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.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Let's Play The Guessing Game...

What motivates this man?

Would You Rather Live In A Lifeboat Or On The Frontier?

I encourage every American to read the transcript of today's weekly radio address of President Obama. I'll paste it below my comments.

Mr. Obama begins his address by pointing out the growing disparity in income between the "wealthiest few" in America and the "average middle class family." He points out that this disparity is growing "during a period where the cost of everything from health care to college has skyrocketed." He goes on to point out that he has proposed a set of "common-sense jobs proposals" that will "boost the economy right away," that "will cut taxes for virtually every middle class family and small business in America." He lambastes Republicans for "not paying attention" to his jobs proposal. Because they have supported some of the proposals in the past, he implies these Republicans are merely callous and cold-hearted.

Nevermind the fact that Senate Democrats have time and again rejected the President's proposal. Clearly, in this case Republicans are at fault because they have rejected raising taxes. You see, according to the President, his jobs bill is "paid for by asking folks who are making more than a million dollars a year to contribute a little more in taxes," the very same "wealthiest few" whose income is growing by leaps and bounds! Obviously, these Republicans don't care as much about the middle class as the President does. Obviously, these Republicans are bought and paid for by the "wealthiest few."

I have discussed the President's proposed jobs bill previously. It is not the panacea the President purports it to be. I will not rehash the jobs bill here. I want to discuss a larger issue: the President's assumption that taxing the "wealthiest few" is a necessary and proper means of improving the lot of the middle class. The President said:

Now, in this country, we don’t begrudge anyone wealth or success — we encourage it. We celebrate it. But America is better off when everyone has had the chance to get ahead — not just those at the top of the income scale. The more Americans who prosper, the more America prospers.

Rebuilding an economy where everyone has the chance to succeed will take time.
The President's clear implication is that the "wealthiest few" have increased their income at the expense of everyone else. This makes sense of course only if one regards living in society and trading with his fellow citizens as a zero sum game. As I've said before, everything Mr. Obama says and does indicates he believes that the country is a lifeboat in which we're all rowing, struggling to get ahead. Egalitarianism makes perfect sense in such a lifeboat. Why should some do the bulk of the rowing while others enjoy the bulk of the rations? All are traveling in the same direction, at the same speed, why should a lucky few have advantage over the rest?

Is Mr. Obama's lifeboat view of this country realistic? I think not.

Despite the rules and regulations, taxes and subsidies that plague Americans, individuals in this country are still largely free to trade goods and services as they wish. Economics teaches us that in a free and voluntary trade both parties to the trade benefit. This is obviously true because if both parties did not benefit, one of the other party would refuse the trade. This truth contradicts the Obama lifeboat vision of American society. In order for that vision to be accurate, trades could not benefit each party. One party to a trade would have to benefit at the expense of the other.

But let's examine the matter of trading and benefitting from another angle. If the US economy were heavily regulated, and if lobbyists of the "wealthiest few" could persuade (or bribe) those who legislate the regulations to skew them in favor of the "wealthiest few," then trades affected by the regulations would not be free and voluntary. One party -- the influential party -- would benefit and the other party would not benefit, or would benefit to a far lesser extent.

Mr. Obama says middle class incomes are not increasing at the same pace as incomes of the "wealthiest few." He says that "the cost of everything from health care to college" is skyrocketing, causing a further burden on the middle class. Could it be that the disparity in the growth of middle class incomes and the incomes of the "wealthiest few" is due to government rules, regulations, taxes and subsidies that favor one group over the other? Could it be that the reason the cost of everything is rising because of the influence of the fat cats on the Federal Reserve and politicians who regulate the nation's banks?

I'm sure Mr. Obama doesn't believe so because his jobs proposal does not eliminate political meddling in the market place. On the contrary, his proposals amount to a half trillion dollars of new meddling! So, instead of solving the problem, Mr. Obama is further complicating it.

Now, it could be argued that Mr. Obama is simply righting wrongs of past administrations that favored the "wealthiest few" to the exclusion of the middle class. But only a man who views the "free" market as a lifeboat would attempt to solve such an inequity by taking from the favored party and giving what is taken to the disfavored party. A man who truly believed that trading parties both benefit in a market which is truly "free" would do everything possible to remove government intervention in the marketplace.

I view the free and thinking residents of this country not as captives in a lifeboat, captained by a fair and generous President, but as pioneers in the frontier where opportunities abound and prosperity is available to all who are willing to trade freely and voluntarily with their fellow citizens. The lifeboat analogy implies that the quantity of goods and services aboard the lifeboat are limited and finate. Hence, they must be shared and rationed. However, if individuals are set free to trade as they wish, all parties will benefit. The quantity of goods and services will increase to satisfy the growing appetites of all.

It cannot be denied that in such a frontier view of American society there will be an inevitable disparity in income between individuals. Some will be relatively rich; others, relatively poor. This disparity will arise naturally in the free, frontier market because some individuals are risk takers and others are not. Some are creative, ambitious and hard working. Others, not so much. The bottom line is that those who are exceptionally adept at satisfying the demands of market participants will be exceptionally patronized by those participants and will become exceptionally wealthy. However, in a frontier economy the exceptional wealth of some does not inhibit or detract from the wealth which can be earned by others because total wealth is not static, limited and finite as it is in the lifeboat economy. In fact, by expertly satisfying market demand, the "wealthiest few" in the market can make prosperity and success easier to obtain for the rest of the traders.

In today's weekend address President Obama said he wants an America where more Americans prosper. He desires an America where every American has "the chance to get ahead" and "the chance to succeed." He doesn't realize that his vision of America as a lifeboat economy does not allow for every American to get ahead and succeed. He doesn't realize that by heaping more rules, regulations, subsidies and taxes on an already heavily regulated and taxed market he will make his own goals impossible to achieve. To achieve his goals, he should do the exact opposite: eliminate rules, regulations, subsidies and taxes. Allow free men to trade their way to unlimited prosperity.

The critical question for Americans is: Do you share Obama's vision or mine? Would you rather live in society as a mere survivor in a lifeboat economy wherein prosperity is capped and fairly rationed? Or would you rather live as a free and resourceful pioneer in a frontier economy where prosperity is limited only by your own ambition, invention, talents and effort?

Below is the transcript of the Presidents entire radio address to the nation. Decide for yourself...

This week, a new economic report confirmed what most Americans already believe to be true: over the past three decades, the middle class has lost ground while the wealthiest few have become even wealthier. In fact, the average income for the top one percent of Americans has risen almost seven times faster than the income of the average middle class family. And this has happened during a period where the cost of everything from health care to college has skyrocketed.

Now, in this country, we don’t begrudge anyone wealth or success — we encourage it. We celebrate it. But America is better off when everyone has had the chance to get ahead — not just those at the top of the income scale. The more Americans who prosper, the more America prospers.

Rebuilding an economy where everyone has the chance to succeed will take time. Our economic problems were decades in the making, and they won’t be solved overnight. But there are steps we can take right now to put people back to work and restore some of the security that middle-class Americans have lost over the last few decades.

Right now, Congress can pass a set of common-sense jobs proposals that independent economists tell us will boost the economy right away. Proposals that will put more teachers, veterans, construction workers and first responders back on the job. Proposals that will cut taxes for virtually every middle class family and small business in America. These are the same kinds of proposals that both Democrats and Republicans have supported in the past. And they should stop playing politics and act on them now.

