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Liberty Insight is a discussion of economic and social issues from a liberty-minded perspective. We aim to show why a free society- with a limited government that follows the Constitution- brings people together and improves the quality of life for all. We also aim to help people protect and build their wealth in extraordinary economic times.

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Happy Holidays From Liberty Insight – Our Gift To You: The Socratic Method

socrates bill and tedMerry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and a fabulous Festivus for the rest of us! This holiday season Liberty Insight would like to give the gift of the Socratic Method. Actually, it’s a re-gift from, uh, Socrates. For defenders of liberty who are unfamiliar with the Socratic Method this may be the best gift you receive all year. For those who are already familiar with this method, may this be a reminder to dust it off and use this technique now and then.

As defined by Wikipedia, the Socratic Method is “a form of inquiry and discussion between individuals, based on asking and answering questions to stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas.”  The method examines the logic of a stated belief by asking a series of fundamental questions about that statement to see if the statement contradicts itself, and can thus be ruled out as false. The Socratic Method is to philosophy what the Scientific Method is to science.

The Socratic Method is essentially a means of discovering the truth, and since the truth lies on the side of liberty, property rights and non-violence, it is a powerful tool in shredding the false logic used to defend the State.

What passes for political debate or discussion of social issues, especially on TV, is embarrassing. At best, the people on opposing sides calmly state their positions and then back them up with selective “facts” and “statistics” to support their claims. More often this discussion devolves into a shouting match, talking over each other, name calling or worse. It causes participants and viewers who hold a belief to hunker down with their opinion and disregard the other side even more. While it makes for good TV, it’s counterproductive for actually informing people or changing people’s minds on an issue.

The Socratic Method, when done right, is the opposite of the typical TV pundit debate. It is respectful, inquisitive, persuasive, and is more intent on exposing the truth than promoting an agenda. I believe this is the most powerful discussion technique in getting people to actually change their minds on a particular issue due to its inquisitive and introspective nature. By guiding a person though a series of basic inquiries, they must examine the logic behind their own conclusions at each step. If, in their own mind they come to a contradiction, they must then find a way to rectify that contradiction, or if they cannot, they are forced to reexamine their belief. Since they come to this realization on their own, they are much more likely to try to understand the truth than if they were simply told they were wrong.

Warning! This discussion tool is so powerful it can be dangerous. If you use this method to discuss political issues with friends and family be sure to use it with the utmost respect, sincerity, empathy and humility. Remember, you are causing people to challenge the deep-rooted beliefs that define them as a person. You are exposing flaws in their logic and possibly their character.  If used carelessly, they may think of you as a smug arrogant prick and end the conversation. Worse, they could become angry, hateful, even violent. Remember, the goal is to help people to discover truth, not to prove a point or incite anger.

So let’s examine a hypothetical debate between two pundits that we might imagine on a TV show to demonstrate how the Socratic Method would be more effective at persuading the audience. In this example we find a typical debate between a “conservative” and a “liberal” discussing healthcare. (note: conservative in this example just refers to the position of defending the free market and not Republican conservatism.)

Conservative: Obamacare will be a disaster. What we need is the free market to provide healthcare.

Liberal: Look, we tried the free market and it was by all objective measures a complete failure. In a modern society as rich as ours, we should be providing quality healthcare for all people, not just the rich. In every other advanced society, the government provides healthcare for the people and it works great.

Conservative: The health care in those countries isn’t better. People have to wait in long lines. They need death panels to decide who gets care and who doesn’t. And the outcomes aren’t as good if you go to the hospital with cancer or need surgery.

Liberal: Again with the typical Republican scare tactics of the so-called “death panels.” It just isn’t true. And if you look at the statistics, European countries with universal healthcare have higher life expectancies and lower infant mortality rates…

Conservative: Yeah, but you can’t just look at life expectancy. There are a lot of factors that go into life expectancy like obesity levels and homicide rates. You’ve got to look at the outcomes once someone enters the healthcare system. Americans live longer…

Liberal: Maybe if you’re rich and can afford expensive healthcare you can get good treatment but for the vast majority of people – the poor, people with pre-existing conditions - they are suffering and they can’t afford these exorbitant health costs. It’s our duty as a society to make sure these people get the quality, affordable healthcare they deserve.

Wow! Did you see what just happened? In the eyes of the typical voter, the conservative just got demolished in this debate. If he’s lucky, the people who already agreed with him understood his points and haven’t jumped ship. Anybody who didn’t already have a strong opinion was clearly swayed to the liberal camp and those who already supported government healthcare are popping the champagne.

