Earth Day: A Tale of Polluted Accusations

By Steven Clyde


Historical Background:

The 1960’s saw a mass uprising in the public interest of pollution ranging from the smut of factories, lead in gasoline that powered cars, and pesticides (mainly insecticides).

Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring is considered one of the greatest science books of all time[1], and even today it’s held in high regard for its influence in expanding government powers to regulate the protection of our environment as it became clear through media that the free market was unfit to solve these problems themselves, or so they believed.

She argued that pesticides in general have devastating effects on the environment because they end up wiping out more than intended.  There was also the claim that the chemical DDT caused cancer, in which she said:

“In laboratory tests on animal subjects, DDT has produced suspicious liver tumors. Scientists of the Food and Drug Administration who reported the discovery of these tumors were uncertain how to classify them, but felt there was some “justification for considering them low grade hepatic cell carcinomas.” Dr. Hueper [author of Occupational Tumors and Allied Diseases] now gives DDT the definite rating of a “chemical carcinogen.”[2]

During the 60’s and 70’s, many pieces of legislation were passed. With the Air Pollution Act of 1955, the Clean Air Act 1963, and the Air Quality Act of 1967, research into pollution had finally been done at the federal level. From there the Clean Air Act of 1970 passed with the addition of four government regulation programs known as the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), State Implementation Plans (SIPs), New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs). [3]

Low and behold arose the Environmental Protection Agency, signed into law as an executive order on December 2, 1970, in which major amendments were added in 1977 and 1990.

Legislative Effects:

Fuel Emissions from Cars

Automakers were forced to reduce emissions, specifically for the purpose of removing lead from gasoline over the course of time. This led to the “lead phasedown” program. In 1974, gasoline manufacturers were forced to offer unleaded gasoline while simultaneously car manufacturers had to design tank filler inlets so cars with catalytic converters could operate on unleaded gasoline. Overtime, regulations on refineries became more and more strict, forcing them to phase out more and more lead overtime. The 1990 changes to the Clean Air Act called for one last strict phase out periods that would last another five years, and by January 1, 1996, lead gasoline was effectively banned.[4]

 

Hospitals

Hospitals came under much scrutiny in the 80’s for how they handled their medical waste. Apparently, some of this toxic waste which included used needles and syringes were washing up on beaches, while the rest was deemed to be a threat to workers safety (even more so than the safety of the general public). The most efficient way to get rid of the medical remnants was to incinerate them, and according to the EPA over 90% of waste was incinerated before 1997.[5]  In 1988, Congress enacted the Medical Waste Tracking Act which was a two year program meant to promote strict guidelines for how to dispose of waste, as it was felt that companies weren’t doing this efficiently without the governments help.  Its goals were to identify each type of waste and how it will be regulated, establish a tracking system and record keeping, require management standards, and define penalties for misuse.[6] The program eventually developed the Model Guidelines for State Medical Waste Management that is meant to serve as a guide for disposing of waste and is updated and used to this day.[7]

 

Power Plants

Coal fired power plants had the worst reputation of all, as watching the smoke rise from the smokestacks painted a very dreadful yet visible picture of pollution that entices those to vote for more regulation to stop the air pollution. This called for the regulation of power plants in that they were forced to adopt new measures to adhere to the pollution controls set by the EPA. While there was an inefficient method of literally washing the coal to remove sulfur,  inevitably companies were forced to install scrubbers, which though were around in Great Britain since the 1930’s had only been adopted in the USA in 1967. Scrubbers, also known as flue gas desulfurization units, were thought to solve many of the air pollution problems related to the plants. One of the effects of the 1977 additions to the Clean Air Act was that it now required all new power plants to install scrubbers as part of their operation; power plants that were already in existence were exempted. If older facilities wanted to expand, they had to get EPA approval showing that they were operating in a safe enough manner.

 

The Deception of Government:

As with most things done by the government, there is the seen and the unseen, with the general public mostly focusing on what is seen.

The Seen

The seen in this scenario is quite clear: many people were concerned about the quality of the air, water, etc and thought pollution was something that was completely preventable if government just stepped in. Many books and media reports emerged warning them that without the guidance and coordination of federal and state governments, the air would be impossible to breathe in the not too distant future.

It should come as no surprise that the same agency that is given high praise in regard to helping the environment, also comes out  with their own studies showing how many lives they save and how much better off the Earth is because of them!

According to them, by 2020 the costs to meet the Clean Air Act requirements will be valued at $65 billion, while the improvements will be valued at $2 trillion!  From 1990-2010, over 160,000 adult lives had been saved. 130,000 were saved from heart disease. 1.7 million were saved from Asthma. 13 million were prevented from having lost work days. Their list goes on and on, but their point is that without them you’re effectively killing or hindering all those people if not for these strict regulations that burden companies.[8]

The Unseen

The unseen is the costs, the slowing down of technological advancement because of strict regulations, and most of all: the blatant deception.

For example, air was already becoming cleaner through technology advancements before the EPA and the Clean Air Act was ever established. This book titled “Air Quality in America” noted some very relevant statistics[9]:

  • “TSP in Pittsburgh declined about 50 percent between the late 1950s and 1970.”
  • “Eastern and midwestern industrial cities achieved large reductions in particulate levels during the early and middle decades of the twentieth century”
  • “Los Angeles County tripled its population between 1920 and 1940, with motor vehicle registrations rising by 40 percent between 1930 and 1940.6 As a result of increasing motorvehicle emissions, Los Angeles began to experience a new kind of air pollution in the late 1940s. This “photochemical haze” became known as smog and was composed of ozone and other irritating gases. Yet monitoring data from the 1950s and ’60s show that by 1956, ozone had already begun a steady decline that continued through the 1960s and beyond (see figure 1-3 on page 17). The ozone decline may have begun even earlier, but data are not available before 1956”
  • “Data from New York City show a 58 percent decline in sulfur dioxide levels in the seven years before the act’s passage.”

 

The EPA doesn’t have the greatest track record when you look closely. Take these examples to heart:[11]

  • In 1994, under threat of lawsuit, the EPA forced the Pennsylvania state legislature to spend $145 million of taxpayers’ money on the construction of 86 automobile emissions test centers. Later that same year, EPA officials realized that the project was a mistake, but forced the legislature to buy the empty buildings nonetheless.
  • In 1996 the EPA demanded that citizens in Salmon, Idaho close down the town’s two sawdust-burning heaters and replace them with propane heaters at a price of $750,000. Seeing a rural population of only 3,100 in the town with most airborne pollutants consisting of road dust and pollen, the EPA was more successful at cleaning out the Salmonites’ bank accounts than at cleaning their air.
  • During the summer of 1995, due to new federal limits placed on power plant emissions, utility companies in Chicago were forced to raise their prices for electricity. Over 700 residents of the city perished in their apartments from dehydration and heat stroke, many of whom had air conditioners but could not afford to turn them on.

Conclusion

The idea that the reason we enjoy relatively clean air, water, etc today is because of government agencies and regulations is absurd. When assessing the data, it is true that forcing automakers, power plants, and the like to adapt to different technology WILL result in change, but the question that needs to be asked is “Is this data relevant and telling based on the history prior to the legislation”? The answer is a resounding no, as you notice when you look at data before legislation was passed the air was already becoming cleaner, and technology was already advancing.

Does this sound like a familiar story? Government seems to have long track record of this kind of thing.

In my next article, I’ll be talking about the poverty and how poverty was falling, yes you guessed it, even before the governments declared War on Poverty. You could even argue, the government paused the progress of eliminating poverty!


[1] http://discovermagazine.com/2006/dec/25-greatest-science-books

[2] Carson, Rachel, Silent Spring, 1962, 118.

[3] https://www.epa.gov/clean-air-act-overview/evolution-clean-air-act

[4] http://web.mit.edu/ckolstad/www/Newell.pdf, 26.

[5] https://www.epa.gov/rcra/medical-waste

[6] http://www.hercenter.org/rmw/rmwoverview.cfm

[7] https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-02/documents/model_guidelines_for_state_medical_waste_management.pdf

[8] https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-07/documents/summaryreport.pdf

[9] https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/-air-quality-in-america_134905535523.pdf, 13-18.

[10] http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/media/pdf/the-facts-about-air-quality-and-coal-fired-power-plants-final.pdf

[11] https://mises.org/library/hot-air

Another Holiday Created By The Biggest Culprit

By Captain A


Earth Day was sparked in response to the 1969 Oil spill in Santa Barbara, Commie-fornia. Of course, this makes government sound so noble. Who doesn’t want to celebrate Earth?  Take a closer look at the story. Government had its hand all over the oil spill and was even profiting from it via land leasing.  

1953 saw the passing of the U.S. Submerged Land Act. This Act gave the federal government claim to land beginning at an imaginary 3 mile mark from a state coastline. Then the Outer Continental Shelf Land Act which gave the Secretary of the Interior the power to lease the land out to companies.   $21 million was the winning bid to drill for oil off the coast of Santa Barbara. $21 million in 1966 would equate to $157.8 million dollars in 2016.

Since the land is leased then the goal becomes complete exploitation of the resources.  What company wants to pay for the leasing rights to an area for a long period of time? $21 million isn’t exactly a small amount of money.  So this then incentivizes the completely leasing the property to exploit the resources as quickly as possible.   Government involvement invited corruption in the form of donations to politicians in exchange for leasing rights.  

Union Oil asked the U.S Geological Survey to waive certain restrictions  regarding drilling on the well that would eventually lead to the blowout.  Union Oil asked for the regulations about proper piping safety housing on their 5th well to be waived Given the cronyism created via the federal land leasing, there is incentive for government to help these companies out in such a manner.  Leasing the land creates an incentive for the company to extract as much as of the resource as possible causing the company to extend beyond the markets natural protector.  The markets natural protector is called optimal conservation.

Optimal conservation forces a company to think about the long term course of a product.  Under the government model the company doesn’t know if it’s lease will be renewed, and thus we get the desire to extract as much as possible and that might involve cutting corners in order to reach that final goal before the year is out.  We saw the corners cut by Union Oil, and we have a government complicit in allowing the act.   The end result was Earth Day which ultimately led to the creation of one of the worst government polluters known as the Environmental Protection Agency. Continue reading “Another Holiday Created By The Biggest Culprit”

Episode 18 – The Lorax (1:16:13)

Happy Earth Day everyone!  We love the Earth, and that compels us to call out Dr. Seuss and the Lorax as propaganda for the biggest polluter on the planet – government.

Special guest, Kevin LeCureux joins us for a lively discussion on book, the 1972 TV special and the 2012 CGI film with Zac Efron, Ed Helms, Taylor Swift, Betty White and Danny DeVito.

Marketed (even though marketing is apparently evil) as:

The imaginative world of Dr. Seuss comes to life like never before in this visually spectacular adventure from the creators of Despicable Me! Twelve-year-old Ted will do anything to find a real live Truffula Tree in order to impress the girl of his dreams. As he embarks on his journey, Ted discovers the incredible story of the Lorax, a grumpy but charming creature who speaks for the trees. Featuring the voice talents of Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Rob Riggle, Jenny Slate, and Betty White, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax is filled with hilarious fun for everyone!

What is really is:  Statist Propaganda

If you want to really protect the environment….you let people own property.  They have a vested interest in maintaining the capital value of things.

Our guest Kevin LeCureux recently penned a piece on the Lorax, check it out here:  http://www.actualanarchy.com/2017/04/22/the-lorax-high-priest-of-environmentalism/

For more information on our guest, please visit:

https://klecu.com/

As always, like us…subscribe us….comment us….share us….

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The Lorax, High Priest of Environmentalism

By Kevin LeCureux


Earth Day. It’s the High Holy Day of the Church of Environmentalism. Conservationists don’t use such language of themselves, but the analogy is not far off. They have a god (mother nature, the Earth, etc.). They have a concept of sin (pollution, deforestation, extinction). They have penance (recycling, biodegradable products). They have an apocalyptic, redemptive eschatology (green energy and mass reduction in the human population and therefore human impact on the global ecosystem). They have a priestly caste (scientists and especially climatologists). Perhaps most scary of all, they have gotten themselves installed as the official state religion of at least one big political party and much of the “Deep State” bureaucracy that enjoys a symbiotic relationship with them.

Among this secular, pagan religion, one of the well-known parables is The Lorax by Theodor Seuss Geisel – Dr. Seuss himself. This short, illustrated story is a cautionary tale to children about the dangers of succumbing to the temptations of the Great Enemy (capitalism). A grim setting reminiscent of a rust belt city introduces us to the tragic, anti-hero cum narrator, The Once-ler, who tells his sad tale to the young inquirer (who stands in for the reader).

The story opens on an Edenic forest scene, where various creatures live in peace, harmony, and happiness with each other, and the sacred Truffula trees stand at the center of the ecosystem, providing shelter and food to Bar-ba-loots. The Once-ler happens upon this forest, and from his mind there springs whole the idea for a Thneed – some sort of all-in-one article of clothing that soon becomes popular. Once-ler quickly hires his whole family, builds a factory and logging machines, and sets to work growing his Thneed empire. In the process, his factory pollutes the air and water, and he unintentionally but uncaringly drives out the sympathetic creatures from their habitat. In the end, the Once-ler family cuts down every last Truffula tree and goes out of business. The only hope for the species affected is a solitary Truffula seed that Once-ler passes on to his listener.

This seems like a nice morality tale about greed and caring for the earth. What problem could anarcho-capitalists have with this? Do they just hate nature and want to see the whole world turned into one giant Pittsburgh (sorry Pittsburgh residents – Detroit gets a lot of hate)? Continue reading “The Lorax, High Priest of Environmentalism”

Hoppe on Coase

Excerpt from Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s lecture:  Law and Economics


From 40:40 through 47:54:

Now I come to, as I said, to the Chicago view.  Which is, as you will see, is a very different approach, and a very dangerous approach at that.  And I want to explain that, in using an example, when I talk about Chicago Law and Economics tradition, I have in particular in mind Ronald Coase and Richard Posner, two of the most, Coase by far the most prominent man in this field and Posner his aut latos.

And I want to use an example that Coase gives of a conflict.  I want to explain how this is solved, so to speak, in the traditional way and how he will solve it instead.

The problem is, that did he describes, is something like; goes something like this:

There is a railroad that emits sparks and the sparks burn down the wheat of an adjacent farm, and the question is now:  who is liable for the damage? Should the railroad be punished or should the farmer be forced to accept the sort of thing and so forth?

Now how does the Austrian, the traditional approach solve this problem?

For them the question is who was there first and who came later.

If the farmer was there first and had, so to speak, spark-free wheat and then the railroad was built afterwards and then the sparks burn down the wheat, then of course the railroad would be held liable would have to stop it or would have to pay compensation to the farmer.

Otherwise if the railroad was there first and emitted sparks, and then the farmer built his wheat field right next to this railroad track, then the decision would be after all the farmer acquired property that was “sparked” instead of spark-free and he has no claim against the railroad owner.  If he wants to have his environment spark-free, would now have to pay the railroad to stop it.

So depending on whom was there first, the case would be decided either in favor of the farmer or in in favor of in favor of the railroad.  It depends, so to speak, who was there first and who has acquired what type of easement.

Now this is not the way Coase would solve this problem.  And I read you what Coase says how to deal with this problem he says:

It is wrong to think of the farmer and the railroad as either right or wrong, as aggressor or victim.  The question is commonly thought of as one in which A inflicts harm on B, and what has to be decided is how should we restrain A?  But this is wrong.

We are dealing with a problem of reciprocal nature.

To avoid the harm to B, would be to inflict harm on A; the real question that has to be decided is:  should A be allowed to harm B or should B be allowed to harm A?  The problem is to avoid the more serious harm.

Now I want to translate that into some sort of slightly absurd example to show to you, in a very drastic way, what an outrageous position this is.  I slightly rephrase Coase’s words here, just to use a slightly different example.  So let’s say we have the case where person A is raping person B , and according to Coase we would not simply have to restrain A, the rapist, rather and now I quote him from the previous quote:

Rather, we are dealing with a problem with reciprocal nature.

In preventing A from raping B, harm is inflicted on A because he can no longer rape freely.  The real question is:  should A be allowed to rape B or should B be allowed to prohibit A from raping him?  The problem is to avoid the more serious harm.

Now you might think isn’t that easy to determine what the more serious harm is, but again this is not that easy either.  Imagine the following scenario:

So A the rapist has been incarcerated for a long time.  For 20 years, he hasn’t seen a woman in 20 years.   Then B, on the other hand, is a professional prostitute.  She is in the business of the sort of stuff.   Now A rapes the professional prostitute.  Now the question is is more harm done to A by preventing him from raping the prostitute, or is more harm done to the prostitute by letting A rape her?

Now the question is obviously a difficult one, right?  You see the perversity of this of this type of thinking.  We might well come to the conclusion that the rape was perfectly alright, because after all, more harm would be done to A if he would be prevented from going on with his activity.

 

The Libertarian Manifesto on Pollution

By Murray N. Rothbard


All right: Even if we concede that full private property in resources and the free market will conserve and create resources, and do it far better than government regulation, what of the problem of pollution? Wouldn’t we be suffering aggravated pollution from unchecked “capitalist greed”?

There is, first of all, this stark empirical fact: Government ownership, even socialism, has proved to be no solution to the problem of pollution. Even the most starry-eyed proponents of government planning concede that the poisoning of Lake Baikal in the Soviet Union is a monument to heedless industrial pollution of a valuable natural resource. But there is far more to the problem than that. Note, for example, the two crucial areas in which pollution has become an important problem: the air and the waterways, particularly the rivers. But these are precisely two of the vital areas in society in which private property has not been permitted to function.

First, the rivers. The rivers, and the oceans too, are generally owned by the government; private property, certainly complete private property, has not been permitted in the water. In essence, then, government owns the rivers. But government ownership is not true ownership, because the government officials, while able to control the resource cannot themselves reap their capital value on the market. Government officials cannot sell the rivers or sell stock in them. Hence, they have no economic incentive to preserve the purity and value of the rivers. Rivers are, then, in the economic sense, “unowned”; therefore government officials have permitted their corruption and pollution. Anyone has been able to dump polluting garbage and wastes in the waters. But consider what would happen if private firms were able to own the rivers and the lakes. If a private firm owned Lake Erie, for example, then anyone dumping garbage in the lake would be promptly sued in the courts for their aggression against private property and would be forced by the courts to pay damages and to cease and desist from any further aggression. Thus, only private property rights will insure an end to pollution — invasion of resources. Only because the rivers are unowned is there no owner to rise up and defend his precious resource from attack. If, in contrast, anyone should dump garbage or pollutants into a lake which is privately owned (as are many smaller lakes), he would not be permitted to do so for very long — the owner would come roaring to its defense.1 Professor Dolan writes:

With a General Motors owning the Mississippi River, you can be sure that stiff effluent charges would be assessed on industries and municipalities along its banks, and that the water would be kept clean enough to maximize revenues from leases granted to firms seeking rights to drinking water, recreation, and commercial fishing.2

If government as owner has allowed the pollution of the rivers, government has also been the single major active polluter, especially in its role as municipal sewage disposer. There already exist low-cost chemical toilets which can burn off sewage without polluting air, ground, or water; but who will invest in chemical toilets when local governments will dispose of sewage free to their customers? Continue reading “The Libertarian Manifesto on Pollution”

Sacramento, I Want a Divorce

The ‘Secession Move’ Californians Really Need

By Hinton Bowers


Summer is fast approaching and now that our tummies are sculpted and legs toned, it’s time for break-up season! As a resident of California, I’ve heard a lot of talk about #Calexit for months now following the November election:

I However, do not favor Federal Secession at this time.

California’s Secession Battle flag (Unofficial)

I’m really not interested in humoring temper tantrums. If there were some deep, principled argument being put forward by the liberty minded people of this state, I would feel more sympathetic;

but, let’s not pretend or hope that Calexit is about anything other than…

“I didn’t get my way, so I need a safe space!”

Breaking from The Union, and it’s constitutional protections for the individual (shaky as those rights may be these days), would be the wrong move for California residents. Were secession to pass: between Governor ‘Moonbeam’ and Commissar Feinstein, every non-conformist living in the state would probably be rounded up by SJW storm troopers and interned in ‘pelican bay’ by the end of the year. Would you trust them to draw-up your constitutional charter? To be your new Washington or Jefferson?

F*ck no, you wouldn’t.
Continue reading “Sacramento, I Want a Divorce”

World War II Propaganda & Taxation

By Steven Clyde


In the 1940’s, efforts to boost tax revenues reached moral lows. The general public, being duped from all angles, managed to file taxes in higher proportions by the end of World War II then in all of prior history. The effects of the propaganda of the 1940’s was that it got nearly every worker on board with the idea that paying their taxes was a duty, and more eerily a “privilege”.

This clip from December 9th, 1941 has FDR on record saying quote:

“It is not a sacrifice for the industrialist or the wage earner, the farmer or the shopkeeper, the praying man or for the doctor to pay more taxes, to buy more bonds, to forego extra profits, to work longer and harder at the task for which he is best fitted; rather, it is a privilege.”

We see a similar pattern in World War I with regards to an increase in people filing for taxes, but focusing on the era of World War II and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidency we notice something completely different.

At the start of his first term in 1933, 7.2% of citizens were filing taxes, while by the end of his presidency in 1945 there were 84.6% of citizens that had filed. By 1947, 91.7% of citizens were on record for filing taxes.[1] Continue reading “World War II Propaganda & Taxation”

Utopian? You talkin’ to me?

Utopianism – impracticable schemes of political or social reform

In the early twentieth century, the progressive movement called for war to advance the ideals of Christendom worldwide. In the aftermath “The Great War” ideas like temperance, universal suffrage, and income equality went from theories to practice through the tyranny of government.

These same ideas permeate the minds of statists throughout the world today. We just need more laws, more government control, more collectivism to solve the ills of society.

If the state could control guns there would be less death.

The state should use progressive taxes to provide services the private sector cannot and to provide more income equality.

The statist argument presupposes that the average person is not smart enough to rule himself (the linked article talks about intelligence and democracy, but a quick read shows the mindset of “our betters”). Continue reading “Utopian? You talkin’ to me?”

Episode 17 – Ghostbusters (1:39:56)

Episode 17 of the Actual Anarchy Podcast is a sweeping two-film discussion about the original Ghostbusters starring Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd  from the 1980’s, and the all-female SJW-spooktackular starring Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig.  Joining us, appropriately enough, are two guests – one male, one female as we tackle this tale of entrepreneurs vs. the state and then the state colluding with the state!

Ghostbusters (1984) trailer:

Ghostbusters (SJW) trailer:

https://libertopiacartoon.wordpress.com/

Our guests’ work can be found at:

https://libertopiacartoon.wordpress.com/

Yes it’s true. This man has no dick.

Continue reading “Episode 17 – Ghostbusters (1:39:56)”

6 Reasons Why Healthcare is so Expensive in the USA

– In many states if you want to open a hospital you are obliged to go before an official board and demonstrate that the community needs this hospital and that you are willing and able to fund it all by yourself. The people on the board are going to be the big hospital administrators from already existing institutions which the new hospital who want the competition like a hole in the head.

– Nineteen states are even limited to having only a single medical school! There are only 123 in the US despite thousands of perfectly capable students being turned away every day.

– Not everything a doctor does requires 7 years of training but the law requires everyone to have at least 7 years of training to do it. (In some cases a practitioner will have to do 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of medical school, then 3 years residency by the end of which many are so burned out and seriously debt laden before they even begin their career.) The natural prescription is to allow doctors surgeries, clinics and hospitals to train and certify their own assistants to take responsibilities off the hands of highly specialised staff so that fully fledged professional can focus their time and attention on what they alone are capable of doing. Healthcare costs would plummet.

– In December 2011, the Administrator for the Centres for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Dr. Donald Berwick asserted (as he was leaving his job) that 20-30% of health care spending in the US is going to waste. He listed the five major causes as over-treatment, failure to coordinate care, the administrative complexity of the system, burdensome rules, and outright fraud.

– One study found that per capita prescription drug spending in the United States exceeds that in all other countries, $858 compared with an average of $400 for 19 other industrialized nations, and the most important factor allowing manufacturers to set high drug prices was market exclusivity, protected by monopoly rights awarded upon Food and Drug Administration approval and by patents.

– A Harvard Business Review analysis published in 2013 revealed that while the U.S. healthcare workforce grew by 75 percent between 1990 and 2012 a whopping 95% of the new employees were administrative staff rather than doctors or nurses meaning 9 administrative workers for every doctor. The Annals of Internal Medicine last year, observed 57 physicians found that 29 percent of total work time was spent talking with patients or other staff members and another 49 percent was spent on electronic record keeping and desk work.

I am writing a book called Why is Healthcare in America so Expensive if you want to get notified about it when it’s ready download my last book for free.

Source: Seeing Not Seen

Your Socialism Is Bad and You Should Feel Bad

I’m tempted to say that statism is sort of like a cult. Proponents of socialism and other big-government ideologies have a dogmatic zeal that blinds them to reality.

For instance, no nation has ever become rich with big government. But that doesn’t stop leftists from advocating in favor of higher taxes and more coercive redistribution.

They are equally capable of rationalizing that economic misery in places such as Greece and Venezuela has nothing to do with bad policy, and you can even find a few zealots willing to defend basket cases such as Cuba and North Korea.

So long as they don’t burn me at the stake for my heretical views, I guess I won’t get too agitated by their bizarre fetish for statism.

But I will periodically mock them. And that’s the purpose of today’s column. We’ll start with this nice comparison between a capitalist grocery store and a socialist grocery store. I have no idea, by the way, if the lower image actually is a supermarket in a socialist country, but let’s not forget that a real-world version of this comparison is one of the reasons there’s no longer an Evil Empire.

But the bad news about socialism is not limited to economic deprivation for the masses.

The system also leads in many cases to totalitarianism (see this article by Marian Tupy, for example).

Venezuela is a particularly poignant example. Once the richest nation in Latin America, it now is an economic laggard and also is a cesspool of oppression.

Which makes this set of images from Reddit‘s libertarian page both funny and sad.

As you might expect, Milton Friedman had some very pointed observations on this topic.

The really good part starts shortly before 2:00. He explains very clearly that socialism is based on force and coercion.

I’ve saved the best for last.

The PotL sent me this collection of risky temptations and it perfectly captures the attitude of many statists. No matter how many times socialism has failed, they never learn the appropriate lesson. It just hasn’t been tried by the right people, they tell us. Or been imposed in the right circumstances.

So they want us to give it one more try, just like a person with no willpower will eat one more bite of chocolate.

Which is the same message you find here, here, and here.

Incidentally, this analysis not only applies to socialism, as technically defined, but it also applies to redistributionism. Which is definitely more benign, but nonetheless produces bad results.

The bottom line is that statism is a recipe for stagnation and free markets are a route to prosperity.

Republished from International Liberty.

Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute who specializes in fiscal policy, particularly tax reform, international tax competition, and the economic burden of government spending. He also serves on the editorial board of the Cayman Financial Review. 

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

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This outrageous world can drive a person bonkers!

The old leftist mantra “If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” seems to have never been more apt. Even for news junkies like me, there are enough outrageous things happening by the nanosecond in our upside-down world that the weight of it all can start to crush your spirit.

In reality, people throughout the ages have always thought theirs was the worst of times. Honestly, it’s as if mankind lives in a perpetual Babylon, a constant loop of tragedy. And that can start to wear on a person, even an old veteran political and cultural critic like me.

The ceaseless negativity has a way of sneaking into the cracks of your human veneer, tearing at your soul, if you’re not careful. The depravity of man can overwhelm your senses and sometimes even steal from you blessings that lay right before you, if you’re not properly armed.

I’ve always been pretty tough, yet optimistic – a stubbornly content realist, some might say. But recently, all the hate, illogic, and dystopian madness had begun to eat away at me and thieve my happiness and typical godly perspective, and during the Easter season no less.

As a 10-year Protestant now transitioning to Orthodox Christianity, I was undertaking a first-time minimal Lenten fast with my family as a doable way to humble myself before God. This rite was supposed to be a time of heart-felt communion with Jesus and Christian fellowship, just a simple way to soften my heart for Holy Week and ready myself to fully thank Christ for His sacrifice, and the forgiveness, love, and ever-lasting life He offers to believers.

But instead, I was a train wreck this Pascha. I was allowing this fallen world to rule over me, and it started affecting my responsibilities as wife, mom, and home educator. I mean, how can I concentrate on all that when there are so many stupid people running amok? How can I focus on my home when the planet’s brimming with insane evil-doers who want to do my family harm?

I even got even angry with God. How could He allow that bastard Satan to rule so pervasively over so much of humanity? How could He permit the celebration and perpetuation of such abounding wickedness?

How could He let so many people fall prey to the Evil One and his dark schemes, and ignore all the good, beauty, and joy that surrounds us? Funny, I was doing that exact thing. I was embracing fear. I was succumbing to outrage. And I was letting the devil win.

I’m not really sure how it started. The hysterical misandric feminists, anti-white social justice warriors, and blood-thirsty Antifa commies are just enough to make a mama wanna eat her bonbons (well, in my case, drink a pale ale and smoke a cigar), watch funny cat videos, take a nap in the hammock, and be done with all this nonsense. But I’ve never before been scared away from such battles.

Then, just during the first week of April, there was the Muslim lunatic who plowed through the streets of Stockholm, targeting kids specifically, killing four people and injuring 15, and the ISIS bombings at two Christian churches in Egypt that took the lives of 47 on Palm Sunday. Lord have mercy, as the Orthodox like to say.

