Tuesday, January 17, 2012

NOBEL WINNER WANNA-BE JEFFREY SACHS ATTACKS LIBERTARIANISM, RON PAUL


Because they’re NOT part of the status quo/problem, 

of course.

Jeffrey Sachs, famous columnist and academic, and teacher of Bono (Whoa Bono! he must be good then!), trains his guns on the libertarian movement and its top representative Ron Paul. He portrays libertarianism as an ‘extreme’ ideology, attractive to impressionable youngsters due to its Braveheart-like invocations of “Freeeeeedooooommmm!”

I quote Sachs:
Libertarians hold that individual liberty should never be sacrificed in the pursuit of other values or causes. Compassion, justice, civic responsibility, honesty, decency, humility, respect, and even survival of the poor, weak, and vulnerable -- all are to take a back seat.

Notice the faulty logic here.

If one denies government’s role in fostering ‘humane’ values, Sachs claims, this means that one rejects these values altogether, in the name of liberty. What complete nonsense.


GIVE ME LIBERTY, OR GIVE ME MORALS?!

Moral values never take a backseat to liberty, just because liberty is advocated. The difference really is whether one sees through the illusion that other values apart from liberty are to be derived from mechanisms that precisely go against such values. Given that the government requires violence and coercion to function, how can we expect compassion et al. to come from government?


Because all libertarians have are rabid cries 
for freedom; not scientific at all!
WHO’S BEING ‘IDEOLOGICAL’?

Sachs tries to belittle the “single-mindedness” of libertarians. But how is the belief in government-as-solution any less ‘single-minded’ than the single-mindedness being charged to libertarians?

And what, just because government comes in, in the name of the people, things like greed, discrimination, intolerance, etc. will disappear from society? Now who’s being “single-minded”?

Government does not stop ‘bad’ values present in society; these are merely redirected, even universalized, in ways that would be deemed undesirable, if only the consequences are determined beforehand, e.g.:

  • Central bank-induced crises (‘greed’); 
  • Overcrowding of prisons disproportionately filled with minorities (‘drug abuse’); 
  • Big pharma cronies feeding off universal health care (‘lack of compassion’); 
  • Higher prices/lower output due to outsourcing limitations (‘cold-bloodedness’ of employers); 
  • Etc.

FINAL WORDS

People like Sachs misrepresent the free market in documentaries like ‘Commanding heights,’ by claiming that they are for the free market. And those who actually understand free markets like Ron Paul are labeled as ‘extreme.’

In fact, the relative rarity of ‘extreme’ libertarianism goes hand in hand with the very common economic destruction that we see today and will continue to see.

***

Sunday, January 8, 2012

THE PHILIPPINES IS MORE FUN, AND OTHER LIES


Is “It’s more fun in the Philippines” really worth over a billion pesos a year?!

At my house, we finally cut our subscription to the goddamn Inquirer, and it’s spared me some IQ points. However, it also makes me less responsive to current events, because I also don’t bother going to the news websites (kasi nga nakakabobo ang balita).

But the “It’s more fun in the Philippines” discussions have been rather inescapable. From what I read on Facebook, it’s a matter of, “Is it a good slogan for Philippine tourism or not?”

I’ve seen no one even bother to ask, “Do we really need a Tourism department to market tourist attractions?” Or “Did we really have to wait for a  new slogan at all?”


OPPORTUNITY COST OF CENTRAL PLANNING

But even if we do agree that it’s a nice-sounding slogan, and even if it boosts tourist visits, there’s something we are neglecting.

The Tourism department required money expropriated from citizens, money which would have otherwise been used for other satisfactions, such as medicine, food or additional savings. 

Is it sane to think that this system of expropriate-then-spend makes for a net gain as compared to the could-have-been of actual consumer wants?


THE ‘WHAT IF’ OF LESS GOVERNMENT MEDDLING

In the 2012 national budget, the Tourism department receives P1.63 billion [opens in another tab]. This is a little short of 1% of the entire General Appropriations Act, and P200 million more than last year.

Perhaps it would have been better to let taxpayers keep these insane amounts of money. I for one think that Philippine resorts would have been better off not paying whatever taxes they have to pay, and using such funds for promotion as they see fit instead.

And if resorts see it in their best interest to go with a general nationwide theme, e.g. they use a slogan such as
“Inflation is going to bite your ass. Come to the Philippines for third-world prices”
it’s because the feedback system of the market would confirm that it’s an effective one.


SLOGANS WILL ONLY GET YOU SO FAR

But as with any product, you have to back it up with actual quality. There are some world-class destinations, I’m sure, but some aspects of the Philippine experience, e.g. airports and traffic, would nonetheless be a buzzkill to those eager to see what the ‘fun’ is all about.

And this is where we realize that the truly best way to draw in investments from abroad ― and tourism is about revenue generation after all ― is to remove existent barriers. All else is superficial.

Its really quite simple: Abolish or drastically cut the numerous laws on taxation and regulation, remove all hindrances to movement and speech, and privatize all land. This will make foreigners go, “Wow, Philippines! We can do anything we want! Looks like fun!”

Colorful Rag Makes Everything Better.
Enter a word for your own slogan:
Generated by the Advertising Slogan Generator. Make one for yourself!