The unconstitutional and immoral Federal Reserve should not exist. But it does exist, and it has created an economic debacle so great, that the world has never seen anything like it before. The Fed was created in an attempt to control market forces that are uncontrollable; to try to "plan" the economy, despite the immutable fact that it cannot be planned. The Fed has failed. There was never a chance for success.
Earlier this week in Germany and the Czech Republic, tens of thousands took to the streets to demand an end to Russia sanctions and the start of the NordStream II pipeline. Then someone blew it up. With better EU/Russia commercial ties no longer an option, how much stronger will protests become? Also today, Kamala Harris tries her hand at foreign policy at the Korea DMZ...with predictable result.
By Walter E. Block
The Texas Department of Transportation has implemented a new policy, in an attempt to reduce highway fatalities (which hover just under 40,000 people slaughtered annually on a national basis). This new initiative involves posting large digital signs near the roadways depicting the exact number of Texas residents who perish on state roadways.
At the outset, one might be forgiven for thinking this a good idea. What better way to scare the pants off of motorists and encourage them to drive more carefully? Thus, as a result, there would be less drunken driving, less speeding and lane changing, less texting, less sleeping behind the wheel, etc. If becoming acquainted with the exact number of highway deaths in the Lone Star State compared to the previous year’s total would not lead to better driving behavior, it is difficult to see why not.
But this an empirical matter, not one of pure logic. In the event, however, a group of scholars did some research on this matter. They started off with the not unreasonable expectation that this new policy would indeed save lives. Economics professor Jonathan Hall of the University of Toronto, one of the authors of this study stated as follows: “We did not start this project thinking these signs hurt, we thought they helped.”
However, their study, published in the scholarly peer reviewed journal Science reached the very opposite conclusion. The number of car crashes increased by 4.5% on the 6.2 miles of roads allotted to this experiment. They were only implemented one week per month, so that other possible causal agents could be held constant, and the effects of this policy could be more clearly ferreted out.
Why the failure of this common-sense expectation? In the view of Joshua Madsen, a University of Minnesota researcher for this study: “Driving on a busy highway (and) having to navigate lane changes is more cognitively demanding than driving down a straight stretch of empty highway. People have limited attention. When a driver’s cognitive load is already maxed out, adding an attention-grabbing, sobering reminder of highway deaths (can) become a dangerous distraction.”
All of this, sorry to say, is a bit hum drum; ok, boring. A bunch of academic researchers testing a hypothesis. No big deal. Nothing to see here folks, move along.
Now for the real story. Veronica Beyer, representing the Texas Department of Transportation the organization which introduced this policy, was having none of these findings from a bunch of pointy headed intellectuals. Her reaction to this study: “In relation to this particular study, there are too many unknowns to draw any firm conclusions.” Bottom line, the practice continues, even if it boosts the highway fatality rate.
Thomas Sowell, one of the most gifted economists ever to have graced that part of the planet which includes the dismal science had something very profound to say about situations like this: “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.” Precisely.
Who, then, stands to lose money if their assessment is erroneous? No one, that is who. Certainly not the Texas DOT; equally surely, not the researchers either.
Imagine an alternative scenario. Posit a competitive highway, street and road industry where owners of these facilities were profit seeking business firms. (I know this sounds preposterous, but roads were initially privately owned, and other long, thin transportation thoroughfares such as railroads still are.) Then, some could gain or lose profits, depending upon whether these digital signs saved lives or not.
If they function as the Texas DOT had hoped, and an entrepreneur implemented them, he would tend to gain profit and be able to spread this practice by purchasing and/or building more and more road mileage. If the professors were correct, profit and loss considerations would tend in the direction of abandoning this initiative. In either case, Sowell’s insightful dictum will have been incorporated into economic practice.
The author, a professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans, has published this book: Block, Walter E. 2009. The Privatization of Roads and Highways: Human and Economic Factors; Auburn, AL: The Mises Institute
“Road-death signs cause more crashes, study says; New research suggests message boards showing fatality statistics—meant to boost awareness—can dangerously distract U.S. drivers.” Aylin Woodward, April 21, 2022;
“Road-death warning signs actually increase crashes: study. Research suggests the extra information from the large, digital signs overloads drivers and leads them to make mistakes.” Jil McIntosh, Apr 28, 2022. https://driving.ca/auto-news/awards-surveys/road-death-warning-signs-actually-increase-crashes-study-finds#:~:text=Almost%20half%20of%20U.S.%20states,increased%20when%20the%20signs%20were
Study Reveals an Unexpected Side Effect of Traffic Safety Messages
Carly Cassella, 24 April 2022. https://www.sciencealert.com/car-crash-statistics-on-road-signs-could-harm-drivers-more-than-help
Former Polish Defense Minister Radek Sikorski (husband of US neocon Anne Applebaum) publicly thanked the US government for blowing up NordStream I and II on Twitter yesterday, a move that made even his own fellow countrymen feel awkward. The seeming terrorist attack was less a move against Russia than against Germany. So who did it? Why? Also today, Sen. McConnell rolls over on even more billions to Ukraine. And...is Elon turning his eyes toward Rumble?
