Volume 15, No. 3                                                                                  February 9, 2010     
The Liberator Online
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In This Issue

* Libertarian Campus Leader Praises OPH
* Las Vegas July 7-11: Our 25th Anniversary Celebration!

* A New "Right": Welfare Cell Phones
* Short 10-Point Libertarian State of the Union Address
* Can't Get Stossel on TV? The Web to the Rescue!
* Government Versus A Kid's Dream
QUICK SHOTS: Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon lambast Congress and the federal government.... Misfits deserve liberty, too.... Time to end PBS....
* Stop Blaming the Kool-Aid!
 by Michael Cloud
* How will "public goods" be provided in a libertarian society?
* Making the Case for Ending the Income Tax: Part II
 by Sharon Harris
* FREE OPH KITS for libertarian student groups!
* Las Vegas July 7-11: Our 25th Anniversary Celebration!
* Join the Advocates on Twitter.
* Join the Advocates Facebook Fan Club.
Sharon Harris - newPresident's


Sharon Harris

"Excellent Recruitment Tool: Operation Politically Homeless."
That was the title of an article by Stephen Parvin, president of the Middle Tennessee State University chapter of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL). Stephen's excellent article was posted at YAL's blog.
Young Americans for Liberty, which grew out of the Ron Paul for President campaign, is a great student organization working to build a nationwide campus movement for liberty. YAL has over 1Advocates banner50 college and high school chapters across America, and supporters on many other campuses.
Operation Politically Homeless (OPH), of course, is the Advocates' acclaimed "outreach event in a kit," which we are now giving FREE to student libertarian groups. (Student groups: request your free OPH kit today by emailing us at: campusOPH@TheAdvocates.org .)
Stephen did a great job of summarizing the benefits -- and fun -- of OPH for campus libertarian groups. He wrote:
"The entire OPH kit is free for YAL Chapters, provided you agree to do the event at least 3 times a year and email [the Advocates] pics/vids of the events.
"This is a really fun event, and it's completely non-confrontational. My YAL chapter set up a poster-sized chart next to the table. People come up and answer 5 questions regarding social issues and 5 questions regarding economic issues. Then the scores are tabulated in an X-Y coordinate fashion, and a small round sticker is placed on the chart indicating which category the person's answers have placed them in. The categories are Libertarian, Liberal, Conservative, Centrist, and Statist.
"After we put the dot on the chart, we simply ask, "Is that where you thought you'd be?" You'll get different answers.
"If the person scores in the Libertarian area, or anywhere near, we ask if they would be interested in receiving any more information, and if so, they fill out the back of the Quiz with their contact info, and we give them a flyer or a YAR [Young American Revolution, YAL's excellent magazine].
"It's that simple. The table we use is uncluttered, devoid of any literature that might turn folks away. This is called 'The Spartan' set-up, and I think it works well in maintaining an objective, non-biased appearance. I just received our YAL Banner in the mail today, so we will add that to the setup when hosting this event next week.
"Thus the event is really just a fun, light-hearted recruitment event designed to open people's minds to the fact that there is more to politics than the 'left/right' propaganda we've been taught from the federal government, and most importantly, to identify liberty-minded new members.
Thanks, Stephen!
By using these free campus OPH kits, libertarian students across the country will reach thousands of liberty-minded fellow students -- the activists and leaders of today and tomorrow -- in the coming year alone.  
Learn more about OPH here.
Student groups: email us to request your FREE OPH kit today!

* * * * * * * *

July 7-11. 2010: Join us in Las Vegas for our 25th Anniversary Celebration!
Reserve this date on your calendar, because you won't want to miss the fun! We'll be celebrating our anniversary in conjunction with FreedomFest 2010 -- a gathering of around 2000 liberty-loving folks. We'll enjoy some of the world's greatest freedom movement speakers, great food, and some of the finest people you'd ever want to meet. (I hope one of them is you!) More details coming soon.

* * * * * * * *

Welcome to 335 new Liberator Online subscribers this issue!

