Showing posts with label The Red Tape Times. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Red Tape Times. Show all posts

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Red Tape Times (article 28)

The Dairy Lobby Is Threatening To Ban Almond, Soy, and Coconut Milk Labels

Source: Institute for Justice

The Dairy Lobby is pushing for a bill, called the Dairy Pride Act, that would force the FDA to ban products from being labeled as milk that do not fit the legal definition of milk. Milk is legally defined as the lacteal secretion, practically free from colostrum, obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows (notice the term was exclusively defined to the benefit of the dairy industry) ;however, the FDA has thus far refused to enforce this definition as evident by the fact that we can buy almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk and other dairy substitute products in the grocery store. Supporters of the bill claim that it would prevent consumers from being deceived by dairy substitutes that are labeled as milk, but I'm pretty sure people who drink almond milk and soy milk are aware that it doesn't come from cows; besides, cows aren't the only animals that can produce lacteal secretions. Will the Dairy Lobby not be content until the term breast milk is also illegal? As IJ notes, consumption of dairy milk has declined 37% over the past four decades while Almond milk sales have risen 250% just in the last five years. Other non-dairy milks have also risen in popularity so I think this is more of a case of sore loser-itus.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Red Tape Times (article 27)

New England Fisherman Challenge Obama's Marine National Monument

Source: Pacific Legal Foundation

Author: Jonathan Wood

On September 15, 2016, President Obama declared 5,000 square miles of the Atlantic ocean, 130 miles off of the coast of Cape Cod, a national monument, setting it off limits to the fishing industry in New England. Obama claimed that he was using the 1906 Federal Antiquities Act to protect coral reefs, but as Jonathan Wood has aptly pointed out, the law only applies to federally owned land and 130 miles off the coast of Cape Cod is international waters. Furthermore, this may have the unintended effect of concentrating commercial fisherman into less sustainable fisheries and increase the risk that their gear may injure whales. Commercial fisherman have a vested interest in preserving fish populations and the coral reefs they live around since their livelihoods are dependent on it. Obama, like any other crook in Washington, is only concerned about coral reefs in so far as it provides him political capital to pad his own public image.

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Red Tape Times (article 26)

Feds Shutdown Cannabis Festival on Tribal Land

Source: Indian Country Media Network

On February 16th, U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden sent a letter to the Moapa Paiute Tribe, who would host the event, warning them that their planned event would violate federal law if they allowed attendees to bring marijuana to the event, which defeats the purpose of holding the event in the first place. The event in question, the High Times Cannabis Cup, has been hosted in other states that legalized recreational use of marijuana in the past few years, such as Colorado and Washington, without much fuss from the leviathan. Since Nevada, which is where the Moapa Paiute tribe’s land is located, recently legalized the recreational use of marijuana in November of last year, the tribal council probably figured that they could host the event without much trouble as it had been hosted in other states that legalized the recreational use of marijuana in the past few years. The problem here is that Indian tribes lack the sovereignty to determine their own drug laws since 1) they are still dependent on federal spending for revenue and 2) they are under the plenary power of congress, which means the CSA still applies to tribal land. Ultimately, no government should have the power to regulate what individuals can put in their own bodies, but taking that power away from the federal government and handing it over to state and tribal governments is a step in the right direction. Thus far, eight states have taken that step by legalizing the recreational use of marijuana while twenty-eight states have flirted with the idea by legalizing medicinal marijuana. The High Times Cannabis Cup was still held, though in name only. It was eventually demoted to a music festival with arts and crafts on the side.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Red Tape Times (article 25)

Proprietors in Emerson, NJ Fight A Pending Eminent Domain Seizure of Their Businesses

