Regulation

Our Meddlesome and Predatory Government

It is one thing to believe the government is increasingly meddlesome. It is quite another to see it quantified. The graphic below shows the Federal Tax Law from 1913 when the income tax was imposed through 2013. What is no longer taxed as government voraciously grabs for any income it can get? H/T RFNII

Bastiat on The Law

One of the truly great pamphlets ever penned was “The Law” by Frederic Bastiat in 1850. For anyone who wants to understand the criminality of government, this work is highly recommended. It is short and readable. It is also available free on-line or in print form for a modest fee. It is a primer on liberty and how government uses [...]

Another Nail In The Coffin — Another Swiss Banking System Capitulation

Switzerland, the land of the honest banker and honest banks, is following the path of the rest of the world by allowing “bail-ins.” Bail-ins, for those who may still now know, are what was demanded in Cyprus in order to get an ECB bailout. Bail-ins are the confiscation of all or part of bank deposits held by private individuals and [...]

Government In Action — II

Not surprisingly the government bureaucracy is not limited to the Passport Office which was discussed in Government In Action. Reader Tom Ballantyne was kind enough to reveal his recent frustrations, this with the Arizona state bureaucracy: I just went through this in re-instating my architectural license in AZ. They wanted me to provide college transcripts, proof of registration in previous states, [...]

How Stupid Is The American Public?

The cruelest law of all is the minimum wage. It is the most basic law of economics: if the price rises on a good (ceteris paribus, of course), then less of it will be purchased. Labor is no exception. When you raise the price (i.e., the minimum wage in this case), less labor at the low end of the skill [...]

“There’s nothing more portable than a millionaire and his money.”

A recent post on capital flight dealt with its leaving the country to destinations where it is treated better. The capital referred to included both physical and human capital. Capital does not have to flee the country for harm to occur. It merely has to flee the areas where it is under attack. With regard to human capital, that might mean working less [...]

Gun Laws and Crazies

I don’t like guns. I would prefer they didn’t exist. But they do and to pretend otherwise is foolish.  But to pretend that you can legislate away guns is equally foolish. “Crazies” exist and it is crazies not guns that create problems. Even if one could eliminate guns (not possible), you haven’t solved the underlying problem. Guns are merely the [...]

All Economic Interventions Make Us Poorer

Every government intervention is an attempt to thwart the freedom of the marketplace. Markets are nothing more than willing buyers and sellers agreeing to what the consider fair. These voluntary transactions benefit both buyer and seller or they would not take place. When government intervenes to impose its view of “fairness,” it disrupts these satisfactory, voluntary transactions.  Economic participants on [...]

Healthcare — The Statist’s Dream

The gloomy side of the intellectual class views man as a liability. The rosy side sees man as an asset. Nowhere is the gloomy side more prevalent than in the extremes of the environmental movement which popularized scare terms such as the “population bomb” and “global warming” (and before global warming, for those old enough to remember, there was “global [...]

The Cruelest Law of All

Minimum wage is possibly the cruelest law ever. It makes it illegal for people with limited skills to be employed at a wage lower than a legally mandated level. Is the rate set too high? For most with skills, the law is irrelevant. However, for those who passed through dysfunctional government schools and learned little, it is an viciously cruel [...]

The Economic Problems are Secular, Not Cyclical

The US economy is spent. The current crisis, begun about five years ago, is still a severe recession despite claims otherwise. Even after squandering trillions of taxpayer dollars, there is no recovery. This is not “your father’s recession.” It is part of a more serious, deeper secular problem. What has happened has been treated as if it were a cyclical problem, [...]

Government As Wrecking Ball — Part II Opportunity Costs

In Part I of this series the direct costs of government were discussed. According to a study by the Center For Fiscal Responsibility over 60% of national income was spent by government at all levels in 2011. Americans, on average, only controlled 40% of their earnings and how it was used. Part II discusses the additional burdens of government, of which [...]