Worthwhile Reading

Hayek, Fascism, and the Administrative State

Privilege in Bourbon France

An interesting piece on the tradition of limited government in Spain

A Danish manager working in Russia finds that his workers are looking for a more authoritarian style of leadership

Related: Culture and combined arms warfare

Civilization versus the Pathocratic State

The Disintegrating Conscience and the Decline of Modernity

Why are semiconductor companies not more enthusiastic about taking the lavish subsidies available under the CHIPS act?


13 thoughts on “Worthwhile Reading”

  1. That doesn’t surprise me about th DEI requirements to get the Chip subsidy. I remember there was a school somewhere – a Catholic school? – but someone decided it was better to refuse government “help” and remain independent.

  2. That Hayek article is a good one. It brought out an underrated aspect of his analysis concerning the deleterious effect of the Administrative State over time on the character of the citizenry over time .

    As far of a larger read on Matthew Crawford I came across this interview of him by N.S. Lyons who uses the term “ambient” https://theupheaval.substack.com/p/upheaval-interview-matthew-b-crawford?utm_source=%2Fsearch%2Fmatthew%2520crawford&utm_medium=reader2

    Meaning you get to the point where the environment becomes so pervasive that you aren’t even aware of its effect on you any more. I think that term would apply to Hayek as well

  3. As far as TSMC’s gripes are concerned, I can remember when the Japanese car companies first started opening plants here that they made some of the same complaints, although they weren’t, at first, looking to hire technical talent and tended to try to supply all of those positions from Japan. 66 open positions doesn’t seem like so very many for a plant of that size.

    First, I noticed that some seemed very TSMC specific and not somebody that is likely to just walk in off the street. One was just plain odd, that of Chemical Engineer/ Analytical Chemist, not expertise likely to be combined in a single person.

    One of the problems the Japanese ran into was language. There are a great many more people that claim to speak English than there actually are. With a bit of patience and work, it can usually be overcome. An insecure person, unwilling to admit that he may be unclear is frustrating to deal with. When that person is trying to give orders to someone he considers an inferior, it may end badly.

    In mainland China and I’ll bet it carries over to Taiwan, there’s a concept expressed by 996. It’s shorthand for 9 AM to 9 PM, 6 days a week. A hundred and more years ago, this wouldn’t have been particularly noteworthy here, except for the idea of starting work at the scandalously late hour of 9 AM. More recently, startups have celebrated such commitments and the legal profession, at least some parts of it, has been known to accept and even expect ridiculous numbers of billable hours per week. It’s one thing to pitch in to meet some particular challenge and quite another to expect 60-70 hour weeks continuously.

    I expect TSMC will work it out and they probably are already. Somehow Intel manages to do fairly well using the same labor pool. TSMC will just have to adjust to motivating a workforce that has better alternatives than returning to the grinding rural poverty of Asia, especially China. At least it’s been a long time since we had to deal with an invasion from Mexico.

  4. Pretty sure I saw the TSMC job list a couple of months ago and it looked pretty different…IIRC, there were a lot more jobs shown and a high % of them required the individual to be on call *all the time*.

    Current list may be a pre-operational list with more people to be added as the plant gets closer to operational status.

  5. I worked at a place where some people were needed to be on call to perform very specific work with a tight deadline at all hours. Whenever they let the on call for any person got beyond maybe 4-5 days a month, people would start to wander away to other jobs and it would snowball. There was call out money and people with late or very early call outs were encouraged to rearrange their other hours to make up the difference and sleep. It’s still an issue.

    Requiring 24/7 on call is just a way to cover for very poor management, especially in a plant where the schedule should be known far in advance. Like I said, here, people generally have employment alternatives beyond going home to a farm miles from the nearest paved road and an expectation of fairly fixed hours. Remember that most of Asia is still very poor outside the big cities.

  6. We can try to rationalize it any way we want. Still, the evidence is clear that it is possible in places like China & Taiwan to build, staff, start-up, and operate sophisticated industrial plants in much shorter times than in the West, particularly in the US.

    That is not the way things are supposed to be. After all, the West is where many of the processes were invented, and we spend more on education & training than other countries. So we have to ask ourselves — why are we running behind all those backwards countries instead of running ahead?

    There are lots of reasons — too many regulations; too many regulators; foolishly complex tax laws; far, far, far too many lawyers looking to line their own pockets; a crappy (if expensive) educational system; corrupt politicians; and a general loss of societal self-confidence. It is time we started to focus on the beam in our own eye, and stop complaining about the mote in the eye of our competitors.

  7. we have forgotten the old knowledge of how science works, how economics work, (yes i’m borrowing a template from Spock’s brain) part of semiotic warfare that the Soviets and the Chinese have wrought on us,

  8. it seems tocqueville’s curse about how to impose tyranny, seems to have become a how to manual,

    I didn’t really have a full understanding of the Austrian school, till I read Caldwell’s bio, showing both Von Mises and Hayek struggled against Wagner and Moller the dirigistes
    two generations before Keynes

  9. re: Smith book on Conscience

    His view of Brennan and conscience — a rejection of God as the source of conscience, i.e. “be true to yourself” brings to mind Obama’s definition of sin — being out of alignment with his values.

    Explains the hubris and narcissism.

Comments are closed.