Monday, October 14, 2019

Is Courage the Key to Entrepreneurship?

At my two recent posts on the nature of entrepreneurship (see: Why Israel Kirzner Should Be Awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics and A Couple of Notes on Kirznerian Entrepreneurship), I see a commenter pointing to a person he considers an expert on entrepreneurship.

It is, in fact, a person who promotes the idea that courage is the key to entrepreneurship.

The Nobel Prize in Economic Science Awarded to Silly, Politically Correct, Technocrats

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2019 to Abhijit Banerjee (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and to his wife Esther Duflo (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and to Michael Kremer (Harvard University).

From the Nobel committee:

New Proposal to Have the US Government Investment in Corporations: A Move Toward a More Fascist Economy

Under the guise of attempting to make all people "equal," a Los Angeles-based think tank,  Berggruen Institute, is proposing a national sovereign wealth fund for the United States that would put the government in greater control of many large corporations.

The cover story is that it would address "the imbalance of economic power that currently exists between rich companies and individuals, and the public sector."

Rana Foroohar reports at the Financial Times:

Dutch Central Bank: Gold Could Save the World During a Financial Collape

This is big. A central bank has acknowledged the important role gold could play during a financial system collapse.

An article published by the De Nederlandsche Bank, or Dutch Central Bank, states that "if the system collapses, the gold stock can serve as a basis to build it up again. Gold bolsters confidence in the stability of the central bank's balance sheet and creates a sense of security."

Sunday, October 13, 2019

A Couple of Notes on Kirznerian Entrepreneurship

At the post, Why Israel Kirzner Should Be Awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics, some commenters have added observations that require discussion.

VS writes:

PG&E’s Big Blackout Is Only the Start of Its New Venezuela Act

By Robert Wenzel

PG&E Corp.’s decision to shut off power to more than two million Californians this week represents a new reality: It now plans to pull the plug whenever its equipment threatens to spark destructive and potentially deadly wildfires, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The government is, of course, behind it. WSJ reports that California’s utilities now have regulatory permission to cut off power to parts of their service territories during strong winds to reduce the risk of their electric lines causing wildfires.

The problem is, of course, poor maintenance, improper equipment and failure to keep up with the latest technology.

WSJ explains:

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Opening: Be Walter Block's Research Assistant

This is a great opportunity.

If I was just starting out, I would jump at this.


To Professor Walter E. Block
PART-TIME (20 hours per week)

Must be in New Orleans or be willing to relocate there   

New Rand Paul Book on Socialism

Rand Paul is out with a new book, The Case Against Socialism.

From the blurb:

Why Do CEOs Make So Much Money?

By Doug McCullough

Certain politicians and social critics would have us scandalized that the annual income of CEOs of large corporations is often several times that of the employees who work in those companies. Is it unfair that executives make substantially more than a middle manager, an executive assistant, or an assembly-line worker? How are those salaries determined? Is significant income disparity unjust? To consider these questions, let’s take a look at the unique role and responsibilities of a chief executive officer.

Friday, October 11, 2019

BREAKING: U.S., China Said to Reach Partial Deal, Could Set Up Trade Truce

Multiple updates below.

The U.S. and China reached a partial agreement Friday that would broker a truce in the trade war and lay the groundwork for a broader deal that Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping could sign later this year, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News reports.

Trump has blinked. He will end his nutty trade war since it was hurting the stock market and an impediment to his re-election bid.


This is How You Can Stand with the Chinese People

A Don Boudreaux letter to Nolan McKinney:

Mr. McKinney:

You allege that my and others’ “support of free trade is support for despots like [Chinese president] Xi and tyranny overseas.”

Not so. My and others’ support for free trade is opposition to despots and tyranny here at home.

You’ll push back by arguing that

Tax Mad DC: Considers 1.5C-Per-Ounce Soda Excise Tax One Week After Implementing 2% Soft Drink Sales Tax

The Tax Man
By George Harrison for The Beatles

Trump's Nutty Tariffs Are a Full Employment Act for Lobbyists

President Donald Trump 's trade wars have turned lobbying on tariff exemptions into a big business, and as the Trump administration rolled out new tariffs on Chinese imports this fall, K Street has seen more and more companies hiring lobbyists for the first time. More than two dozen mostly small- and mid-sized companies have hired a Washington lobbyist for the first time in recent months, according to an analysis by Politico's David Beavers.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Pay Out News From the Social Security Ponzi Scheme

Charles Ponzi
In the wacky world of mandatory government Ponzi-scheme retirement programs, the scammers have announced that the cost-of-living adjustment for 2020 will be 1.6%.

Of course, they wouldn't dare adjust the scam payments to the rates paid on private sector non-coerced retirement plans.

Monopolist PG&E's Power Outage Now Impacting More Than Two Million People

By Robert Wenzel

The blackout created by monopolist power provider PG&E has reached the campus of UC Berkeley.

Has AOC Ditched Modern Monetary Theory?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
I keep seeing references to AOC's past endorsement of wacky, "just print money" Modern Monetary Theory.

Tesla Owners in California Get a Warning to Charge Their Cars Before the Power Goes Out

As I reported yesterday, at least 800,000 people in northern California will be without power for a few days (See: North Korea-Style Power Service Hits California: PG&E is About to Shut Off Power in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area to 800,000 People; Possibly for Days).

This is going to be an even bigger problem for haters of fossil fuel burning.

Tesla is warning car owners that they should fully charge up their electric cars, before they can't.


Toronto Discovers Free Markets: The Toronto Apartment Boom Miracle?

Well, how about that, Toronto’s apartment crunch is finally easing, reports Bloomberg.

The city is starting to see vacancies again.

The vacancy rate rose to 1.5% in the second quarter, the highest since 2015 and things are looking up.

Nine new buildings totaling 3,078 units began occupancy in the 12 months through June, a 25-year high for annual completions. And things are only going to get much better.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

California Governor Signs Law to Prevent Easing of Housing Crisis

California Governor Gavin Newsom 

Yes, that is exactly what he did.

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law that limits rent increases to 5% each year plus inflation until Jan. 1, 2030. It bans landlords from evicting people for no reason, meaning they could not kick people out so they can raise the rent for a new tenant. And while the law doesn’t take effect until Jan. 1, it would apply to rent increases on or after March 15, 2019, to prevent landlords from raising rents just before the caps go into place.

This will have serious impact whenever the limitation prevents the rental market from clearing. The state has 17 million renters.