Tragedy and Politics

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Andrew Deemer, Campaign Manager for Nickolas Wildstar

10/6/17

 

I would like take a little time to touch on the Vegas tragedy. It is sad the actions of one person have done so much damage, damage to families. As I was watching the TV, I couldn’t help but think about 9/11 and how I saw people running in fear, how it made me so angry. I am just as angry and saddened now as I was then. I pray for every single one of you that have been affected in any way. I care for EVERY single person. I do not see voters, but Americans. Now more than ever, we need to come together. Unity helps us get through our darkest days as a nation. We need everyone to come together to help the victim’s families and anyone else that has been affected. To those that will try to politicize this tragedy, it is to you I say shame on you. Do you not see anything but your political agenda? Can you not see the true damage that has been done? Of all people that could unite us, your actions only divide us more. Now is not the time for politics! Now is the time for unity and love.  So look out for one another, help out where you can, and show that this will not tear us apart! 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Quest For Moral Superiority

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Kris Morgan  September 17, 2017

Liberals believe in big government at home, whereas conservatives support an interventionist foreign policy.  The two combined have given us a welfare/warfare state that cannot last.  The United States has accumulated over 20 trillion dollars in debt, over 127 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, killed innocent people abroad, and jailed millions of peaceful people.  In spite of this, the Federal Government shows no signs of slowing down.  How is it that the “freest nation in the world” manages to imprison more of its citizens than North Korea, a communist dictatorship?  Ironically, these evils exist because our debates revolve around attempts at gaining the moral upper-hand rather than an unhindered search for truth.

Since politics is always a question of when it becomes morally acceptable to use force, our views reflect our sense of justice.  We assume ourselves good and just upon entering political debates.  As a result, we define opposing ideas as unjust.  Any admission on our part that our beliefs are flawed inherently implies the other person is more just and morally superior.  These biases cause our conversations to get out of hand.

For example, many believe that the United States did not provoke Osama Bin Laden to carry out the 9/11 attacks.  Some lash out when presented with a review of US interventions in the Middle East, including sanctions in the 1990s that lead to half-a-million children dying, and our Secretary of State affirming their deaths were acceptable.  They often label the messenger as part of the “blame-America-first” crowd and ignore the facts.

Conservatives who push for interventionism abroad are frequently combative to those who highlight US aggression.  They dismiss the opposition with cliches about how the world is an unfriendly place, or claim the dissenter hates America. Admitting the US is a hostile nation contradicts their view that America is the greatest country on the planet.  To backtrack on that base belief would make them appear weak and discredit their moral authority, so they often react with a critique of their own without acknowledging yours.  This method is not restricted to conservatives.

Liberals voice support for civil liberties, yet favor central economic controls.  When an opponent points out that economic controls are violations of our freedom, they claim their foe is uncaring to those in need.  Their inconsistency goes unrecognized as they focus on attacking their opponents.  It is easier to blindly accuse adversaries of being sexists, racists, or wanting the needy to starve than face their contradiction.

Democrats and Republicans alike listen to their own bases.  If their supporters are not willing to admit discrepancies in their platforms, then politicians will continue to roam free.  The welfare/warfare state will endure until there is no wealth left to tax and the currency hyper-inflates.  Making excuses, creating strawmen, deflecting legitimate critiques, and ignoring new information has allowed our government to grow completely out of control. It is an unsustainable model for political discourse.

One can argue that libertarians are not exempt from taking part in this manner of conversation, and there may be some valid critiques.  However, libertarians have a ‘north star’ with which to follow.  While Republicans and Democrats have only their own sense of moral superiority to guide them, libertarians have the Non-Aggression Principle. This keeps our personal virtues away from our politics.  For instance, a libertarian may wish for society to build a sound safety net.  Nevertheless, progressive taxation is the initiation of force and is accordingly rejected by libertarians.  Libertarians do not use morality to justify coercion.

We are being taken advantage of by a system that knows people have a desire to appear morally strong, so much so that they will defend politicians in order to protect themselves.  The best way to smash this system is to set aside our own egos, admit when we are wrong, develop consistent ideologies, and hold our rulers accountable. We have to make this change if we are ever going to claim our rightful place as the dominant party in our relationship with our power structure.

 

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Actions Speak Louder Than Infighting

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Jared Miller, October 3, 2017

It’s like clockwork. Big news stories dominate the political sphere, and infighting gets quieter. We unite against our common enemy, whatever that happens to be at the time, and most of the petty squabbles we use to entertain ourselves fade. Then we enter a slow news cycle, and it’s back to bickering! Without a common cause to unite us, our minor differences rush back to the surface.

