UPHOLDING INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS IN THE ECONOMY
THE LEGAL SEPARATION OF STATE AND ECONOMY
There should exist a strict legal separation of state and economy
in the United States, just as, and for the same reason, there exists a legal separation of state and church. Just as religious belief and practice is—properly—a matter of private choice and initiative, so are men's economic choices and activities. As long as individuals are not criminals—i.e., as long as they do not initiate force or fraud against innocent victims—their right to their own beliefs, their own choices, and their own activities, material as well as spiritual, must be upheld and protected by the legal system. The first clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states,
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…"
We full-mindedly and wholeheartedly agree. Similarly, we support a Constitutional amendment stating,
"Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of economic regulations, or restricting the free exercise of voluntary production and trade."
If business persons, like religious persons or clergy, initiate force or fraud, they should be properly prosecuted under the laws of the criminal justice system. But if they initiate neither force nor fraud, then the government must be constitutionally debarred from interfering with their activities. Two centuries of capitalism and millennia of statism demonstrate two practical conclusions: When men's rights are protected to freely engage in production and trade, immense advances result in innovations, in creation of both material and intellectual wealth, in living standards, and in human life expectancies—but when men's rights to voluntarily produce and trade are curtailed by government, when statism in any form is rampant, then progress ceases, the creation of wealth plummets, living standards diminish, and life expectancies decline.
A RATIONAL ENERGY POLICY
We support the full freedom of U.S. energy producers to develop natural resources on the land they own or purchase from landowners that voluntarily sell to them.
We support an immediate abolition of all environmentalist legislation that restricts the right of U.S. companies to produce energy, and the establishment of a free market in energy.
Such a free market involves eliminating all subsidies to both fossil fuel companies and "alternative" or "green/renewable" energy companies,
and a definitive end to government incentives or penalties applied to the economic activity of any and all types of energy producers. We confidently maintain that a free market in energy, similar to a free market in computer technology, will attract brilliant minds dedicated to meeting mankind's energy needs across all technologies—and that to do so effectively, government must be legally restricted from any and all forms of interference. Such policies will ensure an America wealthy in inexpensive sources of energy, and will make the United States again a world leader in energy production.
We support a clean environment as a means to the end of flourishing human life—not as an end in itself.
Human beings—not swamps, wastelands, caribou, rats, or mosquitoes—hold supreme moral value. We hold that what is morally right and proper is for human beings to develop and cultivate the earth's resources in service of human life.
The human environment is kept clean and safe primarily by advances in science, technology, and industrialization.
For example: development of steel and concrete enables construction of reservoirs, water mains, indoor plumbing, and sewer mains that keep sewage out of the drinking water; advanced technology enables men to drain swamps that are breeding grounds for malaria-carrying mosquitoes; heating and central air conditioning permit human beings to live comfortably in extreme climate conditions, without breathing smoke from indoor fires; and so forth. Related, the protection of private property rights is essential to effectively resolving legitimate cases of pollution. If an individual dirties and limits the damage to his own property, that is his affair and none of the government's. But if he pollutes somebody else's property, a claim against him in civil court by one whose property he damaged must be upheld; a polluter must be held legally responsible for remediating any property damage he incurred. Additionally, the upholding of property rights enables environmentalist organizations, or others, to raise money and purchase large wilderness tracts, to be kept forever wild, unused for human economic development.
Regarding climate change, the earth is roughly 4.65 billion years old, possessing therefore a vast history in which climate change occurs naturally and ceaselessly. For example, millions of years ago, long before human beings existed, much less industrialized, huge naturally-driven temperature swings—significantly larger than the 1.5 degree Fahrenheit rise of the past 150 years—caused the onset and, in time, the cessation of ice ages. We recognize that the best opportunity for human life to flourish during such periods of severe cooling or warming is provided by electric power, indoor heat, thermal clothing, advances in medical science, air conditioning, sun screen, and the like—all products of applied science, technology, and industrialization. Whether or not human industrial activity contributed to the slight warming of the past 150 years, two truths are certain: This mild warming, despite decades of alarmism, poses no immediate catastrophic threat to human life—and government's restricting of the economic activity required to attain flourishing life across all climates, is the exact opposite of a proper course of action. Only a free society and a free market, upholding individual rights and freedom of the mind, enables the advances in science, technology, and industrialization necessary to protect human life from all of nature's dangers, including ice ages and other forms of extreme (or mild) climate change, germs and disease, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, and the like.
LABOR MARKETS AND JOB CREATION
The primary purpose of an economy is to create wealth—goods and services—which benefits human beings at all socio-economic levels.
In a free society dedicated to production, full employment of all who voluntarily seek work is a vital means to this end. It is gained by legally debarring government from interfering in the labor markets. The right of employers and workers—non-union and union alike—to negotiate freely and voluntarily, must be respected and protected by law. Just as we respect the right of two men to form a marital contract, free from government interference, so we respect their right to form an employment contract, similarly free from government interference. Government interference in the labor markets, by either setting minimum wage laws or forcing employers to negotiate exclusively with unions, results in wages set at levels higher than some people's labor is worth to employers. In truth, it is impossible to make a man worth a specific salary by legally prohibiting anyone from offering him a lesser amount. The result is, always and everywhere, unemployment. Instead, we unequivocally support the right of employers to offer wages that, in their judgment, reflect the productive ability of potential employees—and the right of workers to voluntarily accept or decline the wages offered, or to negotiate for salaries higher.
Such a policy will encourage full employment and ensure that those new to the job market and/or relatively unskilled can find employment
—and thereby earn money, gain experience, demonstrate a diligent work ethic, build a resume, receive valuable on-the-job training, and experience the pride of being self-supporting.
THE WELFARE STATE
We support full privatization of the charity industry.
Aiding innocent human beings in need is a worthy endeavor if individuals help because they want to, not because they have to, and if they do so privately, voluntarily, and non-coercively.
The government has no moral right to coercively re-distribute income,
i.e., to seize the wealth of innocent, productive individuals to provide unearned material benefits to those who did not create them—and it must be stripped of all legal authority to do so. The energy with which the welfare state is upheld by many moralists, teachers, politicians, welfare department bureaucrats, and millions of voters supporting it, can be re-directed—properly—to found, fund, and/or join private charity organizations that voluntarily and non-coercively help innocent persons in need.
The right of working individuals to retain their full earnings—and to dispose of their income as they choose—must be unequivocally protected by the government of a free society.
In practical terms, individuals know—far better than does the government—what is best for them and for the disposal of their wealth. Indeed, most honest working persons are—fiscally—vastly more responsible than is the government. The right of private individuals to choose between spending and saving, between higher living standards during working years and increased resources for retirement, must be upheld by law. To this end,
We support a full phasing out of the Social Security system,
paying back to workers the full monies already collected from them, and immediately discontinuing any further withholding of workers' wages, with a result that individual retirement accounts are fully on a voluntary, private basis.
We support a full, comprehensive, definitive, and universal abolition—now and forever, by inalterable Constitutional amendment—of the government school system.
All education, with no exception, in a free country must be privately done. We recognize that government schools have no economic incentive to excel—that students are compelled to attend, and that taxpayers are coerced to supply funding.
Government schools, by the initiation of force, receive both students and money regardless whether their educational product is effective or poor;
indeed, often receive increased funding because their product is poor. Most Americans recognize that private schools are cognitively superior to government schools but, taxed to support the failed government institutions, are unable to pay twice for their children's education. With the abolition of the government schools must come the repeal of the income and property taxes that finance them, making it possible for hundreds of millions of Americans to now afford quality private education.
Moreover, a marketplace fully open to competition, teems with diverse options; for example, the American restaurant industry offers a wide array of choices—from dozens of popular fast food chains to diners, sandwich shops, family restaurants, ethnic restaurants, and all variations up to and including tony establishments offering five star cuisine. (And American supermarkets are a cornucopia of diverse foodstuffs to be purchased and prepared at home.) Similarly, when the monolithic government school system is abolished and education is privatized, a vast array of options will emerge to meet parental demand: More children will be homeschooled; tutors will offer academic services in a wealth of subjects; teachers will open tiny individualized schools; education corporations will be founded and open large-scale school systems across the country; and on-line education will proliferate. There will be religious schools and secular schools, academic programs and vocational schools, big-name prep schools and no-name start-up schools, day schools and after-work night schools and weekend programs, thousands upon thousands of options from among which adults—and parents and their children—will choose.
By taking schooling out of the government's hands and placing it where it belongs—in the hands of parents—we respect the right of individuals to choose the school they want for themselves and their children,
we definitively terminate governmental initiation of force in the educational field, contributing to freedom of the mind, and we vastly improve the educational levels in this country. We remember that prior to the imposition of government schooling in the mid-19th century, private education in America was widespread and outstanding; that, for example, Thomas Paine's Common Sense sold 120,000 copies to a free population of roughly 2.4 million, that the essays of The Federalist were written largely as newspaper editorials to be read by the common man, and that, in the early 19th century, Walter Scott's novels sold five million copies, the equivalent today of selling sixty million. A free market of education has, and will again, deliver superlative levels of literacy in this nation.
We support a swift and full repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare), an establishment of a free market in medicine, and a strict legal separation of state and sick bed.
Medical decisions will be made by patients in concert with their physicians, with government at all levels utterly excluded by law. Medical payments will be made by patients, by their private health insurance companies, and/or by voluntary charity organizations established to help poor persons with medical costs, again with government legally excluded. We understand that American health care, by physicians around the globe, is acknowledged as the world's finest. As but one example, vastly more English, French, and German men die of prostate cancer than do American men. But American medical care has become prodigiously expensive. At the same time, not coincidentally, we recognize that the United States is no longer a capitalist system, and has not been so for at least as far back as FDR's New Deal in the 1930s.
It must be understood that the United States is, and has long been, a mixed economy—an unstable amalgam of capitalism and socialism, of freedom and government controls, of individual rights and statism.
The two questions, in logic, are: Which part of the mixture is responsible for the superb medical care? And which part of the amalgam is responsible for the skyrocketing cost?
We recognize that, in any field, intellectual advance is wrought by free-thinking minds operating under conditions of political-economic liberty; this is as true of MRI machines, CT scans, arthroscopic surgery, illness-curing pharmaceuticals, and advanced cancer treatment as it is of superlative novels, beautiful musical compositions, breakthroughs in theoretical science, and such pioneering technologies as airplanes, automobiles, the electric light, personal computers, and the Internet. It is the capitalist element of America's mixed economy—not the socialist element—that is responsible for the country's superlative medical care.
Conversely, we maintain that a third-party payer system, backed and enabled by government intervention in the healthcare field, has immensely boosted demand for medical services without generating a corresponding increase in supply. Prices then precipitously escalate. It is the socialist element of America's mixed economy that is responsible for the skyrocketing cost of American medical care.
As but a first step to reduce government medical intervention, third party payers, and astronomic healthcare cost,
we support a gradual but full phasing out of Medicare and Medicaid,
over a period of several years, giving responsible individuals sufficient time to make alternative arrangements to pay medical costs, and for private medical charity organizations to form.
We hold that the mind's unrestricted liberation in a free medical marketplace will enable the next wave of bio-medical advances,
including ever more effective pharmaceuticals, pioneering surgical techniques, disease-detecting technology, as well as other life-saving developments. We further maintain that a free medical marketplace, by upholding the responsibility of individuals for their own medical expenses, and eliminating an economically disastrous third-party payer system, will immensely reduce demand for medical services, thereby immensely reducing prices, making quality medical care once again affordable for the overwhelming preponderance of U.S. citizens.
We uphold this conviction: Open borders for honest immigrants is an application of the principle of individual rights to those foreign born.
Consequently, we support open borders for all honest men and women. We maintain that honest individuals have the moral right to choose their country of residence, that the government of a free society must uphold and protect that right, and that, in practical terms, the United States throughout its history has greatly benefited from immigration. Andrew Carnegie, Albert Einstein, Jerry Yang (co-founder of Yahoo), Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google), and numerous other geniuses and/or productive giants were and are immigrants to America; Silicon Valley, for example, is heavily populated with expert, foreign-born engineers. Related, labor force participation rates show that low-skilled immigrant laborers are and have long been among American society's hardest workers. To those who argue that immigrants freeload off of the welfare system, our response is dual: Factually, the welfare state is—overwhelmingly—a problem of native-born Americans, not of immigrants, who generally manifest a superlative work ethic; second, the welfare state must be utterly abolished on purely moral and humanitarian grounds regardless of America's immigration policy.
Eliminating the welfare state will ensure even further that only those willing to work productively will immigrate to America.
Expensive background checks to ensure the debarring of jihadists, criminals, and persons bearing communicable diseases are, economically, more than offset by immense productivity gained by welcoming such hard-working immigrants.
GOVERNMENT FINANCING IN A FREE SOCIETY
We recognize that all honest Americans benefit from legitimate government functions—the civil courts, the criminal justice system, and a volunteer military.
Consequently, it is morally just and proper that we pay a fee for governmental services rendered.
Freedom does not mean the moral right to freeload off of legitimate government services paid for by others.
Consequently, government—like any other service provider—has a right to demand and collect fees for its necessary services, fees which can be referred to as proper taxation. Related: When government's coercive activities are fully eliminated—when the government no longer has the legal authority to establish a welfare state, to interfere in the productive activities of honest individuals, or to violate the rights of innocent men and women in any form—the cost of funding it is reduced to a fraction of its current amount. The expense of a proper, rights-protecting government is roughly ten percent of government's current cost, averaging to less than $2,000.00 per American; in practice, significantly less, because corporations, pursuing their rational self-interest, needing contracts upheld, would pay relatively more for their relatively greater use of the court system.
Invaluable service at minimal cost—this is the reality of government financing in a proper, rights-upholding society.
UPHOLDING INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS REGARDING PERSONAL MORALITY
We fully endorse a woman's right to choose between abortion and motherhood.
We recognize that a pregnant woman is an individual human being, with the right to her own life, her own mind, and her own pursuit of happiness, including the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Conversely, a fetus early in the pregnancy is no more than a biological dependency within a woman's body, incapable of biologically autonomous life, utterly reliant upon the mother's life support functions. It is not the first-trimester fetus's unformed digestive system that digests food for it, but the mother's; not the fetus's lungs which respirate for it, but the mother's; not the fetus's brain that controls such life-support activities, but the mother's; and so forth.
We maintain that a minimal requirement of attaining the status of human personhood is to be a biological individual
—an entity, not a component—and that an early-pregnancy, unformed fetus, although undoubtedly alive, and potentially a human being, is no more a human life than is an acorn an oak tree.
We maintain that the capacity for biologically-independent life, the ability to self-generate one's own life support functions, is a fundamental criterion of bodily individuation and constitutes a necessary condition for the attainment of human personhood. We recognize that such biologic viability is not reached until—roughly—the end of the second trimester, and that this point in development, and in time, forms the proper demarcation between moral permissibility and impermissibility of abortion.
A woman is an organically-formed, biological individual—a human being; an undeveloped fetus is not.
Consequently, one has an inalienable right to life; the other does not. As a responsible human individual, an adult, a pregnant woman is as responsible to finance her abortion as she is to finance her child—or to do so with the voluntary assistance of other private individuals, including and especially the father, who choose to help. Government at any and all levels, whether federal or state, must be legally debarred from funding abortion and from coercing taxpayers to financially support it.
GAY RIGHTS AND MARRIAGE
The inalienable right of all individuals—regardless of sexual orientation—must be upheld and protected by the legal system of a free society.
This includes legal recognition of the right of gay and lesbian individuals to form lifetime unions. Which sexual actions are performed by consenting adults is no business of other individuals, of society as a whole, and, above all, of the government. The government has no moral authority to discriminate between and among individuals based on sexual orientation. Its nature and function is to protect individual rights regardless if its elected officials or appointed agents morally approve or disapprove of the individuals they protect.
