Results for resolution

Resolution Revisited

Dave Killion — April 16, 2011

I had a good deal of success with my New Year’s Resolution in the early weeks, rejecting pennies everywhere I went. Despite the contention of one of our commentators, vendors would often round up to the nearest nickel rather than withholding more than three cents change, and I was making my statement at nearly no cost to myself. But recently it came to my attention that although recently minted coins rip off the taxpayer, there are lots of Canadian and US pennies and nickels circulating with a metal content that exceeds the face value of the coin.

This being the case, I have learned which dates to look for, and now I have fun sorting my change looking for 3¢ pennies and 12¢ nickels to collect. It’s also been a good opportunity to engage people in conversations about Gresham’s Law and inflation. Who knew being a libertarian could pay off in so many ways!

 

This Month’s Donation

Dave Killion — May 8, 2013

In keeping with my New Year’s resolutions, I have been making a $50 contribution to a worthy group every month. Because I am particularly upset this month over the recent rhino slaughter in Mozambique, I have selected the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) to be the recipient of my largesse. PERC gets the nod thanks to their recent hire of Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes as a Research Fellow –

“Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes is an environmental economist with a focus on the role of markets for biodiversity conservation. He has been active in various private conservation initiatives for 25 years, starting as a financial manager of a private game reserve in South Africa and later conducting research on the role of private markets for wildlife conservation in Africa.”

My first encounter with the work of Mr. ‘t Sas-Rolfes was his website Rhino Economics. He is a great addition to the PERC team, and I am happy to help them out.

 

Good Intentions Gone Awry

Dave Killion — April 14, 2013

On the 104th day after the winter solstice (April 3,4,5), there is a traditional Chinese holiday; the Qingming Festival. In it’s origins we find a warning against self-sacrifice on behalf of the politically ambitious –

“The festival originated from Hanshi Day (, literally, Day with cold food only), a memorial day for Jie Zitui (). Jie Zitui died in 636 BC in the Spring and Autumn Period. He was one of many followers of Duke Wen of Jin(晉文公) before he became a duke. Once, during Wen’s 19 years of exile, they had no food and Jie prepared some meat soup for Wen. Wen enjoyed it a lot and wondered where Jie had obtained the soup. It turned out Jie had cut a piece of meat from his own thigh to make the soup. Wen was so moved he promised to reward him one day. However, Jie was not the type of person who sought rewards. Instead, he just wanted to help Wen to return to Jin to become king. Once Wen became duke, Jie resigned and stayed away from him. Duke Wen rewarded the people who helped him in the decades, but for some reason he forgot to reward Jie, who by then had moved into the forest with his mother. Duke Wen went to the forest, but could not find Jie. Heeding suggestions from his officials, Duke Wen ordered men to set the forest on fire to force out Jie. However, Jie died in the fire. Feeling remorseful, Duke Wen ordered three days without fire to honour Jie’s memory. The city where Jie died is still calledJiexiu (介休, literally “the place Jie rests forever”).”

Oops! Didn’t mean to kill you in my determination to demonstrate my gratitude to you… my bad.

 

The preceding quote came from Wikipedia, a source to which I turn constantly in my effort to spread . It is a bottomless trove (try starting with libertarian, or liberty), and worthy of support. In keeping with my New Year’s resolutions, I am sending them $50 this month.

 

Building Walls To Promote Freedom

Dave Killion — February 2, 2013

A recent event –

“January 30, 2013

Last week, students at Carleton University hosted the first campus free speech wall event in the Unicentre Galleria on campus, sponsored by JCCF. Within 24 hours of erecting their display, one student, a member of the Carleton Academic Student Government, vandalized the display and removed it from it’s location in the main atrium. The Carleton Students for Liberty, which hosted the wall event, was not long deterred and quickly rebuilt the Carleton free speech wall, prompting national attention and a campus-wide discussion about the importance of free speech at Canadian universities.”

Partly in response to this occurrence, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) is launching a crowdfunding campaign to create The Great Canadian Free Speech Wall

“Today the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) launched a new campaign to defend campus free speech. The Great Canadian Free Speech Wall is a project that educates students about campus free speech at Canadian public universities by hosting “free speech wall” events at campuses from coast to coast. By erecting a free speech wall on campus, students can educate their friends and classmates about their rights, encouraging them to share their thoughts and ideas on the wall. Students can discuss the state of free speech on campus, highlighting cases of free speech infringement on their own campus and demanding that university and student union leadership reform their policies and practices to uphold campus free speech. Once free speech walls have been erected from coast to coast, we will bring the walls together in Ottawa to create the Great Canadian Free Speech Wall—a national testament to the importance of campus free speech.”

