Thursday, October 30, 2008

No Habeas Corpus in Iraq

Jacob Hornberger writes:

The U.S. government’s arrest and indefinite incarceration of tens of thousands of Iraqis shows why the Framers included the right of habeas corpus in the Constitution — because of their belief that in the absence of constitutional restraints, including habeas corpus, federal officials would be doing to Americans what they’re doing to Iraqis.

In an era in which U.S. officials are increasingly ignoring constitutional constraints, including the declaration of war requirement, the due process of law guarantee, the protection from warrantless searches and seizures, and the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments, Americans would be wise to ponder why the Framers used the Constitution, including habeas corpus, to protect them from the enormous threat to their rights and freedoms posed by the federal government.

No Habeas Corpus in Iraq

The Market Redistributes Wealth

Jacob Hornberger writes:

The fact is that the market process is an extremely effective redistributionist force. No matter how big and successful a company becomes, if it makes the wrong investment decisions or it fails to satisfy consumers, it is in danger of going out of business. Each firm, no matter how much market share it has been able to capture, must constantly be on its toes. One big mistake or several small mistakes can cause massive losses. Or just a simple shift of consumer tastes can cause a big company to become a little company in a very short period of time...

Americans have been sold a bill of goods with respect to the income tax and the estate tax. Socialists convinced them that such taxes were necessary to redistribute the wealth from rich to poor. Setting aside the moral implications involved in taking money from one person in order to give it to another person, all that such taxes have accomplished is to centralize power in Washington, D.C., by enabling the political class to put their hands on massive amounts of privately produced wealth to dole out to friends, supporters, and cronies.

Americans don’t need income taxes and estate taxes to redistribute wealth. The market process, which is based on the moral principle of leaving people free to accumulate wealth, redistributes such wealth quite effectively.

The Market Redistributes Wealth

Obama or no; there’ll be no change for the better this year « We Declare

Andy Horning writes, "All government is, in one way or another, by consent of the governed. Our governments always reflect who we are as social creatures. And we are fallen creatures indeed. We choose all the problems we suffer. And the level of ignorance displayed by citizens and reflected in politicians today simply cannot continue. It will end. Probably quite badly."

Obama or no; there’ll be no change for the better this year « We Declare

Pro Libertate: Support Your Local Small Town Bully

Excellent commentary by William Norman Grigg.

"As the government ruling us, from the imperial heights in Washington to the smallest retail outlets of tyranny found in rural America, becomes overtly hostile toward what remains of our liberty, the fittest and most idealistic of our youth should be engaged in the real freedom struggle here at home, in whatever fashion that battle may need to be fought."

Pro Libertate: Support Your Local Small Town Bully

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

RealClearPolitics - Articles - A Duty Not To Vote?

John Stossel writes:

But I'm not saying that the government should impose a litmus test. God forbid. I just want clueless people to find something else to do on Nov. 4.

Voting is serious business. It works best when people educate themselves.

If uninformed people stay home on Election Day, good.

That doesn't include you

RealClearPolitics - Articles - A Duty Not To Vote?

The Double 'Thank-You' Moment -- RealClearPolitics

Excellent reminder from John Stossel.

"Economists have long understood that two people trade because each wants what the other has more than what he already has. In their respective eyes, the things traded are unequal in value. But this means each comes out ahead, having given up something he wants less for something he wants more. It's just not true that one gains and the other loses. If that were the case, the loser wouldn't have traded. It's win-win, or as economists would say, positive-sum."

RealClearPolitics - Articles - The Double 'Thank-You' Moment

Friday, October 24, 2008

Anti-crisis inaction plan

Excellent analysis of 2008 economic crisis responses.

Anti-crisis inaction plan

The Ethics of Money Production - Mises Economics Blog

Book review.

"Legal tender laws, bailout guarantees, tax-backed deposit insurance, and the entire apparatus that sustains national monetary systems, has been wholly unjustified. Money, he argues, should be a privately produced good like any other, such as clothing or food."

The Ethics of Money Production - Mises Economics Blog

Restoring Our Freedom and Prosperity by Restoring Sound Money a la Ron Paul

Ron Paul says, "In conclusion, Madam Speaker, allowing for competing currencies will allow market participants to choose a currency that suits their needs, rather than the needs of the government. The prospect of American citizens turning away from the dollar towards alternate currencies will provide the necessary impetus to the US government to regain control of the dollar and halt its downward spiral. Restoring soundness to the dollar will remove the government's ability and incentive to inflate the currency, and keep us from launching unconstitutional wars that burden our economy to excess. With a sound currency, everyone is better off, not just those who control the monetary system."

Restoring Our Freedom and Prosperity by Restoring Sound Money a la Ron Paul

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pro Libertate: Fare Thee Well, and Get Ye Lost


William Norman Grigg writes:

Painful as it would be for the USA to disintegrate, this may well be the only way that we can avoid descending irretrievably into undisguised tyranny -- and Obama might just be the figure to precipitate such a breakup.

And given the fact that Washington is entirely broke and likely to run out of credit, there's even a chance -- a tiny one, mind you -- that this breakup could happen without Red and Blue replicating the mass bloodshed that accompanied the attempted divorce between Blue and Gray. Without the financial means to carry out an actual civil war, Red and Blue might simply have to say to each other, "Fare thee well -- and get ye lost."

It probably won't happen that way. But keep a good thought, anyhow.

Pro Libertate: Fare Thee Well, and Get Ye Lost

Regular Folks Who Hate War - Jeffrey A. Tucker - Mises Institute

Good review of a book I liked (although Mr. Kauffman uses too many big words for my taste).

Regular Folks Who Hate War - Jeffrey A. Tucker - Mises Institute

UROC Statement of Principles

The other GOP.

"As Republicans, we believe... God is the source of the rights and freedoms of the individual, and the primary responsibilty of government is to protect and preserve thse rights and freedoms..."

