Saturday, January 31, 2004

Review of Gustave de Molinari’s Course of Political Economy

by John Emerich Edward Dalberg, Lord Acton (1834-1902)

Under review: Cours d’économie politique, Gustave de Molinari, 1855

M. de Molinari is the director of the Economiste Belge, an organ of the school of Adam Smith, Bastiat, and Cobden; and he is also one of the most sensible advocates of the déclassement and reconstruction of the two parties which, under the name of Catholic and Liberal, distract the politics of Belgium. He has experienced the suppression of the so-called liberals; expelled from a professorship at the Athéné Royal of Paris by the revolution of 1848, he returned to his own country, and finished his course of political economy at the Musée d’Industrie of Brussels, where, we believe, he has not been altogether well treated by the Liberal ministry. This gives a personal significance to his protest against the nomenclature of the two parties, which falsely implies that the one comprises all that is religious, and the other all that loves liberty, in Belgium.

M. de Molinari’s course of political economy is distinguished from others by the prominence he gives to a law destined, as he believes, to be the refutation of the socialist school of universal administration. I have attempted to demonstrate, he says, that the world of the economist, in which socialism can find no regulative principle, is governed by a law of equilibrium which tends incessantly and irresistibly to maintain a necessary proportion between the different branches and the different agents of production. I have endeavoured to show that under the influence of this law order establishes itself spontaneously in the economical world, as it does in the physical world by the law of gravitation. The only things which prevent this law attaining its full development are — 1. The uncertainty of the seasons; 2. The insufficient knowledge of the state of the markets; and, 3. Monopolies. Now it is clear that the administrative systems proposed by the socialists could not rectify the first obstacle, would be a most clumsy machinery for rectifying the second, and would rather increase rather than diminish the third. There is therefore no ground for the pretence that in order to maintain equilibrium between production and demand, we must employ the foresight of an army of administrators and surveyors, whose duty it should be to prescribe what every produce should provide, and consequently how much each consumer should enjoy. Inhabitants of our metropolis see every morning an ample but not excessive provision made for its 3,000,000 inhabitants, and this without any previous direction or settled plan; the utmost order and regularity result from the natural economic law of the supply and demand finding their equilibrium spontaneously; whereas we might look for a chaos tenfold more chaotic than that of Balaclava, if the problem were left to the arrangement of administrators or directors of social labour and consumption.

In common with all who undertake to write a course of any special science, M. de Molinari has been obliged to seek his proper place in the circle of philosophy, and to attach himself, by proper transitions, to the proximate sciences. In this he has failed from want of any general philosophical culture. He has no idea of the metaphysics of political economy. Man, he says, in the eyes of the economist, is a being with material, moral, and intellectual needs; his body requires food, clothing, shelter, and protection; his mind is athirst for knowledge; it wants to be ever receiving new impressions; his sentiment requires the pabulum of love, of beauty, and of religion. And this world, the world of the economist, is sufficient to supply all these wants. Le globe que nous habitons, l'immensité dont nous avons la perspective, la socié au sein de laquelle nous vivons, renferment tous les éléments nécessaires à la satisfaction de nos appétits matérials, intellectuels et moraux. But the material wants come first; and by the time the economist has done with them, his course is finished, and he has nothing left to say on the satisfaction of our intellectual and moral wants. Thus he gives occasion to his enemies to say that with him our animal wants are all in all. There is more reason to accuse him of forgetting the truth that body and soul are distinguished chiefly in this, that while the body has only wants for us to supply, the soul has duties to fulfil; and that these duties are so harmonised with our wants, that the faithful performance of the one ensures the supply of the other. The moral foundation of political economy is not the satisfaction of appetites, but the fulfilment of duties. Labour, patience, justice, peace, and self-denial are the mainsprings of economical production, and the metaphysical basis of the science is not in a philosophy which reduces religion and learning to a mere satisfaction of an appetite, like eating or drinking, but in the verification of the promise, Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things — the necessaries of life — shall be added unto you.

Home and Foreign Review, Vol. IV, 1864

At The Molinari Institute

Friday, January 30, 2004

The Things You Have For The Things You Want

Consulting, Tutoring, Paintings, a Copy of Human Action...

Partial List of Services Available with Cash or Barter

The Revolution

FYI: Justin Ptak article posted on Revolution Radio

Your Weapon of Mass Freedom

Paris Haute Couture in Bucks County Via Poland

Thursday, January 29, 2004

'The Apprentice' is Giving Guys a Good Name

An article by Mark Patinkin,

in the Providence Journal.

Curious Correspondence With The Kennedy Library

<<< 12/27/03 06:00PM >>>

To: JFK Library Archivist

I am a scholar looking for a paper that Robert F. Kennedy wrote in law school.

It is entitled "The Reserve Powers of the Constitution."

The book, "Robert Kennedy and His Times," by Arthur Schlesinger, notes in
footnote 65 of Chapter 4, The Third Son, that the paper can be found among the papers of Joseph P. Kennedy.

If you can be any help at all in tracking this paper down, I would greatly
appreciate it.

Thank you for your time,

Justin Ptak

<<< Response #1 >>>

Dear Mr. Ptak:

I've looked into both the Robert Kennedy papers and the finding aid for the
Joseph P. Kennedy papers (all of them that are currently open), but I have not found the paper you've asked about. For his book on RFK, Schlesinger worked from a fairly undifferentiated mass of material -- neither the RFK nor the JPK papers had been processed and opened for general research -- so his footnotes are unreliable.

Yours truly,

Reference Archivist
John F. Kennedy Library

<<< 01/10/04 09:12PM >>>

To: JFK Library Archivist

Surely this paper does in fact exist.

Can it possibly be that your library does indeed not have a copy?

Justin Ptak

<<< Response #2 >>>

Dear Mr. Ptak,

Yes, it is possible that this paper exists - we just don't have it in any of the places we would expect to find it. Because Mr. Schlesinger did have access to both the Kennedy's papers before they were processed, there is no telling where he saw it and if it was ever turned over to the Library.
In checking the obvious finding aids and boxes, we were not able to locate it. Sorry we couldn't be of more help to you with this.


Reference Technician
John F. Kennedy Library

Olneyville Eviction!


...The MunchHouse, Providence Civic Center, Iglesios de D*os, Diesel Penthouse, Valhalla, Bakery, Sickle, Box of Knives, Goldmine, and the Pink Rabbit.

Google Search for News and Updates

Get the Kids Off the Drugs!

Antidepressant Makers Withhold Data on Children

By Shankar Vedantam, Washington Post

Makers of popular antidepressants such as Paxil, Zoloft and Effexor have refused to disclose the details of most clinical trials involving depressed children, denying doctors and parents crucial evidence as they weigh fresh fears that such medicines may cause some children to become suicidal.

The companies say the studies are trade secrets. Researchers familiar with the unpublished data said the majority of secret trials show that children taking the medicines did not get any better than children taking dummy pills.

Although the drug industry's practice of suppressing data unfavorable to its products is legal, doctors and advocates say such secrecy distorts the scientific record.

"Conflicts of interest and the company control of the data have thrown out the scientific method," said Vera Hassner Sharav, a critic of the drugs and a patients' rights advocate. "If hundreds of trials don't work out, they don't publish them, they don't talk about them."

"We need a journal of negative findings," agreed Darrel Regier, director of the American Psychiatric Association's division of research, who believes the drugs save children's lives. "The probability of those negative findings being published is far less than the chances of positive studies -- even journals are not interested in negative studies."

Concerns over the safety of antidepressants among children have been heightened after a December warning by British regulators that the drugs may trigger suicidal thoughts and increase the rate of self-injury. An expert advisory panel of the Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to meet Monday to examine the issue, but the agency's full U.S. analysis of the data is not likely to be completed until summer.

One industry executive, Philip Perera, a medical director at GlaxoSmithKline, said that his preference was to publish all trials but that negative studies could lead doctors to prematurely reject a medicine.

"If you start publishing negative data, will it be concluded by practitioners and others that the drug is ineffective?" he asked, saying that genuinely effective medicines sometimes do no better than placebos, or dummy pills, in trials -- at least half of all children seem to get better on placebos.

The U.S. psychiatric establishment largely supports the use of antidepressant medicines in children, with many arguing that abandoning the drugs would lead to more suicides in children with depression. But its critics, including consumer advocates and some psychiatrists , question whether mainstream psychiatry is biased by widespread financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

The answer lies hidden in a maze of secret data, conflicting scientific interpretations and a corporate-funded clinical trial system that is not primarily designed to answer questions of public health.

"If the companies wanted to publish negative studies they could, but companies don't like to publish negative studies," said Russell Katz, director of the neuropharmacology division at the FDA , which has access to all the data. "It's amusing so many people are making pronouncements about the data -- scientists and physicians -- . . . without seeing the data."

Advocates say openness about studies is important because, apart from Prozac, no antidepressant has been approved by the FDA for treating children with depression. Doctors writing prescriptions do not have approved labeling to guide them: They must rely on their own judgment and the available scientific knowledge -- even as information is being withheld.

The medicines under scrutiny belong to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Led by Prozac, the first to be approved, the medicines caused a revolution in psychiatry.

Recent analyses suggest that as many as 1 percent of children in the United States are treated for depression in any year, said Mark Olfson, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University. Of those, 57 percent are on antidepressants.

