Convenience has a massive effect on your behavior. You rarely shop in your favorite store, eat in your favorite restaurant, or visit your favorite place. Why not? Because doing so is typically inconvenient. They’re too far away, or not open at the right hours, so you settle for second-best or third-best or tenth-best. You usually don’t switch your cell phone company, your streaming service, or your credit card just because a better option comes along. Why not? Because switching is not convenient. Students even pass up financial aid because they don’t feel like filling out the paperwork. Why not? You guessed it: Because paperwork is inconvenient.
Unsurprisingly, not all economists agree on how to approach what used to be called “political economy”. Adam Smith in 1776 defined it as “an inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations”. It was understood that the default state of mankind was poverty, so the question was how people become wealthy.
Episode 451 welcomes back Shepard the Voluntaryist to chat with Skyler on the following topics: sitting on the sideline during political uncertainty; trying on different colored glasses to see the world more clearly; JP Sears success and using comedy to fight the state; Washington DC redneck hooliganism; the outpouring of propaganda through 2020 and 2021; uncontrolled kids becoming uncontrollable adults and untraumatized kids becoming peaceful adults; making peace with going to prison for frivolous and arbitrary reasons; defending yourself with surety bonds, challenging jurisdiction, petroleum jelly, or whatever you can to stop their attack on your peaceful behavior; making the most of being a prisoner, recognizing your sphere of control; dealing with prisoner politics in various ways; the perseverance of the 1st and 2nd Amendments, or rather, the perseverance of the American cultural commitment to free speech, free religion, peaceable assembly, and bearing arms; and more.
Parents can help children choose freedom over force, and ensure that these lockdowns never, ever happen again.
Suppose someone accuses me of being a pickpocket. I respond, “I have picked no pockets, therefore I am not a pickpocket.” My accuser could naturally retort, “Oh yes you are, I have video evidence of you picking pockets on three separate occasions.” What would you think, though, if my accuser instead declared, “There’s a lot of pickpocketing in the world. You’ve personally done nothing to stop it. That makes you a pickpocket!”
I may have mentioned that we have a lot of wind here. Yesterday was one of those blustery days. But today wasn’t bad, so this afternoon I got out and was picking up some of the trash that always ends up in my yard, snagged on cacti, mesquite, and yucca, and just lying on the ground where it happened to stop.
I may have mentioned that we have a lot of wind here. Yesterday was one of those blustery days. But today wasn’t bad, so this afternoon I got out and was picking up some of the trash that always ends up in my yard, snagged on cacti, mesquite, …
This episode features an interview of Chinese expatriate Li Zhao from 2019 by Matt Kibbe, host of Kibbe on Liberty. She talks about her experiences growing up under the communist regime of Chairman Mao Zedong. Between her grisly stories of starvation and totalitarianism, she explains why it’s so important to continue fighting for worldwide freedom, and to resist the allure of democratic socialism today.
I don’t have to have solid true/false answers to everything. Nor do I need to pretend such answers don’t exist. I can approach what I know directly with high probability and lower it with each step beyond experience.
Was 2020 the worst year ever? The media keep saying that. We did have the pandemic, a bitter election, unemployment, riots, and a soaring national debt. But wait, look at the good news, says historian Johan Norberg. His new book, Open: The Story of Human Progress, points out how life keeps getting better, even if people just don’t realize it.
The title of this article is a bit misleading, because every moment is already perfect and doesn’t need to be improved. But our experience of the moment can be fraught with difficulty, and we have the power to create a new experience in each moment. The problems we face stem from our narrative about the moment: we are constantly interpreting things in a certain way, so that we don’t even notice that we have this interpretation or narrative.