You might be a Libertarian, if…

Libertarianism is not an exclusive club.  In fact, Libertarians are perhaps the most politically-welcoming group of people left in the United States of America.  The Libertarian philosophy is about giving people the freedom to choose, without exception.  Libertarians do not pick and choose when our freedoms apply.  How much more welcoming can you get?

Even though you may not call yourself a Libertarian, you probably hold very Libertarian beliefs on an increasing number of today’s issues.  As Republicans and Democrats continue their strangle-hold over Washington D.C., you might even find that your Libertarian leanings are strengthening.  As more of our liberties get removed by the long arm of unaccountable politicians, the stronger we need to fight to get them back, and admitting how Libertarian you truly are is a good first step.

How do you know if your belief system has changed enough over the years that you might, just might, be a real flesh-and-blood Libertarian?

  • If you believe that both Republicans and Democrats are equally complicit in the corruption of American government, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you understand that people deserve economic and social freedom at the same time, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you reject the idea that government knows best, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you believe that the rightful owner of a taxpayer’s hard-earned money is the person who earned it, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you believe any two consenting adults deserve to be treated equally under the law, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you believe the War on Drugs has not only enhanced the availability of extremely dangerous drugs, but has also resulted in expensive and wasteful incarcerations of non-violent offenders of “crime”, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you believe that our military has been exploited and used by our own government in questionable wars and “humanitarian” missions, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you have ever cursed and thrown objects against the wall trying to figure out your taxes, you might be a Libertarian.
  • If you believe that April 15th (tax day) needs to be recognized as a day of mourning, you might be a Libertarian.

If you believe in true freedom and liberty for every man, woman and child in America, you are a Libertarian.

Purchasing a Firearm for Your Home

Purchasing a gun is something that more and more Americans are doing. There are a lot of people that believe that they are safer when they have a gun that they know that they are going to be able to use in case they find it necessary. Whether they are out hunting or defending their home, many people use their household firearm on a fairly consistent basis. If you are considering getting a firearm, you should be sure that you are going through all of the right processes to purchase your firearm legally.

Research the Laws in Your Area

There are a lot of people that do not understand that laws for purchasing guns differ between states. Depending on the state that you are living in, you will have very specific laws that you need to abide by to be able to purchase a firearm. Take the time to do your research ahead of time to ensure that you are not breaking any laws as you are doing your shopping. Some states may require you to wait a couple of days to pick up your guns, while other states will require you to provide them with extensive details of your history.

If you are asked for a background check, you should be sure that you realize this is optional. Background check software may be a part of the purchasing process, but you are not legally required to submit to the background check. If someone wants to perform a background check with their background check software, you can certainly submit.

Learn to Use Your Gun

Once you have legally obtained your firearm, make sure that you know how you are going to use it. There are many people that do not realize that many people die because they misuse firearms. You should be sure that you know how you are going to use and store your firearm to ensure that there are not any accidents. Take the time to teach everyone in your home how to come into contact with the gun and use it safely. By teaching everyone how to use and store the guns safely, you can prevent dangerous accidents from happening.

When you are learning about gun safety, you should be sure that you are getting the licenses that you need to use your gun when you want to use it. It is important that all of the information that you learn is going to stick with you. Make sure that you remember what you learn in your classes so that you do not put anyone in your home at risk.

Although purchasing a firearm is your right, as an American citizen, it is important that you go about the process wisely. This way, you can be sure that the gun is something that has a positive effect in your life rather than a negative effect. Do not be afraid to purchase a gun, and take the process seriously. When you do your research and buy a gun the right way, it can serve its purpose in your home without any other problems.

A gun’s purpose is to kill, right?

As the gun debate drags on, one point of contention continues to hold strong by proponents of strict gun control.  While guns can be used for perfectly legitimate recreational use (like sport shooting or hunting), the gun’s main purpose is to kill – nothing more.

Though one might expect me to vehemently argue against such a assertion, in truth, I absolutely agree with this statement.  A gun better be able to kill.

Guns fundamentally transformed hunting in the 1800s.  Instead of risking life and limb in the quest for food, hunters relied on their guns to kill their dinners.  Guns made it possible for our ancestors to kill large animals like bulls and ox far easier than ever before, bringing back to their villages large quantities of meat to sustain their populations for weeks.

