Friday, December 23, 2011

We Should Learn Something About the Science of Economics

The following are some quotes by the great economist Ludwig von Mises. These are important because our political class will try to pull one over on us every time. But we can protect ourselves by becoming familiar with the economic principles that made this country great in the first place. Today's politicians, never so much as Barack Obama, are defying these good economic rules and this can end only one way - in slavery to the state.

Economics is not about goods and services; it is about human choice and action.

Despots and democratic majorities are drunk with power. They must reluctantly admit that they are subject to the laws of nature. But they reject the very notion of economic law . . . economic history is a long record of government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics.

All those not familiar with economics (i.e., the immense majority) do not see any reason why they should not coerce other people by means of force to do what these people are not prepared to do of their own accord.

The main achievement of economics is that it has provided a theory of peaceful human cooperation. This is why the harbingers of violent conflict have branded it as a dismal science and why this age of wars, civil wars, and destruction has no use for it.

Rulers do not like to admit that their power is restricted by any laws other than those of physics and biology. They never ascribe their failures and frustrations to the violation of economic law.

As conditions are today, nothing can be more important to every intelligent man than economics. His own fate and that of his progeny is at stake.

The body of economic knowledge is an essential element in the structure of human civilization; it is the foundation upon which modern industrialism and all the moral, intellectual, technological, and therapeutical achievements of the last centuries have been built.
War doesn't liberate; it enslaves. It is the state on overdrive: taxing, inflating, kidnapping, killing. February 25-25 2012 | Furman University, Greenville, SC
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Thursday, November 10, 2011

We Must Return to the Gold Standard

Ben Bernanke's Lone Positive Legacy: A Return To The Gold Standard by Bill Frezza (Forbes) I’ll make two predictions with utter confidence. The first is that one day Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will be ridden out of town on a rail, joining Arthur Burns in that special circle of hell reserved for monetary debauchers. The second is that in the aftermath of our pending inflationary disaster we will see the gold standard return.

The Federal Reserve long ago lost control of inflation, now ravaging several sectors of our economy. This is obvious to every economist not a member of Bernanke’s Greek chorus, singing lyrics provided by the gnomes in the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their modern re-interpretation of the dance of the seven veils uses statistical “adjustments” instead of scarves, but these keep the evidence of inflation as hidden as Salome’s charms. My favorite fudge has to be the “hedonic quality adjustment.” What are you going to believe, the government’s regression coefficient estimates or your own lying eyes?

What Bernanke made clear now that he launched his own reality TV show is that his primary mission is no longer ensuring a stable currency, or even pursuing the illusory goal of full employment. Rather, Helicopter Ben will make his last stand managing inflationary expectations. As long as he maintains the illusion of monetary stability the Fed’s printing presses can run flat out. What could please his masters more, who get to spend this fresh dough before it floods into the economy to dilute ours?

Reading from the playbook of successful defense attorneys the game is on to Deny, Deny, Deny! All evidence of inflation is explained as transitory. High food prices? It’s the weather. Gasoline? Blame speculators or oil industry profits. Ben knows he can get away with this dodge for at least two or three more quarters. After that? Don’t you worry; if inflation ever raises its ugly head Ben the Beneficent will rise up and smite it immediately!

Do you have a friend that is a high function alcoholic? “Back off, I can handle it! I’m doing fine at work. Things at home have never been better. What’s the big deal; it’s just a few traffic tickets. If my drinking becomes a problem I can stop any time.” After he wraps his car around a tree, loses his job, and his wife leaves him you’ll be there to check him into rehab. But his life will never be the same.

Nor will our economy after the triple whammy of double digit unemployment, double digit inflation, and an uncontrollable budget deficit comes down on our heads. That’s why I think the gold standard will make a comeback. It’s too bad the country has to be dragged through so much avoidable misery, but perhaps that’s the only way we can put a stake through the heart of fiat currency.

Don’t be melodramatic; we survived the seventies without restoring the gold standard didn’t we? Sure. But last time Washington went on an inflationary binge the world was a simpler place, and we sat firmly atop it. There was no Euro. China was the world’s largest penal colony barely able to feed itself, not a manufacturing giant and our biggest creditor. The evil empire threatened. Fax machines were the latest thing in international communications. World financial markets were neither integrated nor interconnected by broadband. And citizens got their news from three government regulated TV networks.

Paul Volcker had a far more manageable problem dumped in his lap than will Bernanke’s successor, who will be confronted by genuine challenges to the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. And therein lies the opportunity for gold.

Faced with the alternative of ceding monetary supremacy to the Chinese the gold standard will be the only politically palatable option. In addition, all those gold cranks the liberal media spent decades portraying as fools are going to look pretty smart when gold hits $2,000 an ounce. With enough think tanks in Washington rehabilitating gold as a respectable monetary anchor and ratings agencies threatening to reduce T-bills to junk bond status, hard money will have its day in court.

And it will win because the gold standard makes but one promise, and that is to stabilize the value of money. At that task it has never failed, unlike every fiat currency in history. Gold makes no false promises to cure unemployment, direct credit to the unworthy, juice a slack economy, boost exports, deliver stealth tax hikes, erode unfunded liabilities, or all the other things that fiat currency advocates promise. A gold peg merely sets immutable ground rules for exchange and leaves us alone to work out the rest. By taking the distorting levers away from Washington elites a hard money standard grounds the economy on our own productive efforts and not the whims of bureaucrats. And productivity is a playing field on which America has always done its best.

