Dave Killion — May 8, 2013
In keeping with my New Year’s resolutions, I have been making a $50 contribution to a worthy group every month. Because I am particularly upset this month over the recent rhino slaughter in Mozambique, I have selected the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) to be the recipient of my largesse. PERC gets the nod thanks to their recent hire of Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes as a Research Fellow -
“Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes is an environmental economist with a focus on the role of markets for biodiversity conservation. He has been active in various private conservation initiatives for 25 years, starting as a financial manager of a private game reserve in South Africa and later conducting research on the role of private markets for wildlife conservation in Africa.”
My first encounter with the work of Mr. ‘t Sas-Rolfes was his website Rhino Economics. He is a great addition to the PERC team, and I am happy to help them out.
Dave Killion — May 6, 2013
Some time ago, Victoria Libertarian Book Club members were discussing the possibilities of a libertarian society. I declared that involuntary poverty would quickly become a thing of the past. This was met with some robust resistance, the argument being that certain handicaps and injuries would render some people unable to care for themselves, through no fault of their own. At the time, this struck me as sound, and I walked my declaration back. I have since reconsidered.
Take, for example, children. Those in poor families are considered impoverished, but those in wealthy families are not. Yet the ‘wealthy’ children do not necessarily have more any property than do the ‘poor’ children. Rather, the status of children is determined by the amount of wealth possessed by their caregivers. This is, I think, the correct way to view the disabled, too. Given that a libertarian society would be a much wealthier society, I am confident that the resources voluntarily made available for the care of the incapacitated would be sufficiently abundant that none of them could rightly be considered impoverished. That being the case, I say again; a libertarian society would be one in which involuntary poverty is non-existent.
Dave Killion — May 5, 2013
O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!(275) “Julius Caesar”
It is possible, I suppose, to be a libertarian and yet not think rhinos are awesome, but you wouldn’t be the kind of libertarian I could be friends with. But if you love rhinos ( as all good libertarians do), you will be broken- hearted to hear that the last known rhinos in Mozambique have been killed by poachers -
“The 15 threatened animals were shot dead for their horns last month in the Mozambican part of Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which also covers South Africa and Zimbabwe.
They were thought to be the last of an estimated 300 that roamed through the special conservation area when it was established as “the world’s greatest animal kingdom” in a treaty signed by the three countries’ then presidents in 2002.”
And now they’re all gone. Had those rhinos been privately owned, one of them could have been sold to a trophy hunter, and the money used by self-interested businessmen to protect and breed the remainder. Mozambique could have had more rhinos, but instead, they have none. The prohibitionists had their way, and 15 rhinos have been slaughtered to the benefit of poachers, who will likely spend a fair bit on prostitutes, booze, and drugs, and nothing on conservation. Such a waste.
Dave Killion — May 4, 2013
The Victoria Libertarian Book Club has set aside books for awhile, in favour of discussion of pre-selected topics. We’ve had a look at corporate personhood, and technology and liberty, and drones. We’re going to have a movie night in a couple weeks, but if you (like me) enjoy having a book on the go, let me recommend to you the graphic novel ”How an Economy Grows and Why It Doesn’t”. Here’s a sample page -
True fact: author Irwin Schiff (85) is the father of well-known-to-libertarians Peter Schiff, and is also a noted tax protester. Sad to say, he is currently serving a 13-year sentence for ”tax crimes,” and not due for release for another 3-4 years.
Read this work online here, or download a PDF here.