Recommended Reading – Tuesday, January 31st

Jan 31, 2012 by

Why There Is No Human Progress without Capitalism (Cato Institute)

“For thousands of years, there was virtually no such thing as human progress. The great French historian Fernand Braudel observed, “Peasants represented immense numbers of people, the vast majority of human beings… constant poverty… For century upon century, clothing remained unchanged… the general rule was changelessness.” In Europe, peasant possessions were generally limited to little more than a shirt, a pair of pants, perhaps a simple jacket, a bench, a table and a straw-filled sack that served as a mattress. In India, there were hardly any chairs or tables to be found. There were few chairs in Islamic lands. Multitudes perished because of famines — France alone had hundreds of famines before 1800. Famine undermined the ability of people to resist common deadly diseases like typhoid fever, purple fever, whooping cough, sweating sickness, diphtheria, smallpox, influenza, syphilis and the plague.

Capitalism, as economic freedom is often called, has changed the world for the better by harnessing individual self-interest — the most reliable motivator there is. In markets, functioning without subsidies, special favors or bailouts, entrepreneurs have had powerful incentives to provide what consumers want.” (Click here for the rest of the article)

A few words about abortion (

“In the past 39 years, American physicians have performed more than 50 million abortions. Abortion is the most frequent medical procedure performed in the U.S. The linchpin to Roe vs. Wade is the Court’s rationale that because the decision to undergo an abortion ordinarily occurs between patient and physician, and because that interaction ordinarily takes place in private, the right to privacy insulates abortion from the reach of the State. Roe vs. Wade itself does not define the right to an abortion, but it does unambiguously declare that the baby in the womb is not a person, and that the right to privacy protects the mother’s decision to kill the baby.

Did you catch that? The Supreme Court declared that the baby in the womb is not a person. When it made that declaration, it rejected dozens of decisions of other courts, in America and in Great Britain, holding that the baby in the womb is a person. This is reminiscent of the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision in 1857 in which it ruled that blacks were not persons. In both cases, it cited no precedent, it gave no rational basis, and in Roe vs. Wade, it merely said that because philosophers, physicians and lawyers could not agree on whether babies in wombs are persons, it would declare them not to be persons.” (Click here for the rest of the article)

Leading Scientists Debunk Climate Alarmism (The Independent Institute)

“In their recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “No Need to Panic About Global Warming,” a group of sixteen world-renowned scientists decry the unscientific alarmism over “global warming,” citing numerous inconvenient facts that dispute global warming claims.

Their message to policymakers?

There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to “decarbonize” the world’s economy. Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically. . . . Every candidate should support rational measures to protect and improve our environment, but it makes no sense at all to back expensive programs that divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of “incontrovertible” evidence.” (Click here for the rest of the article)

Freddie Mac Bets Against American Homeowners (Propublica)

“Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-owned mortgage giant, has placed multibillion-dollar bets that pay off if homeowners stay trapped in expensive mortgages with interest rates well above current rates.

Freddie began increasing these bets dramatically in late 2010, the same time that the company was making it harder for homeowners to get out of such high-interest mortgages.

“We were actually shocked they did this,” says Scott Simon, who as the head of the giant bond fund PIMCO’s mortgage-backed securities team is one of the world’s biggest mortgage bond traders. “It seemed so out of line with their mission.” The trades “put them squarely against the homeowner,” he says.” (Click here for the rest of the article)


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