Laugh at the gold standard if you’d like, but don’t count on laughing last. When Bernanke’s funny money takes its inevitable fall, gold will still beckon.

Bill Frezza is a writer and venture capitalist living in Boston. He can be reached at

Monday, October 31, 2011

Congression Reform Act of 2011 - LET"S DO IT!!!!!!!

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:
"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971... before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc. Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffett is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

*Congressional Reform Act of 2011*

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no
pay when they are out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.


If you agree with the above, pass it on.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Ladies in White of Cuba

Freedom: Laura Pollan Toledo was a humble schoolteacher who led Cuba's defiant Ladies in White. She died Friday in Havana. But she left a legacy of untold courage that terrified Cuba's long-communist dictatorship.

As surely as the sun will rise, a day will come when Cuba is free of its 52-year Marxist nightmare. And when its history is written, it's likely to begin with the story of Laura Pollan Toledo, the wife of an arrested dissident who shined a light on the totalitarian nature of the regime for all the world to see.

Pollan was a founder of the Ladies in White, the noted group of dissidents' wives who silently walked in procession, wearing white and carrying gladiolus flowers. They attended Mass together at St. Rita's Church to pray for their husbands' return.

They never made public statements, but the Castro regime understood the power of their silent protest and its global impact. For that, they considered Pollan a threat.

Pollan and the others, mostly wives of 75 dissidents arrested in the Black Spring of 2003, were followed, insulted, harassed, threatened, beaten by mobs and menaced for silently witnessing to the truth about Cuba's lack of human freedom.

Pollan died in a Cuban hospital of dengue fever and a viral infection, in the end at the mercy of Cuba's collapsing state health system, refusing transfer to an elite medical facility as the publicity-nervous regime offered.

It's hard to imagine the courage that Pollan's simple act of witness took, in a regime that considers going to church a threat to the state.

In Castro's island hellhole, praised by the Hollywood and congressional left, free speech is forbidden. Calling for elections brings a knock on the door at midnight. Trying to leave the island brings prison — even death. (READ Cuba's Lady of Valor),

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Smell of Decaying Brains

Our young are so ill educated (in more ways than one) that they don't even understand the difference between socialism/communism and capitalism. It's time they learned why they don't have jobs, why everything costs more and why our future as far as the eye can look is bleak unless we get rid of the occupier of The White House. Maybe it's time for these youngsters to learn the lessons of government intervention in the economy and to recognize anti-American sentiment in our leaders. Oh yeah, that's right. I forgot for a moment that our young don't know history - thanks to our ah,,,,,,,government run schools. So we have a bunch of nitwits barricading Wall St who probably attended public schools who are protesting the rich and blaming Wall Street for THEIR problems. It's the lunatics running the asylum syndrome. I say after we rid ourselves of the socialist/communist Obama and his incompetent appointees (Eric Holder comes to mind) we then get rid of the totality of our public schools and allow the free market to function. Then maybe we'll be lucky and get some Thomas Jefferson clone who will remind us of what America was meant to be..

...Still, if anyone in the Occupy Wall Street movement wants an intellectually honest explanation for why they can't find a job, they might start by considering what happens to an economy when the White House decides to make pinatas out of the financial-services industry (roughly 6%, or $828 billion, of U.S. GDP), the energy industry (about 7.5% of GDP, or $1 trillion), and millionaires and billionaires (who paid 20.4% of all federal income taxes in 2009). And don't forget the Administration's rhetorical volleys against individual companies like Anthem Blue Cross, AIG and Bank of America, or against Chrysler's bondholders, or various other alleged malefactors of wealth.

Now move from words to actions. Want a shovel-ready job? The Administration has spent three years sitting on the Keystone XL pipeline project that promises to create 13,000 union jobs and 118,000 "spin-off" jobs. A State Department environmental review says the project poses no threat to the environment, but the Administration's eco-friends are screaming lest it go ahead.

Then there are the jobs the Administration and its allies in Congress are actively killing. In June, American Electric Power announced it would have to shutter five coal-fired power plants, at a cost of 600 jobs, in order to comply with new EPA rules. Those same rules may soon force the utility to shutter another 25 plants. Bank of America's decision last month to lay off 30,000 employees is a direct consequence of various Congressional edicts limiting how much the bank can charge merchants or how it can handle delinquent borrowers.

These visible crags of the Obama jobs iceberg are nothing next to the damage done below the waterline by the D.C. regulations factory, which last year added 81,405 pages of new rules to the Federal Register, bringing the total cost to the U.S. economy of regulatory compliance to an estimated $1.7 trillion a year.

Less easy to quantify, but no less harmful, are the long-term uncertainties employers face in trying to price in the costs of ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, the potential expiration next year of the Bush tax cuts, the possible millionaire surcharge, the value of the dollar and so on. No wonder businesses are so reluctant to hire: When you don't know how steep the trail ahead of you is, it's usually better to travel light.

