Friday Hodgepodge

Friday, June 08, 2018

Blog Roundup

1. I, too, was disappointed for the same reasons as the folks at the Texas Institute for Property Rights, but they beat me to the punch. The recent Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling is indeed a travesty:

If each individual has a right to associate with those of his choosing, then gays have a right to marry. And businesses have a right to refuse service to those they don't like. It is wrong to deny gays their rights as individuals. It is equally wrong to deny [Jack] Phillips his rights as an individual, and that includes his right to be irrational. The travesty of the Court's ruling is that it didn't defend these rights on principle.
Or, as they would say -- before giving no credit -- in Naval Nuclear Power School: RAWR.

2. Ben Bayer of the Ayn Rand Institute writes a post that should be required reading for anyone interested in women continuing to enjoy control over the decision to reproduce:
"I have mine" sounds like [Ruth Marcus] is describing, at best, a question of taste. At worst, it sounds like she's staking her claim as a matter of secular faith, backed up by a secular priesthood (the Supreme Court). If she had gone on to argue for her belief and against the opposing view, she might have cancelled this implication. But she does not.
Bayer is absolutely correct that the more the left allows itself to sound like the right -- by evading the need to offer actual arguments in defense of a woman's right to have an abortion -- the less credibility they have.

3. "Manhattan Contrarian" Francis Menton reports on a Cato Institute study authored by a former government official who knows how the government computes poverty statistics and who provides good citations:
[T]he government's data on poverty and income inequality are systematically fraudulent. For starters, they define "income," for purposes of determining both poverty and income inequality, in a way to arbitrarily exclude well over a trillion annual dollars of government transfers and benefits, leading to results that are entirely misleading. And then those intentionally misleading results are used to advocate for yet more government programs and transfers, all of which will again be excluded when measuring poverty and inequality in the next round...
To this I'll make a couple of comments. First, I'd be curious as to Menton's take on the position taken by Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute that "the egalitarian notion of equality is inherently unjust." Second, the above causes me to remember seeing conservative arguments to the effect that the so-called War on Poverty has failed to move the needle in decades. (i.e., Someone could take this piece to mean that the programs are working.) This isn't to say that the "beneficiaries" of those programs are doing well, but one thing it does do is underscore the importance of making a moral argument against the government taking money from the productive in the first place.

4. Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress offers a new tool to use when seeking to clarify one's thoughts, and a video on the topic.

The video is about twenty-five minutes long, and the template can be had by following Epstein's link to the 10X talk.

-- CAV

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