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Volume 17, No. 1                                                                                                               Jan 13, 2012

The Liberator Online

for everyone who loves Liberty
Published by The Advocates for Self-Government


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In This Issue

PRESIDENT'S CORNER
* What did YOU do for liberty TODAY?

INTELLECTUAL AMMUNITION
* Social Security: Is it a Ponzi Scheme?
* Former CIA “Bin Laden Unit” Chief Endorses Ron Paul
* The Progressive Dilemma: Ron Paul Versus Obama
* Remy: “Do the TSA Pokey Pokey”
 
THEY SAID IT: Jimmy Fallon on US arms dealing... Gallup poll on the biggest threat to the country... Norman Horn on Christian libertarians... Rick Santorum on Liberty... Rick Santorum's nephew on uncle Rick

PERSUASION POWER POINT #320
* Are You Waiting for Our Libertarian Ship to Come In?

ASK DR. RUWART
* How do I answer this?

ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP
* Safety Net? Or… Dragnet?

WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* Libertarian Party of Florida state convention, Febuary 10-12
* Libertarian Party of Indiana state convention, March 22-25
* 2013 Freedom Cruises
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter.
* Join the Advocates on Facebook.

President's Corner

by Sharon Harris



What did YOU do for liberty TODAY?
 
Dear friend,

Lawrence W. Reed is president of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), an outstanding libertarian organization. 
 
A few years ago Reed asked readers of FEE’s great magazine The Freeman, "What did you do for liberty today?"
 
Reed then offered readers a checklist of what they could be doing -- right now. 
 
The New Year is already well underway, and 2012 is promising to be an historic year for the advancement of the ideas of liberty. 
 
So this is a great time to take a few moments to ponder Reed’s list. 
 
As you read it, remember that the Advocates offers prizes and other rewards for some of these same activities as part of our Lights of Liberty award program. There’s never been a greater time to commit to winning a Lights of Liberty award!  
 
I highly recommend FEE’s web site and great magazine The Freeman to all Liberator Online readers. 
 
* * * 
 
Daily Liberty Checklist: 
 
by Lawrence W. Reed
 
What Did You Do For Liberty Today? 
 
(put a check mark next to any that apply):
 
____ I raised it in a conversation and hopefully turned on a light in at least one person’s mind
 
____ I defended it when it was challenged by error
 
____ I improved my own knowledge of the literature of liberty so as to become a better advocate
 
____ I wrote a letter-to-the-editor in liberty’s defense
 
____ I recommended a good article, book or film that advances values consistent with a free and civil society
 
____ I sent a personal check to an organization I know to be working for the advancement of liberty ideas
 
____ I resisted temptation to subvert liberty by accepting something from government that didn't belong to me
 
____ I took action to clean up my own act so that I can be a solid exemplar of the virtues necessary for a free society to flourish
 
____ I checked out at least one textbook my son or daughter was assigned in school, explained to my offspring any fallacies I found, and complained to the school about any that were especially egregious
 
____ I told at least one of my representatives that if he or she ever voted for more government again, I would pull out all the stops to see him or her defeated in the next election
 
____ I told my college or university alma mater that if they didn't start hiring faculty who know how to present and defend the case for free enterprise, they'll never, ever get another dime from me
 
____ I did nothing at all for liberty today, except enjoy the fruits of it while leaving the battle for its restoration and preservation to others. I was essentially a liberty freeloader today.

* * *
The purpose of the Liberator Online is to build a stronger movement for liberty. We do this by providing information about the libertarian movement and how to best communicate the ideas of liberty. Thank you for being a part of this!

Learn more about the Advocates and our work for liberty.

Learn more about libertarianism -- the philosophy of liberty.
 
-- Sharon Harris, President | Email

Intellectual Ammunition

by James W. Harris



Social Security: Is it a Ponzi Scheme?
 
Lately many commentators, including some Republican presidential candidates, have argued that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme” or a “pyramid scheme.” 
 
Certainly Social Security has many of the characteristics of a classic Ponzi or pyramid scheme, notes Michael Tanner of the libertarian Cato Institute.  
 
