Liberty On The Rocks (Red Rocks) Happy Hour
Tavern Style Politics with Senator Tim Neville, Rep. Libby Szabo, & David K. Williams Jr.
“State Legislature Mid-Session Report”
March 5th, 2012
Sheraton Denver West Hotel
Red Rocks Grille Lounge (bar/restaurant adjacent to the lobby)
360 Union Blvd.
Lakewood, Co., 80228
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.(Speakers generally begin at 6:00, happy hour till 7:00)
RSVP’s are always appreciated!!!
Here’s a rundown of this week’s jam-packed schedule:
“30 Second Soapbox” – Your time, your causes. Let your voice be heard!
“Ask an Austrian” – It’s the economy, stupid!!!
This week, share something you’ve discovered in your own research of Austrian Economics.
What is it? Why should I care?
On this Super Tuesday eve, David K. Williams, Jr. will give a short overview of an alternative voting method that offers greater civility and choice.
“State Legislature Mid-Session Report”
Senator Tim Neville, Representative Libby Szabo, and David K. Williams Jr., tackle the good, the bad, and the ugly legislation of the current legislative session. This promises to be a lively Q&A!
Senator Neville represents Senate district 22 and offers a unique perspective as a freshman legislator. You’ll also appreciate the story of his path to political office and his future. Senator Neville is known for his enthusiasm in promoting Liberty and gun rights issues, and he sits on the senate committee for Local Government & Energy, and State Veterans & Military Affairs. Learn more about Senator Neville at http://nevilleforcolorado.com/
Representative Szabo represents House district 27, bringing a grassroots passion and commitment for lowering taxes and limited government. Rep. Szabo is a proud mother, a Colorado native, sits on the Economic and Business Development committee, and is Vice-Chair of the Local Government committee. Learn more about Rep. Szabo at http://libbyszabo.com/about.php
David K. Williams, Jr., Esq., is quite the MVP in the fight for Liberty. Mr. Williams is the former state chair and current Legislative Director of the Libertarian Party of Colorado, principal with The Williams Law Office, P.C., president and co-founder of the Gadsden Society of Colorado, Outreach Coordinator for Open Government Institute, and blogger at http://www.bluecarp.com/. Learn more about Mr. Williams at http://www.gadsdensoc.com/who-we-are/
FB group: Liberty On The Rocks (Red Rocks)
Disclaimer: Speakers/Guests/Articles do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Liberty On The Rocks (Red Rocks).
On Saturday, February 11, Liberty on the Rocks hosted their first-ever free market economics training session for liberty enthusiasts and activists in the Denver Metro Area. So what was the result?
A fabulous educational seminar with more than 60 active and lively attendees! Some even traveled more than an hour to be there.
So what attracted so many free market advocates to a 5-hour economics course on a Saturday? We at Liberty on the Rocks would like to believe they were just as interested in economics as we are, and were there because it was fun! But while that may have been the case for some, many others more likely had other reasons for attending. According to the feedback we received (which was overwhelmingly positive), here is what we found people enjoyed:
- Learning more about utilizing free market economics to promote the principles of liberty
- Having access to the local leaders who appeared on our liberty panel (including Mike Krause, Jessica Peck and others)
- Have the ability to socialize and network with other guests and panelists after the event during our cocktail reception
- Engaging in activities and group discussion, rather than straight lecture
If you weren’t able to attend the economics course this month, you may still be in luck. We just might be hosting another (more in-depth) session very soon in Colorado! You can also find links to educational videos and websites below, which were provided as resource to guests after the event. And of course, please check out the educational links (some similar) posted on the Liberty on the Rocks website!
- John Stossel video about endangered animals (and how to protect them with ownership)
- Tom Woods, Jr. on what caused the current recession
- Why Socialism Fails with Jeff Proctor (our facilitator)
- Great Myths of the Great Depression, as discussed by Lawrence Reed of FEE
- EconTalk and EconLibrary (blog by GMU economics professors)
- Peter Schiff Was Right! Videos from the past showing the prediction of the housing collapse from an Austrian Economics perspective
First meeting for March. Plenty to talk about that is going on at the local, provincial and federal level. As well, always news on the GOP race. Hope to see all the regulars as well as old friends and newbies are always welcome. Cheers for liberty!
“I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?”
How would you respond to “Mr. Conservative,” Barry Goldwater, here in his home state tonight?
Steiner was a judge for an American Legion speech contest for high school students. The topic was the United States Constitution. “The high school students talked about … how long it had taken for blacks to be counted as more than three-fifths of a person,” among other topics, he said.
It has been my experience that most refer to that provision of the Constitution as an example of the racism that existed at the time. I find that curious, since the existence of slavery is a much better example. The “Three-Fifths Compromise” is found in Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution. It reads:
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.
What does that mean in modern English? It means that when counting the population of a state for purposes of determining the size of that state’s Congressional delegation, slaves would be counted as 3/5 of a person.
The problem was not this compromise, the problem was slavery. I find it disproportionate to cite this compromise as evidence of racism when it pales in comparison to the actual bondage of human beings. It is as if someone says, “yeah, there was slavery in Colonial America and people were owned like common chattel, but the real injustice was that they were only counted as 3/5 of a person when it came time to determine congressional representation!” In that light, it is absurd.
If asked, I bet most think it was the slave-owning southern states that did not want to count slaves as full people. After all, slaves were just property. But, no, that was not the case. It was the northern states that did not want to count slaves at all. Upon reflection, this makes sense. If slaves were counted in full, the south would have had a larger voice in Congress.
Therefore, the pro-slavery contingent wanted to count slaves as full people, but the anti-slavery contingent did not want to count them at all. This juxtaposition demonstrates the folly of citing the Three-Fifths Compromise as an example of racism.
The compromise is historically important, but not as important as the institution of slavery itself.
The executive director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, my friend Dede de Percin, does her best to sell us on the benefits of Obamacare in the “Perspective” section of today’s Denver Post. (See “Why Obamacare is good for America.“)
I quote some of her statements, then respond underneath:
“Over the past few decades, America’s health care system has been hurtling toward a crisis. Almost one-third of Coloradans — 1.5 million — either have health care coverage that is inadequate or have none at all. The primary reason is skyrocketing costs, which have priced out businesses and individuals alike.”
Why the skyrocketing costs? Because of government mandated coverage, government regulation, and the inability to sell insurance across state lines, among other things.
“Decisions about our health care are too personal and important to be left to insurance companies.”
But not too personal and important to be left to the United States Congress and state run exchange boards, apparently.
“Obamacare is starting to hold insurance companies accountable, controlling the runaway costs that prevent Coloradans from access to health care. For example, insurers must now justify premium rate hikes.”
These rate rikes must be justified to a government board. I hope the inherent downside to government approval of prices is self-evident. Alas, I know it is not. See “The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics” entry on “Price Controls” for an in depth discussion.
“Essential preventive care is now considered a basic benefit for those with insurance and is available without co-pays or other cost-sharing because it keeps people healthier.”
Keeping everyone healthier is a great goal. Pretending it can be done for free is a fantasy. The preventative care may not cost the consumer anything directly out of pocket, but the cost exists and it is paid by everyone. It is the ultimate in cost-sharing. Further, when a service has no marginal cost to the consumer, the demand for the service is virtually unlimited. With higher demand, prices necessarily rise for someone if not to the consumer directly. Costs exist. No legislation can abolish them.
“A major cost-containment initiative of Obamacare is the exchange. In 2014, Coloradans will be able to purchase affordable insurance in the Colorado Health Benefits Exchange, a statewide nonprofit organization. Intended to be a competitive, online marketplace similar to Travelocity…”
Wait… Travelocity was formed by government mandate? No? It was done by a private company in the free market? How is that possible? I thought only the government could make this happen. Perhaps not.
And this nonprofit state exchange plans on paying four executives $165,000 a year or more. It is amazing how political appointees always end up doing well in these state created nonprofits. It is pure corporatism. Nonprofit corporatism, but nonetheless corporatism. Some prefer to call it crony-capitalism (which, of course, is not capitalism at all).
“Since decisions about health care are too important to leave to others, the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and consumer-focused organizations are helping Coloradans make their voices heard by exchange board members.”
Wait… health care decisions are too important to leave to others, so the exchange board members will make those decisions? Aren’t they “others?” I am afraid I just do not follow that reasoning. (Not an uncommon occurrence for me, I realize).
I know de Percin means well. She wants to help those without health insurance coverage. She wants everyone to get the medical services they need.
But another layer of government bureaucracy will not achieve that admirable goal. Government, indeed, has a role, a very important one: policing fraud and enforcing benefits contractually promised to insureds in exchange for premiums. When government starts doing much beyond that, costs go up and coverage goes down.
It is a horrific story of an abused four year-old boy, now dead, allegedly at the hands of his maternal grandmother. The grandmother had been awarded custody of the boy’s two older sisters. The boy was living under her care, as well. The boy’s name was Gabriel.
Gabriel’s paternal grandmother had called the county Human Services department multiple times over her concerns about the boy’s treatment. The State will now investigate the circumstances of the boy’s death and the county’s response to the previous complaints. That investigation may or may not find problems with the county.
Ultimately, however, Gabriel’s death is not a failure on the part of the government, although it may have played a part in not preventing it. Ultimately, the system did not fail this child.
Ultimately, his family failed him. The article makes no mention of his parents. Where are they? Perhaps they have passed away and the boy is an orphan. If not, where are they? Gabriel was not under the legal custody of his maternal grandmother, only his sisters Where were other family members ready to take care of the boy? Where was the church?
This tragedy underscores the futility of looking to the government for protection. No one in the Department of Human Services was Gabriel’s blood. No one in that department was Gabriel’s mother. No one in that department was this Gabriel’s father. No one in that department was Gabriel’s family. No one in that department was Gabriel’s pastor.
No government agent can ever – ever – care about a child like his own blood. No government agent can ever have the compassion for that child like a man – or woman – of God.
If we, as society, looked to ourselves as individuals to help Gabriel, Gabriel would still be alive. Instead, we, as a society, have abdicated our personal duty as individuals and given it to the government, as a collective, to look out for children like this poor boy.
The collective works a 40 hour week. The collective goes home at 5:00. The collective punches a clock. A caring person -as an individual – never clocks out. Let us stop shirking our personal responsibilities onto the backs of a soulless collective.
Arguing for more state power over neglected and abused children is not compassionate. It exacerbates the problem.
No government agent is ever ultimately responsible for a child – his family, and by extension his church famiily – is responsible.