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Posts Tagged ‘Progressives’

This Is What the Progressives Want To Do to Us | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on March 6, 2021

The specific aspect of Bentham’s thinking (wide-ranging thinking, I should add) that appeals to the progressive mindset is his belief that there is no natural law, natural rights, natural liberty, and natural and naturally harmonic outcomes, especially in the marketplace.

Thus, it is not hard to see how, to paraphrase F.A. Hayek, “the worst get on top” in places like Minneapolis and Portland and, increasingly, Washington, DC. The sheer ferocity of the political radicals toward an alleged infraction of their view of “justice” is out of proportion to the actual alleged offense. In this atmosphere, most people just want out, leaving the radicals even more firmly entrenched to impose even more damage to others.

https://mises.org/wire/what-progressives-want-do-us

William L. Anderson

For all of the campaign and inauguration talk about “unity” and moderation, President Joe Biden is governing like a progressive on all fronts, from cultural issues to the armed forces to the economy. Biden’s unprecedented thirty-two executive orders his first week in office provide evidence he and his party intend to expand executive governance well beyond anything this country has seen in its long history. Furthermore, all his political appointments are people who fall well to the left of any kind of recognizable political center and who share the president’s progressive ideology.

So, what do progressives believe, anyway? What do we mean by the term “progressive,” and why is it in the ascendency today? Furthermore, even though its destructive results are well known when we look at its history, progressivism seems to have taken over almost all of our political and social institutions, shutting down all dissent in the process.

In 2014 libertarian attorney and scholar James Ostrowski published a book entitled Progressivism: A Primer on the Idea Destroying America, which is a worthwhile read if you wish to better understand this nebulous ideology. I heartily endorse the book (having read it myself), but will let Ostrowski speak for himself, and in this piece I will attempt to carve out a small niche of my own in writing about progressivism.

While the term “progressivism” sounds like something to describe modern, secular intellectual and political movements, it actually has its roots more than two hundred years ago in the utilitarian philosophy of Jeremy Bentham. Anyone who has taken a course in history of economic thought is well familiar with Bentham, who influenced the English economists from Thomas Malthus to John Stuart Mill and even beyond that.

The specific aspect of Bentham’s thinking (wide-ranging thinking, I should add) that appeals to the progressive mindset is his belief that there is no natural law, natural rights, natural liberty, and natural and naturally harmonic outcomes, especially in the marketplace. This placed him in opposition to Adam Smith and also to Frédéric Bastiat, whose Economic Harmonies stood in contrast to Bentham’s world view that free market exchanges, unless they were guided by wise people in high places, would have socially harmful results over time.

Bentham’s view was that in order to provide what he called “the greatest good for the greatest number,” governing elites were to ensure that they could guide large numbers of people to act in what progressives today would call “the public interest” by setting structures of incentives—positive and negative—depending upon the situation. We can see this as a precursor of what would culminate in the Communist “experiments” that turned vast stretches of Asia and Europe into mass death zones and in the works of American psychologist B.F. Skinner, who saw people as little more than rats in a box to be properly trained by their intellectual betters.

Understand that this is not an attack on incentives; all of us rely on incentives one way or another, be it the entrepreneur’s pursuit of profit or the rewards (and punishments) we give our children to help them find direction in life. One of the most interesting applications of incentives can be seen in how British economist and social reformer Edwin Chadwick saved countless lives by changing the pay structure of delivering British prisoners to the penal colony in Australia.

During the first half of the nineteenth century, ship captains delivering prisoners from England to Australia were paid up front for each prisoner who boarded their vessels. Having already been compensated, captains had no incentives to care for their captive crew, and about half of the prisoners died during the trips. In 1862, Chadwick convinced policymakers to change the compensation to include only those prisoners who survived the long passage. Not surprisingly, the survival rate rose to 98 percent.

While Bentham’s utilitarianism was a precursor to modern progressivism, one safely can say that progressives today are less interested in laying out structures of incentives to guide human behavior than they are in simply being obeyed. To better understand that point, we need go no further than Biden’s recent cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline in the upper Midwest and his administration’s determination to cripple one of this nation’s most productive industries.

Perhaps there is no greater article of faith among American progressives than that the oil and gas industries are creating a “climate crisis” that supposedly will engulf the planet and make life unlivable. Not surprisingly, the Keystone project has been in the cross hairs of American environmentalists for a long time, since much of the oil to be transported comes from Canadian tar sands. Declares the New Yorker in support of the cancellation:

In the spring of 2011, the NASA climate scientist James Hansen helped orient the pipeline as a climate-related fight, pointing to the massive amounts of carbon contained in the Canadian tar-sand deposits and making the case that, if they were fully exploited, it would be “game over” for the climate.

Hansen’s predictions over the past three decades are reminiscent of those of economists who have predicted ten of the last two recessions, but it is the rare journalist who actually goes beyond being a mouthpiece for the climate change cult, so we are supposed to believe that if the Keystone project were to continue and the Canadian tar sands were further exploited, the result would be rising temperatures that would make the planet unlivable. (Whether or not the tar sands are economically viable, given current energy prices, is another matter, but Biden didn’t nix the pipeline because he believed the project to be uneconomical, but rather because the environmentalist constituency that dominates his government hates any fuels that originate in the ground.)

During his campaign, Biden made his displeasure about oil and natural gas known and vowed to “phase out” the industry (read that, cripple one of the most productive industries in our economy and certainly one of the most indispensable industries at that) and replace fuels with electricity that comes primarily through wind power and solar panels. Again, we see the progressive mindset at work.

First, and most important, even if Biden were successful in completely ending all “fossil” fuel use by 2035—a date that seems to be in vogue with progressive politicians and “woke” corporations like General Motors—it is doubtful that such a move would have any significant (or even insignificant) effect upon the world’s climate.

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Contact William L. Anderson

William L. Anderson is a professor of economics at Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland.

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Biden issues executive order to abolish women’s sports – Welcome to Daily Liberty News

Posted by M. C. on January 29, 2021

This isn’t unusual. The Matildas, the Australian women’s national team, lost 7-0 to the Newcastle FC youth team. Yep, the boys again.

https://dailylibertynews.com/biden-issues-executive-order-to-abolish-womens-sports/

By Tim Worstall, special to Daily Liberty News

Biden issues executive order to abolish women’s sports

By Tim Worstall, special to Daily Liberty News

Well, that was quick, Sleepy Joe’s first major error came the afternoon of the inauguration.

Of course, the leftists are claiming it as a victory for justice, righteousness and good but it’s still a mistake.

Joe’s made it illegal to discriminate against trans folks in sports. Or, the other way of saying the same thing, he’s abolished women’s sports.

Before you change something you’ve got to know why it was like that in the first place.

There’s an old logical idea called Chesterton’s Fence. You might see a fence out there in the wilds and think, hmm, no reason for this. We’ll tear it down.

But to know that there is no reason you’ve got to work out why was the fence put there in the first place?

Hey, maybe those Canadians do invade once a century? Or the cicadas rise up once every 17 years. Only if you can know the reason for the building of the thing can you conclude that it no longer works.

So, why do we have rules about women’s sport? Because without them there would be no women’s sports.

Flo-Jo, Florence Joyner Griffiths, still holds the 100 meters world record for women. A time of 10.49 in 1988. Sure, she died 10 years later some say as a result of all the steroids she’d taken to make that time.

Quaron Adams just did the 100 metres in 10.49 in a track meet. For high schools. He’s a freshman.

The all time drug fuelled world record for women is what 14 year old boys do in state track meets.

The US National Women’s Soccer Team is world conquering. Four World Cups and four Olympic gold medals. They lost to the FC Dallas under 15s boys team. 5-2 was the score which in soccer is a wide margin, that’s a beating.

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The US team receiving their champion medals in 2019. Image credit: Howcheng.

This isn’t unusual. The Matildas, the Australian women’s national team, lost 7-0 to the Newcastle FC youth team. Yep, the boys again.

This is why we have that division of sports into male and female versions. It’s not what is in the head, nor the social construct of gender. Just going through male puberty produces greater speed and more muscle mass.

OK, sure, we’ve all met noodle-armed soy-boys who struggle to raise a fuzzy beard because they’ve ordered too many soy lattes at Starbucks. But on average and across those who play sports — men will beat women and the elite men will always beat the elite women.

So, we cut the game in half – women play women, men do men. Because that’s the only way we’re going to see women on that winner’s podium.

What now happens when we insist the trans can play sports with their opposite gender (let’s be honest here)?

If it’s trans men playing football they’re gonna get smeared. But that’s their lookout, the problem is only to themselves. But once trans women play biological women we have that problem.

The problem of why we have women’s sports in the first place. Those genetics, that testosterone, don’t play nice.

Economists like to talk about different types of discrimination. Taste where it’s “I ain’t hiring no women!” and rational discrimination “I’ll look among the men for that 300 pound linebacker I need”.

Or as PJ O’Rourke put it, men and women differ in interesting ways which are important when making babies and not when trading bonds or making dinner.

The trick is to work out which is the making babies rational discrimination — and not the doing dinner one.

After all, why or how trans doesn’t matter.

Well, OK, it matters to those folks but not as a moral issue. Their lives, they get to live them. All anyone can ask of liberty is that we all get to do just that.

The limit on this freedom is when what I do stops someone else from having that same liberty.

At that point there sure do have to be limits on what I can do.

That is, at times, we must discriminate.

Sometimes about race, we go looking for sickle cell anaemia among people with West African ancestors, Tay Sachs among European Jews and cystic fibrosis among Western Europeans.

That’s just where those things are likely to happen so that’s where we look.

Sometimes about gender, we test biological women for cervical cancer and men for prostate.

We don’t test or discriminate on either of those grounds about bond trading or dinner making and we shouldn’t.

The same is true of trans.

Near all of the time we should not select or differentiate on this basis of gender but sometimes not only should we, we must. Because parts of the world just won’t work if we don’t, that’s why.

As Flo-Jo and Quaron prove we’ve got to discriminate between – not against, but between – those who have been through male puberty and those who have not in sports.

Otherwise we’re just not going to have women’s sports.

So, what is it that Sleepy Joe did on returning from swearing on that big, thick, Bible? Made his first major error. Because he did this the wrong way around.

The Executive Order is to make it illegal to discriminate between trans and biological gender in school and college sports. But it leaves open all those other areas of life where we shouldn’t discriminate.

Yep, the progressives’ big move on the vital issue of the day gets it the wrong way around.

They make it illegal to discriminate where we must and fail to stop it where we shouldn’t.

Sorta shows us what’s wrong with progressive politics, doesn’t it? That every mainstream journalist in the country is applauding it shows us what’s wrong there.

When the liberals do decide to do something they do exactly the wrong thing. We have to discriminate in women’s sports so that there is actually a thing called women’s sports.

Federal law now makes what we must do illegal.

It’s not gonna be a fun four year ride, is it?

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : The ‘War On Terror’ Comes Home

Posted by M. C. on January 11, 2021

Those who continue to argue that the social media companies are purely private ventures acting independent of US government interests are ignoring reality. The corporatist merger of “private” US social media companies with US government foreign policy goals has a long history and is deeply steeped in the hyper-interventionism of the Obama/Biden era.

“Big Tech” long ago partnered with the Obama/Biden/Clinton State Department to lend their tools to US “soft power” goals overseas.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2021/january/11/the-war-on-terror-comes-home/?mc_cid=da4f0fca1c

Written by Ron Paul

Last week’s massive social media purges – starting with President Trump’s permanent ban from Twitter and other outlets – was shocking and chilling, particularly to those of us who value free expression and the free exchange of ideas. The justifications given for the silencing of wide swaths of public opinion made no sense and the process was anything but transparent. Nowhere in President Trump’s two “offending” Tweets, for example, was a call for violence expressed explicitly or implicitly. It was a classic example of sentence first, verdict later.

Many Americans viewed this assault on social media accounts as a liberal or Democrat attack on conservatives and Republicans, but they are missing the point. The narrowing of allowable opinion in the virtual public square is no conspiracy against conservatives. As progressives like Glenn Greenwald have pointed out, this is a wider assault on any opinion that veers from the acceptable parameters of the mainstream elite, which is made up of both Democrats and Republicans.

Yes, this is partly an attempt to erase the Trump movement from the pages of history, but it is also an attempt to silence any criticism of the emerging political consensus in the coming Biden era that may come from progressive or antiwar circles.

After all, a look at Biden’s incoming “experts” shows that they will be the same failed neoconservative interventionists who gave us weekly kill lists, endless drone attacks and coups overseas, and even US government killing of American citizens abroad. Progressives who complain about this “back to the future” foreign policy are also sure to find their voices silenced.

Those who continue to argue that the social media companies are purely private ventures acting independent of US government interests are ignoring reality. The corporatist merger of “private” US social media companies with US government foreign policy goals has a long history and is deeply steeped in the hyper-interventionism of the Obama/Biden era.

“Big Tech” long ago partnered with the Obama/Biden/Clinton State Department to lend their tools to US “soft power” goals overseas. Whether it was ongoing regime change attempts against Iran, the 2009 coup in Honduras, the disastrous US-led coup in Ukraine, “Arab Spring,” the destruction of Syria and Libya, and so many more, the big US tech firms were happy to partner up with the State Department and US intelligence to provide the tools to empower those the US wanted to seize power and to silence those out of favor.

In short, US government elites have been partnering with “Big Tech” overseas for years to decide who has the right to speak and who must be silenced. What has changed now is that this deployment of “soft power” in the service of Washington’s hard power has come home to roost.

So what is to be done? Even pro-free speech alternative social media outlets are under attack from the Big Tech/government Leviathan. There are no easy solutions. But we must think back to the dissidents in the era of Soviet tyranny. They had no Internet. They had no social media. They had no ability to communicate with thousands and millions of like-minded, freedom lovers. Yet they used incredible creativity in the face of incredible adversity to continue pushing their ideas. Because no army – not even Big Tech partnered with Big Government – can stop an idea whose time has come. And Liberty is that idea. We must move forward with creativity and confidence!


Copyright © 2021 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.

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The Libertarian Party Will Never Have Political Power | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on November 28, 2020

The purpose of politics is to seize power and centralize it to your party. The Left knows how to do this even when they aren’t in power and the Right fails even when they hold all the cards. As Curtis Yarvin puts it

https://libertarianinstitute.org/libertarianism/the-libertarian-party-will-never-have-political-power/

by Peter R. Quinones

Just give it up already. Those who are holding onto the dream that the LP will be able to wield any significant political, or cultural power have not thought this through. An ideology of non-aggression and voluntary interactions has no place in the political sphere unless they are willing to become like the other two parties. Their message is that we are not like them. It is one of incompatibility when it comes to Machiavellian power structures.

The purpose of politics is to seize power and centralize it to your party. The Left knows how to do this even when they aren’t in power and the Right fails even when they hold all the cards. As Curtis Yarvin puts it,

“Progressives see power as an end; conservatives see power as a means to an end. As soon as conservatives get even a sliver of power, they start trying to use this power to create good outcomes. This is irrational.

The rational way to use power is the progressive way: to make more power. Your power grows exponentially. Eventually you have all the power, and can get all the outcomes you want.

There is not one progressive idea which does not yield a power dividend. I cannot think of a conservative idea that does. If one did, the progressives would steal it. Then the conservatives would persuade themselves to oppose it, and all would be well.”

Anyone paying attention knows this. In our lifetimes the Left has grown their power – especially over the culture – to an insurmountable level. The Right has become what the Left was 25 years ago, and they always play catch-up. I hear echoes of Michael Malice saying, “Conservatism is Progressive driving the speed limit.”

What does this all mean for the Libertarian Party? It should be obvious. What is described above IS politics. It is the dirtiest, slimiest, most reprehensible way of gaining power over mankind. To argue against that is to be naive beyond measure. An ideology promoting the Non-Aggression Principle entering into the American political realm is like a kindergartener entering a UFC match. The outcome is inevitable.

And don’t think I’m just talking about the 202-area code. No, local politics is just as bad. If you’re walking in there as “the good guy” the inevitable “bad guy” will rear their head and take you out. And if you’re a Libertarian and you are “consistent” in your ideology, you won’t fight dirty because once you do you are out of the realm of libertarianism. You’ve just became “The Swamp” (even the local Swamp).