The lack of information is the one issue about which advocates and critics of the medicines agree. Lawrence Diller, a Walnut Creek, Calif., pediatrician and author of "Should I Medicate My Child?," said that "as a front-line doctor dependent on research, it seems so contaminated by potential conflicts of interest. . . . The smoking gun is revelations from the British that negative studies were not published."

Keeping data secret, critics said, has led to conflicting information, contradictory advice and heightened fears.

For example, GlaxoSmithKline, which makes Paxil, has conducted three trials on depressed children. Company officials said all turned out negative -- the children on the drug did not do better than those on placebos -- but only one was published. Based on its data, the company warned British doctors that Paxil, sold there as Seroxat, "should not be prescribed as new therapy" to depressed children younger than 18. Its letter last June cited the risk of increased hostility, agitation, and suicidal thoughts and attempts.

No such warning was issued in the United States, though Paxil is identical to Seroxat. Here, the company's official line on giving Paxil to children is "No recommendations can be made regarding the use of Paxil or Paxil CR in these patients."

"There are differences" between the two recommendations, GlaxoSmithKline's Perera acknowledged in an interview. "They reflect the message that we receive from the respective regulatory bodies." British regulators have essentially prohibited the use of Paxil for children. The FDA is conducting a review of eight drugs, including Paxil.

Perera said the company would await the FDA advisory panel's verdict before considering whether to make all its data public.

Cathryn Clary, vice president for psychiatry and neurology at Pfizer, which makes Zoloft, said it had sponsored two trials in children. One had a negative result, but the company pooled it with a positive study and only published the combined result, which was positive.

"We certainly understand the wish of academics and researchers and physicians to understand all of this data," she said. But small sample sizes in trials "run the risk of magnifying or diminishing a signal. Releasing an individual study can be as misleading as it is helpful."

Graham Emslie, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, who has helped conduct several trials for drug companies, counted nine recent trials of Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft and Celexa in depressed children. Results of two Prozac trials, one Paxil and the pooled Zoloft data have been published -- meaning that data from five trials, including the stand-alone Zoloft trial that was negative, have not.

Emslie also counted six other studies on the related antidepressants Effexor, Serzone and Remeron -- none of which has been published, he said. Data from several of the unpublished studies have been presented at scientific meetings, and one has been submitted for publication, he said.

Studies reported at conferences are not subject to rigorous advance "peer review" by independent researchers, as are studies published by well-regarded journals. Emslie said he would like to see all the data published but he said the research had been paid for -- and belongs to -- the companies. "They have a legitimate right to do what they want with the data," he said.

But David Healy, a Welsh psychiatrist and author of "The Antidepressant Era," rejected the notion that the safety information could be treated like any other private property. Healy prescribes the medicines but has campaigned for more cautious use and more accurate labeling.

"On a pressing issue like this," he said, "there is no reason these data could not be put into the public domain in their entirety."

The FDA said it is evaluating 20 studies in all, but agency officials have declined to identify them.

In the end, some scientists believe, the only way to ensure that science is conducted in the public interest is for it to be funded with public dollars. The National Institutes of Health is therefore ramping up funding for clinical trials.

"We have been dependent on the pharmaceutical industry to provide the answers," said Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health. "The questions they want answered are different than the public health questions."

The Article in The Washington Post

Girl 'Sees' Broken Bones


THE SUN has brought the incredible X-ray eyes girl to Britain and seen her amazing powers at first hand.

Russian Natasha Demkina, 17, has stunned doctors in her home country with her ability to see medical conditions inside people.

We flew her 1,500 miles to London to demonstrate her extraordinary powers on Sun reporter Briony Warden, who suffered multiple injuries when she was knocked down by a car in October last year.

She is still recovering from the hit-and-run and uses crutches or a wheelchair to get around.

Before Natasha arrived at Briony’s North London home, our reporter removed a leg brace and hid all clues to her injuries.

Then the petite blonde teenager, who looks years younger than her age, began her examination.

Briony, 36, said: “I stood up and let her eyes scan over my fully-clothed body.

“Her pupils dilated and she seemed to go into a trance for a couple of minutes.

The Story in The Sun

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

When Civilization Began Its Decline...

Great post by Dr. Ebeling on the lost wisdom of Ernest Benn:

In "Socialism" Mises was referring to Sir Ernest Benn. He was a businessman, writer and owner of a publishing house -- Earnest Benn, Ltd., in London.

He was a strong advocate of individualism and the free market. Among his books are:

"Confessions of a Capitalist"

"If I were a Labour Leader"

"Letters of an Individualist"


"Producer vs. Consumer"

"The Return to Laissez-faire: the Foundation of Prosperity"

"Unemployment and Work"

"This Soft Age"

"Modern Government"


"The Murmurings of an Individualist"

"Benn's Protest"

"The State, the Enemy"

And his autobiography, "Happier Days: Recollections and Reflections of Sir Ernest Benn"

In "Happier Days," Benn suggested that he knew the precise moment when western civilization began its decline. It was when men took off their high starched colliers, and chose to be comfortable. You see, Benn said, civilization requires man to do the "unnatural" and the often "uncomfortable" as the discipline of reason and behavior-controlling manners and conduct to restrain the savage and short-sighted impulses in man.

Civilization has continued to decline, by Benn's conception, since now men's (and women's) everyday dress and fashion emphasize comfort and lack of restraint in public dress. Men wear torn t-shirts and baggy jeans, and women wear pants and low-heeled shoes. Just recall, that people would "dress for dinner," even when they were alone, in by-gone decades. Now I wouldn't be surprised if some people, alone in their house or apartment, may even eat dinner while being naked! What better proof of a return to savagery and the brute in man.

By the way, after W. H. Hutt graduated from the LSE in the late 1920s, he worked for Ernest Benn, managing Benn's free market bookstore in London. Benn's primary concern, when he interviewed Hutt for the job, was Hutt's family background -- breeding, after all, is everything!

There is, also, a biography of Benn:

Deryck Abel, "Ernest Benn: Counsel of Liberty" (1960)

Dr. Richard Ebeling
Foundation for Economic Education
30 South Broadway
Irvington-on-Hudson, New York 10533

Brush Up On Your History

Pundits Vote in NH + Iowa

(*Blowhard Advisory in Effect on Cable News Until 2005*)

One thing is certain...when you call out the political media and correctly label them as entertainment...they'll sure make you pay for it.

Clinton gets 25% in NH in 1992 and he's the 'Comeback Kid,' Dean in 2004 gets 26% and the press acts like he's the recall candidate.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Give Me Back My Republic

Charley Reese demands, and now it is the people's turn.

Reese drifts into thoughts of the triumphal marches of Roman emperors and gives some light on the current situation...

"The truth is quite simple: An empire increases the danger for the American people, as empires always make more enemies than friends, not to mention inciting envy and hatred. Maintaining an empire will eventually break us, as it has every single empire of the past...

I want my republic back. It was cheaper to run, much freer and was viewed affectionately by the world because it minded its own business."

Read the Article on LRC

"Only The Best"

Agency staff is taught to be vague in writings the public might see.

By Garrett Therolf

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission, urged to reform its relationship with the public in the wake of deception and possible ethical lapses last year, has defied its critics by pulling an even thicker veil of secrecy over itself.

More business has moved out of public meetings to behind closed doors, including presentations and deliberations related to lucrative contracts for engineering and public affairs work.

The communications strategy has also helped to obfuscate the commission's affairs with the hiring of two media consultants who trained nine senior staffers how to duck tough questions, in part by gathering them around a videotape monitor twice to study Hillary Clinton's ''blocking'' techniques during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Bridge commission staffers also were ordered to use vague language in any writing they prepare in case those documents are seen by outsiders.

That order, obtained by The Morning Call, advises staffers and frequent bridge commission contractors against using about 60 common words and phrases, including ''must,'' ''thorough,'' ''final'' and ''safe.''

Chief Engineer George Alexandridis explained the reason for the ban in a preface to the memo: ''Because documents that are prepare by us or our consultants are scrutinized carefully by other agencies, the public and the media, it is important that they do not include absolutes and positive statements.''

In a statement prepared last week, the bridge commission said it has placed ''heightened emphasis'' on public communications, citing its issuance of news releases, meeting with citizens and a customer-friendly Web site.

The controversial agency operates seven toll bridges and 13 free bridges over the Delaware River from Bucks County to the New York state line. The agency infuriated motorists when tolls were raised by up to 400 percent in the fall of 2002 — a hike partially rolled back after it was learned that some of the publicized needs for the increase were misrepresented.

The Morning Call reported in June that Executive Director Frank G. McCartney set in place plans to spend $278 million collected over 10 years for secret economic development projects, while telling the public that much of the money was needed to pay for terrorism insurance.

The paper also reported last year on several instances in which McCartney and commissioners accepted financial favors from firms seeking commission business — a practice prohibited under New Jersey law.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey subsequently joined a chorus of motorists and public officials calling for a new willingness at the agency to make its affairs accessible to the public.

Unlike most government bodies, no law requires the commission to open its affairs to the public, and it releases information at its own discretion.

Private meetings

Commissioner Robin Wiessmann, who leads the Pennsylvania delegation installed by Rendell last year, promised to make the agency more transparent, instituting a brief report of commission affairs at the start of monthly meetings.

''The executive director's report is a practice that is a new and, dare I say, improved practice,'' Wiessmann said in September.

However, Wiessmann also participated late last year in multiple private meetings to hear contractor presentations and deliberate which contractor should receive contracts ranging from advertising to engineering work. These presentations and deliberations were traditionally reserved for public session.

