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Today: Sun, December 21 2014  -  Last modified: April, 26 2007
 Government
19 December 2014
 
 
Four Ways The Government Makes Wine More Expensive
by Chance M.E. Davies
 sub-topic» General

From Germany’s cool Mosel region to the foothills of Argentina’s Mendoza Province and all the way to the heights of Australia’s Granite Belt, millions of people across the Earth make a living in the global wine industry. Their hard work meets the demand of millions upon millions of lovely wine consumers across the globe, providing them with joy and comfort. But if we want the quality, diversity, and price of wine to become even more preferable to those demands, we should seek to eliminate the government’s intervention in the industry.

 more» 
16 December 2014
 
 
War on crime? Or war on the poor?
by Scott Sumner
 sub-topic» General

Intellectuals on the far left will sometimes argue that the entire criminal justice system is engaged in a vast right wing conspiracy to repress the poor. I'm not quite that paranoid; violent crime is a serious issue, for which we need police, courts, prisons, etc. But people on the right sometimes overlook that there is a grain of truth in that complaint.

 more» 
26 November 2014
 
 
On the merits of competition in government services
by Tim Worstall
 sub-topic» General

What is important is that the landslip has been corrected, the public road opened 5 weeks earlier than it would have been without the competition. And yes, even if is simply spite that drove that decision the consumers are all better off as a result. So, more competition in public services please: for we are supposed to be running this whole economy and government thing in order to benefit the consumers.

 more» 
17 November 2014
 
 
Government versus the state
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» General

Such a justice provider would, if it existed, be well worth paying for. For it would uphold the public good; that is, as John Locke identified, the good of every individual among the governed, real criminals excepted. It would be uncompromisingly for the benefit of all individual, civil human beings who subscribe to it. It would uphold objective justice, peace and human rights. It would resolve disputes justly. It would discourage uncivil conduct. And it would impose no limits – beyond justice, the law and respect for rights – on human freedom, prosperity or progress. Furthermore, it would claim no rights other than those which its subscribers explicitly delegated to it. Otherwise put: Government should be an umpire, and no more.

In contrast, today’s political governments – I call them “gunvermints” – impose the rule of states and their political classes on those in the geographical areas they control. And I’d say: Government is an umpire, but the state is a vampire.

 more» 
16 November 2014
 
 
On Government and the State
by Joe Fetz
 sub-topic» General

In political philosophy circles it is often said that it is very important to define your terms so that confusion can be minimized. One instance where I think that this is of the utmost importance–which also happens to be a certain pet peeve of mine– is in the case that presents itself when speaking about government and the state. It is often the case that these two terms are used as synonyms, but I believe this to be incorrect.

The terms themselves have very important conceptual implications, and conflating the terms ignores their grammatical nature and can lead to faulty conclusions. That the state has served the role of government in society for much of human history is no implication upon the term government with regard to the term’s meaning. Since many continue to use the terms state and government synonymously, I must address this error.

 more» 
13 October 2014
 
 
Ebola, government and you
by Claire Wolfe
 sub-topic» General

And somebody’s going to ask, “If government and health experts aren’t equipped to handle Ebola, what would you do, instead, Ms Critic?”

I don’t pretend to have “the answer.” Not in any sense. Not in a medical sense (thank heaven for cutting-edge researchers, gutsy medical workers, and honest educators!). Not in a political or public health sense (my heart goes out to anybody charged with dealing with messes like the one in Dallas).

But of course those who pretend to have answers don’t have answers, either. They have only bland assurances that everything’s going to be okay — followed by brute force when it develops that everything’s not okay.

 more» 
12 October 2014
 
 
One month each year as unpaid Government lackeys
by Amanda Vigar
 sub-topic» General

Whilst these are only indicative, we are spending about a month a year on unproductive time caused either by HM Government requirements or its inefficiencies. We are not a complicated business so I dread to think how much time some businesses are spending either in time or professional fees.

 more» 
04 September 2014
 
 
Gangs - Part 2
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

There will never be a Utopia free from the presence of all bad guys. I just don't do mental gymnastics trying to justify one violent, thieving gang over another. Maybe because you believe you know what to expect from your chosen gang, and the other gangs seem unpredictable and arbitrary, you have chosen the one you support. I can see why some might see that as preferable. So, you support the gang you prefer, and I'll do the same (which, since I prefer no gangs at all...).

 more» 
02 September 2014
 
 
Gangs - Part 1
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

A "new" justification for the brutal and ridiculous gang of government is that without them, freelance inner-city (or foreign) gangs will eventually leave the cities to rampage the countryside, killing and raping us all. Especially when the "free stuff" dries up.

