The #MyLibertyStory campaign

Hello,
Recently I listened to an interview of Adam Kokesh on the Tom Woods show. I honestly say the interview filled my head with many ideas but one of them is from a comment made that there isn’t enough stories of how people became libertarians. So what I have done is start the #MyLibertyStory campaign. A campaign where I’m encouraging all libertarian to post a video on YouTube talking about how they became a libertarian and how they developed their libertarian views (books, podcasts, etc.) and put #MyLibertyStory in the title of the video making these videos easy to find.
The hope is that is enough people tag these videos, link to their favorite blogs and books in the video description a few things will happen:
– we can better assess what brings people to liberty
– we can help litter YouTube with videos of libertarian talking about what it means to them (more so that we have already)
– get to know each other and make the growing movement feel more close knit.
So if you create a #MyLibertyStory video please post it on FB.com/MYLibertyStory

The Difference between Public and Private Debt

A Longer form response on this issue in summary

– All government debt is not used to pay for infrastructure, and often paying for things with no return

– Governance of Public institutions are more political with more fragmented interests that a private institution leading to worse usage of capital from debt

– Government unlike private institutions doesn’t pay back its debt once its investment matures but rolls it over so when rates do rise, it’s super problematic

– Makes it hard monetary policy authorities to raise rates when they need to forcing them to choose between a budget crisis and inflation

Free Markets and Europe

Free Markets and EuropeBy Alex Merced
 When you hear left wing politicians like Bernie Sander and Hillary Clinton argue for policies that require forced transfers of wealth (high taxes with generous welfare programs), they often site European nations as country who have succeeded with these types of policies?
Do these countries truly combines the level of regulations, taxes and welfare that many people think or do they have a more broader mix of these policies with free market friendly stances that many give them credit for. (Which makes the source of their alleged prosperity less clear)
In this new episode of the contra krugman podcast, Tom Woods and Robert Murphy spend time focusing on Denmark which is regarded as the happiest country in the world. The results is a very insightful discussion that makes you question much of the lefts rhetoric which you can listen here:
http://contrakrugman.com/ep-6-enough-about-denmark-already-heres-what-krugman-and-sanders-left-out/
Here are some other good articles on Europe and economic policy:
http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/europe-embraces-freemarket-reforms
http://www.cato.org/events/switzerland-free-market-model-europe
http://www.aei.org/publication/swedens-swing-toward-a-free-market/
https://www.freeenterprise.com/did-sweden-just-make-case-free-market-policies/

http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2011/09/23/140707524/germanys-painful-unemployment-fix
http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/magazine/italys-labor-pains-11162011.html
https://mises.org/library/vampire-economy-italy-germany-and-us

Libertarian 101

So over the last few political seasons you’ve had a few questions about this term you’ve kept hearing people mention, “Libertarian”.
Essentially libertarians are those who look at all questions regarding government and policy from the perspective of the golden rule (do unto others as you’d have done unto yourself). Although, libertarian philosophy and tradition runs much deeper.
To understand what is a libertarian and the different categories of libertarianism watch this video:

Now below I’ll link to several videos to address different issues regarding libertarianism:

(Watch all the videos below, I’ll be surprised if you don’t find yourself thinking more libertarian when you done)
Healthcare


The Great Depression

Inequality


Central Banking


Taxation


Minimum Wage

Simple Overview of the Great Depression

Recently I made a blog post where I shared several articles to help dispute characterization sod the free market in history. I figured I’d post a very simplified timeline of the Great Depression. 
step 1 – Andrew Mellon who is the treasury secretary advocates tax and spending cuts under Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge freeing up capital the of colony begins growing

(keep in mind in 1920-1921 there was a deep recession but with very little government intervention the economy was rebounding a year later)​

step 2 – Fed Chairman Ben Strong in the mid 20’s begins to increase the money supply and cut interest rates creating an artificial increase in credit. 

step 3 – companies which are already doing well issue stock then use the money to buy foreign bonds (lending money abroad so they can keep buying stuff from the U.S.) the return on these bonds make the companies look more profitable than they are and traders begin using the credit created by Fed chairman Ben Strong to speculate and the stock prices went up beyond the actual real profitability of these companies. 
Step 4 – eventually in 1929 valuations hit their ceiling and prices begin to fall, this forces margin calls (people having to sell to pay their loans since their stocks are falling) which causes prices to fall even further. The market crashed
Step 5 – the economy finds it hard to recover as Herbert Hoover signs the Smoot Hawley tariff which taxes many foreign goods but many countries then do the same In retaliation, hurting trade further weakening the economy.
step 6 – US policy influenced by economist Irving Fisher (who failed to predict the crash and lost almost everything cause of it) focuses on policies to prevent the fall of asset prices (which were overvalued… Duh) slowing down the ability for economy to discover what the true value of these assets are so they can be sold and the economy can again move forward
Step 7 – Herbert Hoover raises taxes to 62% in 1932
Step 8​ – FDR becomes president raises taxes to the 90s and continues to fight asset price deflation dragging out the liquidation even further
step 9 – While GDP and Umeployment improve during World War II (building tanks and drafting soldiers will do that) It’s not till post WWII tax and spending cuts does private investment and quality of life truly begin to improve

Debunking Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders on Trade and Immigration

The Dark Horse candidates for the republican and democrat primaries (Donald Trump & Bernie Sanders respectively) have both expressed skepticism of Immigration and Trade in regard to U.S. Wages and Wealth. To me the ignorance that this exemplifies results in promoting a xenophobic sentiment with hostility towards globalization that I find well… offensive. So below I’ve collected many articles on the topic of Immigration and Trade the benefits they bring the U.S. Economy to settle this debate.
(For those who havn’t noticed Sanders tone on immigration, read this)
(For the record I support Rand Paul for the republican nomination and in the case he does not get the nomination I support Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party nomination.)
IMMIGRATION
http://www.cato.org/blog/immigrations-real-impact-wages-employment

http://www.hamiltonproject.org/papers/what_immigration_means_for_u.s._employment_and_wages/

http://www.nber.org/papers/w12497

http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2015/06/01/does-immigration-suppress-wages-its-not-so-simple/

http://www.aei.org/publication/how-does-immigration-affect-us-wages-and-jobs/
TRADE
http://reason.com/archives/2015/04/30/globalization-is-good-for-you

https://www.imf.org/EXTERNAL/PUBS/FT/ISSUES11/INDEX.HTM

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/cea_trade_report_final_non-embargoed_v2.pdf

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/rising-trade-deficit-signals-good-times-us-economy

http://blogs.piie.com/trade/?p=211

The Case for Libertarianism and Rand Paul

 The Case for Libertarianism and Rand Paul
By Alex Merced
 Libertarianism has often been straw maned into several false stereo types:
Straw Man:
that we believe the wealthy are purely benevolent beings if allowed to hoard capital will be benevolent private distributors of wealth via the market
Reality: 
Resources are scarce and the market functions as the best way to determine that resources go to where they are most valuable, not perfectly, but better than any central planner. Markets are just allowing individuals to agree to voluntarily exchange goods and services with each other. In so much your wealth is created by providing value in the market you deserve it. Although libertarians take much offense to ill gotten wealth via use of government policy to grant individuals monopolies, unfair market power, and artificial barriers to entry to competition. Central planners can never have enough information to truly appreciate the complex interplay of individuals demands to better allocate resources than each individual pursuing their own interest via trade. (An individuals interest is not always only profit as also often part of the libertarian straw man)
Straw Man: That libertarian are isolationist that don’t want to engage with the world.
Reality: Libertarians are the antithesis of isolationist as we want to forge global relationships of peace rooted in trade and travel between nations. Libertarians reject the current status quo of foreign policy based on intimidation and bribery that often leads to war and the death of many who had no role in the decisions that lead to their death.
Straw Man: that libertarians are libertines that will let anything go anytime.
Reality: Libertarianism has a very well defined, constantly debated and refined ethic. Libertarians as a political movement come from a diverse realm of moral codes united by a view of where moral debates should be had is in the social/cultural sphere not via government edict. Government, if it has a role, is to only prevent and persecute violent aggressions between individuals (battery, murder, rape) and their property (theft, fraud). Too broad government involvement is not only improper but also leads to less efficiency of the justice system, over incarceration, resulting in a huge financial burden on society which are resources that could be better used in many places.
In so much that Libertarians are those that for the most part as a political movement want to reduce the size and scope of government Rand Paul is best libertarian hope as a plausible presidential candidate in 2016.
 Yes, there is Gary Johnson who will likely be running on the Libertarian Party ticket and will get my vote if Rand Paul doesn’t win the GOP primaries. Whether you care about elections or not it seems to me a valuable exercise to continue supporting Paul actively.
While Paul has done a concerning level of trying to position himself more favorably to a conservative Audience almost obscuring his underlying libertarianism. I do feel that if libertarians were to give Rand Paul another shot he may still have a chance to surprise us and show at least a fraction of his fathers conviction (which Rand Paul has shown at many times as a Senator).
At the end of the day the promotion of libertarian arguments and values will always be my end goal. Some roads will be more productive than others by at this point I still feel a value in the Rand Paul campaign.
 In the end it’s not even about whether political power is the best conduit for change but rather the social dynamic of elections. During national elections you have a national audience that is more willing to listen than at any other time, particularly to candidates. To me these are not opportunities to waste. While Rand may not be promoting a strong libertarian message like his father, people who see him may be often made to think twice and read up more on libertarianism. Sure beats letting everyone listen to Santorum and Cruz for the whole primary season.
 
(This endorsement encourages you not to donate money necessarily to the Rand Paul campaign or SuperPAC run by Jesse Benton but to the other two Rand Paul superPACs run by Matt Kibbe – Concerned VoterS for America and Ed Crane – Purple Pac which are more focused on promoting a libertarian message in promoting Rand Paul)

Congrats on Marriage Equality

congrats to all my LGBT friends on what is a momentous day with the Supreme Court striking down the state bans on gay marriage. this not purely an issue of individuals being discriminated against but a bigger issue of what the power of government should be (state or federal).
Should the government be able to control the kind of contract consenting individuals can enter voluntarily?
As I imagine most fellow libertarians would agree, the obvious answer is no. Any argument for government power would be for it to protect people’s rights and property. In no way does allowing states to ban voluntary association protect anyones rights or their property (considering estate tax law it can be seen as quite the opposite).
so overall no matter how you look at it, this is a solid precedent made in the name of liberty, love, and contract rights.
Alex Merced

AlexMerced.com

The Libertarian 5 Commandments

By Alex Merced

To understand this post make sure to read this article about Elizabeth Warrens 11 Progressive Commandments.

While many libertarians like to keep it simple with basically one rule, the NAP (Non-Aggression Principle). I figured I’d take my stab at a good set of Libertarian commandments

 

# 1 – Individuals have the right to make choices regarding their property (body, fruit of labor, justly acquired property)

# 2 – Individuals don’t have the right to make choices regarding the property of others

# 3 – Individuals have the right to enter voluntary contracts of their liking with each other and have those contracts judged by a body of their mutual choosing

# 4 – Violence is only legitmatley used as a response to violence, The Initiation of Violence is NEVER just

# 5 – Markets are an efficient and more equitable way to distribute wealth than the alternative, and markets are an efficient conduit of knowledge. Individuals have a right to voluntarily form markets where they are demanded