The Case Against Political Activism

American politics is in crisis. Is this because of the Constitution, or in spite of it? For many libertarians, the Constitution is a dead letter. Nobody alive today signed it or consented to it. And politicians ignored it almost from the beginning. What can liberty-minded people do? Recorded at Loyola University New Orleans on February 15, 2020. Video of The Case Against Political Activism | Jeff Deist Source link

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Nationalism as National Liberation: Lessons from the End of the Cold War

During the early 1990s, as the world of the old Soviet Bloc was rapidly falling apart, Murray Rothbard saw it all for what it was: a trend of mass decentralization and secession unfolding before the world’s eyes. The old Warsaw Pact states of Poland, Hungary, and others won de facto independence for the first time in decades. Other groups began to demand full blown de jure secession as well. Rothbard approved of this, and he set to work encouraging the secessionists over the opposition of many foreign policy “experts.” “Nationalism”…

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Why It’s so Hard to Escape America’s “Anti-Poverty” Programs

One of the most common debates that has occurred in the United States for the past six decades is the discussion of the poverty rate. As the narrative goes, the US has an unusually high poverty rate compared to equivalent nations in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). Although it’s true that the measure of poverty is flawed, especially when compared cross-nationally, this piece addresses the reasons why the poverty rate in the US in particular has not improved. If we look at the graph below, we see that official poverty…

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Is Free Market Economics Too “Ideological”?

Free market economics is often ignorantly dismissed for being “ideological” rather than scientific. It probably sounds smart to the economically illiterate, but it is decidedly not. It doesn’t mean nearly what most people assume it does. The word “free” in free market economics is not used as a normative value judgment but indicates an economy that is unaffected by exogenous (from the outside) factors. “Free” therefore means that it is the market economy in and by itself that is subject to theoretical analysis. This is, in fact, the only way to…

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Marxist Dreams and Soviet Realities

The sharp contrast that Alexis de Tocqueville drew in 1835 between the United States and Tsarist Russia—”the principle of the former is freedom; of the latter, servitude”—became much sharper after 1917, when the Russian Empire was transformed into the Soviet Union. Like the United States, the Soviet Union is a nation founded on a distinct ideology. In the case of America, the ideology was fundamentally Lockean liberalism; its best expressions are the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution. The Ninth Amendment, in particular, breathes the…

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How the economy could make or break Trump in 2020

As year four unfolds, several key numbers and trends will determine just how much the economy will help Trump overcome impeachment, low approval ratings and serious shortcomings with women and minority voters. “The stock market he’s got. Wages he’s got. The consumer side of the economy is working really well,” said Gary Cohn, Trump’s first National Economic Council director. “The soft underbelly is [that] capital expenditure is not there.“ “He stood there in Pennsylvania and talked about bringing steel mills back and what’s happened is we’ve cut steel lines,” Cohn…

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Billionaire Mike Bloomberg tries on economic populism

In a Democratic Party where progressive populism has taken hold and several leading candidates like Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are railing against the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few billionaires, Bloomberg’s evolution is something of a political necessity. It’s also a way for Bloomberg to differentiate himself from President Trump, whose tax cuts have only served to heighten insecurities about rising income inequality. A new Pew Research Center survey found 61 percent of adult Americans feel there is “too much” inequality in the country. The concern was…

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How an African state learned to play the West off China for billions

Over the course of the last decade, Ethiopia has become increasingly dependent on Chinese investment. The Export-Import Bank of China put up $2.9 billion of the $3.4 billion railway project connecting Ethiopia to Djibouti, providing the landlocked country access to ports. Chinese funds were also instrumental in the construction of Ethiopia’s first six-lane highway — an $800 million project — the metro system, and several skyscrapers dotting Addis Ababa’s skyline. Beijing also accounts for nearly half of Ethiopia’s external debt and has lent at least $13.7 billion to Ethiopia between…

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With impeachment in rear view, Pelosi looks to next attack on Trump

For moderate Democrats in competitive districts— including those where Trump dominated in 2016 — the shift away from impeachment less than a week after the Senate acquitted the president is a welcome reprieve. “I’m glad that we’re shifting and pivoting to something else. Every time I poll in my area, it’s always the same thing: education, health care and the economy,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, who is facing a fierce primary challenger from the left in his sprawling south Texas district. The centrist Democrat said he sees Pelosi’s…

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