Saturday, May 29, 2010

Everything You Love You Owe to Capitalism

[This talk was delivered at the Mises Circle in Seattle on May 17, 2008.]   

Read the whole article here.

I'm sure that you have had this experience before, or something similar to it....But then the topic turns to economics, and things change....Then the truth emerges in the form of a naïve if definitive announcement from one person: "Well, I suppose I'm really a socialist at heart." Others nod in agreement....On one hand there is nothing to say, really. You are surrounded by the blessings of capitalism....All of history has been defined by the struggle for food....The ancients, peering into this scene, might have assumed it to be Elysium....[W]e owe this scene to centuries of capital accumulation at the hands of free people who have put capital to work on behalf of economic innovations, at once competing with others for profit and cooperating with millions upon millions of people in an ever-expanding global network of the division of labor....

...And yet, sitting on the other side of the table are well-educated people who imagine that the way to end the world's woes is through socialism....[Their definition] might be as simple as the desire to put a cap on the salaries of CEOs, or it could be as extreme as the desire to abolish all private property, money, and even marriage....Whatever the specifics of the case in question, socialism always means overriding the free decisions of individuals and replacing that capacity for decision making with an overarching plan by the state. Taken far enough, this mode of thought won't just spell an end to opulent lunches. It will mean the end of what we all know as civilization itself....Nor is it possible to divorce socialism from totalitarianism, because if you are serious about ending private ownership of the means of production, you have to be serious about ending freedom and creativity too. You will have to make the whole of society, or what is left of it, into a prison.

In short, the wish for socialism is a wish for unparalleled human evil. If we really understood this, no one would express casual support for it in polite company. It would be like saying, you know, there is really something to be said for malaria and typhoid and dropping atom bombs on millions of innocents.

Do the people sitting across the table really wish for this? Certainly not. So what has gone wrong here? Why can these people not see what is obvious?

...What we have here is a failure of understanding. That is to say, a failure to connect causes with effects. This is a wholly abstract idea. Knowledge of cause and effect does not come to us by merely looking around a room, living in a certain kind of society, or observing statistics....

Let me take you back to the years 1989 and 1990. These were the years that most of us remember as the time when socialism collapsed in Eastern Europe and Russia. Events of that time flew in the face of all predictions on the Right that these were permanent regimes that would never change unless they were bombed back to the Stone Age. On the Left, it was widely believed, even in those times, that these societies were actually doing quite well and would eventually pass the United States and Western Europe in prosperity, and, by some measures, that they were already better off than us....And yet it collapsed....They may have all the guns and all the power, and the people have none of those, and yet, when the people themselves decide that they will no longer be governed, the state has few options left. It eventually collapses amid a society-wide refusal to believe its lies any longer.

When these closed societies suddenly became open, what did we see? We saw lands that time forgot. The technology was backwards and broken. The food was scarce and disgusting. The medical care was abysmal. The people were unhealthy. Property was polluted.

...This [collapse] is what anyone who had been exposed to the teachings of economics — to the elementary rules concerning cause and effect in society — saw....But this is not what the ideological Left saw. The headlines in the socialist publications themselves proclaimed the death of undemocratic Stalinism and looked forward to the creation of a new democratic socialism in these countries.

...Now, if the proper lessons of the collapse had been conveyed, we would have seen the error of all forms of government planning. We would have seen that a voluntary society will outperform a coerced one anytime. We might see how ultimately artificial and fragile are all systems of statism compared to the robust permanence of a society built on free exchange and capitalist ownership. And there is another point: the militarism of the Cold War had only ended up prolonging the period of socialism by providing these evil governments the chance to stimulate unfortunate nationalist impulses that distracted their domestic populations from the real problem....Not even an event as spectacular as the spontaneous meltdown of a superpower and all its client states was enough to impart the message of economic freedom.

...We are also inundated daily by the failures of the state. We complain constantly that the educational system is broken, that the medical sector is oddly distorted, that the post office is unaccountable, that the police abuse their power, that the politicians have lied to us, that tax dollars are stolen, that whatever bureaucracy we have to deal with is inhumanly unresponsive. We note all this. But far fewer are somehow able to connect the dots and see the myriad ways in which daily life confirms that the market radicals like Mises, Hayek, Hazlitt, and Rothbard were correct in their judgments.

What's more, this is not a new phenomenon that we can observe in our lifetimes only. We can look at any country in any period and note that every bit of wealth ever created in the history of mankind has been generated through some kind of market activity, and never by governments. Free people create; states destroy.

