You are browsing the archive for 2014 January 07.

Avatar of admin

by admin

Fed Admits: We Don’t Know How QE Works

January 7, 2014 in Economics

By Mark Thornton

Amazing! According to a Reuters Report, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York William Dudley admitted that the Fed does not know how Quantitative Easing policies work to help the economy and that they don’t have a well developed model of the economy that incorporates a “realistic” financial sector.

Yet “we still don’t have well-developed macro-models that incorporate a realistic financial sector,’ William Dudley, president of the New York Fed, told an economics conference.

“We don’t understand fully how large-scale asset purchase programs work to ease financial market conditions, there’s still a lot of debate …” he said. “Is it the effect of the purchases on the portfolios of private investors, or alternatively is the major channel one of signaling?”

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo to Support Medical Marijuana at His State of the State

January 7, 2014 in PERSONAL LIBERTY

By drosenfeld

Patients, Advocates, Elected Officials and Major Newspaper Editorials Praise Cuomo and Urge Him to Back Comprehensive Medical Marijuana Legislation

Patients and Advocates will be in Albany for State of State and Are Available for Interviews

NEW YORK: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will use his State of the State address to announce his support for medical marijuana for patients in New York. After years of opposing medical marijuana, the turnaround by Gov. Cuomo is making national headlines. As an immediate step, the Governor will bypass the Legislature – where comprehensive legislation has stalled for years in the Senate – and take executive action to revive a 1980 law that allows the state to establish a limited medical marijuana research program.

January 7, 2014

Drug Policy Alliance

read more

…read more

Source: DRUG POLICY

Avatar of admin

by admin

Mises, Prices, and Australian Health Care

January 7, 2014 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

220px-Columbus_Fire_Medic_7

In Australia, Judith Sloan points out that the “prices” for health care services set by state adjuncts are not really functioning prices at all:

Clearly, the bureaucrats who dreamt up this [healthcare-pricing-by-government-fiat] scheme had never read the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises. If they had done so, they would have become very unsure about the value and impact of the onerous exercise of constructing thousands of “prices” across the Australian Diagnostic Related Groups undertaken by the number crunchers at IHPA.

According to von Mises, “prices are a market phenomenon. Prices cannot be constructed synthetically. Such fantastic designs are no more sensible than whimsical speculations. At the bottom of many efforts to determine nonmarket prices is the confused and contradictory notion of real costs. Economic analysis cannot help reducing all items of cost to value judgments.”

Stephen Duckett responds with the following claims:

1. Government agencies can create an “efficient” price that everyone can use as the standard for medical services.
2. Mises was wrong because he wrote a long time ago, and we’re much smarter now than people were in the 1940s.

He writes:

Quoting from a piece written by economist Ludwig von Mises in the 1940s, [Sloan] derides the whole prospect that setting prices could encourage efficiency. Economics has developed since then and there is now a body of theory on how to create efficiency incentives in regulated industries.

The role of the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority, her particular focus, is to establish the “National Efficient Price” for public hospital services. As Sloan notes, it currently does that by examining the distribution of costs for each type of care (say a hip replacement) and establishes the average cost as a fair and reasonable amount that ought to be paid to hospitals for providing that sort of care. There are minor adjustments to account for the additional costs associated with treating people from remote communities, indigenous people and for a handful of other factors.

Establishing a “National Efficient Price” sends a clear signal to hospitals about their relative efficiency. State hospital funding policies now generally follow a similar path designed to ensure that those hospitals that cost more than a state efficient price bring their costs down.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

Ron Paul: Yellen Is ‘Worse Than Average’

January 7, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

The Daily Caller reports:

Ron Paul is not a fan of Janet Yellen, the newly confirmed Chair of the Federal Reserve, but he told The Daily Caller Monday she is nowhere near as flawed as the system she is about to take over.

“She’s worse than average,” the former Texas congressman told The Daily Caller in a phone interview shortly after the Senate voted 56-26 to confirm Yellen’s nomination, “but I don’t dwell on that at all.”