These jobs proposals are also paid for by asking folks who are making more than a million dollars a year to contribute a little more in taxes. These are the same folks who have seen their incomes go up so much, and I believe this is a contribution they’re willing to make. One survey found that nearly 7 in 10 millionaires are willing to step up and pay a little more in order to help the economy.

Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress aren’t paying attention. They’re not getting the message. Over and over, they have refused to even debate the same kind of jobs proposals that Republicans have supported in the past — proposals that today are supported, not just by Democrats, but by Independents and Republicans all across America. And yet, somehow, they found time this week to debate things like whether or not we should mint coins to celebrate the Baseball Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, they’re only scheduled to work three more weeks between now and the end of the year.
The truth is, we can no longer wait for Congress to do its job. The middle-class families who’ve been struggling for years are tired of waiting. They need help now. So where Congress won’t act, I will.

This week, we announced a new policy that will help families whose home values have fallen refinance their mortgages and save thousands of dollars. We’re making it easier for veterans to get jobs putting their skills to work in hospitals and community health centers. We reformed the student loan process so more young people can get out of debt faster. And we’re going to keep announcing more changes like these on a regular basis.

These steps will make a difference. But they won’t take the place of the bold action we need from Congress to get this economy moving again. That’s why I need all of you to make your voices heard. Tell Congress to stop playing politics and start taking action on jobs. If we want to rebuild an economy where every American has the chance to get ahead, we need every American to get involved. That’s how real change has always happened, and that’s how it’ll happen today.

Thank you.

Friday, October 28, 2011

What Is A "Free" Market?

Recently on CNN Peter Schiff debated Cornell West. Schiff's point is that the Occupy Wall Street crowd should be protesting government because if the market were truly free, a financial crisis would have been averted. Insolvent players would have suffered losses and would have ceased to be participants in the market. Cornell West argues that government is necessary to protect small players by guaranteeing fair play, i.e., preventing big business from running roughshod over small business. He says there is a natural tension between the free market price and social justice. Thus, he says, government was responsible for doing away with child labor and providing workers with a 40-hour work week.

Such debates are tedious. The debaters make economic assertions and then rely on historical examples to justify their assertions. Was it the free market that eliminated child labor or big government? Was it runaway capitalism that caused the Great Depression of the meddling of the Federal Reserve and Washington politicians? Such debates devolve into little more than noise, pointless shouting matches which prove nothing and teach nothing. They aren't even good theater because listening is so frustrating.

Economics is a logical science, not an experimental science. You can't do economics in a test tube laboratory. You can't make sense of historical data by observing trends and cause and effect. In the real world the truth is that it is impossible to isolate variables, which is the method of experimental, laboratory science. The chemist isolates conditions in ten identical test tubes, adds a different chemical to each test tube, then observes the effects caused by the added chemical. The chemist knows the added chemical is responsible for the observed effects because conditions are controlled and constant. The added chemical is the only variable. It's effects are isolated.

In the world of human action, which is the subject matter of the science of economics, variables cannot be isolated. In the real world millions of individuals are making individual decisions based on ever-changing conditions. Economic data is simply a distilled, numerical snapshot in time of these actions. When the data changes over time, who is to say that it changed because of a new Washington policy or a new product innovation or a new state policy or a conflicting local policy or because several actors came down with the flu? All of these "causes" are happening at once.

In addition, the truth is these phenomena do not "cause" the actor to act in a certain way. They simply present varying conditions to the actor who decides and acts based on his personal preferences. No two actors necessarily make the same decision or necessarily act in the same way when presented with similar circumstances.

So how do we gain economic knowledge if not by experimenting in the real world, observing and gathering data?

We gain economic knowledge by reasoning, i.e., logical argument. We imagine actions which take place in a vacuum. We create mental circumstances which are controllable and constant, and then introduce a variable. We can then learn the effects of that variable. We define human action as purposeful behavior and then examine our mental experiments in the light of that definition.

For example, let's examine the Peter Schiff vs Cornell West debate over the "free" market. Schiff and West could not communicate on the same page because each defined the free market differently. Schiff thinks of a "free" market as a market which is truly free, i.e., no government intervention, no incumbrances, no coercion. In Schiff's "free" market all trades and exchanges take place voluntarily between willing individuals. There is no duress. No force. Traders are not forced to trade by any other trader or player in society.

West on the other hand sees the "free" market as a jungle market, wherein some individual traders have the power to coerce other traders into making trades, wherein some individual traders use physical force to adjust the conditions of individual exchanges in their favor.

So, when the discussion turns to child labor, Schiff assumes that in a "free" market, if children are working for a business owner, the agreement to work is mutually agreeable. He assumes that if children could be forced to work for a business owner, either by the owner or the child's parents, then the market in which the child works is not truly "free."

West, on the other hand, recalls a time in human history which historians describe as having a "free" market. He notes that in these times children worked involuntarily in factories. Thus, he concludes children can be forced to work in a free market and that government is required to pass labor laws to prevent children from working in factories, period.

Schiff would argue that, because law must be written and applied impartially, such a government intervention necessarily prevents ALL children from working in factories. However, in a truly voluntary and "free" market, there are bound to be children who want to work in factories voluntarily. Why should they be prevented from doing so by the government?

Similarly, West would probably argue that no individual should work for less than a wage of, say, $10.00 per hour, which we will assume for the sake of this argument is the government mandated minimum wage. However, such a government law prevents ALL individuals from working for less than $10.00 per hour. Why should individuals and business owners who want to voluntarily agree on a lower wage be prevented from doing so? It should be obvious that a government mandated minimum wage would create unemployment in this case.

When an analytical economist, i.e., an economist who reasons and reaches conclusions by means of logical argument, speaks about the effects of a government mandated minimum wage, he says that such a mandate will create unemployment PROVIDED there exist individuals willing to work for less than that minimum wage. For instance, a minimum wage law would create unemployment if the minimum wage were set above the prevailing "free market" wage. In other words, the economist KNOWS which conditions will prevail when certain conditions are assumed because he has reasoned the problem out in an imaginary scenario with these conditions controlled and isolated, just as I did above.

Now, when an experimental economist goes out into a community and compares employment data from one year to employment data from another year and claims his research proves that a recently passed minimum wage law did not create unemployment and concludes, therefore, that there is no necessary connection between unemployment and a mandated minimum wage, he is mistaken. The analytical economist knows he is mistaken. The analytical economist knows that there must be other factors, other variables that exist in that particular community that the experimental economist did not consider and could not measure.

Peter Schiff is an analytical economist who studies the logic of human action. All his statements about the "free" market ASSUME a market in which all individuals make trades of goods and services freely and voluntarily. If he had made this plain to West, West could not rely on historical examples to disprove Schiff's point. He would have to debate the logic of Schiff's argument.

Alternately, if West could not prove Schiff's argument illogical, he could contend that the concept of a totally free and voluntary market is impractical to establish in the real world. Or he could contend that such a market could be established, but that it should not properly exist because it is unjust or immoral. Schiff, of course, could then argue with West, not on the pure economics of the matter, but on the practicality or morality of the matter.

The most irritating aspect of discussions, such as the Schiff vs West TV discussion, is that the science of economics is ignored and abused.  Economics, properly understood, should help resolve disagreements, not prolong them. Austrian economics, indeed all economics, must rely on precise definitions and exact language. Analytical, free market economics must be understood to refer to a market that is absolutely free and voluntary. Experimental observations aimed at discrediting the logic of the analytical economist have no place in such a discussion.