Never have figured out why I'm supposed to fear freelance gangs, whom I can generally "legally" shoot and kill, more than the government gangbangers who are "legally" off-limits, no matter what they do.

 more» 
08 August 2014
 
 
What Limited Government?
by Jacob G. Hornberger
 sub-topic» General

What all too many Americans fail (or refuse) to comprehend is the extent to which the embrace of the welfare state and the warfare state transformed the nature of the U.S. government, especially from a government of limited powers to one of unlimited powers, one that now wields the same omnipotent powers exercised by tyrannical regimes.

 more» 
05 August 2014
 
 
Magna Carta 2015 - The People Have Spoken!
by Unlock Democracy
 sub-topic» General

Next year is the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta, when King John was forced to guarantee certain rights and freedoms to his nobles. To mark the date we plan to spark a national conversation to gather people’s views on what form a modern-day Magna Carta should take and what rights and freedoms it should cover.

 more» 
02 August 2014
 
 
Civilization
by A.X.Perez
 sub-topic» General

The term civilization seems to refer to an organized stable society marked by people being able to go about their honest business and able to pursue their self interests in such a manner that not only causes no harm but is actually of benefit to their fellows, both acting cooperatively for mutual profit or individually for private gain.

 more» 
30 July 2014
 
 
How governments break the "circle of trust"
by Troy Camplin
 sub-topic» General

How do you destroy trust? One way is to get neighbors to inform on each other. The simplest of laws can do this. Laws that regulate what you can and cannot do on and with your own property create a situation where people can call and complain about you to the local government. How many stories have we read about local governments shutting down kids’ lemonade stands? The focus is typically on how ridiculous it is that the local government came down on some kid selling lemonade – and it is ridiculous that the laws exist that would allow local governments to do this – but rarely does anyone focus on the fact that there was someone in that neighborhood who actually called to complain. It was the complaint that got the police to show up, and that complaint came from a neighbor.

 more» 
08 July 2014
 
 
The Stains of Social Justice
by Steve Murphy
 sub-topic» General

Social justice leads to stagnation, which leads to scarcity, which leads to rationing, which is what eco-socialists do best — with their "strong and coherent redistributive policies." They believe that through such policies we now have affordable healthcare, a kinder Wall Street, a cutting-edge renewable energy industry, and a world-class education system. Soon, electric vehicles will pour out of a rejuvenated Detroit, millions of Americans will work at high-paying green jobs, and solar panels and windmills will bring us energy independence. By then, their economists may have begun thinking about how to manage the permanent stagnation. That is their story, and they are sticking to it, even if it means squandering the world's most prolific source of fossil fuel energy, a resource that, if properly exploited, could revitalize the economy overnight, increase the wealth of every one of us, and finance self-help programs for anyone still afflicted by social injustice.

 more» 
01 July 2014
 
 
Bald-faced lies are okay if you're from the government
by Bruce McQuain
 sub-topic» General

The arrogant jerk that is the commissioner of the IRS typifies the type person who hasn’t and never will understand the term ‘public servant’. He’s a bureaucrat, through and through, and he runs an agency which would never accept the asinine answer to the lost emails that he’s proffered to Congress. But he expects you to accept it without question because, well, because he said so.

 more» 
23 May 2014
 
 
This is the Number of Innocent People Murdered by Governments. Are You Anti-State Yet?

(262 MILLION.)

by J.D.Tuccille
 sub-topic» General

After reviewing the evidence of what government does and the mess it leaves in the process, that's a good rejoinder to those who would expand the state into every nook and cranny of our lives, imposing more regulations than we can count, enforcing them with armies of goons, imprisoning those who resist—and, inevitably, stacking the bodies high as government accumulates and wields new power.

It's just good sense to be antigovernment, when the alternative is so unacceptable.

 more» 
08 May 2014
 
 
Why Occupational Licensing is Unjust, Unneeded, and Increases Income Inequality
by Lawrence J. McQuillan
 sub-topic» General

The real reason for government licensure is to artificially restrict entry into occupations to increase the wages of current practitioners. In the 1950s, one out of 20 U.S. workers were required to obtain a government license. Today that number is nearly one out of every three workers, according to economists Morris Kleiner and Alan Krueger.

Licensure increases the wages of current practitioners by 15 percent by erecting barriers to outside entrants. And these barriers disproportionately exclude the poor from jobs. Occupational licensing requirements, therefore, tend to artificially increase income inequality—a hot topic among progressives these days.

 more» 
03 March 2014
 
 
The flooding of the Somerset Levels was deliberately engineered
The shocking truth is that these floods were not a natural disaster, but the result of deliberate policy
by Christopher Booker
 sub-topic» General

Much of this story has been painstakingly uncovered by my co-author Richard North, who has published links to all the relevant official documents on his EU Referendum blog. As he says, “not only can we now see just how this flooding was deliberately engineered. It was done in blatant disregard for the rights of all those who live and work there. The evidence is now so strong that they should seriously consider suing the Government for compensation for the damage they have suffered, which could well amount to hundreds of millions of pounds.”

 more» 
23 February 2014
 
 
Why I Hate Government - And I'm Not Too Crazy About Bob Garfield Either
by Kevin Carson
 sub-topic» General

“The stupid — it hurts!” That’s just a figure of speech, to be sure, but in some cases it’s almost literally true. Bob Garfield’s Valentine for Big Government (“I Luv Big Gov,” Slate, Feb. 15) comes extremely close. Hard right-wingers are easier to take. They love the awful things government does because they’re awful people. They know government is about uniformed thugs pushing people around and murdering them, and they revel in it, because they view the world through a Hobbesian, red-in-tooth-and-claw prism. Center-left goo-goos, on the other hand, try to frame it in positive, nurturing “Why Mommy is a Democrat” terms, and it’s positively gut-churning.

