Who do you think will win New Hampshire?

<a href="http://www.sodahead.com/fun/who-do-you-think-will-win-the-new-hampshire-primary/question-2387829/" title="Who Do You Think Will Win the New Hampshire Primary?">Who Do You Think Will Win the New Hampshire Primary?</a>

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Republicans and Democrats haven't gotten the message

Well, it looks like the Republicans and the Democrats still haven’t gotten the message.  Massive tea parties and the revolt against the disastrous policies of the Obama administration seem to not affect the swamp of Washington. Republican leader Mitch McConnell has said, "I think the current [35%] tax rate is appropriate for our country." No it isn't, it’s way too high. In fact, there shouldn’t even be an income tax. It is completely unconstitutional.

When I heard Republicans repeat the words "less government" on the campaign trail this year, I wasn't fooled. I knew they were lying. I hope you weren't fooled either.

Unlike the Republicans, we Libertarians believe in cutting government spending. In fact, we want to cut spending across the board -- and that includes the military, Social Security, and Medicare. And we want to get rid of ethanol subsidies and other corporate welfare -- while the Republicans vote to increase it.

Incoming Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor has said that Republicans now want to keep two significant parts of Obama-care: forcing insurance companies to offer coverage for people up to age 26 under their parents' policies, and forcing insurance companies to issue coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Libertarian Party (LP) Chair Mark Hinkle commented, "This switch is predictable. Republicans love to say the words 'less government,' but they always vote for more government. It's a shame that the big-government Republican Party succeeded in fooling Americans again on November 2. We tried to warn the tea partiers."

Hinkle continued, "Repealing one bill and replacing it with much of the same thing doesn't count as a repeal.

"Issuing coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is like issuing coverage for a house with a pre-existing fire. It doesn't make any sense, and no insurance company would do it in a free market.

"By the same token, forcing insurance companies to cover adults up to age 26 under their parents' policy is absurd. Republicans and Democrats both love to treat adults like children.

"If Republicans succeed in keeping these Obama-care policies, it will mean significantly higher insurance premiums for everyone, in order to subsidize the huge new expenses that insurance companies will be forced to pay."

The LP platform plank on health care states, "We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want, the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care, including end-of-life decisions. People should be free to purchase health insurance across state lines."

The new omnibus bill offered by Prince Harry Reid is stuffed with earmarks put in by no other than a bunch of Democrats…and Republicans.

Republicans have failed to keep their promises even before they have taken office, and the Democrats are just a bunch of the same failed policies of the warfare state and quasi-socialism. The solutions are found in the libertarian philosophy of less government, lower taxes, and more freedom.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Inequality of Statism

By Francois Tremblay

Statists like to claim that they work for the equality of all. But this is an absurd claim, because statism is, by definition, inequality. It puts political power in the hands of the few. Democracy does not help this fact : it only gives it a veneer of credibility, which makes it worse. The government is not the people.

In a libertarian society, everyone is equal under the law. No one can manipulate the laws for his own advantage. No one has any interest in fighting each other for a power that does not exist. This is not a utopian goal : it's called the rule of law. It's called equality under the law. This ideal was explicit - although incompletely implemented - in the American Constitution and other constitutions.

In practice, democracy and big government has eroded a lot of the equality that we are all owed. We are all human beings, but unfortunately the statists and their ruling classes make some of us into inferiors and others into superiors.

A common criticism of capitalism is that the "rich get richer and the poor get poorer". That's almost half-right : most rich people do get richer. Due to bad decisions, some rich people lose all their fortune (I still remember a friend of my father's who went from multi-millionaire to penniless). Success is never assured.

Of course, what the statists actually mean is that capitalism breeds inequality. This assertion is, in fact, trivially true in one sense. Obviously, the more prosperous a society is, the more resources will be available, and the more resources that will be available to those who contribute the most.

Sports players, for instance, draw in millions and millions of dollars' worth of entertainment money : they give tremendous leisure resources, and thus are rewarded by the market much more than they were 10, 20 or 50 years ago. So there will always be a growing disparity between the most productive and least productive in a prosperous society, simply because of the Bell curve.