Source: Institute for Justice

Small scale proprietors and residents of the Central Business District in Emerson, New Jersey have formed a coalition called Stop Emerson Eminent Domain to prevent the Borough council from condemning their properties and handing them over to private developer JMF Properties. Eighty-two properties fall within block 419, which has been designated a condemnation redevelopment area, but in response to public backlash the borough council removed twenty-four properties from consideration. The Borough council claims that it has to seize these properties to meet its affordable housing obligations, but the developer’s agreement does not require JMF Properties to build affordable housing in the Central Business District, but rather explicitly says they will explore alternative sites. Furthermore, New Jersey’s Local Redevelopment and Housing Law does not include affordable housing as one of the criteria for establishing an Area in Need of Redevelopment. The current study of block 419 relies on New Jersey's vague legal definitions of ‘obsolete’ and ‘underutilized’ conditions, which are often used to simply transfer property from one private owner to another private owner (i.e. legal robbery). A few proprietors have spoken out against the pending eminent domain seizure of their property that would destroy their livelihoods; their comments are included below.

“The borough wants development at any cost, and will violate my rights as a hard-working small-business owner to get it,” said Dan O’Brien, owner of Academy Electrical Contractors, Inc. “They’re using affordable housing as a smokescreen for this development, and they’re abusing the state’s redevelopment law in the process.” Dan moved his business to Emerson five years ago and poured $150,000 into his property with hopes of one day handing it over to his children after he retires. “I’ve helped countless people in this borough with their electrical needs. I have 14 employees, half of whom are residents of this borough—if I lose my business, these Emerson residents lose their jobs. Our properties clearly aren’t blighted, and they are not for sale,” Dan continued.

“We invested heavily in Emerson at a time of economic downturn. Our property is essential for our small business, my livelihood and retirement. It’s a horror to watch eminent domain crush other small businesses, homes, and lives,” said Todd Bradbury, owner of Bradbury Landscape in Emerson. “No court ordered this—it was an elective move by the governing body. We are not going to sit back and watch the next block fall. Just imagine if this happened to you.”

“I came to Emerson in 1977, when I was 24 years old. Since then, I’ve built two buildings and renovated two on Chestnut Street, with no tax breaks, no special treatment, without a dime, nothing—I worked hard seven days a week, often until 1am,” said small-business owner Bob Petrow, who owns Star Properties. “I’ve contributed to many community causes. Now I depend on these buildings that I bought, built and maintained to sustain me. They’re my retirement. Now all that’s threatened.”
“Mayor Lamatina recently said in a media interview that ‘downtown sorely needs new blood,’” said Toni Plantamura-Rossi, who owns the Dairy Queen on Kinderkamack Road, which was built in 1952. “But they’re attempting to squeeze small-business owners out of the borough. We’re part of a small-business franchise and are proud to be blue-collar workers. We all need electricians and auto-mechanics…what’s wrong with these services if we’re helping everyone’s needs? When did building a successful local business that caters to the community become something to be looked down upon and not patted on the back?”

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Red Tape Times (article 24)

Never Enough Regulatory Barriers

Source: Institute for Justice

‘Five years ago Marshall began washing cars outside the Hibachi Grill. Soon enough, he was asked by Memphis Police if he had permission to work there. He responded with signed letter from the restaurant granting him permission to operate, which he showed to FOX13. Next, Marshall was informed that he needed a business license, so he maneuvered through the County bureaucracy and obtained one. A couple of months later, code enforcement again visited his business, this time saying that he needed a draining system to prevent the waste water from entering the Memphis sewers. “I bought this machine that cost a little over $15,000 to collect all the water. 100 percent of the water and everything we use is earth friendly,” Marshall said. As he continued to bring his business into compliance with the County’s demands, Marshall was issued court orders twice to cease operating and accumulated nearly a dozen citations, just for washing cars in a parking lot.

After all this, a recent statement issued by Code Enforcement Administrator Allen Medlock says that Marshall now needs to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy and a Special Use Permit which would stipulate what is needed to operate a car wash. That statement also claimed that Marshall could be taken into custody if he does not obtain them.’

    The cost of complying with city regulations just to wash cars was the following:

  • Business License: $30

  • Draining System: $15,000

  • Certificate of Occupancy: $69

  • Special Use Permit: $100

  • Total: $15,199

    Had Memphis Police forced him to comply with all of these regulations at once, he probably would not have even been able to afford to start his business.

