Female? Give libertarian a try.

Author’s note: I am a man and make no claims I fully understand women’s issues or what it is like to be a woman in America. However, I do understand liberty, equal rights, and the concept of gender egalitarianism through private action.

Abortion. Birth control. Equal pay. Prostitution. Sexual violence. Today, these are common issues discussed when it comes to the popular phrase of “women’s issues” in the United States. It is commonly assumed that ‘the left’ wants to make women equal and ‘the right’ wants to keep women where they are at – at best.  This has led to an explosion of Democrat Party popularity among many females since before I was born. While some women still vote Republican – they either do it out of religious reasons, the belief that fiscal freedom is more important than social freedom, or a myriad of other reasons, I want to speak to the women who feel their social freedom is very important to them.

Democrat politicians will tell women that voting Democrat is in their best interest. But, is it really? Let’s examine several issues and consider the evidence more closely to prove that voting for more government is truly the best way to promote women’s equality in our society.

Abortion. It is a libertarian ideal that all women have the right to choose – whenever, however, regardless. Why?  Democrats claim “it’s safe”, but a libertarian believes that it is your own body, and who is the government – or anyone else – to tell you what you should do with it? A libertarian’s primary concern is freedom – your freedom, my freedom and everybody’s freedom.  Your body is your own, end of story. A democrat will impose rules upon your abortions, even if they are relaxed rules – but a libertarian will not. If you value your right to choose – you should consider the libertarian philosophy.

Birth control. On this, libertarians win the freedom battle, hands down. Why? Both libertarians and democrats support birth control (including Plan B), but libertarians take it a step further.  Libertarians would like to remove restrictions on oral contraceptive (the pill).  This would save millions of dollars for millions of women and make it more affordable than ever before. Again, it is your body, why do you have to see a doctor for refilling a prescription again and again? Especially when the statistics for the safety of “the pill” are indisputable.

Equality in the work place. This one is a bit more difficult to address and doing so in a paragraph, when volumes of research exist on the subject (some conflicting), seems absurd. That being said, I believe women are becoming acutely intrinsic to our nation’s future as a superpower as more and more businesses embrace technology and highly-skilled positions within an organization. The problem: the complexities that exist with employment and discrimination law encourage businesses to “hedge their bets” before interviewing women for high skill positions. I firmly believe laws that give special standing to individuals in the work place only lead to furthered inequality. The ‘pay gap’ exists due to legitimate reasons beyond just bigotry: chosen profession, more women in lower paying jobs, fewer women with engineering degrees, fewer hours worked, taking time off for children, and the like. Time has a great article on it: http://ideas.time.com/2013/03/07/the-pay-gap-is-not-as-bad-as-you-and-sheryl-sandberg-think/

Truthfully, preferential treatment of any kind is wrong and leads to women’s economic disenfranchisement. It was wrong with women, it was wrong with blacks – it is always wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.  If we truly wish to embrace the concept of women’s equality in the work place – we need to start treating them as they are equals, not a special protected class.

Libertarian philosophy demands just that: no employment coercion of any kind. When you make it to a prestigious university or get that dream job, no one can tell you it’s due to ‘the system’ giving it to you. You earned it, regardless of the challenges present, and that is how we must begin treating women: as a person worthy of respect and an individual who does not need a patronizing parent to ‘protect’ and treat women as a protected class? Do away with the patriarchal society telling you what you should and should not do: be your own person and let’s start treating each other with respect – that’s the beauty of liberty.

Prostitution.  Prostitution in most places is illegal, and therefore, operated by criminals, pimps, and fueled by human trafficking that entraps women into a life of slavery outside our lawful society. These dark holes that trap these women are dangerous lifestyle – but we can change that. Legalize prostitution. If it is no longer a crime to be a prostitute, it will make pimps and human traffickers obsolete over-night. Now, sex can be bought and sold on an open market with government regulation of the industry. When a prostitute is raped, she can now go to the police without fear of being charged with a crime. If you believe your body is your right and no one else’s, advocate for the legalization of prostitution even if it is something you personally oppose.  Free women (and men, as well) can do with their bodies as they please – is a basic right and one that isn’t supported by the Republican or Democrat platforms: if you want the right to your body, libertarian is the way to go.

