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Five Libertarian Ideas #14 – Muslims, Mexican border, Libyan militias, Bundy Ranch

April 27, 2014 in Blogs

By Political Zach Foster

Pat Dollard’s call “for Americans to start slaughtering Muslims in the streets”
Folks, just to clarify, the kind of behavior this gentleman calls for is NOT acceptable. People are being slaughtered by criminals in Chicago yet this guy wants to punish Americans for the actions of extremists on the other side of the planet. This service member’s blind hatred may be and probably is tied to extreme combat PTSD from the Middle East. If so, then this man is mentally not all there and should be pitied and helped, not shunned and scorned. -4/4

Mexican soldiers invading Arizona

Mexican Army troops working for drug cartels have infiltrated American soil at least 20 times in recent years. The most recent incursion happened between lightly armed US Border Patrol agents and heavily armed Mexican soldiers. WHY are our troops protecting outposts in other countries in undeclared wars when armed criminal insurgents are criss-crossing our country’s border??? -4/4

Libya, the militia state
The US/UN intervention in the Libyan Civil War brought an end to the war so quickly… the rebel government couldn’t consolidate power or establish any sort of legitimacy. Now Libya is carved up by 300+ militias, at least one of which is selling oil to North Korea. Great… Oh hey, have we caught Kony yet? -4/4

Bundy Ranch standoff

If the Bundy Ranch invasion ignites a freaking armed uprising, I’m gonna be one REALLY pissed off dude. At everybody. Liberty is worth fighting for; cows and land are not worth dying for. We’ve had too much death and destruction since 2001. I’d much rather try Gandhi’s methods for resisting tyranny than John Brown’s. -4/11

Bundy Ranch standoff, continued

Dear God, help us all. As more federal law enforcement arrives with a military-grade arsenal, militia groups from all over are flocking to Nevada for an armed stand off. I don’t want there to be any killing. Peaceful resistance has not been exhausted. I want the ALL feds and ALL the militias alike to come home to their families. -4/11
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Mexican soldiers photo by “BSMFBSMF” in the public domain. …read more


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Demand-Side Policy Gave Us the Big Economic Fizzle

April 27, 2014 in Economics

By Alan Reynolds

Alan Reynolds

Nearly five years since the recession ended in June 2009, economic policy discussions continue to focus on dubious short-term countercyclical measures to “stimulate demand.” The Economic Report of the President for 2014 wastes an entire chapter rehashing the jobs supposedly “saved or created” by the 2009 fiscal stimulus and Federal Reserve easing. That analysis relies on notoriously inaccurate forecasting models to take credit for the entirely prosaic facts that (1) the last recession eventually ended just as all previous recessions did, and that (2) employment subsequently rose a bit.

This evades the key issue: Did fiscal or monetary stimulus actually “stimulate demand”?

In recent years the U.S. has experimented with demand-side stimulants on an unprecedented scale. Monetary stimulus involves pushing interest rates down to subsidize big borrowers (mainly governments and banks) at the expense of small savers (seniors). That was the reason the Fed shoved the federal-funds rate down to near zero. Even quadrupling the Fed’s assets had no clear and significant impact on the sluggish growth of nominal GDP.

The unstimulating stimulus ignored basic principles of economic incentives.”

Fiscal stimulus involves big increases in the national debt, in the hope that taxpayers will not notice that national debt is their debt. Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul is thought to provide a net increase in their combined income or wealth, and therefore faster growth in total spending or “aggregate demand.”

To find out if fiscal stimulus worked as advertised, we first need to separate deliberate increases in budget deficits from the portion caused by lost incomes and jobs. Once that separation is taken into account, we see that—according to Congressional Budget Office estimates of cyclically-adjusted budget deficits—the average increases were an unprecedented 5.7% of potential GDP from 2009 to 2012. No fiscal stimulus that large ever happened before in peacetime, and certainly not for four full years.

What happened? After such energetic demand-side stimulus, nominal GDP rose by only 3.8% a year from 2010 to 2013, and by 4% in the first quarter of 2014, compared with average GDP growth of 6.1% from 1983 to 2007. Ironically, the Economic Report of the President predicts faster growth of demand from now on—5% or more—but only after deep cuts in federal spending and euthanasia of quantitative easing. The promised stimulus from the previous fiscal and monetary binge remains undetectable—a big fizzle. Demand grew much faster (at a 6.1% pace) from …read more

Source: OP-EDS