Category Archives: libertarian

Inane Arguments Against Wealth Creation, Supposed Exorbitance

I read an article the other day. The title of the article is “Huge Houses Are Morally Wrong.” I had to read it twice to make sure the author wasn’t pulling one over on me. In the end, I am left feeling both a sense of outrage and sadness. And here is why:

  1. On his mention of Bill Gates’ fortune, and the $30 billion he has given away to charity, the latter of which the author decided isn’t enough, I say this: $30 billion isn’t enough? Is there a “moral” number? Do you, dear author, give away 40% of your wealth? I doubt you do. And if you did, I don’t care. It’s none of my damn business. So, in addition to the $3o billion, which in and of itself is a tremendous value, what about the value Bill Gates has brought to the world with Microsoft? But no, the author doesn’t seem to think that the billions of people who have benefited from his company is a matter of importance. I say poppycock. I hope Mr. Gates continues to make tons of money. But, in the end (and which will be my main point here), I don’t give a darn what he does make or doesn’t make, or does do or doesn’t do.
  2. On his mention of Peter Singer and his argument that no one is entitled to live beyond $30,000/year. What a sick, depraved way to live. It’s these type of folk that want us to revert to a time wherein technologies were of the simplest and less impacting variety. The argument disregards all of the tremendous value (jobs, wealth, well-being, more efficient and less expensive production methods, etc.). But, again, who cares? If my bachelor neighbor decides to move out of his one-room apartment into a 3-room house, that’s his prerogative; that’s his right. But Hamilton’s argument would say that my neighbor should not do this; that it is of waste; and that it is immoral. That’s bogus. Let’s say I want to buy an Apple laptop. It may be a bit outside of my price comfort range, but I desire the product, its accoutrement and warranty program. Is it immoral to decide to ditch my $300 Acer in place of the $1,500 Apple? Of course not. My money is precisely that. Mine. What I decide to do with it is entirely on me.
  3. In the end, for me, all that matters is this: it is theirs. Their money. Their wealth. Regardless of how they acquired the wealth (it could be via hard work and determination or nepotism or whatever), it is theirs, and they get to decide what they do with it. They could just sit on it. Literally. They could exchange it for gold and sell it. They could travel. They could buy million dollar homes. It doesn’t matter. Not I or the billionaire has any moral obligation to live by certain socially constructed means.

I say stop whining about what isn’t yours. What others do with their money doesn’t concern you (unless, of course, they are using the money to inflict actual harm).

I say, dear millionaires and billionaires, please continue doing what you’re doing. You provide me with entertainment in the movies you create. You make it easier for me to do business, in the software programs you create and the social media websites you develop. You make everyday staples of living less expensive and easier to consume. Your homes, your wealth, your success and celebrity are the things rational, reason-minded, positive people aspire to achieve.

Live well. Live “ridiculously well.”

As for the Hamiltons of the world, go ahead and keeping thinking squalor is of some intrinsic value. That’s fine. As long as you give up the iPhone, the laptop, the vehicle.

For other tidbits of mine on this topic, go here and here.

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Dept. of Energy vs. Rand Paul

In a post at Hit & Run entitled It’s a Toilet, Not a Choice! Rand Paul Flushes Out Anti-Freedom Logic of Dept. of Energy, Nick Gillespie links to a clip of Mr.  Paul facing off with a few bureaucrats on the topic of freedom of choice as a consumer. It’s a pretty darn splendid bit of video. Worth a gander.

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Tax Breaks to Hire Ex-Convicts = Idiotic

I’m all for second chances, and for when it makes sense (as is the case, I hear, for many) clearing out our prisons. But I am certainly not for giving tax breaks to businesses for hiring ex-convicts. That’s what a Columbus lawmaker wants to do.

It’s idiotic on a number of levels. Namely, it disregards the relevant- and the only- reasons in which individuals are hired: for their value.  If the individual can bring value to the business, if the business considers the skill of the individual a worthy investment, then there is reason to hire. Otherwise, you have no reason.

In this particular case, the bonehead lawmaker wants businesses to turn a blind eye to the reason they should hire.

Consider the repercussions of such a decision. Sure, you are given a couple thousand dollars. But what is lost? Certainly a great deal of time and money, much more than if you were to hire an individual based upon the skill and value they can add to the company.

If this law passes, I am going to crap myself.

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Restore Reader Privacy! Sign The Petition Today!

According to the website, the Campaign for Reader Privacy entails:

The Campaign for Reader Privacy was launched in 2004 to restore the safeguards for reader privacy that were eliminated by the USA Patriot Act. Its members—the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association, the Association of American Publishers and PEN American Center-sponsored a national petition campaign and mobilized the book and library community in support of corrective legislation introduced by Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Senators Russ Feingold (D-WI), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Larry Craig (R-ID). In 2005, both the House and Senate indicated their support for adding safeguards for bookstore and library records.

Some of these protections were incorporated in the bill re-authorizing the Patriot Act that was approved by Congress in early 2006, including the right to consult an attorney about a Patriot Act order, a limited right to challenge the order in court, and an annual public accounting of the total number of bookstore and library searches under the Patriot Act. However, the bill lacked a key safeguard that would restrict searches to the records of people who are suspected of terrorism. As a result, government may continue to search the records of anyone it considers “relevant” to a terrorism investigation, including people who are not suspected of criminal conduct. The fight for reader privacy continues.

Sign the petition today!

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Property Rights and The Kelo Case

This infuriates me. First, they wave their bullshit eminent domain flag and tell you, the property owner, that you must leave your home. Second, they promise your community economic benefits and jobs. Third, they destroy a “vibrant, close-knit neighborhood.” Fourth, in typical, grossly inefficient governmental fashion, they leave the property to rot.

Five years later, the property is vacant.

Once a bustling community, now it exists as a “barren field, filled with demolition debris and home only to feral cats.”

The good news is that many states have since changed their laws to diminish eminent domain abuse. Additionally, wonderful folks like those at the Institute For Justice are helping to defeat property rights abuses throughout the country.

As I see it, property rights are essential to living a productive, valued life.

Rand says it best:

Bear in mind that the right to property is a right to action, like all the others: it is not the right to an object, but to the action and the consequences of producing or earning that object. It is not a guarantee that a man will earn any property, but only a guarantee that he will own it if he earns it. It is the right to gain, to keep, to use and to dispose of material values (The Virtue of Selfishness).

Update: Elsewhere, “New York’s highest court upholds Columbia University’s eminent domain abuse.” Abhorrent.

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