Archive for limited government

The Lion and the Loony

Posted in For Free Trade, For God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2016 by cavalier973

If you didn’t hear, Senator Ted Cruz gave a speech this past Wednesday, in which he asserted that the policies of Hillary and Obama were objectionable, and that the principles by which the Republican Party ostensibly stand–Americans’ freedom and support for the Constitution–needed to be defended. Great speech.

Oh, he also said that voters should “vote their conscience”, up and down the ticket. This was greeted with outrage by the Trumpspawn, because it was a signal that Sen. Cruz wasn’t going to bend down and lick Donald Trump’s tiny orange toes, as had nearly every other major GOP political leader. Excellent work, Senator. Instead of “Lyin’ Ted” it is “Lion Ted” (as in, you know, being brave as a lion. Lions as they are known in popular culture, anyway, because I’ve read that actual lions–but I digress).

With Trump, it is important that he always be seen as the Top Man, and Sen. Cruz’ refusal to bow and scrape thwarts that image. If it becomes widely known that someone is willing to call Trump out for a phony, and not take his bullying like a cringing crony, then Trump loses that image of “tough guy that can get things done.”

All Cruz said on Wednesday night was that people needed to vote for the Emperor who was actually wearing clothes. It’s not his fault that Trump parades about bereft of any conservative principles with which to clothe himself.

The following day, Sen. Cruz explained why he did not speak the words “I endorse Donald Trump”: it was because he took his vow to love and honor his wife, and his duty to honor his father, more seriously than his pledge to endorse Trump. I think, also, the good Senator was reluctant to endorse someone whose proposed agenda had very little in common with the actual Republican Party platform–which is supposed to be about limited, Constitutional government. Incidentally, Trump himself had already broken the same pledge some weeks prior, and stated at that time that he neither needed nor wanted Senator Cruz’s endorsement.

So, why did Sen. Cruz agree to give a speech at the GOP convention if he wasn’t going to endorse Trump? Because it was the GOP convention, not the Trump convention. I suspect that Sen. Cruz saw that no one was going to talk about freedom and the Constitution if he didn’t do it. Trump certain wasn’t going to talk about such mundane things when he could talk about himself, and about how he is able to save us all from all bad things because he’s Trump.

The day after the GOP convention ended, Trump was in a press conference, and started again to complain about the one guy with the courage to remain standing in his presence. He repeated the tabloid-sourced story that Mr. Cruz was associated with Lee Harvey Oswald, implying that the senior Mr. Cruz was somehow a part of the JFK Assassination. “It’s terrible; it’s just terrible” (or words to that effect).

In other words, Trump just broadcast to the world that he is a loony. Rather than responding to Sen. Cruz’s “snub” like a normal human being, and ignoring it, or even like a half-way competent politician, and using it to his advantage, and then turning his attention to his real opponent–Hillary Clinton–Trump feels compelled to deal with this slight against himself. He even openly mused about starting a Political Action Committee to fund someone to run against Sen. Cruz in the 2018 Texas Senate primary.

I wonder if Sen. Cruz knew that his “non-endorsement” was going to send Trump back to Loony-Town, and was trying to subtly show that the GOP had nominated someone who is not stable.

Trump is not conservative, either. He’s pro-abortion (practically speaking; he still lauds Planned Parenthood), anti-free market (he likes for the government to take people’s lands to give to businessmen and hates the idea of people making the best use of the product of their labor), and believes that if the government puts you on a secret “no-fly” list that your 2nd amendment rights can be abrogated.

What the GOP leaders who are now criticizing Sen. Cruz for his principled stand are really saying is: “Don’t worry about freedom or the Constitution. Join us in celebrating the bold decision to nominate a Democrat to be our standard bearer. Here, have some orange Flavor-Aid!”



There is a meme spouted by some of the Trumpspawn these days, that if one doesn’t vote for Trump then one is “voting for Hillary”. On the other hand, the Zergswarm that makes up the Democratic Party voter base are saying that a failure to vote for Hillary is a vote for Trump. Logically speaking, then, voting for neither of them is the same as voting for both of them! Win, and win!

I’m thinking that Trump will win this election. As of July 24, the Democrat (“Democratic”) Party is splintering, hard, over the leadership’s scandalous treatment of socialist Bernie Sanders, which was revealed in a WikiLeaks email dump. Hillary is not well-liked, even by (especially by?) her supporters. She’s personally a jerk of Trumpian proportions (heh), and will do anything to make a buck and keep her corruption-infused hide out of prison.
It is known.
I wonder if she will even survive until election day; she seems to have some medical issues (That xenomorph is about ready to burst from her chest, and, um, what is going on here?). If she wins, and manages to eke out a first term, I doubt things will be as bad some fearful folk assert.

I am not going to write in Sen. Cruz’s name this November. He urged people not to do that. Besides, there are other options for anyone who still (as Sen. Cruz does) cares about American liberty and Constitutionally restrained government (this, naturally, excludes the Democratic Party). One option is the Libertarian Party, whose ticket is Gary Johnson and William Weld. I am uninterested in voting for this ticket, since the Libertarian Party has a platform that favors antepartum infanticide, but Johnson/Weld is gaining  in the polls, and it would be a good thing, I think, if a third party were able to break through the two-party barrier that has been imposed by the two major parties.

The other choice for liberty lovers is the Darrell Castle and Scott Bradley ticket of the Constitution Party. This is a much better team. I disagree vehemently with the Constitution Party’s stance on Free Trade (they assert, if I remember right, that free trade leads to socialism(!)), but since the GOP has nominated an anti-free trade, pro-abortion ticket this year, there is no reason for me to vote Republican.

Losing the world and saving my soul, and all that jazz.



Money and Banking in the United States

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 16, 2014 by cavalier973

Rothbard’s classic text in audio form.

The Minimum Wage

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , , , , , on January 28, 2014 by cavalier973

This morning, on NPR, they were interviewing a “Republican Millionaire”, who was arguing for a minimum wage of $12.00 an hour in California.  His reasoning was that people will be willing to take a job for $12.00 an hour that they wouldn’t take at a lower wage rate, and that by taking the job, these people will move off the welfare rolls, thus saving taxpayers money!  Great idea!  Except for the fact that it’s moronic!

First of all, taxpayers are consumers, too, so an increase in the price of goods and services to cover the government-mandated increase in wage rates is a form of tax–on the same group of people that the “Republican Millionaire” claims his proposal would benefit.

Second of all, basic economics tells us that raising the price of some good or service lowers the demand for that good or service.  The “Republican Millionaire” made the oft-argued statement that “studies” (what studies?  when were they conducted?  were the conclusions really what minimum-wage proponents claim?) have shown that raising the minimum wage doesn’t really decrease the available number of jobs.  He states that California raised the minimum wage by 35¢ and that the unemployment rate actually went down.  I think he said this was in 1995.  Since he didn’t qualify that statement, I infer that he is arguing that the price for labor and the demand for labor move in tandem, rather than being inversely related, as is commonly thought.  To reiterate, he implies (or, at least, allows the listener to infer) that if the price of labor rises, then the demand for labor also rises, and that if the price for labor falls, the demand for labor falls.  He is, of course, incorrect.  He admitted during the interview that he has not ever taken an economics course, so maybe he can be excused for being ignorant of the relationships among price, demand, and supply.

I have no reason to doubt (and I have little incentive to research the question) that California did raise the minimum wage, and that subsequently the unemployment rate fell.  So, why would this situation occur if the price and demand of labor is inversely related?  The most likely answer is that the minimum wage hike did not push the wage above the market rate.  That is, if the “general market rate” for labor were higher than the minimum wage, all other things being equal, then one would not expect to see the unemployement rate affected.  I put “general market rate” in quotes because, in the end, not all labor is the same.  You can’t fire your accountant and hire a burger flipper to do your taxes and expect to get the same quality labor.  So, a hike in the minimum wage would not affect all types of labor equally.

What it would do is price certain low-skilled laborers out of the market.  If an employer is considering hiring a non-skilled worker and a skilled worker, and he must pay the same regardless of which he hires, then he has little incentive to hire the non-skilled worker.  The government has effectively denied the non-skilled worker the use of his competitive advantage–underbidding his skilled rival for the job.  In addition, one could expect that skilled workers would be willing to bid for a lower-stress job that pays the same or just a little less than his current job.

Another thing of which the “Republican Millionaire” seems to be ignorant is that there are players at the margin.  He talked at some length about how Wal-Mart would only need to raise its prices by 1% to cover the minimum wage hike he proposes.  However, he does not speak of (and may not even have thought of) the smaller firms that would not be able to absorb the wage hike.  The firms, like the low-skilled worker, must often compete by charging lower prices for their goods or services.  In order to charge lower prices, they must maintain lower costs.  An increase in the cost of labor will likely push the firms operating with thin profit margins into bankruptcy.  It will also induce the owners of some firms that remain profitable to close shop, if the owners feel they could make better use of their time and resources.  The point is that competition will decrease, and when competition decreases, prices rise and the quality of goods and services fall.  A minimum wage is actually a boon to the larger firms, since it eliminates the competition provided by smaller firms.

Now, I am aware that President Obama is urging Congress to increase the minimum wage, while he also is promising to use an Executive Order to compel firms that bid on government contracts to pay a minimum wage of $10.10.  A national minimum wage would have the same effect, of course; just on a national scale.

In the end, a minimum wage is a bad idea.  It is an unwarranted interference in the lives of people, because it prevents them from making arrangements that they feel is in their best interests.  It misallocates resources by incentivizing firms and individuals to allocate labor to less productive uses.  It is a boon to larger firms because it eliminates competition.  It is anti-humanity, because it pushes people out of the workforce and makes them dependent on government largesse.  It increases the cost of goods and services, even if the increase may seem negligible.  It is a bad idea.

Jesus and Pope Francis and the Free Market

Posted in For Free Trade, For God with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2013 by cavalier973

I posted this over on

Jesus was clearly in favor of property rights; in the parables He told, the landowner was the good guy and the rabble who conspired to steal the landowner’s property were eventually thrown into hell.

The parables of the talents and the pounds puts “financial speculation” in a positive light; the guy who doesn’t engage in financial speculation gets thrown into hell.

His parable of the workers in the marketplace is interesting, too; a rich guy goes to the Ancient Near East’s equivalent of the temp agency several times during the day to hire workers. He contracts with each set of workers separately, and they all agree to the same wage–a penny for the day’s work. The guys who were hired in the morning started complaining that they had to work the whole day for a penny, while the guys hired at the end of the day got the same amount for only a couple of hours’ work. The rich guy (who represents God in the parable) is basically like, “Dudes, you agreed to this wage, and besides, it’s my money, so shut up!”

Even the celebrated case of Jesus telling the Rich Young Ruler to “sell everything he had, and give to the poor” is followed up with “and you shall have treasure in heaven.” Jesus wasn’t telling the RYR to be altruistic; he was telling him to make a wise investment!

No, I’m afraid that when Francis walks through the pearly gates, he will be surprised that everyone who sees him automatically does a facepalm.


The two branches of American libertarianism

Posted in For Free Trade, For God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2013 by cavalier973

Read the article here.

The author is basically relabelling the “Yokeltarian/Cosmotarian” argument that is being perpetually debated over at (Hit and Run).  The argument goes something like this: there is a group of people (“Yokeltarians”, or, according to this author, “Calhounians”, after the former US Vice-President John C. Calhoun) who are culturally Southern and rural; they distrust the Federal Government because of the Civil War, and so are motivated to limit central government.  The worldview of such folk is generally Christian and traditional; they tend to study the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, oppose “social rights” like legal abortion and “same-sex marriage”, and are generally recognized by those living outside their inbred society as neo-luddite morons.

Then, there is another group of people (“Cosmotarians”, or, per the author, “Heinleinians”, after Robert Heinlein, an engineer and science fiction writer), who tend to be culturally urban and sophisticated, not to mention astonishingly intelligent and good-looking, who recognize that people need the “freedom” to murder children in the womb and invent new meanings for words like “marriage”.  These people tend to study Science!, see the future, and are working on using science and technology to create utopia on earth, where there will be no disease or scarcity, and where “mother earth” will be cared for as she ought to be, and where death itself will someday be conquered.

The author (he calles himself “Hamilton”), makes some interesting assertions.  For example, he describes President Obama as “sort of, kind of” libertarian, because he doesn’t seem to want to regulate the activities of the tech-savvy cosmotarians.  He wonders how Christians can square what’s in the Bible with “what’s going on in Silicon Valley”.  He asserts that technology, via the atomic bomb, “saved millions of American lives” (and thus shows a need for a strong central government that can arrange the creation and construction of atomic bombs).  He is critical of Romney for scorning Newt Gingrich’s plan to colonize the moon.  He points out that there is a reason why “gay marriage and free trade are always advancing”.

