But How Would They Get Their Mail

Posted by Jason | Posted in Economics, Government | Posted on 24-10-2010

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The other week I was debating a guy on Facebook, who was telling me how government has to provide certain services. I’m pretty sure it began because of the Tennessee fire fighters watching a house burn down. Of course as most of these arguments go, the Postal Service was brought up.

The argument he was making was that the private sector would not deliver mail because it is not profitable for them. I mentioned that I used to work at UPS whenever they first went public (this was my first IT job). I specifically remembered that UPS wanted to get into mail delivery, but of course I was told I was just flat wrong. Apparently, my own memory, the reality I was living in, is just propaganda.

I was told I was wrong because UPS and Fedex could not profitably deliver mail to certain neighborhoods. Yeah, it would work out for most New Yorkers, but how about the little people in Alaska (his term not mine)? While, I’m sure he felt good that he was looking out for the “little people”, is he really? I asked why a person in Iowa should have to subsidize mail for someone who chooses to live in Alaska. Of course that fell on deaf ears. He then proceed to tell me those who live east of Pittsburgh (where I’m from) would be lucky to get mail twice a week if left to the free market. As you can tell, now it is not whether the free market would deliver mail. It’s whether it would deliver it as frequently as some anti-free market thinker believes it should be. This puts to bed the idea that the free market couldn’t deliver mail profitably. It obviously could. It’s just a matter of how it would do it.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that some areas would only get mail once a week. Oh the horror. Bills and bulk mail only once a week. I’m in! We could even say once every two weeks. The point is this is completely arbitrary and whatever is profitable is what makes sense for everyone. If it’s unprofitable in the free market to deliver mail 6 days a week, then it’s even more unprofitable when ran by the government, which has no competition. As I’ve pointed out in my blog about profits, profit is what directs resources to the most efficient use. If UPS or Fedex could not deliver mail everyday to certain areas, it’s because those residents don’t need the mail six days a week at the cost it would take to get it there. There is nothing evil about this. These are choices that people make. They chose where they live. They choose what they can afford and want given their scarce resources.

Of course with the government in control of mail delivery, they just force those who make better choices, as far as mail delivery goes, to subsidize those who do not. Instead of a person who can be delivered to profitably being able to get the most out of their hard earned resources, say paying half of what they do for mail and using the other half to buy something else, they are forced to hand it over for someone else’s choice to live in areas where it costs more to deliver. That other 50% of their resources would have given them more for their hard work, and it would have created new production in the economy.

If someone wants to have mail delivered to some outskirt six days a week, they should pay for it. Why is this considered evil? As with most government arguments, anti-free market thinkers see everything as static. If mail isn’t delivered six days a week to every mailbox in the US, the world would collapse. This just isn’t so. If mail wasn’t delivered six days a week to some places, those people would adapt. If they really needed something, they’d pay more to have it delivered. If they didn’t need something right away, they’d let it come at regular intervals, which would be when enough mail has accumulated to justify the resources.

Also, this is the age of the internet. Why should most mail be delivered six days a week. Talk about locking yourself into an old idea and wasting resources. If the free market were allowed to deliver mail, it would have already innovated well beyond our current system. There is a good chance much of it would be paid for by advertisers since they are the ones filling most mailboxes. As far as personal mail goes, most people  use email, Facebook, text and that new innovation called the telephone to communicate. If something needs delivered urgently or someone purchases a product, they already typically use UPS and Fedex. Why? There’s a reason Dell computers don’t come through the post office. Ever see the first Ace Ventura?

There is nothing sacrosanct about mail delivery or the postal service. It is an old idea, whose time has passed. It is not economical, and actually hinders our progress. Private companies can provide everything people want as far as delivery services go. There is no service that is unprofitable that is at the same time a necessity. Profits only reflect the demand of consumers, and if there is no demand, there is no need. Unprofitable just means unwanted. I guess the best argument again the Postal Service, since it is unprofitable the way it is currently delivered, is no one wants it. Why should they be forced to have it?

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Is Our Tax System Up Side Down?

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 20-04-2010

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Yesterday on Facebook, I asked why we let politicians steal our money to then turn around and attempt to bribe us with it with tax credits, cuts and incentives. One of my newer Facebook friends then mentioned how the federal government bribes the states as well. I responded that maybe we should only be taxed by our states. Then if the feds wanted taxes, they would have to tax the states. This would cause friction between the feds and the states again, and I may just be dreaming, but I think it would cause states to tell the feds to go pound salt when they wanted to create new federal programs.

If you are a governor or state legislator, would you not want to keep your state’s tax money in your state? You are accountable to your people, and the better your state is ran, the better your chances of getting re-elected. If the feds decide to create a new entitlement program, would it improve your state? Would your people say, “Yeah, send our hard earned money to Washington. They will handle it properly.”, or would they say, “What the hell are you sending our hard earned money into that cesspool for? You know they are going to waste it. Guess I’ll be voting for your opponent next election.”

Also, wouldn’t this give “The People” more power? Wouldn’t the people basically be able to overturn federal laws by changing their state legislators? If a bunch of candidates who say, “We are not going to send your tax money to Washington for tracking down pot heads. It’s a complete waste of money.” gets elected by the people, wouldn’t the people be better represented? The states could then basically nullifying the laws each election.

OK, I can hear some of the concerns now. “Yes, but wouldn’t you just then have state legislators doing the same things as federal legislators, stealing your tax money and then bribing you with it?” The answer is yes. Here’s the catch though. With states, they have to be competitive. If one state taxes too much and promises too many programs, they’d become uncompetitive. Businesses and people would move to a more competitive state. This would force states into restraining themselves. Competition is the key, and there is no competition with the federal government.

“Yeah, yeah, but what about those states who don’t have a lot of tax payers?” Well, then they’d have to be really restrained. They’d probably be a great draw to people who want less government all around. While not completely government free, they’d be about as close as you could get, and that would entice many people. Also, if there aren’t a lot of tax payers there, then why should other tax payers have to subsidize them? If they want to live there, then let them pay to live there. Other citizens should not have a gun stuck to their head and robbed to pay for some other states government when they chose to live in a more populated state.

“What about federal laws? They would become meaningless, because states could nullify them so easily.” OK, I’m waiting for the negative consequence. This sounds great to me. This would keep the federal government down to the size it should be. It would only have the power that is specifically granted and approved by the states. For example, most states want military defense, so I’m sure they would all be willing to contribute. On the other hand though, would states have paid for our empire around the world? Would they have funded the war in Iraq? Chances are they would have not. The people would not want to waste their money, which they would have much more control over under a tax system like this. They also would not allow the federal government to steal their money to hand it off to other countries as bribes…I mean AID. I’m not saying AID would be non-existent. Maybe you have a state with a large Latino population, and they would like some of their money contributed to AID in Latin America. The beauty is the entire country is not compelled to do it. The entire country is not compelled into sending money to countries where their interests are not being represented.

Lastly, this would help both conservatives and liberals get what they want. Conservatives can migrate easily to small government, low tax states, while liberals can move to high tax, socialized states. The great thing about it is socialism could collapse on it’s own. A state that became heavily socialized would have to bear it’s own burden, and if it’s as great as the liberals tell us, then people will voluntarily move there. They would choose to live under socialism, but it could not force the productive parts of the country to subsidize it’s ideology.

I’m sure other people have contemplated this idea and have had much better dialog on it than I. It would be great to hear other people’s opinions, both pro and con. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

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Why Do Liberals Think Only Government Can Provide Essential Services?

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 14-04-2010

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Alright, so I’m on Facebook, and I see someone posted this picture. Following it was typical LOL type of comments. What really makes me LOL is how liberals think only government can handle essential services like fire protection. Do they just assume that if government ceased to exist tomorrow (I know, I’m daydreaming) that all the sudden people would stand by asking themselves who is going to put a burning house out? It’s as if the government created the idea of extinguishing a fire and is the only group of people who know how to do it.

That was my first thought. Second was the caption of “No, thanks – I’m a libertarian.” I’m a registered Republican, but I probably more align with libertarian ideas. Do these statists think libertarians are against fire departments? Do they think that if libertarians wanted no government what-so-ever, that they would not establish services to handle fire protection. If you’ve ready this post, you know fire protection could be provided by your insurance company.

