Tag: competition

No LeBron, the NFL Is Not Slavery

By Jack Parkos | United States

NBA superstar turned pseudo-political activist LeBron James has recently stated that NFL owners have a “slave mentality”. LeBron James was quoted in his show, The Shop, saying,

“In the NFL they got a bunch of old white men owning teams and they got that slave mentality, and it’s like, ‘This is my team. You do what the fuck I tell y’all to do. Or we get rid of y’all.”

Not only is this claim blasphemous, but it is insulting to people who were actual victims of slavery. Under slavery, slaves were captured from their homes (or were born into it) and were subject to forced labor, daily beatings, and separation from their family. They obviously had no choice in the matter, yet Lebron compared this to choosing to pursue stardom by having a profession of playing a game. No doubt playing in the NFL is hard, but it is nothing compared to slave labor.

Slavery Vs. The NFL

The highest NFL player, Aaron Rodgers, makes 30 million a year with the average player making an average of 2.5 million a year. What was the wage of a slave? Nothing.  They were forced into labor or faced severe punishment. Lebron claims that if NFL players slack off they get punished in a similar manner to slaves. This is an absurd comparison for many reasons, mainly being that slaves were forced into their labor. In the NFL, you sign a contract and voluntarily participate. Nobody is forced into being a professional football player. Former NFL player Antonio Gates disagreed with Lebron James, stating,

“I don’t know all the owners—I know my owner, and, my relationship with my owner has been phenomenal. And, it’s sports. You know what I mean? You get paid to play. We all know what we sign up for a lot of us make a really good living, man, being able to support our families at the same time. So, it is what it is.”

Moreover, if you do bad at your job, then naturally, your boss can fire you. This isn’t magically changed because you make millions of year and play a sport. It is your job. If you don’t do your job, you don’t keep your job. If you do not like your job, you can find another one. That is one of the benefits of the free market. A characteristic of slavery is when one does not have access to the free market. Slave owners did not “get rid of” them and let them go to find a new job. LeBron is truly being insulting by comparing these two immensely different situations.

The NFL has turned thousands of people into millionaires and celebrities by doing what they love. Millions of kids have grown up dreaming to play football. Millions of Americans tune into the sport that has become a huge part of American culture. To compare this to one of the most shameful parts of American history is disgusting. Naturally, he has received much backlash from his comments and rightfully so. His comments were insulting and absurd.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!

Advertisements

Trump’s Tariffs: A Tax on Us

Nickolas Roberson | United States

A newly published report by the Tax Foundation on the 5th of December has found that the Trump administration’s recently imposed tariffs on aluminum, steel, solar panels, and a plethora of other industrial goods from China will increase taxation on Americans by $42 billion.

A tariff, as defined by the said report, is “a type of excise tax that is levied on goods produced abroad at the time of import.” Their intent is to “increase consumption of goods manufactured at home by increasing the price of foreign-produced goods.” This pricing of foreign goods is artificially increased, as the government is taxing its citizens for purchasing and consuming products. Things affected are foods, such as bananas or rice, personal goods, such as televisions or furniture, or commercial goods that could be tractors, cars, airplanes, etc. Why? The governments of our world state that their intentions are to protect their domestic industries from the competition and “vices” of foreign businesses and companies. In reality, tariffs are further methods for big brother to increase his control over us, regulating our methods of voluntary exchange, what goods we trade, and by taking away our money in the form of extended taxation.

Regarding the Trump administration’s tariffs specifically, there will be a 25 percent tariff on imported steel ($7.3 billion tax increase), a 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum ($1.7 billion tax increase), 25 percent tariff on imported goods from China that have a total value of $50 billion ($12.5 billion tax increase), and a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion worth of other imports from China ($20 billion tax increase). Thus, as reported by the Tax Foundation, the overall tax increase will be near $42 billion on American citizens. Additionally, the administration threatened to implement another $129 billion worth of tariffs on more Chinese products and merchandise.

When analyzing the economic impacts of the President’s current protectionist tariffs, the Tax Foundation found that they would “reduce long-run GDP by 0.12 percent ($30.4 billion) and wages by 0.08 percent and eliminate 94,300 full-time equivalent jobs.” If the proposed tariffs are implemented as well, “long-run GDP would fall by 0.38 percent ($94.4 billion) and wages by 0.24 percent, and 292,600 full-time equivalent jobs would be eliminated.” It should be reiterated that tariffs are artificially increased prices of imported products and services by the government to discourage consumers from purchasing them. It is truly a form of taxation. No Chinese business or manufacturer is paying this tax, as the Trump administration continues to attempt to debate and establish.

Now, what are the origins of tariffs? For centuries, European nations practiced a trading system dubbed mercantilism, which attempted to prevent goods and services from leaving a home country, preventing trade value from leaving the said country. Incredibly high tariffs and other trade barriers were put into place, leading to high costs for manufactured goods and multiple trade wars throughout the world. However, in 1776, an economist named Adam Smith published his work titled Wealth of Nations.

This magnum opus regarding economics questioned the systems of mercantilism and proposed the idea of free trade: an economic theory that promoted competition between businesses and individuals across a global scale, voluntary trade without regulations such as tariffs, and no discrimination against imports or exports. As this new idea spread across the globe, nations and its citizens experienced a rapid flow of commerce, development of economies, and increases in productivity and innovation. The practice of the aforementioned theory was so successful. Organizations such as the World Trade Organization, NAFTA, and the European Union were developed to continue to promote its benefits to the human race.

Unfortunately, President Donald Trump and his administration seem to be ignoring this history of free trade and its plethora of benefits. With their tariffs, both current and proposed, competition will be stifled in the economy of the United States, resulting in higher prices for goods and services; jobs will be lost, GDP will fall, and the overall economy could possibly become a bear market. The next question that must be asked: will these tariffs counteract the benefits of Trump’s deregulation plan, with it increasing the economic freedom and reducing the regulatory costs of the nation? Furthermore, when will this expansion of government end? When will big brother stop raping and pillaging people for their capital and assets to pay off its own enormous debt? Only time will be able to answer this question, but one thing is obvious to the naked eye: the future of the United States of America is a foggy and obscure one.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!

Featured Image Source

Intellectual Property: Enemy of Freedom and Society

By TJ Roberts | United States

You cannot own an idea. Although intellectual property is an idea Americans codified into their constitution, we must see that the idea of intellectual property is an idea that comes into direct conflict with the idea of freedom and human progress. It is important that humanity moves beyond the scourge of intellectual property so that we may live in a world that is no longer held back by corporate protectionism and inconsistent property law. But beyond that, lives are at stake in this fight.

Intellectual Property Violates Real Property

Lockean Property Norms

Perhaps the most important case against intellectual property is in its opposition to society’s property norms. The most prominent principle of property is the homesteading principle, which John Locke describes in chapter 5 of The Second Treatise on Government. In the Treatise, Locke explains that the Homesteading Principle is the idea that property can be justly acquired by two means: original appropriation and voluntary exchange. With original appropriation, the first user of a previously unowned resource becomes the de facto owner of the property. With voluntary exchange, justly acquired property may be exchanged between consenting senders and receivers. This is why theft is condemned. If I take your wallet from you without your consent, then the exchange was not voluntary and therefore violates Lockean property norms.

What is important to realize as well is that scarcity is fundamental to property. You cannot be the owner of a non-scarce good. In The Economics and Ethics of Private Property, Dr. Hans-Hermann Hoppe explains that in a realm of scarcity, property norms must be established. If, somehow, all scarcity ceased to exist (this would have to include scarcity in ourselves), then property norms would not be necessary. But in this world, scarcity is the cornerstone of Lockean property theory.

Ideas are Not Scarce

Since one cannot own a non-scarce good, it is the burden of the advocate of intellectual property to prove that ideas are scarce. If they do so, then intellectual property (IP) is legitimate. It is clear, however, that ideas are not scarce, and are therefore not subject to the restrictions of private property.

Consider a world in which only one person knows that two plus two equals four. If that person reveals this knowledge to someone else, that person knows that two plus two is four and the teacher still knows this. In other words, one’s acquisition of this knowledge did not inhibit another person from gaining the same piece of knowledge, and it did not degrade the knowledge the teacher originally had either. Because of this, knowledge is not scarce. Since knowledge is not scarce, we are not able to subject ideas to property norms.

Intellectual Property Assaults Private Property

Suppose I wrote a pamphlet and I sold it to you. For the law to tell you that you cannot reprint my pamphlet and sell it to others is to tell you what you cannot do with your private property. This is prohibitive on the sovereignty of the individual and private property. This is not, of course, meant to condone plagiarism. In “Common Misconceptions about Plagiarism and Patents: A Call for an Independent Inventor Defense,” patent lawyer Stephan Kinsella shows that IP “theft” is not plagiarism. Plagiarism wouldn’t run rampant without IP. One possible alternative to intellectual property is Creative Commons, which protects the fact that you created your work all the while not restricting your work to the bureaucracy of American intellectual property law.

