Monthly Archives: January 2007

Preach it Brother!

The High Priest of the Church of the Painful Truth, Neal Boortz has written an excellent response to this insane tirade by Ted Kennedy regarding the minimum wage. I wrote my own post on the minimum wage here at my blog Fearless Philosophy for Free Minds but Boortz’s response to Kennedy explains the problems of the minimum wage in a way I could never articulate.

For the purpose of context, the video below is Ted Kennedy’s emotional indictment of Republicans who dare to be against “the working class”

Neal Boortz’s Response:

Let’s deal with this “working men and women” line first. This rhetorical nonsense is now a basic part of the left wing class warfare arsenal. The goal here is to foster the idea that the more money you make the less you work. The reality is that there we have two resources we can use to make money, physical labor and mental labor. Most of us use a combination of the two. The ugly little fact is that, generally speaking, and professional athletes aside, the more of your mind you use the more money you will make, and the more of your muscle you use the less money you’ll make.


Knowing that almost all Americans value the concept of hard work, the Democrats have worked to promote the concept that the only real work that physical labor. Working with your mind — managing investments, for instance — just isn’t work. Therefore the only real working people out there are those who work with their hands instead of their brains…. or those more likely to vote Democrat. Once you’ve made this absurd concept a reality you have created a wonderful class warfare weapon. If you’re smarter than the average bear, and if you realize that it is not the role of government to set wages, you then become an enemy of “working men and women.”

Read the whole thing, it’s a very rational response to an emotional issue presented by the bleeding heart left’s class warfare logic.

Milton Friedman: The Power Of Choice

As I mentioned earlier, today is Milton Friedman Day. Tonight at 10pm, most PBS stations around the country will broadcast a new documentary about the life and ideas of Milton Friedman called The Power of Choice:

Rising like a phoenix from a troubled past, entrepreneurs have turned Chile’s rich Colchagua Valley into one of the world’s great economic miracles. Chilean wines now compete in the world market. Wine and ingenuity have made Don Melchor a very wealthy man. But if you think Chile is an unlikely locale for entrepreneurial success in the 21st century—consider Estonia, until recently part of the Soviet Union.

Economies all over the world are feeling the impact of free markets.

The world of the 21st century is a world of international markets interconnecting people everywhere —people who have never met, yet inadvertently have become integral to each other’s well being. The genie is out of the bottle. Every minute of every day products from all over the world are moving in perpetual motion.

For over 30 years the United States military has operated as a 100 percent volunteer force. To be successful it must offer attractive choices. The army alone now offers some 300 distinct career paths to attract young men and women to a professional life in the military.

All of these things reflect the economics of choice, the economics of individual freedom that have changed and are continuing to change the world in which we live. Still, individual freedom of choice can spark heated protest in the United States and around the world.

And, courtesy of YouTube, here’s a preview:

Definitely worth watching.

Google Founders Admit Censorship Was Wrong

Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google, have admitted that their decision to acquise in the Chinese Government’s demand for censorship of Google’s Chinese search engine was a mistake:

Google’s decision to censor its search engine in China was bad for the company, its founders admitted yesterday.

Google, launched in 1998 by two Stanford University dropouts, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, was accused of selling out and reneging on its “Don’t be evil” motto when it launched in China in 2005. The company modified the version of its search engine in China to exclude controversial topics such as the Tiananmen Square massacre or the Falun Gong movement, provoking a backlash in its core western markets.

Asked whether he regretted the decision, Mr Brin admitted yesterday: “On a business level, that decision to censor… was a net negative.”

For the bottom line, and for freedom.

Milton Friedman: An Appreciation

Since today is Milton Friedman Day, I figured it was as good a time as any to note my own personal appreciation for a man who contributed so much to the ideals of free minds and free markets.

I am not an economist, or a political scientist, so this won’t be an examination of Dr. Friedman’s contributions to either of these disciplines. Instead, I thought it would be appropriate to focus on the influence that Milton Friedman had on the evolution of my own political philsopophy.

It started when I was in college and was exposed to ideas that, quite honestly, didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Specifically, I had a Professor —- in a course ironically titiled “Capitaism, Socialism, and Democracy” —- who spent a good deal of time telling us just how evil capitalism was and specifically using Friedman as an example of all that was wrong with it’s defenders. I never really believed what he was saying, and knew that I wanted to learn more and that’s where Milton Friedman got involved.

As I’ve mentioned before, I graduated from Rutgers University. Among it’s claims to fame, Rutgers can, but seldom does, rightly claim Milton Friedman as an Alumnus. In fact, during the time I was there, you would have scarcely known that one of the most important economists of the 20th Century had graduated from Rutgers……and I am totally convinced that it was because his politics no longer coincided with those of the faculty.

Once I figured out that I wasn’t getting the whole story, I decided to check things out for myself.  In addition to whatever reading I needed to do for my classes, I started reading on my own. Friedman. Hayek. Mises. Rand. Quite honestly, I was amazed at how much independent reading I was able to get done and still keep up with my classes. In the end, though, I felt like I was on a journey that had less to do with the grades I was getting than it did with what I wanted to learn.

And the truth is that I started my intellectual journey with Capitalism And Freedom, and have never been the same. And for that I have nothing but gratitude for Milton Friedman.

Did America Elect The Wrong Bush Brother ?

Former Florida Governor, and Presidential brother, Jeb Bush, spoke this weekend at a conference sponsored by National Review devoted to examing what happened to the Republican Party in general, and conservatives specifically in last year’s elections. And, quite honestly, his remarks make one wonder if the wrong son of George H.W. Bush made it into the White House six years ago:

At a time when the conservative movement is looking bereft, humbled by midterm-election defeats and hungering for a presidential candidate to rally around, Jeb Bush delivered yesterday in Washington a resounding endorsement of conservative principles, bringing his audience repeatedly to its feet.

In his lunchtime remarks to the Conservative Summit, Bush struck every conservative chord, blaming Republicans’ defeat in November on the party’s abandonment of tenets including limited government and fiscal restraint.

“Don’t take offense personally if I get mad at Congress,” the Republican former Florida governor began. “It’s important for us to realize we lost, and there are significant reasons that happened, but it isn’t because conservatives were rejected. But it’s because we rejected the conservative philosophy in this country.”

He added, “If the promise of pork and more programs is the way Republicans think they’ll regain the majority, then they’ve got a problem.”

Bush’s speech prompted three standing ovations from the audience of hundreds at the National Review Institute’s conference at the JW Marriott Hotel, reflecting the widespread concern among conservatives that exorbitant government spending led to the loss of majorities in the House and Senate and concern about whether Republicans would again embrace the traditional principles.

It’s important to recognize that when Governor Bush talks about conservative philosophy, he clearly is the referring to ideas of limited government that the Republican Party used to believe in back in, say, 1980 when Ronald Reagan was elected. That is not the conservatism of 2007 by any means, at least not in practice.

As David Boaz notes:

President Bush sponsored most of those “more programs,” and in six years he hasn’t vetoed a single piece of pork or a bloated entitlement bill or a new spending program. And if Jeb thinks “we lost…because we rejected the conservative philosophy in this country,” he must realize that his brother has set the agenda for Republicans over the past six years almost as firmly as Putin has set Russia’s agenda. If Republicans turned their back on limited-government conservatism, it’s because the White House told them to. Not that congressional leaders were blameless — and on Social Security reform, they did decide to resist Bush’s one good idea — but it was President Bush and his White House staff who inspired, enticed, threatened, bullied, and bully-pulpited Republicans into passing the No Child Left Behind Act, the biggest expansion of entitlements in 40 years, and other big-government schemes.

In reality, of course, I doubt we will hear Jeb denounce the policies of his brother’s Presidency, not matter what he might think about them. Family loyalty will trump politicial differences. Nonetheless, I can’t help but wonder if we might not have been better off electing the other Bush brother.

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