The worst of it is that Garfield, like most center-left types, is unable to discern how intimately intertwined what he regards as the “good” stuff (the Louisiana Purchase, “protection from terrorists,” etc.) is with what he considers “mistakes” (a century of defending slavery, the CIA overthrowing governments, etc.).

 more» 
19 January 2014
 
 
Morality versus the National Security State
by Jacob G. Hornberger
 sub-topic» General

Even today, there are federal officials and former federal officials who say that what those antiwar protestors did was wrong and that they should have been punished for it. But why is it morally wrong for citizens to break the law when breaking the law is necessary to disclose government illegality? If the government has chosen to break the law and is falsely denying it, then why shouldn’t citizens be praised for breaking the law to disclose government’s illegal conduct?

 more» 
16 January 2014
 
 
Cheating students more likely to want government jobs, study finds
by Emily Alpert Reyes
 sub-topic» General

College students who cheated on a simple task were more likely to want government jobs, researchers from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania found in a study of hundreds of students in Bangalore, India.

Their results, recently released as a working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research, suggest that one of the contributing forces behind government corruption could be who gets into government work in the first place.

 more» 
20 December 2013
 
 
Misconceptions
by Sean Gangol
 sub-topic» General

That is why there are so many people who believe that the government is the end all solution to everything. They have become so accustomed to having the government interfere in their daily lives that they can't imagine life without it. That is why people make straw man arguments against libertarianism. Well, that and intellectual laziness also plays a strong part in it. The same intellectual laziness that I have seen in many creationists who constantly attack evolution without even bothering to open a science book to find out what they are arguing against.

 more» 
20 October 2013
 
 
The Alarming Lack of Pretense in Politics
by Wendy McElroy
 sub-topic» General

When a government no longer cares how people view it, what results is the Soviet Union of the 1980s. A government that does not seek your consent to being victimized is a transparently totalitarian one that uses brutality as a default policy. People in the Soviet Union did not have the illusion of “we are the government” or “the police are there to help you.” They knew government was the enemy and the police were its agents.

 more» 
15 October 2013
 
 
Shutdown: Teachers Keep On Teachin'
by Kevin Carson
 sub-topic» General

A decade ago, when the Argentinian economy collapsed and bankrupt capitalists tried to board up the factories, workers just showed up, unboarded the doors and kept right on producing under self-management. They kept right on what they’d been doing, right where they’d been doing it before — but their work took on a fundamentally different character. One of these days, government workers will respond to a government “shutdown” in the same way.

 more» 
10 October 2013
 
 
Shutting Down Federal Government: A Good Start to America's Greatest Problem
by Jeff D. Opdyke
 sub-topic» General

What I’m calling for is not “limited government.” That cry is forever lost in the hurricane because in modern political America the difference between Republicans and Democrats is, at a fundamental level, the difference between charcoal black and midnight. A good marketer can spin each differently, but ultimately the shades are related. Politicians are the only ones capable of limiting their own scope, and neither party is so different on a political level that they would willingly roll back the powers they have usurped from us through the years.

 more» 
27 September 2013
 
 
Neoliberalism: Breaking Your Legs and Taking Your Crutches
by Nathan Goodman
 sub-topic» General

There’s a better way. We the people can resist the state and its cruel policies that trap people in poverty. We can build mutual aid networks so that people’s needs are met without dependency on plutocratic politicians and control freak bureaucrats. We can build a world where the state doesn’t break legs, hand out crutches, and then yank those crutches out from under its victims.

 more» 
24 September 2013
 
 
Downsizing Government
by Mama Liberty
 sub-topic» General

What does the president of the US (whoever that might be) actually DO that improves your life and helps provide the essentials necessary for survival? What would you like him (or her) to do that would improve your life without harming anyone else. Is that even possible? You don’t really want to harm other people, do you?

 more» 
11 September 2013
 
 
How "Your" Government Works
by Kevin Carson
 sub-topic» General

The government exists, since the beginning of the first states, to serve landlords, capitalists, usurers, bureaucrats and assorted other rentiers — not to serve us. The state, by its very nature, is executive committee of an economic ruling class. Trying to “reform” government through outsider review is like trying to reform the Mafia.

 more» 
02 September 2013
 
 
This is about where we tell the government to *!$% off isn't it? Right off?
by Anonymous
 sub-topic» General

