Saturday, July 29, 2006

Social Security's ship is sunk!

The pseudo-libertarian think tank Cato Institute issued its report, called "What Is Their Plan for Social Security". Now I called Cato "pseudo-libertarian" because it has the same beliefs as a principled libertarian, like me, but when it comes to putting it on the line for its beliefs, it leaves me lacking.

For example, in this article, the 2nd paragraph reads, "The facts are simple: Social Security will begin running a deficit in just 11 years [in 2017]. Of course, in theory, the Social Security Trust Fund will pay benefits until 2040. That's not much comfort for today's 33-year olds, who will face an automatic 26 percent cut in benefits unless the program is reformed before they retire. But even that figure is misleading, because the Trust Fund contains no actual assets. The government bonds it holds are simply a form of IOU [worth nothing], a measure of how much money the government owes the system. It says nothing about where the government will get the money to pay back those IOUs." Good so far.

But, in the following paragraph, it says, "Even if Congress can find a way to redeem the bonds, the Trust Fund surplus will be completely exhausted by 2040." Say again? Government has no money for the so-called "Trust Fund", so the money will be exhausted by 2017. Government doesn't acquire any money. Government doesn't produce any money. And government doesn't redeem the bonds for money. There is only one way government to get the money, and that is through the taxpayers; e.g., you and me, in the form of raising taxes or cutting benefits. There is no other way possible.

The more accurate scenario is from an article by CNN Money Magazine. The magazine correctly predicts that Social Security will go bankrupt in the beginning of 2018. If you want Social Security to last past 2018, then you will either have to raise taxes (although as time goes by, more and more people find out the truth about the income tax and decide not to pay), cut benefits, raise even more debt, and/or print even more money (and devalue it to nothing). Any way you choose, its a bad situation. Now, CNN Money Magazine is not Republican, it's not Democrat, it's not Libertarian, it's not Green; it gives the truth about our money objectively.

And the Cato article tells us at the end to do? Ask your elected officials. Come on now, give me a break! The government either won't answer or give a vague answer if they don't like the question. In fact, the Supreme Court didn't give a interpretation of what the last ten words of the 1st Amendment actually means. It has many interpretations of what is the meaning of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right to assemble. But not one interpretation of the meaning of the right to petition. District Judge Emmet Sullivan tells the people you can ask anything you want, but your elected officials won't answer if they don't want to. Bob Schulz and We The People organization are climbing through the courts, asking them to interpret the petition clause.

But Cato tells you to ask your elected officials. It is working good so far (!?). I say forget about our elected bureaucrats; I will do this myself. Now, every time I give in taxes to Social Security, or anything else, in the past, it's a lost cause. Forget about it. But in the future, if you are older than 55, you can leave it the same. If you are between 50-55, it is up to you. But if you are younger than 50, you can legally quit paying taxes, including Social Security taxes. If you are an employee, your employer won't have to pay a payroll tax for you. That will make them happy. However, you will not get Social Security (a plus in my book). You can start investing in Harry Browne's Permanent Portfolio until you get to retirement age. And you will be richer in the process.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Oh well...

...I guess Dubya ignored the polls and Reagan's advice and experience in my last post.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


According to a SurvayUSA poll, 84% of Americans say the government should keep out of the current Middle East conflict. 52% of responents should back off on talks about a ceasefire.

It is about time!

Since 9/11 (in '01), I consistently say that the one who attacked us was al-Qaeda, and we'll use military force on only al-Qaeda, and al-Qaeda alone. Not Iraq, not Iran, not North Korea, not Syria, not Lebanon, but only al-Qaeda. The fanciful "War on Terror" is a joke. In October '01, we invaded Afghanistan to get Osama bin Laden and the rest of al-Qaeda, and I'm all for this.

But this was in 2001. In 2006, we invaded Iraq, and we attempted to invade Iran. Both didn't threaten the U.S.A., or even to try to threaten us. As I write this, there are over 2500 Americans dead and almost 20,000 Americans wounded in Iraq. And we failed to get public enemy #1; Osama. The likability of America to the rest of the world is an all-time low. In 2006, or even before, we could take our losses and head home. And by means we wouldn't start a war with someone else! A majority of the American people finally agrees with me.

