WELCOME to the Liberator Online!
In This Issue
* Thank you, Young Americans for Liberty!
* Cost of Government Day: Americans Slaving for Gov't
* Rand Paul: Congress Should Read Bills Before Voting
* VIDEO: Sen. Rand Paul Rips Congress for Voting Without Reading Bills
* Good News: World Poverty Nearly Gone by 2030
THEY SAID IT:
Pollster Zogby says youth vote is going libertarian... Judge Napolitano on government breaking the law... Obama's drone assassinations are unconstitutional... The real reason for the Second Amendment... Konan O'Brien on the government mail monopoly... Jay Leno on crazy government spending...
PERSUASION POWER POINT #329
Personal Responsibility Sets Us Free
ASK DR. RUWART
* How would a libertarian society protect land that no one owns?
ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP
* Word Choices: Politically Incorrect Drugs
WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* 2013 Freedom Cruises
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter
* Join the Advocates on Facebook
by Sharon Harris
Thank you, Young Americans for Liberty!
Last week I had a glimpse of the future of libertarianism. And let me tell you: that future is awesome!
I got that glimpse at the Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) national conference in Washington DC. Congratulations to the staff and volunteers at YAL for putting together such a well-organized and well-attended conference -- full of great content and resources for the attendees!
The Advocates had a booth there, and Advocates Board Chair Jim Lark and I had the great pleasure of speaking at the conference as well.
Our booth was swamped with students lined up to talk to us, learn more about our services, and sign up for the free OPH outreach kits we make available to all campus libertarian organizations. (Learn more about free campus OPH kits here.)
Many of their faces lit up as they shared stories of their success with OPH, the Quiz and other Advocates outreach tools. It was a fantastic and rewarding experience for me.
Over a hundred students ordered OPH kits for their YAL campus chapters. This brings the number of OPH kits we've sent to libertarian campus groups to a whopping 621!
Many of these students told us they are planning to do OPH at the beginning of class this fall -- historically one of the very best times to reach students. So look for an explosion of newly-recruited campus libertarians in the next few months!
The YALers I spoke to love the Quiz, OPH and other Advocates outreach and education tools, and they are using them to win the hearts and minds of other students to the ideas of liberty. My presentation about the Quiz and OPH received not just applause, but whoops and hollers!
Young Americans for Liberty are fired up about freedom. They are determined to make individual liberty once again a burning issue in American politics. And they have the knowledge, the passion and the commitment to make that happen.
I'm really excited about working further with these outstanding students. I left the event energized, excited -- and very, very optimistic about the future of freedom in America.
Thank you, Young Americans for Liberty!
* * *
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
by James W. Harris
"Cost of Government Day" Shows Americans Slaving for Government
In 2012 the average American must toil 197 days of the year -- just to pay the cost of government.
That's the startling but well-documented claim
of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a non-partisan organization that works for lower taxes and smaller government, and the affiliated non-profit Center for Fiscal Accountability (CFA).
Each year ATR and CFA calculate Cost of Government Day. That's the date when the average American worker has -- finally! -- earned enough to pay his or her share of the total cost of government. That cost includes federal, state and local taxes. It also includes the hidden costs imposed by government regulations that drive up the prices of products and services.
This year, Cost of Government Day finally crawled in on July 15 -- ironically, a full 11 days after Independence Day, when we celebrate rebellion against a King whose taxing and regulatory policies seemed downright anarchic compared to those of our made-in-the-USA rulers.
This July 15 date means that on average workers are left with less than half of their income to meet such non-government expenses as food, shelter, clothing, and savings.
Put another way, the cost of government consumes 54.0 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP).
(State figures given here are, of course, an average, since state taxes and regulations vary widely. The report breaks the costs down state by state. The worst: Connecticut, once again, where taxpayers must labor until August 9. The best: Tennessee, where taxpayers are done funding government by June 28.)
July 15 is three days earlier than last year’s revised date of July 18. But that’s hardly reason for cheering. The July arrival is part of an unpleasant new trend. Between 1977 and 2008, Cost of Government Day never fell later than June 26. But this year marks the fourth consecutive year Cost of Government Day has arrived in July.
And looking a little further back, it gets worse: In 2012, the average American will have to work fully 29 days longer to pay off his or her share of the cost of government than just ten years ago. And 2002, you may recall, wasn’t exactly an era of small government and low taxes.
Plus, ATR notes that ominous new taxes and regulations are looming, which could push next year’s Cost of Government Day far ahead.
Breaking it down into components:
The average American worker will have to labor 88 days just to pay for federal spending, which consumes 24.04 percent of the national income.
State and Local Spending:
In 2012, the average American must labor 40.04 days to fund state and local spending.
The average American must labor 69 days in 2012 just to cover the hidden tax that is government regulations.
Whew! Now we can start spending our money on food, clothing, transportation, education and the rest of all that non-essential stuff.
Rand Paul: Congress Should Read Bills Before Voting on Them
Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) is proposing a truly radical change in the way Congress does business.
He has introduced legislation
requiring Congress to -- hold your breath -- actually read bills, or hear them read aloud, before voting for them.
That may make perfect sense in the real world. But in the unreal world of federal governing, the idea of having to read something before you vote on it is heresy.
Sen. Paul’s “Read the Bills Act” (S. 3360) would require all bills, amendments, and conference reports to be filed for one day for every 20 pages before they can be considered, in order to allow sufficient time for the legislation to actually be read.
Each bill would be read aloud. Members voting for the bill would have to sign an affidavit executed under penalty of perjury that they were present for the reading of the bill, had read it themselves, or some combination.
Further, to give the public a chance to know what Congress is up to, the bill requires proposed legislation to be posted online for seven days before the final vote.
Paul introduced the bill shortly after expressing frustration about a U.S. Senate vote on a massive 600-page bill changing laws on subjects ranging from highway funding to student loans.
“Not one member of the Senate will read this bill before we vote on it,” Paul said of that bill. "For goodness sakes, this is a 600-page bill. I got it this morning.”
Perhaps the most notorious example of this was the Patriot Act, a bill hundreds of pages long that made radical changes to American law concerning the federal government’s ability to gather intelligence, engage in domestic surveillance, conduct secret searches, and more. Yet according to many critics, almost no one in Congress had time to read it.
The Read the Bills Act was originally written in 2006 by Downsize DC
, a non-profit organization focused on decreasing the size of the federal government.
This is a serious constitutional matter, not just a gimmick or a showcase, says
Downsize DC President Jim Babka. He notes that citizens are required under penalty of law to submit to every word of every bill that passes. Therefore it is certainly incumbent upon Congress to read those words before passing them.
Babka further notes: “Failing to read bills amounts to legislation without representation. Revolutions have been fought for less than this.”
And what about the problem of bills that balloon into hundreds of pages because they combine numerous topics? Senator Paul has a solution for that, too.
Paul has introduced the "One Subject at a Time Act"
(S. 3359), described as: “A bill to end the practice of including more than one subject in a single bill by requiring that each bill enacted by Congress be limited to only one subject.”
Video: Sen. Rand Paul Rips Congress for Voting Without Reading Bills
In this remarkable video
from the floor of the U.S. Senate, June 29, 2012, a frustrated Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) exposes how Congress routinely passes bills they haven’t read. He also discusses other congressional subterfuge. (Paul’s solution, the new Read the Bills Act, is described in the story just above this one.)
“Nobody knows what we’re voting on,” Sen. Paul says, waving a thick 600-page bill that he’s just been given. “In fact, things have been stuck in this bill last night that have nothing to do with any of these bills … and we’re just now discovering it.
“Congress has a 10% approval rating -- and one of the reasons is that we don’t even obey our own rules.”
Good News: Report Predicts World Poverty Nearly Gone by 2030
Here’s some very good news on a vital subject on which good news is seldom heard.
According to new findings
by the U.S. National Intelligence Council:
* Poverty across the planet will be virtually eliminated by 2030.
* By 2030 the global middle class will grow from today’s one billion to two billion -- and rising.
* This new global middle class will have little tolerance for authoritarian regimes. They will demand more political freedom and human rights -- and they will have the resources, social media skills and education to change or overthrow regimes that deny them.
* The number of the world’s poorest people, the 1 billion people who live on less than a dollar a day, will drop to half that number. And the rise in wealth will create new resources for aid and development for them.
* Education is also on the rise. School graduation rates for women, historically lower than men, are on track to actually exceed that of men before 2030.
The above is from a preview of the National Intelligence Council's upcoming global forecast. The National Intelligence Council is a U.S. agency that analyzes critical national security issues, drawing information from all U.S. intelligence agencies. The full report is due out at the end of the year.
Of course, you don’t have to trust a government agency to believe that the world is making great strides in eliminating poverty and increasing freedom. Check out this brief Reason magazine summary
of a Brookings Institution report showing the staggering decrease of poverty in just five years: “We estimate that between 2005 and 2010, nearly half a billion people escaped extreme hardship, as the total number of the world's poor fell to 878 million people. Never before in history have so many people been lifted out of poverty in such a short period.”
Libertarians and other free market thinkers have been predicting this for many years, in the face of doom-predicting statists like the Club of Rome and Paul Ehrlich. Back in 1988, Milton Singer’s book Passage to a Human World argued
that many critics had overlooked or misunderstood the incredible growth in abundance of the past few centuries, and he predicted the end of most world poverty in the coming century. The often-attacked Julian Simon made similarly positive arguments in many works, including The State of Humanity (1996, Cato Institute) in which he argued
that in the near future “humanity's condition will improve in just about every material way.”
Indeed, the National Intelligence Council’s optimistic predictions, exciting though they are, may be too… pessimistic. A world of 3-D printers, nanotechnology, commercial space exploration, and medical breakthroughs, coupled with libertarian insights on limited government, free markets, and individual liberty, could well bring a future of unimaginable abundance and freedom -- well before 2030.
* * * * * * * *
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...
POLLSTER ZOGBY SAYS YOUTH VOTE IS GOING LIBERTARIAN:
“The battle over the young vote is going to take place on college campuses, and isn’t going to be Obama vs. Romney. It’s going to be Obama vs. [Libertarian] Johnson.” -- renowned pollster John Zogby
, quoted in “The Kids Are All Libertarians,” Vice.com, July 12.
WHEN GOVERNMENT BREAKS THE LAW:
“In our era, the violations of the Rule of Law have become most troublesome when the government breaks its own laws. Prosecute Roger
Clemens for lying to Congress? What about all the lies Congress tells? Prosecute John Edwards for cheating? What about all the cheating in Congress when it enacts laws it hasn't read?... What about all the innocents killed secretly by the president using CIA drones?” -- Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
, former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey and author of six books on the U.S. Constitution. From his July 19 syndicated column entitled “The Rule of Law.”
OBAMA’S DRONE ASSASINATIONS ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL:
“Allowing the president of the United States to act as judge, jury and executioner f
or suspected terrorists, including U.S. citizens, on the basis of secret evidence is impossible to reconcile with the Constitution's guarantee that a life will not be taken without due process of law. Under the law, the government must obtain a court order if it seeks to target a U.S. citizen for electronic surveillance, yet there is no comparable judicial review of a decision to kill a citizen. No court is even able to review the general policies for such assassinations.” -- “When the government kills,” Los Angeles Times editorial
, July 29, 2012.