Behind the scenes, longtime staffers who run the agency day to day had already begun to implement the new secrecy practices.

On March 17, 2003, and again on July 17, public relations experts with experience in crisis management arrived at the commission's headquarters in Morrisville, Bucks County.

They presented to the nine most senior executives how to salve the damage of bad publicity and avoid future reports by clamping down on information released to the public.

Patellen Corr and Jennifer Franklin taught a technique they called ''blocking and bridging,'' Corr said in an interview.

The technique teaches public officials ways to block tough questions and to bridge to topics that the official would rather talk about.

''The intent of that technique is that, especially in instances of legal implication, that questions are answered without job security or something like that being put on the line,'' Corr said.

Hillary's sidestep

To demonstrate the technique, the executives scrutinized a tape of Hillary Clinton's January 1998 interview on NBC's ''Today Show'' shortly after news of the Lewinsky affair was first reported in The Washington Post.

The interview began with anchor Matt Lauer asking Hillary Clinton if President Clinton had described to her the nature of his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Clinton responded by changing the subject to the then-recent death of co-anchor Katie Couric's husband and issued her condolences — a pivot identified as the ''block'' during Corr and Franklin's training.

Clinton then said, ''Well, have talked at great length. And I think as this matter unfolds, the entire country will have more information'' — identified during the session as a ''bridge'' to more comfortable terrain without answering the question directly or completely.

Corr said the condolences for Couric are the example of a useful interview technique because ''that is showing how someone can start an interview that will probably be hostile, making sure that potential hostility does not let anyone forget that they are human.''

State Sen. Lisa Boscola, D-Northampton, who has reviewed the course materials for the training, said, ''Well it wouldn't be the first or last time people have been taught how to duck the question.''

McCartney, who participated in the training, authorized the two sessions with Corr and Franklin at a cost of $5,398.

They were arranged through the commission's public affairs consultant, the Harrisburg-based Bravo Group, which was paid about $500,000 during the bridge commission's crisis last year. The fees covered public relations services, advertising and other costs, according to a report provided by the commission.

'Do not use' list

In November Alexandridis issued his memo prohibiting the use of commonly used words and phrases.

The memo was sent to staffers at the commission and staffers at firms that often do contract work for the commission.

The ban would apply to letters, e-mails, contract proposals and other documents produced by the memo's recipients.

In some cases, alternatives are proposed for the prohibited words. For example, don't use ''obvious.'' Use ''apparent'' instead, the memo says. Staffers also are directed not to use the phrase ''only the best.'' Instead, they are told to use ''Staff selected will be appropriate for the work assigned.''

Read the Whole Story at The Morning Call

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Let Us Now Try Liberty

God has given to men all that is necessary for them to accomplish their destinies.

He has provided a social form as well as a human form. And these social organs of persons are so constituted that they will develop themselves harmoniously in the clean air of liberty.

Away, then, with quacks and organizers! Away with their rings, chains, hooks, and pincers! Away with their artificial systems!

Away with the whims of governmental administrators, their socialized projects, their centralization, their tariffs, their government schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their regulations, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations!

And now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.

- Frederic Bastiat, The Law.

"Grande Dame of Providence"

Yes, Aubrey Herbert Is Back!

Live, broadcasting from the Providence Biltmore, built in 1922 by New york entrepreneurs John Bowman and Louis Wallick.

"The Providence Biltmore is, to this day, the preferred place in the Providence area for the daughters of socially prominant or upwardly mobile to the married.

Second only to brides, politicians considered the Providence Biltmore their special hotel in Rhode Island...John F. Kennedy...Lyndon Johnson, Estes Kefauver, and Nelson Rockerfeller..."

Providence Biltmore

Then there is the doorbell!

Merrill Lynch on the Austrian School

By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

A report from Merrill Lynch, The TechStrat Barometer edited by Steven Milunovich, runs nearly the entire text of "Why Austrian Economics Matter" from [Lew Rockwell's] book Speaking of Liberty.

The report comments: "We believe that Austrian economics eventually will overturn the way investors think about politics and economics."

Get the PDF of the Report Here

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Aucun Risque N'Est Fatale

Art and Beauty Exists in the World Today...

I'd like to introduce Bob Derrick and the Art WorldWide Gallery.

One of the greatest art galleries known to man.*

  • Art WorldWide Gallery

  • *Full Disclosure: No payment or compensation was received in return for the preceding statement.

    Monday, January 19, 2004

    "Little Gidding"

    We shall not cease from exploration.

    And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started...

    And know the place for the very first time.

    T.S. Eliot

    New Merchandise Available

    Take a look at new cafeshops:

  • AubreyHerbert

  • and,

  • IBCR

  • and,

  • SLRC

  • Forget Paris and Milan,

    There is something here for all your Spring 2004 fashion needs.

    AH's Live Journal of Economic Education

    Sunday, January 18, 2004

    Passing through the Netherworld

    "From my rotting body,

    flowers shall grow and I am in them

    and that is eternity."

    - Edvard Munch

    Saturday, January 17, 2004

    "My Delight," "Espoused."

    For Zion's sake I will not be silent...

    ...until her vindication shines forth like the dawn

    and her victory like a burning torch...

    No[longer] "Forsaken,"...or..."Desolate,"...

    "My Delight,"...

    your land "Espoused."

    For { _ } delights in you

    and makes your land his spouse.

    As a young man marries a virgin,

    your builder shall marry you;

    and as a bridegroom rejoices

    in his bride

    so shall { _ } rejoice in you.


    A Question of Human Rights, Life, and Liberty

    The Extraordinary sights n sounds of Olneyville Need Your Help......

    75+ Business Owners, Entrepreneurs, Artists, Musicians, Church Owners, and Tenants May Be Facing Involuntary Eviction During the Coldest Month on Record.

    Check the
  • Lots of Noise Forum

  • OR,

  • Return to the Pit Forum
  • For More Info...

    Then click on the donate button on
  • Aubrey Herbert's Economic Education
  • To direct aid toward a sustainable work/live/art/music etc. space and/or temporary storage, transportation, and relocation.

    And in the process save the Munch-House, the Providence Civic Center, the sickle, the Box of Knives, the Bakery, the Pink Rabbit, the Diesel Penthouse, the Valhalla, the Olneyville Development Cooperative, the slrc, the Iglesios de D*os, the Institute for Business Cycle Research, the Universal Life Church et al...located at 244 Oak st. and 71 Troy st. in Olneyville (Gotham Valley), a corner of the Renaissance City of Providence, Rhode Island.

    Not to mention the sounds of Lightning Bolt, Japanese Karaoke Afterlife Experiment, Whitemice, The Body, Dropdead, The Awesomes, Necronomitron, swampthang, The Rip-Off Artists, Daughters...etc. in the neighbourhood.

    We have provided nothing, but an economic benefit to the surrounding business community and a safe, secure environment for all.

    And Halloween 2003 (Nothing, but Awesome @ the PR + Bakery),

    And the Olneyville Winter 2002 Art + Fashion show (My Apologies, Haha).

    What is next?

  • Providence...

  • Wednesday, January 14, 2004

    Worthwhile surfing...

    still bothered by pop-ups? is a mark of intelligence.

    Quote of the Week

    From the Writings of Professor Sennholz.

    The Week of January 11, 2004

    The Coming Storm:

    "A few courageous men and women are sounding the alarm. To the limit of their ability and strength, they are engaging in a bitter intellectual struggle with the forces of disorder. Addressing every important economic and social issue, they are writing books, essays, and articles and lecturing fervently on the furies of debt. They abhor the capital consumption by the now-generation and the burdens placed on future generations. In dismay and despair they are pointing at the abyss toward which political society is rushing.

    Other observers who should be able to see the coming storm unfortunately prefer to ignore it. They choose to remain popular with their fellow men who cannot and will not see the gathering clouds. They shun the world of intellectual combat and refuse to take a position on the burning issues of our time, on government debts and deficits, inflation, taxation, and unemployment. Fearful of unfavorable public reaction and personal repercussions, they huddle together and talk in soft voices while the storm is gathering strength."

    Debts and Deficits,1987, pp. 101, 102.

  • Read More Quotes

  • Prof. Sennholz is amazing and perspicacious. Look this gentleman up.

    White Socks Declared Indecent

    Bad news for southsiders in Chicago...

    AMSTERDAM - White socks have been declared indecent by the Dutch Finance Ministry.

    A ministry official on Tuesday confirmed a recent internal publication that proclaimed white sports socks "transgress the limits of decent dress behavior" for ministry employees.

    The officials were also expected to wear dark blue or gray suits in order to convey "reliability and professionalism."

    "People are expected to dress in accordance with their function," said a spokeswoman, stressing there were no strict controls.

  • Read the Reuters story
  • Monday, January 12, 2004

    Ludwig the Lionheart and Murray the Magnificent...Coming Soon in the Boston Globe?

    Virginia Postrel on F.A. Hayek...

    But why no mention of Hayek's teacher? Ludwig von Mises: originator of the ideas that won Hayek a nobel prize.

    Friedrich the Great

    Dismissed by critics as a free-market extremist, economist Friedrich Hayek is gaining new attention as a forerunner of cognitive psychology, information theory, even postmodernism. A reintroduction to one of the most important thinkers you've barely heard of.

