Via Marginal Revolution , we learn that the town of Nagareyama in Chiba Prefecture is currently accepting submissions of koitodoke, or “love declaration forms” –
“Now, couples can even have their affection officially recognized, as lovers in Japan can submit government documents certifying their love for each other. “
Given the existing decline in Japanese reproduction, Japan’s federal government might just decide that since state licensing of marriage hasn’t been sufficient, adopting the Nagareyama option is just the ticket! Well, if they do, you can kiss the Japanese sayonara, because it’s just like Milton Friedman said… “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”
1. “Increased financial incentives to encourage bigger families, amounting to cash gifts of S$3000 (US$1889) for the first child and savings of up to S$18,000 each for the third and fourth child.”
2. Tax rebates
3. Tax cuts on maids plus more childcare and maternity benefits.
4. “Offer graduate women with three children priority in securing places at the top nursery schools, an advantage in helping children get ahead at school, university and in the workplace.”
5. Set up “love cruises” for singles!
6. “Speed-dating and online dating services, along with an agony aunt called Dr Love.”
Somehow all of those awesome ideas didn’t make Singaporean couples want to procreate. So now the government has paired up with Mentos (huh?) to urge citizens to do their patriotic duty and make babies on “National Night.” You truly cannot make this stuff up.”
He concludes by asking the same thing any libertarian would ask –
“I guess just allowing more young people to immigrate there is out of the question?”
All of this reminds me of a previous post in which I listed ways in which an individual libertarian can help make the world a little more libertarian. Now that many advanced countries are seeing declining birth rates, and an easing of immigration restrictions will likely result, I think I will add to that list a recommendation that those of you looking for love cast your eyes abroad for libertarian partners. If you live in Canada or the U.S., you are a more desirable mate to someone living in a less wonderful place, and if the person you’re wooing is libertarian, you are way ahead knowing that he/she is at least as smart, well-informed, and open-minded as you are. And of course, if any of you try this out, please let me know how it works, and make sure to invite me to the wedding.
My son and I are going to go see “Oblivion” tonight, so I won’t have time to compose anything original, but here’s a brief-and-interesting review of the film for you –
“What will we do when earth is no longer habitable, either because of environmental pollution or because of an annihilating war? Several films this season imagine a dystopian future in which humans have to leave the earth to survive: Oblivion, with Tom Cruise; After Earth, with Will Smith; and Elysium, with Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. All have seemed promising. The first to be released is Oblivion, and it is satisfying in all the ways you want a film to satisfy — the acting is good, the special effects are thrilling, and the story is meaty enough to maintain the interest of philosophical viewers.”
And Tuesday’s are cheap movie night! The rest of the review is here.
There is no law that prevents you from drinking a bottle of whiskey every day, nor smoking yourself into lung cancer, nor loaning your retirement fund to your prodigal brother-in-law, nor having as much anonymous, unprotected sex with sketchy strangers as you please. In fact, every day people make decisions with potentially devastating, even life-threatening, consequences. But just try to buy raw milk, or meat that has been processed on the same local farm on which the animal was raised, and nanny will spank. Well, some towns in Maine have had enough –
“Voters here made their town the fifth in Hancock County to pass a local food sovereignty ordinance that thumbs its nose at state and federal regulations for direct-to-consumer sales of prepared foods and farm products.
In a referendum election on March 4, residents voted 112-64 to approve the “Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance,” which states that producers or processors of local foods are “exempt from licensure and inspection,” so long as the food is sold directly by the producer to a consumer.
The ordinance also makes it “unlawful for any law or regulation adopted by the state or federal government to interfere with the rights organized by this ordinance.”
Naturally, the state government has declared that the legislation has no weight, despite similar ordinances having previously passed in eight other Maine towns, but I suspect state legislators might be feeling some pressure. Furthermore, such legislation certainly must embolden citizens to disregard state regulations in such numbers that enforcement against consumers could prove impossible. Producers could be a different story, but if the movement keeps its momentum, perhaps even they can escape prosecution.
If only such ordinances could find their way in front of some Canadian municipal governments, perhaps Canadians could achieve the same sort of progress. This looks like another job for the Free Province Project.
