A Primer on Jobs and the Jobless

22 01 2007

With the economics of employment and unemployment constantly discussed on the business pages and political campaigns, let us turn our attention toward fundamentals and root out some fallacies.

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Muhammad Cartoons: A Libertarian Analysis

21 12 2006

There are several perspectives now making the rounds regarding those cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. For those who have been in Rip Van Winkle land, they first surfaced in Denmark and are now being reprinted all over the world. The libertarian claim is that these caricatures did not constitute fraud, force, or the threat of initiatory violence; therefore no physical sanctions should be visited upon the cartoonists, or those who reprint their work. This does not mean that such artistic acts were nice or moral or appropriate or considerate; they were not, in my personal opinion. They hurt the feelings of vast numbers of people, Muslim and non-Muslim. But, as long as private property rights and freedom prevail, such initiatives should be legal.

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Federalism

12 12 2006

Is France justified in invading New York City to force the latter to get rid its rent control legislation? Would it be compatible with libertarianism for California to forcibly prevent the US government from imposing a draft on California citizens? The federal government physically attacks Mississippi in 1950 for its Jim Crow legislation; Mississippi resists. Which side does the libertarian root for?

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The Non-Aggression Axiom of Libertarianism

9 12 2006

The non-aggression axiom is the lynchpin of the philosophy of libertarianism. It states, simply, that it shall be legal for anyone to do anything he wants, provided only that he not initiate (or threaten) violence against the person or legitimately owned property of another. That is, in the free society, one has the right to manufacture, buy or sell any good or service at any mutually agreeable terms. Thus, there would be no victimless crime prohibitions, price controls, government regulation of the economy, etc.

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