In a civilized society, should anyone or any government ever force anyone to do anything against his or her will as long as that person does not infringe upon the life, liberty, or property of another?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

You're broke

And so am I. Why? Because the decider-in-chief is doing now what Lyndon Johnson did in the '60's. Breaking the bank with war. Johnson also poured billions down another rathole he called the "Great Society."

In this interesting article by historian Thomas Woods, Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia and Linda Bilmes of Harvard put the full cost of the Iraq War at $2 trillion. So, when will Americans pay this tab? For years to come. The '70's had a hangover because of Vietnam and the Great Society of the '60's. Americans are about to get a headache and then a big hangover. Combine war spending with the coming credit bubble implosion and the future does not look rosy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Land of Oz

Remember when Dorothy finally reached the Emerald City to see the great Wizard of Oz? Her and her pals were cleaned up and pampered for free while the citizens sang a song about how each citizen slept late and took a long lunch, then kicked off at three.

After watching the Democratic debate tonight, I realized that's where the Democrats want to take you - to Oz. They discussed spending billions on "free" college tuition, billions on "free" early programs for little ones, billions on "free" universal health care, and on, and on. Unfortunately, we don't live in Oz and someone will have to pay for all of this. Yes, you and me. So get out your wallets and purses. Have them ready if a Democrat wins the White House next year. But then again, this is business as usual for government - it's not a horse of a different color.

The Foreign Policy of Peace and Freedom

Great article (title above) by Scott McPherson on The Future of Freedom Foundation website. The Founding Fathers knew best: leave other people alone - don't mess in their affairs militarily and politically. Thomas Jefferson, when asked why he cut the navy in half, responded that he did not want a large navy floating around out there, it's only going to get us into trouble. He also said "we must stay out of Europe, they are nations of eternal war."

Let's heed the words of the founders and implement a non-interventionist foreign policy. We'll save American lives, and a lot of money too.

Office of Cuba Broadcasting

As per the Constitution (not!), the United States Congress actually passed a law which calls for the U.S. to broadcast into Cuba in order to bring down the communist government of Fidel Castro. The government actually created something called the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and since its inception has supposedly cost American taxpayers $500 million.

Now that you know it exists, I'm sure you'll be able to sleep better at night knowing that powerful radio waves are being beamed into Cuba, and it's only a matter of time before those waves change and win the hearts and minds of the Cuban people.

More pork

How can any representative in Congress be bold enough to take taxpayer money and build a museum honoring the mule? This person should be run out of Congress. Read this sickening article.

Please come back Grover

Grover Cleveland may have been our best president. He has two nicknames: the "honest president" and the "veto president." He consistently fought Congress on spending, once vetoing 404 bills in a row. He kept us out of war, hated tariffs, and according to Wikipedia: "His admirers praise him for his bedrock honesty, independence, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism. As a leader of the Bourbon Democrats, he opposed imperialism, taxes, corruption, patronage, subsidies and inflationary policies."

It doesn't matter what label, Democrat or Republican, we put on people. America simply needs more Grover Cleveland's. People who don't believe in the coercive power of the state, and people who neither want to wage constant war or continue to erode the value or your dollar. Come back, Grover, we need you.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Are Mules Smarter Than Politicians?

The above was the title of a great article written by Lawrence Reed for The Free Market, a publication of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. Every issue is short and to the point, explaining Austrian economics and de-bunking the statist view of the world held by many citizens and, of course, almost all politicians.

This particular article (June, 1990 issue) is one of my favorites because it succinctly explains both the cause of the stock market crash, the Great Depression, and FDR's New Deal (affectionately nicknamed the Raw Deal). The title about mules being smarter than politicians refers to the crazy policies of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, an agency that ordered the destruction of crops and livestock. Farmers had a tough time getting the mules to trample the crops, since they had been trained to walk between the rows.

The issue is not archived at for some reason, so if you want a copy just ask in the comments section and I'll send you one. Occasionally I'll lend a copy of The Free Market to another professor. Many interesting responses and lots of questions, to say the least.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Soldiers tired, bitter, skeptical

This article is yet another in what seems like a never-ending stream of bad news coming from Iraq. And the bad news is all the same: U.S. soldiers are tired, bitter, and skeptical. As you willl read in the article, many feel that Iraq is not worth losing even one more U.S. soldier.

Every single empire has failed throughout history: Alexander the Great's, Egypt and the Pharoahs, the Roman Empire, the Soviet Union, the British Empire, etc. Let's shut down the 739 U.S. military bases around the world and end our empire now. Let Americans be free to trade with the rest of the world. Nothing promotes friendliness between nations as much as free trade.

Fire-fighting equipment grounded by red tape

Fire-fighting cargo planes and helicopters were grounded by foot-dragging government red tape in California. The delay in getting the equipment airborne is inexcusable, and the fires roared and gained in intensity as the equipment sat by and watched. Read the article here.

Of course, the governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, made up a lame excuse about the winds being too intense for the coptors and planes. But it seems the delay allowed the winds to pick up. Had the government reacted swiftly, the wind problem, it seems, would not have been the issue.

Am I wrong, but didn't the fire start on public land, and is being fought by public employees? Supposedly the cause was arson, but can't the government protect its own land? I'm sure they wouldn't let anyone burn down the Capitol. Update: another good article just appeared on

When will people realize, that although not a great president, Ronald Reagan said at least one thing right: "Government is not the solution, government is the problem."

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Just like Vietnam, soldiers in Iraq don't want to fight anymore

The awesome film Sir, No Sir! details how U.S. soldiers in Vietnam stopped fighting in what they considered was an immoral war. They laid down their arms, started over 300 antiwar newspapers around the world, and even began killing their own officers by tossing fragmentation grenades in their bunks at night.

As stated in this article here, U.S. soldiers in Iraq are beginning to do the same. Demoralized, and disenchanted with their commanding officers, they are avoiding confrontation with the enemy. This is bad news for war hawks like Clinton, Guiliani, Romney, McCain, Obama and others (except Ron Paul, who wants to bring the troops home now), because they have plans to wage war for the unforseeable future.

Army stretched and needs to grow

The draft is inevitable. The newly minted Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullin, said the army is not broken, but is "breakable." He said that Americans are in “a long, generational decades kind of conflict against the radical, extremist jihadists,” and that the Army and Marine Corps are unlikely to return to a peacetime posture in the near future.

"In this era of persistent engagement and conflict, I don't see our global responsibilities diminishing anytime soon," he said. "In fact, given the potential for regional instability throughout the world, I see our military missions expanding, not contracting.” Read the full article here.

Military missions expanding, not contracting. Long, generational decades kind of conflict. Interesting words. Only one way to fight that kind of protracted, drawn out war - with lots of people. Translation: the draft. As it's written now (see my other posts for a copy), all men and women between the ages of 18 and 42 must serve two years in the military. Time to write your rep in Congress and tell them to bring the troops home now and leave the rest of the world alone.

More government failure

Central Planning doesn't work. If it did, why isn't the Soviet Union still around? Centrally planned U.S. programs fail as well, and fail miserably. The government's levees weren't strong enough, so New Orleans got hammered by Katrina. Then, they botched the rescue and cleanup effort.

"FEMA turned away generators needed by hospitals, refused Amtrak's offer to evacuate victims, and didn't return calls from the American Bus Association. Sheriff Dennis Randle of Carroll County, Indiana, had a team ready to help, but was never able to navigate FEMA's approval process to enter New Orleans. FEMA failures caused millions of pounds of ice to be shipped mistakenly to Maine and Arizona, and firefighters and rescue squads to be sent to areas where they were of little help. A mobile communications unit with a chartered plane sat in Germany for nine days because FEMA didn't return its calls." Read the full article here.

More government, anyone? After all, it's only your money and your life.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Government squanders $300 million of your money

Before spending $300 million of your money, shouldn't the government ensure that the program is going to be a success? As this article states, the Government Accounting Office reports that the U.S. spent $300 million the past two years to improve the capacity of Iraq's ministries. But the effort has been stalled by corruption, poor security, a shortage of competent workers, and other problems. In fact, almost half of Iraqi government employees fail to show up for work each day.

Amazingly, both the U.S. and the Iraqi governments were asleep at the switch, as "nobody noticed" that the Iraqis were not using the new computerized accounting system the U.S. taxpayers paid for. Finally, after a month, somebody figured it out that the Iraqis were still using a paper system. Maybe the guy who noticed should be promoted.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ms. Rodriguez would have voted no on government health care

This past May, the tragic death of Edith Isabel Rodriguez, only 43, should have made Americans question about wanting any more government involvement in health care. She died while emergency room staff walked past her; the janitor even cleaned around her as she spit up blood on the floor!

This tragic incident, plus the terrible conditions reported at Walter Reed Hospital, an army hospital, makes me wonder how anyone could call for more of the same. Government run hospitals, whether in the inner cities or at army bases, can't provide the quality health care needed because of the lack of a market. No market, no competition, therefore no incentive.

Let's get back to a market in health care. The market pleases us with great cars, computers, houses, food, clothes, etc. The market will do the same in health care.

Lou Dobbs proves his ignorance once again

Tonight Lou Dobbs was doing his usual rant about how the middle class is getting the short end of the stick here in America. Then, to my amazement, he blurts out: ". . . the country is being run be a bunch of free market idiots." What? Does he have any idea how high the federal budget is? Lou, it's in the trillions! Yes, trillions! Free marketeers like myself know that the two things that destroy wealth are taxation and regulation. Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of spending like drunken sailors. It's anything but a free market.

The Republicrats are also piling on tons of regulations. Just ask any business owner how they love jumping through all those bureaucratic hoops each and every year. For God's sake, you need government permission just to occupy your building (Occupancy Permits issued by cities).

Lou, go enroll for a week long course next summer at Mises University will teach you all about free markets.

Bush wants $88 million for bunker-busters

Our war-mongering decider-in-chief wants $88 million of your money to build 30,000 pound bunker-buster bombs. Just in case another country builds nuclear weapons, he wants to be able to take those weapons out if they're underground.

Why don't we just leave everyone alone and shut down the empire? Maybe other countries are increasing their military because the U.S. is all over the world (over 700 bases) telling them what to do. When you bully people, they strike back, just like the kids back in grade school who struck back at the school yard bully. Let's just wage peace.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Does the UAW strangle car companies?

The United Auto Workers union is powerful. Lots of money and lots of members. So what impact does the union have on Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors, and ultimately, are the actions of the UAW responsible for the high cost and low quality of American made automobiles?

George Reisman, Pepperdine University Professor Emeritus of Economics, states that: "In sum, without the UAW, General Motors would not be faced with extinction. Instead, it would almost certainly be a vastly larger, far more prosperous company, producing more and better motor vehicles than ever before, at far lower costs of production and prices than it does today, and providing employment to hundreds of thousands more workers than it does today."

Read the rest of his great article here, which appeared on last year.

Hey big spender

For years the Republicans attacked the tax and spend Democrats in Congress. And they should have, since the Dems were big tax and spenders. Yet Bush and his Republican friends are just as bad, as evidenced by this article.

Of course, the Republicans promised that if given a chance (control of Congress), they would put a stop to all that spending. I even had Bill Archer, the long-time congressman and former head of the House Ways and Means Committee, tell me to my face at a town hall meeting in Houston that the Republicans would stop all that government spending.

Since 1994, the "Republican Revolution" has been anything but. Both sides love to tax and spend and grow government. What's that old joke: "What does bipartisan mean? They both have their hands in your pockets."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

U.S. dollar strong?

A few weeks ago, the Canadian dollar reached parity with the U.S. dollar - the first time since 1976. Our dollar has dropped that much against some other currencies like the euro and yuan. I found an interesting article on - a major U.S. investor wants to cash in all his U.S. dollars for the Chinese yuan.

Interesting what he says about nine paragraphs down - that China will be the most important country of the 21st century. Hmm, I think I remember that Ron Paul is the only candidate from either party that ever mentions our perilous financial system. And isn't he the one that had been getting in former Fed Chairman Alan Greespan's face all these years? Yes, because Paul understands economics and he knows we're headed for a meltdown.

Neocons love to scare us about big, bad Iran

The neocons are at it again. They love fear. Vice President Dick Cheney, of course Bush himself, and Norman Podhoretz, author, are warning us about the evils of Iran and how they want to take over the world. But is Iran really a threat?

As you'll see in this article, how scared should we be of a country with an economy the size of Finland's? Iran spends only $4.8 billion on defense, while the United States spends 110 times as much! Also, our Gross Domestic Product is 68 times greater. Plus, to invade America, Iran would have to maneuver across the Mediterrean and Atlantic, where they would be destroyed.

Don't buy in. Just say no. Don't believe them as they conjure up more goblins for us to be scared about.

Shuttle launch cost $450 million

The space shuttle launched today, and it cost you and me $450 million. What's the purpose of these missions again? Has there been any dramatic changes in our lives besides Direct TV since the space program began? The U.S. has spent a few trillion dollars on the space program, yet what problems have been solved?

We still have lots of crime, enemies, financial bubbles, poor public education, a health care crisis, an empire, and on, and on, and on. What's the purpose of these missions again?

Government loses $1.2 billion of your money

The inefficiency of government at all levels is amazing. They can't even keep tabs on the money they take from us to spend around the world. Of course, we're in the police training business, per the Constitution, right?