What I love about libertarianism is that dissent against popular opinion is not only allowed, it is practically expected. So much so that it almost feels like a prerequisite to joining the party. When an idea or policy contradicts our hard earned sense of what is right, we take it as a matter of integrity to confront it head on.

This is true whether it comes from within our movement or without. We seem to be the only political party in America with a sound and consistent theory of government, and whose core principles are strong enough to allow for this level of internal debate. Our ability to think critically and disagree with one another is a feature of libertarianism, not a flaw. However, we have to keep the 20% of the time when we do not agree from overcoming the 80% when we do.

When we are able to do that, and work side by side with other libertarians, the friction virtually disappears. With a few very high profile exceptions, it’s amazing how seldom the people who are doing the work argue about trivial nonsense. Action helps us realize that any progress we achieve is a chance to move closer to freedom. Though our desire for ideological purity doesn’t disappear in that climate, it does become less important than the work we need to accomplish together.

Unfortunately, most libertarians would rather waste that potential raging against one another. They hide behind social media’s relative anonymity and lack of potential for physical injury to throw cheap shots at their allies. It’s almost as if internet comment sections are really poor places for constructive dialogue.

It makes sense that libertarians like to live online because, for many of us, it’s the only place to find like minded people. In our everyday lives we have no outlet to discuss the things we’ve read, or the conclusions we’ve worked so hard to develop. The freedom movement could never have achieved the success it has without our ability to grow together in the virtual world.

Even now, tons of activists and volunteers are using those communities to grow our movement. They volunteer their time and energy to things like networking, education, multimedia, and so on, which are just as meaningful as the contributions of activists outside of the internet. But that cannot be our only platform. We do not have to abandon our online communities to admit that it is time to start pounding pavement.

There is a legitimate fear that the desire to prove our purity may betray our true opinion of liberty: that it is somehow an unattainable dream. This may be why many libertarians treat liberty like a purely intellectual exercise. Their behavior suggests the belief that since we’ll never make any progress, all we can hope for is to be the most right, and the most pure, while otherwise going about our lives. It’s as if they feel like there is nothing we can do to actually change things. Yet we absolutely can, and we have to start trying. Today. Admitting that debate is valuable doesn’t negate the fact that spending all of our effort arguing about philosophy is a waste of time and energy we cannot afford.

Our emphasis has to shift no matter how each of us decides to act. If we truly desire liberty, we have to start being bold. We have to start working for the revolution we want to see. We have to believe that we can and will change things. Most importantly, we have to just… start.

Liberty is not an impractical pipe dream. It is not some theoretical utopia. It’s uncomfortable. It’s hard. It’s dangerous. And it’s worth it.

—————-

 

Author’s note:

Our need for action doesn’t require everyone to live off the grid or run for office. There are plenty of ways for you to push for a more free society. One of the best places to start is locally. Local parties are the most important unit of political influence we have. This is where we have the greatest chance of winning elections while building a reputation for integrity and freedom-oriented leadership.

Whether local or not, you could offer a small portion of your time to a Libertarian candidate. Candidates always need help. Any of them could offer some task to help drive their campaign. DON’T FORGET TO DONATE. Campaigns are expensive, and libertarians don’t usually have the deep-pocketed backers that the major candidates do. Any amount of money you can pledge to any candidate is welcome, and greatly needed.

Or, if you don’t want to be involved with the official Libertarian party, you could track down a few ballot initiatives or state level issues and annoy your state representatives. (There’s even an app for that.) Maybe you could stage a pro-liberty demonstration, or simply find your own way to start conversations which educate people on the principles of a libertarianism. Another option would be working with a community non-profit, or contributing directly to sites like gofundme, to show people Libertarians are serious about citizens helping each other.

If you don’t have the time to volunteer right now, there are some great organizations where you can donate money. To name a few:

The Cato Institute
The Institute for Justice
Reason Magazine
The Convention of States Project
The Freedom of the Press Foundation
The Drug Policy Alliance
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF)
…and a million others.

Whatever you decide is best, the hardest part is the first step. If you feel like you’re waiting for the right time (which is always), or for life to settle down (it won’t), it’s usually a sign that you are afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Do it anyway. We need you.

 

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UBI Part III: Alternatives

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Kris Morgan   September 21, 2017

Universal Basic Income (UBI) comes with high costs.  Economically, it will inhibit growth by placing a tax burden on production, making it more difficult to start new businesses and for small ones to compete.  Taxation also detracts from funds which could be used for reinvestment.  Monetizing more debt would put heavier pressure on our already weak dollar, as well as cause malinvestments.  Our government is not only 20 trillion dollars in debt, but it presently holds over 127 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities, in addition to wartime spending.  If we do not reject the UBI on our own terms, basic economics will force the issue.  That does not mean we must embark on the future without a plan.