    By Virginia Postrel

    AT A RECENT think-tank luncheon in Raleigh, economist Bruce J. Caldwell chatted with a local lawyer active in Democratic party circles. The man asked Caldwell what his new book was about. "It's an intellectual biography of Friedrich Hayek," replied Caldwell, a professor at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He got a blank look. "He was an economist. A libertarian economist."

    What an understatement.

    Hayek, who died in 1992, was not just any economist. He won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1974. His 1945 article, "The Use of Knowledge in Society," is a touchstone work on the role of prices in coordinating dispersed information. His 1944 bestseller "The Road to Serfdom" helped catalyze the free-market political movement in the United States and continues to sell thousands of copies a year.

    Economist Milton Friedman calls him "the most important social thinker of the 20th century." Hayek's most significant contribution, he explains, "was to make clear how our present complex social structure is not the result of the intended actions of individuals but of the unintended consequences of individual interactions over a long period of time, the product of social evolution, not of deliberate planning."

    Indeed, Hayek is increasingly recognized as one of the 20th century's most profound and important theorists, one whose work included political theory, philosophy of science, even cognitive psychology. Citing the "proof of time," Encyclopedia Britannica recently commissioned Caldwell to replace its formulaic 250-word Hayek profile with a nuanced discussion more than 10 times as long. Harvard has added him to the syllabus of Social Studies 10, its rigorous introductory social theory course.

    Hayek is fairly well known in Britain, where he spent much of his life, because of his influence on MargaretThatcher. In the United States, however, well-educated, intellectually curious people who nod at mentions of Max Weber, Hannah Arendt, or Michel Foucault have barely heard of him.

    Politics has a lot to do with that ignorance. Hayek drew on the traditions of 18th- and 19th-century liberal thought, leading critics to dismiss him as a man of the past. He defended competitive markets against the champions of central planning, noting that supposedly "irrational" customs, traditions, and institutions often embody the hard-won knowledge of experience. He advocated cosmopolitan individualism in an age of nationalism and collectivism.

    But Hayek turned out to be ahead of his time, not behind it. Arguing with the social engineers of the mid-20th century, he grappled with problems equally relevant to the 21st century. He anticipated today's rage for biological metaphors and evolutionary analysis, today's fragmented and specialized markets, today's emphasis on the legal institutions needed to make markets work, even today's multicultural challenges.

    Hayek's 1952 book, "The Sensory Order," often considered his most difficult work, foreshadowed theories of cognitive science developed decades later. "Hayek posited spontaneous order in the brain arising out of distributed networks of simple units (neurons) exchanging local signals," says Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker. "Hayek was way ahead of his time in pushing this idea. It became popular in cognitive science, beginning in the mid-1980s, under the names `connectionism' and `parallel distributed processing.' Remarkably, Hayek is never cited."

  • Read the article at

  • Sunday, January 11, 2004

    Vermont Town Wants To Secede, Join New Hampshire

    Live Free or Die

    Officials in Killington, Vermont want to secede from the state and possibly join New Hampshire. The town cites a laundry list of tax policies that basically amount to extortion, including the state's method of assessing local properties they see as "arbitrary and capricious" and a $10 million dollar outlay that translates into only $1 million in services in return.

  • Read the article at Channel 3 News
  • "The New Unhappy Lords"

    From G.K. Chesterton:

    "The New Unhappy Lords"

    They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,

    Lords without anger and honour, who dare not carry their swords.

    They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;

    They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.

    And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,

    Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs.

    (My thanks to Bob Wallace...)

    Saturday, January 10, 2004

    The Demise of the Pink Rabbit et al?

    We need your support, and I hate to say, more than ever.

    It looks like a certain "spider-man"

  • see recent Providence Phoenix article

  • by the name of A.G. Lynch may have the wrong idea about how to keep the children and citizens of Rhode Island safe and secure, supporting economic development, improving education, and promoting the arts...

    We are up against one hell of a fight (especially when the honorable Attorney General has a brother who happens to be the head of the democrat party in RI and a father who was the mayor of a neighbouring town). Unfortunately, Roger Williams and Anne Hutchison escaped tyranny and persecution only to see it institutionalized years later.

    Let's put the A.G. on the right track for the sake of his own children and all the children of the world: the future leaders of this great social experiment we know as life on planet earth.

    Thank you for all your support.

    Truth, Peace, Liberty, and Beauty,


    Postscript: For more of the story contact me via email or directly. Again, thank you, may you find liberty, peace, and happiness, and above all G*D bless.

  • Take a look at the forum on for more info

  • Thursday, January 08, 2004

    Business 101 by Anonymous

    Marketing in America

    The buzz word in today's business world is MARKETING. However, people often ask for a simple explanation of "Marketing." Well, here it is:

    You're a woman and you see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and say, "I'm fantastic in bed," That's Direct Marketing.

    You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a handsome guy. One of your friends goes up to him and pointing at you says, "She's fantastic in bed." That's Advertising.

    You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and get his telephone number. The next day you call and say, "Hi, I'm fantastic in bed." That's Telemarketing.

    You see a guy at a party, you straighten your dress. You walk up to him and pour him a drink. You say, "May I," and reach up to straighten his tie, brushing your breast lightly against his arm, and then say, "By the way, I'm fantastic in bed." That's Public Relations.

    You're at a party and see a handsome guy. He walks up to you and says, I hear you're fantastic in bed," That's Brand Recognition.

    You're at a party and see a handsome guy. He fancies you, but you talk him into going home with your friend. That's a Sales Rep.

    Your friend can't satisfy him so he calls you. That's Tech Support.

    You're on your way to a party when you realize that there could be handsome men in all these houses you're passing. So you climb onto the roof of one situated towards the center and shout at the top of your lungs, "I'm fantastic in bed!" ... That's Junk Mail.

    You are at a party, this well-built man walks up to you and gropes your breast and grabs your ass … and you liked it. That's Arnold Schwarzenegger!

    20 years later your attorney decides you were offended. THAT'S AMERICA!

    Our Existence Out of the Stars Preceding Our Sun

    The Days of a "Smooth and Boring" Universe


    ATLANTA (AP) - The first stars after the Big Bang were immense, superhot giants that lived briefly and then exploded as brilliant supernovae, but they seeded the universe with basic elements that were the building blocks for the sun and the Earth, and for life itself, according to a new study.

    Current theory holds that the universe began with the Big Bang, an event that caused space to expand in a fraction of a second from a tiny speck to an immensity bathed in heat and radiation. It took an estimated 300 million years for the universe to cool and for the first stars to form from hydrogen and helium.

    But those were far different from the Earth's star, the sun, and most other stars in the universe now.

    "The stars were simple, pure hydrogen and helium," said Volker Bromm, an astronomer for the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. And the universe was "smooth and boring." The vital ingredients that eventually turned the universe into a complex and lively place did not then exist.

    Bromm and Abraham Loeb, also of Harvard-Smithsonian, used supercomputers to model the cycles of star formation that occurred after the Big Bang. They reported their findings Tuesday at the national meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

    Those early stars were immense, extremely hot and very short-lived. After just a few million years, they collapsed and exploded as supernovae.

    In that violence were created the heavier elements "that completely changed the universe," said Bromm. Elements from oxygen to carbon to iron were blasted into space where they eventually became part of a new generation of stars.

    The next generation of stars were rich in carbon and oxygen, but had little iron. These stars shone longer than the first generation, but spent a long, lonely existence, with no planets.

    "These stars were like the sun, but a very lonely sun," said Bromm. There was still not enough heavy metals to form planets, he said, and those stars "would live and die in solitude."

    Supernovae continued to explode, seeding the universe with more and more heavy metals. Eventually, there were enough of these metals to create long-lived stars and for planets to accrete into their orbits. On at least one planet, the Earth, all the ingredients came together in the right place and time for life to evolve.

    "The window for life opened sometime between 500 and 2 billion years after Big Bang," Loeb said in a statement.

    Precisely when conditions were right for planets is still a mystery, Bromm said.

    "The threshold for planet formation is still a question and we don't know the answer as yet," he said.

    But what is clear, said Bromm, is the role those very early stars played in the universe of today.

    "We owe our existence in a very direct way to all the stars whose life and death preceded the formation of our sun," he said. "And this process started right after the Big Bang with the very first stars."

    The solar system may not be the only place it happened. More than 100 extra-solar planets - planets orbiting stars other than the sun - have been discovered. All of these planets orbit stars that are rich in heavy metals, supporting the idea that stars with heavy elements are more likely to have families of planets.

    Wednesday, January 07, 2004

    The Free Market Emergence in North Korea

    Advances in Health, Nutrition, Transportation, Energy, and Colorful Clothing.


    KOSONG, North Korea (AP) - A curious new message shines through the timeless communist slogans slapped up everywhere in town urging loyalty to the party, the army and Dear Leader Kim Jong Il.

    "Let's run our farms as if we own them ourselves!" reads its bold red and white letters, freshly painted onto building sides by North Korea's busy propaganda scribes.

    Few toe the new line like Kim Hak Chol, a farmer in a Mao-style navy blue uniform. The 15-acre farm he manages has 70 sprawling greenhouses brimming with cabbage, hot peppers and turnips and 80 North Korean staffers trained by South Korean agriculture experts.

    The farm is still government-owned, but Kim surveys the rows of domed hothouses with a proprietor's pride. The high-tech spread is not only five times as profitable as the average North Korean collective farm, it stands at the vanguard of fledgling free-market reform in the world's most regimented communist country.

    "My New Year's wish is to boost production," said the 42-year-old Kim, taking a bite of fresh lettuce.

    Five years ago, North Korea opened parts of Kosong, an east coast county with 30,000 people, to South Korean tourists who travel across the Demilitarized Zone that has separated the two Koreas for half a century to view nearby Diamond Mountain.

    Hyundai, the South Korean conglomerate running the tourism project, opened Kim's farm in 1999 to supply vegetables to tourists. Two years ago, it handed it over to North Koreans, who get to keep 40 percent of the 20 tons of vegetables grown each month, while giving up the remainder to repay Hyundai's investment.

    Kosong underscores how Pyongyang has tried to tinker with opening to the outside world even as it clashes with neighbors over its nuclear weapons program and a group of Americans visits the country this week to tour the disputed Yongbyon nuclear power.

    The improved lifestyle in Kosong, however, highlights both how meager market reforms have already reaped rewards and how North Korea is trying to polish its image for visitors from the South.

    "I came here two years ago. This time I am surprised to see more bicycles on the roads, people looking better fed, more energetic and wearing colorful clothes," said Dho Young-shim, a South Korean ambassador for cultural cooperation who arrived with a dozen foreign ambassadors and journalists over the New Year's holiday.

    In Kosong, children and housewives wave at the South Korean tourist buses. Along main street, a new row of four-story apartments rises before old low-slung, cinderblock huts.

    Signs in shops, off limits to foreigners, advertise Kosong's plenty in an otherwise poverty-stricken land - fish soup, warm rice and "sweet meat," a dog meat delicacy. Women hawk liquor from street stalls.

    "The thing that struck me most is to see that this experiment is working," said David Taylor, New Zealand's ambassador to Seoul who doubles as his country's chief envoy to the North. "This shows that it is possible to bring North Korea into modern technology cooperatively."

    So far, 596,000 South Koreans have visited the Kosong area since Hyundai launched its tourism venture at Diamond Mountain in 1998. Hyundai has had heavy losses in the project, but is credited with breaking five decades of isolation and persuading the North to accept Southern investors and tourists.

    Competition between the two restaurants in Kosong that are open to dollar-wielding South Koreans is so fierce that one is now selling rice wine, banned for decades in North Korea because of rice shortages.

    "After South Korean tourists complained, the manager somehow found an old woman who still remembered how to make rice wine," says Kim Soo-hyun, a Hyundai official.

    Yet contradictions abound in Kosong, as the government tries to balance economic reform with tight political control over the populace. There are few cars, and everybody seems to walk. As dusk falls over the denuded hills, smoke hangs low over villages as homes burn firewood for heating. And photography is strictly forbidden.

    Alongside the new market-oriented propaganda hang classic Marxist maxims: "When the party decides, we follow!" and "We will always be victorious as long as we have our Great General Kim Jong Il."

    One of the first things Kim, the farm manager, did upon over the greenhouses from Hyundai was to hang a sign across the gate: "Hurray to General Kim Jong Il, the Sun of the 21st Century!"

    Tour guides are quick to caution travelers about the ubiquitous North Korean soldiers. "Do not take photos of North Korean soldiers," they repeat. "Things can get complicated."

    When tour buses cross the DMZ, goose-stepping soldiers come aboard. Once, a communist officer found a South Korean woman sitting cross-legged. Taking offense, tour guides say, the officer scowled and barked: "Female comrade, untie your legs!"

  • Read the Whole Article at

  • Untie your legs indeed.

    Time to let the free market reign here in the good ol U.S. of A. In fact, it is long past the time to retrieve some of our losses from the last 100 depressed years of fiscal irresponsibility, taxation, excessive regulation, political malfeasance, and monetary interventionism.

    Water in Ca. Making Politicians Act Funny Too...

    Text of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's speech on 01/06/04

    Lt. Gov. Bustamante, Speaker Herb Wesson, President Pro Tem John Burton, Senate Republican Leader Jim Brulte, Assembly Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, Speaker Designate Fabian Nunez, distinguished members of the Legislature, Chief Justice of California Ron George and associate justices, members of the Board of Equalization, my fellow constitutional officers, esteemed Cabinet secretaries, friends, my fellow Californians, and last but not the least, the first lady, the No. 1 partner, and the love of my life, Maria Shriver.

    I changed my mind. I want to go back to acting. Ladies and gentlemen, that is not the truth at all.

    People have said to me, ``Arnold, isn't it a terrible burden being governor at a time of such crisis?''

    I tell them, no, not at all. I love working for the people of California. It is better than being a movie star. It gives me great joy and satisfaction. I am honored to do this work for the people.

    I am optimistic about our state. The state of our state will soon be strong, because our people and our purpose are strong.

    We have a new spirit, a new confidence. We have a new common cause in restoring California to greatness.

    I saw greatness achieved only three days ago, when the rover ``Spirit'' landed on Mars. I want to congratulate the many talented scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., who have demonstrated once again that we here in California are the launching pad for the extraordinary.

    Now let us do the extraordinary. Tonight I will talk about the progress that we have made, the problems we have yet to overcome, and the path we will follow to overcome them.

    I have no doubt that, together, Californians are more than a match for the challenges that we face.

    I feel good because I believe we have made progress in rebuilding the people's trust in their government.

    The first thing I did as governor was to repeal the tripling of the car tax.

    This massive tax increase was a desperate act of a government out of control.

    That could not be allowed to stand.

    Repealing that illegal tax increase was the right thing to do.

    During the campaign I promised that cities and counties would not bear the cost of the repeal.

    It would be irresponsible for the state to take that money away from counties and cities.

    That is why I acted to keep the money flowing for firefighters and police.

    They did not raise the car tax, and they should not bear the burden of its rollback.

    Together, we in this chamber repealed SB 60, which endangered the very integrity of the California driver's license.

    Rescinding that law was the right thing to do. And I thank you for your bipartisan support.

    Together, we put measures on the March ballot that, if passed by the people, will save our state from a June bankruptcy.

    June is the month when billions of dollars in past loans come due and the financial house of cards built over the last half decade is set to collapse.

    When individuals overspend themselves into trouble, financial counselors often tell them to consolidate their credit card balances so they can work their way out of trouble _ and also tear up their credit cards.

    That is what our California Recovery Plan is all about. We took the debt we inherited from the previous administration, the debt that threatens us with bankruptcy, and we rolled it into a $15 billion recovery bond.

    Then we tore up the credit card.

    We passed a balanced budget amendment.

    And we created a rainy day fund for future hard times and emergencies.

    Never again will government be allowed to spend money it doesn't have.

    Never again will the state be allowed to borrow money to pay for its operating expenses.

    And you in this room have done that for the people of California.

    No one here got everything he or she wanted. Because we compromised. This, too, was the right thing to do. And I thank you and I congratulate you.

    Now I ask you to join me in getting out the message that a ``yes'' vote on these measures on the March ballot is absolutely critical to our financial future.

    The alternative is economic chaos. In a bipartisan effort to help our citizens understand how important this bond is to California, I am proud to say that our state Controller, Steve Westly, a businessman and a financial leader, will be co-chairing with me the California Recovery Bond Committee. Thank you very much. Thank you.

    With passage of these measures, we will have dodged the first bullet, the 2003-2004 budget deficit.

    But the second bullet _ the second financial crisis _ has already left the barrel and is headed right at us.

    I am talking about the 2004-2005 budget deficit - which is another staggering $15 billion.

    The 2004-2005 budget, which begins July 1, is the one that we must now negotiate.

    These huge budget deficits are aftershocks of past financial recklessness.

    What happened is this. Over the last five years, the state's income has increased 25 percent, but spending increased by 43 percent. This was irresponsible.

    The fact of the matter is that we do not have a tax crisis; we do not have a budget crisis; we have a spending crisis. We cannot tax our way out of this problem. More taxes will destroy what we are trying to save which is jobs and revenue.

    Jobs bring revenue to the state, and revenue allows us to do the right things for education, for the environment, for the disabled, for the elderly and those in need.

    A tax increase would be the final nail in California's financial coffin.

    The people of California did not elect me to destroy jobs and businesses by raising taxes.

    I will not make matters worse.

    We have no choice but to cut spending, which is what caused this crisis in the first place.

    These are cuts that will challenge us all.

    But we cannot give what we do not have.

    If we continue spending and don't make cuts, California will be bankrupt.

    And a bankrupt California cannot provide services to anyone.

    Members of the Legislature, you will receive my proposals in the days ahead.

    These are proposals that leadership requires, economics demands and the public expects.

    These cuts will not be easy but they will not be forever. Let us move quickly to put the excesses of the past behind us and get on with the promise that beckons before us.

    I would like to thank all those in the labor community who are working with us to do just that.

    I would like to thank all of those in the education community who are working with us to allow the state to save money while still increasing per-pupil funding.

    Everyone must play a part in this. I respect the sovereignty of our Native American tribes, and I believe they also respect the economic situation that California faces. In the next couple of days, I will announce our negotiator who will work with the gaming tribes, so that California receives its fair share of gaming revenues.

    Every cloud has a silver lining. The good news is that the spending crisis forces us to bring badly needed reform to government.

    Although the transition will be difficult, in the end we will have a leaner, more efficient and more responsive state government.

    A necessary place to start is education. We must make better use of the money that we spend on our schools.

    My proposal gets more money into the classroom and thus increases per-pupil funding.

    First, we must give local schools the power to meet the specific needs of their own communities.

    We can do this by consolidating $2 billion of categorical programs and cutting the strings to Sacramento.

    This will give schools the freedom to spend the money as they _ not Sacramento _ best see fit to serve the children.

    Second, school districts are forced to spend an average of 10 to 40 percent more than necessary on non-classroom services.

    We must give local schools the freedom to be more cost efficient.

    One way to do this is to repeal SB 1419, the law that prevents schools from contracting out services such as busing and maintenance.

    This will free up more money for textbooks and other vital classroom needs.

    In the past two years, college fees have increased over 40 percent.

    We must end this boom-and-bust cycle of widely fluctuating fees with a predictable, capped fee policy for college students and their parents.

    And we must limit the fee increases to no more than ten percent a year.

    Like our kindergarten through grade 12 schools, our colleges and universities must also share the burden of the fiscal crisis, but we must work to expand the dream of college.

    And we must not let the dream bypass our Central Valley.

    That is why my budget is funding UC's tenth campus _ UC Merced.

    We cannot afford waste and fraud in any department or agency.

    Every governor proposes moving boxes around to reorganize government.

    I don't want to move the boxes around; I want to blow them up.

    The executive branch of this government is a mastodon frozen in time and about as responsive.

    This is not the fault of our public servants but of the system.

    We have multiple departments with overlapping responsibilities.

    I say consolidate them.

    We have boards and commissions that serve no pressing public need. I say abolish them.

    We have a state purchasing program that is archaic and expensive. I say modernize it.

    I plan a total review of government _ its performance, its practices, its cost.

    Some of the recommended actions, I will make by executive order. Some will require legislation. And some will need constitutional change.

    I want your ideas and the more radical the better. And to California's state employees, I want to thank you for your hard work under trying circumstances.

    I also want your ideas, because I want to give you freedom to do your jobs in creative ways.

    Now, in addition to restoring our state's finances and responsiveness, we must restore the state's business climate.

    Creating and retaining jobs _ and the businesses that provide them _ must be a priority of this Legislature.

    Jobs provide a solid foundation for families.

    Jobs add revenues to the state budget.

    Jobs give stability to our society.

    Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. The more jobs the better.

    I am going to become California's job czar. I'm going to travel the nation and the world to find those jobs.

    I'm going to say, ``Come to California. Come and do business here. Buy our fantastic products. Visit our special attractions. And hire our workers, who are the most productive in the world.''

    I am a salesman by nature. And now most of my energies will go into selling California. If you can sell, if I can sell tickets to my movies like ``Red Sonja'' or ``Last Action Hero,'' you know I can sell just about anything. California is the easiest sell I've ever had.

    But we must fix the state's business climate. And we must start with workers' compensation reform.

    Our workers' comp costs are the highest in the nation _ nearly twice the national average.

    California employers are bleeding red ink from the workers' comp system.

    Our high costs are driving away jobs and businesses. My proposal brings California's workers' comp standards and costs in line with the rest of the country.

    To heal injured workers, it emphasizes the importance of health care and doctors rather than lawyers and judges.

    It requires nationally recognized guidelines for permanent disability.

    And it provides for innovative approaches. I call on the Legislature to deliver real workers' comp reform to my desk by March 1. Modest reform is not enough.

    If modest reform is all that lands on my desk, I am prepared to take my workers' comp solution directly to the people and I will put it on the ballot in November.

    This year we also have the highest unemployment insurance costs in the nation. Our system is flat broke.

    So that people could get their checks, last month I had to ask Washington for a billion dollar loan to bail us out.

    Unemployment checks are an important part, an important safety net.

    We must fix the system, and I need your help. California's approach to energy is another barrier to jobs and economic growth.

    We have a flawed regulatory structure. Our businesses pay energy rates nearly twice as high as those in other western states.

    In California, we have 13 different state energy agencies. Something is wrong when it's easier to create energy agencies than power plants.

    California's energy crisis is not over. If we do not act now, California will face energy shortages as early as 2006.

    To prevent this, we must reform the wholesale power market to attract new energy investment.

    We must reform the retail market so that large customers can get competitive prices.

    And we must renegotiate those high-priced electricity contracts that locked us into energy prices at the market's peak.

    Closely connected to energy is the environment. And while we are promoting jobs and promoting California, I'm also going to promote our commitment to the environment.

    I'm going to encourage the building of a hydrogen highway to take us to the environmental future.

    I'm going to encourage builders to build homes using partial solar power.

    I'm going to create a Green Bank to make loans to retrofit old, energy-inefficient buildings.

    I intend to show the world that economic growth and the environment can coexist.

    And if you want to see it, then come to California. During the campaign, I said that I would make sure that California got its fair share of federal tax dollars.

    The congressional delegations of other states work together to bring home federal dollars, but the divisions in California have been too deep to do that effectively.

    In December, however, we held a historic meeting in Palm Springs.

    At a bipartisan retreat, the California congressional delegation and I agreed to put party and district boundaries aside and to speak with one united voice in Washington.

    We agreed to fight side-by-side to get more federal tax money for homeland security, for criminal aliens, water resources, highways, and other needs.

    Let me tell you another area where we must cooperate. California's naval facilities, our air bases, our supply centers, our training commands have helped our nation produce the best trained and equipped military in the world.

    I was in Baghdad last year. I met soldiers who call California home. I met soldiers who trained here and who served here.

    California has a proud history of military support. The Pentagon will make the next round of base closures in 2005. This could mean thousands of lost jobs to California.

    These bases are important to national defense, and they are important to our steady economic recovery.

    As a state, we will fight to keep our bases open. We Californians need to work together at all levels of government. In the days and weeks ahead we have decisions coming at us that are the most difficult any legislator or governor faced in the history of our state.

    We have decisions approaching that will inflame passions and potentially create division.

    I want to tell you a story that relates to this. During the terrible fires that burned California, I went to the funeral of Steven Rucker, the firefighter who died in the service of his fellow citizens.

    He left behind a wonderful wife, two children and heartbroken parents.

    After the service, I said to Steven's mother and father, ``If there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.''

    His father looked at me for a few seconds, and grief in his eyes and tears coming down, he said, ``Arnold, if you really want to do something in honor of my son, go to Sacramento and stop the politicians from fighting. Stop them from fighting. They're hurting the people and destroying our state.''

    Ladies and gentlemen, let us remember those words in the days and weeks ahead.

    Let us remember the greater good of California.

    I remain a great believer in the future of this state.

    I did not seek this job to cut ... but to build.

    I did not seek this job to preside over the decline of a dream but to renew it.

    President Reagan said that empires were once defined by land mass and subjugated people, and military might.

    But America, he said, is ``an empire of ideals.''

    California, I believe, is an empire of hope and aspiration.

    Never in the history have such big dreams come together in one place.

    Never in the history has such an array of talent and technology converged at one time.

    Never in the history has such a free and diverse community of people lived and worked under one political system.

    This is a wonderful place _ California _ this empire of aspirations.

    Great things can be done in California.

    Ladies and gentlemen, let us help Californians do great things. Thank you very much.

    Tuesday, January 06, 2004

    Interesting Developments?

    What is in the water these days?

    Is the world finally achieving a new level of sanity and reason?

    India and Pakistan have agreed to hold peace talks.

    Sudan and the southern Sudan People's Liberation Army have agreed to split net oil revenue 50-50. The country's oil reserves are located mainly in the south, this breakthrough may lead to an enduring peace. Western style banking will also be allowed in the southern region of Sudan. 2 million people have perished, primarily from massive famine, during the 20 year war.

    North Korea has proposed a freeze on their nuclear energy and weapons development program.

    Afghanistan has the outline of a constitution.

    The U.S. is talking to Libya once again, and the Brits have vowed to help build a relationship.

    Syrian President Bashar Assad visited Turkey for the first time.

    Iran and Egypt have decided to resume full diplomatic ties.

    China has decided to fully commercialize the Bank of China and China Construction Bank, two of China's four biggest state-owned banks. The reforms call for "sufficient capital, strict internal control, safe operations, good service and good economic returns." The announcement comes in preparation for allowing foreign competitors into the industry.

    We still have a long way to go, but this all sounds like a good start. I hope this is not all talk.

    Maybe, someone is answering our prayers.

    Monday, January 05, 2004

    Are You Listening Mother's of America?

  • Jeffrey Tucker article

  • on the anti-intellectualism en vogue...

    ...It [has] dawned on me just how popular and widely embraced stupid is. By stupid, I don't really intend insult. Stupid is a mental outlook that affirms the crude and base while eschewing the noble and thoughtful. It is an attitude of mind that can be adopted by both low lights and bright lights...

    That low lights be can be stupid is not a surprise...

    More puzzling is when stupid is adopted by the bright-light set after its members have come to the conviction that some modes of thought are more useful to achieving socio-political goals than others. Intellectual affectations, long deductive processes, self-control, and abstract ideals are fine in many cases, they conclude, but not as effective for some purposes as bad instinct, first thoughts, anger unleashed, and raw emotion.

    For intellectuals to believe in stupid means to embrace the attitude that sometimes society thrives best in the absence of serious thought, that stupid is more conducive to revolutionary change in society than carefully pondered ideology. It is about the conclusion that ideas and reflection do far less good for society that screaming insults, and that to live in our times and make a difference requires that we set aside our intellectual pretensions and appreciate anew the things that move the masses...

    The intellectuals sometimes admit that they have joined the parade. David Brooks writes: "In an age of conflict, bourgeois virtues like compassion, tolerance, and industriousness are valued less than the classical virtues of courage, steadfastness, and a ruthless desire for victory." That's another way of saying that much good can come from the most brutal (stupid) side of man. To unleash it requires not talk and debate but something, well, ruthless; something, well, stupid...

    Further reflection confirms the centrality of stupid in the whole of cultural, social, and political affairs. How many people came to the last professional meeting of academics you attended? A couple hundred at most. Most of them didn't even bother to attend the sessions. And who read your last three articles in scholarly journals? Five or six? These people and articles are irrelevant! Compare to the football games on TV, with the mass of fans paying a hundred or more per ticket, waving Styrofoam hands in the air, painting their chests, whooping it up on booze and team spirit. Whatever it is that makes football tick, that is the central stuff of history. It's stupid! Stupid is the key to life itself. Join the masses and embrace it as your own. Now is the time...

    Stupid Vogue represents the triumph of irrationalism, but it is more than that. It is the fulfillment of intellectual trends that have developed over many decades. It comes down to the rejection of the merit of logic and even the existence of truth itself and the culminating insight that nothingness can become meaning only through the working out of mass passion. The utilitarians began the process by showing us that natural law is a myth. The Marxists then demonstrated that history can take great leaps toward the radically implausible. The modern philosophers showed us that truth is a very slippery concept and so contingent as to be functionally useless...

    Stupid is also consistent with another dominant trend of our time: egalitarianism. The search for equality can conceptually mean raising everyone up, but that ambition fails to tap into envy which is one of the great social forces of our time or any time. It may seem really stupid to throw Martha in jail, sue and loot great investment firms, to lynch innocent CEOs or otherwise harass and regulate the rich and other benefactors of society. But the masses love this, and doing so does serve an important social function of redistributing wealth away from aristocrats to the common man and their representatives in government. Yes, it is stupid to do these things, but it is also the surest method known to make exciting things happen in history. Down with drudgery and up with Drudge. People want excitement. People want stupid. In the politicized society, stupidity reigns. This is why intellectuals have embraced it.

    In the stupid vogue of intellectuals, cynicism overrides their sense of responsibility, which they now find to be socially useless. To rally the masses behind a cause, no matter how dangerous or emotionally indulgent, is the best use of the intellect. The far left has always understood the need to draw stark lines between friends and enemies. The right is only now catching on, thanks to the leadership of the neoconservatives. They know the value of propaganda. Yes, Bush may be technically in violation of conservative principles to erect protectionist barriers, wage undeclared war, vastly increase spending, and regulate industry. But look! He's popular, and if we want to be popular too, we had better climb on board. We had better embrace the sentiment that makes him popular. We had better embrace stupid...

    Can the ideas of liberty and rights enjoy a sudden leap into mass appeal, as has Stupid Vogue, or must they always bear the burden that they require deliberation and thought before taking root? Mises counseled patience. He faced the problem of stupid vogue with the rise of socialism and then Nazism. He believed that we must never join in, that the only means we have for victory is the relentless demonstration and re-assertion of what is true.

    No sect and no political party has believed that it could afford to forgo advancing its cause by appealing to men's senses. Rhetorical bombast, music and song resound, banners wave, flowers and colors serve as symbols, and the leaders seek to attach their followers to their own person. Liberalism has nothing to do with all this. It has no party flower and no party color, no party song and no party idols, no symbols and no slogans. It has the substance and the arguments. These must lead it to victory...

  • Read the Whole Article at

  • Sunday, January 04, 2004

    Consent of the Governed?

    "Forced Consent"

    Lysander Spooner

    Abraham Lincoln did not cause the death of so many people from a mere love of slaughter, but only to bring about a state of consent that could not otherwise be secured by the government he had undertaken to administer. When a government has once reduced its people to a state of consent -- that it, submission to its will -- it can put them to a much better use than to kill them; for it can then plunder them, enslave them, and use them as tools for plundering and enslaving others. And these are the uses to which most governments, our own among the rest, do put their people, whenever they have once reduced them to a state of consent to its will.

    Andrew Jackson said that those who did not consent to the government he attempted to administer upon them, for that reason, were traitors, and ought to be hanged. Like so many other so-called "heroes," he thought the sword and the gallows excellent instrumentalities for securing the people's consent to be governed. The idea that, although government should rest on the consent of the governed, yet so much force may nevertheless be employed as may be necessary to produce that consent, embodies everything that was ever exhibited in the shape of usurpation and tyranny in any country on earth. It has cost this country a million of lives, and the loss of everything that resembles political liberty. It can have no place except as a part of a system of absolute military despotism. And it means nothing else either in this country, or in any other.

    There is no half-way house between a government depending wholly on voluntary support, and one depending wholly on military compulsion. And mankind have only to choose between these two classes -- the class that governs, and the class that is governed, or enslaved. In this case, the government rest wholly on the consent of the governors, and not at all on the consent of the governed. And whether the governors are more or less numerous than the governed, and whether they call themselves monarchists, aristocrats, or republicans, the principle is the same.

    The simple, and only material fact, in all cases, is, that one body of men are robbing and enslaving another. And [if?] it is only upon military compulsion that men will submit to be robbed and enslaved, it necessarily follows that any government, to which the governed, the weaker party, do not consent, must be (in regard to that weaker party), a merely military despotism. Such is the state of things now in this country, and in every other in which government does not depend wholly upon voluntary support. There never was and there never will be, a more gross, self-evident, and inexcusable violation of the principle that government should rest on the consent of the governed, than was the late war, as carried on by the North. There never was, and there never will be, a more palpable case of purely military despotism than is the government we how have.

    Lysander Spooner, printed in The Word (Dec. 1873), a journal produced by Ezra Heywood.

    My thanks to William Stepp for his prescience.

    Friday, January 02, 2004

    The Road to "Alienation" and "Dissension"

    U.K. Spy Chiefs Worried About U.S. in '73


    LONDON (AP) - British spy chiefs warned after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war that they believed the United States might invade Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Abu Dhabi to seize their oil fields, according to records released Thursday.

    A British intelligence committee report from December 1973 said America was so angry over Arab nations' earlier decision to cut oil production and impose an embargo on the United States that seizing oil-producing areas in the region was "the possibility uppermost in American thinking."

    Details of the Joint Intelligence Committee report were released under rules requiring that some secret documents be made public after 30 years. The report suggested that then-President Nixon might risk such a drastic move if Arab-Israeli fighting reignited and the oil-producing nations imposed new restrictions.

    The 1973 embargo and production cuts, used by oil-rich Arab nations as a means to pressure the United States and Western Europe, caused a major global energy crisis and sent oil prices skyrocketing.

    The committee of intelligence service directors calculated that the United States could guarantee sufficient oil supplies for themselves and their allies by taking oil fields in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Abu Dhabi, with total reserves of more than 28 billion tons.

    It warned however that the American occupation would need to last 10 years, as western nations developed alternative energy sources, and would lead to the "total alienation" of Arab states and many developing countries, as well as "domestic dissension" in the United States.

    Other records released Thursday showed that Prime Minister Edward Heath was furious at Nixon over the American president's failure to tell him he was putting U.S. forces on a worldwide alert during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

    Heath learned of the alert - considered a high point in Cold War tensions - from news reports while he waited in the House of Commons for Foreign Secretary Alec Douglas-Home to make a statement on the Middle East crisis.

    Britain's intelligence listening post, Government Communications Headquarters, had learned of the alert but did not tell Heath's office or the Foreign Office because officials assumed Heath and Douglas-Home already knew about it, the papers showed.

    Nixon said he put U.S. troops on high alert for just under a week, starting on Oct. 25, 1973, to show the Soviet Union that America would not allow it to send military forces to aid Arab states fighting Israel.

    The alert covered U.S. forces stationed in Britain, and Heath wrote in a memo that he thought Nixon's move, which came in the midst of the Watergate scandal, had been deeply damaging.

    "Personally I fail to see how any initiative, threatened or real, by the Soviet leadership required such a world wide nuclear alert," the prime minister wrote. "We have to face the fact that the American action has done immense harm, I believe, both in this country and worldwide."

  • Read the whole Story at My Way News
  • Is there more delight?

    A little Shakespeare, as rare as any love...


    My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
    Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
    If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
    If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
    I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
    But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
    And in some perfumes is there more delight
    Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
    I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
    That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
    I grant I never saw a goddess go;
    My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
    And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
    As any she belied with false compare.


    Everything We've Been Told

    What Ever Happened To Peace On Earth

    Willie Nelson, who will play a concert in Austin, Texas, on Jan. 3, 2004, wrote a new song on Christmas that he will perform in public for the first time at the concert.

    There's so many things going on in the world
    Babies dying
    Mothers crying
    How much oil is one human life worth
    And what ever happened to peace on earth

    We believe everything that they tell us

    They're gonna' kill us
    So we gotta' kill them first
    But I remember a commandment
    Thou shall not kill
    How much is that soldier's life worth
    And whatever happened to peace on earth


    And the bewildered herd is still believing
    Everything we've been told from our birth
    Hell they won't lie to me
    Not on my own damn TV
    But how much is a liar's word worth
    And whatever happened to peace on earth

    So I guess it's just

    Do unto others before they do it to you
    Let's just kill em' all and let God sort em' out
    Is this what God wants us to do

    (Repeat Bridge)

    And the bewildered herd is still believing
    Everything we've been told from our birth
    Hell they won't lie to me
    Not on my own damn TV
    But how much is a liar's word worth
    And whatever happened to peace on earth

    Now you probably won't hear this on your radio

    Probably not on your local TV
    But if there's a time, and if you're ever so inclined
    You can always hear it from me
    How much is one picker's word worth
    And whatever happened to peace on earth

    But don't confuse caring for weakness

    You can't put that label on me
    The truth is my weapon of mass protection
    And I believe truth sets you free


    And the bewildered herd is still believing
    Everything we've been told from our birth
    Hell they won't lie to me
    Not on my own damn TV
    But how much is a liar's word worth
    And whatever happened to peace on earth

    Thursday, January 01, 2004

    Count Your Blessings

    A Great Year Ebbed, Another Ahead: So, Count Our Blessings

    By ALEXANDER COCKBURN in CounterPunch

    Count our blessings, an act the eternally pessimistic American left usually shuns, on the grounds it might indicate we've made some headway in progress towards the good, the true and the beautiful.

    First let's look back. 2003 was a pretty good year. Who can complain about a span of time in which both William Bennett and Rush Limbaugh, exposed as, respectively, a compulsive gambler and a drug addict, were installed themselves in the public stocks amid the derision of the citizenry? Some say that they've both winched themselves out of the mud, with Bennett's sessions in Las Vegas and Limbaugh's steady diet of OxyContin already faded in the public mind. I don't think so. There's nothing so enjoyable as the plight of a professional moralizer caught in the wrong part of town.

    And again, who can complain about a year in which the New York Times tripped itself up so gloriously with no, not the Jayson Blair affair, where the Times thumped its breast in contrition and self abasement for minor, unimportant works of the imagination by its young black reporter. I'm talking about the far larger scandal of Judith Miller's extended series of alarmist articles about Saddam Hussein's non-existent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Here the Times has remained more or less silent about the expose of its star reporter, but Miller's shameless propagandizing, abetted by her editors, will stand as one of the most disgraceful displays of tendentious reporting in the history of the US press, and I include in this category the Times' terrible performance in the Wen Ho Lee affair.

    For a vivid account of just how bad the Times has been for many, many years, I strongly recommend John L. Hess's vivid memoir My Times: a Memoir of Dissent, published by Seven Stories Press. Hess, cranky, heterodox, cultured and irreverent, is the Ideal Type of what any member of our profession should be, but who is usually leached out of the system in the dawn of their careers. He was a brilliant Paris correspondent for the Times in the 60s and early 70s, returned to New York and promptly wrote memorable exposés of the Metropolitan Museum (notably the incredible antics of its director Thomas Hoving), and of New York's nursing homes. Then he and his wife Karen briefly took charge of the food and restaurant column and caused turmoil in that back-scratching sector. These days we're glad to run the acerbic commentaries he does for WBAI. Real journalists don't end up teaching ethics (aka kissing corporate ass) in journalism schools. They write till they drop. John Hess is a real journalist, virtually an extinct breed. Long may he write.

    Hess pens the Times's obituary as America's supposedly greatest paper. In his c austic pages there is nothing more savage, and contrite than his account of what the New York Times did not report about the Vietnam War in the late 1960s. Every journalism student, and every reporter should have this book in their backpacks.

    Of course 20003 was a year in which the governments, the intelligence services, the military bureaucracies, the intellectual whoremongers and whores of two countries, American and Britain, displayed themselves as brazen and incompetent liars as they maneuvered towards war on Iraq. What more could any radical ask for?

    So why did the US want to invade Iraq in 2003 and finish off Saddam? There are as many rationales as there were murderers on Christie's Orient Express. In the end my mind goes back to something my friend the political scientist Doug Lummis wrote from his home in another outpost of the Empire, in Okinawa at the time of the first onslaught on Iraq at the start of the Nineties.

    Iraq, Lummis wrote, had been in the Eighties a model of an oil-producing country thrusting its way out of the Third World, with a good health system, an efficient bureaucracy cowed from corrupt practices by a brutal regime. The fundamental intent of the US in 1991 was to thrust Iraq back, deeper, ever deeper into Third World indigence.

    In the fall of 2003 I was in London and across a weekend enjoyed the hospitality of the first-class journalist Richard Gott, also of his wife Vivienne. At one point our conversation turned to the question of motive, and I was interested to hear Gott make the same point as Lummis, only about the attack of 2003. I asked him why he thought this, and Gott recalled a visit he'd made to Baghdad in April, 2003.

    This was a time when the natural and political inclination of most opponents of the impending war was to stress the fearful toll of the sanctions imposed from 1990 on. Gott had a rather different observation, in part, because of his experience in Latin America. Baghdad, he said, looked a lot more prosperous than Havana. "It was clear today," Gott wrote after his April, 2003, visit, "from the quantity of goods in the shops, and the heavy traffic jams in the urban motorways, that the sanctions menace has been effectively defeated. Iraq is awakening from a long and depressing sleep, and its economy is clearly beginning to function once more. No wonder it is in the firing line."

    Eyes other than Gott's no doubt observed the same signs of economic recovery. Iraq was rising from the ashes, and so, it had to be thrust down once more. The only "recovery" permitted would be on Uncle Sam's terms. Or so Uncle Sam, in his arrogance, supposed.

    I've never liked the left's habit here in the US of announcing clamorously that we're on the brink of fascism, and that sometime in the next month or two the equivalent of Hitler's Brown Shirts will be marching down Main Street. There was a lot of that sort of talk around the time of the Patriot Act was rushed through Congress. I was a bit more optimistic. I always thought that when the initial panic after the attacks on the Twin Towers subsided, a measure of sanity would seep back into the judicial system, restoring it to normally insane levels. And so it has come to pass. For sure, if another attack comes, we'll slide back again, but for now the erosion of the Bill of Rights has slowed.

    2003 gave us other minor pleasures, few more keenly savored here than the eviction of the loathsome Democrat Gray Davis from the governor's mansion in Sacramento, California. Bono did not win the Nobel Peace Prize for which he has ceaselessly campaigned.

    And 2004? Dean versus Bush the mutual funds scandal it promises to be a lot of fun.

  • Read the story at CounterPunch
  • The Problem with the Minimum Wage

    John Hawkins from the Right Wings News...

    Howard Dean has come out in favor of raising the minimum wage,

    "If elected, (Dean) promised to raise the national minimum wage to $7 per hour, up from $5.15.

    "Our philosophy is give the working people a little more money and they might be able to go down and spend something on Main Street," he told the audience of labor and African American activists here in Detroit."

    In reality, raising the minimum wage is just as likely to put those working people Dean is talking about out of a job as it is to give them a "little more money" to spend down on Main Street.

    Why is that you ask?

    Well, you have to consider that there is no such thing as a free lunch. A business that pays its workers minimum wage is going to have to make changes to deal with extra costs that are being imposed on them by the government.

    On the one hand, the business may decide to pass those costs on to their customers and raise prices.

    However, competition may mean that raising prices isn't possible. So what can the business do then? Depending on the field and position involved, there are a lot of different options companies have...

    -- They may simply end up going out of business because they can't compete.

    -- It's also possible that the business may decide to fire the employee and not hire a replacement if the position isn't essential.

    -- The business may replace the worker with a piece of machinery or software that now looks more attractive because of the higher labor costs.

    -- Moving their operations overseas where labor costs are cheaper may become an option.

    -- Two low skilled workers making the minimum wage may be replaced by a higher paid worker with more skills.

    We could go on and on with different possibilities, but the important thing to remember is that because minimum wage laws make labor more expensive than what an employer would be otherwise willing to pay, jobs that are usually filled by the youngest, least skilled, & least educated among us are lost as a result.

    In truth, we'd be better off completely abolishing the minimum wage because that would help more of our least employable citizens get into the work force where they could make some money while gaining skills & experience that could allow them to get better jobs down the line.

    So getting rid of the minimum wage, not increasing it, is the way we should be going.

    ***Update #1***: In the comments section, RanDomino wrote in part,

    "Hey, good points all, but you know what happens when there's no minimum wage? That's right! No wage at all! Okay, maybe not _no_ wage (because then no one would work), but not enough to be happy with. Could you survive on $1 per hour? didn't think so."

    This is a common misperception that many people have about the minimum wage. They believe that if the minimum wage wasn't there, many businesses would slash the wages they pay out down the bone.

    Now certainly, companies that are already paying the minimum wage to workers might try to cut those salaries since they're only paying the amount they're being forced by law to pay anyway. But, a company that's paying out $10 an hour today, wouldn't slash salaries down to $1 an hour if the minimum wage law were removed.

    Now why is that?

    Well, let's say that every company in America started paying their employees $1 an hour starting tomorrow. How many people would turn up late every day and leave early, take 3 hour lunches, and just skip work 2 or 3 days a week? Heck, how many people would show up at all?

    Then think about what would happen if, let's call them ABC company, got sick and tired of the poor performance of their workers and decided to pay their workers $3 a hour instead of a $1. Well, all the best workers would then go to ABC company. So in order to compete, other companies in their field would raise their salaries to $3 an hour, or better yet $3.25 in order to get even BETTER employees than ABC company.

    Eventually, salaries & benefits would come right back up to their current rates because companies need to have the most productive employees they can afford to help them remain competitive in their industry. That's why 97% of American workers made more than the minimum wage in 2002. Removing the minimum wage would have a very minimal impact, perhaps so small that it would be unnoticeable, on the salaries of those people already making more than $5.15 an hour.

  • Read the story on Right Wing News