You are browsing the archive for 2015 August 24.

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Ten Most-Read Mises Daily Articles for July

August 24, 2015 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

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Ten Most-Read Mises Daily Articles for July

August 24, 2015

I know, it’s nearly September, but I forgot to post July’s Top Ten Mises Daily articles, so here there are (based on site traffic):

  1. Greece Illustrates 150 Years of Socialist

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Rothbard: Nine Myths About the Crash

August 24, 2015 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

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Rothbard: Nine Myths About the Crash

August 24, 2015

Following the Crash in 1987, many myths circulated about the nature, causes, and remedies for the crash at the time. Rothbard’s debunking of many of these myths is still informative today.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Cop Threatens to 'Drag' Teens Out of Car for Smiling and Not Taking Him Seriously Enough

August 24, 2015 in Blogs

By John Vibes, The Free Thought Project

When one of the young men asks the officer “What did I do?” the officer responds by saying, “I don’t know. I just don’t like you, I just don’t like you.”


Plano, TX — Police officer Jeff Willis is facing disciplinary action after a video surfaced of him violently threatening teenagers because they were smiling at him and not taking him seriously enough. Luckily, one of the passengers in the car was able to get some video footage of the encounter to expose how completely ridiculous officer Willis was acting.

The teenagers were at a car meet near the Dallas North Tollway and Spring Creek Parkway when Willis pulled them over because one of the passengers allegedly flipped him the middle fighter from the window.

The video begins with officer Willis yelling at the teenagers to stop smiling and then threatened to “drag” the young men out of the vehicle if they did not take the situation, and his authority, more seriously.

When one of the young men asked the officer “What did I do?” Willis responded by saying “I don’t know. I just don’t like you, I just don’t like you.”

The driver, unable to contain himself, began laughing and said to Willis “Have a great day, officer.”

That is when Willis became more aggressive, and made physical threats against the teens, saying “Keep going. Say something else and I’ll drag you out of the car.”

Before finally allowing the teens to leave, Willis shouted “Asshole!” and made more threats, but once one of the young men mentioned that he had been recording the whole time, the officer backed off and let them go on their way.

 

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Source: ALTERNET

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Donald Trump’s Southern Strategy: What His Alabama Pep Rally Revealed About the Right’s New Racial Politics

August 24, 2015 in Blogs

By Joan Walsh, Salon

Trump is banking on support from the South. But he hasn’t decided whether he’s Richard Nixon or George Wallace.


I got to watch Donald Trump’s Alabama pep rally from the distance of a brief vacation, and that made it at once more entertaining and more chilling. I could admire the spectacle: “Sweet Home Alabama,” that sea of adoring white faces, the proprietary American flags. Trump himself channeled Richard Nixon, claiming his Alabama backers represented a modern “silent majority” that would be silent no more.

Personally, I can’t decide whether Trump is playing Nixon or George Wallace. Of course, in polite journalistic company, we’re not supposed to say either. We’re still supposed to act like Trump’s anti-immigrant campaign represents the legitimate frustration of the white working class. The frustration is real, but the solution is Nixonian: Get those white voters focused on a menacing “other,” rather than plutocrats like Trump.

The Alabama spectacle gave Trump’s team the opportunity to showcase his Nixonian “Southern strategy.” Sure, he’s focused on Iowa and New Hampshire, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told the Washington Post, but he’s looking forward to Southern Super Tuesday, March 1. “Then comes the South. That’s the path to the nomination.”

Still, Lewandowski and other Trump backers aren’t quite sure how to deal with the racism they’re channeling. On CNN, the Trump campaign manager ducked a question about cries of “white power” heard in the Alabama crowd, though he did condemn the attacks on a homeless Latino man by Trump supporters in Boston last week. (Trump himself refused to condemn the attackers, then backtracked.)

“If that is what happened in Boston, that is not acceptable in any nature,” Lewandowski told Jim Acosta. Then he added an odd note: “We should not be ashamed to be Americans and we should be proud of our heritage, and proud to be American.”

It’s hard not to hear a dog whistle in that comment about “our heritage,” given the element of white nationalist support Trump is enjoying. The New Yorker has a great piece out Monday about Trump’s white nationalist fans. I wrote about this earlier in the month, but the …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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What Really Happens When 'a Bill Becomes Law'

August 24, 2015 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

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What Really Happens When ‘a Bill Becomes Law’

August 24, 2015

In civics and government books, “how a bill becomes law” shows multiple steps during which representatives consider bills before enactment. Unfortunately, such responsible deliberation, necessary to even a minimal prospect of legislation advancing the general welfare, is violated by…

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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It May Be a Long Way Down

August 24, 2015 in Economics

By Jeff Deist

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It May Be a Long Way Down

August 24, 2015

Today’s discomfiting 1,000 point drop in the DJIA may be the next in a series of shocks for worldwide equity markets. But given the growth in the Federal Reserve Bank’s monetary base, US stocks may have a long way down left to go. 

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Is Your Smartphone Aging Your Face Prematurely? 5 Maladies of the Digital Era

August 24, 2015 in Blogs

By Janet Allon, AlterNet

“Text neck” is for real.


Face it, we’re all addicted to our electronic devices. You might know a few lonely holdouts, determined to stay detached and live off the grid, but their numbers are diminishing. Most of us are living in an ever more wired world, dependent on instantaneous communication and information, and at a panicky loss when we can’t find our smartphones.

