unintended consequences

Caution or Catastrophe: Public Health’s COVID Response

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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, proponents of lockdowns, shelter-in-place orders, mask mandates and other coercive government interventions have characterized these measures as benevolently “erring on the side of caution.” Now, as the grim toll of those public health measures comes into ever-sharper focus, it’s increasingly clear those characterizations were terribly wrong. What’s less readily apparent, however, is how the very use of the “erring on the side of caution” framing was injurious in itself—by thwarting reasoned debate of public health policies, diverting attention from...

War of the Worlds: COVID Edition

2018 29 war of the worlds scaled

In the H.G. Wells classic movie War of the Worlds (the 1953 original, not the trash Spielberg 2005 version) Martians invade Earth and vaporize an unprepared humanity. We're introduced to our protagonists, who are post-war atomic scientists living in Southern California and working for the nearby Pacific Institute of Technology (Cal Tech?). Like in the book, the most advanced weaponry is thrown at the Martians (including the atomic bomb) to no avail. The ending of the movie is almost apocalyptic as Los Angles is being systematically obliterated and its citizens turns against the...

Stephen M Walt: Countries Should Mind Their Own Business

"As A.J.P. Taylor once archly observed, leaders in the 19th century “fought ‘necessary’ wars and killed thousands; the idealists of the 20th century fought ‘just’ wars and killed millions.”  Stephen M. Walt (professor of international relations at Harvard University) argues at Foreign Policy that a one-size-fits-all world system is bound to fail. Walt cites three objections to the "hyperglobalization" currently favored by global elitists: States that interfere in foreign countries rarely understand what they are doing, and even well-intentioned efforts often fail due to ignorance,...

Since Feeding the Homeless Is Illegal, Activists Carry AR-15s to Give Out Food, Supplies

Dallas, TX — Feeding and clothing the homeless in the land of the free has now become a revolutionary act. Luckily, however, there are still good people willing to carry that act out. In December 2014, the Dallas city council enacted Ordinance No. 29595, which makes it illegal to serve food to the homeless without jumping through a statist myriad of bureaucratic hoops, including a fee, training classes, and written notices. One should not need to file multiple forms and pay a fee to obtain a permit to give food to those in need who are willingly ready to accept it. The folks at Don’t...

Jim Grant: The World Created by Upside-Down Interest Rates

Central banks are trapped. "Five years into the negative rate experiment, and a decade on in radical monetary improvisation, the central bankers are looking for a way back to normalcy. Not finding it, they are casting around for new ways to control what they seem unable to understand." "The unintended consequences of public policies are usually more consequential than the ones the policy makers had banked on. Lest the central bankers forget, interest rates are prices, not policy levers. And as prices, they set investment hurdle rates and measure credit risk. Artificially low rates...

Congress Lifts a Stress Off the Financial System

Congress has finally taken action to liberalize the nation's financial system. The bill was S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act. It passed both houses with a surprising degree of bipartisan support and was signed by President Trump last week on May 24. Opponents cast the bill as a gift to the largest banks that will put the economy at greater risk for a new financial crisis. In fact, the bill represents a modest and limited reform of Dodd-Frank. The law scales back an onerous regulatory exercise of questionable utility, and it actually reduces the...

The Seen and the Catastrophic Unseen in Our Criminal Justice System

Thank you. Thank you to the Reason Foundation, and to the judges who saw merit in my work and honored me with this award. It's especially validating to get an award named after Bastiat—an award for which people like Milton Friedman and James Buchanan once served as judges—because I write about and report on the criminal justice system. People like Friedman, Bastiat, and Buchanan had a lot to do with how I arrived at this beat. Bastiat is perhaps most famous for his caution that we should not merely consider the observable consequences of public policy, but the hidden and unintended...

How Paid Parental Leave Accidentally Promotes Inequality

In honor of Mother's Day, Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg called for a new public policy to limit economic opportunities and choices for women. Naturally, she did not phrase it quite like that. But among other policy asks in her pronouncement, Sandberg called for a mandatory paid family leave policy. The primary goal of such a policy is to help women. Unfortunately, the economic implications of the policy, if enacted, will be as I described above--reducing opportunities and choices for women.* This unpleasant outcome is likely to be a surprise to many. In the US, there is overwhelming...

Help That Hurts: The Case of US Food Aid

President Trump's discretionary budget proposal includes a $182 million cut to the McGovern-Dole Food for Education program, eliminating the program entirely. Whatever else one thinks of Trump's budget, this is a good idea. It will save taxpayers a small amount of money, which is nice. But far more importantly, canceling the program will also likely help the former recipients. This may sound like a surprising claim. How could eliminating aid be a good thing for the people that get the aid? It's a reasonable question with a complicated answer. Let's go through it. Free Stuff Is Good At the...

News

News Roundup 8/18/2022

US News Air Force Special Operations Command’s CV-22 Osprey aircraft fleet has been grounded over unknown issues with the clutch. Defense News China A top US military commander said Tuesday that the US must “contest” China’s missile launches over Taiwan that were...

News Roundup 8/17/2022

US News The Department of Education will forgive student loans for ITT Technical Institute students from January 1, 2005 until it closed in 2016. Over 200,000 former attendees of the school will have $3.9 billion forgiven. Market Watch The Army transferred control of...