Around this same time, my husband, who is constantly digging into and researching Orthodoxy, discovered that our beloved new faith tradition is not immune to the left’s ceaseless infiltration into the Church. Now, we do understand that anything comprised of human beings isn’t going to be perfect. We get it.

But one of the reasons we fled Protestantism was because it’s so man-centric and worldly, so presentist and “relevant,” so always caving to ever-changing cultural whims and fluid definitions of sin, so American in its puritanical zeal, contextualized history, and lacking traditions. We saw Orthodoxy and its ancient customs and typically unchanging ways as a counter to at least some of that foolishness.

But being that progressivism is the status quo for most institutions, I shouldn’t have been surprised that cultural Marxism taints Orthodoxy in some quarters, from its global-governmental “charity” initiatives and affiliation with the uber-liberal National Council of Churches, or that leftist interlopers are bound to be within, stirring the pot with their post-modern mania. For the love of all things Holy, is there no refuge from the evils of leftism?

And then when Trump launched missile attacks on Syria, that sent me further into my deep abyss of negativity. As a person who voted for Trump specifically because of his noninterventionist leanings, his bucking of the bipartisan war machine, his penchant for negotiations, and his amicable attitude toward Russia and Syria, I was totally demoralized when I saw this guy, who I thought had a higher probability of keeping us out of WWIII than did Killary, was now pounding the war drum.

And all over some crummy pictures and videos. Over some uninvestigated sarin-gas attack, an alleged pro-war silver bullet to pull at the heart strings of useful idiots, a false flag used to avenge the fate of the “beautiful babies,” a con to manipulate us all into another horrid unending conflict and, of course, kill more babies and create more refugees and terrorists in the process. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

I knew Trump would probably eventually sellout to the neocons, but my God, so soon? This is the dude who beat the Clintons and the Bushes, told the mainstream media to go to hell, called NATO “obsolete,” and could’ve cared less about McCain, Graham, and Ryan, yet he completely folds in less than three months?

Is the Washington establishment really that dominant a force? Does the deep state and its entrenched allies in the military-industrial complex and intelligence agencies truly wield that kind of power? Can the imperialists really not be stopped or even slowed down one iota, ever? I felt like a fool for thinking that anyone could be a bulwark against such centralized totalitarianism. Ugh, the futility of it all!

I thought, maybe there is something to the Spirit Cooking after all, for it seems the political psychosis is irresistible once you dwell within the Satanic cesspool of the Beltway, even for a mere 76 days. The realization that Washington is a cult, an unstoppable evil force, indeed a swamp that will never be drained didn’t really surprise me. I suppose it was just the speed at which it devoured Trump on one of his few noteworthy and consistent campaign promises. Pathetic.

Another depressing fact was that the strikes happened to fall on the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering WWI – “the primal event” kicking off the 20th century’s status as the bloodiest hundred years in history, and marked America’s ascent to super-power status and subsequent descent to hubristic border reshaper, constant foreign meddler, regime changer, and globalist trouble maker. Just like Woodrow Wilson reneged on his populist assurances of peace and neutrality, so did Trump. So much for “America first.” Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

And to rub even more salt in the wound, the political establishment and media fawning over Trump as somehow instantaneously becoming more “respectable” and “presidential” simply by virtue of bombing a foreign country (and without a declaration of war from Congress to boot) was enough to make this liberty-loving lady lose her lunch. God save us all from Washington war lust, especially neocons who quote the Bible. Gag!

Thankfully, my emotional tailspin eventually began to decelerate. The first thing that brought me some solace was the right’s reaction to Trump’s illegal and immoral acts of war – just stunning in its dramatic divergence from what the left would have done if Killary were in charge under these conditions. We all know there would have either been total silence or mass excuses.

Some notable naysayers were NJ State Senator Mike Doherty, political pundit Ann Coulter, popular YouTuber Paul Joseph Watson, radio talk-show host Michael Savage, alt-media journalist Michael Cernovich, and Brexit-fame politician Nigel Farage. It was refreshingly bold for these folks, all of whom were previously staunch Trump supporters and allies, to be so immediate and loud in their stand against foreign interventionism.

After all this mess, I decided to take a respite from social media and the news for most of Holy Week, as well a hiatus from blogging. I used the opportunity to concentrate my time and energy on the eternal and take a much-needed break from life beyond my home and church. I also centered myself on the gift of a heavenly home, not only because it’s a manifestation of Jesus’ love and grace, but also because it’s an absolutely necessary tool to navigating the lunacy of life on this messed-up planet. I had forgotten that Christ is my refuge.

I can now see that during my struggles, I was surrendering to the Great Deceiver’s lie that defeat is inevitable, that fighting the good fight just isn’t worth it. But it is. And sometimes it takes a person falling on her knees to finally see that we don’t have to carry the unbearable weight of the world.

“Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” — Ephesians 6:11-12

Christ will carry our burdens and fears, if we let Him. And it is only then that we can focus our heads and hearts on the blessings that surround us and maintain our strength to fight for truth and battle against the mob. Jesus isn’t called the “the Rock of Ages” for nothin’.

