LRC Blog

What Jobs Could An Economics Major Have In An Anarcho-Capitalist World?

—–Original Message—–
From: A
Sent: Tue 8/15/2017 4:57 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: Re: Price Gouging, CEO Salaries

Thanks sir. I was wondering what jobs an economics major could have in an anarcho-capitalist world? The only thing I can think of is in the financial services industry and academia? What would you think an econ major could get as a job in an anarcho-capitalist world?

Dear A: To your list I would add banking, insurance, investment. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. These are occupations for which a major in economics would be directly applicable. But economics, properly taught, is an integral part of a liberal arts education. Not one that includes feminist studies, black studies, queer studies, snowflake studies, whining studies, micro-aggression studies, sociology, etc. Rather, one that include the classics, fine literature, music, the sciences, mathematics, logic, etc. All of these, economics most assuredly included, prepare graduates for any job at all in the free economy that requires, rewards, clear thinking, common sense, sechel (in Yiddish). The dismal science, too, is a rigorous discipline, which preeminently can prepare its majors for virtually any intellectual field: medicine, law, business of any sort not just “the financial services industry.” Then, too, it is a precursor to graduate school in many academic disciplines, such as history, philosophy, political science, and, yes, ugh (for at least the way this is conducted nowadays), sociology too.

10:20 pm on December 16, 2018

Congressional Extortion: An Example

By jacking up the prices of prescription drugs, Congress holds hostage people who require such drugs to treat their pre-existing conditions. Hence, they are extorted into supporting Obamacare so that the insurance company will pay the costs that they cannot afford or reasonably afford.

Obama himself has just made this clear. After Federal District Court Judge Reed O’Connor ruled Obamacare unconstitutional, Obama said the ruling is “…a scary thing to hear, particularly if you or someone you care about has a pre-existing condition.” He said the ruling “…puts people’s pre-existing conditions coverage at risk…” Obama is scaring people into supporting Obamacare. He wants them “…to keep voting, in big numbers, in every election, for people who’ll protect and improve our care.”

Here’s a specific example sent to me, and I am certain it can be multiplied by millions of people. This person requires a controlled substance, a separate racket all its own. Prior to being placed on the controlled substance list, the cost was $40 a month. After it became a controlled substance, he paid $860 a month. That’s prior to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Immediately after the ACA, the price became $10,000 a month. He then was no longer issued a receipt showing costs, but by dint of research and inquiry, he finds that the cost is now $15,000 a month, which is impossible for his condition and renders him a hostage to supporting the ACA. The one other alternative is to do some home chemistry for perhaps $40 a month again. That carries the risk of prison, however. The drugstores now monitor components in over-the-counter meds.

This gentleman, who has a skilled occupation, is forced to say “With the current nature of our system, pre-existing conditions must and should be covered.”

This support is generated by Congressional extortion. Extortion is nothing new for Congress. It uses this method routinely to extort the states into all sorts of programs including Obamacare.

4:59 pm on December 16, 2018

Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) Is Virtually Medicare for All

Medicare is government-administered, and so would be Medicare for All. Obamacare is administered by “private” insurance companies. This is supposed to make it different from Medicare for All. This distinction between government and private really matters very little, because the government heavily influences the health plans and the insurance industry influences the government.

The whole insurance setup is lunatic socialism. In support of this claim, have a look at pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition is a medical condition that a person has prior to applying for health insurance. One might have asthma, a heart ailment, cancer, emphysema, high blood pressure, hernia, psoriasis, etc.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, in the vast majority of States, insurance companies in the individual and small group markets could deny coverage, charge higher premiums, and/or limit benefits to individuals based on pre-existing conditions.”

This made economic sense. Insurance is primarily for future risks. (There are exceptions.) It’s not coverage of past or present conditions. One cannot insure an auto with a smashed in door for collision and expect to be issued a check to pay for the pre-existing damage, at least not at the same rate as if your car was undamaged.

It’s crazy to force a company to pool people with pre-existing conditions with people without such conditions and call the result “INSURANCE”. It’s crazy to accuse companies of “discrimination” who either refuse to insure such people or charge them higher rates.

Obamacare itself was crazy in this sense of being true to an insurance concept. “The last Congress passed and the President signed into law a new set of patient protections that prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage to Americans when they need it most. Starting in 2014, insurers can no longer carve out needed benefits, charge higher premiums, set lifetime limits on benefits, or deny coverage due to a person’s pre-existing condition.”

Congress was not crazy to pass it, even if it was wrong and ultimately very destructive. People in Congress got support from many Americans and got campaign donations. Some of them can become industry executives and lobbyists when they leave Congress. The big insurance companies that supported it and lobbied for it were not crazy either. They have raised rates and acquired many more customers. They have formed a cartel under the government’s law.