Read this article about how the government just can't seem to find the money they were going to spend training the Iraqi police force.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Governments don't understand economics

All throughout history, governments have made people miserable with endless war and the mishandling of economics. The two most famous contemporary examples are Hugo Chavez's Venezuela and Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe. It now takes $1 million Zimbabwe dollars to buy one U.S. dollar. The man is insane and is destroying Zimbabwe, which now has annual inflation of 8,000 percent. Read the amazing article here.

What's the government doing in the airline business?

Historians tell us the Wright Brothers were the first to fly an airplane. They were not government employees, just two men fascinated with flight. Somehow, the government got its hands in the airline business, and now they control it all. No, it really wasn't de-regulated under President Reagan in the 80's. If it was truly de-regulated, how come the government still owns the airports, the FAA is still around, and the air traffic controllers are government employees?

The safety record has been good as of late, but is the government keeping information from us? Interesting article appeared on today. Read it here.

Sell off the airports, abolish the FAA, and privatize the air traffic controllers. Free from government intervention and endless regulation, the airlines would provide their own security and the competition would drive down prices and provide better service.

Great short article by Charley Reese

Charley Reese writes great, short articles that get right to the point. He's got a great one about the U.S. empire at today. I especially love the last paragraph. Read his article here.

Two Republican candidates want to increase army - draft?

The other day, I posted "Prepare yourself to fight." I mentioned the draft, which I believe is coming back. Last night at the Republican debate in Florida, both Rudy Guiliani and Mitt Romney said they wanted to increase the size of the army. Their statements confirmed for me what I already knew: all the statist Republicans, except for Ron Paul, want a large, powerful armed forces, and they want to continue to build empire.

What's a good way to help build empire? The draft, of course. So write your rep in Congress. Tell him or her you oppose the draft in all forms. Maybe the same letter each month would do. Either that or pack your rifle (or move to Paraguay).

American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007

Ron Paul courageously introduced the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007 in the House of Representatives the other day. Above all, it calls for the repeal of the Military Commissions Act, which passed last year and is a grave threat to our liberty.

Read what he said on the floor of the House here.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ron Paul wins debate despite pro-war crowd

Ron Paul won the Republican debate in Florida tonight. How do I know? He's the only one of the eight candidates who brought up monetary policy. He understands that when the Federal Reserve prints money out of thin air the value of the dollar goes down. The Fed has been inflating since its creation in 1913, and now our dollars are only worth 4 cents. This terrible situation is the largest threat to our prosperity besides war. The dumb Florida crowd didn't get it - they should have given him a standing ovation when he discussed the dollar.

In fact, Paul was booed by some in the Florida pro-empire crowd. Booing a man when he wants to stop empire building, and not cheering when he talks about a sane monetary policy - truly, without a doubt, the dumbest audience at any Republican debate so far.

Youth must lead the way

It's amazing how the mainstream media still tries to ignore Repulican presidential candidate Ron Paul. He was ignored in an L.A. Times article this week, and I saw a report on how candidates are effectively using the internet and they didn't mention him then either - even though he has been, by a massive margin - the most effective campaigner on the net.

However, the college campuses are all buzzing about Ron Paul. It's because the youth of America have the most to lose. The draft is coming back, the country is going broke, and young people will be forced to pay into a bankrupt system their whole lives and never see a dime. Of course, I'm talking about Social Security.

Keep up the good work 18-25 year olds. And if you're friends haven't gotten involved yet or are into statists like Guiliani, Clinton, Romney, and Obama, try to convince them of the error of their ways. The message of freedom is powerful.

Krugman admits he's a communist

Paul Krugman, a professor at Princeton University, was on Bloomberg this weekend and he said he was a "card-carrying communist." He also said that he believes in redistribution of wealth in America. So he wants to take some of your money and give it to those less fortunate. Against your will, of course.

So if you read some of his op-eds every once in awhile as they are picked up by newspapers around the country (including the Houston Chronicle), be careful as to what you buy into. He loves communism and socialism, obviously, and he wouldn't mind using force against you to obtain some of your hard-earned money and distributing it to someone else.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Prepare yourself to fight

The government will be calling for you soon. The war in Iraq is going poorly, and our army is tired and in dire need of rest. Two weeks ago, one of the army's generals said the army needs three years to re-equip, rest, and re-train. Even the National Guard is fighting over there. So it's only a matter of time before Congress reinstitutes the draft. It's actually been proposed twice in the last two years (for everyone between the ages of 18 and 42!). That's how government works. They keep introducing a measure, it keeps getting shot down, and just when you think it will never happen - there it is - law!

