About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Simple Proposal That Many Regard As Terrifying

I simply propose that each American mind his own private property and engage in voluntary exchanges and associations rather than exchanges mandated by political and bureaucratic rules and regulations. We act like adults and outlaw murder and theft. We do what we want, bear the consequences of our actions and take care of our own and the ones we love without the threat of legal or monetary punishment by the "authorities." We live where we want, how we want and with whom we want without restriction or conditions.

"You believe in the absolute perfection of laissez faire capitalism just as some worship Jesus, or Marxists trust in the ascent of worker control."

Does an engineer "worship" mathematics and physics because he insists building bridges by any other means is counter-productive?

In capitalism, or more accurately in free markets wherein the means of production are private property, consumers are sovereign and the market serves them most efficiently. The micro-version of that is in a free and voluntary exchange of private property both parties ALWAYS benefit. In socialism, or more accurately in a system wherein the means of production and the distribution of production are controlled by government bureaucrats, consumers become clients of the bureaucrats, there are three parties involved in every transaction and the state decides who benefits and who loses.

There are plenty of countries today that are more free than socialistic. Just Google the most prosperous countries on earth and you'll have a list. If you Google the most poverty-stricken countries on earth, you'll have a list of countries wherein government control of the economy is tight-fisted.

The reason there aren't more highly prosperous countries is because their citizens insist that the government interfere in each private transaction so it can take from the able and give to the "needy," where "needy" is defined however these citizens and their strong-armed government allies choose to define it.

 Broder's rule: When a society says that theft and redistribution is legitimate government activity don't be surprised at who shows up to fight for a place at the government trough when the free-for-all breaks out.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

This Is What Scares The Hell Out Of Me!

I'm talking about the "Russian Thing" and all its facets and controversies. The gravity is obvious. If true, a President will fall. If false, a rock will have been turned over in the Washington Swamp. Robert Swan Mueller III is eager to decide what is true or false, officially.

What I find most scary is the noise. I'm relatively new to Twitter, a high tech echo chamber that allows a curious soul to overhear what journalists, politicians and experts "know" and what the unwashed believe is true. Twitter enables anyone to add their two cents worth to the noise. When the subject is the "Russian Thing," the noise is deafening.

When everybody shouts an opinion, the truth is lost in the noise.

Take Seth Rich. The poor kid got himself murdered in the Swamp and now the beasts are taking to Twitter shouting about who done it and why it matters. The players range from Seth's parents to some tattooed sap in South Dakota whose only interest in Seth's murder is revenge for a Clinton vote cast in vain.

The stakes are immense and everyone knows it...especially the Swamp dwellers. The war of words and images is savage and unrelenting but it will settle nothing, this absurd cacophony of power lust. Each voice trying to shout down another, trying to impose its opinion and will on the rest.

This is what scares the hell out of me. The spectacle of it. The importance of it. The personal stake that every Tweeter imagines he has in solving the murder of Seth Rich to his own political advantage.

When a nation decides that the Swamp must decide on a one-size-fits-all policy for everything from health care to milk marketing to finger nail polish, the political battle over that policy becomes a blood sport and the noise on Twitter becomes instantly ear-piercing as the Swamp things fight a life and death battle to determine who is in charge, who will be the final decider.

The absurd futility of the process is striking and obvious. But the noise rages on.

This is what scares the hell out of me.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Washington DC Is The Bad Joke

I read this morning that back in June of last year the Republican Majority leader in Congress was recorded as saying in a private meeting with colleagues that he thinks Trump is on Putin's payroll.

Now that this moldy news has appeared as a worldwide news flash this week in the Washington Post Rep. Kevin McCarthy is claiming his comment was just a bad joke.

Reuters reported that it "could not confirm authenticity or gauge whether McCarthy was joking" because it "does not have a copy of the tape."

Seriously?

I got news for Reuters, McCarthy, the Washington Post and every other beast inhabiting the swamp: Washington DC is the bad joke.

All I can say is keep it up boys and girls in the swamp. Keep acting like the spoiled, privileged brats that you are. Keep throwing tantrums. Keep taking the stupid games you play seriously. Keep taking yourselves seriously. All you are doing now is proving to those who don't already know that you are all a bunch of pathetic losers.

We tried taking you morons seriously once or twice before. We tried last November. But you snubbed us, laughed at us, made us the brunt of the gigantic, inside joke you call the federal government and the Department of Justice.

We sent Mr. Trump to Washington to drain your swamp.

Well, your very existence proves that ain't working.

Here's another news flash for you clowns: Nothing you do in Washington DC matters. All the issues you argue and fight about are petty and absurd. They are nothing more than figments of your inflated ego.