No one wants to hear it, but we’re paying a steep price for this behavior. Our tech habits are laying ruin to our physical and mental health and abilities. Being aware of the possible pitfalls is your first line of defense against premature aging, aches and diminished brain capacity. That and unplugging more often. Here are five digital maladies you should be aware of.

1. Text Neck

You see them everywhere. Teenagers, middle-aged commuters, grocery shoppers of all ages, hunched over small objects they gaze at like little miracles, their necks jutting forward and down at an oddly excruciating angle. And they just stay there, seemingly frozen, unaware.

These are the legions of people giving themselves “text neck,” a thoroughly modern condition that can lay ruin to one's neck and spine. People are hunched over smartphones, engrossed in text conversations, checking Facebook, returning emails, Instagramming photos, unaware that they are putting immense strain on their necks and spines that will plague them for a lifetime.

The head is heavy under the best of circumstances, a weighty 12-pound object to support. Your neck and spine work tirelessly to hold it up it and are well set up to do so. Or they were, until smartphones came along and gave everyone incentive to cock their heads forward at an unnatural angle, for hours on end.

As the Washington Post explains it:

… as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds.

That’s the burden that comes with staring at a smartphone — the way millions do for hours …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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DC Has a Bigger Welfare State than Any European Country besides Denmark

August 24, 2015 in Economics

By Michael D. Tanner, Charles Hughes

Michael D. Tanner and Charles Hughes

When you hear the term “welfare state,” most people think of Europe and countries like Denmark or France. No doubt those countries offer a wide range of benefits targeted to the middle class, retirees, and so forth. But according to a new study released by the Cato Institute this week, someone who is poor might just be better off here in D.C.

The federal government currently funds more than 100 anti-poverty programs. While no one participates in all of them, many can and do collect assistance from multiple programs.

In D.C., a mother with two children under the age of five who participates in six major welfare programs — Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps), housing assistance, home energy assistance, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and free commodities) would receive a benefits package worth $34,963 per year.

D.C. has the second highest benefit package in the United States, but overall the U.S. fits comfortably in the middle of the pack when it comes to providing for the poor.”

Using a similar measure, Cato found that benefits in Europe ranged from $38,588 per year in Denmark to just $1,112 in Romania. In fact, the District’s welfare system can be more generous than every country included except Denmark. The benefits package is higher than in well known welfare states as France ($17,324), Germany ($23,257) and even Sweden ($22,111). Moreover, this benefit package doesn’t include Medicaid, which would be worth roughly $8,140 for this household, because Europe’s health care systems are not targeted to the poor, unlike Medicaid.

Of course, D.C. has the second highest benefit package in the United States, but overall the U.S. fits comfortably in the middle of the pack when it comes to providing for the poor.

One of the problems with these welfare systems is that they can create situations where participants have little incentive to increase work effort because they would lose most of their earnings through lower benefits or higher taxes, while also having to bear the costs associated with going to work like transportation: these people would see little tangible improvement in their standard of living by taking up a job, working more hours or moving up the job ladder.

People in these programs are not lazy, but they are also not stupid. Like everyone else, they respond to incentives. …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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Cops Raid Wrong Address, Abuse Naked Woman, Kids

August 24, 2015 in Blogs

By Travis Gettys, Raw Story

“Stop f*cking crying!” Massachusetts SWAT cops berated their victim. “We treated you with respect,” they tried to tell her later.


Police terrorized a naked woman and her children at gunpoint last week during a no-knock raid on the wrong apartment.

Marianne Diaz said she was awakened about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday by SWAT officers knocking down the door to her Worcester, Massachusetts, apartment as officers wearing helmets and shields burst inside and pointed “big guns” at her head, reported the Telegram & Gazette.

“Stop f*cking crying and take care of your f*cking kids,” one officer commanded, Diaz said.

Diaz said her 7-year-old daughter was shaking in terror as she held her 18-month-old daughter in her lap, and she said officers would not allow her to cover up for about 10 minutes — after a woman officer frisked her nude body.

“It was terrorizing, and the worst thing I’ve ever been through in my life,” Diaz told WBZ-TV. “They were loud, vulgar and disgusting in behavior.”

Police were looking for a man who had previously lived in the apartment, where the 23-year-old Diaz has lived since May with her children, her 23-year-old fiancé and a 27-year-old mutual friend.

Prosecutors said Friday that police acted on the “best information” they had before obtaining a search warrant from a Central District Court judge, but court documents show the man police were looking for had been arrested nearly two weeks earlier and listed another address as his home.

The affidavit shows no indication that state Trooper Nicholas Nason had firsthand knowledge the man still lived at Diaz’s apartment or that any surveillance had been conducted on the residence.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles shows two people claim the apartment as their residence — Diaz, who has no criminal record and pays the utility bills under her own name, and another man with a lengthy criminal record.

Police listed no evidence of a relationship between Diaz and that man, who authorities considered armed and dangerous.

“I’m really upset about that,” Diaz said. “If they knew I lived there and had no criminal record, and the electricity was under my name, then why …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Jim Grant: 'We Have … Artificial Prices Worldwide'

August 24, 2015 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

Blog

Jim Grant: ‘We Have … Artificial Prices Worldwide’

August 24, 2015

In this interview, Jim Grant nicely sums in a few minutes the basic problem of using asset price inflation in pursuit of economic enterprise. The problem is this strategy puts the cart before the horse.

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Source: MISES INSTITUTE