Category Archives: Opinion

Trump's new currency plan a flimsy attempt to confront China

Source: Cato Institute
by James A Dorn

"The White House would like to label China a 'currency manipulator' but doing so would risk harming U.S.-China relations. So, the tone has softened and the tactics have changed. The newly established National Trade Council (NTC), operating out of the White House, is proposing that China not be singled out in the currency war. Rather, any country found to be lowering the foreign exchange value of its currency to spur exports would be subject to penalties administered by the Commerce Department. Currency manipulation would be considered an unfair subsidy and U.S. companies that claimed significant harm could petition for anti-subsidy remedies under the proposed change in U.S. trade law. The problem is that the World Trade Organization has never considered currency manipulation to be an actionable subsidy and is unlikely to change its stance." (03/16/17)

The great government breakdown has begun

Source: The New Republic
by Brian Beutler

"Donald Trump’s Thursday press conference was so meandering and deranged that it brought the basic ebb and flow of all politics to a halt, as power brokers across Washington, including Republicans on Capitol Hill, stopped what they were doing to watch along in amazement. Trump raged against illegal leaks, but deemed news about those leaks 'fake.' He told small but obvious lies (that he’d won the presidency with the biggest electoral college margin since Ronald Reagan) and potentially enormous but as-yet unprovable ones (that, to his knowledge, his aides weren’t in contact with Russian intelligence during the campaign). He suggested the rise in anti-Semitic threats since his election were false flag operations undertaken by his political enemies. And he asked April Ryan, a White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, to convene a meeting between him and the Congressional Black Caucus based on the assumption that she (an African American) and members of the CBC were fast friends." [editor's note: The title of this, encouraging as it is to libertarians, horrifies the author of this piece – SAT] (02/17/17)

Break up the USA

by Llewellyn H Rockwell, Jr.

"Some of our assumptions are so deeply embedded that we cannot perceive them ourselves. Case in point: everyone takes for granted that it's normal for a country of 320 million to be dictated to by a single central authority. The only debate we're permitted to have is who should be selected to carry out this grotesque and inhumane function. Here's the debate we should be having instead: what if we simply abandoned this quixotic mission, and went our separate ways?" (02/18/17)

Gorsuch is no Scalia

Source: USA Today
by Christian Schneider

"The day President Trump nominated appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court, The New York Times offered that Trump 'has chosen a judge who not only admires the justice he would replace but also in many ways resembles him.' The paper added that Gorsuch 'shares Justice Scalia’s legal philosophy, talent for vivid writing and love of the outdoors.' In related news, I share much with actor Ryan Gosling; we are both Caucasian males, both over 35 years old, and neither of us can sing. Drawing comparisons between the old guard and tantalizing new talent is understandable; it imputes the new arrival with a set of characteristics that it would take far too long to explain individually. … This is why comparisons to Antonin Scalia fall short." (02/17/17)

Why does Congress accept perpetual wars?

Source: The American Conservative
by Andrew J Bacevich

"Nominally, the Senate Armed Services Committee, along with its counterpart in the House of Representatives, provides oversight of U.S. military activities. Yet recently, the committee's unacknowledged purpose seems to be avoiding the meaningful exercise of this role, especially when it comes to scrutinizing the nation's commitment to armed conflicts like the ongoing Afghanistan War. Oversight implies ownership. The Congress of the United States has no desire to own a war that is the longest in U.S. history, grows longer by the day, and shows no sign of ending anytime soon. This congressional irresponsibility was on display earlier this month, when Gen. John W. Nicholson, U.S. Army, traveled from his headquarters in Kabul to provide senators with a progress report on the Afghanistan War." (02/17/17)

What are the limits to the sharing economy?

Source: Students For Liberty
by Daniil Gorbatenko

"Given the perceived potential of the sharing economy it is easy to exaggerate its promise. History shows us that humans are pretty good at doing that, as the example of electricity demonstrates particularly vividly. Thus, the basic question arises, 'What are the limits to the sharing economy?' More precisely, one could say that this question boils down to the following three major sub-questions …" (02/18/17)

Your call

Source: The Zelman Partisans
by Sheila Stokes-Begley

"I ran across a story talking about women who use guns to defend themselves, it was written by a woman. She seemed to be no big fan of the notion. Her complaints are that women are at greater risk from former partners and spouses than they are strangers. She feels gun rights groups only get the 'Stand Your Ground' laws passed by emphasizing 'strangers lurking in bushes,' and that since most of the attacks against women are from known people this is a false argument. She quotes Mary Ann Franks, the anti-gun law professor who wants you to take her karate classes instead, if this give you any idea about the author. She says guns are the weapons of choice for batterers, so she wants women armed with what? Hairspray?" (02/17/17)

Remember the rigged election?

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"Remember the 2016 presidential election? You know, the contest that still bedevils us? The one allegedly rigged by the Russians and fake news? The one the outcome of which Michael Moore (and others) suggested, even this week, should be overturned by 'the courts' simply by installing Hillary Clinton as president? Turns out one major element of the election process was rigged: the debates run by the Commission on Presidential Debates." (02/17/17)

Charity is not how we solve poverty

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jason Sorens

"[S]aving people isn't simple. Giving money to a charity that claims to help people may not do very much good and may even do net harm. Extreme poverty in the world today is generally the fault of some human organization or institution, usually a government but often rebel groups, gangs, and other purveyors of violence. People lift themselves out of poverty when they are free to trade and to enjoy the fruits of their labors. They remain poor only when they face violent threats to their lives, liberties, and property. If giving to a charity empowers some vicious gang or government that keeps people poor, you've just made poor people's lives worse." (02/19/17)

This isn't just Trump, but who the Republicans are

Source: Our Future
Dave Johnson

"So far President Donald Trump has signed very few bills. One lets coal companies dump waste into streams. Another lets oil companies bribe foreign dictators in secret. Now he is moving to block a Labor Department 'fiduciary rule' that requires financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients when advising on retirement accounts. Here’s the thing: this isn’t just Trump doing this. The Republican-controlled House and Senate passed those two bills, and the Republicans have been fighting that fiduciary rule tooth and nail. It’s not just Trump, Republicans as a party are using Trump to engage in a general assault on protections from corruption, pollution, corporate fraud and financial scams. This is who they are." (02/17/17)