Lobbyists and Dirty Money

The 2012 presidential elections cost an estimated $2.6 billion. The 2016 presidential election is projected to double the previous election’s price tag. Furthermore, Washington, D.C. lobbyists shell out approximately $10 billion annually to influence politicians, which have an alarming 96% re-election rate!

sharkStill think your vote counts? Unless you live in a swing state, you have a better chance at being struck by lightning, while riding a shark in a tornado than having your vote mean anything at all … okay, maybe I slightly embellished there.

Granted, when asserting the obvious state of affairs of nearly all political systems, that they are all corrupted and corruptible, someone may object and say, “It’s not supposed to be that way.”

From the historicist to the idealist, they claim that nation-states ought not to operate like they do. This is like telling the seas to stop making waves; whether corrupt nation-states or unstill seas, they both do what is in their nature – always have, always will.

And so, I submit, that the very existence of lobbyists shows a rational person that “We” are NOT the government, voting is futile, and any system in which you need to spend $15 billion in a given year to protect an individual’s right to self and property is a horrid one.

Nearly all states have a constitution, bill of rights, and political-class. These things are said to exist to protect the individual, but what are the honest results? They no more protect an individual’s rights than a schoolroom desk protects a child from a nuclear bomb.

So here’s the rub. Money talks. And what we want is not for money to go away, but for it to maintain clean speech. In politics, money talks dirty, but in the market, money speaks elegantly and fluently in any language. In the market, money is a certificate of performance and appreciation. In politics, money is little more than a collection of ransom notes, only saving some eggs from becoming the next omelet.

Hulkenomics: The Fragile Economy

It’s funny when political solutionists talk about a “fragile economy.” Only the wisest of the wise are capable of making necessary adjustments, and one wrong move causes the whole Jenga puzzle to crumble.

“The economy” is nothing more than a macro view of individual people making valuations and interacting with others, with expectations of creating a more satisfactory state of affairs. We are not a garden to be tilled, a puzzle to be played with, or a vehicle to be fine-tuned. We are humans; the political solutionists are humans. They are no more qualified to direct an economy than they would be qualified to direct art, music, or science. When the State meddles with these, and other industries, the results are tragic.

Education, healthcare, infrastructure, security, justice, monetary issues, agriculture, and trade, all turn “fragile” in the incapable hands of these political solutionists.

hulkSo yeah, when political solutionists (and their economists) play god, and get hellish results, I can understand why they might label the economy “fragile,” but they’re the ones breaking it! Putting the economy in the hands of politicians, is like pissing-off the Hulk in the Louvre. SMASH!!!!

Market Failures are Hobbled Horses

You wouldn’t hobble a horse, and then when the horse fails to run, declare that the horse is a failure. Horses weren’t designed to run while their legs are tied. Moreover, the failure in this example is the individual, expecting the horse after constraining it, to perform as if it had never been constrained at all.

In almost every instance, politicians and mainstream economists – whenhobbled pointing to “market failures” – are describing nothing more than hobbled horses.

Clearly there are times when you don’t want a horse to be able to run freely, and this is where my analogy ends. Markets are not horses. Markets are where individuals trade and exchange. Every exchange is a win-win, with all parties expecting to be better off, else the trade would’ve not occurred. Therefore, the only reason someone would want to interfere with – or hobble – the market, is because they opine that too much trade is occurring. Really? Can there honestly be too many win-win scenarios in the world?

One common objection, grounded in what F.A. Hayek termed “fatal conceit,” is that the market needs some overseer to mitigate errant exchanges. Distilled to its basic assumption, the overseer’s don’t think free individuals truly know what’s best. One might ask, what about these overseers, are they not also simply a collection of individuals? Unless, the overseers are somehow omniscient, or something more than human, how could it be that they “know” what is best for everyone else? And the rhetorical answer is … THEY DON’T!

So, as the State presumes to be the overseer, a steady hand to mitigate “market failure,” and regulator of all market interactions, the consequences of such conceit result in hobbling. That the market struts along as it does is astonishing!

Individuals can make miscalculations, and the market educates them to refrain from doing so. However, when the overseers miscalculate, like a stubborn donkey, they repel the market education, and yell, “Market failure!” To conclude this equine/market analogy, “market failure” is the sound a jackass makes. Our overseers, as it turns out, are a collection of obstinate jackasses that refuse to be educated by market feedback, and ironically try to correct the market instead. They, the overseers, are the failure.

The Cost for a Civilized Society

Only the individual can act, only the individual makes choices, only the individual economizes. Because we live in a world of scarcity, as opposed to the Garden of Eden, each choice comes with a price and a cost – cost being what is forgone due to the choice we make. This is how a naturally functioning society works … most of the time.

There also exists a subversive entity known as the State, whose sole purpose it is to regulate natural human choices. Every piece of legislation, tax, tariff, act, is aimed at altering the individual’s behavior. This is not for the benefit of the individual, as conventional political philosophy would have us accept, but for the benefit of the political elites.

Therefore, having the State (a ruling-class), is not the price we pay to have a civilized society. But rather, the State is the cost we incur by having our free-will, our peaceful choices, artificially stolen from us. The State is what happens when we forgo voluntary exchange, and relinquish our right to decide what’s best for us. The State is the exact inverse of personal responsibility.  

Blunt Talk About Evil

No other entity on earth has been responsible for more death, ruin, inhumaneness, bullying, and human-rights violations than the State(s). Falsely, the State attempts to attribute to itself prosperity and human progress. However, these are features of the free-market, which survives despite the State’s constant pestering, harassment, and misguided efforts to tinker with the market via central planners. When one studies “evil,” history opens its books to chapter one – The State, where “evil” is on full display.

Modern-day political discussions center on debating the “lesser evil.” Voters use the euphemism to justify their decision to back a particular candidate. This is an illusion. A gimmick created by the State on the heels of history’s shift away from the political philosophy of the divine right of kings. Never mind that the State remained; evil securely intact. “New and improved” statism puts evil to a vote, and now individuals can pick their poison – so they think.

Society is comfortable with voting, and I am not opposed to voting in the lesser evilgeneral sense of the word. A vote is an endorsement. We vote/endorse many things throughout the course of a day. We vote with our time, and most visibly, we vote with our money. Perhaps this morning you voted with a couple of units of currency for your favorite coffee. Knowing this, how individuals conduct transactions, the State uses this mostly harmless act of endorsing things to its benefit … the trick is on!

The hoax is simple. Every time we vote or endorse a thing, we signal to that thing that what they are doing is legitimate. That we value what they are providing, and we want more of it. But is the State worthy of such an endorsement? Again, history is not kind to the State and its results.

Suppose you could go back to the early eighteenth-century. Would you be comfortable endorsing a little slavery, compared to much slavery? Could you sleep at night defending your “lesser of two evils” position? The only ethical solution to slavery, the only morally consistent position would be a complete abolition of all forms of slavery, and for it to happen immediately. All other positions would be deemed foolish and irrational.

Consider this absurd fictional argument a citizen of the 1800s could have made. “If you don’t vote for a little slavery, you are voting for much slavery.” This is why utilitarians don’t shape the world; principled individuals DO.

The modern-day voter, while justifying their position, is trying to engage in mental gymnastics – trying to choose “a little slavery,” or putting the right plantation owner in charge. They are failing to recognize the obvious evilness of slavery. The rational conclusion? Abolish evil. Today, not tomorrow. Do not take part, and for heaven’s sake don’t give an endorsement. Slavery did not deserve any further endorsements, and neither does the State. Will the history books honor your position, or look squeamishly at your flawed conclusions and character? It’s your choice, your endorsement, your vote.