Archive for the For Free Trade Category

Aha! Conservative-types are so ignorant about history! And stuff!

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , on May 23, 2014 by cavalier973

I dare you to read this flapdoodle.


Now, isn’t it interesting that the ONLY examples he can find of people making incorrect statements concerning events of history are from those who lean rightward, politically.

Regardless, the point I would like to address is the blanket statement “The Civil War was over the Slavery Question”.  Eh…Secession was about slavery; the war was due to Lincoln’s maniacal impulse to impose his mercantilist policies on a free people (both north and south, and come to think of it, on those suffering in slavery).  How do we know this?  Because the South did not secede all at once.  This is conveniently ignored, but North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Arkansas all decided to remain in the Union, until, of course, Lincoln’s dictatorial bent was exposed by his call for troops to invade the South.

Don’t believe me?  Consider Tennessee (from Wikipedia):

Unionists of all descriptions, both those who became Confederates and those who did not, considered the proclamation calling for seventy-five thousand troops “disastrous.” Having consulted personally with Lincoln in March, Congressman Horace Maynard, the unconditional Unionist and future Republican from East Tennessee, felt assured that the administration would pursue a peaceful policy. Soon after April 15, a dismayed Maynard reported that “the President’s extraordinary proclamation” had unleashed “a tornado of excitement that seems likely to sweep us all away.” Men who had “heretofore been cool, firm and Union loving” had become “perfectly wild” and were “aroused to a frenzy of passion.” For what purpose, they asked, could such an army be wanted “but to invade, overrun and subjugate the Southern states.” The growing war spirit in the North further convinced southerners that they would have to “fight for our hearthstones and the security of home.”

  1.  Daniel W. Crofts, Reluctant Confederates: Upper South Unionists in the Secession Crisis (1989), p.334.

William Shaxper of Stratford died on this date

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , , , , , on April 23, 2014 by cavalier973

Nearly four centuries ago.


Also, documentary evidence related to Shakespeare.

Free audio version of “Anatomy of the State” by Rothbard

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , , , , on April 11, 2014 by cavalier973

Listen here.

Mark Twain on William Shaxper

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , , on April 6, 2014 by cavalier973

Read his book, Is Shakespeare Dead?


An excerpt:

For the instruction of the ignorant I will make a list, now, of those details of Shakespeare’s history which are FACTS–verified facts, established facts, undisputed facts.


He was born on the 23d of April, 1564.

Of good farmer-class parents who could not read, could not write, could not sign their names.

At Stratford, a small back settlement which in that day was shabby and unclean, and densely illiterate. Of the nineteen important men charged with the government of the town, thirteen had to “make their mark” in attesting important documents, because they could not write their names.

Of the first eighteen years of his life NOTHING is known. They are a blank.

On the 27th of November (1582) William Shakespeare took out a license to marry Anne Whateley.

Next day William Shakespeare took out a license to marry Anne Hathaway. She was eight years his senior.

William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway. In a hurry. By grace of a reluctantly-granted dispensation there was but one publication of the banns.

Within six months the first child was born.

About two (blank) years followed, during which period NOTHING AT ALL HAPPENED TO SHAKESPEARE, so far as anybody knows.

Then came twins–1585. February.

Two blank years follow.

Then–1587–he makes a ten-year visit to London, leaving the family behind.

Five blank years follow. During this period NOTHING HAPPENED TO HIM, as far as anybody actually knows.

Then–1592–there is mention of him as an actor.

Next year–1593–his name appears in the official list of players.

Next year–1594–he played before the queen. A detail of no consequence: other obscurities did it every year of the forty-five of her reign. And remained obscure.

Three pretty full years follow. Full of play-acting. Then

In 1597 he bought New Place, Stratford.

Thirteen or fourteen busy years follow; years in which he accumulated money, and also reputation as actor and manager.

Meantime his name, liberally and variously spelt, had become associated with a number of great plays and poems, as (ostensibly) author of the same.

Some of these, in these years and later, were pirated, but he made no protest. Then–1610-11–he returned to Stratford and settled down for good and all, and busied himself in lending money, trading in tithes, trading in land and houses; shirking a debt of forty-one shillings, borrowed by his wife during his long desertion of his family; suing debtors for shillings and coppers; being sued himself for shillings and coppers; and acting as confederate to a neighbor who tried to rob the town of its rights in a certain common, and did not succeed.

He lived five or six years–till 1616–in the joy of these elevated pursuits. Then he made a will, and signed each of its three pages with his name.

A thoroughgoing business man’s will. It named in minute detail every item of property he owned in the world–houses, lands, sword, silver-gilt bowl, and so on–all the way down to his “second-best bed” and its furniture.

It carefully and calculatingly distributed his riches among the members of his family, overlooking no individual of it. Not even his wife: the wife he had been enabled to marry in a hurry by urgent grace of a special dispensation before he was nineteen; the wife whom he had left husbandless so many years; the wife who had had to borrow forty-one shillings in her need, and which the lender was never able to collect of the prosperous husband, but died at last with the money still lacking. No, even this wife was remembered in Shakespeare’s will.

He left her that “second-best bed.”

And NOT ANOTHER THING; not even a penny to bless her lucky widowhood with.

It was eminently and conspicuously a business man’s will, not a poet’s.

It mentioned NOT A SINGLE BOOK.

Books were much more precious than swords and silver-gilt bowls and second-best beds in those days, and when a departing person owned one he gave it a high place in his will.


Many poets have died poor, but this is the only one in history that has died THIS poor; the others all left literary remains behind. Also a book. Maybe two.

If Shakespeare had owned a dog–but we need not go into that: we know he would have mentioned it in his will. If a good dog, Susanna would have got it; if an inferior one his wife would have got a dower interest in it. I wish he had had a dog, just so we could see how painstakingly he would have divided that dog among the family, in his careful business way.

He signed the will in three places.

In earlier years he signed two other official documents.

These five signatures still exist.


Was he prejudiced against the art? His granddaughter, whom he loved, was eight years old when he died, yet she had had no teaching, he left no provision for her education although he was rich, and in her mature womanhood she couldn’t write and couldn’t tell her husband’s manuscript from anybody else’s–she thought it was Shakespeare’s.

When Shakespeare died in Stratford IT WAS NOT AN EVENT. It made no more stir in England than the death of any other forgotten theatre-actor would have made. Nobody came down from London; there were no lamenting poems, no eulogies, no national tears–there was merely silence, and nothing more. A striking contrast with what happened when Ben Jonson, and Francis Bacon, and Spenser, and Raleigh and the other distinguished literary folk of Shakespeare’s time passed from life! No praiseful voice was lifted for the lost Bard of Avon; even Ben Jonson waited seven years before he lifted his.

SO FAR AS ANYBODY ACTUALLY KNOWS AND CAN PROVE, Shakespeare of Stratford-on-Avon never wrote a play in his life.

SO FAR AS ANYBODY KNOWS AND CAN PROVE, he never wrote a letter to anybody in his life.


So far as any one KNOWS AND CAN PROVE, Shakespeare of Stratford wrote only one poem during his life. This one is authentic. He did write that one–a fact which stands undisputed; he wrote the whole of it; he wrote the whole of it out of his own head. He commanded that this work of art be engraved upon his tomb, and he was obeyed. There it abides to this day. This is it:

Good friend for Iesus sake forbeare
To digg the dust encloased heare:
Blest be ye man yt spares thes stones
And curst be he yt moves my bones.

In the list as above set down, will be found EVERY POSITIVELY KNOWN fact of Shakespeare’s life, lean and meagre as the invoice is. Beyond these details we know NOT A THING about him. All the rest of his vast history, as furnished by the biographers, is built up, course upon course, of guesses, inferences, theories, conjectures– an Eiffel Tower of artificialities rising sky-high from a very flat and very thin foundation of inconsequential facts.

About Frozen

Posted in For Free Trade, For God with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2014 by cavalier973

So, we purchased a copy of the Disney film Frozen.  Meh.








Okay, in addition to the above concise and thoroughly accurate review, I feel I should add that the songs were bland and/or annoying, the “plot twist” was predictable from the first scene, the stock villains were unbelievable, and the comic relief was mediocre.  Two things especially bothered me.  Number one was a missed opportunity to make the bad guy complex.  Spoilers follow, of course.  Hans, the prince, pretends to be in love with Anna so that he can become king of Arandelle.  When he does his Face-Heel turn, it feels really forced and awkward.  It would have been much better, in my opinion, to have him sort of sanguine about Elsa until she accidentally hurts Anna, and subsequently conceive of the idea that Elsa needs to die.  In other words, he didn’t have to be a secret jerk with an evil plan to be horribly wrong and villainous.  It was too unbelievable a change.  An alternative explanation for his turning into a bad guy could have been that Elsa shot him in the heart with an ice beam, and it made his heart go cold.  Too obvious?  Well, at least it would have made sense.

The other thing that bugged me was the treatment of the Duke of Weseltown.  He’s concerned with trade and business and money, so he’s automatically a ridiculous figure and something of a bad guy, amirite?  In the end, Queen Elsa declares that all trade with Weseltown is henceforth cut off.  For no reason, other than that he was a ridiculous figure who reached the absolutely correct conclusion that Elsa was dangerous, and that something should be done about her–even, perhaps, something drastic.  But we’re supposed to sympathise with Elsa, because she’s pretty, and scorn the Duke because he’s ridiculous, and only cares about money, I guess.  The thing that really bothers me about this aspect of the film is that Elsa hasn’t really punished the Duke at all; he can just get new trading partners, or secretly trade with Arendelle through some intermediary country, or commence to smuggling.  It is Elsa’s people who really suffer because of her capriciousness.  They have been cut off from a country that offered goods and services that they presumably found valuable.  Even if they could switch trading partners, the limitation of competition means that the Arandellians must endure higher prices and lower quality.  Their lives will be worse off going forward, with lower real incomes and a generally lower standard of living.  Seriously, even left-wing economists see the value of trade.  Thanks a lot, Elsa, you ninny.

One other thing;  Kristoff is declared the “Royal Deliverer of Ice” as some sort of reward or something.  Is this a cruel joke?  The queen freaking shoots ice out her hands.


Is there anything good about the film?  Yes.  The overall story arc is sort of an analogy of someone escaping Legalism into the equally oppressive state of Licentiousness, only to discover grace by the sacrifice of someone else–someone else to whom the protagonist had caused severe harm.  Kind of surprising, really.  One of the reasons some other reviewer declared that this might be the most Christian of the Disney films.

Also, Hans didn’t die by falling off a cliff.  No one died, except the parents, now that I think about it.  The animation was pretty good–the effects of Elsa shooting ice beams was cool and stuff.

But getting back to the trade, thing…what’s that?  Oh, all right; I’ll let it go…

Money and Banking in the United States

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2014 by cavalier973

Rothbard’s classic text in audio form.

Why I listen to Public Radio

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , , , on February 14, 2014 by cavalier973

Yeah, they’re a bunch of liberals, but they focus on interesting stories more often than not.  Also, I learn about people and phenomena that aren’t touched on in the usual talk radio sphere.  Such as new artists:

Overselling Global Warming.

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , on February 10, 2014 by cavalier973

For the record, I do not find the arguments for global warming persuasive, given the actual, observed evidence.  I find the argument that “global climate change is man-caused” to be pseudoscientific flapdoodle.  But I would welcome global warming, if it’s occurring; increased arable land, higher production of food crops.  There would be definite advantages that would, in my view, outweigh any disadvantages.

Anyway, here’s an op/ed on on the subject.

The Minimum Wage

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , , , , , on January 28, 2014 by cavalier973

This morning, on NPR, they were interviewing a “Republican Millionaire”, who was arguing for a minimum wage of $12.00 an hour in California.  His reasoning was that people will be willing to take a job for $12.00 an hour that they wouldn’t take at a lower wage rate, and that by taking the job, these people will move off the welfare rolls, thus saving taxpayers money!  Great idea!  Except for the fact that it’s moronic!