Once you understand this you realize that the old argument about whether the purpose of the Libertarian Party is one of “education” or “getting people elected” to institute political change is easily answered. You are a party of education. And one that will always be a joke in the eyes of those who understand the Machiavellian nature of politics. But is education even possible if you won’t do what it takes politically to even get on a debate stage ignoring the inability to centralize all power to you if you do get elected?

Maybe there are better ways to spend your time rather than tilting at windmills.

About Peter R. Quinones

Peter R. Quinones is managing editor of the Libertarian Institute and hosts the Free Man Beyond the Wall podcast. He released his first book, Freedom Through Memedom – The 31-day Guide to Waking Up to Liberty in November 2017. It reached #4 in the Libertarian Section on Amazon. He has spoken at Liberty Forum in Manchester, New Hampshire and is one of the Executive Producers on the documentary, “The Monopoly on Violence.” Contact him at pete@libertarianinstitute.org

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Progressives Declare War on Asians, Meritocracy and STEM – Asian Dawn

Posted by M. C. on November 24, 2020

One bitter first-generation Asian-American parent vindictively stated, “On a brighter note, I know China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore will completely destroy American companies when my children are my age because of these stupid policies. That gives me comfort. These idiotic Democrats will guarantee Asians will win—just not Asian-Americans….maybe we should go work for Asian-owned companies instead of giving our minds to Apple or Intel.”

https://www.asian-dawn.com/2020/11/19/progressives-declare-war-on-asians-meritocracy-and-stem/

November 18, 2020

Progressives all across America have declared war on Asians, meritocracy, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Recently, the San Francisco Unified School District voted to replace their merit admissions process at Lowell High School, one of the best high schools in America and also happens to be 61% Asian, with a lottery-based system.

When Asian-American parents opposed the school district’s plans to enact its new “lottery” system in late October, the school district blasted the parents by stating they were “racist” and responsible for the “toxic culture” at the school. Parents were accused of furthering the “Asian supremacy” agenda by making their children work so hard; their children’s achievements were demoralizing African-American and Latino students.

One African-American parent stated it’s because of Asians hogging up all the spaces “Black people can’t catch up technologically because the ‘stupid Asians’ are keeping black people down out of fear they’d be overtaken.”

Lowell High School demographics. Image via US News

When one angry Asian-American parent responded “Trust me, you’ll never catch up. If you need to lower-standards to get in, you’ll never beat us,” a near physical fight broke loose.

Another Asian parent screamed, “First you blame white people, now you blame us!? Grow up! Study harder or go home!”

On Halloween weekend, about 100 families, students, alumni, and community members from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology stood on the grassy lawn in front of the school and held a symbolic memorial service for America’s No. 1 high school, according to Crushing the Myth.

“Remember the glory of TJ (Thomas Jefferson),” said Yuyan Zhou, a Chinese-American alumni mother, as her friends stood around her with awards and trophies that symbolized the school’s shining achievements.

Thomas Jefferson High School will no longer be the No. 1 school in America after abolishing their merit-based admissions to make way for more less-qualified and less-deserving African-American and Latino students who could not pass TJ’s entrance exam.

The Chinese American Parents Association of Fairfax County sent a three-page letter to the Fairfax County Board of Education, opposing the lack of “respect” that Asian-Americans have been facing in the debate over TJ admissions, according to Crushing the Myth.

Thomas Jefferson High School demographics. Image via Fairfax County Public Schools

Thomas Jefferson spent over 35 years building its reputation as a premier high school. But it only took 12 Democratic members of the Fairfax County School Board only 12 minutes and 11 seconds on Tuesday night, October 6, during an online meeting to kill the school, eliminating its race-blind, merit-based admissions test.See also

Around the same time parents at TJ found out race-blind tests were eliminated, members of the Boston Public School system in Massachusetts announced they were going to eliminate academic exams to the school district’s top three schools, including O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. https://www.youtube.com/embed/eFHO_S3ITVM?feature=oembed

Boston school officials argued that STEM school’s racial demographics are “too white and too Asian and they’re both meeting or exceeding expectations at higher rates” than Black and Hispanic students and that’s not fair. The Boston Public School system calls their new plan “racial equity planning tool.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City is also planning to eliminate race-blind admissions for Stuyvesant High School and the Bronx High School of Science, citing “white supremacy” as the main factor for his quest—never mind the fact those high schools are more than 60 percent Asian.

Brave Asian Americans @placenyc_org rallied Fri to defend merit test to @StuyNY + top NYC high schools.

A girl from Bangladesh, 11, starts to speak.

A woman with Black Lives Matter tee steps in the way.

NOBODY gets between a child + education with mama + papa bears around. pic.twitter.com/FpcRIh8xWw— Asra Q. Nomani (@AsraNomani) October 24, 2020

One bitter first-generation Asian-American parent vindictively stated, “On a brighter note, I know China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore will completely destroy American companies when my children are my age because of these stupid policies. That gives me comfort. These idiotic Democrats will guarantee Asians will win—just not Asian-Americans….maybe we should go work for Asian-owned companies instead of giving our minds to Apple or Intel.”

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Powerful Presidents Are Incompatible with Liberty

Posted by M. C. on November 11, 2020

The Founders did not intend for the president to set the “national agenda, “ and they would be horrified to see modern presidents assume the authority to order American citizens indefinitely detained and even killed without due process.