    Monday, February 27, 2017

    The Red Tape Times (article 23)

    Non-Practicing Entities Should Be Wiped Out

    Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation

    The EFF wrote an interesting piece on personal jurisdiction in cases in which a non-practicing entity, commonly known as a patent troll, sent demand letters to productive companies outside of their jurisdiction and forced said companies, by federal court ruling, to challenge the validity of the patent or their claim in a distant court. The gist is that demand letters do not establish personal jurisdiction over out of state NPEs, but productive companies that provide a product or service nationwide, can be sued for patent infringement anywhere. This gives NPEs a clear legal advantage over productive companies. Overturning the two federal rulings that established this precedent would be a step in the right direction, but the larger problem of NPEs themselves still lies unaddressed. NPEs cost productive companies 29 billion per year, a cost that is ultimately passed on to consumers. Now patents are government granted monopolies, like private property in land, and as such the returns on them are rents. They should be taxed at a high rate so the benefits of them are reciprocated back to the public at large and over proliferation of patenting is discouraged. Optimally, a graduated royalty income tax and patent sales tax would replace the corporate income tax, the capital gains tax, and other taxes on profits. To ensure that patentees actually produce something of value, NPEs should be forced to pay a 100% royalty income tax, which would effectively wipe them out, the same way land speculation would be wiped out if land rent were taxed at 100%. Furthermore, a high tax rate on patent royalties and patent sales would be more of a user fee than an actual tax and would not penalize productivity. 

    Tuesday, February 21, 2017

    The Red Tape Times (article 22)

    Startups Flourish After Occupational Licensing Is Abolished 

    Source: Institute for Justice

    Minnesota recently lifted licensing and inspection restrictions on the cottage food industry; as a result there are now over 3,000 registered cottage food bakers within the state. The exemption allows entrepreneurs who otherwise could not afford the overhead cost of renting commercial space to start their own business. However there are caveats. The exemption only applies to the preparation of shelf stable food that doesn’t require refrigeration. Cottage industry bakers cannot exceed $18,000 in annual sales to consumers, so they can only be partially self-employed. They are also still required to pay a $50 registration fee and complete a 3 hour class on food safety.

    Friday, February 17, 2017

    The Red Tape Times (article 21)

    A License To Cut Hair 

    The asininity of occupational licensure may have reached its peak. In a contemptuous display of the lengths cartelized industries will go to inflate their profits, the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology opened an investigation against a Tucson cosmetology student for providing free haircuts to homeless people without a license. In Arizona, it is illegal for parents to cut their children's hair, to provide a free haircut to a homeless persons (who otherwise couldn't afford one) or to cut hair without a license outside of an approved barbershop or salon in general. Barbering and cosmetology licensing laws are defined so vaguely that just about anyone who 'cuts, clips and trims hair' or who 'applies oils and creams', even without compensation, is guilty of a class one misdemeanor. For his own charity, the aforementioned cosmetology student could be denied a career he has been trained years for and wind up on the street again.

    This incident is only one of several in a growing trend of attacks on private charity by local governments. The federal government has failed in its capacity to eliminate poverty so it is only natural that the spontaneous sympathy of private citizens would step in to fill the void. Bottom - up solutions such as building small houses for the homeless and providing them with free meals has been stunted at the local level by anal retentive bureaucrats whose sole purpose in life is to enforce frivolous codes that don't add anything to human progress.

    Friday, February 10, 2017

    The Red Tape Times (article 20)

    Indiana Mayor Steals Property From Homeowners To Give To A Private Developer  

    Source: Institute for Justice 

    The mayor of Charleston, Indiana cooked up a scheme to circumvent an Indiana Law that prohibits the use of eminent domain for 'economic development' by shaking down the homeowners of Pleasant Ridge, a low income neighborhood that has fallen victim to this racket, with thousands of dollars in fines for such trivial bullshit as chipped paint and torn screens. The end game is to force Pleasant Ridge residents out of their own homes so the neighborhood can be bulldozed and turned over to Neace Ventures. The mayor has left Pleasant Ridge homeowners with only two options to avoid burdensome fines for trivial code violations: either sell their homes at a loss to Neace Ventures or raze their homes to the ground. As IJ points out, the municipal government has violated several laws in the process of trying to force Pleasant Ridge residents off their own property. They have violated the cities own property maintenance code by not giving residents any time to correct code violations before they are fined. They have violated Indiana's Unsafe Building Law, which prohibits immediate accumulating fines. They have violated the 5th amendment by taking property without just compensation and for the exclusive use of a private corporation. They have used fines to take property without a criminal or civil proceeding or even giving homeowners a chance to appeal the fines. The most egregious crime here is not the municipal, state and constitutional laws the mayor has violated, but theft. Taking property from a person without their consent is theft, and it does not matter if it is done by a single criminal or a criminal syndicate that calls itself a government; theft is theft in either case. When governments begin to imitate the very criminals they were instituted to protect  their citizens from, they should be deposed. 

    Friday, February 3, 2017

    The Red Tape Times (article 19)

    District Judge Upholds Teeth Whitening Monopoly in Georgia 

    The U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia upheld a regulation requiring approval from the Dental Board (and formal training in Dental School) to sell teeth whitening products. Now she is probably correct in her opinion that it isn't unconstitutional to prohibit entrepreneurs from selling teeth whitening products; the constitution is after all not an exhaustive list of our natural rights. Therefore, it shouldn't be contested on constitutional grounds, which does very little to preserve economic freedom, but like all occupational licensure laws, it should be challenged on economic grounds in the Georgia General Assembly. IJ already found that occupational licensure cost consumers in Wisconsin $2B and 31,000 jobs annually, for low to moderate income earners, so if they are going to contest the Dental Board's licensing requirement for selling teeth whitening products, they should do so with research they've already done.

    The regulation is so asinine that theoretically Walgreens could be shut down for selling teeth whitening products. In general, transactions between consenting adults should be left to the purview of consenting adults. The government's place is to step in when there is fraud or breach of contract, which in this woman's case she committed neither. She did not claim to be a licensed dentist. If consumers were willing to take the risk of buying her product that is their prerogative.  

    Sunday, January 29, 2017

    The Red Tape Times (article 18)

    The Show Me State Prohibits Bars From Showing Discount Drink Prices

    In another instance of regulations breaching first amendment rights, the state of Missouri prohibits alcohol licensed businesses from advertising discounted drink prices both outside their establishments and inside their establishments except on menus. Last week, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a lawsuit filed by a number of plaintiffs contesting the regulations to go forward on the grounds that the case against the regulations “plausibly demonstrates the challenged provisions do not directly advance the government’s asserted substantial interest, are more extensive than necessary, and unconstitutionally compel speech and association.” This reversed an earlier lower court ruling that dismissed the motion. The Eighth Circuit Court found that “multiple inconsistencies within the regulations poke obvious holes in any potential advancement of the state’s professed interest in promoting responsible drinking, to the point the regulations do not advance the interest at all.” A similar statute prohibits distillers and wholesalers that list retailers in their advertisements from listing the retail price of their products, requires them to list multiple retailers not associated with one another, and requires them to make the retailer list inconspicuous. The regulations in question are nothing more than mandated information asymmetry that only presents a hassle to customers who would otherwise have all of the information necessary to make a decision before entering a bar, restaurant, winery, or other licensed establishment.

    Thursday, January 26, 2017

    The Red Tape Times (article 17)

    A License for Freedom of Speech 

    Source: Institute for Justice 

    The excess of licensure laws reach a breaking point when they begin to violate our first amendment rights. The city of Myrtle Beach, SC requires amateur musicians, that play at bars for tips, to spend $100 dollars on a business license, more than they would make in a night. Playing music at a bar for tips isn't anymore of a business than street performances, especially if they only do so occasionally. The first amendment doesn't just pertain to political speech, although this was the main intention, it also includes other forms of speech and expression such as art. To hold music to a different standard than political speech is to place both in jeopardy because music is often used as a form of political speech; the historical examples are numerous. To require a government's permission for either is to abridge freedom of speech by giving government censorship power. If they can deny an amateur musician permission to play music in a private establishment where his music is demanded, then he does not have freedom of speech.