This probably won't do much to persuade the Occupiers of Wall Street that their cause would be better served in Washington, D.C., where a sister sit-in this week seems to have fizzled. Then again, most of America's jobless also won't recognize their values or interests in the warmed-over anticapitalism being served up in lower Manhattan. Three years into the current Administration, most Americans are getting wise to the source of their economic woes. It's a couple hundred miles south of Wall Street. What's Occupying Wall Street?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Social Security Scam Keeps Playing on and on and on

If Chile can reform their Social security why can't we? We can't even START the conversation!

Posted 09/29/2011 06:33 PM

Cain's 'Chilean Model'

Election '12: Herman Cain's victory in Florida's straw poll is notable, among other things, for his advocacy of "Chilean Model" Social Security reform in a state filled with retirees. It ought to be a wake-up call to all candidates.

Aside from the insta-analysis about Cain's victory being a protest vote against Texas Gov. Rick Perry, it's worth noticing that — in Florida, no less — both Cain and Perry, who finished first and second in the weekend's GOP straw poll, were the two most outspoken candidates about confronting the U.S. crisis in Social Security.

It completely ends the notion that addressing the issue of unfunded pension liabilities — in Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare — is the third rail of politics.

Voters migrated from Perry to Cain, but there were multiple Tea Party favorites to choose from. In moving to Cain, they went from a moderate to a strong stance on Social Security reform.

Perry did call for a national dialogue on the matter. But Cain went much further, at least three times in debates calling for "The Chilean Model" to replace Social Security, bringing the idea to as many as 15 million viewers.

Chile's system, enacted in 1981, took government out of the pension business altogether and replaced it with a system of personal retirement accounts.

It's one of most successful fiscal reforms in history.

It outperforms Social Security on returns, yielding about 9.23% compounded annual returns over 30 years under private management. READ THE REST AT IBD

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Tea Partiers and TheWall Street Mob

Ann Coulter notes the difference between these two groups. It's one of principle and love for our Founding Principles vs the mob crying for handouts on the alter of envy for those who have been successful.

The Difference Between the Wall Street Protesters and the Tea Partiers:

"I am not the first to note the vast differences between the Wall Street protesters and the tea partiers. To name three: The tea partiers have jobs, showers and a point. ...

"The tea partiers didn't arrogantly claim to be drafting a new Declaration of Independence. They're perfectly happy with the original.

"Tea partiers didn't block traffic, sleep on sidewalks, wear ski masks, fight with the police or urinate in public. They read the Constitution, made serious policy arguments, and petitioned the government against Obama's unconstitutional big government policies, especially the stimulus bill and Obamacare.

"Then they picked up their own trash and quietly went home. Apparently, a lot of them had to be at work in the morning."

Friday, October 07, 2011

"For America to remain a capitalist nation, America's banks must remain free. Remember this as you listen to anti-bank slanders from the White House"

Socialism: The mob assaults against our banking system by unemployed leftists and their political allies are part of a larger strategy to control the commanding heights of our economy. And we'll all be much poorer for it.

The White House has thrown in with the anticapitalism crowd, and banks had better watch out. You only had to hear President Obama's cynical, politicized expressions of sympathy for the unwashed legions "occupying" Wall Street this week to be worried.

"Not only did the financial sector, with the Republican Party in Congress, fight us every step of the way," Obama said at his news conference Thursday. "But now you've got these same folks arguing we should roll back all those reforms and go back to the way it was."

But no criticism of the demonstrators.

In fact, added Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, "We are going to push back harder," making what sounds like a fairly explicit threat against the banks.

Welcome to class warfare, 2011-style. Obama's ratings have never been lower, and administration policies leading to a dead-in-the-water economy with 9%-plus unemployment are incredibly unpopular.

So he must think his only hope for re-election is to somehow tie the GOP to fat-cat bankers on Wall Street and then convince voters that the banks are to blame for all their ills.

Sound cynical? It is. But this is what Obama and the Democrats are doing. They've even put out a video: "Republicans: On the Side of Wall Street, not Consumers."....(READ THE REST HERE at

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Milton Factor - Statists Would Rather Rule in Hell Than Leave Us the Hell Alone by Robert Tracinski

Recently, Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez announced that he was moving the nation's entire overseas reserve of gold bullion, valued at $11 billion, back to Caracas, a move that will cost hundreds of millions of dollars just for security. (Ragnar Danneskjold, where are you?)

There are two theories about why Chavez is doing this. The first theory is that he is withdrawing hard assets that could be attached when the World Bank's International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes rules against him for illegally seizing $14 billion in assets from American and European companies.

The other, wider theory, the one I consider to be more accurate, is that Chavez is being treated for cancer and is paranoid that his weakness will provide an opening to political opponents, so his regime is trying move the country's reserve of hard money to some place where they can physically grab hold of it. In effect, Chavez is piling up gold in his bunker in anticipation of fighting off a Libyan-style insurrection. Roger Noriega sums it up: "These momentous decisions by the ailing leader and his nervous cronies suggest they are more concerned with their ability to hold on to power when Mr. Chavez falters than with the well-being of the Venezuelan economy." No investor will ever touch Venezuela again, and with no foreign reserves, it will function about as well in the global economy as North Korea. But no one will be able to pry the Chavez regime's death grip off of the country.

