Free Book: Recovery A Guide to Reforming the U.S. Health Sector

recovery coverHealth care in the United States is not a free market.

  • U.S. residents are less free to make their own health decisions than residents of other nations.
  • Government controls a larger share of health spending in the United States than in Canada, the United Kingdom, and most other advanced nations.
  • State and federal governments subsidize low-quality medical care and penalize high-quality care. They block innovations that would otherwise reduce medical prices.

Recovery shows that making health care as universal as possible requires ending all barriers that government places in the way of better, more affordable, and more secure health care.”

Order the book on Amazon or download a free copy.

Amy Peikoff: Privacy is Not a Right

Amy Peikoff: Privacy is Not a Right

When it comes to privacy, Amy Peikoff is the gift that keeps on giving:

Examples like this are why it’s crucial to understand the true nature of #privacy.

Privacy is *not* a right. Rights, properly understood, cannot be “balanced” against one another anyway. But in this example, a thief’s “right” to privacy is held to potentially outweigh the package owner’s right to property. This is a complete inversion.

Privacy is a *state*–a state which human beings can create and maintain for themselves, using their fundamental rights to property and contract. …. If you understand privacy this way, you see how ludicrous it is to say that someone’s [right to] privacy can be violated by another’s legitimate assertion of his or her property right. Privacy, in reality, depends on having a right to property. Use privacy to undermine rights to property, and you end up undermining privacy itself. If you are on someone else’s porch, stealing a package that is not yours, you have zero right–call it privacy, or zingoflip or anything else you want to call it–to not be exposed.

Other gems:

As philosopher Ayn Rand observed, in her novel The Fountainhead, the progress of civilization has afforded human beings more privacy, which they have been able to use to think, to produce, to improve their health, and selectively share and enjoy their values. …

 

… Privacy–a crucial component of human flourishing–depends on govt respecting our rights to property & contract.

 

…We have the right to use our property—or to make contracts with others—to create states of privacy for ourselves and those we value.

 

…The third-party doctrine holds that, whenever you share information with a “third party” (bank, telephone co., social media, etc., etc.), you no longer have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in it and so there’s no 4th amendment warrant requirement.

Recommended Reading:

Javier Milei Speech at World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos

Javier Milei Speech at World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos

A transcript from the address by Javier Milei, President of Argentina, during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos.

Good afternoon. Thank you very much.

Today I’m here to tell you that the Western world is in danger. And it is in danger because those who are supposed to have to defend the values of the West are co-opted by a vision of the world that inexorably leads to socialism and thereby to poverty.

Unfortunately, in recent decades, the main leaders of the Western world have abandoned the model of freedom for different versions of what we call collectivism. Some have been motivated by well-meaning individuals who are willing to help others, and others have been motivated by the wish to belong to a privileged caste.

We’re here to tell you that collectivist experiments are never the solution to the problems that afflict the citizens of the world. Rather, they are the root cause. Do believe me: no one is in better place than us, Argentines, to testify to these two points.

Thirty five years after we adopted the model of freedom, back in 1860, we became a leading world power. And when we embraced collectivism over the course of the last 100 years, we saw how our citizens started to become systematically impoverished, and we dropped to spot number 140 globally.

But before having the discussion, it would first be important for us to take a look at the data that demonstrate why free enterprise capitalism is not just the only possible system to end world poverty, but also that it’s the only morally desirable system to achieve this.

If we look at the history of economic progress, we can see how between the year zero and the year 1800 approximately, world per capita GDP practically remained constant throughout the whole reference period.

If you look at a graph of the evolution of economic growth throughout the history of humanity, you would see a hockey stick graph, an exponential function that remained constant for 90% of the time and which was exponentially triggered starting in the 19th century.

The only exception to this history of stagnation was in the late 15th century, with the discovery of the American continent, but for this exception, throughout the whole period between the year zero and the year 1800, global per capita GDP stagnated.

Now, it’s not just that capitalism brought about an explosion in wealth from the moment it was adopted as an economic system, but also, if you look at the data, what you will see is that growth continues to accelerate throughout the whole period.

And throughout the whole period between the year zero and the year 1800, the per capita GDP growth rate remains stable at around 0.02% annually. So almost no growth. Starting in the 19th century with the Industrial Revolution, the compound annual growth rate was 0.66%. And at that rate, in order to double per capita GDP, you would need some 107 years.

Now, if you look at the period between the year 1900 and the year 1950, the growth rate accelerated to 1.66% a year. So you no longer need 107 years to double per capita GDP – but 66. And if you take the period between 1950 and the year 2000, you will see that the growth rate was 2.1%, which would mean that in only 33 years we could double the world’s per capita GDP.

This trend, far from stopping, remains well alive today. If we take the period between the years 2000 and 2023, the growth rate again accelerated to 3% a year, which means that we could double world per capita GDP in just 23 years.

That said, when you look at per capita GDP since the year 1800 until today, what you will see is that after the Industrial Revolution, global per capita GDP multiplied by over 15 times, which meant a boom in growth that lifted 90% of the global population out of poverty.

We should remember that by the year 1800, about 95% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty. And that figure dropped to 5% by the year 2020, prior to the pandemic. The conclusion is obvious.

Far from being the cause of our problems, free trade capitalism as an economic system is the only instrument we have to end hunger, poverty and extreme poverty across our planet. The empirical evidence is unquestionable.

Therefore since there is no doubt that free enterprise capitalism is superior in productive terms, the left-wing doxa has attacked capitalism, alleging matters of morality, saying – that’s what the detractors claim – that it’s unjust. They say that capitalism is evil because it’s individualistic and that collectivism is good because it’s altruistic. Of course, with the money of others.

So they therefore advocate for social justice. But this concept, which in the developed world became fashionable in recent times, in my country has been a constant in political discourse for over 80 years. The problem is that social justice is not just, and it doesn’t contribute to general well-being.

Quite on the contrary, it’s an intrinsically unfair idea because it’s violent. It’s unjust because the state is financed through tax and taxes are collected coercively. Or can any one of us say that we voluntarily pay taxes? This means that the state is financed through coercion and that the higher the tax burden, the higher the coercion and the lower the freedom.

Those who promote social justice start with the idea that the whole economy is a pie that can be shared differently. But that pie is not a given. It’s wealth that is generated in what Israel Kirzner, for instance, calls a market discovery process.

If the goods or services offered by a business are not wanted, the business will fail unless it adapts to what the market is demanding. They will do well and produce more if they make a good quality product at an attractive price. So the market is a discovery process in which the capitalists will find the right path as they move forward.

But if the state punishes capitalists when they’re successful and gets in the way of the discovery process, they will destroy their incentives, and the consequence is that they will produce less.

The pie will be smaller, and this will harm society as a whole. Collectivism, by inhibiting these discovery processes and hindering the appropriation of discoveries, ends up binding the hands of entrepreneurs and prevents them from offering better goods and services at a better price.

So how come academia, international organisations, economic theorists and politicians demonise an economic system that has not only lifted 90% of the world’s population out of extreme poverty but has continued to do this faster and faster?

Thanks to free trade capitalism, the world is now living its best moment. Never in all of mankind or humanity’s history has there been a time of more prosperity than today. This is true for all. The world of today has more freedom, is rich, more peaceful and prosperous. This is particularly true for countries that have more economic freedom and respect the property rights of individuals.

Countries that have more freedom are 12 times richer than those that are repressed. The lowest percentile in free countries is better off than 90% of the population in repressed countries. Poverty is 25 times lower and extreme poverty is 50 times lower. And citizens in free countries live 25% longer than citizens in repressed countries.

Now what is it that we mean when we talk about libertarianism? And let me quote the words of the greatest authority on freedom in Argentina, Professor Alberto Benegas Lynch Jr, who says that libertarianism is the unrestricted respect for the life project of others based on the principle of non-aggression, in defence of the right to life, liberty and property.

Its fundamental institutions are private property, markets free from state intervention, free competition, and the division of labour and social cooperation, in which success is achieved only by serving others with goods of better quality or at a better price.

In other words, capitalist successful business people are social benefactors who, far from appropriating the wealth of others, contribute to the general well-being. Ultimately, a successful entrepreneur is a hero.

And this is the model that we are advocating for the Argentina of the future. A model based on the fundamental principle of libertarianism. The defence of life, of freedom and of property.

Now, if the free enterprise, capitalism and economic freedom have proven to be extraordinary instruments to end poverty in the world, and we are now at the best time in the history of humanity, it is worth asking why I say that the West is in danger.

And I say this precisely because in countries that should defend the values of the free market, private property and the other institutions of libertarianism, sectors of the political and economic establishment are undermining the foundations of libertarianism, opening up the doors to socialism and potentially condemning us to poverty, misery and stagnation.

It should never be forgotten that socialism is always and everywhere an impoverishing phenomenon that has failed in all countries where it’s been tried out. It’s been a failure economically, socially, culturally and it also murdered over 100 million human beings.

The essential problem of the West today is not just that we need to come to grips with those who, even after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the overwhelming empirical evidence, continue to advocate for impoverishing socialism.