Fortunately, plenty of economic reforms have been presented which are worthy of support.  Regulations that do not directly protect the property rights of others can be discarded.  Overtime rules, wage floors, truth in advertising, licensing requirements, and others restrict market forces from allocating resources to meet demand efficiently.  For example, the operant assumption in truth in advertising is that a particular business has engaged in false advertising, until proven otherwise.  By pushing back harmful regulations, we give ourselves a fighting chance to build.  It is unwise to face an uncertain future with our hands tied.  

Support for UBI indicates people have empathy for those who are unable to adequately adapt.  UBI is a means of expressing this feeling.  The alternative to government power is the conduit of civil society.  Entrepreneurs could market goods and services as products which support jobs.  Consumers can use purchasing power to reinforce such ventures, and philanthropists could fill in the remaining vacuum.  

UBI has brought attention to significant defects in our education system.  Its original intent may have been to create a labor force suitable for factory work, rather than enlightened critical thinkers.  In 1903, when John D. Rockefeller founded the General Education Board, his advisor Frederick Gates informed “…We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning of science. We are not to raise among them authors, orators, poets, or men of letters.  We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians…”  

This design was confirmed in 1990 by New York Teacher of the Year John Taylor Gatto, who said the following during his acceptance speech: “…Schools are intended to produce through the application of formulae, formulaic human beings whose behavior can be predicted and controlled.  To a very great extent, schools succeed in doing this. But our society is disintegrating, and in such a society, the only successful people are self-reliant, confident, and individualistic…”  

Education to induce conformity may have worked in the past, but it will not suffice any longer.  According to careerfaqs.com, the skills needed in the future include cognitive flexibility, creativity, critical thinking, and complex problem solving, among a few others. We should be pressuring our local school boards to focus on building skill sets, such as these, which are projected for future success.

As parents, we should not leave the task entirely to school.  Computer competence can be taught in our homes.  By teaching our kids a programming language, we could give them a head start in facing the future with a marketable skill.  If need be, we could find someone to act as a tutor.  

It is clear that the areas which need the most reform are our economy and our education system.  Our children must be able to exercise their creative muscles, and it is fundamental they be economically free to adapt.  Anyone supporting the idea of UBI without considering our weak financial position should consider what is addressed in this article.  It is not a question of whether we will have to take responsibility for ourselves, it is whether a severe economic crash will be the cause.

 

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Black-American Libertarians

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Travis Hallman  September 20, 2017

Recently a friend from high school told me he switched from supporting voluntary socialism to democratic socialism because there are not enough Black-Americans within the liberty-movement. Respectably, he said this concerns him because minorities know what’s best for minorities. This author agrees that individuals (including minorities) know what’s best for themselves. The purpose of this article is to highlight a few Black-American Libertarians and why libertarianism is the most caring solution for minorities.

“Averaging across nine Reason-Rupe surveys I conducted at Reason Foundation/Reason Magazine with Princeton Survey Research Associates between 2012-2014 and a recent survey we conducted here at the Cato Institute with YouGov, here’s what we find: Among those who self-identify as ‘libertarian’, 71 percent are Caucasian, 14 percent are Latino, 5 percent are African-American, 8 percent identify as another race, and 4 percent chose not to identify. While not an exact reflection, these numbers are similar to the demographic makeup of all respondents averaged across the surveys: 67 percent white, 13 percent Latino, 12 percent African-American , 7 percent identifying as other, and 1 percent not identifying.”

https://www.cato.org/blog/libertarians-are-more-racially-diverse-people-realize

What is libertarianism?

“Libertarians strongly oppose any government interference into their personal, family, and business decisions. Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do no harm to another”

https://www.lp.org/about/

 

Black-American Libertarian Revolutionaries

Mr. Thomas Sowell:

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“Currently Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution in Stanford, CA. His writing is always strongly in favor of free-market economic policy and a libertarian social policy.”
https://www.theadvocates.org/libertarianism-101/libertarian-celebrities/thomas-sowell/

 

Mr. Walter E. Williams:

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“In this lecture given at a Libertarian Party of Georgia event in 1991, [Walter] Williams talks about libertarianism generally and relates his own moral arguments against state coercion. Williams also briefly suggests a few things he thinks libertarians should be doing if they want the libertarian movement to grow.”
https://www.libertarianism.org/media/video-collection/walter-e-williams-libertarians-liberty

 

Mr. Malcolm X:

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“Malcolm X, for one, was very critical of the U.S. government’s international meddling, particularly in Africa, as well as its social and governmental hypocrisy when confronted with the plight of American blacks. Although embraced by the radical Left, Malcolm’s speeches and writings were not in the spirit of Karl Marx or even Howard Zinn—he preached personal responsibility, entrepreneurship, mistrust of the government, and the unquestionable right to self-defense. This isn’t to say Malcolm was a libertarian, but the ideas that permeate the American Dream have also been prevalent throughout black America’s political and social history, in some form or another. The United States is, thankfully, in a much different place than it was in the 1960s, but the desire to be free and prosperous is just as alive among black Americans, and it has been there for centuries. Perhaps, then, the problem is in the messaging.”
https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/why-are-there-so-few-black-libertarians

 

Mr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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“Martin Luther King Jr. was a strong believer in civil disobedience and disobeying unjust laws. That belief was the starting point for every one of his marches and demonstrations. Libertarians today hold that an unjust law is no law at all, as we believe in natural law and natural rights. The government cannot simply pass laws that take away our natural rights, and those laws should not be obeyed.  The other base for Martin Luther King Jr.’s protests and speeches was his strict belief that they should be non-violent. He rightfully understood that he would never achieve his goals through force. Libertarians believe in the non-aggression principle, which states aggression against another’s property is inherently illegitimate. The most important property of all is our bodies, and therefore violence against another person is the worst form of violence. Martin Luther King Jr. agreed with that sentiment and consistently preached non-violent methods for protest. Martin Luther King Jr. displayed libertarian ideals in foreign policy and his famous opposition to the Vietnam War. King saw the dangers of American imperialism abroad and the threat to freedom that it posed at home as well.”

https://alibertarianfuture.com/famous-libertarians/famous-libertarian-quotes/martin-luther-king-jrs-famous-libertarian-quote/

 

Mr. Richard Boddie:

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Mr. Boddie describes himself as an ‘Aframerican individualist’ and ‘secular evangelist.’ Mr. Boddie is a ‘people person’ who can transmit people skills to others. His charisma, personality, background, life experience and vision establish the foundation of his mission: ‘To teach and share the ideals and ideas of individual achievement and individual liberty with others – everyday, for the rest of my life.’

-Highest vote getter ever in Libertarian Party History for U.S. Senate

-250,000 in California’s 1992 election

-Runner up for Libertarian Party Presidential Nomination in Chicago 8/31/91 for 1992 race

-Beat the margin of victory between the Republican and Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in California 1994

-Current Chairman of Orange County Libertarian Party (Region 40 of the California Libertarian Party).

-Executive Director, Focus PAC

-Executive Director & Founder, Socially Tolerant Caucus of the Libertarian Party

-President and Founder, The Motivators motivational speakers bureau.”
http://www.chrononhotonthologos.com/inactive/focus/rbbcv.htm

*Here is a much more extensive list of Black-American libertarians

 

Black-American Libertarian/ Libertarian-Leaning Celebrities

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“Chris Rock is known to be politically cynical and may even be heard praising Democrats and ripping into Republicans. Rock may have even been a little too complimentary of socialist liberals at times, favoring President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Al Gore, reportedly  donating $42,100 Democratic campaigns.
An important distinction to make is that Rock’s views are not always so one-sided. In fact, some of Rock’s quotations have been ideologically consistent with resisting the idea of a ‘collective’. Here’s a list of 10 Chris Rock Quotations that sound more libertarian than liberal:”
http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/10-chris-rock-quotes-that-are-libertarian-as-fck/

 

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“Anthony Ray (Sir-Mix-A-Lot)

Known For: Grammy Award-winning single ‘Baby Got Back’

Libertarian Leanings: It’s a known trope that most rappers hate taxes and Ray is no exception. However, one particular song called ‘Take My Stash’ off of his Chief Booth Knocka album seems to go a level deeper:”
http://www.thisispw.com/post/94353746341/5-rappers-with-libertarian-leaning-views-and-one

 

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Rapper Big Boi of Outkast explains to Huffington Post why he’s a Libertarian and talks the importance of thinking independently. “I’m a libertarian. I’m, you know, liberty justice for all. Liberty for all. Im really pro people, pro freedom, and you know its all about positivity.”

 

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“Eric July is America’s top black Christian anarcho-capitalist rap-metal artist.” Reason Magazine  Mr. Eric July is a full time activist for the Libertarian movement being a vocalist in his band “BackWordz” & co-founder of Being Libertarian.

 

The following candidates have partnered with Ask A Libertarian in the past or are currently partnering with us to provide Public AMA’s (Ask Me Anything). Check out the links to their AMA events below:

 

Black-American Libertarian Candidates

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Karese Laguerre for NJ Lieutenant Governor under Libertarian candidate Peter Rohrman. Ms. Karese Laguerrec will be available to answer your questions during her guest appearance on Ask A Libertarian via live video feed. Her Live AMA is scheduled for October 15th at 7pm (est).

 

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Larry Sharpe is running for Governor of New York. Mr Sharpe will be available to answer your questions via live video feed during his Live AMA on October 17th at 8pm (est).

 

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Nickolas Wildstar is running for Governor of California. Mr. Wildstar will be available to answer your questions via live video feed during his AMA scheduled for January 15th (Martin Luther King Jr. day). The time for this event is TBA.

 

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Gary St. Fleur is running for Mayor of Scranton, PA. “Gary St. Fleur, chair of the Lackawanna County LP, who has been working to bring runaway taxes, spending, and high debt under control in Scranton, Pennsylvania, is now running for mayor on the Libertarian ticket.” https://www.lp.org/libertarian-gary-st-fleur-rattling-cages-scranton-mayoral-race/

Click here to view Mr. Gary St. Fleur’s previous Public AMA.

 

Why libertarianism is the most caring solution for minorities

“1.1 Self-Ownership

Individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate. Individuals have the freedom and responsibility to decide what they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and what risks they accept to their own health, finances, safety, or life.”

Www.Lp.org/platform

“Certainly, the Drug War has been the largest driver of the disproportionate black and Hispanic prison populations in recent years, both through the incarceration of non-violent offenders and prosecuting those people involved in the violence associated with prohibition regimes. But the tensions between blacks and the American justice system did not start with Nixon’s War on Drugs in 1971.”
https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/looking-back-look-forward-blacks-liberty-state

“2.0 ECONOMIC LIBERTY

Libertarians want all members of society to have abundant opportunities to achieve economic success. A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others on the free market. The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes, and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper in a free society.”

Www.lp.org/platform

“A free market consists of economic freedom such that anybody could open a business without having to pay the government for permission (permits, licenses, etc). A free market would have no taxes,eliminating reasons for corporations to partner with politicians for tax breaks. A free market would not allow bailouts, allowing businesses to have setbacks, and avoiding the creation of artificial monopolies. These economic freedoms would enable new competition to compete more efficiently.”

https://askalibertarian.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/how-free-markets-empower-green-markets/

Understandably, free markets in America are often blamed for allowing slavery. This is indubitably incorrect. The government failing to enforce the non-aggression principle is what allowed slavery in America. Even though libertarians support free markets, we also believe that slavery violates human rights, and therefore should not be considered a “free market” practice.

“The non-aggression principle (also called the non-aggression axiom, or the anti-coercion or zero aggression principle or non-initiation of force) is an ethical stance which asserts that ‘aggression’ is inherently illegitimate. ‘aggression’ is defined as the ‘initiation’ of physical force against persons or property, the threat of such, or fraud upon persons or their property. In contrast to pacifism, the non-aggression principle does not preclude violent self-defense. The principle is a deontological (or rule-based) ethical stance.”

https://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Principle_of_non-aggression

“You might have heard the Libertarian Party (LP) referred to as the ‘Party of Principle.’ This is because the LP bases its programs and policy positions on the non-aggression principle.”

https://www.theadvocates.org/aggression/

 

In liberty,

Travis Hallman

 

 

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UBI Part II: Education

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Kris Morgan, September 15, 2017

Since Universal Basic Income (UBI) in the United States would potentially fill in for wages lost to automation, it is wise to get a snapshot of where American education stands in terms of science and technology. Presumably, the labor market will be reoriented towards developing software and other tasks workers are presently unqualified to perform.  What do we know about science?  Per ultratechlife:  “According to a MIT report, at least 216 million Americans are scientifically illiterate. There are several other reports that seem to highlight this assessment of US ignorance. There appears to be a failure in American culture and the educational system especially when an adult cannot understand basic science concepts.  Where did we go wrong and what can be done about this? Believe it or not, science literacy is a matter of national security, critical for our economy and future as a competitive nation.”  

By solving the mystery of our ignorance, and closing the gap, we can cultivate logical alternatives to the UBI.  Perhaps the explanation of American ignorance can be solved by taking a glance at our school curriculums.

The Atlantic reported that just half of children between seventh and 12th grades attend schools that offer computer science courses, which are typically electives. It is noteworthy that according to the article, minorities are less likely to have access to computer classes, and males are more encouraged to take Computer Science courses than females.

The scientific community is not silent about this issue.  Renowned physicist, cosmologist, futurist, professor, and author Dr. Michio Kaku made the following comments on education in 2016: “The United States has the worst educational system known to science.  Our graduates routinely compete at the level of third world countries.” Referring to our tech sector specifically, he remarked “Without the H1B (visa), the scientific establishment of this country would collapse!  Forget about Google.  Forget about Silicon Valley, there would be no Silicon Valley without H1B.”  The visa allows non-immigrants to work for American businesses if they have “theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as in IT, finance, accounting, architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, medicine, etc.”