The purpose of the Liberator Online is to build a stronger movement for liberty. We do this by providing information about the libertarian movement, news analysis from a libertarian perspective, and, most importantly, information and resources on how to best communicate the ideas of liberty. Thank you for being a part of this!
Learn more about the Advocates and our work for liberty.
Learn more about libertarianism -- the philosophy of liberty.
-- Sharon Harris, President
Email: sharon@TheAdvocates.org
Good News,
Bad News,
Unbelievable News

by James W. Harris

A New "Right": Welfare Cell Phones

What's the fastest-growing welfare program in America today?
Free cell-phones for low-income Americans -- complete with a limited number of minutes per month.
This "cell-fare" is available right now in about 20 states -- with more to follow.
In those states, heads of households who already qualify for state or federal welfare programs (like Medicaid, food stamps, low income housing, or free school meals) and/or have an income at or below 135 percent of the poverty level generally qualify for the free phones and minutes.
tracfoneOh, and it's not simply welfare -- it's a matter of fundamental human rights, says the leading company supplying governments with cell-fare service.
"Cell phone ownership is a right," declares TracFone Wireless. "Everyone should have a cell phone without the need for a contract or a high credit rating."
If you're a non-welfare phone user, the federal government forces you to pay for this program via the Universal Service Fund, a tax most phone users pay with their home and cell phone bills.
According to FOXNews.com, demand for the phones has risen 20 percent over last year. Growth is boosted by television ads from TracFone Wireless urging those eligible to get the phones.
In some states, the growth is truly explosive. FOX reports demand is "up 600 percent in New Hampshire and up 900 percent in New Jersey in just two months, according to government figures."
The cost for the wireless welfare programs will pass $1 billion this year. That's small potatoes, considering the total welfare budget, points out Robert Rector of the conservative Heritage Foundation.
"We spend over $800 billion a year providing various types of assistance to the poor," Rector notes. "That's one dollar in every 20 in this economy. It's huge and we really can't afford it."
However, as the program explodes in popularity, costs will rise, too. And critics are also concerned that fraud will be rampant. No government agency is checking to see if those who receive the phones remain eligible for them.
Yes, that's right. The program is administered on the honor system. As FOX explains: "The program is supposed to be 'self-verifying' -- that is, as long as a person claims they qualify for the subsidy, no government agency is auditing or enforcing the subscriber rolls."
A Short 10-Point Libertarian State of the Union Address
Bored or outraged by President Obama's recent big government State of the Union Address?
Advocates bannerLibertarian author and economist Jeffrey A. Miron didn't like it, either.
So he came up with this short and sweet "Ten-Point Libertarian State of the Union Address."
Here it is, in its entirety:
1. Abandon Obamacare
2. Forget Cap and Trade
3. Reject the Card Check Bill
4. Withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan
5. Legalize Drugs
6. Scrap the tax code and replace with a flat tax
7. Expand free trade and immigration
8. Stop the bailouts
9. Cut spending
10. Cut spending
BONUS -- Cut spending
Great list! The benefits to the country would be immediate and enormous. Personal liberty would be tremendously expanded and the economy would roar to life.
And it could all be done very quickly -- assuming the right people were in the White House and Congress (and in the voting booths).
We can't resist suggesting a few modifications to this excellent list. We'd replace Number Six with "Pass Ron Paul's Liberty Amendment to end the income tax and replace it with... nothing." And we'd substitute "Abolish the Fed" for the redundant Number Ten.
But that's just quibbling.
Jeffrey Miron for President, anyone?

Can't Get Stossel on TV? The Web to the Rescue!
Award-winning libertarian journalist John StosAdvocates bannersel serves up sizzling, stimulating and entertaining libertarian commentary on the Fox Business Network every Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET. And the shows are rebroadcast at 10 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday, and 11 p.m. Sunday.
But... what if your local cable station or your satellite TV package doesn't carry Fox Business Network?
First, suggests the Cato Institute's David Boaz: "Contact them and tell them you want Stossel!"
Excellent advice!

Then, turn to the wonderful Web.
You'll find both clips and full shows at Hulu.com. Just go to Stossel's Hula.com page.
Stossel's blog also features about 20 short clips from his show and from his appearances on other FOX shows. Also at the blog: Stossel's syndicated column and other writings on current events.
These are great resources. Now there's no reason to miss Stossel's commentaries on health care, nanny state nonsense, Ayn Rand, market alternatives to failed government programs, and so much more.

