News & Opinion

Watch Governor Candidate Travis Irvine interview with NBC4i

Watch Travis Irvine interview with NBC4i
Watch Travis Irvine interview with NBC4i
Travis Irvine recently sat down with NBC4i to discuss pressing matters for the state of Ohio and its citizens.

When asked about voters that supported Dennis Kucinich in the Democratic primary and Mary Taylor in the Republican primary was candid about understanding their issues.

Donate today to support Irvine for Ohio and our Libertarian candidates across the state!
Donate today to support Irvine for Ohio and our Libertarian candidates across the state!

“Basically, both groups of voters are single-issue voters,” Irvine said. “With Dennis Kucinich, his numbers were higher in counties where the opioid crisis is ravaging communities and the reason he got higher numbers there is because he spoke about legalizing marijuana.”

The Libertarian Party has always supported the legalization of marijuana for all uses and many people believe that marijuana could be a way to wean those struggling with addiction off opioids.

Regarding supporters of Mary Taylor, Travis says it comes down to what people think of Mike DeWine.

“Mike DeWine is an old, establishment Republican, people don’t know where he stands on issues,” Irvine said. “People are looking for new options. The Libertarians offer people an outsider perspective into politics.”

You can watch the full interview.

Donate today to support Irvine for Ohio and our Libertarian candidates across the state!

Irvine for Ohio Endorsed By Charlie Earl!

From August 28, 2018

Therefore, I enthusiastically and unequivocally endorse Travis Irvine for governor of Ohio and Todd Grayson for lieutenant governor of our state.”

COLUMBUS—Libertarian Travis Irvine received the first major endorsement of his campaign for Ohio governor Tuesday from Charlie Earl, the party’s 2014 candidate for the same office.

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Earl, an ex-Republican who represented the 80th district in the Ohio House from 1981 to 1984, released the following statement Tuesday:

CONCERNING THE ENDORSEMENT OF TRAVIS IRVINE FOR GOVERNOR

“With the ever-increasing growth and interference of the federal government affecting our daily lives, it is vital that the citizens of Ohio elect a governor and lieutenant governor who are dedicated to individual liberty. Gubernatorial candidate Travis Irvine and Todd Grayson, his running mate, are prime examples of the type of public servants Ohioans require. Our historic reliance on the two-party system has led to the betrayal of our people and the undermining of our democratic republic. Travis and Todd represent a new beginning for Ohio. Fresh ideas and liberty-driven energy are the cornerstones of their efforts to return our state government to its rightful place as a responsive servant of the people rather than a master of our fates.

“Therefore, I enthusiastically and unequivocally endorse Travis Irvine for governor of Ohio and Todd Grayson for lieutenant governor of our state. Their commitments to liberty and their lack of relationships with the Ohio version of the “Swamp” makes them the most qualified for leading us forward. Please vote for Ohio. Please vote for liberty. Please vote to end the two-party strangulation of our potential. I urge you to vote for Irvine/Grayson on November 6th.”

“I’m extremely grateful to receive the support of a great man and great candidate like Charlie Earl, and I plan to pick up where he was forced to leave off in standing up for Ohio against the two corrupt parties that control Columbus,” said Irvine in response to Earl’s endorsement.

Earl’s 2014 run for governor, which would have easily won enough votes to retain ballot access for the Libertarian Party, was derailed when Secretary of State John Husted first certified Earl’s candidacy, then removed Earl’s name from the ballot after Republican party officials orchestrated a technical challenge to Earl’s petition. Though the rule in question was ambiguous had never been enforced for Republican or Democrat petitions, Husted’s ruling was upheld, forcing the Libertarian Party of Ohio to regain ballot access by spending more than $250,000 on getting more 100,00 signatures from Ohio voters.

Learn more about Irvine for Ohio.

Show your support for Libertarian Candidates across Franklin County and Ohio, Donate, Volunteerand Get Involved!

Libertarian Party has Ballot Access in 48 states!

From Wes Benedict:

Months and months of hard work have been paying off as we cross the ballot-access finish line in more states. This week, we add Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania to the tally. That puts us at ballot access in 48 states (plus DC) for 2018!

Dear Libertarian,

Months and months of hard work have been paying off as we cross the ballot-access finish line in more states.