But there’s also our own leaders, thinkers and academics who are relying on a misguided theoretical framework to undermine the fundamentals of the system that has given us the greatest expansion of wealth and prosperity in our history.

The theoretical framework to which I refer is that of Neoclassical economic theory, which designs a set of instruments that, unwillingly or without meaning to, end up serving intervention by the state, socialism and social degradation.

The problem with Neoclassicals is that the model they fell in love with does not map reality, so they put down their mistakes to supposed market failures rather than reviewing the premises of the model.

Under the pretext of a supposed market failure, regulations are introduced. These regulations create distortions in the price system, prevent economic calculus, and therefore also prevent saving, investment and growth.

This problem lies mainly in the fact that not even supposed libertarian economists understand what the market is because if they did understand, it would quickly be seen that it’s impossible for there to be market failures.

The market is not a mere graph describing a curve of supply and demand. The market is a mechanism for social cooperation, where you voluntarily exchange ownership rights. Therefore based on this definition, talking about a market failure is an oxymoron. There are no market failures.

If transactions are voluntary, the only context in which there can be market failure is if there is coercion and the only one that is able to coerce generally is the state, which holds a monopoly on violence.

Consequently, if someone considers that there is a market failure, I would suggest that they check to see if there is state intervention involved. And if they find that that’s not the case, I would suggest that they check again, because obviously there’s a mistake. Market failures do not exist.

An example of the so-called market failures described by the Neoclassicals is the concentrated structure of the economy. From the year 1800 onwards, with the population multiplying by 8 or 9 times, per capita GDP grew by over 15 times, so there were growing returns which took extreme poverty from 95% to 5%.

However, the presence of growing returns involves concentrated structures, what we would call a monopoly. How come, then, something that has generated so much well-being for the Neoclassical theory is a market failure?

Neoclassical economists think outside of the box. When the model fails, you shouldn’t get angry with reality but rather with a model and change it. The dilemma faced by the Neoclassical model is that they say they wish to perfect the function of the market by attacking what they consider to be failures. But in so doing, they don’t just open up the doors to socialism but also go against economic growth.

For example, regulating monopolies, destroying their profits and destroying growing returns would automatically destroy economic growth.

However, faced with the theoretical demonstration that state intervention is harmful – and the empirical evidence that it has failed couldn’t have been otherwise – the solution proposed by collectivists is not greater freedom but rather greater regulation, which creates a downward spiral of regulations until we are all poorer and our lives depend on a bureaucrat sitting in a luxury office.

Given the dismal failure of collectivist models and the undeniable advances in the free world, socialists were forced to change their agenda: they left behind the class struggle based on the economic system and replaced this with other supposed social conflicts, which are just as harmful to life and to economic growth.

The first of these new battles was the ridiculous and unnatural fight between man and woman. Libertarianism already provides for equality of the sexes. The cornerstone of our creed is that all humans are created equal and that we all have the same inalienable rights granted by the Creator, including life, freedom and ownership.

All that the radical feminism agenda has led to is greater state intervention to hinder economic process, giving jobs to bureaucrats who have not contributed anything to society. Examples are ministries of women or international organisations devoted to promoting this agenda.

Another conflict presented by socialists is that of humans against nature, claiming that we human beings damage a planet which should be protected at all costs, even going as far as advocating for population control mechanisms or the abortion agenda.

Unfortunately, these harmful ideas have taken a stronghold in our society. Neo-Marxists have managed to co-opt the common sense of the Western world, and this they have achieved by appropriating the media, culture, universities and also international organisations.

The latter case is the most serious one, probably because these are institutions that have enormous influence on the political and economic decisions of their member states.

Fortunately there’s more and more of us who are daring to make our voices heard, because we see that if we don’t truly and decisively fight against these ideas, the only possible fate is for us to have increasing levels of state regulation, socialism, poverty and less freedom, and therefore, worse standards of living.

The West has unfortunately already started to go along this path. I know, to many it may sound ridiculous to suggest that the West has turned to socialism, but it’s only ridiculous if you only limit yourself to the traditional economic definition of socialism, which says that it’s an economic system where the state owns the means of production. This definition in my view, should be updated in the light of current circumstances.

Today, states don’t need to directly control the means of production to control every aspect of the lives of individuals. With tools such as printing money, debt, subsidies, controlling the interest rate, price controls, and regulations to correct so-called market failures, they can control the lives and fates of millions of individuals.

This is how we come to the point where, by using different names or guises, a good deal of the generally accepted ideologies in most Western countries are collectivist variants, whether they proclaim to be openly communist, fascist, socialist, social democrats, national socialists, Christian democrats, neo-Keynesians, progressives, populists, nationalists or globalists.

