Friday, February 25, 2011

Milton Friedman on Progressive Taxes

A further factor that has reduced the impact of the graduated tax structure on inequality of income and wealth is that these taxes are much less taxes on being wealthy than on becoming wealthy. While they limit the use of the income from existing wealth, they impede even more strikingly -- so far as they are effective -- the accumulation of wealth. The taxation of the income from the wealth does nothing to reduce the wealth itself, it simply reduces the level of consumption and additions to wealth that the owners can support. The tax measures give an incentive to avoid risk and to embody existing wealth in relatively stable forms, which reduces the likelihood that existing accumulations of wealth will be dissipated. On the other side, the major route to new accumulations is through large current incomes of which a large fraction is saved and invested in risky activities, some of which will yield high returns. If die income tax were effective, it would close this route. In consequence, its effect would be to protect existing holders of wealth from the competition of newcomers. In practice, this effect is largely dissipated by the avoidance devices already referred to.
Capitalism and Freedom

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Economic Freedom Is Tied To Political Freedom

"The question becomes, are you going to have everyone play by the same rules, or are you going to try to rectify the shortcomings, errors and failures of the entire cosmos? Because those things are wholly incompatible. If you're going to have people play by the same rules, that can be enforced with a minimum amount of interference with people's freedom. But if you're going to try to make the entire cosmos right and just, somebody has got to have an awful lot of power to impose what they think is right on an awful lot of other people. What we've seen, particularly in the 20th century, is that putting that much power in anyone's hands is enormously dangerous."

Thomas Sowell via Glenn Beck; Broke

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ah The Unions!

In 1943, a New York Supreme Court judge held:
To tolerate or recognize any combination of civil service employees of the government as a labor organization or union is not only incompatible with the spirit of democracy, but inconsistent with every principle upon which our government is founded. Nothing is more dangerous to public welfare than to admit that hired servants of the State can dictate to the government the hours, the wages and conditions under which they will carry on essential services vital to the welfare, safety, and security of the citizen. To admit as true that government employees have power to halt or check the functions of government unless their demands are satisfied, is to transfer to them all legislative, executive and judicial power. Nothing would be more ridiculous.

National Affairs: The Trouble With Public Sector Unions

Rockford's Sock Monkey Makes Time's Top 100 Toys!

The Nelson Knitting Co. of Rockford, Ill., may not have invented the sock monkey, but it standardized its manufacturing process somewhat. In 1932, the company added a line of socks whose red heels assured their customers that they were indeed purchasing original "Rockfords." When worn out, the socks were then deployed as playthings by American mothers who made stuffed monkeys out of them, using the red heel as a mouth. Hearing about these enterprising homemakers and seeing great promotional opportunity, the Nelson Knitting Co. began including a sock-monkey pattern with every pair of socks.

Time Magazine All Time 100 Top Toys

Monday, February 14, 2011

The International Human Right -- Firearms!

A recent article in the Washington University Law Quarterly argues that the most important thing we can do to prevent genocide is to ensure that civilian populations are armed:

The question of genocide is one of manifest importance in the closing years of a century that has been extraordinary for the quality and quantity of its bloodshed. As Elie Wiesel has rightly pointed out, "This century is the most violent in recorded history. Never have so many people participated in the killing of so many people."

Recent events in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and many other parts of the world make it clear that the book has not yet been closed on the evil of official mass murder. Contemporary scholars have little explored the preconditions of genocide. Still less have they asked whether a society's weapons policy might be one of the institutional arrangements that contributes to the probability of its government engaging in some of the more extreme varieties of outrage.

Though it is a long step between being disarmed and being murdered--one does not usually lead to the other--but it is nevertheless an arresting reality that not one of the principal genocides of the twentieth century, and there have been dozens, has been inflicted on a population that was armed.

Fox News - Opinion -- The International Right

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why Small Government? Bureaucracies fail and damage many when they do!

Alexander Natta, former General Secretary of the Italian Communist party:

At the same time we, the communists, having either overestimated or underestimated the functions of the “welfare state,” kept defending situations which, as it became clear only now, we should not have defended. As a result, a bureaucratic apparatus, which serves itself, has swelled.
Any bureaucratization encourages the apparatus to protect its own interests and to forget about the citizens’

That is the the best explanation of government and from an unlikely source.

Source: Margaret Thatcher: a legacy of freedom via Glen Beck Broke

On the concept of A Living Constitution

“a formula for an end run around popular government” and is “genuinely corrosive
of the fundamental values of our democratic society”.
William H Rehnquist

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jefferson on Redistribution of Wealth

To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association—the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Joseph Milligan, April 6, 1816
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