The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

05 August 2011

The Broken Window Fallacy: Learn it well

Written for my 12 year old, and shared with you.

In your political education, you need to learn the lesson below and always consider it, every time a Statist politician talks about "creating" jobs, internal improvements, etc.,. This is a key lesson to learn, one that I cannot emphasize enough:


The broken window fallacy
excerpts from ECONOMICS IN ONE LESSON by Henry Hazlitt
Chapter II, "The Broken Window"
A young hoodlum, say, heaves a brick through the window of a baker’s shop. The shopkeeper runs out furious, but the boy is gone. A crowd gathers, and begins to stare with quiet satisfaction at the gaping hole in the window and the shattered glass over the bread and pies. After a while the crowd feels the need for philosophic reflection. And several of its members are almost certain to remind each other or the baker that, after all, the misfortune has its bright side. It will make business for some glazier. As they begin to think of this they elaborate upon it. How much does a new plate glass window cost? Two hundred and fifty dollars? That will be quite a sum. After all, if windows were never broken, what would happen to the glass business? Then, of course, the thing is endless. The glazier will have $250 more to spend with other merchants, and these in turn will have $250 more to spend with still other merchants, and so ad infinitum. The smashed window will go on providing money and employment in ever-widening circles. The logical conclusion from all this would be, if the crowd drew it, that the little hoodlum who threw the brick, far from being a public menace, was a public benefactor.

Now let us take another look. The crowd is at least right in its first conclusion. This little act of vandalism will in the first instance mean more business for some glazier. The glazier will be no more unhappy to learn of the incident than an undertaker to learn of a death. But the shopkeeper will be out $250 that he was planning to spend for a new suit. Because he has had to replace the window, he will have to go without the suit (or some equivalent need or luxury). Instead of having a window and $250 he now has merely a window. Or, as he was planning to buy the suit that very afternoon, instead of having both a window and a suit he must be content with the window and no suit. If we think of him as part of the community, the community has lost a new suit that might otherwise have come into being, and is just that much poorer.

The glazier’s gain of business, in short, is merely the tailor’s loss of business. No new “employment” has been added. The people in the crowd were thinking only of two parties to the transaction, the baker and the glazier. They had forgotten the potential third party involved, the tailor. They forgot him precisely because he will not now enter the scene. They will see the new window in the next day or two. They will never see the extra suit, precisely because it will never be made. 

They see only what is immediately visible to the eye.


One of the principle fallacies of big government economics: Job creation by central planning and redistribution of wealth.

The example below is related to the broken window fallacy as far as the lesson of what is seen and what is not seen:

(Looking at this cartoon, think about Congress' and Obama's spending hundreds of billions [American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] on "shovel ready jobs").

What is seen: The temporary shovel ready jobs, and the satisfied local union workers that got them, you know, the ones in the SEIU.

What is unseen: All the money utilized without efficiency in the making of this job creating machine, and all the things that the taxed people cannot buy themselves that would improve their lives, and support other industries and other peoples jobs). This is a cost in your money, and your freedom to choose what you'll do with what you've worked for.

NOW, having been armed with the lessons above, you are better equipped to read, understand, and criticize this kind of article, by  Commissar (er, I mean Congresswoman) Nancy Pelosi, of the People's Republic of San Francisco.

Knowledge of economics should determine your politics.

We earn less, AND can afford less for the same labor.

"The vast majority of tax return filers – more than 97 percent – reported incomes of less than $200,000. The average income was $54,283, a drop of more than $3,500, or 6 percent, from 2008. That put the average income at its lowest level since 1997."

Link to Politico

What does that mean, exactly?

From The Inflation Calculator:

What cost $3500 in 2008 would cost $3541.78 in 2010.
Also, if you were to buy exactly the same products in 2010 and 2008,
they would cost you $3500 and $3385.41 respectively.

Not only does the average wage earner earn 3500 less, in 2008, the extra income of 3500 would have bought that much more than what the same $ buys two years later.  This is how you are robbed of your wealth. Dribs, drabs, a thousand papercuts, boiling frog, and all that.  Too slow to see in action until it's too late.

Guess what? It's too late.

If everyone realized this, it should unite right and left against the root causes: Central banking, fiat currency, Big Government, and crony corporatism.

Anybody as angry as I am?

04 August 2011

Welcome to the Gulag, my friends

"Turn your head to the left, and cough."
Verbatim post:

I just opted out of the porno fucking scanner at Detroit Airport, and I was molested by a female agent of the totalitarian state. She put her hands into my pants (INTO), grabbed my boobs, felt my vagina, and checked me over in every nook and cranny. She even spent an inordinate amount of time unraveling my shirt collar and playing with it. My traveling companion – who has traveled very little in recent years – looked on in horror. I took the smartass approach most of the way. This truly was a sexual violation.

Welcome to the gulag, my friends.

I intentionally snuck over to the line with old-fashioned metal detector scanner thing, as always. Three or four folks in front of me went through unimpeded. As soon as I stepped up, the man pointed at me and then pointed at the porno scanner. I said “no way.” The calls went out: “Female assistance needed! Female assistance needed!” They made me wait ten minutes, and of course, the gal asked if I wanted a private room. I said nope, I want everyone to see this*.
I must admit – I had a female agent that was probably as good as one is going to get at the TSA. She was a “Mom” type, and not one of these Janet Napolitano clones who are suited well for jack boots and male trousers. She actually seemed uncomfortable doing it.

