Open Letter on Fletcher’s Silliness about Sovereignty

by Don Boudreaux on March 15, 2011

in Legal Issues, Myths and Fallacies, Other People's Money, Trade

Mr. Ian Fletcher

Dear Ian:

You trot out in the Huffington Post the tired argument that whenever the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules against the United States, U.S. sovereignty is violated (“WTO Sides With Chinese State Capitalism Against the U.S.,” March 14).

Nonsense.  Uncle Sam has the Constitutionally granted power to enter into treaties with other governments.  The WTO is nothing more than the creation of a treaty – to which Uncle Sam voluntarily agreed – that has among its provisions a mechanism for settling disputes that arise under that treaty.  Abiding by the rulings of the WTO’s dispute-resolution panel no more reflects (as you darkly describe it) the U.S. government having “signed over the right to rule on the legitimacy of our policies” than does, say, your agreement to abide by the rulings of your homeowners’ association reflect your having signed over to a third-party the right to rule on the legitimacy of your actions.  In both cases, the anticipated benefits of contracting with others outweigh the anticipated costs, and in neither case is any party obliged to remain a party to the contract.

More to the point, if you’re so concerned about sovereignty, why do you champion government using force to strip each American of his individual sovereignty to spend his money as he wishes?  Frankly, the sovereignty that matters to me isn’t the sovereignty of the state – which so often is used to violate the sovereignty of individuals – but, rather, my personal sovereignty as a free human being.  Protectionism is a frontal and obnoxious assault on that sovereignty.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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Craig March 15, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I may not agree with much of what Ian said in his article (or anything he says in general), but I think it’s a legitimate argument to say we give up sovereignty when we join organizations such as the WTO.

In George Washington’s farewell address, he cautioned that free trade should come by “the natural course of things” and that policies and rules regarding trade be temporary and at “time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate.”

Our founding fathers gave us plenty of warning about entering into treaties and meddling in the affairs of other nations. I think it has come to the point where the WTO may actually be beneficial in protecting free trade from our own government’s policies as the founding fathers vision of what they thought government should be has been turned on its head. But that’s a different conversation.

From George Washington’s Farewell Address:

“Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard. “

sandre March 15, 2011 at 6:58 pm

need a like button for this.

Ike March 15, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Fletcher did overreach in his statement.

The sovereignty didn’t suddenly vanish with the ruling — we traded it for something we valued more, in the way of guarantees of predilection or behavior.

Each WTO ruling isn’t a violation of sovereignty, anymore than buying a losing lottery ticket doesn’t make me a victim of theft.

David March 15, 2011 at 7:51 pm

This sovereignty idea is the reason why Ron Paul does not support free trade as it is generally understood. Ron Paul wants unrestricted free trade or none at all because free trade agreements are “regulation” and a threat to our “sovereignty.” Here is Ron Paul on Lou Dobbs yes Lou Dobbs you probably know where this is going..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prtR-h8oKqU

W.E. Heasley March 15, 2011 at 8:14 pm

“Frankly, the sovereignty that matters to me isn’t the sovereignty of the state – which so often is used to violate the sovereignty of individuals – but, rather, my personal sovereignty as a free human being. Protectionism is a frontal and obnoxious assault on that sovereignty.” – Dr. Boudreaux

If the greater collective bestowed upon you [Dr. Boudreaux] personal sovereignty you will start wanting private property rights, the rule of law, self direction, personal responsibility, and a myriad of individual freedoms not to mention freedom to choose.

Furthermore you may very well prosper. This would be a terrible example for the greater collective.

Nay! Nay! The greater collective knows well that an individual such as yourself could never handle such freedoms. You’ll make poor choices. You really don’t know what you want. You can’t be trusted to know what is best for you. You really don’t understand “society‘s needs” [the non-entity entity]. You need “experts” to help you make decisions. You need centrally planned choices.

Move along, nothing to see here.

Emerson White March 15, 2011 at 8:22 pm

I don’t think you can extract your self from an HOA, at least not with out selling the property, that’s sort of the whole point. Because the US leadership is making decisions for other people it is possible to end up in a treaty where the people loose rights with out having made the decision to do so.

That said Fletcher is just being a baby.

muirgeo March 15, 2011 at 8:31 pm

“Frankly, the sovereignty that matters to me isn’t the sovereignty of the state – which so often is used to violate the sovereignty of individuals – but, rather, my personal sovereignty as a free human being. ” DB

THAT is SILLINESSS about sovereignty. THE STATE is where your sovereignty comes from as much as you hate to admit it….That of course is WHY you willingly live in the soveriegn state and live under the contracts of this state … so that you are protected from the warlords, the hords and nature and so that the state CAN enforce the soveriegnity you DO have.

People like you expect all the benifits of the state and DO gobble them up left and right while denying ANY obligations to the state. It’s pathetic in my opinion… like a teenager wanting their allowance without any obligations to do chores around the house.

John V March 15, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Ah yes.

It’s all about the state. The state is the origin of all.

“All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”

some Italian meglomaniac

You don’t get how crazy you are.

W.E. Heasley March 15, 2011 at 9:13 pm

John V.:

Googled “muirgeo”. Apparently you are correct, its ancient Italian for: fear of the individual, fear of decision making, single minded collectivist, central planner, authoritarian. Alt: One who comments on the wrong blog site. Non-debate point debater. Also see: notional arguments.

muirgeo March 16, 2011 at 12:56 am

Wow I never googled me but the 5th hit down is my long forgotten production of Barbie Soccer… I believe it even pre-dates Robot Chicken.

Methinks1776 March 15, 2011 at 9:34 pm

“All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”

Of course this is completely true in Muirdiot’s teensy world. It’s becoming increasingly more obvious that Muirdiot is a ward of the state.

Unfortunately, he’s also Italian, John.

W.E. Heasley March 15, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Super -woman:

Was kidding about the ancient Italian. However, love the “Muirdiot”.

Methinks1776 March 15, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Thanks, Heasley. I know you were kidding, but Muirdiot’s real name is George Ballela and he is actually of Italian extraction.

John V March 16, 2011 at 10:54 am

That name doesn’t strike me as Italian.

But either way, Italy has plenty of people like Muirgeo. The Fascist Party still exists…along with a myriad of other statist parties and coalitions ;)

Methinks1776 March 16, 2011 at 11:53 am

It was Muirdiot who told us he’s of Italian extraction – although, I don’t remember which region he claimed spat his unproductive ancestors onto these shores.

I lived in Italy for a short time decades ago and I have no doubt what you say is true.

brotio March 16, 2011 at 11:45 pm

He’s a Wop, alright. He even has a mustache so he can look more like his mom.

muirgeo March 16, 2011 at 12:53 am

Nope John it’s all about the individual with a pragmatic understanding that his best bet is for an organized state that best represents his interests. There very little… almost NO evidence to suggest the individuals interest are best represented in a minimalist state. It sounds great theoretically but in the real world it’s a bullshit idea.

There’s nothing crazy about me recognizing the pragmatic nature of the need for a state run of, by and for the people… there’s plenty crazy about people who believe with not a shred of supportive evidence and LOTS of contrary evidence that a minimalist state is some how the best way to optimize liberty or individual needs and opportunity. In fact it is ideas like yours that take a people run state and hand that power over to corporate interest vastly decreasing the liberty and opportunity of the rest of society.

John V March 16, 2011 at 10:43 am

“pragmatic”. As I saw your response, I instantly wondered what vague and/pliable and subjective notion you would use to glue your rationalization together. There it is: “Pragmatic”.

But that aside, you make the “outsight” ( http://www.juliansanchez.com/2007/08/15/outsight/ ) of innocently mentioning the need for a state to represent the individuals interests but THEN, that becomes a springboard for something more along the lines of what Benito wanted. You speak gratuitously about the individual’s interests but then actually advocate the state far beyond the notion of the defending the individual. You don’t see it? I’m not surprised.

