April 4th, 2012 11:20 am |
by Marc Gallagher
Big Government, Civil Liberties, Commentary, Walter E. Williams |
As usual Walter Williams hits the nail on the head and hammers it home with a recent column. In “Dupes for the State”, he writes:
If we banned or restricted all activities that affect, harm or have the possibility of harming other people, it wouldn’t be a very nice life. Let’s look at what can affect or harm other people. Non-obese people are harmed by obesity, as they have to pay more for health care, through either higher taxes or higher insurance premiums. That harm could be reduced by a national version of a measure introduced in the Mississippi Legislature in 2008 by state Rep. W.T. Mayhall that in part read, “An act to prohibit certain food establishments from serving food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the state Department of Health.” The measure would have revoked licenses of food establishments that violated the provisions of the act. Fortunately, the measure never passed, but there’s always a next time.
The emerging tragedy is our increased willingness to use the coercive powers of government, in the name of health or some other ruse, to forcibly impose our preferences upon others. In the whole scheme of things, the tobacco issue itself is trivial. Far more important is its template for massive government disrespect for private property.
Read the full column
August 9th, 2010 11:43 am |
by Mike Miller
Bailouts, Big Government, congress, government spending, Liberty, Market Regulation, Money, Walter E. Williams |
Quote of the Day: “Politicians are worse than thieves. At least when thieves take your money, they don’t expect you to thank them for it.” — Walter Williams
Congressional leaders are calling the House of Representatives back for a special session. They want to hold one vote on one bill on Tuesday, and then leave for recess again. What is this bill? It’s another bailout — a $26 billion bailout of wasteful, incompetent state governments.
It’s also a pay-off to Democratic special interests like government employee unions (but please don’t think for a minute that the Republicans aren’t just as bad about this kind of thing).
This bill has already passed the Senate, but it isn’t necessarily certain that it can pass the House. Many House Democrats are worried about their re-election prospects, and don’t want to vote for another big spending bill. For instance, here’s what Collin Peterson (D-Minn) says . . .
“I don’t know how they’re going to pass it. I haven’t really checked with people, but there are a lot of guys who aren’t going to vote for it.”
And, according to Politico, this kind of concern is starting to be a real roadblock for the Democratic spending orgy . . .
“Their fiscal-policy meltdown included the unprecedented failure to consider an annual budget resolution in its usual form and the approval of only two of the scheduled 12 appropriations bills prior to the August recess.”
This means we have a real chance to defeat this bailout bill, but only if we register our disapproval now. Make Congress nervous about passing another bailout this close to the election. Send a letter to Congress using our No Bailouts campaign.
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September 24th, 2009 12:12 pm |
by Mike Miller
Bailouts, Big Government, Communism, fascism, Free Market, Liberty, Market Regulation, nationalization, Politics, Socialism, Walter E. Williams |
Each of Walter E. Williams’ weekly syndicated columns are fantastic, but the most recent one (entitled Lying Propaganda) is particularly worth your time. He refers to Michael Moore’s upcoming movie (“Capitalism: A Love Story”) and decides it’s a good idea to put out a bit of “defensive mental preparation“, as it puts it, in order nip in the bud the simple lie that we have a system of [pure] capitalism in this country and that such a system is the source of the world’s troubles.
There has never been a pure free market capitalistic system just as there has never been a pure communist or socialist system, where there is government ownership of the means of production and each individual has equal access to society’s resources. However, we can rank economies as to whether they are closer to capitalism or closer to communism or socialism. If one ranked countries according to whether they were closer to the capitalistic end of the spectrum or the socialistic or communistic end, then ranked countries according to per capita GDP and finally rank countries according to Freedom House’s “Map of Freedom in the World,” he would find a pattern that is by no means a coincidence. The people in those countries closer to the capitalist end of the economic spectrum have far greater income and enjoy greater human rights protections than those toward the socialist and communist end.
According to the London Telegraph article, Moore’s film features priests who say capitalism is anti-Christian by failing to protect the poor. This is pure nonsense and revealed as such by asking, “If you’re an unborn spirit, condemned by God to a life of poverty but allowed to choose the country in which to be poor, would you choose a country near the communist end of the economic spectrum or the capitalist end?” If you chose the United States, you’d find that according to the government surveys, the typical “poor” American has cable or satellite TV, two color TVs, and a DVD player or VCR. He has air conditioning, a car, a microwave, a refrigerator, a stove, and a clothes washer and dryer, and whether he has health insurance or not, he is able to obtain medical care when needed. Try to find that in Cuba, Russia, China or North Korea. If we buy into the nonsense of Moore’s priests, the world’s poor people are incredibly stupid. Whether fleeing legally or illegally, their destination country is likely to be closer to capitalism than their departure country.
Go read the whole article here.
February 4th, 2009 1:29 pm |
by Mike Miller
Big Government, Liberty, Politics, Social Security, Walter E. Williams |
In typical hypocritical fashion, the government and media make a huge stink of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi-style pyramid scheme, but they conveniently fail to recognize or point out the fact that their cherished boondoggle called the Social Security System is exactly the same thing. Liberty Maven Liberty Hero Walter E. Williams remarks on this hypocrisy in his Washington Times commentary today. Here’s a snippet:
We have a national Ponzi scheme where Congress collects about $785 billion in Social Security taxes from about 163 million workers to send out $585 billion to 50 million Social Security recipients. Social Security’s trustees tell us the surplus goes into a $2.2 trillion trust fund to meet future obligations. The problem is whatever difference between Social Security taxes and benefits paid out is spent by Congress. What the Treasury Department does is give the Social Security Trust Fund nonmarketable “special issue government securities” that are simply bookkeeping entries or IOUs.
According to Social Security trustee estimates, around 2016 the amount of Social Security benefits paid will exceed taxes collected. That means one of two things, or both, must happen: Congress will raise taxes and/or slash promised Social Security benefits. Each year the situation will worsen since the number of retirees is predicted to increase relative to the number in the work force paying taxes. In 1940, there were 42 workers per retiree, in 1950 there were 16, today there are 3 and in 20 or 30 years there will be 2 or fewer workers per retiree.
Read the whole commentary.
January 21st, 2009 1:24 am |
by Marc Gallagher
Commentary, Constitution, History, Politics, slavery, Thomas Dilorenzo, Walter E. Williams |
The irony and hypocrisy of Barack Obama being sworn in on the Lincoln Bible is not lost on Liberty Hero Walter E. Williams in his most recent column.
President Obama can be forgiven for celebrating the hypocrisy of Abraham Lincoln because the victors of wars write their history and glorify the winners. The recognition that slavery is a despicable institution does not require hero worship of a president who made the largest contribution to the unraveling of our Constitution. After all when it is settled by brute force that states cannot secede, as they thought they had the right to in 1787, then the federal government can ride roughshod over states and their people’s right — in a word make meaningless the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.
Read the whole thing.
December 17th, 2008 9:20 am |
by Marc Gallagher
Big Government, Economics, Federal Reserve, Free Market, inflation, Maven Commentary, Money, Ron Paul, Walter E. Williams |
The Federal Reserve’s decision yesterday to cut interest rates to zero sets the stage for future inflation, maybe hyperfinflation. During the Great Depression it was said that inflation was our salvation.
It seems to me that fiddling around with interest rates and adding more and more regulation causes the problems. Then these same government sponsored meddlers are tasked with “fixing” the problems that they created themselves. This is dishonest. It is like the auto mechanic that punches a whole in your muffler then calls you to let you know that your muffler is in need of repair. If the mechanic would just leave the muffler alone it wouldn’t need fixing.
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November 20th, 2008 2:43 pm |
by Mike Miller
Big Government, Constitution, Individual Responsibility, Liberty, Politics, Socialism, Taxes, Walter E. Williams |
Walter E. Williams, one of Liberty Maven’s Liberty Heroes, has a new column in his “A minority View” series, called Evil Concealed by Money, in which he illustrates the inherent “evil” with the tenants of Socialism:
Imagine there’s an elderly widow down the street from you. She has neither the strength to mow her lawn nor enough money to hire someone to do it. Here’s my question to you that I’m almost afraid for the answer: Would you support a government mandate that forces one of your neighbors to mow the lady’s lawn each week? If he failed to follow the government orders, would you approve of some kind of punishment ranging from house arrest and fines to imprisonment? I’m hoping that the average American would condemn such a government mandate because it would be a form of slavery, the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another.
Would there be the same condemnation if instead of the government forcing your neighbor to physically mow the widow’s lawn, the government forced him to give the lady $40 of his weekly earnings? That way the widow could hire someone to mow her lawn. I’d say that there is little difference between the mandates. While the mandate’s mechanism differs, it is nonetheless the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another.
Probably most Americans would have a clearer conscience if all the neighbors were forced to put money in a government pot and a government agency would send the widow a weekly sum of $40 to hire someone to mow her lawn. This mechanism makes the particular victim invisible but it still boils down to one person being forcibly used to serve the purposes of another. Putting the money into a government pot makes palatable acts that would otherwise be deemed morally offensive.
This is why socialism is evil. It employs evil means, coercion or taking the property of one person, to accomplish good ends, helping one’s fellow man. Helping one’s fellow man in need, by reaching into one’s own pockets, is a laudable and praiseworthy goal. Doing the same through coercion and reaching into another’s pockets has no redeeming features and is worthy of condemnation.
Continue reading the article here.