This is not a political site. This is an anti-political site. We agree with the goals of individual liberty, free markets, and peace.

11/24/12

Question of the Week: Why Do You Hate Republicans?”

If I was a regular reader of this blog (and I guess I am since I have to re-read this drivel multiple times while writing it), I would wonder, "why the hell am I stopping here since this guy so regularly republishes and otherwise swipes all of the stuff Dan Mitchell posts on his blog?" "Why don't I just go to Mitchell's blog myself?"

It's an excellent question. The answer is, you could probably save a couple of clicks and go right there. After all, that's what I do. And no, I don't have a man-crush on Dan. It's just that he writes better than I do and is a PHD economist. (Oh yeah, it's also that he is one of the very few who allows me to republish his work.)

Having said that, you are here now, so here comes a post of his that really hit home. I have felt that some of my friends wanted to ask me the same question as his readers are asking him all the time. Lots of them still think this site is about politics.

Actually, politics is only a byproduct of the message I feel compelled to try to spread. In my case that compulsion is more of a mental disorder than a realistic calling. But I digress.

Question of the Week: “Dan, Why Do You Hate Republicans?”

By Dan Mitchell

I get several emails per week asking my view on various topics and many of the questions raise very interesting issues.

So I’ve decided to start a new feature. Every weekend, I will endeavor to answer one question.
My first chore is to explain why I hate Republicans, and as you can see here and here, there’s certainly ample reason to think I hold GOPers in low esteem.

The actual question, though, is:
You seem to be more critical of Republicans than Democrats and you went out of your way to attack Romney. Doesn’t that play into the hands of Obama?
The answer is yes and no. I don’t mean to sound like a politician, but I view my job as providing nonpartisan analysis on public policy issues. That means I criticize the statist schemes of the folks in Washington, regardless of whether the politicians have a “D” or an “R” at the end of their names. To be fair, I’m probably a bit harder on Republicans, but only because they’re the ones who often pretend that they are on my side.

And sometimes they are on my side. My two favorite presidents are Reagan and Coolidge, and I have great admiration for those few politicians – such as Ron Paul – who almost always do the right thing.

But I also have discovered that bad Republicans usually do more damage than Democrats. Nixon was one of the most statist presidents of my lifetime, and Bush 41 and Bush 43 were almost as bad.

And even the politicians I’m willing to praise, including Ron Paul, sometimes do the wrong thing. And as much as I praise Reagan, he had some huge mistakes, such as the catastrophic health insurance program.

My simple rule of thumb is I will support a politicians who, in my estimation, will be a net plus for liberty. So notwithstanding my reputation for being a libertarian ideologue, I have a very practical approach to politics.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s rather disappointing that so few Republicans satisfy that simple test.

But now let’s return to the question. Doesn’t that view play into the hands of Obama?

 As I said, yes and no. I want to maximize liberty (or minimize statism) in the long run. So if I have a choice between a big-government Republican and big-government Democrat, I sometimes think we’re better off if the Democrat prevails.

Jimmy Carter, for instance, probably wasn’t that much worse than Gerald Ford. And he paved the way for Reagan. And Bill Clinton, in retrospect, was a much better choice than Bush 41. And he paved the way for the GOP landslide in 1994.

So the question before us today is whether Barack Obama is paving the way for a good Republican…or whether he’s a Lyndon Johnson paving the way for a Richard Nixon.


Editors note..Dan blogs at International Liberty. You should visit there often.

11/22/12

11/17/12

Ron Paul's Farewell Address

I don't think that anyone who visits this site will watch this entire speech. But I thought I'd post it here anyway. If you only watch five minutes of it you will be five minutes better off than if you don't.

The day is approaching when a lot of people will wish they had paid more attention to what he said.


11/16/12

The American Electorate - Cause and Effect

Many in the American electorate are rational people, but not the majority. Look out below!

Hat Tip to International Liberty

An electorate so stupid that they keep voting for people like Obama is an electorate that is too stupid to make the connection between the effects and the causes.

11/12/12

The Whigs are Grasping for a Lifeline

The Whig Party is foundering in the water helplessly. They are reaching for anything that looks like a lifeline.

Sorry GOP, it's too late.

11/9/12

It's Not the End of the World

Image=charlesfrith.blogspot.com
By Grant Davies

The election results are far past troubling, but it's not the end of the world. Really, it's not.

