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War American Style

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 03:06
Misty-eyed Americans who sing of "the rockets' red glare" miss the irony the rest of the world sees. All the evidence suggests we love nothing more than lobbing missiles at countries that resist our will. Daniel Larison, the writer quoted above, references this interesting Washington Post infographic. The analysis shows Americans born in any year since 1915 lived in a nation at war for at least 35% of their lives. Today's teens have never known peace. Larison disputes how to define "war" for ...

Ex-Im Bank is Welfare for the One Percent

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 03:04
This month Congress will consider whether to renew the charter of the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank). Ex-Im Bank is a New Deal-era federal program that uses taxpayer funds to subsidize the exports of American businesses. Foreign businesses, including state-owned corporations, also benefit from Ex-Im Bank. One country that has benefited from $1.5 billion of Ex-Im Bank loans is Russia. Venezuela, Pakistan, and China have also benefited from Ex-Im Bank loans. With Ex-Im Bank's track record of sup ...

Freedom Global Poverty and the Failure of Foreign Aid

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 03:02
The standard narrative floating about the mainstream press is that the developing world is held back by a quagmire of free market fundamentalism. Sure, there are a few exceptions to this narrative, such as Peter Bauer and William Easterly. But pretty much all we hear is a chorus from the likes of Jeffrey Sachs; that in order for these poor countries to become wealthy, they must receive aid from wealthy countries and rein in the free market. Salon even had the audacity to refer to Honduras as a ...

Production Versus Plunder Part 9

Sat, 05/30/2015 - 03:06
Rome deviates from the cultural pattern we have been examining in that their creativity was not home grown and they did not simply overrun nearby creative peoples. Instead, they gathered to themselves the good ideas of distant peoples and made use of them, without trying to subjugate the creators. This may sound contrary, since Rome is known as a conquering state, but it should be stated, on Rome's behalf, that they didn't originally go about to conquer everything in sight, as Alexander had when ...

Lollipops and Marshmallows Another Reason for Cannabis Legalization

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 03:06
Efforts to end prohibition of marijuana use by adults in the US continue to move forward at the state level. Legal sales are already underway in Colorado and Washington State with Oregon, Alaska and Washington DC not far behind. Some limited form of medical marijuana use is now allowed in 23 states and the District of Colombia. At the federal level, however, cannabis remains a Schedule I controlled substance. Until federal law is changed, a future president could reverse the Obama administration ...

Washington Protects Its Lies With More Lies

Fri, 05/29/2015 - 03:04
My distrust has deepened of Seymour Hersh's retelling of the Obama regime's extra-judicial murder of Osama bin Laden by operating illegally inside a sovereign country. That Hersh's story, which is of very little inherent interest, received such a large amount of attention, is almost proof of orchestration in order to substantiate the Obama regime's claim to have killed a person who had been dead for a decade. Americans are gullible, and thought does not come easily to them, but if they try hard ...

Paid-for Patriotism in the NFL

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 03:06
If patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels, the National Football League must be something even lower. Those feel-good moments in the pregame are simply nothing more than your tax dollars at work. On the other hand, we all know the NFL is in business to make money. They would have sold these promotional opportunities to someone else had the Pentagon not bought them. The more interesting question is why the Pentagon thought it was a good idea. The all-volunteer military worked well in the ...

Let the Clock Run Out on the NSA

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 03:04
Regarding the feverish effort either to reauthorize, "reform," or abolish the National Security Agency's collection of our phone and email data, two things need to be said: First, thank you, Edward Snowden. Second, isn't it great to see the ruling elite panicking? Of course, the discussion about NSA collection of our "metadata" wouldn't be happening had Snowden not told us about this spying. Recall that before Snowden's revelations, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied before ...

State-Run Lotteries The Desperation Tax

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 03:06
As taxes go, state-run lotteries seem like a good idea. No one forces you to pay, they don't infringe on your privacy, and the games raise money very efficiently. The Washington Post writer points out that lotteries prey disproportionately on the poor. People who can least afford to take the risk are actually more likely to do it. This seems irrational. Why do they do it? We suspect the answer is ignorance. People who buy lottery tickets simply don't understand how much the odds are against them ...

The NSAs Technotyranny One Nation Under Surveillance

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 03:04
We now have a fourth branch of government. As I document in my new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, this fourth branch came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum, and yet it possesses superpowers, above and beyond those of any other government agency save the military. It is all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful. It operates beyond the reach of the president, Congress and the courts, and it marches in lockstep with the corporate elite ...

The Bait-and-Switch Behind Economic Populism

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 03:02
Argentina will hold elections this year, and a number of provinces will be electing governors. Buenos Aires, the capital city, is holding elections for mayor, and Mauricio Macri, who is stepping down as mayor, is a favorite to become the next president. Toward the end of the year, a presidential election will be held and Cristina Kirchner, after two consecutive mandates, will have to step down because she cannot be re-elected. Like Chávez and Maduro in Venezuela, Argentina can be described as a ...

Central Bank Caught Lying

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 03:06
We are not at all surprised that the Bank of England or any other central bank would lie about its activities. Having their own documents prove they are lying is unusual, however. This might have been a major embarrassment for the BOE, but the financial media either missed the point or chose not to highlight it. A Bloomberg report on the same leak didn't even mention BOE's plan to keep media in the dark. The Wall Street Journal story wasn't much better. Is "lie" too strong a word? The leaked ...

Markets Not Janet Yellen Should Set Interest Rates

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 03:04
Financial markets in the United States and around the world are all waiting with "bated breath" for when the Federal Reserve modifies its "easy money" policy and starts to raise interest rates. No one, however, asks a simple question: Why is the American central bank in the interest rate setting business? On May 20th, the minutes were released of the April 2015 meeting of the Open Market Committee (OMC) of the Federal Reserve. The Open Market Committee decides when and by how much America's ...

Back Door Worse Than No Door

Mon, 05/25/2015 - 03:06
Tech industry giants say they are alarmed the federal government would demand back-door access to the encryption built into their products. Are they crying crocodile tears? Maybe, but the point is still a good one. Imagine if, instead of memory chips, we were talking about your home's back door. It most likely contains a lock. Your family members have keys. They can come and go freely while others cannot. This is how locks should work. The FBI says it can't do its job unless it has unimpeded ...

Janet Yellen is Right She Cant Predict the Future

Mon, 05/25/2015 - 03:04
This week I found myself in rare agreement with Janet Yellen when she admitted that her economic predictions are likely to be wrong. Sadly, Yellen did not follow up her admission by handing in her resignation and joining efforts to end the Fed. An honest examination of the Federal Reserve's record over the past seven years clearly shows that the American people would be better off without it. Following the bursting of the Federal Reserve-created housing bubble, the Fed embarked on an ...

Vern McKinley Financing Failure - Panic and Lessons Learned or Not

Sun, 05/24/2015 - 03:06
I would say specifically as it relates to my research on the fiscal expenditures for bailouts that right now there is a great deal of strong rhetoric and toughness demonstrated regarding not bailing out institutions that approach failure at some unspecified point in the future. But based on the history, when the next crisis comes around, those in key positions like the Federal Reserve Chairman and president of the New York Fed, treasury secretary, chairman of the FDIC, will panic, tell their ...

Production Versus Plunder Part 8

Sat, 05/23/2015 - 03:06
The cynical dictum, one sows, another reaps, is sometimes true in real life, but it has been burned into our history books. In some primary instances, usurpers have, famously, been given credit for what they did not create, but rather destroyed. Continued from last week ... LANGUAGE: One final issue of importance was the language that the Greeks spoke. Their Indo-European grammar, with its categories of gender, its sharp distinction of person and number, and its great emphasis on chronological ...

Magna Carta and Libertarian Strategy

Sat, 05/23/2015 - 03:04
The middle of next month will mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. My knowledge of the "great charter" is modest, to be sure, but lately I have been reading about it and legacy. (See the "Liberty Matters" discussion, in which I have a small editorial role, going on this month at Liberty Fund's Online Library of Liberty. Also listen to Nicholas Vincent's conversation with Russ Roberts on EconTalk. Vincent is the author of Magna Carta: A Very Short Introduction.) Magna Carta was an agreement ...

American Gestapo

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 03:06
Stories like this one aren't new to Daily Bell readers. We think often of the state's outrageous overreach in the War on Drugs. Yet this one strikes a different chord. The victim wasn't slumped in a black SUV cruising through the hood. He was on a passenger train, setting out on what for him should have been an exciting journey. Tax-subsidized Amtrak promises "Rail journeys to remember" on its web site. Joseph Rivers certainly remembers – and he is not the only one. Take a few moments and read ...

Unionized Leviathan

Fri, 05/22/2015 - 03:04
The idea that government employees can or should have the right to unionize appears absurd on the face of it. Unlike the private sector, we are forced to pay for the "product" offered by government. We can't take our business elsewhere in the same way we do in the market economy. When a private union strangles a company, we aren't compelled to pay for its overpriced, inferior product. We take our money and go. This is not so with government; we are forced to pay the price for its mistakes. And ...

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