WELCOME to the Liberator Online!
In This Issue
* Epic Liberty Takes Off!
* New Study: U.S. and World Are Fast Losing Economic Liberty
* John Stossel Trumps Bill O’Reilly
* U.S. Marijuana Prosecutions Near Record High – Even As Majority Favors Re-Legalization
* Ron Paul Tied With Romney for Vote of Young Republicans
THEY SAID IT:
Jay Leno blasts Obama's jobs bill... Stossel on why gov’t can’t create jobs... Florida State Rep bans gun bans... Justin Raimondo on executing American citizens without trial...
PERSUASION POWER POINT #315
* Can You Take No For an Answer?
ASK DR. RUWART
* Should smoking be outlawed in bars and restaurants?
ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP
* Word Choices: “Crapitalism” Versus Capitalism
WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Check out Epic Liberty!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter.
* Join the Advocates on Facebook.
by Sharon Harris
Epic Liberty Takes Off!
I am pleased to bring you some EXCITING SUCCESS STORIES about libertarian campus outreach!
Last issue I told you about our new Epic Liberty
campus outreach program.
Epic Liberty is designed to motivate large numbers of student libertarian activists to use our acclaimed Operation Politically Homeless (OPH) outreach kits on their campuses, again and again – discovering new libertarians every time!
We know from decades of experience that OPH makes massive libertarian outreach success easy -- and fun.
Now, thanks to Epic Liberty, libertarian students are discovering that, too – and they’re sharing their OPH successes with us.
Here are two great recent examples:
* The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill College Libertarians recently held an OPH event – and got a whopping 115 people to sign up for their mailing list.
David Deerson of the UNC-CH Libertarians said OPH ”was a HUGE draw!"
* Loyola Students for Liberty in Chicago did an OPH at Loyola’s Fall Organization fair. Peter Pascente of the Loyola libertarians reports that about 100 students participated with OPH -- and fully 40 signed up for their email list. (You can read Peter’s excellent report on their experience here
Imagine this kind of success happening again and again at campuses across America in the coming months. Imagine the impact of THOUSANDS of new libertarian activists working for liberty in the coming year.
That’s what makes Epic Liberty so exciting.
Here are some updated figures related to Epic Liberty:
* Epic Liberty page now has 228 "likes" or fans at our Facebook site.
* We have 60 students in 38 groups in 20 states actively participating in Epic Liberty so far.
* Last year we started giving away OPH kits to student libertarian groups. Our only condition: they agree to use them three times within twelve months.
Since September 1, we've sent out 41 more OPHs to student activists – bringing the total number of OPH kits we’ve given to campus groups to 398.
What does that mean? Exciting things for liberty will be happening!
Do the Math: Thousands of New Student Libertarians
From more than two decades of experience with OPH, we know what OPH can do. We can make a reasonable and reliable estimate of what to expect from a typical OPH booth.
The potential is incredible. Consider:
* If just 250 kits are used the minimum three times, we'll see 750 OPH events in the coming 12 months. (Many student groups will, of course, do many more than three.)
* If these 750 OPH events identify an average of 20 students who score in the libertarian quadrant of the Quiz (a reasonable estimate based on past experience), that's… 15,000 libertarian-leaning students identified!
* And if these student libertarian groups can enroll just half of these liberty-loving students in libertarian organizations and activities, that's 7,500 new liberty activists – identified and participating in libertarian activities -- in just one year!
Part of the fun of Epic Liberty is giving points and prizes for meeting outreach challenges. This recent post from outstanding libertarian activist Todd Hollenbeck of Boston University gives you an idea of the kind of fun Epic Liberty offers students:
“I got a bunch of awesome stuff from Epic Liberty today, including a Monkey Sling Shot (which is as cool as it sounds) and a t-shirt that says ‘Taxation Equals Slavery’! You should all ‘Like’ Epic Liberty’s Facebook page to earn points and get cool stuff too!”
What You Can Do
I hope you’re as excited as I am by the potential of Epic Liberty.
You can read more about what student activists think of OPH here
To keep up with Epic Liberty’s progress, sign up to “like” Epic Liberty on Facebook
. And keep reading the Liberator Online -- we’ll share news here.