“It was never the chairman himself, herself that’s the problem,” Paul said. “It’s the whole system.”

Read more. 

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

The Hill: Ron Paul to Be ‘Senior Mentor’ in 2014

January 7, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

Bernie Quigley at The Hill predicts that in 2014:

Ron Paul rises to senior mentor, with conservatives advancing a libertarian perspective and Austrian economics and bringing conservatives new thinking and new outlook as military issues rise in Asia.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

How Intellectual Property Distorts Big Business, Science, and Creativity

January 7, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

6632

Butler Shaffer writes in today’s Mises Daily:

There are many other costs associated with IP that rarely get attention in cost-benefit analyses of the topic. One has to do with the fact that the patenting process, as with government regulation generally, is an expensive and time-consuming undertaking that tends to increase industrial concentration. Large firms can more readily incur the costs of both acquiring and defending a patent than can an individual or a small firm, nor is there any assurance that, once either course of action is undertaken, a successful outcome will be assured. Thus, individuals with inventive products may be more inclined to sell their creations to larger firms. With regard to many potential products, various governmental agencies (e.g., the EPA, FDA, OSHA) may have their own expensive testing and approval requirements before new products can be marketed, a practice that, once again, favors the larger and more established firms.

Increased concentration also contributes to the debilitating and destructive influences associated with organizational size. In addressing what he calls “the size theory of social misery,” Leopold Kohr observes that “[w]herever something is wrong, something is too big,” a dynamic as applicable to social systems as in the rest of nature. The transformation of individuals into “overconcentrated social units” contributes to the problems associated with mass size. One sees this tendency within business organizations, with increased bureaucratization, ossification, and reduced resiliency to competition often accompanying increased size. Nor do the expected benefits of economies of scale for larger firms overcome the tendencies for the decline of earnings and rates of return on investments, as well as the maintenance of market shares following mergers. The current political mantra, “too big to fail,” is a product of the dysfunctional nature of size when an organization faces energized competition to which it must adapt if it is to survive.

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

Avatar of admin

by admin

Cop Shoots Schizophrenic Teen Who'd Already Been Tasered, After Saying "We Don't Have Time For This"

January 7, 2014 in Blogs

By Alex Kane, AlterNet

The boy's father said, “They killed my son in cold blood. We called for help and they killed my son.”


A schizophrenic teen was fatally shot over the weekend in North Carolina by police officers.  Now, the news outlet WECT reports that one of the officers who arrived at the scene in Boiling Spring Lakes, North Carolina has been placed on leave.  The officer’s name is Detective Byron Vassey, though the police chief did not confirm whether he pulled the trigger.

The incident started on Sunday afternoon, when three cops arrived at the home of 18-year-old Keith Vidal.  The first officer who arrived at the home reported that there was a confrontation, but then told the second police unit that everything was OK.

But shots were fired from an officer in the second unit, who arrived after the first officer.  The teen’s father, Mark Wilsey, said that the family called the police for help with their schizophrenic son, who was holding a small screwdriver.  The family says their son would not have hurt anyone with the screwdriver.

Vidal, Wilsey’s son, was tasered first.  But according to Wilsey, an officer said, “we don’t have time for this,” and then shot Vidal.

“There was no reason to shoot this kid,” Wilsey told WECT. “They killed my son in cold blood. We called for help and they killed my son.”

North Carolina is now investigating the incident.

 

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

International Analysis: Uruguay and Marijuana Legalization

January 7, 2014 in Economics

By Jeffrey A. Miron

Jeffrey A. Miron

On December 23, Uruguayan President José Mujica signed a new law that fully legalizes marijuana in his country. Uruguay had already legalized possession, but the new law legalizes production and sale. This is an important victory in the fight against drug prohibition: it marks the first full legalization of an illicit drug since worldwide drug prohibition began in 1919. However, the broader and longer-term effects of the new law are far from certain.