At the same time, we recognize that bigots—regardless the irrationality of their beliefs—also have rights. If a bigot—regarding his home, property, or business—refuses to deal with homosexuals (or any persons of whom he disapproves, for whatever reason, including the most ignorant, irrational, or vile), that is part of his or her inalienable right to his own property. An individual, by virtue of being an ignoramus, does not relinquish his right to the use and disposal of his property.
Even irrational persons—as long as they do not initiate force or fraud—have rights.
We morally demand that the government of a free country protect the rights of all non-criminal individuals—including those of irrational bigots. Further, we morally commend all rational men and women to combat ignorant bigots—including those who discriminate against gays—by means that do not violate the bigots' rights: by education, ethical training, moral condemnation, social ostracism, and/or economic boycott. We recognize that such means bring truly positive social changes: a commitment to reason and to the protection of the rights of all individuals—and to a ban on the initiation of force, including, and especially, by the government.
THE WAR ON DRUGS
Although we deplore human beings risking—and sometimes losing—their lives by means of toxic drug use, we uphold the inalienable right of adult citizens in a free society to choose which drugs, if any, they will imbibe.
Although the choice to use potentially lethal drugs is a self-destructive one, we hold that an individual's inalienable right to his or her own life includes the right to irrationally risk it. The government of a free country has no moral authority to dictate to adult individuals the substances they may or may not be permitted to use.
Practically, we recognize that the attempt—by making toxic drugs illegal—to prevent Americans from imbibing such substances is a colossal and colossally expensive failure. Related, Prohibition, almost a century ago—the war on alcohol—was a similarly abysmal failure. From such examples, can be drawn a conclusion: It is impossible to prevent procurement of x by criminalizing the purchase or ownership of x. There is an economic principle involved: If x is in demand—if people both desire and have the purchasing power to buy x—then money can be made by supplying it. If x is legal, it is supplied by honest businessmen; if x is illegal, it is supplied by gangsters. Either way, x is supplied. We maintain that the legal war on drugs is both a moral abomination and a practical disaster.
We call for the immediate legalization of all drugs, a policy which will have numerous consequences, all of them benign. Legalization will protect the right of adult citizens to govern their lives by their own judgment
(regarding an important social issue, it will legally ban governmental initiation of force against innocent citizens); it will place the drug business in the hands of honest businessmen; it will strip of enormous profit and consequently of enormous power the vile gangsters who currently traffic in illicit drugs; it will significantly lower the homicide rate in this country; it will save the American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars per year; it will end the persecution (and prosecution) of those whose only "crime" is the purchase, ownership, or consumption of a banned substance; and it will thereby free up law enforcement assets to concentrate full-time on the apprehension of violent criminals, jihadists, and any others that initiate either force or fraud against innocent victims.
Above all, we hold that terminating the failed legal war on drugs, enables a vastly more powerful and effective war on drugs.
For all rational and healthy persons of goodwill, who care about their brothers and sisters, and who sincerely seek to prevent tragically unnecessary deaths from drug use, the responsibility is now squarely on our shoulders: By living a clean, healthy, responsible, and joyous life, we are a beacon for anyone with eyes to see. Walking the walk, we can now effectively talk the talk: We teach our children, our students, our neighbors, colleagues, family members, and friends about the myriad values life potentially holds out to them—about education, productive career, romantic love, children, dear friends, and many others—and about the insanity of risking all this for a few moments of a drug-induced "high."
We initiate no force against our fellows but appeal to the best within them—to their reason and to their love of life.
We thereby respect their right of choice—we respect their reasoning mind—we appeal to their better judgment. And by means of such a philosophic-moral-educational war on drugs, we will save vastly more lives than ever did the failed legal war on drugs.
UPHOLDING INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS REGARDING ISSUES OF NATIONAL-AND-SELF-DEFENSE
DEFENDING AMERICA AND AMERICANS
The only proper role of government is to protect individual rights.
Consequently and in actual practice, it is as necessary for the government of a free country to protect innocent citizens against foreign aggressors as it is to protect them against domestic criminals. Terrifyingly, the history of the past century shows no shortage of foreign aggressors ready and able to assail America and/or murder Americans—among them, National Socialists (Nazis), Communists, and Islamists.
