Friday, August 30, 2013

The Conservatarian or "anti-statist"

(Image Courtesy of Google Images)

There seems to be much confusion regarding the meanings of the many labels ascribed to political theories and ideologies on the right. I want to be careful with the term "ideology" being that it denotes some ideal that does not exist in reality or presuppose violations of natural law by the state, not all viewpoints on the right are ideological. Little discussion will focus on the political left. I don't want to bog down my point with defining the myriad leftist labels, rather solely focus on the political right.

First some basics; the party of the left is the Democratic party, simple enough. However, the root word democracy, contrary to leftist demagoguery, is in and of itself tyrannical. Majoritarianism is using the coercive arm of government to violate the natural rights of the minority. For example, my natural inviolate rights can be violated at the behest of a 51% majority. The rights of the 49% are not considered and are forcibly contravened by either a static or temporary majority (it's irrelevant the exact percentage of the minority and majority, so long as one individual's natural rights are violated). It's no coincidence that the 17th amendment was passed during the beginning of the fabian socialist movement.

Our founders and framers never once considered a democracy nor ever use the term in the Constitution itself. They feared just as much as a monarchy, the tyranny of the majority.

Today, we hear that education is a right, healthcare is a right, marriage is a right, and that it's something one can acquire at the polls. But the fact that these "pseudo-rights" come at the expense of someone else's natural rights by force, is rarely mentioned by either party. The Democratic party is an ideology built on increasing their own power at the expense of the individual through a majority vote, they adhere to party rather than natural law and are willing to violate them at the behest of their ever growing power. Equality is achieved by the have-nots voting for the property of the haves.

The party of the political right is the Republican party. The root word Republic denotes power belonging to each individual, not the majority (in the context of our Constitutional Republic). Government must follow a guideline that protects the sovereignty of the individual, not the majority or the ruling class. I can also elaborate on how the Republican party is not necessarily the party of Lincoln, Coolidge, Goldwater and Reagan, but that wouldn't serve the purpose of this specific explanation and because temporary Republican politicians decide to pervert the party platform does not change the root meaning of the term. I will delve far deeper into those differences later.

There has been little difference between the Democratic party and the Republican party throughout history, both claim to be the defenders of liberty while the growth of government and the subjugation of the individual is their modus operandi. Both are ideologically fixated on maintaining their own power and stranglehold in Washington, earning both the label of statists. The Republicans do not want to change the status quo established by statists from both parties, on the contrary, they want to wield its unconstitutional power. Regardless of party, power is corrupting, rarely in human history have rulers or magistrates willingly gave power back to the individual. There is no longer an opposition party to counter the statists in Washington, DC, excluding a select few.

Take Obamacare for instance, a valid constitutional protection against a temporary majority party line legislation that alienate our natural rights is congress' power of the purse (remember, judicial review is not in the constitution, so checks and balances were put in place for these specific occasions). The Republicans-rather than superfluous repeal votes that they know are not efficacious-can simply defund the law. But why would they, they are agents of the state just as the democrats are. All that matters is appearances as they pander to the ill-informed and apathetic about their ostensible attempts to repeal Obamacare, knowing full well the futility of such obtuse efforts. Remember, the same power this bill gives the Democrats it also bestows upon the Republicans.

The counter-revolution to the status quo of the modern Republican and Democrat statist are those that fight in one way or another for the individual over the state, whether that be by the rule of law (constitutional principles/natural law) or by the laws of economics. Contrary to the ideological premises of the statists, the notion of an individuals rights coming from "our creator" and the rights that affords each individual is far from an idea or an ideal but a demonstrable truth. To satisfy an ideology the state is to coerce the individual and violate their natural rights that are conferred by no man on earth, nor government. In fact, our natural rights have existed far before governments and will certainly outlast them so long as even one individual remains on this earth. Moreover, the essential purpose for the creation of our Republican government was to protect those natural rights from the government itself (through individual sovereignty), our fellow man or from foreign threats of plunder, not to violate said laws using the same power they were given by the people to safeguard them.

adjective 1. holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion.

Noun 1. a person who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes, typically in relation to politics.

The label "Conservative" is misleading and a misnomer as it pertains to the evolution of governments throughout history (their insatiable appetite for growth and power and the status quo in the United States for the past century). The conservative is not reactionary but adheres to the principles of natural law, that these shall not be violated under any circumstances whatsoever, whether it be by the state, your neighbor, a foreign country or time. These principles undergird the freedom from the state in the political, economic and civil society and allow for mechanisms that perpetuate the empirically superior free market to flourish above all other dirigiste alternatives. The framers of the Constitution were by no means conservatives but battle hardened liberal "radicals" providing the impetus to promulgate individual sovereignty and Constitutional Republicanism in order to preserve the inviolate rights of man (this, in the broader context of the tyrannical nature of government over mankind throughout history before and after the ratification of the Constitution).

The Conservative sees social/moral issues through the circumscribed construct of the Constitution; these societal moral decisions should be made by the representatives closest to the body politic insofar as the body politic themselves have the most amount of input at the most local level possible (Remember, States are supposed to have plenary power by virtue of the Constitution). Mobility between townships, cities, counties and states promotes political competition amongst governments in much the same manner as competitive capitalism amongst firms (this of course is predicated upon the federal government abiding by its enumerated powers). Competitive government closer to the people disincentivizes tyranny and cultivates diversity. The framers had intended for the federal government to be largely innocuous, especially over the individual. This founding principle is why we have the most diverse and tolerant nation on the face of the Earth, regardless of the interested sophistry of race hustlers and statist demagogues.

The Libertarians beliefs are congruent with that of the Conservative, the belief in a limited role of government into the political and economic affairs of the individual. Minarchism is the verity disseminated by both the Conservative and Libertarian. Whereas the Libertarian sees things more from an economic construct, this does not in any way invalidate the Constitution or the Conservative but yields greater understanding of both. The competitive notion of local and state governments has been elided by the federal leviathan intentionally by virtue of the statist seduced with the allure of self-aggrandizement.

Let us examine our drug policy for instance; the Conservative may not understand nor care about the premise that prohibition of recreational drugs creates a far more lucrative market for said drug, or how the drug war yields higher costs to society than benefits. This is irrelevant in a system with competing local and state governments with proper local and federal representation. The Constitution does not ban drugs, the states or the people do, as we have seen with the alcohol prohibition that ended in 1933 (alcohol prohibition was added to the Constitution than later repealed). The difference is/was the demand for alcohol is far greater than the demand for marijuana. However, this is untrue in Colorado and may be untrue elsewhere, depending on how motivated, interested or incisive the drug user is about going through the proper legislative processes. Do not solely blame the Conservative for the prohibition on drugs, rather the user himself who shows no inspiration to petition his legislator for change.

