Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on August 31, 2011

in Books, Hubris and humility, Myths and Fallacies, Reality Is Not Optional, Seen and Unseen, Trade, Video, War

Gene Healy wisely doubts that the Obama administration’s success in ousting Gadhafi from his power-base in Tripoli is a victory worth celebrating.

The Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald exposes a journalist’s questionable premises.

The Fraser Institute’s Mark Milke shares sensible thoughts on the unsustainability of the welfare state; here are some key ‘grafs:

For the record, the fault for the ramped-up public debt cannot be placed on “too low” taxes. A variety of countries with widely differing tax levels all continued to borrow massively over that period.

For example, since 1995, and as a percentage of its economy, Greece’s total tax take has been about one-eighth to one-fifth higher than the United States (depending on the year). But high-tax Greece put itself into more debt as did the (relatively) low-tax U.S. Or consider the UK; its tax rates rose steadily since 1995 but so too its red ink problem.

In other words, the assumption that higher tax revenues will save a country from its spending and borrowing addiction is mistaken. That’s not any more likely than a modest raise for a consumer maxed out on her credit cards whose real problem is overspending.

In this new Institute for Humane Studies video (from IHS’s LearnLiberty division), I offer some introductory thoughts on free trade and protectionism.

Leave it to my brilliant younger colleague Bryan Caplan to instructively connect a classic children’s tale with The Fountainhead.

Jonah Goldberg sensibly warns against the Cult of Expertise.

Here’s the Washington Examiner‘s David Freddoso on the lunacy of government-promoted “green jobs.”  (HT Adam Bitely)

Richard Rahn riffs on Vito Tanzi’s new book – a book that I knew nothing of until now, but have just put on my reading list.

Finally, speaking of books that I want to read, Nick Schulz reviews, in today’s Wall Street Journal, Sonia Arrison’s 100+.

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{ 51 comments }

Jim August 31, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Is it surprising that the LA Times readership almost universally condemns Mr. Goldberg’s article in the comments?

More accurately, they more often personally condemn HIM.

kyle8 August 31, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Well just think of who the LA Times Readership is. If a paper has been totally left wing for about 100 years, then there are not many right wing or middle of the road readers who will bother with it.

vikingvista August 31, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Nearly 100% of their readership is represented in those comments.

EG August 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm

CATO has yet another massive failure to present a clear, comprehensible, or even understandable argument for, or against, Libya (or any other foreign relations issue).

First, the argument was that Q was not going to be defeated, that NATO’s missions was a failure, that it was just leading to a prolonged war that would go on forever. Of course all this garbage was being spewed by CATO’s people on…none other than RUSSIA TODAY, the Kremlin’s official propaganda channel for every moonbat Ron Paul youtube viewer…type. That argument now seems abandoned.

Now, we say “it’s Obama’s war and it seems to have WORKED at getting Q out!”. Oh wait, now it worked? Great. What’s the problem now?

Well here’s the problem now, there’s “reprisals” against Q’s men! Not only is this a ridiculous LIE and a ridiculous straw to hang on to, the question becomes, if it were true, why is this “Obama’s” or “America’s” fault or responsibility? Had the rebels been able to do this 100% on their own, would they NOT be killing Q’s men in the streets, either way? No explanation given, or needed, apparently by CATO. Its all America’s fault is sufficient to explain it all.

But ultimately, its a pathetic attempt to continue the “blame America argument”, because it relies on ONE, and only one, pathetic little lie: the Libyan rebels are targeting blacks! Well, first of all, a large chunk of the Libyan rebels ARE black. But how would CATO know this from the offices of Russia Today. Its not as if they can get Al-jazeera. But ultimately, Q’s mercenary army relied primarily on African mercenaries, so its only natural that they would target those mercs. But CATO thinks that by throwing in a cheap emotional argument, it can score some points.

CATO…please…stop making up facts to fit your world view.

