You May Not Have Freedom, But At Least You’ll Have Health Care…Sort Of

Posted by Jason | Posted in Health Care | Posted on 22-03-2010

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Last night, our supposed representatives passed the health care bill that says you no longer have the freedom to decide what services and products you want to buy. You have to buy what they say you have to buy. Don’t forget this is just the beginning. Government never stops growing. This bill will continue to grow and grow, and more liberty will be lost. Say goodbye to ownership of your own life, body and health decisions.

The biggest transformation of the U.S. health system in decades won approval on Capitol Hill late Sunday, the culmination of efforts by generations of Democrats to achieve near-universal health coverage.

Let’s be clear here. This isn’t the biggest transformation of the U.S. health system. This is the biggest transformation in our liberty. The health system was not made better last night. If anything, it will get progressively worse. What did happen last night is your decisions and options in health care were stripped from you hands and placed into the cold, unaccountable hands of a bureaucrat.

President Barack Obama, who staked his presidency on the health-care overhaul, helped push it toward passage with a last-minute promise to issue an executive order making clear that no money dispensed under the $940 billion bill would pay for abortions. That persuaded Rep. Bart Stupak, a holdout Michigan Democrat, to vote yes and bring at least seven colleagues with him.

Yeah, some hold out Stupak was. He was just looking for the tiniest crack to crawl through. If you were so concerned would you trust someone promising to make an executive order? Now that the bill has passed, what recourse does Stupak have? Zero.

President Obama spoke just before midnight at the White House. “At a time when the pundits said it was no longer possible, we rose above the weight of our politics,” he said in hailing the vote. “We proved that this government … still works for the people.”

Please. The government hasn’t worked for the people in my lifetime. This is nothing more than Democrats turning everyone into slaves who will keep pulling the lever for their party begging them to fix an ever worsening system. The people will forget about this bill, and when the system is getting  worse, they will fall for the Democrats cries of exploitation by insurance companies and medical companies.

Minority Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio) condemned the legislation, and said Democrats are moving against the will of the public. “Shame on this body. Shame on each and every one of you who substitutes your will and your desire above your fellow countrymen,” he said. “By our actions today we disgrace their value.”

Republicans hope to use the health overhaul to drive Democrats into the minority, citing polls that show a plurality of Americans oppose it, while Democrats believe the immediate benefits brought by the bill will work to their credit.

Hopefully, people are starting to see how this game is played. Democrats got the bill through. There will be backlash, and Republicans will win elections. The bill won’t be repealed, and eventually after Republicans steal some of our liberties for wars, Democrats will regain power again. Nothing will change. We’ll just keep marching on toward complete tyranny.

The legislation will extend health coverage to 32 million Americans now without insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It will mandate that almost every American carry health insurance—a provision that opponents are set to challenge in the courts. To help people get covered, the legislation expands Medicaid, the federal-state health program for the poor, and gives subsidies to families making as much as $88,000 a year.

If the courts up hold this, then what? I guess the government can mandate anything it wants. It can tell us how to live and what to buy in every aspect of our lives. Oh, but they are just looking out for us stupid normal people. We are all too dumb to live without the wonderful government telling us how to live properly.

The focus Sunday was largely on resolving the abortion dispute. Several Democrats, led by Rep. Stupak, had been withholding support, saying the legislation didn’t go far enough to keep federal funds from being used to pay for abortions. They praised Mr. Obama’s executive order, while Roman Catholic bishops and other antiabortion groups said it wasn’t good enough.

While I wish the bishops were opposed on the merits of the bill, at least they stuck to their guns on abortion. What they realize and what the paper doesn’t mention is executive orders mean nothing. Obama can make an executive order, and that order can be overturned by any President including Obama at any time they choose. It will be used as a political tool, just like government funding of embryonic stem cell research and government funding of overseas abortions was. Bush made executive orders and Obama overturned them. Both appeased their base.

A large swath of the business community opposed the changes, arguing the legislation was too broad and had too many taxes. “This will make us one of the highest-taxed regions in the world, and that’s going to have an impact on the appetite for people to invest in medical innovation,” said Bill Hawkins, chief executive of Medtronic Inc., which makes medical devices. He said his company could cut at least 1,000 jobs to absorb a new 2.9% excise tax on medical-device makers.

Bye bye recovery. This is definitely going to cost jobs and economic growth. The money that would have been invested else where will now be forced into health care, where it will be lost. Health care will not be improved by the increase money flowing into it. It will just be wasted by paperwork and bureaucracy.

Insurers will see the heaviest regulations, with new rules that dictate how much they can reap in profit and whom they must cover.

So much for a free market, not that it was before.

The bulk of the legislation wouldn’t take effect until 2014. Once the tax credits and Medicaid expansion are in place, most Americans will be required to carry health insurance or pay a fee, topping out at either $695 a year or 2.5% of income.

Well, I guess I should just drop my insurance and buy it when I need it. I pay almost $500/month right now. I could just pay the government $695/year and save over $5,000/year. Don’t worry though. That $695 will quickly skyrocket once they realize it has the opposite effect of what they want. Oh, and in case you thought you still had freedom, ask yourself what happens if you don’t pay that fine. Time to go to jail for you.

Employers would have to provide affordable insurance or pay a penalty of up to $3,000 per worker. Those figures assume the Senate ultimately adopts the package of changes the House approved.

Tax increases needed to finance the program would hit a range of industries, from insurers to tanning services. Over the next decade, $108 billion in new fees will fall on insurers, drug makers and medical-device companies. Families earning more than $250,000 a year will pay a higher Medicare payroll tax, and see that tax expanded to investment income such as dividends. High-value insurance plans would be hit with a 40% tax starting in 2018.

via House Passes Historic Health Bill – WSJ.com.

So we are going to improve health care by pulling $108 billion outt of the companies who create health products. That makes sense.

Also, families making over $250k/year is where this starts. That is never where it ends. That will quickly become families making over poverty income. Ask those who thought the income tax was only going to be on the rich.

Lastly, this is just hilarious. For those of you who have too much insurance, by government standards, you are going to pay a 40% tax on your insurance. That’s brilliant. In order to make sure everyone has insurance, we’ll tax people who have a lot of insurance. How long do you think that option will be around? Man I love the government. They just take away options slowly until you are left with only one. That option is government enslavement. You either submit, or you’ll be fined. Oh that fine of $695 will quickly become much larger. They can’t leave an option that you can actually take. They will raise that $695 so high, paying it won’t be an option. What is left is submit or go to jail.

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Do We Really Need Government Licensing For Professionals?

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government, Video | Posted on 16-03-2010

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John Stossel had a great episode last week on government licensed professions. Here is a short segment from the show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4T1YeG_qiE

OK, so the typical statist argument goes, “Do you want your butcher to perform surgery on you?”. Well, maybe. It depends. How many successful operations has he performed in the past? What’s his success rate? How does that compare to his competitor or a certified doctor? This argument that they lay out assumes that we are all driveling idiots, and the government in it’s infinite wisdom is here to protect us. Without the state, we’d hand a knife over to anyone to cut us open.

Professions without government licensing would operate no different than they do with licensing, except they’d have more competition and waste less time, money and energy on stupid government regulations. Ultimately, that would lead to better prices for consumers and more options.

So, what do you do now when you look for say a licensed real estate agent? Do you just go up to some stranger and say “Here’s my keys. Go sell my house.” Of course not, you ask around to people you trust asking who they recommend. Then you may look online to see if they have reviews. A perfect example is Angieslist. I just had my carpets cleaned. Did I just grab a phone book and call a random number to clean my carpets? No, I checked Angieslist, read reviews, and called for a price from those who had the best reviews. This would be no different with any profession, including doctors.

The truth is professions do like to keep out competitors. They don’t want you having the freedom to ask your neighbor who wired up his house himself to help you wire up yours. You must be forced into calling a licensed electrician. Then you must call an inspector to certify your job. Why can’t you use your neighbor? After all, it’s a free country right? Why can’t you call an inspector only if you want to make sure the electrician did his job right. This should be voluntary. Yes, you may sell your house, but the buyer should then pay an inspector to make sure they aren’t buying  a house with electrical problems. This too should be voluntary.

Now, I have nothing against voluntary associations and certifications. If doctors, attorneys or electricians what to set themselves apart from their competition, I have no problem with them forming an association and certifications. Those tell the consumer that they have gone through more training, and they are approved by the association. This is good information, but it should be voluntary. I should be able to choose between someone not a member of the association, who may not have had all the rigorous training but may be cheaper, or the certified member of an association, who I know has gone through a specific training program. I work in computers and this is how it works in our field. I don’t need to be a licensed IT consultant, but if I want to separate myself and increase my opportunities of employment, I go through certain certifications for my area of expertise. This tells potential employers that I’ve gone through certain training and was able to pass the tests that go with it. I’ve demonstrated a certain amount of knowledge. This should be the same of all professions.

The truth is there is not need for licensing. It’s just another way for governments to take you freedom and to prevent competition.

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We the Evil, Ruthless, and Uncaring People – Part 2

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 15-03-2010

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In part one of this post, I talked about how the government tells us they have to steal, kill and abuse us, because we are too selfish to take care of each other without being forced to. They must protect us from each other, and we need to trust them to wield a monopoly on force in order to have a civilized society. But is this true?  Well, in this part, I’d like to touch on some of the arguments I get from the pro-government crowd.

…Government is there to make sure there is a level playing field.

Hmmm, is this why we give subsidies to failing businesses? Is it unfair that one company might have figured out a way to make a better, cheaper widget, and in doing so is putting it’s competition out of business? Does it make sense to prop up the failing business? Does it make sense to take the money from the workers and the producers in society, who would use their money to buy other products from companies who also figured out how to make better and cheaper products, which ultimately improves all our lives, because we get more and more for less, and give that money to companies who can’t produce what we demand at the prices we demand? Does this keep a level playing field by forcing workers to hand money to failing businesses through subsidies, who ultimately don’t even provide them a product for that money?

This must be why the government gave all our tax money to Wall Street bankers. They couldn’t have a profitable company on Wall Street handing out bonuses, while the failing businesses could not. Maybe this is why they stuck a gun to the responsible bankers’ heads and told them they will take TARP money or else. They just wanted to make sure their buddies, who were completely irresponsible, didn’t have to play on the unlevel playing field that they themselves created.

Ok, Ok. This must be why they take property from the average Joe, who works his whole life for “The American Dream” of owning his own home, so they can hand it off to private developers. Remember the Kelo decision? This is where your property can be stolen from you if the government decides to give it to someone who creates more taxes. Oh, but what happened there. The private developer backed out of the deal. The homeowner had her home taken at gun point, and now the land sits vacant. Hey, just keeping a level playing field.

The truth is government is all about picking winners and losers. They aren’t about keeping a level playing field.

…Government protects us from monopolies.

OK, this is the best. We all know monopolies are just horrible right. So what’s the fix? Give the government a monopoly on the use of force. Give them a monopoly on educating our kids. Give them a monopoly on theft. I know, I know. They do it all for us.

So we constantly hear monopolies would exist if government didn’t regulate against monopolies, but I have a hard time coming up with real examples where this happens. Of course, when you point out that monopolies can’t exist without government backing, proponents of government say “well, that’s because of antitrust laws”. This just isn’t so. Trying to create a monopoly is extremely inefficient, and ultimately a bad monopoly could not last. While a company may be able to corner a market temporarily, they could not hold on to it. If they were charging too much, a competitor would see the excessive profits and decide to get into the business. Yes, they could buy up the smaller business, but that would just signal to others that they too can make money by starting a competing business and being bought up. Ultimately, this buying up of more efficient competitors to maintain an inefficient monopoly, would lead to the monopolies collapse. The only way you could have an inefficient monopoly for the long term is if it was given exclusive rights to some public resource, such as phone lines, land, subsidies, etc, which is why you can only have a monopoly when the government backs you. Think about it. Let’s say Microsoft really was a monopoly. If you haven’t noticed they are getting their butts kicked by Google. Anyway, so they are a monopoly. How can they maintain a monopoly without government? The only way they could is to produce a better product. They cannot force people to buy their product.

What was the big issue with Microsoft? Netscape claimed Microsoft was using its monopoly to stifle other web browsers. Ok, but how was the consumer harmed? The consumer got a free web browser with their computer that came with Microsoft Windows, which made them decide against downloading Netscape. So really, what Microsoft had was a more efficient distribution system that they developed with the wide adoption of their operating system. Because Netscape had a less efficient distribution system for their web browser, they were getting clobbered. Does that mean Microsoft was being monopolistic, or were they just being more efficient? Has Microsoft put competitors out of business and jacked up prices on Internet Explorer? I’m pretty sure it’s still free.

Even more proof that Microsoft is not a monopoly (and never was) is Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome and Safari. People are now downloading other browsers, because they believe Microsoft’s product isn’t up to where it should be. The cost of downloading another program and installing it is now more valued than it was when Netscape was the main competitor. These competitors have figured out a way to compete and be efficient enough to eat away at Microsoft’s market share, and consumers are the ones benefiting.

Now if you want to see the horror of real coercive monopolies, just look at our public education system, where you are forced into using the monopoly. You have to pay whether you want to use it or not. If you try to send your child to a private school, the private school still has to meet the government mandated curriculum. What we get from this monopoly is nothing but ever decreasing results.

…Government protects the children.

This has to be one of the biggest lies out there. Government could careless about your children. They only want to make them mindless zombies, so they are easier to enslave.

Look at the biggest role the government has in your child’s life, which is public schooling, and you’ll see the abuse the government lays on your child. They are trapped in a prison all day long and brainwashed by material that special interest groups want to cram down their throats. They are ushered through grade after grade many times without any progress. Oh, and you better hope your child isn’t a thinker. God forbid your child questions anything taught in class. They’ll be labeled a delinquent, smart alec or a trouble maker. We wouldn’t want any of the other children questioning what’s being taught, so little Junior better just sit there and repeat, “The Constitution is a living document. Government is there to protect us. Obama is a great president, ah huh, ah huh, ah huh.”

Also, with childhood obesity on the rise, what does the all caring government do? Well, they fill your child’s lunch tray up with fatty and sugary foods. Don’t worry though. When your child is all wound up from the sugar, they’ll tell you your child is too hyper and needs to be medicated. While they are forcing private businesses to drop  transfats from the menu, even if people freely want them, they many times exclude the public schools from the same restrictions. They really do just love the children.

Well, unless you want to abort one before the child ever has a chance to be born. Then they are all for harming children. You know, those darn kids just cost the government too much. Better they aren’t born. At least, that’s how many in government see them. But hey, if you are going to have kids anyway, once they are born, the government might as well exploit them for it’s advantage.

…Government protects you from murders and thieves.

Do they really? It seems to me the government only comes in after the murder or burglary has already been committed. As I mentioned in previous posts, the only person who can defend you and your family is you. As long as you have the right to own guns, you can protect your property and your life. After all, there is no one who cares more about your family and your property than you do. Those who give up guns in hopes that the government will save them are just making themselves easy targets.

Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have police or laws, but do we really need cameras all over the place, so you have no privacy. Do we need cops sitting on the side of the road every five feet getting their ticket quotas in? Do we need to throw millions in prison,  not because they murdered or stole, but because they decide to smoke weed instead of drink?

Do we need government to throw those evil insider traders into prison? Of course, right? This is what we’ve been brainwashed to believe. Somehow it’s evil to buy or sell a stock because you have inside information, but it’s not evil to hold onto a stock because of inside information? Buying and selling are all signals to the market, so in the example of Enron, owners of the stock might have known ahead of time that the company was a sham if insider trading was permitted. Instead, many lost the savings they had in the company, because insiders weren’t allowed to trade on that evil insider information. I guess instead of protecting us from theft, the government put laws into place to make sure the theft had to take place and was concealed until the bitter end.

…Government protects us from foreign enemies.

This is one we used to all be able to support. Unfortunately, in pursuit of empire, this is not so anymore. As I said in part 1 of this post, no nation would try to invade the US with the amount of weaponry held by the populace. If you think the Soviets got bogged down in Afghanistan and the US got bogged down in Vietnam, that would be nothing compared to what would happen if a country tried invading the US. Our foreign policy has gone from protection to empire. In this pursuit, we create enemies.

Now, I know terrorism is something that gets the blood boiling on all sides. As a recovering neocon, I used to think we were waging a just war on terrorist. The problem is who is instigating terrorism? As long as we keep telling ourselves it’s just because terrorist hate our way of life, this war will never end. Of course, that may be what the government wants. Anyway, ask yourself when terrorism against the US began. Some said it began under Carter, when the Iranians took US hostages. Was that terrorism? We were supporting a dictator in their country, and they revolted against the dictator and us. OK, then it must have been under Reagan when terrorist bombed one of our bases in Beirut. Well, this may be it, but what did Reagan do? Unlike our current policy, Reagan pulled out. He knew it was us being their that instigated the bombing. How many attacks did we have after that? I might be missing something, but I don’t recall any. Ok, so when did it really pick back up again? Well, the first attack was after the gulf war when we decided to setup bases on arab lands and not leave. We’ve had terrorist attacks ever since.

Instead of realizing it’s our bases and using those bases to support the likes of the Saudis that instigates terrorism, we let our leaders tell us it’s that we live. They hate our way of life. “What? Those bastards hate us. Here’s my money and rights government. Go get em!”

Meanwhile, if you listen to what the terrorist want to do to the US, they are achieving it. We are going to go bankrupt, just as we bankrupted the Soviet Union. History is full of empires who never learn the lessons of empire. We’re witnessing the latest. Unfortunately, it’s us.

…Government <Fill in the blank>

You can make up any excuse for the use of force, which is all government is. Everyone wants to win elections, so they can use the gun of government to impose their views on society. In a free society without government or a very small government, you would not be able to do this. You would actually have to convince your neighbor to do something. Can you image? Wow, it would be horrible to have to convince him. It’s so much easier to just stick a gun to his head.

The biggest myth of all is that we need government. If you ever want to think outside the box, there are ways for society to exist without government. Think about wars. Do you really have wars because the people want to fight. I’m guessing an Iraqi and an American would probably get a long just well if they bumped into each other in the street. What you really have wars for is government. Our government wants  their government to do something, and when it doesn’t, our government decides we are going to force them to do it. It’s no different than, if I asked my neighbor to do something, and when he said no, I went back over with a gun and stuck it to his head. Oh wait, we do that too. That’s what government is.

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Good Bye Freedom. Hello Homeland Security.

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government, Video | Posted on 14-03-2010

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I don’t know if it gets any scarier than the thought of having to go through interrogations like this just to go to some event.

I’m sure one day this will be standard operation procedure for road blocks. Better hope you don’t get flustered easily. You’ll end up being waterboarded and shipped off to Egypt for interrogation by people not held back by US law. Worst yet, maybe you’ll be added to Obama’s hit list and assassinated.

From The Daily Paul

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We the Evil, Ruthless, and Uncaring People – Part 1

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 12-03-2010

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It’s amazing how angry people get when you question government programs and regulations. Usually, they do not backup their undying faith in government. They simply use obscenities. What causes this devotion? I simply don’t get it. Government’s consistently lie to us. They only pretend they are going to keep their word during elections, and then after they are elected, they break almost every promise they make. They even have the nerve to laugh about it. Remember Nancy Pelosi and her “A lot of promises are made on the campaign trail. Hahahahaha” What? This is what inspires complete, unquestioning devotion to government?

Liberals constantly tell us about the selfishness of their fellowmen. We are supposed to believe that neighbors would sit idly by watching their neighbor starving to death, so the government in all it’s compassion must steal everyone’s money to make sure that doesn’t happen. We are told that without the government, it would be complete chaos. People would be killing each other in the streets. Without regulation, companies would be killing their customers with poisons and crappy products. Without welfare, people would sleep in the streets dying beneath our feet as we all just walk by not caring. Charity is fine, but there just isn’t enough caring people to donate enough to take care of the poor. Doctors aren’t compassionate enough to provide low cost or free services to the poor. Basically, we are all just a bunch of barbarians, and luckily for us the government keeps us civilized.

Really?

Were we really worse off when we had less government? Were people less friendly and compassionate 100 years ago when government was smaller? Were families and neighbors further apart than they are now? Did charities and foundations not get enough donations to create library systems, universities, and the like? Were people killing each other left and right? Were companies killing people with poisons and death contraptions? These are all just scare tactics to make us beg for more government. We are told we need government to protect us from each other. In order to protect us, we surrender our rights to the government. We grant them the sole right to use force against us. We allow the government to steal, kill and harass us.

