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THE CAUSE AND CURE OF
by Sam Wells
THE CAUSE AND CURE OF
groups and power elites are inevitable as long as the
political state can use its power to tke from peaceful citizens and give to
others for any reason. As long as people continue to sanction
interventionism/socialism as a legitimate means to obtain any goal for
any reason (noble or evil), there always will be vested-interest groups
and lobbies clustering around Congress and the regulatory agencies
competing for favors from the public trough at the expense of everybody
else. Only when the machinery of interventionism and socialism (the
ultimate in political interventionism) has been dismantled, and the false
ideas, myths, fallacies, and lies behind interventionism/socialism are
discredited and abandoned, can the final cure for all monopolistic
conspiracies be realized.
The ultimate solution
is not more controls and regulations from
government, but to impose on government a policy of "hands off" the
private property, money, and all voluntary activities of production and
exchange among peaceful citizens. Controls and regulations belong on
government, not on peaceful citizens. With the government thus
constitutionally limited to dealing with violence and the threat of violence
(broadly, crime and external threats), while leaving peaceful adult
citizens alone as much as possible, America could be assured a bright
future of freedom and progress through market capitalism.
How to "bell the cat"
of government to its legit functions? The U.S.
founders were on the right track. Constitutional limits on the SCOPE of
government, backed up by a strong desire by a sufficient number of
people to keep government in its proper place -- that's the ultimate
solution in the long run. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance on the
part of enough people and their leaders to keep government in its
proper place. Not to blindly trust government officials but to bind them
down from mischief and tyranny with the chains of the Constitution.
TRADE DEALS VERSUS FREEDOM OF TRADE
some of the debates Mr. Trump, Sen. Rubio, and others used
such terms as "trade deficit" or "trade surplus" as if those terms meant
something relevant to the economy. There is no such thing as a "trade
deficit" or "trade surplus" outside of highly artificial and arbitrary
assumptions. The terms deficit and surplus are legitimate accounting
terms which refer to budgets and reflect the balance one way or
another. They do not refer to exchange, either national or personal.
One does not incur a "deficit" when goes to a grocery store and buys a
loaf of bread. Yes, the bread can be said to be "imported" to the buyer,
but aftrer all the supermarket imported the dollar as the price for it. The
exchange automatically "balances"; otherwise it would not take place.
The terms "trade deficit" and "trade surplus" are just warmed-over
mercantilist fallacies refuted in the 18th century by Adam Smith and
others and by Frederic Bastiat in the 19th century. Yet, the fallacies still
hang on even into the 21st century.
If foreign governments
want to subsidize the American economy by
giving U.S. consumers lower prices, I say let them do so. It is true this
is at the forced expense of the foreign governments' taxpayers and thus
harms their own economy by reducing effective demand and/or
aggregate savings, but it is the U.S. economy I am most concerned
about after all, and I have no power at all over foreign governments'
taxation policies. Some call such practices "cheating" and object to
them because they are seen as threats to those U.S.-based businesses
which produce similar products, but no matter how deserving these are
of sympathy they are only small special interests and do not represent
the economy as a whole. Policies should be judged on how they affect
the whole U.S. economy, not just a part of it. Of course I realize that in
Washington, D.C. just because a legislative package is labeled "free
trade" does not necessarily mean it has anything to do with true
freedom of trade, especially if its contents are kept secret. I don't trust
politicians in general and especially don't trust Obama and the
Obamacrats to negotiate political trade deals for special-interest
corporations. Unless there is some real national security issue involved,
governments should not block or impede trade -- nor should the
government artificially stimulate U.S. exports with subsidies from the
taxpayers. Such federal government entities as the Export-Import Bank
and the Commodity Credit Corporation should be abolished.
WHY THE OPEC OLIGOPOLY
predatory price cutting work to lead to monopoly and monopoly
profits in a market free of government intervention? No. Here's why,
and why I don't believe we will see $100 per barel oil again.
In a free market of
voluntary relations a person serves himself only by
serving the wants of others. He cannot receive what he wants from
others unless he produces (or already has from inheritance or gift)
something they want and are willing to exchange for. Under such
circumstances, how would a businesman acquire an exploitative
monopoly in the absence of government favoritism or interventikon??
What if a large, rich
company kept out its competitors by undercutting
prices -- selling at a loss -- to such an extent that its competitors could
no longer stay in business? Would it not then be a monopoly in its field,
and then begin to charge high monopoly prices in order to recupe its
loses? Could a company lower the price of its product below cost to
drive out its competitors, and then later raise its price well above the old
competitive market price to make up for its losses?
By cutting the price
orf its product below what it costs to produce it, that
company is taking a loss, not making a profit, at least in the meantime.
Furthermore, the larger the share of the market that the company gains
by this tactic, the deeper are its losses. Not only is it not making any
profit, which is the whole purpose of getting a monopoly in the first
place, it is sustaining losses. Not very exploitative so far. From the
consumer's point of view, this is a bargain. The consumer doesn't have
to pay as much as he did before. He has money left over.
It is true the company
may now be a "monopoly" since it has driven out
its competitors (or more accurately, the consumers have driven out his
competitors by buying from the price-cutting company and not the
others), but so what? It may be the only seller in its market but
consider what it had to do to get that way, namely sustain large losses.
It may have the satisfaction of seeing its competitors driven out of
business by its "predatory" price-cutting tactic, but it does not gain any
monopoly profits as a result. It is sustaining losses and in the process
giving the customers an excellent sale on that product which they will
take advantage of by possibly stocking up on that product at its cheap
What about the firms
that went our of business? They can go into
another field of production or temporarily shut down to re-open later
when the monopoly company raises its prices to try to recupe its
losses. Or they might buy up the cheap product of the dominant firm
for their own inventories to sell later when the monopoly company has
had its fill of losses and tries to raise its price above a competitive level.