Read the House bill in its entirety here. And this time you can't get out if you're in college like someone could during the Vietnam War.

Better start doing more tricep and bicep work so you can toss those grenades far. Or brush up on your driving skills - I hear those tanks are hard to maneuver.

Want big government? Wage war!

War is the health of the state. It's just that plain and simple. Whenever countries wage war, especially the U.S., the power of the federal government grows. If you want less government and taxes, and you want the government out of your life, fight for peace. Here's an excellent article by Robert Higgs, and he's also written one of the best books I've ever read, Crisis and Leviathan.

Presidential power

When the framers wrote the Constitution that hot summer in Philadelphia in 1787, they purposely did not give much power to the executive branch. Why? They feared tyranny above all. They knew about all the tyrants throughout history, like Caesar, Alexander, and the dozens of kings who oppressed their people.

So how did the office of the president in America become so powerful? A great place to start would be an excellent book edited by John V. Denson. I can't believe this large volume is only $21.00. Check out Reassessing the Presidency: The Rise of the Executive Branch and the Decline of Freedom for yourself.

Scary financial news

The average commentator on the financial news shows doesn't seem to get it. We're in for some serious problems, and the root cause is the central banks around the world, like our Federal Reserve. When money is simply printed, with nothing to back it up, serious disconnects occur in financial markets.

One site I check often is The daily news and the guest commentaries provide a lot of information, especially now with monster problems on the horizon. Check out this guest commentary from their site here.

Abolish OSHA

Let's get government out of the safety business. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, formed in the early '70's and signed into law by president Richard Nixon, costs businesses and ultimately consumers millions upon millions every year. All this cranky agency does is put out more and more regulations for us to comply with. They're responsible for that binder in your store you love so well, full of Material Safety Data Sheets. You know, the binder no one ever looks at.

Somehow, America survived for over 350 years without OSHA. As George Reisman, an economist and professor at Pepperdine University points out here, safety is not a proper function of government.

"Surge" in Iraq gained little

As many people predicted, the "surge" by the decider-in-chief, George W. Bush, gained little. The situation in Iraq is too complicated and U.S. government officials don't understand it. What a waste of money and lives. Read the article here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Another failing government agency

Despite an enormous budget in the billions, the Environmental Protection Agency, yes, it says Protection, fails to protect people from carcinogens and pollutants. That's because we can't do it through agencies and legislation. We have to protect ourselves and the environment through the enforcement of private property rights.

Houston has a 20 times higher annual average of 1-3 butadiene pumped into its air. This carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent, can be deadly. Read the article here.

Let's abolish the EPA, save billions, and hire private companies to monitor our private property. Who will do a better job? Low-paid bureaucrats with none of their own money at stake and therefore no incentive, or each property owner who has an incentive to keep his or her property clean and carcinogen free?

Hillary Clinton is a hawk

Hillary Clinton said she would not rule out a strike against Iran. I thought the Democrats were against the war? Wait, a Democrat got us into World War I - Woodrow Wilson. A Democrat got us into World War II - Franklin Roosevelt. And two Democrats waged war in Vietnam - Kennedy and Johnson.

Clinton voted to go into Iraq, and now she's getting a lot of money from top defense contractors. Interesting. Read the article here.

Congressman Ron Paul!

Republican presidentional candidate Ron Paul, a member of the House of Representatives from Texas, has introduced a fantastic bill into the House. It's called the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007. It's all about freedom for us against the coercive power of the state. Read the article here to get the details!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lou Dobbs is a windbag

CNN's Lou Dobbs loves to stir up our emotions, using fear every night to get us all worked up about outsourcing, broken borders, terrorists, etc. It's too bad he doesn't understand the fundamentals of economics, and he has no critical thinking skills. God forbid he does a little research; he's simply a shill for unions.

Here's a nice little article from economist Mark Thornton about Dobbs and outsourcing. More posts and articles to follow on the myths surrounding the supposed damage done to our country by companies saving millions building factories overseas.

Do we need the CIA?

Tim Weiner's book, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA, is a real eye-opener. He explains how the CIA's failures have profoundly jeopardized our national security and why nearly every CIA director has left the agency in worse shape than when they took the job.

One example is letting Omar Abdel Rahman into the country. This man was tried for the assassination of Egypt's president, Anwar Sadat, and had recruited Arab fighters for their war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. The author writes how the sheik was "the spiritual leader of a conspiracy to kill Americans by the thousands."

