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Posts Tagged ‘Economic Freedom’

Attachment-1-1213

Source: The Nation

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I believe to listen to Gore Vidal speak or read any of his material, you first have to know where he’s coming from and what his political background is. He doesn’t view individual rights and freedom like most Americans do. He has more of a social democratic or democratic socialist approach to how looks at politics, rights, and freedom. He was as far to the left as Henry Wallace who ran for President for the Progressive Party back in 1948, Senator George McGovern, who ran for President three times for the Democratic Party, or Senator Bernie Sanders today.

So when Gore Vidal talks about rights and freedom, he means the right not to go without the basic essentials in life.

The right not to starve.

The right not to want.

The right to health care and health insurance.

The right to housing.

The right to work if someone chooses to, but that work shouldn’t be required even for people who are mentally and physically able.

And for people who literally choose not to work in order to support themselves, those people are also entitled to the same rights that I just mentioned.

The rights that President Franklin Roosevelt proposed in 1944 in his second Bill of Rights speech. What would be called today welfare rights and perhaps back then as well. The rights for people to be taken care of instead of everyone going out there and making their own way in life and creating their own individual freedom for themselves. Which is very different from what the Founding Fathers created for America even though they didn’t tend individual rights for all Americans and not just Englishmen of wealth. Those individual rights that all Americans have regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender, apply to all Americans because that is how the Founding Fathers (Founding Liberals, really) wrote our Bill of Rights.

All what was consistent with Gore Vidal and is also consistent with the Socialist-Left today that Noam Chomsky and others argue, is that America doesn’t even have a two-party system, let alone a multiple party system. That we have a one-system that has people called Democrats and others called Republicans. Who are both controlled by big business in America and the National Security State.

Gore was somewhat conspiratorial to say the least. And even though he was a helluva lot smarter than your everyday JFK assassination conspiracy theorist and a very intelligent and funny man in general, he had his own conspiracy theories as well.

The Nation: Gore Vidal- Speech at The Nation in 1990

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Attachment-1-929

Source: The Independent Institute

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Libertarian Economist Walter Williams once said something that I actually agree with. He was talking about property rights and extended them to one’s self and one’s body. That the individual has complete control of their own body and therefor gets to decide what’s done with their body. What they can eat, what they can drink, what they can smoke, even who they can have consensually have sex with. Even if the sex is homosexual sex, taking money to have sex with someone else in a consensual way.

How we can spend our own money short of using our money to have someone beat up or murdered, or spending our money in order to have something stolen from someone else. And that includes spending our money to gamble even at casinos or private card games, to use as examples. That private property rights just doesn’t cover one’s home, or car, or personal possessions, like a business that they may own. But ourselves as individuals and our own bodies. Short of hurting an innocent person with our body or other property like money.

This is really the main difference between a liberal democracy like America with guaranteed constitutional and individual rights that include property rights as I just mentioned and living in a Marxist-Communist state like North Korea (to use as an example) where individualism is essentially outlawed. Where the state (meaning the national government) owns everything in society. Including where the people live and work, even shop.

Even social democracies like Britain that are very socialist as far as how their national government and economy works, have a high degree of property rights in their country. They just aren’t guaranteed especially under a constitutional system which is what we have in America. Property rights are the rights for individuals to control and operate what they actually own including their own bodies.

Our property rights are guaranteed in America under both the Fourth and Fifth amendment’s in the Constitution. That can’t be interfered with by the state (meaning government) without probable cause. That the state views what someone is doing as a threat to bodily harm or financial harm to an innocent person. Not talking about an anarcho state (meaning anarchy) where everyone can essentially do whatever they want including hurting innocent people. And then it’s left up to the victim to decide what should happen to their predator and left up to the victim to inflict whatever consequences on their predator.

But talking about a federal republic in the form of a liberal democracy where property rights including to one’s self are guaranteed short of hurting innocent people with our property. As much as so-called Progressives in America today (Socialists in reality) complain about property rights, private property, and individualism in America and that too much in their view is left up to the individual to decide how they should live, they take advantage of our property rights and free speech everyday. And you can say the same thing about the Christian-Right in America but their complaints about our property rights tend to be more about our personal freedom and our freedom to make our own lifestyle choices, instead of our economic freedom.

But that’s just one thing that is great about America that one doesn’t even have to believe in property rights and either personal or economic freedoms, or either of them in order to take advantage of them and live with them. People who don’t believe in free speech (just one property right) can use their First Amendment rights to make the case why censorship is necessary to outlaw speech that they disagree with and that offends them.

Because the censors whether they are political correctness warriors or Christian-Conservatives who are offended by certain forms of entertainment, have the same free speech rights as people who believe in free speech. Who are free speech nuts like myself, to borrow a phrase from Kirsten Powers and Jeffrey Lord. (Two political analysts at CNN) Just as long as we’re not using our free speech rights to incite violence or irresponsibly libel innocent people. That property rights extend to everyone including people who don’t believe in them.

The Independent Institute: Kyle Swan- Private Property Rights

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Attachment-1-866

Source: Foreign Policy Magazine  

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

I read this article called It’s Time To Found a New Republic from Daren Acemoglu and Simon Johnson over at Foreign Policy Magazine. And it wasn’t just the title of the article that caught my attention. It’s Time To Found a New Republic, if they spent more time on the title maybe they would’ve called It’s Time For a New Republic, Time To Create a New Republic, The New American Republic. When something is found you don’t need to fine it, because it’s already there.

But getting pass the wording of the title of their piece most of their article was about American history and the progressive movement. Starting with the Progressive Era of the early 1900s and going up to the New Deal of the 1930s and the creation of the our national infrastructure system of the 1950s. And then towards the end they were had some policy proposals.

Ranging from a national basic income, which I disagree with, to ending partisan, racial, and ethnic gerrymandering which I’m in favor of. When I saw the title of their piece I’m, thinking maybe they were talking about creating a new form of American government. That the problem with American society (as they might see it) is the structure of our government all together. Perhaps they don’t like our Federal system based on limited government and would propose replacing that with a unitarian style of government that you see a lot of in Europe. Where most of the governmental power in the country is based with the national government. Instead of spread out between the national, state, and local government’s.

Just to comment on Daren Acemoglu’s and Simon Johnson’s economic proposals. I don’t believe the problem of income inequality (if you want to call it that) has to do with our government structure and how power and responsibility is spread out. Not that they were arguing that either necessarily. But it has to do with the skills gap and opportunity gaps in the American economy.

If you live in rural America and grow there, or you’re raised in a rough part of an inner city your chances of doing well in America are far lesser than if you come from a middle class neighborhood in a city or from the suburbs. Also if you have parents or even one parent who are doing well in life, not necessarily rich but doing well enough for you to be raised right and have you what you need to do well growing up, your chances of doing well in America are much better if you come from a low-income family in a low-income neighborhood, where your parent or parents are just struggling to survive.

So you want to reduce income inequality (again, if you want to call it that) you have to reduce the inequality that’s part of our education system and have an education system where more Americans can simply get a good education. Regardless of where they live and where they grow up and who their parents are. And of course regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender. Which should go without saying anyway.

As well as having an adult educational system in this country where low-income adults whether they’re currently working or not, can advance in the American economy by finishing and furthering their education and getting themselves a good job that leads them to economic independence.

As well as having that system available for workers who already have a solid education. High school diploma plus some vocational training and perhaps a college degree, but now find themselves working in a field where those jobs are disappearing or where they’re no longer able to make the money that allows for them to live comfortably. And allow for them to further their education perhaps even in a new field for them.

The problem with the American economy has nothing to do with our form of government. Or our Federal Government is too small, our state and local government’s, have too much responsibility, or middle class Americans are undertaxed and have to much personal and economic freedom and have to make too many decisions on their own.

The problem with the American economy and why we have income inequality (if you want to call it that) has to do with education and skills. We need to move pass the idea that schools should be funded based on the property values of the people who live in those communities . Which has to do with property taxes. And sending kids to school based on where they live, instead of what’s the best school for them.

And get pass the idea that if you start at a low-wage low-skilled job because you’re low-skilled, that you’re stuck working jobs like that indefinitely. Because you can’t afford to go back to school or simply don’t have the time for it, because you’re working multiple low-wage jobs just to try to survive.

You close the skills and education gaps in America, you reduce poverty, because you’ll not just have more Americans working as long as you have pro-growth economic policies in place that promote economic development and growth, but you’ll also have more Americans working good jobs. Which will also improve your long-term economic and financial outlook of the country. Because you’ll have fewer Americans on public assistance.

Attachment-1-867

Source: RCO 64

RCO 64: The American Form of Government

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Attachment-1-811

Source: The Independent Institute 

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

According to Wikipedia the definition of social justice is, “justice in terms of distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within society.”

People let’s say on the farther left (Social Democrats/Democratic Socialists) take the definition to mean that there should be distribution of wealth in society. That wealth should be distributed based on what people need to live well. Not based on what people earn. And of course the central government usually a unitarian government in most social democracies (one large government for the entire country) will collect most of the wealth in the country and dish it back out in the form of welfare state payments to the people based on what the government believes people need to live well in society.

So the people not just living above poverty, but living somewhat comfortably, but short of being wealthy and perhaps even upper middle class. Socialists (democratic and otherwise) don’t believe in rich or poor. They want equality of outcomes where no one is wealthy or poor, but able to live well. This type of economic system is how Scandinavia operates and the states there and to a certain extent even in Britain. (Even when the Conservatives are in charge)

The libertarian notion of social justice is to put it in plain terms is that what’s mine is mine and what’s yours, is yours. To paraphrase Libertarian Economist Walter Williams. Meaning what the people make for themselves is exactly that. And shouldn’t be subjected to taxation especially to help pay for the people who don’t have much to live on and are in living in poverty as a result.

To go back to the Wikipedia definition of social justice. Liberals (in the real and classical sense) concentrate on the opportunities portion of social justice. Liberals believe in an opportunity society. Where everyone has the ability to make a good life for themselves. Where everyone has access to a quality education even if they live in poverty. And if they live in poverty that their parents or parent, has the ability to finish and further their education so they can get themselves a good job and make a good living.

Get off of public assistance, buy a nice home and live in a nice community where they don’t have to worry about being physically harmed when they go to the grocery store, or are coming back or going to school. Where they have a basic fundamental sense and reality when it comes to their own economic and physical security. And then what the people make for themselves financially, they’re able to keep most of that and pay back in taxes what it takes for the government to function effectively and to do only what we need for government to do well for us, that is also consistent with strong economic and job growth so people are encouraged to be productive and make a good living for themselves and their families.

And yes you need an effective government to invest in what makes economies strong so as many people can benefit from capitalism and private enterprise as possible. Not to run the economy or to run business’s, or tax and regulate private business so much that the government essentially owns and runs those companies.

But to see that everyone can get a good education. Where kids aren’t sent to school simply because of where they live, but what’s the best school for them even if that might mean a charter school or private school all together.

Where economic development is encouraged so you don’t have ghost towns essentially where the only people who live there are people who can’t afford to live anywhere else. Where gangs and organize criminals run the communities.

Where you have an modern infrastructure system so companies can get their products to market (to use an old phrase) and also to encourage more private economic development.

A responsible regulatory state to protect consumers from predators and worker from abusive employers.

And a limited effective safety net (not welfare state) that serves an economic insurance system for people who are out-of-work, or lack basic skills to get themselves a good job. But also empowers low-skilled individuals to get themselves on their feet by finishing and furthering their education and learning a trade so they can get themselves a good job.

Where Liberals separate from Socialists has to do with government’s involvement in the economy. Socialists want government to take most of the national income and dish it back out based on what they believe people need to do well. Where Liberals differ with Libertarians is that Liberals believe that the people should be able to to keep most of what they earn. But that Liberals believe there is a real role for government even in a free society and that being part of a free society is like being part of a club. Where you end up paying for the services that you consume and even some of the services that don’t personally benefit you.

Independent Institute: Kyle Swan- Social Justice in The Classical Liberal Tradition

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PJ Watson

Escaped Mental Patient

Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Actually, Info Wars or Prison Planet Live, the group I guess that Paul Joseph Watson works for, Alex Jones’s clan, is another way of saying The Onion. The difference being, that The Onion has a better record as far as reporting things that are actually true. Actually, Fox News reports more real news than Prison Planet Live and Info Wars combined. And if it wasn’t America’s liberal First Amendment, which is our Freedom of Speech for all you out there who don’t know what the First Amendment is, (God help you) PPL and Info Wars wouldn’t be allowed on the air.

They wouldn’t be on the radio or allowed to blog or anything. Because they have such a bad habit intentionally or just from being escaped mental patients of saying and reporting things that are simply not true. If they were operating in a much further left social democracy like Sweden, Canada, Britain or Australia, they would be put of business for reporting so many things that aren’t true. So they need to get down on their hands and knees and thank God for American liberalism. Because thanks to our liberal Constitution, they’re allowed to stay in business.

PJ Watson, or Paul, or Joe, or whatever the hell he goes by, talked about Sweden as this example of extreme liberalism. Where they take away a lot of someone else’s money to take care of people who simply aren’t productive enough and produce enough to take care of themselves. Another example of where he is wrong about liberalism. What this character is talking about and perhaps is not smart enough to be aware of it, is called socialism and a democratic form of it. Again, Sweden social democracy where the central government is expected to take care of the people. Perhaps the most socialist of any developed country in the world. And yes, they are a developed country.

Liberalism, is simply about freedom being available to everyone. Both personal and economic. That everyone has the opportunity to live in freedom and to be able to manage their own affairs in life. That it’s not the job of government to take care of everyone. But to protect freedom for the people who already have it. And expand freedom for people who don’t have it, but need and deserve it. Public social insurance and a safety net is part of that. But to empower people in need to get on their own two feet, while helping them pay their short-term bills to be able to survive in the short-term. Not taking from the successful to take care of the poor indefinitely.