Drug users seem far more apt and willing to pay the cost of using without changing the law. In other words, the immediate and fleeting high of "fill in the blank" drug is worth the cost that the state has imposed on its usage to the user. To the non-user, the public policy on drug possession and use is of no consequence. The advent of medicinal marijuana cards in some states has made the legalization of marijuana a moot issue as the die hard users are able to acquire a card and have no reason to change the longstanding bans. Legislation much like other products and services respond to demand. An individual of either party that are in opposition to the legalization of drugs simply have to do nothing. Those who are for the legalization in either party, but are not dedicated users or do not use at all would not necessarily benefit enough from their time and effort to petition their representatives for change. The rule of law isn't perfect, but it must adhered to.

I am opposed to the war on drugs, but I'm not opposed to localities banning drugs as they see fit. So long as no one is coerced to live there. Much like a firm, if this policy (at the local level) is unwanted and people move to another locality because of it, the only people that would incur the costs are the body politic that passed the law. Moreover, the loss of tax revenue, jobs etc. would force the locality to lift the ban. This can go either way and applies to myriad legislation. Competition between governments is a good thing. However, much like monopoly in the private sector, monopoly in the public sector can only come from the federal government. When the federal government bans and enforces laws that belong to the states or to the people, they monopolize choice and limit freedom. Mobility is no longer an option for the individual and competition is stifled by force.

I am opposed to any federal ban on Marijuana or anything else for that matter, as they do not have the Constitutional proviso to enforce such a ban. The Supreme Court Decision of Gonzales V. Raich is one of many activist decisions by virtue of perverting the commerce clause at the expense of states/peoples rights.

As for same-sex marriage and abortion (Roe V. Wade is unconstitutional, the tyranny of judicial activism) the Constitution provides a guideline for both. In order to more fully understand that issue from a Conservatarian standpoint you can click here for clarification. You can supplant virtually any other moral issue with same sex marriage so long as it isn't a natural right or enumerated as a federal power by the Constitution.

In the words of Thomas Sowell, "The Constitution of The United States cannot protect us unless we protect the Constituion". Conservatives need to better understand the forces and mechanisms involved in the free market and how that protects individual liberty and limits the authoritative power of the state. Libertarians need to better understand the Constitution and how its protection of natural law is vital to the free market and individual sovereignty. Both Libertarians and Conservatives need to better understand that if we don't stop the statists (in either party) from eroding and obfuscating our Constitutional rule of law, the bastardized economic and political freedom we barely enjoy now in the breach, will seem like a foregone utopian dream.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Barriers to Entry: Why They Hurt the Ancap Position

In my brother's write up entitled Anarcho Capitalism Dogmatism he argues that the economic model for the ancap society is the perfect competition model.  I agree with this assessment for a few reasons, but I recently got into a debate with an ancap about one of the assumptions in the perfect competition model, namely, zero barriers to entry, so I would like to address the arguments in this post.

When debating an ancap there are two common arguments you will hear.  One is that "the market will provide it" and the other is that "we will defund the company we are dissatisfied with and fund a different one that provides better service."  When making these arguments, they will not theorize how the market will provide the good or service, and they will not explicate how they can switch providers if there is currently only one that exists.  This does not mean that ancaps have not theorized about certain issues but when discussing these potential problems with neo-ancaps theory is usually unimportant to them.  This unfortunate characteristic more often than not leads to dogmatic assertions and a priori conceptualization.   

In the debate, I mentioned two things that are noncontroversial economic theories.  One is about natural monopolies and the other is about airlines (my ancap opponent brought up airlines).  The point I made about natural monopolies is that often times it is more efficient to have one utility company to provide a service over a geographic region.  This is because of the extremely high start up costs and they do not reach diseconomies of scale, i.e., it is cheaper for them to provide the natural good to more people than less people.  Thus, the people of this region can get their water at a cheaper price.  To stop this single company from charging obscene prices I posited a solution that a governing agency could hinder them from doing so. (NOTE: I said governing agency, not government.  Could the free market handle this? possibly, however, complications arise.  I think this could be one justified role of a LOCAL government.)

In response to my argument the ancap asserted that there has never been a natural monopoly, claimed I don't know anything about how the market works, and called me a socialist.  It seems as though the original Anarcho-Capitalistic Dogmatism is vindicated once again.  

Now I would like to transition to the point of how airlines have barriers to entry.  The ancap brought up airlines in an attempt to refute my brother's point about the perfect competition model.  This was surprising to me because I believe it actually refutes the ancap argument that people can simply "switch providers".

There are major barriers to entry for airlines.  High costs, few firms, and airlines can control their prices (minus of course some costs like the changing prices of fuel).  These barriers to entry make it extremely difficult for a new firm to enter the market and survive.  This is because one must have a lot of capital to start up a new airline.  With such high costs there is more risk, which in general can discourage investors.   Moreover, with such few firms and their control over the prices it is easy for existing firms to lower prices to cause new start up firms to fail.  (I would like to point out that when I argued this he acted as if it was ridiculous but asserting something to be ridiculous is not the same as proving it.  The argument I was presenting is studied in depth by economists, it is known as the field of Industrial Organization, hence it is the theory of how certain industries are organized)  The problem with the airlines could also be an issue when it comes to a police force or national defense.  The ancaps frequently argue that the market will provide a police force and a national defense but the fact of the matter is that it is hard to switch services when it is a service outside of perfect competition.  This is ultimately why I think ancaps need perfect competition in order for their theory that consumers can switch providers to be plausible.

I would also like to point out that I am not arguing that these potential problems are examples of market failures where the government is needed to intervene.  I am simply pointing out that these situations are much more complex than the ancap would like you to believe.  The assertion that the market will fix it or we will switch providers is much too simplistic for these complicated issues.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Same Sex Marriage and the Constitution; a Guideline and Analysis.

(Image Courtesy of Google Images)

Some people believe that marriage is a civil right, safeguarded by our constitution, however, the Constitution itself never mentions marriage nor is there any explicit law banning marriage between two individuals of the same sex. THE 14TH AMENDMENT HAS ZERO TO DO WITH BEHAVIOR OR SEXUAL PREFERENCE. The civil war was not fought over what happens in ones bedroom. That argument is old, tried and ridiculous. SAME SEX MARRIAGE IS NOT CONGRUENT TO INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE. Skin color is a far cry from behavior, attraction and choices. (regardless if you think sexuality is a choice or not). 

Let's look at this logically; the notion of marriage as a "right", is a presupposition of the verity that someone else must marry you, by virtue of forfeiture of another individuals liberty to satisfy your "right". Clearly, the only way this right could be fulfilled is by coercion, presumably, (definitely) by government. Moreover, since when do "rights" come at the expense of another indivdual's liberty, is liberty from coercion of one's fellow man not a right? The common fallacy among the left and many libertarians is that this is a "social" issue when it is not at all. Moreover, it's basis as a legal issue merely falls under the scantest penumbra of the law possible, insofar as marriage is a not a privilege conferred by the government; it existed long before the law and government. Marriage was/is a religious union that had and continues to have no definitive relation to the state whatsoever, other than as a TAX STATUTE. (I'm using capitals for emphasis being that for some, this is hard to comprehend). If you want to marry a lamp post, you can, however don't expect to get tax breaks from the state. Everyone is afforded the opportunity to marry, and everyone can, why do you need validation from the state. I hear libertarians arguing that the state should stay out of the "marriage business" as if government grants people the right to get married. If you don't want the state involved you have that option. Marrying anything or anyone without a state license is not a crime! This position is antithetical to the entire notion of libertarianism and in blatant disregard of our Constitutional Republicanism. 

The same-sex marriage debate is sophistry from the get go and is not about rights or government. This is about merely redefining the word, marriage. The only reason the state recognizes a marriage is for TAX PURPOSES ONLY. Not to tell you who, how, when, where and what to marry. There must be a legal statute as to define who would get the benefits. THIS IS NOT ABOUT SEX ACTS, sex between a man and women serves a purpose other than pleasure or love. (obviously, that's why we all exist.) The reason for this is to encourage a man and a women to marry for three reasons: to have children (posterity), to ensure that these children will not become a public charge and from a posteriori perspective of historical human knowledge dating back over a millenia (over 6 to be exact) that a man and a women can more adequately raise children than a one parent household or with two people of the same sex. (there isn't a study in the world today that does not prove this premise). 

Now, I'm not saying that two people of the same sex should not be allowed to adopt, that's not at all what this blog post is about, nor is it about the morality of homosexuality. I could care less, really. My beliefs are mine alone, and I really don't want to know what heterosexuals do in their bedroom let alone homosexuals. Thirteen states in the Union either have domestic partnership laws (afforded the same benefits as marriage) or have redefined the term altogether. That's totally fine and well within their rights to do, exactly what the notion of federalism is for. 

What I do have a problem with however, is how liberals and libertarians think that violating the Constitutional process is a good thing because of their own ideology, zealotry or prejudices.( I guess I understand why Marxists would, just not libertarians) If this issue was so critical and demanded by so many people, why the rush to get five lawyers to coerce and nullify the will of the people. Let's look at the Supreme court ruling in California to get a better idea. Now, if you want same sex marriage, call your representative and lobby for change, you can petition your government, but sooner or later a law you may not agree with could get imposed the very same way, and you'll think twice about the tyrannical methods of politicians and the government.

But I digress...

Some people feel that the Federal Supreme Court should usurp the legislative branch and federalism undergirded by the 10th amendment in order to legalize, top down, same sex marriage. This blog post will discuss the constitutional process that ensures a rule of law procedure protecting the individual from an oligarchy of nine lawyers usurping power that belongs to the States or to the people.
This is not a political argument, as some views have blurred the political lines. It is a legal issue that is only perpetuated by constant distortion of the facts, ignorance of our founding documents and direct opposition by some of our rule of law. In 2000 and 2008 by referendum, the sovereign voters of the State of California voted in favor of the traditional definition of marriage via prop 22 and prop 8 respectively, both confirming/reiterating the definition of marriage; the union of one man and one woman. The body politic of California voted and approved a measure that would be definitively added to their State constitution. These State definitions and statues are solely for the purposes of State tax benefits to married couples, not the legality of private citizens ability to marry one another how they see fit. In other words, two men can marry one another, but under State tax statutes they would not be awarded tax benefits. (However, they are afforded the same tax benefits under the domestic partnership statutes in California.. more proof this is not about rights, but about a word.) 
In the case of Prop 8, opponents of the statute sued and eventually it reached the Supreme Court of California overseen by the Federal 9th circuit court of appeals. During the deliberations of the court the people of California’s representatives refused to argue the very peoples case they were chosen to represent. Jerry Brown, then the Attorney General of California was derelict in his duty as described by Valerie Richardson of the Washington Times:

...The answer: Because Mr. Brown refused to defend Proposition 8, even though part of the attorney general’s traditional job description is to defend state law from legal challenges — including laws with which they disagree.

This would not be the only time Jerry Brown and California’s AG would shirk their duties, as noted in a piece by the Ruth Institute:

The path to this point has been circuitous to say the least…last December the court heard arguments on the case’s merits, but because Governor Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris have refused to defend the law, in January the 9th Circuit asked the California Supreme Court to decide whether the Protect Marriage coalition had legal standing to defend Prop 8.
With the slowly changing opinion of the body politic of the United States the Obama Administration after years of defending the law rightly as constitutional, decided to challenge the Federal statute (DOMA) defining the law for Federal tax purposes only. As a tax collecting governing body the Federal government has many tax statutes that are applied and enforced by the IRS under the Department of Treasury. In late March 2013 these statutes (proposition 8 and DOMA) were deliberated in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, reigniting a longstanding national same sex marriage debate.
The same sex marriage debate is easily answered with careful consideration of our Constitution. As seen previously with prior court decisions like Roe V. Wade, many ideologues refuse to let legislation occur how it was Constitutionally mandated to occur; through the body politic via the legislative branch of government. The 10th Amendment of our Constitution is far more lucid than ambiguous, it clearly states: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. (US Constitution-Amendment X). A right to marriage is not articulated nor enumerated in the U.S. Constitution so the power to define marriage falls on the states, irrespective of the Federal definition.
The purpose of the 10th amendment is to diffuse the powers of the three federal branches of government amongst the several states. This is only one of the protections included in the Constitution to prevent central planning and ultimately, tyranny.  This amendment affords plenary power to the States and safeguards the liberty of the individual by keeping legislative matters in the representative’s hands that are closer to the people.(the state) Moreover, why should laws passed in a city in Oregon be imposed on a city in Georgia? They are composed of people with differing lifestyles and opinions, none more valid than the other. The 10th amendment safeguards the sovereignty of the people at the local level insofar as protecting their liberty from a ubiquitous federal leviathan.
As for DOMA, a law passed by bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate and signed into law by the President is perfectly and unequivocally constitutional. It is the very process by which our government is to abide by in order to maintain the will of the people. It is not in violation of the 10th amendment because it merely defines marriage a federal statute for the purposes of tax collection. It does not impose its definition on the people/states. (there are hundreds of IRS tax statutes at the federal level).
The same sex marriage proponent’s main charge is that the majority of the American people want to change the definition of marriage to include same sex unions. The main strength of this charge is that the major sentiment towards same-sex marriage is beginning to change in this country, its through this organic reversal of previous majority opinion that legislation can and will be changed through the legislative process. (insofar as this sentiment actually exists) Same sex marriage proponents or supporters should urge their Representatives to introduce and pass legislation recognizing same sex unions. 

Another charge from same sex proponents is constitutional, based on the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, Section 1. (U.S. Constitution Amendment XIV Section 1) The 14th amendment guarantees equal protection under the law. The strength of this argument is that the 14th Amendment of the Constitution can give the wiggle room needed to a Supreme court Justice in order to overturn Prop 8 and DOMA, without the need for legislation. This would also be far speedier than the legislative route.
 The fact that the body politic's views on same sex marriage are changing is certainly advantageous towards its proponents cause. However, if this is true, and it may well be, then why try to change the status quo in the Supreme Court composed of nine lawyers that have no business legislating policy issues? What if the court ruled same sex marriage is unconstitutional? That would set a dangerous precedent of jurisprudence that tramples on the rights of states to define marriage as the people see fit. 

We are not ruled by an oligarchy of Supreme Court justices, on the contrary, that’s the very reason we elect legislatures at the federal and state levels. The people decide what is right for their respective State. If New York decides to recognize same sex marriage and California does not, those folks that decide they want a same sex union in CA can move to New York. On the flip side however, if the Supreme Court decides to ban same sex marriage at the Federal level, it would be a violation of their respective States right to decide as well as a violation of individual liberty. It is far easier to move to another state, but much harder to move to another country.
The constitutional argument put forth stands on shaky Constitutional ground as well. There certainly is an equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment; however, this equal protection was added to Constitution as an exclamation point to the Civil War. It was another measure to explicitly state that Black Americans are American and entitled to equal protection under the law. It was in no way related to marriage, or sexual preferences. This also is not a formula for success as far as same sex marriage is concerned; proponent’s arguments should be more focused solely on the rule of law. To equate the same sex marriage debate to race is wholly inaccurate, and disenfranchises the brave black men and women who fought against violations to their natural rights as human beings, already protected by the constitution. They were treated in a brutal, vicious and appalling manner; not coincidentally the treatment was upheld by the very same Supreme court the same-sex lobby is begging for today. 

This argument is not only based on the morality of homosexuality. There is a large amount of people that believe it to be immoral and they have every right to believe that. There is also a large portion of people who believe that homosexuality is perfectly moral and they also have every right to believe that. My views or anyone else’s views should not be imposed on the entire populace by the Federal government. That would by its very nature be Tyrannical, providing for the very purpose of the 10th Amendment or federalism. Ideologues on both sides of the political spectrum get caught up bickering about fallacious arguments because they have little to no knowledge of the law.
We already have a system in place that answers most of the questions to our social, political and civil liberties, yet we choose to ignore it and replace it with our own personal opinions or feelings. Most arguments stemming from either side tend to be sophistical by appealing to emotion rather than a logical conclusion. The rule of law denudes emotion and fosters logic, it undergirds the liberty of the individual by retarding the ideologies or policies of those we may oppose. Federalism retains the right of the people to choose by which laws they wish to be governed.
Charges of bigotry are hurled at opponents of same sex marriage, and it is sometimes equated to racial discrimination. But how can a definition be discriminatory? Are drinking age laws discriminatory towards teenagers? Are polygamy laws discriminatory towards a religion? If one does not like the laws he or she is living under in their State or locality then lobby your representatives to change them, but don’t force people who do not live in your State to abide by the same laws if those people do not feel the same way. It is one thing to fight for what you believe in, but it’s another to force everyone to live by those beliefs via unelected lawyers rather than the people’s lawful representation.
If same sex marriage advocates were serious about promoting same sex marriage, they should lobby the Representatives in those respective states that have not yet changed their definition of marriage, (In most cases this is already happening) Instead of citing the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution use the 10th amendment because that would be more applicable and advantageous to their cause.
The same sex marriage debate is only debatable in the eyes of the individual’s moral compass, not in that of the law. The Constitution is a document that must be adhered to in order to ensure the liberty and equality of the individual themselves. Most of the debate is predicated upon fallacious premises or slogans and rarely is the proper methodology of the law discussed. 

It is entirely appropriate to either support or oppose the recognition of same sex marriage if it is done legally and amicably and within the confines of valid political discourse. The only side to this argument is the Constitutional one, or should be the only one that matters. It cannot easily be rebutted because it is written very clearly in our governing document, which all politicians take an oath to uphold. What we need is less bickering, fallacy and demagoguery and more of an analytical Constitutional discussion.

A Brief Defense of Economic Models

In this write up my goal is to convince some Austrians that mathematical models aren't as fallacious as they presume.  Before I get into my arguments I must first make this point and it is something that needs to be kept in mind as the readers works through this brief write up. Mathematics, insofar as it is utilized in economic theory, does not predict human action in a deterministic fashion, rather, it captures the laws of human action such that predictions can be made given the constraints of relevant conditions under examination within the theory.

To sum up the Austrian view of models, one could argue that they believe models use false assumptions and lead to fallacious results.  On the Austrian view, models cannot capture human action. I am not bold enough to claim that mathematical models can perfectly capture human action but I do think models are highly useful.  Consider the standard model of supply and demand.  It gives us proper results, is extremely intuitive and a wonderful teaching tool.  Austrians, on the other hand, believe that the assumed continuity of the supply and demand curves are false.  As far as I can tell, this is their primary objection to using this model. According to them, because supply and demand are not continuous it is much more unlikely to reach equilibrium.  I would just like to point out that adherents of this model do not assume that the supply and demand ever actually reach equilibrium, but rather, prices are always adjusting towards equilibrium.

But I digress.

If what Austrians said about mathematical models were true, I would not need to write this because I would probably agree with them.  However that is not the case.  Consider this quote out of one of the leading graduate school micro theory books:
"Imagine that you are trying to explain a particular phenomenon with one of two competing theories.  Neither fits the data perfectly, but the first does a somewhat better job according to the standard statistical measures.  At the same time, the theory is built on some hypotheses about behavior by individuals that are entirely ad hoc, whereas the second is based on a model of behavior that appeals to your intuition about how people act in this sort of situation.  I assert trying to decide which model does a better job of "explaining" is not simply a matter of looking at which fits better statistically.  The second model should gain credence because of its greater validity, which brings to bear, in an informal sense, other data" (Kreps, A Course in Microeconomic Theory, pg 8)
Does this quote seem to fit the Austrian argument that Chicago school economists are stat chasers and do not care about the validity of assumptions?  Quite the contrary actually.  It seems to me that Chicago School economists are concerned about human behavior/theory first and stats second.  I do not see why any economist should have a problem with this method of economics.  As long as the economist will admit some of the draw backs his assumptions might have, why should we completely throw models out the window? Note that when models are introduced through scholarly journals the author will always point out some of its downfalls but explain why it is still useful.

Another reason why I think models are important was touched on in my second paragraph.  Models are helpful learning tools because they are intuitive insights into real world phenomena.  Consider supply and demand again.  If I were to try and explain to someone why rent controls create housing shortages it is to my advantage to draw supply and demand curves and then show the different implications of keeping rent lower than the market clearing price.  It is much easier for the layman to see the consequences as a picture rather than sorting through all the material in their head.  Same goes for tariffs and minimum wage.  I have a hard time explaining why tariffs are bad even to a relatively knowledgeable audience, but as soon as I draw it out for them it clicks.

The last reason why I believe models are important is because even models that are falsified still help us gain knowledge.  This is because learning what assumptions lead to the false conclusions now gives us insight into why these assumptions won't work for future theories.  As long as the economist is trying to encompass human behavior as much as possible and it is fairly explanatory and predictive, why should anyone reject it? Models can have good explanatory power as to why things happen and to what will happen.

Lastly I would just like to point out this is barely scratching the surface of how much theory and thought goes into what makes a good economic model.  To simply reject these ideas based off of the use of models alone is preposterous

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Tyranny of Corporatism

(Image Courtesy of Google Images)

Most of today’s economic and political discourse has been promulgated by the interested sophistry of government and myriad interest groups, more prominently, business and labor. Moreover, these selective group interests conflict with the interests of the individual and limit the natural market protections for the individual laborer and the consumer. The only mechanism that protects both the consumer and the worker is individual self-interest by virtue of competition between firms for their products and services. Both corporations and unions can only benefit from the tacit cooperation with government to limit the competitive forces of the marketplace on both the input and output ends of production. Therefore, aligned with government and their coercive power, special interests privatize the profits and socialize the costs. Far from being a partisan issue, both Republicans and Democrats work similarly on both ends of production.

Corporatism is beneficial to politicians of both parties. Every business/organization wants to succeed, whether it creates a product or service the public demands or not. A pure free market system of profit and loss benefits only the consumer and those businesses that turn a profit. This creates demand by floundering businesses and or labor, for favorable political support against market forces, i.e. competition, that otherwise would not survive. Their rallying cry is usually “unfair competition” from other firms, or the preservation of the jobs in that particular firm or industry (also the argument for protectionism). Of course their only concern is their own business or their own job, congruous to the concerns of government and the politician, creating a perpetual partnership between both special interests and government that is antithetical to the self-interest of the individual. Eventually, the interested sophistry of special interests and government is promulgated and repeated by the politicians that benefit from their increased influence over the marketplace.

In the words of Adam Smith nearly two and half centuries ago, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” (The Wealth of Nations. Book I, pg. 12) The self-interest of the individual is what makes this country and our economy strong, it allows for the freedom of the individual to choose whatever economic arrangement best suits the needs of himself and his family, allowing for maximum freedom in the marketplace, as long as competition exists as a check. These arrangements work towards two ends, political and economic freedom. As Milton Friedman once wrote, “Freedom in economic arrangements is in itself a component of freedom broadly understood, so economic freedom is an end in itself… Economic freedom is also an indispensable means towards the achievement of political freedom.”(Capitalism and Freedom pg. 8).  An American citizen under various state laws may be unable to join an occupation such as law (BAR association) or medicine (AMA) without a state issued license, surely is deprived of freedom.(state licensure) Moreover, under federal commerce laws, the dairy farmer that cannot sell raw milk or the wheat farmer that cannot grow the amount of wheat he would like, are not without deprivation of their freedoms from the state.

There is an intimate relationship between economic, political and civil freedoms. Political freedom is the absence of force or coercion by man of his fellow man. The fundamental threat to freedom is the use of force by any central authority, or the forced will of the temporary majority over the minority. Civil liberties are best outlined by the Bill of Rights, private property being the cornerstone of all economic arrangements; if one were unable to reap the rewards of his labor, this would limit the incentive to work at all. As Thomas Sowell rightly points out, “For economic activities… property rights are a prerequisite, so that those who farm or invest in business can feel assured that the fruits of their activities will be theirs. “ (Economic Facts and Fallacies pg. 218). By keeping the economic arrangements out of the hands of the politicians and in the hands of a free people, diffuses the power of the government. Moreover, it limits the possibility and plausibility of coercion by the state over the individual. This verity directly correlates to less power for government politicians and bureaucrats, and although the need for politicians will continue to remain, this threatens the existence of and size of the bureaucracy altogether, and thus is anathema to those individuals in the bureaucracy.

We often think of politicians/government as looking out for the best interest of the people as a whole. Rarely do we think of politicians or government as looking out for their own self-interest, political power and longevity. Rarely, throughout human history do we see governments advocating for less power and less influence over the body politic (one rare instance being the Constitutional convention). What power would a politician have in government under the function of purely free market forces, in lieu of government intervention via regulations, what is now called “crony capitalism” or more aptly called corporatism. Both Republicans and Democrats are famous for employing this strategy for their own interests. Most notably, and the brain trust of the Republican party, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is famous for its support of Republican politicians and the corporatist interests of the business community.

It is in the best interest of both the politician and the bureaucracy to grow and increase their power, otherwise risk losing their jobs. “Crony capitalism” is a phrase that refers mainly to business interests. Businesses will kick back money to politicians for campaigns, which serves their interests, and in return business will receive favors from government in the form of permits, grants, tax breaks or even subsidies and bailouts. Businesses that would otherwise fail due to competition in the marketplace as a result of either high prices, inferior products or a shift in demand can now do business in perpetuity on the taxpayers dime.

The success and subsidization of business is in the self-interest on the politician that receives the funds the business otherwise does not have to spend, essentially at the expense of the taxpayer, solely for the interests of the politician and the business. One cannot blame businesses for trying to limit the repercussions of competitive capitalism, the only market force that protects the individual at the expense of bad business; after all, a pure free market is a profit and loss system. Losing sucks for those involved and invested in a particular business, no doubt, but this type of corporatism limits the market for competitors and discourages entry of a firm that could offer better quality, lower prices or both to the consumer. Moreover, the government has initially taken money from the individual (through the power of taxation) with the threat of force, and used it to benefit a business he or she otherwise would not patronize. Thus, the self-interest of business and government through coercion, violate the rights of the individual for their own personal gain. Not only does this stifle competition and hurt the consumer, it also limits the amount of money the taxpayer has to spend. Unfortunately, business has far more company in its collusion with politicians and government.

Corporatism is favorable treatment not just to business, but to other special interest groups that otherwise would not succeed in the market or want to limit the competitive threat to their products or services using the coercive force of government. Labor unions operate in a similar fashion, insofar as their control over input. Most, if not all big labor unions heavily support the Democratic party on the national level. However, Republicans are also guilty of favoring unions at the local level for much the same reasons. In order to earn higher wages, in the absence of increased production or demand, labor unions must restrict the input for that particular firm or industry. The higher wages and benefits earned by the union come at a cost to the non-union laborer, concentrating the benefits and dissipating the costs, respectively. Due to the higher costs paid by a firm to their union employees (above and beyond their actual production) less access to a particular trade or firm is afforded to non-union laborers, mitigating the competition and thus decreasing the pool of human capital with the necessary skills to compete for jobs elsewhere in the marketplace.

Although, unions certainly have the right to free assembly and in my opinion most certainly should, union membership should always be voluntary; this is not the case in many state and local governments or in a closed shop (or union shop -whatever terminology unions use to circumvent the law and exploit labor). A union member must pay dues; these dues are in turn contributed to politicians that will favor union policy, and in the case of most public unions, come at the expense of the taxpayer. The greater the union membership, the more money can be kicked back to a politician, increasing the power of the politician in exchange for increased wages and benefits, at the expense of non-union labor. Unions concern lies invariably with dues paying members, and their own self-interest in the same way corporations are with their (voluntary) shareholders, and through the coercive force afforded only to the government, they collude and limit the freedom and choice of the individual in the marketplace.

There is however, one huge difference in business colluding with government and labor colluding with government insofar as a corporation/business can certainly put their hand in the taxpayers till, however they still cannot coerce demand. For instance, government can subsidize the car company Fisker all it wants without my consent, but for the time being, it cannot force my hand in purchasing said vehicle. On the other hand, unions coerce participation by only allowing members to retain their jobs, collecting dues regardless of the opinions or predilections of the individual laborer with little to no accountability to the union representation. What kind of freedom is that? And what system is really exploiting the “proletariat”? The power afforded to these businesses, unions and politicians by government (not capitalism) are the very reason so many economic myths are perpetuated and promoted by statists, and naturally politicians’ and bureaucrats. (Union PR, corporate PR, and government PR) The concentrated focus, organization and incentives of these special interests and politicians are an advantage over the dissipated costs to the much broader taxpaying public. 

One of the major objectives of this blog is to dispel these myths and reintroduce logic and empirical evidence in the prevailing economic discussions and debates throughout the media, the intelligentsia and academia. 

A Little Bit About Myself

Many people check into our blog pretty regularly so I figured it would be a good time to give some information about myself.

I am from Minnesota and am currently pursuing my MA in math.  I received my BA in economics and math.  I plan on getting my PhD in economics when I am done with my MA.  My favorite areas of math are game theory, real analysis and topology.  My favorite areas of economics are Micro Theory/Game theory, Environmental and Resource economics, and International Economics.

My favorite economist of all time, as you could probably guess is Milton Friedman.  My favorite philosopher is Robert Nozick.  My favorite mathematician is John Nash with von Neumann as a close second.  I consider myself a consequentialist libertarian or minarchist.  I refuse to adhere to Anarcho-capitalism because I think there are major holes in their theory which do not exist in a minarchists argument.

I consider myself a Chicago School economist.  This is because I believe their methodology is a better way of doing economics.  I think empirical studies and economic models give insights to real world phenomena.  While I do believe in the methodology of Chicago School Economics this does not mean I have a problem with how Austrians do economics.  The only problem I have with them is how they feel the need to bash those who use econometrics and math in their methodology.  That and the philosophical implications of their methodology.  (I could go much deeper into this but that is not the point of this post)

In my free time I enjoy reading fiction and non-fiction.  A few of my favorite books are The Cather in the Rye, 1984, Atlas Shrugged, Harry Potter, A song of Ice and Fire, and pretty much anything by Hemingway or Vonnegut.  As for non-fiction I usually read math text books.

Disclaimer:  I am only one of three contributors to this blog

Libertarianism vs. Republicanism

Here is a good conversation starter:

Mill vs Pettit

Two major philosophical positions on political and social justice are libertarianism and republicanism.  John Stewart Mill’s On Liberty is one of the most influential works on libertarianism and Phillip Pettit makes a strong case for republicanism in his work Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government.  In this paper it will be shown that libertarianism makes a more consistent and compelling argument for individual liberty, which in turn promotes social justice.

In order to make a distinction between libertarianism and republicanism, non-interference and non-domination will be examined.  Mill describes libertarianism as a form of non-interference, which is the belief that one should be able to do as they please so long as they are not interfering with others, and one should be free from interference by others.  Mill has two main arguments on why this type of liberty is so essential, autonomy and individualism.  Autonomy, according to Mill, is being able to choose ones goals without interference, and one should be able to pursue the chosen goals without interference.  For example, if ones goal is to become a mathematics teacher there should be no outside force obstructing his path in pursuit of becoming a mathematics teacher.  Of course, it is assumed that the pursuance of ones goals does not interfere with someone else’s pursuance of their goals.  Individualism is important because it promotes progress.  If everyone conforms to the common belief then there will be no one to find the downfalls of the common belief.  For example, when the Pythagorean mathematician Hippasus of Metapontum discovered the existence of irrational numbers he was thrown overboard to drown at sea.  It is easy to see that this is a bad situation because the existence of irrational numbers creates a whole lot of interesting fields of mathematics that further increases humanity’s knowledge of the universe.  Therefore, if the majority has the ability to interfere with the minority in order to subdue opposing beliefs, new truths will be left off the table when debating justice or liberty.  Another example where individualism is important to consider is during state and federal election cycles.  More often than not debates between potential republican nominees are over very similar things and are essentially debating different versions of the same policy.  However, if there is one candidate that has very different opinions, if his views are closer to the truth and our constitutional principles but were subdued due to being the minority the public would be worse off for never hearing his opinions.  Thus, autonomy and individualism are important facets of liberty.
Mill would believe there are very few legitimate justifications for government intervention.  Basically, he would only be in favor so long as it promotes the type of freedom as stated above.  If a simplified society is examined, the type of government intervention that is legitimate is very clear.  Imagine a three-person society governed by a single agency.  If two people were engaging in a voluntary transaction, it would only be legitimate for the government to interfere if the third person were harmed by the transaction.  If a person is acting alone, the government has no right to step in and stop the act so long as he is not interfering with the other two people.  Obviously any voluntary transaction that takes place between all three individuals is allowable.  Now imagine if the three-person society takes place on an island with rough terrain and the three people living on all different corners of the island.  The governing agency would have a legitimate justification for some sort of taxation that will be used to pay for a form of transportation to decrease transaction costs between the individuals, i.e., the government can create a tax on X so that the efficiency of transactions increases to an equal or greater amount of the taxes.  One last thing that Mill would believe the government is justified doing is creating a tax on Y to pay for a national defense system.  It is hard to imagine how a defense system would be formed in such a simplified society, but the point is that a national defense system is one justified role of the government.  Would the government have any right to help the person whose area of the island is less endowed than the others?  The answer is no if it interferes with the other two citizens.  The discussion will clearly become more complex as the assumptions of the simplified society are relaxed, but the same basic principles of non-interference apply.
Non-domination as described in Pettit’s work Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government will be examined.  The difference in non-domination and non-interference is that under non-domination principles one can be interfered with as long as the interference is not arbitrary.  If the laws that are interfering with the citizens are arbitrary then according to Pettit, the laws become the instrument of the governing agency’s will.  If this happens we have a regime of an absolute King in which the citizens become slaves and are entirely deprived of their freedom. (Pettit, 36)  Now the question is who decides on the arbitrariness of an issue and what is arbitrary?  The answer is the officials that are elected by the public through a democratic process.  These officials should not have arbitrary power that is stated in a proper constitution.  These officials should also not be able to pass any laws that allow one group of citizens to dominate another group of citizens, or for one group to arbitrarily interfere with another group.  This point arises in one of the initial questions of what is arbitrary.  Pettit says the following:
While the law necessarily involves interference-while law is essentially coercive-the interference in question is not going to be arbitrary; the legal authorities will be entitled and enabled to interfere only when pursuing the common interests of citizens and only when pursuing these in a manner that conforms to the opinions received among the citizenry.