I would argue, in fact I already have, that America has changed fundamentally. And not in a good way. I haven't changed my mind about that since I wrote about it a few days ago. I think we live in a "Post America" now. An America whose people perceive their country and its government entirely different than people my age used to.

The storm clouds that used to be on the horizon are quickly turning into the storm itself. It has arrived and it was our choice. No foreign despot like Hitler, Stalin, Tojo, or Bin Laden imposed the new system on us. We either embraced, or surrendered to (according to your perspective), our new dependence on government.

Having said that, even though we are no longer exceptional, we will survive in the new world. Just not as well. Humans are resilient.

So what is this post all about? It's about an essay I read this morning on the blog "Cafe Hayek" written by Dr. Russ Roberts.

Russ is a professor of economics at the George Mason University Mercatus Center. He is an author of a number of books and his resume is so strong it's irritating to those of us with no resume at all. Suffice it to say you should read absolutely everything he writes. Of course you won't, and neither will I, so forget that and just read the following article. It explains why, in a rational and non-hysterical manner, the end has not come just because the country has chosen big government over individual initiative.

It's the best article you can read if you want to look at our situation without losing your ability to see the real picture thoughtfully and maturely because of your emotional distress.

Oh, by the way, you should read the Cafe Hayek blog every chance you get. You'll be smarter even if you disagree with the folks over there. Here is the beginning of his essay. I hope you will choose to read the rest, it gets even better as it goes along.


Really? The Road to Serfdom?

              by RUSS ROBERTS
               NOVEMBER 8, 2012

In this recent post I gave some post-election thoughts. I was trying to cheer up those of us who are alarmed at the road we appear to be heading down. One commenter, Jamie Newman wrote in response:

"You guys have been forecasting the arrival of universal serfdom for about as long as the left has been predicting the collapse of capitalism. Is the Road to Serfdom gridlocked? Did someone forget to gas the car? Has our dashboard GPS unit failed? Or our we just moving really slowly, the better to take in the scenery?

I mean, come on. I’m guessing that that you, the readers of this blog are among the freest people in human history. You are free to go pretty much anywhere in the world you wish to go, free to buy pretty much anything that’s available for sale anywhere, free to think anything you want, say anything you want, read anything you want, watch anything you want on TV. And even after you’ve paid for all those dinners in nice restaurants, vacations in nice places, and homes in nice subdivisions, you still have enough left over to own shares of Apple or Google. You’re paying less in taxes than you have in decades. If you get really sick, or suffer a serious injury, you will receive top quality medical care than will not leave you penniless even though you might never be able to pay the full cost of your care yourself– thanks largely to the pre-eminently socialist institution known as “insurance.” And even if you’ve not made or saved lot of money in your lifetime, you will not be destitute in your old age, and you will not be allowed to die like a dog in the street. And so on.

Maybe I’ve missed something. But an itemized list liberties of which you have been deprived, or that you are at risk of losing, might help me get up to speed."

Now I was actually pretty calm about the road to serfdom in the post. I didn't say we were well down the road or anything like that. Nor did I claim that the current trend inevitably means we’re going to lose our freedom. I claimed the opposite in fact: if we work hard to educate and inspire we can put the country on a different path. ......Read the rest here.


Editors note.. Dr Roberts didn't "go there" as far as the list of lost liberties the commenter asked for, but others have, and we will do so too in a future post. Leave a comment below if you would like to see such a list soon.

11/8/12

Good News For Business Due to the Election

My friend "TJ" was kind enough to send me an email pointing out some good news in the stock market yesterday. As the prices melted down over three hundred points on the day after the election results were announced, he noticed that the price of one stock was moving higher. The shares which were going up were those of....drum roll....Smith and Wesson!




We shared an on-line laugh over the story. We both have a "different" sense of humor I guess. But when our friend Dan Mitchell of The Cato Institute, wrote the following piece on his blog, International Liberty today, I knew I had to share it.

Like much of what Dan writes, it's funny as hell as well as informative. So I reprint it here today so you can enjoy it too, and maybe pass it along to your friends. And as an extra treat I have included a video taken from his site as well. It's freakin' hilarious. At least to me, since I have this "different" sense of humor. Be sure to watch it. If you laugh, you might be "different" too.