The conservative’s points may have been factual, but it didn’t matter. The liberal had already framed the debate by asserting that we tried the free market. By not challenging this assertion, the conservative was forced into defending a clearly flawed status quo. Simply throwing out statistics and arguments that everyone has already heard a million times doesn’t change anyone’s opinion. Instead, the conservative looks like a heartless defender of the status quo who wants poor people to die in the streets while the liberal will provide great healthcare for all.

Let’s see how it might have gone if the conservative had challenged that initial assertion using the Socratic Method.

Conservative: Obamacare will be a disaster. What we need is the free market to provide healthcare.

Liberal: (interrupting) Look, we tried the free market and it was by all objective measures a complete failure. In a modern society as rich as ours, we should be providing quality healthcare for all people, not just the rich. In every other advanced society, the government provides healthcare for the people and it works great.

Conservative: Let me ask you a question. Do you think the system we had in place before Obamacare was a free market?

Liberal: (Begrudgingly) Well, yeah, and it didn’t work. (Changing the subject) We should instead be providing healthcare for all like in Europe.

Conservative: Ok, so if you are saying that we had a free market in healthcare and it failed, if we could demonstrate that it wasn’t a free market would you agree that your assertion would no longer be valid since the underlying premise was incorrect?

Liberal: (Avoiding the question) That’s not the point. We had a more Capitalist system before and it didn’t work as well as universal healthcare in European countries and Canada. They are able to provide healthcare to everyone at lower cost than we do here.

Conservative: (Pressing for an answer) But you said we had a free market system that failed and I would suggest we didn’t have a free market system. We had a system where the government interfered in nearly all aspects of healthcare. Would you consider the government giving preferential tax treatment to employer-provided insurance to be interfering in the free market?

Liberal: That’s just Capitalism. Plus it’s a good thing that employers provide insurance otherwise nobody would be able to afford it. Not just the poor people and people with pre-existing conditions but also the middle class.

Conservative: So you’re saying the government manipulating the market through the tax code is free market Capitalism? Perhaps we have a different definition. If employers are then incentivized by the tax code to provide health insurance what happens when people quit or get fired and lose their insurance? Isn’t that when people need insurance the most? Doesn’t that create a difficult situation where the person has no job, no insurance, may have developed a pre-existing condition and needs to start from scratch with a new plan?

Liberal: Um, well yeah, that would be bad if they had a pre-existing condition. That’s why we need universal healthcare, so people who lose their jobs can get affordable health insurance.

Conservative: But didn’t you just admit that the government tax incentives established the system that caused the person to lose their coverage to begin with? And doesn’t that preferential tax treatment also encourage the third-party payer system which adds layers of bureaucracy and drives up prices?  Isn’t that an example of the government destroying the free market which invalidates your claim that we tried the free market and it didn’t work? Shouldn’t we then reexamine what really caused health care and insurance to be so expensive? Or do you need more examples of government interference in healthcare?

Liberal: We need universal healthcare. They have it in Europe. You hate poor people and want them to die in the streets.

As you can see it’s a different conversation. The conservative has reframed the debate as a discussion of the validity of the liberal’s claim that we need universal healthcare because the free market failed. (They may still claim that we need universal healthcare but they have to find a new argument to get there.) The liberal is now on the defensive and must defend the easily debunked position that we had a free market in healthcare leading up to Obamacare. The conservative seems like a thoughtful person just asking a simple question for clarification and later a protector of the poor people who lose their jobs and find themselves without health insurance. Meanwhile the liberal seems evasive and illogical and reduced to throwing out tired platitudes about “universal care”.

Beyond just winning the debate, this conversation actually engages the audience. In the first example, viewers with pre-conceived beliefs will simply cheer the arguments they agree with and call bullshit on the other side’s arguments. Posing a question causes the viewer to think about how they would answer it themselves.

Take the first question, “Do you think the system we had in place before Obamacare was a free market?”  It’s probably a question they had never considered before. Now they must think for themselves. If they answer “no” then they must accept that the argument put forth by the liberal is flawed. If they answer “yes” then the liberal’s assertion is still valid (for now) but they probably realize they will get a follow-up question such as, “If the government interferes in the market, is it still a free market?” (The third option, which our crafty debater in the above example chose, is to brush over the question and try to change the subject.)

