Budget Pie cartoon

"Close Enough" to accurate for our discussion. Cartoon by Michael Ramirez, stolen from Investors.com

You don’t understand large numbers. You don’t comprehend them. I don’t either, and neither do our brave and fearless leaders. Without the benefit of a visual aid, really big numbers just blur together: we couldn’t say whether there are closer to a billion or a trillion grains of sand along an island’s coast just by guessing, because we don’t have a frame of reference for those quantities. In our day to day lives, we might drive a few hundred miles, or spend tens of thousands of dollars on a vehicle. A few of us may have a frame of reference for what a million-dollar piece of industrial equipment looks like. None of us has any idea what a trillion really means, and why last week’s arguments are so silly.

The cartoon above is close enough to accurate for discussion purposes (I did not count the pixels). The deficit constitutes nearly half the budget; it is conceivable to think that there will be “non-discretionary spending” which will bring that deficit to more than half the budget by the end of the fiscal year.

When we hear about this in the news, we hear that there’s a $30 billion dollar difference between the Democrat and Republican budgets. That number sounds significant. It’s enough to satisfy those on both ‘sides’ who want to be angry at the other; at risk are such things as NPR and Planned Parenthood.

But nowhere under discussion do we see anything of substance. There is no talk of ending the war in Afghanistan, of ending the Joint Strike Fighter program, of trimming the bureaucracy that is our tax system or the despicable slave program that is our prison system. We are distracted enough by the largeness of THIRTY BILLIONS OF DOLLARS that we ignore these obvious possibilities.

Look at that pie again. Our leaders fought over crumbs. They were paid handsomely for doing so, and the media watched their every move. Important things may have happened elsewhere in the world, but I for one was too distracted to notice.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

How much do you change?

We all read about how things are wrong. We all reach conclusions as to how things ought to be fixed. We all complain that the war in Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya is wrong, that there’s too much inequality, too much abuse, that taxes are too high or that we use too much gasoline or that things just aren’t right. I write furiously, preaching to a choir of like-minded individualists who almost always agree with me. You read these writings.

But how much do any of us do about the troubles that the world faces? We might seek to adjust our lives and better ourselves within the existing system, to guarantee a future for our children or our friends. We might go so far as to write snide and condescending comments on the internet, to draw attention to the great evils our ideological rivals would perpetrate if given the opportunity, or to pay lip service to our support for some idea or another. One or two of us might volunteer a portion of our time to the causes we support, and spend a double portion making others aware of those causes and our support for them.

But how many of us have affected any change in the past month? How many of us have done anything more substantial than talk to our friends about Anarchism, or write something intelligent on the internet? When’s the last time you engaged in a charitable activity, the last time you really did something right, without being told to do so by the government?

Maybe you’re alright. Maybe you helped that neighbor you’ve never met move yesterday, or you give blood whenever you’re eligible, or you volunteer at the farmers’ market and teach math to disadvantaged Schnauzers in small-town Wisconsin. I know I’m not; the last productive thing I did was to hold the door for a fellow patron of a convenience store, and that’s certainly not noteworthy.

I encourage you to go out of your way to be the change you wish to see in the world next week. I don’t mean to raise awareness or to bring other people into the anti-violence fold; I mean to really and truly behave as you think all people should. I want us all to stand up and give lie to the notion that Anarchists and Libertarians are selfish pricks who don’t want to contribute anything. I want you to be able to say, next time someone asks whether you did anything to live up to your libertarian ideals, that you’ve been a shining beacon of voluntary cooperation. I want you to make the rest of us seem downright selfish and lazy by comparison. I hope you do so.

 

Publisher’s Note: D. and I are friends and he has been an entrepreneur and a businessman for more than three decades.  He speaks from a lifetime of dealing with the other enemy – smaller government.  I did not say limited government since that does not exist.  I am referring to the smaller brother of the state and federal government, local government.  We live in and near a town that sees its fellow citizens in commerce not as neighbors and friends but simply yet another victim to be mugged by their infernal system of tax and regulatory oppression to fund their rather luxurious existence and push people around to refuse to comply.  One of my other business associates tells me that nearly sixty cents of every dollar in revenue is vacuumed up by some level of government and, by the way, he is not even reimbursed for his collection services for various state Mafiosi.  Both major parties in America from local to federal levels of government are friends of big business and the mortal enemy of the small business.  As Bastiat said:  “The state is the great fiction by which one group of people live at the expense of another.”

*The lamprey is the curious fish that lives attached to its host until death do they part. -BB

 

“The politicians say ‘we’ can’t afford a tax cut. Maybe we can’t afford the politicians.”

-Steve Forbes

I sit on the board of the Economic Development Foundation which receives $139,000 annually from the citizens of “the city”. The current mayor sits on that board as a liaison to the city. During one of our meetings the director of the EDF said she was going to be more proactive in linking the city to the existing business community in order to assess how the city could be of assistance. I chuckled and when the mayor inquired as to what I found amusing I said that in the 35 years I have been in business in this city I have never once been approached by anyone associated with the city with an offer to help with anything. He turned to me, smiled, and asked what the city could do for me. I told him I would get back to him since I had never even considered the possibility of engaging with them for assistance, but considered only how I could avoid their wrath over the years. Frankly I still don’t know how they can help other than to get out of the way since my only experience with them has been that they simply do not have the tools to do anything productive, only to hinder any effort my business is working its way through.

Business and government are philosophically at odds since the primary function of business is to generate a profit and the overarching function of government is to relieve them of as much of that profit as they can get away with through threats and extortion in order to provide goods and services at a cost obscenely exceeding the cost a private enterprise could accomplish the same goals for. The mindsets required to achieve these mutually exclusive goals are as different as those of Muslim and Christian fundamentalists. You can explain the different rationales until you are blue in the face and you will receive nothing but blank stares for your efforts from either side.

Business people perceive government workers as mindless automatons with nothing better to occupy their time with than the calculation of their benefit packages and number of days until retirement and business people are grateful for that mindset in that anything government employees do that deviates from that will cost them money and time to no benefit and most likely with bad unintended consequences. Conversely, government employees see the business community as plunderers of everyone they can reach with no regard for the masses. In all fairness, that’s pretty close to the goals of US financial institutions which are now raking over 1/3 of all corporate profits off the table for adding no perceptible value to the economy, but that perception has absolutely nothing to do with the local economy or local business relations in this community.

When a business wants to relocate or do a start-up in any city they engage with the local government because they have to. They assume the relationship will be a painful and expensive one because that’s how it generally works. The business doesn’t want to spend any more capital, human or otherwise, engaged with any part of the government than is absolutely necessary so they suffer through it. The attitude in this town is to see how much they can extract from this helpless enterprise before they cry ‘uncle’ and either move on or comply. This has lead to an atmosphere of fear on the part of smaller business to expand and has had the effect of driving bigger businesses on to greener pastures. The city will vehemently deny this, but I would testify under oath in any court in the land as to the veracity of this claim.

This city is of the belief that in order to build the perfect city for today and the future, they must be as rigid as possible. This goes back to the basic misunderstanding of the evolutionary character of business. Business is about creativity and speed of reaction (folks, we have a problem. Let’s get it fixed before we open that front door for business today!). Government is about being as slow moving and hidebound as is possible without imploding too quickly (folks, whatever you do today be sure you incur no liability on behalf of this city and be sure all of us make it to our retirement day with our full benefit packages intact!).

When negotiating with the city they will always ask for the impossible because money means nothing to someone who is spending someone else’s. They call their demands “The cost of doing business”. I call them “The cost of pointless bureaucracy”. If you react as any sane person would by telling them they are out of line in their request, they will buckle. The less informed business person will probably give up, thinking the government is powerful enough to smash their dream, not knowing they are negotiating with someone who is on a fools’ errand.

The city, on the other hand, will give away the farm to a bigger national enterprise because they feel intimidated and out of their league when negotiating with them. This leads to the accurate perception that the city is sophomoric, amateurish, unfriendly and uncoordinated in their efforts  related to small business. The attitude should be to impose as few demands upon businesses as is possible in order to build as prosperous and diverse a business community as possible since that is a defining element of a successful city, where instead they seem to want to unrelentingly show who’s boss. I have told them they are driving themselves into irrelevance in their relationships with businesses by not making any attempt to understand and appreciate their value to the community, but they see themselves as so big and bad the health and well being of the business community just doesn’t matter. Granted, the Fort is the elephant in the room when it comes to our local economy and none of us would be here without them, but who do we suppose hasn’t set up shop here to make this the kind of community our children want to return to after leaving to be educated elsewhere?

“To force a man to pay for the violation of his own liberty is indeed an addition of insult to injury.”

Benjamin Tucker

 

“Disregard then, reader, my title and my character, and attend only to my arguments. It is in accordance with universal consent that I undertake to correct universal error from the OPINION of the human race I appeal to its FAITH. Have the courage to follow me; and, if your will is untrammeled, if your conscience is free, if your mind can unite two propositions and deduce a third therefrom, my ideas will inevitably become yours.”

-Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

If I were asked “What is the State,” and I were to reply “It is slavery,” my meaning would be understood at once. The State binds its citizens through force, and through force it compels them to do its will. That the State is composed of citizens does not mean that it has the best interests of citizens in mind; the State has no mind. The State is an arrangement, an agreement of the strong and violent that the labor and productivity of the people ought to be bent and directed with no consideration of their wishes. Like the slave-master, the State demands a monopoly on the use of force, or it ceases to be.

This monopoly on the use of force is the only defining characteristic the State possesses. The Kings of yore claimed their rights to rule from God’s will, the Democracies and Republics of today from the will of the People, and the modern atheist Dictators from a claim to best understand the common good. These States are unified not in the self-described origin of their powers, but only in the powers themselves, and the monopoly upon them. The ‘goals’ of the State may change from age to age and from place to place, but that remains intact.

It is to that monopoly of force that Anarchists of all stripes must be opposed. It is that violent subjugation of the individual will that is the greatest threat to human development, not the scheming banker or lazy welfare recipient, not the immigrant laborer or the bigoted “Teabagger”. The State, and the armament of the State’s agents, and the illegitimate claim to an authority of the people, of God, or of the greater good – these things will reduce the free thinker to another cog in a misguided machine. It is the State’s machinists, not the other prospective cogs held captive with us, to whom we should be opposed.

To fight with other Anarchists over the meaning of the term ‘anarchist’ is at best futile and at worst counterproductive. To return to our etymological roots, to oppose violent authority, war, and the enslavement of the citizen by the State: this is best. Rothbard is not our enemy, nor is Proudhon: our enemy is the Leviathan State, Mordor on the Potomac or the Thames or the Seine. We fight this enemy best by proselytizing to new blood and increasing the overall awareness of anti-State thinking, not by arguing over the “capitalist” or “socialist” portions of “Anarcho-Capitalist” and “Socialist Anarchist.”

 

Publisher’s Note: I published this almost two years ago and it still rings true.  I was asked at the Freedom Summit in 2010 after my speech during questions what was the most important tool or consideration for surviving the coming bad times.  Most expect me to expound on G3 (Gold, Guns and Groceries) but I responded that critical thinking was, first and foremost, the most important and vital weapon in the armory.  Nothing even comes close.  Much like the overweening importance of prioritizing skills over equipment, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.  Your lack of skepticism toward the powers that be is what enabled the very walls to be erected in these tax jurisdictions shaped like penitentiaries called nation-states.

You live in a civilization whose entire rationalization is based on a few brutal misconceptions among which is that the state must have the power to fine, cage, maim and kill anyone it wishes at will and all your friends, family and neighbors are YOUR property.  If that were not the case, how could the state possibly enable the massive theft of time, resources and property on a daily basis to feed the groaning leviathan that provides all those vital goods and services the government/media complex trumpets triumphantly about daily to include America’s largest export, killing recalcitrant brown people who refuse to submit?   Through the proxy of the state, you have personally signed on to an evil compact that permits, nay compels , the government to act in the beastly and ghastly way it does every day.  All of your socialist and neoconservative friends won’t admit it but you are THEIR property otherwise how would they fund the beasts in DC and its political subsidiaries in the states?  They even have the wherewithal to commit you and your progeny to obligate to pay down future debt leveraged against their future; even though the dimmest economists know it will all collapse in the end (except Paul Krugman whose statist bloodlust knows no bounds).

Accept nothing at face value and your life will be richer.  This has nothing to do with formal education or a philosophy degree or allowing others to think for you because they are smarter than you.  No one is smarter than you in your own world because they aren’t…you.

