Thursday, 19 February 2009

En busca de una retórica liberal.

La manipulación retórica es efectiva porque la opinión pública está desinformada y la terminología tiene entonces una influencia desproporcionada. [...] la retórica también explota y apela a nuestros sesgos y emociones, a nuestra irracionalidad, y en este sentido influye porque dice a la gente lo que quiere oír.
[...] ¿Aprovechamos los liberales las posibilidades de la retórica de la misma manera? Mi impresión es que los liberales estamos a la defensiva en este aspecto, o somos poco creativos.

Albert Esplugas, Del "déficit público" al "estímulo", Libertad Digital (18/02/2009)

My short addition to Albert Esplugas' post Del "déficit público" al "estímulo" in his blog En busca de Ancapia.

Libertarians should start using the words that are in people's good books, but have been stolen and misstated by the socialist and populist parties. It may seem very similar to UPyD, but I propose the following:

- Progreso: deberíamos llamar así a los avances reales de la sociedad o los individuos que la libertad aporta;
- Democracia: deberíamos llamar así sólo a los sistemas que dan poder, es decir, posibilidad de elegir, al pueblo y, más aún, a los ciudadanos.
- Protección de los trabajadores: deberíamos llamar así a la mejor protección de los trabajadores que existe: la creación de trabajo que proviene de la iniciativa empresarial.
- Justicia social: qué mejor justicia social que evitar la distribución de la pobreza que originan las políticas socialistas, qué mejor justicia social que la que premia al que trabaja, y qué mejor justicia social que aquella que evita la "socialización de las pérdidas".

Love and freedom.

Sunday, 15 February 2009


Pallywood has the power not only to convince an influencing and unsuspected public but also to enlist the best journalists, perhaps out of their naivety, in its casualty production and inflation. In modern warfare, an image is worth more than 1000 weapons, and that is what Pallywood is all about.

Love and freedom.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Wonkapistas and the CIS

I sometimes visit Wonkapistas because he usually uncovers lots of interesting data and errors that go unseen by the mainstream media.

He recently posted about the January report on electoral intention written by the Spanish Social Research Centre (CIS), an institute of the Spanish government, and linked to a page published in the CIS website. Now the CIS has open an investigation because it considers that a leak.

This is my comment to Wonkapistas' post:


Parece que los del CIS no son muy duchos ni en informática ni en matemáticas.

Demuestran no ser muy duchos en matemáticas cuando al sumar los resultados de las preguntas 18 y 18A dicen que, para el PNV, 0.8 (de 18)+ 0.3*0.312 (de 18A) es igual a 0.8.

Demuestran no ser muy duchos en informática cuando no saben como bloquear una página que desean mantener confidencial. Usted está en su derecho de enlazar una página publicada en internet.

La descripción de El País como filtración a un enlace a una página publicada abiertamente está en la línea de un periódico pro-gubernamental. Lo que deberían investigar es quién es el inepto que controla la seguridad de la página.

En fin, las instituciones en España siguen siendo tan imperfectas como siempre han sido.

Love and freedom.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Adam Smith gets the last laugh

The idea that The Wealth of Nations puts forth for creating prosperity is more complex. It involves all the baffling intricacies of human liberty. Smith proposed that everyone be free – free of bondage and of political, economic and regulatory oppression (Smith’s principle of "self-interest"), free in choice of employment (Smith’s principle of "division of labour"), and free to own and exchange the products of that labour (Smith’s principle of "free trade"). "Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence," Smith told a learned society in Edinburgh (with what degree of sarcasm we can imagine), "but peace, easy taxes and a tolerable administration of justice."

P.J. O’Rourke, Adam Smith gets the last laugh, (12/02/2009)

Recommended reading for today: Adam Smith gets the last laugh by P.J. O’Rourke (free subscription may be required).