As the series of question progresses, the person defending the original premise eventually gets to the point where they realize they are trapped. They realize they are about to (or just did) contradict themselves. You will know it when you see it. Their eyes may get big. Their breathing may change. This is where the reactions vary. They may sheepishly admit they may have been wrong and need to revisit their assertion. They may try to lie or obfuscate their way out of it. They may get angry and lash out. They may just end the conversation and walk away. In any case, be kind and don’t rub it in. We’ve all been there and the goal is not to humiliate but to get them to reexamine their beliefs and seek the truth.

Except, of course, when the person spouting the misplaced belief is some loudmouth D-bag politician or pundit who belittles his opponents and insists on promoting statist bullshit that affects the lives of all of us. In that case, it is fair game to expose these people for the pompous A-holes that they are. Perhaps nobody exposes these frauds better than Jan Helfeld. He poses as an unassuming, even simple-minded TV reporter to interview politicians and pundits and forces them to defend ridiculous positions. It’s usually extremely comical.

The video below is a hilarious example in which Jan repeatedly asks Representative Pete Stark to defend his statement that the higher the national debt, the wealthier we are. Starks reactions run the gambit from patronizing comments to defensive jabs, to ad hominem attacks, to running away, and culminating with a threat to throw Jan out the window.

There’s plenty more where that came from on Youtube. I especially like Jan’s interview with Harry Reid who takes a different approach when he’s caught in a contradiction - just keep lying.

[Editor's Note: If you've never seen the film Twelve Angry Men it's a great example of the Socratic Method in action and a must watch movie (The original Henry Fonda version not the Tony Danza one). The final scene where Lee J. Cobb breaks down after coming to grips with the truth is an all time great.]

Posted in Debate | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Great Realization: Is The Jig Up For The Fed?

emperor's new clothesAt this point, it should be completely obvious to anyone remotely paying attention that our economy, stock market, bond market and housing markets are 100% dependent on extraordinary bond buying and zero interest rate policy of the Fed. Like a drug addict who has been up for three days popping pills, take away the monetary drugs and the economy will crash hard.

Wall Street knows this, as evidenced by the stock market action this year. In our bizarro financial world, good economic news causes the stock market to fall and bad news causes it to rise, since an improving economy means the Fed may reduce the stimulus a bit sooner. The financial press seems to understand this as their coverage is fixated on every nuance of the Fed’s statements. Yet, while they understand our economy is totally driven by unsustainable Fed policy, they seem content to turn a blind eye to the full implications and enjoy the ride while the getting is good. What’s remarkable is how complacent Wall Street is about the downside risks once the stimulus is removed, whether voluntarily or because the Fed’s hand is forced.

Everyone on Wall Street has the same plan, just ride the markets up while the Fed is printing money, and then when the printing stops, get out at the top before the markets reverse.  If you read that sentence and are wondering how everyone can get out at the top, good for you. They can’t. Imagine a large crowd watching an extra-inning baseball game in a stadium with one small exit. Everyone is still sitting in their seat thinking, I’ll just enjoy the game and leave right before the final out to beat the crowd.

In recent weeks since the Fed’s June 19th policy statement, there are signs that the crowd is starting to get a little restless. It’s as if a baserunner reached first and a few of the spectators quietly began to exit while others started shifting their way towards the aisles. Now the crowd seems to be leaning on every pitch from Bernanke. Ball one, the batter may walk and advance the runner closer to scoring the winning run; better inch towards the door. Strike one, he may strike out and the game will continue, better inch back to our seats to enjoy the game.

But the real question is this: On June 19th, did enough of the crowd come to the collective realization, or the Great Realization as I am calling it, that at some point the game must end, and when it does it won’t be pleasant? Did they finally realize that the emperor has no clothes? The market action since then, particularly in the bond market suggests that we may be at a turning point. If this is the turning point, or better yet a tipping point, there is no putting the toothpaste back in that tube. The jig, as they say, will be up. Continue reading

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A Personal 4th Of July Greeting From Liberty Insight

Happy 4th of July from Liberty Insight. Hopefully, you are having a relaxing long weekend, spending time with family and friends, enjoying a hotdog and a beer, watching fireworks, or whatever else you like to do to celebrate Independence Day.

It has been a while since I have had time to post so I wanted to update my readers on what I’ve been up to in leiu of writing and give a sneak preview of my next post.

My 4th of July was fantastic. I slept in and awoke slowly to the sounds of birds outside my window. As I checked email while lying in bed, I noticed a blog I follow had posted the Declaration of Independence which I proceeded to read as I lay in bed. It reminded me just how beautiful and powerful it was as a piece of writing and how serious and brave those men were who pledged to each other their lives, fortunes and sacred honor in the name of liberty. There’s a powerful juxtaposition between those men who willfully committed treason under penalty of death, and today’s population which sits idly by as our liberties are slowly eroded with each passing week. If you haven’t read the Declaration since grade school, I would highly recommend spending five minutes to read it here.

I spent the rest of the morning with my fiancé walking around our new neighborhood getting coffee and shopping. We spent the afternoon unpacking and organizing our new apartment. (We moved last weekend to our new house in San Francisco’s North Beach district.) Late afternoon we walked to Aquatic Park near Ghirardelli Square where we met the guys from Oru Kayak and got to take the kayaks out on the water. It was an incredible experience with the 4th of July festivities including a live band playing Journey covers in the background. And it was actually hot and sunny in SF on July 4th. We then topped it all off having dinner with friends and watching the fireworks. Great day!

mike_kayakapril_kayak(If you have never heard of Oru Kayak, it is a super-cool origami folding kayak that transforms from lightweight carrying case to fully functioning kayak in five minutes. I’ve been working with them to redesign some of the component parts for mass production. Check them out at www.OruKayak.com.)

So… as you may have gathered, I recently got engaged and moved into a new apartment with my fiancé. Besides the kayak project, I’m working on a micro-inverter project which promises to revolutionize the solar industry, and several smaller projects. I also had minor back surgery in early June which went very well and I’m recovering nicely.

Between work, wedding planning, back problems and moving, I haven’t had much time for blogging. And not for lack of topics as the amount of political scandals, extraordinary economic news and crazy world events is off the charts. Hopefully, as my schedule settles down a bit I will be able to post more to do my small part in the battle for liberty and understanding.

As a quick heads up, my next post will be about the recent Fed statement and the repercussions for the stock, bond, real-estate and gold and silver markets. I know I am long overdue for a posting on gold and silver considering the precious metals have gotten killed since I predicted last December that they were poised to shoot up this spring. Do I regret that post? Have I changed my tune on the metals or have recent events strengthened my conviction? Stay tuned.

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Chart of the Week: Federal Spending and the Sequester

This incredible chart speaks volumes about the circus act that we call our government. The spikes towards the left are for WWI and WWII.  The chart really speaks for itself, but I can’t resist the urge to highlight a few important points below.

federal spending and sequester

The obvious takeaway is to notice just how tiny the spending cut is compared to all time record high inflation adjusted spending. (If I could nitpick a bit, it’s not just Obama calling these cuts catastrophic, but the Democrats, most Republicans, and every mainstream news source.) Compare that tiny sequester cut to the roughly 70% budget cut we had in 3 years after WWII. (Contrary to popular delusion, it was those dramatic spending cuts after the war coupled with being the world’s only producer with factories still standing that got us out of the depression, not the Wartime spending.)

Next, please note that this chart is of inflation adjusted federal spending. In other words, if per capita federal spending were to stay about the same we would expect a gentle rise in line with population growth. In 1913, the year the Federal Reserve Bank was created and the income tax was created, Federal Government spending was $715 million. Adjusted for inflation that equals $16.8 billion. There were 97 million Americans back then, meaning that in 1913 the Federal government spent $173 per person in today’s dollars.

Today, the Federal government spends $3.8 trillion annually (not counting what it owes to SS and Medicare trust fund) and the population is 314 million people. Today the Federal government spends $12,100 per person. That’s 70 times what we spent in 1913. If we include what the government should be putting into SS and Medicare each year to be actuarially sound, Federal spending would be around $9.5T or $30,000 per person or 175 times the spending of 1913.

Another important factor to notice is that the slope of the graph is increasing. In other words, the rate of the increase of inflation adjusted government spending is increasing.

However, there’s one more factor that could be playing a role in the astounding rise in government spending per person. That is, the CPI is not fully discounting the inflation rate. As I discussed in a post called Government Numbers, the government has an incentive to understate (i.e. hide) (i.e. lie about) inflation and has even changed the methodology for calculating inflation over the past few decades. If we used the same CPI deflator methodology we used in 1970, which I believe is more accurate, we get a per capita spending in 1913 of $668 or 18 times less than what we spend today. Better than 70 times, but still absurd.

In Summary:

1. All this talk of draconian cuts of the sequester is a load of crap.

2. The fact that we can’t cut even a tiny amount without inducing panic reflects just how fragile and over-leveraged our economy is.

