Why does everything need to be banned? Whenever there is a problem, however big or small, the immediate thought is to ban it. Even libertarians joke about how X or Y activity or thing should be banned. With the recent death of Otto Warmbier, an American who was kidnapped and thrown in a cage for a 15 year term starting last year in North Korea, there is growing talk of the US government restricting travel to North Korea. Is there such a pressing number of Americans going over there that the government needs to spend time stopping people from putting themselves in harms way? The results of travel to North Korea seem to speak for themselves. While its only been a few people, the proportion of tourists being kidnapped in North Korea seems to be the highest in the world. The only places more dangerous might be Afghanistan or Daesh Islamic State.
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.
After the 2015 shooting of several members of a black church in South Carolina, there have been calls to completely purge the United States of anything Confederate. From the flag atop the South Carolina statehouse to statues across southern cities, there has been mostly success. Unfortunately for supporters, cities these days are dominated by minorities and liberal whites, who want nothing to do with the Confederacy. In a sense, why should there be any memorials to failed secessionists? Do other countries have any of this? The answers are probably mixed. Ireland and Scotland still have their defeated heroes remembered, but England tends to mock Catholic pretenders like Bonnie Prince Charles. On the other hand, the Sov…I mean Russians still maintain some Soviet memorabilia despite its complete rejection. In fairness, Stalin does maintain a popularity in the country that Jefferson Davis does not.
A ransomware attack has been launched worldwide, targeting thousands of computer networks in dozens of country. The program encrypts your computer files and demands a payment of $300 in bitcoin within 3 days, doubling after that, and locking you out permanently in 7. Not without a sense of fairness, the poor may appeal for clemency after six months. One of the biggest targets of this has been the National Health Service of the United Kingdom. Often touted by those who favor a single payer socialist healthcare system (in spite of its very poor record of treating major illnesses), the NHS has been brought to its knees by a computer virus. Thousands of non-emergency patients have been turned away.
Earlier today, a group of people gathered on the State House steps in Concord, New Hampshire. Attendees soon discovered that the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire had an announcement to make. A freshman Democrat state representative, Joseph Stallcop, from Keene was defecting to join the Libertarian Party. He cited his upset with the government use of force against pipeline protestors in North Dakota and his “classic liberal” values conflicting with his party. This marks the third defection from the Democrats in just a few months, the other two switching to Republican.
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.