All will know that I am a very peaceful, calm and contented sort of chap. So it is with a certain sense of betraying that peaceful persona that I now need to tell you that I've entirely blown my top. It's not that the specific design of mobile phones that we are allowed to purchase or not legally is all that much of a concern to liberty and freedom. Rather, it's the entirely insufferable assumptions behind this mooted ban on certain models:

 more» 
17 August 2013
 
 
This is the Stuff of Revolutions
by The Sovereign Society
 sub-topic» General

Yet the real class divide in the Age of Obama isn’t between the rich and the poor. It’s between the political class and the rest of us. I mean, you really didn’t expect members of Congress to pay the same inflated premiums brought on by Obamacare, did you? Those are for serfs like you to pay. And make sure you do, or else you’ll find IRS enforcement agents at your door … who, by the way, are also asking for an Obamacare waiver.

 more» 
13 August 2013
 
 
Anti-statists should use, embrace welfare
by T. Emmet Ryan
 sub-topic» General

As hypocritical as it may sound, libertarians, anti-statists and market anarchists should embrace the welfare state and acquire as many public benefits as possible. Many libertarians find themselves torn between being ultra-purist sectarians or opportunistic sellouts, but free-minded citizens should not pigeonhole themselves to either of these two dispositions.

 more» 
26 July 2013
 
 
Will people's trust in government be restored?
by Wendy McElroy
 sub-topic» General

We can see after 200+ years that the American model failed. It is not limited. It is totalitarian. And getting worse. Would Jefferson have approved of the concept of govt. if he knew it would turn out like this? Of course not. Neither would most of the Founding Fathers. They played with fire and burned down the country. But this is a bad analogy. Fire can be tamed. It has benefited humanity greatly. No net benefit has accrued from govt. All progress has been in spite of govt.

 more» 
03 July 2013
 
 
Secrets and Lies
by Golem XIV
 sub-topic» General

But again Goebbels has been superceded. Repression is so last century. Why repress when you can simply drown it out. All it takes is for the media outlets to be owned by a few powerful and like- minded friends. A few media moguls and corporate giants, whose plastic pundits raise their voices while the dolly bird presenters flash their thighs. It’s all so full throttle and frantic, and charged with desire and greed.

Anyone who disagrees is a conspiracy theorist. Anyone who breaks ranks is a whistleblower and whistleblowers are domestic terrorists, dysfunctional loners with personality problems and axes to grind.

When the truth is vilified, hunted, gagged and gaoled, then the State has chosen to go to war with the nation.

We are at war.

 more» 
30 June 2013
 
 
Purpose of laws is protection of life
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

The only purpose of the law — and by extension, government — was protection of life, liberty, and “pursuit of happiness,” including property rights. Any application of law that violates this — again, the vast majority of today’s law — is a counterfeit substitute for real law and must be eliminated if the individuals who make up society are to ever again thrive.

 more» 
22 June 2013
 
 
The Evil of Prior Restraint
by Tibor R. Machan
 sub-topic» General

NSA’s excuse for snooping on innocent citizens — namely, that it can prevent serious harm to us, might even save lives — is spurious. If you incarcerated us all, that, too, might do all that.

 more» 
21 June 2013
 
 
What the State Fears Most - Revelations of the Truth about the State
by Robert Higgs
 sub-topic» General

The rulers can continue to plunder and bully the great mass of people only as long as the people believe the Biggest of All Big Lies, which is that the government seeks to be, and is, their essential protector and general benefactor. The Ellsbergs, Mannings, Assanges, and Snowdens, rare as they are, demonstrate that the government’s pose as protector and benefactor is nothing but a ruse to hide its essential nature and functioning. The only protection the rulers aim to provide us is the kind that a shepherd provides his sheep—protection from anything that interferes with his exclusive ability to determine how and when the sheep will be sheared and slaughtered.

 more» 
20 June 2013
 
 
What is the Government's Real Agenda?
by Paul Craig Roberts
 sub-topic» General

There is no longer any doubt whatsoever that the US government is lawless, that it regards the US Constitution as a scrap of paper, that it does not believe Americans have any rights other than those that the government tolerates at any point in time, and that the government has no fear of being held accountable by the weak and castrated US Congress, the sycophantic federal courts, a controlled media, and an insouciant public.

 more» 
05 June 2013
 
 
Keep Information Free!
by Unlock Democracy
 sub-topic» General

The government claims that this is intended to prevent a handful of individuals who make “industrial” use of the Act “placing disproportionate burdens on public authorities”. Despite this, three of their core proposals would make it easier for authorities to refuse all Freedom of Information Act claims, while the fourth has already been dealt with by new guidelines from the Information Commissioner.