UROC Statement of Principles

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Government must be put in its place | | The Indianapolis Star

Excellent letter from Andy Horning, candidate for Indiana governor. "A hundred years ago, there were no government "services" as we know them today, and government was leashed to solely a constitutionally limited, protective role. Americans became the richest, freest and most secure people of all time because people naturally want to do well for themselves, and they were allowed to do just that."

Government must be put in its place | | The Indianapolis Star

The Volokh Conspiracy - The Dirty Dozen:

Just added this to my "to read" list.

"If you are looking for an in-depth treatise on constitutional law, this isn't it. But if you are looking for a nice overview and introduction to the constitutional history of past century, this is a good place to start."

The Volokh Conspiracy - The Dirty Dozen: Blog: What's the rush (to fascism)?

James Ostrowski wrote (22 Sept 2008), "The power elite is in a big hurry. They want this bailout of the super rich to be enacted quickly before the champions of the taxpayers and the working class have time to read the bills and expose the Fed's coup d'etat. Can anyone name a major piece of legislation enacted in a panic that turned out good?" Blog: What's the rush (to fascism)?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Joe the Outlaw - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. - Mises Institute

Well said, Mr. Rockwell!

By practicing plumbing without a license, Joe is bucking the system in a truly heroic way. He shouldn't be condemned for this. He should be celebrated as a freedom fighter. He has a lot more to complain about than just taxes. It is the state itself in all its incarnations that is his true enemy. He ought to demanding answers from the politicians about their regulatory schemes to further restrict competition in a wide range of areas (banking for example!)...

So it turns out that we truly do have an Aerican archetype in Joe Wurzelbacher. He is an outlaw in the same sense that our founders were outlaws. He lives outside the regulations of the state because these regulations attack his freedom and property. It was to end systems such as this that the American revolution came to be. And yet we find ourselves back in exactly the same system, and one incredibly worse in every way.

It is going to take something different from the election of the Republican to beat back the oppressions that vex his life. It is not complicated. It is a right belonging to all people that they can do what they want and keep what they own provided they do not impinge on anyone else's right to do the same. The state is nothing but an organized attempt to deny this right. Joe has an enemy, but it goes way beyond Obama.

Joe the Outlaw - Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. - Mises Institute

Friday, October 17, 2008

Deflation and Liberty - Mises Economics Blog

"Deflation puts a break--at the very least a temporary break--on the further concentration and consolidation of power in the hands of the federal government and in particular in the executive branch. It dampens the growth of the welfare state, if it does not lead to its outright implosion. In short, deflation is at least potentially a great liberating force. It not only brings the inflated monetary system back to rock bottom, it brings the entire society back in touch with the real world, because it destroys the economic basis of the social engineers, spin doctors, and brain washers."

Deflation and Liberty - Mises Economics Blog

The Fallacy of Precrime, It's Not Just for the Movies!

Wilton Alston writes, "The infringement stands on it's own and does not need further modification. In other words, it does not mitigate a tragic event to have not been texting and it does not worsen a tragic event to have been texting. According to the paradigm of libertarian law the infringements to person exist on their own and are punishable directly. As such, there is absolutely no need to punish antecedent behavior before any direct infringement occurs. When the State seeks to punish such behaviors, it generally does so by establishing an arbitrary boundary around what is acceptable and what is not. While it might be admirable to seek to influence prudent behavior, setting up arbitrary boundaries is not the way to accomplish this worthy goal. Every parent understands this fact. No State is equipped to change it."

Sort of like trying to increase the penalty for so-called "hate crimes".

The Fallacy of Precrime, It's Not Just for the Movies!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Interventionism Destroys Freedom

"The free market system is the one our nation was founded. It produced the freest, wealthiest, and most prosperous, peaceful, harmonious, and charitable society in history. Too bad 20th-century Americans abandoned it. It’s not too late for 21st-century Americans to restore it."

Excellent article!

Interventionism Destroys Freedom

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Price gouging is good ! The Libertarian Attorney Rex Curry shows why. Image

Rex Curry points out:

Price gouging is good...

Price gouging provides extra money for suppliers to buy larger shipments of necessities and pay added costs for urgent delivery and extra employees under crisis conditions. Wholesalers and distributors quickly reroute supplies to disaster areas where increased demand covers the added costs and permits a greater profit. To defeat price gouging further hurts those who are already hurting.

Price gouging is great! Higher prices cause people in non-damaged areas to delay purchases of building materials, freeing the material up for sale in disaster areas. Protests of price gouging are made by the same people who whine about bare shelves in non-gouging stores. Price gouging is how free market pricing restrains buyers...

All goods are private property and sellers can charge whatever they wish or not sell at all. Anti-gouging laws cause sellers not to reroute items to disaster areas and to delay selling near disaster areas. People who support anti-gouging laws are ignorant statists who cut their own throats...

Price-gougers should be praised. Sellers who do not gouge prices do not do themselves or consumers any favors. They encourage hoarding and lessen their ability to increase replenishments...

... anti-gouging laws achieve the opposite of what was intended...

socialist economies demonstrate that government attempts to suppress prices causes greater shortages and suffering. The laws of supply and demand do not change by popular edict.

The "correct" price for all goods at all times is the highest price anyone will pay. That is how Capitalism creates abundance and prosperity. Price gouging is beneficial.

Price gouging is good ! The Libertarian Attorney Rex Curry shows why. Image

CIA's Overthrow of Iranian Government in 1953 -- MWC News - A Site Without Borders

"The hostage crisis deeply humiliated the United States, destroyed Jimmy Carter's presidency, and turned millions of Americans into Iran haters," Kinzer writes. "Because most Americans did not know what the United States had done in Iran in 1953, few had any idea why Iranians were so angry at the country they called 'the Great Satan.'"

MWC News - A Site Without Borders - - CIA's Overthrow of Iranian Government in 1953 Blog: Krauthammer's Cat Is Out Of The Bag

Christopher Manion writes, "In sum, Krauthammer has carefully described how the Bush Doctrine constitutes the neocon Emancipation Proclamation from all international, moral, constitutional, and natural law." Blog: Krauthammer's Cat Is Out Of The Bag

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What Made Rothbard Great - Gary North - Mises Institute

Gary North writes, "Each of you should look at your own situation, your own area of specialty – that thing, that calling, that most important thing in which you would be most difficult to replace – each of you has that niche somewhere. Find out where it is, and begin doing the grunt work. You must do the grunt work, but it sure is easier to do it with the Web than ever before. The tool is there; don’t walk away from the tool. Interact, read the Mises materials, read anything you can find on the Web that helps you develop two things: real knowledge of a specialty in which you will make a difference to somebody else; and, secondly, a broad sweep of information which enables you to comment at least intelligently, though not as an expert, but to comment intelligently because you’re applying these fundamental principles to specific situations."

What Made Rothbard Great - Gary North - Mises Institute

Friday, October 10, 2008

Good Money

"What Selgin has done here is help us to understand something critically important: were it not for the state, a wholly private money system would emerge from market exchange. That means private coinage, private weights and measures, market-driven exchange rates between different kinds of monies, and a fully private banking system to go along it with it.""

"In fact, this is precisely how money originates: from the within the market. Why does the state intervene? The British case is typical. The state wants to control the economy, tax the economy, and control the people. If a fully private system comes about, the state finds its job all-but impossible. That is why the state takes over at the expense of private enterprise."

"In other words, the state is not responding here to a market failure but a market success. It is not a "public goods" rationale that leads to state intervention but old-fashioned jealousy over power and wealth."

Good Money

Alan Bock's Blog: Empire in decline

"If this crowd of third-raters vying for the "highest" offices in the criminal enterprise our imperial government has become isn't a sign of decline, I don't know what would be."

Alan Bock's Blog: Empire in decline

Ron Paul on restoring confidence in the markets | Daily Newscaster

"Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) says that if a trillion dollars in free credit do not restore confidence in markets a five minute talk from George W. Bush is not going to help."

"The Congressman goes on to explain that US leaders, European leaders and world banks are doing exactly what was done in the 30’s that lead to a decade long depression."

Ron Paul on restoring confidence in the markets | Daily Newscaster - 10/10/08 FOX News Poll: Americans 'Bail' On the Bail-Out - Polls | AP Polls | Gallup Poll | Opinion Polls

"This new poll also shows that, philosophically, Americans of all stripes are averse to using taxpayer money to bail out financially troubled companies. More than 80 percent of Democrats, Republicans and independents agree on this view — a rare example of consensus this election year."

I certainly agree with this consensus. - 10/10/08 FOX News Poll: Americans 'Bail' On the Bail-Out - Polls | AP Polls | Gallup Poll | Opinion Polls

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Regular Folks Who Hate War - Mises Economics Blog

I read and liked this book.

Jeffrey Tucker writes, "What Kauffman has done here is more than merely sketch a history, though it is wonderful and detailed history. He has fashioned a new way to look at the makeup of the politics of war. I found it interesting that during the 1990s, it was the Republicans who emerged as the anti-nation-building party as the Democrats embraced their Wilsonian heritage. After 9-11, the roles switched yet again, and today the Republicans are guilty of trafficking in the worst forms of jingoism."

Regular Folks Who Hate War - Mises Economics Blog

When Digg was Great - Mises Economics Blog

Jeffrey Tucker writes, "People tend to assume that oligarchies are anti-competitive and lead to unfairness or a less-than-desirable outcome. This is not always true, as the Digg case shows. When the system was being gamed by groups of geek oligarchies, it was much better. They competed with each other to push forward ever more interesting and smart and obscure stuff you would otherwise not see but for the super specialists driving them to the front page through various tactics. Now their work is discounted and we get "democratic" results that are generally dumbed down and mainstream and frankly uninteresting."

When Digg was Great - Mises Economics Blog

What about Savings?

Jacob Hornberger is right on the money (so to speak).

What happens if everyone fails to save any money? Obviously there is going to be a scarcity of capital. As much as everyone would like to believe that the federal government is a god or a magician, the truth is that government officials cannot produce savings or capital. In fact, the government, through its spending, taxation, and inflation of the currency, is the great destroyer of savings and capital. When government taxes more and inflates more, people have less to save. Conversely, when taxes are low and money is sound, people save more.

For the past several decades, the American people have been taught that the key to rising standards of living is consumption...

What they fail to understand is that there is no way to fix a system that is inherently defective — that is, one that confiscates capital and discourages savings...

The only real answer to this mess — the answer that, alas, the mainstream pundits still do not want to consider — is a restoration of libertarian principles to our land. That means a completely different economic paradigm, one based on the principles of economic liberty and limited government that once guided our nation. That means: no more income tax, no more capital gains tax, no more inheritance tax, no more Federal Reserve, no more paper money, no more welfare system, no more overseas empire, no more drug war, and no more interventionism. Herein lies the key to the accumulation of capital, along with rising wage rates and rising standards of living.

What about Savings?

Paulson's scheme

"The current financial crisis represents an important victory for an oft-overlooked school of thought: The Austrian school of economics."

Paulson's scheme

Hat tip to The Austrian Economists blog.

The Austrian Economists: Canada's Financial Post goes Austrian

The Socialization of Lending - Mises Economics Blog

Jeffrey Tucker writes:

And this morning, the Fed has deemed it necessary to lend, with no collateral, directly to businesses, thereby repeating in a worse form the very errors of Fannie and Freddie. Clowns with wrecker balls! Comments at the Washington Times are interesting. "Sounds like a great plan, who came up with that? Now I remember, it was Lenin."

The Socialization of Lending - Mises Economics Blog

The Free Market Didn't Fail -- Liberator Online - October 6, 2008

Mary Ruwart comments on the current economic crisis:

The result of all this massive government intervention was the explosion of high-risk, questionable loans and other expenditures that brought us to the mess we see today. Millions of Americans bought homes they couldn't afford; Wall Street sank billions of dollars into bad investments.

