Category Archives: Libertarian News

Libertarian News and Opinion

Reason Morning Links: Bachmann Bashes Gingrich Over Freddie Mac Pay Day, How (Governor) Romney Destroyed Public Records Before Leaving Office, Congress Strikes Deal on Pell Grants

Reason Morning Links: Bachmann Bashes Gingrich Over Freddie Mac Pay Day, How (Governor) Romney Destroyed Public Records Before Leaving Office, Congress Strikes Deal on Pell Grants

Aborting Guns?

Aborting Guns?


Bookmark and Share

by John Lambert

Recently, the National Right-to-Care Reciprocity Act of 2011 passed overwhelming in the House of Representatives.  One thing that stood out, there were some on the left that cited the 10th Amendment as justification for it being Unconstitutional.

As much as I’m an avid gun-rights advocate, I have to admit that this criticism is valid.

Currently, forty states have some form of concealed permit reciprocity, so is the power for the Federal Government really necessary for the final ten states?

The question becomes, does the expansion of liberty by this law outweigh the growth of power in the Federal Government?  The problem is…  yes, they can pass this bill which on some level I like, but what is stopping the Federal Government using this tactic on something I don’t like?

A Different Take on Abortion-Part 1

I know abortion is a touchy issue with a lot of people.  I just ask you give me some latitude here to make my point, and I will make you a promise.  I will not endorse one side or another or even state my position on abortion.  Since it is such a divisive issue, it allows me to make a particular points.

If we are honest with ourselves, the heart of this issue comes down if you believe or not that the unborn child has natural rights or not.  Obviously, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life crowds have different views whether life begins at conception or birth.

Personally, I can make compelling arguments for both points of view.  A Pro-Choice individual will naturally argue that a woman has the right to her own body.  Her body is her property and the state can’t claim it.  She can choose what to eat, drink, or even who shares her bed.  This isn’t the function of the state.

A Pro-Life individual will state the unborn child has rights and should be defended.  If a man beats his wife who is pregnant and she loses the child as the result, he should be punished for the loss of the child, right?  If so, we are saying as a society that the unborn child has rights on some level.  So how can an individual have partial rights?

If we are honest, we really can’t refute either argument.  We can intellectually disagree but all we can do is form some conclusion that seems morally right to us.  I do know one thing about the abortion issue.  No matter which side I come down on, there are a significant number of people in this country who will disagree with me.

When this topic comes in conversations, I will state my view, but I will also make a case that I do understand the arguments from the other side.  One time, a Pro-Choice friend of mine made the case that she felt the Fourteenth Amendment justified her position.  However, I pointed out to her that to a Pro-Life individual would argue that the Fourteenth Amendment would also apply to the unborn child and they are defending those same rights.  She never really considered this point of view.

I don’t demonize those who disagree with me on this issue.  My goal when the topic comes up is to share my understanding on this issue in hopes they don’t demonize individuals as well.

Since this is such a divisive issue, I believe I don’t have the authority to force my view on those who disagree with me through the power of Washington DC.

A Different Take on Abortion- Part 2

Let us pretend there are three islands close together.  The first island is settled by Catholics who want to practice their faith in peace.  There are about the same number or settlers living on the second island, but they are atheists.   Both of these islands are roughly the same size and have similar resources.

The last island is larger and is occupied by head hunting cannibals.  (I know this sounds like a Gilligan’s Island plotline, but just bear with me.)  This island has superior resources they often attack the smaller islands.

Representatives of the first two islands discuss working together to fight off the cannibals.  They form a council to discuss their issues with the cannibals. They agreed that they will trade among themselves and defend each other, but will stay out of each other’s internal affairs.

The Catholic island because of their faith have abortion illegal.  The atheists could care less about the issue and thus not illegal.

Do the atheists have the right to force the Catholics to allow abortions?  Do the Catholics have the right to force the atheists to ban abortions?  Isn’t this determination up to the people who live on these islands?

However, what if one of the following happens: a Catholic comes to the conclusion that abortions shouldn’t be banned?  Or one of the atheists starts thinking that abortions are morally wrong?

Each of these individuals have the natural rights to do one of the following:

1) They can just accept their circumstance and do nothing.

2) They can use their natural right of Free Speech and try to persuade those around them to their point of view.

3) They have natural right of traveling to the other community who shares their viewpoint.

Federal versus National

This concept is what our Founders had in mind with the creation of a Federal and not a National system.  The states are themselves sovereign and should control most of their internal issues.

The “conventional wisdom” has been that the Federal Government needs to maintain a check on States who may abuse their power.  Again who will maintain a check on the Federal Government?  The Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court went from 1937 to 1995 without ruling a Congressional Act as Unconstitutional.  Really????   You mean that every law during this time frame was totally Constitutional?  I sincerely doubt it.

There is no debate that States themselves will abuse power.  Well, they are government institutions after all.  However, there is a check on the states.  If a state becomes too oppressive, people and companies will leave the state and move to another one.  The State will then lose tax revenue and the quality of life will decline in the state.

Or if a State creates a bold plan for its citizens something like a state run healthcare system.  If successful, other states will study and copy the program.  If it fails, the impact is only felt by said state.

However if the Federal Government passes a bold program, the failure of the program affects everyone.  A citizen can’t avoid it by just moving to another State.

We have acknowledge the importance of competition in the marketplace for our dollars.  There are several shops or manufactures will sell you a hammer if you need one.  Why not force the states in the position to compete for your citizenship and tax dollars?

This is the check on the States and demonstrates why a lot of what Federal Government does isn’t necessary.  There is also the problem of the Federal Government abusing the states doing things that they believe are right.

Like the Republicans who supported the National Right-to-Care Reciprocity Act.

John Lambert [send him email] is the Outreach Coordinator for the Texas Tenth Amendment Center.

If you enjoyed this post:
Click Here to Get the Free Tenth Amendment Center Newsletter,

Or make a donation to help keep this site active.
Support the Tenth Amendment Center!

This entry was posted on Saturday, December 17th, 2011 at 2:57 am. It is filed under Featured.
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

Who’s Ignorant About Money?


by
William L. Anderson

Recently
by William L. Anderson:
Tyranny
and the Rule of Prosecutors



Gee, hoodathunkitt?
Paul
Krugman hates Ron Paul
. It is not enough for Dr. Paul to want
to leave abortion to state legislatures (where the U.S. Constitution
would place it), but the very fact that Dr. Paul is personally opposed
to abortion and would not perform one is enough to send Krugman
into a rage.

Furthermore,
Krugman attacks Dr. Paul on the matter of civil rights. Now, keep
in mind that Dr. Paul is not against civil rights per se, given
that no other person on the scene, Democrat or Republican, that
is running for president that openly opposes the police state that
both parties have created. (Sorry, Krugman. One cannot support both
civil rights AND a police state. So, who is against civil rights?)

Anyway, Krugman
is not referring to Dr. Paul’s views on race, but rather Dr. Paul’s
view of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Like all Progressives, Krugman
holds that any law or regulation that is created in the name of
something like civil rights is in itself the very essence of
those rights
. As Frederic Bastiat wrote in The
Law
in 1848, socialists (and I should add, Progressives)
always couched beliefs within a specific government action:

Socialism,
like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction
between government and society. As a result of this, every time
we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists
conclude that we object to its being done at all.

We disapprove
of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed
to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists
say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced
equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on,
and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not
wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise
grain.

Likewise, according
to Krugman, the only reason one could oppose sections of the Civil
Rights Act which give government huge swaths of control over private
property is racism. (Likewise, if one thinks that ANY environmental
regulation is bad or unnecessary, then one is in favor of having
feces wash up on beaches, to paraphrase Anthony Lewis, who also
wrote his columns at the NYT.)

But Krugman
was only getting warmed up when he accused Ron Paul of being a racist
and a misogynist. (And why else would one be opposed to abortion
than out of hatred for women? Gloria Steinem has declared such,
and so it is an established truth, at least at Princeton University
and the NYT.)

Ron Paul, writes
Krugman:

…(ignores)
reality, clinging to his ideology even as the facts have demonstrated
that ideology’s wrongness. And, even more unfortunately, Paulist
ideology now dominates a Republican Party that used to know better.

Given the open
opposition that Republican stalwarts have exhibited toward Dr. Paul,
the idea that his “ideology” is dominating the GOP is a very sick
joke, but Krugman seems to be full of humor these days. Unfortunately,
he totally misstates the position that Austrians have on money,
and he further writes that all Austrians believe that the monetary
base is exactly the same as money that is circulating.

First,
as he points out in the article, the Fed massively increased the
monetary base and some Austrians have said that sooner or later
if that base is turned into large-scale lending, we are going to
have inflation. That is a no-brainer. However, because some Austrians
have said that maybe inflation will occur sooner rather than later,
according to Krugman, that means that all Austrian theory on money
is wrong. (This is what the ancients once called a non sequitur,
but without the non sequitur, Krugman would not have any
columns.)

Second, Krugman
continues in that insistence:

Austrians,
and for that matter many right-leaning economists, were sure about
what would happen as a result: There would be devastating inflation.
One popular Austrian commentator who has advised Mr. Paul, Peter
Schiff, even warned (on Glenn Beck’s TV show) of the possibility
of Zimbabwe-style hyperinflation in the near future.

So here we
are, three years later. How’s it going? Inflation has fluctuated,
but, at the end of the day, consumer prices have risen just 4.5
percent, meaning an average annual inflation rate of only 1.5
percent. Who could have predicted that printing so much money
would cause so little inflation? Well, I could. And did. And so
did others who understood the Keynesian economics Mr. Paul reviles.
But Mr. Paul’s supporters continue to claim, somehow, that he
has been right about everything.

Austrians are
not shocked at what has transpired. The economy, thanks to the bailouts,
explosion of regulations, and incendiary rhetoric from the White
House, is mired in depression, just as Austrians predicted it
would be if the policies of the past four years were followed
.
As long as the monetary base remains just that – a base –
and the money does not circulate, the official rate of inflation
will be low. What I do find interesting, however, is Krugman’s insistence
that commodity prices have nothing to do with inflation, that the
only reason they rise and fall is because of demand from “emerging
economies” and “volatility.” (Of course, “volatility” is an effect,
not a cause, but since Keynesians regularly confuse cause and effect,
we should not be surprised at Krugman’s conclusions.)

You see, if
Austrians are wrong in their belief that an expansion of money in
circulation will force up prices (and that is what Krugman insinuates),
then all of monetary theory is turned upside down. For that matter,
Krugman already is on the record in calling for the Fed to directly
purchase U.S. Government securities on the primary market, which
in essence would be financing government via the printing press.
Does Krugman also believe that such an action would not have a huge
effect upon prices of goods, or does he want us to believe that
any predictions of inflation here would be wrong?

Krugman’s insistence
that Austrians are ignorant about money is, well, ignorant. Austrians
say that money is a secondary good which has a primary use to facilitate
exchanges, and its productivity exists in the fact that it allows
exchanges to occur that would not happen in a barter economy. Austrians
further hold that money is subject to all of the laws of economics,
including the Law of Marginal Utility (no, we don’t hold that it
simply is a quantity variable).

However, one
of the most important aspects of Austrian thinking on money is that
Austrians emphasize the transmission mechanism of new money being
injected into the economy, and that transmission is non-neutral,
for those receiving the new money first will be able to pay for
goods at the old prices, but with new incomes. This view contrasts
with the Keynesian viewpoint that monetary transmission is neutral,
and that the only thing which matters is that money get put into
the economy so that someone can spend it.

Moreover,
Austrians also point out that the injection of new money into the
economy also will have an effect upon the relative prices of goods,
and that the relations will change as more money pours in. This
contrasts with Krugman’s view that new money has no such effect,
and that everyone benefits equally from monetary injections. (In
Krugman’s view, while inflation benefits debtors at the expense
of creditors, that is OK because he falsely assumes that all creditors
are the “one percent” and that all debtors are in the other category.)

So, because
hyperinflation has not hit, Austrians are totally ignorant about
money, and that includes Ron Paul. We are dealing with timing, not
monetary theory, and Krugman by confusing the former and latter,
demonstrates his own ignorance about monetary matters.

December
17, 2011

William
L. Anderson, Ph.D. [send him
mail], teaches economics at Frostburg State University in Maryland,
and is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig
von Mises Institute
.
He
also is a consultant with American Economic Services. Visit
his blog.

Copyright
© 2011 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

The
Best of William Anderson

Despite Working as a Consultant to the Health Care Industry, Mitt Romney Says He Didn’t Understand Differences Between Medicare and Medicaid Until He Got Into Government

In Mitt Romney’s 2010 book, No Apology, he discusses the
“Medicare burden” and the challenge of dealing with the rising cost
of health care entitlements. In the same section, it’s something he
claims to have been thinking about in a professional capacity for a
long time: “When I was a young consultant to a health-care
company in the late 1970s,” he says in the book, “I predicted that
health care would reach 20 percent of the GDP by 2050.”

But apparently Romney wasn’t thinking about it enough to grasp
the differences between the two major health entitlements. In a
campaign appearance in Iowa today, Romney told the crowd that he
was unsure about all the distinctions between Medicare, the federal
health entitlement seniors, and Medicaid, the jointly funded
federal-state health program for the poor and disabled, until he
started government work. “I have to admit I didn’t know all the
differences between these things before I got into government,”
Romney said, according to
TPM
. Romney didn’t run for office until 1994, when he lost a
Massachusetts Senate race to Ted Kennedy.  

As governor of Massachusetts, Romney figured out the difference
soon enough: He relied on about $2
billion (so far) in bonus federal Medicaid funding
to help pay
for RomneyCare, his state-based health care expansion. But he still
takes advantage of the fact that lots of voters share his early
confusion. In this year’s primary campaign, he’s repeatedly
criticized President Obama for cutting Medicare to pay for a
federal health care expansion virtually identical in structure to
RomneyCare without noting the federal Medicaid bonus that his
Massachusetts still relies on. 

Update:
As TPM’s Benjy Sarlin points out
, Romney also oversaw the
purchase a $311 million hospital business while running Bain
Capital in the 1980s.