April 28, 2011

Keynes vs. Hayek Part 1 and 2

Part 1:

Part 2 is even better:

June 7, 2010

How 'CLICK-IT OR TICKET' Keeps You Safe

Hypothetical situation:

Q: What happens if I get pulled over and I am not wearing my seat belt?
A: They write you a ticket and ask you to sign it

Q: What happens if I refuse to sign?
A: They will ask you to get out of the car

Q: What happens if I don't get out of the car?
A: They will pull you out of the car and taser you

Q: What happens if I resist and try to get away?
A: They will taser you again

Q: What happens if I continue to struggle until they run out of taser shots?
A: They will wrestle you to the ground and handcuff you

Q: What happens if I break free before I am handcuffed?
A: They will chase you

Q: What happens if I get in my car and manage to get away?
A: They will get in their car and chase you down?

Q: What happens if I don't stop?
A: They will ram your car

Q: What happens if I try to defend myself?
A: They will shoot you

Q: So, what is the reasonable conclusion of not obeying the seat belt law?
A: Your car gets wrecked and you get shot

Q: Why does this law make me more safe?
A: Because obeying it means you don't get shot

May 29, 2010

Intellectual Property

I have been thinking a lot about intellectual property. No matter what your opinion is on the matter, or even if you have no opinion, I recommend a great piece by Stephan Kinsella. You can get an audio book version of it, as well as the pdf. There is no charge for this, since charging would almost be hypocritical, seeing as how the work is titled "Against Intellectual Property"

Here is a presentation given on IP as it relates to fashion. The conclusions she makes are very interesting.

May 23, 2010

Reductio Ad Absurdum: Immigration and Babies

They're Coming To America
by Gene Callahan

Many libertarians have been far too complacent in the face of a growing threat to our cultural cohesion, our way of life, and our liberty. I'm talking, of course, about the thousands of people who arrive in our country everyday, hoping to make it their new home.

Those arrivals present us with a myriad of social problems. For the most part, they do not speak our language. They are unfamiliar with our culture. It will take time to assimilate them all, and the government's effort to promote multi-culturalism through the public schools and other government institutions can only lengthen that assimilation time.

Few of these strangers arrive in America with job offers in hand. The odds are high that many of them will rely, at some point in their lives, on government handouts. And studies show that the longer new arrivals reside in the country, the more likely they are to receive welfare.

They will make use of public transportation, public roads, public utilities, public schools, and so on, further straining resources that are already stretched thin in many cases. Their arrival results in a "dumbing down" of the public education system, prompting politicians to throw even more money at it.

All of the above means an increased tax burden on the productive members of society, many of whom already work over half their day to pay their federal, state, and local income taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, tariffs, and fees.

Because of the lure of government largesse dangled before them, the new arrivals represent a ready-made voting block for a bigger state. Unfamiliar with the American tradition of limited government, the arguments against expanded social programs seem remote and abstract to them, while the benefits appear immediate and tangible. The resultant swelling of the class of tax consumers portends an ominous increase in the scope of the welfare state.

As we have time to watch them adapting to our country, we find their customs strange. Whether it is their music, dress, dating, or manners, their distinct cultures present what appears to be an unbridgeable gulf between them and traditional American life. Americans find themselves longing, as Peter Brimelow put it, "for some degree of ethnic and cultural coherence."

It is true that many of them will become productive members of the workforce. But, so long as there are people already living in our country who are without work, or stuck in menial jobs, it ill-behooves us to bring in newcomers to grab the good jobs that the economy does create.

Libertarians are correctly suspicious of any increases in government power. In the case of these new Americans, however, it should be clear that the cause of liberty is advanced, not retarded, by limiting their influx. So great are their numbers, and so enormous is the difficulty in assimilating them, that the current situation amounts to little less than a foreign invasion of our shores. Libertarians should at least be able to agree that as long as we have any government, its most essential role is to protect the nation from foreign invasion!

Of course, in a purely libertarian society, it would be property owners who would have the right to accept or reject anyone wishing to live on or otherwise use their property. But we don't live in that society. Property owners today are limited by law from excluding individuals from their place of employment due to affirmative-action and anti-discrimination laws, and from their neighborhoods by civil-rights legislation.

Simply reducing the number of arrivals allowed in the country each year would be a step forward. But given the vast numbers who have already arrived in the past two decades, it would be wiser to place a several-year moratorium on all new…

What's that you say? Immigration?! You think I've been talking about immigrants?

I've been talking about babies. What we need is a several-year moratorium on births. Our battle cry should be, "Outlaw babies, for the sake of our liberty!"