Imagine two matheticians in a TV discussion about baseball statistics. One mathematician claims that the top player in the league has a batting average of .358. The other disagrees. He claims the players batting average is .249. The two go back and forth, citing different years in the player's career and the batting average of retired players for comparison. The first mathematician argues that batting average is the ratio of hits divided by at bats. The second mathematician scoffs that such math might work in theory but in the real world social justice issues must be factored in. He cites a study made by two Nobel Prize winning mathematicians. He says the data from that study of Ted Williams' career in Boston in the 1950's showed that Ted Williams average was, in reality, much lower than the record books say, if the data is adjusted for certain social factors of the day.

An argument such as this would seem absurd on its face. Anyone listening to it would quickly be frustrated and switch channels. If mathematicians cannot agree on the theory that two plus two equals four everywhere and always in the universe, then what's the point of continuing the discussion about mathematical phenomena in Boston in 1950? Analytical mathematicians with scientific integrity must agree on basic logic and method before they can disagree on theory or its application in the real world.

Yes, mathematicians may disagree on the social or moral issues surrounding specific applications of their theory. For instance, mathematicians working on a doomsday weapon of some sort may disagree on whether or not it is moral to use their theories in the construction of such a weapon. But it would be absurd and illogical to claim that mathematical theory itself is invalid and useless when applied to doomsday weapons.

Properly reasoned, economic theory is valid and useful everywhere and always. A minimum wage set by law above the free market price of labor absolutely creates unemployment. Cornell West may argue that there is a "tension" between this free market price of labor and someone's understanding of social justice. However, he may not call this tension "natural." He must be prepared to acknowledge that the free market price is the result of the free, uncoerced and voluntary actions of all traders in that market. In this context, the only "natural" relationship is between price and the voluntary actions of market participants whose actions set that price. This truth cannot be disputed. The question of whether or not such a price satisfies some individual's conception of "social justice" is another matter entirely, separate and distinct from the free market and the science of economics.

2012 Is Going To Be An Uphill Battle

Here is a comment I just posted at Legal Insurrection:

This is a Hit-The-Nail-On-The-Head post.
Remember, since Reagan the country has elected two “compassionate conservatives” from the Bush family, a philandering liberal (Clinton) and a whining liberal (Obama). Though Reagan talked a good game, government expanded under his leadership.
Running against Bush the 1st, Dukakis–a textbook liberal–got 45.6% of the vote.
In 1992 Clinton won with 43% of the vote, but Perot the populist got 18.9%.
In 1996 Clinton won with 49.2% of the vote.
Gore, an off-the-wall liberal, got half a million more votes than Bush the 2nd in 2000.
Kerry, a pompous and arrogant liberal, got 48.3% of the vote in 2004.
Obama the Marxist won with 52.9% of the vote.
This is not a conservative country anymore. Viewed in the light of these numbers, the argument that Mitt Romney is the only electable Republican begins to look sensible.
Anyone who believes defeating Pres. Obama in 2012 is going to be a slam dunk had better look again at the numbers above.

It is fashionable for pundits to call this a center-right country. Not true, as the numbers demonstrate.

Now, it is possible that there exists a sizeable "silent majority" who are center-right but just don't vote. I have no idea. Either way, conservatives aiming to turn this country back from a welfare state to a bastion of free enterprise have their work cut out.

Here is another aspect of the problem: In order to get the Tea Party and the Christian right amped up, donating and campaigning for a Republican in 2012, the candidate cannot be Mitt Romney, but a true conservative. However, can a true conservative win?

There is much talk about a possible third party candidacy. Donald Trump, the populist billionaire, has mentioned the possibility. Ron Paul, the libertarian Republican, won't rule it out. Buddy Roemer is making noise. The Upward Sprial group of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has been active. If any of these candidates run in a serious way, I can't see how a Republican -- any Republican -- defeats Obama.

Furthermore, the biggest albatross around Obama's neck at this moment is the jobless rate and the down economy. Don't count on either to help the Republicans in 2012. The oldest trick in the book is for a sitting President to fudge numbers. A well-timed QE3 by the Fed could have the economy humming nicely, if only temporarily, by election season.

There are other means by which a sitting President can stack the deck, especially one like Obama who is so inclined. We've already seen Obama govern by executive order. The federal bureaucracy, especially the FCC which governs the talk radio airwaves, is in the President's camp. The old "wag the dog" use of foreign policy to distract the public has been done before by Presidents from both parties.

Any hint of civil disorder or terrorism requiring a response from Homeland Security can be to the sitting President's advantage as he locks down the problem. Ditto an earthquake, hurricane or other natural disaster. And then there's always the bully pulpit which Presidents have used since the nation's founding. This President has demonstrated his willingness to say anything and everything, whether true or not, to rally the public to his cause.

And then there is the mainstream media that is positioned squarely in Obama's corner, ready to prove that the man they supported in 2008 is fit to be re-elected.

Moreover, you can bet your life that, despite moans and groans of disappointment in Obama from the far, far left, standard run-of-the-mill Progressives, socialists and unionists realize the strides Obama has made toward making America a European-style social democracy. They are not about to let go of power without a fight. They are a ready-made source of campaign funds and manpower. Obama is an expert in using them.

Lastly, there is at least one man who realizes what Obama has accomplished and who will fight like hell to keep the President in power: Obama himself. Consider what Obama accomplished in his first two years when Democrats controlled Congress. He virtually nationalized 1/6 of the economy by ramming ObamaCare through the Congress. He appointed two liberal Supreme Court Justices. He sheparded through the congress a $-trillion "stimulus" bill which was nothing more than a naked expansion of the welfare state. He appointed Marxists, socialists and even avowed communists to influential and, now, entrenched positions in the federal bureaucracy. He's similarly filled countless Czar-positions with like-minded individuals bent on transforming this country from capitalism to crony capitalism to downright social welfarism.

Even in his third year, after he lost the house, he's managed to govern by edict rather than legislation. Who knows what lasting effects his administration will have in areas like immigration, trade, foreign policy, the justice department, education, the environment and the like. The federal bureaucracy is unimagineably huge, complex and far-reaching. From day one on the job Obama set out to control and transform every aspect of it to suit his purposes.

No, President Obama will not go quietly into the night. He will fight tooth and claw to retain his grip on power in this country.

The stakes are high. Despite all the damage he has caused in his first term, I believe he will cause much more in his second, if re-elected. Why? Because he will be a lame duck. There will be no portent of a coming election to check his actions. It will be a no holds barred second term. Who knows what the end game will be? No possible outcome is too unrealistic or dangerous to imagine.

So as mobs of malcontents and morons Occupy Wall Street, we can be amused by their antics, like attempting to end crony capitalism by bombing banks with "mass paper airplane throwing."

Too funny.

Unfortunately, defeating Obama in 2012 will be no laughing matter. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Individual Liberty Writ Large

Every individual in this nation makes at least one trade each day. We trade our labor for money wages. We pay the neighbor kid money to cut our lawn. We trade money for a newspaper or a cup of coffee. Nobody believes that such individual trades require the government to step between the two traders and regulate them. In these simple voluntary exchanges it is perfectly clear that both parties always benefit. Which begs the question: Why does the government intervene in the economy? If both parties always benefit in a voluntary trade and, if all trades are voluntary, wouldn't every individual in the nation benefit? Why is government needed?

If two individuals can voluntarily exchange goods and services without government intervention, why can't an entire nation of individuals exchange goods and services without government intervention?

When two individuals voluntarily make a trade they perform their own due diligence. They examine the pros and cons of making the trade. Each subjectively decides whether the goods or services they're trading for are more valuable to them than the goods or services they are giving up. These are decisions individuals are able to make without the help or mandate of a government bureaucrat. Why then do we have government bureaucrats and politicians intervening between individual traders.

