Ed Hudgins

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About Ed Hudgins

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    http://www.objectivistcenter.org
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    Edward Hudgins
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    Director of Advocacy and Senior Scholar, The Atlas Society
  • Articles
    New Cult of Darkness Every Day a New Year Milton Friedman: 1912-2006 Republican Election Fiasco The Pope vs. Islam: Who Stands for Reason? Happy Labor Day - We're All Workers! Gustav Mahler’s Second and Eighth Symphonies Starbucks' Fat Cup of Trouble "Atlas" Movie One Step Closer! THE INSIDE SCOOP Why We Give Gifts Policing Phone Calls and Perverting Principles Birthday Blips: Are Americans Really Free & Equal? A Cool Capitalist Atlas Forced into Early Retirement The Public Side of Private Love

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  1. Hi Michael – Thanks for your thoughtful response. Actually, you’ve got some of the think tank stuff backwards. There’s a range of think tank activities from original deep research in books and policy papers to direct public policy action. Heartland calls itself a think thank and action tank because we’re closer to the latter. Mind you, our founder Joe Bast a dozen years ago decided a way to fight the global warming alarmism was to actually engage real scientists to counter the bad science and panic-mongering that was driving public policy. We’ve published four volumes of “Climate Change Reconsidered,” each about 1,000 pages, with contributions by dozens of well-credentialed scientists. I doubt many people have read these cover-to-cover but they are a resource along with the spinoffs, papers, conferences and the like that probably had the most to do with Trump pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords--Joe was in the Rose Garden when Trump made the announcement--and has provided foundations for much of the good on environment and energy policy from this administration. And here’s the point. Our new Heartland president, a former Congressman, is keen as are we all to actually bring about change. He always asks, “Why are we doing this paper? Who’s the audience? Is this what need to make a difference?” That’s what I’m doing on my FDA and other projects. We have a lot of opportunities with this administration. We don’t want to listen to ourselves talk. We want to change thing. Also, Heartland uniquely focuses at the state level, so our government relations people are always on the road, working with state policymakers or doing policy papers that show how the reforms in states A, B, and C can work in states X, Y, and Z! We sometimes hear complaints that “You’re not pure libertarian enough and should be advocating abolishing most of government!” That’s because we’re not a sophomore college bull session. There’s a place for such advocacy; I’ve done enough of it myself. But where are we after decades of such stuff? Is government rolled back? We realize you often need to change things step by step. Hasn’t the left done that, step by step undermined our liberties? I’m for moving as fast as is doable but simply writing another paper on how we need to abolish this or that government department is not our market niche. Objectivist Living, of course, has its market niche! It's about applying the principles to one's life. I would just observe this. On many Facebook threads there will be some interesting discussants and, sadly, some obnoxious and irrational loudmouths who add no value to a conversation or your thinking, and whose unpleasant company you would rather not keep. Perhaps you find some value in the likes of Jon, but I certainly don’t. But when I do stop by Objectivist Living, your company is always welcome! See you in my next topic post! Regards, Ed
  2. Hi again Michael! On child abuse, with two beautiful little daughters, I'd be the first the rip the throat out of anyone who would assault kids. As for politics, I am not and never have been a Hillary supporter. No problem there! Currently, I work to change policy where there is leverage to do so and, happily, there is. I'm just about to come out with another paper on liberalizing the drug approval process, and I'm looking at some interesting opportunities for really major disruption of the educational system. Most of our policy and cultural battles are rear guard actions against the dogmatism, irrationalism, and outright rejection of objective reality brainwashed into kids, especially in higher educ. What's the point of writing a study that brilliantly proves with mountains of data that free market are better if the politicians, media mogels, and public "intellectuals" simply don;t care and want to just live in their fictional "narrative." We need to bust up their indoctrination system. Stay tuned!
  3. Ooops, sorry, I just saw your post after what I posted what you see below. But I'll keep it up now for the record as we seek some understanding! ....... Michael - Assuming Jon is not a troll (you'd know better than I), he kind of make my point. Schultz sees far left Dems discrediting his party. Folks can point to the extremists and say "See these crazies! That's the Dems. I rest my case." So Schultz offers an alternative. David Kelley decades ago saw the dogmatic Objectivists discrediting the truly rational, open Objectivists. Folks could point to them and say "See these crazies! That's Objectivism. I rest my case." So David offered an alternative. Someone like Jon makes it easy for our opponents to say "See that crazy! That's Objectivist living. I rest my case." It is sad that after all these decades, these types are still infest Objectivist circles. I always appreciate Objectivist Living though I don't get here much anymore now that I'm doing more public policy. But keep up the example, Michael, of what Objectivism can be and should be!
  4. Michael - On the concentration camps for Trump supporters, I hope Schultz and the few remaining halfway reasonable Dems will realize they are, indeed, on course to reelect Trump because they are so insanely radical and irrational. That's why Schultz is looking at a run as an independent rather than in the Dem. Party.
  5. Michael - Sorry, I meant Jon, the guy who seems to be trolling Peter. My bad!
  6. Peter - Joe's not worth debating with. Reason won't reach him. Anyway, Schultz adds an interesting element to the Democrats' inter-party battles.
  7. "Will Howard Schultz Serve a Liberty Latte or Stale Socialist Dregs?" By Edward Hudgins Far-left Democratic politicians are tripping over themselves to run for president in 2020, and the news media are tripping over themselves touting those candidacies—but only when they’re not busy praising Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s economy-destroying “Green New Deal.” Enter Starbucks founder and liberal Democrat Howard Schultz, who says he might run for president as an independent in 2020, on the assumption his own party is hopeless. The extreme left is apoplectic, fearing he’ll divide the Democratic vote, reelecting Trump in 2020. Millionaire socialist moviemaker Michael Moore calls for a boycott of Starbucks. Millionaire Dem. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wants to tax all wealth and denounces “billionaires who think they can buy the presidency to keep the system rigged for themselves while opportunity slips away for everyone else.” She commands “these billionaires to stop being freeloaders.” This vitriol comes because Schultz is disrupting Democratic Party dogma. First, Schultz slammed Warren, rather than apologizing for his wealth. He came from a poor family—he was one of the “everyone else” Warren allegedly loves—and created his wealth and his company, with all its jobs and benefits. Customers choose his lattes and coffee shops reminiscent of gathering-place cafes in Europe. Only a deluded demagogue could call this “freeloading.” Schultz tagged rags-to-riches stories like his own the “American Dream” he supports. While not saying so explicitly, his response challenges the envy-driven agenda of extreme-left Democrats. Second, Schultz challenged Warren, Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and their ilk directly by saying, “I don’t believe the country should be heading to socialism.” Shades of Trump! Other Democrats silently fear that their party’s extreme leftists could throw 2020 to Trump. Schultz challenges the extremists out loud. Third, Schultz sees the now $22 trillion federal debt as an existential threat to our country. Obama drove it up more than all previous American presidents combined, and the GOP, good on so many cut-back-the-government policies, hasn’t been much better. Will Schultz be tempted to hike taxes to cut deficits? Such hikes historically slow down economies, thus reducing tax revenue—or, at the very least, slowing its growth. Further, Starbucks recently announced Trump’s tax cuts “accelerated” wage increases, employee stock grants, and other benefits for its workers. Successful entrepreneur Schultz ... (continue reading here.)
  8. Is Space Still an Awe-Inspiring Frontier? By Edward Hudgins Rather than continuing to be awe-inspiring, has the prospect of space exploration become boring to most Americans? On New Year’s Day 2019, NASA’s New Horizon probe, which gave us spectacular photos of Pluto back in 2015, sent back images of a snowman-shaped asteroid named Ultima Thule. That object sits at the edge of the solar system and is the farthest ever photographed by a space probe. Soon thereafter, China landed its Queqiao rover on the far side of the Moon. Just as remarkable was the communications satellite parked at a gravitationally stable location in space beyond the Moon that allows the rover to communicate with scientists on Earth. Generations of Americans have found space, both the place and our efforts to explore and understand it, awe-inspiring. NASA landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the Moon in 1969. Our robots now roam the Martian deserts. Probes gave us close-ups of giant Jupiter and of Saturn’s rings. The Hubble telescope imaged breathtakingly beautiful star clusters, nebulae and the most distant galaxies. Has interest waned? For some, fiction is more fun than fact. CGI sci-fi flicks give us spaceships and alien worlds that, as eye-candy, beat out yet another picture of an actual dusty crater or astronaut floating in the International Space Station. For others, it might be that they’ve seen those craters and astronauts for years. Familiarity breeds ho-hum. The knowledge we gain from our space efforts will always be a source of awe and inspiration because, as Aristotle said ... (continue reading here.) https://www.insidesources.com/is-space-still-an-awe-inspiring-frontier/
  9. FYI: Data show only very small, steady sea level rise for centuries and no correlation with CO2, the usual culprit of the climate alarmists. If I can figure out how to post jpgs, I will put some up showing this info.
  10. Marxism is being kept alive by a whole lot of professors on many campuses. One of my points is that the more true to Marxism they are, the more they believe that it's impossible to demonstrate the truth via reason; remember that our bourgeois brains just can't understand their "logic." I think that for a lot of reasons, one of which is to free higher ed from the grip of various forms of statist dogma, we need an education revolution.