3. The inflation adjusted federal spending since the inception of the Federal Reserve and income tax has been rising at an accelerating rate. And if we use GAAP (i.e. non-fraudulent) accounting the government spending is so mind bogglingly disgusting the mind rejects it.

4. One more bit of evidence that the official CPI is suspect at best.

Posted in Chart of the Week, Economy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Breaking: Sequester to Increase Risk of Alien Invasion

alien invationAccording to sources inside the White House, the odds of invasion from an intergalactic armed force will be greatly enhanced if the sequester is not avoided, as reported by CNN.

“If these draconian budget cuts go through,” said a source who wished to remain anonymous, “many of the 52,000 Dept. of Homeland Security agents, who sit on remote mountain tops scanning the night sky with binoculars for alien warships will need to be furloughed. This will greatly hinder our ability to detect an invasion in a timely manner which could lead to the total destruction of life as we know it and enslavement of the human race by alien ant overlords.”

A high ranking officer at the Dept. of Defense echoed those concerns. “The devastating cuts would cripple our military to such a degree that we’d practically be inviting space aliens to attack. With no means of defense from the world’s lone super power, the entire human race would be doomed. Even if space aliens don’t attack, these drastic and irresponsible cuts would mean we could only wipe Iran off the map 375 times.”

White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, summed up the sequester debate in a recent press conference. “The choice is simple, we can either take responsible measures to avoid these draconian, meat-cleaver cuts, or we can follow the republican plan in which space aliens eat our men and enslave our women and children.” He latter added, “Draconian!”

However, brilliant economist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman sees a silver lining in an attack by space aliens. “While I generally abhor these draconian and stupidly irresponsible spending cuts, the good news is that a prolonged alien attack would destroy vast amounts of property and infrastructure. This would allow us to print tens of trillions of dollars to build up a massive arsenal to fend off the attack and then provide millions of jobs for years to come as we rebuild our scorched cities. While the loss of life would be unfortunate, it would really jumpstart the economy.”

Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Dipping My Toes Into Anarcho-Capitalism (the water feels nice)

state vs market graphicAs a staunch libertarian, it’s pretty rare for me to come across someone who is more libertarian than I. By “more libertarian”, I mean that they believe in even less government than I do. Perhaps that’s why I was oddly excited, intrigued and energized when I first heard libertarian/anarcho-capitalist, Stefan Molyneux from Freedomain Radio as a guest host on the Peter Schiff radio show.

To back up a bit, most people are shocked when I tell them I think the federal government should be about 5-10% the size it is today. At a time when Democrats and Republicans in Congress can’t seem to find areas to even slow the growth of the budget, I would lop off 90-95% of federal spending if I were in charge. If we returned to the government laid out by the Constitution, I argue, the tiny federal government would provide national defense, (the kind that defends U.S. soil from invading armies, but does not police the world and embark on wars of aggression and empire) it would have a small court system to prosecute a few federal crimes like treason, ensure free trade among the states, and deliver the mail (although, nowadays they shouldn’t be doing that either). Then the tiny state governments could fill in the gaps by protecting property rights, enforcing contracts, and prosecuting violent crime.

Since nearly everyone wants more government than I do, I’ve heard all of the arguments from that side of the ledger. They’ll argue, “But of course we need the government to… (insert government program here). Don’t you want… (roads, clean air, education, a safety net, people not to become drug addicts, poor people not to die in the streets)” Well, of course I do; I just believe that there are better ways of achieving those ends than through a state controlled monopoly that uses force and coercion as its means.

As I hear the tiresome arguments for more government control and centralized power I just shake my head and think to myself, “Common, Bob (or Joe or Sally). You’re a smart and creative person. Can you really not rack your brain and come up with any way we might educate our kids other than having Washington DC take a chunk of everyone’s paycheck and then dictate the curriculum for union teachers to regurgitate on a chalkboard? Can you not imagine how potholes might get filled or food might grow without federal subsidies? Do you not realize that we didn’t even have an income tax for the majority of this country’s existence?”

Back to the radio show, as I listened to Mr. Molyneux discuss true freedom from a philosophical approach and explain why he viewed “the state” (i.e. government) as immoral, violent and unnecessary, I began to wonder, “Was I guilty of the very same unquestioned acceptance of the need for “some” government as the big government people I had so smugly deplored?” Continue reading

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Act Now! Sale Ends Soon. Gold Prices Could Explode Any Day. (part 2)

Before I get started, here’s a quick poll:

The above poll is a bit facetious. It’s more of an exercise to get your mental juices flowing and hopefully put you in a bit more introspective state of mind as you read this post. My goal for this post is to present a compelling case to invest in gold based on the fundamentals and current macro-trends in the gold market. I hope to have you asking yourself, “Why don’t I own gold? How much should I own? How can I find out more?”

I use the term “invest” in gold, but I don’t really consider gold to be an investment. Gold is money. It is savings or a store of value. But unlike every other form of currency, including the dollar, it can’t be devalued by a central banker printing more of it. In times of money printing and economic uncertainty, gold can gain substantially in purchasing power making it seem like an investment.

In part 1 of this post, I outlined why the prices of gold and silver have come off their highs and have been in a holding pattern for the past 16 months even as the fundamental reasons for owning gold have improved substantially. In this post, I hope to explain why gold and silver could shoot up at any moment like a beach ball that has been held under water as the water level rose around it. Continue reading

Posted in Investing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Act Now! Sale Ends Soon. These Prices Won’t Last! (part 1)

macys_perfect saleI was joking the other day about how I get an email from Macy’s every day alerting me that some special sale is ending tomorrow and I need to act now to save 15-25%. Actually, it wasn’t really a joke because I have gotten an email like that from Macy’s just about every day since Halloween. It’s just kind of funny.

I am now fully desensitized to any sale by Macy’s since I’m sure the next one will be right around the corner just as sure as Joseph A. Banks will be having a three-for-one special on men’s suits before I finish typing. It’s kind of like the boy who cried wolf.

I bring it up because several times in the past few years I have recommended buying gold and silver (since they were at $1155 and $18 respectively) and I hope readers don’t think I’m crying wolf when I say (once again) that this may be your last great chance to buy gold and silver before they take off and don’t look back. 2013 is shaping up to be the perfect storm for a rising gold price. Silver, which trades in lock step with gold but with more volatility, is poised to do even better in my opinion. For this article, I will focus on gold but in general these ideas hold for silver as well. Continue reading

Posted in Investing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Incredible New Documentary- Breaking the Taboo

It’s nearly indisputable that narcotic drug abuse causes serious problems, not only for the abuser, but for their family and friends as well. Drugs such as cocaine, heroine, meth, and others can be addictive and extremely dangerous. So how should we deal with this deadly problem?

Intuition tells us that since drugs can be extremely harmful, they should be illegal. We should discourage people from using them in the first place by making their use illegal, and we should have harsh penalties for anyone who tries to produce or distribute these dangerous drugs. It’s common sense…

And it’s completely wrong. The “war on drugs” has been a complete and utter failure based on every objective measure. Since the war on drugs was first declared, drug use, drug abuse, and especially drug related crime has surged. America now has the highest incarceration rate on the planet. After 50 years of data, it is clear that the war on drugs has achieved the exact opposite of what it intended.

Don’t believe me? That’s understandable. It’s hard to overcome 40 years of government propaganda through our school system and media in a single blog post. Perhaps, this Incredible one hour documentary, Breaking the Taboo, can help convince you that there’s a better way to deal with narcotic drugs. Even a former drug warrior like Bill Clinton has changed his mind after seeing how his own policies didn’t work (and now that he doesn’t have lobbyists whispering in his ear). From the documentary website: “We must seriously consider shifting resources away from criminalising tens of millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens, and move towards an approach based on health, harm-reduction, cost-effectiveness and respect for human rights.”

There is a huge vested interest in keeping the drug war in place. Police and Federal agencies get massive windfalls from confiscation of property suspected of being involved in a drug crime. Private prisons profit from outsourcing their slave labor. There have even been allegations that the CIA is actively involved in the drug trade. Politicians can exploit the issue to get elected and grow their power.

The only way we will see an end to this destructive war is if a large majority of the voting public learns the truth and demands a change. The truth is this — drug abuse is a health problem and criminalizing the activity of drug use creates a deadly criminal infrastructure and destroys people’s lives.

Please watch the trailer below and then visit the breaking the taboo website to watch the whole film and sign the petition. And if you like it, please pass this along.

Posted in Civil Rights, Foreign Policy | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Liberty Newswire 11/28/12

[The Liberty Insight Newswire is an aggregation of what we consider to be important financial and political news and commentary from across the web.]

Cartoon by Henry Payne

This week’s post election hangover edition of the newswire discusses pot legalization in CO and WA, the REAL U.S. debt, a scary student loan delinquency chart, the death of the penny, and a little treat from The Onion. Continue reading

Posted in Newswire | Tagged , , , , , , , | 10 Comments