The mere possibility of companies re-entering that field of production to
make money would often be enough to keep the price down below
exploitative levels. The freer the capital markets, the more likelihood of
companies, either new or former producers, going back into competition
with the monopoly company when it tries to raise its price too high. As
soon as it tried to raise its price above the market level -- which it would
have to do if it wanted to recupe the losses it sustained from its
below-cost pricing -- it would inevitably invite competition from many
other firms who could product the same product at a lowr price and still
make money. The competition for market share would tend to bring the
prevailing price down to market levels and thwart high monopoly pricing.
Also, the firms temporarily
driven out by the price cutting could go to the
dominant firm's customers -- who are presumably now facing the
possibility of being overcharged later on -- and obtain a contract to
supply their needs at a more competitive price, thus undercutting and
thwarting any threat of monopoly pricing. These companies have the
advantage that they don't have the losses to recupe that the would-be
monopoly firm has sustained.
No firm can continue
a policy of selling at a loss indefinitely. Its
investors will pull out. Even if it is a very wealthy company, if it doesn't
concern itself with recuping those losses it will be defeating its original
prupose in getting a monopoly in the first place: which is to get even
richer. On a free market a monopoly is an expensive rarity. It is very
difficult if not impossible to achieve and has a very short life if it exists at
Leftists and monopolists
generally denounce "destructive competition"
in the market. Destructive competition is just a label that a firm uses
when another firm is selling the product at a lower price and thus giving
the customers a better deal. Price "wars" are always to the benefit of
the consumers. Price wars are not really wars at all. A "price war" is
just companies trying to outdo one another in offering products at lower
prices or better quality. No one is killed or wounded. The companies
are not competing to destroy. They are competing to produce and offer
a better deal to consumers. There is no coercion or violence involved.
People are free to accept an offer or not.
But some anti-freedom
mentalities complain that "cut-throat
competition" (in which no ones throat is cut) can be excessive and they
call for government intervention on behalf of a company through
so-called "fair trade" laws or government-mandated price floors. At the
same time government uses the alleged lack of sufficient competition to
justify anti-trust legislation. If they don't get you for "too much"
competiton (price too low) or "too little" competion (price too high or not
low enough), they can get you for "collusion" if your prices are the same
as the other firms. You can't win. Once government is permitted to
interfere in the voluntary relations of peaceful people. there is no end to
the pernicious consequences that will result.
Newly applied methods
of oil and gas extraction in the United States
have now made the U.S.A. one of the main oil producing countries in
the world. Oil's price has plummeted from over $100 a barel to less
than $50. The Saudis have kept their production up at previous levels
in the hope of driving the U.S. firms out of business by keeping prices
too low for them to stay in business. The Saudis have little choice. If
they try to raise oil prices back to $100 a barel, the U.S. fracking firms
will go back into production and keep supply up and undercut any
attempt by the Saudis to hike oil prices up high. If the Saudis reduce
their output, other major oil-producing countries will supply the
difference and the world price of oil will be kept low. OPEC is impotent.
Unless government intervenes, I doubt we will see $100 per barel oil
again, at least not for any length of time, as it would invite the U.S.
companies back into production. OPEC cannot keep competition out
* * *
Hope and Tragedy
by Sam Wells
March 2009 revisited
In the past, the hope of the world has been based on two things:
Market capitalism and U.S. military strength. It was capitalism (to the
extent it was allowed to exist) that rescued hundreds of millions of
children from short miserable lives and death by starvation. It was
capitalism that brought England and America out of pre-industrial
squalor to advanced economic status with improvements in life for the
majority of people. It was U.S. military strength that liberated the world
from Hitler's national socialism and Tojo's imperialist Japan, rescued
millions from slave labor and death camps, helped South Korea to
remain free from communist invasion from the north, and it was U.S.
strength (especially when Reagan was President) that at least pushed
back the advance of communist imperialism and helped to quicken the
fall of the Berlin Wall and the independence of countries once under
Soviet control. It was U.S. military capability that dragged the brutal
dictator Saddam Hussein off the backs of the people of Iraq. People
around the world at least began to hope that more freedom and
economic opportunities would be possible.
Unfortunately, what is left of true market capitalism in America has
been undercut by many decades of government regulations, controls,
monetary manipulations, taxation, and various socialistic programs.
America has been coasting on the momentum from its past more-free
days when it was closer to being a pure capitalist economy. The heavy
burden of socialism is catching up to us now. The new president,
Barack Obama, is doing his best to destroy what is left of market
capitalism in America and will likely destroy the U.S. dollar completely in
the next few years. This will mean economic disaster for the people of
the world as well as Americans here at home.
Meanwhile, President Obama is reducing spending on military
defense and is pursuing a foreign policy that kisses up to tyrants and in
effect tells oppressed people to go to Hell -- that he will do nothing to
help them while he pals around with socialist thugs and bows to fascist
dictators. If America's strength is allowed to wane significantly, this will
certainly encourage a resurgence of both communist imperialism and
jihadist terrorism around the world. I predict terrible times ahead for the
people of the world as a result of these policies. And Americans will be
increasingly targeted by their envious enemies. I wish I could be more
optimistic. The world will be a much less safe place now that the U.S.
has a socialist cult leader as President.
Despite all the socialistic programs and interventions that have
been piled on top of the U.S. economy over the past several decades, it
is surprising that it is still within the top ten most economically free
countries. Sadly, with the Obamacrats now in full control of the
economy, I predict that the United States will fall below the top ten most
free countries in the next year or two.
I do not think it is a coincidence that at least 7 out of the top 10
most economically free nations were British colonies at one time or
another: Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand,
United States, Canada, Denmark, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom
itself. (See the current Index of Economic Freedom). Where there is
capitalism there is hope and progress.
It is also no coincidence that the main troublemaker regimes in the
world today are among those countries with the least amount of
economic freedoms (see near bottom of list), including mainland China,
Russia, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea.
