Milton J. Madison - An American Refugee Now Living in China, Where Liberty is Ascending
Federalism, Free Markets and the Liberty To Let One's Mind Wander.
I Am Very Worried About the Fate of Liberty in the USA, Where Government is Taking people's Lives
"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue." -Barry Goldwater-
Inflation is coming. The biggest problem is that the central government in a vain attempt to keep housing prices high, has tried and is following a policy to create inflation. But this silliness will probably only achieve inflation in consumer staples since the net affect of trying to inflate has been a serious debasement of the currency. As the currency has weakened, the prices of imported goods have increased when calculated in US$. Best of luck Americans, you will have both stagnation and inflation courtesy of your worse than worthless government.
In at least 14 major U.S. metro areas, prices have fallen to 2003 levels -- when the housing bubble was just starting to inflate. Prices will likely drop further this year, making many people reluctant to buy or sell. That would push down sales and prices more.
The bad news is that people that own homes, are going to continue to suffer due to persistently low prices. However, the good news is that the nation will not be over-investing in housing like it has done for decades due to distortions caused by bizarre government incentives to over-invest in housing. So, Americans will put less emphasis on investing in housing and will put more emphasis in investing in things that have the potential to increase the wealth of the nation.
Purchases of new U.S. homes unexpectedly declined in February to the slowest pace on record and prices dropped to the lowest level since December 2003, adding to evidence the industry is floundering.
Well, first, no one will dare to hold the Obamessiah to account for such a thing as a weak economy despite his irresponsible stimulus and other equally irresponsible and wasteful fiscal measures. However, back in 2003, I recall hearing over-and-over the press and frothing-at-the-mouth liberals wailing on-and-on about the jobless recovery. But this is not my point for this post. The silver lining for weakness in housing is that with the inevitable decline in housing prices associated with the collapse in this business due to bad government policy over many many decades, that lower prices will actually help reignite certain other sectors of business. As prices fall, over time, this will lead to lower costs for housing and allow consumers to save, invest or spend in other areas. The inevitable shift away from government sponsored over-investment in housing will help more productive areas of the economy to flourish.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced an initiative of a type which has never succeeded in the history of civilization: centralized government planning. Espousing the unsubstantiated belief that CO2-induced "climate change" is already reducing food and lumber crop yields, the USDA now claims the ability to use central planning to guide farmers and foresters through problems stemming from said climate change.
Now the USA can look forward to the boutiful and plentiful harvests experienced by North Korea, the Soviet /union prior to 1989, mid-century China and a host of other places that nearly starved to death under central planning regimes that promised wonderful things but not only under-delivered but in many cases killed millions by starving them to death.
Why the US is so enamored by central planning and insipid communism is completely beyond my comprehension. Its like the US WANTS to be a third world nation.
As religion takes a a secondary place to government, the utility of religion as a community binder or as an important social and spiritual center of human everyday life is reduced. Similar to studies done on language, where secondary languages are being lost to the larger wider spoken ones, Religion is losing its followers on many places where other social communities are now ascending....
The team took census data stretching back as far as a century from countries in which the census queried religious affiliation: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.
AS we replace religion with government or the more insidious global warming religion, we will continue to see religion decline as a social community bod and moral anchor in many places.
“The mean-spirited bill, HR 1 . . . eliminates the National Endowment of the Humanities, National Endowment of the Arts,” said Senator Reid. “These programs create jobs. The National Endowment of the Humanities is the reason we have in northern Nevada every January a cowboy-poetry festival. Had that program not been around, the tens of thousands of people who come there every year would not exist.”
Well, the people would still exist, but the subsidy for this non-sense would not. The cowboy poetry jamboree or whatever it is called may or may not exist but I suspect that the poetry will still exist. And I think that there will still be an active and vibrant cowboy poetry life and assuming that it brings pleasure and value to people, then it will continue to exist at some level. Of it ceases to exist, suddenly, then one has to assume that for people that value and enjoy this that it is not valuable or enjoyable enough for them to contribute to its existence. Funny to consider that some activities have to exist and live on their merits.
However, what this little look at the government that we have created serves to accomplish is that we now see one that is almost completely out of control and one that has no idea what its role is and how to approach the business of being a good government. Time to end it now and start over.
Probably the funniest thing that I have seen in a while. Its like Borat exposes the American liberal hard left for what it is, proving once again that it is just a dopey, silly and self-important philosophy. Think this typical Americans; you are not intellectuals and have to listen to your intellectual government liberal masters. Here, we hear the government funded hard left NPR belittle large swaths of non-liberal American society......
As we see and hear here what these people think and are saying...
“The current Republican Party, particularly the Tea Party, is fanatically involved in people’s personal lives and very fundamental Christian – I wouldn’t even call it Christian. It’s this weird evangelical kind of move,” declared Schiller, the head of NPR’s nonprofit foundation, who last week announced his departure for the Aspen Institute.
Oh, bad bad Christians. Not blowing up and murvering people in cold blood. But bad all the same. And of course, Tea party folks are racist xenophobics....
On the tapes, Schiller wastes little time before attacking conservatives. The Republican Party, Schiller says, has been “hijacked by this group.” The man posing as Malik finishes the sentence by adding, “the radical, racist, Islamaphobic, Tea Party people.” Schiller agrees and intensifies the criticism, saying that the Tea Party people aren’t “just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.”
And of course, no self respecting liberal would have a complete day without taking some swipes at Jews......
At their lunch, the man posing as Kasaam told Schiller that MEAC contributes to a number of Muslim schools across the U.S. “Our organization was originally founded by a few members of the Muslim Brotherhood in America actually,” he says.
Schiller doesn’t blink. Instead, he assumes the role of fan. “I think what we all believe is if we don’t have Muslim voices in our schools, on the air,” Schiller says, “it’s the same thing we faced as a nation when we didn’t have female voices.”
When O’Keefe’s two associates pressed him into the topic, Schiller decried U.S. media coverage of Egypt’s uprising against former dictator Hosni Mubarak, especially talk of the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence on the protests and future of Egypt. Schiller said that is what he is “most disappointed by in this country, which is that the educated, so-called elite in this country is too small a percentage of the population, so that you have this very large un-educated part of the population that carries these ideas.”
When the man pretending to be Kasaam suggests to Schiller that “Jews do kind of control the media or, I mean, certainly the Zionists and the people who have the interests in swaying media coverage toward a favorable direction of Israel,” Schiller does not rebut him or stop eating. He just nods his head slightly.
The man posing as Kasaam then joked that his friends call NPR, “National Palestinian Radio,” because, according to him, NPR is the only media outlet that covers Palestinians’ perspective. Schiller laughed.
When the ersatz Islamists declare they’re “not too upset about maybe a little bit less Jew influence of money into NPR,” Schiller responds by saying he doesn’t find “Zionist or pro-Israel” ideas at NPR, “even among funders. I mean it’s there in those who own newspapers, obviously, but no one owns NPR.”
What is the American taxpayer doing funding whack jobs like the people at NPR that now considers their role in American journalism to promote leftist and Democrat party ideals and political candidates?
Today Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cited “a cowboy poetry festival” in Nevada as evidence of the harmful cuts that the House-passed spending bill would make.
Illustrative of the absolute nonsense that the national government in the US stands for and promotes as national priorities, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid argues that some of the 'nasty and mean' cuts that US Republicans are promoting would defund on the national level such important programs as the national cowboy poetry festival. What? My question is how and why has the US government involved in these things to to start with? The American government is just a complete and total joke and to have a Senate Majority leader attempt to argue for continued central government largess and support for such idiotic programs drives this point home. The government is lost and has no idea what-so-ever what their role is and how to carry it out.
I just read Ayn Rand's book of essays, The Virtue of Selfishness. I think that Rand uses selfishness as a semantic toy that plays with the less deprecating but more acceptable concept of personal self interest. She argues through her philosophy of Objectivist Ethics that self interest/selfishness is normal and natural human behavior and that altruism is nothing more than selfish behavior designed to provide some personal benefit.
But the quote of the day deals with greed and has a kinship with selfishness and self interest. We have heard our government officials and our intellectual superiors lambast greed and/or greedy bankers particularly during the last financial crisis. But when I hear these screeds against greed I have to step back and ask, what is greed?
