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.
By Dr. Sean Gabb
Much will be said over the next few weeks about the “achievements” of Margaret Thatcher. These will probably divide between Daily Mailish eulogies and Guardianesque whines. My own view is that she was a bad thing for England.
She started the transformation of this country into a politically correct police state. Her Government behaved with an almost gloating disregard for constitutional norms. She brought in money laundering laws that have now been extended to a general supervision over our financial dealings. She relaxed the conditions for searches and seizure by the police. She increased the numbers and powers of the police. She weakened trial by jury. She weakened the due process protections of the accused. She gave executive agencies the power to fine and punish without due process. She began the first steps towards total criminalisation of gun possession.
By Justin Raimondo
The queen of the Anglosphere is dead. In death, as in life, there is no middle ground where Maggie Thatcher is concerned: leftists dance in the streets, celebrating her demise, while conservatives mourn the passing of the “Iron Lady.” The irony is that she was never guilty of the alleged crimes attributed to her by the former, just as she never really earned the approbations of the latter.
British leftists are dancing a jig because they believe Thatcher introduced the politics of “austerity,” victimized the poor, and was a relentless reactionary to the end: the truth is that her timid and gradualistic approach to dismantling the British welfare state failed, and failed spectacularly, as Murray Rothbard pointed out at the time here, here, and here. The “Thatcher revolution” had the same success rate as the “Reagan revolution,” i.e. it never succeeded in rolling back the advancing role of the State in British society, only in slowing its galloping onset to a brisk trot.
With colleges producing more graduates, and youth unemployment at a sky-high 11.5 percent, even landing a job selling Big Macs is getting competitive.
Consider: A job opening at a Massachusetts McDonald’s restaurant for a full-time cashier requires one to two years experience and a bachelor’s degree.
“Get a weekly paycheck with a side order of food, folks and fun,” offered McDonalds.
The virtual currency, Bitcoin, has broken the $100 per bitcoin mark today. Bitcoin is a decentralized virtual currency. It has no centralized server or issuer, but instead relies on a peer to peer network of servers to verify transactions and mine new coins by solving increasingly difficult hash functions. More…
In a recent article published on Facts CoExist theoretical physicist Dirk Brockmann argues that state boundaries are often arbitrary and out of date, no longer representative of how we communicate or function as a modern society. By tracking dollar bills he has created a series of maps redrawing state borders by how our money moves, which more accurately portrays distinctive areas based on regional economy.