It is a shame that instead of the U.S. and U.K. becoming more free
and less socialistic, we seem to be following the failed policies of the
loser countries now under full socialism. At least that is what the
election of Obama and the Democrats portends here in the United
Increasing the top marginal tax rates on income (the rich folks)
does not really hurt the wealthy people, but makes less capital available
for funding business starts and economic growth and results in fewer
jobs and fewer economic opportunities for regular people like myself
who are just struggling to pay bills. Yet, the Obamacrats continue to use
the "soak-the-rich" mantra to fool their gullible followers. As an
American, I apologize to the people of the world for the election of
Barack Obama and for the current backward regime. It's high time for a
pro-capitalist, pro-American backlash but no one knows when that will
DECEMBER 5, 2013
KEEPING THE IDEAL IN MIND
AS AN ACHIEVABLE GOAL FOR THE FUTURE
require the existence of government for them to operate, but
let's not blur the distinction between proper government functions and
improper government activities as there is a clear line of demarcation.
Markets presuppose private ownership and well-defined and
government-protected private property boundaries, not just in land but
in all ownable things. To own something is to have exclusive right of
control over it. A proper function of government is to protect peoples'
property rights from violation. There are laws against theft, murder (theft
of life), trespass, burglary, shoplifting, embezzlement, etc. which make it
a crime to use violence or fraud to violate the exclusive right of control
over person and property.
It is a very different
(and indeed opposite) thing for government to
contradict that proper function of protecting private property rights by
itself violating them which it does when it seeks to redistribute wealth
or "organize" society or meddle in the private affairs or market (i.e.,
voluntary) relationships of peaceful citizens.
The Laissez-Faire Republic
would limit the scope of government to its
legitimate functions while socialism (the opposite of laissez faire) seeks
to institutionalize the annihilation of private property always and
everywhere. In real-world practice socialism amounts to a monopoly
clique acting through positive government intervention to control all
major industries and resources. As Gary Allen said, socialism is the
royal road to monopoly power for the super wealthy.
NOVEMBER 25, 2013
CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC VERSUS WHIMARCHY
The Principle of Individual Rights Versus Arbitrary Whim
activists are now in control of the government and these
arrogant control freaks pretend that they know so much better than
everyone else how to run our lives for us and spend our earnings for us.
But if we are not smart enough or competent enough to run our own
lives and spend our own earnings, how can we be smart enough or
competent enough to choose the politicians and bureaucrats who will do
all those things for us? And why would somebody else's vote to do so
bind the rest of us who do not choose to delegate those freedoms?
The statists hastily
pushed through their so-called Affordable Health
Care Act without even reading it. Have they thought their scheme
through very well? Apparently not, judging from the on-going failures of
implementation. Not being content to try to persuade us to part with our
liberties, Obama and his gang are simply imposing their momentary
whims on the rest of us through the full force of political government.
Government by whim is
tyranny. Our founders knew this. That is why
they opposed whimarchy by binding government officials down with the
chains of the Constitution, which sets forth the basic rules and
limitations on the scope of the federal government.
NOT instituted to do anything anybody's whim happens
to dictate. The legitimate functions of government are limited to the
proper uses of violence force -- national military defense against foreign
threats, law courts for the ultimate settlement of disputes, and the police
power to defend against and justly retaliate against crime. The role of
government does not extend to those activities and areas of human life
which by their nature do not and should not involve the use of violent
force. It is not the proper function of government to provide health
insurance, medical care, dentistry, public education, electric power,
retirement income, school lunches, housing, community development,
day care, etc.
Ignoring the limits
placed on the scope of government spelled out in
the Constitution has brought America to its current sorry state under the
present corrupt regime. The Ninth and Tenth amendments -- which
forbid fedgov from getting involved in areas not specified in the body of
the Constitution itself -- are routinely ignored as if they had been
repealed. And the more the political schemes fail, the more the
schemers scheme up more schemes to impose.
is just words after all. The ultimate price of liberty is
eternal vigilance on the part of enough people to keep government in its
proper place. I for one would like to believe we still have enough people
who understand that the scope of government must be limited to
prevent tyranny and to preserve liberty. Isn't it time for a new American
Revolution to take back our country?
NOVEMBER 22, 2013
FALSE CONSPIRACY THEORIES
FOR POPULAR AND INDIVIDUAL MANIPULATION
The climate of left-wing hate speech is hotter than ever.
There are political conspiracies of course, but for every genuine instance
conspiracy there are scores if not hundreds or false conspiracy conjectures
which circulate among the populace and are accepted by some people as
absolute fact. Unraveling all the phony plots and setting history straight
would be a full-time job and would take years of research and publication
of books and articles by an organization of professional historians who did
not have an ideological ax to grind.
taking the murder of JFK in 1963 as one historic example, there are
several conspiracy theories which purport to explain what "really"
happened. There is the one that claims that President Kennedy was going
to tell the public about what our government knows about extraterrestrial
aliens, and that he had to be killed to prevent that horrible scenario to avoid
public panic, according to that claim. There is no real substance to that
theory. There is also the claim that JFK wanted to stop the War in Vietnam
and withdraw some or all troops and bring them home, and that he wrote a
memo indicating that. But in the real world no such memo ever existed
outside of the Olive Stone propaganda movie JFK. There was never any
real indication that President Kennedy was just about to end the war in
support of South Vietnam against the invading communists, despite what
many now believe as a result of Stone's fictional movie. Then there is the
conspiracy theory which claims that JFK wanted to stop borrowing from the
Federal Reserve System and instead have the U.S. Treasury print its own
paper currency. Again, there is no real evidence that JFK wanted to do
anything like that on any large enough scale -- or that "the powers that be"
would have him taken out for doing so. But those who believe in one of the
above conspiratorial tales are not likely to change their minds by the lack of
would further point out that the same claim has long been made about
Abraham Lincoln's assassination -- the notion that President Lincoln was
killed at the behest of powerful banking interests because Lincoln had
signed the greenback legislation instead of borrowing from the bankers to
pay for the war against the Confederacy. Not only is there no evidence at
all for this belief, but the greenback legislation itself was largely written by
a banker from Albany (then a major banking center) and one could much
more easily argue that bankers had more of a vested interest in the
greenbacks as they would serve as additional reserves against which the
banks could inflate in their fractional-reserve demand deposit system.
