Issue CXLV 

February 16-20, 2008

Return to Issue CXLIV.                         Proceed to Issue CXLVI.
Recommend this page.                            Submit Items to TRA.

A sample image

Why Africa Needs Economic Freedom:
Edward Hudgins

February 20, 2008
The foreign aid taken from American taxpayers by the U.S. government and sent to Africa doesn't represent "compassion" because real caring need not be coerced. And in any case, the United States and other Western countries have dumped hundreds of billions of dollars into Africa with dismal results. If this is compassion, one would hate to see true insensitivity. Dr. Edward Hudgins argues that only the advent of economic freedom can bring about meaningful advances in the standards of living of hard-working Africans.

Economics Teaches Us Not to Fret:
Gary M. Galles

February 20, 2008
Dr. Gary Galles writes that the opportunity-cost emphasis of economics focuses on the question of what is actually being given up when a choice is made. Its purpose is to ensure that we don't mislead ourselves with basic errors, because if we misunderstand the relevant costs, our understanding can well be incorrect even if our theory from that point on is correct (following the maxim that logic only means making no more mistakes than you are already committed to). Equally important, it helps ensure that others can't mislead us with their confused understanding, as so often happens when people try to sell government "solutions" to perceived problems (e.g., ignoring the cost to society of the taxation required to fund some spending program).

Compassionate Socialists Like Joe Kennedy:
Tom DeWeese

February 16, 2008
You've seen his face on TV telling us about "our good friends in Venezuela" who provide reduced-price heating oil for the poor. Joe Kennedy shares heart-rending stories of how his wonderful partnership with South American strongman Hugo Chavez has helped so many downtrodden Americans. It's all so warm and loving and special. Isn't Socialism compassionate? Now for the reality. Hugo Chavez is a communist who is quickly turning Venezuela into a prison nation. He has destroyed freedom of the press, nationalized major privately owned companies, and almost got away with ending elections so he could become "His Majesty." Tom DeWeese comments on Chavez's atrocities.

A Two-Party Death Grip:
Chuck Baldwin

February 16, 2008
Chuck Baldwin writes that blind allegiance to the two major parties has created a "lesser of two evils" mindset that has warped the thinking and perverted the values of otherwise good people. What people would never accept in any other venue of society, they gladly and willingly accept from their chosen party's candidates. People expect honesty and integrity from clergymen, bankers, doctors, businessmen, realtors, journalists, and even used car salesmen. Those same people, however, quickly tolerate and even excuse dishonesty and chicanery from their chosen political party.

The Trouble With Child Labor Laws:

Jeffrey Tucker

February 18, 2008
Let's say you want your computer fixed or your software explained. You can shell out big bucks to the Geek Squad, or you can ask — but you can't hire — a typical teenager, or even a preteen. Their experience with computers and the online world is vastly superior to that of most people over the age of 30. From the point of view of online technology, it is the young who rule. And yet they are professionally powerless: they are forbidden by law from earning wages from their expertise. Jeffrey Tucker discusses the pervasive injustice of child labor laws.

Conservatism is Dead; Long Live Conservatism:
Selwyn Duke

February 18, 2008
Selwyn Duke criticized Mitt Romney for forcing Massachusettsans to buy health insurance, but a recent poll indicates that a majority of Republicans support such coercion.  And if some of these people are “conservatives,” Mr. Duke certainly is not one. He is a revolutionary. He does not want to preserve the status quo; he wants to overthrow it.

Humpty Dumpty Environmental Policies:
Paul Driessen

February 19, 2008
Carefully crafted notions of “environmental justice” are often used to promote policies that are anything but just. Instead, they prevent economic growth, result in unemployment, and perpetuate poverty, misery, and
premature death in poor countries. Paul Driessen believes it is time to reexamine laws and public policies that are based on perverse, distorted claims of justice – and ensure that policies are set by people who have to live with their consequences … not by activists who merely impose them on others, and then head off on another anti-development campaign.

Calm Sun, Cold Earth:
Alan Caruba

February 19, 2008
Since switching their message in the 1970s that an Ice Age was coming to the complete fiction of a massive, dramatic global warming due to greenhouse gases, the Greens have been able to influence policy at the international and national level. They have been utterly relentless, a modern version of the Mongols on horseback who swept out of the East to conquer everything before them until they reached the gates of Europe. These days the Greens have long since conquered Europe.  Alan Caruba explains that the real danger to the Earth's climate is entirely the opposite of what the Greens proclaim it to be.

Improving the Presidential Nomination Process: Voting by Preferential Ballot:

G. Stolyarov II

February 20, 2008
A significant deficiency of the current Presidential nomination process is that voters are only permitted to vote for one candidate – the candidate that is their top choice – without regard for their views regarding any of the other candidates. This may create a situation in which the choice of the nominee does not take full account of voters’ preferences. Mr. Stolyarov suggests reforming the primaries so that voters rank-order their preferred candidates instead of just voting for one.

If We Subsidize Them:
Ron Paul

February 20, 2008

One thing is certain:  If we subsidize illegal immigrants, they will come.  We have rolled out the social services red carpet, so it is no surprise that many from other countries are eager to come take advantage of our very generous system. Rep. Ron Paul writes that we must return to the American principle of personal responsibility.  We must expect those who come here to take care of themselves and respect our laws.  Not only is this the right thing to do for our overtaxed citizens, but we simply have no choice. 

Power Symmetries and Asymmetries: #8: Asymmetry Examples 11-13 - Video:
G. Stolyarov II

February 16, 2008

Power Symmetries and Asymmetries: #9: The Growth of Power Asymmetries - Video:
G. Stolyarov II

February 16, 2008

Power Symmetries and Asymmetries: #10: The Future Counterpower - Video:
G. Stolyarov II
February 16, 2008
"Our country's founders cherished liberty, not democracy." 
~ Ron Paul

Disclaimer: The presence of the following advertisement serves as an attempt to eventually enable The Rational Argumentator to generate sufficient revenues to cover the costs of its domain name. TRA does not foresee making an actual profit with these advertisements for a long time. The advertisement does not necessarily reflect the views of TRA or any of its contributors, and the readers are encouraged to judge it on its own merits.