THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 652 December 6 - 12, 2010
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December 6, 2010
I got a late start and I have a lunch appointment, so I won't get to View or Mail for a few hours. Later.
I'm concerned about Cyberwar -- see today's Wall Street Journal editorial on this today. It will take a while to come up with something worth saying on the subject, though.
You might contemplate
but I warn you I have not evaluated this, only read it. I do think that we have many reports of unusual cold despite the IPCC claim that 2010 was the warmest year in history. That is because a number of places from which we don't get much news, like Siberia and some African countries, report that it was very warm, and that raises the average annual Earth temperature.
I leave that for discussion another time, but I would think that not quite the same as "the Earth" is warming. At least we need to discuss the models. On models: I would like a pointer to the model of radiant heating of water. That is, the Sun shines on the sea; a certain proportion of that is absorbed and some is reflected. How is that determined and do we use an "average' figure or do we take into account waves which vary from time to time, and which change the effective surface area and the average angle of reflection. How is that handled in the models? Once some of the radiation fr0m the sun is reflected, how much is absorbed by the atmosphere? Since it is over water we can assume water vapor. How much? How much is then absorbed by CO2, and how much more is left to be absorbed if we double the CO2? Surely all this is discussed at an undergraduate level somewhere; I would like to read it. If it's only available in equations, I can read those and get someone to check my understanding of them.
If the science is settled, then surely something this simple is discussed at length, else how do they teach it to budding new climate scientists?
Now off to lunch.
It 's late, but I did manage to get some mail posted.
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It isn't clear from what I have seen, but since they use the agency rather than publisher model, I would presume that you can use this to self=publish books in the proper format. It all changes like dreams, but it's getting closer to what I described in A Step Farther Out decades ago. It took longer than I thought it would to get here.
I am asking some of the AGW Believers to comment on this, but apparently the only people willing to discuss these issues are the modelers, who then plead that they don't know much about data gathering.
It does seem to me that claiming that 2010 is the hottest year on record is a bit like Hansen's claim in 1988 that the three highest temperature years ever recorded were all in the 1980's. Considering the existence of the Viking Greenland colonies founded by Lief Ericson and his son, which correspond with reports of vinelands in Scotland and longer growing seasons in Central European monastery records, and, I am told, record crops in old China in the same centuries, it is not obvious that the 1980 years, assuming their accuracy at all given the anomalies in data, were warmer than they were in the Medieval Warm. It would seem to me more likely that it was still colder in the 1980's than when the Greenland dairy farms were not under ice. I would think the burden of proof on the claim of great warmth is on the claimant; and following Descartes as echoed by Carl Sagan, extraordinary claims require extraordinary data.
I hear reports of extrapolated data for large areas of the Earth all the time. I don't know how accurate they are, because it seems impossible to get the IPCC to discuss the issue. I can say that it seems extraordinarily obvious to me that the annual average temperature of the entire Earth as reported by the IPCC and used by the Believers cannot possible be accurate to any 0.1 degree, and I would be astonished if they could be considered accurate to 1.0 degree. That is, I suspect that some easily defended changes in the procedures for "adjusting" the data for various known anomalies would result in more as much as a full 1 degree change in the calculated average temperature. It only takes a few changes in the weights given the reported averages to make a large change in the result; or so it would seem to me when I try to figure out how I would go about calculating the average temperature of the Earth for a full year.
This shows raw and adjusted temperatures since 1880; the two data sets apparently produce similar trends, but since the adjustments change fairly often, the accuracy to 0.1 degree is quite questionable. Note that both sets show a rise of about 1 degree C from 1880 to 2006, and while the 1980's are "hotter" than the 1940's, the difference is less than half a degree -- and the adjustments change the global averages by a full half degree.
Sorry to spend so much time on global temperatures, but the matter is very important to the future economies of the world - and also to the faith to be placed in "science". We more and more see scientific claims which result in empowerment of the government to promulgate and enforce regulations based on "science". Trillions of dollars are at stake in the AGW regulations, with CO2, an natural product of animal life as well as of using most energy sources, is now to be treated as a "pollutant", all based on "science." It seems worth while to question the scientists on how the consensus science is arrived at.
I have a dental appointment. I had intended to discuss the "compromise" on "tax cuts" (there are no tax cuts; the law is whether or not to raise taxes; just because taxes were once higher does not make that the "natural state" to which tax rates must return) and extending unemployment compensation.