They could make much more money that way than they had done under
the partial gold standard which had limited the extent of their inflation.
was not "money martyred" at all. He was assassinated by a fervent
supporter of state sovereignty and secession, someone who perceived
Lincoln as a traitor to American freedom and true federalism.
ideologues and professional prevaricators from Mark Lane and
Fletcher Prouty to Oliver Stone and Michael Moore have always put out
whatever spin they consider helpful in distracting people from the truth or
in muddying the waters enough to confuse the public about who really did
what to whom. Most of the widespread JFK murder stories have one thing
at least in common: they all seek to distract the public away from the
history, personality, and motivations of Lee Harvey Oswald -- either to
claim he was not acting alone or to exonerate him altogether as merely
a patsy who had nothing to do with anything. The latest line from the
left-wing establishment is that LBJ was behind the assassination.
Again, anything to distract the public from understanding that a U.S.
President was murdered by a Far Left zealot.
point is that some of these conspiracy theories or political spins -- as
wrong-headed as they may be -- are nonetheless taken as Gospel by
some people -- propaganda being as effective as it is -- and that includes
individuals who are mentally or psychologically unhinged or unbalanced.
And sometimes some of these persons act on their false beliefs. A key
aspect of paranoia and schizophrenia involves losing perspective by taking
facts totally out of context, disengaging from reality, or perceiving "facts" or
relationships that are not true or do not exist at all.
on his reading of various left-leaning internet sites, self-styled
"liberal" Steve Kangas believed that businessman Richard Mellon Scaife
was the center of a great "right-wing conspiracy" and that he was evil. This
belief motivated him to try unsuccessfully to murder Richard Mellon Scaife.
Loughner, a troubled individual who believed in various left-wing
conspiracy theories, hated Congresswoman Giffords because it became
increasingly clear she was not left wing enough for him. She had greatly
disappointed him when she sided with the conservative Republicans and
stayed and even participated in the reading of the U.S. Constitution when
almost all other Democrats had rudely walked out. There ain't no hate like
photograph taken by Oswald's wife in their back yard shows Oswald
holding up the gun that was later used in shooting President Kennedy.
Along with the gun, the photograph shows Oswald proudly holding up two
Marxist newspapers, The Militant and The Worker. The picture was taken
after he tried to assassinate Gen. Edwin Walker, an outspoken
Harvey Oswald's supposed fondness for President John Kennedy
turned to anger and hate when he was convinced by the Marxist literature
he read avidly that Kennedy had tried to unseat and even assassinate his
communist idol Fidel Castro in Cuba. In his attempted assassination of
General Walker and his murder of JFK, Oswald saw himself as a
Marxist hero. He had motive as well as opportunity in Dallas in November
of 1963. Of course I am under no illusion that people will not continue to
believe what they already believe about the Kennedy assassination, and
that many Americans will always be confused and uncertain about
communist Lee Oswald's role in that event.
programming of individuals by propaganda sets them up to do things
they would not do otherwise. Considering the barrage of inflammatory
left-wing hate speech and slanderous rhetoric against such outspoken
patriots as Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, and others, might
yet another militant leftist emerge to try to do harm to peaceful American
citizens? How many potential Loughners or Oswalds are out there waiting
to be triggered into acts of evil?
should always ask, "Who benefits?" Will the result be less
government interference with the freedoms of peaceful adult citizens -- or
more government control over us all? Will it advance a
freedom/constitutionalist agenda or a socialist/tyrannical world view?
another question to ask is: who will be next? Will some left-wing
kook try to murder Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Ted Cruz, or some other
pro-freedom advocate? I only hope people will be on their guard against a
new wave of left-wing violence.
* * *
SOAKING THE RICH?
of direct confiscation of existing wealth, there is not much the
government can do to really hurt the rich. Hiking the income tax a few
points on high earners won't make much difference to their lifestyle.
They are already rich. The people hurt by "soaking the rich" are the rest
of us whose jobs and living standards depend on private savings and
investment and more capital accumulation to pay for new and expanded
businesses. With less money saved or invested in new tools and
machines and wages, fewer job opportunities are the consequence.
Targeting the rich on the basis of "fairness" does little or nothing to
improve the lives of low-income or middle-income families. What it does
tend to do is to make it more difficult for low-income or middle-income
people to rise to the high-income level, as income taxes are on current
incomes and do not affect already-acquired wealth of those already on
the socialistic idea of "soaking the rich" is the false notion that
rich people got that way by somehow taking advantage of the poor. The
neurotic urge to "redistribute the wealth" comes from false ideas of
where wealth comes from and the notion that all wealth is static, so that
if someone has more than others then it must have come from those
others. The exploitation theories of Marx and Rodbertus and others have
been thoroughly refuted by von Boehm-Bawerk, von Mises, Thomas
Sowell, George Reisman, and other competent economists. What
remains today is the moribund, dishonest religion of the Left still being
pushed by the momentum of the emotions generated by those past
fallacies. The Left's stale, counterproductive nostrums are dying a slow
death. The control freaks will no longer be able to hide their lust for
power behind the pretense of helping the common man. In the
meantime, will they take the rest of us down with them?
