“It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” ~ Mark Twain The current economic collapse and financial system breakdown were forecast and explained by only one “school” of economic theory: the Austrian. The irony is that the other two “major schools” – the Keynesian and Chicago (Supply Side/Monetarist) – are fixated on empirical data yet incapable of recognizing that history refutes their theories. The two mainstream schools are really very similar with only a difference of opinion on the size of government and the amount of monetary inflation. But the continual failure of the ever elusive predictive mathematical models they both seek just doesn’t provide the intellectual spark needed to look outside their statist boxes. The abandonment of logic for faith in fantastical assumptions has induced an ivory tower-delusion on a grand scale. Luckily for us the Austrian Economic Theory has survived the Dark Ages of Economics and we have the intellectual tools to be able to rebuild a healthy, productive and prosperous society. Austrian Economic Theory is based on understanding that the human ability to act combined with the natural desire to survive leads to purposeful action. Humans act with purpose. Interfering with people acting towards those purposes perverts both the actions and the people. Third parties butting in between other people who have agreed to cooperate for their mutual benefit are superfluous at best and deal killers at worse. There may be compromises as individuals adapt to the force of those interventions allowing for diminished satisfaction, but the end results are inevitably spoiled. The Keynesian Cultists see humans as guinea pigs to be experimented on while the Chicago Schoolboys counsel some limits to those experiments. We have common sense being assaulted by arrogant madness and it’s time to say stop. Economic theory is just like any other type of theoretical study in that the discipline must be dominated by academics. Academia is not real life; it can’t be, shouldn’t be and never will be. It can foster clear thinking, it should promote realizing intellectual potential and it will go on in spite of any resistance to learning. Do not allow the mysticism associated with “halls of higher learning” going back to pointy hats with stars on them to put a spell on you or repulse you. The good news is that most Austrian School academics understand more clearly than their counterparts that the real world is what counts, not the fantasyland of ivory towers. A defining difference between the statist economic theorists and free-market economic theorists is the use of mathematical models. The free-market Austrians rely on logical arguments stemming from human action. This point of view recognizes that the study of economics is more of a philosophical discipline than a scientific one. The statist economists believe the exact opposite. This line of thinking seeks to put the study of economics in the realm of physical scientific disciplines. This fallacy damns the statist economists to an eternity in purgatory because economics is about human relationships, not numerical relationships. Real science requires the use of the scientific method and reproducible results. I was fortunate to have been blindsided by this insight when still in college before ever even hearing of the Austrians. Calculus was a “weeder course” at the university I went to that is required to enter certain colleges. At the time those students wanting to enter the business college like me had to take classes with those students wanting to be mechanical engineers, chemists and physicists. Further, these classes were graded on a curve where a certain percentage of the class was going to fail which led to a very competitive atmosphere. After it became evident that most of the business student wannabes were getting their asses kicked by the more serious students, the rumbling began. The discussion one day in class was eye-opening. A bold business student better suited for sales than calculating complained that the trouble was that all of the problems in the book we were asked to do as homework and also on the tests pertained to the physical sciences and not economics or business. Therefore, he said, we were at a disadvantage when interpreting a problem in order to solve it. The teacher pointed out that the subject of the problems did not affect the correct formulation and calculation of answers. Basically two plus two is always four whether or not it’s apples or oranges. As one of the few business students that passed the course that semester, I agreed that this made sense and kept my mouth shut. The mutineers pressed on, “But there are practice problems in the book that are based on economics problems like what we’ll be doing and you never assign them.” The teacher smiled and several A-students laughed. One said, “Yea well the rest of us don’t want to waste our time jerking off.” This raised the emotional level of the conversation and the hair went up on the backs of several business students. “What’s that supposed to mean?” the ringleader responded indignantly. “It means that economics is mathematical masturbation. If you’re going to make up the inputs and pull the