Learn more about Epic Liberty.
Make sure your campus libertarian organization has a FREE OPH kit
If you’re excited by this program, I invite you to help us make it a success with your financial support. Epic Liberty, like all Advocates programs (including this newsletter you’re reading) is made possible only by the generosity of liberty-loving donors like your.
You can learn more
about our work, and make a donation
to this great cause (We’ve got some great thank-you gifts for your generosity.)
Help us empower libertarian students to reach the voters, activists, leaders, candidates of tomorrow -- right now-- by rewarding and encouraging proven, effective outreach with Epic 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
New Study: U.S. and World Are Fast Losing Economic Liberty
Economic freedom has decreased dramatically around the globe in recent months, according to a highly regarded annual in-depth study.
Perhaps even more shocking, America -- once the world’s bastion of free enterprise – today has less economic freedom relative to other nations than ever before.
So reports the 2011 edition of the annual peer-reviewed Economic Freedom of the World
. The report is produced by the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think-tank, in cooperation with independent institutes in 85 nations and territories.
The report uses 42 different measures to rank 141 countries -- representing 95 per cent of the world’s population -- based on policies that encourage economic freedom. The cornerstones of economic freedom are personal choice, voluntary exchange, freedom to compete, and security of private property.
Economic freedom is measured in five different areas: (1) size of government, (2) legal structure and security of property rights, (3) access to sound money, (4) freedom to trade internationally, and (5) regulation of credit, labor, and business.
This year’s report ranks the 141 nations for 2009, the most recent year for which data is available. The findings are alarming: the average economic freedom score fell to 6.64 in 2009, the lowest in nearly three decades, from 6.67 in 2008.
“In response to the American and European debt crises, governments around the world are embracing perverse regulations and this has huge, negative implications for economic freedom and financial recovery,” said Fred McMahon, Fraser Institute vice-president of international policy research.
Hong Kong again ranked as the number one country for the world in economic freedom, followed by Singapore and New Zealand, Switzerland, and Australia.
And what about the United States? The U.S. experienced one of the largest drops in economic freedom, falling to 10th place overall from sixth in 2010. That’s right: by the study’s criteria, America has less economic freedom than the five countries above, plus Canada, Chile, the United Kingdom, and Mauritius.
Much of the U.S. decline is a result of higher spending and borrowing on the part of the federal government, and lower scores for legal structure and protection of property rights.
The study also clearly shows that economic liberty is literally a matter of life and death.
“The link between economic freedom and prosperity is undeniable: the countries that score highly in terms of economic freedom also offer their people the best quality of life,” McMahon said.
For years the report has shown that individuals living in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy higher levels of prosperity, greater individual freedoms, and longer life spans. The report notes that among the highest-ranked countries, the average income of the poorest 10 per cent of people was $8,735 (in constant 2005 international dollars), compared to a meager $1,061 for those living in the least economically free countries.
By contrast, the poorest 10 per cent of people in the most economically free countries are, on average, nearly twice as rich as the average population of the least economically free nations.
This is something libertarians should remember as we work to bring the blessings of economic liberty to the world.
John Stossel Trumps Bill O’Reilly
Here’s an odd but interesting exchange
between libertarian journalist John Stossel and conservative Bill O’Reilly on "The O'Reilly Factor" FOX TV show, October 4, 2011:
O'REILLY: You are a libertarian, right?
STOSSEL: I am. Proudly
O'REILLY: Do you get a little card? Can you -- does it say…
STOSSEL: No, we're not like those parties with cards.
O'REILLY: Like a blood card. Like “I'm a libertarian. Give my blood to Ron Paul if I die” or something like that. You don't have a little thing?
STOSSEL: I do have a little thing.
O'REILLY: What do you have?
STOSSEL: I have the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
U.S. Marijuana Prosecutions Near Record High – Even As Majority Favors Re-Legalization
Police made 853,838 arrests in 2010 for marijuana-related offenses, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Uniform Crime Report, released September 19.
This ranks among the highest-ever arrest totals, and is nearly identical to the previous year.
