California became famous, or infamous depending on your point of view, a few weeks ago when it became the first state to ban the traditional method of producing foie gras, the fatty substance dervice from duck and goose liver that is considering something of a gourmet delicacy.
The reason for the ban had nothing to do with the health arguments that have been made in recent years about foie gras, but because animal rights advocates contended that the method of production, which involves feeding the animals large amounts of food in a short period of time, was cruel. There are other methods of producing foie gras, but it’s generally accepted that these alternative methods produce a vastly inferior product. As a result, some California restaurants have resorted to creative legal arguments to allow them to keep making the product available, while other Californians are engaging in a practice that is reminiscent of the era when alcohol was banned in the United States:
Women have come a long way in this country. Gone are the bad old days of when a woman’s place was solely in the home. Violence against women is rightfully condemned. Women participate in all aspects of American life from the workplace to the political arena. While we should remain vigilant to ensure we don’t take any steps back in protecting equal opportunity to women, you would think the feminist movement would declare victory. Unfortunately, that has not been the case.
I love women. I was raised by a single mother. I love strong, independent women; the type of woman you would think the feminist movement would embrace. However, the modern feminist movement; with few exceptions, are not about celebrating and promoting strong, independent women. The feminist movement has instead morphed into the womyn’s liberation left which has decided to destroy the sexist patriarchy and replace it with Sugar Daddy Government that will provide women with everything from free birth control, to subsidized child care, to student and small business loans, and taxpayer subsidized abortions.
The activists of the womyn’s liberation left of course are not entirely to blame. They have many willing accomplices in our political class like Barack Obama who even drew a little cartoon to pander to them. Like other groups who derive a part of their living from the plunder of taxpayers, the womyn’s liberation left and their fellow travelers are more passionate than most voters about keeping the benefits they have and, if possible, expanding their benefits than the average American who is just trying to make a living for their family. Instead of the males in the family providing for women or women providing for themselves, the womyn’s lib left now want women to rely on a sugar daddy, Big Government.
A lot of conservatives lament the decline of “American Power” around the World. Just this week Bill O’Reilly had a rant about that. But to those who love Liberty, American Power is just another phrase for Government Power, and the less Government there is at home and abroad the better the lives of all individuals around the world will be.
Thoreau had a great quote about that:
“I heartily accept the motto,—“That government is best which governs least;” and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe,—“That government is best which governs not at all;” and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have”.
I look forward to the day when men are prepared for a government that governs none at all. But until then the Leviathan that is the State with its Coercive Power will be with us. Our job for those who love liberty is to educate ourselves and others about the True Nature of the State and the Blessings of Liberty.
Franz Oppenheimer made it crystal clear the difference between how the State acquires what it desires and the way free individuals voluntarily trade to gain what they desire:
I wrote a couple weeks ago about the Obama administration’s mandate that contraception be covered by insurance plans provided by Catholic-associated organizations. The outrage on the right about the mandate was almost universally centered around the idea that it was an attack on the freedom of religion. As I argued in my previous post, these critics were missing the point entirely. Mandates like this one had nothing to do with religion, and were wrong regardless of whether they violated religious or secular liberty.
Now many on the right have inexplicably chosen big-government “conservative” Rick Santorum as their standard-bearer. Despite his awful fiscal record, being named something other than Mitt Romney has allowed Santorum his time in the spotlight. And he has enjoyed every minute of it, offering soundbite-worthy quotes at nearly every event. Many of these statements have brought to light his very extreme views on social issues.
Predictably, Santorum’s views on things like abortion, homosexuality, and contraception have caused an uproar amongst those who do not share his worldview. Santorum has been savaged for things he has said both recently and in the past. Whether or not you believe him to be a sexist or a homophobe, it’s clear that his opinions are not shared by millions of Americans, and in fact cause great offense to many.
Ben Bernanke is showing himself to be more of a Big-Government politician than a scientist. In his latest speech, he has tried to defend the actions of his predecessors by claiming that their easy-money monetary policy only holds five percent of the responsibility for the high real estate prices that ignited the boom-and-bust bubble that almost broke the back of the global economy.
According to his analysis, 30 percent of the responsibility goes to what he has been calling the “global savings glut.” The other 65 percent, he says, belongs to the inferior standards of the US mortgage market. Therefore, his argument seems to be saying that if we cure the standards we cure the problem.
He attempts to prove his point by demonstrating through charts that other countries had even looser monetary policy than the US, and yet they did not show a worse real estate boom; therefore, he concludes, loose monetary policy does not cause bubbles.
This sounds convincing, coming as it does from the highest-placed economic academician in the land. But his logic is flawed.
There are two problems with his argument. First, you cannot isolate these particular variables as he has done. To do so is the equivalent of saying Michael Phelps eats a lot, and he is not obese, therefore a high-calorie diet does not cause obesity. (Michael Phelps is the Olympic medalist swimmer who purportedly eats around 8,000-10,000 calories a day. A scientist could probably prove that he also spends almost 8,000-10,000 calories a day in his sports activities.)
On this week’s podcast, we discussed the resolution drawn up by members of the Republican National Committee to “re-establish the party’s conservative bona fides.” Believe it or not, there are some who think I do not pick on Republicans enough, so I thought I would channel my inner xenophobic, pro-war, and socially intolerant Republican and jokingly insert the subtext I infer from their statements.
- We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama’s “stimulus” bill
When Democrats are in charge, we can no longer expand the size, scope, and power of the federal government in the ways that we want to, so we have decided to feign support for smaller government to keep those “tea baggers” from throwing us out of office. Remember the TARP bailout? Our guy signed that into law. Obama is a pretty easy and identifiable target, so we included invoking his name every time we talk about the stimulus bill that we would have written differently but still passed, had a Republican Congress and executive been in place in the time of need.
- We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare
Since the Democrats proposed massive government intervention into the healthcare marketplace, we oppose it. That will likely end the January after you get tired of the other guys and vote us back into power, so we can bring you more fantastic healthcare reform ideas, like Medicare Part D.
Meet my new parents: the U.S. Government. The parallels are astonishing when you think about it. (Forgive my generalities… they are for illustration!)
1. Parents want their kids to be the best: Just like proud moms and dads show up at little league games and fight with other parents, help (or take over) fundraising activities so their kids will “win” by raising the most money, or argue with teachers about grades… we see the U.S. Government assert its authority all over the world - both economically and militarily - so that we can be the “greatest nation on earth”.
The other night I was perusing the national exit poll results. One statistic scared me more than anything. 51% of voters participating in the exit poll answered that the government “should do more” than it is doing today. Wow.
The current Grand Old Party is in despair and acknowledging some need for change. Since the end of the Reagan Administration it has slowly become the “Grumpy Old-White-Man’s Party” with little appeal to individuals outside of its traditional coalition, and even within that coalition there is little enthusiasm. So, most acknowledge there are problems; But what are they? How can they be fixed? These are the questions party insiders and loyalists are already attempting to answer.
What are the Problems?
While the mistakes made by George Bush’s Republican Party are so numerous one could probably never compile a completely conclusive book on the matter, most can be traced to fundamental root causes that desperately need to be identified and purged- below are a few of the broad policy mistakes committed by the Party.