Monday, March 30, 2009

"It’s our self-proclaimed protectors from whom need we protection most."

"It’s our self-proclaimed protectors from whom need we protection most." - Sheldon Richman, “What the Drug Warriors Have Given Us

A great many self-proclaimed protectors have led entire nations to destruction. One particular example, that of Adolf Hitler, comes to mind. You see, Hitler started his nefarious plans by convincing the president of Germany to suspend civil liberties, "For the Protection of the People and the State." Hitler was just trying to 'protect' people. Of course, we know that what was needed protection from Hilter.

Interestingly, Hitler was appointed chancellor not by the people, but by representatives of the people. The people of Germany gave their permission to be ruled by representatives, and those representatives handed their power over to Hitler. It seems to me that representatives rarely do what is in the best interest of the people (see the big bailout bill). And therein lies another reason not to vote.

From LRC:

In the presidential election held on March 13, 1932, there were four candidates: the incumbent, Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg, Hitler, and two minor candidates, Ernst Thaelmann and Theodore Duesterberg. The results were:

Hindenburg 49.6 percent
Hitler 30.1 percent
Thaelmann 13.2 percent
Duesterberg 6.8 percent

At the risk of belaboring the obvious, almost 70 percent of the German people voted against Hitler, causing his supporter Joseph Goebbels, who would later become Hitler’s minister of propaganda, to lament in his journal, “We’re beaten; terrible outlook. Party circles badly depressed and dejected.”

Since Hindenberg had not received a majority of the vote, however, a runoff election had to be held among the top three vote-getters. On April 19, 1932, the runoff results were:

Hindenburg 53.0 percent
Hitler 36.8 percent
Thaelmann 10.2 percent

Thus, even though Hitler’s vote total had risen, he still had been decisively rejected by the German people.

Hitler and his fellow members of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party, who were determined to bring down the republic and establish dictatorial rule in Germany, did everything they could to create chaos in the streets, including initiating political violence and murder. The situation got so bad that martial law was proclaimed in Berlin.

In one day, July 27, he spoke to 60,000 persons in Brandenburg, to nearly as many in Potsdam, and that evening to 120,000 massed in the giant Grunewald Stadium in Berlin while outside an additional 100,000 heard his voice by loudspeaker.
Hitler’s rise to power

The July 31, 1932, election produced a major victory for Hitler’s National Socialist Party. The party won 230 seats in the Reichstag, making it Germany’s largest political party, but it still fell short of a majority in the 608-member body.

On the basis of that victory, Hitler demanded that President Hindenburg appoint him chancellor and place him in complete control of the state. Otto von Meissner, who worked for Hindenburg, later testified at Nuremberg,

Hindenburg replied that because of the tense situation he could not in good conscience risk transferring the power of government to a new party such as the National Socialists, which did not command a majority and which was intolerant, noisy and undisciplined.

Political deadlocks in the Reichstag soon brought a new election, this one in November 6, 1932. In that election, the Nazis lost two million votes and 34 seats. Thus, even though the National Socialist Party was still the largest political party, it had clearly lost ground among the voters.

Attempting to remedy the chaos and the deadlocks, Hindenburg fired Papen and appointed an army general named Kurt von Schleicher as the new German chancellor. Unable to secure a majority coalition in the Reichstag, however, Schleicher finally tendered his resignation to Hindenburg, 57 days after he had been appointed.

On January 30, 1933, President Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler chancellor of Germany. Although the National Socialists never captured more than 37 percent of the national vote, and even though they still held a minority of cabinet posts and fewer than 50 percent of the seats in the Reichstag, Hitler and the Nazis set out to consolidate their power. With Hitler as chancellor, that proved to be a fairly easy task.

The Reichstag fire

On February 27, Hitler was enjoying supper at the Goebbels home when the telephone rang with an emergency message: “The Reichstag is on fire!” Hitler and Goebbels rushed to the fire, where they encountered Hermann Goering, who would later become Hitler’s air minister. Goering was shouting at the top of his lungs,

This is the beginning of the Communist revolution! We must not wait a minute. We will show no mercy. Every Communist official must be shot, where he is found. Every Communist deputy must this very day be strung up.

