Category Archives: Economy

Continued: Round Up Of The Fox Business Presidential Debate, 2016

Debt, Economy, Military, Neoconservatism, Political Economy, Republicans, Ron Paul, War

like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

‘Thanks’ To One Libertarian Patriot, ‘Farewell’ To Another

Capitalism, Economy, Ilana Mercer, libertarianism, Objectivism, Taxation

A student of Ayn Rand and Ludwig von Mises—Austrian economist George Reisman, author of the magisterial “Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics,” is not as famous as Milton Friedman, but he’s far and away the greater economist.

Both are mentioned in the column “Burn-The-Wealth Bernie & His Partial Enslavement System.”

George writes: “Excellent column. My favorite sentence is ‘Be it Hillary or burn-the-wealth Bernie – both agree that it is up to them, the all-knowing central planners, to determine how much of your life ought to be theirs to squander.’ This really names the essence of their program.”

My thanks to George.

And my condolences to the Schiff family and to the greater libertarian community, which mourns the death of an icon.

Irwin A. Schiff died shackled to a prison bed not in China or Iran, but in the USA.

Son Peter Schiff, a great patriot, too, has penned an obituary to his father.

“Death of a Patriot” By Peter Schiff:

My father Irwin A. Schiff was born Feb. 23rd 1928, the 8th child and only son of Jewish immigrants, who had crossed the Atlantic twenty years earlier in search of freedom. As a result of their hope and courage my father was fortunate to have been born into the freest nation in the history of the world. But when he passed away on Oct. 16th, 2015 at the age of 87, a political prisoner of that same nation, legally blind and shackled to a hospital bed in a guarded room in intensive care, the free nation he was born into had itself died years earlier.

My father had a life-long love affair with our nation’s founding principals and proudly served his country during the Korean War, for a while even having the less then honorable distinction of being the lowest ranking American soldier in Europe. While in college he became exposed to the principles of Austrian economics through the writings of Henry Hazlitt and Frederick Hayek. He first became active in politics during Barry Goldwater’s failed 1964 presidential bid. His activism intensified during the Vietnam Era when he led local grass root efforts to resist Yale University’s plans to conduct aid shipments to North Vietnam at a time when that nation was actively fighting U.S. forces in the south. Later in life he staged an unsuccessful write in campaign for governor of Connecticut, then eventually lost the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination to Harry Brown in 1996.

In 1976 his beliefs in free market economics, limited government, and strict interpretation of the Constitution led him to write his first book The Biggest Con: How the Government is Fleecing You, a blistering indictment of the post New Deal expansion of government in the United States. The book achieved accolades in the mainstream conservative world, receiving a stellar review in the Wall Street Journal, among other mainstream publications.

But my father was most known for his staunch opposition to the Federal Income Tax, for which the Federal Government labeled him a “tax protester.” But he had no objection to lawful, reasonable taxation. He was not an anarchist and believed that the state had an important, but limited role to play in market based economy. He opposed the Federal Government’s illegal and unconstitutional enforcement and collection of the income tax. His first book on this topic (he authored six in total, self-published by Freedom Books) How Anyone Can Stop Paying Income Taxes, published in 1982 became a New York Times best seller. His last, The Federal Mafia; How the Government Illegally Imposes and Unlawfully collects Income Taxes, the first of three editions published in 1992, became the only non-fiction, and second and last book to be banned in America. The only other book being Fanny Hill; Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, banned for obscenity in 1821 and 1963.

His crusade to force the government to obey the law earned him three prison sentences, the final one being a fourteen-year sentence that he began serving ten years ago, at the age of 77. That sentence turned into a life sentence, as my father failed to survive until his planned 2017 release date. However in actuality the life sentence amounted to a death sentence. My father died from skin cancer that went undiagnosed and untreated while he was in federal custody. The skin cancer then led to a virulent outbreak of lung cancer that took his life just more than two months after his initial diagnosis.

The unnecessarily cruel twist in his final years occurred seven years ago when he reached his 80th birthday. At that point the government moved him from an extremely low security federal prison camp in New York State where he was within easy driving distance from family and friends, to a federal correctional institute, first in Indiana and then in Texas. This was done specially to give him access to better medical care. The trade off was that my father was forced to live isolated from those who loved him. Given that visiting him required long flights, car rentals, and hotel stays, his visits were few and far between. Yet while at these supposed superior medical facilities, my father received virtually no medical care at all, not even for the cataracts that left him legally blind, until the skin cancer on his head had spread to just about every organ in his body.

At the time of his diagnosis in early August of this year, he was given four to six mouths to live. We tried to get him out of prison on compassionate release so that he could live out the final months of his life with his family, spending some precious moments with the grandchildren he had barely known. But he did not live long enough for the bureaucratic process to be completed. Two months after the process began, despite the combined help of a sitting Democratic U.S. congresswoman and a Republican U.S. senator, his petition was still sitting on someone’s desk waiting for yet another signature, even though everyone at the prison actually wanted him released. Even as my father lay dying in intensive care, a phone call came in from a lawyer and the Bureau of Prisons in Washington asking the prison medical representatives for more proof of the serious nature of my father’s condition.

As the cancer consumed him his voice changed, and the prison phone system no longer recognized it, so he could not even talk with family members on the phone during his finale month of life. When his condition deteriorated to the point where he needed to be hospitalized, government employees blindly following orders kept him shackled to his bed. This despite the fact that escape was impossible for an 87 year old terminally ill, legally blind patient who could barley breathe, let alone walk.

Whether or not you agree with my father’s views on the Federal Income Tax, or the manner by which it is collected, it’s hard to condone the way he was treated by our government. He held his convictions so sincerely and so passionately that he continued to espouse them until his dying breath. Like William Wallace in the final scene of Braveheart, an oppressive government may have succeeded in killing him, but they did not break his spirit. And that spirit will live on in his books, his videos, and in his children and grandchildren. Hopefully his legacy will one day help restore the lost freedoms he died trying to protect, finally allowing him to rest in peace.

like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

Time For A Canadian Community Organizer

Canada, Economy, Elections

Canadians (not this ex-pat) want their own Barack Obama, so they elected Justin Trudeau: a community organizer with a better political pedigree, a prettier face, more privilege and less brain power than even the ass with ears, Obama.

By profession, young Justin Trudeau is “A substitute drama teacher” to quote Kathy Shaidle. His resume is emptier than a banker’s heart.

Canada has enjoyed solid economic fundamentals, having averted the economic meltdown of 2008 due to more conservative fiscal policies, including no affirmative action in money lending.

The Central Bank of Canada is not nearly as inflationary as our Fed. Its banks, in fact, were the healthiest in the world as ours collapsed in 2008. The Canadian immigration system is generally geared to serve the country’s shifting needs. The country’s corporate tax rate is lower than ours.

The voters, however, thought it was time for less austerity and more government spending.

“Sunny ways my friends. Sunny ways,” Trudeau told his enthusiastic supporters in Montreal. “This is what positive politics can do.”

Very weird. Is “Sunny ways” some sort of a chant?

like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

UPDATED: Lowlights In Bite-Size Tweets From First Democratic Debate

Democrats, Economy, Elections, Foreign Policy, Hillary Clinton

Democratic Debate lowlights from the latest bite-size tweet to the first:

UPDATE (10/4): These tweets got left out of my laborious, URL cut-and-paste from Twitter to Barely a Blog (we’re working on a plugin between the two cyber-places, for auto-propagation):

like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint

UPDATE II: Methuselah And The Democratic Gang Cometh (Debate Ratings)

Democrats, Economy, Left-Liberalism, Socialism

The tension is mounting (not), as two washed-out, walking cliches of the hard left (Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders), join two other political phantoms no one has heard of before (Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee), to malign and bring down their betters—the “highly productive and provident one percent that provides the standard of living of a largely ignorant and ungrateful ninety-nine percent,” as Professor George Reisman calls the deservedly rich.

In attendance at Tuesday’s CNN Facebook Democratic Debate in Las Vegas will be one good guy: Jim Webb, who’ll probably be nudged to the left and will cease to be who he once was, to keep-up with the awfulness on stage.

I’ll be surprised if the Las Vegas Democratic Debate draws more than 4 million viewers.

Sheryl Crow will perform. She’s the singer known for applying her cerebral sinew, as is Hollywood’s wont, to solving global warming. Hint: It has to do with using your sleeve. Yes, she’s an indelicate creature.

UPDATE I: Wow, at the time of writing, the hashtag #CNNDemocraticDebate had … 3 tweets to its name. It could well be that the debate will draw only 2 viewers. (One of the #CNNDemocraticDebate tweets is mine.)

UPDATE II (10/12): Well, well, what do you know? I was right to bring up the ratings issue way back on 10.07.15, with respect to the forthcoming Democratic primary debate.

Mainstream media has awoken to the Real Story behind the Dem debate: No one but them cares about it. It also seems that my predictions of the number of viewers who’ll tune in to watch elderly has-beens dream up plans to rob Peter to pay Paul are not out of whack. See “CNN expects ‘significantly smaller’ ratings for Dem debate.”

like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint


Democrats, Economy, Federal Reserve Bank, Inflation, libertarianism, Republicans

By Myron Pauli

The 2015 Republicans rest upon 3 fundamental pillars:

[1] SUPPORT OF “FAMILY VALUES”: whereby government promotes abstinence education, school prayer, and the old “Leave It To Beaver” lifestyle of sexual abstinent; of heterosexuals who married until death do us part with no drugs, abortions, or much booze. Those values were nostalgic and on the way out even in Beaver’s 1950s. While Bruce Jenner may no longer suffer gender confusion; many can appreciate that a nation that worships an Olympic athlete who is considering lopping off his manhood suffers moral confusion. The old time ideals still hold sway especially among the rural white Protestants in the “Red States”.

[2] CUTTING TAXES ON THE WEALTHY: In other words, “supply side economics” from the 1980s where tax rates of 70% were cut while the Federal Reserve jacked interest rates to 18% and led to renewed prosperity when inflation was finally conquered. People forget that Ronald Reagan and Bob Dole raised payroll taxes and that government spending skyrocketed. The “supply side” formula did not work under Bush-II and most people see that the bailouts enrich Wall Street megabanks and that billionaires like Donald Trump buy politicians of both parties, and don’t shy away from using eminent domain laws to grab private property and bankruptcy laws to default on $5 billion of debt. The middle-class treads water and the “working class” drowns (as its jobs disappear overseas or are lost to robots) while the Fiorinas come in, fire employees, tank the stock, and walk away with $100,000,000. Nevertheless, the “supply side” idea has enough libertarian appeal and sufficient economic common sense to garner political support.

[3] GLOBAL WARMONGERING: Where the neocons make war on demons intent on destroying us – Afghans, Yemenis, Libyans, Russians, Chinese, Syrians, Iranians, “terrorists,” and where we pump billions into defense contractors. The “bad guy” drumbeat never stops, with every beheading or “Russians expanding influence” or some or other existential threat to Peoria—such as Saddam Hussein’s nuclear-armed cruise missile “mushroom cloud”—constituting a reason to keep up the drumbeat. Fear is not only a great motivator but wins votes as well.

The 2015 Democrats have their basic pillars:

[1] TO BE THE MAJORITY OF THE “MINORITIES”: Immigrants, Hispanics, non-whites, non-Christians, non-heterosexuals, and feminists with enough identity grievances constitute a Democratic majority. Lesbians and Muslims may not have common cause, but do have a common enemy. Blacks and Asians have little love for one another, but the enemy of my enemy is my friend; and rural, heterosexual, anti-immigrant, white Protestant men are The Enemy.

[2] CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES/DEPENDENTS: Discounting the military and defense contractors who lean Republican, millions of academicians, Amtrak employees, elderly, students, welfare recipients, firefighters, Sallie Mae employees, social workers, TSA gropers, and their families get their compensation from the government. This forms an almost unstoppable bulwark even if a small percentage of that constituency are Republicans. Money means self-interest and money talks.

The libertarians, constitutionalists and non-interventionists who’re not into the Red and Blue- State identity politics only have apathy and cynicism to turn to. Also stuck in the middle of this muck are old rural white, gun-owning Jacksonians like Confederate descendant James Webb who started as a Democrat, left the party of McGovernization, worked as Reagan’s Navy Secretary, and then returned to the “old Democracy” after watching the neocon plutocrats of Bush-II screwing over his rural Virginian constituents.

Webb and others are as much political orphans as the libertarians.

The political season opens up with 2/3 of Republicans rejecting their own politicians for 3 candidates who never served in any public capacity. The Democrats are stuck with an openly corrupt ex-Secretary of State and Presidential spouse who raises billions from the Wall Street crowd. Or an aging Marxist who does not even belong to the party.

While a majority will stay home on election day, the only major motivation to vote is fear of the other party!


Barely a Blog (BAB) contributor Myron Pauli grew up in Sunnyside Queens, went off to college in Cleveland and then spent time in a mental institution in Cambridge MA (MIT) with Benjamin Netanyahu (did not know him), and others until he was released with the “hostages” and Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1981, having defended his dissertation in nuclear physics. Most of the time since, he has worked on infrared sensors, mainly at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He was NOT named after Ron Paul but is distantly related to physicist Wolftgang Pauli; unfortunately, only the “good looks” were handed down and not the brains. He writes assorted song lyrics and essays reflecting his cynicism and classical liberalism. Click on the “BAB’s A List” category to access the Pauli archive.

like tweet google+ recommend Print Friendlyprint