Monday, May 16, 2011

Left and Right: False Constructs to Forestall Thinking

I had this realization some time ago, but I didn't get around to discussing it until now. The media and mass-minded people (Albert Jay Nock gave me that phrase) think in terms of left-wing and right-wing politics or political opinion. It also encompasses social and economic opinion. Left-wing are the progressives, and right-wing are the conservatives. Left-wing policies include welfare provision, state control over medical care, heavy regulation of most industries, environmental laws, and so forth. They also include much less foreign interventionism. The right-wing policies are basically the opposite. The main different between the two, then, is not the extent of state involvement, it's the geography. Further, right-wing policies include state interference in peoples' daily lives for the purpose of increasing the security of the nation (think TSA).

The division is false because both right-wing and left-wing policies are statist policies. The proponents of each want to use state power to control people, albeit for different ends. The true difference is between pro-statists, and pro-individualists. Individualists (aka libertarians, voluntaryists, anarchists) want to not use state power. Individualists want to use methods of peaceful exchange to accomplish their goals. To the extent a government is needed, individualists want such a government to be limited and responsive and to be a servant of the people that created it. This is the opposite of what we have today.

Monday, May 2, 2011

More Evidence for...

... regime uncertainty. If you don't know what your cost of capital is going to be, you defer investing. While Dodd-Frank is getting sorted out, corporations are waiting to see how easy it is going to be to raise domestic capital. We could be at the start of a foreign investment wave: U.S. companies in foreign countries, that is.

Killing Ain't a Great Thing

Prof. Higgs takes the words out of my mouth.

And if you think this changes anything about U.S. presence in the middle east, you are sadly mistaken.