Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Some Great Milton Friedman Quotes

"When the United States was formed in 1776, it took 19 people on the farm to produce enough food for 20 people. So most of the people had to spend their time and efforts on growing food. Today, it's down to 1% or 2% to produce that food. Now just consider the vast amount of supposed unemployment that was produced by that. But there wasn't really any unemployment produced. What happened was that people who had formerly been tied up working in agriculture were freed by technological developments and improvements to do something else. That enabled us to have a better standard of living and a more extensive range of products."

"Inflation is taxation without legislation."

"(T)he supporters of tariffs treat it as self-evident that the creation of jobs is a desirable end, in and of itself, regardless of what the persons employed do. That is clearly wrong. If all we want are jobs, we can create any number -- for example, have people dig holes and then fill them up again, or perform other useless tasks. Work is sometimes its own reward. Mostly, however, it is the price we pay to get the things we want. Our real objective is not just jobs but productive jobs -- jobs that will mean more goods and services to consume."

"There is no such thing as a free lunch."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Government exerting power over political movements through the power of taxes

Governments have a proud history of suppressing dissident voices of the people they do not agree with and who do not benefit the status quo. The government loves to pick winners and losers, and in the process make themselves all the more powerful, as the gatekeeper to success, and the sole holder of the power of the diffuse and uncaring taxpayers purse.

The NAACP, largely comprised of attorneys, in the midst of fighting for their civil rights in the south, had state governments demand them provide a list of all bar members of the organization. A clear enough demand with a not too subtle threatening message. Stop or be disbarred (in steps the Minister Martin Luther King Jr., luckily the Church is still sufficiently separate from the state).

Here is just a tidbit of a modern example.

Basically, the Tea Party movement paid $8,500 to use a public park for a few days in Richmond Virginia for their Tax Day rallies. Now, the Occupy Movement is using the same park at no cost. So, the Tea Party organization demanded a refund.

The response was not a refund, it was not an apology, it was not an explanation. It was not an assurance that the occupy Movement would have to pay as well or action would be taken. No, instead they received a letter back that they did not pay enough in taxes associated with using the park, such as on food sales.

The City responded to the ensuing criticism for their double standard stating "are completely unfounded," and that the issue came up during a routine review of many organizations. Bullshit.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Barney Frank is retiring, let us examine his illustrious service

Above video is from 2005:
There is an "excessive degree of concern right now about home-ownership and its role in the economy, obviously speculation is never a good thing, but those who argue that housing prices right now are at a point of a bubble, seem to me to be missing a very important point . . ." No, Barney, no they are not.

Above Video regards Barney's testimony in 2003:
barney opposes a regulatory board to oversee that Freddie and Fannie make prudent home loans. Barney argues that this is uneeded, that both organizations are financially sound, and that home ownership should continue to be pushed by the federal government. This despite clear warnings. eerie statement, "even if there is a problem, the federal government does not bail them out . . ." No barney, no we do bail them out.

Post housing bubble collapse statements:
Barney Frank after the collapse living up to his mistaken forecast. explaining how the government should not create GSE's which artificially prop up markets because the government is a poor banker. No, actually that is not true. he just outright lies.


Barney Frank is not evil. He is not the worst congressmember of this era. He sponsored bills and championed causes I agree with. He was brave enough to come out as gay despite holding public office, a role requiring peoples support even though many people can be close-minded. I respect the congressman for that, and some of what he did.

But he was part of the problem that led to the housing bubble bursting. He lied about his involvement afterwards. His arrogance and policy not only had destroyed many peoples investments, but he refuses to live up to his part played in so many people who are under water with bad mortgages. A classic example of a congressman attempting to good but only harming society by accident. It is simply rare such a clear example is made.

I believe Barney Frank was overly lauded for his service. I am at least glad to hear he is finally retiring.

Response to: You Might Be A Ron Paul Supporter If . . .(21 points)

Ron Paul has a fervent and zealous following of supporters. A lot of his supporters are young and internet savvy. This combination means the internet is proliferated with Ron Paul support. This is great, it uses a great underutilized political tool to spread his word and campaign for him, especially considering the fact that the media refuses to pay attention to him or recognize him a candidate. It is also an invaluable tool in grassroots campaigning, which will be vital in the primaries. Yet the downside is that sometimes you will have ignorant vitriol spewed out in heavy doses, a fair share of ignorant remarks, and other manners of support not wholly productive which result in people being turned off by the message.

There are a number of "Did you know" articles that highlight Ron Paul's controversial stances. The reasoning behind these articles is the assumption that Ron Paul supporters do not know what they actually support. 

Here is one such document and my (mostly) concise rebuttals. 


You Might Be A Ron Paul Supporter If . . .

1. You’ve never researched Ron Paul’s voting record.

I guess the point of this question, and the article overall is to argue that Paul supporters are actually unaware of the very conservative and classical liberal policies espoused by Paul. I would assume that the average Paul supporter is less educated then other republican candidates, but that is a guess, and if true I would argue it is because the average Ron Paul supporter is very young, especially for a Republican candidate. From my personal experience, which is in no way vast or exemplary of the nation, I have found Paul supporters to be very political and knowledgeable.

On a side note, Paul supporters are much more likely to be male, are young, tend not to be consistently voting Republicans or even consider their self Republicans, and tend to be ardent supporters similar to Obama supporters in the 2008 election (as can be seen from the cheering at debates and online presence and support).

Overall, I am not sure if they are less educated about Paul than other supporters of other candidates.

2. You think it’s OK for businesses to discriminate against people based on their race, since Ron Paul thinks the Civil Rights Act is unconstitutional.

I assume the argument here is that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed to protect groups discriminated against. Paul would have rejected the Act, therefore Paul supports discrimination. This is a fallacious argument, this is a misleading argument. Let us have fun with an analogous unsound argument... The deep water oil drilling ban destroys jobs and rends us further dependant on foreign oil, Obama supported the ban, therefore Obama is opposed to jobs and energy independence (both this argument just made and the argument against Paul are wrong, they are oversimplifications).  

Libertarians believe in the supremacy of the individual. They acknowledge that they do not have a monopoly on wisdom, libertarianism is in truth the philosophy of humility, and humility is difficult when there are idiots, bigots, and people you disagree with on matters where you have strong convictions. In the end though, the government, which acts through coercion and force, is not the appropriate means by which to effectuate what a majority believes to be moral character. When the majority of people were racists, they used the law to effectuate their moral beliefs (i.e. Jim Crow laws, or in the current state of affairs anti-homosexual laws). Furthermore, government control in private business hampered and prolonged the fight for equality significantly as opposed to conventional wisdom which holds that the glorious government thankfully restrained and ended racism which the private public could not do without it. Really? Do you honestly think the government is what saved this country from racism? People's outlook and morals changed with time. The change would have been expedited had the government not gotten in the way. Remember that the NAACP and many attorneys (think of the famous Legal Defense Fund of the NAACP) were at the forefront of the fight for equality. But, the government restricted their push for equality by forcing them to release their bar information and affiliations (which would obviously be used for retaliation and disbarment for such acts like the freedom rides). This government control required other groups to step up where the government had less control, such as religious groups (Rev, Martin Luther King Jr.) and student groups.

The very same push for the Civil Rights Act, the government involvement which we view as good now, is the same governmental overstep which hindered it in the past and very well may hinder it in the future. People should promote acceptance, people should be accepting, business owners should not refuse to employ a more qualified person simply because they are black, or because they are gay. However, it is not the majority's role to tell the business owner what to do, even if we believe it is wrong.

Lastly, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has created a lot of unforeseen side effects which often result in employers making business decisions based on race to comply with the Act, an ironic result. Schools’ once implementing quota systems is one example. One time a CT Fire department threw out test scores for a promotion because white people passed it at a higher rate than black candidates. (see Ricci v. DeSteFano). There are many more cases.

3. You’re a supporter of the white supremacist organization, which has repeatedly endorsed and stated their support for Ron Paul.

Ron Paul does not share the agendas of all the people and organizations that support him. Ron Paul is no more a white supremacist because of StormFront’s support than Obama is a communist revolutionary/terrorist because of Bill Ayers support.

What is actually unique about Paul is that he does not formulate his policy and goals based on who his supporters are, as establishment politicians do, but lays out his policy and principles immune to corruption and pandering. You will not hear Paul stand before a union and espouse union rights then stand before the US Chamber of Commerce and argue for subsidizing their business or protecting it with tariffs. He is principled in his beliefs.

4. You don’t care that Ron Paul was the ONLY congressman who voted against granting subpoena power to the independent panel responsible for investigating the BP oil spill.

