--- Subscription Options ----------------
Subscribe to this blog via RSS

Recent Posts

Monday, August 31, 2009

The publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote a scathing editorial in the state's largest newspaper, seemingly discouraging Nevadans from reelecting Senator Harry Reid. Now, this blog will never endorse one candidate over another, but Nevada, your senator has abandoned you.

Last week, upon meeting the Review-Journal's director of advertising, Senator Reid shook his hand and said, "I hope you go out of business." A senator should never say this to a constituent - especially during a recession. Harry Reid has lost touch with his constituents.

As the newspaper's publisher,
Sherman Frederick, wrote:

Such behavior cannot go unchallenged....it must be called what it was -- a full-on threat perpetrated by a bully who has forgotten that he was elected to office to protect Nevadans, not sound like he's shaking them down.

No citizen should expect this kind of behavior from a U.S. senator. It is certainly not becoming of a man who is the majority leader in the U.S. Senate. And it absolutely is not what anyone would expect from a man who now asks Nevadans to send him back to the Senate for a fifth term.

Nevadans, libertarians will not abandon you. Libertarianism is the ideology of environmentalists, of family values, of women's rights. Las Vegas was created for libertarianism, and Nevada will make a great western foothold.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments

The U.S. government apparently does not like the fact that they infringe on less civil liberties than the UK government. Last week, I posted on a British law, allowing the government to shut-off Internet access to private citizens if they are caught illegally downloading. I stated:

In the United States, state government can revoke a citizen's driver's license because driving is a privilege, offered by the state. The Internet is not a privilege. If the government does not provide Internet access, then it cannot revoke your access to it.
Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia wants to change that with Senate Bill 773. The proposed bill will allow the President to disconnect private Internet connections - in cases of national security - of course.

Why should citizens be upset about trading civil liberties for security? After all, it's not like disconnecting private Internet connections will prevent Americans from receiving unbiased information from around the world or essentially shutdown our Internet-dependent economy.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments
Friday, August 28, 2009

It is a natural process for modernization to reduce the influence of traditional belief systems. Such a tradition hinders progress by favoring traditional practices over developing a system based on the rule of law, sacrificing individual freedom and self-interest. These points are supported by the thorough analysis by Ronald Inglehart and Christian Welzel in their book Modernization, Cultural Change, and Democracy:

The shift from traditional to secular-rational values becomes slower and stagnates, while another change becomes more powerful – the shift from survival to self-expression values, through which people place increasing emphasis on human choice, autonomy, and creativity.
The Confucian tradition fit China well for its stage of development when it was largely an agrarian society. Before agrarian societies reach proper levels of industrialization, farmers are at the mercy of nature (or in many societies, gods of the earth) for their existential security. Farmers in China found this sense of security in the Confucian tradition and trust in a strong central government.

Every society begins to shift away from traditional beliefs and practices once a certain point of industrialization is reached. Yes, it is a good thing that China has moved away from such a traditional system that hindered its growth and development. However, history has consistently shown that top-down reform movements orchestrated by the central government are not necessary to produce such a change. As a result of the infamous Cultural Revolution, economic growth stagnated or declined, the education system halted (with illiteracy reaching as high as 40% in some areas), priceless cultural artifacts were destroyed, and an estimated 400,000 to 3,000,000 people lost their lives. These atrocities could have been avoided had the natural course of modernization been followed.

The only beneficiaries of the Cultural Revolution were the Communist Party. According to Friedrich von Hayek, in The Road to Serfdom:
The most important change which extensive government control produces is a psychological change, an alteration in the character of the people.
As a result of the revolution, the Confucian tradition, which already valued a strong central government, was replaced by a more secular belief structure through the use of extensive government propaganda, reprogramming, and occasionally violence. It was risky to destroy a system that already favored authoritarian rule to institute a new, secular system. Inglehart and Welzel have stated:
But these secular beliefs are no less dogmatic than religious ones. Secular beliefs and doctrines do not necessarily challenge unlimited political authority; they usually legitimize it, as did fascist and communist ideologies.
The Cultural Revolution was only necessary as means for the Communist Party, specifically Mao Zedong, to further consolidate power over the people.

Of course, perhaps even Confucius would agree with this quote on the virtues of self-interest by the American environmental essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson:
It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
If not Confucius, then perhaps the leaders of the Han dynasty would agree with this statement, as is implied by the historical records of Sima Qian:
When all work willingly at their trade, just as water flows ceaselessly downhill day and night. Things will appear unsought and people will produce them without being asked. For clearly this accords with 'the Way' and is in keeping with nature.
I believe Emerson, who greatly appreciated environmental symbolism, would agree with this statement, as would the great free market economists of our times. This appears to be the Chinese historical equivalent of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”.

However, I do wonder if perhaps Sima Qian, in writing “the Way” (note the capitalization), was not referring to market forces but rather to Daoism, which began during the Han dynasty. In fact, this passage from his historical account seems to conform to the Daoist concept of wuwei (无为). The forces of nature, like a river, work harmoniously with the world. Problems only arise when outside forces (such as government) exert its will against it, disrupting the harmony.

Posted by Eleutherian 1 comments

Venture capitalists are the backbone of private investment. However, the Obama administration wants to increase regulations, making their job more costly and less efficient. According to Steve Forbes:

Even though most venture capital outfits are relatively small and rarely, if ever, use debt, the Treasury wants to apply a bewildering array of rules similar to those for investment advisors and banks. Thus, instead of focusing on funding the next potential Apple, Microsoft, or Oracle, VCs will have to devote considerable time and resources to filling out disclosure and compliance forms. Treasury Chief Timothy Geithner's lame excuse is that since reform should cover the entire financial industry, leaving out venture capitalists would be a form of discrimination. Alas, there's more at work here than pigheaded logic.

This Administration truly believes that the private sector is a destructive, unguided missile that needs the constant and close supervision of Washington politicians. Without it we'd be subject to more disasters like the current financial crisis. In other words, Washington doesn't like the idea of venture capitalism because VCs and the entrepreneurs they fund create and do things without anyone's permission.
While Forbes may or may not be paranoid about the administration's intentions, the regulations will truly have a chilling effect on private investment. If the private sector cannot provide the investment in technology necessary to stimulate the economy or protect the environment, then the government will be forced to spend yet more taxpayer money.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments
Thursday, August 27, 2009

Libertarian environmentalism is not a contradiction of terms - nor is free-market environmentalism (another good summary can be found here). Free-market environmentalism, however, is too focused on property rights and tort reform. While these are both highly productive and praiseworthy measures, I believe a broader approach is necessary. Simply put, libertarian environmentalism seeks to improve the environment without the use of force.