This lack of education is precisely what is causing many of our anxieties and support for UBI. At present, 50% of the population surveyed already favor it.  It is reasonable to expect this number to grow as we see our economy decline due to war spending, quantitative easing, inflation, and the rest of government inflicted hardships.  Indeed, we are facing automation earlier than we would had it not been for wage floors, regulations, and political involvement in the hiring and firing processes.  

Fortunately, we have more tools than ever for self-directed education.  Khan Academy, Rosetta Stone, iTunes U, books on pdf, and of course libraries, are all excellent supplemental educational resources.  We can teach ourselves skills. We can hire tutors to help us and our kids learn basic programming. We can pressure our local schools to do a better job of preparing our children for the future.  Many businesses offer programs for their employees to earn certificates and degrees in areas such as robotics and programming, as they do for maintenance personnel and other departments.

We need not always focus on where we disagree on education, i.e. religion’s place, or how much money teachers are being paid.  The coming of automation and whether we need to be prepared for it is a completely bi-partisan issue.  We all share the responsibility of making this transition easier for future generations, even if that means it is hard for us today.  We should get involved in our local schools and ask “What is being done to ensure our kids have the necessary skills to thrive in the future?”  

People avoid growth often times because it is time consuming, means making mistakes, and invites the possibility of embarrassment. Growth is often painful.  What gets ignored due to these fears is how much better off we will be when we succeed.  Within a generation, mental labor will be the norm and physical labor will be rare.  We have the opportunity to permanently change humanity for the better.  We either fight for a future that revolves around subsidies, with little to show for it in the long run, and remain absent from history; Or we fight for a future dependent on growth, enrich society for generations to come, and go down as one of the great generations in human history.


 

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Government Unchained

 

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Jeremy Medley, September 14, 2017

Federalism is defined by Merriam-Webster as “The distribution of power in an organization (such as a government) between a central authority and the constituent units.” Our founders were so intent on this idea that they gave us the Tenth Amendment in our Bill of Rights. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution delegated few enumerated powers to the Federal Government, reserving all remaining powers to the States and the people. Thus, powers of the Federal Government were meant to be limited by our founders, with no exception. They knew then, as we are learning now, the true dangers of a government unfettered and the beast it can become.

Our federal republic was created by joint action of the several states. It has been gradually perverted into a socialist machine for federal control in the domestic affairs of the states and the individual. The Federal Government has no authority to mandate policies relating to state affairs, natural resources, transportation, private business, housing, nor healthcare. Yet these gross violations of our rights happen every day. We, as a society, are more in awe of what celebrities are wearing, or how our favorite football team is doing. We have given up on the idea that the government is beholden to the people. What caused this societal shift to take place? Can we right the course? The people must call on the Federal Government to close all unconstitutional federal agencies that usurp state power and infringe on the rights of this nation’s citizenry, such as the NSA, EPA, IRS, DEA, DHS, etc.

Throughout our history, as a nation we have allowed the Federal Government to squeeze the rights of the people away. We have nearly nothing left to give, but our labor and our lives. President Lincoln is regarded by many historians as a hero of the nation.  However, the issue of slavery aside, he was actually nothing more than a tyrannical ruler who discarded the constitution as it suited him, when southern states attempted secession.  President Franklin Roosevelt vowed to fill the Supreme Court with justices friendly to New Deal policies, which helped pave the way for our current welfare state. President Johnson and his “War on Poverty” has laid a tax burden on the people that is nearly unsustainable. President Nixon attacked the African American community with the “War on Drugs.” In recent history, Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump implemented legislation which has basically thrown your cConstitutional rights out the window with the Patriot Act. The blame does not only lie at the feet of the presidents, but they are the figurative head of the beast. “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin. Yet, we have given up the the warm embrace of liberty to suckle the teat of big government.

In a nation that honors itself on freedom we have allowed basic liberties to be swept away by a few legislators like thieves in the night. Why is there no outcry? What happened to the idea of “Give me liberty or give me death”?  Does this only apply in times of national threat or crisis? If so, aren’t we standing at the precipice of a cliff on which we will be unable to climb back? Yet, we still elect the same failed officials for political expedience. We can’t be bothered with the corrupt or troublesome world of politics unless it is sensationalized via Facebook, soundbite, or tweet.

