Issue CCL

June 12-13, 2010

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Art
Abstract Orderism Fractal XIX -- Insignia Fractal IV:
G. Stolyarov II
June 12, 2010

This ornate fractal with wing-like ornamentation is Mr. Stolyarov's fourth insignia fractal.

Culture
Why on Earth are Sports Fans So Biased?:
Bradley Doucet
June 12, 2010

Bradley Doucet asks, "What makes people abandon objectivity and become sports fans?" The odd soccer riot notwithstanding, being a sports fan is relatively innocuous, as long as one can remain objective in other, more important areas of life. Unfortunately, there is evidence that the sports fan mentality is widespread in a far more important arena: politics.

Economics
Hayek or Keynes?:
Charles N. Steele
June 12, 2010

Who is to blame for the continuing financial chaos? Dr. Charles Steele identifies as the culprit John Maynard Keynes, the man who invented the modern macro policy that has brought PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain), and much of the rest of the world, to the brink of bankruptcy.  It was Keynes who taught us that spending creates prosperity. It was Keynes who assured us that productivity doesn't matter -- just spend and let the multiplier create wealth.  It was Keynes who chided "The long run is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead."

Do Sticky Wages Weaken the Case for Markets?:
Robert P. Murphy
June 13, 2010

When Rothbardian economists propose that the United States needs a Federal Reserve about as much as it needs a federal car company, it's not surprising that Keynesians ridicule the notion. What is surprising is that otherwise laissez-faire economists, particularly of the Chicago School variety, think that the market economy is good at producing goods and services except when it comes to money. Specifically, these lukewarm free-marketeers think that, in a pure capitalist system, wages are "sticky." This observation supposedly proves the necessity of a central bank willing to inject whatever inflation is necessary to kick-start the economy out of a deep recession. As Dr. Robert Murphy shows, this analysis is incorrect.

Huffington Post Abolishes Scarcity:
Robert P. Murphy
June 13, 2010

In a recent article at the Huffington Post, Lynn Parramore assembled a team of economists to refute nine "myths" about the deficit. On the one hand, writes Dr. Robert Murphy, it was refreshing to see these economists discuss with such candor the fact that our financial system is backed up by nothing but green pieces of paper. On the other hand, it was shocking to see these economists laud the fact. Believe it or not, the theme of the article is that all the handwringing over the federal budget deficit is misplaced, because Uncle Sam can print all the money he needs. In short, these economists think the printing press has abolished economic scarcity. Well, writes Dr. Murphy, it hasn't.

Politics

Freedom, Responsibility, and the BP Oil Spill:
G. Stolyarov II
June 12, 2010

The recent catastrophic oil spill on the BP/Transocean drilling rig Deepwater Horizon has inflicted colossal and undeserved harms on life in the Gulf of Mexico; thousands, if not millions, of individuals, businesses, and animals face ruination. In Mr. Stolyarov's mind, there is no question that BP is responsible not only for its neglect of safeguards that could have prevented the spill, but also for the incompetent, secretive, coercive, and litigious manner in which it has handled the spill’s aftermath. There is also no question that stopping the spill and mitigating the damage, where possible, should be the foremost priority in this situation. Yet the lessons and implications of this event remain disputed. Some have alleged, for instance, that the oil spill demonstrates a failure of free markets and the need to further restrict oil exploration and production by means of government force. Mr. Stolyarov argues, however, the BP oil spill is a prime example of the failures of corporatism – a regime that is the antithesis of genuine free markets. Unfortunately, common misunderstandings of the fundamental factors that contributed to the oil spill are likely to lead to regrettable reactions that will further cripple the U. S. economy, damage consumers, and, in the long term, do more harm than even the spill itself.

Lobbyists as Fundraisers:
Gary Wolfram
June 12, 2010

New FEC records show about 160 registered lobbyists have raised at least $9 million for political parties and federal candidates in just the past year.  Dr. Gary Wolfram writes that we should not be surprised that this is the case.  Every campaign finance and lobbying reform bill will be circumvented by those who are in power.  This is because they have every incentive to do so.

The Right to Choose -- for Farmers in Haiti:
Paul Driessen
June 13, 2010

In response to the tragic January 12 earthquake, the Monsanto Company has been working with Haiti’s Agricultural Ministry, the USAID-funded WINNER program, and others, to select hybrid seeds best suited to local climates, needs, and practices – and handle the donation so as to support, rather than undermine, the country’s agricultural and economic infrastructure.
However, before the seeds even arrived, anti-corporate activists and “peasant representatives” attacked the company for trying to turn Haiti back into “a slave colony,” destroying its small- farmer agriculture, sending poison-coated seeds and carcinogenic fertilizers, and destroying Haiti’s “food and seed sovereignty.” Truly, no good deed goes unpunished at the hands of radical anti-corporate elements of Western society. Paul Driessen attempts to correct the misconceptions and falsehoods swirling around this donation – and make sure the activist attacks do not cause other companies to withhold donations of technologies, money, or expertise in the face of future disasters.

Lieberman-Kerry Bill Predicated on Lies:
Robert W. Felix
June 13, 2010

The control-and-tax proponents would have you believe that our planet has been enduring unprecedented global warming (now coyly referred to as "climate change"), but the facts do not bear that out.
The revamped cap-and-trade (control-and-tax) bill that Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) are trying to foist on the American public is predicated on a flat-out lie, writes Robert Felix.

Science
Cause for Alarm?:
Paul Driessen, Willie Soon, and David R. Legates
June 13, 2010

This article by Paul Driessen and scientists Willie Soon and David Legates addresses troubling aspects of this entire global warming exercise: the vast sums of taxpayer money being spent on every imaginable issue of scientific, sociological, and policy research … and the way it is spent almost exclusively to advance the ideology and policy of controlling our energy use, economy, and lives – with little to nothing devoted to research questioning the prevailing orthodoxy or to ensure oversight, transparency, integrity, and accountability in the grant-making, scientific, and policy-making process.
                 
"It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets." 
~ Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire