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Monday, April 21, 2014

Why You Should Care If You Don't Smoke Pot

Lots of good reasons why people who don't smoke pot still should support legalization.

From Julie Borowski:
So, let's say you don't smoke pot. Why should you care about legalizing pot? Watch this video and learn how it will affect you.


Support for legalizing marijuana soaring:

Conservatives in support of marijuana reform:

Which states have legal medical marijuana?

Harvard study that legalizing marijuana would save $7.7 billion (I didn't include savings from taxation):

Cost of marijuana prohibition per state:

2 million Americans in jail:

1 out of every 100 adults in jail:

750,000 marijuana arrests annually:

Almost 90 percent for possession:

Young Adults More Likely to Support Legalization:

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Libertarian Party of Minnesota Challenges DFL on Minimum Wage Issue

From the Libertarian Party of Minnesota:

April 11, 2014

With most DFL legislators lining up behind another hike to the state’s minimum wage under the guise of helping the working class, the Libertarian Party of Minnesota is speaking out to defend the very same working class who would be harmed should this legislation pass.

By a vote of 7-0, the LPMN Executive Committee approved a Resolution: We call upon the DFL to end its push to increase the state’s minimum wage and to instead pursue methods that would help, rather than hurt, low-income workers and the public at large.

On the surface, raising the minimum wage seems like an easy way to boost the fortunes of the poor and working class. Legislators simply decree that wages must be higher, and low-income workers would instantly be better off. Or would they?

To begin, it’s important to note that working people do have justifiable reason to be unhappy. Not long ago, the minimum of $6.15/hour was seen as sufficient. But not anymore. What happened?
The answer is that the dollar has been eroding in value. Since just the year 2000, the dollar has lost 25% of its purchasing power. It has lost an incredible 96% of its value over the past 100 years. It’s no wonder that many feel squeezed. This unstable valuation has put America’s financial system on a foundation of quicksand and jeopardized the living standard of every person, as employees find out that their earnings don’t buy as much as they once did, and as savers and seniors discover that their rainy-day funds and retirement accounts aren’t worth nearly as much as when they had worked to earn that money.


Democrats are focusing on a symptom of the problem by calling for increased wages, but Libertarians prefer to attack the problem itself. Libertarians have been calling attention to the Federal Reserve for years, especially its inflation of the money supply, which dilutes the value of the dollars that people have already earned. While Democrats frequently claim to be advocates for the working class, their actions have not backed this up. Janet Yellen will continue the inflationary policies of Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan, yet every Democratic Senator voted in favor of her appointment as the new Fed Chair without a single vote of dissent.

Taking on the Federal Reserve is a long-term effort, so would raising the minimum wage be justified even as an interim measure?

The answer is that wage and price controls have a nasty history of unintended consequences, “solving” one problem by creating another. France is well-known for its “worker-friendly” laws, which include high minimum wages, mandatory vacations, and legal barriers making it difficult for employers to conduct layoffs. At first, France might seem to be a panacea for the working class. But it is not. The overall result has been a consistently high unemployment rate, now at over 11% and with youth unemployment of 23%.

As one editorial aptly pointed out, “establishing a minimum wage is the same as establishing a maximum price for bread and cars” for the purpose of attempting to assist low-income people. President Nixon’s gasoline price controls led to the infamous shortages and long lines at gas stations in the 1970s. During hurricanes, higher prices play a key role in rationing demand and encouraging those outside the afflicted areas to rush in new supplies so that goods remain available, while supplies quickly run out in states which have prohibited price increases. In New York City, rent control has counterintuitively led to a shortage of affordable housing.

Wage and price controls are always harmful. Hardest hit are the low-wage earners, who have the fewest options available to them
Proponents of the minimum wage make a fundamental error: Low-wage jobs are not meant to become lifelong careers or family-breadwinner positions. Yet these jobs serve an important purpose by providing startup income and experience to youths still living with their parents. Low-wages also provide a foot in the door for the disadvantaged, who have no work experience or a questionable background, who are less likely to be hired otherwise. Raising the minimum wage effectively prevents the most disadvantaged from taking their first step up the economic ladder!

That is why a minimum wage hurts the poorest and disadvantaged. The least-skilled, lowest-wage positions are the ones most likely to be eliminated, with those responsibilities thrust upon higher-wage workers who will need to work harder or with longer shifts. Those still employed after a minimum wage increase will undoubtedly be pleased to receive a raise, a story that will be reported on the evening news. But there will be no coverage of those who are stuck at home, looking through the want-ads and not finding job openings that would otherwise be available.

Where do Minnesota’s other parties stand on this issue? The Republicans appear resigned to an increase and have capitulated … as they so often do. And the Independence Party is in lockstep with the DFL, with 81% of IPers supporting government manipulation of wages.

That leaves Libertarians as the only clear voice in support of an open marketplace. Libertarians also recognize that employment is a voluntary agreement between one individual who needs another’s labor and another individual who is willing to work for income. Both should be free to make their own decisions, without interference from politicians who claim to know what’s best for everyone.
Rather than cosmetic and counterproductive tactics like manipulating the minimum wage, here are real steps that legislators can take to help the poor and working class:
  • The Fed’s inflation of the money supply is the root cause of the sinking value of wages and savings. A gallon of milk still contains the same volume it did 100 years ago, and a mile is still the same distance as 100 years ago; why should a dollar not also have the same value? Minnesota’s DFL officials should press their Democratic colleagues in Congress to repeal the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. Furthermore, since it was created, the Fed has presided over three extraordinarily severe crises (in the 1930s, 1970s, and 2000s) and it has been stunningly incompetent at identifying serious problems as they’ve unfolded. It’s time for the Fed to go!
  • The economy should be liberalized (i.e. made more free). Repealing wage controls, restrictions, bureaucratic barriers to entrepreneurship, and welcoming high-paying industries (such as mining) with minimal hurdles, can help low-wage workers by creating ample opportunity for them to move up to better positions.
  • Reducing or repealing taxes would give individuals more breathing room at their existing income levels. In particular, Governor Dayton’s punitive tobacco tax should be repealed, which disproportionally impacts low-income people. While some may feel that tobacco is not the best use of one’s earnings, people should be free to buy this product if they choose, and it’s nobody’s business to tell them they should not.
Government interference in society creates winners and losers, benefiting some at the expense of others. Today’s dog-eat-dog world, where people are divided into groups or classes and pitted against one another, is the result when some people decide to call upon the force of government. But helping some by hurting others is not ethical.

Libertarians advocate a world not of mandates, force, and decrees, but of voluntary agreements, opportunity, and freewill. It’s possible for all to get ahead, not by a tug-of-war against each other, but by pulling in the same direction. No matter where an individual may be on the socio-economic ladder, the most prosperous society will be one where everyone is free to take their next step upward.

Concerned about the expansion of government control and the erosion of individual liberty? Please consider joining and becoming active with the Libertarian Party of Minnesota. Libertarians support liberty on all issues, all the time. Libertarianism is a philosophical and political movement to promote personal freedom, strong civil liberties, a genuinely free marketplace, and peace.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Governor Mark Dayton Serves Special Interests and Blocks Access to Medical Marijuana

Mark Dayton refuses to support the legalization of Medical Marijuana, unless "law enforcement" supports the bill. It would cost them jobs, apparently too big a price to pay to help children like Paxton.

From the Marijuana Policy Project:

In this hard-hitting TV ad, a mother rips Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton for blocking access to medical marijuana for people like her 5-year-old son, who suffers from a condition that causes him to have hundreds of seizures per day. She describes how medical marijuana reduced her son's seizures by 88% during a trip to Oregon, where it was legal for him to access it, and she chides the governor for standing in the way of effective medical marijuana legislation that would allow her son to get it at home in Minnesota.

Ron Paul: Aid to Ukraine Is a Bad Deal

From Ron Paul:

Last week Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill approving a billion dollars in aid to Ukraine and more sanctions on Russia. The bill will likely receive the president’s signature within days. If you think this is the last time US citizens will have their money sent to Ukraine, you should think again. This is only the beginning.

This $1 billion for Ukraine is a rip-off for the America taxpayer, but it is also a bad deal for Ukrainians. Not a single needy Ukrainian will see a penny of this money, as it will be used to bail out international banks who hold Ukrainian government debt. According to the terms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-designed plan for Ukraine, life is about to get much more difficult for average Ukrainians. The government will freeze some wage increases, significantly raise taxes, and increase energy prices by a considerable margin.

But the bankers will get paid and the IMF will get control over the Ukrainian economy.

The bill also authorizes more US taxpayer money for government-funded “democracy promotion” NGOs, and more money to broadcast US government propaganda into Ukraine via Radio Free Europe and Voice of America. It also includes some saber-rattling, directing the US Secretary of State to “provide enhanced security cooperation with Central and Eastern European NATO member states.”

The US has been “promoting democracy” in Ukraine for more than ten years now, but it doesn’t seem to have done much good. Recently a democratically-elected government was overthrown by violent protestors. That is the opposite of democracy, where governments are changed by free and fair elections. What is shocking is that the US government and its NGOs were on the side of the protestors! If we really cared about democracy we would not have taken either side, as it is none of our business.

Washington does not want to talk about its own actions that led to the coup, instead focusing on attacking the Russian reaction to US-instigated unrest next door to them. So the new bill passed by Congress will expand sanctions against Russia for its role in backing a referendum in Crimea, where most of the population voted to join Russia. The US, which has participated in the forced change of borders in Serbia and elsewhere, suddenly declares that international borders cannot be challenged in Ukraine.

Those of us who are less than gung-ho about sanctions, manipulating elections, and sending our troops overseas are criticized as somehow being unpatriotic. It happened before when so many of us were opposed to the Iraq war, the US attack on Libya, and elsewhere. And it is happening again to those of us not eager to get in another cold — or hot — war with Russia over a small peninsula that means absolutely nothing to the US or its security.