The idea that the president should exercise almost unlimited powers is a legacy of the progressive movement. Progressives, who are responsible for the rise of the American welfare-warfare state, have an affinity for a strong Presidency that is not surprising. A government that aspires to run our lives, run the economy, and run the world requires a strong executive branch unfettered by the Constitution’s chains. The Cold War also provided a boost to presidential power, as it justified presidents assuming more unchecked authority in the name of “national security.”

http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/november/09/powerful-presidents-are-incompatible-with-liberty/

Written by Ron Paul

The mainstream media has declared former Vice President Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election. However, this does not mean the 2020 Presidential campaign has come to an end. President Donald Trump is continuing his legal challenges to the vote counts in some key states.

The emotional investment of many Americans into the race between Trump and Biden would have shocked the drafters of the Constitution. The Constitution’s authors intended the presidency to be an office of strictly limited powers that would not impact most Americans. The Constitution authorizes the president to administer laws passed by Congress, not create laws via executive orders. The president serves as Commander-in-Chief of the military following a Congressional declaration of war, with no authority to unilaterally send troops into foreign conflict.

The Founders did not intend for the president to set the “national agenda, “ and they would be horrified to see modern presidents assume the authority to order American citizens indefinitely detained and even killed without due process.

The idea that the president should exercise almost unlimited powers is a legacy of the progressive movement. Progressives, who are responsible for the rise of the American welfare-warfare state, have an affinity for a strong Presidency that is not surprising. A government that aspires to run our lives, run the economy, and run the world requires a strong executive branch unfettered by the Constitution’s chains. The Cold War also provided a boost to presidential power, as it justified presidents assuming more unchecked authority in the name of “national security.”

The concentration of power in the executive branch does not mean presidents are all-powerful. For example, even though presidents are judged by the state of the economy, the unelected, unaccountable Federal Reserve Board typically has greater influence over the economy then the president. Presidents often must tailor their economic policies to deal with the consequences of the Fed’s actions. This is why presidents spend so much time and energy trying to influence the “non-political” Fed. Fed Chairs usually, but not always, reciprocate by attempting to tailor polices to be “useful” to the incumbent president.

It has become cliché to say that “politics stops at the water’s edge.” This means no one—not even Members of Congress, should ever oppose or second-guess a president’s foreign policy decisions. However, this rule does not apply to those comprising what has become popularly known as the “deep state”: the military-industrial complex, the national security bureaucracy—including the CIA— congressional staffers, and members of the media. This deep state serves a permanent government and has an agenda it pursues regardless of the wishes of the president or the American people.

The deep state has derailed President Trump’s (modest) efforts to fulfill his campaign promise to pursue a less interventionist foreign policy and end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Members of the deep state were instrumental in the Russiagate hoax and the impeachment of President Trump. Many supported impeachment because President Trump’s actions contradicted the DC “consensus” on US -Ukraine relations and the need for a new Cold War with Russia. President Trump is not the first president to be undermined by the deep state and he will certainly not be the last.

The 2020 election has awoken many Americans to the corruption of the modern welfare-warfare state. These Americans are ripe for the message of liberty. They can help with the vital task of demystifying the US Presidency, destroying the deep state, restoring our constitutional republic, and regaining our lost liberties.


Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Powerful Presidents Are Incompatible with Liberty

Posted by M. C. on November 10, 2020

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/november/09/powerful-presidents-are-incompatible-with-liberty/?mc_cid=54c83944f7&mc_eid=4e0de347c8

Written by Ron Paul

The mainstream media has declared former Vice President Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 presidential election. However, this does not mean the 2020 Presidential campaign has come to an end. President Donald Trump is continuing his legal challenges to the vote counts in some key states.

The emotional investment of many Americans into the race between Trump and Biden would have shocked the drafters of the Constitution. The Constitution’s authors intended the presidency to be an office of strictly limited powers that would not impact most Americans. The Constitution authorizes the president to administer laws passed by Congress, not create laws via executive orders. The president serves as Commander-in-Chief of the military following a Congressional declaration of war, with no authority to unilaterally send troops into foreign conflict.

The Founders did not intend for the president to set the “national agenda, “ and they would be horrified to see modern presidents assume the authority to order American citizens indefinitely detained and even killed without due process.

The idea that the president should exercise almost unlimited powers is a legacy of the progressive movement. Progressives, who are responsible for the rise of the American welfare-warfare state, have an affinity for a strong Presidency that is not surprising. A government that aspires to run our lives, run the economy, and run the world requires a strong executive branch unfettered by the Constitution’s chains. The Cold War also provided a boost to presidential power, as it justified presidents assuming more unchecked authority in the name of “national security.”

The concentration of power in the executive branch does not mean presidents are all-powerful. For example, even though presidents are judged by the state of the economy, the unelected, unaccountable Federal Reserve Board typically has greater influence over the economy then the president. Presidents often must tailor their economic policies to deal with the consequences of the Fed’s actions. This is why presidents spend so much time and energy trying to influence the “non-political” Fed. Fed Chairs usually, but not always, reciprocate by attempting to tailor polices to be “useful” to the incumbent president.

It has become cliché to say that “politics stops at the water’s edge.” This means no one—not even Members of Congress, should ever oppose or second-guess a president’s foreign policy decisions. However, this rule does not apply to those comprising what has become popularly known as the “deep state”: the military-industrial complex, the national security bureaucracy—including the CIA— congressional staffers, and members of the media. This deep state serves a permanent government and has an agenda it pursues regardless of the wishes of the president or the American people.

The deep state has derailed President Trump’s (modest) efforts to fulfill his campaign promise to pursue a less interventionist foreign policy and end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Members of the deep state were instrumental in the Russiagate hoax and the impeachment of President Trump. Many supported impeachment because President Trump’s actions contradicted the DC “consensus” on US -Ukraine relations and the need for a new Cold War with Russia. President Trump is not the first president to be undermined by the deep state and he will certainly not be the last.

