More Than One Perspective

By Don Boudreaux


donkeyrock
shared this story
from Cafe Hayek – Article Feed.

(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s another letter to my new correspondent from New Jersey:

Dear Mr. Sloan:

I appreciate your correspondence. Thank you for it.

You ask if I agree that, because successful entrepreneurs “such as [Jeff] Bezos … benefit disproportionately” from government-supplied infrastructure, these entrepreneurs should be taxed at rates higher than those levied on “regular people.”

I don’t agree. My reasons are many, not the least of which is that I doubt that successful entrepreneurs benefit disproportionately from government-supplied infrastructure. Looking at the non-farm U.S. economy over the years 1948-2001, the Yale economist William Nordhaus calculates that successful innovators capture only about two percent of the value to society of their innovations. The other 98 percent of the value of these innovations is, as Nordhaus says, “passed on to consumers rather than captured by producers.”*

If this calculation is even only remotely accurate, then three points about taxes suggest themselves: (1) it’s unwise to raise taxes on – that is, to discourage – activities that generate such huge net benefits for society; (2) successful entrepreneurs already, through market competition, contribute to society nearly all (98 percent) of the value of their successful innovations; and (3) those who enjoy disproportionate benefits from whatever entrepreneurial innovations are made possible by government-supplied infrastructure are, thus, arguably the general public rather than the successful entrepreneurs.

It’s true that Jeff Bezos would be less wealthy today if there were no roads, airports, and other infrastructure to enable Amazon to serve consumers. But it’s also true that consumers would be less wealthy today not only if there were no roads, airports, and other infrastructure to enable Amazon to serve consumers, but also if Jeff Bezos had instead chosen to become, say, a poet or a civil servant rather than an a entrepreneur. Mr. Bezos had to take positive, risky steps to gain his increased wealth; in contrast, consumers did nothing for their increased wealth other than enjoy it when Mr. Bezos offered it to them.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
and
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

* William D. Nordhaus, “Schumpeterian Profits in the American Economy: Theory and Measurement” (April 2004).

…..

A different, but complementary, point was made to me by e-mail yesterday by Cafe patron Thierry Pons. I quote him here …Click Here To Read The Full Story >>>

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Needed: a post-Frieden CDC

By Walter Olson


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from Overlawyered.

Bloomberg’s nanny-in-chief was never the right choice to lead the Centers for Disease Control, much less with an actual epidemic in sight, argues the New York Sun:

…it was the former mayor of New York City who gave the nation Thomas Frieden, who is one dangerous doctor and is the middle of the catastrophe. … Because of the government’s blunders in the Ebola emergency, people are starting to look a harder look at Bloombergism.

… the CDC budget has soared more than 200% since 2000 to $7 billion. The Centers, moreover, are squandering this lucre (which was seized from the American public via taxes) on regulating motorcycle helmets, video games, and playground equipment, as if any of that has anything to do with diseases. No wonder that when Ebola hits, the CDC seems to be staggering….

Mr. Bloomberg is enormously invested in this through the school of public health at Johns Hopkins. Do Americans want a cabal of left-wing, government doctors in Atlanta engineering our playgrounds, motorcycle helmets, and video games? No one plays a video game or rides a motorcycle for his health….

It is important that the Ebola emergency is starting to get people thinking about the first principles of the Centers for Disease Control.

Read the whole thing. Related: Heather Mac Donald and Steve Malanga, City Journal; Jacob Sullum.

While we’re at it: I’ve got a new post at Cato about the international aspects, including the U.N.’s World Health Organization and Prof. Lawrence Gostin’s article “Healthy Living Needs Global Governance.”

Tags: international law,

Tags: Michael Bloomberg, public health, Thomas Frieden , United Nations

Needed: a post-Frieden CDC is a post from Overlawyered – Chronicling the high cost of our legal system

…Click Here To Read The Full Story >>>

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A Lesson from 1871 and 1874

By Don Boudreaux


donkeyrock
shared this story
from Cafe Hayek – Article Feed.

(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to a student in New Jersey:

Dear Mr. Sloan: Sloan

Thanks for your latest note. You remember correctly that I agree that Pres. Obama’s “You didn’t build that!” quip referred to infrastructure and other inputs – admittedly produced by others – that each entrepreneur relies on. You’re mistaken, however, to insist that “because government makes businesses’ profits possible, even the most innovative” entrepreneurs and investors “earn only a portion of their profits.”

You confuse possibilities with actualities. Infrastructure and other inputs do not turn themselves into valuable outputs. That task requires entrepreneurial creativity, risk-taking, and effort. The very existence of huge profits earned in markets suffused with infrastructure and other inputs implies that entrepreneurs who earn these huge profits produce something unusually rare and valuable – something that the vast majority of people, despite having the same access as do successful entrepreneurs to infrastructure and other inputs, do not produce.

In short, the outputs created by entrepreneurs would not otherwise have been produced. Therefore, the profits of these entrepreneurs reflect the additional value to the economy of these outputs. This is additional market value that, despite the use of infrastructure and other inputs, is created only through the actions of successful entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs, and they alone, are responsible for making actual that additional value which, without their efforts, would remain only an unrealized – indeed, unnoticed – potential.

