Incite -- (v) 1: give an incentive; 2: provoke or stir up; "incite a riot"; 3: urge on; cause to act
Monday, November 08, 2004

The Carnival of the Capitalists
Written by: Beck

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You know, it really is a pleasure to be hosting the Carnival of the Capitalists. As someone whose degrees are in economics and finance, and as a borderline libertarian when it comes to fiscal policy, there are fewer things closer to my heart than the miracle of free markets.

I have to watch myself, or I'll start pontificating for the next three pages about how the strongest economies in the world are those which have the greatest respect for and protection of property rights. You'll even find a submission somewhere in this post from someone discussing one of my favorite things to rant about: that taxation represents a form of legalized theft.

But enough about that. On with the Carnival!

Government, Regulatory, and Politics

Image Hosted by With the recent elections still compromising so much of the chatter in the blogosphere, it makes sense to start things off with submissions touching on all things governmental.

First off, I present to you a post by one of INCITE's own writers. It's not exactly new, but it's still quite relevant. Speculator talks about the significance of the fact that, in this day of deregulation and free markets, still hanging over all the economies of the world is an administered interest rate: the Fed overnight funds rate.

Next, Ashish's Niti asks the question, "Is Taxation a Legal Theft?" His answer is a qualified no. My answer is an unqualified yes. His mistake is to consider the government as an independent entity no different from an individual or a corporation. The proper function of a government is to serve & represent the people, not to own property or take property from its citizens.

Ashish offers up a second submission as well, one with which I agree entirely. He shows how well intended NGOs often hurt the poor nations they're designed to help. One should expect to find this phenomenon any time contra-market forces are brought to bear on a problem or issue.

Econolog discusses the difficulties involved in attempting to estimate the costs of regulatory and legal interference in the provision of health care. Suffice it to say, the costs are astronomical.

Electric Commentary has a lengthy post discussing the results of the recent election, what went wrong, and what could be changed for the better. You might not immediately see how this rates to capitalism, but if you stick through it, you'll see how he relates much of the problems out there (especially in the Democratic party) to market inefficiencies and a lack of entrepreneurial spirit.

Roth & Company's blog discusses Bush's post-election talk about tax reform and what the implications could be going forward. blogs on inefficiencies in the government's approach to combating terrorism. He summarizes: current spending on anti-terrorism measures is highly inefficient, both in the public and private sectors. It will continue to be highly inefficient and possibly ineffective unless major systemic changes are put into place to diffuse the risk pools both geographically and structurally.

Tim Worstall (who, in the three carnivals I have hosted, has never included a summary with his submission *ahem*) has an excellent post addressing an issue I've seen in numerous places--do book stores give liberal-biased books favorable treatment relative to conservative-biased books? Especially interesting is his discussion of agency problems (i.e. book stores & their employees not acting in the best interests of their clients & employers) at book stores.

Let's Try Freedom submits a post about drug laws & regulations. He has some novel ideas & solutions, but I have to disagree with his ultimate suggestion--voluntary prohibition. I'm not a fan of any regulation which pushes enforcement responsibility onto businesses & civilian employees.

Lip-Sticking offers up her "Fit-by-Five" post for this weeks submission. Her topics touch on a broad range of the capitalist world, but the first topic is about soccer moms, so I popped this one under the politics section.

Finally, the title of Catallarchy's submission says it all: Why unfunded mandates cannot be effectively funded in advance. Essentially, he discusses problems with Bush's Social Security plan using an allegory of building a covered bridge from San Francisco to Honolulu. Which, forget Social Security, I want to see that bridge.


Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThere is no more fundamental or pure form of capitalism than a market. You have a bid price, an offer price, and a commodity. Step up to the plate and take your position. Of course, my view is a bit skewed, what with how I'm a commodity trader.

The single most efficient and largest volume market on the planet is the foreign exchange market. It's really a thing of beauty. The (excellent) blog Ego has a post on forex for this week's Carnival. Ego also submitted a second entry to this week's carnival which I've appended here. The article discusses business conditions in Hungary.

Capital Chronicle talks about the stock market and why he's less than optimistic. Should stock market bears change their tune, or should they keep the faith? Definitely check out the technical chart he has tacked to the end of his post.

The Big Picture talks about a market play to be made in Sears. It would seem that people have lost sight of a factor shared by many of the mega-retailers: property. Their businesses might not be doing great, but with real-estate prices where they are these days, a lot of those stores are sitting on a property gold mine.


Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAmerica's economy is the strongest in the world. Much of that is because of the freedom of her markets--that alone, however, is insufficient. The heart of America's economic strength lies in the entrepreneurial spirit which defines so much of American history.

This is an amazingly cool story. Chris of O'Donnell web tells the story of how his 8 year old daughter launched a web business so that should could raise money... to buy a pony. That's right. Every little girl wants a pony growing up. This one, an entrepreneur to the bone, is going about earning one. I have a hunch we'll be hearing more from this young tycoon in the decades to follow.