Given a visa by a member of the CIA in Khartoum, Sudan (and CIA officers had reviewed seven applications by Rahman and said yes six times), Rahman made his way to New York and masterminded the first attack on the World Trade Towers that killed six and injured more than a thousand.

More government failure to protect us despite secrecy and billions to spend.

Your dollar's worth almost nothing

Why is your dollar only worth about four cents? Because central banks, like our Federal Reserve, love to inflate. Murray Rothbard, one of the greatest economists of the 20th century, knew what they were up to and fought them the whole way. His book, The Case Against the Fed, is short but powerful. And it's only $7.00! A must for everyone who wants to know why the items they want and need cost so much.

Let's get the government out of the banking business and return prosperity to our country. Then maybe we can get that house for $150,000 instead of $450,000.

Government drives up the cost of food

Why does your food cost so much? Well, the Department of Agriculture gives farmers billions of dollars every year. The end result: your food is a lot more expensive than it should be. The sugar and dairy subsidies are enormous, and you're paying for it. Good article here.

For all the sordid details, pick up a copy of James Bovard's The Farm Fiasco.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Write your senator now!

Dash off a quick one paragraph letter or e-mail to both of your senators. Ask that they follow the House of Representatives and approve the extension to leave the internet tax-free. You might want to include a sentence requesting that the internet become permanently tax-free. And maybe a sentence on zero internet regulations as well.

Haven't our lives changed for the better since the explosion of the web! Let's keep it that way. Don't be lazy - a paragraph or two won't kill you.

Let's repeal the minimum wage

From the first English-speaking settlement at Jamestown, Virginia exactly 400 years ago until the mid-20th century, there was no minimum wage in America. But how could that be? How could the country grow without worker protection? And why would millions upon millions of immigrants flock to a nation that didn't have a minimum wage? Because they didn't want one. They simply wanted freedom.

Let's get the government out of the employer-employee relationship. Complete freedom without any coercion always works best. History proves it. Read an article on the minimum wage by Lew Rockwell here.

Four day computers and two week garbage cans

A DHL employee knocked on my door this afternoon, and when I answered, there it was, just four days after ordering it! Yes, my daughter's new computer, ordered last Saturday at a convenient kiosk at the Galleria mall in Houston. No hassle, no shipping charges, and minus Sunday, truly three days from ordering to receiving. Amazing how the free market works. With HP, Apple, IBM, Gateway and others nipping at their heels, Dell quickly delivered a box that makes millions of calcuations per second to my house for only $431.00.

The City of Houston, however, took two weeks to deliver a big chunk of black plastic to my house. I even offered to pick up the garbage can to save them time and gas, yet they said it couldn't be done. Amazing how the government can't efficiently serve us despite massive taxation. Oh, that's right, they don't have any competition.

Markets work, government doesn't.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Root cause of health-care crisis

Everywhere there is talk of health care, and I see signs that say "I'm a health care voter." Yet there is little talk of the root cause of the problem. As believers of free markets know, whenever there is an intervention that skews the normal operation of the market, disastrous results usually occur. Major interventions occurred in 1965 and 1973, and collectively they are the root cause of why prices have skyrocketed, as evidenced by this chart.

Let's attack the root cause and get back to a free market in health care, instead of piling more bureaucracy and regulations on top of the existing heap.

Canadian doctor talks about socialized medicine

While eating at Chipotle today, I ran into a friend of mine who is planning to purchase a home in France. The discussion turned to French health care, and he was quite impressed with their system. Only thing is, he doesn't live there yet and doesn't have to pay the bills just yet either. Once home, a few minutes on the net quickly revealed that even though it seems like pretty good care and does not have quite the long lines seen in Canada and the U.K., it's incredibly expensive!

A monstrous amount of money spent on something might make it better. But is that desirable? Gobs of money thrown at my lawn, for example, say $10,000 a month in '08, would probably make it the best in Houston. However, I could not sustain that for too long. Same for the health care system in France. The system is unsustainable, and they are piling up huge debt. Socialized medicine simply doesn't work in France or Canada, as a Canadian doctor reveals here.

Have fun giving your DNA!

Even though the U.S. Department of Agriculture forces us to pay billions in farm subsidies, they don't want to use the coercive power of the state to take a DNA sample from you. So they make it fun! The USDA gave $200,000 of taxpayer's money to the Houston Community College System so they could hold DNA Day 2007. There will be all-day activities for 120 kids, from DNA finger-printing to extracting DNA from cheek cells using a "Genes-in-a-bottle" kit. What a fun way to surrender your identity to the state! I guess the census is not thorough enough.

Time to go see Uma Thurman, Ethan Hawke, and Jude Law in Gattatica again.

