Federal Reserve to hire lobbyist to combat Ron Paul’s influence

Posted on June 6th, 2009 by bile
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The Federal Reserve intends to hire a veteran lobbyist as it seeks to counter skepticism in Congress about the central bank’s growing power over the U.S. financial system, people familiar with the matter said.

Linda Robertson currently handles government, community and public affairs at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and headed the Washington lobbying office of Enron Corp., the energy trading company that collapsed in 2002 after an accounting scandal. She was also an adviser to all three of the Clinton administration’s Treasury secretaries.

Robertson would help the Fed manage relations with lawmakers seeking greater oversight of a central bank that has used emergency powers to prevent Wall Street’s demise. While she wasn’t tied to Enron’s fraud, her association with the firm may raise questions, analysts said.

“Some members of Congress think there are votes in attacking the Fed” after it “unnecessarily and unwisely entangled monetary policy with fiscal policy,” said former St. Louis Fed President William Poole. “The Fed is going to have a tricky time of unwinding what has been done” and will need to “keep in touch with members of Congress more thoroughly,” said Poole, now senior fellow with the Cato Institute in Washington.

They may not mention Paul but it was his presidential campaign and now his HR1207 which is putting some fire under the Fed’s feet.

Cato Institute’s David Boaz snubs Free State Project

Posted on May 14th, 2009 by bile
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David Boaz, a libertarian author and television commentator, discussed the need to prevent the U.S. government from encroaching on freedoms in a lecture held in Kemeny Hall on Thursday. The event, “Freedom in Crisis,” was sponsored by the Dartmouth College Libertarians.

“My own attitude towards the Free State Project is that the federal government should move to New Hampshire and leave the rest of us free,” Boaz joked.

“Freedom is under assault again,” he said. “It is easy to let the immensity stop us. But it didn”t stop Thomas Paine, it didn’t stop Frederick Douglass and it didn’t stop us.”

Another student asked Boaz about the Free State Project, a group that aims to recruit 20,000 “liberty loving people” to move to New Hampshire and direct the New Hampshire government in a libertarian direction.

While I agree moving the federal government to NH rather than activists would be a better solution… however that’s not possible and that wasn’t the question. By giving the answer he did it seems to me that he thinks very little of the FSP and it’s goal.

If the goal is freedom… how much of it has Cato brought about? Seems to me their goal is to ride the Washington DC statists coat tails and preach half baked liberty oriented ideas to the most statist of them all… DC bureacrats.

Not to say that the FSP had brought about much change yet. Then again they haven’t been around for 32 years.

Great… like the libertarian movement needs this: chauvinism

Posted on April 29th, 2009 by bile
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by Peter Thiel:

As a young lawyer and trader in Manhattan in the 1990s, I began to understand why so many become disillusioned after college. The world appears too big a place. Rather than fight the relentless indifference of the universe, many of my saner peers retreated to tending their small gardens. The higher one’s IQ, the more pessimistic one became about free-market politics — capitalism simply is not that popular with the crowd. Among the smartest conservatives, this pessimism often manifested in heroic drinking; the smartest libertarians, by contrast, had fewer hang-ups about positive law and escaped not only to alcohol but beyond it.

As one fast-forwards to 2009, the prospects for a libertarian politics appear grim indeed. Exhibit A is a financial crisis caused by too much debt and leverage, facilitated by a government that insured against all sorts of moral hazards — and we know that the response to this crisis involves way more debt and leverage, and way more government. Those who have argued for free markets have been screaming into a hurricane. The events of recent months shatter any remaining hopes of politically minded libertarians. For those of us who are libertarian in 2009, our education culminates with the knowledge that the broader education of the body politic has become a fool’s errand.

Indeed, even more pessimistically, the trend has been going the wrong way for a long time. To return to finance, the last economic depression in the United States that did not result in massive government intervention was the collapse of 1920-21. It was sharp but short, and entailed the sort of Schumpeterian “creative destruction” that could lead to a real boom. The decade that followed — the roaring 1920s — was so strong that historians have forgotten the depression that started it. The 1920s were the last decade in American history during which one could be genuinely optimistic about politics. Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of “capitalist democracy” into an oxymoron.