Why must governments demand that certain medicines can only be purchased with the approval of a licensed physician? Why must the government specify how certain goods and services are manufactured and sold?

A bureaucrat might answer: There are crooks out there intent on defrauding you. We're needed to protect your interests.

This is hogwash. In most trades individuals can decide for themselves whether or not their prospective trading partner is honest. If he has doubts, he can hire an attorney, or consult Consumer Reports, or talk to his friends. Why does the bureaucrat insert himself into our business even when he is not needed or is not asked to do so?

The bureaucrat might say: When one of the trading partners is a huge and powerful corporation, we must insert ourselves into the transaction to protect the little guy?

Really? What power does a huge corporation have over an individual in a free and voluntary society? If I feel I am being taken advantage of by a huge corporation, I am free to walk away from the deal.

But huge corporations may conspire to monopolize markets, giving consumers no choice but to trade with them and pay exorbitant prices. Or corporations might price gouge during times of severe shortages of certain commodities.

These are bogus arguments as well. In a free and voluntary market alternatives always exist, or I can always do without. Let's imagine a huge corporation were to develop a drug that allowed people to live forever. The corporation keeps the formula secret, keeping others from producing the drug. It puts an incredibly high price on the drug. Should the government step in and demand the corporation lower the price of the drug to make it affordable and available for all?

How you answer this question will indicate whether or not you truly believe in property, freedom and peace.


The Great Watershed: Thoughts On The 60's Generation

We are hearing a lot these days about the 60's generation. Pundits have commented that the Occupy Wall Street crowd reminds them of the generation that spawned the Hippie movement (free love, anti-materialism, the drug culture), took to the streets to stop the Vietnam War, rebelled against the corporate and Washington "Establishment," disrupted the Democratic convention in Chicago and put on the biggest, baddest, sloppiest rock concerts ever in Woodstock, NY.  Whatever you think about that period in American history, it's impossible to say it didn't bring about profound change in America and the world.

I like to think of the period of the 60's as the Great Watershed in the history of American politics and culture. After the upheavals of the 60's virtually everything in America changed for good, but not for the better. The 60's changed the way Americans related to their families, their government, their employers, their neighbors and their God. As a result of ideas spawned in the 60's, American values changed. America literally became a different country. Those who doubt this need only compare and contrast the music and movies made in the 40's and 50's to their counterparts made in the 60's and later.

Prior to the Great Watershed of the 60's America was small town. Neighbors knew neighbors. Neighborhood children played ball in the streets, walked to neighborhood schools, dressed in slacks, button-down shirts and sweaters, wore short, greased-down hair, were polite to their elders, respected authority and dreamed of getting married, settling down, getting a good job and having kids. Most were Christians and went to church on Sunday. Many went to parochial schools where they learned Christian morality and discipline. Public schools taught discipline as well, along with civics and community pride. Adults socialized at church dinners, dances and bake sales, or at the American Legion hall, or at the local Moose or Elk lodge, or at the Union hall, or softball field or bowling alley. Because most adults were veterans of wartime military or civilian service, patriotism was practiced and taught. Americans loved their country. They believed it was the best place on earth to raise a family.

In the 60's all that changed, not completely, but as the norm. After the Great Watershed, America went big city and suburban. Neighbors didn't socialize with neighbors. Neighborhood schools became a thing of the past. Kids were bussed across town to school, where they wore jeans, t-shirts and expensive sneakers. Teachers cast off their suit coat and tie and dressed like the kids. Both let their hair grow long and shaggy. Both rebelled against authority. Manners became a thing of the past. Getting a good job and raising a family became passe and "Establishment," as did worhipping at church on Sunday.

As patriotism began to be considered old hat, schools began to substitute sex education for civics classes. Parochial schools died off. Public schools became antiseptically amoral and irreligious. Corporal punishment became politically incorrect, Discipline waned. Rebellion against the Establishment included sexual experimentation and a burgeoning drug culture. Parents spent evenings at home in front of the television. The children watched in the basement or in another room. Social clubs and lodges disappeared. And the War in Vietnam escalated.

When millions of American youth were forced to register for the draft, were conscripted into the service and were shipped thousands of miles to fight and die in jungles and rice paddies in Southeast Asia, the 60's erupted. Many believed in the "domino theory" of communist aggression and thought the Vietnam War was worth the price. Many more didn't believe. Heck, they didn't even understand. And when they asked questions and demanded answers, they were blown off by old fashioned and authoritarian Establishment types who sat on draft boards and ran all levels of government. What option was left but to flee to Canada to avoid the draft or take to the streets and do battle with the man?

All the big city social, cultural, and political trends that germinated in the 60's were fertilized by the War in Vietnam. Not only was patriotism passe, the War had turned America into the world's bad guy. Coupled with the Cold War, the Vietnam nightmare provided a logical and convenient rationale for "dropping out" of society, rebelling against the established culture and selfishly turning inward and anti-materialist.

The Vietnam War allowed industry and the military to consummate their World War II relationship. The "military-industrial" complex was born and rebellious Americans in the streets and in academia had another reason to hate corporate America and the "screwed up" priorities of the American government. It was time for the government to be torn away from the grip of "special interests" and returned to the people. This is the message which is still heard today in American streets by those who Occupy Wall Street.

The problem is those who are camped out in the streets today are just as misguided as those who protested in the streets against the Vietnam War 50 years ago. Once a crisis in culture bubbles to the surface and flows into the streets cooler heads do not prevail. Those who shout the loudest and flaunt authority in the most shocking manner get the attention and carry the day. These are the most radical individuals among us and they are in the streets for reasons beside the point. Those with thoughtful and reasoned objections to government policy are drowned out and left by the wayside.

The Vietnam War was an arrogant overreach of government authority. People were right to object to it. So it is today. The obscene and incestuous relationship between big government and the Wall Street money managers has no authority in the Constitution and ought to be opposed by every person in America who values property, freedom and peace. However, the Wall Street Occupiers -- like their Vietnam protester counterparts -- are by and large not in the streets to fix the disconnect between the federal government and the US Constitution. They are in the streets to advocate for an entirely different America, not the one envisioned by our Founders and outlined in our Constitution, but an America restructured according to the Progressive principles of statism, egalitarianism, socialism, populism and radical secularism.

These Progressive principles are not novel. They have been around for centuries in one form or another. However, they were not around in America, at least not anywhere near small town, mainstream America...until a generation of self-centered Americans in the 60's decided that they knew better than their parents how to love, how to live, and how to worship. Unfortunately, when these rebellious, mal-educated and wayward flower children confronted their parents, they were met not with reasoned arguments and impassioned justifications of capitalism, property, freedom and peace, but with a doubtful shrug of the shoulder or the cowardly dictate of parents everywhere: What I say goes!

And so the 60's generation went as well and continues to go, flowing down the backside of the Great American Watershed and landing on Wall Street in shabby tents, urine-soaked clothes, bodies full of drugs and heads full of mush.

The way to deal with these people and all of those who defend them or sympathize with them is to call a spade a spade. Forget political correctness. In the vernacular of the 60's "tell it like it is." You and your counterparts of a generation or two ago are ignorant and spoiled brats. By advocating statism you are binding your own hands in slavery to government elitists who will, after you give them power, use that power to eliminate you.

By adopting egalitarianism you are snuffing out genius and the benefits it daily showers upon you.

By voting for socialism, you are destroying private property and the prosperity that only property and private enterprise can provide.