    Wednesday, January 25, 2017

    The Red Tape Times (article 16)

    Restrictions on Home Businesses Make Operating One Practically Illegal 

    The city of Portland requires home based start-ups to jump through a myriad of hoops to operate. For instance, home based businesses can only receive 8 clients per day, can only have one company vehicle, and can only have one employee who is not a resident and only if they do not accept on site customers. Furthermore, they are prohibited from operating a dispatch service or selling retail goods and proprietors who accept customers have to submit to a city building inspection. While many of these regulations may have been well intended to reduce nuisances in residential areas, most of them are unenforceable (whose counting the clients) and these one size fits all rules rarely account for variations in circumstances. Larger lots may be able to accommodate more cars than others without spilling out into the street and impeding traffic. Some home businesses may not be able to stay solvent with only 8 clients a day, while others may be profitable receiving only 7 clients a day. The rest of the restrictions on home businesses fall within the same general category of assuming one set of rules is adequate for all possible home businesses. 

    In regard to moral law, consenting parties should be free to transact unless part of the cost is imposed on a non-consenting third party (e.g. pollution). When negative externalities are probable the principle of subsidiarity should be applied and the issue of preventing nuisances should be left up to the judgement of HOAs and NAs. In this way, unique solutions can be reached that would otherwise be left to the purview of government violence. 

    Wednesday, January 18, 2017

    The Red Tape Times (article 15)

    Source: Institute for Justice 

    The petty tyrants on the Henniker, New Hampshire zoning board authority have prohibited tree farmer Stephen Forester from hosting weddings, despite the fact that it fits within their definition of agro-tourism.
    II. The words "agriculture'' and "farming'' mean all operations of a farm, including:
    (5) The marketing or selling at wholesale or retail, of any products from the farm, on-site and off-site, where not prohibited by local regulations. Marketing includes agritourism, which means attracting visitors to a farm to attend events and activities that are accessory uses to the primary farm operation, including, but not limited to, eating a meal, making overnight stays, enjoyment of the farm environment, education about farm operations, or active involvement in the activity of the farm.
    It's common sense that eating a meal, making overnight stays and enjoying the farm environment would all be part of a wedding. Of course, the statute does not list hosting weddings or every conceivably permissible activity that would fall under marketing. Despite this lack of clarity, the town still expects him to maintain an ATV trail that passes through his land; with this in mind, Forester perfectly summed up the absurdity of the zoning board's disapproval of his site plan application.
    “I can’t allow tourism on my property, but I am expected to keep this thing going and maintain it?” Forster said. “I want to invite people onto my property to enjoy it, like the town is already inviting people onto my property to enjoy it.”

    Monday, January 2, 2017

    The Red Tape Times (article 14)

    Originally Posted on Experience Project on January 3, 2016

    An absurd anti-discrimination law in NYC makes using an improper pronoun a crime punishable by a $250,000 fine (for employers) and mandates that employers cover sex-reassignment surgery which can cost upwards of six figures as well. The unintended consequences of this legal measure are numerous. 1.) It will make potential transvestite employees a six-figure liability and therefore much less likely to be hired. 2.) Regulatory capture: this will benefit larger corporations the most ; small start-ups that can't compile with the law will go under and the larger businesses will therefore be protected from competition. 3.) It upholds a punitive justice system that is unfit for our current social state

    Sunday, December 25, 2016

    The Red Tape Times (article 13)

