Monday, September 10, 2012

Gov. Brown Signs AB 1964 into Law

Gov. Brown Signs AB 1964 into Law

The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR-CA) today announced that Governor Jerry Brown signed the
Workplace Religious Freedom Act (AB 1964) this afternoon at a unity
rally.

(Sep 08, 2012 - Sacramento, CA)

AB 1964, which was sponsored by Assembly Member Mariko Yamada (D-
Davis) earlier this year, will clarify the responsibilities of
California employers with respect to religious accommodation in the
workplace.

"This bill is dedicated to all those who have suffered the indignities
of ignorance and discrimination in the workplace because of the tenets
of their faith," stated Assemblymember Yamada. "No longer will it be
legal to segregate a worker from public view because their appearance
did not fit a corporate image."

CAIR-CA was among the organizations that helped draft the legislation
and worked with community members alongside civil rights and
interfaith allies to mobilize support for AB 1964 during the year.
This included rallying community members to advocate in support of it
at the first-ever Muslim Day at the Capitol (MDAC), where dozens of
Muslims came together from across the state held 40 meetings with
their legislators in Sacramento.

"As an advocacy organization that works with community members to
resolve complaints of workplace discrimination against the state's
Muslims, we believe this law will be a major step forward in assuring
faith-observing employees that they'll be judged on the merits of
their skills, rather than on their religious gear," said CAIR-LA
Government Relations Coordinator Adel Syed.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy
organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam,
encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims,
and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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Re: Louisiana -

http://cdn.motinetwork.net/politifake.org/image/political/1205/dead-people-democrats-politics-1338356589.jpg

On Sep 10, 12:29 pm, Travis <baconl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> No Argument Here~!
>
>  Louisiana
>
> ** **
>
> ** **
>
>  [image: cid:F8359111250346BBA7A10633556BCF23@your4dacd0ea75]****
>
>  ****
>
>  ****
>
>   ****
>
> Just sending on.........****
>
>  ****
>
>  ****
>
>  ****
>
>   ****
>
> ****
>
>  mime-attachment.jpg
> 46KViewDownload

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Louisiana -




No Argument Here~!

 Louisiana

 

 

 



 

 

Just sending on.........

 

 



 

  








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Re: Paying taxes doesn’t allow Atheists, nor any group , to dictate to others.

All unalienable rights are from God
---
speculation noted

On Sep 10, 11:18 am, Keith In Tampa <keithinta...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello John,
>
> Although it was difficult to get through that long winded disortation,
> (reminds me of someone who graduated from Clemson!)  and I agree that the
> Obama Administration has by executive order installed unconstitutional,
> communistic mandates upon "We, The People";   I am at a loss as to how you
> believe that our two party system is unconstitutional.
>
> Far from it.
>
> There is nothing in the Constitution,  (or maybe you can point out the
> Article and paragraph for us?)  that restricts the association of like
> minded politically thinking individuals from forming associations or groups
> to further their political cause.
>
> I also take exception to your notion that the "weak govern the strong".
> Examples please.  With regard to bias within the law.....Yes.  It's true,
> and has been since the beginning of recorded history.  The United States is
> no exception, and I can cite numerous instances within our 235 year
> history,  beginning with the "Shea's Rebellion"  of bias contained within
> the law.   To some degree,  it is these "biases"  that you refer to, that
> shape and form our "culture" and our "morals".
>
> All unalienable rights are from God,  not government and they cannot be
> stripped by government,  unless one "volunteers"  to waive his God given
> unalienable right.
>
> On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 1:46 PM, NoEinstein <noeinst...@bellsouth.net>wrote:
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > Yes, Studio, but "the two major political parties" are 100%
> > UNCONSTITUTIONAL under our present Constitution!  The USA isn't a
> > democracy, but is supposed to be (but never has been) a Representative
> > Republic.  The Founding Fathers were totally committed to the
> > principle that the PEOPLE control government.  Nowhere in the
> > Constitution is it sanctioned to allow political parties to substitute
> > biased group power for the "close to a Democracy" power of the voters
> > on election day.  Yes, there were Whigs and Tories in the 18th
> > century.  But those were mechanisms for government control far
> > different from a Representative Republic!  Note: That treasonous
> > BASTARD in the White House, Barack H. Obama, still supposes that the
> > USA is "our great Democracy", while he acts as our communist-socialist
> > dictator.  As numbers of you have pointed out a year or two ago,
> > Democracies—if that's the only stipulated 'control' of government—will
> > allow the weak to control the strong.  And that isn't just if it is
> > like: two wolves and a sheep deciding what is for supper.  Having
> > controls in the Constitution that mandate justice and fairness will
> > allow the voters to decide controversial issues WITHIN the bounds of
> > justice and fairness.  No biased group gets to define justice and
> > fairness so as to allow them to exploit others for their own selfish
> > gain.  The best route to saving the USA, as well as our entire
> > socioeconomic system, is to strip all biased groups of power over the
> > course of government.  Once that happens, there won't be any more
> > pressure to have governments become all things for all people, which
> > as we should know by now ( but Obama doesn't), doesn't work!  — John
> > A. Armistead —
>
> > On Sep 6, 11:48 am, studio <tl...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > > On Sep 5, 5:39 pm, NoEinstein <noeinst...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > > > Dear Studio:
> > > >  Since both of those are issues of
> > > > high controversy, the American People should be allowed to decide once
> > > > and for all in direct referenda.
>
> > > I'm in TOTAL agreement with that!
> > > However, Republitards will remind you we live in a Republic, not a
> > > Democracy.
> > > And neither of the 2 major parties actually want people to decide by
> > > referendum.
>
> > --
> > Thanks for being part of "PoliticalForum" at Google Groups.
> > For options & help seehttp://groups.google.com/group/PoliticalForum
>
> > * Visit our other community athttp://www.PoliticalForum.com/
> > * It's active and moderated. Register and vote in our polls.
> > * Read the latest breaking news, and more.

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Re: Paying taxes doesn’t allow Atheists, nor any group , to dictate to others.

Republitards will remind you we live in a Republic, not a
Democracy.
---
because dems keep forgetting

On Sep 6, 10:48 am, studio <tl...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 5, 5:39 pm, NoEinstein <noeinst...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > Dear Studio:
> >  Since both of those are issues of
> > high controversy, the American People should be allowed to decide once
> > and for all in direct referenda.
>
> I'm in TOTAL agreement with that!
> However, Republitards will remind you we live in a Republic, not a
> Democracy.
> And neither of the 2 major parties actually want people to decide by
> referendum.

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Re: Paying taxes doesn’t allow Atheists, nor any g roup , to dictate to others.


Some people attribute man's life as 'given' by God. This does NOT change the fact that man exists. Similarly, some people attribute man's right to life as 'given' by God.
Rights -- natural rights -- are inherent in man's being. This is not unlike his having opposable thumbs, for instance. If you wish to claim that God gave you opposable thumbs OR that a rock gave them to you ... it simply does not change the reality that man has opposable thumbs.

The CENTRAL premise is that every man has a right to life; his own life; self-ownership. I man had no right to his life, he would be a slave.
Legitimate Government, then, SECURES that right to life (and its legitimate corollaries) <period>.

Regard$,
--MJ

From all which it is evident, that though the things of Nature are given in common, man (by being master of himself, and proprietor of his own person, and the actions or labour of it) had still in himself the great foundation of property; and that which made up the great part of what he applied to the support or comfort of his being, when invention and arts had improved the conveniences of life, was perfectly his own, and did not belong in common to others. -- John Locke




At 08:28 AM 9/10/2012, you wrote:
MJ:  There has been a lot of discussion, lately, about "rights" coming
from God, not from government.  It seems to me that the Founding
Fathers' mention of God as being the fountainhead of our rights is a
short synonym for "the moral consensus'.  Moral consensus certainly
trumps government power, including the treasonous dictatorial power of
Obama and his unconstitutional czars. There is a very neurotic
tendency of a large percentage of the population (but not the
majority) to see "God" as the giver of all good things.  Those same
people all too willingly excuse God for the bad things that happen,
like killer storms.  They feel "highly connected" by supposing they
are being "favored" by God, because of their ritualistic devotion.  My
own definition of God is: "The personification of all of the Natural
Laws in the Universe, which have always existed and which will always
exist."

It is a very bad thing, indeed, when neurotic people like Mike
Huckabee, lambaste those Democrats who had desired that their platform
be secular.  The "mentioning" of God in any political context is a
movement to allow (a) religion, with all of its head-buried-in-the-
sand blindness, to ultimately control our government in much the way
that Muslims want religion to control theirs.  There is this not too
flattering attitude among the Bible Thumpers that they are better than
others because they "worship" the law of probability that allows them
to have (thus far) gotten good things from the "laws of nature".
Being 'addicted' to one's religion doesn't bode too well for such
people being very deep and self-determining thinkers.  But those who
are so addicted aren't necessarily bad people, just na├»ve ones.   — J.
A. Armistead —

On Sep 4, 10:52 pm, MJ <micha...@america.net> wrote:
> EVERY Individual has a (natural) right to life; their own life; self-ownership. EVERY other (natural) right is a corollary of this ideal. EVERY other (natural) right is NEGATIVE -- it requires no one to provide for it.
> Government -- LEGITIMATE Government -- secures (natural) rights <period>.
> EVERY action a Government does CONTRARY to securing (natural) rights NECESSARILY provides advantage to some at the expense of everyone else. Said government NECESSARILY violates (natural) rights.
> What is a 'logical, agreed-upon' amount of theft?
> I say it is ZERO and do not agree upon *ANY* amount greater. Therefore, it is not 'agree-upon'. No what?
> You want a Government that does MORE? Fund it VOLUNTARILY rather than by theft. What better measure of 'want'? What better application of 'democracy'?
> Regard$,
> --MJ
> "If the government can take a man's money without his consent, there is no limit to the additional tyranny it may practise upon him; for, with his money, it can hire soldiers to stand over him, keep him in subjection, plunder him at discretion, and kill him if he resists." -- Lysander SpoonerAt 05:38 AM 9/3/2012, you wrote:MJ:  Many of the 'natural rights' regard what one does with their own
> time and money, not what gets done by governments after some logical,
> agreed-upon portion of one's taxes get allocated to be spent by
> governments.  Most of these philosophical issues are ballooning out of
> control, lately, because too many people see governments as the cure
> for every ailment.  You and I don't think that way, do we.
> Personally, I'm unhappy with having so much of our money being spent
> to fight largely un winnable wars.  I'm with Ron Paul on what the
> scope of governments need to be:  smaller!
> It offends my logic, greatly, that so many of the right-to-lifers
> value the "innocent" blue-print-only early dividing cells following
> conception more than they value the lives of grown men and women with
> families who are getting killed and maimed in wars.  I believe the
> unborn have rights, but not beginning at conception.  An aircraft
> taking off on a runway will pass what is known as the point-of-no-
> return—meaning that its ground speed is too great to allow slamming-on-
> the-brakes and returning to the terminal.  For me, I would place the
> "pro-choice" time limit at 2.5 to 3 months.  After that time, the
> rights of the unborn should begin to take precedence.  I'm offended,
> even more so, by those people, including many say-anything-to-win
> politicians, who think they are being pious-next-to-God for putting
> diapers on a speck of cells too small to be seen without a magnifying
> glass.  Those same pious, mental lightweights think they are being
> 'closer to God' to suppose that the Universe was constructed in just
> six days, and that any scientist who thinks otherwise is an
> underling.  Religions, taken as a whole, are divisive and hurtful
> institutions offering little assurance that the various members will
> be getting a favored route to heaven.  When the Founding Fathers
> wanted our government to be secular, they surely knew what they were
> doing!  Those who get mad at symbols, like the 9/11 cross in the
> debris, simply need to be minding their own business, NOT trying to
> tell others how to mind theirs.  — J. A. Armistead —
> On Aug 19, 5:37 pm, MJ <micha...@america.net> wrote:
> > I truly do not know WHY ....At 01:23 AM 8/19/2012, you wrote:The pending lawsuit is unconstitutional, because having no belief
> > isn t a protected religion.  Even if it were, the mere paying of some
> > of one s taxes to construct the 9/11 museum would not empower Atheists
> > to dictate anything to anyone.   Yes, every right can have a
> > corresponding opposing right so long as the latter isn t a crime or
> > isn t disallowed by the present Constitution.Natural rights are negative -- they require nothing on the part of others.
> > Rights have NOTHING to do with what some group decides is a 'crime' NOR what the Constitution allows/disallows.
> > All legitimate (natural) rights are derived from an Individual's right to life; his own life; self-ownership.
> > It is certainly IMMORAL as well as a violation of one's rights to have their money forcibly taken.
> > Legitimate Government SECURES (natural) rights <period>. A Government that does *anything* beyond such necessarily violates rights and is immoral -- no different from any other gang.
> > Regard$,
> > --MJ
> > There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him. -- Robert Heinlein
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Saving the Economy Through Bailouts? Only in Wonderland!


Friday, September 7, 2012
Saving the Economy Through Bailouts? Only in Wonderland!
William Anderson

I guess it is good that the Democratic National Convention is over if for no other reason than Paul Krugman can get some sleep, given his heart was pounding with joy and admiration over the brilliance of the speakers. No doubt, all this fall he will coordinate his columns and blog posts with talking points from the Obama campaign and the DNC, and I am sure that some real howlers are in store for us lucky readers.

His latest column of gratitude and worship comes in the form of praising Barack Obama for his Wondrous Works in Giving the Economy Life Eternal, or at least a small recovery. He writes:
On Inauguration Day 2009, the U.S. economy faced three main problems. First, and most pressing, there was a crisis in the financial system, with many of the crucial channels of credit frozen; we were, in effect, suffering the 21st-century version of the bank runs that brought on the Great Depression. Second, the economy was taking a major hit from the collapse of a gigantic housing bubble. Third, consumer spending was being held down by high levels of household debt, much of which had been run up during the Bush-era bubble.
The first of these problems was resolved quite quickly, thanks both to lots of emergency lending by the Federal Reserve and, yes, the much maligned bank bailouts. By late 2009, measures of financial stress were more or less back to normal.
This return to financial normalcy did not, however, produce a robust recovery. Fast recoveries are almost always led by a housing boom ­ and given the excess home construction that took place during the bubble, that just wasn't going to happen. Meanwhile, households were trying (or being forced by creditors) to pay down debt, which meant depressed demand. So the economy's free fall ended, but recovery remained sluggish.
 What Krugman wants us to believe is that by bailing out the banks and financial houses (which was pushed by the Bush administration and continued by Obama's presidency), the economy was saved. No, what happened was that the original downturn was not as great as it would have been had some other Kool-Aide-drinking banks also were forced to face the music -- complete with some executives losing their Connecticut mansions -- and the public find out very quickly which financial institutions were zombies and which were not.

