Posted tagged ‘Government Decision Making’

Must Reads For The Week 1/6/18

January 7, 2018

U.S. Oil And Natural Gas Exports Soar, at In 2011 oil was the 146th ranked export. By Sept 2017 oil became the 15th ranked export. Why has the US become the worlds largest producer of oil and natural gas? Because the ingenuity of American oil and gas producers was unleashed when the price of oil rose to over $125 a barrel. The profit incentive created more productive ways to extract oil.

Whose Ideas? at Excerpt from the article: It’s been said that good ideas don’t require force – while bad ones rarely get traction without it. True enough. But How about a qualifier? Whose ideas? Yours? Mine? There is a kind of tacitly agreed upon …. notion that we all agree on what constitutes a “good” idea. It’s the keystone of coercive collectivism, without which that ideology loses moral legitimacy. But in fact, we don’t agree about what a “good” idea is. Millions of individuals tend to have millions of individually variable ideas about that. So whose ideas will prevail?… If there is a free market – in ideas as well as economics – this will sort itself out naturally and non-violently, via the signals of supply and demand……Unfortunately there’s no way to know, because the market – millions of individual people’s freely expressed determinations about what’s “good” – hasn’t been allowed to operate. Instead, a handful of people’s idea that air bags (and the rest of it) are “good” has been imposed on everyone else, on the false presumption that everyone agrees it is good to have six air bags – and many other such things – installed in every new car. this is taken as a kind of collectively agreed upon noggin nodding. That illusion must be maintained, in order for the coercion and collectivism behind it to have any semblance of morel legitimacy…… The government only got into the car design  business in a serious way in the mid-70’s. Before then, we were largely free to buy what we wanted – not what coercive collectivism imposed on us. There was a market for bare-bones simplicity, high-end luxury and almost every conceivable thing in between. Not coincidentally, the golden age of car design is generally considered to be the pre-government design era….How did it happen that other people’s ideas of what’s “good” are binding on us? It’s the craziest – and the most dangerous thing imaginable. Coercive collectivism – the ideology responsible for literally hundreds of millions of murder victims – depends on maintaining the illusion that everyone is in agreement. That we are all one bit “team”. And of course, every team has leaders.”

Amish Anarchy & Uncle Sam, at This is an example of what the above article is about. Government busybodies in Wisconsin think Amish horse drawn buggies should have seat belts, child seats, air bags, back up cameras, safety glass, head lights, turn signals and tire pressure monitors. In this case we should be on the side of the Amish. Leave these people alone. We should then ask the question: “Why don’t you leave us non Amish people alone?”

America’s Top Five Inbound vs. Top Five Outbound States, by Mark J. Perry, at carpediemblog. I know it is hard to believe. But lower taxes, less government and more economic freedom seem to attract people. While higher taxes, big government and less economic freedom repel people.

“Everything Is Overvalued”: Public Pensions Face Dangerous Dilemma In 2018, at Because the under funding of public pensions has taken place, public pension plans are seeking higher yields. This means they are taking a risk by putting money into over valued stocks and bonds. You are supposed to buy low and sell high. But these managers are going all in in an over valued market. Guess who bails these pensions out when the correction happens? Tax payers!

Socialized Medicine Update: Britain Cancels 50,000 Surgeries, at Healthcare is an economic good. Which means it is scarce and has to be rationed. Prices ration economic goods in a free market. In a socialist economy waiting in line is how economic goods are rationed. Excerpt from the article: “Every hospital in the country has been ordered to cancel all non-urgent surgery until at least February in a unprecedented step by NHS officials. The instructions on Tuesday night – which will see result in around 50,000 operations being axed – followed claims by senior doctors that patients were being treated in “third world” conditions, as hospital chief executives warned of the worst winter crisis for three decades. Hospital are reporting growing chaos, with a spike in winter flu leaving frail patients facing 12-hour waits, and some units running our of corridor space.”

The reality is being realized that healthcare can’t be made a non economic good by government decree. The laws of economics are always in play.

Venezuela Forced To Pay For Medicine With Diamonds And Gold, at Venezuela has destroyed its currency via the printing press. The Government of Venezuela is asking pharmaceutical trading partners to accept payment in gold, diamonds and other precious stones (real commodity money). The people of Venezuela have started their own system of barter for medicines. Printing money doesn’t make a country wealthier. Producing real goods and services represents the real wealth of a country. Consumption via the printing press destroys wealth.

