Why the Tenth Amendment?

So, by the name of our center everyone can tell we emphasize the Tenth Amendment, but why?  The Ninth Amendment is a much more powerful statement (in support of liberty) in the Constitution: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” That’s Natural Rights!!!…

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What If This Were Bush?

cross-posted from The Beacon

It goes without saying that if Bush had presided over a phony end to the Iraq war, expanded the Afghanistan war, extended its reach into Pakistan, solidified the state secrets doctrine and claimed in no uncertain terms the right to assassinate American citizens without due process, the left would be up in arms. The partisan hypocrisy concerning war-related issues is clear.

But what about economic and domestic policy? What if the Bush administration had sunk the country another trillion dollars into debt with the explicit promise that his plan was all that could prevent a 9% unemployment rate – only to then stumble for a year with an unemployment rate closer to 10%? What if the Bush administration had imposed a mandate forcing Americans to patronize the health insurance industry? What if the Bush administration had been in place for these two years since the financial collapse, overseeing an obviously sheepish economy whose only signs of recovery are transparently superficial and temporary bumps in consumption and the employment for census workers? And speaking of “transparency,” what if Bush had vowed to have his deliberations with the medical industry out in the open, to put every major bill on the web before it was voted on, and to have the health care debate on C-Span for all the world to see, only to renege totally on these assurances and every other promise of transparency? What if the Bush administration had simultaneously designated carbon to be a “pollutant” while proposing to create a market in the right to pollute, with credits given to big firms to be bought and sold on Wall Street? What if the Bush administration had overseen the BP oil spill, with regulatory agents asleep at the wheel and had decided, unilaterally, to cap the company’s liability? What if the Bush administration had won an election on one major domestic promise – to take the corruption and chaos out of the financial markets and steady the economy back on track – only to preside over an expansion of the power of the very same agencies that led the markets astray, all the while those markets showed little sign of improving? What if the Bush administration had established such a flurry of ad hoc interventions as to frighten investors away from wanting to invest in the private economy?

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The GOP’s Pledge to America

The House Republicans’ release of its “Pledge to America” has been met with criticism from across the ideological spectrum. While excoriation from the left was inevitable, those who were hoping that the GOP would set out a detailed agenda for limiting government were also not satisfied.

The 48-page document contains more pictures of Republican members of Congress than it does evidence that the GOP is seriously prepared to cut spending. While the introductory commentary is designed to appeal to the tea party movement, the actual “plan” to return budgetary sanity to Washington is both timid and incomplete.

The following are some thoughts on the pledge’s “plan to stop out of control spending and reduce the size of government”:

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An Update on the Utah Nullification Project

On Independence Day weekend just a couple months ago, I was reading Tom Woods’ new book Nullification: How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century. As I was reading through the excellent book, I had a realization: if the subject matter was to have any impact on our current political landscape, it needs to get into the hands of the state legislators who can immediately do something about it.

Thus, the Utah Nullification Project was born.

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A Doorway to Hell

In an earlier article for this website I’ve written about the non-coercion principle and how it is connected to individual liberty and morality itself. I laid out the reasons why moral rules that we hold dear are really products of individual liberty by using the imagery from Lord of the Rings. It was a little fun but I was not attempting to belittle the reader’s intelligence but to illustrate that the cause of all evil is the violation of the non-coercion principle which really is an assumption of power over other people.

Think of the worst act a human being can do to another which is rape. This is a crime in every culture but the difference between rape and sex is the non-coercion principle. Sex is a voluntary act between two willing people but rape is an involuntary act. The physical act does not change itself since it is intercourse as defined by medicine but the difference is free-will. Two people who engage in sex have free-will and each other’s consent to do it but rape is an absence of consent of one person. What made it a moral crime against another person was not the act itself since the act is essentially the same in both situations but more an absence of free-will. The absence of free-will made it an act of evil since there was none.

Not only does this rule apply to that situation but it also applies in all other situations where human beings interact with each other. The act of theft is no different than the act of trade since it involves the movement of one person’s property to another. The only difference is the absence of free-will. A person who exchanges their property with another does so freely of their own free-will. They may do this for charitable reasons or to get something that someone else has but whatever the reason is it is always done in accordance with their free-will.

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