Burning Straw Men Tom Tomorrow's latest shows he either
a) doesn't know what a free market would be, or,
b) wants to equate the Bush administration with free marketeers because it's much easier to attack a straw man, and if we ever had a free market it would be impossible for the Smart People Like Tom Tomorrow to run things as they see fit.
I'll wait for him to tell us which one of those it is.
:: Walter 8:03 PM [+] ::
True Story Overheard at the golf course, a conversation between two dudes, white guys in their mid twenties, while the video of the Inglewood, CA police beating plays on TV:
Dude 1: "I'll bet that kid was harrassing those cops. You know he did. If you were walking down the street with your girl he'd be harrassing you. I'm glad those cops beat the f___ out of him. He deserved it."
Dude 2, quietly: "I don't know."
Me, I'm sitting there in silence, with no idea what, if anything, I should interject into their conversation. Sure, I can think of plenty of things now. Confrontation with that much stupidity has that effect on me.
:: Walter 6:52 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, July 12, 2002 ::
Maher the ? Bill Maher (AZ Republic article) is again mis-identified as a libertarian. He's a socialist/populist at best, and I suspect that on the Worlds Smallest Political Quiz he'd score as a left-liberal. I won't blame the reporter for this one, as Maher claimed for himself the title of 'libertarian' a few years ago. He endorsed Ralph Nader for President in 2000, - can't get much less libertarian than that. My best guess is he just likes the sound of the word, and has very little idea about what a libertarian actually is.
:: Walter 9:45 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, July 10, 2002 ::
Ripped from Today's Headlines Q: How many America West pilots does it take to fly from Phoenix to Miami?
A: 2 and 1/5.
:: Walter 9:16 PM [+] ::
Selig's Cheap Shot MLB comissioner Bud Selig announced that one team will have trouble meeting Monday's payroll, and that team will be a 'suprise,' not one of those currently thought to be in financial difficulty. A newsworthy event, to be sure, and Bud uses the occasion to take a swipe: "We met with the bankers (Tuesday). We had about 200 of them in. Nobody who has ever seen the numbers questions them. It's only the Jesse Venturas of the world who don't care and don't want to know." Say what you will about Jesse, but he took a principled stand against a taxpayer funded stadium in the Twin Cities. Why should people pay for professional sports franchises through tax revenue? It's still corporate welfare, even if it's in a pinstriped uniform, scratching itself and chewing tobacco.
:: Walter 8:56 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, July 09, 2002 ::
You want to move here You know you do. Read this first. Scroll down to 'Unfriendly Advice.'
:: Walter 10:28 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, July 08, 2002 ::
ILTE of the Day Darrell Durrett of Boulder has a letter published Sunday the 7th in the Boulder Camera. He doesn't like John Caldara's idea to privatize water ownership and delivery in order to alleviate the effects of the drought. Writes he:
I would then like him to explain how initial ownership of a given drop is to be determined, how water works would have to be changed to support his vision, and how much the average user would then expect to pay for water.
Appearently Durrett has never heard of Ronald Coase, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, who explained all this years ago. I'll defer to David Friedman's explanation of the relevant application of the Coase Theorem.
"The argument underlying the Coase Theorem comes into play. If we assign the right initially to the wrong person, the right person, the one to whom it is of most value, can still buy it. So one of the considerations in the initial definition of property rights is doing it in such a way as to minimize the transaction costs associated with fixing, via private contracts, any initially inefficient definition."
Minimizing transaction costs in this case means keeping the political process well away from the water market. If the Coase Theorem sounds like Greek to you then do yourself a favor and catch up here.
I call upon the Camera to encourage Caldara to explore this issue in the intricate detail that it richly deserves.... I realize that the effort involved will require Caldara to delve intimately into the study of hydrology and will be formidable. I certainly don't expect him to produce a complete response to this challenge in anything under a year, since this is, no doubt, work equivalent to a master's degree in something (geography?). Nevertheless, I hope his formidable intellect is up to the challenge. What I don't believe is that any of us will want to live in a world of privatized water, no matter how much money we might have.
Durrett suffers from the delusion that many statists seem to share, that nothing good can happen unless some elite group do a lot of thinking, and then when they're done make a pronouncement telling us commoners how we should conduct our affairs.
I see things quite differently; there's no one out there who can predict and adaquately plan for something as complicated as water use in a place like Colorado. That's precisely why we need an efficient and flowing free market to react and account for rapidly shifting supply and demand.