This is not a new phenomenon, neither in Venezuela nor in the world. It is a principle I call the Milton Factor. No, this has nothing to do with Milton Friedman. I named it after John Milton, author of the epic poem "Paradise Lost," in which he attributes to Satan a classic statement of evil. After being cast down onto the Lake of Fire as punishment for his rebellion against God, Satan accepts his grim fate by declaring that it is "Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven."

Every dictator eventually faces this choice, when he has to choose between economic prosperity and political control. Like Chavez, they usually choose control and cause their economies to collapse, plunging millions into poverty and outright starvation. They choose to rule in Hell rather than to be a minor and inconsequential bureaucrat in Heaven.

It is not just dictators who have to make this choice. Our own "moderate" statists often make the same choice, though in less stark terms. With his recent proposals on jobs and taxes, President Obama is making it, too.

To rule in Hell or serve in Heaven is actually a false alternative, because ruling and serving are not the only options. (If this were true, then on Satan's own terms there is a certain nobility in his choice to reject servitude, which is why Milton has often been accused of sympathy for the devil.) Men are not doomed to be either master or servant, but can live as independent equals, which is what they are in a free society. So the modern statist's version of the Milton Factor is even more perverse. It is not a choice between ruling and serving, but a choice between having control over others and leaving them free. They always want to keep the control, even if it means destruction for everyone.

They would rather rule in Hell than leave us the hell alone.

You can see this in President Obama's latest economic proposals. Consider the fraud of his jobs bill. Even as he abjured Congress to pass the American Jobs Act "right away," there was no such bill. He had not written it yet, he had lined up no sponsor to introduce it in the House, and he had not bothered to secure the support of his own congressional allies. The result, a little over two weeks later, is that no Democrat has even introduced Obama's bill in the House, while Democratic leaders in the Senate have pushed it off into the indefinite future. As to its content, it is just a rehash of the president's previous failed "stimulus" bill.

None of this makes sense as a legislative strategy or an economic policy. It only makes sense as crude political maneuvering: propose a bill that is doomed to fail, then blame the opposition. At a time of dire economic emergency, with long-term unemployment and poverty reaching levels not seen since the Great Depression, President Obama would rather pursue a re-election slogan than propose legislation that might actually pass and improve the economy.

Meanwhile, Obama promised to tour the country pushing his jobs bill, but what he is actually pushing is a new tax on the rich. The real focus of his rhetoric and political energy is the so-called Buffett Rule, based on the alleged fact that billionaire investor Warren Buffett's secretary pays a larger share of her income in taxes than Buffett does.

The whole thing is another fraud. If Buffett feels undertaxed, perhaps he could start with his company's unpaid back taxes. Moreover, his situation is far from typical. In reality, millionaires pay about 30% of their income in taxes, compared to 20% (or less) for the middle class. The top one percent of earners pay 40% of all income taxes, while about half of Americans pay no income tax at all. So who isn't paying their "fair share"? And then there is the fact that "Warren Buffett's secretary" is a fiction. A reporter who actually bothered to call the headquarters of Buffett's investment company discovered that he has several "administrative assistants," whose responsibilities are a lot greater than taking dictation and fetching coffee. (The whole image of a "secretary" is a bit of hopelessly old-fashioned "Mad Men" chauvinism. No wonder the women in Obama's administration describe it as a "hostile workplace.") And given that Buffett's assistants work for a man who manages $100 billion in assets, they probably make more money than you do. They may well make enough, especially when combined with their spouses, to rise above the $200,000 per year income level that will incur higher taxes in Obama's new plan to tax "billionaires."

This new tax is, in effect, just a second Alternative Minimum Tax, and the history of these taxes suggests that they are never limited to "the rich." The income tax itself began as a 1% tax on the rich, before spreading to nab the vast majority of the middle class. The original AMT, meant to prevent a small group of the very wealthy from gaming the government's vast network of tax loopholes, has now crept down to affect the middle class, ensnaring thousands of small businesses. This one will do the same and will create the same kind of drain on the economy.

But remember the Milton Factor. This is not about economics. It is about control. Republicans have criticized this proposal as "class warfare," but I don't think that really names the right issue. America does not have economic classes in the old-fashioned European sense. Long ago, Alexis de Tocqueville observed that individualism, economic freedom, and the doctrine of "self-interest properly understood" was something one heard, in America, "as much from the poor as from the rich." We certainly don't have anything like old-fashioned class warfare when it is the Warren Buffetts and Jeff Immelts who are providing cover to Obama, while middle-class and blue-collar folks flock to Tea Party rallies. If this is class warfare, the plutocrats and the proletarians have gotten their cues mixed up.

What actually differentiates the warring factions here is the issue of control versus independence. If there are classes involved, they are not "rich" versus "poor," but the "government class" versus the "independent class."

Consider, for example, one Silicon Valley entrepreneur's description of how the Buffett Rule would squash returns for venture capitalists who back high-tech start-ups. Then contrast that to this administration's "venture socialism," as embodied in the Solyndra fiasco, where the Obama administration rushed through a half-billion-dollar loan guarantee to a politically correct, politically connected business.