This also frees us to aptly handle the things over which we may actually have a modicum of control, like raising up our kids right, being a loving spouse and a kind neighbor, building upon our own physical and spiritual well-being, and increasing our mental health by giving the rest of it up to God. “Prioritize,” as my husband likes to say.

Frederick Douglass once wrote, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” So too must we build ourselves through prayer and by utilizing our talents and fulfilling our callings to the best of our abilities, and this will increase the joy in our homes, communities, and beyond.

So, I’m not going to let this outrageous world drive me bonkers anymore. I’m sure I’ll have my moments, as we all do. But I’ve got on my armor nice and tight, have my eyes keenly refocused on the big picture, and revel in the freedom that no haters can ever take way. Satan can kiss my ass.

Source: Dissident Mama

Uber, the Free Market and Muh Roads…

Cartoon, libertarian, political cartoon, Uber, Lyft, free market, politicians, statism, politics, crony capitalism

Are there any Uber or Lyft drivers out there? With more and more local governments implementing burdensome regulations, it seems like the temporary free market revolution in individuals using their cars to earn a living may be at an end. Yeah, these politicians always like to blab about safety and the common good, but it seems like the reality of it is that they just want to secure a little influence from political lobbyist organizations and campaign funds from powerful companies (also known as cronyism). And then pat themselves on the back for a job well done. But then again, when you’re dealing with State owned roads, I guess they can ultimately regulate them however they see fit. Muh roads…

Have any thoughts regarding socialism, statism, crony capitalism, uber regulations, government money making schemes or the free market? Leave a comment! Be sure to check out our graphics page for even MORE of our exclusive libertarian / voluntaryist / ancap political cartoons, art and infographics! Plus, don’t miss our great libertarian artist interviews as well!


Source: Libertopia Cartoon

Demonizing normalcy

Portions of the left-wing media are buzzing about how 16-year-old Deja Foxx lit into Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) at a recent town hall meeting in Mesa, Arizona. Foxx was upset about his vote for federal legislation that allows states to not provide Planned Parenthood funds for family planning services.

While the video of the exchange between Foxx and Flake is below, I want to focus on how Foxx framed her question to him:

“I just want to state some facts,” Foxx began. “I’m a young woman; you’re a middle-aged man. I’m a person of color, and you’re white. I come from a background of poverty, and I didn’t always have parents to guide me through life; you come from privilege.”

She went on, “I’m wondering, as a Planned Parenthood patient and someone who relies on Title X, who you are clearly not, why is it your right to take away my right?”

Refinery29 reports that in an earlier roundtable, Foxx explained “why Planned Parenthood is so important to her.”

“I am a ‘youth on their own’ — meaning I don’t live with my parents or have a permanent home,” she said in a transcript provided by Planned Parenthood. “So when I needed birth control and reproductive health care, I didn’t have anyone to help me navigate the health care system.” Because she didn’t have access to her state insurance card, her care was completely covered by Title X funds, she said.

(By the way, isn’t it odd that at a time when alternative media is looking into the hideous nature of pedophilia, Planned Parenthood is asking a 16-year-old girl without a permanent home to speak about her concern about possibly losing access to birth control? )

Both the framing and substance of Foxx’s question is loaded with fallacies, facts that ought to be irrelevant, and demonization tactics.

When Foxx says she wants Title X family planning funding to continue as before, she basically wants the federal government to pay for her birth control. She is arguing she has a positive right to that, meaning someone else pays for something to which she’s entitled. However, the problem with positive rights is that other people pay for something for which they receive nothing in return. Under normal circumstances, that is called theft. True rights are negative rights, in which people have a right to not be harmed by other people.

Regarding whether Flake’s vote for the legislation was a good idea, the “facts” she cites are irrelevant. Or at least they ought to be. Who cares if she’s a woman person of color, and he’s a middle-aged man? Why should it matter that he had a stable family life, and she doesn’t? And what does it even mean to say one person is “privileged” and another person isn’t?

However, these facts matter when asking a far different question: why are you, a middle-aged white man, trying to keep a woman (girl?) of color like me down? Because that’s essentially the question Foxx asked Flake.

Once we recognize that Foxx is fighting over maintaining her positive right to birth control, the ridiculousness behind her question becomes abundantly clear. However, to maintain that “right”, another moral context needs to be created within which her ability to receive birth control makes sense. Hence, it’s bad enough that Foxx’s free birth control (to her, at least) may be taken away, but the one voting for that is everything she isn’t.

Normal.

Apparently, her free goodies are far more important than living in a stable and loving family, and maintaining healthy relationships.

While it’s easy for me to criticize Foxx for her unwarranted attack on Flake, in many ways I feel sorry for her. She should have a sense of security that comes from living within a stable, loving family, but she doesn’t. Unfortunately, given her need for birth control, at sixteen, she attacks a decent man for being decent.

I cannot imagine the pain she must have incurred in her life for her to come to that position.

While she is clearly wrong in what she says, I hope that she has the chance of getting what she clearly needs and wants.

Normalcy.

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Source: A Simple Fool