Any one of these measures would have a potentially serious impact on the operation of the Act. Together they would substantially undermine the Act.

 more» 
03 June 2013
 
 
The State: Human Parasite
by Spencer W. Morgan
 sub-topic» General

This example illustrates the basic and defining nature of the state. It also helps illustrate how the state needs a preexisting surplus resulting from organized cooperation, a phenomenon for which it frequently takes credit. The state represents a very sophisticated, historically enduring, but increasingly apparent fraud by which a few humans have managed to evade the ethical rules of rights and trade, while simultaneously feeding on their resulting productivity.

 more» 
26 May 2013
 
 
Crises and Opportunities
by Jacob G. Hornberger
 sub-topic» General

Here’s my idea: a total separation of economy and the state, just as our American ancestors separated church and state. This would mean that all economic activity, like all religious activity, would be totally free of government control, regulation, and taxation. A free-enterprise system.

 more» 
19 May 2013
 
 
How Government Wrecked the Gas Can
by Jeffrey Tucker
 sub-topic» General

Surely, the gas can is protected. It’s just a can, for goodness sake. Yet he was right. This one doesn’t have a vent. Who would make a can without a vent unless it was done under duress? After all, everyone knows to vent anything that pours. Otherwise, it doesn’t pour right and is likely to spill.

 more» 
18 May 2013
 
 
The Government's Us? Not Last Time I Checked
by Kevin Carson
 sub-topic» General

For government to be us, elected representatives and their publicly stated policy preferences — not an unelected “permanent government” of civil servants and corporate lobbyists that start coopting those elected officials the same day they enter office – would have to be the primary influence on what government does. How’s that workin’ out for ya?

For government to be us, it would have to actually matter what the law said — all those “constraints” Obama says he and other elected officials operate under. But if constitutional protections like the Fourth Amendment meant a damned thing, warrantless wiretapping would never have been an issue in the first place. And by his very threat to veto the proposed CISPA cyber-security bill, Obama made it clear it doesn’t really matter what the law is. The FBI has long privately assured Internet Service Providers that they’re protected from prosecution if they cooperate with “the authorities” in providing confidential customer information.

Next time Obama or anyone else of his ilk says “government is us,” give them a one-fingered salute.

 more» 
16 May 2013
 
 
£1.2 Trillion
by The TaxPayers' Alliance
 sub-topic» General

Last week, I asked whether you could think of any new ways to help people understand what £1.2 trillion means. There were lots of fantastic answers, but the prize goes to M. B. Evans who pointed out that, if they were seconds, our 1.2 trillion pounds of national debt would be equivalent to 38,052 years! Or, in other words, if we paid down the national debt at a rate of £1,000 a second, it would still take over 38 years before we had paid it off!

 more» 
08 May 2013
 
 
Forced Allegiance
by Timothy J. Taylor
 sub-topic» General

The pledge of allegiance flies in the face of liberty, freedom of conscience and the First Amendment. It is an odious government inspired ritual of which little kids are forced to recite mindlessly every school day long before they’ve acquired any working knowledge of American history or any reason why they should owe any allegiance to a government which looks upon them as virtual slaves.

 more» 
02 May 2013
 
 
The New Babbleon
by Butler Shaffer
 sub-topic» General

Our understanding of what caused these terrible crimes in Boston will depend upon the quality – and the range – of the questions brought to the inquiry. No doubt another whitewash "investigation" will be undertaken by a "blue-ribbon" committee chosen by the political establishment. This committee will, like its predecessors, do its appointed job of calming the public herd and urging an extension of government authority to police an already overly-policed populace. But independent journalists, along with men and women who use the Internet and other technologies to communicate their searches for truth, may find out more than we have thus far learned from babbling politicians and make-believe journalists.

 more» 
27 April 2013
 
 
Danes Rethink a Welfare State Ample to a Fault
by Suzanne Daley
 sub-topic» General

In past years, Danes might have shrugged off the case, finding Carina more pitiable than anything else. But even before her story was in the headlines 16 months ago, they were deeply engaged in a debate about whether their beloved welfare state, perhaps Europe’s most generous, had become too rich, undermining the country’s work ethic. Carina helped tip the scales.

 more» 
17 April 2013
 
 
These 3,000 Names Will Be Read At The Capitol Today... These 3,000 Won't
by Chris Rossini
 sub-topic» General

As the 3,300 names of gun victims are read today, there will be no mention of the 3,105 drone victims that the government itself has created in Pakistan. I would suggest that many many Americans have no idea that the U.S. is even involved in Pakistan.

 more» 
28 March 2013
 
 
Warnings from the Wise about the Welfare State
by Lawrence Reed
 sub-topic» General

All around us, every minute of every day, signs abound of bad and intractable consequences of the dreams of myopic schemers. Those consequences are no longer long-term. They're here, now. Soaring, almost incomprehensible deficits and debt. Abandonment of personal responsibility by large swaths of the population who pursue destructive behaviors while expecting a handout. Demagogues corrupting elections with promises of other people's money. Program after program headed for fiscal insolvency. All of it was utterly predictable—and was indeed predicted by the wise who knew history, economics, human nature, and simple math.

 more» 
26 March 2013
 
 
Authority: If It's Good, Why Does It Make Us Feel So Bad?
by Kevin Carson
 sub-topic» General

At the most fundamental level, this is why authority is evil. It reduces you to the feelings of fear and powerlessness you experienced as a child. It makes you think you’re bad. It makes you think you must have done something wrong.

