Talking Points Memo
EMERY P. DALESIO June 28, 2013, 10:54 AM 33182
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — With changes to its unemployment law taking effect this weekend, North Carolina not only is cutting benefits for those who file new claims, it will become the first state disqualified from a federal compensation program for the long-term jobless.
Mike the Mad Biologist
Or perhaps I should write persecuted? Recently, I discussed how the poor are prosecuted simply for being poor. The story of Methodist pastor Lorenza Andrade-Smith, who, in ministering to the homeless, sold her belongings and renounced her health insurance, provides a shocking example of this (boldface mine):
On Aug. 3, 2011, she was cited for sleeping on a bench near the Alamo in San Antonio. The night before, she went to the Haven for Hope homeless shelter, where she had been sleeping….
At around ten o’clock the next morning, she was confronted by a police officer. “I apparently overslept,” she said. “The police officer suggested that I go to the haven, and gave me the ticket,” she recalled.
Militia members in Cuautepec, Guerrero, where they gathered to take an oath to defend their communities against organized crime. Photos by Carlos Alvarez Montero.
On January 5 in El Potrero, a small town in the Mexican state of Guerrero, a man named Eusebio García Alvarado was kidnapped by a local criminal syndicate. Kidnappings are fairly common in Guerrero—the state, just south of Mexico City, is one of the poorest in the country and the site of some of the worst violence in the ongoing battle between the drug cartels and Mexican authorities. Guerrero’s largest city, Acapulco, is known to Americans as a tourist hot spot. It’s also currently the second most dangerous city in the world, according to a study released by a Mexican think tank in February.
Tom Woods answers with the obvious.
For some reason, the finger-waggers at Salon think they’ve got us stumped with this one: “If your approach is so great, why hasn’t any country in the world ever tried it?”
So this is the unanswerable question? What’s supposed to be so hard about it? Ninety percent of what libertarians write about answers it at least implicitly.
Let’s reword the question slightly, in order to draw out the answer. You’ll note that when stated correctly, the question contains an implicit non sequitur.
(1) “If your approach is so great, why doesn’t local law enforcement want to give up the money, supplies, and authority that come from the drug war?”
(2) “If your approach is so great, why don’t big financial firms prefer to stand or fall on their merits, and prefer bailouts instead?”
It looks like Salon.Com really has it in for libertarians these days.
By Michael Lind
(Credit: AP/Charlie Riedel)
Why are there no libertarian countries? If libertarians are correct in claiming that they understand how best to organize a modern society, how is it that not a single country in the world in the early twenty-first century is organized along libertarian lines?
Unfortunately, this writer is clueless as to the differences between neoliberalism and actual libertarianism and reacts with stereotypical left-wing hysteria when the welfare state is criticized. This article also fails to discuss what is most interesting about Nozick. Yet many of the criticisms of vulgar libertarianism are warranted
Recently, I overheard a fellow Amtraker back off a conversation on politics. “You know, it’s because I’m a libertarian,” he said, sounding like a vegetarian politely declining offal. Later that afternoon, in the otherwise quite groovy loft I sometimes crash at in SoHo, where one might once have expected,say, Of Grammatology or at least a back issue ofElle Decor, there sat not one but two copies of something called The Libertarian Reader. “Libertarianism” places one—so believes the libertarian—not on the political spectrum but slightly above it, and this accounts for its appeal to both the tricorne fringe and owners of premium real estate. More…
I do not admire Keith Preston or his friend Kevin Carson. They seem to think in utterly unrealistic Romantic terms, such as class. Maybe the main one that I will criticism below is what seemed to be the most used term in the 80 minute talk that Keith Preston gave, a term I have long since loathed viz. pluralism.
By Robert Anton Wilson
If there is one proposition which currently wins the assent of nearly everybody, it is that we need more jobs. “A cure for unemployment” is promised, or earnestly sought, by every Heavy Thinker from Jimmy Carter to the Communist Party USA, from Ronald Reagan to the head of the economics department at the local university, from the Birchers to the New Left.
I would like to challenge that idea. I don’t think there is, or ever again can be, a cure for unemployment. I propose that unemployment is not a disease, but the natural, healthy functioning of an advanced technological society.
Dr. Sean Gabb
Here, to entertain or instruct, is a fairly complete listing of Libertarian Alliance publications from the past few months.