Lastly, CATO fails to make even the most basic argument for or against a legal case on Libya. It says “this guy told Obama this, that guy said on CNN that,”, etc etc. CATO!!!…what is the LAW? You have yet made that clear, even though you probably employ 20 legal “experts” in your ranks. And if no one has brought this supposedly blaring and obvious legal issue into light, why haven’t YOU?

Or is it because, as usual, CATO is making up facts to fit their world view? Is it, perhaps, that the US is NOT providing combat mission in Libya for quite some time? Is it, that perhaps the US stopped bombing Libyan targets several MONTHS ago? Does CATO think that its not worthwhile mentioning that the US is not, in fact, providing combat operations but rather support flights?

Or is CATO, instead of deliberately misinforming…actually that ignorant?

kyle8 August 31, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Perhaps you could instead provide an argument that blundering around in the middle east, killing people, and helping people into power whom we have no idea of their doctrines or leanings is somehow going to enhance our security?

You ramble on here with your war hawk talk and yet you seem particularly unconvincing. We have nearly bankrupted ourselves by hegemonic meddling around the world and yet I don’t feel any safer.

You talk about blame America. No, the left does that. What we do as libertarians is look at things as they are, with neither jingoism nor knee jerk America bashing.

I find it amusing that people with your views are always trying to talk up some threat, either the Islamic threat, a newly resurgent Russia, or ususally now in days it is the threat of China.

But in the last forty years China has not invaded any nations, nor has it placed troops in other nations unless you want to count Tibet.

How many nations have we invaded in that time? How many have we bombed? How many have we spied on or tried to destabilize their governments? And how many places do we have troops stationed?

Can you not understand how someone from another nation might consider the USA a bigger threat than China?

JS August 31, 2011 at 3:33 pm

What the Neo’s do is equate the motives of the libertarians with the Left, just to discredit them, but the Left aren’t really anti-war- as a rule. They support every war, revolution, insurrection, terrorist act, and riots perpetrated in the name of socialism, anti-globalisim, anti-capitalism, and other acts of violence against our institutions that allow people to keep the fruits of their labor, or merely suggest that they should.

The Left will apologize for half the wars going on in the world right now, as they do for Muslim terrorism, since it is directed at capitalism, which they also despise.

But the libertarians stand against militarism on different principles than the Left. They are aware that private interests stand much to gain from our involvement in the affiars of other nations. The excuses for our interventions amount, in many cases, to shouting fire in a crowded theatre, and they are typical of those used by the Obama administration, and Bush, to justify the bailouts and nationalizations of companies in banking, finance, and the automotive industry.

The military-industrial complex is a very real thing. It is not a wet dream concocted by the Left. It were those very interests that executed a deceptive and well coordinated campaign of misinformation that got us into WW1 and 2, when it wasn’t necessary.

The State always uses the same argument for their violation of individual rights: They claim that had they not enslaved us to the degree that they did, things would have turned out much worse had they allowed us to remain free.

This is the justification for all state intrusions in the private realm and it is happening right now both with regards to our domestic economic policies as awell as our involvement in the affairs of foreign nations. The beauty of their totalitarian argument is that it can’t be proven wrong, once it has been executed.

EG August 31, 2011 at 5:22 pm

“But the libertarians stand against militarism on different principles than the Left. ”

Sorry. Again, you’re making an unrelated argument to what I’m talking about. I’m accusing CATO precisely of making NO principled stand. I’m accusing them of inventing facts, making up circumstances, inventing events, and not making any ideological or principled argument.

I don’t care what the principle or ideology is. You don’t need to invent emotional fiction to convince me to it. If you do, then your ideology is bankrupt (and an across-the-board blanket “anti-war” ideology is a bankrupt ideology, and an incredibly naive one. but at least I can agree or disagree with it based on its own principles)

JS August 31, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I wasn’t really addressing your points about Cato, since I wasn’t familiar with the details. I was pointing out the difference between the left and the libertarians, in general.

