October 2016


Pols and regulators should butt-the-hell out of corporate mergers and other actions that disrupt the status-quo. See Democrat primary loser and hypocrite for supporting corporate shill Hillary Clinton Bernie Sanders for example. Trump also said he opposes it.

Employees of the merging firms must figure out how best to serve their customers and shareholders.

Remember folks, firms have to work within the current regulatory and legal framework. If gov’t wants to do something useful it should deregulate telecom and scrap net neutrality. Those constrictions led the decision-makers in this deal to view a merger as a way to drive growth.

The interventionist fear is based on outdated definition of monopoly. Standard Oil’s so-called “monopoly” lowered kerosene prices “from 58 to 26 cents from 1865 to 1870. Competitors disliked the company’s business practices, but consumers liked the lower prices.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Oil.

Yet, some politicians and activists want to stop this merger because they are simply afraid of change.

You can let firms experiment and innovate to figure out how to serve customers and grow, or you can let politicians protect the status quo and continue with 1% GDP.

 

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From AlternativePAC, a pro-Gary Johnson SuperPAC. Only two minutes, five seconds of your time. Some quotes:

“There’s been a fundamental paradigm shift. Power has been lifted from the elites and split between the people, through the internet. What do Uber, AirBnB, and Lyft all have in common? A way for the average user to maneuver around this top-down approach of rulers and rule-makers, legislators and regulators.”

“In the world of politics, mainstream media no longer controls the content. We use Twitter and blogs and Periscope to create context.”

“The internet has taught us the insider control the process”

“Liberty is real transpartisanship”

“Let’s unite liberty with community”

here.

I thought Trump “won” the debate. He went on offense and rebutted criticisms. We finally heard some debate on issues such as Obamacare.

What we didn’t get from either debate was a discussion on effective management of the government as an enterprise. Seems the candidates are more interested in managing and controlling the lives of the American people and the global American Empire.

The government is still spying on us, spending way too much, not reining in an unaccountable bureaucracy, not reining in entitlement programs.

What we need is a debate on effective management of the sprawling government.

Gary Johnson is aiming to do that:

What the country needs now, he [Johnson] says, is a president who will cut spending, hold taxes down, be skeptical about foreign military interventions, and allow free markets and new businessess to flourish.

 

Geez. The lies, the foul language, ignoring of unsustainable entitlement programs, Clinton’s failed record as Secretary of State, Trump’s belligerence, the diversions from policy debates. The list of embarassments continues.

There is another choice: Gary Johnson and Bill Weld. Both former governors — that means actual executive experience in government. Clinton has executive experience as a Secretary but her accomplishments suck, as in Syria.

Johnson and Weld are thoughtful, moderately tempered, with experience and accomplishments as executives in the public sector. Trump has executive experience in the private sector, which is very different from the public sector. The president — the chief executive in the public sector — is bound by constitutional limitations.

Further, on the economy, both Clinton and Trump think interacting with the world outside the US is harmful to the citizenry. Free trade may be unpopular — through rhetoric — but in fact has stood the test of time for over 200 years as an engine of economic growth. I’ve worked for American, British, and Canadian firms in my career — all based in the US. US policy needs to let more foreign investment in the US, after all, they let US firms invest in their countries.

Clinton’s tax increases and spending, and Trump’s grandiose spending plans drain resources away from the productive private sector and let politicians direct those resources to their cronies to help them get elected.

No, the economic problem is that too much of the country’s resources are directed by the public sector, and they are wasted getting politicians elected rather than productive, job-creating, wealth-creating activities.

We don’t need another law to prevent a free people from pursuing our own happiness as long as we do not aggress against another.

As Thomas Jefferson said: “Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it.”

Society and the economy are too complex to be centrally managed and planned. The people who demand to govern us tell us nobody is able to government him- or herself. Well if that’s the case, that includes them. And how do they expect to govern someone else?

The southeast US is being hit twice with fuel disruptions.

The first event was by a pipeline leak of the Colonial Pipeline in Alabama (here). People panicked as a result of hyped-up media coverage. People filled up as a way to hoard gasoline in their vehicles and hopefully have enough until supplies returned. Luckily, there were no price gouging laws because that would have discouraged suppliers from coming in from unconventional sources to provide more fuel. Slowly, supply is returning.

