Monday, September 27, 2010

The Case Against the Fed

Absolutely a must read book. Murray Rothbard, in very understandable and readable language, explains the evils of counterfeiting and inflation, and how the Federal Reserve is legally allowed to do both. The wonderful book can be found in several downloadable and free formats via Mises.org. Here's its introduction:

By far the most secret and least accountable operation of the federal government is not, as one might expect, the CIA, DIA, or some other super-secret intelligence agency. The CIA and other intelligence operations are under control of the Congress. They are accountable: a Congressional committee supervises these operations, controls their budgets, and is informed of their covert activities. It is true that the committee hearings and activities are closed to the public; but at least the people's representatives in Congress insure some accountability for these secret agencies.

It is little known, however, that there is a federal agency that tops the others in secrecy by a country mile. The Federal Reserve System is accountable to no one; it has no budget; it is subject to no audit; and no Congressional committee knows of, or can truly supervise, its operations. The Federal Reserve, virtually in total control of the nation's vital monetary system, is accountable to nobody—and this strange situation, if acknowledged at all, is invariably trumpeted as a virtue.

McScrooge Laments Inflation

I just came across this beautiful nugget showing McScrooge teaching his nephews about the evils of inflations. I recently posted about the changing attitudes of our children's cartoons on money:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Free to Choose an Unlicensed Practitioner

I recently forwarded an article to a conservative colleague that argued for America to lift it's restrictions on trade with and travel to Cuba. The conclusion contained a small argument against the belief that the government is here to allow us to do certain things:
Contrast statism with libertarianism. Libertarians, unlike statists, hold that man has been endowed by nature and God with fundamental, inherent rights that exist independently of government. Since such rights do not come from government, people don’t need to get governmental permission to exercise them.

What are such rights? Not only the right to publish or read whatever you want or to peaceably assemble with others, but also the right to sustain your life through labor, to engage in economic activity, to engage in any occupation or trade, to trade with others, to accumulate the fruits of your earnings, to travel wherever you want, and to do what you want with your own money. And all without governmental permission.
My colleague agreed with most of the article, but had a problem with that last sentence. A discussion ensued.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Do You Care About the Poor and Needy?

Since my initial self-education in economics by the pen of Walter Williams, I've believed that truly caring about the poor and the needy means that you oppose government interference in the market. The poor and needy are always affected the worse by government regulations and licensing laws. You can't support government interference in the market, other than the protection from force or fraud, without supporting those things that hurt the poor and the needy the most.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Scrooge McDuck vs. Mr. Krabs

Times have certainly changed. I remember watching Duck Tales growing up and loved watching Scrooge McDuck swimming around in his silo of gold coins and precious stones:


However, kids these days have no clue what a gold coin is, or what it's worth.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Interstate Commerce and Your Church

The Interstate Commerce clause of the United States Constitution is found under Article I, Section 8, and reads,
The Congress shall have power...to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes;
This clause has been especially abused by the US Federal government to justify all sorts of regulations. For example, it was used to justify regulations to set quotas on growing wheat on one's own land for one's own consumption, or of the consumption of one's livestock because doing so could effect the stability of national wheat prices. A failed example has it being used to justify the Federal prohibition of firearms within a certain distance of elementary schools.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Islamocapitalism

You've probably heard the term to describe one of neo-conservatism's biggest hobgoblins, "Islamofascism". I'm not sure who coined it (Savage?), but it's spread like wild fire over the last few years. It's a term used to spread fear and hate towards Muslims. A much more accurate term to describe the secular side of the Muslim faith would be "Islamocapitalism". Lew Rockwell's latest podcast explores Islam's capitalistic roots and love for capitalists, a sentiment I'm happy to tolerate. Here's the summary from his site:
Is Islam compatible with free markets? Turkish journalist Mustafa Akyol points out that the vast majority of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims are tolerant, peaceable and reasonable people whose lives do not make the news. The blowback of terrorism is the result of Western colonialism and the CIA’s promotion of fundamentalism in its Afghan war on the Soviets.

Islam was founded by a successful merchant, and the religion was largely pro-market until the colonial disease of socialism infected the Muslim world. The Koran calls the merchant the most honorable man, saying that nine of ten of God’s bounties come from trade.
The podcast is a must listen and can be downloaded here.