Sunday, October 31, 2010

Go Stephen Bailey!

Go straight to Washington!

Stephen Bailey is an Objectivist who is running for Congress in Colorado. Bailey is running against incumbent Jared Polis. Polis is Gay, and so am I, and under other circumstances I might allow that fact to have more influence on my opinion of his candidacy. But in the current situation there are far more fundamental issues that must be considered, such as Freedom and Individual Rights.

Since Bailey is running in Colorado and I live in Oklahoma, I do not have the opportunity to vote for him. So I will simply say that I think he is my idea of an ideal candidate, and I regret that there is no one running for office here in Oklahoma that comes close to him.

I offer this partial evidence of the basis of my enthusiasm: two quotes concerning welfare from his campaign website. I am indebted to Ari Armstrong for bringing them to my attention by posting them on his website.
. . . morality presumes a choice, the freedom of action. If someone steals from you and gives the proceeds to a charity, did their act of theft make you any more virtuous? No, you had no choice in the matter. Is the thief any less of a thief because he gave the stolen wealth to charity? No, he is still a thief.
A brilliant identification.
Our welfare state programs are called entitlements. The damage to our values and civility created by entitlement programs cannot be overstated. When people believe they are entitled to something, then they will demand that they get it. They will behave in an angry and belligerent manner as long as they perceive that their entitlement is being withheld. Instead of gratitude, the deliverers of entitlements are treated, at best, with indifference and, at worse, contempt.
Well, this explains the behavior of certain gangs of hooligans in Europe.

Almost makes me wish I lived in Colorado. I would love to be represented in Congress by Mr. Bailey!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bastiat and Hayek stand for rights, not religion

Kate Zernike, writing in the NY Times, seeks to perpetuate the smear that the Tea Party promotes the Religious Right when she conflates the work of Frédéric Bastiat and Friedrich Hayek - who promoted individual rights and espoused a view of government limited to protecting those rights - with books like The 5,000 Year Leap which AFAIK promotes an expressly religious view of government. In doing so, she promotes the old liberal canard that the only people who care about Capitalism and government intervention in the economy are theocrats. Note that while she does mention Atlas Shrugged in the article, she also fails to mention that Ayn Rand was an atheist and that the ideas presented in Atlas are at least implicitly anti-religion.

While it is true that some are trying to use the Tea Party to push an explicitly religious agenda - particularly here in Oklahoma - this remains at odds with the movement's original purpose. And I personally condemn those who seek to do so.

Tea Partiers are better served when they recognize that the separation of church and state is the ideal model for all government. If the Tea Party leads to a resurgence of interest in Austrian economics, so much the better.

And I do commend Zernike for doing us all a service by directly quoting Bastiat in the pages of the NY Times:
“If you wish to be strong, begin by rooting out every particle of socialism that may have crept into your legislation,” he urged. “This will be no light task.”