Bits and Pieces: Milton Friedman Edition: Video Link Fixed Posted by: Lance
on Friday, August 01, 2008
Yesterday was Milton Friedman's birthday! For all kinds of coverage, go to my Milton Friedman Memorial page. Scroll to the bottom and there is a huge collection of thoughts on his passing. Here is one of my favorite bits:
Creative Capitalism: A Conversation is a web experiment designed to produce a book — a collection of essays and commentary on capitalism, philanthropy and global development — to be edited by us and published by Simon and Schuster in the fall of 2008. The book takes as its starting point a speech Bill Gates delivered this January at the World Economic Forum in Davos. In it, he said that many of the world's problems are too big for philanthropy—even on the scale of the Gates Foundation. And he said that the free-market capitalist system itself would have to solve them.
This is the public blog of a private website where a group of invited economists have spent the past couple of weeks criticizing and debating those claims. Over the next couple of months we'll be posting much of that material here, in the hopes of eliciting public commentary. Some of the public commentary — the comments posted on this blog — will also be used in the book. (Comments to the effect of "capitalism is evil and Bill Gates is a fool" probably won't be used. But we're genuinely open to opinions of all stripes, and all of the contributors who do end up in the finished product will be paid on a per-word basis, which should work out to between one and two dollars per word.)
The same goes for economics bloggers who write about the stuff here on their own sites: If we can get permission, we'd like to use that material too.
This is the kind of fertile collaboration that the internet has made possible.
I am especially enjoying the discussion between William Easterly, Paul Ormerod and Elizabeth Stuart. Start here and follow the conversation. Lots of discussion of Hayek and the institutions compatible with capitalism.
By running an attack campaign that is almost a parody of George W. Bush's 2000 and 2004 exertions, McCain is chucking away his greatest opportunity, which is to show that he could reform Republicanism and offer voters an alternative way of breaking with a past they have come to loathe.
One would think that if voters loathed McCain's campaign he wouldn't be running neck and neck at a time when Democrats are almost always well ahead, with the economy struggling and a war that has gone on too long in the electorates eye. I keep hearing Democrats and liberals talk as if Obama were way ahead. Reality based indeed. Still, McCain is more than capable of blowing it.
Pelosi says, "I'm trying to save the planet; I'm trying to save the planet."
Does Pelosi imagine that with so much of America declared off-limits, the planet is less injured as drilling shifts to Kazakhstan and Venezuela and Equatorial Guinea? That Russia will be more environmentally scrupulous than we in drilling in its Arctic?
The net environmental effect of Pelosi's no-drilling willfulness is negative. Outsourcing U.S. oil production does nothing to lessen worldwide environmental despoliation. It simply exports it to more corrupt, less efficient, more unstable parts of the world — thereby increasing net planetary damage.
Democrats want no oil from the American OCS or ANWR. But of course they do want more oil. From OPEC. From where Americans don't vote. From places Democratic legislators can't see. On May 13 Sen. Chuck Schumer — deeply committed to saving just those pieces of the planet that might have huge reserves of American oil — demanded that the Saudis increase production by a million barrels a day. It doesn't occur to him that by eschewing the slightest disturbance of the mating habits of the Arctic caribou, he is calling for the further exploitation of the pristine deserts of Arabia. In the name of the planet, mind you.
FOR MORE than a decade, state, county and municipal police departments across the country have been shifting to the use of audio-video recording devices in their patrol cars as a means of enhancing accountability. The move, begun in recognition of the fact that police should be as answerable for their actions as other public employees are, has also provided valuable protection for officers when they have been wrongly accused of abuse. But in Montgomery County, where public employee unions exercise inordinate, overweening power in virtually every government agency, the police union has thrown up roadblocks.
Many in the media are upset about McCain's behavior in this campaign. They feel betrayed. However, it only shows their prejudices. McCain has never been a "civil" campaigner, and they are giving the same pass to Obama.
Many in the media are upset about McCain’s behavior in this campaign. They feel betrayed. However, it only shows their prejudices. McCain has never been a "civil" campaigner, and they are giving the same pass to Obama.
I was listening to NPR on the way home from work yesterday and the segment was a discussion between the NPR news-babe and two commentators about the campaign. The news-babe stated that McCain’s campain had gotten "nasty" and then played a clip from his Urban League speech as an example.. The clip went something like "You are going to hear a great speech from Obama tomorrow, but if you listen closely you’ll find that his ideas aren’t a match for his powerful rhetoric." She and the two commentators, including the so-called "conservative" commentator all seemed to think that this was horrible.
All I could think was "What a buncha freaking pansies."