The FBI statistics also show that the War on Drugs is largely a war on pot smokers. Marijuana arrests now comprise more than one-half (52 percent) of all drug arrests.
"Today, as in past years, the so-called 'drug war' remains fueled by the arrests of minor marijuana possession offenders, a disproportionate percentage of whom are ethnic minorities," said NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. "It makes no sense to continue to waste law enforcements' time and taxpayers' dollars to arrest and prosecute responsible Americans for their use of a substance that poses far fewer health risks than alcohol or tobacco."
Of those charged with marijuana law violations, an astonishing 750,591 (88 percent) were arrested for marijuana offenses involving possession only. Further, the remaining 103,247 individuals were charged with "sale/manufacture," a category that includes virtually all cultivation offenses.
Overall, law enforcement agents nationwide arrested 1,638,846 people last year for drug abuse violations – more than arrested for all other crimes.
Meanwhile, the public seems to be waking up at last to the horror and stupidity of persecuting harmless pot smokers and subsidizing organizing crime by creating a black market in marijuana.
A new poll
by Angus Reid Public Opinion found that, of a sample of 1,0003 American adults, 55 percent of respondents support the legalization of marijuana. This is consistent with Angus Reid polls in 2009 and 2010.
The groups that are the most supportive of making cannabis legal in the U.S. are Democrats (63%), Independents (61%), men (57%) and respondents aged 35-to-54 (57%). We presume that “Independents” also includes libertarians.
Other recent polls
consistently show that significant majorities of younger voters favor decriminalization. So there is growing reason to hope that the tragedy and farce of the war on marijuana may at last be nearing an end.
Ron Paul Tied With Romney for Vote of Young Republicans
Whatever happens in the primaries, Ron Paul has already won what may be the most important vote in this election: he has a large portion of the youth vote, which will shape Republican politics for decades to come.
That’s the startling finding of a new Reason-Rupe poll
conducted August 9-18 and published in late September. The poll is part of an ongoing project by the Reason Foundation, funded by the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation.
Respondents who self-identified as Republicans were asked: “If you were voting today in the 2012 Republican primary for president, which one of the following candidates would you favor?” They were then given a list of current candidates (and possible candidates Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin).
The result: Ron Paul and Mitt Romney tied for first place among Republican respondents aged 18-29, with 19 percent each.
Notes Reason: “Ron Paul's ability to gain favor among young Republicans may foreshadow a re-shaped Republican coalition in years to come.”
Add to this Ron Paul’s large and growing support among independent voters shown by other surveys, and you have genuine reason for optimism for liberty in the coming years.
* * * * * * * *
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...
"Obama says his new jobs bill will be more successful than his last jobs bill. Let's not set that bar too high." -- Jay Leno Sept. 28-29, 2011.
GOV’T DOESN’T CREATE JOBS:
“Politicians say they create jobs, but they really don't. Or rather, they rarely create productive jobs. Government has no money of its own. All it does is take resources from one group and give them to another. The pharaohs might have claimed they created work when they ordered that pyramids be built, but think how much richer (and freer) the Egyptians would have been if they'd been allowed to pursue their own interests.” -- libertarian journalist John Stossel, “Governments Don't Create Prosperity,” syndicated column, Sept. 28, 2011.
LOCAL GUN BANS BANNED IN FLORIDA:
“The problems we experience with gun violence in the community rarely if ever come from someone with a concealed-carry permit. … The notion that a city ordinance stops violence is patently absurd. People lawfully carrying weapons with permits are rarely part of the problem.” -- Florida State Representative Matt Gaetz
, sponsor of a new law that imposes fines of up to $100,000 on counties and municipalities that do not eliminate local firearms and ammunition laws more restrictive than state law. (Hat tip to Roy Lieberman.)
EXECUTION WITHOUT TRIAL:
“The assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki sets an important precedent, one that will go down in our history as a shameful moment, a turning point, when the policy of endless war empowered the President to kill his own countrymen without benefit of trial. Any American, whose ‘preaching’ purportedly ‘inspires’ a terrorist act is now fair game... The first time we take out an American citizen on American soil, on the mere suspicion that he may be a ‘terrorist,’ our legal eagles will point to the al-Awlaki case as justification. That a citizen of this country may be put on a list that marks him for death, without public trial, seals the doom of our old republic. Obama’s partisans hail his great ‘victory,’ while their neoconservative rivals do the same -- and there is no one left to wonder what has happened to the Constitution.” -- Justin Raimondo
, “Assassins of Liberty,” Antiwar.com, October 03, 2011.
