"In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense; and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to determine for themselves; that he will put on rather than off, the true character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond the present day." - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Forgotten Man: Stuck With The Tab

"As soon as A observes something which seems to him to be wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X or, in the better case, what A, B, and C shall do for X. . . . What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the forgotten man. . . . He is the man who never is thought of. He is the victim of the reformer, social speculator, and philanthropist, and I hope to show you before I get through that he deserves your notice both for his character and for the many burdens which are laid upon him." - William Graham Sumner
Herein lies the problem with government do-gooders: no matter how much they think they're helping, someone has to pay for their spend-crazy policies. Obamacare is going to cost $50,000 per person. 46,000,000 people are on food stamps. The US has at least $93 trillion in unfunded liabilities (programs that it has yet to find a way to pay for). There is no such thing as a free lunch, so who pays for it all? The government?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Washington D.C. Sees Highest Wage Disparity In 35 Years

WAPO reports:
Wage disparities in the District are at their widest point in 35 years, and the city’s flourishing economy has masked a grim reality for residents who lack a college degree: Many are worse off now than before or during the recession, according a new report from a liberal policy group.
This isn't really surprising. Six of the ten richest counties in the country are suburbs of D.C. Big money wants to live near the center of power, because that's where big money is made.

And, in typical government do-gooder fashion, the solution is to do more of the same things that don't seem to be working, but with more money and more business-killing mandates and regulations. From the article:
Czin said Bowser’s first budget, due this spring, will be heavy on funding for affordable housing and improving the effectiveness of job-training programs. . . .

. . . . The report comes before the District realizes the effect of a minimum wage hike, to $11.50 an hour, next year. The increase, economists predicted, would put upward pressure on all low-income wages. It also comes as the District has mandated better sick leave for hourly workers and has prohibited employers from asking applicants about criminal records until they make a job offer.
The only way minimum wage laws increase the average wage is by making criminalizing wages below a certain amount. This doesn't mean that suddenly all the poor are making $15/hr.; it means that any job that's not worth as much or more than some arbitrary number is illegal. No one is going pay people $15/hr. to work a job that's worth $8/hr. and have a business for long. The result? Well, a robot will work long hours for free (paying for itself eventually) and doesn't require health benefits. And it shows up on time. Read: Minimum Wage Laws Equal Fewer Jobs.

No mention of how inflating the currency destroys the wealth of the middle class. When prices rise, it doesn't affect the rich much. Person A is making millions and can absorb the hit. Person B is making more than the average wage, but is just able to keep up with price inflation. Person C - making the average wage or less or living on a fixed income - feels inflation first and the worst. When your budget leaves you with $20/day for food, gas, etc. for a whole family, you're more likely to notice a $0.50 increase in a gallon of milk. Wages for the poorest in the society are always the last to start rising, and never manage to keep pace with inflation.

Want to know the real reason behind wealth disparity in the country? Take a look at the money fountain Federal Reserve

Related posts:

Is Medical Cannabis Coming To PA Soon?

It's already here, actually. You just get locked up for growing/selling/transporting/having it.

A new report from ArcView Market Research makes the prediction that 18 states will legalize cannabis by 2020. From Fortune:
"In the report, Arcview claims that “2014 will be remembered as a year when … a sense of inevitability about national legalization became conventional wisdom among elected officials and the general public.”
Absent from the list is Pennsylvania. However...

Gov. Wolf confirms his support of medical marijuana, reports the Inquirer. From the article:
"On the same day that legislation was reintroduced to legalize medical marijuana, Gov. Wolf on Tuesday told parents of sick children that he would sign a bill if it reaches his desk."
It's not the end of the drug war or even legalization of cannabis, but it's a step. The drawback, as is typical with medicinal and recreational marijuana legislation, is that the state government wants to use licenses to pick who gets to grow, process, and distribute it. I wish they wouldn't "tax and regulate" it, but I also understand that, just like any government, they're compelled to get their greedy paws on everything.

You can Big Pharma already has its warehouses and processing equipment ready to go as soon as they get the OK. Those proposed regulations in the bill? Carefully crafted by teams of lawyers to squash the competition through costly hoops an hurdles that large, connected companies can afford but the little guy cannot.

But like I said, a step.

A similar bill came to the desk of former Governor Corbett, but he had no love for the herb and the bill lost support in the House. Big Pharma wasn't quite ready to get started yet. However . . . 
"Last year, then-Gov. Corbett opposed legalizing medical marijuana, and the House did not act on the Senate bill. New House Majority leader Dave Reed (R., Indiana) said Monday he supports the legalization of medical marijuana."
It sounds like that first step is coming very soon.