Now, Krugman would argue that had the bailouts not occurred, the entire financial system would have collapsed. Granted, if the best thing the financial system could do was to engineer a housing bubble with more liabilities than the entire wealth of the world, maybe it needed the exit door. However, I suspect that we would have seen something quite less than the Apocalypse as Wall Street figures would have seen it in their interest to find a way out of the mess they had helped to create.

But there is more. Economist Mario Rizzo had a most interesting and insightful post this morning on Facebook, writing:
The Democrats say that we cannot go back to the policies that caused the financial crisis and recession. Ok. So what were those policies: The irresponsible expansion of Fannie and Freddie? The excessively easy monetary policy of the Fed? Inadequate regulation of securities? I do not remember a single Democrat objecting to these policies during the period before the crisis. I do remember Barney Frank pushing more and more expansion of Freddie and Fannie, though. Oh, the Bush tax cuts. No economist I have heard of says that the tax cuts caused the crisis and recession. So what are they talking about?
In fact, what do we have today? For one, it is a financial system full of zombie institutions with the bailouts obscuring which institutions are healthy and which are not. Furthermore, we have the clashing policies of easy money and picky regulations. Yes, the Obama administration is demanding that banks lend money out the wazoo, but the regulators don't want anyone to get those loans. One might want to try a policy in which the banks actually have to bear the consequences of bad and even reckless loans without having the Federal Reserve and the taxpayers standing behind to clean up the mess. I suspect that we would see some civilized behavior on Wall Street; instead, we see what, frankly, is a rigged game in which the government pushes down interest rates, limits the loan choices for banks via strict regulation, and then holds out the prospect of small-but-near-guaranteed returns from federal paper. Gee, I wonder where the banks will send their money.

And then there is the GM bailout. Krugman writes:
But, that said, Mr. Obama did push through policies -- the auto bailout and the Recovery Act -- that made the slump a lot less awful than it might have been.
There is a bit of a problem here; the General Motors and Chrysler bailouts did not help the economy; they hurt it. Yes, they kept the United Auto Workers in cash, which was the real purpose, anyway. (More on this below.) However, they also diverted huge amounts of capital away from more productive sectors in order to fund a venture in Crony Capitalism or maybe even Crony Socialism.

I doubt that Krugman is familiar with Frederic Bastiat, and reasonably so, since Bastiat really emphasized opportunity cost and Krugman really seems to believe that by printing money, government can do away with that pesky little economic law. The GM and Chrysler bailouts not only were politically-motivated, but also were carried out with a political calculus, all the way down to determining which dealerships would be closed and which would stay open. (It seems that campaign contributions had something to do with the calculus of decision making.)

Bastiat was a master of understanding the larger picture, something that Keynesians are not able to comprehend. (Sorry, folks, the use of aggregates does not constitute a view of a "big picture" of economics.) Instead of looking to the UAW members who kept their jobs, Bastiat would have looked at the opportunities that were lost and the entrepreneurs who could not see their own ideas fulfilled because the UAW needed a bailout.

I notice another trend in Krugman, writings, and that is a very sneaky theme that goes something like this: The economy is going to recover very well, anyway, so we should re-elect Obama to "validate his record." Furthermore, Krugman wants us to believe that if Mitt Romney were elected and the recovery occurred, that would be very bad because he would wrongly get the credit for recovery. (Actually, I think it will be bad if either man wins the election, but that is another story.)

If Obama is re-elected and the economy slides down, then I am sure that Krugman simply will blame the Goldstein Republicans or even George W. Bush. Of that we can be sure.

While I did not watch the DNC (or RNC) conventions, I did see a hilarious Youtube of former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm claiming that Obama's auto bailout saved the entire U.S. manufacturing sector and with it, the whole economy. Not only is she completely unhinged, but the notion that forcing taxpayers to underwrite a horribly-unproductive industry is not the way to save anyone except for those who were politically-connected. Furthermore, her claim that the "entire auto industry" would have collapsed without the bailout is simply false.

I do find it instructive that Krugman never mentioned this mangling of the facts, but as I have said before, the guy is a political operative, not an economist. A real economist would not claim that throwing money into a political rathole constitutes a stimulus that leads to recovery.

http://krugman-in-wonderland.blogspot.com/2012/09/saving-economy-through-bailouts-only-in.html

The Stunted Vision of the Democratic Party


The Stunted Vision of the Democratic Party
Jesse Walker
Sep. 7, 2012 12:15 pm

There was a moment at this week's Democratic convention that seemed to encapsulate the party's stunted vision. It came during the remarks of Maria Ciano, a Colorado woman who presents herself as a former Republican distressed by the modern GOP. "I still believe in small government, but I no longer believe in the Republican Party," she said. "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want the government to have a say in my family planning. They want employers to decide what kind of birth control coverage I have -- or if I can have it at all."

It's an interesting sleight-of-hand that allowed Ciano to get from praising small government to defending a new government mandate in just three sentences. But that's not why I'm quoting her. I'm bringing her up because it's useful to think about why Ciano's employer would have a role in her birth control purchases in the first place.

The answer comes in two parts. First, because the law requires a woman to get a prescription before she can buy the pill, and it requires her to get an invasive and frequently unnecessary medical exam before she can acquire that prescription. Eliminate those controls, and insurance coverage would be beside the point; the pill would be cheaply available over the counter. Second, because changes to the tax code in the 1940s and '50s have channeled us into a system where Americans overwhelmingly get their health insurance through their jobs. Eliminate those incentives, and far fewer people would be dependant on their employers for insurance at all, substantially reducing the relevance of the boss's opinions about birth control.

It goes without saying that Barack Obama has displayed no interest in rolling back the FDA's birth control rules. Nor has he moved away from the policies that push people into employer-based health coverage, or, more broadly, from a system where so many medical services are purchased via insurance in the first place. Indeed, his signature accomplishment is a law requiring people who don't have health insurance to buy it.

If you can't afford to buy it, you may qualify for financial assistance. That's the Democratic Party's promise: We won't end the policies that empower big institutions and raise the cost of living, but when they send you the bill we might help you pay. You saw the same idea at work when various speakers this week invoked student loans: The Democrats will lend you money for college, but they'll do nothing to end the legally enshrined credentialism that makes so many professions off-limits without a degree. And if those subsidies end up inflating the cost of tuition and health care even more...well, then the pols will just call for more subsidies.

When Democrats invoked "equality of opportunity" this week, that's what they were talking about: government action to help people run through mazes that the government helped erect. I don't expect the Dems to stop looking for ways to offer assistance, but dammit, it would be nice if some of them would take on the mazes instead of hatching plans that'll make them more complex.

We cannot afford another four years of Tweedledum.