There is a more important sense in which the assertion is simply false. In most economies, including statist systems, there are two classes of citizens : the slaving class and the ruling class. There is little movement between these two classes, except the movement necessary for the ruling class to cull out its bad sheep and replenish its ranks. The only way left for people to claim what is rightly theirs is war.

As for capitalism, it is one of its prominent features in the 20th century that it gave us the "middle class" and vertical mobility. Scully (1992: 184) and Niclas Berggren (Stockholm City University), "Economic Freedom and Equality: Friends or Foes?", published in Public Choice, 1999), the more exhaustive studies made on the topic, both found that :

Income is more equally distributed within countries that are politically open, that have private property and market allocation of resources, and that are committed to the rule of law than in countries where these rights are abridged (...) The lack of rights of individuals to compete for income streams has a large and bad effect on the income distribution" (Scully)
But freedom and competition brings with it vertical mobility. It is true that inheritance and familial context dictate one's starting conditions, and that's not something I necessarily agree with. But it is a fact of economics that freer countries means more vertical mobility.
In caste-based societies, around 3 to 5% of leaders and captains of industry come from the lower classes. In freer countries like the United States, the percentage can go from 30 to 50% (Pitirim Sorokin, "Social and Cultural Mobility", 1959). John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich are two recent examples.
How important are our starting conditions, really ? Age-adjusted parental wealth, by itself, explains less than 10 percent of the variation in age-adjusted child wealth ("The Correlation of Wealth Across Generations," December 2003 Journal of Political Economy). And half of this 10% is due to similarities in financial management between parents and children (such as the affinity towards saving and investing wisely).
Contrarily to what some critics say, social mobility is not a zero-sum game. The more a society rewards its most efficient members, the more productive it becomes. And the more productive it becomes, the more resources are available to all. In a free society, more people will rise in economical status than people who will go down.
It's easy to see thousands of people being laid off because of outsourcing. But we don't see that the entire population saves billions of dollars at the grocery store, giving them more savings, and we don't see the benefits of those savings.
As such, the situation is very much like that of the Broken Window fallacy. This fallacy was first discussed by Bastiat, and points out that people see obvious benefits to destructive actions, but do not see all that has been lost. If a child breaks a windowpane with a ball, having to buy another window may seem as an economical stimulant, but in fact the money used to replace the window could have been used to more productive ends if it had not been broken.

The same is true here as well. We see the benefits of people having bad jobs in that they receive a salary, but we do not see the cost of that job on everyone else's livelihood.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Libertarian Party vs. Constitution Party

On one of my recent posts, Bill Dodge commented by saying : "(Note: I do realize that this comes from the Constitution Party Vice-Chariman. However, I posted this nonetheless because 1. Rejecting something just because it is from a different political party is wrong and 2. I agree with what this guy says.)

"Well said. The CP and LP have many similar stances. We ought to focus on our shared beliefs and work together to win elections, rather than debating and opposing each other because of issues we disagree on..."

Absolutely right, Mr. Dodge.  However, many people are confused as to the differences between the two parties, and this post will hopefully clear it all up.

"On the surface, the LP and the CP appear to be quite similar.  The very name of the Constitution Party appeals to the libertarian-leaning voter looking for a political party dedicated towards returning to a government strictly bound by the Constitution--as the Libertarian Party wishes for also.  Additionally, the LP and the CP are very close on issues like foreign policy, Second Amendment rights, economic policy and health care."

But...the CP is very much different from the LP on issues like gambling, pornography, the judiciary, and gay rights.

"One might remember the saying in grade-school geometry that 'all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.'  Well, the same can be said of libertarians and Constitution Party members.  Many Constitution Party members are libertarians, in some way, shape or form.  However, there are very few Libertarians--if any at all--that would comfortably identify themselves as ascribing to the Constitution Party platform. 

"There is a simple explanation for this: Christian members of the Libertarian Party recognize that the basis of their religion is the idea of free will and volition, and that their morality does not need to be reinforced or supported by government laws or coercion.  The Constitution Party, for whatever reason, finds that government should be a model for morality--that is, Christian morality--and all semblances of behavior and lifestyles contrary to this behavioral model should be eliminated through "Constitutional" government methods."