Well, President Obama isn’t regulating cosmotarian technology–yet.  Just give him time.

What’s going on in Silicon Valley that I would need to “square” with the Bible?  He mentions a proposal to fuse human consciousness with computers (my paraphrase).  Well, it’s a proposal, not a reality, and I seriously doubt it could ever become a reality because, despite the adamant assertions of the Delusional Darwinoids, we humans are not just a mass of chemicals that exist due to a cosmic accident.  Life has never been shown to come from non-living materials through natural processes.  A better hypothesis is that life was created, by a Creator.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that human consciousness will never be stored in a computer.

As for the atom bomb, I doubt that it really saved “millions of American lives”.  Japan had already been trying to surrender for about a year; Douglas MacArthur, the commander in the Pacific, opposed the use of atomic bombs to “get Japan to surrender”.  In reality, the atomic bombs were to show Russia that 1.) we had them, 2.) we weren’t afraid to use them, and 3.) Russia better be satisfied with the portion of Europe it had already grabbed.  I guess, in a sense, one could argue that the atomic bomb *did* save millions of American lives, by preventing a war with the Soviet Union, but such an argument would be, in the end, merely speculation.

Newt Gingrich also said that the people on the moon would vote to make the moon the 51st state.  I recall a “Simpsons” cartoon where the children in Lisa’s class were shown a 1950-era film in which the claim was made that the moon “belongs to America.”  Life imitates “The Simpsons”!  In reality, Romney was quite right to criticize Newt’s idea: it was a stupid idea.

And the bit about “gay marriage advancing”?  Well, while three states have had “same-sex marriage” approved by popular vote, the rest of the states that have legalized “same-sex marriage” have done so through legislatures or the courts.  29 states still have “bans” on the practice instilled in their state constituitons (though I doubt that a same-sex couple in Tennessee that decides to go ahead and “get married” without a state license will be going to jail).

About Free Trade, we don’t have it, except perhaps among the various states.  All “free trade agreements” are actually government-managed trade treaties, so it’s a bit naive to think that Free Trade is “advancing”, even though that would be awesome.  Also, trade is the one activity that almost all economists of varying political philosophies agree is unequivocably beneficial to all parties involved.  It’s not a “left-right” issue, in other words.

He posits four “problems” with Calhounism.  1. The threat of foreign invaders necessitates a strong central government.  2.  You can’t have the internet without a strong central government.  3.  Calhounians are luddites.  4.  Calhounians are ignorant luddites.

The challenge for Heinleinians is: 1. That they’re so darned smart.  I’m talking wicked smart.  These guys are going to figure out how to become immortal, for crying out loud.  Also, they’re going to mine asteroids in space.  2.  They’re so freaking rich, that, even when they inevitably discover the technological secret to immortality, they will be the only ones able to enjoy it, which will be a problem.  3.  They sort of, kind of, like Progressivism, and would call themselves Progressives.  4. They just might turn into real-life versions of James Bond villains, which would make some people uncomfortable.
My reaction to all this?  Meh.  “Hamilton” is obviously a Cosmotarian, but he realizes that there aren’t that many Cosmotarians, and that for his movement to succeed, it needs to join with the icky neo-Confederate Sky-Daddy Worshippers.  His preferred method would be to persuade the nCSDW crowd to drop the opposition to antepartum infanticide and preposterous notions like “apple pies” made with peaches “same-sex marriage”.  Sorry, but if you want people to join you, it is you who must drop the evulz, Ham.



On Ayn Rand

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2013 by cavalier973

Ultimately, Rand’s egoism is irreconcilable with both Christianity and capitalism. In fact, since the system fails to have any true explanatory value, it’s difficult to find any reason to adopt Objectivism at all. Fortunately, we don’t have to buy into Rand’s philosophical errors in order to appreciate her fiction. We just have to keep in mind that instead of reading a “novel of ideas”, we are reading a work of fantasy.

Walter Block on Free Trade

Posted in For Free Trade with tags , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2013 by cavalier973