By turning away from God, you are rejecting humility and becoming the worst kind of fool -- an arrogant one.

If you are seeking a long-lasting and prosperous peace, take off your sandals, go back to small town America, fall on your knees in the first church you see and thank God your ancestors built the miracle we call the United States of America. Yes, entire generations have allowed the vision of our Founders to become blurred and corrupted, but the answer is not to close your eyes to that vision, but to open them wide.

Cut out the corruption. Undo the sad legacy of the 60's generation and build a Great Watershed of your own, one that will end the Progressive nightmare and renew the American dream.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

President Obama Having It Both Ways

Apparently, last night Pres. Obama said he's not paying attention to the GOP presidential candidates. The problem is eight days ago, Pres. Obama knew enough about Herman Cain to criticize his 9-9-9 plan!

This, unfortunately, is standard operating procedure for Mr. Obama. He stretches, bends and downright abuses the truth time after time when it's to his political advantage to do so. I hate that. I resent that. Please, Mr. Obama, respect me and my intelligence. You'd be a fool if you and your campaign didn't pay attention to the GOP nominating process. Own up to it!

I think a lot of people voted for Mr. Obama the last go around because they really believed he was going to avoid politics-as-usual. After three years, these people must be disillusioned. They must know by now that Mr. Obama is the definition of politics-as-usual.

This is one reason I support Ron Paul with Herman Cain as my second choice. I am sick and tired of politicians...period!!!!

Obama, Biden, Clinton (Both of them), Romney, Perry....these guys will say anything and do anything to get elected. I've had enough of their ilk! I'd rather not vote than cast a ballot of any of them!!

Ron Paul has been saying and doing the same thing for 50 years. His message has been consistent and honest: private property, liberty, peace. He'll act on his belief regardless of political consequences. Herman Cain is a non-politician who tells it like it is. He thinks like any of us normal people.

Cain's took some heat for his abortion stance, which is basically: "I'm personally against it, but it should be a matter decided by the family and not government."

How many of us deplore abortion as a bloodless, abstract concept but when the issue hits home, when a family member is faced with a particular situation that is especially trying and difficult, we start to backtrack a bit? Cain was not lying. He was not spinning the truth or trying to play to the camera. Cain spoke from the heart and I respect him for that.

That's what we need in 2012. Normal honesty, not political BS.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Great Divide And Herman Cain

The daily insults Herman Cain suffers from the likes of Al Sharpton, both Jesse Jacksons, MSNBC hosts and academics, both white and black, is indicative of American society today. According to these commentators, Cain is an “unauthentic” black man, untrue to his race, a naive “tool” of the white establishment. Such raw racism has deep roots in human thought.

Since the beginning of history there has been a Great Divide in human thought. One school insists that man is a passive slave to his social environment and his hard-wired nature. This slavery to class and kind is clearly evident in a man’s head size and shape, the configuration of his face, the color of his skin and the circumstance of his birth, social and economic status.

According to this school, an accident of birth determines a man’s class and kind and causes a man to think and relate to others in society in a certain way.  Whether individuals become manual workers, artisans, soldiers, landowners, patricians, philosophers, queens or kings, it is the accident of birth that forever ties them to others of their own class and kind. An apt label for members of this school of thought might be “Passivists.”

The second school insists that man guides himself by means of his reason, i.e., the way he thinks about himself, others and the world around him. The essential belief of this school is that all men with a functioning brain have the power to reason and the power to apprehend reality. They are able to use this power and knowledge to form social ties and relationships with any individual of their choice regardless of supposed class and kind.  "Activist" seems a fitting label for this school of thought.

To the Passivist mindset the concept of human free will is absurd. Each man must necessarily function according to his class and kind. He doesn’t think; he behaves or is manipulated. Any run-of-the-mill phrenologist can study a man’s physical characteristics and divine a man’s proper class and kind and, thus, how that man should properly think and behave. A man who thinks or behaves contrary to his class and kind is an anomaly that must be corrected, by shame or, if necessary, coercion.

The Activist embraces the idea of acting man, a free-thinking, purposeful individual who attempts to achieve his dreams by setting his mind to the task. The Activist believes in free will. He believes that any man has the potential to be a great man, to be wise, innovative and moral.

Passivists necessarily believe in a hierarchical social arrangement of society because it is inevitable that individuals stray from their proper class and that a righteous ruler is needed to forcefully reorient them. Passivists preach human equality and democracy. However, by equality they mean equality within class and kind, and by democracy they mean the right to select a favored one from members of the ruling class.

Property in the Passivist society is "public," which means jointly owned by all, but controlled and distributed by those at the top of the hierarchy. Thus, it is the societal hierarchy that both determines the needs of the lower classes and distributes property to properly satisfy those needs. Society fends for individuals and is vastly more important than individuals.

Activists tend toward free, open societies which protect the liberty of individual men to form their own associations and find their own happiness. When leaders are required, any man in society is eligible to be selected with the consent of all. Property is privately owned by each man who produced it or traded for it. Thus, individuals in society accrue property and happiness in accordance with their own desires, labor, ambition and exchange associations. The life of each individual man is ultimately valued more than society.

What has all this to do with Herman Cain and the state of culture and politics in America today?

Prior to the founding of America, all societies were Passivist. America broke that mold. Americans were overwhelmingly Activist. As a classless society, American culture thrived for centuries.

Yes, in the past some Passivists have lived in America, have sought to gain political power and have attempted to change American culture and society to conform to the Passivist school of thought. However, the Activist philosophy prevailed by overwhelmingly majority.

Consequently, individual Americans, empowered with the freedom to fend for themselves and the right to own and exchange property, attained a level of prosperity formerly enjoyed only by Europeans in the Passivist upper and ruling classes. America quickly became the envy of individual men of alleged lower class birth the world over.

Gradually, however, the Activist fervor in America waned and the Passivist influence waxed. Why? Because Passivists had wormed their way into positions of power and influence in American society: government, business, the news media, schools and churches. These Passivists criticized the "gap" between rich and poor individuals in America. They were not offended by this disparity in wealth per se. They were offended that this disparity was created spontaneously by Activist individuals participating in a free market rather than in a calculated manner by a proper social hierarchy in accordance with Passivist principles.

Activist writers responded by explaining that in the capitalist free market the demands of Activist participants are sovereign, and those producers that best anticipate and satisfy these demands reap huge rewards.  This fact is elemental and well known by all who exchange their goods and services in the free market.

Although these Activist arguments were true, they fell on deaf ears. Whole generations of American families began taking their newfound prosperity for granted. They bought into the Passivist argument that property should be public and politically distributed. They lost tract of the fact that it was the Activist concept of private property and spontaneous market distribution that enabled Americans to grow prosperous in the first place.

More and more Americans even began to define themselves in Passivist terms, as members of a worker class or a middle class or an immigrant class or a racial class or a gender class or an age class -- in each case a class which is denied its rightful fair share of wealth or privilege by a selfish Activist governing class.

These Passivists took to the streets and clamored for “social justice,” which means ridding the country of the Activist government and installing the Passivist hierarchy in its proper position of authority.

In due course the capitalist marketplace, which was never truly free of Passivist meddling, was greatly corrupted by Passivist government intervention. Rather than a place wherein individual traders freely exchange goods and services for better or worse, the “free” market became a place of privilege and power dominated by those favored and coddled by the Passivist hierarchy. Disfavored enterprises were hampered by regulation or driven out of business.

As a result, Americans came to believe that capitalism and its free market are intrinsically corrupt and unfair concepts. Foolishly, they dispatched more Passivist politicians to Washington to correct this perceived corruption and unfairness. They didn't stop to realize that it was Passivist intervention in the free market that created these wrongs in the first place.

