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Roll Back The Regulators

May 11, 2013

49 Comments

I have spent countless hours during the past few weeks on what soldiers in the second world war called ‘chickenshit’ i.e. bureaucratic regulations so silly and so trifling that they don’t even measure up to the level of ‘bullshit’. Nowadays ‘chickenshit’ is everywhere. Virtually every occupation has a government and/or state licensing board and a bureaucracy […]

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Eccentrics, Those Very Peculiar People

April 19, 2013

80 Comments

Extreme ironing is a peculiarly British activity involving ironing clothes in remote and strange locations. That this activity originated in Britain should be no surprise, as the British have a reputation for producing world class eccentrics such as Oscar Wilde, who was known for taking his pet lobster for a walk on a leash, and Sir […]

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Will The Real Left Please Stand Up

January 3, 2013

24 Comments

Both Left and Right generally treat working people with disdain, relying on the elites in universities, the media, think tanks and government agencies to tell them what working people need.  Since it is thought that the masses are unable to understand and act for themselves on complex issues such as health, economics or education, these things are decided for them with […]

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Is Democracy Dying?

November 19, 2012

10 Comments

Most of us find our own beliefs to be very comforting, and as long as we don’t have any ‘skin in the game’, we usually don’t go to the trouble of subjecting them to any form of rigorous criticism. However, if serious money is at stake through, say betting or investing, then we are much more likely to think longer […]

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We Have To Cultivate Our Garden

September 28, 2012

14 Comments

I am told that successful blogs have to have strong graphics for the same reason that people need to shout in a crowded room to make themselves heard. The idea that the size of the audience can affect the message is an interesting one. Think about the mainstream press. The larger the circulation of a publication the more likely it is that the […]

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A Little Rebellion Now And Then Is A Good Thing

September 24, 2012

10 Comments

I often have cause to drive from Nevada to California on interstate 15 and so have been stopped innumerable times by the California Fruit Border Control, and asked where I am coming from and whether I have any fruit in my car. The ostensible purpose of these checkpoints is to protect California from exotic invasive species. While there are […]

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Why The Worst Get On Top And What To Do About It

August 26, 2012

8 Comments

My wife grew up in Lithuania when it was part of the Soviet Union, so she had plenty of opportunity to observe the new Soviet man that the ideologists of the Communist Party thought they had created in their planned society.  She was not impressed and nor were the rest of the Soviet people. Popular culture and specifically anti-Soviet jokes, […]

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The State: Engine of Creation or Engine of Plunder?

August 1, 2012

8 Comments

While in England recently I visited Buckland Abbey in Yelverton, Devon, the home of Sir Francis Drake (1540-1596).  As every English schoolboy knows Drake is famous for successfully raiding Spanish ships loaded with treasure from the New World, being the first man to circumnavigate the globe, and helping to defeat the Spanish Armada.  Of course, […]

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Human Nature – Take Your Pick

July 7, 2012

9 Comments

Sinceritus: People are basically good. Most of the world’s problems could be solved if only we all learned to act a little less selfishly. It just comes down to education and changing the environment, so we can help make people better. Economicus: I disagree with your basic premise. Man is an imperfect, selfish, fallible creature […]

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On Doing The Right Thing

June 25, 2012

3 Comments

I attended the funeral of an old client the other day. JP* was an immensely strong man, both physically and mentally, and had built a very successful construction company. He was old-school and somehow you knew that, if there were difficult choices to make, JP would always do the right thing, however hard that might be. […]

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Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

June 18, 2012

1 Comment

The daughter of a friend of ours has a leading role in ‘Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’, a rock musical about Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, at the San Jose Stage, so I am looking forward to seeing it in a few days. The review in the San Jose Mercury News quotes the […]

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Platonic Dialogues For Our Times: Part I

June 7, 2012

1 Comment

Inflacionatus: How on earth can you continue to hold on to your deflationary views Deflaticus? The monetary base has exploded, inflation is rising and while the dollar has not fallen over the last 12 months, it has not risen much either, as one would expect during a deflation. Deflaticus: The monetary base may have exploded, […]

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A Meditation On Forgiveness

May 5, 2012

1 Comment

I upset a very old friend the other day with something I said in an email. When I sent the email I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it, but I was mistaken. Re-reading the email I can see exactly why he was upset. I had acted foolishly, rushed the email and used the […]

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Hayek, Candies and Keynes

April 23, 2012

18 Comments

The debate between Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes over the nature and future of economics, spanned momentous times such as the Great Depression and the age of dictators, and it continues today posthumously in the discussion of how best to nurse back to health a wounded world economy.  Keynes, the optimist, believed that solutions […]

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The Plus Side Of Debt Default

April 20, 2012

2 Comments

Back in September, 2008 Professor Jeffrey Rogers Hummel gave an online presentation to Sterling Futures’ clients and friends on the state of the economy. In 1993 Hummel was the first economist to go on record predicting that the U.S. government will default on its obligations. At that time the prediction was considered extreme but now […]

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Society At The Edge Of Chaos

April 20, 2012

9 Comments

We tend to assume that history moves slowly and cyclically. For example, it is commonly thought that empires grow old, over extend themselves and finally collapse and that this will eventually happen to the United States just as it has with every other empire. Similarly, most people believe that global warming will eventually have serious […]

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The Rise And Fall Of Empires

April 20, 2012

0 Comments

In his eminently readable book, Empires of Trust: How Rome Built – and America Is Building – a New World, historian Thomas Madden, compares the United States with the Roman Republic and argues that what is unique about both states is that they acquired their empire, not by conquest but by a series of alliances […]

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The Dishonor Of A Rhodes Scholarship

April 20, 2012

0 Comments

Rhodes Scholarships are one of the oldest and most prestigious awards worldwide for graduate study at Oxford University. Win a Rhodes Scholarship and you are set for life. The scholarships are funded from the estate of Cecil John Rhodes, who was founder of the De Beers diamond mining company, as well as founder of the […]

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