WELCOME to the Liberator Online!
In This Issue
* Advocates win Libertarian Party awards
* Sharon Harris at FreedomFest, July 12--14
* Advocates at YAL National Convention, July 25--28
* Study: U.S. Spends Nearly $1 Trillion a Year Fighting Poverty -- and Fails
* Jason Garey: Soccer Star Writes Libertarian Novel
* RIP Andy Griffith: Sheriff Andy Taylor Versus Government Snooping
* Ron Paul: Repeal Obamacare -- and Just About Everything Else
THEY SAID IT:
Solve unemployment with a military draft, columnist suggests... Associated Press says libertarianism is on the rise... Jeffrey Tucker on nostalgia for Watergate... Walter Williams on federal robbery... This number shows the War on Drugs has failed... Jay Leno rips Obamacare....
PERSUASION POWER POINT #328
The Toughest Prospects: Family and Friends
ASK DR. RUWART
* How would a libertarian society protect the disabled from discrimination?
ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP
* Why Are You A Libertarian?
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, Libertarian Party!
This year Advocates Board Chairman, Dr. James W. (Jim) Lark and I were both greatly honored to receive awards from the Libertarian Party.
I was very proud to receive the Libertarian Party’s Thomas Jefferson Leadership Award.
The Libertarian Party presents this award every two years to the Libertarian Party member “whose achievements merit our recognition of outstanding leadership, high character, and dedication to the principles and goals of the Party.”
This is the greatest honor I have received in my decades of activism for liberty.
This would not have been possible without the inspiration, teachings and examples of numerous mentors I have been blessed to have in the libertarian movement. I cannot begin to thank them all here, but I would like to single out my predecessors at the Advocates for Self-Government: our late founder Marshall Fritz and past Advocates president Carole Ann Rand. I am enormously grateful to them for building this organization which has given me such a wonderful opportunity to serve the liberty movement.
I am deeply moved by this award, and I cannot thank the Libertarian Party enough for this recognition. It will inspire me to work even harder for our great cause.
Advocates Board Chairman and long-time Libertarian Party activist Jim Lark was presented with the Thomas Paine Award. The Libertarian Party gives this award every two years to the Libertarian Party member "who has been an outstanding communicator of Libertarian ideas, principles, and values through written, published, or spoken communications.”
Jim previously received two other major awards from the Libertarian Party: the Thomas Jefferson Award, and the Samuel Adams Activism Award, given to the LP member “who has been a very effective activist by building Party membership, organizing community outreach, or communicating Libertarian principles.”
Jim’s achievement is unique: he is the only person in Libertarian Party history to win three of the LP's prestigious awards. Congratulations, Jim!
Jim and I are deeply honored to be chosen by the Libertarian Party for these awards.
Through our work at the Advocates, we will continue to provide vital resources for libertarian activists -- helping them to be successful in taking the libertarian message of individual liberty, abundance and peace to the world.
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FreedomFest, July 12 – 14, Las Vegas
: I'll be attending this outstanding annual libertarian convention and enjoying its wonderful line-up of speakers and events. If you see me, please come up and say hello. Tell me you're a reader of the Liberator Online and I'll give you a coupon for 20% off your next order of any size at our online store
Learn more here
Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) National Convention, July 25-28, 2012 in Washington, DC
: I'll be speaking on how campus libertarian organizations can greatly increase membership and engage in effective activism and outreach. The Advocates will also have a booth. Other speakers at this great event include Ron Paul, Sen. Rand Paul and a host of other liberty advocates, leading political experts, and liberty movement youth leaders. Learn more here
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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
Study: U.S. Spends Nearly $1 Trillion a Year Fighting Poverty -- and Fails
It's been nearly 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared his War on Poverty. Since then, federal, state and local governments have spent $15 trillion dollars (in 2011 dollars) fighting poverty. A huge bureaucracy devoted to welfare has been created, now spending nearly a trillion dollars per year.
Yet the number of poor people in the United States remains stubbornly high, according to a recent Cato Institute policy analysis by Michael Tanner
Among the startling facts Tanner reveals:
* Total welfare spending in constant 2011 dollars (including state and local funds) has risen from $256 billion in 1965 to $908 billion today. Yet the poverty rate remains very close to 1964, when it was 19 percent and falling rapidly. It never fell below 10.5 percent, and this year, it is expected to be roughly 15.1 percent -- and climbing.
* In 2011, there were 126 different federal antipoverty programs administered by seven different cabinet agencies and six independent agencies.
* Federal, state and local governments spend fully $20,610 for every poor person in America -- $61,830 per poor family of three. The poverty line for a family of three is $18,530. So, in theory, poverty -- as defined by the government's own figures -- should have been wiped out many times over.
