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Friday, June 09, 2006

Are Sweatshops Bad? Always? Everywhere?

Greg Mankiw quotes the NYT's Nicholas Kristof at http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2006/06/in-praise-of-sweatshops.html:

Imagine that a Nike vice president proposed manufacturing cheap T-shirts in Ethiopia: ''Look, boss, it would be tough to operate there, but a factory would be a godsend to one of the poorest countries in the world. And if we kept a tight eye on costs and paid 25 cents an hour, we might be able to make a go of it.''

The boss would reply: ''You're crazy! We'd be boycotted on every campus in the country.''

So companies like Nike, itself once a target of sweatshop critics, tend not to have highly labor-intensive factories in the very poorest countries, but rather more capital-intensive factories (in which machines do more of the work) in better-off nations like Malaysia or Indonesia. And the real losers are the world's poorest people.

What Democrats Need To Do To Be More Liberal

Here's Jesse Walker at http://www.reason.com/hitandrun/2006/06/how_to_be_a_hal.shtml:

When Republicans are bad on civil liberties and foreign policy, be an alternative. Extend your social tolerance to folks to the other side of the culture war. And if you can't be as pro-market as Hayek, try at least to be as pro-market as Jerry Brown.

(OK, OK: In the title of this post, I am using the word "liberal" in its original meaning.)

To Walker's advice I would add, if you don't recognize "Hayek", you've got some learnin' to do!

I Do Believe In Price Gouging--I Do, I Do, I Do!

Those who know me well know that I have been having a really hard time believing in the existence of "price gouging". However, a recent article by Tom DiLorenzo has persuaded me that price gouging does in fact exist: http://www.mises.org/story/2192.

Why Men Are Not Like Women

If "you are what you read", we now know why men are not like women (and vice versa):

http://www.smh.com.au/news/books/take-it-as-read-men-prefer-angst/
2006/04/06/1143916650116.html?page=fullpage
.

'Nuff Said

Here's John R. MacArthur at http://www.projo.com/opinion/contributors/content/
projo_20060606_ctrick.128b51ed.html
:

The Marines who did the killing at Haditha will no doubt be scapegoated -- like Lynnde England, of Abu Ghraib -- for an unjustifiable and unwinnable war, created by venal politicians. If we're to punish anyone for Haditha, we should start with President Bush and the congressmen, including Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, who sent Roel Briones and Kilo Company on a murder-suicide mission in which there can be no justice.

Further comment would be superfluous!

Bliss Kills

Ignorance is bliss. Bliss kills.

Here's Paul Craig Roberts at http://www.lewrockwell.com/roberts/roberts163.html:

One-third of the US population actually believes that Iraq was behind 9/11 and that Bush found the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Apparently, a large percentage of the US population believes that Iran has nuclear weapons and that America is in danger of being attacked by Iran. No democracy can work when people take their responsibility as citizen so lightly as to be totally ignorant.