* * *
for a Bill of Rights for the United States
I. Fundamental Individual Rights in Person, Liberty,
II. Freedom of Production and Voluntary Exchange
III. Freedom in Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and
IV. Freedom in the Keeping and Bearing of Firearms
V. Personal Freedom and Responsibility in the Ingestion
VI. Freedom in Education
VII. Freedom in Money and Banking
VIII. Freedom in Personal Associations
IX. Limitations on the Means of Financing the Government
X. Prohibition Against Unwarranted Searches and Seizures
XI. Standards and Procedures to Protect the Criminally
XII. Retained Rights and Reserved Powers
* * *
Guy Fawkes Masks and Occupay Wall Street
interesting that a mask representing the face of Guy Fawkes, the
most notorious of the infamous would-be bombers of Parliament and
the British government of 1605, is seized upon by some of the Occupy
Wall Street leftists as some kind of badge of protest. If Fawkes and his
zealous cronies had been successful and had had their way and did
manage to blow up the legislative, judicial, and executive officials of
government (since they were all there on that day), the result would
have been far more statism, far more tyranny, not less, as these radical
Catholics planned to have the King of Spain over and impose the
Spanish Inquisitin and his own religious faith on all, as Bloody Mary
Tudor had tried to do. By contrast, the relatively moderate policies of
James I helped set the stage for development of protolibertarian thought
during that century and ultimately helped to make possible the Glorious
Revolution of 1688. If one is a genuine libertarian one would
assiduously eschew the gunpowder plot of 1605 and celebrate its foiling
by burning Fawkes's image on November 5.
* * *
OBAMA'S POLICIES DISCREDITED
Ideally, the proper function of government, essentially, is NOT to govern peaceful people in their private lives or voluntary exchanges. It is limited to governing criminals -- those convicted of violating the rights of peaceful people. It is not to set prices, regulate what vitamins we may take, establish racial quotas, manage healthcare, or redistribute wealth among non-criminals. If Obama's true goal was to help the economy recover, his policies of massive federal spending and indebtedness have failed. This administration has spent more than all previous administrations combined. Yet, they have destroyed far more jobs than they have created. Trying to "stimulate" the economy back to health through government spending is like trying to gain nourishment by drinking your own blood! The government cannot put back into the economy more than what it takes out of it -- and given the huge overhaed and waste involved in government programs -- on net it puts back in less than it takes away while artificially stimulating some sectors at the forced expense of others. When FDR tried this, it kept the country in depression for many years unnecessarily and causing widespread economic anguish. What must be done is to slash federal spending to the bone, cut taxes generally, abolish the capital gains tax, repeal Dodd-Frank and many other laws, and replace the Federal Reserve legal counterfeiting monopoly with a sound (golden) monetary system.
2012 YEAR OF OPPORTUNITY
Too many "libertarians" nowdays use a lot of the old anarcho-Trotskyite crackpot rhetoric of the seventies and eighties and there is a simple-minded blame-America-always attitude when it comes to foreign policy that offends many who encounter these self-styled libertarians. But there was a time when libertarian meant someone who supported the classic position of laissez faire as the proper scope of constitutional government -- that government's scope should be limited to strongly policing, isolating, and punishing criminals and defending against foreign threats while leaving peaceful adult citizens alone as much as is possible. This was the position of those who founded the Libertarian Party such as John Hospers and David Nolan and those scholars who influenced the cause of constitutional liberty such as John Locke, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Frederic Bastiat, Herbert Spencer, Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, F. A. Hayek, Hans Sennholz, Roger MacBride, Leonard Read, Isabel Paterson, George Reisman, and others.
The anarcho-Trotskyite leftover types kind of glombed onto the libertarian movement perhaps mistakenly thinking that "anti-statist" meant "anti-state" and many even became active in the LP, though one wonders how they squared working within a political party with their vaunted anarchism. This is not the only reason libertarianism has acquired a bad name with the public but it is at the root of why many of the more rational people have become alienated from anything with the label "libertarian" on it. The cause that started out with so much hope decades ago has become distorted almost beyond recognition by left-wing reactionaries who claim to embrace free-market economics but at the same time advocate a whimarchist politics of gang wars and unlimited violence in which free markets cannot exist.
Since a member of the LDS church is running for President this year, the only real alternative to four more years of disastrous Democrat rule, whatever his deficits, those who support constitutional liberty must now try to make him and his candidacy as good as they can be. I am not a Mormon, but I strongly agree with the political position expressed so eloquently by the late Ezra Taft Benson, LDS leader, in his small book On the Proper Role of Government. It should be required reading by all Americans, especially in the year 2012. Indeed, given the opportunity before us, this may well be the best way to spread true libertarian ideas.
* * *
The War in Iraq, Libertarians, and Ron Paul
The war in Iraq issue has divided libertarians or has exposed divisions which were already there. I believe many libertarians and some conservatives sincerely oppose the war on essentially procedural grounds -- that the word "war" was not explicitly used in Congress's grant of military authority to the President in going into Iraq. Even though there is disagreement among constitutionalists about whether Congress's authorization amounted to a "real" declaration of war or not, this is at least an argument which tries to refer back to the Constitution and I understand it even if I do not necessarily agree with it. I see that as perhaps their strongest legitimate argument against the war in Iraq. It at least appears to be a libertarian or constitutionalist argument. (Yet some of the same people who claim this as their basis for opposing the war in Iraq nevertheless supported the war in Afghanistan, which had no explicit declaration of the word "war" from Congress either. Inconsistent constitutionalism, it seems to me.)