Today Activists are a dying lot. Passivists are entrenched. Herman Cain’s skin is black. His nose is flat. His genealogy is slavery. He grew up poor in a bad neighborhood. Therefore, Herman Cain is and properly should be affiliated with the Negro/worker class. He should properly be campaigning for social justice, income redistribution and the established, Passivist hierarchy. As any, self-respecting Passivist can see, Herman Cain is simply an anomaly, a traitor to his race and class, a tool of his selfish, white, Tea Party handlers.

Given the historical Great Divide in human thought, should we be shocked or surprised that today American Passivists are unable to see Herman Cain in any other light?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

How Small Are We Beside The King

China Girl is a 1942 “war” movie that some might call propaganda. The Americans are the good guys; the Japanese are the bad – cold-blooded executioners all. Starring Gene Tierney and George Montgomery, the film recounts the savage Japanese invasion of China in early World War II.

Tierney, renowned as the most beautiful actress ever to grace the silver screen, plays the half-Chinese, half-white daughter of her stoic Chinese father who runs a school for young Chinese children. Montgomery plays a dashing, devil-may-care American news photographer. The two fall in love.

What’s great about the movie (besides the early forties slang: scram, swell, dame, joint, jalopy) is the depiction of the American character: rugged, ambitious, fearless, enterprising, resourceful, defiant of authority, selfish yet noble when push comes to shove. We rarely see such a depiction in movies today.

Another theme of the movie is the incredible bravery, discipline and character of the Chinese people in the face of the furious Japanese onslaught. In one scene the Japanese air force mercilessly bombs a Chinese village. Tierney and her father are teaching school in the middle of the raid. As walls are collapsing around them, Tierney and her father keep the young children from panic by reciting the following poem.

No credit is given to the poem’s author, other than a reference in the script that it was written by a famous writer on the other side of the world. The movie was written by Ben Hecht, one of Hollywood’s greatest writers and an early advocate of America’s entry into the war against Hitler. I suspect the poem was his.

The poem is a moving tribute to hope and heroism in the face of tyranny. It is an inspiration to freedom-fighters the world over. I transcribed it as best I could from the movie’s dialogue.  I apologize to the author for any inaccuracies.

How small are we beside the king.
How little is our hand to raise
Against the awful bludgeoning
Of wicked men who rack our days.

How tiny is the voice we own
Beside the tyrant’s trumpet blare.
How unheard is the little groan
We utter in our great despair.

We are the easily slain. Death calls
Us everlastingly to him,
And yet it is our hand that holds
The light aloft that none can dim.

No tyrant’s dream of earthly might,
No canon roar, nor battle toll,
Can quench this small but holy light
Of freedom rising from our soul.

The little glow of love that keeps
The face of mankind always fair,
Out of our agony it leaps.
It died and died and still ‘tis there.

Above the graves where heroes lie
There gleams the light of victory.
For freedom’s soldiers when they die
Hand down their spirit to the free.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

If You Have A Problem With Paul's Proposal, You Don't Understand The Depth Of The Problem!

As Michelle Malkin points out during her discussion of the GOP presidential front-runners (Romney, Perry, Cain and Gingrich), every "single one of these front-runners is a pro-TARP interventionist with a variety of problematic Big Biz/Big Government impulses and alliances."

Why, then, are these men the frontrunners? Are Republican voters serious about what needs to change in this country, or are they simply engrossed in political gamesmanship?

Ron Paul has recently released his "Plan To Restore America." Please read this plan. I'm going to reproduce it below.

Remember how we were disappointed with Congressional Republican plans to cut government during the Debt Ceiling "crisis?" The federal budget cuts proposed by Boehner were illusory gimmicks spread out over 10 years. We called him on it and he was exposed as an establishment RINO.

RINO! It's a word we despise because it describes Republicans who pretend to be fiscal conservatives, who pander to us by fearmongering the seriousness of the problem of big government, but then whimp out and refuse to confront that problem.

Read Paul's Plan. It does not whimp out. It does not run over 10 years. The cuts are deep, significant and serious. It is a plan we have demanded one of the candidates produce. Well, one of them has.

I have read and heard comments from conservatives (Sean Hannity, for instance) who say they support Paul's fiscal positions but cannot support his foreign policy and, therefore, cannot support Paul.

With all due respect, these comments are illogical. Think about it. Such comments are based on one of two possible faulty assumptions. First, they assume that the economic plans which tinker around the edges of the problem will solve the country's financial problems, making foreign policy matters vastly important. Does anybody believe this?

Does anybody believe that Mitt Romney's 59-point economic plan will save the dollar? Or that Herman Cain's 999 tax plan will drastically cut federal spending which we all agree is the root of the problem? Or that Rick Perry's silly plan to drill, baby, drill is the panacea for our obscene levels of public debt? Or that Newt Gingrich's new Contract with America is sufficient to solve the problem? Where is Bachmann's or Huntsman's or Santorum's cut-deep-and-serious plan? They don't exist.

Second, those who disparage Paul because of his foreign policy, may be operating under the alternative, faulty assumption that the United States can remain a super-power once it is fiscally broken and bankrupt. They seem to think that this country's unmatched military might can remain unmatched after the dollar collapses. They seem to think that China, Russia, Israel, Canada, Australia and Europe will still care what American foreign policy is after America becomes another hollowed out and defanged superpower reminiscent of the old Soviet Union.

I do not agree with Ron Paul's foreign policy in it's entirety. I agree that the United States needs to pull back from its military bases scattered throughout the world. I believe the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan must come to end and the troops brought home. I believe that the military budget must be cut, must become lean and mean. However, I do not believe Ron Paul's assumption that if the US pulls back its horns, the Islamic states, China and Russia will do the same. However, dealing with these threats as the US does now has not worked.

I believe we should secure our borders, maintain a potent military and strike back hard and fast at whoever messes with us. It's the way we discipline our children and our dogs. It's the way we should defend ourselves against aggressors.

But all this is secondary and moot if our country goes bankrupt and becomes a third-world economy. The first rule of triage is to stop the bleeding. Ron Paul's Plan to Restore America will stop the bleeding. Only then, after we're alive and well, should we concern ourselves about how we deal with our threatening neighbors.

Ron Paul's Plan (See Paul's website for the specific numbers and the complete Plan):

America is the greatest nation in human history. Our respect for individual liberty, free markets, and limited constitutional government produced the strongest, most prosperous country in the world. But, we have drifted far from our founding principles, and America is in crisis. Ron Paul’s “Restore America” plan slams on the brakes and puts America on a return to constitutional government. It is bold but achievable. Through the bully pulpit of the presidency, the power of the Veto, and, most importantly, the united voice of freedom-loving Americans, we can implement fundamental reforms.


Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate who doesn’t just talk about balancing the budget, but who has a full plan to get it done.


Cuts $1 trillion in spending during the first year of Ron Paul’s presidency, eliminating five cabinet departments (Energy, HUD, Commerce, Interior, and Education), abolishing the Transportation Security Administration and returning responsibility for security to private property owners, abolishing corporate subsidies, stopping foreign aid, ending foreign wars, and returning most other spending to 2006 levels.


Honors our promise to our seniors and veterans, while allowing young workers to opt out. Block grants Medicaid and other welfare programs to allow States the flexibility and ingenuity they need to solve their own unique problems without harming those currently relying on the programs.

