Marriage, Same Sex Couples, And The Supreme Court.

Posted June 30, 2015 by austrianaddict
Categories: Government and Politics

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Supreme Court’s job is to apply the law to the case in front of them, not make law from that case. The Supreme Court’s ruling last week on same sex marriage was similar to the Roe vs. Wade decision from this stand point. It struck down the laws of all 50 states and replaced them with a one size fits all law.

The clear meaning of words is important if our goal is to communicate clearly with one another. If our goal is to fool people for political purposes, the clear meaning of words isn’t that important. If one thing is by definition different from another thing, are they the same? And can they be made the same by judicial decree? The answers are no and no.

The definition of marriage is a union of one man and one women. A man and a man being a couple or a woman and a woman being a couple is not by definition marriage no matter how much it is wished to be. Same sex unions are their own unique entity just as the union of a man and a woman is it’s own unique entity.

The same sex marriage debate was presented with only two options. 1) Same sex partners should be considered the same as married couples, or 2) They shouldn’t (and that is “discriminatory”). Civil unions were never really considered because how a debate is framed is most important if everything is fought in the political arena. Even the Court, which is supposed to be blindfolded when it comes to politics, has taken the blindfold off and has become a political entity. It is essentially a nine seat legislature that creates law when certain cases come before it.

I don’t understand why gay people want the Government to be involved in their relationship decisions. When the Government makes a law it is a one size fits all decision and it limits what you are free to do. It does not expand your freedom like so many think it does. Same sex couples should be allowed to make a contract concerning their obligations with each other however they mutually agree to do so. Each, (we’ll call it a civil union), would be unique to the two people involved in the decision and wouldn’t apply to any other couple. There would conceivably be as many civil union contracts as there are civil unions. When the Government decides what the rules are, it trumps all the possible decisions couples could make in a civil union.

I’m disappointed in the shallow thinking on both sides of the issue. It’s like both sides have their banners planted on their particular hill of truth, and as long as their rhetoric is flying high, they won’t try to analyze the issue any deeper than their rhetoric.

Marriage, Why Is It Protected By The Law?

I wrote a post titled, “We’re All Born In The Middle Of The Story“, in which I quote Thomas Sowell who said, “results observed at a given point in time may be part of a process that stretches far back in time.” This quote is the first thing everyone should think about when they are trying to understand any issue that is being discussed. Most people think history started the day they were born. They give little thought, or have no understanding of how the world that existed the day they were born came to exist as it did. Being born in the middle of the story automatically makes us ignorant, sometimes blissfully ignorant, about the beginning of the story. When it comes to the issue of marriage, we are all born in the middle of the story.

The issue of same sex marriage is not a question of understanding why gays don’t  have the “right to marry”, it is an issue of understanding why marriage, defined as a union between one man and one woman, was legally acknowledged in the first place. This issue doesn’t seem that complicated if you look at it logically and not emotionally, but that’s the problem in today’s society, emotions and feelings trump logic and reason in our therapeutic world.

MARRIAGE PREDATES GOVERNMENT

Marriage existed as a private institution before Governments acknowledged it as a legally protected public institution. Just because Government acknowledged it as a legally protected public institution, doesn’t mean it is no longer a private institution. Government didn’t create the institution of marriage, as we who were born in the middle of the story might think, Government tried to intentionally protect marriage long after it had evolved spontaneously as a private institution. F.A. Hayek talks about spontaneous order in his three-volume book, “Law, Legislation, and Liberty.” In it he lists law, liberty, language, markets, morals, and money as social institutions that were not created by an individual or a Government, but evolved through the process of humans freely interacting with each other. If we understand how language was created, it will be easier to understand how these other institutions, especially law was created. Were the rules of English written down and then everybody started speaking it? No. People started to communicate with each other, and long after the fact discernible patterns of English language started to emerge, and these rules were written down. Children follow the rules of English long before they are taught the rules of English in school. Just as speaking English predated the rules of English, general rules of order and conduct existed long before they were codified into laws by a Government (the people).

MARRIAGE DEFINED

Marriage is the union of one man and one woman. It has evolved this way in every culture and religion, and in every place across time. This is the beginning of the story, and the fact that it has been this way for thousands of years seems to put the burden of proof on the proponents of gay marriage as to why marriage, defined as the union of one man and one woman, should be redefined. But lets look at why marriage evolved as it did, and why Governments acknowledge and protect it.

WHY GOVERNMENTS ACKNOWLEDGE AND PROTECT MARRIAGE

The propagation of the human species and the maintenance of a civil society rests on the institution of marriage. These became apparent only after marriage came into existence. The fact that a child is produced by a man and a woman is the starting point of why marriage became a private institution in the first place. Men have a propensity to run around and spread their seed unless they are constrained somehow. The familial bond between man, woman, and child, which is based on love and responsibility, creates a strong incentive for men to stay with the woman and child. Men staying with their family came to be accepted as a general rule of conduct and order. Even with all of these incentives, men would still leave the families they created. A woman is at a disadvantage in a marriage for one simple reason, she gives birth to the child. She gives up part of her ability to earn a living because pregnancy, birth, and early child rearing takes time, time she can never make up. She has a right to be made whole if the man leaves the marriage because a tort has been committed against her. A tort is a legal term that means, ‘loss or harm suffered because of the actions of another’. The law allows the harmed party to recover their loss. This is another incentive for men to accept the responsibility of creating a family. Let’s review the reasons that Governments acknowledged and protected the union of one man and one woman. 1) It is how the maintenance of a civil society can be brought about with the least psychic, and monetary cost. General rules of conduct and order are passed on to the next generation through the family structure. This cuts down on the cost of dealing with the havoc uncivilized young adults can inflict on society after the fact. The monetary cost of raising a child is born by the parents and not by society in general. 2) Because the woman gives birth to the child, she is at a disadvantage in the marriage, and needs to be legally protected. Dowry, bride price, and alimony are examples of attempts to make the woman whole if the man leaves her.

MARRIAGE VS. SAME SEX MARRIAGE

The union of a man and a man or a woman and a woman doesn’t produce a situation where either party is at a disadvantage and needs protection. Each person is equal in these relationships. The union of two men can’t produce a child, and the union of two women can’t produce a child. If they decide to adopt a child, or in the case of the women, one decides to give birth to a child, they are free to make these arrangements.  The reason being, they are both equal parties before they make a decision. You can call the union of two men or two women whatever you want to call it, but you can’t call it marriage, because marriage is the union of a man and a woman. This relationship creates the definition, the definition doesn’t create the relationship, therefore marriage can’t be redefined as anything but what it actually is.

WHERE DOES THIS LEAVE US?

Same sex couples should be allowed to make any arrangement they want to make. Why would they want to be limited by a Government definition of marriage? Each gay couple can make their own unique contract, which can be added to, or subtracted from, as their personal situation changes. Why aren’t gay couples upset at Government? It’s Government that restricts their ability to order their partnership as they see fit. Gays are also upset that they are denied Government benefits that married couples get. If you look at the mountain of benefits the Government extends to married couples, my observation would be, Government is too big. Why has Government strayed so far away from the basic protection of marriage as a private institution? The answer, power and votes. Government always expands its power once it gets a foot in the door. Gay’s shouldn’t want Government anywhere near their decision-making about their relationships.

GAY RIGHTS BEING USED FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES

Marriage wasn’t created in order to discriminate against gays, but this fallacy of “marriage discrimination” is being used as a rallying cry to tear down the very institution that has maintained society for thousands of years. President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, now he and Hillary are against it. President Obama was against gay marriage during his first term, not now. Republicans are trying to walk the political tight rope between both camps. Playing political games with the institution of marriage is a dangerous play. We never ask where the road we are about to take leads us. If we do not understand why marriage was protected in the first place, we will be swayed by emotional pleas for “fairness” and “equality”, that all issues turn into, when they are played out on the political stage.

CONCLUSION

Marriage is a union between a man and a women, and should be acknowledged and protected legally as such, it should not be redefined. Same sex couples should be able to make their own contract about how they want to order their relationship, and this contract should be protected, like any other contract that people voluntarily enter into. That should be the  extent of Government’s involvement in this issue. When Government gets involved in any issue, there will be guaranteed conflict between competing factions, because Government leads to a one size fits all decision. When individuals are allowed to freely  make decisions, cooperation, not competition, will be the result. We will be swayed by political wordsmiths who have the power to take our freedoms away, unless we get everyone educated about the whole story. If we don’t, we will be stuck in the middle of the story, which guarantees we will be making decisions in a state of ignorance. If both sides had quit fighting each other, and teamed up to battle the true enemy of their individual freedom, which is the Government, a much more equitable and less contentious outcome could have been realized.

Must Reads For The Week 6/27/15

Posted June 27, 2015 by austrianaddict
Categories: Must Reads For The Week

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
The pen is mightier than the sword...

 The pen is mightier than the sword… (Photo credit: mbshane)

I’d Never Make It As A Politicians Aid, by Chris Rossini, at targetliberty.com. Looking at the minimum wage from a different prospective. Logical consistency by politicians is not a requirement for holding office.

Instead Of Killing America’s Shale Revolution With Increased Production, The Saudis Have Jump Started Shale 2.0, by Mark J. Perry at carpediemblog. We are the most productive and innovative people on the planet. Saudi Arabia doesn’t know who they picked a fight with. The only entity that can snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory is our Federal Government.

Jeff Immelt, The Jobs Czar From Hell Threatens To Off-Shore Jobs Unless Ex-Im Bank Is Extended, at davidstockmanscontracorner.com. The Export-Import bank finances big corporate exports to make them competitive abroad. What are the odds of congress letting the Ex-Im renewal date go by the wayside? Slim to none. Your tax dollars being used to prop up big business. This is nothing more than corporate welfare, and Immelt is a welfare pimp.

A Chip That Mimics Human Organs Is The Design Of The Year, by Liz Stinson, at wired.com. Organs on chips? These chips mimic human organs and decreased dependence on animal testing and decreases the time and cost of developing drugs.

Scientists Invent Artificial Leg That Allows Amputees To Feel Real Sensations, at odditycentral.com. The title says it all.

Vatican Bans Skeptical Scientist From Climate Summit, at targetliberty.com. I guess the Pope didn’t want his “infallibility” challenged.

Buying A Car Could Soon Be A Thing Of The Past, And Ford Is Desperate To Find Out What’s Next, by Drew Harwell, at washingtonpost.com. Ford is thinking out side the box about the future of sales.

5 Eye Opening Facts And Figures On No Knock Warrants, by Sean Piccoli, at newsmax.com. Only 7% of no knock warrants were for hostage crisis, barricades, or active shooters. The other 93% probably shouldn’t have been issued.

Myths Of American Gun Violence, by John Lott, at nydailynews.com. “After adjusting for America’s much larger population, we see that many European countries have higher rates of death in mass shootings.” John Lott is the go to guy on gun statistics.

Greece Illustrates 150 Years Of Socialist Failure In Europe, by Patrick Barron, at patrickbarron.blogspot.com. Excerpt from the article, “Socialism will not work, whether in one country, a multi-state region such as Europe, or the entire world. Ludwig von Mises explained that socialism is not an alternative economic system. It is a program for consumption. It tells us nothing about economic production.”

Monty’s Musings, at economicnoise.com. A few examples. – “Government can’t create prosperity, but it can destroy it.” -“Most academicians have been educated well beyond their level of competence.” – “Nothing moral can be achieved via coercion.”

LETS FINISH WITH SOME LAUGHTER

Abbot And Costello Explain The Unemployment Situation, at zerohedge.com. Using the “Who’s on first” schtick to explain how Government calculates the unemployment rate.

This clip of Carnac  brings back good memories of Johnny and Ed making me laugh. This has nothing to do with anything other than laughter.

 

 

 

Wealth Can’t Be Redistributed If It Doesn’t Exist!

Posted June 25, 2015 by austrianaddict
Categories: Econ. 101

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The simple concept that production comes before consumption must not be as simple to understand as I think. Since before the tech bubble popped in 2000, our Government and the Federal Reserve have tried to spend, and electronically print, our way to prosperity. Government spending and money printing are not just consumption activities, they also work to distort the production process. We have been consuming more than we have been producing for about a decade or more. We have essentially been eating our seed corn.

Government’s wealth distribution policies are put forth by politicians as charitable activities. But, since Government doesn’t produce anything, it must first confiscate what it redistributes. That is theft not charity.

Here are three short articles from Mises.org that address the above topic.

1)  Technology Needs Capital To Produce Economic Growth, by Frank Shostak. Here are some excerpts from the article.

“Most modern theories that emphasize the importance of new ideas and new technologies give the impression that these ideas and technologies have a “life of their own.” Many experts hold that because of the limited amounts of capital and labor, without technological progress, the opportunities for growth will eventually run out.”

“So regardless of how clever we are and regardless of various technological ideas, without an adequate pool of funding nothing will emerge. It is through the expansion in the pool of real savings that an increase in the stock of capital goods is possible. And it is the increase in the capital goods per worker that permits economic growth to emerge.”

2)  Wealth Must Be Created Before We Give It To The Poor, by Steve Patterson. Here are some excerpts from the article.

“Charity is seen as ethically superior to business. After all, what could make a greater impact on the world than giving to the needy?”

“This view of the world is shortsighted. While it’s true that charity helps people, business makes a far greater contribution to humanity. Virtually all of the increases in society’s standard of living are because of simple commerce, and it’s the poor, in particular, who benefit the most…”

“In the developed world, it’s easy to forget that poverty is the default state of human existence. Wealth is not found in nature; it must be created, and this is precisely the role of businesses and entrepreneurs. They are the force which takes us out of the state of nature. All cases of poverty have the same solution — not wealth distribution, but wealth creation. This is not merely a theoretical argument. It’s witnessed everywhere around the globe.”

“… Not everybody has the skills necessary to create a new invention or become a successful businessman. But that doesn’t preclude them from making a positive difference in the world. However, we should be realistic: a donation of furniture to Goodwill does not create the same ripple effect as selling affordable food or power tools to everyone.”

“Many economic truths work this way. We’re quick to praise what’s easily seen…… but we overlook or even condemn what happens behind the scenes….. The farmer, the butcher, the truck driver, the cook, the engineer, and the businessman should also be praised for their work. Without them, there would be no surplus food for the charity worker to give away.

3) Let’s Hope Machines Take Our Jobs: We Want Wealth Not Jobs, by Peter St. Onge.

When we use technology and machines to become more productive it destroys jobs, and this is a good thing. This article explains this abstract concept that I have found to be difficult to get people to understand. The article starts with the thought experiment that a machine is created that is capable of producing everything with a push of a button. Its creation puts a lot of people out of work. Now what happens? Read the article it will make you think which is a good thing.

Related ArticleWhat Comes First, Production Or Consumption, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleCapital Consumption, aka Eating Our Seed Corn, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleReal Savings = True Credit, Printed Savings = False Credit, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleProducing Capital Goods, Requires Restricting Present Consumption, at austrianaddict.com

Related ArticleWhy Do People Think The Government Is The Economy? at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleEntrepreneurship Can Be A Stinky Business, at austrianaddict.com.

Free Market Fracking Trumps Government Solutions When It Comes To Producing Energy

Posted June 23, 2015 by austrianaddict
Categories: Government and Politics

Tags: , , , , ,

Mark J. Perry at CarpeDiemBlog visited the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota and has written about what he learned in these two must read posts titled, Ten Things I Learned On My Summer Trip To The Bakken Oil Fields Part I click here, and Part II click here. These articles tell the story about every aspect of fracking. You will be amazed when you read how fracking works, from walkable drilling platforms, directional drilling, frac sand, 3-D seismic imaging, and geo-steering to name a few.

