Libertarian Ramblings

Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

Daniel Hannan

Posted by gravisman on March 26, 2009

What a refreshing politician! 

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Posted in Politics, Videos | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Taxes aren’t the issue

Posted by gravisman on November 24, 2008

NBC on Obama-nomics

In the above link, NBC talks about Obama’s plans to revive the economy, and most of the article focuses on taxes. What taxes may or may not be increased or decreased and when. The reality that the American people need to realize is that traditional taxes are essentially a red herring when it comes to government economic management.

So, here’s the big secret, if you haven’t heard it yet: the government doesn’t need to collect taxes to finance its expenses! The reality is that the government can fund every expense it wants through inflation. That is, it prints money via the Fed. If the government needs money to pay for something, it has the power to create that money. This is already widely practiced today.

The problem is that every time the government creates new money, it makes every other dollar in existence worth a little less. It’s exactly as though someone started printing Mickey Mantle rookie cards. There worth a lot now, but as soon as everyone has them, they’re not worth much.¬†

Because of this we can essentially classify inflation as a tax. What makes it really bad is that inflation affects every single person without mercy, because it devalues all our money, rich and poor alike. Even Fed Chairman Bernanke agrees that inflation is a tax.

So, the bottom line is that traditional taxes are really not the issue, and they distract people from what is the real issue: spending. No matter what the government does with taxes, they will find a way to finance their expenses. Lowering taxes just makes people feel better. We keep them at a high enough rate that people believe the distraction that they really are what’s important. Unless the government wishes to sink further into debt and inflate the dollar even more, there’s only one response: cut spending.

UPDATE: So, I just came across page 142 of Ron Paul’s book, The Revolution, where he explains inflation by comparing it to Mickey Mantle baseball cards. I can assure you that I wrote this post before reading Ron Paul’s words, so hopefully nobody accuses me of plagiarism. In any case, all respect for Dr. Paul.

Posted in Links, Politics, Rants, Videos | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Free Market Government

Posted by gravisman on October 28, 2008

Link – Dealing with Police

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Intervention is the problem – not the solution

Posted by gravisman on September 18, 2008

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Free people get to have fun

Posted by gravisman on July 2, 2008

The above video is a bit of hilarity from the very talented ventriliquist Jeff Dunham. The next bit is a collection of responses to the video posted by MobLogic.

“Most of the people who watch these videos are racist.” What?! My message to anyone who finds racism in this video, or any joking of this nature: you are the ones giving legitimacy to any ideas of real difference, and thereby promoting racism – not the rest of us who are just having fun.

One of the great concepts of slander is that in order for something to be truly slanderous, it must be considered believable by a normal person. If someone posts a video joking that Libertarian Ramblings can’t even write a complete sentence, it can be easily left as simply a joke because it’s so obviously untrue. If I fight back on behalf of my blog and cry foul, it can only be from the perspective that it’s possibly true, and thus hurtful. Thus, it’s not the joke that brings bad light on LR, but the cry of foul play that suddenly brings people’s attention to the thought that maybe LR really does suck.

Additionally, embracing difference is generally considered to be a part of anti-racism, anti-sexism, etc. Embracing difference means we don’t avoid ever making mention of differences or potential differences – we don’t ignore them. Embracing difference means acknowledging that it’s ok to have differences, and so differences becomes a thing of smiling and laughter, not a thing of hate, as some pretend they must be. These people push what I call “tolerance by ignorance” – make everyone appear to be exactly the same and ignore all differences. If we can’t actually handle differences, then what the hell is the point?

The fact is, if we’re a free people, we can be free to embrace our idiosyncratic differences – even those that are associated with identifiable groups of people. More than that, we can be free to have fun with those differences; to make jokes and to laugh. What is freedom worth without laughter anyway?

Posted in Rants, Videos | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Can energy be free?

Posted by gravisman on June 25, 2008

I mean, isn’t this supposed to be a free country?

