Issue CXLIX 

March 21-24, 2008

Return to Issue CXLVIII.                       Proceed to Issue CL.
Recommend this page.                            Submit Items to TRA.

A sample image

The Coming Second Life Industrial Revolution?:
Matthew Beller

March 21, 2008
Novel models are required for analyzing virtual economies and exploring such abstract economic concepts as capital. Although Second Life's capital structure is currently relatively simple by real-world standards, Matthew Beller thinks that may change one day. Entrepreneurs may move in the direction of creating products that consist of increasingly complex, specialized components that require lengthy periods of production -- in effect bringing about a virtual industrial revolution.

The Velocity of Circulation (1968):
Henry Hazlitt

March 24, 2008
The quantity theory of money is very old. But it has been most influential in the 20th century in the form given it by Irving Fisher in The Purchasing Power of Money (1911). Henry Hazlitt believes this theory leads to some false understandings of the variable "V," the "velocity of circulation." He writes that increased velocity of circulation is not, in itself, even a contributing cause of higher commodity prices. It is not even a link in the chain of causation. Increased velocity of circulation and higher commodity prices are joint results of a change in the value of money in relation to the value of goods.

Paper Money and Tyranny (2003):

Ron Paul

March 24, 2008
Rep. Ron Paul predicted the current consequences of the Federal Reserve's reckless expansion of the money supply, massive govenrment growth and deficit spending, and increasing government intervention in our lives as far back as 2003. In this essay, Dr. Paul presciently showed how expansionary monetary policy and fiat currency in general would lead to the U.S.'s current economic troubles.

Why is Everyone Lying About Energy?:
Alan Caruba

March 21, 2008
In early March, President Bush, addressing an International Renewable Energy Conference, was widely quoted saying that the United States has to “get off oil.” Earlier he had said that America was “addicted” to oil. These are such huge lies, one wonders why he is telling them, unless perhaps he has quietly been investing in ethanol production. Alan Caruba explains.

Taking a Toll on the People:
Selwyn Duke

March 21, 2008
Some of us may disagree on how much revenue the government should raise, but there is no doubt that tolls are absolutely the worst way of collecting it. Selwyn Duke explains why tolls are the absolute worst way to raise revenue -- from virtually every conceivable perspective.

Can Foreign Aid Save Africa?:
Ron Paul

March 21, 2008
Congress is poised to pass the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), authorizing up to $50 million in unconstitutional foreign aid.  The bill passed out of the Foreign Affairs Committee with a bipartisan agreement to nearly double the President's requested amount.  Rep. Ron Paul writes that it is always distressing to see officials in our government reach across the aisle to disregard Constitutional limitations.

How the Gears Turn in the American "Democracy":
Fred Reed

March 22, 2008
Common delusions notwithstanding, the United States, Fred Reed submits, is not a democracy—by which is meant a system in which the will of the people prevails. Rather it is a curious mechanism artfully designed to circumvent the will of the people while appearing to be democratic. Several mechanisms accomplish this. Mr. Reed elaborates on the means by which the people have virtually no input in the way the United States is governed. 

Why Freedom is Free and Rights are Right: The Case Against Conscription, Compulsion, and Confiscation:
G. Stolyarov II

March 23, 2008
A popular and highly damaging cliché of our time states that “freedom is not free.” Those who espouse this mantra seek to legitimize government actions that undermine the most fundamental freedoms of all human beings – the right to life, the right to liberty over the disposal of one’s body and time, and the right to private property. Mr. Stolyarov makes the case for why freedom is indeed free in any relevant sense and why no freedom can be secured by the pursuit of policies that in themselves violate the inalienable rights of man.

John McCain is a Liberal Gun Grabber:
Chuck Baldwin

March 24, 2008
The last thing we need is another liberal neocon in the White House. If the Presidency of George W. Bush proved anything, it proved the hazard of electing phony Republican conservatives. At least one is able to clearly see a liberal for what he or she is when they have a "D" behind their name. But put an "R" behind the name and suddenly their liberal, Big-Government, anti-freedom agenda is barely recognized, which makes a liberal Republican much more dangerous than a liberal Democrat. Dr. Chuck Baldwin says it straight out: a John McCain Presidency would be far worse than a Barack Obama Presidency.

Hope for the Economy:
Ron Paul

March 24, 2008

It is becoming harder and harder for Washington and the mainstream media to ignore the ripple effect the collapse of the housing bubble is having on the economy.  Inflation is up, cost of food is up, oil and gold are up, foreclosures are up, unemployment is up, government spending is at record highs, its seems that the only thing down is the value of the dollar.  The middle and lower classes are getting squeezed as prices jump and wages stay flat.

Though it is good that Washington is acknowledging the problem instead of sweeping it under the rug, Ron Paul always gets nervous at their ideas of solutions.  A proper solution requires an honest, in-depth look at the root of the problem. 

How to Deal With Intolerance - The Classical Liberal Way:
G. Stolyarov II

March 21, 2008

Arguments Against Censorship of Free Speech - Video:
G. Stolyarov II

March 22, 2008

"Conscription is murder, compulsion is slavery, and confiscation is looting." 
~ G. Stolyarov II, "Why Freedom is Free and Rights are Right

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.