It’s crazy to speak about Americans needing insurance most when they have preexisting conditions. They’re already medically compromised. It’s crazy to refer to forced insurance as “patient protections”. It’s outright theft. When people need money to pay for treatment, stealing it from others should not be on the table. Socialized theft is crazy as a long-run social policy. The moral evil involved doesn’t impress Congress and neither does the fact that this can only end in utter ruination of the society and people’s welfare. Many people are badly squeezed by the costs of what was advertised as affordable health care premiums. This must be the case. Someone has to pay for the preexisting conditions.

Huge numbers of people have health conditions. “According to a new analysis by the Department of Health and Human Services, 50 to 129 million (19 to 50 percent of) non-elderly Americans have some type of pre-existing health condition.”

Insurance companies forced to pay for these must raise premiums or be subsidized by government in some way to stay in business. They’ve raised premiums. If everyone is forced into such plans, the premiums are like taxes. (This is apart from penalties to make people join insurance plans who otherwise would not.) The system then becomes like Medicare for All.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” is the Marxist-Communist slogan. A system doesn’t get much more communist than the Affordable Care Act. Oh, but it can. It can always go to Single Payer or to government-run medical delivery.

The country already has a version of Medicare for All. Progressives won that with Obamacare.

To restore sanity to medical-related industries, every last market for medical services, hospitals, medicines, medical insurance, etc. has to be set free from government controls, laws and regulations that tamper with standards, funding, taxes, products, innovations, prices, and quality.

11:28 am on December 16, 2018

Former FEC Official: Trump’s Hush-Money Payments Not a Campaign-Related Expense

Former official: The plain fact is that neither the FEC (Federal Election Commission) nor former chairs of the commission believe that paying hush money is a campaign-related expense. It’s a personal expense. It’s the same as a business expense of a business owner. It’s not related to the campaign…that was certainly the attitude of the FEC towards John Edwards when his contributors actually paid a million dollars to his mistress. So, it’s not a campaign-related expense no matter what the U.S. attorney in New York has persuaded [Michael Cohen] to plead guilty to.

Second guest (Democratic attorney Julian Epstein): …the statute isn’t clear, and further, the regulations that the FEC has adopted are also really not clear…There has never really been a successful criminal prosecution for the payment of hush money, which could be a personal expenditure, maybe a campaign expenditure, it’s very vague and not defined…as to whether it is a violation of criminal law, I am very skeptical as to whether that would stand up in a court of law.

Wow.  Either these two guys are crazy (which I suspect is not the case) or there is some serious gaslighting of the public going on.  On NBC, Trump heading to prison is pretty much a done deal.  They both can’t be right.

11:51 pm on December 15, 2018

Eleanor Clift


Watch geriatric poster girl for Operation Mockingbird and elite media gatekeeper Eleanor Clift attempt to dismiss, diminish, and deflect knowledge of any relationship between the deep state and its media assets, past and present. Well done, good and faithful servant to state power and hegemony. 

11:15 pm on December 15, 2018

Raise a Glass this Weekend . . .

. . . to the demise of the neocon invade-the-rest-of-the-world propaganda rag, The Weekly Standard, which kicked out all of its employees and simply disappeared yesterday.  Bottoms up!

3:21 pm on December 15, 2018

re: Yellow Vests

Lew, for those who would like to display solidarity with the French Yellow Vest, anti-government protesters, Amazon has a good collection.

12:07 pm on December 15, 2018

Live by the Lawyer, Die by the Lawyer

Chief Justice John Roberts must have thought that he was ingratiating himself forever with the Deep State establishment when he concocted the hairbrained notion that government-mandated purchases of government-mandated health insurance was “constitutional” because of the punitive tax attached to it imposed on anyone who refused this particular ruling class dictate. Congress has the power to tax, he said, therefore “Obamacare” is constitutional.  Slick.  Or so he thought.

But then the Trump tax reform bill eliminated the tax effective January 1, thereby eliminating as well the chief black-robed deity’s phony declaration of constitutionality.  It’s now official:  Last night a federal judge ruled “Obamacare” to be unconstitutional because of the elimination of the tax penalty.

This is all just the latest example of the absurdity of placing everyone’s liberty in the hands of five government lawyers with lifetime tenure (a majority of the supreme court), something that the Jeffersonian constitutional tradition thought of as the very essence of tyranny.