...The empirical truth has never been hard to come by. What matters are the theoretical eyes that see. This is what dictates the lesson we draw from events. Marx and Bastiat were writing at the same time. The former said capitalism was creating a calamity and that abolition of ownership was the solution. Bastiat saw that statism was creating a calamity and that the abolition of state plunder was the solution. What was the difference between them? They saw the same facts, but they saw them in very different ways. They had a different perception of cause and effect.

I suggest to you that there is an important lesson here as regards the methodology of the social sciences, as well as an agenda and strategy for the future. Concerning method, we need to recognize that Mises was precisely right concerning the relationship between facts and economic truth. If we have a solid theory in mind, the facts on the ground provide excellent illustrative material. They inform us about the application of theory in the world in which we live. They provided excellent anecdotes and revealing stories of how economic theory is confirmed in practice. But absent that theory of economics, facts alone are nothing but facts. They do not convey any information about cause and effect, and they do not point a way forward.

...Data points on their own convey no theory, suggest no conclusions, and offer no truths. To arrive at truth requires the most important step that we as human beings can ever take: thinking. Through this thinking, and with good teaching and reading, we can put together a coherent theoretical apparatus that helps us understand.

...In fact, what we have here is a simple mix-up of cause and effect. Bigger companies tend to be more likely to attract a kind of unpreventable unionization than smaller ones. The unions target them, with federal aid. It is no more or less complicated than that. It is for the same reason that developed economies have larger welfare states. The parasites prefer bigger hosts; that's all. We would be making a big mistake to assume that the welfare state causes the developed economy. That would be as much a fallacy as to believe that wearing $2,000 suits causes people to become rich.

...[T]he most important step economists or economic institutions can take is in the direction of public education in economic logic.

There is another important factor here. The state thrives on an economically ignorant public. This is the only way it can get away with blaming inflation or recession on consumers, or claiming that the government's fiscal problems are due to our paying too little in taxes. It is economic ignorance that permits the regulatory agencies to claim that they are protecting us as versus denying us choice. It is only by keeping us all in the dark that it can continue to start war after war — violating rights abroad and smashing liberties at home — in the name of spreading freedom.

Read the rest of this article.

AZ News & Blogs 5/29/2010

  • Immigration Law — Up Close 
    • The police are going to ask questions and request to see papers in a variety of circumstances — whether they have reasonable suspicion or not.  From a legal, constitutional, and practical perspective, the key issue is this: What are the consequences, if any, for the person who stands his ground and declines to answer questions or declines to produce identification papers?  If a person declines, will the police back off and say, “Well, that is your right, sir, you may go” or will the police escalate the situation by ordering the person to answer questions, ordering the production of identification, detaining the person, or threaten the person with arrest on bogus charges?
    • The police are trained to blur the line between “voluntary” interactions with people (perfectly lawful) and “involuntary” interactions with people (where police power is limited by the Constitution)....
    • Man gets by check point without having to give them what they want.  As opposed to this incident .
  • Quelland’s bills against Clean Elections went nowhere 
    • A package of bills sponsored by Rep. Doug Quelland reads like a list of grievances against the Clean Elections system he’s fought for the past two years.
    • Quelland sponsored only six bills in the 2010 legislative session, five of which were intended to expand the rights of candidates accused of violating Clean Elections laws. 
    • All five of the bills failed to receive a committee hearing, but they left little doubt about the Phoenix Republican’s feelings about the Clean Elections system that once helped him get elected and later called for his removal from office.
  • US warns AZ on park closures; could lose funds 

Friday, May 28, 2010

AZ News & Blogs 5/28/2010

  • Goldwater Institute appeals matching funds ruling 
    • With less than a month to go before Clean Elections candidates start getting matching funds, the Goldwater Institute is falling back on its last line of defense to scrap the public financing system for the 2010 elections. The Goldwater Institute on May 25 filed an emergency motion with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, requesting that ...
  • School Vouchers vs. Tax Credits 
    • Under a constitutional tax credit program such as Arizona’s, the state has no power to pressure/encourage taxpayers to do anything that the state could not do directly. Taxpayers can choose to give no money to religious charities, or to give all their money to them. The state is unable to affect their decisions in any way.
  • Vouchers, Tax Credits, and Social Conflict 
    • Yesterday, I contended that education tax credits substantially avoid the compulsion inherent in school voucher programs — that vouchers compel all taxpayers to fund every kind of schooling (including ones they may strongly object to) whereas tax credits do not.
  • ‘All Your Income Are Belong to the State’ 
    • It would be fine for the Arizona Republic to report that critics refuse to accept the Arizona Supreme Court’s interpretation, and that they are hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will see things their way (FYI: not gonna happen). But it is not okay for the Republic, on its “news” pages, to take sides in a case now before the U.S. Supreme Court by adopting the legal assumptions of the program’s critics.
  • Update on the Arizona Immigration Issue 
    • First, it seems that I wasn’t working off the latest version of the bill — which I should add is awfully hard to find.
    • Well, we at Cato certainly agree that Arizona’s law will not solve a problem that demands a comprehensive federal solution, but that doesn’t mean federal officials can simply decline to perform their duties under the law as it exists.
    • My thoughts:  Yes, it is difficult to navigate Arizona's websites to find bills and track them.  It would be nice if they came up with a more transparent system.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