Think outside the box and question all authority outside your family.  Your life and the bright future of your children depends on your ability to do the intellectual heavy lifting and figure out that most everything you were taught in the government schools was a lie and that practically anything claimed by the government has one raison d’être: to compel your unquestioning obedience and servitude to the state and to ensure that its existence will always trump yours. -BB


Human progress is furthered, not by conformity, but by aberration.
~ H.L. Mencken

For some time, I have been trying to figure out why the nation and we as individuals are in the fix we are in now. Many reasons manifest themselves. We labor under a government of such monstrous reach and epic incompetence that it makes the Soviets now look like a paragon of efficiency and probity. We suffer under a ruling class that has not simply been a gangster government under Obamunism but has been this way since the defeat of the original Constitution in 1865. With each illegitimate war since 1898, the power of the Federal government has increased exponentially. With each manufactured crisis, liberties and freedoms have withered and died. This is simply the latest and greatest improvement in the ongoing process of our overseers to find emerging ways to increase the output of our slavery.

I have alluded before that we live in the country and have occasion to run across orphaned animals. We have horses and chickens and other assorted animals on the Circle A Ranch. My wife happens to be a fantastic gardener and the reincarnation of Dr. Doolittle. We discovered by following the horrid cacophony of rabbit screams three orphaned cottontails, two of which promptly died. My wife is now nursing the survivor and hoping to brighten his life expectancy in this mortal coil. As is her wont, she is an inveterate researcher and proceeded to go on the ‘net and search out advice on care and feeding of a rabbit which is not one of our areas of husbandry expertise. What struck her were the countless admonitions to seek government assistance and report it to wildlife “authorities” or the zoo. I look around and converse with colleagues and associates to find my fellow Americans increasingly frightened or unfamiliar with doing anything without someone’s permission. Whether at work or play, we:

  • obey speed limits that have nothing do with safety and simply provide revenue to our rulers
  • pay property taxes which inevitably increase the yoke around our necks locally and pay for the intellectual suicide pact call government schooling
  • pay extraordinary sales taxes on local and state purchases to subsidize the countless layers of bureaucracy that choke citizen and business productivity everyday
  • stop locally at a US Border Patrol checkpoint nearly twenty miles north of the Mexican border to be asked if we are American citizens and a visual check of the interior of our vehicles
  • sit idly by while the various levels of government erect observation devices at traffic intersections to increase revenue streams
  • receive property tax bills on our real estate which increase in assessment while market prices decrease
  • are required to have permission from the US Forest Circus or National Park Service to hunt, play or work on lands expropriated by our betters in government

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“Is it advisable for one who is not an expert on economic and social issues to express views on the subject of socialism? I believe for a number of reasons that it is.”
-Albert Einstein

The above quote is from a paper that Dr. Einstein wrote in 1949, which originally appeared in the Monthly Review and is available online here. The rest of this essay is a libertarian’s response, a strong disagreement with his analysis of social reality.

Einstein (hereinafter “the socialist”) recognizes that there is are distinctions between the methods applicable to the science of Astronomy and those applicable to the study of Economics, and correctly attributes these distinctions to the innumerable and nigh immeasurable factors which govern human action. Scientists attempt to discover the laws which govern the movements of objects under such forces as gravity and electromagnetism, while the Economist’s endeavor is plagued by biochemistry and feelings and morality and what the subjects in question might have eaten for breakfast six weeks ago. Planetary bodies and chemicals do not have feelings, morals, memories and upbringings; human beings do, and all these traits are difficult to quantify. Stars and asteroids do not owe their existence to the conquest of contrary stars and asteroids, as do states; solar systems are constructed and spin in their orbits without a thought to property rights or social justice.

The socialist government, like a libertarian thinker, espouses the idea that the mathematical tools used to determine the orbits of planets are ill-suited to determining the human pursuits of happiness and sustenance. Nor does it assume that all men are predatory beasts, driven only by our desires for food and fornication; no, idealized socialism recognizes the value of human cooperation, love, devotion and honor. The socialist strives not to better his station, but to better the average conditions of all members of his species. He wishes to overcome the threat of global extinction through war, and to encourage international cooperation and a unification of human efforts for universal wellbeing.

It is here that the libertarian view begins to differ from the socialist. The socialist recognizes the same pieces of evidence as does the libertarian; he sees the injustice man does to man, and desires a means of rectifying that injustice. But the socialist believes that government action, supra-government action on a world scale, is the means by which this might best be achieved. He speaks of man receiving a home and a livelihood from the benevolence of society, and does not recognize that man might have accomplished anything constructive by the use of his own hands, save as they serve that society. In the socialist’s view, man is not noble in and of himself, but acquires that nobility from his friends and neighbors.

Certainly, a man is noble who treats others well, and a group of people is happiest when all members strive together and do not fight.  But the socialist, upon seeing this, concludes that it ought to be the duty of some council of men to govern the actions of others; that all the productive effort undertaken by humanity must be carefully planned by some central power, lest we twiddle our thumbs and end up with too many trains and not enough automobiles or hammers. He recognizes that human effort is inexorably tied to humanity’s efforts by the world economy, and based on this he concludes that man must have his course chosen for him, and must not be permitted to choose for himself.

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Publisher’s Note: I thought I would share this book review I recently did.  I also found this amusing illustrated version of The Road to Serfdomhttps://mises.org/books/TRTS/

Hayek wrote and released this book during the course of the World War II (1944-45).  He had a front row seat to the clash of the collectivist titans from the mild socialism he saw in the West to the national socialism of Germany and the communism of the Russian state.

Hayek sought to provide a comprehensive set of principles and observations illustrating why private property not only manages to be the most rational means to allocate economic resources but the one which allows the most freedom to grow and mature.  He makes a compelling argument that the smallest bureaucrat in a statist command of the economy will have much more power to influence society in a negative manner than the most successful millionaire in a free society. His primary thesis is that the power of the state will lead to slavery, misery and poverty.

Along with his colleague in the Austrian School of Economics, Ludwig von Mises, he delivered a powerful indictment of the state in two respects:  its inability to rationally behave economically and ultimately the brutal manner in which the state will ultimately treats its citizens once it has the power to tax, regulate and redistribute.  By robbing the individual citizens of property rights and collectivizing either through outright nationalization or through the more fascistic means of taxation and regulation, all citizens are reduced to slavery and serfdom.

Hayek says:  “The increasing veneration for the state, the admiration of power, and of bigness for bigness’ sake, the enthusiasm for “organization” of everything (we now call it “planning”) and that “inability to leave anything to the simple power of organic growth”…are all scarcely less marked in England now than they were in Germany.”(Hayek, 200)  It is interesting to note that outside of Germany and the USSR during the course of WWII, the United Kingdom was considered the most repressive society in the Western world.  Whether this was due to wartime secrecy considerations with the imminent invasion of Western Europe by the Allies or the creeping blanket of Fabian socialism, it is hard to ascertain.

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The Middle East (ME)  is on fire with revolution and rebellion against the powers that be.  There is no government in the entire area which has not abused, maimed and murdered thousands if not tens of thousands of its own subjects.  Pardon me, if I refrain from ever using the word citizens since those don’t exist on Earth.  It is simply what governments were built to do no matter how we dress them up in fancy and adoring histories.  The usual suspects in the government-media complex are coming out of the woodwork as the neoconservative-left liberal alliance blossoms to its fullest potential.  Everyone from Faux New to National Pinko Radio to the Collectivist News Network are swooning and throwing rice at the wedding.  The love letters to the Pentagon from the Obama administration could not be more fawning and flirtatious.

 

Through wars, bombings and the eradication of uncooperative brown people around the globe, the Child President will make the world safe for his own house brand of militant collectivism.  Amid the wreckage of the former mighty American economic engine is strewn old rusted manufacturing sectors, all home-grown means of financial power since the emergence of debt as the ONLY engine of business start-up and prosperity, and the enormous Soviet-style regulatory apparatus that has done its signal best to strangle and emasculate any innovation in the private sector.  Remember that both parties are sworn enemies of small business but maintain cozy relationships with big business.  America excels in one area and one area only, killing.  The national security state that has emerged since the end of the War to Save Josef Stalin has been the only burgeoning sector of employment since the end of the Cold War in 1989.  The Pentagon and the apparatchiks who serve it in the federal government were desperate to find a means to preserve the hyper-power military complex since its usefulness had dwindled to zero when the other Soviet state fell.   After decades of post WWII fiddling, dawdling and plotting to interfere in the domestic self-determination of hundreds of nation-states around the globe, the US had poked one too many Arab nations and earned the blowback it so richly deserved.  On 9/11 in 2001, the blow to the Pentagon and the Twin Towers in New York brought American foreign policy home and gladdened the hearts of legions of government employees and hundreds of military contractors.  A new war was on and the American national security state could now move front and center once again.

