NYC Junto Newsletter, March 2013: Junto Forum begins & more

March 1, 2013

* NEW Junto meeting Mar. 7
* Upcoming Junto speaker April 2013
* NEW Junto Forum is up and running
* NEW DC pushes taxi medallion bill -- enrich barons
* NEW John Allison's at Heritage, calls for pure capitalism
* NEW Why the USA worked from the beginning
* NEW Balancing budget, reining in the debt, untold story
* NEW The third Industrial Revolution by Robert Tracinski
* NEW Off-Off-Broadway "Anthem" Ayn Rand's novella
* NEW Amazon Coins coming in May
* NEW Atlantic magazine has "Atlas Shrugged" Book Club
* NEW Work is the creation of wealth, Binswanger in Forbes
* NEW Students develop values to live by
* NEW Institute of Justice stops IRS stopping tax preparers
* NEW Ayn Rand Inst. responds President's State of the Union
* NEW Cato responds President's State of the Union
* NEW Plans for the "Atlas Shrugged" Part 3 film
* NEW Illustrations by this fan of Ayn Rand
* NEW The Light Brigade shines for capitalism in DC rally
* NEW The myth of a stagnant middle class
* NEW Humanity Unbound: Fossil fuels save humanity 
* NEW The Chinese study causes of revolutions
* NEW Free online: The Ayn Rand Lexicon
* NEW Philosophy of Objectivism lectures, MP3 download
* NEW "Atlas Shrugged" Reading Group, Sat., March 16
* NEW "Atlas Shrugged" Out Loud, with Arshak Benlian
* NEW Objectivist, free market and libertarian groups and sites
* NEW Fred Cookinham's five Ayn Rand walking tours
* NEW Read & post new Junto Forum, NYCjunto-discuss list
* NEW About this Junto newsletter
Junto is a group that shares information,
discusses current issues and presents speakers

Brink Lindsey, senior fellow, Cato Institute

Thursday, March 7 

Admission Free -- No reservation necessary
* We'll socialize from 7:00pm to 7:30pm.
* 7:30pm moderator, Gene Epstein calls first for announcements 
    of things happening before the next Junto. Then other 
    announcements and for people introducing themselves.
* The speaker will begin promptly at 8:00pm and talk about 
    45 minutes, uninterrupted.  
* Following the talk are questions, discussions and rebuttal 
    of the speaker's points. Discussions are intense but polite.
* The meeting will continue to 10:00pm or later.

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.

* Junto meets on the first Thursday of every month.
* Participation by all attendees is highly encouraged.
* 60 to 100 people attend most Juntos.

Brink Lindsey, senior fellow, Cato Institute. 
     He's written on topics including trade policy, globalization, 
American social and cultural history, and the nature of human 
    His current research focuses on economic growth and the 
policy barriers that impede it.
    During his years with Cato he's served as director regulatory 
studies, founder and director Center for Trade Policy Studies, 
and VP research. 
    He was senior editor Regulation magazine. He was 
creator/originator editor Cato Unbound. 
    From 2010 to 2012, he was senior scholar research and 
policy Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. He's currently 
senior fellow Kauffman Foundation.  
    He's written several books, including "Human Capitalism: 
How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter – and More 
Unequal;" "The Age of Abundance: How Prosperity 
Transformed America's Politics and Culture;" "Against the 
Dead Hand: The Uncertain Struggle for Global Capitalism;" 
and with Daniel Ikenson, "Antidumping Exposed: The 
Devilish Details of Unfair Trade Law". 
    He's been in major newspapers and leading policy 
magazines. He's frequently on TV and radio.
    Brink earned AB Princeton U. & JD Harvard Law School.
His site:

The new Junto Forum, read and post here:
    Visit Junto's site for information on current & past speakers,
to read previous newsletters and to sign up for the Junto 
    Visit Junto on Facebook: 
    Follow Junto on Twitter:
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 this upcoming speaker:

*April 4, Matt Welch, editor in chief Reason, the libertarian 
magazine of ''Free Minds and Free Markets,'' co-author ''The 
Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can 
Fix What's Wrong with America.'' Read more about him at:

The Junto Forum is up and running
    Victor Niederhoffer invites you to become part of these 
active online discussions.
    Anyone can post links to articles and make comments. 
You can also log in with your existing account on Facebook, 
Twitter, Google, Yahoo or AOL. You don't have to be logged 
in to post, but that gives you access to your own posts to edit 
them later.
    Oleg Atbashian is the moderator of the Forum and is the 
creator of the Junto site. Among the posts are four of Oleg's 
recent articles in the "American Thinker."
    There's a link at the top of or you can go to:

DC pushes taxi medallion bill -- enrich barons, screw others
    By Jim Epstein (son of Junto moderator, Gene Epstein)
After failing twice to enact a system that would enrich a handful 
of private companies by screwing riders and destroying DC's 
unique owner-operated cab industry, DC pols are at it again. 
And they've wised up: There's no "medallion bill" to get riled 
up over. Instead, they buried it in a few sentences at the end of 
a piece of legislation that's supposed to "modernize" the industry. 
    Read all of it at Reason magazine:

John Allison's at Heritage, calls for pure capitalism
    Allison is the new CEO of the Cato think tank. Lee Clifford, 
often at Junto, likes his identifying the main things to change 
are the wrong ideas in our education system, K through 12. 
Privatizing education becomes a major goal.
    He talks about his book "The Financial Crisis and the 
Free Market Cure: Why Pure Capitalism is the World 
Economy's Only Hope." He argues that govt incentives and 
regulations caused the 2008 collapse and the answer are pure 
free market policies. See him at:

Why the USA worked from the beginning, by Brian Vanyo
    If there is a country in the world where concord, according 
to common calculation, would be least expected, it is America. 
    Made up as it is of people from different nations, accustomed 
to different forms and habits of government, speaking different 
languages, and more different in their modes of worship, it 
would appear that the union of such a people was impracticable; 
but by the simple operation of constructing government on the
principles of society and the rights of man, every difficulty 
retires, and all the parts are brought into cordial unison....
    The American people lived by this philosophy even before 
their independence from Great Britain. Although the colonies 
were subject to British rule since their formation, the 
Parliament practiced a policy of "salutary neglect" until the 
1760s and rarely enforced its laws in America. 
    Robert Walpole, who was Britain's first de facto Prime 
Minister from 1721–1742, explained the purpose for this policy, 
saying, "If no restrictions were placed on the colonies, they 
would flourish." (In essence, economic liberty would lead to 
prosperity -- what a concept!)....
    This article was recommended by Robert Tracinski in his
free newsletter Daily Debate for 
    It's in this Real Clear History page:

Balancing the budget, reining in the debt -- the untold story
    By Felix Bronstein, in the blog The Gold Standard Now
The Heritage...symposium on cutting the budget in the Winter 
1986...excellent proposals were made, but I would like to focus
on the gem contributed by...Warren T. Brookes.
    Brookes began..."conservatives need to understand that 
without basic monetary reform there is no way to balance the 
U.S. budget, with or without tax increases and budget cuts, and 
even with the most optimistic GNP growth projections."  He 
then offered a 3 part solution:
1) "return as quickly as possible to gold-based money & debt"...
2) "free exchange of gold and silver, both public and private, 
    setting up a parallel monetary system on a free market basis, 
    allowing the public to choose,"...
3) "Federal Reserve would be phased back to its original role 
    as a bank-owned clearing house, thus eliminating its huge 
    and costly high as $1 trillion a year."...
Read all of this article at:

