Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Social liberalism and the Tea Party

By Nick Sorrentino

In the 60s there was a revolution. Drugs, sex, rock and roll, it all happened. Then the 70s came when the kids of the 60s become “adults.” Then the 80s with the BMWs. Then we elected the first boomer President Bill Clinton.

Now we have another revolution percolating. But this is vitally important- it is NOT a counter revolution.

My lefty friends are scared out of their minds that the Tea Party is out to turn America into some 21st Century soft right fascist, Leave it to Beaver, pre-60s America.

To be sure there are plenty counter revolutionaries out there, but they are dieing off. The libertarian/Tea Party revolt is however about reigning in the state, not about reigning in liberties.

This is important. Even Sarah Palin has said that she thinks marijuana legalization is something best left to the states. For many in the Tea Party issues such as gay marriage for instance are also things that should be relegated to the states and not worth working up a lather about. Many in the establishment left do not understand this very important nuance within the Tea Party.

Basically the people who are doing the freshest thinking in politics today are in the Tea Party. Sorry Daily Kos, and, which got co-opted by the Democrats (don’t you just feel, well, you know,) the Tea Party has stayed independent without a real leader for nearly 2 years.

This is unheard of for a 3rd party (which is what the Tea Party really is, only through the 2 party system,) and it gives the Tea Party immense power because it is legitimate. Legitimacy is what changes nations, even this one.

Change is coming, make no doubt. Not the pre-packaged “change” of our current figure head, with a trade marked logo, but real change. The kind where the people who have made this country have their say. Where the state is rolled back. Where the tax payers shrug.

The young people who are inclined toward less government are completely fed up and were ready 2 years ago, but the older folks who grew up thinking social security was a right, and that Vietnam was a good idea have been slower to come around.

Finally however they have started to understand the idea of a truly smaller state, even if this means tolerating people they may not like.

Indeed social conservatism is anathema to a smaller government. One is unlikely to see anyone who identifies with the Tea Party advocating the “Defense of Marriage Act.” Though undoubtedly there are a few out there somewhere who care about the DOMA, these sorts of issues are not that important to much of the “Don’t Tread On Me” crowd.

What does spike the Tea is the need to reduce government and it’s power, and it is this belief that has engaged whole swathes of people who here-to-for did little more than vote in Presidential elections.

This is a very dangerous development for some.

It is interesting to me to observe the groups that have railed most vehemently against the Tea Party Revolt. Over the last 2 years I’ve watched it very closely.

Almost without exception it is not the social liberals freaking out, gays, anti-drug war advocates, anti-war people, and similar folks. It is instead the big government liberals, government employees and union members who benefit from the largess of the state.

So as the Tea Party movement continues to grow, people who just want to be left alone, people who have traditionally considered themselves “liberal” for social reasons, have nothing to worry about, indeed they have much to gain. Don’t worry, the social revolution of the 60s is intact.

The state and the people who benefit from it however are in for a rough ride in the years to come.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

McConnell and Obama want an unconstitutional "Super Congress."

This can not be happening. (Unfortunately it looks like this is real.) Apparently the legislative process outlined in the Constitution isn't working in their eyes, so Obama and congressional leadership, of both parties think a new congressional star chamber, a "Super Congress" composed of- surprise- party leadership is the answer.

Such a group would be completely unconstitutional and we must not allow this to happen. They might as well pull the Constitution out of the Library of Congress and burn it on Youtube.

This is extremely serious if it gets any traction.

Time for liberals and libertarians and conservatives to get together on something. Judging by what is popping up on blogs across the political spectrum today everyone is unhappy with this idea.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Twitter based hedge fund.

Starting in February, a group of very bold hedge fund managers are launching a multi-million dollar hedge fund whose strategy relies on one very unusual market indicator: your Twitter account.

Click here for the story.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

RIP Dollar? Bernanke wants QE3

It may take more than QE3 to kill the dollar, but this ain't good.

Click here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

FDR took their land. The only wealth they had.

By Nick Sorrentino

The other day I had the pleasure of driving through Sperryville in Rappahannock County with my 2 daughters and my son.

We stopped for ice cream and I was chatting with another dad who had just come down off the mountain with his family.

“You should head up. It’s free for the weekend in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of Shenandoah National Park.

My oldest daughter looked over at me. “Please Dad. Can we go for a hike?”

“Sure.” I said.

We rolled through the familiar gate at the entrance to the park and I was handed a map and a newsletter. My family and I have for the last 15 years spent many happy hours in the park and we have a collection of these things. I waved goodbye to the ranger.

“Big Meadows. Let’s go to Big Meadows.” My oldest daughter said.

We turned south.

75 years huh? When it was opened the country was in the midst of a great economic crisis. Fitting I supposed that we celebrate it now.

“Where’d all the houses go?” Asked the back seat.

“Houses?” I asked.

“Along the road. All I see are trees.”

As we rolled along at 40 miles an hour I explained that we were in a national park and that people didn’t live in national parks.

“Oh. So no one ever lived here?”

“Well people did live here.” I told my daughter.

“Why,” she asked as she looked out over the Virginia Piedmont, “would they leave? It’s so pretty.”

“They were forced to leave.” I said.

“That stinks.” Bella said.

I didn’t go into the detail of what happened. 75 years ago the federal government forced roughly 450 families that had lived on the Blue Ridge for generations to move to the lowlands and into government planned communities.

Such a fate was unacceptable for many of the fiercely independent mountain folk and they refused to leave the land that they owned, had worked, and raised their families on.

When the families refused to leave government agents forced them out of their homes at the point of a bayonet.

In one case an older man, John H. Mace, who refused to submit, was taken from his home in the chair in which he sat. He was then put out in the front yard to watch as the Civilian Conservation Corps burned his home to the ground.

There were many other stories like this one, and it is a part of history that is nearly forgotten.

We have forgotten these stories because those “relocated” were largely poor and powerless. All they wanted was to be left alone to live their lives as they saw fit. Rarely did they even ask for the services of a sheriff. Yet despite their simple requirements for life, the government still saw fit to take what little these people had for the “greater good.”

How would you feel if a man in a suit showed up at your door and told you that the government now owned your home because it just happened to be in the way of a park?

I’d be just like Mr. Mace, sitting in my chair, until they moved me out and burned everything I owned.

To this day there are checks at the US Treasury made out to the victims of forced relocation that have never been cashed. Even though the land that was taken from them constituted their only wealth, some of folks refused to take the “compensation.”

So as we celebrate the 75 anniversary of Shenandoah National Park, and as we hike the ridgelines, and marvel at the poplars, let’s not forget the people who once lived on the mountain, for whom the opening of the park was not cause for celebration.

Where to invest? Pay day lenders, pawn shops, rent to own.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Americans take on more debt as the economy continues to struggle.

Good news everyone! Even though the official unemployment rate just ticked up to 9.2%- the real number is likely over 15%- and Greece is on fire and now spreading to Italy, and tent cities are emerging on the edge of American population centers, it’s cool because consumers are using their credit cards and taking on more student debt!

On the one hand the linked article makes the point that the increase in student debt is largely a reflection of people trying to wait out the recession in school, and the increase credit card debt is likely a reflection of people using them to make ends meet. On the other hand the article tries to spin this news as a positive for the broader economy. People take on more debt when they feel wealthier, the article says.

Yes, that’s what it is.

Everyone knows this is nonsense.

It’s funny. I was talking to a friend yesterday about the economy and he agreed with me that we now exist in a “wink and nod” economy. Everyone knows it’s bad, but if we all keep our spirits up and just refuse to accept the underlying (and nasty) economic reality we can keep from descending into the quicksand forever. A lot of people are counting on this. Chief among them Chairman Bernanke.

This can go on for a long time. If the Fed can continue to prime the “animal spirits” as it has, it can continue to delay the day of reckoning for a long time. The thing is it can not, I believe, avoid it. In order for us to once again enjoy real growth in the economy markets need to clear.

So this article is par for the course. It’s just one reference point in the slow decent of our economy.

Now who’s up for a spending spree at Neiman Marcus?

Article from the AP.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A just GREAT podcast on libertarianism from of all things NPR!

I must say that I enjoyed this NPR podcast very much. A report from Porcfest in New Hampshire.

Click here for the podcast.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Oil continues it's march higher-because the dollar is dying.

This is the thing. The dollar continues its slow death. As it becomes more and more infirmed dollar denominated commodities will continue to "rise" in dollar terms.

The Fed is in a bind and will have to raise rates. Time is running out.

Click here for the story.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I asked a bunch of libertarians who thier favorite economist was. I got 67 economists. For your review. A few new names for me.

Murray Rothbard 75 votes.

67 people.Ludwig von Mises67 votes.
66 people.F.A. Hayek66 votes.
51 people.Frédéric Bastiat51 votes.
45 people.Milton Friedman45 votes.
30 people.Thomas Sowell30 votes.
16 people.Henry Hazlitt16 votes.
13 people.Robert Murphy13 votes.
13 people.Adam Smith13 votes.
12 people.Carl Menger12 votes.
8 people.Charlie Sheen8 votes.
8 people.Hans-Hermann Hoppe8 votes.
8 people.Walter E. Williams8 votes.
7 people.Ron Paul7 votes.
6 people.John Stuart Mill6 votes.
6 people.Jean-Baptiste Say6 votes.
5 people.Gerald Celente5 votes.
5 people.David D. Friedman5 votes.
4 people.David Ricardo4 votes.
4 people.James Buchanan4 votes.
4 people.Pierre-Joseph Proudhon4 votes.
4 people.Eugen von Boehm-Bawerk4 votes.
3 people.Robert Higgs3 votes.
3 people.Ludwig M. Lachmann3 votes.
3 people.Ronald Coase3 votes.
3 people.Marc faber3 votes.
3 people.Jim Rogers3 votes.
3 people.Roderick T. Long3 votes.
3 people.Kevin Carson3 votes.
3 people.Wilhelm Röpke3 votes.
2 people.Peter Leeson2 votes.
2 people.John Maynard Keynes2 votes.
2 people.George Reisman2 votes.
2 people.Israel M.Kirzner2 votes.
2 people.Jesús Huerta de Soto2 votes.
2 people.Elinor Ostrom2 votes.
2 people.Israel Kirzner2 votes.
2 people.Julian Simon2 votes.
2 people.Frank Knight2 votes.
2 people.Francois Quesnay2 votes.
2 people.Turgot2 votes.
2 people.Peter David Schiff2 votes.
2 people.Jim Cramer2 votes.
2 people.Henry George2 votes.
1 person.Vernon Smith1 vote.
1 person.George Stigler1 vote.
1 person.Gordon Tullock1 vote.
1 person.Gary Becker1 vote.
1 person.I don't care.1 vote.
1 person.Thomas DiLorenzo1 vote.
1 person.Andrew jackson1 vote.
1 person.Jesus1 vote.
1 person.William Harold Hutt1 vote.
1 person.Maurice Allais1 vote.
1 person.Pete Lewin1 vote.
1 person.Peter Boettke1 vote.
1 person.John Dillinger1 vote.
1 person.Tony Montana1 vote.
1 person.Merill Jenkins, Sr.1 vote.
1 person.Hans F. Sennholz1 vote.
1 person.Oliver E. Williamson1 vote.
1 person.Michał Kalecki

Austrians have "all the life boats" Gary North at Mises

About Me

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Nick Sorrentino is the Editor of The Liberty and Economics Review and CEO of a social media management company.