Fast forward to the present state of affairs in the ME, the hot and cold wars that the US has continued to wage in the Arab nations along with the support of dozens of brutal and corrupt regimes has metastasized into the massive web of rolling unrest, protests and rebellions.  Some are concerned with the planning involved in the protests and how many of these are simply synchronized to occur in all these nations.  Others, such as the US State Department and the endlessly creepy Hillary Clinton are more concerned with ensuring not that justice or honor is served but simply preserving the ability of the American client states and satraps to keep their people fettered and tame while we drain the Middle east of oil and keep the Israelis please with the direction of American foreign policy.  American policy in the region has been nothing more than a long and bloody trail of tears for all the people trapped in the confines of what is essentially convenient US political subsidiaries to make the West safe in their oil consumption so that the Western countries can remain virginal in exploiting their own oil reserves and reducing any free market economic incentives to find new sources of energy.

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Publisher’s Note:  As promised, the Village Armorer is continuing his series of evaluation of rescue tools and today we discuss our Village standard for sidearms, the Glock.  We have been carrying and shooting these for nearly two decades and have achieved what is essentially a holy grail in the firearms community:  there is no better solution for a sidearm than the Glock.  Aside from the minor modifications we make, it comes out of the box ready to conduct social work.  I have no desire to get involved in a handbag fight such as the 1911 versus the Glock and any other variations on that eternal dispute.  If you have a High Point or a three thousand dollar 1911, great;  if it serves as your sidearm and satisfies your needs, wonderful and all is well with the world.  There are far more important things to waste electrons on than that particular argument.  For us, the issue is settled. -BB


Again, let’s look at manipulation, simplicity, reliability and affordability. The law enforcement community has. About 60% of all law enforcement issues the Glock pistol. It is simple: it has a trigger, slide release (slide stop in Glock vernacular), and magazine release. All firearm safety is internal to the weapon, or the trigger you should not touch until prepared to fire. Torture tests show you will be hard-pressed to find a more durable or reliable gun for the money, that is light to carry, and two spare mags should get you back to your vehicle or rifle, if necessary.

Here in Arizona, most law enforcement use the Glock Model 22 in .40 S&W. One size smaller, the Model 23, is ideal for concealed carry, yet only loses a half inch on the barrel and two rounds in the magazine. Because the magazines of the larger pistols work in smaller pistols with Glock, that means backup magazines can all be Model 22 fifteen-round magazines, giving you back those two extra rounds should a firefight last longer than you expect. Based on all accounts, they always do. Even if thirty seconds seems like a lifetime.

Three things should always accompany a handgun: a holster, a light, and a spare magazine. Perhaps several spares, so you don’t have to worry about any further magazine bans. I recommend as many as possible, perhaps 20 per gun.

Training is as important as the firearm. Find a reputable trainer and train, remembering the more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.

Yes, combat is a full-contact sport. Spend as much or more money on your training as you do on the gun. What insurance policy do you have that saves the lives of you or your family, and can be “cashed-in” more than once?

Once you pick the Glock, know that there are three necessary changes, as all guns are not equal when you depend on them everyday. One, it needs a steel recoil spring guide rod. You can find them at Lone Wolf, Glock Meister, Top Glock, or Glock World. The OEM Glock recoil spring guide rod is plastic and shouldn’t be relied upon.

Second, I prefer the Glock extended slide stop (release) and not all Glocks come with them. If you used one and then the other, you will see what I am talking about. Lastly, the Glock should have steel sights, preferably Tritium. Nothing sight-related, should be made of plastic, since they can be used to clear a stoppage (very rare), or to release a slide, if reduced to one-armed combat.

Don’t use compensated barrels for self defense, unless you want to blind yourself equally with your opponent or lose the brightness of your tritium front sight from carbon build-up.

