3-15-14 Hodgepodge

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Collectivism: Immoral and Impractical for Everyone and on Any Scale

There is an interesting article in Forbes about how the federal government is keeping Amerindians in poverty. On the one hand, it does a great job of showing how central planning is keeping Indians on reservations poor:

[B]ecause Indians do not generally own their land or homes on reservations, they cannot mortgage their assets for loans like other Americans. This makes it incredibly difficult to start a business in Indian Country. Even tribes with valuable natural resources remain locked in poverty. Their resources amount to "dead capital"--unable to generate growth for tribal communities. [link in original]
So is the author a much-needed advocate for the protection of the individual rights of all Americans, including Amerindians? No.
Reservations contain valuable natural resources worth nearly $1.5 trillion, according to a recent estimate. But the vast majority of these resources remain undeveloped because the federal government gets in the way. Ron Crossguns of the Blackfeet Tribe recently put it this way: "It's our right. We say yes or no. I don't think the outside world should come out here and dictate to us what we should do with our properties."

As long as tribes are denied the right to control their own resources, they will remain locked in poverty and dependence. But if tribes are given the dignity they deserve, they will have the opportunity to unleash the tremendous wealth of Indian nations. [links in original]
I sense a contradiction here. Thinking back on his earlier example, does Shawn Regan think individuals on a reservation should own their own homes, or live in homes "owned" by a tribe? Suppose someone in one of those homes wishes to do something that harms no one, but is frowned upon by the tribe? Should the tribe dictate otherwise? More to the point, don't individuals, Indians or otherwise, own themselves?

I have no objection to the idea that, as a transition from central planning to freedom, tribes could, say, own reservations or mineral rights, but this would have to be as a corporate entity owned by individuals and not as a government. On top of the fact that only individuals have rights, there is no reason to believe that central planning by a tribe will be any more effective than that by the central government.

Weekend Reading

"It's just one of those paradoxes: the same people who can't be trusted to act on their own judgment of what mortgage to take out are competent to elect the right leaders, who will then stop them from getting the wrong mortgage." -- Harry Binswanger, in "When Markets 'Fail', Am I to Blame?" at RealClear Markets

"You are entitled to guiltlessly decide which people and activities are more important than others." -- Michael Hurd, in "Stress: The Cost of Living" at The Delaware Wave

"Anger gets a bad name when people act blindly only on their feelings." -- Michael Hurd, in "Where Should I Put My Anger?" at The Delaware Coast Press

In More Detail

Hurd's article about stress is mostly a list of ten tips for managing that unpleasant feeling. I particularly like his tenth item, since it reminds me a little of the following quote from Aristotle:
Further, a slow step is thought proper to the proud man, a deep voice, and a level utterance; for the man who takes few things seriously is not likely to be hurried, nor the man who thinks nothing great to be excited, while a shrill voice and a rapid gait are the results of hurry and excitement. [bold added]
It's probably because he has planned ahead...

I personally hate being in a hurry, and even more so when someone else's incompetence causes me to have to hurry: It's like losing ten or twenty IQ points. It causes mistakes and missed opportunities on top of the stress.


As a part-time stay-at-home dad, I must say I got a good laugh out of "Welcome to the Stay-at-Home Dads' Grand Theft Auto Crew" at McSweeney's:
Kaylee, we share our toys in this house. We share our… Thank you. Daddy's proud of you…

Jeff? That guy just stole my motorcycle. Let's follow him to his apartment and destroy everything he owns.

Anyway, most of us are usually online somewhere between noon and 3 pm, except for Brian, who's trying the "no cry" method, so who the hell knows when his kids nap. Just log in and you can search for a session with…
As a bonus, none of the humor relies on the tired "bumbling dad" cliche.


No comments: