Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Call To Action


Liberty is normally created and sustained on a personl level - create a bit more in your own life - then help it grow and spread.

Find a collectivist bureaucracy and take a bit of its air - speed up its deflation. Use technology and your creativity to provide a better solution to just one need they currently serve poorly.

The risks and the rewards from creative entrepreneurship are greater, and of far more value to society, than illusions of security enslaving human cogs in the social machine. - Allan R. Wallace

Bastiat Free University seeks to provide a college level learning experience, for those that view learning as more inportant than a credential. It will take time, but if you listen you can hear a bt of air being sucked out of industrial age educational institutions.

The historical trends give us a back wind. The ending of the industrial age will decrease economies of scale that rewarded huge organizational size. Technology empowered individuals will shape the future.

You can shape your own future.


Fascism And Socialism - Are They the Same?

There was a bit of a debate on fascism and socialism being equal in the comments of a prior post.

Just to re-stir the pot I'll quote something I read in Wikipedia. I understand the weakness of a Wiki as a source - but I still find this an interesting way of phrasing the distinction.

This (individualism) contrasts with collectivist political theories, where, rather than leaving the individual to pursue his or her own ends, the state ensures that the individual serves the interests of society when taken as a whole. It also contrasts with fascism, where the individual is required to serve the interests of the state.

I think this is a cogent way of looking at these two government philosophies.

Yes they are different.

If history is any indicator in reality the results are the same.

The citizen is made a slave. The slavery is either directly to the state and its leaders, or to those that claim authority to represent society and "the people."

It is just a way of saying how you will sacrifice your life - supposedly for others - in a way to be chosen by a powerful third party.

Not in a way chosen by you.

Do you prefer your slavery straight up, or on the rocks?


Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Rights to education, health care, and food and housing

This is really a response, to a comment, to a prior post -Hop On The Bus Gus - about escaping from societal traps.

Xenophobia is a word because Xenophobia exists, not because it is pervasive. To avoid escaping a trap because you are afraid of the world beyond the trap is your choice - but others may see value in considering alternatives. Your comment about xenophobia and Mexicans in the US seems likely to have been based on politically inspired news. It did not fit the post - but it expressed a political viewpoint instead.

I therefore will provide you with my viewpoint on that one facet of the US immigration problem.

"It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights - the "right" to education, the "right" to health care, the "right" to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are the rations of slavery - hay and a barn for human cattle." - Alexis De Tocqueville (1805-1859)

The majority of Mexicans are poor because their government treats them like human cattle. They come to the US wanting to prosper and improve themselves - but they still expect the rations of slavery. In the capitalist system on which the US was founded - independent, mutually beneficial actions resulted in opportunity for all.

The Mexican situation in the US seems best explained by analogy.

If you own a house and invite guests to join you, it is because you will enjoy their company and will be able to share experiences with them. If they accept - it is because they also see benefit in association with you. This is analogous to a Perpetual Tourist / host country relationship.

You might own a house and advertise for a gardener, cook, and caretaker - offering occupancy of the cottage behind the house as partial payment. This is an employee / employer relationship. If capitalism is allowed to work - both parties benefit or they would not agree to the relationship. America is now great because it once allowed mutually beneficial relationships to develop without interference - value was added with each transaction - America prospered.

What if you own a house and someone climbs over the back wall, forces their way into your garage and moves in. When discovered they claim it was right to break in because you had a house and they didn't. They also demand you pay them and buy their insurance, and educate their kids in their language and culture - because they are willing to clean your kitchen. Trying to toss intruders out of your house is not xenophobia.

Tourists are almost always welcome, transient labor is frequently welcome, unlawful entry is normally punished.

except now

Several garages currently have squatters, they have joined together saying they do not have to pay their share of taxes and other burdens -- but they want to receive a share of benefits for which others have worked. They even post signs in front of your house and say they will not clean your kitchen for a day unless they get what they want. Only you remember you never asked them in to clean the kitchen - they broke in. If you went to their home town and broke into their house to clean their kitchen - you would be arrested.

Your town council is then pressured to force the intruder's demands on you and declare the law breakers legitimate "stakeholders" in your property.

It is axiomatic that if it is evil to do something - it is also evil to get someone else to do it.

It is taking the US, a former capitalist country, 250 years to destroy itself - and only then by abandoning its founding principles. The Soviet Union's coercive state died in less than a hundred years, China is prospering by rediscovering free will and capitalism - and very slowly leaving coercion behind, time will see if they succeed.

In short - mutually beneficial arrangements add value to everyone concerned. Coercive arrangements subtract from one party first, and consequently from the whole - and the losses are cumulative.

The PT proposition exists because it is mutually beneficial for the one escaping a country and the countries they visit as a tourist.

Illegal emigration stirs hostility if it avoids paying social costs, and demands social benefits.

In those areas where xenophobia does exist, and it does, few would consider being a tourist - and the offer may not be made to be an invited guest.

A PT understands this, and travels to where how he chooses to live is acceptable, and perhaps even valued.


Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Loyalty Oath

Not back yet, but I have a minute to post what is on my mind.

"It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights - the "right" to education, the "right" to health care, the "right" to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are the rations of slavery - hay and a barn for human cattle." - Alexis De Tocqueville (1802-1859)

In my state a youth is not seen as having a concept of right or wrong until they are twelve years old.

In my state, unless there is compelling evidence anyone under eighteen is not considered an adult, their criminal record is sealed after they turn eighteen.

Most public schools prohibit religious education as a separation of church and state - and a protection of young minds not ready for weighty decisions. In essence - let the kids decide when they are older.

These same collectivist organizations have kids, at five years of age or younger, recite a public loyalty oath to the state every morning.

Perhaps those young minds do absorb and make choices - and that is the reason to indoctrinate children in worship of and dedication to the state.

It sure makes for a more compliant citizenry, helps recruit soldiers, and consequently creates quietly desperate wage slave employees.

Your comments?

"We've been thoroughly trained in government institutions where every day for twelve of our most impressionable years we took a loyalty oath before starting our work." - Hal O'Boyle


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Off On A Hobbit Adventure

Oh Bother.

Hopefully it will involve more than just being home late for dinner.

The plan is to be back in two or three weeks.

You will be among the first to know of our return if you sign up for our RSS feed; if not look for us before the calendar shows a new page.


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Some Simple Logic

If the fire department warns you that you need to clean the pine needles off your roof, it is probably a good idea to clean your roof.

If at the end of the fire season you have not cleaned off the needles, and your house still stands, it does not mean the fire department was wrong.

If Warren Buffet and other great investors warn of a calamity waiting to happen due to derivatives, and it has not yet happened, don't count their insights as insignificant history.

The fact that their warning of a potential collapse has not yet occurred does not mean we are safe, in fact the danger may have increased. Folks may have just quit listening.

If people on both sides of the political aisle, lovers of big government all, are starting to worry about loss of freedoms and destruction of the American way of life - pay heed.

Yes a broken clock is right two times a day.

It's true, some folks are always looking for disaster.

But when people closely associated with a phenomena become increasingly concerned - bells and whistles should be sounding.

California will someday have its greater earthquake, but folks tend to ignore preparation except when a smaller quake has just shaken them up.

The markets have been quiet. The volatility index (VIX) is ridiculously low. Bond volatility is also extremely low, emboldening over leveraged players. Nothing really bad has happened in years -- some form of "really bad" is overdue.

Freedom has slipped, taxes have climbed, the American way of life is being exported.

When I was born in the early 1950s I have been told taxes were at about 4%, and my mom didn't have to work. That was the American way.

Today if you count all the state and feral federal taxes, fines, and fees your family is paying over 50% of their paychecks in taxes. Some of the taxes come out before you see the paycheck, the others assault you all day long.

Income tax, property tax, state tax, gas tax, registration fees, etc, and big hidden taxes like inflation and the compliance costs of
over regulation.

A wife now has to work full time - in essence her entire income and more taken by the government.

The American founding fathers rebelled over taxes of about 2%. Our taxes today are over 50% and the average fellow once again has no representation.

The American dream is being taxed and regulated out of existence. If you start your own business the government is your instant partner. You spend the money, you fight for the permits, you take the risks, and if you succeed - the government wants at least half of your profits.

For those that hate big corporations - this is their game. In exchange for their support of politicos they get some tax breaks from the huge burden that weighs on the rest of us. With the individually empowering technology available, small business could soon kick the huge corporations tail, if small businesses were not tied up in red tape.

Small business is the engine of America and could, to all of our benefit, run circles around bureaucracies - if they didn't have that huge government tumor weighing them down.

It would be nice to shrink the government by 95% or so, and give us citizens back our money. While we are at it let's make a constitutional amendment that no new laws may be made, and no new agencies formed, unless two laws or two agencies are retired.

Financial asset markets are perhaps ready to fall. America has for decades been descending ever deeper into a Romanesque despotism trap. And you still haven't cleaned those pine needles off your roof.

Perhaps it is time to prepare some safety measures in your life - just in case the experts are right.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Don't Be Discouraged

In the continuing march forward it is easy to become fixated on the two steps back - rather than anticipate the three steps forward.

Something is always failing, most efforts never seem good enough, destruction looms menacingly.

Overall however mankind continues to progress.

Growth is not steady, forward, upward progression. It is instead a switchback trail; three steps forward, two back, one around the bushes, and a few simply standing, before another forward leap. - Dorothy Corkville Briggs

It is normal for the first implementation of a technology to be easily surpassed by the old technology. The first calculators were slow compared to a skilled user of a slide rule or an abacus. Steam was more efficient than internal combustion - for a while.

Oil has been better than energy alternatives - but that too is failing.

This progress of three steps forward and two steps back seems to be programmed into our universe. Visit here to view a free documentary by an award winning director -- History's Hidden Engine.

The key is - don't get discouraged enough to quit.

Bastiat Free University has a great concept, but the industrial age colleges still have the lead. The old educational bastions will eventually be surpassed by individually empowering learning institutions, but for now the archaic bureaucracies hold an edge.

Whatever you are pursuing - if the goal is worth the effort - the goal is worth the wait.

Hang on, the ride is bumpy, but the trip is in the right direction.


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