First of all, taxpayers are consumers, too, so an increase in the price of goods and services to cover the government-mandated increase in wage rates is a form of tax–on the same group of people that the “Republican Millionaire” claims his proposal would benefit.

Second of all, basic economics tells us that raising the price of some good or service lowers the demand for that good or service.  The “Republican Millionaire” made the oft-argued statement that “studies” (what studies?  when were they conducted?  were the conclusions really what minimum-wage proponents claim?) have shown that raising the minimum wage doesn’t really decrease the available number of jobs.  He states that California raised the minimum wage by 35¢ and that the unemployment rate actually went down.  I think he said this was in 1995.  Since he didn’t qualify that statement, I infer that he is arguing that the price for labor and the demand for labor move in tandem, rather than being inversely related, as is commonly thought.  To reiterate, he implies (or, at least, allows the listener to infer) that if the price of labor rises, then the demand for labor also rises, and that if the price for labor falls, the demand for labor falls.  He is, of course, incorrect.  He admitted during the interview that he has not ever taken an economics course, so maybe he can be excused for being ignorant of the relationships among price, demand, and supply.

I have no reason to doubt (and I have little incentive to research the question) that California did raise the minimum wage, and that subsequently the unemployment rate fell.  So, why would this situation occur if the price and demand of labor is inversely related?  The most likely answer is that the minimum wage hike did not push the wage above the market rate.  That is, if the “general market rate” for labor were higher than the minimum wage, all other things being equal, then one would not expect to see the unemployement rate affected.  I put “general market rate” in quotes because, in the end, not all labor is the same.  You can’t fire your accountant and hire a burger flipper to do your taxes and expect to get the same quality labor.  So, a hike in the minimum wage would not affect all types of labor equally.

What it would do is price certain low-skilled laborers out of the market.  If an employer is considering hiring a non-skilled worker and a skilled worker, and he must pay the same regardless of which he hires, then he has little incentive to hire the non-skilled worker.  The government has effectively denied the non-skilled worker the use of his competitive advantage–underbidding his skilled rival for the job.  In addition, one could expect that skilled workers would be willing to bid for a lower-stress job that pays the same or just a little less than his current job.

Another thing of which the “Republican Millionaire” seems to be ignorant is that there are players at the margin.  He talked at some length about how Wal-Mart would only need to raise its prices by 1% to cover the minimum wage hike he proposes.  However, he does not speak of (and may not even have thought of) the smaller firms that would not be able to absorb the wage hike.  The firms, like the low-skilled worker, must often compete by charging lower prices for their goods or services.  In order to charge lower prices, they must maintain lower costs.  An increase in the cost of labor will likely push the firms operating with thin profit margins into bankruptcy.  It will also induce the owners of some firms that remain profitable to close shop, if the owners feel they could make better use of their time and resources.  The point is that competition will decrease, and when competition decreases, prices rise and the quality of goods and services fall.  A minimum wage is actually a boon to the larger firms, since it eliminates the competition provided by smaller firms.

Now, I am aware that President Obama is urging Congress to increase the minimum wage, while he also is promising to use an Executive Order to compel firms that bid on government contracts to pay a minimum wage of $10.10.  A national minimum wage would have the same effect, of course; just on a national scale.

In the end, a minimum wage is a bad idea.  It is an unwarranted interference in the lives of people, because it prevents them from making arrangements that they feel is in their best interests.  It misallocates resources by incentivizing firms and individuals to allocate labor to less productive uses.  It is a boon to larger firms because it eliminates competition.  It is anti-humanity, because it pushes people out of the workforce and makes them dependent on government largesse.  It increases the cost of goods and services, even if the increase may seem negligible.  It is a bad idea.

Game of Thrones Amusement Park.

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , on January 25, 2014 by cavalier973

Okay, that title was a little misleading, I’m afraid.  This will make up for it:



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