Intellectual Property Holds Back Progress

One of the unique benefits of a market economy is that it incentivizes innovation. The consumer is in charge and their needs and desires frequently change. Competition, therefore, is essential to a prosperous market. Intellectual Property, however, holds back competition and protects those at the top. Imagine how much better technology would be if tech companies weren’t constantly under the threat of lawsuits from their competitors. If the focus changed from protecting one’s market power to providing a quality product for their customers in order to grow in the market, the world would have higher quality products at much lower costs.

Of course, progress has occurred in society, but that has happened in spite of intellectual property, not because of it. If we didn’t have intellectual property, software would be significantly cheaper as the potential costs of copying it would drastically decline. Inevitably, the only way for software companies to make a profit would be to provide a better product than their competitors since they won’t be able to artificially increase prices if they want to stay in business. If we abolished intellectual property, we would see a new age of progress.

Intellectual Property Has a Body Count

In 2016, Martin Shkreli raised the price of a life-saving medication to $750 per pill. This led to immense public outrage. But their rage was misplaced. The reason Shkreli was able to do this wasn’t corporate greed, but because of intellectual property. If people were able to copy the drug and sell it to compete with Shkreli’s company, such a price hike would have put him out of business.

This is just one of the innumerable symptoms of the disease of intellectual property. American IP law forbids competition against new ideas, especially medicines. Since a generic is effectively illegal for years after a cure is discovered, the poor are frequently left unable to pay for these life-saving medications. The abolition of intellectual property would save lives, allowing not only for prices to fall as competition rises, but also for quality of products to rise as innovation increases.

Intellectual Property Is the Enemy of Progress

In other words, intellectual property has failed the people. It is nothing more than corporate protectionism that flies in the face of Lockean property norms that has a very real cost to humanity. If we want a society that can advance quicker, allows for competition to drive prices down, and allow for a society based on consistent property norms, then we must reject the protectionist sham that is intellectual property.

Recommended Reading

Against Intellectual PropertyStephan Kinsella

Goods, Scarce and NonscarceStephan Kinsella and Jeffrey Tucker


This post was originally published in LIFE.

Get awesome merchandise. Help 71 Republic end the media oligarchy. Donate today to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!

The Incompetence of the Canada Post Corporation

By Alexander Robak | Canada

As of October 16th, 2018, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) has declared that they will begin rotating strikes across the country. Over the past month, these rotating strikes have hit many major cities across the country such as Mississauga, Ottawa, and Toronto. Not only have these major cities (which are responsible for the processing of much of Canada’s mail) been affected, but many of the smaller cities and townships in Canada have been affected as well. This strike comes in the wake of the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement between Canada Post and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. The CUPW believes that striking will prove to be an effective method in ensuring a fair agreement for employees of Canada Post. However, all they are doing is hurting the much despised government-operated corporation.

As rotating strikes hit many regional distribution centers across the country, distribution of mail in Canada has been slowed to a snail’s pace. On top of this, these strikes are not expected to end any time soon and are not uncommon. Almost every time that a new CBA must be negotiated between Canada Post and the CUPW, the workers strike and demand more benefits and pay. This is doing nothing but annoying Canadian consumers and forcing them to lose trust in the once-beloved crown corporation. The only logical solution for the Canadian consumer in this situation would be to boycott Canada Post altogether and make the switch from public mail distribution systems to private ones, such as UPS and FedEx, when sending and receiving both mail and parcels. This solution will not only show the government how the Canadian people are losing trust in Canada Post and crown corporations but will put Canada Post in a state of financial danger if done correctly.

A Government Failure

The main problem that comes with the mere existence of a corporation such as Canada Post is that it is owned and controlled by the government of Canada, yet it does not maintain a monopoly over the mail system as a whole in Canada. While Canada Post does maintain a massive market share, it has nowhere near enough of a market share to choke out its competitors that are privately run. On top of this, these private competitors have often exceeded Canada Post in terms of quality of service and customer satisfaction. My question to the Canadian taxpayer is this: Why do we continue to allow ourselves to pay our income to support an overpriced government-owned corporation that is often beat out by its competitors?

Under no circumstances does it make sense for the Canadian consumer to support a crown corporation with tax dollars and also have to pay to use the service provided by the said crown corporation. This financial ineffectiveness on the part of Canada Post only plays into the fact that governments are inept at creating and managing businesses in the free market. If Canada Post were a private corporation, but still maintained this deplorable level of service, there is absolutely no way that it would survive in the free market, being forced to compete with giants such as FedEx and UPS. The only way Canada Post continues to exist is through the extortion of the Canadian taxpayer.

The only solution to the Canada Post conundrum is to pressure the Canadian government into selling the corporation to a private owner. At the very least, the Canadian government should open up the market to allow more private options to the consumer. This would only happen through a minimizing of the size of Canada Post’s responsibilities, and the size of the business as a whole. However, we should seek for the Canadian government to abolish Canada Post. The Canadian consumer would be better serviced in the postal industry by a series of privately owned corporations, competing in a free market without government intervention.


Get awesome merchandise. Help 71 Republic end the media oligarchy. Donate today to our Patreon, which you can find here. Thank you very much for your support!

Joe Hannoush – Libertarian for Florida House District Twenty-Five

By John Keller | Florida

Joe Hannoush is the Libertarian candidate for District Twenty-Five of the Florida House of Representatives. He has been involved with libertarian politics since 2011 and seeks to bring that change to the state of Florida.

Keller: With a plethora of career options, what inspired you to seek a career in politics?

Hannoush: I am not pursuing a career in politics per se. I want to do what I can to inform others of a better solution to issues we face today. Running as a candidate for elected office is a great way to spread that message. I want to be the change I want to see. I am tired of complaining without offering a solution. I didn’t like the choices I had on my ballot, so I gave myself another option to vote for!

Keller: Many people when they think of government they think of Congress or the presidency. Why is politics at the state level, and in the state House of Representatives, so important and motivated you to get involved?

Hannoush: There is a saying “all politics is local”. To a certain degree, I agree. When it comes to the everyday things, it is usually the local government decisions that have the largest impact on an individuals life.

Keller: For over 150 years the United States has been locked in the two-party duopoly. What turned you on to the Libertarian Party?

Hannoush: In 2011, I took an online political quiz www.isidewith.com. The results told me my views most closely agreed with was the Libertarian Party. So I did more research on their platform and looked into the presidential candidate on the Libertarian Party ticket, Gary Johnson. I liked him a lot and found I agree on almost everything. So I voted for Gary in 2012 and the rest is history!

Keller: Being a swing state, Florida has both strong Democratic and Republican support, as well as significant moderate support. Why is a new voice, such as a libertarian, necessary in the two-party system in Florida?

Hannoush: The two-party system is not a good one even if the two parties are Libertarian and Anarchist. I believe in more choices and I know others do as well. I don’t care if I agree with other political parties or not, they deserve to get the same media exposure and debate and ballot access as the Republicans and Democrats currently do.

Keller: Florida is often brought to the political forefront, and were put into the national spotlight during the sanctuary city debate, a debate that still exists today. Where do you stand on your critical issue?

Hannoush: I believe an individual, whether they are a citizen of the United States or not, deserve the same freedoms I have. My parents left an oppressive government and came to the United States shortly before I was born. Because of that freedom to act for the betterment of life, liberty, and happiness, I have a freer life. I want that opportunity to exist for others as well.

Keller: Our Founding Fathers even disagreed on how to interpret the Constitution, shown in the Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist debates. What is your interpretation of the Constitution, and how does that influence your view on government?

Hannoush: My view of the Constitution is what I believe the Founding Fathers generally intended. That is that individuals have inherent rights and the Constitution instructs the Government on how to preserve those rights for the individual. 

Keller: Libertarians tend to believe less government is better government. What is one area of government, however, you would like to see operating?

Hannoush: I do believe that national defense is the responsibility of the government.

Keller: Branching off of the last question, what is one area you think there should be cutbacks or even elimination in the state of Florida?

Hannoush: Florida, being a “swing” or “purple” state has led to the two major political parties here to be very divisive. There is too much power in the “leadership” of the political parties. No one is defending the rights of the people. The letter next to a person’s name holds more power than what that individual believes. I want to end partisan politics in Florida. A candidate that is giving the libertarian message will win every time.

Keller: What can the people of District 25 expect should you be elected?

Hannoush: That I will be a voice for the individual. I won’t vote based on what party leadership or lobbyist agenda is being pushed.

Keller: If someone was interested in getting involved or donating, how can they reach out to your campaign?

Hannoush: paypal.me/joehannoush

Keller: Do you have any final remarks for the readers?

Hannoush: I am currently pricing campaign materials and need as much funding as possible to help spread the message. Please donate to my campaign at paypal.me/joehannoush and follow my campaign at facebook.com/joehannoush and email [email protected] Thank you!

I would like to thank Joe Hannoush for his time. Be sure to visit his website and get involved!