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Showing posts from 2015

Happy New Year from a prestigious thief

We think of thieves as conducting their work when no one is looking, such as breaking into a house while the owners are away.But the most successful thieves have done their stealing in plain sight, on a grand scale, while the owners are home and often with their tacit approval, though with sleight of hand techniques that not one man in a million is able to detect.Such a thief entered our lives when Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law on December 23, 1913.
A central bank such as the Fed has a remarkable character.  According to establishment boilerplate it’s purpose is to stabilize the economy and ensure prosperity and “full employment.”  The decision makers at the Fed are of necessity selected for their superhuman brilliance and neutrality of judgment, thus qualifying them to adjust the amount of money available to the banks so that they may in turn serve the interests of a public numbering some 322,267,564.  If for some reason certain members of the public don’t r…

Take comfort, libertarians, the future is ours

Bad news: Government is getting bigger and more oppressive.
Good news: As it gets bigger it also gets weaker.
Better news: Technology is making us, as individuals, stronger.
How do we know government is getting weaker?  Because it is sustained by central bank counterfeiting and debt, and the lies of state sycophants.   How long can massive fraud last?  To say that government is corrupt is saying water is wet.  The whole apparatus of government — a bandit gang writ large, in Rothbard’s famous depiction — is an affront to civilization and human dignity.  Yet it’s the absence of government — anarchy — that we’re supposed to avoid at all costs. We’re avoiding it, all right, and we’re paying dearly for it.
Meanwhile, a quiet revolution is ongoing that almost no one seems to understand, yet is talked about incessantly: The rising power of technology.  Without asking our permission, technology is taking us down the path to anarchy.  How is this so?
Technology today is climbing up the curve o…

Was the Fed ever a good idea?

There’s an idea at root among some libertarians that the Federal Reserve was originally a sound institution that has grown corrupt.As a bankers’ bank, it’s fine, they believe, but not as the monster it’s grown to be.If only we could go back to the Fed’s founding charter, all would be well.
I’m thinking of two well-known financial analysts who are unsurpassed in their analytical brilliance and knowledge of markets, who rightly regard the bureaucratic FOMC as the father of bubbles, busts, stagnation, and market privilege.  In their articles they hammer the Fed relentlessly and rightfully for its cluelessness, corruption, and threat to our material and spiritual well-being.  They have authored engaging bestsellers on the state of the economy and place blame where it belongs, on the monetary policies of the federal reserve.  
Yet, strangely, their recommendations stop short of eradicating the cancer altogether.  They want the Fed reformed, not abolished.  In each case they believe the Fed…

Hands off, Bernie!

Libertyhangout.org is looking for donations to pay for enrolling presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in Walter Block’s economics course at Loyola University in New Orleans.  Of course no one expects Sanders to take the course even if the necessary $3,096 is raised.  But it draws attention to what some people believe is a serious flaw in his thinking, that socialism is a defensible economic system.
(Note: Mises Academy offers a year’s worth of online courses (plural) in free market economics at 3% of the price above.) 
But to Sanders and many like him, it doesn’t matter if socialism is deeply flawed.  I’m sure he would say it isn’t but that’s irrelevant.  It doesn’t matter that it’s not even an economic theory but a political agenda of confiscation and redistribution. In case you missed it, Sanders’ socialism is not the kind that went bloody, like those in the USSR, North Korea, Cuba, China, and Nazi Germany.   According to Wikipedia, “Sanders favors policies similar to those of soci…

Pocketing the next president

Free marketers reviewing the major candidates for U.S. president in 2016 would feel justly nauseated at the prospects.  Unsurprisingly, every one of them promises to use the heavy hand of state power to solve our problems and make us prosperous — provided, of course, we’re members of favored voting blocs or generous supporters.
But is it possible our choices are not limited to this craven constellation?
Is it possible a new star could appear to brighten our spirits?
I say, “Yes, indeed!”  Look no further than Apple’s annual fall event scheduled for next Tuesday, September 9th.  It’s all but certain Apple will announce a more “proactive” Siri
Proactive, as in enterprising, bold, take-charge.  Proactive, as in possessing a trait shared by successful entrepreneurs.  Proactive, as in to offer help without being asked. 
Come Tuesday, Siri could be ready for prime time.  
Do you feel a milligram of hope in that possibility?  Think of it: If the candidates are Hillary, Donald, and Siri, who do …

It’s challenging to be a pessimistic libertarian

Optimism is a state of mind.  It means to be hopeful or confident about the future.  It is a belief that the movie you’re starring in will have a happy ending, no matter how bruising the journey getting there.

No one knows what the future will bring because the future doesn’t bring anything.  People do.  You and I and the rest of the world make the future, some more so than others — some a lot more so.  The leading future-makers of the past century — at least those who entered national politics — have left a long trail of blood and misery, and today’s political leaders are staying the course. 
There’s an old saying: “Man proposes, but God disposes.”  If the U.S. government is today’s god, what chance do a relative handful of freedom-loving people have against such an institutional behemoth?  We’re only a false flag away from martial law.  The internment camps are built and ready for occupancy.  The police are militarized and ready to carry out orders.  The voters remain insouciant.  Thi…

Why we should abandon the State

Revisionism, according to Harry Elmer Barnes, is bringing history into accord with the facts.Why would history and factual evidence be at odds?Because governments, per Orwell, falsify the past to keep the population subservient.If people really knew what governments had done they would want less of it than they have.
How much less is the question Lew Rockwell addresses in his book, Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto, released in May, 2014.  As the title makes clear, Rockwell argues for the complete elimination of the State.
Many people otherwise favoring unfettered freedom will qualify their position with an inevitable “but” — “but we need government to provide physical security and dispute resolution, the most critical services of all.”
Really?
If the free market is the “arena of voluntary interactions between individuals” that has proven so fruitful over the past 250 years, why does it need a coercive monopoly — the State — providing its most critical services?  Mono…