It is tragically true that, in such a world, the United States—while passionately upholding individual rights, the non-initiation of force, and peace—must be prepared to effectively defend itself against those who would initiate force against it.
Therefore, we stand for a strong United States military, and for willingness to use that military, around the globe if necessary, to defend America, Americans, and the property of Americans.
To protect the rights of American citizens, the United States government must pursue a foreign policy of rational self-interest.
The government must protect the rights, the lives, and the property of Americans internationally, and it must protect the right of Americans to trade voluntarily with productive individuals and companies overseas. The United States should be a good friend and trading partner to free nations across the globe, an outspoken moral critic of dictators everywhere, and a fearsome foe to dictatorships that threaten or attack it or its citizens.
In World War II, the United States used its full technologic, industrial, and military might to utterly destroy the tyrannical regimes that assailed it. This must be the template for dealing with those enemies that physically threaten or assault America and/or Americans.
The moral principle that must be made clear to potential assailants is: Leave us in peace—or be utterly and totally annihilated. You have no other alternative.
We value freedom, individual rights, the non-initiation of force, and the prosperity and peace that follow in their train. We neither prize nor seek the horrors of war. But to those that physically attack America and/or Americans, our response will be war—not a war of nation-building, not a war calculated to win hearts and minds, but a war of annihilation. Let our enemies beware.
We emphasize that military service in a free society must be purely on a voluntary basis; for to defend a free country, that country must be free.
There must never again be a military draft—or a draft of any kind, for whatever purpose—in the United States.
THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS
We fully and firmly support the right of all honest men and women to own weapons.
Morally, it is the inalienable right of an innocent individual—one who initiates neither force nor fraud—to own weapons, including guns. Practically, honest persons are then better equipped to defend themselves against criminal assault.
Further, we maintain that there is an even more important practical reason for honest men and women to own and to know how to use guns: The ability to defend their rights and lives against a government devolving into dictatorship. History shows that oppressive regimes, to maintain brutal control over their subjects, impose stringent gun control laws.
Not surprisingly, history also shows that disarmed civilians are powerless to protect themselves against a dictator's murderous atrocities—but that armed civilians, prepared and able to defend their rights and lives, stand a vastly greater chance of survival.
Related, a civilian populace, armed and proficient in the use of guns, forms an effective bulwark against foreign invaders. As but one illustrious example, the American Minutemen—farmers and shopkeepers, not soldiers—owning and effective in the use of muskets, defeated troops of the British Empire at Lexington and Concord, thereby catalyzing a successful uprising for freedom. For reasons both moral and practical, for purposes of effective self-defense against both criminals and dictators, we fully and firmly support the right of honest men and women to bear arms.
The Moral is the practical.
If the United States universally upholds and protects the principle of individual rights, as it should, it thereby provides safe haven for the greatest of mankind's thinkers, who will flock to this country—as they once did—from all over the world. The result is that geniuses both native-born and immigrant will once again transfigure our culture in every conceivable field—as did, historically, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, the Wright brothers, George Washington Carver, Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Maria Montessori, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and a host of others.
Freedom is fundamentally freedom of the mind.
When an individual's life belongs to him, it follows logically that his mind belongs to him—and he thinks, speaks, and acts in accordance with his own judgment. Creative geniuses are thereby liberated to originate new ideas, theories, books, and technologies, whether or not these are approved by secular or religious authorities. When freedom of the mind is protected by constitutional law, brilliant thinkers create flourishing civilization.
Conversely, when an individual's life belongs to the state, it follows logically that his mind belongs to the state—and he thinks, speaks, and acts only in accordance with the state's commands.
Geniuses are throttled.
Creativity is quashed.
Progress is halted.
Abundance is curtailed.
Penury is ubiquitous.
The protection of the rights and the minds of all individual citizens
—this was the vision of America's Founding Fathers. We stand in unequivocal support of that vision. Freedom and flourishing civilization—or statism and collapse.
This is America's choice—and it must make the right one now, while there is yet time.