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Nevada Standoff a Symptom of Increasing Authoritarianism

April 21, 2014 in Economics

By Mises Updates

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By Ron Paul

The nation’s attention has for the past few weeks been riveted by a standoff in Nevada between armed federal agents and the Bundys, a ranching family who believe the federal government is exceeding its authority by assessing “fees” against ranchers who graze cattle on government lands. Outrage over the government’s use of armed agents to forcibly remove the Bundys’ cattle led many Americans to travel to Nevada to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience in support of the family.

The protests seem to have worked, at least for now, as the government appears to have backed off from direct confrontation. Sadly, some elected officials have inflamed the situation by labeling the Bundys and their supporters “domestic terrorists,” thus justifying any future use of force by the government. That means there is always the possibility of another deadly Waco-style raid on the Bundys or a similar group in the future.

In a state like Nevada, where 84 percent of the land is owned by the federal government, these types of conflicts are inevitable. Government ownership of land means that land is in theory owned by everyone, but in practice owned by no one. Thus, those who use the land lack the incentives to preserve it for the long term. As a result, land-use rules are set by politicians and bureaucrats. Oftentimes, the so-called “public” land is used in ways that benefit politically-powerful special interests.

Politicians and bureaucrats can, and will, arbitrarily change the rules governing the land. In the 19th century, some Americans moved to Nevada because the government promised them that they, and their descendants, would always be able to use the federally-owned land.  The Nevada ranchers believed they had an implied contract with the government allowing them to use the land for grazing. When government bureaucrats decided they needed to restrict grazing to protect the desert tortoise, they used force to drive most ranchers away.

By contrast, if the Nevada land in question was privately owned, the dispute over whether to allow the ranchers to continue to use the land would have likely been resolved without sending in federal armed agents to remove the Bundys’ cattle from the land. This is one more reason why the federal government should rid itself of all federal land holdings. Selling federal lands would also help reduce the federal deficit.

It is unlikely that Congress will divest the federal government’s land holdings, as most in government are more …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Lew Rockwell Announces New Book on Anarcho-Capitalism

April 21, 2014 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken

Today at LRC, Lew announced that a new book is in the works:

Never, ever, has there been so much interest in a truly libertarian society. Young people in this country and all over the world are flocking to the Rothbardian banner. No coincidence, at the same time. media attacks on us have never been so intense or so frequent. Politicians, who you might think would be content with their looting and killing, are vociferously denouncing anarcho-capitalists, because we worry them.

This is all great news, and why I want to tell you about my new book,  Against the State: An Anarcho-Capitalist Manifesto. In it, I seek not only to tell the truth, but to refute the lies. Best of all, I think Murray—to whom I’ve dedicated the book–would be saying, Attaboy!

In this work, I talk about why I am an anarcho-capitalist, and the evils of the State, from the war system to the war on drugs, from the assault on our civil liberties to the damage the bankers’ Fed does.

Why not “limited government”? The idea, I show, is as meaningless as the phrase. I also talk about how anarchy would work in a practical sense.

Is it ever morally justified to initiate violence or the threat of violence against the innocent? Of course, not, yet that is the State’s daily bread.

There are many great scholarly works on anarcho-capitalism, but I had something else in mind: a book of fewer than 200 pages that can serve as an introduction, and as a guide to further reading, in the freedom philosophy.

Read more. 

…read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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At Yale and in the Boy Scouts, Freedom of Association Is in the Crosshairs

April 21, 2014 in Economics

By Roger Pilon

Roger Pilon

The Daily Caller’s morning e-mail today brings us two brief stories that capture nicely the growing intolerance of the Left for people and groups holding views with which they disagree. One arises from a decision by Yale’s Social Justice Network (SJN) of Dwight Hall to deny membership to the school’s Choose Life at Yale (CLAY) group. The second concerns a proposed California ban on judges affiliated with the Boy Scouts. Both illustrate how a bedrock American principle, freedom of association, is increasingly being gutted by the Left’s anti-discrimination agenda.

The Yale case is straightforward. As blogger Katherine Timpf writes, CLAY had been a provisional member of the network for the past year, during which its members did voluntary work with a local non-profit organization that helped pregnant women. But the vote last week, making CLAY the first group to be denied full membership in the network, denies CLAY further access to the hall’s resources such as funding, vehicles, and meeting spaces. Timpf points to an opinion piece written by the chair of the Yale chapter of the ACLU, itself a member of the SNJ group, urging the group not to admit CLAY because it would “divert funds away from groups that do important work pursuing actual social justice.”

That’s par for the course on today’s campuses. It’s training for the real world, as seen in the California case. Here, blogger Patrick Howley writes:

The California Supreme Court Advisory Committee on The Code of Judicial Ethics has proposed to classify the Boy Scouts as practicing “invidious discrimination” against gays, which would end the group’s exemption to anti-discriminatory ethics rules and would prohibit judges from being affiliated with the group.

These politically-driven changes in status could not be limited to the Boy Scouts, of course, but it’s a start. That point was made in a letter to the committee from Catherine Short, legal director of the pro-life group Life Legal Defense Foundation. The Girl Scouts, numerous pro-life and religious groups, even the military practice “discrimination” of one kind or another, she wrote.

The distinction between private and public and the further distinction between reasonable and unreasonable discrimination are being undermined.”

Years ago when I was a scout leader as my son was growing up I read a lengthy insert in the handbook meant for leaders. It concerned sexual exploitation and the need for scout leaders to …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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The Global Warming Apocalypses That Didn't Happen

April 21, 2014 in Economics

By Richard W. Rahn

Richard W. Rahn

“The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer, and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.” — from an Associated Press report published in The Washington Post on Nov. 2, 1922.

You may have noticed that the predicted disaster 92 years ago did not happen, nor have other predicted catastrophes from the global-warming crowd.

On July 5, 1989, Noel Brown, then the director of the New York office of the United Nations Environment Program, warned of a “10-year window of opportunity to solve” global warming “entire nations could be wiped off the face of Earth by rising sea levels if the global-warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of ‘eco-refugees,’ threatening political chaos.”

The reason we have a global warming crisis is because crisis sells.”

The U.N.-forecast disaster never occurred. However, thanks must be given to Mother Nature for the unexpected 17-year pause in global warming rather than the actions of mankind, which have continued to spew out carbon dioxide at record levels. This little error has not stopped the doomsayers at the U.N.

In 2007, the chief of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said, “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.” It is now 2014 and nothing was done before 2012, so, since it is “too late,” why spend any more time and money fighting global warming?

On Jan. 19, 2009, James Hansen, climate expert who until last year was head of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, firmly declared that President Obama “has only four years to save the Earth” which you might have noticed he failed to do. Back in 2006, Al Gore told us that we had only “10 years” to solve the global-warming problem.

Since his recommendations are most unlikely to be accepted and acted on in the …read more

Source: OP-EDS