Friday, April 16, 2010

Libertarian Chuck Donovan's Latest Writings at Donovan for US Senate

Update time folks,

Here's the latest essay over at Libertarian Candidate for US Senate Chuck Donovan's campaign website. After you read it head over there and volunteer!

Central Control of Natural and Manmade Disasters
“Government is a disaster masquerading as its own cure.” - L. Neil Smith

Dr. Richard Ebeling wrote an excellent article in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti. Dr Ebeling is the former president of the Foundation for Economic Education, (, of which I am a proud member. His article focuses on a humane, principled, and moral approach to a long-term solution for Haiti and other areas with similar economic conditions. His solutions are right along the lines of what true Libertarians understand completely.

“What the people of Haiti need are the individual liberty and secure property rights in an open, free market that can draw upon the creative potentials of the people themselves. No bureaucrats or politicians in either Washington, DC, or in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince possess a fraction of the knowledge about what needs to be done — how, where or when, and for whom — that is known by the 10 million Haitian people, themselves.

Yes, they can use all the assistance that any and all men of good will may choose to provide right now, but the recovery that can begin "tomorrow" can only come about by releasing the creative energy and abilities of the Haitian people. And that means that their government and other governments need to get out of the way and not make a market-based recovery process more difficult than it has to be.”

Dr. Ebeling points out the inefficiency and the danger of a government “rescue” for Haiti.

“Private charitable agencies have historically shown themselves to have a greater degree of flexibility, creativity, and adaptability to handle these types of emergencies than governments in the context of the conditions in the affected area.

But besides that, governments — however well intentioned and helpful their relief aid may be for victims of these disasters — often start thinking "bigger thoughts" about the need and desirability of a more permanent political helping hand in the nation affected.”

You should have no problem thinking of examples of the kind of thing Dr. Ebeling is talking about. Earlier this year, I also wrote about the typical creep of government towards “…a more permanent political helping hand…” on my issues page:

“Government always follows a similar pattern of reducing your freedoms and extending its tyranny. It steps in to “help”, always with good intention. However, because of its inherent limitations, government’s action always fails at some level. What should the government do then? Should it stop interfering and remove itself form the situation, or should it expand to fix the new problem? Government sees itself as the necessary solution and rushes in to fix the new problem. More unintended consequences result that in turn require further interference. Eventually, the government decides it “must” fully take over. This is the pattern governments have followed again and again throughout history. In the end, the only escape from such a situation is revolution. History has no shortage of examples, and the United States is no exception to the rule.” – Chuck Donovan

I believe the best quote from Dr. Ebeling’s article is this:

“All real and lasting change has to come from within individuals, themselves, and through them for their nation as a whole.”

People who are in love with government always see government as the best and brightest solution to everything. Nothing could be more wrong. When we turn away from cheerleading for Big Brother, we will see how much greater the strength of the individuals around us really is. Only then will real solutions be put into place in Haiti and all the other places where they are so desperately needed.

The mission is freedom.

The vision is now.

Below is Dr. Ebeling’s checklist for economic reform, something that would work well in the United States as well – if only we would try it.

Excerpted from: Real Economic Reform for a Hurting Haiti

Mises Daily: Monday, January 18, 2010 by Richard M. Ebeling

For it's long-term improvement, Haiti needs what Adam Smith, in his Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, called a "System of Natural Liberty":

Secure and defined private-property rights for all citizens that are recognized and enforced by the police and the legal system.

Secure and respected civil liberties that include freedom of speech, the press, and association — with freedom of association including the right of each individual to open and operate businesses, and peacefully compete in any type of enterprise without restrictive government regulation, licensing, or controls.

Government activities greatly limited to those basic but essential functions of recognizing and protecting the right of each individual to his life, liberty, and honestly acquired property. This includes a system of impartial rule of law with no political favors or privileges for some at the expense and disadvantage of others.

Low, transparent, and predictable taxes to fund those limited governmental activities, with no fiscal bias detrimental to savings, investment, and capital formation, which are necessary ingredients for sustainable rising standards of living in the future.

A stable and non-inflationary monetary system.

Freedom of trade, with no tariffs, quotas, or other regulatory restrictions on imports and exports. There also needs to be a positive attitude toward market-based foreign investments in the Haitian economy.

No politics of envy against "business" and the entrepreneurially successful, since it is private enterprise and creative and risk-taking businessmen in any society who are the "human engines" for growth, innovation, and competitive coordination of the economy.

Richard Ebeling teaches economics at Northwood University. He is former president of the Foundation for Economic Education and an adjunct scholar of the Mises Institute. He and his wife, Anna, live in Midland, Michigan, with their chocolate Labrador, Ludwig von Mises IV. Send him mail. See Richard M. Ebeling's

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