Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

Archive for December, 2008

A Good Argument Against “Stimulus”

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Normally I hate to pass along others’ thoughts without commentary, but this one strikes right to the heart of an issue in a way that requires no further thought. Regarding the question of whether massive government spending will stimulate the economy, Tad DeHaven over at Cato@Liberty has this response: But isn’t spending tons of money […]

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Dismantling a ‘Libertarian’ Argument for Restricting Immigration

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Few topics seem to trigger strong emotions like the question of immigration.  The body of classical liberal and libertarian philosophy is full of people who espouse laissez-faire positions on the movements of goods and investment across borders, then completely reverse this position when it comes to the free movement of people.  Much of the opposition […]

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A Libertarian-Friendly Economic Stimulus Plan?

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Based on Brad’s recent post about the stimulus plan and the comments to it, I’ve come up with a plan that puts money in the hands where it can do some good, ours, while allowing the politicians in Washington to claim they’ve done something. Here are my starting assumptions: 1) The plan must be revenue […]

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Grievous, That’s What

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Kevin Drum, in response to a Tyler Cowen post explaining that we have very little evidence that fiscal stimulus actually works, suggests we try it anyway: But do we need examples? I’d argue that we’re basically in terra incognita today. In the postwar era, we’ve virtually never seen an industrialized country, let alone the whole […]

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The Need for Deflation

Friday, December 26th, 2008

In a follow-up on Tarran’s excellent Primer on Money, I’d like to take the opportunity to bring the lessons to bear on our current financial situation. Tarran correctly points out what has happened with the US Government and its ability to control the money supply: Today, the United States government has engaged in massive amounts […]

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Well-Needed Lambast Of Democracy-Worship

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

I’ve come out with criticisms of democracy at many times in the past. I believe simple “majority rule”, which is what democracy is, is not a very good form of government. When most westerners think of “democracy”, they actually think of a western liberal form of government similar to that we have in the USA, […]

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Quote Of The Day

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

I was at lunch with colleagues today, and the question was raised as to why regulators couldn’t see the financial crisis coming due to all the “creative” financial instruments. To me it was clear, and I threw out a slight paraphrase of an old saying: Those who can; produce. Those who can’t; regulate. Now, it’s […]

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A Primer on Money

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Money is critical to civilization. Without it, the capital improvements and complex economic processes are impossible, and there will be a very weak form division of labor. Money allows humanity to rise above the savagery of stone age existence. Yet most people don’t understand what money is, how it is created and how it can […]

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Bush ignores Congress…

Friday, December 19th, 2008

…again. When Congress couldn’t come to terms on a bailout for the big three stooges, President Bush had to make sure it got done: President George W. Bush’s decision to provide up to $17.4 billion in short-term loans should help General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC avoid a short-term cash crisis, but it will force […]

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Condemning Those Who Forget History

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Financial analysts are starting to notice a disturbing correlation between the present economic crisis and the roots of the stagnation that gripped Japan for the better part of a decade starting in the 1990s. In today’s New York Times, for example, Martin Flacker notes a surprising similarity between what the Federal Reserve has been doing […]

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Quote of the Day: The Death Penalty Edition

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

From Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr. dissent in Doss v. Mississippi [T]he most terrifying possibility in a system where the death penalty is dealt arbitrarily: innocent men can be, and have been, sentenced to die for crimes they did not commit. In 2008 alone, two men – both black – convicted of murders […]

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Open Thread Question: Is Naming a Child “Adolf Hitler” Child Abuse?

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Heath and Deborah Campbell have three young children. Their names: JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell, and Adolph Hitler Campbell. Unsurprisingly to everyone (with the exception of Heath and Deborah Campbell), having such names for their children can have very negative effects on their children. When it came time to request a birthday […]

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The Gloves Come Off At The Fed

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Well, they’re about to make it official. The Fed will stop at nothing to make sure they “save” the markets. So far they’ve been unable to stop the deleveraging and get things moving, so they’re pulling out all stops: The Federal Reserve may today reduce its main interest rate to the lowest level on record […]

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Driving Home In The Dark

Monday, December 15th, 2008

For a long time, I’ve been pissed off about Daylight Savings Time. In my job, I work with a lot of people across the country, and thus I get into work early (7:30 or so) and leave about 5:00 PM. Before it went into effect this year, each morning I would drive to work in […]

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Lining Up At The Trough

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Don’t think it’s just Wall Street & the Big 3, everyone’s coming for this: “We’re talking a significant bump up in Pell,” says Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. The association is one of the organizations signing on to a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, […]

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2008 Guide To Government Waste

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has published a guide giving a snapshot of the most wasteful programs enacted by the Federal government this year. The programs highlighted total a little over $1.3 billion (which is small potatoes in a year where the budget deficit is hovering around $1 trillion). Some of the programs highlighted are: National […]

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Do We Even Need Congress Any More?

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Signing statements were wrong enough… Now Bush is saying “if Congress won’t do it, I’ll do it myself“: Under mounting pressure to act, the Bush administration said Friday it was ready to step in and prevent the U.S. auto industry from collapsing after the Senate refused to pass a rescue bill endorsed by the White […]

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Che, Mao, and Pop Culture

Friday, December 12th, 2008

One thing that disturbs me to no end is the way despotic Communist serial killers like Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Mao Zedong are iconic figures in American pop culture. When I see someone wearing Che’s ugly mug on his/her chest, I want to ask him/her: “Do you really have any idea who this man was […]

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Quote Of The Day

Friday, December 12th, 2008

“There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.” Ludwig Von Mises After […]

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Blagojevich vs. Ahmedinejad

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Just a few random thoughts for a Friday… Which one is harder to say? Which one is more corrupt?

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