The Dangers of Silent Consent

“First they came for the Communists but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists but I was not one of them, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews but I was not Jewish so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me” Martin Niemoller

Yes, I know – there are those of you who despise my use of Hitler and the Nazi regime as metaphors for current events.   In my defense, I truly believe in “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”, courtesy George Santayana.  And that motto guides much of my daily activities and decisions on what course of action to pursue.

So I point your attention in the direction of the woes experienced by Grazin’ Acres dairy farm in Wisconsin.  Who cares that your impassioned letter or email may not be read by those interfering with food production/consumption and private contract issues?   The sheer volume of written protest is our attempt to let those who engage in these behaviors know they do not have our Silent Consent.

Links to view Contact information and my emailed protest.

I, American – An analogy and tribute to “I, Pencil” by Leonard E. Read

By: Tisha Casida

I am an American – a human being residing in the United States of America, a citizen who has come here or who resides in this country.

Liberty is both my vocation and my avocation – it is what I am.

You may wonder why it is necessary to express the purpose of explaining what I am.  I am a mystery, and sadly I have been taken for granted as a mere incident and without background.

“This is a species of the grievous error in which mankind cannot too long persist without peril. For, the wise G. K. Chesterton observed, ‘We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders’.” (Read, 1999).

I, American, as simple as I may seem, do in fact warrant your wonder, for if you can understand me better, if you can be more aware of what I am, then it can help save the freedom that mankind could so easily lose.

Simple? Yet no one knows exactly how to make me.  I am but a human, a citizen, a member of a community and country, and yet there are innumerable antecedents to what I am.

It is impossible to explain all of the antecedents that made me, however it is possible to name just a few.

My family tree begins on every continent in every country through most every part of the world.  From deserts to the tropics, the mountains to the oceans, the world was the starting point for me.  Think of all the people involved in the innumerable journeys through good times and bad to get me to where I sit today.  Think of the man-power, the machinery, the technology, the will-power to get me here today.  Think of the millions of transactions amongst people, the billions of words, the countless moments of inquiry and faith that made it possible to be in this moment.

Starting in far-away places, my ancestors made choices to seek freedom and prosperity.  In making a choice to come here, the American dream was alive and loved.  It was not just a dream; it was the reality of the journey, the faith, the motion.  My ancestors came to America to work and keep what they worked for, in a place where liberty was alive and responsibility was respected and honored.

Consider the people who have come to America.  White, black, brown; European, African, Asian, Hispanic; people who do not cling to color nor to class nor to ethnicity. For once you are here, you are American – this is the melting pot, and we are all the same, we are all Americans.  People who have come here as people, people who have come here knowing and believing that we are endowed by a Creator with certain unalienable Rights, and that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  The journey has not always been pleasant or good.  The creation of America held many tragic incidents involving the very people that She now desires to protect.  That is the road and the journey that exists, and I must move forward in an effort to do better, as an individual, as an American.  We can learn from our mistakes.

Consider the technology that has moved us here.  Inventions, the revolution in industry, and the revolution with communication – all of these over thousands of years have contributed to my journey.  Although my life cycle is short, the experiences I have are created on the shoulders of giants (Newton, 1676).  Piece by piece, moment by moment, I am standing here today because of these human discoveries, theories, interventions, and practices.

Consider the human desire that has moved us here.  Human beings from around the world, people who work hard, study, love, and crave the freedom that allows them to do those things.  Consider the faith – regardless of religion or origin – consider the faith of the people who want to move forward, want to protect what they love, want to be free in their just pursuit of happiness.

No one knows how to make an American, even though the 307+ million Americans have a part of shaping each other every day.  “There isn’t a single person in all these millions… who contributes more than a tiny, infinitesimal bit of know-how.” (Read, 1999).  Each day a citizen may decide to read a newspaper, watch a television show, or go to school, however the other citizens will never truly know how this affects them – we just know that it does.  None of us know what the other millions of Americans want, however we are still all able to co-exist and prosper.  None of us know exactly how this works, but we know that we are able to make transactions and decisions when we have the freedom to do so.

