UC-Davis backs down from threatening Ayn Rand club with ‘criminal punishment’

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We’re not Randians here though we have respect for Ayn Rand and her thinking. Regardless, below is a good lesson for just about any student group which feels it is being harassed by a college administration completely unjustly (as was the case here.) Political correctness and the conformist thinking which is widespread on American campuses today isn’t just going to go away. It has to be fought.

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The long, slow death of the rule of law in America

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The rule of law (and not man or woman) is vital to a free society. If might makes right there is little room to do business, to invest, to build wealth, to be secure in one’s person, to be an actualized human being. If contracts can be dismissed and government officials and their cronies (in government and the nominal “private sector”) can do as they please because of their connections, we have a problem. And that is what we have now, and it’s getting worse.

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China likely to drag the world into global recession, Citigroup says

Actually not totally true.

Actually not totally true.

China is, as we say, The Ultimate Crony Capitalist State. Business and government are an amalgam. Long a crony paradise where a premium was placed on compliance and government favor and not on real pricing.

It looks like reality is finally starting to hit however.

About 6 months ago I was talking to a China energy markets analyst and he explained the complexities of implementing a carbon tax regime in the country to me. One bit I found particularly interesting. He explained that no one knew what the real price of energy coming from a particular plant actually was. A mandate from Beijing had been handed down, that energy would cost X amount, and that was the number used for “business.” Everyone knew the official price was way below the actual market rate but it sounded like no one really knew what the market rate was.

One can’t keep running a country like this. One must have real pricing for long term prosperity. The problem is that real pricing can create problems for the political establishment, anywhere, but particularly in China.

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Hampton Police Shut Down Jerry Seinfeld’s Charity Lemonade Stand

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We’ve run a number of lemonade stand bust stories over the past few years. Seems this wonderful lesson in entrepreneurialism, almost an American right of passage, always seems to rub someone the wrong way these days. Which is just sad.

And I’ll say it. If you call the cops on a lemonade stand you are a horrible person. You like making little kids cry.

In the Hamptons not even Jerry Seinfeld can get away with selling unlicensed sugar water, even if the proceeds are going to charity. The lemonade brigade is always watching…

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Welfare Is the Highest Paying Entry-Level Job in 38 States

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If one is trying to get people employed incentivising unemployment isn’t wise. It is however politically great for those who are for a large government. So long as the main part of a person’s income comes from welfare one can rest reasonably assured that such a person will vote for more government.

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The Struggles of New York City’s Taxi King

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He wanted a bailout because Uber and Lyft have hammered his business. He leveraged himself to the hilt financing more taxi medallions than he should have and now he’s crying in his beer because he is losing business and medallion prices are tanking. Boo hoo, he wants his government protected monopoly to remain insulated. Unfortunately for him the market has come calling and creative destruction is doing its thing. Even Freidman’s new crony buddy, Mayor DeBlasio probably wont be able to save him.

Uber is just better than taxis. It’s as simple as that. The taxi companies should either evolve and compete or they should close shop. And that whole bit about cab companies having to adhere to laws Uber doesn’t have to is a red herring. If it’s such a problem why don’t the cab companies lobby to reduce livery regulations?

Why don’t they? Because these regulations were written originally to benefit the cab companies in large part.

I’ve got no sympathy for this guy.

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Cronynomics: China stock market rebound the result of ‘secret’ government intervention

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Things just keep getting wackier in The Ultimate Crony Capitalist State.

Hey, why not just have the government come in and buy up the stock market? That ought to do the trick. Nothing could possibly go wrong with that. It’s not like this whole crash was precipitated by central planning and malinvestment or anything.

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Crony Univision?: Jorge Ramos Embarrassed Himself and His Network, Invites Scrutiny

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By now most of you have probably seen the video of Mr. Ramos interupting Donald Trump and Trump removing the the guy because he wouldn’t wait his turn.

And even after this Trump still let Ramos back in and let him ask questions so long as Ramos followed the rules. But by grandstanding the way he did Ramos exposed for all to see that he is not a journalist but an activist. He should be treated as such going forward. He really has no business at future press conferences with any of the candidates.

We are not defending Mr.Trump in any way. We have no horse in this race. But Ramos and Univision clearly do. That Trump is suing Univision for $500 million probably has something to do with the scrap too.

But Univision deserves to be examined. It has some serious crony tendencies. (All the big networks do of one sort or another.)

For instance Hillary Clinton signed a deal with the network last year to do a mini-series of her life back in 2014. NBC was going to do it but backed out because the project was even too blatant for them. Univision, headed now by NBC’s former COO was happy to pick it up however.

Speaking of which, let’s take a closer look at Univision’s senior staff.

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Traffic Hell: The U.S. is choking on its traffic and it’s going to get worse

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You want to know how to solve the traffic problem in this country? You really want to know. Some of you guys aren’t going to like it because it doesn’t involve light rail or carpooling. (Not bad things in and of themselves.)

We need to increasingly privatize roads. (And really privatize. No public/private “partnerships.”)

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Charles Koch blasts Barack Obama, Explains Cronyism Stance

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The Kochs are a great target. They are rich. They are white. They have business interests in the fossil fuels industry. And perhaps most importantly, they are not Democrats. They aren’t even big government Republicans. The Kochs are custom made for statist ire.

But in my years of following them I am generally impressed. I’ve read Charles Koch’s book which outlines why it is that Koch Industries continues to grow even given its already immense size. (Not easy to do.) I am also thankful for their efforts in the marketplace of ideas. They sponsor Cato and other think tanks (not this one) which do much good. (I have some beefs with them too which I won’t go into here.)

The Kochs have also taken a pretty explict stance against crony capitalism. In fact Charles Koch talks about the need to eliminate it in the economy even while he admits that such cronyism benefits Koch Industries.

The Kochs as we have said in the past can defend themselves. They don’t need us to do it. But in the grand scheme of things anyone who thinks president Obama and Harry Reid have anything like a leg to stand on when they criticize the Kochs just doesn’t understand the situation. Of course Obama and Reid have a problem with the Kochs. Obama and Reid are classic crony capitalists. They’ve made their money through schmoozing and coercion in the public sector. As such they know that if a truly limited government regime was put in place by some miracle, one favored by the Kochs, they would be on the losing end of things along with all their buddies.

The private sector, the sector in which the Kochs largely operate is legitimate. In order to succeed in the private sector one must produce a good or service of value. The government sector, largely (certainly not totally) is not legitimate.  It benefits those – often – who are not productive. Obama and Reid know this. But government is the teat at which they and the crony class of both parties suckle. Best to dress up their philosophy in “green” garb and “social justice” than confront the truth which is that on an even playing field they can’t compete with those who succeed in the private sector.

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