It seems that every four years people need a reminder about the Electoral College and how the President is actually elected. On election day, if you vote in the Presidential election, you will not actually cast a ballot for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein or any other candidate for President. You will cast a vote for a slate of Electors. These Electors will then meet “on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December” after the election at a place determined by the legislature of each state, usually the state house, to cast the official votes for President and Vice President.
Despite what some may claim, the Electors are not part of a shadow government deciding the President and Vice President. The Electors, and those seeking to be Electors, are selected or appointed either by the Presidential candidate (in the case of an independent candidate) or the state affiliate of the national party. In most cases the Electors are people who will be loyal to the party and on the given day will vote for the party nominee. In rare occurrence, an Elector will cast a vote for someone other than the candidate to whom they were pledged. John Hospers & Tonie Nathan received an Electoral vote in 1972 because of a so-called “Faithless Elector” in Virginia named Roger MacBride.
In every state, except Maine and Nebraska, Electors are elected in a winner-take-all system, meaning the candidate with the most votes wins all of the Electors in a given state. Maine and Nebraska use a system where the candidate with the most votes in each Congressional district wins a single Elector and the candidate with the most votes state-wide wins the two remaining Electors. In theory a candidate could win the two state-wide Electors without winning one of the district Electors, though it has never happened. However, these are not the only available methods for choosing the members of the Electoral College, nor are they the only methods that have been used.
The US Election Atlas says, the Individual Elector “method was the most common in the nineteenth and early twentieth century.” This method of choosing Electors had a voter cast his ballot directly for the Electors pledged to a candidate instead of voting for a slate of Electors pledged to a candidate. This method “has resulted in split electors in many instances where the state-wide election was close.”
One method that has not been used, though it was proposed in Colorado in 2004, would have allocated Electors proportionally to the statewide vote count. If this method would have been in place nationally in 2000, neither George W. Bush nor Al Gore would have earned a majority of the electors, with Bush earning 259 to Gore’s 257 and 12 for Nader. It’s plausible that if the election were conducted under proportional representation the results would have been different, though predicting the vote shift is nearly impossible.
Adopting proportional allocation of Electors will not only give more voters a voice in the Electoral College, it may serve to bring down the Two-Party system and that may be the reason it has never been adopted!
In Peace, Freedom, Love & Liberty,
Darryl W. Perry
Success! Libertarians on ballot in all 50 states plus D.C., first since 1996
Today in Rhode Island, the last state where Libertarians needed to petition, the Secretary of State website confirms that Libertarians Gov. Gary Johnson and Gov. William Weld will be on the ballot this November, making it official that the ticket will be on all fifty state ballots, plus the District of Columbia.
While verbal reports from Rhode Island SOS representatives confirmed the party’s ballot access on September 12, they did not update their website until today, showing that Libertarians had turned in more than the 1,000 valid signatures needed to qualify.
The Libertarians, along with Donald Trump and Mike Pence for the Republicans, and Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine for the Democrats, are the only candidates for president and vice president who will appear on November 8 ballots in all fifty states, plus D.C.
It’s been twenty years since the Libertarian Party presidential and vice presidential nominees made the ballot in all fifty states, last achieved in 1996 by Harry Browne and his running mate, Jo Jorgensen.
“Thanks to the commitment of Libertarian Party members, donors, and volunteers, we’ve overcome the ballot access hurdles put in place by the two old parties,” said Nicholas Sarwark, Chair of the Libertarian National Committee. It took thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars, but we did it to give every American a Libertarian on their ballot so they don’t have to waste their vote on either of the two bullies the old parties nominated for President.”
“Voters were more eager to sign our petitions than ever before,” he continued. “We were helped, not only by their low opinion of the Republican and Democratic nominees, but also because so many have a positive view of the Libertarian Party.”
With every American voter able to vote for Gary Johnson, his poll numbers are more likely to hold up through Election Day. Typically, poll numbers for alternative party candidates start to drop in September. But Johnson’s have risen, signaling that 2016 will be an extraordinary year for the Libertarian Party.
The Libertarian Party was founded in 1971 and is the third largest political party in the United States. Over 15,000,000 votes were cast for Libertarian candidates in the 2012 election, and the party has experienced a surge in new memberships during the 2016 presidential election season.
The Libertarian Party seeks to expand personal freedoms, dramatically reduce taxes and government interference in the economy, and avoid meddling in overseas conflicts.
Paid for by the Libertarian National Committee
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There’s is a really, really bad cause. It is a cause that, if successful, will paralyze our governance further.
One of the protestors, Rev. Dr. Janet Edwards, a Presbyterian minister, wrote in The Huffington Post:
Organizations and individuals like me have joined together in this because we know our particular cause—mine is LGBTQ protections—will not be accomplished until our government is made functional again. The goals of Democracy Spring are the best ways to get government working again for us, the people.
As it happens, Rev. Edwards and Democracy Spring, have it exactly backwards. They naively are fighting for a cause that would make the government less functional.
Brookings senior fellow Jonathan Rauch (a dear and scary smart old friend) has definitively demonstrated that many so-called reforms, including efforts at getting Big Money out of politics, are the root cause of our government dysfunction. More of the same would prove the worst, not the best, way to “get government working again for us, the people.”
And lest Jonathan be mistaken for some kind of reactionary, he also, as the author of an iconic 2004 book, Gay Marriage, was very much at the forefront, and arguably instrumental, in bringing about same sex marriage. Rauch is an authentic radical in the best sense of that word: someone who gets to the root of things.
Back to the demerits of the protestors’ cause in a moment. Let’s linger in Democracy Spring’s political theater for just a moment longer.
The more adventurous got themselves arrested for “crowding and incommoding.” The gravity of the offense rather puts one in mind of Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant. This is the ballad of Arlo getting arrested for dumping trash and how, ironically, that arrest saves him from getting drafted into the Army.
His anti-war ballad describes him at the conscription center:
There was all kinds of mean, nasty, ugly-lookin’ people on the bench there . … On the bench, and the meanest, ugliest, nastiest one . . . the meanest Father-raper of them all . . . … and he sat down next to Me. …
He said, “What were you arrested for, kid?” and I said, “Litterin’”‘ . . . .
And they all moved away from me on the bench there, with the hairy eyeball And all kinds of mean, nasty things, till I said, “And creatin’ a nuisance . . . ” And they all came back, shook my hand, and we had a great time on the Bench ….
Just like Arlo (only less) … the perps of last week’s Capitol demonstrations paid $50 and were released. And although “crowding and incommoding” may be as contemptible to real thugs as was littering, they too succeeded in (if not actually getting booked for) creating a nuisance.
So their dignity in the eyes of true felons might well have been preserved. Their crime really was littering the minds of the audiences of CNN, NPR, USA Today, Rolling Stone, and a raft of fringe left venues with romantic pernicious nonsense. How so?
In December of 2014, progressives and Tea Partiers found common ground—not something that happens every day. Congressional leaders had attached to an omnibus spending bill a rider increasing by a factor of almost ten the amount that individuals could donate to the national parties for conventions and certain other purposes. Progressives denounced the measure as among “the most corrupting campaign finance provisions ever enacted,” a gift to special interests and plutocrats. Tea Partiers denounced the measure as “a sneaky power grab by establishment Republicans designed to undermine outside conservative groups,” a gift to incumbents and party insiders. For quite different reasons, it seems, these two antagonistic factions managed to agree that the flow of money to party professionals is a menace.
It was a small but telling instance of one of America’s oddest but most consequential political phenomena: the continuous and systematic onslaught against political machines and insiders by progressivism, populism, and libertarianism—three very different political reform movements which nonetheless all regard transactional politics as at best a necessary evil and more often as corrupt and illegitimate. This attack, though well intentioned, has badly damaged the country’s governability, a predictable result (and one accurately predicted more than fifty years ago). Fortunately, much of the damage can be undone by rediscovering political realism.
As former Fed governor Henry Wallich once observed: “Experience is the name we give to our past mistakes, reform that which we give to future ones.” The very “reforms” which Progressives have been pushing for a century, and those now – getting Big Money out of politics — for which they colorfully were demonstrating last week, are the cause of, not the cure for, dysfunctional government. Rauch’s got the goods on them.
Rauch, talking about the last wave of campaign finance restrictions:
The result was not to reduce the amount of money in politics or to reduce the influence of special interests but to drive money to unrestricted channels, such as party committees. When progressive legislation restricted those channels too, the result was to push money into so-called “independent” spending by super PACS, nonprofit organizations, billionaires, and other actors who are less accountable, less pragmatic, and less transparent than Tammany ever was. According to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, “outside spending [in Senate races] has exploded in the last three federal elections and is highly focused on competitive races. In 80 percent of competitive 2014 races, outside spenders outspent the candidates—sometimes by more than double.” In 2014, so-called dark money, whose donors are not disclosed, accounted for almost half the outside spending.
Rauch makes an airtight case — a claim I do not make lightly — that the very reforms that Progressives were demanding at the Capitol are the very stuff of which government dysfunction is made. Game Over.
Or as Saul Alinsky (a radical like me) wrote, in Reveillie For Radicals, “A Liberal is one who puts his foot down firmly on thin air.” Beware.
Want functional government? To those thousand who got themselves arrested last week for crowding and incommoding, for the several thousand who cheered them on, and for the many more who were subjected to their propaganda through the mainstream and fringe media … listen up:
Forget “Democracy Spring.” Join the newest version of the Alice’s Restaurant Anti-Massacree movement. As economist Walter Heller advised Congress in 1985: “Rise above principle and do what is right.”
What’s right? Read Rauch on Political Realism. It will put real lovers of good government onto the right track. Walk right in, it’s around the back, Just a half mile from the railroad track…. Do not be like. Democracy Spring Do not plant a foot firmly on thin air. Do not settle for less.
When she died in April 2013, the mainstream assumption was that Margaret Thatcher had been something like the kind of person Donald Trump is hoped to be. She had humbled the left. She had brought about fundamental reforms in economic policy. She had made her country strong again and respected in the outer world. This being the assumption, conservatives went into ostentatious mourning, and the leftists rejoiced.
I am aware that one of her personal friends is in this room, and I will say now, for the avoidance of the slightest doubt, that I will speak no ill of her personal character, which appears to have been singularly plain and honest for a British politician. I do not, even so, share the assumption that was general at the time of her death. I will, in the time allowed me, give my settled opinion, which is that, in no sense, was Margaret Thatcher a conservative – let alone a libertarian – hero. Rather, she was, in every sense, the midwife of the leftist police state that is modern Britain.
I begin with her economic policies. When she came to power in 1979, the British Government was running a large budget deficit. This debt was routinely monetised, and the country had known double digit inflation for much of the previous decade. The trade union movement was very strong. It used its strength to demand regular cost of living wage increases for its members, regardless of local circumstances. It also resisted structural changes in manufacturing industry without which wage increases in real terms could not be sustained. Mrs Thatcher’s solution to these problems was disastrous.
You end that kind of inflation by cutting government spending. You shut down a few ministries, and apply real cuts to the salaries of the state employees who remain. She did neither of these things. Instead, she allowed and encouraged the Chancellor of the Exchequer to raise interest rates to the point where much manufacturing industry found it impossible to borrow. A further effect was a rise in sterling on the foreign exchanges that made our exports uncompetitive. Between 1980 and 1983, about a quarter of British industry disappeared. Unemployment rose past three million, and, bearing in mind all the statistical tricks to hide the true rise, may have gone far beyond that. This unemployment did not come substantially down until the middle of the 1990s, and that fall was largely because many of the long-term unemployed were ageing, and could be moved from unemployment benefit onto their old age pensions.
The effect was to destroy the industrial working class as it had emerged in the nineteenth century. I will try not to romanticise these people. They elected and gave firm support to trade union leaders who resisted all attempts at modernisation, and who were often sympathetic to, or even in the pay of, a hostile foreign power. At the same time, the working classes were our people, and virtually the whole cost of ending the inflation was put on them. The old system of skilled and semi-skilled industrial labour had given dignity to millions of working class people, and both the financial security and general autonomy that allowed them full exercise of the freedoms associated with liberal democracy. At a stroke, they were reduced to the clients of a mean and capricious welfare system, or pushed into menial jobs without security. There was a corresponding rise in divorce, illegitimacy, various kinds of substance abuse, and in political apathy, and in superstition, and in a tendency to witch-hunting hysteria against whoever was described in the media as the monster of the day. This should not have been surprising. It is what always happens when people find that the bottom has dropped out of their world – especially when they know that the authorities have, more or less deliberately, knocked the bottom out of their world.
I appreciate that, in our movement, talk of economic equality is not popular. But, given that we are where we are, and that most actually existing élites owe their positions to less than natural merit, there is a case for avoiding policies that throw large masses of our people into pauperism. Certainly, I spent the first decades of my life in a country where inequality was diminishing, and have spent the rest in a country where it has grown increasingly obvious and accepted. I, for one, know which I preferred.
Who were the beneficiaries of these policies? Not, I tell you, the traditional entrepreneurial class. If the headline rates of income tax were cut – the standard rate from 35% to 25%, the top rates from 98% and 83% to 40% – the overall burden of tax as a percentage of gross domestic product was about the same when Margaret Thatcher left office in November 1990 as when she came in. Hardly anyone had paid the old top rates. A mix of inflation and slower rising thresholds brought many more into the new top rate. If the more obvious regulations were abolished – price controls, for example, and exchange controls – there was a steady growth of other regulations. Tax collection became increasingly rapacious and impenetrable. Health and safety laws became a serious check on business, without making people noticeably more safe or healthy at work. There was an unchecked growth of money laundering laws and, toward the end of the 1980s, of environmental protection laws.
The beneficiaries were workers of all kinds in the state sector, and workers in the service sector – above all those who worked in the City of London after the financial institutions had been transformed into globalised casinos. The problem with the service sector is that, generally speaking, it gives secure and well-paid employment to small minorities at the top. Everyone else is decidedly menial and insecure. I touch again on my point about the undesirability of economic inequality.