Government Versus A Kid's Dream
From a column in Muncie, Indian's Star Press newspaper, by Cecil Bohanon, professor of economics at Ball State University:Cecil Bohanon
"The other day my 13-year-old son shared with me his dream job: working part-time in a local hobby store. He is aware that the owner can't afford to pay him a minimum wage of $7.50 an hour. Having not even broached the subject with the store owner, my son asked: 'Dad, can I ask him if I can work for less than the minimum wage -- say $3 an hour?'
"Although proud of my boy's initiative I had to respond: 'No, my son, you cannot -- it would be a violation of both federal and state minimum wage laws as well as child labor laws.' Then in the same breath: 'And yes, son, I think the government restrictions that criminalize your pursuit of employment are a violation of your God-given rights.'"


Quick Shots...

JAY LENO ON THE BIRTH OF THE FEDERAL GOV'T: "Here is a historical fact. It was on this day in 1690, the first paper money was printed up in the colony of Massachusetts. The pilgrims realized that when they ran out of money, they could just print more. Thus, the federal government was born." -- Jay Leno, February 3, 2010.
Jimmy FallonCONGRESS SAYS "WHO CARES?": "Everybody's talking about the military's 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy. Admiral Mike Mullen said it's wrong to force people to lie about who they are in order to serve their country. Then Congress was like: 'Who cares? We do that every election.'" -- Jimmy Fallon, "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," February 3, 2010.
LIBERTY FOR ALL US MISFITS: "Liberty meansJason Kuznicki liberty even for people we think are weird, or disgusting, or immoral -- provided that they do not hurt us or our own legitimate interests. ... Once liberty applies only to the things that we like, we have abandoned the true idea of liberty entirely. ... A free society leaves the misfits alone, because sooner or later, everyone is a misfit, in some way or another." -- Jason Kuznicki, Cato Institute, "Liberty Even for People You Don't Like," Feb. 3, 2010.
END PBS: "Congress can save a quick $420 million a year by zeroing out the budget for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It's a needless drain on the public coffers that has outlived its usefulness. ... Today, there are hundreds of cable and satellite TV channels, satellite and HD radio and, most important, the World Wide Web. Americans have more access to more and varied content and vaster amounts of knowledge than ever before. ... government-funded public broadcasting is no longer needed." -- Washington Times editorial, "C-U-T spells cut, as in 'PBS should be cut,'" January 28, 2010.

* * * * * * * *
"Good News, Bad News, Unbelievable News" is written by Liberator Online editor James W. Harris. His articles have appeard in numerous magazines and newspapers, and he has been a Finalist for the Mencken Awards, given by the Free Press Association for "Outstanding Journalism in Support of Liberty."
POINT #283

Stop Blaming the Kool-Aid!