* It gets worse: Over the next 10 years, federal and state governments are projected to spend $250,000 for every American currently living in poverty. That, of course, is enough to make each impoverished family of four… millionaires.
"Throwing money at the problem has neither reduced poverty nor made the poor self-sufficient," Tanner concludes. "Our current $1 trillion War on Poverty is a failure."
The best way to fight poverty, he concludes, is to institute policies that create an abundant society with jobs and quality education available to all: free markets, low taxes, and limited government.
"[If] we wish to fight poverty, we should end those government policies -- high taxes and regulatory excess - that inhibit growth and job creation. We should protect capital investment and give people the opportunity to start new businesses. We should reform our failed government school system to encourage competition and choice."
Jason Garey: Soccer Star Writes Libertarian Novel
Jason Garey is a record-setting, award-winning pro soccer star. He's also a strong supporter of Ron Paul and limited government. And he's just written and self-published a novel that dramatizes these beliefs.
Garey grew up in Gonzales, Louisiana, where he set high school soccer records for the most goals in a season (73) and in a career (170) that still stand today.
In college he led the University of Maryland to the College Cup, was named a first-team All-American - and won the Hermann Trophy as America's best college player.
Entering professional soccer, Garey was drafted by Columbus Crew in 2006 and was with the Ohio club when they won the 2008 MLS Cup.
Unfortunately, his career has been plagued by injuries. In 2011 hip injuries forced him to undergo surgery followed by several months of intensive rehab. In 2012 he signed with the Carolina RailHawks of the North American Soccer League.
Garey describes himself as "a lover of liberty, capitalism and sane economic policies." He supported Rep. Ron Paul for the Republican presidential nomination, telling
the Washington Post that Paul was "the only one who made sense."
It was during rehab that he decided to write a novel
dramatizing on his political beliefs. It is entitled Geauxing Galt. ("Geauxing" is the French/Cajun word for "go.") It is set in the year 2020, in a
United States encumbered by ever more intrusive government control of the economy. It pits Wyatt Bourgeouis, a self-made, principled oil driller against corrupt local and national politicians attempting to strangle his business.
According to Garey, the book explores these questions: "Do the answers to our country's economic woes lie in free markets, capitalism, and less government as Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged suggests? Or is the answer crony capitalism, debt, and more government control?"
In addition to his soccer prowess, Garey is well-known for his humanitarian work
. He has worked with church groups and Habitat for Humanity projects. In 2005 he supported relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina. In 2010 the Columbus Crew named him its humanitarian of the year for helping bring attention to environmental damage caused by the BP oil spill.
RIP Andy Griffith: Sheriff Andy Taylor Versus Government Snooping
Andy Griffith, one of America's most popular and gifted actors, passed away July 3 at age 86.
There's no better way for libertarians and other freedom lovers to remember him -- and the America that used to be -- than this
delightful one-minute video clip from The Andy Griffith Show, October 1967.
Watch Sheriff Andy Taylor tell his son Opie in no uncertain terms that privacy is sacred, spying is wrong and the government can't use illegally obtained evidence.
Too bad we can't send Sheriff Taylor to Washington to make this same point to President Obama, Congress, Homeland Security, the NSA, and a whole bunch of other snoops and tyrants.
PS: Best comment on YouTube so far: "Hmmm... I guess Andy is now listed as a 'domestic terrorist' according to the DHS (Department of Homeland Security)."
(Hat tip to Reason.com
and Doug Mataconis.)
Ron Paul: Repeal Obamacare -- and Just About Everything Else
Congressman Ron Paul issued the following statement
immediately after the Supreme Court's decision to uphold most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:
"I strongly disagree with today's decision by the Supreme Court, but I am not surprised. The Court has a dismal record when it comes to protecting liberty against unconstitutional excesses by Congress.
"Today we should remember that virtually everything government does is a 'mandate.' The issue is not whether Congress can compel commerce by forcing you to buy insurance, or simply compel you to pay a tax if you don't. The issue is that this compulsion implies the use of government force against those who refuse. The fundamental hallmark of a free society should be the rejection of force. In a free society, therefore, individuals could opt out of 'Obamacare' without paying a government tribute.
"Those of us in Congress who believe in individual liberty must work tirelessly to repeal this national health care law and reduce federal involvement in healthcare generally. Obamacare can only increase third party interference in the doctor-patient relationship, increase costs, and reduce the quality of care.
"Only free market medicine can restore the critical independence of doctors, reduce costs through real competition and price sensitivity, and eliminate enormous paperwork burdens. Americans will opt out of Obamacare with or without Congress, but we can seize the opportunity today by crafting the legal framework to allow them to do so."
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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...
HOW STATISTS SOLVE UNEMPLOYMENT
: “Now that school and college are out for the summer, millions of graduates are lodged aimlessly in the family home, struggling to find jobs. Could one solution to this problem be a return of the compulsory military draft?” -- Gillian Tett
, “Is conscription a draft idea?,” Financial Times magazine, July 6, 2012.
