Let’s not play Monopoly!

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

Most people know that monopolies are illegal, but not everyone understands the history of antitrust and collusion laws or why they exist at all.

As a libertarian, I basically support free market capitalism and laissez-faire, but why do we libertarians and other liberty minded people support this? Because free people who run free enterprise are free to innovate and this innovation brings us a superior product. Competition among innovators also drives down the price as they seek to gain market-share. It’s why you can get a miracle of modern technology like the iPhone or Droid for a mere pittance—with a 2-year contract anyway.

U.S. Steel - Youngstown Ohio
U.S. Steel – Youngstown Ohio

But if we look at the history of monopolies here in America, Standard Oil and U.S. Steel were the most popular in our history, and what transpired was not good. Thus making the case for some semblance of government oversight.

I am often berated by anarchist-like libertarians for championing even the most minor government regulations in our marketplace, ensuring they compete and that they don’t violate our rights, but these people are ignoring historical evidence to promote an ideal I agree with, yet know doesn’t work if left unchecked. History has already proven it. Just because none of us were alive during that era, doesn’t mean we don’t have the documentation to know what happened when we had market-anarchy.

Standard Oil Common Stock
Standard Oil Common Stock

Prior to antitrust and collusion regulations, the quality of goods from these trusts was poor, the working conditions were so atrocious that workplace deaths and injuries were quite common, and the cost of what came off the production lines wasn’t cheap. Why would it be? If you’re the only game in town, providing a quality product, safe work environment, and competitive pricing and wages, simply aren’t needed. Just as absolute power in government corrupts, absolute power in business corrupts too. The moment a business owner needn’t fear people buying from his/her competitor because no competitor exists, corruption can, and likely will, be born.

Anarchists argue that if workers don’t like it, they can go work somewhere else. But where do you propose people go work? The very definition of a monopoly is that it’s the only business in an industry. Thus, there is nowhere else to work. If an enterprising person attempts to go into business for themselves, they’re either forced to sell to the monopoly, or crushed by it if they don’t. These are not wild conspiracy theories I’m floating, it’s historically documented evidence.

The design of free-market capitalism, is not dissimilar to socialism or anarchy. In a perfect world, they would work as intended and yield the desired positive result. History has proven however, that they also have the same flaw. There will always be sociopaths among us who don’t have the power of empathy or value the benefits of being societal. The only decent way mankind has ever dealt with these people is via rule of law. Such people have no qualms about taking advantage of others and doing them harm for personal gain. Our Constitution is designed to prevent these people from corrupting our government, and competition should prevent them from corrupting our markets. So ensuring competition is vital to our society, our rights, and our economy.

Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D Rockefeller
Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D Rockefeller

John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, and Andrew Carnegie proved that there’s a point at which if you do something right, you can control an industry to such an extent that no one else can compete. These men were likely decent people who considered themselves altruistic and good, but the unfettered power they eventually wielded corrupted them in such a way that they became consumed with winning and had little issue engaging in immoral practices to accomplish this goal.

So aside from protecting our rights to life, liberty, and property, in my opinion, government should justly be ensuring our markets stay competitive and uncorrupted.

So now that we understand, and hopefully agree with regulations preventing monopolies, I’d like to point something out:

Government is a monopoly!

The federal government competes with no one. State and local governments may seem to compete with each other, but if you live in Ohio and don’t like the service the Ohio government provides you, you can’t choose to do business with the Virginia government unless you move to Virginia. It’s quasi-competition at best where states compete to lure residents and businesses, but it’s certainly nothing like Apple versus Microsoft or Ford versus Chevrolet.

So when people like me beg and plead voters to elect more libertarian-like officials, it’s because we know that they’re the only politicians who intend to rebuke and regulate away power bestowed to their predecessors once they inherit it. In doing so, lowering the possibility of corruption, because the smaller government is, the less opportunity for corruption to occur. In the face of the IRS, Benghazi, and press scandals committed against the AP and Fox News, I sincerely hope you understand why we libertarians have been right all along, and are starting to feel vindicated for making these arguments so many seem to laugh away not long ago.

Do you remember Barack Obama making this commencement address speech at my beloved Ohio State University about a month ago?

The irony of this speech that occurred as all three conspiracies started to break into the mainstream media is chilling. It is exactly why we must only trust a politician who tells us not to trust him/her, not to grant them authority, and not to give up your freedom to their ideas of how we should be ruled.

“Experience has shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”
― Thomas Jefferson

What makes a terrorist a terrorist?

Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)
Gary Nolan (and THE Scrappy Doo)

As I watch the news about the latest incident in London, I couldn’t help but notice David Cameron didn’t hesitate to call it a terrorist act. When Obama refuses to call similar acts terrorism here, you wonder why? The media have often made a big deal of whether or not something is referred to as terrorism by our political leaders, and I find this semantics argument somewhat nauseating. People are dead because of a senseless act, or at least senseless to those of us not mired in dogmatic ideology anyway. Does it really matter what words we use to describe it? What we call it doesn’t change the nature of the act, but merely changes our attitude about it.

Dog Giving Birth To A Terrorist
Dog Giving Birth To A Terrorist

Being a peaceful agnostic/atheist, I think killing in the name of religion is just as senseless as killing for any other personal reason. Unless that person was about to kill you, your loved ones, or was otherwise threatening to infringe on your rights, you have no reason to use deadly force against them. Per Greg Gutfeld’s public request, I’ve attached a proper picture of a terrorist being born, so as not to give fame or infamy to the real terrorists.

Nonetheless, it seems clear that Obama avoids using the word for two likely reasons:

  1. He doesn’t want to offend Muslims at home and abroad.
  2. He doesn’t want to admit that maybe his administration is vulnerable to terrorist attacks more so than his predecessor, since he was so vocal in criticizing Bush’s handling of this issue.

I find both of these reasons pathetic, and anti-leadership in nature, but Obama seems to relish the idea of somehow being a leader who doesn’t lead.

As far as I know, there has been no official definition that we can apply to decide whether a murderous act should be called murder versus terror. I feel like I know it when I see it, but defining it with words is difficult.

To me, I feel it has something to do with sending a message. Murder is just killing someone because you have an issue with them and you want them dead, or in the case of some serial killers, because you simply enjoy the rush of killing.

Terrorism however is killing someone so that it serves as a message to others to not cross the person or party committing the act—thus spreading terror to others.

Nonetheless, since many seem to want to differentiate between murders & serial killers versus terrorists, I’ll throw it to you, my readers and people who just accidentally stumbled here via a Google search for something quite possibly completely unrelated.

How would you define terror versus murder? What quality or qualities do you think one has that the other doesn’t? Does it matter to you what the president calls it so long as he vigilantly pursues the people who commit such acts? What say you?