There is no master-mind dictating to people what they should do, what they should want, or where they should work.  For over two hundred years, the country of America has been able to grow without the master planning of its future.  There have been mistakes, and more recently attacks on Her freedom, however the 307+ millions of Americans who are a part of my country can still make informed decisions.  This “absence of a master mind, of anyone dictating or forcibly directing these countless actions which bring me into being. No trace of such a person can be found. Instead, we find the Invisible Hand at work.” (Read, 1999).

We cannot “make an American”.  The Invisible Hand (Adam Smith), the liberty present in our country, and the free market where we all stand equally as consumers, are a part of a complex combination of miracles.  America is where you can find me, in “the configuration of creative human energies—millions of tiny know-hows configurating naturally and spontaneously in response to human necessity and desire and in the absence of any human master-minding!” (Read, 1999).  We are free men and women, there is no greater miracle.

I, American, although made from many different races, classes, and religions, do not cling to those as testimony for how others should act or be.  I, American, although a part of a social system do not expect a social system, I take responsibility for what and who I am.  I, American, although faced with displeasure, anger, and poverty, righteousness, happiness, and prosperity, do not expect from anyone anything other than interaction in a marketplace where I can work, purchase, and sell goods and services without the intervention of a master-plan that tries to decide what is best for me.  I, American, understand what I am charged with and accept the responsibility and prosperity that accompanies such “risk”.  Having the liberty to make my decisions, is all I ask for.

I, American, in a country that has had millions of immigrants come to Her for liberty and the opportunity to pursue their dreams, believe in the creative interactions that have made our prosperity possible so far.

“The lesson I have to teach is this: Leave all creative energies uninhibited. Merely organize society to act in harmony with this lesson. Let society’s legal apparatus remove all obstacles the best it can. Permit these creative know-hows freely to flow. Have faith that free men and women will respond to the Invisible Hand. This faith will be confirmed.”  (Read, 1999).

I, American, seemingly simple and often misunderstood, believe in the miracle of my creation. I believe in the liberty that rewards responsibility. I believe in the free men and women who are my fellow citizens.  I, American, believe.

References:

Newton, I. (1676, February 15). Letter to Robert Hooke. Retrieved  June 20, 2010 from http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Isaac_Newton.

Read, L. E. (1999). “I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read.” Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved June 20, 2010 from the World Wide Web: http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html

Smith, A. (1776). An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Edwin Cannan, ed. 1904. Library of Economics and Liberty. Retrieved June 20, 2010 from the World Wide Web: http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN.html

BANKING REFORM – Limited Purpose Banking

We will be continually promoting this concept that was brought to our attention from one of our readers – it is WE THE PEOPLE that will save this country.

Have you heard the term “limited purpose banking”?  It is a very simple, efficient, and honest means of getting our financial system back on the track of preserving YOUR money.  The concept?  All financial institutions change to operate strictly as “pass-through mutual-fund companies”(Bloomberg, 2010), where the investments can lost value, but the funds themselves can never fail.  Details about mutual-fund securities would be disclosed in real-time (giving the market valuable information to be able to make purchasing decisions).  This would also replace 115 federal and state financial regulatory bodies with ONE “Federal Financial Administration” to oversee limited-purpose-banking funds.

Create transparency, eliminate bureaucracy, and let the free-market work.  That is what I call smart and sustainable solutions to our banking industry.  Read more about it HERE.

– Tisha Casida

Quintessential Quotes – Thomas Sowell

“It would be comforting to believe that the government can simply decree higher pay for low-wage workers, without having to worry about unfortunate repercussions, but the preponderance of evidence indicates that labor is not exempt from the basic economic principle that artificially high prices cause surpluses.”

Sowell, T. (2007). Basic Economics. New York: Perseus Books Group.

Wonderous World of Words = Catallaxy

Catallaxy is a word referring to “the economy”, used by Friedrich Hayek and influenced by Ludwig von Mises’ word “Catallactics”.  The word, catallaxy, refers to more than “household management” – which is what the Greek-root of the word economy actually means.  Dating back to Aristotle, the concept of household management could refer to a family-home, or an entire country, however with both there is an implication of “shared goals”.  Hayek, not completely happy with the concept of shared goals in a market economy, used Catallaxy to describe what was then called economy.  In a market economy, Catallaxy is viewed as a “Science of Exchange” (See reference).

