Hiring Our First Employee: Enter Government Hurdles


Tom Woods Liberty Classroom

I have my own business. It’s about as simple as a business can be.

We want to hire our first employees. In case anyone has any doubt whatsoever about how much more difficult/worse the government makes things for employers and employees (excluding income taxes and 15.3% Social Security & Medicare taxes!), check this out:

We have to worry about “wrongful termination.” Federal, state, and city law prohibit discrimination/harassment on the basis of the following protected categories: Race, color, religion, creed, national origin or ancestry, ethnicity, sex (including pregnancy), gender (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender individual), age, physical, mental, or perceived disability, alienage or citizenship, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, genetic predisposition or carrier status, familial status, marital status, sexual orientation (including actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and asexuality), partnership status, and victim of domestic violence status.

We have to comply with the “Fair Labor Standards Act,” NY labor law, and the NY minimum wage ($12/hour effective 12/31/17). We have to comply with the “New York Paid Family Leave Act,” and the “NYC Paid Sick Leave Law.” We’ve been advised by both an accountant and an employment lawyer that we must retain a payroll provider just to be able to keep up with the constantly changing government rules.

We have to register with NY State as an employer. During the process, they ask questions that you literally can’t know the answer to at the time you’re registering. They also ask probing questions such as, “Does anyone work for you that you don’t consider to be an employee?” And guess what? The guidelines around what constitutes an employee versus a contractor are so vague that a lawyer who specializes in employment and a lawyer who specializes in our field can’t definitively advise us on what we can do to know whether we’re complying with the law.

We have to report to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, comply with the “Wage Theft Prevention Act,” and the “Immigration Reform and Control Act.”

We have to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, “NY State Disability Insurance,” and “Unemployment Insurance,” which “starts” as a 4-5% tax (you have to wait for the State to tell you after you register) and, presumably, goes up from there based on how well our company is doing. (There’s also another business tax on top of everything else that kicks in once we hit some arbitrary amount of profit.)

We need to deliver “workplace postings” to every employee, even though we don’t have a physical office. There’s a whole industry around this because the government doesn’t even provide the information in any kind of easily accessible way. (Check out complianceposter.com for fun.)

What a productive use of our time, energy, and the valuable resources we need to grow! I’m sure our customers love paying higher prices, since they have plenty of disposable income. I bet the people we hire actually prefer having chunks of money taken out of their pay before they get it, because they know they’re going to get every inflation-adjusted dollar back someday, and more!

Hey, at least we have a government making sure that we don’t do anything “wrong.” Otherwise we could lie, cheat, and steal, since that’s how you succeed in business! And at least we have a government doing everything possible to encourage our business to grow so that we can create jobs and prosperity!

Can’t wait to discover what other nonsense we have to deal with. These things do nothing but hurt everyone involved.

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Source: Liberty LOL – Hiring Our First Employee: Enter Government Hurdles

RANK THEM: What is the Most Important Issue Facing the US Today?


What is the most important issue facing the United States, today?
Tom Woods Liberty Classroom

If you had to rank the most to least important issues to you in regards to liberty in the United States, how would you rank them?

A. US foreign policy, interventionism, war
B. US Monetary Policy, The Fed, etc
C. Govt spending, taxes, etc.
D. Govt regulation and interference in the economy. (Min wage, ACA, etc)
E. The War on Free Speech (if you don’t know what this is, you’re a hate-filled, racist, misogynist, xenophobe!)
F. War on Drugs
G. The “Cultural Marxist” threat (Image Below)
H. Immigration
I. States rights/Succession
I. Energy Sustainability and Future Green/Renewable Policy
J. “muh roads”
K. Taco Tuesday only one day a week (Editor’s Note: should be higher?)
L. Climate Change
M. Other (comment below)

Let me know your order! Mine are in order.

Cultural Marxism:


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State of the Show: September–Bonus Episode

Hey Liberty Weekly Listeners!

To give you all a taste of the benefits available for our Patreon subscribers, we wanted to make the first “State of the Show” Podcast available as a bonus episode for the show proper.

Of course, in the future, it will not include any plugs, just content. Hope you enjoy!

If you’d like to get access to our Patreon bonuses, you can do so by following the link below:

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The post State of the Show: September–Bonus Episode appeared first on Liberty Weekly.

