Liberty vs. Leviathan

Chronicling Liberty's battle against Leviathan

Incentives

What do the AARP, American Cancer Society, Boy Scouts of America and National Public Radio have in common?  Each is a member of Independent Sector, a lobby group for charitable organizations.  In fact it’s a lobby group that’s pushing Congress to not decrease your estate taxes so that you’ll be more inclined to give your money to charities.

From their web site:

Independent Sector is calling on Congress to preserve this critical tax incentive for philanthropic giving by ensuring that any modifications to the tax do not raise the exemption level or lower the tax rates beyond the 2009 levels.

See if your favorite charity is a member.  Maybe you need a word with them to let them know what you think of confiscatory estate taxes.

(h/t to LRC Blog)

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QE2

Laughing is better than crying plus this sums it up quite nicely.

Warning: A couple of scatological references.

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Confirmation

To all my pro-life, tea party, conservative friends:

If there’s any doubt that the GOP establishment takes your energy, concern and vote for granted, look no further than this SPIEGEL Interview with Karl Rove for confirmation.  He makes clear that pro-lifers and liberty minded conservatives are his lessers and fully expects them to be co-opted and to toe the party line.

SPIEGEL: Are you convinced, then, that the Republican Party will be able to integrate the Tea Party without drifting too far to the right?

Rove: Sure. There have been movements like this before — the Civil Rights movement, the anti-war movement, the pro-life movement, the Second Amendment rights movement. All of them popped up, insistent, loud, and relatively unsophisticated. They wanted everything now and for politicians to be with them 100 percent of the time. And after an election or two, people wake up saying, our system produces mostly incremental progress and takes time and compromise. That’s exactly what’s going to happen here. I meet a lot of Tea Partiers as I go around the country, and they are amazing people. Most have never been involved in politics before. This is their first experience, and they have the enthusiasm of people who have never done it before.

SPIEGEL: Is the Tea Party movement a repeat of the Reagan Revolution?

Rove: It’s a little bit different because the Reagan Revolution was driven a lot by the persona of one man, Ronald Reagan, who had an optimistic and sunny view of what the nation could be. It was also a well-organized, coherent, ideologically motivated and conservative revolution. If you look underneath the surface of the Tea Party movement, on the other hand, you will find that it is not sophisticated. It’s not like these people have read the economist Friedrich August von Hayek. Rather, these are people who are deeply concerned about what they see happening to their country, particularly when it comes to spending, deficits, debt and health care.  (Emphasis added.)

Mr. Rove needs to know that people have and still do read Hayek.  Proving you don’t have to be “sophisticated” to appreciate Hayek, it was my first reading of The Road to Serfdom fifteen years ago that opened my eyes to the true nature of politics and, as Walter Williams said about Bastiat, “created order in my thinking about liberty”.  Reading Bastiat‘s The Law brought even more clarity.

To echo Taking Hayek Seriously, Rove is the first person I’ve ever heard to refer to Hayek as Freidrich August von Hayek. Maybe it’s Rove who has never read him.

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Dignity

The terrorists have won.  Liberty is vanquished.  Well, not quite.  Some of us are still living free despite the shackles of Leviathan.  This week, Lew Rockwell has featured two first hand accounts of TSA protocol for those opting out of x-ray scanners at airport security.

Monday, airline pilot Michael Roberts related his Memphis encounter in “Pilot to TSA: ‘No Groping Me and No Naked Photos‘”.

Today, Mike Adams of Natural News recounts his pat down at a California airport in “How To Opt Out of the TSA’s Naked Body Scanners at the Airport“.

This past July at LRC, Lad C. Hudac, told his tale from Columbus, OH in “Airport Peepshow”.

Also, from last July, Gottesdienst Online challenged people of faith to do as these men have done: Preserve your dignity.

