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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 103 of John Wallis’s 1993 essay “The Great Depression: Can It Happen Again?” – which is chapter 12 of the knowledge-packed, Deirdre N. McCloskey-edited volume Second Thoughts:

The most important lesson to be learned from the 1930s is that in a crisis it is politics, not economics, that determines what the goals of government policy will be.  Politically expedient policy can yield disastrous economic results.

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 279 of The State Is Rolling Back, which is volume 2 in the 2004 Liberty Fund series The Collected Works of Arthur Seldon; specifically, it’s from Seldon’s 1988 essay “Policies: The Difficult and the ‘Impossible’”:

Keynes’ prescription has been shown to be not only defective in economic analysis.  The public choice analysis of Professors J. M. Buchanan and Richard Wagner has also shown it to be politically unrealistic.  Politicians have to deal with the public not only in the market process, as buyers or sellers of products or services, but also in the political process, as voters and electors.  If it was politically naive to assume that workers would accept reductions in real wages in the short term it was no less politically unrealistic to assume that politicians would faithfully operate budget surpluses in the long term to remove inflation once budget deficits had created them.

Despite some careless grammar, Seldon here summarizes one very important reason why Keynesian economics is far less scientific than its adherents think it to be.  Keynesians unscientifically assume one of the conclusions that they mistakenly believe themselves to have established through rigorous analysis, namely, that empowering government to ‘manage’ aggregate demand is the most feasible means of achieving, over the long-run, appropriate levels of aggregate demand.

Ron Paul’s Farewell Address

Thirty-six years after first entering congress, Dr. Ron Paul gave his most memorable, and possibly final, speech on the House floor today. I believe his farewell address will go down as one of the greatest speeches in American history. As usual, he made a clear and passionate case for peace, free markets and sound money. If you’re reading this, then you have almost certainly heard these arguments many times. I want to focus on some ideas we haven’t heard from Dr. Paul before, and some ideas he hasn’t gone into as much detail about in the past.

The Constitution has failed

Dr. Paul has traditionally couched his arguments in terms of the U.S. Constitution. After years of being a lone voice in the wilderness, it appears he’s reached the only logical conclusion he could. To paraphrase Lysander Spooner, either the Constitution allows the tyranny we have today, or it has been powerless to prevent it, and either way, it is unfit to exist. Or as Dr. Paul phrased it:

Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed… The Constitution has not prevented the people from demanding handouts for both rich and poor in their efforts to reform the government, while ignoring the principles of a free society. All branches of our government today are controlled by individuals who use their power to undermine liberty and enhance the welfare/warfare state-and frequently their own wealth and power.

Voluntarism

Dr. Paul has described himself as a voluntarist before; watch this if you don’t believe me. But when he is dealing with the mainstream media, he traditionally does not argue explicitly against the state. Now, that he isn’t looking to get reelected, he can say what he really feels. As I was taking notes for this article, I counted at least ten statements where Dr. Paul expressed the idea that the initiation of force is always immoral. Here is my favorite example:

First, we recognize that individuals shouldn’t initiate violence, then we give the authority to government. Eventually, the immoral use of government violence, when things goes badly, will be used to justify an individual’s “right” to do the same thing. Neither the government nor individuals have the moral right to initiate violence against another yet we are moving toward the day when both will claim this authority. If this cycle is not reversed society will break down.

All governments fail because they, by there very nature, violate the non-aggression principle. Giving a small group of people the right and obligation to initiate violence and coercion in order to “protect” society just does not work, because power always corrupts, and the more power you give someone, the more they will be corrupted. Dr. Paul recognizes this, and suggests that it’s time for humanity to take our next great moral leap forward.

The idealism of non-aggression and rejecting all offensive use of force should be tried.  The idealism of government sanctioned violence has been abused throughout history and is the primary source of poverty and war.  The theory of a society being based on individual freedom has been around for a long time.  It’s time to take a bold step and actually permit it by advancing this cause, rather than taking a step backwards as some would like us to do.

If you want more of the highlight quotes from the speech, Michael Dean of the Freedom Feens captured some of them here.

The Financial Crisis is a Moral Crisis

Someone once asked me, when did things start to go wrong in America. I thought about it for a minute, and said 1913, because that’s the year the Federal Reserve was created and the 16th and 17th Amendments were ratified. I could have also said the civil war, when habeas corpus was suspended and the first fiat paper money was printed by the federal government. I now realize both those answers are wrong.

Things were wrong from the beginning. Yes, the Constitution is the blueprint for the most limited government that has ever existed, with all the checks and balances and separation of powers that could be conceived of at the time. But the Constitution contained the seeds of it’s own destruction, the clauses relating to slavery, the power of taxation, the doctrine of sovereign immunity, and several other clauses violate either self-ownership principle or the non-aggression principle. Once you’ve compromised on the moral standard even a little bit, you’ve given up 100% of the principle, and the negative results are just a matter of time.

It is a testament to how otherwise philosophically sound the Constitution otherwise is, that it took this long to reach a state of tyranny. It is also a testament to the generations of Americans who came before us, who understood plundering their neighbors was immoral, even if it is done in the name of the common good. They would have been shocked and appalled at the idea of accumulating trillions of dollars of debt, using the unborn as collateral. Somewhere along the way, those values were lost.

Sadly, we have become accustomed to living with the illegitimate use of force by government. It is the tool for telling the people how to live, what to eat and drink, what to read and how to spend their money. To develop a truly free society, the issue of initiating force must be understood and rejected. Granting to government even a small amount of force is a dangerous concession.

Be the Change

Throughout his speech, Dr. Paul emphasized that government is not the path to a free society. The government we have is a reflection of the morals of society, of the rejection of the principles of liberty. All that can be achieved through the political process is education. We can do far more by changing ourselves, helping our families, and setting an example for others. He mentions the homeschooling movement as a positive example, since we can’t expect government run or regulated schools to provide children with an unbiased account of the ways the state threatens our liberty and safety.

Most of the change, if it is to come, will not come from the politicians, but rather from individuals, family, friends, intellectual leaders and our religious institutions.  The solution can only come from rejecting the use of coercion, compulsion, government commands, and aggressive force, to mold social and economic behavior.

There is a lot more to this speech, and I believe people will be quoting from it hundreds of years from now. Here is the video, it’s about 48 minutes long. If you have the time, watch the whole farewell address here:

Denver HH: Are There Limits to Privatization?

Join fellow liberty lovers this Wednesday for social networking, cocktails and a lively discussion by Harris Kenny of The Reason Foundation on the topic of privatization.

Mr. Kenny will share research he has done to showcase the successful attempts at privatization, and will answer questions from the audience following his presentation. So get ready to push the envelope over the discussion of the ultimate question – what is the true role of government?

When: Wednesday, April 18 from 6-9pm
Where: Choppers | 80 S. Madison in Denver

Plus! Stop in between 6:30-7pm to participate in a new communications building exercise. We will be looking for volunteers willing to stand up and advocate for liberty (in the comfort of the bar of course!) – and we hope you will be one of them!

Happy Hour Specials
$5 Burger & Fries
1/2 off House Wine Until 6:30pm

Recognizing Liberty…

You hear the word Liberty used quite freely, especially within the Liberty Movement. But what does it mean and would our Founders recognize Liberty as we view it today?   I invite you to share what Liberty means to you during our 30 second soap-box segment and then we will give the floor to 5th Congressional Candidate Robert Blaha for some unscreened Q & A.  Join us as we celebrate liberty and fellowship with other liberty lovers this March 27th 5:30pm at The Dublin House (1850 Dominion Way, Colorado Springs) enjoying Tavern Style Politics and Activism in the Tradition of our Founding Fathers.

The evening’s entertainment will include the infamous 30 second soapbox, trivia and awesome happy hour deals along with a door prize or two.
So come on out tonight and enjoy the discussion with the usual respectful discourse in the best political format in town;  tavern style politics. You won’t be disappointed.


Making a Case for Freedom
March 31st, 1:30pm @
The Dublin House


Are you a liberty activist seeking to enhance their arsenal of talking points surrounding the issues of capitalism and free markets? Then this is the educational training course for you! Liberty on the Rocks is looking for leaders in the liberty movement (current or future) who are interested in increasing their understanding of the fundamental principles of free market economics by attending a half-day educational course in Colorado Springs.
**Tickets to attend are $10**
On Saturday, March 31st from 1:30-6:30pm, Liberty on the Rocks will team up with the Charles Koch Institute to present an exclusive hands-on, discussion and activity-driven economics training session. During this half-day course, attendees will learn and/or better understand:
-The role economics plays in the advancement of liberty

-How to make the case for freedom from an economic and philosophical perspective

-Different ways of looking at public policy from an economic perspective

-The essential arguments for why socialism can’t work

-And more!

COCKTAIL RECEPTION:
The seminar will be immediately followed by a cocktail reception with complimentary drinks and appetizers for attendees, instructors and individuals on the panel. Light snacks and drinks will be available throughout the day.
RSVP today by purchasing tickets at:
http://coloradosprings.libertyontherocks.org/economic-freedom-session/

Seating is Limited! Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to the event.

March 31st:
Free Market Economics Training
1:30pm  – 6:30pm
@ the Dublin House $10

For more info
RSVP today by purchasing tickets (click here)

April 10th:
Guest Speaker: Ann Barnhardt
5:30pm @ the Dublin House

April 24th:
Civil Unions/ Marriage
Government’s Role?

5:30pm @ the Dublin House

May 22nd:
Congressman Lamborn, Q & A

5:30pm @ the Dublin House


LOTR – Colorado Springs meets every 2nd and 4th Tuesday evening.
For more info:email David Kelly david@libertyontherocks.org
or call 719.237.4598

Liberty on the Rocks is the place to meet others interested in free market and/or liberty-oriented principles while enjoying Tavern Style Politics and Activism in the Tradition of our Founding Fathers!

Economic Cycles
by Justin Longo

Philosophical Foundations: First Principles

I gave this talk on Saturday, February 11th for the Liberty on the Rocks economics fundamentals class. I guess you could say this is the essay version of what I said. Enjoy!
Continued…

Copyright © 2012 Liberty on The Rocks – Colorado Springs, All rights reserved.
Disclaimer: Speakers/Guests/Articles do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Colorado Springs Liberty On The Rocks, and Colorado Springs LOTR does not endorse or support any candidate in any election.
Our mailing address is:

Liberty on The Rocks – Colorado Springs

David Kelly
P.O. Box 63562

Colorado Springs, CO 80962

Making the Case for Freedom

Economic Freedom Session:

March 31st, 1:30pm @The Dublin House


Are you a liberty activist seeking to enhance your arsenal of talking points surrounding the issues of capitalism and free markets?

Then this is the educational training course for you!
Liberty on the Rocks is looking for leaders in the liberty movement (current or future) who are interested in increasing their understanding of the fundamental principles of free market economics by attending a half-day educational course in Colorado Springs.
**Tickets to attend are $10**

On Saturday, March 31st from 1:30-6:30pm, Liberty on the Rocks will host a hands-on, discussion and activity-driven economics training session. During this half-day course, attendees will learn and/or better understand:
-The role economics plays in the advancement of liberty

-How to make the case for freedom from an economic and philosophical perspective

-Different ways of looking at public policy from an economic perspective

-The essential arguments against the new ‘Story of Broke’ video

-And more!

Facilitators and Panelists will include Jeff Proctor of the Charles Koch Institute, Dr. Paul Prentice of the Mises Institute, Professor Joshua Dunn of UCCS, and Justin Longo of the Independence Institute.

COCKTAIL RECEPTION:
The seminar will be immediately followed by a cocktail reception with complimentary drinks and appetizers for attendees, instructors and individuals on the panel. Light snacks and drinks will be available throughout the day.

RSVP today by purchasing tickets at:
http://coloradosprings.libertyontherocks.org/economic-freedom-session/

Seating is Limited! Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to the event

Join the
Bastiat Society

If you are not a member of the Bastiat Society of Colorado Springs and you would like to be invited to future Bastiat Society events, you need to register (for free) and become a member by clicking here and entering your email address in the “Join the Bastiat Society of Colorado Springs Email List”.

Economic Cycles
by Justin Longo

Philosophical Foundations: First Principles

I gave this talk on Saturday, February 11th for the Liberty on the Rocks economics fundamentals class. I guess you could say this is the essay version of what I said. Enjoy!


I want to give you the tools to build a foundation that will guide you to a consistent philosophy. I don’t necessarily want you to agree with everything I’m about to say, but rather, to use the guidelines of establishing first principles to form your ideals. I believe it is extremely important to constantly “check your premises.” First principles are those premises.
Continued…

March 27th:
Recognizing Liberty and Q&A with
5th Congressional Candidate
Robert Blaha
5:30pm @ the Dublin House

March 31st:
Free Market Economics Training
1:30pm  – 6:30pm
@ the Dublin House $10

For more info
RSVP today by purchasing tickets (click here)

April 10th:
Guest Speaker: Ann Barnhardt
5:30pm @ the Dublin House

April 24th:
Civil Unions/ Marriage
Government’s Role?

5:30pm @ the Dublin House

May:
Congressman Lamborn, Q & A

@ the Dublin House
Date to be determined


LOTR – Colorado Springs meets every 2nd and 4th Tuesday evening.
For more info:email David Kelly david@libertyontherocks.org
or call 719.237.4598
Liberty on the Rocks is the place to meet others interested in free market and/or liberty-oriented principles while enjoying Tavern Style Politics and Activism in the Tradition of our Founding Fathers!

Free Market Economics Training

Mark your calenders for March 31st as LOTR presents an exciting opportunity to learn  -The role economics plays in the advancement of liberty; How to make the case for freedom from an economic and philosophical perspective; Different ways of looking at public policy from an economic perspective; The essential arguments for why socialism can’t work and so much more! (See Below)


Free Market Economic Training
March 31st, 1:30pm @
The Dublin House


Are you a liberty activist seeking to enhance their arsenal of talking points surrounding the issues of capitalism and free markets?

Then this is the educational training course for you!

Liberty on the Rocks is looking for leaders in the liberty movement (current or future) who are interested in increasing their understanding of the fundamental principles of free market economics by attending a half-day educational course in Colorado Springs. **Tickets to attend are $10**

On Saturday, March 31st from 1:30-6:30pm, Liberty on the Rocks will team up with the Charles Koch Institute to present an exclusive hands-on, discussion and activity-driven economics training session. During this half-day course, attendees will learn and/or better understand:

-The role economics plays in the advancement of liberty

-How to make the case for freedom from an economic and philosophical perspective

-Different ways of looking at public policy from an economic perspective

-The essential arguments for why socialism can’t work

-And more!

COCKTAIL RECEPTION:
The seminar will be immediately followed by a cocktail reception with complimentary drinks and appetizers for attendees, instructors and individuals on the panel. Light snacks and drinks will be available throughout the day.

RSVP today by purchasing tickets at:
http://coloradosprings.libertyontherocks.org/economic-freedom-session/

Seating is Limited! Stay tuned for more information as we get closer to the event.

March 27th:
Recognizing Liberty and Q&A with
5th Congressional Candidate
Robert Blaha
5:30pm @ the Dublin House

March 31st:
Free Market Economics Training

1:30pm  – 6:30pm
@ the Dublin House $10

For more info
RSVP today by purchasing tickets (click here)

April 10th:
Guest Speaker: Ann Barnhardt
5:30pm @ the Dublin House

May:
Congressman Lamborn, Q & A

@ the Dublin House
Date to be determined


LOTR – Colorado Springs meets every 2nd and 4th Tuesday evening.
For more info:email David Kelly david@libertyontherocks.org
or call 719.237.4598

Liberty on the Rocks is the place to meet others interested in free market and/or liberty-oriented principles while enjoying Tavern Style Politics and Activism in the Tradition of our Founding Fathers!

Join the Bastiat Society

If you are not a member of the Bastiat Society of Colorado Springs and you would like to be invited to future Bastiat Society events, you need to register (for free) and become a member by clicking here and entering your email address in the “Join the Bastiat Society of Colorado Springs Email List”.