Tedenski izbor

Like Alexis de Tocqueville, Hayek is more quoted than read. Despite being on the short list of leading intellectual heroes for the American right, few conservatives or libertarians are all that familiar with his actual views on classical liberalism and free-market capitalism. Instead, as Thompson notes in his post, the rhetoric of the right reveals that we are more influenced by Ayn Rand than Hayek.

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Today, the common enemy is liberalism and the fusionism occurs not between disparate groups butwithin an individual. People who would laugh at the absurdity of a “Christian Muslim” seem not to recognize the similar incongruity between being a follower of Christ and an acolyte of Ayn Rand.

Has Modern Conservatism Become a Cult? – Joe Carter, First Things

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Crucially, given worries about investment and political instability, “In countries where inequality was generally thought to be high, more people supported government redistribution. But demand for redistribution bore no relation to the actual level of inequality.”

There’s too much in the paper to cover in one blogpost, but the results are extremely clear: people’s perceptions of inequality are really, really inaccurate – that holds globally and in all but a handful of Scandinavian countries.

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Redistributive policies that reduce actual inequality are costly, and because actual inequality is barely related to perceptions of inequality they may do little to make the country more stable or market-friendly. If these are important problems, we can only solve them by making people feel less unequal – not by making them less unequal in fact. In short: even if people’s perceptions of inequality matter, the reality does not.

 The case against caring about inequality at all – Sam Bowman, Adam Smith Institute

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In their book Why Nations Fail, Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson argue that societies with political arrangements that concentrate power in the hands of a few seldom excel at innovation and growth, because innovators have no guarantee they will keep the fruits of their labors. And, to the extent that outsiders cannot generate wealth, they have few resources with which to challenge the power of insiders; as a result, exclusionary political arrangements are mostly self-sustaining.

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Underdeveloped democratic institutions allow for decisions that are individually rational but collectively shortsighted and harmful.

And bad politics makes for bad economics. To go from middle-income to high-income status, countries have to redeploy resources to high-productivity, knowledge- and skill-intensive sectors. That is a transition that Greece and Argentina, with their financial instability, poor infrastructure, and weak education systems, have never made.

Greece, Argentina, and the Middle Income Trap – Andrés Velasco, Project Syndicate

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Finančna uprava in ministrstvo bosta v prvih mesecih zasuta z vprašanji zavezancev, ki imajo “netipičen” način poslovanja (torej niso gostinci ali frizerji, ki so jih pisci zakona očitno imeli najbolj pred očmi). Odgovorov ne bodo dobili ali pa bodo ti pravzaprav neuporabni in rutinski, češ da zakon pač ne predvideva izjem – takšni torej, kot je večina odgovorov na pripombe iz javne razprave.

Po nekaj mesecih bodo na teren odšli davčni in delovni inšpektorji, okrepljeni z novim občutkom samozavesti zaradi krasnega novega informacijskega sistema. Veselo bodo pisali kazni, ki pa bodo pogosto posledica njihovih lastnih neurejenih evidenc in napak ter neživljenjskih zahtev zakona in pravilnikov.

Težave se bodo zanikale, nato pa počasi in užaljeno odpravljale nekaj let. Velika podjetja bodo preživela, tako kot so preživela druge podobne zgodbe – plačali bodo kazni, najeli odvetnike, pisali pritožbe, računovodkinje bodo delale nadure, direktorjev in bilanc pa vse skupaj ne bo pretirano pretreslo. Koliko malih podjetij, ki že zdaj težko preživijo, bo zaradi tega zašlo v resne težave in se namesto delu posvečalo prepiranju z davkarji ter razmišljanju o zaprtju ali selitvi podjetja, pa ne bo nikogar preveč zanimalo.

Zakaj se moramo bati davčnih blagajn – Janez Šušteršič, Siol

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If the ECB finally acknowledges that this will not do, and removes Greece’s liquidity safety net, the Greek government would be forced to start negotiating seriously, because waiting would no longer do it any good. But, with the stock of money sent abroad and held in cash having already ballooned to 79% of GDP, its position would remain very strong.

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Many people in Europe seem to believe that Varoufakis, an experienced game theorist but a political neophyte, does not know how to play the cards that Greece has been dealt. They should think again – before Greece walks away with the pot.

Varoufakis’s Great Game – Hans-Werner Sinn, Project Syndicate

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The problem is that the campus activists have moral fervor, but don’t always have settled philosophies to restrain the fervor of their emotions. Settled philosophies are meant to (but obviously don’t always) instill a limiting sense of humility, a deference to the complexity and multifaceted nature of reality.

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There will always be moral fervor on campus. Right now that moral fervor is structured by those who seek the innocent purity of the vulnerable victim. Another and more mature moral fervor would be structured by the classic ideal of the worldly philosopher, by the desire to confront not hide from what you fear, but to engage the complexity of the world, and to know that sometimes the way to wisdom involves hurt feelings, tolerating difference and facing hard truths.

The Campus Crusaders – David Brooks, The New York Times

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I once saw an adjunct not get his contract renewed after students complained that he exposed them to “offensive” texts written by Edward Said and Mark Twain. His response, that the texts were meant to be a little upsetting, only fueled the students’ ire and sealed his fate.  That was enough to get me to comb through my syllabi and cut out anything I could see upsetting a coddled undergrad, texts ranging from Upton Sinclair to Maureen Tkacik — and I wasn’t the only one who made adjustments, either.

I am frightened sometimes by the thought that a student would complain again like he did in 2009. Only this time it would be a student accusing me not of saying something too ideologically extreme — be it communism or racism or whatever — but of not being sensitive enough toward his feelings, of some simple act of indelicacy that’s considered tantamount to physical assault. As Northwestern University professor Laura Kipniswrites, “Emotional discomfort is [now] regarded as equivalent to material injury, and all injuries have to be remediated.” Hurting a student’s feelings, even in the course of instruction that is absolutely appropriate and respectful, can now get a teacher into serious trouble.

I’m a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me – Edward Schlosser, Vox

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Za mesto Kranj so socialisti razlagali, da se je industrializiral šele po drugi svetovni vojni, ko je postal močno tekstilno središče. Seveda ne drži. Podjetnik Franjo Sirc je med obema vojnama sodeloval pri ustanavljanju več tekstilnih tovarn v Kranju: Jugočeška (1923), Intex (1926), Jugobrun (1928) in Tekstilna tovarna Stražišče pri Kranju (1929). Po vojni so bile te tovarne nacionalizirane in večinoma preimenovane:IBI, INTEKS, AQUASAVA, ZVEZDA, TEKSTILINDUS. Podobno je bilo s tekstilno industrijo v Mariboru. Tako je znana MTT nastala z nacionalizacijo petih predvojno znanih tekstilnih tovarn: MA-VA, Josip Hutter in drug, Jugotekstil, Jugosvila in Roteks. Tudi tekstilna tovarno v Litiji izvira izpred druge svetovne vojne. Povedano drugače: Titova Jugoslavija ni ustanovila (skoraj) nobenega tekstilnega podjetja, vsa, ki so bila nacionalizirana in preimenovana, so obstajala že pred drugo svetovno vojno.

Slovenije ni industrializiral Tito, ampak Avstro-Ogrska monarhija – Kavarna Hayek

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