29 February 2012

He Said It: David Hume

"We may conclude, therefore, that, in order to establish laws for the regulation of property, we must be acquainted with the nature and situation of man; must reject appearances, which may be false, though specious; and must search for those rules, which are, on the whole, most useful and beneficial. Vulgar sense and slight exeprience are sufficient for this purpose; where men give not way to too selfish avidity, or too extensive enthusiasm."

--David Hume, Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, sect. III, pt. 2

17 February 2012

He Said It: Israel Kirzner

"We argue that profits grasped by the entrepreneur are in the nature of an unowned, unperceived object first discovered by an alert pioneer, who, in the view of many, becomes the legitimate private owner of that which he has discovered, on the basis of the 'finders-keepers' ethic. [...] The special ethical relevance of spontaneous discovery arises precisely from the circumstance that it can be classified neither as a deliberate activity nor as an occurrence strictly attributable to blind chance."

--Israel M. Kirzner, "The Nature of Profits: Some Economic Insights and Their Ethical Implications," in Cowan and Rizzo, eds., Profits and Morality (Chicago, 1995)

15 February 2012

He Said It: Wilhelm Roepke

"It is a poor species of human being which this grim vision conjures up before our eyes: 'fragmentary and disintegrated' man, the end product of growing mechanization, specialization, and functionalization, which decompose the unity of human personality and dissolve it in the mass, an aborted form of Homo sapiens created by a largely technical civilization, a race of spiritual and moral pygmies lending itself willingly--indeed gladly, because that way lies redemption--to use as raw material for the modern collectivist and totalitarian mass state."

--Wilhelm Roepke, A Humane Economy (1960), p. 12

08 February 2012

"Global Regulation Epidemic," on Freedom Watch

Here is a clip from last night's "Freedom Watch" with Judge Andrew Napolitano. The subject was a Reuters study that claimed that 14,215 new regulatory rules were placed on businesses worldwide in 2011. I was one of three panelists discussing the issue with Judge Napolitano: