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Albert Einstein and Socialism

Einstein, 10887946_sSomeone recently sent me an article noting Albert Einstein’s favorable view of Socialism. Knowing that I have been critical of socialist ideas in the past, he asked whether Einstein’s statements changed my mind. It was a fair question.

After all, Einstein is widely considered one of the great scientific thinkers of all time, so it is tempting to reason that since he was able to unlock some of the deepest mysteries of the universe, he must have been able to discover political/economic insights.… Read More

 

Progressivism’s Fundamental Flaw

Francis Galton (Bing)Progressivism is the dominant political and social philosophy of our time. Even people who know little about it tend to regard it favorably. They believe that since progress suggests moving forward, developing, and improving, Progressivism must be positive and good. But Progressivism doesn’t deserve this favorable image because it is rooted in a profound falsehood—that the vast majority of human beings are mentally deficient and nothing can be done to alter their condition.Read More

 

Diagnosis: Omniscience Delusion

Nobel Prize 2008 recipient in economicsI have spent most of the last 50 years writing books that examine reflective, creative, and critical thinking and offer guidance in their use. Along the way I have encountered some of the best and the worst examples of human thought, so it takes a lot to surprise me.

Nevertheless, I was recently surprised and disappointed by a statement made by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman in an column titled “Republican Health Care Panic.” His thesis was that Republicans are upset because Obama’s health care program is probably going to work, and he concluded with these words:

Republicans may be willing to risk economic and financial crisis solely to deny essential health care and financial security to millions of their fellow Americans.Read More

 

Wages, Capitalism, And Morality: Part II

Leoxiii(Note: Part I documented that the minimum wage harms the very people it is designed to help and the popular alternative—letting capitalism work, unencumbered by regulations—encourages practices that cry out for reform. It concluded by suggesting that a new approach is needed, one based on a discipline that economists seldom consult—ethics.)

The division of knowledge into particular fields of study and the tendency to narrow specialization within each field have led many scholars to assume that nothing outside their disciplines is relevant to those disciplines.… Read More

 

Wages, Capitalism, And Morality: Part I

Economist Milton FriedmanIt is commonly believed that fairness demands a certain level of wage be guaranteed to all workers. That is the idea behind the minimum wage that has long existed in the U.S. and other countries. But does that wage benefit workers? Some economists say it does, but others argue that it actually hurts those it is designed to help. People on latter side of the argument include Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams (who calls the minimum wage “maximum folly”), and Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman.… Read More

 

Why Gun Control Is Not The Solution

Senate Judiciary Committee Hears From Prominent Voices On Both Sides Of Gun Control DebateYou won’t learn it from mainstream media coverage, but the idea that tighter gun control will cure the nation’s epidemic of mass shootings is as bogus as Manti Te’o’s girlfriend.

Why is gun control not the solution? Because guns are not the problem.

The real reason people shoot (or otherwise harm) others is either that they have been conditioned to see violence as an acceptable solution to their discontents, or that they are under the influence of medications that can dispose them to violence.… Read More

 

Government To The Rescue

rand-paulSenator Rand Paul was recently on a TV news show lamenting the circumstances surrounding the bill that supposedly saved America from the “fiscal cliff”—‘‘The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012’.” He explained that the senators were given three minutes to read and evaluate the 154-page bill before voting.

Yes, you read that right—three minutes! They were given the bill at 1:36 a.m. and required to vote at 1:39 a.m.… Read More

 

Death By Ignorance

Before the 2012 election two interviewers approached potential voters with questions slyly filled with false information. The answers revealed a wealth of ignorance. Here are two examples later offered on the Howard Stern show:

Question: Do you think Obama picked Ryan as his running mate because he’s African-American or because he’s qualified?

Answer: It could be a little of both.

Question: Should people support Romney because he’s black?… Read More

 

Saving The Charitable Deduction And More

deductionsFor some time now politicians of both parties have been talking about ways to get America’s fiscal house in order. The Democratic chant is “We’ve got to raise taxes on the wealthy.” The Republican chant is “We’ve got to curtail spending.” To no one’s surprise, the two sides have been at impasse, largely because neither side is genuinely committed to its own chant, let alone accepting of the other side’s.… Read More

 

The Key To Cutting Government Spending

United_States_CapitolIf a rowboat springs a leak and is fast filling with water, the first step is to stop the leak. Then the water can be baled out. A similar approach is necessary with America’s economy. For a very long time, excessive spending (the leak) has caused mounting national debt (the rising water that threatens to sink us). The first step in recovery is therefore to curtail government spending.… Read More