Liberty & Power: Group Blog
Many readers liked most aspects of the paper, some were more measured, and all made helpful suggestions and criticisms. Some of the more orthodox libertarians, it seems to me, did not try very hard to understand what I was saying, and sent me pretty predictable criticisms. But they were helpful as well, and I appreciate the time they took to respond. They helped me see how I might be misread! That is a genuine service.
I have not yet personally contacted most who sent me comments, but I will. Again, thanks again to all who have or mau=y still do so.
After insisting that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – two government run entities – were excellent investments less than three weeks before they both collapsed into insolvency, Mr. Frank, a long time recipient of huge “donations” from both agencies, lately has been browbeating them to lower, yes LOWER, their credit standards.
Just yesterday, Fannie Mae reported a steep increase in the percentage of home mortgages 90+ days overdue. Doubtless, Mr. Frank, who has always displayed a bone deep imperviousness to reality, will keep insisting that credit standards be lowered further still. After all, it ain’t his money on the line.
David T. Beito
This is the first in a series of photos relating to my book (co-authored by Linda Royster Beito), Black Maverick: T.R.M. Howard Fight for Civil Rights and Economic Power (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009).
The book is about the civil rights leader, self-help champion, entrepreneur, and surgeon, T.R.M. Howard.
Pictured above is Howard, then a Republican candidate for Congress in Chicago, as he meets with Eisenhower on the eve of the 1958 election.
Suppose you had some high schoolers who were self-proclaimed Republicans. What would you give them to read to introduce them to libertarianism that would emphasize its differences from conservatism? (And no, Hayek's "Why I'm Not a Conservative," though wonderful, is not appropriate.)
Suggestions happily received in the comments or by email.
Aeon J. Skoble
I recall in 1986 teaching a class of 240 students in a required Business course called"Government, Business and Society," and that after a lecture on China, an Accounting Major spoke out that he saw little relevancy to American Business in talking about China's role in History.
The next day the Wall Street Journal published an article about the Chinese Science Exhibit then opening in Toronto, Canada, titled,"Did the Chinese Invent Just About Everything?" The student had the courage to openly apologize to both his teacher and fellow students.
China, of course, had an enormous impact on what we call"The Enlightenment" in Western Civilization, and when Alexis de Tocqueville later saw its result on the bureaucratization of French government and schooling, he called it"the Chinese System."
Well, folks, China is back, and the"the Chinese System" is alive and well throughout our emerging, centralized, Global Civilization.
So, for today's assignment,"Go brush your teeth!"
Why should the people get something through government–that is, at the point of a gun–simply because they want it?The rest of TGIF is here.
Jane S. Shaw
Ironically, Victor defends the actions of Roosevelt and his cronies. The argument: the war against Hitler justified extreme measures to persuade the pacifist/isolationist American people to go to war.
Hitler, according to Victor, needed three years to achieve his plan for exterminating the Jews, so he wanted at all costs to avoid war with the United States.
Unable to provoke a fight with Germany, the United States went after Japan, contriving a situation in which a"surprise" attack would be successful. The attack instantly reversed American public opinion and the nation entered a war against an enemy that was no direct threat to it. Furthermore, according to Victor, the United States had promised to defend the Philippines against Japan but failed to do so. The unkept promise prevented a truce between the Philippines and Japan and led to the loss of more than 1 million lives.
All to fight Hitler.
Jeffrey Rogers Hummel
Up until 1983 the government measured only civilian employment and unemployment. This made complete sense as long as the U.S. had a military draft. A large portion of the armed forces was thereby analogous to the prison population and logically excluded from the labor force for the same reason. But with the ending of conscription, it made more sense to treat military personnel like regular employees responding to wage and benefit offers. This is probably why the National Commission on Employment and Unemployment Statistics, in its report of 1979, recommended compiling total employment and unemployment, including resident military personnel, as well. This new series was initiated in January 1983 but lasted only a decade. Because of certain statistical ambiguities, the BLS effectively discontinued labor force measures that included the armed forces in June 1994. For those who want to know the details, what follows are the answers that Steve Hipple of the BLS provided to Justin's questions:
Why were the resident armed forces no longer included? There were 3 main reasons:
1) Dept of Defense data on resident armed forces were problematic. For example, many of the troops involved in Desert Storm were still classified as residing in the US because their official station was not changed from their US post. To complicate matters further, each service classified its troops differently, which is, of course, a problem for us. In short, we had problems with inconsistent data.
2) As far as we know, only the New York Times among our data users ever used the total rate, rather than the civilian rate;
3) We don't have any of the demographic detail on the armed forces that would allow us to publish the type of detail on a total basis that we do on a civilian basis. So one could not compare a group's rate (say, black teens) with the total rate, because one would be on a civilian basis and the other on a total basis.
Has anyone complained about BLS excluding them from the counts? We have received no complaints about the lack of inclusion of the armed forces in the rate since we discontinued the series.
How much would including the resident Armed Forces affect unemployment rates? The unemployment rate for the total labor force (which was always published in addition to, and not in place of, the civilian rate), was usually about one-tenth of one percentage point lower than the civilian rate (occasionally it was two-tenths lower). That's because adding the Armed Forces did not change the number of unemployed (numerator), since persons in the Armed Forces are all employed, by definition. But the labor force (denominator) grew slightly; thus, the total unemployment rate was always fractionally lower than the civilian rate. For instance, in 1983, the total unemployment rate (including the Armed Forces) was 9.5 percent; the civilian unemployment rate was 9.6 percent. In 1993, the total unemployment rate was 6.7 percent; the civilian unemployment rate was 6.8 percent.
What about military reservists? Individuals who are on active duty are not included in the CPS [Current Population Survey] universe (the civilian noninstitutional population) or in any of the labor force measures. Those serving in the Armed Forces Reserves are within the scope of the CPS. That is, they are considered civilians, so they are interviewed and their responses go into the official labor force estimates. However, if their unit is called to active duty, they are then considered to be in the Armed Forces and thus outside the scope of the survey. The time reservists spend in initial or ongoing training, or their annual 2-week (or longer) duty, is not considered active duty. Only if their unit is called up by military or Presidential order are they considered to be on active duty.
Reservists are treated differently in the CES [Current Employment Statistics], which is a measure of jobs, not people. According to CES definitions, if a reservist is on active duty the ENTIRE pay period of the 12th, they are NOT counted as employed even if: 1. the employer is making up the difference between their military pay and their normal pay, 2. they receive no pay but still receive benefits, or 3. they receive their normal pay. If a reservist works even one day during the pay period, they are counted as employed. CES data exclude the military. The sample 790 forms available under the technical notes section at http://www.bls.gov/ces/home.htm show that 'armed forces personnel on active duty the entire pay period' are excluded from All Employee counts.
David T. Beito
Delivered beautifully by actress Jo Van Fleet, the speech blasts FDR's New Deal, governmental relief, and power-hungry politicians. Most of all, it eloquently defends property rights.
Van Fleet is so effective in the role that she largely undermines the pro-New Deal message in the rest of the film.
David T. Beito
Churchill writes that New Deal progressives, offended and frightened by vitriolic far-right opposition to the New Deal, launched"a systematic campaign of public condemnation and state repression." Private liberal organizations"initiated the collection of dossiers on leading figures of the Far Right," while the FDR administration and J. Edgar Hoover's FBI undertook an effort that led to the conviction of dozens of right-wing figures on sedition charges. (Hoover even maintained a" custodial detention index" of right-wing figures.)
Hat tip Jonathan Dresner.
Also, Happy Father's Day to all Dads out there! Perhaps I will burn a candle today at the"shrine" of our Foundingist Father, the first Imperialist and advocate of an"infant Empire," in wanting to take Canada, help the reactionaries in Haiti with"foreign aid" US style, and destroy the Militia, thereby gutting the 2nd Amendment, less than a decade after it was passed -- the heroic Gen./Prez, GW! Hard to understand why Ron Paul and Ivan Eland are so enthused about this wealthiest Slavocrat at the time in the budding American"Republic!" So, “All Hail,” to the First Father of the Empire!
It appears that Mr. Flynt has been rushed to a Los Angeles hospital for reasons unknown, and while I would never want to spend any of my free time in his company, I say a prayer for his quick recovery. America needs more people like Larry Flynt -- brash, insane patriots, quick to rally around the liberty pole on behalf of the rest of us.
Jeffrey Rogers Hummel
David T. Beito
In the wake of the Tiller and Johns murders, such sloppiness and worse is seeping into the mainstream media. For some pundits, the very basics of critical thought seem to have gone out the window, as they treat a handful of distinct crimes as sign of a rising menace without so much as bothering to check if there's been more small-scale rightist terror this year than in previous years.
Perhaps Bernanke did save the system, at least for the moment, but the question remains: what do you mean by “the system”? If you mean an economy dominated by ill-managed, irresponsible big banks and other financial institutions (e.g., Fanny, Freddie, AIG) backed up by an ill-managed, irresponsible central monetary authority that stands ready to bail out these high-stakes gamblers, then, yes, Bernanke has saved the system so far. It may still crumble, however. This house of cards is surely not fated to last as long as the pyramids of Egypt.
Welch thinks Bernanke “is operating on [sic] a clear intellectual framework.” I agree. Bernanke’s career as a mainstream macroeconomist is a matter of public record. Inspecting his writings and his speeches over the years, one sees that with regard to macroeconomic stabilization, Bernanke believes in the Fed’s ability and its right to act as a monetary central planner for the U.S. economy (and to a large extent, for the world economy, owing to America’s dominant position in global trade and finance). He has never met a recession or depression he thinks cannot be prevented or moderated and reversed by sufficiently great inflation of the money stock. And he definitely practices what he preaches, as shown beyond all doubt by this evidence on the Fed’s recent doubling of the monetary base.
Welch’s approbation of Bernanke’s “clear intellectual framework,” however, must be taken with a grain of salt. What does Jack Welch know about macroeconomics or optimal monetary policy? In making such pronouncements, he follows in a long tradition of huffing and puffing about economics, politics, and all sorts of other things by men whose only proven talent is their ability to run a big company. In 1970, Herman Krooss brought forth a book about such pronouncements called Executive Opinion: What Business Leaders Said and Thought on Economic Issues, 1920’s-1960s. If this tome does not convince you that leading business executives tend to make fools of themselves whenever they make statements about anything other than their own businesses, then probably nothing can convince you.
UPDATE: Mick Hume asks here whether protesters in Tehran will win real change - or be used as a stage army for conservative opposition leaders who only want another palace coup?"One thing for sure is that the people of Iran will have to decide their own destiny, and if they want real change, make their own revolution."