I did not know this but I agree with it. The government’s interference with and imposition into company’s affairs in an extra-judicial format makes the federal government more coercive and powerful. Private companies should pay for their wrongs through the legal system, they will be forced under subpoena and the powers of the state in that format to disclose pertinent documents.

When the legislative and executive branches exert coercive power over private companies it has a chilling and controlling effect. GE has long been in support of the government, and in return receives beneficial subsidies and is paying no income tax this year. When the government has the power of the carrot and the stick, the large powerful companies aligned with the federal message and agenda are given a carrot, and private companies opposed are hit with the stick. Sometimes the company very well may be deserving of such retribution, as is possible in the BP case, but the coercive use of such extra-judicial power is inappropriate. Allowing this will allow the government to pick and choose winners and losers, as was done in the bailout when Lehman failed and Morgan Stanley survived, as was done for GM and Chrysler.

Extracting government from business affairs, except through the judiciary, preserves business independence and is a hedge against corporatism.

5. You don’t like clean air and water, since Ron Paul wants to eliminate the EPA.

This is true and I do know this. Ron Paul does care about the environment. I personally care about the environment. Ron Paul opposes the EPA as the means to protect the environment and favors stronger private property rights in its place. Paul opposes subsidies to ethanol and oil and gas so that alternative energies may compete fairly.

I personally believe the issue of neighborhood effects, the diffuse and minuscule negative impact pollution has on people, is a significant problem that the property courts are ill-suited to address. Therefore, I do believe in some form of cap and trade or other system by which to have polluters pay for the effects their actions have on third parties who are affected. That is in conflict with what Paul espouses.

6. You don’t want to have a safety net in place, in case your house is destroyed by a tornado, hurricane, or some other natural disaster, since Ron Paul wants to eliminate FEMA.

FEMA should be eliminated and the flak Paul receives for this position is mostly misunderstood anger and frustration. We live with FEMA now so cannot imagine the world without it. First of all, FEMA is inefficient (more so since President Bush placed political favor appointee to head it instead of expert in disaster relief) and ill-suited to deal with the major threats it was created to address. It failed in New Orleans and will fail in the future. Secondly, it is paid for by all taxpayers but benefits very few; it benefits primarily areas subject to catastrophic earthquake (San Andrea fault along California) and areas prone to hurricanes. The many should not be forced to pay taxes to assist the few. Charity would work better and is more moral. Third, Paul does not want such risks to go without check, but calls for the states to address the issue itself, which will align costs with benefits, and will be more effective as one of the key benefits of emergency responses to disasters is the quickness of the response.

Replace FEMA with charity and state agencies.

7. You think all schools should be private, and that you should have to pay for your children to get an education, since Ron Paul wants to eliminate the Department of Education.

Ron Paul believes education should be localized, and not run by federal bureaucrats. He is for eliminating No Child Left Behind and other federal educational objectives which end to hinder education more than they assist. Education spending has been growing exponentially (exaggeration but you get the point) and test scores have remained constant, the status quo is not working.

Do note that Paul’s Plan to Restore America does call for eliminating the Department of Education, but he would retain higher education grants to poorer students looking to go to college.

Ron Paul does not believe people should have to pay to go to primary school, in that all schools would be private and people would pay up front to go or would be excluded. The federal government did not get involved in dictating education until 1980, it is a failed power grab by the federal government.

8. You think corporations should be allowed to do whatever they want, because Ron Paul wants to eliminate all regulations on corporations.

I believe that regulations do more harm than good. Regulations require companies to waste a lot of money on my future profession, the law. Regulations destroy growth. Also, regulations tend to insulate larger companies and conglomerates from competition from small companies and start-ups.

Paul believes in transitioning away from the regulation of corporations. I agree with Paul in stopping regulations on the automotive industry and I agree with eliminating the FDA. I believe the free market can regulate itself in this area.

This is a complicated issue and my views on regulation differ from Ron Paul, who holds strictly to the Constitution and the commerce clause prohibiting the federal government from any substantive regulation. Paul would have the states take care of regulation. I am a proponent for more regulation that Paul, but agree in principle that the status quo is characterized by gross over-regulation and politicization of the market to favor strong lobbies.

9. You are anti-choice, since Ron Paul believes that states should have the right to take away a woman’s choice over what she does with her body.

