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Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Blog Roundup

Due to unusual time constraints, the next blog post here will occur next Tuesday, October 18. Have a great weekend.
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1. I had either not known about or forgotten that Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead was condensed, serialized, and syndicated in newspapers -- with illustrations -- back in the day, with excellent results, according to New Ideal, a blog by the Ayn Rand Institute:
Rand was especially pleased with the description of The Fountainhead that appeared above the illustration panel for all thirty installments. "Did you notice their caption for the story?" she wrote to Baker. "'Based on the great, best-selling novel of a man who dared to pit his genius against the world.' They did that -- I had nothing to do with it -- I never discussed the subject of a caption with them and never saw it until I received the proofs. There is what I consider good salesmanship. They knew it was a man's story -- and they stressed its real theme in a dramatic way."
It's a longish read, but I enjoyed the fascinating behind-the scenes look.

If the Ayn Rand Institute hasn't already had this published in book form, I think it should consider arranging to do so.

2. The Pacific Legal Foundation is suing Joe Biden for his rule-by-fiat bribe to young voters rendered gullible by our atrocious higher education system.

Brian Phillips reports:
The plaintiff in the lawsuit is Frank Garrison, a public interest lawyer in Indiana. He has been making payments on his student loans for six years. He will automatically have $20,000 of his debt cancelled.
"He did not ask for cancellation, doesn't want it, and has no way to opt out of it," according to Pacific Legal, whose latest update on the case is here.

3. At The Roots of Progress is an interesting post condensing some preliminary research and thinking about the question, "What are the best examples of catastrophic resource shortages?

Jason Crawford calls out the conservationist approach along the way, and his thoughts on the question are worthwhile:
whale_oil.jpg
Image by William M Davis, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain, due to 1874 publication date.
Overall, the trend seems to be towards better resource management over time. The most devastating examples are also the most ancient. By the time you get to the 18th and 19th centuries, society is anticipating resource shortages and proactively addressing them: sperm whales, elephants, guano, etc. (Although maybe the transition off of whale oil was not perfect.) This goes against popular narratives and many people's intuitions, but it shouldn't be surprising. Better knowledge and technology help us monitor resources and deal with shortages. The "knowledge" here includes scientific knowledge and economic statistics, both of which were lacking until recently. [links omitted]
The next paragraph ticks off some interesting things we will soon face shortages in, but perhaps that is a subject for later...

4. And speaking of shortages and how markets deal with them, Jaana Woiceshyn defends grocers, who are among the usual falsely-accused during inflationary times -- which are always caused by the same governments that people will call upon to punish anyone who dares to react:
Medline is right to push back against the criticisms of the grocers' profits because he and other grocery CEOs who have operated profitable businesses in challenging conditions do not deserve blame and scorn but praise and gratitude for doing what they do.

Grocery stores managed to stay open and sell food while governments hampered their operations. Governments caused supply chain disruptions by economic lockdowns and other restrictions, contributed to the energy crisis and inflation through carbon taxes and by not permitting oil and natural gas developments (including LNG terminals for shipping natural gas to Europe that desperately needs it) and further raised inflation by increasing the money supply and government debt.
I completely agree.

-- CAV

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