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Showing posts from March, 2009

Violence in Mexico

Juan Carlos Hidalgo of the Cato Institute is here interviewed on BBC regarding the increasing level of violence in Mexico due to the War on Drugs. I believe the War on Drugs has failed and should be ended for not only the sake of liberty, but for the sake of all the innocent lives that are lost both directly and indirectly. The video is embedded below:

Che/Mao - Communist Love Affairs

Reason.tv's Episode 22 explores why so many people, including those in Hollywood, are obsessed with idolizing communist revolutionary Che Guevera. Communist mass-murderer Mao Zedong is also gaining popularity and starting to appear on merchandise. The video can be found here and is embedded below:

Great Myths of the Great Depression III

A comment from Anonymous reads:
Once again, thank goodness for the two-party, system, as much as it is a pain. Thank goodness. Because if Libertarians ever got a hold of this country, wow, talk about going down the tubes. These ideas are so radical and unproven, its crazy.Being as how both the Republicans, and now the Democrats have taken our country so far down those tubes, I'm not sure how much further we could go before complete ruin. But aside from that, exactly which parts of his essay are radical and unproven? I'm assuming, of course, that you read the essay. At least I sure hope you did before making such a comment.

The arguments that Mr. Reed presents are not new, and certainly are not unproven. They carry a lot of weight among most economists and a lot of historians. Though I've only read parts, one of the best books you could read on the subject is Murray Rothbard's America's Great Depression. Here's the conclusion of the 5th edition's introduction

Great Myths of the Great Depression II

The beginning of January I read and posted about an essay by Lawrence Reed on the Great Depression. On March 12th, 2009, Mr. Reed, who is the President of the Foundation for Economic Education, gave a 15 minute lecture on his essay at the Austrian Scholars Conference held at the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama. It is a great introduction to the essay I linked to on my last post, titled "Great Myths of the Great Depression". The lecture can be found here via YouTube and is embedded below. Well worth a watch:

An Eminent Domain Injustice

Via the Cato Institute, this video highlights the injustice committed by the Supreme Court in it's Kelo vs. City of New London ruling in favor of the government seizing private party property, in order to sell it to another private party to build a factory (which, 3 years later, all houses since demolished, has yet to be built and most likely won't be). The video is definitely moving and informative to those unfamiliar with the case, as I was until recently. Click here for the video and it's embedded below:

Paul vs. Baldwin: War on Drugs

In a not-so-great-because-Ron-Paul-obliterates-Actor-Stephen-Baldwin debate between the two over legalizing marijuana, Congressmen Paul makes sound common sense points in his opposition to the federal prohibition of marijuana, via YouTube (embedded below):

Defend The Gold Standard

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I have blogged before on the evils of fiat money. For those who are unaware of what fiat money is, fiat money is paper money that is not redeemable in any actual commodity, such as gold. In other words, fiat money is counterfeit money that can be inflated willey-nilley, producing all sorts of evils. See my post outlining those evils here. Roberty Murphy writes a great defense of the gold standard for the Ludwig von Mises Institute (using as his basis this piece from Bloomberg). An excerpt:
Let's take these one at a time. To criticize a monetary system based on gold as "rigid" only makes sense if you believe that printing green pieces of paper makes a country richer. After all, the only rigidity enforced by the gold standard is on the central bank's use of the printing press. Requiring the government to maintain a fixed dollar/gold exchange rate is "restrictive" in the same way that the Bill of Rights limits the discretionary power of the feds.

So yes, if Mr. …

Presidential Role

Gene Healy of the Cato Institute shares his view on the presidential role of giving hundreds of speeches a year. Of course, Obama is our current president and an excellent example of the point he's trying to make, but he by no means is the only president to (have been) front and center, everyday, on every channel, giving speeches and holding press conferences. I agree with Healy that not only is it improper, but it also feeds into the unconstitutionality and irrationality of a be-everything-to-everybody-and-solve-all-our-problems-in-chief view that the head of the Executive branch has evolved into. The video can be found here and it's embedded below:

The Revolution: A Manifesto II

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I have completed this book and wanted to first share some thoughts and then quote some of the best parts from each chapter (just a few chapters).  I am glad I bought and read this book and should have done so a year ago when it came out. The book represents Ron Paul's political and philosophic beliefs about the Constitution, war and US foreign policy, economic freedom, civil liberties, and the central bank. He's consistently libertarian in each of these areas and the main call of the book is for an intellectual revolution in regards to our system of government, or the system of government that evolved, unconstitutionally, over the last 200+ years. I will probably keep my eye on Ron Paul and what he's up to a little closer than I have been and will do what I can to elect like minded individuals to all levels of government. Now for the quotes that stood out to me:

Chapter 1: The False Choices of American Politics
My message is one of freedom and individual rights. I believe in…

The Revolution: A Manifesto

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I've picked up this book by Rep. Ron Paul and just finished the preface, which I will re-print here. But first a moment to share the names of those that have been influential in the journey I've been on these last few years in regards to my classic liberal (libertarian) philosophical beliefs. It started through reading the weekly columns of Walter E. Williams and Thomas Sowell in my local newspaper (Deseret News). Both are fine economists. Dr. Williams teaches at George Mason University and explains the libertarian philosophy, and economics, better than most. Dr. Sowell is one of the world's finest scholars and has written several books, many of which I own.

From there I began reading the columns of John Stossel and subscribed to The Freeman journal. This journal introduced me to several econo-libertarians such as Donald Boudreaux, Robert Murphy, and Steve Horwitz. About this time I discovered Google Reader and the ease of which I could follow these writer's blogs, arti…

Supreme Court Rules FDA Useless

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The Washington Post reports here about the latest Supreme Court ruling that says that drug companies are ultimately responsible for harm caused by their drugs. This is interesting because, as the report says, the Food and Drug Administration, in 2006, changed it's policy and adopted rules that would insulate drug companies from lawsuits resulting from harm their FDA approved drugs caused. Obviously, this deems the FDA useless, in regards to approving drugs, and returns drug regulation back to the market and the courts, where it should be.

The Cato Institute's policy handbook has this (and more) to say regarding the FDA:
The Human Costs of FDA Delays

As an agency, the FDA has a strong incentive to delay allowing products to reach the market. After all, if a product that helps millions of individuals causes adverse reactions or even death for a few, the FDA will be subject to adverse publicity with critics asking why more tests were not conducted. Certainly, it is desirable to make…

Defending the Undefendable

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I just finished this book by Mises.org fellow Walter Block and all I can say is, though you may not agree with everything he says (I don't), what he says will definitely alter your perspective on some of society's most notorious scapegoats. The book can be found here at the Mises.org book store and here as a full .pdf download. Here is the description from Mises.org and both a for and against quotation:

Professor Block's book...is among the most famous of the great defenses of victimless crimes and controversial economic practices, from profiteering and gouging to bribery and blackmail. However, beneath the surface, this book is also an outstanding work of microeconomic theory that explains the workings of economic forces in everyday events and affairs.

Murray Rothbard explains why:
Defending the Undefendable performs the service of highlighting, the fullest and starkest terms, the essential nature of the productive services performed by all people in the free market. By taki…

The Golden Age of Free Speech

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Looking at everything that's transpired in my life over the last 5 years, great advances were made for me intellectually and spiritually in large part thanks to the internet. Perhaps someday I will give a chronicling of that but suffice it to say that I truly believe we are living in a golden age of free speech, the likes of which was only dreamed of by our founding fathers. Thomas Jefferson specifically gave his opinion on where he wanted our constitutional rights to speech and the press to go. Here to briefly summarize the last 230+ years of America's free press history is an article I read in June of 2008. It was written by Steve Boriss for the Cato Institute's techknowledge publication. I highly recommend reading it. I also recommend adding your ideas to the marketplace via a blog or what not, as I have done. The introduction:
Everyone knows that the First Amendment phrase "freedom of the press" generally refers to journalists. But at the time the First Amendm…