Capitalism (page 78)

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    I wonder if they take the ‘Yuck Factor’ into account

    A fascinating article in the latest TIME delves into the strategies supermarkets use to encourage more purchases from their shoppers. Among the findings: Over several months of experimenting, the team noticed that using a dollar sign in front of the price decreases shoppers’ likelihood of making…
    Mitch Kokai, November 2, 2011
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    Oh the irony: Advocating liberty to Americans. (Q&A from tax debate)

    At the end of last week's tax debate, my opponent and I received about 45 minutes of questions from audience members. Most of these attacked pro-liberty ideals, which also happen to be American ideals. As I was born in New Zealand and moved to the United States in adulthood, this placed me in a bizarre scenario: advocating liberty to Americans. Here are seven of the questions that perhaps best represent the total. Almost all were directed at me, but my opponent, John Scott of the University of North Carolina, made a few remarks as well. 1. "Legitimate" taxation, and what about government education? (three minutes) [audio:http://bit.ly/u7CHUI] I didn't actually use the phrase "taxation is alright for a legitimate cause," but the question remains, and it is by no means an easy one. Many people—staunch libertarians or anarchists—say all taxation is theft and unacceptable. The minarchist or minimal-government libertarian position is that taxation is only warranted for defensive activities, the protection of life, liberty, and property. That equates to police, national defense, and a judicial system. Activities such as these better fit the characterization of "protectorate," rather than "government." In other words, they are only in place to protect individual rights, rather than to redistribute wealth, provide entitlements, or manage individuals, as collectivists so desire. They are, however, the roles originally prescribed by the Declaration or Independence, the United States Constitution, and the North Carolina Constitution. Article 1, Section 1 of the North Carolina State Constitution: We hold it to be self-evident that all persons are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor, and the pursuit of happiness.
    Fergus Hodgson, October 31, 2011
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    The link between the U.S. Constitution and capitalism

    Does our nation’s governing document guarantee a capitalist form of economic system? George Leef’s answer to that question might surprise you. Leef delivered his answer and explored other topics the Constitution does and does not address during a presentation today to the John Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury Society. Click play below…
    Mitch Kokai, October 31, 2011
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    America’s free fall in economic freedom

    How did Canada get to be economically freer than the United States, at least according to two credible measures? That’s right, both the Heritage Foundation and the Fraser Institute place the United States in that position, falling from the world’s top ten freest nations (even lower…
    Fergus Hodgson, October 28, 2011
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    Subsidizing recklessness, your tax dollars at work

    Russ Roberts on the Occupy Wall Street crowd in Foreign Affairs. The economist Milton Friedman liked to point out that capitalism is a profit-and-loss system. Profits encourage risk-taking. Losses encourage prudence, which is just as important. Over the last 25 years, however, government policy has been laissez-faire when it…
    Michael Sanera, October 28, 2011
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    A shocker: Capitalism works better than handouts to help the poor

    Acumen Fund founder and CEO Jacqueline Novogratz doesn’t use the words from this blog entry’s headline in her recent Bloomberg Businessweek commentary, but she could have: In 2002, after nearly 10 years of running a nonprofit to help poor farmers in India get the most out…
    Mitch Kokai, October 28, 2011
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    Black Swan author could borrow a word from Palmer

    The latest print version of Bloomberg Businessweek features the following quotation from Nassim N. Taleb, author of The Black Swan: ”We’re not living in capitalism. We’re not living in socialism. We’re living in some weird economic situation with the banks controlling more than their share. It’s…
    Mitch Kokai, October 28, 2011
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    The economy in haiku

    The Economist notes that the Kauffman Foundation joined economics and literature in their latest questionnaire on the economy. THE KAUFFMAN FOUNDATION conducts a quarterly survey of economics bloggers (you can see the third quarter results here). It tends to focus on current economic conditions and policy questions, but the fourth…
    Terry Stoops, October 26, 2011