Author Archives: Everette Hatcher III

My name is Everette Hatcher III. I am a businessman in Little Rock and have been living in Bryant since 1993. My wife Jill and I have four kids (Rett 24, Hunter 22, Murphey 16, and Wilson 14).

Dan Mitchell article “Cuba’s Socialism Has Been a Total Failure”



Cuba’s Socialism Has Been a Total Failure

I like cross-country comparisons – such as North Korea vs South Korea and East Germany vs. West Germany – because they can be very informative when comparing the results of socialism vs. markets.

One of the most dramatic examples is Cuba vs. Hong Kong.

More than 60 years ago, back when Castro took power, the two jurisdictions had similar living standards.

But as Cuba tried socialism and Hong Kong chose free enterprise, there was a stunning divergence. Cuba is a basket case and Hong Kong is rich.*

In a column for Human Progress, Neil Monnery compares the two jurisdictions.

As the world entered the turbulent 1960s, two men, half a world apart, one a doctor and the other a classicist, both foreigners far from home, were charged with bringing human progress to their adopted countries. …One, Che Guevara, the well-known Argentinean revolutionary, was the architect of Cuba’s communist economic system.The other, Sir John Cowperthwaite, was born in Britain and is largely unknown today. He was central to Hong Kong’s post-war recovery and to its unique laissez-faire, free-market economic policy. …Hong Kong and Cuba had similar GDP per capita in 1960. Since then, Hong Kong’s has grown 14-fold, Cuba’s just twice, leaving Hong Kong seven times more prosperous than Cuba. In 1960, Hong Kong’s GDP per capita was a third of its old mother country, Britain. Now, it is 40 percent higher, matching the United States and Switzerland. …Cuba and Hong Kong demonstrate the compound effect over six decades of state planning versus market forces.

Some folks on the left, when presented with this data, will admit that Cuba has fallen behind in terms of economic development.

But cranks like Bernie Sanders claim that’s okay because Castro and his cronies instead focused on human development.

But that’s a very weak argument. In an article for the Foundation for Economic Education, Hans Bader analyzes Cuba’s track record on education and health.

Castro did not give Cubans literacy. Cuba already had one of the highest literacy rates in Latin America by 1950, nearly a decade before Castro took power, according to United Nations data… Cuba has made less educational progress than most Latin American countries over the last 60 years. …Cuba led virtually all countries in Latin America in life expectancy in 1959, before Castro’s communists seized power. But by 2012, right after Castro stepped down as Communist Party leader, Chileans and Costa Ricans lived slightly longer than Cubans. Back in 1960, Chileans had a life span seven years shorter than Cubans, and Costa Ricans lived more than two years less than Cubans on average. …Today, life spans are virtually the same in Cuba as more prosperous Chile and Costa Rica—if you accept the rosy official statistics put out by Cuba’s communist government, which many people do not.

There are good reasons to doubt official numbers from Cuba.

People who visit the island have sad stories to tell.

For instance, in a column last year for the Wall Street Journal, Andy Laperriere explains what he saw on his church-sponsored trips to Cuba.

It’s astonishing some people still cling to a romanticized version of Cuban life under communism. It bears no resemblance to reality. …people who don’t have children’s Tylenol and cheap reading glasses probably aren’t getting world-class medical care. Another striking feature of Cuba is the pervasive idleness. Everywhere you look, people are standing around.They aren’t working, because they get paid almost nothing. …Even the buildings a few blocks from the seat of government in Havana are crumbling. It’s obvious to a visitor that Cubans live in abject poverty. …there are three classes of people in Cuba. The governmental elite live in gated communities and enjoy what Americans would regard as middle-class living standards. The average person who relies on his own income lives in desperate Third World conditions. In between are people with generous relatives in the U.S. They have more disposable income, but their living conditions are comparable to those of the poorest Americans.

What a depressing analysis.

wrote a few days ago that Cuba may have done a good job of eliminating inequality, but only because everyone was poor.

But that wasn’t right. Like in many socialist regimes, there’s a tiny sliver of the population that enjoys decent living standards.

Or, if you’re the dictator, you live like a king. Here are some excerpts from a 2014 report in the U.K.-based Guardian.

Fidel Castro lived like a king with his own private yacht, a luxury Caribbean island getaway complete with dolphins and a turtle farm, and travelled with two personal blood donors, a new book claims. In La Vie Cachée de Fidel Castro (Fidel Castro’s Hidden Life), former bodyguard Juan Reinaldo Sánchez,a member of Castro’s elite inner circle, says the Cuban leader ran the country as his personal fiefdom like a cross between a medieval overlord and Louis XV. …the vast majority of Cubans were unaware their leader enjoyed a lifestyle beyond the dreams of many Cubans and at odds with the sacrifices he demanded of them. …In 2006 Forbes magazine listed the Cuban leader in its top 10 richest “Kings, Queens and Dictators”, citing unnamed officials who claimed Castro had amassed a fortune.

Let’s close by addressing the argument that Cuba is only poor because of the U.S. trade embargo.

Professor Art Carden addressed that argument in a column for the American Institute for Economic Research.

I think the embargo…should be lifted immediately, as it has given Cuban communists a convenient scapegoat for their country’s problems. The embargo, however, is not what causes Cuba’s woes, and people blaming the embargo overlook the fact that Cuba trades pretty extensively with the rest of the world–how else do you think Canadian and Mexican merchants get the Cuban cigars they hawk to American tourists? It’s not because a Cuban Rhett Butler is smuggling them past a blockade. It’s because Cuba trades freely with the entire world.

You may be thinking that’s just one economist’s opinion.

But it turns out that Art’s view is widely shared by other economists, as you can see from this tweet from Professor Jeremy Horpedahl.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NwYWNlX2NhcmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib2ZmIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1232697997235867648&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fdanieljmitchell.wordpress.com%2F2021%2F07%2F24%2Fcubas-socialism-has-been-a-total-failure%2F&sessionId=9d9963cd6c8051cfac9d9ad02b331bd92f61b8bf&siteScreenName=wordpressdotcom&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

Wow, these results are even stronger than the survey showing that economists disagreed with Thomas Piketty’s class-warfare hypothesis.

P.S. Let’s enjoy some Cuba-themed humor. First, our friends on the left sometimes claim free trade exploits developing nations. But, it that’s true, why do they claim Cuba is hurt be an absence of trade with the United States?

Next, here’s a t-shirt suggesting we swap freedom-seeking Cubans for statism-seeking Americans.

I’m in favor of that trade, though I suspect American leftists wouldn’t actually want to live in a socialist country.

P.P.S. I have great disdain for the “useful idiots” who concoct arguments to make Cuba’s repressive regime look good.

*Let’s hope China doesn’t ruin Hong Kong’s economy.

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Communism Humor

I mostly mock socialism, but its authoritarian cousin also is a good target for satire.

So here are some additions to our collection of communism humor.

I’m among the small minority of people who have never watched Game of Thrones, so I don’t know the backstory on these characters, but this meme has a very appropriate message about the nuclear-level naivete needed to believe Marx’s nonsense.

Though maybe the first frame should say “Readers of Teen Vogue.”

Next, we have a contribution from Babylon Bee.

It’s bad news that we’re suffering from a coronavirus that has killed several million people globally, but there’s another virus that has butchered 100 million people.

This next image reminds me of the joke about communism and electricity.

Per my tradition, here’s my favorite item from today’s collection.

I’m always very impressed by the people who are clever enough to create these Venn diagrams, and this one is better than most.

Though I’m tempted to ask who is worse, the soulless Marxist who rambles and can’t be reasoned with, or the people who rationalizeglorify, and justify Marxism?

—-

November 24, 2020

Office of Barack and Michelle Obama
P.O. Box 91000
Washington, DC 20066

Dear President Obama,

I wrote you over 700 letters while you were President and I mailed them to the White House and also published them on my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org .I received several letters back from your staff and I wanted to thank you for those letters. 

I have been reading your autobiography A PROMISED LAND and I have been enjoying it. 

Let me make a few comments on it, and here is the first quote of yours I want to comment on: Looking back, it’s embarrassing to recognize the degree to which my intellectual curiosity those first two years of college paralleled the interests of various women I was attempting to get to know: Marx and Marcuse so I had something to say to the long-legged socialist who lived in my dorm,”

I noticed you mentioned Herbert Marcuse, and I have read of his influence in Francis Schaeffer’s book How should we then live?:

At Berkeley the Free Speech Movement arose simultaneously with the hippie world of drugs. … but rather a call for the freedom to express any political views on Sproul Plaza. … followed the teaching of Herbert Marcuse (1898-). Marcuse was a German professor of philosophy related to the neo-Marxist.

Bettina Aptheker and Herbert Marcuse  pictured below:

Moral Support: “One Dimensional Man” author Herbert Marcuse accompanies Bettina Aptheker, center, and Angela Davis’ mother, Sallye Davis, to Angela Davis’ 1972 trial in San Jose. Associated Press

_

______________Francis Schaeffer is a hero of mine and I have posted many times in the past using his material. This post below is a result of his material..Communism catches the attention of the young at heart but it has always brought repression wherever it is tried. TrueCommunism has never been tried is something I was told just a few months ago by a well meaning young person who was impressed with the ideas of Karl Marx. I responded that there are only 5 communist countries in the world today and they lack political, economic and religious freedom.WHY DOES COMMUNISM FAIL?Communism has always failed because of its materialist base.  Francis Schaeffer does a great job of showing that in this clip below. Also Schaeffer shows that there were lots of similar things about the basis for both the French and Russia revolutions and he exposes the materialist and humanist basis of both revolutions.

Schaeffer compares communism with French Revolution and Napoleon.

1. Lenin took charge in Russia much as Napoleon took charge in France – when people get desperate enough, they’ll take a dictator.

Other examples: Hitler, Julius Caesar. It could happen again.

2. Communism is very repressive, stifling political and artistic freedom. Even allies have to be coerced. (Poland).

Communists say repression is temporary until utopia can be reached – yet there is no evidence of progress in that direction. Dictatorship appears to be permanent.

3. No ultimate basis for morality (right and wrong) – materialist base of communism is just as humanistic as French. Only have “arbitrary absolutes” no final basis for right and wrong.

How is Christianity different from both French Revolution and Communism?

Contrast N.T. Christianity – very positive government reform and great strides against injustice. (especially under Wesleyan revival).

Bible gives absolutes – standards of right and wrong. It shows the problems and why they exist (man’s fall and rebellion against God).

WHY DOES THE IDEA OF COMMUNISM CATCH THE ATTENTION OF SO MANY IDEALISTIC YOUNG PEOPLE? The reason is very simple. 

In HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, the late Francis A. Schaeffer wrote:

Materialism, the philosophic base for Marxist-Leninism, gives no basis for the dignity or rights of man.  Where Marxist-Leninism is not in power it attracts and converts by talking much of dignity and rights, but its materialistic base gives no basis for the dignity or rights of man.  Yet is attracts by its constant talk of idealism.

To understand this phenomenon we must understand that Marx reached over to that for which Christianity does give a base–the dignity of man–and took the words as words of his own.  The only understanding of idealistic sounding Marxist-Leninism is that it is (in this sense) a Christian heresy.  Not having the Christian base, until it comes to power it uses the words for which Christianity does give a base.  But wherever Marxist-Leninism has had power, it has at no place in history shown where it has not brought forth oppression.  As soon as they have had the power, the desire of the majority has become a concept without meaning.

Let me share with you the story of Paul Robeson and it demonstrates that he had to lie about how cruel communism was and the killing of his friend Itzik Feffer.

Paul Leroy Robeson (/ˈroʊbsən/ROHB-sən;[2][3] April 9, 1898 – January 23, 1976) was an American bass baritone concert artist and stage and film actor who became famous both for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism  

Robeson traveled to Moscow in June, and tried to find Itzik Feffer. He let Soviet authorities know that he wanted to see him.[207] Reluctant to lose Robeson as a propagandist for the Soviet Union,[208] the Soviets brought Feffer from prison to him. Feffer told him that Mikhoels had been murdered, and he would be summarily executed.[209] To protect the Soviet Union’s reputation,[210] and to keep the right wing of the United States from gaining the moral high ground, Robeson denied that any persecution existed in the Soviet Union,[211] and kept the meeting secret for the rest of his life, except from his son.[210]

Itzik Feffer (10 September 1900 – 12 August 1952), also Fefer (Yiddish איציק פֿעפֿער, Russian Ицик Фефер, Исаàк Соломòнович Фèфер) was a SovietYiddish poet executed on the Night of the Murdered Poets during Joseph Stalin‘s purges
The American concert singer and actor Paul Robeson met Feffer on 8 July 1943, in New York during a Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee event chaired by Albert Einstein, one of the largest pro-Soviet rallies ever held in the United States. After the rally, Paul Robeson and his wife Eslanda Robeson, befriended Feffer and Mikhoels.  

Itzik Feffer (left), Albert Einstein and Solomon Mikhoels in the United States in 1943.
https://spectator.org/espn-paul-robeson-stalinist-monday-night-football/

DANIEL J. FLYNN tells a few details in this sad story: 
Why Did ESPN Showcase a Stalinist on Monday NightFootball?Stalin Peace Prize laureate Paul Robeson lauded on America’s No. 1 sports network.
 In 1949, Robeson again traveled to the Soviet Union, where he had sent his namesake to school during the 1930s. Robeson had met poet Itzik Feffer and actor Solomon Mikhoels at a Polo Grounds rally of 50,000 people — the largest pro-Soviet event in the history of the United States — that welcomed their Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in 1943. But by 1949 Stalin wished to kill Jews rather than use them for propaganda purposes. He murdered Mikhoels and later Feffer — but not before Robeson could visit his old friend the poet one last time.  

David Horowitz describes this meeting in Radical Son:

In America, the question “What happened to Itzik Feffer?” entered the currency of political debate. There was talk in intellectual circles that Jews were being killed in a new Soviet purge and that Feffer was one of them. It was to quell such rumors that Robeson asked to see his old friend, but he was told by Soviet officials that he would have to wait. Eventually, he was informed that the poet was vacationing in the Crimea and would see him as soon as he returned. The reality was that Feffer had already been in prison for three years, and his Soviet captors did not want to bring him to Robeson immediately because he had become emaciated from lack of food. While Robeson waited in Moscow, Stalin’s police brought Feffer out of prison, put him the care of doctors, and began fattening him up for the interview. When he looked sufficiently healthy, he was brought to Moscow. The two men met in a room that was under secret surveillance. Feffer knew he could not speak freely. When Robeson asked how he was, he drew his finger nervously across his throat and motioned with his eyes and lips to his American comrade. “They’re going to kill us,” he said. “When you return to America you must speak out and save us.

Instead, Robeson, who later confessed what happened to his son, spoke out in praise of his friends’ murderer.

“Yes, through his deep humanity, by his wise understanding, he leaves us a rich and monumental heritage,” Robeson recalled of Stalin. “Most importantly — he has charted the direction of our present and future struggles. He has pointed the way to peace — to friendly co-existence — to the exchange of mutual scientific and cultural contributions — to the end of war and destruction. How consistently, how patiently, he labored for peace and ever increasing abundance, with what deep kindliness and wisdom. He leaves tens of millions all over the earth bowed in heart-aching grief.”

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733 everettehatcher@gmail.com

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April 10, 2013 – 7:02 am

President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President, I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here. There have […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in David BartonFounding FathersPresident Obama | Edit |Comments (0)

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May 8, 2012 – 1:48 am

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The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 4, Elbridge Gerry)

May 7, 2012 – 1:46 am

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The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 3, Samuel Adams)

May 4, 2012 – 1:45 am

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The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 2, John Quincy Adams)

May 3, 2012 – 1:42 am

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The Founding Fathers views concerning Jesus, Christianity and the Bible (Part 1, John Adams)

May 2, 2012 – 1:13 am

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President Obama and the Founding Fathers

May 8, 2013 – 9:20 am

President Obama Speaks at The Ohio State University Commencement Ceremony Published on May 5, 2013 President Obama delivers the commencement address at The Ohio State University. May 5, 2013. You can learn a lot about what President Obama thinks the founding fathers were all about from his recent speech at Ohio State. May 7, 2013, […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Founding FathersPresident Obama | Edit | Comments (0)

Francis Schaeffer’s own words concerning the founding fathers and their belief in inalienable rights

December 5, 2012 – 12:38 am

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David Barton: In their words, did the Founding Fathers put their faith in Christ? (Part 4)

May 30, 2012 – 1:35 am

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Were the founding fathers christian?

May 23, 2012 – 7:04 am

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John Quincy Adams a founding father?

June 29, 2011 – 3:58 pm

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July 6, 2013 – 1:26 am

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Article from Adrian Rogers, “Bring back the glory”

June 11, 2013 – 12:34 am

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“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s own words concerning the possibility that minorities may be mistreated under 51% rule

June 9, 2013 – 1:21 am

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Dan Mitchell article Two Sensible Observations on Tax Policy from the Washington Post (Mixed with Typical Bad Analysis)

Two Sensible Observations on Tax Policy from the Washington Post (Mixed with Typical Bad Analysis)

It’s presumably not controversial to point out that the Washington Post (like much of the media) leans to the left. Indeed, the paper’s bias has given me plenty of material over the years.

As you can see, what really irks me is when the bias translates into sloppy, inaccurate, or misleading statements.

  • In 2011,the Post asserted that a plan to trim the budget by less than 2/10ths of 1 percent would “slash” spending.
  • Later that year, the Post claimed that the German government was “fiscally conservative.”
  • In 2013, the Post launched an inaccurate attack on the Heritage Foundation.
  • In 2017, the Post described a $71 budget increase as a $770 billion cut.
  • Later that year, the Post claimed a spending cut was a tax increase.
  • In 2018, the Post made the same type of mistake, asserting that a $500 billion increase was a $537 billion cut.
  • This year, the Post claimed Bush and Obama copied Reagan’s fiscal conservatism.
  • Also this year, the Post blamed smugglers for an energy crisis caused by Lebanese price controls.

But, to be fair, the Washington Post occasionally winds up on the right side of an issue.

It’s editorialized in favor of school choice, for instance, and also has opined in favor of privatizing the Postal Service.

And sometimes it has editorials that are both right and wrong. Which is a good description of the Post‘s new editorial on tax policy.

We’ll start with the good news. The Washington Post appears to understand that a wealth tax would be a bad idea, both because it can lead to very high effective tax rates and because it would be a nightmare to administer.

Ms. Warren’s version of the wealth tax, which calls for 2 percent annual levies on net wealth above $50 million, and 3 percent above $1 billion, very rich people would face large tax bills even when they had little or negative net income, forcing them to sell assets to pay their taxes. …huge chunks of private wealth tied up in real estate, rare art and closely held businesses are more difficult — sometimes impossible — to assess consistently. …Such problems help explain why national wealth taxes yielded only modest revenue in the 11 European countries that levied them as of 1995, and why most of those countries subsequently repealed them.

I’m disappointed that the Post overlooked the biggest argument, which is that wealth taxation would reduce saving and investment and thus lead to lower wages.

But I suppose I should be happy with modest steps on the road to economic literacy.

The Post‘s editorial also echoed my argument by pointing out that ProPublica was very dishonest in the way it presented data illegally obtained from the IRS.

ProPublica muddied a basic distinction, which, properly understood, actually fortifies the case against a wealth tax. The story likened on-paper asset price appreciation with actual cash income, then lamented that the two aren’t taxed at the same rate. …ProPublica’s logic implies that, when the stock market goes down, Elon Musk, whose billions are tied up in shares of Tesla, should get a tax cut.

Amen (this argument also applies to the left’s argument for taxing unrealized capital gains).

Now that I’ve presented the sensible portions of the Post‘s editorial, let’s shift to the bad parts.

First and foremost, the entire purpose of the editorial was to support more class-warfare taxation.

But instead of wealth taxes, the Post wants much-higher capital gains taxes – including Biden’s hybrid capital gains tax/death tax.

Fortunately, legitimate goals of a wealth tax can be achieved through other means… This would require undoing not only some of the 2017 GOP tax cuts, but much previous tax policy as well… The higher capital gains rate should be applied to a broader base of investment income… President Biden’s American Families Plan calls for reform of this so-called “stepped-up basis” loophole that would yield an estimated $322.5 billion over 10 years.

The editorial also calls for an expanded death tax, one that would raise six times as much money as the current approach.

…simply reverting to estate tax rules in place as recently as 2004 could yield $98 billion per year, far more than the $16 billion the government raised in 2020.

Last but not least, it argues for these tax increases because it wants us to believe that politicians will wisely use any additional revenue in ways that will increase economic opportunity.

The public sector could use new revenue from stiffer capital gains and estate taxes to expand opportunity.

This is the “fairy dust” or “magic beans” theory of economic development.

Proponents argue that if we give politicians more money, we’ll somehow get more prosperity.

At the risk of understatement, this theory isn’t based on empirical evidence.

Which is the message of a 2017 video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity. And it’s also the reason I repeatedly ask the never-answered question.

P.S. To make the argument that capital gains taxes and death taxes are better than wealth taxation, the Post editorial cites research from the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Too bad the Post didn’t read the OECD study showing that class-warfare taxes reduce overall prosperity. Or the OECD study showing that more government spending reduces prosperity.

March 3, 2021

President Biden c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

______________________________

Dan Mitchell shows how ignoring the Laffer Curve is like running a stop sign!!!!

I’m thinking of inventing a game, sort of a fiscal version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

Only the way it will work is that there will be a map of the world and the winner will be the blindfolded person who puts their pin closest to a nation such asAustralia or Switzerland that has a relatively low risk of long-run fiscal collapse.

That won’t be an easy game to win since we have data from the BISOECD, and IMF showing that government is growing far too fast in the vast majority of nations.

We also know that many states and cities suffer from the same problems.

A handful of local governments already have hit the fiscal brick wall, with many of them (gee, what a surprise) from California.

The most spectacular mess, though, is about to happen in Michigan.

The Washington Post reports that Detroit is on the verge of fiscal collapse.

After decades of sad and spectacular decline, it has come to this for Detroit: The city is $19 billion in debt and on the edge of becoming the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy. An emergency manager says the city can make good on only a sliver of what it owes — in many cases just pennies on the dollar.

This is a dog-bites-man story. Detroit’s problems are the completely predictable result of excessive government. Just as statism explains the problems of Greece. And the problems of California. And the problems of Cyprus. And theproblems of Illinois.

I could continue with a long list of profligate governments, but you get the idea. Some of these governments are collapsing at a quicker pace and some at a slower pace. But all of them are in deep trouble because they don’t follow my Golden Rule about restraining the burden of government spending so that it grows slower than the private sector.

Detroit obviously is an example of a government that is collapsing sooner rather than later.

Why? Simply stated, as the size and scope of the public sector increased, that created very destructive economic and political dynamics.

More and more people got lured into the wagon of government dependency, which puts an ever-increasing burden on a shrinking pool of producers.

Meanwhile, organized interest groups such as government bureaucrats used their political muscle to extract absurdly excessive compensation packages, putting an even larger burden of the dwindling supply of taxpayers.

But that’s not the main focus of this post. Instead, I want to highlight a particular excerpt from the article and make a point about how too many people are blindly – perhaps willfully – ignorant of the Laffer Curve.

Check out this sentence.

Property tax collections are down 20 percent and income tax collections are down by more than a third in just the past five years — despite some of the highest tax rates in the state.

This is a classic “Fox Butterfield mistake,” which occurs when someone fails to recognize a cause-effect relationship. In this case, the reporter should have recognized that tax collections are down because Detroit has very high tax rates.

The city has a lot more problems than just high tax rates, of course, but can there be any doubt that productive people have very little incentive to earn and report taxable income in Detroit?

And that’s the essential insight of the Laffer Curve. Politicians can’t – or at least shouldn’t – assume that a 20 percent increase in tax rates will lead to a 20 percent increase in tax revenue. They also have to consider the degree to which a higher tax rate will cause a change in taxable income.

In some cases, higher tax rates will discourage people from earning more taxable income.

In some cases, higher tax rates will discourage people from reporting all the income they earn.

In some cases, higher tax rates will encourage people to utilize tax loopholes to shrink their taxable income.

In some cases, higher tax rates will encourage migration, thus causing taxable income to disappear.

Here’s my three-part video series on the Laffer Curve. Much of this is common sense, though it needs to be mandatory viewing for elected officials (as well as the bureaucrats at the Joint Committee on Taxation).

The Laffer Curve, Part I: Understanding the Theory

Uploaded by  on Jan 28, 2008

The Laffer Curve charts a relationship between tax rates and tax revenue. While the theory behind the Laffer Curve is widely accepted, the concept has become very controversial because politicians on both sides of the debate exaggerate. This video shows the middle ground between those who claim “all tax cuts pay for themselves” and those who claim tax policy has no impact on economic performance. This video, focusing on the theory of the Laffer Curve, is Part I of a three-part series. Part II reviews evidence of Laffer-Curve responses. Part III discusses how the revenue-estimating process in Washington can be improved. For more information please visit the Center for Freedom and Prosperity’s web site: http://www.freedomandprosperity.org

Part 2

Part 3

P.S. Just in case it’s not clear from the videos, we don’t want to be at the revenue-maximizing point on the Laffer Curve.

P.P.S. Amazingly, even the bureaucrats at the IMF recognize that there’s a point when taxes are so onerous that further increases don’t generate revenue.

P.P.P.S. At least CPAs understand the Laffer Curve, probably because they help their clients reduce their tax exposure to greedy governments.

P.P.P.P.S. I offered a Laffer Curve lesson to President Obama, but I doubt it had any impact.

___________________________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733,

Williams with Sowell – Minimum Wage

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell – Reducing Black Unemployment

By WALTER WILLIAMS

—-

Ronald Reagan with Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 2-5

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(One year ago today) July 22, 2020 WAS THE DAY OF MY QUINTUPLE HEART BYPASS

Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock

At 59 years of age I was not very excited to learn that my heart was giving out on me. A little over a year ago I was told by my heart doctor that I would have to go into the hospital and get a heart stent put in because my heart was too weak to have open heart surgery. . Next I knew it was 6 am on the morning of July 15, 2020, and I was lying on the operating table and the doctor was telling me that the anesthesia would start to work and that I would be falling to sleep soon and then he would start working on putting in my heart stent. Then mid-sentence (it seemed) the doctor announced that the operation was over and the operation to put in my stent did not work. It had appeared to me that I had several hours of me being asleep disappear from my life. Actually several hours had passed by with me not realizing it.
Then the doctor told me that I would stay in the hospital (at Baptist Hospital in Little Rock pictured above) for a week till my open heart surgery would take place. (The danger of getting exposed to COVID-19 was too great to send me home.) That gave me a lot of time to think about my life and on July 22, 2020 (exactly one year from today) I went to the operating table. My thoughts leading up to this moment concentrated on my faith in Christ alone for my salvation and on the reliability of the Word of God.
The constant thought I had that week was that the moment I laid on the operating table and went under the influence of anesthesia I would it seem wake up instantly and the operation would be over and I would either be in the recovery room or if the operation went poorly then I would be in my eternal home! 
Sure enough I fell asleep on the operating table at 6am and woke up immediately (it seemed) to find myself thrilled to be alive!!! I stayed awake for 35 hours in a row and finally got some rest after I was given some morphine. The happiest moment was when I saw my wife Jill come see me in the hospital. Seeing Jill inspired me to take my first walk and start my rehabilitation. 5 days later I was out of the hospital and soon after I would be walking 4 miles a day after a 5-bypass heart operation.

