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.
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.
It was once incontrovertible: The mainstream press leans left-liberal. It’s been a proven fact that Republican presidents receive 20-30% less positive economic coverage from the nation’s newspapers.
But times seem to have changed a bit. Now a new mainstream has emerged that leans right-conservative. It takes the form of Fox News, mainly, but there are many other sources in television, radio, and mainstream press.
Is this diversity? Are we now getting choices so that we can find out what’s true? Brian C. Anderson’s South Park* Conservatives: The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias gives us a clue.
And he shows that the answer is no. The left and right media agree on more than they will admit. Neither side has the incentive to think independently.
Consider just one example: Obama’s ongoing wars abroad. The liberal media don’t like to mention them.
You thought lefties were peace-loving? Not when their guy is in office. Taxing the rich and empowering unions are way more important. War is suddenly righteous when a lefty is in office.
Meanwhile, the conservative media complain that Obama is not going far enough. They too love the fiction that Obama is a peacenik — a helpful myth, because it allows the network to rant about the need for more warmongering.
How to make sense of this? This is the beauty of Anderson’s book. It provides a clear history of the rise of the Fox News industrial complex that some commentators say lost the 2012 election for Mitt Romney.
As Anderson clearly explains, there is big money being a rabid right-winger of a certain type. He pulls back the veil to reveal:
- How the conservative book-publishing revolution became a cash cow. This is what running for office is all about. You don’t have to get elected for fame and fortune. Forget changing society through policy. No, get on the presidential ticket as a potential VP and you don’t ever have to run again
- How selling books has become the prequel to becoming a talking-head analyst on Fox and getting your own reality show, and one for your daughter too! Run to head the Republican ticket and you might get a book deal and your own TV show
- How what Murray Rothbard wrote turns out to be prophecy: What starts as a movement then becomes a job and finally becomes a racket
- How “We report, you decide,” is Fox’s motto, but it shows that the networks are counting on its viewers to have already made up their minds. That neocon Republicans have all the answers
- How this racket got started began with something called the Fairness Doctrine. It required that if a network advocated one political approach, it had to give equal time to the opposing view. This doctrine led to an opinion cartel that only pretended to be nonpartisan.
Anderson shows that all began to change because of one libertarian. His name was Mark Fowler, and he was the head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the Reagan administration. He told his regulators to stop enforcing the Fairness Doctrine, believing the law was “chilling to free speech.”
At the same time, the number of channels exploded. Reagan’s second FCC chair, Dennis Patrick, officially canned the doctrine. Those on the left were not pleased. Neither was Phyllis Schlafly on the right. Congress voted to make the doctrine federal law. Reagan vetoed it, AM radio was saved, and a man named Rush would pave the way to political influence and riches.
The left tried to retaliate with Air America, but they just couldn’t put together the same kind of programing sizzle. In the age of the Internet, cable TV, podcasts, live streaming, and who knows what entertainment platforms, right-wing AM radio is still rockin’. Not only racking up dollars, but also setting the Republican agenda…
An agenda that was hammered on election night 2012.
Look at any election map and its Republican red for miles and miles in the center of the U.S. That’s a huge market to exploit. Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and dozens of conservative lesser lights are making hay while this sun shines. Beyond radio and TV, O’Reilly is a best-selling author of history books, with two of Amazon’s top 20 sellers for all of 2012.
What Rush started on radio, Rupert Murdoch continued on the tube.
Anderson spends plenty of time on the “Fox effect,” but forgets what the network has done for news aesthetics. Sex sells, and a Fox telecast is a beauty pageant. All the other news channels have had to follow suit.
There is little difference, from a libertarian’s point of view, between the two parties and their policies — as the Bush-Obama era illustrates. But to political partisans, it is blood sport. Even in the conservative Southern college town I live in, something as simple as a Ron Paul bumper sticker on my wife’s Porsche nearly caused a parking lot altercation one afternoon.
Anderson’s book is an entertaining and informative chronicle of how the media racket now spans the entire spectrum from left to right. You think you’re getting it all, but you are not. Instead, the spectrum gives two flavors of the same poison.
Enjoy politics for what it is. As H.L. Mencken wrote, “Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.” Media, political or otherwise, is entertainment.
Anderson’s book will give you a leg up on enjoying the show. You can get your copy of South Park* Conservatives: The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias from Laissez Faire Books.