Price Controls, or People Controls? (L40)

For those out there who believe that “government should control prices, but not people” – you have been greatly misled. These two, are in fact, the very same thing. 

When government steps in and says that they’re only controlling price floors and ceilings – but not people themselves, they are offering a false reassurance. While this does keep many people calm and at bay, it doesn’t change the fact that in reality their lives are being altered, toyed with, and controlled in every sense of the word.
“Money makes the world go round” is a common saying; but if this is true is could be better worded as: “money controls the world”. Break this sentence down, and one would find that at it’s core, this saying really means “money controls people”. When government is given the control of prices, they are given control over people themselves in almost every aspect of life. This is a violation, and a perversion of the original intentions of a government for the people.

Why Free Market Individuals Should be Regulating Prices, & Not the State (L35)

When observing a community of liberty-loving free marketers, one finds that success is abundant. Everyone has what they each need; there is peace and unity in a voluntaryist society such as this one. The fruits from each beings successes are shared and celebrated among many. However, on the other hand, should one observe a community submerged in state regulated price floors and ceilings, the entire market pricing system would be found a palpable lie.

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This is because state regulated prices aren’t fluctuating based on a supply and demand route; and when price floors are implemented, there is over production. Price ceilings result in shortages of goods. In a free market, the key to knowing how much of an item to produce is all found in the prices, seeing as how they display the demand of that particular item at a certain point in time. Price decision should stay between the buyer and seller, and when it does, the market will function healthily; without surplus or shortages.

State Subsidies (L30)

Is it possible to have state subsidies without state control?

To be blunt, there is absolutely no way for state subsidies to exist without state control. The government should under no circumstances hand out money without “strings” or regulations, because this leads to the abuse of handouts. The welfare state offers one of the best explanations of this in today’s society; it is funded by the plundering of those not receiving such help, and heavily promotes dependence on the state by welfare recipients. It is not considered particularly difficult to become a recipient of government aid in the United States; the welfare state is largely abused and encourages paternalism. The government uses coercion to control the wealth of the United States by means of redistribution. Without this control, there would be no money to fund any state subsidies. Rather, a community of cooperation and charities; people with more of their own money will be more apt to help others. In today’s society one encounters money handouts in thousands of government programs; likewise, as of 2014 taxes are up 42% since last year. Although many people seem to benefit from the plundering of others, they, in reality, are just making themselves wards of the state through dependence. No man wins under state control or coercion.

“How To Argue With a Liberal…and Win!” Discussion Question (L25)

“If the state is strong enough to do something good for you, it can also do something bad to you.”

As true as this is, it is hard for some to understand why, or even how the government would do something bad to the people who so naively trust it. Maybe it is easier to consider it in this context; each action has an equal and opposite reaction. So, to a woman receiving welfare, the state is a positive thing. This is helping move her in the direction she needs and she appreciates the help; what a thoughtful government we have, looking out only for the best interest of it’s people. But, on the other hand, she is not thinking about exactly where that money came from. This recipient of government aid isn’t considering that just as she is cashing that check, or using her food stamps, a man is on the other end pulling his hair out about the devastation of taxes. The government is stealing one man’s money from his paycheck each week simply to hand it over to those who ask. On any scale, the state can only “do good” for one person when it is harming another, due to the fact that 100% of their funding has amounted from the plundering of hard working citizens.

Bastiat’s Concept of the Politics of Plunder (L20)

One of the most famous lines of Bastiat’s Government is “government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else,” and I think it perfectly embodies his concept of plunder. He says that this desire is the “fatal disposition,” and that the product of this desire (by means of the state) is war, oppression, slavery and monopolies. Collectively, through “naked greed and misperceived philanthropy” this is the origin of plunder. Law is supposed to increase the risk of plunder, however it has in fact only become an instrument of it [plunder]. Through taxes and the right of assistance (welfare state) the government plunders the many for the benefit of some. This, says Bastiat, is a perversion of the law.

Bastiat’s “Broken Window” Applied to Online Schooling (L15)

“Online education is bad for society because it puts classroom teachers out of work.”

Although this prompt seems almost silly, many people fall into this one-sided train of thought by, in Bastiat’s words, only taking into consideration ‘the seen.’ They can take the most complex of issues and view it from one perspective only; this is where they go wrong. Of the more obvious things here, one can see that, yes – homeschooling kids (including online schooling) means less children in government indoctrination centers (elementary, middle, and high schools of all sorts). I suppose that if the number of students enrolled in a school dropped enough, then classroom teachers would begin to get laid off. However, ‘the unseen’ in this situation would be that more and more teachers are now being hired (although some volunteer) to teach children through online courses. Classroom teachers in this situation loose, but online instructors win; the students deciding to gear their education towards what best fits them also win. All things aside, it is generally absurd to say that switching from one education, to another that would greater benefit the mind, growth and development of any adolescent willing, would be bad for society. How could it be said that a stronger and smarter generation (who will soon make up society), would be a harm to society. Now, a harm to civil government – maybe, but to themselves – no.

“Is the Family a Legitimate Form of Government?” (L5)

When brought the question of whether or not the family is a legitimate form of government, I reluctantly answer yes; however this does not apply to every single family out there. There is the aspect of ‘regular’ or normal families, and this entails that two sound of mind adults (or one) function as a team in raising their children (or child). They make decisions together, and choose to exercise their authority as well as control the sovereignty of their children through discipline (without physical abuse). This is clearly just a small-scale proficiently functioning government. However another aspect of a family is one of children raised anarcho-voluntaryist; in some of these homes children might be found making every decision for themselves, without punishment nor reward. There is no law, there is no hierarchy. Every man or woman is a sovereign human being making decisions for themselves and handling the consequences as well, even at the young age of 14. It is in these homes, like the one I live in, that people are taught responsibility, and decision making skills; most of all you learn that life does not have to be win-loose. “peaceful parenting” is another branch of family styles that I would not consider a government because, the upbringing of the child is all about compromise – rather than the parents just telling their kid no all day. It is about communicating and being on the same level, rather than exercising power over your child. My conclusion being that, although family does not have to be a form of government (and in my opinion shouldn’t be), these days (in many places around the world) that is exactly what it has become.