Saturday, August 4, 2012

Real Men Of Genius: Calvin Coolidge

The 1920's "roared" partly because Calvin Coolidge was president. 
Calvin didn't get involved with much.  Stayed home a lot. 
Didn't preach for anything but less government involvement. 
Told the lobbyists for the first Farm Bill to shove it. 
Supported Civil Rights for blacks and immigrants. 
He cut taxes and spending to the point that by 1927, only the top two % of earners paid any income tax.  He slashed the national debt by 1/4.  

That's really all he did to create one of the most prosperous times in U.S. history. 

It was called "The Roaring Twenties".

If he'd been president at the beginning of the the stock market crash of '29, I suspect we wouldn't have seen a Great Depression. Calvin would've ignored it.

Whited's Law: A depression is a recession that the government tried to kill. 

Where's Calvin now that we really need him? 

Friday, August 3, 2012

On Price Controls At The Olympics

To charge fair market value for something like the Olympics would be unfair. 
Therefore, price controls were put in place. 

Here's the great Tom Woods, star speaker at the Texas Libertarian Party's recent State Convention, on why you've got empty seats:
The British Olympic organizers restricted ticket purchases, rewarded corporate purchases but not corporate use, imposed price controls on tickets available to the public and state violence against the resulting scalpers (touts) — and are distraught and surprised over the empty seats that characterize so many of the Olympic events so far. To reduce the embarrassment and sense of scandal, organizers have carted in British troops–dressed in their camo!–to fill seats at gymnastics events, while other easily manipulated, low-time-cost groups on the government’s payroll are also being bussed in to other sparsely-attended venues.

Meanwhile, many thousands willing to pay market prices to attend Olympic events are told to bugger off.

And they always act "surprised", don't they? 

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit has been having fun for the last 5 years or so, working the word "unexpectedly" into the reports of markets and prices reacting to incentives in ways that surprise the Statists but not many other people.  Go here for a sampling....

A Day In The Life Of A Statist. Or A Departmentist.

Someone (with the aid of schoolteachers, The Department Of Education, and the roadbuilders of the Information Superhighway) has written a clever little socialist parable that is making the rounds on Facebook:

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time, as regulated by the US congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank. On the way out the door, I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After work, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads to my house, which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshall’s inspection, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local police department.

I then log on to the internet, which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post on and fox news forums about how socialism in medicine is bad because the government can’t do anything right. 

-Anonymous Wingnut

It begs for a response, doesn't it?  If the phrase "electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy" doesn't make you break out in fits of giggles, hell, it can't be done.  And then there's the long lists of unnecessary government departments, all staffed with tens of thousands of useless seat warmers, helping this guy get through his day. 

Because if the government didn't provide those services, the private sector could never ever do so.  Is that really what this dude believes?   

Someone called Ipster76 on Reddit wrote a response that goes as follows:

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the local public power monopoly. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the latest misleading liberal dominated mass media reports are. I watched this while eating my unhealthy, subsidized corn-byproduct dominated breakfast thanks to the US Department of Agriculture.

Had I written this, I would've put in something about "the US Department of Agriculture - a wholly owned subsidiary of Monsanto."  But I tend to over-write. 

I then get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration used automobile, whose renewed title I was forced to pay an exorbitant amount for when I bought it. I then set out to my job on the roads built by the local, state and federal departments of transportation, passing by groups of 8 or more Union laborers, of which only about 2 are actually doing work at any given moment due to their collective bargaining agreement. I am also forced to slow down or risk being caught and fined by speed cameras implemented by the local government, despite the fact that I am a fully competent driver with no violations on his record, and the highway repairs have yet to be finished after 5 years. I also do not stop to purchase exorbitantly priced fuel from Big Oil subsidized by the Federal Government using legal tender that has lost value thanks to inflationary policies of the Federal Reserve Bank. At some point in the future when I am married with children, I will drop off my kids off at a private school 20 minutes away, because despite my future residence in a decent neighborhood, I am zone for an unsafe public school fraught with gang activity, and staffed by underpaid teachers.

This guy must live on Fort Worth's East Side. 

After work, I drive by the same unproductive union workers in the alleged construction zones, and am again forced to slow down because of the speed cameras. I do not stop by the liquor store, because although I am legally an adult who can vote and serve in the military, I cannot legally purchase alcohol, thus violating my rights under the Equal Protection Clause of Section I, Amendment IIV of the Constitution; however, because I am over the age of 18, it will also remain on my permanent record if I am caught in possession of it. I continue driving my car back to my apartment, which I discover has been plundered of all its valuables. I contact the local Police Department, who make a cursory investigation and fail to find any evidence, because they are too busy fighting the prohibitionist war on drugs under which gang activity has flourished for the past 30 years. I consider smoking some marijuana on my own private property to relax after a long, hard day at work, but I can’t because it has been made illegal by politicians that receive campaign funds from big pharma and the liquor lobby.

