Saturday, March 28, 2009

Three Mile Island anniversary

The US nuclear power industry has gone 30 years without a major accident. The airline, mining, and oil industries cannot make the same claim. Working in a nuclear power plant is safer than driving a hybrid car, or any other car for that matter. Any discussion of our future energy needs must include construction of new reactor sites.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Renaissance: Attempted Gentrification

Gentrification is the process of increasing affluence in a neighborhood. It leads to higher property values and higher rent rates. It is generally considered to be good for property owners and bad for tenants. Often groups with conflicting interests will actively try to promote or combat gentrification.

The city tried to promote gentrification through the Renaissance Pointe project by building $120K homes on the southeast side. Opposition from neighbors was to be expected, since it could have lead to an increase in rent. But the real reason it didn't work is because people aren't going to spend six figures to live between Creighton and Pontiac. People generally prefer to have neighbors with the same socioeconomic status.

Gentrification has to start with affordable housing. First-time home buyers look for quality bargains. After a few homeowners establish themselves, the respectability of the neighborhood improves and house prices go up.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Moral of the story

What everyone should be learning from the AIG mess:

Congress: If you give a company money, they might not do what you want them to do with it. So don't give money to failing companies.

Failing companies: If you accept money from the government, they might tell you what to what to do with it. It's better to declare bankruptcy and start from stratch than it is to go down this road.

Executives: If you work for a firm that accepts bailout funds, you may have to give your bonus back. Consider signing on with a different company.

Successful companies: Consider what the inflation rate is going to be before issuing any loans or buying bonds.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Libertarians At Large goes live in less than an hour

Libertarians At Large airs on channels Comcast 57 and Verizon 27, from 7-8 p.m., every third Thursday of the month. Tune in tonight as this month's guest will be Libertarian, William Larsen. Call in to ask questions or just let us know you are listening. Contribute to the conversation.

As always the Libertarian Party of Allen County would like to thank Access Fort Wayne and The Allen County Public Library for providing us these opportunities to serve the public and promote the discussion at all levels of government about what is best for the future of of our communities, state, and nation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Next LPAC meeting

The next meeting is to be held at the Rib Room on Saturday, 28th of March at 5pm. Here is a map:


View Larger Map

Friday, March 13, 2009

China wonders if we'll pay them back

You all knew this was coming.
It is bad to owe money to the Chinese. It is even worse to go into default with them. They will cut off our line of credit if they do not think that they will be paid back. They might decide to do so anyway if Sino-American relations break down. Either we make some painful spending cuts soon, or we'll have to make excruciating spending cuts later. If the stock market continues to go up, Obama cannot use the economy as a pretext for more spending.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Daylight Savings

Congress keeps extending DST. It lasts 8 months while standard time only lasts 4 months; it's becoming more normal to have our clocks running an hour fast. Daylight savings time was first instituted during World War I in order conserve coal. But does it still save energy in the age of CFL bulbs? The National Bureau of Economic Research has published a paper saying that Indiana is using more energy per capita since we adopted DST.

Congress does have a right and a responsibility to establish standards for measuring time, but ideally those standards should remain as uniform as possible. States and counties should not be allowed to make up their own time zones at will. If an Indiana company orders a shipment from a New York company and wants it delivered by 4pm Friday, there needs to be a mutual understanding of when 4pm is. In my job, I have personally watched truckers miss appointments because of confusion over DST. This can lead to expensive supply chain problems. While I do not fault Governor Daniels for bringing Indiana in line with the rest of the country, I do blame Congress for creating a complex scheme for keeping time. Congress should recognize the costs of DST, and abolish it throughout the country.

Friday, March 06, 2009

What Happens When 4 Libertarians Get Together? Fox News Has An Orgasm! And Almost Agrees With Russia?

Glenn Beck Show with Steven Moore, Penn Jillette and Mark Skousen



Here is the remainder of the clip which brings up a very scary perspective of splitting up the Country to prove which side Liberal or Conservative would succeed in restoring the economy.



The reason why this is so concerning that Conservative and even Libertarian pundits are starting to talk about is because it has also been mentioned by Igor Parain (updated link) a Russian Foriegn Ministry Professor and Dean who back in 1998 started to lament and is again asserting that, if America continues on the path of moral decline, then President Barack Obama will order martial law this year, following such action, the United States will split into six rump-states before 2011, and Russia and China will become the backbones of a new world order.


Now with a gun toting Maverick in Alaska and the Country of Mexico in shambles, obviously Dr. Panarin left a few things to account for in his analysis. But this is why our Country is better in almost everything especially the rule of law. Why you ask? State Sovereignty Rights! You see, our Founders built fail safes into both the Federal Constitution and the State Constitutions to address certain issues of insolvency and dissolution from the Union. So while Martial Law may be very likely very soon, and there is a concern amongst even Libertarians of our Union lasting, there are provisions in place to both a. make it a smooth transition and b. keep it from destroying this Country. Because aside from any popular misconception, We The People were a nation before we were the United States of America under the Constitution, and the power to govern always has and always will reside with US! Now all We need to do is force our leadership to follow the rules We wrote.

SOURCES VIDEO: MRTACOJOSH NEWS STORY: AKA WILLIAM

UPDATE: Certain Text and Links have been updated/corrected for your information.

Click Here to view another video from under 2 months ago where Glenn Beck talks about his desire for California to be removed from the Union and that We as Americans may need to read the instruction manual on secession again by States, even if it was "invalidated" by the Civil War and the 14th Amendment which made everyone Citizens of the USA rather than a particular State, Commonwealth, Territory, Province or Jurisdiction. What is left in a very sad reality is the only Constitutional Rights left to We The People are those of Revolution or Responsibility of each Citizen to Vote!

The Gentlemen over @ Queer Cincinnati have two posts here and here on this topic too.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Some good news?

There hasn't been a major terrorist attack in the US since 9/11. Remember when people seemed certain that another attack was going to happen? Some people acted like they knew more about bin Ladin's inner circle than they knew about what their own kids were doing after school.

Let's face it. Terrorism is so much more fun to talk about than the economy. Timothy Noah has an 8 part piece detailing various theories on why we haven't been hit since.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Ron Reinking on Harrison Square

Harrison Square Doubts Were Well-Founded
By Ron Reinking, CPA
Reposted with permission

In the ongoing discussion in the press and the chatter on local talk radio regarding Fort Wayne's Harrison Square there's a line of reasoning that goes like this:

“Nobody could have foreseen these economic times . . . city officials did their very best with our money . . . they should not be blamed for having the courage to bring a vision to reality, a plan that could have worked, something good for the entire community.”

That is a defense, however, against accusations never made.

No one believed that those involved in the planning of Harrison Square were careless or insincere. It did become obvious, however, that while promoters initially may have wished good for the community, human nature inevitably took over and self-interest began to drive public policy.

As a result, Fort Wayne now must be counted another victim of well-intentioned visionaries with the power to tax.

The Nobel laureate Milton Freidman in his award-winning book and television series, "Free to Choose," describes such a situation in the context of one of four different ways people spend money, i.e., "spending other people's money on other people."

Thus the well-meaning fellow with a fuzzy civic vision places himself in the position of spending others money for community "good." Classically, it means serving on a not-for-profit board or assuming the position of “public servant.” In many of these positions, Friedman wants us to know, there is virtually no restraints on spending and, if your intentions are deemed worthy by the media, honor and esteem to boot.

And when, as is the case of Harrison Square, the wheels do fall off, there is no personal punishment or accountability. Indeed, failure itself is often used to justify even more money to “clean up the mess.”

Dr. Friedman continues: “If I want to do good with other people's money, I first have to take it away from them. That means, at its very bottom, a philosophy of violence and coercion. It's against freedom, because I have to use force to get the money. In the second place, few people spend other people's money as carefully as they spend their own.”

Citizens of Fort Wayne, if they hope to prevent future debacles, must hold the boosters of Harrison Square accountable to the Freidman dictum, and for a number of reasons.

First, we must question how much civic courage it takes to pursue a vision of “good” with money taken from other people. Was it ethical, appropriate and even legal to expropriate the taxpayers' resources for condominiums and baseball stadiums? If the answer is “yes”, then we are little more than indentured servants of a government granted unrestrained power to tax and spend.

Second, we must ask if it is true that nobody could have foreseen this outcome. Eighty percent of the public saw it coming, according to opinion polling. And 100 percent of private investors refused to risk their own capital on the government's vision. The politicians, with no skin in the game, proceeding anyway, calculating they could make excuses if the bag (which we now hold) ultimately turned up empty.

It is a good guess that the Atlanta "investors" in Harrison Square still retain benefits in the form of tax abatements, forgiven leases of the old stadium and probably cash.* Fort Wayne citizens wish they could say the same.

On this last point it is interesting to note that practically all construction contracts contain performance bond requirements and set dates for completion of a project, thus placing risks on the developers. In the case of Harrison Square, these risks have now apparently become the taxpayers’ problem. (Some will recall that Councilmen Tom Smith and former Councilman Don Schmidt asked unsuccessfully to review our Harrison Square partners' financial statements in order to evaluate their credit capacities.)

And finally, as hard as it is to say, nobody can ever know for sure that the project is honest. That, unfortunately, is the nature of other people spending your money — you’re never quite certain where it went.

This was the primary concern of Fort Wayne citizens like me with Harrison Square — specifically, that without the tests of a free market we would never really know whether it was a good idea or bad.

That concern, recent events now demonstrate, was spot on.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Gambling

Gambling is a form of entertainment. People bet money, and most of the time the house wins. But in between the time that the bet is placed and the moment that the bet is lost, they enjoy the fantasy that they might go home richer.

Like any fun activity, people can get addicted to it, and they can waste a lot of money on it. This can lead to other problems, and this is the justification that is often used to regulate it. Some people even argue for outlawing it, claiming that gambling is a vice that destroys families.

But vice doesn't destroy families. Family members destroy families. If 10,000 people gamble in a city in a given year and one of them kills somebody, that is no reason to punish the other 9,999 people.

Since I don't gamble, I really don't care if a casino gets built. If an investor wants to build one here with his or her own money, I would welcome that. I don't think that the state should restrict legal gambling at all. I have mixed feelings about the potential referendum, since I don't think private property rights should be put to a vote. If you don't like gambling, stay out of casinos and tell your pastor to cancel Bingo Night. But I hope that the referendum does one of two things:
1. People vote for it and show potential investors that there is a possible market here.
2. People vote against it, killing the idea so that we can move on and talk about something else.