It reminds me of 1983. Ronald Reagan sent in the Marines to Beirut to secure it. When he sent the troops in, he said he would never turn tail and run. But on October 23, a yellow Mercedes-Benz delivery truck smashed through two sentry posts and a gate, and detonated his explosives, killing 241 American servicemen. After the Marines were killed, Reagan had a reassessment of the policy. When he wrote his autobiography a few years later after leaving the presidency, he wrote this:

"Perhaps we didn't appreciate fully enough the depth of the hatred and the complexity of the problems that made the Middle East such a jungle. Perhaps the idea of a suicide car bomber committing mass murder to gain entry to Paradise was so foreign to our own values and consciousness that it did nor create in us the concern for the Marines' safety that it should have. In the weeks immediately after the bombing, I believed the last thing that we should do was turn tail and leave. Yet the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there. If there would be some rethinking before our men die, we would be a lot better off. If that policy had changed towards more a neutral position and neutrality, those 241 Marines would be alive today."

Hindsight is always 20/20. Unfortunately, 20 years is too long to remember for George W. Bush.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Marriott International, Inc.

A new policy had been implemented on Marriott International Hotels. This policy is a ban on smoking in all of Marriott's hotel rooms.

I'll bet you think I will be against the smoking ban. If it is from the government, I will say you are correct. Smoking bans from the government infringed the people's individual liberty and private property.

But Marriott did this all on its own. It did this simply on account of a business decision by the corporation; no government help was involved.

This changes everything. The private property I'm talking about in the 2nd paragraph is Marriott's. Because the corporation owns the property, it can do whatever it wants to with its own property.

And thus, the customers of Mariott are free to stay at Marriott or choose another hotel if Marriott's policy agree or don't agree with them.

It is the free-market at its best. Contrary to popular opinion, people don't need government to be their daddy and to protect them from businesses who allow people to smoke.

It's Marriott's businesses and property, not the government. Do you allow the government to dictate whether or not to allow people who smoke in your home? I own my home, and thus, I make the rules in my home. People are free to stay or leave my home. It is the same with you or with Marriott's property. That's what private property is all about.

This is not only what freedom is all about, it's also what being a grown-up is all about: be free but responsible for your actions. Like I said, you can't have liberty without responsibility, and vice versa.

Marriott's decision reminds me of a paradigm of America in the past; a society based on individual liberty, personal responsibility, and limited government, where the people were sovereign, as compared to America today; a society based on a paternalistic omnipotent government whose mission in life is to take care over its adult-children by its assaults on private property and its infringements on individual freedom.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The trouble with liberals

You should read Jacob Hornberger's column, "The Trouble with Liberals". Two weeks ago, I posted an article by Hornberger titled, "The Trouble with Conservatives". Don't accuse me, like Hornberger, of not being fair! As for liberals, Hornberger is referring to 21st century Big Government liberals, not 19th century classical liberals. At the start of his column, he said, "The trouble with liberals is twofold: they have a horrible blindspot with respect to moral principles, and they have an abysmal understanding of economic principles." He backs that up with the welfare-state mindset and stealing, the lesson of Thanksgiving, and the minimum wage.

On moral principles, the Webster Dictionary's definition of "stealing" is an act of taking the property of another without another's consent. In the private sector, the concept is easy for liberals to understand. If I held a gun and robbed a liberal, that is the definition of stealing. Let say I robbed a liberal to give to my mother, on account of she is elderly and cannot work. Most of the liberals still say it is stealing nonetheless. But, instead of robbing a liberal, I go up to Washington DC, bribe my Congressmen, that Congressmen pass laws, the IRS forcibly collects the money from liberals (and others), that money goes through the red-tape, and the Social Security Administration sends a check to my mother.

It's the same thing, except now the government is involved. But, in the liberal's mind, this changes everything. To the liberal, the act now seems wholesome. But, it's the same act.

