I have had a bit of direct experience with bureaucracies. Years before this, working in a “mixed” machine shop (some of the workers were union, some — including me — were not), I had been exposed to union attitudes. If I worked hard and produced a large number of good quality aircraft parts, I was […]


The US gets away with its current spending levels, and the “quantitative easing” (faking money) combined with borrowing, because we remain the world’s reserve currency. Generally, this means that everyone else’s currency is measured in US dollars. […]

Fair Trade

Can we fix trade imbalances by enacting punitive tariffs against companies and countries? These are excerpts from a conversation on Citizen Tom’s blog. My counterpart here is not a bad person, but I certainly disagree that tariffs are the answer to trade imbalances, and I said so… […]


Some random thoughts on free enterprise, expanded from a comment to yesterday’s post.

Does free enterprise, usually called “capitalism” because of Karl Marx’s influence, depend upon greed? No, in fact. The expression “it depends heavily on greed” is counterfactual in my opinion. Consider:



Excepts from a discussion at Citizen Tom’s blog:

@phadde2 wrote:

Keith, let me ask, are you not concerned with the extreme viewpoint of the free market turning tyrannical?

No. Well, let me look carefully at your statement. Yes, I’m concerned about people that would hold such an “extreme viewpoint.” But I am not concerned about […]


I’d really hoped that this was satire. That, perhaps, what is celebrated as April Fool’s Day in the US is early May in Australia. But no, the commenters (most of whom were similarly puzzled and astounded) were also commenting about the “April Fool’s Day” aspect of the piece.



Progressive statists tend to think of Constitutional conservatives holding the notion that “all taxes are theft.” This is not a position held by us in general, and it is instead a strawman created to attack us. Here is my thinking on the topic:


Legislative Fix

I have an idea for a possible fix for the tremendous flood of bureaucracy-generated legislation, in the form of a Constitutional amendment: […]


Imagine that this asterisk is a unit of legislation: * This would be the amount of legislation produced by the United States legislative branch, Congress (i.e., the Senate and House of Representatives), and signed into law by President Obama (in the executive branch) in 2013. This represents about 800 pages of the Federal Register where such laws are recorded. That’s the way our system was designed: the legislative branch creates legislation, the executive branch signs it into law or vetoes it, and that was how laws were to come into being. Now compare that single unit with the laws that were created by the executive branch on its own without involving Congress: […]


@Pete, who wrote: “at the same time, [Adam Smith] saw the need of government as an interventionary force to prevent excesses that worked against the general public interest” In the material you quoted, and elsewhere, he argued strenuously against exactly this. It is precisely such government interference, “[t]he proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce,” that he warned required “great caution” because of the involvement of crony capitalism. […]