The 2020 election has awoken many Americans to the corruption of the modern welfare-warfare state. These Americans are ripe for the message of liberty. They can help with the vital task of demystifying the US Presidency, destroying the deep state, restoring our constitutional republic, and regaining our lost liberties.


Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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Why Socialism Won’t End Worker “Exploitation” | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 4, 2020

Böhm-Bawerk’s work, however, systematically demonstrates that so-called surplus value would not be eliminated under socialism—rather it would be shifted from capitalists to the state.

https://mises.org/wire/why-socialism-wont-end-worker-exploitation?utm_source=Mises+Institute+Subscriptions&utm_campaign=f9e15e994a-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_9_21_2018_9_59_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_8b52b2e1c0-f9e15e994a-228343965

Bradley Thomas

A belief still commonly held today by not just Marxists and socialists, but progressives of many stripes, is the insistence that employers are “stealing” part of their workers’ labor because the wage workers receive from their employer are less than the contribution of their labor to the final value (i.e., selling price) of the finished good.

Profit to the employer, the argument goes, is akin to theft from the workers. Profit is “surplus value” created by the worker but taken by the capitalist, they say.

This surplus value represents an exploitative “wage theft” of sorts, and, importantly, is an exploitation that would not exist under a socialist economic system, according to their argument.

But in his 1891 book The Positive Theory of Capital, Eugen von Böhm-Bawerk reveals that even a system of state-owned means of production would not eradicate such “surplus value.”

Capital and Interest

For sake of clarity, it is critical to understand that what Marxists refer to as “surplus value”—or what is otherwise commonly referred to as “profit”—Böhm-Bawerk identifies as interest.

Interest, as recognized by the Austrian school, is the difference in value between present and future goods. Other things held equal, goods of like wants satisfaction are more highly valued in the present relative to the future. People will place a higher value on, say, receiving a car today relative to a promise to receive the same vehicle five years from now.

Similarly, this time preference explains why people are willing to repay, for instance, $105 back to the bank in one year’s time in exchange for receiving $100 today.

Böhm-Bawerk applies this insight on interest to the capitalist’s “profit” on his investment in productive resources like land, labor, and capital goods.

As he would describe it, the capitalist invests present goods (money) in exchange for future goods (the revenue he receives from the sale of the finished goods). More specifically, the capitalist’s money is invested in the labor, land, and capital goods utilized to create the finished products at some future date.

To better understand why this is important, it may be easier to conceive of the transaction between workers and capitalists like a loan. For instance, the capitalist, via his investment, “lends” a sum of money today to workers in the form of wages. The capitalist, as “lender,” is then paid back at a future date, but not directly from the worker’s wallet. Instead, he’s paid back from the income he receives when selling the finished product resulting from the worker’s labor.

If the income received from the finished products is larger than the money invested in labor, the difference is considered interest, as Böhm-Bawerk describes.

Conversely, the workers are like “borrowers” in a loan situation. They receive money now with a promise to “pay back” the loan in the future, except the repayment is in the form of the future finished products created by their labor.

Marxists and progressives, however, would argue that this interest represents an exploitative surplus value when it comes to the portion of the capitalists’ investment dedicated to labor.

If a worker is paid, say, $20 today for his labor which contributed to $25 of the final sale price of the finished good, that worker was shortchanged by the $5 difference by the capitalist, they’d argue.

To rectify this unjust worker exploitation, the socialists would say, society would need to abolish the private ownership over the means of production. Instead, the state would own the means of production, and in turn the exploitative  “surplus value” taken by the capitalists would be eradicated.

Interest under Socialism

Böhm-Bawerk’s work, however, systematically demonstrates that so-called surplus value would not be eliminated under socialism—rather it would be shifted from capitalists to the state.

As a starting point, Böhm-Bawerk points out that even under state-owned means of production, present goods and future goods would not be treated as having equal value, because, as he wrote, the “difference in value between present goods and future is an elementary economic phenomenon independent of any human arrangements.” Changing the economic system won’t change that basic fact.

He continues by exploring how the situation would play out under socialism: “The Socialist state, as possessing all means of production, gets all the citizens to work in its factories, and pays them a wage. It conducts, therefore, on the largest scale the buying—forbidden to private individuals—of future good Labour.”

In calling labor a “future good,” Böhm-Bawerk refers to the finished goods that come to completion at a future date resulting from labor, and therefore representing future income to the socialist state paying the wage.

“Now, on technical grounds, various portions of the labour it buys it necessarily sets to work simultaneously towards various productive ends widely removed in point of time,” Böhm-Bawerk continues. “One group of laborers, for instance, it sets to baking; another it sets to sink mining shafts, which, perhaps, assist in turning out consumption goods only twenty years later; another it sets to replant a forest.”

“Now how much can and should the Socialist state pay as wage to those workers whose labour it directs to those far-away but productive ends?” Böhm-Bawerk asks. In other words, would the “interest” on investments in labor be the same for long-term ”loans” to workers as it would for short-term “loans”?

Imagine if the socialist state attempted to eliminate the phenomena of interest in their mission to eliminate exploitative worker “surplus.”

Workers like foresters devoted to more remote finished goods would be greatly advantaged over those devoted to more immediate ends. It would result in foresters being paid the “full value” today for the product of their labor sold a hundred years from now, whereas bakers are receiving full value today for the product of their labor sold in one day’s time.

It would be like the foresters being paid 2120 wages today while bakers have to accept 2020 wages. Clearly, there would be major incentive and rewards for workers to enter lines of work dedicated to products that won’t ripen into finished products until far into the future.