  11. Karl Marx at 200: His Lethal Legacy Lingers By Edward Hudgins In his name, over 100 million people were murdered. May 5, 2018 marks Karl Marx's 200th birthday, and his profound errors still smolder and threaten new conflagrations. Marx was born into a Europe transforming into a modern, industrial society. Individuals were leaving ancestral villages and farms for growing cities and their seemingly dehumanizing factories. Incredible wealth was being created, but would the factory workers benefit from their labors? What did the future of this emerging new world hold? History as class conflict Marx posed as a "scientific socialist," explaining the past and prophesying the future. Marx was a radical materialist. He asserted that history is a class conflict based on economic forces. People's ideas, what Marx called "phantoms of their brains," are not the drivers of our destinies. We are simply the pawns of the factors of production and distribution of wealth. We don't make our tools so much as our tools make us. Marx rejected the notion that the rational capacity we all share can discover objective truth. Rather, he asserted that the structure of our minds is determined by our economic class. Thus, there is the "proletarian logic" of the workers and the "bourgeois logic" of the middle class and capitalists. The bourgeoisie are incapable of understanding the workers. It's futile for proletarians to try to explain their circumstances to the bourgeoisie. The truth of the one isn't the truth of the other. But how could Marx downplay the influence of ideas even as he offered his own, those phantoms in his brain? How could Marx, from a solid bourgeois background, transcend his class and understand "proletarian logic"? Was this just his deceitful way of silencing critics? If you ask, Marx might reply that your bourgeois brain and old-fashioned logic are incapable of grasping how contradictions can be truth. The few rich and the many poor Marx asserted that the capitalist owners of factories would use new equipment and efficient organization to create more and more wealth – a thousand teapots a day rather than a hundred; ten thousand shirts a day rather than one thousand. As production and efficiency rose, capitalist owners could fire many employees and reduce the wages of the remaining ones. The rich would get richer, and the poor would get poorer, and the latter's ranks would swell. You might ask Marx, who will buy those thousand teapots and ten thousand shirts if everyone is impoverished? He might answer that your limited bourgeois mind simply can't understand. Marx asserted a convoluted "labor theory of value" to demonstrate that most wealth created in factories was produced by the workers and expropriated as profits by the capitalists... (Continue reading here.) https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2018/05/karl_marx_at_200_his_lethal_legacy_lingers.html
  12. What on Earth are you talking about? ( ?) This really Mars the conversation! ( ?) Did you Planet this way? ( ? )
  13. Okay, we're deep into tin-foil hat, nut-case territory here, so I'll leave those with more time on their hands or those who get a dark amusement observing this form of human folly to populate this thread. I will say that since my teen years I found the issue of life on other worlds of serious interest. I was especially impressed by a young, little-known fellow who spoke in 1969 at Goddard Space Flight Center, where I'd been an intern, to separate flying saucer nonsense from a real search for extraterrestrial intelligence. That was Carl Sagan. Anyway, I guess I won't be seeing some of the folks on this thread on Mars. Hope Elon Musk's colony does way!
  14. Thanks Peter! JTS, the big question is, who they hell is Steven Greer and why would anyone waste a neuron transferring a charge via a synapse on what he blathers about anything? ?
  15. It's Time To Abandon Earth Day By Edward Hudgins April 22, 2018 -- There was a telling juxtaposition of events in April 1970. On the one hand, young people, infused with the Age of Aquarius, gathered in parks for the first Earth Day. They sang, danced, speechified, consumed illicit substances, and virtue-signaled they didn’t want a polluted planet. On the other hand, the Apollo 13 spacecraft, crippled by an explosion, limped back to Earth, with the survival of three astronauts very much in doubt. That April, a movement began to fight a perceived explosion of technologies and materialism that were polluting Earth, with the survival of humanity at stake. This worldview was as profoundly wrong then as it remains now. Human Improvement We all want to live in a world conducive to human health and safety. The good news is things have been improving for years. Starting with the big picture, some five decades ago, 45 percent of the world’s population was living in extreme poverty. Today, that number is less than 10 percent. Back then, global life expectancy was 60 years old. It is now around 72, in developed countries, it’s more than 80. Even in Africa, the most impoverished region of the world, average lifespan has climbed from 47 to 60. The annual death rate of children under five years old has dropped from about 15 percent to under 5 percent, with much of that progress coming in developing countries. And what about the environment? At the time of the first Earth Day, more than one million individuals worldwide, mainly children, died each year because of pathogens in polluted water. Fortunately, over the past four decades, the portion of the global population with access to improved water sources has jumped from only about 50 percent to more than 90 percent.... Read more.