AZ News & Blogs 5/25/2010

  • A Legal Analysis of the New Arizona Immigration Law 
    • None of these provisions, on their face, appear to be unconstitutional, in the sense of Arizona intruding on federal authority over immigration policy...just because the law is constitutional doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good policy...the boycotts of Arizona adopted by city councils around the country...are likely themselves unconstitutional.
    • In short, the Arizona immigration law presents a tremendously complex issue, as the Arizona Republic has recognized, that does not lend itself to easy calls or soundbites.  I myself am not certain how I would have voted if I didn’t have the third option (as Arizona doesn’t) of imminent federal reform — to the disconsolation of state legislators around the country who have asked me what they can do to placate a (legitimately) aggrieved public besides enactiong Arizona-style laws.
    • My thoughts:  Nice and balanced.  It would be nice if I didn't get so emotional about all of this!
  • Supreme Court Will Hear Appeal of School Choice Case 
    • The SCOTUS Blog reports this morning that the United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in the Arizona k-12 scholarship tax credit case.
  • Death-penalty cases put county public defender’s office $8M over budget 
    • A Maricopa County agency that contracts with private attorneys to represent indigent criminal defendants is going to end the fiscal year over budget by more than $8 million, or about 63 percent. County managers attribute the overspending to a glut of death-penalty cases and the high cost of defending them. The Office of Public Defense Services has ...
    • My thoughts:  Is it worth the money, or would it be worth just keeping them in prison without even worrying about the death penalty?  Not to mention the moral implications of all the innocents we've putting in jail (listen to The Perfect Evidence).
    • I said in the past how it's not necessarily the people that are the problem but the institutions themselves.  Just like the schools. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

AZ News & Blogs 5/22/2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Police State We Live In, We Are Not Free

This is the story of Pastor Anderson who was beat down by the police for nothing more than exerting his rights.  Hear his story.  See what happened here.

See the full trial here.

Hear the interview with Pastor Anderson's trial lawyer here.

AZ News & Blogs 5/20/2010

  • The Ninth Circuit as a Denial of Service Attack on American Justice 
    • The Supreme Court is expected to decide [today] whether to summarily overturn a Ninth Circuit Court ruling, hear an appeal of that ruling, or let the Ninth Circuit’s decision stand. The case involves Arizona’s k-12 scholarship tax credit program that helps families afford private schooling, which the Ninth Circuit found last year to violate the First Amendment.
  • Supreme Court Should Call Out Ninth Circuit in Education Case 
    • The case concerns an Arizona school choice program that has been serving low- and middle-income families for 13 years. The state grants a tax credit to individuals who donate to nonprofit entities that award scholarships for children to attend private schools — including religious schools. Yes, here we go again.
    • The question — if a question that has been redundantly answered remains a real question — is whether this violates the First Amendment proscription of any measure amounting to government “establishment of religion.” The incorrigible 9th Circuit has declared Arizona’s program unconstitutional, even though there is no government involvement in any parent’s decision to use a scholarship at a religious school.
  • Milking the cash cow: Sales tax hike sails through in fear-based campaign 
    • Special interest groups including the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, and police, firefighter and teachers unions, spending more than $2 million on fear-inducing advertising, were able to defeat the anti-tax hike crusaders who had a mere $1,200 to wage their campaign.
  • My quick takes on AZ Prop 100 sales tax hike 
    • TUCSON -- In the State House I voted against referring Prop 100 to ballot, instead preferring a real budget solution, such as what I and House Democrats offered. I stand by that vote.
  • Statement from Buz Mills on Passage of Prop 100 see also this video 
    • For more than a year, 28-year career politician Jan Brewer called for the largest three-year tax increase in Arizona history - $3 billion. Tonight, Gov. Brewer got her wish. In the process, the governor solidified her legacy as the governor who raised taxes.
    • The people were told that this sales tax hike would prevent large budget cuts. I’m afraid it won’t. The state still faces a $3.5 billion deficit. In order to fix that problem, across-the-board spending cuts are required, not tax increases.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