This week, we add Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania to the tally.

That puts us at ballot access in 48 states (plus DC) for 2018!

It is also worth noting and celebrating that this is the first time in
20 years that voters in Connecticut will be able to vote for a Libertarian candidate for Governor!

Plus, the two states without ballot access, Tennessee and Alabama, aren’t completely without ballot access. In fact, Alabama has four candidates on the ballot as Libertarians for local or state house offices. However, we don’t categorize Alabama as fully on the ballot because Alabama Libertarians didn’t qualify for a statewide office.

Tennessee has five candidates on the ballot as independents because they didn’t qualify to get on the ballot as Libertarians. The states of Alabama and Tennessee both make it especially hard for Libertarians to qualify for the ballot – something we’ll continue fighting to improve.

Regarding at least some Libertarians on the ballot in all 50 states, Richard Winger, editor of Ballot Access News commented, “no other alternative party can be shown to have reached this midterm milestone since 1890, when official balloting began.”

Please join me in congratulating and thanking all those who have pitched in to achieve ballot access for 2018. This includes thousands of activists, volunteers, donors, and staff and the Johnson/Weld campaign which achieved ballot access for us in 37 of these states.

Well done, team!

Onward to Election Day!

Wes Benedict
Executive Director

https://www.lp.org/three-more-victories/?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=campaign-wes-benedict&utm_content=20180907+GEN+ballot+access+2018

Liberty and the Opioid Crisis

Elections are fast approaching, and every major party candidate has a plank about the opioid crisis.  With over 4,000 dead of overdose in 2016 alone (over double the number of overdose deaths in 2012, and almost 4 times greater than the number of traffic deaths in 2016), it is an urgent issue that needs to be resolved.  However, Ohio’s current solution isn’t working.  In spite of Ohio “investing about $1 billion each year to help communities battle the scourge of drug abuse and addiction at the local level” (August 30, 2017 ODH News Release), deaths from opioids have skyrocketed.  In spite of increased police funding, resources to bust drug dealers, drug use education, and state sponsored rehabilitation programs, we saw an increase of 1000 overdose deaths in 2016.  A $170 million increase in funding for results so bad that calling them disastrous would be a compliment.

Both major party candidates don’t just have it as the first issue on their campaign websites, but offer nearly identical “solutions” to the crisis.  I would never have guessed that declaring an emergency makes things better, but I am fairly sure that we have been hearing DARE’s drug education since elementary school. I guess all we need is more cops to fix the issue.  Let’s be very clear here: this is more of the same policies that have been used as the crisis has gotten worse. This is forcing people away from prescription drugs and onto the even more dangerous fentanyl.  It is time for a wakeup call, the status quo is not working.

Rather than continuing to double down on the war on drugs that Ohio has decisively lost, we can go out around the world and pick policies with a proven track record to bring back home.  Here are a couple suggestions of the most successful policies for decreasing opioid overdoses.  And rather than costing billions, they actually save the taxpayers money.

Legalize marijuana:
How is this related?  It is well established that states which have legalized marijuana have seen an over 25% reduction in opioid deaths on average relative to similar states that didn’t.  Beyond being a less harmful and addictive pain medication for chronic problems treated with opioids, marijuana is widely known as one of the best cures of withdrawal symptoms.   There are obviously a lot of other reasons to legalize, but this one applies directly to the issue at hand.

Decriminalize all drugs:
This is a much more radical proposal but one with strong evidence, especially in the case of Portugal.  In the 90s, Portugal had over 1% of its population addicted to heroin.   In 2001, they had one of the highest overdose rates in the world, at nearly 80 people per million dying of opioid overdose.  But that year, they decriminalized the use of all drugs and have seen a dramatic change for the better.  As of 2016, there have only been 6 overdose deaths per million, well below the average in Europe (17.3), and far below the 185 overdose deaths per million in the US.  Their 90% improvement is one we can follow.  This policy also frees up law enforcement and courts to focus on real crimes, rather than what consenting adults are putting in their bodies.

While those two solutions will not end all overdoses, and I fear nothing ever will, they have a far better track record than any solution being touted out by major party candidates.  And that is in Ohio, where 1/6 people already use marijuana, the majority supports marijuana legalization, but establishment politicians still will not oven vote about legalizing marijuana or implement the medical licenses that have been promised for years.  But libertarians are the one who are pushing for the solutions that put power back in the hands of the individual.  We favor policies that don’t empty your wallet, and that actually work.

https://www.odh.ohio.gov/-/media/ODH/ASSETS/Files/health/injury-prevention/ODH-News-Release—-2016-Ohio-Drug-Overdose-Report.pdf?la=en

Zoning is Theft

Posted to Mises.org 03/21/2006

Zoning is theft, pure and simple. In his fantastic introduction to the Austrian School, Economics for Real People, Gene Callahan correctly identifies eminent domain as a form of property theft, especially noting the use of government condemnation in order to secure rightfully owned property for commercial development.

It is easy to see government as the crowbar that influence-seekers use to jimmy locks and force private property owners from their land. Here we have the clear picture of Ma and Pa Kettle and clan fighting the law and “progress” armed only with shotguns, corn squeezing, chewing tobacco and shear grit. The flip side to eminent domain, zoning, is not so easily seen. But as Bastiat revealed, the unseen is as important as the seen.

Zoning is typically defined along the lines of a government-regulated system of land-usage imposed in order to ensure orderly development. Zoning is usually a component of the larger conceptual ideal called regional planning. Of course, planned development is really the name of the road toward planned chaos.

Zoning uses all the standard interventionist lines of thought, most notably the concepts of externalities and utility. Those who advocate zoning really believe that acting man does not have the ability to create communities that are functional and prosperous. Without plans and maps drafted and drawn by the local elected elite, developers with knowledge and foresight, and a whole lot of money to gain or lose, would purposively layout communities that are sterile and functionless. Only the marginal vote-getters — those elected — and their appointed allies are omniscient enough to peer into the crystal ball and define the perfect setting for future life and leisure. The rest of us can only marvel at their visions.

Just as the developer can use government to roll over the rights of property owners, property owners — community members — can use government to roll over the rights of developers and fellow property owners.

In Ohio, townships create zoning maps and comprehensive plans that overlay development regulations on top of current properties. Prior to the establishment of zoning regulations, a farmer could simply sell his land to the highest bidder. No one had a voice in the proposed use of the exchanged land. The sale to a new property owner incorporated full development rights, including continued farming, residential and commercial development, or parceling off pieces for home sites. Land was a commodity similar to the crops grown on it. Just as no one had a right to control the final use of the corn and soybeans reaped from the soil, no one had the right to control the next use of the land. Property rights were secure.

Zoning changed everything. The future use of existing farmland will, with the stroke of a pen, be limited in some manner by zoning regulations. The regulations could restrict future land usage to its current use — farming in this instance — or it could restrict land usage to some other form of activity.

The free market has a tool that allows a property owner to align the future use of his property with his vision, the restrictive covenant. A property owner could, for example, create a legacy by selling his land contingent on the development carrying his family name. Should the property owner be too restrictive, the value of his property will fall. He will be exchanging a psychic good, a family legacy, for cash.

Zoning is another matter altogether. Zoning restricts current landowners based on the local power brokers. In the zoning process, someone gets hurt. Had the farmers of a township wanted to keep the area as farmland, they could have signed restrictive covenants guaranteeing crops instead of homes. Property rights, and the laws that purport to protect those rights, allow individuals to act in their own best interest. Zoning, collective decision-making, use the coercive power of government to restrict usage based on the whims of those in power.

The farmer who owns this land now has his potential property rights bounded within a specific range; future use is restricted to residential developments that have no more than one house per acre. The farmer may vote, and may have voted for some of those elected, but he never agreed to the change in proposed land usage. He was robbed, and there is no means for him to restore his rights and land value; they are gone with the stroke of a pen.

I know some of those in the Chicago School will claim that the farmer implicitly agreed to the loss of land-usage rights by being born in the United States, or of naturalized American parents, or by becoming a citizen through oath. By owning property in the United States, the farmer granted majority ownership in his property to those elected and appointed, the omniscient and omnipotent. This is no way to build and run a system of secure property rights, and no way to create a free market. Rothbard is correct when he constructs his political economy on secure rights to property; anything less is the beginning of the Hayek’s Road to Serfdom.

Now we have a developer who is trying to satisfy the urgent wants of consumers, his development could include new homes, new stores, new factories, etc. The developer is a keen entrepreneur who sees a chance to turn a profit by creating a development that will be desired, and therefore profitable to him. The developer settles on a residential development and approaches the farmer from above offering to purchase his land, contingent on final zoning approval of course.

You see, the developer has been here before. He knows the ways of the local officials who approve and disapprove zoning changes on whim and fancy — or even the smallest of political pressure. The developer is not going to consummate the deal with the farmer until he knows that his proposed development is a go.

The farmer, old and worn-out, wants to retire and enjoy, along with his wife, his remaining years in leisure and comfort. This is certainly a reasonable request from someone who has worked the dirt in snow, rain, and blistering heat for decades. Who could reasonably question his desire? Commissioners and board members; those omniscient by vote and omnipotent by law.

Remember that the land was designated to be developed at only one home per acre, but the developer does not think he can make a go of it at that yield. Given the market in the area, there is no way for him to turn a profit due to the myriad of other regulatory hoops he will have to jump through in order to get approval for his development. A host of green-eyed bureaucrats see the proposed development as a tax revenue generator. The developer will have to build off-site roads and sewer improvements, donate a park or school site, and give away money to all those governments with their hands out. In addition, regional officials will balk at the proposal since it does not agree with their vision of the future.

So the developer, a Don Quixote at heart, decides to take on the zoning commission by proposing a variance to the zoning code and comprehensive plan. Mr. Developer needs to build one and a half homes per acre, a change that will require months of hearings where he will be badgered and attacked from the zoning commission and community members alike. The commissioners will request petty changes to the development’s conceptual plan based on vague building standards that they most likely do not understand. Is stucco created from natural and man-made materials a natural or artificial exterior? Does 50 microns of aluminum create a better look than 49 microns? Should sidewalks be required? How high should the entrance sign stand? Is fire-red a natural color? Is a 30-foot setback sufficient for future property values? The answers depend on which commissioner has the mike at the time.

Residents with property adjoining the development will complain loudly of supposed lost property values, traffic, and crime. In addition, they will attack the developer as evil incarnate bent on destroying the community. But those same voices will lose the rhetoric as soon as the developer offers all adjacent homeowners landscaping allowances. A few thousand in new trees planted in their backyard is enough to forgive any supposed loss in value, additional traffic, and hypothetical break-in.

This land is your land: $28

So the developer now agrees to build roads, upgrade sewer lines, donate parks with equipment, set aside a school site, and improve residential landscape. What is gently termed exaction is really extortion by another name. After zoning comes township trustees meetings and the process begins all over again. More exactions and more regulations, but trustee approval can be had if the developer does the dollar-dance long enough. Had the developer simply slid a rumpled paper bag of twenty’s across the table, a law would have been broken. Instead, the process occurs in the sunshine for all to see, and all to agree that more should have been given — or taken.

All agreed, with the exception of the developer and the forgotten farmer. You see, lost in all this is the simple desire of a farmer and his wife to retire and enjoy life, and maybe leave a little for their grandchildren. Every hand looking for a piece of the development pie is not robbing the developer and redistributing supposed unearned profits; those hands are robbing the farmer and his wife of their property value.

The risk of not passing zoning, the exactions, and readily available alternatives for investment are all reductions to the value the farmer could have obtained for his land absent zoning. The loss of value is recognized at the time the developer makes an offer for the land; the theft, on the other hand, occurs in front of the community that the farm family lived in for generations. It shows what damage a little money and power can cause in a community. Zoning is indeed theft.

Reprinted with kind permission from original source.

Posted to Mises.org 03/21/2006

Nowadays, Health Insurance Isn’t Really Insurance

Posted to Mises.org 07/30/2015

Due to Obamacare, my health plan has become something other than insurance. It is now, for the most part, nothing other than a wealth transfer scheme to benefit the politically connected over others.

In order to identify the difference between health insurance and government-mandated health care coverage, we can look to Human Action, in which Ludwig von Mises splits probability into class probability and case probability:

Class probability means: We know or assume to know, with regard to the problem concerned, everything about the behavior of a whole class of events or phenomena; but about the actual singular events or phenomena we know nothing but that they are elements of this class.

Case probability means: We know, with regard to a particular event, some of the factors which determine its outcome; but there are other determining factors about which we know nothing.

David Howden explains that events such as football matches and wars are events that fall under case probability. But those events do not lend themselves to insurance.

Indeed, Mises claims that only risk associated with class probability can be remediated by insurance. This is true because the number of payoffs is relatively predictable within a class, allowing premiums to be set that benefit both the insurer and the insured.

This is the way in which life insurance works, for example, as Howden explains:

Life insurance works because insurance companies can play the averages. Some people who own a life insurance policy will die before the insurance company earns enough money on the premiums to pay the death benefit. In this case the company loses money. It offsets these losses with the gains it makes on those who die long past the point where they have broken even on the premiums they have paid relative to the death benefit they will receive.

Discrimination in the life insurance market is not only a fact of life; it is fair. Every policy holder pays according to his odds of death. People are free to undertake risky activities, but they must pay the price. People who choose to live less risky lives — that is to say, avoiding those activities that increase one’s probability of death such as skydiving or smoking — lose out on the enjoyment these activities may provide, but they gain by paying less for life insurance.

Broken arms and certain diseases would also fall under class probability, and would also lend themselves toward being profitably insured in a functioning market.

But, due to changes resulting from Obamacare (as well as decades of government meddling), distortions in the market have thrown the health insurance market out of whack, and my health plan, and the plans of many others, now have high deductibles for “class probability” events such as broken arms, while providing “free” access to goodies that are only unpredictable in so far as I may or may not choose to use them, such as a “free” annual physical, birth control, and more.

As Mises knew, “insurance” that covers an event such as a voluntary checkup, bears little resemblance to what we would consider to be insurance in the proper sense. Nevertheless, the freebies (i.e., “insured” events) are numerous, not because insurance companies can calculate a way to profitably insure them, but because they are mandated, thanks to interest groups with access to legislators.

The Politics Behind Mandates

Nevertheless, because the distributed costs are minimal and unseen, while the benefits are concentrated and substantial, little opposition arises from voters to fight such transfers of wealth.

As an example, I pay an extra, say, $1 in monthly premiums so that someone else can reap $50 in benefits per month. Stack up those $1 premium increases among all payers and we begin talking real money. However, I have neither the time nor energy to oppose each $1 increase.

This process becomes obvious when, because of my high deductible, the infrequent and unpredictable accident that falls under class probability — my son breaks an arm — costs me thousands out of pocket, without any monetary benefit from my plan, while others celebrate access to goodies they should be purchasing on their own as uninsurable events.

It is as if, because of government interventions, my car insurance pays for upgrades to Sirius Satellite Radio (which I do not have), but, because of high deductibles, only pays a few thousand dollars should I have an accident that totals my car.

Insurance does still exist with regard to life, home, and auto. But it does not exist with regard to health in our present regulated economy. Health plans are wealth transfers that bestow known and predicable benefits on the few while leaving all at risk of the vagaries of life. So, let’s not claim that our system of government-regulated health care system is insurance.

Reprinted with kind permission from original source.

Posted to Mises.org 07/30/2015

Sorry we missed you flyers

Join Franklin County Libertarians canvasing for Ballot Access petition in neighborhoods around Columbus, Worthington, Gahanna and other communities!

Here are the “Sorry we missed you” flyers, front and back.

Franklin County – sorry_we missed_you

Franklin County – sorry_we_missed_you2

Warren County – warren-sorry_we_missed_you-front

Warren County – warren-sorry_we_missed_you-back

Want a flyer for your county? Leave a comment, and we’ll get that made!

Free Riders: Austrian v. Public Choice

Posted to Mises.org 07/13/2005

The latest exploits of Lance Armstrong in this year’s Tour de France provide a solid backdrop for discussions contrasting the economic ideas of the Austrian School and the adherents of Public Choice.

Public Choice is predicated on the belief that individual preferences can be known and quantified. From this simplistic view of Thymology, the Public Choice school deduces supposed economic laws regarding government interventions in the market. Government is required because acting man cannot negotiate agreements effectively with other self-seeking acting men.

The Austrian School starts from an aprioristic axiom that humans act by using means to obtain ends. Their ends are individualistic and self-centered. The Austrians do not claim to know unrevealed individual preferences nor do they deduce the need for government interventionism in the market. Acting man is able to create working arrangements with other acting men that benefit all involved.

OK. Good and well. But what about the Tour? How can a bicycle race be applied in discussions of economic theory? Simple. Cycling is an excellent reflection of the market. 198 professionals begin each year’s Tour with certain unrevealed goals. Sure, some end goals are widely known. For Lance, a seventh win. For Jan Ulrich, a chance to redeem himself. But what about the 196 other riders?

As in all sports, and all human activities for that matter, there are those few who sit at the pinnacle. The rest are simply one of the bunch. Sure they dream of winning the Tour, but more than likely they are concentrating on the wearing the best-in-the-mountains jersey, the best-in-the-sprints-jersey, winning a stage, or just securing a professional contract for next year.

Public Choice assumes that every racer has the same goals and will react like any other racer in all situations. The Austrians will have none of that. It is impossible to look at a rider and know for certain what he wants to achieve during any given day of the Tour. Certainly you may guess what his team has set for him but what really lies in his heart is unseen and unknown, at least until human action reveals his preferences.

In bicycle races, individual riders will typically “attack” the main field of riders in order to gain time over those other riders and a better chance of success. Better to be 1 of 4 in a small “breakaway” group at the finish line than 1 of 198 in the large field.

In order to gain time, riders must work together by taking turns leading and blocking the wind so that the following riders can rest awaiting their turn at the front. So there you have it, 4 riders with widely divergent preferences working together for a common goal. The four have established a de facto contract that is to everyone’s benefit, even though none knows the other’s true motives.

One may assume that they all are looking to win the stage. Possible. But it’s also likely that one just wants some time in front of the cameras, another wants to pad time on rivals, a third is there just to assist his team’s goals, and the fourth wants the win so bad he can taste it.

But how do the four create this ad hoc contract? A quick glance, a nod, a wink, or a few words exchanged is all that is required for the four riders at hand to build a successful coalition. Public Choice will have none of this reality. They say that negotiation cannot be frictionless and that only through government interventions can people agree to work together.

What about the “free rider?” In Public Choice theory, the “free rider” always gums up the works. The “free rider” causes coalitions to collapse and contracts not to be formed. Think there are no “free riders’ in the Tour.

Think again. Everyone wants to ride in a breakaway group for free. Who wouldn’t? Conservation of energy is important when you are racing over 2,000 miles in three weeks. But pressures internal to the coalition typically force the “free rider” to perform. In reality no one really knows if the all racers in the breakaway are giving their fullest effort because no one really knows other’s internalized desires and abilities.

There are always “free riders” or “free loaders” in all human activities. That becomes just another datum assumed when choosing amongst alternative choices. Every racer in the Tour understands this quite clearly. Accept it and move on.

Externalities? Come on: every action creates supposed externalities. Should Lance be taxed to offset help he received during the Tour from other riders who were actively pursuing their own selfish interest? Who would create and administer the Pigovian tax structure that would offset all of Lance’s gains and loses? Can even the Cray Supercomputer solve these equations and derive a payout before the 2006 Tour begins?

OK. Individual preferences unrevealed, externalities, “free riders” everywhere, and ad hoc contracts being agreed upon without legal signatures. But what about society? What is best for the collective group of 198 riders? Can this spontaneous order (or disorder, depending on your viewpoint) be best for all? Is this even close to Pareto optimality? It all depends. If you agree that each rider has unrevealed goals, throw that neoclassical equilibrium out the window. The impossible task becomes the creation of an aggregate demand curve.

So, assume that you can create this curve. What would you have? A Tour that functioned much like the Soviet economy. As stated above, all riders want to be “free loaders”, er “riders,” in that they don’t really want to suffer over a hundred miles of mountain roads if their needs were truly going to be met otherwise. Why sweat and pound the asphalt when you can lazily ride and occasionally stop to view the sights?

A couple of problems will arise. First, all riders cannot be designated the Tour champ – the Tour is not a Kindergarten class – so all needs cannot be met. In order to correct for this, the results would have to be created in a manner that approximated the regressed preferences of the aggregate field. Lance would probably remain champ and the other riders would be slotted into their likely finishing positions – all based on creating the efficient solution.

