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World’s Poor: “We Want Capitalism” PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Iain Murray   
Thursday, 03 September 2015 07:37

In the forests of India, something exciting is going on. Villagers are regaining property taken from them when the British colonial authorities nationalized their forests. Just as exciting, in urban Kenya and elsewhere, people are doing away with the need for banks by exchanging and saving their money digitally. All over the world, poor people are discovering the blessings of bottom-up capitalism.

Sadly, though, developed-country governments and anti-poverty activists ignore this fact and insist that developing nations need a paternalistic hand up. Both are missing an opportunity, because there are billions of capitalists in waiting at the bottom of the pyramid.

Later this month, the United Nations will formally announce the successors to its Millennium Development Goals, the global body’s approach to poverty alleviation since the year 2000. These new goals will be touted as “sustainable.” The event will coincide with a visit by the pope, at which he is expected to concentrate on climate change and materialism as the greatest threats to the welfare of the people of the developing world.

Don’t expect to hear much on the way people in the Western world lifted themselves out of poverty: free-market capitalism.

 
Abortion: The “Rape and Incest Exception” is Demagoguery PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Thomas L. Knapp   
Wednesday, 26 August 2015 13:50

Whenever abortion comes up in a political context, pro-choice advocates highlight pro-life candidates’ refusal to support a “rape and incest exception” to any proposed ban on, or regulation of, abortion. The 2016 presidential campaign is no exception. Recently CNN anchor Dana Bash handed the hot potato to former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Huckabee’s response: “A 10-year-old girl being raped is horrible. But does it solve a problem by taking the life of an innocent child? And that’s really the issue.”

Pro-choice publications predictably erupted, painting Huckabee as cold-hearted for his position. But that position flows inexorably from the logic of his larger pro-life stance, and is in fact a libertarian argument.

Notice that I said “a” libertarian argument, not “the” libertarian argument.

 
Judge Denies Homeowners Their Due Process PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Scott E. Stafne   
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 08:54

Editor’s note: While the following blog posting from Washington attorney Scott Stafne (born and raised in Bettendorf, and online at ScottStafne.com) concerns Washington state jurisdiction, it is still highly instructive for all of us on how the courts contribute to foreclosure inequities, resulting in the destruction of not only the middle class but of property rights under our Constitution.

In Washington state, there are thousands of families having their homes fraudulently foreclosed on, most without due process from the courts – which are tasked with protecting due process under the state and federal constitutions. Recently an appeals judge in Washington ruled in favor of bypassing due process, further enabling nonjudicial foreclosures.

Nonjudicial foreclosures allow a lender to foreclose on a property without a court proceeding. The only way for an owner to fight this type of foreclosure is to file a lawsuit. Often, nonjudicial foreclosures occur without the participation, or even knowledge, of the owners(s). Only 32 states permit nonjudicial foreclosures. While Iowa and Illinois are not among them, Iowa has a provision known as “alternative nonjudicial foreclosure,” which permits the owner(s) to request a nonjudicial foreclosure to avoid court (RCReader.com/y/foreclosure1).

It is important to understand these remedies that exist for lenders and how they impact property owners’ rights, because legislators could eventually allow their use without us (Iowans and Illinoisans) knowing, especially if we are not paying attention. Most mortgages contain language that provides mortgagees’ consent to these remedies, but sadly most buyers are clueless about what they are actually agreeing to.

 
Keep Your Hands Off My Raisins: Court Invalidates Antiquated Raisin Grab PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by John A. Sparks   
Friday, 17 July 2015 08:03

Laura and Marvin Horne are raisin farmers. Early one morning in 2002, a truck appeared at their business, and the drivers demanded a whopping 47 percent of their raisin crop. The truck was sent by the federal government, and those demanding the Hornes’ raisin crop claimed to be operating under a “marketing order” first put in place in 1937 as part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s effort to shore up agricultural prices. Amazingly, this antiquated scheme lasted for more than 65 years – well past the agricultural crisis of the Great Depression.

By 2002, the Hornes had endured enough of these raisin grabs. They refused to turn over nearly half of their crop. The federal government assessed a fine of $480,000 for the missing raisins and another $200,000 in civil penalties against the Hornes. The Hornes fought the government through the courts and finally landed in the U.S. Supreme Court.

 
The Death Penalty: The Ultimate Corrupt, Big-Government Program PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Ron Paul   
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 05:00

Nebraska’s legislature recently made headlines when it ended the state’s death penalty. Many found it odd that a conservatives-dominated legislature would support ending capital punishment, since conservative politicians have traditionally supported the death penalty. However, an increasing number of conservatives are realizing that the death penalty is inconsistent with both fiscal and social conservatism. These conservatives are joining with libertarians and liberals in a growing anti-death-penalty coalition.

It is hard to find a more wasteful and inefficient government program than the death penalty. New Hampshire recently spent more than $4 million prosecuting just two death penalty cases, while Jasper County in Texas raised property taxes by 7 percent to pay for one death-penalty case! A Duke University study found that replacing North Carolina’s death penalty would save taxpayers approximately $22 million in just two years.

Death-penalty cases are expensive because sentencing someone to death requires two trials. The first trial determines the accused person’s guilt, while the second trial determines if the convicted individual “deserves” the death penalty. A death sentence is typically followed by years of appeals, and sometimes the entire case is retried.

Despite all the time and money spent to ensure that no one is wrongly executed, the system is hardly foolproof. Since 1973, one out of every 10 individuals sentenced to death has been released from death row because of evidence discovered after conviction.

 
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