Tag: government action

The Government is the Worst Kind of Micromanager

By Thomas Calabro | United States

Many of us have worked for someone who was very particular about how work was operated and needed to constantly monitor and manage workers so that they may arrive at the preferred outcome with the specific method. In a way, the Government is the same as any micromanager: a controlling figure of authority who seeks to regulate the aspects of a job rather than delegate these powers to others. In this case, we can see how an intrusive government wishes to become the biggest (and worst) micromanager of all, one that monitors and controls the means of production.

We constantly see states that wish to exhibit the attitudes of the typical micromanager. The state has a lack of faith in how a job gets done (in this case providing goods and services to the people). So it seeks to monitor how businesses conduct themselves, what materials to use, what wages to pay employees, what products can even be sold, and what prices they are sold at, if you are even allowed to. Any issues in these realms are a call for the state to gain influence over these aspects for its intended purposes of increasing the nation’s economic strength, of distribution of wealth, and even of creating “healthy” lifestyles.

While a free market has proven to be an effective way at distributing goods and services to a greater amount of people, many grow resentful of this amount of free will in the hands of certain individuals, choosing to harm the environment, or an individual’s own body because of the products they demand. The idea of one consuming a big gulp with a plastic straw, while smoking a blunt inside of a car manufactured in another country, does not instigate the thought of a people whose economic system provides goods demanded to a large population that through voluntary interaction. Rather it shows the need of creating a social/cultural atmosphere of implementing policies for the good of a collective (the State, Americans, the lower class, etc) rather than the individual. It isn’t the distribution of goods and services of our desires, but the distribution of goods and services of our needs.

The result of the attempt to control the economy and the economic decisions of individuals and businesses become similar to the effects of a micromanager. Creative innovators are suppressed, as a result of the lack of incentive to grow due to red tape, and other hurdles that are required to contribute “effectively” into the economy and ultimately pushing away talented and hardworking employees/workers that may effectively contribute, either to the economy or a business. There is no way to effectively see where what society needs without pricing mechanisms or freedoms to use certain products that cost less and are demanded more. Rather it is reliant upon those who set rules and regulations to either set standards that are needed to be met to meet the demand or to downright seize the powers of supply, effectively taking control from the producers (who really are controlled by the demands of the consumers) so that those very same people feel that the economic decisions are in suitable control.

This micromanagement shows a lack of faith in the economic system that truly puts the consumers in control, has increased wages, decreased poverty, and gotten us to a world where food and other necessities are less of a scarcity. It is time that those who feel we must control the economy realize that by placing our trust into the economic system that relies on individual demand, we truly are in control, and should cherish that freedom that many in the world don’t have.

To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.


Throw Out Milton Friedman

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

I think it’s pretty clear that Friedman is a statist. -Murray Rothbard

Milton Friedman is popular, and not just “libertarian popular” (although he is) but mainstream popular. His book Capitalism and Freedom has over half a million sales and Free to Choose has also had its fair share of economic and political influence. I have spoken to many fellow lovers of the free market and many have stated he was their primary influence in pushing people towards libertarian ideology.

While more proponents of the free market is a great thing, Friedman’s worldview of classical liberalism is inconsistent and his economic methods are needlessly faulty. The Friedmanite economic worldview is lacking and has multiple barriers if we ever wish to proceed towards our goal of reaching a free society.

The first issue with Friedman and his intellectual influence is the method he goes about economics. To quote from his Essays in Positive Economics:

The ultimate goal of positive science is the development of a “theory” or “hypothesis” that yields valid and meaningful (i.e. not truistic) predictions about phenomena not yet observed.

What this basically means is that economic science should act like the hard sciences, in that we should make a hypothesis and go out into the world and test it. To Friedman, economics seems to be analogous to Chemistry or Physics.

At the same time, this small statement seems to have a bit of a call back to the positivist claim that only empirically verifiable statements are meaningful. Hence, statements that have purely logical backing, rather than empirical backing, are meaningless. This poses an obvious issue to adherents to the Austrian School of economics, for reasons that I will get into shortly.

He goes on:

Tautologies have an extremely important place in economics and other sciences as a specialized language or “analytical filing system.” Beyond this, formal logic and mathematics, which are both tautologies, are essentially aids in checking the correctness of reasoning.

But economic theory must be more than a structure of tautologies if it is able to predict and not merely describe the consequences of action; if it is to be something different than disguised mathematics.

Let us tackle the original claim that merely logically backed claims cannot be meaningful. Mathematics is a logically backed field of study, full of theorems that are not true because we went out and tested a hypothesis, but rather because we can think them through and based on logical thinking we can work through the issue and know it to be true.

The adherent to praxeology understands that the law of diminishing marginal utility is a valid theorem, not because we go out in the world and watch as people value each additional unit of a good less. We don’t start to count the percentage loss in psychic utils that people begin to attain. No! That wouldn’t make any sense!

We know the law of diminishing marginal utility to be true because it is a logically consistent theorem. It is why people will pay more for diamonds than they will for water. Because there is so much water that nobody cares if they sell a bottle for a dollar fifty. But there are so few diamonds that they can be sold for extreme prices, even though water is so much more critical to human life.

If praxeological reasoning doesn’t back this up, then what does? Why is this economic theorem valid if not for the reasons of praxeology? Friedman surely didn’t have an answer.  As Robert Murphy says in Choice:

He hasn’t demonstrated why economic theory must “be able to predict” in a way that is different than merely describing “the consequences of action.”

Milton Friedman really had no backing for his attacks on the arguments on praxeology. But he couldn’t change positions, because how would he keep his blessed government ties if he didn’t remain in the field of mainstream economics.

This ties into the second issue with Milton Friedman. Milton and his Friedmanites have no real theory of justice or the state or what its limits should be. Sure, he talks about classical liberalism at the beginning of Capitalism and Freedom, but he makes no efforts to define the ethical bounds of such a belief system and how far it should hold back the government.

Therefore, the state then becomes a sort of deus ex machina of his economic world. When an issue isn’t worth thinking through, boom, just let the state take care of it. His son, David, did a much better job of this, thinking through every aspect of statist policy and realizing the private market could do so much of a better job.

As Murray Rothbard said in his interview with The New Banner:

I mean, if you are in favor of the state having control of the money supply, control of the education system, and a guaranteed annual income, that’s it. There is not much more that can be said. The fact that the Friedmanites are against price control is all very well, and I hail that, but the fundamental aspects of the state remain. The state still commands the highposts of the economy.

This is one of the problems with Friedmanites — they have no political theory of the nature of the state. They think of the state, and this is true of Milton and the whole gang as far as I can see, as another social instrument. In other words, there is the market out here and then there is the state, which is another friendly neighborhood organization. You decide on which thing, which activity, should be private and which should be state on the basis of an ad hoc, utilitarian kind of approach. “Well, let’s see, we’ll feed the thing through the computer. We find that the market usually wins out, that the market is usually better.” So, most of the time they come out in favor of the market on things like price control or government regulations, but they really think of the state as just another social instrument. And so when they come out in favor of the state, they go all out.

There is really no limit in the eyes of Friedman and his followers as to how far the state should actually end up going. A strong proponent of the free market should always make the assumption that the market is going to do better and there should be a steep burden of proof for the government to take control of any system.

Milton contributed quite a few things to economics. But he should not be praised, and his everyone word should not be followed. His classical liberalism is hollow and his economic methods are weak. Read his works, there’s some good stuff in there. But nobody should consider themselves a “Friedmanite.”

To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.

Featured Image Source.

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!

The Founding Fathers Would Be Furious At What America Has Become

By Jack Parkos | United States

Many people have asked the question-“What would the Founding Fathers think of this policy or that law?”  Many also ask the question of what they would think of modern America in general. They would be furious.

The Founders, while all having their own diverse ideologies and values, believed in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. America has abandoned these values both in policy and morality. This would have the Founders up in arms. Here are just some of the many reasons the founders are rolling over in their graves.

1. Supreme Court Rulings

The Supreme Court has allowed some very unconstitutional laws to be passed, they also have made some unconstitutional rulings. Take the case of Maryland v. King in 2013. Where the supreme court ruled that police can (without a warrant) take DNA swabs from people not yet convicted of a crime.

This is obviously a violation of the Fourth Amendment-but the Supreme Court ruled it wasn’t! The Founders would be enraged at a ruling allowing your DNA to be put into a system-even if you are wrongly arrested. Another example of the Supreme Court ruling wrongly is Roe V. Wade.

This would anger the Founders for several reasons. While we can’t be 100 percent sure, it seems very likely the founders would be against abortion. Regardless of personal stances, none of the founders would agree with abortion being a constitutional right. Roe V. Wade also ruled that the states could no longer make their own decisions on abortion, this would cause many of the Founding Fathers to be enraged.

2. Gun Control

The Founders wrote the second amendment, which says.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The argument that it was for muskets is untrue. The Founders would not support gun control just because weapons got more advanced. Don’t believe me? Well James Madison, the Father of the Constitution (which includes the 2nd Amendment), allowed for cannons to be used on to protect private vessels.

He wrote this in the Letter of Marque, stating the 2nd amendment protected their right to defend their ships with cannons. The Founders would in no way support banning “assault weapons”. The very idea of this would anger them greatly. They wrote that the right to be armed “Shall not be infringed” not “Shall be open to debate”.

3. Taxes

The Founders fought their revolution over excessive taxes. Today we pay way more taxes then they did. More than the founders could even imagine. The income tax was implemented in 1913, right at this news the Founders would have spoken out against it. Encouraging protests and civil disobedience.

They may have even called for a revolution.  The Founders got pissed off at a tax on tea, how do you think they would feel about income taxes? But the taxes don’t stop at the income. You must pay a tax (and obtain a government-issued license) to hunt and fish. There are too many taxes to list. Obama’s tax code was 74,608 pages long. Neither the Federalists nor the Anti Federalists would have supported this many taxes.

4. Bureaucracy

The Founders also fought the revolution because they had no say in the matters of government. They wrote the constitution to have elected representatives to represent the people’s affairs. But America has fallen into bureaucracy. True, we still have some elected officials, but the bureaucrats have corrupted the system.

The US Federal government has over 2.6 million employees and over 2,000 agencies with various powers. How many of these people are elected officials? The whole point of the revolution was for representation in government. The republic was set up so the people could elect representatives to make laws. But we did not elect 2.6 million people to make decisions for us. This is pure blasphemy!

5. Disregard of the Tenth Amendment

States Rights, or if you prefer the term states powers, have been disregarded by the Federal government. State’s rights have a bad rep nowadays as fighting for states rights is associated with slavery and racism. But this is not true. The Tenth Amendment was a key amendment to the constitution.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

This idea was talked about in the constitutional convention, the anti-federalists wanted to make sure the constitution respected states rights, thus the tenth amendment was born. But it has been ignored.  The supreme court has allowed this amendment to be disregarded to push an agenda.

The Founding Fathers would be furious at this! The tenth amendment would allow different states to make their own choices. Thus allowing more individual choice. You could live in a state that shares values with you (so long as it does not violate the constitution).

But when the tenth amendment is ignored, we are left giving more power to the federal government. The federal government is less local and more tyrannical in nature. The Founders knew this and added the tenth amendment to try to protect the states. But thanks to blasphemous supreme court rulings and awful politicians, the tenth amendment is another part of the constitution the Federal Government has gutted.

6. The Empire

None of the Founders would like our modern American Empire. They fought a revolution against an empire. I have written on the subject of America and it’s imperial tendencies. None of the Founding Fathers wanted an empire. The British Empire ruled all around Earth. The cost of this empire was dropped on the colonies in the form of taxes. This was a reason for the revolution. Nowadays, Americans pay many taxes to maintain constant warfare overseas. America was not meant to be an Empire. The current state of our foreign policy would enrage the founders of our country.

These are only a few reasons our Founding Fathers would be furious at what America has become. This is only the tip of the iceberg. While it is true the Founders did not all have the exact same beliefs, they all would agree that change is needed in America and that we must return to the standards of liberty this country was born on.

Should Libertarians Vote?

By Mason Mohon | @mohonofficial

Libertarians do not like the state. That is a commonly known fact among those who have a hint of what libertarianism is. As we travel further south on the political compass, though, they begin to hate to touch anything related to the state.

Libertarians who don’t want to touch the Fed’s fiat papers switch over to gold and crypto. Libertarians who don’t want the CIA and NSA reading over all of their stuff cover their webcams and keep their phone set on airplane mode. And the more radical strains of individualist libertarians do not even want to engage in the Democratic process.

Their line of reasoning is coherent. If the state is going to continue to tax people, and you vote for a politician that is going to allow this taxation to continue, you have endorsed someone who is complicit in the violence that the state uses. Because of this, many radical libertarians will not vote for a president. Some may write their own name in, which is a creative way of stating your self-sovereignty, but it is a dodge of the overall question.

But one must look at the present situation. One must take stock of the status quo and search for how we are going to get from point A (big government) to point B (small or no government). Libertarians have long lacked an effective strategy to usher in a libertarian social order, but that is a broader issue that shall not be discussed here.

Looking at the way the Democratic process is set up, we can see that the state has given us a choice. We are all “surrounded by a coercive system; [we] are all surrounded by the state” according to Rothbard. We are already in this position, so we may as well make the best out of it.

As Murray Rothbard said: “Since you are in this coercive situation, there is no reason why you shouldn’t try to make use of it if you think it will make a difference to your liberty or possessions.” We cannot vote the state out of existence. It would be really nice if we could, but we can’t. Instead, for presidential elections, we are faced with two candidates that will be different.

No two humans are the same, and this applies to presidential candidates too. Chances are, they are not going to create a net reduction in government. No president has brought the government back to the scope it was before FDR’s presidency, yet no president will if we refuse to vote one into office.

We are given a choice, and if it looks like one candidate is going to expand government less than the other will, or even reduce some parts of the government, it would probably be wise to vote for them. As Rothbard said, “I don’t see that it’s immoral to participate in the election provided that you go into it with your eyes open.”

If you want to remain what you see as principled and refrain from voting in its entirety, that is your choice. You have that option. But if you want to maybe make a difference in the amount that government is going to expand, voting is an option.

Featured image source.