Even though Saudi Arabia is trying to drive the price of oil down in an attempt to make it unprofitable for American Fracking to produce oil at the lower price, hydraulic fracturing is becoming an increasingly more cost-effective way of extracting oil from the ground due to the advances in technology and human ingenuity. What’s left of Americas culture of freedom has produced a fracking miracle. There are so many known and yet to be known areas of our economy that are poised for a miracle if Government will just get out of the way.

ANIMATION OF HYDRAULIC FRACTURING

 

GOVERNMENT IS AGAINST LOW COST ENERGY

The Federal Government has spent billions of our tax dollars trying to make “green energy” a viable alternative to fossil fuels, at the same time they are trying to hamper the fracking revolution. Here is what I wrote in a previous post titled Politicians “Affordable” Ideas Must Obey Economic Forces.

“Market forces are more powerful than the hoped for results of central planners. The most recent example of this is the boom in oil and natural gas production, created by hydraulic fracturing [ fracking],which is taking place on private land in spite of Government policies. Our politicians shut down some Government lands to oil exploration, and made the process of getting permits for exploration on remaining lands more time-consuming [costlier]. They used their power, and our tax dollars, to promote and invest in, “green energy”. Green energy was going to create new jobs and lead our economy into the future; do you remember Van Jones the Green Jobs Tzar. As always, the plans by our best and brightest politicians, must be obedient to economic forces. Green energy has, and is, going bankrupt, in spite of being propped up by Government incentives  and our tax dollars. They tried to make carbon based fuels more expensive through regulation, and green energy more affordable through tax payer subsidies; and even with all this Government help, the economic reality that green energy produces less energy at a higher cost, and carbon based fuel produces more energy at a lower cost, can’t be overcome.”

“This article titled, “Fracking Revolutionized American Energy As Green Energy Failed“, by Conn Carroll at washingtonexaminer.com, shows how the President went all in on green energy, at tax payers expense. We are witnessing what Robert Bradley Jr., at masterresource.org, has stated so well, “When Government tries to pick winners and losers, it typically picks losers. Why? Because in a free market consumers pick winners to leave the losers for Government”

Related ArticleGovernment Investment Or Government Waste, at austrianaddict.com. Look at the list of failed government subsidized  green energy companies in this post.

Related ArticleThe Hidden High Cost Of Green Energy, at austrianaddict.com.

 

Must Reads For The Week 6/20/15

Posted June 19, 2015 by austrianaddict
Categories: Must Reads For The Week

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
The pen is mightier than the sword...

 The pen is mightier than the sword… (Photo credit: mbshane)

Why Freddy’s BBQ From “House Of Cards” Couldn’t Really Exist, by Johnny Fugitt, at the federalist.com. Government is messing with my BBQ! Now they’ve gone too far. Government has to regulate everything, remember the lemonade stand article from last weeks must reads. I can see it now, a BBQ speakeasy.

If You Eat This Sweet Every Day, You May Lower Your Risk For Heart Disease, by Kimberly Morin, at thefederalistpapers.org. Eating chocolate regularly is actually good for your heart! I eat enough chocolate to counter act all the BBQ I eat. Life’s full of trade offs isn’t it.

Tesla Leases Former Solyndra Building In Fremont, by David Baker, at sfgate.com. Crony capitalist Tesla has leased bankrupt crony capitalist Solyndra’s former building. Some of our tax dollars are paying for the lease on a building built by our tax payer dollars. Not a very productive use of scarce resources.

Fans Can Bring Their Weed To The U.S. Open, Outside Water Bottles Still Banned, by Dan Regester, at foxnews.com. A few questions. 1) Are they allowed to smoke the weed they bring in? 2) Are people allowed to smoke tobacco products at the open? 3) If weed was sold at the U.S. Open, would people be allowed to bring their weed into the event? 4) Does it seem like everything is upside down?

Those Were The Days, My Friend, at the-econotrairian.blogspot.com. Look at the first chart from this article. It shows GDP growth in the 23 quarters after the bottoms of the 8 recessions dating back to 1961. This “recovery” is the worst, and the tech bubble of 2001 is the second worst. These were both bubbles caused by cheap credit and electronically printed counterfeit money. The Fed can’t even print a good GDP number.

