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.
“I have not done anything wrong,” Lois Lerner, head of the IRS’ nonprofit division, told a congressional hearing. “I have not broken any laws.” Then she invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to be second-guessed by the Congress that is supposed to be watching over all agencies of government.
Seeing the IRS grilled like this is something many people have waited for their entire lives. It’s lovely and a sign of the times (government has never been this unpopular). But contrary to Ms. Lerner, it is possible to not break laws but still do wrong things.
The truth is that there is nothing right about an agency that routinely and legally loots the public of a third of private income and presumes the right to take what is left if we, as citizens, fail to comply with every jot and tittle of the regulations.
Sadly, that is not the scandal Congress is interested in. The scandal is that the IRS seems to be discriminating against groups based on their political outlook. And truly, it is alarming to see it all so clearly and to know that the practice was so widespread. Let’s hope these hearings on Capitol Hill are part of a larger project in which Congress takes on the role of actually looking into what the government is doing to the people.
Let’s consider the larger context. In most any authoritarian regime in history, most people felt free, and they enjoyed that freedom as long as they never crossed a (sometimes invisible) line.
Talk to anyone, for example, who lived in Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Everyone knew the rules. For the most part, the regime would leave you alone. You could go about your life raising a family, working and enjoying various luxuries. If you minded your own business, it didn’t feel anything like tyranny.
But if you became interested in politics and actually sought some kind of change in society, matters would be very different. At that point, you became a threat. You could be woken any night by a knock on the door and dragged off, never to be heard from again.
In other words, in any authoritarian regime, the main goal of the government is to protect itself from outside threats and maintain its monopoly on power. So long as you didn’t disturb that monopoly, all was well. (For more on how this works, see Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s The Great Fiction.)
The idea of America is that we don’t have such issues here. Think back to Norman Rockwell’s democratic iconography. The farmer stands up in the town hall meeting to voice his opinion. He is unafraid. Everyone listens. We all have a voice.
The idea of democracy is that there is no such thing as a regime, as traditionally understood. Instead, we govern ourselves. We do not fear mixing in politics. There is no one to come get us if we hold to one perspective over another. There is no such thing as getting on the wrong side of the governing elite, because everyone is a member of the governing elite.
That’s the legend, in any case. It has nothing to do with reality. Starting a little more than 100 years ago, a permanent class of rulers came into being. They are not voted out or voted in. They answer to no one. The laws they enforce can be new or old. You can’t dislodge these people. Their tenure extends beyond any administration.
This is the real structure of government in this country, all Norman Rockwell paintings aside. They have a class interest in protecting themselves against reform, to say nothing of the wrath of the people. This necessarily means that they have an enemies list. If you are collecting taxes, groups that file for approval calling themselves “Citizens Against Taxes” are certainly on the list.
What this incident shows is that there really is such a thing as a ruling class, and that there are people who are regarded as enemies of the state. We aren’t quite to the point at which your political opinions can elicit a knock on the door at night, followed by a sudden disappearance. No, the discrimination is usually, but not always, more subtle than that. In the “free” USA, it might only mean delays and audits.
Still, it offends our sense of justice.
Just as these hearings are taking place, I’ve found myself deeply troubled by the arrest of libertarian activist Adam Kokesh. Last weekend, he was speaking at a pot legalization rally. The police gathered around him. Then, out of nowhere, they arrested him and took him away. They turned him over to the feds, who shut him in a cell without bail.
Judging from the videos posted online, he hadn’t done anything wrong. He was only speaking. He wasn’t even smoking pot. When the charges came down, he was accused of resisting arrest, though no resistance is evident in the videos. And so there he sits.
Many people are more than slightly suspicious that his arrest had nothing to do with the pot rally. He was actually targeted for planning an edgy little gathering on July 4 in Washington, D.C. He had urged people to join him in exercising their Second Amendment rights with an armed march on Washington. Imprudent? Probably. Illegal? Probably. But the point is that this might have led to a certain alarm and targeting, in the same way that the groups applying for nonprofit status were targeted.
But there are no congressional hearings over this. In fact, there isn’t much sympathy, either. The conservative forums I’ve seen have cheered on the police. A white nationalist website even went further to say that his arrest is a good thing because Adam (an Iraq war veteran) is Jewish.
Thus, we can see how the Bill of Rights is so selectively enforced and applied. Adam has no First Amendment rights. And his Second Amendment rights don’t exist in D.C., even if they do exist in a neighboring state. But the IRS official can invoke her Fifth Amendment rights and not even be compelled to answer questions put to her by Congress.
Authoritarian? It’s looking more that way every day.