Reference:

Boettke, P. in The Political Economy of the Austrian School, 2nd edition 1994, preface, proposition 2.  Retrieved originally on June 27, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catallaxy

Government CANNOT Legislate A "Clean Energy Economy"

It simply won’t work.  The government cannot MAKE the market do ANYTHING!  As soon as they start to control parts of it, i.e. minimum wage laws, price controls, subsidies, etc., we see problems in the marketplace.  Government is there to protect the constitution – THE REST IS UP TO OUR ECONOMY, which means people like YOU and ME – it is up to US to solve our energy crisis, and I have full-faith that 300 million Americans are just as capable of making changes as the 400-some representatives at Capitol Hill.

In a free-market, consumers have access to information that allow them to make decisions.  If there was not so much government regulation to start with (i.e. subsidies to oil starting many years ago), then the market would have done different things.  Mandating people and companies to change through legislation will not work, it will just further hamper our already beaten economy.

– Joni Cave

BANKING REFORM – Limited Purpose Banking

We will be continually promoting this concept that was brought to our attention from one of our readers – it is WE THE PEOPLE that will save this country.

Have you heard the term “limited purpose banking”?  It is a very simple, efficient, and honest means of getting our financial system back on the track of preserving YOUR money.  The concept?  All financial institutions change to operate strictly as “pass-through mutual-fund companies”(Bloomberg, 2010), where the investments can lost value, but the funds themselves can never fail.  Details about mutual-fund securities would be disclosed in real-time (giving the market valuable information to be able to make purchasing decisions).  This would also replace 115 federal and state financial regulatory bodies with ONE “Federal Financial Administration” to oversee limited-purpose-banking funds.

Create transparency, eliminate bureaucracy, and let the free-market work.  That is what I call smart and sustainable solutions to our banking industry.  Read more about it HERE.

– Tisha Casida

Time for NEW MEDIA

With the sudden and somewhat unexpected news of the retirement of Helen Thomas, considered the “dean of the White House press corps”(2010), we can reflect on the concept that journalism as we know it is changing.  Not to say that this particular event is good or bad, but to remember that an era and a country are changing, and that the media, the press, and the journalists are at the forefront of how our country will continue to be shaped.

This brings our attention to another issue – the FTC working paper on the “Reinvention of American Journalism”.  We here at The Good American Post advocate for journalism that is embraced and enhanced by the free market – not by government grants, subsidies, and taxes (which can artificially create incentives or behaviors).  READ THE FTC DISCUSSION DRAFT and oppose any action on behalf of the FTC that may impede free speech as we know it.

It is time for new media – it is time for our country to stand up and stand tall for journalism that is based on the free market by people who are advocates of the truth, presenting all sides, and being caring Americans.

Reference:
CNN Wire Staff. (2010).  Retrieved on June 7, 2010 from http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/06/07/pol.helen.thomas/index.html?hpt=P1&iref=NS1

More Reasons to KNOW YOUR FARMER

Paul Alhadef Photography

In an article from Bloomberg, producers are accusing and filing suit against Dean Foods (Dallas, Texas) and the Dairy Farmers of America (Kansas City, Missouri) for suppressing milk prices through controlling market access.

The economics behind this may or may not be complex, depending upon one’s political and social perspective.  So instead of arguing who is right or wrong (which will play out in court), let’s figure out how we can positively affect milk-companies that are producing a high-quality, safe, and nutritious product.

Here is one way – purchase milk shares from a local producer.  Have you researched if there is a dairy in your city/county?  Do you know if it is possible (or legal in the case of raw/unpasteurized milk) to purchase your milk and dairy products from someone locally?  Find Out!

Free-markets, which The Good American Post stands behind, are markets where consumers have access to information regarding what they are purchasing, and therefore can make an honest and informed judgment about what to purchase.

So, now you have some knowledge – KNOW YOUR FARMER, know who is raising those cows or goats that create your dairy products, and support the people who are making an honest living by providing a product you can feel good drinking and giving to your family.

– Joseph Poder

Quintessential Quotes – Thomas Sowell

“When economic decisions are taken out of the hands of individuals operating in a market and put into the hands of expert on planning commissions and the like, this may be thought of as a transfer of decision-making power from those with less knowledge to those with more knowledge but it is far more likely to be a transfer of decision-making power to experts with less knowledge and more presumptions” (Sowell, 2007, pp.167-168).

Sowell, T. (2007). Basic Economics. New York: Perseus Books Group.

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