by Michael Cloud

In 1978, Jim Jones, minister and founder of the left-wing People's Temple Church, persuaded aKool Aidnd pressured 913 members to commit mass suicide by drinking cyanide-laced Kool-Aid.
Over time, the tragedy gave rise to a warning against blindly swallowing a group's outrageous or irrational beliefs: "Don't drink the Kool-Aid!"
A conservative might say, "My sister's friends got her to listen to National Public Radio -- and she drank the Kool-Aid."
A liberal might say, "I had a friend who started watching 'The O'Reilly Factor,' but then he went to 'Hannity' -- and now he watches Fox News all the time. He drank the Kool-Aid."
A biology professor: "One of my students read Darwin's Black Box by Michael Behe -- and the next thing I knew, he was spouting hard core 'intelligent design.' He drank the Kool-Aid."
A liberal economics professor: "A student asked why most economists are pro-free market and anti-socialism. I suggested a thick book to discourage him: Socialism by Ludwig Von Mises. He devoured it, and the next thing I knew, he was reading all the Austrian economists. He really drank the Kool-Aid."
"Don't drink the Kool-Aid!" says that the drink is clearly and obviously poisonous -- and you would have to be stupid or ignorant to drink it.
But "Don't drink the Kool-Aid!" misleads us. It misdirects and diverts our attention away from the truth.
Jim Jones' lethal beverage had four ingredients: grape Kool-Aid, drinking water, sugar, and potassium cyanide.
The grape Kool-Aid was safe. So are all the other flavors of Kool-Aid.
The drinking water was clean and safe.
So was the sugar.
Only one ingredient was poisonous: the potassium cyanide.
Stop blaming the Kool-Aid! Start blaming the poison: cyanide.
Before you dismiss something as lethal Jonestown Kool-Aid, identify the ingredients. Perhaps three of the four ingredients are safe and healthy. Maybe 95% of the whole thing is good for you. Perhaps only one ingredient, perhaps only 5% of the whole thing, is dangerous and deadly.
Can you make or buy the thing without the poison?
Blame the poison, NOT the Kool-Aid!
We can apply this insight to social programs or economic programs.
For example, if a government welfare program is lethal Jonestown Kool-Aid, what's the cyanide in the drink? Imagine a huge privately funded and run charity with the same mission. What does it NOT have that the government program does have? Is that the cyanide?
Or: If government raising the minimum wage is deadly Kool-Aid, what's the cyanide? Imagine Walmart raising its minimum wage for employees. Is this also deadly Kool-Aid, or is it fundamentally different? What ingredient is missing from Walmart's minimum wage increase that is present in the government action?
Or: Most economists agree that government central planning wrecked Soviet agriculture, savaged Soviet industry, and crushed the Soviet economy. What was the cyanide? Remember that Walmart is centrally planned. So is McDonald's. And FedEx. And thousands of American businesses. What's the cyanide in government central planning that's absent from these businesses' central planning?
Or: Most government job training programs are overpriced lethal Jonestown Kool-Aid. Yet hundreds of thousands of small businesses give employees "learn while you earn," on-the-job training that works. That gets them new skills, job security, and pay raises. What is the cyanide in the government job training programs?
When we learn how to recognize and reject the poisonous ingredient, we make ourselves both safer and freer.
Stop blaming the Kool-Aid!
Start blaming the cyanide!

* * * * * * * *
Michael Cloud is author of the acclaimed book Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion, available exclusively from the Advocates.
In 2000, Michael was honored with the Thomas Paine Award as the Most Persuasive Libertarian Communicator in America.


Dr. Mary Ruwart is a leading expert in libertarian communication. In this column she offers short answers to real questions about libertarianism. To submit questions to Dr. Ruwart, see end of column.
How will "public goods" be provided in a libertarian society?

QUESTION: What would a pure libertarian say are true public goods that cannot, by their nature, be provided by private industries? I'm thinking about such things as national defense, parks, schools, etc.
MY SHORT ANSWER: Some libertarians believe that every government service, including the ones you've specified, can be provided efficiently and cost-effectively by a competitive private sector.
(For details, see my book Healing Our World, available from the Advocates [2003 edition] or available [in the earlier 1992 edition] as a free download from my website, www.ruwart.com.)
Other libertarians believe that police, courts, and national defense -- the protective and judicial machinery of government -- should be provided by government through a system of voluntary user fees (rather than forced taxation, which libertarians abhor). Since this approach still gives government a monopoly in these areas, a person who was dissatisfied with these services would have limited alternatives, just as they do today.  
We are so used to government providing a multitude of services that we sometimes forget that most of them were first provided more efficiently by the private sector. Cost-effective services save us money, allowing us to buy more for less. From a practical, as well as an ethical standpoint, liberty works!

* "Providing basic government services such as police, courts, and military defense would cost a fraction of what we now pay in taxes. Fifty years ago, the U.S. had an excellent court system and the most powerful military in the world, yet taxes then consumed less than 5% of the average person's income." This is from a provocative short pamphlet entitled "End Tax Slavery Now" by Jarret Wollstein of the International Society for Individual Liberty (ISIL).
* For a book-length exploration of how the private sector can provide police and judicial services without government, see Bruce L. Benson's path-breaking book The Enterprise of Law: Justice Without the State.
Here's an excerpt from a review by the Mises Institute, publisher of The Enterprise of Law: "[Benson] says that private-sector institutions are capable of establishing strong incentives that lead to effective law making and law enforcement. The resulting legal constraints facilitate interaction and support social order by inducing cooperation and reducing violent confrontation. ... Consider the rise of private firms offering protection and detective services, the explosion in private arbitration, the lucrative business in alarm services, and use of private police in malls and subdivisions. We must also consider the body of private law that has emerged within many associations and business sectors. The market is capable of doing this!"
* Finally, John Stossel takes a brief but informative look at the notion that the private sector cannot provide so-called public goods in this column, "Good Enough for Government Work".
* * * * * * * *
Got questions? Dr. Ruwart has answers! If you'd like answers to YOUR "tough questions" on libertarian issues, email Dr. Ruwart at: ruwart@theAdvocates.org
Due to volume, Dr. Ruwart can't personally acknowledge all emails. But we'll run the best questions and answers in upcoming issues.
Dr. Ruwart's previous Liberator Online answers are archived in searchable form.
Dr. Ruwart's outstanding books Healing Our World and Short Answers to the Tough Questions are
available from the Advocates.
 Liberty Minute clock