* * * * * * * * * *
"They Said It..." is compiled by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.
Can You Take No For an Answer?
by Michael Cloud
"I don't want to talk about the Drug War," said the moderate.
"Don't you care that over 1,000,000 peaceful drug offenders are in prison?" asked the libertarian. "Doesn't it bother you that civil liberties are being infringed? That innocent people are being searched and arrested?"
"I really don't want to argue about it," said the moderate. "I'm not interested in it."
"What do you mean you're not interested in it?" challenged the libertarian. "I'm going to tell you why it's important, how it affects you, and why you should be concerned."
I've seen many similar encounters. I've been on both sides of them. Have you?
On Immigration. Gun Freedom. Abortion. Foreign policy. Drug prohibition. Minimum wage. Public Schools. On almost every libertarian position or proposal.
One person wants to talk about something. He wants to discuss or debate an issue.
The other person does not want to talk about it. Nor listen.
Very often, the person seeking to talk or discuss or debate the subject plows ahead. He pushes. Pressures. Sometimes he tries to manipulate the emotions of the uninterested person. Guilt. Fear. Anger. Envy. Pride.
It rarely works. Even when it does, it rarely lasts.
Pressure causes resistance. Pushing creates opposition. Manipulation often prompts emotional disengagement.
"But they need to know about this. They should be interested." says our libertarian.
If they don't want it, you are wasting your time. And creating opposition.
Can you take "no" for an answer?
A "no" now may become "yes" at another time and place.
A "no" now may stay a "no."
Taking "no" for an answer shows the other person you are listening. That you respect his wants and needs. That you respect him.
Taking "no" for an answer frees you to say "No" when he wants to talk about something that bores you to tears.
Taking "no" for an answer frees you both to find mutually interesting subjects, mutually rewarding conversations.
Taking "no" for an answer frees you to move on -- and talk about your issue with those who are eager to discuss it.
With those who are interested and excited and receptive.
Sometimes people say "no" in words. Sometimes they say "no" with their body language or tone of voice. Sometimes they try to change the subject. Sometimes they try to end the conversation by leaving.
If you're unsure whether the person wants to continue talking about the subject, ask:
"You don't seem very interested in this. Would you rather talk about something else?"
"I'm feeling really distant and disconnected in our conversation. This isn't something you really want to talk about, is it?"
"Would you rather not discuss this?"
Or, my favorite:
"Can you help me with something. I'd like you to rate what we're talking about. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being indifference or disinterest and 10 being a burning desire to talk about this, where would you rank this issue/subject?"
If it's a 6 or below, ask:
"Let's talk about something else. What would you enjoy talking about? What are you intensely interested in?"
When you can take "no" for an answer, you will have more interesting and engaging conversations.
And when your social circle finds out it's safe to say "no" to unwanted libertarian issues -- they might just surprise you by saying "yes" to libertarian proposals they do want.
When they're free to say "no," they're free to say "yes."
* * * * * * * *
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.
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.
Should smoking be outlawed in bars and restaurants?
Ask Dr. Ruwart
What do libertarians think about laws that outlaw smoking in bars and restaurants? People have the right to smoke, and bar owners should be able to set the rules for their establishment. But shouldn't customers have the right to breathe clean air, too?
My Short Answer:
In a libertarian society, the smoking policy would be set by the bar or restaurant owner. Customers would patronize the establishments that had the policy they preferred, much as they do today. For example, I avoid places that are smoke-filled, and opt for restaurants that are smoke-free or have separate accommodations for smokers and non-smokers.
As a customer, I have no right to dictate smoking policy any more than I have a right to dictate the color schemes for clothing manufacturers. However, I let both know my preferences by voting with my dollars to do business with them or their competitors.
Here is further reading and viewing on this topic, suggested by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris.
1. "Harm's a Two Way Street
" by Walter E. Williams for the Cato Institute. In his usual clear and engaging style, libertarian economist Walter Williams discusses the serious issues at stake in the battle over tobacco bans, and shows how private property is the only way that such contentious issues can truly be solved.
“The totalitarian method to resolve the conflict is through political power and guns. … The liberty-oriented method to resolve conflict is through the institution of private property. In fact, conflict resolution is one of the primary functions of private property, namely it decides who gets to decide how what property is used in what way. Put another way: Who may harm whom in what ways? In a nutshell, private property rights have to do with rights held by an owner to keep, acquire and use property in ways so long as he doesn't interfere with similar rights held by another. Private property rights also include the right to exclude others from use of property.”
2. “Just Can't Quit: How Far Will Smoking Bans Go?
This short and entertaining Reason TV video explores the question from several angles, including personal liberty and the science behind second-hand smoke studies.
3. “The Case Against Smoking Bans
” by Thomas A. Lambert, Regulation magazine (Cato Institute). Lambert examines the most common pragmatic arguments used to justify smoking bans and proves them wrong.
“This article contends that government-imposed smoking bans cannot be justified as responses to market failure, as means of shaping preferences, or on risk-reduction grounds. Smoking bans reduce public welfare by preventing an optimal allocation of nonsmoking and smoking-permitted public places. A laissez-faire approach better accommodates heterogeneous preferences regarding public smoking.”
* * * * * * * *
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: “Crapitalism” Versus Capitalism
I’ve often used the useful term “crony capitalism” to distinguish true free enterprise from the phony “capitalism” that is really an ugly partnership between big business and big government.
Crony capitalism exploits the public by rigging the economy in favor of certain businesses. Most of the reasons so many people hate or distrust capitalism is due to this “crony capitalism,” to the bad things that happen when big business goes to bed with big government. Crony capitalism discredits the free market because people understandably confuse it with the real thing. And, unfortunately, crony capitalism is all around us.
This is extremely frustrating. Making people understand the difference between genuine capitalism and crony capitalism is a major problem for advocates of free enterprise and limited government.
That’s why I love a term I first heard from Gene Epstein, Economics Editor of Barron's magazine.
“Crapitalism” is Epstein’s term for crony capitalism. Similarly, “crapitalist” is his term for those in business who use political connections, rather than competition and consumer service, to make profits.
These are great terms! “Crony capitalism” is a little awkward and murky. “Crapitalism” is bold and intriguing, and listeners will want to know more.
Here are some resources to learn more.
Check out this fascinating short video
in which Epstein talks with Reason magazine’s Nick Gillespie about "crapitalism." Epstein notes that businesspersons such as former Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo don't really operate in a true profit-and-loss system. Rather, they make money primarily through political connections and gaming a system they help to rig in the first place.
“Crony Capitalism Is NOT Capitalism
” by economist Dom Armentano is a great short article that explains the difference between crony capitalism and the real thing.
Here is an example of how you might use these terms in conversation:
“I agree with you about [name the problem caused by crony capitalism]. But that’s not capitalism, which is simply private property and competition. That’s what I call ‘crapitalism’ – when businesses avoid competition by using the government to give them special advantages. Believe me, I hate that more than you do. It’s the exact opposite of the genuine free enterprise I believe in.”
These mind-opening words are great additions to your liberty vocabulary.
By the way, it’s important to note that the word “capitalism” itself is frequently a poor word to use in describing the economic system libertarians advocate.
I’ve written about this, and suggested some proven alternatives, here
, and here
* * * * * *
Sharon Harris is president of the Advocates for Self-Government. See more One Minute Liberty tips.
What's Happening with the Advocates
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.
* * * *
CHECK OUT EPIC LIBERTY: Epic Liberty
is our new program to reward student activism and encourage student activists to use our acclaimed Operation Politically Homeless (OPH) outreach kits on their campuses, again and again – discovering new libertarians every time! Discover how students across America are using Epic Liberty for fun, prizes, recognition – and to build a massive libertarian presence on their campuses.
* * * *
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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
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That's all it takes! You'll then get our tweets -- and we can get yours.
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