Friday, November 19, 2010

"Quantitative Easing": Why It's Not Hard to Understand, and Why You Should Be Angry

I could go into depth explaining the Fed's recent decision to pump $600,000,000,000 of new money into the economy, but instead I'll just share this clever little video that succinctly explains the recent actions of "the Ben Bernank" and the Fed:

Liberal Ideology and Social Freedom

As any of you who have ever taken the World's Smallest Political Quiz are probably well aware, conservatives are often characterized by a large degree of tolerance for economic freedom but not for social freedom, and liberals, conversely, by a large degree of tolerance for social freedom but not economic freedom. While I understand the motivation of the libertarian Advocates for Self Government to appear to give each side a balance of positive and negative feedback, I don't believe this characterization is entirely accurate.

The biggest flaw here (besides the obvious omission of foreign policy beliefs, which are rather difficult to designate anyway), in my opinion, is the notion that modern liberals (not to be confused with classic liberals, or libertarians) favor social freedom. While this does hold true on a few issuse (such as thsoe regarding sexual behaviors), the reality seems to me in most cases to be entirely the opposite. For example, liberals don't support the social freedom to bear arms. They don't support your right to make your own health care decisions. They don't want you to choose where your children are educated. They claim to support your right to free speech, but only so long as you don't engage in politically-incorrect "hate speech", or promote conservative positions in the media, or fund political advertising. They are all for regulating drug use (with the occasional exception of marijuana), including use of alternative (in other words, not manufactured by drug companies) treatments for medical ailments. They want to tell you what car to drive and what light bulbs to use. They want to force you to accept expensive and potentially toxic vaccinations. They want to medicate your water supply. And now they are trying to control what food you eat.

Sure, liberals might stand up for your right to play poker for cash or buy beer on Sunday, but on most social issues, liberals are just as anti-freedom (or more) as conservatives. 

About the Blog

Friedman Shrugged is a blog I've begun writing in order to better organize my political and economic intellectual meanderings. The story behind the name is, of course, that I had to choose something interesting and artsy-sounding in order to best keep up with similar blogs. And, of course, all the normal names were already taken. "Friedman Shrugged" is a combination of references to the late Nobel prize-winning University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman, and to Ayn Rand's famous philosophical magnum opus Atlas Shrugged. The name "Friedman Shrugged" could also be interpreted as a pretentious implication that I know more than the great Uncle Milty. I'll let you decide.