Ultimately, there are no major differences. They all say that the state should steer all aspects of the lives of individuals. They all defend a model contrary to the one that led humanity to the most spectacular progress in its history.

We have come here today to invite the Western world to get back on the path to prosperity. Economic freedom, limited government and unlimited respect for private property are essential elements for economic growth. The impoverishment produced by collectivism is not a fantasy, nor is it an inescapable fate. It’s a reality that we Argentines know very well.

We have lived through this. We have been through this because, as I said earlier, ever since we decided to abandon the model of freedom that had made us rich, we have been caught up in a downward spiral – a spiral by which we are poorer and poorer, day by day.

This is something we have lived through and we are here to warn you about what can happen if countries in the Western world, that became rich through the model of freedom, stay on this path of servitude.

The case of Argentina is an empirical demonstration that no matter how rich you may be, how much you may have in terms of natural resources, how skilled your population may be, how educated, or how many bars of gold you may have in the central bank – if measures are adopted that hinder the free functioning of markets, competition, price systems, trade and ownership of private property, the only possible fate is poverty.

Therefore, in conclusion, I would like to leave a message for all business people here and those who are not here in person but are following from around the world.

Do not be intimidated by the political caste or by parasites who live off the state. Do not surrender to a political class that only wants to stay in power and retain its privileges. You are social benefactors. You are heroes. You are the creators of the most extraordinary period of prosperity we’ve ever seen.

Let no one tell you that your ambition is immoral. If you make money, it’s because you offer a better product at a better price, thereby contributing to general wellbeing.

Do not surrender to the advance of the state. The state is not the solution. The state is the problem itself. You are the true protagonists of this story and rest assured that as from today, Argentina is your staunch and unconditional ally.

Thank you very much and long live freedom dammit!

Capitalism Q&A: Are all illegal immigrants criminals?

Capitalism Q&A: Are all illegal immigrants criminals?

Q. Are all illegal immigrants criminals?

A. Legally yes, and morally no.

The issue is complicated because a government can criminalize moral and just behavior.

In a just society, a criminal is defined as one who violates the rights of other individuals. The objective purpose of laws under laissez-faire capitalism is to explicitly delineate (in writing) what actions are violations of the unalienable individual rights, and how to deal with such violations. The operative word here is unalienable. Unalienable means that political rights are inherent in one’s nature as a rational being. The government is a means to protect those rights; it neither creates nor destroys those rights, though it can violate them, (See Ayn Rand’s essay “The Nature of Government.”) As such, it is the principle of individual rights that limits the scope of what government may properly criminalize. In sum, laws, government, and the very “rule of law,” are not ends in themselves, but are means to the protection of individual rights.

We are all criminals when the law makes living a crime (for a vivid illustration of this principle in great literature read Ayn Rand’s novel “We The Living.”) Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglas, and the signers of the Declaration of Independence were all “criminals” too. Good company to keep. A law that criminalizes actions that do not violate the rights of others is unjust and should be repealed.

Forcing productive people who are pro-American in spirit, to waste years of their lives and a good part of their fortune, to jump through a nearly impenetrable, subjective, and irrational maze of bureaucratic hoops, to migrate into a country to freely associate with other Americans who wish to deal with them, speaks volumes about the unjust nature of the present immigration regulations. Such is the state that represents America’s immigration and border controls. It makes it near impossible for productive, peace-loving immigrants to legally enter the country, while dismantling border security to make it easy for individuals who are objectively criminals (those who violate individual rights) to enter, both make a mockery of the rule of law. It punishes the good; and rewards the evil.

The essence of America is that it is a country born on a philosophy that recognizes the supreme political importance of individual rights (for details see her Declaration of Independence). Anti-border security is anti-American as it enables those who wish to violate the rights of others to enter the country; anti-immigration is anti-American as it prohibits individuals, whom Americans desire to live and associate with, from entering the country.

What is the solution? Secure the borders and shut down the gates to those who will violate the rights of others; while opening the immigration gates to productive, America-loving foreigners. The two are part and parcel of the same freedom-loving-American coin.

Let me close with a quote from the inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty:

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

It is time to restore that golden door to protect those who live in America and to fully open it to those who are yearning to breathe free.

