August 29 - September 3, 2011

Return to Issue CCXCIV.                        Proceed to Issue CCXCVI.
Recommend this page.                              Submit Items to TRA.

A sample image

The Rational Argumentator's Ninth Anniversary Manifesto
G. Stolyarov II

August 29, 2011

Mr. Stolyarov is pleased, with this manifesto, to conclude another successful, active year for The Rational Argumentator – a year that has seen visitation grow and TRA’s content and features expand. The times we live in are truly fascinating, and TRA hs provided content to match. Mr. Stolyarov celebrates this publication's successes while offering a technical "wish list" for the future – for implementing which he invites suggestions from readers.


An Open Letter to Mayor Bloomberg
Robert P. Murphy

August 29, 2011

Dr. Robert Murphy read with interest that New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and fellow billionaire George Soros are going to contribute millions of their own fortunes to supplement the tax dollars New York City's government will spend because "blacks and Latinos are not fully sharing in the promise of American freedom." Yet rather than spending their own money — and that of the taxpayers — on retraining probation officers, posting job recruitment signs in government housing projects, and the other ideas mentioned in the New York Times article, Bloomberg and Soros should consider much more effective ways to help young black and Latino men. As an added bonus, the proposals outlined by Dr. Murphy would actually reduce government expenditures.

On the Brink of Inflationary Disaster
Robert P. Murphy

August 29, 2011

Ever since Ben Bernanke began his massive infusions of money into the financial system, many analysts (including Dr. Robert Murphy) have been worried about the severe weakening of the dollar if and when the fractional-reserve-banking system magnified the initial injections severalfold. Although the trend could reverse, data from the past two months suggest that the inflationary big one may be upon us.

The Bourgeois Virtues and Consumer Ethics
Steven Horwitz

September 3, 2011
In a market economy we act more ethically toward others, particularly strangers, not just because it’s in our self-interest but because when our default engagement with them is via voluntary exchange, we slowly develop the unconscious habit of treating others well. Dr. Steven Horwitz discusses how the market economy leads people to reward strangers for excellence in producing goods and services.

Indigenous African Free-Market Liberalism
George B. N. Ayittey

September 3, 2011
Africa remains an enigmatic paradox: a continent rich in mineral resources yet so desperately poor. But the paradox is only superficial: Africa is poor because she is not free. Ironically, traditional Africa, in contrast to modern Africa, was characterized by much economic freedom for centuries before the arrival of the European colonists. George B. N. Ayittey discusses this African tradition of free-market liberalism.

Was Freeborn John Tortured in Vain?
Wendy McElroy

September 3, 2011

“Taking the Fifth” – invoking the right against self-incrimination – is a mainstay of mafia movies in which heinous criminals hide behind liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.
Today guarantees such as due process are often portrayed as encumbrances that threaten security or justice by shackling authorities who are hunting the heinous, like terrorists; the conflict is usually expressed as “liberty versus security.” Although due process can occasionally protect a guilty man, the intended and overwhelming beneficiary is the man in the street who, whether he realizes it or not, is protected against the exercise of arbitrary power. What would removing such a protection against self-incrimination look like? Wendy McElroy writes that history provides an answer.

On War, Obama Has Been Worse Than Bush
Anthony Gregory

August 29, 2011

The real critique of the wars certainly goes beyond the numbers. It is good, however, to look at the figures. Most people in the country know that Obama hasn't exactly ended the wars. Yet many people say, "Yeah, but Obama is ending the wars." This claim is not obviously 100 percent false in every respect, perhaps. And so we need to be careful when we get into the details. Anthony Gregory writes that, on many accounts, Obama's record
is worse than that of his predecessor in terms of perpetuating US foreign wars and other related ills.

Mission Accomplished in Libya?
Ron Paul

September 3, 2011

Even as a major hurricane hit America's eastern seaboard, the administration is determined to expand the war in Libya while threatening the regime in Syria.  Is there any limit to the federal government's appetite to create more problems for our nation and economy? Americans may be tempted to celebrate the apparent victory of US- and NATO-backed rebels in Libya, since it seems the Gaddafi regime is overthrown. But Rep. Ron Paul believes any enthusiasm for our Libyan misadventure is premature.

The Debt Battle in America's Civil War
Edward Hudgins

September 3, 2011

The major German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote that the debt-ceiling battle in Washington had a “civil war atmosphere.” But the war was not confined to atmospherics. Dr. Edward Hudgins writes that the war is here, and the debt-ceiling debacle was one battle in a long-term conflict for America’s future. Like the war that tore this nation in two a century and a half ago, the current struggle is over whether the nation, in Lincoln’s words, can survive half-slave and half-free.

A Challenge to Stefan Molyneux's Critique of Ron Paul
G. Stolyarov II

August 29, 2011

Mr. Gennady Stolyarov II offers a detailed, point-by-point response to the critique by Stefan Molyneux (stefbot) of the Ron Paul campaign for US President and of political action in general. Mr. Stolyarov, like Mr. Molyneux, is an atheist and a libertarian -- but one who strongly supports Ron Paul's candidacy.

 "Justifying conscription to promote the cause of liberty is one of the most bizarre notions ever conceived by man! Forced servitude, with the risk of death and serious injury as a price to live free, makes no sense." 
~ Ron Paul