Your negative comment about being anti-war under any circumstances is also one that I’d agree with, but you seem to be making an argument that is aimed in just one direction–against those who oppose war. Your diatribe against Cato makes very clear what side you’re on. I wonder if you’ve ever made such an accusation against the other side? I’ll bet you haven’t. When it comes to propaganda, the pro-war crowd can’t be matched. Whatever Cato did, I can assure you that it was nothing compared to the crap that your fed and believe on the matter. Catp are lightweights when it comes to war propaganda.

There are people who’s first impulse is for war and others whose first impulse is against it. You read the pro-war fiction and you buy into it without any real prooof as to the veracity of what you’re hearing and reading, but you stand up and shout out those who question the reasons being offered. Before we commit troops anywhere, should the burden of proof be on the anti-war crowd or on the shoulders of the war promoters?

I suggest the latter.

EG August 31, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Sorry JS, but again you are talking about an unrelated issue. It is not sufficient to say “sure we make stuff up, but so do the other guys!” I’m not interested in what the other guys have to say on this. CATO shouldn’t make stuff up…least of all it shouldn’t make stuff up on Putin’s private TV network on a regular bases. It discredits anything they have to say.

I don’t believe there is a difference between the “left” and “libertarians” when it comes to America’s foreign policy. Both sides are automatically anti-American no matter what the circumstances. And to fit reality into this world view, both sides resort to distortions, lies and cheap parlor tricks.

Gil August 31, 2011 at 8:20 pm

What? Libertarians are the ones quick to defend any violence against the U.S. as “blowback”.

EG August 31, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Not only any violence against the US, but any violence anywhere in the world. Its always “America’s fault” as far as they are concerned.

Recently they have taken an even more disturbing approach; outright manipulation and lies. Last week CATO wrote about Georgia and how “Georgia started the war…so America bla bla bla”. Cheap pathetic trick. Now they saying “the rebels are killing black people!”.

This is the sort of language and tactics one can see and hear today only on Venezuelan TV, or in Pravda.

EG August 31, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Sorry, you’re talking about something totally unrelated. The issues I bring up have strictly to do with THE arguments CATO makes: ie the practical arguments CATO MAKES-UP to counter the “war”.

I have no desire to discuss whether intervening in Libya was a “good” or “bad” idea. I don’t particularly care to have that discussion. If CATO limited its arguments to THAT, I’d have nothing to argue about.

Instead CATo insists on making up fact, making up events, making up particulars of the strategy, or the tactics of the conflict.

Lying and making up facts, isn’t a successful way of convincing people on what you’re saying, regardless if it has any merit to it or not.

Simply, CATO should STOP…please stop…going on RT and advocating the standard Kremlin line, please stop inventing events, inventing “emotional” stories of rebels going after “black people”, and please stop creating alternate universes of strategies and tactics going on in Libya.

EG August 31, 2011 at 5:19 pm

“What we do as libertarians is look at things as they are, with neither jingoism nor knee jerk America bashing.”

Sorry. the only consistent “libertarian” argument as far as foreign affairs are concerned is :Its America’s fault. No matter what, no matter where, no matter when, no matter who- America did it.

And the problem with the “libertarian” argument “against war”, is that they depend on making up the particulars of each event, to fit a particular world view. There’s no need for that, and it is disingenuous. And its insulting to other people who may, or may not, share the same world view.

I can be “against war”, and STILL think that the Lybian rebels aren’t killing “black people”. Why does CATO need to make up that fact? because RT says so? Please…

yet another Dave August 31, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Sorry. the only consistent “libertarian” argument as far as foreign affairs are concerned is :Its America’s fault. No matter what, no matter where, no matter when, no matter who- America did it.

There’s simply no nice way to put it, that statement is profoundly stupid and wrong. Your ebullient fervor for all manner of military interventionism seems to have blinded you to the straightforward and consistent principled libertarian position on this topic.

Then you say this:

And the problem with the “libertarian” argument “against war”, is that they depend on making up the particulars of each event, to fit a particular world view.

This statement is ridiculous! I’m astounded as to just how absolutely clueless you are about what your criticizing.

EG August 31, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Hmm…anything more significant than “consistent principled libertarian position”? The only principled consistent libertarian position, as far as America’s foreign policy is concerned…is “its America’s fault”. I have yet to hear anything else.

yet another Dave September 1, 2011 at 11:12 am

I have yet to hear anything else.

Perhaps you should remove the substance that’s blocking your ears then, because I have yet to hear the argument you describe from any libertarian. (Hint: criticizing US government foreign policy and lamenting the predictable blowback is most assuredly NOT a blanket “its America’s fault” mantra, no matter how incapable you are of understanding the difference.)

EG August 31, 2011 at 5:32 pm

“Can you not understand how someone from another nation might consider the USA a bigger threat than China?”

We are a much bigger threat to tin-pot dictators than China. And thats the way it should be. I have no problem with that

yet another Dave August 31, 2011 at 6:31 pm

EG,

What the hell are you babbling on about in your semi-coherent vitriolic screed? The link was not to a CATO piece – they weren’t even mentioned.

EG August 31, 2011 at 10:05 pm

The author is a CATO vice president.

EG August 31, 2011 at 1:53 pm

“we can’t be assured of a clear-cut victory even by the dubious terms of “humanitarian war.”

Its very disturbing how CATO absolutely ignores every journalist and reporter and development on the ground, real-time, in Libya…and instead creates an alternate universe in order to fit the alternate universe it lives in. As if we have no other news source other than Russia Today, LewRockwell dot com, Mises dot org, or CATO’s website. Well, for a lot of “libertarians” that may actually be true.

This is why people don’t take “libertarians” seriously.

CATO, if you go to Al-Jazeera’s youtube page, you get a live feed in English. Watch it for 10 minutes a day, and please stop insulting our intelligence.

JS August 31, 2011 at 2:57 pm

What are your opinions? Can you defend them?

EG August 31, 2011 at 5:28 pm

I have no opinion. I don’t care what the ideological argument is. CATO still shouldn’t lie and make up facts to fit a particular ideological world view. Thats a bankrupt world view, if it needs to rely on stories of rebels killing black people with NATO bombs…or whatever other c*** CATO is trying to say. If I wanted to read that, I’d read Zvezda

But if you want my opinion, my opinion is pretty clear: Its a good thing we intervened, and it is worthwhile that we help in overthrowing tyrants like Q. And from a purely academic standpoint, such ‘adventures” have been successful to a large extent in the past.

And if you disagree, thats fine. But I’d like you to add a footnote every time you praise globalization and free trade and the goods we get from Japan and S. Korea and Taiwan and China. That footnote should read : protected for us by the US military.

carlsoane August 31, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Libya was not threatening our shipping lanes.

JS August 31, 2011 at 8:22 pm

I think the protection against piracy is not a military matter. I don’t appreciate paying for the security of entities that should have shouldered that burden themselves, particularly since they aren’t sharing their profits with me.

EG August 31, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Next time you enjoy your cheap Chinese-made c***, or your Korean made car, or your Japanese made computer, or your Taiwanese made phone, or your Czech made VW,…thank the US military for making it possible.

Rick Caird August 31, 2011 at 4:36 pm

The problem with Libya is that we cannot know if the cure for Khaddafi is not worse than Khaddafi. We know nothing of these rebels, how they will govern, or what their intentions are. We essentially intervened in a purely civil war with no debate or discussion of our national interests and how our intervention would serve our national interest. In fact, US forces were committed and maintained in violation of US law. That hardly seems like some kind of victory.

EG August 31, 2011 at 5:32 pm

“We know nothing of these rebels,”

You won’t know anything about them, reading CATO’s website.

“We essentially intervened in a purely civil war with no debate or discussion of our national interests and how our intervention would serve our national interest. ”

Thats a separate and unrelated argument to “the rebels are killing black people, so Obama is to blame!” CATO’s arguments are ridiculous.