I confess I, too, stole from the welfare piggy-bank once. Around the turn of the millennium, an ice storm blanketed Midwest City (MWC). My phone rang, and it was my mom, telling me MWC was labeled a "hazard area" or something like that, and I could get FEMA to pay for the equipment to clean my yard. Now my yard looked fine, but the limbs were on the ground, so I can use the government to pay for a chain saw. A part of me was ashamed because I didn't work for the money to pay the price of the chain saw; that's why the chain saw is the only thing I had the government to pay.

But, on the other hand, it's from the government! I couldn't connect the dots back then that it was the taxpayers--my friends and family--who paid for the chain saw; it was two years after this when my eyes were finely opened to the libertarian philosophy. Before, I thought I was a conservative, and taking from the government seems okay.

However, this is expected from a liberal. In fact, it's expected from a liberal in every situation. When you add the government, the immoral transforms to a moral act. But in reality, it's the same act.

Also, liberals haven't got a clue about economics. Do you remember the real history of the first Thanksgiving? You won't hear it from the government (i.e., public) education. It taught us when we get away from a free-market, capitalistic philosophy in order for government to "help the poor", the poor will get hurt the most.

Take the minimum wage laws. Liberals say having minimum wage helps the poor to earn a "living wage", and raising the minimum wage helps the poor to live more conformably. But, in reality, when you set a minimum wage, those workers whose labor is valued below the minimum wage will go unemployed, so if you raise the minimum wage, you raise the unemployment as well.

Let's face the facts, America is not free. In fact, America is a communist country. In spite of the majority of the people, America has all 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto. Karl Marx said if a nation had all 10 planks, that nation is practicing communism. Look at Karl Marx' phrase. On the surface, it's a nice slogan, but it's pure communism. Like the Soviet Union, all communist countries have the same fate. Look at my last post, and you will see the final outcome for our country, if we don't change the situation...and fast!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Is America broke?

Is America broke? Is the United States bankrupt? Is it "pushin' negatives"? Is it "spreading jelly but no bread"? Some figures say yes, while others say no. The Federal Reserve knows for sure, and a Bank of St. Louis researcher has the statistics. One thing for certain: we should better crush the Federal Reserve out of existence while we still can.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

'Why Won't They Answer?' tour

The original complaint, filed two years ago by We The People Foundation, Inc. [WTP], sought the declaration of the full meaning of the Petition clause in the 1st Amendment - including whether the people have an unalienable right to withhold their money from their government until their grievances are made right.

Bob Schulz, Chairman of WTP, said (correctly) the Petition clause means when the people have evidence that our government is stepping "out-of-bounds" of what the Constitution authorized, the people shall submit a petition in writing, and the government will be obligated to respond to the people's specific questions. If the government ignores the petitions, or "Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury", as the Declaration of Independence says, the people have no choice but to retain their money "until their grievances are redressed", as the 1774 Journals of the Continental Congress said.

But, on August 31, 2005, Judge Emmet Sullivan made his decision, and it was horrifying. He had ruled that it makes no difference what facts are on the table, the government is not obliged to respond or even read the petitions. An appeal is scheduled in the U.S. Court of Appeals in DC in the future.

In the mean time, WTP is scheduled a "Why Won't They Answer?" road tour that started two weeks ago, and it is a huge success so far. It purpose is to build a growing number of concerned patriots who will be a part of the answer to the problem in America. It is a 50 state, 70+ stop tour that will wind up on September 18 (Constitution Day) with joint petitions on the government to answer the people's questions at DC plus 50 state capitols, and on October 9, when the national leaders will do it again at the nation's capitol. This tour will focus on the last nine words in the 1st Amendment ("Congress shall make no law...abridging the petition the Government for a redress of grievances."). Anyone is invited to speak on one's expertise about restoring the Constitution to the "supreme Law of the Land" again.