I hold to the political maxim that if you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less of it, fine people for doing it, which is to say, tax it.
We are taxing people for making money in certain ways, and we are subsidizing people for not working. This, I would think, would influence behavior in both directions. It will certainly influence investments and compensation agreements among the wealthy; it it certainly makes unemployment less unendurable, and thus influences decisions to take low paying and unattractive jobs. It pretty well locks in unemployment at above 9%, and it changes investment decisions for those with money to invest: why take risks? Taxing success influences investment decisions and risk taking.
More another time, but that seems common sense to me. Someone is going to shepherd the money. Do we think government will do a better job of it than those who earned it? And yes, I understand that "earn" is a debatable term, but so is "freedom".
Coldest Winter yet on the way: http://rt.com/news/prime-time/coldest-winter-emergency-measures/
Or so this says. Yet it was the Siberia hot weather that makes 2010 supposedly the hottest year in history. And it appears that hot weather in obscure places helped the Hansen 1988 assertion that the three hottest years in history were in the 1980's. Trying to match the data to the assertions turns out to be difficult: it's not all that openly available. I wonder why?
I am hearing on the radio that the Constitution now gives the Federal Government the power to forbid schools to have bake sales. The Iron Law prevails.
I have posted a variety of mail.
December 8, 2010
Splashdown: The Dragon Flies
Note that one of the 19 engines failed but the mission was a success. It's going to take time to analyze, but this looks like a significant event toward making orbital operations routine, reusable, and profitable. Hurrah for Space-X.
It's late, and there's a lot to cover.
There are no "tax cuts". There is a deal to spend more money for not working. This is not quite revolutionary. "We'll let you restore the tax cuts if you give us some more money to pay people not to work."
Now I understand the needs of the unemployed. What I do not understand is where my dentist, for example, acquired the obligation to pay for 99 and more weeks of compensation to a Detroit laid off auto worker for not working. Or where you acquired the obligation to pay for a California worker who lost his "green job" because it's cheaper, due to regulations, to build solar panels in China and import them than to build them in California.
Is the goal to "distribute" income, to "spread the wealth" around? Then why not do that: if you think some people are too rich, and you believe the nation is better if the wealth is widespread, why give it to government, which will pay a bureaucracy to collect it and thus create a powerful lobby for confiscation? If the goal is distribution, then confiscate ten billion dollars from Bill Gates and send a check to everyone in the United States. Don't build incentives to take the money. (Work the numbers: say we take $20 billion from Gates and send a fair share to everyone in the US. That's 3 x 10^8 people to share $20 x 10^9 or $2 x 10^10. Enjoy your fortune. Will the world be a better place? Perhaps we need to confiscate 20 billion from 100 people, and if there aren't 100 people with 20 billion then we will keep on taking half of what the richest have until we have got our $2 x 10 x 10^2 x 10^9, which once again we send out in equal shares to 3 x 10^2 x 10^6 people. That's 200 billion to divide among 300 million people, or $666 each.
Enjoy your fortune. Also enjoy the nation as all those with any wealth flee to safer ground, and those thinking of investing in the US reconsider their options.
And there's Wikileaks. One thing is certain: The Wikileakers certainly qualify as "press" within the meaning of the constitution. Make no mistake about that. What the Framers intended by "press" was pamphleteers, people like Franklin with a printing press in the basement, or Tom Paine, or -- in other words, they did not mean the organized press, newspapers, magazines, and the like: they meant people writing pamphlets and distributing them. Freedom of the Press shall not be infringed.
You might also look up the episode in American history regarding the Alien and Sedition Acts, and the Genet Affair. We used to get those in 6th Grade but our public schools are much improved now, and it's more important to have diversified social studies or whatever they teach instead of American History now.
It's time for lunch. More later. We also need to discuss the obesity blame game and insurance: obesity complications account for roughly 10% of America's health care costs. Think of ways to prevent this. Time for lunch.
We're all still a bit under the weather so I got less done than I intended.
The Wikileaks action remains complex. There is certainly no question of the liability of those who stole the documents and passed them to Wikileaks; but it is a much more complicated situation with regards to the Wikileaks organization and staff. They are journalists under any reasonable definition; Wikileaks is a "press" within the meaning of the First Amendment.
December 9, 2010
And again, Hurrah!
The grim reaper -- well, a distant younger cousin -- stalks Chaos Manor. Roberta is well under the weather again, and I seem to have the same old sore throat and cough and general malaise.