Last week the Republicans touted themselves as the party of I-built-that entrepreneurship while presenting corporate welfare queens like Boeing as business heroes. This week the Democrats touted themselves as the party of working Americans while praising policies that shore up the insurance industry and the collegiate sorting machine (and while offering an argument for the auto bailout that amounted to a trickle-down defense of corporate welfare). For the next two months, those parties' standard-bearers will tout this election as a stark choice between deeply different alternatives. Where are those factcheckers when you need them?

http://reason.com/blog/2012/09/07/the-stunted-vision-of-the-democratic-par

Hannity and Goolsbee in the Statist Box

"When liberals and conservatives see those bad economic conditions, it never occurs to them that the root cause of such conditions is the system itself -- the system of welfarism, regulation, and warfarism. In their minds, the economic problems are rooted in the fact that the wrong manager is in power. All that people have to do, they think, is elect "better people" to public office -- i.e., government officials who are better able to manage America's "free enterprise" system."

Friday, September 7, 2012
Hannity and Goolsbee in the Statist Box
by Jacob G. Hornberger

Yesterday I happened to tune in on the radio to a fascinating and boring exchange between conservative talk-show host Sean Hannity and a liberal economist named Austan Goolsbee, who used to serve on President Obama's Council of Economic Advisors.

The exchange was boring, for me as a libertarian, because it involved the standard solution proposed by liberals and conservatives to America's economic woes. At the same time, it was fascinating because it perfectly epitomized the mindsets of conservatives and liberals on economic matters.

The two of them were going at it over whether a Republican or a Democrat president would be better at managing the economy.

Hannity kept exclaiming that Obama had broken promises that he had made while campaigning for president four years ago, such as his promise, if elected, to cut the deficit in half and to reduce unemployment.

Goolsbee would repeatedly respond in the predictable fashion -- that Obama could not be held responsible for breaking his promises because he inherited a horrible economic situation the Bush administration.

They just kept going back and forth with the same basic argument -- that Romney would be a better manager of the economy than Obama and vice versa.

There is no doubt that both of them considered their exchange to be a very exciting debate and, for all I know, your standard liberal or conservative would agree. But for me it was tremendously boring. The only reason I kept listening was because I was so fascinated over the fact that they obviously thought that their debate was substantive and exciting.

What fascinated me was how they both operated under the assumption that their mindsets were fundamentally different, owing to the fact that each of them took opposite positions over which presidential candidate would make a better manager of the economy. The last thing that would ever occur to either of them was that they actually share the same fundamental mindset when it comes to economic principles.

What do I mean by that?

Imagine a great big box in which everyone in society is living, including Hannity and Goolsbee. Society inside the box consists of a massive welfare state, government-regulated economy, and warfare state, where the president is charged with running and managing the economy. On the outside of the box is written "This is a statist box" but Hannity and Goolsbee can't see that sign because they're inside the box. On the walls inside the box are signs that say, "This is a free-enterprise system." Since Hannity and Goolsbee are born and raised within the box, their mindsets are formed by the signs on the inside of the box, not by the sign on the outside of the box.

So, for Hannity and Goolsbee, the economic system under which they live is free-enterprise in nature, one that needs to be run and managed by the head of the government -- the president. If things go wrong within the box, that's because the wrong man is in charge.

"Elect my man," exclaims Hannity, "and golden days will be here again because he's better able to manager our free-enterprise system than his man."

"Not so," responds Goolsbee. "His man's management of the economy would be a disaster. Elect my man because he knows how to create jobs better than his man does."

But within the context of their heated exchange, notice something important here: They both operate under the same fundamental principle ­ that the president of a country should be managing the economy, including creating jobs for the populace, and that such a system is "free enterprise" in nature.

Why do I find their exchange so boring? Because like other libertarians, I have broken free of the box. Unlike liberals and conservatives, whose mindsets are formed by the "free enterprise" signs inside the box, libertarians see the sign that appears on the outside of the box, the one that says, "This is a statist box."

In other words, libertarians have a grip on the reality of the situation while liberals and conservatives operate under a delusion. Ever since America adopted the welfare-state, regulated-society, warfare-state way of life, Americans began living within a statist box. But the statists who foisted this alien way of life on America figured that if they could convince Americans that all this statism wasn't really statism at all but rather a simple reform of America's free-enterprise system, all would be okay.

But as any psychiatrist will tell us, clinging to a delusion doesn't alter reality. Just because a person who jumps out of a 20th story window is convinced that nothing will happen to him when he hits the ground, that's not going to alter the outcome when he ultimately hits the ground.

By the same token, the welfare-state, regulated-economy, -state way of life has profound economic consequences. Over time, it reduces economic prosperity and plunges people into lower standards of living, regardless of how convinced people are that this is all really "free enterprise."

When liberals and conservatives see those bad economic conditions, it never occurs to them that the root cause of such conditions is the system itself -- the system of welfarism, regulation, and warfarism. In their minds, the economic problems are rooted in the fact that the wrong manager is in power. All that people have to do, they think, is elect "better people" to public office -- i.e., government officials who are better able to manage America's "free enterprise" system.

Thus, if America is ever to get back on the right track, it's imperative that we confront reality. The welfare state, the regulated economy, and the warfare state are not free enterprise. They are not free market. They are not private property. They are statism. An economic system based on free enterprise, free markets, and private property is one in which there is the absence of a welfare state, regulated economy, and warfare state.

Thus, Hannity and Goolsbee have it all wrong, and their heated "debate" over which presidential candidate would make a better manager of the economy is a total waste of time and energy. It doesn't make any difference whether Obama or Romney is elected. No matter which one is elected, the economic problems will continue because the root of the problem is the system itself -- the system of statism that statists foisted on America in the last century.

The only solution to that problem is not finding a better manager of the statist system, as Hannity and Goolsbee both believe, but rather to dismantle and repeal the statist system itself.

http://www.fff.org/blog/jghblog2012-09-07.asp

Is Government like Immigrants?


Is Government like Immigrants?
September 7, 2012 @ 11:09 am
Posted by David Boaz

In his speech last night, President Obama listed a lot of groups of people whom we shouldn't blame for "all our problems":
We don't think the government can solve all our problems. But we don't think that the government is the source of all our problems, any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we're told to blame for our troubles.
He's right to discourage scapegoating. But there's a category error here. Government is not just a group of people distinguished by their place of birth, or sexual orientation, or economic organization. Government is defined by its power to use force to achieve its purposes. Gays and immigrants don't have such power. Neither do corporations or unions or welfare recipients.

No one blames governments for "all our problems." Indeed, libertarians should be the first to remember, as Dr. Johnson told us,
How small, of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure!
But the introduction of force into human relationships does cause many problems. Taxes reduce incentives and distort decisions, not to mention limiting our freedom. Government spending likewise distorts economic decisions. Government regulation impels people to expend resources in ways that don't best serve consumer desires. Central bank manipulation of the money supply introduces massive distortions into economic decisionmaking, often bringing about cycles of boom and bust. Drug prohibition, conscription, tariffs, punitive taxes, the exclusion of people from social and economic life on the basis of their race or gender or religion or sexual orientation­a large part of the activities of modern governments do cause many of our problems.