It appears as if some kind of explosion blew three huge holes in the NordStream I and II pipelines near Danish waters. Massive leaks are showing up on the surface of the Baltic Sea. Whodunnit? Would Washington blow up Russia's pipeline? Germany? Russia? Also today, the Democrats have become the party of war. Finally: Another $12 billion for Ukraine snuck into "must-pass" spending bill.
A political tidal wave broke over Italy over the weekend, as voters by a large majority elected a right-wing government. European Union officials warned Italians not to vote the "wrong" way...but they did anyway. What is the bigger picture? Also today, a vote in Ukraine's eastern provinces promises escalation. And...guess who's got covid...again?
By Ron Paul
Sunday was an historic election day for Italy. A conservative alliance with a populist flair absolutely trounced the technocrats who had been running the country into the ground for the past several years.
The previous prime minister, former Goldman Sachs banker Mario Draghi, implemented one of the most restrictive – and inhuman – Covid shutdowns, which, along with supporting economically suicidal sanctions against Russia, have left Italy an economic basket case.
Replacing the bland banker will likely be Giorgia Meloni from the right-wing Sons of Italy party. Meloni will be a first for Italy: the first female prime minister. But don’t expect the Left to celebrate it: her name cannot be mentioned in the mainstream media without reference to Mussolini.
Ironically, the democratic victory of Meloni and the rest of the Italian right likely owes a great deal of gratitude to one of Europe’s most undemocratic and anti-democratic leaders: European Union Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen.
On the eve of the Italian elections, the unelected von der Leyen warned Italians that if they voted for the “wrong” parties they would be punished. Asked about the surge of the political opposition in Italy on the eve of the elections, she warned Italian voters, “we will see the result of the vote in Italy. If things go in a difficult direction — and I’ve spoken about Hungary and Poland — we have the tools.”
In other words, her message to Italian voters was “yes you can vote, but if you vote in a way I do not approve of, you will be punished.”
Italians rushed to vote in a way she did not approve of. It will be interesting to see what happens.
How does any of this relate to the United States as the US moves closer to the midterm elections? Americans have also been given warnings by the political elites that they dare not vote for the “wrong” candidates or parties.
On September 1st, President Biden issued a warning similar to that of Europe’s von der Leyen. In one of the most bizarre speeches in political history, Biden warned that Trump supporters “…are determined to take this country backwards — backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love. They promote authoritarian leaders, and they fan the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country.”
He spoke on a frightening, red-lit stage with US Marines serving as props on either side of him. This was no “Checkers” speech with Nixon speaking wistfully about his cocker spaniel. No, it was a declaration of war against half of the country.
A few weeks ago Sweden threw its left-wing government out and Sunday the Italians did the same. While the political differences in Europe seem more cosmetic than substantive – for example Italy’s presumptive new prime minister supports weapons to Ukraine just like her predecessor – there is still a strong feeling of popular revolt against political elites in the air.
That doesn’t mean things will easily go our way, as there is no automatic libertarian surge. But we must study hard and take advantage of every single opportunity. People are sick of the elites? That means they are likely open to the concepts of non-interventionism and sound money. Let’s help educate them!
Central planning never works. Unfortunately, this doesn't deter authoritarians from trying to make it work. Central planners always corner themselves; they checkmate themselves. They reach a point where every decision is a bad one; where every move is the wrong move. The Federal Reserve is unconstitutional, immoral, and the primary source of economic calamity in America. It's yet another of example of central planning that must ultimately fail.
Thanks to excellent investigative work by conservative journalist Matt Walsh, we have a full view of the horrors of Vanderbilt University Medical Center program to sterilize, drug, and mutilate children...for profit! Also today, yesterday President Biden told the UN that countries cannot seize the territories of other countries by force...yet that's just what he's advocated the US do for most of his career!
Russian president Vladimir Putin announced this morning that Russia would partially mobilize its military forces in the ongoing Ukraine conflict, stating that it is NATO that is pulling the strings and sending the weapons to Kiev. The Russia/NATO proxy war has been long ongoing...but will the conflict take a turn to a direct clash? Also today, Pentagon announces a review of its psychological warfare conduct as scores of fake social identities are revealed.