If insurance companies payout based on the amount of damage done in a fire, wouldn’t they have an incentive to develop fire protection and fire fighting services? It’s only the blinded view of the statist that can’t see other options other than state power. Do they need the government to tell them how to interact with their friends, family, neighbors, etc? No, they interact based on their self interest. The same would happen with fire fighting.

INSTAPUTZ: Hehindeed..

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Time For The Middle Class To Eat The Cost of Government

Posted by Jason | Posted in Economics, Government | Posted on 19-02-2010

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When Democrats want welfare programs and Republicans want wars, ultimately the bill comes due. When asked how they are going to pay for them, they always default to their standard line, “We’re going to tax the rich.” Well, the rich are not that stupid to pay for other people’s free lunch. How do they avoid paying? Well, let’s look at how we are going to pay off the debt we have accumulated with all the government spending.

As the White House tried one more time Thursday to galvanize support from a recalcitrant Congress for a deficit commission to tackle the nation’s dangerously bloated debt, fears are growing that the United States will once again resort to printing money and ginning up inflation to resolve its debt problem.

While accelerating the printing presses could do irreversible damage to the dollar’s international reputation and the U.S. economy, history suggests that this is the way Washington will go to avoid the political pain of having to raise taxes and cut spending on popular programs such as Social Security, defense and Medicare.

Some notable economists argue that such a move would avert a debt crisis like the one confronting Greece and other European countries that have been unable to reduce spending because of strong public resistance.

Political leaders and the Federal Reserve, which is charged with printing and circulating U.S. dollars, strenuously deny that they have any intent to “inflate” out of the debt.

Nevertheless, a sign emerged this week that the prospect is increasingly becoming an issue in internal Fed deliberations.

The Fed’s most strident inflation fighter, Thomas Hoenig, president of the Fed’s Kansas City reserve bank, warned on Tuesday that “short-term political pressures” are prompting Congress to take a risky gamble by continuing to borrow at unsustainable rates rather than address the deficit problem and he expects political leaders to be “knocking at the Fed’s door” to demand that it print money to pay for the debt.

This path “inevitably leads to financial crisis,” Mr. Hoenig said, while the inflation it would spawn would threaten American living standards and destroy the independence and credibility of the Fed, whose most important job is to prevent inflation.

That’s right. How do you rob the middle class without most of them knowing you are taxing them to pay for government? You devalue the money they have. Think this isn’t a tax on the middle class? Well, prices will effect he poor as well, but they get inflation adjusted government benefits anyway. How about the rich? Well, the rich own assets, which go up with inflation. Rich people aren’t sitting around swimming through their devaluing dollars like Scrooge McDuck. They own real estate, businesses, etc. Real estate prices go up with inflation. Businesses will charge more for their products and services, so their value will go up with inflation. Now, how about the middle class? The middle class will be the ones paying this tax. Their pay will not adjust before prices increase, so their pay will be eroded and they will afford less goods and services.

Keynesians, the ruling economists of our government, believes that in a recession wages will not decrease enough to help with improving the economy. They believe this to be the case, because workers are unwilling to take less pay. I can tell you from real world experience this is not the case. Many workers have taken one or more pay cuts in our current recession to help their companies and to remain employed. The Keynesians though argue that because workers won’t take pay cuts, you must lower their pay without them knowing it. How do they do it? They devalue their pay with inflation. Just more of the government trying to manipulate the economy at our expense.

But despite some resistance and wariness at the Fed, a growing number of Wall Street gurus expect the U.S. to adopt at least an unofficial policy of growing or “inflating” out of the debt in light of Congress’ unwillingness to tackle budget deficits running at more than $1 trillion for the foreseeable future.

“Inflation was the largest factor behind debt reduction” after World War II, he said. “Growth was the second-largest factor,” with Congress making only a small contribution through modest budget restraint. The behind-the-scenes role of the Federal Reserve in accommodating faster growth and inflation through faster money creation was critical, he added

I guess this is supposed to be an example of us doing this in the past, so you should just say, “Oh, OK. If it worked then, then I guess we can do it now.” This is a horrible example though. One, we went into debt to fight the largest war the world has ever known. Currently our debt is largely frivolous spending, with more spending in the pipeline. Second, we had tremendous growth after the horrible policies of FDR were removed from the economy after the war. Imagine how fast you would be able to run, after throwing another person off your back. That is what happened to the economy. The rationing and price controls implemented during the new deal and the war, shackled the economy. When they were removed, the economy boomed. Do you see that happening now? Of course not, it will take much more inflation than it did after the war.

“The independence of the Fed is extraordinarily important. If the Congress or the administration were to begin to interfere with our monetary policy decisions, then the markets would say, wait a minute, there’s going to be more inflation because of political reasons, more inflation because the government wants the Fed to spend money in order to pay for the deficit.”

Independent my ass. The Fed was created by the congress, which means ultimately the congress can pressure them to do what they like. Watch Bernanke testify before congress, and see how often he mentions what congress tasked the Fed to do. The congress could easily change what they task them to do. There is no such thing as independence when one party has a gun.

But some analysts say the Fed undermined its own case last year by instituting programs that had the effect of helping to underwrite the Treasury’s debts.

The Fed printed money to purchase $200 billion of Treasury bonds last year in an effort to keep interest rates low and nurture an economic recovery. The rationale was that interest rates paid by consumers and businesses are linked to Treasury rates. But Fed officials ended the program in the fall, partly out of concern that it gave the appearance that the central bank was printing money to help underwrite the national debt.

Some respected economists have openly advocated an inflation strategy for reducing the debt. Kenneth Rogoff, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, has suggested a 4 percent to 6 percent inflation target for the Fed to help deal with the debt.

via Induced inflation feared as way to cut debt – Washington Times.

How many people have are getting 4 to 6 percent raises every year just to keep their same purchasing power. Of course, what this number really is is disputable. The Fed uses the Core CPI with energy, food, and housing excluded. It just so happens those are the areas where most of your money goes.

“What? No, No, there’s no inflation here. Look! The CPI says so. Nothing here to see. Get back to work. You’ll need to get some extra hours in.”

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Privatizing 911 because life is too precious to be trusted to government.

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government | Posted on 18-02-2010

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In  my post on every day socialism, I only talked about police, fire and roads. I guess I shouldn’t have left out 911 service, since I just recently had some liberal tell me not to bash socialism if I ever need to use 911. From my home town comes an example of what socialism delivers. The truth is 911 service is too critical to be entrusted to government.

In his first call to 911, Curtis Mitchell sounded calm, explaining to dispatchers that his “entire stomach [was] in pain.”

By the time his longtime girlfriend made a 10th call nearly 30 hours later, she was frantic. He wasn’t breathing. He was cold to the touch.

“Oh God, oh God,” Sharon Edge sobbed to dispatchers. “I’ve been trying to get an ambulance over here for three days.”

Paramedics arrived at their Hazelwood home as Ms. Edge tried to resuscitate the 50-year-old, but it was too late.

“I sat up here with him, watching him die,” Ms. Edge said Tuesday, after city officials apologized to her and pledged immediate changes in emergency response after Mr. Mitchell’s death on Feb. 7. “They didn’t do their jobs like they were supposed to.”

Snow-covered roads, poor communication and a 911 center deluged with more than double the average number of calls during last week’s crippling snowstorms combined to cause Mr. Mitchell’s long wait, city officials said.

Ambulances were dispatched three times on Saturday, Feb. 6, to the couple’s home in the 5100 block of narrow Chaplain Way, but couldn’t get there because of the snow. Paramedics twice asked whether Mr. Mitchell could walk to an intersection, even after he told them that he could not because he was in too much pain.

Emergency vehicles were within blocks of his home three times — once so close Ms. Edge could see the ambulance lights from her porch — but did not make contact with him. They finally reached the home on Sunday morning, Feb. 7, but Mr. Mitchell was already dead.

“We should have gotten there,” Public Safety Director Michael Huss said. “It’s that simple.”

via Hazelwood man dies after 10 calls to 911 over two days.