11:59 am on December 15, 2018

History Is Written By The Winners

8:17 am on December 15, 2018

Hippler’s Children


Today’s corporate regime media are the bastard children of Fritz Hippler. Hippler was a top Nazi official who had diligently worked his way through the National Socialist German Workers Party ranks to the position of head of the German film industry, overseeing the newsreels and propaganda broadcasts of the regime. Legendary PBS journalist Bill Moyers interviewed Hippler and American filmaker Frank Capra to analyze how propaganda was used in National Socialist Germany and in the United States to motivate their peoples during World War II. In that powerful interview Hippler revealed the two secrets of modern political propaganda:

FRITZ HIPPLER: I think the main thing of propaganda is what Goebbels repeated at all times. “The secret of propaganda is to simplify complex or complicated things, to make them as simple as possible. As simple that even the less ingenious men can understand what I mean. Simplify.” And then, if you had found the form which tells a complicated thing in the simplest way, when you have found this form, then, secondly, repeat it! Repeat it every day. Simplify and repetition. That’s the secret of modern propaganda.

America’s political duopoly are also Hippler’s children as revealed above in this compilation from the 2004 GOP presidential convention during the height of the unconstitutional, illegal preemptive war of aggression in Iraq. Hippler was responsible for the insidious Nazi propaganda film, Campaign in Poland, attempting to justify that earlier war of aggression.

7:54 am on December 15, 2018

Abortion — A Response

Mike, regarding your theory on abortion, let me suggest we expand it to include all murder. After all, if a man itches to slay someone, he’s going to find a way to do it, regardless. We could call that his right, if we want to. But then there is that pesky fetus–sorry, victim and its rights as well, I guess.

Abortion may not be a major problem in America to those whose mothers weren’t homicidal, but I guarantee you its millions of casualties would radically disagree—if they could. We should also recognize that like “transgenderism,” abortion is a relatively recent phenomenon. Only within the last century have a subset of Marxists, a.k.a. feminists, persuaded women to view children (and family in general) not as their most precious and valuable achievements but as dire enemies to exterminate.

The historical attitude differed diametrically. Indeed, at the end of this month, the “Feast of the Holy Innocents” memorializes how fiercely mothers once loved their infants. When Herod, temporal ruler of Judea, learned that a Heavenly King had been born, he massacred all babies “in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under” to preserve his throne. And just as the prophet Jeremiah had foretold hundreds of years before, “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.” Now, if abortionists are correct that women not only own but crave the right to slaughter their infants, these mothers should have welcomed Herod’s very late-term abortion. Instead, they “refused to be consoled.”

When it comes to abortion (and transgenderism, sodomy, and the other pathologies of our time), most folks slide along with the trend instead of thinking independently. We should never encourage such evil (much of which the State engenders and then tyrannically supports); rather, let us staunchly oppose it. Abortion is utter, unmitigated wickedness; a good case can be made that it is genocide since most of the American babies it kills are black; above all, it points to mankind’s desperate need of Jesus Christ. Thank God we will soon celebrate His advent to a mother who loved and protected Him!

7:07 am on December 15, 2018

Bombshell! The Walls Are Closing In! Tipping Point! This Is The Beginning Of The End!


Clear unmistakable evidence that our establishment corporate media of talking head presstitutes and regime stenographers are following the same identical deep state script regarding Trump and the RussiaGate coverage.

Here is an earlier egregious example of what fake news looks like in the mainstream media echo chamber.

11:00 pm on December 14, 2018

The Evil and Erroneous Ronald Coase

From: M
Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 12:49 PM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: re: Rothbard on Coase

Dear Walter,

Rothbard on Coase is worth reading. (Rothbard is always worth reading, of course.)

See pp. 253-256 in his “Strictly Confidential The Private Volker Fund Memos”.

He doesn’t say that Coase bitterly opposes private property.

Sincerely, M

Dear M

I say, over and over again, that Coase bitterly opposed private property rights.

Murray doesn’t say that 2+2=4 at that point (pp. 253-256 in his “Strictly Confidential) either; that doesn’t mean Murray doesn’t buy into this equation. Murray is adamant that at least on social costs, Coase’s main “contribution” he was simply awful (see below). This is not to deny that Coase did make some important contributions. Radio waves, the firm, freedom of speech. But he is mainly known for his Law and Econoimcs and social costs, and there he was dreadful.

For an Austro-libertarian critique of the evil Coase, see this material:

(more…)

7:20 pm on December 14, 2018

The Race to Regicide

The deep state is now in really high gear to get rid of Trump, even getting the leftist deep state lawyers in NYC to “investigate” spending on his inauguration; Nancy Pelosi pretending to be the IRS commissioner and promising to get all of his tax returns; claiming that foreigners who stay at one of his hotels are engaged in bribery by paying their hotel bill; Bill Clinton’s sex crime apologist/defender Lanny Davis is claiming that Trump committed a “felony” by committing the non-crime of paying a woman who was apparently extorting him to go away; and on and on forever.

The manic pace of all this suggests to me that all of these characters — the Clinton crowd, the Obama crowd, and the deep state crowd in general — know that they are guilty of uncountable felonies and of illegally using the FBI, CIA, ETC. to spy on and sabotage the Trump campaign, and that Trump is probably waiting for the right moment to do justice to them.  For now, he’s holding his cards as bargaining chips, but it would be foolish of him to hold on to them for much longer.  Is Donald Trump that much of a fool?

3:57 pm on December 14, 2018

Good Riddance

I greet the demise of The Weekly Standard with great joy.

Just hours after Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution in October 2002, an opinion column in the Washington Post propagated  The Weekly Standard line that, “having explained why war is necessary,” a case that had been made with “an impressive clarity of presentation and lucidity of argument,” President Bush had become “a war leader.”

Despite the fawning description by war celebrant William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, it has now become apparent to most people that the war was not “necessary” but only elective and ruinous; that rather than “clear” and “lucid,” Bush’s arguments were merely transparent. Bush himself was more buffoonish warlord than war leader.

Kristol had begun lobbying for war with Iraq long before 9/11 created a pretext for the invasion. He had even urged President Clinton years earlier to make war on Iraq because of the “grave threat” Iraq posed. Iraq, he insisted before the war, was “past the finish line” in developing nuclear weapons. Furthermore, once the war was launched, Kristol said it would be “a two-month affair.”

Pieces from other Weekly Standard writers were equally unhinged. Senior Editor David Brooks, now a New York Times columnist, wrote that if we succeeded in deposing Saddam Hussein, “we will be a nation infused with confidence. We will have done a great thing for the world, and other great things will await.”

Kristol’s reverie about Bush’s war resolution bore a title both chilling and revealing: From Truth to Deception. He explained that defeating Saddam Hussein “will require the president, at times, to mislead rather than to clarify, to deceive rather than to explain.”

No such encouragement is needed in the Empire of Lies.

With war effusiveness splashed across its pages, it is little wonder that Vice President Cheney had 30 copies of The Weekly Standard delivered to the White House each week.

Speaking of Cheney, the forthcoming motion picture VICE features a stunning portrayal of Cheney by Christian Bale and a more realistic depiction of the former vice president than anything most Americans have seen.

Here’s a preview:

 

12:34 pm on December 14, 2018

The Christmas Truce of 1914



The Great War began in August 1914, and by December all thoughts of quick victory had faded. Fighting was most fierce in a thin strip of land called the Western Front. A system of trenches separated Allies from Germans, with the area in between known as No Man’s Land. Amidst the trench warfare that defined World War I, a few days of spontaneous peace broke out. On Christmas Eve, an astonishing event began–up and down the Western Front, Allied and German soldiers met peacefully in No Man’s Land. Without a signed treaty, surrender, or armistice, German and Allied soldiers alike were able to share Christmas cheer together.

9:20 pm on December 13, 2018

Abortion – My Theory

I’ve mentioned abortion one or two times in 13 years of writing for LRC. I once saw it as murder. I now reject that opinion. I see it differently now.

If a woman wants an abortion, I do not see how anyone can make her not have it. She cannot be forced to carry to term. Call that her right, if you want to. What of the fetus, then? What about its right?

Before addressing that critical question, let’s turn to some facts. What are we talking about? “In 2015, 638,169 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC from 49 reporting areas. The abortion rate for 2015 was 11.8 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years…” That’s a little over 1 woman in a hundred. There’s a lot of women in America, so the absolute number is also a lot; but it’s not large relative to the population.

“The majority of abortions in 2015 took place early in gestation: 91.1% of abortions were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation; a smaller number of abortions (7.6%) were performed at 14–20 weeks’ gestation, and even fewer (1.3%) were performed at ≥21 weeks’ gestation. In 2015, 24.6% of all abortions were early medical abortions (a non-surgical abortion at ≤8 weeks’ gestation).”

Nearly all abortions occur at 13 weeks or less. Babies as a rule cannot survive outside the womb at 13 weeks. Hence nearly all abortions that occur at 13 weeks or less, and that’s about 91.8% of them, satisfy Walter Block’s evictionism criterion. Abortion would be legal for them under his theory as they could not survive outside the womb. They would not be legal under the theory that their right to life begins at conception. In that case, the right of the fetus to live and the right of the mother not to carry to term cannot be reconciled. There is no way to choose between these theories.

Abortions at 14-20 weeks gestation, which comprise nearly all the rest, also do not survive premature birth. See here. I realize it’s a terrible thing to have to talk about personal tragedies like this.