“In fact, US forces were committed and maintained in violation of US law. ”

Thats purely, simply, absolutely…not true. Its that simple. Its not true. And this is why I’m complaining about CATO: they keep repeating this line, without providing a shred of evidence of what law is being broken here. What’s the legal argument? The guy who wrote this piece has a law degree from Chicago. Can he tell me when was the last combat mission flown by a US aircraft over Libya? I bet he can’t…

tdp August 31, 2011 at 6:29 pm

CATO’s principles, for those too slow catch on despite them being all over their website, are that the United States should not involve itself militarily anywhere unless it is directly threatened by whatever nation we plan to invade. Libertarians disapprove of foreign military adventurism and interventionism the same way they disapprove of economic interventionism. CATO argues quite rightly that the U.S. has nothing to gain from involving itself in Libya, it has already given itself a black eye in international relations for its jingoistic threats to invade every dictatorship and its making good on invading Iraq, a war that has taken so far 8 years and several thousand American lives, not to mention tens of thousands of wounded US soldiers and a few hundred thousand Iraqis. Our invasion of Afghanistan has been just as ineffective, and in the process we have turned Pakistan into a very unfriendly ally that could quite easily become openly hostile. We have pissed away billions and billions of dollars in these wars, inspired waves of jihad and anti-Americanism, not just in the Middle East and South Asia, but around the world. More people now feel more comfortable with the prospect of Chinese hegemony than American hegemony. America’s constant interventionism and playing the “global cop” has
1) Led to abuses of civil liberties and mistreatment of its own citizens, 2) Overstretched us militarily and geopolitically
3) Drained our resources
4) Increased our enemies and alienated potential allies
5) Led to disastrous “proxy wars” and support for dictatorial states since the 1950s, giving the people living in those regimes a negative, stunted view of “democracy” and “freedom” and fostering still more anti-American sentiment
6) Led to a ponderous military-industrial complex that is so large and tangled that it is easy and inviting for real threats to our security to slip in through the cracks (see 9/11)
7) Completely violates the spirit of limited government upon which our country was founded.

Britain declined in the early 20th century because they wore themselves thin playing world policeman and had a gigantic empire. The US has a gigantic military network with troops in more than 2/3 of the world’s nations. The US is wearing itself out needlessly and making enemies and turning off potential allies with similar goals. This is a disastrous move geopolitically. However quick the Libyan civil war was and however indirectly we contributed, the fact that we are involved at all means we are still in the dangerous habit of intervening in Middle Eastern countries that pose no strategic threat to us (Qaddafi posed no threat and perfectly reliable intelligence reports in 2003 showed Saddam had no WMDs), are an affront to the principles upon which this nation was founded, and are adding to our earth-shattering debt, is what upsets CATO, and should upset any decent person with a brain.

Economiser August 31, 2011 at 7:27 pm

*Like*

JS August 31, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I find it amusing how we call for ‘leaders’ to step down.

There are lots of Republicans, the patriot types, like Sean Hannity, who don’t grasp the contradictions inherent in the positions they hold. One can’t be a champion of liberty and a militarist. They are incompatible.

Obama had some decent instincts regarding war, but our military establishment as well as the prevailing nationalist ideology overwhelmed him. It’s the same mentality that calls for protectionism and erecting walls around our borders, etc.

I recall an early European observer, I don’t think it was Tocqueville, once saying that America had the morals of an army on the march.

EG August 31, 2011 at 10:19 pm

One can’t be a champion of liberty, and turn a blind eye to the people who threaten and destroy liberty throughout the world. Furthermore, one can’t be a champion of liberty, and spew vile propaganda and lies on the private TV of a tin-pot Kremlin dictator.

As far as your second paragraph, you are invention a straw man, I’m afraid. None of what you said is remotely real.