Clearly, this had nothing whatsoever to do with the free market. It was caused by far too much, not too little, government interference in the market.

In a genuine free market, lenders would exercise caution, because they would quickly go out of business if they made too many poor loans. The frenzy we saw in the past few years would not occur.

A free market is the best protection society has against such a destructive build-up of bad investments.

The answer is not more regulation. It was regulation that made this mess possible. And any new regulation will be written by politicians under the influence of the very corporations being regulated.

The answer is the ending of the disastrous and destructive government interference in the finance industry, and the creation of a genuine free market.

Liberator Online - October 6, 2008

GOP platform opposes bailouts -- Liberator Online - October 6, 2008

WELL, NOBODY REALLY READS THOSE THINGS ANYWAY: "We do not support government bailouts of private institutions. Government interference in the markets exacerbates problems in the marketplace and causes the free market to take longer to correct itself." -- Republican Party Platform, adopted September 1, 2008.

Liberator Online - October 6, 2008

Dollars and the Bailouts -- Liberator Online - October 6, 2008

"U.S. House members who voted Yes on the September 29 Wall Street bailout received 54 percent more money in campaign donations from banks and securities than members who voted No."

Liberator Online - October 6, 2008

Mad Bureaucrat Disease -- Liberator Online - October 6, 2008

As the small-government lobbying group Downsize DC notes, by outlawing Creekstone Farm's plan, the USDA is:

* Preventing a private business from voluntarily making its product safer than government standards -- in order to protect Big Business.
* Preventing a safer product from entering the market.
* Denying Americans the opportunity to decide for themselves, in the alleged "land of the free."
* Hurting American foreign trade.

Liberator Online - October 6, 2008

Congressman Ron Paul - The Do-Something Congress - Texas Straight Talk

"It has not been a good week for the Republic. It took quite a bit of trampling of the Constitution, but the bailout bill passed..."

Congressman Ron Paul - The Do-Something Congress - Texas Straight Talk

Some congressmen threatened with martial law if bailout bill didn't pass -- Western Standard Shotgun Blog

First time to hear this. Doesn't surprise me.

"Strong accusations from Representative Brad Sherman, from the 27th district of California. He claims that some congressmen and women were told that martial law would be passed if Congress did not pass the close-to-one-trillion dollar bailout package for Wall Street"

Western Standard

The Austrian Economists: How Do We Get Out of This Mess?

"But throughout our history to date, the absorbtive powers of the US economy in dealing with government stupidity has been amazing."

The Austrian Economists: How Do We Get Out of This Mess?

Monday, October 06, 2008

We Are All Ron Paulians Now, John McCain :: Liberty Maven

The Liberty Maven blog writes:

Ron Paul has been predicting our economic calamity for many many years. An argument could be made that even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes, but Paul has been right so many times that one wonders if he has the ability to see into the future. The truth is that it is the common sense of Austrian economics that guides Ron Paul toward his prophecies...

A “let them fail” policy is not something we proud Americans enjoy hearing, but how much pride will Americans have when our economy collapses like the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War? Sometimes the politically incorrect response is the correct response...

Now that the bailout bill is the law of the land, resulting in the Treasury Secretary having supreme power over the economy, wouldn’t it be wise to turn the economic steering wheel over to a driver who knows when it is proper to ease up on the gas?

What would Ron Paul do with his new found powers? Likely not too much other than work toward a true free market economy where the market rather than the government decides which financial institutions are permitted to fail.

Repeat after me, “It is okay to fail. That is how you learn” , and dare to dream.

We Are All Ron Paulians Now, John McCain :: Liberty Maven

The Recession Reader

Good reading list for anyone interested in the real causes and cure for today's economic ills.

With Ron Paul being a notable exception, most politicians are sadly and shamefully ignorant of this information.

The Recession Reader

Pop Goes the Greenspan Bubble - Vox

The Paleo Blog writes:

This is why I believe it is very important for those of us who value liberty and, as a corollary, peace to point out to the public the need to eliminate the Fed and unbacked fiat money. We must all show the public the importance of a 100 percent gold dollar (or other equivalent free market money)...

And ending monetary socialism is the only way to cure our credit addiction. It is the only way to promote the conservative work ethics of thrift. It is the only long-term solution to our current financial crisis...

Government bailouts and other regulatory interventions can only result in prolonging and deepening today's recession. But the recession is not the problem... The problem was the bubble that was created by the Fed in the first place. It was that creation that made the recession inevitable. And it is the recession that leads us out of our current mess. This is how the market is trying to correct the economy. The market must bring man back to reality and away from the unreality of the Keynesian fairyland of bubbles...

I think it is 50-50 in terms of some kind of depression developing. My fears seem justified. Today's politicians appear to be copying what Hoover and FDR did. They tried to stop the market from correcting the socialist distortions, as readers of the late Murray Rothbard know. But by continually not allowing the market to fix the economy, it resulted in the Great Depression...

There is a library of scholarly and popular work on this subject available at for all to read. Correct ideas do not spread on their own. They need educated men to spread them.

I think it is about time to listen to those who have been right all along, like the Austrian economists and like Dr. Ron Paul. They all say that the bailouts and regulations are a wrong move. The default reaction by the statist establishment to "prevent" any kind of recession is a wrong reaction. What the politicians are doing now will be felt in the future, and it will not be pretty. Hopefully the politicians will not do any more destructive intervening. If they do implement more socialist schemes, well, the Austrians can say "We told you so" ...again.

Pop Goes the Greenspan Bubble - Vox

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Peelian Principles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I had no idea these existed. It is hard to pick out just one good one, but I'll try.

"... the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen."

Peelian Principles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hat tip to Liberty Papers blog.

The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Aren’t Libertarians Being a Bit Hypocritical and Hoplophobic?

