Posted in American Exceptionalism, American Independence, American Presidents, big government, Capers, Dependency, Entitlements, Free Society, government incompetence, Government Regulations, Government Spending, Influence peddling, Liberty, News From Washington, News From Washington, DC & Related Shenanigans, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Quotes from American Presidents, Representative Republic vs. Democracy, Rule of Law, U.S. Constitution, U.S. Security, Uncategorized

Will Democracy’s Myths Doom Liberty? | Mises Wire

“It is time to demystify democracy. The surest effect of exalting democracy is to make it easier for politicians to drag everyone else down. Until presidents and members of Congress begin to honor their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, they deserve all the distrust and disdain they receive. Americans need less faith in democracy and more faith in their own liberty.

The phrases which consecrate democracy seep into many Americans’ minds like buried hazardous waste.

If Joe Biden wins the presidential election, voters will be told that our political system is redeemed: the “will of the people” is now clear, Biden will rule with “the consent of the governed,” and Americans are obliged to again trust and obey the federal government. If Donald Trump is reelected, much of the same media will continue howling about imaginary Russian plots. But these notions remain dangerous delusions regardless of who is declared the winner on Election Day.

Americans are encouraged to believe that their vote on Election Day somehow miraculously guarantees that the subsequent ten thousand actions by the president, Congress, and federal agencies embody “the will of the people.” In reality, the more edicts a president issues, the less likely that his decrees will have any connection to popular preferences. It is even more doubtful that all the provisions of hefty legislative packages reflect majority support, considering the wheeling, dealing, and conniving prior to final passage. 

A 2017 survey by Rasmussen Reports found that only 23 percent of Americans believe that the federal government has “the consent of the governed.” Political consent is defined these days as rape was defined a generation or two ago: people consent to anything which they do not forcibly resist. 

Voters cannot complain about getting screwed after being enticed into a voting booth. Anyone who does not attempt to burn down city hall presumably consented to everything the mayor did. Anyone who does not jump the White House fence and try to storm into the Oval Office consents to all executive orders. Anyone who doesn’t firebomb the nearest federal office building consents to the latest edicts in the Federal Register. And if people do attack government facilities, then they are terrorists who can be justifiably killed or imprisoned forever.

In the short term, the most dangerous democratic delusion is that conducting an election makes government trustworthy again. 

When scandals erupt, citizens will be told to trust politically approved fixes to the system—even though most Washington reforms are like fighting crime by hiding the corpses of victims.

Until presidents and members of Congress begin to honor their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, they deserve all the distrust and disdain they receive. Americans need less faith in democracy and more faith in their own liberty.”

https://mises.org/wire/will-democracys-myths-doom-liberty

Posted in Economic Issues, Education, emotional intelligence, Free Society, Free-Market, Liberty, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Representative Republic vs. Democracy, Rule of Law, U.S. Constitution, Uncategorized

Audio Blog Episode 3: James Keena, author of 2084: American Apocalypse

 

Posted in American Exceptionalism, Education, emotional intelligence, Free Society, Liberty, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Uncategorized

When Ricky Gervais Meets Socrates: A Lesson on the Limits of Knowledge | Antony Davies, James R. Harrigan

Socrates was taken aback when the Oracle of Delphi said there was none wiser than he. Not believing the Oracle, Socrates went on an exhaustive hunt for a person wiser than himself, but came up empty. Why? Because everyone he met thought that, because he knew his own craft really well, he knew everything really well.

Source: When Ricky Gervais Meets Socrates: A Lesson on the Limits of Knowledge | Antony Davies, James R. Harrigan

Posted in Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), American Presidents, big government, Crony Capitalism, DC & Related Shenanigans, Economic Issues, government incompetence, Government Regulations, Government Spending, Influence peddling, Liberty, News From Washington, News From Washington, DC & Related Shenanigans, Organizational structure, Policy Issues, Uncategorized

Protectionism, Obamacare, and Atlas Shrugged

From an economic perspective, it certainly is true that this new system is “disorganized” and “a disservice” and an “insult to our intelligence.” Those same words could be used to describe the welfare state, the EEOCfarm subsidies, the tax code, and just about everything else the government does.