Agustina Vergara Cid’s Message To Javier Milei: Freedom Isn’t Compatible with Anarchy

Agustina Vergara Cid’s Message To Javier Milei: Freedom Isn’t Compatible with Anarchy

Argentinian Agustina Vergara Cid, an associate fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute, has penned an excellent op-ed on Javier Milei’s reformation of the Argentinian government, observing that:

Milei seems to understand that eliminating government’s control over the economy is a must for human flourishing and prosperity – that government must get out of the way of individuals who want to produce and live freely (for instance, he’s eliminated the price controls that plagued the Argentinian economy for years). But as a self-described “anarcho-capitalist,” he holds a mistaken view of government: as recently as September, he’s stated that government is inherently evil and that true freedom can be only achieved through anarchism.

Not so, says Vergara Cid, “… government is not an unnecessary evil, but a necessary good,” writing that “Argentina’s anarcho-capitalist president Javier Milei must build, not just tear down”:

A civilized society should ban force from social relations, and to enforce this ban there needs to be an institution that holds a monopoly on force. Government is needed to guarantee freedom from physical force by protecting individual rights. To do this it must use force in retaliation against those who initiate it.

[…]Building strong government institutions is necessary to protect the rights of Argentinians. Argentina desperately needs a better police force and court system to implement better rule of law. Criminals run rampant, making safety a top concern leading up to the presidential election. Those criminals who are apprehended are routinely freed by judges. Judicial procedures take a long time, often rendering obsolete verdicts. Judges and other justice system workers often see their independence compromised, especially in cases involving challenges to the political power of corrupt officials.

While most of Milei’s proposed reforms have been about tearing down improper government controls, the new president is also making moves to actively protect the rights of Argentinians by specifying proper governmental actions. For instance, Milei’s government has empowered the police force to prevent and break up the massive pickets and public street blockades that for decades have been restricting Argentinians right to move and causing untold damage.

While the new reforms are overall good signs, the question of Milei’s anarcho-capitalism remains. Freedom isn’t compatible with anarchy. Freedom requires a good government limited to protecting the rights of individuals. Government should leave people free –  by guaranteeing their rights. Milei, who’s shown signs of intellectual growth, will hopefully continue to help build the necessary governmental institutions to do just that and to be persuaded of the need to rebuild the good, not just tear down the bad

Learn more about the importance of good government by reading Ayn Rand’s essay The Nature of Government.

Mark Cuban in a DEI Bubble

Mark Cuban in a DEI Bubble

In a post on X, defending DEI, Mark Cuban writes:

Let me help you out Mr. Cuban (as a fan of your cost-plus drugs business) because when it comes to DEI you seem well-meaning, but live in a bubble.

When advocates of DEI say “diversity, equity, and inclusion” what they mean is the opposite of those words’ common meaning.

DEI is pure doublespeak for racism/tribalism, egalitarian wealth redistribution, and exclusion.

It has both a physical tribalist/collectivist element and an intellectual anti-reason/anti-individualism/anti-capitalism element.

  • “Diversity” does not mean diversity of people with a plurality of ideas, but means not hiring people of all colors based on merit, but hiring physically on racial/tribal preferences (not Asian, not white), and intellectually by their obeisance to their ideology (thus Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, and the like, are seen as race traitors who are “not black.”). “Diversity” through the “progressive” lens of “social justice” is unvarnished racism. It means to hire someone over a more qualified candidate because the less qualified candidate is from an “oppressed” tribe. It is injustice. (Hiring a POC that others miss, because they benefit your company, and not because of their race (MLK’s principle of “color blindness”) is called the profit-motive, think of the case of Jackie Robinson in baseball.)
  • “Equity”, does not mean treating people equally, but means redistributing the wealth, not to those who have earned it, but to those who cannot earn it, and don’t deserve it, such as Claudine Gay, who despite her complete lack of academic integrity, will keep her $900,000 paycheck.
  • “Inclusion” means to only include the preferred physical people of color (“POC”) and other alphabet classes. It means to especially exclude those who think differently (those who support liberal values instead of “progressive” ones). Observe that the overwhelming number of college professor hires lean to the “far left.” DEI advocates say they are “fighting oppression,” when they are the oppressors.

Investor Bill Ackman once thought as you did, until he visited Harvard:

“I ultimately concluded that antisemitism was not the core of the problem, it was simply a troubling warning sign – it was the “canary in the coal mine” – despite how destructive it was in impacting student life and learning on campus. I came to learn that the root cause of antisemitism at Harvard was an ideology that had been promulgated on campus, an oppressor/oppressed framework, that provided the intellectual bulwark behind the protests, helping to generate anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hate speech and harassment. Then I did more research. The more I learned, the more concerned I became, and the more ignorant I realized I had been about DEI, a powerful movement that has not only pervaded Harvard, but the educational system at large. I came to understand that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was not what I had naively thought these words meant.”

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Property Rights: The Discovery That Built the World

Property Rights: The Discovery That Built the World

A recently published book by Rowan Moore, Property: The Myth That Built the World, argues that, while private property might benefit individuals, it is ultimately harmful to society. The book’s description on Amazon states that the book “offers hope for how things could be better, with reform that might enable the social wealth of property to be returned to society.”

Because I have not read the book and have no intention of doing so, I do not know what “evidence” Moore offers for his thesis. However, it is clear from the book’s description that the author’s concept of property is flawed.

Property is created when the resources provided by nature are transformed into human values. While many people may be involved in that transformation, it is individuals—and specifically individual minds—that discover how to make that transformation possible. Through thought and physical effort, individuals, not society, create property.

As Ayn Rand correctly noted,

We can divide a meal among many men. We cannot digest it in a collective stomach. No man can use his lungs to breathe for another man. No man can use his brain to think for another. All the functions of body and spirit are private. They cannot be shared or transferred.

Like all collectivists, Moore regards society as some kind of super-organism that is superior to the individuals comprising society. According to collectivists, individuals do not exist for their own personal happiness but only to serve the group. According to this view, accomplishments—including the creation of human values—are not the result of individual thought and effort, but of the collective.

In all of its variants, such as socialism, communism, and fascism, collectivism seeks the elimination of private property. It subordinates individuals and their achievements to the group.

If we reject collectivism, we see society as merely a number of individuals who live and trade together. We see individuals are independent beings with a moral right to pursue their own happiness. And we see property, not as something harmful to society, but essential to enabling individuals to live happy, flourishing lives. – Brian Phillips

Straight out of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: Attacks on Business Atlas Elon Musk

Straight out of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged: Attacks on Business Atlas Elon Musk

From a list courtesy of End Wokeness, comments by Brownstone’s Jeffrey Tucker writing on The Multifront Attack on Business Hero Elon Musk:

The SEC has sued Musk over the purchase of the platform. According to the New York Times, “his takeover has been the subject of several lawsuits and investigations by the federal authorities. The Federal Trade Commission has probed whether X had the resources to protect users’ privacy after he laid off much of its staff and several senior executives responsible for privacy and security resigned. The agency has also sought to depose Mr. Musk. Former Twitter shareholders have also sued Mr. Musk for fraud in a case related to his belated disclosure of his stake in the company.”

The FTC has demanded internal X documents. Says The Hill: “the FTC has sent more than a dozen letters to Twitter since Musk completed his acquisition in October. It states that the agency has demanded Twitter provide internal communications “relating to Elon Musk” from any Twitter employee, information about the platform’s Twitter Blue verification subscription service and the names of journalists who were granted access to Twitter records.”

The Biden Department of Justice has sued SpaceX…get this…for not hiring refugees for secret rocket technology. CNN says: “The suit claims that ‘from at least September 2018 to May 2022, SpaceX routinely discouraged asylees and refugees from applying and refused to hire or consider them, because of their citizenship status, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA),’ according to an August 24 DOJ news release.”

The Biden Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commision have sued Tesla over improper perks. Forbes says: “The widened investigation comes after federal prosecutors and the SEC began probing a secret Tesla project known as Project 42 that employees described as a glass house for Musk in the Austin, Texas, area near Tesla’s factory, the Journal reported in August.”

The Biden Department of Justice has opened a criminal investigation against Tesla over self-driving cars. Reuters reports: “The U.S. Department of Justice launched the previously undisclosed probe last year following more than a dozen crashes, some of them fatal, involving Tesla’s driver assistance system Autopilot, which was activated during the accidents, the people said.” The presumption here is preposterous: that Elon doesn’t care if his product is flawed and doesn’t desire improvement.

There is a federal investigation of Neuralink. Reuters again: “Elon Musk’s Neuralink, a medical device company, is under federal investigation for potential animal-welfare violations amid internal staff complaints that its animal testing is being rushed, causing needless suffering and deaths, according to documents reviewed by Reuters and sources familiar with the investigation and company operations.”

Then there is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigation over harassment at Tesla. The EEOC says: “Since at least 2015 to the present, Black employees at Tesla’s Fremont, California manufacturing facilities have routinely endured racial abuse, pervasive stereotyping, and hostility as well as epithets… Slurs were used casually and openly in high-traffic areas and at worker hubs. Black employees regularly encountered graffiti, including variations of the N-word, swastikas, threats, and nooses, on desks and other equipment, in bathroom stalls, within elevators, and even on new vehicles rolling off the production line.”

