Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Posts Tagged ‘individual’

Jack Nicholson, The Reverend Mr. Al Sharpton and Candy

In Financial, Opinion on December 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm

On CafeHayek.com, Professor Don Boudreaux, tells us (Link Here) that the reverend Mr. Al Sharpton is raising a stink (yes, I realize that has a potentially double meaning and is redundant – as in, what else does he do?) regarding Walgreens’ failure to adequately serve poor neighborhoods.

Why does he stipulate that Walgreens is obligated to serve any customers?  They are free to put all of their stores on Park Avenue, if they like, yes?  Are there any Tiffany’s in the poor neighborhoods Mr. Sharpton is worried about, or any check cashing, pay-day loan operations Rodeo Drive?  What would Charlie Sheen do in a cash emergency and why isn’t someone looking out for him?

I frame it more seriously this way:  Walgreens’ total market capitalization of approximately $35 billion did not materialize from thin air, reverend Mr. Sharpton.  As the Professor Boudreaux points out via his list of things Walgreens chose to do to make pills and suppositories appear behind their counter (just next to $3.49 ethnic hair products, $1.59 paper towels and $1.29 candy bars, etc.) this kind of operation is the result of billions of independent, unique, untraceable decisions about the most effective uses of capital and labor.  That unimaginably complex process has resulted in a situation where, for $1.29 you get a Milky Way AND, implicit therein, you get the benefit of the trillions of dollars it took to deliver it there between the M&Ms and the Snickers.

HUH? you say, trillions?  Yes, trillions.  Add Walgreens market cap to that of Mars Candy, Pfizer, Merck (and every other company who has a product on offer in that store) and it’s AT LEAST multi-trillions of dollars.  The owners of Mars Candy, Inc can’t deploy only the miniscule fraction of their world-wide enterprise that made YOUR Milky Way, even though you are paying only for your tiny share of Mars Candy.  And the same goes for the companies offering the products you didn’t even purchase, because it is the unique combination of products services, and multiple locations that is the essence of Walgreens, the magic that makes Walgreens exist.  That’s the beauty of Walgreens (and 7-11, Kroger, Victoria’s Secret, Federal Express and  . . .)

When will you learn, reverend Mr. Sharpton, that stuff doesn’t happen because you have a camera and a microphone; stuff happens because, to paraphrase Milton Friedman, millions and millions of men and women, almost all of whom don’t even know of the existence of the rest, and many of whom would hate each other if they ever met face-to-face, in their own way, free of coercion, contributed to that Milky Way’s being there.  And it was there for you last Wednesday at 2:43 a.m., exactly when you wanted it there – for a mere $1.29.  And the cold pint of milk tasted great with it, too, didn’t it!

And, now you want the government to fine tune and improve on that model for you without disturbing its intricate and delicate balance?!  NO SIR!  Step away from the counter and put your hands in the air.

To borrow from A Few Good Men “I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “Thank you,” and went on your way.  Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post.”

Freedom, Milky Ways . . . same thing.  Mr. Sharpton, Walgreens doesn’t have time to explain how they put your Milky Way on that shelf.  They’d rather you just pay the $1.29, say ‘Thank You’ and go back on TV.  Otherwise, I suggest you go find a trillion dollars and make your own candy.

Freedom promises that you have the choice to buy your widgets or pharmaceuticals anywhere you like.  Freedom does not promise you that Walgreens will make them available to you, 24/7, at a price you can afford.

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Am I ‘Anti-government’?

In Opinion, Political Critique on November 8, 2011 at 8:21 pm

A standard line from the Democratic Party these days involves some version of “the right/GOP hates government and wants to eliminate all taxes, so government would possess no power.”

Sort of.

Or, actually, not at all.  The right and the GOP better correct that lie, and soon.

How?  It’s my belief that Americans are relatively indifferent about the effectiveness of ‘good’ government.  However, we are passionate about the power, the compassion and the productiveness of free men and women.

In my world, all of the left and the collectivists are free to try it their way – but they should not try and, under our Constitution, do not have the power to impose their approach on me.  I believe and history proves that freedom beats coercion every time, no matter how ‘good’ some coerced behavior might seem to be.

I say – Let me and those who agree live or die based upon the outcome.  I will bet my life on it.  Will Barack Obama or Harry Reid do the same if I take away their power (via confiscation of my income to finance their welfare state) to force me to agree with them?  I doubt it.

We can do better, America, but only if we’re free and government is smaller.

That new little baby: Mouth or Mind?

In Economics, Opinion on October 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm

 

 

And Baby Makes Seven Billion – WSJ.com.

Is a newborn an asset or a liability to his fellow man?  Your answer will reveal all we need to know about your world view.  Mr. McGurn of the Wall Street Journal says the newborn is a mind that will feed itself and others, not a mouth to be fed.

I say he’s correct and add that it depends on whether you let him be free.

Humans, free to use their minds, produce more than they consume.  Modern life is proof.

Humans, dependent on others, merely consume and learn to feel entitled – they’re not born that way.

A free man produces until he can produce no more.  He accumulates knowledge and wealth for himself and his posterity.  He and his billions of co-workers do things for YOU that you’d never accomplish on your own.  Think of the thousands of men who made the pencil you used to take your SAT or the one man, Steve Jobs, who created things you never imagined but seemingly can’t live without.

A slave produces just enough to subsist and escape punishment.  He makes it through today so he might breathe tomorrow.

Free newborns are assets.  Let’s hope there are more of those born today.

Let freedom ring anew with every birth.  The more the merrier!

Watching Dominoes Fall or Leading From Behind

In foreign policy, Opinion, Political Critique on October 23, 2011 at 10:26 am

Our president is being praised for [watching the] toppling of the erstwhile dictator of Libya.  Much of the praise seems to be based on a mistaken comparison between the cost of our ‘mission’ in Libya and the cost of our 9-year involvement in Iraq.

So, although he hasn’t landed a fighter jet on the deck of a Navy carrier, President Obama is right to announce “Mission Accomplished” in Libya.  Really?

I must have missed it: since Libya’s mad man was slaughtered by a mob in the streets, there have been elections of a legislating body and a president, the adoption of a constitution, a dismantling of the dictator’s security apparatus, establishment of a new police force, the rebuilding of a substantial portion of Libya’s infrastructure, and the formation, equipping and training of a new police force?  WOW!  That’s a busy few days.  I’m sure we’ve confirmed there will never be any kind of insurgency or other unrest in Libya.

Two points:

First, whatever mission the United States had, has or should have had in Libya is in its infancy.  That desert region is comprised of tribes and multiple power-seeking factions and barely meets the definition of a ‘country’ and is years away from being in a state where its citizens could be said to be living in a nation based on the universal principles of freedom of the individual.

Second, as we celebrate the continuing progress in what has been dubbed the “Arab Spring” we  should reflect on how unimaginable any of these events would have seemed before George W. Bush said “you’re either with us, or you’re against us.”  Those simple but critical words (like a similarly mundane phrase – “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall”) marked the beginning of what has been called the Bush Doctrine and should be as well-known as Mr. Reagan’s words.  They encapsulate the idea that America’s interests and America’s principles can be pursued simultaneously by spreading freedom across the globe and, thereby, minimizing potential threats from the likes of Usama bin Laden which 9/11 taught us were not prevented by geography.

It is to America’s detriment that the current occupant of the White House and so many of our policy-makers are so unaware of and/or ungrateful for the accomplishments of those who preceded them.  This premature celebration of Qadaffi’s murder as a “foreign policy victory” for the current administration is sign of immaturity and self-serving partisanship.  The dominoes would not be falling had the first one not been forcibly tipped over.  It’s much easier to watch dominoes fall than to have the nerve to push the first, biggest one over.

What is Wisconsin all about? Hokey Pokey?

In Economics, Opinion on February 21, 2011 at 8:30 pm

The debate in Wisconsin degenerates by the day.  The left accuses the governor of endangering the middle class (“Collective bargaining is what has built the middle class in America”) and the right says its approach is the only way to keep the state out of bankruptcy, the only way to balance the budget.  The left is sometimes honest enough even to admit that if the unions lose the right to deduct membership dues directly from the paychecks of their members, the union will likely starve for lack of funds.  The governor, rather than replying “EXACTLY, I’m guilty,” demurs and says he is not trying to ‘bust the union, really and truly; some of my best friends know people in the union.’

The resulting back-and-forth is pointless, destructive and unworthy of public consumption.  Children fighting over a morsel of candy would accomplish more.  [Click BELOW to read more] Read the rest of this entry »

The goodness of friends who are free

In Everyday Life on February 2, 2011 at 11:15 am

A life-long friend wrote this letter to me today and agreed that I might share it here.

Who’s hoarding all the bad friends?

The Facebook phenomenon has reminded me of a startling truth about freedom.

I have led a life surrounded by good people and apparently I’m not alone.  I have hundreds of friends on Facebook. They are just a portion of the people I have met during my life, and as I look at them they are remarkable.  In talking with my friends about their friends I noticed that they also had good friends. [CLICK below to read MORE] Read the rest of this entry »