NYC Junto Newsletter – March 19, 2012

March 19, 2012


* NEW  Junto meeting April 5th
* NEW  Upcoming Junto speakers, through October
* NEW  Free e-newsletter from Junto speaker, Alex Epstein
* NEW  Andrew Bernstein on Capitalist Solutions, Sun., Mar. 25
* NEW  NYC Ayn Rand Meetup, Sun., April 1
* NEW  Russians treat individuals as expendable
* NEW  Twenty of the most beautiful bookstores in the world
* NEW  Shortage of Drugs, Abundance of Regulations
* NEW  Highlights of March Junto
* NEW  Ayn Rand walking tours, new in 2012
* NEW  Marty Reisman in the press
* NYCjunto-discuss list
* About this newsletter
Junto is a group that shares information
and discusses current issues...
plus presents speakers to talk with us:

Robert Higgs
"Likely Politico-economic Legacies of the Current Crisis"

Thursday, April 5th

Admission Free -- No reservation necessary
* We'll socialize from 7:00pm.
* The meeting begins at ABOUT 7:30pm
    with a discussion of current issues and events.
* The featured speaker is introduced at ABOUT 8:00pm.
* The meeting will continue to ABOUT 10:00pm.

General Society Library,
20 West 44 St., between 5th and 6th Aves., NYC
near the Grand Central Terminal

Subway: 4, 5, 6, S to Grand Central -- 42nd St.
B, D, F, 7 to 42nd Street -- Sixth Ave. at Bryant Park
A, C, E, N, Q, R, S, 1, 2, 3 to Times Square -- 42nd St.

Bus: M1, M2, M3, M4, M5, M42, M98, M101, M102, M104, Q32

Train: MTA Metro-North Railroad to Grand Central 

Car: Some private parking facilities in the area. Parking on
side streets is metered, limited to specific days and times.

Please note:
* Junto is not the usual sort of meeting with a long speech
followed by Q & A. Junto's invited speakers give a short
presentation and are challenged to defend their assertions.
* Discussions are intense, but polite. Participation by all
attendees is highly encouraged.
* Junto meets on the first Thursday of every month, at the
General Society Library, 20 West 44 St., NYC, between
5th and 6th Aves., near Grand Central Terminal

Robert Higgs will speak on: "Likely Politico-economic
Legacies of the Current Crisis"
    He's a sr. fellow political economy, author "Leviathan" and
many other books. He's the editor of the Independent Institute's
quarterly magazine Independent Review. Here's his bio, with
links to his writing, multimedia, blog posts, presentations and
working papers:
    In his Junto talk he'll consider some of the most significant
changes wrought by the economic crisis since 2008 and the
government's responses to it.
    For the near term, some legacies are fairly certain; for the
longer term, the legacies are less certain, but we may speculate
about the possibilities and their effects on government and
the economy.
    His newest book will be released on May 1st. You can read
about "Delusions of Power: New Explorations of the State,
War, and Economy" at:
    Many of his presentations are available at YouTube:
    His three-hour appearance on C-SPAN's "In Depth" program
on Book TV is here, in three one-hour sections:

Visit Junto's site for information on current and past speakers,
read previous newsletters, to sign up for the Junto e-newsletter:
    Visit Junto on Facebook:
Junto focuses on libertarianism, Objectivism and investing.
Our founder and host is Victor Niederhoffer.
    Visit his site at:
Please em­ail the above text to your freedom loving friends
who might be interested in Junto.
    Feel free to use the above text to promote Junto among
libertarians, Objectivists and investors.

Come to Junto, meet these upcoming speakers:

* May 3, Ilana Mercer, author "Into the Cannibal's Pot:
Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa."
    This will also be the subject of her talk.
 Her classical liberal columns are at:

* June 7, Gene Epstein, economics editor Barrons
magazine. He writes cover and feature stories on economic
and social trends, and book reviews. Read his articles at:

* July 5, Tyler Cowen, prof. economics George Mason
U. and the Center for the Study of Public Choice.
    Visit his very active blog:
    There are many articles about and by him on his site:

* August 2, Gary Jason, businessman, philosophy teacher
and writer. Senior editor of online magazine Liberty, formerly
the paper magazine Liberty:
    He's author of the forthcoming book "Dangerous Thoughts."
Read more by and about him at:  

