Thursday, October 6, 2016

Who's on your side and who's not

I propose an experiment.  Let all government employees go it alone completely segregated from the rest of us, and let the rest of us live our lives without the interference of government employees.  

Would the first group have to form a market?

Would the second group have to form a state?

My guess is the first group would hear the growling in their stomachs and cop out of the experiment.  Plus they’d miss the fun of intimidating taxpayers, policing the world, hunting down and incarcerating people who ingest substances illegally made illegal, creating endless reams of red tape in which to bury us, and spying on every last human on earth.  Oh, yes, and imagine the poor FED printing money that bought exactly what it would be worth — nothing.  The second group would continue to rely on production and trade — the free market — only more so because they’d have to fend off the attacks of the first group.  What people need the market will provide, including defense.  And they would do everything in their power to avoid forming a state.

It’s during election season especially that people tend to forget who their real friends are.  You won’t find your friends fighting for the levers of power or schmoozing those who are.  In an attempt to refresh ourselves about who’s on our side and who’s not, I offer some excerpts from around the Web.  All emphasis is mine.

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Our DNA is as a consumer company - for that individual customer who's voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That's who we think about. And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it's not up to par, it's our fault, plain and simply. — Steve Jobs ( BrainyQuote)

Another critical divergence between market action and democratic voting is this: the voter has, for example, only a 1/50 millionth power to choose among his would-be rulers, who in turn will make vital decisions affecting him, unchecked and unhampered until the next election. In the market, on the other hand, the individual has the absolute sovereign power to make the decisions concerning his person and property, not merely a distant, 1/50 millionth power. On the market the individual is continually demonstrating his choice of buying or not buying, selling or not selling, in the course of making absolute decisions regarding his property. The voter, by voting for some particular candidate, is demonstrating only a relative preference over one or two other potential rulers; he must do this within the framework of the coercive rule that, whether or not he votes at all, one of these men will rule over him for the next several years. — Man, Economy, and State with Power and Market: The Scholar's Edition, Murray Rothbard 

Within the shop and factory the owner . . . is the boss. But this mastership is merely apparent and conditional. It is subject to the supremacy of the consumers. The consumer is king, is the real boss, and the manufacturer is done for if he does not outstrip his competitors in best serving consumers.

It was this great economic transformation that changed the face of the world. It very soon transferred political power from the hands of a privileged minority into the hands of the people. Adult franchise followed in the wake of industrial enfranchisement. The common man, to whom the market process had given the power to choose the entrepreneur and capitalists, acquired the analogous power in the field of government. He became a voter.

It has been observed by eminent economists, I think first by the late Frank A. Fetter, that the market is a democracy in which every penny gives a right to vote. It would be more correct to say that representative government by the people is an attempt to arrange constitutional affairs according to the model of the market, but this design can never be fully achieved. In the political field it is always the will of the majority that prevails, and the minorities must yield to it.Liberty and Property, Ludwig von Mises

Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one's government is not necessarily to secure freedom. — Friedrich August von Hayek ( BrainyQuote)

Voting has become a vague preference that politicians are only loosely obliged to follow, since there are no legal consequences for breaking an election promise. — Sukrit Sabhlok (“loosely”?)

Government may pose as the savior of a group of voters they've impoverished, such as the elderly, by subsidizing their medical expenses. New entitlements create the need for more revenue, which fuels more inflation, pushing the dollar closer to a complete collapse. — The Jolly Roger Dollar: An Introduction to Monetary Piracy, George Ford Smith

It is a common phenomenon that the individual in his capacity as a voter virtually contradicts his conduct on the market. Thus, for instance, he may vote for measures which will raise the price of one commodity or of all commodities, while as a buyer he wants to see these prices low.  Such conflicts arise out of ignorance and error. — Human Action, Ludwig von Mises

“You proclaim yourself unable to harness the forces of inanimate matter, yet propose to harness the minds of men who are able to achieve the feats you cannot equal. You proclaim that you cannot survive without us, yet propose to dictate the terms of our survival. You proclaim that you need us, yet indulge the impertinence of asserting your right to rule us by force— and expect that we, who are not afraid of that physical nature which fills you with terror, will cower at the sight of any lout who has talked you into voting him a chance to command us.”  — Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand

"People don’t talk seriously about the power company ‘stealing’ their money, so why should they talk that way about taxes and government deficits? To repeat, the dollars we withhold from your paychecks are rightfully ours. And the national debt we incur to cover our revenue shortfall is a wash because we owe it to ourselves. We don’t need to turn the clock back, we don’t need to throw government out the window, we need to support what we have because it works! And I know most Americans are with me because a majority of voters voted me into office." — The Flight of the Barbarous Relic, a work of fiction by George Ford Smith

By the end of 2008, bailout of just the financial-services industry during the Bush Administration had reached over $7 trillion, which was ten times the amount originally estimated. It was more than twice the cost of World War II.  Although this was many times greater than anything like it in history, it was considered to be a temporary solution, leaving final decisions for the incoming Obama Administration.  Although many voters thought there would be a change under Obama, the handwriting was already on the wall: 90% of the donations to Obama's inauguration fund came from Wall Street firms that received billions in bailout and were anticipating more of the same. They were not to be disappointed.The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, G. Edward Griffin

After the 2008 Crash, commentator Michael Barone noted that many people expected US voters to turn against “Big Business” and “market solutions” in favor of more “Big Government.”  But it is difficult to draw such distinctions when Big Business, Big Finance, Big Labor, Big Law, and Big Government all merge together into a single conglomerated entity, one that seems devoted to its own welfare rather than the public good. — Crony Capitalism in America: 2008-2012, Hunter Lewis

“I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again: Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.” — Franklin Roosevelt speaking on the campaign trail, October 30, 1940:



PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT began gradually leaking the news of his new war plan, the Victory Program. One hundred billion dollars would go toward the building of 125,000 airplanes; half of the entire productive capacity of the United States would be devoted to the production of arms. “Tanks in what are described as unbelievable numbers are planned,” The New York Times reported. It was October 18, 1941

Eugene Duffield, the head of The Wall Street Journal’s Washington bureau, pondered the meaning of that many tanks, and he wrote a long story the next day. “By its emphasis on tanks and ordnance, the ‘Victory Program’ reveals that long-range bombing and ocean blockade no longer are counted on to subdue Germany,” Duffield wrote. The program, he said, envisioned an American army composed of “one of every three men between the ages of 18 and 45.” — Human Smoke: The Beginnings of World War II, the End of Civilization, Nicholson Baker


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