Dec

18

Posted by : Brian | On : December 18, 2013

You’re never going to believe this. I actually finished a book.

I know what you’re thinking. “Economics? Sounds….riveting!” Well, no. I don’t think that I could say “riveting” is the right word, but it did keep my attention for the most part.

With my recent decision to leave the Marine Corps at the end of my current enlistment, I’ve been forced to actually look at my future. Crazy, right? I had to go back to the 3rd grade question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” While being an astronaut still sounds intriguing (If only to say that I walked on the moon), it is clearly not my passion. If you know me at all, you know I’m passionate about politics.

If you could wait on the public trial and hanging, that’d be great.

That passion I have leads me to believe that I have a future in politics, so I plan to run for office upon departing the military. I still have 2 1/2 years to go, which may seem like a long time, but it is a relatively short time to prepare myself to run for an elected position. These 2 1/2 years will mostly be spent nailing down principles that I believe to be important for our state and/or country.

Two areas of politics that I am admittedly poor in (for now) are economics and international affairs. Now is the time to fix that – hence the reading of this book. It also ties in nicely with the theme of this blog – apathetic no longer.

Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt covers the very basics of economics and dispels many of the current myths and beliefs of economists and politicians today. The opening sentence in the preface is “This book is an analysis of economic fallacies that are at last so prevalent that they have almost become a new orthodoxy.”

Some of the topics Hazlitt covers:
The Broken Window Fallacy
Government Price-Fixing
Minimum Wage Laws Also here and here.
Rent Control
Unions
Inflation
Much, much more…

The book is very easy to read and is intended for newbie economists such as myself. I would highly recommend this book for every person as a citizen, and you could probably stop there (unless you want to go further, which I will). It is clear and concise enough that will help you understand the danger and harm of feel-good laws that are intended to help those in need. Be an informed citizen and voter!

Best of all, you don’t even have to buy it. It’s free right here.

 

Apr

15

Posted by : Brian | On : April 15, 2013

 

“Could America exist without an income tax? The idea seems radical, yet in truth America did just fine without a federal income tax for the first 126 years of its history.
Prior to 1913, the government operated with revenues raised through tariffs, excise taxes, and property taxes, without ever touching a worker’s paycheck. In the late 1800s, when Congress first attempted to impose an income tax, the notion of taxing a citizen’s hard work was considered radical! Public outcry ensued; more importantly, the Supreme Court ruled the income tax unconstitutional. Only with passage of the 16th Amendment did Congress gain the ability to tax the productive endeavors of its citizens.
Yet don’t we need an income tax to fund the important functions of the federal government? You may be surprised to know that the income tax accounts for only approximately one-third of federal revenue. Only 10 years ago, the federal budget was roughly one-third less than it is today. Surely we could find ways to cut spending back to 1990 levels, especially when the Treasury has single year tax surpluses for the past several years. So perhaps the idea of an America without an income tax is not so radical after all.
The harmful effects of the income tax are obvious. First and foremost, it has enabled government to expand far beyond its proper constitutional limits, regulating virtually every aspect of our lives. It has given government a claim on our lives and work, destroying our privacy in the process. It takes billions of dollars out of the legitimate private economy, with most Americans giving more than a third of everything they make to the federal government. This economic drain destroys jobs and penalizes productive behavior. The ridiculous complexity of the tax laws makes compliance a nightmare for both individuals and businesses. All things considered, our Founders would be dismayed by the income tax mess and the tragic loss of liberty which results.”
-Ron Paul
May 7, 2001 “case against the income tax.”