Posted in Videos | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

A reminder to be sane about net neutrality

Posted by gravisman on June 20, 2008

As an internet geek, it’s very easy for me to fly off the handle at any rumor of Comcast or any of the other major ISPs limiting my ability to freely and fully access the internet. The internet is a precious commodity, and its openness is what makes it so great. Thoughts of anyone tampering with the openness of the network don’t sit well in my heart.

The last year or so has seen increased debate on the issue of net neutrality as alarmists fear that ISPs will try to take part of the internet away or lessen its efficacy toward the end of their own monetary gain. The most basic fear is that ISPs will implement technology that allows them to prioritize certain kinds of traffic on their network, and then extort money from the websites that wish to be prioritized. With that done, small websites and anyone refusing to pay ISPs a ransom for the bandwidth to reach the customers on the ends of their connections would have a distinct disadvantage and possibly fade away. An even more alarmist idea is the ridiculous notion that ISPs would and could turn the internet into a television-like subscription service where the customer has to pay extra to access any sites not in a pre-selected package of sites. For those who haven’t heard that craziness, check this out:

I don’t think I even need to comment on how insane this idea is. Anyone who understands how market forces (and the internet itself) work knows this is entirely impractical and you probably wish you had your five minutes back from watching that video.

There still remains, however, the more general issue of net neutrality, relating to preferential treatment of traffic. Many people are so afraid of what could happen that there has been a major movement to pass legislation guaranteeing the idea that the internet will remain entirely neutral in the traffic it servers for years to come. Many big guns including our friends at Google support such a law. It sounds like a great idea on the surface. After all, who likes the idea of the evil ISPs controlling what traffic we can get through our paid for internet connects, and how effectively we get it? It’s enough to scare any nerd into activism.

Reality check time. When did we start thinking government regulation is the solution to internet problems? Especially hypothetical internet problems (ok, bit-torrent throttling is a real issue today, but that’s not the same as prioritizing web-sites, and that’s a problem that will likely get worked out as ISPs grow up to the modern internet). We nerds have a mostly great track record for shunning government intervention in our affairs – especially when it comes to our beloved internet. Somehow, though, we have been scared and duped en mass to supporting a piece of legislation that would have far reaching effects on our favorite toy now and into the future. One of the biggest problems with government regulation of just about anything is unforeseen consequences, and with something that grows and evolves as fast as the internet, unintended consequences aren’t a possibility – they’re a guarantee.

I can already imagine circumstances in which I might be hamstrung by a government decree that all traffic must be treated equally. Suppose I’m interviewing for a job over a video phone call on IP, and suddenly a few roommates start downloading movies they’ve decided to buy. The technology could exist to correctly shape the traffic so that my video phone call stays working at the bandwidth it needs, setting the downloads at a lower priority. Since that would be illegal, my call drops and I lose the job. With the future of HD television very possibly being delivered over IP, that too clouds the situation – I want my tv to just work, right?

The point is simple: we should all be smarter than to think that government is the answer to the internet. The very thing everyone is afraid of is losing their ability to be completely free online. Since when does more government equal more free? Let us please keep our heads and let the market work it out.

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Real Change

Posted by gravisman on June 12, 2008

I applaud Mr. Ron Paul in this video for hitting on the fundamental issues that need to be addressed to effect real positive change in our political environment.

It is important that we remember to take a step back from things and look at our situations as a whole. Many politicians talk and talk the rhetoric of “change” but we must learn to recognize the context. The context is often setup to narrow our thoughts to relatively trivial details of policy implementation. In doing this, they trick us into forgetting about larger, more fundamental issues as we implicitly take them for granted. These are issues like electoral systems (discussed in previous post), fiscal and monetary institutions, and the role of the US in the world.

We should remember that the way things are now is a result of decisions made over time by people who are plenty capable of making mistakes. These are some things to think about when we think about what “change” really means.

Posted in Videos | Tagged: , | 5 Comments »