Paul Joseph Watson: Absolute Proof That Liberalism is a Mental Disorder

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Attachment-1-630

Source: Robin Smith- CBS News Correspondent Mike Wallace

Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Times 

I laugh every time I hear people call Hugh Hefner a radical or an extremist or immoral doing the work for the Devil. Whatever it might be because Hugh Hefner represents what an overwhelming majority of Americans say they are in favor of. And what the Far-Right and Far-Left in America are against which is individual freedom. The right of Americans to be able to live their own lives and not be dictated to by government or collectivists. Who believe they know better than Americans how Americans should live their own lives.

What makes Hef different from most Americans who believe in individual-freedom is that Hef is honest and public about his feelings as they relate to sex and how men feel about women and vice-versa and the role of both in society and so-forth. Where many other Americans who believe in the same things as Hef economic freedom balanced with personal freedom including sexual freedom, tolerance and against statism. And the political correctness police, but are not as public with their beliefs.

Hugh Hefer is not some type of Socialist radical looking to bring down corporate America and make the whole country dependent on the state for their well-being. But he’s also not some type of theocrat looking to ban all social activities that he doesn’t approve of. He represents where the mainstream of America is instead. And is very successful in corporate America himself fighting for. And promoting what he’s always been both which is individualfreedom.

As well economic freedom balanced with personal freedom. Which is how he’s united the Far-Left and Far-Right against him and in some cases for the same reasons with how his magazine talks about and promotes sex in America. Sharing his thoughts as well as his writers thoughts. But also how many other Americans feel, but who tend not to be as public about those feelings. Hugh Hefner is not saying you must live like him and this is the American way of life. What he’s saying is this is how he lives and is the life for him. And that every other American has the right to make these decisions for themselves.

Robin Smith: Hugh Hefner- Playboy, Activist & Rebel

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Source: Ryan Minor

Source: Ryan Minor: George Carlin on Individuality

If you look at the hippie movement with the Baby Boomers in the 1960s and early 1970s. And then the me revolution of the 1980s from again the Baby Boomers. Both social movements are about the same thing and they were fighting to be able to live their own lives. Just that the hippie movement was about social liberty, the ability for individuals to live their own lives as they see fit as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their freedom.

And the me revolution was about economic liberty the ability for individuals to work as hard and be as productive as they can. And then be able to collect most of the benefits from their hard work and production. Both of these social movements were about individual liberty and individualism. Two things as a Liberal Democrat myself that I believe strongly in and two of the best decades we’ve ever had as a country.

These two social movements were about expanding individual liberty in America, with civil rights and the laws that came about that from the 1960s. And individuals living their own lives as they want to, not feeling the need to to have to conform to the establishment. Great decade to be a rebel to wear your hair long, grow beards and mustaches, wear tight denim jeans with boots. If you’re Jim Morrison the Lizard King, you’re wearing skin-tight leather jeans with a leather jacket and cowboy boots. All the time with long hair and other people men and women picked up on that look. Not feeling the need to wear dress suits wherever they go, but to dress as they please. What makes them happy.

The 1980s was a decade where business suits became popular and stylish again, but in a certain way so you don’t look like a preppy schmuck, but you put the time and effort in your business wardrobe. Worked your butt off during the week and partied hard on the weekends and enjoyed the benefits of your good work. With the money that came from it and another great decade to be an individual with style as well, as we saw a revolution of tight denim and leather with both designer denim and leather jeans for men and women

The 1980s was a great decade for economic liberty great decade to work in if you have the skills to be productive. The 1960s was a great decade for social liberty, the 1980s was a great decade for economic liberty. Put them together and bam! You have a great sandwich known as individual liberty. With people constantly looking for new ways to express themselves from a social and economic point of view. Without feeling the need to conform to society. The 1970s we can basically chop up, except for Hollywood with great movies, sports and to a certain extent fashion and sexuality as nightmare from hell, a horror movie, if you will. That would be a great time to forget with a case of scotch and a pack of marijuana.

The 1960s and 1980s was a horrible time to be an authoritarian or a collectivist, a believer in the establishment. Someone who believes all people should be the same based on the rules that the majority. Or a powerful elite put down and that if you go outside these rules, you’re the devil and immoral. “Look at that asshole doing what makes him happy, how dare him, he’s supposed to be like a mummy or puppet like the rest of us, there’s no rom for individuals in our society”. Right, wrong not in a liberal democracy where people have the right to live their own lives and be as happy as they can.

 

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