Monday, August 13, 2012

Pete Townshend: Uber Libertarian

This 2006 video of the great Pete Townshend is the ultimate in libertarian expression.
He says that he is now a conservative, but once was a socialist, which fits a common libertarian pattern: "A libertarian is a leftist whose been mugged." A transcript will be in the introduction to Super Duper Socialism.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Franconomics with Jonah Goldberg and Professor Ken Alder

I recall seeing this on C-SPAN in 2002, on the original air date I believe. In it, Professor Alder gives insight into the bizarre ways of French price structure, weights and measures just before their creation of the Metric System.  See the whole presentation of The Measure of All Things on C-SPAN.

During Jonah Goldberg's recent book promotion tour for his latest, The Tyranny of Cliches, he has spoken frequently of the misquotation of Marie Antoinette saying "let them eat cake."  His description of the true story, at least what is left of it now, reminded me of Prof. Alder's book and presentation from ten years ago.  In the century before Marie Antoinette, the French had laws that required bakers to sell expensive bread (egg based brioche, for example) at the same price as lower priced breads if they ran out of the less expensive varieties.

Fast forward to the French Revolution and a slightly different, but equally bad pricing system existed: 'Fair' or 'Just Price.'
About 10 min. 11 sec.

Ayn Rand and Mike Wallace

This Ayn Rand interview covers a lot of ground that I am referencing in my new book Super Duper Socialism.  First, the conversation between Wallace and Rand is a condensed version of almost any conversation between a government schooled person (Wallace's side) and people who actually went out on their own and looked up what really happened in history (Rand's side).

Rand informs Wallace that, among other things, the "Robber Barons" used government as a club against other people in a collectivist fashion.  Wallace erects strawmen and Rand burns them in his face.  I especially enjoyed the uranium example.
This interview was filmed before I was born, so of course I cannot take credit for any of the ideas expressed as being my own formulation, even though years later I observed the same things as Rand without yet knowing who she was.  Many other people noticed these things too, before and after Rand.

The point, that I am still formulating for the book, is that one does not really have to get deep into the mire of Economic theory to observe these things in one's own time, nor whilst reading the history of other times.
Latest book cover for Super Duper Socialism

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Free to Choose

Milton Friedman would have been 100 years old yesterday and his death in 2006 marked the loss of an international treasure.  No surprise that Google did not offer a tribute and stuck with the Olympics theme.

Just the day before I was watching his schooling of Phil Donahue on "greed" during a 1979 book promotion appearance.  I also watched an episode of Free to Choose part five, with a young Dr. Thomas Sowell getting quite annoyed, loud at times, with rich, White, a Leftist woman who liked putting words in the mouths of Black people.  That episode was not much to my liking, as the editing let the Left get away with too many shenanigans.  However, I did not give up on the series.

While watching Episode One, I realized that I must have seen it when it was new and completely forgot, since many of the words, entire sentences, of Milton Friedman are things I say today when explaining "Chicago School" Free-Market Economics to people today.  Episode One is quite good, even when the Marxists and Social Democrats (dubbed "social fascists" by Stalin) join into the conversation.

The comparison between 1970s Hong Kong and Red China are going into the new book, right beside comparisons between Taiwan and Red China since 1949, as well as North and South Korea.

Part two is great also, it includes on the panel: Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Deason, Helen Hughes, Jagdish Bhagwati.