Lincoln said what?

Abraham Lincoln said some amazing things, and this statement, made in 1858, is quite interesting. "I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, not to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything."

How often does the quote above appear in American History textbooks? Maybe it's time to pick up a copy of The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History by Thomas Woods or Thomas DiLorenzo's The Real Lincoln.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Are the polls accurate?

Ron Paul is crushing all the other candidates from both parties on the internet, and he's also crushing them with regard to the number of meet-up groups. Then why is he scoring so low in the national polls? One answer may be how these "traditional" national polls work. From what I've heard, the only phones they call are home land lines, which are usually answered by people in age groups older than 18-25. You know, the ones who do very little research and have been duped their whole lives. These people usually vote straight Democrat or Republican tickets and don't like change.

I bet if there was a poll that called cell phones only, Ron Paul would be way ahead. There could be a nice suprise in New Hampshire early next year!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Money well spent?

Citizens Against Government Waste is a great site because they not only rank members of Congress as to their wastefulness, but you can find out exactly what the government is spending your money on. Some of the items in the last few years include: $12,800,000 for Alaska land mobile radios, $17 million to digitize Dept. of Defense manuals, $13.5 to the International Fund for Ireland, $6,435,000 for wood utilization research, $4,200,ooo for shrimp aquaculture research, $5.6 million to the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center, $4 million to the Visitors Center at the Kodiac National Wildlife Refuge, $179,000 for hydroponic tomato production research, $2,045,000 to the Appalachian Fruit Laboratory in West Virginia, and lastly, my favorite, $1.3 million for berry research in Alaska.

You mean the framers didn't already have that stuff in the Constitution? Go to to find out more!

What's that hissing sound?

That hissing sound is the air rushing out of the mother of all bubbles, the credit bubble. No matter how much air (I mean newly created-out-of-thin-air money) the Fed and other central banks add to the balloon, it's still coming out fast (through that large hole in the side). As Mises, Rothbard, Duffy and the other Austrians have been telling us for awhile, money creation leads to disaster. It's going to be amazing watching Americans wondering the streets as they try to figure out what hit them.

To learn more, start with Rothbard's America's Great Depression. You also might want to take a trip to the local coin store and buy a few gold coins.

UK health care - no thanks!

The Fraser Forum in Canada just ran an article about health care in the UK. The title is Fully Socialized Medicine: A Warning from the United Kingdom. The article cites The Lancet Oncology report stating that "British colorectal, lung, breast, and prostate cancer patients are less likely to survive five years after diagnosis than anywhere in Europe (apart from a handful of ex-Soviet states)."

Additionally, the UK is below average for the uptake of innovative oncology drugs, has only 7 CT scanners per million people as opposed to 32 in the U.S., and areas low on the political radar screen, such as mental health, maternity services, sexual health, and dentistry, are underfunded and of poor quality.

The British have already taken the arrows in the back for us. Let's turn around and walk away as fast as we can when someone mentions getting "universal health care" here in the U.S.

Government in the savings business

The government's already in the space business, marriage business, road business, check your hamburger business, and on, and on, and on. Now they're in the help-you-save-your-money business: the New Savers Act. This will supposedly make it easier to open bank accounts, buy savings bonds (government bonds, of course), and put money away for college. Sorry for the cynicism, but was any of that stuff hard to do? I opened up a bank account when I was 8 years old. Doesn't take prolonged study to perform such an easy task.

Evidently Americans don't save enough. But isn't that our choice? Do we need more laws to help us save? Soon they'll be monitoring what we eat, just like Britain (Child Act of 2006). I think I need to go watch V for Vendetta again.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Freedom is about authority?

Rudy Giuliani wants to be president and run our lives with authority like he did NYC. Don't believe me? He said it himself: "We look upon authority too often and focus over and over again, for 30 or 40 or 50 years, as if there is something wrong with authority. We only see the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of history and our background. What we don't see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do."

Amazing. Reminds of that film, Sir, No Sir! that had a shot of the entrance to the army gulag the protesters were thrown in. The sign at the top of the gate said: "Obedience to the Law is Freedom."

Mises got it right

Ludwig von Mises' Socialism details how socialism cannot work. From his book: "Socialist writers may continue to publish books about the decay of Capitalism and the coming of the socialist millenium: they may paint the evils of Capitalism in lurid colours and contrast with them an enticing picture of the blessings of a socialist society; their writings may continue to impress the thoughtless - but all this cannot alter the fate of the socialist idea. The attempt to reform the world socialistically might destroy civilization. It would never set up a successful socialist community."

