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The Sham of Government Transparency

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The Supreme Court in June ruled that the federal government can keep secret the food-stamp sales totals of grocery stores. By a 6 to 3 vote, the Court declared that such business records are exempt from disclosure under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This case, started eight years ago by the Argus Leader, a South Dakotan newspaper, is another landmark in cloaking federal data from the American people. The Court upheld keeping the data that the federal government receives secret despite there being no evidence that such disclosures would harm anyone. Argus Leader news editor Cory Myers labeled the decision “a massive blow to the public’s right to know how its tax dollars are being spent, and who is benefiting.” Grocery stores were not conscripted to take food stamps but they somehow have rights superior to American citizens, whose privacy continues to be ravaged by the National Security Agency. Controversies over the food stamp program have multiplied as evidence ...

Free-Market Liberalism vs. Corrupted “Capitalism” and La-La Land Socialism

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One of the issues that confronts the friends of freedom is how best to make the case for liberty as a political idea and ideal and as a policy proposal.  A central element in that is making sure that we know what it is that we are advocating and why, and what it is that we oppose and why. For instance, what is “capitalism” and what is “socialism”? And are those always unambiguous terms concerning the difference between the free and unfree society? It is certainly true that collectivist ideas of various types have made so much headway both in the realm of ideas and in actual policies that there are few people in American society who advocate a “laissez-faire” political, social, and economic system under which government would be narrowly limited to little more or nothing else than protection of each individual’s right to his life, liberty, and honestly acquired property. Public opinion about capitalism and socialism In June 2019, the ...

Stop the President from Managing the Economy

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For the past two years, President Trump and his loyal army of Trumpistas have been trumpeting what they say is Trump’s fantastic management of the economy. The stock market is soaring and unemployment is down, they crow. This shows, they say, that President Trump has been a great manager of the economy. Now that presidential campaign season is kicking into gear, Trump and his Trumpistas are getting nervous because it seems like economic hard times might be looming on the horizon. Does this mean that Trump has actually mismanaged the economy, especially with his out-of-control federal spending and debt and his destructive trade war against China? Are you kidding? Of course not, at least not according to Trump and his Trumpistas. They are now saying that it’s all because of the Federal Reserve and its refusal to continue inflating the financial bubble it has been inflating since the 2008 economic crisis. Despite the fact that America’s central bank is supposed to ...