As as the attached essay writer correctly points out, is it greed that drives the people behind Google to create what they have created? I think, yes, that the monetary benefits drive innovation and a desire to succeed but this is probably not 100% of what has driven all successful people or the creators at Google. So given that they have been at least partially motivated by the desire to achieve monetary rewards (greed) one can think and possibly conclude that they have not created these businesses altruistically. In fairness, they would probably have created these businesses without the high levels of monetary compensation that has been thrown at them since this is probably something that they love to do anyway. Their large monetary rewards probably were not the total and complete driving force behind the genesis of their idea and they gained these large monetary rewards opportunistically. And one can also consider that these people may also been motivated by many other benefits that come packaged with creation. In creation, these people gain other benefits such as acknowledgment by others, pride, admiration and creating a lasting monument to their own personal creativity. Maybe these people value this too. But as we decontruct the concept of greed as it pertains to creation of monetary wealth we have to consider not just the wealthy but all levels of wealth creation.....
Calling those who are wealthy greedy solely because of their wealth, or to suggest that the human drive for a better life is the same as greed muddles our thinking. Muddled thinking is dangerous because it can lead to policies that punish both virtue and vice, that interfere with our inalienable right to pursue happiness, and lead to more, not less, poverty.
One also has to consider as we are being lectured at by our intellectual superiors at what level is enough money enough? What if we were to argue that $1 million is enough. Then, maybe many creations would never exisit today. Maybe at $1 million Bill Gates or Warren Buffett would have been stopped since they have already earned enough early in their careers.
I do not think that making money or even outrageous sums of money is a vice and I think that this fellow hits a monstrous modern paradox square on its head. The concept that "Greed is bad" is a paradox that just cannot stand. One can argue that excessive greed or excessive self interest is bad but this excess cannot be objectively defined. Furthermore, I do not think that we are even talkign about greed that has kindled illegal or immoral behavior. This is clearly bad and the violation of moral rules and societal laws is easy to define as bad. But I and I do not think others can objectively define at what level is it natural self interest and what level above that defines greed?
However, our personal thinking on this is not at all muddled. Each one of knows what this is and what we would like to achieve. Who among us doesn't want comfort? Who among us would not welcome the opportunity to create something that mankind finds useful and values it such and gives monetary compensation and recognition of achievement in return for our creation and production of this product?
Ayn Rand argues that selfishness or greed is not a vice since it is really completely engulfed by self interest. If creativity is rewarded in our culture then how can super creative/successful people be bludgeoned with the label of greedy?
I am of the opinion that government officials and our intellectual superiors use this crude tool of defining monetary successful people as greedy so that they can create justification for seizing these people's assets. In order to get at the money, and these people want this money to use for their own purposes, define the wealthy as greedy in order to try to create the moral high ground to to justify seizing the product of these people's labor. Its a flimsy plank to be standing upon and one that if allowed to continue will only weaken our connection to our property and our right to earn and keep the product of our labors.
Ayn Rand talks about selfishness and altruism in this video....
Ayn Rand argues that even love is a not a completely virtuous act. The last little bit reveals the depth of the thinking that went on in the Objectivist Ethics community...
When an official says something like this, this means its being discussed and there are many stakeholders that consider this to be a much better option for Hong Kong. The reason that it is not feasible now, is that once its convertible in Yuan, Hong Kong's currency will become the natural recipient for these that desire to gain exposure to the Yuan. This will mean that there will be lots of hot money inflows and outflows.
An interesting piece by the oft vilified Charles Koch that one should consider reading. The money quote....
Our elected officials would do well to remember that the most prosperous countries are those that allow consumers—not governments—to direct the use of resources. Allowing the government to pick winners and losers hurts almost everyone, especially our poorest citizens.
Recent studies show that the poorest 10% of the population living in countries with the greatest economic freedom have 10 times the per capita income of the poorest citizens in countries with the least economic freedom. In other words, society as a whole benefits from greater economic freedom.
Simple considerations that seem to be lost on many on both the right and the left. The Koch family has supported both candidates for office that support and further their philosophical drive to greater liberty and funded organizations such as the ACLU where their money was used against the post 9/11 Patriot Act.
One must also consider a basic fundamental premise that almost always gets lost on many debating issues today....government cannot create wealth, it can only redirect it. And this activity besides being inefficient, oft time ineffective and typically destructive, also crowds out other productive investments and changes natural incentives to markets. This extraordinary intervention is also not the function of governments that rarely have necessary capacity nor the extraordinary knowledge necessary to make such decisions. It has also transformed into a device for tyranny of one group over another in many places and this will also prove to be true in the US. Vilification of the wealthy and those productive members of society in order to strip them of their assets in order to redistribute them to others will only prove to be an incredible folly and ultimately destructive to wealth.