However, Tanner adds, Social Security is actually… far worse. 
 
In a new Cato Institute policy analysis entitled "Social Security, Ponzi Schemes and the Need for Reform," Tanner points out that that Social Security shares these attributes of a Ponzi swindle: 
 
* It does not actually save or invest any of a participant's payments.
* When a worker pays taxes into the system, that money is used to pay current beneficiaries.
* Therefore, participants receive payments, not from returns on their own investments, but directly from inflows from subsequent participants.
 
Thus, Tanner observes: “As a result, Social Security was able to pay early participants a windfall return on their money. But as demographic changes result in fewer workers paying into the program and more recipients taking benefits out, the return to subsequent generations grows steadily worse. Today's young workers will receive a rate of return far lower than what they could receive from private markets.”
 
However, there is a crucial distinction between Social Security and a Ponzi scheme -- one that makes Social Security much worse. 
 
At least in a Ponzi scheme, you could eventually get out of it. Ponzi couldn’t force his victims to stay in and continue to pay ever larger amounts, year after year, once they discovered the inherent instability of his con.
 
“Once Ponzi was unable to talk enough people into investing with him, his scheme collapsed,” Tanner says. However, “People participate in Social Security because the government makes them. And if the Social Security system begins to run short of people paying into the system, as it is now, it can always force those people to pay more.”
 
Tanner notes that Social Security, due to its Ponzi-scheme structure, is facing insolvency unless it is dramatically reformed. In his analysis, Tanner outlines ways to begin to reform the mess, including allowing younger workers to save a portion of their payroll taxes through privately invested personal accounts.

Former CIA “Bin Laden Unit” Chief Endorses Rep. Ron Paul 
 
Ron Paul has been endorsed by Michael Scheuer -- the former head of the CIA’s “Bin Laden Unit.”  The primary reason: Paul’s non-interventionist foreign policy. 
 
Scheuer -- a 22-year CIA veteran, former CBS News analyst, Georgetown University Security Studies adjunct professor, and bestselling author of several books on foreign policy – is one of the world’s leading experts on Osama bin Laden and related Middle East issues. 
 
In his endorsement, Scheuer backed Paul’s non-interventionist foreign policy views and warned of bankruptcy and increased hostility toward Americans both at home and abroad should current bipartisan foreign adventurism continue. Scheuer blasted the Obama administration’s non-stop nation-building efforts in the Middle East and warned of the dangers of a Western first strike on Iran.
 
Said Scheuer: “Any other Republican candidate or a reelected Obama will keep lying to Americans by claiming that we are being attacked because of our liberties, gender-equality laws, and elections rather than because of Washington’s constant intervention in the Islamic world. 
 
“This now two-decade-old lie -- which is abetted by most of the media -- has hidden from Americans the fact that all of the would-be Islamist attackers who have been captured in this country were motivated by the invasion of Iraq, U.S. support for Israel, or some other U.S. government action in the Muslim world.”
 
“Indeed, Washington, Tel Aviv, and London are already conducting a lethal, covert-action war inside Iran which is killing Iranian nuclear scientists and destroying nuclear-related facilities, as well as trying to goad Tehran into reacting with violence and thereby give the West a casus belli. 
 
“Such a war would be a financial and military disaster for the United States, and would be watched with glee by Russian and Chinese leaders who -- while their countries would lose some trade with Iran during a war -- would applaud another U.S. self-inflicted wound that further erodes the already failing economy that is the base of American power.”
 
Scheuer noted that throughout the Republican primary campaign, Rep. Paul has raised more money from active duty military members than all other candidates, including Barack Obama.
 
“What we have not fully accomplished in eight centuries cannot possibly be attained in Egypt, Afghanistan, or elsewhere in the Muslim world in 6 weeks, 6 months, or six years, not least because none of those places separate church from state,” said Scheuer. 
 
“Dr. Paul’s precise use of history and commonsense exposes the exorbitantly costly effort to build democracies in the Islamic world for what it is; namely, Washington throwing money down the drain for a cause that is impossibly lost from the start and one that will involve us in wars where we have no interests.”

The Progressive Dilemma: Ron Paul Versus Obama
 
Progressive civil libertarian blogger Glenn Greenwald has taken a lot of heat from his fellow progressives for a great and provocative recent column in which he states the obvious: Ron Paul is far better on numerous key foreign policy and civil liberties issues than President Obama. 
 
The column is entitled “Progressives and the Ron Paul Fallacies,” and here are some key excerpts: 
 
“The candidate supported by progressives -- President Obama -- …holds heinous views on a slew of critical issues and himself has done heinous things with the power he has been vested. He has slaughtered civilians -- Muslim children by the dozens -- not once or twice, but continuously in numerous nations with drones, cluster bombs and other forms of attack. He has sought to overturn a global ban on cluster bombs. He has institutionalized the power of Presidents -- in secret and with no checks -- to target American citizens for assassination-by-CIA, far from any battlefield. He has waged an unprecedented war against whistleblowers, the protection of which was once a liberal shibboleth. He rendered permanently irrelevant the War Powers Resolution, a crown jewel in the list of post-Vietnam liberal accomplishments, and thus enshrined the power of Presidents to wage war even in the face of a Congressional vote against it. His obsession with secrecy is so extreme that it has become darkly laughable in its manifestations, and he even worked to amend the Freedom of Information Act (another crown jewel of liberal legislative successes) when compliance became inconvenient.
 
“He has entrenched for a generation the once-reviled, once-radical Bush/Cheney Terrorism powers of indefinite detention, military commissions, and the state secret privilege as a weapon to immunize political leaders from the rule of law. He has shielded Bush era criminals from every last form of accountability. He has vigorously prosecuted the cruel and supremely racist War on Drugs, including those parts he vowed during the campaign to relinquish -- a war which devastates minority communities and encages and converts into felons huge numbers of minority youth for no good reason. He has empowered thieving bankers through the Wall Street bailout, Fed secrecy, efforts to shield mortgage defrauders from prosecution, and the appointment of an endless roster of former Goldman, Sachs executives and lobbyists. He’s brought the nation to a full-on Cold War and a covert hot war with Iran, on the brink of far greater hostilities. He has made the U.S. as subservient as ever to the destructive agenda of the right-wing Israeli government. His support for some of the Arab world’s most repressive regimes is as strong as ever.
 
“Most of all, America’s National Security State, its Surveillance State, and its posture of endless war is more robust than ever before. The nation suffers from what National Journal‘s Michael Hirsh just christened “Obama’s Romance with the CIA.” He has created what The Washington Post just dubbed “a vast drone/killing operation,” all behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy and without a shred of oversight. Obama’s steadfast devotion to what Dana Priest and William Arkin called “Top Secret America” has severe domestic repercussions as well, building up vast debt and deficits in the name of militarism that create the pretext for the “austerity” measures which the Washington class (including Obama) is plotting to impose on America’s middle and lower classes.
 
“The simple fact is that progressives are supporting a candidate for President who has done all of that -- things liberalism has long held to be pernicious. …
 
“The parallel reality -- the undeniable fact -- is that all of these listed heinous views and actions from Barack Obama have been vehemently opposed and condemned by Ron Paul… …Paul’s candidacy forces progressives to face the hideous positions and actions of their candidate, of the person they want to empower for another four years.”

Remy: “Do the TSA Pokey Pokey” 
 
International Web sensation Remy joins our friends at the libertarian magazine Reason to poke fun at the obnoxious TSA (Transportation Security Administration) in this hilarious video update of the classic tune “Do the Hokey Pokey.” 
 
Sample lyrics: 
 
You put your shoes in this
you put your bag in that
you put your personal items
in a tiny plastic bag
I do the pokey pokey
and I touch you all around
That's what it's all about!
 
This should be required showing at every airport. Check it out!

* * * * * * * *
Intellectual Ammunition is written by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris. His articles have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, and he has been a Finalist for the Mencken Awards, given by the Free Press Association for "Outstanding Journalism in Support of Liberty."


They Said It...

OPERATION “REGRET THIS”: "The U.S. government is selling $30 billion worth of fighter jets to Saudi Arabia. Yeah, it’s part of a new initiative called, 'Operation Regret This In Five Years.'" -- Jimmy Fallon, Jan. 3, 2012.

BIG GOV’T, THE BIGGEST ENEMY: “Americans' concerns about the threat of big government are near record-high levels. … The 64% of Americans who say big government will be the biggest threat to the country is just one percentage point shy of the record high… Almost half of Democrats now say big government is the biggest threat to the nation, more than say so about big business, and far more than were concerned about big government [when polled] in March 2009. …82% of Republicans and 64% of independents today view big government as the biggest threat, slightly higher percentages than Gallup found in 2009.” – Gallup, reporting on the results of a new poll.

CHRISTIANS TURN TO LIBERTARIANISM: “Christians from the left and the right are increasingly turning to libertarianism… The core of libertarianism is the non-aggression principle: that the initiation of force against person and property is immoral, and it is in many respects a kind of political corollary to the Golden Rule. Thus, Christian libertarians think that government power should be limited, sound money and truly free markets should return, aggressive war must cease and civil liberties must be preserved.” -- Norman Horn of LibertarianChristians.com, “Can a Christian be a libertarian?,” Washington Post, Dec. 27, 2011.

RICK SANTORUM ON LIBERTY: “One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. … They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to to do whatever they want to do. Government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues… you know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world. And I think most conservatives understand that individuals can't go it alone, that there is no such society, that I am aware of, where we've had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture." -- GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, NPR, August 4, 2005, a quote currently being widely circulated.

RICK SANTORUM’S NEPHEW ON UNCLE RICK: “If you want another big-government politician who supports the status quo to run our country, you should vote for my uncle, Rick Santorum. America is based on a strong belief in individual liberty. My uncle’s interventionist policies, both domestic and foreign, stem from his irrational fear of freedom not working. It is not the government’s job to dictate to individuals how they must live. The Constitution was designed to protect individual liberty. My Uncle Rick cannot fathom a society in which people cooperate and work with each other freely. … It is because of this inability of status quo politicians to recognize the importance of our individual liberties that I have been drawn to Ron Paul. Unlike my uncle, he does not believe that the American people are incapable of forming decisions. He believes that an individual is more powerful than any group (a notion our Founding Fathers also believed in). …He is the only candidate willing to bring our troops home, not only from the Middle East, but from around the world. …This year, I will vote for Ron Paul.” -- Rick Santorum’s nephew John Garver, “The trouble with my uncle, Rick Santorum,” The Daily Caller, January 12, 2012. John Garver, a 19-year-old student at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, says he loves his uncle but supports Ron Paul.

* * * * * * * * * *
"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.


Persuasion
Power Point
#320

by Michael Cloud

Are You Waiting for Our Libertarian Ship to Come In?

"Big Government is unsustainable," said one libertarian. "It'll collapse and that's when we'll get liberty."
 
"I'm part of the Remnant," said another. "Liberty is doomed...for now. My job is to quietly share libertarianism until the world is ready for liberty."
 
"Our tax-burdened, regulation-strangled economy can't last," said a third. "When it falls apart, liberty will march in."
 
Passive waiting is NOT a strategy. Nor even a good choice -- if you want freedom in our lifetime.
 
You have to send out ships -- if you want our ship to come in.
 
Do you know where the phrase "waiting for my ship to come in" came from?
 
In the 19th Century, English investors and entrepreneurs built huge sailing ships. It took months to build them, months to stock them with trading goods and provisions, and months to hire a good captain and crew.
 
Then these ships were launched to seek out foreign producers and traders. To exchange English goods for gold and silver and jewels, for silk and spices and other precious things.
 
Some of the ships hit reefs and sank. Others were destroyed by storms. Some were seized by pirates. Others mutinied -- and went to Australia.
 
There were no shortwave radios. No telegraphs. No cell phones. No way to communicate with the ships until they returned to England.
 
"Waiting for my ship to come in" was coined by those who sent their ships out.
 
How many ships have you sent out? How many have you helped make ready to launch?
 
For our libertarian ships to come in, we must first send out many more seaworthy ships.
 
Have you acquired an Operation Politically Homeless (OPH) libertarian outreach kit for your local libertarian organization? OPH is a proven, tested way to discover new libertarian-leaning people and bring them into the liberty movement. That's one ship sent out.

If you're a student, the Advocates is giving OPH kits FREE to any campus libertarian organization that agrees to use them a minimum of three times in the coming year. Have you requested one for your campus group? That's a second ship sent out. 

Have you volunteered to work at an OPH booth? That's a third ship sent out. (AND the most fun you can have with your clothes on.)

Have you forwarded thought-provoking issues of The Liberator Online to interested friends? That's a fourth ship launched.
 
Have you bought an Advocates product -- say, Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion -- for libertarian friends and acquaintances? For their birthdays? Or just because? That's a fifth ship. (And a handbook on “shipbuilding” for liberty.)
 
Support the Advocates! Help us send out more and more ships. And you will stand a much better chance that YOUR libertarian ship will come in -- and that you will have liberty in our lifetime.

* * * * * * * *
Michael Cloud is author of the acclaimed book Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion, available exclusively from the Advocates.
 
In 2000, Michael was honored with the Thomas Paine Award as the Most Persuasive Libertarian Communicator in America.




Ask Dr. Ruwart


Dr. Mary Ruwart is a leading expert in libertarian communication. In this column she offers short answers to real questions about libertarianism. To submit questions to Dr. Ruwart, see end of column.
 
How do I answer this? 

QUESTION: I recently emailed someone about my beliefs about the libertarian philosophy. Excluding profanity, here is some of what he wrote back: 
 
“This party tried to overthrow FDR by trying to get Smedley Butler on their side and using the military. Your ‘wonderland’ uses Somalia for an example. There has NEVER been a libertarian government that has EVER worked. It is based on selfish, ‘me-the people’ principles, not ‘we, the people.’ That [expletive] Ayn Rand and her best friend William Hickman -- a child killer -- are your poster boys.”
 
Whew! How should I answer such a torrent of venom and odd arguments?
 
MY SHORT ANSWER: When people feel so strongly, don’t expect to change their minds with a single answer. Indeed, those who speak so vehemently are often not open to further information. If I were to give an answer, I’d probably say something like this:
 
“The Libertarian Party didn’t exist in FDR’s time, so you must be thinking of a different group. In addition, you seem to have some misinformation about Somalia and the libertarian ethic. 
 
“Libertarians admire the traditional common law, known as Xeer, of the Somalia people. Xeer created consensus, rather than strife, without a central government prior to the country’s takeover by western powers (Italy, France, and Britain). Currently in Somalia, a number of factions, sometimes with the support or interference of developed nations, are seeking to impose a central government, creating chaos as they fight each other. 
 
“In other words, Somalia’s many would-be governments are doing what such entities usually do. They create war, poverty, and strife in their attempts to control others. Unlike libertarians and followers of the Xeer, who wish to ‘live and let live,’ these would-be rulers wish to dominate and enslave. This is the opposite of the libertarian ideal. 
 
“In the real world, the private sector has outperformed virtually every function of government. [Dr. Mary Ruwart’s] book Healing Our World has hundreds of references attesting to that fact. You can get a free download of the 1993 edition at Ruwart.com. Healing Our World explains how liberty saves the environment, helps the poor, and is the ‘compassionate choice.’ It includes a reference to a recent stateless society that you might also enjoy, the “The Not So Wild, Wild West”.
 
Let me know if you have any questions after checking these out.”
 
LEARN MORE: Further information on this topic, suggested by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris: 
 
1. The Invisible Hand Is a Gentle Hand by Advocates President Sharon Harris. Unfortunately many people believe ludicrous things about liberty and libertarianism. Some believe that libertarians are selfish and desire a world that would be harmful to others. 
 
In this short article (also available as a recorded speech), Sharon Harris offers a more accurate perspective. She explores a too-often neglected aspect of liberty -- its compassionate and benevolent side. She firmly dispels the myth of ‘benevolent’ government, and gently makes the case that only freedom can give people what they want: a tolerant, humane, and abundant society. Like Mary Ruwart’s Healing Our World, this is a perspective that can be very helpful in successfully presenting our views to those on the left, many of whom may actually share our concerns once they understand them. 
 
2. "Ayn Rand's Admiration of William Hickman: Fact or Fiction?" by philosopher Dr. Diana Hsieh. The questioner above alleges that Ayn Rand’s “best friend” was convicted child killer William Hickman. This ludicrous and false slur is a further distortion of a sleazy lie that enemies of Rand’s philosophy have recently circulated. The claim is that Rand “admired” Hickman. It is based upon a few notes from her diary, written when she was 23 years old. It is obvious from a reading of these passages that Rand’s only interest in Hickman was the possibility of using one part of his personality in developing a character for a later-discarded work of fiction, something novelists routinely do. In this somewhat long (21 minutes) but interesting video, Dr. Hsieh thoroughly repudiates this lie, and condemns the tactics of those who would create and circulate such trash instead of dealing with Rand’s ideas honestly. 
 
3. “When to Take ‘No’ for an Answer” by Sharon Harris. Sometimes it’s just not worth trying to persuade some people. You’re better off spending your limited and valuable outreach time elsewhere. 

* * * * * * * *
Got questions?  Dr. Ruwart has answers! If you'd like answers to YOUR "tough questions" on libertarian issues, email Dr. Ruwart at: ruwart@theAdvocates.org
 
Due to volume, Dr. Ruwart can't personally acknowledge all emails. But we'll run the best questions and answers in upcoming issues.

Dr. Ruwart's previous Liberator Online answers are archived in searchable form.
 
Dr. Ruwart's outstanding book Healing Our World is available from the Advocates.


One-Minute Liberty Tip 

By Sharon Harris

Safety Net? Or… Dragnet?

Big-government politicians of both the left and right often refer to the need for government to provide a  “safety net.” 
 
That’s a powerful metaphor. As I’ve written in the past, it is one of the most effective phrases used by the left to justify today’s gigantic, oppressive and grotesquely ineffective welfare state. 
 
The left-wing rhetoritician George Lakoff has explained why this metaphor has such enormous persuasive power. 
 
"People who need a safety net are moral people of ordinary skills who walk the straight and narrow," Lakoff writes. "To remove it is to virtually guarantee harm to the normal moral citizen who would rather be working than lying helplessly in a net. ...
 
"[The 'safety net' metaphor] invokes a worldview about the typical working citizen of ordinary or less than ordinary skills. He is moral, wants to work, and needs and should have protection. To remove the safety net is immoral. No ordinary tightrope walker should be required to work without a safety net."
 
A powerful metaphor indeed. After all, who but the most heartless ideologue could be against a safety net for the needy? 
 
We can begin to argue against it by using a counter-metaphor. We can point out that the “safety net” metaphor is a lie. The welfare state today is not a “safety net.” It’s a… dragnet. 
 
Perry Willis of the small-government Downsize DC Foundation points out the crucial difference:  
 
“A safety net would only catch people when they fall, but.... a dragnet entangles everyone, even when they don't need aid.
 
“Warren Buffet qualifies for Social Security and Medicare. Is Warren falling? Does he need help? Of course not. Why then have the politicians created dragnet programs that provide benefits to people like him, and to millions of others who don't need assistance?
 
“One thing is clear -- dragnet programs give politicians vast power, foster dependence, and create huge constituencies that will fight to preserve such programs.” This, of course, empowers the state at the expense of individual liberty. 
 
Willis continues: “Social Security and Medicare are classic dragnets. They ensnare everyone. Everyone pays, but the returns are poor and mismatched to needs. Benefits go to many people who don't need them, and often those who need help the most get the least.
 
“I know a woman who receives only $400 a month from Social Security. She struggles to survive. She has no safety. She has no net beneath her. For her, and for millions of others, the so-called ‘social safety net’ is a myth.
 
“Meanwhile, all of today's workers are caught in the dragnet, forced to pay regressive payroll taxes that diminish their ability to save, while fostering a need to cover emergencies using credit cards that charge impoverishing interest rates.”
 
A “dragnet” welfare program is a real drag on the ability of working people to save and provide for themselves. Social Security tax eats up 15% of a worker’s income. That money, left in their hands, would be more than enough to provide for a far better retirement income than they will get under Social Security. But the dragnet Social Security program denies them that freedom. 
 
A huge dragnet compulsory welfare program denies opportunity, supports a massive well-paid bureaucracy, and invades the privacy of people through prying regulations and swarms of investigators and other government agents. 
 
A dragnet welfare program provides a phony disguise of compassion to a government that often acts in brutal and coercive ways. 
 
The wealth that a free-enterprise libertarian society would create would offer numerous, genuine and far more effective safety nets. There would be jobs for all who wanted them. Inexpensive insurance and well-funded private charities would provide generously for all who needed assistance. 
 
Pointing out that the “safety net” is really a dragnet can be the beginning of an effective counter to that pernicious phrase. Here are some facts to use in conjunction with that: 
 
More Welfare, More Poverty by Michael D. Tanner (Cato Institute), op-ed.
 
Ending Welfare as We Know It by Michael D. Tanner (Cato Institute), policy study.
 
You can read the rest of Perry Willis’s excellent essay “Dragnets vs. Safety Nets” here.

* * * * * *
Sharon Harris is president of the Advocates for Self-Government. See more One Minute Liberty tips.   


What's Happening with the Advocates

LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF FLORIDA STATE CONVENTION, February 10-12: Advocates President Sharon Harris will be dinner speaker at this event, to be held at Embassy Suites near the airport in Orlando.  Mark Hinkle, LP National Chair will be the keynote speaker. PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE: All announced LP presidential candidates plan to attend and will participate in a Saturday debate. Non-LP members are welcome. More information here.
 
LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF INDIANA STATE CONVENTION, March 22-25: Advocates President Sharon Harris will be keynote speaker. Other speakers and programs to be announced shortly at the party web site.
 
2013 FREEDOM CRUISES: Advocates Board Chair and longtime libertarian leader Dr. Ken Bisson invites you to join him for Freedom Cruises in January and May 2013. Enjoy a wonderful trip on a luxury cruiser – at a bargain rate! January 2013 itinerary: an Eastern Caribbean cruise to Grand Turk, St. Maarten, and San Juan. May 2013 itinerary: The 7 day "Castles Along the Rhine,” cruising between Basel, Switzerland and Amsterdam, with a great opportunity to enjoy a few extra days in Europe on either end of your cruise. Non-libertarians welcome! Great food and fine company. (This isn't an Advocates event, but libertarians who have been on past cruises rave about them.) For photos and more details -- or to sign up for free, no-pressure, no-commitment email updates -- visit Freedom Cruises.

FREE OPH KITS FOR LIBERTARIAN STUDENT GROUPS: Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we're giving our acclaimed OPH (Operation Political Homeless) outreach kits to libertarian student groups FREE -- if they simply promise to use them a minimum of three times a year and send us photos documenting their OPH activity. OPH -- praised as the best recruiting tool in the libertarian movement -- normally sells for $50.00.
If you're in a student libertarian group, click here for more information on getting your free OPH kit.

* * * *
 
JOIN US ON TWITTER:Twitter is the first place to learn about breaking Advocates and liberty movement news, expert communications tips, and exclusive Advocates discounts and specials. (And don't worry -- we won't bombard you with tweets. We're keeping it fun, fast, and useful.)
 
Joining the conversation is easy. If you don't already have a Twitter account, it only takes a few moments to sign up for one.

Then go to the Advocates Twitter account and click the "follow" button below our picture.  

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THE LIBERATOR ONLINE, created by James W. Harris and Paul Schmidt, is the official newsletter of the Advocates for Self-Government.

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