The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Aren’t Libertarians Being a Bit Hypocritical and Hoplophobic?

"Applying the same laws to the SWAT team (or any other policeman) that are applied to the Brinks Armored Car guard would go a long way to eradicating abuses, and would do much to ensure that the weapon sat gathering cobwebs in some garage somewhere."

The Liberty Papers »Blog Archive » Aren’t Libertarians Being a Bit Hypocritical and Hoplophobic? Blog: I Have Never Had Any Hope in the Republican Party

Laurence Vance writes, "I haven't taken the Republican Party serious for years when it comes to being a friend of liberty, free markets, and limited government."

I'm getting there myself. Blog: I Have Never Had Any Hope in the Republican Party

Friday, October 03, 2008

U.S. Congressman Mike Pence : 6th District Of Indiana

Mike Pence announces opposition to revised bailout bill.

Unfortunately as the knight said in the Indiana Jones movie, a majority in Congress chose poorly.

I am confident we will restore our markets and renew our government. But we must do so in a manner consistent with the principles that make America great...

But even with these important improvements, this legislation remains the largest corporate bailout in American history, forever changes the relationship between government and the financial sector and passes the cost along to the American people...

The decision to give the federal government the ability to nationalize almost every bad mortgage in America interrupts a basic truth of our free market economy.

Government cannot control outcomes in the economy without eroding the independence and integrity of our free market system. When the government chooses winners and losers in the market, every American loses.

This Congress will choose whether we will confront this crisis by elevating the individual and personal responsibility or by elevating the role of the state in our financial markets and our daily lives.

Some say that this crisis is too acute to rely on antiquated notions about the role of government in the private sector, but I disagree. I believe the principles of limited government, free enterprise and representative democracy are as relevant today as they were in 1776...

There are no easy answers, but the American people deserve to know there were alternatives to massive federal spending...

With this bill we place upon the American public a responsibility which is not theirs: bailing out financial institutions after they made irresponsible business decisions. This we should not do.

Instead we should confront this crisis with resolute courage and faith in God and the principles of freedom and free enterprise.

U.S. Congressman Mike Pence : 6th District Of Indiana

Stop Worrying about the Election - Isaac M. Morehouse - Mises Institute

Isaac M. Morehouse writes, "Rather than looking to political leaders to protect or expand our freedom we should cultivate the seeds of freedom in our own spirits, and inspire others to do the same. Nothing government can do can take away our freedom; and if we are a people who are truly free, the government will have to follow."

Stop Worrying about the Election - Isaac M. Morehouse - Mises Institute

Satellites to Spy on You and Me! | War On You

Gives pause.

"The Department of Homeland Security has been given the money it needs to begin turning international spy satellites within the country’s borders, despite lingering fears about the program’s lack of focus and the potential for it to infringe upon Americans’ civil liberties."

Satellites to Spy on You and Me! | War On You

Bailout Fascism Passes

Becky Akers writes:

Meanwhile, absent regulatory compulsion, a bank that lends money to borrowers who can’t repay, or that invests depositors’ funds recklessly, deserves to fail: that’s how the market polices itself. If you’re not a shareholder or customer, the failure won’t directly affect you – again, unless the government steps in. When the State rescues monstrosities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – quasi-private firms the Feds established to do precisely what no private lender would: guarantee risky mortgages – it shifts the consequences of bad decisions from the politicians, regulators, and companies that made them to the country as a whole.

That’s the only way a few players in an enormous, complex, and diverse market can threaten the entire economy. In other words, Bush admits that the economy is already centralized, even before his ballyhooed bail-out...

Hand-in-hand with a centralized economy goes dictatorial government. You can’t have one without the other for a simple reason: no one willingly pays the penalty for someone else’s malfeasance...

Centralized economies require powerful politicians to force obedience as taxes skyrocket and blatantly biased laws protect the wealthy and powerful at everyone else’s expense...

Negotiations over the weekend modified this outrage, but the bill still empowered Paulson beyond anything the Constitution remotely authorizes...

Potent politicians, a centralized economy… Perhaps you’re reminded of other nations with repressive rulers and controlled economies that our grandparents fought in a worldwide war. Turning again to the dictionary, we find “fascism” defined as “any movement, ideology, or attitude that favors dictatorial government, centralized control of private enterprise, repression of all opposition, and extreme nationalism."
It’s tough to argue that a nation waging an unprovoked, unjustified war in Iraq while battling poppy farmers in Afghanistan and ginning up a third war against Iran is anything other than extremely nationalistic.

Bailout Fascism Passes

The Volokh Conspiracy - Jury Power To Decide "Law and Fact" in All Criminal Cases:

I wonder how many Indiana jurors are fully informed on the meaning of the following phrase in our state constitution.

"In all criminal cases whatever, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts."

The Volokh Conspiracy - Jury Power To Decide "Law and Fact" in All Criminal Cases:

The Volokh Conspiracy - Gov. Palin's Proclamation on Jury Rights Day:

Glad to hear Governor Palin supports jury rights.

The Volokh Conspiracy - Gov. Palin's Proclamation on Jury Rights Day:

America's Most Dangerous Librarians

Good for these librarians standing up against government abuse of our First Amendment rights.

America's Most Dangerous Librarians

Media haven't deigned to cover bailout dissent --

Excellent commentary on the $700 billion bailout by Daniel J. Parks.

The level of condescension has been breathtaking.

Particularly on network and cable television, journalists and supposed financial experts have been wagging their fingers at the voting public for pressuring Congress to vote against the bill. To hear them tell it, you would think there was universal agreement—at least among smart people—that something needs to be done now.

But this isn't a divide between smart and dumb people; it's a divide between Wall Street and its allies in Washington, and the rest of the country.

And no, it's not the same thing...

Many economists reject the notion that something must be done immediately and have called for more careful consideration of a wider range of options. Some even reject the premise that any bailout action will make much of a difference.

