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Unemployment - What does it mean?

Picture this:

On Monday, the unemployment rate is X. On Tuesday, every stay-at-home parent in America decides to "get a job", by swapping children with a stay-at-home parent nearby (maybe they even get paid for their efforts, if you like). They're now all magically "employed". Unemployment figures should now drop (because they're all honest enough to report their newly-found income).

Let's forget that they have to pay taxes on their income - the remainder of which will be used to HELP pay for their newly-found nannies. Read more »


Huh?

Help me find some logic in this quote from a NY Times editorial today:

No one expects the government to squander tax dollars on bad loans. But there are ways around that, through grants, for instance, and looser standards for the many who straddle the shoulders of good credit and bad credit.


The Philosophy of Liberty

Via Lew Rockwell, I found this animation on Susan Hogath's website. I think it's cute, fairly concise, well-made, and worth watching. Read more »


Call your congressman!

Quick! There have been reports of people reselling Xboxes with exhorbitant mark-ups! Some people are reselling packages on eBay for $2500! Clearly these gougers are preying on gaming-addicted teenagers who can't help themselves. They're profiting at the expense of others; profiting from the misfortune of those who aren't able to get their hands on a new Xbox. Unbelievable - the depths to which some will sink.


Empty Space, Empty Pockets

NASA is looking to "slash" funding for science experiments on the international space station. This, as it begins it's next quest, to send humans to Mars. It's looking to save $344 million from the space station alone.

So here we have a space station championed by an agency that was supposed to justify its existence by promoting science research that couldn't be done on earth, and we now find that it's even less justified. Read more »


Recently, US control over the domain name system (which manages the assignment of domain names like www.yahoo.com, to IP addresses like 68.142.226.36) has come under scrutiny. At the U.N. World Summit on the Information Society, an agreement was eventually reached, whereby the US would continue to maintain control. While I doubt this is the last we'll hear of this debate, and I'm glad it's been put-off at least for now, I also think that it represents nothing more than a bunch of ignorant bureaucrats trying to exercise power over something that they don't really understand. Read more »


Food shopping

I went food shopping the other day and found some frozen dinners that I really enjoy (no excuses, I haven't been cooking much lately). I practically emptied the store out. I'm guessing that when inventory was taken next, the manager of the store ordered more (when next I returned there were even more). What I didn't see on the shelves were the frozen dinners that nobody cares for. Which ones? I don't know. They died out long ago, when the manager bought them, and they hung around for weeks without a taker. How do I know? I'm theorizing. Work with me. Read more »


Greedy on the way up, and greedy on the way down

If you haven’t noticed, oil and gas prices have dropped significantly from their September highs. If you’ve been listening to anti-capitalists, you might wonder: “How is that possible?”

How is it possible that with so much rampant greed in the oil industry, the price could actually go down? Why would gas stations or oil companies lower prices? The short answer: they’re greedy. Read more »


Greedy going up, and greedy going down

If you haven’t noticed, oil and gas prices have dropped significantly from their September highs. If you’ve been listening to anti-capitalists, you might wonder: “How is that possible?”

How is it possible that with so much rampant greed in the oil industry, the price could actually go down? Why would gas stations or oil companies lower prices? The short answer: they’re greedy. Read more »


Drivers are greedy too!

If you haven't noticed, oil and gas prices have dropped significantly from their September highs. If you've been listening to oil companies (or environmentalists), you might wonder: "How is that possible?"

How is it possible that with so many gas-hungry cars and car-hungry drivers, the price could actually go down? Why would drivers actually reduce their consumption of gas enough to lower prices? The short answer: they're greedy. Read more »


What\'s Wrong With Child Labor?

It's like asking "What's wrong with that job?". The answer is: it depends. Read more »


Lessons from Survivor

My wife watches a lot of reality TV, and so I'm exposed to a fair amount of second-hand Survivor. She commented today on how the contestants lose weight, and a lot of them come home with scars, parasites etc. They frequently compete for food, and seem to relish the simplest of meals or luxuries: a shower, some pizza, a cigar, etc. Read more »


What\'s Wrong With Low Prices?

Are low prices a bad thing? I mean, overall. Obviously, if you've invested time and money in a career or business that assumes high prices in your field, you wouldn't be happy to learn of some competitor or technology lowering prices in your field. You'd certainly be worse-off in the short term.

But what about in the long term? Isn't it good to not have to pay much for the things you want and need? Low prices for food and clothing (and anything else) leave you with more money to spend on other things. Read more »


Extending an old adage

If you subscribe to the view that one should invest in land because they're not making any more of it, what then do you make of the dollar? Shouldn't the reverse apply too: "Don't invest in dollars, they're making lots of them"?

I suppose many who believe the first adage invest in land precisely because they believe the second. But maybe other investments can similarly fit the bill:

Invest in gold, they're not making any more of it.
Invest in oil, they're not making any more of it.
Invest in water, they're not making any more of it.
Invest in non-renewable resources.... Read more »


What are you getting for your money?

A quick point (or three): when you buy a house, you buy the location, you buy the bricks, you buy the new windows. You buy the garage, the driveway, the shade in the backyard on the hot summer afternoons. You buy the proximity to highway (or train), the local deli, movie theater, or shopping mall. You buy many things that contribute to the value of the house. They all contribute to the PRICE of the house. Read more »