We all are going to face a similar day in the future and it is best to think long and hard about our eternal destiny. Are you relying on your faith alone in Christ for your salvation? The Bible is true and can be trusted.

Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.” The first part of this verse is about the judgment sinners must face if not pardoned, but the second part is about Christ who paid our sin debt!!! Did you know that Romans 6:23 is part of what we call the Roman Road to Christ. Here is how it goes:
  • Because of our sin, we are separated from God.
    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)
  • The Penalty for our sin is death.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
  • The penalty for our sin was paid by Jesus Christ!
    But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
  • If we repent of our sin, then confess and trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be saved from our sins!
    For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  (Romans 10:13)
    …if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9,10)

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.


Adrian Rogers – How you can be certain the Bible is the word of God

Why I Believe the Bible to Be the Word of God

Dr. Adrian Rogers

II Timothy 3

I want you to take your Bibles please and turn with me

to II Timothy chapter 3 and we’ll begin our reading in

verse 14. Paul is talking to young Timothy and he

says, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast

learned and has been assured of knowing of whom thou

hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast

known the holy Scriptures which are able to make thee

wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ

Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God

and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for

correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the

man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto

all good works.”

Why I believe the Bible, and I want to tell you,

friend, it is absolutely essential that you believe

the Word of God if you’re to know anything spiritually

and if you’re to have victory in your spiritual life.

The thing that keeps me going is not primarily what I

feel. Now, I thank God for feelings, but I’m a fellow

who operates in a moderately narrowed band. I don’t

get all that high and I don’t get all that low, but

the thing that keeps me going is not what I feel but

what I know. It is the truth of God’s Word, the

principles, and the promises, and the power of God’s

Word that sustain me and keep me going. If you do not

know God’s Word and, beyond knowing God’s Word, have

that firm assurance that the Bible is indeed the

inspired Word of God, you’re going to be floundering

around in your Christian life. These hath God married

and no man shall part, dust on the Bible and drought

in the heart.

Now, Paul here is talking to Timothy about the Bible

and he tells him several things about the Bible. First

of all, he says that all Scripture is given by

inspiration of God in verse 16. That literally means

that all Scripture is the breath of God. You see, as

I’m speaking to you right now what you’re hearing is

my breath. My diaphragm is forcing my breath up

through my throat and over my larynx and the voice box

and my tongue and my teeth and my lips are taking the

breath and making sounds and noises out of that breath

and what you’re hearing right now is what I am

breathing out. I’m breathing out these words. Now,

that’s the word that Bible uses to describe itself.

All Scripture is God breathed. When the Bible speaks

God speaks. That’s what inspiration means. When the

Bible speaks God speaks.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, but not

only are the Scriptures inspired, they’re instructed.

Verse 16 says they’re profitable for doctrine. What is

doctrine? That’s to tell you what’s right. Ask a

little boy what doctrine is, he says, That’s what you

need when you’re sick. If you’re sick that is good

medicine but actually the word doctrine means

teaching. The Scriptures are there to tell you what’s

right.

Then it goes on to say for doctrine and for reproof.

Not only does the Bible tell you what’s right, it also

tells you what’s wrong. You see, God doesn’t want us

to make a mistake. He doesn’t want us to go astray. So

on one side he tells us what’s right, on the other

side he tells us what’s wrong so we can walk the

straight and narrow.

But he also says in verse 16 that it is necessary for

correction–that is, when we get wrong, how to get

back right. He shows us what’s right. He shows us

what’s wrong and if we’re wrong he tells us how to get

right.

And then he says it’s profitable for instruction in

righteousness. What’s right, what’s wrong, how to get

right, and then how to stay right. How just to be

instructed day by day. How am I supposed to live? What

am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to feel? What

shall I do with my sins? Where does power come from?

Everything that I need to know, that instruction and

righteousness is there from the Word of God.

So, the Scriptures are inspired, the Scriptures are

informative, and then the Scriptures are instrumental.

That is, they work powerfully in our lives. For

example, look in verse 15. Paul told Timothy, “From a

child you’ve known the holy Scriptures that are able

to make you wise unto salvation.” You’re saved by the

Word of God. It is the message of the Bible, the

gospel that saves us, that makes us wise unto

salvation. That’s the reason that every preacher must

always preach the Word of God because the word is the

seed. We’re born again, not of corruptible seed, but

of incorruptible by the Word of God. And so, the

Scriptures are instrumental in salvation.

The Scriptures are instrumental in sanctification.

Look in verse 17, “That the man of God may be

perfect.” Now, that word perfect means complete. It

means mature. It means full grown. Do you want to be a

little baby Christian or do you want to grow? “As

newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word that

you may grow thereby.” You’re going to be a pygmy

Christian, you’re going to be baby Christian, you’re

going to be a weak emaciated Christian if you don’t

grow with the Word of God. “That the man of God may be

perfect,” mature.

Not only are they necessary for salvation and

sanctification but necessary for service.

“Thoroughly furnished,” he says in verse 17, “unto all

good works.” Everything God wants you to do he

furnished through his word. So, you’re completely,

thoroughly through and through, furnished of the

Bible. All that I need to know, all that I need to

have is revealed to me in God’s word.

How important is the Bible? But friend, the Bible may

be inspired and the Bible may be informative and the

Bible may be instrumental, but if I don’t believe it,

what good is that going to do me? It’s the devil’s job

to make people doubt the Word of God. The very first

thing the devil did in the Garden of Eden was to say,

“Yea, hath God said…” and to put a question mark on

the Word of God. Well, you need to have a rock-ribbed,

iron-clad assurance that the Bible is the Word of God.

Let me tell you why I believe the Bible to be the Word

of God. Let me give you three things about faith and

these are the foundations for our faith. Number one,

faith is rooted in evidence. Have you got that? It’s

worth writing down. Faith is rooted in evidence.

Number two, faith goes beyond evidence. Number three,

faith becomes its own best evidence. Let me develop

that and you’ll have a blessing.

First of all, I want to say that faith is rooted in

evidence. People sometimes accuse us Christians of

practicing blind faith. Now, friend, blind faith is

not faith at all. Don’t ever think that I’m asking you

just to blindly believe something. If somebody tells

me to believe something, first thing I want to know is

why should I believe it. Amen. I mean, why? The

Christians faith is not blind faith. The Christian’s

faith is not a leap in the dark, it is a step in the

light. You see, the Christian’s faith is rooted in

revelation. The Christian’s faith is rooted in facts.

The Christian’s faith is rooted in evidence. God gives

us evidence for believing what we believe. Notice I

said evidence and not proof, there’s a difference.

Sometimes somebody might come and say to you, Prove

there’s a God. Don’t let that intimidate you. If you

were to say to me, Adrian, prove there’s a God, do you

know what I’d say to you? I can’t. Does that shock

you? I can’t prove there’s a God. Oh, I know there’s a

God, not that I have any doubt about it. I have no

doubt whatever, but to prove it doesn’t lie in the

realm of proof.

For example, if anybody ever comes to you and says

prove there’s a God. You just say, Prove there is no

God. Just prove there is no God. He can’t prove

there’s no God anymore than you can prove there is a

God. How can the finite prove the infinite? How can

the finite disprove the infinite? It doesn’t lie in

that realm you see. Well, he says, you just believe

there’s a God, and I say that’s right. And you just

believe there is no God, isn’t that right? Sure. You

see, all people are believers. He believes there is no

God. I believe there is a God. I’m a positive

believer, he’s a negative believe. I by faith believe

in God. He by faith believes there is no God. He says,

I don’t think there’s a God, I don’t believe there’s a

God. At least now he’s being honest. He hasn’t proven

there’s no God.

But what’s the difference between the negative be1iver

and the positive believer? Here’s the difference: the

positive believer has the evidence. You see, God has

not just told us to believe without giving us evidence

and so God has given us some evidence and that

evidence is rooted in God’s word. Now, if you’re going

to know the God of the Word, you’ve got to know the

Word of that God. And so, God has given us his Word

and God has given us some evidences that the Bible is

indeed the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word from a

God who cannot lie.

What are some evidences? Not proofs, but evidences,

that the Bible is the Word of God? (Because I’ve said

that faith is rooted in evidence.) Well, for example,

there is the historical evidence that the Bible is the

Word of God. The Bible is a history book. It tells

stories. Now, are these stories true or are they not

true? Did the things recorded in the Bible literally

happen or did they not happen? Is this actual history

or is this the figment of someone’s imagination? Well,

dear friend, the Bible is so historically accurate.

That’s one of the great evidences of its inspiration.

There was a man who lived a few years ago, Sir William

Ramsey, one of the world’s most brilliant intellects,

and he was a noted scholar. He lived in Aberdeen

Scotland and he was a great historian and a great

scholar of the history and geography of Asia Minor and

the Middle East. And when this Middle East historian,

this wizened, world-renowned man with more degrees

than a thermometer studied the book of Acts, which is

the history of the early church, he more or less

ridiculed the book of Acts. He more or less laughed at

the book of Acts. Here’s what Sir William Ramsey said

of the book of Acts and I want to describe it or at

least I want to give it to you in his own words. He

described the book of Acts as a highly imaginative and

carefully colored account of primitive Christianity.

Highly imaginative, that is, it’s not rooted in facts,

it is rooted in imagination, that’s what he was saying

about the book of Acts. Carefully colored. That is,

Luke just shaded his facts, he didn’t tell you the

truth, he just kind of shaped things and colored

things to make it come out the way he wanted it to

come out and so he said the book of Acts was not

historically correct, you can’t trust the history of

the book of Acts.

Now, remember this man was brilliant, a professor in

Aberdeen, Scotland. But do you know what he did? He

made a mistake and it was a happy mistake and good

mistake. He decided he would go to Asia minor and

there carefully investigate and study the book of Acts

and do you know what happened? He had a

transformation, one hundred and eighty degrees he was

turned around. He wrote a book entitled, THE BELOVED

PHYSICIAN. And that book was about Dr. Luke who wrote

the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts.

And now, let me tell you what he said. After he

studied minutely the works of the great historian Dr.

Luke, who gave us the gospel of Luke and the book of

Acts, and I’m quoting now, this Dr. Ramsey said, and I

want you to listen to him: “I take the view that Luke’s

history is unsurpassed in regard to its

trustworthiness.” Did you hear that? “I now take the

view that Luke’s history is unsurpassed in regard to

its trustworthiness. You may press the words of Luke

in a degree beyond any other historian and they will

stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment.”

Amazing! Here was a man who studied the facts and when

he studied the facts he said you can trust the history

of God’s word.

You know historians–they love to study what they call

profane or secular history and then to turn around and

ridicule the Word of God. One thing they used to do a

few years back, they ridiculed the book of Daniel

because of the supposed errors in the book of Daniel.

The book of Daniel tells of the Babylonian empire and

it tells that the last king in Babylon was a king

named Beltshazzar. And do you remember Beltshazzar was

the one who saw the handwriting on the wall? Do you

remember that? So the historians said, “Well, that’s

obviously a fabrication. Obviously this is not real

history because we have the records of the ancient

Babylonians and we know that the last king of Babylon

was not a man named Beltshazzar at all, it was a man

named Nabanitus. We have the archives, we have the

records and we have all of the artifacts. Beltshazzar

was no king, there was no king named Beltshazzar.

Obviously the Bible is a fake, obviously a fraud, the

book of Daniel is not history.”

But the spade of the archeologists continued to do its

work and one day they turned up a clay tablet, a

cylinder, and guess whose name was on it? Give you

three guesses, first two don’t count. Beltshazzar. And

you know what it said about Beltshazzar and other

things that they uncovered? They found out that

Beltshazzar was indeed the last king of Babylon, but

so was Nabinitus. The truth of the matter is they were

co-regents. There were two kings at the same time.

Nabinitus was the father, Beltshazzar was the son, but

Nabinitus didn’t stay home. He loved to travel and he

was a big game hunter and was often gone and so the

kingdom was in the charge of Beltshazzar.

Now, the secular, profane historian was quite correct

when he said that Nabinitus was the last king of

Babylon, but he was quite wrong when he said

Beltshazzar wasn’t the last king of Babylon. And you

see, there are little minute confirmations of the Word

of God. So in the fifth chapter of the book of Daniel,

we understand a passage now that we might not have

understood before that because Beltshazzar said to

Daniel, “If you can read the handwriting on the wall,”

I’ll make you what? “The third ruler in the kingdom.”

You see, there were already two, Beltshazzar and

Nabinitus. Now, suppose we’d not found that clay

cylinder with Beltshazzar’s name on it. Would have

that have meant the Bible was wrong? No, it would have

just meant we didn’t have enough evidence, isn’t that

right? See, friend, be careful before you let some

historian or someone tell you that the history of the

Bible is not correct.

Our faith is rooted in evidence. There’s the

historical evidence that the Bible is the Word of God.

There’s the scientific evidence that the Bible is the

Word of God and I wish I had time to deal with all of

the scientific evidence that the Bible is the Word of

God, so let me just quickly narrow and get into one

little area there.

If you’ve not read the little book called “None Of

These Diseases,” I hope you’ll read it. It’s written

by a medical doctor, Dr. S. I. McMillan. Dr. McMillan

has recorded a wonderful story in there that I’m going

to try to share a little bit with you. He talks about

the ancient Egyptians and the medical knowledge that

the ancient Egyptians had about fifteen hundred years

before Christ was born in the time when Moses was a

lad and was growing up. The Egyptians had the dominant

position in world medicine at that time.

The Egyptians were no fools. When you see the things

that the Egyptians were able to do and accomplish

you’re just overwhelmed at the intelligence of the

ancient Egyptians, but they had their medical

knowledge put in a book and we have that book. The

Papyrus Ebers, Dr. McMillan tells about it. In the

Papyrus Ebers you have there the medical knowledge of

the ancient Egyptians and it’s almost ludicrous,

friends, it’s really kind of funny when you read some

of the medicine that they recommended. Now, you might

be interested in some of these prescriptions.

For example, if your hair is turning gray, pay

attention, to prevent the hair from turning gray,

anoint it with the blood of a black cat which has been

boiled in oil or with the fat of a rattlesnake. Now,

you be careful gathering that rattlesnake fat,

alright? For people who are losing hair, when it falls

out, apply a mixture of six fats, namely those of the

snake and the ibex. I haven’t seen an ibex in a long

time but you get some snake fat and ibex fat and then

to strengthen it you anoint it with the tooth of a

donkey crushed in honey. That’s to keep your hair from

falling out. If you had a splinter or a puncture, they

recommended lizard’s blood, worm’s blood and donkey’s

dung. Can you imagine the spores, the tetanus spores

and the microbes and the filth in donkey dung? As a

matter of fact, they often used excreta for medicine–

of human beings and donkeys and antelopes and dogs and

cats and even flies–that was a part of their

medicine. Another medicine they recommended was

moisture from pig’s ears, good medicine, haha. Well,

we laugh at that.

Now, the interesting thing is do you know where Moses

got his education? Moses was educated in the

University of Egypt. You see, Moses was the adopted

son of Pharaoh and Pharaoh gave to Moses the best

education that money could buy and the Bible says that

Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.

He had the equivalency of a Ph.D. from the University

of Egypt and if he was learned in all the wisdom of

Egyptians, surely he studied this kind of knowledge.

Aren’t you glad that he didn’t write any of this in

the Bible? I mean, you would have expected what he

learned in school to bleed over in what he wrote in

the Bible, wouldn’t you? Of course you would. Moses

wrote the first five books of the Bible. Genesis,

Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. I’m so

glad we don’t read anything about using moisture from

pig’s ears for medicine.

As a matter of fact, when you read the Bible and you

read about the medicine of the Bible and you read the

sanitary code of the Bible and you read the dietary

code of the Bible you’re going to find out that modern

medicine is just now catching up. You want to be

healthy? You practice the dietary code of the Bible.

Not because you’re under legalism, just because you

want to have a good strong body. As a matter of fact,

do you know what they’re telling us now? Science is

just making a discovery. They used to talk down the

health food faddists and all of that and now the

scientists are begrudgingly coming along and the

medical doctors are begrudgingly coming along, and

saying, Hey, you need to cut all that fat out of your

diet, it might cause cancer, cut all that fat all of

your diet, it might cause high cholesterol and it

might cause heart attacks. Friend, just go back and

see what Moses had to say about cutting all that fat

out of your diet. You just go read it right there in

the Word of God. Find out what the Bible has to say.

Did you know in the fourteenth century Europe they had

a plague called the black plague? It was terrible, it

was horrible. Now, I know you’ve seen on television

the horrible things that are happening in Ethiopia and

that breaks your heart, it’s so hard to even watch.

But I want to tell you something worse than that

happened in Europe in the fourteenth century–the

black plague, where one out of every four people died.

Can you imagine that? One out of every four. One two,

three, dead. One two, three, dead. One two three,

dead. One two, three, dead. One, two three, dead. They

died and the physicians and the doctors were not able

to stop it and they didn’t know what to do. They

didn’t understand germs. They’d never seen a germ.

They didn’t know what a microbe was. They didn’t know

anything about a communicable disease. Well, you say,

everybody ought to know that. Why do you know it.

Somebody taught you, you didn’t figure it out. We

stand on the shoulders of other people. They didn’t

know that, they didn’t understand that and they

thought it was bad air, this thing or that thing, they

were trying, building fires and everything else to try

to stop the plague. Imagine trying to stop the plague

by building a fire.

And do you know it was not the doctors, it was the

church and the church leaders that finally stemmed the

tide of the plague by going back to God’s Word.

Leviticus chapter 13 and verse 46. “All the days

wherein the plague shall be upon his, he shall be

defiled, he is unclean, he shall dwell alone outside

the camp shall his habitation be.” What did the Bible

say to the man who was the leper, a man who had the

plague of leprosy? They said, “Put him outside the

camp, put him in isolation. Quarantine him, quarantine

him.” And when they begin to apply the knowledge that

Moses had given, then and only then was the plague

brought under control. One historian said the laws

against leprosy in Leviticus 13 may be regarded as the

first model of a sanitary legislation.

I’ve just talked in one little area. We could talk in

many, many areas about the wonderful medical and

scientific and evidences that the Bible is the Word of

God. Let me give you another evidence that the Bible

is the Word of God and that is the indestructibility

of this book. You see, this book is not just the book

of the month, friend, it’s the book of the ages. For

isn’t it an amazing thing? Here you are, an

intelligent erudite, educated people listening to a

halfway intelligent preacher, we’re here in the

twentieth century by television with electric lights

and we’re studying this old book. Isn’t that amazing?

You tell me what other book is as up to date. Why,

listen, it’s more up to date than tomorrow’s newspaper

and a whole lot more accurate. Amen.

Wasn’t that an amazing thing when they were

questioning the President of the United States the

other day and the news reporter said to him, “Mr.

President, we’d like your views on Armageddon.”

Amazing, Armageddon–that’s a Bible fact and here

they’re talking to the President of the most powerful

nation on the face of the earth in the most

enlightened educated time and after all of these years

people are still wanting to know what your view of

this book is. This Bible is such a living, powerful

force.

William Tyndale wanted to get the Bible printed so the

people could have it. Print it and put into the hands

of the English-speaking people and they hounded him

and they ran him out of England and William Tyndale

went to Germany and there he began to set up the type

to print the Bible so he’d get the Bible into the

hands of the people. Laboriously, day after day, week

after week, month after month, year after year,

setting that type, setting that type, not the way we

set it today, not with that ease, but painstakingly,

heartbreakingly so long to get the type set so people

could have the Bible in their mother tongue. He

finally finished the job and went to bed and that very

night vandals came in and wrecked the printing press

and destroyed the type and ruined the whole thing. He

had to start again from the bottom and to build it and

to set the type again and he finally got it done. He

printed those Bibles and in order to get them into

England, he put them in barrels of flour and shipped

them into England and the Word of God came to England.

They hated William Tyndale, some of the clerics and

the leaders, they hated him so much that they

strangled him to death. And then, not happy that they

strangled him, that wasn’t enough, they burned him

because he wanted a Bible for the people. And as they

were strangling Tyndale, he prayed, Oh God, Oh God,

open the eyes of the king of England, God, open his

eyes. They killed him in 1536. In 1611, we received

the King James Version of the Word of God. Amen.

William Tyndale, a man who loved God’s Word, a man who

died for God’s Word because the Word of God lives and

abides forever. “The grass withers, the flower thereof

falls away, but the Word of the Lord endures forever.”

Hallelujah!

Friend, men have laughed at the Bible, men have

scorned the Bible, men have made laws against the

Bible, men have ridiculed the Bible. There was a time

in Scottish history when to own a Bible was a crime

worthy of death, but the Word of God lives on and it

is bright and vibrant and relevant today. That’s an

evidence that it is the Word of God.

Let me give you another evidence. I’m just telling you

that faith is rooted in evidence. What about fulfilled

prophesy? If we were to start today and talk about

fulfilled prophesy, just the prophesy of the nations,

what is happening in the nations of this world, what

is happening on the world map, the last days, what we

call the signs of the times, why, we could take a

Bible conference for several months and just talk on

that one thing. But let me just narrow the prophesies

and let’s just talk about the prophesies concerning

the Lord Jesus Christ. Did you know that there are

more than three hundred exact, minute prophesies

concerning the life, death, burial, resurrection,

ascension, enthronement and second coming of Jesus

Christ in the Old Testament? I’m not talking about the

New Testament. I’m not talking about small prophesies

or vague prophesies. I’m talking about hard, fast,

substantial, clear prophesies concerning the Lord

Jesus Christ. That these prophesies could have been

fulfilled by chance is astronomically, listen to me

now, astronomically impossible. Billions to one would

be the chance that they would have been fulfilled by

chance.

Do you know what the enemies of the Lord Jesus say

about this? Here’s the way they answer that. They say,

Well, he just arranged to have the prophesies

fulfilled. He just rigged it so the prophesies would

be fulfilled. Well, brother Rogers, do you think he

just arranged it for the prophesies to be fulfilled?

Yes, I do, before it ever happened, not afterward, but

before. Before he ever came to this earth. Now,

listen, I was born in West Palm Beach, Florida, but I

didn’t arrange it. Jesus arranged to be born in

Bethlehem. Amen. Because the Bible says in Micah

chapter 5 that our Lord would be born in Bethlehem and

so he arranged it. But I want to tell you, he

supernaturally arranged it.

I’ll tell you something else, he arranged for Isaiah

seven hundred years before he was born to give a

biography of his life in Isaiah chapter 53. You go

home and get that Old Testament chapter of the Bible

and read Isaiah chapter 53. You’re going to find the

amazing story, the entire biography of the Lord Jesus

Christ before he was born, not after he was born,

before he was born.

Go home today and read the twenty-second Psalm, an

amazing Psalm, the twenty second Psalm is a Messianic

Psalm. It is written about the crucifixion of the Lord

Jesus Christ and the twenty-second Psalm is written as

a graphic description of the crucifixion of the Lord

Jesus Christ. It was written centuries before Jesus

was born. And let me tell you something else. In Psalm

22 the words that Jesus would say from the cross are

prophesied. The words that his enemies would say when

they ridiculed him were prophesied. The very fact that

they would gamble for his garments was prophesied.

But here’s one of the most amazing prophesies of all.

In Psalm 22 it says they “pierced my hands and my

feet.” That’s what happens when you crucify; there are

nails through your hands and nails that go through

your feet. But this was written hundreds and hundreds

of years before the Roman Empire. Crucifixion was the

Roman way of capital punishment. The Jews at that time

knew nothing of death by crucifixion. Do you know how

the Jews executed people? Do you know what the method

of Jewish capital punishment was? It wasn’t the

electric chair, it wasn’t the gas chamber, it wasn’t

crucifixion, it was stoning. They stoned people to

death. If you’ve ever been there, you know they’ve got

enough stones. They stone people to death. But

crucifixion was a Roman form of execution and the

Romans were very clever. There’s no death as horrible,

as painful, as ignominious as crucifixion and you want

to keep people in line, you show them a cross. But I

want to remind you that was a Roman form of execution

and hundreds of years before the Roman Empire comes on

the scene you read there in Psalm 22, “they pierced m

my hands and my feet.”

Now, you explain that. Do you think Jesus arranged all

of that? Do you think Jesus arranged the Roman Empire?

Do you think Jesus arranged the cross? I do, but he

arranged it before the fact, he arranged it while he

was still in glory. Yes, he arranged it all, he

arranged that he would be sold for thirty pieces of

silver as Zechariah the prophet said. He arranged that

he would be betrayed by Judas as the Bible says. He

arranged that he would be buried in rich man’s tomb.

He arranged that he would be raised from the dead the

third day and seen by five hundred people who were so

convinced that they sat out to convince others that he

was raised from the dead.

And I want to tell you something, friend, these people

with no hope of material gain became followers of the

Lord Jesus Christ, so convinced were they that Jesus

Christ came out of that grave. Many of them paid with

their life’s blood for their conviction that Jesus

Christ was alive. Now, you’re reasonable people. A man

may live for a lie but he will not knowingly die for

one. These people died, sealed their testimony with

their blood, so convinced were they that that grave

was empty and that Jesus Christ came out of that

grave. Over three hundred exact, precise prophesies in

the Old Testament are fulfilled in the New Testament.

Matthew chapter 26 verse 56, “But all this was done

that the Scriptures of the prophets might be

fulfilled.”

Time has gone from me so let me just make the other

two points very very quickly. Listen to me. Faith is

rooted in evidence. Faith goes beyond evidence, it has

to or it wouldn’t be faith. Now, God is not going to

prove himself to you, but what God will do for you is

this–God will reveal himself to you. God will give

you facts. God will give you evidence and then God

will give you faith to believe those facts. It must be

by faith because faith is a moral response to the

character of God and the Bible says in John chapter 17

verse 7, “If any man wills to do the will of God he

shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God.” Now,

what does that mean? That means if you want to know

whether these facts are true, if you want to know this

evidence, then you can know it. God on the one hand

gives you the facts and then God on the other hand

gives you the faith to believe those facts. It is not

blind faith, it is rooted in evidence, but nonetheless

it is faith. God does not prove it to you, God shows

it to you and then from the inside God gives you his

force.

You see, there is that objective revelation of God,

but then there is that subjective inclination to

believe the revelation. That’s the reason Jesus said,

“My sheep hear my voice.” I don’t know about you, but

there’s something in me that when I read this Bible it

tells me it’s the Word of God. Not just because of

these facts that I’ve been giving you, but there is

just the voice of God. God speaks in his book. Do you

know what I’m talking about? Jesus said, “He that is

of the truth heareth my word and so the words I speak

unto you, they’re spirit and they’re life.” This Bible

is not like other books. You read other books but this

book reads you. And so, faith is rooted in evidence,

but faith goes beyond evidence.

Then I want to say the last thing and I’m hurrying.

Faith then becomes its own best evidence. I believe

because I believe. Let me give you a wonderful

Scripture. Psalm 34 verse 8. “0 taste and see that the

Lord is good.” I want to find out about you people,

find out how educated you are. How many of you have

ever tasted a mango, let me see your hand? Oh, I pity

the rest of you poor, denied people. You never had any

mango. You don’t know what mango is. Listen, folks, if

you can’t go to heaven, at least you ought to have a

mango. I mean, that’s nectar, that’s indescribably

luscious fruit from Florida. I was weaned on mangos,

wonderful. Now suppose you’ve never had a mango and

somebody comes with a mango and says, That’s a mango.

It looks good and it’s beautiful and it smells good.