Whether you think about Mahatma Gandhi, he was right. He said if the people are up against unjust and uncivil government and laws, and they are entitled to reform (however, I loathe "reform") and change, they'll get it only if they follow a three-part formula: they have to be pro-active, they have to be non-violent, and they need a mass-movement. On pro-active, WTP are redressing four specific grievances: federal income tax grievance, Federal Reserve grievance, war powers clauses grievance, and the "USA PATROIT Act" grievance: all four are pro-active. On non-violent, if the petitions aren't answered by government, the people will retain our money. Retaining our money is the most effective, non-violent way to make government answer the questions given. All WTP need is to do is to make critical mass. A cross-country, several-month, many-stop tour is the best way to accomplish it. It will cover all the state-capitols, plus several other cities.

As for me, the "Why Won't They Answer?" tour will be in OKC on Sunday, August 6. I will DEFINITELY want to be there and be a part of history.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

...for your protection

When it comes to the Homeland Security Department, I give up.

A Homeland Security database of national monuments, chemical plants, and other structures vulnerable to terror attacks is too faulty to accurately help divide federal funds to states and cities, according to the department's internal watchdog.

Much of the study by Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner appears to have been completed before the department announced in May it would cut security grants to New York and Washington by 40% this year. But the report, which was released Tuesday, shows the real terror targets included an insect zoo, a bourbon festival, a bean fest, and a kangaroo conservation center. They represent vital assets identified in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Maryland.

A kangaroo conservation center really attracts al-Qaeda.

Other examples of what the report called "out-of-place assets" included a groundhog zoo, a flea market, a sporting goods shop, and a popcorn stand.

Oh brother!

The database "is not an accurate representation of the nation's critical infrastructure and key resources", inspectors concluded. You don't say! Additionally, the database "is not yet comprehensive enough to support the management and resource allocation decision-making envisioned by the National Infrastructure Protection Plan."

Maybe when I am retired.

There you have it: your Homeland Security Department at work for you!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Abolish the Federal Reserve

Read an article by Rep. Ron Paul about the Federal Reserve System destroys everything. After you read this article, there is no two ways around it: the Federal Reserve is pure evil. And if you don't want to go bankrupt, we will have no other choice but to abolish the Federal Reserve.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Are we free in America?

Does America mean freedom? Is America a free country? .... Is it obvious?? Now, the pro-government side said, "America IS free!" They refer to slogans like "America - the land of the free" or song lyrics like, "I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free." They stand on the streets waving "Old Glory" in the air, basting in our "freedoms".

At the same time, they are for an amendment prohibiting physical desecration of the flag. Even though the Supreme Court says it is a right espoused in the 1st Amendment, burning the flag (which they lawfully owned) in protest, according to the pro-government faction, is "un-American".

However, there are some people who speaks the truth about America being free. Most notably is Aaron Russo. His film, America: Freedom to Fascism, says America, a century ago, used to be free. But as time goes by, America drifted away towards tyranny. It is the same opinion from the pro-liberty advocates, from Robert Schulz to Jacob Hornberger.

In his book, They Thought They Were Free, Milton Mayer wrote about how the German people kept believing they were still free while the Nazis were tightening their control and extending their power over every facet of life. At first people refused to see the obvious, because the infringements were coming in small steps. But by the time you could no longer ignore the big picture, it was too late. Remember, all the people have to do for this to happen was--nothing. The same phenomenon is happening right here, right now, in the U.S. of A. It had been proceeding at a slower rate than 70 years ago in Germany, but now the pace quickens.

I know there are some who will say, "Wait a minute! You are going too far! America is still a free country." Okay then. If you're free, you should have no trouble doing something that people have done for the beginning of civilization. Buy a cow, shelter and feed and care for it, milk it, and sell the milk. Go ahead, try it, and see what happens. Come back and let us know how free you are for trying a simple and easy thing like that.

Freedom is a state of being where an individual does not have to get permission in order to do something that harms no one else's person or property. How many things can you do without getting permission from the government? Can you build your house on your own property without obtaining government approval? Can you put a new room on your house? Or a new porch? Put a new toilet? Or even put a shed in your backyard? If you are not free to make improvements on your home on your property, you are not free.

