Tuesday Miscellany; Mostly Free Market Edition
October 27, 2015 3 Comments
Some odds and ends that have been accumulating.
This is an unusual piece of common sense, especially coming out of Britain, and he’s right.
How good a deal for Britain is it that the president of China got a state visit and a nuclear power station and Prince William got the chance to go on Chinese television and complain about the ivory trade? The Prince was listened to politely, of course, but the Chinese will not give up their enthusiasm for the stuff. The elephant in the room, to misapply that expression, is that only a legal trade in ivory will save the species. Just as cows exist in any numbers only because we eat their flesh and drink their milk, so elephants have a future only if it is profitable to breed them.
Turkeys voting for Christmas
Almost daily we are told of the intention of Labour and Lib Dem peers to reject legislation proposed by the House of Commons. They must, I suppose, have a death wish.
Before the House of Lords was “reformed”, by the removal of most of the hereditary peers so as to ensure it was full of appointed members, there was a permanent Tory majority in the House. But that Tory majority always understood that it had to bow to the elected chamber. The most appalling Bills produced by Labour governments were voted through every time, even though most of their lordships hated what the Commons had come up with. Convention required that the elected chamber should have its way.
Free trade breaks up Monopolies, sometimes even government enforced ones:
Evgeny “Gene” Freidman is no fan of Uber. The increasing popularity of this vehicle-for-hire (or ridesharing) company has lost him millions of dollars. He has even asked New York City taxpayers for a bailout. As difficult as bailing out the big banks was to swallow, bailing out a taxi mogul—who at one point owned more than 1,000 New York City taxi medallions—is an even harder sell. A bailout would be especially outrageous considering that Freidman and his financial backers are actively working to make consumers pay more for fewer options.
Freidman reluctantly took over his father’s modest yellow taxi business as a young man. He brought his experience in Russian finance to the industry, and started to accumulate increasing numbers of taxi medallions using highly leveraged financing. Freidman expanded a company with just a few taxis into a conglomeration of three- to five-car mini-fleets.
As Freidman’s taxi empire grew, he expanded into other cities, including New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Chicago. He gained control of hundreds more medallions that are also now in financial trouble. His willingness to bid on practically any medallion that came up for sale helped drive a rapid increase in medallion prices across the country.
I also note that I saw this story (almost verbatim) last week about the London black cabs as well, and the French cabbies are rioting about it. But there we can also agree with the Duke of Wellington:
We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France.
EU Moves Step Closer to Open Tyranny
For the first time since the creation of Europe’s monetary union, a member state has taken the explicit step of forbidding eurosceptic parties from taking office on the grounds of national interest.
Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal’s constitutional president, has refused to appoint a Left-wing coalition government even though it secured an absolute majority in the Portuguese parliament and won a mandate to smash the austerity regime bequeathed by the EU-IMF Troika.
He deemed it too risky to let the Left Bloc or the Communists come close to power, insisting that conservatives should soldier on as a minority in order to satisfy Brussels and appease foreign financial markets.
All Cultures are Mine
This was before the popular emergence of the idea of cultural appropriation. Nobody told me that books, music, and clothing created by people who didn’t look like me didn’t belong to me, that I was somehow borrowing them. Today, people do tell me this. They tell me that I must tread lightly when engaging in cultural forms not invented by my white ancestors.
I have listened to their arguments, read their theories, and arrived at a conclusion. They are wrong. All cultures are mine.
Source: All Cultures Are Mine
A reminder: there are only two countries in the world that do not have a national costume. England, who we all dress like for important occasions, and the United States, who everybody dresses like the rest of the time. That’s all you need to know about who has the superior culture, it’s another case of a free market.
Still more Free Market Doing its Job
As is well-known by now, one of the side effects of Daraprim, a medication needed by many AIDS and cancer patients, is uncontrollable rage — not because of any chemical properties of the drug itself, but because Martin Shkreli’s Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price by more than 5,000 percent immediately after purchasing the rights to the medication. Until Shkreli’s greed caused the price to very quickly inflate, the lifesaving pill, which has been on the market longer than Shkreli has been alive, sold for just $13.50 per pill.
Shkreli provided numerous excuses for the price increase, the unfairness of which made headlines for weeks after the rather transparent attempt to effectively hold patients at gunpoint and rob them blind. While “Pharma Bro” ultimately promised to lower prices to an undefined amount at an unspecified point in time — something that has still not happened — another company has taken it upon themselves to completely embarrass the former hedge funder, who described the price increase as necessary.
San Diego-based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, Inc announced on Thursday that it will be providing an alternative to Daraprim that costs a fraction of the pill’s pre-Shkreli price. The drug will be sold at as low as $99 for a 100-pill supply. Yes, that’s just about a dollar per pill.
Source: Capitalism As It Was Meant To Be