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.

Monday, July 30, 2012

UPDATED: Is It Just Me? Or Did Voula Papachristou Get Railroaded?

Last Wednesday a 23 year old Greek athlete was kicked off the Greek Olympic team.


According to Martin Rogers, an "expert" at Yahoo Sports, Voula Papachristou--a triple jumper--"was banished from the Olympic Games on Wednesday after making racist comments and expressing right-wing sentiments on Twitter."

According to the Greek Olympic Committee Papachristou's Tweet was "contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement."

According to one report:
A storm of angry reactions broke within minutes in the Greek social media with many internet users calling her a “Nazi” and “Chrysi Avgi supporter” and asking the Greek Olympic Committee to expel her.

What did Papachristou Tweet? The same report translated it as follows:
“With so many Africans in Greece… At least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!!!”
I don't speak Greek. Neither do I know anything about Greek politics or social sensibilities. I have not done any research on the story except what is in this post. But I have to say to ban an athlete from the Olympic Games for what strikes me as a harmless, if impolite, joke seems mighty harsh.

Martin Rogers did cast some light on a couple, possible, real reasons Papachristou was expelled from the Games:
Greek Olympic chiefs consulted with senior members of the Greek parliament, including aides to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, before making their decision. Part of the reason for the expulsion was to punish Papachristou for her actions, but the decision was also made in hopes of avoiding a backlash from anti-racism protestors at the Games.

The financial crisis gripping Greece – where strict austerity measures have affected the lives of millions – has forced the country to rely heavily on corporate sponsorship to fund its Olympic program. Officials feared that contributors may rethink their commitment if Papachristou remained on the team.
Hmmm, did Papachristou's fate boil down to money and political correctness?

The 23 year old woman has apologized for her "unfortunate and tasteless joke." USA Today reports the young athlete is "bitter and upset" by the Olympic Committee's decision:
"I have not slept at all and to be honest I am still trying to come to terms with what has happened," she told Reuters. "I am trying to stay calm otherwise I would lose control."
I can't help it. I don't think the punishment fits the crime. I'm truly sorry for her. I think she was railroaded.

UPDATE 7/31/12: Here we go again. According to My Way News, another athlete has been "stripped of his Olympic accreditation," this time by the Swiss Olympic team. Once again the athlete was a victim of a "racist" tweet.  

According to a spokesman for the Swiss team, Michel Morganella "discriminated against, insulted and violated the dignity of the South Korea football team as well as the South Korean people."

Sounds like pretty heavy stuff. What did Morganella Tweet? According to My Way News he "said in the tweet that South Koreans "can go burn" and referred to them as a "bunch of mongoloids." Morganella is a 23 year old young man. He has apologized.

Come on! This is political correctness gone wild. Yes, "mongoloid" can be a derogatory term referring to Down syndrome. But its primary definition is scientific:
Mongoloid[1] is a term sometimes used by forensic anthropologists and physical anthropologists to refer to populations that share certain phenotypic traits such as epicanthic fold and shovel-shaped incisors and other physical traits common in East Asia, Southeast Asia, North Asia, Central Asia, the Americas and the Arctic.
For this indiscretion, made after the heat of battle, you're going to ruin a young man's reputation worldwide and take away his life dream? How the hell did skins get so thin in this day and age?

If we used this same standard in politics, most progressives would be denied the vote. Allegations of racism flow daily from the DNC, a dozen at a time. I can't sneeze without being called a racist.

Remember how these two-faced, politically correct progressives treated Sarah Palin and her Down syndrome child, Trig?

A 23 year-old kid's Tweet violates the "dignity" of the "South Korean people?"

My god, if their dignity is that fragile they shouldn't venture out beyond their national borders.

Get a life, people!!!!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Boehner Is Playing A Dangerous (And Stupid?) Game

As all Republicans, conservatives, libertarians and Tea Party patriots know, Harry Reid, the silver-tongued devil from Nevada and the Majority Leader in the Senate, is one of the biggest scoundrels ever to serve in Washington.

One of Reid's most devious ploys is his refusal to bring forward and pass a budget resolution, which is required by the Congressional Budget Act. You see, Harry thinks he's above the law.

But there's more to it than that. Harry's refusal to pass a formal budget resolution forces both houses of the legislature to pass periodically Continuing Resolutions authorizing continued government spending. The kicker is that Boehner and his House Republicans are in charge of negotiating not only what is in these Continuing Resolutions but also for how long they are in force. If no Continuing Resolution is passed, the government shuts down until one passes.

This makes Harry Reid smile like a Cheshire cat. From Reid's prospective he and his fellow Democrats win either way. If the Republicans do not negotiate and the government shuts down, Reid gets to demagog those "evil" and "heartless" Republicans who would callously put government employees (and union members) out of work, not to mention delay government welfare and subsidy checks going out in the mail.

Boehner and friends don't want that kind of publicity. Thus, he really doesn't have the heart to draw a line in the sand and close down the government. Reid knows this.

So what do the Democrats do? Reid and company load up these periodic Continuing Resolutions with huge amounts of additional, increased spending and force Boehner to negotiate. Boehner, of course, has no leverage at all so he not only inevitably winds up passing another Continuing Resolution, but he also is forced to "eat" many additional billions in increased spending. Reid wins either way!

Some game, huh folks?

It gets worse.

Friday Breitbart Big Government reported this: Congress Close to Passing 6-Month Continuing Resolution. In essence what the article says is Boehner is getting ready to cave again and allow Reid to win again.

It gets worse.

According to the article "the spending cap that will most likely be agreed upon would be $15 billion more than what was allowed in the budget the House passed, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)."

Did you get that, kiddies? The Dems get $15-billion in increased spending without paying a political price for it because Boehner will have agreed to it! Why would Boehner agree to it? The article explains that too:
Conservative Republicans want a six-month CR because they are banking on getting more Republicans in Congress after the November elections, giving them more numbers in passing a more fiscally conservative budget in 2013.  In the best-case scenario, Republicans would be negotiating in 2013 with a Republican Senate, House, and President.
In other words, Boehner is playing an enormous game of political chicken. He's willing to give up a little spending now in order to cut spending by a whopping amount once his Republicans sweep the Democrats in November.

