Tag: Tax Cuts

We’re Gonna Die: How Oregon’s ‘Gas Crisis’ Shows the Psychological Trap of Government Intervention

By Mason Mohon | OREGON

The world is ending, or at least it is in Oregon. Since 1951, Oregon law has mandated that all gas stations have attendants working there to fill up gas on behalf of drivers. 

The intent of this law was to boost employment. Ever since it was made known that rural towns within Oregon would no longer have to abide by this law, all hell broke loose. Oregonians are afraid, and this “fear” shows an all too real issue in American society today: People have become attached to the state, so much so that they cannot bear to see life without it.

First, the situation within Oregon must be analyzed. As NPR reports, “As of Jan. 1, gas stations in counties with a population of less than 40,000 are permitted to offer self-service. While the change in the law is expected to affect a small number of people, Oregonians took to social media to express their discontent.” This discontent was great indeed and echoed what I would see in a post from The Onion. NPR went on to say “The responses to a now-viral Facebook post by a local TV station ranged from concerns about smelling like gasoline to being attacked by drifters lurking around stations. Some said they didn’t even know how to pump gas.”

Yes, these Oregonians are this scared and are this fearful of gas. As somebody who lives in Texas and pumps his own gas, I can confirm that pumping gas does not make you smell like anything.

This hysteria has raised a dangerous issue – once the government intervenes, people cannot even imagine life without it. A classic thought experiment free-market economics professors like to do is telling the student to imagine if the state were to nationalize t-shirt or sneaker productions. Most likely we wouldn’t be able to imagine life without it. The ones who do, though, are what Bastiat called the “good economists,” who were those that saw what was unseeable to the layman.

Oregonians were dependent on this regulation, and they are so scared of life without it that it has turned them into a national joke. This government dependent attitude is not new, though. Recently, taxes were cut, Obamacare was nearly destroyed, and net neutrality was repealed. People got so afraid of every single one of these actions in every end of the political spectrum. People couldn’t imagine the internet functioning without government regulation, nor could they imagine the rich paying fewer dollars in taxes or even being responsible for your own health.

This is a dangerous psychological threat to people everywhere. We cannot sit by and expect the state to do everything for us, because what if something goes wrong one day? What if the state collapses, shuts down, or misallocates resources? You’ve been so dependent on it that you will be helpless without it. People become dependent on the state, so they give it more power. The people in charge live off the dependent backs of the masses, and nobody will ever question. This is the danger of a lack of personal responsibility – when you become dependent on a person or organization, they can now control you.

Thankfully, Oregonians may discover a nice law of the free market. Chances are, they are going to discover that the market serves demand. Although there may not be much competition in rural areas, the stations that have servicemen filling up your car for you will probably have a competitive edge on other stations. Either way, though, this will probably cause Oregonians who do not see a continuation in served gas will both learn how to do a very easy task that they will have to do anytime out of the state and save a few dollars.

We must be incredibly wary when advocating for government involvement in any market, ever, for its damages can be detrimental to masses of individuals and society as a whole. The term “sheep” tends to be a bit of a cliche, but when it comes to being dependent, it definitely applies. Men are responsible. Sheep are dependent.

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Trump is One of the Most Free Market-Oriented Presidents in Decades

Charlie Gengler | USA

With his biggest success of the year, Trump’s presidency is turning out to be a dream come true for the small government types.  He gave to his country the biggest reform of our wretched tax system in decades, saving U.S. citizens thousands.  But the most important part of his tax plan is by far his cut for corporations.  He lowered their taxes down to 21%, still higher than that of the socialist Europeans.  Many a pundit of the left claimed that this was stealing.  Yet, with the bill passed, they are proven wrong, and libertarians across the country rejoice. After all, less taxation is less theft. This comes off the back of a slew of free market-oriented decisions.

He started off manning a blitzkrieg on Obama-era regulations, freezing all regulations until expressly approved by his administration.  He also provided aid to those negatively affected by Obamacare, both of these on his first day in office.  He enacted a small review of federal regulations, studying there impact on domestic manufacturing, but the big one came just six days later, on January 30.  He wrote in executive order 13771, which decreed, “Unless prohibited by law, whenever an executive department… publicly proposes… new regulation, it shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed,” and at the end of the next month, he began enforcing this order. This was, and still is, huge.  It has, over the course of eleven months, eliminated 800+ regulations.  He went on to eliminate regulations in matters of climate, education and other matters.

Reducing regulations is only a slice of the pie, Trump has gone for nearly the whole shebang.  He has taken more libertarian stances on climate change, backing away from global pressures, and taking a hard stance on climate laws.  His trepidation with global politics shows his hesitations towards global government, the nightmare of many a small-government individual.  His stances on climate change are also inviting.  Libertarians, by principle, are against laws concerning climate in almost all circumstances, therefore we should implore Trump to continue this path.

Moreover, his stances on firearms are consistent with libertarian values.  He is against regulation on guns in every instance so far.  Trump is not only consistent with liberty valuing people on the 2nd amendment though, for his views on LGBT issues tend to fall in line with us.  He supports gay marriage, one of the few Republicans to do so,  but also, by proxy of the DOJ, supports the baker in the controversial case yet to come to the supreme court, Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  The president’s approval of the store, in this case, is vital to our republic.  Without it, the 1st amendment is under serious threat.

The only real complaint against Trump from libertarians came during his campaign, about the time when he was threatening libel laws.  The only problem?  He has yet to pose any threat to not only free speech but all major values consistent with our beliefs.  You might have qualms about his military policies or his stance on immigration, but, so far, he has been the smallest government president since Reagan.