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Category: Trade

Election 2018 Finished: Politics As Usual

The 2018 elections are over with, and now the media and Americans will be obsessed with the 2020 elections from now until November of 2020. And there’s no good reason for that.

For those annoyed with my posts yesterday with videos discussing whether these elections make any difference for liberty, and the notion that “every vote counts,” and “if you vote for third parties you’re wasting your vote,” etc., I am actually the realistic one here. When I voted for Ron Paul the Libertarian Party candidate in 1988, I was voting for the only non-statist. And we knew that was the case because 99% of his votes in Congress up to that time and since then had been non-ststist — against the State, its power expansions, its intrusions, its criminality, thefts, molestations of innocents, warmongering, and so on.

That year the other two candidates of the major parties were George H.W. Bush, who was elected President and went on to start a war of aggression against Iraq for no good reason that caused blowback including 9/11, and loser Michael Dukakis who was a typical Democrat who wanted to empower the government to steal as much as possible from “the rich” (i.e. all the workers and producers of society) and impose one intrusion after another into private property. It’s been the same ever since then.

Since that 1988 election, I did vote through 1992 but not after that. It took those four whole years more for me to finally deal with the fact the these elections are rigged in favor of statists and against those who support the non-aggression principle, freedom of association, private property rights, i.e. liberty.

The dumb clucks in the mainstream media who are powerful in controlling who and what messages get air time and who and what doesn’t, have been silencing and smearing the libertarian message, frankly.

There are those who look down on non-voters. “Well if you don’t vote then you have no right to complain about things,” and so on. No, it’s the other way around.

The ones who DO vote are the ones who have no right to complain, because they are the ones who voted in the statists who continue to make things worse. (Like George H.W. Bush, his no-good son, and most of Congress.)

Sure, Donald Trump signed tax cuts into law, but his trade idiocy will reverse the economic progress stimulated by the tax cuts and deregulations. Trade protectionism imposes taxes on you either directly or imposes costs indirectly in its attempts to force or coerce you to buy American products (regardless of their possible poor quality and higher prices) in the name of allegedly protecting American producers. That despite Trump’s causing American producers to have to pay higher prices for the capital goods they need to run their businesses and manufacturing plants. And what are the results of that?

On this week’s elections, the Democrats regained control of the House and the Republicans expanded their control over the Senate. More gridlock is a good thing, rather than rubber-stamping of Trump’s police state/welfare/warfare state agenda.

Ted Scruz wins reelection in Texas, and Scott Walker loses reelection in Wisconsin. And Pocahontas and Gov. Charlie Baker are reelected in Massachusetts, which approved the transgender bathroom/shower law by 67%. In New Hampshire, the “Live Free or Die” state, Gov. Chris Sunununu was reelected. Like Charlie Half-Baker, Sunununu also signed a transgender bathroom/shower bill into law.

Only 1.4% of New Hampshire voters voted for the Libertarian Party candidate, Jilletta Jarvis for governor. Not good. New Hampshire people, you need to strike “Live Free or Die” from those license plates now. “Statism Forever!” should be your motto, just like in all the other states. Private property rights? Never heard of it. “Liberty”? What’s that?

And now that the election is finally over with, the Mueller investigation will conclude with no indictment of Donald Trump regarding “collusions with Russia” in meddling in the 2016 election, because they never had any such evidence to begin with. But the Republicans in the House committees investigating the matters DO have evidence to indict James Comey, Rosenstein, Strzok, McCabe, James Claptrapper, and probably Brennan in their conspiring to meddle in the 2016 election, their criminally abusing the FISA spying authority to spy on the Trump campaign and falsely accuse or set up or frame Trump in aforementioned “Russia collusions,” and conspiracy to change the election outcome and “defraud the United States of America,” as well as perjury in their lying to Congress.

If Devin Nunes and the others don’t get going on the indictments between now and the first week of January, then all that will be swept under the rug and the American people will never know the truth, those who up to this time have been brainwashed by so much mainstream news media propaganda on “Trump-Russia-collusions.”

The Republicans in Congress can also pass another tax cut between now and January. Make it permanent, not temporary. The truth is, people have a right to keep everything they earn, spend it on consumer goods, invest it, save for the future, whatever they want, because what is theirs is theirs. Those who take it from them in the absence of a voluntary contract are stealing. And that’s what taxation is, but sadly many brainwashed sheeple believe otherwise.