* September 1, Richard Kostelanetz is a writer and artist. He
often attends Junto. He's been a contributing/advisory editor
of many arts journals, the author of many books, among them
"Political Essays" and "More On Innovative Music(ian)s"
    Visit his site:

* October 4, Gary Hoover, read his bio:

Get free e-newsletter from March Junto speaker, Alex Epstein
    Alex is the founder director of Center for Industrial Progress:
More energy, More Industry, More Progress.
    The "CIP Insider" will help you learn about the Center
for Industrial Progress's cutting-edge ideas and strategies.
    Sign up at:
    Alex had a sign up sheet for us to use at the March Junto.
In case you didn't sign up then, you can sign up now.  

Capitalist Solutions to Contemporary Moral Problems Mar. 25
    Andrew Bernstein will talk about this, his newest book, on
Sunday, Mar. 25th.
    It will be beginning of the New York Objectivist Society's
multi-part-meeting from 2:00pm to 6:30pm at the Estonian
House, 243 East 34 St., just west of 2nd Ave.
    Andrew's talk will be from 2:00pm to 3:00pm:
    * The U.S. and the semi-free world face grave moral
problems. For example, the dangers of terrorism spawned
by Islamic Totalitarianism are manifest.
    * The environmentalist charges of man-made global
warming must be rationally addressed.
    * The cost, quality, and availability of medical care
is a serious concern.
    * How is Western Civilization to resolve these -- and
other -- dilemmas?
    * Ayn Rand showed that the moral is the practical. This talk,
based on Andrew's book, demonstrates, on issue after issue,
that only the principles of individual rights and free markets,
consistently applied, resolve -- both morally and practically --
all the major moral problems currently confronting mankind.
    This lecture will be followed by a Q&A, 3:00pm to 3:30pm.
Then you can buy a book and have Andrew sign it.
    There'll be a social hour from 3:30pm to 4:30pm with coffee
and cookies.
    From 4:30pm to 6:30pm the "Atlas Shrugged" Reading
Group will be moderated by Arshak Benlian.
    To prepare for the Reading Group please read this one chapter,
Part 2, Chapter 1 -- The Man Who Belonged on Earth.
    There's only one rule -- you can't integrate forward material
from the text into the current discussion of the session.
    Visit the site for this whole event at:
    The fee for the lecture, social hour and the "Atlas Shrugged"
Reading Group is $25 per person. Please pay cash at the door.
    Reserve your space and get a confirmation by emailing to: 

NYC Ayn Rand Meetup, Sunday, April 1, 3:00pm
    Normally these Meetups are on the last Sunday of the
month, but the March Meetup was planned for the same time
as Andrew Bernstein's talk, so Meetup was changed to the first
Sunday of April. There will also be an April 29th Meetup.
    As always, we'll talk about Ayn Rand, her works, Objectivist
life, challenges, options, associations and knowledge.
    Give and take, open to all, no charge, no reservations.
It's at The Midtown Restaurant, 155 East 55 St., between
3rd and Lexington Avenues, mid-block on the north side
of 55th St., in Manhattan, free.
    There are usually one to two dozen people at each
    Benny Pollack, Ayn Rand Meetup organizer says:"Join our
group of regular Objectivists for a lively discussion on topics
related to Ayn Rand and Objectivist philosophy in general.
    "Please join us. If you are already versed in the topic, want
to learn or just want to spend an intellectually stimulating
afternoon, please come. I hope to see you all there."
    The Ayn Rand Meetup is usually on the last Sunday of each
month. Learn more about it at:

David Satter says Russians treat individuals as expendable
    This show, available online, is like listening to Ayn Rand
describing Russia.
    This is a typical statement, referring to 1839 but extending
it to today: "...the Russian travelers' relief on reaching the West
was that, in Russia, the individual is expendable.
    On crossing the border, he acquires rights, security and the
protection of law.
    Napoleon said that in Europe, there were really only two
countries, Russia and everyone else. In the West, the individual
is an end in himself.
    In Russia, he is the means to an end. He can be used for any
purpose, his life has little value and his individual personality
is not taken seriously."
    His book is "It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never
Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past."
    Watch his C-SPAN interview on your computer anytime at:
    You can read about his book on Amazon:
    You can hear Satter's radio interview on YouTube:
    In Russia individuals don't matter. In the C-SPAN show that
was more of the focus than in this radio show but it's here, too.
    He's a fellow of the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns
Hopkins U. School of Advanced International Studies.
    You can read many of his essays at:
    He's sr. fellow at the Hudson Institute in NYC, was Moscow
correspondent for the Financial Times from 1976 to 1982. He
covered the Soviet Union for the Wall Street Journal.
    He's author of two other books about Russia:
"Age of Delirium: The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union" &
"Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State." 