Drakeview posts about venture capitalist Bill Reichert and the importance of building a strong team when launching a new enterprise.

New Dog Old Trick discusses a recent MSNBC article naming history's top 10 entrepreneurs. I recall seeing that article when it came out and was tempted to write a post of my own taking issue with MSNBC's choices. Looks like NDOT has saved me the trouble. He also names his own top 10 team of entrepreneurs.

The aptly named Entrepreneurial Mind blog analyses the recent FED report on entrepreneurial activity world wide. Money quote from his post: "Low taxes cause entrepreneurial activity to thrive, while more taxes reduce entrepreneurship. Enough said."

Small Business Trends has made a fascinating discovery: entrepreneurship is stronger in rural areas, coinciding neatly with red state/red county voting patterns in the 2004 election. Be sure to check out the map of entrepreneurship across America.


Image Hosted by ImageShack.usManagement is not only one of the most important pillars of productivity and the capitalist system, but also it is one of the most often neglected. The best business plan in the world can't survive inept management execution.

Jay Solo, author of Accidental Verbosity and creator/administrator of the Carnival of the Capitalists (thanks Jay!) has a cool post on the trap of either/or decision making. His illustrative example: an episode of the Gillmore Girls.

Starting things off, The Slacker Manager has an interesting discussion of decision making in the hiring process. Perhaps his most interesting revelation is that one's decision criteria driven choices should resonate with your gut feeling.

The blog Managing Leadership asks the question, "Is charismatic leadership an American concept?" In his post he discusses an economist article on that topic, comparing and contrasting American leadership style with its British counterpart.

Small Business CEO tackles the challenging problem of hiring top-end sales reps. Ultimately, there's no silver bullet solution to finding that perfect salesman, and there are a number of traps and fallacies which current conventional wisdom leads into.

Laboring Away at the Institute offers his supervisors' tips of the week for this week's carnival. There's plenty there which managers will find helpful. Also, don't miss this post of his on the election. Believe me, you won't regret it.

I wasn't really sure where to stick Interested Participant's submission for this week's carnival. It's essentially about marketing, but as I lacked any other posts about marketing, I decided to put it with the management section. Anyway, it's about plastic surgery gift certificates. What more need I say?


Image Hosted by ImageShack.usDo I really need to say anything by way of introduction? Obviously, technology and capitalism go hand-in-hand, each one serving to drive the other forward.

First, Marty Morrow blogs about Project Gutenberg. It's part of his goal of evolving mega-networked business models... and he borrows from the 200 year old methods of the OED.

The Raw Prawn (what a great name for a blog) discusses the gradual evolution in British newspapers to a tabloid format. Not really a technology issue per se, but I thought it fit well enough anyway. Read the post and you'll see that it fits well enough.

The Enterprise System Spectator lives up to his name and has a post rounding up his posts about the enterprise system. If enterprise systems and/or the spectation thereof interest you, this is the post to read.

The Mobile Technology Weblog offers a look at how technology is changing the face of journalism. Cell phone cameras are turning every citizen into newspaper photographers, and blogs are turning every citizen into reporters.

Education and the Community

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI'm really running out of ideas for introducing sections in an interesting and creative manner. Perhaps that's because I've been banging away at this post for three hours. Regardless, there are three important posts for you in this section. Read on, brave reader!

First, Peaktalk marks the passing of one of the last century's great capitalists, a man who more than anyone else embodied the spirit of the Thatcher economic revolution in Britain during the 80's: Lord Hanson. If you're not familiar with Lord Hanson--and if you're an American, you're probably not--then go read the post.

Small Business CEO, in their second submission to this week's carnival, takes some time out to highlight National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I wasn't aware that there even was such a month. He has some interesting pointers and tips, so go have a look.

Photon Courier writes about the importance to aspiring managers of education in the humanities and computer science.

Finally, The Window Manger addresses a question I myself have heard many times: should I get an MBA? Have I ever mentioned that of INCITE's 5 writers, three are MBAs?

On Blogging

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usLast but obviously not least, a few submissions for the Carnival on the topic of blogging. Gotta love when blogging and capitalism come together.

The blog WOLves (odd capitalization intentional) has a creative thought: product placement meets blogging. It's already going on in a big way, so blog authors, Trudy advises, should capitalize on the marketing opportunity blogs create.

The Zero Boss tackles the topic of blogs that exist only to promote a product. While I'm inclined to agree, what I want to know is, who actually bothers to read such blogs?

Finally, Blog Business World provides a lengthy and detailed post on the two magic ingredients of blogging success: links and content.

Well folks, that's it. Hope you've enjoyed your stay here. Hope you found some interesting posts to read. If you're so inclined, feel free to take a look around INCITE's other posts. If you like what you see, we'd appreciate it if you bookmarked and/or blog rolled us. At any rate, drop by again any time you like!

Next week's Carnival will be hosted by Trader Mike.

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