Archive for ethics
LearnLiberty.org has a great new series of videos out called “Liberty is Personal.” Here is an excellent excerpt from the series of Jeffrey Tucker talking about the minimum wage.
Watch the entire series starting with episode 1 on Youtube.
Tags: economics, ethics, Jeffrey Tucker, libertarianism, liberty, minimum wage
Is it okay to kill? I don’t mean a bug in your house, a snake in your garage, or a deer in the woods. Deer tastes good; you may not know if that snake in your garage is poisonous; and bugs are home invaders.
I mean is it okay to kill a man, a human being, a person? Again, I don’t mean someone trying to kill you, rob your business, rape your wife, harm your children, or break into your house. Killing someone might be perfectly justified in those circumstances if it involves defense against aggression.
Specifically, is it okay to kill someone who has not threatened or committed violence or aggression against you, your family, your friends, your neighborhood, anyone you know, or any American you don’t know? Read More→
Tags: aggression, ethics, freedom, militarism, military, self-defense, violence, war
In every election campaign, we hear the word “compassion” at least a thousand times. One political party supposedly has it, the other one doesn’t. Big government programs are evidence of compassion; cutting back government is a sign of cold-hearted meanness. By their misuse of the term for partisan advantage, politicians have thoroughly muddied up the real meaning of the word.
The fact is that some of what is labeled “compassionate” is just that, and it does a world of good; but a whole lot of what is labeled “compassionate” is nothing of the sort, and it does a world of harm. The former tends to be very personal in nature while the latter puts an involuntary burden on someone else.
A remarkable irony of statists in general is their definition of “charity.” On the one hand, they claim their giving to the poor is “compassionate” and “caring.” Yet in the very next breath they demand and force peaceful people to fork over the assets to be given. Prior theft does not charity make. I am reminded of what Penn Jillette said about such things:
In the aforementioned article, Reed recalls his visit to the Bahamas and the Nassau Institute. He was interviewed on a television program and ended up in an impromptu debate about liberty and charity. It’s a long clip, but has a lot of interesting material in it:
Again, you can read the original article by Lawrence Reed here.
Tags: charity, Christianity, compassion, economics, ethics, Lawrence Reed
In between drug prohibition and drug freedom are two concepts that are often confused.
Drug prohibition is the criminalization of the production, distribution, and possession of drugs as currently exists in the United States on the federal level and in most of the 50 states. Drug freedom is the complete absence of federal and state laws and regulations concerning drugs because what a man wants to grow, sell, or smoke is his natural right.
Drug decriminalization is the elimination of criminal penalties for possessing drugs. Although it is still illegal to possess the drugs, violators are given a civil fine or referred to a drug-treatment program instead of being arrested and saddled for the rest of their lives with a criminal record. Drug legalization is the elimination of both criminal and civil penalties for drug possession.
In either case, it is not drugs in the absolute sense; the drug in question is always limited to marijuana. The decriminalization or legalization is also never absolute; in either case it always comes with a myriad of government regulations and restrictions.
Both concepts are sometimes wrongly identified with drug freedom, “wrongly” because they primarily focus on possession and only secondarily on production and distribution; moreover, because of the numerous regulations and restrictions that accompany them, they are actually closer to prohibition than to drug freedom.
Tags: drug freedom, drug war, drugs, ethics, government, health, libertarianism
When it comes to governments the world over, bad economic policies usually beget more bad economic policies. That is especially true when it comes to taxes.
The eyes not just of Europe but of the world were on Cyprus recently when, as part of a proposed bailout package, ordinary bank depositors were to be taxed to pay part of the €5.8 billion needed to secure a €10 billion bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
That, of course, would have set a terrible precedent and given the insatiably cash-hungry governments of every country another idea of how to extract more money out of its citizens.
In the 1990s, Italy did impose a tax on all bank accounts to keep its lira afloat, but the rate was only 0.06 percent. In Iceland in 2008, the government reneged on deposit insurance for Internet-based accounts held by British and Dutch clients. Those two governments spent $5 billion helping their citizens who were affected and then sued, unsuccessfully, in a European court to get their money back from Iceland, which has nevertheless begun to repay some of the money. But all that pales in comparison with the situation in Cyprus. Read More→
Tags: ethics, government, statism, taxation, taxes, theft