Media Matters Misdirects On FBI Report On Mass Shootings, by John Lott, at johnrlott.blogspot.com. Typical journalism malpractice.

Economics At Its Best – The Story Of The Iowa Car Crop, by Mark J. Perry, at aei.org. Great story on how free trade works. If you tax or ban imports, you are taxing our own industries. If you protect a specific industry, you are damaging other industries.

Micro-Totalitarianism, by Thomas Sowell, at jewishworldreview.com. Thomas Sowell is always a must read. Here is an excerpt from the article. “The Left is not necessarily aiming at totalitarianism. But their Know-it-all mindset leads repeatedly and pervasively in that direction, even if by small steps, each of which might be called “Micro-totalitarianism“.”

Culture and Social Pathology, by Walter E. Williams, at jewishworldreview.com. Walter Williams is also a must read. Here is an excerpt from the article. “If it were only the economic decline threatening our future, there might be hope. It’s the moral decline that spells our doom.

 

Walter E. Williams: The Constitution

Posted June 18, 2015 by austrianaddict
Categories: Government and Politics

Tags: , , , ,

Thomas Jefferson summed up not only the purpose of the constitution, but also what he thought of Government in this quote; “The two enemies of the people are criminals and Government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.

In this short video Walter E. Williams talks about our constitution.

Here is an excerpt from the video.“…the language of the Bill of Rights says, “congress shall not infringe, congress shall not disparage, congress shall not prohibit,” I mean all this distrust for congress. Because the founders knew that Government was the enemy of mankind… I point out that when we die, and if at our next destination, we see anything like the Bill of Rights, we know that we are in hell! Because a Bill of Rights in heaven would be an insult to God.”

Hat Tip – libertypenblog.blogspot.com.

Related ArticleWalter E. Williams Explains The Long, Tragic, Ugly Story Of Government, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleThe Great Walter E. Williams: The State Against Liberty, at austrianaddict.com.

 

 

The Essential HAYEK.

Posted June 16, 2015 by austrianaddict
Categories: Econ. 201

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Frasier Institute has come up with a project called Essential Hayek (here). It consists of a book, a website, and videos, that explain F.A. Hayeks ideas on liberty and economics in simple understandable language.

I remember reading The Road To Serfdom by F. A. Hayek in September of 1994. I don’t think I comprehended a quarter of the book at the time, but what I did comprehend opened my eyes to the fact that the US was traveling down this road rapidly. I have reread this book several times and have also read The Constitution of Liberty, all three volumes of Law Legislation and Liberty, The Fatal Conceit, Prices and Production, A Tiger By The Tail, Individualism and Economic Order, and many of his articles and essays.

When you first read Hayek he is not easy to understand because he was writing about abstract concepts and his native tongue was German. As you start to know his writing style, which includes the lengthy sentences he constructs, he becames much easier to comprehend.

Here are two short videos from Essential Hayek.

Economic Booms And Busts

Everything Has Its Price (And That’s A Good Thing)

 

My Favorite Hayek Quote, is at the top right of my blog.

“The coordination of men’s activities through central planning or through voluntary cooperation are roads going in very different directions. The first to serfdom and poverty the second to freedom and plenty.

Volumes have been written explaining this quote, or these two sentences explain volumes of writings.

Spontaneous Order

The spontaneous order of the market far exceeds coordination through central planning, in the use of knowledge, the use of scarce resources, the creation of a higher standard of living. If you don’t understand the concept of spontaneous order it will be difficult to understand how the world works.

F. A. Hayek—” The free market pricing mechanism has a double misfortune. It is not the product of human design, and the people guided by it usually do not know why they are made to do what they do.”

Here are some related articles about spontaneous order.

Related ArticleSpontaneous Order More Complex Than Top Down Planning, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleSpontaneous Order Utilizes More Knowledge Than Central Planning Could Ever Hope To Utilize, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleSpontaneous Order = Free Market Economy, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleSpontaneous Order Demonstrated By Traffic With No Signals, at austrianaddict.com.


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