This is mostly a library for myself. Here, I drop stories for future reference. Topics include but are not limited to:
Political Theory, Libertarianism, War, Constitution, Central Banking, Middle East, Cultural Marxism, Oppression, Lies, Justice
I entertain conspiracy theories, and yes, I’ve gone down some rabbit holes during my journey. Some profoundly shifted my sense of the world, others were nonsense. I have not gone back and vetted these stories for accuracy.
An effort by a group of Stanford University students to restore a Western civilization class requirement has been decisively rejected by the student body, with voting results released Monday showing it mustering less than 15 percent support.
The ballot initiative was promoted by members of the school’s conservative-leaning Stanford Review. If passed, it would have called for Stanford to require that all freshmen complete a two-quarter course covering “the politics, history, philosophy, and culture of the Western world.” Stanford once possessed a similar requirement, but eliminated it after a student campaign in the 1980s that denounced it as fostering racism, sexism, and other perfidious -isms.
Supporters managed to collect 370 signatures on their petition, enough to include it as a ballot measure for Stanford’s spring student government election.
or more than a decade people opposed to the government of Venezuela have argued that its economy would implode. Like communists in the 1930s rooting for the final crisis of capitalism, they saw economic collapse just around the corner. How frustrating it has been for them to witness only two recessions: one directly caused by the opposition’s oil strike (December 2002-May 2003) and one brought on by the world recession (2009 and the first half of 2010). However, the government got control of the national oil company in 2003, and the whole decade’s economic performance turned out quite well, with average annual growth of real income per person of 2.7% and poverty reduced by over half, and large gains for the majority in employment, access to health care, pensions and education.
Now Venezuela is facing economic problems that are warming the cockles of the haters’ hearts. We see the bad news every day: consumer prices up 49% over the last year; a black market where the dollar fetches seven times the official rate; shortages of consumer goods from milk to toilet paper; the economy slowing; central bank reserves falling. Will those who cried wolf for so long finally see their dreams come true?
Not likely. In the opposition’s analysis Venezuela is caught in an inflation-devaluation spiral, where rising prices domestically undermine confidence in the economy and currency, causing capital flight and driving up the black market price of the dollar. This adds to inflation, as does – in their theory – money creation by the government. And its price controls, nationalisations and other interventions have caused more structural problems. Hyperinflation, rising foreign debt and a balance-of-payments crisis will mark the end of this economic experiment.
But how can a government with more than $90bn in oil revenue end up with a balance-of-payments crisis? Well, the answer is: it can’t, and won’t.