Liberty Tip

Making the Case for Ending the Income Tax: Part Two

by Sharon Harris

This is Part Two of my series on persuading Americans that abolishing the income is sensible, desirable, and realistic.
Last issue I gave five ways to begin that argument. If you haven't read them, you can find them here.
Now let's continue.
income taxSIX: Now it's time to make the point that history is on your side. Tell your listener that America didn't have an income tax until well into the 20th century -- and without an income tax we quickly rose from a struggling ex-colony to become the most abundant nation in history.
Ron Paul, who has done more than any other elected official to advance this issue, made this point beautifully in 2001. Use his language to shape your own response:
"Could America exist without an income tax? The idea seems radical, yet in truth America did just fine without a federal income tax for the first 126 years of its history. Prior to 1913, the government operated with revenues raised through tariffs, excise taxes, and property taxes, without ever touching a worker's paycheck."
SEVEN: You may be asked: "But what about the Fair Tax (or the Flat Tax, or some other income tax reform plan)?"
Ron Paul provides a friendly and supportive response to this question. From the New York Times, Nov. 20, 2008:
"I see a consumption tax as being a little better than the personal income tax, and I would vote for the Fair Tax if it came up in the House of Representatives, but it is not my goal. We can do better. ... We could eliminate the income tax, replace it with nothing, and still fund the same level of big government we had in the late 1990s. We don't need to 'replace' the income tax at all."
You can also point out that it is hard work to build support for any form of bold tax reform, including the Flat Tax and Fair Tax. We may get just one shot at major tax reform in our lifetimes. So why not put our effort into building a movement for change that would dramatically limit government and increase freedom? As the old saying goes, if you don't ask for what you really want, you'll never get it; but if you do ask, you might just get it all.
Please note, I realize that some libertarians may prefer to advocate the Fair Tax or Flat Tax or other plan, rather than the complete and immediate elimination of the income tax. This article isn't intended to criticize such efforts; rather, it is to offer assistance to those who want to make the case for outright abolition.
Next issue I'll share further ways to persuade listeners that this bold libertarian proposal is realistic and desirable.
* * * * * *
Sharon Harris is president of the Advocates for Self-Government. See more One Minute Liberty tips.

What's Happening
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Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we're giving our acclaimed OPH (Operation Political Homeless) outreach kits to libertarian OPH - UGAstudent groups FREE -- if they simply promise to use them a minimum of three times a year and send us photos documenting their OPH activity. OPH -- praised as the best recruiting tool in the libertarian movement -- normally sells for $50.00. If you're in a student libertarian group, contact us today via email for more information on getting your free OPH kit.

LAS VEGAS July 7-11 -- ADVOCATES 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: Join us in Las Vegas for our 25th Anniversary Celebration! Reserve this date on your calendar, because you won't want to miss the fun! We'll be celebrating our anniversary in conjunction with FreedomFest 2010 -- a gathering of around 2000 liberty-loving folks. We'll enjoy some of the world's greatest freedom movement speakers, great food, and some of the finest people you'd ever want to meet. (I hope one of them is you!) More details coming soon.

JOIN US ON TWITTER: Twitter is the first place to learn about breaking Advocates and liberty movement news, expert communications tips, and exclusive Advocates discounts and specials. (And don't worry -- we won't bombard you with tweets. We're keeping it fun, fast, and useful.)
Joining the conversation is easy. If you don't already have a Twitter account, it only takes a few moments to sign up for one.

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"May it be to the world... to assume the blessings and security of self-government." -- Thomas Jefferson, June 24, 1826.