I would argue that real patriotism is defending this country and making sure that our freedoms are not undermined here. Unfortunately, while so many are focused on freedoms in Crimea and Ukraine, the US Congress is set to pass an NSA “reform” bill that will force private companies to retain our personal data and make it even easier for the NSA to spy on the rest of us. We need to refocus our priorities toward promoting liberty in the United States!

Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given: The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Burning the Obama Bridge

From Carey Wedler:

Join me as I wreck my last artifact of support for the war criminal-in-chief!! *I figured out the fraud a while back, but recently found this shirt in my closet :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Loosening Milwaukee's Taxicab Cartel

From the Institute for Justice:

For the first time in over 20 years, Milwaukee will be issuing new licenses for taxicab drivers. This victory for economic liberty is a direct response to a hard-fought case won by the Institute for Justice. Back in 1991, Milwaukee capped the number of cab permits and banned issuing new ones. So if a driver forgot to renew his license, that license would disappear.

100 new licenses were awarded at a lottery at Centennial Hall, 733 N. 8th St. at 11 a.m. CST on Monday, March 17. Each person could have up to two tickets, though each application has a $100 non-refundable fee. For a chance to obtain one of the 100 new permits, the city has received more than 1,800 applications so far. New cabs are expected to hit the streets later this spring.

By the mid-2000s, there were only 321 taxis on the streets of Milwaukee, or one cab for every 1,850 residents. That is one of the lowest ratios in the nation, well below Seattle (one per 940 residents), Denver (one per 480 people), Chicago (one for every 424 residents) and Washington, D.C. (one per 90 people).

This restriction created artificial scarcity in the transportation market. When IJ filed its lawsuit against the city in 2011, taxi medallions went for $150,000; the average sales price of a Milwaukee home was $100,000. According to a study commissioned by IJ, just two taxi companies owned more than half of all licenses in Milwaukee.

Last April, a circuit court judge struck down Brew City's taxi law as unconstitutional. In response, the Milwaukee Common Council voted to add up to an additional 100 taxi licenses, with a lottery determining just who gets these licenses.

While allowing more entrepreneurs to legally work is certainly progress, as IJ's lead plaintiff Ghaleb Ibrahim put it, "There should be no lottery on the American Dream." At 420 cabs for the city, Milwaukee will still only have one taxi for every 1,420 residents. Scrapping the cap entirely is necessary to foster small business and enhance consumer choice.

 More here:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Marijuana Prohibition Logic

Adam Kokesh interviews Peter Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation on marijuana prohibition.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tonie Nathan, First Woman in U.S. History to Receive an Electoral Vote, Dies at 91

From the Libertarian Party:

Libertarian Tonie Nathan, first woman in U.S. history to receive an electoral vote, dies at 91

Tonie Nathan 1923-2014Theodora "Tonie" Nathan, the 1972 Libertarian Party candidate for vice president, passed away on the morning of March 20, 2014, at the age of 91.

Nathan was a charter member of the national Libertarian Party, which was founded in 1971, inspired largely by the philosophical vision of Ayn Rand. At the first Libertarian Party presidential nominating convention in 1972, she was selected to run for vice president with Libertarian presidential candidate John Hospers.

Republican Virginia elector Roger L. MacBride, who later switched his affiliation to the Libertarian Party and became the party's 1976 Libertarian presidential nominee, chose to vote for Hospers and Nathan rather than Nixon and Agnew, making Nathan the first woman in U.S. history to receive an electoral vote in the Electoral College — ahead of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984. She was also the first Jewish person in America to receive an electoral vote and to gain a nomination to run as vice president.

Nathan was a TV and radio broadcast journalist. Starting in 1971, she produced and occasionally hosted a daily talk show for KVAL-TV (CBS affiliate) in Eugene, Ore.

Following her vice-presidential run, she ran for office as a Libertarian candidate during the 1970s through the 1990s for federal and state offices. In the 1980 U.S. Senate election in Oregon, Nathan participated in three statewide television debates with then–Sen. Bob Packwood and then–state Sen. Ted Kulongoski. She received 43,686 votes.

In 1990, Nathan ran as a Libertarian candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives for Oregon's 4th congressional district. She was the lone challenger to incumbent congressman Peter DeFazio, and received 26,432 votes for 14 percent of the vote.

Nathan earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. She operated her own insurance agency, a music publishing firm, and a decorating service in the Los Angeles area of California before moving to Eugene, Ore.

Nathan married Charles "Chuck" Nathan, an ASCAP composer who wrote top-10 hit songs in the 1950s. The couple had three sons, Paul, Larry, and Greg Nathan.

Nathan is a former vice chair of the Libertarian Party, as well as a founding member and former president of the Association of Libertarian Feminists. She was a speaker at the 2012 Libertarian National Convention, where she announced Gary Johnson as the 2012 Libertarian Party presidential nominee.

"It is with sadness we learn the news of the passing of our friend Tonie Nathan, a great and history-making Libertarian," said Geoffrey J. Neale, chair of the Libertarian National Committee. "We celebrate her life and her accomplishments."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Continuing Revolution

From Josie Outlaw:
We cannot improve on history by blindly revering any individual, document, or event. We can learn a lot from the Founders, both from what they got right AND from what they got wrong. And we can do better than they did.