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 …

Liberals embrace gun ownership now that Trump is President

Liberals in the US are beginning to embrace gun ownership now that Trump is President. BBC News reported that liberal gun purchases may be rising, and liberal gun clubs are seeing a big boost in membership. Some liberals say they are buying guns to defend themselves against potential tyranny from the Trump administration. Gwendolyn Patton, a member of Pink Pistols, a club for gay, lesbian and transgender gun owners, told the BBC, “There are people who have professed to carrying a gun now because Trump made them feel unsafe . . . I think their fears are groundless but I can’t make them not be afraid, so whatever they need to do to feel safer, I don’t have a problem as long as they do it responsibly.” The change in attitude is a stark contrast to liberal views about gun ownership during the Obama years, when CNN host Piers Morgan scored high ratings calling for a ban on assault rifles. In 2013, Piers Morgan asked Ben Shapiro, “Why do they need those weapons?” Ben answered, “They need them for the prospective possibility of resistance to tyranny.” Piers asked, “Where do you expect the tyranny to come from?” Ben answered, “The tyranny would come from the government.” Piers asked, “Barack Obama’s government?” Yes, back then, it was almost impossible for liberals to imagine why anyone would be afraid of Barack Obama’s government. But now that Donald Trump will be president, many people see him and his administration as tyrannical. So will liberals become more pro 2nd amendment? For some people, the tyranny may not be so far fetched, as Trump said that he would deport 3 million undocumented immigrants after his inauguration. Some liberals may wish to defend against this — perhaps even with a gun, or an AR-15 rifle. For some people, …

Is liberty a “slippery slope?”

Imagine a slippery slope where big government is at the top, and way down at the bottom is anarchy. Libertarians often stand on the middle of that slope. People constantly tell libertarians, “You kids can play on the slope, but don’t go too far or you’ll fall down!” The top is assumed to be safe. That’s where the government protects everybody, right? Personally, when I heard that liberty was a slippery slope, I immediately leaped off, and chose to live at the bottom. Why not? I begin with the assumption that a world without government would probably be a reasonably safe place to live. If someone proves me otherwise, then I’ll climb up the slope again. Sure, there will be lots to debate about — what about courts, fire, police, defense, seat-belts and schools? Let’s read, debate and discuss all these topics. But I think it’s unhealthy to start with the assumption that total government control is safe. Total government control has been tried, and millions of people died because of it. I don’t understand why we are supposed to assume that it is the safest starting point. So for me, I turn the whole mountain upside down. Let’s start with the assumption that a voluntary world would be ok. If anybody wants to propose a law, just know that you’re on a slippery slope towards totalitarian government control.

A Critique of Hans-Hermann Hoppe: Monarchy vs Democracy

Which is better, a monarchy or a democracy? According to economist Hans-Hermann Hoppe, both are not good, but a monarchies probably do less harm than a democracies. In his book, “Democracy: The God that Failed,” Hoppe wrote that a monarchy is like a private government, and a democracy is like a public government. In that sense, the monarchies benefit from the advantages of private property, and have a higher incentive to invest in the long-term value of the country. However, Jacek Sierpinski argued that there may be flaws in this theory. In his paper titled, “A Critique of Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s Thesis on Lesser Harmfulness of Monarchy than Democracy,” Sierpinski examined data which shows that monarchies may not be much better for citizens after all. Jacek Sierpinski’s paper has been posted below, along with Mr. Sierpinski’s introduction. The paper has been translated from Polish. Abstract The aim of this paper is to critically analyse the thesis of Hans-Herman Hoppe that although any government – taken as a territorial monopolist in the field of jurisdiction and tax imposition – is an organisation harmful both from the economic and ethical point of view since it violates property rights in an institutionalized and legal manner, exploiting private owners and contributing to the process of “decivilization,” yet the monarchy is less harmful than any democratic state. The ultimate point is to prove that Hoppe’s assumption on lower time preference of the governing monarch is not sufficient to conclude that monarchy is less responsible for violating property rights and that it contributes to the process of “decivilization” less than democracy. Introduction: Hoppe on monarchy and democracy In his works, Hans-Hermann Hoppe presents the thesis that any government – regarded as a territorial monopolist in the field of jurisdiction and tax imposition – is an organisation harmful both from …

Ken Schoolland – the Paradox of Politics

Ken Schoolland, President of Liberty International, talked about the Ethics of Liberty. He asked 3 questions generally speaking: Do you trust the campaign promises of politicians? Is an honest politician more likely to win an election than a dishonest politician? Are the moral standards of politicians higher than my own moral standards? Professor Schoolland said that most people answer the above questions, “No!” But most people answer the next question very differently: Generally speaking, do you trust that the government will do good and necessary things for the country? Professor Schoolland said that most people answer this question, “Yes!” Why is that? Why do people distrust individual politicians, but when politicians are grouped collectively, people tend to trust more? Ken Schoolland talks about this, and many other issues related to his talked titled, “The Ethics of Liberty”.

The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: Episode 2 – The Tall Tax

Another episode of Jonathan Gullible has been produced. In this episode, Jonathan Gullible meets a man crawling on his knees to avoid the “tall tax”. Jonathan says, “That must hurt!” The man says, “Yeah, but it hurts more not to.” This is the second cartoon episode in a series being produced by Liberty International. Joe Kent helped to animate the characters, with voice-over help from Ken Schoolland, and students at Hawaii Pacific University. Ken Schoolland is also the author of Jonathan Gullible: a Free Market Odyssey, available here! Please feel free to re-post or share!