Blog

Attention Fellow Philosophers: The Protestant Libertarian Podcast

On a recent episode of The Protestant Libertarian Podcast, Alex Bernardo and Laurie Calhoun discuss the MIC, its cultish features, the war on terror, Ukraine, war propaganda, and what to do about all of it. This relatively new podcast also has episodes on Ludwig...

RIP Michael Badnarik

I am told this morning that Michael Badnarik died in his sleep of heart failure last night. Michael was a great believer in and defender of freedom and the United States of America and its Constitution. He represented the Libertarian Party as presidential candidate...

KPFA Saturday Evening News–How Violence Breeds Violence

Short contribution of Laurie Calhoun to the KPFA Saturday Evening News on August 6, 2022, with David Rosenberg about drone assassination and the logic of “violence breeds violence”. This three-minute exchange spans 5:10-8:15. Many other foreign policy topics are also...

The Scott Horton Show

Conflicts of Interest

COI #312: UN Peacekeepers Commit Rampant Sexual Crimes in DR Congo

On COI #312, Kyle Anzalone discusses the Congo, Russia and China. Odysee Rumble  Donate LBRY Credits bTTEiLoteVdMbLS7YqDVSZyjEY1eMgW7CP Donate Bitcoin 36PP4kT28jjUZcL44dXDonFwrVVDHntsrk Donate Bitcoin Cash Qp6gznu4xm97cj7j9vqepqxcfuctq2exvvqu7aamz6 Patreon Subscribe...

COI #311: The White House Will Continue to Push Beijing

On COI #311, Kyle Anzalone discusses Russia, China and Africa.   Odysee Rumble  Donate LBRY Credits bTTEiLoteVdMbLS7YqDVSZyjEY1eMgW7CP Donate Bitcoin 36PP4kT28jjUZcL44dXDonFwrVVDHntsrk Donate Bitcoin Cash Qp6gznu4xm97cj7j9vqepqxcfuctq2exvvqu7aamz6 Patreon...

COI #310: Was the Al-Qaeda Leader Killed in Afghanistan?

On COI #310, Kyle Anzalone and Connor Freeman discuss Iran, Israel and Afghanistan.   Odysee Rumble  Donate LBRY Credits bTTEiLoteVdMbLS7YqDVSZyjEY1eMgW7CP Donate Bitcoin 36PP4kT28jjUZcL44dXDonFwrVVDHntsrk Donate Bitcoin Cash...

Don't Tread on Anyone

10 Debunked Conspiracy Theories Democrats Still Believe!

https://youtu.be/DG99R2dB8eg The problem with political decisions isn’t that most of us don’t get our own way. It’s also that these decisions are usually imposed on us against our will, by threats of violence...Democracy, as we practice it, is unjust. We expose...

The Utilitarian Case for Voluntaryism

https://youtu.be/mO0Wi-elguk If I try to take something from you, you will resist, imposing costs on both of us in the form of property damage and bodily harm, in addition to the cost of security you may incur to prevent future acts of coercion. It’s not just that...

The State is the Health of War

https://youtu.be/WnvtYw_QKQE Critics often dismiss private law by alleging that disputes between enforcement agencies would lead to combat — even though this happens between governments all the time! In truth, the incentives for peaceful resolution of disputes would...

Liberty Weekly Podcast

Josh Rogin, Propagandist Ep. 228

https://youtu.be/KOfe5385Pjw In this episode, I profile one of this era's most influential neoconservative voices, Josh Rogin. Rogin is a twice weekly columnist at the CIA Washington Post, where he advocates for US interventionism in every possible foreign...

Pelosi’s Pickled Provocation Ep. 227

https://youtu.be/6t0w03HduRI In the last two weeks, I spent a great deal of time covering Nancy Pelosi's reckless diplomatic visit to Taiwan. As a part of my coverage, I made a panel appearance on Around the Empire with JoAnne Leon and was glad to be a guest on It's...

Lies, Damned Lies, & War Propaganda ft. Prof CJ Ep. 226

  https://youtu.be/Qp4xpGlxsx8 In this week's episode, I invited Prof. CJ of the Dangerous History Podcast on to talk about Part I of his current podcast series. In Part I, Prof. CJ explores the "massive British propaganda operation in the US that ran from...

The Danger of the Fake China Threat ft. Joseph Solis-Mullen Ep. 225

https://youtu.be/OEcx1yQn6ic This week, I invited Joseph Solis-Mullen on the show to discuss his most recent article published at the Libertarian Institute. The article, entitled "The Fake China Threat and Its Very Real Danger" does an excellent job of demonstrating...

Year Zero

Tim Pool is Wrong About China w/ Patrick MacFarlane

Patrick is back, and this time we’re discussing how and why Tim Pool is wrong about China. Liberty Weekly Patrick Twitter Discord Libertarian Institute 19 Skills Pdf Autonomy Course Critical Thinking Course Donate Patreon RyanBunting.com

BTC Vs ESG w/Car

Car from TLE joined me again. This time I wanted Car to address my Concerns about ESG, and how he thought BTC was the answer. Timeline Earth Who is Car Timeline Earth Discord Libertarian Institute 19 Skills Pdf Autonomy Course Critical Thinking Course Donate Patreon...

Origins and Myths w/Adam Patrick

Adam Patrick is back to discuss the roots of metaphysical thought and language. Discord Libertarian Institute 19 Skills Pdf Autonomy Course Critical Thinking Course Donate Patreon RyanBunting.com

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