THE REAL REASON FOR THE SECOND AMENDMENT:
“If the history I learned in school is of any value, I would think that the folks who took on the British, including our Founding Fathers, would have very much appreciated an automatic weapon. You have only to look around the world and see what it means for oppressed civilians to be without weapons. I believe that to be the gist of the Second Amendment. Yes, there is a place for assault weapons: in the hands of law-abiding civilians.” -- Randy Soos
, letter to USA Today, July 30, in response to calls for gun control in the wake of the Colorado shooting tragedy.
CONAN O’BRIEN ON THE GOVERNMENT MAIL MONOPOLY:
"The United States Postal Service is about to default on $5.5 billion. They made the payment but the check got lost in the mail." -- Conan O'Brien, July 19, 2012.
JAY LENO ON CRAZY GOVERNMENT SPENDING:
"The Obama campaign spent more money in June than it took in. Every businessman will tell you, you can’t run a campaign like that. Apparently, you can run a government like that, but not a campaign." -- Jay Leno, July 19, 2012.
* * * * * * * * * *
"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.
Personal Responsibility Sets Us Free
by Michael Cloud
Personal responsibility sets us free. Personal responsibility makes us self-reliant. Self-supporting. Thoughtful. Productive. Personal responsibility makes us prosperous and civil.
Yet everywhere in America, government responsibility advances, while personal responsibility retreats.
Government responsibility expands, while personal responsibility shrivels and shrinks.
Government responsibility grows stronger, while personal responsibility grows weaker and weaker.
Because too many people have been taught that personal responsibility is a hard and painful burden.
Too many have been taught that personal responsibility means blame and punishment.
Too many people have been taught that personal responsibility is just one more thankless task.
So individuals surrender their responsibility to government. And Big Government is happy to take it.
Because Big Government grows by assuming responsibility.
But Government responsibility doesn't work.
Government responsibility makes things worse.
Government responsibility creates new problems.
Government responsibility means programs that squander and waste.
Government responsibility diverts money and energy from positive and productive uses.
Government responsibility IS the problem.
Personal responsibility is the solution.
Health care? Federal, state, and local politicians vote and lobby for more government responsibility. They drive us toward a Big Government health care monopoly. One big VA hospital for America. That's government responsibility in health care.
Education? Federal, state and local politicians vote for more government responsibility. More government authority. More government control. More government involvement. Government-run public schools are obscenely expensive and teaching-disabled. That's government responsibility in education.
The family? Politicians make politically correct votes for the children, for family leave, and family planning. Their votes destroy the authority and responsibility of parents. Their votes make more government rules and regulations, restrictions and requirements, mandates and demands... decided and guided by bureaucrats and politicians. That's government responsibility for families.
Welfare? Disaster relief? Retirement? Business? Jobs? Area after area, time after time, government responsibility makes things worse.
Government responsibility is the problem. Personal responsibility is the solution.
It's time to take back personal responsibility.
Personal responsibility is the price of liberty. Personal responsibility sets us free. Personal responsibility leaves us with the freedom and resources to support our families, raise and educate our children, plan our careers, and save for our own retirements.
Personal responsibility is only possible with small government. And small government is possible only with personal responsibility.
Government responsibility or personal responsibility? Which do you want?
Government authority or personal authority? Which do you want?
Government control or personal control? Which do you want?
Big Government or small government? Which do you want?
It's your choice. Your responsibility.
You can pay the price of achieving small government, individual liberty, and personal responsibility.
Or keep paying the costs of Big Government, government authority, and government responsibility.
* * * * * * * *
Michael Cloud is author of the acclaimed book Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion and the BRAND NEW Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion. Both are available exclusively from the Advocates.
In 2000, Michael was honored with the Thomas Paine Award as the Most Persuasive Libertarian Communicator in America.
* * * * * * * *
Michael Cloud's brand-new book Unlocking More Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion is available exclusively from the Advocates, along with his acclaimed earlier book Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion.
In 2000, Michael was honored with the Thomas Paine Award as the Most Persuasive Libertarian Communicator in America.
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 would a libertarian society protect land that no one owns?
Ask Dr. Ruwart
How do you protect land that no one owns? If an individual or corporation purposely destroys land that no one has claim over, how would a libertarian society protect that land? I am thinking of
something like industrial waste dumping. I can envision a corporation dumping waste into land not owned by anyone if there are no repercussions for those actions.
MY SHORT ANSWER:
If there is property on this earth that is not yet claimed by a person or government, I'm not aware of it. However, in theory, if someone discovered such a piece of land and dumped garbage on it, he or she would probably be safe from repercussions -- as long as nothing toxic leached out to harm others or their property (again, we are assuming there are no pre-existing restrictions on the use of the land). In essence, the dumper would have "homesteaded" the property.
However, if there is any leaching of toxic waste or other material off the property (and in the situation you describe it's quite likely there would be some), nearby landowners could immediately sue to stop the dumping and get reparations. Since bankruptcy, if it existed at all in a libertarian society, would be more difficult, the fear of such costly suits would likely insure that any dumping of waste on any such unowned property would be done with care.
* * * * * * * * * *
Suggestions for further information on this topic by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris:
"The Pollution Solution"
by Dr. Mary Ruwart. In this short two-part series, Dr. Ruwart covers the basics of libertarian environmentalism. She combines libertarian principles with real-world examples, and provides references. She tells how libertarian policies would keep our air and water clean -- and shows that government is actually the worst polluter in America.
"First, libertarians would eliminate sovereign immunity so that victims of the country's greatest polluter -- government -- would have recourse. Second, libertarians would privatize land and beast to save endangered species, preserve our parks, protect our national forests, and improve our vast cattle ranges. In addition, libertarians would couple these powerful reforms with restitution, to prevent pollution before it starts... Restitution is the remedy when someone harms another, takes their property, or damages it. While punishment is intended to hurt the aggressor, restitution restores the victim to the fullest extent possible. Restitution is "punishment" that fits the crime and therefore provides a more effective deterrent. …Environmental restoration is costly and difficult. Restitution therefore becomes an incredibly onerous punishment and the most effective deterrent known."
* * * * * * * *
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
Word Choices: Politically Incorrect Drugs
Most people hate the idea of being told to conform to some arbitrary social or political standard of “political correctness.”
That’s why the term “politically incorrect” has become so extremely popular, and why it generates such a positive reaction among both conservatives and liberals.
Examples of conservatives using the term in a positive way are the "Politically Incorrect Guide To…" series of books published by conservative Regnery Publishing.
An example of a liberal-left positive use of the term is Bill Maher’s "Politically Incorrect "TV show.
There are, of course, endless other examples.
The popularity of this phrase -- and the idea behind it -- offers us a great term that can be useful in discussing the drug issue: “politically incorrect drugs.”
You might say something like: “Millions of people are arrested every year for doing nothing more than using politically incorrect drugs.”
Or: “A better term for the War on Drugs might be... the War Against Politically Incorrect Drugs.”
The point, of course, is that there are some legal drugs that are approved of, and used by, many pro-Drug War political figures and opinion leaders -- despite some of actually being more dangerous than many illegal drugs. Obvious examples are alcohol and tobacco.
At the same time other drugs, some with medical uses and some less harmful than the Establishment’s favored alcohol and tobacco, are irrationally and arbitrarily made illegal. Thus they are “politically incorrect drugs.”
This catchy term can provide a mind-opening, “aha!”-inducing insight for many listeners.
Many people, including older adults who remember the political and cultural struggles of the 1960s, may suddenly see the Drug War as a war waged by people who smoke tobacco and drink alcohol against people whose only “crime” is a preference for other intoxicants.
The hypocrisy and the unfairness of this will be made obvious.
Like most word choices, this one isn’t for every audience. But it can really hit home with the right listeners -- including many conservatives and liberals.
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Sharon Harris is president of the Advocates for Self-Government.
What's Happening with the Advocates
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.
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