Tag: free market

Is Bill Weld the Best Thing Libertarians Can Get?

Jack Parkos | United States

The mainstream libertarian movement is dying. It could be speculated that libertarianism will never come to significance under today’s system. Mainstream libertarians have abandoned private property rights and decentralization for a so-called “socially liberal, fiscally conservative” platform focused on “tolerance” and weed.

Bill Weld puts the final nail in the coffin. Bill Weld was the vice presidential candidate under Gary Johnson in the 2016 Presidential Election and has joined the Republican Party in a possible attempt to primary Trump in 2020.

As a libertarian, I can only stand back and laugh at what’s happening. If Bill Weld is the best we can do, then is libertarianism dead? While he is running in the Republican Party, he no doubt has the views of the Libertarian Party. Many of his views are an insult to libertarianism.

Admittedly, Bill Weld does hold some good views, such as decentralizing education and being more dovish on foreign policy. However, he does have some views that many libertarians cannot get behind.

Weld’s Blatant Anti-Libertarian Agenda

Bill Weld has been quoted as comparing AR-15’s to “weapons of mass destruction,” and is indeed pro-gun control. Even many mainstream Republicans are fine with the AR-15. In an interview, he was quoted as saying,

“The five-shot rifle, that’s a standard military rifle. The problem is if you attach a clip to it so it can fire more shells and if you remove the pin so that it becomes an automatic weapon. And those are independent criminal offenses. That’s when they become essentially a weapon of mass destruction. The problem of handguns is probably even worse than the AR-15.”

That statement sounds more like something one would hear from the Democratic Party, but this is coming from a so-called “libertarian” running in the Republican party. It’s an embarrassment to all libertarian whether they support the party or not.

A Right to Abortion

There is plenty more he can be criticized for. Bill Weld has little respect for property rights or the Constitution. On the issue of abortion, he stated that the federal government must ensure everyone has access to abortion.

“I think it’s OK for the government to be involved in ensuring clinic access because that’s guarding a fundamental constitutional right of the individual. So that’s not the nanny state; that’s good government, not bad government.” However, Weld is wrong, this is a nanny state. Furthermore, nowhere in the Constitution does it state abortion as a right. Weld is buying into the leftist lie that abortion is somehow a “right”.

Endorsing a Violation of Property Rights

Weld and Johnson ran a campaign in 2016 that seemed to be simply social liberalism and not libertarianism. Weld’s running mate Gary Johnson supported forcing a baker to bake a cake for a gay wedding, furthermore, explaining that he would force a Jewish baker to bake a cake for a Nazi. This is a complete violation of property rights, a key tenet of libertarianism. Much speculation points to Bill Weld holding similar views to Johnson based on his past rhetoric, one, in particular, being his support for affirmative action.

Furthermore, Weld supports an open borders policy. Right now, under a massive welfare state and the current state of politics, immigration restrictions are needed. This isn’t an anti-libertarian stance but rather an overall net gain for liberty. Moreover, he compared Trump’s immigration plans to Nazi Germany, making holocaust references and comparing Trump’s wall to the Berlin wall. This is all from the leftist playbook.

An Endorsement of the Opposing Side

Perhaps worst of all was when Bill Weld practically endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in 2016.

“Having said that, I’m not taking back anything I said about the massive difference between the two establishment party candidates. One would be chaos for the country, I think. And the other would be a very business-like and capable and competent approach to our affairs.”

In this interview, Bill Weld explains how Trump would be chaos for the country and that Hillary would run it better. Furthermore, he endorsed Obama for president as well. No libertarian in their right mind would endorse Hillary or Obama, so why did Weld support them? It could be said that Trump was maybe the better option for libertarians as many thought that way. However, he did not have to support either of the candidates in any elections. After all, Ron Paul didn’t.

Ron Paul is retired from politics, and right now there does not appear to be another charismatic libertarian to lead the movement. Rand Paul will likely not run for president either.  However, libertarians should not look to Bill Weld to be a leader of the movement.


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The Government Shutdown: Rough Seas for Investors

Nickolas Roberson | United States

“NOTICE: Due to a lapse in federal funding this website is not being updated.” That’s the large, menacingly red statement that one reads as they access portions of the websites for the United States Census Bureau (USCB) or Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Investors, entrepreneurs, and economists all rely on government data to make market decisions. Yet with the government shutdown, this data is unavailable.

Continue reading “The Government Shutdown: Rough Seas for Investors”

This Blockchain Project Could Save Venezuela

James Sweet III | United States

Venezuela’s currency, the Bolivar, is worthless due to hyperinflation that shows no sign of stopping. Venezuelan citizens are starving, forcing them to resort to rationing the little bit of food they have and stealing food that they can find. The crisis is constantly evolving due to the failed policies of the Maduro regime, but with the help of the blockchain, the situation could become stabilized, saving the families of the nation.

AirdropVenezuela wants to help the impoverished families of Venezuela by donating $10 to 100,000 Venezuelan households, which can be achieved by raising $1 million via cryptocurrency donations. The money, once received, will be converted into the local currency, allowing the families to purchase supplies that they desperately need. The leader of AirdropVenezuela is Steve H. Hanke, a professor at John Hopkins University. Hanke is also a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, serving as Director of the Troubled Currencies Project. The project is based on the Airtm platform, which allows you to save your local currency’s value by pinning it to a more stable currency, specifically the United States Dollar.

The civil unrest in the nation makes it dangerous to leave your house, which is another reason why Hanke is leading the AirdropVenezuela project. “We provide in effect a clearinghouse that allows for the exchange of bolivars for dollars and vice versa,” said Hanke to Forbes.  By allowing money to be stored and transferred via the blockchain and the cloud, the time that Venezuelans spend in public is minimized, allowing them to live a safer life while also getting the resources that they need to provide for their families.

The project, while mainly benefitting the families of Venezuela, could help boost the cryptocurrency market. Instead of being risky investments, cryptocurrencies will become a medium of exchange pinned to more stable currencies. Airtm, if successful, will revolutionize the use of blockchain technology by allowing it to have a more practical use. “You could now have the additional demand for cryptos for use as a medium of exchange versus what you have now which is only the speculative demand,” says Hanke.

The Airtm platform will also show the possibility of putting into place a free market exchange rate. Venezuela has a fixed exchange rate, making it hard to exchange Bolivars in the market. If you want to donate to or learn more about the AirdropVenezuela project, you can click here to visit their website.


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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.


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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.


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