Many environmentalists today (I dare say a majority) rely too heavily on force to achieve their goals. They look to government to punish and coerce individuals to behave a certain way. The government often acts in accordance to their will, as the government has grown accustomed to using force to achieve other goals.

Environmentalists and the government justify their use of force by reason of market failure. To the contrary, it is the government's failure to allow the market to correctly function.

Rather than relying on force, libertarian environmentalism encourages environmentally-friendly actions through economic incentives. You could replace the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the Environmental Incentive Agency (EIA), replacing negative reinforcement with positive reinforcement.

Critics of both libertarian and free-market environmentalism are quick to bring up global warming. While I am more inclined to believe in climate change over global warming, I made my feelings clear in yesterday's post on the topic:

If a cap-and-trade system (hereon more accurately referred to as a "carbon quota") were implemented in the United States, the level of emissions would be completely arbitrary. No scientist knows the level of carbon dioxide at which the atmosphere become irreversibly unstable. Without knowing the upper limit, any restriction in quantity will necessarily be made through guesswork (or, even worse, through politics - i.e. what sounds politically popular).
Do not allow the supporters of cap-and-trade ("carbon quota") mislead you by stating they are "creating a market" for carbon. They are using force to achieve an unscientifically-based goal.

I will not completely ignore the climate change issue. In a previous post on climate change in Africa, I stated:
I won't deny the existence of climate change. However, it is more a regional phenomenon than a global one. For example, many environmentalists cite the melting glaciers of Mt. Kilimanjaro as a sign of global warming. These people overlook basic science. The area surrounding Mt. Kilimanjaro has been largely deforested by the local population. Due to the deforestation, less water evaporates from the trees, providing less snowfall to replenish the glaciers each year on the mountain.
A 2006 study by Quan Li and Rafael Reuveny found that increased levels of political freedom have been shown to lower CO2 and NOx emissions, decrease rates of deforestation and land degradation, and reduce water pollution. If force was the appropriate means to achieve environmental goals, authoritarian countries like China would have spotless environmental records.

As I mentioned previously, factors such as deforestation are major contributers to climate change. Forcing a carbon tax or carbon quota on the economy is not the most efficient way to tackle problems like deforestation that directly contribute to climate change.

However, I will not deny the role of increased carbon emissions on climate change. I previously blogged on private sector solutions to this problem, including a group of UK and US scientists who plan to create wind-powered ships to increase cloud cover, reflecting the suns rays, without affecting regional weather patterns. The plan costs $9 billion to test and launch 1,900 ships (a cost of less than $5 million per ship). There's no need for the government to force individuals' behavior when private sector solutions are available.

Posted by Eleutherian 4 comments
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I've been following the carbon abatement issue for a few years now, and in the debate between a carbon tax (tax on price) and cap-and-trade (tax on quantity), Terry Dinan, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)'s Senior Advisor for Climate Policy, has been the clearest, most reasoned voice. This post will cover her finding in my favorite paper on the issue, available at the CBO website.

I will be speaking largely from the table below (click to enlarge):

If a cap-and-trade system (hereon more accurately referred to as a "carbon quota") were implemented in the United States, the level of emissions would be completely arbitrary. No scientist knows the level of carbon dioxide at which the atmosphere become irreversibly unstable. Without knowing the upper limit, any restriction in quantity will necessarily be made through guesswork (or, even worse, through politics - i.e. what sounds politically popular).

Having stated that, the CBO recognizes that if the government somehow managed to guess the correct carbon quota to match the actual cost of reducing the carbon, then there is zero difference between a carbon tax and a carbon quota (in terms of reduced emissions and cost). This is illustrated in the "Expected Outcomes" column on the table.

It is far more likely that the government will guess incorrectly. If the cost is higher than expected, a carbon tax will reduce less carbon than a carbon quota, but the carbon tax will provide the greater net benefit as the emission reductions were achieved at a lower total cost.

If the cost of reducing carbon is lower than expected, a carbon tax will reduce more carbon than a carbon quota and do so at a greater net benefit. This illustrates an obvious limitation of a carbon quota. Even if the price level would encourage greater reductions, a carbon quota will always reduce carbon by the same amount.

Posted by Eleutherian 3 comments
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The British government has declared that they will begin to cut-off Internet access to people who illegally download movies and music. Despite claims by groups such as Open Rights Group that this decision limits free expression, the British Phonographic Industry openly supports it as a new tool to fight piracy. The movie and music industries would trample every personal liberty to fight piracy.

In the United States, state government can revoke a citizen's driver's license because driving is a privilege, offered by the state. The Internet is not a privilege. If the government does not provide Internet access, then it cannot revoke your access to it.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments

Reuters reports that African Union leaders met ahead of the UN summit on climate change to agree on a request of $67 billion per year from "rich nations." The request rests on the argument that "rich nations," not African countries, are responsible for the climate change in Africa.

I won't deny the existence of climate change. However, it is more a regional phenomenon than a global one. For example, many environmentalists cite the melting glaciers of Mt. Kilimanjaro as a sign of global warming. These people overlook basic science. The area surrounding Mt. Kilimanjaro has been largely deforested by the local population. Due to the deforestation, less water evaporates from the trees, providing less snowfall to replenish the glaciers each year on the mountain.

Deforestation and land degradation is rampant throughout much of the African continent. It was not caused by "rich nations."

As for the request of $67 billion per year, this sum will have no effect at best. In 2005, the Center for Global Development released a study, finding that short-impact aid worked better than aid that had a long-term goal. The study also found that aid "had a zero effect on growth when it reached 8 percent of the recipient’s GDP, and after that the additional aid had a negative effect on growth."

So, up to a certain point aid can work, but efforts past that actually impede growth. Therefore, the continued aid given to the average African country is actually harming it, with 15% of its GDP coming from aid in the 1990s. Most likely, that percentage has increased, especially with the Millennium Development Goals.

The additional $67 billion per year will likely cause more harm than good.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments
Monday, August 24, 2009

This post concludes a series on privacy, stemming from Cory Doctorow's book Little Brother (on the Libertarian Reading list).

A common response in support of trading privacy for security is "I have nothing to hide" or some variation to that regard. However, the "nothing to hide" argument assumes privacy is about secrecy/deception, or as Bruce Schneier puts it, "...they accept the premise that privacy is about hiding a wrong. It's not." Rather, privacy is most often an issue of accountability and trust.

Here's an extreme example of this point from Little Brother:

There's something really liberating about having some corner of your life that's yours, that no one gets to see except you....There's nothing shameful, deviant or weird about [getting naked or squatting on the toilet]. But what if I decreed that from now on, every time you went to evacuate some solid waste, you'd have to do it in a glass room perched in the middle of Times Square, and you'd be buck naked?
However, one of the handicaps in the battle against privacy invasion is the vague definition attributed to "privacy." Daniel J. Solove does not attempt to provide one standard definition, instead referring to privacy as a "web of related problems."

