Thursday, August 31, 2006

More Canadian Opposition to SPP

In a previous post, "Canadians Against SPP," I noted Canadian opposition to the plan ("Security and Prosperity Partnership," [SPP]) to merge Mexico, the U.S. and Canada into a new "North American Union," or "United States of North America," or whatever it will be called:

Vive le Canada - Harper Not Just Americanizing, But Abolishing Canada

The title indicates that these Canadians fear that the architects of this merger are fronting for the American corporations they serve ("Americanizing"), but the greater danger, a danger that we as Americans face as well, is the abolition of Canada and the U.S. as sovereign nations.

The SPP is not just about trade, it's about creating a new government, to replace the government created by the Constitution.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Jim Rutz on Democide

Jim Rutz gave me a tip of the hat in his most recent WorldNetDaily article.

"Hitler murdered 6 million Jews," we often hear. But Hitler didn't dirty his own hands with the deed. Millions of Germans worked to murder millions of other Germans. "I was just following orders."

70 million were murdered under Mao, an extraordinary mass-murderer. But that only means that millions of ordinary Chinese were willing to murder millions of other Chinese.

It's the willingness to "follow orders," the willingness to initiate force against others, that Libertarians must be battling -- in the hearts and minds of millions of people.

This isn't just a political campaign for office that will end on November 7, 2006. This is a campaign for the next step in human "cultural evolution." Human beings must come to believe that it's not OK to be part of "the government."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Neglected Anniversary

Thanks to Cato Craft of Radio Free Liberty for the reminder that yesterday was the 14th anniversary of the Ruby Ridge incident. I had never seen this video. More info.

"Remember Ruby Ridge" by Timothy Lynch, director of the Cato Institute's Project on Criminal Justice.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

More SPP Deception

In my last post I introduced a new addition to the SPP.gov website: a "Myths and Facts" page that seeks to debunk all the "conspiracy theories" circulating on the internet.

In this post we'll consider another "myth" debunked by the SPP Ministry of Truth.

Myth: The SPP is a movement to merge the United States, Mexico, and Canada into a North American Union and establish a common currency.
Fact: The cooperative efforts under the SPP, which can be found in detail at http://www.spp.gov/, seek to make the United States, Canada and Mexico open to legitimate trade and closed to terrorism and crime. It does not change our courts or legislative processes and respects the sovereignty of the United States, Mexico, and Canada. The SPP in no way, shape or form considers the creation of a European Union-like structure or a common currency. The SPP does not attempt to modify our sovereignty or currency or change the American system of government designed by our Founding Fathers.

Let's look at the claim that the SPP "does not change our courts." This is deception. What the SPP does is set up "tribunals" that have the power to overrule U.S. Courts. This power already exists under NAFTA, and the power is strengthened under the SPP.

In April 2004, a NAFTA tribunal overruled U.S. courts in a dispute between a Canadian and an American firm. Chapter 11 of the agreement gives NAFTA courts power over U.S. Courts. Abner Mikva was a U.S. Congessman and also a federal appeals court judge, and is now a judge in a NAFTA court. Mikva commented on this provision, "If Congress had known that there was anything like this in NAFTA, they would never have voted for it." The attitude expressed by Mikva should awaken all of America's leaders to the sovereignty issue.

But it won't. Many "leaders" will simply go along with NAFTA courts. When the California Legislature passed a bill last year to help the state dispose of millions of scrap tires by recycling them into asphalt for road construction, Mexican rubber producers claimed this was a violation of NAFTA. Gov. Schwarzenegger, citing the supposed supremacy of NAFTA, vetoed the bill.

The government seeks to deceive us. It cannot be trusted.

Some people will criticize me for saying this. But John Adams wrote in 1772:

There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government
ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the
public liberty."

Should libertarians have more confidence in their government? Thomas Jefferson, 1799:

Confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism. Free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy, and not confidence, which prescribes limited constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power.… In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.

James Madison warned the people of Virginia (1799):

the nation which reposes on the pillow of political confidence, will
sooner or later end its political existence in a deadly lethargy.

Madison added in Federalist No. 55,

[T]here is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of
circumspection and distrust. . . .

Trusting government, having "confidence in government," is un-American. Having trust in the SPP-created North American Union and its organs of disinformation is suicidal.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

SPP Deception

This past March 31, the White House (WhiteHouse.gov) posted a webpage entitled, The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America: Next Steps.