While it is true that most Wall Street economists predict doom and gloom for America without immediate government action, many of these economists are connected in some way to the institutions that would benefit from a bailout. There are scores of respected economists who hold different opinions...

The Washington Post's Steven Pearlstein... showed remarkable arrogance in declaring "too many people don't understand the seriousness of the situation."

The fact is, most people do understand. They just aren't convinced that this particular approach—or any government approach—is the best answer. And there are plenty of smart, highly educated people on their side...

Even among the voters who believe a bailout would help, many remain opposed regardless. They want to see Wall Street suffer for its excesses, even if they must suffer, too...

The disconnect appears to stem from the fact that in many cases, financial journalists have simply gotten too cozy with the Wall Street crowd. These journalists have failed to cast a critical eye on what their small circle of East Coast experts in the financial world tell them, and they have ignored other sources in most cases.

Media haven't deigned to cover bailout dissent --

SchansBlog: Baldwin on McCain/Palin

Hat tip to Eric Schansberg for pointing out Chuck Baldwin's take on McCain's VP choice.

Herein lies the problem for Sarah Palin. How can a principled conservative support the policies and actions of an unprincipled globalist such as John McCain?...

Let's face it: John McCain is using Sarah Palin as inducement to trick conservatives into accepting his liberal, big-government, globalist candidacy. And, sadly, it is working...

And that is exactly what Governor Palin brings to the table: sweet syrup to help conservatives swallow John McCain.

Unfortunately, the things that make Palin so attractive (her conservative principles) are the things that she will be forced to surrender in order to be John McCain's running mate.

SchansBlog: Baldwin on McCain/Palin

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure - Mises Economics Blog

"What the government should do, according to the Misesian analysis of the depression, is absolutely nothing. It should, from the point of view of economic health and ending the depression as quickly as possible, maintain a strict hands off, "laissez-faire" policy. Anything it does will delay and obstruct the adjustment process of the market; the less it does, the more rapidly will the market adjustment process do its work, and sound economic recovery ensue."

Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure - Mises Economics Blog Web Log: Sheldon Richman's Top 10 Archives

"Terrorism is not an enemy. It's a tactic, one used by many different kinds of people in causes of varying moral hues. Declaring all those people one's enemy is criminally reckless. But it's a damn good way for a government to achieve potentially total power over its subjects." Web Log: Sheldon Richman's Top 10 Archives

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Why Not Abolish the Fed? -- MWC News - A Site Without Borders

Jacob Hornberger writes:

Throughout the ages, the favorite political trick for public officials has been to dole out "free benefits" to the citizenry and engage in expensive foreign military adventures without raising taxes. To accomplish this feat, they have simply resorted to the printing press to get the money to pay for the "free benefits" and the military adventures. As more money was printed, its value would drop, which would be reflected in rising prices for the things that money buys. As prices rose, people would blame speculators, capitalists, price-gougers, and profiteers, never suspecting that their public officials were behind the scam.

That's what the Fed has been doing for decades -- accommodating ever-increasing government expenditures by printing the money to pay for them. That's why the value of the dollar has been plummeting ever since the 1930s. It's also why U.S. coins are now made of cheap alloys rather than of gold and silver...

the Federal Reserve is the prime destroyer of currency and, therefore, one of the greatest threats to the freedom and well-being of a citizenry. As the monetary crisis facing our country continues to worsen, it's important that we keep in mind that there is only one long-term solution -- the one advocated by people such as Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul and Nobel Laureates Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek: Abolish the Fed.

MWC News - A Site Without Borders - - Why Not Abolish the Fed?

Why Ron Paul's Answer Terrifies Them -- MWC News - A Site Without Borders

"Why the enormous, almost panicky, overreaction to what is a rather simple point about U.S. foreign policy? Why the attempts to suppress, distort, and misrepresent? What are they so scared of?"

"The answer is simple: The Republican establishment knows that if the American people conclude that Ron Paul is right, the jig is up with respect to the big-government, pro-empire, interventionist foreign policy that Republicans (and many Democrats) have supported for many years."

MWC News - A Site Without Borders - - Why Ron Paul's Answer Terrifies Them

The Corporate State Fails -- MWC News - A Site Without Borders

Sheldon Richman writes:

The financial debacle can be fully accounted for by the government’s decades-long campaign to enable people to buy more housing than they can afford and then to underwrite the mortgages through its creations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, i.e., the taxpayers.

To put it in the simplest terms: Republican and Democratic governments deliberately shifted the risk of dubious mortgage-writing from lenders and borrowers to the public. This has been portrayed as a noble effort to make the American Dream accessible to all, regardless of income or credit-worthiness. In fact, it was a massive subsidy to special economic interests: bankers, homebuilders, and the real-estate profession.

It was the corporate state in action, and a dismal failure.

So now the taxpayers are to be forced to make good on the guarantees that economically ignorant politicians issued in their name. President Bush and Congress are conspiring to spend at least $700 billion they don’t have to buy bad loans and securities from struggling lending institutions. The bill could go far higher...

Do you really think Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd, enablers of Fannie and Freddie, know what they are doing?

This is incoherent. The problem lies not in ignoring problems but in the government privileges and guarantees extended to Fannie and Freddie and by extension to the whole lending industry.

MWC News - A Site Without Borders - - The Corporate State Fails

Bailout analogies -- Blog: Kudos to "Chris from Cleveland Heights"

Kathryn Muratore writes:

His question was basically "What if we do nothing? Am I missing something, or wouldn't this mean that there would be tough times ahead, but that it wouldn't be Armageddon, and it may be better than sticking the taxpayers with $700 billion?" ...

This is how the banking system gets us: we mere mortals work and save, and when there's a crash we see our savings wiped out through no fault of our own. Therefore, this is a catastrophe and the government must do something!