Philip Klein makes a similar comparison between Solyndra and Social Security. "Obama thinks it's OK for government to risk taxpayer money on business ventures that he deems worthy of investment. But he's outraged at the suggestion that younger Americans be allowed to have more control over the allocation of their own tax dollars."

The pattern is consistent. The government class wants everything to be controlled by a central authority, either through direct government action or through a Solyndra- or Government Motors-style "public-private partnership." They are tyrants, in their own way. And like the world's dictators, even when their policies lead to disaster (witness the current state of the economy), they just cannot bring themselves to give up control.

It's the Milton Factor. They would rather rule in Hell than leave us the hell alone.

VISIT "The Intellectual Activist" at

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Farce of Global Warming Gets One More Unveiling

The chickens are coming home to roost - and the chicken called Global Warming by every measure over the past several years was a hoax and is still a hoax. Unfortunately, it is the science field that is promoting this lie (I'm a scientist) and it shames me to call these men scientists. Hurray for Dr. Ivar Giaever for choosing to be able to live with himself with integrity intact.

The global warming theory left him out in the cold.

Dr. Ivar Giaever, a former professor with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the 1973 winner of the Nobel Prize in physics, abruptly announced his resignation Tuesday, Sept. 13, from the premier physics society in disgust over its officially stated policy that "global warming is occurring."

The official position of the American Physical Society (APS) supports the theory that man's actions have inexorably led to the warming of the planet, through increased emissions of carbon dioxide.

Giaever does not agree -- and put it bluntly and succinctly in the subject line of his email, reprinted at Climate Depot, a website devoted to debunking the theory of man-made climate change.

"I resign from APS," Giaever wrote.

Giaever was cooled to the statement on warming theory by a line claiming that "the evidence is inconvertible."

"In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?" he wrote in an email to Kate Kirby, executive officer of the physics society.

"The claim … is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period," his email message said.

A spokesman for the APS confirmed to that the Nobel Laureate had declined to pay his annual dues in the society and had resigned. He also noted that the society had no plans to revise its statement.

Read more:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Right to Join or NOT a Union

As we all try to understand the dramatic changes that have overcome our nation with regards for the continuing decline of our liberties we have to educate ourselves and be ready to uphold the standard of freedom wherever it is being attacked more so than ever in today's climate of hostility to the ideas and hard fought for rights as written in our Founding Documents. The following is from "Michigan's Grassroots Campaign for LIberty".

Nobody should be forced to not join or join a union.

There may be here and there a worker who for certain reasons unexplainable to us does not join a union of labor. This is his right, no matter how morally wrong he may be. It is his legal right and no one can or dare question his exercise of that right."

- Samual Gompers, first and longest-serving President of the American Federation of Labor (AFL)

Before the 20th century, unions were voluntary organizations where workers had the freedom to associate, or not associate, with anyone they choose. Businesses could also choose to bargain with employees as individuals or groups.

We believe Samual Gompers is correct and we believe that Michigan should be a Freedom to Work state!

  • As of December 2010, Michigan has the third highest unemployment rate in the nation.
  • In 1965, Michigan was 9th in per capita personal income. Since then, 28 states have surpassed Michigan which has become a comparatively poor state, ranking 39th.
  • Americans are moving from forced-unionism states to RTW states. As a result, forced-unionism states have lost a total of 25 Congressional seats over the past 30 years. [BLS/Census]
  • From 1993-2009, private sector employment increased 37.9% in RTW states (15.8 million jobs) compared to 19.6% (14.5 million jobs) in forced-unionism states. [Haver Analytics/BEA]
  • RTW states experienced a 497,041 net increase in private sector business establishments from 1993 to 2009. This is 46% greater than the 339,834 new private sector businesses added in forced-unionism states over that same period.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Finally People Realize Who Obama Really Is

At last people are realizing who and what we elected to lead our country. It has taken 2.5 years of utter stupidity, negligence and downright dereliction of duty by Obama for the truth to come out - that Obama is not fit to be the leader of anything let alone a great nation like The United States of America. We made a mistake - now let's not repeat it by re-electing this inept man to a second term. That may be the end of us.

It's amazing how quiet liberals have become recently in defense of Obama. This was another "big speech" week, but we had no liberals out there defending the president.

I don't know. Maybe as his own chief of staff, Bill Daley said, sometimes there is no defending the indefensible.

Dahni wrote: I'm beginning to think that Obama really isn't very smart, as proclaimed by many, and as indicated might be the case with his degree from Harvard. Cunning, immoral and self-loving might be much more accurate in describing him. He does so many things that I consider pretty stupid.- in response to Obama Proclaims: Stimulus Forever.

Kind of a weird admission for your own chief of staff to make, but it tells you exactly why Obama's in trouble.

...I think even liberals are catching on to the fact that Obama isn’t what has been advertised.

I don’t know how smart you have to be to be president, but I think that maybe we could try someone who doesn’t have an Ivy League degree next time. More common sense, less education would be a great relief to the country. My understanding is that getting into Harvard is the hard part, but once in, they do what they can to grease you through.

