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News

California Leftists Want To Control How You Eat

Indri Schaelicke | United States

In an effort to promote the local restaurant industry, the city of San Francisco, California is considering adopting a new law that prohibits employees of large tech companies from eating in cafeterias on their campus. The proposed law will achieve this by banning companies from maintaining on-site cafeterias, forcing employees to bring their own food from home or leave the corporate campus to get lunch. Proponents say that enacting this legislation will help the restaurants in the area, which have lost business as companies build on-site cafeterias, to recover and thrive again.

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Months After Damage Began, Trump Reverses Course on Tariffs

By Indri Schaelicke | United States

For months now, it seems that everyone but the president himself has been shouting about the harms of protectionist trade policies. Despite all the outrage, though, the President has stuck to his plan, slapping China and the EU with high tariffs.

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YAL’s Strategy to Elect Liberty Minded Candidates

By Kenneth Casey | United States

There’s no doubt that Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign brought the message of libertarianism and limited government to the mainstream. Some of the biggest support for his grassroots candidacy came from young people on college campuses. When his campaign concluded, the organization was founded with the intent of promoting liberty and educating students about libertarianism.

Since the formation of the organization ten years ago, members have engaged in many activities to promote the cause of liberty, such as protesting issues like wars and the national debt. They also host prominent libertarians to speak on college campuses such as Ron and Rand Paul, Andrew Napolitano, Justin Amash, among others.

The organization has done a great job of educating students unfamiliar to the idea of liberty and limited government, but they haven’t really been involved in the political electoral process in the past, which now they’re looking to change.

The organization has launched an effort to elect more liberty-minded individuals to state legislators across the country titled Operation Win At The Door through their 501(c)(4) arm.

According to their website, the reason why they are focusing on State Legislator races instead of Federal Legislative races because they believe it is more valuable to “build a pipeline, or bench, of activists to serve their communities at the local level.” Doing this, they believe, will in turn “naturally create an upward mobility of state-based leaders running for federal office, reinforcing the likes of Senator Rand Paul, Congressman Justin Amash, and Congressman Thomas Massie.”

They require candidates to take a survey which can be found here in order to determine whether or not the candidate’s positions and values coincide with that of Libertarianism. Among some of the questions asked include taxes, spending, state pensions, civil asset forfeiture, guns rights, foreign policy, drug reform, regulations, among other things. Viability is another thing they take into consideration, as they will support candidates who believe in their principles and have a sensible path to victory.

So far, 3 candidates supported by Young Americans for Liberty have won their state legislative primaries: Mayes Middleton in TX-23 who beat an incumbent establishment candidate, Savannah Maddox in Kentucky HD-61, and incumbent Matt Gurtler in Georga HD-08. Between the three, YAL was able to knock on an average of 31,236 doors for each candidate.

Along with the three victories, three candidates supported by the initiative have also lost their primaries so far. Thomas McNutt lost a runoff election in Texas HD-08, garnering 43% of the vote. Richard Bunce lost his primary in Nevada AD-22, also receiving about 43% of the vote. Britton Wolf unsuccessfully challenged an incumbent in South Carolina HD-71, collecting 25% of the vote, losing by around 2,000 votes.

The plan to help their selected candidates is by sending a group of students (around 10) to knock on around 30,000-35,000 doors in candidate’s districts. Many studies have shown door-to-door knocking is way better for candidate name recognition than paid ads can, and considering the average amount of votes in the primary’s of the three YAL candidates that won their races was 9,287, knocking on around 30,000 doors makes a significant impact. The end goal is to get 250 YAL endorsed candidates elected to State Legislators across the country by 2023.

Although most of the candidates that have earned support of the organization have been Republicans, Cliff Maloney, the president of Young Americans for Liberty, said in an interview with Reason that the organization is open to supporting any state legislative candidates that hold liberty principles dear and have a viable path to victory, whether they’re Republicans, Libertarians, or even Democrats. At the Libertarian Party Convention, Cliff recently announced that the group would support Laura Ebke, a Libertarian State Senator from Nebraska’s 32nd district, for re-election. She will go up against a “nonpartisan” labeled candidate supported by Nebraska’s establishment GOP governor in the general election in November.