Once you have that home, can you refuse to sell it to the government if they want to use your land for some other purpose? Can you make them go away by simply saying, "I will not sell you my property, at any price!" If you are not free to choose if, when, how, to whom, and for how much you will sell your property, you are not free.

Can you drive a motor vehicle across this "free" country without someone in government approving of you as a driver? Or getting government permission to use that vehicle on the roads? If you are not free to travel without permission, you are not free.

Can you buy a pistol without government permission? Can you drive across the country with it on your person, even if you have permission to drive a properly permitted vehicle? Could anyone even ride a horse cross-country, with an old Winchester rifle in a scabbard, without being hassled? If you are not free to have a firearm at hand for self-defense, no matter where you go, you are not free.

Are you free to say to the government, "I don't like your retirement plan; therefore, I will no longer pay for it"? Can you, without penalty, tell the government that you will no longer pay for subsidies, for regulations, for wars, for empire, or for any activities that you disapprove? If you are not free to refuse to pay for things that you do not want, you are not free.

If the government decides it needs more troops to build and maintain its empire, can you refuse to go if it calls for you? Will they leave you alone if you tell them you won't kill and die for them? Can you simply ignore the draft, without consequences? Can you refused to be a conscripted slave? If you are not free to tell the government, "Hell no, I won't go!", you are not free.

Can you open a business, like a simple barbershop, without government permission? Or how about a bakery? A diner? A hot dog stand? A gun shop? Can you wire or plumb or fix TVs or cars without a government license? If you are not free to make a living without getting the government's permission, you are not free.

And once you have government approval to open a restaurant or bar, are you free to decide what people may do within your business? Can you choose whether or not they may smoke on the premises? Are you free to invite them to light up and enjoy a cigarette, a cigar, or a pipe with their drink, or after their meal? If you are not free to decide what people may or may not do on your property or within your business, you are not free.

Are you free to smoke a joint? Are you free to hire someone to help you satisfy a physical urge? You can do both in a same afternoon in Amsterdam. I haven't heard of anybody attacking the Dutch because of their freedoms. If you are not free to entertain your mind and body in any way that doesn't harm another, with anyone who is willing, you are not free.

Can you undergo any medical treatment you think is in your best interest? Can you choose whatever drug you deem appropriate for your condition? Can you even get some marijuana to help you avoid nausea so you can keep your meds from coming back up? Can you get it just to feel a little better for a little while? If you are not free to pursue any treatment or use any substance you think might help you obtain, regain, or retain your health, you are not free.

Can you take your children out of a government or a conventional private school setting, without explaining to some bureaucrat how you plan to educate them? Can you homeschool them without getting government approval of your lesson plans? Can you tell everyone to buzz off, that it's none of their business how you educate you kids? If you are not free to teach your children what you want, where you want, when you want, and how you want, you are not free.

So, let's reiterate. You need government permission to make your home, travel, earn a living, defend yourself, obtain medical treatment, and educate your children. You will never get government permission (i.e., make it illegal) to entertain your mind and body in unapproved ways. You must sell your property to the government if they want it, and you must kill and die for them if they tell you to. And you have no choice but to pay for it all anyway, whether you like it or not.

And to think, we still think America is a free country. In the immortal words of Johann von Goethe: "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."

Friday, July 07, 2006

UN into OK

I watched my television this morning, and I saw an interesting commercial about moving the UN to central Oklahoma. They said they want to have some "elbow room". Now, the commercial, as well as the website, looks cheap, so I don't give it a chance. But, I saw it on the mainstream television news station, so you'll never know.

There are two choices on what the meaning of "elbow room" might be.

Maybe it is because, of the 50 largest cities in America, Oklahoma City has the lowest population density. Or maybe that OKC or the surrounding towns is the center of the U.S.A. The latter one, I believe Kansas City is the closest to the center of the country than OKC.