I know. I know. I’m going to have liberals jumping mad about privatizing. Even conservatives find privatization hard to swallow for what they believe is critical government services. Now, I am not talking about just hiring some company to do the exact same thing government does currently, although it would still be better than what we have now.

The problem with our current system is it’s a monopoly. Even worse, it’s a government monopoly. Without competition, you have no options, and because you have no options, the monopoly providing service has no incentive to provide the best service possible.

Let’s just throw some ideas out there just to drive liberals nuts. How about if you had a service that you subscribe to like you do for home security systems. Why couldn’t you have companies who provide 24/7 911 service (who knows what the number would be) that you subscribe to when you move into an area. When you move in to an area, you would research who has the best response times, pricing, etc. This way once you subscribe, you know who to call. This could just be one business. You could then have separate or combined businesses that actually provide the ambulances and do the pickups. The 911 service would either be the customer or the owner of the ambulance services. In order to maintain or increase their profits, the 911 service would make their system more efficient. They would work with ambulances the most efficient and least costly way to fulfill their contractual obligations. Their contractual obligation to their customers would be quickly organizing a response to your call for police, fire and 911 service.

So, what would drive 911 service providers to make sure they get to your house even in the snow? PROFITS. If you saw a story similar to the story above and it was under privatized 911 services, would you sign up for that providers service? If you were a current subscriber, would you switch your provider? The risk of losing business and profits would drive 911 service providers to never let what happened in the story above to happen. If it did, they would be punished by being put out of business. How is the government punished? You pay for the crappy service no matter what.

If there were multiple providers as I’m advocating here, Mrs. Mitchell could have said to hell with her current provider. She could have called a competitor and said, “I’m ready to switch if you get someone here asap.” Unfortunately for Mr. Mitchell, the biggest mistake was expecting a government agency to act as if they would be held accountable. They would have been better off if they called a taxi service, Fedex or even the local flower shop to deliver him to a hospital. He would probably still be alive today.

This has been a big story in my home town. Of course, even though it’s a government failure, local bureaucrats are using the incident for grandstanding. As I’ve said many times, you can’t lose when you are in government.

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Private roads – Random thoughts from my drive into work

Posted by Jason | Posted in Economics, Government | Posted on 09-02-2010

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The other day I posted a blog about the free market providing roads, police and fire services. You can read it here. While on my way to work this morning, I got to thinking about the roads again. Where I live, we just got a couple feet of snow, and we have more coming today. It has been 4 days since the snow came, but I still had a heck of a time getting to work. Half the roads are still covered, and now the snow is packed down and turning to ice. I’m not talking about side roads here. I’m talking about the main roads.

So, this got me thinking. How would this be treated differently if the roads were private? Well, as far as technology, let’s just say everything is the same, which if roads were private all these years, there would be much more advanced technology. I am assuming the same technology, but there would be different incentives. If you own a road, and you earn income from tolls or some other mechanism that is pay for use, you would make sure those roads were quickly cleared. If they weren’t, you’d lose money. How would you charge a toll if no one can drive on your road? Your entire business model depends on people driving on your road. You would have to get the roads cleared quickly, or suffer huge losses.

Government on the other hand doesn’t really have any great incentive to get the roads cleared. Yeah, they get around to it, but what’s the rush. They may have angry constituents, but by the time election day rolls around, that’s water under the bridge. They need a reason to justify their expanding budgets, so they can’t ignore the issue completely. On the other hand, if they take longer to clean the roads, they can say they needed more help. Then they have more reason for bigger budgets and more employees.

Again, just some thoughts I had on my way into work. This is by no means meant to be a great argument for private roads. Most people can’t comprehend how the private sector could provide roads and then bill for them, so we just stick with the crappy government system where they use road bills to rob us blind and give handouts to their buddies and union supporters.

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Everyday Socialism – Police, Fire, and Roads

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

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It seems like every time someone is defending socialism they say we already have socialism, and they bring up police, fire, roads, and schools. Now, those of you who follow my blog, know my opinion on schools.  Schools are a horrible example, if your goal is to preach the greatness of government or socialism. Of course, trying to argue against police, fire and roads is not an easy task. But hey, what’s the point of easy arguments, right?

So first, let me ask why these are considered socialist programs? They are not a redistribution of wealth? They are more like insurance for inhabitants of a neighborhood, at least the police and fire departments are. Those inhabitants pay in the form of property taxes, income taxes, sale tax, or however they chose to fund these insurance policies. Those who pay the most for them, property owners, are the ones who benefit the most from them. They protect property (supposed to anyway). Also, as far as roads go, as a neighborhood, state and country, we as citizens want to be able to get places. We want to get to the store, our family members’ houses, vacation spots, etc. We want the police and fire departments to be able to get to our house in an emergency. In order to have roads, we pay the government to make roads. Again, this is not as socialist as say welfare, universal health care, etc.

With that being said, even if these are sort of socialized, does that mean they are better than they could be if they were privatized? How about if they were never a government function in the first place? The problem is most people cannot imagine the world beyond what is constructed around them. The government steps in and takes over what the private sector used to deliver. Then when people say the government should shrink or go away, the sheeple say “yeah, but who’s going to do this, that, or the other thing.” Just imagine if you told a welfare recipient that we need to take our government back to the size talked about in the constitution. They’d say “Yeah, but who’s going to give me money to spend? Who’s going to give me my groceries?” They have forgotten that a job will give you those things.

Now, I really don’t want to get into each one of these in detail. When you bring up topics like this, people want to hammer you with questions about how you would fix some aspect of our society that they believe the government is fixing, but really the government is not. They say things like, yeah but in a free market, you’d have the ultra rich taking advantage of the rest of us, robbing us of our money. Meanwhile, under our government, the ultra rich already do that by government force. What do you think TARP, bailouts, Fed induced inflation, etc is? In the free market, at least you have a choice. The gun of government is not pointed at your head forcing your to hand you money over.

I myself cannot construct a complete system for police, fire and roads. If I could, then we should crown me King of the land, and shower me with gold. What I have done, after not believing these were possible without government, is try to think of possible ways these services could have been provided by the private sector had government no imposed it’s limited view on us. Let’s just go through some thoughts.

Police - To start, the more we force citizens to give up arms, the more police we need. An armed citizen can prevent crimes, can protect his family, and can protect his neighbors. Re-arm citizens and the need for police is greatly reduced. If everyone had a gun, do you think people would be more polite, less inclined to be violent, and commit less crime? Would they risk getting shot, since any person around them could and probably is packing?  In addition to a well armed citizenry, who is to say without government, we couldn’t have private defense agencies. With private defense agencies, there would be competition. In order to gain new customers, agencies would have to compete on price and track record. If one agency has customers being robbed, they’d lose business. If privatizing is just too hard to imagine, one could argue, that the main point of government is to secure our liberties. Since that is the case, policing does have a role in society. Then again, if we can secure our liberties without government, there would be no need for government.

Fire - This is one that socialists love to bring up. Let’s just think if we had no fire departments. Is it possible that they would come about without government force? To start, you could have companies delivering these services. You could have the exact same setup, but they could just be funded differently. It would seem to me that insurance companies could pay private fire companies a fee per insured house in a given area. This would help minimize the insurance company’s exposure. With private fire companies, you would have competition, competing on how fast they got to the fire, how contained the fire was, how much damage did the fire create, whats the cost per household for their services, and who has the best technology to fight fires.

Also, who is to say there wouldn’t be better technology if government didn’t force a certain system on society and spread the cost out amongst everyone. Maybe building materials would be much more fire retardant. If you want a certain insurance rate, you must use fire retardant materials or you must retrofit your house with some fire proofing technology. The innovation of the free market is hard to imagine, but that is because our minds are limited by the government imposed system. I’m sure many people could not have thought up some of the technologies we use in everyday life just ten years ago, but those technologies have not been suppressed by government imposed systems.

Roads - Aaaahhh, roads, what socialists believe is a modern marvel, because it creates public works. Are roads really that hard to imagine without government? Did the government invent roads? Did they not exist prior to government stealing our money to pay for them? Roads may seem hard to privatize, because they are massive. The problem is government is so ineffective, it’s hard to imagine that the roads developed by government are even efficient. They sure are not cost effective. We all have seen the group of men standing around watching just one man work. I’m sure there are many political handouts involved in roads. I can just imagine land speculation is a big thing for well connected people. They probably buy up land knowing that their political friends are going to buy it back for their new road project. Anyway, why would roads not be built if government ceased to exist tomorrow? Would we all just sit in our houses mourning over the lost of our oppressive government? I doubt it, and if there is demand for a means of travel, then their will be solutions. Again, who is to say roads are the way to go? Maybe to avoid the expensive building of roads, private innovators would have developed new traveling technology? Maybe you would have your car from “Back to the Future”. Surely, if the money was not taken out of private hands for the $400 billion road bills, that money would have been better utilized to innovate. OK, OK, I know it’s hard to imagine anything beyond our current view. So, let’s just say roads are here to stay. Who is to say they wouldn’t be built? I would think developers, if they wanted paid to develop, would build roads. If you are developing a plan of homes, don’t people need to get to those homes? If you are building a shopping plaza, don’t you want people to get to the stores? If you want people to get to your plant, office building, etc don’t you need a way for them to get there? Businesses would pay for road development. It is as simple as that. They would make sure the roads they developed were low cost and efficient. That is how the private sector works. Road projects would be steered to those who are the best at building low cost, efficient roads, because it would be paid for right out of the pockets of a developer. His profitability is effected by it.

Ok, this post is getting a little long. I just wanted to throw some thoughts up on this topic, because it’s a favorite of the statist. I myself used to think these things were in the realm of government, but someone on Mises.org’s forums asked me do I think government is more efficient or less efficient than the private sector. With that one question, I had my answer. Government is always less efficient. It does not matter what statists try to pitch. It cannot be efficient, because it requires a gun to your head to impose its vision. Efficiency does not require a gun. Efficiency is chosen freely by citizens looking to get the most out of their labors.

Hopefully, this got you thinking. I’d love to hear some ideas on how others think these services can be delivered.

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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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Venezuela rationing energy… Go figure

Posted by Jason | Posted in Economics, Government | Posted on 13-01-2010

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Another one bites the dust…..

The Venezuelan government, already facing power and water problems and a shaky economy, is including scheduled power outages nationwide as part of its ongoing electricity rationing efforts, the state-run news agency reported.

Electricity Minister Angel Rodriguez said the latest energy-saving measures are meant to prevent a power collapse that could occur if water levels in the Guri dam system continue to drop, the Bolivarian News Agency reported. Oil-rich Venezuela relies heavily on hydroelectric power, which has been hurt by drought.

Officials with the state electric utilities in Caracas, the capital, and two other western states today announced plans for four-hour outages every other day, the Associated Press reported.

Venezuela started the year with new government restrictions on power consumption, including a limit on the hours commercial centers may use the electricity grid.

via Venezuela expanding electricity rationing to include scheduled power outages nationwide | La Plaza | Los Angeles Times.

Gotta love socialism! Seriously, why did we elected a socialist again? And why do these idiots think we can make socialism work? Oh, that’s right, “Because we are Americans”. Even though we are all humans, the adjective American apparently means we can defy all historical evidence, economic science, and who knows maybe gravity.

This is what happens every time government is the decider of any economic matter. It does not matter what it is. In the US we are only prosperous to the point of which government isn’t involved in the economy. Our prosperity would be so much more if the government wasn’t involved at all, and it’s going to be so much less now that they have involved themselves so much more.

While I don’t have to say this for my regular readers, for all the new folks, the free market always allocates resources to their highest and best use. That is why you do not have shortages in something that your country has in abundance like you do in oil rich Venezuela. Anytime, and I mean anytime without exception, the government changes the way the free market functions, you get resources being allocated in a less useful way. The bottom line is that means the standard of living is decreased. Venezuela is a perfect example of standards of living being decreased by the government’s misallocation of resources. Now something as simple as energy is going to be rationed. If food rationing has started yet, it will be as will many other things. Producing and distributing of goods requires energy, so what do you think is going to happen now that energy is being rationed?

Considering how stupid governments are, I would not be surprised to see Venezuela reallocate resources to energy, and then have an abundance of energy. The only problem is because it will be centrally planned by an idiotic government (and they are all idiotic), they will have over allocated energy resources and some other resource(s) will be under allocated. This is what happens when a few people, far away from the actual transaction decide what transactions should be taking place months if not years in advance. Think about how inefficient that is. The free market on the other hand adjusts resource allocations by the second based on the constant tweaking of millions of individual transactions.

There is no doubt that America will be facing the same issues soon. Our government is centrally planning the cost of money, the housing market, the auto manufacturers, the banking industry, schooling, energy, the food supply, travel, health care and the list goes on and on. Instead of resources being steered by the end consumer and producer, Washington thinks they know who need what and how much of it they need. While we have been the frog in the increasingly hot water for probably the past 100 years, it seems Obama increasing rate of socialization has caused us to realize the waters boiling. Hopefully, we can stop it before we become Venezuela. Hopefully, the people of Venezuela realize their folly and revolt against their dictorial government. It’s their only hope, and not to far it the future it may be our only hope as well.

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Health Care Nullification

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government, Health Care | Posted on 29-12-2009

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Here’s a great post I found by way of The Daily Paul.

For the past few days, I’ve received loads of emails urging me to get active regarding the healthcare vote – most of which had a subject line similar to: “Last Chance to Stop National Healthcare!”

Well, if you believe the only way to protect your rights is by begging federal politicians to do what you want, then these emails are certainly right. The vote went as expected, and so will the next.

So if you think marching on D.C. or calling your Representatives, or threating to “throw the bums out” in 2010 or 2012 or 20-whatever, is going to further the cause of the Constitution and your liberty – you might as well get your shackles on now. Your last chance has come and gone.

But, those of you who visit this site regularly already know that the Senate’s health care vote is far from the end of things – and you also know that even when it goes into effect (which I assume some version will), it’s still not the end of the road for your freedom.

The real way to resist DC is not by begging politicians and judges in Washington to allow us to exercise our rights…it’s to exercise our rights whether they want to give us “permission” to or not.

Nullification – state-level resistance to unconstitutional federal laws – is the way forward.

When a state ‘nullifies’ a federal law, it is proclaiming that the law in question is void and inoperative, or ‘non-effective,’ within the boundaries of that state; or, in other words, not a law as far as that state is concerned.

It’s peaceful, effective, and has a long history in the American tradition. It’s been invoked in support of free speech, in opposition to war and fugitive slave laws, and more. Read more on this history here.

Regarding nullification and health care, there’s already a growing movement right now. Led by Arizona, voters in a number of states may get a chance to approve State Constitutional Amendments in 2010 that would effectively ban national health care in their states. Our sources here at the Tenth Amendment Center indicate to us that we should expect to see 20-25 states consider such legislation in 2010.

20 States resisting DC can do what calling, marching, yelling, faxing, and emailing has almost never done. Stop the feds dead in their tracks.

For example, 13 states are already defying federal marijuana prohibition, and the federal government is having such a hard time dealing with it that the Obama administration recently announced that they would no longer prioritize enforcement in states that have medical marijuana laws.

Better yet, in the last 2+ years more than 20 states have been able to effectively prevent the Real ID Act of 2005 from being implemented. How did they do that? They passed laws and resolutions refusing to comply with it. And today, it’s effectively null and void without ever being repealed by Congress or challenged in court.

While the Obama administration would like to revive it under a different name, the reality is still there – with massive state-level resistance, the federal government can be pushed back inside its constitutional box. Issue by issue, law by law, the best way to change the federal government is by resisting it on a state level.

That’s nullification at work.

Over the years, wise men and women warned us that the Constitution would never enforce itself. The time is long overdue for people to start recognizing this fact, and bring that enforcement closer to home.

The bottom line? If you want to make real change; if you want to really do something for liberty and for the Constitution…focus on local activism and your state governments.

Thomas Jefferson would be proud!

via Health Care Nullification: Things have just gotten underway | Tenth Amendment Center.

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