But what if the Republicans don't sweep in November. Well, then we've got four more years of Boehner's giving in to three or sixth month Continuing Resolutions and Reid's surreptitious budget increases.

But what if the Republicans do not agree to a six month Continuing Resolution this time? What if they insist on a three month resolution? Well, then it's Katy bar the door even if the Republicans win. Breitbart explains:
Other Republicans want a three-month CR, but this worries many conservatives who fear that defeated lawmakers and a potentially defeated President Barack Obama would drastically increase spending -- literally having nothing to lose -- if another round of budget negotiations occurs during the lame duck session of Congress. 

Are you beginning to see a pattern here? Are you beginning to see the words "worry" and "fear" cropping up way too often in descriptions of Republicans and "conservatives?"

Here's an alternative that will really give the Republicans and "conservatives" in the House and Senate gastronomic upset. What if Boehner and friends draw the line in the sand now? What if they refuse to pass a Continuing Resolution and allow the government to shut down October 1st, a month before the election?

This option, of course, would require Republicans and "conservatives" in the House and Senate to explain and defend their belief in small government and decreased spending. It would require them to stand on the principle of the necessity for following the law which requires Reid to pass a budget resolution. It would require Republicans and "conservatives" to stick by their guns and insist on no surreptitious budget increases and argue for large and significant budget cuts -- including cutting out the funding for implementation of the ObamaCare regulation that "requires virtually all health care plans to cover, without cost-sharing, sterilizations, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs." This, by the way, is the regulation that has Catholics up in arms and eager to vote Republican in November.

I'm thinking this is too tall an order for Boehner and company because they are unable to explain and defend their belief in conservative political philosophy because they really don't believe in it.

On the other hand, it may well be that Boehner and his "conservative" Republicans just don't have the cojones for such a fight before the election. But if that's true, it begs another question.

Will they have what it takes to fight this battle after the election, even if the Republicans sweep?

At this point, I doubt it. After all, the election might be close and that would fill Boehner with a whole bunch more worry and fear.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

You Know What I'm Thinkin? ...Chicken!!

Chicken Sandwich
Fried Chicken

Say It Isn't So, John...You Unprincipled, Two-faced Moron

On the heels of Rep. Mike Kelly's rant against big government on the House floor and the subsequent news from the Cato Institute that Kelly's voting record belies his words, comes this from CNS News:

Boehner Indicates GOP House May Fund Obama's 'Attack on Religious Liberty'

Oh, yeah, the Obama Administration's new regulation that "requires virtually all health care plans to cover, without cost-sharing, sterilizations, contraception and abortion-inducing drugs" is scheduled to go into effect this coming Wednesday.

In February of this year Boehner called the regulation "an unambiguous attack on religious freedom in our country." To date Boehner's House Republicans have not lifted a finger to stop the funding of the regulation. At a press conference last Thursday the mealy-mouthed and unprincipled Boehner said:
“We’re continuing to work with those groups around the country who believe that their religious liberties are being infringed to try to come to a resolution of this issue. Sometimes resolving these issues can sometimes best be done other than legislative avenues. So we’re continuing to work with them on the best way forward.”
In other words the tan and two-faced Leader of the House Republicans wants Catholics to swallow the regulation whole. If you recall earlier this year Obama betrayed Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan on this issue, apparently promising him one thing and doing another. Now Dolan's getting the exact same treatment from Boehner.

As the old saying goes, with friends like this who needs enemies!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Deeds Not Words!!!!!!!

The video below shows Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania ranting against big government on the House floor. The video is going viral. Kelly's words hit the nerve of Tea Partiers' frustration.

The problem is Rep. Kelly's votes in the House are not in sync with his rant. Tad DeHaven at the Cato Institute documents the Congressman's votes FOR big government:
  • He voted against an amendment that would have terminated the Economic Development Administration.
  • He voted against an amendment that would have defunded the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia program, a new corporate welfare program requested by the Obama administration.
  • He voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank.
  • He voted against an amendment that would have terminated the Essential Air Service subsidy program.
  • He voted against an amendment that would have shut down the Department of Energy’s Title 17 loan guarantee program—the program that gave birth to Solyndra.
  • He voted against an amendment that would have terminated the Community Development Block Grant program.
This is very, very frustrating. The guys we send to Washington have to understand that the only way to end big government programs is to actually vote against them!!!

Condoleezza Rice: US Foreign Aid Tax Dollars Are "Well Spent"

Anyone pining for Mitt Romney to name Condoleezza Rice as his Vice Presidential nominee had better read carefully the editorial Rice penned Thursday in The Financial Times.

Rice is a Bush Administration retread. Dare I call her a crusading NeoCon? She wants a new Romney administration to make America the world leader again. 

In the Middle East Rice wants America to support democracy with foreign aid. She wants us to arm the Syrian "rebels." She wants us to reengage with Iraq. 

She wants us to develop "responsible and democratic sovereigns" in Africa and "worldwide" by investing foreign aid in countries that are "investing in their people’s health and education" ala the George W. Bush administration. 

Ludwig von Mises: Barack Obama IS Definitely A Marxist And A Socialist

Recently Maximum Leader Barack Obama lectured us on the supposed, transcendent truth that the collective allows individuals to thrive.
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.
Obama has been roundly and vociferously criticized for these remarks. Pundits regarded Obama's speech as simply more evidence that he is a Marxist and a socialist, and they said so.

Of course, Obama and his mouthpieces have sought to rationalize his statement, to revise and extend it, to eviscerate its meaning, to even deny saying it. However, Obama really said these words and their meaning is clear. Moreover, it is not the first time he publicly expressed his economic philosophy.

The American Promise

By Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.

What Is The American Promise?
Regis Nicoll sums it up in words:
Five decades after America gained independence, French political analyst Alexis de Tocqueville remarked on its exceptional character.

Unlike other nations that were defined by ethnicity, geography, common heritage, social class, or hierarchal structures, America was a nation of immigrants bond together by a shared commitment to the democratic principles of liberty, equality, individualism and laissez faire economics.

Those principles comprise the “America creed,” which, G. K. Chesterton wrote, “is set forth with dogmatic and even theological lucidity in the Declaration of Independence.”