Now this sounds like the "first" step or steps have already been taken, and we're ready to move on to the next steps. The first sentence of the webpage describes the initial step that was taken in 2005:
The three leaders of North America agreed to advance the agenda of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) by focusing on five high priority initiatives.
Those "initiatives" -- the "next steps" -- are then listed. Together with other documents, such as "Building a North American Community: Report of the Independent Task Force on the Future of North America," which propose a new intergovernmental structure consisting of such institutions as an "inter-parliamentary" institution, "a permanent tribunal" "that would replace the ad hoc dispute settlement mechanisms that were in NAFTA," and other institutions that have an executive function, these "steps" represent nothing short of the creation of a new system of government. All those who did not sleep through Civics 101 can see the outlines of the three branches of government, which this new "Partnership" will create. A moderator (New York Times correspondent Anthony DePalma) of a panel proposing this new regional government structure summed up these steps nicely:
DEPALMA: Thank you, Bob. I won’t go over all ... of those recommendations, but among them are the North American advisory council, the creation of an inter-parliamentary group, and a permanent tribunal to deal with NAFTA disputes.
Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.

These kinds of documents have recently ignited an explsion of controversy on the Internet among people who have been opposed to the idea of the U.S. and Mexico merging into a "North American Union" for over a decade, and specifically over the agreement reached in 2005 between Bush, Fox, and Martin to "establish" the "Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America."

It was only a matter of time before the SPP decided to attempt to defuse the controversy, or as a writer for the Kansas City Star described it, the "flood of conspiracy charges." So the official SPP government website now has a "Myths and Facts" page which attempts to refute these "conspiracy theories" with a series of "Myth vs. Fact" couplets. The first couplet sets the tone:
Myth: The SPP was an agreement signed by Presidents Bush and his Mexican and Canadian counterparts in Waco, TX, on March 23, 2005.

Fact: The SPP is a dialogue to increase security and enhance prosperity among the three countries. The SPP is not an agreement nor is it a treaty. In fact, no agreement was ever signed.
"What's all this talk about a new government?" they seem to be saying. "We never signed an agreement to create a new government! No agreement has ever been signed. This is all just a big CONSPIRACY THEORY!"

This is calculated deception. It is evidence of a fundamental self-deception on the part of the government agency or bureaucrat who wrote this webpage, or it is evidence of a malignant corruption of ethics.

OK, so it was a "Gentlemen's Agreement." Nothing signed. The White House website linked at the top of this post admits there was an agreement, and boasts about all the progress made along the path that was "agreed" upon.

Billy and his sister are fighting, and Billy pokes Sis in the eye. She runs to Mommy, "Billy hit me!" Billy says "I didn't hit her!" The next-door neighbor, who witnessed the conflict, confirms Sis' story. Under pressure, Billy confesses, "I didn't hit her, I poked her." And the Mexican, Canadian and U.S. governments didn't sign an agreement, so you don't have to worry about a thing, and shouldn't listen to all those crackpot "conspiracy theories."

I love the word "dialogue." Few words set off more red flags. It's perfect for this slimy unethical government propaganda. The SPP is not an "agreement," it's a "dialogue." Use that line in an SPP court ("tribunal") when Missouri Law is overridden by SPP laws, and your company is ordered to pay millions of dollars in fines.

We'll look at more of this unethical government deception in future posts.

Stop the SPP

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Canadians Against SPP

In response to yesterday's press release by the U.S. Department of State, a Canadian group called Council of Canadians (www.canadians.org) has issued a press release of their own on the Vive le Canada website.
We believe that "deep integration", also known as NAFTA plus, will harm citizens of all the North American countries by limiting democracy and enshrining corporate rights over their rights.
Both organizations have an anti-business slant, but their point is well taken. The SPP is un-democratic in the sense that those who will make and enforce the laws are completely unelected and unrepresentative.

"No taxation without Representation" was a slogan of the American Revolution. Taxes are already being levied to pay for the people who are merging the U.S. and Mexico and Canada. Taxes will be levied to pay for the NAFTA Super Highway. A Mid-Contenent SPP "SmartPort" is already being built in Kansas City with somebody's tax dollars, without anything even posing as "representation." None of these people were elected or represent the interests of Americans or Canadians or Mexicans.

Most Americans have an excuse for not opposing the SPP. After all, the MSM (MainStreamMedia) has not been reporting on the merging of the U.S. and Mexico like they reported on the American Revolution in 1776. The MSM of 1787 published "The Federalist Papers" (as we know them today), a defense of the proposed Constitution of the United States, which prompted public debate before the ratification conventions in the various states. The MSM will not publish the papers defending the new government of the United States of North America.

www.STOPtheSPP.US

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The SPP Coup d'Etat

http://usinfo.state.gov/ is a website that "delivers information about current U.S. foreign policy and about American life and culture. This site is produced and maintained by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs."

Yesterday USINFO posted a news release entitled "Business Leaders Address North American Economic Competitiveness," announcing that something called the "North American Competitiveness Council" (NACC) would be meeting today in Washington "to define priorities and discuss specific recommendations for enhancing North American competitiveness."

U.S. President Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Vicente Fox announced the creation of the NACC in March to provide recommendations on issues concerning North American competitiveness that could be addressed through the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP).

The NACC comprises high-level business leaders from each country who meet regularly with senior North American government officials ... to discuss the proposed priorities and recommended action items to be submitted to regional officials at the next SPP ministerial.

The U.S. section of the NACC, for which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Council of the Americas serve as the secretariat, developed a set of recommendations in areas including standards and regulatory cooperation, border security and infrastructure, trade facilitation and customs reform, innovation, external dimension and energy integration.

This demonstrates that the SPP, like NAFTA, CAFTA, and the FTAA, are not merely "trade" agreements. What business does the SPP have in determining what forms of energy Americans will use?

In a related article, the scope of the SPP is hinted at:
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Mexican President Vicente Fox and U.S. President George W. Bush -- in Cancún, Mexico, for a trilateral summit – told reporters that the agenda of North America's Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) will be pursued through trilateral Cabinet-level meetings on trade, environmentally responsible energy policies, immigration, border security and technological innovation.

Public health and emergency management are key issues, as well, said Harper, explaining that in addition to cooperating on SPP programs, the nations planned to "develop a coordinated and comprehensive approach to preparing for a possible avian or pandemic influenza outbreak in North America."
In other words, no area of life is outside the jurisdiction of the SPP. It is not just a "trade" organization. It is a new government, to rule over the merged nations of North America, composed of unelected leaders.

What we are witnessing is nothing short of a coup d'etat.

http://STOPtheSPP.US

Monday, August 14, 2006

Why Incumbents Always Win

Here is an excellent podcast from Cato Institute on why incumbents always win, and why multi-millionaire Ned Lamont's victory over Joe Lieberman is no exception to this rule.

But perhaps here is a better explanation:
When asked to name two of Snow White's Seven Dwarfs and two of the nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 77% of Americans polled were able to identify two dwarfs, while only 24% could name two Supreme Court Justices.

73% of those polled [were] able to name all three of The Three Stooges, while only 42% could name the three branches of government.
And guess which ones are the ones who vote!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Campaign Wiki

I received a spam from the Wikipedia people informing me of the creation of a Campaign Wiki.

I have used Wikipedia before (as have many, I deduce, since so many google searches have the Wikipedia entry at the top), but have never contributed.

I spent a few minutes looking at the Campaign Wiki, and the learning curve is too steep for me. Anybody care to walk me through the process of creating an entry for my campaign?

http://campaigns.wikia.com/wiki/Campaigns_Wikia

Thursday, August 10, 2006

There is no Button

Here I began a discussion based of Leonard Read's claim that he would "push the button" to abolish the State. I responded to one critic of this idea here. I remain a button-pusher.

But there is no button to push. So how do we get there from here? Or, more concretely, how do I persuade people to vote Libertarian?

It is important (especially for button-pushers like me) to keep in mind that even some Libertarians don't want to get "there." They are afraid of pure 100% laissez-faire capitalism (i.e., "anarcho-capitalism"). There are really two questions here. Before voters ask "How do we get there from here?" voters ask "Should we get there at all?"

I want to get there. I would "push the button" to get there. I want a world free from the crime of socialism, free from theft ("taxation"), free from senseless bureaucratic regulation.

To get there from here, candidates and campaigners like me must keep in mind that most folks are trained to react strongly against the idea of eliminating all socialism and moving to pure capitalism.

This fear is so strong, that those who are perceived as really serious about cutting government and lowering taxes (rather than just mouthing off campaign slogans) are considered "extremists" and "fanatics."

The idea of pushing the button was called "stupid"
here, in a post to a Libertarian group. A Libertarian group is where you would expect to find people ready to cut taxes and cut government. But even here you find that same emotional reaction to "anarchy." For those who are not members of the group and cannot read the post, here is how it began:

Okay, one problem here. If our principle is "no taxation" then do we have any government at all? Do we have a police force, military, court system, fire department. I'm just fine with not paying representatives (sorry to the candidates but if that's how we want it done, fine) but I rather like having a professional able to investigate crimes, a military to protect us from the islamofacists and I like my Logan Rogersville Fire Dept. I actually voted for the tax increase to pay for more firefighters, the first tax increase I've ever voted for (we are a growing area and my garden hose just isn't going to cut it if my neighbor's house catches fire). So are we against taxation? We cannot be. To be completely against taxation is stupid, and if you are completely against it then I'm not sorry to say that you are stupid. As a classical liberal I view the government as a necessary evil. It is evil, yes, but it is necessary and we must give it some leeway to maintain itself,

Three things must be said. First, we can have government without "the government"; order and safety without taxation.

  • "The government" feeds the poor.
    But the poor can be fed without taxation.
  • "The government" builds schools.
    But schools can be built without taxation.
  • "The government" builds roads.
    But roads can be built without taxation.

All these things -- charity, education, and transportation -- were at one time provided exclusively by the free market, with no government involvement.

There is no social service -- the elements of what we call "government" -- that can only be provided by "the government" and its various systems of "taxation," that is, theft. A Free Market in these services would deliver these services at a lower cost, with higher quality and efficiency, without threatening violence to those who don't pay the government's price for them. Even the services mentioned above -- "a police force, military, court system, fire department" -- can be provided without taxation.

The question is, why should we? The answer is, taxation is theft. Taking money from people under threats of force or violence is immoral.

But the libertarian writer above believes that it is "necessary" to maintain a system of institutionalized extortion in order to have our disputes adjudicated, crimes investigated, fires extinguished, and Islamofascist aggression resisted.

We can have "professionals" providing these vital services, just like we have professionals treating sickness, preparing legal instruments, and drawing up blueprints for our homes or businesses, without having these professions nationalized, i.e., seized and monopolized by the State, and funded through extortion.

Notice that our libertarian above voted to increase taxes, rather than force the government to provide these services more efficiently at a lower cost. I can only suspect that if Libertarians think and vote this way, the public at large is even more unwilling to "push the button."

Why would the average voter even consider the possibility of voting libertarian? If "libertarian" is the fellow above, who votes for more taxes, why vote for him when Democrats and (especially) Republicans have proven themselves more than willing and able to raise taxes? They will win in an election, whereas the libertarian tax-hiker will lose. Why not vote for the winning party?

The only reason someone would vote libertarian is if they want smaller government and lower taxes. I mean, really want that. Surely people know by now that even though Republicans talk about smaller government and lower taxes, they're not really going to deliver that. The only possible reason for voting libertarian is that you actually want less "government," that is, more social services at a lower price through the Free Market.

But most voters do not want this! Most voters want more "government" because "government" means social services provided "free." The great advantage of "the government" is that it claims to provide the vital social services we want, yet without our having to pay for them. The real costs are either transferred to our neighbor, or postponed into a future we don't have to deal with right now. The popular perception is (1) only the government, and not the Free Market, can provide certain essential social services, and (2) somehow, I can benefit from these services without having to pay for them personally. "Something for nothing."

Before people will vote libertarian, they must be persuaded that (1) less government means a better standard of living for me -- in every area of life -- and (2) even if I could get something for myself by having my neighbor (or my grandchildren) pay for it, government extortion (or deficit spending) is immoral.

In other words, few people will vote Libertarian unless they're convinced that we must get there from here.

If the government has proven itself to be the only way to provide the most vital and essential social services, why can it not be trusted to provide services which are not as vital? Why all this talk about "cutting" an institution which has proven itself to be so necessary? As long as a voter believes that government is "necessary," the possibility of voting for someone who is committed to cutting government will be seen as "dangerous."

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Stiff Competition

I was understandably up late last night checking the returns on yesterday's primary.

I faced stiff competition.

NOBODY was running against me.

During the campaign I heard the same line from voter after voter:
Kevin, you're a nice guy and all that, but NOBODY is running against you, and I've always felt that NOBODY knows how to spend my money better than I do, and NOBODY knows how to run my business better than I do, and NOBODY should have the power to remove "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" from our local school classrooms. If you're elected, can you do as good a job as NOBODY can do?
I say, "I'll try my hardest."

But that just wasn't good enough.

NOBODY got more votes than I did.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Hiroshima / Nagasaki

Yesterday marked the 61st anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. Wednesday will mark the anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki.

This is a truly horrifying anniversary. A generation that has a memory of the event is dying, and is being replaced by one that has no appreciation of its significance.

Only the United States has obliterated hundreds of thousands of non-combatant civilians with a single nuclear bomb.

The use of nuclear weapons against Japan has been justified on the grounds that a larger number of people would have died had the bombs not been used. This claim has been refuted by a number of writers, summed up here. The net result of U.S. intervention in Asia from 1940-1950 was the enslavement of a billion people to communism, and the murder of tens of millions. Prof R.J. Rummel says that communist democide in China totals 77 million. That does not include the millions of unborn slaughtered by a forced-abortion policy.

Americans sat on their hands as the federal government made friends with "Uncle Joe" Stalin and that "Agrarian Reformer," Mao Tse Tung. Americans did nothing when the federal government gave military aid to the Taliban and Saddam Hussein in the 1980's

Americans can no longer be apathetic and silent. The U.S. federal government was the greatest force for death and totalitarianism in the 20th century. If we fail to internalize this fact, the 21st century will be a bloodbath.

I agree with Richard McSorley: It's a sin to build a nuclear weapon. Such weapons inescapably murder innocent non-combatant civilians. No political or military theory can justify this.

Future generations will look back at the United States not as the keeper of peace, but as the bringer of destruction.

Thoughtful articles on the use of nuclear weapons by the U.S. in Japan can be found at LewRockwell.com.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

On Pushing the Button

Yesterday I mentioned Leonard Read's proposal to "push the button" if a button existed to eliminate "the government." Here is a response to that idea:
An interesting thought experiment, that. All coercion ends tomorrow. There is no national defense, no police, no courts. Further, there is no way to enforce contracts, save individuals taking matters into their own hands. All transit systems stop. All airline travel stops, for there is no air traffic control. Most water and sewage systems stop. Street lights go off. Nuclear missile silos are abandoned, or commandeered. With all this going on, few would go to work, in both the government and the private sector. Why work when you can’t get there, and your paycheck is worthless?

Sure, some things might still function, but clearly there would be a profound setback in everyone’s standard of living. Perhaps there would gradually spring up new, non-coercive mechanisms to keep the peace. But, then again, perhaps not.

In the post-anarchy-button-pushed world, we would be in a state of nature. The concepts of “rights” and “property” would be as meaningless as they are to flora and fauna.

This kind of fear-mongering inhibits all movement towards a libertarian society. It is psychologically impossible for most people to get involved in cutting the size of government because of this fear of going "too far."

We live in an essentially socialist culture. Most of our lives, most of the decisions we make, are regulated by the government. We accept pervasive socialism as inescapable. One can imagine a movement to abolish a particularly egregious government pork barrel, but nobody wants to join a "movement" to cut all government programs because the fear of cutting too much government is greater than the fear of growing too much government. We worry about "anarchy," but nobody worries about totalitarian tyranny, because that only happens to "them." "We" would never allow that to happen here. Never mind that the government that exists today is many times more tyrannical than the government abolished by America's Founding Fathers in 1776, and would horrify the Founders.

It is the nature of political change that "movements" are required to make political changes. A majority of people might be opposed to a government project that only benefits one special interest, but the lobby of that special interest is politically stronger than the diffused desires of a majority of voters. The special interest stands to gain a million dollars, while a hundred million people each stand to lose only a penny. Political change is always orchestrated.

I believe an explicitly "anarchist" movement is needed to orchestrate a cut in government, that is, to actually begin reducing the size of government. (I'll let the PR Dept. come up with a marketable substitute for "anarchist.")