One of the guests of the show made an analogy to a plane with 3 blown engines... This guest said you can't spend weeks deciding on how to land the plane - you need to let the pilot decide. Presumably, this guy thinks Paulson is the pilot, but in reality, the pilot is the market. It is true that you can't have a committee (Congress) deciding how to land the plane, but you wouldn't want to have the stewardess (Paulson) land it just because her uniform indicates that she has authority. You need to identify the actual pilot (the market) and let him do his job.

Chris' analogy was that of broken levees.... it seems that it would really be better to stop trying to redirect the river, and let the river go where it needs to go. When you redirect it with levees, you prevent the natural flow and stave off flooding for a time. But when the levees break, it is worse than if there had been no levees, and trying to fix the levees just prolongs the pain. Chris' analogy is right on the money. Blog: Kudos to "Chris from Cleveland Heights"

NTU Vote Alert on Bailout

"Congress helped to create this debacle with the Community Reinvestment Act, poor tax policies, hastily designed mark-to-market regulations, and spectacular negligence with regard to the systemic risks posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Instead of addressing those core problems, this disgraceful plan snatches $700 billion from the pockets of hard-working Americans, the vast majority of whom had no part in this horrific play."

"Congress apparently decided to listen to a few political heavy-hitters in the financial community about the need to shovel boatloads of taxpayer money into their faltering businesses, rather than listening to their constituents who have stridently opposed this giveaway. Surely some Senators will reap what they have sown at the ballot box for their shocking negligence of taxpayers’ concerns."

Government Bytes: The Official Blog of National Taxpayers Union

» No Amnesty For Wall Street ::: Patrick J. Buchanan - Official Website

Great comments and quotations from Chuck Baldwin on the proposed Wall Street banker bailout.

Virtually our entire financial system is based on an illusion. We spend more than we earn, we consume more than we produce, we borrow more than we save, and we cling to the fantasy that this can go on forever. The glue that holds this crumbling scheme together is a fiat currency known as the Federal Reserve Note, which was created out of thin air by an international banking cartel called the Federal Reserve.

All of this began when the U.S. Congress abrogated its responsibility to maintain sound money principles on behalf of the American people (as required by the Constitution) and created the Federal Reserve. This took place in 1913. The President was Woodrow Wilson. (I strongly encourage readers to buy G. Edward Griffin’s book, The Creature from Jekyll Island.) Since then, the U.S. economy has suffered through one Great Depression and several recessions–all of which have been orchestrated by this international banking cartel. Now, we are facing total economic collapse...

America’s founders were rightfully skeptical of granting too much power to bankers. Thomas Jefferson said, “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

Jefferson also believed that “banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”

Daniel Webster warned, “Of all the contrivances for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effectual than that which deludes them with paper money.”

Webster also said, “We are in danger of being overwhelmed with irredeemable paper, mere paper, representing not gold nor silver; no, Sir, representing nothing but broken promises, bad faith, bankrupt corporations, cheated creditors, and a ruined people.”

Our first and greatest President George Washington said, “Paper money has had the effect in your State [Rhode Island] that it ever will have, to ruin commerce–oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice.”

If George W. Bush, John McCain, or Barack Obama had any honesty and integrity, they would approach the current banking malady in much the same way that President Andrew Jackson did...

What President Andrew Jackson said to the bankers in 1832 is exactly what an American President should say to these criminal international bankers today. But what George Bush, John McCain, and Barack Obama want to do is provide amnesty for the international bankers...

The only way to fix this economic mess that the international bankers have created is to return America to sound money principles, as prescribed in the U.S. Constitution. This means dismantling the Federal Reserve and the Internal Revenue Service, overturning the 16th Amendment and the personal income tax, and returning the American monetary system to hard assets: gold and silver. Anything short of this will only delay and worsen the inevitable collapse that has already begun.

» No Amnesty For Wall Street ::: Patrick J. Buchanan - Official Website

THELIBERTYZONE.COM: Will... not... blog... about... economics! Must... RESIST!

Nicki Fellenzer writes:

And somehow the world goes on. And while credit is tight, there's no freeze. Qualified borrowers - read that QUALIFIED borrowers - can still get money.

That's all I'm going to say about the economy. I'm not going to reiterate that this "crisis" is partially manufactured by the politicians and ardently supported by the media conspicuously in time for Election 2008. I'm not going to point out that only a small percentage of mortages are actually in trouble, and that overall, our economy isn't crashing around our nipples.

I'm just going to sit back and watch the mad scramble for yet another compromise, and then ensure that I pull the lever against every single incumbent that voted for this bailout on Election Day.

On another subject ("Police confiscate a walking stick from a 78-year-old man"):

This is what happens when you infringe upon the people's right to self defense and prevent them from taking responsibility for their own lives and property. Said lives and property become meaningless. People lose respect for themselves and their rights, and the few who dare challenge and resist the state and who dare defy the edicts that endanger themselves and their families are promptly prosecuted. And what they're left with is a bunch of statist pigs who are so afraid of dissent and resistance, that they attack an innocent old man on the street in fear that he might use whatever is available to him as a weapon.

Britain surrendered a long time ago. The time to wave "Goodbye" is long past due.

THELIBERTYZONE.COM: Will... not... blog... about... economics! Must... RESIST!

Sarah Palin's Career Ends in Tragedy by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. writes:

The claim against her that she lacks "experience" is one of the most bogus things out there. For starters, the history of VPs shows a long history of people with very little of what is called "experience" today. And contrary to what media pundits say, what is far more important than experience are the political values you hold.

The demand for experience seems to imply that somehow we are seeking social and global managers for public office, and that is manifestly what we do not want. In a truly liberal society, the job of a White House executive could be held by anyone or no one...

When a decent person accepts a job such as vice president, our first instinct is to celebrate that good people are in a position of power and influence. This is what the McCain campaign is counting on. But this is an illusion. The influence runs completely the other way. Good people become part of the party machine and surrender all their principles in order to survive.