Aaron Copland sums it up in music:
Paul Calle sums it up in a painting:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Leftist Mind Readers Show Their Butts

The only way I figure these people know this stuff is through a Spock Mind Meld. ...Unless of course they just imagine they know this stuff...
h/t Weasel Zippers

DNC Chief Wasserman Schultz: Republicans So Radical They Would Stop Obama From Eating Breakfast If They Could…

Tingles: A Romney Win Will Bring An “Army of John Boltons” To The White House…
[Multi-tasking Tingles. The guy not only reads minds, but is clairvoyant too.]

Top U.N. Official Claims Global Jewish Conspiracy Against The Palestinians…

Biden Tells Firefighters: Romney Doesn’t “Understand What You’re All About, What Makes You Tick”…

Lib Behemoth Michael Moore: If Founding Fathers Saw An AK-47 They Would Support Gun Control…
[This is really remarkable. Moore can read the minds of dead people!]

Axelrod: The Real Reason People Think Obama’s Running A Negative Campaign Is Because Of Romney’s Ads, Not The 19K+ Negative Ads And Less Than 150 Positive Spots We Ran In One Week…

MSNBC Hag Andrea Mitchell Accuses Romney Of Using Racist “Dog Whistle” Language Against Obama When He Uses Term “Foreign”…

Pelosi Says She “Knows More About Having Babies Than The Pope”…

MSNBC’s Resident Race Baiter Toure: Gun Control Comes Down To “Making Sure Law Abiding White People Have Access To Guns And That Black Criminals Do Not”…

Dem Rep. Maxine Waters: Voting Against Sharia Law Is GOP Fear Mongering And Bigotry…

Obama Continues To Whine: Romney Is “Knowingly Twisting My Words” On “You Didn’t Build That” Comment…

VA Dem And Obama “Truth Team” Leader Says Romney Running “Racist” Campaign, Supporters “Don’t Want To See Anybody Other Than A White Man In White House”…

George Costanza Hits Tea Partiers After Colorado Movie Shooting: “These People” Are Okay With The Government “Enslaving Liberals, Homosexuals, And Democrats”…

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

NEW CBO REPORT: ObamaCare To Cut Deficit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did you hear the news? If you haven't, that is not the fault of leftist pundits and bloggers.

Take this entry from The Maddow Blog at MSNBC, CBO: Obamacare still cuts deficit:
Of course, that was before the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. What does the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office have to say about the ACA now? As it turns out, the law still reduces the deficit, and Republican repeal efforts would worsen U.S. finances.
 Yes. Read it and weep. All you conservative morons out there were wrong and Nancy Pelosi was right:
"A cap on your costs; no cap on your benefits!"
Here's the proof:

News Flash: It is possible to fit $1.17-trillion of poop into a two pound bag!

You see, the trick is to cut Medicare, raise taxes and raid Social Security so that you collect $1.28-trillion before you spend the $1.17-trillion. Then, take the savings and apply it to the deficit. Voila! Deficit cut by $109-billion!

Wbut what?...How?

End your perplexity. Read this: CBO Math on ObamaCare Explained

And this: News from the CBO Report: Medicaid Uncertainty Remains, Medicare Cuts Grow.

Selected quotes from the above articles:
In January 2011, blogging Harvard economics professor Greg Mankiw wrote:
I have a plan to reduce the budget deficit.  The essence of the plan is the federal government writing me a check for $1 billion.  The plan will be financed by $3 billion of tax increases.  According to my back-of-the envelope calculations, giving me that $1 billion will reduce the budget deficit by $2 billion.
This is in essence what ObamaCare does.
Not only that, but the timing of the tax increases (which started in 2010) gives the federal government more time to raise money before spending it like crazy in 2014 when the exchanges and Medicaid expansions are supposed to take place.
An interesting feature of the report is that the CBO estimates that the ACA will cut Medicare spending by $741 billion over the next 10 years, up from the roughly $500 billion advertised at passage (see page 5, table 2 — Medicare and Other Medicaid and CHIP Provisions).
The final aspect of the CBO analysis, contained in a letter to Speaker Boehner, is that repeal of the ACA will increase the deficit by $109 billion over 10 years. Interestingly, $95 billion is “off-budget” savings — CBO parlance for Social Security taxes.
Did you get that? Our governors in Washington will realize savings in the deficit by collecting more Social Security taxes.

At least that's the way it sounds to me. I could be wrong. This whole post has a kind of Alice in Wonderland aire to it:
"The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Guess Who's Rolling Over In His Grave UPDATED WITH ANSWER...

We all remember a week or so ago when Maximum Leader Obama gutted the Clinton era Welfare Reform Act of 1996 via a directive from the Dept of Health and Human Services. The Heritage Foundation fact sheet on how and what Obama did is here, along with why it is significant.

In short, Obama decreed that states can now waive the federal work requirement of the law. As you recall, states had tried previously to make a mockery of the work requirement by defining "work" as journaling, massage, personal care activities, bed rest, dieting and host of other bogus activities. So now states won't even have to make up stuff. They will simply be able to write checks to welfare recipients, period.

Not all Americans are happy about this, including a few dead ones.

Guess who said this:

But the stark fact before us is that great numbers still remain unemployed.

A large proportion of these unemployed and their dependents have been forced on the relief rolls. The burden on the Federal Government has grown with great rapidity. We have here a human as well as an economic problem. When humane considerations are concerned, Americans give them precedence. The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fibre. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. It is inimical to the dictates of sound policy. It is in violation of the traditions of America. Work must be found for able-bodied but destitute workers.

The Federal Government must and shall quit this business of relief.

h/t Watchdog on Wall Street

UPDATE:  And the answer is: Franklyn Delano Roosevelt. He said in in his 1934 State of the Union Address. Could it be that the man had some common sense before he assumed the throne of Forever Leader?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Is This An Example Of The Media's Liberal Bias?

I listen to the radio virtually all morning at work every Sunday. This morning was interesting because ABC News not only covered the Aurora, CO Batman shootings, but also made a point to commemorate the 2011 terrorist attacks in Norway which occurred on July 22.

The Norway attacks killed 77 people and injured 319.

So far, all well and good.

The suspicious part of the ABC report was when the announcer made a point of saying that the Norway attacks were committed by a "self-confessed far-right wing extremist."