But I turn to the state sector. At any time, it would have been unjust to spare this from the costs of ending an evil mostly thrown up by its own growth. But the 1980s were not any time. Mrs Thatcher was always keen on identifying enemies and marking them for destruction. There is a case for this in principle. Her problem was that she consistently identified the wrong enemies. Near the top of her demonology was a group of men who had known the unemployment of the 1930s, and perhaps fought on the Communist side in the Spanish Civil War, and who thought it would be a fine thing if the supermarkets could be nationalised. These were a nuisance, especially when they also happened to be trade union leaders. But, if a nuisance, they were not an existential threat. There was another group – a much younger and more diverse group – who, because they wore suits and drank mineral water, she regarded as barely a nuisance, but who were an existential threat.
Call these people what you like – the totalitarian humanists, the cultural Marxists, the New Left, the neo-puritans, the Enemy Class: there is still no agreed name for them, though we all recognise them when we see them. As with their name, their fundamental nature remains controversial. Are they disciples of Antonio Gramsci and the Frankfurt School? These are the people they read at university, and whose terminology they use. Or are they really the latest manifestation of Anglo-American puritanism? On the one hand, Gramsci and Marcuse had no interest in regulating sex and sexuality, and would have scratched their heads at the War on Smoking. On the other, the people I am discussing have no particular belief in God. There is room for continuing debate on these people. One thing, however, is clear. During the 1980s, they were moving upward in the state sector and in education and all the other sectors funded by the State, and they were growing to dominance in the media. They had no interest in controlling the price of bread, and cared nothing about the white working class. What they wanted was to get inside our heads and to remake us as a people in their own lunatic and evil image. They would do this in the first instance by their control of education and the media. If allowed, they would do it by direct control of the State.
What else is clear is that Mrs Thatcher and her ministers did absolutely nothing to slow their colonisation of the state sector and its associated bodies.
Indeed, they did worse. By 1979, if not so fervently as the Thatcherites, I accept that the trade unions were out of control. The Thatcherite answer, however, was to place the union movement in a legal straitjacket where the older style of trade union official was unable to operate. In consequence, the unions were taken over by university graduates who knew how to make the new system work in their own interests – university graduates, I hardly need add, whose nature and opinions I have already mentioned. Too concerned with her war against Arthur Scargill and his friends – a war in which the traditional working class was collateral damage – she did all but roll out the red carpet for those who later became the friends of Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson.
Foreigners often wonder how the revolutionary changes made after 1997 by Tony Blair could have been so swift and seemingly irreversible in a country so conservative as England. My answer takes me into a brief digression on the nature of the English Constitution.
For Americans in particular, a constitution is a set of words on paper. Matters of right and wrong in government policy are discussed in terms of how it is legitimised by the explicit wording of a document written in the eighteenth century. This is for me a most alien style of argument, and that is why I find conversation with American conservatives and even libertarians often so tiresome. Properly seen, the constitution of a county emerges from the settled nature of its people. Replace the people, and, obviously, a new constitution will emerge. Over time, the concerns of even a settled people will change in line with new circumstances, and so the constitution will change.
Within this loose framework, radical or ill-considered breaks from what emerged in the past will be prevented, or perhaps slowed, by fixed constitutional rules. This, I grant, justifies much American discussion of exactly what was settled in the 1780s. At the same time, a written constitution is always open to reinterpretation. For example, the first and second sections of the American Bill of Rights appear at present to hang on who nominates the next Judge in the Supreme Court. In America, it is less important who makes the rules than who interprets them.
England has no written constitution. The long stability of our institutions rested instead on a sense of tradition, or an imagined sense of continuity with the distant past. If, in 1980, you had asked the average Englishman to justify trial by jury, his answer might have been that it was a useful check on political justice, and something about the unwisdom of allowing case-hardened judges sitting alone to decide matters of disputed fact. More likely, the justification would have been that trial by jury had existed since at least the thirteenth century – which effectively meant it had existed forever – and that abolishing it would therefore be as unwelcome and outrageous as trying to metricate the clock and the calendar. I suspect this is also the case in America. Once you get behind the verbiage about what such and such a clause of the Constitution says and what it means, you pass to an instinctive belief in not changing what has been long settled. The main difference between our countries is that we avoid the verbiage – and we maintained a free constitution, I will add, for about twice as long as America has existed.
Now the body of customary rules and assumptions and expectations that make – or made – up the English Constitution has no hold on the imagination as a set of individual parts, but as an undifferentiated mass. Everything is connected to everything else, and everything supports everything else. Trial by jury has always existed. So has the English system of weights and measures. So has the wearing of horsehair wigs in court, together with names like “bailiff” and “sheriff” and “plaintiff.” Abolish and make radical changes to any one, and the others are weakened. Make sufficiently radical changes in a short enough time, even to supposedly incidental parts of the constitution, and the fundamental parts may come to be seen as so much clutter from the past, to be cleared away in the supposed interest of fairness of efficiency. The Tory case against constitutional reform in the early nineteenth century can be expressed in one sentence by Lord Eldon: “Touch one atom, and the whole is lost.”
Before about the 1960s, however, constitutional change in Britain was either organic, in the sense that new meanings were, by unspoken consent, attached to ancient forms, or carried through with a decent regard for the unamended remainder. The genius of the Victorian reformers was that they made radical changes to the substance of the Constitution without touching the surface forms; and even the Judicature Acts of the 1870s, which were probably their most fundamental break with the past, were soon absorbed into the perception of an unchanged structure. By 1901, only legal scholars or older lawyers were aware that the courts had ever worked differently.
The Thatcher Government made a century of changes in eleven years. These were carried through with an almost gloating disregard for the proprieties, and were generally to enhance the power of the State. We were given pre-publication censorship for the first time in three hundred years, and a real War on Drugs, and ex-post facto criminal laws, and punishment without conviction or trial, and reversals of the burden of proof in criminal cases. The ancient right to peremptory challenge of jurors was abolished, together with the ancient right of an inquest jury to find a general verdict. The rights to political speech and association were curbed. The agreed rule that police officers were civilians employed and given uniforms to do what everyone else had the right to do was swept aside for the creation of an increasingly armed pro-State militia.
And, talking of militias, it was the Thatcher Government that disarmed us. The Firearms Acts 1920 and 1968 only regulated the right to keep and bear arms. So long as you knew how to fill out the right forms, and what public admissions to avoid, you could have as many guns and as much ammunition as you wanted. The Firearms Act 1988 was our first substantive step to victim disarmament.
I passed my twenties denouncing these changes. I denounced them as bad in themselves, and bad so far as they weakened the cohesion of our ancient constitution. I said they formed precedents for an even more dictatorial future government. I was called a fool and told that the changes were needed to maintain firm and efficient government. Or I was referred to the words of the neo-Marxist Martin Jacques about “a free market in a strong state.” No one paid attention to my reply that there was no free market, and that government was not made observably more efficient.
The volume and speed of change intensified after Mrs Thatcher resigned in 1990, and the Major Government was probably our most authoritarian since the 1680s. In 1997, the Blair Government came in. It found the entire Constitution already broken apart. No work of undermining was needed. This was a government predominantly of the people I have mentioned. It was the work of only three years to clear away the broken mass of our Constitution and create the new order under which we now find ourselves.
In 2001, I had lunch with an old university friend. He complained that the Blair Government was the nearest thing England had ever seen to a Jacobin revolution. I disagreed then, and I disagree now. The Blair Government was Napoleon, creating a new order to replace what had already been destroyed. The Jacobins had been the Thatcher and Major Governments. They had destroyed the ancient constitution. They were the ones who had broken what Walter Bagehot called “the cake of custom.” Every precedent of importance had been set by the Thatcher Government.
When I came out as a libertarian in 1977, I thought it reasonable to support the Conservative Party led by Margaret Thatcher. I joined the Party. I took time off my A-Level revision to campaign in the 1979 general election. I hailed the Conservative victory as a new dawn for English liberty. After much head-scratching over the next three years, I had a fresh burst of enthusiasm when the Falklands War began. I spent that war jumping up and down with a Union Flag in each hand. I believed Mrs Thatcher’s libertarian and conservative rhetoric. I was not alone. The millions who voted Conservative in 1979, 1983 and 1987 believed that the country was being saved. I was earlier than most in my disillusion, though not so early as I now feel I should have been. I also took the trouble to write it down at the time. But it is now thirty seven years since Mrs Thatcher became our Prime Minister. That is long enough to see her in perspective. She was no champion of liberty. She was no Ron Paul. Assuming he is what I am assured he is, she was no Donald Trump. She pushed through – or, on the most charitable estimate, she unwittingly fronted – the transformation of our wonderful and beloved England into a sinister foreign country.
At the beginning of my speech, I mentioned her foreign policy. That, however, would be another speech in itself. It is enough to say that, by the time she left office, she had done what every previous British Government since 1945 had carefully tried to avoid. She turned us into an American satrapy. If, before then, it had required American consent, hardly one bullet left the gun of a British soldier by 1990 but on American orders. What she called making Britain strong in the world amounted to nothing more than making us the more efficient servant of a foreign power – and, I would add, a foreign power hostile to our true interests as a nation.
Oh, and no mention of the European Union either – something else she did much to promote, before and after she became Prime Minister.
And so I do not admire Margaret Thatcher. She competes with Tony Blair for the status of our worst peacetime Prime Minister in the century since 1914. For the reasons I have explained, she may have been worse than Tony Blair. I ask you to look through what she promised and then claimed to have delivered. Look through the blast of hot air that attended her death three years ago. Look at what she did. By their fruits ye shall know them, said Christ. She was a corrupt tree bringing forth evil fruit, the bitter taste of which may never leave our mouths.
* Federal agencies made $136.7 billion in improper payments during 2015
* This was an increase of $30 billion over the improper payments made in 2013
* Worse yet — it appears your oversight is so poor that federal agencies have made wrong payments of over $1 trillion since 2003
* But somehow they’ve never managed to underpay on anything, ever!
I think that last fact is the most damning of all. Federal agencies never underpay. They always overpay. Perhaps because they really couldn’t give a damn about how they spend other people’s money. Look…
If a report like this was issued about some company or charity in the Voluntary Sector, you would scramble to impose new regulations. But because this is your mess, I predict you’ll do nothing. And that might be a good thing, because…
Everything you do is a train wreck. That’s why I’m keeping my demand simple, so you can’t mess it up…
Cut federal spending. The best way for you to waste less money is to spend less money. Do it now!
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Average insurance premiums can’t be both rising and falling. Obamacare can’t be both succeeding and failing. Some of these stories are cherry-picking the data, but which ones? You might determine that by digging into the details, but even then you would still have a problem…
Are the premiums rising or falling because of Obamacare, as the headlines claim, or for some other reason? Which brings me to my next point…
Science has authority because it delivers reproducible results. It does this by controlling variables to discover fundamental causes. But this can’t be done in something as complex as our healthcare system. Just ponder how much your life changes from moment to moment in terms of stress, diet, exercise, and a host of other factors. A true social science would have to control for all these variables, not just for you, but for all 330 million Americans.
But even then you would only be scratching the surface, because there are similar variables for doctors, hospitals and insurance companies. Plus different healthcare laws from state to state, and even county to county. So…
If insurance costs are rising or falling, is it because of Obamacare, or for some other reason or cluster of causes? Statisticians try to control for such variables mathematically. But here’s the rub…
No one is capable of running experiments on whole societies to test if reality agrees with their mathematical controls, or repeat those experiments to see if they can reproduce the results!
Thus, even when you figure out something simple, like whether average insurance premiums are rising or falling, you still can’t tell if Obamacare is the cause. But even if you could, you would still be lost because of this…
3. The headlines are comparing two statist systems, NOT a statist system vs. a free market
Even if you know that Obamacare is succeeding or failing versus the system we had before, you still won’t know if either approach is actually better than a free market. Of course…
Many will claim we once had a free market system, and that things like Medicare and Medicaid were needed to correct its flaws. Untrue. Modern medicine is only about a century old. The State has been meddling with it the whole time. To give you just one example out of many…
There were changes in tax laws in the 1940s that caused health insurance to be tied to employment. When people lost their jobs they lost their insurance too, and many couldn’t get new coverage because of pre-existing conditions. That bit of statist meddling came decades before Medicare and Medicaid. It also created some of the conditions that were used to “justify” a host of programs and reforms, such as HMOs.
There were also changes in healthcare practices, diet, and overall societal wealth. The idea that anyone could untangle these factors is simply absurd. Which brings me to my last point…
4. Those advocating a violence-based approach have the burden of proof, and that proof is inherently unavailable.
Instead, we must use persuasion rather than violence to get our way. We have to marshal evidence and account for variables. Our effort to do this might persuade some, but the evidence required to persuade everyone is inherently unavailable, for the reasons you have seen. Still…
Statist plans for society always seem to require that everyone participate. This is why they require violence to enact.
That, I think, is all you need to know.
You don’t need to know which of the above headlines are based on studies that cherry picked the evidence. You only need to know that the statist plan requires violence, and that the evidence to potentially justify that violence is inherently unavailable. What we need instead of statist violence are competing Voluntary Sector plans, none of which require everyone to participate at the point of a gun. Go forth and argue thusly.
- Perry Willis is the co-creator of the Zero Aggression Project.
– –PRESS RELEASE– –
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 09/29/16
CONTACT: Darryl W. Perry
Darryl W. Perry Announces Limited Presidential Write-In Campaign
Keene, NH – Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate, Darryl W. Perry, announced today his intention to launch a limited write-in campaign for the 2016 US Presidential Race.
When radio personality, libertarian activist, and CEO of Liberty Lobby LLC, Darryl W. Perry, embarked on his Presidential Campaign, he did so with three goals in mind: 1) to run the most libertarian presidential campaign in history; 2) to proclaim the ideas of liberty as boldly and as often as possible; and 3) to give as many people as possible the opportunity to vote for an actual libertarian in November.
After the 2016 Libertarian Party National Convention in Orlando, Florida, Perry issued a statement saying he had “accomplished two-thirds of the goals I set for my campaign. I ran the most consistent libertarian campaign to date, and I took every opportunity, including my well-received Concession Speech, to promote the ideas of liberty.”
Perry, who was officially endorsed by the NH Liberty Party at their convention in February, added, “While my original intention was to either continue my campaign through the November election or support an LP ticket with actual philosophical libertarians, the Libertarian National Convention left me emotionally drained. I will not be continuing my campaign through November.”
Since then, numerous people have asked for a way to give people the ability to vote for a philosophical libertarian for President. Due to the numerous instances of the Libertarian Party Presidential ticket running in opposition to the LP Platform, including supporting limitations of the 2nd Amendment rights of people on secret lists, new forms of taxation, and statements against freedom of association, Perry decided to file declarations of intent to be a write-in candidate in a handful of states where a slate of electors is not required. The laws in another eight states claim all write-in votes are valid. Meaning that on November 8, 2016, voters in 17 states (AL, AK, DE, IA, ID, KS, MT, NE, NH, NJ, OR, PA, RI, VT, WA, WV, WY) plus DC, will have the ability to cast a vote – albeit a write-in – for an actual libertarian, Darryl W. Perry. This means Perry potentially has access to 114 Electoral College votes.
Between now and election day, Darryl’s focus will remain at the state and local level where more opportunities exist to affect positive change. In addition, the Darryl W. Perry Presidential Campaign does not intend to raise any funds or have any expenditures towards this limited write-in campaign. Perry says, “I do not make this decision lightly, however I have the ability to not let another election cycle go by without a philosophical libertarian candidate in the general election. Finally, I encourage everyone, including members of the Libertarian Party, to follow their conscience when they cast their ballot in the Presidential election.”
Today, I am in New York, preparing to attend, in some capacity, the so-called Presidential Debate.
A vast majority of Americans (54-76%, depending on the polling firm) want Gov. Gary Johnson in the debates. Americans believe that debates are a critical opportunity to learn about their options, and they expect that these debates should be fair. Sadly, in reality, the Commission on Presidential Debates is anything but fair, and biased as ever towards the Rs and Ds.
The two old-party candidates are the most hated Presidential candidates in American history. In the days leading up to the debates, the attacks between them have become nastier and more juvenile than ever. No wonder their cronies at the Commission on Presidential Debates are so afraid to have Gov. Gary Johnson show the American people that they all have a third option on their ballot this November.
Gov. Gary Johnson has received signatures from over 1,000,000 supporters asking the Commission on Presidential Debates to let him debate. His support is national and it is growing.
Let’s hold firm. Let’s stand proudly today and remind everyone we know that this debate system is completely biased, unfair, and undemocratic. Let’s redouble our efforts to promote our candidates, today and everyday through Election Day. Let’s continue to awaken the American people to the reality of this situation and show them, that if they value liberty and justice in the slightest, then the only viable political home for them is in the Libertarian Party.
Politicians are master double-talkers. They praise something with one breath while condemning it with the next, so the disconnect can sometimes be dizzying. For example, Hillary Clinton constantly talks about how much she loves school choice, while systematically opposing it in her policy proposals. Along similar lines is President Obama’s recent op-ed on self-driving cars.
Hillary Clinton is talking tough about Wells Fargo, but it’s only to cover up her own history of cronyism.
A big part of the debate on the role of higher education in society centers around the choices students make about what to study. The function of education, it is argued, it to produce a more effective workforce, and so it has become popular to mock classes on subjects such as Lady Gaga and the Simpsons as being useless, a waste of money, and emblematic of the fickle, shallow capriciousness of the millennial generation.
Kim Jung Un has come up with the craziest variation on socialism ever: treat it like a hereditary monarchy.
Reason: Growing media chorus says presidential debates are ‘rigged’
From Matt Welch of Reason Magazine on August 30:
“Yesterday, for a second time, the Chicago Tribune editorialized in favor of letting Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson into the three presidential debates scheduled between Sept. 26 and Oct 19. ‘The hurdle in Johnson’s way,’ the editorial board correctly observed, ‘is the terms set by the private, nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.’
“Those terms, first announced last October and then further clarified two weeks ago, include averaging 15 percent in five pre-selected national polls as of ‘mid-September.’ While the CPD’s five polls have heretofore been good to Johnson, averaging 10 percent compared to an overall national average of around 8.5 percent, it’s also true that the 15 percent threshold itself is an arbitrary creation of an organization created and staffed by the Democratic and Republican parties, and is so high that, if applied retroactively (the CPD was established in 1987 and began applying the 15 percent criteria in 2000), would have excluded every third-party candidate of the last 44 years with the exception of Ross Perot in 1992. ‘American voters would benefit from hearing [Johnson’s] views,’ the Tribune concluded….”
In first, New Hampshire Union-Leader endorses Libertarian for president
Breaking with a 100-year streak of endorsing Republicans, the New Hampshire Union-Leader, the state’s newspaper of record, endorsed Libertarian Gov. Gary Johnson for president.
From the September 15 editorial:
“[W]e encourage Granite State voters disgusted by the choices they face in this fall’s presidential election to give [Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson] a close look.
“Johnson is a familiar face to New Hampshire primary junkies, having sought the GOP nomination in the 2012 First in the Nation Primary. This year, he’s running on the Libertarian ticket with another former Republican governor, Bill Weld.
“The Republican and Democratic parties nominated the two least popular candidates in American history. Johnson doesn’t have to spend much time driving up his opponents’ negatives. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump did that to themselves. Johnson’s challenge is in getting voters to know that he’s even an option.
“He needs to crack 15 percent in national polls to get on the debate stage with Clinton and Trump this fall. We hope he makes it.
“Johnson has twice as much executive experience as Clinton, and infinitely more than Trump….”
Texas Libertarian receives third major newspaper endorsement
Texas Libertarian Party candidate Mark Miller was endorsed by the San Antonio Express-News, the state’s fourth largest daily, on September 19:
“Mark Miller’s candidacy for a seat on the Texas Railroad Commission is a prime example why voters should never pull the lever just for their preferred political party.
“Miller, the Libertarian Party nominee, is the only qualified candidate for the Texas Railroad Commission, which has nothing to do with railroads. It is the regulatory authority for the oil and gas industry.
“Miller is vastly superior to the Democrat and Republican nominees for this office, neither of whom has experience working in the oil and gas industry, much less the requisite knowledge to regulate it.”
Mr. Miller has now received the endorsements of three of the largest daily newspapers in Texas that make candidate endorsements. He has also been endorsed by the Houston Chronicle and Dallas Morning News.
Washington Libertarian Darnell receives major Republican endorsements
The Michelle Darnell for State House Dist. 48 campaign got a shot in the arm this week as three prominent Republicans crossed party lines to support the Libertarian nominee. Bill Bryant, Marty McClendon, and Steve McLaughlin, the Republican nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, and commissioner of public lands respectively, have all offered their unqualified support for Darnell in her bid to become Washington’s first Libertarian state legislator.
“I deeply appreciate each of these endorsements,” Darnell said. “They prove that people from different parties can still come together in the service of our communities and our state. People are hungry for politicians to put people before parties and, in that light, I look forward to working with Washingtonians of all political stripes.”
Carl Bliesner, Darnell’s campaign manager, sees these endorsements as a springboard. He said, “These endorsements underscore Michelle’s political credibility, and we will carry and build on this credibility for the rest of the campaign.”
Balanced Rebellion’s Gary Johnson ad viewed over 23 million times online
Balanced Rebellion’s TV ad promoting Gary Johnson for president
On August 29, AdWeek described an ad released late the week prior:
“Funded by Alternative PAC, a Johnson supporter, the five-minute video promotes a movement called Balanced Rebellion, which…aims to match voters one-to-one with others who are disappointed in the major-party choices for leader of the free world….”
“[The] political ad starring ‘Dead Abe Lincoln’ [tells] voters they ‘just got screwed’ by the two-party system.
“…[C]reated on a shoestring budget by viral video mavens the Harmon Brothers, [the ad] touts Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson in a push to have the former New Mexico governor included in the upcoming presidential debates.”
The ad had hit 23,893,344 views as of Sept. 21, 2016 at 12:35 P.M. ET.
Balanced Rebellion matches disenfranchised voters who don’t want Hillary Clinton for president but can’t stand Donald Trump, with those who don’t want Trump for president but can’t stand Clinton. Each agrees to cast their vote for Gov. Gary Johnson instead, allaying their fears of being the cause of the candidate they like least being elected.
Politico: Libertarian candidate Johnson focuses on battleground states in ad blitz
From Politico on August 26:
“Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson’s campaign is spending nearly $1 million on advertising in four battleground states, plus Oregon, Utah and his home state of New Mexico, as part of a new advertising blitz.
“The new ad spending is the first indication of where Johnson is hoping to compete in the coming weeks. The former New Mexico governor’s campaign is spending $806,195 this month on radio ads in Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wisconsin, according to a media buying source.
“‘The campaign also is spending money on digital billboards as part of its advertising push,’ said Johnson campaign spokesman Joe Hunter. ‘Additional advertising is expected through Labor Day, bringing the total spending to at least $1 million,’ he said.”
Dallas Voice: Libertarian challenging Sessions for Congress
From the Dallas Voice on August 26:
“Ed Rankin has run for Congress before, but this year, he believes, some ‘interesting dynamics are lining up’ that give him a better shot at winning a seat in Congress.
“In the last election, Democrat Frank Perez received 35 percent of the vote in his bid to unseat long-time incumbent U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions. Rankin placed third in that race with 2.7 percent of the vote.
“But in this election, there’s no Democrat running. That leaves those District 32 voters unhappy with their current representation and looking for an alternative to the Republican.
“Also in the last election, Donald Trump wasn’t at the top of the ticket, Rankin points out. And this year, District 32 didn’t vote for Trump in the primary….”
Running for State Representative in the 117th Legislative District
As you know I have been fighting this fight for quite sometime now and decided a few months ago another way to make a difference is to run for office.
I will appear on the ballot as an Independent for Pennsylvania state representative in the 117th district in November.
Win, lose or draw, I will shape the conversation and topping that list will be defining what public service is supposed to be. If nothing else come out of this we must begin to make it clear that public service is not about setting yourself up for a life long job with a salary three or four times larger than what those in our community are making, and pensions and benefits befitting a royal class while we all struggle to pay increasing taxes.
Good government starts by getting back to the basics and having leaders willing to lead a conversation founded in common sense, not self interest.
I will make this happen with your help.
1. Please pass my website along, especially if you know someone in the 117th district. www.loujasikoff.com
3. We need about 50 volunteers to man the polling places on election day. This might be the hardest to accomplish and yet maybe the most important, so if you have time on November 8th please let us know.and you can do that here. https://loujasikoff.nationbuilder.com/join
NO Write in Vote for Auburn and Lee County
Libertarian candidate Gage Fenwick states, “… a vote on a ballot with one choice is no vote at all. Now there will not even be a ballot for the voters to give a stance.” Full article
There will be a committee, & anyone who wishes to help
coordinate is welcome to join.
Tannehill State Park Booth -
Come on out and spread the word that there is 3rd option.
We have someone to run the booth on the 16th;
anyone available for 15th?
Phone Bank Help!
Want to help make a difference?
Training every night at 8 pm cdt
Reply to email and inquire!
Do you have your Johnson/Weld Campaign Swag?
We have Johnson/Weld Bumper Stickers, T-shirts, and Yard signs in Birmingham, Huntsville, Montgomery, and Mobile, call or text Leigh LaChine at 205.936.9387 to arrange delivery/pick-up. Help us get more!
Ever wonder what a Libertarian World would look like?
Ever wonder how to answer objections to creating a Libertarian World?
Ever wonder if a Libertarian World could truly exist?
Here’s the thing: creating a Libertarian World is hard.
It was a lot easier centuries ago. People used to think back then AND they acted on their thoughts. Now-a-days, that does not happen not so much. For lack of a better term, people are lazy.
I used to recommend that folks stand up to their government. However, most people now are under the impression you cannot fight city hall. So, a tyrannical government rises from being the servant to be being the master.
This, of course, is due to a lack of education on what government really needs to be if it exists. Government does NOT want its people educated enough to realize that the citizens are slaves. They want to hide the sheep by allowing them to think they are the wolf because so long as people live in ignorance, they are living in bliss and will not stop someone else from controlling their life.
As I now see it, the problem is that there are thousands, if not million, of people kowtow under peer pressure instead of thinking on their own.
And over the years, the constant lies and new laws forced upon us from via government and its propaganda makes it harder, and harder, and harder, to live as a free person.
The big boys of business and government collude to hide the Master/Slave relationships they’ve developed over years in our society. They hide it all under the guise of “helping” the people and “making a better society”. When, in fact, they are manipulating and controlling the citizenry through deceit.
Learning to recognize the truth on your own, through trial and error, takes LONG time to see and understand. Most books only give you theory. Most of that theory is twisted with arguments. Simple truths are turned on their head and no longer give you a clear image of right and wrong.
If you are just getting into libertarianism, you will want to learn what it is all about fast. You will not want to wait until you are at some meeting somewhere to begin learning and understanding. Clearly, googling things will not suffice because you don’t know what you are really looking for. You want to see practical application NOW in order to make sense of the arguments that will surely come your way.
If that’s the case, you are going to love this:
I have found ONE book, to date, that makes that happen fast for beginners.
Withur We is written in a story format that walks through the steps of how to handle an overbearing government. Including all the trials and tribulations that occur as well as all the steps necessary to set up a Libertarian World, it answers all the naysayer’s questions.
Withur We is written so well that it makes it easy to understand Libertarianism and the problems presented in today’s society.
Matthew Alexander presents the world of Alistair Ashley 3nn in a fashion comparable to Ayn Rand’s John Galt. His work is destined to become a classic among freedom loving individuals like Atlas Shrugged did among business people.
See how Alistair’s world resembles our own. Learn what he does to solve the problems. Understand the frustrations and witness the resolve. Transform your life by living the same principles and stop living as a “slave”.
Withur We is a great Libertarian story that covers the facets of creating a Libertarian society. It is far greater than the single topic visions of authors like L Neil Smith. In the book Alexander’s prose is carefully constructed to lead the reader from one point to the next. Considering that he is a first time author I was amazed at the fluidity of the story and look forward to reading his next book.
Clearly, Alexander took the thinking man’s approach to his story. He starts with the introduction of a Libertarian (anarcho-capitalist) society with a Rothbardian flavor. The story surely is fairer in its presentation than the dialects of “one way only” Libertarian books that exist thus far. There is no utopian world, not everything works out as being perfect as some Libertarians like to present.
As a Libertarian myself, I might wish to see happier results with the situations presented. However, Alexander is showing a world of reality. Not everything is perfect in the world, not even our current societies. He uses those realities to present his theme of market driven economies along with the meaning and inner workings of the non-aggression principle.
I have been waiting a long time for someone to put together a book of this caliber. The wait is over. Now everyone can enjoy a good story that shows both the advantages of a Libertarian society as well as the problems surrounding us in order to create one. It is not a utopia where everyone sings kumbaya to each other. Here, the story revolves around how people interact with each other during times of peace and violence. The contrast between the two is illustrated perfectly with everyday situations that we can recognize in our own society. The conclusion that peace is the better is not shoved in your face by some zealot but is smoothly presented through what can be viewed as real life experiences.
Matthew Alexander did a masterful job of creating the world in terms that everyone can relate too. Now it is your turn to do your part and learn from his efforts. See how a single individual can make a difference. Witness how Libertarianism in action can bring about a whole new concept on life. Learn how to be free.
Whether or not you buy his views on the fragility of the current world monetary order if you like tales of real life international intrigue you’ll love anything by Jim Rickards. He is the best exponent of what then Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke bore witness to, in a House Financial Services Committee interrogation by then Rep. Ron Paul in 2011: “The reason that people hold gold is as a protection against what we call tail risks: really, really bad outcomes.”
In his rather more-than-usually-measured new book, The New Case For Gold, Rickards explains, lucidly, why and how he expects the current world monetary regime to fail. He delineates who likely will write the new “rules of the game” and the likely consequences thereof.
Drawing on history, Rickards writes:
Prior monetary collapses have not meant the end of the world. People did not go into caves and start eating canned good. Monetary collapse means that the major financial and trading powers of the time sat down around a table and re-wrote what they called the “rules of the game,” which is a shorthand expression for the operation of the international monetary system. …
Rickards then explains, masterfully, how “Gold Never Went Away,” and how “Gold is making its comeback in the world monetary system.”
Nevertheless, Rickards’ The New Case For Gold, may be preternaturally topical as a political matter. The two leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, both are on record as sympathetic to or proposing, although not aggressively campaigning on, the gold standard.
I think the Fed should get out of the business of trying to juice our economy, and simply be focused on sound money and monetary stability, ideally tied to gold.
Rickards shrewdly unpacks how and why the Federal Reserve has gone so wrong. The Fed is relying on a form of economic modeling that simply doesn’t work. Rickards himself uses, and explains, “complexity theory” modeling. And states: “The Federal Reserve, however, uses stochastic equilibrium models, which are not a good representation of how the real world works.”
What’s up with this?
Although Rickards is just a little too polite to point it out, the Fed’s modeling is the laughingstock both of Washington and Wall Street. And the New York Fed itself, has, sotto voce, declared the unreliability of the models on which its Open Market Committee makes its decisions to ease or tighten. As I wrote here:
“The market recognizes that the Fed has repeatedly erred on the optimistic side,” said Eric Lascelles, chief economist at RBC Global Asset Management. “Fool me 50 times, but not 51 times.”
Even the government’s official budget forecasters are dubious of the Fed’s own forecast.
In The New Case For Gold Rickards genially dispels, one by one, all the obsolete dogmas which anti-gold economists and commentators use to mock the gold standard. Rickards shows why the gold standard is not a “barbarous relic;” shows why there indeed is enough gold to support finance and commerce; why the gold supply grows fast enough to support world growth; how gold was not the cause of the Great Depression; why the fact that gold has no yield is a complete non sequitur; and dismisses the significance of gold’s lack of “intrinsic value.”
He then goes on to present compelling evidence that many of the world’s leading monetary authorities implicitly, at least, treat gold as — quite possibly in the future, the key — money. “If gold is so worthless, why does the United States have more than eight thousand tons? Why do Germany and the IMF keep approximately three thousand tons each? Why is China acquiring thousands of tons through stealth and Russia acquiring more than one hundred tons a year? Why is there such a scramble for gold if it has no role in the system?”
Rickards herein lays out an invaluable bill of particulars to confirm the observation that then World Bank Group president Robert Zoellick presciently made, in the FT in 2010, in The G20 must look beyond Bretton Woods II, “Although textbooks may view gold as the old money, markets are using gold as an alternative monetary asset today.”
The great Keynes elegantly wrote, in Auri Sacra Fames (“Hunger For Gold”), Sept. 1930, cheering on — well intended yet, in the long run, naïvely — the supplanting of Commodity Money, gold or silver, by Representative Money, e.g. Federal Reserve Notes.
Gold is out of sight—gone back again into the soil. But when gods are no longer seen in a yellow panoply walking the earth, we begin to rationalise them; and it is not long before there is nothing left.
Thus gold, originally stationed in heaven with his consort silver, as Sun and Moon, having first doffed his sacred attributes and come to earth as an autocrat, may next descend to the sober status of a constitutional king….
What are the prospects for believing that gold may be brought out of exile and be made a “constitutional king” in the international monetary order? Rickards, in The New Case For Gold, with 007 aplomb, makes a compelling argument as to what is likely to happen after, reframing Keynes, “there is nothing left.”
Before 1989, the prime job of libertarians was to defend actually existing capitalism. Most of us knew, at least some of the time, that this was the shadow of a genuinely free market. It delivered the goodies, and was willing to put up with a high degree of civil liberty, but worked by levelling everyone to the status of atomised worker-consumer. The most likely alternative, however to this system – an alternative pushed by a large body of domestic opinion, and supported by a hostile foreign power – was considerably worse. Then, in 1991, the Soviet Union died, and with it died old-fashioned socialism. This should have been the time when libertarians severed their connections with big business and began pushing for a genuinely free alternative.
For whatever reason, this mostly wasn’t done. It’s taken a quarter of a century for a proper exploration of these alternatives to begin. Though not myself any kind of leftist, I’ve been impressed by the work of left-libertarians like Kevin Carson. But there are more traditionalist critiques of actually existing capitalism. The main weakness of the Chesterbelloc movement was its disregard for, and even ignorance of, microeconomic theory. Controlling prices and wages really isn’t a good idea. On the other hand, the institutional arrangements within which market forces are allowed to work can take many forms, and some of these are more or less friendly to the individual or small-scale autonomy without which freedom becomes an empty formality.
Keir’s essay is a good start on exploring some of these alternatives, and I commend it most highly.
Notice the sharp recent increase in unemployment for black male teens. The sample letter below provides an explanation. It’s for our campaign to repeal the minimum wage law.
You can copy or edit the following for your personal instructions to Congress…
Data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that joblessness among black male teens increased to 40.1% in June. This is the highest increase since the recent “Great Recession.” It can be explained by the fact that a burst of minimum wage hikes was set to take effect around the country on July 1st. In other words…
Minimum wage laws are making it hard for black male teens to get starter jobs. So I’m led to wonder…
Politicians in general, and the Left in particular, harm black male teens with their policies. Do you actually care more about intentions than results? In other words, are you okay with black male teens suffering, just so you can signal your good intentions?
I feel differently. I have real compassion, not just good intentions. That’s why I oppose “work prohibition” for low-skilled and younger workers. Fix this problem! Repeal the minimum wage law.
How does one quantify freedom? Is it even possible to calculate such a thing? Over the years, several entities have collaborated in an attempt to do just that. Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world, publishes a yearly report titled “Freedom in the World” which “assesses the real-world rights and freedoms enjoyed by individuals, rather than governments or government performance per se.” Additionally, “Freedom House does not equate legal guarantees of rights with the on-the-ground fulfillment of those rights. While both laws and actual practices are factored into the ratings decisions, greater emphasis is placed on implementation.” Their findings indicate an overall decline in human freedom over the past 10 years.
The 2016 Freedom House ratings show the United States as being in a decline, currently tied at 44th in the world with Cape Verde, Costa Rica & Mauritius. Among the countries listed as “more free” than the USA, are New Zealand, Uruguay & Portugal, which should not be a surprise to those who follow freedom indexes, also besting the United States in freedom are Canada, Australia, San Marino and all five Scandinavian countries.
Maybe you want more freedom, but also want to stay in the United States. “What to do?” you ask. The Cato Institute may have the answer. Jason Sorens & William Ruger produced a new edition of the Freedom in the 50 States rankings. Sorens & Ruger write, “ the 2015–16 edition examines state and local government intervention across a wide range of policy categories — from taxation to debt, from eminent domain laws to occupational licensing, and from drug policy to educational choice.” Adding, “Although states that excel in one area of freedom — fiscal policy, regulatory policy, or personal freedom — do not always score well in the other areas of freedom, we recognize important relationships among all these dimensions of freedom.”
After crunching the numbers in 23 categories (involving 158 variables) of fiscal, regulatory & personal policy, Sorens & Ruger’s calculations determined that New Hampshire was the most free state in the United States. That’s not to say that New Hampshire is a libertarian paradise, there are still taxes and government-run schools. However, New Hampshire is metaphorical light-years ahead of Maryland, New Jersey, Hawai’i, California & New York – the five states at the bottom of the list. While New York is right below California in the rankings, that’s a little misleading as Sorens & Ruger calculated New York’s freedom ranking (-.98) to be almost twice as bad as that of California (-.50).
If these rankings tell us anything, it’s that even within what some still refer to as “The land of the free” some places have more freedom than others. The real question is, where would an independent New Hampshire rank in Freedom House’s Freedom in the World index?
In Peace, Freedom, Love & Liberty,
Darryl W. Perry
GSA Denies National Security Briefings for Johnson/Weld
For Immediate Release
September 21, 2016
Alexandria - The General Services Administration (GSA) has denied a request by the Libertarian Party to recognize Governor Gary Johnson as an eligible candidate for president under the Presidential Transition Act, thus denying him appropriate and equal access to security briefings and other relevant services provided for presidential candidates.
This puts him at a distinct disadvantage during the remainder of the campaign when questions about national security and foreign policy arise.
“This is yet another uneven playing field in the realm of American politics, ballot access being another. The Libertarian Party has cleared the ballot access hurdle, and will be on every American’s ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, yet the goalposts keep moving for political choice in this country,” stated Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark. “If another country handled their democratic process this way, our government would be outraged, and would be demanding regime change, particularly if said democracy was sitting on vast untapped oil reserves.”
Sarwark continued, “There are far more than two political ideas among the diverse American people. The Libertarian Party will continue to fight to open up the process to better ideas and uncorrupted candidates, both of which are in high demand right now.”
NBC Poll: Johnsons Is First With Independent Voters
The largest political affiliation in the country is no party at all. More than 40% of voters don’t identify with either major party.
And because of your donations, your tweets, Facebook shares, phone calls, sign waving, emails, and everything else you’ve done — a new poll from NBC shows us in FIRST place with independent voters nationwide.
Federal and state Libertarian candidates have pledged to fully restore the right of self-defense.
Federal and state Libertarian candidates have pledged to end the failed War on Drugs.
State and local Libertarian candidates have pledged to end police militarization.
State and local Libertarian candidates have pledged to end asset forfeiture, also referred to as “policing for profit.”
“Libertarians are running for office to ensure that all Americans have the right to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they’re not harming anyone else or taking their stuff,” said Nicholas Sarwark, Chair of the Libertarian National Committee. “People have a right to privacy. They have the right to defend themselves, their loved ones, and their neighbors if a perpetrator threatens to do harm. They have the right not to be treated as enemies of war; and not to have their property confiscated by their own government without probable cause of a crime.”
“This is what the Bill of Rights is all about,” he continued. “That so many Libertarian candidates have pledged to work diligently to restore those rights demonstrates their dedication to serving the best interests of all Americans.”
Click on the embedded links, above, to see the list of candidates who have taken each pledge and the rationale for each measure.
Libertarian Party: CPD decides to make their first debates irrelevant
Libertarian National Committee Chair, Nicholas Sarwark, released this statement today:
“In spite of polls showing that 54-76 percent of voters want Libertarian Gov. Gary Johnson included in debates, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced that it will not include Johnson in the September 26 debate, nor will it include Gov. William Weld in the October 4 vice presidential debate.
“They announced this today, late on a Friday afternoon, known in the spin world as the best time to release news that one wishes to bury.
“In their attempt to bolster the chances of the two most hated presidential candidates in American history, the Commission’s decision makes a mockery of their stated mission to ‘provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners.’
“The American people overwhelmingly want to find out more about Gary Johnson, the most qualified candidate for President, and the only candidate, other than the two corrupt old party bullies, who will be on the ballot in all fifty states, plus D.C., giving every single American the opportunity to vote for him.
“Not having Gov. Johnson on the stage for the first debate turns it from the Super Bowl of politics into the Pro Bowl of politics; boring and unwatchable.
“The CPD is controlled by Democrats and Republicans. The only thing worse than supporting either of their nominees is colluding against the American people to support both of them.
“The Libertarian Party will be calling on the sponsors of the CPD to withdraw their support for what has become a campaign commercial for bullies on September 26.
“The party will also continue to work around the CPD’s September 26 debate, which has become increasingly irrelevant.”
A Quinnipiac poll released this week put Johnson’s support among voters at 13%, or about 17 million Americans, more than the 13.7 million who voted for the Republican nominee in the primaries to hand him the nomination, and more than the 16.8 million who voted for the Democratic nominee to secure the Democratic nomination.
1992 presidential candidate Ross Perot was the only third party candidate ever to be permitted on the CPD-sponsored presidential debate stage. At that time, Perot was polling at 8 percent in a Times/Mirror poll, below the 9-10% where Johnson is now polling in CPD’s selected polls.
The Libertarian Party was founded in 1971 and is the third largest political party in the United States. Over 15,000,000 votes were cast for Libertarian candidates in the 2012 election, and the party has experienced a surge in new memberships during the 2016 presidential election season.
The Libertarian Party seeks to expand personal freedoms, dramatically reduce taxes and government interference in the economy, and avoid meddling in overseas conflicts.