AZ News & Blogs 5/19/2010

  • The law of unintended consequences: Russell Pearce’s guest-worker program 
    • The arrest-and-release policy is a little-known part of federal immigration law that allows illegal immigrants to challenge deportation and obtain legal residency, and a driver’s license, as long as they meet certain conditions. If more illegal immigrants are apprehended and processed through the federal system – which is expected to happen after Arizona’s immigration law takes effect on July 29 – then an even greater number would qualify for legal status.
    • My Thoughts:  The bright side of things :).
  • S.B. 1070: Your Driver's License May Not Be Adequate I.D. 
  • "Arizona and Immigration" featuring Daniel Griswold 
    • Audio Podcast from Dan Griswold.  On how the immigration law is anti-freedom.
    • Arizona Seeks to Preserve Role of Parents in Raising Children 
      • The opening passage of the bill is clear: “The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of their children is a fundamental right.” State and local governments “shall not infringe these rights without demonstrating that the compelling governmental interest as applied to the child involved is of the highest order, is narrowly tailored and is not otherwise served by a less restrictive means.”
    • Arizona Corporation Commission Exceeds Constitutional Limits 
      • The Arizona Corporation Commission has over-stepped its constitutional boundaries by making rules and regulations in areas our state founders never intended it to control, according to a new report from the Goldwater Institute.
      • "The ACC has usurped the Legislature's role to set energy policy and it will cost consumers $2.4 billion over the next 15 years," said Nick Dranias, director of constitutional policy at the Goldwater Institute.
    • Government transparency has bright future in Arizona 
      • On Monday, Governor Jan Brewer signed House Bill 2282 , which will require most local governments to post on the Internet extensive budget information including individual spending items. In addition, the state will have a website where a street address can be entered and, at the touch of a button, links to every unit of government with authority over that address will pop up. Each of those governments must, in turn, post information about taxes, upcoming elections, and how to contact officials for more information.
    • Arizona's Charles Goyett who wrote  The Dollar Meltdown: Surviving The Impending Currency Crisis With Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments Interviewed by Lew Rockwell and Ernest Hancock listen to the second half.

      Sheeple of AZ Steal More Money from their Neighbors

      HornIt said it best:
      People don't need to vote to "tax themselves". They can tax themselves whenever they want to by writing a check and sending it to the state. But nobody ever actually votes to tax themselves, they vote to tax others. They vote themselves the property of others. They are free to give their up to others any time they want to..........but they don't of course. Well, actually some do. Conservatives do it at twice the rate of liberals. It's called charitable giving as opposed to the kind of coerced government taking you and your ilk are so found of.

      EX18C said:
      It is what it is. Anytime I hear about "the children", "the teachers", cops or firefighters I immediately think B.S......scare tactics. I used to work for the government......there is plenty of waste that can be eliminated without raising taxes to pay for stuff.

      See the analysis of the election here and here.

      See how many sheeple live in your county with the results here.

      Tuesday, May 18, 2010

      AZ News & Blogs 5/18/2010 (Sales Tax Vote is Today)

      • If the government tells you to be afraid, then you know you need not be afraid 
        • Rejection would trigger $862 million of contingency spending cuts beyond those already included in the budget due to the state’s loss of 30 percent of its revenue.
        • Most of the contingency cuts were aimed at education. Those include $428.6 million for K-12 schools, $107.1 million for universities and $15.2 million for community colleges and $4.7 million for other programs.
        • Budget and school officials said rejection of the tax increase would produce larger class sizes, reductions in specialized instruction and layoffs and furloughs for teachers and other school workers.
        • Elsewhere in government, predicted cutbacks tied to rejection of Proposition 100 included layoffs of Highway Patrol officers, transfers of 3,000 to 5,000 prison inmates to county jails, new reductions of payments to hospitals and other health care providers, and reduced services for developmentally disabled adults and disabled children.
        • Proposition 100 opponents argued that the state hadn’t cut spending deep enough and that passage of the measure would keep spending at levels that the state cannot afford. They also said a tax increase would throttle the state’s ailing economy by stifling retail trade.
        • My Thoughts:  Notice how the government always uses fear tactics to get what they want?  That's the way it's always been, they use these tactics to take our freedom away and they will continue to use the tactics to take our freedoms away.  Note how they did this with the anti-illegal immigration law that recently passed, they slipped into the law the ability to send all our personal ID information to the federal government and to stop us and ask for papers with no true cause.  Lets stop the anti-freedom politicians and vote no on 100.
      • Where's all the money going for schools for the recent rise in taxes? 
        • Most schools received a 10% increase in Maintenance and Operating (M&O) funding from higher 2009 primary property taxes.
        • In March special elections were held so schools could add an additional 15% override to their M&O funding.  Overrides are part of secondary property taxes and are calculated on Full Cash Value.
        • We need to find out where all the money is going before we raise taxes, worsen the recession, and further depress much needed economic growth.
        • My Thoughts:  There is no end to the money hungry politicians!
      • Lessons From Venezuela’s 21st Century Socialism 
        • The accomplishments of Venezuela’s “Socialism of the 21st Century” are looking very much like those of old-fashioned socialism with basic goods shortages, high inflation, negative growth, blackouts, water rationing, the persecution of Hugo Chávez’s critics, plus skyrocketing crime.
        • My Thoughts:  Socialism just doesn't work...the public schooling system in the US is socialism and has proven not to work.  It only dumbs down the population and recreates an anti-freedom-loving people.
      • Supreme Court Further Reduces Constitutional Limits on Federal Power 

