URLs du Jour

2018-11-09

[Amazon Link]

  • Bryan Caplan speaks out Against Veneration:

    I have close friends who venerate Adam Smith, John Rawls, Friedrich Hayek, James Buchanan, John Maynard Keynes, Ayn Rand, John Stuart Mill, Ludwig von Mises, Paul Samuelson, Deirdre McCloskey, Elinor Ostrom, Hannah Arendt, Alexis de Tocqueville, David Hume, Murray Rothbard, Paul Krugman, or Thomas Jefferson.

    “Venerate.” I choose the word with care. “Venerates X” means far more than “Admires X’s intellectual achievements.” It means, rather, than you (a) ascribe superlative and wide-ranging intellectual insight to X, and (b) energetically lobby to get X ample credit for their supposedly remarkable intellectual contributions. Thus, people who venerate Hayek don’t merely say, “Hayek made several fruitful points.” People who venerate Hayek maintain that Hayek’s work is packed with wisdom – and persistently advertise Hayek’s genius to the world.

    Read on for Bryan's argument that veneration is a misguided take.

    I see a lot of names I like on Bryan's list, although I don't think any of them reach the veneration threshold. McCloskey and Hayek come pretty close, though.

    People who read this blog know that I am a dedicated fanboy of a few current writers. Does that imply veneration? I'll try to watch out for that.


  • Except for Chris Sununu, it was a pretty bad election for Republicans in New Hampshire. Michael Graham notes the inevitable sour grapes: "The Party Let Us Down,” NH Republicans Complain. But Will They Pay Up to Solve the Problem?.

    New Hampshire Republican candidates, activists and soon-to-be-former legislators are bemoaning their party’s devastating losses in the midterm elections, and they’re putting at least part of the blame on the leadership–or lack thereof– of the NHGOP.

    Republicans attending a midterm post-mortem event hosted by NHJournal on Wednesday repeatedly brought up the fact that the GOP state organization–which is underfunded and relies heavily on volunteers– is unable to compete with the Democrats and their paid, full-time staff.

    For all Democrats' griping about "big money" in politics, they seem to snap it up pretty fast. Here in my Congressional district, at last report, the D guy raised about 1.9 times more cash than the R guy.


  • Our Google LFOD alert rang for a heartwarming story in the Brattleboro Reformer: Chroma celebrates 'bright future'. In Vermont. Chroma Technology's president, Paul Millman, was a tad in-your-face:

    Millman joked that comparing the New Hampshire state motto of "Live Free or Die" to Vermont's "Freedom and Unity" made it an easy decision to stay in Vermont. "Where's the choice?" he said.

    This was at a meeting celebrating an expansion of Chroma's workplace, allowing it to add 25 employees to its current 113. We can pick up certain clues from the article. In attendance: US Senator Patrick Leahy (Democrat) and Governor Phil Scott (Republican). And:

    Leahy and Scott both were instrumental in helping to fund the expansion. The project took advantage of federal New Market tax credits, community development block grants, the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive, the Windham County Economic Development Program funded by Entergy Nuclear, as well as other state and federal programs. The company worked closely with the Brattleboro Development Credit Corp., as well as the town of Rockingham, on its needed expansion plan.

    So Chroma is a Classic Creature of Crony Capitalism, with obvious carefully-tended "bipartisan" political connections. How many of those jobs, I wonder, are dedicated to tending the governmental funding spigots, and looking out for more federal/state/local teats on which to suck?


  • LFOD also appears in Michael Moffett's Concord Monitor open letter to DJT: Now is a good time to retire, Mr. President. Michael's closing argument:

    Freed from having to put all that time, energy, emotion and wherewithal into a re-election campaign, you could focus on consolidating and expanding upon achievements that, ironically, would more likely be preserved under a president other than yourself. You could be an extraordinary president emeritus.

    And you could remain the brawler who’ll fight back when needed – in New Hampshire and elsewhere. Combine your strengths with a new ticket as part of a winning team in 2020 for the sake of the country.

    Let your final decision reflect courage and wisdom – not ego and hubris.

    Straight talk indeed.

    Live Free or Die.

    Fine. Good idea, in fact. But asking Trump to forgo ego and hubris is like asking Bill Clinton to waive his book advance. Not gonna happen.


  • [Amazon Link]

    And Matt Simon op-eds in the Union Leader on the upcoming report of the study commission on marijuana. It looks good!

    Now that two-thirds of Granite Staters and two-thirds of Americans believe cannabis should be legal for use by adults, it has become apparent that legalization is no longer a question of “if” — it’s a question of “when and how.” The commission’s report goes a long way toward answering the question of “how,” but only the Legislature and governor can decide “when.”

    While considering that question, New Hampshire policymakers should remember a fact that is not included in the commission’s report: cannabis is objectively less harmful than alcohol, and most residents of the “Live Free or Die” state are ready to see it treated that way.

    The LFOD state should have been out in front on this issue, but (hey, I have an idea) let's get rid of all state laws that try to tell adults what they can and can't imbibe, ingest, inject, or inhale.