The state of free speech in Canada is atrocious, and university campuses (being chiefly ‘progressive’ institutions) are particularly malign. That being the case, I’m going to follow up on my New Year’s Resolution by sending $50 to this campaign. I hope you will consider doing likewise.

Libertarians Should Be Committed!

Dave Killion — December 30, 2012

Committed to making the world a better place, that is. And what better way to demonstrate that commitment than by re-visiting last New Year’s resolutions, and then making some more new ones! Join me –

Last year I pledged to acquire some skill that is in demand ( or could be in demand) on the black market. Now, as it happens, I am already a journeyman carpenter, and it is well known that there is a substantial underground economy in the construction field. But in addition, I have taken up beer brewing and learned about distilling. I even have a distiller under construction (which is perfectly legal… it is the distillation of spirits that puts one on the wrong side of the state). I also said that I  might try and shed some weight, and I do believe that I’m down about 3 or 4 pounds. So all in all, good job Dave!

I also suggested that those of you without firearms resolve to take the steps needed to acquire them. I am very pleased to write that this year, a few of the Victoria Libertarian Book Club members took the courses for their licenses, and one of them has even picked up a nice, economical SKS rifle (currently available across Canada for $180 – $200). More of my immediate family have obtained their licenses, and we have acquired at least one firearm for each member of our household. The next step is to insure that everyone knows how to use each of them.

For this year, I have resolved to increase my donations to worthy causes. Beginning January 1st, I will donate $50 each month to some individual or institution working to defend liberty. The first donation will go to Reason.com.

In addition, I resolve to spend $50 each month on ammunition, with the goal of building a stock of 1000 rounds in each calibre for the firearms I have. Just in case.

Whatever you resolve (if anything), I wish you success, plus a year full of peace, prosperity, and happiness.

Everybody Wins

Dave Killion — July 19, 2012

Here’s a letter to the Times Colonist –

Your article concerning the outcome of a dispute between the U.S. and Canada (Canada wins in B.C. lumber case, July 19) correctly depicts the resolution as a victory for Canada and for “workers in B.C.’s lumber industry.” What readers might not gather, however, is that aside from a few U.S. politicians and the special interests that support them, the decision is also a victory for America, for American consumers, and for American workers whose occupations benefit from lower-priced Canadian lumber.

It’s true that some of the least competitive U.S. lumber producers will lose business, and some will even have to close down and lay off their employees. But in Canada, every resource that goes into producing lumber is a resource that can’t be used to grow cotton or watermelon, build wooden boats or furniture, or cater to Canadian tourists traveling abroad. Likely, Canada will turn to the U.S. for help in acquiring these goods and services, and the market will quickly find mutually profitable use for all the resources recently freed from U.S. lumber production. This is the nature of trade; that the elimination of any barrier is not a zero-sum game, but rather, a win-win proposition.

Resolute resolve

Dave Killion — January 1, 2012

Last year I resolved to boycott the penny, only to revisit my resolution a few months later. Technically, I would have to call that a fail, but I am undaunted. This year I resolve to acquire some skill that is valuable on the black market, because you never know when something like that could come in handy. I might try to lose some weight, while I’m at it.

If you haven’t made a resolution, and are interested in one, please consider taking whatever steps you need in order to acquire a firearm. I know guns aren’t for everyone, but they are one of those things it is better to have and not need, than the other way around. Furthermore, although gun regulation is moving in a more liberal direction in both Canada and the US, it only takes a change in government to alter that. So long as a majority government can be elected by a plurality of voters, our rights are at risk… especially the rights we don’t exercise. So get a gun, because the more there are out there, the harder it will be for the state to disarm us.

And think about joining me in getting a black-marketable skill, too. Resolve to be a threat to the state.

Worse than useless

Dave Killion — September 4, 2011

I see that even Mr. Lion has heard of the Burlington, Vermont city council.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Globe and Mail reports that more Canadian tourists are taking advantage of the strong Canadian dollar to visit Vermont, a trend which many in Vermont have been encouraging –

“For years, a local association has offered French classes to local entrepreneurs, and Mr. Redmond’s group has run a “Welcome Quebec” tent in the town’s central square, festooned with blue-and-white Quebec flags.

Now, it is helping to translate menus and signs and handing out buttons to local retail workers describing how much French they speak,

“We have Bienvenue Québécois stickers in almost every window,” Mr. Redmond said.”

Well, isn’t that the private sector all over! Business owners recognize the benefits of working hard to relate to their consumers more effectively, customers respond appreciatively to the improved treatment, and everyone comes out ahead. And what role has the local government played in all this? None! But don’t you worry – they have noticed that there is a parade, and are rushing out to try and grab the drum major’s position –

“Burlington city council has unanimously passed a non-binding resolution encouraging local businesses to put up more French signs and to get their employees to learn the language.