Source: Liberty Weekly – State of the Show: September–Bonus Episode

The Ethical Notions Of Personhood And Savagery

This article expands upon an essay found in Libertarian Reaction. By Insula Qui A fundamental fixture of Christian values is the inherent sanctity of life. Christian values are at the basis of all modern Western philosophy, and as such this also applies to libertarianism, as it is fundamentally born out of thinkers and theories from Christian Europe. Although the contemporary libertarian movement owes much to Jewish thinkers such as Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, it still has the Western Christian roots with which it began. It is important to note that Christian values are somewhat divorced from the Christian faith. One can still agree with the basic values of Christianity without adhering to the religious practice, as evidenced by the idea of cultural Christianity, which regards Christian teachings as useful even if they are not necessarily true. Because of this influence, libertarians often assume at the basis of their ethics that any living human can be considered a person, and thus every living human can be held to the same moral standard. But this is demonstrably not the case, as there exist humans who are unwilling or unable to be moral actors. We must consider these humans under a different set of ethics, and we must recognize that there are humans to whom we cannot apply our notions of personhood. There exist humans who reject the idea of a right to life. In order to effectively deal with their performative contradiction, we must exclude humans who reject the right to life from the protected status of having a right to life. If one assumes that life is valuable, then one must take one of two positions: either that life is valuable even if it goes against life, thus contradicting the main principle; or that life can cease to be valuable. With the second assumption, one can still hold that life is valuable. However, it has a clause that it loses its value when it goes against life. From this, we can formulate a theory that allows for killing in limited circumstances when this would preserve life rather than destroy life. The Edge Of Personhood At this point, we are introduced to both a fascinating and a potentially terrifying concept. There is a possibility that some humans are fundamentally incapable of mutual respect for life, and thus they are not persons in the ethical sense. If this is true, then libertarian theory needs to exclude certain humans entirely. After all, one cannot expect to achieve a libertarian world if it is populated by humans who do not respect life, liberty, or property, and respecting the latter two is meaningless if one does not respect life, as there is no liberty or property without life.[1] Due to this, there can be no cohesive libertarian social order without the exclusion of this subsection of humans who cannot be properly considered persons. These humans are incompatible with life, liberty, and property, and accepting them as people will create a theory and practice that cannot result in a libertarian social order.[2] It is necessary to classify humans into two groups: those who have the capacity to observe ethics based on the preservation of life and those who do not. The first group are ethically and morally persons, the second are savages. One cannot conflate persons and savages without contradiction, moral relativism, or outright nihilism. In order to make such a classification, it is necessary to establish a set of criteria that would exclude someone from the classification of person and make one a savage. This may be done by observing that rejecting certain principles will make someone incapable of respecting the lives of others. There are humans who cannot understand the ethical reasons for preserving the life of other humans even when it may be inconvenient to them. These humans value their own lives and will protest if anything is done against them. However, these protests are empty because they will not afford the same courtesy to others. To them, the idea of a right to life is not an inherent right for everyone, but a political weapon that they can use for their own benefit. They will defend their own lives at the expense of everyone else in their society. These humans will be a minority of any non-primitive society, but they are still a significant theoretical and practical concern, especially when one considers the rise of some groups who show increased tendencies to be opposed to the life, liberty, and property of others. It would also be meaningless to introduce the notion of savages without defining the traits in humans that are capable of creating respect for life, liberty, and property. Since all action starts in the mind, there must be psychological reasons to explain why some humans are able to respect rights and others are not. One can attempt to rationalize why some humans are savages and try to use it as an excuse for savagery, but this ignores the main issue, which is that some humans are pathologically incapable of respecting life. The reasons for this are irrelevant in ethical considerations, and are only important insofar as one cares to prevent more humans from becoming savages in future. On an interpersonal level, we must show compassion for these humans, but compassion alone cannot dictate our philosophy. Read the entire article at ZerothPosition.com Footnotes: It is important to note that some people violate the rights of others in certain moments of criminal passion, and that this is a separate concern from what is being discussed here. We are concerned here with those who are pathologically opposed to fundamental ethical norms. Note that the need to create an exception for those who are pathologically incapable of ethics both defeats and makes possible the common notion of universalist ethics. It is vital to create two classes of humans; however, one may argue that if these two classes exist, then ethics cannot be universal.

The post The Ethical Notions Of Personhood And Savagery appeared first on The Zeroth Position.

Source: Reece Liberty.Me – The Ethical Notions Of Personhood And Savagery

Liberty Weekly Plays DOOM Chapters 3 & 4

For my second Let’s Play, I continue my adventure in the newest installment of the DOOM franchise. I talk about my fellow podcasting community, give some shoutouts and continue on to discuss voluntary legal systems and jury nullification.

Weird combination, but hey, stick to what you know!

Be sure to give some love to my fellow podcasters:

Actual Anarchy: http://www.actualanarchy.com/

Battle For Liberty: https://battleforliberty.com/

Peaceful Treason: http://peacefultreason.libsyn.com/

Free Man Beyond the Wall: http://freemanbeyondthewall.com/

Dean-o-Files: https://airad.io/dean-o-files

Don’t Waste Your Hate: http://www.dontwasteyourhate.com/

Foreign Policy Focus: http://www.kylesfylesblog.com/fpf/

The Ancap Barber Shop: http://www.ancapbarbershop.com/

The post Liberty Weekly Plays DOOM Chapters 3 & 4 appeared first on Liberty Weekly.

Source: Liberty Weekly – Liberty Weekly Plays DOOM Chapters 3 & 4

The Canard of Safety

By David Lynn

Selling “safety” for inflated wages.

Airlines are no safer with the rule below, but the pilots make more money, so of course they overwhelmingly support it despite knowing the truth.

This article is very industry specific, but I figure the readers of this site can still appreciate my frustration.

Up until a couple years ago, regional airline first officers made just awful wages (base pay around $20k) after years of training and thousands and thousands of dollars invested. 

Then in 2009, Colgan 3407 operating as United Express crashed in Buffalo. This drove an insane push led by Sully Sullenberger and the families of the crash victims to create new pilot experience requirements to be hired at an airline. Soon after, 1,500 hours of flight time became the legal minimum for an airline job. And yes, wages rose significantly. 

Not surprisingly, this law would not have stopped Colgan 3407 from crashing in Buffalo. The captain had 5,000 hours & the first officer had 2,500 hours, and both had to fly their checkrides to the same standards. There were certainly some major problems: the captain’s troublesome history of checkride failures and general lack of professionalism, the first officer’s fatigue, and the airline’s failure to train its pilots about the effects of and proper recovery procedures from stalls caused by tailplane icing. And yet, the burdensome 1,500 hour rule solved none of that. 

Today, current airline pilots and our unions love the rule. It artificially reduces the supply of pilots by making entry into the field far more difficult and has lead to drastically increased wages. But as efforts to repeal have mounted, the talk has been all about “safety.” We are told that we can’t repeal this law because this makes our skies less safe! Rubbish! There has been no change whatsoever in the rate of accidents caused by pilots with fewer than 1,500 hours. No, in fact the real reason is that it helps pad our pockets. 

In the screenshot below, someone is posting an ALPA petition to oppose repealing the current hiring minimums. My opinion is very unpopular, but I am doing my best. I just wish that people would be honest that the reason they support the law is “livable wages” instead of deceptively supporting it in the name of safety. 

Anyway, I hope that those of you who fly a lot can think about this industry with a greater understanding of what is happening.

For the history you didn’t learn in school, check out Liberty Classroom:

Get the equivalent of a Ph.D. in libertarian thought and free-market economics online for just 24 cents a day….

MISLEADING CLAIM: "If you work Full Time, You Should Live Comfortably!"


Tom Woods Liberty Classroom

THE MISLEADING CLAIM: When did “if you work full-time, you should be able to comfortably afford shelter, food, and utilities” become an extreme leftist belief?

THE REALITY: The assertion is an example of both the strawman fallacy (misrepresenting an opponent’s argument to make it easier to attack) and the appeal to emotion fallacy (using emotional appeals over established facts). No decent human being, either conservative, liberal, libertarian, etc wishes to impede someone from being able to live comfortably and afford basic necessities.
Let’s address the first part of this claim: that of “if you work full-time, you shouldn’t be living in poverty.” The fact of the matter is, according to the US Census Bureau, approximately 98% of full-time workers (year round) are not in poverty. [a] To suggest that living in poverty while working full time is a huge problem in America demonstrates either ignorance or a complete malfeasance of facts.

Regarding housing costs, it is true that those have increased over time. A study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2005 found that since 1950, housing prices have increased by approximately 2% a year. [b]

There appears to be many factors for this, but two in particular are 1) – the median size and amenities of houses have increased, and 2) – land use regulations that drive the cost of housing up.