      Monday, May 17, 2010

      AZ News & Blogs 5/17/2010 (Sales Tax Reminder)

      • Shocking Brewer Verbal Assault Video Should End Her Political Career  see also this article.
        • This video is guaranteed to motivate the apathetic voter to rally to the “NO on 100” side and show up to cast their ballot in person on Tuesday.  
        •  My Thoughts:  This article and video are bit inflammatory and you question the video makers intent but it does show the true colors of a statist.  A statist will never think the government has enough money and will always ask for more and beg for more if you ask them to cut the fat and lower taxes.  Why has AZ been able to lower taxes the last few years?  As seen in this post.  I don't know but it could be because of the increase in federal government funding to the state coffers?  They make us think we are paying less but truly are paying more.  It's been shown that the free market works better than government and that communities can figure out local problems for cheaper, so why do we keep giving big government more money to waste?  I don't know all the answers, all I know is that we don't need to be taxed any higher, we need to set ourselves free and the only way to do that is by lowering the vice grip that the government has over us.
        • See this video on what else could be cut from the AZ budget. 
      • Glass Houses  (Coyote Blog on Illegal Immigration and Trash)
        • I was forwarded an email today, and I can’t honestly figure out the source since it is one of those that has been forwarded a zillion times, but at some point it passed through the Arizona 2010 Project. It consisted mainly of pictures of desert areas along major immigration routes that had been trashed by illegal immigrants. This picture is pretty typical....Well, it so happens my life is spent cleaning up public parks. My company’s mission is to privately operate public parks. A lot of that job is picking up and hauling away the trash. And I can tell you something with absolute certainty: This is exactly what a highly trafficked area in our great Northwest Forests or Seashore National Parks would look like if someone wasn’t there to pick up. Here is one example from a northwest forest, in Oregon.... 

      Friday, May 14, 2010

      Lopsided campaigns await Prop. 100 vote

      • Lopsided campaigns await Prop. 100 vote 
        • On one side of the Proposition 100 debate is a broad coalition with a seven-figure budget, organized rallies, signs on virtually every intersection and TV ads running statewide. On the other side is a group of vocal opponents with few resources, less than $100 in the bank and some “NO on 100” buttons.
        • My Thoughts:  The article later on talks about how when the people don't want something it doesn't matter what money is spent, it will be voted down.  I hope that is true.  
        • Yes on 100 and the other campaigns supporting the ballot proposition have raised at least $1.6 million, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. Groups as disparate as the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Arizona Education Association, the Professional Fire Fighters Association, the Gila River Indian Community and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona have all made sizeable contributions to Yes on 100 and have lent their names and support to the campaign.
        • My Thoughts:  All these organizations must be tax feeders, I don't understand why else they would want to pay more taxes.  That brings up the question, if you are receiving money from the government and this proposition would cut that money off should you be allowed to vote on it?  I don't think you could morally vote on it unless you were voting no since you are basically voting to have the gestapo steal other people's money for your own gain.