This isn’t a good way for anyone to feel. And a society in which we spend a major part of our lives under the control of institutions directed by authority figures with the power to make us feel that way, is a fundamentally sick society.

 more» 
21 March 2013
 
 
Alter or Abolish?
by Neil Humphrey
 sub-topic» General

“…yet the legislative being only a fiduciary power to act for certain ends, there remains still in the people a supreme power to remove or alter the legislative, when they find the legislative act contrary to the trust reposed in them.

 more» 
07 February 2013
 
 
Enemies
by Claire Wolfe
 sub-topic» General

But no matter what we think, or how we live, or with what civility and decency we conduct ourselves, in the eye of Mordor-on-the-Potomac, we are all enemies. All despised. And above all — all subject to destruction at the whim of power.

We need to recognize exactly what that darkness is, massing on our horizon. We need to quit being indignant innocents protesting against it and nattering about constitutions and rights — as if anyone in power listened or cared. We need to understand exactly what the looming darkness portends for us — and what the forces behind it intend for us.

 more» 
04 February 2013
 
 
On government "economics"
by Latitude
 sub-topic» General

Now they tell me they spent all the money I gave them and there’s no more money…..but they have the money for new infrastructure projects and to hire more government employees…..

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30 January 2013
 
 
Lies and the State
by Elizabeth Cameron
 sub-topic» General

I know there are some honorable people in government. I have even met some. This article is not about them. It is about those politicians, hereinafter referred to as "the government", who aid and abet the proliferation of politically expedient lies in a thousand sneaky ways. They would appear to be the majority, or things would be better than they are.

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17 January 2013
 
 
The Salmon Trap: An Analogy for People's Entrapment by the State
by Robert Higgs
 sub-topic» General

I have often pondered the analogy between the salmon’s being caught in a trap and a human population’s being caught in the institutional arrangement we call big government. Just as the salmon trap’s lead intercepts the fish in the course of their normal life cycle and directs them into captivity, so various political devices and entreaties intercept people in the course of their normal life and direct them toward dependence on the state. Salmon instinctively strive to return to their spawning places. Human beings strive to get wealth and security, and if they can get something seemingly for nothing, they may deviate from a normal, self-supporting life and support political appeals for plundering their fellows via the state. Only when it is too late, if ever, do people realize that the plunder-masters who have enticed them into supporting the expansion of government’s size, scope, and power are, along with their chief cronies in the private sector, the only ones who truly gain. The masses of duped people find themselves caught in a trap, dependent on the state for everything from food, housing, and medical care to education of their children and security in their old age.

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05 January 2013
 
 
We Need an Intellectual Awakening - Part 3
by Ron Paul
 sub-topic» General

Is there any explanation for all the deception, the unhappiness, the fear of the future, the loss of confidence in our leaders, the distrust, the anger and frustration? Yes there is, and there’s a way to reverse these attitudes. The negative perceptions are logical and a consequence of bad policies bringing about our problems. Identification of the problems and recognizing the cause allow the proper changes to come easy.

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04 January 2013
 
 
We Need an Intellectual Awakening - Part 2
by Ron Paul
 sub-topic» General

But there is good evidence that the generation coming of age at the present time is supportive of moving in the direction of more liberty and self-reliance. The more this change in direction and the solutions become known, the quicker will be the return of optimism.

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03 January 2013
 
 
We Need an Intellectual Awakening - Part 1
by Ron Paul
 sub-topic» General

During my time in Congress the appetite for liberty has been quite weak; the understanding of its significance negligible. Yet the good news is that compared to 1976 when I first came to Congress, the desire for more freedom and less government in 2012 is much greater and growing, especially in grassroots America. Tens of thousands of teenagers and college-age students are, with great enthusiasm, welcoming the message of liberty.

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29 December 2012
 
 
Hasn't that Washington Consensus done well?
by Tim Worstall
 sub-topic» General

Twenty and thirty years ago the general consensus was that pretty much nothing was going to help Africa. Sunk in Malthusian destitution as the various countries were, people really just couldn't see any manner in which the place could develop. Then there was this bright idea: hey, what if we told people and governments just to stop doing stupid things?

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03 December 2012
 
 
Don't let a snitch wreck your life
This FREE ebook could help keep you out of prison
by Claire Wolfe
 sub-topic» General

Rats is the work of ex-cops, lawyers, security experts, experienced activists, outlaws, former outlaws, trained interrogators, and more. In the hour or so it takes you to read their information, you'll gain a lifetime's worth of armor against snitches, informers, informants, agents provocateurs, narcs, finks, and similar vermin.

