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.
If you are willing to look past mainstream media coverage of American politics, you can actually find exciting and interesting activities taking place that rise above lobbying, voting, graft and corruption.
Consider the Free State Project. It is an attempt, and a surprisingly successful one, to inspire a political migration by lovers to liberty to New Hampshire. It is not about lobbying, forming a political party, populating a real estate development or anything like that. It is about seeking a place to live and let live in these times when the political culture seems to be about everything but that.
The idea is to gather people with some consciousness of the idea of liberty so that they can live peacefully among friends and influence the political culture in a way that brings more freedom or at least protects what we have. As the statement that Free Staters sign says: “I will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty and property.”
I had heard of this movement for years, but, frankly, didn’t pay much attention to it. I suppose that with only a passing glance, it seemed sort of cranky and unworkable, just another scheme. I was completely wrong. This is a serious movement that is achieving real results, as I observed when I was invited to attend the annual Liberty Forum in Nashua, N.H.
Why New Hampshire? It is the “Live Free or Die” state without a sales or income tax. It has low population density, which increases the chances that the influence of the libertarians can be felt in the culture and the Statehouse. It has lower business regulations than the rest of the country, and wonderful homespun culture that turns out to be highly tolerant toward cultural and political eccentricity.
The whole notion really began in 2001 with research by political scientist Jason Sorens, who was then studying at Yale University. He observed that the influence of the libertarians was muted by their sheer geographic diffusion throughout the country. If they could gather together in one place, they could achieve that critical level of influence over political affairs that would create a tipping point against statist-style management toward individual liberty.
It turns out that there is a huge tradition in American history for this type of political migration. The Mormons did this in their trek across the West to finally land in Salt Lake City. The Amish did the same. But it doesn’t have to be about religion. This migrating impulse also populated Texas in the early 19th century, when the pioneering spirit drove a whole generation to settle this wild country.
Actually, if you think about it, the entire Colonial period was shaped by cultural groups arriving to settle in coherent communities formed around certain themes of safety and liberty. Puritans, Catholics and borderland immigrants all coalesced in geographically defined areas. Then there were the Quakers, the Mennonites and innumerable anarchist sects of the 19th century that formed their own communities. In all these cases, they found the liberty and security they were seeking. Rather than merely dreaming of a new life, they worked to put their dreams into practice in whatever way this world allows.
The Free State Project is different from these only in the sense that the invitation is to move somewhere within the state. And the driving force is simply to be left alone. It turns out that being around others who share your values helps that goal. If the police pull over a Free Stater, I’m told, a dozen others show up within minutes with video cameras. If you go to jail, there are people to defend you to the press. And there is something to say for living among people you can trust, especially in these times when the government is urging everyone to rat out their neighbors, friends and family for any reason.
There is a huge diversity among the 4,000 people who have identified themselves as Free Staters. In my trip, I met attorneys, teachers, bakers, software application developers, people who mint coins, welders, natural statesmen, bloggers, physicians and people from every walk of life one can imagine. Some are religious and some are not. Some look like crazy mountain men, some have oddly dyed hair, some wear suits and ties. They are single, married, young, old, whatever.
Free Staters take any job that suits them. Some run for office, and win, which is not entirely difficult in a state with 400 representatives in the state legislature. Others stay out of politics completely. Some are independent contractors who can relocate, so they choose this state. Others are craft makers who sell their wares from their house or online. Some are wealthy; some are poor.
Their reasons for coming to New Hampshire are all over the map. I met one young person who had graduated from high school two years ago with straight As and a perfect transcript for going to any college she wanted. But she didn’t want to deal with the debt, was tired of the indoctrination and had seen too many people waste four or eight years in school and not find any work afterward. She didn’t want that for herself. So she works various jobs, pays the bills, enjoys a rich social life and is completely happy. Most kids of her generation can’t say the same.
At the opening reception of the Liberty Forum, I stood back, studying the huge crowd with puzzlement at first — the culture of the event might best be described as bourgeois bohemian — but then it became clear to me what was going on. These people were extremely well-read. They had developed a love of liberty, and it became a passion in their life. They realized that freedom is the precondition for everything else in life we love. Without freedom, all dreams die. But they weren’t satisfied to read and reflect. They wanted to do something real, something practical. Moving here and joining this movement was best hope they found.
Human liberation never happens in a social or cultural vacuum. The great steps forward in the history of liberty were preceded by periods in which the social and practical infrastructure had undergone years of development and maturation. The American Revolution was the culminating moment of 150 years of Colonial experience with liberty. The abolitionist movement was preceded by many years of the development of a robust culture and experience of free men and women in both slave and nonslave states. The repeal of Prohibition was made possible because of the giant network of speak-easies and bootleggers and the ever-increasing demand of the population for the freedom to drink.
Perhaps, then, it is necessary that people take up the charge to live their own visions of liberty in whatever way they can, even in open defiance of our overlords, in order to prepare the ground for a brighter future.
A film has already been made about the movement: Libertopia. News coverage is increasing. And the movement is clearly growing as trends in the U.S. get worse and worse. And after this election season, when it becomes very obvious to disillusioned liberty lovers around the country that national politics are now and will forever be hostile to the philosophy of individualism, I can easily imagine that the Free State Project will have another wave of immigrants ready to wave the flag: “Live Free or Die.”
P.S. Here is an innovative payment system being developed in the state. These cards allow micropayments in gold and silver: