Your Labor is Your Labor Day

by Ken Penkowski

It’s Labor Day 2015 today, here in Wake County (and probably where you are, if that “where” is in the U.S.) If you are a member of the productive class, you are probably celebrating the last long weekend of summer and not thinking too much of it. If you are in the ruling class, working for some government bureaucracy, thank you for being a little less of a burden on the rest of us today.

And while this government holiday’s stated purpose—to recognize “the social and economic achievements of American workers”—sounds admirable, the litany of regulation, licensing and taxation that face today’s productive American worker does everything possible to retard those achievements. According to the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, the “land of the free” doesn’t even break into the global top ten.

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State Budget Squabble Continues

While the two parties that control the state legislature (House Republicans and Senate Republicans) continue their squabble over the budget, school districts and local governments must try to stumble along without knowing how much money they can spend.

Becki Gray, vice president for outreach at the John Locke Foundation, offers some advice on how to fill in the details. She begins with a suggestion to "be honest in our accounting."

"Count all spending, including capital and repairs and renovation reserves, grants, etc," she advises. "Keep it all lined up online. No accounting gimmicky allowed."

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Serf's Up

Serf’s up, comrade! Quit your Stalin, and like the video! A new Austrian Economics music video from the Future of Freedom Foundation, called Serfdom USA! If you like the Beach Boys and Hayek, then this is a video you won’t want to Mises!

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Why Are Libertarians Different? Intent vs. Outcome

This article was featured in The Advocates for Self-Government's weekly newsletter, The Liberator Online. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here. You can also read it in full on their website here. 

By Bret Bittner 

We may look the same. We may use the same language. We put our pants on one leg at a time. Most of us, anyway. 

We certainly have a unique way of thinking though. 

Brett BittnerOf course, our first instinct is not to suggest that “there ought to be a law.” That is the beginning of how we differ from non-libertarians. 

The basis of not defaulting to government intervention lies a bit deeper than instinct. We want a lot of the same results: a well-educated society, an end to homelessness, peace with our neighbors, and the freedom to live our lives.

We also like to point out unintended consequences of policy decisions. Inevitably, every government policy idea devised sought to solve a problem, but not everyone follows where that policy idea takes us beyond the policymaker’s intent. 

Libertarians recognize intent for what it is. We recognize that someone, somewhere intended their idea to fix an existing problem, prevent a future problem, or make lives better. We also see past intent to look at what happens when this intended solution gets implemented. We see whether it, or something similar, worked in the past. We also examine what we describe as unintended consequences that are likely to occur if the policymakers enact the proposed solution.

We focus on outcome. 

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