So President Obama is right to warn us against blaming our problems on "any other group," just as President Clinton was right to warn us in his own acceptance speech 20 years ago not to blame "them­Them, the minorities. Them, the liberals. Them, the poor. Them, the homeless. Them, the people with disabilities. Them, the gays." But blaming government is not equivalent to that kind of scapegoating.

When we "blame government," we're doing two things:
1. We're pointing to specific policies that caused problems such as the financial crisis or prohibition-related crime or failing public schools.
2. We're blaming the process of government, which necessarily involves coercion, predation, politicization, the diversion of resources to less-valued uses, and thus a reduced standard of living.
That's not scapegoating. It's analysis. It's economics, history, political theory, and sociology.

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/is-government-like-immigrants/

Is It Too Late for an Obama-Romney Ticket?


Monday, September 10, 2012
Is It Too Late for an Obama-Romney Ticket?
by Jacob G. Hornberger

I don't understand why Mitt Romney doesn't offer to replace Joe Biden as President Obama's running mate. Wouldn't that save everyone a lot of time, money, and energy? After all, is there any real fundamental difference between Obama and Romney?

Of course there isn't. This was most recently demonstrated in an interview Romney gave on "Meet the Press." According to today's New York Times, Romney said that Obamacare isn't all bad and that while he has his own healthcare reform plan in mind, he would certainly retain portions of Obamacare if he were elected president.

Romney also praised Obama's killing of Osama bin Laden, which Democrats are hoping will show Americans that Democrats can be as tough in foreign affairs as Republicans.

As the campaign develops, voters are sure to come to the realization that when it comes to political and economic philosophy, there is absolutely no difference between Romney and Obama, just as there isn't any fundamental difference between liberals and conservatives.

On healthcare, Romney and Obama both believe that it is the government's role to provide healthcare to people. That's why they both ardently believe in Medicare and Medicaid, a socialistic program that was brought into existence during the regime of arch-liberal Lyndon Johnson.

Sure, they'll battle over whose healthcare reform should be adopted, but necessarily it will be a fight that avoids any discussion over whether government intervention into healthcare is why the system always is breaking down and constantly needs to be "reformed."

The last thing these guys are ever going to do is to question whether the provision of healthcare is a legitimate function of government. That would be much too frightening.

It's the same all across the board.

Social Security? For these guys, it's a given that this socialistic program is now a permanent part of American life, notwithstanding the fact that it was adopted during the Great Depression, when people were suffering the economic effects of the Federal Reserve's monetary policies. Given that the Depression ended more than 70 years ago, how come Social Security has never been repealed? Alas, that's not a question that Obama and Romney are going to ask. They both believe that it's the government's job to provide people's retirement and to force people to be good and caring to the elderly.

Education? They'll both agree that public education is an absolute mess, and Romney might even point out that Obama doesn't even send his own children to public school. But their fight will be over which of them will be the better reformer. The last thing they're going to do is question whether the government should be in the education business.

The drug war? They are both fiercely committing to fighting it for the indefinite future, no matter its manifest failure after decades of warfare. They will both support the use of the military and the CIA in foreign lands to fight the drug lords. Why, they might even support the same thing here in the United States, especially if the military and the CIA need some new justification for their existence.

There will be no discussion of drug-war corruption within law enforcement and the judiciary, the massive stealing of money by public officials with asset-forfeiture laws, the violence that comes with drug prohibition, the high jail sentences, the racism of the drug war, and the long trail of ruined lives. All that we will hear from both candidates is a long rendition of good intentions and expositions as to who will be the tougher drug-warrior-in-chief.

Of course, they'll battle over who will be the better manager of the economy and the better job-creator-in-chief. Romney will blame Obama for not cutting the deficit, restoring economic prosperity, and creating more jobs. Obama will blame it all on George W. Bush. The candidates who run in 2016 will say much the same things.

Neither Romney nor Obama will dare suggest that managing the economy and producing jobs are not a legitimate function of government. Their mindsets are the same: that the government must manage the economy and produce jobs and that it's the job of the president to lead and oversee the process.

In fact, neither candidate will think for a moment that it is the federal government itself -- and specifically its massive paternalistic state -- that is one of the root causes of America's economic and financial woes. That's why they both keep looking to reform the system and both keep claiming to be the better reformer.

It's no different with foreign policy. Once he assumed the presidency, Obama turned his back on most everything he had said during his 2008 campaign and embraced the Republican philosophy favoring imperialism, interventionism, torture, civil liberties, privacy, and the war on terrorism. In so doing, he cleverly outmaneuvered the GOP, leaving Romney to essentially run on one issue: that he'll be a better manager of the economy and job-creator-in-chief than Obama.

Immigration? Romney will argue that he'll be tough on immigration, but he'll have a difficult time showing that he'd be a tougher immigration deporter than Obama, given the record number of people deported by Obama during the past four years.

Meanwhile, the federal government continues to hurl toward bankruptcy, spending a trillion dollars more per year than what it raises with taxes. And everyone knows that it doesn't really matter who gets elected because both candidates have made it clear that the last thing they're going to do is to drastically reduce welfare expenditures or warfare expenditures.

Moreover, everyone knows that neither the welfare sector nor the national-security state sector will permit any major reductions in their respective doles. Equally important, the mainstream media, both liberal and conservative, would never permit such reductions anyway.

So, that means that federal spending will continue soaring through the roof regardless of who is elected. It also means that massive amounts of debt will continue to be piled onto the backs of the hard-pressed American people. Federal Reserve inflation will come, as it has decade after decade, ensuring continued monetary debauchery and plunder.

So, why not an Obama-Romney ticket? Sure, it wouldn't solve America's woes, but neither will electing one or the other of them. At least it would spare the country the boredom, anguish, and expense of the next two months of the campaign.

http://www.fff.org/blog/jghblog2012-09-10.asp

Paul Ryan, Deficits, and Smaller Government


Paul Ryan, Deficits, and Smaller Government
September 10, 2012 @ 12:03 pm
Posted by David Boaz

NPR notes on Sunday that Rep. Paul Ryan's voting record in Congress calls into question his image as a deficit hawk. But they emphasize Alice Rivlin's explanation:
I think you have to distinguish deficit hawk from small-government conservative. I think of him as a man committed to a smaller government that has less of a role in people's lives. He really believes that: that the government does too much. And he thinks taxes should be less.
Rivlin and Douglas Holtz-Eakin are correct to distinguish between mere deficit hawks and philosophical advocates of smaller government. But it's not clear that Ryan's voting record supports that theory either:
FOR the No Child Left Behind Act (2001)
FOR the Iraq war (2002)
FOR the Medicare prescription drug entitlement (2003)
FOR Head Start reauthorization (2007)
FOR Economic Stimulus Act (January 2008)
FOR extending unemployment benefits (2008)
FOR TARP (2008)
FOR GM/Chrysler bailout (2008)
FOR $192 billion anti-recession spending bill (2009)
To be sure, Ryan speaks eloquently about smaller government. And he certainly supports smaller government -- at least in terms of federal spending on non-military programs -- than President Obama and Vice President Biden, who never met a government spending program they didn't love. And of course we know that members of Congress tend to support the positions of their party. But he still needs to work to get his actions in line with his rhetoric.
 
http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/paul-ryan-deficits-and-smaller-government/

Re: Paying taxes doesn’t allow Atheists, nor any group , to dictate to others.

