Showing posts from December, 2009

Health-Care Reform and Wealth Re-distribution

One of the biggest contributors to personal bankruptcy in America is health-care debt. This can be created in a number of ways: an accident, such as breaking your arm; as people get older their bodies begin to shutdown; people can be born with conditions requiring constant medical care; and in many cases people choose to use medical services such as in the case of an intentional pregnancy. My wife and I recently had our second child. Considering the expenses involved in child-birth, we would be on the hook for the equivalent of a new mid-sized sedan had we not had health insurance.

The reasons medical services have gotten so expensive have been analyzed by various economists. According to Milton Friedman, "The high cost and inequitable character of our medical care system are the direct result of our steady movement toward reliance on third-party payment." These third-party payers include insurance companies and governments. So involved is government in health-care, that Fri…

The First Christmas - A Libertarian Event, Too

December 2018: I read this essay and added commentary for Editor's Break 125 of the EVC podcast.

Christmastime is arguably the best time of the year. We all know the reasons why, though many forget. My intention with this short essay is not to examine those, the most important parts. Rather, what I thought I'd share here are the details that make the Christmas story a libertarian event, too.

The mere birth of Jesus Christ upset the local government authority, King Herod. In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 2, we read, "Now when Jesus was aborn in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him." Herod immediately schemed to slay the babe because he believed he was a threat to his throne. As we can plainly se…

In Defense of Ebenezer Scrooge

I couldn't believe it when I saw it. A defense of that universally-loathed villain Ebenezer Scrooge. I recently came across this exceptionally written piece and absolutely must share it. I should warn you, however, that reading this may well destroy for you what is regarded as a well-beloved Christmas story. It did for me. No more do I have the same opinions of Scrooge or even Bob Cratchit. Actually, although it's caused me to remove this story from favorites list, I'm glad I've read this piece as it has connected my study of economics with my childhood. Written by Butler Shaffer, an excerpt:
It is instructive that Dickens tells us virtually nothing about the nature of Ebeneezer's business. We know that he is something of a banker or financier, but we are told nothing about the nature of his investments. Even if he has not been a creative entrepreneur himself, he has, presumably, been responsible for financing many successful enterprises, which have not only benefit…

Preamble to The Bill of Rights

In celebration of today, Bill of Rights Day, I share the preamble of the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution (emphasis added):

The Bill of Rights
The First 10 Amendments to the
Constitution as Ratified by the States
December 15, 1791

Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New York,
on Wednesday the Fourth of March,
one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution

RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States,…

10 Tenets of Freedom

Fantastic list created by Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation, detailing 10 tenets of freedom. Excerpts from each tenet, read the entire 2-part article here:

Income Taxation
How can a person be considered truly free if the state has the power to take whatever percentage of income it wants from him? Whether the state sets the percentage at 5 percent or 100 percent, the principle remains the same: By wielding the power to set the percentage, the state effectively becomes the master of the people, who in turn become the servants.
Free Trade
From the standpoint of individual freedom, why shouldn’t people be free to trade their money and other property with others, anywhere in the world? It’s their privately owned property, right? It doesn’t belong to society, or to the majority, or to the state. They earned it. It belongs to them. By freely entering into trades with others from around the world, they are not only exercising an important right, they are also improving their ec…

The Debate Continues

I've been involved in a small debate over at The introduction to my latest contribution:
Caleb Smitherson, Chris Brown and I have been involved in a debate of sorts regarding what the Book of Mormon says regarding tax and limited government. Caleb’s position is that God has authorized some coercive taxation and limited government. Chris Brown’s position is that Caleb Smitherson has misinterpreted his quoted Book of Mormon passages. This debate continues with Caleb Smitherson’s latest, found here.

My own views on using scripture to justify public (secular) government are laid out here. As well, a look at the libertarian principle of self-ownership by Caleb Smitherson is here, which kicked off this discussion (with my response). Whatever the merits of Caleb Smitherson’s And Chris Brown’s arguments, I leave those to them to refute. The purpose of this short article is to make a few corrections to Caleb Smitherson’s explanation of libertarianism and his interpretation o…

O = W

Just made this graphic. Pass it on.

Imagining Liberty

No one says it quite like Mencken:
The fact is that liberty, in any true sense, is a concept that lies quite beyond the reach of the inferior man’s mind. He can imagine and even esteem, in his way, certain false forms of liberty–for example, the right to choose between two political mountebanks, and to yell for the more obviously dishonest–but the reality is incomprehensible to him. And no wonder, for genuine liberty demands of its votaries a quality he lacks completely, and that is courage. The man who loves it must be willing to fight for it; blood, said Jefferson, is its natural manure. More, he must be able to endure it–an even more arduous business. Liberty means self-reliance, it means resolution, it means enterprise, it means the capacity for doing without. The free man is one who has won a small and precarious territory from the great mob of his inferiors, and is prepared and ready to defend it and make it support him. All around him are enemies, and where he stands ther…