Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Free Market

More Americans Say Country is Headed in the Wrong Direction

Last week’s poll from Bloomberg show that 68 percent of Americans – two out of every three – say that the country is heading in the wrong direction, the most in two years and a substantial increase just since the first of the year. In addition, it appears that more Americans are blaming President Obama as the cause,

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Teenager is China’s first victim of its new internet “anti-gossip” law

As China continues to ramp up its censorship of internet usage by its estimated 600,000 million users, the arrest of a 16-year-old boy is just one more statistic in China’s war against freedom of expression.

Early in September China’s Supreme Court issued guidelines and penalties to punish those publishing what the state deems to be “rumors” and “slander”. If such a message is forwarded more than 500 times or

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President’s Speeches on the Economy Draw Attention Away from His Scandals and Falling Poll Numbers

From the New York Times to Politico.com the president’s speech to students at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois on Wednesday was headline news. More than an hour long, it contained enough platitudes, sound bites and falsehoods to keep pundits busy and away from more about the Benghazi, IRS, NSA surveillance scandals and Obamacare fallout which have caused the president’s poll numbers to plummet. It was time to get out of Dodge and take

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CFR expert calls for elimination of Laws restricting Crude Oil Exports

Sounding more like a free market economist than the thoroughly establishment analyst that he is, Blake Clayton, writing for the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in a paper published last week, built a carefully crafted case for the elimination of all federal controls on exporting crude oil. Clayton, who received two master’s degrees from the University of Chicago and Cambridge University along with a doctorate from Oxford, was blunt:

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The Myth of the Disappearing Middle Class in America is Finally Put to Rest

This was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, July 15th, 2013:

 

Two favorite economists, Donald Boudreaux of George Mason University and Mark Perry of the University of Michigan, have contested and decried the dominant social theme that America’s middle class is disappearing. For instance, back in January their arguments reached the pages of the Wall Street Journal in which they stated flatly that

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Paul Ryan the “bridgebuilder” on immigration reform?

On Saturday Newsmax.com reported on Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) continuing attempts to revive interest in the House to consider the immigration bill the Senate just passed. He thinks that with a little tweaking the House can come to terms that the Senate would approve, and all will be well once again:

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Welcome to Washington, DC: Pay $50 Fine, Have a Nice Day, Go Home

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on June 26th, 2013:

 

When Joe Carr, along with five of his baseball buddies from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, decided to fly to Washington to watch their Twins take on the Washington Nationals in June, he had no idea he’d leave the city with a criminal record and $50 poorer.

In a sarcastic jest he decided to write about his experience in a letter to the editor of the Washington Post, and they printed it. He explains what happened:

The Friday, June 7, night tilt between the Nationals and my Mighty Fighting Minnesota Twins was rained out by Tropical Storm Andrea. I was hosting five of my buddies on our annual baseball weekend, and, having lived in the D.C. area in the ’90s, I had booked the hotel, purchased the game tickets and planned the requisite Mall and monument tours. We were going to drop some serious cash (well, by Midwestern standards, anyway) into the local economy.

The rainout resulted in my possessing six tickets — worth $360 — to the second game of a Sunday doubleheader scheduled to be played when my friends and I would be somewhere over Chicago. However, as any baseball fan knows, there is always a market for club-level seats. So I proceeded to “market” the seats as I walked up to Nationals Park prior to Saturday’s 4:05 p.m. game.

Bad move.

Fast forward: after offering his tickets (he was willing to let them go for less than the $60 he had invested in each of them) to several people who turned him down, he was accosted by a uniformed member of the local constabulary, along with a trainee who was about to get a lesson in how to shake down a visitor. Here’s the conversation:

Officer: What are you asking? [Note: this is a solicitation.]

Carr: I’d love to get face value.

Officer: You’re under arrest for solicitation.

Trainee: You’re going to do this?

Officer:   Absolutely.

Carr:  You’ve got to be kidding.

Officer:  Does it look like I’m kidding? [Is this intimidation?]

The OIC (officer large and in charge) called for backup, put Carr into the back seat of the cruiser when it arrived, sans belt and shoes but wearing handcuffs, took him “downtown” for a mug shot, fingerprinting, and cool-off time in a jail cell for 2½ hours. The judge showed up, fined him $50, and let him go, leaving behind a criminal record.

As Mark Perry noted, Joe never actually sold his tickets. He ate the $360. There wasn’t even a transaction. There was no victim. He wasn’t charged with scalping either, just solicitation.

Carr described his experience into Washington’s welcome chamber of “downtown” as “Kafka-esque” where everything is upside down and inside out:

I broke a law. Guilty. But what purpose was served by my arrest? It didn’t make any financial sense. I am certain that the costs of my arrest, transport and processing had to be many multiples of the $50 I paid. Does the District have a massive budget surplus it needs to spend down?

What Carr ran into was the war on the free market, in a microscopic moment. Carr bought his tickets. He owned them. He paid for them. They were his property. Under free market principles he would be free to use them (or not), give them away, will them to his heirs, or sell them (at any price that a willing fully informed buyer would pay). But not in Washington, DC. Their definition of “solicitation” is different.

In the United States, there are three parts to the crime of solicitation:

  1. The encouraging, bribing, requesting or commanding a person
  2. To commit a substantive crime
  3. With the intent that the person solicited actually commit the crime.

You can see where this is going. Apparently, in Washington, DC, attending a baseball game with tickets purchased from another person is a “substantive crime.” Looking at the Washington National’s record to date, attending any of their games is a crime – of boredom.

—————————-

Sources:

Joe Carr: Welcome, baseball fan. Go directly to jail.

Definition of Kafka-esque

Definition of Scalping

Definition of Solicitation

Current Washington Nationals standings

Mark Perry: Great moments in government prosecution of innocent baseball fans for victimless crimes that didn’t even take place

 

 

Unanimous Supreme Court Ruling on Human Genes is a Split Decision

On Thursday the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that patents on human genes are now void, while the successful creation of synthetic genes may continue to be patented. Both sides of the lawsuit celebrated victory. Mike Adams of Natural News exclaimed: “Sanity prevails: human genes are not eligible for patent protection!” while the ACLU declared: “Victory! Supreme Court Decides Our Genes Belong to Us!”

On the other hand, Myriad Genetics, Inc., the biotechnology company that holds dozens of patents on human genes, wrote:

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Many Positives Coming from the Unfolding NSA Leaker Story

This article was first posted at  the McAlvany Intelligence Adviser:

 

Hardly a sentient soul on planet Earth doesn’t know who Edward Snowden is, but few of them know of the ramifications and positives that are already coming as a result of his leak about NSA spying on Americans’ emails, voicemails, and IMs.

Because of his top-secret clearance across a broad spectrum of surveillance programs developed by the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency, Snowden had a rare opportunity to view the threats to privacy these agencies and their enablers have created. So he decided to do something about it:

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Who is Jason Furman?

This was initially posted at McAlvany Intelligence Advisor:

 

With Monday’s announcement that Jason Furman will be taking over from Alan Krueger as chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors, some have asked: who is he?

The short answer is that he is a

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Obamanomics is to Blame for Worst Recession since the Great Depression

When libertarian scholar Peter Ferrara asked rhetorically in Sunday’s issue of Forbes, “Economically, Could Obama be America’s Worst President?” he relied heavily on statistics provided by the chief enabler of the Great Recession,

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Armed marshals bill for schools in Texas is approved

I’m not moving to Portland, Maine, after all. I said last week I was moving there to take advantage of a free market doctor who has opted out of all insurance, public or private, and has gone “vet” – meaning cash only.

Instead, I’m moving to Texas, where common sense reigns supreme. Well, not totally. The teachers’ unions there are still stuck in the backwater of hoplophobia, but for normal people, training teachers to become marshals makes sense. Kinda makes me think of that bumper sticker from years ago: “Common sense, isn’t”.

By a vote of 28-3, the Texas state senate passed the “armed marshals” bill which is now headed to Governor Rick Perry’s desk for signing. It has been pushed by Lt. Gov. David Dewhirst (no doubt with Perry’s blessing) as a way to allow teachers to

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A Family Doctor in Maine who accepts cash, only. Really.

I’m moving to Portland! This guy is too good to be true.  He’s decided to “opt out” of Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, the whole gig. He’s going cash only. And you should see his prices!

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Pro-Euro German Finance Minister Now Having Second Thoughts?

This, at least, is the gist of the headline from the AP: “German who helped start euro now calls for its end.” The AP article that backed it up was just four paragraphs long and led me to think: this guy has awakened to reality! He’s been converted to free market principles! Hallelujah!

Even Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, the conservative writer for the liberal Telegraph, seemed to buy the line, saying

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Calls to Privatize the FAA Follow Controller Furloughs and Airport Delays

It didn’t take long for calls to privatize the FAA to surface following the agency’s announcement on Sunday that due to sequester cuts of $637 million (out of its $16 billion budget), all 47,000 of its employees, including 15,000 air traffic controllers, were being furloughed. The resulting delays were especially noticeable at high-traffic centers like

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Today is Earth Day. Let’s celebrate free markets that keep things green and growing!

Once again my economic friend Donald Boudreaux has simplified the complex while avoiding the sarcasm that so many are expressing over the celebration of Earth Day. 192 countries have joined in the chorus so it’s a fact of life. We can ridicule it as silliness but there it is. Instead, Boudreaux reminds us that

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The Modern German Economic Model is a Myth

Dessau, a small and steadily shrinking town in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt in what used to be East Germany, is doing the best it can. Ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall the anticipated “miracle” enjoyed by West Germany following World War II failed to materialize for Dessau and so it is in the process of

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Another internet innovation: same-day delivery

I think this might just work. The biggest drawback to shopping online is the time it takes to receive the goods – between 3 and 7 days. I remember getting very nervous that an important gift I’d ordered for Mary for our 49th (!) wedding anniversary wouldn’t get here on time. I spent more time calling the store and worrying about it than I did in placing the order. It got here in time, just barely!

So Google is taking a page out of Amazon’s and eBay’s book and

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Good News About American Energy

Not all the news about our country is bad news. It might take some digging to find it but now and then there’s a nugget in the stream bed. This 211-page report from the Energy Information Administration is more than encouraging. The report is so long that 

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Is Dr. Ben Carson Gearing Up for 2016?

Still enjoying the afterglow from his speech that, according to the New York Times, “lofted him into the conservative firmament as its newest star,” Dr. Benjamin Carson sat down with Times writer Trip Gabriel last week to expand on his beliefs and his political future. When asked directly about that future, Carson said

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.

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