By Jacob G. Hornberger
Dear President Trump:
You have a choice: to become an ordinary president, just like George W. Bush and Barack Obama, or one who goes down in history has having left an extraordinary legacy for freedom in America and the world.
Why do the ordinary? Why follow the path of Bush and Obama? Why not an extraordinarily different and positive direction—one that points toward liberty, prosperity, and peace?
Here are the three ways you could achieve such a legacy:
1. Declare that the United States is unilaterally going to adopt a policy of free trade with every other nation in the world. No negotiations with other countries. No trade agreements. No NAFTA or TPP. No sanctions or embargoes. No protective tariffs. Just unilateral free trade. If the rest of the world follows, great. If not, so be it. Lead by example.
In other words, free the American private sector — including businessmen like yourself — to freely travel and trade anywhere in the world without any type of restriction, regulation, or tax by the U.S. government.
The model for this is the domestic United States, which the Framers, through the Constitution, made the biggest free-trade zone in history. Americans are free to travel from state to state and trade with whomever they want without any governmental restrictions.
That’s what you could accomplish for Americans on an international basis — the same freedom to travel and trade with the people of the world that Americans have to travel and trade with others within the several states.
Think of the economic prosperity that a system of total free trade would produce. In every economic exchange, both sides benefit. Therefore, people can raise their standard of living through the simple act of trade. That means that when people are free to trade with anyone and everyone, the potential for raising their standard of living increases as well. By the same token, to the extent that government rules and regulations interfere with people’s ability to trade, to that extent people’s standard of living is lowered.
Of course, there is also the moral argument for free trade — that is, the fact that people have the fundamental, God-given right to pursue happiness in their own way by engaging in economic exchanges with others. That’s one of the points that Jefferson made in the Declaration of Independence.
If you instead accept the current system of managed trade, negotiated trade agreements, economic protectionism, embargoes, sanctions, trade wars, and the like, as Bush and Obama did, you will end up with just an ordinary presidency, just like they did. You are in a position to do something extraordinary as president. A system of unilateral free trade would accomplish that.
2. End the drug war. This federal program has been going on for decades. At the risk of stating the obvious, it has failed to achieve its objectives. But it’s done more than just fail. It has also produced an array of horrific consequences: ruination of lives, governmental corruption, drug gangs and drug cartels, violence, robberies, thefts, burglaries, muggings, asset-forfeiture laws, mandatory-minimum laws, assaults on the Constitution, invasions of privacy, deaths, racism, disrespect for law and law enforcement, and ruination of lives.
All for what? To provide employment for an army of judges, prosecutors, court clerks, and law-enforcement personnel, not to mention the drug gangs and drug cartels that the drug war has brought into existence and nurtures through its very existence? That’s not a good enough reason to maintain this horrific government program.
As in trade, we also have the moral argument to contend with: What business is it of the federal government what people decide to ingest? No matter how dangerous and destructive drugs might be, it’s no business of the federal government to be people’s nanny or daddy. Adults have the fundamental right to be adults, and that necessarily means the right to engage in self-destructive behavior.
If you want another ordinary presidency, just like that of Bush and Obama, then just keep on keeping on with the drug war. But if you want an extraordinary presidency, then lead America out of this drug-war morass by insisting that Congress repeal all drug laws.
3. End foreign interventionism on the part of the U.S. national-security establishment, including a withdrawal from the old Cold War era NATO. End all foreign aid. Bring all the troops home from everywhere – -Europe, the Middle East, Afghanistan, Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the rest. Discharge them. They’re not needed. The United States is in no danger of a foreign invasion. All those foreign military bases, foreign aid, and foreign interventionism have brought America and the world nothing but death, maiming, corruption, and destruction.
Just think: No more anti-American terrorist blowback, “war on terrorism, USA Patriot Act, Homeland Security, assassination program, torture program, perpetual foreign policy emergencies and crises, renditions, and all the rest of the adverse consequences that come with foreign interventionism.