Makes a 10% reduction in the federal workforce, slashes Congressional pay and perks, and curbs excessive federal travel. To stand with the American People, President Paul will take a salary of $39,336, approximately equal to the median personal income of the American worker.

Lowers the corporate tax rate to 15%, making America competitive in the global market. Allows American companies to repatriate capital without additional taxation, spurring trillions in new investment. Extends all Bush tax cuts. Abolishes the Death Tax. Ends taxes on personal savings, allowing families to build a nest egg.


Repeals ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, and Sarbanes-Oxley. Mandates REINS-style requirements for thorough congressional review and authorization before implementing any new regulations issued by bureaucrats. President Paul will also cancel all onerous regulations previously issued by Executive Order.


Conducts a full audit of the Federal Reserve and implements competing currency legislation to
strengthen the dollar and stabilize inflation.


Dr. Paul is the only candidate with a plan to cut spending and truly balance the budget. This is the only plan that will deliver what America needs in these difficult times: Major regulatory relief, large spending cuts, sound monetary policy, and a balanced budget.

Mitt Lied

Any Republican who is still a fan of Mitt Romney -- and who has any intellectual integrity at all -- owes it to himself to read: "Mitt Romney's Lying Problem" from Reason.com.

I have no ax to grind. I wish Mitt Romney was a died in the wool libertarian/conservative because he is the most well-spoken and telegenic candidate. But Mitt has a compassionate conservative (read: big government) streak in him a mile wide.

Does this country need another President who is comfortable tinkering with the status quo? Or do we need a President passionately committed to changing it back to a free market, small government, sound money nation?

More Common Sense On The Drug War

From John W. Whitehead. What will it take to stop this insanity?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Are You An Actor Or A Tool?

The scalding Herman Cain is receiving by the likes of Al Sharpton, both Jesse Jacksons, MSNBC hosts and black academics is indicative of the age in which we live.  According to these commentators, Cain is an “unauthentic” black man, untrue to his race, a “tool” of the white establishment.  Such blatant and raw racism has deep roots.

Since the beginning of human history there has been a Great Divide in human thought. One school insists that man is a tool of his hard-wired nature, i.e., head size and shape, face configuration, skin color, genealogy, status in society and environmental circumstances. These factors determine how all men think and function. Some are born to be workers, others soldiers, philosophers, landowners, kings and queens. The former are tools of the later to be used to establish a properly ordered society on earth, but essentially all are tools of God or the natural universe. I’ll call this school the "Toolists."

The second school insists that man guides himself by means of his reason, i.e., the way he thinks about himself, others and the world around him. The essential belief of this school is that all men with a working brain have the power to reason and the power to apprehend reality. They can use this power and knowledge to rise above their natural and social circumstances. Thus, any man has the potential to be a great man, to be wise, innovative and moral. I’ll call this school the "Actists."

The Toolist mindset embraces the idea that each man is pre-destined to his position and accomplishments. The idea of human free will is absurd. Each man must function according to his kind. He doesn’t think; he behaves. Any run-of-the-mill phrenologist can divine the proper function of a man by astutely studying his physical characteristics. A man who behaves contrary to his proper place in nature and society is an anomaly that must be corrected by re-education and force, if necessary. It is essential to the proper, natural order that a man be put in touch with his fated self, his rightful destiny.

The Actist embraces the idea of acting man, a free-thinking, purposeful individual who attempts to achieve his dreams by setting his mind to the task. The Actist believes in free will. He believes that so long as a man’s mind is adequate to the task and his actions conform to reality any man can rise above the station in life he was born into. Because reality is harsh, the Actist understands success cannot be assured.

Toolists tend toward hierarchical and dictatorial social arrangements: societies organized by class and caste in which all are trained to view their fellow men in these terms. Since rigid rules and management are necessary to coerce individuals into their proper place in society, property is a social concept and is owned by all jointly. Those at the top of the hierarchy decide how this common property will be distributed and used. Thus, all in society will have their needs fulfilled and in turn society, which is more valuable than the individual, will flourish.

Actists tend toward free, open societies which protect the liberty of individual men to find their own happiness in life as dictated by their own reason. When leaders are required, they are promoted by the consent of all. Property is privately owned by each man who produced it or traded for it. Thus, individuals in society accrue property and happiness in accordance with their own preferred labors and mutually established exchange relationships.

What has all this to do with Herman Cain and the state of culture and politics in America today?

Prior to the founding of America, all societies were Toolist. America broke that mold. Americans were overwhelmingly Actists. As a result, American society and culture thrived for centuries. Although some Toolists lived in America, sought to gain political power and attempted to change American culture and society, the Actist philosophy prevailed by overwhelmingly majority.

Consequently, common men, empowered with the freedom to fend for themselves and the right to own and exchange property, attained a level of prosperity formerly enjoyed only by Toolists in the European upper and ruling classes. America quickly became the envy of common men the world over.

Gradually, however, the Actist fervor in America waned and the Toolist influence waxed. Why? Because Toolists had wormed their way into positions of power and influence by criticizing the “gap” between rich and poor in America. Actist industrialists were rich far beyond the means of the Actist common man.

Actist writers responded by explaining that in the Actist system of the capitalist free market the consumer is sovereign, and that those producers who best anticipate and supply the demands of the consumer reap huge rewards. This fact is elemental and understood by all who exchange their goods and services on the free market.

Though true, these Actist arguments fell on deaf ears. Whole generations of immigrant families began taking their newfound prosperity for granted. They began to view wealth in Toolist terms, as property owned in common by all. They lost tract of the fact that it was the Actist concept of private property that enabled Americans to produce wealth in abundance in the first place.

They also began to think of themselves in Toolist terms, as members of the “worker” caste, denied their fair share by the “bourgeoisie” caste in industry and government. They took to the streets and clamored for “social justice,” which means ridding the country of Actists and installing like-minded Toolist leaders into their proper positions of authority.

Gradually, the capitalist marketplace, which was never truly free of Toolist meddling, was greatly corrupted by Toolist government interventions. The “free” market became a place of privilege and power rather than accomplishment and competition. Favored businesses were coddled and protected. Disfavored enterprises were hampered or destroyed.

As a result, the majority of Americans was easily influenced by the arguments of the Toolists and began to regard capitalism and the “free” market as intrinsically corrupt and unfair. Foolishly, they elected Toolists and sent them to Washington to correct these intrinsic wrongs. They didn't stop to realize that it was Toolist interventions in the market that created these wrongs in the first place.

Today Actists are a dying lot. Toolists are entrenched in business, the media, academia and politics. Herman Cain’s skin is black. His nose is flat. His genealogy is slavery. He grew up poor in a bad neighborhood.

Therefore, it is obvious to all Toolists that Herman Cain is and should be a member of the Negro/worker caste. Thus, he should be campaigning for social justice, income redistribution and Toolist politicians. Herman Cain is simply an anomaly, a traitor to his race and caste, a tool of his bourgeois, Tea Party brainwashers.

Sadly, it is impossible for modern, American Toolists to see Herman Cain in any other light.

On The CNN Presidential Debate From Las Vegas

I wonder what purpose these debates serve other than to allow the national cable media to influence the outcome of Republican primaries that are essentially local or regional in character.

I've asked myself: Why would CNN and MSNBC use precious air time to shower attention on Republican candidates they, arguably, do not want elected? The only answer that makes sense is that these left-leaning media see a tremendous opportunity to frame the discussion and encourage the Republican candidates to trash each other, providing hours of campaign ad material for the Democrats. Last night the Republican candidates obliged on both counts.