There’s the coporatist word again coming up in your posts. You have no idea what your talking about. And after all these years, it’s clear you never will. Yet another Bing commercial.

brotio March 16, 2011 at 11:48 pm

It’s been three years since this bit of muirpidity hit the Cafe:

3. “Suffice it to say individualism where ever it surfaces is ultimately self-destructive.”
Posted by: muirgeo | Mar 15, 2008 11:29:41 AM”

Sam Grove March 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm

individual with a pragmatic understanding that his best bet is for an organized state that best represents his interests

and you suppose libertarians are delusional!?

Ike March 15, 2011 at 9:09 pm

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Sounds to me like the power of the OUR State is derived from the power of Individuals — not the other way around. At least that’s the way it was drawn up.

Otherwise you’re criminalizing our revolt against George.

muirgeo March 16, 2011 at 1:10 am

Sorry but I and many others don’t believe in the Creator… but I do agree with…That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, …

That’s basically what I said. Governments secure our privileges and rights… no divinity gave us these rights… we decide what they are and we form governments to ensure them. They wouldn’t exist without governments. So the key is the form of government.

CalgaryGuy March 16, 2011 at 2:31 am

So, muirgeo, in your opinion, we trade the rule of warlords and hordes for what, the rule of politicians and majority rule, what exactly is the difference?

Isn’t it a little bit of a chicken and egg thing? In your words, without government we wouldn’t have rights, so how did we consent to be governed in the first place?

muirgeo March 16, 2011 at 10:35 am

Self government… if you guys weren’t so keen on allowing corporations to be considered people and money to be free speech rather then bribery of a public official then people run government might work a lot better. Right now what’s happening in our country is a clear turn over of power to corporations which people LIKE you advocate directly or indirectly via your flawed beliefs. I am all for a people run state. Most of our problems relate to poor representation of what the people want.

A truly people run state SCARES THE SHIT out of you guys because you think the average person is beneath you and is a lazy slob you’ll end up supporting, Also is SCARES THE SHIT OUT of you because it would include pushing more social support and greater government involvement in the economy but to the benefit of all.

CalgaryGuy March 16, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Again, not able to directly reply to the muirgeo post above.

“Right now what’s happening in our country is a clear turn over of power to corporations which people LIKE you advocate directly or indirectly via your flawed beliefs.”

Seriously, do you ever stop and think about what you say? One moment you state (correctly) that Libertarians are against all forms of government and the next you say we advocate for corporate rule?

What truly scares the shit of of me is not that I think the average person is beneath me (which I don’t), it’s that someone else feels they have the right to dictate my life. I own me and for anyone else to think they have a claim on that (or anything I obtain through voluntary exchange) is nothing short of slavery.

brotio March 16, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Right now what’s happening in our country is a clear turn over of power to corporations which people LIKE you advocate

Writes the muirtard who supports corporate welfare for GE, GM, ADM, Vestas, and any other corporation making products deemed as necessary for the survival of Mother Gaia by His Holiness: The Divine Prophet Algore I, leader of The Church of AGW.

JohnK March 16, 2011 at 8:23 am

Rights don’t exist without governments?
Which rights?

How does government grant the natural right to speak your mind?
Seems to me that right exists until government prohibits it.

How does government grant the natural right to defend your person and property?
Seems to me that right exists until government prohibits it.

How does government grant the “right” to force others to pay your bills?
By violating your natural rights.

So yes. You are correct in a way. If you want the “right” to use force upon others, you institute a government in the name of protecting natural rights and then proceed to violate them.

muirgeo March 16, 2011 at 10:45 am

OK John let me bring it down a to your minimalist government ideas.

So your home with your family living in your house you just built in the Land of Libertopia. No taxes no government oversight.. you’re a rugged individual who doesn’t need no stinking government.

