Category Archives: Opinion

How the government is stealing the property of 23 Michigan landowners

Source: Downsize DC
by Jim Babka

“Should the government be protected from liability when it causes real injuries to you or your neighbors? Before you answer … Pretend that, many years ago, my Big Bad Uncle’s business was taking, just grabbing property from people like your father. He took your family’s land so he could use it for a specific time and purpose. Your parents didn’t get much choice. * Big Bad Uncle called his taking a ‘lease’ * He alone selected a price he deemed ‘fair’ … No one did anything to stop my Big Bad Uncle because he was too powerful to fight. His company controlled everything, and he had mafioso tendencies. Time passed. Generations changed. You awaited the promised return of your property. Hold on! Now the managers of my Big Bad Uncle’s company tell YOU they’ve decided to keep it.” (12/11/17)

https://downsizedc.org/takings-brott-amicus/

What should we do when a loved one starts a life of crime?

Source: Everything Voluntary
by Skyler J Collins

“It’s not very often, but it’s not incredibly rare either, that I hear a story by a fellow voluntaryist that a friend or family member has chosen to pursue a life of hunting down peaceful people, to hurt them and to take their stuff. It’s typically not an evolution either, like someone who’s out to make a quick buck and finds it a relatively simple thing to engage in petty theft. Sooner or later the heists get bigger, and with it the need to become accustomed with the use of violence.” (12/11/17)

http://everything-voluntary.com/loved-one-starts-life-crime

Do the Pentagon, CIA, and Trump want war in Korea?

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Even though war has not yet broken out in Korea, one gets the distinct impression that President Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA would not be disappointed if it did. In fact, one gets the impression that they would be absolutely elated if North Korea were to strike first, so that they could exclaim, ‘We’ve been attacked! We’re innocent! We have the right to defend ourselves against communist aggression,’ before killing every single North Korean with a nuclear carpet-bombing of the entire country. In the law, there is a term called ‘reckless disregard.’ It describes a person who engages in extremely dangerous action while ignoring the potential consequences of such action. No one can reasonably deny that Trump and the U.S. national-security establishment are acting in reckless disregard with their actions against North Korea.” (12/11/17)

https://www.fff.org/2017/12/11/pentagon-cia-trump-want-war-korea/

The Fed’s fantasy on neutral interest rates

Source: Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Frank Shostak

“In her testimony to the Congressional Economic Committee on November 29, 2017, the Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that the neutral rate appears to be quite low by historical standards. From this, she concluded that the federal funds rate would not have to increase much to reach a neutral stance. The neutral rate currently appears to be quite low by historical standards, implying that the federal funds rate would not have to rise much further to get to a neutral policy stance. If the neutral level rises somewhat over time, as most FOMC participants expect, additional gradual rate hikes would likely be appropriate over the next few years to sustain the economic expansion.” (12/11/17)

https://mises.org/wire/feds-fantasy-neutral-interest-rates

God, Brexit, and EUtopia, part 2

Source: Acton Institute
by Stephen F Copp

“The first part of this series rejected seductive dreams of utopian visions for society. From a Judeo-Christian theological perspective utopia conflicts with human nature as it is: fallen. Utopia needs to come from within, not without, through the transformative power of a renewed relationship with God. Fine as the utopian values on which the EU project is claimed to be based appear, there are good reasons to be sceptical of them. This second part evaluates what the Brexit negotiations reveal about the EU’s true values.” (12/11/17)

https://acton.org/publications/transatlantic/2017/12/11/god-brexit-and-eutopia-part-2

Sports betting case before SCOTUS has Tenth Amendment ramifications

Source: Tenth Amendment Center
by Peter Weyrich

“Last week, the Supreme Court heard testimony on a case that could reinvigorate the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution. Surprisingly, it’s all about football and sports betting in the State of New Jersey. The results of Governor of New Jersey v. National Collegiate Athletic Association may have consequences for a range of issues, including gun control, medical/recreational marijuana, and healthcare. The issue concerns the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). PASPA, outlawed all online gambling, with some exceptions for states that already had sports betting programs in place.” (12/11/17)

http://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2017/12/sport-betting-case-before-scotus-has-tenth-amendment-ramifications/

Trump’s anti-WTO rhetoric hurts America first

Source: Reuters
by Gina Chon

“Trump’s trade chief Robert Lighthizer will emphasize national sovereignty over multilateralism at meetings in Buenos Aires this week. His push for WTO reforms and fair trade policies has tamped down expectations for this year’s gathering, when reducing agricultural subsidies is on the agenda. During his presidential campaign, Trump threatened to pull out of the WTO and has repeatedly said the United States has been treated unfairly. Yet America, the most frequent WTO complainant, has won more than 90 percent of the cases it has brought over the last 20 years.” (12/11/17)

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-trade-wto-breakingviews/breakingviews-trumps-anti-wto-rhetoric-hurts-america-first-idUSKBN1E52FE

How to live like a Bitcoin millionaire

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey A Tucker

“Among the crypto rich, it’s hip to be poor. You must be tight. Stingy. No signs of wealth. You could give to charity, but why? In six months, your gift could be multiplied by five times. You can become a beloved benefactor of great causes. Someday. Surely the charity will make it until then. Even better, show signs of poverty. You shop at Walmart, thrift stores, and sell every stupid thing you have on eBay — why did we buy so much stuff in the past? — so that you can buy more crypto. You brag to everyone at how little you spend on anything at all. Every bargain is a badge of honor. You will not get lunch. You kidding me? That’s $9 that will soon turn to $18 and buy two lunches. Why would anyone do that? Forget fat and happy. Crypto millionaires are emaciated and penurious. They are called the HODLers, the people who forego today’s consumption for … something tomorrow.” (12/11/17)

https://fee.org/articles/how-to-live-like-a-bitcoin-millionaire/

A series of questions for protectionists

Source: Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux

“Bob has for years chosen to buy beer from Augie. One day, Bob chooses to give up drinking alcoholic beverages. As a result, Bob stops buying beer from Augie. Augie’s reduced sales cause him to lay some workers off. Many of these workers have worked for decades in Augie’s brewery and have skills that are not easily transferred to other employers. Should Bob be prevented from giving up drinking alcoholic beverages? Or, at least, should Bob be punitively taxed for giving up drinking alcoholic beverages? If so, why? Bob has for years chosen to buy beer from Augie. One day, Bob invents a machine for making beer in his garage …” (12/11/17)

http://cafehayek.com/2017/12/series-questions-protectionists.html

Yes, the government has to get a warrant for digital “papers”

Seton Motley

Source: Heartland Institute
by Seton Motley

“We do not store our ‘papers and effects’ — the way we used to store ‘papers and effects.’ Just about gone are the old school rows and rows of filing cabinets — storing reams and reams of our papers. They have been replaced nigh totally — with records being stored electronically. Sometimes on hard drives we own. But more often — and with ever increasing frequency — remotely on servers on which we rent space. All too often our government seems to think that this technological advancement — allows them to bypass totally the Fourth Amendment. In a plain reading of the Constitution and what its authors and ratifiers intended — it absolutely does not allow them to do any such thing.” (12/11/17)

http://blog.heartland.org/2017/12/yes-the-government-has-to-get-a-warrant-for-digital-papers/