Generic drugs are supposed to lower healthcare costs and provide you with another medical alternative. That’s what it says on paper. But there’s a real danger that goes along with these drugs. A danger even your doctor might not be aware of.
Ask a D.C. insider what’s the best way to solve the debt crisis. Nine times out of ten, they’ll recommend taking on more debt. That’s how things operate in the Potomac swamp. Up is down, right is left, digging yourself into more debt is the best way to get out of it. But it wasn’t always like this. In fact, there used to be common sense when it came to the economy. So where did it all go wrong?
Politicians talk about the uninsured. Special interests argue on behalf of those with pre-existing conditions. But why is no one wondering how doctors are affected by the new law? They’re the ones on the frontlines dealing directly with new patients, as well as the red tape that makes bureaucracies go round.
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.
Where would the European economy be today without Germany? Compared with all the other states in the European Union, Germany is the viable cash cow for the rest to milk, and that’s only because of the economic reforms that took place before the Great Recession hit.
It was the Social Democrats, led by Gerhard Schroder (in power from 1998-2005), who did what had to be done. His government lowered taxes, consolidated welfare programs and liberalized labor law enough to spare Germany the worst of the recession’s effects. Only a free economy can adapt to change, and Germany liberalized just enough to make the difference.
It was a case of “Nixon goes to China” — that is, a reform brought about by a source that was not expected. And because it was unexpected, it had a greater political chance for success. The policy turn defied expectations and created enough temporary upheaval to enable the rarest of things: a policy shift, however marginal, toward greater freedom.
When you think about it, this is how it usually happens. The Social Democrats liberalized the Canadian economy in the 1990s, and this spared the country the worst of the recession woes of today. Bill Clinton led the charge for a welfare reform that the Republicans wouldn’t have dared to put forward on their own. Jimmy Carter put trucking and airline deregulation in motion. Ronald Reagan, the supposed war hawk, was the first to propose full-scale and mutual disarmament to a Soviet leader.
There’s also the most-spectacular example of modern times in China: The Communist Party is what unleashed the capitalist revolution that transformed a whole nation with record economic growth. Lesser-known cases of similar change took place in New Zealand and Sweden, where social democrats pushed change and liberalization.
The opposite holds true too. The political left warned of both Bush presidencies that they would slash federal spending. Instead, they broke all records for spending expansions. Republicans have been consistently terrible in office on all the very things they claim from the stump to want to reform.
Looking at the reality, Republicans seem to be exceptionally good at regulating, taxing, spending and imposing new mandates — even as the Democrats accuse them of dismantling the New Deal. If only the Republicans would actually do what the Democrats accuse them of doing!
The political right says that Obama has slashed military spending and thereby endangered national security. Romney echoes this line in his stump speech. The actual budget numbers tell a different story. Obama has continued and extended the Bush war legacy in every way.
I can recall giving speeches in the late 1980s on Reagan’s domestic spending record, showing how his administration massively expanded spending in every area. I would point to the grim reality with actual numbers and then look out over a crowd of people who clearly didn’t believe me. I would put up charts, and they would assume they were fake.
In politics, up is down, left is right, black is white. Why is it that there is so little relationship between politics and reality? Talk is cheap, and politicians will say anything both before and after they are elected.
They have a vested interest in maintaining the legends about themselves that animate the settled political dramas of the political culture. Lacking any other basis on which to vote for this guy or that guy, voters have little choice but to believe them.
The No. 1 thing to remember about politics is that officeholders are mostly made of illusion. These people are not actually “running the country,” as the phrase goes. Neither the President nor the Congress has much to do with the actual day-to-day operations of the state.
The substance of the real state is what Frank Chodorov (in The Rise & Fall of Society, this week’s over-the-top amazing release in the Laissez Faire Club) calls the “aristocracy of office.”
He is speaking of the bureaucracy. Once the offices are established, they are perpetuated. It doesn’t matter that that excuse for their existence is long past. They are unaffected by elections, protests, editorials, political debate and political promises. They are gigantic and fearsome beasts who laugh at the politicians who claim to control them.
“Once a law enters the statute books, it is beyond the purview of those who made it, the legislators or the king, and becomes the special, private province of those who operate it. The more numerous and prolix the laws, the more important and the more self-sufficient are the operating specialists… The real governing body of the country is its practicing bureaucracy, whose prospects brighten with each reform that becomes law.”
The bureaucrats pay little attention to the newly elected administration. They have a new political appointee who ostensibly heads the agency, but he or she will be gone in a few years or maybe sooner, and the bureaucrats know this. Plus, the new guy is wholly dependent on the powers of the permanent bureaucracy, without which he has no information or power at all. All that a new presidential administration means to these people is that a new portrait appears on the wall. Nothing more.
Now, how about the perpetual fantasy that we will get the right guy in office who will slash spending, confound the bureaucracy, pull the troops out, cut taxes and even take on the Federal Reserve? I love this idea, but let’s look at what actually happens.
The idea of cutting government goes against the whole reason for government’s existence. A president who swears to cut government is like the new CEO of a company who swears to drive down the stock price and ruin the customer base of the company. The entire institution will, naturally, regard the impulse as dangerous and insane.
If a new president has sworn to take on the bureaucracy, the bureaucracies will be ready for battle. They won’t be caught off guard; on the contrary, they will have their guard up. It is like a challenge to their rule, and they will set out to show the political types just who the real boss is. And they have the advantage in this struggle. They are permanent. The politicians are temporary. They are not responsible to any member of the public; the politicians worry about the polls.
The new president also must, upon taking office, appoint some 6,000 people to political positions within the bureaucracy. That is among his first tasks. The appointees come from his donor base, his intellectual base and from the professional ranks of political hired hands that hang around Washington like flies around a landfill. The new appointees are socialized to the new culture within days, or else they face the price. Their loyalties change very quickly once faced with the sheer vastness, the power, the seeming prestige of the world of government.
Who is going to win this struggle? History gives the answer. There are very rare occasions when government is rolled back, and they present themselves in ways that are surprising and unexpected, and usually at the hands of people who seem like the least likely to cut government at all.
This is why politics often produce results that are the opposite of what we first expect.
There is no better guide — and I really mean no better guide — than Frank Chodorov’s Rise & Fall of Society. This man had a sophisticated grasp on the real nature of the beast, one that eludes practically everyone else and is especially lost on those who have been taught something different their entire lives.
I’m optimistic about the cause of freedom. I just don’t believe that it will be achieved through any conventional or expected route.