Freecon

Where freedom and economics meet.

Saturday, July 13, 2002

THERE OUGHTA BE A LAW: Capitalist Chicks has an excellent condensed speech by John Stossel about why regulations are bad. It boils down to "regulation = slavery" or "non-regulation = freedom", however you want to put it.

JONAH GOLDBERG IS A VERY SMART AND FUNNY MAN: This article about cliches is excellent. It's been linked to by just about everyone esle in blogworld, so I figured I would too.

SINE QUA NON FISKING OF RICHARD COHEN: This is consistently one of my favorite things to read. Charles Austin always has the most appropriate answer to Cohen's weekly whining.

ANNA KOURNIKOVA CLONES: If only it were true. Make sure to check out Anna's name in the picture's caption.

SHANKSVILLE FLIGHT 93 MEMORIAL: Here is an excellent, up close and personal description of the make-shift shrine to the victims/heroes of Flight 93 by Jim Henley at Unqualified Offerings.

THE FUTURE OF CEO PAY: Andrew Sulllivan elucidates an interesting point from a Bloomberg.com article about the recent corporate scandals:

THE BRIGHT SIDE OF THE MARKET COLLAPSE: Michael Lewis gets it right. The system is working! This point strikes me as particularly pertinent:
In the future, a healthy new suspicion shall arise whenever any CEO pays himself tens of millions of dollars. The old rule of CEO pay was: the more you pay yourself, the more valuable you must be to the company. The new rule of CEO pay is: the more you pay yourself, the more you will be watched. After all, any CEO who is actually worth $25 million a year should be responsible enough, and decent enough, not to take it.
Amen. And buy.


I don't know if I entirely agree with this statement. It makes a good point, but it fails to capture what really makes the system work ... i.e. investors. We the investing public, the actual owners of all those corporations, have been giving the stock market a thorough and sound trashing for scandalous behaviors. If the government would just butt out and let us take care of the rapscallions, I know we would do a better job, AND we wouldn't create pitfalls that all but guarantee future scurrilious behavior.

BELLISILES IS AT IT AGAIN: But Eugene Volokh seems to have his number. Here's a good retort to the 2d-Amendment-as-collective-right argument. I've always found it strange that someone would consider the Bill of Rights to contain anything but individual rights, but to his credit, Michael Bellisiles at least delivers any interesting (albeit wrong) view of why this could be so.

UPDATE ON ARRESTED LA VIDEO MAN: Now the police are saying that the guy who taped the Inglewood cop beating the 16-year old is in fact a wanted man, but they only figured it out recently. That just seems a little too convenient. I wonder how high up on the wanted list this guy was BEFORE he became a famous filmographer. It can't help that the guy's name is "Crooks."

Friday, July 12, 2002

CLINTON STILL TRYING TO SPEND AMERICA'S MONEY. Bill Clinton urged rich nations to pony up the funds "owed" to third-world AIDS victims. First of all, the US already spends more than every other nation combined on AIDS research and pharmaceuticals. Second, the surest and fastest way to ELIMINATE all that expensive research is to force the creators to give it away. Of course, one of government's greatest achievements is to spend it's citizen's money on something that does none of their citizens any good. If we start giving away free AIDS drugs, etc., what's the incentive for those in the high risk population to forgo the risky activity? They essentially hold the keys to someone else's bank. What's worse, AIDS is an entirely preventable disease. This is like saying that Finland owes me something because I smoked for years and my life span is subsequently shortened by that choice.

LEFT-WING MEDIA CONSPIRACY? Whistle-blower Notra Trulock and Newsmax seem to think so. I know there''s a bias, but this just seems paranoid.

COMMIES & LEFTISTS & FASCISTS, OH MY!: This debate is starting to get interesting.

LAPD LOSES IT; TURNS TO DARK SIDE. Apparently the man who shot the video of an Inglewood policeman beating a 16 year-old kid has been arrested. Isn't this called "intimidating a witness"? Instapundit seems to think so.

Testing to see if comments finally works.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

"Naked Wives Help Hubbies Get Hardwood" Now these are my kind of environmental activists. It makes you wonder just how long the show was.

NATIONAL ID? I love this point by Glenn Reynolds at Insta pundit on why it's unrealistic to think that national id's won't be just as easy, if not easier, to get ahold of.

EUROPEAN CAPITALISM VS. AMERICAN CAPITALISM: While I rather like this Instapundit response to whether the European style of capitalism is superior to the American style (based on the latest scandals), I think it misses the point altogether that Capitalism is not a "style" and it's not a "system." Indeed, it is what happens despite the controls placed on a society. Even the most oppressive, centrally-controlled societies in the world have had capitalism whether they tried to prevent it or not -- it's called the "black market". Indeed, a society without a black market of any kind is a truly capitalist society in which people are free to make their own choices for good or bad. Whether it's in Europe, America, Cuba or China, capitalism just happens. The beauty of America (or at least the theory of the Framers) is that a limited government allows capitalism (i.e. economic, social and political freedom) to flourish by NOT systematizing, controlling or distorting markets in any way. Scandals will happen no matter what kind of system (limited, controlled, open or closed) is in place.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

A "PALESTINIAN PEACE ACTIVIST"? It's as fantastic as it sounds. This post by Dr. Manhattan is rather ominous.