As to the question of what to do should you find yourself in this position – absolutely, and always, opt out of the tactic to control you and keep you at bay. Chertoff’s porno scanners are not only perilous to your health – that is, if you value great health – but they are the state’s reminder that your freedom is a privilege that it arbitrarily hands out on occasion, and don’t you dare forget it.

8/4/2011, Karen DeCoster

(*emphasis added. Also, wondering if the female TSA agent felt balls, cause this lady's got a pair)

This is for all you dems and progressives out there.

Quote of the Day 8/4

General Jackson and Little Sorrel

"Military men make short speeches, and as for myself, I am no hand at speaking anyhow.

The time for war has not yet come, but it will come and that soon; and when it does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard."

Professor Thomas J. Jackson, Virginia Military Institute, April 13, 1861

Deo Vindice

03 August 2011

Hey Obama, pay your f*ckin' bills

Tellin' it like it is.  Hilariously funny and totally depressing at the same time.

This guy sounds like a southern racist teabagger...don't tell Rachel Maddow or Janeane Garofalo. 

H/T to the Humble Libertarian.

And so far, the American people have wasted time rearranging the deck chairs...

When do we try to re-take the ship?

02 August 2011

Quote of the Day 8/2

To define the nature of a government truly, I would say, that a power of distributing property, able to gratify avarice and monopoly, designated a bad one; and that the absence of every such power, designated a good one.

John Taylor, 1820, Virginia
Leading proponent of Jeffersonian principles of States' rights and limited federal powers.


Modern English translation: 

If a government can take away personal property for redistribution, to satisfy greed or aid monopoly, [and I would add: aid other individuals, corporations, or governments], that's bad.

If government has no such power, it's good.

Our government today: Bad.

01 August 2011

Photoessay, my trip to Greeneville, TN and Lexington, VA

Hey y'all

I just got back from my weekend in Tennessee.  I wanted to see the progress on our house in Tennessee.  It took a direct hit when the tornadoes that hit Alabama when on up through Tennessee and Virginia on the night of April 27-28, 2011.  Three months later, my dad working almost non-stop, with the help of literally dozens of Church volunteers, day camp kids, and neighbors, the property has taken on the look that it had the day before the tornado hit. Of course, a lot fewer trees.

We had a great weekend together.  Great food, great time with family, ice cold creek water on a hot summer day.  I had a nice day at the range (see below :-)).  

View of the house from the road above. What looks like a green shrub just to the back of the car in the foreground is actually the 3 month growth of the re-rooted sycamore stump, that missed killing my dad by a couple of feet.  His truck was the wedge that prevented the full weight of the tree from crushing the house and him with it (he stood against the wall inside, in line with the falling tree).  Thank the Lord for his protection. New roof, new joists, new view (used to be that you couldn't see the house from the road, or the view of the mountains from the house).  The mountains are part of the Cherokee National Forest.
Literally 3-400 meters up the road a house was completely destroyed, and is being rebuilt by volunteers from the ground up. All materials donated. Our next door neighbors (directly descended from Robert E. Lee, from what I'm told) donated all the windows. My dad donated insulation.    The family had no insurance, and no reserve to re-build.  One of the tents outside the house proudly displayed the battle flag.  I wanted to take a picture for the blog and to share with Mr. Tuggle at Rebellion Blog (Flags of the Rebellion), but I didn't want to seem intrusive in their time of stress.  

Icy cold spring fed creek skirts the property.

Remington 798 (700 stock made with a Mauser bolt made in Serbia) in .243 @ 100 yards, from the bench with a Caldwell sandbag, and a Leupold VX-II 3-9 x 40 scope. Humid, 95 degrees, no wind. 1.06 inches.

That's for you, Dutchy--my best group! ;-)

Rifle recently glass bedded, trigger job (factory trigger re-set at 2.5 lbs pull weight) done by gunsmith Bill VanFossan, Dandridge, TN. I was very happy with Mr. VanFossan's work--highly recommended.

On the way back today, I stopped in Lexington, VA, to pay homage and say a prayer at the burial site of  Lt. General "Stonewall" Jackson. 

As promised, Brock, I kept you in mind while I stood beside the General's resting place.

 There are 144 Confederate veterans also buried in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery.  It was a misty morning this morning in Lexington, adding an aura to the visit.

Oh, if you'd only lived a little while longer...

Lemons left in front of the tombstone by visitors familiar with the General's well-known habit. 

Mist covered web nearby, about 2 feet across

Deo Vindice

Crosses and flags mark the graves of the veterans of the CSA.

The quaint center of Lexington:
The round sign: "Virginia, Born and Bred"

Many quaint colonial and antebellum buildings are well preserved in downtown Lexington, VA

The rear and garden of Gen. Jackson's house when he lived in Lexington during the time he taught at the Virginia Military Institute.

Here is the music I listened to when I was leaving Lexington, heading North on Interstate 81, "Jackson in the Valley", played on original period instruments by the 2nd South Carolina String Band: