A critique of a recent New York Magazine article on recommended readings on socialism, along with the critics suggestions of books actually worth reading on the subject.
Here’s an amusing animation that explores the problem of how tax cuts in a progressive tax system lead to politicized envy. You may want to hoist a few beers when you’re done.
As minimum wages go up, jobs vanish and wages often shrink because fewer hours are assigned to remaining workers. A new study reminds us of the immediate consequences of government wage intervention. After Republicans ended the slave system run by the Democratic donors, they sort of understood economic theory. That’s why southern Democratic segregationists invented the minimum wage. They wanted to price Africans out of the job market so they couldn’t take work at lower wages than those paid to white Democrats and their buddies in the Ku Klux Klan.
Sharyl Attkisson, an investigative journalist who is suing members of the Obama administration for bugging her home computer, has done some yeoman work investigating the rogue FBI operation to illegally overthrow the democratically–elected President. She shares some of her observations in
One of the concerns about Obama’s “Patient Punishment and Unaffordable Health Care Act,” was that without a mandate that slaves must buy government designed health plans (which were mostly anti-insurance subsidy programs that shifted medical care from one group of patients to a different group of patients and priced many middle-class families out of the health care market) the program would go into a financial death spiral, with fewer drones buying such ridiculous insurance plans, thereby raising the costs of insurance that the other slaves would have to purchase. Other concerns were that there would be death panels determining who should be allowed to live or die (a basic socialist necessity for allotting diminishing resources.) Now it looks like the program may actually be causing people to die. Just another case of socialist bad luck I guess.
It’s from National Review, so there should be a few clunkers from the Libertarian point of view. You’ll probably find a few you like here.
Number 10 is “20th Century Man” by the Kinks, which is from their “Muswell Hillbillies” album, which, during the years I actually listened to pop music, I thought the album, as a concept album was one of the most libertarian-friendly pop albums ever made.
I was a Kinks fan back then. Another of their libertarian friendly album was “Arthur (Or the decline and fall of the British Empire)” about a family moving to Australia to avoid the draft.
Another good Kinks album was “Lola versus Powerman and the Moneygoround,”, a critique of the music industry, which includes the infamous song “Lola” about sexual appearances and preferences (“Girls will be boys and boys will be girls It’s a mixed up, muddled up, sup world, except for Lola” as well as “Get back in line”, which includes the lyric, “‘Cos when I see that union man walking down the street, He’s the man who decides if I live or I die, if I starve, or I eat.”
How gun-free zones invite mass shootings. As they say, read the whole thing
By John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author most recently of “The War on Guns.”
“This doesn’t happen anywhere else on the planet,” said California’s Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom. “We stand alone in the world in the number of mass shootings,” echoed U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. These were typical comments after an alleged shooter murdered 12 people in Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
People have been acting for a long time like the United States is the world’s hotbed of mass public shootings. Following a 2015 mass shooting during his administration, President Barack Obama declared: “The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world.”
This belief is constantly used to push for more gun control. If we can only get rid of guns in the United States, we will get rid of these mass public shootings and be more like the rest of the world, gun-control supporters preach.
But America doesn’t lead the world in mass public shootings. We’re not even close. Just last month, a school shooting in Crimea, Russia, claimed 20 lives and wounded 65 others. But Americans usually don’t hear about such events.
The Crime Prevention Research Center, of which I am president, recently finished updating a list of mass public shootings worldwide. These shootings must claim four or more lives in a public place. Following the FBI definition, the shootings we list are carried out simply with the intention of killing. We exclude gang fights because they tend to be motivated by battles for drug turf. Murders that arise from other crimes are also excluded.
The concept that ignorance of the law is no defense, originates in a time when there were few laws. For the average person, law was simple. Don’t steal. Don’t cheat. Don’t hurt the innocent. Pay your taxes (Yawwww!) and don’t hunt in the king’s woods. A couple of hundred years ago, that was about all anyone would need to know about the law. Religious rulers added a few nutty overlays., but those were pounded into your brain by religious teachers in the community.
Nowadays. we have hundreds of thousands of laws, regulations, and rules that can get you into trouble. In many case you not only have to be familiar with all of these laws, and the thousands and thousands of court decisions in every jurisdiction, you on occasion have to know the laws and rules of every other country in the world and its attendant bureaucracies. Violate the foreign countries laws, rules and regulations while doing business from the United States with someone in another country, which activity is handled pursuant to all the legal laws, rules and regulations of the United States, and in many instances, you can be prosecuted here for violating the foreign laws there.
So, my suggestion.
In every criminal proceeding, a defendant should be permitted as a matter of law, to argue to the jury that 1) the defendant was unaware that the action was illegal, 2) no reasonable person would have thought that action to be illegal, and 3) a person situated in the same social/work environments as the defendant would have no reason to know that the action was illegal. In any prosecution where such a defense is raised, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that at least one of the three premises is not true for the defendant. If the prosecutor fails to make that case, the jury must acquit the defendant.
It should also go without saying that in every trial, the judge must tell the jury that if in the jury’s judgment, convicting a defendant of the charged crime would be unjust, they would have the right to acquit the defendant even if it believes the defendant violated the law. This is the basic principle of jury nullification.
It’s not often noticed, but the Hitler-style racial identity politics of the Democratic Party base often works to obliterate the cultural identities of the people being offered special racial advantages. The recent Elizabeth Warren DNA fiasco illustrates that somewhat.
To briefly summarize, Warren spent much of her professional career claiming to be part Cherokee Indian and used that in her various biographies and Harvard used it in their faculty identifications. The claim was generally recognized as utter nonsense and critics challenged her to take DNA tests. How many secret tests she took before finding one that could even hint at the vague possibility that it might be possible, we don’t know, and the recent test results that she released provide zero evidence that she is of Cherokee heritage.
The report said only that there was a possibility that 6 to 10 generations ago there “might” be a possibility that she had “Native American” DNA. The public debate over this report bounced around between See, her claim is true to the possibility she is only 1/64th or 1/1024th possibility that it is true but the amount is so little that it is the equivalent of the old Democratic Party slavery view that one drop of negro blood makes you a negro. Both sides are wrong, and that is where the cultural suppression begins.
To begin with, there is no such thing as a “Native American.” Human life, according to all current scientific theories, began in Africa, probably in Ethiopia. Migrants from that initial grouping formed all the different races and ethnic groupings all over the world. The Americas were inhabited by different immigrant groups, from different cultures, with different genetic bases, arriving by different routes, at different times and places. The earliest arrivals probably came over a no-longer existing land bridge between Asia and Alaska.
To put it simply, Cherokees, Incas and Aztecs are not the same people, the same culture, or the same genetic group. In the DNA bases for ethnic groups there is no meaningful sample of Cherokees. The database used to prove Warrens bona fides consisted of Peruvians and Mexicans, some of whom may already have had genetic traits resulting from interbreeding with other genetic groups.
So when people say that Warren proved her case or only has a tiny percentage of “Native American” DNA they are saying, in principle, that there is no cultural or genetic difference between Cherokees and Incas and Aztecs. This is nonsense. There is zero evidence that Liz Warren is a Cherokee and the attempt to meld Cherokees in with Aztecs and Incas is a form of racism and cultural obliteration. But that’s what race-identity politics does to a culture.
A major impact of the minimum wage laws is the large number of people that will be thrown out of work. A Congressional Budget Office study in 2014 indicated that a minimum wage increase to $9 an hour would cost 100,000 jobs, and an increase to $10.10 would result in the loss of over 500,000 jobs. Those are nation-wide figures. For people laid off due to minimum wage hikes, the minimum wage is always zero. And many lives will be thoroughly destroyed by the loss of the marginal income that enabled families to survive.
Often overlooked in these analyses and debates is that it is not only minimum wage earners who get thrown out of work, but also includes a large percentage of people who earn more than the minimum wage because management can no longer afford the differential between different pay levels for different skill sets.
In 2018, the NYC minimum wage went up to $13 an hour in the hospitality industry and had a devasting impact on the restaurant industry. In 2019, the rate goes to $15 an hour. Have you noticed the rapidly increased use of ordering kiosks in fast-food restaurants that replace many workers? Some places are now experimenting with automated burger-flippers. Wonder where that will lead.
It’s often argued that the low minimum wage does not pay enough for an individual’s survival. That people still take the jobs is evidence that this is not the case. In many instances, the wages received are increments to a family income that includes family members with other sources of income, sometimes from jobs that pay more than the minimum wage.