Category Archives: Democracy

No Secession, No Legitimacy!

Many Republicans, having discovered that Bush’s policies are tyrannical, are making noises about wanting out of the fascist state that they were cheering on a few months ago. While we may wonder why it took the trivial matter of having people who have the letter D appended to their names on news reports executing Bush’s policies to open their eyes, we must welcome the fact that they are dimly becoming aware of how thoroughly their leaders had betrayed their country and are looking for ways to undo the damage these leaders wrought.

Some Republicans have even endorsed secession! This is keeping with American tradition that started the first time the idealogical ancestors of the Republican party – the Federalists – lost an election for the Presidency. In that case the merchants of New England threatened secession since Tomas Jefferson’s policies of trade embargoes with foreign markets were crippling them. Since then threats of seccession have been a regular part of the political landscape.

Often the threats of secession are not taken seriously… usually the benefits of leaving the union are not sufficiently great to attract many supporters, and thus the powers-that-be can ignore the movements completely.

Today, though, the Democrats and political leadership are reacting in horror at the reemergence of threat American phenomenon – their dreams of social engineering will go up in smoke if the masses have the option to escape! And many people who should know better are agreeing with them.

People make three arguments against secession:
1)That it is illegal
2)That it is immoral
3)That it is unwise

Let us examine these arguments. » Read more

I am an anarcho-capitalist living just west of Boston Massachussetts. I am married, have two children, and am trying to start my own computer consulting company.
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An Open Letter To Jan Schakowsky

Dear Representative Schakowsky –

I’m a taxpayer.  The Tea Partiers are also taxpayers.  We are the people who make the enterprise of government possible.

People in government would object to that statement.  They would say that the US Government has multiple revenue streams:  the income tax, other federal taxes, the Social Security Trust Fund, other intergovernmental funds, external bond sales, bond sales to the Federal Reserve.  They’re right, on a technical level.  Year to year, the full burden of federal spending doesn’t rest on the taxpayers.

There’s more to the story, though.  Any money borrowed by the US Government is borrowed in the name of its taxpayers.  The more than $2 trillion that will be borrowed to close the deficit in Obama’s first budget is being borrowed in our name.  The same goes with the undisclosed billions borrowed to pay for the Bush bailout plan.  We currently have a national debt of $11,194,472,663,030 that the Congressional Budget Office projects will grow to over $20 trillion under the Obama spending plan.  As one of the approximately 138 million Americans who paid taxes last year, I look at the Obama deficit of $2 trillion and realize that almost $15,000 was borrowed in my name alone, just this year.  Over 10 years, the Obama plan will borrow over $65,000 in my name.  As scary as those numbers are in the aggregate, they are frightening when made personal.

I imagine it must be a pretty amazing job, being one of the 536 people that direct an enterprise with a limitless credit card that will be paid off by others.  Unlike every corporation and citizen in the country, Congress and the President don’t have to worry about where the money’s going to come from.  You have the authority to fund anything you want by pretty much any means you want.  Max out the credit card?  Just write a bill that increases the credit line!

From the perspective of this ordinary, hard-working taxpayer, that authority has gone to your heads.  You never bother to stop and ask us whether we want your spending anymore.  When Obama debuted his budget, it faced severe opposition from the taxpayers of this country.  Instead of wielding the power granted to him responsibly and reconsidering based on that opposition, he began moving to ram his budget down our throats without even a moments pause.  He tried to sic his campaign machine on us to “persuade” us that the irresponsible borrowing and spending was for our own good and that we should take it with a smile.

Between that and Bush’s TARP debacle, it became clear to ordinary taxpayers all across the country that we had no voice in Washington anymore.  Democrats and Republicans were spending all their time pandering to core constituencies and special interests while ignoring the people who pay the freight.  In fact, it’s gotten so bad that we taxpayers are not even perceived as an independent group anymore.  This is shown so clearly in your own comments on the Tea Party protests:

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) blasted “tea party” protests yesterday, labeling the activities “despicable” and “shameful.”

“The ‘tea parties’ being held today by groups of right-wing activists, and fueled by FOX News Channel, are an effort to mislead the public about the Obama economic plan that cuts taxes for 95 percent of Americans and creates 3.5 million jobs,” Schakowsky said in a statement.

“It’s despicable that right-wing Republicans would attempt to cheapen a significant, honorable moment of American history with a shameful political stunt,” she added. “Not a single American household or business will be taxed at a higher rate this year. Made to look like a grassroots uprising, this is an Obama bashing party promoted by corporate interests, as well as Republican lobbyists and politicians.”

We are in an age of taxation without representation. The taxpayer has no voice in Washington. The charade of democracy fostered by the two major parties has no place at the table for ordinary, hard-working Americans.  If you’re a Wall Street executive or an ACORN organizer, you have a say in how much money is borrowed and spent in America.  If you’re a simple plumber, electrician, or office worker, you have none.

You and the rest of Congress are gambling with our futures and you couldn’t care less what we have to say about it.  That’s why the Tea Parties are happening.  You want to deny us our voice?  Our place at the table?  Fine.  We’ll take it back from you.  Tea Party after Tea Party, letter after letter, column after column, we will make ourselves heard again.

The only shameful and despicable thing here is the fact that we have to take back our voice at all.  You and the rest of the ruling class have ignored the people who make your existence possible for far too long.  I’m sure your comments will be the first in a long line of bleating on the part of the ruling class, that we will have to endure rhetorical slings and arrows far worse than yours before we are heard again, but it doesn’t matter.  We WILL be heard, whether you like it or not.

No more irresponsibility.  Not in our name.  Not without a fight.

Sincerely,

A Taxpayer

A Tea-Party Postscript

According to Nate Silver’s estimate, something approaching a quarter million people took part in the tea party protests that took place around the country yesterday. That seems like a large number, and maybe even the start of something big, right ?

Ross Douthat thinks not, and doubts that they’ll have any more impact on the growth of the state than the protests against the Iraq War did in stopping that conflict:

They resemble nothing so much as the anti-war protests during Bush’s first term.

(…)

But they do have all of the weaknesses of the anti-war marches: Their message is intertwined with a sense of disenfranchisement and all kinds of inchoate cultural resentments, they’ve brought various wacky extremists out of the woodwork (you know, like Glenn Beck), and just as George W. Bush benefited from having opposition to his policies identified with peacenik marchers in Berkeley and Ann Arbor, so Barack Obama probably benefits from having the opposition (such as it is) associated with a bunch of Fox News fans marching through the streets on Tax Day, parroting talk radio tropes and shouting about socialism.