The Third Industrial Revolution by Robert Tracinski
    ...The first Industrial Revolution was the harnessing 
of large-scale man-made power, which began with the 
steam engine....
    The second Industrial Revolution...interchangeable parts 
and the assembly line, which made possible inexpensive mass 
production with relatively unskilled labor. 
    The Third Industrial Revolution would not be computers, 
the Internet, or mobile phones, because up to now these have 
not been industrial tools; they have been used for moving 
information, not for making things....just a warm-up for...
the full integration of information technology with industrial collapse the distance between the design of 
a product and its physical manufacture...
    Read it all at:

Off-Off-Broadway production, "Anthem" Ayn Rand's novella
    Through March 4th.
One man's rebellion against a totalitarian society, in unspecified 
future. Humans completely belong to and are controlled by the 
society. The use of the word "I" is a crime punishable by death. 
    To learn more about the novella:
    The theater group says: This intense, controversial 
Promethean thriller will appeal to Ayn Rand fans and haters 
alike and those just looking for a heart-pounding, suspenseful 
love story.
    The audience is escorted into a bare space, to share 
a moment in time with two central characters. Features 
innovative lighting design and original score.
    I saw it and enjoyed it, it had emotional impact.
Abingdon Theatre Company
    312 West 36th St., 2nd floor, corner 8th Ave., $25
    Order tkts:

Amazon Coins coming in May
    Amazon Coins is a new virtual currency for buying 
apps, games, and in-app items on Kindle Fire in the Amazon
Appstore. This offers app and game developers another 
substantial opportunity to drive traffic, downloads and 
increase monetization even further.
    Amazon will give customers tens of millions of dollars' 
worth of Amazon Coins to use. 
    FutureOfCapitalism wrote: "One wonders, why would 
anyone want to store value, or transact, in 'Amazon Coins'
issued by Amazon CEO Jeffrey Bezos rather than in the notes 
issued by the Federal Reserve chaired by Ben Bernanke? 
    "Could it be that Mr. Bezos will prove a wiser steward of his 
money supply than Chairman Bernanke? Skeptics may point 
out that the Amazon Coins aren't backed by anything concrete, 
such as gold. But then again, neither are Federal Reserve notes. 
Mr. Bezos, in other words, isn't the only operator out there 
hawking 'virtual' currency.
    "It wouldn't surprise FutureOfCapitalism if federal regulators 
tried to find some way to shut down Amazon coins..."
    For more info:

The Atlantic magazine has an "Atlas Shrugged" Book Club
    They began a multi-part discussion on Feb. 18, of "one of 
the most controversial novels in American history...successful 
one too: It has sold more than a million copies...since 2010! 
    Alan Greenspan, Clarence Thomas and Paul Ryan have 
cited it as a significant influence on their thinking. Tea Party....
fans and critics alike found it relevant to the 2010 election.
    "But how many people who invoke the book have actually 
read it since high school? Or ever?
    "...I decided to assemble a small group to read and publicly 
discuss the novel....We'll be reading it in chunks....We're 
hoping an ideologically diverse group of readers will 
participate.... Read more:

Work is the creation of wealth, by Harry Binswanger in Forbes
    ...The unstated assumption is: "If Americans don’t get to do 
that work, if foreigners do it instead, [we'll] have nothing to do."
     But work is the creation of wealth. A job is not just drawing 
a salary, it is acting to produce things -- food, cars, computers, 
internet content -- all the goods and services that go to make 
up our standard of living. And we can never get a "too high"
standard of living or "too much" wealth. The need for wealth is 
limitless. & that makes the need for productive work limitless.
...we are only at the beginning of the wealth-creating age. 
    The wealth Americans produce today is as nothing compared 
to what we'll have 200 years from now...the standard of living 
in 1813 was as nothing, compared to ours in 2013.
    ...Unemployment is caused by govt interference in the labor 
market, preventing the law of supply & demand from "clearing 
the market" in labor services, as it does in every other market....
the number of jobs goes relentlessly upward...27 million 
workers in 1900 to about 140 million in 2010. 
    Read it all at:

Students develop values to live by
    Hillsdale College gave an award to teacher, Jason Barney, 
who uses books written before his students were born to help 
them discover values they want to use in their lives.
    "I have had the privilege of seeing students mature 
through coming to know the past. After numerous classroom 
discussions about the virtues and vices of historical figures, 
making charts and lists on the board as my students came up 
with ideas, they have written profoundly of their desire to 
mature in their own lives, discerning their own weaknesses 
and taking steps to improve. 
    "After discussing and chuckling at the social dynamics of 
Jane Austen's 'Emma' -- expressing distaste for Mrs. Elton's 
haughty manner, admiration for Mr. Knightley's gentleness, 
good-natured exasperation at Emma's silly lack of 
self-awareness -- I have witnessed the change in my students'
relationships with one another: a more mature thoughtfulness, 
a deeper sensitivity".  
     Read it all, part way down this page:

Institute of Justice stops IRS from stopping tax preparers
    This libertarian public interest law firm's recent major 
victory got the U.S. District Court to keep the IRS from 
putting independent tax preparers out of business.  
    They do cutting-edge litigation and advocacy both in the 
courts of law and in the court of public opinion on behalf of 
individuals whose most basic rights are denied by the govt.  
    Their four pillars of litigation are private property, economic 
liberty, free speech and school choice.
    The IRS is fighting back but the Institute of Justice will
continue the case:
    and learn about them:

Ayn Rand Institute responds to President's State of the Union
    Yaron Brook and Don Watkins, authors of "Free Market 
Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government"
examined Pres. Obama's speech from a capitalist, free-market 
perspective and proposed their own ideas on how to address
today's biggest economic and political issues.
    See them at:

Cato responds to President's State of the Union
    Cato Institute scholars Michael Tanner, Alex Nowrasteh, 
Julian Sanchez, Simon Lester, John Samples, Pat Michaels, 
Jagadeesh Gokhale, Michael F. Cannon, Jim Harper, Malou 
Innocent, Juan Carlos Hidalgo, Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus 
and Neal McCluskey respond to Pres. Obama's speech.
    See them at:

Plans for the "Atlas Shrugged" Part 3 film
    John Aglialoro, producer, says "There must be room in 
Objectivism for charity and benevolence. Remember, Rand 
struggled with the character of the priest, who appeared in 
early drafts of 'Atlas Shrugged' but didn't make the final cut. 
I am going to put him back."
    Part 3 should be released on July 4, 2014.

Illustrations by this fan of Ayn Rand
    You can see the dramatic illustrations of Bosch Fawstin at:
    ...and see his stylized portrait of Ayn Rand. The prints 
of it are sold with the permission of the estate of Ayn Rand:

The Light Brigade shines for capitalism in DC rally
    Joshua Lipana reported in TOS (The Objective Standard)
that on Sun., Feb. 24th the Light Brigade, headed by Alex 
Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress (CIP), traveled 
to DC to counter the Sierra Club's "climate rally." Alex was 
a recent Junto Speaker.
    The Sierra Club & company's target, Keystone XL Pipeline. 
Their ultimate enemy is the industrial civilization and the 
life-serving technology it consists of and depends on.
    Alex says the "climate rally" was actually "a blackout 
rally," as the Sierra Club opposes all practical energy sources --
fossil fuels, nuclear, and hydro." Read more at:

The Myth of a Stagnant Middle Class
    Donald Boudreaux, a recent Junto speakers, co-wrote this
op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. 
    Household spending on food, housing, utilities, etc. 
has fallen from 53% of disposable income in 1950 to 
32% today. Read it all:

Humanity Unbound: How fossil fuels saved 
humanity from nature and nature from humanity
    By Indur M. Goklany, Cato's Policy Analysis, number 715
For most of its existence, mankind's wellbeing was dictated 
by disease, the elements and other natural factors, and the 
occasional conflict....
    Malthusian checks ensured little or no sustained growth 
in population or well-being.
    Then mankind began to develop technologies to augment 
or displace living nature's uncertain bounty. Gradually food 
supplies and nutrition improved and population, living 
standards, and human well-being advanced haltingly. The 
Industrial Revolution accelerated these trends. Mankind broke 
its Malthusian bonds. Growth became the norm. Population 
exploded, along with living standards and well-being.
    Technologies dependent on cheap fossil fuels enabled these 
improving trends. Nothing can be made, transported, or used 
without energy, and fossil fuels provide 80 percent of mankind's
energy and 60 percent of its food and clothing....
    By lowering humanity's reliance on living nature, fossil fuels 
not only saved humanity from nature's whims, but nature from 
humanity's demands.
    ...technologies accelerated the generation of ideas that 
spawned even better technologies through, among other things, 
greater accumulation of human capital...and faster exchange 
of ideas and knowledge....
    Read this whole Policy Analysis PDF:

The Chinese study causes of revolutions
    Revolutions are common when those in power stop 
believing in the ideology that legitimizes the regime. This 
nearly happened in 1989, in China's Tiananmen Square. 
    Historian Paul A. Rahe thinks it highly significant that 
leading figures in the Chinese communist party have recently 
instructed their underlings to secure and read a book dealing 
with this issue: Alexis de Tocqueville's "Ancien Regime and 
the Revolution."
     This was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal's "Notable 
& Quotable." Read all of Rahe's blog entry:

Free online: The Ayn Rand Lexicon
    It's a mini-encyclopedia of Objectivism. It's compiled from 
Ayn Rand's statements on some 400 topics in philosophy, 
economics, psychology and history. 
    It was created by Harry Binswanger in 1988 and is still 
available as a paperback and as a Kindle ebook. It's handy 
to use online:

The Philosophy of Objectivism lectures, as an MP3 download
    This introductory 12-lecture course by Leonard Peikoff 
presents the essentials of Ayn Rand's philosophy and stresses 
their practical significance for each individual's life.
    Rand helped prepare these lectures in 1976 and actively 
participates in the last 8 lectures' Q&A. Peikoff considers them
to be superseded by his book "Objectivism: The Philosophy of 
Ayn Rand." The book was published after her death.
    32-1/2 hours including Q&As, $10.99

Andrew Bernstein vs Dinesh D'Souza  debate  
    The Objective Standard sponsored the debate "Christianity: 
Good or Bad for Mankind?" Watch it at:

"Atlas Shrugged" Reading Group, chapter a month
    Sat., March 16, New York Objectivist Society
    3:00pm to 5:00pm, third Sat. every month, 
    120 Park Ave., SW corner 42nd St. at Park Ave. 
    It's a public space with tables. 
Part III: "A is A," Chapter 2: "The Utopia of Greed" 
    This is the 22nd chapter of this 30 chapter book.
There's a $5 fee to attend. It's given to the Ayn Rand Inst. 
to give Rand's novels to high schoolers and home schoolers.  
    The reading group has only one rule: you can't integrate or 
refer to material in the text that hasn't been covered yet by the 
present discussion.
    Please read the chapter in advance in preparation for
the discussion.
    Moderator Robert Begley will give an analysis of each scene, 
then open to comments and questions, before going to the next 
scene. Ending with a discussion of the chapter title's meaning.
    Timeline: the month of June.
1. The culture of the valley.
2. At Dr. Akston's home.
3. At Francisco's mine, with Galt and Dagny.
4. At Midas Mulligan's home. Dagny's decision.
5. At Francisco's home, with Galt and Dagny.
6. Galt and Dagny. Final night then morning departure.
    We will read aloud the scene at Francisco's home, with 
Galt and Dagny.
    Read about the session here:

