Archive for July, 2011

Fast & Furious Hearing Sending Shockwaves towards White House & Eric Holder

July 30, 2011

Fast & Furious Hearing Sending Shockwaves towards White House & Eric Holder

Thursday, 28 July 2011 20:36

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee conducted another hearing this week on Fast and Furious — the operation spearheaded by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) which knowingly put thousands of guns into criminals’ hands.

Tuesday’s hearing exposed the anti-gun animus of several people within the Obama Administration, and their answers continued to beg the question:  Was Operation Fast and Furious all about drumming up more support for gun control?

Gun Owners of America met with three persons from the House committee prior to the hearing.  The meeting was “off the record,” so we can’t report on the details.  Only to say, GOA brought up a hard-and-fast link between the White House and “Fast and Furious” — and encouraged committee members to pursue a line of questioning that would publicly expose this connection.

We were pleased to see that Representatives did just that.  Here’s what Tuesday’s hearing revealed for the record:

1. The White House WAS BEING BRIEFED by Fast and Furious manager Bill Newell.  In fact, a “smoking gun” email establishing the clandestine link between ATF Agent Newell and the White House begins with Newell saying:  “You didn’t get this from me ….”

2. ATF agents DID KNOW that “Fast and Furious” guns were going to Mexico.  During much of the hearing, ATF Agent Newell denied this, but intense questioning by Pennsylvania Republican Patrick Meehan revealed Newell’s lie.  The fact is, Newell and others DID KNOW that Mexican cartel bosses were expecting to get illegal firearms funneled into Mexico.

3. ATF agents have been deceptive when they claimed that Operation Fast and Furious was going to provide information for Mexican authorities to prosecute drug kingpins south of the border.  Cross-examination revealed that Mexican authorities already knew who the drug kingpins are and that ATF did not share any information with Mexico that would help them bring down these cartels.

4. Under oath, ATF agents admitted that Fast and Furious was a TOTAL break with their normal standards and procedures.  Normal police work would mean arresting straw buyers and “flipping them” — in other words, turning them against their superiors and bringing down the higher-ups in the smuggling ring.

But Fast and Furious involved a complete break with this strategy, in that gun smugglers were allowed to “go free” — even to the point where the guns were smuggled south of the border and permanently “out of sight” of ATF agents (or Mexican authorities, for that matter).  Indeed, one straw buyer bought some 720 guns for his bagman.

So the question is:  Why would an anti-gun administration knowingly let guns get into the “wrong hands”?  They claim the purpose was to help take down drug cartels in Mexico.

But given the fact that ATF was not sharing information with Mexico … and that they were TOTALLY breaking with standard law-enforcement procedures … and that they knew that “Fast and Furious” guns were winding up at crime scenes in Mexico … another more likely explanation is raising its ugly head.

The better explanation is that anti-gun officials in the Administration were trying to bring disrepute upon our Second Amendment freedoms and that this would lead to calls for more gun control.

Remember Rahm Emanuel’s famous line:  “Don’t let a crisis go to waste?”

Well, it seems that the Obama Administration was doing whatever it could to create a crisis that would supposedly show that most of the Mexican crime guns were originating in U.S. gun stores.

The Washington Times picked up on this obvious motive earlier this month:

The White House often claimed that 90 percent of the weapons used in Mexican crimes had been traced to the United States, but the number has never been substantiated. By all appearances, Fast and Furious delivered statistics to back up the figure.  (“Too fast, Too Furious,” July 13, 2011.)

Apparently, the ATF was not the only organization involved in Fast and Furious.  Tuesday’s hearing confirmed that the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement were all involved.

In other words, Fast and Furious was a giant operation being run out of the Justice Department.  And that means that all roads are starting to point to Attorney General Eric Holder.

As stated by House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa:

How is it that the Number Two, Three, Four at Justice all knew about this Program but the Number One [Attorney General Eric Holder] didn’t?  Is it because he said “don’t tell me”?  Is it because they knew what they were doing was wrong and they were protecting their boss?  Or is it just that Eric Holder was so disconnected ….

Either Holder is lying about the fact he didn’t know early on about Fast and Furious or he is inept.  Either way, Eric Holder needs to step down.

We asked you earlier this month to urge your Senators to call for Holder’s forced retirement.  It’s now time to communicate this to the House.

ACTION:  Ask your Representative to call for Eric Holder’s resignation.  And don’t forget to circulate this alert to your pro-gun family and friends.

Click here to send your Representative a prewritten email.

 

Let’s see now… Economics revisited; The epic failure known as obama.

July 26, 2011

Quick! Blame it on Bush! Blame it on Congress! Blame it on racism! But remember to do it For the Children!

Let’s get back to the basics, and stop the blaiming and finger pointing. Supposedly we have adults working on the economic woes that have beset our nation. What is needed are solutions. Not more he did this or she did that type of whining…

If a house is on fire put the damned fire out. NOW! The investigation into the cause can come later. If a patient is in V-Fib shock him, and do it now! What caused it can be determined at a later date…

Here, are a few guidelines to help the uninformed. So as to not try putting out that fire by spraying it with gasoline.

There are four basic laws of . When these laws are applied correctly in a society the society achieves explosive prosperity. Conversely when these four laws are violated that society will spiral down into recessions, depressions and wars.

The following are The Four Basic Laws of Economics.

  1. All money value is created through and backed by the production of goods and services.
  2. The individuals who create this production own the money exchanged for it.
  3. All production must be marketed on an Open Market (open to all on equal terms, absolutely no exceptions.)
  4. The money supply must be held constant forever with no exceptions. This Law standardizes the economic system like the metric system is standardized with a titanium bar in the length of 39 centimeters. So a constant money supply standardizes economics

These are the four basic laws of economics.   When I studied the History of Economics, I found  Societies using these laws knowingly or unknowingly achieved roaring prosperity.    When these laws fell out of use that Society found itself  in a recession, depression and/or war.

