Tuesday, June 21, 2011

One reason libertarians are DOOMED

I often argue with my friend Mary (not her real name) about political issues, she is a pro-government person in almost every respect. So we are basically on the opposite ends of the political spectrum. She toes the democrat line on some things like welfare, education, etc, and the republican line on things like security and tightening the borders, etc, and is pretty much a totalitarian.

So a typical argument of ours goes something like this:
Fester “Taxes are theft”
Mary “taxes are not theft they are the price we pay for the the services government provides like roads, schools and defense, etc, etc.”.

I will never convince her otherwise, and for obvious reasons. Even though she likes to use the collectivist speak of “we” in reality she really pays NO TAXES so to her it seems as if the government is providing all of these services at a reasonable cost (and by reasonable I mean free). She is giving nothing and getting something for it, so she will never agree to my position. She is part of the local PTA, but she has never done anything except rent her whole adult life, so she has no idea how much of her rent goes to property taxes and when her rent is raised, the blame always lands on the “greedy” landlord and not the government. She doesn't work (she does have a small business where she sells overpriced vibrators at parties, but that makes her very little money), and has kids, so each year when filling out her income tax forms, she gets a check for $3000 more than she actually paid in. She sends her kids to government school, which even if they don't get any kind of education from that, she gets a free babysitting service. She might claim that she pays some taxes, but I have to wonder where? She lives in Nevada, where there is no sales tax on food, nor is there an income tax. She gets far more back from the federal government than she puts in. The casinos are heavily taxed and that is where the state and cities get most of the funding for the “services” that are provided. She lives in a comparable way to most other people, and even though she thinks she is poor, really it is hard to tell. She lives in a house that gives each of her kids their own bedroom, she drives a fairly new car, she has cable internet and cable TV, she has a washer and dryer and a costco membership. She will claim poverty, but she seems to live as well as people who are middle class and earn a lot more, but then have to pay a lot of their income in taxes and instead of getting a big check every year from the government, have to send the government a big check. She doesn't spend a lot on food since her kids often eat at school with a subsidized meal, and then at home a large portion of the monthly food bill is paid for using food stamps. She is all for socialized healthcare, and why not? She knows that she won't be paying for it.

We all know people like Mary, people who think the government is great because for them it is a one way street, they get the good without the bad. I don't know that these people will ever be convinced of how bad the government is until the heavy hand of the government clinches into a fist and punches them in the face.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Stop unwanted phone calls for free, and government free!

A few years ago electronic devices called call zappers were becoming popular means to deter unwanted calls from solicitors, pollsters and politicians. They work on the principle that most of these calls originate not from a person dialing a telephone number but rather from a machine that dials massive amounts of telephone numbers, generally referred to as auto-dialers. One thing with these machines is they are normally programmed to listen for certain triggers to determine if they should play a standard message that will be left on an answering machine, connect you to a live person or remove the dialed number from the machines list of numbers. I am interested in the last of these options. The way these devices worked is that the auto-dialers listen for a disconnect tone and if they hear it, no matter what else it hears, it determines that the number is no longer in service and removes the number from its list of active numbers. So these devices would pick up the line and play a dsconnect tone before passing the call to the answering machine.

Call zappers went out of style once the government created the so called “do not call” list. The politicians acted like they were doing it in the response to demand from their constituents who were demanding they do something about all of the unwanted calls people were getting. In reality the reason they wanted to create the do not call list was that call zappers were becoming very popular and they worked, they worked too well, not only did they stop telemarketers, but they also stopped the calls from the politicians campaigns and from charities whose main functions were to support the government and lobby for new measures. The politicians created the do not call list and then they exempted themselves as well as charities and also “companies you have a history of doing business with”.

If this election season you do not want to get calls from pollsters, or from Obama telling you why you should support his favorite lapdog in the congress, or even these charity pick-up services that request donations of clothes, which by itself is not such a big deal, only they call every two days! All of these calls will stop if you record this disconnect tone on your answering machine greeting or on your voice mail greeting prior to your personalized greeting. Auto-dialers will think the number is no longer in service and will remove you from their list.