Adam Smith knew more about the economy, notwithstanding living about 250 years ago, that many (if not all) mainstream economists, policymakers and politicians of today. We should revisit An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (free at Project Gutenberg) and learn that the solution to the current financial mess and economical distress was already written in 1776: let the invisible hand act.

Adam Smith's opinion on the house market's contribution to the country's wealth:
A dwelling-house, as such, contributes nothing to the revenue of its inhabitant. If it is let to a tenant for rent, as the house itself can produce nothing, the tenant must always pay the rent out of some other revenue. [Although a house can make money for its owner if it is rented,] the revenue of the whole body of the people can never be in the smallest degree increased by it.

On the high profits from the speculative excess:
When the profits of trade happen to be greater than ordinary, overtrading becomes a general error. [438] [And the rate of profit,] is always highest in the countries that are going fastest to ruin.

On the artificial increase of money by the government:
To attempt to increase the wealth of any country, either by introducing or by detaining in it an unnecessary quantity of gold and silver, is as absurd as it would be to attempt to increase the good cheer of private families, by obliging them to keep an unnecessary number of kitchen utensils.

On the active government's involvement in replacing the private activities:
The state cannot be very great of which the sovereign has leisure to carry on the trade of a wine merchant or apothecary.

Easy to understand, but difficult to believe. However, Adam Smith was (and is) right as it has been proved in the last 250 years.

Love and freedom.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The Market has the answer

These are critical financial times. The world's economy is having a reality check done after the longest period of continuous global growth since the 1920s. 2008 is the repetition of 1929, when the bubble could not be blown bigger and therefore burst.

Lots of discussions are being held about how to tackle this dire situation, but one thing is clear: policy-makers and people representatives do not know better than the people. Economy is the only "science" where the so-called experts spend their whole time trying to figure out why they always get their forecasts wrong. Politicians cannot even call themselves "economic experts", but still they attempt to rule the economy that affects everyone else.

These strenous times are showing clearly that the policy-makers, rulers, politicians and else are useless. The only entity that minimises the probabilities of getting it right is the market, which means the world's people. You and I, and the plumber and the banker, the housewife and the kids, taking 7 billion decisions per second, 24/7. Whether to go out or stay in, whether to pay the gas bill or default in the mortgage, whether to hail a taxi or to buy some wine. The market is the better instance of democracy that we know.

And the market has decided that the party is over. The scary day of September 18 2008 the US economy got to the verge of collapse, because the market believed, caught in panic or not, that there is not enough wealth (not money) to pay the world's excesses. Listen to the Democratic US Representative Paul Kanjorski, member of the US Congress Capital Markets Sub-Committee, who said that:

On Thursday (Sept 18), at 11am the Federal Reserve noticed a tremendous draw-down of money market accounts in the U.S., to the tune of $550 billion was being drawn out in the matter of an hour or two. The Treasury opened up its window to help and pumped a $105 billion in the system and quickly realized that they could not stem the tide. We were having an electronic run on the banks. They decided to close the operation, close down the money accounts and announce a guarantee of $250,000 per account so there wouldn't be further panic out there.

If they had not done that, their estimation is that by 2pm that afternoon, $5.5 trillion would have been drawn out of the money market system of the U.S., would have collapsed the entire economy of the U.S., and within 24 hours the world economy would have collapsed. It would have been the end of our economic system and our political system as we know it.

We are no better off today than we were 3 months ago because we have a decrease in the equity positions of banks because other assets are going sour by the moment.

However, politicians keep trying to convince us that they will save the world by giving them more money ($700 billions before, $800 billions now, $1.5 trillions later). They are lucky that the average person is as economically illiterate than them, but a lot more honest.

You know, gents of the politician class, stop trying to fool us, the taxpayers: you have no better idea of how to behave to maximise the probabilities of survival than the sum of everyone of the world's people taking decisions voluntarily and entering in voluntary transactions, i.e., embodying the Market.

The Market has the answer and the answer is dire, but it is the best response we the People have, because the Market are we.

Love and freedom.