Venezuela Meets Hayek

But repression on the Venezuelan model is not extraneous to socialism — it is baked into the socialist cake. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro (and Castro!), Chàvez, Maduro, Honecker, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, the Kim dynasty, Shining Path: No ideology is that unlucky. “

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The Evil in the Mirror

They are so self-assured of their righteousness and so quick to affirm it by making their opponent the epitome of evil that they have failed to recognize their own evil in the mirror staring back at them. No one is a villain in their own eyes, but history will hold you accountable nonetheless.

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Internet Sales Tax Ruling

Many small businesses that ship online will be hurt by this ruling. Complying with the tax codes for 48 states that charge sales tax will be crippling for many of them.  There will be a need for a third party to manage the sales tax issue for thousands of small online businesses. This will likely serve to make Amazon and other large online retailers bigger and more powerful in the internet sales arena. 

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The Roots of American Partisanship

The XYZ Affair brought us to the brink of war and stunned Jefferson when it was released. The author Gordon Woods compared it to the paranoia that gripped the west coast after Pearl Harbor that led to the internment of Japanese Americans.  The XYZ memo destroyed public support for the pro French Republican party of Jefferson.

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The Seduction of Hidden Costs

“There are no solutions, only tradeoffs.” Could the tax credits granted to the wealthy for historical renovation serve us better if it was used to provide health care for the poor? Could it be better served invested in a productive enterprise innovating new products, generating economic growth and dividends which will provide additional tax revenue instead of less?

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Distinguishing Progressivism and Socialism

This clarity and distinction on the proper limits of government action defined the objectives of the conservative progressives like William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover.  When the government crosses from protecting property and individual rights to managing and granting these rights, it crosses the line from progressivism to socialism. 

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Handouts for the Wealthy

“The working classes get riled up when they see someone at the grocery store flipping out their food stamps to buy a T-bone. They have no idea that a nice family on the other side of town is walking away with $100,000 for flipping their house.”

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Criminalizing Boorishness

I thought during the election that Trump was the safer bet because the media and the establishment of both parties would be diligent watchdogs on Trump, and fawning sycophants for Hillary. I also predicted that the left would discover the constitutional limits on executive power that they so willingly ignored under Obama.

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The Greater Threat to Stability

“A strong executive, De Lolme wrote, was the best check against the ambitions of the aristocracy, which always posed a greater threat to the stability of the constitution. Too much democracy did not lead to anarchy but to oligarchy or aristocracy.”

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Black Lives Do Matter

“Proving that black lives do indeed matter is sometimes best achieved by ensuring the African-American unemployment rate is below 6 percent, and that traditionally neglected job-seekers gain leverage over employers. “

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The Modern Demagogue

  The ‘arc of history’ like ‘the will of the people’ is far from an objective concept or defined by rational debate.  It is what the charismatic leader or the demagogue says it is.

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The Danger of Media’s Capitulation

“Nothing is more dangerous to democratic government than a media that believes it is an agent for social justice, voluntarily surrenders its autonomy, and sees the loss of its independence as a small price to pay for the adulation it receives from the state.”

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Willing and Able to Articulate

“The challenge is not just that Australians, Canadians, Europeans, and Americans increasingly cannot articulate the values that explain why throngs of immigrants migrate to their shores, but that even if they could, they feel that they probably should not.”

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Obama’s Scandal Free Administration?

“We live in such strange times that the media ignored the most blatant examples of presidential campaign-cycle collusion in memory, while seeking to invent it where it never existed.”

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Our Moral Blindness

“Lawlessly “presidential” is a misdemeanor; lawfully unpresidential, a felony. A bankrupt agenda delivered by experts is sanctified; an effective one packaged by amateurs is heretical.”

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The Paradigmatic Liberal

“In his conceit that historical progress is assured and irreversible, and that challenges to such progress are reducible to irrational prejudice, Obama is a paradigmatic liberal. “

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Economic Hypochondriacs

“In Liberty alone do the economic cells have the motivation and stimulation to action; repression kills them. And we should distinguish between economic wounds and economic disease. And above all we must beware of economic hypochondriacs.”

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The Limits of the Meritocracy

The meritocracy sounds good but like all centralized policy is subject to overemphasize some objectives and disregard ingredients that have more influence than they realize.  Intelligence may be an important attribute but there are other character traits that may be  responsible for the outcome we attribute to intelligence. Steve Jobs was not the result of an IQ test.

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Can Bad Leaders Do Good?

“The framers intended to enable men of good character to have the powers and duties they needed in office to put their virtues and talents to work, consciously pursuing justice and the common good; and at the same time, the framers intended to compel bad men to serve the public even if they would prefer not to.”

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The Progressive Faustian Bargain

“when there is already a federal program for almost every imaginable social problem—what is “populism” supposed to do?”

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