An IQ Test for Criminals and Liberals

November 8, 2012 by Dan Mitchell

A lot of people say Obama is anti-business, but there’s one part of the American economy that is delighted that he got reelected.

No, I’m not talking about bankruptcy lawyers or corrupt lobbyists, though those would be good guesses.

The real winners from Obama’s re-election are America’s gun manufacturers and gun sellers.

Not that I’ve looked at any data. I’m just basing this on the comments I’ve heard over the past few years and the up-tick in such comments in the past 36 hours.

But I’m quite confident that the overall firearms industry has profited from Obama’s tenure.

Anyway, the great economist Frederic Bastiat teaches us to look at both direct and indirect effects (or, as he put it, the “seen” and “unseen”), so I want to highlight a disadvantaged group that will suffer as a result of the Obama-induced increase in gun sales.

Yes, I’m talking about criminals.

To understand the point I’m trying to make, we’re going to do a thought experiment.

Start by closing your eyes and thinking about someone you know who has worked hard, saved some money, bought a nice house, and filled that house with nice things for the family to enjoy.

Now tell yourself, “I want those things as well.”

But you also think, “Damned if I’m going to wake up early every day like that chump and bust my rear end to earn a good life.”

Instead, you decide it’s okay to take things that don’t belong to you, even if it involves some coercion.

So what’s your next step?

No, this isn’t a thought experiment about voting for Obama. Besides, the election is over.

Close your eyes again and think about how you would obtain things that don’t belong to you and without using the government as the middleman.

What would you do? Well, you might beg the person to give you things.

But that might be a bit awkward or demeaning, and the person might say no.

That leaves burglary as your only option. Sort of a private sector version of income redistribution.

Now we get to the key point in our thought experiment.

You sneak up to the house with the nice things and you suddenly see a sign.

Here’s a quiz. What do you do after seeing this sign?

a. break into the house because you once heard a politician or journalist assert that gun ownership doesn’t deter crime?

b. decide after a bit of reflection about potential costs and benefits that it might be more prudent to find another house to rob?

If you need some help with the answer, think about the meaning of this cartoon.
And if you still don’t comprehend, then congratulations. You deserve a starring role in this video.

 

11/7/12

Post Mortem - Get a Helmet

By Grant Davies

Yesterday this blog had a lot more visitors than normal.

Why? I didn't write anything. Nothing new here. No emails went out to announce a new blog post. No last minute advice on the election. No predictions.

What were those visitors looking for? I don't know. But whatever they hoped to find, they didn't find it. This blog had long ago made the case for freedom and against dependency on government. There was nothing left to be said before the American people went to the polls to decide if they wanted to be Europeans or stick with the American dream of individual liberty and personal responsibility.

Yesterday they chose the Nanny State. That's what the election was about. It doesn't matter what you thought it was about, or what your neighbor thought it was about. It doesn't matter if your team was blue or red.

And sorry to say, that decision is irreversible. Normally after one party loses they lick their wounds and start working on the next election. But not this time.

Oh, they will go through the motions. And many will buy into the notion that in the next election people will right the wrongs. Surely the people will come to their senses. Sorry folks, not this time.

There are now more people beholden to government for their sustenance than those who are not. And in four years there will be many, many more. More government employees. More people getting money from government programs. More people who have children and other family members who will lose their jobs or benefits if the government ever shrinks.

They will never vote for that to happen. Whatever or whomever people may vote for, they never vote against themselves. The American experiment has failed. It was just as had been predicted by so many over the last two hundred years who understood human nature.

The election was not about Romney. He had no plan or ability to save us from ourselves. The best he could have done would have been to buy some time. He was after all, a moderate Democrat. He thinks government has the answers. He is wrong.

And the election wasn't about how bad Obama is. He is merely a reflection of the attitudes of most of the people. He can get back to the golf course now. I don't blame him. That's what I'm going to do.

So now we will learn for the first time what it feels like to be in a country which is in decline. The Europeans have known that feeling for a long time. We'll get used to it too.

My only advice to anyone who still wants it is this; If you don't have a helmet you better go and get one. And if you have one, you better put it on. Because there is some heavy shrapnel heading our way. Not tomorrow, but sooner than anyone thinks.

And your team, no matter what color it was, won't help you now.