As a result, Böhm-Bawerk wrote, “If the entrance to individual branches of employment were left free to all comers, everybody would be a forester and nobody would bake bread; the country would relapse to primeval forest; and the present, with its pressing needs, would remain unprovided for.”

In order to avoid such a situation, the socialist state would need to utilize the same method of discounting wages as capitalists do.

“But if the foresters are paid exactly like bakers at 4 dollars per day, they are exploited just as they are by the capitalist undertakers under the present system,” Böhm-Bawerk wrote. “In buying the future commodity, labour, an agio is put on present goods, and the labourer, instead of his future product of $100, is put off with a present wage of $4, which represents the present value of the planted saplings. But the surplus value which these saplings take on as they grow into oak trees ready for cutting, the Socialist commonwealth puts into its pocket as real interest.”

But wouldn’t the socialist state, in the ever-present mission for “equality,” make workers whole by redistributing the funds back to them?

“It is, too, well worthy of remark that an equal distribution of the interest obtained by the Socialist state does not establish the same economic conditions as if the interest had not been taken at all,” Böhm-Bawerk answers. “In this distribution it is not the persons whose labour and product the interest was due that get the interest, but entirely different people.”

For instance, the forester whose oak obtains $100 a hundred years in the future but is paid $4 in wages today yields a “surplus” of $96. Say the state evenly divides the interest it collects in the production process by giving all workers an additional $2. The forester is still far from being made whole, according to the Marxist theory of “surplus value.”

“Thus we come to a very remarkable and noteworthy result,” Böhm-Bawerk announces. “Interest, which today the Socialists abuse as a gain got by exploitation, a robbery from the products of labor, would not disappear even in the Socialist state, but would remain, in promise and potency, as between the community organized under Socialism and its labourers, and must so remain.”

Böhm-Bawerk concludes decisively that, contra Marx, “interest is not an accidental ‘historico-legal’ category, which makes its appearance only in our individualist and capitalist society, and will vanish with it.”

Instead, interest is “an economic category, which springs from elementary economic causes, and therefore, without distinction of social organization and legislation, makes its appearance wherever there is an exchange between present and future goods.”

In sum, Böhm-Bawerk dismantles the view that a system of state-owned means of production will eliminate the “exploitation” of workers’ “surplus value” that so forcefully animates Marxist ideology. Author:

Bradley Thomas

Bradley Thomas is creator of the website EraseTheState.com, and is a libertarian activist and writer with nearly fifteen years of experience researching and writing on political philosophy and economics.

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Erie Times E-Edition Article-Progressives inflict progress in California

Posted by M. C. on September 19, 2020

Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation requiring all 430,000 undergraduates in the California State University system to take an “ethnic studies” course, and there may soon be a similar mandate for all high-school students. “Ethnic studies” is an anodyne description for what surely will be, in the hands of woke “educators,” grievance studies.

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=02be34d5b

California, our national warning, shows how unchecked progressives inflict progress. They have placed on November ballots Proposition 16 to repeal the state constitution’s provision, enacted by referendum in 1996, forbidding racial preferences in public education, employment and contracting. Repeal, which would repudiate individual rights in favor of group entitlements, is part of a comprehensive California agenda to make everything about race, ethnicity and gender. Especially education, thereby supplanting education with its opposite.

The 1996 ban on preferences was not intended to, and did not, end all measures to increase the participation of minorities and women in the state’s post-secondary education, or in doing business with the state government. So, Proposition 16 should be seen primarily as an act of ideological aggression, a bold assertion that racial and gender quotas — identity politics translated into a spoils system — should be forthrightly proclaimed and permanently practiced as a positive good.

California already requires that by the end of 2021 some publicly traded companies based in the state must have at least three women on their boards of directors, up from the 2018 requirement of one woman. Last month, the legislature mandated that by the end of 2021 at least one director shall be Black, Latino, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian or Alaskan Native, or identify as LGBTQ. And by 2022, boards with nine or more directors must include at least three government favored minorities.

Where will this social sorting end? Proposition 16’s aim is to see that there is no end to the industry of improvising remedial measures to bring “social justice” to a fundamentally unjust state, and nation. The aim is to dilute, to the point of disappearance, inhibitions about government using group entitlements — racial, ethnic and gender — for social engineering. Most important, Proposition 16 greases the state’s slide into the engineering of young souls.

They are to be treated as raw material for public education suffused with the spirit of Oceania in George Orwell’s “1984”: “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” Progressives have a practical objective in teaching the essential squalor of the nation’s past. The New York Times’s “1619 Project” — it preaches that the nation’s real founding was the arrival of the first slaves; the nation is about racism — is being adopted by schools as a curriculum around the nation. If the past can be presented as radically wrong, radical remedies will seem proportionate.

Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation requiring all 430,000 undergraduates in the California State University system to take an “ethnic studies” course, and there may soon be a similar mandate for all high-school students. “Ethnic studies” is an anodyne description for what surely will be, in the hands of woke “educators,” grievance studies.

Discussions of the proposed high-school requirement are being conducted in the progressive patois about “collective narratives of transformative resistance” in the “postimperial life” of a nation groaning under the bondage of capitalist, patriarchal and other “systems of power.” Students will be taught to become “positive actors,” with the government’s public-education bureaucracy stipulating what political positions are and are not “positive.”

Coming in the context of such measures, Proposition 16’s proposed repeal of the ban on racial preferences should be understood as repealing all scruples about the government- approved groupthink that Orwell warned against in “1984.” In this enterprise, California progressives have company.