Given that you’re clearly not part of the political establishment, you, President-Elect Trump, don’t have to be like them or follow the well-worn immoral and destructive path that they have made for America. You have the opportunity to lead our country and the world in an entirely new direction, a positive direction, one that heads toward liberty, free markets, and a limited-government republic.
Just ask yourself: Four years from now, are you going to be satisfied with just another ordinary presidency, like Bush’s and Obama’s? Or would you prefer that your presidency go down in history as one of the most extraordinary in U.S. history?
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Healthcare reform is in the news with president-elect Donald Trump naming Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services. Price has been a critic of Obamacare, and in today's program we offer Dr. Paul's top three fixes as suggestions for where to start the reform.
By Chris Rossini
The headlines read that Donald Trump has saved 1,000 U.S. jobs. Carrier is not moving to Mexico. Trump isn't even in office and he's already "winning" for the American people, right? That's definitely going to be the takeaway by a majority of individuals.
But government is a massive smoke-and-mirrors operation. Citizens are always encouraged to focus on "the seen". In other words, you can "see" with your own eyes that 1,000 jobs will remain in America. But there is also "the unseen," and that aspect is supposed to be avoided like the plague. You are never (ever) supposed to think two steps ahead. And to government's good fortune, most people don't.
For example, most people "see" government raise the minimum wage to $15 and they think it's great. What they don't see is that all individuals without the skills to earn the arbitrary wage are forced (by law) into unemployment.
Many see the U.S. government's overthrow of dictators in Iraq and Libya and think that it's fantastic! What they don't see is the chaos, resentment, and desire for revenge that boils in the minds of those who live there.
We can go on and on. The U.S. government is the biggest government in mankind's history. They inflict previously unforeseen damage every single second.
The takeaway is this: the use of aggressive force (which is the government's primary offense against its citizens) cannot improve society. It can only set it back.
Violent and aggressive force destroys. It cannot create.
Once the belief that government force can improve society is accepted (and it is surely accepted today) then a steady decline in living standards must ensue. Government acts ... the "unseen" consequences arrive ... and government acts again, which produces even more "unseen" consequences.
We've all heard of compound interest right? Well think of government solutions as the reverse. The more that it acts, the more compound devastation it must produce.
The only net positive that government can do is to shrink itself into virtual insignificance. That's it. America was once a land of opportunity that produced the greatest wealth ever known to mankind because Americans were free from their government. In relative terms, the government was insignificant to their lives.
So, with all of that being said, is the Trump-Carrier deal a good thing overall?
There's no way to know.
If you look at the headline (which is all that you're supposed to look at) then 1,000 jobs will stay in the U.S. Of course, no one wishes for anyone else to lose their jobs, but at the same time, we live in a constantly changing world. Jobs are not meant to be permanent. If they were, we would be stuck in a nightmare world that's much different than ours.
Fortunately, things do change. As bad as things are now, they can always get better.
In order to really know if the Trump-Carrier deal is a good thing overall, we would have to see the terms of the deal. As of this writing, the terms are being kept secret.
The deal would be a good thing if government were to extricate itself from Carrier's business altogether. That would be best case scenario. The next best case would be to move in the direction of non-involvement. In other words, no more special favors (Carrier is heavily subsidized by the government), no more government contracts, no more "regulations" to stifle competition, no more "regulations" to stifle Carrier's own business. And of course, the big one: lower net taxation.
Is that even a remote possibility in this day and age?
It's extremely unlikely.
Also, are we to expect the president (or president-elect) to negotiate "deals" with every single American company? Can American companies now merely threaten to go to Mexico in order to get a sweetheart deal for themselves?
Is this bizarro situation considered a "free society" these days? Or is it just authoritarianism with a different wrapper?
The real solution is simple: Violence destroys. Legalized and institutionalized (i.e., government) violence destroys on a massive scale and it can't be any other way.
Here's the good news. The other side of the coin can be chosen at any time. While violence destroys, peace creates!
Peel away the violence and liberty will take care of the rest.
By Chris Rossini
Donald Trump has once again shown his mastery of dominating a news cycle. Today, the President-elect published an absurd tweet about jailing or revoking the citizenship of someone who burns a flag! Very predictably, the mainstream media jumped up like a pack of Pavlovian dogs and went all in on the story.
America was thus destined for a day where right-wingers told us that Hillary supports the same thing as Trump, while lefties (hilariously) waxed poetic about "The Constitution." The Washington Post added to the circus by putting out the headline: "It's time to ban Trump from Twitter".
While the blind continue to lead the blind, one is hard-pressed in locating the peaceful libertarian stance on flag-burning.
Fortunately, we have the eloquent words of the late Murray Rothbard in times like these:
Keeping our eye on property rights, the entire flag question is resolved easily and instantly. Everyone has the right to buy (or weave) and therefore own a piece of cloth in the shape and design of an American flag (or in any other design) and to do with it what he will: fly it, burn it, defile it, bury it, put it in the closet, wear it, etc. Flag laws are unjustifiable violations of the rights of private property...
Can it get any easier than liberty and private property?
Peace and the non-aggression principle are simple to comprehend. Live and let live. I keep my hands off of you and your stuff, and you keep your hands off me and my stuff.
No PhD's in "political science" required.
But alas, the ideas of power, violence, coercion and force continue to dominate.
That really needs to change.
(h/t Target Liberty)
Where does Ron Paul buy his gold?
The Syrian government is said to have captured up to 40 percent of rebel-held east Aleppo over the past week, raising the likelihood that this major population center will fall from rebel hands. What does this mean for the US policy of "regime change" for Syria and what does it mean for US military involvement in the country?
By Ron Paul
Centralized education that is dominated by government is very detrimental to freedom of thought. Government should be separated from education in the same way that it has been separated from religious institutions. I discuss the tremendous challenges that we face on Radio Sputnik:
The Washington Post recently featured a front page article accusing over 200 websites of being part of a vast Russian propaganda campaign to steal the election from Hillary and give the presidency to Trump. Major sites like Drudge and Zero Hedge are allegedly part of this vast conspiracy, as is the Ron Paul Institute. The Post article links to a "study" by an anonymous group as its source for the wild allegation. And that source calls for a federal criminal investigation of these alternative news sources. Is this neo-McCarthyism about to turn dangerous for free speech?
By Ron Paul
Former Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher recently gave a speech identifying the Federal Reserve’s easy money/low interest rate policies as a source of the public anger that propelled Donald Trump into the White House. Mr. Fisher is certainly correct that the Fed’s policies have “skewered” the middle class. However, the problem is not specific Fed policies, but the very system of fiat currency managed by a secretive central bank.
Federal Reserve-generated increases in money supply cause economic inequality. This is because, when the Fed acts to increase the money supply, well-to-do investors and other crony capitalists are the first recipients of the new money. These economic elites enjoy an increase in purchasing power before the Fed’s inflationary policies lead to mass price increases. This gives them a boost in their standard of living.
By the time the increased money supply trickles down to middle- and working-class Americans, the economy is already beset by inflation. So most average Americans see their standard of living decline as a result of Fed-engendered money supply increases.
Some Fed defenders claim that inflation doesn’t negatively affect anyone’s standard of living because price increases are matched by wage increases. This claim ignores the fact that the effects of the Fed’s actions depend on how individuals react to the Fed’s actions.
Historically, an increase in money supply does not just cause a general rise in prices. It also causes money to flow into specific sectors, creating a bubble that provides investors and workers in those areas a (temporary) increase in their incomes. Meanwhile, workers and investors in sectors not affected by the Fed-generated boom will still see a decline in their purchasing power and thus their standard of living.
Adoption of a “rules-based” monetary policy will not eliminate the problem of Fed-created bubbles, booms, and busts, since Congress cannot set a rule dictating how individuals react to Fed policies. The only way to eliminate the boom-and-bust cycle is to remove the Fed’s power to increase the money supply and manipulate interest rates.
Because the Fed’s actions distort the view of economic conditions among investors, businesses, and workers, the booms created by the Fed are unsustainable. Eventually reality sets in, the bubble bursts, and the economy falls into recession.
When the crash occurs the best thing for Congress and the Fed to do is allow the recession to run its course. Recessions are the economy’s way of cleaning out the Fed-created distortions. Of course, Congress and the Fed refuse to do that. Instead, they begin the whole business cycle over again with another round of money creation, increased stimulus spending, and corporate bailouts.
Some progressive economists acknowledge how the Fed causes economic inequality and harms average Americans. These progressives support perpetual low interest rates and money creation. These so-called working class champions ignore how the very act of money creation causes economic inequality. Longer periods of easy money also mean longer, and more painful, recessions.
President-elect Donald Trump has acknowledged that, while his business benefits from lower interest rates, the Fed’s policies hurt most Americans. During the campaign, Mr. Trump also promised to make audit the fed part of his first 100 days agenda. Unfortunately, since the election, President-elect Trump has not made any statements regarding monetary policy or the audit the fed legislation. Those of us who understand that changing monetary policy is the key to making America great again must redouble our efforts to convince Congress and the new president to audit, then end, the Federal Reserve.
By Adam Dick
The Washington Post has a history of misrepresenting Ron Paul’s views. Last year the supposed newspaper of record ran a feature article by David A. Fahrenthold in which Fahrenthold grossly mischaracterized Paul as an advocate for calamity, oppression, and poverty — the opposite of the goals Paul routinely expresses and, indeed, expressed clearly in a speech at the event upon which Fahrenthold’s article purported to report. Such fraudulent attacks on the prominent advocate for liberty and a noninterventionist foreign policy fall in line with the newspaper’s agenda. As Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob G. Hornberger put it in a February editorial, the Post’s agenda is guided by “the interventionist mindset that undergirds the mainstream media.”
On Thursday, the Post published a new article by Craig Timberg complaining of a “flood” of so-called fake news supported by “a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy,” To advance this conclusion, Timberg points to PropOrNot, an organization of anonymous individuals formed this year, as having identified “more than 200 websites as routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season.” Look on the PropOrNot list. There is the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity’s (RPI) website RonPaulInstitute.org listed among websites termed “Russian propaganda outlets.”
What you will not find on the PropOrNot website is any particularized analysis of why the RPI website, or any website for that matter, is included on the list. Instead, you will see only sweeping generalizations from an anonymous organization. The very popular website drudgereport.com even makes the list. While listed websites span the gamut of political ideas, they tend to share in common an independence from the mainstream media.
Timberg’s article can be seen as yet another big media attempt to shift the blame for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s loss of the presidential election away from Clinton, her campaign, and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that undermined Sen Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) challenge to Clinton in the Democratic primary.
The article may also be seen as another step in the effort to deter people from looking to alternative sources of information by labeling those information sources as traitorous or near-traitorous.
At the same time, the article may be seen as playing a role in the ongoing push to increase tensions between the United States and Russia — a result that benefits people, including those involved in the military-industrial complex, who profit from the growth of US “national security” activity in America and overseas.
This is not the first time Ron Paul and his institute has been attacked for sounding pro-Russian or anti-American. Such attacks have been advanced even by self-proclaimed libertarians.
Expect that such attacks will continue. They are an effort to tar Paul and his institute so people will close themselves off from information Paul and RPI provide each day in furtherance of the institute’s mission to continue and expand Paul’s “lifetime of public advocacy for a peaceful foreign policy and the protection of civil liberties at home.” While peace and liberty will benefit most people, powerful interests seek to prevent the realization of these objectives. Indeed, expect attacks against RPI to escalate as the institute continues to reach growing numbers of people with its educational effort.
This article was originally published at The Ron Paul Institute.
There's an economic aspect to Thanksgiving that you're not supposed to know. Ron Paul's Myth-Busters gives this important history some life.