However, the end is in sight. Woodring said gas is already coming in and the shortage will end soon.

“We got it this morning, but only half a tank. We usually get 7,000 to 10,000 gallons when we’re out and we got 3,000. So that’s what happens,” Woodring said. “It is pumping in right now, but it still has to fill up.”

 

The second event is Hurricane Matthew. It is about to hit the state of Florida and travel up the coast. Any existing price gouging laws will limit supply.

These laws are intended to protect sellers from taking advantage of consumers. But more often they exacerbate shortages by forcing sellers to sell gasoline at prices that are below what it would actually cost to obtain additional supplies.

Although many of these laws allow prices to increase to reflect higher costs, stations and fuel suppliers are often unsure of how their relevant costs might be interpreted by enforcement agencies.

As a result, they frequently choose to keep selling until supplies run out rather than increasing their price.

So how would things be better if gasoline prices had risen to, say, $3.50 a gallon last month? First, many of you would have bought a little less gasoline and drove a little less by combining trips, postponing unnecessary driving, or sharing rides. The higher the price, the more you save by using less. This would ensure gasoline is still available at the station for those who really need it.

Second, higher prices in areas impacted by the supply disruption would encourage even greater efforts by suppliers to bring in additional supplies from surrounding areas. Relocating fuel from other regions can be quite costly, and less fuel will flow in if this additional cost cannot be recouped when the gas is sold.

Third, if prices were high enough to significantly reduce usage and increase supply imports, stations would be much less likely to actually run out of gas. “Panic buying” and consumer stockpiling can occur if consumers believe they may not be able to purchase when they need to.

In the supply/demand calculus, price gouging laws limit supply and increase demand.

Here.

I’d like to see Trump flip the question back to Hillary skillfully. The real issue is the tax code. Does it need to be reformed or not? If Trump took deductions, it was because the tax code provided for them. Once the deductions are there in the tax code, he pretty much has to take them and would be a fool not to take them. If it looks wrong, what’s really wrong is the tax code. So, is Hillary proposing to take away this deduction? Is Trump? Presumably, the deduction is there because it’s good policy. Will either candidate defend the policy and, if not, promise to change it? I don’t see what else matters here. And I suspect the candidates don’t even disagree about that.

Yes, these are the questions that need to be asked, not more gotcha b.s.

Yes, he would be a fool not to take deductions. Do you not try to minimize your tax burden?

And this is yet another issue that does not get debated this election cycle.

Via Instanpundit.

Seems the media enjoys exploiting the gaffes made by Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

But they buried or forgot the missteps made by Trump and Clinton.

I’ve dug them up. Here’s a reminder: Donald Trump’s ignorance about America’s Nuclear Triad? Or Hillary Clinton’s assertion that Libya represented American “smart power at its best.” These are policy questions, not gotcha questions that Johnson was asked. Or even George W. Bush’s inability to name the leaders of at-the-time four current world hot spots: Chechnya, Taiwan, India and Pakistan.

Here is Matt Welch on media hypocrisy on the issue:

I have no problem saying the Libertarian Party nominee screwed up in this or any other interview. But if there’s anything more obnoxious than cheerleaders for Donald “bomb-the-sh—out-of-ISIS” Trump mocking Johnson for foreign-policy ignorance, it’s supporters and enablers of Hillary Clinton rolling their eyes theatrically at a presidential candidate who was against the Iraq and Libyan wars in real time, who wants to pardon rather than imprison Edward Snowden, and who comports himself with occasionally awkward humility rather than with the polished and delusional omniscience that we’ve unfortunately come to demand in our presidential candidates.

So the media like the polished bull$hi% rather than substantive policy.

Here is Emma Ashford on contrasting their foreign policy:

A more restrained approach to foreign policy would see the United States involved in fewer unnecessary conflicts around the world, and a much stronger emphasis on diplomacy and other non-military solutions to global problems. In contrast to Clinton’s liberal interventionist approach, it would avoid getting bogged down in civil wars like Libya and Syria. In contrast to Trump’s curiously aggressive isolationism, a restrained foreign policy sees trade as a positive, security-enhancing factor.