The day after the fire, the Prussian government announced that it had found communist publications stating,

Government buildings, museums, mansions and essential plants were to be burned down... . Women and children were to be sent in front of terrorist groups.... The burning of the Reichstag was to be the signal for a bloody insurrection and civil war.... It has been ascertained that today was to have seen throughout Germany terrorist acts against individual persons, against private property, and against the life and limb of the peaceful population, and also the beginning of general civil war.

So how was Goering so certain that the fire had been set by communist terrorists? Arrested on the spot was a Dutch communist named Marinus van der Lubbe. Most historians now believe that van der Lubbe was actually duped by the Nazis into setting the fire and probably was even assisted by them, without his realizing it.

Why would Hitler and his associates turn a blind eye to an impending terrorist attack on their national congressional building or actually assist with such a horrific deed? Because they knew what government officials have known throughout history — that during extreme national emergencies, people are most scared and thus much more willing to surrender their liberties in return for “security.” And that’s exactly what happened during the Reichstag terrorist crisis.

Suspending civil liberties

The day after the fire, Hitler persuaded President Hindenburg to issue a decree entitled, “For the Protection of the People and the State.” Justified as a “defensive measure against Communist acts of violence endangering the state,” the decree suspended the constitutional guarantees pertaining to civil liberties:

Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications; and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.

The judiciary under Hitler

One of the most dramatic consequences was in the judicial arena. Shirer points out,

Under the Weimar Constitution judges were independent, subject only to the law, protected from arbitrary removal and bound at least in theory by Article 109 to safeguard equality before the law.

In fact, in the Reichstag terrorist case, while the court convicted van der Lubbe of the crime (who was executed), three other defendants, all communists, were acquitted, which infuriated Hitler and Goering. Within a month, the Nazis had transferred jurisdiction over treason cases from the Supreme Court to a new People’s Court, which, as Shirer points out,

soon became the most dreaded tribunal in the land. It consisted of two professional judges and five others chosen from among party officials, the S.S. and the armed forces, thus giving the latter a majority vote. There was no appeal from its decisions or sentences and usually its sessions were held in camera. Occasionally, however, for propaganda purposes when relatively light sentences were to be given, the foreign correspondents were invited to attend.

One of the Reichstag terrorist defendants, who had angered Goering during the trial with a severe cross-examination of Goering, did not benefit from his acquittal. Shirer explains:

The German communist leader was immediately taken into “protective custody,” where he remained until his death during the second war.

In addition to the People’s Court, which handled treason cases, the Nazis also set up the Special Court, which handled cases of political crimes or “insidious attacks against the government.” These courts

consisted of three judges, who invariably had to be trusted party members, without a jury. A Nazi prosecutor had the choice of bringing action in such cases before either an ordinary court or the Special Court, and invariably he chose the latter, for obvious reasons. Defense lawyers before this court, as before the Volksgerichtshof, had to be approved by Nazi officials. Sometimes even if they were approved they fared badly. Thus the lawyers who attempted to represent the widow of Dr. Klausener, the Catholic Action leader murdered in the Blood Purge, in her suit for damages against the State were whisked off to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, where they were kept until they formally withdrew the action.

Even lenient treatment by the Special Court was no guarantee for the defendant, however, as Pastor Martin Niemoeller discovered when he was acquitted of major political charges and sentenced to time served for minor charges. Leaving the courtroom, Niemoeller was taken into custody by the Gestapo and taken to a concentration camp.

The Nazis also implemented a legal concept called Schutzhaft or “protective custody” which enabled them to arrest and incarcerate people without charging them with a crime. As Shirer put it,

Protective custody did not protect a man from possible harm, as it did in more civilized countries. It punished him by putting him behind barbed wire.

On August 2, 1934, Hindenburg died, and the title of president was abolished. Hitler’s title became F├╝hrer and Reich Chancellor. Not surprisingly, he used the initial four-year “temporary” grant of emergency powers that had been given to him by the Enabling Act to consolidate his omnipotent control over the entire country.

Accepting the new order

Oddly enough, even though his dictatorship very quickly became complete, Hitler returned to the Reichstag every four years to renew the “temporary” delegation of emergency powers that it had given him to deal with the Reichstag-arson crisis. Needless to say, the Reichstag rubber-stamped each of his requests.

For their part, the German people quickly accepted the new order of things. Keep in mind that the average non-Jewish German was pretty much unaffected by the new laws and decrees. As long as a German citizen kept his head down, worked hard, took care of his family, sent his children to the public schools and the Hitler Youth organization, and, most important, didn’t involve himself in political dissent against the government, a visit by the Gestapo was very unlikely.

Keep in mind also that, while the Nazis established concentration camps in the 1930s, the number of inmates ranged in the thousands. It wouldn’t be until the 1940s that the death camps and the gas chambers that killed millions would be implemented. Describing how the average German adapted to the new order, Shirer writes,

The overwhelming majority of Germans did not seem to mind that their personal freedom had been taken away, that so much of culture had been destroyed and replaced with a mindless barbarism, or that their life and work had become regimented to a degree never before experienced even by a people accustomed for generations to a great deal of regimentation.... The Nazi terror in the early years affected the lives of relatively few Germans and a newly arrived observer was somewhat surprised to see that the people of this country did not seem to feel that they were being cowed.... On the contrary, they supported it with genuine enthusiasm. Somehow it imbued them with a new hope and a new confidence and an astonishing faith in the future of their country.

"War cannot be driven out by war, for the use of evil breeds more evil, hostility more hostility, and the use of force more force."

"War cannot be driven out by war, for the use of evil breeds more evil, hostility more hostility, and the use of force more force." - Hans F. Sennholz



The CIA calls it blowback. Or, to quote the Scripture, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galations 6:7. This concept is not limited to men. It also applies to groups, organizations, and nations. Now, I don't say this to sound collectivist. I don't believe that everyone in (or randomly chosen citizens of) a country should pay for the crimes of their rulers. But someday, the chickens will come home to roost, and those who have been wronged don't distinguish between our government and our people. The fact is, the people of this country voted, and by doing so they 'sowed' something. If they 'reap' something back, then they can thank themselves.

But let us break it down Barney-style. Hypothetically: If you punch me, I'm going to punch you back. If you kill my children/parents/etc, I'm going to make sure that you are on the receiving end of some justice. If everyone is Ruritania votes to elect Joe Schmo as president of Ruritania, and president Joe Schmo sends troops to my country, and those troops kill my loved ones, then you can be sure that I would have a very, very large bone to pick with Ruritania. I realize that some in Ruritania might have been against the attack on my country. But, blinded with rage, I probably wouldn't care, and would do anything to avenge my loved ones. A good percentage of the population of America would react like this. I'd say the same probably applies to the world. So, as you can see, bombing civilians doesn't make us safer... it makes us less safe.

Personally, I would not injure anyone not responsible for the deaths of my loved ones. But, those responsible include: the armed forces that did the killing (for pulling the trigger), the military officials that sent troops to my country (for ordering it), the civilian elected officials who ordered the attack (for ordering and starting the attack), and for the voters of those civilian elected officials (who gave their permission to the elected officials to represent them).

Which is one reason why I do not vote.

Friday, March 27, 2009

"The exercise of one coercion always makes another inevitable."

"The exercise of one coercion always makes another inevitable." - Anders Chydenius

Thanks to Kilgore Forelle for this quote which he left in the comments.

It really reminds me of the truth that once you tell a lie, you end up telling more and more. To cover for the first lie, you have to make another lie, and another, and another. But the truth must one day be told.

Let's look at a blatant example of this: the US military. See, in order to 'spread democracy' and 'protect our interests' around the world, we have to establish bases in every country that doesn't belong to us. For this 'protection', you and I (the taxpayers) will pay dearly (so far, over $650 billion this year alone). Now that the military has seen to that, we should be nice and safe, right? I mean 737 military bases around the world and 2.5 million servicemembers ought to be enough?

So what happened? Did we live safe and sound for the rest of time? I think we all know the answer to that question. How well did our billions of dollars, millions of personnel, and hundreds of bases protect us on September 11, 2001? What was the Department of Defense defending, anyway? Certainly not it's own headquarters, or an economically important (and previously targeted) pair of towers in NYC.

It seems that maybe somebody, somewhere, got a little pissed about all those bases on 'their country'. Bah! Might makes right! What's the point of having the biggest military in the world, if you don't use it to oppress foreigners? Like they have a right to be mad about our occupation of those 'worthless countries'. We're America! We own the world! Of course, if they built a base here in America, you can bet your pet gerbil that we'd be kickin' their butts until they left.

So what happened? Did we leave everyone else's country alone, finally? Did we learn from our mistakes and correct them, so that a tragedy like this never happened again? Not exactly. We figured, hey, lets build more bases, and have more troops, and spend more money! That should make us safe. And, while we're at it, let's go ahead and get rid of that 'freedom' crap that we've had for so long. Less freedom should make us more safe, too.

And thus was born the Department of Homeland Security (what does the Department of Defense do?), the new and improved Transportation Safety Administration, and a bigger military, among other things. So now, you can't bring shampoo on a plane. Do you feel safer? Here, let us frisk you before you get on that plane. Do you feel safer? Don't set down your bag, or you're going to be arrested. Do you feel safer? Martial law has been declared. Do you feel safer? Habeas Corpus has been suspended. Do you feel safer? All your phone calls are being monitored. Do you feel safer?

So, instead of the government undoing what it started that caused the whole mess, it created some more messes! Gee, thanks! I can't think of words strong enough to convey my feelings toward you, government (and everyone that is a part of the destruction of our society).

I would like to recommend this book: The Myth of National Defense, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe. It can also be read here.

WAR=PEACE
SLAVERY=FREEDOM
OBAMA=CHANGE

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Yes, we have anarchists in the Libertarian Party. They keep looking for new ways to shrink government, issue by issue, just as so many liberals..."

"Yes, we have anarchists in the Libertarian Party. They keep looking for new ways to shrink government, issue by issue, just as so many liberals and conservatives keep looking for ways to expand it." - Michael Hihn

Obama's pet, Hilary Clinton, went to Mexico recently. What was the purpose of her visit? Why, to promise more raping of the people of the United States of America, of course! How could she facilitate this rape-age? By stealing the taxpayers money, rights, and weapons!

You see, she went to Mexico to promise that the taxpayers really, really want to send more of their hard-earned income (during a recession) over to our amigos to the south. The money will go to- you guessed it- expand their government! Because more money, less problems. Er, no, I meant more government, less problems. Oh, actually, that has never worked. So what is this money supposed to be used for, anyway? To expand Mexico's version of the War on Drugs! Yay! Every country needs a good war or three. Americans don't like it when other countries have things we don't- like freedom to do what you want (not that Mexico has it, but we want to pre-emptively insure that they don't get it any time soon). Not that our government hasn't spent enough 'fighting' drugs, because it most certainly has. See my previous post here.

But that's not all, folks! We can do more. Lets start by taking away some more rights, and follow with expanded government! Lets make it illegal to buy some other things, too. Those guns hurt lots of people. They must be as bad as drugs. Ban 'em! Thanks, Hil!

Politicians- you can't live with them, and you can't kill them. What's a guy to do?

Monday, March 23, 2009

"The Power to Tax involves the Power to Destroy."

"The Power to Tax involves the Power to Destroy." - John Marshall

Everything the government has, it stole from you and me. Probably more from you, though. See, there are a lot more of you than there is of me. But, that is beside the point. The point is, simply, that taxation is theft.

If I were to reach into your wallet, and "appropriate" a $50 bill, I'm pretty sure you'd call that theft. But it's not. It's not theft, because I'm not going to spend the money on myself. You see, I'm going to spend the money (minus my administrative fee, of course) on a bodyguard for you! So that makes it okay.

Now, this bodyguard is going to make sure that you are very, very safe. In order to do that he'll need to lock you up in your house. Also, he is going to take away all of your guns, bats, clubs, knives, sharp forks, and any other dangerous Weapons of Minor Destruction you might be harboring. He wouldn't be doing his job if he didn't keep you safe, now would he? You can complain, of course, but it doesn't matter. You didn't hire the bodyguard; I did, and he answers only to me. I must warn you not to cross him, or he will be forced to impose a heavy fine- or perhaps even lock you in a small room as punishment. He may even be forced to kill you. Don't worry, though; he has a badge and I've given him immunity for anything he does.

Please, do not complain. After all, you are paying for this bodyguard. He is rendering you an essential service, without which you simply could not survive. So tell him, thank you, for serving and protecting. He truly is a hero.

I know what you're going to say, "I don't care what you spend it on, you still can't take my money!" But you would be wrong. You're wrong, because I got all of my friends together, and we took a vote. It's democracy, you see? We voted, and we (the people) decided that you need to pay this guard $50 for your protection (rates subject to change). We don't want you to go without protection, so now you are being forced to be protected. Plus, you have enough money to spare. You make more money than the rest of us, and so the 'excess' should be taken away.

You'd better watch out. We're taking another vote, soon. We think Hobo Jim needs some new pants and a pizza. So we think it's in your best interest to pay for it. Also, some one was complaining about your car using up too much gas. You're welcome to vote, too, if you want, but you're kind of in the minority. At least if you vote, we won't have to feel so ambiguous about taking all your money!

"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants."

"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants." - Albert Camus

George Bush once said, "
If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." [source]



The road to hell is paved with good intentions. They tell us that we must sacrifice our freedoms, for the security and welfare of the nation. They tell us that we must give them more power, more control. We must form new bureaucracies, more departments, and put new czars in charge of them! If only we had more military. If only we had more police. If only we didn't have so much FREEDOM.

Well I say to hell with that! Give me my freedom! Send the czars back! Dismantle the homeland. Or we will end up like those before us, with their czars, and their homelands.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"Though government spends billions each year... [on the] War on Drugs, government... only [seizes] about 5% of the illegal drugs..."


"Though government spends billions each year to conduct the absurd War on Drugs, government storm troopers interdict — or seize — only about 5% of the illegal drugs that come across our borders." - Geoff Braun

The U.S. federal government spent over $19 billion dollars in 2003 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about $600 per second. The budget has since been increased by over a billion dollars.
Source: http://www.drugsense.org/wodclock.htm
As of this post, the federal government has spent $4,565,405,886 on the war on drugs, this year alone.


Excerpt from:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory106.html
By Anthony Gregory

"Speak out too loudly against the drug war, and you might be targeted. Peter McWilliams had AIDS and cancer and was dependent on marijuana to stay alive. It turns out that the people who had been using the stuff medicinally for thousands of years were onto something. No one has ever been recorded as dying from the physiological effects of marijuana. But the federal government wouldn’t let McWilliams, a vocal anti-prohibition activist, have his medicine. They threatened to take his mother’s house away if he used the substance that was keeping him alive. He was found dead in his home in June 2000. The drug war killed him directly.


"And now Steve Kubby is in jail, being deprived of the medical marijuana that has kept him alive. About a quarter-century ago, he was diagnosed with an exceedingly rare strain of adrenal cancer that no one else has been able to survive for more than five years. He was expected to die within the same timeframe. His physician, Dr. Vincent DeQuattro, an expert on this rare condition, has credited marijuana with saving his life. Several years ago, Kubby was forcefully deprived of his medicine for three days in jail, during which he suffered extreme vomiting and shivering and went temporarily blind in one eye. In U.S. custody again, after having taken refuge in Canada and being extradited back to the Land of the Free, he now has a good chance of dying, of being murdered by the state, all so it can make an example of this courageous anti-drug war activist.


"For Kubby, as was the case for McWilliams, prohibition of life-saving medicine could prove a cruel and unusual execution, all for the non-crime of self-medication, the right to which all humans are born with. Apparently, he has been allowed to use some Marinol, but the synthetic THC simply isn’t a replacement for the complex mixture of cannabinoids in marijuana. Smoking about twelve grams of pot a day has worked for him, allowing him to live a healthy life; the government’s approved version does not quite do the trick, though it might barely be keeping death away. It is very uncertain at this point what will come of his health and legal situation.


"The drug war is misdirected. It is foolish. It is stupid, unworkable, disastrous, tragic and sad. But beyond all that it is evil.


"The drug war is grounded in an evil premise: that people do not own their bodies, that they have no right to control what they do with their own lives and their own property, that it is appropriate to lock them in cages if they produce, distribute or consume chemicals in defiance of the state."



I couldn't have said it better myself!



Thursday, March 19, 2009

"The natural proclivity of democratic governments is to pursue public policies which concentrate benefits on the well-organized..."

"The natural proclivity of democratic governments is to pursue public policies which concentrate benefits on the well-organized and well-informed, and disperse the costs on the unorganized and ill-informed." -Peter Boettke

I would suggest reading "Democracy, the God That Failed" by Hans-Hermann Hoppe. Democracy is nothing but mob rule. Representative democracy is even worse, because all of the power is concentrated in the hands of a few power-hungry psychopaths who crave it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Government is good at only one thing. It knows how to break your legs, hand you a crutch, and say, 'See if it weren't for the government, you..."

"Government is good at only one thing. It knows how to break your legs, hand you a crutch, and say, 'See if it weren't for the government, you couldn't walk.'" - Harry Browne

I would like to use this post to thank Jack Galway for giving me a great source for lots more quotes. So, Thanks! His blog and articles can be seen at these locations:

http://forellefilosofy.blogspot.com/
http://www.nolanchart.com/author478.html

One of the reasons I started this blog was to have the ability to append random libertarian quotes to the end of my emails. I think it is important that we all do everything we can to raise awareness of libertarianism. So, to this end, I put some quotes in the signature of my email, which had the effect of getting some random people I emailed looking up more information. Now, with this blog, I have many random quotes instead of just one or two at the bottom.

If you would like to know how to do this, first you'll need a free gmail account, then see here for instructions.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."

"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws." - Cornelius Tacitus (55-117 A.D.)

Doesn't that say it all! Here is an interesting article about how those who believe in freedom are "terrorists" according to the state:
http://www.infowars.com/secret-state-police-report-ron-paul-bob-barr-chuck-baldwin-libertarians-are-terrorists/

From the article:
"
The MIAC report specifically describes supporters of presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr as “militia” influenced terrorists and instructs the Missouri police to be on the lookout for supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties."

Our country's days are numbered.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"Government price-fixing once started, has alike no justice and no end. It is an economic folly from which this country has every right to be spared.”

“Government price-fixing once started, has alike no justice and no end. It is an economic folly from which this country has every right to be spared.” - Calvin Coolidge, 30th US President Source: veto of two bills establishing federal controls over agricultural commoditie

From Downsize DC:

The politicians keep making big claims about how their big plans are going to achieve big results for the economy. Those tempted to believe these claims may first want to consider how well the government does with their smaller schemes. For instance . . .

Did you know that the government sets minimum prices for milk? They claim that unregulated milk prices would fluctuate wildly, but consider these wild price fluctuations . . .

The 2008 producer's minimum price of milk approached $21 per hundredweight, about five dollars more than the cost of production. This month, it's below $9.43, falling more than $6 in two months.

How are such wild fluctuations possible given that we have government regulations designed to prevent them?

Well, reality always makes itself felt despite the best laid plans of social engineers. We're in a recession, so demand for milk is low. But prices are also down because the government's strange formula for determining the price spurred over-production last year.

At the same time, droughts in California escalated feed prices, increasing the cost of milk production. Now, the government's formula for setting the "minimum price" of milk is far below the cost of production. As a result, dairy cattle are being sold for hamburger in record numbers - at a loss!

Today, the government's fixed price is encouraging under-production. But over-production, and high prices, have been the rule for decades. It's estimated that government price-fixing has historically kept the cost of drinking milk 20% above market value, imposing a huge tax amounting to hundreds of dollars a year on low-income families.

But the government's price-fixing applies only to Grade A milk, which must be safe enough to drink. Grade B milk is safe for manufactured foods, is cheaper to produce, and has no fixed price. So . . .

When farmers found that it was more profitable to produce Grade A milk because of the fixed price they overproduced the Grade A variety, which then supplanted Grade B for use in manufactured foods. This made processed foods more expensive, not more safe. This is another tax we all pay, and which hurts low-income families the most.

Aren't you glad we have the government to protect us from the free market?

There are simply too many things that determine prices - factors that price-fixing boards can neither predict nor control. Their ignorance of these factors must always be vastly larger than their knowledge. This means their price fixing schemes can never work.

Sadly, the milk example only scratches the surface. For every regulation intended to help the small producer, there's another that increases their costs while benefiting big Agri-Business. The National Animal Identification System is yet another example.

Indeed, 90% of dairy farms have disappeared over the past 40 years, and this year's low prices will run more dairies out of business, creating even more unemployment during a recession.

This is the nature of price-fixing, and of regulation in general. Such schemes protect some businesses some of the time, gouge most consumers most of the time, and make the economy less productive all of the time. Everyone suffers, especially the poor.

Do you still want to trust the big claims being made about the politicians' big plans to save the economy? If they've made such a mess of the milk industry, just imagine what they're doing to the economy as a whole.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope."

"Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts." - Patrick Henry

See the speech below for the reference. I think this quote speaks to us particularly during this time. Do you?

"I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"

Here is the speech in its entirety:

"No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the House. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope that it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen, if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.

"This is no time for ceremony. The question before the House is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty towards the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.

"Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation?

"For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth -- to know the worst and to provide for it. I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the British ministry for the last ten years, to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House?

"Is it that insidious smile with which our petition has been lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be betrayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious reception of our petition comports with these warlike preparations which cover our waters and darken our land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in to win back our love? Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the implements of war and subjugation -- the last arguments to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what means this martial array, if its purpose be not to force us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other possible motives for it? Has Great Britain any enemy, in this quarter of the world, to call for all this accumulation of navies and armies?

"No, sir, she has none. They are meant for us; they can be meant for no other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us those chains which the British ministry have been so long forging. And what have we to oppose to them? Shall we try argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last ten years. Have we anything new to offer on the subject? Nothing.

"We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves longer.

"Sir, we have done everything that could be done to avert the storm which is now coming on. We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves before the throne, and have implored its interposition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the ministry and Parliament.

"Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt, from the foot of the throne. In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope.

"If we wish to be free -- if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending -- if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained, we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

"They tell us, sir, that we are weak -- unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

"Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of the means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us.

"The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable -- and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!

"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, "Peace! Peace!" -- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"

Patrick Henry - March 23, 1775

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

"Written laws are like spiders’ webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful easily break..."

The Scythian Philosopher, Anacharsis (6th century BC), is claimed to have penned: "Written laws are like spiders’ webs, and will, like them, only entangle and hold the poor and weak, while the rich and powerful easily break through them."

Government claims to "help the poor" often do quite the opposite. Consider the minimum wage. The minimum wage is supposed to make sure that those earning it will be able to live off of their incomes. But what does it really do? The minimum wage is not, as it is often erroniously thought, a floor that raises workers' pay. Instead, it is a hurdle that must be cleared in order to earn any wage whatsoever. If I may employ a man profitably only at $3 an hour, and the minimum wage is $6, then I will not employ that man at all. This means that the most disadvantaged group, unskilled labor, is now being put at more of a disadvantage. The government's web has caught the poor, and they will not easily break free.

Large firms, such as Wal-Mart, have lobbied for higher minimum wages. Why would they do this? To put their smaller competitors at a disadvantage. With Wal-Mart being so large, and making high profits, they are able to pay a higher wage. Smaller competitors cannot compete at the same wages, due to the economies of scale. Thus, the smaller competitors are wiped out, destroying those jobs for those who most need them, the poor, unskilled workers.

Thanks, government!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made."

"Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made." -- Otto von Bismarck, 1st Chancellor of the German Empire (1815-1898)

Amen. I think the Congress agrees. They don't like to see what is in the laws they are forcing upon the American people. That's why they don't even read them!

Visit: http://www.downsizedc.org/etp/campaigns/27 for more information on getting Congress to read the bills.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

"One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation"

"One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation" -Thomas Bracket Reed

We really need less legislators. I'm thinking zero.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders, no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way..."

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders, no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle." -Ludwig von Mises

No one can afford not to be involved right now. Our nation is on the brink of collapse, and those who know the truth must spread the word.

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have." -Gerald Ford

Confessions of a 'Public Servant'
by Mr. X

This article originally appeared in the May 1995 Free Market.

You're looking for a job. You want to get paid several times your worth, come and go when you please, work only when you feel like it, take as long a lunch as you want, and get ten paid holidays per year and six weeks paid vacation per year. There's only one way to go: work for the federal government.

Few Americans, I'm afraid, have any idea, what it's like. If they did, there would be a political earthquake. As a member of the Parasitic Class for 15 years, I have witnessed and participated in this corrupt and grotesquely unfair system first hand. I am both qualified and morally obligated to expose it.

You could, of course, call me a hypocrite. I have prospered financially beyond my wildest dreams. Given my talents and work, my standard of living is higher than anything I could earn in the private sector.

But by reading the right books, and talking at length with my wife (a private-sector employee) and our friends in the private sector, I have come to see this repugnant system for what it's worth.

What draws people to government work? What keeps them there for a lifetime? It's simple: overcompensation, huge benefits, and great working conditions. It's attractive to sign up and nearly impossible to leave. That's because the government, by and large, rewards skills and experience that are unmarketable in the private sector, at least not at the same level of pay.

Take me for example. I have a degree in political science. I write, edit, and research. The taxpayers pay me approximately $65,000 in salary, excluding benefits. I could not legally earn this in the private sector. If you don't believe me, peruse the want ads. Salaries for "writer/editor" and "research analyst" start in the low $20s.

Let's say I took a job in the private sector (presuming that someone would hire a person who has spent his whole adult life working for the government). And let's pretend I can earn $65,000.

What would I lose if I left the government? The short work week would be out the window. I could take off early, but this would be detrimental to my income. I would have to meet deadlines, because consumers want jobs done in a timely manner.

I would have to forget about ten paid holidays. People in the private sector have a hard time getting paid on Thanksgiving. My private-sector friends laugh at me when I tell them I get paid for such bogus holidays as Presidents Day, Martin Luther King Day, and Columbus Day.

And vacations? Right now, I can spend 8.7% of my work time on vacation. That's six weeks per year in perpetuity. The average vacation time in the private sector is two weeks, and it's not an entitlement.

I could also forget about the unofficial "bennies": for example, I take an hour-long jog every day, followed by a shower and a leisurely lunch. It keeps me in tip-top condition for my vacations. And shopping excursions during work are always possible. What about stress? If relaxation lengthened life, bureaucrats would live to be 150 years old.

Every few years, a big-shot commission bemoans the disparity between public and private sector work. It invariably concludes that bureaucrats need much higher salaries and more benefits. Nonsense. If bureaucrats were paid according to their net value to society, the result would be mass exodus and the federal government would have to shut down.

For anyone versed in free-market economics, the reasons for all this taxpayer abuse are obvious. Unlike the private sector, the government is not subject to the rigors of the profit and loss system. The government can tax, print, and borrow money to meet its obligations. It can pay millions of people salaries absurdly out of proportion, and not be outcompeted.

Lacking the discipline imposed by the market, the government cannot be efficient by private-sector standards. It will never terminate or scale back unnecessary functions on its own. So long as people are tricked into thinking that government employees are sacrificing anything for the public good, politicians won't feel pressure to end it.

I have begun in earnest to look for employment in the private sector. I have to take a huge salary cut and give up those generous "bennies," but I will at least then contribute something to society. And at least I'll be able to live with myself.

Mr. X "works" for the federal government.


How true. Not to mention the fact that everything the government has (to give you), it steals from taxpayers.

Previously I had seen this quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson, which is incorrect. Thanks to Neil Parks for alerting me to the true source of this quote, Gerald Ford. I have now corrected the attribution here.

"Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito."

Mission Statement

Hello All,

This is the first post of the Libertarian Quotes blog. The purpose of this blog is to provide those who love freedom as much as I do a place to read quotes that can inspire liberty-mindedness and encourage us to never give up the fight against statism.

http://libertarianquotes.blogspot.com

In Liberty,
Floyd Noel