But, never mind about "elbow room", I have a more strong reaction moving the UN to my home town. Moving the UN to OKC rather than to Washington DC, Chicago, or San Francisco, I have a mild reaction. Those other cities have what the UN wants. They are all liberal-leaning cities who despised the 2nd Amendment (guns). The same time as Independence Day (2 days past now), UN wanted to meet in New York and to finalize a treaty (I don't know if they succeeded or not) that would do away the right of self-protection for the people of America (however, Michael Badnarik said the UN is just a "paper tiger"). OKC, however, is a gun-friendly city (one of the few things I like about living in OKC), so the anti-gun UN would feel isolated living here.

I would rather move the UN to somewhere else, like London, or Paris, or Berlin, or Tokyo, or even Toronto or Mexico City; anywhere else except the U.S.A. I believe like Rep. Ron Paul believes. I believe in American sovereignty. Every year, Paul drafted a bill (and every year that bill gets defeated) that states: let's get the U.S. out of the UN, and let's get the UN out of the U.S. I will vote overwhelmingly for this bill!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The trouble with conservatives

There is an article by Jacob Hornberger, titled "The Trouble with Conservatives", that I want you to read. Hornberger says, in his article, that there is a disconnect between what conservatives say and what conservatives do. Now, don't get me wrong: I loathe liberals as much as conservatives. But, the "tax-and-spend" liberals correctly know what they are doing (they are formed from a Marxist paradigm). However, the Heritage Foundation (the most premier conservative think thank in America) claimed that conservatives stood for "free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense". From reading Hornberger's article, Hornberger has it all wrong. Conservatives are not troubling, conservatives are hypocrites!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Declaration of Independence Day!

Some call today "Independence Day", while others call it "The Fourth of July". Some "Independence Day" people get mad when other people call today "The Fourth of July", and I agree, somewhat. You call Dec. 25 "Christmas Day", not "The Twenty-Fifth of December" when you think of the Birth of Jesus; you call Oct. 31 "Halloween", not "The Thirty-First of October" when you think of ghosts and goblins; you call Feb. 14 "Valentine's Day", not "The Fourteenth of February" when you think of your sweetheart; you call Jan. 1 "New Year's Day", not "The First of January" when you start off the year. The 25th of Dec., the 31 of Oct., the 14th of Feb., the 1st of Jan., and, yes, the 4th of July is just a day in a year, like the 8th of June, or the 19th of November.

Except for Christmas, I can't think of a more stronger holiday to celebrate what the holiday is known for than Independence Day. Independence Day makes me, as well as you, think of the independence of the individual; how the British (i.e., future American) colonies separated from Great Britain to form the United States of America, a truly free and independent country. It makes me of one king (King George III) transformed to a population of kings and queens, as Michael Badnarik's book teaches. Independence Day indirectly makes me think of the freedom we have (or had).

Then, I started to think: the birth of our country until the end of the 19th century, America was a free country. But during the 20th century, our freedoms have been slipping away from the people. Now, the freedom we have in the beginning of the 19th century, as compared to the freedom we have now is like a Ferrari versus a Yugo. In other words, we have little freedom now versus a century ago.

Also, at the beginning of the 19th century, America was independent--America was sovereign. We went to trade with other countries, but kept to itself when it comes to foreign intervention. Thomas Jefferson said it best: "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none." Now, America is dependent on the UN, NAFTA, CAFTA, FTAA, and the most urgent, the North American Union and the amero, like the European Union and the euro the Europeans have right now. That's why we call it "The Fourth of July"; the government call it "The Fourth" because they don't want you to know the history behind America, and the people are sheep and took intrusions blindly.

I would rather have called the holiday "Declaration of Independence Day". That famous document was the granddaddy of all the following documents. It formed the outline for the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. That document, dated July 4, 1776, called for the separation between the United States and Great Britain. That document gave birth to our country.

If you read the document carefully (and I encourage you to read the founding documents every Declaration of Independence Day), you will notice a particular viewpoint from Jefferson:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, shall dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly and experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Governments, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

It's a majority of the 2nd paragraph, and that's what is happening to the colonists before and during the American Revolutionary War. It's also what is happening to the people of America today, even though it is disguised as "freedom" and "liberty" (sic). Americans today think that America means "the land of liberty", and "liberty" means "liberty within our government". However, Jefferson views people/government as a boxing match, where one corner is the people, and the opposite corner is the government. As for freedom, Jefferson said, "When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny." When a group of 21st century patriots wants to tell the government something it is doing wrong (like guns, taxes, and the Federal Reserve), that government will give a vague answer which doesn't answer the question. Deja vu?

