By Chris Rossini
Every individual is endowed with his or her own unique set of interests, desires, and talents. No two individuals are the same. That's the setup.
In comes government, which then forces the worst possible scenario onto a world filled with unique individuals.
Government monopolizes what it likes to call "education," creates one-size-fits-all "curriculums," forces children to attend its "schools," finances them with stolen money, and then convinces (enough) people into believing that this is the way it's supposed to be.
What a gargantuan mistake.
Government's coercive education system is the worst possible idea for a world filled with unique individuals. One does not have to look far to imagine an alternative. We just have to look at what's left of the free market.
For example, go to a Nike store and there are hundreds of different options to choose from. Different sizes, and colors, and styles. Nike is doing its best to cater to a world of unique individuals. It finances it's operations morally and legitimately. And most importantly, it cannot force anyone to buy anything.
Everyone has the option of going down the block to Reebok, or Adidas, or Under Armour. Each of those outlets have their own cornucopia of products designed to fit individual needs as well. The voluntary marketplace is an amazing fit (no pun intended) for the lives of unique individuals. People with unique tastes picking and choosing what satisfies them in the greatest way.
Sadly, when it comes to something as monumental as an individual's education, we must suffer under government's monopoly. Let's look at the latest news coming from New York.
The New York Times tells us:
To ensure that every child can learn the skills required to work in New York City’s fast-growing technology sector, Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce on Wednesday that within 10 years all of the city’s public schools will be required to offer computer science to all students.
Computer science for all students?
Such an idea places unique individuals into some kind of artificial mold. It's like trying to force a round peg through a square hole. Remember, individuals buying and selling in the voluntary marketplace don't have such toxic powers.
Why computer science? It's such an arbitrary decision. Why must a young genius painter, or sculptor be subject to a bureaucratic whim? Is that young individual's time worth nothing? Why must a future dentist sit through a computer science class that he has zero interest in? Because Bill de Blasio said so?
Such is the way that bureaucrats think, and then they pat themselves on the back for it. In reality, the whole idea is overflowing with waste. Government education runs counter to the uniqueness of individuals.
As the world continues to become more and more interconnected, and as technology continues to advance, let us hope that it washes away this gargantuan mistake. So much potential, so much time, so much money, and so much happiness go up in smoke because of the monster called "Government Education."
By Ron Paul
When U.S. officials tell outright lies, and lie us into war, the people deserve to know the truth. I work from the point of view that to be patriotic, and care about one’s country, you challenge your government when they’re wrong. However, in this day and age, it is obedience to government that's expected. That’s how we end up with an Edward Snowden being called a terrorist and a criminal. He told the truth and challenged the government.
We need to sort out what the government should be doing versus what they’re actually doing. That is indeed a big problem, but clear fundamentals can help us to get out of this. We should mind our own business, be non-interventionists, be friends with other countries, and talk to people who are supposedly our enemies. Even during the worst times of the Cold War, we talked to the Soviets and the Chinese, and the world didn’t end.
Actually things improved.
But why are the likes of Samantha Powers obsessed with agitating the situation in the Middle East, and possibly precipitating another major crisis? It’s absolutely unnecessary.
The cause of peace can be found if we just use a little bit more common sense.
Thank you, and be sure to tune in to tomorrow's Liberty Report!
By Jeff Deist
Economists, bankers, fund managers, and investors around the world are absolutely fixated on the Federal Reserve’s anticipated announcement this week, with many fearing that a rate hike could trigger more shocks like the recent Black Monday selloff.
In a world of social media and 24-hour news cycles, it’s fair to say Wednesday’s FOMC meeting in the Eccles Building has been the most widely reported and discussed central bank action in history.
But missing from the coverage is one fundamental point: “monetary policy” and bureaucratic control over interest rates is not capitalism, it is outright centralized planning.
What else can we call the orchestration of a pivotal price signal in the worldwide economy by 12 individuals sitting in one room? If one accepts the Fed’s role in setting interest rates, it’s hard to understand where and when to draw the line.
Why not prices of goods, services, and wages? If experts can determine the price of money, why can’t they determine the price of a bushel of wheat or an automobile?
When the former Soviet Union’s State Committee on Prices attempted exactly that, western capitalists scoffed. Yet we accept centralized monetary planning as part and parcel of free markets!
David Stockman explains that the Fed Funds Rate-- the overnight rate at which commercial banks trade reserves with each other for liquidity-- is the single most important price in the entire world economy:
As I always say, the money-market price, that is the Federal Funds Rate or Overnight Money or a short term treasury bill, is the most important price in all of capitalism because that determines the cost of carry, the cost of speculation and gambling. When you conduct a monetary policy that says to the speculators, to the gamblers, “come and get it,” you are guaranteed free money to carry your positions, whether you’re buying German Bonds or you’re buying the S&P 500 Stock Index or the whole array of yielding or price gaining assets that are available in the financial market. This monetary policy also sends the message that you can leverage and carry those positions for free and roll it day after day without worry because the central bank has pegged your cost and production, and in a sense has pledged on its solemn honor that it will not change without many months of warning. And that’s what this whole thing is about — changing the language and so forth. I think you have created a massive distortion in the very heart of capitalism in the financial system.
So while price fixing is illegal, when the Fed does it it’s called…capitalism.
This article was originally published at The Mises Institute.
By Ron Paul
Young people's dissatisfaction with President Barack Obama's failure to deliver the peace and prosperity he promised in 2008 could allow Republicans to capture the youth vote in 2016. But in order to capitalize on that opportunity, Republicans must embrace the philosophy of liberty that drew so many young people to my 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns.
These younger voters expect Republicans to consistently defend individual liberty and limited government. Millennial voters also expect the GOP to oppose crony capitalism, even – and especially – when the cronies are GOP donors. Sadly, two presidential candidates, Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida, are supporting legislation that combines an unconstitutional assault on individual liberty with cronyism.
The bill in question is the so-called "Restoration of America's Wire Act," more accurately named the iGaming ban. This legislation makes it a federal crime to gamble online. It nullifies laws in three states allowing online gambling and it pre-empts ongoing debates in several states considering legalizing internet gambling.
Proponents of the iGaming ban claim a nationwide ban on internet gambling is necessary to protect against widespread online gambling by citizens in states where gambling is outlawed. This argument ignores the existence of technology allowing online casinos to ensure their customers are legally allowed to gamble online.
A national ban would not be justified even if state laws allowing online gambling led to widespread violations of other state laws prohibiting Internet gambling. The 10th Amendment is supposed to restrain federal power, not justify creating new federal crimes.
Passage of the ban will give the federal government a new excuse to spy on all of our online activities. Whenever I speak to young people, they enthusiastically cheer my attacks on warrantless wiretapping and mass surveillance. Does anyone believe these younger voters will support a candidate or a party that supports letting government agencies spy on their online activities to ensure they are not playing poker?
Libertarian-minded millennials agree with conservative attacks on liberal nanny state programs like gun control, Obamacare and Michelle Obama's school lunch program. However, they are alienated by the hypocrisy shown by too many conservatives who claim to favor individual liberty, yet support legislation like the iGaming ban because they disapprove of gambling. A "conservative" nanny state is just as unconstitutional, and as dangerous to liberty, as a liberal one.
Those with moral objections to gambling have the right to try to persuade their fellow citizens to not gamble. What they do not have the right to do is use government force to stop people from engaging in activities, like gambling, that do not involve force or fraud.
It is an open secret that the iGaming ban is being pushed by one billionaire casino mogul, who (not coincidentally) is also one of the country's top political donors. This donor has chosen to not operate an online casino, and, rather than fairly compete with his online competitors, he is attempting to use his influence to outlaw Internet gambling.
Prior to waging his personal struggle against online gambling, this donor had earned the gratitude of neoconservatives in and out of Congress for using his money to promote a hawkish foreign policy. This may explain why some of the iGaming ban's biggest supporters, including Graham and Rubio, are also some of the biggest hawks in Congress.
It is hard to imagine a better way to alienate millennial voters than by supporting another unconstitutional infringement on their freedom in order to aid one billionaire neocon. Any politician who bets on the iGaming ban is bound to come up with lemons.
This article was originally published at U.S. News & World Report.
By Ron Paul
Reports that the official unemployment rate has fallen to 5.1 percent may appear to vindicate the policies of easy money, corporate bailouts, and increased government spending. However, even the mainstream media has acknowledged that the official numbers understate the true unemployment rate. This is because the government’s unemployment figures do not include the 94 million Americans who have given up looking for work or who have settled for part-time employment. John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics estimates the real unemployment rate is between 23 and 24 percent.
Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, few in Washington, DC acknowledge that America’s economic future is endangered by excessive spending, borrowing, taxing, and inflating. Instead, Congress continues to waste taxpayer money on futile attempts to run the economy, run our lives, and run the world.
For example, Congress spent the majority of last week trying to void the Iranian nuclear agreement. This effort was spearheaded by those who think the US should waste trillions of dollars on another no-win Middle East war. Congressional war hawks ignore how America’s hyper-interventionist foreign policy feeds the growing rebellion against the dollar’s world reserve currency status. Of course, the main reason many are seeking an alternative to the dollar is their concern that, unless Congress stops creating — and the Federal Reserve stops monetizing — massive deficits, the US will experience a Greek-like economic crisis.
Despite the clear need to reduce federal spending, many Republicans are trying to cut a deal with the Democrats to increase spending. These alleged conservatives are willing to lift the “sequestration” limits on welfare spending if President Obama and congressional democrats support lifting the “sequestration” limits on warfare spending. Even sequestration's miniscule, and largely phony, cuts are unbearable for the military-industrial complex and the rest of the special interests that control our government.
The only positive step toward addressing our economic crisis that the Senate may take this year is finally holding a roll call vote on the Audit the Fed legislation. Even if the audit legislation lacks sufficient support to overcome an expected presidential veto, just having a Senate vote will be a major step forward.
Passage of the Audit the Fed bill would finally allow the American people to know the full truth about the Fed’s operations, including its deals with foreign central banks and Wall Street firms. Revealing the full truth about the Fed will likely increase the number of Americans demanding that Congress end the Fed's monetary monopoly. This suspicion is confirmed by the hysterical attacks on and outright lies about the audit legislation spread by the Fed and its apologists.
Every day, the American people see evidence that, despite the phony statistics and propaganda emanating from Washington, high unemployment and rising inflation plague the economy. Economic anxiety has led many Americans to support an avowed socialist’s presidential campaign. Perhaps more disturbingly, many other Americans are supporting the campaign of an authoritarian crony capitalist. If there is a major economic collapse, many more Americans — perhaps even a majority — will embrace authoritarianism. An economic crisis could also lead to mob violence and widespread civil unrest, which will be used to justify new police state measures and crackdowns on civil liberties.
Unless the people demand an end to the warfare state, the welfare state, and fiat money, our economy will continue to deteriorate until we are faced with a major crisis. This crisis can only be avoided by rejecting the warfare state, the welfare state, and fiat money. Those of us who know the truth must redouble our efforts to spread the ideas of liberty.
By Jacob Hornberger
Given that today is the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it serves as a good day to place that event in the context of how we began as a nation, where we are today, and what we need to do to put things back on the right track.
The 9/11 attacks were not the first post-Cold War terrorist attacks against the United States. There was the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, an attack that was no different in principle from the attacks that occurred on 9/11. There were also the attacks on the USS Cole and on the U.S. Embassies in East Africa.
Why all these terrorist attacks against the United States? Because after the Cold War ended, the U.S. government went into the Middle East and began poking hornets’ nests. There was the Persian Gulf intervention, the intentional destruction of Iraq’s water and sewage treatment plants, the brutal sanctions against the Iraqi people, the U.S. government’s public position that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the sanctions were “worth it,” the stationing of American troops on Islamic holy lands, the deadly no-fly zones of Iraq, the unconditional support of the Israeli government, and more.
It’s not that difficult to provoke someone into striking back. Even on a personal level, if you keep punching a person in the face or keep bullying him, the likelihood is that at some point he’s going to take a swing at you, even if you’re much bigger and stronger.
That’s what President Franklin Roosevelt did to the Japanese prior to the Pearl Harbor attacks. Hoping that he could goad Japan into attacking the United States, FDR pushed them and provoked them with such things as an oil embargo, the freezing of Japanese assets in the United States, and the imposition of humiliating terms in pre-war negotiations.
FDR’s strategy worked. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, FDR was able to say: We’ve been attacked! We’re shocked! We’re innocent! We were just minding our own business! This is a day of infamy.
It’s no different with the crisis in Ukraine. After the Cold War ended, U.S. officials, operating through NATO, began absorbing Eastern European countries, thereby enabling NATO forces to get closer and closer to Russia’s borders. Not surprisingly, Russia reacted to the provocations in the same what that the United States would have reacted to Russian forces establishing themselves in Cuba or along the U.S.-Mexico border.
After the 9/11 attacks, U.S. officials said: We’ve been attacked by the terrorists! We’re shocked! We’re innocent! We were just minding our own business! Another day of infamy! They just hate us for our freedom and values! We will now need to adopt emergency totalitarian powers and also invade Iraq and Afghanistan!
But those terrorist attacks had nothing to do with hatred for America’s freedom and values, any more than the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had anything to do with Japanese hatred for America’s freedom and values.
It was all about U.S. foreign policy — an imperialist foreign policy — an interventionist foreign policy — one carried out by the national-security branch of the federal government, a branch that came into existence after World War II and that fundamentally altered America’s governmental structure in the name of fighting communism and a “cold war” against America’s World War II partner and ally, the Soviet Union.
Prior to the 9/11 attacks, here at FFF we were publishing articles saying that if the U.S. government did not stop what it was doing in the Middle East, there would inevitably be a terrorist attack on American soil. We weren’t the only ones. See the great book pre-9/11 book Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire by Chalmers Johnson, who was saying the same thing.
But U.S. officials doggedly continued with their deadly and destructive interventionism, which ultimately led to the 9/11 attacks and the claims that the terrorists just hate us for our freedom and values.
Not surprisingly, U.S. officials seized upon the 9/11 attacks as an opportunity to take away the fundamental freedoms of the American people (and to declare a “war on terrorism” and to attack Iraq and Afghanistan, which produced a steady supply of new terrorists). The president, who heads the executive branch, and officials in the national security branch, combined to assume emergency totalitarian powers. The powers were supposed to be temporary but since the “war on terrorism” was certain to last longer than even the Cold War, the powers became permanent, ready to be used whenever another right opportunity presented itself.
Such powers include: the power of the military to arrest any American citizen as a suspected terrorist, incarcerate him in a military dungeon or concentration camp as long it wants without trial, torture him, and execute him. Formal programs of torture, rendition, and assassination became a permanent part of America’s governmental structure, including for use against American citizens anywhere in the world, including here in the United States. The NSA’s massive secret surveillance scheme also became a permanent part of America’s governmental structure.
Meanwhile, federal spending and debt to pay for all this, as well as fund America’s massive welfare state, continue to soar, leading the country in the direction of bankruptcy.
Many Americans still innocently believe that despite the assumption of these emergency totalitarian powers, they still live in a free society. They never cease to praise the troops who are killing people thousands of miles away from the United States for protecting “our freedom.” Even worse, some of them proved more than willing and eager to trade our freedom to federal officials for the sake of security.
All those emergency powers are inherent to totalitarian regimes. Indeed, the entire concept of a national security state is inherent to a totalitarian regime. How can people be free when they’re living under a totalitarian-like apparatus whose officials wield the omnipotent power to assassinate them, incarcerate them, and torture them?
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. These are all the types of things our American ancestors tried to protect us from. Consider the Bill of Rights. It doesn’t address foreign regimes or terrorists. It addresses the federal government. It assumes that the federal government is likely to do some very bad things to people. The Bill of Rights says: Don’t even try.
Consider the Constitution. While it did in fact call the federal government into existence, it severely restricted its powers.
Why did it do that?
Because our American ancestors believed that even though they were bringing the federal government into existence, they also knew that it would be a grave danger to their freedom and well-being. That’s why they limited its powers to those enumerated in the document. The Bill of Rights was then added on as an additional protection.
The result: There was no standing army, no CIA, no NSA, no military industrial complex, no involvement in foreign wars, no programs of torture and assassination, no surveillance schemes, no foreign aid, no coups, no regime-change operations, no conscription, no sanctions, no embargoes, and no foreign interventions.
It was the most unusual governmental structure in history, notwithstanding the many infringements on freedom that still remained, such as slavery and corporatism. (Keep in mind: There was also no welfare state, no Social Security, no Medicare, no public schooling, no drug laws, no gun control, no farm subsidies, no Federal Reserve, no fiat money, and no immigration controls.)
It’s really not difficult to understand the reason for the morass in which America is mired. By grafting a welfare-warfare state apparatus onto America’s original governmental structure, the nation abandoned its founding principles and has been paying the price ever since in the form of a loss of liberty, prosperity, harmony, and peace.
The way back should be obvious.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Here is Ron Paul's Sept 9 appearance on FoxBusiness:
By Ron Paul
The British have decided to follow Americans by assassinating their citizens without charge. They’ve decided to forget about the rights of British citizens. This is an escalation because the British voted two years ago against military action in Syria. Britain has been militarily involved in Iraq and other nations, but not in Syria. So this is a significant change.
To me it’s almost an opening salvo. It isn’t like someone secretly gave us this information. This serves the purpose of conditioning the British people. Before you know it, they’ll forget about the vote that took place several years ago. There will be more stories about how horrible ISIS is, and the British won’t take into consideration the fact that the answer to ISIS is staring us right in the face: Just get out of the way, and let the Russians and Iranians handle them.
Despite all the drones and bombs that we have dropped, ISIS is in the oil business! There’s something truly bizarre about that. There’s one simple solution: Get out of there. We don’t need to be in there. We only make the problem more complex.
America doesn’t need to practice mercantilism either. We thought for so long that we had to protect the oil. Well, right now we have a glut of oil because the market provided the solution. We drilled and found a deluge of oil. Even the Egyptians are finding oil. So the marketplace and Liberty are so much better than international bodies like NATO.
The sooner we wake up, the better.
Thank you and be sure to tune in tomorrow to The Liberty Report!
By Chris Rossini
The mainstream media in the U.S. never fails to astonish. They're tripping over themselves to tell us Dick Cheney's opinion on the Iran Deal. Yes, the same Dick Cheney who has been so consistently wrong about the Middle East.
In fact, the one thing that Cheney actually got right was his statement on how invading Iraq would turn the region into a sea of chaos:
Nevertheless, a "quagmire" would be created, despite Cheney's updated position of "My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators."
Perhaps in an Iraqi citizen's worst nightmare!
Here we are today watching millions of innocent people flee the Middle East as refugees for Europe. Such a sad situation can be laid squarely at the feet of one of the worst foreign policy decisions ever made by the United States government (and there have been many).
The Iraq invasion invited blowback (see Ron Paul here) in a mutation called ISIS. Such a gang did not exist prior to the Iraqi "liberation".
Why is mainstream media peddling Cheney's new book, and inundating us with his prognostications on Iran?
Have they no respect for the American public?
Are we just a bunch of fools in their eyes?