Election years are depressing experiences for friends of freedom. The campaign stump, invariably, brings out even more of the worst in mainstream politicians who make their living by making promises they cannot keep through spending other people’s money. The 2016 presidential election cycle has only magnified this pattern.
We are just now entering the age of industrialization, newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte said recently, explaining why the Philippines will not ratify the Paris climate accords. “Now that we’re developing, you will impose a limit? That’s absurd. It’s being imposed upon us by the industrialized countries. They think they can dictate our destiny.”
Commentators from the political “left” as well as the “right” have attempted to analyze and dissect the rise and appeal of Donald Trump. The reality is, I would suggest, is that he represents the essence of the modern interventionist state, with its regulated economy and redistributive politics.
In a free-market economy, people have healthy incentives to work and save, to form businesses and invest, to explore, innovate and invent, in these and other ways “to truck and barter.” The incessant desire of man to do better, whether through profit or achievement or goodness, when governed by the rule of law, leads to a progressive society.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur Peter Thiel is a pretty smart guy. As partial evidence, I give you his self-made net worth of $2.7 billion. He co-founded online payment mega-company PayPal – which was in 2002 sold to eBay for $1.5 billion. Anyone who saw the very good flick “The Social Network” knows Thiel was one of the first outside investors in Facebook. He still owns a chunk, and is on their Board. He invested in LinkedIn. He’s…done well.
Most government schools don’t teach – or don’t teach properly – one of the greatest documents in human history: our Constitution. Which produced the most prosperous, egalitarian nation ever. But which government schools by and large impugn as racist and fatally flawed – and thus not worthy of proper consideration.
Given any quantifiable standard, freedom and private property have proven themselves superior to planning, bureaucracy, and the welfare state. As the great laissez-faire economist Jean-Baptiste Say wrote in 1803, “Nothing can be more idle than the opposition of theory to practice!” Say’s message is as clear now as it was then: the mechanics of liberty work precisely because they respect our individual rights.
As we witness thousands of Americans attending Bernie Sanders rallies, knowing Sanders identifies himself as a Socialist and promises to govern from that position, it is time for all of us to understand the significance of that and consider what is happening to our Country.
Sometimes there are men of principle who live their values and not merely speak or write about them. People who stand up to political evil at their own risk, and then go on to say and do things that help to remake their country in the aftermath of war and destruction. One such individual was the German, free-market economist, Wilhelm Röpke.
As the self-described socialist Bernie Sanders remains strong in his challenge to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sanders boasts the unusual distinction of making Clinton appear to be a fiscal Scrooge. Contrary to that appearance, Clinton’s policies pack just as much poison as those the Vermont socialist has proposed. Consider, for example, the policy field where Sanders and Clinton appear to differ most: health care.
Democratic Party hopeful, Bernie Sanders, recently outlined what it means for him to be a “democratic socialist.” The problem is that the same label might be applied to most of the other candidates running in both the Democratic and Republican parties running to be the nominee for presidency of the United States.
Many in the media and some among the voting public are focused, now, on the field of candidates who are offering themselves as the presidential nominees of the Republican and Democratic Parties.
Bill Gates of Microsoft is one of the wealthiest individuals in the world, so when he speaks it is not surprising that the world tends to listen. In a recent interview, Gates has said that capitalism is inherently unable to solve the problem of global warming, and instead there have to be world-encompassing government-business “partnerships” to save Planet Earth.
The Democrat Party is currently conducting a presidential primary. The alleged moderate alternative to avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders is Hillary Clinton (despite the fact that she voted 0.1% less Left than he when they served together in the Senate). In last week’s debate, the candidates were asked “Which enemy are you most proud of?” Secretary Moderate’s response?
Socialism is a failed ideology. It was the avant-garde approach to how to do government – in the Twentieth Century. The Soviet Union was the flagship petri dish. That conquered, infiltrated or ingratiated themselves with many other nations – to establish them as additional petri dishes (Hello, Cuba). We certainly now have a large enough, long enough sample set – and the results are in. The system is contaminated – Socialism does not work.
President Barack Obama recently made headlines in Nevada by promoting the “progress” his administration has made in promoting solar power and fighting climate change. Most media outlets conveniently forgot to mention one crucial fact: Without government mandates, subsidies, and sweetheart deals, the sun would quickly set on Obama’s solar empire.
Klein’s greatest strength is recognizing that nothing less than the abolition of capitalism will achieve the drastic reductions in emissions her side is calling for … and she’s willing to say it out loud. I love that about her. The leaders of the environmental movement, who pretend this isn’t about ideology and that “stopping” climate change would be costless, hate her for revealing this.
One of the great voices for personal liberty was that of the British economist and political philosopher, John Stuart Mill. His essay, “On Liberty,” though penned well over 150 years ago, is a classic statement that the individual should be respected in his right of freedom of thought, speech and action.
Many Social Democrats believed that democracy was both compatible with and an essential complement to a humane socialism, a socialism that did not reduce humanity to obedient cogs in a giant collectivist wheel directed by a “dictatorship of the proletariat.” They wanted socialism with traditional civil liberties, personal freedom and democratic politics.
“Trade Wars” actually aren’t about trade — they are about government trade policy. If peoples are trading freely, there isn’t a “War” – there’s commerce. The “Wars” only happen when governments get involved, placing tariffs, regulations and subsidies in the way of the flow.