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The Folly of Blindly Trusting the Government PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by James Bovard   
Tuesday, 15 June 2010 07:29

Democracy breeds gullibility. Lord Bryce observed in 1921, "State action became less distrusted the more the State itself was seen to be passing under popular control." The rise of democracy made it much easier for politicians to convince people that government posed no threat, because they automatically controlled its actions. The result is that the brakes on government power become weakest at the exact time that politicians are most dangerous.

Blind trust becomes a substitute for informed consent. But mass trust in government compounds the political damage brought about by pervasive ignorance.

The bias in favor of trusting government brings out democracy's worst tendencies. The normal defenses that people would have against alien authority are undermined by a chorus of politicians and government officials continually reminding people that government is themselves, and they cannot distrust the government without distrusting themselves.

America Needs Union Competition PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Mark W. Hendrickson   
Wednesday, 09 June 2010 05:15

I agree with President Barack Obama that we need more labor unions. However, I disagree with his approach.

Full disclosure: I have been a dues-payer to both the United Auto Workers (UAW) and the National Education Association (NEA) unions. My sympathies are heavily tilted toward the interests of the men and women who do the work that makes America go.

For that reason, I strongly oppose the dishonestly named "Employee Free Choice Act," which aims to deprive workers of secret ballots when voting for or against union representation. You don't benefit workers by stripping them of basic democratic protections.

A Manifesto on the “Manifesto” PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Paul Kengor   
Tuesday, 04 May 2010 05:40

I knew the time would come. America's public schools and ideologically monolithic universities have spawned a generation woefully uninformed in the most elementary facts about free markets, socialism, and communism. Personally, after teaching this material for years, I'm getting an inordinate number of questions about communism in particular, as that word is bandied about like crazy -- the result of America's decisive lurch leftward since the election of November 2008.

There's so much to say, especially about communism in practice, where the story is unprecedented misery: a death toll of 100 million to 140 million human beings since 1917. That's twice the combined corpses of World War I and World War II.

But what about communism as a theory?

Your Servant Government: The More You Make, The More They Take PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Bradley Harrington   
Thursday, 15 April 2010 05:00

(Editor's note: This is a sidebar to the editorial " Is Your Government Your Servant or Your Master?" This package also includes the sidebar "The 'Contract' and 'Articles' on the Income Tax.")

"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors ... and miss." - Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love

Your Servant GovernmentWhen Karl Marx and Frederich Engels published The Communist Manifesto back in 1848, they considered the implementation of the philosophy of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" to be so absolutely essential to the establishment of a socialist-communist state that it was given the number-two spot in the Ten Planks: "A heavy progressive or graduated income tax."

So essential, indeed, that only the first Plank superseded it: "Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes."

As another April 15 passes us by, and the Internal Revenue Service proceeds yet one more time to pillage a substantial fraction of the wealth created by the producers of the United States, I can't help but wonder just how many people truly grasp the collectivistic principles that underlie the income tax.

Health Care Reform: We’re Being Fooled Again PDF Print E-mail
Commentary/Politics - Guest Commentaries
Written by Sheldon Richman   
Thursday, 25 March 2010 13:52

The medical system does need reforming -- radical reforming. It's more expensive than it ought to be, and powerful interests prosper at the expense of the rest of us. The status quo has little about it to be admired, and we shouldn't tolerate it.

Thus, the American people should be fed up with Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid for insulting our intelligence with their so-called heath-care reform. It is nothing of the sort. What they call progressive reform is little more than reinforcement of the exploitative system we suffer today.

Whether intentionally or not, Obama and company have misdiagnosed the problem with the current system and therefore have issued a toxic prescription as an alleged cure. They essentially say that the problem is too free a market in medical care and insurance; thus for them the solution is a less-free market -- that is, more government direction of our health-care-related activities.

Yet if the diagnosis is wrong -- which it is -- the prescription will also be wrong.

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