The convicted perpetrator of the Norway attacks was Anders Behring Breivik. Wikipedia describes him as having a "far-right militant ideology" which it describes as follows:
In it he lays out his worldview, which includes support for Islamophobia, Zionism.[26] anti-feminism,[30][31] It also expresses support for far-right groups such as the EDL[32] and paramilitaries such as the Scorpions.[33] It regards Islam and Marxism as the enemy, and argues for the violent annihilation of "Eurabia" and multiculturalism, and the deportation of all Muslims from Europe.[34] Breivik wrote that his main motive for the atrocities was to market this manifesto.[35]
The question is: Why is this ideology right wing?

It seems to me that these types of nuts are so extreme that any reference to a standard political spectrum is useless and deceiving. Couldn't Breivik just as easily be described as far left?

In Wikipedia's listing of Far-right politics it says:
Proponents of horseshoe theory interpretation of the left-right spectrum identify the far-left and far-right as having more in common with each other as extremists than each have towards moderate centrists.[7]
I tend to agree with horseshoe theory. Follow the link above for a more complete description of it.

So, was ABC's report biased? Or am I just being hypersensitive?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

MEMO TO GUN CONTROL NUTS: Murder Is Already Against The Law

As predicted, the true gun nuts are coming out of the woodwork in response to the Batman Movie shooting in Aurora, CO. Legislators, pundits and movie critics have all called for stricter gun control laws in hopes such legislation will prevent future massacres.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a leftist dingbat from Illinois, wants Congress to act. Rev. Jesse Jackson, another Illinois Nazi, wants to "start" with a ban on assault weapons (which, if I'm not mistaken, are banned in most states now). CNN’s Piers Morgan blames the Aurora shooting on US gun laws. And film critic Roger Ebert has this to say:
The United States is one of few developed nations that accepts the notion of firearms in public hands. In theory, the citizenry needs to defend itself. Not a single person at the Aurora, Colo., theater shot back, but the theory will still be defended.
Perhaps not a single person in the theater in Aurora shot back because they were following the law and theater policy. It seems the movie theater already bans firearms on its premises. Moreover, the city of Aurora reportedly has strict laws against carrying a concealed weapon within city limits.

The point is that strict gun laws didn't stop James Holmes, the suspected shooter. In fact, Holmes was in violation of Aurora's gun laws the moment he drove away from his apartment with loaded firearms in his car. Not to mention the fact that shooting and killing people in a crowded theater is strictly against the law.

Gun law simpletons are under the impression that strict laws banning guns will eliminate guns from the street. You know, like strict drug laws eliminate drugs from the street, and strict laws against prostitutes keep them from walking the streets. And if there are no guns on the street, there cannot be gun crimes.

I'm convinced. How about you?

You Owe Society Because You Didn't Build Them Roads And Bridges!

Maximum Leader Obama said this last Friday in Roanoke, Virginia:
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back.  They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.  (Applause.)

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires. 

So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together.  That’s how we funded the GI Bill.  That’s how we created the middle class.  That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam.  That’s how we invented the Internet.  That’s how we sent a man to the moon.  We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for President -- because I still believe in that idea.  You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.  (Applause.)

The President is now claiming his infamous "you didn't build that" line referred not to the clause in the same sentence ("If you've got a business") but to a clause in the previous sentence ("Somebody invested in roads and bridges").

This claim sounds suspiciously like an argument about what the definition of "is" is.

Really, what does it matter what Obama says he meant? He lies as easily as he breathes. His campaign, easier. Consider this as the possible truth of the matter: Maximum Leader was at a campaign pit stop speaking extemporaneously to a crowd of rabid supporters spouting his usual class-warfare rhetoric and he stepped in it.

This is not to say Obama misspoke. The President is a Marxist. He believes in the Marxist directive "from each according to his ability; to each according to his need." He believes capitalists exploit workers and profit from the surplus value of their labor. How he phrases his beliefs is irrelevant.

In his book, Theory and History, Ludwig von Mises writes:
Homo sapiens appeared on the stage of earthly events neither as a solitary food-seeker nor as a member of a gregarious flock, but as a being consciously cooperating with other beings of his own kind. Only in cooperation with his fellows could he develop language, the indispensable tool of thinking. We cannot even imagine a reasonable being living in perfect isolation and not cooperating at least with members of his family, clan, or tribe. Man as man is necessarily a social animal. Some sort of cooperation is an essential characteristic of his nature. But awareness of this fact does not justify dealing with social relations as if they were something else than relations or with society as if it were an independent entity outside or above the actions of individual men.
Mises' point is that all human action is purposeful and individual. Cooperation is nothing more than two or more individuals purposely collaborating to attain ends they cannot otherwise attain. When dozens or thousands of individuals cooperate in "society" to attain common or mutual ends, they do not create a super-organization greater than themselves. "Society" is not a superseding entity but a word that describes the nature of their cooperative network. "Society" is a means to attain the ends cooperating individuals seek, not an end in itself.

In his speech in Roanoke Obama tried to turn this truth back upon itself. He said, in effect, that those who are "successful," i.e., those individuals who profit from voluntary trade with other individuals, must "give something back" to society and its governors who allow individuals to trade and succeed. If "society" describes a network of individual traders committed to voluntary exchange, it does not follow that these individuals owe some sort of debt to the term that describes their cooperative action.

Obama describes individuals on the government payroll -- teachers, researchers, NASA scientists, road, dam and bridge builders, firefighters and the designers of the internet -- who serve and have served individuals in their quest to attain the ends they seek. He claims, therefore, that individual traders in society owe their success in part to the government that hires these individual contractors. He is, of course, correct. Individual traders in society owe their success in part to each and every individual with whom they trade. Mutual benefit is the very nature and purpose of trade. However, it does not follow from this that individual traders owe a continuing and lasting debt to their trading partners. 

What Obama does not acknowledge and, perhaps, does not appreciate is that the governors of society in the last analysis are nothing more than trading partners for the rest of the individuals in society. The only difference, of course, is that trade between the governors of society and those individuals who are not associated with government is mandated and coerced. 