By this Pettit means laws are not arbitrary as long as the citizens are not dominated in any form.  The inferior persons choice options should not be narrowed, nor should the interferer change their judgment.  It is also clear that in order to not be arbitrary it must be accepted amongst the majority of the citizenry, but still within the realm of the drafted constitution.
From the definitions alone there is not a clear distinction between non-interference and non-domination, but Pettit gives examples of being dominated while not being interfered with that paints a clearer picture.  His example of being dominated only is known as the benevolent slave owner.  He claims that if there is a slave that has an owner that allows them to do as they please they are not technically being interfered with; they are however, being dominated.  This slave is just as free as the slave with an unkindly master, so therefore according to Pettit freedom requires the absence of domination, not just the absence of interference.
These two philosophies are very prevalent in the current political climate of America.  Most politicians adhere to Pettit’s definition of republicanism and some hold to Mill’s definition of libertarianism. There are some clear overlapping policies endorsed by these politicians and there are also some very distinct differences.  For example, all politicians believe in the basic freedoms such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and other things that do not interfere with others, but these freedoms are also making sure that no group can dominate another.  Other freedoms beyond America’s Bill of Rights can start to become less clear.  For example, both a republican and liberal will be in favor of some taxes in order to pay for the basic necessities that a government must, or at least traditionally provide, i.e. roads and a national defense.  A republican however, can claim a government should provide many more things so long as it is not arbitrary.  For example, a libertarian would never believe that it is the government’s responsibility to provide its citizens with health care, just that the government doesn’t disallow people to receive health care or that the government doesn’t interfere with ones pursuit of receiving health care.   A republican on the other hand could claim that insurance companies and hospitals dominate the citizen’s life in that if the citizen cannot afford health care they have a higher chance of dying.  Then there is an argument that the government should step in and socialize health care.  Another area in which the libertarian and republican might differ is legalization of all drugs.  A libertarian would say if someone is doing drug M in their home, and doing this drug does not interfere with the life of anyone else there is no reason for the government to interfere with this person’s life.  But, a republican could claim that criminalizing drug M is not arbitrary because it is protecting the citizen from being dominated by a substance. Furthermore, it decreases the availability of the drug and should ultimately decrease its usage by the citizens.  Another issue these two philosophies will differ in is the presence of labor unions.  A libertarian would say that as long as the working conditions are came to by a voluntary agreement, the agreement is just and fair according to the two parties.  A republican would not agree with this because then the employer will dominate the employee.  Thus a labor union will protect the employees working environment, make sure the employee has a fair wage, make sure the employer can’t fire the employee in order to hire cheap labor and provide the employee certain benefits such as health insurance.  There are many more things that a republican would argue for that are beyond the scope the rights provided by a libertarian.
Now that the differences and similarities have been explained, it will be shown that libertarianism is a much more consistent view if individual liberty.  The example of the simplified society clearly points out the type of laws and institutions that a libertarian would be in favor of, but if the same example is looked at through the republican definition of liberty it gets much more complicated.  As pointed out, the governing agency would still have the responsibility of forming a tax code that pays for a national defense and a transportation system for the citizens, the voluntary exchange principle would be the same, but the example of one person having a less endowed portion of the island is a bit unclear. As pointed out, the libertarian island would not expect the government to intervene, but the republican government could claim it needs to intervene and it is not arbitrary.  If one person is less well off in the three-person society, they are going to be at the whims of the other two, and in a sense dominated by them.  Therefore the government needs to step in and help them not be dominated.  It is unclear how they will help, but nonetheless the government must take from one or the other citizens, or both.  Since the other citizens are now forced to work for the government in order to help the less well-off they are being interfered with and dominated by the government.  They are not choosing to help the other, thus they are being told what to do with their time.  Because they are being told what to do with their time they are disallowed to choose freely how they want to spend their time and therefore being interfered with.  So the government makes a claim of non-arbitrary interference for the benefit of one citizen, but now it is dominating and interfering with at least one other citizen.  Now the argument of whose rights of not being dominated are more important must be had in order to resolve this issue.
If complications arise in the simplified society many more complications will arise once the assumptions are relaxed.  For example, the labor unions as mentioned above would cause complications.  One can make an argument that if labor unions are formed then the employees are dominating the employer.  Then one must ask why the employee’s rights are more important than the employers, just because there are more of them?  Furthermore, if we look at past experience it can be seen that industries with high labor unions are ran inefficiently.  These inefficient industries lower the standard of living because prices must rise; profits will be lowered, and ultimately if these industries do not want to go bankrupt there must be some sort of trade restrictions to stop foreign firms without unions to dominate the unionized domestic firms.  Due to higher prices and more trade restrictions simple economic models can show the dead weight loss to a society.  Furthermore, as Joseph Schumpeter’s theory of creative destruction points out, a firm must have profits in order to invest in research and development in order to have technological innovations which further increase standard of living.  So now in order to protect the employees, the standard of living of an entire country is lowered by raising costs, increasing trade restrictions and slowing down the rate of technological progress.  This is just one of the issues a republican must tackle when they are arguing that non-domination is the best road to freedom; there are many more issues they must work very hard to prove that the interference is not arbitrary and that the interference would in fact create more freedom.
Another problem with Pettit’s non-domination is that it is assumed that one can be dominated while not being interfered with.  The example of the benevolent slave owner violates the Mill’s principle of autonomy.  If a slave has a benevolent owner, they are not free to pursue their goals without being interfered with.  Using the same example as before, a slave cannot become a math teacher even if their owner is benevolent to the highest degree, and if they can become a math teacher, they are not a slave.  Therefore the assumption that non-domination is more important than non-interference is not coherent with the ideal that Mill presents.
Based on the evidence presented, one must conclude that libertarianism is the most consistent form of individual liberty.  It is a clear and concise way of defining freedom.  It gives everyone equal rights without the chance of the government picking winners or losers, as in the case of the union example.  Therefore if a nation wants to progress it must promote social justice through libertarianism.


  • Mill, J.S, On Liberty
  • Pettit, Phillip.  Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government. 
  • Van Den Berg, Hendrik.  International Economics, 1st edition. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Clarence Thomas' Dissent on Kelo V. New London; the Originalist Take on Property Rights.

This Dissent in Kelo actually serves a dual purpose. On one hand it demonstrates the tyranny of the Supreme Court and the lopsided power they posses to change the Constitution based on their own predilections. The other: it beautifully delineates the founders vision of private property rights in our Constitution and more accurately explains the Takings Clause. In order to understand property rights this a must read. Justice Thomas could very well be the best Originalist Supreme Court Justice we have, and at a close second is Antonin Scalia. He also mentions one of the more undervalued and pivotal legal influences on the creation of the Constitution, William Blackstone, who had great influence over both James Madison and James Wilson.

Click here for the dissent.

The Corporatism of immigration?

The message here is simple, either get rid of the Welfare state, or close the borders (I'm in favor of abolishing the welfare state, but that's not at all feasible). Amnesty only removes the incentives of aliens to continue working in the jobs that "American's don't want" and makes being a charge of the state more profitable, not at the fault of the alien, but in the self-interest of the politicians. The more people on the government dole, the more power they wield. After all, a check is more tangible and easier to sell than liberty. The common statist argument is that illegal aliens are not privy to government benefits. Assuming that no fraud exists, that doesn't exempt the fact that by distortion of the Citizenship Clause of the 14th amendment, their children are eligible. (Wong Kim Ark 1898). This provides further incentive to not only give birth to a child on American soil, but the more children you have the more money you receive. This is no fault of the alien, they're merely doing what's best for their own self-interest within the construct of the law. A clear example of how people tend to react to the economics of laws (incentives) . Gone are the days when foreigners would emigrate to the U.S. for opportunity, but today rather, for outcome.

