Wisdom Archive

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The Reality of Socialism

Lawrence Reed,

The Foundation for Economic Education

“Socialism has no theory of wealth creation; it's just a destructive, envy-driven fantasy about redistributing it after something else (and somebody else) creates it first.” 

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The Alternative To Free Markets

Leonard Read,

The Apostle of Peace: The Radical Mind of Leonard Read 

The alternative to the free market is the rigged, planned, dictatorial, coercive, interventionist, authoritarian market, variously known as the planned economy, the welfare state [or] omnipotent government. 

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The Tariff ‘Protection’ Fallacy

Henry George ,

Protection or Free Trade

To every trade there must be two parties who mutually desire to trade, and whose actions are reciprocal. No one can buy unless he can find someone willing to sell; and no one can sell unless there is some other one willing to buy. If Americans did not want to buy foreign goods, foreign goods could not be sold here even if there were no tariff. The efficient cause of the trade which our tariff aims to prevent is the desire of Americans to buy foreign goods, not the desire of foreign producers to sell them. Thus protection really prevents what the “protected” themselves want to do. It is not from foreigners that protection preserves and defends us; it is from ourselves.

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What Is ‘The State’?

Frédéric Bastiat,

Bastiat: Selected Essays on Political Economy

The state is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else. For, today as in the past, each of us, more or less, would like to profit from the labor of others. One does not dare to proclaim this feeling publicly, one conceals it from oneself, and then what does one do? One imagines an intermediary; one addresses the state, and each class proceeds in turn to say to it: "You, who can take fairly and honorably, take from the public and share with us."

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The Welfare State Con Game

Thomas Sowell,

Passing Thoughts: Try Finding Honesty In Banks, Vocational Ed Or Politics

The welfare state is the oldest con game in the world. First you take people’s money away quietly and then you give some of it back to them flamboyantly.

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The Social Benefits of Self Interest

Adam Smith,

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations

Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want… and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. 

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Statism: ’Socialized Dishonesty’

Leonard Read,

Foundation for economic education

[S]tatism is but socialized dishonesty; it is feathering the nests of some with feathers coercively plucked from others - on the grand scale. There is no moral difference between the act of a pickpocket and the progressive income tax or any other social program.

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Free Trade & Mutual Cooperation

Henry George,

Protection or Free Trade

Trade is not invasion. It does  not involve aggression on one  side and resistance on the  other, but mutual consent and  gratification. There cannot be  a trade unless the parties to it  agree, any more than there can  be a quarrel unless the parties  to it differ. England, we say,  forced trade with the outside  world upon China, and the  United States upon Japan.  But, in both cases, what was  done was not to force the  people to trade, but to force  their governments to let them.

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The ‘Voluntary Sector’ vs. the ’Coercive Sector’

Henry Hazlitt ,

Man vs. the Welfare State

The 'private sector' of the economy is, in fact, the voluntary sector; and the 'public sector' is, in fact, the coercive sector. The voluntary sector is made up of the goods and services for which people voluntarily spend the money they have earned. The coercive sector is made up of the goods and services that are provided, regardless of the wishes of the individual, out of the taxes that are seized from him. And as this sector grows at the expense of the voluntary sector, we come to the essence of the welfare state …

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In Free Markets, Consumers Rule

Ludwig von Mises,

Planned Chaos 

The only means to acquire wealth and to preserve it, in a market economy not adulterated by government-made privileges and restrictions, is to serve the consumers in the best and cheapest way. Capitalists and landowners who fail in this regard suffer losses. If they do not change their procedure, they lose their wealth and become poor. It is consumers who make poor people rich and rich people poor. It is the consumers who fix the wages of a movie star and an opera singer at a higher level than those of a welder or an accountant.

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In Search Of History

Capitalism: The Engine Of Human Progress

It took six thousand years from the invention of the wheel until we developed the two-wheeled cart. … From the time of Moses to Wyatt Earp we moved from two-wheeled carts to four-wheeled carts — buckboards and stagecoaches. Yet Wyatt Earp, who is an adult when he participates in the gunfight at the OK Corral, sees the movement from four-wheeled carts to the Model T. My grandparents were born before man had ever seen powered flight, yet lived to see a time when you could buy a trip into space. The rapid increase in innovation and the wealth of the masses occurred because the West gradually developed the economic system of market capitalism and a compatible political system.

-- Gary Wolfram,

Shadow Stats Snapshot

ShadowStats alternate economic indicators are based on the methodology of noted economist John Williams, specialist in government economic reporting.

  • Unemployment:
    BLS: 4.7%
    Shadow Stats: 22.7%
  • Inflation:
    December Year-to-Year: 2.1% (CPI-U*)
    Shadow Stats: 9.8%

*[cpi-u is the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation rate for all urban consumers]