As I have written here many times before, in a voluntary trade both parties always benefit. However, in a coerced trade one party benefits and the other does not, or at least does not benefit to the same extent that he would if the trade were free and voluntary. The truth is that the benefits individuals enjoy as a result of coerced trades with the governors of society would be far greater if these governors had allowed individuals to engage in free and voluntary trade.

Perhaps Obama believes that without mandated and coerced trades with the governors of society individuals would not fend for themselves. Does anyone seriously believe that if all trades in society were allowed to be free and voluntary that individuals would not educate their children, build roads, bridges and dams, fight fires, explore the heavens or do cybernetic research? Does anyone seriously doubt that individuals, trading voluntarily on the free market, could provide these services for themselves more efficiently and more satisfactorily than the governors of society?

Obama's belief that coerced traders owe a continuing and lasting debt to the governors of society who coerced them is absurd. Do you owe a real, continuing and lasting debt to the plumbing company with whom you contracted to fix your toilet twenty years ago? Or to the builder of your house? Or the doctor who delivered you into this world?

Isn't it clear that, if any debt is owed, it is an insubstantial debt of gratitude for partners willing to cooperate in free and voluntary trade?

In fact, trade incurs no real, continuing and lasting obligation because voluntary trade in a free and open society is a win-win game.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Time To Play! UPDATED

The League of Shadows is about to terrorize Gotham by releasing a fear-inducing toxin on the city. Bruce Wayne tries to persuade Henri Ducard (Ra's al Ghul, the "Head of the Demon" and leader of the League of Shadows) to be responsible, to cease and desist:
[Bruce] But really, you are gonna release Crane's poison on the entire city.
[Henri] Then watch Gotham tear itself apart through fear.
With that Henri's henchman go to work. They release the toxin on the city. They empty the jails and asylums of their "maximum security" prisoners -- "serial killers, rapists." A corrupt SWAT Cop opens the cell of Dr. Jonathan Crane, the creator of the fear toxin, an especially evil, creepy and mad psychiatrist. The SWAT Cop tosses Crane his "Scarecrow" mask, the tool of the doctor's villainy, and says: "Time to play."

It won't be long before Americans begin to be terrorized by politicians, political commentators and cable news "reporters" capitalizing on the tragic deaths of a dozen moviegoers in Colorado. We'll soon hear angry demands that the government "do more" to prevent such tragedies.

Control the guns! Seize rifles and assault weapons! Install airport-style strip-search machines at movie entrances! Censor or silence the right wing fear mongers, like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin, who by their anti-authoritarian and anti-gun control rhetoric encourage and motivate these crazed gunmen!

Mark my words. It won't be long before this pandering toxin is dispersed into our airways and spewed into our ears.

Observe how the Colorado movie theater shooting is like the SWAT Cop tossing a Scarecrow mask to this country's evil, creepy and mad political provocateurs.

"Time to play."

Allow our pseudo-intellectuals' poison a few minutes to be absorbed.

Then sit back and watch the nation, almost immediately, "tear itself apart through fear."

Within minutes of my blog post, it has started. From Weasel Zippers:

Liberals Blaming Batman Movie Shooting On Rush Limbaugh…

Good Morning America Tries To Tie Colorado Movie Shooter To The Tea Party…

NYC Mayor Bloomberg Wants To Know If Obama And Romney Will Crackdown On Second Amendment Rights In Wake Of Colorado Movie Shooting…

And So It Begins: CNN’s Piers Morgan Blames Colorado Movie Shooting On U.S. Gun Laws…


Monday, July 16, 2012

Obama The Neighborhood Enforcer!

Quote from a speech by Maximum Leader:
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me -- because they want to give something back.  They know they didn’t -- look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own.  You didn’t get there on your own.  I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart.  There are a lot of smart people out there.  It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.  Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.  (Applause.)

     If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.  Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

     The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.  There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.  I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service.  That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
I know 12 years olds with a better grasp of American free enterprise.

Mr. Obama: And the point of what you're saying is?

Answer: Business profits are NOT private property. They belong to the rest of us who enabled your success as much as they belong to you.


What Maximum Leader said is reminiscent of organized crime. It's what the neighborhood enforcer would say to the corner bar owner he's shaking down and extorting for "protection" money.

The language is exactly the same!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Outsourcing vs Aliensourcing. Which is worse? (This Is A Pop Quiz!)

What's worse, folks?

A. Outsourcing, which is exporting American jobs to foreign countries; or...

B. Aliensourcing, which is importing illegal aliens to do American jobs?

Politicians are brain-dead!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Is Anarchism A Cult? Just Askin'

A week or so ago James A. Miller at his blog called "Miller's Genuine Draft" asked this question: Should the State Be Hated?" Miller is the Editor in Chief at the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada. At the conclusion of his blog entry he answers his own question:
To answer the original inquiry, yes, the state should be hated.  It should be laughed at, ridiculed, questioned, protested against, and seen for the criminal syndicate it truly is.  But above all, it should inspire the detestation of anyone who tires of being oppressed.  American founding father Thomas Paine famously declared “government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”  I would hasten to correct him that government, in all shapes in forms, is indeed evil but not at all necessary for a lasting peace.
Notice in the last sentence Miller concludes that "government, in all shapes in [sic] forms, is indeed evil..."

Really? Any shape or form of government is evil? My town board is a "criminal syndicate?"

Far be it from me to defend statism. I agree with Miller when he describes the characteristics of statism:
It’s as if they hold no contempt for the tax collector who happily helps themselves [sic] to the hard-earned wealth of others.  It’s as if they don’t wince at the merciless beating of someone who finds themselves on the wrong side of a police officer drunk on his own power.  It’s as if don’t feel anguish for the innocent bystanders that happen to be in the path of the endless bombings for democracy.  It’s as if they could care less that some faceless bureaucrat monitors their private electronic correspondence without their permission. It’s is as if they don’t find it repulsive that their very freedom is being taken away by one decree after another.
The problem, as I see it, is that Miller is not criticizing statism per se, i.e., the abuse of power by those who hypostatize the concept of "state" and hold the interests of that supposed entity superior to the interests of individuals. Rather, Miller is asking me to believe that the state is "an inherently evil institution that oppresses the greater majority of mankind [emphasis mine]."