I am pleased to say that our Blog has now been joined by several other contributors, and that it is now easily the most active and intellectually rigorous libertarian blog in Britain. Persistence aside, we have achieved this in a number of ways. First, we insist on good writing. Second, we insist on writing at length. Third we make a point of not moderating comments unless they seem likely to get us into trouble with the authorities. The result is comfort in diversity.
This can be seen to best effect, perhaps, in our extended symposium on the Legacy of Margaret Thatcher. Here, comments range from the savage to the eulogistic. She was always a divisive figure among libertarians, and it would have been ridiculous not to let this be reflected in our coverage. This drew wide attention. My own essays on her were republished in newspapers all over the world, and one of them was reprinted by The Independent.
I have grouped essays roughly in order of theme, though This should be seen as a very rough grouping.
By John Whitehead
“[F]orce alone cannot make us safe. We cannot use force everywhere that a radical ideology takes root; and in the absence of a strategy that reduces the well-spring of extremism, a perpetual war – through drones or Special Forces or troop deployments – will prove self-defeating, and alter our country in troubling ways.” ~ Barack Obama, May 23, 2013
President Obama’s declaration that “America is at a crossroads” in the fight against terror, a fight that is increasingly turning inwards, setting its sights on homegrown extremists, should give every American pause.
By Samuel Goldman
The New Yorker‘s George Packer can’t decide what to think about 21st-century America.
On the one hand, Packer likes developments that enhance the lifestyles of the educated upper middle class: “marriage equality, Lipitor, a black President, Google searches, airbags, novelistic TV shows, the opportunity for women to be as singlemindedly driven as their male colleagues, good coffee, safer cities, cleaner air, photographs of the kids on my phone, anti-bullying, Daniel Day Lewis, cheap communications, smoke-free airplanes, wheelchair parking, and I could go on.” On the other hand, he’s sorry that these benefits aren’t more broadly shared. Life is pretty good in brownstone Brooklyn and its spiritual counterparts. But it’s gotten harder and harder in “urban cores like Youngstown, Ohio; rural backwaters like Rockingham County, North Carolina; and the exurban slums outside Tampa…”
Illustration by Andrzej Krauze
Living through a collapse is a curious experience. Perhaps the most curious part is that nobody wants to admit it’s a collapse. The results of half a century of debt-fuelled “growth” are becoming impossible to convincingly deny, but even as economies and certainties crumble, our appointed leaders bravely hold the line. No one wants to be the first to say the dam is cracked beyond repair.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday pledged to pursue a broad trade agreement between the U.S. and European Union, amid growing domestic unrest with the Obama administration’s plans to include new political powers for corporations in the deal.
Negotiations have not formally begun, but a series of meetings between U.S. and EU officials have established some ground rules and the preliminary scope of the talks. Since tariffs are already low or nonexistent, the agreement will focus on regulatory issues. That emphasis has concerned food safety advocates, environmental activists and public health experts, who fear a deal may roll back important standards.
The Economic Collapse Blog
The percentage of Americans that are working for themselves has never been lower in the history of the United States. Once upon a time, the United States was a paradise for entrepreneurs and small businesses, but now the control freak bureaucrats that dominate our society have created a system that absolutely eviscerates them. This is very unfortunate, because by murdering small business, the bureaucrats are destroying the primary engine of job growth in this country. One of the big reasons why there are not enough jobs in America today is because small business creation is way down. As I mentioned yesterday, entrepreneurs and small businesses are being absolutely devastated by rules, regulations, red tape and by oppressive levels of taxation. If anyone doubts that small business in the United States is dying, just look at the charts below. More…
Did you know that there are thousands upon thousands of homeless people that are living underground beneath the streets of major U.S. cities? It is happening in Las Vegas, it is happening in New York City and it is even happening in Kansas City. As the economy crumbles, poverty in the United States is absolutely exploding and so is homelessness. In addition to the thousands of “tunnel people” living under the streets of America, there are also thousands that are living in tent cities, there are tens of thousands that are living in their vehicles and there are more than a million public school children that do not have a home to go back to at night. The federal government tells us that the recession “is over” and that “things are getting better”, and yet poverty and homelessness in this country continue to rise with no end in sight. So what in the world are things going to look like when the next economic crisis hits?
There is a food revolution taking hold all over America, whether it is in the form of demanding labeling of GM foods, the right to produce and sell raw milk and other commodities, or – in the case of Sedgwick, Maine – declaring all local food transactions of any kind free and legal.