(…)

Still, here we are in the sixth year of the Iraq War, and all those anti-war protests, their excesses and stupidities notwithstanding, look a lot more prescient in hindsight than they did (to me, at least) when they were going on. So if you’re inclined to sneer and giggle at the Tea Parties, keep in mind that just because a group of protesters looks ragged, resentful, and naive, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re wrong to be alarmed:

Alarmed, yes, just as the anti-war protesters were alarmed at the idea of their country engaging in pre-emptive war based on dubious intelligence that latter proved to be entirely wrong, and fought a war without any idea of how to end it or what would follow in the wake of Saddam Hussein’s removal from power.

In hindsight, it seems clear that the anti-war protesters were more right than wrong but, despite their vocal opposition, we’ve lost thousands of troops and hundred of billions of dollars and have very little to show for it.

Along the same lines as Douthat, and echoing a question I raised yesterday, Alex Knapp believes that the movement’s biggest mistake is not figuring out what it’s for:

[I]ncreasing government spending is alarming. There’s no question about that. The higher deficits being predicted under an Obama Administration should be a cause for concern. But you can’t argue against higher deficits and for cutting taxes at the same time. Real life doesn’t work that way. You can’t simply wish federal revenue into being.

By the same token, you can’t just go around saying we need to “cut spending.” That’s just mindless handwaving. Let’s put this simply. 80% of the budget falls into five categories: Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, Defense, Veteran’s Benefits, and Interest on the Debt. EIGHTY PERCENT. So if you don’t tell me what you’re going to be able to feasibly cut in those categories, you are not approaching the problem seriously.

Knapp is, of course, entirely correct.

The problems that we face are far bigger, and far more serious, than the relatively paltry sums that most people point to when they talk about government waste (earmarks, for example, account for less than 1 percent of the total Federal Budget). We aren’t going to solve are problems by nibbling at the margins, it’s going to take real sacrifice, it’s going to cause real pain, and it’s something we need to be talking about now.

Standing around calling Obama a socialist, or wearing a t-shirt that says “Who is John Galt ?” accomplishes nothing.

You are “The Rich”, and you didn’t even know it

Video From Reason.TV:

A lot of folks hear numbers like “the top 5%” of income earners, and they think that means Bill Gates, and fortune 500 CEOs etc…

No, although that’s exactly what the government, and the media, would love for you to believe.

It’s how they pit us against one another. It is a very deliberate divide and conquer strategy for class warfare; and the fact that 52 million people voted for it shows just how well it’s working.

It works, because “The Rich” is always the other guy. You aren’t “The Rich” after all, you’re “working class” or “middle class” whatever those mean (and who exactly says the “middle class” don’t work?).

Nobody wants to pay more taxes (well, except some of the extreme left), and very few people would vote to increase their own taxes; so they employ this class warfare rhetoric to get you to support tax increases on “The Rich”, which will supposedly favor you, and “the less fortunate”.

The only problem is, according to the government, there’s a pretty good chance that You (yes You, with a capital “Y”) ARE “The Rich”.

How can that be? They’re always talking about the “top 1%” or the “top 5%”, and again people start thinking about Bill Gates, and bank CEOs, and Wall Street traders…

Actually, the top 5% likely includes a lot of folks you know. Theres a fair chance it includes you. It almost certainly includes people you interact with every day.

When we get down to as low as say, the top 15%, most folks would think that got to be people making like $250,000 a year right?

No, actually people who make $250,000 a year are the top 1% (in fact, anyone over about $180,000 a year is in the top 1%. $250,000 puts you into the top .8% or so).

Wait a sec… the top 1% is just $180,000 a year?

Yes, yes it is.

The estimated individual income numbers for 2008 (actuals wont be available for another two years. Also don’t confuse these with household numbers, which account for multiple incomes) look like this:

The “top 1%” of earners in this country, is everyone who makes over about $180,000 a year.

The top 5% is everyone who makes over about $152,000 a year

In case you were interested, $100,000 is the top 5.63%

The top 10% is everyone who makes over $76,000 per year.

The top 15% is everyone who makes over about $64,000 a year.

The top 25% is everyone who makes over about $46,000 a year.

The top 50% is everyone who makes over about $32,000 a year.

So when somebody says “we’re going to tax the richest 15% to pay for the other 85%” what they’re really saying is anyone who makes more than $32 an hour.

Ayup, if you make more than $32 an hour, guess what, YOU are “The Rich”.

If they say “we’re going to tax the richest 25%” that means anyone who makes more than $23 an hour.

So, let me ask you, are you rich?

The top 15% pay more than 85% of all income taxes.

The top 50% pay more than 96% of all income taxes.

The bottom 50%, pay less than 4%.

The bottom 40% pay nothing at all.

The bottom 30% are actually PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT (and I don’t mean civil servants).

Plumbers, carpenters, electricians, mechanics, pretty much anyone with more than 10 years experience in any mid-level or higher job, in any professional career field or trade; that most likely puts you into the top 15% or so. Are you rich?

If you own your own business, the government ALMOST CERTAINLY classifies you as earning in the top 10% or higher… of course how much of that you actually KEEP is another story. Are you rich?

If you’re reading this right now, demographically speaking, it’s very likely you are in the top 15%. Are you rich?

If you have a college degree, live in or near a major city, and have more than 10 years experience in your career field, you are very likely to be in the top 5%, and almost certainly in the top 15%. Are you rich?

I’ll tell you right now, I’m in the top 5% of income earners, and with my wifes income we’re in the top 5% of household earners (in fact, the top 3%); and we are very definitely not rich.

We don’t live an extravagant lifestyle. We have a 1600 square foot house in an old neighborhood in Scottsdale (not one of the McMansion areas), two used cars that were both under $30,000 each when we bought them, and we send our two kids to Catholic school that’s subsidized by the parish, or else we couldn’t afford it. We don’t have a vacation home; no RV, no boat, no vacations to Switzerland every six months…

We’re not rich.

As far as the government is concerned though, we are “The Rich”.

In fact, it’s very likely that you are “The Rich” too.

What they’re really saying when they talk about “taxing the rich”, is taxing you. Because as far as the government is concerned, unless you’re taking money from them, hey, YOU’RE RICH.