Libertarians see atrocities across the globe committed in the guise of government doing what is right for the people, and for “freedom.” In the words of Ronald Reagan  “You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on Earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”

Our nation was started by individuals who were tired of the corrupt and oppressive rule of a government that never truly cared for its commoners, the same as we have today. Their political awakening started as a grassroots movement much like ours. Let our voices not go quietly in the night and unheard as if we were never here. We must continue our pursuit of true liberty for all.

 

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Are You A Voluntary Socialist?

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Travis Hallman, September 6, 2017

Libertarians and Socialists may have more in common than the two realize. There are many denominations of libertarianism within the liberty movement such as; classical liberalism, minarchism, libertarian transhumanism, anarchism, progressive libertarianism, anarcho-communism, etc. Overall, Libertarians agree our current state should be drastically reduced in size and power. Libertarians and Socialists are no exception. Voluntary Socialists support competing voluntary organizations operating within a free market to create a safety net.

2.11 Retirement and Income Security

“Retirement planning is the responsibility of the individual, not the government. Libertarians would phase out the current government-sponsored Social Security system and transition to a private voluntary system. The proper and most effective source of help for the poor is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals [as witnessed with the recent string of hurricanes].  We believe members of society will become even more charitable and civil society will be strengthened as government reduces its activity in this realm.”

A very good example of this happening in America occurred when President Trump cut the spending for Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels was receiving approximately $1,000 per day but they immediately received $50,000 in donations when the president cut their (government-funded) allowance.

For example, if 999 of 1,000 people living in a free market choose to contribute to an organization which provides a safety net but does not require the one person to join,  would that be moral? Yes. Would it be immoral to not allow the 999 to (voluntarily) establish their said safety net if they so desire? Yes.

Libertarians would not prevent an organization from creating a voluntary safety net after we establish a free market for our nation. It’s neither pragmatic nor moral to do so.

One good explanation of Libertarian Socialism can be found in the following excerpt by David Boaz, “The Coming Libertarian Age” Cato Policy Report , “One difference between libertarianism and socialism is that a socialist society can’t tolerate groups of people practicing freedom, but a libertarian society can comfortably allow people to choose voluntary socialism. If a group of people—even a very large group—wanted to purchase land and own it in common, they would be free to do so. The libertarian legal order would require only that no one be coerced into joining or giving up his property.”

Voluntary socialism should not be confused with progressive libertarianism. Progressive libertarians support a government operated safety net but are socially tolerant regarding civil liberties, immigration, and foreign policy. Progressive libertarians should not be confused with liberals either. Liberals support a government operated safety net but are socially liberal regarding civil liberties, immigration, and foreign policy. Socially liberal and socially tolerant individuals both support the legalization of choices regarding bodily-autonomy but socially liberal individuals would require government permissions (permits) to engage in such acts; whereas socially tolerant individuals would support your freedom of choice without requiring (the purchase of) government permission. Voluntary Socialists do not support politicians creating the safety net. Instead, these are maintained by communal efforts of the volunteers.

In liberty,

-Travis Hallman

 

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UBI Part I: Economics

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Kris Morgan  September 13, 2017

Breakthroughs in robotics are making it possible for businesses to replace employees with machines which can be programmed to perform repetitive tasks. The Economist cited a study which found, “…47% of workers in America had jobs at high risk of potential automation…  What determines vulnerability to automation is not whether the work is manual or white-collar but whether or not it is routine.”  This topic has the potential to do the same thing 9/11 did, that is, cause us enough anxiety that we follow a path of terrible decisions, beginning with the universal basic income (UBI). However, unlike 9/11, we see this coming.  If we are to be responsible citizens, we need to think clearly before we act.

UBI is very simple.  The state provides all citizens with enough income to survive on subsistence.  According to futurism.com, the average proposal is around $10,000 per household annually.  The idea is with so much automation, there simply won’t be enough work. By providing every household with a basic income, the laborers will still have enough money to acquire things they need and businesses can rest assured they will still make money.  The UBI could be funded by taxing businesses, issuing carbon taxes, increasing capital gains, decreases in military spending; conceivably anywhere the government can get it.

It is a tax on production, as all taxes are.  We are all accustomed to looking at taxation in the progressive paradigm, trying to determine which economic class will get hit hardest, but all taxes work their way through the economy.  Glass ceilings on the rich discourage investment and production, which means less work and fewer goods. Taxing the other classes would make them less able to purchase goods at the store, which will again result in decreased investments and production.  Whether it’s income, returns on investments, gasoline, property, emissions, etc. it all results in a net loss in our material well-being. Things that generate no revenue, no economic growth, cannot be taxed, as they have no source for taxable funds.  Taxation combined with subsidizing idle, unproductive activity, compounds the problem.

