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.
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, […]
Cover the kids’ ears! Hide their eyes! Shuffle the weak and frail from the room! A politician running for president has uttered a heresy that brings into question the holy grail of democratic politics. Romney has failed to pretend as if the country is one big happy family that uses our glorious voting system to discover ever better ways of governing ourselves.
Which is to say that Romney made a gaffe.
You know the definition of a political gaffe: inadvertent and unscripted truth. That’s what the supposed scandal of Romney’s off-the-cuff comments amounts to. He told potential donors an unvarnished truth that everyone knows but which is not part of the official civic creed of the land of the free:
“There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president, no matter what… All right, there are 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.”
The implied model here is that modern democracy is a system that enables mass confiscation of wealth by some from others. And who can doubt it? In older monarchical systems, only a tiny elite was privileged to steal from everyone else, and if they stole too much, people would get angry and overthrow them.
Democracy solved the problem by granting everyone the privilege once reserved to elites. Now we can all steal from each other, and even from ourselves. This way, it is no longer clear who the enemy is. We don’t know whom to blame when things get bad. There is no one to overthrow but ourselves.
And things are indeed getting bad. As income falls, the household budget is ever more squeezed, we are living ever longer, and the boomers retire, government benefits are soaring on autopilot.
Indeed, the 47% figure might be low. Other estimates put it closer to half. And it is rising. A smaller percentage of household income comes from wages than ever before. Food stamps, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, disability benefits, Social Security… this stuff adds up and amounts to dependency.
He also helpfully noted that 47% do not pay income taxes. That doesn’t mean that they don’t pay tax. They are actually heavily taxed at the payroll level — a tax that pays into the very benefits that have made them dependent, a tax that has been more heavily raised under Republicans than Democrats. Everyone is taxed for every dollar earned and on the sale of nearly everything. But of course, neither party wants to talk about those taxes.
Also presumed in Romney’s talk: People vote their economic interest. Again, experience bears this out. If household economics don’t stack up, nothing else works. Politicians have limited time and money and need to get the biggest bang for their buck.
No, this is not writing off half the country, as the partisan pundits are saying. It is the mapping out of an electoral strategy based on the “median voter theorem.” This is the idea that elections are won not by the partisans or extremes on either side, but by the people in the middle. This is the business of politics. It is about finding and appealing to the interests of the median voter.
Shocking? If so, you have never bumped into a campaign consultant at a cocktail party. This is how they all talk and think. Indeed, this is how politics has worked for, oh, 200 or so years, and ever more so since the expansion of the franchise.
In the video, Romney goes on to say that his job is to appeal to the independent 5% who will turn the election in his direction. Notice that this outlook also “writes off” all the people that he already knows will vote for him. He is also giving himself a license to put their interests on the shelf as well, at least in rhetoric.
For this reason, anyone who dedicates himself or herself to getting Romney elected, as a means of protecting personal wealth from confiscation, will be sorely disappointed. Republicans as much as Democrats find ways to take what is yours.
And by the way, Obama thinks the same way. Obama will never convince voters who are already dedicated to Romney, and every single Obama adviser knows this. This is a fight for the remaining 5%. And what’s more, politics is business in another form. It is about giving and getting. Political parties represent interests, not ideas.
But oh, how precious is American political culture! We must not hear these things. We must never be permitted to hear what is true. Instead we have a Victorian sensibility about our civic religion. We sing the national anthem, say the pledge and reflect on 19th-century mythologies about our revered Founders, because, after all, we have the greatest system of government ever conceived, one so wonderful that it should be exported and imposed all over the world.
Or so we tell our youngsters. As adults, we should know the truth. Politics is a means of wealth redistribution. Electoral strategy is a race to the bottom. After all, it is emphatically not the case that Romney’s chosen constituents are free of dependency. Note that he is ramping up his imperial warmonger talk in recent days.
Every day, there is a new enemy that he accuses Obama of not slaying. And it’s not only about the military. It is about our trading partners. He has blasted the Obama administration for being soft on China.
What’s this about? It’s about reassuring his supportive pressure groups that he supports their interests. He will protect the American corporate class against foreign enemies who attempt to bypass the corporate oligarchs by selling cheap stuff to you and me. No, he won’t let that happen. And it is about reassuring the military-industrial complex that its subsidies will continue.
In fact, Romney represents a different class of dependents. Large banks. Financial institutions on the dole. Monied elite who live off cheap credit and infinite liquidity courtesy of the central bank.
Either way, the rest of us get looted. The election is about who controls that margin of loot that remains after the autopilot spending administered by the permanent class of bureaucrats is finished doling out its entitlements left and right.
In a way, I feel sorry for the bourgeoisie gathered in that small room to hear his talk. He wanted their money — a payment in exchange for his promise to protect their wealth from the grasping hoards. But he still wanted their money. Whether he will actually do this is another matter. And why should they have to pay at all?
There once was this idea called freedom. You keep what you earn. You don’t live off others. You mind your own business. Society works out its own problems without politicians, police, bureaucrats, and power elites running lives.
Is what both Romney and Obama are doing a corruption of the idea of the political party? Ludwig von Mises, whose book Liberalism (a Laissez Faire Club selection) explains everything you need to know about democracy, says that this is precisely why political parties were founded. “All modern political parties and all modern party ideologies originated as a reaction on the part of special group interests fighting for a privileged status against liberalism.”
The best statement on this was framed by Frederic Bastiat: “The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.” His book The Law is part of the Laissez Faire Club’s “Economics in One Library” that comes free to every Club member. The point of law is precisely to prevent the mutual looting that goes by the name “democracy.” But once property rights are no longer secure, political elites can plunder with impunity.
In fact, as I think about the next month and a half of grueling election posturing, I can’t imagine doing without this book. It not only foresaw this moment, but fully explains it, and further shows how no truly independent-minded person can depend on any political machine to protect his or her interests.
To keep our liberty and property from their clutches is our job.