Worth Reading - 5/4

1. Individuals who favor socialism tend to whitewash the negative impact it has in many cases. One strong example of this is the current regime in Venezuela, which has significantly undermined economic freedom and created an economy so poor it cannot print more money

From motorcycle parts, to flour, to fuel, to aspirin, we’ve been documenting the turmoil as Venezuela rapidly runs out of just about everything and spirals into economic collapse. But this week’s story of shortages surpasses them all.

Now Venezuela is running out of money. Actual money. As in banknotes. The country can no longer afford the pieces of paper which represent the money it doesn’t have.

2. It's not just advocates of small government who think that business regulations are excessively complex, it's also small business owners. These are regular people trying to make a living. Unfortunately, in an ever changing regulatory environment, the jungle of rules, guidelines, and compliance requirements often consume an incredible amount of their time.

“In one year,” wrote Warren Meyer in 2015, “I literally spent more personal time on compliance with a single regulatory issue -- implementing increasingly detailed and draconian procedures so I could prove to the State of California that my employees were not working over their 30-minute lunch breaks -- than I did thinking about expanding the business or getting new contracts.”
Meyer is the owner of a company that runs campgrounds and other recreational facilities on public lands under contract from the government. It doesn’t seem like regulatory compliance should be eating up so much of his time; he is not producing toxic chemicals, operating a nuclear facility, or engaged in risky financial transactions that might have the side effect of sending our economy into a tailspin. He’s just renting people places to pitch a tent or park an RV, or selling them sundries. Nonetheless, the government keeps piling on the micromanagement lest some employee, somewhere, miss a lunch break.
I know what you’re going to say: Employees should have lunch breaks! My answer is “Yes, but.…” Yes, but putting the government in charge of ensuring that they get them, and forcing companies to document their compliance, has real costs. They add up.

3. Anti-Semitism is a thing of the past, right? Everyone is very tolerant and inclusive. Except when they aren't. There is a rising tide of anti-semitism that is coming from the political left in Europe and to some degree in America, too. It often takes the form of anti-Zionism, and includes calls to divest from Israel in order to punish them for their human rights abuses. While we certainly don't need to agree with everything that Israel does, there seems to be an unhealthy bias against Israel. Here's an article from the UK that talks about that bias.

But on another, more visceral level, it chills me to the bone. And it’s not the terrorists. They threaten me, of course, as they threaten us all. Yet to me, the real chill comes from their fellow travelers – the useful idiots of the terrorists and Jew-murderers who say they do not have a racist bone in their body, but when it comes to Jews, a blind spot emerges. The likes, to be blunt, of the now suspended Ken Livingstone, who claims never to have come across a single example of Anti-semitism in the Labour Party. He clearly has never looked in the mirror. Much has been written – especially by the brilliant Nick Cohen – on the "Red/Green Alliance"; the phenomenon by which a swathe of the Left has linked up with radical Islam, leading to the bizarre spectacle of Leftist feminists supporting Islamists who would cut off the hands of women who read books.
With "anti-Western-imperialism" as part of the glue binding the alliance, everything else falls into place. So Hamas and Hezbollah might have as their defining goal the elimination of an entire people from the face of the earth, but that unfortunate consequence for Jews is by the by, because Hamas and Hezbollah are freedom fighters.

4. Sometimes life isn't fair. And because of that, sometimes we need to make adjustments and use common sense to be safe. David Mills discusses recent furor over a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination urging young ladies to stay away from parties with a lot of alcohol. He argues this isn't a case of blaming the victim, but urging potential victims to avoid risky situations. 

Recently, the governor of Ohio, John Kasich, responded to a young woman’s worries about being sexually assaulted on campus by saying all the right things and adding that having two 16-year-old daughters, he didn’t even like to think about it. Every father will know what he meant. (I am not, I should make clear, a Kasich supporter.)
She responded, “It’s sad, but it’s something that I have to worry about.” Kasich answered: “Well, I would give you, I’d also give you one bit of advice, don’t go to parties where there’s a lot of alcohol. OK? Don’t do that.”
The political and ideological opportunists leapt in, reading from the standard liberal script that men blame women for being raped, from which some moved to the necessity for unrestricted abortion and funding Planned Parenthood. Their button had been pushed.

5. Even before autonomous cars are approved for the road, there are ways to dissipate traffic jams and prevent them from happening. Read this article to see what you can do to make the world a better place by improving the flow of traffic.

Adding extra space between cars would cause jams to dissipate, and allowing people to merge early would ease bottlenecks. In general, driving more slowly will get drivers to their destinations faster. At its essence, the execution of his theory just encouraged drivers to keep a steady average speed, rather than racing ahead only to brake to a stop.