Governors, mayors, and other officials across the country and across the world are laying out restriction upon restriction for their subjects in the name of fighting a virus. But when it comes to obeying the edicts they demand others to follow, more often than not they are exposed as hypocrites...or worse. Also today, insanity in Washington state, violence in France, kids and quarantine, and a heroic gym owner. Don't miss today's Liberty Report...
By Walter E. Block
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, operating under the US Department of Health and Human Services, has effectively ended all evictions from residential rental units until the end of 2020.
It is interesting to note how very different the law treats food and clothing, on the one hand, from shelter, on the other. If someone breaks into a Walmart, grabs a cake and some shoes, and tries to leave without paying, the repercussions are clear: that person is a shoplifter, and will be treated harshly not only by the forces of law and order, but will also lose out in the court of public opinion (I abstract here from when the person is a looter; then all bets are off, amazingly).
But if a person occupies an apartment, and does not pay the rent, then, he is treated very differently. Yet, in both cases, there is theft. True, in one of them it is theft of services, in the other it is robbery of physical goods, but this can hardly explain the very different manner in which the two are treated. For, if someone obtains a massage, haircut, nail treatment, session with a psychologist, and decline to pay, this is also a theft of services but the perpetrator will not be gently treated by the police or the courts.
What is it that is so special about domiciles that failure to pay for them should be singled out for kid glove treatment by all and sundry? Who knows? Perhaps the explanation lies deeply within us; maybe we are hard-wired from evolution when we lived in caves or trees to see home and hearth differently than all other items.
All we can say for sure is that even under ordinary non Covid circumstances, this bifurcation holds. For example, if you engage in shop lifting during Christmas season, woe betide you. But if you are a few months behind in your rent payment, no court will grant the landlord an eviction notice until January arrives. However, both are theft. Who needs rent control when tenants can live fully free for the last few months of every year? Only a Bernie Sanders type of person can smile at this situation.
So much for the normative elements of freezing evictions. Now let us consider the positive ones. One bad effect of this slap in the face of landlords is that we will have less shelter for people than otherwise. This policy reduces investment in this sector of the economy. Hence, the horrendous and multitudinous phenomenon of people living under bridges or on sidewalks. Eviction prohibition is not pulled on owners of commercial real estate or office buildings, hence we do not have the equivalent of homeless people in those arenas (apart from a very few trucks and hot dog stands).
What is going on viv a vis Covid, in this connection? We are now poorer than we would otherwise be, if the economy had not been to a great degree shut down. I abstract from the issue of whether this was wise or not. But the undeniable fact is that poorer people can afford less housing than otherwise. If evictions are allowed, where will the evictees go? Why, to smaller and/or cheaper accommodations. Landlords don’t relish empty apartments! If numerous people now occupy fewer rooms per person, there will be more space available. That is Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand” at work. How else can the homeless be rescued from their plight? We are not now building more rental units, for goodness sake.
The mistake well-meaning people make in opposing evictions is that they think the evictees will be consigned to living in the street. As Henry Hazlitt reminds us in his excellent book Economics in One Lesson, we should look not only at the visible immediate narrow effects of any public policy but also at the long run results for the entire economy. Evictions economize on space; they are a necessary condition for downsizing. Preventing them means more homelessness, not less.
Landlords are no more mean-spirited than other profit maximizers (that means pretty much all of us). If they cannot collect rents, their property will be foreclosed on them by banks. Will the CDC declare a moratorium on that sort of thing until the end of the year? Not bloody likely.
Evictions seem callous, but they are not. Rather, they are the way the market maximizes human welfare when we face economic difficulty.
Walter E. Block, Ph.D.
Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair and Professor of Economics
Loyola University New Orleans
6363 St. Charles Avenue, Box 15, Miller Hall 318
New Orleans, LA 70118
tel: (504) 864-7934
The Russiagate hoax...the Covid overreaction...the election... Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams ties them all together in this speech given on Nov. 7, 2020 at Mises Lake Jackson in Texas.