It’s been fashionable in the last little while to have a laugh at the expense of preppers, but Hurricane Sandy has put a lot of that to rest. Naturally, all human beings are concerned with uncertainty, and prepare for disaster by purchasing insurance, wearing seatbelts, and other such minor activities. Libertarians, however, being both particularly distrustful of the state, and particularly contemptuous of the states ability in protecting and aiding the populace, are likely to have a higher proclivity towards preparing for self-rescue. As for myself, I have my guns and a growing supply of ammo, along with some water and some gas-fired cooking appliances. In time, I will get a generator, and I should probably lay by some food. I also try to keep a good stock of firewood in case I lose my heating system. To that end, my son found someone who had some rounds from a tree that had recently come down, and he trucked them home. There was so much that we decided to rent a splitter for the first time, and boy, was that fun to use. For about $65 we got 9 horse-powers of practically-unstoppable-4-ton-wood-splitting mayhem! Days of exhausting wood splitting with axe, wedge, and sledge were reduced to hours of vigorous, pleasant, outdoor activity. Inspired and impressed by the human ingenuity that permitted the development of such an impressive device, I went to YouTube to see what a search of wood splitters would net me. Behold!
I have suffered from cold sores my whole life, and I usually get a blister on my mouth just as I’m recovering from a cold. On the advice of a co-worker, I started taking lysine whenever I have a cold (1000 mg thrice daily) until the risk has passed. I’ve had 3 – 4 colds since, but no more cold sores.
If you are trying to follow a primal/paleo regimen (as I am) you might be interested in knowing that brussels sprouts are delicious when you cut them in half and fry them in lots of bacon grease/butter/duck fat/whatever. Cook them to the texture you like best, season with salt and pepper, and enjoy. I’m not a sprouts lover, but this boosts the nutty flavour while reducing any bitterness, and I gobble them up.
My beverage of choice is diet pop (Coke Zero), and I drink what has to be an unhealthy amount of it. I don’t much care for coffee or hot tea, and I find most iced teas bitter and unpleasant. Happily, I have recently discovered cold-brewing, which makes iced tea that’s more to my taste. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons loose tea to 2 litres of water, and leave in the refrigerator overnight. I like liquorice flavours, so I also toss in 1 tablespoon of anise seed before refrigerating. Strain out the liquid and enjoy.
Children who lose their parents are called ‘orphans’. Women who lose their husbands are ‘widows’, and husbands who lose their wives are ‘widowers’. But until recent times (and still, in some places) the loss of one’s child has been so commonplace that there is no special designation for the surviving parents. It is a testimony to the resilience and strength of the human spirit that countless millions have suffered such tremendous losses, yet managed to recover and go on to embrace life again.
A friend and supporter of the Victoria Libertarian Book Club (who shall remain nameless out of respect for his privacy) lost both his wife and his 17-year-old son to a fire in his home yesterday. Our hearts and deepest condolences go out to him in this dark time.
“My own approach is to think of the Coase theorem. Assume that you can’t redistribute happiness or wealth within the marriage. If your spouse is unhappy you will be unhappy and if your spouse is happy you are likely to be happy; happy wife, happy life. If you can’t redistribute happiness the play to make is to maximize total happiness. Maximizing total happiness means accepting apparent reductions in happiness when those result in even larger increases in happiness for your spouse. If you maximize the total, however, there will be more to go around and the reductions will usually be temporary.”
Being a political philosophy, libertarianism doesn’t seem to offer much in the way of guidance regarding parenting. However, libertarianism and economics often go hand-in-hand, and in that spirit economist-and-mother-of-five Gertrude Fremling offers you “An economist’s seven rules for raising kids.” Here’s a taste –
“Rule 1: Limit Their Options – We don’t offer a weekly allowance. If our kids want anything beyond basics, they have to earn the money. Make sure to set firm limits on TV watching and keep just one small-screen TV in the house (which discourages the adults from watching, too). And impose tight restrictions on silly video/computer games.”
“Rule 7: Justice: You Do Bad things, You Suffer in the Pocket Book – Most families seem to practice “time-out” as punishment. But that requires considerable monitoring and fails to give restitution to the victim. And holding long moral lectures is boring, both for the parent and the child.
Imposing fines instead worked very well. Most cases were trivial and routine. Such a minor offense as saying “bad words” resulted in a quick judgement of a small fine to the household.”
I can only guess how well any of this works. For all we know, Fremling’s offspring are the worst-behaved beasts on the planet. But if my kids were still children, I’d sure like to give this system a try.
I have a cold, and I don’t think “starve a cold, feed a fever” means you should go hungry when you have a cold, and eat when you have a fever. I think it means that if you don’t eat when you have a cold, you are increasing the chance you will become even more ill by weakening yourself. That is to say, if you starve a cold, then you feed a fever. So I’m going to go have a bowl of soup or something.