Moreover, Miller conflates the concepts of "state" and "government," concluding that both are "evil." Indeed, he criticizes "supporters of laissez faire" who "fail to show any radical aversion to the state itself" and, presumably, to any form of government itself.

On top of all this, Miller impugns the motives of the average voter who participates in the evil of state and government:
These aren’t intellectual mistakes.  They are daily occurrences sanctioned by a mass of voters still feverishly dedicated to the idea that government is theirs to control.  The average voter is often too preoccupied with his political buy-off to realize it is his neighbor’s money he is now in possession of.  Whenever their government is engaged in an imperialistic, corpse-ridden crusade of freedom, voters pay no mind to their dollars directly funding mass murder.  To them, the state is a religion and monarch rolled into one.  They pay tribute with their wealth, labor, and admiration only to be rewarded with their lives being more and more micromanaged.
This all sounds cultish to me. It certainly is not logical analysis. No longer is it enough to criticize statism or abuses of power by those in government. Critics must properly "hate" the very concepts of both "government" and "state" as inherent evils or they risk being labeled as "evil" themselves. If you vote, if you pay taxes, if you participate in politics, you are not making an intellectual mistake. You are proactively participating in evil. Thus, you are morally deficient. Or so Miller implies.

First off, how does Miller know whether an action is an intellectual mistake or a purposeful attempt to do harm?

Secondly, what possible good does it do anyone to hate a concept, especially a concept that few in our society understand the way Miller wants them to understand it?

I think it is ironic and instructive that a few days before Miller's article was published, an article by Wendy McElroy appeared on the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada website entitled: "What Is Society? What Is The State?" In her article McElroy distinguishes between the concept of "society" and that of "state." She also considers a third concept, "government:"
At this point in his argument, Nock introduced a third concept: government. To Nock, government, unlike the state, provided a valuable service. It protected the individual rights of society, presumably in exchange for a fee, such as that embodied in a reasonable tax rate.

Nock was not alone in distinguishing between government and the state, and in giving a nod to the former while frowning upon the latter. Ayn Rand also embraced a limited government that would function as a night watchman who unobtrusively protected the person and property of those within his territory.

We now live under a state, not a government. And true to the title of Nock’s book, the state is the enemy of our rights and property. Unlike the government envisioned by Rand, it is not a night watchman but a prison guard both day and night.
Not only does McElroy clearly distinguish between state and government, she clearly does not think government is inherently evil. In fact, neither does Nock, whom Miller also quoted in his article to buttress his argument that the state is evil.

Anarchists like Miller assume that once the structure of state and government crumbles individual freedom and liberty will enjoy an unfettered golden age. They believe this because they know that the science of economics demonstrates irrefutably that the system of capitalism and free markets provides for the largest quantity of goods and services to be distributed in the most satisfactory way at the lowest possible price to the widest range of demanding consumers. They assume that capitalism and free markets will provide individuals essential, societal services, like defense, property protection, conflict resolution and contract enforcement, more satisfactorily than either the state or government.

But is such an assumption valid?

I, like many "supporters of laissez faire," have grave doubts that it is. I will continue to have grave doubts until anarchists stop assuming and begin proving. In short, Miller should make his case. He should stop hating and persuade me that anarcho-capitalism is possible, practical and preferable to the classic nightwatchman form of limited government.

In "Theory and History" Ludwig von Mises writes:
The way toward a realistic distinction between freedom and bondage was opened, two hundred years ago, by David Hume's immortal essay, On the First Principles of Government. Government, taught Hume, is always government of the many by the few. Power is therefore always ultimately on the side of the governed, and the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. This cognition, logically followed to its conclusion, completely changed the discussion concerning liberty. The mechanical and arithmetical point of view was abandoned. If public opinion is ultimately responsible for the structure of government, it is also the agency that determines whether there is freedom or bondage. There is virtually only one factor that has the power to make people unfree-tyrannical public opinion. The struggle for freedom is ultimately not resistance to autocrats or oligarchs but resistance to the despotism of public opinion. It is not the struggle of the many against the few but of minorities-sometimes of a minority of but one man-against the majority. The worst and most dangerous form of absolutist rule is that of an intolerant majority. Such is the conclusion arrived at by Tocqueville and John Stuart Mill.
I think Miller and his anarchist friends understand implicitly that it is "tyrannical public opinion" that oppresses them and makes it possible for government to "steal" from them. Hence, Miller's virulent rants against the outrageous power wielded by officials of the state and the voters who sanction that power and "pay no mind to their dollars directly funding mass murder."

But what's an anarchist to do about it?

McElroy suggests two reasonable strategies:
“Gulching” and “Going Galt.” Gulching, named after Galt’s Gulch in Atlas Shrugged, means withdrawing from society into an isolated community. Going Galt, named after the early strategy of John Galt in the same novel, means removing your support from the state without leaving society.
So why doesn't Miller act on McElroy's suggestion? If his hatred of "tyrannical public opinion" is so unbearable, why stick around? Why embark on the thankless mission of convincing a bunch of mistaken intellectuals and immoral numbskulls to hate the concepts of state and government with a vitriol equal to his? Why not simply "Gulch" or "Go Galt?"

McElroy has the answer:
Society offers tremendous benefits, including friendship, expanded knowledge, culture, a division of labor, the free market of exchange, family and romantic love. Society can maximize your range of choice because many of your decisions require the presence of other people; for example, the decision to have a child. The maximization of choice is itself a form of freedom...
...It takes a great deal of theft and corruption by the state to outweigh the extraordinary benefits of society. Whether or not we are at that point is a judgment call. My judgment is that we are not there yet. The tipping point may be perilously close but the state has not yet succeeded in reversing the advantages of being in society.

No matter how you slice it, whether you want to entice individuals to join you in a new, anarcho-capitalist society or in a reformed America with limited government, you must persuade individuals to cooperate with you, or the benefits of cooperation you now enjoy will be squandered.

Well, guess what. The key to cooperative action is voluntary and mutual agreement. And the only means of attaining voluntary and mutual agreement is persuasion, not vitriol and flame-throwing.

Don't get me wrong. There are individuals in America who are just plain "evil," or who at least knowingly and purposely act in "evil" ways to rip-off and torment their neighbors. These individuals might deserve a huge helping of hate. However, these individuals aren't prospective cooperative partners anyway. There is little chance of persuading them to change their evil ways.

