A Political Blog

by w3woody

I’m a refugee from Facebook.

I’ve left Facebook for a couple of reasons. First, the privacy thing just seems stupid. Second, I want to separate my political musings from my technical blogging, which is done at my development web site. And third, the point of my blogging is to link to things I find interesting and blog about the things that I find frustrating or politically dumb, without the constant commentary from random acquaintances who have decided that because I tend to fall towards the free market capitalist side of the liberal verses conservative spectrum, I’m a closet homophobe or a racist or something equally mind-numbingly stupid.

At some point I’ll put up a more detailed ‘about me’ post. But for now, let me summarize my own political beliefs.

  • I’m a fundamental believer in individuality and individual choice over collective decision making, when it comes to how we live our lives.

This comes down to a belief that people should be left alone to live their own lives. If we want to overly indulge in salt or sugar, we should be able to do so without the nanny state telling us or regulating salt or sugar or transfats or whatever else out of existence “for our own good.” Yes, this means some people will make bad decisions–but we cannot save people from making bad decisions.

And this also means that in the divide defined by A Conflict Of Visions I firmly come down on the side of those who believe that while individuals may be able to improve, mankind as a whole cannot. Liberal utopian visions ranging from Marx’s Communist end-game to our present-day elites and their visions of a green urbanized utopia all depend on the fundamental axiom that people as a whole can be elevated–if only through the right combination of regulatory burdens, educational programs and nanny-state imposition of external (and elite-approved) values onto the masses.

As an aside, this also means I don’t subscribe to the religious conservative notion that somehow we can impose morality onto the masses through regulatory schemes. Souls must be saved one at a time; God does not provide short-cuts.

  • Economics is my political guiding star.

When looking at public policy, supply and demand is king: we want what we want, but we’re only willing to pay so much for it, and we want to sell what we want to sell, but only people who want it will buy it.

The consequences of thinking about supply and demand in public choice theory is pretty substantial, especially when you think about how externally imposing either supply, demand, or price control affects market forces, and how incomplete information creates friction in those market forces.

Take teachers, for example. I would contend, as an example, that Teachers Unions, by creating a notion of tenure and making it difficult to fire bad teachers have created the perverse outcomes of lowering teacher salaries (by reducing competition for good teachers and by increasing the pool of bad teachers) while making it harder to attract good teachers to the profession.

So welcome, whomever you are.