A libertarian returns to Scotland
"Freedom and Whisky gang thegither"
- Robert Burns
"Freedom and Whisky gang thegither"
Saturday, 26 March 2011
Lots of tweeting today
There is no one ideal NED
The article goes on to say, "However, it is the NED who can offer a constructive challenge which is an essential part of good governance."
I guess that this piece wan't proofread in Scotland!
(NED = Non Executive Director)
Saturday, 19 March 2011
Why do some people hate freedom?
Ludicrous? It's almost a case of where to begin. So let's start with the title.
Why, exactly, would anyone want to fight a "market ideology"? To answer that we have to know what the term "market" means. As so often, Murray Rothbard had the answer:
The Free market is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is undertaken as a voluntary agreement between two people or between groups of people represented by agentsSo what Ms McMillan is against is the freedom to make voluntary agreements.
This next bit is sort of correct but remains analytically lacking:
Three years ago, after all, the ordinary citizens of the West watched the financial system under which they had been living for decades hurtle towards self-destruction, and survive only with the help of massive bailouts from the public purse. It was substantially discredited, both intellectually and morally; yet three years on, we find the power of this financial system not diminished, but if anything increased. Nothing has changed, except that ordinary British citizens are now being asked to foot the bill.First, the system had been hurtling towards destruction since long before 2008. And it was the prior subsidies from the public purse that caused that destruction! Without taxpayer guarantees for the fiat monetary system, there would have been no crash. With those subsidies, the crash was inevitable. Second, the system had indeed been discredited (totally, not "substantially") long before the crash by people like the earlier quoted Rothbard, not by anti-market folk like Joyce McMillan. Third, McMillan should make it clear that the price is being paid by taxpayers and savers, not by all "ordinary" British citizens many of whom are tax consumers.
Then our Joyce tells us that the current UK government is "perhaps the most doctrinaire pro-market administration seen in this country for a century" and that it is "bent on remedying market failure, by applying ever more drastic market solutions". Utter nonsense. The government's debt is planned to continue to grow for several years. "Doctrinaire pro-market" - you're having a laugh. And as I explained above, the crash was caused a politicised, non-market financial system. "Market solutions"? If only.
McMillan goes on to say:
Like hundreds of thousands of bred-in-the-bone Labour voters, I have never been able to bring myself to vote for the SNP; in my heart, I think social justice a far more important political principle than national identityOh dear. Has Ms McMillan read anything by Hayek?
To discover the meaning of what is called 'social justice' has been one of my chief preoccupations for more than 10 years. I have failed in this endeavour - or rather, have reached the conclusion that, with reference to society of free men, the phrase has no meaning whatever.Exactly. The only kind of genuine justice there can be is one based on the free market as defined by Rothbard above.
Next we read this:
What faces us over the next ten years, though, is not a tea-party or an academic debate, but a herculean struggle to turn the tide of extreme market ideology that has already done so much damage to our societies; and to create a credible, working alternative.I knew that the term "tea-party" would get in somewhere! But where is any evidence for extreme market ideology being practised in Scotland or the UK? The credible working alternative to the status quo is the free market.
Some final thoughts:
McMillan's world "dependent on Westminster subsidy". No - dependent on taxpayer subsidy.
"Scotland's free prescriptions and university fees". What? Scientists and professors work for nothing? Pharmacies and universities spring out of thin air?
On one thing I do agree with Joyce McMillan. I couldn't possibly vote for the Labour party.
Sunday, 13 March 2011
There are a couple of reasons for this. First, I've not been too well for a while but now hope to start regular posts again. Second, I'm continuing to feel totally depressed at the state of the world, the UK, and of Scotland.
I wrote here about how I came to vote for the Tories at the last general election. Then in this piece I explained why I am sympathetic to Scottish independence.
The Conservative/Lib Dem government has been depressing in the extreme. They manage to increase government expenditure while almost the entire population believes that spending is going down. Of course, the rot set in when the Tories totally failed to criticise Labour's runaway expenditure. Not only that, we see the continuation of the nanny state control freakery that made normal people so hate the previous regime. And don't get me starting on the thieves at the Bank of England...
It's not much better here in Scotland. Alex Salmond made this ludicrous promise:
In a personal speech, in which he reiterated his belief in independence, the First Minister claimed that a deal could be reached on no compulsory sackings in the NHS, schools, and right across local government.They just don't get it, do they? There's NO MORE MONEY. Another thing: why do so many Scottish politicians seem to think that most people here work in the public sector? The overwhelming majority doesn't. And most of us see no reason why public sector workers should get such good deals on wages, holidays and pensions (yes, even post-Hutton) at the expense of the taxpayers.
Enough for the moment. Mrs F&W's excellent homemade lasagna beckons...
P1020792 - 2011-03-13 at 19-06-12 a photo by David Farrer on Flickr.