The facts of abortion show that virtually all abortions are of fetuses that could not survive outside the womb. They meet Block’s criterion; abortions would be legal for them.

My own theory is neither Rothbard’s nor Block’s, although Block’s has the merit of providing a conclusion not at legal variance with actual abortions. The question is when does a fetus gain the right to life. A sensible answer as well as one not at variance with actual abortions is that it gains this right when it is capable of surviving outside the womb, with assistance, of course. This answer comes to the same result as Block but more simply and, to my mind, more agreeably. It doesn’t view the baby as a trespasser and the female as having an eviction right; these concepts applied to pregnancy attempt to apply notions of property in a novel way but also an unacceptable way. The baby didn’t just cross the border into its mother’s womb of its own accord, disobeying a no trespassing sign. The mother doesn’t thereby gain a right to evict the fetus.

My answer doesn’t assume that conception makes the fetus into a human being as Block’s does. To be a live human being, one must be capable of be-ing, even if it requires assistance that pregnancy or medical substitutes provide after 24 weeks. Fetuses that cannot survive outside the womb are not yet human beings, according to this theory. Women who have abortions in conjunction with medical people who perform them act as if this is the theory guiding their behavior.

In my estimation, abortion is not a major problem in America. It becomes a problem when government gets into the act by supporting it financially when some segments of the population don’t want their tax dollars going toward abortions. Some of us always are finding a number of activities we dislike that are being underwritten by our taxes. This is the result of having a government, and the problem of our disagreeing, more or less in futility, with government’s uses of funds grows as government grows in scope.

Abortion is not regarded as a critical issue by many Americans. The issue is of more importance to churchgoers. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” according to our Constitution. If I were a judge, I’d regard abortion as important enough to the religious beliefs of some substantial portions of Americans that the government should stay out of the matter and make no laws regarding it. The government should neither forbid abortions nor support them.

8:29 pm on December 13, 2018

What Should Be The Libertarian Party’s Official Position On Abortion?

I think the LP position on abortion should be this:

Just as is the general public is divided on the very contentious issue of abortion, so are the members of the LP. Therefore, we take no position whatsoever on this matter. Murray Rothbard was strongly pro choice. Ron Paul is just as adamantly pro life. There are not two libertarian theorists with better credentials than these two. If they can disagree with each other, cordially, on this matter, then, so can we all.

Of course, in my view, both positions are wrong. That’s why at the next LP convention I feel it important to have a panel of three people, one pro choice, the other pro life and my own view, evictionism. I really think we can get some good publicity if the LP adopts my own view. But, that is a discussion for another day. In the meantime, I think my above statement will well serve the LP. This business of “We’re pro choice on everything” will lose us a significant following, and, for no good reason.

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6:31 pm on December 13, 2018

re: Black South African Politcian Says

Kill all the white people, women and children first.  That of course cannot be construed as a racist comment according to the cultural Marxists of American academe (and everywhere else) because, being an officially “oppressed” class, black people — even a mad South African communist who threatens to mass murder white people — cannot by definition be racists. Only members of the “oppressor class,” which is primarily white heterosexual males, can be racists.

Send your kid to an Ivy League School, pay them sixty grand a year or more, and that’s what they will teach him.

6:29 pm on December 13, 2018

The Musicians’ Union Banned Jam Sessions

From a 1964 interview with trumpeter Buck Clayton, we learn that the musicians’ union banned jam sessions ca 1930s or 1940s. “Looking back on his formative years, [Buck] Clayton fondly remembered the jam sessions in Kansas City, ‘just three hours away from Parson.’ ‘We used to have jam sessions every day,’ he said. ‘There were so many bands to hear, and we idolized them. There were so many clubs, so many musicians, and we were like brothers.’ He said he feels fortunate that he grew up in the time of the jam sessions ‘We always used to try and practice and improve,’ he said and then added ruefully, ‘until the union banned all sessions. I think that’s another thing that has hurt young musicians. No more free playing. I remember sessions in N.Y. with Hawk, Lester and Don Byas, who sit for hours and battle each other. And ROY ELDRIDGE and HENRY (RED) ALLEN, who would just sit-and drink and blow.'”

The powerful union went much further. Union chief James Caesar Petrillo in 1942-1944 “called a ban on all commercial recordings, as part of a struggle to get royalties from record sales for a union fund for out-of-work musicians.”

To circumvent the strike, which was aimed at the large record companies, many newer, smaller independents started up and sought out musicians not under contract to the majors.

Another source mentions the anti-jam session union attitude in New York: “The majority of these after-hour jam sessions occurred in Harlem, New York City. One of the most influential jam session occurred at Minton’s Playhouse located at 210 West 118th Street, New York City. It was owned by a tenor saxophonist by the name of Henry Minton, who was also the first black delegate of the Musicians Union in New York City. Unlike today, almost all working, and non-working, musicians had ties to the Musician’s Union, also known as the American Federation of Musicians. During this period of American music, the Union frowned upon jam sessions and fined any Union musicians associated with them. One of the reasons for this was that royalties and performance fees from clubs could not be collected at these informal gatherings. Because Henry Minton was a delegate for the Union, he was able to ensure that musicians would not get in trouble for having jam sessions at his club.”

Personally, I worked as a non-union musician in high school and college. In order to play in a band (“Sanford Mill Band”) that gave summer concerts on bandstands, I had to join the union, however. That band used a library of light orchestra arrangements owned by Everett “Pappy” Firth, whose son, Vic Firth, was tympanist with the Boston Symphony. He became famous for producing top-notch percussion instruments. The Firths were Sanford people. Calvin Torry and I doubled the lead trumpet part. He later joined the Portland Symphony Orchestra.

4:10 pm on December 13, 2018

Starting Over

USA 1.0 has been operating since 1789 when the first and only Constitution came in. We are now up to USA 1.989, or whatever. The updates have been comprehensive.

If we were to have a new constitutional convention in the hope of a USA 2.0, agreement could not be reached. The differences in political ideas would be too great. Too many people would be unhappy with proposed changes. No amount of debate would narrow the differences. If agreement ever were reached, the compromises would produce a result close to what we have today.

Our system of government will not change unless that change be radical.

The opportunity exists for America to lead the world in a new political direction: voluntary governments, not necessarily territorial, within the bounds now under the control of the USA.

Let the progressives bind themselves as they see fit under their own laws, receiving all the benefits thereof and incurring all its costs and risks. Let this union be a union of persons who voluntarily choose to be a part of it, taxed and administered as they see fit, living wherever they live in this great country. If they assemble tracts of contiguous property because they want territorial integrity, they may. But there is no necessity of such, anymore than our nationwide churches of many denominations require territorial dominions.

Similarly, let the centrists come together if they will in like union. Let the alt-rightists and the anarcho-capitalists and the socialist anarchists form their own unions or not.

Let there be as many kinds and forms of government as people willingly devise, assemble and join. Let government of the people, by the people and for the people become reality. If the people are actually many peoples, each demanding their own government, then let them try it. Will they all last? Surely not. Will people move from one denomination of government to another as they experience the costs and benefits of their choices? Surely they will.

The seeds of destruction of the USA were planted again and again since 1789. How long does it take for the seeds planted in 1865 or 1898 or 1912 or 1932 or 1965 or 2001 to mature? Maybe 200 years. According to Britannica, Henry IV united France in 1589 but planted the seeds of a dynasty that would be overturned in 1789. The seeds of the Russian Revolution of 1917 were planted 200 years earlier under Peter the Great. Somewhere around 2065 or 2098 or 2112, we may expect the USA to be revolutionized, unless we do it sooner because we can, because we know more now about how political systems destruct, and because we are willing to go in a new direction.

The most formidable challenge in doing this is avoiding the wholesale destruction and redistribution of wealth through the destruction of the currency. I do not share with Murray Rothbard the idea that repudiating government debt is either an economically sound policy or an ethical one. Repudiation has the same effect as an inflationary bonfire. I don’t see how we can get from here to there or persuade others to our panarchic view with a policy like that.

1:58 pm on December 13, 2018

Trump Innocent Under the First Amendment

We do not have the whole story yet about Trump’s payments to several women through his lawyer Michael Cohen. As Judge Napolitano points out, there may be other evidence (records, tapes, witnesses, memos, e-mails) that will come out. We have Trump’s rebuttal as presented in this news article.

However this plays out, it doesn’t affect Trump’s guilt or innocence. He’s innocent under the First Amendment. Trump could pay a hundred women off during an election season and still not be guilty of any crime. The crime is in campaign finance laws that are unconstitutional. They are fake laws, counterfeits, forgeries, shams. They are part of that vast superstructure of “laws” and “regulations” by which Congress has overridden the Constitution. It matters little whether this lengthy process was intended by the Framers, was a result of weaknesses in the document, or occurred as each new generation lost the meaning of the Revolution and adopted new sentiments. The effect is the same. We operate our politics in an “Alice in Wonderland” environment.

The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech…” This prohibition is libertarian in nature because speech is not physically aggressive. Exceptions are carved out by libertarian theory under the heading of lies that amount to fraud or such; but these do not alter the main thrust of the First Amendment, which is to prohibit the curtailing, restriction and censorship of free speech. Naturally, property-holders can determine speech on their property, but that too doesn’t alter the meaning of the First Amendment language.