Ron Paul is an OB/GYN doctor who has delivered thousands of babies. He is a religious family man. He personally does not believe abortion is right. Luckily, libertarianism is a philosophy of humility, and he does not seek to impose upon others his views. Paul does not want a federal ban on abortions; he would leave it to the states to decide their policy on abortions. This is much preferred to the federal government providing a one-size-fits all approach.

10. You support segregation, since Ron Paul doesn’t think schools should be forced to allow attendance based on race or ethnic background.

Paul would not have voted for state laws requiring the segregation of schools based on the race of the student. He would also not have voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Paul is not a proponent of segregation. I am unclear as to the exact question here, but Paul would not have public institutions making decisions based on race.

11. You support guns on airplanes, since Ron Paul thinks that 9/11 could have been prevented, if citizens were allowed to carry guns on airplanes.

Ron Paul is for eliminating the TSA and privatizing airline security. Prior to 9/11, pilots could not have a gun on the plane and passengers were advised not to resist. Both of these mandated policies made flying unsafe. Paul is not for passengers carrying guns on a plane. Paul is for airlines determining their own security policies, instead of the TSA making all the rules. The TSA is run by a mob of security-industrial-complex grovelling jackanape bureaucrats

12. You oppose equality for LGBT people, since Ron Paul doesn’t think the federal government should guarantee equal protection under the law for our LGBT brothers and sisters.

Paul believes everyone should be treated with respect and dignity that they deserve as a human being. He does not believe that there should be a law penalizing discrimination against the LGBT community whereas other classes of people are not protected. He believes in no one being given special protection above and beyond that of others.

13. You don’t have a problem with people carrying guns near schools, since Ron Paul want to repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act.

The Gun Free School Zone Act is a criminal law pre-empting state law (other than carry-license). Gun laws are the provenance of the states. The federal government should not be involved. Having a gun near a school has nothing to do with anything the federal government is in a better position to handle, such as interstate crimes like racketeering or drug conspiracy.

It is also another gross expansion of the commerce clause. The Supreme Court in the Lopez case ruled it unconstitutional, since it has nothing to do with interstate commerce. Congress then added to the law the language that it is illegal to hold a firearm “that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce.” The Supreme Court has not heard the case again since its revision. This law has less to do with interstate commerce than many other laws because it is not even economic in nature. It is a local criminal law.

14. You oppose same-sex marriage, since Ron Paul was an original co-sponsor of the Marriage Protection Act in the House of Representatives, in 2004.

Ron Paul believes that one state should not impose upon another state its definition of what a marriage is. That is why he supports the Marriage Protection Act, which strips federal courts of the ability to enforce one state’s definition of marriage upon another state. He opposes a federal amendment that all marriage be between a man and woman though, as that would similarly be an imposition on the varied and diverse states, each holding different values.

As Ron Paul states himself, “I am unwilling either to cede to federal courts the authority to redefine marriage, or to deny a state’s ability to preserve the traditional definition of marriage.” Ron Paul believes, and has said in many debates, that the state should not involve itself in defining a marriage, it is not the state’s business, but at the same time you cannot force others to accept your definition of marriage.

15. You don’t like having a good relationship with other countries around the world, since Ron Paul wants the United States to pull out of the United Nations.

Ron Paul wants the United States to pull out of NATO and the United Nations. He believes international organizations which inhibit our sovereignty are not in the best interest of the United States. It is debatable whether that is in the United States best interest or not, but it would not ruin relationships abroad.

The world was ecstatic when President Obama won the presidency; they were excited for an era of peace and an end to unilateral foreign policy. The United States under Ron Paul would stop interfering in other countries affairs, we would stop using our diplomats as coercive economic tools, we would no longer employ economic hitmen, we would not provide money to dictators who rule their country without public approval.

Ron Paul would promote free trade, non-entangling alliances, and fair discourse; he would not impose American ideals on the world, but be a partner in free discourse and discussion.

16. You think the middle-class should have a higher tax burden than the wealthy, since Ron Paul’s tax plan would disproportionately favor the rich.

Ron Paul believes everyone should have lower taxes. He does not believe in bailing out big business on the backs of the taxpayers, he does not believe in special handouts and tax loopholes only the rich can effectively benefit from, he is opposed to taxes paid by everyone benefitting the few.

Taxes would be lower for everyone if Ron Paul were President.

17. You want a President who would make more unilateral decisions and undo more progress in this country than George W. Bush could have ever hoped to accomplish.

