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Posts tagged as “Liberty”

The Kansas Gambling Law I’d Vote For

Here's the one law concerning gambling in Wichita and Kansas that I would vote for: "All laws prohibiting and regulating gambling in Kansas are hereby repealed."

That's the only law consistent with personal freedom and liberty.

The law that has been passed, however, provides more power for the state and more opportunities to regulate our lives.

Even casino supporters concede large social costs will accompany a casino. As we have government that stands willing to pay these costs, the taxpayer will suffer these costs.

In the balance, the expansion of state bureaucracy, tax collection, and regulation, plus the social costs that the state believes it must shoulder; these considerations outweigh our freedom to gamble.

Toward a Free America

The libertarian creed, finally, offers the fulfillment of the best of the American past along with the promise of a far better future. Even more than conservatives, who are often attached to the monarchical traditions of a happily obsolete European past, libertarians are squarely in the great classical liberal tradition that built the United States and bestowed on us the American heritage of individual liberty, a peaceful foreign policy, minimal government, and a free-market economy. Libertarians are the only genuine current heirs of Jefferson, Paine, Jackson, and the abolitionists.

A Free Society: It’s Not All About Country

The opening words of Capitalism and Freedom, by Milton Friedman, written around 1962:

In a much quoted passage in his inaugural address, President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country.” It is a striking sign of the temper of our times that the controversy about this passage centered on its origin and not on its content. Neither half of the statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society.

The miracle and morality of the market

In this short article we learn the simple mechanism that makes our economy work so well. Interfering with that mechanism is not only harmful, it is immoral.

Gambling study flawed. Ask casino workers.

Did you know that a study used to promote the economic development benefits of gambling in Wichita has casino workers paying for a large part of the social costs of gambling?

No more smoking laws, please

There is no doubt in my mind that smoking cigarettes and breathing secondhand smoke are harmful to health. If a young person asked my advice as to whether to smoke cigarettes, I would strongly urge them to avoid smoking.

But it doesn't follow that we should have laws against smoking, or laws that govern how businesses such as bars and restaurants must accommodate smokers and non-smokers.

I have nothing to offer

One of the appeals of big government is that is has so much to offer everyone. Those, myself included, who want government to radically reduce its size, intrusiveness, and power have nothing to offer except freedom and liberty. Sadly, those things don't seem to matter to many people today. Or perhaps people have forgotten what these words mean and how much government infringes on both.

Consider carefully all costs of gambling in Wichita

In a free society dedicated to personal liberty, people should be able to gamble. But that's not what we have, as in a free society dedicated to personal liberty, people wouldn't be taxed to pay for the problems that others cause in the pursuit of their happiness.

How does this relate to the issue of casino gambling in Wichita and Kansas?

Economics In One Lesson, 50th Anniversary Edition

This book, first published in 1946, explains common fallacies (a false or mistaken idea) that are particularly common in the field of economics and public policy.

Lack of Literacy is Threat to Liberty

Writing in a recent commentary, Stephen M. Lilienthal of the Free Congress Foundation expresses concern over the literacy skills of recent college graduates. The findings of some recent studies are quite troubling.

Consider carefully all costs of gambling in Wichita

In a free society dedicated to personal liberty, people should be able to gamble. But that's not what we have, as in a free society dedicated to personal liberty, people wouldn't be taxed to pay for the problems that others cause in the pursuit of their happiness.

How does this relate to the issue of casino gambling in or near Wichita?

The misplaced morality of public officials

In Wichita some public officials, particularly mayor Carlos Mayans, are seeking to eliminate adult businesses and stores selling pornography. This focus on private morality lies in sharp contrast with government's large-scale acts of public immorality.

The Law by Frederic Bastiat

About a year ago I became acquainted with the writings of the economist Walter E. Williams. After reading his foreword to this book, I understand -- as Williams says himself -- how important Bastiat's writings are. As Williams says:

Reading Bastiat made me keenly aware of all the time wasted, along with the frustrations of going down one blind alley after another, organizing my philosophy of life. The Law did not produce a philosophical conversion for me as much as it created order in my thinking about liberty and just human conduct.

And then this:

...Bastiat's greatest contribution is that he took the discourse out of the ivory tower and made ideas on liberty so clear that even the unlettered can understand them and statists cannot obfuscate them. Clarity is crucial to persuading our fellowman of the moral superiority of personal liberty.

I am tempted to repeat in full Dr. Williams's foreword, but you would do well to read it yourself.

The Law is a book about liberty and justice. One of the most important things I learned from reading this book is that the proper function of the law is not to create justice, but to prevent injustice. This makes the laws we should have quite simple. Instead of deciding how much to take from us in the form of taxes (plunder) and how to distribute it, laws should protect us from plunder.

Let free markets, not laws, regulate smoking

Today, in the town of Hutchinson, Kansas, an indoor smoking ban takes effect. I hope Wichita does not pass the same law. I believe the evidence that shows smoking is tremendously harmful to the health of the smoker, and also dangerous to those around the smoker. Personally, I don't care to be around smokers and I take measures to avoid places where I will be exposed to cigarette smoke. So shouldn't I favor a smoking ban in Wichita?

Vioxx and personal liberty

A recent column by Thomas Sowell titled Free lunch 'safety': Part II (a link to part one is here) started with this paragraph:

"The government will allow you to risk your life for the sake of recreation by sky-diving, mountain climbing or any number of other dangerous activities. But it will not allow you to risk your life for the sake of avoiding arthritis pain by taking Vioxx."

On Seatbelts and Helmets

I believe there is little doubt that it is foolhardy to be in an automobile without wearing seatbelts, or to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helmet. Someone inevitably claims that it is better to be thrown clear of the wreckage than to be trapped inside. But ask any race car driver -- they who witness crashes all the time and may have even been in several -- if they would dare take to the track without making use of their extensive belting systems.

I believe it would be nice if we had the right to drive automobiles without wearing seatbelts, and to ride motorcycles without wearing helmets. These acts, while dangerous to the actor, don't pose any real threat to others. If the person who crashes into my car isn't wearing their seatbelt, it doesn't change my likelihood of injury to my body. It does, however, greatly increase the danger to my wallet, and that's where I draw the line.

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