On the other hand, it is possible to persuade well-meaning Americans of goodwill to right their intellectual mistakes and cooperate in like-minded fashion for mutual benefit. All I'm sayin' to Miller is: cool it!

Stop cultishly demonizing individuals and their beliefs.

I, for one, will be more likely to cooperate with you if you stop demanding that I "hate" government as viscerally as you do.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Remembering George Gershwin, September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937

"Genius dies young."

Never has this old saying been more true than in the case of George Gershwin, one of America's most famous and prolific musicians and composers. 75 years ago George died in the prime of his creative career at the age of 38. According to one biographical profile, at the time of his death George had planned "a string quartet, a ballet and another opera, but these pieces were never written." America and the world are poorer for it.

I am not going to attempt to describe Gershwin's contribution and importance to American music. Better writers than I have done so over the years. Good sources for this material can be found in Wikipedia and in the archives of the New York Times. Readers can find a comprehensive list of his musical compositions here, and a list of his contributions to the American song book here. The breadth and depth of his talent is absolutely awe inspiring.

Gershwin was born a year or two shy of the turn of the century. He grew up in an America far different from the country we know today. Freedom and liberty were not merely words then; Americans experienced them firsthand in their rawest and most exciting form. Yes, the seeds of the coming American welfare state had already been planted, but the age George grew up in inherited its vigor and vitality from an earlier era when ambition, talent, hard work and perseverance were honored and encouraged.

When George was at his prime, America was a country that put the individual on a pedestal. Men and women didn't look to government for their livelihood, safety and security. They lived life in the moment, took risks and some, like George, achieved greatness of a kind we will probably never again experience and enjoy.

Ken Bloom, in his book "The American Songbook," describes the times in which George and his lyricist brother, Ira, grew up:
Of course, George and Ira didn't arrive as full-blown expert songwriters. However, they were born in an era of opportunity, when live theater was the popular entertainment of choice. The brothers started out, in humble fashion, supplying a song here and there to be interpolated into a wide range of early musicals and operettas... ...George and Ira seemed destined to become merely adequate composers who created minor songs for minor musicals.
The operative word is "opportunity." George and Ira knew that success never comes easy. They knew that reward never comes without risk, hardship and pluck. According to an excellent movie biography made in 1945, "Rhapsody in Blue," Morris Gershwin, George's father, owned and operated a series of small businesses, everything from a grocery store to a steam parlor. Apparently, he earned enough to make a modest living. Morris, has been described as "a somewhat unsuccessful entrepreneur, and the family had moved twenty-eight times by the time George was eighteen." Unfortunately, "the family went bankrupt in 1914 and moved to Coney Island." 

Yet, his family prodded by his mother insisted that the family was able to afford a piano. She bought one when George was 12 and the rest is history.

Neither was George held back by the good intentions of truancy and child labor laws. He dropped out of school at age 15 and briefly played piano in a burlesque show. He then "went to work for Jerome H. Remick & Co., a music publishing firm on Tin Pan Alley, for a salary of $15.00 per week, while he continued living with his parents and his brother Ira." Until he was 18 George worked for Remick "as a song plugger: a salesman who promoted the firm's songs by playing and singing them for performers. As a result of many hours each day spent at the keyboard, his playing improved greatly, and he cut his first piano rolls in 1915" at the age of 16. 

Read all about Gershwin's fascinating young life here.

The result of Gershwin's rough and tumble, hardscrabble life growing up in the streets of New York's East Side is this:

I've spent a lifetime enjoying the fruits of Gershwin's genius and labor. I won't try to recount them all. Music -- all good music -- is emotional and personal. By God Gershwin's is that, and more. I love all he created, but here are a few of my absolute favorites. Thank God and America for George Gershwin. May he never be forgotten! May America return to the great nation that fostered his genius!
And, yes, even Bob Dylan is indebted to Mr. Gershwin!

Friday, July 6, 2012

If Republicans Had Guts, And Democrats Had Brains...

As I pointed out here, Mitt Romney's vaunted plan to "repeal and replace" ObamaCare is only half sensible. His plan to replace ObamaCare with a hodgepodge of mealymouthed "reforms" is nothing more than the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act warmed over.

Romney's statist approach to solving the health care "problem" will NOT solve anything; it will merely make our dissatisfaction with the health care industry fester and grow.

Politically, Romney's approach to health care will be as damaging to the free market and the conservative cause as George Bush's absurd and unprincipled intervention into the financial markets. Bush's blundering is what made the ignorant electorate hunger for the "hope and change" of Barack Obama in 2008. Romney's interventionist policies in health care will likely destroy and discredit conservatism for evermore.

The "solution" to the health care "problem" is as obvious as it is simple: allow individuals the freedom to decide for themselves what is in their own best interests. If Romney (or even Gary Johnson for that matter) were really interested in "fixing" the health care industry in this country, he would not only advocate the repeal of ObamaCare and Bush's pathetic Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, he would endorse the following measures:

First and foremost, abolish the FDA. Not only is the Food and Drug Administration a bloated and expensive federal bureaucracy, it is also responsible for the restricted supply of drugs in this country. The result is high prices and chronic shortages. Abolishing the FDA would end the incestuous relationship between the federal regulators and the large drug companies. It would allow small, innovative manufacturers to enter the marketplace and freely compete. Moreover, the large drug companies would have to truly compete with each other. No more sweetheart deals and government protected territories. They would have to sink or swim in the market. The supply of demanded drugs would increase. Prices would fall. And, as difficult as it may be for statists to believe, the quality of medical drugs would improve, as the quality of all goods and services improves when markets are opened to real competition.

Second, eliminate state and federal licensing mandates for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and all other health care providers. Licensing of health care practitioners is merely a backhanded way of protecting the interests and incomes of established and connected health care providers. Individuals and their chosen health care provider are capable of deciding what level of care and what brand of pharmaceuticals are in their best interests. They should be free to purchase their preferred drugs and care from whomever they deem appropriate. No more government regulated prescriptions. No more mandates specifying physician care. The resulting downward pressure on the price of health care and drugs would be immediate and lasting. And, again, the overall quality and effectiveness of pharmaceuticals would improve.

