Posted in Dependency, Economic Issues, Education, Free Society, Liberty, outcomes, outcomes measurement, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Uncategorized

If Only Economics Was as Easy as Rocket Science – Foundation for Economic Education

Gary M. Galles is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University. His recent books include Faulty Premises, Faulty Policies (2014) and Apostle of Peace (2013). He is a member of the FEE Faculty Network.

However, as America’s founders attested so vehemently, rights are at the core of social interactions and government, violations of which can justify revolution. And unlike the physical sciences, where the goal of language is precision, in the social sciences, the language (and thus analysis) is often quite vague and inconsistent (e.g., current versions of “social justice” are inconsistent with the traditional meaning of “justice”), making clear communication, much less clear analysis, far harder.

What is the upshot of all this? Economics is not like physical sciences, and reasoning and analogies based on them are often misleading in economics. Further, they can be dangerous to society, particularly in the mouths of those who wish to subject others to their command and control. That is why Friedrich Hayek wrote,

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”

In other words, economics is a science whose principles and logic tell us why we cannot know enough to control people, even if we do know enough to control rockets.

https://fee.org/articles/if-only-economics-was-as-easy-as-rocket-science/

Posted in Free Society, Liberty, Philosophy, Progressivism, Uncategorized

Never Again: Charges of Race-based Collective Guilt Fueled the Murderous Ideologies of the 20th Century. It Needs to Stop Now.

We all have elements of privilege to which we are heirs. We should strive to make the most of our privilege and be worthy of it; not view it as a crime or the raison d’etre for apology.

Singling out race-based or socioeconomic privilege is NOT speaking truth to power; it is simply bigotry & racism by another name. Does a native-born Chinese individual have privilege in China because he or she knows the culture, language and has familial ties?  I would hope so.  Does a black man from a well-off family in Nairobi have privilege in Kenya?  Absolutely.  But in neither case does that privilege necessarily equate to oppression of someone less fortunate.

Likewise, laying collective guilt at the feet of an ethnic group or race or gender is inexcusable; it certainly has no place in free democratic societies which claim the individual has intrinsic value.  And laying collective guilt on members of an ethnic group or race based on sins committed by their ancestors is equally reprehensible.

The evolution and instantiation of this doctrine can be seen by examining the intellectual history of Socialists, post-modernists and Marxists. As the corpses piled up, the Neo-Marxists and their ilk could no longer defend the failed and bloody examples of communism and eugenics in 20th century.  Their response was to soften and broaden their labor/proletariat vs capitalist fight by pitting races and genders against each other in a victim-oppressor narrative.  In their view, every human interaction is just a micro power-struggle within the larger theater of oppressive dominance hierarchies.  It may look different on its face, but it is the same ideology that fueled the murderous acts of collectivists in the communist revolutions of Russia & China. As Orwell alludes to, the socialists didn’t really love the poor as much as they hated the rich.

Proponents can no longer overtly defend the record of socialism/communism in 20th century; so now they must tone down the rhetoric. The toxic ideology continues, now masquerading in softer cloth as social justice and identity politics, based on their own hierarchy of intersectionality.

Those who would indict an individual for crimes of their ancestors, based on the color of their skin, practice a sinister and malevolent form of racism that will not end well.  It is an ideology that distorts justice and shows no regard for individual sovereignty or free-will.

It’s time we learned the painful lessons of the bloody social experiments of the 20th Century.  It is time to call out identity politics, charges of white privilege and the toxic ideology that underpins it.

We can do better. We need to rediscover the sovereignty of the individual in the tradition of Chydenius, Locke and Bastiat.  Ayn Rand exposed the truth succinctly when she said, “The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.”

Posted in Dependency, Economic Issues, Free Society, Government Regulations, Income Inequality, Liberty, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Poverty, Progressivism, Representative Republic vs. Democracy, Tax Policy, Uncategorized, Wealth

Watch “What’s Right About Social Justice – Learn Liberty” on YouTube

If the concept of social justice simply means justice for the individuals who make up society, then it appears the utopian socialist-progressives and the libertarian free-marketeers may have some goals in common.

However, when it comes to the ways & means to achieve those goals, the ideological divide is still wide.

So maybe rhetoric on both side should always start with…

“what is the most effective strategies or economic policies to allow people to optimize opportunity and escape poverty.”

Posted in big government, Consumption Inequality, Cost of labor, Economic Issues, Free-Market, Government Regulations, Government Spending, Income Inequality, Liberty, Minimum wage, National Debt, Policy Issues, Poverty, Progressivism, Rule of Law, Uncategorized, Wealth

Sorry, Bernie Sanders, but Disney Doesn’t Have To Apologize for Making $1.3 Billion with Avengers: Endgame – Reason.com

More importantly, if you care about improving the quality of life and living standards over time, the essential question is always about creating broad-based, sustainable economic growth. What are the conditions that are most likely to help the economy get bigger, stronger, and more resilient? At the top of the list is a government which promulgates simple, predictable, and widely enforced rules; spends within its limits and doesn’t pursue arbitrary trade wars and military interventions; and doesn’t bog down the future with an ever-increasing mountain of debt that tamps down growth and freezes out investment. Near the bottom of the list is something that is part of Sanders’ policy repertoire: Announcing bold new plans (Medicare for All! Free College for All!) without even pretending to know how to pay for them.

https://reason.com/2019/04/30/sorry-bernie-sanders-but-disney-doesnt-to-apologize-for-making-1-3-billion-with-avengers-endgame/

Posted in Economic Issues, Education, Free Society, Income Inequality, Liberty, Policy Issues, Uncategorized, Wealth

Marxism Ignores the Pareto Distribution | Jordan Peterson with Joe Rogan on YouTube

One of the mistaken ideas of Marxism (collectivism philosophy) is that wealth accumulation in the hands of a few is inherent, and specific, to Capitalism. This fails to recognize that in any endeavor -regardless of who plans it or who participates – that success in that endeavor will always be disproportionately held by a few for reasons that have nothing to do with oppression or theft. This may help explain why the egalitarian promises of socialism & Communism never plays out as it is conceived.

Posted in Education, Free Society, Leadership, Liberty, Organizational structure, Policy Issues, Uncategorized

The Role of the University: Lux et Veritas VS. Social Change – The Importance of Viewpoint Heterodoxy. Jonathan Haidt on breaking up the Axis of Outrage

“He who knows only his side of the case, knows little of that.”

– John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

The Intellectual Problem: 17:1 Viewpoint Orthodoxy = Motivated Scholarship = Ideological Monoculture

The Solution: Viewpoint Heterodoxy = Institutional Dis-confirmation = Evidence-based Solutions

“The surest sign that a community suffers from a deficit of viewpoint diversity is the presence of orthodoxy, most readily apparent when members fear shame, ostracism, or any other form of social retaliation for questioning or challenging a commonly held idea.

In these contexts, it is likely that the dominant idea is not entirely correct because it is protected from challenge and change. If, however, the response to dissent is civil discussion and evidence-based argument, then the community does not suffer from
orthodoxy.

The question, then, is whether colleges and universities welcome and celebrate viewpoint diversity. While some individual institutions do (see our Guide to Colleges), many American universities are typified by an ideological monoculture.

Do you think students are “walking on eggshells” in the classroom and on-campus? Administer our Campus Expression Survey to find out.”

 

https://heterodoxacademy.org/the-problem/

 

https://heterodoxacademy.org/the-problem/