Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Constitutional scholars actually believe the mandate will hold up in court.
The obvious question is where does this end? What can't the government require us to buy? Maybe you are required to buy $500/year in citrus fruits to stay healthy - don't have the receipts to prove your purchases, then you are fined. Fail to pay the fine and you are jailed. Of course, the dairy lobby will get heavily involved in this as well, arguing the health benefits of milk and cheese. Lactose intolerant individuals and vegans will end up subsidizing the dairy industry.
What happens to charity under this legislation? Seriously, would you give money to Shriners hospital, who helps those who can't afford medical care? Why would you, everyone is covered and the charitable organizations die. The government gets more powerful as competition for health services diminish and the essence of American compassion shrinks.
Our very soul as a nation is being eroded. Our willingness to trade our freedoms for safety - safety from terrorists (Patriot Act), safety from an unknown future disease (Health Care) - both of which ignore the 5th amendment. But where are our courts to protect us from majority rule? What can't our gov't do anymore? And why are those who stand up for our freedoms vilified by the very people who are taking away our freedom?
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Yes, it is true that most people do want a college playoff system. It is true that the current BCS system sometimes creates rancorous debates among fans of college's left over undefeated teams. But what is alsow true, is that this is the EXACT type of legislation banned by our Constitution.
First, there is nothing in our Constitution that allows the Federal Gov't to regulate the crowning of a college (or even professional) sport.
Second, the Constitution is specifically designed to protect the rights of minority's, regardless how popular a college playoff system would become (if the BCS wants to forgo a lucrative playoff system, we don't have the right to tell them what to do).
What about the unintended consequences of such legislation. Are four teams enough for a playoff system? According to NCAA basketball, they think 64 teams are the magic number. When do these playoff start and end? Don't colleges have the right to say we don't want another four weeks added to the football season? After all, most of these players are only getting half an education as is, why shorten it further.
Sadly, such schools such as Stanford, may choose to drop out of Division I-A football if it requires the students to miss more weeks of school, to prepare for football games with no career prospects in their futures.
Last - even if you ignore the Constitution (which most Americans, politicians and courts already do), aren't we asking these students to make millions of dollars for advertisers, bowl promoters, Las Vegas, the broadcast networks and their schools, for the sum of ZERO pay! Classic government, one regulation to promote a playoff system, will probably run counter to another regulation limiting forced child labor.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
So who's right?
Both are right. But Friedman makes arguments on how to keep a paper system afloat, while Jefferson sees paper as inherently flawed. Jefferson's long-term view of government can be well understood by his quote “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
In essence, Jefferson understands that gov't, regardless of the intentions, will become corrupt and/or ineffective. Paper money may work for a while, but eventually greed and power will overpower the systems inherent flaw - the ability to print whenever you want. Jefferson may not have the economic stature of Friedman, but he understood something Friedman didn't - something academics can't seem to grasp - that human nature will over come the best designed systems. More regulations, more oversight, more laws will never fix an inherently flawed system. Paper money is flawed.
But wait, you ask - "Wouldn't the Great Depression have been just as bad if Jefferson was in power, because he never would have advocated devaluing the dollar by 50% as the Federal Reserve did in 1934?"
The question is moot, because Jefferson never would have allowed the Federal Reserve to exist in the first place. And if it wasn't for the FEDS easy money policy of credit creation in the 1920's, the Great Depression never would have occurred.
Jefferson passed away before Lord Acton wrote "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.", but I believe Jefferson would have whole heartedly embraced the phrase. Intellectuals and academics, like Friedman, believe they can put rules and laws in place to keep powerful institutions from corrupting themselves and society.
Based on what we have seen through the course of human history, the economic genius of Friedman fails the most basic test, that of man's love of power and self righteousness.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It sure appears that the fatter you are the LESS happy you are. Of course, correlations don't prove anything, but there is a pretty strong correlation between weight and happiness (at least on a state-by-state measure).
[Scroll down to see table]
Monday, October 26, 2009
Certainly it can't be that they spend more than any other team. That is one of the tenants of Capitalism, that an individual is free to receive as much as anyone is willing to pay them.
And certainly it can't be their success, because Capitalism rewards those who are the best at what they do.
So what in the world could a true believer in Capitalism have against the New York Yankees? The answer is the Yankees (the institution, not the players) are Socialists.
True Capitalism dictates that if a business is profitable and successful, it will make money. But the Yankees are actually a money-losing institution, held afloat by the taxpayers - most of which who are not even baseball fans, let alone Yankee fans. The government of New York steals money from these people, via taxation, and subsidizes the Yankee organization. An organization that would have crumbled to non-existence with the debt they would owe if not for the suckers who pay taxes in New York state.
Yankee fans don't like to admit that only 9 months ago, they were begging (and got) $370 million in additional tax-exempt bonds to pay for its new Bronx ballpark. That's not $370 million to help build it, that's $370 million to deal with just the cost over runs. The total cost to taxpayers is close to $750 million dollars, approximately 1/2 the cost of the stadium. If the Yankee organization was truly run by Capitalists, they would have built a more modest stadium - or just continue using the existing one.
But wait, there's more! The very land they use is not their own, it is the property of New York City. So Socialists argue at least they pay the property taxes and the people get some of it back. Not so fast my anti-freedom friends, the Yankees get their land TAX FREE. How can the city afford this - simply raise the taxes on the hard working New York citizens.
Yankee defenders will offer their last great argument. All of the businesses and jobs that are created around the stadium. This certainly helps the common man in the city. This certainly proves that a pro-government/business relationship can work wonders. To these people I simply ask you to go to the Bronx and look around - but please bring some body guards, because even though the Yankees have been in the Bronx for over 100 years, the Bronx has continued to deteriorate and it's poverty rate continues to blight the area.
The Yankees only exist due their ability to convince corrupt politicians to confiscate money from taxpayers. This organization is the very antithesis of freedom, but they are an excellent example of America today. Overpaying for everything, with little to show for it.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Keynesians, sadly try to act like free market Capitalists. They are not and could not ever be believers in FREEDOM. They are Socialists and sometimes Fascists and Communists. Some have been brainwashed to believe they are Capitalists and they will occasionally make amazingly stupid arguments like George W Bush's classic quote "I've abandoned free market principles to save the free market system"
True Keynesians aren't really that stupid. Economics is complicated for most Americans, due to the sad nature of our public school systems that amazingly doesn't teach free market economics (which may be a blessing since they would teach Keynesian Socialist economics disguised as Capitalism). And with that complication, you get amazingly disinterested citizens who only care if their government is doing something - anything! No, Keynesians aren't that stupid, the plan is working perfectly - To trick enough of us so they can create a massively dependent working class that kneels at the nipples of government handouts. They are the wolf in sheeps clothing.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Total Tax Rate Rank
Let’s be clear – there is more to a good economy than low taxes. What good are low taxes if your state borrows and spends like a drunken sailor? What good are low taxes if you can’t afford a responsible and honest police force.
This post isn’t an end all argument that taxes are bad, they aren’t. However, it should be noted that if Virginia didn’t have the HUGE federal stimulus, paid for by us, plus a giant printing press in the Federal Reserve, there wouldn’t have been a single state below the 7% unemployment rate with a ranking below 28. Draw your own conclusions, but mine are pretty clear – governments that provide protection, a good court system and allow us to be as free as possible (that includes with our labor and income) – are better off for it.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The Founding Fathers truly believed that men of honor could only read the Constitution using the words on the document, but only a few short decades after our country was founded, justices began "reading between the lines" for such things as intent. When intent wasn't enough to justify ignoring the words on the page, they moved towards the infamous "living document".
Today, they've moved right past that into the "What the Supreme Court says is law!" And in essence they are right - unless a specific Amendment is passed to allow/disallow a specific law, the Supreme Court is the law of the land - regardless what our Congress decides.
The great error of making the Supreme Court so powerful isn't rooted in the checks and balances, which is an excellent system, but rather the fact that a majority of justices makes a decision. I was recently reminded of the Kelo et al v. City of New London decision - allowing states to take land away from private citizens and give it to other private citizens who promise to increase tax revenues. The decision, like so many BAD decisions, was passed 5 - 4, and there is the glaring error. Four of the most important justices in the land thought the right of a town to forcibly confiscate land from a private homeowner to make way for town homes was blatantly unConstitutional, yet the law was upheld.
How to fix this problem - we need to ask our Congress to begin the process of Amending the Constitution. Like all Amendments it should be short and simple. Here's what I propose:
"Any Supreme Court decision, that is not unanimous, will be construed as a ruling against the government."
Five to four decisions, like Kelo et al v. City of New London, would automatically be victories to the citizens. In situations where a gov't is suing an individual, as in the Bufferd v. Commissioner Of Internal Revenue, anything but a 9-0 decision would rule against the gov't. For reference, the Commissioner of Internal Revenue won that case 9-0.
With many legitimate questions about such things as the "Patriot Act", going to war without a Declaration, and the previously mentioned issue of Eminent Domain - is it so much to ask that the Supreme Court at least be unanimous in approving MORE government power?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Unfortunately, voting does not equal freedom. They voted in the U.S.S.R., and they still vote in Iran; yet few Americans would classify either of those voters as "Free".
Our founding Fathers were quite fearful of a majority rule, and put together our Constitution specifically to keep the majority from taking away the rights of the minority.
The argument "Most Americans agree", usually followed by "with our President" or "in this poll" should be discarded from every debate you hear on the streets, supermarkets and Internet chat rooms. It is a meaningless and uneducated statement that simply allows the person to participate in a debate they are unwilling to prepare themselves.
"Most Americans agree" is the false belief, created by our public schools and repeated by the media relentlessly, that we live in a Democracy. We don't and never have. We live in a Republic and have specific rights outlined by our Constitution. I beg all of you to stop using this neanderthal argument during debates.
Speak for yourself, and if unable to, then educate yourself first.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Out government should be protecting our freedoms, yet it is pursuing policies are placing every child born into financial debt. How free can anyone be when they are born owing money to another. We are now creating the 21st century version of indentured servitude.