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Posts Tagged ‘Economic Freedom’

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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.

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Source: RCO 64

RCO 64: The American Form of Government

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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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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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Individuality

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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American Economy
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I know this is going to sound like a copout and trying not to take a hard stand and everything else, but the answer to why the American economy does better under Democratic presidents than Republican presidents to put it simply, is both. Democratic presidents tend to have better economic policies which I’ll get to later than Republicans. And when a Democrat is President many times they become President just right before the economy is about to take off. Jack Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton are perfect examples of that. Harry Truman would be another one and Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter are unfortunately the exceptions to that.

As far as policies Democratic presidents both liberal and progressive tend to want an economy that works for everyone. Sure Republican presidents I’m sure believe in the same thing. But Democrats put in the policies that make that economy come about. Which is why they focus so much on education, infrastructure, job training for low-income workers and unemployed workers whether they are educated or not, encouraging companies to invest in low-income areas.

Republicans tend to believe in what George H.W. Bush called when he ran for president in 1980 ‘Voodoo Economics’, that some others call Trickle Down Economics. “You cut regulations and taxes for employers and individuals and the economic activity that will come from those business’s and individuals that now have that extra money will now be invested in other business’s and that economic activity will benefit everyone as a whole”. That is the theory anyway, but the results have been at best mixed for thirty-five years or so ever since the policy was introduced in Congress by then Representative Jack Kemp and Senator Bill Roth.

As far as the lets say good luck, yes Democratic presidents have inherited economies that were just about to take off. Bill Clinton comes to mind in 1993 with the Cold War just ending and with the start of the Information Technology Revolution just getting under way around 1990-91 with all the cell phones and laptop computers now online and of course the internet just getting under way. The Clinton White House had their own website under way from the start and had email as well.

So yes Democratic presidents happen to of become President when the economy is just about to boom. But they’ve also have pushed policies that empowers all workers to be able to take advantage of economic booms. Economic booms do nothing for people without the skills to take advantage of them. Which is why education is always so critical for any economy to do well. And Democrats tend to push those polices more than Republicans.
PBS: Washington Week- Does The Country Do Better Under Democrats or Republicans?

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Money, Money, Money

Wealth or income redistribution, it depends on how you define it because government at all levels does it all the time everyday. And generally when government redistributes wealth it is noncontroversial. It taxes these people who live here to fund a school or fix a road over here. Social Security taxes today’s workers to pay for today’s retirees. So for anyone who says they are against wealth redistribution they should also explain how they feel about public education and roads and so forth. Things that the public uses everyday that if anything most of us tend to take for granted.

But this post is not really about noncontroversial income redistribution because where would the fun be in that. But to talk about the controversial forms of wealth redistribution at least at the hands of government. That is calls from the let’s say so-called progressive-left or even socialist-left that says “the Federal Government should tax the superrich and perhaps just plain rich people. (Perhaps minorities would be excluded) To take care of Americans who aren’t doing very well and perhaps people who aren’t technically but have to work very hard and a lot just to pay their bills”.

If you want a society that is financially free at least in the sense that it is successful and not only able to pay their bills, but set aside money for themselves and even donate to charity and perhaps look after family members and friends who may need a little extra money, that economic success simply has to be encouraged and rewarded. Instead of essentially punishing people for making it on their own and making a lot of money to take care of people who aren’t successful.

Otherwise you will create an dependent society in America instead of that free society where wealth is discouraged and dependency on government in order to survive financially is encouraged. Because you are telling people whether intentionally or not that they shouldn’t be successful because we the government will take a lot of that money from you. And also telling people that “if you aren’t successful the wealthy will take care of you at the hands of government”.

What we should be doing instead as a society especially for struggling Americans is to empower them to become successful on their own. Either by finishing their education or furthering their education. So they can get themselves the skills that they need to be successful in life. And that means reforming public education in America, making educational and job training opportunities universal for low-skilled adults. And for the college educated who now need more skills because their good job left for another country or no longer exists. And investing a lot more in infrastructure especially in underserved communities so they have the roads, schools and business’s that they need to be economically successful.

You want more Americans to be doing well in America you don’t discourage the Americans who are doing well already to stop being successful. What you do instead is continue to encourage people to be successful in this country. As well as empower more Americans to be successful as well.
Media Spin: Milton Friedman- Redistribution of Wealth

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