There’s more to the actual Robin Hood than I thought. Article recommendations

25 05 2010

For a long time I’ve disliked the story of Robin Hood because I simply saw it as representing an economic fallacy and a rights violation. 

Economic fallacy: Contrary to popular belief, the poor do not ultimately benefit from forced wealth redistribution. 

Rights violation:  Stealing from the rich or anyone, is a violation of their right to their property and therefore their life. 

But there’s way more to it than that. 

See John Ridpath’s “The Real Robin Hood Never Robbed the Rich” 

And Mike Zemack’s post, “Russel Crowe vs the Real Robin Hood

Update 28/5/10.  Maybe the movie will be better than I thought judging by this NY Times review:

Although note that this review  is quite nasty and sarcastic and not a positive evaluation of the film.  Example:

“So is “Robin Hood” one big medieval tea party? Kind of, though that description makes the movie sound both more fun and more provocative than it actually is.”

Later on: 

“The idea that an ordinary, anonymous person can have a big impact on world events is an attractively democratic notion — one systematically undermined by the rest of the movie, which loads Robin with trappings of heroism that prove paralyzing to the narrative.” 


If you’re an Australian, the government will be harming you very soon. (even more)

20 05 2010

How?  By increasing taxes to on the mining industry to a “total burden” of 57% on mining companies.  I believe this is the highest rate in the world. 

H/T to Andrew Bolt’s blog for this article:  “Tax plan shows Swan is a fool” 

Treasurer Wayne Swan is a fool if he thinks a new tax on mining companies will do anything other than drive business offshore, mining magnate Clive Palmer says.

Swan’s response is this: 

“Clive Palmer acts in the interests of his own fat profits, he doesn’t act in the interest of the Australian people.”

So here we go again.  Making money is supposedly somehow bad or evil (thanks Christianity!) and against the interests of others.  Both ideas are false. 

1) Money represents goods, services or intellectual property.  Goods, services and know-how are all required for human life.  Human life is a good thing.  Money being a inanimate object, or a series of 1s and 0s in a computer is morally neutral I suppose but it represents good, moral human life sustaining goods and services.  It’s not the “root of all evil” as many seem to think.  Trade is a good thing.  Profit is a good thing. 

2) Mining companies making profits benefit their miners and mine owners.  This is true and this is moral.  They also benefit almost everyone else .  The more real wealth in the world, the more productivity.  The more productivity the higher the standard of living for all.  Good economic theory and an analysis of history prove this beyond a doubt.  Proper ethical theory as identified by Ayn Rand also explains why.  Being productive is a virtue. 

Income taxation and denying people the right to their property (a precondition for their life) is harmful.  There’s no ideal middle ground.  The more you forcibly tax income, the more you confiscate property, the more you use force to redistribute wealth, the more you violate people’s right to their life – the less prosperous people will be overall. 

The Australian Labor party have shown their true colours on this issue.  They have arrogantly dismissed the concerns of mining CEOs and have shown blatant dishonesty and incompetence.  Australian politics is in a disgraceful state.

Even Spanish government can’t deny their green initiatives were economic disasters.

19 05 2010

As is well known amongst those who like me oppose creeping socialism in the disguised form of environmentalism, the “green” jobs created by the Spanish government were an economic disaster.  This University of Rey Juan Carlos government commissioned report provides further proof: 

Their green initiatives directly harmed the lives of Spanish people and as is always the case this would have negatively affected the poor most of all. 

Spain is hardly an economic powerhouse, their country is in a serious amount of debt. 

As Pajamas Media reports, even the Spanish Zapatero administration must admit their green initiatives were economic disasters.

“Unsurprisingly for a governmental take on a flagship program, the report takes pains to minimize the extent of the economic harm. Yet despite the soft-pedaling, the document reveals exactly why electricity rates “necessarily skyrocketed” in Spain, as did the public debt needed to underwrite the disaster. This internal assessment preceded the Zapatero administration’s recent acknowledgement that the “green economy” stunt must be abandoned, lest the experiment risk Spain becoming Greece.”

And Pajamas media point out that under Obama, the US is heading (even more so) in the same direction as the Spaniards.  It is well known that the US already subsidize greenery such as bioethanol production, have a history of regulating and discouraging nuclear reactor and oil drilling developments. 

On eight separate occasions, President Barack Obama has referred to the “green economy” policies enacted by Spain as being the model for what he envisioned for America.

Most recently, U.S. senators have introduced the vehicle for replicating Spain’s unfolding economic meltdown here, in the form of the “American Power Act.” For reasons that are obvious upon scrutiny, it should instead be called the American Power Grab Act.