Other candidates YAL have endorsed for the 2018 election cycle with upcoming primaries include:

  • Michael Fulbright, Tennessee HD-64 – Primary Election Date: August 2nd
  • Dirk Deaton, Missouri HD-159 – Primary Election Date: August 7th
  • Robert Stokes, Missouri HD-162 – Primary Election Date: August 7th
  • Steve Johnson, Michigan HD-72 – Primary Election Date: August 7th
  • Erik Mortensen, Minnesota HD-55A – Primary Election Date: August 14th
  • Cal Bahr, Minnesota HD-31B – Primary Election Date: August 14th
  • Shae Sortwell, Wisconsin AD-02 – Primary Election Date: August 14th
  • Matt Nye, Florida HD-52 – Primary Election Date: August 28
  • Stuart McDaniel, Arizona LD-6 – Primary Election Date: August 28th

Overall, they’ve endorsed 16 candidates so far this election cycle, with 3 ending up victorious in their primaries, 3 ending in defeat, with 10 more elections yet to go.

For more information about Young Americans for Liberty and Operation Win At The Door, you can visit their website: YALiberty.org


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Over Three Fourths of Americans are Broke. Why?

By Ryan Lau | @agorisms

Last year, CareerBuilder.com released a study with shocking results. Of the several thousand American workers polled, an alarming 78% of them live paycheck to paycheck. In the same study, more than half of workers believed they would always be in debt. More than a quarter (26%) did not save a penny every month, and another 31% saved an average of $100 or less.

In a Bankrate.com study, though, Americans stated that the ideal age of retirement is a mere 61. Yet, by their own financial practices, life in retirement at this age would be a near impossibility. Why is it that Americans are broke, and unable to meet their own guidelines of success?

Worse than Broke

In many cases, this is simply due to the fact that Americans are worse than broke. In fact, 71% of them carry some form of debt. This largely plays into the fact that so many are unable to begin saving their money. But what are some of the causes of the country’s largely-unknown financial disaster?

How much Down, How much per Month?

Through the 1920s, companies in the U.S. began to offer systems of credit to use for their individual products. By 1950, Diner’s Club issued the very first universal credit card. Not long after, use of the card became widespread, and thus begun the country’s downward financial spiral.

While it is true that income levels are up dramatically from those time periods, credit has considerably dampened the gains America has made. A prime example of this is the car buying industry. Allstate.com has a program that can calculate the difference in paying with cash compared to financing. Using average values for the price of a new car, length and rate of financing, and down payment, paying cash saves $5,830.

In other words, a $36,000 new car, when financed at the average rate, really costs $41,830, an addition of one-tenth of the average American income. That’s more than a full month’s salary for the average American worker. And, when paying with cash, there is always a chance to bring the price down. Some dealers may offer a choice between zero percent APR for a time, or a rebate. In this case, paying cash for the rebate allows for a deeper discount off of an already lower price.

A Credit Card Catastrophe

As of 2018, the average American household is broke. In fact, they are actually far below it, owing a whopping $16,883 in credit card debt. Though most homes take in far more than this, the debt is perpetual. Why? Because with each passing year, that debt only continues to accumulate, with those same American households paying an additional thousand dollars in interest alone.

Ultimately, credit purchases are ways for people to buy what they otherwise could not afford. By putting off payments, these same people end up paying a lot more in interest payments, and a lot more up front, too. This is because cash is psychologically much harder to hand over. Several studies, including this 2008 paper, explain that the average person is willing to spend considerably more money on a given item when swiping plastic. After all, they can just write it off and actually pay for it later. Thus, the debt cycle continues.

Budgets: Broken Leads to Broke

As mentioned before, a majority of Americans either save nothing at all, or save very little. In many cases, this is because it is simply not a written priority. In fact, only 32% of Americans have a budget at all. Of those, a portion do not factor savings into their budgets.

A lack of a budget breeds a ‘saving last’ mentality. But when doing this, there is no guarantee that there will be any money to save at the end of the month. Instead, adopting a ‘saving first’ mentality allows people to guarantee a portion of their income will go towards savings. With this new state of mind and a properly funded budget, families can ensure that every dollar that flows in, has a clear path to flow out, whether they spend or save it.

Will the Next Generation Improve?

This lack of financial knowledge, in varying forms, is not surprising, considering most high school students do not have a personal finance requirement at all. Throughout the country, only 16.4% of students are required to take a personal finance class to graduate. And outside of the five states where it is a statewide requirement? The portion drops to a pitiful 8.6%. America’s most states, Texas, California, and Florida all have rates of an abysmal 0%.

Meanwhile, student loans are forever increasing. Since 2010, they have risen 79%. The credit industry is tightening its hold, and financial literacy is only decreasing. But this is not an unsolvable problem. America must embrace its roots and recognize that, as the saying goes, cash is king. Incomes are increasing, and it is time that the people get to see the benefits of this, rather than paying them off, month by month by month.


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Rand Paul is in a Bind

By Glenn Verasco | @GlennVerasco

It’s the rainy season in Thailand, which means commuters like me are primed to get wet on our way to and from work. To me, the worst thing about this is constantly having rain-soaked shoes. There are few worse ways to start your day than feeling yesterday’s rainwater seep through a fresh pair of socks as you place your feet in shoes that have not had time to dry.

As bad as monsoon shoes are, I’d take them over Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s shoes any day of the week.

President Trump has recently nominated Brett Kavanaugh from the United States Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Unlike Justice Neil Gorsuch, Kavanaugh’s brand of constitutional originalism does not show much respect for the 4th Amendment. For those who do not know, the 4th Amendment intends to protect Americans against unwarranted searches and seizures. Without this amendment, police and other law enforcement officials may not be legally barred from rummaging through or confiscating our property, private documents, or even our bodies without just cause.

If you want to know more about Kavanaugh’s unfortunate history with the 4th Amendment, you can listen to Judge Andrew Napolitano, maybe the most pro-liberty judge in American history, discuss it with Tom Woods here.

Rand Paul, a 4A diehard and the 50th of the GOP’s 50-49 senator majority (John McCain, who is currently unable to vote for health reasons, would make 51) finds himself in an extremely tough situation as his vote may ultimately determine whether or not Kavanaugh is confirmed. The following are what I consider to be the most probable potential outcomes depending on the choice Rand makes.

The Sellout Scenario

If Rand Paul votes in favor of Kavanaugh, he will almost certainly become a SCOTUS justice, which could put all of our 4th Amendment rights on the line for decades to come. In the process, Rand would lose plenty of pro-Constitution credibilities. The Liberty movement would pile on with accusations that Rand Paul lacks the gumption his father Ron Paul possessed, and is just a slightly better version of the swamp creatures lurking throughout Washington.

From a political standpoint, Rand would likely secure his position in the Senate if he decides to run for reelection in 2022. I imagine that the typical Republican voter is far more concerned with making sure a Liberal justice does not take the place of Anthony Kennedy than he is with the technicalities of what the 4th Amendment entails, which means Rand’s seat in the Senate, unlike his credibility, would likely be safe.

In the long run, keeping Rand’s vote in the Senate for years to come could serve as more valuable than having a perfect originalist justice on the bench as Gorsuch and the four liberal justices (a majority) seem to be on Rand’s side when it comes to 4A. In other words, Kavanaugh’s impact on the 4th Amendment may be minimal anyway.

The Swamp Scenario

If Rand votes against Kavanaugh, he may still be confirmed via red state Democrats. At least three or four senators up for reelection in November are Democrats in Trump country. These senators are often forced to part ways with their party in order to maintain their positions in Congress. Due to their sticky situation, Rand’s decision may not ultimately matter in the confirmation process.

Voting against Kavanaugh would preserve Rand’s pro-Constitution credibility, and would likely have little effect on his reelection prospects as his choice to stand is ground would cost Trump and establishment Republicans nothing.

The Hero Scenario

If Rand votes against Kavanaugh, he may not be confirmed. However, this could work out beautifully for Rand in the end.

By blocking Kavanaugh’s nomination, Rand would help preserve the 4th Amendment (at least temporarily) and bolster his Libertarian credentials. And although he would defy Trump and rain on Republicans’ parade in the short run, sunnier skies could be on the horizon.

If the GOP retains control of the Senate after this year’s midterms (and they are expected to do so), Trump will be given another chance to nominate a more pro-4A justice. If Trump’s next choice winds up being more Gorsuchian, Rand will have taken a massive political risk and won big for the country as well as himself.

The Scapegoat Scenario

If Rand votes against Kavanaugh, he is not confirmed, and the GOP loses the Senate, Trump may not get another chance to nominate a SCOTUS justice as president. If a Democrat beats Trump in 2020, and Democrats retain control of the Senate, you can bet that a “living document” justice will be placed on the SCOTUS bench, probably resulting in a liberal majority for years to come.

Under these conditions, Rand may succeed in preserving the 4th Amendment. Conversely, the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 9th, 10th, and many other rights guaranteed by the Constitution could fall by the wayside.

Rand would have committed political suicide in the process, and a future reelection bid could result in comical defeat.

Let’s hope for the best.


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