You ought to have some. Thus far it’s just evidence.

He says it’s a mango, he says it’s good, it smells

good, it looks good, all of the rest of it, other

people seem to be enjoying it, other people testify–

that is all evidence.

But there’s something in you that impels you, you just

feel drawn toward it, you go beyond that evidence and

then you do something, you take a bite and now, folks,

you’ve got the evidence on the inside. Amen. That’s

what the Scripture means when it says, “Taste and see

that the Lord is good,” taste and see that the Lord is

good. Now, you see, that the reason that a Christian

with an experience is never at the mercy of an infidel

with an argument, because he’s got the evidence within

him. And one of the ways that I know that the Bible is

God’s Word is because the bright, living reality, the

truth of the God of that Bible lives within my heart.

Faith is rooted in evidence, faith goes beyond

evidence, faith becomes its own best evidence.

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt)

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 381 (Talking Heads) They come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.” Featured artist is Bernhard Martin

Francis Schaeffer pictured below in 1971 at L Abri

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer at L’Abri Conference, Urbana, 1981

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I can’t seem to face up to the facts
I’m tense and nervous and I can’t relax
I can’t sleep, ’cause my bed’s on fire
Don’t touch me, I’m a real live wirePsycho killer, qu’est-ce que c’est?
Fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, far better
Run, run, run, run, run, run away
Oh-ho-ho
Psycho killer, qu’est-ce que c’est?
Fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, far better
Run, run, run, run, run, run away
Oh-ho-ho-ho, aye-yi-yi-yi-yi, oohYou start a conversation, you can’t even finish it
You’re talking a lot, but you’re not saying anything
When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed
Say something once, why say it again?Psycho killer, qu’est-ce que c’est?
Fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, far better
Run, run, run, run, run, run away
Oh-ho-ho
Psycho killer, qu’est-ce que c’est?
Fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, far better
Run, run, run, run, run, run away
Oh-ho-ho-ho, aye-yi-yi-yi-yiCe que j’ai fait ce soir-là
Ce qu’elle a dit ce soir-là
Réalisant mon espoir
Je me lance vers la gloire
Okay
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
We are vain and we are blind
I hate people when they’re not politePsycho killer, qu’est-ce que c’est?
Fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, far better
Run, run, run, run, run, run away
Oh-ho-ho
Psycho killer, qu’est-ce que c’est?
Fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, fa, far better
Run, run, run, run, run, run away
Oh-ho-ho-ho, aye-yi-yi-yi-yi, oohSource: MusixmatchSongwriters: TINA WEYMOUTH / CHRISTOPHER FRANTZ / DAVID BRYNE

—-

Ah
Watch out, you might get what you’re after
Cool, babies! Strange but not a stranger
I’m an ordinary guy
Burning down the house

[Verse 2]
Hold tight, wait ’til the party’s over
Hold tight, we’re in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way
Burning down the house

[Chorus 1]
Here’s your ticket, pack your bag, it’s time for jumping overboard
The transportation is here
Close enough but not too far, maybe you know where you are
Fighting fire with fire, ah!

[Verse 3]
All wet, here, you might need a raincoat
Shakedown, dreams walking in broad daylight
Three hundred sixty-five degrees
Burning down the house

[Chorus 2]
It was once upon a place, sometimes I listen to myself
Gonna come in first place
People on their way to work say, “Baby, what did you expect?”
Gonna burst into flame, ah!

Learn More about The Talking Heads

Although the Talking Heads were a part of the original CBGB’s lineup in the mid-1970’s, they are most commonly associated with the transition between Punk and New Wave. By offering an alternative/artsy sound incorporating polyrhythmic, African drumming styles, synthesized rhythm and blues melodies, with quirky lyrics and vocals they stood apart from other punk bands that had a more stripped-down sound.

Lead vocalist and guitarist David Byrne (1952), drummer Chris Franz (1951), and bassist and keyboard player Tina Weymouth (1950), first formed in 1974 as a trio called The Artistics while attending the Rhode Island School of Design as art students. Within the year the band had decided to relocate to New York City, and as fate would have it ended up in an apartment just blocks away from the emerging CBGB’s.

Their big break came in 1975 after opening there for the Ramones. They were almost immediately offered a contract with Sire Records but continued to develop their sound playing regularly at the emerging club before adding the fourth member, Jerry Harrison (1949), on keyboards, to record their debut album “1977,” named for the year in which it was recorded.

In 1978, they began to work with the legendary producer Brian Eno, and at that time their work was characterized by extensive musical experimentation with both acoustic and electronic instruments. With their more clean-cut, preppie look, and their a-political, less nihilistic but more sarcastic lyrics, the Talking Heads separated themselves from the other Punk bands and foreshadowed the New Wave bands who followed in the 1980’s.

Talking Heads successfully made the transition between Punk and New Wavein the 1980s by adding funk, world music, African percussion and an emphasis on electronic instruments. During the eleven years that they recorded, Talking Heads became a critically acclaimed band, and achieved some commercial success with several pop hits, before breaking up in 1991.

Byrne went on to a very successful solo career that heavily promoted world music, particularly Latin and Cuban genres. He is also a respected photographer, filmmaker, and directed most of the Talking Heads videos.

Page author: A.E.

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER comments on punk rock:

They come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.”

Francis Schaeffer pictured

Francis Schaeffer taught young people at L Abri in Switzerland in the 1950’s till the 1980’s (pictured below)

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 “They are the natural outcome of a change from a Christian World View to a Humanistic one…
The result is a relativistic value system. A lack of a final meaning to life — that’s first. Why does human life have any value at all, if that is all that reality is? Not only are you going to die individually, but the whole human race is going to die, someday. It may not take the falling of the atom bombs, but someday the world will grow too hot, too cold. That’s what we are told on this other final reality, and someday all you people not only will be individually dead, but the whole conscious life on this world will be dead, and nobody will see the birds fly. And there’s no meaning to life.

As you know, I don’t speak academically, shut off in some scholastic cubicle, as it were. I have lots of young people and older ones come to us from the ends of the earth. And as they come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They realize what the situation is. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.” And I must say, that on the basis of what they are being taught in school, that the final reality is only this material thing, they are not wrong. They’re right! On this other basis there is no meaning to life and not only is there no meaning to life, but there is no value system that is fixed, and we find that the law is based then only on a relativistic basis and that law becomes purely arbitrary.

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Francis Schaeffer also observed:

The peak of the drug culture of the hippie movement was well symbolized by the movie Woodstock. Woodstock was a rock festival held in northeastern United States in the summer of 1969. The movie about that rock festival was released in the spring of 1970Many young people thought that Woodstock was the beginning of a newand wonderful age.

Jimi Hendrix (1942–1970himself was soon to become a symbol of the endBlackextremely talented, inhumanly exploited, he overdosed in September 1970 and drowned in his own vomit, soon after the claim that the culture of which he was a symbol was a new beginning. In the late sixties the ideological hopes based on drug-taking died.

After Woodstock two events “ended the age of innocence,” to use the expression of Rolling Stone magazine. The first occurred at Altamont, California, where the Rolling Stones put on a festival and hired the Hell’s Angels (for several barrels of beer) to police the grounds. Instead, the Hell’s Angels killed people without any cause, and it was a bad scene indeed. But people thought maybe this was a fluke, maybe it was just California! It took a second event to be convincing. On the Isle of Wight, 450,000 people assembled, and it was totally ugly. A number of people from L’Abri were there, and I know a man closely associated with the rock world who knows the organizer of this festival. Everyone agrees that the situation was just plain hideous.

(How Should We Then Live, pp. 209-210)

 In his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Francis Schaeffer noted:

This emphasis on hallucinogenic drugs brought with it many rock groups–for example, Cream, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Incredible String Band, Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix. Most of their work was from 1965-1958. The Beatles’Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) also fits here. This disc is a total unity, not just an isolated series of individual songs, and for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. As a whole, this music was the vehicle to carry the drug culture and the mentality which went with it across frontiers which were almost impassible by other means of communication.

Here is a good review of the episode 016 HSWTL The Age of Non-Reason of HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?, December 23, 2007:

Together with the advent of the “drug Age” was the increased interest in the West in  the religious experience of Hinduism and Buddhism. Schaeffer tells us that: “This grasping for a nonrational meaning to life and values is the central reason that these Eastern religions are so popular in the West today.”  Drugs and Eastern religions came like a flood into the Western world.  They became the way that people chose to find meaning and values in life.  By themselves or together, drugs and Eastern religion became the way that people searched inside themselves for ultimate truth.

Along with drugs and Eastern religions there has been a remarkable increase “of the occult appearing as an upper-story hope.”  As modern man searches for answers it “many moderns would rather have demons than be left with the idea that everything in the universe is only one big machine.”  For many people having the “occult in the upper story of nonreason in the hope of having meaning” is better than leaving the upper story of nonreason empty. For them horror or the macabre are more acceptable than the idea that they are just a machine.

Francis Schaeffer has correctly argued:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #94)

We looked earlier at the city of Lachish. Let us return to the same period in Israel’s history when Lachich was besieged and captured by the Assyrian King Sennacherib. The king of Judah at the time was Hezekiah.

Perhaps you remember the story of how Jesus healed a blind man and told him to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam. It is the same place known by King Hezekiah, approximately 700 years earlier. One of the remarkable things about the flow of the Bible is that historical events separated by hundreds of years took place in the same geographic spots, and standing in these places today, we can feel that flow of history about us. The crucial archaeological discovery which relates the Pool of Siloam is the tunnel which lies behind it.

One day in 1880 a small Arab boy was playing with his friend and fell into the pool. When he clambered out, he found a small opening about two feet wide and five feet high. On examination, it turned out to be a tunnel reaching  back into the rock. But that was not all. On the side of the tunnel an inscribed stone (now kept in the museum in Istanbul) was discovered, which told how the tunnel had been built originally. The inscription in classical Hebrew reads as follows:

The boring through is completed. And this is the story of the boring: while yet they plied the pick, each toward his fellow, and while there were yet three cubits [4 14 feet] to be bored through, there was heard the voice of one calling to the other that there was a hole in the rock on the right hand and on the left hand. And on the day of the boring through the workers on the tunnel struck each to meet his fellow, pick upon pick. Then the water poured from the source to the Pool 1,200 cubits [about 600 yards] and a 100 cubits was the height of the rock above the heads of the workers in the tunnel. 

We know this as Hezekiah’s Tunnel. The Bible tells us how Hezekiah made provision for a better water supply to the city:Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and all his might, and how he made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?(II Kings 20:20). We know here three things: the biblical account, the tunnel itself of which the Bible speaks, and the original stone with its inscription in classical Hebrew.

From the Assyrian side, there is additional confirmation of the incidents mentioned in the Bible. There is a clay prism in the British Museum called the Taylor Prism (British Museum, Ref. 91032). It is only fifteen inches high and was discovered in the Assyrian palace at Nineveh. This particular prism dates from about 691 B.C. and tells about Sennacherib’s exploits. A section from the prism reads, “As for Hezekiah,  the Jew, who did not submit to my yoke, forty-six of his strong walled cities, as well as small cities  in their neighborhood I have besieged and took…himself like a caged bird, I shut up in Jerusalem, his royal city. Earthworks I threw up against him,” Thus, there is a three-way confirmation concerning Hezekiah’s tunnel from the Hebrew side and this amazing confirmation from the Assyrian side.

____ Featured artist is Bernhard Martin

Related posts

Daniel Mitchell OF CENTER FOR FREEDOM AND PROSPERITY article “ The Economics of Inequality“



The Economics of Inequality

In my four-part series on inequality (hereherehere, and here), I argue that that it is more important to instead focus on reducing poverty – especially since we know the policies needed to achieve that latter goal.

In this discussion, I contemplate why some folks don’t understand that message.

One reason is that some of them don’t care.

As explained by the Eighth Theorem of Government, they are motivated first and foremost by a desire for bigger government.

And it doesn’t matter whether they are driven by ideology or “public choice.” The bottom line is that helping people climb the economic ladder is – at best – a secondary concern.

But what about the well-meaning folks on the left? Is there a way of convincing them to channel their compassion in a better direction?

As mentioned in the interview, these are the people who generally believe that the economy is a fixed pie. As such when someone like Jeff Bezos is rich, they think it means other people are poor.

So it should be simple to show them that this isn’t true. There is a wealth of data showing how good (or even just decent) policies create more prosperity.

Looking specifically at the United States, we’re much richer today than we were in the past. And that’s true whether you go back 200 years or if you simply compared today’s economy with where America was after World War II.

And the same pattern exists in other market-based nations.

But here’s what frustrates me. When I share this data with my left-leaning friends, they seem to have some sort of mental block that prevents them from reaching the obvious conclusion.

A few of them will pivot, acknowledge that broad-based growth happens, but then argue that growth is unaffected by policy.

In other words, nations can become more prosperous whether government is big or government is small.

Needless to say, there’s also a wealth of data showing that this isn’t true.

At which point the honest and intelligent folks on the left will explicitly or implicitlyembrace Arthur Okun’s argument that it’s okay to have less growth if there’s more equality.

That’s when I point out that even small differences in growth make a big difference to income levels over just a few decades. Which means poor people ultimately will be richer if there’s more economic liberty.

So if they really care about the well-being of the less fortunate, they should be the biggest advocates of free markets and limited government.

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Equality, Equity, and Capitalism

In an ad during last year’s campaign, Kamala Harris assertedthat “equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place.” In other words, lots of class-warfare taxation to finance lots of means-tested redistribution.

Here’s an oft-used meme illustrating this argument that fairness is only possible with “equality of outcomes.”

I admit this is a clever image, but only in theory.

If you look at the societies that actually have followed Marx’s dictum of “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” you find misery and destitution (nations such as CubaNorth Korea, and Venezuela today, and countries such as Maoist China and the Soviet Union in the past).

Sort of like this modified meme.

But the above meme only tells part of the story.

Because here’s a look at what capitalism actually delivers.

In other words, there may be inequality in capitalism, but only in the sense that some people get richer faster than other people get richer.

If we mixed the final two memes, we would get something akin to the right side of this image, which shows equal misery under socialism and unequal prosperity under capitalism (hat tip to Winston Churchill).

The bottom line is that if we care about the well being of the less fortunate, the policy goal should be free markets and limited government.

Which was the entire point of my three-part series (herehere, and here) on poverty and inequality.

P.S. Here’s a story from Sweden about what happens when the ideology of equality produces bizarre choices.

The Case Against Biden’s Class-Warfare Tax Policy, Part II

In Part I of this series, I expressed some optimism that Joe Biden would not aggressively push his class-warfare tax plan, particularly since Republicans almost certainly will wind up controlling the Senate.

But the main goal of that column was to explain that the internal revenue code already is heavily weighted against investors, entrepreneurs, business owners and other upper-income taxpayers.

And to underscore that point, I shared two charts from Brian Riedl’s chartbook to show that the “rich” are now paying a much larger share of the tax burden – notwithstanding the Reagan tax cuts, Bush tax cuts, and Trump tax cuts – than they were 40 years ago.

Not only that, but the United States has a tax system that is more “progressive” than all other developed nations (all of whom also impose heavy tax burdens on upper-income taxpayers, but differ from the United States in that they also pillage lower-income and middle-class residents).

In other words, Biden’s class-warfare tax plan is bad policy.

Today’s column, by contrast, will point out that his tax increases are impractical. Simply stated, they won’t collect much revenue because people change their behavior when incentives to earn and report income are altered.

This is especially true when looking at upper-income taxpayers who – compared to the rest of us – have much greater ability to change the timing, level, and composition of their income.

This helps to explain why rich people paid five times as much tax to the IRS during the 1980s when Reagan slashed the top tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent.

When writing about this topic, I normally use the Laffer Curve to help people understand why simplistic assumptions about tax policy are wrong (that you can double tax revenue by doubling tax rates, for instance). And I point out that even folks way on the left, such as Paul Krugman, agree with this common-sense view (though it’s also worth noting that some people on the right discredit the concept by making silly assertions that “all tax cuts pay for themselves”).

But instead of showing the curve again, I want to go back to Brian Riedl’s chartbook and review his data on of revenue changes during the eight years of the Obama Administration.

It shows that Obama technically cut taxes by $822 billion (as further explained in the postscript, most of that occurred when some of the Bush tax cuts were made permanent by the “fiscal cliff” deal in 2012) and raised taxes by $1.32 trillion (most of that occurred as a result of the Obamacare legislation).

If we do the math, that means Obama imposed a cumulative net tax increase of about $510 billion during his eight years in office

But, if you look at the red bar on the chart, you’ll see that the government didn’t wind up with more money because of what the number crunchers refer to as “economic and technical reestimates.”

Indeed, those reestimates resulted in more than $3.1 trillion of lost revenue during the Obama years.

don’t want the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington to have more tax revenue, but I obviously don’t like it when tax revenues shrink simply because the economy is stagnant and people have less taxable income.

Yet that’s precisely what we got during the Obama years.

To be sure, it would be inaccurate to assert that revenues declined solely because of Obama’s tax increase. There were many other bad policies that also contributed to taxable income falling short of projections.

Heck, maybe there was simply some bad luck as well.

But even if we add lots of caveats, the inescapable conclusion is that it’s not a good idea to adopt policies – such as class-warfare tax rates – that discourage people from earning and reporting taxable income.

The bottom line is that we should hope Biden’s proposed tax increases die a quick death.

P.S. The “fiscal cliff” was the term used to describe the scheduled expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. According to the way budget data is measured in Washington, extending some of those provisions counted as a tax cut even though the practical impact was to protect people from a tax increase.

P.P.S. Even though Biden absurdly asserted that paying higher taxes is “patriotic,” it’s worth pointing out that he engaged in very aggressive tax avoidance to protect his family’s money.

President Joe Biden Will Be Bad, but a President Kamala Harris Would Be Worse

Joe Biden has a very misguided economic agenda. I’m especially disturbed by his class-warfare tax agenda, which will be bad news for American workers and American competitiveness.

The good news, as I wrote earlier this year, is that he probably isn’t serious about some of his worst ideas.

Biden is a statist, but not overly ideological. His support for bigger government is largely a strategy of catering to the various interest groups that dominate the Democratic Party. The good news is that he’s an incrementalist and won’t aggressively push for a horrifying FDR-style agenda if he gets to the White House.

But what if Joe Biden’s health deteriorates and Kamala Harris – sooner or later – winds up in charge?

That’s rather troubling since her agenda was far to the left of Biden’s when they were competing for the Democratic nomination.

And it doesn’t appear that being Biden’s choice for Vice President has led her to moderate her views. Consider this campaign ad, where she openly asserted that “equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place.”

The notion that we should strive for equality of outcomes rather than equality of opportunity is horrifying.

For all intents and purposes,Harris has embraced a harsh version of redistributionism where everyone above average is punished and everyone below average is rewarded.

This goes way beyond a safety net and it’s definitely a recipe for economic misery since people on both sides of the equationhave less incentive to be productive.

I’m not the only one to be taken aback by Harris’ dogmatic leftism.

Robby Soave, writing for Reason, is very critical of her radical outlook.

Harris gives voice to a leftist-progressive narrative about the importance of equity—equal outcomes—rather than mere equality before the law. …Harris contrasted equal treatment—all people getting the same thing—with equitable treatment,which means “we all end up at the same place.” …This may seem like a trivial difference, but when it comes to public policy, the difference matters. A government shouldbe obligated to treat all citizens equally, giving them the same access to civil rights and liberties like voting, marriage, religious freedom, and gun ownership. …A mandate to foster equity, though, would give the government power to violate these rights in order to achieve identical social results for all people. 

And, in a column for National Review, Brad Polumbo expresses similar reservations about her views.

Whether she embraces the label “socialist” or not, Harris’s stated agenda and Senate record both reveal her to be positioned a long way to the left on matters of economic policy. From health care to the environment to housing, Harris thinks the answer to almost every problem we face is simply more government and more taxpayer money — raising taxes and further indebting future generations in the process.…Harris…supports an astounding $40 trillion in new spending over the next decade. In a sign of just how far left the Democratic Party has shifted on economics, Harris backs more than 20 times as much spending as Hillary Clinton proposed in 2016. …And this is not just a matter of spending. During her failed presidential campaign, Harris supported a federal-government takeover of health care… The senator jumped on the “Green New Deal” bandwagon as well. She co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution in the Senate that called for a “new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era.” …she supports enacting price controls on housing across the country. …The left-wing group Progressive Punch analyzed Harris’s voting record and found that she is the fourth-most liberal senator, more liberal even than Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. Similarly, the nonpartisan organization GovTrack.us deemed Harris the furthest-left member of the Senate for the 2019 legislative year. (Spoiler alert: If your voting record is to the left of Bernie Sanders, you might be a socialist.)

To be fair, Harris is simply a politician, so we have no idea what she really believes. Her hard-left agenda might simply be her way of appealing to Democratic voters, much as Republicans who run for president suddenly decide they support big tax cuts and sweeping tax reform.

But whether she’s sincere or insincere, it’s troubling that she actually says it’s the role of government to make sure we all “end up at the same place.”

Let’s close with a video clip from Milton Friedman. At the risk of understatement, he has a different perspective than Ms. Harris.

Since we highlighted Harris’ key quote, let’s also highlight the key quote from Friedman.

Amen.

P.S. It appears Republicans will hold the Senate, which presumably (hopefully?) means that any radical proposals would be dead on arrival, regardless of whether they’re proposed by Biden or Harris.

P.P.S. Harris may win the prize for the most economically illiterate proposal of the 2020 campaign.

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Will Biden’s Class-Warfare Tax Plan Lead to an Exodus of Job Creators?

After Barack Obama took office (and especially after he was reelected), there was a big uptick in the number of rich people who chose to emigrate from the United States. 

There are many reasons wealthy people choose to move from one nation to another, but Obama’s embrace of class-warfare tax policy (including FATCA) was seen as a big factor.

Joe Biden’s tax agenda is significantly more punitive than Obama’s, so we may see something similar happen if he wins the 2020 election.

Given the economic importance of innovatorsentrepreneurs, and inventors, this would be not be good news for the American economy.

The New York Times reported late last year that the United States could be shooting itself in the foot by discouraging wealthy residents.

…a different group of Americans say they are considering leaving — people of both parties who would be hit by the wealth tax… Wealthy Americans often leave high-tax states like New York and California for lower-tax ones like Florida and Texas. But renouncing citizenship is a far more permanent, costly and complicated proposition. …“America’s the most attractive destination for capital, entrepreneurs and people wanting to get a great education,” said Reaz H. Jafri, a partner and head of the immigration practice at Withers, an international law firm. “But in today’s world, when you have other economic centers of excellence — like Singapore, Switzerland and London — people don’t view the U.S. as the only place to be.” …now, the price may be right to leave. While the cost of expatriating varies depending on a person’s assets, the wealthiest are betting that if a Democrat wins…, leaving now means a lower exit tax. …The wealthy who are considering renouncing their citizenship fear a wealth tax less than the possibility that the tax on capital gains could be raised to the ordinary income tax rate, effectively doubling what a wealthy person would pay… When Eduardo Saverin, a founder of Facebook…renounced his United States citizenship shortly before the social network went public, …several estimates said that renouncing his citizenship…saved him $700 million in taxes.

The migratory habits of rich people make a difference in the global economy.

Here are some excerpts from a 2017 Bloomberg story.

Australia is luring increasing numbers of global millionaires, helping make it one of the fastest growing wealthy nations in the world… Over the past decade, total wealth held in Australia has risen by 85 percent compared to 30 percent in the U.S. and 28 percent in the U.K… As a result, the average Australian is now significantly wealthier than the average American or Briton. …Given its relatively small population, Australia also makes an appearance on a list of average wealth per person. This one is, however, dominated by small tax havens.

Here’s one of the charts from the story.

As you can see, Australia is doing very well, though the small tax havens like Monaco are world leaders.

I’m mystified, however, that the Cayman Islands isn’t listed.

But I’m digressing.

Let’s get back to our main topic. It’s worth noting that even Greece is seeking to attract rich foreigners.

The new tax law is aimed at attracting fresh revenues into the country’s state coffers – mainly from foreigners as well as Greeks who are taxed abroad – by relocating their tax domicile to Greece, as it tries to woo “high-net-worth individuals” to the Greek tax register.The non-dom model provides for revenues obtained abroad to be taxed at a flat amount… Having these foreigners stay in Greece for at least 183 days a year, as the law requires, will also entail expenditure on accommodation and everyday costs that will be added to the Greek economy. …most eligible foreigners will be able to considerably lighten their tax burden if they relocate to Greece…nevertheless, the amount of 500,000 euros’ worth of investment in Greece required of foreigners and the annual flat tax of 100,000 euros demanded (plus 20,000 euros per family member) may keep many of them away.

The system is too restrictive, but it will make the beleaguered nation an attractive destination for some rich people. After all, they don’t even have to pay a flat tax, just a flat fee.

Italy has enjoyed some success with a similar regime to entice millionaires.

Last but not least, an article published last year has some fascinating details on the where rich people move and why they move.

The world’s wealthiest people are also the most mobile. High net worth individuals (HNWIs) – persons with wealth over US$1 million – may decide to pick up and move for a number of reasons. In some cases they are attracted by jurisdictions with more favorable tax laws… Unlike the middle class, wealthy citizens have the means to pick up and leave when things start to sideways in their home country. An uptick in HNWI migration from a country can often be a signal of negative economic or societal factors influencing a country. …Time-honored locations – such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands – continue to attract the world’s wealthy, but no country is experiencing HNWI inflows quite like Australia. …The country has a robust economy, and is perceived as being a safe place to raise a family. Even better, Australia has no inheritance tax

Here’s a map from the article.

The good news is that the United States is attracting more millionaires than it’s losing (perhaps because of the EB-5 program).

The bad news is that this ratio could flip after the election. Indeed, it may already be happening even though recent data on expatriation paints a rosy picture.

The bottom line is that the United States should be competing to attract millionaires, not repel them. Assuming, of course, politicians care about jobs and prosperity for the rest of the population.

P.S. American politicians, copying laws normally imposed by the world’s most loathsome regimes, have imposed an “exit tax” so they can grab extra cash from rich people who choose to become citizens elsewhere.

P.P.S. I’ve argued that Australia is a good place to emigrate even for those of us who aren’t rich.

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Question of the Week: Which Department of the Federal Government Should Be the First to Be Abolished?

I was asked last week which entitlement program is most deserving of reform.

While acknowledging that Social Security and Medicare also are in desperate need of modernization, I wrote that Medicaid reformshould be the first priority.

But I’d be happy if we made progress on any type of entitlement reform, so I don’t think there are right or wrong answers to this kind of question.

We have the same type of question this week. A reader sent an email to ask “Which federal department should be abolished first?”

I guess this is what is meant when people talk about a target-rich environment. We have an abundance of candidates:

But if I have to choose, I think the Department of Housing and Urban Development should be first on the chopping block.

Raze the building and put a layer of salt over the earth to make sure it can never spring back to life

I’ve already argued that there should be no federal government involvement in the housing sector and made the same argument on TV. And I’ve also shared some horror stories about HUD waste and incompetence.

Heck, I even made HUD the background image for my video on the bloated and overpaid bureaucracy in Washington.

It’s also worth noting that there’s nothing about housing in Article I, Section VIII, of the Constitution. For those of us who have old-fashioned values about playing by the rules, that means much of what takes place in Washington – including housing handouts – is unconstitutional.

Simply stated, there is no legitimate argument for HUD. And I think there would be the least political resistance.