All these claims are no different than the neocons’ claims that we need to be deathly afraid of arabs and communists. This too is just to scare us and have us begging for more government. There is no way Muslims could conquer a free people such as those in the United States. The Soviet Union couldn’t have conquered the US even if all the dominoes fell. As long as a people have the right to bear arms and value freedom, they will remain free. I’d love to see a country try to invade the US with 200 million civilian guns and another 100 million professional arms in use. The only way this is possible is if our own government takes our guns from us. Of course, if they do that, then they’d really claim only they can protect us.

So what is the truth then? The truth is the government lies, cheats and steals to get more power. It could care less about protecting or providing for us. It is constantly looking for angles to exploit. Then it creates massive media campaigns to convince everyone they are in danger and the government alone is the only one who can fix the problem. How do they propose to fix the problem? Do they really have anything to offer? No, of course not. We all know the government produces nothing. It’s no different than the mob. The mob didn’t produce anything. It just stole production from others, and then redistributed it. It takes resources at the point of a gun, and then uses it to purchase more power for itself. Then the government and all their sycophants tell us they are doing it to protect us.

Can someone tell me why we are supposedly a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but then we are told the people are too uncaring, ruthless and selfish? We are supposed to believe that in general the people won’t take care of their friends, families and neighbors, because they are too selfish. The people would exploit each other. They would kill each other and steal from each other. But then we are told we are governed by the people through democracy. How can we trust this democracy if the people are so evil to begin with? How can we trust our elected officials if they are us, and they are also selfish, uncaring, ruthless people.

The government is more like an abusive spouse who tells their victims they are just keeping them in line. Without them, the victim would have nothing. They couldn’t fend for themselves. The abusive spouse is really protecting them. As citizens we collectively buy into the abuse. “Yes, I know he/she beats me, but I really deserve it. I was wrong.”

Really? Wake up already. The government needs us. We don’t need the government. The government needs us so they can siphon money and production from the producers in society to fill the pockets of a select few. Does TARP and bailouts ring a bell? In order to not be so obvious about it, they buy off the poor in society. They expand the number of poor through ever increasing entitlements in order enslave enough of us, so that they always have a big enough voting block to get more power. Like the abusive spouse, they tell those who get entitlements that only they will provide for them. They’d have nothing without the government. Their fellow man would neither offer them a job or a meal.

So, I can hear it now. The defenders of big government immediately say businesses and the powerful would run roughshod over all of us in order to gain more power and wealth. Hmmm, I hate to say it, but that sounds very close to what government does. Let’s just take a few of these “government is good” claims and see if they really add up.

….to be continued

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Say Goodbye To Internet Freedom

Posted by Jason | Posted in Technology | Posted on 05-03-2010

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More and more government seems to be moving in on the freedom we have on the internet. Obama is pushing net neutraliy as a way to protect us from the evils of the companies who have already brought us ever increasing broadband and services. The FTC has begun cracking down on bloggers saying they have to disclose their relationships before blogging about a product. Police want warrantless access to your online data.

Now, the government is going to claim they need to protect us from internet attacks which have been around since the beginning of the internet. Oh no worries though, Microsoft, a company who’s having problems keeping up in the online arena, is backing the government.

A top Microsoft executive on Tuesday suggested a broad Internet tax to help defray the costs associated with computer security breaches and vast Internet attacks, according to reports. Speaking at a security conference in San Francisco, Microsoft Vice President for Trustworthy Computing Scott Charney pitched the Web usage fee as one way to subsidize efforts to combat emerging cyber threats — a costly venture, he said, but one that had vast community benefits.”You could say it’s a public safety issue and do it with general taxation,” Charney noted.

via Microsoft exec pitches Internet usage tax to pay for cybersecurity – The Hill’s Hillicon Valley.

Ok, I’ve always stuck up for Microsoft as far as monopoly claims go, but now I see why everyone hates them. Here is a company, who’s founder has more wealth than many countries, and they are saying the public should have more money stolen from them to “defray the costs associated with computer security breaches”, which are probably made possible by the crappy software they write. Maybe we’d all be better off if we got Apples.

The public should not have to defray the cost for corporate America. Businesses should consider security as cost of business, which they have up until now. The customer ultimately pays, but they are the ones benefitting from security measures. If my bank puts in security software and hires security professionals, am I not the one benefiting? Why should the guy down the street defray my bank’s cost to which he is not a customer?

So what happens once the government taxes the internet and internet security becomes a public good? Well, what happens with everything the government gets involved it. It basically turns to garbage (keeping it clean here). Innovation is stifled. Costs skyrocket.

It is not hard to see what’s coming. The writing is on the wall. Governments absolutely hate freedom. If they see people having too much freedom, they must get worried that the people are consipring against their power. So they do whatever they can to insert themselves into this freedomfest to make sure the people don’t realize that “Hey, this freedom thing works without the government. What if the rest of our lives were like this? ”

But, as I said, the writing is on the wall.

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Free People or Serfs?

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 13-02-2010

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Previously I posted about government created unemployment and gave an example of how they create unemployment by impeding two free people from free exchange. Well, today the Wall Street Journal has some real world examples from people who are running businesses out of their houses….well trying to anyway. Many of these people were either laid off or had a business else where, but could not afford to keep a rented space. All of them though should be commended for taking responsibility for themselves and engaging in the free market to support themselves instead of becoming government welfare recipients. Instead they are faced with harassment by busy body government officials.

The recession is causing a growing number of people to venture into home businesses, a boost for the economy but a nuisance for neighbors.

As jobless people trade their desks for kitchen tables, or as businesses reduce costs by giving up commercial storefronts, cities and states are grappling with problems caused by a rise in home businesses such as traffic and noise.

Thanks for the Wall Street Journal framing the issue to make it seem like government is trying to prevent the complete chaos working people make at home. I work at home and know many people that do, and guess what? I don’t know anyone who creates traffic and noise. Cities and states aren’t grappling with these issues. They are grappling with not being able to milk higher taxes out of commercial properties and not being able to force people to run businesses where they want them to run businesses. It goes against their “master plan”.

Officials in Nashville, Tenn., are discussing ways to loosen restrictions governing the operation of home businesses as high unemployment prods a growing number of entrepreneurs into offering everything from hair perms to piano lessons out of their living rooms. (Oh the horror. The traffic and noise from piano lessons and hair perms must be horrendous!)

Nashville’s planning code allows home-based businesses as long as no customers come to the house—a rule that is causing problems for front-porch barbers and others. City officials are now drafting less-stringent zoning to bring before the planning commission this month.

Oh my world. The government is telling people who can come to their house, that you supposedly own and have property rights to. How does the government know if its a customer or a friend? I guess that just means they need more code enforcers to find out. This must be one of the ways government looks out for the little guy. Obviously, these people must be rich and greedy. Who do they think they are trying to earn money giving haircuts out of their house. Damn “Big Business”. They are evil.

Unemployment in the Greater Nashville area hit 9.4% in December, compared with 6.5% a year earlier. Mr. Bernhardt estimates there are now 14,000 business with licenses that are operating illegally because they are located in residential areas, in violation of zoning codes.

Sounds like we have at least 14,000 criminals on the loose. Better hire more cops and build more prisons. Nah, they can just fine them out of their profits. Like the mob, if they want protection, they have to pay. More proof that chances are you break some law everyday, and the only real role of government now is to make everyone law breakers. These people must be a threat to society for the crime of trying to put food on the table. The moral decay of our society is shocking. Don’t you know if there is a law, it means you are immoral if you break it?

Along with the rising number of home shops come complaints. Code-enforcement officers in Gilbert, Ariz., 20 miles outside Phoenix, received a complaint in October about a fishy smell and flies around a town garage.

The “guy had 50 40-gallon fish tanks full of live fish that he delivered to pet stores,” recalled Michael Milillo, the town’s senior planner. The resident said he previously had a warehouse for his fish, but that to reduce costs in the downturn, he moved them to his garage, according to Mr. Milillo.

While Gilbert does allow home-based businesses, code officers thought the fish entrepreneur was running a home-based warehouse, which isn’t permitted. They moved to close it, but a town zoning board narrowly agreed—over Mr. Milillo’s objections—to allow the business, partly based on the resident’s claims that the storage was a temporary solution in a rough economic climate, Mr. Milillo said.

The resident’s employer, Tropaquatics Inc., declined to make him available for an interview.

Not only are municipalities becoming sympathetic to home-business owners, but many neighbors are, too. While one neighbor spoke at the Gilbert zoning meeting against the fish operation, 10 others said it wasn’t causing any problems and should be allowed to remain given the tough times.

“Seeing everything they’ve gone through with having to move from a big warehouse because of the economy and bring their business back into their garage—that’s the only thing that’s kept them alive. If that’s what they need to do to keep the business thriving, and it’s not endangering my family or causing any unwanted stress on our house, than I am all for it,” said neighbor Matthew Tidwell, a 34-year-old corporate-relations representative.

Go figure, one busy body stirring up trouble. The surprising thing was 10 people coming to stick up for the guy. Usually only the busy body has time to go to the zoning meetings. Other people actually have work to do. I guess the busy body couldn’t just go over to the guys garage and talk to him, ask him if there is a way to minimize the smell, or how long he plans on being in the garage. Maybe he did, but considering how busy bodies operate, I doubt it. Instead he figured, he’d use the gun of government to point it as his neighbor, who is just trying to get by. Apparently, it would be better for the guy to go out of business and live off the state.

Ok, time for the most horrendous case of a home owner causing such chaos with her evil business.

In Nashville, the lightning rod was a beauty parlor. Code-enforcement officers paid a visit to Dot Moon, a 61-year-old woman who, with her daughter, runs a shop with one chair and a tanning bed out of her detached garage. A small sign with a pair of scissors and a comb and the name “Crystal’s Hair and Tans” hangs from her mailbox.

Ms. Moon said she was told a few months ago that she was in violation of city codes because customers came to the house. “We don’t understand why they are picking on us,” she said.

Mr. Bernhardt, the city planning director, said that under current city rules, “it’s impossible to have a hair salon” in a home in a residential neighborhood. He said cases such as Ms. Moon’s are being considered as city officials look at loosening the rules.

Nashville Councilman Bruce Stanley proposed a narrow expansion of the city code to allow for home beauty parlors. Nashville’s Planning Commission rejected that idea in January as being unfair to other businesses. But realizing that more and more of these living-room operations are cropping up, the City Council has since begun work on broader rules for home-based businesses in residential areas.

Oh the traffic and noise must have been overbearing. I can only imagine who much traffic and noise was generated by this gigantic 1 chair and 1 tanning bed salon. Oh and the blight of the neighborhood must have been horrible with the small sign hanging on the mailbox.

Sara Marie Jenkins, who is 26 and designs bridal gowns in her home studio in Nashville, says “financially it helps a lot to work at home in this economy—not having to pay rent for a space or pay a second electric bill.”

Sara… Sara….Sara, but who are you to decide what is financially in your best interest. You are just a serf, and should do what your overlords tell you to do. Your family’s well being is not of concern to their master plan for the community. If you have to live off the state, that is better than you having a business that provides for you financially and provides value through your products and services to your community. Oh Sara, so naive you are.

via States Revisit Home-Businesses Rules – WSJ.com.

Ok, I probably tried putting too much sarcasm into text, which usually doesn’t come across right when I do it. Anyway, when are people going to wake up and realize we do not need government telling us how to live every aspect of our lives. Not only does it create unemployment, but it creates a community of adversaries. Do you think communities were closer when we had less government, and they worked problems out themselves; or do you think they are closer and more involved with each other, now that the government gun is laying around for everyone to try and get a hold of to impose their wishes on their neighbors?

We also need to wake up to realize most government rules are idiotic. They should be ignored by the masses. Saying you cannot have a business in your house goes against all three components mentioned by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence,  as well as the edited out part of “right to property”.  Liberty is taken away by every government rule and action. Pursuit of happiness is taken away if you cannot pursue commerce to put food on the table, and life is hard to have a right to when you can’t provide for yourself. Oh sure, the state can take care of you, but do you then have control of you life? Do you have a right to your life or does the state?

Last is “right to property”. This has been taken long ago with local property taxes and zoning codes. Like I said, you are a renter of your land and you will agree to pay on time or pay a late fee, and you will only use “your” property based on your lease agreement, which unlike a regular leases changes at the whim of local zoning boards and the like.

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Nick Gillespie debate highlights lost freedoms with government health care

Posted by Jason | Posted in Health Care, Video | Posted on 31-01-2010

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Nick Gillespie was on Stossel and got into a heated exchange with a lady who thinks she knows how to live your life better than you do. Underlying her entire argument is that you do not have the right to choose what to eat or what is best for you. You gave up that right when our government decided they had a role in our health care system. While food is the main focus, if we have socialized health care for all, this will spread into every aspect of our lives.

YouTube – Nick Gillespie pwns Blond Health Nazi.

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“What Would It Take For Americans to Realize They Are Not Free?”

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 29-01-2010

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Just the other day I was having a discussion with my dad, where I said I don’t trust either party. I  said both parties want to take our liberties and control us. They are both bought and paid for by some special interest group. To this, my dad said I was becoming too cynical. In typical Neo-con fashion, he told me how evil the Democrats are and how Republicans are so much better.

A couple days later, I come across Bob Murphy’s post highlighting how George W. Bush and Barack Obama, a Republican and a “anti-war” Democrat, can care less about our Constitution. Despite the Bill of Rights, they believe all they have to do is label someone a terrorist, and they have the right to imprison the person without cause or trial. Now to take it one step further, they have the right to kill that person (could be you one day) based on their judgement alone. All they have to do is label you a terrorist or say you are helping terrorists and put you on their “hit list”. Considering how horrible they are at the no fly list, I hate to see how this list pans out.

Here’s Bob’s post.

What Would It Take For Americans to Realize They Are Not Free?

I was having lunch with someone today (name being withheld in case he doesn’t want this broadcast) and we were musing over the contradiction in the average American’s mind. On the one hand, if you asked Americans to rate professions in terms of their morality or decency, politicians would come in at or near dead last, and if they beat out lawyers, that wouldn’t be much help–most politicians are lawyers.

But at the same time, when it comes to the life-and-death decisions that U.S. politicians make, most Americans give them the benefit of the doubt–often ridiculously so. Sure, they might have made a mistake in, say, invading Iraq, but it really was always about protecting Americans and freeing Iraqis from a brutal thug. The CIA guys just goofed, that’s all.

So anyway, my buddy asked something like, “At what point are Americans going to wake up and realize they can’t trust their government?”

My answer, “When it’s too late for them to do anything about it.”

Note that I wasn’t just trying to say something dramatic, at which point the snare drums kick in and lightning cracks in the background. I meant it quite seriously: The people in charge have to keep up appearances so long as it’s necessary for the overwhelming majority to actually trust that the system basically works. In contrast, in more totalitarian regimes, a large portion of the population knows full well that the rulers are evil, and they are kept in place by fear and helplessness. (They also might think there are no better alternatives.)

So with that in mind, let’s quote from today’s post by Glenn Greenwald. We have already learned that Americans won’t revolt–heck, won’t even vote against an incumbent–just because of worldwide CIA secret prisons and systematic torture of POWs. OK fine. What about this?

The Washington Post’s Dana Priest today reports that “U.S. military teams and intelligence agencies are deeply involved in secret joint operations with Yemeni troops who in the past six weeks have killed scores of people.”…

But buried in Priest’s article is her revelation that American citizens are now being placed on a secret “hit list” of people whom the President has personally authorized to be killed…

Read the full post at Free Advice: What Would It Take For Americans to Realize They Are Not Free?.

So back to the question Bob posed in his title, “What Would It Take For Americans to Realize They Are Not Free?”  I am hoping that people are waking up to what our government has become, a corrupt, over grown, oppressive government of the bankers, by the bankers, and for the bankers.

It’s funny how people like my dad (his counterparts on the left do the same thing) will ascribe the most horrendous intentions to Democrats (some are justified), but he does not see the intentions of the Republicans. When I mentioned this article to him today and how easy it would be to label anyone a terrorist, he said, “Yeah, I can’t see that ever really happening.” Do you think it is just coincidence that our government found the perfect boogie man to get US citizens to give up their liberty, condone the suspension of habeas corpus and now kill off Americans at the President’s behest?

Like I said in my post about us living in the real world Matrix, this Democrat vs Republican scam is setup to get people to ignore what is really happening. By cheering on your team, you become too invested in winning to notice your team has the same intentions. Both teams want to take your liberty, enslave you to Washington and Wall Street, and all the while make you think it’s your choice.

So are you really free just because you get to choose between one party or the other, but you get the same result from both? Imagine if I said the following to you.  “You are free, baby. I don’t want to take your rights away. You are free to choose. I don’t care what three days a week you work for me, it’s your choice. Oh, and don’t worry about this gun pointed at you. It’s here to protect you from those evil people trying to harm what we got going on here. You sure are a lucky sum bitch to have me here protecting you like this. Ok, decide which days and get to work. I know I had to shoot one of our workers, but he was helping those evil people. I just know it. It was completely justified. Trust me.”

Would you still think you are free?

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The Misesian Vision by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Posted by Jason | Posted in Economics, Government | Posted on 26-01-2010

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This is a must read. Click the link at the end to read the entire article. It is definitely worth the time.

I’m finding it ever more difficult to describe to people the kind of world that the Mises Institute would like to see, with the type of political order that Mises and the entire classical-liberal tradition believed would be most beneficial for mankind.

It would appear that the more liberty we lose, the less people are able to imagine how liberty might work. It is a fascinating thing to behold.

* People can no longer imagine a world in which we could be secure without massive invasions of our privacy at every step, and even being strip-searched before boarding airplanes, even though private institutions manage much greater security without any invasions of human rights;

* People can no longer remember how a true free market in medical care would work, even though all the problems of the current system were created by government interventions in the first place;

* People imagine that we need 700 military bases around the world, and endless wars in the Middle East, for “security,” though safe Switzerland doesn’t;

* People think it is insane to think of life without central banks, even though they are modern inventions that have destroyed currency after currency;

* Even meddlesome agencies like the Consumer Products Safety Commission or the Federal Trade Commission strike most people as absolutely essential, even though it is not they who catch the thieves and frauds, but private institutions;

* The idea of privatizing roads or water supplies sounds outlandish, even though we have a long history of both;

* People even wonder how anyone would be educated in the absence of public schools, as if markets themselves didn’t create in America the world’s most literate society in the 18th and 19th centuries.

This list could go on and on. But the problem is that the capacity to imagine freedom – the very source of life for civilization and humanity itself – is being eroded in our society and culture. The less freedom we have, the less people are able to imagine what freedom feels like, and therefore the less they are willing to fight for its restoration.

This has profoundly affected the political culture. We’ve lived through regime after regime, since at least the 1930s, in which the word freedom has been a rhetorical principle only, even as each new regime has taken away ever more freedom.

Now we have a president who doesn’t even bother to pay lip service to the idea of freedom. In fact, I don’t think that the idea has occurred to Obama at all. If the idea of freedom has occurred to him, he must have rejected it as dangerous, or unfair, or unequal, or irresponsible, or something along those lines.

To him, and to many Americans, the goal of government is to be an extension of the personal values of those in charge. I saw a speech in which Obama was making a pitch for national service, the ghastly idea that government should steal 2 years of every young person&apos;s life for slave labor and to inculcate loyalty to leviathan, with no concerns about setting back a young person’s professional and personal life.

How did Obama justify his support of this idea? He said that when he was a young man, he learned important values from his period of community service. It helped form him and shape him. It helped him understand the troubles of others and think outside his own narrow experience.

Well, I’m happy for him. But he chose this path voluntarily. It is a gigantic leap to go from personal experience to forcing a vicious national plan on the entire country. His presumption here is really taken from the playbook of the totalitarian state: the father-leader will guide his children-citizens in the paths of righteousness, so that they all will become god like the leader himself.

To me, this comment illustrates one of two things. It could show that Obama is a potential dictator in the mold of Stalin, Hitler, and Mao, for the presumptions he puts on exhibit here are just as frightening as any imagined by the worst tyrants in human history. Or, more plausibly, it may be an illustration of Hannah Arendt’s view that totalitarianism is merely an application of the principle of the “banality of evil.”

With this phrase, Arendt meant to draw attention to how people misunderstand the origin and nature of evil regimes. Evil regimes are not always the product of fanatics, paranoids, and sociopaths, though, of course, power breeds fanaticism, paranoia, and sociopathology. Instead, the total state can be built by ordinary people who accept a wrong premise concerning the role of the state in society.

If the role of the state is to ferret out evil thoughts and bad ideas, it must necessarily become totalitarian. If the goal of the state is that all citizens must come to hold the same values as the great leader, whether economic, moral, or cultural, the state must necessarily become totalitarian. If the people are led to believe that scarce resources are best channeled in a direction that producers and consumers would not choose on their own, the result must necessarily be central planning.

via The Misesian Vision by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr..

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