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28 November 2012
 
 
Libertarians to progressives: We have a better 'social contract'
by Garry Reed
 sub-topic» General

The Progressive's social contract can be summed up in six words: "Coercive government justifies more coercive government."

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20 October 2012
 
 
The Only 'Civic Duty' Worth Your Time
by Joel Poindexter
 sub-topic» General

Most people I know do their best to get out of jury duty, but it’s something I actually look forward to, and hope to be selected for at some point. This is because sitting on a jury is the only “civic duty” I find to be at least halfway morally acceptable and worth my time. Unlike during elections, when on a jury, your vote actually counts for something and individual members can make a difference in the trial’s outcome, and even on the very laws in question.

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15 October 2012
 
 
Did Magna Carta Die in Vain?
by Iain Murray
 sub-topic» General

That is because at heart, Magna Carta is about one thing -- restricting government. That goal may be unfashionable among the chattering classes these days, but the document articulating it has been resilient for a reason. The fact that putting bounds on government and constraining what it is allowed to do is essential to progress and prosperity was recognized as far back as 1215. For instance, when King John declared, "No scutage nor aid shall be imposed on our Kingdom unless by common council," he recognized that the taxes he had arbitrarily imposed were damaging to England. It is the source of the idea that taxation must be levied only by consent of the governed, and thereby laid the foundation for the need for separation of powers.

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14 October 2012
 
 
Government in America
by Tibor R. Machan
 sub-topic» General

One’s life is the beginning of this sphere, one’s liberty follows as does one’s private property. What a government is needed for is to keep these safe, to secure the rights to life, liberty, property and whatever derives from these. That is the point of government, nothing else. It is a vital function since without it criminal conduct would very likely go unchecked. But like referees at a sports event, government isn’t meant to get involved in the game, only to make sure it goes on peacefully, with everyone’s sovereignty secured.

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13 September 2012
 
 
Don't budge against nudge
by Sam Bowman
 sub-topic» General

So we are pushed into drinking less, eating better, cycling everywhere and giving up smoking altogether. Wholesome activities are promoted. Healthy sports are encouraged, promiscuous sex and watching pornography are discouraged.

Why? What is the objective standard by which these things are deemed good and bad? There isn’t one. Or, rather, the standard is the policy-makers' own preferences. Any nudge will end up being a promotion of policy-makers' preferences onto other people. In a word: paternalism.

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04 September 2012
 
 
On Translating Securityspeak into English
by Kevin Carson
 sub-topic» General

Similarly, “national security” refers not, as you might expect in English, to the security of the American people. It refers to the security of the American state and the coalition of class interests that controls it. Economic populism is indeed a threat to “national security” in this sense. American economic elites are the heart of one of the opposing sides in the age-old conflict between those who own the world, and those whose blood and sweat enriches those who own the world. When a functionary of the American state like Daremblum refers to a “threat to national security,” he means a threat to the ability of the hemisphere’s owning classes to extract wealth from the blood and sweat of the rest of us.

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01 September 2012
 
 
Who Does the Government Intend to Shoot?
by Major General Jerry Curry, USA (Ret.)
 sub-topic» General

In the war in Iraq, our military forces expended approximately 70 million rounds per year. In March DHS ordered 750 million rounds of hollow point ammunition. It then turned around and ordered an additional 750 million rounds of miscellaneous bullets including some that are capable of penetrating walls. This is enough ammunition to empty five rounds into the body of every living American citizen. Is this something we and the Congress should be concerned about? What’s the plan that requires so many dead Americans, even during times of civil unrest? Has Congress and the Administration vetted the plan in public?

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28 August 2012
 
 
No nanny no more
by Madsen Pirie
 sub-topic» General

Britons do not like nanny. Despite decades of her telling us what foods we should eat, how much we should drink, and what lifestyles are safe, a majority of us wish she'd stop. This is the finding of a new poll commissioned by the ASI. Its full findings are well worth a look, but here's a snapshot.

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26 August 2012
 
 
Government vs. The Mafia
by Jim Davies
 sub-topic» General

8. Each perverts justice

One of the Mafia's main costs of doing business is to bribe police, politicians and judges to ignore their criminal activities. In a manner of speaking, they "own the courts." Government, however, actually and literally owns and monopolizes the justice system; it makes its own rules for its own conduct and gives itself a free pass to rob, tyrannize and enslave at will and prohibits any competing court system that might call it to account.

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22 August 2012
 
 
The State is NOT a Government
by Perry Willis
 sub-topic» General

The Zero Aggression Project is designed to answer those questions.

We want to . . .

Make heads spin. That’s the first sign of an intellectual revolution. Teach people how true government should work, so that their heads stop spinning and arrive at a new paradigm.

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09 August 2012
 
 
Hypocrisy Central
by Jacob G. Hornberger
 sub-topic» General

Don’t you just love it? Have you ever seen such rank hypocrisy? They claim to love the poor and then they punish a poor woman who is just doing her best to sustain her life and the life of her child with labor. They send her to jail and then use the incarceration to take her child away from her.

