Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Creeping Revolution

"Frederick Hayek made the point that one of the keystones of socialism is the denial of individual responsibility. Thus, the crusade for socialism always included attacks on individual responsibility. For if individuals do not have free will, and are not responsible for their actions, then their lives must be controlled somehow - preferably by the state - according to the socialists. They must be regulated, regimented and controlled - for their own good."

Thomas J. DiLorenzo

One of the surest signs that a society has moved toward socialism, is the measurement of how much individual responsibility has been controlled.

AND HOW OFTEN INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY IS REVILED BY THAT SOCIETY'S "LEADERS"!

Two of the influences of Dr. DiLorenzo's economic thinking was Frederick Hayek and John T. Flynn. I will write a future post about Mr. Flynn.

Hayek wrote two influential books. The first, The Road To Serfdom, written between 1940 and 1943, looked at why the socialism in the world, which became communism, would fail. He listed many reasons. Then in 1988 he wrote the follow-up book, The Fatal Conceit, The Errors of Socialism, which showed why it had failed, WITH DATA. He proved why he was right with his first book.

John T. Flynn wrote an interesting book in 1949 called The Road Ahead; America's Creeping Revolution. In it he lists what things to look for as a society moves toward socialism. One of the last nails in the coffin, he wrote, is the establishment of what he called "national health care."

Each of these books talk about individual responsibility and how it becomes stripped by the statists. Each talks about how free will is little by little denied by the statists. Each talks about how individual lives must be controlled by the statists.

Notice how much individual responsibility is removed, freedom is denied and control, absolute control, is initiated by the recent "health" care legislation? Is Flynn right?

OF COURSE HE IS!

Dr. DiLorenzo, an economics professor at Loyola University in Maryland is an adherent to the Austrian School of economics and a crusader against the creeping socialism that is so prevalent today, and warned about for lo these many years.

Why is the very evident so pretended not to exist by the statists? Easy! Control...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Government Of Highwaymen

"Taking a man's money without his consent, is also as much robbery, when it is done by millions of men, acting in concert, and calling themselves a government, as when it is done by a single individual, acting on his own responsibility, and calling himself a highwayman."

Lysander Spooner (1808-1887)

Spooner was a great, and early, American economic thinker!

His writings, and teachings, have to be viewed in the context of his time however. There was no Federal Reserve, for example, and the US currency was on the gold standard, fixed there, instead of silver, in 1792.

He was controversial!

He started his own post office and produced his own stamps in the 1840s.

He was a fierce abolitionist, even asked by William Seward to help with the founding of the anti-slavery Republican Party.

And he argued that federal gubment laws against high interest rates made it much more difficult for men to become self employed, as those with capital could not extend it to others and therefore would not be compensated properly for their own risk of doing so.

Spooner thought that self-employment was something the gubment should support and not dismiss through free market intervention. Intervening by controlling interest rates was what he called "free market intervention."

And this, the biggest -- he thought people should be able to issue their own currency to lend to those seeking to open their own businesses. And that those "capitalists" should be able to charge whatever interest rate the market would bear. Currency is, after all, only viable in an economy so long as it is accepted. If a man wished to open his own business, borrowing money to do so, he should be allowed to do so at whatever interest rate he could obtain. Being prohibited from doing so, according to Spooner, would render "a very large portion of them, to save themselves from starvation, have no alternative but to sell their labor to others."

That, my friends, was, in his view, a form of slavery. As I said, he was a fierce abolitionist!

He was controversial!

His debates continue today as the gubment tries to impugn this or that industry or sector of the economy, villifying the "rich," controlling mortgages, issuing "credit" for education, controlling interest rates and printing money.

Would Lysander Spooner agree with any of that? I can confidently say NO!

Would he be actively fighting against it? I can confidently say YES!

Would he be for or against a movement such as the Tea Party? You tell me!

ARE WE "ADMINISTERED" BY A GUBMENT OF HIGHWAYMEN? SPOONER WOULD SAY YES! ALTHOUGH HE WOULDN'T USE THE WORD ADMINISTERED. HE WOULD USE THE WORD CONTROLLED...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Defining The Law

"It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder."

"Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame and danger that their acts would otherwise involve... But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to the other persons to whom it doesn't belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish that law without delay ... No legal plunder; this is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony and logic."

Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)

Notice how things happen little by little?

And then they become accepted?

And sooner or later people get fed up, begin wondering how "we" ever got into this circumstance and then go about complaining and trying to change it?

"We have given you too much power! You have taken (or are taking) too much money! There is too much spending! We have to roll this back, now!"

What do the administrators do, and how do the administrators act, when the complaining, kicking and screaming, rabble (that's you and me) begin their rants?

They say, "Well of course, my dear electorate, I (we) hear you! You are right! This is heinous! Things must change and things must change now!"

Then speeches are made, "news" shows present talkers with their talking points, a law or two is implemented, taxes are "reduced," and the rabble is appeased.

AND? WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THAT?

We begin finding out how the gubment simply cannot function on such little money! Why, well-received and desired services will have to be cut! Which ones? Certainly fire, police, trash collection, education - you know, the ONLY things gubment does for us. (Think carefully - when did the federal gubment ever provide those "services" to us rabble?)

Then we hear, "What we need is a well-defined plan to balance spending and a new infusion of cash, and investment, a participation in our future, or ... (whatever sexy marketing terms they come up with)!" And the debate starts! Both sides participate because, after all, "We only want to hep yew [sic]," is the catch phrase.

And the cycle begins anew!

We are hearing those very words now! They are defining the law... again.

Learn baby learn. That should become the new mantra. And the words, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss..?" Substitute increased taxes for the word boss and you got it right.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Income Is Not Distributed

“Despite a voluminous and often fervent literature on ‘income distribution,’ the cold fact is that most income is not distributed: It is earned.”

Thomas Sowell

And if it ain't earned, it ain't distributed, re-distributed, or can be de-distributed (taxed) by the gubment!

Wow, that just about defines the Laffer Curve!

Think about it...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Unfettered And Free

"Size of industry, concentration of market, or production notwithstanding, the consumer is best served when the businessman is completely free to pursue his profit goals."

John A. Pugsley (1934-2011)

How do we know this is true?

Because Adam Smith, circa 1776, said so?

What did Smith say? That the butcher, baker and beer maker do not provide our dinner because they care so much about our families. They do so out of self interest.

What? Self interest? How selfish!

Not really! Not self ISH at all. The better the product they produce for sale, the more people will come back to buy it. The more people come back, the greater the profit.

The greater the profit the better the station in life for the butcher, the baker and the beer maker.

SO IT BEHOOVES THEM TO BETTER SERVE THE CONSUMER!

How do we know this is a true principle? It was said in the Bible, recorded by Luke, 6: 38 - spoken by Jesus, when speaking about the concept of judgment, who said: "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over..."

If you were buying a load of flour from Jesus's bakery, how would you receive it? Would He cheat you on the weight, quantity, quality, product care, customer service, return policy, or anything else that would affect your life or His bottom line?

NO. Now you must consider why?

Simply because His flour would be none of those things, and you would receive it as he described it above. YOU WOULD GET MORE THAN YOU EXPECT! AND YOU WOULD COME BACK TIME AND AGAIN!

Adam Smith considered why. And the reason, in his view (NOT considering the spiritual implications) is the betterment of lifestyle! The bottom line is PROFIT. That is the true principle, economically speaking.

And so, leaving the businessman unfettered and not stultified by gubment, graft and local officials, what happens? The consumer is better served. No, according to Pugsley, BEST served.

And what, are we told, makes up about 60% of our GDP? Oh, yeah, the consumer...