      Thursday, May 13, 2010

      AZ News & Blogs 5/13/2010

      • New Law Reins In Property Tax Break Favored by Cities 
        • Cities will no longer be able to give lucrative property tax breaks lasting a half century or more to hand-picked developers because of a new law signed Tuesday by Gov. Jan Brewer....The reforms will roughly double the payments that designated builders provide instead of property taxes and will cut in half the normal length of leases with cities, which have already taken developments valued at more than $2 billion throughout Arizona off the property tax rolls.
        • Critics have pushed since 2008 to scale back or scrap the law, arguing a better approach than doling out tax breaks to a few large developers is to lower everyone’s property taxes. However, opposition from cities and developers with GPLET properties had stalled reform talks.
      • It's Time to End Policing for Profit in Arizona 
        • In Arizona, police can seize your property, sell it, and keep the money to fund their own budgets without so much as charging you with a crime. Under civil forfeiture laws, police and prosecutors can even seize your property after you've been found not guilty of a crime.
      • Who Is Fighting (Or Helping) Whom In Mexico’s Drug Wars? 
        • “Plata o plomo” (which literally means “silver or lead” and refers to how officials are either corrupted or killed by drug lords) has long been a common feature of the drug war in Latin America. It is not surprising that multi-billion dollar cartels corrupt the officials who are supposed to fight them. What is surprising is some people in Washington still believe that this is a winnable war.
      • ICE rescues 3 Salvadoran kids held in Phoenix area 
        • Federal authorities say they have rescued three Salvadoran children who were being held hostage by suspected human smugglers in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
      • Brewer: No tax cuts while asking for tax hike 
        • “I’ve been on the record saying that there is no way that we’re going to ask the people of the state of Arizona to vote for a temporary tax, and then come back and do business tax cuts,” Brewer said.
      • Brewer vetoes light bulb bill, signs dozens more 
        • Here are the bills Brewer signed:
          • H2627; county transportation excise tax; transit
          • H2629; self-defense; political subdivisions; weapon records
          • H2653; intergovernmental agreements; separate legal entities
          • H2661; statewide water augmentation authority; study
          • H2668; voting information; postsecondary students
          • H2722; schools; funding; nonresidents
          • H2725; education; omnibus
          • H2731; high schools; graduation; board examinations
          • H2733; department of education; data collection
          • H2003; revitalization districts
          • H2037; secretary of state; business services
          • H2113; provisional community colleges; property transfer
          • H2133; air quality nonattainment areas; designation
          • H2257; municipalities; counties; taxes; fees; notice
          • H2281; prohibited courses; discipline; schools
          • H2287; accommodation schools; levy limit recalculation
          • H2385; schools; ADM calculation
          • H2428; county zoning hearings; appeal
          • H2450; water and wastewater charges; payment
          • H2504; GPLET; lease records and reporting
          • H2545; professions; dismissed complaints; records
          • H2596; free exercise of religion
          • H2618; trustees; release and reconveyance deed
          • H2626; deeds of trust; foreclosure procedures
          • S1254; research; development; production; tax credit
          • S1308; schools; instruction; dating abuse
          • S1351; appraisal management companies
          • S1375; contractor payments
          • S1411; dairy farms; zoning; agricultural purpose
        • Brewer vetoed the following bills:
          • H2337; Arizona manufactured incandescent lightbulbs; regulation
          • H2462; private property trespass towers
          • H2475; riding between lanes; motorcycle operations
          • H2240; recovery audits; public funds
          • H2502; taxation of solar energy property
          • S1154; underground storage tanks

      Wednesday, May 12, 2010

      AZ News & Blogs 5/12/2010

      Speed Cameras

      National ID

      • The Left the Right and National ID 
        • The left has wanted Americans to register with the federal government and obtain a national id card ever since Franklin Roosevelt tried (and failed initially, until he stacked the court in 1937) to get the Supreme Court to rule that the Social Security system was constitutional.
      Illegal Immigration
      • Border towns say violent crime rates are low 
        •  FBI Uniform Crime Reports and statistics provided by police agencies, in fact, show that the crime rates in Nogales, Douglas, Yuma and other Arizona border towns have remained essentially flat for the past decade, even as drug-related violence has spiraled out of control on the other side of the international line. Statewide, rates of violent crime also are down.

          While smugglers have become more aggressive in their encounters with authorities, as evidenced by the April 30 shooting of a Pinal County deputy, allegedly by illegal-immigrant drug runners, they do not routinely target residents of border towns.
      • Large share of illegal immigrants entered on visas, not across border 
        • The Pew Hispanic Center, a research group that studies issues, attitudes and trends among the Hispanic population, estimated in 2006 that almost half of the 10.8 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. came here with visas and stayed after they expired....By and large, individuals who remain in the U.S. after their visas expire are more educated than those who cross the border illegally, in part because they must demonstrate proof of completing higher education, having a skilled job or being economically stable, said Giovanni Peri, an economist at the University of California, Davis....As legal immigrants, many in this group would work in better-paying jobs, Peri said, but without documentation most wind up competing for low-paying jobs along with those who entered the country illegally.
      • Kirkpatrick to propose 3,500 more border agents 

        Tuesday, May 11, 2010

        Upcoming Votes

        AZ School Changes

        • Arizona Legislature Adopts Sweeping Education Reforms
          •  This session Arizona lawmakers enacted some of the most far-reaching K-12 education reforms in state history. The changes have received little attention from any Arizona media so far. But you can bet you'll hear much more as the state implements the new laws.

            Ten years ago Florida implemented a set of education reforms that transformed their schools from among the worst performers on national tests to among the best. Several of the bills that Governor Brewer has signed into law are modeled on Florida’s success.

