Category Archives: masses

How Far Are You Willing to Compromise Your Integrity and Values?

Election fever has taken hold. A new generation of young voters will have their first chance to vote for the next President this November. The energy of the American dream will surge in the hearts of the masses. Like the groundhog that comes up once a year, the American voter will suddenly care about the issues, rules of engagement, democracy, laws, social contracts, and a bunch of -isms that divide into Us vs. Them, only to retreat into their safe zones and watering holes for another 4 years.

If social media is any kind of representation of reality, then I can tell you this election is going to get ugly. People are angry. People are pointing fingers. Everyone has an ax to grind and someone to blame.

And then there are our Leaders. The snake oil peddlers and soothsayers are drumming up the sheeple, feeding on their fears and hatred, and promising to care about them and solve their problems. Every one of them is peddling something at the cost of your liberty. Want better health care? You need to be taxed and pay for services you don’t want or need. Want secured borders? We need to have access to your private information. Want equality and protection from hate speech? We need to threaten you with incarceration for unsanctioned speech or expression. Want a greener planet? People in poorer countries might have to starve to get that done.

As of this moment, the 2 presidential front runners appear to be Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I really hope they are the ones on the ballot. You might think I’m saying that because they represent polar opposites of the political spectrum and should find some common ground for most voters from which to choose, but that’s not the case. I find them to be more similar than not. The real reason I want to see them on the ballot is because I believe they are SO bad, that many honest, thoughtful people will have to do some deep, soul searching to motivate them to actually cast a vote for one over the other.

Now many die hard political party drones will simply vote along party lines. But I suspect if you’re out there reading this, and you have been bathing in the Bernie ether pond, and you see that he’s led in many primaries by popular vote, but lost because of the SuperMario insider caucus voters — then at some point, you’ll have to come to terms with the fact that in the end, your precious grass roots movement meant nothing because money and power, within your own party, sold you out. And are you prepared to fall in line and cast your voice to support the system that chewed you up and vomited you out?

Similarly, if you are a professing Christian, and you’ve been pushing for Rubio or Cruz or Carson, fooling yourself into hoping that your guy will uphold Christian values (while bombing civilians in foreign countries or justifying police brutality and creating a nation held hostage by thugs with anger issues and badges) — and you’re left with a flamboyantly adulterous, pro-abortion, misogynist who has promised more govt regulation and more wars, are you comfortable standing before a Holy God someday and saying “but he was better than Hillary”?

Now some of you are going to say “you can still write in your candidate” and that is true. My question back to you is – do you honestly believe they are going to be any different? Is the government they run going use their power for good or for selfish gain? Are corruption and backroom dealings going to go away if we elect X instead of Y?

So I challenge all of you out there.

Don’t continue to support a corrupt system by casting a symbolic nod of approval. Let’s see voter turnout down to single digits this fall. If you want to stand for something, stand for integrity and your soul.

Stop worshipping the State and appointing your next slave master.

As for me and my household, we have but one King and that is Jesus the Christ. I owe allegiance to no one else. Go ahead with your silly fixed, 2 party race.

But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord . And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt, even to this day—with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.”

So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who asked him for a king. And he said, “This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint them for his own chariots and to be his horsemen, and some will run before his chariots. He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, will set some to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and some to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers, cooks, and bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day.”

Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”

And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the hearing of the Lord . So the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed their voice, and make them a king.”

And Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Every man go to his city.”
I Samuel 8:6-22 NKJV

Join me LIVE on the Annoying Peasant Radio Show Tuesday, May 5. @ 7:00 pm cst

I know I’ve been offline from posting for a while.   Hope to be back soon.  But, I wanted to invite all of you to join me as I guest host the Annoying Peasant Radio Show next Tuesday, May 5th at 7:00 pm cst.   

I’ve appeared on the show a couple times already with my friends Tom and Tanya, but we’ve been wrestling with some audio / technical difficulties.  Really hoping we have all the kinks worked out.

On the docket will be an important topic that is near and dear to my heart — Organ Donations and Liberty.  Whether you have no opinion or very strong thoughts on the topic, my goal is to get you to think more about this as it affects millions of people around the world every day.

Click — http://www.spreaker.com/show/annoying-peasant-radio on Tuesday to get to the show.  (You can also go there and listen to recorded shows.)

Be sure to join us in the Chat Room as well during the show.  Click on the bubble icon to get to the Chat.  You will have to create a Spreaker login to Chat, but it’s free and can be linked to your Google or Facebook accounts if you’d like.

Capture

You can follow the Annoying Peasant Radio show on Facebook.  www.facebook.com/AnnoyingPeasantRadio

Hope to see you online this Tuesday!

————

re: https://txfatherofseven.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/you-think-you-own-your-body-try-selling-your-organs/

Do you even know what you’re saying?

Socialism, and her inevitable offspring Communism, are gaining popularity once again.  Visions of Che Guevara swell in the hearts and on the T-shirts of the ‘working class’.  Students flock to the local Leftist “Equality” rallies, iPhones and Starbucks Gluten-Free-Mocha-Frappa-Caramelitos in hand.  Disgruntled workers, not feeling the love, covet their CEO’s bonus payout last year without the slightest clue of what it takes to run a company that may employ tens of thousands of workers.

And why not?  On the surface, there’s some appeal to the idea of Socialism.  Why wouldn’t we want everyone to have guaranteed food, shelter, education, medicine, clean air, pothole-free roads, high paying jobs, time and money for vacations on the beach, USDA Prime filet mignon for dinner every night, or blazing fast wifi?  Unless you’re a real sociopath, no one wants to actively prevent someone from having these things.

The problem is that in reality, everyone can’t simply have all of these things just because we want it to be so.  As I’ve written previously, the fundamental truth of economics comes down to 2 basic, opposing forces – the insatiability of our appetites vs. the scarcity of available resources.  You cannot completely satisfy even a personal insatiability because of the scarcity of resources, much less the desires on a national or global scale.

Don’t misunderstand.  That’s not to say individuals cannot find contentment in their situation.  We may resolve to be content with what we have.  But tomorrow, we will be hungry again.  We will need shelter again.  We will want electricity and heat and water again.  That’s what it means to have an insatiable Demand over time.

Despite these fundamental truths, modern Socialists want you to believe that it IS possible for a central planner to gather up all of the resources and equitably parse them out to the masses.  They also want you to believe that in this fairy tale, individuals will choose to work, not for selfish gain, but for the good of humanity.

Can a central planner actually accomplish this better than the free market?

This clip from Milton Friedman explains why no one can even build a pencil on their own.

What is Socialism?  How do they propose to distribute all these goods and services for everyone to enjoy?

Here’s a quote from MarxMail.org —

Instead of wanting to take away people’s private property, socialists want more people to have more private property than ever before.

There are two kinds of private property. There is property which is personal in nature, consumer’s goods, used for private enjoyment. Then there is the kind of private property which is not personal in nature, property in the means of production. This kind of property is not used for private enjoyment, but to produce the consumer’s goods which are.

Socialism does not mean taking away the first kind of private property, e.g. your suit of clothes; it does mean taking away the second kind of private property, e.g. your factory for making suits of clothes. It means taking away private property in the means of production from the few so that there will be much more private property in the means of consumption for the many. That part of the wealth which is produced by workers and taken from them in the form of profits would be theirs, under socialism, to buy more private property, more suits of clothes, more furniture, more food, more tickets to the movies.

More private property for use and enjoyment. No private property for oppression and exploitation. That’s socialism.

So first off, Socialists want you to have MORE private property by taking away your second kind of Private Property.

wait-what-meme

But let’s take a closer look at this nonsensical banality.  You have the right to your property for use and enjoyment, just not the things that will produce more property for use and enjoyment.

How many of you have 2 separate bank accounts – one for your use and enjoyment (say a checking account) and another for producing more money (say an IRA or Savings account)?  Well, that second account would become property of the Socialist State.

For those of you that are business owners or employers, how many of you sacrifice some of your “use and enjoyment” private property to invest in your business or to create jobs for employees?  Well, you might want to reconsider because the Socialist State would immediately seize your tools of exploitation and oppression.

So what’ you say?  As long as there’s equality and people’s lives improve, isn’t that good?

Let’s imagine if we measured the Total Global Production of Goods today, and declare it be equal to 100 units of measurement (let’s call them widgets).  So as of Jan 24, 2015, there are 100 widgets in the world today.  Socialist believe that if the global population equaled 100 people, well then each person would get, on average, 1 widget to consume.  (True Socialists differ from hard-lined Communists in that they won’t distribute the stolen goods equally per person, but that’s another topic).

So what happens when 100 widgets are consumed?  Will they all be replenished and can we continue to perpetuate this rate of consumption once we take away Private Property (Capitalism and Self-Interest)?  Will consumption remain constant or might it grow?

Ask yourself – what if you could continue to consume what you do today (or even consume MORE than what you do today) without increasing your workload?  What if not a single hour of additional labor would net you any additional benefit in compensation?  You get paid regardless of if you work 8 hours a day or 4.  Would you work as hard as you do?  Would anyone?

I don’t know if you’ve recently been to the United States Post Office.  Take a look at the floors, the walls, the supplies stations.  Even the self-service kiosks.  Unlike privately-owned businesses that are meticulously maintained in order to keep customers satisfied, most of the time the USPO is filthy, out of supplies, understaffed and totally run by clock watchers.  Try walking into the Post Office with a stack of packages at 5:01 pm when the place closes at 5:00.

So now think about the 100 widgets being consumed.  Is there any likelihood those consumed widgets would be replaced or even grow past the current level when you take away the incentives to work harder and longer?

Of course not.  In fact, very quickly, the Socialist State has to scale back their promises of free goods and services, institute rationing and price fixing, and nationalize mandatory labor (e.g. slavery) in order to keep the State alive.  Forget about iPhones and free wifi or healthcare and education.  Now, you can’t even manage to keep everyone fed.

When this happens, you have gone from the Socialist’s Pipe Dream to the hard reality of a Communist State.

So what’s so bad about the Communist State?

Plenty.

Now, any lingering seed of individualism or free thinking is met with severe hostility, violence, persecution, torture, starvation, and death.  This account of the horrific genocide perpetrated by Mao Tse Tung on his own people should be a sobering wakeup call for those who live on some Fantasy Island thinking that we can just take everyone’s property for the good of the people, yet production will be able to keep up with the increased demand.

alewitz2

(okay, I added a bit of truth to this Socialist propaganda.)

Even more disturbing to me are the attempts by Socialist fan boys to re-write or ignore history.  Like Mao, the history of Stalin, Russia and the Soviet Union is written in the blood of millions of people, murdered and tortured by their own leaders.  This film of the Soviet Story is disturbing but must be shared.  If you watch to the end, what’s particularly alarming are the current trends in Russia under Putin to go back to the days of Stalin and ethnic cleansing.

You can also go here to see the film with full English subtitles.

Now I know there are still some naïve daydreamers out there, sitting in your dorm rooms, looking up at your Bob Marley posters, sipping your dandelion tea and thinking “we would never resort to killing and violence and torture in order to achieve equality.  We just want to stand up for the 99%.”

So to you, let me ask you this:  If I choose to ignore your demands on my Private Property, if I refuse to fund your regime with my taxes, if I protest anything that has to do with “contributing My Fair Share”, if I stand defiantly at the doors of my business and do not allow you to come in and take what I’ve created or earned – WHAT IS YOUR NEXT COURSE OF ACTION?

Will you leave me alone?

Will you go pick on someone else instead?

Will your master plan survive with the existence of Choice?

The U.S. Should Open its Immigration, but . . .

As promised, here’s my post on the topic of US Immigration. If you haven’t done so already, you should check out the 2 opposing views posted by Nathan Smith and A.M. Fantini on Fee.org which I will reference throughout this post. Keep in mind that both Smith and Fantini are examining US Immigration from a Libertarian perspective which is all the more reason why I’m fascinated with the debate.

Here’s basically what it comes down to:

On the one hand, Smith argues that opening up Immigration, including to those here already illegally, would create economic prosperity for all. Not only does the current system create an enormous amount of waste, red tape, totally inconsistent / totally unenforceable set of subjective rules, but it also arbitrarily destroys families here illegally, incarcerating or deporting mostly non-violent “criminals” from their families. Opening up immigration would increase PAID demand for goods and services, potential tax revenues (if you support taxation, which I do not), and would create a huge windfall of growth for our economy – some conservative estimates being a 2x GDP multiplier. Smith also argues that opening immigration is, by far, the most logical and ethical decision if you hold Liberty in high regard.

On the other hand, Fantini makes the case that by opening up Immigration, Libertarians run the risk of tearing apart the very fabric of our society, including a base-level tolerance of the principals of Liberty. You are inviting in all kinds of crazy political externalities including Socialism, Totalitarianism, Sharia Law, Polygamy, Bestiality, and so on if you just up and open the borders to anyone that wants to enter. Immigrants won’t assimilate into our culture, and instead we might lose everything that makes America great.

In addition to these points, some of my Right-Wing readers will also argue that Immigrants are poor and will create a drain on Social Services / Welfare, Education, Law Enforcement, and Infrastructure. They steal our jobs and will bring down wages.

Some other well-known Libertarians make the case that since public land is owned by taxpayers, it’s essentially private land, and opening Immigration forces you to allow people onto your private property against your will.

 

So, let’s start with the softballs, the basics of jobs and the economy. The argument that immigrants will steal our jobs, bring down wages, or create a drag on the economy are somewhat of a head scratcher to me. It’s entirely possible that YOUR job might get replaced by an incoming immigrant, just like it’s possible that a local high school or college graduate might replace you after 20 years on the job (that is, of course, unless you are protected by a thug Labor Union which makes it basically impossible to get fired). But this fear of losing one’s job is deeply rooted in the notion that the economy is fixed, that there’s only a set amount of resources and demand. However, as Smith points out, letting immigrants into the community means NEW demand for housing, groceries, energy, financial services, cars, computers, dining out, etc. That demand will create MORE jobs, not less.

Some are concerned that Immigrants will be willing to undercut the current employee for work, driving down wages despite studies that have shown Immigration actually raising the wages of US-born workers. But even if wages fell, Thomas E. Lehman points out this is actually a good thing in the long run. Lower costs to Employers will lead to lower prices for Consumers. It also frees up capital for increased innovation, entrepreneurship, and spending more productively.

Everyone benefits from lower costs. (If you take nothing else from this post, go home with that.) Just like Wheat, Aluminum, Oil, and Land, Labor is just another input into the Marketplace to determine Price of Finished Goods. Put Price in terms of dollars ($) aside for a minute and think of your labor in terms of units of exchange. If you currently exchange about a day of your labor for a week’s worth of groceries, and because of lower total costs, now your labor nets you a month’s worth, aren’t you better off?

Those of you that are concerned about Immigrants coming in that are poor and would create a drain on Social Services and Welfare and ignore the effect of increased Demand (eg. more spending), studies show that immigrants largely do not create a drain on Welfare or Public Aid (due in no small part to the fact that they are currently ineligible to receive it anyway). To that end, Smith’s proposal to counter this fear is very simple — continue to disqualify Immigrants from receiving public aid as part of the terms for entry.

(Those of you who know me know that I’m opposed to All Public Assistance to begin with. I would much rather cut all our taxes and voluntarily help those in need than enable some over-bloated, government program forcing “charity” on everyone.)

This clip is short and sweet and covers the 3 biggest Economic objections to Open Immigration.

 

Thus, based solely on the economic results of Open Immigration, I see no compelling reason to continue to restrict (or even tighten) US Immigration.

 

The next set of issues raised by Fantini on us losing our heritage appears to be more legitimate (on the surface) than the economic fears. Hypothetically, if ½ of China’s native 1.4 Billion population wanted to, and could afford to, move to the US, Chinese American immigrants could overshadow the roughly 320 million Americans overnight. They might decide to ditch the Constitution in favor of a Communist regime or institute Buddhism as the only allowed religion. If we allowed a flood of radical Muslims to come into our country, we’d have Sharia Law taking precedence over our democracy.

So once again, Smith points out a very simple counter proposal to dissuade these fears – don’t allow 1st generation immigrants the right to vote. Their children, born here, would be naturalized citizens and would be able to vote like any other citizen.

Well, what assurance do we have that their children will adopt traditional American values?

There are studies have shown both a tendency to assimilate into as well as segregate from the host culture, so it could arguably go either way.

Here, though, is the most interesting part of this debate.  Don Boudreaux summarized the Libertarian argument against opening Immigration very nicely.

The most popular version of the so-called libertarian case against immigration runs something like this.

Each private property owner has the moral right (and should have the legal right) to ban from his property, or to admit onto his property, anyone he chooses. In a free society, no one is coerced into unwanted associations with others. Therefore, because in a fully free society all land would be privately owned and government would be limited (at most) to keeping the peace, immigration policy in this society would be what ever each private property owner decides it to be. If I wish to let 100 unskilled Irish peasants onto my property, so be it. If my neighbor chooses never to admit onto his property even people from across the street, so be it. There would, in fact, be as many immigration policies in the fully free society as there are landowners. As a practical matter, immigrants would be people who contribute through gains-from-trade to domestic citizens.

But we do not live in a fully free society. Like it or not, we’re stuck with a large and intrusive government. And this same government happens to own enormous tracts of land and public facilities. Given that excessive government is a reality that isn’t soon disappearing, the best that citizens of a democratic society can hope for on the immigration front is that their overly powerful government mimics the immigration policies that a fully free society would adopt. Because there would be no free admission in a fully free society, there should be no free admission in today’s less-than-free society. Indeed, open immigration today is tantamount to forced integration. Citizens who do not wish to associate with foreigners are forced to do so by a government that too freely admits foreign immigrants. And because force is bad, forced integration—a.k.a, open immigration—is bad.

 

As I had alluded to above, well respected Libertarian thinkers like Hans-Hermann Hoppe and Lew Rockwell seem to support this opposition as well.

And to me personally, I don’t understand this objection / fear.

Is it possible / likely that open immigration could change the political / social landscape of our country? Absolutely. The question I ask is, are you happy with the status quo? Are you of the mindset that “well, it’s not perfect, but I’d like to keep things the way they are for the most part and trust that our current system will improve.”?

Not to beat a dead horse, but do you trust the government to KEEP THE STATUS QUO to your liking or do you believe it’s going to steadily degrade against you?

As it relates to Immigration, what part of it are you satisfied in keeping “As Is”?

If you want to completely shut down any foreigners from entering our country, do you think the government is doing a good job?

What about if you only want skilled, educated, rich, or productive immigrants allowed in?

Or if you only want democracy loving, flag-waiving, Christian, right-wing immigrants allowed in?

Do you even know what the process is for legal immigration? Here you go. (Click to enlarge.)


 

Pretty simple, right?

So as it sits, here’s where I stand on the issue of Immigration.

Economically speaking, it’s a no-brainer that open immigration will create incredible prosperity, not just for those coming into our global marketplace but also for existing citizens of all economic levels.

There’s no need to radically dump the existing system and create shockwaves throughout. We could begin in phases of opening our borders to certain countries or types of people / skills.

We should limit the voting rights / public welfare access 1st generation immigrants can have as part of the terms of entrance.

 

But this is a complicated topic and I’ve, by no means, put the issue to bed in my mind.  For those of you reading, I would highly recommend checking out some of the links below. Lots of great information, study results, videos, and ongoing debate on this topic.

Whatever you do, don’t pigeonhole yourself into a view on Immigration based on the 2-party system’s regurgitated, canned responses. I’ve learned a great deal in just the last few weeks reading up on the topic and find the discussion fascinating. I will definitely be posting / following the Immigration debate more closely in the future.

—————————

 

Selections from Openborders.info:

Short Videos

Libertarian Case for Open Borders

Conservative and Small Government Case for Open Borders

Some simple, keyhole solutions to common objections

Selections from Fee.org:

Coming to America: The Benefits of Open Immigration

Liberty and Immigration — by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

 


Immigration : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education

My next post will cover this hot topic.  Here are 2 very compelling views on the proposition — The US should open its borders.

Immigration : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education.