Twenty of the most beautiful bookstores in the world
    A wonder filled British bookstore in Britain is showcased
in this video about the origin of the "Keep Calm" posters.
    It's worth looking at the video just to see this bookstore:
    And here's a page of photos of 20 of the most beautiful
bookstores in the world. It has the British bookstore in the
video and 19 others:
    These are the types of links for which I love the web.
My vote for beautiful bookstores in New York are in the two
Ralph Lauren mansions on Madison off 72nd Street. They have
small bookshops scattered throughout them. The books and the
ways they're displayed are often changed during the year.

Shortage of Drugs, Abundance of Regulations
    from the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights:
    You can read the complete article, this is only the first two
    paragraphs and the last three paragraphs:
There is currently a shortage of more than 200 drugs in the
U.S. Among the drugs critically in short supply are anesthetics,
blood pressure medications and a whole host of cancer-fighting
treatments, the shortage of which has tragically left many
patients with the grim prospect that they may not survive
ailments that are treatable.
    Many explanations have been put forth as to what is causing
this drug shortage. The New York Times, for example, cites
"contamination problems at some manufacturing plants, forcing
unexpected production shutdowns, [and] difficulties in getting
pharmaceutical ingredients from suppliers, especially those
abroad," as some of the factors that have played a role. ...
    Many of the drugs in short supply, particularly the cancer-
fighting ones, can only be administered by doctors, who
purchase the drugs from manufacturers. If a patient has
Medicare, the doctor is paid a fixed price by the government to
cover the cost of the drug, even if purchasing the drug cost the
doctor more than that amount. Scott Gottlieb of the American
Enterprise Institute explains why this is a problem:
    "A 2003 law fixes the price Medicare will pay for injected
drugs to an 'average sales price' that is at least six months old
at any given time. This flawed concept means even if a generic
firm raises its price to reflect increased production costs, the
new price won't get paid by Medicare -- meaning purchasers
would be losing money for months at a time. The result is that
generic prices can't rise to reflect changing demand or the need
for bigger investments in manufacturing.”
    Why are certain drugs in drastically short supply? Any
politician who's serious about finding an answer to that
question should first look at the regulatory road blocks and
price controls that are standing in the way of drug producers.

