Politics


Citizens Against Government Waste: Don’t Let Congress Shoot Down 53 Joint Strike Fighters for the Price of One Engine!

What is a budget surplus? Let’s say that you normally spend $400 per month on groceries. This month you budget for $10,000,500 and you spend $500 on groceries. You are out $100 more than usual on groceries. You’ll have to make up for it some where else in your budget. But you have a $10,000,000 grocery budget surplus. You should celebrate. Sound good? Perhaps you should go into government.
Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.
— Milton Friedman I think all too often we forget that people in power are ambitious and the person who reins in power to do some good now also reins in power for so many others to do so much bad tomorrow.
Sheldon Richman worte the following in Obama’s Uninformed Optimism on the Future of Freedom Foundation web site.
There is more to fear than fear itself. There’s government and its dim-witted attempts to fix the economy.
The article articulates a pet peeve of mine. Lawyers, like President Obama, do not have the training needed to make economic decisions about a whole country. Heck, economists do not have the training to make economics decisions for a whole nation. IMO, we need a system of government which strips government of the power to affect the economy. Swearing a person into office does not magically imbue that person with a means to predict the future or to understand an economy. Relying on any government official to “fix” the economy reveals at least one major flaw in our system of governance. As long as we rely on a flawed system of government we do ourselves and our descendants a huge disservice.
It seems counter-intuitive to some folks that raising tax rates might lower tax revenues. Here’s a story about a story about oil companies leaving a high tax nation for a low tax nation. This is how we chase tax revenue from our country by raising taxes.
IMAGINE you are seated at a table with two bowls in front of you. One contains peanuts, the other tablets of the illegal recreational drug MDMA (ecstasy). A stranger joins you, and you have to decide whether to give them a peanut or a pill. Which is safest?
Answer. It is common to hold one’s own beliefs to a different test than the beliefs we are confronting. I have been guilty of that. I will be guilty of it again. I only hope that I’m not guilty of it now. Where do your beliefs fit? Can they withstand the scrutiny you apply to new beliefs? THink about it.
Steve Fambro is the inventor of an electric vehicle which gets something like 33 miles to the dollar. It is one of those prototypes, but has already sold a few thousand cars. In this short video of an interview with Steve he describes an interesting, but not uncommon problem with his suppliers. Regulation of industry is subject to change. Usually changes are attempted annually by some federal or state legislators. Many changes come from the industry itself. Big industry players like regulation because it allows them to eliminate or to greatly reduce their competition. Industries which are dominated by big bureaucratic companies are less likely to be as nimble as companies like Steve Fambro owns. When we use regulation to reduce competition we often clear the path for less nimble companies. That changes the landscape of the playing field for that industry. All the suppliers have to deal with a bureaucracy and they have to adopt priorities which cater to slow moving, slow changing customers. Regulators want a few big players in their industries. They can monitor them easier and there is less to do. Regulators have a better chance to keep control of their industry if they do not have a bunch of small competitors constantly innovating what they are attempting to regulate. That’s one reason why regulators pressure legislators for long laborious processes to get anything accomplished. If they let everything happen quickly they would never be able to keep regulations up to date with practice. Innovation drives progress. We are worse off as a species when we slow innovation. Why would anyone deliberately slow progress? The answer lies in our systems of government. The players in those systems are often rewarded for slowing innovation. Regulation is all about control. Innovation is all about chaos. Control and chaos are not best buds. Thus regulators, seeking to make their lives easier, reduce chaos, thus making everyone’s life worse off. Innovation can be found in controlled environments. It is just slower to happen. Slowing innovation has been the goal of many humans throughout history usually because they do not see where this chaotic future will take us. Invariably it takes us all to a better place.
What is a “But” libertarian? It is a libertarian who uses a phrase like, “I am all for free markets, but … [inset some government planned economy].” “But” libertarians are not real libertarians. John Stossel was (and probably still is a “but” libertarian. He is all for small government except for pollution control. Never mind that the U.S. government is the single largest polluter in the world. They can fix it. They’re the government! If you see a free market economist telling a reporter about his plan to fix the economy and his plan does not include removing the power to regulate from all forms of government then he is not a free market economist after all. His plan controls the economy and he is advocating a controlled economy, not a free one. I am a free market advocate. My advocacy plan is that we should have no plan for the economy. Let the market participants, not government decide if more people should own their own homes or drive new cars or if private banks should be lending money or holding on to every dime. Defend the right of each citizen to trade without government interference or support. Set us free of your plan. Please stop helping us.
Here’s an excerpt of a dialog I am having with someone in my local newspaper that I thought was of interest. (I cleaned up a few typos.) Creed wrote:
If we treat drug addiction as a disease, yet legalize drugs, are we not offering up the disease to even more weak-willed persons?
Yes. But protecting weak-willed persons from their own self-destructive behaviors is not a legitimate use of government. I’m addicted to those Little Debbie Swiss Rolls. I know I shouldn’t eat them. They’re little rolls of sugary goodness, but they are detrimental to my health. I don’t think anyone would seriously make the case that making them illegal is a legitimate use of government. BTW, I just ate a whole box of HEB Swiss Rolls while I was writing this reply. [Don't say it. Don't say it.] (more…)
The U.S. President is often called the Leader of the Free World. This is an oxymoron. Free people are able to choose at a whim who their leaders are without being locked into a choice for an arbitrary period of time. Having an elected leader of the free world makes the world less free. True freedom dictates that any person has the freedom to choose their leader or not choose any leader at all. A free person should be allowed to change that leader or elect to follow no leader or to elect to follow multiple leaders at any time. Truly free people would be allowed to follow different leaders. If John wishes to be led by Bob on financial matters and by Sue on political matters it should also be possible for Sue to follow Jean for political matters today and change her leader tomorrow to Sarah. Getting everyone to elect one person as a leader for any set period makes people less free. The President of the United states is not the leader of the free world. No one person is. Freedom requires that we are not bound to the poor decisions we made earlier except when we do so willingly, like under a private contract.

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