But I also believe many of the "anti-war" libertarians have accepted certain Democrat media talking points as the basis for their opposition, even though they are not true. They have absorbed the hate-Bush propaganda which is so ubiquitous in the media, especially Democrat Party establishment house organs such as NPR, NBC, ABC, CBS, Time magazine, Washington Post, L.A. Times, and the New York Times, just to name a few. Those who rely for their news and interpretations on such sources are apt to be misled, especially on the issue of the war in Iraq. Many Americans have been led to believe, for example, that Bush and Cheney "lied us into war" and that Scooter Libby exposed Valerie Plame as a "covert" CIA agent and that this was in revenge for her husband's claim that Saddam Hussein never sought "yellow cake" uranium in Africa. None of these claims of this scenario are true. The statements of Valerie Plame's husband, Joseph Wilson, have been shown to be without credibility. Libby was not the person who "outed" Valerie Plame (who was not a covert agent anyway). Yet, because most Americans get only "impressions" of news and generally get those impressions from watching television every night, the constant barrage of propaganda has caused many, including even some libertarians, to buy into this chain of false claims disseminated by anti-Bush partisans within the federal bureaucracy and their Democrat allies in the media.
A clash between the U.S. and Saddam Hussein was virtually inevitable and not avoidable in the long run. My position has been that the U.S. had little choice: either deal with Saddam Hussein and his military buildup now (ASAP) or have to fight him years later when confrontation could not be avoided any longer and when his forces would have been far stronger and more destructive in terms of weapons of mass destruction and alliances. That being my view, I'd rather see it done now and with Bush 43 as President rather than put it off when Saddam would have been more dangerous and when the U.S. President might be some doofus Democrat like Kerry or Gore or Hillary Clinton. Whatever mistakes the Bush Administration has made in the war against the jihadists, I am easily persuaded in my mind that a Democrat President would have done far worse. Despite my consistent opposition to President Bush's liberal policies on other issues, it is clear that things would be far worse if Kerry or Gore had been elected, especially with regard to foreign policy, national security, and defense. (Again, as I have said before, it's not that I think Bush is so good, but that the Democrat alternatives were so bad. Unfortunately, too many Americans still do not have a clue about how much damage Bill Clinton did as President to this country's national security and too many people continue to underestimate the extent of duplicity on the part of the current Democrat leadership.)
The U.S. (or anyone else for that matter) had both the legal and moral right to take down Saddam and his regime. In addition, it was in the geopolitical interests of the U.S. to do so. The Iran-Iraq War was long over. He had ceased to be an "ally" long ago. He was harboring anti-American terrorists including Zarqawi and Abu Nidal. (There is even evidence of terrorist training camps inside Iraq going back to the 1990s.) Intelligence from all over the world indicated Saddam's military buildup included weapons of mass destruction and programs for developing WMDs. He had already used WMDs against Iraqis, killing Kurds in great numbers. How would he use them in the future? Might some of them find their way into the hands of terrorists like those who attacked the U.S. on 09/11/01? Sadam had been properly slapped down by Bush 41 after his unprovoked aggression against neighboring Kuwait, with whom the U.S. had a defense agreement. Saddam continued to violate the terms of the ceasefire after that first Gulf War, Anyone who claims that the U.S. did not have a right to strike Saddam Hussein and curtail his military buildup in retaliation for his military actions and threats ignores what was happening or was just not paying attention.
Contrary to Democrat talking points and anti-Bush partisan political propaganda, the evidence indicated Saddam Hussein did have WMDs, did have programs for developing WMDs, and was seeking to get "yellow cake" uranium (despite Joseph Wilson's claims to the contrary). Some WMDs and evidence of WMDs were later found by the U.S. military in Iraq, but there is evidence that most of the WMDs were transported out of Iraq prior to the arrival of U.S. and allied troops. There was plenty of time to accomplish this as the Bush Administration clearly telegraphed its punches.
Whether the U.S. invasion of Iraq is seen as a rescue of the Iraqi people from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein or as an attempt to replace Saddam with a reliable ally in the broader war against the jihadists, or both, it was certainly not a case of "U.S. imperialism" or unprovoked aggression by the allies against a peaceful government -- as the anti-American Left would have people believe.
In his recent article published in the Wall Street Journal ("Libertarians and the War: Ron Paul Doesn't Speak for All of Us" July 17, 2007), Georgetown University professor and libertarian writer Randy Barnett does not appear to address the "declaration of war" issue which many anti-war libertarians invoke, but he does point out quite correctly that "[w]hile all libertarians accept the principle of self-defense, and most accept the role of the U.S. government in defending U.S. territory, libertarian first principles of individual rights and the rule of law tell us little about what constitutes appropriate and effective self-defense after an attack." And, of course, no one ever claimed that they do, at least no one I know of in the pro-Iraqi liberation faction among libertarians.
Strict libertarianism says it is wrong to initiate force against a peaceful person or regime that has not initiated force against others. It does not say that you cannot use force in retaliation against someone who has initiated force, which Saddam Hussein had done on a massive scale. Specific tactics and strategy of war cannot be deduced from such first principles as self-ownership, private property, rule of law, etc. There is nothing in libertarian principles or the theory of the laissez-faire constitutional republic which dictates such matters. Such specific issues of tactics and strategy are matters of judgment and prudence by military experts. Other than advocating an international gold standard, low or no tariffs, and trying to avoid (if possible) foreign wars as a general policy, there can be a wide latitude of positions among libertarians when it comes to foreign policy and geopolitical strategy.
By making himself a single-issue candidate -- especially on an issue on which libertarians are so divided – Ron Paul is sadly distracting from other very important issues and from the bedrock libertarian principles on which we all agree. As Professor Barnett writes in the closing paragraph of his WSJ editorial, those libertarians who supported the liberation of Iraq and who support success in leaving behind a stable ally there ". . . are still rooting for success in Iraq because it would make Americans more safe, while defeat would greatly undermine the fight against those who declared war on the U.S. They are concerned that Americans may get the misleading impression that all libertarians oppose the Iraq war -- as Ron Paul does -- and even that libertarianism itself dictates opposition to this war. It would be a shame if this misinterpretation inhibited a wider acceptance of the libertarian principles that would promote the general welfare of the American people."
I agree. Thank you, Professor Barnett.