Ron Paul: Do Elections Matter?
Please enjoy this Ron Paul speech presented at the Mises Institute "Symposium with Ron Paul" on Nov. 7, 2020, in Angleton, Texas.
The rhetoric from those looking forward to a Biden administration is that everyone is now expected to travel back in time to pre-2016 America. Well, that's not how it works. Not only President Trump, but especially the four-year vitriolic reaction to Trump, has roused a sense of Americanism that has changed the mentality of many formerly apathetic Americans. The way forward will not be as easy as 'just forget the last four years.'
By Chris Rossini
As wonderful as it is to be an American, and to live in a nation born in the spirit of individual liberty, to be an American in modern times is to be amongst the most lied to people on the planet.
Every empire is built on lies. It can be no other way. So the bigger the empire, the bigger the lies that need to be told. Today, the U.S. is the biggest empire to ever exist, so do the math to figure out the level of lies that Americans are routinely fed from every 'official' direction.
The good news is that ever since President Trump's election in 2016, and the hysterical reaction to it for four solid years, tens of millions of Americans have come to see that they live, not so much in the 'land of the free,' but in a land of massive propaganda and lies.
There has definitely been an awakening. The last four years have exposed the vastness of the propaganda apparatus. It's no longer hidden in plain sight. It's in plain sight, and so many Americans have been thrown into shock.
First, the mainstream media showed its cards, and President Trump never let them off the hook. But the media was followed, like falling dominoes, by hyperbolic and hysterical celebrities, major corporations, universities, Governors, Mayors, and bureaucrats of every stripe.
Everywhere you turn, you see the same repeated lines, like they're all reading a script. It has become obvious, to even the casual observer, that something is really wrong here.
No one knows what the future holds, but an opportunity for those who are interested in the truth (and that means any truth, whether it be political, economic, scientific, medical, spiritual, etc.) has opened up.
It's human nature to be open to new ideas when pain arrives.
Do you think pain has arrived in 2020?
If not, where on Earth have you been?
When people are in pain, they look for new ideas to remove the pain.
In America, the silver lining is that many realize that Liberty did not bring about the pain.
50 million Americans were not thrown into unemployment by Capitalism. Small businesses did not close forever because of free markets.
In this corner of the Internet, we are interested in sharing the ideas of liberty, private property, voluntary interactions, and peaceful relations with others. This is what we believe to be the truth and the superior way to arrange, not only one's own individual life, but also a great suggestion for others as they arrange their own lives.
Just because Americans are in pain doesn't mean they'll automatically flock to the ideas of freedom. There is no automatic. They can just as easily be duped into accepting even greater doses of tyranny in the hopes of pain alleviation. Our opponents are certainly counting on that.
But they have the uphill battle.
Liberty and individual responsibility is in the American "DNA," so to speak. So sharing the ideas of liberty with other Americans is not like sharing an idea that is totally foreign to them.
America does not have a history of authoritarian rule. America does not have a history of always looking for a top-down one-size-fits-all solution (that never works). Americans do not have a history of bowing and living in subservience to an aristocracy.
So, if you value your freedom, that seems to be shrinking by the day, now is your opportunity to speak.
You'll find listeners. Your neighbors are searching for answers right now.
The goal is not to "convert" or beat them over the head with the ideas of freedom. Those are the tactics of our opponents. The goal is to just tell others the ideas of liberty and let them make up their own minds.
Liberty is a one-by-one process. It's not like the propagandists who try to blast their ideas through every means that they can get their hands on. That's the artificial and non-viable way of doing things. People catch on to it, just like they're catching on right now.
Liberty is one-by-one.
You to your neighbor ... Your neighbor to his wife ... His wife to her girlfriends ... That's how the ideas that stick are spread.
The ideas of Liberty are spread in a decentralized fashion. Again, the exact opposite way of our opponents.
Your mouth can end up saving you. Your silence can leave you in despair and filled with regrets for not speaking when liberty was being ripped away.
An intellectual battle is at hand, and we're all in it, whether we want to be or not.
Let's take advantage of the opportunity, seize the moment, and speak!
If Joe Biden is successful in his fight for the White House, he will be bringing with him a foreign policy team that is responsible for some of the biggest and deadliest fiascos in the past quarter century. From the idiotic attack on Yugoslavia, to arming jihadists in Syria, to the murder of Libya and the Ukraine coup, the team of rabid interventionists readying themselves to return to power have left a scorched earth behind them. Now they are ready to get back in the ring.
By Ron Paul
In these past couple of weeks, two important studies have been published that could dramatically increase our understanding of the Covid-19 disease. Adding to the science of how we understand and treat this disease is something that should be welcomed, because properly understood it can save lives.
The only problem is that because the results from these two studies challenge what the media has established as conventional wisdom about the disease, the reports are at best being ignored and at worst being openly distorted by the mainstream media.
This is in my view a dangerous and foolish subjugation of science to politics and it may well end up causing many more unnecessary deaths.
First is the Danish mask study, which was completed several months ago but was only recently published in a peer-reviewed journal. The study took two groups and gave the first group masks to wear with instruction on how they should be used. The other group was the mask-free control group.
The study found that coronavirus spread within the statistical margin of error in each group. In other words, wearing the mask did little if anything to control the spread of the virus.
As the wearing of masks is still being mandated across the country and the globe, this study should be reported as an important piece of counter-evidence. At the very least it might be expected to invite a rush of similar studies to refute or confirm the results.
However, while mostly ignored by the media, when it was covered the spin on the study was so strange that the conclusion presented was opposite to the findings. For example, the Los Angeles Times published an article with the headline, “Face mask trial didn’t stop coronavirus spread, but it shows why more mask-wearing is needed.”
Similarly, a massive new study conducted in Wuhan, China, and published in the respected scientific journal Nature, reports that asymptomatic persons who have tested positive for Covid-19 do not pass on the infection to others. Considering that mask mandates and lockdowns are all based on the theory that asymptomatic “positive cases” can still pass on the sickness, this is potentially an important piece of information to help plan a more effective response to the virus.
At the least, again, it should stimulate additional, far-reaching studies to either confirm or deny the Wuhan study.
We do know, based on information from widely-accepted sources as the CDC and World Health Organization, that lockdowns can have a very serious negative effect on society. On July 14th, CDC Director Robert Redfield told a seminar that lockdowns are causing more deaths than Covid.
So if there is a way to continue fighting Covid and protecting those most at risk while drastically reducing deaths related to lockdowns, isn’t this worth some consideration? Isn’t this worth at least some further research?
Well, not according to the mainstream media. They have established their narrative and they are not about to budge. The two studies are fatally flawed, they report. Of course that might be the case, but isn’t that an argument to attempt to replicate the studies to prove it?
That would be the scientific approach. Sadly, “trust the science” has come to mean “trust the narrative I support.” That is a very dangerous way of thinking and can prove to be deadly.
After being caught dining with a large group in an exclusive restaurant - against his own orders - California governor Gavin Newsom is facing a bit of a rebellion among the citizens. First, virtually every southern California sheriff and many northern California sheriffs made it clear that they would NOT enforce the governor's absurd Thanksgiving guidelines. Then, large groups have gathered in places like Huntington Beach to defy and protest the governor's new 10:00 PM curfew. Also a recall campaign is picking up steam. Also today, science versus "science" on Covid-19 - why all the testing and lockdowns? Does it still make sense?
The Fed’s counterfeiting of dollars hits the poor and those on fixed incomes like a sledgehammer. Inflation leads to there never being enough money at the end of the month. To make matters worse, unnecessary COVID lockdowns have slammed middle class small businesses, while crony politically-connected corporations made out like bandits. Free markets and sound money are desperately needed to return to an economic reality that has been lost on America since the Fed was founded in 1913.