...Obama, his whole adult life, has been getting away with mediocrity disguised as brilliance by a practiced and nuanced cadence that he reads from a script. He’s gotten away with it because liberals are in love with the color of his skin, his romantic and mysterious background, his diversity. Now that he’s being graded like the rest of us are, he’s shown that he can’t adapt. He’s doing the same things he’s always done and those things just aren’t working.


Thursday, September 08, 2011

Obama's Inability to Solve Problems

A good question to ask is why Obama cannot fix any problem he "tackles". Why is that? Why indeed. The title of Craig Steiner's article at is revealing. Schizophrenia? Maybe that IS the right diagnosis for this President!

...By reading economic news, one would think the economy is slowly moving away from the financial crisis of 2008.

The truth is that absolutely nothing is changing in our economy on a day to day basis. Whether it be a tsunami in Japan or a hurricane on the eastern seaboard--or even an earthquake in Washington DC--nothing has changed economically in any significant way.

In fact, the only change since September 2008 is that things have gotten worse.

Our federal government is closer to bankruptcy, as are many of our states, counties, and cities.

Our unemployment rate is higher than it was when Obama was elected, and appears to be going higher.

We have millions of homes in or near foreclosure, and many which are abandoned and falling into disrepair, yet construction companies continue to build new homes.

Obama's stimulus failed to create jobs. So did QE1. And QE2. The Keynesian's are out of tricks.

Even as Social Security enters deficit territory we've created a new unfunded entitlement with Obamacare.

Around the world, individual debts became too much so they were unloaded on banks. The debt of the banks then became too much so they were bailed out and unloaded on the taxpayers. And now sovereign debt is too much and countries are collapsing and the United States has been downgraded.

The reality is that what the unemployed feel--that the recession never really ended--is completely true. Sure, it may have ended from a strictly statistical measure of GDP. But employment never recovered and--just as importantly--the root causes of the financial crisis have never been addressed.

We're not just going to wake up one morning and find that the economy has gotten better for no apparent reason. A month of good car sales or a quarter of increased home prices are just blips on the economic radar. As long as we continue to ignore the fundamental problems in our economy, there's no need to get excited about occasional good economic news. It's nothing more than statistical noise.

The state of our economy will not significantly change until we change our economic policies.

Instead of trying to prevent housing prices from falling, we need to let them fall and find their bottom. Instead of stopping foreclosures, we need to foreclose on homes as quickly as possible and get it over with. Instead of pumping up the stock market with QE1 and QE2, we need to let the market find its true value. Instead of trying to convince consumers to spend more money to spark economic activity, we need to encourage them to complete the process of deleveraging and fixing their balance sheets. Instead of getting in the way of corporate bankruptcies, we need to let those companies fail... READ Obama's Schizophrenic Reality.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Open Immigration

by Harry Binswanger

This is a defense of phasing-in open immigration into the United States. Entry into the U.S. should ultimately be free for any foreigner, with the exception of criminals, would-be terrorists, and those carrying infectious diseases. (And note: I am defending freedom of entry and residency, not the automatic granting of U.S. citizenship).

An end to immigration quotas is demanded by the principle of individual rights. Every individual has rights as an individual, not as a member of this or that nation. One has rights not by virtue of being an American, but by virtue of being human.

One doesn't have to be a resident of any particular country to have a moral entitlement to be secure from governmental coercion against one's life, liberty, and property. In the words of the Declaration of Independence, government is instituted "to secure these rights"—to protect them against their violation by force or fraud.

A foreigner has rights just as much as an American. To be a foreigner is not to be a criminal. Yet our government treats as criminals those foreigners not lucky enough to win the green-card lottery.

Seeking employment in this country is not a criminal act. It coerces no one and violates no one's rights. There is no "right" to be exempt from competition in the labor market, or in any other market.

It is not a criminal act to buy or rent a home here in which to reside. Paying for housing is not a coercive act—whether the buyer is an American or a foreigner. No one's rights are violated when a Mexican, or Canadian, or Senegalese rents an apartment from an American owner and moves into the housing he is paying for. And what about the rights of those American citizens who want to sell or rent their property to the highest bidders? Or the American businesses that want to hire the lowest-cost workers? It is morally indefensible for our government to violate their right to do so.

Immigration quotas forcibly exclude foreigners who want not to seize but to purchase housing here, who want not to rob Americans but to engage in productive work, raising our standard of living. To forcibly exclude those who seek peacefully to trade value for value with us is a violation of the rights of both parties to such a trade: the rights of the American seller or employer and the rights of the foreign buyer or employee.

Thus, immigration quotas treat both Americans and foreigners as if they were criminals, as if the peaceful exchange of values to mutual benefit were an act of destruction.

To take an actual example, if I want to invite my Norwegian friend Klaus to live in my home, either as a guest or as a paying tenant, what right does our government have to stop Klaus and me? To be a Norwegian is not to be a criminal. And if some American business wants to hire Klaus, what right does our government have to interfere?

The implicit premise of barring foreigners is: "This is our country, we let in who we want." But who is "we"? The government does not own the country. Jurisdiction is not ownership. Only the owner of land or any item of property can decide the terms of its use or sale. Nor does the majority own the country. This is a country of private property, and housing is private property. So is a job.

