Dec 10, 2016

H.L. Mencken on public education

The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.  That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues, and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else...Their purpose, in brief, is to make docile and patriotic citizens, to pile up majorities, and to make John Doe and Richard Doe as nearly alike, in their everyday reactions and ways of thinking, as possible.

~ H.L. Mencken

Donald Trump flipflops on stock market bubble

We’re in a big, fat, ugly bubble.

~ Donald Trump, first presidential debate, September 26, 2016

I hope I’m judged from the time of the election as opposed to from January 20 because the stock market has had a tremendous bounce.

~ Donald Trump, Time “Person of the Year” interview, December 9, 2016

Ludwig von Mises on central planning vs. individual planning

The planner is a potential dictator who wants to deprive all other people of the power to plan and act according to their own plans. He aims at one thing only: the exclusive absolute preeminence of his own plan.

~ Ludwig von Mises, Planned Chaos, 1947

Dec 9, 2016

Jeff Berwick on the value of a college eduction

Universities for the most part today, are places where those who have been taught not to think for themselves go for four more years of training.

~ Jeff Berwick, editor, The Dollar Vigilante, July 18, 2016

Dec 3, 2016

Robert Higgs on the 2016 election

In effect, the election was above all a referendum on political correctness. People who had tired of being called every sort of insulting name—racist, sexist, ignorant, backward, religious, in short everything that the Clinton crowd fancied it was not—rose on their hind legs and began to buck vigorously. One suspects that Trump himself must have been surprised by the magnitude and enthusiasm of the following he attracted. After all, he is not a sociologist, a political scientist, or even an experienced politician. However one might label him, though, he had stumbled onto a cultural time-bomb waiting for a detonator. Thus, he was not so much the man of the hour as he was the right tool for the task a great many people yearned to see carried out.

~ Robert Higgs, "Ideology, Identity Politics, and Politico-Cultural Conflict," The Beacon, November 30, 2016

Nov 28, 2016

Chubb and Moe on democracy and public schools

Democracy is essentially coercive.  The winners get to use public authority to impose their policies on the losers.

~ John E. Chubb and Terry M. Moe, Politics, Markets & America's Schools (1990), p. 183

Nov 25, 2016

Doug Casey makes the case for anarchy

There are very few things a government should do. That’s because the essence of government is force. And, in a civilized society, force should be kept to a minimum. So the only legitimate function of government is to protect you from force. Which implies an army to protect you from violence from outside of its borders, police to protect you inside of its borders, and a court system to allow you to adjudicate disputes without violence.

But those three functions are actually far too important to be left to the state or the kind of people that inevitably go to work for it. So the only three things that it can legitimately do are the very three things that are too important to trust it with. It’s almost a contradiction of terms. In point of fact, there’s nothing the State does that shouldn’t be left to entrepreneurs and a voluntary market.

~ Doug Casey, "Doug Casey on Globalism and the Worldwide Populist Revolt,", November 25, 2016