Later this morning I'll have to go out for chicken soup ingredients. I make chicken soup in a pressure cooker. Start with a whole chicken, pour in a little olive oil, and let the cut up chicken begin to brown in the pressure cooker. Chop up a couple of onions and throw them in, then a stalk of celery, and a couple of carrots or, to save a lot of time and trouble, a package of previously peeled baby carrots. That's the basics. Back before we had to go entirely gluten free I used to throw in a couple of chicken bullion cubes, but I don't dare do that now. I do put in sage and savory, with luck the sage coming from the hill behind the house, and rosemary and chives from the garden, and a lot of leeks. Then carefully add salt and about a teaspoon of molasses -- no more than that. And see below
So I'll have to go out in a few minutes to get the ingredients.
I'm trying to get the column out.
There is no tax cut, yet that seems to be what everyone is debating. By not raising taxes they get credit for a tax cut. Taxes were at an unwise level; Bush II got them cut; the economic effect was positive and revenue started up, but was overwhelmed by Big Government Conservatism and its Big Government Spending. But those tax cuts, which were real, were temporary and will expire shortly. It's clear that raising taxes, which will happen automatically, is a bad idea during an incipient depression. But not raising taxes is hardy a "tax cut". We ought to be weary of the Washington view that all money belongs to the state, and thus a failure to increase a tax is a "cut".
We have to borrow money from China to cover spending, not to cover a non-existent tax cut.
This is the old "supply side" vs. Voodoo Economics debate all over again.
One thing needed: a program or application that allows an author to see how his book will look in Kindle format; which is to say a preview tool. I would hope Amazon and the other eBook publishers would make such tools easily available, and soon. Perhaps they already exist and I don't know about it.
Burt Rutan originally intended for Miss Mojave, a high school science student and beauty contest winner, to be the passenger in the X-Prize attempt. The girl was more than willing, and Burt was much in favor, but lawyers convinced him to substitute sand bags due to possible liabilities. I have -- apologies -- forgotten her name, but I understand she is now a science student at UCLA. She could have been the first "commercial space" passenger. So it goes when the lawyers get in the act.
TSA has apparently gone mad, and is now saying that its public humiliation of the Ambassador from India was good policy, and its agents did nothing wrong.
I do not know what part of diplomatic immunity they don't understand at TSA. but apparently its "officers" aren't familiar with any part of diplomacy.
Perhaps these "officers" ought to be made constitutional officers, but with the provision that their commissions last only two years; every two years each individual TSA "officer" should be renominated and confirmed by the Senate. Normal politics would take care of the fools. An officer is supposed to exercise good sense. In most military organizations, idiots are purged, either by their superiors or, in combat, by their troops. TSA clearly doesn't know how to restrain its people, and is always quick to assert that any given imbecility is within policy, and of course they always take the word of their people over that of anyone else.
I suppose I am unduly ranting. The TSA is only doing its job, and it's becoming clearer that that job is to make Americans understand that they are subjects, not citizens. Humiliating the Minister Plenipotentiary and Ambassador Extraordinary of the world's largest democracy fits into that: everyone is a subject to Security Theater. I know that these "officers" only mean well, and are dedicated to keeping America safe. They haven't yet caught a bomber, but they will, real soon now.
The Secretary of State is concerned.
Of course citizens are subjected to these indignities all the time.
December 10, 2010
And while we are on the subject of irony
I suppose it is not so much irony as honesty. Philby did monumental damage to the CIA, and it was his actions more than anything else that convinced James Jesus Angleton that the Soviets had moles in the Company. We can make the case that Philby prolonged the Cold War by a decade. Tim Powers fantasy novel Declare gives Philby a much greater role.
It's actually a nice warm day outside, and we've had a warm week in Los Angeles, so much so that despite the short days which trigger the undercoat growth for Huskies, Sable is shedding (shedding is triggered by outside temperatures). And I continue to ask for a narrative undergraduate level defense of the averaging procedures use to generate an annual world temperature, but I don't think I will get one. The subject is just too complex, what with needing coefficients for radiative heating of water, average surface area of the oceans and effects of waves on such heating, absorption of re-radiated heat from the oceans partitioned into that due to Co2 and that due to water vapor -- just to mention a few such modeling factors.
