Global Nonsense

At Cafe Hayek Don Boudreaux reacts to a New York Review of Books review by singing the praises of globalization :

I doubt that McKibben knows what he’s talking about. That is, I doubt that he has any real appreciation for just how much our lives depend upon global commerce and industry. I doubt that he understands that each of us daily depends for our standards of living — indeed, for our very lives — on the creativity and efforts of tens of millions of people worldwide.

The good folks at Catallarchy pick up the drum beat:

It’s illuminating how expensive these experiments in buying local-only turn out to be. You never seem to hear about “working class” people rejecting global capitalism to prove some sort of ecopolitical holier-than-thou point. Maybe because they are too busy shopping at WalMart just trying to get by. Eliminating or reducing global trade would make their lives unbearably more difficult, if not impossible.

This is true enough. Pull the plug now on today’s global economy and things would look pretty bleak for anyone not currently “living locally.”
But, it is surprising to hear such supposedly strong free market supporters praising so loudly a structure so substantially built and maintained by the force of the state.
Boudreaux goes on to say:

…McKibben’s prescription would ironcially also likely require a vast, global government possessing awesome powers to force we humans to live — and to keep living — in local economies.


Just like our current version of a global economy is subsidized and maintained by vast government structures possessing awesome powers.

Looking Forward to a Free Market

Should corporations have to disclose more about their executive pay structure?
Well, if they are public corporations created and supported by state and federal laws then a case can be made that, yes, they should be very transparent. Problably more than Barney Frank proposes.
However, this simply points again to the failure of government created organizations. Every year there are more patchwork bills to regulate corporations and, it seems, we hear more and more about what is not right with them. Let’s solve the problem! Let’s end government protection of corporations and the concept of limited liability corporations. If you are going to play you need to be willing to assume the risk.
And, yes, I disagree with Doug at Below the Beltway who says:

A possible end to the inane idea that so-called “commercial speech” is less deserving of First Amendment protection ?

As noted here when a business is structured like a human then we can consider applying human rights.

DART seeks fare solution?

Perhaps they should be seeking a fair solution instead?

Rising gas prices are prompting a growing number of North Texas commuters to park their cars in favor of buses and trains, but Dallas Area Rapid Transit is considering service cuts to help balance its budget.
Though DART ridership has increased 11 percent on its bus and light-rail lines and 18 percent on the Trinity Railway Express commuter line, the additional passengers have not helped the agency’s finances.
The problem: a lower-than-expected sales tax revenue forecast for 2006 throughout the region, and increased fuel costs.
The sales tax numbers are crucial because DART gets most of its revenue from that source. The transit agency, which spends about $887,000 a day to run its buses and rail lines, recovers about 11 percent of its daily operating cost through fares.
According to DART, Route 234 attracts an average of 59 riders a day, and that translates into a subsidy of almost $24 for every passenger trip. The transit agency has pushed for those riders to form van pools, which have a subsidy of about $1 per passenger trip
In considering which bus lines to shrink or eliminate, DART weighs one route’s performance against similar routes. Route 234 supporters argued to the board that the Plano-to-Irving bus service is vastly different from other express routes that run from outlying stops directly to downtown Dallas. Those routes have a goal of a $4.50 subsidy per passenger trip.

Reads like another typical case of a government involved market failure.
The only fair solution is one where the subsidy per passenger trip is $0.00 and fares cover both the cost of operations and capital. If the passengers object then they should seek out an alternative that does not include taking money from others to subsidize their choices of where to live and work.

What’s the Dif? Part 2

I read the news today oh, boy!
Even prepared, though, I expect to become nauseous this weekend when I read Kale. It is another case that Micha can use in his paper equating the mafia and government. Lynn Kiesling quotes this from the AP:

As a result, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue. …
Yep, it’s all about more revenue. And, as Patri Friedman notes:
Now they