Guns enabled our revolutionary armies to fight against an oppressive enemy in the 1700s.  Guns enabled warfare from a distance, relying instead on the marksmanship of our nation’s warriors rather than the sheer dexterity of men in close combat.

Snipers on rooftops effectively neutralize hostage tackers and terrorists from a distance with guns.  Regular people use guns in the defense of their own lives every day.  The better your aim, the fewer lives that are lost in life and death situations.  Lives saved.

Whether the target is an animal or a criminal, you are darn right that the intent of a gun is to kill.  If your life is on the line and you are armed with a gun, it is nice to know that the original purpose of a gun holds true.

It is people who ultimately control what they do with potentially dangerous weapons.  Cars are nothing more than 4,000 pound death machines.  Historically, cars have killed more people every day than guns.  Then again, so has alcohol and tobacco.  Nobody argues that cars, alcohol and tobacco were designed to kill people, but yet, their harm to our population has historically outweighed that of guns.

Similarly, matches were designed to start fires.  When an arsonist lights a match and burns down a building or starts a violent and destructive forest fire, is it the fault of the match?  Typically, matches are used for reasonable and safe purposes.  So are guns.  The difference is when a gun crime happens, our 24-hour network news jumps on the opportunity to prop up their ratings on a sensationalized story designed to soak as much emotion out of the American people as possible.  Unfortunately, it works.

Guns have been used to murder.  Cars can be used to hit and kill pedestrians.  Alcohol and tobacco have killed people, and matches used to start wild fires have carved large destructive paths of death all over the world.  Regardless of the intent of the potentially dangerous weapon, people use common objects in the commission of crimes.  Statistically, the intent of the weapon has very little effect on the dangers of its use.

Why do gun control proponents use a gun’s “purpose” to fight for strict controls on guns when many other killers exist in our world that were never intended to kill?  The answer is because guns produce emotional responses, and they are an easy target.

When a child gets tragically hit and killed by a car, the grieving parents rarely blame the wide availability of cars.  However, when a child gets killed by a maniac with a gun, it suddenly becomes the fault of the gun because it was supposedly the gun’s purpose.  Cars cannot be banned, so nobody tries.  But guns can be banned, at least in the minds of strict proponents of gun control.  The Constitution be damned.  Logic be damned.  Let emotion rule the world.

Nobody intends to get into a car accident, but people do.  Nobody intends to lose their home and become homeless, but it happens.  Intent has very little to do with the dangers of our world.  Purpose and intent guide our vision and dreams.  Only actions provide the impetus to get there.

A gun’s intent is to propel a small projectile in a straight line.  Nations have used weapons of all kinds in war against their enemies.  Hunters have used guns in the survival of their families.  Everyday citizens use guns to protect their homes and loved ones.

The purpose of a gun is whatever you want it to be – after all, we are a free country.  For now.

Do minimum wage hikes spur unemployment?

President Barack Obama will announce in tonight’s State of the Union speech an increase in the minimum wage for federal workers on new contracts to $10.10, up from the current level of $7.25.  Putting the constitutionality of such a plan aside for a moment, what effect will an increase in the minimum wage have on American corporations?

Newton’s third law states for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  Meaning, when a burden is placed upon a business, the business reacts to appropriately adjust to the added burden in an effort to maintain standard operating procedure relative to the past.

Economists from around the world have studied how companies respond to minimum wage increases.  Several studies, like this one from the London School of Economics, found a link between higher minimum wages and unemployment.  But other studies have produced a much more complex relationship at play.

Although it can happen, companies rarely roll over and accept lower profits due to the increase in minimum wage.  The laws of economics almost always dictate some kind of response to higher wages for primarily low-skilled workers.  How do companies respond to higher wage requirements?

Some businesses are forced to lay off workers or hike their prices.  Others cut back on hours for their current staff.  Many businesses will slash benefits instead of cutting jobs.

“The last time the minimum wage went up in two steps, we tried to not raise our menu prices, but the cost of food went up a lot,” lamented Blane Beschta, owner of a small diner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  “People are going to say that $3 for a cup of coffee is crazy, but that’s what it’s going to take if we need to raise wages to what is being proposed”.

One piece of research suggests that for every 10% increase in the minimum wage, prices increase about 4%, hardly the mark of smart policy.

New research indicates that higher minimum wages actually reduce employee turnover, which boosts productivity and reduces the costs related to training new employees and staff.  Even so, how do minimum wage hikes effect a business’ willingness to hire new employees?  The jury is still out, and the numbers are wildly unconvincing in either direction.

One thing is certain: many businesses do react to new wage requirements for workers.  We can only hope that a nearly $3 hike in wages for low-skilled labor jobs on federal government contracts does not increase the costs of already expensive and wasteful federal programs.

RESOURCES:

Obamacare’s unhealthy reliance on our youth

21NewTaxesIt is no real surprise that the roll out of Barack Obama’s healthcare proposal – dubbed the “Affordable Care Act” – has failed to garner the results that the government was hoping for.  Fraught with technical problems that rendered the Healthcare.gov web site virtually unusable in its infancy, the government-run health initiative has turned into an abysmal failure.

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has failed because there is very little incentive for our nation’s young and healthy population to signup for the program that provides them with very little benefit.  To survive, Obamacare needs healthy people to signup for coverage that they will probably never use.

A Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report cited only 24% of those who signed up for Obamacare through December were young and health Americans.  Worse, of those people who did signup for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act, the report could not account for how many enrollees actually paid their premiums.

The problem: “Early data from a handful of state exchanges shows the administration needs more young adults to sign up in the next three months to help offset costs from older enrollees and prevent insurers from raising their rates,” Reuters wrote in a report earlier in the month.

This seemingly innocuous statement bears further analysis – in order for government-run healthcare to “work”, Washington needs young and healthy people to essentially throw their money away and overpay for health coverage in order to fund the health benefits of other people.

If this healthcare train wreck isn’t the very definition of redistribution of wealth, what is?

Obamacare helps to prove once again that a “free lunch” simply does not exist.  Everything needs to be funded, and that funding cannot simply appear out of thin air.  When a particular segment of society is screwed into paying for another segment of society, one cannot honestly expect the former to willingly fund the latter.

When the very laws of economics are ignored by our government, big and expensive initiatives like Obamacare fall to the ground.  When our government depends on people to fund the very livelihood of others, society quickly rebels in a natural attempt to keep their possessions secure.

Would you pay the cost of a Ferrari to drive around in a minivan?  Me either.  Why, then, would our government expect young people to pay for coverage they don’t need to fund coverage for someone else?

When one spends their life in government, the laws of economics never apply.

 

TSA spends $900m on useless “behavior” program

According to a Government Accountability Office report, the Transportation Security Agency has blown through nearly $900 million on an ineffective behavioral training program designed to teach TSA agents how to spot potential terrorists based on their mannerisms.  Fewer than 1% of passengers spotted by TSA agents have been arrested and accused of terrorist activity.

A federal review of the program has offered no evidence that the costly program has enhanced the United States’ ability to stop terrorism before it starts, leading to the GAO’s recommendation that the government cut the program entirely.  The GAO accused the government of rolling out an expensive program without a reasonable expectation of its effectiveness, typical of many government initiatives.

The program supposedly trains TSA officers to spot suspicious behavior in a crowd of people, distinguishing between normal activity exhibited by passengers simply stressed out by travel and from a nervous person intent on committing a terrorist act.

The program has cost taxpayers $878 million since its inception in 2007.

Read the entire report here.

 

Gov’t biggest part of the problem, poll finds

A majority of Americans polled recognize the ineptitude of government to be the main cause of societal and budgetary problems in the United States of America, leaving those Americans who refuse to vote for Republicans and Democrats, once again, puzzled about why voters continue to elect inferior political leaders.

A Gallup Poll found that 21% of respondents to a poll asking what the most important problem facing Americans today is cited the government as the answer.  Uncertainty with the economy and high unemployment came in second and third, with issues like a lack of respect for other people and immigration fell towards the bottom of the list.

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In addition, American’s discontent with our nation’s healthcare system has skyrocketed with the botched roll out of the so-called “Affordable Care Act” known as Obamacare.  “Compared with a year ago, mentions of government are up slightly. Mentions of healthcare, on the other hand, have quadrupled — from 4% in January 2013 to 16% today, likely related to highly visible problems with the rollout of the 2010 healthcare law,” Gallup noted.

“Mentions of the government as the top problem remain higher than they were prior to the partial government shutdown in October. During the shutdown, the percentage naming the government as the top problem doubled to 33% from 16% in September.”