Highlights of the March Junto, from notes by Malcolm Handte
    The speaker was Alex Epstein, founder director of Center
for Industrial Progress: I am very excited to be at Junto for the
first time. I usually speak to college audiences, who aren't
predominantly liberty oriented, so this will be interesting.
    I focus on promoting industrial progress through liberty. So,
I'll try to give the why and the how. Industries like energy are
high leverage. Unfortunately the energy industry is not free.
Even so, we have the lowest price for energy of any place in
the world. It's cheaper to get energy by producing gas in U.S.
than coal in China.
    Going back to Nov. 1878, the oil industry has been underway
for two decades. Byron Benson founded Tidewater company to
do long pipelines -- four times longer then any before. It was
known that pipelines were cheaper than rail.
    The company started Nov. 1878 and the pipeline was running
six months later, without using eminent domain. Do you think
you could open a yoga studio in six months, today.
    With that example Standard Oil, which had been skeptical,
jumped in.
    Many will say that happened only because there were no
environmental protections in that day. To the contrary, there
was then the best possible protection: property rights. See
"Oil, Gas and Government" by Bradley.
    Here's another pipeline: the Alaskan Pipeline. In the
late 1960s oil was THE strategic resource and the technical
challenges for this were great, 48" pipeline over 1,000
miles long.
    A bigger challenge was the change in the regulatory
environment. There were no longer sovereign property owners
with the absolute right to decide whether the pipeline could
cross their land.
    Instead the decision was in the hands of government which
eventually decided, not on the basis of the greater good for one
or another or all humans but on the basis of non-human interests.
    The Nixon administration shut down the pipeline for
five years.
    Just think what the impact of that additional 1.6 million
BB/day would have been through the 1970s energy crises.
    This is "industry at the speed of government" versus the
19th century's "industry at the speed of thought".
     How can we oppose this? We must avoid under optimism
-- our voice is small and our opponents won't stand still, they'll
counter our arguments.
    We must avoid undue pessimism: For example, consider
how effective the act of the person who gave me a copy of
"Atlas Shrugged". That led me to devote my adult life to
promoting its ideas.
    Or, look at how leveraged was money given to the
Heritage Foundation in the early 1990s which spearheaded
the "Republican Revolution" of 1994, through crafting the
Contract with America.
    How can we best leverage our persuasive efforts? There's
real evidence as to what constitutes best practice in these areas.
    It's key to control the moral argument through a moral
narrative: an account of a fundamental choice we as a
society face.
    Consider the moral argument used by enviros in the late
1960s: Will we keep standing aside and letting capitalist greed
continue to destroy the environment or do we act to prevent it?
Framed that way, the listener feels driven to get involved. Are
you the type of person who wants a dirty environment?
   We can't rebut that with some statistics, such as: its not really
that dirty.
    We must avoid:
    1. Appeasement: See the argument against this by Arthur
Robinson in his "Access to Energy" monthly newsletter.
    2. Superficial opposition: For example the act which says
you can do nothing with your property until you have filed an
environmental statement. Opposition to this on a shallow basis
would be: implementing regulations are too expensive.
    3. Complete opposition to the asserted underlying fact that
capitalism is destroying the environment: The problem here is
that it just removes the negative.
    It's better to argue that industrial progress in fact improves
the environment.
    First you have to reframe what harms count: the use of open
fireplaces for heat and cooking is ridiculously polluting and
harmful to health, as it was both in the U.S. in the 19th century
and is even today in many parts of the world.
    Note the notion that THE environment is damaged
by industry. The fact is that people want their immediate
environments to be clean. They have, without the influence of
any enviro regulations, used increased wealth that comes from
industry to improve their human environment.
    Many historic instances of pollution excesses such as
Bethlehem Steel polluting Lake Eire, arose because of
a failure of property rights to be fully extended.
    If the lake had been owned, actual loss of net utility would
have resulted in the lake owner's being able to put the costs
back to the plant, with the plant behavior being changed.
    Just having common law and property rights doesn't mean
you can dispense with the lawmaking function. For example,
the evolution of a technology to pump oil from below ground
meant that new definition of property rights had to evolve.
    Also, recognize that there are natural sources of pollution
and recognize that being able to travel is what gives
environmental beauty realizable value.
    It's important to frame the narrative precisely. Don't let
benefits of industry be posited as continuing, while industry
is totally blocked on "enviro" grounds.
    Question from the floor: I agree that the common law of
property rights can go a long way to resolve these issues, but
aren't regulations necessary.
    Alex: Capitalism and common law are not the same. Being
well versed in philosophy is important, because terms must be
used with precision. John Locke's analysis of the origins of
rights is valuable here.
    Some property rights arise from an action which establishes
ownership, such as homesteading land or drilling for the
minerals. Others are negative, such as a right to clean air.
    "Atlas Shrugged" is underappreciated as a moral narrative.
Rand shows the essence of proper business, not crony
capitalists, as highly moral. ...
    Bonus: Speaker demonstrated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Ayn Rand walking tours, 2012
    Fred Cookinham offers five Ayn Rand walking tours. This
is the link to his new site:   

* Ayn Rand Fifth Avenue
    Art and architecture in the glamour shopping district of the
Twentieth Century world. Central Park South, Rockefeller
Center, the Stork Club and where Random House published
"Atlas Shrugged."
    Where Rand bought her paintings, clothes and
fancy dinners.
    Meet at the Columbus statue in Columbus Circle.
Subway stop: Columbus Circle.
2-1/2 hour tour, starts at 11:00am
    Tour available on request only.