This reality does not itself argue against taxation. Infrastructure, like other inputs, must be paid for, and taxation is one way to pay for it. But this reality does mean that it’s mistaken both to attribute to government a prime and uniquely important role in the creation of entrepreneurial profits and to suppose that government, by virtue of a politician quipping fatuously to entrepreneurs “You didn’t build that!,” becomes entitled to an open-ended claim on those these profits.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
and
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

…Click Here To Read The Full Story >>>

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10/23 Links Pt1: Father eulogizes Chaya Zissel 'You made us happy from the moment you arrived'

By Ian (noreply@blogger.com)


donkeyrock
shared this story
from Elder Of Ziyon – Israel News.

From Ian:


Father eulogizes infant killed in Jerusalem attack: ‘You made us happy from the moment you arrived’
At midnight, in a small crowded funeral parlor in Jerusalem, Shmuel Elimelech Braun stood in front of the the small white shroud covered body of his three-month-old daughter Chaya Zissel, killed earlier that day in a terror attack.
“Zissla, you were pure,” he said in a tear-choked voice. Earlier on Wednesday, he and his wife had taken her for her first trip to see the Western Wall.
“In the last hour, you were by the Kotel. You woke up.We shmoozed (talked) with each other,” the young father said.
“You looked at me and smiled,” Braun said.
“I told you, this is the Kotel, this is Har HaBayit (The Temple Mount),” he recalled.
Braun spoke with his young daughter about the cherubs that had been on the Ark of the Covenant when the Temple existed and described how their faces were like that of a pure child.
“Like you,” Braun had said. “You looked at me, with a twinkle in your eye, like you knew, like you understood me,” he said.
“You made us happy from the moment you [arrived],” he Braun said.

Grandfather of Slain Israeli Infant: ‘She Was Pure?’, ‘Murdered for No Reason’ (VIDEO)

Three-month-old Chayah Zissel-Bron “was pure,” and “was murdered for no reason,” her grandfather Shimshon Halperin said in a tearful statement at a Jerusalem hospital where she succumbed to injuries from a terror attack earlier on Wednesday, Israel’s Ynet News reported.
Bron was killed, and others were wounded when a Hamas terrorist drove a vehicle into people waiting at a Light Rail station close to the National Police headquarters on Wednesday evening.
“The pure girl was living with a holy soul that never did anything wrong to anyone,” Halperin told reporters. Hayah “was murdered for no reason. Unfortunately ‘Esau has hated Jacob’ for thousands of years. Arab hatred has no mercy,” Halperin said.
Bron arrived at the emergency room of Hadassah Mount Scopus in critical condition, and, despite attempts at resuscitation, she was too gravely hurt from cranial bleeding to pull though surgery, according to Pediatrics chief, Prof. Yehuda Barkan.
“The baby was brought in mortally wounded. She fought for her life, but she suffered severe head injuries,” according to Barkan.
Halperin is the son of the late Rabbi Rafael Halperin, a public figure and founder of a national eyewear chain.
“Her parents are traumatized; they heard about it five minutes ago,” Halperin said. …Click Here To Read The Full Story >>>

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Is Zoe Quinn Using The Massachusetts Courts To Censor The Legal Speech Of Her Ex-Boyfriend?

By Roosh


donkeyrock
shared this story
from Return Of Kings.

Return Of Kings has obtained public court documents
Quinn’s handwritten complaint

Quinn’s

  • Page 1(Quinn’s handwritten complaint)
  • Page 2(Quinn’s request to prevent Gjoni from writing about her

    “online”
    The

    “online”)Page 3(the court order preventing Gjoni from distributing material to “hate mobs”

    mobs”)

    And here is a portion of the transcribed text (full transcript can be found on pastebin):

    On or about August 16, 2014, the Defendant wrote and published a long post about my sex life and private dealings to several websites that he knew had a history of harassing me. He was aware that harassment and stalking would happen, and openly admits to doing so to damage my professional reputation as an independent artist. Since then I have received numerous death and rape threats from an anonymous mob that he had given details to. My personal info like my home address, phone number, emails, passwords, and those of my family have been widely distributed, alongside nude photos of me, and several of my professional accounts and those of my colleagues have been hacked.

    Eron has coached this mob multiple times, made multiple social media accounts to smear my name publicly, and has stoked the fire of this on many occasions and doesn’t seem to be stopping. He has also called hotels that he suspected me of staying at, falsifying information to give more personal info to the mob. I am in fear of him as he is not repentant for the mob’s harassment of me and keeps hinting at giving them more information, which he knows will continue inciting the threats and harassment.

    [...]

    Therefore, I ask the court to order the following: “not continue to distribute private info about me online and to people harassing me or to contact my friends and colleagues”

    Granting of order number eight legally bound Gjoni from talking about her publicly, effectively acting as a chilling effect in all further speech about his ex-girlfriend.

    Quinn decided to use the legal system to prevent sharing her “personal info” when in the past she shared the personal information of the organizer of Fine Young Capitalists, a charity organization meant to promote women in gaming. It was claimed that she doxxed the organizer for the reason that they were transphobic, but it has been speculated that she was upset they didn’t offer compensation in exchange for …Click Here To Read The Full Story >>>

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