Nobody out here in flyover country gives a damn about the games you play. You're simply not relevant to anything we hold dear: our families, our liberty, our property.

We won't rest until the swamp is drained and you're flopping on shore like a dying fish.

You guys in the swamp remind me of my student government in high school, full of sound, fury and self-importance, but ultimately signifying nothing.

But keep messing with us and you'll really get our dander up. Then, we'll get really, really pissed.

Then the joke will be on you!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What Did You Expect?

President Trump ran the most unconventional election campaign in the history of the nation.

President Trump is the crudest character to win election to the Presidency since Andrew Jackson.

President Trump promised to go to Washington, DC and "drain the swamp."

From Day One of his Presidency, Trump has acted like a bull in the swamp china shop.

The swamp media is out to get him.

The swamp establishment is out to crucify him.

Even some of those who supported his run for the Presidency are becoming impatient awaiting the miracles Trump promised to perform for them.

Those parasites who depend on the swamp to nourish them are beginning to flop like fish out of water.

They are desparate.

As they gasp for life, they will say and do anything to destroy the threat Trump presents to them.

Were you foolish enough to expect something different?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Is There A Robotic Nirvana In Our Future?

On another website a person I was corresponding with made the following statement: "A society of robots with identical perfectly liberal programming could logically have zero conflict." We hear a lot these days about the next or final generation of robots that will challenge human beings for control in society because these robots will not be plagued by the intellectual imperfections and emotional foibles that handicap human beings in their quest for a perfectly satisfying future. The idea that a "society of robots" could have "zero conflict" is intriguing and seductive but ultimately absurd.

A society of robots is a contradiction in terms. It assumes robots cannot think for themselves and cannot pursue ends at odds with the ends of their programmer. A thousand robots "with identical perfectly liberal programming" is no different than a yard filled with a thousand identical cars fresh off the assembly line, all designed and built by the same individual. There would be "zero conflict" among the cars in this new car parking lot because conflict results from contradictory human action. Where there is no human action there can be no conflict.

Introduce two human programmers and now you've got the potential for conflict, not emanating from the two distinct groups of identical robots but from the different ends the two programmers have likely pursued.

If the two programmers act on their own as totally separate and independent human beings, without cooperation or coordination one with the other, and the means available to attain their common end are scarce or their chosen ends are not exactly the same, there will likely be conflict.

Now, if the two programmers decide to cooperate, if they agree upon a chosen end and if they agree to act in concert to attain that chosen end, there will likely be no conflict, even if the means available to them are scarce and even if their cooperative action involves more than two programmers.

How would the two programmers coordinate their actions? They would have to agree to modify their behavior in such a way that their actions with regard to the scarce means used to attain their end would not be perceived by either as threatening. They would also have to forswear behavior which might deprive either of the benefits each hopes to individually realize once their cooperative end has been attained.

One way to modify their interpersonal behaviors to suit their needs would be to agree to refrain from any acts of murder and theft, one toward the other.

Could "culture" throw a monkey wrench into the plans of our two programmers? If the two programmers belonged to cultures that were philosophically opposed, if one programmer came from a trader culture, say Capt. Kirk, and the other programmer came from a warrior culture, say a Klingon for instance, would cooperation between the two or among the many be impossible and conflict inevitable?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Can Membership In A Cooperative Society Be Involuntary?

I am one who believes that it is possible (and preferable) for individuals to coexist peacefully with others in a cooperative society providing all individuals in that society consider murder, theft and all their corollaries taboo. I believe that government's only possible necessary function in such a society is to enforce these taboos. Such a society would result in a bare minimum of interpersonal disputes and social conflict.

I believe that every time the powers of government are employed to enforce taboos other than those against murder and theft, and every time the powers of government are employed to enforce positive individual rights, the probability of interpersonal disputes and social conflict increase accordingly.

Society-wide government enforcement of positive individual rights based on objective economic factors, such as the minimum wage, or on objective observable phenomena such as climate change is socially disruptive enough and is sure to create controversy and social conflict at barely tolerable levels.

However, now there are those who advocate society-wide government enforcement of pseudo-scientific, subjective states of mind and emotion, such as gender choice, hate crimes and racism. The resultant interpersonal disputes and social conflict such enforcement will generate is sure to cause society to reach a critical mass, i.e., to Balkanize into warring factions.

We are seeing such Balkanization in the US today because a cooperative society by definition must be a voluntary society. If the trend in the US continues, i.e., relying on government to enforce among its citizens laws and regulations based on subjective feelings and emotion, we will witness the inevitable demise of the greatest and most extensive cooperative society individuals ever created on the face of the earth.