The spectacle of the Republican frontrunners shouting at each other, talking over each other and trading half-baked insults was, as Newt Gingrich pointed out, not the way to win the White House. The problem is Newt participated in the melee, admitting after his attack on Romeny that he himself had once supported individual health care mandates! This all feeds nicely into President Obama's storyline that he is the only adult in the room and that Republicans don't care about fixing the nation's problems just gaining the Presidency. I imagine Democrat campaign ad producers are smiling from ear to ear this morning.

The moderator, Anderson Cooper, deftly reminded candidates of contentious comments they had made one against the other, then encouraged them to fight it out on stage. The candidates -- especially those like Perry with something to prove and Santorum with something to gain -- eagerly took the bait. The result? Serious Republican proposals on tax reform, border security, spending cuts, health care reform and ObamaCare repeal were buried in a cartoonish and obscure fog. The entire debate smacked of eight candidates desparate for power, willing to say or propose anything to help themselves get elected.

Well done, Anderson Cooper and CNN. Mission accomplished. Talking points for the left were handily generated. Cain's 999 tax reform plan is a fruitcake idea. Romney's promise to repeal ObamaCare is hypocritical and disingenuous. Ditto Perry's criticism of Obama's Mexican border enforcement efforts. Republicans are selfish, establishment-loving Latino haters. Obama really is the only adult in the room.

This is not to take the candidates themselves off the hook. On the contrary, the entire field of candidates remains disappointing.

All right of center and even mid-stream thinkers agree now that another four years of Obama will be fatal to this country as we've known it. Anybody but Obama is a popular slogan. However, is it prudent?

In the next four years a new Republican administration will have to shepard a repeal of ObamaCare through the Congress, uproot all vestiges of Obama socialism now entrenched in the Washington bureaucracy, force the Washington elite to accept massive cuts in spending, make critical and well-founded decisions in coming economic crises, and convince the public to accept a significant overhaul of entitlement programs and the welfare state culture, not to mention act as a strong guiding hand in the rebuilding of social and moral ethics in our society. This effort will require a President who is libertarian/conservative to his core, much as Obama is socialist/progressive to his core. A mealy-mouthed McCain sort cannot do and will not do what needs to be done.

Are the Republican frontrunners up to the task? Is Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry or Herman Cain the knee-jerk, feel-it-in-your-bones, economically astute, libertarian/conservative Republican needed to save the Union? Hardly. I'd have to hold my nose to vote for these so-called RINO's and economic illiterates. Herman Cain is the most attractive of the lot but only because he has no record. We only have his words to hold him to and they are critically suspect. I don't have confidence that, if elected, any of these men would turn the country around as needed.

Santorum, Bachmann and, especially Paul, seemingly have the right stuff for the job philosophically and economically, but they lack charisma and electability. So where does that leave us?

Very, very worried about the next four years and the future of this nation. And very, very hopeful that Ron Paul, Michelle Bachmann or Rick Santorum can pull a rabbit out of the hat. Or, better yet, that a charismatic, libertarian/conservative will step forward at the last minute and take the nomination.

The debate transcript is here.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Let me get this straight.

Last Friday I read in the Drudge Report that the CLASS portion of the Affordable Health Care Act was being dropped by the administration because it was fiscally irresponsible.

Today I read at Weasel Zippers that Obama gave a speech saying he opposes the elimination of the CLASS portion of the Affordable Health Care Act!

Am I living in an alternate universe?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Why The GOP Establishment Loves Mitt Romney

There's a good post at Protein Wisdom that summarizes Mitt Romney's RINOism. It's scary. Read it all. At the end of the post the author asks a question: 
Why, then, are we told his nomination is inevitable? What is it about Romney that has the GOP establishment desirous of his being named the nominee — so much so that they are tinkering with the primaries to try to get him over as quickly as possible?... ...These aren’t just rhetorical questions. I honestly want to know.
Here is the short answer: The GOP establishment is and always will be an advocate of big government.

Anyone who believes that the GOP establishment is interested in turning Washington, DC into a ghost town is not paying attention to the obvious. At least half of the offices in Washington are occupied by the Republican establishment which also throws at least half of the famous Washington cocktail parties.

The Republican establishment has a huge financial interest, both as an institution and as money-grabbing, greedy players within that institution, in keeping the monstrous Washington bureaucracy alive and functioning. The GOP establishment is no less an elite than the Democrat establishment. Their modus operandi is exactly the same.

Go to Washington, gain a "voice," become rich and influential by palling around with rich and influential policy wonks or working for an established GOP politician, stake out a piece of the action for yourself, retire from public life with a manufactured reputation and a job at a GOP think tank, or find a lasting niche on a lobbyist's payroll or a cush seat around the table of pundits at a cable news network, pretend you're against big government and wasteful spending and, finally and most importantly, become a "Reagan Republican" so gullible voters won't pay attention to those deranged few in the crazy "Tea Party" who actually want to derail the gravy train.

This is truth. Does anyone doubt it? If so, prove it. Give me contrary facts and I'll change my mind.

Ronald Reagan is held up as the ideal GOP candidate because he talked conservative principles. I loved Ronald Reagan. I voted for him, despite my libertarian leanings, mainly because the thought of a second Carter term was hideous. However, Ronald Reagan was no small government conservative. He expanded government. He renigged on his promise to close the department of education.

The sycophants who went to Washington with Reagan are still there. They followed the modus operandi I outlined above. They and their proteges are more entrenched than ever. They ARE the GOP establishment that is fighting to nominate Mitt Romney!

George H.W. Bush was Reagan's VP for eight years. He fathered George Bush and the whole Bush establishment which populates GOP think tanks, lobbyist organizations and a myriad of chairs on cable and mainstream news sets.

A sterling example is William "Bill" Kristol, who has been a pundit at ABC News and is now a fixture at Fox News. Wikipedia has the following entry about Bill Kristol's political career:

After teaching political philosophy and American politics at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Kristol went to work in government in 1985, serving as chief of staff to Secretary of Education William Bennett during the Reagan administration, and then as Chief of Staff to the Vice President under Dan Quayle in the George H. W. Bush administration. The New Republic dubbed Kristol "Dan Quayle's brain" upon being appointed the Vice President's chief of staff.

He served as chairman of the Project for the Republican Future from 1993 to 1994, and as the director of the Bradley Project at the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee in 1993. In 1993, he rose to fame as he led conservative opposition to the Clinton health care plan.

In 2003, Kristol and Lawrence F. Kaplan wrote, "The War Over Iraq: America's Mission and Saddam's Tyranny," in which the authors analyzed the Bush Doctrine and the history of US-Iraq relations. In the book, Kristol and Kaplan provided support and justifications for war in Iraq.

He also served as a foreign policy advisor for Senator John McCain's presidential campaign.
Bill Kristol is the dean of the Washington establishment GOP. He is an outspoken and leading opponent of the Tea Party, having recently referred to the movement as "an infantile form of conservatism." By the way, is anybody going to be shocked when Bill Kristol endorses Mitt Romney instead of Ron Paul?

Speaking of Ron Paul, the GOP establishment despises him, snickers at him and, along with the mainstream media, treats him as a clown and a buffoon detached from reality. Why?

Because Ron Paul, along with his son and Tea Party spokesman Rand Paul, is serious about derailing the Washington gravy train. That's why Paul is hated by everyone with a VIP ticket to ride on it, including the GOP establishment which has reserved at least half of the cars.

So why is the GOP elite enamored with Mitt Romney?

Because Romney won't stop that Washington gravy train. He merely wants to sit up front and be its engineer-in-chief.