So as you are pumping water from your newly dug well some toxic sludge from the factory up river plops out in a blob into your bucket. At the same time you hear a voice coming from behind you , ‘”Mighty nice house you got here… I think I’ll take it for myself” says the well armed six foot ten fella with his band of 30 more just behind him and just as big and just as well armed behind him.

Now being the quick thinker you are you decide to nail him with your free speech and all about how you are a sovereign who’s natural rights can not be violated…. HOW DO YOU THINK THAT’S GOONA GO OVER…TOOTER ????

Trizzle Trazzle Trozzle Trome it’s time for this one to come home…

JohnK March 16, 2011 at 11:05 am

muirdiot –
You argue against no government in response to my argument in favor of a government that protects natural rights. Protecting natural rights means responding to violations of those rights. It is reactive, not proactive.
Toxic sludge in the water is a violation of my natural rights, and I and everyone else affected by the pollution could take the polluter to court.
Someone using force to deprive me of my property is a violation of my natural rights, and I would then defend myself and call upon government to aid in my defense.

Limited government does not mean no government.

Let me repeat: limited government does not mean no government.

In case you misunderstood I will try again.

Limited government does not mean no government.

Does that make sense to you?

CalgaryGuy March 16, 2011 at 11:41 am

For some reason it won’t let me reply directly to muirgeo. Quoting muirgeo, “At the same time you hear a voice coming from behind you , ‘”Mighty nice house you got here… I think I’ll take it for myself” says the well armed six foot ten fella with his band of 30 more just behind him and just as big and just as well armed behind him.”

While Libertarians would agree this would be wrong, I honestly think you are OK with this as long as that group calls itself a “government.” You can’t use an example of a group of people taking someone’s property as bad while advocating for another group (calling itself “government”) to take people’s property to redistribute the wealth. Do you honestly not see the contrariness of these statements? If it’s wrong for an armed group of 30 men to take my property against my will, why does it suddenly become OK if that group calls itself “government”?

muirgeo March 16, 2011 at 2:17 pm

“…and call upon government to aid in my defense.” JohnK

Yeah…like I said.

JohnK March 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm

“Yeah…like I said.”

No, not like you said.

You painted a scenario where there is no government at all.

You argue against no government.
I am not arguing for no government.
I am arguing for limited government.

Do you understand what “limited” means?

JohnK March 16, 2011 at 3:19 pm

If it’s wrong for an armed group of 30 men to take my property against my will, why does it suddenly become OK if that group calls itself “government”?

In his little mind it’s perfectly acceptable for an armed group of 30 men to take your property because imagines himself to be one of them (when he’d likely be their bitches, picking up the crumbs), just as he considers himself to be part of government (when he’s really just one of their bitches, picking up the crumbs).

John V March 16, 2011 at 10:45 am

Another outsight.

There are miles of terrain between securing rights and what you really mean.

Gil March 15, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Duh muirgeo! Libertarians are the most powerful individuals in the world and would be the rulers if the State crumbled tomorrow.

Ken March 16, 2011 at 11:25 pm

“would be the rulers”

You clearly do NOT understand libertarianism. None of us aspire to rule over anyone else. We aspire to be left alone to live as we please and to cooperate with whomever will cooperate with us to mutual satisfaction.

Man, you’re even too dumb to be sarcastic. It’s almost not even fun to point out your inadequacies. Almost:-)

Gil March 17, 2011 at 2:49 am

Yes they do. Libertarians know that whoever owns the land in Anarchtopia makes the rules. Most Libertarians believe that since they can identify the injustices in government as well are apparently the business owners of the nations and as such have armed themselves ahead of time to deal with the crime wave and will set up the farms and businesses in the aftermath and as such will rule the future.

Ken March 17, 2011 at 11:01 am

Hahahahahaha! I’m laughing at your incoherence…hahahahaha. Look at your idiocy! Do you believe anything your write? Do you know anything about history or the facts of ideology? Of course not. On top of this idiocy you try to be clever with words like Anarchtopia, which I hope anyway you meant as a mash up of anarchism and utopia. Anyone who knows anything about liberterianism knows that libertarians do not believe nor hope for either one of those things.

Don’t worry, though, Gil, you are still only the third biggest idiot/troll on this site. Despite your best efforts at ignorance muirgeo and Dung have you beat.

Ken March 15, 2011 at 11:08 pm

muirgeo,

2007:
Fed Gov: $2.73T
GDP: $14.1T
Unemployment: 4.6%

2010:
Fed Gov: $3.55T a change of +30%
GDP: $13.37T a change of -5%
Unemployment: 9.6% a change of +109%

Why are you so sure government gobbling up resources is a good thing?

Warlords don’t exist in the US because for the most part Americans understand that governments don’t protect their citizens. Americans understand that individual responsibility for your own life leads to the greatest life possible. The history of the US bares this out. Now that the federal government has consistently grown larger as the greed of people like you grows ever insatiable the US stands to collapse.

Governments wage war, criminalize behaviors government chieftains don’t like, and take as much wealth as possible to give to themselves and their friends as possible. Americans wisely drew up a constitution to limit a federal government. And not surprisingly a government chieftains in the US stated to blatantly ignore the constitution immediately. And with the rise of Roosevelt in 1901, he began to turn the federal government to the traditional roles of government.

However, in that century where government remained small, civilization flourished as it has never before or since.

The idea that the government is at all benevolent and the source of good is the idea that has lead to hells on earth. Whereas the recognition that a small limited government is best has lead to the greatest civilization on earth. A civilization you hate because people have the audacity to behave in ways you don’t like. You want to empower the government with an iron fist to enforce conformity and destroy all that is good in the US and the west.

Regards,
Ken

muirgeo March 16, 2011 at 1:15 am

“Why are you so sure government gobbling up resources is a good thing?” Ken

Governments DIDN’T gobble up our resources… the guys on Wall Street did. Increases in federal spending, drops in government receipts and increases in debt and unemployment are all the result of market failure. Wall Street was given the task of allocating 1 trillion dollars worth of housing resources and to reduce risks associated with those investments and they leveraged it out to $100 trillion using their own creations and blew the hell out of the global economy sending government, states and cities and people into economic chaos.

Martin Brock March 16, 2011 at 5:00 am

That you think “the guys on Wall Street” are “not the government” only demonstrates the incredibly simple categories with which you model reality.

Methinks1776 March 16, 2011 at 9:46 am

Only the politically connected on Wall Street can be considered as powerful as the government. They are using government to kill all non-politically connected firms so that the only remaining firms will be politically connected firms.

I chafe at use of the general term “Wall Street” because the lack of distinction gives carte blanche to the regulators to go after ANY Wall Street firm. They obviously choose to destroy the smaller, unconnected firms for headlines to “prove” they’re policing the Street. Also obvious is that this activity serves to reduce competition (bad for customers) and consolidate power in the hands of the connected Too Big To Fails, making the entire system more fragile and perverted.

Regulators, to preserve their existence, respond to the demands of the public – no matter how idiotic they are. If people don’t choose to educate themselves before frothing at the mouth, they will get the financial system they deserve.

John V March 16, 2011 at 10:46 am

Where’s the like button when you need it. Well said, Martin.

Martin Brock March 16, 2011 at 5:08 am

A market is two people agreeing to exchange things because both think the exchange advantageous.

A government is a group of people threatening to shoot other people if the other people will not provide the government what it demands and accept whatever the government returns.

Can markets “fail” in any sense? Sure. I’ll take this failure over government failure practically every time.

Needless to say, all the bailouts and all the subsidies preceding them were government failures.

Ken March 16, 2011 at 11:35 am

How do you think they got those resources? You think the general public willingly handed over trillions of dollars? Or are you really unaware that the government took that wealth from the general public by force to give to their friends on Wall Street?

muirgeo March 16, 2011 at 1:18 am

“However, in that century where government remained small, civilization flourished as it has never before or since.”

Ken

You might want to read a little history of what life was like for the average person in the late 1800′s … I think the flourishing came after 1933.

Ike March 16, 2011 at 7:51 am

Yet comparatively-speaking, the greater gains and advances came in the places with a greater cultural emphasis on individual liberty. It was NOT a product of a mother-nanny state.

John V March 16, 2011 at 10:51 am

Simpleton.

And life improved immensely from the 1800s to 1933.

By your logic, a “New Deal” ala FDR in 1833 would have spared those poor souls the life in the 1800s that they had.

(and given them something worse)

Ken March 16, 2011 at 11:38 am

I have read the history of the 1800s. The material well being of Americans increased so rapidly that by 1900 what was considered average in 1800 was considered horrid living conditions. This gave rise to name calling those most responsible for that incredible increase in wealth. People called the incredibly productive people robber barrons, denigrating the people most responsible for Americans’ increased standard of living.

Gil March 16, 2011 at 11:41 am

No it didn’t muirgeo. Check out this Plasma TV from the 1800′s. They built them to last then.

http://dvice.com/pics/furnitureTV.jpg

Ken March 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm

The primary difference between you and muirgeo is that he actually adds something to the comments section, most of the time anyway. He’s almost always wrong, but at least he makes a good faith effort to be right.

What’s your excuse? Are you so empty headed that the most you can think of is a reference to a TV and say that there could not have been any progress in the 1800s because no TV existed? It’s not even funny. You just sound stupid.

Try harder next time.

vidyohs March 16, 2011 at 6:09 am

This was just to blatant to pass up muirduck, the sheer f..king stupidity jumped off the page. You have now expanded my list to an even 60. With this, you have officially made of yourself a caricature of stupid.
From my files:
(STU)PIDITY OF THE (muir) DUCK
All of these are stands alone stupidity. Context is not necessary to understand that the person who created these is mentally defective.
#60
muirgeo March 15, 2011 at 8:31 pm
“Frankly, the sovereignty that matters to me isn’t the sovereignty of the state – which so often is used to violate the sovereignty of individuals – but, rather, my personal sovereignty as a free human being. ” DB
THAT is SILLINESSS about sovereignty. THE STATE is where your sovereignty comes from as much as you hate to admit it….That of course is WHY you willingly live in the soveriegn state and live under the contracts of this state … so that you are protected from the warlords, the hords and nature and so that the state CAN enforce the soveriegnity you DO have.

crossofcrimson March 16, 2011 at 8:52 am

“THE STATE is where your sovereignty comes from as much as you hate to admit it”

Actually, conceptually, it’s generally the other way around. But I wouldn’t want concepts like self-ownership to get in the way of your statist arguments. Carry on.

Sam Grove March 16, 2011 at 10:22 am

And where does the state get the right to decide what rights people have?
(I’ll answer for you)

From the people.

And where do “the people” get the right to decide what rights the state may grant?

You see, there’s no real end to your argument.

That means there are no rights anywhere and you have no right to complain about anything, because you have no rights.

Or…., rights are philosophical creations aimed at some purpose.

What is the purpose of it all?

Scott March 15, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Anyone who claims that our trade agreements undermine national sovereignty either (a) doesn’t know what “sovereignty” actually means; or (b) have never actually read those agreements. A detailed analysis of this indisputable fact is here, if you’re interested:

http://lincicome.blogspot.com/2011/02/do-free-trade-agreements-undermine-us.html

Juan Carlos Vera March 15, 2011 at 11:06 pm

The sovereignty what Mr. Flet. talks, is the sovereignty of free thieves…

Juan Carlos Vera March 15, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Protectionism is the most despicable and disgusting Communism…

A J Nock March 16, 2011 at 1:19 am

Here is one of many battle plans of our enemy on the battlefield of ideas.
http://www.reverecopper.com/MythsvsRealityofFreeTrade.ppt

