Matt Ridley: Brexit Saved Britain From The EU “Ming” Bureaucracy

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Writes Matt Ridley on how The EU’s petty isolationism is wrecking Europe:

Supporting Brexit used to be difficult to explain to foreigners. I remember a Mexican friend flatly refusing to believe I voted for it. “Surely you are joking,” he said, finding it hard to imagine me as a racist, isolationist xenophobe – the only kind of Brexiteer recognised by CNN, the Economist and the New York Times.

Not now, not after the vaccine fiasco; now it is easy to explain Brexit. Britain signed up early to buy the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine and approved it swiftly. The EU’s leaders: first, accused us of cutting corners on safety, thus encouraging anti-vax nonsense; second, found themselves at the back of the queue after incompetently negotiating a bad deal; third, took an age to approve it in a display of astounding bureaucratic lethargy; fourth, castigated AstraZeneca for failing to give in to pressure to allow them to jump the queue; and fifth, tried to impose a hard border in Ireland just to stop the Northern Irish getting vaccines. [!!!] These are not the actions of an ally and friend.

[…]

Here is a beautiful and cultured continent [Europe] being run as if it was the Ming empire: with mandarins deciding what should be done and how, with the same inflexible rules in every corner, with a distrust of enterprise and innovation, and with a mercantilist, zero-sum approach to trade that beggars both belief and neighbours.

At the time when the early Ming emperors were stifling China’s prosperity with centralised bureaucratic tyranny, backward Europe was transformed into the world’s most innovative and wealthy continent. It did so precisely by not being unified and centralised: by being a quilt of different countries so that entrepreneurs, inventors and artists could shop around for a congenial regime…


Related:

A Post-Brexit World
The recent vote within the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union has implicitly once again raised the issue of the right of self-determination through secession. In other words, do individuals have a right to determine under which political authority they shall live and have representation?

Brexit: Good For Britain if It Leads To More Freedom
British companies can even outperform those outside of the EU—if the British government does not compromise on the principle of liberty. That is the big ‘if.’ But the Brexit has opened up a huge opportunity for a freer, more prosperous Britain.

Bloomberg: Parler Reboot Is Driven by an Ayn Rand Inspired Philosopher

From Ayn Rand Devotee and Never Trumper Drives Parler’s Reboot (Bloomberg):

A few years ago, a lawyer with a PhD in philosophy named Amy Peikoff appeared on Fox News and defended Amazon.com Inc.’s pay practices. The show’s host, Tucker Carlson, expressed disgust that some Amazon employees were collecting taxpayer-funded food stamps at a time when the company’s founder, Jeff Bezos, was the world’s richest man.

But Peikoff said the problem wasn’t Amazon or Bezos, but the commonly accepted idea that the federal government should provide food assistance to people struggling to make ends meet. “If it’s wrong for taxpayers to pay his labor costs, then what we need we need to do is eliminate the program,” she said.

In July, Peikoff became chief policy officer at Parler, and these days she finds herself working to salvage the controversial social media platform, which in January was driven off the internet in part by the very company she once defended on Fox.

[…]

Parler, which came back online a few weeks later, continues to promote a hands-off approach to content moderation that is largely being driven by Peikoff, who wrote the rules that dictate what’s allowed on the site, according to two people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified discussing private information.

Bloomberg’s journalist clearly doesn’t know how to pin the principled Peikoff, who supports Parler, yet opposes Trump:

She has publicly opposed Trump since the earliest days of his candidacy in 2016. “I’ve always been #nevertrump,” Peikoff tweeted in 2019. “But I’m also anti-leftist. I’m pro-rights. And Trump doesn’t believe in rights as a principle.”

[…]

Peikoff has hailed whistle-blower Edward Snowden, who leaked highly classified information from the National Security Agency, as a hero who should be pardoned, and she sided with Apple Inc. in its battles with U.S. authorities over encryption.

Read the rest.

Alex Epstein: Decriminalize Nuclear

Alex Epstein has a podcast on “Steps toward decriminalizing nuclear” with Robert Hargraves, cofounder of ThorCon and author of “Thorium: Energy Cheaper Than Coal.”

Topics covered include:

  • Why since the creation of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) over 45 years ago not one nuclear power plant has been designed and built to completion.
  • Why the Linear no Threshold guiding the NRC should be abolished.
  • What ALARA is, and how it increases nuclear costs.
  • Why South Korea builds nuclear plants at 1/3 US costs.
  • Should the NRC exist at all?

Salsman: Keynesianism is Potterism

Writes economist Richard Salsman over at the IFI blog:

To understand this, think: “Harry Potter’s wands.” That is the essence of Keynesian mythology, the basic idea, the notion, nostrum, fantasy, and fable – “the narrative” (today’s euphemism for fakery). Politicians now are mere vessels, spokesmen for the almighty People; they “speak their truth” and reveal their internalized, private fictions, untethered to reality. Keynesianism is Potterism. As quackery, it doesn’t bother to “follow the science” (of economics). It was mostly rejected during the neo-liberal supply-side revolution of the 1980s-1990s, but has since risen from its too-shallow grave, to stalk and block prosperity. Keynesian policy is always the policy of choice for statists – those who oppose choice (economic liberty) per se.