There you have it. The similarities to the two parties are fine and dandy, Mr. Dodge, but you have to realize the differences as well.  The Libertarian Party is the only true way to achieve a free and prosperous society, and the Constitution Party is almost (let me make sure you get that: ALMOST) promoting a quasi-theocracy.  Christians should be testaments to the power of the Christian message of Jesus and should evangelize to all people of the earth. However, none (at least those who believe the Christian libertarian philosophy) believe this call to evangelize can be replaced by a call to legislate morality through the government.

I'd like to close with an excerpt from the LP's platform and some basic differences between the CP and the LP.

"As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.

"We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.

"Consequently, we defend each person's right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power."

The Basics:

Libertarian Party founded in 1971.
Constitution Party founded in 1992 (changed name in 1999)
Libertarian Party Avg. Vote Since Founding: 368,000
Constitution Party Avg. Vote Since Founding: 117,460
Libertarian Party Highest Presidential Vote Total: 921,128 (1.1%)
Constitution Party Highest Presidential Vote Total: 189,820 (.2%)
(Special thanks to Andrew Davis for the basics and the quoted words.)

Summary of the LNC Convention

The Libertarian National Committe held a convention from November 20-21.  To summarize the events:

LNC fails to pass budget.

LNC hears one-sided report on Oregon.

LNC launches lock up a million dollars or some similar amount in a building in DC.

LNC allocates money for ballot access and places no limit on amount.

LNC puts National Convention in a luxury resort a $50 cab ride from the airport.

LNC refuses to consider Florida Resolution.

LNC refuses to consider Ruwart’s secret list issue.

LNC elects Bylaws committee: Starr Karlan Morris Carling Goddard Rutherford Johnston Oates Kirkland

Root reports LNCC spent $7500 on candidate support in 2010. The LNC spends no money in support of specific candidates.

Flood reports on extremely interesting path to make drastic improvement in LNC phone system and affiliate phone systems.

Ruwart reports membership for the year is completely flat, and no one appears concerned.

LNC ExComm had failed to carry out its mission to prepare a detailed budget.

In my opinion, the convention was very poorly done. Yes, there were some good points, but, I am ashamed that the LNC ran such a lousy convention.  I sincerely hope that they will do better for the Libertarian Presidential Convention in 2012.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nero is Still Fiddling Away

by Darrell Castle
Constitution Party Vice-Chairman
(Note: I do realize that this comes from the Constitution Party Vice-Chariman. However, I posted this nonetheless because 1. Rejecting something just because it is from a different political party is wrong and 2. I agree with what this guy says.)

Legend holds that when Rome was burning from fires intentionally set, or from the wood and straw shanties of the poor which spread the fires throughout the city, Emperor Nero played his fiddle instead of mobilizing forces to save the city.

We can apply this example to America during the election process and especially post-election. There is much rejoicing among Republicans because the party has regained control of the House of Representatives and made some gains in the Senate.

While there is nothing wrong with rejoicing in victory, I can’t help but wonder if those who want Constitutional government understand that little or nothing has changed.

None of the Republican candidates, with the possible exception of Rand Paul, even give lip service to ending the Federal Reserve’s control over our monetary system. Until that control is ended and the power to create money is returned to the American people, no real change of a positive nature is possible.

It is the central banks, with their power to create and loan money into existence at interest, that allows them to use their corporations and media to buy the politicians that keep their financial interests paramount.

The final word came to my attention about noon today that the Federal Reserve just announced a $600 billion stimulus plan to create jobs and “improve the economy.”

This is an outrage, and every member of Congress should be screaming at the top of his or her lungs, but instead Nero just keeps playing.

This new effort to “improve the economy” will probably be the final nail in the dollar’s coffin. The central bankers will have what they seem to want, then: chaos, confusion, disorder, and world currency. Their dream will come to final fruition as they control the entire world’s money and with it, all of humanity.

Is there anything good that came from the election? Well, yes, of course some good things happened. I must admit that I enjoyed the interview Michele Bachmann (R MN) did with Chris Mathews of MSNBC. Here’s an excerpt:
Mathews: “Are you hypnotized…in a trance?”
Bachmann: “The American people are the ones coming out of our trance. I think people are thrilled tonight. I imagine that thrill is probably maybe not so tingly on your leg anymore.”
Folks, it just doesn’t get any better than that. Now, if only she understood that the Fed has to be ended and a new monetary system begun, what a candidate she could be.