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

I WILL NOT OBEY

As I have said here before, I am a senior technical executive at a large bank.

As it happens, a bank that was forced at gunpoint, by the secretary of the treasury and chairman of the federal reserve, to accept TARP funds (as all the top surviving banks in the U.S were).

Let me be clear: We did not want TARP funds, or need them; but we, and all the other major banks, were told in no uncertain terms that we WOULD take them.

As obscene as that is, it is irrelevant to what follows; excepting that we did take TARP funds.

The United States House of Representatives recently passed a blatantly unconstitutional bill, placing confiscatory tax burdens on anyone making more than $250,000 and working for an institution that received more than 5 billion of TARP funds.

The bill was in theory specifically addressed at the false outrage over retention bonuses paid to AIG executives; and is targeted only to their bonuses.

In theory.

Of course, this would be an unconstitutional bill of attainder, which wouldn’t pass even the most cursory constitutional challenge; so it was re-written to be broader.

Broader of course means more people would be affected, and congress would be given more power to steal more money.

In fact, if you read into the implications of the bill; it could be used to levy a 90% tax on any income over $250,000, earned by any family making more than $250,000 per year, where either spouse is employed by an institution that received federal “bailout” funds.

It appears that the Senate, and the Obama administration are cold on the bill and that it will not pass, or be signed into law if it did.

I do not earn that much money; nor do my wife and I earn that much together (though in the next few years it is entirely possible that we will).

However, I have something important to say.

If congress should pass any such bill, and the president sign any such law, I WILL NOT OBEY IT.

I will not allow congress to tell me how much I can earn. I will not allow them to take my income because of the actions of others. If they attempt to make me do so by force, I will resist with force.

I will most likely die in the process, which I regret; but at some point a line must be drawn. The constitution must be respected, or it is meaningless.

Congress can make no law that is unconstitutional on it’s face. If such a law be passed, it is the duty of the president to repudiate it; and it must not be signed. If such a law is signed, it is the duty of the agents of the government to refuse to enforce it. If the agents of the state attempt to enforce it, then they must be resisted with force, at all costs.

Anything less is submission to tyranny, and the diminution of citizens, to subjects; or worse.

I have made clear in the past that I would resist police abuse of the constitution. I will resist congresses abuses no less. I will resist the presidents abuses no less.

Agents of the state cannot exceed the legitimate authority of the state. When they do so, they are criminals, and they must be resisted as criminals.

Normally I do not advertise where my lines are; but congress is now in the midst of a tantrum of self indulgence, overconfidence, and hubris not seen since reconstruction.

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama, are pushing our nation headlong into tyranny and ruin; and decrying those who resist as racists, or reactionaries; simply for not wanting to be serfs.

I would suggest that we petition for the impeachment and prosecution (for conspiracy to deprive every resident of the United States of their civil rights) of any congressman who voted for such a bill; but I know it would do no good.

Government must be made to understand, WE WILL NOT TOLERATE SUCH ABUSE.

We will resist.

We will revolt.

We will not be made subjects, serfs, or slaves.

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

Nader Scores Big Court Victory for Third Party Candidates

It’s not often that I sing the praises of unsafe-at-any-speed Ralph Nader, but his recent legal victory is worthy of such praises.

LOS ANGELES, March 9 /PRNewswire/ — In a significant move for open-election laws, the U.S. Supreme Court today rejected an attempt to overturn a federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that the state of Arizona could not require independent presidential candidates to register earlier than candidates affiliated with major political parties.

Arizona’s petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court had been closely watched after 13 other states supported Arizona’s bid to have the High Court hear the case. The federal civil rights case, originally filed in Arizona federal district court, stems from Nader’s 2004 presidency bid.

Ralph Nader had challenged the deadline, contending it violated his First Amendment rights to free speech and political association. Lead Attorney Robert Barnes of the Bernhoft Law Firm represented Nader before the Ninth Circuit, which overturned the district court and unanimously declared the Arizona law unconstitutional. Nader’s Bernhoft Law legal team successfully argued that requiring independent candidates to register by June was unfair when the two major political parties did not hold their conventions until the fall.

Perhaps as just as important was the other aspect of Nader’s challenge was the lower court striking down the provision in Arizona law which required petition circulators to be registered to vote within the state. Paul Jacob and others can now circulate petitions to any state government without fear of being put in jail. What a concept!

Quote Of The Day

From the Governator:

“You’ve got to listen to the people. If the nation is screaming out loud, ‘We need health care reform. We want to have universal health care. We want to have everyone insured. We want to bring the costs down. We want everyone to have access.’ I mean, that’s what they want; that’s what you do,” Schwarzenegger said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“Even though it maybe is against your principles or philosophy, you still have to go, because that’s what the people want you to do,” he said.

Remember… It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong. It doesn’t matter whether you believe it or not. If you go against the people, they’ll vote you out, so fer chrissakes do what they say! Principles, as the Republicans of 2000-2006 proved, are for those who aren’t in power; once you’re in you’d better do what is expedient to stay there.

Hat Tip: McQ @ QandO

Václav Klaus Addresses the European Parliament

Václav Klaus gave a speech that U.S. politicians would do well to listen to:

The citizens of the Czech Republic feel that the European integration has an important and needed mission and task. It can be summarized in the following way:

– removing unnecessary – and for human freedom and prosperity counterproductive – barriers to the free movement of people, goods, services, ideas, political philosophies, world views, cultural patterns and behaviour models that have been for various reasons over the centuries formed among the individual European states;

– a joint care of the public goods, existing on the continental level, meaning projects that cannot be effectively carried out through bilateral negotiations of two (or more) neighbouring European countries.

….

This is closely connected with the question of prosperity. We must say openly that the present economic system of the EU is a system of a suppressed market, a system of a permanently strengthening centrally controlled economy. Although history has more than clearly proven that this is a dead end, we find ourselves walking the same path once again. (my emphasis – tarran) This results in a constant rise in both the extent of government masterminding and constraining of spontaneity of the market processes. In recent months, this trend has been further reinforced by incorrect interpretation of the causes of the present economic and financial crisis, as if it was caused by free market, while in reality it is just the contrary – caused by political manipulation of the market. It is again necessary to point out to the historical experience of our part of Europe and to the lessons we learned from it.

Predictably, his speech calling for less political centralization and more economic liberalization was poorly received, with a substantial portion of the parliament walking out on his speech after booing him:

Read the entire thing.

H/T Lew Rockwell

I am an anarcho-capitalist living just west of Boston Massachussetts. I am married, have two children, and am trying to start my own computer consulting company.

The Unselfaware Irony of Fascism

Eric Arthur Blair famously said “The word FASCISM has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies
“something not desirable.
“.

In this he was referring (among other things) to the tendency of those on the left to call anything which restricted their tendencies or desires in any way fascists; which in such usage has been the preferred cavil of liberals and leftists since the 1940s.

Sadly, most of those making such imprecations don’t understand the true definition of fascism: a belief in the supremacy of the state and it’s leaders, over that of individuals; elevated to a level of blind enforced obedience and popular obeisance.

Fascism, for all intents and purposes, is the worship of the state, and of the “Dear leader”. Critically, when instituted it is always instituted by a majority, or a very strong minority, of willing subjects (I cannot call them citizens); who are looking for the government to “heal all their ills”.

Pledge of Allegiance Becomes Pledge to Obama

By Alan Gray, NewsBlaze

A parent in the Clark County School District of Las Vegas, Henderson area reported January 27th that his son, who is in 1st grade, came home yesterday saying that he didn’t want to go back to school anymore.

When asked why, the boy said that during the Pledge of Allegiance the teacher put up a large image of Obama next to the flag.

Thinking that the boy might be exaggerating, the man asked his son if he was sure, and suggested that by “large” he might mean an 8×10 photo of the president. The boy apparently said “No, it is a large picture of Obama and when we are done, the teacher turns off the image.”

The same thing was not done for President Bush last year.

After investigating this morning, the other parent reported that what the boy said was true.

At least three of the five classrooms have an overhead projector and as the children stand to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, the teacher turns on the classroom overhead and a full body image of Obama, with six U.S. flags behind him, comes up about 4 feet away from the flag that hangs on the wall. The screen is apparently around five feet by six feet.

In the image, President Obama appears to be staring straight out with no facial expression, just a serious look. All of the kids in each class faced the President, instead of the flag that hangs in the corner.

15 years ago, I swore an oath to defend this country, and our constitution. Not our president, or our government; but our constitution. The president is our commander in chief; but our loyalty, our duty, our honor; is owed to the constitution, not to the president.

10 days ago, President Obama swore a similar oath; not to defend our government, or our leaders; but our nation, and our constitution.

America is an idea, not a man, or a government. That idea is expressed, however imperfectly, in our constitution; and those of us who chose to serve, be it in government, or the military; swear to defend that idea.

Isn’t it ironic, how the only serious proponents of fascism today are militant islamicists, and western leftists; the very people who, in form at least, rail against fascism… which they are most often accusing US of?

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

Bush Was a Dictator – And the U.S. Government Is a Dictatorship

A dictator is a monarch who is both law-maker and law enforcer, who also acts as final judicial arbiter in cases, and is not legally liable for his actions.

By such a standard, George Bush was a dictator.  He claimed the power to ignore the legislature, and to arbitrarily rewrite the law – citing the U.S. Constitution’s appointment of the president as the “Commander in Chief” of the United States Army and U.S. Navy as justification.  If the Congress passed a law he didn’t like, he refused to enforce it.  If it failed to pass a law he liked, he enacted it anyway. He successfully suppressed the courts’ power of habeas corpus throughout most of his term, effectively wielding the power to seize anyone off the street and to detain them arbitrarily with no review.  And, despite his many violations of the law, he never faced any credible threat of legal sanction.

Many of his supporters argue that since George Bush stepped down willingly at the end of his term, he was no dictator.  But a what characterizes a dictatorial government is how the leader controls the government, not how he got into power or left it.  A Roman appointed to the office of Dictator during the years of the Republic had his term expire after only a year, yet during that year no-one would argue that during that year there was no dictatorship, even though they often stepped down willingly at the end of their term. Nor do they have to come to power through violent means: witness Adolf Hitler’s appointment as Fuhrer by the German Parliament via the Enabling Act, which was all nice and legal and regularly renewed by parliament.

While many people have been outraged by Bush’s arrogation of power, there was been no serious attempt by the judiciary and the legislature to rein him in.  The judiciary did, very late in the game, start to protest against his more outlandish legal theories justifying his unilateral actions, but for the most part they deferred to the president.  In Congress, a few gadflies started impeachment proceedings, but they never amounted to anything.  To the contrary, throughout his presidency the other branches bent over backward to defer to this claim of authority.

Since he has taken office, President Obama has been busy issuing new directives limiting the power that he and his subordinates claim.  Many see this as an end to the unitary executive.  But, this personal arrogation of power is very similar to the homeowner allowing a friend to crash on the couch.  It can be rescinded at any time.  In the absence of any movement in the legislature or the judiciary, it merely amounts to the dictator announcing his intention to stay his hand, rather than a permanent abdication of power.

Furthermore, he has continued legislating by fiat, the latest of which is his executive order designed to force improvements in fuel efficiency.  Regardless of  whether one feels that this is a good or bad idea,  one must admit that the power to enact such a major change in government policy, which will likely impose billions of dollars in compliance costs, when on the shoulders of one man, is dictatorial.

In many ways, the U.S. has become the most dangerous kind of dictatorship – a democratic one.  While dictators are often quite violent and, well, dictatorial, they sometimes  do to take a long view, since they expect to experience the long-term consequences of any misrule.  On occasion, dictators can even be pretty decent,  recognizing that a hands-off approach will increase their power far more quickly that a hands-on approach.  I can think of no better example of this phenomenon in action than that of Singapore.

In the U.S., on the other hand, the rulers can only expect to stay in office for less than a decade.  Rather than worrying about long term consequences, they are far more likely to be concerned about how to maximize their use of the office in the short period they hold it. Rather than worrying about the long term health of the nation, under a democratic (the system of government, not the political party) dictatorship of limited duration, we expect to see decisions that are focused on a smaller time scale.

When the Roman Republic collapsed and was replaced by the imperial system, the old forms of the republic were maintained.  The senate appointed consuls and voted on legislation.  However, for the next few centuries, political power resided in the hands of the Emperor, who was named Dictator by the Senate.  While early emperors like Augustus had fairly sound economic policies, the history of the empire is a sad tale of failed economic policies creating new crises, of poorly though out intervention begetting stronger interventions, each multiplying the devastation of the unintended consequences of its predecessor.

The republican system of government is not completely extinguished in the United States,  It is, however, all but dead.  Absent a dramatic sea-change in the attitude the American people towards their government, we will increasingly be at the mercy of popularly elected dictators, who are not restrained by any significant limitation on their powers.

I am an anarcho-capitalist living just west of Boston Massachussetts. I am married, have two children, and am trying to start my own computer consulting company.

Another Permanent State of Emergency

Many people have expressed a hope that Barack Obama will be an improvement over George Bush and that he will roll back some of George Bush’s excesses.  They see in Obama a man who understands nuanced argument, who at least acknowledges that those who oppose his policies can have good reasons and arguments for doing so.  However, those who are so hopeful are doomed to have their hopes dashed.  Barack Obama may give of good vibes, but a review of his policy papers show nothing more than a few crumbs of freedom thrown to the people.  Make no mistake, under Barack Obama’s leadership, the federal government will seize more wealth, violate more liberties and wreck the economy more thoroughly than George Bush did.  The Obama administration will permit, nay encourage, the looting of the treasury by their cronies to a degree that not even the Bush administration dared to.  Reading his policy aims, I see that he offers us no quarter, no accommodation.  He demands that the American people hand over more of the wealth they create, and threatens them with more pervasive monitoring and violence in order to ensure their compliance with his edicts.  He wishes to rework society – to impose his vision of how society ‘ought’ to be organized – using the state security apparatus to impose his dreams.

In every policy proposal, one sees the same theme, the expansion of government, in size, in scope and power.  Typical is his proposal as to how the government will begin respecting civil liberties:  rather than ordering the justice department to respect civil liberties in the court system by voluntarily complying with historical precedents governing government power, rather than announcing his intention to rip out the listening rooms used by the NSA to eavesdrop on the communications of the citizenry, he announces his intention to create a ‘civil liberties board’, with subpoena powers.  If the attorney general of the United States lacks the power to enforce respect for civil liberties, or even worse, is disinclined to respect them, how will the addition of this board alter the calculus?  No, this board will provide sinecures to political allies and something to point to when questioned about his respect for civil liberties while allowing the Justice Department, the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security to continue the business as usual, that of exercising their powers lawlessly and without limit, in furtherance of the public and private aims of the officials staffing them.

Nowhere in his policies does he announce his intention to relinquish control of anything that the government currently controls.  That which the Federal Government controls today, the government will continue to control under the new administration.  Much of which is currently out of its control today they will seek to bring under its control.

According to the Obama administration, the current economic crisis warrants expanding government spending well beyond George Bush’s record-breaking levels.  Only in passing does he acknowledge the need to raise money for this spending, which will have to be either through increased taxation, borrowing or via the printing of new money.   The U.S. economy will not provide enough in taxes or in loans to pay for this spending.  It is incapable of it.  Thus, we will see the Federal Government borrowing from anyone who will loan it money, and when those sources of funding dry up, from the Federal Reserve, which pays for the bonds it purchases with newly printed money.  The ‘inflation rate’, so called, already near 10% according to the calculation method in use in the 1970’s will rise to much higher levels.  In the meantime the standard of living will stagnate, and in all likelihood decline.  Nor is there any plan to end this spending once the economy exits the crisis.  This, like the Global War on Terror, is yet one more open-ended emergency.

And when these policies fail to have their intended effects, as unemployment continues to soar and prices continue to rise, it is inevitable that the Obama administration will blame people who it sees as standing in the way of their policies.  The Obama administration will be tempted to go after bankers, intellectual opponents, industrialists, and corporate offices in exactly the same manner as when FDR excorciated bankers and industrialists.  And, like Wilson, FDR, Nixon, Clinton, and many others, the Obama administration will be tempted to use the state security apparatus against these enemies, citing the economic state of emergency to justify it. So now the U.S. will not only be under a permanent state of emergency against external enemies, it will be in a state of emergency.  This time the enemy won’t be people living a continent away…  It will be us.

I am an anarcho-capitalist living just west of Boston Massachussetts. I am married, have two children, and am trying to start my own computer consulting company.

Well-Needed Lambast Of Democracy-Worship

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, where the government is hamstrung from becoming too heavy-handed by the natural history of the culture (in our case, English common law and natural rights doctrine), and Constitutional limits on the scope of power. Thus, many applaud the spread of “democracy” around the world, but do not understand that democracy without the above restraints ceases to be a good form of government.

I’ve pointed out that those restraints are beginning to crumble here in the USA, and we’ll all be worse for it. TJIC, along the same lines, gives his take on democracy:

I continue to assert that the leftist love affair with “democracy” is a horrid mistake. Or, rather, democracy is something horrible, and leftists love it for that very reason. Justice and freedom are the two important things in society, and democracy is neither – it is a tool whereby the political leaders are selected. Certainly, there is some reason to believe that a polity with a feedback loop whereby the worst leaders can – maybe – be ejected from power via the ballot box is preferable to the identical system where no leader can ever be ejected from power … but that’s hardly a ringing endorsement of democracy as the be-all, end-all of governance.

I am convinced that leftists love democracy, though, particularly because it does not promise freedom. Individual freedom (a negative right; an ability to say that government may not do something) is often distasteful to leftists, and “democracy” is an ideology that makes it easy to subvert the desire to stop government. “Stop government?” they say “why, the government is not something ‘other’ – the government is just you and me! All of us, working together, to accomplish a common goal! Now, it’s only fair that we the people …”, and thus begins the justification for all manner of theft, destruction and regulation.

I spoke about Libertarianism and Democracy two years ago, where the salient point is this:

Libertarianism isn’t anti-Democracy. In fact, the statement itself is nonsensical. Libertarianism is a moral system, valuing individual liberty as it’s highest ideal. Democracy is a form of government, consisting of majority rule. Or, to make it more plain, liberty is an end, democracy is a means to an end.

Unrestrained democracy does not always (some would say not even usually) lead to liberty. In fact, democracy is a subterfuge by which liberty can be restrained. The majority is often wrong, and many infringements of liberty (slavery, Jim Crow and segregation) were upheld by the majority. It’s not that I’m opposed to majority rule; I’m opposed to unjust rule. Unjust rule is far more difficult to defeat when it is justified by “the will of the people”.