But there’s one group of people who are laughing all the way to the bank, The lobbyists, consultants, fixers, and other denizens of the swamp are getting rich. Whether they’re preparing the applications, lobbying for the applications, or lobbying against the applications, they are getting big paychecks.

And the longer this sordid protectionist process continues, we will see a repeat of what happened with Obamacare as senior-level people in government move through the revolving door so they can get lucrative contracts to help clients manipulate the system (yes, Republicans can be just as sleazy as Democrats).

Washington wins and we lose.

International Liberty

I very much suspect Obama partisans and Trump partisans won’t like this column, but the sad reality is that both Obamacare and Trump’s protectionism have a lot in common.

  • In both cases, government is limiting the freedom of buyers and sellers to engage in unfettered exchange.
  • In both cases, the fiscal burden of government increases.
  • In both cases, politicians misuse statistics to expand the size and scope of government.

Today, let’s add another item to that list.

  • In both cases, the Washington swamp wins thanks to increased cronyism and corruption.

To see what I mean, let’s travel back in time to 2011. I wrote a column about Obamacare and cited some very persuasive arguments by Tim Carney that government-run healthcare (or, to be more accurate, expanded government control of healthcare) was creating a feeding frenzy for additional sleaze in Washington.

Congress imposes mandates on other entities, but gives bureaucrats the…

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Posted in Economic Issues, Education, Free Society, Income Inequality, Liberty, Policy Issues, Uncategorized, Wealth

Marxism Ignores the Pareto Distribution | Jordan Peterson with Joe Rogan on YouTube

One of the mistaken ideas of Marxism (collectivism philosophy) is that wealth accumulation in the hands of a few is inherent, and specific, to Capitalism. This fails to recognize that in any endeavor -regardless of who plans it or who participates – that success in that endeavor will always be disproportionately held by a few for reasons that have nothing to do with oppression or theft. This may help explain why the egalitarian promises of socialism & Communism never plays out as it is conceived.

Posted in American Exceptionalism, Economic Issues, Education, Entitlements, Free Society, Free-Market, government incompetence, Government Regulations, Income Inequality, Job loss, Leadership, Liberty, Minimum wage, Organizational structure, Policy Issues, Progressivism, Quotes from American Presidents, Uncategorized

Discrimination and Disparities with Thomas Sowell

“The disconnect between the intention and what emerges”

A conversation with Dr. Thomas Sowell about the folly of political initiatives to solve disparate impact. With predictable irony, these same interventions often exacerbate the same problems the were commissioned to fix.

Posted in Economic Issues, Free Society, government incompetence, Liberty, Policy Issues, Rule of Law, Uncategorized

Law is Organized Justice

Bastiat.4
Frederic Bastiat

And, in all sincerity, can anything more than the absence of plunder be required of the law? Can the law — which necessarily requires the use of force — rationally be used for anything except protecting the rights of everyone? I defy anyone to extend it beyond this purpose without perverting it and, consequently, turning might against right. This is the most fatal and most illogical social perversion that can possibly be imagined. It must be admitted that the true solution — so long searched for in the area of social relationships — is contained in these simple words: Law is organized justice.  

Now this must be said: When justice is organized by law — that is, by force — this excludes the idea of using law (force) to organize any human activity whatever, whether it be labor, charity, agriculture, commerce, industry, education, art, or religion. The organizing by law of any one of these would inevitably destroy the essential organization — justice. For truly, how can we imagine force being used against the liberty of citizens without it also being used against justice, and thus acting against its proper purpose?  

Here I encounter the most popular fallacy of our times. It is not considered sufficient that the law should be just; it must be philanthropic. Nor is it sufficient that the law should guarantee to every citizen the free and inoffensive use of his faculties for physical, intellectual, and moral self-improvement. Instead, it is demanded that the law should directly extend welfare, education, and morality throughout the nation.

This is the seductive lure of socialism. And I repeat again: These two uses of the law are in direct contradiction to each other. We must choose between them. A citizen cannot at the same time be free and not free.

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