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November 02, 2009
Libertarian Commentary on The News 25 - 31 October
By Nathan A. Barton © 2009
Health Care Panic of 2009 - Congress in Action
If you build a coverage mandate, will they come?
People are more likely to buckle their seat belt than follow the speed limit, even though the penalties for speeding are higher. They are more likely to go along with hotel efforts to reduce linen laundry if told that other guests are doing the same.
Ideologues, especially of the left, are incapable of understanding how people normally react, even themselves, and base their view of the world on an ideal, rose-colored-lens view of human nature, even while accusing libertarians of counting on a false view of human nature. However, like the proverbial stopped clock (which is right twice a day), they sometimes get it right, and I fear this may be when. Health insurance (thanks to the actions of Congress, various states, and the opportunistic success of insurance companies and profiteers in the 1980s and early 1990s [kind of like the banks and investors that raped the nation through Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac) is EXPENSIVE. Insurance for a family of four can easily run $1000 a month - $12,000 a year. The penalty for not providing insurance is 8% of the gross wages paid a worker. For a nice fat civil service or bank officer paycheck, $12K is a lot less than 8 percent. But for a fast-food worker or a bottom-entry factory worker or parking lot attendant making $10/hour, that health insurance STILL costs $12,000 (or probably $8,000 for a single, non-family policy). But 8 percent of, say, $25,000 (counting some overtime - if any small business can afford employee overtime right now) is only $2,000 and NOT $8K or $12K: so if you are having to cut pennies, what small businessman is not going to be seriously tempted to pay the fine and let the government provide "health insurance" for his junior-paid, or even ALL his workers. (After all, even a 10-year McD manager is still making way, WAY under $100K most places, which is the break-even point. To say nothing of school districts and the like. So this will drive more and more people to the "public choice" program, out of pure (if short-sighted) self-interest.
Mama's Note: We don't, of course, know what the final cost will be - nobody can... but there are some good estimates. The most frightening one I've seen so far can be found here. Read it and weep.
Freedom and Property: Where They Conflict
by Frank van Dun
Freedom as Property and the Nonaggression Principle
Libertarian theorists like to trace social and economic problems to coercive, usually government-imposed or sanctioned interventions in the free market or restrictions on the exercise of the libertarian rights of self-ownership, private appropriation and use of material resources, and exchange by mutual consent. This sort of analysis of social and economic problems suggests, and is often meant to suggest, that in a situation where those rights are fully respected the problems would not arise or that they could and would be solved efficiently and peacefully by negotiation, mediation or arbitration. In other words, neither economic nor personal freedom is the cause of those problems; freedom is the condition for their solution.
This is fine as far as it goes — but how far does it go? As we shall see below, respect for the above-mentioned libertarian rights is not in
itself sufficient to guarantee the freedom of every person. There may be cases where there is a conflict between claims on behalf of one person's freedom and claims on behalf of another person's private property. In such cases, the question arises, which claims should prevail? Unquestionably, the libertarian answer should be freedom before property. Unfortunately, many libertarians are reluctant to give up the conception of "freedom as property" that (1) serves them so well in their critiques of interventionism and collectivism and (2) underpins their notion that the law of a libertarian order is merely the rigorous application of the so-called nonaggression principle.
(Read the rest here) (Read the entire article at the source website. Use the back button to return.)
Living the outlaw life
The Importance of Escape
By Claire Wolfe
"As I understand it, laws, commands, rules, and edicts are for those who have not the light which makes plain the pathway."
-- Anne Hutchinson, 1591-1643
Running away from your problems might just be the best thing you could ever do. No, I'm not talking about skipping out on your child-support payments, your court hearing, or your carping spouse -- though come to think, of it, maybe I am.
I'm talking about moving on when the society around you becomes too unjust, chaotic, or hidebound. I'm talking about heading for open spaces and starting over again in brand new territory.
BHM readers know instinctively the importance of moving on, as they leave behind traffic and noise, rabbit-warren neighborhoods, drug dealers, and busybodies to build a more serene life in the backwoods. But the picture is bigger than that. There must always -- always -- be places where discontented people can run for refuge and new beginnings. Otherwise, society ends up being a pressure cooker with a broken relief valve. And someday -- blooey! (Read the rest here) (Read the entire article at the source website. Use the back button to return.)
It's Just Not Fair!
by L. Neil Smith
The first was about the Battle of Agincourt, fought in 1415 as a part of the Hundred Years' War. King Henry V of England, who claimed a right to rule some parts of France, and to whom that country allegedly owed a lot of money, made his famous St. Crispin's Day speech (at least in the play Shakespeare named after him) and then proceeded to defeat a French army several times the size of the one he brought with him.
Henry's victory (which surprised even him) would have changed the course of history—can you imagine surly Parisian street characters insulting tourists in a Cockney accent?—except that his heirs piddled away everything he'd won. But what made the victory possible in the first place were mud, the Welsh longbow, and the "gray goose flock". (Read the rest here) (Read the entire article at the source website. Use the back button to return.)
Our Right To Defend Ourselves
National Gun Rights Examiner
One way you know you've attracted a troll in the gun rights debate is when you get some evil little moron who thinks it's original and clever to accuse gun owners of compensating for sexual inadequacy. By way of rejoinder we could refer to millions of women shooters who presumably do not suffer from such disabilities, or reference Don B. Kates. Jr., who wrote "Freud associates retarded sexual and emotional development not with gun ownership, but with fear and loathing of weapons."
We could, but why should we? The punk who throws sexual slurs into the mix isn't looking for reasoned discourse--he's looking to insult, to inflame and to revel in the outrage he can cause. Best not to feed the troll, but if you do engage, you don't owe him respect. The contemptible deserve contempt. (Read the rest here) (Read the entire article at the source website. Use the back button to return.)
out the latest from other Gun Rights Examiners
Atlanta Gun Rights Examiner
Austin Gun Rights Examiner
Boston Gun Rights Examiner
Charlotte Gun Rights Examiner
Chicago Gun Rights Examiner
Cleveland Gun Rights Examiner
DC Gun Rights Examiner
Denver Gun Rights Examiner
Grand Rapids Gun Rights Examiner
Los Angeles Gun Rights Examiner
Minneapolis Gun Rights Examiner
St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner
Seattle Gun Rights Examiner
Wisconsin Gun Rights Examiner
I was reading an entry on The Dilbert Blog, where
Scott Adams was talking about the end of privacy. He was making
the case that it might be liberating to have all your quirks exposed to
the world. Suppose, as in the hypothetical world he proposed, a
desire for broccoli were stigmatized. If everyone knew this
information about you, you could gravitate toward other broccoli-lovers
and find a new community. That sounds nice.
Anchorage Libertarian Examiner
By Kevin Wilmeth
OMG, did you know that a Taser might kill you?
(Here, the chorus responds with, "Welcome to reality, duh; what took you so long?" in four-part harmony.)
Wendy McElroy expertly
weighs in on the recent weaselly admission
that there is lethal risk in the use of the increasingly-ubiquitous
device. Taser International finds all kinds of ways to mince
but the message that a hit in the chest carries a risk of "adverse
cardiac event" comes through loud and clear to anyone paying
attention. (Taser was advising its--ahem--user community that
they could "avoid controversy" if they hit people in areas other than
the chest.) (Read
the rest here) (Read the entire article
at the source
website. Use the back button to return.)
Tennessee landlords can disarm their tenants
By Garry Reed
In a very tiny article in The Tennessean that could have easily been missed (but not by the folks at Rational Review) since it runs only five sentences long, the attorney general of Tennessee "ruled" that landlords can ban guns from their rental properties. Even if the renters have concealed carry permits.
But they must include the ban in the lease or post signs on the property. (Read the rest here) (Read the entire article at the source website. Use the back button to return
Features From The Last Issue
Libertarian Commentary on The News (October 19/09)
By Nathan A. Barton © 2009
Reality and Liberty
By Susan Callaway, Editor
Gun Control: Schemed by Tyrants, Supported by Fools
by Michael Gaddy
The Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex: A Deadly Fairy Tale
by Dr. Doug Henderson and Dr. Gary Null
A Four-Step Healthcare Solution
by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
National Gun Rights Examiner
Anchorage Libertarian Examiner
By Kevin Wilmeth
Global warming: a death in the family?
By Garry Reed
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