May 312011

Is it OK to give a Leviathan Ankle-Biter award to the United States Supreme Court?  Whether or not, I think I will.

The inspiration is this WSJ lead article from May 27:

Justices Uphold Immigrant Law : States Can Shut Firms That Hire Illegal Workers

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce called my attention to the ankle-biter part.  It doesn’t like this decision:

“The growing patchwork of state and local immigration laws is a serious obstacle to doing business across state lines,” said Robin Conrad, director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s legal arm, which challenged the Arizona law. She called on Congress to outlaw “employment-related state immigration laws” like Arizona’s, as part of a broader immigration overhaul.

A patchwork of state and local laws makes it hard for a single company to dominate its niche from coast to coast.   If laws are uniform nation-wide, a dominant company needs to deal with only one set of regulations, and can then use economies of scale to run the smaller ones out of its business.   It can hire lobbyists to schmooze the regulators in Washington.   The biggest, most efficient lobbyist organization wins.

But if laws are not uniform, then there are niches for the smaller companies who can deal with local regulations.

In a patchwork of local laws and regulations, it’s hard for the winner to take all.   And  it’s harder for the U.S. government regulators to coopt and intimidate the patchwork of small competitors who can survive in that environment.

True, there is some loss of economic efficiency under such a patchwork, but there is also corresponding loss of efficiency of government control.    Leviathan doesn’t like that.

So a Leviathan Ankle-Biter Award goes to the United States Supreme Court.

I hope to soon make a similar award to those members of Congress who will resist the big corporate lobbyists who will argue for uniformity.

May 262011

My comment in response to Don Boudreaux’s article at The Freeman, “Stop the Bad Guys.”

“Excellent. I have for some time been saying the hubris of Obamacare’s invasion of our health care system is similar to the hubris of George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. I thought I was the only one to notice, but this article explains it a lot more completely than I ever knew.”

May 262011

My comment on what we should do about doctors and other health care professionals who are bullies, as described in an item in the WSJ Health Care Blog titled, “Reader Consult:  Does the Culture of Medicine Enable Bad Behavior?

I think we should bully them into behaving better.  Demand that they do better.  Demean them in public. Throw things at them — chairs, the law, etc.


May 202011

Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek asks whether, instead of finding another Strauss-Kahn to run the IMF, we shouldn’t just end the organization.  Or at least end our contributions to it.    I agree.  Giving money and power to these people certainly did no favors for anyone involved.

Ever since the rapist-in-chief  got into the news, I’ve been wondering what the folks who posted these signs in Dublin have been thinking about that topic.   (The photo was taken March 30.)   Do they take it as a sign of the hopelessness of reform that he’s out on bail?

I have no idea how many people went to that demonstration on April 6.

May 172011

We need more of this.   A Leviathan Ankle-Biter Award goes to the voters of Tamil Nadu in India, who threw out the ruling party.   But the good part is the way they took the freebies that were intended to buy their votes, and then voted out the politicians who used public money to give them the freebies:

The party previously assuaged voter concerns by offering the public a share of the spoils—at one point doling out free color televisions—and promised to offer similar freebies again. But the TVs were perhaps a mistake: Voters took them, promptly saw news reports of what their rulers were up to and threw them out of power. Now the All India Anna-DMK (a splinter party founded in the 1970s) will rule.

This is from an article by Ruchir Sharma in the Tuesday issue of the Wall Street Journal.   Headline:  “Greater Expectations in India.”   Pull-out quote:  “The powerful national parties do badly in local elections.  Good.”

In our country we need more people who will take the tax credits for new energy-saving appliances, and vote out the politicians who voted for those credits.   (Energy-saving appliances are good, but tax credits for them are not.)   We need people who take the corporate welfare and vote out the politicians who enacted it.

Leviathan hates that.   Note how it treated Clarence Thomas.  They thought that when he accepted the benefits from affirmative-action programs, that he should have become subservient to the programs.   He didn’t.   Leviathan is still upset about it.


May 162011

From an article by David Gauthier-Villars and Bob Davis in today’s WSJ:

Recently, Mr. Strauss-Kahn faced public-relations bungles. Last week, French media published a photo showing the IMF chief and his wife entering a Porsche Panamera, property of a French spokesman, during a layover in Paris. The photos rekindled a debate over whether Mr. Strauss-Kahn, known for a taste for fine food and luxurious vacations, was a true Socialist.

How is he not a socialist?   He doesn’t let the opinions of a lone individual, and especially not those of a hotel maid, interfere with grand plans for the reordering of society to make everyone equal, and in which there is a forceful governing class to make sure there are no exceptions.   He makes sure the middle class and poorer class are taxed to pay for bailouts in order to keep the governing class living in the style to which it has become accustomed, which is necessary in order to provide them with sufficient incentive and social position with which to enforce equality and egalitarianism.      He is the head of an organization that puts hard pressure on countries to accept bailouts, reminiscent of the ways in which 19th century treaty commissioners in America turned the screws on the Native Americans and forced them to take bailouts.

So I repeat, how is he not a true socialist?