Politicians proclaim the benefits of small business while on the campaign trail. But when they meet in the seedy halls of Congress, they have no problem doing whatever they can to stifle, regulate, and subdue their progress. Instead of siding with entrepreneurs, these politicians often side with political allies and cronies that helped put them into office.
Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you have to stop working. Especially now that you have all the time in the world to do what you really want. Entrepreneurs don’t only come out of Silicon Valley. They come from all walks of life, from all different ages. If you’re retired and want to stay active while you relax, then find out the steps you need to take in order to start, manage, and grow your next small business.
Austrian economics does more than tell you what happens when the government disturbs market forces. In the hands of knowledgeable investors and entrepreneurs, it can tell you exactly what to expect from the market. Market behavior depends on how people behave. And how people behave is central to the Austrian perspective.
The U.S. dollar has been the world's reserve currency for almost a century, and already there are signs it may be in decline. But that doesn't mean it's not still valuable. On the contrary... As Chris Mayer explains, there are many reasons the U.S. dollar will remain relevant on the world stage for years to come. Read on...
World War II might have dragged the country out of the Great Depression, but it did so at a great price. Central planning took center stage, and politicans and bureaucrats suddenly knew what was best for America, the economy, and your life. On top of that, they replaced the free market with a new economic system… Creditism.
If you’re good at something should you be penalized so others have a chance at success? Should award winning actors and actresses be barred from future Oscar ceremonies to give other men and women the chance to succeed? Success should always be rewarded and encouraged. But what happens when you have a government that wants to even the playing field and take away the spoils of success. Gregory Bresiger finds out...
Practical people often pooh-pooh fiction reading as a time wasting dalliance, dominated by a Marxist coloring of the world. However, fiction readers were given a scientific reason recently for spending hours absorbing fanciful figments of someone’s imagination.
Argentina is suffering the ravages of government debasement of the currency -- i.e., inflation, the process by which government pays for its ever-increasing debts and bills by simply printing more paper currency. The expanded money supply results in a lower value of everyone’s money, which is reflected in the rising prices of the things that money buys.
When government expansion is allowed to continue unabated or when it casts a heavy regulatory shadow on America’s entrepreneurial spirit, the freedoms that we’ve come to know, and perhaps take for granted, slowly begin to slip away.
Its acceptance is as widespread as its justification is important, for it provides the rationale for the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented monetary expansion since 2008. While critics may dispute the wealth effect’s magnitude, few have challenged its conceptual soundness. Such is the purpose of this article. The wealth effect is but a mantra without merit.
Baron Rothschild, the famous French financier, was once heard to say that he knew of only two men who really understood money -- an obscure clerk in the Bank of France and one of the directors of the Bank of England. “Unfortunately,” he added, “they disagree.”
The new reality of Obamacare’s tax credits has left finance reporters to pen articles warning readers to “take care” when considering a tax credit and providing strategies for how best to “protect yourself.” So what do finance reporters know that the White House doesn’t?
Nihilo ex nihilo fit. Out of nothing, nothing comes. First put forward by ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides in the fifth century B.C., Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine later used this axiom to prove that the universe needed a “first mover” to get things going. Even if the whole thing began with some kind of “Big Bang” moment, it still needed a banger to bang it. Who? God, of course.
Economic theories don’t lend themselves to laboratory testing, so the work of a national appraisal firm is especially enlightening. A new study lends support to the Austrian business cycle theory, which says that the less government is involved, the faster a market will recover.
What positive steps can we take? The energy that is now expended by well intentioned, freedom-seeking individuals on the destructive course of politics can be turned into powerful steps that will have a positive effect on the future. All are moral, right and just. None require aggressing. Consider the following...
The Affordable Care Act creates a new health insurance marketplace (the exchange). But because of the great uncertainty about what buyers will enter the market and who will buy what product, the law creates three vehicles to reduce insurance company risk.
Politicians and bureaucrats are notorious for manufacturing euphemisms -- clever but deceptive substitutes for what they really mean but don’t want to admit. That’s how the phrase “revenue enhancement” entered the vocabulary. Some of our courageous friends in government couldn’t bring themselves to say “tax hike.”
It’s easy to be negative about the U.S. economy these days. Find a glint of silver, and folks come running to point out all of the dark clouds looming about. This, of course, is what we got last week when the monthly jobs report was released from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Folks pooh-poohed the number of jobs and whining that they’re not enough or that it’s less than a bunch of economists thought that it might be. But you know what? Stuff ’em.
Facts are easy. You can check facts. What supporters of the Affordable Care Act are doing, on the other hand, transcends factual bungling. It’s far more advanced: a warping of reality so debauched it looks like something out of a tale by H.P. Lovecraft.
The east coast and parts of the southern U.S. were to varying degrees paralyzed by blizzards a few weeks ago. The snow as expected rendered the roads treacherous, and in anticipation of slick streets, shoppers flocked to the grocery stores in advance.The rush into grocery stores, and its aftermath, offers worthwhile lessons in economics.First up, […]
The highest form of charity, argued the 12th-century Jewish philosopher Maimonides, is when the help given enables the receiver to become self-sufficient.But our systems of state charity — aka welfare — have too frequently had the opposite effect: They have actually created dependency. It is time to rethink the way we help people.I’m going to […]
Last year was quite the year for Bitcoin. We’ve seen exponential growth in Bitcoin’s exchange rate and extensive coverage in the media. Another phenomenon we have witnessed is the proliferation of alternative cryptocurrencies, five of which we’ve provided below.What all of these cryptocurrencies have in common is that they rely on a decentralized network to […]
President Obama crowed in his State of the Union speech about the economy, even mentioning “a rebounding housing market.” Maybe he was referring to friends in high places, like the seller of Penthouse One in New York, which just closed for $50.9 million, all cash. Millions of mere-mortal homeowners likely wanted to throw something at […]
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is acting in a bipartisan way to cover up the biggest single threat to the bipartisan political alliance that is stripping America of its wealth: the United States Congress.There is no question that the following policy is bipartisan. Democrats and Republicans in Congress are completely agreed that the following information […]
Recent difficulties with implementing the Affordable Care Act have increased opposition to the program. A majority of Americans now oppose it. Problems with the HealthCare.gov website are in all likelihood temporary. However, there are serious long-term problems, particularly considering long-term finance and labor supply issues. Given the mounting difficulties with and growing concerns about the […]
The faces of the Detroit bankruptcy are the thousands of pensioners whose promised benefits are suddenly part of the restructure negotiation. When Motown filed for Chapter 9 last July, the city had $11.5 billion in unsecured liabilities. The vast majority of this was pension and health care benefits owed to retired city employees.The images of […]
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”As the inequality gap grows, there is an ideological battle unfolding in the West.On the one hand, there are those who think government can fix things. It must do more, tax more, […]
Emblazoned across the lucre-basted exterior of the Internal Revenue Service Building in Washington, D.C., is one of the most intellectually polluted quotes any free mind is ever likely to encounter:
“Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society.”
Its effortlessly officious author, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., could scarcely have been more wrong in his (albeit paraphrased) assertion. Unless, that is, the mustachioed Rooseveltian meant to define “civilized society” as an arrangement that favors and promotes rule by brute force and violence, rather than one of free and voluntary association.
If, indeed, that was Justice Holmes’ idea of “civilized,” we shudder to think what he regards as uncivilized. But shudder we will…
Let us consider, by way of illustration, the concept of the caveman, that apocryphal amalgam of prehistoric humans so often used to epitomize the unwashed, uncivilized elements of mankind’s past. To what does this boorish troglodyte resort when it comes to resolving complex matters of dispute? What is his go-to instrument for dealing with the problem posed by, say, the natural scarcity of goods? With what tool does he arbitrate over issues involving titles, rights, and claims?
Like Justice Holmes, Capt. Caveman’s preferred instrument of justice is… a club. Force, in other words. “It’s my way… or (insert oafish, baboonlike noises here) me club you to death.”
There is no opt-out here. No choice. And therefore, it must be said, no freedom. As the author Salman Rushdie (a man who has spent a good deal of his life under threat of force and violence from a particularly hysterical clutch of our fellow primates) once remarked, “Freedom to reject is the only freedom.”
Justice Holmes may have liked paying taxes. (He may have liked being flogged with a club, too. Who are we to say?) But by mandating that others do likewise, by employing the force of the state to ensure that they do, by denying them the freedom to reject the state’s claim on their property and to defend themselves against it, he is wielding the club — dangerously disguised as a gavel — of a decidedly uncivilized version of “justice.”
There are, of course, those questionless minds among us who take false refuge in such meaningless platitudes as, “But… but… but it’s the law!” To which we reply, “What kind of law is yours that seeks to endorse violence, rather than to protect us from it?”
“The purpose of the law,” observed classical liberal theorist Frederic Bastiat, “is to prevent injustice from reigning.” It is not to cause justice, in other words, but to shield us from its opposing force. And how are we to know when a law has fallen into the service of evil? The Frenchman offers this simple litmus test:
“See if the law take from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what that citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.”
And if we find the state of affairs to be as such? Bastiat urges us to “abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals.”
For Holmes and his wretched ilk, the difference between “them” and “us,” between savage and civilized, is not to be found in the distance between war and peace, between force and voluntarism, between slavery and freedom. His is a civilization measured in degrees according to the size and efficacy of the agent of force… and the sickening pleasure its beggarly subjects derive in forever dwelling on the harsh receiving end of it.
Of course, the liberty-minded recognize immediately, almost instinctively, that no amount of initiated force is ever tolerable in a truly just and civilized society. Indeed, this is the core tenet of the nonaggression principle. Writes noted free market economist Walter Block on the subject:
“The nonaggression axiom is the lynchpin of the philosophy of libertarianism. It states, simply, that it shall be legal for anyone to do anything he wants, provided only that he not initiate (or threaten) violence against the person or legitimately owned property of another.”
In stark contrast to this fundamental bedrock of freedom, Justice Holmes not only implicitly advocates the use of force… but explicitly revels in it as a kind of privilege for which to be eternally thankful.
Wherever this core principle is endorsed, it betrays in its proponents a profound disgust for the human species, a disgust so visceral that it compels, urges, lusts even, for their ownership over and enslavement of others… all for the slaves’ own good, of course.
The impulse to own and to be owned is rooted in a foul and reprehensible sociopathy, one forged from a deep self-loathing, at once slavish and brutal. As such, it stands in special need of constant and public denunciation, of fierce, unapologetic, and uncompromising resistance by all who strive to further the cause of liberty.