Here is the disconnect tone for your use:

Disconnect tone by Flag in Flames

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Productivity increases, and prices increase? Thanks government

The internet has made the world magnificently more productive than what it was in the past. Things that used to take hours or days, or even minutes (like sending a fax) can now be done in mere seconds. You can have a face to face meeting with someone halfway around the world without any travel. Access a libraries worth of information in seconds, find that law reference instantaneously, etc. It is great. Typically as productivity increases prices decrease, as something becomes less costly to produce the less is charged for that service. So why has there really not been any noticeable deflation in most areas of the economy? The answer of course is the federal reserve and the government. They have systematically stolen all of the wealth created by higher levels of productivity. This has been done through tax increases, and inflation of the dollar supply.

I get depressed when I see the state of the world. The fact that people think it takes two people working to make ends meet in this day and age, where one person can produce as much value as three or four people in the past because of increases in technology that make us all more productive. However, because if the liars and thieves in government, more people are working and working longer than ever and to what end? To support a larger, more bloated more inefficient government.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pawn Stars gold for car transaction

I was watching Pawn Stars last night and a man wanted to trade his antique car for gold. What I found interesting about this was that the pawn shop owner Rick said that he couldn't trade the car for the gold because that would be illegal, so he had to buy the car in federal reserve notes and then have the guy give him the money back and then he sold the man some gold coins paid for with the money Rick had just given the man. The whole transaction was rendered ridiculous by these stupid laws.

The whole idea of preventing a value for value trade of one good for another without some paper intermediary completely goes against the nature of man, and the only reason these laws are in place is because of the greed of government. You can't trade value for value because the government is so evil, stupid and greedy that they cannot figure out how to steal a portion of a trade like a car for a necklace, so they force the trade be done with a worthless medium of fake money they have created and its only value is the value created by the use of violence. The greed of the government cannot be satiated even for value to value trades where no profit is being made. I am sure they believe they should get a portion of this trade in taxes, but why? If a value for value trade was done and no profit was made on either end, how much in taxes does the government consider “fair” and based on what criteria?

Now I know that the government considers themselves so special that all taxes are just and right and fair in their minds, and they believe they have a right to a portion of any transaction made, but the reality is that they do not have any such right and it is merely a reflection of the wealth and power that has corrupted government officials for millennia. I just cannot see how this is different from a slave master who allows his slave to work outside of the plantation and then allows the slave to keep half of his earnings.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Nobody has the will to balance the budget

I watched last weeks Stossel episode last night (yes I am a bit behind). He had representatives from 5 “think tanks” there to lay out their plans to balance the budget, each of these “think tanks” had been given $200,000 to come up with a plan. Of the 5 plans represented only one actually balanced the budget. Two of the plans thought that more spending would balance the budget (how this happens is beyond me and I am fairly well versed in economics). None of them eliminated any significant government agencies. Most did not really cut military spending, one said we hope for war to end by 2015, but this is a pipe dream as long as the infrastructure is there for politicians to start wars, they will find new enemies to start wars with. It is like the kid who carries drum sticks wherever he goes, he finds new things to use as a drum. I was disappointed, but not surprised by the results.

Almost all the plans included tax increases. One of the liberal think tanks kept trying to say that taxes were higher under Clinton and the economy did just fine, this is true, but it is not because of higher taxes that the economy progressed, it was in spite of higher taxes, the reason for the boom under Clinton was that productivity was increasing at an amazing rate because the 90's were when the internet really became a reality in the way we know it.

In my world, I would balance the budget by starting a systematic shutdown of the government. I would start off easy enough and end the war on drugs, shut down the DEA, reduce budgets of the FBI and CIA since they would no longer need to worry about drug prohibition. Then I would start reducing the military by shutting down all overseas bases. I would end the department of education. I would end all corporate welfare and farm subsidies. Once this was all accomplished I would start hitting the entitlements by allowing people to opt out of social security, both in collecting SS and paying into SS and then I would implement a plan to phase it out, same with medicare. I would eliminate tariffs and would open the borders and shut down all immigration related departments as well as customs which would not be needed in a society free of tariffs and restrictions on drugs, immigration and other contraband. Unfortunately my plan will never even be considered by politicians, and instead of a relatively slow ratcheting down of government so that the actual services government provides can transition away from government and to the free market, instead the politicians will grow government until there is a Soviet style collapse, this is the lesson that history teaches, but politicians never learn.