Latest LTE. Response to Gillard’s comments on resource taxes

18 05 2010

It seems many people in our community believe they should properly be considered collective owners of minerals in the ground which apart from sharing the same country, they have nothing to do with.  While our legislation reflects this belief, it is both wrong and impractical.  Based on this idea people expect payment for mined ore.  Generally, these people don’t own or lease the land for mining, they didn’t invest any money, they didn’t do any work to extract the ore or refine it, they don’t transport anything to or from the mines, they don’t own the mining equipment, they didn’t invent the mining techniques required and they didn’t invent ways of using the ore to benefit people.  Therefore they shouldn’t own a cent.  To think otherwise is absurd.  By their logic, next time I’m holidaying on the Great Barrier Reef, I should be able to snap off some coral and take “my fair share”.  Additionally, anyone who thinks they have the right to a “fair share” of my veggie patch better look out.  Clearly, many people haven’t thought too hard about the concept of property rights.  (20/5/10 please read the rest of this entry below)

I sent this in today 18/5/10.  Hopefully will be published

Update 20/5/10: 

I’m actually quite unhappy with the above LTE.  This issue raises many points of discussion that require some explanation.  I need to focus in on one or two points better.  Also my metaphors do not fully fit the situation.  The idea that I deserve a cut of the profits to ANY good someone else produces (which will always necessarily rely on some physical resource one way or another) is absurd to me.  But it’s not to most people.

My original letter is trying to ask, why is it that people think they have a right to the proceeds of extracting a natural resource?  It’s trying to get people to think about property rights.  I’m also trying to work out why people think they should collectively own the land in a country? 

One of the arguments for taxing mining profits is that extracting the ore can only be done once. 
To me this is a non-essential.  But perhaps I could point out that a tree can only be cut down once.  Or perhaps I could point out that metal has been recycled for hundreds, probably thousands of years.  ie: it’s reusable.  But even if it wasn’t I’d still hold the same position.  I could point out that a miniscule percentage of the earth has been mined.  I could mention the dependence on intellectual discoveries and human creativity.  Wow, there’re so many ideas I wish to convey. 

Here’s take two:

Revised letter: 
It seems many people in our community believe they should properly be considered collective owners of minerals in the ground which apart from sharing the same country, they have nothing to do with.  While our legislation reflects this belief, it is both wrong and impractical.  Based on this false idea people expect payment for mined ore.  But what right do I have to ore in the ground considering I haven’t paid to own or lease the land for mining, I didn’t invest any money, I didn’t do any work to extract the ore or refine it, I don’t transport anything to or from the mines, I don’t own the mining equipment, I didn’t invent the mining techniques required and I didn’t invent ways of using the ore to benefit people.  I don’t deserve a cent of mining profits in the same way as I don’t deserve any profits made by a lumberjack.  I believe the key to this issue is a correct understanding of property rights. 

Letter two:

Human beings require material goods in order survive and prosper.  We must produce goods such as food from agriculture, timber from lumbering, clean water, plastics and metals from mining.  In fact all products necessarily require natural resources of one kind or another as well as knowledge (the often forgotten and most important resource without which many natural resources would be useless).  Mining ore is supposedly different because ore can “only be mined once”.  Considering the vast quantities of un-mined land on the earth this is a strange argument.  But what I want to know is why does the fact that ore can only be mined once mean that the community at large deserve a cut of any profits made by mining companies?  There is nothing wrong with humans extracting materials from the environment in order to survive and prosper.  Is it wrong for a beaver to build a dam or a bird to build a nest?  Further, in the case of mining and metal production, these resources are recyclable.  Metals have been recycled for hundreds of years.

Update: 24/5/10

Doh!  The Adelaide Advertiser printed my first letter.  The worst of the lot unfortunately.  But maybe it could fire up a few synapses amongst those who read it.

Sad news. Ronnie James Dio 1942-2010

18 05 2010

Dio, a great live singer and metal icon.  Read the rest of this entry »

Armstrong and Miller RAF pilots

18 05 2010

Inside Australia’s largest Pentecostal Church – Hillsong

17 05 2010

Very interesting video.  This comes right from the horse’s mouth, a 15 minute interview with the founder and head of the church Brian Houston.   

So see what he has to say about his church:

I was quite interested at the internal conflict evident in Brian when it comes to issues of money.  He sees money as a force for evil and is highly conflicted because his church and charity missions need money to expand. 

I also didn’t realise his father was a pedophile.  Nasty.   

Interestingly, this church is big in South America where apparently pentecostal Christianty is growing at an alarming rate.  The church has been hugely successful, we’re talking millions and millions of dollars passing through the church each year. 

Brian makes it clear (although almost a bit reluctantly, see the video) that this church is anti-homosexuality, forbids sex outside of marriage and is anti-abortion.