Hello John,
 
Although it was difficult to get through that long winded disortation, (reminds me of someone who graduated from Clemson!)  and I agree that the Obama Administration has by executive order installed unconstitutional, communistic mandates upon "We, The People";   I am at a loss as to how you believe that our two party system is unconstitutional. 
 
Far from it. 
 
There is nothing in the Constitution,  (or maybe you can point out the Article and paragraph for us?)  that restricts the association of like minded politically thinking individuals from forming associations or groups to further their political cause. 
 
I also take exception to your notion that the "weak govern the strong".  Examples please.  With regard to bias within the law.....Yes.  It's true, and has been since the beginning of recorded history.  The United States is no exception, and I can cite numerous instances within our 235 year history,  beginning with the "Shea's Rebellion"  of bias contained within the law.   To some degree,  it is these "biases"  that you refer to, that shape and form our "culture" and our "morals".
 
All unalienable rights are from God,  not government and they cannot be stripped by government,  unless one "volunteers"  to waive his God given unalienable right.
 


 
On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 1:46 PM, NoEinstein <noeinstein@bellsouth.net> wrote:
Yes, Studio, but "the two major political parties" are 100%
UNCONSTITUTIONAL under our present Constitution!  The USA isn't a
democracy, but is supposed to be (but never has been) a Representative
Republic.  The Founding Fathers were totally committed to the
principle that the PEOPLE control government.  Nowhere in the
Constitution is it sanctioned to allow political parties to substitute
biased group power for the "close to a Democracy" power of the voters
on election day.  Yes, there were Whigs and Tories in the 18th
century.  But those were mechanisms for government control far
different from a Representative Republic!  Note: That treasonous
BASTARD in the White House, Barack H. Obama, still supposes that the
USA is "our great Democracy", while he acts as our communist-socialist
dictator.  As numbers of you have pointed out a year or two ago,
Democracies—if that's the only stipulated 'control' of government—will
allow the weak to control the strong.  And that isn't just if it is
like: two wolves and a sheep deciding what is for supper.  Having
controls in the Constitution that mandate justice and fairness will
allow the voters to decide controversial issues WITHIN the bounds of
justice and fairness.  No biased group gets to define justice and
fairness so as to allow them to exploit others for their own selfish
gain.  The best route to saving the USA, as well as our entire
socioeconomic system, is to strip all biased groups of power over the
course of government.  Once that happens, there won't be any more
pressure to have governments become all things for all people, which
as we should know by now ( but Obama doesn't), doesn't work!  — John
A. Armistead —

On Sep 6, 11:48 am, studio <tl...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> On Sep 5, 5:39 pm, NoEinstein <noeinst...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
>
> > Dear Studio:
> >  Since both of those are issues of
> > high controversy, the American People should be allowed to decide once
> > and for all in direct referenda.
>
> I'm in TOTAL agreement with that!
> However, Republitards will remind you we live in a Republic, not a
> Democracy.
> And neither of the 2 major parties actually want people to decide by
> referendum.

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Re: Paying taxes doesn’t allow Atheists, nor any g roup , to dictate to others.

At 07:46 AM 9/10/2012, you wrote:
Yes, Studio, but "the two major political parties" are 100%
UNCONSTITUTIONAL under our present Constitution! 

Much of what the parties *do* is certainly unconstitutional, but the parties, themselves, are certainly not.

Regard$,
--MJ

As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of demand. -- Josh Billings

Unbelievable Sign in New York City



 
 
 




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Incoherent Romney


Monday, September 10, 2012
Incoherent Romney
Sheldon Richman

Mitt Romney says he wouldn't repeal all of Obamacare. He'll keep the rule forbidding exclusion for preexisting conditions, i.e., he'll maintain guaranteed issue. But he is going to find that he can't do just that. If all that's mandated is guaranteed issue, what's to stop insurers from charging premiums to already-sick clients that amount simply to prepayment for the medical expenses they are certain to incur (plus administrative overhead)? At that point the coverage is no longer insurance. Also, that won't fly politically, which is why guaranteed issue is always coupled with community rating--the requirement that insurers charge people in the same area the same premiums regardless of their health. That requirement raises premiums for younger healthy people so they will cross-subsidize older and sicker people.

But that leads to a new problem. (See Mises's Critique of Interventionism.) Younger and healthier people will leave the insurance market: Why pay inflated premiums when you can put off buying coverage until you are sick?

There's only one solution to this problem if the other interventions are to be maintained: an individual insurance mandate, the centerpiece of Obamacare, which Republicans and conservatives say they hate. Except that they don't really. Romney enacted a mandate in Massachusetts, and the conservative Heritage Foundation proposed one in the 1990s after the Clintons proposed their health care overhaul.

Is this Romney capitulation to Obamacare enough to keep the GOP base home and assure Obama the election?

http://sheldonfreeassociation.blogspot.com/2012/09/incoherent-romney.html?spref=fb

The Real Unemployment Numbers Are Worse Than You Are Being Told


The Real Unemployment Numbers Are Worse Than You Are Being Told

According to the Obama administration, the unemployment rate in the United States has been slowly coming down over the past couple of years.  But is that actually true?  When you take a closer look at the data you quickly realize that the real unemployment numbers are much worse than we are being told.  For example, if the labor force participation rate was the same today as it was back when Barack Obama first took office, the unemployment rate in the United States would be a whopping 11.2 percent.  But every month the Obama administration has been able to show "progress" because of the fiction that hundreds of thousands of Americans are "disappearing" from the labor force each month.  Frankly, the way that they come up with these numbers is an insult to our intelligence.  Personally, I much prefer the employment-population ratio.  It is a measure of the percentage of working age Americans that actually have jobs.  I like to call it "the employment rate".  So what happened to the "employment rate" in August?  It fell slightly to 58.3 percent.  It is lower than it was when the last recession supposedly ended, and it is almost as low as it has been at any point since the very beginning of this crisis.  A few times during this economic downturn it has actually hit 58.2 percent.  Needless to say, things are not getting any better.  So why aren't the American people being told the truth?

After every other recession in the post-World War II era, the employment rate has always rebounded.

But not this time.

Does this look like a recovery to you?....

[]

So how in the world can Barack Obama claim that we are better off now?

In August 2010, 58.5 percent of working age Americans had jobs.

In August 2012, 58.3 percent of working age Americans had jobs.

So where is the recovery?

It is two years later and a smaller percentage of Americans are employed.

It is very frustrating to me that we are not being told the truth about the unemployment numbers.  The following are some more indications that the real unemployment numbers are much worse than we are being told....

-In July, 142,220,000 Americans were working.  In August, only 142,101,000 Americans were working.  So the number of Americans working fell by 119,000 and yet the government would have us believe that the unemployment rate actually declined from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent.

-According to the federal government, 96,000 jobs were added to the economy in August and the U.S. labor force shrank by 368,000 even though our population is continually growing. If the size of the U.S. labor force had stayed the same, the official unemployment rate would have actually gone up to 8.4 percent.

-Almost all of the new jobs added in August were the result of the "birth-death" model used by the Labor Department to estimate jobs added by new businesses.  That model has been heavily criticized for being inaccurate.  If you take the 87,000 jobs added by that model out of the equation, then the U.S. economy only added 9,000 jobs in August.  But it takes somewhere around 125,000 new jobs each month just to keep up with the growth of the population.