We are speaking here of the leviathan state that lives on a lie. To be part of that, you too must become part of the lie. It is perhaps possible to be the governor of a small state such as Alaska and not be part of the machine. It is not possible to be vice president of the United States and not enter into the deeply immoral arena that values the burying of all principle, and saying and doing whatever is necessary to bolster power...

Many good young people from conservative backgrounds, with excellent educations and decent political values, went to work for Bush under the impression that they could make a difference. There was change as a result, but it was not government that changed, but the young people who went to work for it...

But the real world of government is the opposite of libertarianism. It is stealing, lying, killing, butchering, badgering, looting, coercing, and sucking the life out of society itself. That is the essence of modern statecraft.

You either have to come to terms with that or leave. If you stay, you become part of the very problem that you fought to oppose.

Sarah Palin's Career Ends in Tragedy by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

We Who Dared to Say No to War by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Great book. My library just got a copy and I get to be the first one to read it.

I find myself wishing these people were around to help slow down the rush to the undeclared war with Iraq.

"These writings are so moving, so wise, so devastating to the propaganda we’ve come to expect around war. They are the voices we rarely hear in history classrooms, which cannot seem to tear themselves away from the great war speeches of our heroic presidents. Do I agree with everything in this book? No, and neither does Murray. But every single one of these selections is morally serious and worth reading. The classic oratory of war, the saccharine promises of war, the myths and propaganda that have driven war – all these things have enjoyed the spotlight long enough. The sane people deserve to have their say."

We Who Dared to Say No to War by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

Camera shy big brother | Daily Newscaster

"A video from NuffRespect shows government enforcement agents improvising laws as they go. Oddly citizens around the world are told they should welcome the intrusion of government filming while in public but government enforcement agents regularly intimidate the public when they are being filmed."

Camera shy big brother | Daily Newscaster

Labor Day and Freedom - Art Carden - Mises Institute

Art Carden provides words of wisdom on the true source of wealth and private contracts between employer and employee.

What creates wealth, though, is the capital investments and technological changes that allow us to produce more and more with less and less, to adapt the terminology of mid-20th-century economist Joseph A. Schumpeter. Labor is important, but what makes us rich is the capital and technology that make labor more productive...

The idea that collective bargaining was necessary to prevent worker exploitation is a historical myth. Therefore, if anything should be looked at critically, it is the fact that Tyson is essentially coerced via New Deal–era Federal legislation into bargaining with the union, which restricts their options considerably...

This illustrates an important principle about freedom. Ignoring for now how unions distort markets, the sanctity of private contracting is part of the essence of America. Whether a firm and an employee wish to agree to let people have time off for Christmas, Eid el-Fitr, Yom Kippur, Kwanzaa, or Festivus is between the firm and the employee. Firms hire managers to make those kinds of decisions, and as a private citizen, I do not have the right to interfere.

We can, on grounds of personal liberty and economic wisdom, dispute the workers' right to extract concessions from their employers. This isn't the criticism people are making, though. The bargains the firm makes with its workers are nobody else's business. There is no One Right Way to do things, and I, as an interested observer in Memphis, cannot tell factory workers in Shelbyville how they can and cannot write their contracts.

Labor Day and Freedom - Art Carden - Mises Institute

Bailout marks Karl Marx's comeback - FP Comment

Hat tip to blog. Blog: Martin Masse Gives Austrians Their Dues

Martin Masse sheds light on the root problem in today's financial crisis in the United States.

At first glance, anyone who understands economics can see that there is something wrong with this picture. The taxes that will need to be levied to finance this package may keep some firms alive, but they will siphon off capital, kill jobs and make businesses less productive elsewhere. Increasing the money supply is no different. It is an invisible tax that redistributes resources to debtors and those who made unwise investments...

But there is another approach that doesn’t compromise with free-market principles and coherently explains why we constantly get into these bubble situations followed by a crash. It is centered on Marx’s Proposal Number Five: government control of capital.

For decades, Austrian School economists have warned against the dire consequences of having a central banking system based on fiat money, money that is not grounded on any commodity like gold and can easily be manipulated. In addition to its obvious disadvantages (price inflation, debasement of the currency, etc.), easy credit and artificially low interest rates send wrong signals to investors and exacerbate business cycles.

Not only is the central bank constantly creating money out of thin air, but the fractional reserve system allows financial institutions to increase credit many times over. When money creation is sustained, a financial bubble begins to feed on itself, higher prices allowing the owners of inflated titles to spend and borrow more, leading to more credit creation and to even higher prices.

As prices get distorted, malinvestments, or investments that should not have been made under normal market conditions, accumulate. Despite this, financial institutions have an incentive to join this frenzy of irresponsible lending, or else they will lose market shares to competitors. With “liquidities” in overabundance, more and more risky decisions are made to increase yields and leveraging reaches dangerous levels.

During that manic phase, everybody seems to believe that the boom will go on. Only the Austrians warn that it cannot last forever, as Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises did before the 1929 crash, and as their followers have done for the past several years.

Now, what should be done when that pyramidal scheme starts crashing to the floor...?

Malinvestments have to be liquidated; prices have to come down to realistic levels; and resources stuck in unproductive uses have to be freed and moved to sectors that have real demand. Only then will capital again become available for productive investments...

But central banks and governments cannot transform unprofitable investments into profitable ones. They cannot force institutions to increase lending when they are so exposed. This is why calls for throwing more money at the problem are so totally misguided. Injections of liquidities started more than a year ago and have had no effect in preventing the situation from getting worse. Such measures can only delay the market correction and turn what should be a quick recession into a prolonged one...

As Friedrich Hayek wrote in 1932, “Instead of furthering the inevitable liquidation of the maladjustments brought about by the boom during the last three years, all conceivable means have been used to prevent that readjustment from taking place; and one of these means, which has been repeatedly tried though without success, from the earliest to the most recent stages of depression, has been this deliberate policy of credit expansion. ... To combat the depression by a forced credit expansion is to attempt to cure the evil by the very means which brought it about ...”

Bailout marks Karl Marx's comeback - FP Comment