1. capitalist democracy is an oxymoron in practice. Read Hayek’s Road to Serfdom.
2. libertarian politics has always been grim. Politics can help legitimize libertarian beliefs to some people but a libertarian society can never truly exist within a traditional political system.
3. What the fuck are you hoping to do by saying that women are naturally more statist? The argument can be made (and has) but the reality is that it must be made by a woman. We all know how the MSM and statist liberals would react to such a statement… that’s how I found this article in the first place.

From http://valleywag.gawker.com:

Peter Thiel, foremost among Silicon Valley’s loopy libertarians and the first outside investor in Facebook, has written an essay declaring that the country went to hell as soon as women won the right to vote.

On the side, though, his pet passion is libertarianism and the fantasy that everything would be better in the world if government just quit nagging everybody. But, now he’s given up hope on achieving his vision through political means because, as he writes in Cato Unbound, a website run by the Cato Institute, all those voting females have wrecked things:

So there you have it: The problem with women is that they don’t vote like their menfolk tell them. We would have so much more freedom, Thiel suggests, if only we’d deprived women of it.

Yes… because voting who your slave master is is freedom.

And it seems that sarcasm is lost of these people. He is speaking of drugs in relation to bothering to proselytize free markets. That it was smarter to do drugs rather than waste time with trying to convince the unconvincable.

The Anthony Gregory Song

Posted on March 12th, 2009 by bosco
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Inspired by Liberty Forum and Dave Ridley saying that people should create their own media, I decided to write a song about Anthony Gregory.  You can learn more about Anthony Gregory at his website.  Here you go, lyrics follow after the break:

Anthony Gregory (mp3|ogg)

Read More…

CATO covers Obama’s “stimulus” plan

Posted on January 27th, 2009 by bile
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Cato at Liberty: A Libertarian Dilemma

Posted on October 13th, 2008 by bile
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In the November issue of Liberty magazine I write about one factor that I think reduces the political impact of libertarian-leaning voters: the fact that they’re all over the map about which party or faction represents the lesser of the evils:

One reason why libertarians underperform politically is that they are politically split, not just between radicals and incrementalists, as can happen in any political movement, but also among various political movements — while being too small to influence any of them very much.

It seems to me that libertarians come in several political groupings:

(1) Those who care primarily about free markets and thus support conservative Republicans. Given the candidates on offer, that means helping to move the GOP to the right on social issues (and war and civil liberties) as well as on economic issues. This group would include the Club for Growth, Republican “Leave Us Alone” activist Grover Norquist, many donors to free-market thinktanks, and probably most libertarian-leaning politically active people.

(2) Those who want to make the GOP more socially tolerant and thus support moderate Republicans, which effectively means Republicans who aren’t very free-market. This would include Log Cabin Republicans, pro-choice Republicans, and lots of Wall Street and Silicon Valley businesspeople.

(3) Those who think the GOP is irredeemably bad on social issues and civil liberties and thus support Democrats. This would again include some Silicon Valley businessmen who are pro-entrepreneurship and fiscally conservative but just can’t support a party that is opposed to abortion rights and gay rights. A dramatic example is Tim Gill, the founder of Quark, who calls himself a libertarian but has contributed millions of dollars to Democrats because of Republican opposition to gay rights. There are also broadly libertarian people involved in the ACLU, the drug-reform movement, and other civil libertarian causes.

(4) Those who support the Libertarian Party. They don’t get many votes, but they include a large percentage of libertarian activists.

If only some candidate or movement could bring them all together.

There was/is one. His name is Ron Paul and the movement is now called the Campaign for Liberty. Too bad Cato and Reason and many other libertarians bashed the most libertarian candidate ever to have a real possibility of being nominated to a major party. Making a deal breaker things which happened decades ago and while not always thoroughly explained away for some should have been no more harmful to the campaign than anyone else’s skeletons.

At Paul’s rallies you’d find Democrats and Greens, independents, Republicans and Constitutionalists, voluntarists and anarchists. He has/had broad support. While the support of those described above may not have won Paul the nomination it would have put him far closer. Boaz has only those nitpickers to blame.