It was prepared for Brian O’Shaughnessy who is a part of the Coalition for a Prosperous America. As the former head of Revere Copper the oldest American manufacturing company I’d expect something more from him. http://people.forbes.com/profile/m-brian-o-shaughnessy/82894

Ian Fletcher is now the senior economist for this coalition for a prosperous America as of February 2011. Besides Ian’s works they recommend the following soul-crushing screeds: http://www.prosperousamerica.org/category/recommended_books.html

One of their claims is that an American individual or single corporation is forced to compete against entire nations in lockstep (like China), and is destined to lose. I cringe at the creepy corporate cockroachery they are busily spreading. http://mises.org/books/nockmemoirs.pdf

Rather than find ways to foster American freedom ideals in China, Ian & Brian are jetting to DC in what are called “fly-ins” to build a fascist corporate-industrial-complex so that America can get in lockstep and finally start to win the trade war.

It’s all rather exhausting. Everything about America since G W Bush & B H Obama is like the plot of inception. I’m going to watch The Battle of LA and then Inception right now, thanks for this cornerstone of economic sanity Russ & Don. http://www.movie2k.to/movie-586739-Battle-Los-Angeles-film.html

Martin Brock March 16, 2011 at 4:48 am

If the United States government, by treaty, grants to another power the right to govern the United States, then it has surrendered sovereignty. If I grant a homeowner’s association rights to govern me, then I have surrendered sovereignty. That someone is entitled to surrender sovereignty does not imply that he never surrenders it.

If some President with the consent of some Congress grants some dictator a right to rule the U.S. by decree, exercising any power that the President or the Congress may exercise, this grant certainly surrenders sovereignty. I might resist this dictator’s decrees regardless of any act of the President or Congress, because I am not loyal to the United States government and do not respect its authority in the first instance.

Countless thugs threaten to harm me, and I occasionally yield to these threats rather than risk a confrontation. The United States government is just one more group of thugs. Any mugger in a dark alley governs me as well.

Ike March 16, 2011 at 7:56 am

Which goes back to the original point:

The sovereignty was already exchanged… it is not “violated every time the WTO rules against an American firm.”

Unless, of course, you realize that we could walk away from the treaty at any time we wished. We merely remain in it because it is more expedient, and often better than the alternative.

Methinks1776 March 16, 2011 at 9:56 am

Well said, Martin.

I always found it more than a bit ironic that the very same people who whine endlessly about infringements on U.S. sovereignty and the violations of other governments’ sovereignty are so eager to surrender not only their own sovereignty by the sovereignty of other individuals to the thugs in our government.

Sandre March 16, 2011 at 10:47 am

I have great respect for John Dewey, the commenter. He hardly every engages certified unadulterated douchebags like muirgeo.

He does engagte Mr. Equivocator -DK and Austrophobe – Pingry.

STATISTICULOUS March 16, 2011 at 11:09 am

“Self government… if you guys weren’t so keen on allowing corporations to be considered people and money to be free speech rather then bribery of a public official then people run government might work a lot better. Right now what’s happening in our country is a clear turn over of power to corporations which people LIKE you advocate directly or indirectly via your flawed beliefs.”-Muirgeo

You miss the point. You are so hung up thinking that libertarians love corporations and want them to rule the world; what you miss is that the power these corporations have currently (that we both object to btw) was given to them BY the state. The use of their money to impact policy is made possible by the state and the state’s strength to coerce.

To summarize, what we’re asking for is a world in which these coercive capabilities would not be possible. It wouldn’t matter how much money corporations threw at politicians- the politicians wouldn’t have the ability to enact legislation of that size.

brotio March 17, 2011 at 12:05 am

Statisculous,

You are incorrect about Yasafi (muirgeo) objecting to corporate power. Yasafi objects to the wrong corporations having power, and then accuses libertarians of being corporatists because we object to all corporate welfare.

RedSt8r March 16, 2011 at 11:15 am

Wow, the vitriol in these comments – much of it directed at Muirgeo – is appalling. Is this some liberal blog site? And attacking Muirgeo for having the – gasp – effrontery to comment on this site is stunning ostrich behavior. What we must all agree on the issues before we comment? Bogus.

I do not often agree with Muirgeo. I frequently disagree with Messrs. Bourdeaux and Roberts as well. Well argued comments that I disagree with help me learn what the opponents think and enables me to better disprove or at least engage them in political argument.

Ken March 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm

You seem to think that muirgeo isn’t some whack job who isn’t one of the most vitriolic commenters on this site.

Many commenters don’t engage muirgeo because he’s a troll. He has repeatedly attacked Russ, Don, and many other commenters in the most hateful language for years. You reap what you sow.

Suck it up and get thicker skin. If you don’t like the comments on this site, don’t read them.

RedSt8r March 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm

@Ken,
Not to worry Ken, my skins plenty thick. But, I’ll be glad to skip your comments if you’d like. BTW I’m sure “Russ, Don” and others also have thick skin.

Not “liking” the comments is absurd. Again, it is different viewpoints, that is of interest and why I read the blog and the comments. I often learn more from the comments than the post. Perhaps you should start a “Happy Blog” if all you want to read are happy thoughts that agree with your opinion. I choose to live in the real world and in that world there are legitimate differences of opinion, some of them quite honorable.

Ken March 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm

You’re as delusional as muirgeo saying that I should start a “happy blog”. I’m not the one who started this thread by wining about how people aren’t happy enough, particularly in regards to muirgeo. So not only do you need thicker skin, you need to more solid head.

If you choose to live in the real world, read the comment to which I replied and you’ll see it is you who laments the viciousness of comments aimed at muirgeo while wholly ignoring the deep history of viciousness and violence wishing muirgeo directs at many commenters on this site.

If you want to learn something from a comment, learn to read the whole thread (or at least remember it since you started this thread). Otherwise you’re like a child who has wondered into the middle of a movie and has no idea what’s going on.

In short, suck on that.

brotio March 17, 2011 at 12:11 am

Here’s my favorite line from our Peace and Love Hippie-by-the-Bay:

Actually you deserve a tidal wave of crude to sweep you and your family away and if you live or don’t you should have nothing to say about it. – Yasafi to VikingVista, on July 11, 2010

robert_o March 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm

muirgeo has been trolling this site for 6 years now. Never once has he shown any understanding of even the basic concepts being discussed. He has never formed even the basic outline of an argument. He has spouted such non-sense that vidyohs keeps a list of it for our entertainment.

All he has done is emit pseudo-random strings of words, usually usually with vitriol at the hosts and/or other commenters.

We see better comments generated by the spam-bots.

There are plenty of people here who routinely disagree not only with Don and Russ, but also many/most of the commenters. They receive much better treatment than muirgeo.

Steve March 17, 2011 at 6:56 am

I know a guy like Muirgeo in the real world. He has never once backed up any of his claims. It’s just statist boilerplate, repeated ad nauseum. In the most recent discussion we had (on free trade) I showed him Matthew Slaughter’s study which empirically demonstrated that companies that outsource are job creating machines. He blew it off with a wave of his hand saying it was “right-wing stuff.”

Jim March 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm

“you’re so concerned about sovereignty, why do you champion government using force to strip each American of his individual sovereignty to spend his money as he wishes? ” I’ll admit I don’t understand what this statement is saying. How does Mr. Fletcher champion the government using force to strip each American of his individual sovereignty?

vidyohs March 17, 2011 at 6:55 am

The muirduck has never been right on one single issue as every regular hand here knows.

Now, what I find hilarious is that you say you learn from his posts.

Uh! Uh! Uh! How embarrassing for you.

anthonyl March 16, 2011 at 11:42 am

So what’s so terrible about a world run by corporations with little ability to influence government?

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