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.

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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.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Judging Obama by All Accounts As a Failure and Bad For America

The stats are in on Obama and no surprises. This man will go down as the worst president in United States history.

One animating theme of Barack Obama's campaign and early Presidency was that he would repair government's post-Reagan reputation, expanding its role in American life so voters would turn once again to Democrats as the party of government, as they did in 1964 and the 1930s. So how's that working out?

Not so well, judging by a remarkable Gallup poll this week that asked the public about its views of government and various businesses. The federal government dropped to its lowest approval levels ever. Only 17% were positive, 63% negative, for a net approval rating of minus-46%. Government never ranks well, but for the first time since Gallup began asking in 2003 it fell to last place—below even the oil and gas industry, which netted minus-44% approval.

In fact, as shown in the bottom chart nearby, the public's hostility to government has climbed to all-time highs under President Obama's tenure. A plurality had a very or somewhat positive view as recently as 2003—41% versus 35%. Dissatisfaction climbed over President Bush's second term amid an unpopular war and tapped-out GOP, then fell slightly on public hopes for Mr. Obama as he took office in 2009. This annual survey is conducted in August, so it may have missed the worst of the public's reaction to the autumn 2008 panic on Wall Street and Capitol Hill. Yet today, negative views are higher, and positive views are lower, than ever before.

Gallup is hardly an outlier. In a mid-August Washington Post poll, merely 21% was satisfied with "the way this country's political system is working," down from 38% in 2009. Some 78% were dissatisfied, up from 61% in the 2009 poll and 64% in 2007. The Pew Research Center also reported last month that only 22% of the public is "basically content" with the federal government, by far the lowest share since the survey began in 1997.

All this is a striking rebuke to the President who rode into Washington planning to rehabilitate the country's confidence in government as a means of advancing entitlements and transfer programs. As Mr. Obama mused during the primaries, he envisioned himself as Ronald Reagan in reverse, making the case that government is the solution and not the problem. His 2009 health-care speech to Congress ended with a soaring peroration about "the perils of too little" government. (READ "In Government We Mistrust" @ WSJ)

Thursday, September 01, 2011

All Eyes On Castro Brothers as They Shmooz with Hezbollah

How much longer are we going to tolerate the shenanigans of the evil Castro brothers? And why are they harboring Hezbollah terrorist so openly? Why indeed....they are not afraid of Obama that's why. They perhaps see a brother in spirit?

Terrorism: For years, Cuba's apologists have debunked U.S. warnings of Havana's sponsorship of terror. It withers in the face of news that Cuba has just set up a Hezbollah base.

According to a report in Italy's respected Corriere della Sera Wednesday, three Hezbollah terrorists operating out of Mexico have left that country to establish a permanent "bridgehead" to the communist island, calling their clandestine operation "The Caribbean Dossier."

Twenty-three other terrorists from the Iran-linked terror group are expected to join the operation, which has a startup budget of more than $500,000. Corriere reported that the mission in Cuba is to provide logistical support for upcoming terrorist attacks planned in the hemisphere.

This is what "state sponsor of terrorism" means, which is how the U.S. accurately classified this odious regime since 1982, even as Cuba's leftist apologists have dismissed it, claiming Cuba is no threat.

Safely ensconced with the Castro brothers' hospitality, Hezbollah's operatives can carry out missions such as acquiring passports, recruiting informants and forging documents.

More disturbingly, they have been tasked to network with Hezbollah's other terrorist cells in Venezuela, Paraguay and Mexico, all in need of logistical support for attacks.

The Italian newspaper reported that Hezbollah might be planning a major attack against Israeli targets in the Western Hemisphere in retaliation for Israel's killing of Hezbollah's chief assassin, Imad Mughniyeh, in Damascus in 2008. Mughniyeh was a Hezbollah terrorist leader implicated in the two huge attacks in Buenos Aires in the 1990s on Jewish targets — strikes that remain unpunished. (READ HERE)