FOLLOW UP TO CHARLES AUSTIN V. MAC THOMASON POST: Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.com points to another kind of lefty-terrorism.

Anothe comment from Charles Austin at Sine Qua Non Pundit caugt my attention. He was offended by a post from Mac Thomason at War Liberal in which he says:

"When the American 'left' (defined, it seems, as anyone from Bill Clinton on) produces a Rudolph or a McVeigh (and no, the Unabomber was not a leftist) then we'll talk."

Austin responds by pointing out the 60's radical groups:

"Well, how about the Black Panthers, the Weathermen, the Symbionese Liberation Army, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or the Earth Liberation Front?"

Austin certainly hits the nail on the head, but he could go even further -- In fact, the Nazi Party (Nation Socialist Party), the Fascists (Italy's Socialist Party), and Russian Communism all starred their own lefty-maniacal killers: Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin, among many others. What's more, the Taliban and most of the Middle East are actually leftist-type governments based on centralised control of everything. Just because someone labels a villian as "rightist" doesn't make it so.

Charles Austin at Sine Qua Non Pundit offers another upset-fan view along the lines of what I imagine my father will feel.

HARKEN STOCK DUMP. According to Byron York at national review online, publicly available documents show that the Bush sale of stock was prompted by an independent request for a large block of Harken stock.

"On the second question, whether Bush sold the stock deliberately to avoid losing money before bad news was made public, the SEC found that Bush made the sale after being contacted by a stockbroker who had an institutional client who wanted to buy a large block of Harken stock. When Bush decided to sell, he checked with Harken's in-house counsel, as well as the company's chairman, plus another director, and, finally, the company's outside counsel, to see whether there were any reasons the sale could not go through. No one raised any objections. 'In light of the facts uncovered, it would be difficult to establish that, even assuming Bush possessed material nonpublic information, he acted with scienter or intent to defraud,' the SEC concluded."

I'll bet this doesn't slow Daschle down one bit.

ANOTHER REASON TO LOVE CAPITALIST CHICKS. This little rant by Debbie of Capitalist Chicks Dot Com

is simply perfect. I think it was Oscar Wilde who defined style as "perfect words in perfect places." This piece has style.

FBI CONFUSED ABOUT MOTIVES OF LAX GUNMAN. Of course, there may some clues to alleviate that conclusion. The FBI should talk to Mark Steyn who seems to have some inside knowledge or something, 'cuz even Louis Freeh would have drawn a conclusion from these clues.

WHO KNEW? Apparently America's backdoor is in Qatar. I wonder how long it's going to be and how many terrorist actions it will take before we simply close the nation to ANY new Middle Easterners. Anyone who has travelled to that part of the world knows that they aren't exactly receptive to us. Accomodating them at this point in time is simply ludicrous and dangerous.

NEW ML BASEBALL LOW. Talk about bad marketing, the All Star game was ended in the 11th inning, tied at 7-all, by Bud Selig last night because both sides ran out of pitchers. To top it off, no MVP was picked and the players are getting ready to strike -- again. My father nearly gave up entirely on MLB after the last strike, despite being a lifelong baseball fan, and good enough to get a tryout with the Giants back in the late 60's (although not good enough to make the squad). I don't think he'll ever deign to even comment on a score again for the rest of his life. What's more, I think he may be representative of a lot of fans. Baseball is America's past time. It seems like it should get more respect from the players and owners alike. I can't wait until someone breaks up the MLB monopoly by providing a better product for less money ... as long as it's not Vince McMahon.

NEW AL QUAEDA THREAT! THE COMICALLY ARMED! It's seems as if the airline industry is a bit defensive lately. A woman passenger was kicked off of a flight departing SFO for making a crack about giving the pilots a sobriety check. It seems that the flight crew wasn't sure whether the would-be passenger was being serious or not and this constituted a threat. I thought the suggestion was serious and a rather good one at that.

I'm trying to add comments to Freecon, so let's see if this works. [UPDATE] So far it's not working, but I hope to have such a feature soon. You can always email me with any comments and I'll try to post them ASAP.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

I agree with this post on the fury over corporate corruption quite a bit. What I want to know is, if ... O.K., when ...Congress starts passing all sorts of new laws, on top of the ones already in place, who the hell is going to want to be a CEO? If you think they're overcompensated already, just wait 'til they have "a meaner, harder" SEC to deal with.

In order to introduce myself, I decided that I should post a few things that are of particular interest to me. Ever since I went to law school and learned about law and economics, I've been highly interested in how economics can be used to analyze a great deal of behavior by identifying incentives. Recently, I read "The Joy of Freedom" by David R. Henderson and I became a fanatic of things having to do with liberty and economics. I went on to read "The Road to Serfdom" and now I am simply obsessed with economics, politics, and, above all else, FREEDOM!

Hello and welcome to my weblog. I am still in the process of putting this all together and figuring out how I want to actually blog... so excuse the lack of entries/links. Please come back soon, however, as I plan a furious round of postings in the very near future. For those of you who find my excuse lacking, please visit here.