And the Democrats are poisoning the Obama Compromise. Obama was remarkably unenthusiastic about his "reach across the aisle" to begin with, and Pelosi leaped. So they will now hold the middle class hostage to the Democrat demands for "spreading the wealth", and all our taxes will go up -- a lot -- next January 1. Of course this is Washington Theater, but one hopes that the Republicans understand this and will hold fast. The Compromise was a bad deal anyway, since it brought us more years of paying people to be unemployed. The Republicans are well rid of it. Let it go, with all its "compromises."
If the United States wants to redistribute the wealth, let us have a debate on it, and what it means. Confiscation of money to pay a bureaucracy is not redistribution. Increasing the power of the Federal Government is not redistribution.
If the goal is to spread the wealth around, and distribute the ownership of the means of production, the method for doing that is Distributism.
Distributism is not Marxist socialism/communism, and is worth debating or at least understanding. It comes from Hillaire Belloc, an uncompromising enemy of the ever more powerful state, The Servile State, and from Chesterton, and from Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum. It was pretty well approved by Jane Jacobs because it promotes subsidiarity. The premise is that there will always be gaps between rich and poor, and there ought to be, but very great disparities are dangerous to liberty and should be eliminated: neither institutions nor individuals ought to be too big to fail, or so large as to dominate. The Swiss Republic is often held up as an example (or was in the heyday of Distributism) of a Republic that had relatively mild disparity between rich and poor (or at least relatively mild apparent disparities; the reality was not so clear).
Distributism, though, fought against the notion of simply taking money and putting in the public treasury to be doled out to the voters: that would be death to freedom and the Republic. If wealth disparities are to be eliminated, do not do so in a way that encourages more and more of this.
Chesterton put it this way: "Too much capitalism does not mean too many capitalists, but too few capitalists." The enemy is not capitalism and wealth but the great concentration of wealth in the Servile State, or into Corporations, or into private hands. Too much capitalism means too few capitalists.
After all, the goal is an increase in individual liberty, not the mere confiscation of wealth. Wealth is a good thing. People getting wealthier and wealthier is a very good thing. It is just that when the disparity in wealth becomes great enough, liberty suffers, stability suffers, public order and harmony suffers. Therefore Distributism: handing out the proceeds of confiscation to everyone, meaning that the return to anyone is trivial, and is not a great incentive to vote for more and greater confiscations. The goal is to decrease disparities in income and wealth, not to eliminate wealth or eliminate disparity, and very much not to reward the voters for confiscating the money.
Arguments were often made for using the confiscated wealth for public good, like parks and conservation districts, but the mechanisms for doing that are tricky since they usually involve creating a rapacious bureaucracy: can you imagine the results of using confiscation to fuel the public "good" of public education? Would that help the schools? It certainly hasn't so far. See California public education history as an example.
On the other hand, Distributism was developed in a time when agriculture was more important, and the notion of Jeffersonian Democracy was much more popular. It was a time before mass production became the norm, before World War II and Rosie the Riveter; the world, its opponents say, has much changed since the time of Leo XIII. Others say, So it has but the principles remain; it's just harder to do now. But that is no means a reason to abandon this third way for preserving both capitalism and freedom. Unrestricted capitalism leads to vast concentration and too few capitalists. Simple confiscation of wealth builds enormous and all powerful bureaucracies that become eternal. Das Buros steht immer.
My point being that debate on taxing the rich needs to be held in a systematic way, examining just what is to be accomplished by confiscating other people's money. That has not been done. At the moment the motivation is merely to take money and feed it to the bureaucracy; and the demand for that is so high that the Democrats will throw out the compromise and raise taxes on the middle class in order to get their "soak the rich to pay the bureaucracy" goals. At the moment the Democratic impulses are greed, envy, and Marxism. So it goes.
And of course the Compromise includes paying people to remain unemployed, in theory as a way to reduce unemployment. A very odd theory.
One remedy to unemployment is repeal of all Federal minimum wage acts. All of them. Leave wage setting to the states. Another remedy is to repeal all the Federal Labor laws. Leave labor laws to the states. Just as a major remedy to bad education is to repeal all Federal laws having to do with education and leave it all, including the ways to finance it, to the states. Better would be to leave it to local schools and neighborhoods to finance and control education, but that is not very likely barring utter bankruptcy and collapse. Which isn't impossible.
We live in interesting times. I wish the Democrats and Pelosi great success in spiking the Great Compromise. Let's get these matters out of the hands of the lame ducks and into the hands of the new Congress. Let the Compromise fail. Let Obama and Pelosi have their way on this one.