American land is not the collective property of some entity called "the U.S. government." Nor is there such a thing as collective, social ownership of the land. The claim, "We have the right to decide who is allowed in" means some individuals—those with the most votes—claim the right to prevent other citizens from exercising their rights. But there can be no right to violate the rights of others.

Our constitutional republic respects minority rights. 60% of the population cannot vote to enslave the other 40%. Nor can a majority dictate to the owners of private property. Nor can a majority dictate on whom private employers spend their money. Not morally, not in a free society. In a free society, the rights of the individual are held sacrosanct, above any claim of even an overwhelming majority.

The rights of one man end where the rights of his neighbor begin. Only within the limits of his rights is a man free to act on his own judgment. The criminal is the man who deliberately steps outside his rights-protected domain and invades the domain of another, depriving his victim of his exclusive control over his property, or liberty, or life. The criminal, by his own choice, has rejected rights in favor of brute violence. Thus, an immigration policy that excludes criminals is proper.

Likewise, a person with an infectious disease, such as smallpox, threatens with serious physical harm those with whom he comes into proximity. Unlike the criminal, he may not intend to do damage, but the threat of physical harm is clear, present, and objectively demonstrable. To protect the lives of Americans, he may be kept out or quarantined until he is no longer a threat.

But what about the millions of Mexicans, South Americans, Chinese, Canadians, etc. seeking entry who are not criminal and not bearing infectious diseases? By what moral principle can they be excluded? Not on the grounds of majority vote, not on the grounds of protecting any American's rights, not on the grounds of any legitimate authority of the state.


That's the moral case for phasing out limits on immigration. But some ask: "Is it practical? Wouldn't unlimited immigration—even if phased in over a decade—be disastrous to our economic well-being and create overcrowding? Are we being told to just grit our teeth and surrender our interests in the name of morality?"

This question is invalid on its face. It shows a failure to understand the nature of rights, and of moral principles generally. Rational moral principles reflect a recognition of the basic nature of man, his nature as a specific kind of living organism, having a specific means of survival. Questions of what is practical, what is to one's self-interest, can be answered only in that context. It is neither practical nor to one's interest to attempt to live and act in defiance of one's nature as a human being.

Yet that is the meaning of the moral-practical dichotomy. When one claims, "It is immoral but practical," one is maintaining, "It cripples my nature as a human being, but it is beneficial to me"—which is a contradiction.

Rights, in particular, are not something pulled from the sky or decreed by societal whim. Rights are moral principles, established by reference to the needs inherent in man's nature qua man. "Rights are conditions of existence required by man's nature for his proper survival." (Ayn Rand)

Every organism has a basic means of survival; for man, that means is: reason. Man is the rational animal, homo sapiens. Rights are moral principles that spell out the terms of social interaction required for a rational being to survive and flourish. Since the reasoning mind cannot function under physical coercion, the basic social requirement of man's survival is: freedom. Rights prescribe freedom by proscribing coercion.

"If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work." (Ayn Rand)

Rights reflect the fundamental alternative of voluntary consent or brute force. The reign of force is in no one's interest; the system of voluntary cooperation by mutual consent is the precondition of anyone achieving his actual interests.

To ignore the principle of rights means jettisoning the principled, moralresolution of conflicts, and substituting mere numbers (majority vote). That is not to anyone's interest. Tyranny is not to anyone's self-interest.

Rights establish the necessary framework within which one defines his legitimate self-interest. One cannot hold that one's self-interest requires that he be "free" to deprive others of their freedom, treating their interests as morally irrelevant. One cannot hold that recognizing the rights of others is moral but "impractical."

Since rights are based on the requirements of man's life as a rational being, there can be no conflict between the moral and the practical here: if respecting individual rights requires it, your interest requires it.

Freedom or force, reason or compulsion—that is the basic social alternative. Immigrants recognize the value of freedom—that's why they seek to come here.

The American Founders defined and implemented a system of rights because they recognized that man, as a rational being, must be free to act on his own judgment and to keep the products of his own effort. They did not intend to establish a system in which those who happen to be born here could use force to "protect" themselves from the peaceful competition of others.


One major fear of open immigration is economic: the fear of losing one's job to immigrants. It is asked: "Won't the immigrants take our jobs?" The answer is: "Yes, so that we can go on to better, higher-paying jobs."

The fallacy in the protectionist view lies in the idea that there is only a finite amount of work to be done. The unstated assumption is: "If Americans don't get to do that work, if foreigners do it instead, we Americans will have nothing to do."

But work is the creation of wealth. A job is not just drawing a salary, it is acting to produce things—food, cars, computers, internet content—all the goods and services that go to make up our standard of living. And we never get a "too high" standard of living or "too much" wealth. The need for wealth is limitless. And that means the need for productive work is limitless.

From a grand, historical perspective, we are only at the beginning of the wealth-creating age. The wealth Americans produce today is as nothing compared to what we'll have two hundred years from now—just as the standard of living in 1800 was as nothing, compared to ours today.