As with the answer to the question about entitlements, this is a judgment call. I’d be happy to be proven wrong if it meant that politicians were aggressively going after another department. Anything that reduces the burden of government spending is a step in the right direction


Milton Friedman on Spending

October 3, 2020 by Dan Mitchell

I identified four heroes from the “Battle of Ideas” video I shared in late August – Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher. Here’s one of those heroes, Milton Friedman, explaining what’s needed to control big government.

Why Milton Friedman Saw School Choice as a First Step, Not a Final One

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Kerry McDonald
Kerry McDonald

EducationMilton FriedmanSchool ChoiceSchooling

Libertarians and others are often torn about school choice. They may wish to see the government schooling monopoly weakened, but they may resist supporting choice mechanisms, like vouchers and education savings accounts, because they don’t go far enough. Indeed, most current choice programs continue to rely on taxpayer funding of education and don’t address the underlying compulsory nature of elementary and secondary schooling.

Skeptics may also have legitimate fears that taxpayer-funded education choice programs will lead to over-regulation of previously independent and parochial schooling options, making all schooling mirror compulsory mass schooling, with no substantive variation.

Milton Friedman had these same concerns. The Nobel prize-winning economist is widely considered to be the one to popularize the idea of vouchers and school choice beginning with his 1955 paper, “The Role of Government in Education.” His vision continues to be realized through the important work of EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, that Friedman and his economist wife, Rose, founded in 1996.

July 31 is Milton Friedman’s birthday. He died in 2006 at the age of 94, but his ideas continue to have an impact, particularly in education policy.

Friedman saw vouchers and other choice programs as half-measures. He recognized the larger problems of taxpayer funding and compulsion, but saw vouchers as an important starting point in allowing parents to regain control of their children’s education. In their popular book, Free To Choose, first published in 1980, the Friedmans wrote:

We regard the voucher plan as a partial solution because it affects neither the financing of schooling nor the compulsory attendance laws. We favor going much farther. (p.161)

They continued:

The compulsory attendance laws are the justification for government control over the standards of private schools. But it is far from clear that there is any justification for the compulsory attendance laws themselves. (p. 162)

The Friedmans admitted that their “own views on this have changed over time,” as they realized that “compulsory attendance at schools is not necessary to achieve that minimum standard of literacy and knowledge,” and that “schooling was well-nigh universal in the United States before either compulsory attendance or government financing of schooling existed. Like most laws, compulsory attendance laws have costs as well as benefits. We no longer believe the benefits justify the costs.” (pp. 162-3)

Still, they felt that vouchers would be the essential starting point toward chipping away at monopoly mass schooling by putting parents back in charge. School choice, in other words, would be a necessary but not sufficient policy approach toward addressing the underlying issue of government control of education.

In their book, the Friedmans presented the potential outcomes of their proposed voucher plan, which would give parents access to some or all of the average per-pupil expenditures of a child enrolled in public school. They believed that vouchers would help create a more competitive education market, encouraging education entrepreneurship. They felt that parents would be more empowered with greater control over their children’s education and have a stronger desire to contribute some of their own money toward education. They asserted that in many places “the public school has fostered residential stratification, by tying the kind and cost of schooling to residential location” and suggested that voucher programs would lead to increased integration and heterogeneity. (pp. 166-7)

To the critics who said, and still say, that school choice programs would destroy the public schools, the Friedmans replied that these critics fail to

explain why, if the public school system is doing such a splendid job, it needs to fear competition from nongovernmental, competitive schools or, if it isn’t, why anyone should object to its “destruction.” (p. 170)

What I appreciate most about the Friedmans discussion of vouchers and the promise of school choice is their unrelenting support of parents. They believed that parents, not government bureaucrats and intellectuals, know what is best for their children’s education and well-being and are fully capable of choosing wisely for their children—when they have the opportunity to do so.

They wrote:

Parents generally have both greater interest in their children’s schooling and more intimate knowledge of their capacities and needs than anyone else. Social reformers, and educational reformers in particular, often self-righteously take for granted that parents, especially those who are poor and have little education themselves, have little interest in their children’s education and no competence to choose for them. That is a gratuitous insult. Such parents have frequently had limited opportunity to choose. However, U.S. history has demonstrated that, given the opportunity, they have often been willing to sacrifice a great deal, and have done so wisely, for their children’s welfare. (p. 160).

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Today, school voucher programs exist in 15 states plus the District of Columbia. These programs have consistently shown that when parents are given the choice to opt-out of an assigned district school, many will take advantage of the opportunity. In Washington, D.C., low-income parents who win a voucher lottery send their children to private schools.

The most recent three-year federal evaluationof voucher program participants found that while student academic achievement was comparable to achievement for non-voucher students remaining in public schools, there were statistically significant improvements in other important areas. For instance, voucher participants had lower rates of chronic absenteeism than the control groups, as well as higher student satisfaction scores. There were also tremendous cost-savings.

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program has served over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools.

According to Corey DeAngelis, Director of School Choice at the Reason Foundation and a prolific researcher on the topic, the recent analysis of the D.C. voucher program “reveals that private schools produce the same academic outcomes for only a third of the cost of the public schools. In other words, school choice is a great investment.”

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program was created in 1990 and is the nation’s oldest voucher program. It currently serves over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools. Like the D.C. voucher program, data on test scores of Milwaukee voucher students show similar results to public school students, but non-academic results are promising.

Recent research found voucher recipients had lower crime rates and lower incidences of unplanned pregnancies in young adulthood. On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

According to Howard Fuller, an education professor at Marquette University, founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and one of the developers of the Milwaukee voucher program, the key is parent empowerment—particularly for low-income minority families.

In an interview with NPR, Fuller said: “What I’m saying to you is that there are thousands of black children whose lives are much better today because of the Milwaukee parental choice program,” he says. 
“They were able to access better schools than they would have without a voucher.”

Putting parents back in charge of their child’s education through school choice measures was Milton Friedman’s goal. It was not his ultimate goal, as it would not fully address the funding and compulsion components of government schooling; but it was, and remains, an important first step. As the Friedmans wrote in Free To Choose:

The strong American tradition of voluntary action has provided many excellent examples that demonstrate what can be done when parents have greater choice. (p. 159).

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Kerry McDonald

Milton Friedman

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“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 7 of 7)

March 16, 2012 – 12:25 am

  Michael Harrington:  If you don’t have the expertise, the knowledge technology today, you’re out of the debate. And I think that we have to democratize information and government as well as the economy and society. FRIEDMAN: I am sorry to say Michael Harrington’s solution is not a solution to it. He wants minority rule, I […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events, Milton Friedman | Edit | Comments (0)

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March 9, 2012 – 12:29 am

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March 2, 2012 – 12:26 am

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“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 2 of 7)

February 10, 2012 – 12:09 am

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“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 1of 7)

February 3, 2012 – 12:07 am

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Debate on Milton Friedman’s cure for inflation

September 29, 2011 – 7:24 am

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“Friedman Friday” Milton Friedman believed in liberty (Interview by Charlie Rose of Milton Friedman part 1)

April 19, 2013 – 1:14 am

Charlie Rose interview of Milton Friedman My favorite economist: Milton Friedman : A Great Champion of Liberty  by V. Sundaram   Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who advocated an unfettered free market and had the ear of three US Presidents – Nixon, Ford and Reagan – died last Thursday (16 November, 2006 ) in San Francisco […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Milton Friedman | Edit | Comments (0)

What were the main proposals of Milton Friedman?

February 21, 2013 – 1:01 am

Stearns Speaks on House Floor in Support of Balanced Budget Amendment Uploaded by RepCliffStearns on Nov 18, 2011 Speaking on House floor in support of Balanced Budget Resolution, 11/18/2011 ___________ Below are some of the main proposals of Milton Friedman. I highly respected his work. David J. Theroux said this about Milton Friedman’s view concerning […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Milton Friedman | Edit | Comments (0)

“Friedman Friday,” EPISODE “The Failure of Socialism” of Free to Choose in 1990 by Milton Friedman (Part 1)

December 7, 2012 – 5:55 am

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Defending Milton Friedman

July 31, 2012 – 6:45 am

What a great defense of Milton Friedman!!!!   Defaming Milton Friedman by Johan Norberg This article appeared in Reason Online on September 26, 2008  PRINT PAGE  CITE THIS      Sans Serif      Serif Share with your friends: ShareThis In the future, if you tell a student or a journalist that you favor free markets and limited government, there is […]

Daniel Mitchell OF CENTER FOR FREEDOM AND PROSPERITY article Biden’s Awful Plan for a Hybrid Death Tax/Capital Gains Tax

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Biden’s Awful Plan for a Hybrid Death Tax/Capital Gains Tax

More than 10 years ago, I narrated this video explaining why there should be no capital gains tax.

The economic argument against capital gains taxation is very simple. It is wrong to impose discriminatory taxes on income that is saved and invested.

It’s bad enough that government gets to tax our income one time, but it’s even worse whenthey get to impose multiple layers of tax on the same dollar.

Unfortunately, nobody told Biden. As part of his class-warfare agenda, he wants to increase the capital gains tax rate from 23.8 percent to 43.4 percent.

Even worse, he wants to expand the capital gains tax so that it functions as an additional form of death tax.

And that tax would be imposed even if assets aren’t sold. In other words, it would a tax on capital gains that only exist on paper (a nutty idea associated with Sens. Ron Wyden and Elizabeth Warren).

I’m not joking. In an article for National Review, Ryan Ellis explains why Biden’s proposal is so misguided.

The Biden administration proposes that on top of the old death tax, which is assessed on estates, the federal government should add a new tax on the deceased’s last 1040 personal-income-tax return. This new, second tax would apply to tens of millions of Americans. …the year someone died, all of their unrealized capital gains (gains on unsold real estate, family farms and businesses, stocks and other investments, artwork, collectibles, etc.) would be subject to taxation as if the assets in question had been sold that year. …In short, what the Biden administration is proposing is to tax the capital gains on a person’s property when they die, even if the assets that account for those gains haven’t actually been sold. …to make matters worse, the administration also supports raising the top tax rate on long-term capital gains from 23.8 percent to 43.4 percent. When state capital-gains-tax rates are factored in, this would make the combined rate at or above 50 percent in many places — the highest capital-gains-tax rate in the world, and the highest in American history.

This sounds bad (and it is bad).

But there’s more bad news.

…that’s not all. After these unrealized, unsold, phantom gains are subject to the new 50 percent double death tax, there is still the matter of the old death tax to deal with. Imagine a 50 percent death tax followed by a 40 percent death tax on what is left, and you get the idea. Karl Marx called for the confiscation of wealth at death, but even he probably never dreamed this big. …Just like the old death tax, the double death tax would be a dream for the estate-planning industry, armies of actuaries and attorneys, and other tax professionals. But for the average American, it would be a nightmare. The death tax we have is bad enough. A second death tax would be a catastrophic mistake.

Hank Adler and Madison Spach also wrote about this topic last month for the Wall Street Journal.

Here’s some of what they wrote.

Mr. Biden’s American Families Plan would subject many estates worth far less than $11.7 million to a punishing new death tax. The plan would raise the total top rate on capital gains, currently 23.8% for most assets, to 40.8%—higher than the 40% maximum estate tax. It would apply the same tax to unrealized capital gains at death…The American Families Plan would result in negative value at death for many long-held leveraged real-estate assets. …Scenarios in which the new death tax would significantly reduce, nearly eliminate or even totally eliminate the net worth of decedents who invested and held real estate for decades wouldn’t be uncommon. …The American Families Plan would discourage long-term investment. That would be particularly true for those with existing wealth who would begin focusing on cash flow rather than long-term investment. The combination of the new death tax plus existing estate tax rates would change risk-reward ratios.

The bottom line is that it is very misguided to impose harsh and discriminatory taxes on capital gains. Especially if the tax occurs simply because a taxpayer dies.

P.S. Keep in mind that there’s no “indexing,” which means investors often are being taxed on gains that merely reflect inflation.

P.P.S. Rather than increasing the tax burden on capital gains, we should copy Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Hungary, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Turkey. What do they have in common? A capital gains tax rate of zero.

Democrats Embrace Protectionist Tax Hike on Lower-Income and Middle-Class Americans

I’ve been warning, over and over and over again, that a European-style welfare state means huge tax increases on ordinary people.

Simply stated, there are not enough rich people to finance big government (even Paul Krugman agrees).

This means Joe Biden and Democrats need to make a choice: What matters most, their desire to make government bigger, or their promise not to impose higher taxes on families making less than $400K per year?

We now have the answer to that question, and I hope nobody is surprised to learn that they picked government over taxpayers.

But what is surprising is that they picked the Trump approach of protectionist taxes on global trade.

Here are some excerpts from a report by the New York Times.

Democrats have agreed to include a tax on imports from nations that lack aggressive climate change policies as part of a sweeping $3.5 trillion budget plan… The move to tax imports was made public Wednesday, the same day that the European Union outlined its own proposal for a similar carbon border tax, a novel tool that is designed to protect domestic manufacturing.…skeptics caution that a carbon border tax, which has yet to be implemented by any country, would be difficult to carry out, and could anger trading partners and face a challenge at the World Trade Organization. Unlike the Europeans, who outlined their plan in a 291-page document, Democrats released no details about their tax proposal on Wednesday. Calling it simply a “polluter import fee,” the framework does not explain what would be taxed, at what rate or how much revenue it would expect to generate. …verifying the amount of carbon…produced by foreign manufacturing is tricky, experts say.

It’s always a bad idea to give politicians a new source of revenue.

But it’s a worse idea to give them a new source of revenue that will require bureaucrats to measure the amount of carbon produced by every imported good. As I pointed out a few days ago when discussing the European Union’s version of this protectionist scheme, that’s a huge recipe for cronyism and favoritism.

P.S. I’ll be very curious to see how different international bureaucracies react to these anti-trade proposals. The OECD and IMF, while usually bad on fiscal issues, historically have favored unfettered trade. And the World Trade Organizationexists specifically to protect global commerce. But will these organizations now change their position to curry favor with the nations that control their purse strings?

The theory of “public choice” suggests we shouldn’t be optimistic.

Five Important Facts for Vice President Biden’s Anti-Gun Task Force

asked yesterday for readers to weigh in on why they support (or don’t support) the Second Amendment. The poll is getting lots of responses, though some folks have complained that I should have included more answers, such as “To protect the rights of hunters.”

Gun Control cartoon club knife

And I even had a few left-wing friends tell me I should have included more options for them, such as “The Second Amendment doesn’t mean military-style weapons” or “The Second Amendment doesn’t guarantee individual gun ownership.”

Speaking of our friends on the left, Vice President Joe Biden is overseeing an Administration effort to concoct new gun laws. In the interests of being helpful, I suggest the Veep’s team look at these four videos.

We also have a brand new video from the folks at Reason TV. It provides five facts for Biden and his task force.

For some reason, I won’t be surprised if the Vice President doesn’t see this new video. Or any of the others.

Yes, you can call me a pessimist, but I think Biden’s task force has no interest in doing real research.

Their goal is to figure out (from the left’s perspective) politically feasible ways of undermining the Constitution.

So let’s gird our loins, which sounds like it might be fun, but it simply means prepare for a fight.

But, unlike the statists, we’re not humorless drones. So let’s enjoy some humorous gun control videos to put ourselves in the right frame of mind.

P.S. Don’t forget you can still cast a vote to explain why you support the Second Amendment.

Reusable: biden obama gun control speech

President Barack Obama announces the creation of an interagency task force for guns as as Vice President Joseph Biden listens on.Getty Images

President Joe Biden Will Be Bad, but a President Kamala Harris Would Be Worse

Joe Biden has a very misguided economic agenda. I’m especially disturbed by his class-warfare tax agenda, which will be bad news for American workers and American competitiveness.

The good news, as I wrote earlier this year, is that he probably isn’t serious about some of his worst ideas.

Biden is a statist, but not overly ideological. His support for bigger government is largely a strategy of catering to the various interest groups that dominate the Democratic Party. The good news is that he’s an incrementalist and won’t aggressively push for a horrifying FDR-style agenda if he gets to the White House.

But what if Joe Biden’s health deteriorates and Kamala Harris – sooner or later – winds up in charge?

That’s rather troubling since her agenda was far to the left of Biden’s when they were competing for the Democratic nomination.

And it doesn’t appear that being Biden’s choice for Vice President has led her to moderate her views. Consider this campaign ad, where she openly asserted that “equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place.”

The notion that we should strive for equality of outcomes rather than equality of opportunity is horrifying.

For all intents and purposes,Harris has embraced a harsh version of redistributionism where everyone above average is punished and everyone below average is rewarded.

This goes way beyond a safety net and it’s definitely a recipe for economic misery since people on both sides of the equationhave less incentive to be productive.

I’m not the only one to be taken aback by Harris’ dogmatic leftism.

Robby Soave, writing for Reason, is very critical of her radical outlook.

Harris gives voice to a leftist-progressive narrative about the importance of equity—equal outcomes—rather than mere equality before the law. …Harris contrasted equal treatment—all people getting the same thing—with equitable treatment,which means “we all end up at the same place.” …This may seem like a trivial difference, but when it comes to public policy, the difference matters. A government shouldbe obligated to treat all citizens equally, giving them the same access to civil rights and liberties like voting, marriage, religious freedom, and gun ownership. …A mandate to foster equity, though, would give the government power to violate these rights in order to achieve identical social results for all people. 

And, in a column for National Review, Brad Polumbo expresses similar reservations about her views.

Whether she embraces the label “socialist” or not, Harris’s stated agenda and Senate record both reveal her to be positioned a long way to the left on matters of economic policy. From health care to the environment to housing, Harris thinks the answer to almost every problem we face is simply more government and more taxpayer money — raising taxes and further indebting future generations in the process.…Harris…supports an astounding $40 trillion in new spending over the next decade. In a sign of just how far left the Democratic Party has shifted on economics, Harris backs more than 20 times as much spending as Hillary Clinton proposed in 2016. …And this is not just a matter of spending. During her failed presidential campaign, Harris supported a federal-government takeover of health care… The senator jumped on the “Green New Deal” bandwagon as well. She co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution in the Senate that called for a “new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era.” …she supports enacting price controls on housing across the country. …The left-wing group Progressive Punch analyzed Harris’s voting record and found that she is the fourth-most liberal senator, more liberal even than Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. Similarly, the nonpartisan organization GovTrack.us deemed Harris the furthest-left member of the Senate for the 2019 legislative year. (Spoiler alert: If your voting record is to the left of Bernie Sanders, you might be a socialist.)

To be fair, Harris is simply a politician, so we have no idea what she really believes. Her hard-left agenda might simply be her way of appealing to Democratic voters, much as Republicans who run for president suddenly decide they support big tax cuts and sweeping tax reform.

But whether she’s sincere or insincere, it’s troubling that she actually says it’s the role of government to make sure we all “end up at the same place.”

Let’s close with a video clip from Milton Friedman. At the risk of understatement, he has a different perspective than Ms. Harris.

Since we highlighted Harris’ key quote, let’s also highlight the key quote from Friedman.

Amen.

P.S. It appears Republicans will hold the Senate, which presumably (hopefully?) means that any radical proposals would be dead on arrival, regardless of whether they’re proposed by Biden or Harris.

P.P.S. Harris may win the prize for the most economically illiterate proposal of the 2020 campaign.

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Will Biden’s Class-Warfare Tax Plan Lead to an Exodus of Job Creators?

After Barack Obama took office (and especially after he was reelected), there was a big uptick in the number of rich people who chose to emigrate from the United States. 

There are many reasons wealthy people choose to move from one nation to another, but Obama’s embrace of class-warfare tax policy (including FATCA) was seen as a big factor.

Joe Biden’s tax agenda is significantly more punitive than Obama’s, so we may see something similar happen if he wins the 2020 election.

Given the economic importance of innovatorsentrepreneurs, and inventors, this would be not be good news for the American economy.

The New York Times reported late last year that the United States could be shooting itself in the foot by discouraging wealthy residents.

…a different group of Americans say they are considering leaving — people of both parties who would be hit by the wealth tax… Wealthy Americans often leave high-tax states like New York and California for lower-tax ones like Florida and Texas. But renouncing citizenship is a far more permanent, costly and complicated proposition. …“America’s the most attractive destination for capital, entrepreneurs and people wanting to get a great education,” said Reaz H. Jafri, a partner and head of the immigration practice at Withers, an international law firm. “But in today’s world, when you have other economic centers of excellence — like Singapore, Switzerland and London — people don’t view the U.S. as the only place to be.” …now, the price may be right to leave. While the cost of expatriating varies depending on a person’s assets, the wealthiest are betting that if a Democrat wins…, leaving now means a lower exit tax. …The wealthy who are considering renouncing their citizenship fear a wealth tax less than the possibility that the tax on capital gains could be raised to the ordinary income tax rate, effectively doubling what a wealthy person would pay… When Eduardo Saverin, a founder of Facebook…renounced his United States citizenship shortly before the social network went public, …several estimates said that renouncing his citizenship…saved him $700 million in taxes.

The migratory habits of rich people make a difference in the global economy.

Here are some excerpts from a 2017 Bloomberg story.

Australia is luring increasing numbers of global millionaires, helping make it one of the fastest growing wealthy nations in the world… Over the past decade, total wealth held in Australia has risen by 85 percent compared to 30 percent in the U.S. and 28 percent in the U.K… As a result, the average Australian is now significantly wealthier than the average American or Briton. …Given its relatively small population, Australia also makes an appearance on a list of average wealth per person. This one is, however, dominated by small tax havens.

Here’s one of the charts from the story.

As you can see, Australia is doing very well, though the small tax havens like Monaco are world leaders.

I’m mystified, however, that the Cayman Islands isn’t listed.

But I’m digressing.

Let’s get back to our main topic. It’s worth noting that even Greece is seeking to attract rich foreigners.

The new tax law is aimed at attracting fresh revenues into the country’s state coffers – mainly from foreigners as well as Greeks who are taxed abroad – by relocating their tax domicile to Greece, as it tries to woo “high-net-worth individuals” to the Greek tax register.The non-dom model provides for revenues obtained abroad to be taxed at a flat amount… Having these foreigners stay in Greece for at least 183 days a year, as the law requires, will also entail expenditure on accommodation and everyday costs that will be added to the Greek economy. …most eligible foreigners will be able to considerably lighten their tax burden if they relocate to Greece…nevertheless, the amount of 500,000 euros’ worth of investment in Greece required of foreigners and the annual flat tax of 100,000 euros demanded (plus 20,000 euros per family member) may keep many of them away.

The system is too restrictive, but it will make the beleaguered nation an attractive destination for some rich people. After all, they don’t even have to pay a flat tax, just a flat fee.

Italy has enjoyed some success with a similar regime to entice millionaires.

Last but not least, an article published last year has some fascinating details on the where rich people move and why they move.

The world’s wealthiest people are also the most mobile. High net worth individuals (HNWIs) – persons with wealth over US$1 million – may decide to pick up and move for a number of reasons. In some cases they are attracted by jurisdictions with more favorable tax laws… Unlike the middle class, wealthy citizens have the means to pick up and leave when things start to sideways in their home country. An uptick in HNWI migration from a country can often be a signal of negative economic or societal factors influencing a country. …Time-honored locations – such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands – continue to attract the world’s wealthy, but no country is experiencing HNWI inflows quite like Australia. …The country has a robust economy, and is perceived as being a safe place to raise a family. Even better, Australia has no inheritance tax

Here’s a map from the article.

The good news is that the United States is attracting more millionaires than it’s losing (perhaps because of the EB-5 program).

The bad news is that this ratio could flip after the election. Indeed, it may already be happening even though recent data on expatriation paints a rosy picture.

The bottom line is that the United States should be competing to attract millionaires, not repel them. Assuming, of course, politicians care about jobs and prosperity for the rest of the population.

P.S. American politicians, copying laws normally imposed by the world’s most loathsome regimes, have imposed an “exit tax” so they can grab extra cash from rich people who choose to become citizens elsewhere.

P.P.S. I’ve argued that Australia is a good place to emigrate even for those of us who aren’t rich.

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Question of the Week: Which Department of the Federal Government Should Be the First to Be Abolished?

I was asked last week which entitlement program is most deserving of reform.

While acknowledging that Social Security and Medicare also are in desperate need of modernization, I wrote that Medicaid reformshould be the first priority.

But I’d be happy if we made progress on any type of entitlement reform, so I don’t think there are right or wrong answers to this kind of question.

We have the same type of question this week. A reader sent an email to ask “Which federal department should be abolished first?”

I guess this is what is meant when people talk about a target-rich environment. We have an abundance of candidates:

But if I have to choose, I think the Department of Housing and Urban Development should be first on the chopping block.

Raze the building and put a layer of salt over the earth to make sure it can never spring back to life

I’ve already argued that there should be no federal government involvement in the housing sector and made the same argument on TV. And I’ve also shared some horror stories about HUD waste and incompetence.

Heck, I even made HUD the background image for my video on the bloated and overpaid bureaucracy in Washington.

It’s also worth noting that there’s nothing about housing in Article I, Section VIII, of the Constitution. For those of us who have old-fashioned values about playing by the rules, that means much of what takes place in Washington – including housing handouts – is unconstitutional.

Simply stated, there is no legitimate argument for HUD. And I think there would be the least political resistance.

As with the answer to the question about entitlements, this is a judgment call. I’d be happy to be proven wrong if it meant that politicians were aggressively going after another department. Anything that reduces the burden of government spending is a step in the right direction


Milton Friedman on Spending

October 3, 2020 by Dan Mitchell

I identified four heroes from the “Battle of Ideas” video I shared in late August – Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher. Here’s one of those heroes, Milton Friedman, explaining what’s needed to control big government.

Why Milton Friedman Saw School Choice as a First Step, Not a Final One

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Kerry McDonald
Kerry McDonald

EducationMilton FriedmanSchool ChoiceSchooling

Libertarians and others are often torn about school choice. They may wish to see the government schooling monopoly weakened, but they may resist supporting choice mechanisms, like vouchers and education savings accounts, because they don’t go far enough. Indeed, most current choice programs continue to rely on taxpayer funding of education and don’t address the underlying compulsory nature of elementary and secondary schooling.

Skeptics may also have legitimate fears that taxpayer-funded education choice programs will lead to over-regulation of previously independent and parochial schooling options, making all schooling mirror compulsory mass schooling, with no substantive variation.

Milton Friedman had these same concerns. The Nobel prize-winning economist is widely considered to be the one to popularize the idea of vouchers and school choice beginning with his 1955 paper, “The Role of Government in Education.” His vision continues to be realized through the important work of EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, that Friedman and his economist wife, Rose, founded in 1996.

July 31 is Milton Friedman’s birthday. He died in 2006 at the age of 94, but his ideas continue to have an impact, particularly in education policy.

Friedman saw vouchers and other choice programs as half-measures. He recognized the larger problems of taxpayer funding and compulsion, but saw vouchers as an important starting point in allowing parents to regain control of their children’s education. In their popular book, Free To Choose, first published in 1980, the Friedmans wrote:

We regard the voucher plan as a partial solution because it affects neither the financing of schooling nor the compulsory attendance laws. We favor going much farther. (p.161)

They continued:

The compulsory attendance laws are the justification for government control over the standards of private schools. But it is far from clear that there is any justification for the compulsory attendance laws themselves. (p. 162)

The Friedmans admitted that their “own views on this have changed over time,” as they realized that “compulsory attendance at schools is not necessary to achieve that minimum standard of literacy and knowledge,” and that “schooling was well-nigh universal in the United States before either compulsory attendance or government financing of schooling existed. Like most laws, compulsory attendance laws have costs as well as benefits. We no longer believe the benefits justify the costs.” (pp. 162-3)

Still, they felt that vouchers would be the essential starting point toward chipping away at monopoly mass schooling by putting parents back in charge. School choice, in other words, would be a necessary but not sufficient policy approach toward addressing the underlying issue of government control of education.