The free speech right directly follows from and thus accompanies one’s right to one’s body, one’s life, one’s liberty and one’s pursuit of property and happiness. The First Amendment codifies that right.

This right includes using one’s resources to communicate. If Congress restricts use of one’s property to create speech, that’s a backdoor or indirect way of abridging speech. That kind of restriction is also ruled out by the First Amendment, by any reasonable understanding. A law whose effect is to abridge the freedom of speech without making an explicit restriction is still abridging the freedom of speech.

The Supreme Court has upheld the First Amendment on many occasions. The Citizens United case in 2010, for example, “…struck down major laws and precedents that restricted independent expenditures in campaigns by corporations and unions.” For a supportive lawyer’s opinion published in 2014 in The New York Times, see here. Only “no limits on contributions or expenditures” are consistent with the First Amendment, the author argues.

In this light, Trump’s alleged campaign finance violations lack substance and therefore merit. Whatever their status may eventually be determined to be by House Democrats or by the Senate or by public opinion or by the Supreme Court, campaign finance laws that restrict use of either one’s own property or property donated to one’s campaign, are not, under the First Amendment, constitutional.

Campaign finance laws that restrict speech attempt to control information. Freedom of speech calls for an unrestricted flow of information and purported information. Elections under the First Amendment are speech free-for-alls. Congressional attempts by force of law to tame or control election speech violate the First Amendment.

Mueller has nothing of substance against Trump, even if Michael Cohen ties him hand and foot to payments of hush money, rightly or wrongly, accurately or inaccurately. Under the supreme law of the land, neither Cohen nor Trump did anything wrong or illegal in making payments to several women. Those campaign finance laws made by Congress pursuant to the Constitution are unconstitutional and invalid when they conflict with the First Amendment.

9:18 am on December 13, 2018

Marine Corps Mentality

Speaking of the Marines, here is the Marine Corps mentality on display: “You don’t like what a Marine does, then get the f*ck out of my country you piece of sh*t.” (This was in response to my recent article.) I thought that Marines willingly and gladly fought and bled and died for my right to not like what a Marine does?

10:05 pm on December 12, 2018

The Greatest Marine

Speaking of the Marines, the greatest Marine, Major General Smedley Butler, wrote in his classic work War Is a Racket:

War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

And he also wrote this:

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer; a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

4:37 pm on December 12, 2018

Apparently There Is a Cop Shortage

“Since 2013, the total number of working sworn officers has fallen by about 23,000. The number of officers per capita is down even more sharply, from 2.42 per 1,000 residents in 1997 to 2.17 officers per 1,000 in 2016.”

I would normally say that a cop shortage is a good thing because this means that the police will have to focus on real crimes instead of victimless crimes like drug possession or dealing. But what will no doubt happen is that police will still focus on victimless crimes and leave actual criminals to walk the streets and molest us.

3:06 pm on December 12, 2018

Three Dangerous Syria Powder Kegs – Will US Light The Match?

12:22 pm on December 12, 2018

Privatize All Bodies of Water: Oceans, Rivers, Lakes, Aquifers, and Mud Puddles Too!

From: M
Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 12:37 AM
To: wblock@loyno.edu
Subject: Water Values Podcast
Dr. Block, I want to thank you for appearing on the Water Values Podcast and for authoring Water Capitalism with Peter Nelson. I wrote to the host of this podcast and encouraged him to invite you on his show. This type of show is pretty niche to water professionals, especially younger ones like myself, and the ideas and concepts Peter and yourself brought to the listeners was badly needed. A few months ago, the host was basically worshipping the slimiest, most corrupt former EPA lawyer that appeared on his show, a common theme on many of the shows unfortunately. Feeling strongly that worshiping this high priest in the revolving door of the federal bureaucracy is the worst way forward for water, I felt strongly that others in the water industry need to know there is better way. As Peter stated so nicely, a more moral and just way, and as you obviously laid at the listener’s feet, the path to wealth and abundance. Thank you again! M in DFW, Texas

Dear M: Thanks for your kind comment. I wanted “Mud Puddles” in the title of this book. I was balked. Ah, well, you can’t win them all.