This web goes beyond the typical complaints of surveillance, including information processing and dissemination. Solove expanded, "The problems still exist regardless of whether we classify them as being 'privacy' problems."

Since "I have nothing to hide" is a poor argument, Solove rephrased it to make it stronger:
The NSA surveillance, data mining, or other government information-gathering programs will result in the disclosure of particular pieces of information to a few government officials, or perhaps only to government computers. This very limited disclosure of the particular information involved is not likely to be threatening to the privacy of law-abiding citizens. Only those who are engaged in illegal activities have a reason to hide this information. Although there may be some cases in which the information might be sensitive or embarrassing to law-abiding citizens, the limited disclosure lessens the threat to privacy. Moreover, the security interest in detecting, investigating, and preventing terrorist attacks is very high and outweighs whatever minimal or moderate privacy interests law-abiding citizens may have in these particular pieces of information.
While this argument is stronger, it is still flawed. First, the original assumption of "hiding a wrong" remains. Second, intense data mining, especially impersonally by computers, looks for irregular/nonstandard trends in collected data. Essentially, this data mining approach creates suspicion out of irregular/nonstandard behavior. This promotes conformity and discourages free expression, as the surveillance of even legal activities discourages their use.

Advocates of security over privacy will often justify their position on data mining by touting the technology as the solution to finding a needle in a haystack. However, the combination of surveillance and processing created the haystack in the first place. These techniques also create a problem known as the false positive paradox.

Wikipedia provides a good definition and example:
If there is a medical test that is accurate 99% of the time...about a disease that occurs in 1 out of 10,000 people, then the expected value of testing one million people would be the following:

Healthy and test indicates no disease (true negative)
1,000,000 * (9999 / 10,000) * .99 = 989901
Healthy and test indicates disease (false positive)
1,000,000 * (9999 / 10,000) * .01 = 9999
Unhealthy and test indicates disease (true positive)
1,000,000 * (1 / 10,000) * .99 = 99
Unhealthy and test indicates no disease (false negative)
1,000,000 * (1 / 10,000) * .01 = 1
However, as Doctorow points out in Little Brother:
Terrorists are really rare. In a city of twenty million like New York, there might be one or two terrorists. Maybe ten of them at the outside. 10/20,000,000 = 0.00005 percent. One twenty-thousandth of a percent.

Terrorism tests aren’t anywhere close to 99 percent accurate. More like 60 percent accurate. Even 40 percent accurate, sometimes.

What this all (means) is that the Department of Homeland Security (has) set itself up to fail badly. They (are) trying to spot incredibly rare events - a person is a terrorist - with inaccurate systems.
Let's assume that a terrorist test is 80 percent accurate. In New York City, the test would indicate false positives for over 4 million citizens. Instead of finding 10 terrorists, the test would label millions of citizens, who likely love their country, as enemies of the state.

Unfortunately, the U.S. judicial system has consistently ruled in favor of security over privacy. Solove concludes, "...the lack of Fourth Amendment protection of third party records results in the government’s ability to access an extensive amount of personal information with minimal limitation or oversight."

The courts ruled this way because plaintiffs were unable to meet the court's demand to prove harm caused by privacy invasion. However, like the environment, overtly harmful single events rarely occur. Rather, harm occurs as very small events compile over time.

The extent of harm caused in an individual case should not be the judicial litmus test for its legality. In Smith v. City of Artesia (1989), the court ruled, "Privacy is inherently personal. The right to privacy recognizes the sovereignty of the individual." Privacy holds a social value; it need not conflict with the interests of society as a whole.

I touched on this social value in a previous post:
Data from the World Values Survey has dispalyed a significant correlation between confidence in state institutions with effective democracy (Confidence in non-state institutions shows no correlation). If government security measures continue to intrude on privacy, the relationship between citizens and government institutions will continue to decline.
The courts risk further eroding institutional trust if they do not, at the very least, begin upholding the privacy clauses in contracts. One of the very few proper roles of government is upholding contracts, maintaining the trust necessary for the free market to work effectively.

Privacy is not all about secrecy and deception ("hiding a wrong") - although it can be used for such purposes. Privacy is, first and foremost, about trust and accountability.

Posted by Eleutherian 2 comments
Friday, August 21, 2009

USA Today reported yesterday that the recession has increased demand for publicly funded burials. Why does the government fund burials in the first place?

First, it is difficult to separate burials from religious practices. The government has no business funding religious activity.

This leaves the question of what to do when a person dies. The solution is simple - donate the body for scientific research. Hospitals, universities, and other scientific institutions are always accepting donations.

If a family cannot afford a burial or cremation, the government has no responsibility to provide one for them. A family can donate a body to science and still celebrate the life (or mourn the passing) of the deceased with a quiet, inexpensive service (minus body).

Even if money isn't a problem, donation should still be an option. Even as a man of faith, I recognize the fact that I will not care what happens to my body after I die. Respect for the dead applies only to their memory, not their bodies. I will have my body donated to science, perhaps allowing a researcher or medical student to grok my life. The loved ones I leave behind can celebrate/mourn in whatever way they see fit. The government will not have a hand in my burial (unless, of course, they kill me).

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments
| | edit post
Thursday, August 20, 2009

The idea for this post came from a video by the Motorhome Diaries crew interviewing Steve Horwitz, blogger and professor of economics at St. Lawrence University. I recommend checking it out (under five minutes).

As recently as one hundred years ago, in many more developed societies, husbands had nearly total control over the family. Going back another hundred years, families were essentially enterprises. Today, it's difficult to think in such callous terms, but each family member was essentially a unit of production. Families had many children, not out of love, but out of necessity. At the time, many children increased economic security through additional units of production and to ensure that parents had a safety net if they reached old age.

Economic freedom allowed families to hire workers outside the family (by extension, allowing children to find work outside the family). Previously, the only work found outside the family was through an apprenticeship with a tradesman, guild, or clergy. However, they required family connections. This is a similar process found in labor unions today. In postmaterialist societies, unions are backward (i.e. reactionary), antiquated entities, continuing a practice that is no longer necessary in more developed countries.

Additionally, increased economic freedom reduced the average family size (so carbon Malthusians should give credit where credit is due). Children are no longer viewed as a necessity (except in Russia, which speaks volumes as to the country's level of economic freedom). Rather, children are born out of a loving couple's honest desire for children. Instead of forcing them to work, parents are now able to invest in their children, demonstrating societies' changing views with regard to children.

Increased economic freedom changed families for the better. In today's society (at least in more developed countries), arranged marriages are a rare and antiquated practice. Families no longer require the political and/or economic benefits of marriage. Marriage has become about love over finances (for the most part).