Mistrial Declared In Cliven Bundy Standoff Case, at Here is another example of the break down of the rule of law. Government agencies used their power against US citizens in order to push the agencies agenda. The constitution was written to protect individuals from this government abuse of power.  Excerpt from the article: “A federal judge Wednesday declared a mistrial in the prosecution of Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy, his two sons and a co-defendant, citing the government’s “willful” failure to turn over multiple documents that could help the defense fight conspiracy and assault charges in the 2014 Bunkerville standoff….. The judge listed six types of evidence that she said prosecutors deliberately withheld before trial…”The failure to turn over such evidence violates due process,” the judge said.”

Trump Threatens To Cut Off US Aid To Palestinian Authority, at No Presidential administration ever cuts foreign aid. Trump is different. These countries are scared because they are figuring out he follows through with threats. Here is another example: A Furious Pakistan Summons US Ambassador, Calls Emergency Meeting After Trump Tweet, at

“Black Cities Are Still Bleeding To Death”: Baltimore Pastor Blames Police Absence For Surge In Killings, at Here is an excerpt from the article that I think is interesting: “…..on whether the community wanted police to back off after the death of Freddie Gray? No. That represented our progressives, our activists, our liberal journalists, our politicians, but it did not represent the overall community…..What I wanted to see was that people would be able to trust the relationship with out police department so that they would feel more comfortable……So we wanted the police there. We wanted them engaged in the community….I’m a preacher…..Not until we really have a conversation with our front line officers in the heart of our black communities that does not involve our people who are “leaders”. We need the front line police officers and we need the heart of the black community to step to the forefront of this discussion. And that’s when we’re going to see a decrease in crime.”

Isn’t it interesting that progressive politicians, progressive journalists and progressive activists have an agenda that has nothing to do with what the overall community wants. When will we understand that insiders in politics, government bureaucracy, journalism and education are not on the side of the individual. These progressive insiders are on the side of imposing their world view on the rest of us.



50 Questions Determine If You’re A Libertarian, Or A Central Planning Socialist.

February 16, 2016

Man Hand writing Take Our Quiz with black marker on visual screen. Isolated on blue. Business, technology, internet concept. Stock Photo - stock photo

Laurence Vance wrote these 50 questions (click here) to determine if, or to what degree, you are a libertarian or a socialist central planner (statist). Hat Tip to

Answer these questions, to figure out where you stand on the political spectrum.

  1. Who should decide whether you sell one of your kidneys?
  2. Who should decide whether you smoke marijuana?
  3. Who should decide to whom you sell your house?
  4. Who should decide for whom your business bakes a cake?
  5. Who should decide the dress code for customers at your business?
  6. Who should decide the dress code for employees at your business?
  7. Who should decide whether you manufacture crystal meth?
  8. Who should decide whether your business sells alcohol?
  9. Who should decide what kind of plants you have in your house?
  10. Who should decide what kind of wedding you photograph?
  11. Who should decide how much cash you deposit at one time?
  12. Who should decide how many cash withdrawals you make each month?
  13. Who should decide to whom you rent an apartment?
  14. Who should decide whom you pick up in your cab?
  15. Who should decide whether you snort cocaine?
  16. Who should decide whether you make moonshine?
  17. Who should decide against whom and for what reason you discriminate?
  18. Who should decide how much water the toilets flush that you manufacture?
  19. Who should decide whether you open a gambling establishment?
  20. Who should decide whether you gamble for money in your own home?
  21. Who should decide whether you give your kids wine with meals?
  22. Who should decide whether you sell drugs?
  23. Who should decide whether you send your children to school?
  24. Who should decide how much beer you are allowed to brew at home?
  25. Who should decide what size soft drink you drink?
  26. Who should decide at what age your child gets a job?
  27. Who should decide whether you have a smoking section in your restaurant?
  28. Who should decide how many handicapped parking spaces your business has?
  29. Who should decide whether and how you commit suicide?
  30. Who should decide whether your business’s restrooms are handicap accessible?
  31. Who should decide whom you hire and don’t hire?
  32. Who should decide whom you fire and don’t fire?
  33. Who should decide what you pay your employees?
  34. Who should decide what vaccines to give your children?
  35. Who should decide whether you vaccinate your children in the first place?
  36. Who should decide whether you purchase health insurance?
  37. Who should decide whether you smoke crack?
  38. Who should decide whether your store sells beer on Sundays?
  39. Who should decide at what hours your store sells beer on Sundays?
  40. Who should decide whether you exchange sex for money?
  41. Who should decide whether you exchange money for sex?
  42. Who should decide whether your refinery mixes ethanol into its gasoline?
  43. Who should decide whether your business offers health insurance?
  44. Who should decide what kind of gas mileage the cars get that your company manufactures?
  45. Who should decide whether you consume trans fats?
  46. Who should decide to whom you sell a gun?
  47. Who should decide whether you shoot up heroin?
  48. Who should decide what hours your business is open?
  49. Who should decide by how much your business increases its prices during a natural disaster?
  50. Who should decide whether your business is open on Sundays?


If you answered, you should decide to all these questions, you are a libertarian. If you answered, the Government should decide all these questions, you are a socialist central planner.  Anywhere in between means 1) you are moving towards a better understanding of what individual liberty in a free society really means, 2) you are moving toward the belief that more of these decisions should be taken out of the hands of individuals and decided with the use of force by government central planners, 3) you are an inconsistent statist or an inconsistent libertarian.

I have a question for libertarians. What is the number of correct answers an individual would have to get for you to accept them as an apprentice libertarian who just needs some mentoring to become a real libertarian? I love my libertarian brothers, but many seem to have a 100% purity test when it comes to accepting a person into their ranks. Isn’t it our job to try to convince the people on the margin of libertarianism to take the next step in their understanding. This would move them off the margin and toward a better understanding, revealing the next marginal group to be persuaded. I wish the libertarians who have a purity test would look back and remember what they were like before they saw the light. The nature of our job is persuasion, and it is a never-ending job. You can’t persuade people on the margin by beating them over the head. That tactic should be used to have fun at the expense of true believers in central planning.

Here is what I wrote about this topic in a post linked to below.


“We have to be very careful about condemning people who we feel are not close enough to our position. You were probably not close enough to your current position, at some point in your past. In 2007 I was nowhere near where I was in 2010, let alone where I am today. We have to keep people moving toward sound economics, and individual liberty. If they are already open to these ideas don’t blow them out of the water because they aren’t  where you are. Keep in mind the intellectual road you’ve traveled, and are still traveling. Look in the rear view mirror to see who is behind you traveling in the same direction on the same road, and realize there are people ahead of you looking at you in their rear view mirror.”

Related ArticleAre You a Republican, a Democrat, or a Libertarian, at

Related ArticleHow Close To Your Position Is An Acceptable Distance, at


Individual Liberty Is The Least Contentious Way Of Settling Differences.

April 2, 2015

Is there a perfect system in which human beings interact with no conflict? Since nothing human is perfect the answer is obviously no. But politicians and demagogues have for decades held up the standard of perfection as the straw man to compare any perceived flaw produced by our free market capitalist economic system and our constitutional republic. When results created by individuals voluntarily cooperating don’t meet what our betters deem acceptable, they want to pass laws correcting this perceived injustice, or “fundamentally change” the system.

They are never asked: 1) Why is what they value, better than what results from decisions made by individuals cooperating voluntarily? 2) Does the decision-making process they desire (usually some form central planning) produce more satisfaction for more people than the process of voluntary cooperation by individuals under the rule of law? 3) Who decides what is the better outcome?


It is not possible to come up with a single decision that satisfies everyone. It is sometimes difficult for me to decide what flavor of ice cream I want. Many times I am not happy with my decision the second I take the first bite. If picking just one flavor for myself is difficult, how much more difficult would it be for two people to choose one flavor? As more people become involved in deciding one flavor, it becomes exponentially more difficult for people to be pleased with the choice. How many people would be satisfied if one person was chosen to pick a flavor for everybody? What would be the difference if everybody voted, and people had to eat the flavor receiving that most votes?

One person choosing between many flavors for himself is voluntary cooperation in a market between him and the person producing the ice cream. If no one produced the flavor he liked, he could produce it for himself if he thought it was worth his time.

One individual choosing a flavor that everyone is forced to eat is a dictatorship. Even if this person is democratically elected by a majority.

Every person voting on a single flavor, and the flavor receiving the majority of the votes has to be eaten is democracy in action.

Are any of these systems perfect? No. But that’s not the question that should be asked. The question should be: which system would produce the most satisfied individuals, and which system would produce the most contention among individuals? It is obvious that the system that produces the most satisfaction is voluntary cooperation under the rule of law. Unfortunately over the last century we have elected leaders, in both parties, who are taking incremental decisions away from individuals, and making categorical decisions for all of us. They are acting like tyrants, but unfortunately they just reflect the tyrannical attitudes of the people who vote them into power.

We lose more freedom as more laws get passed. When people say “there should be a law for…” they are really saying I want to force what I value on people who don’t agree. Even a law against murder forces a particular value on certain individuals who don’t share that value. Fortunately most people agree that murder is not acceptable behaviour. But what happens when there isn’t an overwhelming majority of people who agree. How do you reconcile each persons values?


Our system was founded on property rights and voluntary exchange (contract). Each person owns himself and what he produces, and no one is allowed to take another persons life, take what he produces, or take what he receives in exchange for what he has produced. If he doesn’t want to make an exchange with another person, that person doesn’t have a right to force him into making the exchange.

This all seems very simple, and it is, until petty tyrants in the form of politicians, bureaucrats, thieves, do gooders, thought police, political correctness advocates, or the average citizen try to steal from, or force their values on, other individuals. The more laws that are passed, the more contention there is between people who would otherwise have no reason to be contentious.


The recent conflict in Indiana between a State version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was signed into law by President Clinton in 1993, and gay rights activists who say this is legalizing discrimination, is an example of what happens when people won’t follow the simple rules of property rights and voluntary exchange.

Under our simple rules, if a gay couple went to a bakery and ask the baker to bake a cake for their gay wedding, and the baker said no, the couple would go to another bakery. Just as a gay person could go to a bakery and ask the baker if he was a christian, and if the baker said yes, he could walk out without purchasing anything. These are simply different sides of the same transaction. In the first the baker refuses to exchange what he produces (his property), with the other person. In the second case the gay person refuses to exchange money (which represents what he produces, aka his property) with the baker. Does it really matter why each person refused the exchange? It only matters when force, especially the monopoly of Government force, is introduced into the equation.

The first amendment of our constitution protects an individual’s freedom of religion, and the supreme court has previously ruled that, racial discrimination in the operation of public accommodations, such as restaurants and lodgings, affects interstate commerce by impeding interstate travel and is prohibited….”  at

How do you reconcile these competing rules, rights, or laws. The problem with having growing numbers of rules and laws, is that each person, or group, tries to use the force of government to impose their values on other people. It’s a never-ending battle of court cases that creates competing factions that continue to fight because nothing really gets solved. This was the result of the Roe vs. Wade decision. Instead of allowing each State to have its own abortion law, no matter how restrictive or permissive it was, five justices on the court imposed their view of abortion on the whole country. Actually the pro abortion activists brought the Roe case to court because they wanted to impose their view of abortion on the rest of the country. That decision has made the abortion issue more contentious over the years, not less.

If decisions are allowed to be made at the point of decision-making, there is less contention and conflict. Most laws take the decision away from the point where the decision should actually be made. Petty tyrants in or out of government, want to use government force to impose their values on others. Gay activists have come a long way from just wanting people and government out of their bedrooms, or was that just a straw man to get government to force people to accept their values. I don’t care what a person does, as long as they don’t “pick my pocket, break my arm“, or have government do it for them.


In a free society you have a right to associate with whom ever you want. When you choose your friends, you are discriminating against those who aren’t your friends. When you choose a wife, you are discriminating against other woman. When you make any choice, you are discriminating.

Since every decision is discriminatory, should government be more involved in individual decision making? Many people think it should. Why are individuals and groups seemingly in constant conflict with each other? Because over the last fifty years, government has taken over many of the decisions that individuals used to be free to make. I hope we are at the point where most of us can agree that Government encroachment into every aspect of our lives has to be rolled back, if our civil society is to survive.

If you want to know my thoughts on gay marriage read, Marriage Laws Don’t Expand Rights They Limit Rights.

Related ArticleMeet 10 Americans Helped By Religious Freedom Bills Like Indiana’s, by Mollie Hemingway, at the

Related ArticleGay Marriage Isn’t About Justice, It’s About Selma Envy, by Hans Fiene, at the