Third, eliminate federal and state tax credits and deductions for the purchase of health insurance, this includes the tax advantage employees realize when health insurance is purchased through their employer. The current system of employer provided insurance results in third party bill paying. Consequently, waste, fraud and carelessness abound, as the direct relationship between individual buyer and individual vendor is interrupted. Individuals purchase life insurance, auto insurance, fire insurance, wind insurance and all variety of other insurances directly from insurance vendors in the free marketplace. They buy this insurance from huge insurance companies that operate all across America. Why should the purchase of health insurance at a tax advantage be limited to employers? Moreover, why should the purchase of health insurance -- or of any insurance for that matter -- be restricted to vendors operating within the purchaser's state boundaries? Putting the decision-making authority back into the hands of individual buyers and sellers will result in lower prices and increased quality and satisfaction.

Fourth, eliminate state and federal health insurance mandates. The idea that politicians know better than their constituents what is in their own best interest with regard to the terms of their health insurance contract is absurd. Mandates and restrictions imposed by government (e.g., pregnancy, abortion and psychiatric care) destroy practical and needed health insurance options for largely political reasons. Young people ought to be able to purchase a no frills, high deductible, catastrophic health insurance policy on the open market. All individuals ought to be able to purchase a health insurance policy tailored to their specific needs rather than to the politically correct needs of a state or federal politician. When state and federal mandates are eliminated, the supply of health insurance options will increase, prices will fall and consumer satisfaction will increase immeasurably across the board.

Fifth, abolish Medicaid and Medicare completely. In other words, take state and federal governments and bureaucrats out of the health care and health insurance equation. If the American voter deems it necessary and proper to subsidize the cost of health care and health insurance for indigents, government should simply write a check to the indigents in some politically-decided amount. The indigents could then purchase health care and health insurance on the free market with the rest of us. The instant a government bureaucrat steps between an individual and a health care or health insurance provider, the seeds are sown for corruption, waste and cronyism. The system which best serves the many is destroyed in favor of a convoluted and bureaucratic system designed to serve the needs of the favored few.

Of course, the real reforms I've outlined above will be vehemently opposed by those with an ideological axe to grind or by those who are ignorant of economics. I can hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth now from both liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans. Such reform measures, they will say, are unrealistic, cruel and heartless. Critics will recite a thousand and one reasons why these free market solutions will not work. They will back up their arguments not with economic logic but with a thousand and one anecdotes describing the most helpless and pitiful health care nightmares imaginable.

This is exactly the reason our country is now between a rock and a hard place. The progressive philosophy has so infected the minds of Democrats and Republicans alike that rationality is shut out in favor of emotionalism. Instead of designing a solution for these exceptional and pathetic examples of healthcare hardship, the progressive mind begins to design a solution around them. As a result, a system that efficiently and satisfactorily serves the vast majority of individuals is scrapped in favor of a bureaucratic monstrosity designed to cater to the needs of the exceptional few.

Imagine for a moment that our topic of discussion wasn't the nation's health care system, but its system of food production and distribution. Imagine for a moment that our food industry is in a shambles because almost a century ago, in the interest of fairness and feeding the poor and indigent, the government decided that food was a "human right."

To fulfill this human right, imagine the government decided that citizens must purchase food by means of employer-provided food insurance, which the government also decided was a "human right."

Imagine the government many years ago established a new bureaucracy which regulated food production and food insurance, and mandated that certain foods must be provided and equally available to all.

Imagine this bureaucracy today decides which foods are nutritional and which are unhealthy, which foods are reimbursable through food insurance and which are not, which farmers are preferred food manufacturers, which grocers are in-network food providers.

Imagine that, when hungry employees pick up their food from an in-network grocer, they are charged only a small co-pay for the food they bring home. Then, the grocer submits the balance of the food bill to the food insurance company which approves the bill and pays only the allowable balance. And every month the food insurance company charges the employer a food insurance premium which may or may not be partially paid by the employee and which, supposedly, finances the entire system.

As you can well imagine, no one would be satisfied with this food insurance system. Employees cannot buy the food they really want. Employers are constantly shopping for inferior food insurance companies that charge cheaper monthly premiums because monthly premiums are constantly skyrocketing. Grocers are squeezed by ever-tightening bureaucratic rules and regulations imposed by both the food insurance companies and the government. Farmers and grocers alike are threatening to go out of business.

Imagine, moreover, that the government seeks to "reform" this system because it has discovered that a good many individuals in America are malnourished. Why? Because they are either not employed or because their employer does not offer food insurance. The only means by which these indigent and hungry individuals can nourish themselves is to eat at emergency soup kitchens which the government mandates the food producers and distributors provide.

Now imagine the solution the government proposes to this mess is to regulate the entire food production and food insurance industry by a huge new bureaucracy headed up by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Who in their right mind would recommend such a solution?

Isn't it obvious that the solution to our imagined food nightmare is the highly efficient, free market, capitalistic system of producing and distributing food which we enjoy today? A system wherein farmers produce food demanded by grocers? A system wherein the grocer distributes food most demanded by the food consumers?

 But what about the indigent and hungry? Today the federal government deals with these individuals by issuing them food stamps. The indigent, in turn, use these stamps to buy food on the same free and capitalistic market that serves the rest of us so efficiently.

In the case of the food industry today, the federal government has decreed that food is best produced and most efficiently distributed according to the dictates of economics instead of politics.

Why shouldn't the government issue today the same decree with regard to health care production and distribution? Our political system will decide whether or not it is the responsibility of some individuals to be taxed in order to provide for the health care and health insurance needs of a few, favored individuals, such as the indigent.

However, once our political system makes this decision, shouldn't we allow sound economics to dictate the most appropriate means of distributing health care and health insurance to these favored few?

Economics demonstrates irrefutably that the system of capitalism and free markets provides for the largest quantity of goods and services to be distributed in the most satisfactory way at the lowest possible price to the widest range of demanding consumers. It makes no economic sense at all to scrap such a system based on the needs of a favored few.

On the contrary, it makes perfect economic sense to allow these favored few to satisfy their needs by utilizing the same capitalistic, free market system the satisfies the rest of us.