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.
Technology brought the world together. But has it gone too far? Decades ago, mail was delivered by hand. Now it’s delivered in seconds. How has that changed the way you live your life? How has it changed the way people act with each other? These are just some of the questions we need to ask.
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...
Gun control isn’t a modern idea. The rise of gun control laws and limits on your 2nd Amendment freedom go hand in hand with the increase in the size and scope of government. Politicians want you to think the only people who can keep you safe are government forces. But as one renown libertarian economist and thinker will show you, their misguided laws do nothing but take away your freedoms and leave you less safe.
The government will do whatever it takes to make sure it has enough of your money to fund itself. On the surface you might think that means enduring a grueling audit. But the IRS and the government is more than willing to ignore your privacy in the cold relentless pursuit of the money they think they deserve. As they get bigger and bigger every year, the smaller and smaller your paycheck becomes as they leach off it.
The Congressional Budget Office said the government needed to reach 7 million people by the end of March. They claim to have reached the goal and now the debate about Obamacare is over. But what does this milestone really mean in the ongoing healthcare discussion? And more importantly, how will it affect reforms going forward?
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...
In an effort to cut costs and keep track of patients' records, governments could institute a medical guideline cookbook. Bureaucrats might think they have the best of intentions in mind, but these new rules would drag down the medical process and destroy whatever quality is left in our current system.
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.
The saga of All Saints could soon be coming to a community near you. Thanks partly to the scandal surrounding the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, the agency has proposed a new set of rules for a huge number of social-welfare groups that claim tax exemption under Section 501(c)4 of the tax code.
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.
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 is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future,” says a proverb often attributed to Yogi Berra. Imagine the world of freedom, or lack of it. Who could foresee the technologies that make our lives so rewarding and convenient? The same technologies have us all under the government’s giant microscope. Thankfully, the brave have turned the microscope around.
In the months since Edward Snowden revealed the nature and extent of the spying that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been perpetrating upon Americans and foreigners, some of the NSA's most troublesome behavior has not been a part of the public debate.
National Treasury Union President Colleen M. Kelly recently described the 2014 IRS budget allocation as “woefully inadequate.” But the agency has not proven itself to be an efficient steward of taxpayer dollars. Here are ten ways the IRS lost the trust of the American people.
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.
Given how poorly states like California and Illinois have funded the pension funds for their own employees, one would think that this would stop dead in its tracks any plan to have the government assist in managing private sector funds too. The spate of recent activity, however, suggests otherwise.
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 problem for NSA apologist is that when guys like Snowden disclose that the government conducts comprehensive surveillance in ways that would have made 1984’s O’Brien drool, it puts the entire progressive agenda in jeopardy.
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 financial world is plodding along like a drunken sailor avoiding debt collectors by keeping no cash in his wallet. It’s not the kind of calm that’s going to last or end well. But the storm will have to wait until after the Olympics.What a game! We’ve never watched ice hockey closely before. But watching […]
On a flight the other day, I noticed that a third of the passengers were reading a certain best-selling book. It got me thinking.
Every politically active group wants something from government, and government is happy to oblige. It’s even more obvious in the election season, and it’s only going to get worse as we approach November.
Another way to put it: Government has lots to give in the way of laws, loot, privileges, protections and punishments. Every pressure group and political party has an idea about how its power over us needs to be used.
Does it make any difference who gets the loot, really? Not really, not to you and me. Whether you are taxed to make bike paths in Palo Alto or to fund reconnaissance missions in Kabul, you are still denied use of your money so that politicians and bureaucrats can realize their dreams. Whether the regulations say that you can’t work for less than $10 per hour or that you can’t buy raw milk at any price, your freedom to make contracts is still being compromised.
We can and will argue interminably about how government ought to be used. Should government prevent gay people from contracting unions or stop private companies from discriminating against people who chose gay unions? Either way, the state is being brought in to tell people what they can and can’t do. In this sense, the left and the right have more in common than either side cares to admit: Both have a plan for how the state can better manage the social order.
Should tobacco be banned or bailed out? Should banks be made too big to fail or badgered with regulatory restrictions so they can’t do real business? Should corporations be protected and subsidized, or should they be taxed within an inch of their lives? Should fatty foods be mandated as part of a national diet or kept off the menu as a health hazard?
These are the great debates of our time. But these are actually not fundamental debates at all. Either way, the only real winner here is government, its agents, its public spokesmen, its powers and its place in our lives and the culture. This is what remains unquestioned.
Should seniors be able to rob young people of their earnings in order to enjoy a luxurious retirement, or should seniors be especially taxed and punished for using more than their fair share of society’s health care resources? Whichever way that debate ends up, liberty itself suffers, and the property rights of everybody are less secure.
Should religious people be able to control what we watch, read and smoke, or should secular people be able to impose laws that keep religious people from having too much influence over our culture? Either way, government is being granted more control over the social order than it should have.
This is the great tragedy of living under leviathan. People have different ideas about how it ought to conduct its affairs. Who should be rewarded? Who should be punished? Who gets the privileges? Who must bear the cost? It becomes a war of pressure groups, everyone seeking to live at the expense of everyone else.
What is this thing we call government? It consists of the gang with an institutional structure that makes the rules, enforces the rules, and lives by rules that are different from those it imposes on the rest of the population. We can’t steal, but government can. We can’t kill, but government can. We can’t counterfeit, kidnap, and engage in fraud, but government can. This thing called government, obviously, has a strong interest in maintaining its power, prestige, and funding.
This is true no matter what the structure of the government happens to be. Oligarchy, absolute monarchy, constitutional monarchy, presidential republic, parliamentary republic, democracy — all of them have one thing in common: They create a special caste of citizens that live at the expense of everyone else.
In a democracy especially, government enlists us all in its cause. So long as people are arguing about how to use the government, and not whether it should be used to achieve social and economic goals at all, the government comes out the winner. All the pressure groups are really just rewarding the political class, transferring power and money from us to them. Precisely what the excuse is — and it changes all the time, sometimes subtly and sometimes dramatically — doesn’t matter to government.
Government is a chameleon, pleased to wear any cultural or ideological cloak to blend in with its social and cultural surroundings. In a wrangling, struggling, grasping, dog-eat-dog democracy like ours, there are fifty shades of government, each suitable for a particular time and place, each adapted to purposes of the moment, all with the interest of firming up control by the ruling class.
This is what the “political spectrum” is all about. Government dominates and we submit. It puts us in bondage and we obey its discipline. There’s also got to be a good excuse or else we would never put up with this. We have to believe that the government is, in some way, at some level, doing something that pleases us. Maybe even the government is us!
People say that in the “age of faith” of the Middle Ages, religious differences led to wars. Historians who have looked carefully have noticed something different. Governments that want wars are happy to use religion as the excuse.
And so it is today. In the “age of science,” we get scientific social planning in which experts are supposed tell the people with their hands on the controls how to use them. But whether the excuse is religion or science, security or the environment, nationalism or internationalism, it doesn’t matter to the rest of us. The rights and liberties of the people paying the bill are forever being sacrificed to someone else’s political agenda.
So come November, we will drag ourselves to the voting booth and look at the names and try to remember what these various people promise to do for us and to us if we ratify their right to rule. Having done so, we are told that we’ve made our choice and now we must live with it.
But maybe it is not really a choice at all. Maybe it is time to let go of our dependency and reject the entire master-slave relationship that is the whole basis of the system itself. Fifty Shades of Government has been the best-seller for hundreds of years. It’s time that the governed write an entirely new book.