This same process (one might call it the human development process) has increased homosexual rights, particularly with regard to same-sex marriage. As marriages are no longer about economic/political partnerships and families no longer need to rely on children as units of production or to provide a future safety net, it is financially realistic for gay and lesbian couples to marry.

At the end of the video, Dr. Horwitz makes the following statement:

You have people on the right, conservatives, who love (or they say they love) free markets but don't like these sort of changes [e.g. homosexual rights] that capitalism has brought forward....If you're going to really have markets, you can't stop this kind of ongoing cultural change.

On the other hand, people on the left have the opposite problem. They like the cultural change but refuse to give credit where credit's due, which is to recognize the role that capitalism has played in bringing those about. To the extent that they're stifling capitalism, they're stifling the very dynamism that produces those social changes they like so much.
The hypocrisy by both major political parties is rather amusing (and sad). Katherine Mangu-Ward with Reason Magazine touched on a related issue regarding homosexuals and the major political parties, stating:
But you know who your real friends are, LGBTers. And we're going to help you get through this. Besides, who knows better than libertarians what it's like to be in a long-standing lopsided love affair with a mainstream political party?
She's right, LGBTers. Given that the libertarian platform has formed the basis for your rights, it's in your self-interest to support the continuation of this platform - libertarianism.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The United States government has a monopoly on marijuana research. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is the only government institution legally allowed to provide researchers with marijuana. Unsurprisingly, the government uses its monopoly status to only fund and/or provide marijuana for studies seeking to depict marijuana's negative attributes.

According to Reason Magazine:

Even when researchers have received Food and Drug Administration approval for their studies, NIDA frequently refuses to sell them the pot they need to carry out their research, essentially exercising a veto on the FDA’s decisions.

With NIDA bogarting America’s only federally sanctioned weed, the number of privately funded medical cannabis studies currently taking place in America right now is exactly zero. Of the 14 studies investigating marijuana in any way, 13 are NIDA projects looking into drug abuse.
This is too bad, as not only does it put the United States at odds with Latin America, but also censors viable research linking marijuana use to reduced risk of cancer.

A recent study by researchers at Brown University, Boston University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Minnesota has found that even with cigarette smoking and drinking alcohol, "10 to 20 years of marijuana use was associated with a significantly reduced risk of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma..."

Lead researcher Dr. Donald Taskin admitted that the government funded his team's research to find negative health effects of marijuana use. Instead, Dr. Taskin stated:
What we found instead was no association (between marijuana smoking and cancer) and even a suggestion of some protective effect.

At this point, I'd be in favor of (marijuana) legalization. I wouldn't encourage anybody to smoke any substances. But I don't think it should be stigmatized as an illegal substance. Tobacco smoking causes far more harm. And in terms of an intoxicant, alcohol causes far more harm (than marijuana).

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments

Continuing my series on privacy vs. security, I would like to draw your attention to a recent post at the Blog of Bile. New York City police officers were harassing would-be subway passengers, forcing a bag search or turning individuals away from using mass public transportation (no wonder public transportation can't turn a profit).

However, while the city's police officers were taking time away from pursuing actual criminals to harass innocent pedestrians by invading their privacy, their efforts were completely ineffective. Not every subway station was checking bags. A terrorist would have to be completely incompetent to simply not walk a few blocks to station without a police bag check, affording him/her complete access to the NYC subway system.

New York City wasted taxpayer money and police resources to create a false sense of security by invading the privacy of innocent pedestrians.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments

Vogue model Liksula Cohen wants to sue an anonymous blogger for calling her a 40-something skank who "may have been hot 10 years ago." A New York court ruled in her favor, ordering Google to unmask the anonymous blogger, making her open for a defamation suit.

First, I can't believe a U.S. court ruled to unmask an anonymous blogger for stating her opinion. Justice Joan Madden rejected the defendant's claim that blogs, "serve as a modern-day forum for conveying personal opinions, including invective and ranting."

This Canadian model is apparently accustomed to Canadian defamation law, where the courts will convict and imprison citizens for speaking their opinion about other people.

The only leg Cohen has to stand on is New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964). However, this precedent only applies to defamation of public officials. Cohen's ego doesn't stretch that high. Additionally, the decision in Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc. (1974) removes liability for defamation when the defendant is stating an opinion. As far as I know, stating that someone is hot or not is still an opinion.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments

"Why are New Yorkers nihilists?"

"Because the light at the other end of the tunnel is New Jersey."

I heard this joke in a World Views course in college, and it came to mind immediately when I read that the northern city of Paterson, NJ is debating a curfew on adults (a first in the nation). The city's police officers are incapable of doing their job, so they want to mark every resident of the city as a potential criminal.

The city is currently spending taxpayer money to legally justify the action. However, since the ACLU has promised to file suit against the city, it is a waste of time and money. The city would be better off spending all this money to improve their police force instead of using it to harass its residents and then to defend this harassment in court.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments
Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I recently finished reading Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (found on my Libertarian Reading List). Other than being one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read and one of the greatest dystopian works of literature, Little Brother has had me pondering the issues between privacy and security. The book combined the themes of surveillance in Orwell's 1984 and information processing in Kafka's The Trial. This will be the first of several posts on privacy.

A recurring theme in the book was the sense of powerlessness felt by the innocent victims of government security measures. Daniel J. Solove, in I've Got Nothing to Hide, defines this as a problem of information processing (like in airports):

[Problems of information processing] affect the power relationships between people and the institutions of the modern state. They not only frustrate the individual by creating a sense of helplessness and powerlessness, but they also affect social structure by altering the kind of relationships people have with the institutions that make important decisions about their lives.
The relationship of a citizenry with its government institutions holds important implications for human development. According to Ronald Inglehart:
...socioeconomic development, self-expression values, and democratic institutions work together to broaden autonomous human choice....The process starts with socioeconomic development, which reduces constraints on autonomous human choice by increasing people's economic, cognitive, and social resources.
Data from the World Values Survey has dispalyed a significant correlation between confidence in state institutions with effective democracy (Confidence in non-state institutions shows no correlation). If government security measures continue to intrude on privacy, the relationship between citizens and government institutions will continue to decline.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments
Monday, August 17, 2009

After several weeks of tinkering, I finally have the new site design up and running. If you notice any flaws/errors, please comment or email me. No new content today...be back with more tomorrow!

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments
| | edit post
Friday, August 14, 2009

Pennsylvania plans to build four new prisons in coming years. Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) were originally assured that the prisons contracts would not utilize project labor agreements (PLAs), effectively prohibiting nonunion contractors form working on the projects. However, strong lobbying by labor unions influenced the Pennsylvania Department of General Services to reverse their promise.

Even without a PLA, Pennsylvania's outdated prevailing wage law makes it difficult for nonunion contractors to receive large, government contracts. The Keystone Research Center (a union-funded think tank) supports the use of project labor agreements. According to its labor economist, Mark Price:

The work requires a broader range of training. The union sector succeeds in tracking people into the industry and training them.
This statement flies in the face of evidence in Ohio and Kentucky where prevailing wage laws were overturned for school projects, and over 95% of school districts found improvements or no change in construction quality for nonunion contractors. Additionally, studies have found that construction workers in market wage states are 6.3% more productive than workers in prevailing wage states. Since wages are directly related to productivity, prevailing wage laws are counterproductive.

For example, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 102 is picketing the construction site of a Giant food store because their nonunion contractor is not paying prevailing wages (i.e. union wages). However, only projects receiving state government funding are required to pay prevailing wages. In Monroe County, the prevailing wage for electricians is 127.04% higher than the market wage. It is no wonder a nonunion contractor won the contract.

Returning to the prison contracts, the total estimated cost to taxpayers for the four prisons comes to $800 million. If Pennsylvania repealed the state prevailing wage law, taxpayers would save a significant amount of money on the contracts. For the two prisons in Montgomery County, the estimated cost comes to $400 million. Market wages would reduce the cost by 15.58% or $62,320,000.

The Forest and Centre County prisons are expected to each cost $200 million. Prevailing wages inflate the cost of the Forest County prison by 14.29% ($28,580,000) and the Centre County prison by 17.78% ($35,560,000).

Pennsylvania's prevailing wage law inflates the total cost for the four prisons by 15.81% or $126,460,000.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ignored the religious freedom of the Catholic Church in ruling that Belmont Abbey College must include health care coverage for artificial contraceptives for employees of the college.

Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society sent a letter to the EEOC, stating:

It is ironic that the federal agency responsible for protecting against discrimination has so blatantly engaged in an inexcusable violation of religious liberty in its Belmont Abbey ruling.

No Catholic college or other institution should be required by government to violate the Catholic Church’s clear moral teachings.
Belmont Abbey President William Thierfelder adds:
As a Roman Catholic institution, Belmont Abbey College is not able to and will not offer nor subsidize medical services that contradict the clear teaching of the Catholic Church.
Reilly and Thierfelder make good points, but I'm not entirely convinced. A Catholic college hires non-Catholic employees. Offering contraceptives in the employee health care plan is not the same thing as endorsing their use.

However, there is a legitimate issue regarding government mandates increasing the cost of health care. When the government requires a health care plan to include additional coverage, it increases the cost of the coverage.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments

The Transportation Security Administration began collecting additional data on airline passengers taking domestic flights this week to aid in catching terrorists. If a terrorist is clever enough to enter the United States, the terrorist is also clever enough not to get caught on a domestic flight.

Storing more data on innocent U.S. citizens may not reduce false positives as intended. It may actually increase the number of false positives caused by clerical errors and chance similarities.

This brings me to a point I touched upon yesterday when discussing a hypothetical libertarian airline. Passengers do not need to show ID before boarding an airplane. After all, there are countless stories of passengers who lost or had their ID stolen while on vacation. The government should not force airlines to turn these passengers away. If airlines turn passengers away of their own regard...hello, Libertarian Airways.

John Gilmore fought the government on the ID issue and lost to a secret government mandate. The text of the mandate is still not available to the public.

According to security expert Bruce Schneier:

The TSA focuses too much on specific tactics and targets. This makes sense politically, but is a bad use of security resources. Think about the last eight years. We take away guns and knives, and the terrorists use box cutters. We confiscate box cutters and knitting needles, and they put explosives in their shoes. We screen shoes, and they use liquids. We take away liquids, and they'll do something else. This is a dumb game; the TSA should stop playing....Oh, and stop the ID checking—the notion that there is this master list of terrorists that we can check people off against is just plain silly.

Posted by Eleutherian 1 comments
Thursday, August 13, 2009

Last year, my friend Kevin over at Questing for Atlantis and I attended a conference at the Heritage Foundation on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and civil liberties. Michael Chertoff was the keynote speaker.

Chertoff spoke on why it is necessary for the DHS to largely ignore civil liberties in protecting the country. He seemed to get annoyed at the line of questions he received, particularly with regard to airline security. In an attempt to take a shot at the apparently libertarian-leaning audience, Chertoff wondered aloud who would want to travel on an airline without security checks. Kevin and I quickly acknowledged that we would gladly frequent such an airline.

Here are some characteristics of such a libertarian airline:

  • No ID would be necessary for domestic travel (national laws regarding passports and visas will obviously still apply)
  • Flights will be less expensive due to less overhead for security
  • No security lines before reaching your departure gate
  • You may bring any amount of liquids/gels in your carry-on luggage (When traveling alone, I will often only bring a carry-on to minimize my time in the airport. I strongly dislike having my toothpaste confiscated)
  • Passengers may carry concealed weapons (Who will pull a gun on a plane full of gun-carrying passengers?)
The benefits of a libertarian airline can be summarized as less expensive, less time, and less invasion of privacy.

If you don't feel such an airline is safe, then fly on another airline.

Posted by Eleutherian 1 comments

U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel broke with tradition in a recent case, expanding copyright protections further beyond their original, intended purpose. The motion picture industry took Seattle-based RealNetworks, Inc. to court over their inexpensive DVD copying software, RealDVD.

In Sony Corp. of America vs. Universal City Studios, Inc. (1984), the Supreme Court ruled that manufacturers of video recording devices cannot be held liable for copyright infringement. The majority opinion stated:

...the sale of copying equipment, like the sale of other articles of commerce, does not constitute contributory infringement if the product is widely used for legitimate, unobjectionable purposes. Indeed, it need merely be capable of substantial noninfringing uses....

If there are millions of owners of VTR's who make copies of televised sports events, religious broadcasts, and educational programs ... and if the proprietors of those programs welcome the practice, the business of supplying the equipment that makes such copying feasible should not be stifled simply because the equipment is used by some individuals to make unauthorized reproductions of respondents' works....
Justice John Paul Stevens wanted to go further with his opinion but risked alienating members of his 5-4 majority. Stevens wanted to rule that any copying for personal use does not constitute copyright infringement.

More recently, in MGM Studios, Inc. vs. Grokster, Ltd. (2005), the Supreme Court ruled against file-sharing companies but only if the company promotes illegal activity:
We hold that one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright, as shown by clear expression or other affirmative steps taken to foster infringement, is liable for the resulting acts of infringement by third parties.
The MGM ruling does not overturn the 1984 Sony case. Companies that create a product that can be used for legitimate purposes and do not promote the illegitimate purposes are still protected under the Sony case.

RealNetworks, Inc. promotes its RealDVD software for home users to back-up legally acquired DVDs to a personal computer.
U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel ignored these Supreme Court opinions in ruling:
RealDVD products are designed primarily for circumvention of [anti-piracy] technology. This unauthorized access infringes the Studios' rights because it entails accessing content without the authority of the copyright owner.
Patel is the same judge who ruled against Napster in 2001.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"We have just four months. Four months to secure the future of our planet."

This quote was by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at the Global Environment Forum in Incheon, South Korea.

In a previous post on climate change, I commented on a claim that we had only ten years before it is too late to save the planet:

Really? 10 years? Where are the figures that show our current level of carbon emissions will cause a an irreversible atmospheric imbalance? No such findings exist.
The UN Secretary-General, like so many others, is just using his position of influence and mock-power to scare people with unscientifically-based time frames. Additionally, choosing four months wasn't very well thought-out. No government action takes effect in less than four months. By October of this year, only 11 percent of federal Stimulus funds will have been put into the economy. If government action cannot quickly stimulate the economy, it also cannot quickly reduce carbon emissions. The Secretary-General fabricated a time frame in which nothing can be accomplished.

Instead of looking to government for a solution, let's turn our attention to the private sector. The Telegraph reported last week on a study by the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, evaluating private sector climate change solutions. "Cloud ships" were the favored project.
The project, which is being worked on by rival US and UK scientists, would see 1,900 wind-powered ships ply the oceans sucking up seawater and spraying minuscule droplets of it out through tall funnels to create large white clouds.
Unmanned ships will sail by satellite to regions of the world with the best conditions for increasing cloud cover (and to avoid changing land weather patterns), thus reflecting the sun's rays and decreasing the negative effects of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The best aspect of this project is the cost:
They would cost $9 billion (£5.3 billion) to test and launch within 25 years, compared to the $250 billion that the world’s leading nations are considering spending each year to cut CO2 emissions, and the $395 trillion it would cost to launch mirrors into space.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments

This is just a quick hit at Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak. At a recent court case, Rozak sentenced 33-year-old Clifton Williams to jail for 6 months. Williams was not the defendant. He was merely in attendance at his cousin's trial. As the sentence was read (which, ironically, did not include prison time for the cousin who plead guilty to felony drug charges), Williams made the mother of all mistakes - he yawned.

According to Wikipedia (and, for the haters, other sources), a yawn is a "reflex" and therefore involuntary (under most circumstances). Yawns have even been proved contagious, in that one person's yawn can incite another person to yawn. As far as I know, no other reflex possibly brought on by contagion can lead to prison time.

As amusing and tragic as this story is, if it were an isolated incident, I would not have posted it. However, Judge Rozak is infamous for charging innocent bystanders with contempt of court (with up to 6 months in jail) for minor offenses. According to NBC New York:

In fact, the Chicago Tribune found that Rozak has sentenced more spectators to jail for infractions involving cell phones than any other judge in Will County in the last decade.

Of the 30 judges in the 12th Judicial Circuit, Rozak has brought more than a third of all the contempt charges in the last 10 years.

Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak may not be breaking the law, but he is certainly abusing his power.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

After the bankruptcy of the Post-Intelligencer, Seattle became a one daily newspaper city. As a result, the private owners of the Seattle Times announced that the paper has been turning a profit in recent months. (Yes, Bill Maher...profit).

The Times has experienced a 30 percent increase in daily circulation - great news for any company in a dying industry during a recession. The lesson here is quite obvious. Companies, especially those in dying industries, must be allowed to fail. The shifting demand of Seattle's residents could no longer support two daily newspapers. One paper's failure allowed the other to succeed.

Additionally, naysayers have no grounds on which to call "monopoly" as multiple substitute channels for news still exist, including (but not limited to) non-daily newspapers, radio, television, and the Internet. In fact, the Post-Intelligencer, while ceasing production of the print paper, have retained a small staff, supported by 200 unpaid bloggers, to continue the online news site. Amazingly, traffic to the site has stayed the same, and revenue is ahead of projections.

Several former Post-Intelligencer reporters now maintain their own Seattle area news sites, further increasing the options available to consumers. This is another benefit of bankruptcy - the opportunity for entrepreneurship and innovation.

Instead of propping up a failing company in a dying industry through a taxpayer-funded bailout, the Post-Intelligencer was allowed to fail. Out of its ashes, a new, more vibrant news industry arose in Seattle.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments
Monday, August 10, 2009

President Obama is toeing legally defined lines in his support of a public option in health care. As many people already know, the White House has requested:

Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.
Setting aside references to 1984 or Fahrenheit 451, let's look purely at the consequences. At a recent town hall meeting in Georgia, Democratic Rep. David Scott verbally lashed one of his constituents who asked him a valid question on health care during an open question and answer period at the end of the meeting. Rep. Scott yelled:
I'm listening to my constituents, OK? These are people who live in the 13th Congressional district, who vote in this district. That’s who I’ve got to respond to…So what you’ve got to understand, those of you who are here, who have taken and came and hijacked this event we dealing with here, this is not a health care event.

You chose to come and to do it on your own. Not a single one of you had the decency to call my office and set up for a meeting. You want a meeting with me on health care, I'll give it to you!
The Obama administration has labeled U.S. citizens who attend town hall meetings and ask questions on health care "astroturf," meaning fake grassroots. The constituent in question is Dr. Brian Hill, a resident of the 13th district. Furthermore, he previously contacted the representative's office to schedule a meeting to discuss health care, but his request was never granted. Dr. Scott was all but denied his right to petition his elected official.

President Obama was elected to unify a divided country. Instead, his actions are turning the divided sides against each other. There is a parallel to this worsening situation. Ironically, it is the abolitionist movement of the early 1800's.

Abolitionists became too vocal on a controversial issue. As a result, no petition regarding the abolition of slavery was allowed to be read before Congress. Luckily, at the time, one congressman had the courage to stand up against this blatantly unconstitutional action: Congressman John Quincy Adams.

John Quincy Adams (post-presidency) stated before Congress:
The voice of Freedom has not yet been heard, and I am earnestly urged to speak in name. She will be trampled under foot if I do not, and I shall be trampled under foot if I do...What can I do?

The right of petition...is essential to the very existence of government; it is the right of the people over the Government; it is their right, and they may not be deprived of it.
John Quincy Adams has long been my hero. These quotes are excerpts from Joseph Wheelan's Mr. Adams's Last Crusade.

Before you respond angrily for comparing health care to the abolitionist movement, bear in mind that I am only comparing the consequences of government actions to suppress controversial speech. While the right to petition has not yet been repealed in this instance, it is most certainly being discouraged. Abolitionists did not have their rights repealed at once either.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments
Friday, August 7, 2009

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks as if the United States is the only country refusing to relinquish sovereignty by joining the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, out of 192 UN-member countries, roughly half (109) have agreed to join the ICC. As Michael Struet states in "Why Do States Join the International Criminal Court?":

...in a number of states, transitional regimes charged with ending a cycle of recent internal conflict have found it prudent to join the ICC, precisely because it offers an international bulwark against a return to routine political violence.

The most important conclusion we draw from this analysis is that deep structural factors heavily determine whether or not states will ratify a constitutional treaty.
The United States did not refuse to join the ICC because of party politics or ideology. The LA Times notes, "President Clinton was never fully satisfied with the result, waiting until the closing days of his administration to sign the treaty and declining to send it to the Senate for ratification." As Struet concluded, the reasons are structural and deeply embedded in our cultural history.

The American Revolution may have not taken place or succeeded had Great Britain not passed a mandate requiring all criminals against the King (or his soldiers) to be transported to England to receive a "fair" trial. As depicted by David McCullough, this was the deciding factor for John Adams to join the revolution. It is listed as an inexcusable act in the Declaration of Independence.

U.S. proponents of the ICC typically place full blame on President Bush (43), while arguing that the ICC will only have jurisdiction when U.S. courts are either unable or unwilling to prosecute. However, they fail to grasp the magnitude of this statute. Gary T. Dempsey commented on the matter:
The ICC will also become an unavoidable participant in the national legal process. Indeed, because it will set precedents regarding what it considers "effective" and "ineffective" domestic criminal trials, the ICC will indirectly force states to adopt those precedents or risk having cases called up before the international court. That constitutes an unprecedented change in the sources of national lawmaking, one that diminishes the traditional notion of state sovereignty.
The very existence of the ICC signifies that those member countries that did not join out of their self-interest to prevent political violence within their borders actually believe the people of every country hold the same values regarding laws and liberties.

The previously cited LA Times articles concludes:
The issue is not whether other forms of trial are legitimate; Americans are and should be subject to the criminal justice systems of whatever nation in which they are accused of crimes. The issue is whether the United States as a matter of policy should adopt, for the first time, one of those systems as party to an extra-national authority with power over anyone in the world. Our role should be to guarantee jury rights for the accused, not to give up and say that this protection is no longer fundamental because it's inconvenient in this new context.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments
Thursday, August 6, 2009

The U.S. State Department has publicly announced they do not support economic sanctions against Honduras for constitutionally removing their former president. According to Richard Verma, assistant secretary for legislative affiars:

Our policy and strategy for engagement is not based on supporting any particular politician or individual. Rather, it is based on finding a resolution that best serves the Honduran people and their democratic aspirations.
President Obama has taken a different stance on the issue. Instead of supporting democracy, Obama has refused to recognize the new Honduran president, cut $16.5 million in military aid, and revoked visas for several Honduran government officials.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments

The popular YouTube video, JK Wedding Entrance Dance, has received over 17 million views at the time of this posting. The video is played to the music of Chris Brown's single "Forever."

In the past, recording companies have pushed YouTube to remove videos that play copyrighted songs in the background. Warner Music has long taken this route to prevent new listeners from discovering their music.

The Internet community has found an unlikely weapon in the wedding dance video to counter overbearing copyright law claims by the music industry. YouTube recently announced that sales of the year-old song have increased to #4 on iTunes and #3 on Amazon.

Your move, music industry.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments
Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Oregon State University recently released a study linking carbon emissions to human reproduction. Besides providing fodder for China's population control agencies, the report contains a common economic fallacy. I previously posted on the same fallacy with regard to carbon abatement.

The study concludes:

When an individual produces a child - and that child potentially produces more descendants in the future - the effect on the environment can be many times the impact produced by a person during their lifetime.

Under current conditions in the United States, for instance, each child ultimately adds about 9,441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the carbon legacy of an average parent - about 5.7 times the lifetime emissions for which, on average, a person is responsible.
Apparently, carbon Malthusianism is the next big theory in population control. Thankfully, the study's authors state that they do not support government efforts to control population; they simply want to make people aware of (guilty for?) their actions (having sex).

However, their study fails to consider how couples will spend their extra money that would have otherwise been used to raise their children. According to MSN Money:
For 2004, the newest data available, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that families making $70,200 a year or more will spend a whopping $269,520 to raise a child from birth through age 17.
The report's authors failed to determine how couples will spend this quarter-million dollars and the resulting carbon emissions. Additionally, you must incorporate the future loss to the labor force. This has drastic consequences, as China will experience in coming decades.

In 2050, China's population will reach its peak, given current fertility rates. The country will begin to feel the effects of population aging. As an increasingly larger percentage of the country’s population enters old age, the available workforce declines and the medical and social costs of supporting such a demographic increase drastically.

Posted by Eleutherian 0 comments

For many, the immediate reaction to government censorship is disbelief or even anger. These are appropriate reactions to news of the Marines banning access to social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook. The Marine Corp reasons these sites provide a "haven for malicious actors" and "are particularly high risk due to information exposure." Yes, like the "malicious actors" that exposed information on protests in Iran via Twitter. The U.S. Department of Defense is considering extending the censorship to all branches of the military.

However, perhaps anger and disbelief are not the appropriate reactions when the Iraqi government censors the Internet. The government is ordering Internet service providers (ISPs) to block access within the country to websites that incite violence or provide pornographic material.

Yes, this represents a step away from increased human freedom in Iraq, but this may not necessarily be a negative development. Iraq cannot and must not be held to the same standards of countries like the United States. Its citizenry falls on a drastically different location along the path of human development (as outlined by the World Values Survey [WVS]).

For example, in 2006, the most recent WVS results, when asked "How much freedom of choice and control," 12.3% of Iraqi citizens answered "None at all," with 53.2% answering that it is not important. By contrast, only .8% of U.S. citizens answered "None at all," with 13.2% answering not important.

Iraqi citizens currently favor survival values over self-expression values. Until a shift toward self-expression values occurs, censoring websites that incite violence and propagate extremist materials fits Iraq's current position along the path of human development.

Additionally, the Iraqi Constitution states the following:

Article 36:

The state guarantees in a way that does not violate public order and morality:

A. Freedom of expression, through all means.

B. Freedom of press, printing, advertisement, media and publication.

It is not the proper role of government to legislate morality. However, by specifically stating, "in a way that does not violate public order and morality," the Iraqi government holds the constitutionally-alloted power to censor the Internet for pornographic and violence-inciting material.

If we are to condemn the attacks on countries like Honduras for acting in accordance with their constitutions, we must not attack Iraq for acting in accordance with its constitution.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A couple months back, I decided to search for libertarian book lists, compiling my own master reading list of both fiction and nonfiction. Be prepared - the list is long (133 books by 89 authors) and in no particular order.

  • Hans-Hermann Hoppe
    • A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism
    • Democracy: The God That Failed
    • The Economics and Ethics of Private Property
    • Economic Science and the Austrian Method
    • The Myth of National Defense
  • Ludwig von Mises
    • Human Action
    • The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science
    • Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War
  • Murray N. Rothbard
    • The Ethics of Liberty
    • Man, Economy and State (with Power and Market?)
    • Power and Market: Government and the Economy
    • For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto
    • Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature
    • The Irrepressible Rothbard
    • Education: Free & Compulsory
    • America’s Great Depression
  • Henry Hazlitt
    • Time Will Run Back
    • Economics in One Lesson
  • Llewellyn H. Rockwell
    • The Free Market Reader: Essays in the Economics of Liberty
    • The Economics of Liberty
    • Speaking of Liberty
  • Frederic Bastiat
    • The Law
  • Milton Friedman
    • Capitalism and Freedom
    • Free to Choose
    • Tyranny of the Status Quo
  • David Friedman
    • The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism
  • Linda & Morris Tannehill
    • The Market for Liberty
  • Randy Barnett
    • The Structure of Liberty
  • Lysander Spooner
    • No Treason No. VI: The Constitution of No Authority
    • The Lysander Spooner Reader
  • James J. Kilpatrick
    • The Sovereign States: Notes of a Citizen of Virginia
  • Jan Narveson
    • The Libertarian Idea
  • Loren Lomasky
    • Persons, Rights and the Moral Community
  • Felix Morley
    • Freedom and Federalism
  • Raoul Berger
    • Government by Judiciary: The Transformation of the Fourteenth Amendment
    • The Fourteenth Amendment and the Bill of Rights
    • Federalism: The Founder's Design
  • Bruce Benson
    • The Enterprise of Law
  • George Reisman
    • Capitalism
    • The Government Against the Economy
  • Ayn Rand
    • Atlas Shrugged
    • Philosophy: Who Needs It
    • Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
    • The Capitalist Manifesto
    • The Fountain Head
  • Robert Heinlein
    • The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
    • Starship Troopers
    • Stranger in a Strange Land
  • J. Neil Schulman
    • Alongside Night
  • L. Neil Smith
    • The Probability Broach
    • The Gallatin Divergence
  • John C. Wright
    • The Golden Age
  • David Bergland
    • Libertarianism in One Lesson
  • Allan Burris
    • A Liberty Primer
  • Mary Ruwart
    • Healing Our World
  • Charles Sprading
    • Liberty and the Great Libertarians
  • Walter Block
    • A Lexicon of Economic Thought
    • Economics & the Environment
  • Jack Boulogne
    • The Zoo
  • Sheldon Richman
    • Separating School and State
  • Terry Anderson
    • Free Market Environmentalism
    • NAFTA and the Environment
  • Joseph Bast, Peter Hill & Richard Rue
    • Eco-Sanity
  • Poul Anderson
    • Harvest of Stars
    • Mirkheim
    • Orion Shall Rise
    • The Last of the Deliverers
  • Rose Wilder Lane
    • The Discovery of Freedom
  • Isabel Paterson
    • The God of the Machine
  • Henry Grady Weaver
    • The Mainspring of Human Progress
  • Richard Epstein
    • Simple Rules for a Complex World
  • Ronald Homowy
    • Dealing with Drugs
  • Wayne Lapierre
    • Guns, Crime, and Freedom
  • John Locke
    • Two Treatises of Government
  • Tibor Machan
    • Individuals and Their Rights
    • The Liberty of Virtue
    • Human Rights and Human Liberties: A Radical Reconsideration of the American Political Tradition
  • Robert Nozick
    • Anarchy, State, and Utopia
  • Adam Smith
    • The Wealth of Nations
  • Peter Brimelow
    • Patriot Games
  • Harry Browne
    • Why Government Doesn’t Work
  • Friedrich von Hayek
    • The Road to Serfdom
  • Auberon Herbert
    • The Right & Wrong of Compulsion by the State
  • Isabella Horry and Michael Walker
    • Government Spending Facts 2
  • Francis Kendall and Leon Louw
    • Let the People Govern
  • Albert Jay Nock
    • Our Enemy, the State
  • Filip Palda
    • Election Finance Regulation in Canada
  • Douglas K. Adie
    • The Mail Monopoly
  • R.W. Grant
    • Rent Control and the War against the Poor
  • Ronald Hamowy
    • Canadian Medicine: A Study in Restricted Entry
  • Charles Murray
    • Losing Ground
  • Christopher Sarlo
    • Poverty in Canada
  • Edmund Opitz
    • Leviathan at War
  • R.J. Rummel
    • Death by Government
  • Robert Merrill
    • The Ideas of Ayn Rand
  • Douglas B. Rasmussen and Douglas J. Den Uyl
    • Liberty and Nature: An Aristotelian Defense of Liberal Order
  • Vernor Vinge
    • A Deepness in the Sky
  • James P. Hogan
    • The Multiplex Man
    • Voyage to Yesteryear
    • The Mirror Maze
  • David Boaz
    • Libertarianism: A Primer
  • Jeffrey Rogers Hummel
    • Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War
  • Larry Elder
    • The Ten Things You Can’t Say in America
  • Jacob Sullum
    • Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use
  • John R. Lott, Jr.
    • More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun-Control Laws
  • Thomas Paine
    • Collected Writings
  • James Bovard
    • Freedom in Chains: The Rise of the State and the Demise of the Citizen
    • Terrorism and Tyranny: Trampling Freedom, Justice and Peace to Rid the World of Evil
  • Justin Raimondo
    • An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard
  • Israel Kirzner
    • Ludwig von Mises: The Man and His Economics
  • John V. Denson
    • Reassessing the Presidency: The Rise of the Executive State and the Decline of Freedom
    • The Costs of War
  • Thomas DiLorenzo
    • The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War
  • George Woodcock
    • Anarchism
  • Paul Edward Gottfried
    • After Liberalism: Mass Democracy in the Managerial State
  • Robert Higgs
    • Crisis and Leviathan
    • Depression, War, and Cold War
  • Ron Paul
    • The Revolution: A Manifesto
  • Richard Eberling
    • The Austrian Theory of the Trade Cycle
  • Randall Holcombe
    • The Great Austrian Economists
  • Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
    • Meltdown
  • Robert Murphy
    • Chaos Theory
  • William Morris
    • News from Nowhere
    • An Epoch of Rest
  • H.G. Wells
    • Men Like Gods
  • Eric Frank Russell
    • Late Night Final
  • Alfred Bester
    • The Stars My Destination
  • Jack Vance
    • Emphyrio
  • Ursula K. Le Guin
    • The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia
    • Left Hand of Darkness
  • Robert Anton Wilson
    • The Illuminatus Trilogy
    • Schroedinger's Cat
  • Corey Doctorow
    • Little Brother

Posted by Eleutherian 1 comments