Book Reco: Individual Rights and Government Wrongs by Brian Phillips

Individual Rights and Government Wrongs

An excerpt from the Introduction to Individual Rights and Government Wrongs.

This book was written for those who love the United States of America and the principles upon which it was founded.

America was founded on an ideology—the right of each individual to his own life, his own liberty, and the pursuit of his own happiness. As philosopher Leonard Peikoff writes: “America is the only country in history created not by meaningless warfare or geographic accident, but deliberately, on the basis of certain fundamental ideas.”[1] The Founding Fathers sought to establish a form of government that, unlike monarchy, theocracy, and the mob rule of democracy, recognizes and protects individual rights.

The Founders were intellectual men, widely read in the ideas of the Enlightenment. They were also practical men, concerned with the problems of life on earth. Their great achievement was transforming the ideas of the Enlightenment into a practical socio-economic system—capitalism.  Read more…

[1] Leonard Peikoff, “Assault from the Ivory Tower: The Professors’ War Against America,” in The Voice of Reason (New York: Meridian, 1989), p. 187.

Milton Friedman and Social Security Taxes

Agreeing with the economist Milton Friedman,

“one of the things that have always shocked me is how people, whom I would have trust with my pocket book in their private capacity and of whom I would never question their integrity, will in their public capacity -because they believe it is in the best interest of other people- lie to the American People.”

And this is exactly what happens with Social Security in the U.S. and with the immense Nanny State in Europe and with the corrupt welfare systems of Latin America; all of which I have been able of knowing.  I invite you to take a look to this short video of Milton Friedman (1975) explaining how the Social Security taxes are fundamentally a lose-lose option for employees, employers and society.

From One Prohibition to Another (1933-2011)

On December 05, 1933 the Prohibition on the production and commercialization of Alcohol was finally over in the United States when Utah became the 36th U.S. state to ratify the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution. Thus establishing the required 75% of states needed to enact the amendment (this overturned the 18th Amendment which had made the manufacturing, transportation, import, export, sale, and consumption of alcohol and alcoholic beverages illegal in the United States).

Since then, the alcohol industry (widely hated and considered evil before 1933) started developing into one of the most successful industries of the modern world.  The access to competition ignited an immense diversification of marketing, production and commercialization strategies that improved the quality, safety, additives and capabilities of the previous distilled liquors.

By 2010 The world’s five biggest alcohol companies by market cap had their hubs in Beligum Anheuser-Busch Inbev (BUD), Brazil (Companhia de Bebidas das Américas (AMBEV) (ABV); United Kingdom (Diageo plc (DEO), The Netherlands (Heineken (HINKY.PK) and France (Pernod-Ricard (PDRDF.PK).  And the industry gives provides with jobs to millions of workers around the globe.

Today, in 2011 we face a different but at the same time similar Prohibition of a product.  I refer to the research, production, industrialization and commercialization of controlled drugs (marihuana, cocaine, etc.) that has been condemned by world government with the same irrational argument once used with alcohol.

Because of this Prohibition on Drugs; the world is facing a Trillionaire war leaded by the United States politicians who profit from it. More so, millions of jobs are lost every day and in the countries in which it is produced and stored before reaching the final markets the chaos reigns (for just one story of how this chaos come into being check: The Drug War in Guatemala: A Conversation with Giancarlo Ibarguen).

Let us learn from history and save our children and future generations from committing the same mistakes.

Protect IP Act and Internet

A copyright protects a men’s mind contribution in The purest form: ie. in the the origination of ideas. This protection allows for men to freely decide what to do with his creation: give it for free, authorize some uses of it (Creative Commons), prohibit any use of it, sell the rights to the use of the idea.

Now, this recognition of Intellectual Property automatically gives to the owner a value that he can exchange for a specific amount of money and/or recognition. To the owner, this may be the stimulus for which he made the effort of creating and innovating. Also, there are many other retributions and stimulus for men to create. F.A. Hayek mentions that it is for the sake of creation that some intellectuals work and not only for the $. He made a valid point and usually this creator give for free or with some free of charge rights the use of their ideas (via CC like in this blog).

I was shared a video that claims that,

“PROTECT-IP is a bill that has been introduced in the Senate and the House and is moving quickly through Congress. It gives the government and corporations the ability to censor the net, in the name of protecting “creativity”. The law would let the government or corporations censor entire sites– they just have to convince a judge that the site is “dedicated to copyright infringement.”

The government has already wrongly shut down sites without any recourse to the site owner. Under this bill, sharing a video with anything copyrighted in it, or what sites like Youtube and Twitter do, would be considered illegal behavior according to this bill.”

Now, censorship is “the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the general body of people as determined by a government, media outlet, or other controlling body.” You could argue that it is censorship what government officials do when they put fines or take to jail those who are violating copyright rights. But also, you can argue in a higher hierarchy that yes, the officials are taking your right to “disseminate” speech and knowledge because you are violating the rights to property of other members of society. (Remember that private property is stil one of the rights that Americans haven’t managed to completely destroy… but after Patriot Act passed, anything is now possible and the socialization of Property is soon to happen there if nothing changes.)

Now the fallacious error of this video and of the claim of those who consider that Acts like this are violating men’s right to Speech can be found in the initial argument: “PROTECT IP Act is breaking internet”

Why is this fallacious?

It is a false argument because it starts by considering “Property as a non essential characteristic of the entity “Internet“. ie. They start by giving for granted that Internet lacks property rights and that it is only “Internet” when access is collective and a so called public good”. Now, the property rights or non property rights of internet are accessorial characteristics that are determined in context. For example, a chair could have different colors and still be a chair; internet could have private rights in some things and lack property rights in others but still be Internet.

Just as in radio-telecommunication spectrum legislation; If someone (a company) pays the rights of use of internet from other company or government grant and this company decides to restricts the access to the network, connections, websites, etc they have acquired a right to do so.

This private right to do whatever you please in your website enables you to do anything except violating other people’s rights. Since we still consider IP to be an inalienable right, those websites that violate it should be held responsible. That would not be censorship but the recognition of a violation of rights done by a website. That is what the PROTECT IP Act aims to do.

China Is Asked for Investment in Euro Rescue

Euro
Image by Images_of_Money via Flickr

A new chapter is being written in the History of Money, Bank and Credit as news of how European leaders are asking for China to rescue them from the chaos they created. I wish this guys reconsidered before continue acting some of the most important principles of Deficit Financing, Freedom, Inflation, Money, Property Rights, Savings, Welfare State, Consumption, Credit; Gold Standard, Market Value, Objective Theory of Values, Production, Purchasing Power, Sanction of the Victim, Selfishness and the Trader Principle just to mention a few before going on making more business that en debts their country’s economy while make their citizens poorer.

And as Ayn Rand cleverly mentioned in regard to Deficit Financing,

The government has no source of revenue, except the taxes paid by the producers. To free itself—for a while—from the limits set by reality, the government initiates a credit con game on a scale which the private manipulator could not dream of. It borrows money from you today, which is to be repaid with money it will borrow from you tomorrow, which is to be repaid with money it will borrow from you day after tomorrow, and so on. This is known as “deficit financing.” It is made possible by the fact that the government cuts the connection between goods and money. It issues paper money, which is used as a claim check on actually existing goods—but that money is not backed by any goods, it is not backed by gold, it is backed by nothing. It is a promissory note issued to you in exchange for your goods, to be paid by you (in the form of taxes) out of your future production.

“Egalitarianism and Inflation,”
Philosophy: Who Needs It, 133

Read more of this news:

PARIS — A day after European leaders unveiled their latest plan to save the euro, top officials opened talks with China in an effort to lure tens of billions of dollars in additional cash, giving China perhaps its biggest opportunity yet to exercise financial clout in the Western world.

China is expected to demand significant concessions, including financial guarantees and limits on what Beijing sees as discriminatory trade policies, in exchange for any investment in Europe’s emergency stability fund. The head of the rescue fund, Klaus Regling, got a cautious reply from Chinese officials Friday during a visit to Beijing, where he said he did not expect to reach an investment deal with China anytime soon.

A senior Chinese official, Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao, said China — like the rest of the world — was still waiting for the Europeans to deliver crucial details on how the rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, would operate and be profitable before deciding on whether to participate. via: China Is Asked for Investment in Euro Rescue by Liz Alderman and David Barboza.

Video: A History of Economic Booms and Busts

When an economy falls into a recession, we typically observe a cluster of people making similar investment mistakes.  According to historian Stephen Davies, these investment errors occur because governments or central banks manipulate the supply of money. These manipulations place artificial downward pleasure on interest rates, creating false signals that entice individuals to invest in what end up being unprofitable ventures. Booms and busts are not a new phenomenon of this century, but rather, have occurred throughout history both in America and around the globe.

via:

Againts Greed and Crony Capitalism

Morality
Image by tdietmut via Flickr

“This economic system that they call Capitalism has no moral or ethical core to it.” Michael Moore

This time, the American Sensationalist Director Michael Moore was right. He explained in one sentence what thousands of men are right now protesting against in the streets and we support them. Why?

Capitalism is a social system that is based upon the foundations of individual freedom, respect for individual rights and property rights, and reason as man’s only mean to achieve their goals.  However, the current economic, political and economic system in which large parts of the world are now living is not really a Capitalist economy.

The correct name for this system is “crony capitalism” and its foundations are privileges, irrational greed, expropriation, and violation of human rights (individual rights and the rights to property). It is this system that we need to fight against and fight a moral revolution against to.  In the following video, you’ll hear a wonderful explanation of what that Irrational Greed is all about. The second video, is very interesting and portrays an interesting image of how TNCs (Transnational Corporations) have established Billion Worth Business all over the world without caring for what should matter most to them: Their Consumers.

I hope you enjoy them and understand that we are together in this fight,

Video: Milton Friedman On what is commonly understood as greed and on what is the result of ethical profit (via: Casey Hendrickson)

Stossel On Crony Capitalism Part 1/6