Liberty on the Rocks Teams Up with Big Government Gary!

This weekend, brave volunteers for Liberty on the Rocks will don fat suits at the Bridge River Run event in an attempt to personify an out of control government  – while attracting people to the kick off of our 19th chapter in Charleston, South Carolina.

Big Government Gary represents a government that is out of control and needs to get “fiscally” fit. The question is, how can we make that happen? Of course we can go to the voting booth every few years and hope a politician eventually has the guts to reduce the size of government – or – we can attempt to move our culture towards one that values liberty and free markets. Real change won’t come from a single politician, it will take masses of people demanding that the government stop spending. That means on everything – including social security, medicaid, medicare, defense, education, etc.

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So how can this be done? At Liberty on the Rocks we believe it starts with connections. Networking and information gathering. That is why we started meeting in a bar over two and a half years ago to get to know each other  – and it is why we have grown to 18 chapters in 10 states today. If you agree, start a chapter yourself! Or go find one to attend and get to know people in your community. Talk about the issues and find out the truth. If we are to change minds, we must first fully understand the issues ourselves.

If you agree – please share these videos and/or our website with your friends and family. There is definitely strength in numbers, so help us build them!

Are the Protests in Wisconsin Only the Beginning?

See what we have to say, check out our latest video: Pathway to Tyranny

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With the recent protests in Wisconsin that are now headed toward Indiana, Ohio and possibly New Jersey, we must consider as a nation exactly which direction we plan to go. If we are going to cut the budget and reduce our nation’s $14 trillion debt (which we have no choice but to do) some people will have to suffer. In the end we will all pay a price of some sort, whether it’s in increased taxes or a loss of work due to business failures across the nation. The number of unintended consequences we will see if we don’t deal with our debt are immeasurable, and will no doubt severely damage our economy.

So what happens next? The budget cuts in this budget reduction bill will hardly save the state of Wisconsin from economic ruin. It will only save the state $30 million on this year’s budget, when they need to save over $100 million more on top of that. Will it be in Medicare or other services to the elderly? Infrastructure? Do we trust that anger will subside when people realize money is about to be taken from them to balance the budget? If not, how will we handle it? Because the way the trend is going around the world, it seems that it will only get worse.

Thomas Jefferson – Still Offering his Wisdom Years Later….

I ran across a great quote from Thomas Jefferson and I wanted to post it so I didn’t forget it. Each day, I want to ask myself the question: what am I doing to stop this imminent “..wretchedness and oppression…” that will come from our public debt problem? And I urge you to do the same. What what will you do to help save our country from economic ruin?

“We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds…[we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers. …And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for[ another] …till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery… And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”

— Thomas Jefferson

Does Antitrust Protect Consumers or Harm Individuals?

Most people react to the term “antitrust” with favor, and support the antitrust efforts of our government.  But is it possible that instead of protecting consumers, the government is actually hurting individuals with their antitrust cases? Considering the government’s track record, I think it’s fair to say that it’s at least worth looking into.

I recently read a book by Dominick T. Armentano that completely challenged my thinking on antitrust. Whereas I was always taught that the government should protect consumers from companies that became “too big”, I found that they were actually stifling individual rights, hampering industrialists and entrepreneurs and doing no good for consumers. You can read Antitrust: The Case for Repeal online in its entirety thanks to the Mises Institute, and I highly recommend that you do.

A recent story in Idaho makes an excellent case for why we should not support the government in its antitrust actions.

The US Department of Justice recently settled a case against doctors in Idaho for conspiring to “…boycott treatment of injured workers…”.  Sounds like a bunch of meanies doesn’t it?  However, if you are like me and are suspicious of most government efforts, this should sound like a bunch of baloney and prompt further investigation of the matter.

great article posted in the Christian Science Monitor makes the case that the government is essentially trying to tell these doctors how much they should charge for their services – and they are succeeding.  While the government makes the claim that these doctors are “price fixing”, what is clear is that it is the government who is setting prices and forcing physicians to go along with the prices they determine, even if it is a detriment to doctors themselves.

While many individuals believe that people have a “right” to be treated by a doctor, they often forget the right of a doctor (or any service provider) to charge what they see fit for their services, and to deny treatment if they feel they are are being forced to make a deal that will leave them worse off than they were before.  We cannot forget that the reason people trade (i.e. offer services for payment or payment for services) is because they benefit from the transaction. Who wants to work hard only to lose money? Is that why people open businesses? Or go to medical school?

If we want to continue to see aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators as well as hard working members of society, we must allow them to decide their own fee schedules in a free market environment. And if you argue that doctors have a “duty” to care for the sick, don’t forget to consider the very real possibility that we will lack many great doctors when we completely restrict their freedom and ability to operate in their best interest. In this situation, everyone loses.

Is the Economy Recovering?

The stimulus is supposed to save the economy from depression, right? Isn’t that why the Obama and Bush administrations spent trillions of our hard earned dollars? But has the economy been “stimulated” (sounds dirty, doesn’t it?), or has it simply been propped up, only to fall apart again as soon as the money runs out?

To consider this idea, let’s look at how the “stimulus” is actually created. The math is simple. The government takes from Joe to give to Sally. But of course, there are always administrative fees to take out of the process. So it looks like this: The government takes from Joe, keeps a little for themselves, and then gives to Sally. Vwalla! The economy has been stimulated! Or has it?

Gerald Celente, Founder and Director of the Trends Research Institute, has an interesting view of what will happen with the economy.  His main assertion? Current economic gains are not real and cannot last. This gentleman is worth checking out.

The important thing to consider when the government claims they are trying to protect you (as in the current Goldman Sachs Fraud case), is that no matter how much they believe they can – they can’t. The government cannot protect us from anything. And history shows, they not only create many of the problems we see today, they also make them far worse.

What to Do About the Scott Brown Issue?

After a recent post about Scott Brown being far from a liberty-oriented candidate, many responded that it’s important to live in reality, and that we cannot have a perfect candidate. Especially not one who lives in Massachusetts.  

I agree that it’s important to live within the means of reality, and I believe that is exactly what I’m doing – and what others should do as well.  Scott Brown is nowhere near the ideal candidate. However, as I argued in another post, it isn’t only about electing the right candidates.  Because I live in reality and I know that many out there wouldn’t vote for a truly liberty-oriented candidate, I argue that rather than focus all of our efforts on electing the “right” candidate, we focus a good amount of our time on informing people and discussing the ideals of liberty.  If we choose not to do this and to simply continue trying to elect candidates, we will always be given choices like Scott Brown.  Not just in Massachusetts, but in other places as well.  I must admit that I don’t have much hope for Colorado in 2010, and the reason is because I don’t believe enough voters in the state truly believe in liberty.  And so long as that is the case, we will never have a truly pro-liberty man or woman in office.

Remember, it is about us! The people elect those in office.  And while those in office often try to lead the people where they want them to go, most will not be elected or get into office by going completely against an extreme majority in this country.  Therefore, I argue that we must spread the ideals of liberty to everyone and everywhere. And yes, Scott Brown being elected was no surprise, and I didn’t see it happening any other way.  He was elected, and we must understand that, but the goal must now be to showcase the example of Scott Brown, and to KEEP talking about this until we are able to get a liberty-oriented consensus in this country.  All lovers of liberty and freedom must take on the responsibility of selling the principles of liberty if they ever wish to have a better reality.

I’m Glad Scott Brown Voted for the Jobs Bill…

…early on that is.  At least everyone was paying attention.

While myself and others recognized that Scott Brown was not a liberty-loving fellow and were expecting this kind of behavior, it hasn’t been seen that way across the country (until now, hopefully).  All most people knew was that he was running against a Democrat and he said he wouldn’t vote for Obama’s healthcare bill.  But did many listen when he mentioned he wouldn’t vote for it because he thought he could instead make it better?

What I’m trying to say is that we shouldn’t be surprised by his vote to advance this bill.  His stance is that government can and should help people better their lives. He stated that he “…came to Washington to be an independent voice, to put politics aside and to do everything in [his] power to help create jobs for Massachusetts families.” [emphasis mine]  If we wanted a truly liberty-oriented candidate who believes in the constitution, it would have been someone who would never claim that the government is the answer to our problems, rather that they are the problem themselves. Not only should the government not be in the business of bettering anyone’s lives, they are unable to! If you frequent the post office, DMV or pay any attention to politics whatsoever, it should have been clear long ago that the government does not run things well and should be limited to the strict confinements of the constitution. Scott Brown let us down by advancing government rather than diminishing it.

I am glad that Scott made his move when people were watching. All I can hope is that as a nation we are learning our lessons, and it seems that we are. I have been quite pleased with the outrage today by those on the “center-right”, and am happy to see that very few are sticking up for him. However, we still have a long way to go and cannot stop now.  For those of us who truly care about restoring liberty to this republic, there is plenty of hard work ahead.

Disclaimer: Liberty on the Rocks is a non-partisan organization and does not endorse or oppose any candidate in any election.