We have ERBE data contradicting the IPCC models. See today's mail.
And here is interesting if unsurprising news:
The barricades will never be the same! Think of the entitlement implications here. Who is entitled to what, and who is obligated to pay for it? And at what point does "demonstration" become extortion?
Chicken Soup. Above I gave my recipe for chicken soup to be made in a pressure cooker. I didn't mention why the pressure cooker: I was able to make the soup in an hour and it was ready to eat immediately; and the bones are softened but not dissolved, so that they are easy to fish out of the mix. They are then soft enough to be safe to give to Sable. More, if I miss one, it's edible and even tasty.
Pressure cookers are a very green way to cook whatever is appropriate for them. I use them for preparing all kinds of stuff, as for example a full chicken pressure cooked goes into the dressing for a turkey. Along with a celery and some onions. Of course we also put in raw celery and onions along with the cooked and deboned chicken, And it's easy to get the bones out when you use a pressure cooker. My generation used pressure cookers a lot; during the Depression and World War II they were extremely efficient ways to save energy and cook stuff that you otherwise might not eat. They're still great. I have two, a big one which I mostly use, and a smaller one that also works.
On Sarah Palin shooting the caribou: I used to hunt when meat was scarce in World War II. I became a camera hunter when I was able to hunt again in the 1950's. I didn't need the meat. For those looking for reasons why someone might hunt in this modern age, probably the internal dialogue of the Los Alamos scientist viewpoint character of Donald Hamilton's Assignment: Murder is as good as any I could write.
Ted Sturgeon used to make a big point about being willing to kill the rabbits he raised for food, and one of his favorite phrases when someone expressed dismay was to say if you eat beef you have taken out a contract on a cow. You ought to be willing to do your own killing if you are going to eat meat. I agree, and I cheerfully take out contracts on lambs, pigs, cows, and other animals...
I am told that the effect of the Bush II tax cuts was not positive. Being no economist all I can do is point to economists who differ, but that wasn't the point to begin with. My only experience with tax cuts and revenue comes from the Reagan era, when supply side economics certainly seemed to work just fine but again that was not my point. So far as I know "supply side" is not what Bush I called voodoo economics, but I will leave the debates to others.
My point then and now is that the government is spending far too much money, and running up deficits, and this isn't going to be fixed with tax raises; or at least there seems to be a general agreement that raising taxed in a depression is a bad idea.
But what's being debated in Washington now has little to do with economics. What's being debated is spreading the wealth, which is to say, who is entitled to what, and from whom? If the notion is that the rich aren't paying enough to support the level of spending we have decided is "necessary", and a tax raise on the rich will solve the problem, then that ought to be demonstrated, and it hasn't been. I used to play with matrices of numbers, who made how much, and what the return on investment (economic growth) is from each bracket, and it can be fun, but it's pretty hard to defend the numbers you get as more than speculation.
The real issue is this: without government as we know it, the result is not good for most people. Conservatives have been saying this for a long time. Government is not merely a necessary evil, but a positive good. Thomas Hobbes famously described life in a state of nature as "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short." The conditions in several Mexican areas where government no longer functions would seem to illustrate this nicely. So do conditions in some prisons. Where there is no government, the leadership principle reigns: those who can command the loyalty of others create bands, and those bands compete for supremacy, and soon there are no "innocent bystanders." You are part of the structure, and you submit to the conditions of joining the Mafia, The Mexican Mafia, the Black Panthers, the Aryan Brotherhood, or some similar organization, or you submit to all those who have joined them. You are entitled to nothing.
The trick, then, is to create conditions to which both the poor and the rich will submit. The rich are not inclined to hire their own thugs or make common cause with the common enemy because they are safe in their property at a price they are, probably reluctantly, willing to pay; and the poor do not band together to despoil the rich. There will be criminals who do not agree and attempt to spread the wealth by simply taking it, but government tries to protect everyone from them, and even those who have little agree that criminals ought to be discouraged and prosecuted.
When those who rob the rich become sufficiently popular they either become the government or cease to be criminals and become revolutionaries, the social order collapses, and is replaced by something. The American Revolution was unique in that conditions improved greatly and there was freedom after without too long a period of disruption. It was to some extent modelled on the English Glorious Revolution of 1688, which enthroned Whiggism and old-style liberalism of the John Stuart Mill and Macaulay model. Those who want to know more should study conditions after revolutions. The French Terror and the rise of Bolshevik power are not unique consequences.