I then get on to the internet, which the Federal Government is trying to stifle through regulation and censorship, and proceed to post on r/politics about how libertarians are selfish and that the government needs to be more involved with healthcare.

Well done, sir.  Well done. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why shouldn't Olympic earnings be taxed?

Florida's Marco Rubio is trying to ensure that Olympians aren't taxed for bringing home gold, silver, or bronze medals. 

The Florida Republican introduced a bill today to exempt U.S. Olympic medal winners from paying taxes on their medals. In addition to gold, silver or bronze, medal winners receive cash payments to go with their hardware.

Rubio said the American medal winners get honorariums from the U.S. Olympic Committee of $25,000 (for winning gold), $15,000 (for silver) and $10,000 for bronze, with the Internal Revenue Service ever ready to collect.

"Our tax code is a complicated and burdensome mess that too often punishes success, and the tax imposed on Olympic medal winners is a classic example of this madness," said Rubio, a Tea Party favorite. "Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn't have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home."

Similar measures have also been introduced in the House, by Reps. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., and G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C.

Under the legislation, the gross income of U.S. Olympians "shall not include the value of any prize or award won by the taxpayer in athletic competition in the Olympic Games." If the bill becomes law, it would apply to prizes received after Dec. 31, 2011.
Ok, so Michael Phelps works his butt off to win $25K, and wouldn't have to pay taxes on it.
Some other guy who isn't on television works his butt off to write a book, sell a painting, or even puts a lot of money at risk to win $25K at the blackjack tables in Vegas.  He still has to pay taxes on that, because he isn't representing our nation overseas?? 

Can someone please clarify the distinction that Rubio is trying to make? 

In case you're new to this site, I believe that 80% of all tax dollars are mis-spent.  The worst thing that can happen to an Olympian's hard-earned dollar is for Tim Geithner to get his grubby little paws on it.  But I don't think it makes sense to exempt Group A from taxes but not Group B.  Especially when Group B supplies the donations that make Group A's useless but entertaining activity possible. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

You Didn't Lift That


A nation whose citizens express proper gratitude to their leaders.
London, July 30(ANI): North Korean Olympian Om Yun Chol joined an elite list of weightlifters to have lifted three times their weight during the men's 56-kg, group B, clean and jerk weightlifting competition at the London Olympics, and he has credited his world-record feat to late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

Om won the gold medal in the process, and according to him, it was all thanks due to their late 'great leader'.

The 20-year-old Om, who stands just a shade under 5 feet, also set an Olympic record when he cleared 168 kilograms (about 370 pounds) in the clean and jerk in the men's 56-kilogram (about 123 pounds) category.

"How can any man possibly lift 168kg? I believe the great Kim Jong Il looked over me," CBS quoted Om, as saying.

Let us all take a brief timeout from our daily tasks, go to a quiet place, and offer up prayers of gratitude to the Kims, Pol Pots, Bushes, Clintons, Reagans, Obamneys, Pelosis, Reids and Boehners who take our money away from us and then pay other people to do things for us with it.  For without them, we would have more choice in the matter. 

Go here for the entire story about Om. 
Go here for the theologian who first noted Om's proper attitude of reverence to The One who helped him lift 168 kilos.  His blog is called The Dignified Rant.  Via a link from Instapundit. 
If you've been moved by Om's story, you can go here for information on how pay for even more government's spending.  (Bush/Obama spending, not North Korean spending).

Send your checks to this address:

Attn: Dept G

Bureau of the Public Debt
P. O. Box 2188
Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Happy Birthday, Milton Friedman !!!

From The Wall Street Journal:

It's a tragedy that Milton Friedman—born 100 years ago on July 31—did not live long enough to combat the big-government ideas that have formed the core of Obamanomics. It's perhaps more tragic that our current president, who attended the University of Chicago where Friedman taught for decades, never fell under the influence of the world's greatest champion of the free market. Imagine how much better things would have turned out, for Mr. Obama and the country.

Friedman was a constant presence on these pages until his death in 2006 at age 94. If he could, he would surely be skewering today's $5 trillion expansion of spending and debt to create growth—and exposing the confederacy of economic dunces urging more of it.

In the 1960s, Friedman famously explained that "there's no such thing as a free lunch." If the government spends a dollar, that dollar has to come from producers and workers in the private economy. There is no magical "multiplier effect" by taking from productive Peter and giving to unproductive Paul. As obvious as that insight seems, it keeps being put to the test. Obamanomics may be the most expensive failed experiment in free-lunch economics in American history.

Equally illogical is the superstition that government can create prosperity by having Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke print more dollars. In the very short term, Friedman proved, excess money fools people with an illusion of prosperity. But the market quickly catches on, and there is no boost in output, just higher prices.