relationships out of your ass, then you might as well just make up the answers.” “What?” “We can measure the temperature that water will boil and the speed of objects falling, because we can reproduce these experiments proving quantifiable results.” “So?” “In physics, we can test our facts. Economics is bullshit in, bullshit out. It’s a waste of time.” The professor made a comment about language and indicated that he would throw in an economics problem once in while if some students thought that it might help them understand the subject better. I didn’t think calculus was all that hard, but also figured I’d never use it again out in the real business world. I got my B- and was right. I do still use algebra and geometry all the time, but passing calculus was just my ticket of admission to the next level of miseducation. In spite of this slap in the face, when I took my first micro-economics course, I thought wow, now this is something that will be useful. Looking at prices, costs, profits, and other seemingly real stuff on graphs with curves was cool. If this or that happens then the curve shifts this way or that way according to apparently sensible mathematical formulas and assumptions. I thought, well maybe there is something useful to this economics thing. Then I took macro-economics and was introduced to the prevailing theory that depended on aggregates of totally unrelated items and a slew of assumptions of things like “perfect markets.” This class led me to realize that it was all a scam and time to move on, get my degree as soon as possible, stop wasting time and start making money. You see, I was not from a wealthy family and paid my own way through college, so practical concerns dominated my thinking. So if you ever thought that Paul Krugman, Ben Bernanke and the whole gaggle of Ivy League economists were jerk-offs spewing out unadulterated bullshit, you were right. Ludwig von Mises, Murray Rothbard and a whole bunch of underappreciated Austrian economists said as much and were marginalized by ignorant media whores. So what is the basic difference? The biggest thing is recognizing the folly of central planning. The bigger is better, everybody line up, and one-size fits all, conformist type of thinking does not enhance the survival of individuals, much less promote prosperity in a society. Individual planning, however, typically leads to cooperation that requires collective planning on at least some small scale. The “I can do it,” “let me help,” and “let’s all do what we can do” type attitude is what gets things done. Not regulations, by-laws, bureaucrats, politics or queen bees. This principle also applies to money and banking, by the way. Von Mises identified what he called the “calculation problem.” That means that socialist/central planning has no metric, like profit and loss in the free market, to determine a price for goods and thus a rational allocation of resources. It is therefore impossible for the brainiest group of planners with the most powerful computers in the world to make the infinite number of decisions necessary to make an economy run smoothly. Their decisions will always cause shortages, lead to lower quality products and services, and eventually shut down any economy. It’s just a matter of time. Ludwig von Mises predicted that the Soviet Union would collapse back in 1927, yet was scorned and then ignored by the “economics profession” because of it. The Keynesian Pre-School adherents preach the gospel of central planning, which is why central planners/politicians subsidize their “work.” Their argument stems from the fact that the free market does not always result in maximum satisfaction of needs and desires. Duh! That “welcome to the real world” insight is easily dealt with by most working individuals coping with survival on a daily basis, but for some reason, the calculus of this condition cries out for correction by self-styled supernatural beings with obviously too much time on their hands. If only all of us working saps would just follow the plans put forth by our masters then we would all be happy cogs in a well-oiled machine humming along at maximum efficiency! Of course, it doesn’t take very long until the standard of perfect harmony that the free market was held up to is abandoned when judging the results of central planners. The Chicago Boys believe the market is great, except for the most important thing, which is money and banking. What tools. Talk about hacking at branches while missing the root of the problem. They realize that the leg irons are holding back productivity, but the handcuffs must stay on. Only the Austrians assert that like liberty, free markets mean no chains at all. Of course, that doesn’t mean that fraud, theft, and violent coercion are allowed. That’s just a stupid red herring you hear a lot. The elite fascination with central planning is stuck in an eternal feedback loop. The plan is forever changing, but the monopoly on planning must never be questioned. There can be arguments over how much central planning is optimal, like between the Keynesians (communists) and the Chicago Boys (fascists), but the efficacy of central planning is never allowed to be discussed. Ludwig von Mises gave us the insight that free market interventions by central planners inevitably leads to additional interventions meant to fix problems caused by previous interventions. This results in more and more interventions until the central planners exhaust the energy in the system chasing their tails. Somehow the obvious alternative to stop going in circles is shunned as too radical. The fascist political operating system that burdens our society makes its number one priority survival. This is why court economists will tout absurd, discredited ideas long after they have been consumed in the burning flames of their crashed theories. This article is not a scholarly expose of economic theories right and wrong; it is a tip of the hat to those with the common sense to see what works and the courage to stand up to institutional bias. But the usual suspects deserve to be scolded for their silly posturing and counterproductive influence. People like Peter Schiff, Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, Jim Rogers and others who saw this economic catastrophe coming have been marginalized by self-serving ignoramuses because they were right. The Wall Street, media, Ivy League and Washington, D.C. morons that didn’t see what was coming, then denied the reality of the situation long after it was here and now are still clueless as to what really happened, are now the ones “in charge” of “fixing the economy.” God help us. As a real estate market analyst and lover of liberty interested in economics, I discovered long after college and my Libertarian infatuation with Milton Friedman the works of Leonard Reed and Murray Rothbard. This led down a path to Henry Hazlitt, Ludwig von Mises and a whole bunch of other people who are still living and writing stuff that makes sense about economics. While many of my colleagues stuck with their empirical data models that always miss turns in the market, I was inspired to use logic and consider other sources of knowledge. After being called a “gloom and doomer” among other more vulgar terms for killing multi-million dollar deals as economically unfeasible at the peak of the boom, I now have clients and friends calling me “Nostradamus” for saving them from making some pretty big mistakes. I tell them that my insight isn’t due to superior intellect or crystal balls, but to my study of Austrian economics. For a more skillful orientation and comprehensive explanation of economic theories, I suggest starting at the Ludwig von Mises Institute website at www.mises.org. Any person interested in understanding why we are in the current mess would be well served to study Austrian economics; but beware, it is like taking the red pill in The Matrix.
"In a Democracy there is no right not to be offended. Anyone ought to be free to say whatever they like. If someone says things that are offensive, gratuitous and stupid, one has to assume there will be others able to demonstrate that what someone said was offensive, gratuitous and stupid."
"The holocaust is an ideological club, used to hold Germany in a vice like grip. In the early nineties these organisations discovered an opportunity to shake down European Governments and now they have run amok. They are pursuing blackmail and therefore they should be indicted and tried as criminals before the courts."
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all. "
Below are links to various petitions we support. If you see one that interests you then please take action.
Make Congress Read Their Bills Before Voting
Make Congress read every word of every bill they create before they vote on it. Urge your Representative and your Senators to sponsor DownsizeDC.org's “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA).
TWIC - A Backdoor Real ID Card
Real ID is dying. But the Department of Homeland Security has a new plan to subject every American to a national ID card anyway. They plan to pick off one occupational field at a time, starting with the maritime industry. One man is fighting back. Meet him, and help stop this backdoor Real ID plan.
Make Congress pass DownsizeDC.org's “One Subject at a Time Act”
Most Americans probably believe a bill has to have majority support in Congress before it can become the law of the land. Sadly, this common sense expectation is totally wrong. Congressional leaders routinely pass laws that a majority opposes. DownsizeDC.org believes every bill should have to stand or fall on its own merits. Toward this end we have crafted the “One Subject at a Time Act” (OSTA).
End Bureaucratic "Legislation without Representation" with the "Write the Laws Act"
Unelected bureaucrats create tens-of-thousands of new dictates each year. Making rules is the job of Congress, not bureaucrats. DownsizeDC.org has drafted the “Write the Laws Act” to end bureaucratic “legislation without representation."
Bring John Shadegg's 'Enumerated Powers Act' to a Vote
t's time for Congress to, "Cite it, chapter and verse." Where do they derive their authority? When they pass new laws or spend taxpayer money, they should be required to point to specific language in the Constitution. The Enumerated Powers Act would require them to do precisely that. Help us bring this bill to a vote.