"Atlas Shrugged" Out Loud, studying with Arshak Benlian
    These weekly podcasts are a detailed, scene by scene, study 
of Rand's novel. They began Jan. 23rd. 
    Arshak says: "I hope you find it fun, too, to study the world 
of 'Atlas Shrugged'."
    It's on every Wed. from 8:00pm to 9:00pm. 
In the first half hour Arshak goes over the text, in the second 
half he takes questions and comments. 
    Phone him at: 347-855-8824
Listen live weekly or visit any time to download or hear any 
of the podcasts:
    Here are his sites:

NYC Ayn Rand Meetup, 3:00pm, Sun., March 31
    As always, we'll talk about Ayn Rand, her works, challenges, 
Objectivist life, 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 Meetup.
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 on the last Sunday of each month:

Objectivist, free market and libertarian groups and sites

* Groups which meet in Manhattan:
    NYC Junto --
    NYC Ayn Rand Meetup --
    Atlas Reading Group --
    NY Heroes --
    Ayn Rand NY Tours --
    Manhattan Libertarian Party --

* Sites to visit:
    NYC Junto Forum -- 
    Ayn Rand Institute --
    The Atlas Society --
    The Atlasphere --
    Liberty Magazine --
    Ayn Rand Lexicon --
    The Objective Standard --
    The Objective Standard's Blog --
    Aristos: An Online Review of the Arts --
    Forum for Ayn Rand Fans --
    Philosophy in Action --
    Sense of Life Objectivists --
    Objectivism Online --
    Rebirth of Reason --
    The Tracinski Letter --
    Real Clear Politics --
    Ludwig Von Mises Institute --
    Bastiat Institute --
    Institute for Justice --
    Cato Institute --
    O List --

Fred Cookinham's five Ayn Rand walking tours
* "Atlas Shrugged"
    SAT. Mar. 23, June 15, Aug. 24, 
    Nov. 23 -- SUN. Mar. 24, Aug. 25
* Ayn Rand's Park Avenue
    SAT. Mar. 9, July 20 -- SUN. Mar. 10, July 21 -- 
    WED. May 1, 22, 29, June 5, 12, 19, 26, July 3, 31, 
    Aug. 7, 14, 21, 28, Sept. 4, 11
* Skyscrapers of ''The Fountainhead'' 
    SAT. Mar 16, June 22, Nov. 2 -- SUN. June 23, Nov. 3
* Ayn Rand on Broadway
    SAT. Mar. 30, Aug. 28 
* Ayn Rand Fifth Avenue
    SAT. Apr. 6, Oct. 26 -- SUN. Apr. 7 
All scheduled tours $20, over 65 $15, except where noted. At:                 
    Private tours $30. 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's tours get better because he never stops researching. 
This July he'll speak at Freedom Fest in Las Vegas. "What I 
have learned from a lifetime of studying Ayn Rand."
    He's often at Junto and Ayn Rand Meetups. He gave the 
''Ayn Rand and Free Market Tour'' for Mont Pelerin Society &
did ''Ayn Rand's Park Ave.'' on BBC's Radio 4 ''The Right Stuff.'' 

Read and post to the new Junto Forum:
Read and post to:
    NYCjunto-discuss list
    Junto members can discuss Junto speakers and other topics.
    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 email:

About Junto and this Junto newsletter
* Gene Epstein moderates Junto. He's the economics editor 
    and books editor of Barron's, the weekly business magazine,
    author of ''Econospinning: How to Read Between the Lines
    When the Media Manipulate the Numbers:''
* Iris Bell writes this e-newsletter.
* Oleg Atbashian created He also sends 
    out this e-newsletter, cares for its email list  and moderates
* Andy George created and runs the sound system and 
    supplies the music.
* Our founder and host is Victor Niederhoffer. Visit his site at:
    Dedicated to the scientific method, free markets, deflating 
    ballyhoo, creating value, and laughter; a forum for us to use 
    our meager abilities to make the world of specinvestments 
    a better place.
* 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, email your name & preferred email address to:

Previous post:

Next post: