Friday, April 30, 2010

Should a person be able to live where they choose or not? That is the question.

Lately with the new law in Arizona, immigration has been on peoples minds. I have had several friends on facebook post something about it. People really try and make the issue far more complicated than it needs to be. They like to look at numbers, and at whether some paper was filled out properly, some fee paid on time, etc.

I don't give a crap about any of that. I look at it from a freedom perspective. If a person is truly free then they should be free to chose where they want to live. It seems simple to me if you cannot chose to live where you want to live then you are not free. Freedom is my objective, so I object to any law in any country that would try and tell a person where they may or may not live. As long as a person can find a house or apartment, etc., wherever they want to live I have no objections to them living there. I don't have the controlling mindset that wishes to control who moves to my city or even my neighborhood.

I emigrated from Oklahoma to Colorado 13 years ago. How much paperwork should I have had to fill out before being allowed to move? Should I have needed a lawyer to help me get through this paperwork? How many thousands of dollars should it have cost me, just in fees and lawyers, and how would this have benefited Colorado? At the time I moved I was a low skilled worker as this was prior to my education and my subsequent pursuit of an engineering field that I currently work in. If you look at Oklahoma and Colorado as countries instead of states, it is clear that Oklahoma is a far less prosperous than Colorado.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Capitalisms natural state is monopoly? What a crock

I turned on talk radio yesterday (not something I normally do as I am a podcast listener most of the time). I turned it to the “progressive” radio station. The host made this statement

“The natural state of unregulated capitalism is to foment monopolies, because as a company grows it buys up its competition and in cases where it can't, it will use tactics like predatory pricing and other tricks to drive its competition out of businesses. This is why we need government regulations to prevent this from happening”.

I was thinking about this all day and still cannot wrap my head around his statement. I understand his theory, but it seems to have no basis in reality. There are many businesses that do not have much in the way of government regulation and very few of them seem to even have as few as a few dozen major players in the field. The only exception I could think of was Microsoft and its desktop Operating Systems, and Microsoft seems to lose market share everyday. For the most part it seems that the industries that have a few dominant players are the most regulated industries, electricity, cable, telephone, banking, airlines, etc.

If the talk show hosts theory is correct, then wouldn't McDonald's have used its market share to kill off all other fast food restaurants? Wouldn't Comaq or HP have monopolized the computer industry, wouldn't KC Original Barbeque Sauce have eliminated all the other hundreds of BBQ sauce choices? Wal-Mart would have eliminated all other grocery, clothes, and drug stores.

His theory really falls apart when you look at reality, the problem is that there are too many people with too many different tastes all demanding different products and services and they place different amounts of preference on different things, some might prefer low prices to good customer service, others want more selection, others want high quality products, even if the price is higher and the selection is lower.

The other problem is with big business itself, as any business grows it becomes more slow to respond to the demands of its customers, it becomes more bureaucratic, this creates a downward spiral that is the reason that one time kings in their respective fields are now hardly even on the map, Sears, IBM, Woolworth's, and others. If the theory of capitalism's natural progression towards monopoly without government interference then you would expect these companies to still be king, because they would have continued to use their power to crush all the competition as it tried to rise up.

The exceptions you see are in fields like the cable company, the telephone company, the electric company, and the like. What these companies have in common is not their natural tendency towards monopoly, but rather the government's propping up of their monopolies. These companies have worked with government at various levels to use the force of government to keep competition out.

Some stifling of competition is more obvious than others, but is is almost always there when you see a few companies with a hold on the market share. It may be as obvious as the government contracts with the electricity providers, or as hidden as the regulations that have made it virtually impossible to open a new tire manufacturing plant, or as I mentioned in my post below about the high cost of a liquor license.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Homer Simpson - Agorist bar owner

I was recently reminded of an episode of the Simpson's. It is the one where Homer opens a bar in his own garage.

One of my friends is trying to open a bar, the government is demanding over $30,000 to get a permission slip from them that allows him to legally sell drinks at his bar, he believes this is a good deal as some people have had to pay as much as $60,000. It makes me think that Homer was right to take the agorist approach.

The government is not offering him anything in return for this money, except to not throw him in jail for selling a product that his customers are demanding. This also means that he will have to raise his prices to cover his expenses, and these are not only the rent and obvious expenses, but also this license fee. If he wanted to open a bar that caters to a small sub-section of the population (like the goth crowd for instance), he would not be able to as there is no way the local goth crowd could afford to buy enough booze to even recover the cost of the liquor license. This limits the choices people have to not only create the kind of business they wish to create, but it also limits the choices consumers have. He is also prevented from catering to smokers by state law, he is prevented from catering to anyone under 21 by law, he has to find his niche in a very narrow space approved by the government.

I am not sure how a person can still believe that the United is the land of opportunity, when that opportunity is closed off to anyone who doesn't happen to have the money to pay the government copious amount of extortion money in order to live out their dream.

What would happen if everyone just told the government to piss off and started opening their businesses without first asking permission or getting licensed and then to not cooperate when the thugs in government came around demanding fees and fines for trying to live as a free person?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Is property theft?

I am the new king of the united states and so all of the land contained within the united states is now mine! Now, I am taking your house unless you pay me to NOT take it.

Sometimes you will hear someone say “property is theft”. This is a statement that can easily be misunderstood because it is makes people think that all property is theft and therefor a person should be against private property, this is wrong and is a misreading of the quote by Proudhon, who lived in a time when property could only be owned by the monarchy.

The first thing that needs to be understood is that there are two types of property law-made and labor-made property. Law-made property is theft, labor-made property is not theft.

Labor made property is what most people think of as property. It is your house, it is your car, it is all of the things you have. You accumulated these things through your labor, you either built or created these things yourself, or more likely you put your labor into whatever you are good at and traded that labor for the labor of someone good at building a house or car, etc, using money as the medium of exchange. Libertarians believe this kind of property is sacrosanct and should be respected and is the foundation for a civilized society. It is natural for people to want to improve their lifestyle through the accumulation of things that make life more comfortable. The ability to have possessions of your own is what motivates some people to invent and innovate in the hopes of becoming wealthy.

Law-made property is what I would consider theft. Law made property is when a government/king/bureaucrat or other despot claims a massive land mass. The king cannot homestead that much land, in almost every circumstance in history the land that has been claimed is already being used by individuals who do have claim to the property as labor-made property. The only legitimate claim to property has to be based on labor, it cannot be based on law or force, if it is based on force than it is stolen land. However, this is the basis for all government land, it is also the basis for property taxes. The claim is that the ultimate owner of all property is the government, therefor you have to pay the masters their tribute.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Police encounter story on MP3

I called into Free talk Live to share my police encounter story. If you are interested the archieve can be found here, I was the first caller so the first 15-20 minutes or so are me. Some people get more from audio than the written story.

Download here or go to freetalklive.com and download the episode for April 16th:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/ftl/FTL2010-04-16.mp3

Friday, April 16, 2010

Crazy People and silver Bracelets

Last night I was placed in metal bracelets for a short amount of time. I had went over to a friends house to help her (I will call her flash to help keep her identity secret) clean up after her roommate had went on a violent rampage and had trashed the house. Earlier in the day she had called the police because she was worried about her roommate (he will be known as *******). Calling the police is not anything I would ever recommend doing as nothing good will come from that, but alas she is not a libertarian and it wasn't any of my business to tell her what to do. So 12 hours after she had called the police we had went back to the house and were cleaning up when they had decided they would “check in” to make sure everything was alright. It was just Barb, Flash and me and all we were doing is cleaning the house up a bit when they came. I don't talk to police officers voluntarily so I stayed cleaning in the kitchen while Flash talked to the police in the living room. One of the cops, the younger one started nosing around the bedrooms, so I stopped and kept an eye on him, cops are not to be trusted and nobody had said he could walk around the house. It was obvious nothing was going on at that point in time and that the person they wanted to talk to was not home. I guess this cop did not like me eying him so he approached me and said “can I see your identification?” in the way cops do where they phrase it as a question but intone it as an order. I told him no as he had no reason to need to see my ID. Then he made up some horseshit about how “this is a dangerous job and we need to know who we are dealing with, cops gets killed all of the time”, I responded that he is full of shit and knows it and when he becomes a fisherman, then he can talk to me about how dangerous his job is. Then they tried another tactic on me and that was to say “for all we know you are ******* (flash's roommate) and these girls just didn't tell us you were him because they were scared”, I responded that there are plenty of pictures of ******* around and it is obvious I am not him, and even if I were him, there is no evidence ******** has committed any crime. They came back with “destroying property is a crime”, of course that led me to tell them “no it isn't if the property you destroy is your own property”. Then they asked me again for my ID, I asked them what is their reasonable and articulatable suspicion that I have been involved in a crime and would be the basis for me having to provide them with identification? They had no answer except to say “it is the law in Colorado if a police officer asked you to identify yourself then you must identify yourself”. Notice the wording of the cops, I have to identify myself, but rookie cop had said I had to show him my identification, these are two separate things. I may be required by law to state my name, but I am not required to show identification on a terry stop. Then they asked me again if I would show them my identification and once again I said no. Then they handcuffed me and pulled out my wallet the older cop was the first one to look in my wallet, he saw my insurance card and stuff and didn't find my ID and put it back, having been satisfied that I was not *******. The rookie was not satisfied with this and asked where my ID was, I told him it is in my wallet but the other guy didn't look in the right place. So rookie cop, pulled out my wallet with one hand and tried to hold onto my arm with the other hand and went through my wallet, spilling out my money and finally finding my ID. Finding out I wasn't ***** was not enough for rookie, he asked the other cop “aren't you going to run that?”, then the other cop felt like he had to run my name. After that we all sat there for 20 minutes looking at each other and I was in handcuffs as well as being held by the rookie cop. Finally my name came back clear and they left.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Boulder's marijuana protest vs. Keene's 4/20 events

The other day on Free Talk Live, Ian poo-pooed the yearly marijuana legalization rally in Boulder that takes place on April 20th each year (4/20). He made a statement like “that's nice, but we do ours everyday here in Keene”. I am not sure he is comparing apples to apples. Although it is true that they have 5-25 people in the park smoking pot every day, the Boulder event attracted 10,000 people last year and is expected to be as large this year even though it is on a weekday, you can't expect to have a protest of 10,000 people happen everyday. Marijuana protests seem to have been more effective here as well, Colorado's marijuana laws are already far more lax than those of New Hampshire, the police here are far less likely to ticket or imprison you for marijuana here than in New Hampshire. I am not trying to dismiss what they are doing in New Hampshire, but I think some perspective is needed.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Do I want heathcare reform? Sure just not the way Obama wants it

If you want to stir the ire of statists when discussing healthcare and the reform you would like to see, just mention that you would like to see the requirements to become a doctor eliminated or at the minimum reduced. This will get you all kinds of snide remarks about community college educated doctors and such, presented as if this is obviously a bad idea. It is not. I have a vasectomy, it took my doctor about 15 minutes to do the procedure. He did a great job, but I expect that the skills needed to do this procedure took far less than the 12 years of education he had. I might not want to go to someone for a diagnosis that is not fully educated in the field, but for a routine procedure like a vasectomy I might consider going to a person who only does the one procedure and has limited amount of education. If they do 100 vasectomies every week and nothing but vasectomies then they may actually be better at that one procedure than my doctor is, because my doctor only does vasectomies on Friday afternoons and thus does not do many of them, preferring to concentrate on other issues people go to a urologist for the rest of the week.

I have two Japanese friends, both are doctors. They went college for only 6 years total, entering medical school right out of high school. Are you going to tell me that the skill level of Japanese doctors is significantly less than that of American doctors who spend 12 years or more training to become doctors? There are other models that could be just as effective as the model the government and the AMA are shoving down our throats, but with government it is one size fits all and anyone who doesn't like it can go to hell. In a free market I would expect to see a tiered system of doctors education, where basic procedures are done by less educated and the greater educated doctors would focus more on diagnostics which is a much more difficult skill than procedures are.

Also we should end this insane war on some drugs, part of that is eliminating the prescription requirements. This one step would save hundreds of millions of dollars in medical costs each year. Many countries have less strict prescription requirements and it is not creating many issues, if you can find a study that indicates that over the counter antibiotics in Germany are causing all kinds of problems, I would like to see it. Many drugs that are over the counter in the US were by prescription only previously, and yet it hasn't led to problems with over medicating or over dosing or any of the the other dire problems that the statists worry about. Most drugs in Mexico are over the counter and I don't know of many problems it causes. When I lived in Oklahoma I had a friend who drove to Mexico every year for a short vacation and to buy a years worth of birth control pills for his wife. He did this because the over-the-counter birth control pills in Mexico were so inexpensive for the exact same thing you would get in the US that this savings would pay for a mini-vacation for him and his wife.

Census has no consensus

I am not filling out the census form. I have never filled out the census form, but I have answered questions when they came around asking them, I am not sure if I will this time. It is harder to refuse to answer questions in person than it is to just ignore a form addressed to “current resident” which I do not have any obligation to self identify as, nor do I feel as if I have any obligation to respond when addressed as such.

It seems like such a petty act of resistance to the state. One that comes with almost zero risk, and yet not filling it out has generated the ire of other libertarians towards me. They ask what do I plan to accomplish, why raise red flags for seemingly no purpose, and do I want to go to jail? The answers are simple. First off I don't think it is something I am likely to go to jail for, I would probably give up my information before it came to that point. Secondly, I don't know that it generates anymore red flags than other things I do while just living my life, like writing this blog. Lastly, what I plan to accomplish is getting into the habit of ignoring the government and their silly little forms. I think the best route to change the policies imposed by the tyrannical thugs in government is not open resistance to them, but rather simply ignoring them and living your life as if they do not exist, and do this to whatever extent you feel comfortable with. Mass non-compliance will have more effect than anything else and at this point it seems that I am in the majority of people who are not filling out the census. Non-compliance might not accomplish much if it is just you, but together with a large percentage of people it can create change, or at least send a message. Even a small vocal group of people can create change if a majority are sympathetic to their cause. The census serves no useful purpose, except to bloat the government more. The only benefits from it accrues to the government and their minions and there is no reason for it. Resisting it will not accomplish anything, neither will complying with it, neither are all that risky activities and I say make it as hard as possible for the government to get any information out of you.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

We don't need no stink'n warrant

I think copblock is my new favorite blog.



This lady asked these cops who forced their way into her house "where's your warrant?" and their response was "we don't need a warrant". They also seemed to be embarrassed of their actions (and they should be) as evidenced by their refusal to identify themselves.