In their book, the Friedmans presented the potential outcomes of their proposed voucher plan, which would give parents access to some or all of the average per-pupil expenditures of a child enrolled in public school. They believed that vouchers would help create a more competitive education market, encouraging education entrepreneurship. They felt that parents would be more empowered with greater control over their children’s education and have a stronger desire to contribute some of their own money toward education. They asserted that in many places “the public school has fostered residential stratification, by tying the kind and cost of schooling to residential location” and suggested that voucher programs would lead to increased integration and heterogeneity. (pp. 166-7)

To the critics who said, and still say, that school choice programs would destroy the public schools, the Friedmans replied that these critics fail to

explain why, if the public school system is doing such a splendid job, it needs to fear competition from nongovernmental, competitive schools or, if it isn’t, why anyone should object to its “destruction.” (p. 170)

What I appreciate most about the Friedmans discussion of vouchers and the promise of school choice is their unrelenting support of parents. They believed that parents, not government bureaucrats and intellectuals, know what is best for their children’s education and well-being and are fully capable of choosing wisely for their children—when they have the opportunity to do so.

They wrote:

Parents generally have both greater interest in their children’s schooling and more intimate knowledge of their capacities and needs than anyone else. Social reformers, and educational reformers in particular, often self-righteously take for granted that parents, especially those who are poor and have little education themselves, have little interest in their children’s education and no competence to choose for them. That is a gratuitous insult. Such parents have frequently had limited opportunity to choose. However, U.S. history has demonstrated that, given the opportunity, they have often been willing to sacrifice a great deal, and have done so wisely, for their children’s welfare. (p. 160).

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Today, school voucher programs exist in 15 states plus the District of Columbia. These programs have consistently shown that when parents are given the choice to opt-out of an assigned district school, many will take advantage of the opportunity. In Washington, D.C., low-income parents who win a voucher lottery send their children to private schools.

The most recent three-year federal evaluationof voucher program participants found that while student academic achievement was comparable to achievement for non-voucher students remaining in public schools, there were statistically significant improvements in other important areas. For instance, voucher participants had lower rates of chronic absenteeism than the control groups, as well as higher student satisfaction scores. There were also tremendous cost-savings.

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program has served over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools.

According to Corey DeAngelis, Director of School Choice at the Reason Foundation and a prolific researcher on the topic, the recent analysis of the D.C. voucher program “reveals that private schools produce the same academic outcomes for only a third of the cost of the public schools. In other words, school choice is a great investment.”

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program was created in 1990 and is the nation’s oldest voucher program. It currently serves over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools. Like the D.C. voucher program, data on test scores of Milwaukee voucher students show similar results to public school students, but non-academic results are promising.

Recent research found voucher recipients had lower crime rates and lower incidences of unplanned pregnancies in young adulthood. On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

According to Howard Fuller, an education professor at Marquette University, founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and one of the developers of the Milwaukee voucher program, the key is parent empowerment—particularly for low-income minority families.

In an interview with NPR, Fuller said: “What I’m saying to you is that there are thousands of black children whose lives are much better today because of the Milwaukee parental choice program,” he says. 
“They were able to access better schools than they would have without a voucher.”

Putting parents back in charge of their child’s education through school choice measures was Milton Friedman’s goal. It was not his ultimate goal, as it would not fully address the funding and compulsion components of government schooling; but it was, and remains, an important first step. As the Friedmans wrote in Free To Choose:

The strong American tradition of voluntary action has provided many excellent examples that demonstrate what can be done when parents have greater choice. (p. 159).

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Kerry McDonald

Milton Friedman

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Defending Milton Friedman

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Daniel Mitchell article Left-Leaning Business Executive Condemns Milton Friedman, but Did Exactly What Friedman Recommended


Left-Leaning Business Executive Condemns Milton Friedman, but Did Exactly What Friedman Recommended

Last year, I weighed in on the debate about whether companies should be operated for the benefit of owners (shareholders) or for the broader community (stakeholders).

Unsurprisingly, I sided with Milton Friedman and argued that businesses have a responsibility to maximize profits – assuming, of course, ethical behavior.

Moreover, I cited research showing how this is the approach that actually produces the maximum benefits for the rest of us (i.e., stakeholders).

But some people are not convinced by these insights.

David Gelles of the New York Times has a glowing profile of a former CEO, Hubert Joly, largely because of his apparent hostility to free markets.

Hubert Joly took over Best Buy in 2012… Since stepping down as chief executive in 2019, Mr. Joly has taken up a post teaching at Harvard Business School…In his book, on the speaking circuit and in meetings with other executives, Mr. Joly has taken up a campaign against the capitalist st atus quo. “…on the top of my F.B.I. most wanted list…is Milton Friedman, with his shareholder primacy — the excessive, obsessive focus on profits as the key thing that matters.”

Mr. Joly’s overt disdain for Friedman’s position seems noteworthy.

But it also seems hypocritical.

Why?

Because Joly did exactly what Friedman recommended. He is viewed as a successful CEO because he made changes that had the effect of making shareholders richer.

…the electronics retailer was struggling… Sales and profits were sagging, and the stock price had cratered. …Eschewing the conventional wisdom — that Best Buy should slash wages and cut costs in a bid to jack up profitability — Mr. Joly began investing in the company. He gave workers better perks… The strategy worked, and Best Buy shares soared during his tenure.

So why, then, is Mr. Joly so hostile to Friedman when he followed his approach?

Beats me, but I’m guessing he somehow thinks Friedman’s maxim means that a CEO should “slash wages” and close stores. And that sounds mean and heartless.

But Joly showed that Friedman’s maxim could be fulfilled in a different way. He figured out how to please consumers so that it was possible to expand the business and make workers better off.

Which is actually what capitalism – oops, I mean free enterprise– is all about. People getting richer over time as competition and liberty combine to raise living standards.

Sometimes that happens because a poorly run company contracts (the seemingly heartless process of creative destruction) and sometimes that happens because a well-run company expands.

P.S. There’s one more quote from Mr. Joly that I want to address. As part of his interview with the NYT, he seemingly played the role of a guilt-ridden rich guy.

“I’m on the record saying that the more taxes I pay, the happier I am.”

To be fair, he didn’t actually say that he supported tax increases, either on himself or anyone else. It’s possible that he was really saying that he likes earning more money, which then results in a higher tax bill.

But just in case he was doing some left-wing virtue signalling in favor of tax increases, I’m glad to inform him that there is a website at the Treasury Department that allows him to voluntary turn more money over to the crowd in Washington.

Somehow, I suspect he’ll be like other hypocrites on the left and fail to take advantage of that opportunity.


The Economics of Redistributionism

Back in 2016, I created a 2×2 matrix to illustrate the difference between redistributionism (tax Person A and give to Person B) and state planning (politicians and bureaucrats trying to steer the economy, either through direct ownership or industrial policy).

The main point of that column was to show that countries should try to be in the top-left section, where there is less redistribution and less government control.

But I also wanted to help people understand that redistributionism and socialism are not the same thing.

For instance, Sweden (in the bottom-left box) is a capitalist economy with a big welfare state, whereas China (in the top-right box) doesn’t have much redistribution but government has substantial control over economic activity.

From an American perspective, the good news is that the U.S. currently is in the top-left box.

The bad news is that President Biden wants the country in the bottom-left box. So, if we want to be technically accurate, we should not accuse him of socialism.

Instead, as Antony Davies and James Harrigan explained in a column for the Foundation for Economic Education, the real threat to the nation is “transferism.”

Socialism is state control of the means of production. …By contrast, capitalism is simply private ownership of the means of production. …more than four in ten Americans think “some form of socialism” is a good thing. But what is “some form of socialism?” A society is either socialist or it isn’t.The state either owns the means of production or it doesn’t. There is no middle ground. …It appears that what Americans really have in mind when they think about socialism is not an economic system but particular economic outcomes. …they are advocating what we should really call “transferism.” Transferism is a system in which one group of people forces a second group to pay for things that the people believe they, or some third group, should have. Transferism isn’t about controlling the means of production. It is about the forced redistribution of what’s produced.

Davies and Harrigan are correct.

Moreover, they deserve credit for predicting the future since they wrote the column in 2019!

Now let’s consider whether redistributionism (or transferism) is a good idea.

I’ve previously explained that a big welfare state causes economic damage, even if a nation otherwise is very pro-capitalist.

Consider, for instance, the remarkable data showing how Swedish-Americans and Danish-Americans generate much more prosperity than Swedes and Danes who still live in Scandinavia.

Or consider the income data showing how average Americans enjoy much higher living standards than their European counterparts (either in Nordic nations or elsewhere).

What’s worrisome is that Biden wants a much bigger welfare state and he doesn’t seem to understand that European-sized government means anemic European-style economic performance.

This is the message that Bret Stephens shared in one of his recent columns for the New York Times.

He starts by describing Biden’s agenda.

President Biden charts a course toward the largest expansion of government since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. After signing a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill in March and proposing a $1.5 trillion discretionary budget in April (a 16 percent increase from this year, on top of what’s likely to be at least $3 trillion in mandatory spending on programs like Medicare and Medicaid), the president wants $2.3 trillion more for infrastructure and $1.8 trillion for new social programs. That’s $7.5 trillion in discretionary spending. To put the number in perspective, we spent $4.1 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars over nearly four years to wage and win the Second World War. What will America get for the money?

He then points out the potential consequences.

…before the U.S. takes this leap into a full-blown American social-welfare state, moderates in Congress like Senator Joe Manchin or Representative Jim Costa ought to ask: What’s the catch? …The real catch is that massive government spending has hidden costs that are difficult to capture in numbers alone. Take another look at Europe. Why does R&D spending in the European Union persistently lag that in the U.S. …Why does Europe’s tech start-up scene…so notably lag its competitors…? Perhaps…social safety nets typically come at the expense of risk-taking and economic dynamism. And why is France, which, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, spends more on social welfare than any other nation in the developed world, such an unhappy place, with chronically high unemployment, endless labor unrest, a decades-old brain drain, rising political extremism, a wealth tax that failed and a medical system that was on the brink of collapse long before Covid struck? …Beyond the gargantuan cost, Congress should think very hard about the real catch: transforming America into a kinder, gentler place of permanent decline.

Amen.

Biden’s agenda inevitably will erode societal capital, leading to less work (because of lavish freebies such as per-child handouts) and lower levels of entrepreneurship (because of tax penalties on investment and risk-taking).

And this can lead to a tipping point, which is illustrated by my Theorem of Societal Collapse.


By Historical Standards, Today’s Americans Are Fantastically Wealthy

I’ve spent several decades trying to convince people that we should have free markets and small government in order to increase national prosperity.

Indeed, I’ve even pointed out how very small increases in annual growth can lead to big improvements in living standards over just a couple of decades.

But some folks on the left are not very receptive to this argument. They genuinely (but incorrectly) seem to think the economy is a fixed pie (which also explains, at least in part, why they are so focused on redistribution).

So let’s share some hard data in hopes of getting them to understand that more prosperity is possible.

We’ll start will this chart of inflation-adjusted per-capita economic output in the United States, which comes from Oxford University’s Our World in Data.

The obvious takeaway from this data is that Americans are much richer today than they were after World War II. Adjusted for inflation, we’re now about four times richer than our grandparents.

Some of our friends on the left may be thinking these numbers are distorted, that average output has only increased because the rich have gotten so much richer.

Well, it is true that the rich have gotten richer. But it’s also true that the rest of us have become richer as well.

Which is why I shared data earlier this year showing median living standards rather than mean (average) living standards.

Folks on the left may also suspect that the post-1950 data is an anomaly. In other words, maybe I’m guilty of cherry-picking data.

That’s a common practice in the world of policy, so I don’t blame people for being suspicious.

So take a look at this chart, which I also first shared earlier this year. It shows that the increase in living standards has been even more dramatic if you look at changes since 1820.

By the way, none of these observations are new. Back in 1997, Micahel Cox and Richard Alm wrote a must-read article for the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank’s Annual Report.

Here are some of their findings.

What really matters…isn’t what something costs in money; it’s what it costs in time. Making money takes time, so when we shop, we’re really spending time. The real cost of living isn’t measured in dollars and cents but in the hours and minutes we must work to live. …A pair of stockings cost just 25¢ a century ago. This sounds wonderful until we learn that a worker of the era earned only 14.8¢ an hour.So paying for the stockings took 1 hour 41 minutes of work. Today a better pair requires only about 18 minutes of work. …In calculating our cost of living, a good place to start is with the basics—food, shelter and clothing. In terms of time on the job, the cost of a half-gallon of milk fell from 39 minutes in 1919 to 16 minutes in 1950, 10 minutes in 1975 and 7 minutes in 1997. A pound of ground beef steadily declined from 30 minutes in 1919 to 23 minutes in 1950, 11 minutes in 1975 and 6 minutes in 1997. Paying for a dozen oranges required 1 hour 8 minutes of work in 1919. Now it takes less than 10 minutes, half what it did in 1950.

These two visuals from the article are very informative.

First, look at how consumer products went from rare luxuries early in the 20th century to everyday products by the end of the century.

Equally important, these products have become cheaper and cheaper over time.

As illustrated by this second visual from the article.

All the data in the Cox-Alm article is more than 20 years old, so the numbers would be even more impressive today.

Indeed, you can see some more up-to-date data from Mark PerrySteve Horwitz, and James Pethokoukis.

Professor Don Boudreaux put these numbers in context a few years ago in a column for the Foundation for Economic Education. Here’s some of what he wrote.

What is the minimum amount of money that you would demand in exchange for your going back to live even as John D. Rockefeller lived in 1916? …Think about it. …If you were a 1916 American billionaire you could, of course, afford prime real-estate.  You could afford a home on 5th Avenue or one overlooking the Pacific Ocean…  But when you traveled from your Manhattan digs to your west-coast palace, it would take a few days, and if you made that trip during the summer months, you’d likely not have air-conditioning in your private railroad car.…You could neither listen to radio (the first commercial radio broadcast occurred in 1920) nor watch television. …Obviously, you could not download music. …Your telephone was attached to a wall.  You could not use it to Skype. …Even the best medical care back then was horrid by today’s standards: it was much more painful and much less effective. …Antibiotics weren’t available. …Dental care wasn’t any better. …You were completely cut off from the cultural richness that globalization has spawned over the past century. …I wouldn’t be remotely tempted to quit the 2016 me so that I could be a one-billion-dollar-richer me in 1916.  This fact means that, by 1916 standards, I am today more than a billionaire.  It means, at least given my preferences, I am today materially richer than was John D. Rockefeller.

The bottom line is that we have become richer and we can continue to become richer.

But how fast things improve is partly a function of government policy. If we can impose some restraints on the size and scope of government, that will give the private sector some breathing room to grow and prosper.

In other words, we don’t need perfect policy, but it is important to at least have good policy.

Will Biden Resuscitate Obama’s Reprehensible “Operation Choke Point”?

Some policies will improve with Biden in the White House, most notably trade, but also government spending (not because Biden is good, but rather because Republicans will go back to pretending to be fiscally conservative).

But some policies will move in the wrong direction. Biden is awful on tax policy, for instance, though I expect Republicans in the Senate will block his class-warfare agenda.

Biden is also very bad on regulatory issues. Unfortunately, this is an area where the new President (and his appointees) will have plenty of authority to shift policy in the wrong direction.

I’m especially worried that Biden will resuscitate an Obama-era policy of strong-arming banks so they won’t do business with unpopular industries. This video, which I first shared back in 2016, explains this reprehensible policy

Norbert Michel of the Heritage Foundation, in a column for Forbes, provides some additional background on the policy.

Choke Point consisted of bureaucrats in several independent federal agencies taking it upon themselves to shut legal businesses – such as payday lenders and firearms dealers – out of the banking system. Given the nature of the U.S. regulatory framework, this operation was easy to pull off.Officials at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), for instance, simply had to inform the banks they were overseeing that the government considered certain types of their customers “high risk.” The mere implication of a threat was enough to pressure banks into closing accounts, because no U.S. bank wants anything to do with extra audits or investigations from their regulator, much less additional operating restrictions or civil and criminal charges. Banks are incredibly sensitive to any type of pressure from federal regulators, and they know that the regulators have enormous discretion.

In a column for the Wall Street Journal earlier this year, Phil Gramm and Mike Solon elaborated on the left’s campaign to politicize the banking system.

Banking was used as a weapon against legal, solvent businesses by the Obama administration during Operation Choke Point, a program to deny the disfavored access to banking services. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. labeled certain businesses “high risk,” including firearms and ammunition dealers, check-cashers, payday lenders and fireworks vendors. Unelected regulators, not Congress or courts, marked these industries as “dirty business” and made it “unacceptable for an insured depository institution” to offer them banking services. …With Democrats unable to ban guns legislatively, Rep. Carolyn Maloney admonished banks at a recent hearing to not “finance gun slaughter.” When she urged JPMorgan to deny credit for legal firearm sales as other banks had done, the CEO responded, “We can certainly consider that. Yes.” At the same hearing, Rep. Rashida Tlaib challenged bank CEOs: “Will any of your banks make a commitment to phase out your investments in fossil fuels and dirty energy?” The CEOs declined to defend fossil fuels… Letting political intimidation dictate the availability of private credit endangers freedom and stifles productivity growth and job creation. …The use of political intimidation to allocate capital is an assault on economic efficiency and freedom.

There is, however, a bit of good news.

The Trump Administration ended Operation Choke Point back in 2017.

And, although it is happening at the last minute, the Trump Administration is now trying to strengthen the rule of law so banks won’t feel pressured to discriminate against certain industries in the future.

In a column published yesterday by the Wall Street Journal, Brian Brooks and Charles Calomiris of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) explain the new rule that their agency has unveiled.

…there have been too many allegations of banks cutting off vital services, credit and capital that legal businesses rely on to create jobs, meet community needs and support the economy. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, where we serve as acting comptroller and chief economist, respectively, on Friday proposed a rule to prevent banks from discriminating against legal businesses and individuals.The rule would require bankers to do what they do best: assess risk and underwrite credit decisions. …politically driven discrimination against particular industries has threatened fairness in banking. Under the Obama administration, Operation Choke Point, in which the OCC did not take part, involved regulators discouraging banks from serving legal and constitutionally protected businesses such as payday lenders and gun and ammunition sellers. …the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 added to the OCC’s traditional mission of safety and soundness the obligation to ensure fair access to financial services… Banks may not exclude entire parts of the economy for reasons unrelated to objective, quantifiable risks specific to an individual customer.

Sadly, if Biden has the same attitude as Obama about the rule of law, a future OCC can reverse anything Trump’s people adopt.

I’ll close with a libertarian-minded observation.

Because I believe in freedom of association, I think banks should have the liberty to discriminate against specific businesses, or even entire industries.

But there’s a big difference between banks choosing to discriminate and being coerced into such behavior by government regulators.

So it was disgusting that Obama’s regulators went after industries they didn’t like, such as gun dealers.

But it would be equally reprehensible if a Republican Administration went after an industry it didn’t like, such as legal marijuana.

P.S. The broader lesson to learn from Operation Choke Point is that regulatory power for governments is a vehicle for corruptionand malfeasance.

——

The Case Against Biden’s Class-Warfare Tax Policy, Part II

In Part I of this series, I expressed some optimism that Joe Biden would not aggressively push his class-warfare tax plan, particularly since Republicans almost certainly will wind up controlling the Senate.

But the main goal of that column was to explain that the internal revenue code already is heavily weighted against investors, entrepreneurs, business owners and other upper-income taxpayers.

And to underscore that point, I shared two charts from Brian Riedl’s chartbook to show that the “rich” are now paying a much larger share of the tax burden – notwithstanding the Reagan tax cuts, Bush tax cuts, and Trump tax cuts – than they were 40 years ago.

Not only that, but the United States has a tax system that is more “progressive” than all other developed nations (all of whom also impose heavy tax burdens on upper-income taxpayers, but differ from the United States in that they also pillage lower-income and middle-class residents).

In other words, Biden’s class-warfare tax plan is bad policy.

Today’s column, by contrast, will point out that his tax increases are impractical. Simply stated, they won’t collect much revenue because people change their behavior when incentives to earn and report income are altered.

This is especially true when looking at upper-income taxpayers who – compared to the rest of us – have much greater ability to change the timing, level, and composition of their income.

This helps to explain why rich people paid five times as much tax to the IRS during the 1980s when Reagan slashed the top tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent.

When writing about this topic, I normally use the Laffer Curve to help people understand why simplistic assumptions about tax policy are wrong (that you can double tax revenue by doubling tax rates, for instance). And I point out that even folks way on the left, such as Paul Krugman, agree with this common-sense view (though it’s also worth noting that some people on the right discredit the concept by making silly assertions that “all tax cuts pay for themselves”).

But instead of showing the curve again, I want to go back to Brian Riedl’s chartbook and review his data on of revenue changes during the eight years of the Obama Administration.

It shows that Obama technically cut taxes by $822 billion (as further explained in the postscript, most of that occurred when some of the Bush tax cuts were made permanent by the “fiscal cliff” deal in 2012) and raised taxes by $1.32 trillion (most of that occurred as a result of the Obamacare legislation).

If we do the math, that means Obama imposed a cumulative net tax increase of about $510 billion during his eight years in office

But, if you look at the red bar on the chart, you’ll see that the government didn’t wind up with more money because of what the number crunchers refer to as “economic and technical reestimates.”

Indeed, those reestimates resulted in more than $3.1 trillion of lost revenue during the Obama years.

don’t want the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington to have more tax revenue, but I obviously don’t like it when tax revenues shrink simply because the economy is stagnant and people have less taxable income.

Yet that’s precisely what we got during the Obama years.

To be sure, it would be inaccurate to assert that revenues declined solely because of Obama’s tax increase. There were many other bad policies that also contributed to taxable income falling short of projections.

Heck, maybe there was simply some bad luck as well.

But even if we add lots of caveats, the inescapable conclusion is that it’s not a good idea to adopt policies – such as class-warfare tax rates – that discourage people from earning and reporting taxable income.

The bottom line is that we should hope Biden’s proposed tax increases die a quick death.

P.S. The “fiscal cliff” was the term used to describe the scheduled expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. According to the way budget data is measured in Washington, extending some of those provisions counted as a tax cut even though the practical impact was to protect people from a tax increase.

P.P.S. Even though Biden absurdly asserted that paying higher taxes is “patriotic,” it’s worth pointing out that he engaged in very aggressive tax avoidance to protect his family’s money.

President Joe Biden Will Be Bad, but a President Kamala Harris Would Be Worse

Joe Biden has a very misguided economic agenda. I’m especially disturbed by his class-warfare tax agenda, which will be bad news for American workers and American competitiveness.

The good news, as I wrote earlier this year, is that he probably isn’t serious about some of his worst ideas.

Biden is a statist, but not overly ideological. His support for bigger government is largely a strategy of catering to the various interest groups that dominate the Democratic Party. The good news is that he’s an incrementalist and won’t aggressively push for a horrifying FDR-style agenda if he gets to the White House.

But what if Joe Biden’s health deteriorates and Kamala Harris – sooner or later – winds up in charge?

That’s rather troubling since her agenda was far to the left of Biden’s when they were competing for the Democratic nomination.

And it doesn’t appear that being Biden’s choice for Vice President has led her to moderate her views. Consider this campaign ad, where she openly asserted that “equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place.”

The notion that we should strive for equality of outcomes rather than equality of opportunity is horrifying.

For all intents and purposes,Harris has embraced a harsh version of redistributionism where everyone above average is punished and everyone below average is rewarded.

This goes way beyond a safety net and it’s definitely a recipe for economic misery since people on both sides of the equationhave less incentive to be productive.

I’m not the only one to be taken aback by Harris’ dogmatic leftism.

Robby Soave, writing for Reason, is very critical of her radical outlook.

Harris gives voice to a leftist-progressive narrative about the importance of equity—equal outcomes—rather than mere equality before the law. …Harris contrasted equal treatment—all people getting the same thing—with equitable treatment,which means “we all end up at the same place.” …This may seem like a trivial difference, but when it comes to public policy, the difference matters. A government shouldbe obligated to treat all citizens equally, giving them the same access to civil rights and liberties like voting, marriage, religious freedom, and gun ownership. …A mandate to foster equity, though, would give the government power to violate these rights in order to achieve identical social results for all people. 

And, in a column for National Review, Brad Polumbo expresses similar reservations about her views.

Whether she embraces the label “socialist” or not, Harris’s stated agenda and Senate record both reveal her to be positioned a long way to the left on matters of economic policy. From health care to the environment to housing, Harris thinks the answer to almost every problem we face is simply more government and more taxpayer money — raising taxes and further indebting future generations in the process.…Harris…supports an astounding $40 trillion in new spending over the next decade. In a sign of just how far left the Democratic Party has shifted on economics, Harris backs more than 20 times as much spending as Hillary Clinton proposed in 2016. …And this is not just a matter of spending. During her failed presidential campaign, Harris supported a federal-government takeover of health care… The senator jumped on the “Green New Deal” bandwagon as well. She co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution in the Senate that called for a “new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era.” …she supports enacting price controls on housing across the country. …The left-wing group Progressive Punch analyzed Harris’s voting record and found that she is the fourth-most liberal senator, more liberal even than Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. Similarly, the nonpartisan organization GovTrack.us deemed Harris the furthest-left member of the Senate for the 2019 legislative year. (Spoiler alert: If your voting record is to the left of Bernie Sanders, you might be a socialist.)

To be fair, Harris is simply a politician, so we have no idea what she really believes. Her hard-left agenda might simply be her way of appealing to Democratic voters, much as Republicans who run for president suddenly decide they support big tax cuts and sweeping tax reform.

But whether she’s sincere or insincere, it’s troubling that she actually says it’s the role of government to make sure we all “end up at the same place.”

Let’s close with a video clip from Milton Friedman. At the risk of understatement, he has a different perspective than Ms. Harris.

Since we highlighted Harris’ key quote, let’s also highlight the key quote from Friedman.

Amen.

P.S. It appears Republicans will hold the Senate, which presumably (hopefully?) means that any radical proposals would be dead on arrival, regardless of whether they’re proposed by Biden or Harris.

P.P.S. Harris may win the prize for the most economically illiterate proposal of the 2020 campaign.

——

Will Biden’s Class-Warfare Tax Plan Lead to an Exodus of Job Creators?

After Barack Obama took office (and especially after he was reelected), there was a big uptick in the number of rich people who chose to emigrate from the United States. 

There are many reasons wealthy people choose to move from one nation to another, but Obama’s embrace of class-warfare tax policy (including FATCA) was seen as a big factor.

Joe Biden’s tax agenda is significantly more punitive than Obama’s, so we may see something similar happen if he wins the 2020 election.

Given the economic importance of innovatorsentrepreneurs, and inventors, this would be not be good news for the American economy.

The New York Times reported late last year that the United States could be shooting itself in the foot by discouraging wealthy residents.

…a different group of Americans say they are considering leaving — people of both parties who would be hit by the wealth tax… Wealthy Americans often leave high-tax states like New York and California for lower-tax ones like Florida and Texas. But renouncing citizenship is a far more permanent, costly and complicated proposition. …“America’s the most attractive destination for capital, entrepreneurs and people wanting to get a great education,” said Reaz H. Jafri, a partner and head of the immigration practice at Withers, an international law firm. “But in today’s world, when you have other economic centers of excellence — like Singapore, Switzerland and London — people don’t view the U.S. as the only place to be.” …now, the price may be right to leave. While the cost of expatriating varies depending on a person’s assets, the wealthiest are betting that if a Democrat wins…, leaving now means a lower exit tax. …The wealthy who are considering renouncing their citizenship fear a wealth tax less than the possibility that the tax on capital gains could be raised to the ordinary income tax rate, effectively doubling what a wealthy person would pay… When Eduardo Saverin, a founder of Facebook…renounced his United States citizenship shortly before the social network went public, …several estimates said that renouncing his citizenship…saved him $700 million in taxes.

The migratory habits of rich people make a difference in the global economy.

Here are some excerpts from a 2017 Bloomberg story.

Australia is luring increasing numbers of global millionaires, helping make it one of the fastest growing wealthy nations in the world… Over the past decade, total wealth held in Australia has risen by 85 percent compared to 30 percent in the U.S. and 28 percent in the U.K… As a result, the average Australian is now significantly wealthier than the average American or Briton. …Given its relatively small population, Australia also makes an appearance on a list of average wealth per person. This one is, however, dominated by small tax havens.

Here’s one of the charts from the story.

As you can see, Australia is doing very well, though the small tax havens like Monaco are world leaders.

I’m mystified, however, that the Cayman Islands isn’t listed.

But I’m digressing.

Let’s get back to our main topic. It’s worth noting that even Greece is seeking to attract rich foreigners.

The new tax law is aimed at attracting fresh revenues into the country’s state coffers – mainly from foreigners as well as Greeks who are taxed abroad – by relocating their tax domicile to Greece, as it tries to woo “high-net-worth individuals” to the Greek tax register.The non-dom model provides for revenues obtained abroad to be taxed at a flat amount… Having these foreigners stay in Greece for at least 183 days a year, as the law requires, will also entail expenditure on accommodation and everyday costs that will be added to the Greek economy. …most eligible foreigners will be able to considerably lighten their tax burden if they relocate to Greece…nevertheless, the amount of 500,000 euros’ worth of investment in Greece required of foreigners and the annual flat tax of 100,000 euros demanded (plus 20,000 euros per family member) may keep many of them away.

The system is too restrictive, but it will make the beleaguered nation an attractive destination for some rich people. After all, they don’t even have to pay a flat tax, just a flat fee.

Italy has enjoyed some success with a similar regime to entice millionaires.

Last but not least, an article published last year has some fascinating details on the where rich people move and why they move.

The world’s wealthiest people are also the most mobile. High net worth individuals (HNWIs) – persons with wealth over US$1 million – may decide to pick up and move for a number of reasons. In some cases they are attracted by jurisdictions with more favorable tax laws… Unlike the middle class, wealthy citizens have the means to pick up and leave when things start to sideways in their home country. An uptick in HNWI migration from a country can often be a signal of negative economic or societal factors influencing a country. …Time-honored locations – such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands – continue to attract the world’s wealthy, but no country is experiencing HNWI inflows quite like Australia. …The country has a robust economy, and is perceived as being a safe place to raise a family. Even better, Australia has no inheritance tax

Here’s a map from the article.

The good news is that the United States is attracting more millionaires than it’s losing (perhaps because of the EB-5 program).

The bad news is that this ratio could flip after the election. Indeed, it may already be happening even though recent data on expatriation paints a rosy picture.

The bottom line is that the United States should be competing to attract millionaires, not repel them. Assuming, of course, politicians care about jobs and prosperity for the rest of the population.

P.S. American politicians, copying laws normally imposed by the world’s most loathsome regimes, have imposed an “exit tax” so they can grab extra cash from rich people who choose to become citizens elsewhere.

P.P.S. I’ve argued that Australia is a good place to emigrate even for those of us who aren’t rich.

—-


Question of the Week: Which Department of the Federal Government Should Be the First to Be Abolished?

I was asked last week which entitlement program is most deserving of reform.

While acknowledging that Social Security and Medicare also are in desperate need of modernization, I wrote that Medicaid reformshould be the first priority.

But I’d be happy if we made progress on any type of entitlement reform, so I don’t think there are right or wrong answers to this kind of question.

We have the same type of question this week. A reader sent an email to ask “Which federal department should be abolished first?”

I guess this is what is meant when people talk about a target-rich environment. We have an abundance of candidates:

But if I have to choose, I think the Department of Housing and Urban Development should be first on the chopping block.

Raze the building and put a layer of salt over the earth to make sure it can never spring back to life

I’ve already argued that there should be no federal government involvement in the housing sector and made the same argument on TV. And I’ve also shared some horror stories about HUD waste and incompetence.

Heck, I even made HUD the background image for my video on the bloated and overpaid bureaucracy in Washington.

It’s also worth noting that there’s nothing about housing in Article I, Section VIII, of the Constitution. For those of us who have old-fashioned values about playing by the rules, that means much of what takes place in Washington – including housing handouts – is unconstitutional.

Simply stated, there is no legitimate argument for HUD. And I think there would be the least political resistance.

As with the answer to the question about entitlements, this is a judgment call. I’d be happy to be proven wrong if it meant that politicians were aggressively going after another department. Anything that reduces the burden of government spending is a step in the right direction


Milton Friedman on Spending

October 3, 2020 by Dan Mitchell

I identified four heroes from the “Battle of Ideas” video I shared in late August – Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher. Here’s one of those heroes, Milton Friedman, explaining what’s needed to control big government.

Why Milton Friedman Saw School Choice as a First Step, Not a Final One

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Kerry McDonald
Kerry McDonald

EducationMilton FriedmanSchool ChoiceSchooling

Libertarians and others are often torn about school choice. They may wish to see the government schooling monopoly weakened, but they may resist supporting choice mechanisms, like vouchers and education savings accounts, because they don’t go far enough. Indeed, most current choice programs continue to rely on taxpayer funding of education and don’t address the underlying compulsory nature of elementary and secondary schooling.

Skeptics may also have legitimate fears that taxpayer-funded education choice programs will lead to over-regulation of previously independent and parochial schooling options, making all schooling mirror compulsory mass schooling, with no substantive variation.

Milton Friedman had these same concerns. The Nobel prize-winning economist is widely considered to be the one to popularize the idea of vouchers and school choice beginning with his 1955 paper, “The Role of Government in Education.” His vision continues to be realized through the important work of EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, that Friedman and his economist wife, Rose, founded in 1996.

July 31 is Milton Friedman’s birthday. He died in 2006 at the age of 94, but his ideas continue to have an impact, particularly in education policy.

Friedman saw vouchers and other choice programs as half-measures. He recognized the larger problems of taxpayer funding and compulsion, but saw vouchers as an important starting point in allowing parents to regain control of their children’s education. In their popular book, Free To Choose, first published in 1980, the Friedmans wrote:

We regard the voucher plan as a partial solution because it affects neither the financing of schooling nor the compulsory attendance laws. We favor going much farther. (p.161)

They continued:

The compulsory attendance laws are the justification for government control over the standards of private schools. But it is far from clear that there is any justification for the compulsory attendance laws themselves. (p. 162)

The Friedmans admitted that their “own views on this have changed over time,” as they realized that “compulsory attendance at schools is not necessary to achieve that minimum standard of literacy and knowledge,” and that “schooling was well-nigh universal in the United States before either compulsory attendance or government financing of schooling existed. Like most laws, compulsory attendance laws have costs as well as benefits. We no longer believe the benefits justify the costs.” (pp. 162-3)

Still, they felt that vouchers would be the essential starting point toward chipping away at monopoly mass schooling by putting parents back in charge. School choice, in other words, would be a necessary but not sufficient policy approach toward addressing the underlying issue of government control of education.

In their book, the Friedmans presented the potential outcomes of their proposed voucher plan, which would give parents access to some or all of the average per-pupil expenditures of a child enrolled in public school. They believed that vouchers would help create a more competitive education market, encouraging education entrepreneurship. They felt that parents would be more empowered with greater control over their children’s education and have a stronger desire to contribute some of their own money toward education. They asserted that in many places “the public school has fostered residential stratification, by tying the kind and cost of schooling to residential location” and suggested that voucher programs would lead to increased integration and heterogeneity. (pp. 166-7)

To the critics who said, and still say, that school choice programs would destroy the public schools, the Friedmans replied that these critics fail to

explain why, if the public school system is doing such a splendid job, it needs to fear competition from nongovernmental, competitive schools or, if it isn’t, why anyone should object to its “destruction.” (p. 170)

What I appreciate most about the Friedmans discussion of vouchers and the promise of school choice is their unrelenting support of parents. They believed that parents, not government bureaucrats and intellectuals, know what is best for their children’s education and well-being and are fully capable of choosing wisely for their children—when they have the opportunity to do so.

They wrote:

Parents generally have both greater interest in their children’s schooling and more intimate knowledge of their capacities and needs than anyone else. Social reformers, and educational reformers in particular, often self-righteously take for granted that parents, especially those who are poor and have little education themselves, have little interest in their children’s education and no competence to choose for them. That is a gratuitous insult. Such parents have frequently had limited opportunity to choose. However, U.S. history has demonstrated that, given the opportunity, they have often been willing to sacrifice a great deal, and have done so wisely, for their children’s welfare. (p. 160).

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Today, school voucher programs exist in 15 states plus the District of Columbia. These programs have consistently shown that when parents are given the choice to opt-out of an assigned district school, many will take advantage of the opportunity. In Washington, D.C., low-income parents who win a voucher lottery send their children to private schools.

The most recent three-year federal evaluationof voucher program participants found that while student academic achievement was comparable to achievement for non-voucher students remaining in public schools, there were statistically significant improvements in other important areas. For instance, voucher participants had lower rates of chronic absenteeism than the control groups, as well as higher student satisfaction scores. There were also tremendous cost-savings.

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program has served over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools.

According to Corey DeAngelis, Director of School Choice at the Reason Foundation and a prolific researcher on the topic, the recent analysis of the D.C. voucher program “reveals that private schools produce the same academic outcomes for only a third of the cost of the public schools. In other words, school choice is a great investment.”

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program was created in 1990 and is the nation’s oldest voucher program. It currently serves over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools. Like the D.C. voucher program, data on test scores of Milwaukee voucher students show similar results to public school students, but non-academic results are promising.

Recent research found voucher recipients had lower crime rates and lower incidences of unplanned pregnancies in young adulthood. On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

According to Howard Fuller, an education professor at Marquette University, founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and one of the developers of the Milwaukee voucher program, the key is parent empowerment—particularly for low-income minority families.

In an interview with NPR, Fuller said: “What I’m saying to you is that there are thousands of black children whose lives are much better today because of the Milwaukee parental choice program,” he says. 
“They were able to access better schools than they would have without a voucher.”

Putting parents back in charge of their child’s education through school choice measures was Milton Friedman’s goal. It was not his ultimate goal, as it would not fully address the funding and compulsion components of government schooling; but it was, and remains, an important first step. As the Friedmans wrote in Free To Choose:

The strong American tradition of voluntary action has provided many excellent examples that demonstrate what can be done when parents have greater choice. (p. 159).

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Kerry McDonald

Milton Friedman

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Defending Milton Friedman

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS PART 161 Part C SUMMING UP MY CORRESPONDENCE from 2015-2020 with Darwin’s great grandson (Horace Barlow) about Francis Schaeffer’s 1968 critique of Darwinism! Part 3 (Darwin: “I can well remember often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels”)


Horace Barlow at ECVP 2003 in Paris

15 AUG HORACE BARLOW (1921-2020)

Credit: Left: the Ratio Club in Cambridge, May 1952. Back row: Harold Shipton, John Bates, William Hick, John Pringle, Donald Sholl, John Westcott, Donald Mackay. Middle row: Giles Brindley, Turner McLardy, Ross Ashby, Tommy Gold, Albert Uttley. Front row: Alan Turing, Gurney Sutton, William Rushton, George Dawson, Horace Barlow. (Photo: Wellcome Collection, archive reference GC/179/B.25, used under CC BY / Cropped). Right: Horace Barlow at home in Cambridge, March 2016 (Photo: Ida Barlow).

In December of 2017, I received a two page typed letter from Dr. Barlow reacting to several of the points made in the previous letters and emails. From August of 2020 to June of 2021 I posted these 32 letters I wrote to Dr. Barlow from February 11, 2015 to April 18, 2020 and below is a list of those letters. Sadly Dr. Barlow passed away on July 5, 2020 at age 98. However, I want to summarize some the issues we discussed in a series of 10 posts. 

Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning moral motions in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

Here are the links to my letters to Dr. Barlow: 

first weeksecond week,

third week4th letterFifth Letter,

6th letter7th letter8th letter9th letter10th letter11th letter12th letter13th letter14th letter15th letter16th Letter17th letter18th letter19th letter

20th letter21st letter22nd letter

23rd postcard24th letter25th letter

26th letter27th letter28th letter29th letter, and 30th letter.


TRIBUTE TO HORACE BARLOW:

Fernando Rozenblit @frozenblit

Horace Barlow participated in the “Ratio Club”: a UK group of young scientists discussing the recent advances in cybernetics. The “Ratio Club” had members such as Grey Walter (mechanical turtles!) and Alan Turing, among other notable scientists. (1/3) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratio_Club

—-

A portion of my letter to Dr. Barlow on May 1, 2017 which he responded to on November 22, 2017:

In Francis Crick’s book the ASTONISHING HYPOTHESIS: THE SCIENTIFIC SEARCH FOR THE SOUL I read these words:

(James D. Watson and Francis Crick below)

J
Image result for francis crick

Many educated people, especially in the Western world, also share the belief that the soul is a metaphor and that there is no personal life either before conception or after death. They may call themselves atheists, agnostics, humanists, or just lapsed believers, but they all deny the major claims of the traditional religions. Yet this does not mean that they normally think of themselves in a radically different way. The old habits of thought die hard. A man may, in religious terms, be an unbeliever but psychologically he may continue to think of himself in much the same way as a believer does, at least for everyday matters.

We need, therefore, to state the idea in stronger terms. The scientific belief is that our minds — the behavior of our brains — can be explained by the interactions of nerve cells (and other cells) and the molecules associated with them. (This idea is not novel. An especially clear statement of it can be found in a well-known paper by Horace Barlow.) This is to most people a really surprising concept. It does not come easily to believe that I am the detailed behavior of a set of nerve cells, however many there may be and however intricate their interactions. Try for a moment to imagine this point of view. (“Whatever he may say, Mabel, I know I’m in there somewhere, looking out on the world.”)

——

Why does the Astonishing Hypothesis seem so surprising? I think there are three main reasons. The first is that many people are reluctant to accept what is often called the “reductionist approach” — that a complex system can be explained by the behavior of its parts and their interactions with each other. For a system with many levels of activity, this process may have to be repeated more than once — that is, the behavior of a particular part may have to be explained by the properties of its parts and their interactions. For example, to understand the brain we may need to know the many interactions of nerve cells with each other; in addition, the behavior of each nerve cell may need explanation in terms of the ions and molecules of which it is composed.

(Francis Crick and James D. Watson below)

After reading the above passage I concluded that you do endorse the Secular Humanist point of view that Francis Crick embraced and that is the reductionist point of view. I wanted to point out that the vast majority of great scientists of the last 500 years did hold the view that we live in an open system and they did not hold the view of the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system. Recently I read the article ANSWERING THE NEW ATHEISTS, by  KerbyAnderson,  Sunday, January 30 th, 2011, and that article notes:

(Sean McDowell)

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Are science and Christianity at odds with one another? Certainly there have been times in the past when that has been the case. But to only focus on those conflicts is to miss the larger point that modern science grew out of a Christian world view. In a previous radio program based upon the book Origin Science by Dr. Norman Geisler and me, I explain Christianity’s contribution to the rise of modern science.{27}

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Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow also point out in their book that most scientific pioneers were theists. This includes such notable as Nicolas Copernicus, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, Johannes Kepler, Louis Pasteur, Francis Bacon, and Max Planck. Many of these men actually pursued science because of their belief in the Christian God.

Alister McGrath challenges this idea that science and religion are in conflict with one another. He says, “Once upon a time, back in the second half of the nineteenth century, it was certainly possible to believe that science and religion were permanently at war. . . . This is now seen as a hopelessly outmoded historical stereotype that scholarship has totally discredited.”{28}

.Do religious people have a blind faith? Certainly some religious people exercise blind faith. But is this true of all religions, including Christianity? Of course not. The enormous number of Christian books on topics ranging from apologetics to theology demonstrate that the Christian faith is based upon evidence.

The Christian faith is not a blind faith. It is a faith based upon evidence. In fact, some authors contend that it takes more faith to be an atheist than to believe in God.{7}

What kind of evidence would it take today to convince you  that God exists and the Bible is true? I submit to you that Biblical Archaeology is a field that has advanced tremendously in the last few decades and I propose you look in that area. Did you know that Charles Darwin was looking for evidence that confirmed the Bible’s accuracy back in the 19th century and this is one of the exact areas that he mentioned.

Darwin wrote in his Autobiography in 1876:

“But I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this, for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels.

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Francis Schaeffer commented:

This is very sad. He lies on his bunk and the Beagle tosses and turns and he makes daydreams, and his dreams and hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii or some place like this, an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would put his stamp of authority on it, which would be able to show that Christ existed. This is undoubtedly what he is talking about. Darwin gave up this hope with great difficulty. I think he didn’t want to come to the position where his accepted presuppositions were driving him. He didn’t want to give it up, just as an older man he understood where it would lead and “man can do his duty.” Instinctively this of brains understood where this whole thing was going to eventually go…

Pompeii

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SINCE CHARLES DARWIN’S DEATH WE NOW HAVE LOTS OF HISTORICAL RECORDS AND MUCH EVIDENCE FROM THE FIELD OF ARCHAEOLOGY THAT SHOW THE BIBLE IS HISTORICALLY ACCURATE.

Just like Darwin you need to ask yourself this same question but you will be doing it almost a century and a half later: Is the Bible historically accurate and have I taken the time to examine the evidence? Obviously Darwin was hoping that archaeology would provide some hope for the accuracy of the Bible. 

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be Tusted and find some evidence at this link!!!

AFTER ADEQUATE AND SUFFICIENT QUESTIONS OF YOURS BEING ANSWERED THEN YOU CAN BECOME CONVINCED AS SCHAEFFER’S STORY POINTS OUT.

Is your faith in the evidence that supports the theory of evolution comparable to the faith I have in the Word of God being true and God creating the world? Recently I ran across the term “Implicit Faith” and I thought of your view that evolution must be true and we have to be living in a closed system. When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published lettersI also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer. I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words.

The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father gives the history of his religious views:—

“By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported,—and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become,—that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible by us,”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

 He now says who can accept the miracles? But notice again this is an argument from presuppositions, because what this means is that he has accepted the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system which I say is the basic presupposition  of modern man. So therefore since he has accepted a closed system he assumes there is no miracle, but that doesn’t mean he has any evidence that there were no miracles. It doesn’t mean he  is at ease as a man because he has ruled these things out. Darwin is a man in tension. Does  the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system explain the wonder of the universe and secondly the mannishness of man? He himself feels caught on these two great hooks of the real world. In others I would say, “DARWIN your presuppositions don’t even satisfy you. You rule miracles on the basis of your presuppositions but your belief of the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system does not even satisfy you.” Darwin went to his death unsatisfied and yet  he was forced to give up his own presuppositions but he never gave them up. It seems to me you have the old man Darwin perspiring in his tension that you can only think of Paul’s conclusion in Romans 1, that when men deliberately turn away from the truth that is there, the external universe and the mannishness of man, God gives them up to an unsound mind. If there even was anybody that ever demonstrated this it was Darwin himself  at the end of his life. It is a position that Darwin holds with implicit faith. You must understand what the term IMPLICIT FAITH  means. In the old Roman Catholic Church when someone who became a Roman Catholic they had to promise implicit faith. That meant that you not only had to believe everything that Roman Catholic Church taught then but also everything it would teach in the future. It seems to me this is the kind of faith that these people have in the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system and they have accepted it no matter what it leads them into. 

There was an amazing man by the name of  H.J.Blackham(1903-2009) and he was the former president of the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION. Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop quoted him in their book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this with a dramatic illustration:

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On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit.79

One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has existed forever and ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form.

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To sum up Schaeffer is saying, “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer in THE GOD WHO IS THERE)

IF WE ARE LEFT WITH JUST THE MACHINE THEN WHAT IS THE FINAL CONCLUSION IF THERE WAS NO PERSONAL GOD THAT CREATED US?

Comments about the evidence supporting the accuracy of the Bible probably prompted Dr. Barlow to write in the letter I received from him in December of 2017: “Notice, however, that he [Charles Darwin] clearly did not lose his sense of the value of truth, and of the importance of forever searching it out.”

(Darwin pictured above)

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I responded in a letter on February 2, 2018 with lots of evidence indicating that since Darwin was wishing for archaeological evidence back in 1839 that supported the Bible’s accuracy that there is an abundance of evidence from archaeology now doing just that:

Here is one of your advantages over your great grandfather. With this in mind shouldn’t you investigate evidence that has turned up since your great grandfather’s day?

Here is a simple suggestion. Google the words “53 PEOPLE CONFIRMED.” That should bring you to this article, 53 People in the Bible Confirmed Archaeologically A web-exclusive supplement to Lawrence Mykytiuk’s BAR articles identifying real Hebrew Bible people Lawrence Mykytiuk • 04/12/2017.

You noted that Darwin “clearly did not lose his sense of the value of truth, and of the importance of forever searching it out.”

I wonder how Charles Darwin would have reacted to this article if he was here with us today and could examine the evidence he was wishing for back in the 19th century. I would love to get your reaction to that.

You have been very courteous in your correspondence while at the same time you are willing to listen. It is my goal to imitate that in my life too.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 cottontail lane, Alexander, AR 72002 United States

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53 People in the Bible Confirmed Archaeologically

A web-exclusive supplement to Lawrence Mykytiuk’s BAR articles identifying real Hebrew Bible people

Lawrence Mykytiuk   •  04/12/2017

This Bible History Daily feature was originally published in 2014. It has been updated.—Ed.


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Sargon II, one of fifty Hebrew Bible figures identified in the archaeological record.

In “Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible” in the March/April 2014 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Purdue University scholar Lawrence Mykytiuk lists 50 figures from the Hebrew Bible who have been confirmed archaeologically. His follow-up article, “Archaeology Confirms 3 More Bible People,” published in the May/June 2017 issue of BAR, adds another three people to the list. The identified persons include Israelite kings and Mesopotamian monarchs as well as lesser-known figures.

Mykytiuk writes that these figures “mentioned in the Bible have been identified in the archaeological record. Their names appear in inscriptions written during the period described by the Bible and in most instances during or quite close to the lifetime of the person identified.” The extensive Biblical and archaeological documentation supporting the BAR study is published here in a web-exclusive collection of endnotes detailing the Biblical references and inscriptions referring to each of the figures.

Guide to the Endnotes

53 Bible People Confirmed in Authentic Inscriptions Chart

53 Figures: The Biblical and Archaeological Evidence

“Almost Real” People: The Biblical and Archaeological Evidence

Symbols & Abbreviations

Date Sources


BAS Library Members: Read Lawrence Mykytiuk’s Biblical Archaeology Review articles “Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible” in the March/April 2014 and “Archaeology Confirms 3 More Bible People” in the May/June 2017 issue.

Not a BAS Library member yet? Join the BAS Library today.

P1120870 Louvre stèle de Mésha AO5066 rwk.JPG

The Mesha Stele in its current location: The brown fragments are pieces of the original stele, whereas the smoother black material is Ganneau’s reconstruction from the 1870s. (Mentions Omri)

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, 9th century BC, from Nimrud, Iraq. The British Museum.jpg

Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III in the British Museum. The White Obelisk of Ashurnasirpal I is located next to it. It is the most complete Assyrian obelisk yet discovered, and is historically significant because it is thought to display the earliest ancient depiction of a biblical figure – Jehu, King of Israel. 

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Visitors of the Seals of Isaiah and King Hezekiah Discovered exhibit can see up close the bullae of King Hezekiah (left) and of Isaiah (right). Photo: Courtesy Dr. Eilat Mazar.

This broken 2,700-year-old clay seal, discovered in an ancient Jerusalem rubbish pit, may include the name of the biblical prophet Isaiah.



Hezekiah Bulla

This bulla (seal impression) of King Hezekiah originally sealed a document written on a papyrus. The thin chords with which the document was tied left their mark on the reverse of the bulla. Photo Credit: Ouria Tadmor / © Eilat Mazar.  Used with permission.