Next to Ronald Reagan, in the second half of the 20th century there was no more influential voice for economic freedom world-wide than Milton Friedman. Small in stature but a giant intellect, he was the economist who saved capitalism by dismembering the ideas of central planning when most of academia was mesmerized by the creed of government as savior.

Some words to remember from the middle of the article, on school choice, and why raising taxes on anybody is a bad idea:

The issue he devoted most of his later years to was school choice for all parents, and his Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice is dedicated to that cause. He used to lament that "we allow the market, consumer choice and competition to work in nearly every industry except for the one that may matter most: education."

As for congressional Republicans who are at risk of getting suckered into a tax-hike budget deal, they may want to remember another Milton Friedman adage: "Higher taxes never reduce the deficit. Governments spend whatever they take in and then whatever they can get away with."

Go here to read the whole thing.  Here are the closing paragraphs: 

In a recent tribute to Friedman in the Journal of Economic Literature, Harvard's Andrei Shleifer describes 1980-2005 as "The Age of Milton Friedman," an era that "witnessed remarkable progress of mankind. As the world embraced free-market policies, living standards rose sharply while life expectancy, educational attainment, and democracy improved and absolute poverty declined."

Here's an idiotic stencil from the "Occupy Wall Street Folks" who don't quite understand that increased trade and freedom are good things:

Well over 200 million were liberated from poverty thanks to the rediscovery of the free market. And now as the world teeters close to another recession, leaders need to urgently rediscover Friedman's ideas.

I remember asking Milton, a year or so before his death, during one of our semiannual dinners in downtown San Francisco: What can we do to make America more prosperous? "Three things," he replied instantly. "Promote free trade, school choice for all children, and cut government spending."

How much should we cut? "As much as possible."

One other thing...Friedman was much criticized for advising some of the regime of Pinochet in Chile.  Protesters met him at the airport, etc.  (No one said anything about him advising China's murderous commie regime, since the Communists were thought to have pure intentions.) 

I'm sending shipments to Chile and China in the next few weeks.  Since Friedman's consultations, these nations have gone from 3rd World Shitholes to prosperous places to live.  They can afford to purchase fruitstands made in the USA.  Chile now afford to purchase entire grocery stores worth of USA-manufactured displays. 

North Korea and Cuba are not yet customers.  Come back, Milton!  We need you !!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Liberty Speaker Series - Guns, The 2nd Amendment, and You

"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Sounds simple, doesn't it?

The Bill Of Rights is a list of ten rules to protect citizens from their government. If the government gets to have a militia, then the people get to have guns.

So why the controversy about gun rights?  If crazies, outlaws, and criminals have guns, shouldn't the populace be allowed to defend itself?  That's the subject for our next Liberty Speakers Series. We're getting together at the Radisson Hotel at 2540 Meacham Boulevard in north Fort Worth, 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 2nd.

(BTW, I scheduled this event before the mass-murder in Colorado.  I'm not intending to exploit the issue.  But folks, it's now possible to make a gun with a 3D printer.  They're not going away.) 

We have a great trio of speakers from two great organizations.

Scott Harmon is a Political Event Volunteer Coordinator with the National Rifle Association. He (and his family!) have worked tirelessly for years to protect the 2nd Amendment, publicize threats to your gun rights, and to educate the public about the pressures that are brought to bear on lawmakers in Washington and Austin. Scott comes to us highly recommended by the NRA's national office. After a few telephone conversations, it's safe to say that this won't be Scott's last speaking event for a Libertarian audience (Hello, Dallas County !) Scott makes some of us sound like Marxist Vegetarians. You don't want to miss hearing Scott Harmon talk about your gun rights, especially in today's political climate.

David Stroud is the First-Vice President of the Texas State Rifle Association, an organization founded in 1919 to protect (and expand) the rights of Texas gun owners. David got into the TSRA to participate in some of their competitive shooting events, liked what he saw, and began working in various administrative and leadership jobs in the organization. David will talk to anyone, anywhere, and any time about gun rights. He once took the TSRA booth to the Texas State Democratic Convention. Now that is commitment !!

Larry Keilberg is head of the National Association For Legal Gun Defense, an organization that provides legal aid for anyone who fights back against a criminal.  (Larry and his management team are a recent addition to this event.)  All members of the NAFLGD have an automatic $10,000.00 defense fund at their disposal should they be involved in a defense-related incident.  Their team of lawyers (Fort Worth based, BTW) is at your disposal. 

After we hear from Scott, David and Larry talk about their organizations, their importance, the latest threats in the state and national legislatures, they'll be taking some questions from you.

This will be an oustanding evening with some great speakers for a great liberty-minded audience. Hope to see you there ! Thursday, August 2nd, 7:30, at the Radisson Hotel at I-35 and Meacham Boulevard.