Enlightened ramblings of a minarchist libertarian with Objectivist tendencies

Friday, November 12, 2004

Pawn Shops Serve a Public Function

Here is a very interesting article concerning the morality of Pawn Shops and the effect of government regulation on them.

Do yourself a favor and check it out, and when you finish take some time to look around the rest of the site.

Better late than never

Since I wasn't blogging when this article came out, I am a bit behind the eight ball, but thought I would mention it anyway.

A lot has been made of the "moral values" exit polls and because of this, a false correlation was drawn between this and the supposed increase in Evangelicals. The problem is, the numbers just don't back this up, as the above article shows.

As is usually the case, people are quick to make the assumption that morals equates to religion. This however is not always the case. There are millions of people, myself included, that are moral people even though we are agnostic or atheist. We fully understand right and wrong and are capable of doing so without any religious guidance.

Both the left and right would do well to understand this.

Ownership Society

As President Bush begins his second term, he is setting forth an extremely ambitious agenda. With plans to overhaul the tax system, Social Security, and the abysmal legal system at the top of his to do list, I figured I would do a post about each of these.

In order to set those up however, it is important to understand the basic thought and reasoning behind these plans, namely Bush's call for an "Ownership" society.
President Bush understands correctly, the impact that ownership has on someone. Of course, it doesn't take a world class economist to understand this. Just take a look around yourself at both your own actions and those of others. Who takes better care of their homes, those who own their homes or those who rent their homes? When you take a trip and rent a car, do you treat it with less deference than you do you own car sitting safely back in your driveway? The answers of course are that owners take better care of their own things.

David Boaz, in a paper written for the Cato Institute, "Defining an Ownership Society" takes note of this phenomenon:


People have known for a long time that individuals take better care of things they own. Aristotle wrote, "What belongs in common to the most people is accorded the least care: they take thought for their own things above all, and less about things common, or only so much as falls to each individually." And we all observe that homeowners take better care of their houses than renters do. That's not because renters are bad people; it's just that you're more attentive to details when you stand to profit from your house's rising value or to suffer if it deteriorates.


Indeed, this concept goes beyond the limited examples I have provided. It readily permeates to virtually every facet of life. In virtually every situation, a person will take more care and responsibility for something when that person has a direct stake in the care or performance of item, be it their retirement situation, their health, or their children's future.

From the same Cato paper:

An ownership society values responsibility, liberty, and property. Individuals are empowered by freeing them from dependence on government handouts and making them owners instead, in control of their own lives and destinies. In the ownership society, patients control their own health care, parents control their own children's education, and workers control their retirement savings.


Of course, it is not enough that President Bush understands this concept. He must now have the resolve and courage to fight for the needed reform. The fight will not be an easy one, but it is a necessary one. There will be those on both sides of the aisle working to prevent such reform. Fortunately, Bush has a little bit of experience in fighting the naysayers.

Girl Friday

Here you go...the real reason people are glad that I have returned to the blogging game:

Thursday, November 11, 2004

VFW

Well, I decided that I would spend today up at the local VFW post. I spent about 4 hours shooting pool and drinking beer with a bunch of old timers.

I never cease to be amazed by the great stories I hear and the good people that I meet anytime I visit a VFW post.

Since I had the good fortune to remain stateside during the Gulf War, I am not eligible to join the VFW, but I did join their offshoot for noncombat vets: AMVETS

It should be a lot of fun.

Veteran's Day

Once again, Veteran's Day is upon us. I want to send out best wishes to all of my fellow Vets and thank them all for doing their part to keep our country free.

I also want to thank all those brave men and women currently serving both home and abroad.

Thank you all.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Arafat Dead?

CBS just interrupted CSI:New York to announce that Arafat was dead. I can find no online report of this yet.

If this is true, then I say good riddance to bad rubbish. The guy was a terrorist thug and a disgrace to the Nobel Peace Prize.

Perhaps now headway can be made.

UPDATE: I apparently beat Glenn to the punch by 2 minutes. Sweet!

UPDATE 2: OK, the stories are now being posted. Here is the Fox News version.

Leftist Demorrhagic Fever

Apparently, the government isn't completely useless. It seems the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been doing yeomens work in identifying a highly contagious and destructive new virus right here in the US:

Leftist Demorrhagic Fever

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Still Alive and Kickin'

For those of you that care, I apologize for my abrupt discontinuance of posting.

When I started blogging, I was in the middle of a career transition which I have now almost completed. I have successfully divested myself of my consulting business and am well underway in my new life as a sourcing agent.

I hope to resume a regular schedule of posting starting in the next few weeks. Of course, I missed all the good stuff in the run-up to the election, but I am sure I can still come up with a thing or two to say.

Please check back for my triumphant return!
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