(Now that I write that, a position I've long held, I doubt myself, and wonder about a movement to cut every government program by 10%. Call it a "reverse-tithe" movement, based on the idea that God only requires 10%, but the government requires 5 times more than that, and shouldn't we make a start to cut goverment by 10%: every program, every grant, every agency -- every number in the budget is cut 10%. An almost purely-symbolic gesture, but still important. Could a "reverse-tithe" movement ever get off the ground? I doubt it, because the special interests would all say
  • "But MY budget was already cut!" (By which they mean, "We asked for a 20% budget increase, but those mean ol' nasty Republicans slashed our requested increase by FIFTY PERCENT and our special interest's budget was only increased by 10%!" [and of course the Republicans boast to their constituents, "I helped cut government spending by 50%!")
  • or "My cause is exceptional, and should actually be INCREASED!"

When it comes to actually cutting the size of a government budget, most people are unwilling to "push the button."

When Americans abolished the government of Britain in the American Colonies, stiff psychological resistance had to be overcome. Historian David McCullough, author of 1776, and John Adams, wrote:

Adams more than anyone got the Continental Congress to vote for the Declaration [of Independence]. Keep in mind that only about a third of the country supported the Revolution. Another third was opposed –– the Loyalists or Tories, who saw themselves as the true patriots because they were standing by their King. The remaining third, in the human way, were waiting to see who won. But Adams got the Congress to vote for the Declaration and many wrote about it afterwards.
America's Founding Fathers "pushed the button." They did not simply gradually diminish the power of the British Monarch. They abolished it entirely. This is why only 30% supported the movement: it was radical. America's Founding Fathers created an entirely new system of government. They abolished the King altogether. People around the world -- not just most Americans -- did not believe that society could survive without a king, with the people governing themselves ("consent of the governed"). Surely such a headless nation would collapse into chaos and "anarchy." Conservative Christian Physician Benjamin Rush eventually signed the Declaration of Independence, but at first he was very skeptical about the idea of a society remaining organized without a king:
Never before had I heard the authority of kings called in question. I had been taught to consider them nearly as essential to political order as the sun is to the order of our solar system.
The blogger we quoted above is held captive by the same kind of thinking. Most Americans are. But America prospered without a king.

And America can prosper without any "government" at all.

If America could prosper without the minimal monarchy of 1775, certainly America doesn't need the vast, dominating, suffocating "Administrative State" that exists today.

We need to recapture the vision of 1776, and then continue onward.

Let's consider the paranoia of the blogger we quoted above. This is what he said would happen if we were to "push the button":

All coercion ends tomorrow. There is no national defense, no police, no courts.

And that's just the beginning of the chaos and "anarchy."

Of course, it isn't going to happen like this. There has to be political movements, debate, and a Congressional vote. Money has already been allocated for this fiscal year, so let's imagine that pushing the button means ending government at the end of this fiscal year. What would your local police department do if they knew that all their funding was going to dry up in 30, 60, or 90 days?

Can we assume that they care about the people they serve, and would continue working during the transition? Or are they only in it for the money?

If you owned a gas station, and a patrolman pulled in and asked for a tank of gas on credit, would you give the policeman any gas? If not, and if nobody in the country would support the police in any way, who gets to overrule those decisions and impose on millions of Americans a law requiring support of the police?

If you were a policeman, and were willing to work for a week or two without pay while a committee was appointed to do fund-raising, would you walk the beat, or if you had a desk job, would you put in some time volunteering with the fund-raising committee?

Would the fund-raising committee, or a coalition of fund-raising committees across the nation, calculate the amount the average person in their jurisdiction had been paying for police services, and send a letter saying,

Dear Consumer,
Last year you paid $X.00 for police services. If you wish continued police services, please enclose a check for that amount.
Sincerely,
Your local Police Department.

Of course someone in the police department might anticipate that with the end of the government monopoly, consumers might also receive a letter like this, from a competitor:

Dear Consumer,
We represent a coalition of Detectives, Patrolmen, and Administrators who are planning on resigning from the government police department when government funding expires next month. We are familiar with the waste, abuse, and inefficiencies of government police, and we are starting a new firm offering you better police protection at a lower price.
We will not be investigating or arresting anyone for recreational or medical drug use, but will instead concentrate on protecting you and your property and securing restitution for damage done. Last year you paid $x.00 for police services. We are guaranteeing you the same level of protection for 20% less or your money back.
Sign up today!
Sincerely,
Police Services, Inc.

There are dozens of books, articles, and other studies on how courts, sewage systems, utilities, air traffic control, street lights, and other government functions can be provided by a Free Market. Among the basics are Murray Rothbard's For a New Liberty, and David Friedman's The Machinery of Freedom. Also valuable in this context is Thomas Sowell's Knowledge and Decisions. The Free Market -- millions of consumers and millions of entrepreneurs -- contains the knowledge needed to make the decisions on how to provide vital services with the greatest efficiency. The government does not have all this knowledge, and cannot make correct decisions. These books also help understand why the Free Market can best provide goods and services which haven't even been invented yet, using market mechanisms which themselves have not yet come into existence.

Every day in the world, old businesses fold and new businesses take their place. The Market decides which ones should go, how their assets should be distributed, which aspects of each business should be undertaken by which new businesses, and this transition from old to new is best handled by the Free Market, that is, by the millions of people who are directly involved in each industry and have the knowledge necessary to make efficient decisions.

To say that America would collapse into chaos, and hundreds of millions of consumers and millions of entrepreneurs would just sit around wringing their hands instead of rapidly re-designing the infrastructure that keeps life going is myopic, misanthropic, and elitist. It reflects the same thinking that leads to socialism. It is a denial of the ability of the Free Market to create the transition from old businesses to new.

The essential question is, Does life work better under (a) the Free Market, or under (b) some form of Socialism. If the answer is (a), then the Free Market itself will spontaneously evolve the mechanisms necessary to make the transition from socialism to a Free Market. We can't anticipate these solutions, any more than we could have anticipated how a Free Market would put a television in every American household. But if our theory of the Free Market is correct, these solutions will evolve.

We should push the button.

I'd Push the Button

Leonard Read, founder of the Foundation for Economic Education, gave us the thought-provoking idea of abolishing all government infringements of liberty all at once.

In this post I'd like to state the idea. In the next post I'd like to answer a "utilitarian" objection, and then in a later post I'll explain why the desire to "push the button" does not preclude support for a more gradual repeal of statism when no "button" presents itself. Here is what Leonard Read wrote:


Following World War II and prior to the relaxation of wartime wage and price controls, I made a speech entitled "I'd Push the Button." This title was taken from the first sentence, "If there were a button on this rostrum, the pressing of which would instantaneously release all wage and price controls, I'd put my finger on it and push."

This was regarded as a radical notion, radical in the sense of being so thoroughgoing that few persons shared it. However, if an act is morally wrong or economically unsound, the quicker it is abolished the better.

Many people seem to hold the view that the beneficiary of special privilege acquires a vested interest in his unique position and should not be deprived of it all of a sudden. They give little thought to the many persons from whom the plunder has been taken. It makes no difference what example of wage or price control one takes--rent control is as good as any. Under this control people have been permitted to occupy someone else's property at less than the free market would allow. By reason of this fact renters have been privileged to buy more tobacco or vacations, or some other good or service than would otherwise be the case. The landlord has been deprived of the fruits of his own labor. Yet, when it comes to the matter of restoring justice, most people will think of the disadvantages suddenly falling upon the renters rather than the accrued damage done to the owner.

Imagine a habitual and successful thief. For years he has been robbing everybody in the community without their knowledge. He has a fine home, cars, servants, and is a pillar of society. Upon discovering his fraud, should his robbery be diminished gradually or should justice be restored to the community at once? The answer appears too obvious to deserve further comment.

People, when contemplating the removal of authoritarianism, seem to fear that a sudden restoration of justice would too severely disrupt the economy. The fear is groundless. During the early days of our New Deal we were the victims of the NIRA, the National Industrial Recovery Act, a system of wage floors, price ceilings, and production quotas. Originally, it was accepted with enthusiasm by most of the business community. Slowly, the fallacy of this nefarious program was realized. Thoughtful business leaders agreed it had to be repealed. But, many of them argued that the repeal would have to be gradual. To remove it at once would throw the economy into a tailspin. Then, one afternoon the Supreme Court ruled that NIRA was unconstitutional. As of that moment all of its regulations and controls ceased to exist. Did this shake our economy? There wasn't a noticeable quiver except that all indices of prosperity showed improvement.

The fallacy of the theory of gradualism can be illustrated thus: A big, burly ruffian has me on my back, holding me down. My friends, observing my sad plight, agree that the ruffian must be removed. But, believing in the theory of gradualism, they contend that the ruffian must be removed gradually. They fail to see that the only result of the ruffian's removal would be my going to work suddenly!

There is nothing to fear by any nation of people in the removal of restrictions to creative and productive effort except the release of creative and productive effort. And why should they fear that which they so ardently desire?