-If the labor participation rate was sitting where it was when Barack Obama first took office, the unemployment rate in the United States would actually be 11.2 percent.

-If the labor participation rate was sitting at the 30 year average of 65.8 percent, the unemployment rate in the United States would actually be 11.7 percent.

-John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics would put the "real" rate of unemployment up around 23 percent after adding in all workers that have given up looking for work and all underemployed workers.

-The labor participation rate for men has fallen to 69.9 percent.  This is the lowest level that it has been since the U.S. government began tracking this statistic back in 1948.

-There was more bad news for manufacturing in this latest report.  During the month of August the U.S. manufacturing sector lost approximately 15,000 jobs.

-The official unemployment rate has now been above 8 percent for 43 months in a row.

-The percentage of working age Americans with a job has been below 59 percent for 36 months in a row.

-The employment numbers for both June and July were revised downward significantly.  For June, it turns out that only 45,000 jobs were added to the economy as opposed to the 64,000 that were originally reported.  For July, it turns out that only 141,000 jobs were added to the economy as opposed to the 163,000 that were originally reported.

-Incredibly, 58 percent of the jobs created since the end of the last recession have been low income jobs.

-The U.S. economy currently has 4.7 million less jobs than it did when the last recession started.

So what is the solution to these problems?

The media is breathlessly proclaiming that more quantitative easing is on the way and that the Federal Reserve will save the economy and send the stock market soaring to new heights.

A headline on CNBC on Friday boldly declared the following: "Market Sees 'Helicopter Ben' Coming to the Rescue".

You can almost hear the chopper blades whirling now.

Apparently Bernanke has had a love of showering the economy with money for a very long time.  For example, you can see a picture of a young Ben Bernanke in action right here.

Of course that is a joke, but you get the point.

In recent years Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and the rest of his cohorts have printed money like there is no tomorrow.

So have the previous rounds of quantitative easing solved our problems?

Of course not.

The employment rate is even lower today than it was two years ago.

But all of that money printing has sent the stock market soaring and it has enabled the big Wall Street banks to make an obscene amount of money.

The truth is that the Federal Reserve, the Obama administration and the big Wall Street banks don't really care about you.

They don't really care that the middle class is rapidly shrinking and that the number of Americans on food stamps has risen by more than 14 million since Barack Obama became president.

What they care about is what is good for them.

As I have written about previously, if we continue on the same path that we have been on for the past several decades, there will never be enough jobs in America ever again.

On our current trajectory, we will end up just like Greece where the unemployment rate is now up to 24.4 percent.

Once upon a time the economy of Greece was thriving.

But today, many formerly middle class Greek citizens are leaving Greece and are picking up whatever work they can find....

As a pharmaceutical salesman in Greece for 17 years, Tilemachos Karachalios wore a suit, drove a company car and had an expense account. He now mops schools in Sweden, forced from his home by Greece's economic crisis.
"It was a very good job," said Karachalios, 40, of his former life. "Now I clean Swedish s---."

Karachalios, who left behind his 6-year-old daughter to be raised by his parents, is one of thousands fleeing Greece's record 24 percent unemployment and austerity measures that threaten to undermine growth.

Would you be willing to do that?

Don't laugh.

Someday when the unemployment rate in the United States gets that high we will see large numbers of desperate Americans leaving this country in search of work somewhere else.

Already, an increasing number of Americans are buying expired food at auctions.

Times are hard and people are trying to get by any way that they can.

More than 100 million Americans are already on welfare and things have not even gotten that bad yet.

This is nothing compared to what is coming.

As you can see from the chart posted near the top of this article, the last economic downturn appears to have permanently weakened the U.S. economy.

Now the next wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching.

How much worse will things get when it finally hits us?

That is something to think about.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-real-unemployment-numbers-are-worse-than-you-are-being-told

Corporate Cronyism Harms America

"To end cronyism we must end government's ability to dole out favors and rig the market. Far too many well-connected businesses are feeding at the federal trough. By addressing corporate welfare as well as other forms of welfare, we would add a whole new level of understanding to the notion of entitlement reform.
"If America re-establishes the proper role of business in society, all kinds of benefits will accrue. Our economy will rebound. Our liberties will be restored. And when President Obama tells an entrepreneur "You didn't build that," everyone will know better."

September 9, 2012, 6:55 p.m. ET
Corporate Cronyism Harms America
When businesses feed at the federal trough, they threaten public support for business and free markets.
By CHARLES G. KOCH

"We didn't build this business­somebody else did."

So reads a sign outside a small roadside craft store in Utah. The message is clearly tongue-in-cheek. But if it hung next to the corporate offices of some of our nation's big financial institutions or auto makers, there would be no irony in the message at all.

It shouldn't surprise us that the role of American business is increasingly vilified or viewed with skepticism. In a Rasmussen poll conducted this year, 68% of voters said they "believe government and big business work together against the rest of us."

Businesses have failed to make the case that government policy­not business greed­has caused many of our current problems. To understand the dreadful condition of our economy, look no further than mandates such as the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac "affordable housing" quotas, directives such as the Community Reinvestment Act, and the Federal Reserve's artificial, below-market interest-rate policy.

Far too many businesses have been all too eager to lobby for maintaining and increasing subsidies and mandates paid by taxpayers and consumers. This growing partnership between business and government is a destructive force, undermining not just our economy and our political system, but the very foundations of our culture.

With partisan rhetoric on the rise this election season, it's important to remind ourselves of what the role of business in a free society really is­and even more important, what it is not.

The role of business is to provide products and services that make people's lives better­while using fewer resources­and to act lawfully and with integrity. Businesses that do this through voluntary exchanges not only benefit through increased profits, they bring better and more competitively priced goods and services to market. This creates a win-win situation for customers and companies alike.

Only societies with a system of economic freedom create widespread prosperity. Studies show that the poorest people in the most-free societies are 10 times better off than the poorest in the least-free. Free societies also bring about greatly improved outcomes in life expectancy, literacy, health, the environment and other important dimensions.

So why isn't economic freedom the "default setting" for our economy? What upsets this productive state of affairs? Trouble begins whenever businesses take their eyes off the needs and wants of consumers­and instead cast longing glances on government and the favors it can bestow. When currying favor with Washington is seen as a much easier way to make money, businesses inevitably begin to compete with rivals in securing government largess, rather than in winning customers.

We have a term for this kind of collusion between business and government. It used to be known as rent-seeking. Now we call it cronyism. Rampant cronyism threatens the economic foundations that have made this the most prosperous country in the world.

We are on dangerous terrain when government picks winners and losers in the economy by subsidizing favored products and industries. There are now businesses and entire industries that exist solely as a result of federal patronage. Profiting from government instead of earning profits in the economy, such businesses can continue to succeed even if they are squandering resources and making products that people wouldn't ordinarily buy.

Because they have the advantage of an uneven playing field, crony businesses can drive their legitimate competitors out of business. But in the longer run, they are unsustainable and unable to compete internationally (unless, of course, the government handouts are big enough). At least the Solyndra boondoggle ended when it went out of business.

