A Journal for Western Man :  Issue LXIV

Return to Issue LXIII.           View TRA's Principal Index.               Proceed to Issue LXV.

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Economics

 

Freakonomics: More Fun Than Truth:

Dr. Robert P. Murphy

June 21, 2006:

Dr. Robert P. Murphy reviews Stephen Dubner's and Steven Levitt's recent bestseller, Freakonomics, and concludes that the book is an interesting read and has some informative and entertaining statistics -- but its portrayal of the economics profession in general and some aspects of economics in particular is mistaken or overly simplistic.

 

Diverted Funds:

Dr. Gary M. Galles

June 22, 2006:

The American Red Cross triggered a public uproar when it tried to redistribute donations it received for September 11th victims to other initiatives. Yet governments and recipients of government subsidies undertake analogous redistributions all the time, writes Dr. Gary M. Galles. Most often, that which is intended to be subsidized is not what ends up being benefited by the subsidy. This is as true of welfare programs as it is of "foreign aid."

 

James M. Buchanan: Constitutional and Post-Constitutional Political Economy:

Dr. Edward W. Younkins

June 23, 2006:

Dr. Younkins explains the ideas of James Buchanan, the founder of the Public Choice School of Economics -- an attempt to analyze the political motivations and interactions of individuals from an economic perspective. Buchanan was an advocate of political constitutions that provided individual protection without being vulnerable to the tendency of pure majority rule toward redistribution of wealth. Buchanan championed a protective state and sometimes a productive state, but never a redistributive state. 

 

The False Virtues of Energy Independence:

Xavier Méra

June 25, 2006:

Contrary to protectionist "popular wisdom," "energy independence" is not desirable -- writes Xavier Méra. "Energy independence" is government prevention of more efficient provision of energy by foreigners; it raises costs for consumers, restrains commerce, and leads to general impoverishment.

 

Filosofy

 

Islam's Lethal Certitude:

Alan Caruba

June 25, 2006:

Alan Caruba analyzes the ideas of Sayyid Qutb, the intellectual inspiration for much of today's fanatical, murderous Islamist fundamentalism. Qutb held a great contempt for the dynamism and culture of the West, despite being highly educated, and viewed the Koran as the sole source of truth -- deviation from which was to be punished by coercion and even death.  His view that the Koran was the only acceptable way led to his militant intolerance of all individuals and ideas deviating from the Koran.

 

The Idea of Liberty is Western (1950):

Ludwig von Mises

June 25, 2006:

In this masterful short essay, the great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises explains that the idea which made the West great and dynamic while the East stagnated is the idea of liberty -- the freedom of the individual from state intervention with his economic and intellectual activities. This idea is what made possible the free-market system and its accompanying social cooperation; it is also an idea in great jeopardy today, as people increasingly look for big government to shield them from the dynamism of the marketplace.

 

Problems with Objectivists, Not Objectivism: A Response to Orion Reasoner:

Robert Davison

June 27, 2006:

Robert Davison replies to Orion Reasoner's article, When Vanity Devours Sanity: Why SOLO Shattered and the Character-Cannibalizing Culture of Objectivism.” Contrary to Mr. Reasoner, Mr. Davison argues that the egotism, undue vanity, and rudeness of many Objectivists are not results of Ayn Rand's system of thought -- but rather elements in opposition to true Objectivism.

 

On the Necessary Symbiosis between Length and Quality of Life:

G. Stolyarov II

June 27, 2006:

Contrary to mainstream opinion, Mr. Stolyarov argues that length and quality of life can never be opposed; one always enhances the other. Thus, there can be no rational, moral grounds to decide to terminate an innocent individual's life -- whether that decision is made by the individual himself or by others.

 

Politics

 

Congress Rejects U. N. Taxes:

Rep. Ron Paul, M.D.

June 20, 2006:

The U. S. Congress has fortunately passed a measure to halt initiatives toward establishing a United Nations tax for another year. However, Rep. Ron Paul warns that the U. N. will continue in its efforts to expropriate the citizens of prosperous countries to fund its global-government, anti-capitalist schemes.

 

Starbucks' Fat Cup of Trouble:

Dr. Edward Hudgins

June 29, 2006:

Starbucks, of all enterprises, is the latest victim of food fascists. It is ironic that the Center for Science in the Public Interest is attacking the politically correct, rainforest-friendly, self-styled socially responsible Seattle-based corporation for clogging the arteries of Americans, writes Dr. Edward Hudgins. Read this article in defense of consumer choice and free enterprise against paternalists who would stifle individuals' liberty to choose even the food and drinks they will consume.

 

"To the parties of special interests, all political questions appear exclusively as problems of political tactics. Their ultimate goal is fixed for them from the start. Their aim is to obtain, at the cost of the rest of the population, the greatest possible advantages and privileges for the groups they represent. The party platform is intended to disguise this objective and give it a certain appearance of justification, but under no circumstances to announce it publicly as the goal of party policy. The members of the party, in any case, know what their goal is; they do not need to have it explained to them. How much of it ought to be imparted to the world is, however, a purely tactical question."

~ Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism

Visit PanAsianBiz for interesting perspectives on international business and current events in Russia and Asia. Dr. Bill Belew's blog especially addresses Asian countries' contributions to the emerging global economy. Dr. Belew also writes a blog on business in China - ZhongHuaRising - business in Japan - RisingSunofNihon - and business education - TheBizofKnowledge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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