Let’s suppose all routine labor jobs get automated.  People could take on work that requires more flexibility and mental agility.  The labor class would shift into the creative fields, such as performing live music, plays, comedy shows, ballets, the service industry, and so on.  We already have a website which anyone can use to make their own television videos, called Youtube, and yes people make a living off it. When civilization began, labor was centered on agriculture.  The Industrial Revolution shifted workers to the factory.  We are in the middle of a technological revolution, and the UBI seems like an attempt at staving off the painful adjustments we will all have to make.  Won’t we rob future generations if we refuse to change today?

Making UBI a matter of taxation and law would most certainly freeze labor in its tracks. Our energies should be focused on learning programming, robotics, and other creative skills, not how we are going to use the law to ensure we don’t have to adjust. UBI and other layers that follow could trap us in stagnation, as increased taxes and regulations would make it harder to compete with already existing businesses.

The beautiful thing about freedom is we have the flexibility to respond to any social problem with a variety of solutions.  UBI would rob us of that.  When production is penalized, and idleness is subsidized, the motivation to be creative and take on problems in productive ways dies.  We all lose.  The idea that there’s a limit to the number of jobs a society has available is a Keynesian myth and meant to distract from the unemployment their own policies cause.  If it ever turns out that our choices are limited to UBI or the collapse of our civilization, we will work out our own UBI without the law being involved.

Progressive taxation is a product that creates its own demand.  Laying taxes on business to give to the poor reduces resources for said business to invest and produce, which means a reduction in existing work.  This cycle allows the system to feed itself. We have a welfare state and we see firsthand how taxing productivity and subsidizing leisure is a proven method for failure.  We will always have problems on top of problems that need answered before we reach our end goal, in this case economic stability in the midst of mass automation.  

Let’s not pretend we even comprehend all the complexities of the issue and know exactly what everyone must do.  Working together to face this challenge will be more effective than one idea being made law for everyone to follow.  We’re all uneasy about the future, but what will determine our success or failure as a society will be our ability to set our fears aside and think rationally.  When the solution is unclear, better we are free to try as many solutions as we can conjure up than be forced in a single system.  As Stephen Hawking stated so eloquently, “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change”, so let’s be smart about this.

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Give Me Liberty

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Jeremy Medley September 14, 2017

What comes to mind when you hear, “I’m gluten free” or “Yeah I do Crossfit?” If you’re like 99% of Americans you tune the person out, regardless of what may come after. They have touched a nerve. You don’t want to listen to them even though what follows may hold some value.

This is what the libertarian movement has become. From its meteoric rise with the 2008 and 2012 Presidential campaigns of Representative Ron Paul to the “What is Aleppo?” Gary Johnson moment; which in my opinion is when he became dead in the water, even though Google experienced a huge increase in searches regarding Aleppo following this. When did we allow the party of liberty and individual choice to become cliche? Was it when we became meme warriors? Where all you saw was “I just want to smoke pot, carry my gun, at my gay friend’s wedding?” Was it when few libertarians couldn’t offer a concise solution to the argument when they heard, “What about the roads?” Comical at best I give you, but we can cover this in another article.

As a party we face an uphill battle. We need to focus on our core principles. Even though we may have differing opinions on some issues, we are the party of truly limited government. We believe that you as an individual know what choice best suits your needs, not the government. You wouldn’t want your neighbor coming in your home telling you how you need to live your life. Why would you allow elected officials do this?

The biggest issue within the libertarian movement is libertarians themselves. We can’t go a day without someone saying “You’re not a real libertarian.” This is the difference between the party of liberty and the Republican and Democrat parties. They can rally their base while we have constant infighting. They also have the privilege and curse of being so at odds with one another their bases never side with the opposition. They look at themselves as uniting against the common enemy. Where, regardless of how our views differ from both major parties, we have the opportunity to appeal to both sides of the proverbial aisle. Remember just because you and another member of the party have some small disagreement on an issue doesn’t make you more libertarian than them. They have their ideas; you have yours.

If you’re brave enough to discuss politics with someone without mentioning the Libertarian party, just focusing on the issues, chances are they will see the awe inspiring light. When you hear them talk about the failures of the establishment, show them an alternative.  

Following the 2016 election, the Libertarian party gained ballot access in all 50 states. This is nothing short of amazing for a party that began in 1971, especially with the duopoly political system where we are lumped into groups of conservatives or liberals. Why can’t you just be the individual? In a time when identity politics is all the rage, remember the individual is the smallest minority.

The seeds of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have been planted into each one of us, regardless if our ancestors landed upon these shores with the Mayflower or we are first generation Americans. Let us nurture these ideas to grow and flourish in a newly awakened America.

The revolution has just begun.

 

 
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