By subsidizing and mandating politically favored products in the energy sector (solar, wind and biofuels, some of which benefit Koch Industries), the government is pushing up energy prices for all of us­five times as much in the case of wind-generated electricity. And by putting resources to less-efficient use, cronyism actually kills jobs rather than creating them. Put simply, cronyism is remaking American business to be more like government. It is taking our most productive sectors and making them some of our least.

The effects on government are equally distorting­and corrupting. Instead of protecting our liberty and property, government officials are determining where to send resources based on the political influence of their cronies. In the process, government gains even more power and the ranks of bureaucrats continue to swell.

Subsidies and mandates are just two of the privileges that government can bestow on politically connected friends. Others include grants, loans, tax credits, favorable regulations, bailouts, loan guarantees, targeted tax breaks and no-bid contracts. Government can also grant monopoly status, barriers to entry and protection from foreign competition.

Whatever form these privileges take, Americans are rightly suspicious of the cronyism that substitutes political influence for free markets. According to Rasmussen, two-thirds of the electorate are convinced that crony connections explain most government contracts­and that federal money will be wasted "if the government provides funding for a project that private investors refuse to back." Some 71% think "private sector companies and investors are better than government officials at determining the long-term benefits and potential of new technologies." Only 11% believe "government officials have a better eye for future value."

To end cronyism we must end government's ability to dole out favors and rig the market. Far too many well-connected businesses are feeding at the federal trough. By addressing corporate welfare as well as other forms of welfare, we would add a whole new level of understanding to the notion of entitlement reform.

If America re-establishes the proper role of business in society, all kinds of benefits will accrue. Our economy will rebound. Our liberties will be restored. And when President Obama tells an entrepreneur "You didn't build that," everyone will know better.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443847404577629841476562610.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_h

Re: Paying taxes doesn’t allow Atheists, nor any g roup , to dictate to others.

MJ: There has been a lot of discussion, lately, about "rights" coming
from God, not from government. It seems to me that the Founding
Fathers' mention of God as being the fountainhead of our rights is a
short synonym for "the moral consensus'. Moral consensus certainly
trumps government power, including the treasonous dictatorial power of
Obama and his unconstitutional czars. There is a very neurotic
tendency of a large percentage of the population (but not the
majority) to see "God" as the giver of all good things. Those same
people all too willingly excuse God for the bad things that happen,
like killer storms. They feel "highly connected" by supposing they
are being "favored" by God, because of their ritualistic devotion. My
own definition of God is: "The personification of all of the Natural
Laws in the Universe, which have always existed and which will always
exist."

It is a very bad thing, indeed, when neurotic people like Mike
Huckabee, lambaste those Democrats who had desired that their platform
be secular. The "mentioning" of God in any political context is a
movement to allow (a) religion, with all of its head-buried-in-the-
sand blindness, to ultimately control our government in much the way
that Muslims want religion to control theirs. There is this not too
flattering attitude among the Bible Thumpers that they are better than
others because they "worship" the law of probability that allows them
to have (thus far) gotten good things from the "laws of nature".
Being 'addicted' to one's religion doesn't bode too well for such
people being very deep and self-determining thinkers. But those who
are so addicted aren't necessarily bad people, just naïve ones. — J.
A. Armistead —

On Sep 4, 10:52 pm, MJ <micha...@america.net> wrote:
> EVERY Individual has a (natural) right to life; their own life; self-ownership. EVERY other (natural) right is a corollary of this ideal. EVERY other (natural) right is NEGATIVE -- it requires no one to provide for it.
> Government -- LEGITIMATE Government -- secures (natural) rights <period>.
> EVERY action a Government does CONTRARY to securing (natural) rights NECESSARILY provides advantage to some at the expense of everyone else. Said government NECESSARILY violates (natural) rights.
> What is a 'logical, agreed-upon' amount of theft?
> I say it is ZERO and do not agree upon *ANY* amount greater. Therefore, it is not 'agree-upon'. No what?
> You want a Government that does MORE? Fund it VOLUNTARILY rather than by theft. What better measure of 'want'? What better application of 'democracy'?
> Regard$,
> --MJ
> "If the government can take a man's money without his consent, there is no limit to the additional tyranny it may practise upon him; for, with his money, it can hire soldiers to stand over him, keep him in subjection, plunder him at discretion, and kill him if he resists." -- Lysander SpoonerAt 05:38 AM 9/3/2012, you wrote:MJ:  Many of the 'natural rights' regard what one does with their own
> time and money, not what gets done by governments after some logical,
> agreed-upon portion of one's taxes get allocated to be spent by
> governments.  Most of these philosophical issues are ballooning out of
> control, lately, because too many people see governments as the cure
> for every ailment.  You and I don't think that way, do we.
> Personally, I'm unhappy with having so much of our money being spent
> to fight largely un winnable wars.  I'm with Ron Paul on what the
> scope of governments need to be:  smaller!
> It offends my logic, greatly, that so many of the right-to-lifers
> value the "innocent" blue-print-only early dividing cells following
> conception more than they value the lives of grown men and women with
> families who are getting killed and maimed in wars.  I believe the
> unborn have rights, but not beginning at conception.  An aircraft
> taking off on a runway will pass what is known as the point-of-no-
> return—meaning that its ground speed is too great to allow slamming-on-
> the-brakes and returning to the terminal.  For me, I would place the
> "pro-choice" time limit at 2.5 to 3 months.  After that time, the
> rights of the unborn should begin to take precedence.  I'm offended,
> even more so, by those people, including many say-anything-to-win
> politicians, who think they are being pious-next-to-God for putting
> diapers on a speck of cells too small to be seen without a magnifying
> glass.  Those same pious, mental lightweights think they are being
> 'closer to God' to suppose that the Universe was constructed in just
> six days, and that any scientist who thinks otherwise is an
> underling.  Religions, taken as a whole, are divisive and hurtful
> institutions offering little assurance that the various members will
> be getting a favored route to heaven.  When the Founding Fathers
> wanted our government to be secular, they surely knew what they were
> doing!  Those who get mad at symbols, like the 9/11 cross in the
> debris, simply need to be minding their own business, NOT trying to
> tell others how to mind theirs.  — J. A. Armistead —
> On Aug 19, 5:37 pm, MJ <micha...@america.net> wrote:
> > I truly do not know WHY ....At 01:23 AM 8/19/2012, you wrote:The pending lawsuit is unconstitutional, because having no belief
> > isn t a protected religion.  Even if it were, the mere paying of some
> > of one s taxes to construct the 9/11 museum would not empower Atheists
> > to dictate anything to anyone.   Yes, every right can have a
> > corresponding opposing right so long as the latter isn t a crime or
> > isn t disallowed by the present Constitution.Natural rights are negative -- they require nothing on the part of others.
> > Rights have NOTHING to do with what some group decides is a 'crime' NOR what the Constitution allows/disallows.
> > All legitimate (natural) rights are derived from an Individual's right to life; his own life; self-ownership.
> > It is certainly IMMORAL as well as a violation of one's rights to have their money forcibly taken.
> > Legitimate Government SECURES (natural) rights <period>. A Government that does *anything* beyond such necessarily violates rights and is immoral -- no different from any other gang.
> > Regard$,
> > --MJ
> > There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him. -- Robert Heinlein
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