And Democrats will open up new investigations on Donald Trump, without any evidence to support two years of allegations, and will attempt to have impeachment hearings, knowing full well that the Republicans who control the Senate will not pursue such crapola.

However, one good thing about Democrats controlling the House is that there will be no funding for a border wall. No government walls on the government border. This is America, not East Germany. “Oh, but it’s a wall to keep people out, not to keep people in.” Hmm, but what will future administrations in Washington do with that government wall, such as a Tom Perez administration or a Bernie Sanders administration?

And that’s a problem that Republicans have, very short-sighted and simple-minded. Do they know that most of the people who are in the U.S. “illegally” are those who have overstayed their visas or otherwise violated some bureaucratic rule, and NOT those who have snuck in through the border? Duh, Rethugs.

And besides denying the Ignoramus-in-Chief funding for a government wall on the border, the Democrats should also try to deny funding for further escalation of the police state, the drug war, and the military boondoggles they are getting now.

The Enslavements of Socialism and “Social Justice”

As a follow-up to my recent post on the ignorant socialists on both sides of the same statist coin, liberal and conservative, I wanted to bring up the libertarian view of the non-aggression principle and self-ownership. You own yourself and your life and morally if we want a peaceful, civilized society, then be peaceful, don’t initiate aggression against others. And a part of all that is private property rights. Don’t steal, don’t defraud, as well as don’t commit acts of aggression against others.

But socialism is when the government takes ownership of the means of production, industry and property, and actually consists of the violation of the individual and is when one’s life and labor do not exist for one’s own benefit (or for the benefit of those of one’s voluntary choosing) but for the benefit of others as determined by bureaucrats, by the rulers, against the will of the people. In contrast, actual free-markets (or free-market “capitalism”) consist of not just privately-owned property and industry but voluntary exchange, in which you own your own life and labor. As I wrote in a post that I recently linked to,

“Owning people” doesn’t fit into capitalism. “Owning people” is what the State does under socialism. If by “capitalism” you mean “free market capitalism,” then the “capitalists” do not “own” — nor can claim any kind of ownership of — their workers, their employees. In actual free-market capitalism, no one is forced to have any association with or to do any labor for any employer one doesn’t want to work for. In free-market capitalism, your contracts with other associates or your employers are voluntary, and you are free to go work elsewhere if you don’t like that employer. In a free system, you own yourself.

Claiming actual ownership of others is the enslavement of them. And that’s what socialism does, by the State’s (regardless of its using the rhetorical guise “the public”) seizing ownership of industries, wealth and “the means of production,” which includes the people. The people are the most important amongst the means of production.

And by the State’s “seizing ownership of industries,” I am referring also to control. If the State takes control over your supposedly privately owned business or property (with regulations, mandates, restrictions, etc.) then that is the indirect way of the State’s seizing ownership. If you don’t fully control your own property, and another entity has forcibly seized control over it, then you don’t really own it.

Besides the purpose of forced redistribution of wealth in the name of equalizing inequality, socialism is also used to forcibly advance a social agenda. So some people won’t like my examples here, but that’s because a lot of people have been indoctrinated with social “justice” propaganda, but here goes:

One example is the civil rights stuff that now has expanded to include LGBT “rights” against “discrimination” as well as by race or sex. In recent years we have heard about same-sex couples suing photographers, florists and bakers who didn’t want to do work for the couples’ weddings.

Now, why does the baker or florist have a right to not do business with someone he doesn’t want to do business with? Because his business is his own private property. He owns the business, not the government, and not the “public.” The “civil rights” laws say that the business is a “public accommodation,” but the public does not own the business. And therefore members of the public do not have a right to order the owner of the business to serve those he doesn’t want to do extra labor to serve. It has to do with private property rights and freedom of association.

And it has nothing to do with the religion of the Christian baker, for example, and his religious beliefs regarding homosexuality or gay marriage. It has to do with the self-centered couples using the armed powers of government courts to force the businesspeople to show an acceptance of the customers’ lifestyles. These have been cases of extreme narcissists who believe that they have a right to force others to do extra labor to serve them, period, in my view.