* Ayn Rand on Broadway
    Skyscrapers, newspapers, Broadway and books. DeMille,
Hellman, and where Alan Greenspan played sax. Where her
"The Night of January 16th," "The Unconquered," and "Think
Twice" were produced.
    Isabel Paterson at the Herald Tribune. Patricia Neal, the
Shuberts, the Gershwins, and of course more Art Deco.
    Meet on the NE corner of Broadway and W. 49th St.
2-1/2 hour tour, starts at 11:00am
    Tour available on request only.

* Skyscrapers of "The Fountainhead"
    The changing styles in architecture, from Beaux Arts to
Art Deco to International Style, that form the background
to the story of Roark's struggle.
    Was Roark Wright? Real-life models for Rand's characters.
     Meet at Number 1 Broadway, at Battery Place.
Subway stops: Bowling Green
2-1/2 hour tour, starts at 11:00am
    May 26, Saturday
    May 27, Sunday
    July 7, Saturday
    Tour also available on request.

* "Atlas Shrugged"
    See places Rand researched and fictionalized in her novel,
around and in Grand Central Terminal.
    Meet on the SE corner of Park Ave. at E. 50th St.
    Outside the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel.
Subway stops: Number 6 to E. 51st St. or Grand Central.
1-1/2 hour tour, starts at 11:00am
    November 17, Saturday
    November 18, Sunday
    Tour also available on request.

* Ayn Rand's Park Avenue
Scheduled for 28 Wednesdays in a row
    Where Rand lived and held her salons. Scenes from
"Atlas Shrugged."
    Where Rand learned about architecture from Ely Jacques
Kahn, in his own masterpiece Art Deco building.
    Meet on NE corner on east 42nd St. at Vanderbilt Ave.
Grand Central Terminal's SW entrance.
Subway stops: Grand Central
1-1/2 hour tour
    EVERY Wednesday through September 26 at 6:15pm
    November 4, Sunday at 11:00am
    November 24, Saturday at 11:00am
    Tour also available on request.

All scheduled tours are $20, $15 for those over 65. Private
tours are available for $30 a person.
    To arrange for your private tour or for more information,
call Fred at home: 718-397-9019 or on his cell: 917-607-9019
or email him: fcookinham [at]
    "Fred is a kind of poet and street professor...."  Anne Heller,
"New York Observer" 2/9/04, author of "Ayn Rand and the
World She Made."
    "Fred's a valuable asset in NYC. I encourage those who live
here or who visit, to take advantage of his research, knowledge
and ability to communicate. His perspectives on American
history, libertarianism, and Objectivism as well as his
appreciation of the arts integrate many interesting facts
and influences on our culture." Lee Clifford, Junto attendee
    Fred Cookinham's walking tours keep getting better,
because he never stops researching.
    He's often at Junto and Ayn Rand Meetups. At least once
a year he does a reading from Rand at Junto.

Highlights of previous years * Fred gave special "Ayn Rand
and Free Market Tour" for Mont Pelerin Society. * Hear Fred
give "Ayn Rand's Park Ave" on BBC's Radio 4 "The Right
Stuff" on their site. * His interview on "Hardfire" Ayn Rand
Revealed, at Amazon and other places. Answers questions on
Rand's life, loves, philosophy, works and influence.
    Differences between helping a person and sacrificing,
when's "volunteering" not voluntary? Fred's interviewer then
Chair Manhattan Libertarian Party, Joseph Dobrian.
    Watch part: 

Marty Reisman in the press
    Marty often attended Junto some years ago. He's a master
ping-pong player, now 82 years old. The April 2012 issue of
"Men's Journal" has a six page article on him, with photos
though the years.
    The New York Times, March 9, 2012, had a half page article
on him with photos. 

NYCjunto-discuss list
    Junto members can discuss Junto speakers, articles from
other places and other topics of interest.
    You can read these posts at:
    To post to this list you need to be a member of it.
Become a member at: or send an email to:

About this NYC Junto newsletter
* Iris Bell moderates Junto and writes this e-newsletter
* Oleg Atbashian created He also sends out
    this e-newsletter and cares for its email list.
* Andy George helps with the sound system and supplies
    the music.
* We're looking for volunteers to help with Junto publicity.
* Our founder and host is Victor Niederhoffer. Visit his site at:
* This e-newsletter comes out twice a month. You might
    get an occasional extra email about a timely event.
* To subscribe to this newsletter put "Junto list" in the
    subject line and email your name and preferred email
    address to:

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