Unemployment is not caused by an absence of avenues for the creation of wealth. Unemployment is caused by government interference in the labor market, preventing the law of supply and demand from "clearing the market" in labor services, as it does in every other market. Yet, even with that interference, the number of jobs goes relentlessly upward, decade after decade—from 27 million workers in 1900 to about 140 million in 2010. Jobs do not exist as a fixed pool, to be divided up. Jobs can always be added because there's no end to the creation of wealth and thus no end to the useful employment of human intelligence. There is always more productive work to be done. If you can give your job to an immigrant, you can get a more valuable job.

What is the effect of a bigger labor pool on wage rates? Given a constant money supply, nominal wage rates fall. But real wage rates rise, because total output has gone up. Economists have demonstrated that real wages have to rise as long as the immigrants are self-supporting. If immigrants earn their keep, if they don't consume more than they produce, then they add to total output, which means that prices fall (if the money supply is constant).

And, in fact, rising real wages was the history of our country in the nineteenth century. Before the 1920s, there were no limits on immigration; yet these were the years of America's fastest economic progress. The standard of living rocketed upward. Self-supporting immigrants brought economic benefit, not hardship.

The protectionist objection that immigrants take away jobs and harm our standard of living is a solid economic fallacy.


A popular misconception is that immigrants come here to get welfare. In fact, this is rarely immigrants' motive. It is true that the small minority of immigrants who come to get welfare do constitute a burden. But this issue has been render moot by the passage, under the Clinton Administration, of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity and Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), which makes legal permanent residents ineligible for most forms of welfare for 5 years. I support this kind of legislation (which should be enacted at the State level as well; currently left-leaning States, like California, continue to throw tax money at immigrants—and everyone else).

Further, if the fear is of non-working immigrants, why is the pending House bill aimed at employers of immigrants?


Contrary to "accepted wisdom," the data show that immigrants are less prone to crime than are native Americans. For instance, over one-fourth of the residents of the border-town El Paso, Texas are immigrants. But El Paso has about one-tenth the murder rate of Baltimore, a city of comparable size.

That's not an anomaly:

"If you want to find a safe city, first determine the size of the immigrant population," says Jack Levin, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Massachusetts. "If the immigrant community represents a large proportion of the population, you're likely in one of the country's safer cities. San Diego, Laredo, El Paso—these cities are teeming with immigrants, and they're some of the safest places in the country."

Criminals have a short-range, stay-in-the-'hood mentality. Immigrants are longer-range, ambitious, and want to earn money, not grab it.

The deeper point is moral-legal. The fact that some men in a given category may commit crimes is no justification for treating everyone in that category as criminals. Guilt is not collective. Just as Bernie Madoff's crimes are his, not those of all hedge-fund operators, just as the fact that Madoff is of Jewish descent in no way legitimates anti-semitism, so it is a slap at morality to curtail the rights of all immigrants because of the crimes of a few individual immigrants.

Man has free will. The choices of some do not reflect on the moral status of others, who make their own choices. Each individual is responsible for his own actions, and only his own actions.


America is a vastly underpopulated country. Our population density is less than one-third of France's.

Hordes of immigrants would come to overcrowd America? Okay, take a really extreme scenario. Imagine that half of the people on the planet moved here. That would mean an unthinkable eleven-fold increase in our population—from 300 million to 3.3 billion people. The result? America would be a bit less "densely" populated than England. England has 384 people/; vs. 360 people/sq. km. if our population multiplied 11-fold. Another comparison: with half of mankind living here, we would be less densely populated than the state of New Jersey is today (453/sq. km.). Note that these calculations exclude Alaska (our biggest state) and Hawaii. And the density-calculations count only land area.

Contrary to widespread beliefs, high population density is a value not a disvalue. High population density intensifies the division of labor, which makes possible a wider variety of jobs and specialized consumer products. For instance, in Manhattan, there is a "doll hospital"—a store specializing in the repair of children's dolls. Such a specialized, niche business requires a high population density in order to have a market. Try finding a doll hospital in Poughkeepsie. In Manhattan, one can find a job as a Pilates Method teacher or as a "Secret Shopper" (two jobs actually listed on Craig's List). Not so in Paducah.

People want to live near other people, in cities. One-seventh of England's population lives in London. If population density is a bad thing, why are Manhattan real-estate prices so high?


Immigrants are the kind of people who refresh the American spirit. They are ambitious, courageous, and value freedom. They come here, often with no money and not even speaking the language, to seek a better life for themselves and their children.

The vision of American freedom, with its opportunity to prosper by hard work, serves as a magnet drawing the best of the world's people. Immigrants are self-selected for their virtues: their ambitiousness, daring, independence, and pride. They are willing to cast aside the tradition-bound roles assigned to them in their native lands and to re-define themselves as Americans. These are the people our country needs in order to keep alive the individualist, hard-working attitude that made America.

Here is a short list of some great immigrants: Alexander Hamilton, Alexander Graham Bell, Andrew Carnegie, most of the top scientists of the Manhattan Project, Igor Sikorsky (the inventor of the helicopter), Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Ayn Rand.

Open immigration: the benefits are great. The right is unquestionable. So let them come.

Copyright © 2010 TOF Publications, Inc. Permission hereby granted to republish, in whole or in part, provided no changes are made in the wording of material used, Harry Binswanger's authorship is stated, and this notice is carried.