Block, Walter E. and Peter Lothian Nelson. 2015. Water Capitalism: The Case for Privatizing Oceans, Rivers, Lakes, and Aquifers. New York City, N.Y.: Lexington Books, Rowman and Littlefield; https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781498518802/Water-Capitalism-The-Case-for-Privatizing-Oceans-Rivers-Lakes-and-Aquifers. https://mises.org/library/case-privatizing-oceans-and-rivers

Best regards, Walter

10:42 am on December 12, 2018

An Honest Marine

Writes a Marine:

I served as an infantry officer during the Vietnam conflict. In retrospect, your recent column is absolutely correct. No only did I while “serving” violate every Christian principle I’d been taught, but also, I violated every moral principle I’ve since learned.

8:30 pm on December 11, 2018

They Just Don’t Get It

In response to my article “My Son Is a Marine,” I have not received such vicious and threatening e-mails since I began to criticize the Iraq War on LRC almost 15 years ago. All of them have a common theme: It is because of the Marines fighting wars, bleeding, and dying that I have the freedom to write the crap that I write. Actually, it isn’t. That is the point that they don’t get. Marines who fight unjust wars, bleed, and die do nothing for anyone’s freedom. They fight, bleed, and die in vain. Here is a question for Marine lovers: How does a Marine going to Vietnam and dying for a lie give me the freedom to write articles for LRC?

Thanks to all those who wrote me with more bumper sticker ideas, like: “My son kills for money.”

And by the way, Marine lovers, I am not a liberal. I am a libertarian. There is a difference. But thanks for reading LRC.

8:27 pm on December 11, 2018

What to Abolish: Musings of a Conservative

Cleaning out old files, I came across a file dated 2008 from a conservative who wanted to reduce government. The list of government to get rid of is quite extensive, nothing like what so-called conservatives of today advocate. The author might be termed a true conservative or even a true American. Anyway, the list is bracing, even for libertarians used to this sort of radical thinking.

1. Bring all US military people home from every foreign post;
2. Eliminate all tariffs on imports;
3. Eliminate particular regulation designed to protect certain American businesses;
4. Privatize the Air Traffic Control system with either the possibility of employees form-ing their own corporation or airlines forming a consortium to run it;
5. Cease the Federal Highway System program and allow private firms or states to handle this matter;
6. Privatize the Weather Bureau;
7. Eliminate the Bureau of Indian Affairs;
8. Stop all foreign aid;
9. Stop all selling promotion subsidies to American businesses seeking overseas business;
10. Legalize “recreational” drugs, perhaps making them available through a doctor’s prescription wherein the physician could, at minimum, give the recipient a lecture on their adverse effects;
11. Privatize all federal prisons;
12. Establish short-term “Sunset” provisions for all federal laws;
13. Stop all Corps of Army Engineers projects, letting the individual states do their own work or form joint cooperation groups with other states having a common problem;
14. Close the FFA—let airlines police and regulate themselves;
15. Drop federal assignment of airwave frequencies;
16. Drop any laws regarding media ownership;
17. Eliminate OSHA;
18. Phase out Social Security;
19. Close down Medicare and Medicaid ASAP;
20. Eliminate the Federal Reserve Bank and privatize the currency;
21. Privatize the Postal System by offering it for sale to its employees or others based on its assets or shut it down completely;
22. Stop AMTRAC subsidies as well as those to waterway and highway transportation operatives;
23. Stop ethanol tax rebates or any other subsidies related to it;
24. Sell off NASA;
25. Eliminate federal nuclear power generation control;
26. Eliminate all federal taxes and establish a tax on all retail items except food and medicine—at the same time sharply curtailing the size of the IRS;
27. Eliminate the minimum wage standard;
28. Repeal all laws regarding the regulation of labor unions;
29. Repeal all campaign contribution and limit regulations;
30. Have Congress impose term limits on itself—one term for senator and six years for a representative;
31. Remove any mandatory retirement age provisions from private and public sector;
32. Eliminate the following cabinet level entities: Departments of Commerce, Labor, Transportation, Health and Human Resources (including the National Institutes of Health which could be privatized), Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs (this can be integrated into the sharply reduced Defense Dept.)—also to go would be EPA, FDA, and the Office of National Drug Control while the Center for Disease Control would be retained.
33. Raise the age and length of service that which any federal employee may retire and move their retirement funds with their choice into privately run accounts;
34. Eliminate the ICC;
35. Out contract all Veterans Administration work;
36. Cut out all Congressional perks;
37. Privatize all nuclear waste disposal and storage;
38. Eliminate the Department of Education and with it any federal outlays to states–edu-cation is a local and state matter at best;
39. Eliminate the Department of Agriculture and all subsidies to farmers, ranchers, and others—do maintain however plant and animal disease inspection and quarantine of for-eign introductions;
40. Stop all Government Printing Office publications other than those related to new laws and regulations and changes—the use of the Congressional Record would be restricted to actual Congressional records with no padding or changes allowed.

8:02 pm on December 11, 2018