Sexual violence. This one is the worst of all the topics I’m going to address. Rape. It is an ugly, terrible word that denotes a violent and evil crime perpetrated by criminals against people. More often than not, it targets women and women represent the majority of victims making. If you are a woman, understand the police cannot stop rape from happening, nor will any amount of ‘sexual violence walks’ or ad campaigning.

Rape is not committed by misguided male lovers. Rape is a crime of violence and dehumanization, treating the other person as an object, against their will, to satisfy personal lust, or worse, the need to hurt and humiliate someone deeply. Regardless of emotion or intent, the crime is still violent. There is no ‘gentle rape’ or ‘kinda rape’. Rape is rape and these violent criminals must be stopped and persecuted. Women must stop being treated like children after the incident and empowered to seek justice against their assailants. But even more so: we need to empower women to protect themselves.

I’ve heard that women should not fight rape – instead, “go along with the rape”or they will “make it worse”. No. No. NO NO NO! This is absurd and only serves to promote rape culture – fight to the last breath and do everything in your power to resist every step of the way.  Guns give women an advantage against their male assailants.  Unfortunately, many states enforcing strict gun control laws and waiting periods before the lawful purchase of a gun – as if a man who intends on raping his girlfriend will wait until his victim possesses a gun to protect herself.

Want to curb violence against women?  Let’s level the playing field.  Support the right of all women to carry hand guns, tasers, mace, and switch blades.  Did you know that 2/3 of all rapes occur by someone the victim knows? A flick of the wrist from the switch blade in a pocket can make an unwanted assault short-lived, indeed.  If sexual violence against women concerns you, libertarian freedom is the solution.

Vote libertarian for women’s rights; for everyone’s rights.

RIP Arthur J Hubbard – WWII Code Talker

On Feb. 7th, 2014 former Arizona state senator and Navajo Code Talker Arthur J Hubbard passed away at the age of 102, according to a press release from the Navajo Nation and Tohono O’odham. Born  January 23rd, 1912 (before Arizona was a state) on the Navajo reservation, Hubbard grew up a man of meager means, but he persevered for better in every aspect of his life. This led to his attending the University of Arizona, before it was ever common for a Native American, and in 1939 he voluntarily enlisted into the Marines.

It was during this time that he helped develop and became an instructor for the “Code Talkers.”  This crucial way to transmit sensitive information over open air waves helped the United States maintain intelligence superiority over the Japanese at many critical battles. Upon his return, after the war, he was appointed as the Director of Indian Development District of Arizona and finally, in 1972 he became the first Native American to hold a senate seat in Arizona’s history, serving until 1984.

During his time as state senator, he advocated for the rights of the Native American populace, and true, he was a democrat – but we can’t all be perfect. However, in a few cases he fought against what he saw as state government encroaching on the right for the Navajo Nation to rule itself (documents here and here).

Hats off to Arthur J Hubbard – for fighting for our freedom when our country needed you the most and for your public service to your home who you felt were disadvantaged by strong government intervention.

I might not have always agreed with you, Mr. Hubbard, had we been at a political debate, but it would have been an honor to have had the chance. You’re one democrat who has earned my respect, that’s for sure.

Rest in peace, brave soldier.

Wealth redistribution: why not give people jobs instead?

This nation has a chronic problem of entitlement – unemployment checks, welfare, SNAP, social security, medicaid/medicare, and the list goes on. The central core of this problem ultimately comes down to whether our nation simply gives people resources or makes them earn it.

So here’s my proposal: let’s do both. Give the assistance if people work jobs ascribed to them.

Obviously, there’s a catch to this as I’m a libertarian and you’re reading this on a reason-based, logic-driven news site.  I firmly believe that people will reject the idea of working if the government’s so-called “safety net” props up underachievement.

Instead of issuing monthly government checks, let’s start rebuilding our infrastructure of this nation by putting more teachers in schools, more local firefighters and police, and modernize hospitals.  Start rebuilding our nation by helping people find JOBS at various private companies – and pay them to do their jobs.

