Friday Hodgepodge

Friday, January 21, 2022

Blog Roundup

1. Through Harry Binswanger's Value for Value blog, I learned of a talk (embedded below) that he gave last year titled "All Regulation is Over-Regulation."

Looking at issues from the standpoint of whether or not they constitute preventive law is immensely clarifying.
I agree, and highly recommend the blog post as well as the lecture.

2. At the blog of the Texas Institute for Property Rights, Brian Phillips correctly notes that Ron DeSantis's lack of principles is behind his failure to speak up against "lockdowns" earlier in the pandemic:
The lock down should have been opposed as a matter of principle. Principles allow us to project the long-term consequences of an action. However, if one lacks principles, then one can only experiment to find "what works." One does "whatever it takes" without regard to the long-term consequences. And that has been the predominant point of view since the beginning of the pandemic. [link in original]
I live in Florida, and I remember when the two weeks my kids were kept from school got extended repeatedly. I remember yelling in exasperation at one point: What do I have to do, get the governor's permission to live my life?

For the same reason DeSantis didn't nip "lockdowns" in the bud, he's now forbidding companies from making their own policies, be they vaccination as a condition of employment or -- beyond the pandemic -- being able to decide who can or can't be a customer, as in the case of Twitter.

3. At How to Be Profitable and Moral, Jaana Woiceshyn argues that the best way to help the poor is to stop "redistributing" wealth:
Contrary to the inequality narrative, people are not poor because someone else is rich. Wealth is not a fixed pie; it is created and expanded through productive effort. Poverty is caused by the lack of freedom to produce and to keep the fruits of production, and by people’s choices when they are free to choose.
She elaborates on this line of thought throughout and ends with an interesting quote in support from Benjamin Franklin.

4. If you think self-affirmation is clichéd at best, let me commend you to Thinking Directions for a re-thinking of the concept.

After first acknowledging that most affirmations seem little better than "a silly attempt to brainwash yourself," Jean Moroney considers using them differently in a couple of ways: (1) to remind yourself of your values and (2) to help yourself achieve positive change. She explains in part:
The positive statement needs to do three things:

First, it needs to connect logically to the problem you expect to face. For example, if you are an experienced writer worried about writer's block, you might use an affirmation like, "I can write easily and well."

Second, it needs to trigger a value-laden emotion in you. This is one reason the affirmation needs to be true. If you don't believe you can write easily and well, the line "I can write easily and well" will trigger doubt, not confidence. You may need to adjust the formulation so it is true and motivating to you. For example, a beginning writer might use "I am learning to write easily and well."

Finally, the thought needs to trigger in your mind constructive steps you can take. As an experienced writer, when I remind myself "I can write easily and well," I bring up a whole system of non-fiction writing tools that I've developed. I remember that I have a gazillion ways to make my writing easier and clearer.
So, far from the kind of piety that comedian Jack Handey got so much comedic mileage from, a really good affirmation will actually be helpful. Of course, choosing a good one will likewise require more effort than thumbing through a book of inspirational quotations. To get some help in that regard, too, see the rest of the post.

-- CAV


SteveD said...

'For the same reason DeSantis didn't nip "lockdowns" in the bud, he's now forbidding companies from making their own policies'
Exactly. Good connection. This is pragmatism at best, politics at worst. DeSantis opposes lockdowns only because they he thinks don't work, because he thinks it will help him get elected or because he likes to trigger his opponents.
It's also interesting to look at the contrast with Kristy Noem (and to a lesser extent several other mid-Western governors) who took the opposite approach. She did not institute a lockdown, and she did not forbid companies from making their own policies (she was heavily criticized by conservatives for that), suggesting that principle was at least partly responsible for her decisions.
Note: The state governments can and should forbid local governments (not businesses) from instituting mandates.

Gus Van Horn said...


thanks for reminding me of Kristi Noem. I haven't followed her since the beginning of the pandemic, but her policies were definitely closer to what we should have had then.