Gay Marriage, Religious Rights, and Freedom of Association

California’s Proposition 8, the ballot measure aiming to outlaw same sex marriage, passed on a very close vote. Prop 8’s supporters* pushed a campaign of fear, misinformation, and a complete distortion of the meaning of individual liberty. This campaign commercial is typical of the intolerance and hysteria being promoted from the “yes” campaign.

Argument #1: Churches could be forced to marry gay people.

Argument #2: Religious adoption agencies could be forced to allow gay couples to adopt children; some adoption agencies would close their doors as a result.

Argument #3: Those who speak out against gay marriage on religious grounds will be labeled “intolerant” and subjected to legal penalties or social ridicule. Careers could be threatened.

Argument #4: Schools will teach students that marriage is between “party a” and “party b” regardless of gender. Schools also teach health and sexuality and would now include discussions of homosexuality.

Argument #5: There will be “serious clashes” between public schools and parents who wish to teach their children their values concerning marriage.

Argument #6: Allowing gays to marry will restrict or eliminate liberties of “everyone.” (Example: Photographers who do not want to work at same sex weddings)

Argument #7: If Prop 8 fails, religious liberty and free speech rights will be adversely affected.

My response to these arguments is that we should be advocating for more freedom for everyone rather than restrict freedom of a group or class of people. The state should recognize the same contract rights** for a gay couple as it would between a man and a woman. To get around the whole definition of marriage issue, I would propose that as far as the state is concerned, any legally recognized intimate relationship between consenting adults should be called a “domestic partnership.” From there the churches or secular equivalent to churches should have the right to decide who they will marry and who they will not (just as they do now).

Rather than subject an individual’s rights to a vote or either party forcing their values on the other, we should instead advocate freedom of association and less government in our everyday lives. Somewhere along the way, we as a people decided that the government should involve itself more and more into the relationships of private actors. The government now has the ability to dictate to business owners quotas of who they must hire, family leave requirements, how much their employees must be paid, and how many hours they work (among other requirements). For the most part, businesses which serve the public cannot deny service to individuals for fear of a lawsuit.

A return to a freedom of association society would remedy arguments 1, 2, 6, and 7 from this ad. As to Argument #3, the anti-gay marriage folks are going to have to realize that in a free society, they are going to have to deal with “social ridicule”*** or being called intolerant. Anyone who takes a stand on any issue is going to be criticized and called names. In a freedom of association society, an employer would have every right to decide to layoff individuals who hold views or lifestyles they disagree with.

While we’re on the subject of intolerance, perhaps we should take a moment to consider if people who would deny equivalent rights which come with marriage are intolerant. This ad is exactly the same as the previous ad except that the words “same sex” and “gays” have been replaced with “interracial.”

Believe it or not, there was a time in this country when there were such laws against interracial marriage. Those who argued against interracial marriage made very similar arguments to what the anti-gay marriage people are making now. Today most of us would say those people were intolerant.

Intolerance aside, Arguments 4 and 5 can also be answered by reducing the role of government in our lives. What the “yes” people should be arguing for is a separation of school and state. While we as a nation are trending toward more government involvement in K-12 education, those who do not want the government schools to teach their children the birds and the bees or enter into discussions of homosexuality can put their children in private schools which share their values or home school. School Choice is the obvious answers to these concerns.

Prop 8’s supporters have turned the whole idea of individual liberty on its head. They claim that in order to preserve the rights of the greatest number of people a minority of people necessarily must sacrifice their rights. This is absurd and dangerous. Perhaps it is this complete misunderstanding of individual rights among Californians which contributed to Prop 8’s passage.

When explained properly, the rights of life, liberty, and property is the easiest concept to understand.

Hat Tip: The Friendly Atheist

Posted Elsewhere:

Dan Melson @ Searchlight Crusade has written a very thought provoking post on this issue. Some of his arguments I agree with, others I don’t but all of his points are well argued.

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Open Thread — A New Tax Hike

As anyone who reads this blog understands, I’m not a favor of any taxation. Nor am I much in favor of government. But at the moment, we have a government, and its functions must be paid through some revenue. We might as well find economically efficient, rather than inefficient, ways to raise that revenue.

Politicians talk about taxing the rich, or raising “usage fees”, raising capital gains taxes, or even sin taxes. But what if we added a tax on politics itself? We already talk of the corrupting influence of money on politics, but why not put that money to good use?

I’m talking– of course– about a tax on political contributions. As it stands, I am thankful to see that political contributions are not tax-deductable, but why is it that they shouldn’t be expressly taxed?

I think we’d be well served by a 10% tax on all political contributions. We could even call it a “sales” tax, because you know someone’s been bought.

We can’t get rid of the influence of money on politics without getting rid of the influence of politics on money. That link doesn’t appear to be breaking, so we might as well put it to good use.

So what do you think, readers? Is this a brilliant way to add revenue while disincentivizing political money-grubbing, or is it a crackpot idea?

Demographics, Statistics, and Signs of Hope

Obviously, I disagree with the choice that 51% of Americans made last night, but in that choice, there are many aspects that I think are good things… perhaps great things.

The first point, is that although the democrats are already trying to spin this as a huge numeric victory, it is not. Though the electoral college totals are approximately 2 to 1 Obama, that is because of the math of the swing states in the electoral college. There are 8 states where Obamas margin of victory is 3% or under. A 1.5% swing one way or the other, and the results would be quite different.

I reported earlier this week that I believed the 10% support advantage polls showed for Obama was drastically inflated, and that any state within six percent would break for McCain.

It turns out I was half right. The real number was 3% not 10%. I thought that those six point states would swing all six points when it came down to actual voting. Instead they swung 3 or 4 points.

The polls however were very clearly wrong. The exit polls over indicated Obamas support by as much as 10% in some states. This is I think a long term problem that we need to address.

Now as to demographics, they interest me (of course they are also based on the flawed polling data, but the numbers are so large as to be at least indicitive).

McCain won about 60% of whites overall. This is a larger margin than expected. He won both white men, and white women, by a significant margin. It was expected that he would lose white women (and when race is taken out of the equation, McCain lost all women 45-55).

I don’t want to speculate as to why here; I’ll leave that to others. I’m sure they will do so, with great vitriol.

Obama won 95% of blacks, and this election featured the largest turnout of blacks in history. I think that’s a great thing. I hope that a non-black candidate would have the same result.