Societies using these laws are rewarding Production.   Societies not using these laws are rewarding non-production.    When you reward production you will get more production.   When you reward non-production you will get more non-production.

If we look back at the last 48 years we can see Laws 2, 3 and 4 were very out. The first law cannot be violated because production always creates money value if production is taking place. It is always in, man cannot change this law.    Without production money will have no value.

SOURCE

Economic principles are crucial not only to arguments for economic freedom, but also for personal and political liberty and for peaceful coexistence. Yet many people are ignorant of economics, or have heard some misleading or incorrect information. Still more people don’t see how economic principles can be applied to everyday life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is the job of the libertarian to show the world how closely tied economics is to freedom.

Economics and Abstraction

The trouble that many people seem to have applying economics, or accepting the libertarian view that economics is much more widely applicable than traditionally believed, is that they view economics as an abstraction, a set of patterns or guidelines, or some philosophy or social science that attempts to model reality. Since economics is viewed only as a model, when economics and reality do not coincide it is simply assumed that the model is flawed, and thus economics is seen as just one way of looking at things, that is sometimes useful and often inaccurate.

Some economics is abstraction. The supply and demand curves, for example, are abstract, not real. There are no actual curves, physically manifest in the real world, that are supply and demand curves. They are a mathematical model, and as such, they are useful only in helping us to visualize the data they represent – not to predict outcomes with great accuracy.

On the other hand, the core principles of Austrian economics are real, universally applicable laws. In the real world, physically, things are produced and consumed; they are supplied and demanded; the laws governing these actions are just as real as the laws of the physical world.

Every action one takes involving any resource that is scarce, anything that can be spent, is an economic action. Whether you are spending money or material goods, or time, attention, or effort, or whether you are spending any social capital, good will, influence, or credibility – any time you shrink your pool of anything that’s available to you, for any reason, you are engaging in an economic action. Taking these actions while ignoring the rules governing them is just as potentially hazardous as driving a car without knowing how to steer, or walking around on top of a steep mountain while ignoring the laws of gravity.

The problem the libertarian faces in convincing people of the veracity of these claims is that there is, within the field of economics, a lot of junk science. Every time a war, hurricane or tsunami hits, someone proclaims that the economy is stimulated, promptly convincing practically everyone within earshot that what’s good for “the economy” – an abstraction – is not necessarily good. Actual economists cringe at this, pointing out the fallacy that Bastiat is credited with exposing, which is that this view does not consider the opportunity cost of the resource being spent repairing the damage. In fact, disasters – natural or man made – are disasters, and throwing the economy in front of the train of public opinion is generally an attempt by those in power to placate the population and maintain the status quo. After all, a public that can see the positive side of hurricanes and tsunamis is that much more likely to buy into a war or some other State-sponsored disaster.

The Market – Real or Abstract?

People speak of the market very often in economics, so it’s of paramount importance to determine the reality behind this term. Is the market a real, actual thing, or is it an abstraction? The answer is both, and neither.

In some cases, the market is a real, physical place. When you buy groceries, you buy them at a supermarket, or a mini-mart, or a convenience store (the name convenience store is all too accurate, since their main commodity for sale is not groceries, but convenience, and you certainly pay for it), which is just as much a market as the supermarket is. Generally, any place where you buy something can be called a market. So in this sense, the market is real.

In other cases, the market is not physical but inferred. You can buy things on the Internet – web sites are “places” in one sense, but not another. The market becomes a facilitator. When we refer to the market value of a thing, we aren’t referring to the price we saw the thing for sale for at the actual market. We are in this case speaking of a metaphorical market. The black market isn’t an actual place one goes that is actually colored black. It’s an abstract term. (One could argue that the place where an exchange takes place becomes a de facto market, so if I sell things at my house, my house is an actual market for those things for that time. Either way, the term market is sometimes used as an abstraction, sometimes not.)

In this sense the market is both real and abstract, depending on the circumstance. However, the sense in which the term is often used is neither a physical location nor an abstraction of such. It is a situation, or a description of the state of things. When things are traded “on the market” it means that ownership of the things has been exchanged publicly, voluntarily, and legitimately. When we refer to a market as free, we mean that there are no barriers to these exchanges placed by others – in other words, no taxes, tariffs, price controls, or other interferences. When we say that something is “placed on the market” we mean that it is being offered for sale or trade.

It is important to distinguish between the abstract and situational uses of this term. For instance, if something is “on the market,” it’s available to be purchased – there is an actual good or service that is really available. If something has a “market value,” however, you can’t infer anything about that thing itself. “Value” is subjective, and relative; “market value” simply refers to the price one could fetch for the item if it were sold publicly. It might be based on the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price), or on the appraisal of a third party, or on the price that previous, similar items have sold for. There’s no way to predict or know market value – you can only guess, estimate, extrapolate, or average.

The Reality of the Free Market

Detractors of libertarianism complain that the free market is idolized and worshiped by libertarians, and that it is just another abstraction, that can never come true; they say it is idealistic or Utopian to expect a free market to ever arise.

The term “free market” often does not refer to a market at all. For instance, some would claim that the free market reduces prices and increases quality as time passes. However, there isn’t an actual marketplace that accomplishes this feat. Rather, “free market” is an abbreviation; what we are really referring to is the collected efforts of individuals acting on the free market. Markets don’t act – people do. The “free market” is simply the state of people acting without barriers to exchange.

Economic law proves that when individuals act without barriers to exchange they bring about states of affairs more desirable to themselves than if they act with barriers to exchange. When the “free market” reduces the price of a commodity, what’s really happening is that individual suppliers are reducing the prices of their goods in order to maximize their profits in the face of competition. When the “free market” increases the quality of a good, what’s happening is that suppliers are making better products, in order to maximize profit in the face of competition. When the “free market” bankrupts one supplier and makes another a millionaire, what is really happening is that individual consumers chose to spend their money on the latter supplier’s product, in order to maximize the utility of their money.

Libertarians do not worship the free market; however, we hold as an ideal that state of affairs brought about by the free market – a situation where everyone is free to act to benefit him or herself, as long as they do not harm others. Theory holds that this leads to maximal prosperity. Empirical evidence shows that the fewer restrictions on non-harmful, non-coercive behavior, the greater the prosperity that is achieved. This is not because of an abstraction or a model, but because of human nature and physical reality.

As for the final accusation, the situation described by the free market is not Utopian. Free exchanges are made every day. What prevents many people from seeing this fact is the limitation of economics to financial matters.

The Scope of Economics

Economics govern not merely financial exchanges but the allocation of all scarce resources, and the actions people take to satisfy their desires. People desire material goods, but they also desire other things. Let us consider the example of interpersonal relationships, and the applications of the free market scenario vs. the hampered market.

Daily, we trade our affections for the affections of others. Friends, family members, lovers, even pets, are capable and willing partners in exchanges of time, energy, favors, and good will – and these things are scarce resources. Governments do not currently place a tax on any of these things; however, I am certain that if a politician could figure out a way to do it it would happen. However, there are plenty of limitations or restrictions. A person cannot legally give a large monetary gift to their spouse, parent, child, or best friend without the government taxing it, even if the giver initially paid income tax on the money. A man cannot legally engage in sexual relations with another man. Consenting adults are limited in their behavior to varying degrees in different states.

Consider the question of voluntary exchange in a romantic relationship. You exchange affection, love, intimate relations, and promises of exclusivity, among other things. In a free market, these exchanges are voluntary and unrestricted. However, imagine if you had to pay a fee to love someone. This is relationship tax. Imagine if you had to give affection or romantic relations to a person who claimed to be unable to attain these things from free exchange! This is relationship welfare. Imagine if you had to marry someone of a specific race because statistics showed it to be harder for people of that race to find spouses! This is relationship affirmative action. Imagine if the State paid some people to have relations with each other, but not others. This is relationship subsidy. Imagine if the government provided everyone with a pet and demanded extraordinary amounts of money from them to take care of this pet. Yet this is what State roads, schools, and every other State bureaucracy is.

We live in a society with a relatively free market in interpersonal relationships. Very few filial, friendly, and romantic relations are taxed, limited, restricted, or forbidden. Many agree that the few restrictions there are should be lifted. Most people would be outraged by any further limitations or by any of the policies outlined above. It is clear to everyone that when it comes to matters of the heart, the freer the better.

But when it comes to matters of the wallet, it’s not clear to them at all. People are willing to force others to spend their money to contribute to the good of society. Money is seen as the root of all evil. Desire for material goods is looked down upon. The only reason for this is that it’s easier to benefit from someone else’s material goods than from their affections. Armed with enough firepower you could steal a million dollars but couldn’t make one person love you. Politicians have spent ages, for this reason, convincing us that it’s their right to steal money from us practically at gunpoint, and they have largely ignored our love lives – except to appease their religious constituency.

Due to centuries of influence by the political apparatus, many people believe that we rely on government interference for our safety and security and that it is necessary to sacrifice some freedom toward this end. However, when we consider that our finances are not the only economic situation we’re in, it becomes easier to see the stark differences between liberty and oppression.

Conclusion

Whenever an individual acts to meet his or her desires, he or she is subject to the rules of physical reality – of cause and effect, of scarcity, and of gravity and other physical laws. He or she is also subject to the rules of economics. Free trade allows the most efficient specialization, which means the greatest productivity. Disasters are bad. People trade things they have for things they want more. Scarcer goods are more expensive. These and other laws are immutable and both empirically and aprioristically proven.

Abstraction is a tool some economists overuse, but this should not be construed to deny the validity of economic laws. The free market is not an abstraction but an actual state of affairs, one that is to be striven for. The scope of economics is wide, and the rules thereof apply to things you might not expect them to – they apply to any action taken to meet a desire.

The denial of economic reality can be as disastrous as the denial of physical reality. The belief that you can defy economics is similar to the belief that you can fly by sprinkling fairy dust on yourself and thinking happy thoughts – it’s a fantasy that could prove harmful or fatal if taken too far. Libertarians should stress the applicability of economic principles and attempt to educate the public about them if we are ever to have victory for the cause of freedom and liberty.

 

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And then there is…

 

 

The story of the Austrian School begins in the fifteenth century, when the followers of St. Thomas Aquinas, writing and teaching at the University of Salamanca in Spain, sought to explain the full range of human action and social organization.

These Late Scholastics observed the existence of economic law, inexorable forces of cause and effect that operate very much as other natural laws. Over the course of several generations, they discovered and explained the laws of supply and demand, the cause of inflation, the operation of foreign exchange rates, and the subjective nature of economic value–all reasons Joseph Schumpeter celebrated them as the first real economists.

The Late Scholastics were advocates of property rights and the freedom to contract and trade. They celebrated the contribution of business to society, while doggedly opposing taxes, price controls, and regulations that inhibited enterprise. As moral theologians, they urged governments to obey ethical strictures against theft and murder. And they lived up to Ludwig von Mises’s rule: the first job of an economist is to tell governments what they cannot do.

The first general treatise on economics, Essay on the Nature of Commerce, was written in 1730 by Richard Cantillon, a man schooled in the scholastic tradition. Born in Ireland, he emigrated to France. He saw economics as an independent area of investigation, and explained the formation of prices using the “thought experiment.” He understood the market as an entrepreneurial process, and held to an Austrian theory of money creation: that it enters the economy in a step-by-step fashion, disrupting prices along the way.

Cantillon was followed by Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, the pro-market French aristocrat and finance minister under the ancien regime. His economic writings were few but profound. His paper “Value and Money” spelled out the origins of money, and the nature of economic choice: that it reflects the subjective rankings of an individual’s preferences. Turgot solved the famous diamond-water paradox that baffled later classical economists, articulated the law of diminishing returns, and criticized usury laws (a sticking point with the Late Scholastics). He favored a classical liberal approach to economic policy, recommending a repeal of all special privileges granted to government-connected industries.

Turgot was the intellectual father of a long line of great French economists of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, most prominently Jean Baptiste Say and Claude-Frederic Bastiat. Say was the first economist to think deeply about economic method. He realized that economics is not about the amassing of data, but rather about the verbal elucidation of universal facts (for example, wants are unlimited, means are scarce) and their logical implications.

Say discovered the productivity theory of resource pricing, the role of capital in the division of labor, and “Say’s Law”: there can never be sustained “overproduction” or “underconsumption” on the free market if prices are allowed to adjust. He was a defender of laissez-faire and the industrial revolution, as was Bastiat. As a free-market journalist, Bastiat also argued that nonmaterial services are subject to the same economic laws as material goods. In one of his many economic allegories, Bastiat spelled out the “broken-window fallacy” later popularized by Henry Hazlitt.

Despite the theoretical sophistication of this developing pre-Austrian tradition, the British school of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries won the day, mostly for political reasons. This British tradition (based on the objective-cost and labor-productivity theory of value) ultimately led to the rise of the Marxist doctrine of capitalist exploitation.

The dominant British tradition received its first serious challenge in many years when Carl Menger’s Principles of Economics was published in 1871. Menger, the founder of the Austrian School proper, resurrected the Scholastic-French approach to economics, and put it on firmer ground.

Together with the contemporaneous writings of Leon Walras and Stanley Jevons, Menger spelled out the subjective basis of economic value, and fully explained, for the first time, the theory of marginal utility (the greater the number of units of a good that an individual possesses, the less he will value any given unit). In addition, Menger showed how money originates in a free market when the most marketable commodity is desired, not for consumption, but for use in trading for other goods.

Menger’s book was a pillar of the “marginalist revolution” in the history of economic science. When Mises said it “made an economist” out of him, he was not only referring to Menger’s theory of money and prices, but also his approach to the discipline itself. Like his predecessors in the tradition, Menger was a classical liberal and methodological individualist, viewing economics as the science of individual choice. His Investigations, which came out twelve years later, battled the German Historical School, which rejected theory and saw economics as the accumulation of data in service of the state.

As professor of economics at the University of Vienna, and then tutor to the young but ill-fated Crown Prince Rudolf of the House of Habsburg, Menger restored economics as the science of human action based on deductive logic, and prepared the way for later theorists to counter the influence of socialist thought. Indeed, his student Friederich von Wieser strongly influenced Friedrich von Hayek’s later writings. Menger’s work remains an excellent introduction to the economic way of thinking. At some level, every Austrian since has seen himself as a student of Menger.

Menger’s admirer and follower at the University of Innsbruck, Eugen von Boehm-Bawerk, took Menger’s exposition, reformulated it, and applied it to a host of new problems involving value, price, capital, and interest. His History and Critique of Interest Theories, appearing in 1884, is a sweeping account of fallacies in the history of thought and a firm defense of the idea that the interest rate is not an artificial construct but an inherent part of the market. It reflects the universal fact of “time preference,” the tendency of people to prefer satisfaction of wants sooner rather than later (a theory later expanded and defended by Frank Fetter).

Boehm-Bawerk’s Positive Theory of Capital demonstrated that the normal rate of business profit is the interest rate. Capitalists save money, pay laborers, and wait until the final product is sold to receive profit. In addition, he demonstrated that capital is not homogeneous but an intricate and diverse structure that has a time dimension. A growing economy is not just a consequence of increased capital investment, but also of longer and longer processes of production.

Boehm-Bawerk engaged in a prolonged battle with the Marxists over the exploitation theory of capital, and refuted the socialist doctrine of capital and wages long before the communists came to power in Russia. Boehm-Bawerk also conducted a seminar that would later become the model for Mises’s own Vienna seminar.

Boehm-Bawerk favored policies that deferred to the ever-present reality of economic law. He regarded interventionism as an attack on market economic forces that cannot succeed in the long run. In the last years of the Habsburg monarchy, he three times served as finance minister, fighting for balanced budgets, sound money and the gold standard, free trade, and the repeal of export subsidies and other monopoly privileges.

It was his research and writing that solidified the status of the Austrian School as a unified way of looking at economic problems, and set the stage for the School to make huge inroads in the English-speaking world. But one area where Boehm-Bawerk had not elaborated on the analysis of Menger was money, the institutional intersection of the “micro” and “macro” approach. A young Mises, economic advisor to the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, took on the challenge.

The result of Mises’s research was The Theory of Money and Credit, published in 1912. He spelled out how the theory of marginal utility applies to money, and laid out his “regression theorem,” showing that money not only originates in the market, but must always do so. Drawing on the British Currency School, Knut Wicksell’s theory of interest rates, and Boehm-Bawerk’s theory of the structure of production, Mises presented the broad outline of the Austrian theory of the business cycle. A year later, Mises was appointed to the faculty of the University of Vienna, and Boehm-Bawerk’s seminar spent a full two semesters debating Mises’s book.

Mises’s career was interrupted for four years by World War I. He spent three of those years as an artillery officer, and one as a staff officer in economic intelligence. At war’s end, he published Nation, State, and Economy (1919), arguing on behalf of the economic and cultural freedoms of minorities in the now-shattered empire, and spelling out a theory of the economics of war. Meanwhile, Mises’s monetary theory received attention in the U.S. through the work of Benjamin M. Anderson, Jr., an economist at Chase National Bank. (Mises’s book was panned by John Maynard Keynes, who later admitted he could not read German.)

In the political chaos after the war, the main theoretician of the now-socialist Austrian government was Marxist Otto Bauer. Knowing Bauer from the Boehm-Bawerk seminar, Mises explained economics to him night after night, eventually convincing him to back away from Bolshevik-style policies. The Austrian socialists never forgave Mises for this, waging war against him in academic politics and successfully preventing him from getting a paid professorship at the university.

Undeterred, Mises turned to the problem of socialism itself, writing a blockbuster essay in 1921, which he turned into the book Socialism over the next two years. Socialism permits no private property or exchange in capital goods, and thus no way for resources to find their most highly valued use. Socialism, Mises predicted, would result in utter chaos and the end of civilization.

Mises challenged the socialists to explain, in economic terms, precisely how their system would work, a task which the socialists had heretofore avoided. The debate between the Austrians and the socialists continued for the next decade and beyond, and, until the collapse of world socialism in 1989, academics had long thought that the debate was resolved in favor of the socialists.

Meanwhile, Mises’s arguments on behalf of the free market attracted a group of converts from the socialist cause, including Hayek, Wilhelm Roepke, and Lionel Robbins. Mises began holding a private seminar in his offices at the Chamber of Commerce that was attended by Fritz Machlup, Oskar Morgenstern, Gottfried von Haberler, Alfred Schutz, Richard von Strigl, Eric Voegelin, Paul Rosenstein-Rodan, and many other intellectuals from all over Europe.

Also during the 1920s and 30s, Mises was battling on two other academic fronts. He delivered the decisive blow to the German Historical School with a series of essays in defense of the deductive method in economics, which he would later call praxeology or the logic of action. He also founded the Austrian Institute for Business Cycle Research, and put his student Hayek in charge of it.

During these years, Hayek and Mises authored many studies on the business cycle, warned of the danger of credit expansion, and predicted the coming currency crisis. This work was cited by the Nobel Prize committee in 1974 when Hayek received the award for economics. Working in England and America, Hayek later became a prime opponent of Keynesian economics with books on exchange rates, capital theory, and monetary reform. His popular book Road to Serfdom helped revive the classical liberal movement in America after the New Deal and World War II. And his series Law, Legislation, and Liberty elaborated on the Late Scholastic approach to law, and applied it to criticize egalitarianism and nostrums like social justice.

In the late 1930s, after suffering from the worldwide depression, Austria was threatened by a Nazi takeover. Hayek had already left for London in 1931 at Mises’s urging, and in 1934, Mises himself moved to Geneva to teach and write at the International Institute for Graduate Studies, later emigrating to the United States. Knowing Mises as the sworn enemy of national socialism, the Nazis confiscated Mises’s papers from his apartment and hid them for the duration of the war. Ironically, it was Mises’s ideas, filtered through the work of Roepke and the statesmanship of Ludwig Erhard, that led to Germany’s postwar economic reforms and rebuilt the country. Then, in 1992, Austrian archivists discovered Mises’s stolen Vienna papers in a reopened archive in Moscow.

While in Geneva, Mises’s wrote his masterwork, Nationalokonomie, and, after coming to the United States, revised and expanded it into Human Action, which appeared in 1949. His student Murray N. Rothbard called it “Mises’s greatest achievement and one of the finest products of the human mind in our century. It is economics made whole.” The appearance of this work was the hinge of the whole history of the Austrian School, and it remains the economic treatise that defines the School. Even so, it was not well received in the economics profession, which had already made a decisive turn towards Keynesian.

Though Mises never held the paid academic post he deserved, he gathered students around him at New York University, just as he had in Vienna. Even before Mises emigrated, journalist Henry Hazlitt had become his most prominent champion, reviewing his books in the New York Times and Newsweek, and popularizing his ideas in such classics as Economics in One Lesson. Yet Hazlitt made his own contributions to the Austrian School. He wrote a line-by-line critique of Keynes’s General Theory, defended the writings of Say, and restored him to a central place in Austrian macroeconomic theory. Hazlitt followed Mises’s example of intransigent adherence to principle, and as a result was pushed out of four high-profile positions in the journalistic world.

Mises’s New York seminar continued until two years before his death in 1973. During those years, Rothbard was his student. Indeed, Rothbard’s Man, Economy, and State (1963) was patterned after Human Action, and in some areas–monopoly theory, utility and welfare, and the theory of the state–tightened and strengthened Mises’s own views. Rothbard’s approach to the Austrian School followed directly in the line of Late Scholastic thought by applying economic science within a framework of a natural-rights theory of property. What resulted was a full-fledged defense of a capitalistic and stateless social order, based on property and freedom of association and contract.

Rothbard followed his economic treatise with an investigation of the great depression, which applied Austrian business cycle theory to show that the stock market crash and economic downturn was attributable to a prior bank credit expansion. Then in a series of studies on government policy, he established the theoretical framework for examining the effects of all types of intervention in the market.

In his later years, Mises saw the beginnings of the revival of the Austrian School that dates from the appearance of Man, Economy, and State and continues to this day. It was Rothbard who firmly established the Austrian School and classical liberal doctrine in the U.S., especially with Conceived in Liberty, his four-volume history of colonial America and the secession from Britain. The reunion of natural-rights theory and the Austrian School came in his philosophical work, The Ethics of Liberty, all while he was writing a series of scholarly economic pieces gathered in the two-volume Logic of Action, published in Edward Elgar’s “Economists of the Century” series.

These seminal works serve as the crucial link between the Mises-Hayek generation and the Austrians now working to expand the tradition. Indeed, without Rothbard’s willingness to defy the intellectual trends of his time, progress in the Austrian School tradition might have come to a halt. As it was, his wide and deep scholarship, cheerful personality, encyclopedic knowledge, and optimistic outlook inspired countless students to turn their attention to the cause of liberty.

Though Austrians are now in a more prominent position than at any point since the 1930s, Rothbard, like Mises before him, was not well treated by academia. Although he held a chair in his later years at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he never taught in a capacity that permitted him to direct dissertations. Nonetheless, he managed to recruit a large, active, and interdisciplinary following for the Austrian School.

The founding of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in 1982, with the aid of Margit von Mises as well as Hayek and Hazlitt, provided a range of new opportunities for both Rothbard and the Austrian School. Through a steady stream of academic conferences, instructional seminars, books, monographs, newsletters, studies, and even films, Rothbard and the Mises Institute carried the Austrian School forward into the post-socialist age.

The first issue of the Rothbard-edited Review of Austrian Economics appeared in 1987, became a semiannual in 1991, and becomes a quarterly in 1998, The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. The Mises Institute’s instructional summer school has been held every year since 1984. For many of these years, Rothbard presented his research into the history of economic thought. This culminated in his two-volume An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, which broadens the history of the discipline to encompass centuries of writing.

Through the Mises Institute’s student fellowships, study guides, bibliographies, and conferences, the Austrian School has permeated, at some level, virtually every department of economics and the social sciences in America, and in many foreign countries as well. The annual Austrian Scholars Conference at Auburn University attracts scholars from around the world to discuss, debate, and apply the entire Austrian tradition.

The fascinating history of this great body of thought, through all its ebbs and flows, is the story of how great minds can advance science and oppose evil with creativity and courage. Now the Austrian School enters a new millennium as the intellectual standard bearer for the free society. That it does so is thanks to the heroic and brilliant minds that make up the family history of the School, and to those who are carrying that legacy forward with the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Source ; See blogroll

Obama Packing the Courts with Anti-gun Radicals

July 26, 2011

While the mice are away as the saying goes…

In case you were thinking that Barack Obama’s hatred of the Second Amendment was subsiding, Obama has now nominated — to the country’s second-highest court — an avid leader in the effort to destroy firearms manufacturers using frivolous litigation.

The nomination of Caitlin Halligan — formerly the solicitor general of New York — to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals would put a rabid anti-gun activist in a position where she could do maximum damage to the Second Amendment.

As New York’s solicitor general, Halligan was one of the chief lawyers responsible for New York’s baseless and politically motivated efforts to bankrupt gun manufacturers using frivolous litigation.  In so doing, Halligan proved that she places liberal political activism above fealty to the law.

Halligan’s public hatred for firearms was only matched by her zealotry inside the courtroom.  In a speech on May 5, 2003, Halligan called for “handgun manufacturers [to be held] liable for criminal acts committed with handguns.”

Certainly, no other manufacturer of another item — whether it be cars, baseball bats, or anything else — would be held liable for the criminal misuse of its product.  And, as Halligan well knows, the application of that principle to firearms would surely eliminate the manufacture of firearms in America.

It is also significant that a Washington-based anti-gun group openly took credit for coordinating anti-gun suits such as Halligan’s.

After attempts of legal extortion of the firearms industry were repudiated by a bipartisan vote in Congress, Halligan’s office signed a brief calling for New York courts to declare the federal Gun Makers’ Protection Act “unconstitutional” because it supposedly overstepped Congress’ powers.

This, at a time when Halligan would no doubt hold the anti-gun ObamaCare is constitutional because there are no effective limits on Congress’ powers.

Finally, Halligan, in written testimony submitted to the Senate in connection with her nomination, attempted to conceal the extent of her anti-gun animus.

Halligan’s failure to provide information that would clarify her statements, thus keeping her testimony from being misleading, constitutes “fraud” against the Senate.  As such, the only role she should play in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals is the role of a defendant.

We have to stop this Presidential court-packing scheme.  But we don’t have much time — the Senate could be voting on this anti-gun nominee this week!

ACTION:  Contact your senators and urge them to vote against the Halligan nomination.

Click here to send your Senators a prewritten email message.

Do Your Senators Oppose UN Gun Grab?

July 26, 2011

The good news is that 30 Senators have signed onto a letter opposing any UN treaty that infringes on the Second Amendment.

The bad news is that a global small arms treaty could still pass unless more Senators come out in opposition.

Last week, a so-called UN “preparatory committee” met for the third time to work on the massive Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).

The ATT is the most comprehensive treaty of its kind and would regulate worldwide trade of weapons on everything from battleships to bullets.  Few details of the treaty have been made public, but it is widely expected that the final draft will:

* Require gun owner registration
* Require ammunition “microstamping”
* Define “manufacturing” so broadly that any gun owner who adds so much as a scope or changes a stock on a firearm would be required to obtain a manufacturing license
* Include a ban on some types of semi-automatic firearms
* Include a ban .50 caliber firearms
* Demand the mandatory destruction of surplus ammo and confiscated firearms.

Of course, we know that the Obama administration supports all of these proposals and would love to get them passed into law.  Obama’s negotiators at the UN have already expressed full support of the treaty and will work to include gun control provisions they haven’t been able to push through the Congress.

The deadline for a final version of a treaty is July 2012, at which time it will be sent to the various member countries for ratification.

Kansas Senator Jerry Moran (R) drafted a letter to President Obama stating that our Second Amendment rights are “not negotiable” and pledges to “oppose ratification of an Arms Trade Treaty presented to the Senate that in any way restricts the rights of law-abiding U.S. citizens to manufacture, assemble, possess, transfer or purchase firearms, ammunition, and related items.”

In the Untied States the treaty will go to the Senate, where it requires 67 votes to be ratified.  Conversely, we need 34 votes to kill the ATT.

So we’re still four commitments short of defeating the treaty – and that doesn’t account for any Senators who are “playing politics” and who may end up supporting the ATT with the right amount of pressure.

And you can bet that the pressure will be on to get this treaty ratified before the 2012 elections.

So far, the following Senators have joined Sen. Moran in publicly opposing any anti-gun treaty:

Ayotte (NH)
Blunt (MO)
Boozman (AR)
Burr (NC)
Coburn (OK)
Cochran (MS)
Corker (TN)
Cornyn (TX)
Chambliss (GA)
Crapo (ID)
DeMint (SC)
Enzi (WY)
Graham (SC)
Hatch (UT)
Heller (NV)
Hoeven (ND)
Hutchison (TX)
Inhofe (OK)
Isakson (GA)
Johanns (NE)
Kyl (AZ)
Paul (KY)
Roberts (KS)
Rubio (FL)
Sessions (AL)
Shelby (AL)
Thune (SD)
Vitter (LA)
Wicker (MS)

But 30 Senators is not enough.  We need at least 34 to come out publicly in opposition to the ATT – and a few extra as “insurance.”

ACTION: Contact your Senators and urge them to cosign the Moran letter opposing any UN treaty that infringes on our Second Amendment rights.  The pre-written letter thanks those who have already signed, and urges other to do so right away.  So please send the letter even if one or both of your Senators already signed on.

And if you are not already a member of GOA, please consider contributing today to help us continue the fight against UN-imposed gun control.

 

Click Here to send your Senators a prewritten message.

Push for Gun Control Treaty Continues

July 18, 2011

A UN committee wrapped up a week-long series of meetings on a massive treaty that could undermine both U.S. sovereignty and the Second Amendment.  This is the third round of meetings by the so-called “preparatory committee” on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) as the UN gears up for final negotiations in 2012.

The most comprehensive treaty of its kind, the ATT would regulate weapons trade throughout the world on everything from battleships to bullets.

And as information trickles out of Turtle Bay in New York City, it is obvious the UN is getting more clever about taking the focus off of “small arms.”

With an eye cast in the direction of the U.S.—in particular, toward the U.S. Senate which must ratify the treaty—the most recent Draft Paper for the Arms Trade Treaty recognizes in its preamble “the sovereign right of States to determine any regulation of internal transfers of arms and national ownership exclusively within their territory, including through national constitutional protections on private ownership.”

That statement, taken by itself, is troubling.  Americans’ right to keep and bear arms exists whether or not it is “recognized” by some UN committee.  The right enshrined in the Second Amendment predates our own Constitution, and does not need an international stamp of approval.

But the preamble aside, the scope of the treaty is what’s most damaging.  Though negotiations will continue for another year, some provisions are certain to be contained in the final draft.

The ATT will, at the very least, require gun owner registration and microstamping of ammunition.  And it will define manufacturing so broadly that any gun owner who adds so much as a scope or changes a stock on a firearm would be required to obtain a manufacturing license.

It would also likely include a ban on many semi-automatic firearms (i.e., the Clinton gun ban) and demand the mandatory destruction of surplus ammo and confiscated firearms.

Any suggestion that the treaty might not impact all firearms—right down to common hunting rifles—was thrown out the window after seeing the reaction to the Canadian government’s motion that hunting rifles be exempted from the treaty.

The Canadian representative caused a stir among the other delegates this week when he proposed that the treaty include the following language: “Reaffirming that small arms have certain legitimate civilian uses, including sporting, hunting, and collecting purposes.”

While Canadian gun owners were pleased with even the slightest movement by its government to protect gun rights, the proposed language is yet another indication that ALL firearms are “on the table.”

Feeble as it is, Canadian proposal was viewed as a major wrench thrown in the works, and had the anti-gunners crying foul.

Kenneth Epps is a representative with the Canadian anti-gun group known as Project Plowshares.  According to Postmedia News, Epps said Canada’s move is hampering efforts to forge a comprehensive global arms control regime.

Noting that there is little difference between a sniper rifle and a hunting rifle, Epps said, “The problem is that once you introduce exemptions, others will do the same.  It’s the thin edge of the wedge….From a humanitarian perspective, all firearms need to be controlled, and that’s the bottom line.”

Such statements are eagerly welcomed by the Obama administration.  Since it has been largely stymied in pushing gun control in Congress, U.S. negotiators will push the envelope as far as they can.

The U.S. Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security, a key negotiator of the ATT, is anti-gun former Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher of California.  Tauscher said last year that her team at the State Department “will work between now and the UN Conference in 2012 to negotiate a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty.”

In 2009, newly confirmed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reversed the position of the Bush administration (which voted against the treaty in 2008) and stated that “The United States is prepared to work hard for a strong international standard in this area.”

International standards, however, may not be the only, or even the primary, objective.  Former ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, observes that, “The hidden agenda of a lot of the people who sought to negotiate a small arms treaty really had less to do with reducing dangers internationally and a lot more to do with creating a framework for gun control statutes at the national level.”

