D4L Update for 1/18/2012
by Chuck Donovan
“Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one’s government is not necessarily to secure freedom.” – F.A. Hayek
CURRENT EVENTS FROM A LIBERTARIAN PERSPECTIVE
1 – Today Wikipedia shut off access to their website to demonstrate the effect of the onerous, anti-freedom legislation now astoundingly being considered by our so-called leaders in Washington. Here is what you will see if you visit their website today.
“Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge – For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia. Learn more.”
Wikipedia is right on the mark here. Ideas are the most powerful thing in the world. The internet is a vehicle for ideas, possibly the greatest tool for the sharing of ideas ever. It cannot be overemphasized how dangerous to your liberty it would be to put government roadblocks on the internet or handing government of any kind a “switch” that shuts off the internet.
The advance of tyranny and the death of liberty are usually difficult to discern. The events are usually rather normal and benign looking. If it isn’t obvious to you by now that your liberty is in severe danger, you aren’t paying attention at all.
2 – Because I know the national debt is the greatest threat we Americans face, I am sensitive to articles that cover the subject well. Usually I have to look at my usual sites; Mises.org, Fee.org, Cato.org. Recently I found an information source a bit less “fringe”, which has also noticed there is a problem here.
Business Insider – POLL REVEALS: Americans Are Still In Deep Denial About The Deficit – http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-04-20/news/30027103_1_tax-increases-tax-rates-defense-budget
“Americans prefer to keep Medicare just the way it is. Most also oppose cuts in Medicaid and the defense budget. More than half say they are against small, across-the-board tax increases combined with modest reductions in Medicare and Social Security benefits. Only President Obama’s call to raise tax rates on the wealthiest Americans enjoys solid support.”
“To fix this problem, we must cut entitlement spending (or, at the very least, cut entitlement spending growth). “
Spend a little time looking at their colorful graphs. You will get a better feel for the size of the problem we face: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-the-us-is-screwed-2011-2#first-the-big-picture-the-pie-on-the-left-is-revenue-the-money-the-government-has-available-to-spend-the-pie-on-the-right-is-expenses-the-money-the-government-actually-spends-note-the-vast-portion-of-spending-that-comes-from-the-entitlement-programs-1
3 – “Social Security Will Go Bust in 2010” was a LewRockwell.com article published in 2009. This was no surprise to the Libertarian and the Austrian community. What continues to be a surprise is how few people understand the problem. The articles and quotes below are an example of something the Libertarians have been warning about since the 70’s. Georgians who pay attention will remember two-time Libertarian Senatorial candidate, Allen Buckley, giving detailed projections on the magnitude of the problem. Nobody seemed to be listning. The below links are my attempt to get some other Americans to get a feel for what must be done.
Before you go further remember this. Social Security and Medicare have structural problems to be sure, but the main issue Libertarians have with Social Security is its’ blatant violation of freedom of contract. Americans are forced into a contract with changing rules, changing fees, and changing benefits, and we are never offered an opt out of any kind. Before you consider corrections or any kind to these entitlement programs you have to face that fact.
We can be certain the so-called leadership of the Republican and Democratic parties will never address the entitlements in any meaningful way. Former Comptroller General, David Walker said it best:
“We are onboard the Titanic and the leadership of the Democratic and Republican parties are in the casino arguing over who will pick up the bar tab.”
- “Social Security Will Go Bust in 2010”, by Gary North http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north790.html
- The National Center for Policy Analysis, http://www.ncpa.org/index.php
- Social Security and Medicare Projections: 2009, No. 662, by Pamela Villarreal http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba662
- The Congressional Budget Office, Social Security Policy Options, 2010 http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=11580&type=1
4 – It looks like Romney has finally bubbled up to the Republican “Flavor of the Week”. This is not news to me. Too many Republisame drones are falling for the party line getting re-chummed by the usual cast of conservative media cartoon characters. Now the anti-Romney internet campaign begins while the MSM remains largely clueless until the equivalent of a ragtag bunch of pimple-faced kids in their mother’s basements point out the obvious. Ron Paul is still too hard to digest for those whose depth of monetary, fiscal, economic, constitutional, and foreign policy knowledge isn’t deep enough to drown a hamster.
By the way, the Obama campaign will eat Romney alive.
5 – We are the kind of parents who thing the movie “Beauty and the Beast” is too violent for a child to watch. Our 7 year-old daughter likes iCarly. My wife and I have been discussing whether she should continue to watch the show. In particular, the character Sam is violent, rude, arrogant, and insulting to nearly everyone. In nearly every episode, Sam does something that can only be described as assault. Still the other characters remain friends with her. The message we see the show sending is one of tolerance no matter what. We consider there to be a line between forgiveness and capitulation. If someone does something wrong, apologized then tries to do better the next time, that is one thing. When someone continues to do wrong you are not being a friend by continuing to associate with an offensive person. You are being self-destructive.
As you see, we already had some issues with what is otherwise a cute Disney children’s show. Then we found out Mrs. Obama will be a guest on the show.
We just deleted the DVR series recording. Our daughter will be watching something else or nothing.
VIDEOS TO SEE
- The founder of Wikipedia tells his story at TED (Technology Entertainment and Design, http://www.TED.org – http://www.ted.com/talks/jimmy_wales_on_the_birth_of_wikipedia.html
- Mitt Romney: “I’m Not Going To Focus On The Fed”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6JDooqBcjg