* * *
America's Thirty Years War
Who Is Winning?
by Balint Vazsonyi
Hardcover - 285 pages (July 4, 1998) Regnery
The publisher, Regnery Publishing Book
America on a slow-motion trip toward socialism even as much of the rest
world moves away from it? Hungarian-born historian and world-renowned concert
pianist Balint Vazsonyi, who knows first-hand what it means to live under an
authoritarian regime, makes a powerful case that it is.
heavily on his personal experiences living under different versions of
socialism, Vazsonyi describes how our hard won freedoms are being gradually
traces the essence of what makes America unique back to the founders and
shows how those who want America as we know it to fail are undermining the
founder's original intent.
author documents how America's founding principles of rule of law, individual
rights, the guarantee of property, and a common American identity are being
gradually replaced by government mandated group rights, redistribution, and
thirty year war is being fought between those who promote liberty, rights
individual and a continued need for moral guidance on the one side, and those who
believe that the supreme power is human reason which, operating through a central
authority, can and will create the perfect world on the other. While the picture is not
rosy, America has every chance of winning, if the intentions of the two sides are
exposed, and the consequences weighed. This witty, simple-to-follow, and
engagingly personal book should aid in the process.
unmistakable clarity, Vazsonyi shows how every time America moves away
its founding principles it moves in the direction of a system where a fantasy of
"social justice" is pursued through ever-greater government control. America's Thirty
Years War is an inspiration to those who have lost touch with our founding principles
and ammunition for those who believe that our freedoms must be defended every
To read more short reviews of this book
or to buy a copy for yourself from
Amazon.com, please click on this line!
Betrayal: How the Clinton
by Bill Gertz
I don't know what will wake up the apathetic, uninformed,
naive people who are enamored of the Elmer Gantry in the White House,
former President and Criminal in Chief Bill Clinton. Some of us have
understood for many years that Bill Clinton is a corrupt traitor. Maybe this
book will wake up more people to the disaster he and his advisors have
brought about -- and the serious consequences for American national
security in the coming decades. Selling out one's country in exchange for
illegal campaign contributions from Red Chinese dictators -- just so he could
have four more years in the Oval Office -- is contemptible beyond words.
Giving away the military technology store to the ruthless Communist regime
will be Bill Clinton's outstanding legacy -- and is likely to set back the final
triumph of freedom and progress in the world for several years if not many
decades. People of the future will curse the names of Bill Clinton and Sandy
(Links to Earlier News and Commentary
from Eddie's Controversial Web Log Rants & Raves)
An Introduction to Some Basic Definitions of important terms in the Freedom Philosophy
What is the proper role of government, and how should it be limited? With which categories of human activity should political government be concerned?
Separation of Force and Whim -- A Key Principle of Freedom
For a lively dialogue between two friends on the idea of a free society versus Big Government, feel free to enjoy the following: A Poem About Individual Rights
Hey! Do you know your left from your right? Many Americans don't these days! They are like someone watching a football game without knowing the rules of the game, which team is which, or how to keep score! Politics is very confusing to them.
"Left and Right" by Joseph Sobran: What Do the Terms "Left" and "Right" Mean in American Politics?
A Vertical "Peg" Spectrum? -- A New Slant on an Old Conflict
What is the basic definition of "libertarian" in today's political arena? And, how are libertarians different from conservatives, from liberals, from democrats, from anarchists, & from pragmatists? This essay seeks to answer these questions in clear English.
David F. Nolan, cofounder of the American Libertarian Party, sets forth five essential platform planks which unite all Libertarians despite any differences they may have on other issues.
Is fascism the opposite of Communism or is it just another variant of Big Government socialism?
Where does the real danger of violence and terrorism come from in the world today -- from the Right-Wing or the Left-Wing? Controversial columnist Sam Francis gives his answer.
What is the difference between a democracy and a republic? Was the American Constitutional Republic a democracy? Here, in a very short, easy-to-read exposition, are the clear answers to those questions .
What are the two ultimate political systems between which all others may be placed? Consider An Alternative Outline of Political Systems
Monopolistic Robber Barons: Under Which System Do They Fare the Best -- Interventionism or Laissez Faire? This is the first of what will be several articles in a series on "monopoly" and "competition" which will be a fairly comprehensive overview of the important topics and dealing with the cause and cure of exploitative monopolies.
General Outline for a Course on Monopoly and Competition
With references to a variety of sources from different points of view on the ideological spectrum, this paper shows how government interventionism and socialism are the politics of oligopoly and monopoly power, and includes notes and selected bibliography.
"Not Yours To Give" An inspiring short story from the legendary Davy Crockett
U.S. FOREIGN AID AND UNITED NATIONS VOTING -- THE RECORD: Contrary to what many people believe, U.S. foreign aid is not buying many real allies around the world. This Heritage Foundation Backgrounder report (6/11/98) provides continuing proof that recipients of U.S. foreign aid vote against the United States more often than they vote with it.
The Disaster of Government-to-Government Foreign Aid Programs : Who Really Benefits -- and Who Loses -- in These Costly Subsidy Schemes?
LETHAL COMPASSION: Why national health care is the cure that kills. Here is the affordable alternative
The Scandinavian Welfare States-- The Future That Doesn't Work.
The Rise and Fall of the Swedish Model by Mauricio Rojas-- an analysis of the roots of the Swedish model, why it seemed to succeed for a time, and why it collapsed in failure.
