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, […]
The financial world is plodding along like a drunken sailor avoiding debt collectors by keeping no cash in his wallet. It’s not the kind of calm that’s going to last or end well. But the storm will have to wait until after the Olympics.What a game! We’ve never watched ice hockey closely before. But watching […]
My neighborhood is filling up with political yard signs. Vote for this guy! Vote for that guy!
I can’t understand why people are willing to give up precious real estate on their front lawns, make friends mad at them, and put their own credibility on the line to back some politico who will certainly betray them in a matter of weeks. The con men who people cheer in politics have done little or nothing to deserve this kind of public support.
My neighborhood forbids commercial advertising on the front lawn, but the code makes an exception for politicians running for office. If anything, it should be the opposite. Commerce serves me every day. I feel genuine gratitude for these companies who give me great products and services, always keep their promises, and never force anything on me.
Every day we all vote in the consumer marketplace. We buy or decline to buy. We do this by choice. Our choice makes a difference. How we use money determines which companies rise and which ones fall. Unless government jumps in to put companies on life support, consumers themselves can vote any company into non-existence simply by failing to buy its products and services. Ludwig von Mises described this as market democracy. It is the only kind of democracy that really works.
Let me give an example. I love this juice from Bolthouse Farms, a company in Bakersfield, Calif. They have these drinks made of fruits that are absolutely delicious. The one I drank today is pomegranate. But there are many other flavors, like wild berry, strawberry banana, carrot, and even chocolate. I get a great drink and don’t have to grow pomegranates, cut them open, pick out the seeds, and walk around with red-stained hands all day.
If someone would let me post a Bolthouse Farms sign on my front yard, I’d be all about it!
There are thousands, millions, of private companies that directly benefit me every day. I’m nuts for McDonalds, which keeps reinventing itself in the most marvelous ways. But I also love the pizza joint I will go to today for lunch. They greet me at the door. They give me a lunch special and let me choose what kind of dressing I want on my salad. They will serve me a yummy beer from the tap, and I can choose among many brands. My pizza has tomatoes, wheat, and pepperoni, and the creation of all these ingredients involved the productive works of many thousands of people in many different countries.
And it all lands in front of me in a matter of minutes at a very low price. Then they thank me for coming in.
And if I decide that I don’t want to go there for lunch, they don’t call the cops and drag me in. They try to do an even better job to attract me back. And when I return, they welcome me back to the fold and don’t resent me or call me a traitor for failing to show up for a few days.
What I need is a Brick Oven Pizza sign for my front yard. This one company has done more for me than every politician on the planet.
I’m thinking too of the cup of coffee I had this morning for breakfast. It was made with a coffee maker called a Keurig. This company figured out that coffee really is an individual matter. We don’t want a pot of coffee. We don’t want to touch grounds. We don’t want to measure. We want a cup just for us as individuals.
Keurig figured out how to do it. They knew that the cost was high. One of those little plastic cups is 50 cents or more each. Having coffee this way is much more expensive. But someone took the entrepreneurial guess that consumers would be willing to pay for it. That person must have been told that the idea was crazy, that no one would be willing to go for this. But the entrepreneur was a dreamer and took the risk.
So this is another sign I would post on my front yard, just as an act of gratitude and a suggestion to others that they give it a try.
Think of all the applications I use on my smartphone. I love the “AroundMe” app that permits me to know every restaurant, drugstore, movie theater, or whatever in direct proximity of where I am to be, wherever I happen to be. I was somewhere in the Midwest and pulled up the app and was able to even see the menu plus prices of a restaurant one block from where I sat in my own car. This is like a miracle!
There are dozens of other apps that have changed my life in a positive way. I can’t say that about a single person who has held public office, and I certainly can’t and don’t expect it of anyone who is running for public office now. None of them will do a thing to enhance my life. Like most people, I mostly fear what they will do with their power. Why do so many people advertise for these people?
It’s an incredible thing how people take their capitalist benefactors for granted, never thinking for an instant to be grateful or to praise a company for pushing history forward in a way that benefits humanity. Yet these same ungrateful people will attend rallies and post signs for politicians, and even clamor to hear their speeches and have them kiss their children and get their pictures taken with them.
I would as soon have my picture taken with the guy who spun my pizza crust on the slice I’ll have for lunch. This person is a hero in my eyes, a person who possesses a skill I’ve tried, but failed to master for years. He has dedicated his professional life to serving me even though I never asked for this and even though I might never express a word of thanks.
I never have to worry about betrayal from any of these people. Bolthouse will never knowingly sell me poison. Brick Oven will not promise sausage and give me Shinola. The AroundMe app will never deliberately send me to a brothel when I want a barbershop.
But every politician routinely claims insane things. They claim that their personal vision will be enacted and that the nation and the world will conform to their personal imaginings of how the world should work. They claim that they have the power to bring this about and that it can be brought about.
What a politician promises are outrageous and obvious lies, no different from a promise I might make to build a skyscraper in your backyard overnight. When I don’t accomplish the task, you can say I betrayed you, and I have, but it might be a good idea to consider why you were so gullible as to believe it in the first place.
The nation-state is an unfathomably gigantic institution involving countless internal rules, conventions, employees, and exchange relationships, all of it rooted in graft and coercion, and most all of its operations administered independently of the elected class of political marionettes.
The permanent bureaucracy pays little attention to the comings and goings of the pretty and cunning boys and girls who are elected to occupy designated offices on a rotating basis. The pictures on the walls of the bureaucracies change, but not much else. The drones just keep droning regardless. Even the most powerful politician cannot touch them.
Meanwhile, the wonderful private sector is churning out beautiful surprises for us every day. We hardly even notice. We post no signs. We don’t attend rallies by the CEOs. We don’t urge our friends and neighbors to give up their time to visit our favorite stores and restaurants. On the contrary, private enterprise must pay to be noticed through advertising.
My fantasy is to spend some late night hours posting a hundred signs on my front yard that advertise everything from Bolthouse to McDonalds to Nike to CVS to the Laissez Faire Club. Then all my neighbors wake to see the sight. They complain and I refuse to take them down. The press calls and I use the chance to explain that these companies are treasures and benefactors, whereas politicians are just liars and looters.
I’ve plotted this scene for years. But, no surprise, these companies don’t print yard signs. They are too self-effacing, sweet, and humble to do that. This is why private enterprise ought to run the world and politicians should not.