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My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.
|Three quick links about what happens when liberalism is allowed to run to its natural course.|
:on crime (via Powerline) Don Surber notes a remarkable feature of criminal justice in Norway: prisons are optional. That is to say, the courts sentence criminals to prison, but whether they actually turn themselves in is up to the criminal:
Predictably, difficulty in planning prison occupancy is the least of the Norway's problems: Surber cites Interpol data to show that Norway's crime rate, and the crime rate across northern Europe generally, is now double that in the United States.
:on economics (via Captain's Quarters) Meat disappeared after the government shut down private abattoirs, transferring all slaughtering to a quasi-governmental organization that cannot meet demand. Fuel supplies dried up after the National Oil Co. of Zimbabwe was made the sole authorized distributor.. . .
In towns, straggling queues form at any rumor of sugar, maize or bread. Most supermarket shelves are empty of basic staples: no meat, no sugar, no maize, no bread, no pasta, no rice, no milk. . .
That hasn't kept Mugabe from pressing his luck. He has used violence and intimidation to virtually shut down sector after sector of the private economy. Now he plans on going after what's left -- manufacturing and retail. They employ 27% of what's left of Zimbabwe's workforce, and their collapsing under price controls that force them to operate at ever-expanding losses. Those losses got expanded when Mugabe forced enormous wage increases at the same time he imposed price controls. A pair of trousers on the legitimate market now loses over $2400 dollars US; on the black market, the loss is around $7. . . .
Mugabe makes sure that the price and wage controls get enforced. Gangs of police and soldiers raid retail and manufacturing businesses to check on compliance. . . .
It's a perfect illustration of the end game for statist economics.
on public retirement (via The Kestrel) Unless the government [Italy] gets its pension accounts quickly into order, young people entering the workforce today will have to pay contributions amounting to 127% of their salaries over the next 15 years in order to receive the same benefits current pensioners receive.
THIS is what every Republican candidate has got to stress to the electorate in 2008. So far, we're getting creamed on money and, to a lesser extent, on style.
The problem for the Democrats is that they have to obscure the ridiculousness of their great policy ideas. That makes it our job to highlight them.