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Jobs

Once again the major parties have supplied ample evidence that Hayek was right when he explained “Why The Worst Get On Top” in his classic The Road to Serfdom.  In “Sorry, Mayor, you’re in sales not job creation“, Manny Lopez of the Detroit News calls out Michigan Democrats’ worst, gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero, for his claim that he has created, and will continue to create, jobs.  Pointing out that Virg, like all politicians, doesn’t create jobs with his own capital but rather buys jobs with our money.

Recruiting a company to a city or state is not actually creating any jobs. It’s closing a sale using tax dollars to lure a company that then results in jobs, but it’s nothing like putting your own money on the line and hiring someone.

If Symmetry Medical later leaves Lansing, it will be bad for the city and damaging to the economy and to the families affected, but the mayor’s salary and job are secure. He’ll move on to the next company with your tax dollars in hand to try and find a substitute.

If that requires digging deeper into your pockets for more tax incentives instead of fixing the structural problem that exists, or hurting an existing business by offering perks to new businesses but not the ones that have been longstanding supporters of the community, so be it.

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Crumbling pillars

One of the pillars of a thriving economy is the rule of law.  Those (entrepreneurs) who risk their capital and create things (which leads to job creation) need to know that private property and contracts will be protected, and that the legal environment is stable and predictable.  These no longer exist in today’s legal and economic environments.

Vox Day puts some practical application to the theory in “The feet, they vote too“…

…it simply doesn’t make much sense to start any business that isn’t a location-tied service one in the USA anymore.

As Schumpeter explained, no entrepeneurs means no economic growth, which means declining societal wealth and eventually grass hut city time.

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Stimulus

While VP Biden prepares to spread the fallacy that government spending of newly created fiat money will create economic prosperity I thought I’d highlight a few businesses that are in the trenches, surviving and growing without the benefit of stimulus dollars.  Each one is led by men who respond to markets and serve customers.  They have no tariffs protecting their market, no lobbyists influencing legislation, nor special financial stimulus or protection from failure like the financial or manufacturing conglomerates.

If you have need of the services they offer please consider contacting them.  If not, please consider increasing their exposure by forwarding this post to others.  Make it viral!

Accurate Audio Consultants ~ Audio & Video Consulting

FamilyMint ~ Helping Kids Appreciate Money

Your Advocate, LLC ~ We can help to find the right solution for you

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LOL

Too busy to post but too good to pass up.

From the crack ups at CNBC…

…Ron Paul…doesn’t even have a basic understanding of fundamental economics…

(HT to Lew Rockwell)

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Baseball Bailout

From the Wall Street Journal a plea to overrule the outcome ends with this:

Little kids with a lifetime of baseball ahead of them are asking their fathers to explain why it has to be this way.

The answer is simple, especially for fathers teaching life lessons to their kids.  “Because that’s the way the game is played.  The ump called it, you go with the call and move on.”

Rather than pleading for a reversal of the call or issuing proclamations we’d do better to focus on the two men with the most at stake and how they handled the situation and each other.

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Democracy

In the forward to The People’s Pottage, Garet Garrett points out the semantic changes of words such as freedom and sovereignty that occurred during the two decades prior to his writing.  After the recent Obama commencement address at the University of Michigan, we could add republic and democracy to his list.  For while in his introductory remarks the president recalled the often told story of Ben Franklin after the Constitutional Convention responding to an inquirer that we had a republic if we can keep it, he then proceeded to give his view of what is needed to preserve our “democracy” not our republic.  As Franklin said though, a republic is what our founders left us, not a democracy.  Democracy, with all of its failings, is what the founders warned against and what’s been forced on us as our republic has been destroyed.

Now that Michigan graduates have heard Obama’s recipe for preservation they would do well to review Ron Paul‘s speech from 2003 based on the same Franklin story – Sorry Mr. Franklin, “We’re All Democrats Now”.  Rather than lauding democracy, Paul points out its perils and calls for the restoration of our republic.

Here’s a few of democracy’s traits left unstated by Obama:

Democracy…

  • consumes wealth
  • leads to tyranny
  • encourages the use of political money to buy influence
  • endorses special interest interventionism, inflationism and corporatism
  • brings about currency debasement

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