Saturday, January 26, 2008
Free Trade has given you a great standard of living. Don't you hate it?
It's all in how pollsters ask the question.
If asked, "Are you willing to pay 4 times as much for an iPod manufactured in Vail, Colorado as opposed to one manufactured overseas?", most Americans will say no. Try it on your friends and neighbors.
If asked, "Are you willing to pay 3 times as much for clothing that has a Made In The USA tag?" most Americans will say no. (Wal-Mart learned this the hard way....)
If asked, "If you could increase your household income by 4K to 12K by removing all trade barriers, would you be willing to do so?" most Americans would say yes. Once again, conduct a non-scientific survey of your own to verify.
If asked, "Do you feel that we should continue subsidizing millionaires so that we can pay more for our groceries?" most Americans will say not just no, but hell no.
If asked, "Would you feel less self-righteous driving an SUV powered by cheaper Brazilian ethanol than you would feel using Iowa Ethanol?" most Americans will not answer until they hear what Lou Dobbs has to say. (Since Iowa has the first election primary, they proudly lead the nation in corporate welfare.)
The point of Free Trade is that we do what we do best. Other nations are good at different things, and they do the same. Then we voluntarily swap stuff with each other. If we put trade barriers in place, we don't get the advantage of the other country's lower costs. Bill Clinton understood this. Hillary, at least according to the link above, does not.
When the Mafia prevents businesses from trading/purchasing goods and services from anyone they please, it's called extortion. (i.e. - have your tablecloths cleaned by our company, or we'll burn down your restaurant.)
When the Government prevents me from trading/purchasing goods and services from anyone I please, it's called "Pertectin' Amurrican Jobs". Some jobs are saved, but at a huge cost to the larger group. If Hillary lived with Bill in the White House for 8 years but hasn't learned this one economic fact, she's the dumbest woman God put guts in.
Here's a Samizdata post from years ago on the subject. I read it shortly before my first China trip, and it's one of many things that set me on my Free Market Crusade.
Bill gave us 8 years of growth because of his embrace of Free Trade. Hillary is actively campaigning to screw it up.
I feel better now. Glad that's out of my system.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Eric Janszen, Prophet In The Alternative Energy Wilderness
I'm trying to do a monthly post that contrasts the ads with the other content in Harper's. The February 2008 issue is a Cynic's Disneyworld, so I'm having to break it into smaller chunks.
Mr. Janszen's thesis is fairly simple:
1) We've had stock "bubbles" in the past. Market bubbles are just that. The price swells and swells because of people wanting to be in on the next big thing. The Wise Men sell their stock when the price hits a level somewhere around "Freakin' Ridiculous". The Foolish Among Us are left holding worthless shares of pets.com.
2) Certified, Pedigreed, and Registered Stock Experts like Mr. Janszen have studied plenty of bubbles. Mr. Janszen thinks the next one is as predictable as an eclipse.
3) There is only one market segment that fits the bill for the next potential bubble.
That's enough of my amateurish ramblings. Allow Mr. Janszen to describe the next bubble....
"(Al Gore) has joined the legendary venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers....to oversee the 'climate change solutions group', thus providing a massive dose of Nobel Prize-winning credibility that will be most useful when its first alternative-energy investments are taken public before a credulous mob."
"The candidates for the 2008 presidential election....now invoke "energy security" in their stump speeches and on their websites."
"More valuable than campaign rhetoric, however, is legislation. The energy policy act of 2005....contained provisions GUARANTEEING LOANS FOR ALTERNATIVE ENERGY BUSINESSES." (Those are my capital letters; Janszen doesn't type in outraged screams.)
"How bad will (the alternative energy bubble) be?.....we can expect to see the creation of another $8 trillion in fictitious value, which gives us an estimate of $20 trillion in speculative wealth, money that inevitably will be employed to increase share prices rather than to deliver "energy security". When the bubble finally bursts, we will be left with yet another devastated industry."
I can't tell you the sense of relief I'm bringing to this post. I've been all alone, banging my little pots and pans together in the middle of the street, raising hell about Al Gore and Kleiner Perkins. Even my surrogate Father-figure, Gary, dismissed my previous ravings by saying "Interesting conspiracy theory you have there, Allen."
But now I'm validated. Vindicated. It's now confirmed in Harper's Left-Wing Liberal Holiness Monthly, and by Eric Janszen, no less. You can click here and see my similar predictions from a month ago. The same predictions that Gary pooh-poohed.
Gary W., you are hereby dismissed from all surrogate father duties. Eric Janszen and I not only feel the same way about Al Gore, but Eric has also run venture capital firms, and has more money than you. He's my Daddy now.
Noah probably felt this way when it finally started raining. (I don't think there's a word in English that means "the joyous feeling you have upon realizing that millions of people will be destroyed, but your predictions were correct.")
So what remains to be done? Republicans aren't likely to go along with this scam, and Hillary and Al Gore hate each others' guts. That leaves Obama as the only likely candidate to fully embrace this farce. I'm totally pumped about possibly getting to witness this - I'm seriously considering going out on election day and getting drunk enough to vote for a Democrat. It's just so beautiful. From now on, I hope all of you get a warm fuzzy feeling every time you see an advertisement with the word "green" in it.
So here's The Whited Sepulchre strategy for investing in the Al Gore/Kleiner Perkins con job. Please remember that I can barely allocate my 401K funds properly.
1) When these alternative energy stocks and funds (guaranteed by government loans) are floated in front of a gullible public, buy all you can.
2) When you have doubled your money, take half of it out. It's yours.
3) Leave half of your
4) Remember, this is a bubble. According to my Daddy, Big Eric J., this is going to swell and swell. And it ain't through swelling yet. Throw half of what you've gotten in step 3 back into the pot. Don't include anything from step 2. That's yours. Let the step 3 money double. Remember the dotcom boom and bust. Remember the Tulip mania. It's going to be huge. Repeat until it stops doubling. Remember you're playing with house money when it all blows up. And it's all done to (sniff, sob) save our planet.
5) This is very similar to The Whited Sepulchre blackjack strategy. Hey, it works.
So what's a piece of practical capitalist advice like this doing in Harper's magazine alongside all the other anti-free market crap?
Harper's readers might generally be Big State Collectivists. They might be buying smaller SUV's to reduce their carbon footprint. They might be irked that we're not part of the Kyoto protocols.
But they're watching their wallets and their retirement funds just like everyone else. Just because they're all of the above doesn't mean they're stupid.
Eric J., I know I'm putting a lot of words in your mouth. Let me know if I've misquoted you or your opinions. And send me next month's allowance ASAP, because there's a Renewable Green Energy Alternative Holistic Energy Renewer startup (with zero carbon emisions) going public soon, and I want to get in on the ground floor.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
I'll be busy for a few days....
I won't be posting much through Saturday night.
I work in shipping, and we're going into a busy time.
These are not pictures of my current work situation, but they are excellent metaphors and will stand in nicely.
Be grateful that you aren't me.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Free Global Warming Poster !
Monday, January 21, 2008
Ron Paul Is Toast
It's over. Ron Paul is over. Finished. Kaput. In the words of Dennis Miller, we can gas up the dinghy and send him fishing with Fredo.
I want to like Ron Paul. I saw a Tivo'd excerpt from the New Hampshire debate where Paul was explaining THE LOOMING FINANCIAL CRISIS in terms of "well, if you run up mammoth debts, print too much money, get involved in a war with no funding, unhhhh, What Results Are You Expecting?"
When Ron Paul comes out and tells the truth, it's almost perceived as ill-mannered. Everyone acts like he's discussing the true nature of Santa Claus within earshot of the nursery.
But since 1978, according to The New Republic, Ron Paul's organization has been publishing a series of newsletters - Ron Paul's Freedom Report, Ron Paul's Political Report, and The Ron Paul Survival Report.
James Kirchik, author of The New Republic piece, writes that articles in these newsletters contain very few bylines. In fact, with the exception of a special edition, the articles are written in the first person, which creates the impression that the articles were written by Paul. Here are the main threads that run through The Ron Paul newsletters:
1) "General sympathy for the concept of secession", and that "the right of secession should be ingrained in a free society."
2) According to Kirchik, Paul's newsletters contain some extreme views on race that I've never seen in printed media, except as a collectible. (Heck, you really have to look hard to find these views on the Internet.)
Here's an excerpt, from a piece entitled "King City":
A mob of black demonstrators, led by the "Rev." Al Sharpton, occupied and closed the Statue of Liberty recently, demanding that New York be renamed Martin Luther King City "to reclaim it for our people."
Hmmm. I hate to agree with the Rev. Al, but maybe a name change is in order. Welfaria? Zooville? Rapetown? Dirtburg? Lazyopolis?
But Al, the Statue of Liberty? Next time, hold that demonstration at a food stamp bureau or a crack house.
3) The newsletters contain excessive anti-gay rhetoric, and display an obsession with AIDS.
4) There's a sprinkling of Anti-Semitism.
5) There's the usual anti-government paranoia associated with small fringe groups. (You could make an argument that my entire site is devoted to anti-government paranoia, and run by a very small fringe group.)
But these newsletters are devoted to Militias, opposition to The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, conspiracies of The Trilateral Commission & The Bilderberg Group, and the idea that AIDS was created in a World Health Organization lab.
Jesse Benton, one of Paul's spokesmen, claims that Paul didn't even see some of the newsletters, and that there were "various levels of approval" to what appeared in his publications, and only some of these levels involved Ron Paul.
Here's more from James Kirchik:
"In other words, Paul's campaign wants to depitct its candidate as a naive, absentee overseer, with minimal knowledge of what his underlings were doing on his behalf. This portrayal might be more believable if extremist views had cropped up in the newsletters only sporadically.....whether or not Paul personally wrote the most offensive passages is almost beside the point. If he disagreed with what was being written under his name, you would think that at some point - over the course of decades - he would have done something about it."
So here's a reluctant link to The Poliblog of Dr. Steven Taylor: Ron Paul is probably Toast.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Carnival of The Libertarians #2
Welcome to the January 20, 2008 edition of Carnival of the Libertarians. We have submissions from England, Australia, Canada, and The U.S.
I wasn't able to post every submission this time. Some were too off-topic, and I ran out of room for others. Judy at "Consent of The Governed" will be next month's host. (Hint: She's partial to posts about the rights of Home Schoolers.)
Here we go ! All comments in italics are mine.
Michael Bass presents Do we have Private Property in the USA? posted at Debt Prison, saying, "What is private property and what rights come with it? I find it interesting that this subject is never discussed by politicians. From Democrats to Republicans, the issue of private property and the rights of ownership are seldom mentioned. However, the interpretation of private property is probably the single most important judgment a society administers in determining its destiny. All Laws revolve around a society’s perception of the rights to private property." - Plus, our freedom to selfishly "own" things like land and businesses is the primary difference between the U.S. and Mexico. Mexican Immigrants "Voting With Their Feet" is proof positive of the superiority of an ownership society.
Jon Swift presents When Steroids Are Banned, Only Cheaters Will Have Steroids posted at Jon Swift, saying, "The real heroes in this story are the baseball players who were not afraid to take steroids because of some old-fashioned notion of fair play." - Jon makes a compelling argument in this Modest Proposal. But just because I occasionally write about sports doesn't mean the baseball players beat me up in high school, Jon. (See his post for details....)
GrrlScientist presents ScienceDebate2008: In Search of a Science-literate Leader posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, "While our elected officials have been distracted with petty bickering over non-issues such as the Terri Schiavo fiasco and the teaching of evolution in public schools, they have been waving their hands helplessly in the face of Hurricane Katrina, and the suffering of many Americans has been needlessly prolonged and ignored. In short, we need a science-literate president." - GrrlScientist doesn't understand that this is a LIBERTARIAN Blog Carnival. Does she think that Libertarians want to increase government funding for research????? No. We want it done more efficiently in the private sector. However, GrrlScientist is a very good writer, and we need more GrrlScientists. And my daughter wants to be a GrrlScientist. And it would be nice to have a President who didn't really believe, in the words of Sarah Jean Cartledge (my 5th grade science teacher), that God made man out of mud pies.
GrrlScientist presents ScienceDebate2008: What Is It? posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, - According to her site, "GrrlScientist is a female evolutionary biologist, ornithologist, aviculturist and writer. She is a native of the Pacific Northwest who relocated from Seattle to NYC with her parrots after earning her PhD. She was awarded a two-year postdoctoral fellowship researching the molecular phylogeny of the parrots of the South Pacific islands. She now is a struggling writer."
Once again, her post has absolutely nothing to do with Libertarianism, but I'm intrigued with the idea of relocating from Seattle to New York City with a lot of parrots. How would you accomplish that? On a plane? In a car? Or could you mail their cages to New York, and just tell the parrots to fly home?
Howard Ditkoff presents Instant Runoff Voting Excluded: An Unreasonable Omission from An Unreasonable Man posted at SystemsThinker.com Blog, saying, "An Unreasonable Man is a great movie about Ralph Nader. But I was deeply disappointed by the fact that it focused deeply on how Ralph’s “spoiler” role in the 2000 election tarnished his legacy, while failing to mention the flaws in our election system that unnecessarily allow for “spoilers” to exist. Instant Runoff Voting, which I helped pass in Ferndale, Michigan in 2004, is a pivotal measure that can open up a fair playing field to more voices in our political system by eliminating the “spoiler” problem.....This issue should be of interest to Libertarians as well as any who support third parties." - Howard believes that Instant Runoff Voting would help us avoid hypothetical situations like Clinton, Bush, and Perot running for office, Bush and Perot splitting the majority conservative vote, and Clinton winning with the minority remainder (less than 50%).
I also included another link from Howard's site here that gives more details on what he did in Michigan.
blewsdawg presents Atlas Smiled (Is Ron Paul a Top Tier Candidate Yet?) posted at Infrequently Asked Questions, saying, "The Lame Stream Media may never understand that the current polling methods fail to capture the opinions of a large section of voters. That's okay, though. I'd like to see them caught by surprise." - I like to see it happen also, Dawg. See my post about Hillary flying under the radar. I'm also frustrated by questions, surveys, polls, etc. that only give a Republican/Democrat, Liberal/Conservate option. There's another continuum out here ! It's called Big State/Little State, or Libertarian/Populist.
Blewsdawg will be hosting Carnival of The Libertarians in March.
Sholom Anarchy presents Stumping for Ron Paul again posted at Anarcho-Judaism, saying, "The economics come after the video interlude." - but he says a LOT more in the post. Sholom Anarchy presents himself as the "Anarchist Rabbi", and he's worth reading. Give yourself plenty of time. I wish this guy had a synagogue.
Logan Flatt, CFA presents PowerWealth.com's 2007 Person of the Year: U.S. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas posted at PowerWealth.com, saying, "PowerWealth.com's 2007 Person of the Year is U.S. Congressman (and Medical Doctor) Ron Paul from Texas, who is actively running the most revolutionary campaign for President in modern U.S. history. Here's why Dr. Paul deserves the honor." - Instead of Vladimir Putin??? (See Time magazine) or Al Gore??? (See Time magazine for info on Putin's runner-up.) This is a great post. I'd already found it via Stumbleupon, but was glad Logan submitted it here.
Doug Ragan presents A Simple Fix For The US Economy posted at I'm A Pundit Too, saying, "We have had too many short term fixes from our government. It is time to look long term in respect to interest rates and taxes." - Doug has some great suggestions, none of which will ever see the light of day. Taking the long view, or doing nothing at all, would be highly effective, but doesn't work well with politicians who need to deliver chest-thumping rhetoric every two years.
billspaced presents Top Ten Mitt Romney Lies posted at Rants 'n Reviews: Observations from a real conservative OR Rubbing slightly more salt into the wound. - Bill's post predates Romney's promise to throw a jazillionbamillionzillion dollars at the auto industry in Michigan. So let's make it Eleven....
NotYourDaddy presents A Free Market Approach To Illegal Immigration, posted at Government is not your Daddy.. - Either the link was broken on the post that NYD submitted, or NYD has repented of whatever he wrote. So I selected another post from his site. This is Good Stuff about the Illegal Immigrant issue - the root cause, the current problem, and a good solution.
T Ellis presents Abolish the Welfare State posted at evanescent, saying, "A critique of socialism and the welfare state, in favour of individual freedom, capitalism, and laissez-faire politics." - Evanescent is one of those brilliant British Politics/Capitalism/Religion sites. I'm also providing a link to something he wrote about proposed Salary Caps. How is it that England has all these great Libertarian sites?
Carole G. McKay presents The ABC's of 2008 posted at McKay Today, saying, "It's so much more than the economy" - and here's my favorite paragraph from Carole's post: "Yesterday I was listening to a special report on National Public Radio. It was an interview with a man in Massachusetts who sells typewriters. Yes, that's right. Typewriters. Not computers. What he said was that there is a certain percentage of his business that is the 16-24 year olds who want a typewriter. What he is hearing from these young people is that while they enjoy the slowed pace, the sound of the keys striking the page and even the bell at the end of each line...it's the absence of temptation when at the keyboard to access the internet that allows them more focused attention and less stress."
I might need a typewriter.
Chris presents I am a Homegrown Terrorist posted at Gratuitous Common Sense, saying, "I mean every word of it. I will use force to resist a government that intrudes upon my freedom, as noted in the Constitution." - I'm not going to say much about Chris. He obviously has guns and is not afraid to use them.
DWSUWF presents Curing libertarian political impotence - a prescription for Electile Dysfunction posted at Divided We Stand United We Fall, saying, "If the libertarian "divided government vote" is shown to swing the 2008 presidential election as it did the Congressional outcome in 2006, then libertarians will no longer be inchoate, their message no longer diffused, and their political clout no longer flaccid. As long as the bulk of the electorate remain polarized and balanced, even a small percentage libertarian swing vote organized around divided government will be enough for libertarians to display the biggest swinging political "hammer" in town." - DWSUWF stands for "Divided We Stand, United We Fall" (You have to think about it for a minute....) I look forward to reading every word this man has ever typed. This site is what God and Al Gore had in mind when they invented the internet.
NotYourDaddy presents Back to Basics « Government is not your Daddy. posted at Government is not your Daddy.. - This is the second submission from Not Your Daddy. Here he simply provides a well-written statement of the obvious: that there are things the private sector can do better than government. Things that are obvious to everyone but Democrats, most Republicans, all Populists, the majority of voters, etc....
Shaun Connell presents UK Gun Ban posted at The Rebirth of Freedom Foundation, saying, "The UK banned guns in 1996. The end result was radical increases in crime." - Check out the little picture on the bottom right side bar, Shaun. Usually a picture is worth a thousand words, but your post is better than my picture.
Phil B. presents Illegal Immigration « Phil for Humanity posted at Phil for Humanity, saying, "With all the politicians talking about illegal immigration, I thought it would be a good idea to review the advantages and disadvantages of illegal immigrants." - Good post. The only unanswered question is whether illegal immigration would be a problem if we didn't have our current entitlements system. Wouldn't Open Borders be nice?
Sholom Anarchy presents 21st Century's most treasonous American shits on Constitution again posted at Anarcho-Judaism, saying, "Rights are not given, they are fought for and exercised!" - More from The Anarchist Rabbi. I really, really like this guy, and have pre-ordered a copy of his memoirs from Amazon. See his Blogspot Profile link for details.
DWSUWF presents Ronny - We hardly knew ye. posted at Divided We Stand United We Fall, saying, "Ron Paul is a fatally flawed candidate. Don't get me wrong, I am a Paul supporter, I sent him some money, I may send him some more, and I am certainly going to vote for him in the California primary. I'd like to see Paul stick it out through super Tuesday - if only to see whether his constituency can be organized into something that can be politically effective in the post-Ron Paul era (which started after the New Hampshire primary)." - Yep. After the racism charges, and the non-performance in New Hampshire, he's toast.
Samuel Bryson presents Free Market Economy/Classical Liberalism Vs. The Welfare State – Which is the better ideal? posted at Total Wellbeing. - Ok, we're starting to look like the U.N. around here....Mr. Bryson is from Australia. Here he offers us an attack on Sweden's Welfare State - the Sainted Welfare state that is always mentioned by fans of Big Government. "Total Wellbeing" is another site that I'm going to totally devour as soon as I get all of this stuff posted. This guy is sharp.
NotYourDaddy presents There Ought to be a Law! -- Or Ought There? posted at Government is not your Daddy.. - Here's a 3rd Not Your Daddy post. It's not right to post it, because other submissions from other bloggers have been deleted for space reasons. It's also not right that we're subsidizing the Prison, Social Worker, and Corrections Industries by locking up people for victimless crimes, as Not Your Daddy says.
John Crenshaw presents Mindless Zombies Attack Will Smith, And I’m Not Talking About His New Movie posted at Dominate Your Life, saying, "You may or may not have heard of the recent comments Will Smith made about Adolf Hitler in an interview with The Daily Record in the U.K., in which he said, “Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘let me do the most evil thing I can do today. I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was ‘good’. Stuff like that just needs reprogramming.”" - Yep. Sometimes the greatest harm is done by those who will swear that they're doing The Lord's Work. Check out the "Gott Mit Uns" on the Wehrmacht belt buckles
Carole G. McKay presents Iowa and Us posted at McKay Today, saying, "What our leaders can tell us about ourselves and how "conscious" our choices really are." - here's a line from Carole that jumped out at me...." Earlier today I heard someone say in referring to two other people, "They are ruining my life." Well, no one has that power. Only we have the power to create from, or destroy through disregard, the life we have been gifted."
ChrisJ presents A Fairer FairTax posted at 8 Short Years, saying, "I would also be interested in hosting a carnival on my blog." - Ok, Chris, as long as you understand that putting all this together takes some effort. Here's my post on Tax Reform. Not as concise as yours, and it probably makes less sense.
Chris has an excellent post about Gridlock, and its benefits. (The Force is Strong In This One, Fellow Jedi....) He also has better eyes than we 46-year olds, and needs to go into his HTML code and switch to a bigger typeface.
Holly Ord presents Mike Gravel, the Only Candidate I Can Support posted at Menstrual Poetry. - In which Holly offers up a prayer to Saint Jude, The Patron Saint of Lost Causes....
Tym Machine presents Mes vues sur la politique...My views on politics...: Résultats de recherche pour freedom of speech posted at Mes vues sur la politique...My views on politics..., saying, "In this blog I share my personal views tainted with my own personal reality, my country Canada, my province of origin, Quebec. Best regards to everyone, hope you will enjoy it." - Now we're hearing from Canada. He has good things to say about Freedom of Speech in Canada, especially in light of what's going on with the Human Rights Commissions up there.
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of the libertarians using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page. The next host will be Judy at "Consent Of The Governed".
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