 

Publisher’s Note: Chris has provided us with an insightful original essay on the thorny abortion problem in a voluntary society.  The introduction is heart-wrenching but poignant. I am opposed to all abortions except when the life of the mother is threatened because for a variety of reasons I believe it to be cold-blooded murder of the most innocent among us.  I also come to this conclusion in what I have discovered is an unusual tangent.  I am not a religionist of any stripe and most of my friends and acquaintances that are pro-life draw a Scriptural basis for their belief.  I would add that shunning and shaming of the practitioner and the users of the services of a baby abattoir are useful social prohibitions. -BB

“All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them.”

~ H.L. Mencken

In my last post I talked about how the free market would be superior to the coercive system we have now. I would like to get a little more specific with how we could apply this to the controversial issue of abortion, but first I would like to tell you a very personal story.

A little over 5 years ago I received a call at work. I picked up the phone; it was my son’s babysitter. She was frantic, she informed me my son had stopped breathing, and the paramedics were on the way. I remember the time on the clock was 5:07; I was working late that day. I ran and grabbed the keys off of my toolbox, and drove as fast as I could. The babysitter was a healthy 20 minute drive away. Me being the gearhead that I am, my little four banger was up to the challenge. I don’t remember too much of the drive, but I do recall exceeding speeds of 125mph. Here in Virginia farm country, I could drive these back roads blind-folded. I made it there at 5:20. I was informed the paramedics arrived at 5:10.

I could see my son in the ambulance. It was crowded in there, but I could see my son’s little arm hanging off of the stretcher, it looked lifeless. Refusing to believe the worst, I was pacing, and praying. A paramedic stepped out of the ambulance with tears in his eyes. He said “I am so sorry, sir, we tried to revive him for 30 minutes”. At that moment, it was like someone had just removed my legs. I was on the ground faster than if I would have slipped on ice. I was speechless; I then looked to my right and saw my oldest son, Christopher. His babysitter, Dorothy, was holding him by the shoulders. She was like a second grandmother to my boys, and she loved them both very much. Still unable to use my legs, I waved him over. I held that boy as tight as I could, he asked in his three year old voice: “what happened to David, Daddy?” My son, David Ford, was pronounced dead at 5:39PM Oct 26th, 2005. He was six months old. He passed away quietly in his sleep. The doctors say the cause was SIDS. I am not a woman, so I will never pretend to know what a woman goes through when she has an abortion, but I have buried a child.

Very needless to say I am pro-life. I am in favor of all human life in all forms. Whenever I hear about children being harmed, or abortions being performed, it quite literally hurts my heart. I am also a firm believer in the non-aggression principle. I do not believe in the initiation of force, even to stop a woman from aborting her child. In a free and voluntary society, how could these two beliefs be rectified?

Government only makes this issue worse by passing laws to regulate it. Not to mention, it uses this very controversial issue to divide us. Have any of you ever noticed how these issues are brought off of the shelf around election time? It seems to me it would be a good way to fund campaigns. The politicians need only to mention this issue, and the money starts rolling in. The pro-choice left and the pro-life right shovel money at these politicians who probably don’t give a damn about abortion. As soon as the elections are over, the issue goes back on the shelf. If the government makes abortion illegal, or regulates it heavily, it does not take away the market demand for it. This only pushes women to find “illegal” ways to get abortions performed. These women now risk life, safety, and freedom. Since these abortions will be performed by “criminals” there is no telling how sanitary or safe the procedure will be. Making something illegal does not take away market demand; it only makes it more dangerous. This is why the black market exists. I believe the government is not interested in trying to solve the problem of abortion. Besides, once one has a firm understanding that the government has a monopoly on the use of violence; one quickly comes to the conclusion that the government cannot solve any problem.

How could the free market ever respond to such a dilemma? In a society where coercion is not a factor and reaching for the guns of government is not a choice, what can be done?

I believe that in an environment where individuals were 100% responsible for their choices, more rational decisions would be made. Without Uncle Sugar around to subsidize pretty much everything, consequences will have to be suffered. Maybe we will once again learn that actions have equal and opposite reactions. Without government around, natural law and the natural application of that law will come back. Perhaps parents will spend more time developing certain underlying principles their children should adhere to. Teaching them that all human life is sacred in all forms. Abortion can’t happen if there is no conception. We need to strike at the root of the problem. In order to change society, we need to change minds.

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