A new free city near Thailand

Liberty International interviewed Kurt Hanson and Nigel Grier about the potential for a “free city” in Mu Aye Pu, near Thailand. Question: What is Mu Aye Pu? Kurt Hanson: Mu Aye Pu is a new settlement set up by the Karen people of Burma. It is situated on the banks of the Moei River, which forms the border between Thailand and Burma. Now that the war is over, the community is growing as Karen refugees trickle back from camps in Thailand. At present 300 people live at Mu Aye Pu, but our planned community will be home to 100,000 people. The area is blessed with plenty of fresh water and fertile agricultural land to support a large population, Nigel Grier: Also, its next door to the huge market of Thailand and just north of the booming border town of Mae Sot, which will soon have a major east-west highway build by ADB and international airport which will further drive growth in the area. So MAP is in a great location for development and to do business in. Question: Why is Mu Aye Pu an ideal place for this community? KH: Mu Aye Pu is in a unique position in that it is in the autonomous Karen area. The Karen settled the region of eastern Burma some 1,000 years ago having migrated from Mongolia to find a new home there. I recommend the book The Art of Not Being Governed by James Scott, which brilliantly explains how and why the Karen chose to remain stateless. The Karen prove that you can live and thrive without a state. Or, for a shorter read, I recommend this excellent paper by Edward Peter Stringham, Evidence from upland: Evidence from Upland Southeast Asia I’ve been involved in the free cities movement for quite some time and …

Sally Pipes: Obamacare in “death spiral”

Obamacare will soon “celebrate” its seventh anniversary, said Sally Pipes is President and CEO of Pacific Research Institute, who added, “I hope it will be its last.” Despite 54 percent of Americans being against Obamacare, along with many politicians, think tanks and liberty groups, the law persists. Sally said that once government entitlement programs are put in place, they are very difficult to get rid of. Instead, current reforms are centered around replace, repair, or re-tooling the Affordable Care Act. Sally mentioned that premiums have risen dramatically since Obamacare was put into place, and the only 11 million people are on the exchange. “We’ve turned over our whole healthcare system to cover 11 million people,” said Sally. Other trends include lower quality, reduced access to doctors, and an insurance market in, “a death spiral.” Watch the full video below:

John Mackey offers solutions to minimize time in government hospitals

“We are actually an incredibly unhealthy nation,” said John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market. John spoke at an event in Austin, Texas hosted by Liberty International. John pointed to obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and auto-immune diseases as examples, “They’re not infectious diseases. Those are dietary lifestyle diseases that we basically, we bring it upon ourselves.” “We can also avoid those diseases,” added John. According to John Mackey, the best way to avoid medical care is to take care of yourself, which may be an ideal way to minimize time in the government healthcare system, which John considers, “broken.” John said that Americans are getting fatter, “Over 71 percent of all adults are overweight now, and 38 percent are obese.” What’s worse, according to John, is that America is exporting a dietary pattern of obesity, and this is making the world more unhealthy. John listed sugars, oils and starchy foods that Americans have been over-consuming, and this has lead to an obesity epidemic and cancer. “Cancer is far more preventable than most people realize,” said John. The two highest risk factors are diet and tobacco, said John. But John suggested a healthier diet based on whole foods, “The Whole Foods Diet is basically arguing to eat 100 percent real foods.” The diet plan eliminates all processed foods, and increases reliance on plant based foods, while not necessarily eliminating animal foods. John suggested avoiding refined grains, flour, sugars and oils. For further detail on the Whole Foods Diet, click below to watch the entire video:  

Where is the anti-war left?

Talking heads on the both left and the right in America praised Trump’s decision to drop bombs on Syria, a move that could lead to unintended consequences and wars. But one group seemed strangely silent: the anti-war left. Where is the anti-war left? During the Bush years, libertarians and anti-war liberals became allies with a common goal: stop the wars. But ever since Obama was elected, the anti-war left has been strangely quiet. American liberals have been in denial for eight years as Obama increased drone wars and special operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. Obama ended his bloody reign by dropping more than 26,000 bombs in 2016, giving himself the record for being at war longer than any U.S. President in history. Now that Trump is continuing Obama’s drone wars, the American political class seems confused about whether or not they should support Trump’s bombings in Syria. As Ann Coulter noted: “Cable news hosts gushed, ‘Trump became president of the United States tonight!’ On MSNBC, Brian Williams called the bombing ‘beautiful’ three times in less than a minute. Sen. Lindsey Graham (one of the ‘women of the Senate,’ according to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) compared Trump to Reagan. The New York Times headlined an article, ‘On Syria Attack, Trump’s Heart Came First.’” A few anti-war democrats have been brave enough to speak against Trump’s military actions, such as Tulsi Gabbard, Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich, but the voices have been marginalized by the now pro-war Democratic party. Pro-war Democrats attacked Tulsi for her skepticism over Trump’s decision to drop bombs on Syria. Democrat Howard Dean tweeted, “This is a disgrace. Gabbard should not be in Congress.” As the drumbeat continues to grow louder for a future American war with Syria and North Korea, libertarians are discovering …

Austin event a success!

Last month, Liberty International hosted a conference titled “Secrets to Preventing and Treating Disease in the Ever-Changing U.S. Health Care Landscape.” The one-day conference was held in Austin, Texas, and featured John MacKey, Mary Ruwart, Sally Pipes, Naomi Lopez-Bauman, Kyle Varner, and David Vequist. First, Sally Pipes gave an update on Obamacare, and discussed her plan to achieve affordable, accessible, quality care. Next, John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods, shared his ideas about nutrition, supplements and other aspects of healthy living. Mary Ruwart, Ph.D., gave a lunch seminar about little known “secrets” for early detection of disease, prevention ideas, treatment possibilities, and end of life options. After lunch, Naomi Lopez-Bauman gave an update on Right-to-Try policies, and patient autonomy. Kyle Varner, M.D. shared his research into medical tourism, which could help audience members find alternatives to American medicine. And finally, David Vequist, Ph.D. expanded on the conversation about medical tourism, patent consumerism, and free markets winning in health care. Stay tuned for a video of the conference, which will be posted soon! In the meantime, Liberty International announced the World Conference in Puerto Rico to be held on August 8-12. Click here for more information!    

Jonathan Gullible, the musical!

Lyudmila Melnikova from Karaganda, Kazakhstan directed and composed a rendition of The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free-Market Odyssey. The book was written by economist Ken Schoolland.    

Trump should end the Federal Reserve to save American jobs

President Donald Trump has blamed countries overseas for, “Stealing our jobs,” but in reality, it’s inflation caused by the Federal Reserve that has been causing the loss of American jobs. Ever since the Federal Reserve began printing money on a massive scale in the 1970s, the American economy has suffered the effects of inflation. This caused American wages to rise, which led to companies moving their jobs overseas to find cheaper labor. Americans upset about losing their jobs will probably find no relief from President Trump, who recently said he would increase spending on a massive scale for infrastructure and the military. Presumably, these increases would be paid for by printing even more money, which would lead to more inflation, and perhaps even more outsourcing. Although Donald Trump gave lip service to auditing the Federal Reserve during the campaign, he has made little mention of the FED since taking office. But the ability to print money will likely be too tempting for President Trump to pass up, as it has been for almost all American presidents. Instead, President Trump has embarked on clueless protectionist policies like tariffs, trade wars and publicly singling out companies to keep American jobs in the country. These “solutions” will only make the pain worse for American families, who will pay the higher prices. America is not the only nation to inflate it’s money supply, but the effect of the higher prices for wages has led to a mass migration of jobs out of the country, to countries where wages and costs of doing business are lower. Of course, the Federal Reserve is not the sole reason that jobs are leaving America, but it is one of many. In addition to monetary inflation, there are the costs of state and federal taxes and regulations that cause employers to flee the US. If President Trump really wanted to bring …

Kenli Schoolland – How digital marketing is fuelling a revolution in education

“Think about what you wanted at 18 (years old),” said Kenli Schoolland during a presentation at the Foolish Things Salon on Oahu, Hawaii. “Would you take a $200,000 bet that that’s what you wanted to do ten years later? . . . Or for the rest of your life?” asked Kenli. Kenli said that education around the world has changed as government has subsidized higher education. “With these federal loans, people started to take gambles. They started to bet on what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives, with no money down.” Kenli showed that education today is changing — getting worse in the government, but getting much better outside the government. Inside the government system, Kenli said, debt is rising for college graduates. “The average debt is $35,000, though there are many that graduate with much more given that a college degree for four years can be upwards of $200,000.” What are people getting for that money? Many graduates today, said Kenli, are realizing that their degree isn’t worth what they paid for it, as job recruiters seek better qualified candidates with real world skills. However, Kenli said education outside the government sector is improving tremendously, where costs are falling and quality is rising. Online schools are one example where students can go take high quality courses for bargain prices. But another type of education is arising outside of the “school” model, in the form of digital marketing, said Kenli. “I’m sure maybe you’ve all seen an ad that says, ‘Earn $15,000 in passive income from your home!’ . . . so that’s a cheesy glimpse of it, but it’s actually part of a formula,” said Kenli. “People are being taught to market themselves . . . it’s actually creating a huge educational service, and it’s bringing …

Can economists predict the future?

I can make a prediction that will almost definitely come true: On July 28th, 2061, a bright comet will appear in the night sky. Of course, this is not my prediction, but Edmond Halley’s — which is where the name Halley’s comet comes from. Unfortunately, Halley died before he could view Halley’s comet for himself, but he is proven correct every 76 years. In a similar way, the economist Ludwig von Mises predicted the collapse of socialism. He also died before he could view the collapse of the socialist economies of his time, but he has been proven correct again and again. How did Mises and Halley know such bold things about the future? And how can we use their insight to make our own predictions about the future? The answer has less to do with mathematics, and more to do with simple logic. For Halley, he deduced that a comet going around the sun would be seen again in the future, and he was correct. But for Mises, the problem was a bit more complex, because there was no bright object in the sky for him to look at. Mises understood the many problems with socialism, and the inevitable collapse of such a system. He wrote about his findings in, “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth“. In this landmark essay, Mises proved that socialism could not work because the price system was broken. In a purely socialist system, prices are made up by bureaucrats, and this causes all kinds of chaos. Without real prices, no one has any clue how much anything really costs. When this happens, the entire system collapses. Mises and Halley predicted the future, but in reality, they were explaining a phenomenon, like a law of nature. Just like Albert Einstein predicted the existence of black holes, …

How the government broke my digital camera

Once upon a time, the government decided break my digital camera. Like the mean kid who throws your favorite toy down the stairs, the government succeeded in making all DSLR cameras worse for no reason. The consequence is that today, my DSLR camera cannot record videos longer than 29 minutes. Sure, that may not seem like a big deal, but if you work with video, this gets annoying fast! Let’s say I want to record an hour long speech — I have to stop the recording half way through and re-start it, just so I can get the entire thing. When I watch my final video, I have a big black pause right in the middle of my video. Some may think the 29 minute limitation is because of a technical glitch, or to prevent from overheating, but the real reason involves international tax law. According to tax laws for some EU countries, any camera that records video for more than 29 minutes is classified as a “video camera” and subject to much higher taxes of 5 to 14 percent. So in order to get around it, DSLR cameras simply record less than 29 minutes at a time. But all is not lost. Sure, the government may have taken my camera and thrown it into traffic, but there’s a way to “fix” it! Hackers have come to the rescue across the internet by providing ways to correct the problem. Now you can record video for as long as you want — in exchange for voiding your warranty. Still, the fix may be worth it! Now I can set up a few tripods and record longer interviews, without worrying about whether or not the camera is still recording. But the strange camera quirk is just another example of how we live …