You are browsing the archive for 2014 May 22.

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State of New Mexico Proposes New Medical Cannabis Program Rules; Program Becomes Less Transparent and Accountable to Patients

May 22, 2014 in PERSONAL LIBERTY

By drosenfeld

Patients, Drug Policy Alliance Re-Launch Campaign Asking the Governor and Secretary of Health to Postpone Rule Hearing and Go Back to the Drawing Board to Include Stakeholders in Their Process

Rural Patients and Veterans are Concerned They Will Lose Access to Medical Cannabis

SANTA FE, NM – Late last Friday the New Mexico Department of Health released proposed rule changes governing the medical cannabis program. If the new rules are adopted, thousands of patients, many of whom are New Mexico’s Military Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain, are worried that their medical cannabis will be taken away by making it harder for them to access their medicine.

May 22, 2014

Drug Policy Alliance

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Source: DRUG POLICY

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Free Thoughts Podcast Apps Now Available

May 22, 2014 in Economics

Free Thoughts, Libertarianism.org’s weekly show about libertarianism and the ideas that influence it, now comes in handy app form for tablets and mobile devices. Our free app gives you easy access to not just each new episode, but to our entire archive of shows. Download it now for iPhone, iPad, and Android.

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Source: CATO HEADLINES

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Cartels and Subsidies in Canadian Agriculture

May 22, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

6758

Predrag Rajsic writes in today’s Mises Daily:

Canada…has a relatively long history of agricultural policy. While sometimes similar to American agricultural policies, there are key differences with Canadian agriculture that may help illustrate the economic costs of intervention in differing economies…

One of the first pieces of legislation intended to keep farmers on the land was the Canadian Western Grain Transportation Act of 1897, which remained in power for almost 100 years — until 1995. The Act put in place legal obligations for the government to subsidize transportation of grain from western to eastern Canada. After this act was repealed in 1995, it became more profitable to ship Canadian grain southward into the US than to sell it domestically. In this case, the US consumers benefited from the abolition of this Canadian law.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Marijuana Legalization in Uruguay

May 22, 2014 in PERSONAL LIBERTY

By drosenfeld

May 22, 2014

No

In December 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to fully legalize the production, sale and consumption of marijuana for personal use. This document is a summary of the key provisions of the law.

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Source: DRUG POLICY

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Rogoff on the Advantages of Paper Currency

May 22, 2014 in Economics

By Peter G. Klein

Ken Rogoff offers a series of powerful arguments in favor of retaining paper currency. (Of course the feasible alternative, for Rogoff, is not commodity money, but 100% fiat electronic currency.) In particular, the widespread use of paper currency (1) makes it hard for central banks to push interest rates below zero (they would have to rely on some weird scheme for taxing currency, a la Silvio Gesell), and (2) allows people to conduct transactions securely and privately, without monitoring and expropriation by the state. Moreover,

However, as Rogoff points out, there are important drawbacks of retaining paper currency. (3) The anonymity of paper money makes it popular, and strong demand for money gives the central bank plenty of opportunity to expropriate wealth through seigniorage. Moreover, (4) if a government were to eliminate its own paper currency, people might start using other forms of non-traceable money (Rogoff mentions paper currency issued by foreign central banks, but private commodity or even private fiat currency is another, far more attractive, alternative). As long as people are reasonably satisfied with the government’s currency, they are less likely to develop alternatives. Replacing government-issued fiat paper money with government-issued fiat electronic money might help push people toward superior, private solutions.

Oh, wait, I got that backwards. Rogoff mentions (1) and (2) as costs of keeping paper currency, (3) and (4) as benefits. If you reverse the signs, his analysis is quite insightful.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Don’t be Fooled by Taper Talk

May 22, 2014 in Economics

By Steve H. Hanke

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Steve H. Hanke

Since last June, most thought the U.S. Federal Reserve’s so-called taper was just around the corner. Well, the Fed’s large-scale asset purchasers did finally begin to take action, but they did so later than most anticipated. It now appears that the door will close on the Fed’s massive asset purchase program late this year. With this in mind, talk has turned to another aspect of the taper — just when will the Fed start to increase the federal funds interest rate? It probably won’t be anytime soon. Yes, the massive distortions created by the Fed’s interest rate manipulations (read: carry trade, among others) will be with us for longer than most anticipate.

Why?

The U.S. is still in the midst of the Great Recession. Yes, there have been recent encouraging economic reports. But, the U.S. economy remains weak and vulnerable. Aggregate demand (measured by final sales to domestic purchasers) tells the tale (see the accompanying chart). The annual trend rate of growth in nominal aggregate demand has been 4.95% since 1987. At the depth of the Great Recession, that metric plunged to a negative annual rate of more than -4.0%. However, aggregate demand bounced back. Indeed, it almost reached the trend rate of growth in late 2011. But, since then, it has slumped to its current 2.86% annual rate. Remarkably, this is very close to the rate of growth in aggregate demand that prevailed during the recession of 1990-91 — the recession that probably cost President George H.W. Bush his bid for a second term.

The Fed will probably be forced to keep federal funds at the zero bound much longer than most think — perhaps well into 2016.”

Just why is the U.S. nominal aggregate demand so weak? It’s all about money. Money dominates. Before we jump to the current status of the money supply, we must ask, what’s the correct measure for the money supply?

To answer that question, we flash back to 1979, when Paul Volcker took the reins of the Federal Reserve System. The state of the economy was dreadful, with double-digit annual inflation running at 13.3%.

Chairman Volcker realized that money matters, and it didn’t take him long to make his move. On Saturday, 6 October 1979, he stunned the world with an unanticipated announcement. He proclaimed that he was going to put measures of the money supply on the Fed’s dashboard. For …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Libertarian relaxation videos [ASMR]

May 22, 2014 in Blogs

By Political Zach Foster

Need some relaxation? You should get into ASMR, which is a growing trend of videos made with special sounds to trigger a sleepy, relaxed state. Below are two new Libertarian ASMR videos yo help you relax, and also teach libertarian ideas in a calm, friendly manner. Enjoy!

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Source: ZACH FOSTER RANTS