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

American Sniper: It Was Ok

Directed by Clint Eastwood, American Sniper is an action-drama depicting the life of Navy Seal Sniper Chris Kyle. Officially the most lethal sniper in US history, Chief Petty Officer Kyle amassed 160 confirmed kills out of 255 probable kills over the course of four tours of duty.

I've read some reviews praising the movie as a "cultural moment" and others ripping it as "pro-war propaganda" or a "hero-worshiping gag-fest." It has its flaws for sure, but I actually hated it less than I thought I would. I haven't read Chris Kyle's book, nor do I plan to, so I cannot say whether or not this or that actually happened, or even if the movie's Chris Kyle is an accurate portrayal of the real person. These are just my thoughts on the movie.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Charlie Hebdo Hypocrisy And Free Speech

For now I just wanted to talk about the elevation of Charlie Hebdo itself to a heroic level, as if it were some grand symbol of free speech and the power of western democracy over the
third-world savages. You've already seen media and governments all over the West using it as such, organizing massive marches through Paris, "I Am Charlie," and even a gag-inducing "display of solidarity" from a couple dozen blissfully rich, soulless oligarchs from around the world.

But Charlie Hebdo is not some group of hardcore, dedicated journalists hunted by authorities for exposing the crimes and corruption of those in power; though it's called satire, Charlie Hebdo is really just full of pointlessly stupid (stupidly pointless?) and crude cartoons published solely for their ability to offend certain people. And by "certain people," I mean everyone but Jews. And those marches and "displays of solidarity?" A bunch of useless, hot air from people who don't actually care about free speech when it matters.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

5 Awful Torture Methods Used By The US Government

I picked out a few of what I thought were the worst torture methods enhanced interrogation techniques used by our government and its agencies and contractors. It's extremely important to remember that most of the inmates at Guantanamo have not had any sort of trial or charges brought against them. Just because they're at Guantanamo doesn't make them guilty of anything. That said, let's get into it and see what we've paid for with our tax dollars.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

How Libertarianism Can Save The Whales And Prevent Overfishing

One common question I hear being asked is, "What can be done to prevent overfishing in a pure libertarian society?"

The question deals with over-consumption, and can be answered much in the same way as "what about the trees" and "who will protect animals?" The answer is, as usual: property rights and the non-aggression principle. Using GPS and latitude/longitude, let people parcel out and own a piece of the ocean like they would own a piece of land. Or, let people claim/buy the fishing/mining/whatever rights for a certain parcel of ocean. The point is: private property.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Why Noam Chomsky Is Wrong About Libertarianism

For a man so renowned for his work in linguistics, Noam Chomsky certainly seems confused about the definitions of "libertarianism" and "anarchy;" and despite his accuracy on foreign policy, he's completely lost on economics and social policy. It's actually incredibly disappointing to see someone who so correctly recognizes so many problems in the world but consistently comes up with awful solutions.

In an interview with Michael S. Wilson, Chomsky comments:

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Libertarianism And Anarchy: The Simple Facts

For hundreds of years, political groups have used language to maneuver around each other. One group, claiming the mantle of “ideological purity,” would become fed up with what they viewed as inconsistency or inaccuracy of the ideas of the main group and split away from it. However, they would continue to call themselves by the same name of the original group in order to preserve their credibility.

This kind of philosophical warfare creates confusion, often intentionally. Classical liberalism of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, based on small government and individualism, was gradually perverted into the modern, collectivist, government-obsessed liberalism we hear about today. The fracturing of the original socialist movement into dozens of groups illustrate the point just as well: you have Marxists, communists, Trotskyists, Chomskyites, Lenninists, Stalinists, Maoists, social democrats, liberal socialists, “libertarian” socialists, (misled) anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists, eco-/ethical-/religious-/regional-socialists, national socialists and blah-blah-blah socialists all claiming to be... well, true socialists. It's maddening.

Friday, July 18, 2014

10 Reasons America Is A Police State

What do you think of when you hear the term "police state?" Chances are you conjured up an image of jack-booted Nazis storming down the streets terrorizing people with German Shepherds; or maybe you thought of Soviet Russia? North Korea? Of Orwell's Oceania?

A police state can actually be a lot more familiar, but since we were born our heads have been filled with so much nationalist propaganda that we refuse to believe we're not the "freest" country in the world. The truth is, being "freer" than people in some other countries doesn't mean we 're actually free; it just means our masters are slightly nicer than theirs.

Here are ten legitimate reasons America is a police state: