Monthly Archives: February 2009

New video by John Allison on the financial crisis at AynRand.org

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The media, politicians, and even many businessmen have blamed today’s financial meltdown on capitalism. But in this talk, John Allison—the longest-tenured CEO of a top-25 financial services company—argues that this crisis is a legacy of the government’s anti-capitalist policies.

Mr. Allison uses his unique inside view of the financial services industry to show how massive government intervention into the U.S. economy—from the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 to a reckless crusade to encourage home-ownership—laid the groundwork for an unsustainable real estate boom. And he shows how the government’s response to the inevitable bust—a frenzied series of bailouts, nationalizations, and “stimulus” efforts—is only making things worse.

Finally, Mr. Allison explains the underlying philosophical reasons for the crisis, and discusses the immediate and long-term solutions. He shows that capitalism, far from being the cause of today’s crisis, is its only cure.

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Activism Opportunity: The One Minute Case

In May of 2007, I introduced “The One Minute Case”:

The One Minute Case is a new collaborative blog which will present a brief argument about a controversial issue that can be read in under a minute. The goal is to publish one case per day. You can read the cases to learn something new about an issue or use them as a source for longer arguments of your own.

I started the blog because I believed that there is an opportunity to educate students by taking advantage of cost-effective advertising using Google Adwords. Has my strategy been effective?

From one perspective, no – there are only 33 posts, most of them from the first month. From another perspective, there is an average of 6.4 comments per post, the majority of them being unique users.  Various evidence suggests that many of them are students doing research for school papers.  Here is a weekly chart:

weekly

(There were no posts made during most of that time.)

I think the numbers suggest that the format I selected presents a good oppportunity for activism.  There’s many ways to measure the success of intellectual activism, and many motivations for writing,  but if you are writing to someone somewhere – congressmen, fellow capitalists/Objectivists, forum members, how does this compare with your results? If your goal is to make the maximum difference given the resources available to you, how does this compare?

If you are interested in supporting my efforts, you can help in three ways:

  • Write or edit cases
  • Financially sponsor my Google Adwords campaign
  • Help me manage the Adwords accounts and come up with new ads

(Edit: I got the initial comment count wrong because I mistakenly counted spam comments.)

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Bjorn Lomborg: Our priorities for saving the world

The vast majority of wealthy people in the developed world prefer to doom billions of people to death and poverty than to doubt the environmentalist/socialist propaganda taught in government schools.

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