how to make you a better competition shooter, I’m more likely to bypass it. However, they have had some great interviews on self-defense and self-defense scenarios.

Free Thoughts (Interview, Libertarianism) – The hosts interview authors who promulgate new books that cover or intersect with libertarian issues and theories.

GAO Podcast (Interview, Government) – The Government Accountability Office discussed some of their reviews they’ve done on federal agencies.

Geeks Gadgets and Guns (Guns, Tech, Entertainment, POTD, RKBA) – A couple of geeks discussing guns and other geeky stuff – with sometimes politics intruding.

GLoP Culture (POTD, Entertainment) – The hosts muse on the POTD, and the entertainment industry.

Gun and Gear Review (Guns) – This is a good review podcast for new stuff in the gun world. I enjoy the reviews and the banter between the hosts.

Guns Guide To Liberals (RKBA) – This is a good podcast focusing on techniques to use when talking about guns and RKBA to those who don’t share our views.

Handgun Radio (Guns, Interview) – Delving more into the history and technological aspects of guns – mostly handguns. Also, just fun musings on different aspects of guns. Sometimes they bring on interesting guests.

Handgun World (Guns, Interview, RKBA) – Bob has good information on carrying and self-protection, but sometimes his views annoy me, particularly when he goes off on rising evil.

High Caliber History (Guns, History, Interview) – Logan Metesh interviews specialists on the history of guns, as well as lending his own vast expertise.

The History of WWII Podcast (History, Interview) – This one is going through WWII chronologically, with interview episodes interspersed.

The Incomparable Game Show (Comedy) – Rotating panels playing rotating series of ostensibly board games. Often hilarious, sometimes dangerously so when driving.

Left, Right, & Center (POTD, Opposing Views) – This covers the week’s political events with a progressive, a conservative, and a host who’s a left-leaning centrist. Guests are brought on to provide additional commentary – who have been overwhelmingly on the left-side of the aisles.

Mad Dogs and Englishmen (POTD) – Charles Cooke and Kevin Williamson opine on the issues of the day and other things that amuse them.

Make No Law (Free Speech, History, Legal)- Ken White delves into the case law around the First Amendment and free speech. Unfortunately infrequent.

Managing Uncertainty (Prepping, Writing Improvement) – This podcast is mainly focused on risk management from an organizational standpoint, but I find it’s useful as a prepping exercise as well.

The Michael Shermer Show (Interview, Science, Opposing Views) – Michael Shermer interviews scientists, scholars, and other intellectuals on a variety of topics.

The One With Greg Gutfield (POTD, Interview, Entertainment) – Sometimes Greg interviews a variety of guests. Other times, it’s just clips from his tv show.

Part of the Problem (POTD, Libertarianism)- Rabid anti-war libertarian comedian Dave Smith is interesting. He’s certainly challenging some of my ideas. Particularly when he veers over to the conspiracy theories.

Polite Society Podcast (RKBA, POTD, Interview, Opposing Views) – The hosts interview people in the RKBA movement, while also discussing news (often gun-related), and self-defense analysis.

The Political Orphanage (Interview) – Andrew Heaton interviews a variety of individuals to discuss issues. Not necessarily just the POTD.

Pop & Locke (Entertainment, Libertarianism, Opposing Views) – This one looks at pop culture media (books, TV, movies) through the libertarian lens. Sometimes the panel goes a little more woke than I appreciate.

Popular Front (Interview, War, Opposing Views) – A look into smaller conflicts going on or unusual aspects of modern warfare.

The Portal (Interview, Free Speech, Economics) – Eric Weinstein discusses a variety of subjects with guests. Very high-intelligence demanding.

Power Problems (Interview, Libertarianism) – A Cato podcast focusing on foreign affairs.

The Pursuit (Libertarianism) – The first season was a great overview of government seizures of private property, with the second going into various abuses of power by the government.

Quillette Podcast (Interviews, Free Speech) – Interviews and articles focusing in on free speech issues and cancel culture.

The Reason Interview With Nick Gillespie (Interview, Liberatarianism) – Reason editor interviews a variety of guests. This would be an even better podcast if they had a different host.

The Reason Roundtable (POTD) – Four editors from Reason discuss the issues of the day.

The Remnant With Jonah Goldberg (Interview, POTD) – The Wednesday show is interviewing pundits, politicians, and others. The Friday show is Jonah musings.

Revolutions (History, Writing Improvement) – Really good series on various revolutions. Each season goes through one of the more pivotal revolutions in history, starting with the English Revolution.

The Rewatchables – (Entertainment) Variety panel of guests discussing a movie that is considered highly rewatchable. Depending on what movie they’re reviewing, if it’s one I haven’t seen, I’ll delete it.

Roboskull Cast – (Entertainment) A Robotech podcast where the hosts go through the episodes and the new comics. One has seen the series, one is watching it, and neither were old enough to watch in ’85. The hosts are finished up with the series and the movies, so new podcasts are going to be light on the ground unless/until something Robotech-media breaks (new comics, movies, etc)

Self-Defense Gun Stories (Guns) – 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.

Short Circuit (Legal, Libertarianism) – 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.

Skeptics Guide to The Universe (Science, Opposing Views) – This was my first science podcast and really helped forge my skepticism.

Skeptoid (Science) – Another one that helped in developing my skeptical outlook. It takes a particular pseudo-science claim and investigates with a skeptical eye.

So To Speak (Free Speech, Interview) – 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.

The SoHo Forum Debates (Debate, Economics, Libertarianism, Opposing Views) – Oxford-rules debates on a variety of issues.

Techmeme Ride Home (Tech) – This is a relatively short, but thorough examination of the big news in tech.

The Tom Woods Show (Economics, Libertarianism, Interview, POTD) – A mainstay of the Mises wing of the libertarian world interviews and discusses events and theories.

Unregistered with Thaddeus Russell (Interview, Libertarianism, Free Speech, Opposing Views) – Thaddeus interviews a varied list of guests he finds intriguing. Some are very interesting, some less so.

The Way I Heard It With Mike Rowe (Entertainment, History, Writing Improvement) – After growing up with Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story”, this one is a wonderful substitute.

Words & Numbers (Economics, Libertarianism, POTD, Interview) – An economist and a political scientist discuss different aspects of economics from a libertarian perspective. Sometimes dipping into issues of the day.

Friday Quote – Thomas Sowell

The reason so many people misunderstand so many issues is not that these issues are so complex, but that people do not want a factual or analytical explanation that leaves them emotionally unsatisfied.

Friday Quote- Dr. Walter E. Williams

No matter how worthy the cause, it is robbery, theft, and injustice to confiscate the property of one person and give it to another to whom it does not belong.a

RIP Dr. Williams

New Pattern of Behavior? Well, Then New Tax!

Deutch Bank AG’s research arm decided to advocate for a new tax. Because, according to this article from Bloomberg Wealth, “Choosing to earn a living from home once the pandemic ends is a privilege that you should pay for.”

The team propose a 5% levy for those who work from home on a regular basis and not because of a government lockdown mandate. Such a measure could raise $48 billion a year in the U.S. and about 16 billion euros ($18.8 billion) in Germany, they say, to fund subsidies for low-income earners and essential workers who are unable to work remotely.

Snip

The proposed levy would be paid by the employer if they don’t provide their employee with a desk, whereas if the worker decides to stay home based on their own needs, they would be taxed for each day they work remotely, according to Deutsche Bank Research. In the U.S., the strategists calculate, such a tax could pay for a $1,500 grant to the 29 million workers making under $30,000 a year and unable to work from home.

Let’s address the basic bullshit of this tax proposal, and pretty much all tax proposals. They always assume that people will not react to minimize their tax burden. For instance, if this tax was somehow adopted, how many employees may become contractors? How many businesses would simply reduce employee compensation to pay for this tax, resulting in loss of income tax?

All of this also ignores that those of us who work from home haven’t stopped spending money. We’ve stopped spending money in areas of the economy where we spent it before. Businesses who send their people to work from home haven’t stopped spending money. They’ve stopped spending it on the things they used to spend it on, like commercial real estate. Let the shift happen and let the new economies emerge.

Friday Quote – Ludwig Von Mises

The labor unions aim at a monopolistic position on the labor market. They are intent upon restricting the supply of labor in their field without bother about the fate of those excluded.

Friday Quote – Ayn Rand

Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper’s bell of an approaching looter.

Friday Quote – Jeff Deist

If there is one overriding economic myth that plagues us today it is the notion that society can do collectively what we cannot do individually.

Metropolises In Decline

Some friends on the Book of Face shared a couple of articles that reinforces my belief that cities, particularly the largest metropolises, are about to enter a depression.

First is an article about the impending death of New York. He makes an interesting case about the damage done by COVID may be the mortal blow.

Second is an article on people fleeing San Francisco.

Between COVID and the riots, I believe many folks are asking themselves if all the costs of living in these cities are worth the cost. For a lot of them – particularly those who can do their work remotely – will answer no. They will move to lower cost and relatively safer cities. There will be many cascading effects from the diaspora, but two that I’m watching with interest.

  1. Will this cause the wave of municipal and state bankruptcies some of us have been expecting for some time? If so, does the fed step in? I’m kinda thinking that if it plays out where the fed has to go in and sort out the states’ and cities’ messes, the states and cities will become even more the puppets of Washington. It may also accelerate the feds reckoning, but that’s kind of like a runaway train on a flat track. We know it’s a matter of time when it will derail, but we can’t see where.

  2. What will happen when the refugees from these cities start voting in their new home areas? Will they adopt the values of their new homes? Will they try to bring the “perks” and “expectations” (along with the requisite taxes and regulations) to their new homes? Based on prior experience, I’m not too hopeful.

Friday Quote – Henry Hazlitt

The real problem of poverty is not a problem of distribution, but of production. The poor are not poor because something is being withheld from them, but because, for whatever reason, they are not producing enough. The only permanent way to cure their poverty is to increase their earning power.

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