Like many people still do, I used to support net neutrality. On its face, it makes sense. Aside from ideology, its marketed that all the internet should be equal so small blogs like this dont get throttled or charged exorbitant costs. This seems right and fair, if anti-market. But as I became a libertarian, I reexamined my views on things like net neutrality and global warming. Not everything is cut and dry as its presented. In this case, its a downright hoax and a lie.
Happy Sukkoth! Forgive the clickbait title, I couldnt think of a better way to phrase it.
GMO companies are trying to create a reduced gluten wheat, something that existed and was common until Norman Borlaug created a new type of wheat that increased yields (and gluten levels), but decreased nutritional value. Borlaug is frequently cited as a GMO success story for “saving a billion lives” despite the fact that he neither used genetic engineering nor did he save a billion lives. Malnourishment has remained roughly the same nominally for the past 40 years. Why do we need to create something that has already existed for 10,000 years?
Capitalism is fascinating. The different preferences of over seven billion people can only be reconciled by the price system and private risk taking. Central planners would never know that while the vast majority of America is running away from heavily processed box cake mixes like Betty Crocker, in remote parts of Alaska, its a slice of heaven. What we can get for 99c, costs them almost $5, even with the heavily subsidized shipping. And yet they still want it, and they innovate a lot of ways to make it, using mayonnaise for eggs, and sprite instead of milk.
With more and more activists pushing for a $15 minimum wage, and more and more states heading in that direction, research is being done to prove or disprove whether higher minimum wages have negative effects. Of course, research is not supposed to be done to prove either way; its supposed to see what the effects are, not focus on good or bad. In any case, studies have been conflicted for years, which has given both sides ammunition, and new research out of Seattle, which recently began raising its minimum wage to $15 has just added to this. One study shows no ill effects, another shows some workers are losing pay and hours (PDF). The reason for all this uncertainty is there are so many variables involved.
In 1929, our intellectual forefather Ludwig von Mises penned a lengthy tome about how socialism does not work. Not only does it not work in practice, he noted, it does not even work in theory, as some people say. The fundamental premise of his argument is that socialism cannot allocate resources effectively. Only the price system of the market (capitalism) can do that. No one person or committee of persons can appropriate resources for millions of people. In fact, even within a family unit, there is a good bit of friction when making such decisions. Scaling that up any further causes problems. The only thing that really can be done is provide a very basic distribution, but even that quickly becomes a logistical nightmare when scaled up too high.
The infamous physicist, who has been nearly fully paralyzed for decades, suffers from a degenerative disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrigs disease. After diagnosis, life expectancy is a few years. About 10% live past ten years. So, how is it possible that Hawking has survived for decades, especially in a country that has a socialist rationed healthcare system that usually just manages terminally ill patients until they die. There is no point wasting money on them from the bureaucrats point of view. Indeed, Hawking was offered a nursing home in the 1980s, but his wife would not allow it. Unless he is an animatronic robot, or extremely lucky, he would have had to use capitalism to survive this long, which would be ironic, given his socialist predilections and defense of the horrid NHS.
I was reading a City Journal article about how Californias rulers are leaving its younger population an awful state of affairs: low wages, limited jobs, expensive housing and other costs. The reasons for this are complex, mostly boiled down to big government, however, one thing stuck out at me: California has a massive income gap. Ironic given how liberals are always jumping and shouting about income inequality and their favorite state is one of the most egregious. I speculated that liberal states would be more unequal, and more conservative states would be more equal.