Ederik Schneider Online

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Baseline Scenario: Opinion: James Kwak: Friedrich Hayek Supported a Guaranteed Minimum Income

The Baseline Scenario: Opinion: James Kwak: Friedrich Hayek Supported a Guaranteed Minimum Income

Friedrich Hayek, supported the Guaranteed Minimum Income and Milton Friedman supported the Negative Income Tax. Good for them and the libertarian movement, because it shows that perhaps the least politically diverse political movement in America even has some diversity with some competing ideas in it. The Negative Income Tax by the way, would replace all public assistance programs for the poor and give people in poverty one check every month that would have all of their public assistance benefits every month in one check. Bill Buckley, a Conservative Libertarian was against that.

Now here are my issues with what is called the Guaranteed Minimum Income, or the Guaranteed Basic Income, however you want to put it. As a Liberal, I want everyone to be incentivized to do as well as they can in America so they don’t have to live in poverty. The best way to move people out of poverty is to supply quality education, job training and infrastructure in communities that come up short in these areas. So kids from these communities can get themselves a good education and so their parents can finish and further their education and get themselves a good job and get out of poverty all together. That is how you beat poverty. Education, job training, infrastructure and good jobs.

Once you take away the incentive like with a Guaranteed Basic Income for Americans to do well in life and do as well as they can so they and their kids don’t have to live in poverty, because whatever job they have, or if they choose not work, because their income is now guaranteed no matter how productive they are, you’ll see a major drop in productivity in America. And as a result a major drop in economic growth. Because companies are no longer producing the quality of products their customers are accustomed to. And as a result people aren’t spending the money they normally do. Which is a big part of our economic growth, consumer spending. Why? Because no matter what we are all guaranteed a minimum income that keeps us out of poverty.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Reason: Opinion: Steve Chapman: Martin O’Malley – Unknown But Not Implausible

Liberal With Results
Reason: Opinion: Steve Chapman: Martin O’Malley – Unknown But Not Implausible

I think Steve Chapman in his Reason piece makes some of the best points that I’ve heard about Martin O’Malley yet. His point being that O’Malley has already accomplished a lot of what Senator Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton say that they want to do. He’s the only Democratic presidential candidate with not just real executive experience, or a lot of it, but executive experience that has come with real positive results.

Raising the minimum wage in Maryland

Moving people out of poverty in Baltimore and Maryland

Improving education and investing more in it in Baltimore and Maryland.

Legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland.

Outlawing the death penalty in Maryland.

Reducing crime in one of the biggest cities in America in Baltimore. And lowering crime in Baltimore faster than any other big city mayor.

Decriminalizing marijuana in Maryland.

Martin O’Malley, doesn’t have a record of fighting for progressive and liberal values. He has a record of accomplishing liberal and progressive goals based on those values. Here’s a former state governor that left his state with the best public schools in the nation. You can say you’re a fighter, right. But boxers like politicians are judged by their records. Anyone can fight a good fight and come close. But at the end of the day it comes down to what have you done for me lately. Did you accomplish what you set out to do, or did you fight a good fight, but still came up short. Martin O’Malley, has a clear successful record of accomplishing what Liberal and Progressive Democrats say they want.

What separates Martin O’Malley from Senator Bernie Sanders, whose been in Congress since the early 1990s and before that was a small town mayor in Vermont and even Hillary Clinton, who didn’t have a great record as Secretary of State and left that office with Benghazi on her plate, is that the Governor’s two main opponents are fighters and have fought good causes. But what has either one accomplished while they’ve been in office for such a long time. They are both big names and well-known and both have real pop culture appeal to them. But what have they done for anyone lately? With Governor O’Malley, he can answer that question clearly and give people a list of accomplishments. And yet not many Democrats have even heard his name yet.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Milton Friedman Foundation: The Phil Donahue Show- Milton Friedman Round 2

Source: The Milton Friedman Foundation-Professor Milton Friedman-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Phil Donahue, is probably as far-left as a TV show host could be, at least in his time. And yet even with his staunch slant and support for government interference, government assistance and government taxation, he was a hell of an interviewer. Especially when it came to intelligent people who came from lets say the opposite side of the political spectrum. Someone like a Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand would be another example. Not sure if he ever interviewed Bill Buckley, but that would’ve been a great interview and show as well. Donahue, would let his guests speak. He would also make his case and they would have a back and forth. And he would also get his audience involved.

What you had in Phil Donahue, was a Collectivist. From the left in the form of a Progressive, or even Progressive/Socialist. Making the case that private enterprise, private enterprise and even capitalism come with risks. If not dangerous and perhaps are even bad things. But its better than Marxism and total state-ownership when it comes to economics. But if we’re going to have capitalism and private enterprise, they need to be well-regulated, which means highly regulated, for someone with a more Socialist background. And you need a government big enough to take care of people who don’t do well in the private enterprise system.

Milton, didn’t come the exact opposite direction on the Right. Because he did believe in things like regulations when it came to the environment. And even came out for reforming the safety net, instead of eliminating it. But he didn’t like high taxes and highly centralized government and wanted as little government, especially the Federal Government involvement in the economy. So you would have Donahue in this interview always not just making the case for government and even central government involvement in the economy, but making the case for more government involvement in the economy. And yet these two men could have a very good and productive discussion and debate on these issues. Because they actually listened to each other.
The Milton Friedman Foundation: Milton Friedman on Phil Donahue in 1979-Round 2



Saturday, July 25, 2015

Liberty Pen: Video: Megyn Kelly: Free Speech Under Assault

Big Government Assaulting Free Speech
Liberty Pen: Video: Megyn Kelly: Free Speech Under Assault

Hate speech, which I believe this anti-Muslim event and their drawings of Muhammad clearly falls under, is protected by the First Amendment. Government, can’t shut someone up, because they, or other people disagree with what someone is saying. Or are even assaulted and even find it hateful. You don’t like liberal democracy and our liberal First Amendment, perhaps America is not the country for you. And you would be better off living in the Middle East, or some place where you won’t have those issues to deal with.

And another great thing about the First Amendment, is when some asshole says something hateful about some group, guess what, that person opens them self up to replies and responses. People being able to tell that person what they think about what that person has to say. And even hold rallies against that person. Bill Maher, who I don’t generally put in the asshole category and tend to even agree with him when it comes to his criticisms about the Christian-Right and Muslims, when he doesn’t lump all Christians and Muslims as bad people, or whatever. Found out how liberal our First Amendment is last fall. About his comments over Islam.

When the Far-Right in America, whether its Rush Limbaugh or some other fathead, says provocative if not derogatory things about Latinos, Muslims, even women, Americans let Rush know exactly what they think about him. When Megyn Kelly even, accuses President Obama of trying to bring socialism to America, or whatever she’s complaining about the President, or says that he’s governing like a dictator, I correct her on my blog, when I don’t have anything better to do. You know Free Speech, is not for everybody. Meaning not everyone can handle it as far as listening to it. Of course all Americans have the First Amendment right, but not all Americans can handle other Americans having that same right. So they try to shut the other side up.

To quote President Andrew Shepard from The American President, which is one my favorite movies. “America is hard. You have to want it to be able to handle it.” More of a paraphrase than a quote, but you get the idea. And President Shepard played by Michael Douglas, was referring to Free Speech. He said that we all have this right, but that right protects all Americans right to Free Speech. And he basically said that the Free Speech is only worth something if Americans are willing to fight for someone else’s right to speech. The right for someone to say and believe things that you might find disgusting.

Insulting speech and hate speech, we have to fight for those things to. Because when Americans are no longer able to be critical and even say things that are offensive, we lose the ability to be individuals. And end up just agreeing and loving each other and never learning anything new. Because we see everyone as perfect. And there’s nothing perfect, or collectivist about liberal democracy and Free Speech. It’s a very imperfect system and form of government. But it’s still the best system in the world and why so many people leave their country that doesn’t have these rights to come here. Instead of going to Europe, or Canada. Actually, people still leave Europe to come to America.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Life & Liberty Magazine: David Housholder Interviewing Gary Johnson in 2012

Liberal-Libertarian?
Life & Liberty Magazine: David Housholder Interviewing Gary Johnson in 2012

Any chance I get to speak out and speak up for liberalism, I do that and that is exactly what this opportunity here is. Which is what I’m going to do in speaking out for liberal internationalism. David Housholder, a self-described liberal-libertarian, I guess interviewing Gary Johnson, back in 2012 about foreign affairs and national security. Governor Johnson, I at least believe he fits that same label. And I add liberal to that, because he doesn’t bash government. And say government has practically no role in serving people in need. But takes more of a federalist approach to those issues. And is not even against a strong national defense, or an isolationist. But believes America can’t defend the world by ourselves and that our partners need to contribute to that defense as well.

I haven’t seen many speeches and ideas from Gary Johnson when it comes to foreign policy and national security. But what I get from this interview back in 2012 on these issues is that we aren’t that much different, but I’m going to add a few things to it. Like with Europe and why isn’t Europe defending itself, instead of Americans taxpayers having to pay for that. Same thing with Saudi Arabia, which already has one of the largest and most developed militaries in the world. Japan and Korea, two of the largest economies in the world and two of the most developed economies in the world. And yet American taxpayers have to pay for the defense of both of those countries. That defense, should be the key word here. Protecting our own first. Working with our allies when issues like innocent people being murdered by their own government, or being invaded by a predatory country.

Not that I’m in favor of adopting the Scandinavian, or European social democratic economic model, but a big reason why their welfare states are so generous, is because they spend so little on national defense. Why is that? Because America at the expense of American taxpayers has Europe’s back when it comes to national defense. Same thing with Japan as well. We should be moving past NATO and instead Europe should develop their own European Defense Force as either part of the European Union, or some new federal European state. And be the main provider for their own defense. And that would mean they would need to spend 3-4% of their own resources to do this. Which would be an economic boom for them and allow for them to bring their unemployment way down. America, Canada, Turkey, the Slavic states not including Russia, could still be major partners with Europe.

I believe the main difference between the liberal internationalist model when it comes to foreign policy and national security and the neoconservative model and the libertarian-socialist model, comes to use of force.

Neoconservatives, base their foreign policy and national security policy almost if not squarely on the use of force. They believe you always have to sound tough and be able to back up your verbal toughness. That there’s nothing that America can’t do by itself when it comes to the military. That money is no object even debt and deficits when it comes to national security. You spend whatever it takes at all costs and then perhaps figure out how to pay for that spending down the road.

Then you move over to the libertarian-socialist model when it comes to foreign policy and national security. Combine former U.S. Representative’s Ron Paul with Dennis Kucinich, they were actually friends in Congress and worked with each other on these issues. You combine Libertarians with Social Democrats, or Socialists and you have a libertarian-socialist dovish isolationist foreign policy. Where they believe America could do well by cutting our national defense by 2/3 if not more. Libertarians, would use that money to get rid of the income tax. Socialists, would use that money to bring the Scandinavian welfare state to America. And we wouldn’t even work with our allies when there’s horrible human rights crisis’s around the world. Other than maybe supplying humanitarian aid to certain countries.

What the Liberal-Internationalist says and I’m one and so was Jack Kennedy, my political hero and a lot of other Liberal Democrats were and are, is that you have to be strong both at home and abroad. But that your partners have to play their part as well. They either pay you for their defense, or they invest their own resources to defend themselves. So yes, pull all of our Americans troops and bases out of Europe, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Korea. Or have them pay us for their defense. But you don’t act just because you’re strong enough to act. You act when your national security is at stake. When human rights are being abused like a lot of people being murdered. When you can play a positive difference. And you work with your allies when the situations come up. The differences between Smart Power, which is what liberal internationalism is. Versus shoot first and ask questions later. The neoconservative model. And No Power, the dovish isolationist model.


Monday, July 20, 2015

Reason: Interview: Nick Gillespie & Meredith Bragg: Gary Johnson on Donald Trump, Presidential Election and Life as a Pot Company CEO

Liberal Democrat?
Reason: Interview: Nick Gillespie & Meredith Bragg: Gary Johnson on Donald Trump, Presidential Election and Life as a Pot Company CEO

Gary Johnson, should run for president, because there’s a reasonable chance he would actually be in the general presidential debates next year. Because there’s a movement to expand the presidential debates and allow for third-party candidates. But even if he weren’t able to get into the general debates, we could see presidential debates next year made up of the third-party candidates taking on each other. And we could see at least one broadcast network picking them up. These are things that the Democratic-Republican Presidential Debate Commission, I mean the Federal Presidential Debate Commission, are considering right now.

As far as Gary Johnson for president, I said this four years ago. But I believe he would make a great Liberal Democratic presidential candidate. And people told me he was a Republican and yes it gets cold in the North Pole. But stating the obvious doesn’t accomplish anything here and that’s not my point anyway. As he said in the interview with Nick Gillespie and he put it that most Americans tend to be rabidly liberal on social issues and fiscally conservative. The way I would phrase it, is that Americans tend not to want big government in either their wallets, or their personal lives. We don’t want government to direct how we live our own individual lives. Just regulate how we interact with each other. Prevent us from hurting innocent people and catch and punish us when we do. Something the Far-Right and Far-Left in America, will probably never understand.

What that means is that Americans want presidential candidates who know who they are for one. Gary Johnson, obviously knows that with a twenty year record of supporting both economic and personal freedom in America. And two, Americans want presidential candidates who speak for them and to them. They’re looking for a presidential candidate who doesn’t tell them what they want to hear and then governs in a different way. But someone who knows who they are says what they believe that brings a lot of Americans behind them. And won’t try to take their personal, or economic freedom from them. If anything, would expand both personal and economic freedom. And instead stop people who hurt innocent people.

Most Americans, probably think of Liberal Democrats as people who campaign to get the Washington Redskins to change their nickname. Or campaign to get talk radio show host and other commentators that don’t like, from being able to say their piece. Who campaign for censorship against the opposition. Or try to outlaw products that are unhealthy for us. Who want women to not be treated equally as men, but better. Who think Americans, tend to be stupid and need a big government to protect us from ourselves and run our lives for us. Who want speech that offends them to be censored if not outlawed. But the Democratic Party, has a growing movement of actual Liberals, who don’t believe in any of those things. Who don’t identify as libertarian, but don’t want big government in our economic, or personal affairs, or in our mouths try to shut us up when we say something offensive.

Gary Johnson, doesn’t want to end the safety net, or legalize all current illegal drugs in America. He just wants to get America’s national debt under control and be able to balance the budget at some point. And to allow for Americans to live freely and is someone who could speak to this growing movement of Americans who believe in similar things. And this movement includes Liberal Democrats such as myself. I don’t have any illusions here. If Gary were to run for president, the Far-Left would beat him up. And I’m not sure he would have the adequate resources to be able to defend himself. At least not early on, but he’s someone who speaks for a lot of Americans. Including young Democrats who manage, or run business’s now. Who love personal freedom, but doesn’t want big government running their business for them either. Which is why he would make a great presidential candidate.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Week: Opinion: Ryu Spaeth: Is To Kill a Mockingbird Racist? The Movie Certainly Isn’t

The Week: Opinion: Ryu Spaeth: Is To Kill a Mockingbird Racist? The Movie Certainly Isn’t

I saw the To Kill a Mockingbird movie last night in preparation for this piece. And I’ve seen it before, the last time probably five years ago. And I haven’t actually read the book, so I can’t comment on that intelligently. But the movie, even though it certainly shows racist characters, it’s certainly not a racist movie. If Ryu Spaeth, is asking whether the To Kill a Mockingbird movie is racist, with all due respect, that is a silly question. It is about a young African-American man in the deep South in the 1963s, who is falsely accused of murdering a young Caucasian women. And the defendant, being represented by a good veteran Caucasian lawyer, who not only knows his client is innocent based on the evidence, but does what he can to get him acquitted.

Now where is the racism in this movie? This movie is about a town in rural Alabama in the 1930s. Where the people there are not well-educated and struggling just to survive. Where the town is overwhelming Caucasian and probably Anglo-Saxon at that and who probably sees African-Americans and that is not what they called Black people back then, but they saw Africans as their ancestors who owned African slaves did. As animals and property, not as human beings. And yet one of the members of this community is falsely accused of raping a young Caucasian women and one of the members of this Anglo-Saxon community, does whatever he can to defend Tom Robinson. An African-American man accused of raping a young Caucasian women.

The To Kill a Mockingbird movie, is about the times, essentially. What life was like in very rural Alabama in the 1930s for both Caucasian and African people in this community. And racism, is obviously a factor here, like it was everywhere else in the country and perhaps a bigger problem in Alabama and the deep South in general. But this movie doesn’t make one community look better than another community, or members of one community look better than another, simply because of their race. This movie was about showing what life was like for people in this community in the 1930s. And how justice was carried out and how the community responded when one of their members accuses someone of seriously hurting them. Nothing racist about that.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Commonwealth Club: Video: Charles Murray: Rebuilding Liberty

Commonwealth Club: Video: Charles Murray: Rebuilding Liberty

Charles Murray, at least in the first fifteen minutes of his presentation here, concentrates on what he calls over regulations. And assuming his stories are true, I agree with what he’s saying here. And I’m not a fan of over regulation either. Passing regulations either through the economy, or in civil life, that tries to control how people behave personally in the economy, or their personal lives, is over regulating and a good example of big government. Government, should regulate how people and organizations, interact with each other. To to stop and prevent predatory behavior. Not to protect people from themselves. Either financially, or personally.

But I’m more interested with this piece about talking about rebuilding liberty in general. And I’m going to do that without bashing government, just big government. And laying out what government can do to actually expand freedom, both personal and economic. I agree with Charles Murray as a Liberal, that it’s not the job of government to regulate how people live their own lives and what they do with themselves. But regulate how people interact with each other. Not try to prevent people from doing dangerous actions to themselves. And punish them when they do. But to prevent people from hurting innocent people and punish people when they do hurt innocent people.

If government worked the way I’m suggesting here, we wouldn’t have the War on Drugs and so many people in prison in America for non-violent offenses. At least not serving long-term sentences in dangerous prisons for non-violent offenses. And we wouldn’t have so many people in prison in general. If our safety net, which I’m not against in having one, but if our safety net was designed to empower people in need who are struggling to get themselves on their feet and not just leave them struggling, but with a little more money, we wouldn’t have so many people in poverty in America. Because the less-fortunate, would get on public assistance, but them use some of that assistance to improve themselves. So they can get themselves a good job and get out of poverty all together.

In a true liberal society, or liberal democracy, liberal state even, the job of government would be to protect and expand freedom. Not subtract, or contract freedom, or view freedom as dangerous and try to turn the country into a collectivist society. Where government would collect most of the national resources and decide what everyone needs to live well in life. But again protect freedom for people who already have it and haven’t done anything to lose it. And also expand freedom for people who don’t have it. Who are living in poverty and help them get themselves out of poverty by learning a trade and getting themselves a good job. Who may be serving time in prison, or jail and empowering them to improve themselves so when they get out, they can become productive citizens. And that is not the type of society that America is right now. But we certainly could become that liberal society.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Washington Post: Opinion: Anne Applebaum: Greece is a Turning Point For The European Union

The Washington Post: Opinion: Anne Applebaum: Greece is a Turning Point For The European Union

Wow! I actually agree with Anne Applebaum on something. I tend to see her as a Neoconservative, at least when it comes to foreign policy and national security. But she’s damn right in most if not her entire piece about Greece and Europe.

The problem with the Euro, the European currency, is that you have a large developed country like Germany of eighty-plus million people, thats economy looks more like America and Canada, than it does Sweden. Germany, is not a socialist state, they can’t really afford to be one. They invest heavily and education, energy and infrastructure. They promote free trade and private economic development in their country. They require people who can, to work and take care of their health care through their private health care system. And as a result, they are now the power in Europe. Economic, but have real political and defense as well and are the fourth largest economy in the world. With living standards, that are equal, or better than America’s.

But then you have a small semi-developed country like Greece. Where the average Greek, makes about 1/3 of the average German, or American. That is dependent on other countries for its defense, energy and economy. They’re drowning in debt right now. That has one of the largest socialist state’s in the free world. As far as how much their national government spends for its people. Socialists, don’t believe there’s a limit to what government can do for their people. Or how much government can spend for their people. They don’t believe debts and deficits matter and even now as Greece is drowning in their own debt, they still don’t believe that they should have to tighten their belts and cut back on their services. And expect others like Germany, that is very successful economically, to bail them out.

When the Euro was created in Europe in the late 1990s, the idea was that instead of having 25-30 small to medium-sized markets in Europe, you would create one huge market of three-hundred plus million people. That the whole world would want to invest in. On paper, that sounds like a very good idea. And they had strict requirements on debt and deficits. That each member couldn’t let those things reach like four-percent of their economy. And had to manage their financial affairs and not run up high debt and deficits. But again, Greece is one of the members of the Euro and is a socialist unitarian state. That doesn’t believe debt and deficits matter and that there’s no limit to what the state can do for their people. And that they can run up debts and deficits, because their socialism will make their economy stronger. Or someone, like Germany, will bail them out. And Greece, is paying a heavy price for their socialism right now.

A united currency amongst several different countries, doesn’t work very well, unless you have strong rules and rule enforcement and similar economies and economic systems. Which is one of the reasons why Sweden isn’t part of the Euro, because they have a similar economic system as Greece, but are energy independent and can afford their socialism. The idea of having a single market in Europe, makes sense, but the best way to do that is to have a single state, a federal state. With one economy and economic system. With a federal authority to manage the currency and economy. Manage the debt and deficit, negotiate trade deals with other countries, encourage economic investment in the country. From domestic and foreign business’s. As well as defend and secure the country.

A federalist, not federal, but a Federalist Europe, a united European country, that would go from lets say Portugal in the Southwest, to Italy in the Southeast and Belgium in the Northwest and Poland in the Northeast, would benefit all of these Euro States in several ways. You would be talking about the first, or second largest developed economy and country in the world. That could replace NATO with a united European defense, that would be more than capable of defending itself and become a great strong ally of the United States and the United Kingdom and serve as a deterrent to the Russian Federation. With one president, one administration, one Assembly, or Parliament and federal court system all under one federal government. But where the Euro States, would have autonomy over their state and domestic affairs. With the federal government being in charge of interstate and national affairs.

Not saying a Federal State of Europe will ever happen and certainly not happen soon. But for a Euro, or Eurozone to work as well as it possibly can, you need the member states to have either similar economies and living standards, or agree not to let the government spending get out of control. You can’t afford to have a Greece, or a Portugal, or big states like France and Italy, to drown themselves in debt and watch their economies sink and drive down the worth of the Euro. Which makes thinks tough for the rest of the states in the Union. Because they lose customers and investment opportunities when one, or several of their trading partners sinks in debt and depression.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Classic MLB 11: Video: ABC Sports Portrait of Willie Mays

Classic MLB 11: Video: ABC Sports Portrait of Willie Mays

You can argue about who is the best all around center fielder of all-time. Willie Mays, from the San Francisco Giants, or Mickey Mantle from the New York Yankees. And there wouldn’t be anyone else that I would consider for that. But Willie Mays, certainly is the best center fielder in the history of the National Baseball League. And perhaps the best all around player in the National League in his era. The 1950s and 1960s. And I don’t know of a great ballplayer who had more fun playing the game of baseball than Willie Mays. He was truly one of those players who made going to the ballpark worth it on his own. If for no other reason, because of how much he loved baseball.

The terms the total package and great players, are overused and overused catch phrases in America. But the total package when it comes to baseball, I’m not sure fits anyone better than Willy Mays. Here’s a player, with a 302 career batting average, 3200 hits, who hit 660 home runs, drove in over 1900 runs and struck out less than seventy times a year. In today’s game, if you hit 285-290 and are a power hitter, 25-30 home runs a season and drive in 90 plus a season and strike out less than a hundred time a year, that is considered good. In Willie Mays time, striking out 90 times a season, with power numbers like that, would be considered a lot.

But you can’t be total package as a baseball player, if you’re just great at the plate. There isn’t a better defensive center fielder than Willie Mays, ever. As far as range, speed, throwing arm, making plays in the field that look impossible to anyone else. Every center fielder since who looks great in the field and makes an incredible catch, or throws someone out deep in center field, gets compared to Willie. Because Willie made so many plays like that. Like catching the ball over his shoulder in the 1954 World Series against the New York Yankees. The biggest catch of the season on the biggest stage, made by Willie Mays.

I don’t believe we’ve seen a better outfielder at the plate, or on the field since Willie Mays retired in 1973. Willie and Mickey Mantle, retired in 1967 and 73 respectfully and we haven’t had two better players in the outfield and at the plate as outfielders since those two great players. One of the tests of greatness, is not just how you look compared to your peers. Which is obviously important to determine the best players of that era. But more important is how you compared with the players who came before you and after. Willie has been retired since 1974, over forty-years ago. And he still looks like the best player ever post-Babe Ruth. The only other players I would consider would be Mickey Mantle or Joe DiMaggio. Willie, was not just a once in a generation ballplayer, but perhaps once in a century as well. And is truly one of the best ever.


Friday, July 10, 2015

Liberty Pen: Video: David Boaz: Rand Paul and The Libertarian Mind

Conservative Libertarian 
Liberty Pen: Video: David Boaz: Rand Paul and The Libertarian Mind

When you think of Senator Rand Paul’s politics, you should think Barry Goldwater conservative libertarianism. He’s not as far right as his father Ron Paul on economic policy, or as far left on foreign policy. I’ve floated the idea that Rand, is his generation’s and era’s version of Barry Goldwater. “Big government out of the wallets, bedrooms, boardrooms and classrooms. Strong at home, so we can be strong abroad when we need to. But not to police the world, but to defend our national security and economic interests.” Which means if you’re a lets say classical Libertarian, like a Lew Rockwell, or Andrew Napolitano, the Mises Institute, you’re going to disagree with Senator Paul on foreign policy and perhaps national security and perhaps even economic policy.

Rand, doesn’t want to eliminate taxes, or even the safety net. He wants to reform the tax code to promote more economic freedom and have taxes down as low as possible and even eliminate a lot of subsidies, even corporate welfare in the tax code. A Lew Rockwell lets say Anarcho-Libertarian, wants to eliminate taxes all together. As well as the safety net, including Medicare, Social Security and every other social welfare program in the Federal Government. Where Rand, would reform a lot of those programs, by sending them down to the states to run and giving Americans private options in how they receive those services. But when it comes to civil liberties and personal freedom in general, Libertarians and classical Conservatives, should like Senator Paul a lot. And perhaps even be able to work with him on the issues where they have disagreements.

Classical and Anarcho-Libertarians, are probably going to try to paint Rand Paul as a Neoconservative when it comes to foreign policy and national security. Because the Senator believes in a strong, but limited national defense and is not an isolationist. Neoconservatives and the Christian-Right, are probably going to try to paint Rand as a Liberal, because he believes in personal freedom and civil liberties. And doesn’t want big government involved in our personal affairs. And doesn’t think America should try to police the world, at least by ourselves. But he’s neither of those things. He’s a true limited government, pro-freedom Conservative Libertarian. Who isn’t anti-government, but doesn’t want big government trying to manage our lives for us. And as a result, he should be able to appeal to a lot of young Americans, including Republicans.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Liberty Pen: Video: James Allen: Political Correctness

You Can't Say That
Liberty Pen: Video: James Allen: Political Correctness

My main issue with political correctness, is a serious one, but I also have a less serious one. My serious issues, has to do with the fascist anti-free speech element to it. Political correctness warriors, telling people they can’t say that, because it offends this group of people over here. You can’t say that, according to the political correctness warrior, even if you’re correct, because again it may offend some group that they care about. My less serious issue with political correctness, has to do with the hypocrisy of it that comes from the Far-Left, not The Left, as if there is one Left in America. But the Far-Left, that doesn’t believe in free speech, but what they would call collective speech.

I’ll explain what I mean by collective speech later. But the hypocrisy of the political correctness movement is so obvious. They’re not against hate speech, or offensive speech, per say. They’re against offensive speech that they disagree with. You want to make fun of rednecks, just as long as they aren’t Caucasian, no problem. Christians, again as long as they aren’t Caucasian, no problem. Caucasian people in general, especially if they’re on the Right, no problem. Its minorities religious and racial, specifically, as well as women on the Left and Eastern religions, that PC warriors, believe deserve special protection in America. They believe minorities, shouldn’t be forced to live in a liberal democracy, where people can say whatever they want.