“We really want people to know we’re putting out the welcome mat,” Norman Blais, the councillor who sponsored the motion, told The Canadian Press.”

Yes, you read that right. City council is encouraging local businesses to start doing something they have already been doing for some time. If this is typical, and I’ll just bet it is, the Burlington voters must be face-palming themselves silly.

US Debt Disaster

Dave Killion — August 10, 2011

Antony Zegers (a fellow Victoria Libertarian Book Club member) emailed this contribution to me, with permission to post it. Enjoy –

“In a recent discussion with a friend about the debt ceiling debate, it was noted that the US federal debt after the Second World War was around 120% of GDP, which is significantly higher than the “official” number now.  The government at the time was not only able get the budget back in order, but this period ushered in several prosperous decades through the 50s and 60s.  So if the current debt situation is less severe, could we be poised for a similar happy resolution?

The following points may be worth considering:

1. The debt then was held mostly domestically through war bonds, so when it was paid back it remained in the US economy.  Much of the current debt is held by foreigners, especially central banks (particularly China and Japan).

2. The maturity schedule of the debt right now is very short.  Back then much of it was in 30-year bonds, so interest payments were stable and predictable.  The average maturity is around 3 years right now [1].  This means that even if they don’t go further into debt (which obviously they will) they have to roll over a large proportion of the debt each year.  This makes the debt very vulnerable to changes in interest rates.  The situation right now is analogous to a teaser rate on a mortgage, if rates go up they will have huge problems.  And rates will have to go up at some point.

3. The “official” debt does not include many of the liabilities that the government is on the hook for.  The “Unfunded Liabilities” of Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare are huge.  This will either mean huge future expenditures (making it harder to pay down debt), or cuts to these programs.  Also, Fannie, Freddie, and the FHA are holding many trillionsof dollars in mortgage-backed securities.  Much of this stuff is probably worthless, and the government is on the hook for it.  There is also the state-level debt to consider.  Will the federal government stand by as states go bankrupt, or will it be called on to bail them out?

4. The GDP numbers are inaccurate.  Current GDP numbers are skewed by excessive borrowing and consumption spending, they do not really represent the productivity of the economy and the ability to raise revenue to pay down debt.  Inaccurate inflation numbers also artificially inflate the GDP stats.  GDP will likely stay stagnant or shrink in the coming years.

5.  After the war they were able to cut the massive unproductive war spending.  After the Second World War, the US government cut spending by about 65% from 1945 to 1948 [2]!  Imagine how uthinkable that would be nowadays.  The Keynesian-influenced economist at the time warned that with would create a huge depression, and advocated keeping the munitions industry going to avoid job losses.  Of course the opposite happened, and the resources freed by this spending cut unleashed a huge productive forces, paving the way for prosperity through the 50s and 60s, and also made it possible to pay back the war debts.

So what will happen?  Possible options are:

A. Pay the debt back honestly: This would require massive spending cuts, probably tax hikes, and putting a stop to inflation, which would mean higher interest rates and would throw the economy back into recession.

B. Default honestly.  This would annoy the foreign central banks, would cause much of Wall Street to go bankrupt, and would throw the economy into recession.  But at least with this option, you do not wipe out the private wealth of the people, and you have a clean slate to restructure the economy and regain prosperity.

C. Default dishonestly.  This will be done through inflation, basically printing money to pay the debts.  This is the most politically palatable option, because it allows governments to keep spending, delays the day reckoning into the future, and allows politicians to escape blame.  The problem is that by devaluing the money, you wipe out the wealth of the middle class, and inflict huge harm in the economy through capital consumption, and preventing the necessary restructuring. The most extreme possibility would be hyperinflation, which totally destroys the economy.

Option C is by far the most harmful option. Unfortunately, as evidenced by the recent raising of the debt ceiling, this seems to be that path we are headed down.”

References:

1. http://budget.house.gov/UploadedFiles/debtthreat27may2010.pdf

2. http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy09/pdf/hist.pdf

 

Crafty

Dave Killion — July 20, 2011

Having revisited my resolution to not accept pennies when I get change, I find myself with a growing stock of not only higher-value pennies, but the regular cheap pennies as well. The problem of dealing with the useless pennies may be resolved thanks to our friends over at Kyoot, etc., who have sent us this link. The project involves the destruction of some pennies, so if you want to try this, trade your useless Canadian pennies for some useless American pennies. Then you can chop the faux-coppers without fear of state retribution. Next up: wallpapering with inflation-destroyed fiat paper money!