Prohibition has proven to have little benefit, and comes with a long list of negative side effects: it generates violent, corrupt black markets that increase the use of dirty needles and the spread of HIV and other diseases; it results in civil-liberties infringements in the form of warrantless searches, racial profiling, and the unnecessary incarceration of thousands; and governments waste resources on police and prisons, and leave potential tax revenue as profit for illegal traffickers.

Uruguay’s new law constitutes real progress in dismantling prohibition, but it will not be a lasting victory unless supporters embrace more complete legalization, and for all drugs.”

These consequences spring from the illegal markets for marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and several other drugs. Since marijuana has already become de facto legal in many countries, its contribution to drug-related crime and corruption is more limited. Legalizing marijuana therefore addresses but one part of a larger problem, and may not reduce the negative effects of prohibition.

In fact, if marijuana legalization leads authorities to increase their enforcement efforts in other drug markets, then violence, corruption, and other ills due to prohibition may increase. It would then appear as though marijuana legalization had exacerbated the problems it claims to reduce, thereby supporting the arguments of prohibitionists.

Uruguay’s new law is very restrictive: Individuals can purchase no more than 40 grams of marijuana per month (and must register in a government database), and producers can cultivate no more than six plants unless they join growers’ clubs, which also face strict limits on production. Marijuana can only be sold in state-regulated pharmacies and cannot be exported or sold to tourists. A new Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis will supervise all of this.

These restrictions on the legal market are somewhere between irrelevant and counter-productive. If marijuana users and producers have no trouble staying within these limits, then the limits themselves are irrelevant. More likely, however, these restrictions will keep the black market alive, undoing …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Sen. Paul Opposes Yellen Nomination to Federal Reserve

January 7, 2014 in Politics & Elections

Today, the United States Senate voted on the nomination of Dr. Janet Yellen to serve as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Sen. Rand Paul would have voted no on the nomination of Janet Yellen, however missed the vote due to flight delays. Her nomination was confirmed, 56-26.
Following the vote, Sen. Paul took to the Senate floor to speak about the need to end secrecy at the Federal Reserve and against the Yellen nomination. A video of the floor speech can be found below.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH SEN. PAUL’S FLOOR SPEECH

###
…read more

Source: RAND PAUL

Avatar of admin

by admin

Florida Man Who Shot 2 People to Death Gets Off Thanks to 'Stand Your Ground' Law

January 7, 2014 in Blogs

By Alex Kane, AlterNet

This latest test of the Stand Your Ground law is likely headed to the Florida Supreme Court.


Stand Your Ground strikes again in Florida.  The notorious law that allows people accused of killing someone to argue that they “stood their ground” in the face of life-threatening circumstances has given a man accused of murder a chance at getting off scot-free.

As Think Progress’ Nicole Flatow notes, an appeals court in Florida made a ruling last week that could shield Gabriel Mobley from all the criminal and civil charges he faced for killing two people.

In 2008, Mobley was working at a Chili’s restaurant when two men approached Mobley’s co-workers.  Mobley’s friend asked the men to go, but Mobley tried to calm the situation down.  After the initial confrontation, Mobley became worried when the men banged on the window outside the Chili’s.  Mobley also said they were staring at him.

So Mobley left the restaurant to go to his car, where he picked up his gun.  He went to go smoke a cigarette, but one of the men who approached Mobley’s co-workers, Jason Jesus Gonzalez, punched a friend of Mobley’s.  Then Gonzales’ friend, Rolando Carrazana, approached, and Mobley saw him reach under his shirt.  Mobley thought a gun was about to come out.  Mobley fired his gun first, injuring the two men, both of whom died.  No guns were found, though there were knives on the ground.

Mobley was convicted of second-degree murder after a judge rejected his Stand Your Ground defense.  The judge said that he could not claim immunity under the law because he went to get his gun from his car and did not attempt to calm the situation down before firing.  

But last week, two judges overturned the conviction.  They argued that Mobley and his friend “had every right to be where they were, doing what they were doing and they did nothing to precipitate this violent attack.”

The case is likely headed to the Florida Supreme Court.  

 

Related …read more

Source: ALTERNET