Give people jobs, not money.  Autonomy is critical to a productive workforce.  The feeling of empowerment and motivation are serious factors in positive economic production.  Government checks provide nothing but a feeling of entitlement and worthlessness.

Why wouldn’t anyone agree to this? If you can think of a reason then….why are you giving that same money to people right now?

Republicans: fight for a $15 minimum wage

Republicans, listen up, it’s time you start fighting fire with fire and stop letting this president run rampant with his rhetoric. It’s time you start acting like a party that had principles and stop selling out your most basic principles of limited government over issues like two kissing men in wedlock, religion and expensive never-ending wars.  The democrats have gained a strangle-hold control over American politics.

And the first step is by proposing a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour. If they want it, let ‘em have it!

Now, at first glance you may recoil from this idea, but hear me out. If President Obama and the democrat party crow so vehemently about how good a $10.10 minimum wage is, you should counter with ‘yes, but we need it to be at $15 an hour.’ If you call Obama’s bluff about the minimum wage not being a detriment to the nation’s economy and a driver of unemployment, there’s no reason he shouldn’t agree to a $15 minimum wage.  How about $20?

The democrats can only play it two ways: 1) reject it and say that $15 is too much and will cause too much unemployment, thereby conceding the point that minimum wage is an overall net negative, or 2) they accept the $15 an hour wage, touting it as a ‘major achievement’ and when we do see unemployment and prices increase for the lower-middle class, attack with “see what happens when you let government meddle in the affairs of the economy?”  Then, cut the minimum wage and let the free market determine what people are willing to work for.  Business that pay too little quickly go bankrupt.  Businesses that pay well will get the best our economy has to offer.  That is economics!

Some people are hard learners, but it’s a win/win for liberty because it allows people, through liberty and the democratic system, to fail.  When people begin losing jobs or benefits, and business institute hiring freezes to compensate for the increase in costs, they will only have themselves and who they voted for to blame.  Of course, some will attempt to eschew responsibility.  Remember, people vote with their pocketbooks as much as with their minds.  Money talks.  It also votes.

We need to stop fighting the lazy and entitled mentality of this nation and let them wallow in their misery at the outcome. Some will get hurt along the way and that will be painful to any human being with a conscience, but it isn’t liberty’s doing. It is those who wish to steal liberty and keep people poor and utterly enslaved to the government. The blood will be on their hands, not yours.

So, will you join with me and start advocating for a $15 minimum wage to end the minimum wage once and for all?

Hate Low Wages? Blame Government

Minimum wage. Every year this seems to come up, and every year there’s a never-ending cry from every unskilled, low-wage worker that they need more money because of corporate exploitation. Then come in others who are more well off, who want to buy their guilt using money from other people, to take up the banner and proclaim loudly they are in support of a “living wage” and are, in fact, moral and not exploiting their fellow man.

The only problem: they are the root cause of low wages and people being trapped in unskilled, low-wage jobs. But, how can this be? Isn’t the problem of low wages the companies not paying people what they’re worth? No! The issue is these jobs shouldn’t exist to begin with.

What? Someone against jobs? I can almost hear the cries of people proclaiming “how dare you suggest a job isn’t worth doing!”  The cold, painful fact is that these jobs only exist because companies find them cheaper than automated alternatives right now. Why are they cheaper? Because the government subsidizes the living of the low-wage workers and therefore they can “live” off $7.25 an hour.

Consider this: you pay taxes to the government. The government then takes that money and uses it for the low income in various ways: SNAP, WIC, HUD, MedicAid, local food stamps, and net-income tax credits (getting money from the government without paying any income tax). All these add up to several thousand dollars a year. They get free/reduced cost doctors visits, free/reduced cost food, free/reduced cost housing, and checks in the mail.

Now, what does this have to do with Walmart or Target? Well if someone can be given $21,000 of services just by being alive, then they don’t need $15 an hour to earn a living, effective wage of $35,000 a year – they only need $7.25 or $8 an hour. Walmart and Target profit from the government subsidizing their labor and they get subsidized by the very people who complain how terrible Walmart and Target are!

Liberals, if you hate Walmart and want higher wages – stop voting for entitlements. Walmart, Coca-Cola, Kroger, and more lobby in support of SNAP because it makes their profits go up.

Here, right from the senate.gov itself: http://soprweb.senate.gov/index.cfm?event=getFilingDetails&filingID=0EC45790-9873-4B29-86FC-8671B7451F8A&filingTypeID=69

Or, if you prefer the distilled version, opensecrets.org does a great job summarizing it: http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2012/12/more-than-70-groups-in-play-over-sn.html

So you might finally ask: but, if these programs left, the jobs would vanish as machines would replace people in McDonalds, Walmart, and other places. What about them then? Well, people don’t starve and if given a choice between learning a skill and earning an income or starving in the street – people will do the former. A higher income that gives a better quality of life – we all aren’t tilling fields and picking cotton with our hands anymore, are we? No, we’re becoming doctors, engineers, carpenters, electricians, and more. All of these jobs create more wealth than unskilled labor jobs and raise the standard of living. People are not stupid, they are not incapable, and they are not victims like we’ve been led to believe by those who profit from their misery. People, however, will take the path of least resistance and as a species we have evolved to do the least effort for the most reward – that’s how we became the dominant species on the planet. It’s a successful strategy for survival.

We need to stop using these broad sweeping terms of political ideology and instead actually look at the root underlying causes. I could never blame someone who lives off welfare and food stamps – they’ve accepted a quality of life without having to lift a finger to do it. Same with those on unemployment – they COULD get a lower paying job than before, but they choose not to because a check comes in the mail for not doing anything each month. If it didn’t, I promise you’d see lot more temporarily employed people as they look for a better job.

We resist the temptation to spoil our children by providing them with everything that they want.  Instead, good parents instill work ethic into their children that makes our nation’s youth earn those things.  It is only strange that half the nation suddenly forgets those teachings when it comes to themselves.

State of the Repeating Union

A president, embattled with public opinion against him, stood up at the podium of our nation’s capitol and proceeded to give a speech talking about opportunity, hope, and bringing American’s back to work. He spoke of a wounded veteran, renewable energy being the future, and affordable healthcare for all. He was given many standing ovations as he talked about difficult times, expanding the war on terror, a recovering economy, and a brighter future because of the last 4 years of his hard work.

You may be thinking of President Obama’s speech yesterday – but no, this speech was given by President Bush at the State of the Union in 2007 and it bears a striking resemblance to this year’s State of the Union. Not only is the general theme the same, but both presidents declare recovery is at hand and opportunity is the most important task on their agenda as leader of this country.

On health care:

BUSH: A future of hope and opportunity requires that all our citizens have affordable and available health care. When it comes to health care, government has an obligation to care for the elderly, the disabled and poor children. And we will meet those responsibilities.

OBAMA: One last point on financial security.  For decades, few things exposed hard-working families to economic hardship more than a broken health care system.  …. That’s what health insurance reform is all about – the peace of mind that if misfortune strikes, you don’t have to lose everything.

On renewable energy:

BUSH: When we do that, we will have cut our total imports by the equivalent of three-quarters of all the oil we now import from the Middle East . To reach this goal, we must increase the supply of alternative fuels, by setting a mandatory fuels standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017.

OBAMA:  I’ll cut red tape to help states get those factories built, and this Congress can help by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to American natural gas ….  The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today, America is closer to energy independence than we’ve been in decades. …. An autoworker fine-tuned some of the best, most fuel-efficient cars in the world, and did his part to help America wean itself off foreign oil.

On unemployment:

BUSH: A future of hope and opportunity begins with a growing economy, and that is what we have. We are now in the 41st month of uninterrupted job growth, a recovery that has created 7.2 million new jobs so far. Unemployment is low, inflation is low, wages are rising. This economy is on the move.

OBAMA: The lowest unemployment rate in over five years.  A rebounding housing market.  A manufacturing sector that’s adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s.  More oil produced at home than we buy from the rest of the world – the first time that’s happened in nearly twenty years.  Our deficits – cut by more than half.  And for the first time in over a decade, business leaders around the world have declared that China is no longer the world’s number one place to invest; America is.

On opportunity:

BUSH: Our job is to make life better for our fellow Americans, and to help them build a future of hope and opportunity. And this is the business before us tonight.

OBAMA: …a rising America where honest work is plentiful and communities are strong; where prosperity is widely shared and opportunity for all lets us go as far as our dreams and toil will take us – none of it is easy.  But if we work together…

The list of examples goes on and on. Even the feel of it is almost identical if you listen to both speeches. Either speech could have been given and it would be appropriate as it seems nothing has changed: the economy is still doing poorly, we’re still at war, we still have companies fleeing over seas, unemployment is still high, the deficit is at the highest it’s ever been, and the list (again) goes on and on. Despite hearing this speech twice now, once in 2007 and once in 2014, I’ve yet to hear any actual information about the current state of the union. No hard facts or charts. No admissions of mistakes we’ve made. Nothing but a lot of chest-beating about America, empty promises, political rhetoric, and a huge amount of self-aggrandizing.

It’s become obvious that these are not, nor have been for a long time, about the actual state the union is in as directed by the constitution (that document we rarely follow anymore). They have just become another time to spew political propaganda at the masses without doing one bit of informing them. It shouldn’t be a surprise to you, dear reader, that both Bush and Obama gave similar speeches – after all, their war on liberty has been nearly identical.

Welcome to the new, old age.

Sweden’s Shrinking State

Ah, Sweden, the very mention of it will often bring about the phrase ‘liberal paradise’. The land where healthcare is free, everyone lives long lives, and there’s no crime or violence, despite huge taxes and a massive public government.

All of it sounds wonderful except: it hasn’t been that way since the early 1990′s and its government is shrinking by the day.

Yes, this ‘paradise’, it seems, has been deregulating and lowering both taxes and spending for the past 20 years at a rate that’s absolutely astonishing. This myth of the ‘perfect state’ has come about due to a few things:

  1. Between 1850-1950, Sweden had one of the fastest growing economies in the world, it amassed massive capital, and was largely unregulated.
  2. Between 1950 to 1980, all the state programs began with the huge surpluses they had, and marginal taxation skyrocketed to 70% – this is the liberal paradise that people mention. Times were good, really, but it was unsustainable.
  3. Starting in the 1990s, the ‘banking crisis’ occurred where banks collapsed, the healthcare system utterly failed, killing thousands, and the entire financial system started to collapse on itself. Spending as a percentage of GDP  was at an all time high of 71.1% (for reference, the US now spends 103%). The education system was on the verge of collapse and many, many jobs evaporated overnight.
  4. Sweden went from 4th richest OECD country to the 16th in the span of 20 years.

Strangely, no big government advocate seems to know of the 1990′s Swedish banking crisis. It’s in plain view: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Sweden#Crisis_of_the_1990s and is a well studied piece of history in Sweden itself. The reasons are clear: big government intervention. Sweden, instead of continuing to go down the bad course, actually did something that is rarely done: they reversed course.

In 1994, following the banking crisis, massive market reform came down and entire industries were deregulated. Private schools were started, a voucher system was put in place, and largely, the majority of top performing schools in Sweden are for profit. The banking system was deregulated, many services were cut, taxes lowered, and spending as a percentage of GDP was cut from 71.1% to 53.3% an overall reduction of the state by over 30%.

Even the citizens are wanting less state provided healthcare. A rise of private insurance has been growing in Sweden, In 2011 about 440,000 people had private health care insurance in the country of 9.5 million (source: http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/22/socialist-swedes-take-to-private-health). If this public paradise was so great, why is it radically moving towards privatizing and deregulation faster than the US is moving towards socialization? Now, Sweden is still less ‘free’ than what most libertarians would wish, but it does show that a country can turn itself around and that even the most praised ‘ideal liberal states’ are not immune to the ill effects of big government.

For more reading on the subject, an article that appeared in Forbes does a great job going into more detail: http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2012/05/13/look-to-sweden-obamas-high-tax-gurus/