Government needs to protect everyone so that, in Burke's words, "we are all safe together." The rich concede a part of their wealth in order to create a society in which both they and the poor are safe and not engaged in constant effort to protect or violently acquire wealth. There are always pressures to increase the list of entitlements to the poor, and protections for the rich.
It is the interplay among these factors that we call politics. Conservatives say it is best that these fundamental questions do not come to light: politics should stay a long way from the brute question of how much shall we take from whom, and to whom shall we give it; or, to how much are we entitled and who is obliged to pay it; or how much is "enough" for anyone, what is the limit of possessions we will allow?
It is much better for campaigns to be on factors of personal integrity and ability, rather than on "I will soak the rich and give this to you if you vote for me" vs. "If you elect that chap we will consider hiring mercenaries to protect us" or "Legions! Declare me Emperor and I will make your lives and those of your families better. You can trust me. Can your trust the politicians?"
These questions seldom surface in poor societies. When everyone is very poor, and yet there are those who will raid them and take what little they have, it makes sense to hire a knight: that is to pay a suitable candidate to learn the profession of arms, and protect those who are not warriors. Soon enough there arises a feudal society, because the knights are not incorruptible and can become wolves rather than sheep dogs, and who will watch those watchers? Who will protect us from the protectors? We need a strong man to protect us from our enemies, but who will protect us from the strong man? Government must be strong enough to keep order, but not so strong as to be all powerful. All power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. There few exceptions to Acton's maxim on power, and one of those, the Ataturk successors, seem headed to a new history even as I write this.
Who shall watch the watchers? How shall we all be safe? These are age old questions which aren't so often studied now as they once were.
Now we are rich -- we live longer, we outlive our teeth, we can travel across the continent for amounts that almost anyone can raise, those who don't have a living are often victims of poor management of the resources they have; since the Industrial Revolution and "Development" the middle class has enormously expanded, and the number of people who live from day to day is much smaller than it was in the days of Jane Austen. And now we are even richer, and the notion is that the distribution pyramid is all screwed up and those on top have so much more than those on the bottom that we need to spread the wealth.
Do note that those on minimum wage in today's society work less and live better than the vast majority of people alive in England during the time of Jane Austen. In those times the disparity of resources between anyone in "Society" including those thought poor, and the average mill worker or tenant or dock worker, was so vast that it could hardly be thought part of a continuum. On the one had there was one meal a day, one suit of clothes worn every day with possibly a "Sunday" outfit although probably not, and essentially no disposable income; on the other carriages, balls, three meals a day, and concerns about making a good marriage.
I am rambling, and I have work to do: but the questions remain. To what are those fortunate enough to live in the United States entitled, and who is obligated to pay it; and is our tax policy intended to produce revenue or is the goal to "spread the wealth" and reduce the disparities between the very rich and the rest of us? And if the latter, is that best done by adding to the power of the state? More another time: note I have not endorsed the confiscation and distribution of wealth, nor have I endorsed or condemned raising the taxes on "the rich." I do believe that before we discuss these things we try being honest about what we are trying to accomplish.
If the goal is to stimulate the economy, the means are already known: Freedom and cheap energy. Low taxes, few regulations, and cheap energy (which latter will result from the lack of regulations given half a chance). We know how to do that, and all the attempts at an intellectually dominated command economy have so far pretty well come to naught.
The mix doesn't necessarily require political freedom. That may be a goal in and of itself, but the Spanish growth in Franco's time, and the current boom in China, show that political liberty isn't as important as economic liberty and limited regulations. One might wish otherwise, but that seems to be the course of history. Of course without political liberty one needs some other means for restricting the size of the governing class and Iron Law parasites. But we all know that...
December 11, 2010
.I finished the thoughts on economic policy and goals that I started last night. See above. And now I have work to do.
December 12, 2010
.I have done some revision and addition to my Friday essay on taxes and goals. I am hard at work, and I am also trying to recover from this extraordinarily persistent mild flu.
Do read that essay again. It's worth your time.
Militarism resurfaces in Japan? Certainly North Korea seems determined to provoke it. We live in interesting times.
This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 5,000 - 12,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so. If you got here through a link that didn't take you to the front page of this site, click here for a better explanation of what we're trying to do here. This site is run on the "public radio" model; see below.
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