53 Bible People Confirmed in Authentic Inscriptions

NameWho was he?When he reigned or flourished B.C.E.Where in the Bible?
Egypt
1Shishak (= Sheshonq I)pharaoh945–9241 Kings 11:40, etc.
2So (= Osorkon IV)pharaoh730–7152 Kings 17:4
3Tirhakah (= Taharqa)pharaoh690–6642 Kings 19:9, etc.
4Necho II (= Neco II)pharaoh610–5952 Chronicles 35:20, etc.
5Hophra (= Apries)pharaoh589–570Jeremiah 44:30
Moab
6Meshakingearly to mid-ninth century2 Kings 3:4–27
Aram-Damascus
7Hadadezerkingearly ninth century to 844/8421 Kings 11:23, etc.
8Ben-hadad, son of Hadadezerking844/8422 Kings 6:24, etc.
9Hazaelking844/842–c. 8001 Kings 19:15, etc.
10Ben-hadad, son of Hazaelkingearly eighth century2 Kings 13:3, etc.
11Rezinkingmid-eighth century to 7322 Kings 15:37, etc.
Northern Kingdom of Israel
12Omriking884–8731 Kings 16:16, etc.
13Ahabking873–8521 Kings 16:28, etc.
14Jehuking842/841–815/8141 Kings 19:16, etc.
15Joash (= Jehoash)king805–7902 Kings 13:9, etc.
16Jeroboam IIking790–750/7492 Kings 13:13, etc.
17Menahemking749–7382 Kings 15:14, etc.
18Pekahking750(?)–732/7312 Kings 15:25, etc.
19Hosheaking732/731–7222 Kings 15:30, etc.
20Sanballat “I”governor of Samaria under Persian rulec. mid-fifth centuryNehemiah 2:10, etc.
Southern Kingdom of Judah
21Davidkingc. 1010–9701 Samuel 16:13, etc.
22Uzziah (= Azariah)king788/787–736/7352 Kings 14:21, etc.
23Ahaz (= Jehoahaz)king742/741–7262 Kings 15:38, etc.
24Hezekiahking726–697/6962 Kings 16:20, etc.
25Manassehking697/696–642/6412 Kings 20:21, etc.
26Hilkiahhigh priest during Josiah’s reignwithin 640/639–6092 Kings 22:4, etc.
27Shaphanscribe during Josiah’s reignwithin 640/639–6092 Kings 22:3, etc.
28Azariahhigh priest during Josiah’s reignwithin 640/639–6091 Chronicles 5:39, etc.
29Gemariahofficial during Jehoiakim’s reignwithin 609–598Jeremiah 36:10, etc.
30Jehoiachin (= Jeconiah = Coniah)king598–5972 Kings 24:6, etc.
31Shelemiahfather of Jehucal the royal officiallate seventh centuryJeremiah 37:3, etc.
32Jehucal (= Jucal)official during Zedekiah’s reignwithin 597–586Jeremiah 37:3, etc.
33Pashhurfather of Gedaliah the royal officiallate seventh centuryJeremiah 38:1
34Gedaliahofficial during Zedekiah’s reignwithin 597–586Jeremiah 38:1
Assyria
35Tiglath-pileser III (= Pul)king744–7272 Kings 15:19, etc.
36Shalmaneser Vking726–7222 Kings 17:3, etc.
37Sargon IIking721–705Isaiah 20:1
38Sennacheribking704–6812 Kings 18:13, etc.
39Adrammelech (= Ardamullissu = Arad-mullissu)son and assassin of Sennacheribearly seventh century2 Kings 19:37, etc.
40Esarhaddonking680–6692 Kings 19:37, etc.
Babylonia
41Merodach-baladan IIking721–710 and 7032 Kings 20:12, etc.
42Nebuchadnezzar IIking604–5622 Kings 24:1, etc.
43Nebo-sarsekimofficial of Nebuchadnezzar IIearly sixth centuryJeremiah 39:3
44Nergal-sharezerofficer of Nebuchadnezzar IIearly sixth centuryJeremiah 39:3
45Nebuzaradana chief officer of Nebuchadnezzar IIearly sixth century2 Kings 25:8, etc. & Jeremiah 39:9, etc.
46Evil-merodach (= Awel Marduk = Amel Marduk)king561–5602 Kings 25:27, etc.
47Belshazzarson and co-regent of Nabonidusc. 543?–540Daniel 5:1, etc.
Persia
48Cyrus II (= Cyrus the Great)king559–5302 Chronicles 36:22, etc.
49Darius I (= Darius the Great)king520–486Ezra 4:5, etc.
50Tattenaiprovincial governor of Trans-Euphrateslate sixth to early fifth centuryEzra 5:3, etc.
51Xerxes I (= Ahasuerus)king486–465Esther 1:1, etc.
52Artaxerxes I Longimanusking465-425/424Ezra 4:7, etc.
53Darius II Nothusking425/424-405/404Nehemiah 12:22


(At this link: https://creation.com/archaeology-belshazzar)

Belshazzar: The second most powerful man in Babylon

How archaeology vindicated the Bible’s curious claims about King Belshazzar

by Keaton Halley

Belshazzar

The Bible presents the famous ‘writing on the wall’ episode as occurring on the same day that the city of Babylon, capital of Babylonia, fell to the Medo-Persian empire under King Cyrus the Great. Indeed, Daniel gave King Belshazzar this interpretation of the writing: “God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end” (v. 26), and “your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians” (v. 28). The Bible claims that Belshazzar was killed “that very night” (v. 30), and with his death the Babylonian kingdom was now controlled by Medo-Persia.4

However, all other known historical records once disagreed. Ancient historians like Herodotus, Megasthenes, Berossus, and Alexander Polyhistor, not to mention a vast number of cuneiform documents, were united in claiming that the last king of the Neo-Babylonian empire was Nabonidus.5 Belshazzar was not even mentioned anywhere except in the book of Daniel and literature derived from it.6

Cylinder-Nabonidus
Nabonidus Cylinder from Ur

Buried treasures

But just when it looked like all the evidence was stacked against Scripture, a series of archaeological discoveries showed that Belshazzar did exist after all, and the details given about him in the Bible are profoundly correct. 

First, in 1854, four clay cylinders with identical inscriptions were excavated from Ur.7 These Nabonidus Cylinders contained Nabonidus’ prayer to the moon god for “Belshazzar, the eldest son—my offspring.”8 Thus, Belshazzar’s existence was confirmed—as Nabonidus’ firstborn son and heir to his throne. 

Then, in 1882, a translation of another ancient cuneiform text, the Nabonidus Chronicle, was published. According to this document, Nabonidus was a mostly absentee king, spending 10 years of his 17-year reign living in Tema, Arabia (725 km / 450 miles away from Babylon). The king left Belshazzar, whom the text calls “the crown prince”, to take care of affairs in Babylon during that time.9 Also, the Chronicle explained that Nabonidus was away from Babylon when it fell. Two days earlier he had fled from the Persians when they defeated him at Sippar, so Belshazzar was the highest authority in Babylon at the time of its capture.

Nabonidus-Chronicle
Nabonidus Chronicle tablet

Next, the Persian Verse Account of Nabonidus, published in 1924, stated that, as “he started out for a long journey”, Nabonidus “entrusted the kingship” to “his oldest (son), the firstborn.”10 So Belshazzar clearly functioned in the role of a king for years while his father was away.

Furthermore, a variety of other ancient cuneiform texts were found in the early 1900s which also mentioned Belshazzar, including a tablet from Erech in which both he and his father Nabonidus were jointly invoked in an oath, suggesting that both had royal authority.11

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Francis Schaeffer

Debating from 2015-2020 Darwin’s great grandson (Horace Barlow) about Francis Schaeffer’s 1968 critique of Darwinism!

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The autobiography of Charles Darwin read by Francis Schaeffer in 1968 was not the same one originally released in 1892 because that one omitted the religious statements of Charles Darwin. 

pictured below with his eldest child William: 

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Notice this statement below from the Freedom from Religion Foundation: 

(Nora Barlow pictured below)

Charles Darwin wrote the Rev. J. Fordyce on July 7, 1879, that “an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind.” Darwin penned his memoirs between the ages of 67 and 73, finishing the main text in 1876. These memoirs were published posthumously in 1887 by his family under the title Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, with his hardest-hitting views on religion excised. Only in 1958 did Darwin’s granddaughter Nora Barlow publish his Autobiography with original omissions restored  D. 1882.
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Charles Robert Darwin  (1809 – 1882) had 10 children and 7 of them survived to adulthood.

Sir Horace DarwinKBEFRS (13 May 1851 – 22 September 1928), the fifth son and ninth child of the British naturalist Charles Darwin and his wife Emma, the youngest of their seven children who survived to adulthood.

(Horace Darwin pictured below)

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Emma Nora Barlow, Lady Barlow (née Darwin; 22 December 1885 – 29 May 1989) Nora, as she was known, was the daughter of the civil engineer Sir Horace Darwin and his wife The Hon. Lady Ida Darwin (née Farrer),

Horace Basil Barlow FRS (1921-) Barlow is the son of the civil servant Sir Alan Barlow and his wife Lady Nora (née Darwin). Barlow is the great-grandson of Charles Darwin

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Horace Darwin married Emma Cecilia “Ida” Farrer (1854–1946) pictured below.

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Francis Schaeffer

Horace Barlow was the son of Nora Barlow. From February 11, 2015 to July 1, 2017, I wrote 7 letters to Dr. Horace Barlow because I wanted to discuss primarily the views of his grandfather Charles Darwin and Francis Schaeffer’s 1968 critique of Darwinism!

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Franicis Schaeffer

If you wish to hear Francis Schaeffer’s 1968 talk on Darwin’s autobiography then you can access part 1 at this link and part 2 at this link.

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Horace Barlow pictured below:

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I found Dr. Barlow to be a true gentleman and he was very kind to take the time to answer the questions that I submitted to him. In the upcoming months I will take time once a week to pay tribute to his life and reveal our correspondence. In the first week I noted:

 Today I am posting my first letter to him in February of 2015 which discussed Charles Darwin lamenting his loss of aesthetic tastes which he blamed on Darwin’s own dedication to the study of evolution. In a later return letter, Dr. Barlow agreed that Darwin did in fact lose his aesthetic tastes at the end of his life.

In the second week I look at the views of Michael Polanyi and share the comments of Francis Schaeffer concerning Polanyi’s views.

In the third week, I look at the life of Brandon Burlsworth in the November 28, 2016 letter and the movie GREATER and the problem of evil which Charles Darwin definitely had a problem with once his daughter died.

On the 4th letter to Dr. Barlow looks at Darwin’s admission that he at times thinks that creation appears to look like the expression of a mind. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words in 1968 sermon at this link.

My Fifth Letter concerning Charles Darwin’s views on MORAL MOTIONS Which was mailed on March 1, 2017. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning moral motions in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

6th letter on May 1, 2017 in which Charles Darwin’s hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would show that Christ existed! Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning the possible manuscript finds in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

7th letter on Darwin discussing DETERMINISM  dated 7-1-17 . Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning determinism in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

Thanks 8th letter responds to Dr. Barlow’s letter to me concerning the Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning chance in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

Thanks 9th letter in response to 11-22-17 letter I received from Professor Horace Barlow was mailed on 1-2-18 and included Charles Darwin’s comments on William Paley. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning William Paley in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

10th letter in response to 11-22-17 letter I received from Professor Horace Barlow was mailed on 2-2-18 and includes Darwin’s comments asking for archaeological evidence for the Bible! Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning His desire to see archaeological evidence supporting the Bible’s accuracy  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

11th letter I mailed on 3-2-18  in response to 11-22-17 letter from Barlow that asserted: It is also sometimes asked whether chance, even together with selection, can define a “MORAL CODE,” which the religiously inclined say is defined by their God. I think the answer is “Yes, it certainly can…” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning A MORAL CODE in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

12th letter on March 26, 2018 breaks down song DUST IN THE WIND “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

In 13th letter I respond to Barlow’s November 22, 2017 letter and assertion “He {Darwin} clearly did not lose his sense of the VALUE of TRUTH, and of the importance of FOREVER SEARCHING it out.”

In 14th letter to Dr. Barlow on 10-2-18, I assert: “Let me demonstrate how the Bible’s view of the origin of life fits better with the evidence we have from archaeology than that of gradual evolution.”In 15th letter in November 2, 2018 to Dr. Barlow I quote his relative Randal Keynes Who in the Richard Dawkins special “The Genius of Darwin” makes this point concerning Darwin, “he was, at different times, enormously confident in it,and at other times, he was utterly uncertain.”In 16th Letter on 12-2-18 to Dr. Barlow I respond to his letter that stated, If I am pressed to say whether I think belief in God helps people to make wise and beneficial decisions I am bound to say (and I fear this will cause you pain) “No, it is often very disastrous, leading to violence, death and vile behaviour…Muslim terrorists…violence within the Christian church itself”17th letter sent on January 2, 2019 shows the great advantage we have over Charles Darwin when examining the archaeological record concerning the accuracy of the Bible!In the 18th letter I respond to the comment by Charles Darwin: “My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive….The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words on his loss of aesthetic tastes  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.In 19th letter on 2-2-19  I discuss Steven Weinberg’s words,  But if language is to be of any use to us, we ought to try to preserve the meanings of words, and “God” historically has not meant the laws of nature. It has meant an interested personality.

In the 20th letter on 3-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s comment, “At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep [#1] inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons...Formerly I was led by feelings such as those…to the firm conviction of the existence of God, and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that [#2] whilst standing in the midst of the grandeur of a Brazilian forest, ‘it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion which fill and elevate the mind.’ I well remember my conviction that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body. [#3] But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his former belief in God in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In the 21st letter on May 15, 2019 to Dr Barlow I discuss the writings of Francis Schaeffer who passed away the 35 years earlier on May 15, 1985. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words at length in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In the 22nd letter I respond to Charles Darwin’s words, “I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe…will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words about hell  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link

In 23rd postcard sent on 7-2-19 I asked Dr Barlow if he was a humanist. Sir Julian Huxley, founder of the American Humanist Association noted, “I use the word ‘humanist’ to mean someone who believes that man is just as much a natural phenomenon as an animal or plant; that his body, mind and soul were not supernaturally created but are products of evolution, and that he is not under the control or guidance of any supernatural being.”

In my 24th letter on 8-2-19 I quote Jerry  Bergman who noted Jean Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century. A founding father of the modern American scientific establishment, Agassiz was also a lifelong opponent of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Agassiz “ruled in professorial majesty at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology.”

In my 25th letter on 9-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s assertion,  “This argument would be a valid one if all men of ALL RACES had the SAME INWARD CONVICTION of the existence of one God; but we know that this is very far from being the case.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning MORAL MOTIONS in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 26th letter on 10-2-19 I quoted Bertrand Russell’s daughter’s statement, “I believe myself that his whole life was a search for God…. Indeed, he had first taken up philosophy in hope of finding proof of the evidence of the existence of God … Somewhere at the back of my father’s mind, at the bottom of his heart, in the depths of his soul  there was an empty space that had once been filled by God, and he never found anything else to put in it”

In my 27th letter on 11-2-19 I disproved Richard Dawkins’ assertion, “Genesis says Abraham owned camels, but archaeological evidence shows that the camel was not domesticated until many centuries after Abraham.” Furthermore, I gave more evidence indicating the Bible is historically accurate.

In my 28th letter on 12-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s statement, “I am glad you were at the Messiah, it is the one thing that I should like to hear again, but I dare say I should find my soul too dried up to appreciate it as in old days; and then I should feel very flat, for it is a horrid bore to feel as I constantly do, that I am a withered leaf for every subject except Science. It sometimes makes me hate Science.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning MORAL MOTIONS in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link. 

In my 29th letter on 12-25-19 I responded to Charles Darwin’s statement, “I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds…gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dullthat it nauseated me…. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive… The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness…” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his loss of aesthetic tastes in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 30th letter on 2-2-20 I quote Dustin Shramek who asserted, “Without God the universe is the result of a cosmic accident, a chance explosion. There is no reason for which it exist. As for man, he is a freak of nature–a blind product of matter plus time plus chance. Man is just a lump of slime that evolved into rationality. There is no more purpose in life for the human race than for a species of insect; for both are the result of the blind interaction of chance and necessity.”

In my 31st letter on 3-18-20 I quote Francis Schaeffer who noted, “Darwin is saying that he gave up the New Testament because it was connected to the Old Testament. He gave up the Old Testament because it conflicted with his own theory. Did he have a real answer himself and the answer is no. At the end of his life we see that he is dehumanized by his position and on the other side we see that he never comes to the place of intellectual satisfaction for himself that his answers were sufficient.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his loss of his Christian faith in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 32nd letter on 4-18-20 quoted H.J. Blackham on where humanism leads On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility

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Carl Sagan v. Nancy Pearcey

March 18, 2013 – 9:11 am

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Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution)

May 24, 2012 – 1:47 am

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Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 3 of series on Evolution)

May 23, 2012 – 1:43 am

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 3 of series on Evolution) The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 4 of 6 Uploaded by FLIPWORLDUPSIDEDOWN3 on Aug 30, 2010 http://www.icr.org/ http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWA2http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWASGhttp://www.fliptheworldupsidedown.com/blog______________________________________ I got this from a blogger in April of 2008 concerning candidate Obama’s view on evolution: Q: York County was recently in the news […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists ConfrontedCurrent EventsPresident Obama | EditComments (0)

Carl Sagan versus RC Sproul

January 9, 2012 – 2:44 pm

At the end of this post is a message by RC Sproul in which he discusses Sagan. Over the years I have confronted many atheists. Here is one story below: I really believe Hebrews 4:12 when it asserts: For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersAtheists ConfrontedCurrent EventsFrancis Schaeffer | Tagged Bill ElliffCarl SaganJodie FosterRC Sproul | Edit | Comments (0)

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution)jh68

November 8, 2011 – 12:01 am

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Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 3 of series on Evolution)

November 4, 2011 – 12:57 am

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Atheists confronted: How I confronted Carl Sagan the year before he died jh47

May 19, 2011 – 10:30 am

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My correspondence with George Wald and Antony Flew!!!

May 12, 2014 – 1:14 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 41 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Featured artist is Marina Abramović)

January 8, 2015 – 5:23 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 40 Timothy Leary (Featured artist is Margaret Keane)

January 1, 2015 – 4:14 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 39 Tom Wolfe (Featured artist is Richard Serra)

December 25, 2014 – 5:04 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 38 Woody Allen and Albert Camus “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide” (Feature on artist Hamish Fulton Photographer )

December 18, 2014 – 4:30 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 37 Mahatma Gandhi and “Relieving the Tension in the East” (Feature on artist Luc Tuymans)

December 11, 2014 – 4:19 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 36 Julian Huxley:”God does not in fact exist, but act as if He does!” (Feature on artist Barry McGee)

December 4, 2014 – 4:10 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 35 Robert M. Pirsig (Feature on artist Kerry James Marshall)

November 27, 2014 – 4:43 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 34 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Feature on artist Shahzia Sikander)

November 20, 2014 – 4:28 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 33 Aldous Huxley (Feature on artist Matthew Barney )

November 13, 2014 – 4:39 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 32 Steven Weinberg and Woody Allen and “The Meaningless of All Things” (Feature on photographer Martin Karplus )

November 6, 2014 – 4:42 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 31 David Hume and “How do we know we know?” (Feature on artist William Pope L. )

October 30, 2014 – 5:34 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 30 Rene Descartes and “How do we know we know?” (Feature on artist Olafur Eliasson)

October 23, 2014 – 5:01 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 29 W.H. Thorpe and “The Search for an Adequate World-View: A Question of Method” (Feature on artist Jeff Koons)

October 16, 2014 – 5:06 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 28 Woody Allen and “The Mannishness of Man” (Feature on artist Ryan Gander)

October 9, 2014 – 5:10 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 27 Jurgen Habermas (Featured artist is Hiroshi Sugimoto)

September 25, 2014 – 1:01 pm

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 26 Bettina Aptheker (Featured artist is Krzysztof Wodiczko)

September 25, 2014 – 4:00 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 25 BOB DYLAN (Part C) Francis Schaeffer comments on Bob Dylan’s song “Ballad of a Thin Man” and the disconnect between the young generation of the 60’s and their parents’ generation (Feature on artist Fred Wilson)

September 18, 2014 – 3:57 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 24 BOB DYLAN (Part B) Francis Schaeffer comments on Bob Dylan’s words from HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED!! (Feature on artist Susan Rothenberg)

September 11, 2014 – 4:18 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 23 BOB DYLAN (Part A) (Feature on artist Josiah McElheny)Francis Schaeffer on the proper place of rebellion with comments by Bob Dylan and Samuel Rutherford

September 2, 2014 – 8:42 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 22 “The School of Athens by Raphael” (Feature on the artist Sally Mann)

August 11, 2014 – 2:19 pm

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 21 William B. Provine (Feature on artist Andrea Zittel)

June 12, 2014 – 2:52 pm

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 20 Woody Allen and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Ida Applebroog)

May 12, 2014 – 4:35 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 19 Movie Director Luis Bunuel (Feature on artist Oliver Herring)

May 1, 2014 – 11:53 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 18 “Michelangelo’s DAVID is the statement of what humanistic man saw himself as being tomorrow” (Feature on artist Paul McCarthy)

April 25, 2014 – 8:26 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 17 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part C (Feature on artist David Hockney plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

April 18, 2014 – 7:37 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 16 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part B (Feature on artist James Rosenquist plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

April 11, 2014 – 6:14 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 15 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part A (Feature on artist Robert Indiana plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

April 4, 2014 – 5:58 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 14 David Friedrich Strauss (Feature on artist Roni Horn )

March 28, 2014 – 2:50 pm

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 13 Jacob Bronowski and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Ellen Gallagher )

March 21, 2014 – 7:18 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 12 H.J.Blackham and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Arturo Herrera)

March 14, 2014 – 9:07 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 11 Thomas Aquinas and his Effect on Art and HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Episode 2: THE MIDDLES AGES (Feature on artist Tony Oursler )

March 4, 2014 – 9:04 pm

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 10 David Douglas Duncan (Feature on artist Georges Rouault )

February 28, 2014 – 5:16 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 9 Jasper Johns (Feature on artist Cai Guo-Qiang )

February 21, 2014 – 6:51 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 8 “The Last Year at Marienbad” by Alain Resnais (Feature on artist Richard Tuttle and his return to the faith of his youth)

February 13, 2014 – 7:59 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 7 Jean Paul Sartre (Feature on artist David Hooker )

February 4, 2014 – 2:00 pm

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 6 The Adoration of the Lamb by Jan Van Eyck which was saved by MONUMENT MEN IN WW2 (Feature on artist Makoto Fujimura)

January 31, 2014 – 5:43 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 5 John Cage (Feature on artist Gerhard Richter)

January 21, 2014 – 8:07 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 4 ( Schaeffer and H.R. Rookmaaker worked together well!!! (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part B )

January 14, 2014 – 8:52 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 3 PAUL GAUGUIN’S 3 QUESTIONS: “Where do we come from? What art we? Where are we going? and his conclusion was a suicide attempt” (Feature on artist Mike Kelley Part A)

January 7, 2014 – 11:06 pm

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 2 “A look at how modern art was born by discussing Monet, Renoir, Pissaro, Sisley, Degas,Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Seurat, and Picasso” (Feature on artist Peter Howson)

January 1, 2014 – 4:27 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 1 HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? “The Roman Age” (Feature on artist Tracey Emin)

December 10, 2013 – 2:38 pm

MUSIC MONDAY Bob Dylan Press Conference in 1965 and his interaction later with Keith Green

Keith Green passed away on July 28th, 1982 almost 39 years ago to the day!!! I want to remember him with a series of posts!!!

Bob Dylan Press Conference 1965 Part 1

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Bob Dylan played on one of Keith Green’s last albums and on the 6:19 min mark of part 5 it shows Bob Dylan:

The Keith Green Story pt 5/7

 The Keith Green Story pt 3/7

Keith Green had a major impact on me back in 1978 when I first heard him. Here is his story below:

Spiritual Conversion

Keith had a Jewish and Christian Science background, but grew up reading the New Testament. He called it “an odd combination” that left him open minded but deeply unsatisfied. His journey led him to drugs, South Asian mysticism, and “free love.” After experiencing what Green described as a “bad trip,” he abandoned drug use and became bitter towards philosophy and theology in general. Green would later state, however, that in the midst of his skepticism, he felt that God “broke through calloused heart,” and he became a born-again Christian. Soon afterward, Keith’s wife Melody (whom he had married on Christmas Day 1973) also became a born-again Christian. It was during this time that the newlyweds became involved with the Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Southern California.

Ministry

In 1975, the Greens began an outreach program in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California, in the San Fernando Valley. Purchasing the home next door to their own and renting an additional five in the same neighborhood, Keith and Melody provided a environment of Christian teaching for a group of young adults, the majority of whom were of college age. Much to the consternation of neighbors, those living in the Green’s homes included former drug addicts, the homeless and even some prostitutes who had been referred to the Greens by other ministries and shelters. In 1977, the Greens outreach was officially named Last Days Ministries.

Keith Green’s initial tone of ministry was largely influenced by Leonard Ravenhill, who pointed Keith to Charles Finney, a nineteenth century revivalist preacher who preached the law of God to provoke conviction in his hearers.  During his concerts he would often exhort his listeners to repent and commit themselves more wholly to following Christ.  Green later softened his approach, and this transition is evident in his music beginning with So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt in 1980.
Recording

Green was signed to Contemporary Christian music label Sparrow Records in 1976 and worked on the album Firewind (1976) with Christian artists 2nd Chapter of Acts, Terry Talbot, John Michael Talbot, and Barry McGuire. His first solo project, For Him Who Has Ears to Hear, was released in 1977 and his second solo release, No Compromise, followed in 1978.

In 1979, after negotiating a release from his contract with Sparrow, Green initiated a new policy of refusing to charge money for concerts or albums. Keith and Melody mortgaged their home to privately finance Green’s next album, So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt. The album, which featured a guest appearance by Bob Dylan, was offered through mail-order and at concerts for a price determined by the purchaser. As of May 1982, Green had shipped out more than 200,000 units of his album ? 61,000 for free. Subsequent albums included The Keith Green Collection (1981) and Songs For The Shepherd (1982).

When his music was carried by Christian bookstores, a second cassette was included free of charge for every cassette purchased to give away to a friend to help spread the Gospel.

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Daniel Mitchell OF CENTER FOR FREEDOM AND PROSPERITY article The World’s Most Perverse (but Perhaps Accurate) Observation about Cuba

The World’s Most Perverse (but Perhaps Accurate) Observation about Cuba

Weird items sometimes show up in my inbox, and this clip from Nikole Hannah-Jones (creator of the academically shoddy 1619 Project) definitely qualifies.

She actually cites the economic wasteland of Cuba as a role model for equality.

Ms. Hannah-Jones said that Cuba’s results are because of socialism.

On that point, I’ll agree, though I think it shows why that collectivist ideology is so destructive.

Let’s look at some comparisons based on the Maddison data. This first chart shows how Cuba has fallen far behind Panama and the Dominican Republic, two other multi-racial nations in the region.

The key thing to realize is that Cuba was equal to (or richer than) those countries when the communists took power in Cuba.

But socialist policies have caused Cuba’s economy to stagnate and now Panama is almost three times richer and the Dominican Republic is nearly two times richer (and you can click here is you also want to see comparisons with Chile and Costa Rica).

In other words, Cuba is a role model, but not for anything positive.

Let’s drive that point home with another chart comparing three nations – Cuba, Singapore, and Taiwan – that were roughly equal back in 1959.

What makes this comparison especially instructive is that Cuba went for socialism and Singapore and Taiwan became pro-market reformers. So it should be no surprise that the latter two have far surpassed Cuba.

The same thing is true, by the way, if you compare Hong Kong and Cuba.

Let’s conclude by addressing one final point.

Ms. Hannah-Jones asserted that Cuba deserves praise for having equality.

I doubt that’s true since left-wing dictators usually steal lots of money while ordinary people suffer.

But even if she’s right and Cuba genuinely has equality, it’s only because socialism has impoverished everyone, including the ruling class.

Our friends on the left apparently think that’s something to applaud, as Margaret Thatcher observed, but I’d rather be part of a society characterized by an “unequal sharing of the blessings.”

P.S. Ms. Hannah-Jones may be even more wrong about Cuba than Bernie SandersJeffrey Sachs, or Nicholas Kristof.



The Case Against Socialism, Part III

Part I of this series looked at socialism’s track record of failure, while Part II pointed out that greater levels of socialism lead to greater levels of misery.

For Part III, let’s start with this video on the economics of socialism.

If the world was governed by logic, there would be no need to address this topic for a third time.

After all, the evidence is overwhelming that capitalism (oops, I mean free enterprise) does a better job than socialism.

But it seems that we don’t live in a logical world. We have too many people who have an anti-empirical belief in bigger government.

And, if the polling data is accurate, the problem seems especially acute with young people.

I’ve wondered whether sub-par government schools are part of the problem. Are they mis-educating kids?

I don’t know if that was a problem in the past, but Richard Rahn warns in the Washington Times that it will probably be a problem in the future.

Recent polls have shown rising support for socialism and an increasingly negative view of capitalism, particularly among the young.  …Most of those who say they support socialism are probably unaware that it has failed every place and time that it has been tried. …They may also not be aware that socialism relies on coercion to function… By contrast, capitalism relies on the voluntary exchange of goods and services… Last week at the NEA’s annual meeting, the delegates demanded that the union issue a study criticizing, among many things, “capitalism.” Has anyone thought through the alternatives – a system based on slavery or serfdom…? Under capitalism, investment and productive labor are allocated by individual consumer choice. …Under socialism, there is no good mechanism for meeting consumer demand; the socialist leaders decide what the people should have. There is no mechanism for creating and encouraging innovation – that is why socialist states normally only produce something new after it has already been produced in a capitalist country… So why then are the teachers’ unions advocating that capitalism be attacked, and socialism be applauded? The answer is simple, willful ignorance.