Unfortunately, many conservatives, who have been opposed to the LGBT agenda and have been supporting the private businesses who don’t want to serve same-sex couples, don’t understand the principles of private property rights and freedom of association, and freedom of thought and conscience behind all these cases. It seems to me that the conservatives have also been covetous when it comes to using the powers of government to advance their social agendas.

The conservatives believe that the businesspeople’s religious beliefs are what need to be protected here, and that is not the case. What if an atheist baker refused to serve a Christian couple? I don’t believe the conservatives would support the baker. They would probably support the Christian couple. So the conservatives also believe that in some cases people have a right to use government courts to force businesspeople to serve others they don’t want to serve. No, it has to do with private property rights and freedom of association. If you’re an atheist baker and don’t want to serve a Christian couple, then of course you have a right to refuse to serve them. It’s your business, not theirs.

Another example is the transgender bathroom/shower controversy. Some states now allow someone who is male but thinks he’s a female to go into the ladies room, and vice versa. In some states, if you complain about it (that is, if you are a lady who doesn’t want males in the ladies room while you’re in there, or if you’re a parent who doesn’t want an obvious male going into the ladies room while your little girl is in there, and so on), you could be fined a lot of money and even arrested and thrown in jail.

And that is just how narcissistic some people are. You see, someone who has this confusion with his gender, he’s a male and thinks he’s a female but rather than causing him to feel uncomfortable going into the men’s room he now has the power to make a bunch of women and girls feel uncomfortable while he goes into their ladies room. So by law they must accept his gender confusion that he has. They must accommodate him.

And all that stuff, as well as all those “civil rights” laws, applies to privately owned property as well as public property or government buildings. So yes, these policies are another aspect of socialism, in which the government is essentially stealing ownership of private property away from the owners-on-paper.

Incidentally, in Massachusetts there is a ballot question this November to repeal such a law that Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law. In New Hampshire, the “Live Free or Die” state, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu also signed a similar bill into law. Sununu is up for reelection as is Charlie Half-Baker.

The same kinds of enslavements occur in other areas of life, such as medical care. Do you have a right to force a medical doctor or private hospital to care for you? No, of course you don’t. No one has a “right” to health care. If you have a right to have something provided to you, then you have a right to demand that producers must do extra labor to serve you.

As I wrote in a 2012 article, “If someone chooses to be a medical doctor, devotes hours and hours every day and years of intensive study and labor toward training to become a medical doctor, then who is it that owns such efforts, labor, energy and the actual career itself? That doctor? One’s neighbors? The government?” I hope the question answers itself.

And why is medical care so expensive, anyway? When did it really start to become expensive? Well, after Medicare and Medicaid were imposed on the people by bureaucrats who wanted to solve a problem that didn’t exist, that’s when!

So here is a list of articles on why socialized medicine doesn’t work, and never will work, and is immoral as well. And they will help to explain why Bernie Sanders’s plans or Evita Ocasio-Cortez’s plans for “single payer”also will not work. Just study the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, and, worst of all, the U.K.

And if the government doesn’t outright own all the means of production and industry as in socialist societies, a word for the public’s or government’s seizing control over privately owned property or businesses is “fascism.”

However, as I mentioned above, if you don’t have control over something you supposedly “own,” then you don’t really own it. So the above cases are really varieties of socialism, in which the government has a de facto ownership of all property. Check out Lew Rockwell’s book, Fascism versus Capitalism, as well as Socialism: an Economic and Sociological Analysis by Ludwig von Mises.

The conservatives and nationalists, by the way, also do not understand, or they have an outright contempt for, private property and free markets like the people on the left. With the immigration issue, the anti-immigration crowd says that businesspeople, professionals and laborers must get a government bureaucrat’s permission to move about to get work or establish voluntary contracts to make a living.

So, with such controls in the name of “protecting the nation,” the government has a de facto ownership over people’s lives, property, and contracts. And, like the so-called “progressives” and social activists, these nationalistic anti-property, anti-freedom policies are also out of envy and covetousness.

And that applies to the trade issue as well. Donald Trump and his sheeple are anti-free trade, and they want the U.S. government to determine who may buy what and for how much and from whom. So this government-controlled trade stuff is also fascist, and thus a part of socialism. You don’t really own your money or your contract that you would have with a seller, the seller doesn’t really own his goods or services that he’s selling. The government has the ultimate, de facto ownership.

Otherwise, in a free society without those governmental intrusions, you would buy something from Sweden, China or Iran and at whatever price the seller is selling it for, and no third party interferes with that contract. That’s the free market, baby. Crony protectionists like Donald Trump don’t like that kind of freedom.

And by the way, if American producers don’t like consumers buying stuff from other countries, then produce better stuff and lower your prices! And if the prices have to be higher to afford the costs of production because the government imposes taxes and regulations, then tell the government to remove those taxes and regulations!

The consumers are essentially enslaved by the bureaucrats in charge and their cronies whose profits are protected by the armed force of government.

Dow Crashing? Don’t Panic. Trump Can Cut It Out with the Trade Nonsense

So the stock market fell a little bit yesterday, the Dow went down about 831 points, and some people are panicking. No, I don’t think it’s anything like in 2008, it’s just a “correction.” And I don’t think that it has anything to do with the Fed raising interest rates. Some analysts are saying it’s being caused by the tech sector. I don’t think it’s anything to worry about.

There was a worse downturn in February. At that time I wrote,

Following last Friday’s big 665.75 point decline, Dow Jones Industrial Average then plummeted another 1175 points yesterday. At the opening bell this morning it fell another 600 points but is already up 30 points as I’m writing this. I don’t expect this decline to be an indication of a repeat of 2008. It’s just going through some adjustments, that’s all. Nothing to worry about.

For what it’s worth, 2015 was the worst year since 2008, up to December 2015. In July 2015, the DJIA was at 17,568, in August it went down to 15,781, in November back up to 17,910, in January 2016 back down to 15,944, and in April 2016 back up to 17,900 and it has continued to mainly go up since then. You can look at any number of interactive charts to see the numbers over these recent years.

But what’s going on now? Some say it’s technological issues, although there are other factors. I don’t know if Donald Trump’s State of the Onion last week had anything to do with it, or the release on Friday of the Republican FISA memo.

But it is clear that the Trump tax cuts, without any significant cuts in government spending, will have a variety of effects on things. The government is completely out of control, spending like drunken sailors, and Donald Trump is clueless about that. And the Federal Reserve also plays a role.

Today’s Dow is going up and down, very negative, then in the positive territory, and negative again. It could get worse over the next week, like in February. Besides the tech stocks I think that people are “concerned” over Donald Trump’s trade idiocy. His intrusions into the American people’s economic and trade matters are what could cause a further downturn.

The problem with protectionists like the economic ignoramus egomaniac Donald Trump is that they are control freaks who just don’t want to let people be free to do what they want. Just let the consumers buy whatever they want, from wherever and whomever they want, and let producers buy whatever capital goods they need and from wherever and from whomever they want. It’s called freedom, Donald. And prosperity, as well. More freedom has led to more prosperity throughout history, no?

When the government intrudes and imposes the wants and desires of control-freak bureaucrats like Trump and his cohorts and cronies, such intrusions cause distortions in the markets, price distortions and even higher unemployment as well, in the long run. And of course Wall Street will react to the monkey wrench the Control-Freak-in-Chief is throwing into what could have been a stronger economy.

Why Conservatives Are Socialists

I have written quite a few posts and articles on the immigration issue now. More recently I responded to Lew Rockwell’s reiteration of his and Hans Hoppe’s claim that “taxpayers own public property.”

But I wanted to clarify here how the nationalists who oppose freedom in immigration, labor and employment are really socialists in their wanting central planners to take charge over who is “allowed” to enter the territory, regardless of what private property owners want.

The nationalists such as Donald Trump and conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh want to require that people have citizenship in the U.S. to qualify for this or that, or to work, etc. And my contention is that you can’t have both a “free market” and a requirement of citizenship at the same time. It’s either one or the other.

You see, the nationalists and conservatives want to continue keeping foreigners from entering “our” country without the permission of the central planners in Washington. And they say that you don’t “belong” in the country unless you have citizenship. So this citizenship thing really is an authorization.

But I thought all human beings had “unalienable rights,” among them the rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Those are rights which preexist the formation of any government, and which preexist the formation of a country as well. Right?

Do people have a right to exist and live their lives as granted to them by the ruling bureaucrats? Or do they have a right to exist and live their lives, period? As long as one is peaceful, of course. As Leonard Read would say, Anything that’s peaceful (.pdf).

In the rights to life and liberty one has a natural right to self-ownership. And for those who reject the idea of natural rights, I get that, and will say that we have freedom, period. Until someone comes along and violates that freedom.

And what is the “free market”? It is a market that is free of external intrusions or violations, i.e. governmental restrictions, prohibitions, mandates, controls, reporting requirements, tax-thefts, etc. It is also a market that is not restricted by a government-drawn border. If this person over here wants to trade with that person over there, they trade. As long as they are peaceful. That’s the “free market.” And third parties may not intrude.

But the “citizenship” requirement makes the traders not self-owners but owned by the government. You may not even be in the territory unless you have “authorization,” that is, no longer a self-owner. And that is a part of the nationalists’ belief in some kind of communal ownership of the entire territory by the citizens (or by “taxpayers”). But, if you have a communal ownership of an entire territory, then those who think they own “private” property within the territory are mistaken. Because with the idea of “authorized citizens” who communally own the territory is their ownership (or control) of all “private” property within the territory, each business, residence, etc. In my view, control is a de facto ownership.

And all this is what socialism is. Another example is the drug war that most conservatives love. When the government dictates what you may or may not put into your own body, then the government has a de facto ownership of your body. One of the most important means of production is the people, which includes their physical bodies. When there is private ownership of the means of production the individual owns one’s own body. And that is where the principle of non-aggression comes from, by the way. The individual has self-ownership and the physical aggression against one’s body by others is a violation — but, in statist theory, not entirely a violation if the aggressor claims to be the actual owner, such as the government in its enforcement of dictating to you what drugs or foods you may or may not put into your own body. The drug war is a socialist crusade by intrusive social activists who covet the lives and bodies of others, in my view.

In regards to the immigration issue and trade and commerce, the collectivist conservatives and nationalists want to arrest “unauthorized entrants” even if they are acting peacefully, and the collectivists want to arrest businessmen who employ the peaceful, non-criminal workers even if the employers are being peaceful. This is not an example of the “free market.” This is a socialist utopia. It is utopia because this scheme of government control doesn’t even work!

A free market is not under the control of the community, as though the community in general takes part in the ownership of each business or each worker’s life within the community. A free market is not under the control of government bureaucrats or their armed enforcers. A free market is controlled by the legitimate owners who own the property being traded, including the businesses and the labor of the workers. Free traders do not need permission from outsiders or third parties who are not a part of the voluntary contracts established by the traders. And again, traders also include people selling their labor to others.

And this doesn’t just apply to the immigration issue. Any kind of trade, or peaceful, mutually beneficial activity.

The anti-market people on the nationalism side are advocating socialism, which is government ownership of the means of production. The private ownership of the means of production is not divided by government borders. The separation or dividing up of the means of production by that which is within the border and that which is outside the border is socialism, because those in charge (government rulers and bureaucrats) have seized control (i.e. ownership) over the means of production. In their dictating to businesses whom the businesses may or may not hire the bureaucrats are seizing control (i.e. ownership) over the businesses.

In a free market, business owners hire whomever they want. They are the authorities over their own businesses, not bureaucrats. No need for government authorization. And I think there is a kind of envy going on with the police-statists’ desire to arrest honest businesspeople for hiring “unauthorized workers.” That’s just my view on that.

As far as what is causing so many people to take the nationalist-collectivist view, and in a deeply emotional way? Who knows? And it’s definitely an emotional thing. Nationalism does not seem to be rational, in my view.

The American Founders were not nationalists, by the way. They were individualists. They (supposedly) believed in individual liberty and private property, not some kind of collective ownership of property.  And they were not authoritarians in the political sense. They believed in bottom-up rule, not top-down rule. Those who were nationalists at the time of the American Revolution were loyal to their nation at the time, the British regime. They were the ones who turned in “traitors” (i.e. the Revolutionaries). As written in the Declaration of Independence, the early Americans wanted immigrants to come and they complained about the British King’s interference in that matter.

Note: This post was slightly edited (with 3 words added) since originally posted.