Bolton explains that pressure from the groups agitating for the treaty—groups such as Amnesty International, Oxfam, and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA)—is geared toward constraining the freedoms of countries that recognize gun rights.  “And specifically, and most importantly, [to] constrain the United States,” Bolton said.

Negotiators, from abroad and within the Obama administration, view arms control as  protecting human rights, rather than seeing civilian disarmament for what it is—the favorite tool of despots, dictators and tyrants to maintain power by engaging in mass murder and genocide.

And, perversely, in many instances those resisting an oppressive, genocidal regime would be held in the same light as criminals and terrorists and be legally prohibited under the ATT from purchasing weapons.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) makes this point in a letter he drafted to President Obama: “[T]he underlying philosophy of the Arms Trade Treaty is that transfers to and from governments are presumptively legal, while transfers to non-state actors…are, at best, problematic.”

Sen. Moran’s letter, in which he is joined by other pro-gun Senators, warned that any treaty “that seeks in any way to regulate the domestic manufacture, assembly, possession, transfer, or purchase of firearms, ammunition, and related items would be completely unacceptable to us.”

U.S. freedom is clearly in the sights of the ATT.  The time to take action is now, before the treaty moves into final negotiations.

ACTION: Urge your Senators to oppose any UN effort to impose restrictions on the Second Amendment, and to sign on to Sen. Moran’s letter to President Obama in opposition to the ATT.

Click here to send your Senators a prewritten message.

FirearmsTalk is proud to announce the release of the Ruger 10/22 Sporter Contest.

July 18, 2011

FirearmsTalk is proud to announce the release of the Ruger 10/22 Sporter Contest.

Up for grabs is a brand new Ruger 10/22 Sporter that features:

  • Detachable rotary magazine
  • Extended magazine release
  • Push button manual safety
  • Combination scope base adapter
  • Hammer-forged barrel
  • Polymer trigger housing
  • Aluminum receiver
  • Flat buttplate

In order to enter you must complete at least one of the following and then reply to this thread with which one you did.

1. Refer someone to FirearmsTalk. Make sure they enter your user name into the referral box upon registration. Only referals after 7/12 will count.

2. Like us on Facebook. (https://www.facebook.com/firearmstalk)

3. Follow us on Twitter. (Twitter)

4. Post a link to the contest on another website.

Contest Details
On August 15th we will close this Giveaway, put all the names in a box and draw one winner on August 16th in a live drawing.

The winner will have 24 hours from the time the winner is posted to this thread to claim their Ruger Sporter 10/22.
In order to claim you must send Notdku a private message with your information. If you do not respond with your
address within that time a new winner will be chosen. The same rules apply to the next winner.

No purchase necessary. To enter by mail send full name, address, phone number to FirearmsTalk PO BOX 911 San Marcos, Texas 78667. Entries must be received by August 15th, 2011. All contests are void where prohibited or restricted by law. Winners are responsible for all taxes or customs fees. You must be 21 or older to enter and win. Free shipping to anywhere in USA that allows this firearm. FirearmsTalk will ship to a registered FFL in your State, if your State allows this firearm.

Time for Attorney General Eric Holder to resign; Is this a recording..?

July 11, 2011
Well, the other shoe has dropped.  We’ve known for several months that the Obama Administration was turning a blind eye to — and even encouraged — suspected gun smugglers who were purchasing firearms from gun stores in the southwest.
However, now we know the rest of the story:  Your tax money was used to buy many of those guns that were later sent to Mexico.
But why?  That’s the recurring question.  Why would the Obama Administration — that is filled with anti-gun cronies — knowingly approve the sales of firearms to bad guys?  Why would they knowingly put thousands of guns “into the wrong hands,” when they’ve spent years advocating gun control laws to supposedly get guns “out of the wrong hands.”

 

Time to Close Down the ATF

July 2, 2011

This week, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) beamed a spotlight on the criminal behavior of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

At Wednesday’s hearing, Issa took on Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich by asking him: “Who authorized this program that was so felony stupid it got people killed.”

While Chairman Issa was exposing several ATF lies, the Democrats used the opportunity to plug for more gun control.

Read more about it by clicking here. Plus, see more stunning revelations of ATF corruption and their efforts to cover their tracks.

SUPPLY SIDE ECONOMICS

July 2, 2011

A rather prolific blogger has had a rather good time bashing the supply side economics theory as of late. His education in economic theory appears to come from the populist genre’ and not from any sort of formal training.

If trickle down economics does not work, then how does the reverse occur? When those with Capital; You know, the big bad people with the money and corporations. Don’t invest and create jobs, thereby spreading and creating wealth because they themselves don’t have enough liquid income to justify the risk what do you call it?

Increasing taxes removes income that could be invested. Creating jobs and spreading the wealth through that medium then becomes less tenable. So how is it that this does not work then..?

Going about my daily routines I hear a lot of whining. Usually having to do with something along the lines of “paying their fair share,” or something close to that. I submit that a fair share would be a flat tax. The same rate for everyone. What a novel idea! To bad that I was not the first to think of that. That little gem belongs to a Roman Emperor I believe.

Then we have various assorted idiots that claim that we are under taxed. Those same people then go on to present fuzzy math based only on a single tax criteria. Failing to add up all the different taxes that we pay. Why not include all the different state and local taxes, fuel taxes, library taxes, and so on? It’s pure speculation on my part to be sure. However, everyone of them appears to be a supporter of ever bigger and expanding government. To me, that is simple dishonesty.

So why lower corporate taxes? To bring back capital investment that has been moved overseas is one reason. That means jobs for Americans here at home. Isn’t that reason enough?

 

 


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