I’ve always supported school choice because I want better educational outcomes, especially for poor and minority students.

In recent months, I’ve wondered we also need school choice because of what teacher unions are doing on issues such as critical race theory and school re-openings.

Now it seems we need choice simply to protect kids from the risk of being propagandized.

P.S. Or protect kids from nonsensical forms of discipline.

—-

Reusable: biden obama gun control speechPresident Barack Obama announces the creation of an interagency task force for guns as as Vice President Joseph Biden listens on.Getty Images

Is Gun Control Dead?

In recent months, governments released prisoners and announced that some laws wouldn’t be enforced because of the coronavirus. Now, with protests against police misbehavior, we’re seeing governments fail to maintain law and order.

As suggested by this excellent Reason video, these developments bolster the case against gun control.

But does this mean politicians will be more supportive of the 2nd Amendment?

The answer (at least for anyone with an IQ above room temperature)should be yes.

From an economic perspective, one major goal is to change the cost-benefit analysis for criminals. If bad guys have to worry that good guys may be armed, that significantly increases the potential cost of illegal behavior.

A well-functioning system of law enforcement can help, of course, but that’s not a description of how things work in some communities – even in normal times, much less when there’s civil unrest.

But all this evidence and analysis doesn’t seem to matter for Joe Biden. A look at his campaign website shows support for a wide range of gun-control laws from the soon-to-be Democratic nominee.

…gun violence is a public health epidemic. …In 1994, Biden – along with Senator Dianne Feinstein – secured the passage of 10-year bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. As president, Joe Biden will defeat the NRA again. …As president, Biden will: …Ban the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. …Regulate possession of existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act. …Biden supports legislation restricting the number of firearms an individual may purchase per month to one. …End the online sale of firearms and ammunitions. …Give states incentives to set up gun licensing programs.

What’s especially discouraging is that Biden apparently hasn’t learned anything about so-called assault weapons since 1994.

In a 2019 column for Reason, Jacob Sullum dissected Biden’s incoherent views on the topic.

Joe Biden…is still proud of the ban on “assault weapons”… Biden argues that it made mass shootings less common…, citing a study reported in The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery last January. But that is not what the researchers, led by New York University epidemiologist Charles DiMaggio, actually found.…The study…looked not at the number of mass shootings, as Biden claims, but the number of mass-shooting deaths as a share of all firearm homicides. The difference in total fatalities during the period when the ban was in effect amounted to 15 fewer deaths over a decade, or 1.5 a year on average, including mass shootings that did not involve weapons covered by the ban. …The causal mechanism imagined by Biden is even harder to figure out. He describes “assault weapons” as “military-style firearms designed to fire rapidly.” But they do not fire any faster than any other semi-automatic. …Under the 1994 ban, removing “military-style” features such as folding stocks, flash suppressors, or bayonet mounts transformed forbidden “assault weapons” into legal firearms, even though the compliant models fired the same ammunition at the same rate with the same muzzle velocity as the ones targeted by the law.

I wonder if Biden understands the policy he’s advocating.

Does he think that “assault weapons” are actual machine guns, capable of firing multiple rounds with one pull on the trigger (a remarkably common misconception among gun-control advocates)?

Or, if he understands that a so-called assault weapon is just like any other gun (firing one round each time the trigger is pulled), then why would he think anything would be achieved by banning some guns and leaving others (that work the same way) legal?

Perhaps most relevant, does he even care what the evidence shows?

The bottom line is that people are “voting with their dollars” for gun ownership for the simple reason that they know it’s unwise to trust government (either to protect them from crime or to respect their rights).

But that doesn’t mean their constitutional freedoms will be secure if Biden wins the 2020 election.

P.S. The good news is that there will be widespread civil disobedience if politicians push for new gun bans.

P.P.S. Another silver lining is that we’ll get more and more clever humor mocking gun control.

The Case Against Biden’s Class-Warfare Tax Policy, Part II

In Part I of this series, I expressed some optimism that Joe Biden would not aggressively push his class-warfare tax plan, particularly since Republicans almost certainly will wind up controlling the Senate.

But the main goal of that column was to explain that the internal revenue code already is heavily weighted against investors, entrepreneurs, business owners and other upper-income taxpayers.

And to underscore that point, I shared two charts from Brian Riedl’s chartbook to show that the “rich” are now paying a much larger share of the tax burden – notwithstanding the Reagan tax cuts, Bush tax cuts, and Trump tax cuts – than they were 40 years ago.

Not only that, but the United States has a tax system that is more “progressive” than all other developed nations (all of whom also impose heavy tax burdens on upper-income taxpayers, but differ from the United States in that they also pillage lower-income and middle-class residents).

In other words, Biden’s class-warfare tax plan is bad policy.

Today’s column, by contrast, will point out that his tax increases are impractical. Simply stated, they won’t collect much revenue because people change their behavior when incentives to earn and report income are altered.

This is especially true when looking at upper-income taxpayers who – compared to the rest of us – have much greater ability to change the timing, level, and composition of their income.

This helps to explain why rich people paid five times as much tax to the IRS during the 1980s when Reagan slashed the top tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent.

When writing about this topic, I normally use the Laffer Curve to help people understand why simplistic assumptions about tax policy are wrong (that you can double tax revenue by doubling tax rates, for instance). And I point out that even folks way on the left, such as Paul Krugman, agree with this common-sense view (though it’s also worth noting that some people on the right discredit the concept by making silly assertions that “all tax cuts pay for themselves”).

But instead of showing the curve again, I want to go back to Brian Riedl’s chartbook and review his data on of revenue changes during the eight years of the Obama Administration.

It shows that Obama technically cut taxes by $822 billion (as further explained in the postscript, most of that occurred when some of the Bush tax cuts were made permanent by the “fiscal cliff” deal in 2012) and raised taxes by $1.32 trillion (most of that occurred as a result of the Obamacare legislation).

If we do the math, that means Obama imposed a cumulative net tax increase of about $510 billion during his eight years in office

But, if you look at the red bar on the chart, you’ll see that the government didn’t wind up with more money because of what the number crunchers refer to as “economic and technical reestimates.”

Indeed, those reestimates resulted in more than $3.1 trillion of lost revenue during the Obama years.

don’t want the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington to have more tax revenue, but I obviously don’t like it when tax revenues shrink simply because the economy is stagnant and people have less taxable income.

Yet that’s precisely what we got during the Obama years.

To be sure, it would be inaccurate to assert that revenues declined solely because of Obama’s tax increase. There were many other bad policies that also contributed to taxable income falling short of projections.

Heck, maybe there was simply some bad luck as well.

But even if we add lots of caveats, the inescapable conclusion is that it’s not a good idea to adopt policies – such as class-warfare tax rates – that discourage people from earning and reporting taxable income.

The bottom line is that we should hope Biden’s proposed tax increases die a quick death.

P.S. The “fiscal cliff” was the term used to describe the scheduled expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts. According to the way budget data is measured in Washington, extending some of those provisions counted as a tax cut even though the practical impact was to protect people from a tax increase.

P.P.S. Even though Biden absurdly asserted that paying higher taxes is “patriotic,” it’s worth pointing out that he engaged in very aggressive tax avoidance to protect his family’s money.

President Joe Biden Will Be Bad, but a President Kamala Harris Would Be Worse

Joe Biden has a very misguided economic agenda. I’m especially disturbed by his class-warfare tax agenda, which will be bad news for American workers and American competitiveness.

The good news, as I wrote earlier this year, is that he probably isn’t serious about some of his worst ideas.

Biden is a statist, but not overly ideological. His support for bigger government is largely a strategy of catering to the various interest groups that dominate the Democratic Party. The good news is that he’s an incrementalist and won’t aggressively push for a horrifying FDR-style agenda if he gets to the White House.

But what if Joe Biden’s health deteriorates and Kamala Harris – sooner or later – winds up in charge?

That’s rather troubling since her agenda was far to the left of Biden’s when they were competing for the Democratic nomination.

And it doesn’t appear that being Biden’s choice for Vice President has led her to moderate her views. Consider this campaign ad, where she openly asserted that “equitable treatment means we all end up at the same place.”

The notion that we should strive for equality of outcomes rather than equality of opportunity is horrifying.

For all intents and purposes,Harris has embraced a harsh version of redistributionism where everyone above average is punished and everyone below average is rewarded.

This goes way beyond a safety net and it’s definitely a recipe for economic misery since people on both sides of the equationhave less incentive to be productive.

I’m not the only one to be taken aback by Harris’ dogmatic leftism.

Robby Soave, writing for Reason, is very critical of her radical outlook.

Harris gives voice to a leftist-progressive narrative about the importance of equity—equal outcomes—rather than mere equality before the law. …Harris contrasted equal treatment—all people getting the same thing—with equitable treatment,which means “we all end up at the same place.” …This may seem like a trivial difference, but when it comes to public policy, the difference matters. A government shouldbe obligated to treat all citizens equally, giving them the same access to civil rights and liberties like voting, marriage, religious freedom, and gun ownership. …A mandate to foster equity, though, would give the government power to violate these rights in order to achieve identical social results for all people. 

And, in a column for National Review, Brad Polumbo expresses similar reservations about her views.

Whether she embraces the label “socialist” or not, Harris’s stated agenda and Senate record both reveal her to be positioned a long way to the left on matters of economic policy. From health care to the environment to housing, Harris thinks the answer to almost every problem we face is simply more government and more taxpayer money — raising taxes and further indebting future generations in the process.…Harris…supports an astounding $40 trillion in new spending over the next decade. In a sign of just how far left the Democratic Party has shifted on economics, Harris backs more than 20 times as much spending as Hillary Clinton proposed in 2016. …And this is not just a matter of spending. During her failed presidential campaign, Harris supported a federal-government takeover of health care… The senator jumped on the “Green New Deal” bandwagon as well. She co-sponsored the Green New Deal resolution in the Senate that called for a “new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era.” …she supports enacting price controls on housing across the country. …The left-wing group Progressive Punch analyzed Harris’s voting record and found that she is the fourth-most liberal senator, more liberal even than Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. Similarly, the nonpartisan organization GovTrack.us deemed Harris the furthest-left member of the Senate for the 2019 legislative year. (Spoiler alert: If your voting record is to the left of Bernie Sanders, you might be a socialist.)

To be fair, Harris is simply a politician, so we have no idea what she really believes. Her hard-left agenda might simply be her way of appealing to Democratic voters, much as Republicans who run for president suddenly decide they support big tax cuts and sweeping tax reform.

But whether she’s sincere or insincere, it’s troubling that she actually says it’s the role of government to make sure we all “end up at the same place.”

Let’s close with a video clip from Milton Friedman. At the risk of understatement, he has a different perspective than Ms. Harris.

Since we highlighted Harris’ key quote, let’s also highlight the key quote from Friedman.

Amen.

P.S. It appears Republicans will hold the Senate, which presumably (hopefully?) means that any radical proposals would be dead on arrival, regardless of whether they’re proposed by Biden or Harris.

P.P.S. Harris may win the prize for the most economically illiterate proposal of the 2020 campaign.

——

Will Biden’s Class-Warfare Tax Plan Lead to an Exodus of Job Creators?

After Barack Obama took office (and especially after he was reelected), there was a big uptick in the number of rich people who chose to emigrate from the United States. 

There are many reasons wealthy people choose to move from one nation to another, but Obama’s embrace of class-warfare tax policy (including FATCA) was seen as a big factor.

Joe Biden’s tax agenda is significantly more punitive than Obama’s, so we may see something similar happen if he wins the 2020 election.

Given the economic importance of innovatorsentrepreneurs, and inventors, this would be not be good news for the American economy.

The New York Times reported late last year that the United States could be shooting itself in the foot by discouraging wealthy residents.

…a different group of Americans say they are considering leaving — people of both parties who would be hit by the wealth tax… Wealthy Americans often leave high-tax states like New York and California for lower-tax ones like Florida and Texas. But renouncing citizenship is a far more permanent, costly and complicated proposition. …“America’s the most attractive destination for capital, entrepreneurs and people wanting to get a great education,” said Reaz H. Jafri, a partner and head of the immigration practice at Withers, an international law firm. “But in today’s world, when you have other economic centers of excellence — like Singapore, Switzerland and London — people don’t view the U.S. as the only place to be.” …now, the price may be right to leave. While the cost of expatriating varies depending on a person’s assets, the wealthiest are betting that if a Democrat wins…, leaving now means a lower exit tax. …The wealthy who are considering renouncing their citizenship fear a wealth tax less than the possibility that the tax on capital gains could be raised to the ordinary income tax rate, effectively doubling what a wealthy person would pay… When Eduardo Saverin, a founder of Facebook…renounced his United States citizenship shortly before the social network went public, …several estimates said that renouncing his citizenship…saved him $700 million in taxes.

The migratory habits of rich people make a difference in the global economy.

Here are some excerpts from a 2017 Bloomberg story.

Australia is luring increasing numbers of global millionaires, helping make it one of the fastest growing wealthy nations in the world… Over the past decade, total wealth held in Australia has risen by 85 percent compared to 30 percent in the U.S. and 28 percent in the U.K… As a result, the average Australian is now significantly wealthier than the average American or Briton. …Given its relatively small population, Australia also makes an appearance on a list of average wealth per person. This one is, however, dominated by small tax havens.

Here’s one of the charts from the story.

As you can see, Australia is doing very well, though the small tax havens like Monaco are world leaders.

I’m mystified, however, that the Cayman Islands isn’t listed.

But I’m digressing.

Let’s get back to our main topic. It’s worth noting that even Greece is seeking to attract rich foreigners.

The new tax law is aimed at attracting fresh revenues into the country’s state coffers – mainly from foreigners as well as Greeks who are taxed abroad – by relocating their tax domicile to Greece, as it tries to woo “high-net-worth individuals” to the Greek tax register.The non-dom model provides for revenues obtained abroad to be taxed at a flat amount… Having these foreigners stay in Greece for at least 183 days a year, as the law requires, will also entail expenditure on accommodation and everyday costs that will be added to the Greek economy. …most eligible foreigners will be able to considerably lighten their tax burden if they relocate to Greece…nevertheless, the amount of 500,000 euros’ worth of investment in Greece required of foreigners and the annual flat tax of 100,000 euros demanded (plus 20,000 euros per family member) may keep many of them away.

The system is too restrictive, but it will make the beleaguered nation an attractive destination for some rich people. After all, they don’t even have to pay a flat tax, just a flat fee.

Italy has enjoyed some success with a similar regime to entice millionaires.

Last but not least, an article published last year has some fascinating details on the where rich people move and why they move.

The world’s wealthiest people are also the most mobile. High net worth individuals (HNWIs) – persons with wealth over US$1 million – may decide to pick up and move for a number of reasons. In some cases they are attracted by jurisdictions with more favorable tax laws… Unlike the middle class, wealthy citizens have the means to pick up and leave when things start to sideways in their home country. An uptick in HNWI migration from a country can often be a signal of negative economic or societal factors influencing a country. …Time-honored locations – such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands – continue to attract the world’s wealthy, but no country is experiencing HNWI inflows quite like Australia. …The country has a robust economy, and is perceived as being a safe place to raise a family. Even better, Australia has no inheritance tax

Here’s a map from the article.

The good news is that the United States is attracting more millionaires than it’s losing (perhaps because of the EB-5 program).

The bad news is that this ratio could flip after the election. Indeed, it may already be happening even though recent data on expatriation paints a rosy picture.

The bottom line is that the United States should be competing to attract millionaires, not repel them. Assuming, of course, politicians care about jobs and prosperity for the rest of the population.

P.S. American politicians, copying laws normally imposed by the world’s most loathsome regimes, have imposed an “exit tax” so they can grab extra cash from rich people who choose to become citizens elsewhere.

P.P.S. I’ve argued that Australia is a good place to emigrate even for those of us who aren’t rich.

—-


Question of the Week: Which Department of the Federal Government Should Be the First to Be Abolished?

I was asked last week which entitlement program is most deserving of reform.

While acknowledging that Social Security and Medicare also are in desperate need of modernization, I wrote that Medicaid reformshould be the first priority.

But I’d be happy if we made progress on any type of entitlement reform, so I don’t think there are right or wrong answers to this kind of question.

We have the same type of question this week. A reader sent an email to ask “Which federal department should be abolished first?”

I guess this is what is meant when people talk about a target-rich environment. We have an abundance of candidates:

But if I have to choose, I think the Department of Housing and Urban Development should be first on the chopping block.

Raze the building and put a layer of salt over the earth to make sure it can never spring back to life

I’ve already argued that there should be no federal government involvement in the housing sector and made the same argument on TV. And I’ve also shared some horror stories about HUD waste and incompetence.

Heck, I even made HUD the background image for my video on the bloated and overpaid bureaucracy in Washington.

It’s also worth noting that there’s nothing about housing in Article I, Section VIII, of the Constitution. For those of us who have old-fashioned values about playing by the rules, that means much of what takes place in Washington – including housing handouts – is unconstitutional.

Simply stated, there is no legitimate argument for HUD. And I think there would be the least political resistance.

As with the answer to the question about entitlements, this is a judgment call. I’d be happy to be proven wrong if it meant that politicians were aggressively going after another department. Anything that reduces the burden of government spending is a step in the right direction


Milton Friedman on Spending

October 3, 2020 by Dan Mitchell

I identified four heroes from the “Battle of Ideas” video I shared in late August – Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and Margaret Thatcher. Here’s one of those heroes, Milton Friedman, explaining what’s needed to control big government.

Why Milton Friedman Saw School Choice as a First Step, Not a Final One

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Kerry McDonald
Kerry McDonald

EducationMilton FriedmanSchool ChoiceSchooling

Libertarians and others are often torn about school choice. They may wish to see the government schooling monopoly weakened, but they may resist supporting choice mechanisms, like vouchers and education savings accounts, because they don’t go far enough. Indeed, most current choice programs continue to rely on taxpayer funding of education and don’t address the underlying compulsory nature of elementary and secondary schooling.

Skeptics may also have legitimate fears that taxpayer-funded education choice programs will lead to over-regulation of previously independent and parochial schooling options, making all schooling mirror compulsory mass schooling, with no substantive variation.

Milton Friedman had these same concerns. The Nobel prize-winning economist is widely considered to be the one to popularize the idea of vouchers and school choice beginning with his 1955 paper, “The Role of Government in Education.” His vision continues to be realized through the important work of EdChoice, formerly the Friedman Foundation for Education Choice, that Friedman and his economist wife, Rose, founded in 1996.

July 31 is Milton Friedman’s birthday. He died in 2006 at the age of 94, but his ideas continue to have an impact, particularly in education policy.

Friedman saw vouchers and other choice programs as half-measures. He recognized the larger problems of taxpayer funding and compulsion, but saw vouchers as an important starting point in allowing parents to regain control of their children’s education. In their popular book, Free To Choose, first published in 1980, the Friedmans wrote:

We regard the voucher plan as a partial solution because it affects neither the financing of schooling nor the compulsory attendance laws. We favor going much farther. (p.161)

They continued:

The compulsory attendance laws are the justification for government control over the standards of private schools. But it is far from clear that there is any justification for the compulsory attendance laws themselves. (p. 162)

The Friedmans admitted that their “own views on this have changed over time,” as they realized that “compulsory attendance at schools is not necessary to achieve that minimum standard of literacy and knowledge,” and that “schooling was well-nigh universal in the United States before either compulsory attendance or government financing of schooling existed. Like most laws, compulsory attendance laws have costs as well as benefits. We no longer believe the benefits justify the costs.” (pp. 162-3)

Still, they felt that vouchers would be the essential starting point toward chipping away at monopoly mass schooling by putting parents back in charge. School choice, in other words, would be a necessary but not sufficient policy approach toward addressing the underlying issue of government control of education.

In their book, the Friedmans presented the potential outcomes of their proposed voucher plan, which would give parents access to some or all of the average per-pupil expenditures of a child enrolled in public school. They believed that vouchers would help create a more competitive education market, encouraging education entrepreneurship. They felt that parents would be more empowered with greater control over their children’s education and have a stronger desire to contribute some of their own money toward education. They asserted that in many places “the public school has fostered residential stratification, by tying the kind and cost of schooling to residential location” and suggested that voucher programs would lead to increased integration and heterogeneity. (pp. 166-7)

To the critics who said, and still say, that school choice programs would destroy the public schools, the Friedmans replied that these critics fail to

explain why, if the public school system is doing such a splendid job, it needs to fear competition from nongovernmental, competitive schools or, if it isn’t, why anyone should object to its “destruction.” (p. 170)

What I appreciate most about the Friedmans discussion of vouchers and the promise of school choice is their unrelenting support of parents. They believed that parents, not government bureaucrats and intellectuals, know what is best for their children’s education and well-being and are fully capable of choosing wisely for their children—when they have the opportunity to do so.

They wrote:

Parents generally have both greater interest in their children’s schooling and more intimate knowledge of their capacities and needs than anyone else. Social reformers, and educational reformers in particular, often self-righteously take for granted that parents, especially those who are poor and have little education themselves, have little interest in their children’s education and no competence to choose for them. That is a gratuitous insult. Such parents have frequently had limited opportunity to choose. However, U.S. history has demonstrated that, given the opportunity, they have often been willing to sacrifice a great deal, and have done so wisely, for their children’s welfare. (p. 160).

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Today, school voucher programs exist in 15 states plus the District of Columbia. These programs have consistently shown that when parents are given the choice to opt-out of an assigned district school, many will take advantage of the opportunity. In Washington, D.C., low-income parents who win a voucher lottery send their children to private schools.

The most recent three-year federal evaluationof voucher program participants found that while student academic achievement was comparable to achievement for non-voucher students remaining in public schools, there were statistically significant improvements in other important areas. For instance, voucher participants had lower rates of chronic absenteeism than the control groups, as well as higher student satisfaction scores. There were also tremendous cost-savings.

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program has served over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools.

According to Corey DeAngelis, Director of School Choice at the Reason Foundation and a prolific researcher on the topic, the recent analysis of the D.C. voucher program “reveals that private schools produce the same academic outcomes for only a third of the cost of the public schools. In other words, school choice is a great investment.”

In Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program was created in 1990 and is the nation’s oldest voucher program. It currently serves over 28,000 low-income students attending 129 participating private schools. Like the D.C. voucher program, data on test scores of Milwaukee voucher students show similar results to public school students, but non-academic results are promising.

Recent research found voucher recipients had lower crime rates and lower incidences of unplanned pregnancies in young adulthood. On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

According to Howard Fuller, an education professor at Marquette University, founder of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, and one of the developers of the Milwaukee voucher program, the key is parent empowerment—particularly for low-income minority families.

In an interview with NPR, Fuller said: “What I’m saying to you is that there are thousands of black children whose lives are much better today because of the Milwaukee parental choice program,” he says. 
“They were able to access better schools than they would have without a voucher.”

Putting parents back in charge of their child’s education through school choice measures was Milton Friedman’s goal. It was not his ultimate goal, as it would not fully address the funding and compulsion components of government schooling; but it was, and remains, an important first step. As the Friedmans wrote in Free To Choose:

The strong American tradition of voluntary action has provided many excellent examples that demonstrate what can be done when parents have greater choice. (p. 159).

On his birthday, let’s celebrate Milton Friedman’s vision of enabling parents, not government, to be in control of a child’s education.

Kerry McDonald

Milton Friedman

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Part 5 Milton Friedman: I do not believe it’s proper to put the situation in terms of industrialist versus government. On the contrary, one of the reasons why I am in favor of less government is because when you have more government industrialists take it over, and the two together form a coalition against the ordinary […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events, Milton Friedman | Edit | Comments (0)

“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 4 of 7)

February 24, 2012 – 12:21 am

The fundamental principal of the free society is voluntary cooperation. The economic market, buying and selling, is one example. But it’s only one example. Voluntary cooperation is far broader than that. To take an example that at first sight seems about as far away as you can get __ the language we speak; the words […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events, Milton Friedman | Edit | Comments (0)

“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 3 of 7)

February 17, 2012 – 12:12 am

  _________________________   Pt3  Nowadays there’s a considerable amount of traffic at this border. People cross a little more freely than they use to. Many people from Hong Kong trade in China and the market has helped bring the two countries closer together, but the barriers between them are still very real. On this side […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events, Milton Friedman | Edit | Comments (0)

“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 2 of 7)

February 10, 2012 – 12:09 am

  Aside from its harbor, the only other important resource of Hong Kong is people __ over 4_ million of them. Like America a century ago, Hong Kong in the past few decades has been a haven for people who sought the freedom to make the most of their own abilities. Many of them are […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events, Milton Friedman | Edit | Comments (0)

“Friedman Friday” (“Free to Choose” episode 1 – Power of the Market. part 1of 7)

February 3, 2012 – 12:07 am

“FREE TO CHOOSE” 1: The Power of the Market (Milton Friedman) Free to Choose ^ | 1980 | Milton Friedman Posted on Monday, July 17, 2006 4:20:46 PM by Choose Ye This Day FREE TO CHOOSE: The Power of the Market Friedman: Once all of this was a swamp, covered with forest. The Canarce Indians […]

Milton Friedman The Power of the Market 1-5

Debate on Milton Friedman’s cure for inflation

September 29, 2011 – 7:24 am

If you would like to see the first three episodes on inflation in Milton Friedman’s film series “Free to Choose” then go to a previous post I did. Ep. 9 – How to Cure Inflation [4/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980) Uploaded by investbligurucom on Jun 16, 2010 While many people have a fairly […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Also posted in Current Events | Tagged dr friedman, expansion history, income tax brackets, political courage, www youtube | Edit | Comments (0)

“Friedman Friday” Milton Friedman believed in liberty (Interview by Charlie Rose of Milton Friedman part 1)

April 19, 2013 – 1:14 am

Charlie Rose interview of Milton Friedman My favorite economist: Milton Friedman : A Great Champion of Liberty  by V. Sundaram   Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist who advocated an unfettered free market and had the ear of three US Presidents – Nixon, Ford and Reagan – died last Thursday (16 November, 2006 ) in San Francisco […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Milton Friedman | Edit | Comments (0)

What were the main proposals of Milton Friedman?

February 21, 2013 – 1:01 am

Stearns Speaks on House Floor in Support of Balanced Budget Amendment Uploaded by RepCliffStearns on Nov 18, 2011 Speaking on House floor in support of Balanced Budget Resolution, 11/18/2011 ___________ Below are some of the main proposals of Milton Friedman. I highly respected his work. David J. Theroux said this about Milton Friedman’s view concerning […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Milton Friedman | Edit | Comments (0)

“Friedman Friday,” EPISODE “The Failure of Socialism” of Free to Choose in 1990 by Milton Friedman (Part 1)

December 7, 2012 – 5:55 am

Milton Friedman: Free To Choose – The Failure Of Socialism With Ronald Reagan (Full) Published on Mar 19, 2012 by NoNationalityNeeded Milton Friedman’s writings affected me greatly when I first discovered them and I wanted to share with you. We must not head down the path of socialism like Greece has done. Abstract: Ronald Reagan […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Milton FriedmanPresident Obama | Edit | Comments (1)

Defending Milton Friedman

July 31, 2012 – 6:45 am

What a great defense of Milton Friedman!!!!   Defaming Milton Friedman by Johan Norberg This article appeared in Reason Online on September 26, 2008  PRINT PAGE  CITE THIS      Sans Serif      Serif Share with your friends: ShareThis In the future, if you tell a student or a journalist that you favor free markets and limited government, there is […]