Writing in the British journal Standpoint, Charles Parton, with 22 years of diplomatic experience working in and on China, explains that President Xi Jinping’s hostility to freedom’s prerequisites includes root-and-branch rejection of education, understood as the development of individuals’ abilities to think critically. Xi, who calls teachers “engineers of the soul,” wants education to be, Parton says, “collective, ideological and political.” The Chinese Communist Party says education begins by “grasping the baby,” primary school promotes “loving” the party, socialism and the collective, secondary schools inculcate “the ideology of socialist builders,” and universities must be, in Xi’s words, “CCP strongholds.”

The CCP’s and California’s indoctrinators differ somewhat concerning the particular mentalities they aim to impose. But both groups would extinguish actual education — teaching individuals how, as opposed to what, to think.

The principal difference is that the CCP is more candid than California is about replacing thinking with the regurgitation of governmentstipulated orthodoxies.

In 1932, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis celebrated how a single state “may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” Or as a warning to it. George Will is a Washington Post columnist. Email him at georgewill@washpost.com.

George Will

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Progressives, the President, Privatization, and the Post Office – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on September 1, 2020

But just because post offices are authorized doesn’t mean that they are mandated. And nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the Post Office should have a monopoly on first-class mail like it currently has.

Privatizing the Post Office would merely shift the postal monopoly from the government to a government-privileged firm. Mail service should be freed, not privatized. As long as we have a Post Service, it should adjust its prices so that they have some relation to a valid business model that seeks to turn a profit. But regardless, the postal monopoly should be ended.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/09/laurence-m-vance/progressives-the-president-privatization-and-the-post-office/

By

The latest spat between progressives and President Trump is over the Post Office.

The New York Times is all but accusing the president of withholding funds from the Post Office so as to undercut voting by mail, which he sees as being riddled with fraud. A spokesman for the Biden campaign put it this way:

The president of the United States is sabotaging a basic service that hundreds of millions of people rely upon, cutting a critical lifeline for rural economies and for delivery of medicines, because he wants to deprive Americans of their fundamental right to vote safely during the most catastrophic public health crisis in over 100 years.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was even more adamant: “I am not exaggerating when I say this is a life-and-death situation. The Post Office is delivering medicine to millions of Americans during a pandemic. It delivers Social Security checks to seniors who rely on those benefits to survive.” This, of course is nonsense, as is most of what Sanders says. Over 99 percent of Social Security payments are sent via direct deposit. And mail prescriptions only make up only 5.8 percent of the prescription drug market.

The Post Office has a problem, but the problem has existed since long before Trump was elected. The United States Postal Service (USPS) lost almost $9 billion last year. It has lost $83.1 billion since 2006. Its unfunded pension and health-care liabilities exceed $120 billion.

The Post Office has a pricing problem. Revenue from first-class mail—the biggest source of the USPS’s revenue—continues to decline even as labor costs continue to increase. Of the 142.6 billion pieces of mail that the Post Office handled in 2019, “53 percent was advertising material, a.k.a. junk mail, up from 48 percent in 2010.” And “companies pay a special rate, 19 cents apiece, to send these items (in bulk), as opposed to the 55 cents for a first-class stamp.”

But even if the Post Office raised its prices on all of its services other than first-class mail, it would still have a problem.

The Post Office is one of the federal government’s few departments that is clearly authorized by the Constitution. In Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 7, Congress is given the power “to establish Post Offices and post Roads.”

But just because post offices are authorized doesn’t mean that they are mandated. And nowhere in the Constitution does it say that the Post Office should have a monopoly on first-class mail like it currently has. As James Bovard has well said:

The Postal Service has gotten away with scorning its customers because it is effectively a federal crime to provide better mail service than the government. The Postal Service has a monopoly over letter delivery (with a limited exemption for urgent, courier-delivered letters costing more than $3).

According to U.S. Code, Title 39, Chapter I, Subchapter E, Part 310, Section 310.2, “Unlawful carriage of letters,”

(a) It is generally unlawful under the Private Express Statutes for any person other than the Postal Service in any manner to send or carry a letter on a post route or in any manner to cause or assist such activity. Violation may result in injunction, fine or imprisonment or both and payment of postage lost as a result of the illegal activity.

In the nineteenth century, private mail carriers in the United States were shut down by the federal government.

Monopolies are contrary to principles of economic freedom, competition, free markets, and free enterprise. But don’t take my word for it. The federal government has an Antitrust division in the Department of Justice (DOJ) charged with promoting “economic competition through enforcing and providing guidance on antitrust laws and principles.” According to the DOJ:

The goal of the antitrust laws is to protect economic freedom and opportunity by promoting free and fair competition in the marketplace.

Competition in a free market benefits American consumers through lower prices, better quality and greater choice. Competition provides businesses the opportunity to compete on price and quality, in an open market and on a level playing field, unhampered by anticompetitive restraints. Competition also tests and hardens American companies at home, the better to succeed abroad.

Federal antitrust laws apply to virtually all industries and to every level of business, including manufacturing, transportation, distribution, and marketing. They prohibit a variety of practices that restrain trade, such as price-fixing conspiracies, corporate mergers likely to reduce the competitive vigor of particular markets, and predatory acts designed to achieve or maintain monopoly power.

So where is the DOJ? The postal monopoly is now almost two centuries old.

Privatizing the Post Office would merely shift the postal monopoly from the government to a government-privileged firm. Mail service should be freed, not privatized. As long as we have a Post Service, it should adjust its prices so that they have some relation to a valid business model that seeks to turn a profit. But regardless, the postal monopoly should be ended.

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