Campaign for Liberty candidate survey

To mark and celebrate this Constitution Day (marking the date in the year 1787 that delegates in Philadelphia signed the U.S. Constitution), posting answers to the Campaign for Liberty’s 2020 survey for federal candidates seems appropriate.

Although my campaign did not receive the survey, it should come as no surprise that my answers to each of the following questions would be “Yes”.

As many may know, Campaign for Liberty chairman Ron Paul was the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate in 1988. Adherence to libertarian principles not only helps make for consistent and predictable policy outcomes, it also helps protect against “regime uncertainty.”

In liberty,

Rob Latham

Service Limits — “We Can (All) Be Heroes”

Perhaps you are familiar with the organization U.S. Term Limits, which advocates for the replacement of professional politicians with citizen legislators at all levels of government.

You may also be familiar with the limits federal law imposes on political actors who become market actors. SeeUnderstanding the Revolving Door: How Ethics Rules Apply to Your Job Seeking and Post-Government Employment Activities.”

To aid in understanding, a discussion of some terms and concepts follows.

The non-aggression principle supports each individual’s inherent worth and dignity (self-ownership) and opposes the initiation of force against any individual.

Power means the initiation of force, also known as aggression, and is distinguishable from the defensive use of force. Only federal, state, and local agencies possess power; individuals and firms do not possess power.

Free market means a condition in which goods and services may be exchanged freely and voluntarily. Individuals and firms operate primarily in a free market (market actors); those employed by federal, state, and local agencies (political actors) do not operate primarily in a free market.

Service limit means that an individual employed by a federal, state, or local agency may be employed by such an agency only for a limited period of time.

Power has some influence on the free market, and individuals and firms operating in the free market have some influence on the exercise of power by those political actors. For ongoing commentary on the interplay between power and market, see the Power & Market Blog.

In his article “Libertarian Class Analysis,” writer Sheldon Richman observes that

The government’s coercive taxing power necessarily creates two classes: those who create and those who consume the wealth expropriated and transferred by that power. Those who create the wealth naturally want to keep it and devote it to their own purposes. Those who wish to expropriate it look for ever more-clever ways to acquire it without inciting resistance. One of those ways is the spreading of an elaborate ideology of statism, which teaches that the people are the state and that therefore they are only paying themselves when they pay taxes.

The state’s officers and the court intellectuals at universities and the news media go to great lengths to have people believe this fantastic story, including the setting up of schools. Alas, most people come to believe it. The role of war is to scare people into paying taxes for their own alleged protection and to keep the wealth flowing to the exploiters with a minimum of grousing.

Service limits reduce the gap between the exploited and the exploiters; the governed and the governors.

Continue reading “Service Limits — “We Can (All) Be Heroes””

Why repeal intellectual property laws?

Intellectual property laws generate excessive, monopoly profits and “royalties” to the holders of politically-privileged patents, licenses, and copyrighted materials, to the detriment of consumers.

A recent example of this phenomenon occurred when consumers experienced a shortage of N95 masks, and intellectual property laws interfered with attempts to fill the need.

Two chapters of Ken Schoolland’s book The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey illustrate the problem, and suggest a solution.

Chapter 2 – Troublemakers
Chapter 31 – Whose Brilliant Idea?

For a more in-depth case against intellectual property laws, see Against Intellectual Monopoly, by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine.

And visit the blog Against Monopoly.

Utah Cultural Alliance survey

How have the arts, culture, and/or humanities impacted your life?

I love many of the ways in which various artists, cultural cantillators, and curators of the humanities have inspired, informed, amused, and challenged our society and its individual members.

Unfortunately, state-sponsored initiatives undertaken in the name of the arts, culture and/or humanities are used to advantage and propagandize for politically-favored communities at the expense of — and in furtherance of the marginalization of — other communities.

In the October 1984 issue of Reason magazine, John Hospers eloquently made the case “For Separation of Art and State” in his book review of Edward Banfield’s The Democratic Muse.

Other than random sponsorship, there is no “fair” way to transfer taxpayer resources to artists. Thus, I champion an uncensored, self-regulating free market for the arts, culture, and humanities over crony capitalism/communism.

Among the reasons I would seek to join the Congressional Humanities, Arts, and STEAM caucuses if elected would be to convene hearings on the effect of intellectual property laws on the accessibility of the arts and humanities to consumers and patrons, and how such laws stifle the work of artists. Persuasive arguments against intellectual property laws are adeptly set forth by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine in their book, Against Intellectual Monopoly.

Fiscally responsible government investment in the arts and humanities (including humanities and arts education) means to me:

To the extent that federal spending crowds out philanthropic giving for the arts and humanities, such spending is neither fiscally responsible or ethically defensible. Nick Gillespie, editor at large at Reason, critiques the rent-seeking behavior of arts and humanities special interests in his February 13, 2018 article “Cutting Federal Funding for the Arts Wouldn’t Kill Them; Might Make Them Better.”

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Voters are invited to learn more about, contact, and join my campaign at www.freeutahns.org. Learn more about the Utah Libertarian Party at
www.libertarianutah.org, and the Libertarian National Committee at www.LP.org.

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Continue reading “Utah Cultural Alliance survey”