This lead to the second problem, this manner of racing would be slow and boring. Who would watch the riders literally tour France at a leisurely pace? Other than a spouse or two, probably just a few mothers, fathers and girlfriends. The Tour would be no more and 198 riders would be out of a job, all to satisfy some odd belief in equilibrium and utility. This is not a very satisfactory solution.

As you enjoy the Tour on TV remember that riders from many countries, speaking a host of different languages, are able to negotiate productive contracts that are mutually beneficial to both riders and viewers.

Reprinted with kind permission from original source.

Posted to Mises.org 07/13/2005

What does the Second Amendment mean and why do we have it?

Whenever there is a tragedy like school shootings and public gatherings being sprayed with bullets, we see two reactions. First, we see the inevitable cries by “gun control” groups pushing for more ways to control (or outright ban) firearms. Then, we see the inevitable backlash by “gun rights” groups pushing for a strict defense of the Constitution. Like most of our political system, we are stuck in the strange land of being presented only binary choices – “gun control” or “no gun control”. But, what does the Second Amendment mean and why do we have it?

A few housekeeping items. In the late 1700s, “militia” had the same common meaning as today – a non-professional fighting force comprised of citizens of a political territory. The term “regulate” has several definitions but the most useful from the 18th century is “to bring into conformity by training to principles and rules.”

Using this housekeeping, the Second Amendment states: “A well (trained fighting force of non-professional citizen soldiers) being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Unlike the rest of the amendments within the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment comes with a clause providing an explanation for it’s inclusion. This is unique to the Second Amendment not found in the rest of the Bill of Rights, which are provided directly and with assumed obvious need of it.

Born from Revolution, the Founders believed that the right of the people to keep and bear arms was fundamental to security from tyranny both foreign and domestic. Remember, the revolution was to throw off the tyranny of their own country and separate from it. An armed citizenry provides a great deterrent to would-be despots and invaders. If the deterrence fails, then we have the Arms to repel the aggressor. And they lived, much as we do now, in a world with aggressive regimes globally. This is also why the word used is Arms – not rifle, not musket, not firearms. All these terms were available in popular speech of the period which enhances the use of the broader term meant for instruments of war and personal protection – Arms.

The founders were tremendously fearful of standing armies and State control of Arms. The Founders embraced the Enlightenment ideal that standing armies are dangerous for many reasons including the high propensity to use it against others. Today, we have limited civilian ownership of Arms while we support a broad military with bases in over 70 countries and soldiers in over 150.

The philosophy of liberty does not come naturally to political leaders. Unfortunately, the use of control through power is nearly universal in government. An armed populace which knows how to use Arms makes those in power think twice about the cost to control citizens through aggression.

In the text, we see the Second Amendment protects a person’s right to keep and bear Arms will not be infringed, subject to being “well-regulated”. I don’t see a libertarian issue with the need to demonstrate training in the use of firearms. The demonstration of those skills needs to be to the citizenry itself and not through State sanctioning. Those lacking the mental temperament to control themselves lack the ability to demonstrate that they can be well-regulated. And lack of this ability to regulate oneself diminishes the ability of the rest to protect liberty through the deterrence effect preserved by the Second Amendment.

How Many Signatures to Get on the Ballot?

If you want to run for US Congress in Ohio District 15, how many validated signatures do you need to collect?

Any Ohioan that wants to run for political office must circulate petitions in their communities to collect signatures from valid registered Ohio voters.
Whether running for Governor, US Congress or local dog catcher, the petitions are a legally binding assertion that those voters agree that the candidate must be allowed on the ballot.

Major Party Candidate
50
Minor Party Candidate
25
Independent Candidate
1% of 336,807 = 3368 [1]

While voters signing a petition face no consequence for filling one out wrong, or not signing their name exactly the same as their voter card, candidates for office are regularly threatened with jail time and excessive fines for what amount to minor clerical errors and voter confusion about using cursive or printing their names.
Validating 50 or 25 voters is of no burden. Validating
several thousand voter signatures is significant burden.
This has left many law abiding and civic minded Ohioans cautious and discouraged from participating in the much needed political discourse that keeps this great state alive at its heart.

Get involved, sign the ballot access petition, donate, run for office, attend meetings, show up and make it happen.



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