Top 11 Reasons You Should Fight Hate Laws
Unless we resist now, a thought crimes bureaucracy like those regulating Australia, Canada and Europe will soon rule America. In these nations, federal hate laws have destroyed citizens' rights to free speech. Punishment of politically incorrect bias is the ultimate goal of this legislation.
A national hate law would shatter Americans' First Amendment rights, which are now sadly unique among Western democracies. We would lose our precious freedom to express politically incorrect ideas, moral judgments, or whatever personal convictions the reigning thought police deem "hateful."
Think this can't happen in America? Think again.
Hostile work environment law and campus speech bans already severely curtail free expression in American workplaces and universities. A US federal hate law would follow the examples of Europe, Canada, and Australia where Christian pastors have been indicted simply for quoting politically incorrect Scripture in their sermons. Iceland's Orwellian hate law, for example, promises two years' jail if you verbally "insult" a person on the basis of their nationality, skin color, race, religion, or sexual orientation.
If a federal hate law were passed, free expression across the political spectrum would be threatened. What would happen to blasphemous art like Piss Christ or South Park, to Ann Coulter or Al Franken, to Christians protesting sodomy or homosexuals attacking the Bible? Every American, from left-leaning feminists to red state Republicans, should protest "anti-hate" legislation. If Rosie O'Donnell were an Icelander, she could have been prosecuted for verbal "assault" for her recent statement that radical Christianity is as dangerous as radical Islam. Political activists in nations with hate laws have already been indicted for criticizing Islam, Zionism, and homosexuality. Hate laws threaten your freedom to speak your mind, no matter what's on it.
Here are some of the most powerful, bipartisan reasons to fight this legislation.
1. Speech bans are a political weapon used by those in power to silence their opponents and politically unpopular minorities.
Hate laws empower the government to enforce the orthodoxy of whoever happens to be in charge. The government can define which biases or "hatreds" are unacceptable and which are okay. For instance, hate laws in our PC age allow women to derogate men but would silence men from legitimate (though possibly hurtful) speech like a discussion of biological gender differences.
In 2004 Swedish feminist Joanna Rytel wrote a hate-filled screed published in a major daily. Her article describes white men as arrogant, sex-obsessed and exploitative, explaining that Rytel just wants to "puke" on them. Stockholm authorities refused to indict Rytel under their hate law, saying it was passed to protect ethnic minorities, not white Swedes. This is one example of speech bans' uneven enforcement; they are used to punish certain kinds of hate and allow others.
Because almost every exercise of free speech offends someone, government officials would end up enforcing speech bans on the basis of their own bias. Speech bans simply can't be evenhanded unless everyone is shut up altogether.
In the real world, speech can and does wound. That's a cost of life. We naturally resent painful realities like economic competition, unfair comments, and hard work. But in each case, the cures we've tried were far worse than the sickness. Speech bans might censor some hurtful speech but would empower government to silence minorities and strip the intellectual marketplace of legitimate and needed expression-the kind that creates positive, social change precisely because it is minority and challenges the sins of the group.
2. Hate speech bans don't work.
Genuine racism and false hatreds exist in this world. Bans on hate speech, however, won't solve the problem. If you only break off a tick's body, its head will burrow deep beneath the skin. The only effective response to bad ideas is the truth. We should combat falsehoods with more and freer discussion, not less.
3. Hate laws aren't necessary.
ADL claims an epidemic of hate sweeps America that can only be fought with stiffened penalties for bias-driven crimes. Yet the FBI's 2005 Uniform Crime Report shows alleged hate crimes form a tiny 1/15 of 1 percent of all crime in America. Law enforcers' time would be far better spent fighting the 99.85 percent of crime that's happening every minute across our nation rather than getting entangled in discerning and testifying against the perceived motivations of a tiny minority of criminals.
Hate laws would require vast government bureaucracies, complicate law enforcement, and distract police and prosecutors from dealing with actual physical crimes. Government and law enforcement should focus on criminal acts, not words or motivations, in a nation where someone is murdered every 22 minutes, raped every 5, robbed every 49 seconds and burgled every 10 seconds. Discerning and prosecuting criminal motivations would only be a good plan if law enforcers had God's omniscience and time to waste. Ours have neither.
4. Hate speech bans are unconstitutional.
Because the First Amendment underwrites our most precious civil liberty, the US Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled against speech bans. In 1972 the Court declared, "[A]bove all else, the First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its contents." (Police Department of Chicago v. Mosley, 408 U.S. 92)
Some forms of speech are restricted; these include threats and "fighting words" that incite "an immediate breach of peace." But these restrictions are (and must remain) extremely narrow and content-neutral-the government is not allowed to censor speech based on the viewpoint it expresses but only on whether it constitutes an immediate threat. Hate laws, however, would punish the viewpoints expressed in speech, in violation of the Constitution.
International use of ADL-designed hate laws shows that the first kinds of speech to be sanctioned are extreme right, white nationalist speech and Holocaust reductionism. The average person is slow to defend such speech. But hate laws quickly broaden to punish forms of expression the average citizen would never dream of stifling. Sweden's 2002 modified hate law, for example, explicitly exposes Christian sermons to prosecution!
All forms of controversial political and religious speech are potentially vulnerable to prosecution under hate laws. This contradicts Supreme Court Justice Holmes Jr. who said in 1929, "[I]f there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment [loyal defense] than any other, it is the principle of free thought-not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought we hate."
5. Speech bans will be used against the very minorities they were meant to protect.
Speech bans silence some to protect the feelings of others. But when the government has power to silence expression that power can be wielded against the very people who once enjoyed its protection. Liberals, the champions of unrestrained speech in the 1960s, now vote as a bloc in Congress to support speech restrictions. Yet already in countries such as Canada, England and Australia, leftist critics of Islam have become the victims of hate laws, indicted for religious "hate speech."
Leftist artists Rowan Atkinson and Salman Rushdie realize hate laws don't just threaten white nationalists like David Duke but liberals as well- they recently fought for revision of Britain's hate law because it could be used to outlaw art that blasphemes or criticizes religion. Atkinson and Rushdie are just a few of hate laws' leftist critics who know that persons of all political persuasions have a stake in defeating this legislation.
6. Speech bans chill legitimate and valuable speech.
Under the threat of possible indictment, many people will refrain from discussing controversial but important ideas. Speech bans are often broad and vague, leaving citizens unsure what might get them hauled into court.
This is what has happened in American workplaces, where hostile work environment law has left many employees unsure what they can say. Many Americans avoid all controversial speech and voluntarily refrain from exercising First Amendment rights at work. Hate laws would extend this dangerous minefield to the national political scene.
Legal philosopher Edmond Cahn points out that speech bans would leave our bookshelves empty. "[T]he officials could begin by prosecuting anyone who distributes the Christian gospels, because they contain many defamatory statements not only about Jews but also about ChristiansThen the officials could ban Greek literature for calling the rest of the world "barbarians." Roman authors could be suppressed because when they were not defaming the Gallic and Teutonic tribes, they were disparaging the ItaliansThen there is Shakespeare, who openly affronts the French, the Welsh, the Danes" (Beyond the Burning Cross, E. Cleary, Random House, 1994)
7. Speech bans greatly reduce the possibility of healthy, democratic change.
Criminalizing speech that expresses "hate" or "bias" would require us to outlaw history's most valuable speech, especially the political and religious speech that threatens social stasis and ignites progress.
Aggressive speech is often the only tool available to political, social, or religious minorities whose access to government lobbying and mass media is limited. Those agitating for social change often need to use inflammatory and even "hateful" language to startle the public into hearing their message. Socrates compared himself to a horsefly biting the lazy flanks of his republic. We should certainly know enough by now to prefer the annoyance of stinging speech (even when we don't see its value) to a tyrannical majority that plods, unchallenged, toward slavery.
Americans are so used to our mudslinging, no-holds-barred political discourse that we find it hard to envision the way freedom of speech could disappear. But the freedom we enjoy is extremely rare in history, and quickly lost. Free expression for intellectuals is the first thing to go when tyrants rise to power; the history of oppressive regimes makes it clear that freedom of political speech is a delicate exception and the overarching tendency is for majorities or elites to get power and silence all opposition.
8. The government's interest in reducing violent crime does not outweigh our interest in preserving civil liberty.
Hate law advocates including the ADL argue that hateful speech incites violence, and appeal to the government's interest in reducing violent crime. But it would be unfair to ban, for instance, white racist speech or Christian sermons against homosexuality without also banning the plethora of other speech that might incite crime. Gangsta rap and videogames would be open to censure; we would also have to ban pornography, especially sadomasochistic porn, which certainly inspires violence against women.
Yet bans against these kinds of speech have been repeatedly declared unconstitutional. The government has an interest in lowering violent crime of all stripes but has always found the value of the First Amendment to be greater. It's unjust to argue that a few kinds of speech must be banned because they possibly incite violence (e.g., criticism of Jewish actions or homosexuality) yet permit huge categories of speech (violent sexual entertainment) that do the same. This would happen, however, under hate laws' unequal and partial enforcement. The ADL is not truly driven by the desire to reduce violent crime but rather to enforce a social and political orthodoxy.
Instead of passing a hate law that would shatter the First Amendment and impossibly complicate law enforcement, people concerned with hate-driven crimes should focus on improving our existing justice system and making sure hard crimes don't go unpunished.
9. Speech bans are offensively paternalistic.
They presume we can't think for ourselves, reject racist or hateful ideas for ourselves, or deal with the hurt caused by others' free expression. Are we such children that we need the government to cover our ears? Speech bans especially condescend toward the minorities they portray as helpless victims whose feelings must be sheltered from ideas they can't combat in a free intellectual market.
10. Speech bans permit government to do something an individual could not morally do.
Frederic Bastiat's classic treatise on The Law says government exists only to prevent injustice by defending our basic rights to person, liberty, and property. Government does not exist to guarantee our economic outcomes, redistribute our wealth, or protect our psyches. Speech bans would empower government to silence individuals by force. This is immoral whether it's one person silencing another person or the government silencing a fringe group of dissenters. Human fallibility requires at least enough humility to allow others to question, challenge, and dissent from our ideas. John Stuart Mill explains, "If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
11. Speech bans deny self-determination and individual freedom by criminalizing self-expression.
By censoring speech, hate laws censor thought and restrict our access to ideas. This is the essence of mind control. They deny the personal growth that comes from sharing ideas-including hateful, prejudiced, or false ideas-and having them challenged in a free intellectual marketplace.
Hate law speech bans have been repeatedly declared unconstitutional and would rend the very foundation of our freedom and democracy. Far from combating hate, The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act is actually the most hateful and enslaving legislation to ever reach Congress; it would invade states' rights in law enforcement, enabling a hate crimes bureaucracy to police our thoughts and expression. Government could censor by force all speech that dissents from the reigning orthodoxy. Every American must speak up now in defense of the freedom for which our forefathers gave their very lives.
Freedom of expression is one of the most fundamental rights that individuals enjoy. It is fundamental to the existence of democracy and the respect of human dignity. It is also one of the most dangerous rights, because freedom of expression means the freedom to express one's discontent with the status quo and the desire to change it. As such, it is one of the most threatened rights, with governments - and even human rights groups - all over the world constantly trying to curtail it.
Make your voice heard today or it will be silenced tomorrow.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government. . . lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
"Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle! Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
Edward R. Murrow
"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it."
"“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”
"You measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists."
Martin Luther King Jr.
"An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law. "