          • Further in the article a list is given with changes that have been implemented in this last legislative session. 
          • My Thoughts: "Don't let a crisis go to waste."  Good words when it means less government, more accountability for government, and more freedom for the people.

        Monday, May 10, 2010

        National News Monday 5/10/2010

        National Politics 
        This Week in Abuses by the State  

          Friday, May 7, 2010

          AZ Brief Blogs and News 05/07/10

          Speed Cameras  
          Sales Tax Increase

           Yes On 100:  Support Schools and Public Safety
          • My Thoughts:  It is interesting to see the signs every where.  When Chino Valley School District was trying to do the over ride they also had plenty of "yes for the over ride" signs but none against.  The over ride was still voted down.  I think that shows the great independent and anti-tax/government sentiment of rural Arizonans.  Let's hope the whole state feels the same when it comes to proposition 100 and that it is voted down.  The last thing we need is more money stolen from the people.  As the sign mentions the support of schools and public safety...these two things are already supported.  We don't need to pay more for things that already receive enough money. 
          • Arizona needs tax cuts, not increases, to boost economy (Opinion by John Munger)  
          • Tax Increase (Prop. 100) would create larger deficit according to Joint Legislative Budget Committee 
            • Blog for AZ has this analysis link on AZ taxes (BFA says we need more taxes) 
            • My Thoughts: Since the federal government makes up 36% of Arizona's budget you can say our tax burden is that much higher.  So adding in 36% we have x as the share of the federal government's tax burden on us, so x/(8.5+x)=36% (where 8.5% is the average Arizonan tax burden, including cities).  The federal tax burden comes to 4.78%.  Adding those two numbers comes to 13.28%.  I know I make a lot of assumptions that are false to come to this number but it gives a very rough estimate of what are true state tax burden is.  What is the right amount?  I'll post that later.  Also, see my previous post on taxes here.
          Ethnic Bill
          Climate Change 
          Sine Die 
          • Sprint toward sine die
            • Of the 352 bills approved by lawmakers in the 2010 regular session, nearly 40 percent of them got their final thumbs-up during the two-day sprint toward sine die that saw lawmakers work late into the night in order to wrap up the year’s work. 

          Tuesday, May 4, 2010

          AZ Brief Blogs and News

          • Promise That Higher Taxes Will “Protect Education” Rings Hollow
            •  Apparently 10 years ago the state asked us to do the same thing we are doing now but all it lead to was a bloated bureaucracy.  Also, watch the short video included in the above link.
            • My Comments:  In a free market school system we would see more aids than teachers but not wastefully like we see in AZ.  See this article on public school systems and regression to the mean.
          • Raza Studies
            •  Apparently down in the Tucson area students receive special education on how Latinos are hated.  Legislation HB 2281 is being proposed to stop this type of education.
              • Here's the summary "HB 2281 prohibits a school district or charter school from including courses or classes that either promote the overthrow of the United States government or promote resentment toward a race or class of people." 
            • My Comments:  It would be interesting to hear the other side of the coin for this one, sorry I don't have any links for you, if anyone has one please put it in the comment section.  In a free society, or education, people would be left to alone to learn what they want to learn, or what their parents would want them to learn.  To truly fix the problem we need to have private schooling across the board and government needs to stay out of education.
          •  Dr. Gosar Calls on Congress to Enact Law Limiting Citizenship
            •  "the legislation would limit citizenship to children born to parents who are (1) a U.S. citizens or nationals; (2) a lawful permanent resident alien whose residence is in the United States; or (3) an alien performing active service in the U.S. Armed Forces."
            • Backers of the bill includes: Dr. Paul Gosar, CD1 Republican primary frontrunner, Trent Franks and John Shadegg.
            • My Comments:  I'll have to look up the 14th amendment and remind myself it's ramifications for citizenship.  I remembered I don't have my constitution book right now.  Maybe I'll offer an opinion some other time on this one.
          • Anti-illegal-immigration bill is still alight in the blogs
            • Seeing Red criticizes a newspaper for it's comments on the killing of Bob Krentz.  Krentz was killed on his ranch near the Mexican border it was appears to be drug war related violence. 
            • Coyote Blog shows graphs on the lower crime rate even with the higher illegal immigration in his post Chicken Little: The Supposed Arizona Immigrant-Led Crime Wave.
            • Coyote blog has a link to Cato on the new national ID legislation in DC.  National ID has been tried to be passed for many years now, previous attempts have been nullified by the states.
            • Cato comments on AZ Republics comments on the new bill. 
            • My Comments:  In a free society we would have open borders like we have had in the past.  The government has really screwed things up and now are trying to put a band-aid on it instead of fixing the core problems which cause the illegal immigration problem like the drug war, NAFTA, etc. 
          • More than 130 Clean Elections Candidates this Year
            • My Comments: The headline should read:  130 candidate vie for theft of taxpayers money.