Obama won 60% of hispanics, a suprising achievement; and more hispanics voted in this election than any other election in american history. Again I think this is great.

Obama won 70% of people under 30 and 70% of first time voters. More people under 30 voted in this election than ever before in American history. First time voters made up a larger percentage of the electorate than any other election in American history.

Collectively the four groups I mentioned, usually make up less than 10% of actual voters. This election they made up about 30% of voters, and that is absolutely INCREDIBLE.

Although all the votes have not yet been counted, if the polls are even close to right, more Americans voted in our election than have ever voted before.

That is even more incredible. We have recently been a country where 40% participation has been considered “good”; and yesterday, we had perhaps 60% of the eligible voting populace do so. I won’t be happy until we get to over 80%, but I’m heartened.

In fact, I am heartened by all of this. I am given hope.

143 years ago, a black man in this country could not vote. 43 years ago, a black man in Mississippi may have even been killed for trying to. Next January, a black man is going to be president.

The cynic in me says that a fair portion of the reason his is president is because he IS black… but the idealist in me hopes this truly says that race is no longer relevant… or that at least we are walking down that road.

I hope these amazing changes continue, and grow. I hope that those people become fully engaged, and educate themselves, and perhaps commit themselves to liberty as they do.

I fear they will not, but I hope.

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

Hulk MAD! Hulk VOTE!

Voting is now analogized to Popeye eating his spinach:

The final presidential debate concluded with some stirring words, though not from either candidate. Moderator and CBS newsman Bob Schieffer said, “I will leave you tonight with what my mother always said — go vote now. It will make you feel big and strong.

Cue the Huggies Pullups commercial: “I’m a big kid now!”

It’s strange to me. The act of voting is akin to marshaling a $3T government with the greatest military in the history of the world and an army of bureaucrats, redistributionists, and enforcement personnel to go out and perform the tasks you wish it to do. It should make one feel big and strong and powerful. But somehow, just somehow, it seems just as cowardly as sending the school bully to take the nerd’s lunch money for you. And it’s about as moral.

But I guess Schieffer had one point, though he didn’t intend it. Your vote doesn’t matter. So as long as it makes you feel good, I guess you’ve gotten your money’s worth.

Live it up today, looters! I hope you all feel wonderful tonight, and don’t blame me when the government hangover comes tomorrow.

Hat Tip: Cafe Hayek

Quote Of The Day

From Doug Stanhope:

The most important thing is to vote locally and know what you’re voting for – and if race or sex are your first reason, you should be denied a ballot because you are an ape who should be banished to voting online for upstart variety show websites. If you dont know exactly why you are voting, go buy someone a drink instead. We’ll say it’s your civic duty.

If it’s the day before the election and you’re not yet sure who you’re voting for– or more importantly, why… Stay home.
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The Coming Constitutional Crisis

The following motion was filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on October 22nd, and entered earlier today.

This is an amended filing from the earlier motions (as is clear from the text); based on the state of the case as of the 22nd.

Earlier, the Obama campaign filed a motion to dismiss, and a motion to prevent discovery. Neither of these motions have been granted.

The Obama campaign has not filed substantive responses to Bergs motions and assertions; and has missed several deadlines.

Theoretically, by the rules of civil procedure, the judge has to rule in favor of the plaintiff, unless he finds the plaintiffs motions have no merit (or that he cannot hear the case due to jurisdictional defect, or lack of standing on the part of the plaintiff); however the judge could decide to dismiss, or to hear the case instead.

Also, the plaintiff has requested a jury trial if summary judgement is not entered; and the Obama campaign failed to respond to this request; so if the judge decides not to enter summary judgement and instead hear the case, he is again required by civil procedure to order a hearing before a jury.

Judges have a lot of leeway within the rules, but if they decide to do something outside of normal practice that leaves a lot of room for appeal. I’ve looked at this judges rules for civil procedure (judges can set their own rules to a certain extent) and he is a hardcore stickler for the rules.

The Obama campaign clearly thought the judge wasn’t going to take this case seriously, and that they could either get it dismissed our of hand, or delayed until after the election.

It seems clear now this isn’t going to happen.

At this point, the Obama campaigns only response is to claim jurisdictional defect and lack of standing. They are saying that the court can’t hear the case, and that even if they could, Berg can’t bring the case. Their grounds for such assertions are weak at best.

Read the filings. If you don’t believe me, go log in to P.A.C.E.R. and look at the totality of the case. Berg has affadavits from Obamas grandmother, officials from the Kenyan ministry of state, officials from the hospital he is alleging Obama was born in…

This is going to be messy. Even if the case is dismissed by jurisdictional or standing defect, it will simply be refiled immediately by someone who has standing (that shouldn’t be hard to find) in the proper jurisdiction.

This isn’t going away.

Whether the allegations are true or not, by not taking this case seriously, Obama is in trouble.

UPDATE:

Understand, I am making no claims as to the validity of the case; only that it has not been dismissed, and the Obama campaign is treating it as if it already has been.

I’m inclined to think if the judge were going to summarily dismiss the case, he would have done so before Oct. 21st.

I have a feeling the judge will at least have a hearing on jurisdiction and standing.

If the Obama campaign address this only as a jurisdictional issue, or a standing issue, it’s going to come back.

Right now, the Obama campaign isn’t even arguing the merits of the case; and if they DON’T get it dismissed on the merits, the exact same allegations and information are going to be used to file cases from now, until he is out of office presuming he is elected.

I’ve spent the last three years arguing a federal case, responding to motions and appeals with no merit. Because our opponent had even the slightest validity in his cause of action, it was strongly advised BY THE JUDGE, that we respond to all motions in a timely manner; even though we had a motion to dismiss pending the entire time (it was eventually granted).

Until this case is heard on the merits, and dismissed on the merits, I think it’s going to be a MAJOR issue for Obama; even after the election, whether he is elected or not.

» Read more

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

A slight profundity

A question was asked of me recently: “Why don’t libertarians and real conservatives win elections”.

Simple really.

True libertarians and conservatives share the same electoral disadvantage:

True libertarians and real conservatives, CANNOT win electorally, in a climate where everyone is allowed to vote; and that “everyone” includes the huge politically created classes (both underclass, and “elite”) that exists because of governments meddling, and live at government sufferance.

True libertarians and conservatives only have answers that make those folks, and those who “support” or worship them, feel bad about themselves; and solutions that are against their short term interests.