"In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury."

When a "form of government becomes destructive", it is up to the people to take control. In fact, Jefferson expected a rebellion every twenty years or so in his "Tree of Liberty" speech!

Like the colonists, do you want to start a new form of government?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Everybody wins, during a free-market economy

Have you ever noticed how often both sides to a free-market transaction say "thank you" to each other? For example, when the cashier at the grocery store says to the customer, "Thank you," more often than not the customer responds, "Thank you," rather than, "You're welcome."

Why is this so?

The reason has to do with what is called the subjective theory of value. The theory is based on the following principle: in every economic exchange, each side gains because each side gives up something one values less for something one values more.

Therefore, each side to an exchange is grateful for being given something that, in one's mind, is more valuable than what one surrenders in order to receive it.

Consider a simple example of the subjective theory of value. Suppose one person has 10 oranges and another person has 10 apples. What would be a fair exchange between the two people?

It's impossible to say, because there is no objective value of the oranges and apples. Their value, like beauty, lies in the eyes of each beholder. Their value is entirely subjective.

Suppose the two fruit owners enter an exchange in which 3 oranges are traded for 5 apples. Has the orange owner taken advantage of the apple owner? Can we consider the orange owner to be the winner in this transaction and the apple owner to be the loser?

The answer is "no" to both questions. Actually both the apple owner and the orange owner are winners. Both sides have gained from the transaction, each from one's own individual perspective. The orange owner has gained because one has given up something one values less (3 oranges) for something one values more (5 apples).

The apple owner is a winner, too, despite the fact that one has given up 5 things and receive only 3 things in return. Why? Because in one's mind--and according to one's personal ranking of values--the apple owner too has given something one values less (5 apples) for something one values more (3 oranges). Maybe there is an apple abundance, or a lack of orange trees--whatever the case, they both improve during the transaction.

In the grocery store, the principle of subjective value is the same, even though people are using money. Let's say the groceries cost $50. At the moment of the exchange, the customer is receiving items that are worth more to one than the $50 one's given the grocery store in return. By the same token, the grocery-store owner has given up something one values less (the groceries) for something one values more (the $50).

The theory of subjective value applies not only to the purchase of goods but to all economic transactions, including employment contracts. When an employer and an employee enter into an employment agreement, there is no winner and a loser, but instead two winners. The employer is giving something one values less (the money the employer's paying the employee) for something one values more (the employee's labor). By the same token, the employee is giving up something one values less (the time and labor) for something one values more (the money).

How do we know that both sides benefit from every exchange? Because if they didn't, at least one of them--and possibly both--would not enter into the exchange. After all, why would anyone into an exchange if one side was receiving something one valued less for something one valued more?

An important corollary to the subjective theory of value is that people's standard of living rises through the simple act of exchange. Both the owner of the apples and the owner of the oranges, for example, have raised their standard of living as a result of their exchange because they have both improved their own personal well-being, from their own individual perspective.

Thus, it stands to reason that the wider the ambit of opportunities to enter into economic exchanges with others, the easier it is for people to raise their standard of living.

So the next time you're at a grocery store and the cashier says, "Thank you," tell the cashier, "And thank you too. We both are winners!"

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Libertarianism does have a moral and a Godly view

You should read Juan Fernando Carpio and Manuel Lora's article, "Libertarianism: An Ethical Doctrine", and you will see that libertarianism has a moral foundation. I would add to that libertarianism has a Christian foundation as well. Think about it for a moment (e.g., think about the Life of Jesus), and you shall see that the key to Christianity (i.e., being like Christ) lays a path through libertarianism. If you don't believe me, you should start with Galatians 5:1, 2 Corinthians 9:7, John 8:7, Matthew 7:1, Acts 5:29, and Jacob Hornberger's column about Christmas giving.