From Mises' Human Action, which was published in 1947: "The overwhelmingly rapid triumph of the demonstration that no economic calculation is possible under a socialist system is without precedent indeed in the history of human thought. The socialists cannot help admitting their crushing final defeat."

Economic calculation is impossible in a socialist enterprise because of the absence of market prices. Mises knew this almost 90 years ago. What's taking so long for Americans to figure it out?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Swedish health care, anyone?

David Hogberg, Ph.D., wrote an article in May, 2007 about Swedish health care entitled: "Sweden's Single Payer Health System Provides a Warning to Other Nations." After years of "universal health care" (what the Democrats want to implement), by 1988 it took eleven months to get a heart x-ray. Eventually Sweden began to move toward more private-run health care, but then slipped back into their old socialist ways. "A recent study that examined over 5,800 Swedish patients on a wait list for heart surgery found that the long wait has consequences far worse than pain, anxiety or monetary cost. In this study, the median wait time was found to be 55 days. While on the waiting list, 77 patients died."

Boy, I can't wait to get some Swedish style "universal health care" here in America.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lazy professors and dumbed-down classes

Academia is one reason why Americans are economically, politically, and historically illiterate. Not only do I continually encounter intellectually lazy history and government professors who never stop espousing the benefits of the warfare/welfare state, they've dumbed down their classes. The tales coming from my students of how easy their classes are is amazing. An e-mail was sent out last year about the inordinate amount of A's given out. The e-mail did not apply to me, since only a few students (unlike enrollees or attendees) earn an A in my class every semester. Last semester, one student wanted daily grades like some of her other classes. I told her that wasn't desirable on my part, and I reminisced on the way home about the last time I gave anything close to daily grades: when I taught two years of junior high in the early 80s.

Businesses beware!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cuban health care, anyone?

Even though I don't care much for Hannity & Colmes, they ran an expose tonight on the health care that the Cuban citizens get, not the health care at those few hospitals built for tourists. You know, the ones Michael Moore went to when he shot his propaganda film, Sicko. Check out the nice photos from the average hospital in Cuba at

Let's hope Hillary wins so we can get the same system. Not!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Global Warming Caused by Humans?

A report from the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine called the "Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide" leads to the conclusion that "there are no experimental data to support the hypothesis that increases in human hydrocarbon use or in atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are causing or can be expected to cause unfavorable changes in global temperatures, weather, or landscape. There is no reason to limit human production of CO2, CH4, and other minor greenhouse gases as has been proposed."

Amazing how scientists, without the use of federal money, come to conclusions markedly different from government grant scientists.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Let's Privatize Social Security

The September, 2005 issue of The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, had a few articles about the U.S. Social Security system. At first thought, most people, especially the elderly, recoil in horror when someone mentions eliminating or privatizing social security. Unfortunately, they react with emotion because they haven't done any research that may present alternatives. They also believe they're entitled to a check since they've been paying into the system for many years.

Richard Ebeling, the president of the foundation ( writes in the lead article how the sale of federal land could finance the system for quite some time. In fact, the government owns a little more than one-fifth of all the land in the country, about 507 million acres. His ideas seems plausible, as are others that offer ways toward privatization. Readers, please discuss the topic and investigate. David Walker, the Comptroller General of the United States, has been discussing this issue in his "Fiscal Wake-Up Tour." He has traveled to many universities and other forums to let people know that the U.S. is headed for a financial meltdown. His powerpoint slide shows are available at

It's time to be informed and save the future for our children.

"Universal Health Care"

Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises jotted down some notes back in 1940, writing that the great proponents of classical liberalism before him had overestimated the ability of the masses to form independent judgments. As I talk to people every week about "universal health care," the more I've come to realize that Mises was right. People don't understand health care, economics, the history of U.S. health care, and why it's in bad shape. Unfortunately, most of the people I talk to want Hillary's cranky plan or something like it.

Anytime a good or service is "socialized," or taken over by the government, the inevitable occurs: shortages, long lines, lower quality, higher taxes, and eventually, rationing. The ultimate socialized medical system was the former Soviet Union. Here was a system where 36% of the hospitals did not have hot running water, cats would roam the halls, gloves would fall off the surgeons during surgery because they had been used over and over again, and the doctors used to quip: "Look, they pretend they are paying us, and we pretend we are helping them."

All any American needs to do is research the subject, and it wouldn't take more than a few hours. Read some articles, a policy analysis or two, and that person would come to the same conclusion: no "universal health care" for me! Remember, markets work, central planning doesn't.