Ron Paul would likely veto many bills and act unilaterally, No doubt. This is because he is not an establishment politician; he will not cater to the big business lobby or any other lobby. He would often be opposed by any politician in favor for more federal power or continuing to violate the Constitution. He would change Washington, and he would be opposed, so he would have to act unilaterally.

18. You think that poor students shouldn’t be allowed to go to college, since Ron Paul wants to eliminate federal student loans.

Ron Paul’s Economic plan calls for eliminating the Education Department but keeping the Pell Grants and other loan programs for poorer students. Ron Paul is opposed overall though to student loans insured by the government. Ron Paul’s argument is that the government insuring and providing loans has diluted the market, created a bubble, and has allowed universities to jack up their prices. He is right. College is more expensive than it otherwise would be.

However, I believe in an equality of opportunity for people despite what resources their parents had, the opportunity to make something of yourself and social mobility is a cornerstone of what makes this country great. Providing subsidized loans for poorer people is beneficial to that end.

19. You believe crazy conspiracy theories about globalization, and that the Zionists are trying to take over the world.

I am not sure where this comes from. Ron Paul is opposed to giving foreign aid to Israel when Israel is capable of competently defending itself. Paul believes in free global trade and commerce with the world.

20. You think the 10th Amendment is the most important part of the Bill of Rights, even though it’s last on the list.

The Tenth Amendment is virtually ignored by the Supreme Court and the lawmakers. Ron Paul admits it exists, admits it serves a purpose and was meant to limit the powers of the federal government to such powers specifically outlined in the Constitution, and no more. It is the last amendment of the Bill of Rights because it sums up the purpose and role of the Constitution; the federal government has these limited powers, is structured this way, and is specifically limited in such manners enumerated in Bill of Rights.

A more interesting conversation would be the current perversion of the Commerce Clause, which has been so assimilated and adopted by the courts and lawmakers as to now be virtually impossible to reverse.

21. You’re mad at Obama because you believed him when he said he would end the war immediately, and he didn’t because he didn’t have the support of congress, but you believe Ron Paul could get it done immediately.

This one threw me off at first. The President is the commander-in-chief. He must have the approval of Congress to engage in war, and is in control of operations and combat once it has begun, with congress of course retaining the power of the purse (funding). The President may act unilaterally to end a war, congressional approval is unnecessary.

President Obama could have ended the war, but he chose not to, instead sending more troops into Afghanistan while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize and declaring they are waging a war against “evil.”
– “I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people.  For make no mistake:  Evil does exist in the world.”—
President Obama is a hawk, he has continued drone attacks in Pakistan; he has continued the pointless war in Afghanistan. He went to war with Libya, acting without congressional approval. President Obama cannot blame congress for his neo-conservative hawkish foreign policy which must make Cheney proud.

Ron Paul would immediately act unilaterally to end the war in Afghanistan, as President Obama could have done, but chose not to.

Above video is of Noam Chomsky, by no means a Republican, criticizing Obama as worse than President Bush when it comes to hawkish foreign policy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Peter Schiff talks to Occupy Wall Street on behalf of 1%

Peter Schiff, famous for predicting the housing bubble and economic collapse, goes to the Occupy movement to have a fair and rational conversation and talk some sense.

Occupy Wall Street man: "What role did Wallstreet play in this crisis in your opinion?"

Schiff: "They played a big role, Wall Street drank the alcohol the federal Reserve poured . . ."

first half of video is Schiff talking to ignoramuses, this video is very frustrating to watch.

One person calls Schiff an idiot.
One person says he gives rich people a bad name.

Overall good video.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ron Paul "What if" speech

CBS slighted Ron Paul & others in debate

CBS sent out an email planning to not give Michele Bachmann as many questions as the other candidates in the foreign policy debate in South Carolina held Nov. 12th.

This was leaked because John Dickerson, CBS political director, accidentally emailed a Bachmann staffer the internal memo holding as much.

Wish they caught the memo of CBS deciding to only give Ron Paul 90 seconds of total speaking time during the hour long televised debate. This despite the fact that Ron Paul differs most drastically with the other candidates, who all were basically nodding their heads and agreeing with each other in support of war with Iran, torture, and more war.

Ron Paul got 258 words in the debate despite running relatively high in the polls.

The video below is a CNN clip mentioning Ron Paul and Bachmann being slighted in terms of time.