Until these permanent classes of government dependents are eliminated (or at the least, politically neutered); government will continue, with the active support of these people (and those who “support” and worship them); to vote in the GOVERNMENTS interest:

That is, to increase the size, scope, reach, and power of the government, and to use that power to redistribute ever more wealth; making the class of government dependents ever larger, and reinforcing that dependency ever more.

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” — Alexis de Tocqueville

I am a cynically romantic optimistic pessimist. I am neither liberal, nor conservative. I am a (somewhat disgruntled) muscular minarchist… something like a constructive anarchist.

Basically what that means, is that I believe, all things being equal, responsible adults should be able to do whatever the hell they want to do, so long as nobody’s getting hurt, who isn’t paying extra

Vote for ‘N.O.T.A.’

Comrades, once a year, sometimes more, we are confronted with the question of whom to vote for. Millions of man-hours are consumed every two years in debating and discussing who is standing for elected office, the pros and cons of their policies and their past performance. Billions of dollars are spent promoting or defaming candidates. For men and women of principle, the debate often sounds like this:

The Marsh house, dinnertime. The family is gathered at table, with Grandpa at one end, Randy at the other. Sharon comes in with plates and the main course
Sharon: How was school today, Stanley?
Stan: It was ridiculous. We have to have a new school mascot and we’re supposed to vote between a giant douche and a turd sandwich.
Sharon: …What did you say?
Randy: Did you just say that… voting is ridiculous?
Stan: No, I think voting is great, but, if I have to choose between a douche and a turd, I just don’t see the point.
Randy: clenches his fists You don’t see the point!! Oh you young people just make me sick!
Sharon: Stanley, do you know how many people died so you could have the right to vote?!
Stan Mom, a-I just don’t think there’s much of a difference between a douche and a turd. I d-I don’t care.
Randy: jumps upright and plants his hands on the table You don’t care?! You really want a turd sandwich as your school mascot?! On your football helmets?! A turd?!
Sharon: Well, hold on, Randy, I think a turd sandwich is a little better than them having a giant douche on their uniforms.
Randy: You’re crazy!! A d-a douche is at least clean!
Sharon: It’s sexist is what it is!
Randy: You don’t understand the issues, Sharon!
Sharon: Are you calling me ignorant??
Randy: You think the school mascot should be a turd sandwich? Well you’re not exactly Einstein!
Sharon: I am sick of you belittling my opinion, you son of a bitch!
Sharon picks up the casserole and chucks it at Randy, who ducks and looks back at her angrily. They both leave the table in opposite directions.
Shelley: leaving the table as well I hate this family, I hate it!
Stan looks on, shocked, while Grandpa continues eating unruffled.

Notice how Sharon’s opposition to a douche is equated to supporting a turd sandwich? Notice how Sharon is supporting the turd sandwich not because she likes turds, but because she thinks the douche is so awful that anything else would be better?

The government is a violent organization.  The election is a method of choosing against whom the violence will be directed, the magnitude of the violence, and for who shall benefit from the violence.  Most people don’t want to loot others.  Rather, they are afraid they will be victims of the violence.  Fear is the motivator that drives people to the polls. Fear is what animates them.

Thus, if a turd sandwich wants to drive people to the polls to vote for him, he will emphasize what a douche the douche is.  He will point out all the unflattering consequences of voting for the douche.  In the meantime, the douche is trying to panic those who have more to lose from the election of the turd sandwich into showing up at the voting booth.

While this phenomenon explains the ubiquity of so called “negative campaigning”, it would seem that it provides an incentive for more libertarian candidates.  Why do we get such raging nutcases running for office?  Why are we stuck in a race to the bottom?  The answer is, of course, in the incentives of political economy.

To scare the voters, the turd sandwich needs money.  He needs publicists, volunteers, media support, etc.  All of this costs money.  Lots of money.  To get the money, he needs to convince people to give it to him.  This means offering people spoils or public favors.  It could be a favorable line in the tax code, an anticompetitive tariff or regulation, some law that enables rents, etc.  To provide these spoils, the candidate must execute interventionist policies – in other words, the more government violence the candidate offers, the more financial and volunteer support he gets.

This incentive is worsened by the way the political classes of votes equate votes with power.  Let us say, for example, that most people thought a turd sandwich to be far worse than a douche, and had voted for the douche in overwhelming numbers.  The douche would then go into office claiming a mandate. Other politicians will be less likely to spurn him. They will attempt to assist him so that he will throw some of his support their way.

The major mistake the voters are making is that they are assuming that they must choose between the douche and the turd sandwich – that a failure to vote for the douche is tantamount to wanting the turd sandwich to win. The only option that they consider is to refrain from entering the voting booth at all.

I think this is insufficiently imaginative for several reasons.
1) Every election has a few ballot questions. If I stay home this year, I miss my chance to vote to repeal my state’s income tax.
2) Nor can I refuse to vote on certain items in the ballot, and vote for others: ballots that don’t contain votes for all races are typically thrown out as being damaged.Update: This claim is wrong, and I withdraw it.
3) In most states, you can write in a candidate. You could vote for anybody you want to hold a position.

The problem the disgruntled voter faces is how to show up and vote against all the candidates simultaneously. The short answer is that one can accomplish this via writing in None of The Above. If one does vote that way, the ballot is counted and is included in the totals.

This is a great way to jam the system.  It pushes down the vote totals of each candidate.  It allows you to vote for freedom loving candidates where available while withholding support from non-freedom loving candidates.  You can vote in the freedom maximizing direction on ballot initiatives.  And, if enough people do it, it could even start to influence candidates.  Suppose 1/10th of those who stayed home in the last election had shown up and voted for NOTA instead.  That population consisted of 36.2% of the voting age population: 89 million people stayed home.  8.9 million people voting for NOTA would have resulted in Bush getting much less than 50% of the vote.  In fact, the 8.9 million votes would have dwarfed the difference between Bush and Kerry’s votes.

So don’t stay home on voting day.  It indicates passive acquiescence to the ruling classes.  Don’t vote for one of the two or three choices the rulers have approved for you, that encourages them.  Rather show up at the polling booth and tell them to go to hell.  Show them your contempt in a way that they cannot deny. Don’t see anyone you like? Write in NOTA.

I am an anarcho-capitalist living just west of Boston Massachussetts. I am married, have two children, and am trying to start my own computer consulting company.
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