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Posts Tagged ‘economic freedom’

Scott Aaronson has a nice post in which he plots political freedom and economic freedom on a chart and concludes that while the two are definitely correlated, the correlation seems to disappear near the high-freedom areas of the chart. In fact he hypothesises there might be a ‘Pareto curve’ fitting this negative correlation between the two freedoms near the top of the scale.

Unfortunately, as I point out in a comment on his blog, his data is suspect, especially near the top end of the scale that is relevant to the Pareto curve discussion. For instance, Canada and Sweden lie near the top of the political freedom scale according to the Freedom House survey that he uses. In particular, they both have perfect scores in “freedom of expression and belief”. Of course, this is deeply flawed as both countries have insidious hate speech laws that stifle speech, especially those belonging to the far right.

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I exaggerate not a bit when I describe the prevailing politics of L.A. to be roughly as follows: Wal-Mart and big box stores = evil, and need to be stopped at all costs. Also, we need more cheap supermarkets! Mom and pop stores need to be defended from Big Corporations, unless they sell fried chicken or used tires, or get in the way of a big development project.

 — Matt Welch, writing about his experience of dealing with Los Angeles “stakeholders” during his two-year tenure at the L.A. Times.

I highly recommend the whole article.

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