Saturday Special

A few things that I recently found on the web that especially caught my attention. I will lead with the cute.

Meerkats

All young animals are shy. Here’s a shy baby meerkat by Japanese photographer Mamekoro (@mamekoro51). No different from a human baby tentatively peeking to see what’s out there.

Continue reading “Saturday Special”

China and Economic Freedom

The relationship between economic freedom and prosperity is empirically verifiable. Countries that are relatively economically free — meaning free markets and private ownership of capital — do better than countries that are not economically free.

South Korea, for example, is a rich country and North Korea is a disaster zone; Chileans are better off than Venezuelans; capitalist West Germany was richer than socialist East Germany. Continue reading “China and Economic Freedom”

Climate Change Once Again

I have a lot of work piled up. I usually deal with piles of work by entertaining myself watching TV and YouTube. It’s more fun than doing serious stuff. However one topic is both serious and fun. It’s the climate change hysteria. It’s fun to watch the Chicken Littles running around clucking “the sky is falling.” But it is seriously disturbing that governments would grab more power to “address” climate change, and in that process deal a body blow to any hopes of the poor escaping the poverty that has been imposed on them by governments.

Anyhow, here’s an episode of The Mark Steyn Show that is both fun and serious. Enjoy.

 

Economics Library: Essential Scholars

The thing that astonished me the most when I came to the United States was the public library. Every city and even rinky-dinky towns have public libraries. These are open to all and for free, unlike say university libraries.

Fortunately for me, my formal schooling prepared me by giving me the tools (reading comprehension and numeracy) for me to use libraries. I think that at the very least, everyone should be given those tools so that they can access libraries. That’s all that you need to do to get an educated citizenry. Continue reading “Economics Library: Essential Scholars”

Have the Laws of Economics Changed?

The correlation between economic freedom and economic prosperity is well-established and robust. Economics explains why this relationship exists and also the causal direction — economic freedom is the cause and prosperity the effect.

I am by nature in favor of freedom of all flavors, not just economic freedom. I value freedom as an ultimate good, although it fortunately happens to be an instrumental good too. Even if material prosperity did not follow from economic freedom — meaning that it was not instrumental in creating wealth — I would still value economic freedom for itself. Philosophically I am not a utilitarian.

These musings are provoked by a comment¬†to the piece on Economic Freedom and Well-being last week. Here’s the comment:

Continue reading “Have the Laws of Economics Changed?”

George Orwell on Rudyard Kipling

I have to admit that If by Rudyard Kipling is one of my favorite English language poems, the last two verses of which appear on the left. The full poem appears at the end of this post.

The reason for this post? Because Kipling was born on this day, Dec 30th, in 1865 in Mumbai, and died in London in 1936.

Of course, when I read If in school, I had no idea of who Kipling was. I liked the poem, and that was it. Later I learned that Khushwant Singh had said that the poem was essentially a condensation of some of the messages of the Bhagavad Gita. Perhaps that’s why I had that intuitive liking for it.

Much later I realized that Kipling was not a nice man. He was, in the words of George Orwell, a “jingoist imperialist.” Here’s an excerpt from an essay Orwell wrote (I believe in 1945) on Kipling: Continue reading “George Orwell on Rudyard Kipling”