“Looking back, the supposed crimes of Watergate seem quaint, and even charming, by today’s standards. Nixon lied about a political break-in and this was said to
have disgraced the office. Obama admits the truth about his drones and kill lists and he is up for a second term.” -- Jeffrey Tucker
, “The Political Theater of President Ford,” Laissez Faire Today, June 14, 2012.
LIBERTARIANISM ON THE RISE
: “Something’s going on in America this election year: a renaissance of an ideal as old as the nation itself -- that live-and-let-live, get-out-of-my-business, individualism vs. paternalism dogma that is the hallmark of libertarianism. … The libertarian message is especially attractive to younger Americans who are war-weary, socially liberal and skeptical of government interference in their lives. They’ve grown up paying into Medicare and Social Security but hearing -- endlessly -- that they’re unlikely to receive the benefits of those programs. They see many government initiatives as unnecessary evils, and believe social issues such as abortion and gay marriage are matters of personal choice not political debate.” – Pauline Arrilliga
, Associated Press, “Libertarian views see rebirth in America,” July 7, 2012.
: “Roughly two-thirds to three-quarters of our federal budget can be described as Congress' taking the property of one American and giving it to another. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid account for nearly half of federal spending. Then there are corporate welfare and farm subsidies and thousands of other spending programs, such as food stamps, welfare and education. According to a 2009 Census Bureau report, nearly 139 million Americans -- 46 percent -- receive handouts from one or more federal programs, and nearly 50 percent have no federal income tax obligations.” -- economist Walter Williams
, “Immoral Beyond Redemption,” syndicated column, June 6, 2012.
THIS NUMBER SHOWS THE DRUG WAR HAS FAILED:
“If there is one number that embodies the seemingly intractable challenge imposed by the illegal drug trade on the relationship between the United States and Mexico, it is $177.26. That is the retail price, according to Drug Enforcement Administration data, of one gram of pure cocaine from your typical local pusher. That is 74 percent cheaper than it was 30 years ago.
“This number contains pretty much all you need to evaluate the Mexican and American governments’ “war” to eradicate illegal drugs from the streets of the United States. … What it says is that the struggle on which they have spent billions of dollars and lost tens of thousands of lives over the last four decades has failed. … Prices match supply with demand. If the supply of an illicit drug were to fall, say because the Drug Enforcement Administration stopped it from reaching the nation’s shores, we should expect its price to go up.” – Eduardo Porter
, “Numbers Tell of Failure in Drug War,” New York Times, July 3, 2012.
JAY LENO ON OBAMACARE:
"The Obamacare ruling makes Roberts the first Republican to favor an insurance law with an individual mandate since, well, Mitt Romney." -- Jay Leno, June 29, 2012.
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"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.
The Toughest Prospects: Family and Friends
by Michael Cloud
by Michael Cloud
"I don't know why my dad supports Obamacare," said my friend. "He's smart. Well-educated. He was a business leader. He understands most of our libertarian philosophy. But he insists that government control is the only solution to our health care problems. What can I do to change his mind?"
"How many times have you discussed health care policy with your father?" I asked.
"Several times," she said.
"How many libertarian policy proposals, white papers, articles, and books on the subject have you asked your father to read?" I asked.
"Maybe ten or twenty articles and books," she answered.
"When did you start trying to convince your father about free market health care?" I asked.
"Four or five years ago," she said.
"Is he any closer to agreement than he was when you started?" I asked.
"No, he hasn't budged an inch," she admitted.
"Since he's not buying, why are you trying to sell?" I asked.
"He's my dad. He's seen the evidence. He ought to agree," she said.
"But he doesn't agree. He's no closer to agreeing. He doesn't want to agree. And, much as you love your father, he may never agree. If he never agrees, if he never becomes a libertarian, will you still love him?" I asked.
"Of course. I love my father. I'll keep loving my father whether we agree or disagree," she said.
"May I make a suggestion? Accept that your dad doesn't see health care the way you do, that he doesn't want to change his mind, that he probably will never change his mind. Drop the health care issue. And cherish the relationship you have with him," I suggested.
Often, the toughest prospects for liberty are our family and friends.
If you've given your family and friends books and articles about libertarianism, if you've had many discussions and arguments with them, and if they are no closer to
libertarianism... drop the subject.
If they're resisting, stop pushing.
If they're not buying, stop selling.
Maybe they don't like the ideas. Maybe you're pressuring them. Maybe you are the wrong person to convince them.
Relax. Savor the moment. Enjoy your relationships.
Stop demanding that family or friends absolutely must agree with you.
Talk to people who are interested in libertarian ideas and solutions. Talk to high-probability prospects.
Maybe someday your family and friends will come to libertarianism. Maybe they won't.
Accept them as they are. Love them. And let them love you.
Love and let love.
It will set you free.
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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 the disabled from discrimination?
Ask Dr. Ruwart
: I am a blind person using a guide dog. I am wondering how libertarianism might apply to me personally and to other minority groups. How are minority groups, such as blind people, protected from discrimination? We face discrimination with provision of services, education, health, entry to premises (some people don’t like guide dogs)? And what about equality for all? Isn’t that necessary for justice?
MY SHORT ANSWER
: Equality can’t be ensured in any society because laws that mandate it backfire, hurting the very people that are supposed to be helped. However, a free society is likely to have less discrimination that we see today -- because discrimination will come with a high financial price tag. Since this may not be intuitively obvious, let me explain.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to pick one example, forces employers to make accommodations for the disabled and makes it harder to fire them. Employers who had in the past responded to TV advertisements to “hire the handicapped” were not willing to take on a potential legal liability. Consequently, employment of the disabled plummeted after passage of the ADA. Forcing people not to discriminate generally backfires.
However, a robust economy, such as that created by the free market, increases jobs and the demand for labor. After World War II, many women lost their jobs as the servicemen returned home, but this dip in female employment was quickly reversed. Today, women are almost as likely to be employed as men. Their salaries are also comparable if you take into account the time away from work for childbearing and rearing. The growth of the economy created this reversal of discrimination against women in the workplace. Until the passage of the ADA, the employment of the disabled also increased.
Some of the discrimination in education that you refer to would likely end if it were fully privatized and schools could profit by tailoring programs to individual needs. For example, private schools, even today, sometimes specialize in teaching delinquents, troublemakers, and the emotionally disturbed. Private schools specializing in educating the blind would be much more effective in a libertarian society.
Discrimination will always be with us to some extent. People usually prefer to associate with those like themselves and shun those who are different. Homosexuals discriminate in their dating against the opposite sex; heterosexuals discriminate against those of the same sex. On the plus side, people who dislike dogs may put up with yours, because of their compassion for your situation. I’m not a dog person myself, but I’d set my normal discrimination against them aside and make a guide dog welcome.
: Suggestions for further information on this topic by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris:
“Good Intentions Gone Bad
” by John Stossel: This 2010 syndicated column by the award-winning libertarian journalist summarizes the failures of the ADA.
: “An MIT study found that employment of disabled men ages 21 to 58 declined after the ADA went into effect. Same for women ages 21 to 39. How could employment among the disabled have declined?
“Because the law turns "protected" people into potential lawsuits. Most ADA litigation occurs when an employee is fired, so the safest way to avoid those costs is not to hire the disabled in the first place.”
“Standard Accommodations: The Road to Universal Disability
” by Walter Olson. This article from the February 1999 issue of the libertarian magazine Reason gives a short summary of the negative consequences of the ADA. Though a bit old, the principles still apply.
: “The newest study on disabled employment, released last summer, confirms what informed observers already realized: The sweeping laws passed in the last two decades, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and various others, have been an utter failure at their announced aim of moving disabled persons into work. The more laws we pass in the name of disabled rights, in fact, the more disabled people seem to sit home jobless.”
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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
Why Are You A Libertarian?
There are some questions that just about every libertarian is going to be asked, probably many times.
Knowing this, you should always have one (and preferably more) great soundbite-sized answer to these common questions crafted, memorized and ready. Don’t rely on inspiration. Preparation allows you to make a powerful impact.
One common question you’ll probably be asked is something like this: “Why are you a libertarian?”
The renowned magician and libertarian Penn Jillette was recently asked that question, and I thought his answer was great:
"My whole take on libertarianism is simply that I don't know what's best for other people."
That answer works well for several reasons.
* It is concise, memorable, striking, quotable.
* It is humble, friendly and likeable. It expresses tolerance for other people’s choices and a respect for their right to live their lives any peaceful way they wish.
* It is consistently and distinctively libertarian. It is neither conservative or liberal, and yet it is not offensive to either of those positions. In fact it can serve as a friendly starting point for building bridges with those of the left and right who favor liberty on some issues.
* It's not a challenge or statement that begs for an argument or rebuttal. (And remember, most arguments are not productive.)
* Instead of being defensive or asking for an argument, it puts the onus on the asker to disagree. If he disagrees, he will be saying that he thinks he DOES know what's good for other people better than they do, and that he wants his preference forced onto others by law -- quite a silly position to be in! Jillette's answer gently forces the usually hidden coercion and arrogance of a statist answer out into the open.
* Finally it accomplishes all the above without requiring that you be a master of verbal persuasion.
Jillette’s answer offers you a great starting point for some conversations. From there, you can go on to elaborate.
It’s a downright magical answer! Of course, what else would you expect from a magician?
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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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