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08 August 2012
 
 
Seven Whitehall departments still hiring more bureaucrats
by The TaxPayers' Alliance
 sub-topic» General

By contrast, Pinhead of the Month was Ed Davey at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, which increased its number of staff by 4 per cent from 2,816 to 2,929. The best defence they could muster in the press was that they had a target to take on more officials, as they ramp up energy policies that increase your utility bills.

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03 August 2012
 
 
You Didn't Build That Bureeaucracy!
by Nima
 sub-topic» General

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was an innovative entrepreneur somewhere whose tax payments funded your position. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody’s money was taken at the threat of imprisonment and handed over to you and your cronies to pay for roads and bridges, regardless of whether they agreed to if, how, where, by whom, and at what price.

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20 July 2012
 
 
Olympic arrogance
by Madsen Pirie
 sub-topic» General

Welcome to the true spirit of the Olympics. Its rings stand for corporatism, cronyism, extravagance, bullying and arrogance. The sensible course is to be as far from it as I can be until it's all over.

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19 July 2012
 
 
Wildfires: Government praised for solving problem it started
by Ryan McMaken
 sub-topic» General

As the wildfires raged, apologists for government thought they had a trump card against libertarians and triumphantly concluded this was the latest proof that the government and its firefighters remain that thin line between order and chaos. Unfortunately for them, however, history has now made it abundantly clear that the true driving force behind the increasingly large mega-fires that plague public lands are the product of decades of mismanagement by the forest service. That is, we can thank the government for putting out the fires it is responsible for.

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15 July 2012
 
 
Government threat to life, liberty
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

Liberty is the freedom to do anything you want as long as it doesn’t violate the identical rights of anyone else. If your happiness depends on you punching people who are minding their own business, or if you believe you have to steal to make yourself happy, you are out of luck.

Unless you get a job that comes with the illusion of authority to do those things. That still doesn’t make it right.

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12 July 2012
 
 
Is it time to alter or abolish our present form of "government?"
by Perry Willis and James Wilson
 sub-topic» General

The comparison between the peaceful Voluntary Sector and the violent Statist Sector is stark. The supposedly evil corporations . . .

  • Provide you with products and services that improve your life
  • Give you employment
  • Pay dividends that help fund your retirement
And what do the statist politicians give you?

They take your money with threats of violence and use it to fund things that you often don't want, or that you actively hate. But you have no choice. You must submit, or the politicians will hurt you.

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23 May 2012
 
 
Another glass of doublethink?
by Sam Bowman
 sub-topic» General

But in proposing things like taxes on Coca-Cola and price floors for alcohol, the puritans have given the game away. They've accepted free market logic that contravenes all the other things they tend to support. If taxing Coca-Cola makes people drink Coca-Cola less, then taxing work via the income tax must make people work less. If a price floor for alcohol makes people drink less booze (binge drinkers' low price elasticities of demand notwithstanding), then the price floor for labour we call the National Minimum Wage must make firms hire fewer people.

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06 May 2012
 
 
Government more like unruly dog
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

I think government is more like a dog. A big, poorly trained dog that forever grows larger and meaner.

The bigger it gets, the more of your stuff it breaks and the more it consumes. It slobbers all over everything, has terrible gas, and is possessive of your property.

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19 April 2012
 
 
What If the Government Rejects the Constitution?
by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
 sub-topic» General

What if the Declaration of Independence says that the government derives its powers from the consent of the governed? What if the government claims to derive powers from some other source that it will not — because it cannot — name? What if we never gave the government the power to spy on us, to print worthless cash, to kill in our names, to force us to buy health insurance or to waste our money by telling us that exercise is good and sugar is bad?

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24 March 2012
 
 
Government is terrorism
by Garry Reed
 sub-topic» General

So, when the Hitlers and Stalins and Maos of the world slaughter millions of their own citizens in furtherance of political or social objectives they're not committing "terrorism" because they're doing it "lawfully."

But if peaceful citizens resort to self defense against these thugs that's "terrorism."

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29 January 2012
 
 
Open Letter to FedGoons
by The Old Lady Out West
 sub-topic» General

Most of us are far too busy working, building things, raising families and taking care of our communities to worry all that much about what you're up to. Just understand that if you try sneaking up on someone's property to plant a GPS bug on their car, you will probably have the dogs at your throat or a load of buckshot in your butts. We don't suffer fools gladly.

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09 January 2012
 
 
Some Questions About Government
by Arnold Kling
 sub-topic» General

4. Because of the profit and loss system, businesses are accountable to some extent for keeping their promises. (There are weaknesses in accountability mechanisms, to be sure. Most notably, an executive with a short-term focus can gain personally while making decisions with adverse long-term consequences.) In government, the main accountability mechanism is an election. But most government workers are not subject to elections, and elections are very crude expressions of voter preferences. Overall, is the accountability mechanism in government nearly as effective as that in business?

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