Non-assimilation in a literal and figurative sense, pays for the alien and the politician, as it does for other "sub-cultures' in America. It keeps the money rolling in the for the individual in the non-assimilated community, and the amount they receive directly correlates to the amount of power the politician wields. Who would vote against their own self-interest? That's not to mention the enormous benefits to the race hustlers that encourage balkanization and glorify multiculturalism, at the behest of their own self-interest.

The problem is thus, when a conglomerate of the body politic (be it a business, union or voting block) and governments self-interest are congruent, ensuring the survival of that specific group which would not survive in the marketplace--only enabled and perpetuated by government--is a form of corporatism broadly defined (almost a perverted version of Director's law in this sense). A vote is exchanged for government largesse and payments in kind (housing, etc.), these benefits continue to grow and soon the amount paid is greater than the amount earned/produced by entering the marketplace. This comes at the expense of taxpayer, who receive no actual benefit, but is forced to subsidize (be it bad business, unsustainable pay or dependency). This also comes at the expense of production, as it no longer pays to gain the skills necessary for advancement in the marketplace. This is anathema to the individual and antithetical to the Constitution, which maximizes individual liberty and restricts the power of government. A sub-culture would never be able to compete with that of the American culture, as we have seen in the world marketplace, if not for the subsidization by taxpayers on the behalf of government self-interest/power.

Clearly, the goal is to not make balkanization and inferior cultures in opposition of the American ideal profitable. As the the system is set-up, the sub-cultures are subsidized by government and discourage assimilation of the cultural values instilled in the successful American tradition. Their assimilation and individual productivity would come at the expense of the political power held by the state, a reason why this form of corporatism will go on in perpetuity. When in history has government not tried to increase its power or grow in size?  This example can be juxtaposed by the open immigration policy prior to 1914, before the welfare state. During this period, far more distant and diverse cultures were entering the country at an enormous rate, yet coalesced to the prevailing American ideals. The Italians, Slavs, Jews, Poles and Irish didn't come here to remain as such, they came here to be American, a far better alternative to their motherland. It was their only choice, learn english, get a job and climb the economic ladder as high as possible, which they lacked the liberty to do in their mother country.

Moreover, contrary to the opinion of race hustlers, culture has nothing to do with race. The American culture is made up of many different races that coalesced around American principles while still retaining their ethnic diversity (the "melting pot"). To deny that one culture can be superior to another is to deny an a posteriori understanding of cultural history.

A Brief Overview of Judicial Interpretations and Judicial Activism

Let's start with the basics, Strict constructionist and loose constructionist are two of several methods of interpreting the Constitution, and the most commonly referred to. Strict constructionist is a sole adherence to the words used in the Constitution and only to be interpreted as such. No other interpretation is needed other than what is provided in the written text. I will get to the latter later on. 

A clear distinction must be made between “strict constructionist” and “original intent". “Original intent” or "Originalism" is a method of interpretation that considers the meaning of the words to the ratifying states at the time of the Constitution's ratification. In other words, how did the states interpret the meanings of the text in order to win their votes? After all, the only reason we have the Constitution today is because those states saw fit to vote for it and ratify it due to the meanings of the words at the time. Essentially, original intent was the only jurisprudence of the founders and framers of United States and Constitution respectively (obviously, since they established it on those very meanings, the reason for its existence today). Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are examples of judges who currently employ this judicial philosophy. “Original intent” is not to presume that anyone knew what the framers were thinking about specifically when they drafted the law, which would be an impossible task. Moreover, that would most certainly imply a hidden meaning or an acknowledgement thereof, allowing manipulation and bias into the judicial process. The Framers could have been thinking about puppy dogs and ice cream when they wrote the first amendment or drafted Article I, but that is wholly irrelevant. 

A loose constructionist (the jurisprudence of judicial activism) would view the constitution as a “living, breathing thing”, merely a guideline that can be interpreted by how an individual judge's view the words in the constitution. This idea, with no coincidence, crept in along with the Fabian socialist ideas of the progressive movement. Woodrow Wilson advocated for a more "political" court, he felt that the constitution should not be interpreted in its "strict letter" but rather in its "spirit". Wilson explains it as:

 "That field they respectfully avoid, and confine themselves to the necessary conclusions drawn from written law. But it is true that their power is political; that if they had interpreted the Constitution in its strict letter, as some proposed, and not in its spirit, like the charter of a business corporation and not like the charter of a living government, the vehicle of a nation's life, it would have proved a strait-jacket, a means not of liberty and development, but of mere restriction and embarrassment."

What is a living government? Governments don't live, people do. Moreover, the Constitutions entire purpose was restriction of the federal government; this notion that natural law/liberty are conferred by government is insane. A once over of the Declaration of Independence is all a 2nd grader would need to understand that. The Court-as defined by the Constitution- is not at all to be political and was purposely made not to be subject to the whims of the political process. Hence, their lifetime appointments rather than elections and specific powers enumerated in the constitution. Checks and balances in government only work when each branch is "separate and distinct" (The words of James Madison, the "father" of the Constitution, federalist No. 48) Surely, this doesn't mean that nine unelected lawyers should have the power to usurp legislative duties from Congress. The first notable judicial activists were appointed by FDR, no coincidence there either.  He appointed justices favorable to his massive overreach of government (after both NRA and AAA were declared unconstitutional) and a court that eventually gave us Korematsu and Filburn (Filburn destroyed the original intent of the commerce clause and basically instituted central planning/socialism). Judicial activism is a viewpoint and process from which the federal government can deviate from the pure meaning of the ratifiers and the text, on a case-by-case interpretation, in other words, convey the ideological predilections of the Justices’. This "living" and "breathing" form of jurisprudence implies that the Constitution can be manipulated to present popular sentiment, relation to foreign law or subject to one’s own ideology. The ease in which five lawyers (a majority of the nine justices) can manipulate the law to reflect their own vision is stunning and is oligarchical in nature. As we have seen with Roe, Korematsu, Plessy, kelo, Dread Scott, and more recently the DOMA and Obamacare rulings. The practice of Stare Decisis is a further impediment to overturning the unconstitutionality of most laws.

Judicial activism is conferring a judge’s own ideology on the words of the constitution in order to institute legislation without the consent or accountability of the body politic. This method is used to affect change in the law without the proper constitutional amendment process (by-passing the people). Essentially, this was a way that the statist could circumvent the amendment process and impose their ideology on the individual. One cannot discuss Judicial Activism without mentioning the singular activist Supreme Court decision that led to all others, Marbury V. Madison.

In Marbury the court usurped the power of judicial review and constitutional authority away from the States and legislature, and created its own power not enumerated in the Constitution (Article III, Section 1 and 2). The Marbury court ruling gave all power of judicial review solely to the federal government via the Judiciary. Not only did the Federal Government make laws, they also were the sole grantor of constitutional authority of those laws. It was the very first breach of separation of powers, not only between the branches of the Federal Government but the diffusion of the Federal Governments power amongst the States, as Thomas Jefferson so eloquently summarizes, "The constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please."  This piecemeal approach to the judiciary by the Fabians led to the the soft tyranny we have today.