What Went Wrong in Sweden-- a new book which reveals the truth about the failure of socialism and welfare-statism in Sweden
The Truth About Global Warming & Greenhouse Gases
"Global Warming & Hot Air: Angela Antonelli reports on why the talks broke down at the Hague 12/04/00
"Environmentalism's Malaria Holocaust" by Dr. George Reisman: Why the Eco-Fascists Have Blood on Their Hands -- the Price in Human Suffering from Unnecessarily Banning DDT
The Green Gestapo: Environmentalism Gone Insane! by Jarret Wollstein
The Truth About Freaky Frogs: A New Report from Science Daily
JunkScience.comExposes Junk Science
Anxiety Center The good news is the bad news from the Eco-Fascists is WRONG
Access to Energy a Pro-Science, Pro-Technology, Pro-Free Enterprise Monthly Newsletter
Planet Earth 'has not got any warmer since 1940'
Green Watch Keeping tabs on the extremist groups, what they are up to, and the sources of their funding
The "Liberal"/Fascist/Socialist Mentality
Examining the Anti-Reality Psychology Behind Those Who Yearn to Run Other Peoples' Lives and Spend Other Peoples' Earnings & The Irrational Roots of the Politics of Class Envy, Selective Pity, and Manipulation through Guilt Tripping
"Liberals" & the Cult of Moral Relativism: An Introduction
"Liberalism" Today in the U.S.A. -- Parallels to German Socialism
"Liberalism" as one of the "Degrees of Busybodyism?"
Right on! by David Horowitz This articulate former leftist is one of the most astute and intellectually honest reporters on the political Left in America, past and present. Few can do a better job at explaining the left-wing cult mindset and its implications. One cannot really understand the Clinton regime without a sense of its anti-American left-wing roots of thirty years ago.
"Socialist Hallmarks" by Balint Vazsonyi (Aug 3, 1999, The Washington Times)
Introductory Guide to Political Correctness
Accuracy in Academia -- monitoring the rot in our colleges & universities
Little Red Riding Hood
Liberal Cliches, Fallacies, and False Political Claims
Left-Wing Demonstrators Miss the Mark
Dare to Compare the Socialist Agenda of the 1920s-1930s
Socialism is super busybodyism with the power of the meddlesome state behind it. What are the degrees of busybodyism?
Marx's Manifesto: 150 Years of Evil by David Horowitz
Marxism Wanted Poster -- for the crimes and atrocities of the militant cults of Marxism
Clinton and Missile Defense by J. R. Nyquist
Our National Security Nightmare by Frank Gaffney Jr.
China holds ace in the hole with Clinton by William Safire
The Deadliest Download by William Safire
Military Decline Puts U.S. in a Bind by Bruce Bartlett
Teaching by Example by Al Knight
No Imperial Presidency by Dr. George Reisman
The White House Elmer Gantry & His Enablers by Sam Wells
Undermining the Military by Thomas Sowell
An Apology by Eddie Willers
The Clintons versus American Military Personnel and Defense Preparedness by Paul Craig Roberts
Clinton Foreign Policy Screw Ups Endanger Amnericans in the Long Run by Frank Gaffney Jr.
Clinton's Utah Coal Lockup: A trillion dollar Lippo payoff? by Sarah Foster
Lies & Vast Conspiracies by David Horowitz.
Telling the truth about the Clinton Regime and its spinmeisters, this former Marxist reveals what's really happening there! "David Horowitz [keeps] crusading against injustice. In his writings, he grabs for the throat and squeezes. Hard. In his followup to his introspective memoirRadical Son, he turns the flamethrower on Bill Clinton and the courtier intellectuals who defend his every move." -- World Magazine
Clinton's Incredible Statement!
Wanna Support Truth, Justice, and the American Way? Join That "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy"!
"Pop a Smoke!" Like Hanoi Jane Fonda, Bill Clinton's long-standing contempt for the U.S. military and military personnel is well-known -- and morale among the services is at an all-time low because he is their Commander in Chief. Here are some candid observations about Bill Clinton from Marines who served in Vietnam.
Two Belgrade Bombers Compared
Watch Larry Klayman fights a valiant battle
for a thorough and no-holds-barred investigation of Bill Clinton!
Has the democratic welfare state become that great fiction by which nearly everyone seeks to live at the forced expense of everyone else? Government cannot give anything to anybody unless it takes it away from somebody else, and when it does this it uses force and coercion in violation of the rights of those from whom it takes. The political state -- interventionist government -- cannot bestow any benefit to society as a whole -- it can only take from some and give to others, minus the overhead absorbed by the administering bureaucracy.
P. J. Comix! -- No-holds-barred satirical comic strips (parental discretion advised)
The Comics Directory
Janet Poppins! The new nanny from Amerika has arrived!
A Satirical Political Beliefs Assessment Test A humorous test to discover if you're a conservative, liberal, libertarian, or a communist.
Current Column by multidisciplinary scholar Dr. Thomas Sowell
Column by conservative diva Ann Coulter
Recent columns by famed concert pianist and Hungarian-born historian Balint Vazsonyi!
Current Column by Dr. Walter Williams of George Mason University
Walter Williams explains why politicians are often so bad.
A Very Short Article by Professor Walter Williams on Violent Force & the Moral Limits of Governmental Action
Column by Financial Times columnist Amity Shlaes
Recent columns by libertarian Vin Suprynowicz, columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal
Controversial Columnist Sam Francis Speaks His Mind
Current Column by Black libertarian talk show personality Larry Elder
The Drudge Report -- Don't make the mistake of depending on only one source for news and commentary (especially if the one source is TV)! Investigate for yourself and get news weeks or even months BEFORE the "Liberal" Media Establishment decides to finally report on it. The Internet offers a greater diversity of news and opinion than you will ever get watching the Boob Tube. The Drudge Report provides an important alternative to the Establishment slant.
-- America's News Page
-- A Free Press For A Free People
Insight Magazine -- News & Analysis
Accuracy In Media-- Watchdog on Media Bias
The Washington Times
Rush Limbaugh -- the Web Site! The conservative Republican weighs in against "liberal" Democrats and environmental whackoes!
-- Conservative News & Information
Conservative News Service -- An alternative news network
Big Eye! A different way to search the Web and discover the best sites.
The Kansas City Star -- The Web Edition of the K C Star
Published by Eddie Willers
You can reach me by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org