Finally, we have the aggressive advertising boycott on the part of major corporations, including Disney, CNBC, Comcast, Warner Bros, IBM, and the Financial Times, among many others. Musk has refused to be intimidated by these people. He has said that he refuses to be blackmailed by money and instead told the companies to “Go f*** yourself.” Which is rather remarkable and really does speak to a major problem in social media today, which is the extent to which so many platforms are willing to do the bidding of the corporatist system in order to serve the bottom line.

Read the rest.

Capitalism Q&A: Modern China, Material Progress & Communism

Capitalism Q&A: Modern China, Material Progress & Communism

Q. Why haven’t other countries adopted communism given China’s material improvement?

A. China’s material improvement is a result of moving away from communism (socialist economy) towards a freer market and property rights (which even Cuba has done partially).

Q. Will we see more communist countries?

A. Yes, as anti-capitalism is preached by the intellectuals (professors, teachers, journalists) in other countries. See Ayn Rand’s For The New Intellectual.

Justin Amash on the Colorado Supreme Court Removing Trump Off the Voting Ballot

Justin Amash on the Colorado Supreme Court Removing Trump Off the Voting Ballot

Posts Amash on X:

The opinion of the Colorado Supreme Court is shameful and runs completely counter to our constitutional system.

Donald Trump was not removed from office by Congress for engaging in insurrection.

Donald Trump has not been criminally convicted in a court of law of engaging in insurrection.

Whatever you believe about whether Donald Trump engaged in insurrection has no bearing on whether he’s eligible to run for president.

No legislative, executive, or judicial body of a state should engage in extraconstitutional decision-making to disqualify a federal candidate from the ballot.

This isn’t accountability; it’s an assault on due process of law.

It undermines our electoral system and threatens every federal candidate for office.

In the name of freedom, we must outlaw freedom to stop Trump!

Agustina Vergara Cid’s Message To Javier Milei: Freedom Isn’t Compatible with Anarchy

Prospects for Argentina Under Javier Milei? Interview with Economist Richard Salsman

Amy Peikoff has a wonderful interview with economist Richard Salsman, founder and president of InterMarket Forecasting, Inc., a professor of political economy at Duke University, a senior fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, about the prospects for Argentina under its new president, advocate of the free-market, and classical liberal Javier Milei.

 

Conference: Desocializing American Medicine

Conference: Desocializing American Medicine

Watch free online.

 

Our national conversation of how to fix American healthcare is based on a decades-long pretense: that America has a free market in medicine, or had one until recently. Reforming American healthcare has been a question of whether, or how quickly, America should join the rest of the developed world in adopting socialized medicine. However Americans have lived under mostly socialized medicine since the advent of Medicare in 1965, and the state of the American healthcare market was hardly free prior to that.

Despite pockets of vitality, American healthcare is sick. Yet we have been offered different variations of more socialized medicine as the only cure. This event offers a radical and new cure: desocializing American medicine.

Join us for a series of talks and panels by philosophers and physicians who demonstrate that: (1) it has always been the lack of freedom in medicine that causes the problems to which socialization and regulation are demanded as solutions; (2) a truly free market in medicine is a moral and practical imperative; and (3) there are practicable first steps that would improve the healthcare of Americans in the short term by moving us (longer-term) in the direction of this ideal.

 

salem desocialize med

Schedule:

  • 10-11 – ‘Freeing the Medical Mind’ By Greg Salmieri, Senior Scholar of Philosophy, Salem Center for Public Policy, University of Texas at Austin
  • 11-12 – ‘Government and American Medicine: a brief history’ By Amesh Adalja MD, FACP, FACEP, FIDSA
  • 1-2:30 – Panel 1 —The Doctor-Client Relationship with Michael Cannon, MA, JM, Director of Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute; Arthur Astorino, MD and co-founder of Americans for Freedom of Choice in Medicine (AFCM); Richard Parker, MD, ABEM, ACEP, TMA; Michael Garrett, MD
  • 2:30-4 – Panel 2 —Decontrolling American Healthcare with Jared Rhoads, MS, MPH, and founder of the Center for the Study of Health Policy and Individual Rights; Michael Kauffman MD PhD, Boards of Directors; Jared Seehafer, MS RAC, CEO & Cofounder, Enzyme; Colleen Smith MD, FACEP
  • 4:15-5:15 – ‘How to Desocialize Medicine‘ By Don Watkins, best-selling author of Free Market Revolution and Equal is Unfair
  • 5:15-6:00 – Closing Panel
Understanding Marxism

Understanding Marxism

1.  “The enemy of being is having” (from The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844).

2.  “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” (from Critique of the Gotha Program, 1875).