Per the Wall Street Journal, the median size of a new single-family home was 2,467 square feet last year, which was the biggest on record as of 2016. [c] Homes are 61% larger than the median size 40 years ago, and 11% larger than a decade prior. The WSJ further states that “American homes have not only been getting larger, they’re also including more bathrooms and amenities such as air conditioning. Some 93% of new houses had air conditioning in 2015 compared with 46% in 1975. About 96% of new homes last year had at least two bathrooms versus 60% four decades earlier.” Obviously, these factors play a role in pricing, a fact the WSJ also notes.

The second factor in the housing costs issue is that of land-use regulations. Writing for the Brookings Institute, Ed Glaeser states the following:

“How do we know that high housing costs have anything to do with artificial restrictions on supply? Perhaps the most compelling argument uses the tools of Economics 101. If demand alone drove prices, then we should expect to see places that have high costs also have high levels of construction.
The reverse is true. Places that are expensive don’t build a lot and places that build a lot aren’t expensive. San Francisco and urban Honolulu have the highest ratios of prices to construction costs in our data, and these areas permitted little housing between 2000 and 2013. In our sample, Las Vegas was the biggest builder and it emerged from the crisis with home values far below construction costs.”

Some may speculate that housing shortages (and therefore higher prices) are due to geographical limitations such as shortages of land. Glaeser, however, while acknowledging this is possibly a small factor, continues by saying:

“The primary alternative to the view that regulation is responsible for limiting supply and boosting prices is that some areas have a natural shortage of land.

Albert Saiz’s (2011) work on geography and housing supply shows that where geography, like water and hills, constrains building, prices are higher. He also finds that measures of housing regulation predict less building and higher prices.

But lack of land can’t be the whole story. Many expensive parts of America, like Middlesex County Massachusetts, have modest density levels and low levels of construction. Other areas, like Harris County, Texas, have higher density levels, higher construction rates and lower prices…

If land scarcity was the whole story, then we should expect houses on large lots to be extremely expensive in America’s high priced metropolitan areas. Yet typically, the willingness to pay for an extra acre of land is low, even in high cost areas. We should also expect apartments to cost roughly the cost of adding an extra story to a high-rise building, since growing up doesn’t require more land. Typically, Manhattan apartments are sold for far more than the engineering cost of growing up, which implies the power of regulatory constraints (Glaeser, Gyourko and Saks, 2005).” [d]

Regarding the second commodity listed in the meme, food, it’s likely counter-intuitive to many people, but cost of food as a proportion of one’s income has actually DECREASED dramatically since 1960, per the US Dept. of Agriculture. The chart in the article shows that the average share of per capita income spent on food fell from 17.5% in 1960 to 9.6% in 2007. As of 2013, it had inched up slightly to 9.9%. [e] As Annette Clauson, a USDA agricultural economist who helped calculate the chart’s data stated, “We are purchasing more food for less money, and we are purchasing our food for less of our income. This is a good thing, because we have income to purchase other things.”

Moving on to the last commodity mentioned in the meme, utilities, it is true that utility costs have risen in recent years. Electricity is the most commonly thought of, so for purposes of this post, electricity will the utility discussed. The LA Times has more on the rising electric rates and some of the reasons behind them. [f]

• In California, for instance, electricity prices rose 30% between 2006 and 2012, even after adjusting for inflation.

• “San Francisco-based Energy + Environmental Economics, a respected consultant, has projected that the cost of California’s electricity is likely to increase 47% over the next 16 years, adjusted for inflation”

• There are several reasons for higher utility rates, but some are:

  1. New federal regulations on toxic emissions
  2. Rules on greenhouse gases
  3. State mandates for renewable power
  4. Technical problems at nuclear power plants
  5. Unpredictable price trends for natural gas
    To make matters even worse, new emissions rules on mercury, acid gases, and toxics by the EPA are anticipated to cause substantial losses of the US’s coal-generated power. Historically speaking, coal has been the US’s largest and cheapest source of electricity. However, two dozen coal generating units (at the time of the cited article) were scheduled for decommission. Energy Department estimates that the decommissioning will reduce electrical capacity by 60 gigawatts of capacity. To put 60 gigawatts in perspective, this is the equivalent output of 60 nuclear reactors.

Renewable energy mandates, which are the law in 30 states, require the use of wind and solar energy, which are more expensive. As those sources are largely reliant on the weather, they require backup generation, which could add significantly to the consumer’s overall cost. In some cases, renewable power costs as much as TWICE the price of electricity from new gas-fired plants.

As we can see, a large portion of the reason for higher utility rates stems from regulatory mandates that only serve to make electric bills higher for consumers. Studies also show that higher utility rates have a negative effect on the low-income bracket in particular. [g]

In conclusion, the original meme gets it completely wrong on food costs and the relation between poverty and full-time employment. It correctly states the fact of increased housing and utility costs, but ignores the impact government regulation has had on those sectors. Therefore, the question posed should be:

So when and why did “let’s support government regulations to increase the cost of housing and utilities” become the mantra of those who purport to be on the side of “the people?”

A: https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2017/demo/p60-261.pdf
B: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11129
C: https://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2016/06/02/u-s-houses-are-still-getting-bigger/
D: https://www.brookings.edu/research/reforming-land-use-regulations/
E: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/03/02/389578089/your-grandparents-spent-more-of-their-money-on-food-than-you-do
F: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-power-prices-20140426-story.html
G: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/khalil-shahyd/study-highlights-energy-burden-households-and-how-energy-efficiency-can-help

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Source: Liberty LOL – MISLEADING CLAIM: "If you work Full Time, You Should Live Comfortably!"

Reminder to Update Address if Needed for Voluntaryist Origins

Hello Voluntaryist fans!

The Voluntaryist Origins comic production is going strong. I am on the last leg of combining colors with letters.

The delivery of non-digital goods will be slightly behind original schedule, but I will keep you up-to-date when I ship out the comics. They should hopefully be out to you by October with digital near the end of this month.

In the meantime, please be sure to update your mailing address if it has changed. You can do that through the Indiegogo.com website or by e-mailing me at mr.voluntary[at]gmail.com

I want to make sure each person gets their perks, so please let me know if your address has changed or will change come October.

Looking forward,

-J ( :

P.S. Here’s one last sneak peek before release. Enjoy!

Voluntaryist Origins sneak peek 5

Source: Volcomic – Reminder to Update Address if Needed for Voluntaryist Origins

Is It Worth Being a Dick to Cops? (Episode 54)

When it comes to law enforcement, libertarians favor, for the most part, private solutions. We would rather have a market-based security agency than a monopolized police force populated by self-serving, unaccountable individuals who think they’re above the laws they are supposed to enforce.

This philosophy has caused many libertarians to ‘act out’ against police officers. You’ve probably seen the videos of anti-statists giving cops a hard time during traffic stops or on the street. But is this a good approach? If you’re getting a speeding ticket, is it worth refusing to answer questions and voicing your objection to state-oriented law enforcement to an officer who might not have a political agenda and just feels that they’re doing his/her job?

We discuss in today’s episode.

Links related to this episode:

How To Survive A Traffic Stop “I Don’t Answer Questions”

Columbia, South Carolina Police Chief Says No recording In Public Building

Fuck .the .police in you’re face jaja

Is It Worth Being a Dick to Cops?


– Pat and Jon

The post Is It Worth Being a Dick to Cops? (Episode 54) appeared first on Libertarianism for Normal People.

Source: Libertarianism for Normal People – Is It Worth Being a Dick to Cops? (Episode 54)

Antifa, Ben Shapiro, & Free Expression Ep. 31

Jerry makes his *triumphant* return to the show, kicking off a great conversation about Antifa and free expression. We end by discussing the nature of socialism and conclude, rather unsurprisingly, that Antifa and the Alt-Right are just two sides of the same collectivist coin.

Check out my Let’s Plays of DOOM on YouTube! It’s like a whole new series of the podcast.

Episode 31 is brought to you by:

Our new Murray Rothbard “Enemy of the State” polygon line of merchandise! 15% OFF w/ Promo code: ROTHBARD

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Show Notes:

We Are Change Footage of Berkeley

Free Man Beyond the Wall w/ Mance Rayder–Episode 3: Antifa — The Founders and its Modern Counterfeit

Tim Pool: Who is Truly At Fault for the Violence in Charlottesville? 

Tim Pool: Charlottesville is the Escalation of Identity Politics

We Are Change: Police Officers Dressing as Antifa and Instigating Violence

The post Antifa, Ben Shapiro, & Free Expression Ep. 31 appeared first on Liberty Weekly.

Source: Liberty Weekly – Antifa, Ben Shapiro, & Free Expression Ep. 31