          Monday, May 3, 2010

          National News Monday

          I was going to keep out of the national politics scene but figured I could do a single post on Monday for national politics.  This post includes:

          1.  What's going on in the economics scene with recent new on "Government Motors" paying off its debt, which of course is false.

          2.  9/11 conspiracies & Building 7

          3.  President Obama's speech on civil politics and Cato Institutes comments.

          4.  Ayn Rand on compromise.

          1. State of Economics:
          Jack Spirko, an audio podcaster, has these comments and these on recent economics trends.  Please don't confuse him with any of the conspiracy people in the following post below.

           2.  Conspiracy & Building number 7:
           The conspiracy blogs are alight with comments from Jeffrey Scott Shapiro from Fox News on Building 7.

          "Shortly before the building collapsed, several NYPD officers and Con-Edison workers told me that Larry Silverstein, the property developer of One World Financial Center was on the phone with his insurance carrier to see if they would authorize the controlled demolition of the building – since its foundation was already unstable and expected to fall."

          I don't know if this really means anything.

          3.  Obama calls for "civil debate" in speech:

          Of course, Obama's logic is flawed.  The blogs have been ablaze on this speech since he's hitting anarcho-libertarians and conservatives alike.  Here's an analysis:

          Moreover, democracy in a nation of more than three hundred million people is inherently difficult. It has always been noisy and messy; contentious and complicated. We have been fighting about the proper size and role of government since the day the Framers gathered in Philadelphia. We have battled over the meaning of individual freedom and equality since the Bill of Rights was drafted.

          Of course, the politics have always been hotly debated.  Any time you are trying to control someone else's life you should expect contention.  Especially when you are trying to do it at a national level over 300 million people.  Obama made a good point here for small localized government.

          "A Republic, if you can keep it...."Well, for more than two hundred years, we have kept it.

          This can be argued (more on that below).  And why does he keep calling it a democracy after defining it as a republic?

          But the other strand is the belief that there are some things we can only do together, as one nation - and that our government must keep pace with the times....This notion hasn't always been partisan. It was the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, who said that the role of government is to do for the people what they cannot do better for themselves.

          Yes, some things the federal government does need to do.  Like those things enumerated in the constitution.  They don't need to build roads, give charity, and a plethora of other things.

          For many years, we had a welfare system that too often discouraged people from taking responsibility for their own upward mobility.

          Yep, still does.

          Throwing around phrases like "socialist" and "Soviet-style takeover;" "fascist" and "right-wing nut" may grab headlines, but it also has the effect of comparing our government, or our political opponents, to authoritarian, and even murderous regimes.

          True, we need to be civil but we also need to to call an apple an apple and an orange an orange.  The US is not a socialist nation.  It can be argued that it is moving closer and closer (if not already there) to a mercantilist, corporatist, or fascist system.

          Still, if you're someone who only reads the editorial page of The New York Times, try glancing at the page of The Wall Street Journal once in awhile. If you're a fan of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh, try reading a few columns on the Huffington Post website.

          A better comparison would be.  If you read NYT then read the Drudge Report.  If you read Huffington Post then you should also read Lew Rockwell and Cato Institute.  If you read WSJ then you should read Mises Institute.

          This democracy we have is a precious thing. For all the arguments and all the doubts and all the cynicism that's out there today, we should never forget that as Americans, we enjoy more freedoms and opportunities than citizens in any other nation on Earth. We are free to speak our mind and worship as we please; to choose our leaders and criticize them if they let us down. We have the chance to get an education, work hard, and give our children a better life.

          It is true our republic is precious thing.  That's why we need to stop the government from taking our rights away.  As Franklin said.  We are not holding onto it and many of the freedoms we have enjoyed are gone or are passing away.  We need not compromise on our individual freedoms.  As Ayn Rand said in the post below.

          4.  Ayn Rand on compromise.

          Saturday, May 1, 2010

          Updates on Recent Laws Passed

          The legislative session is now over.  Maybe by the next session I figure out how to follow all the bills sponsored by our legislators.
          Blog for AZ has some good posts on recent laws passed. Here's just a few:
          Update: It's over! Predatory Payday Loans to Sunset July 1
          Legislature restores funding to Kids Care and AHCCCS
          This piece has a nice summary of the changes of the new anti-illegal immigration bill:
          SB 1070 Amended less than a week after being signed by the Accidental Governor 
          Coyote Blog has this summary for the changes in SB1070.