In 1936 Keynes the Quack wrote an influential book that later was crudely imported into a widely adopted college textbook written by MIT’s Paul Samuelson (Economics, in fourteen editions between 1948 and 1992). For nearly half a century, all over the world, millions of professors, pupils, politicians, preachers, and policymakers were fed Keynesian absurdities, including these:

“Pyramid-building, earthquakes, even wars may serve to increase wealth, if the education of our statesmen on the principles of the classical [free-market] economics stands in the way of anything better.” “If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coalmines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again, there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is. It would, indeed, be more sensible to build houses and the like; but if there are political and practical difficulties in the way of this, the above would be better than nothing.”(John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, 1936)

Perhaps I’m being unfair, quoting a non-serious passage from a stupid work many decades old, which no serious economist today would dare take seriously (let alone invoke as grounds for contemporary policy). But in April 2009, at the end of the U.S. recession which began in late 2007, Princeton professor Paul Krugman wrote “Time for Bottles in a Coal Mine,” for his New York Times column. Citing Keynes’s 1936 passage (above), Krugman extolled a “stimulus” scheme even as the economy was recovering (and presumably didn’t need the “help” of more fake money). In 2012, when it should have obvious that the U.S. economy was out of recession and expanding nicely, Krugman published End This Depression Now! He was more delusional than usual, mad with anger that vastly more “stimulus” had not been forthcoming from his hero Obama; by 2012 Krugman convinced himself that the 2007-09 recession had worsened. This is the quack who got the Nobel prize in 2008. [“Yet Another Anti-Stimulus Scheme“]

 

 

 

Steve Simpson: Ending CDC Eviction Ban Victory For Rule of Law

From Pacific Legal Foundation:

  • Congress did not authorize the CDC to ban evictions, and the Constitution’s separation of powers does not allow the CDC to make law.
  • Government cannot foist the economic burdens of the pandemic on a single group, landlords who solve the very problem that the government is concerned about: providing housing so that people can socially distance.

A federal judge ruled today that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention overstepped its authority in issuing a nationwide eviction ban. The ruling is a victory for a group of Ohio landlords and the National Association of Home Builders, who challenged the moratorium in October.

Today’s decision in Skyworks v. Centers for Disease Control allows evictions to resume, restoring the landlords’ rights to remove tenants who don’t honor their lease obligation to pay rent.

“This is a victory for the rule of law,” said Steve Simpson, a senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation, which represented the landlords. “This decision makes clear that federal agencies can’t exercise power Congress has not given them. Now our clients no longer have to provide housing for free.”

Judge Philip Calabrese’s declaratory judgment held that the CDC lacks the statutory authority to promulgate the eviction ban, writing,

“Without question, effective pandemic response depends on the judgment of reliable science—not political science. But that obvious truism does not empower agencies or their officials to exceed the mandate Congress gives them.”

Onkar Ghate on Why The Enlightenment Matters

Onkar Ghate on “The Enlightenment and the Foundations of Liberty and Progress,” at the recent AynRandCon online conference.

Issues covered include:

  • What were the essential ideas that defined the Age of Enlightenment?
  • How did those ideas lead to the founding of America and the explosion of progress that was the Industrial Revolution?
  • And why—in spite of that progress—did the world reverse course politically, leading to the rise of totalitarian statism in the 20th century?
  • What is needed to shore up those deficiencies and put the Enlightenment’s ideals on a rational foundation.

Fauci Picks Em

From July 2020:

How did they do it?

From Cuomo Advisers Altered Report on Covid-19 Nursing-Home Deaths (WSJ):

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top advisers successfully pushed state health officials to strip a public report of data showing that more nursing-home residents had died of Covid-19 than the administration had acknowledged, according to people with knowledge of the report’s production.

The July report, which examined the factors that led to the spread of the virus in nursing homes, focused only on residents who died inside long-term-care facilities, leaving out those who had died in hospitals after becoming sick in nursing homes. As a result, the report said 6,432 nursing-home residents had died—a significant undercount of the death toll attributed to the state’s most vulnerable population, the people said. The initial version of the report said nearly 10,000 nursing-home residents had died in New York by July last year, one of the people said.

The changes Mr. Cuomo’s aides and health officials made to the nursing-home report, which haven’t been previously disclosed, reveal that the state possessed a fuller accounting of out-of-facility nursing-home deaths as early as the summer. The Health Department resisted calls by state and federal lawmakers, media outlets and others to release the data for another eight months.

State officials now say more than 15,000 residents of nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities were confirmed or presumed to have died from Covid-19 since March of last year—counting both those who died in long-term-care facilities and those who died later in hospitals. That figure is about 50% higher than earlier official death tolls.

Related: Governor Andrew Cuomo Deserves Emmy But Not Governorship

Academic Cancel Culture, and the Left’s Attempts to Stifle Intellectual Dissent

Andrew Bernstein and Bosch Fawstin interview Dr. Jason Hill, a philosophy professor at DePaul University in Chicago. Topics include transgender insanity, Dr. Hill’s battle with academic cancel culture regarding this issue, and, more broadly, the Left’s ongoing attempts to stifle all intellectual dissent. For anyone concerned with freedom of speech and of intellectual expression, these are immensely important issues.