Friday, May 1, 2015

Episode 159, What is Freedom of Speech, Really?

What exactly is the freedom of speech?  And why is freedom of speech such an important topic, especially now?

It's important because, of course, freedom of speech is under assault. 

There is a false premise that freedom of speech must be balanced against public safety and individual security which, unfortunately, most people seem to accept.

Freedom of speech comes from a surprising source, and when you understand what that source is, the confusions and distortions of freedom of speech promoted by both well-meaning and evil people become very clear.

In the end, as with all liberties, you get to keep the liberties that you are prepared to fight for. Unfortunately, few people are prepared to fight for any of their liberties today, including the right to free speech. 

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Episode 158, Social Justice Warriors

Social Justice Warriors--heard of these guys? (Whoops, you're not supposed to call mixed-gender groups of people "guys" anymore.)

SJWs are collectivists, of course, a particular form of collectivist, very easy to identify. They’ve become so visible and so obnoxious that I thought it would merit an entire show talking about them, in the manner that an entomologist might talk about a particularly nasty breed of locust.  

In this show I cover who they are, what they do, why they do it, and why they need to die. Yes, they need to die--die out as a phenomenon, of course, not advocating any killing here.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Episode 157, Taxation is Theft

Theft: The taking of another person’s property without that person’s permission or consent with the intent of depriving the rightful owner of it.

Does taxation meet the definition of theft?  Let's check the key conditions....

Taking another person’s property?  Check! Income tax takes part of a person’s income, which is their property (unless you believe there is no such thing as private property).

Without that person’s permission or consent?  Check!  The withholding of taxes from one’s paycheck removes, for most people, the presumption of consent. When you file your taxes, unless you commit fraud you are unlikely to produce a return that results in the government returning the money. Unless you truly give your approval to the taking of taxes from you, you have not consented to the tax.

Intent of depriving the owner of property?  Check! What argument would the IRS give that they do not intend to deprive a taxpayer of the income it collects as taxes? They are doing it by accident?

This show lays out the arguments that people make when claiming that taxation is NOT theft, and, of course, destroys them.  And it covers alternatives to taxation and the monopoly of government.

And don't miss the 5-minute spoof, "I Love Paying My Taxes". It should peg your sarcasm meter!

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Episode 156, Black Markets--Dodging the Command Economy

Black markets occur when the government makes the transaction of a good or service illegal.

But illegality, while necessary, is not sufficient. The good or service must be highly desirable, and it must benefit both parties to keep the government out of the transaction.

Most of the time, black markets surface where the local government is causing shortages. The Soviet Union was notorious for shortages, and the emergence of black markets to fill the gaps.

In this show I talk about shortages and other mechanisms that are likely to cause black markets to surface on a wider scale here in America, how you can get ready for when they do, and how you can profit from them.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Episode 155, How Much Should Health Care Cost in America?

It’s actually a good question: How much should health care cost in America? At the rate we’re going, we’ll never know.

Few Americans actually know what health care costs them, because they don’t pay for health care in the same way that they pay for food or other things they need.

Health care in America has been heavily distorted for years by government intervention.

Another problem is the way health insurance is used. Insurance is a risk management tool to guard against rare but expensive events. But health insurance policies generally cover routine care and medicine. That’s like using car insurance to pay for oil changes and gasoline.

The end result is that the healthcare "marketplace" is not a marketplace. Health care does not operate at all like a free market, so supply and demand, and their relationship to price, don't follow normal economic rules.

Health care should cost a lot less than it does in America. With a free marketplace, it would.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Episode 154, Odds of Another American Revolution, Part 2

Part 2 of a two-part show speculating on the next American revolution.

Who would fight on the side of "the crown", the central government? Who would fight on the side of the resistance, the Patriots? What events would produce the numbers of Patriots willing to resist the central government to the point that a revolution would even get started?

Would secession of one or more states be the means by which a revolution would start? If so, how would that unfold? Alternatively, how would a revolution start without a secession?

What role would the military play? How would each side use propaganda, intelligence, and espionage?  Would a modern revolution in America resemble the Civil War, using the weapons and techniques of today? What new weapon emerging today could prove decisive? Would nuclear weapons be used?

In my discussion of the prospects for another revolution, I cite the writings of Tom Baugh, specifically this series of essays, which I find to be insightful, indispensable, and quite possibly definitive when it comes to the topic of another American revolution.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Episode 153, Odds of Another American Revolution

What are the odds of another revolution in America?

Thomas Jefferson asked long ago: "What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion?"

He followed that question with another: "What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?"

Although Jefferson believed that "a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical", we certainly haven't had any lately. It's been a century and a half since the Civil War, the last internal conflict in America that could qualify as a revolution.

In this show, I discuss the potential for another American Revolution. What would it take for revolutionary thoughts to become action? Who would participate? Who would oppose the revolutionaries? Today, millions of Americans hold the federal government in contempt, yet they tolerate it, for fear of the consequences. What forces or events would tip enough of them from passive contempt to active resistance and allow a revolution to begin? And what would happen once a revolution got underway?

Too big a subject for one show--one hour is only enough to get us started. Be sure to come back for Part 2.

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