Left and Right: Supporters of Pillage, Enemies of Freedom

You don’t have to be a leftist to see something wrong with the way government bails out its cronies in banking and Big Business.  When you hear mainstream conservatives talking about “free markets”, they’re probably referring to no such thing, but instead describing something more like what is depicted in the cartoon below.

I’m a libertarian because I recognize the truth in economist Walter Williams’ quote:

Liberals believe government should take people’s earnings to give to poor people.  Conservatives disagree.  They think government should confiscate people’s earnings and give them to farmers and insolvent banks. The compelling issue to both conservatives and liberals is not whether it is legitimate for government to confiscate one’s property to give to another, the debate is over the disposition of the pillage.

I’d prefer to live in a society in which pillage is no longer tolerated.

Guess Who

I ran across this summary of a famous politician’s economic program.  Guess who.

He suspended the gold standard, embarked on huge public works programs[...], protected industry from foreign competition, expanded credit, instituted jobs programs, bullied the private sector on prices and production decisions, vastly expanded the military, enforced capital controls, instituted family planning, penalized smoking, brought about national health care and unemployment insurance, imposed education standards, and eventually ran huge deficits. The [...] program was essential to the regime’s rejection of the market economy and its embrace of socialism in one country.

It’s Not the “One Percent” Who Have Been Murdering and Molesting

We’ve been hearing a lot about the evils of the “top one percent” lately as protests against the wealthy are occurring in numerous American cities.  I think Anthony Gregory has a better handle on who the real bad guys are, as evidenced by the quote below:

I sure wish the “top one percent” hadn’t slaughtered thousands of innocents in Afghanistan and Pakistan, executed an American without trial, tortured a whistleblowing hero, brutalized peaceful prisoners, ramped up the murderous drug violence in Mexico, and made molestation national policy at the airports. Oh, wait. . . that’s the guy that we’re supposed to have “protect” us from the “top one percent.”

If the protesters could begin to focus in on the real culprits–the politicians who grant monopoly privileges and special favors to their cronies, i.e., the ones protecting those from whom the protesters demand protection–there’s quite a bit of common ground that could be capitalized on (hee hee) in an anti-corporatist coalition.

Sloppy Commentary is No Way to Get People On Our Side

Lew Rockwell played a big role in my intellectual development, so it’s always a bit unpleasant to criticize him, but lately he hasn’t been making it easy on himself.  In this latest instance, Rockwell posted a link to a Daily Mail article on British Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent address to the Conservative Party conference.  In his commentary, Rockwell stated that Cameron’s speech had to be revised because “[i]t had originally called for people to pay off their credit card debts–excellent advice, for once–but kept economists pointed out that everyone must be a perpetual debt slave to the banks.”

Rockwell was right that the speech had to be revised, but it wasn’t for the reason he provided.  According to the article (revisions in bold):

The original draft read: ‘The only way out of a debt crisis is to deal with your debts. That means households – all of us – paying off the credit card and store card bills.’

Today he actually said: ‘The only way out of a debt crisis is to deal with your debts. That‘s why households – all of us – are paying off the credit card and store card bills.’

Yes, it was a revision, but it was clearly not a revision to replace “unkeynesian truth” as Rockwell put it.  On the contrary, the speech was revised to clarify that people are already paying off their debts, and that the PM is not implying that the people need to do something they’re not already doing on their own. 

Libertarians are already looked at as oddballs.  Twisting the truth and misrepresenting the opposition is no way to win them over.

Illinois Hates Poor People

I’m having a hard time concealing my disgust at this one.  The State of Illinois has announced that only 300 hours of training is required to be eligible for a license to braid hair for money.

Excuse me?  What right does Illinois have to require a license for such a mundane activity in the first place?  How many lower-income or unemployed individuals could use their abilities to earn an income if not for restrictive government regulations like this one preventing them from pursuing economic opportunities?  This is a perfect example of why Big Government hurts the poor and keeps them from improving their lives.  No libertarian worth two cents would ever deny someone their right enter into peaceful exchange with others.

Illinois…what a disgrace.

Businessmen Aren’t Angels…But Neither is Government

In response to the following graphic I’ve been seeing float around Facebook lately:

Remember when government officials pursued misguided economic policies that contributed to the stock market crash, took trillions from taxpayers to bail out their cronies, limited oil companies’ responsibility for damage while restricting drilling to deeper water, thus encouraging more dangerous ventures, funneled billions to wasteful projects in key districts, and then used cuts to NPR, teachers, and the disabled to paint anyone who opposed such corruption as heartless monsters? Yeah, so do I.

I’ll admit that corporations have been climbing in bed with government far too much, and are not the innocent teddy bears most Republicans make them out to be, but we can’t ignore the fact that government is not all cute and cuddly either.  Remember, it’s not business that has murdered more people than any other institution in human history.

Whose Pronunciation is Correct?

The Cato Institute’s Walter Olson posted an article today criticizing the idea that states should be prohibited from monitoring the English fluency of their teachers.  He makes the point that teachers were once “demons for correctness” in pronunciation, and that federal control over education is threatening this tradition.  Now, I’m no fan of federal control over education, but I also recognize that language is constantly evolving.  Whose pronunciation is “correct”?  The New Yorker?  The southerner?  The Minnesotan?  If we can tolerate these accents, why are we so unwilling to tolerate Hispanic accents?  Would we favor the restriction of teaching licenses to Canadians, or are their accents close enough to not matter?  I accept that there is such a thing as “bad English”, but we should be careful when zeroing in on pronunciation.

What We Really Have to Fear

Politicians like to scare the public; it makes it easier for them to get their way.  I found this very educational infographic at MegMcLain.com.  Keep it in mind next time you’re listening to announcements of the current threat level at the airport for the tenth year in a row…or the next time you’re considering giving up your liberties in return for protection.