James Allen, had it right, when he said that PC warriors don’t have a sense of humor, at least when it comes to anyone whose not Caucasian. But you can make all the redneck, Anglo-Saxon and Christian jokes all you want. But criticize Islam, or Urban America, or hip hop, or make a joke about Asians when it comes to driving, or their eyesight, or how Middle Easterners dress, you’ll be branded as a racist. You make fun of gays and lesbians and make a butch joke, about a dykish lesbian and you’re not only a homophobe, but a sexist. You make a gay joke a feminine gay queen and you’re a homophobe. But you make fun of butch masculine straight men and their masculinity and you’re funny.

So, its not offensive speech that is offensive to PC warriors. Its offensive speech towards groups of Americans that they believe deserve special treatment that no other Americans deserve according to them. And as far as collective speech, again not free speech that PC warriors are in favor of. Because with free speech people are able to say essentially whatever they want. Short of inciting violence, harassment and libel. But speech that the collective, that society together views as appropriate that they are in favor of. And I’m just glad PC warriors weren’t in charge when the U.S. Constitution was put together. Because, for one we might not have a Constitution today. But we certainly wouldn’t of gotten the liberal First Amendment that we have now.


Monday, July 6, 2015

Hoover Institution: Uncommon Knowledge: Richard Epstein on Inequality, Taxes, Politics and Health Care

Hoover Institution: Uncommon Knowledge: Richard Epstein on Inequality, Taxes, Politics and Health Care

I actually agree with Richard Epstein on one thing. Which is definitely a rarity, but when Epstein says that it’s not that inequality is a problem. But the lack of mobility and opportunity for people at the bottom, or are struggling in the middle class, to move up. And I only think a Socialist, or a true Collectivist could disagree with that. That if Joe makes a million dollars a year as a lawyer and Tom makes fifty-thousand-dollars a year as a plumber, it’s not a problem that Joe makes twenty times more than Tom. The problem is very few people are doing extremely well in America economically. While so many others aren’t. So what you have to do is close the opportunity gap. Which would benefit everyone.

So instead of having a society where who you are born to and where you’re born and how you grow up, deciding how well you do as an adult, you create a society where everyone has a quality opportunity to do well in life. Regardless of where they grow up and the income level of their parents, or single-parent. That you have a quality education system for everyone. That you give people on Welfare and low-skilled low-income workers the opportunity to finish and further their education and get good jobs and even start their own business’s. You do that by making sure everyone can get a good education in life. And granting job training opportunities to low-skilled workers. Having a modern infrastructure system that stretches to low-income communities. And real economic development in those communities.

Sweden, perhaps the most developed social democracy in the world, at least among countries with small populations, has poverty. And people doing real well and people who live in poverty. You’ll never completely eliminate poverty and any income gap in any country. But what you can do especially in America, is have an economy where everyone can do well. And what they do with those opportunities is up to them. And you do that and you’ll have an economy where you’ll still have a top 1-10%, but that population will be much larger. But you’ll also have a lot more people in the upper middle class and a lot more people in the middle class. And a lot more resources as a result, to help people who are struggling in the middle class and help people in poverty. Which a much smaller percentage of Americans in poverty.


Liberty Pen: Video: John Stossel: Cool Commies and Other Myths

Liberty Pen: Video: John Stossel: Cool Commies and Other Myths

I believe this so-called movement towards Communists and communism from Hollywood and their fans, has to do with pop culture and faddism. Che Guevara, is considered cool with this community, especially with the Far-Left in Hollywood and outside of Hollywood. He was a revolutionary and every time you’re a revolutionary from the Left or Far-Left in this community, you’re automatically considered cool, or awesome. And people want to be seen as supporters of people like Che Guevara or Fidel Castro, because they want to be considered cool, or awesome as well.

And as far as Hollywood, if something is considered cool, or awesome and it doesn’t come from Hollywood and especially if it comes from the Far-Left, like lets say Communists, to use as examples, you’ll see actors and other entertainers jump on the bandwagon so fast, that the bandwagon will collapse. And people will have to walk to the latest rally supporting this cause, or that figure, or whatever it might be. The whole so-called political correctness movement, that today’s so-called Progressives support, is a perfect example of that. Where you’ll have a Ben Afflect, or someone else, jump to the defense and try to censor anything that is critical about who this community supports.

The so-called cool commies rave, or whatever, is exactly that. Che, is considered cool, because he was against individualism and private enterprise, was a revolutionary, he wore a thick hipster beard and perhaps went years without shaving, or even trimming his beard. Which is a common theme with Americans under 30 right now, especially on the Left. But there’s no real hard-core political support for communism and a lot of other New-Left movements in America. At least not coming from Hollywood. Which is as about as individualistic and capitalistic a community that we have in America. That is always looking for the next profit and would probably fight to the death to prevent America from becoming a Communist State.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Libertarianism.Org: Opinion: George H. Smith: The Philosophy of Independence

Our Founding Liberals
Libertarianism.Org: Opinion: George H. Smith: The Philosophy of Independence

“We hold these truths to self-evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed but their Creator with certain unalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Al men are created equal and I know today’s so-called Progressives, who are really Social Democrats, or just pure Socialists, are going to say that our Founding Fathers, our Founding Liberals didn’t mean for that to apply to all Americans and everyone. But all men, they’re not talking about Englishmen, who were probably the dominant population in America back then, at least ethnically. They said all men, which has been interpreted and correctly so to apply to all women as well.

The United States, is the oldest liberal democracy in the world. We have the most liberal and the oldest liberal Constitution in the world. Even if our Founding Liberals, only meant our basic human rights to apply to Englishmen, European men and Caucasian men, the fact that they said all men means it applies to everyone. They wanted to escape from a big centralized dictatorial big government rule, that was coming from Britain and create their own liberal democracy. That was built around individual freedom and equality. A limited responsible government to do for the people what we can’t and the states can’t do for us.

That is why we have the Constitution and Bill of Rights. That is why we have Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Assemble, Freedom of Religion, to practice, or not practice the religion of our choice, the Right to Self Defense, Right to Privacy, our property rights, the Right to Life and the Pursuit of Happiness, Equal Protection Under Law for all Americans. We wouldn’t have gotten these things had we stayed part of the United Kingdom. The fact that we broke away from them and created this Federal Republic called America and this great liberal democracy with all the freedom that we have, is how we have all the individual freedom that we have.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Week: Opinion: Peter Weber: How The Democrats Became The New Party of Liberty

The Week: Opinion: Peter Weber: How The Democrats Became The New Party of Liberty

To start off with a cliché and hopefully this will be my last one in this piece, (no promises) but how times have changed. Instead of the Republicans and so-called Conservatives talking about the need and the importance of freedom in America, Democrats are not only doing that, but actually pushing policies to accomplish that.

It started in May, when House Republicans thanks to members of their own caucus and the Democratic Caucus, didn’t have the votes to reauthorize the Patriot Act. Because of privacy and personal freedom issues that both caucus’s had with the bill. So, with House Democrats and Republicans actually working together for a change, they pass the USA Freedom Act. Which has stronger privacy protections in it, that eventually passed the Senate. But with mostly Senate Democratic votes, after Senate Republicans let the Patriot Act expire, because they didn’t have the votes for it.

June, has been perhaps the biggest month at least in the Obama Administration, for personal freedom at least and perhaps even economic freedom. Congress, with the House dragging the Senate along, passes the USA Freedom Act, that President Obama was happy to sign. Last week, the Affordable Care Act, gets held up again. Which means Americans won’t lose their health insurance, simply because they get sick and actually need what they paid into. Working class Americans, who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to pay for private health insurance, won’t lose their health insurance subsidy, because they live in the wrong state. Because of the Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling, gays can’t be denied marriage, simply because they’re gay and not straight. Or they live in the wrong state.

Americans, are moving against the War on Drugs and are open to marijuana legalization and against over incarceration. Support comprehensive immigration reform and don’t see non-European immigrants as some threat to America and American values. As I blogged last week, prostitution, will become the next Culture War issue. As more Americans become familiar with that and ask why are we locking up people for having consensual sex between adults, even if money is involved. Even if financial transactions are involved. Which again, goes to over incarceration in America. And something that young Democrats, will support legalizing.

By in large, I’m happy as a Liberal Democrat with where my party is on both economic policy and social policy. We’re becoming the party of both personal and economic freedom. We just want that freedom to be available to everyone and not see people denied access, simply because of their complexion, race, ethnicity, gender, or even sexuality. We do have a growing big government wing in the party, that Salon, the new The New Republic and others support everyday. That publishes pieces that question both personal and economic freedom. Which no real Liberal would and they support political correctness, in defense of people who aren’t Caucasian and Christian. And they support the nanny state and higher taxes on the middle class. And more bigger centralized government in America.

But by in large, if you look at especially where young Americans are when it comes to the so-called Culture War and these personal freedom personal choice issues and that they tend not to be fans of big government involved in our personal economic affairs as well, Democrats at least at the leadership level, tend to be with these voters. Which is how someone like Barack Obama wins North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and Indiana in 2008 an wins Florida and Virginia again in 2012. Because these voters tend to agree with President Obama on these key social issues and using government to empower people, not take care of them. As Republicans bash big government when it comes to economic policy and promote it when it comes to social policy.