Issue CCXVIII

November 16-21, 2009

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Economics
Commonly Misunderstood Concepts: Wealth:
G. Stolyarov II
November 16, 2009
Many of the economic and personal fallacies of our time arise from the mistaken belief that wealth and money are identical. In fact, writes Mr. Stolyarov, while money is in many cases an important gateway to wealth, it does not even approach describing what wealth truly is. This essay is the companion to this video.

Economists Can Be Hilarious:
Robert P. Murphy
November 20, 2009
Given economists' dismal reputation as far as humor is concerned, Robert Murphy is happy to report that some economists' recent defenses of the efficient-markets hypothesis are laugh-out-loud funny. Outside Cirque du Soleil, you will not see such contortions as when these economists try to defend their theory from either refutation or triviality.

Education
If You Believe in Intellectual Property, How Do You Teach Others?:
Jeffrey Tucker
November 18, 2009
Some Harvard professors are taking very seriously their "intellectual property rights" and have claimed copyright to the ideas that they spread in their classrooms. What prompted this was a website in which students posted their notes to help other students. Jeffrey Tucker sees this as a prime illustration of the inherent illogic of intellectual property. If enforced consistently, the idea that ideas can be property would prevent all meaningful learning and retention of information. Mr. Tucker argues that rigorous enforcement of intellectual property was one of the main causes of the bitter frustration Ayn Rand experienced later in her life and the downfall of Rand's early Objectivist movement.

Why on Earth Do Unions Oppose Education Reform?:
Bradley Doucet
November 21, 2009
In sharp distinction to the way he dealt with the banks and car companies, when it comes to schools, Barack Obama wants to reward success instead of rewarding failure. The central pillar of the plan he and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have come up with is the “Race to the Top” awards. To win a share of $4.3 billion in federal grant money, state governments will actually have to compete with one another. They will have to show that they are “committed to real change,” that they are willing to hold themselves “more accountable,” and that they have a “strong plan” to improve education. But this plan is strongly opposed by teachers' unions. Bradley Doucet comments on why this opposition must be overcome in order to achieve an educational system that no longer puts the children second to union members' interests to work less and not be evaluated on the basis of their performance.

Politics
Competition With the Federal Government?:
Ron Paul
November 17, 2009
Last Saturday many concerned Americans watched in horror as the House passed the healthcare reform bill.  If this bill makes it through the Senate, it would massively overhaul the way healthcare is delivered in this country.  Today, obviously, we don’t have a perfect system, but Rep. Ron Paul argues that this legislation takes all the mistakes we are making with healthcare and makes them worse.

Get Out of Our House (GOOOH): A Disinfectant on Congress?:
Tom DeWeese
November 20, 2009
Tom DeWeese recently came across a bold yet simple plan to replace all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives – and do it as early as 2010. It’s called GOOOH, or Get Out Of Our House, and is a non-partisan national movement that is rapidly gaining momentum. It could very well be the solution to address the disarray in Washington. Mr. DeWeese explains.


Reducing Humans to Carbon Ash:
Edward Hudgins
November 21, 2009
The latest morally monstrous proposal out of the environmentalist cult comes from Lord Smith of Finsbury. He suggests that each British citizen be given a government “carbon allowance.” Dr. Edward Hudgins writes that the appallingly anti-human nature of this proposal is only surpassed by the appalling ignorance and intellectual laziness of a public that is not appalled by the fact that their politicians are literally leading them to suicide.

Science
Galileo Silenced Again:
Willie Soon and David R. Legates
November 20, 2009
This commentary by scientists Willie Soon and David Legates underscores the sad state of affairs within even our most venerable scientific organizations, such as the American Geophysical Union, when it comes to alleged manmade catastrophic global warming. Their all-too-frequent reaction is to be to censor, intimidate, and silence any voices that rise to question claims by Al Gore, the UN IPCC, and others who are using this issue to raise revenue and restructure the world’s energy and economic systems.

An Alarmist Modeler's History of Climate Change:
Paul Driessen
November 21, 2009
If carbon dioxide is the primary cause of global warming, it must have played that role throughout history. The challenge is to discover the sources of that carbon dioxide climate villain in the past. This satirical brief summary of key events by Paul Driessen is intended to aid in that quest, and explain how the Gore-Hansen thesis worked through the ages.

Videos
Commonly Misunderstood Concepts: Wealth - Video:
G. Stolyarov II
November 21, 2009
Many of the economic and personal fallacies of our time arise from the mistaken belief that wealth and money are identical. In fact, writes Mr. Stolyarov, while money is in many cases an important gateway to wealth, it does not even approach describing what wealth truly is. This video is the companion to this essay.

"The enormous transfer of capital from Western Europe to the rest of the world was one of the outstanding events of the age of capitalism. It has developed natural resources in the remotest areas. It has raised the standard of living of peoples who from time immemorial had not achieved any improvement in their material conditions." 
~ Ludwig von Mises