3.  “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point, however, is to change it” (from Theses on Feuerbach, 1845).

Victor David Hanson on the Double Standards in Judging Israel and Hamas

Victor David Hanson on the Double Standards in Judging Israel and Hamas

Victor David Hanson on the double standards in judging Israel and Hammas:

It is hard to think of any precivilizational act that Hamas did not relish. Their death work included but was not limited to executions, torture, beheadings, desecration of corpses, rape, necrophilia, incinerating people alive, dismemberment, and hostage-taking. The captured killers mentioned that their Hamas leaders expressly ordered them to behead and mutilate. All that and more are what Ivy League and Stanford students apparently believe to be legitimate forms of “resistance”—and by their support have now become party to.

The Democratic Left is screaming “proportionality” and “stop the cycle of violence” at Israel to cease their retaliatory attempts to destroy Hamas. Their apparent theory is that Hamas has an inherent right to invade and commit barbarities while continuously shooting thousands of rockets hourly and with impunity at Israeli civilians—and yet any response that inadvertently kills Gazan civilians, perhaps most likely impressed Gazans used as shields by Hamas, constitutes a war crime.

So in the unhinged West, it is now a more moral act to launch rockets designed only to kill civilians than it is to take out those killing pads. From the Hamas prisoners’ own admissions, and from their videos of the attack, it is additionally clear that many Gazancitizens were eager to tag along in the killing, torture, and looting—albeit only once it became clear to them that the targets were mostly unarmed women, children, infants, and the elderly, and the IDF was not there in force.

 

Israel vs. a Death Cult

Israel vs. a Death Cult

Writes Victor Davis Hanson on Twitter on Israel vs a Death Cult:

Some nuggets:

It is not really a war. …During peace and on a holiday, they entered Israel in a long-planned hit operation to murder civilians and take captives, focusing specifically on butchering the most vulnerable—the elderly, women, children, and infants—and in the most grotesque fashion imaginable. …By preplanned design, women were raped, and children and infants were burned alive, bound and executed, and (yes) beheaded. The dead were often mutilated. Some 1,400 Israelis were butchered, the vast majority civilians. Some 3,500-4,500 were wounded. Hamas never planned to stage a preemptive war against the Israeli military. Its only agenda was to send killers to unprotected villages to murder the unarmed as they slept—in the manner of Nazi Einsatzgruppen and other mobile death squads on the Eastern Front. Almost immediately they counted on using hostages, human shields, and the media to avoid any accounting from the IDF.

To distract from the murder mission, Hamas launched some 5,000 rockets—all intended as terror weapons to strike civilians, in the fashion of the V-1 and V-2 attacks on London. What followed is the most asymmetrical “war” in memory. The IDF is the only military in the world told to be “proportionate” in its use of retaliatory force—not the U.S. after 9/11, and not Ukraine after February 24, 2022. No Arab army or terrorist cadre has ever waged a war under the rules of “proportionality”.

[…]

Gaza is not anyone’s“colony”. It has been autonomous since 2006-7. No free Israeli Arab Muslim citizen would willingly emigrate there to live under the dictatorship of Hamas. And for good reason. Gaza has been the recipient of aggregate billions in cash from the Gulf monarchies, Europe, the US, the UN. and expatriate remittances. The more money came in, the less Hamas had any intention of using it to serve its people. Most of the gifted funds were used to build the world’s largest subterranean city of death, to buy drones and rockets, and to pay gunmen to kill Jews.

[…]

Only Hamas is deliberately targeting civilians. Hamas fires its rockets at Israeli civilians from hospitals, schools, UN facilities, and mosques. Again, note the logic: Hamas assumes that Israel fights wars more humanely than Hamas itself does, and so will both try to avoid Hamas’s Palestinian human shields, and of course never itself employ such a barbaric tactic—since, among other humane reasons, Israeli civilians would attract, rather than deflect a Hamas rocket.

Victor David Hanson on the Double Standards in Judging Israel and Hamas

Journo: Nothing Less Than Victory Against Hamas

Elan Journo writes in the OC Register:

Why hasn’t Israel used its superior military power to defeat Hamas? A major factor is that Israel’s leaders themselves lack the moral confidence to act resolutely to protect the individual rights of their citizens. Evidence of this can be seen in Israel’s continual bowing to pressure from Washington and the UN to “de-escalate” and to show “restraint.” This is rooted in the moral idea that one must turn the other cheek, that it’s wrong to pursue one’s self-interest, that a powerful, wealthy victim must appease a less-powerful, have-not aggressor.

Read After Israel’s ‘Pearl Harbor,’ nothing less than victory against Hamas is demanded.

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