Richard Stands September 1, 2011 at 1:10 am

It’s a very big world, full of very mean folks. And only 4% of them are paying for the U.S. Military.

EG August 31, 2011 at 10:16 pm

I am well aware of CATO’s “principles”; those being the principle of “wait till the other guy attacks you first”. Now, anyone who has ever graduated from kindergarten, has learned the basics of why such a “principle” is naive and ridiculous.

Their “principle”, is the principle of appearing on Russia Today on a daily bases, spewing anti-American propaganda on every issue regarding foreign affairs, and the principle of having stood against every single war against every single dictator in history. Their “principle” is the principle of inventing lies and alternate realities to fit their anti-American agenda. They have lied on every occasion, from Kosovo to Georgia and now to Libya. CATO, with all due respect, can take their “principle”, or lack there off, and stick it up Putin’s behind.

Second, the typical argument of “libertarians” of appealing to the “sentiment of other people around the world”, is not only pathetic, it is disingenuous, based on absolutely jack as far as facts are concerned, and most importantly it is absolutely irreverent. Of course, the fact that you are American doesn’t help your argument…since I’m NOT…and where I come from, there are few people who would take “Chinese hegemony” over American. But of course, as I said above, your statement is based on jack squat. And it is irrelevant, because I don’t quite see what the opinions of tin-pot dictators in Venezuela, Libya, Zimbabuwe, South Africa, Bolivia, Russia or China…have to do with a) the opinions of the people there and elsewhere, or b) with what we ought to do or not.

JS August 31, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Name a war that we should have fought? Having a national defense is not the same as jumping into wars for commercial and political purposes. That has been the reason for all our wars.

You can’t make an argument that any of the wars we fought were just, or even remotely in self defense. Even Pearl Harbor wouldn’t have happened had we not already been mobilizing. Huge disinformation campaigns have accompanied every war we’ve been in.

yet another Dave September 1, 2011 at 10:55 am

I am well aware of CATO’s “principles”; those being the principle of “wait till the other guy attacks you first.”

There’s just one problem with your “well awareness” – it’s wrong. That is simply NOT the principle. It appears that your militarist zeal is preventing you from comprehending any opinion different from your own. I’ll try to spell it out so even you can understand. The principle is: US military forces should be used only to defend the US.

Reasonable people will disagree on where the boundary of “defend the US” lies, but attacking a foreign nation that has neither attacked us nor represents any credible threat to us is obviously not defending the US.

Your “principle” appears to be: US military forces should be used any and every time they could improve the situation in whatever place they are used. The fact that libertarians reject such a patently ridiculous belief does not translate into the mischaracterization you hold dear.

Second, the typical argument of “libertarians” of appealing to the “sentiment of other people around the world” …

I’ve never heard a libertarian make such an argument – you have constructed quite the straw man here. I’m sure most/all libertarians would agree that if action is warranted, action should be taken regardless of opinions of politicians in other countries. Where they depart from you is the threshold that determines when action should be taken – for you that’s whenever something you don’t like is happening anywhere in the world, for them that’s when the US is facing an imminent threat.

tdp September 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Hey dumbass-

The people in those countries we’re invading DON’T WANT US TO BE THERE. They DON’T WANT us intervening or helping. When have the Libyan rebels or Iraqi and Afghan civilians EVER said: “Hey, America, send some more troops over here to give us freedom and democracy”? Part of being free is allowing others to be free, including people in other nations, to make their own choices about their way of life, without “presuming” they need help and intervening. If they wanted us to aid them or help with a rebellion, they would ask us. Wars by their nature restrict liberty and lead to violence and coercion. How does one spread liberty by beginning wars in other countries and justifying it by claiming to spread freedom and democracy when they were never asked to do so? Sorry, invading another country or sending troops and war materiel there uninvited does not create liberty. Such actions destroy liberty, and as I have already pointed out, the costs of these wars are detrimental, above all, to the future security, power, and prosperity of the United States of America.

Fearsome Tycoon September 2, 2011 at 9:06 am

People in Iraq did expect American troops to help them against Saddam back in the 1990s. Bush I famously did not deliver, and many people died. There is a case to be made against intervention. However, that case cannot be made by ignoring the way brutal dictatorships stay in power and claiming that if the people under them *really* wanted to not be mercilessly beaten and cowed into submission, they would stand up and be free. The force of arms is amazingly…forceful. It is in fact somewhat surprising how libertarians recognize that states are more often than not established by force upon the unwilling, yet when it comes to foreign states in which the US has intervened, they seem to naively assume that *THAT* state is an exception, that it was freely chosen by its people, that *THAT* tyrannical government (whose brutality exceeds anything anyone in America can imagine) actually *DOES* represent the desires of its people.

Richard Stands September 1, 2011 at 1:07 am

“[The American Federal Government] has already given itself a black eye in international relations for its jingoistic threats to invade every dictatorship”

Except of course, North Korea, Syria, the Sudan, and any other place without enough oil and other plunderables.

Uncle Sam’s military will try to right all political wrongs internationally, and his bureaucracies will try to right all economic wrongs domestically.

To quote intervention’s exasperated supporters in either sphere, “But we can’t just do nothing!”

Sure we can.

Fearsome Tycoon September 2, 2011 at 9:02 am

The war in Korea turned out pretty well for the South Koreans, actually.

steve August 31, 2011 at 5:50 pm

When I balance my corporation’s books, I look at both revenue and spending. Does that make me a lefty?

Steve

Mr. Econotarian August 31, 2011 at 8:04 pm

You are only a “lefty” if you acquire your revenue from your customer’s at gunpoint, rather than in mutually beneficial voluntary exchanges.

ArrowSmith August 31, 2011 at 8:10 pm

You just blew steve’s feeble mind to smithereens.

Gil August 31, 2011 at 8:27 pm

So Libertarians have decided claim the political direction of “right” and made everyone else ‘left’? If so then you can’t complain when accused of being far right.

tdp August 31, 2011 at 9:00 pm

No, they simply attacked the left, you jackass. Neither Mr. Econotarian nor ArrowSmith ever claimed to be part of the right. Your idiotic black-and-white notion that there are only left-wingers and right-wingers demonstrates a profoundly idiotic worldview. Libertarians are proud to be neither left nor right, just correct.

JS August 31, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Interestingly, the socialist Left likes to call the dictatorships of Hitler and Mussolini Right wing dictatorships, when both, in fact, were socialist dictatorships.

Right is used to express an anti-socialist worldview, but that doesn’t mean that they are for limited government and individual rights. It’s a broad classification that shares some opinions with libertarians here in America, but not necessarily in other countries.

JS August 31, 2011 at 9:02 pm

What hand do you write with?

ArrowSmith August 31, 2011 at 8:08 pm

We need Obama to break more windows.

jorod September 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm

You have to realize that socialists have no concept of “value” that you or I might have. They are used to allotments. Quality and price do not factor in. The people who make allotments are the dictators. The allotments are always just. Individual rights have nothing to do with it.

Leftard September 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm

What?!?!?! You’re telling me INDIVIDUALS have RIGHTS? Like they are allowed to express opinions or choose something other than what their betters have chosen for them? What a RIDICULOUS idea! Why would anyone possibly think they deserve RIGHTS? Don’t they know that us socialist planners own everything by right since we are better than everybody else? Those stupid people should be lucky to get what we give them!

ArrowSmith September 2, 2011 at 1:25 am

Leftards don’t understand how wealth is increased. They just know how big the pie currently is and how it should be divided up. Wealth creation is like particle physics to them.

Fearsome Tycoon September 2, 2011 at 8:59 am

Tangential–I HATE how “country” and “government” are used as interchangeable terms. I certainly do not have a spending and borrowing addiction. Neither do any of my acquaintances, and perhaps only two or three members of my extended family do. The government in Washington has a spending and borrowing problem.

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