    The Police State Forces Proprietors to buy CCTV Surveillance Systems 

    The municipal government of Madison passed an ordinance forcing all businesses with a store of at least 2,000 square feet to install CCTV Surveillance Systems to 'make the city safer,' as if Madison is not safe enough. Madison, Mississippi has lower crime rates than 90% of the rest of Mississippi and 81% of other cities nationwide. Their crime rates are 64% lower than the national average with most incidents consisting of a couple hundred cases of petty theft and about a dozen burglaries in the past year. Even if their intentions are good, expedient policies like this one tend to hurt the same people it was intended to help in the long run. Officials have a habit of thinking only of the desirable effects of their policies and ignoring the precedent it sets for future intrusions of private property or the ways in which it could be abused to the detriment of the people it was intended to help by opportunistic officers. Apart from being a several thousand dollar headache for small-scale proprietors or even unaffordable for others, it gives the 'bad apples' the potential to stalk people for personal reasons unrelated to apprehending crime as they sometimes do with confidential databases and sets a precedent for giving the municipal government more control over how proprietors may operate and may subject them to warrantless searches of their residences if they run their business from home. However little crime this policy may deter, which there is not much to deter in the first place, is exceeded by the pain it will inflict on local proprietors, especially those barley able or unable to afford a CCTV surveillance system. The misery inflicted by an overbearing police state, which only has the tendency to grow over time, can only be avoided when governments are restrained to acting within the limits of the law of equal liberty; that every person should have the freedom to operate her business as she pleases provided she does not inhibit others from transacting with any other business or competing against her is apparent.

    The Red Tape Times (article 12)

    The Scourge of the Police State on Small Scale Proprietors and Innocent Tenants

    In NYC, police use nuisance abatement to shut down small proprietors and put tenants on the streets, without charging them with a crime or allowing them their right to a criminal trial. These jackbooted thugs simply have to allege three instances of a crime being committed on the premise of a person's home or business, within a year, before a civil court judge, without the tenant or landlord being present to contest the allegations. They are usually allowed to use temporary closing orders to lock people out of their home/business for three days (five days if it occurs on a Friday).

    This is according to a Propublica article published on Nuisance Abatement Action in New York
    In New York, the NYPD begins nearly every nuisance abatement action by making an emergency appeal to a civil court judge without the landlord or tenant present, alleging the dangers a residence poses. Affidavits detailing three instances of a particular crime, such as drug dealing or gambling, in a one - year period are enough for a judge to authorize an action. The allegations can be based entirely on the work of confidential informants or undercover officers and need not have led to arrests
    When they file a case, the police always ask the judge for permission to lock out the occupants of the residence until the case is resolved. These requests for what's known as temporary closing orders state that the location is being used in an ongoing illegal manner, and that the public health, safety and welfare require immediate abatement of the public nuisance. Police filings described purported offenses that occurred, on average, at least five months earlier for businesses and six months earlier for residence. 
    Even worse, the NYPD use the threat of temporary closing orders to coerce tenants into giving up freedom of association and freedom from arbitrary searches and seizures.
    At the courthouse, the NYPD's attorney usually offers to settle the case without going to trial - often by requiring tenants to bar specific people from their homes or to give up their leases. If tenants decide to fight the case, they may not be allowed to go home until the case is resolved. 
    The settlements often impose provisions that critics say erode tenant's constitutional rights. The Daily News and ProPublica identified 74 cases in which tenants or homeowners agreed to allow warrantless searches in order to get back into their homes. They routinely waive their right to sue, and promise to vacate the home immediately and surrender their lease without going before a judge if accused of wrongdoing in the future.
    The Daily News and ProPublica also identified 64 nuisance abatement actions against businesses in which no arrests were documented. Most of the businesses are small ethnic grocery stores or liquor store. The original intent of nuisance abatement was to shut down brothels, but whatever good it may have served is supplanted by the fact that it abdicates a moral and constitutional principle for the sake of expediency. The unanticipated consequences of expedient policing measures are bore out over time as the potential for abuse is realized and opportunistic officers seize upon them for personal gain. The same is generally true of statutes and judicial rulings which deviate from moral and constitutional principles for the sake of expediency. Nuisance Abatement, as presently practiced, is a clear violation of the 5th amendment which states:
    "NO PERSON SHALL BE HELD TO ANSWER FOR A CAPITAL, OR OTHERWISE INFAMOUS CRIME, UNLESS ON A PRESENTMENT OR INDICTMENT OF A GRAND JURY, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, NOR BE DEPRIVED OF LIFE, LIBERTY, OR PROPERTY, WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LAW; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
    Being locked out of one's own apartment or business for 3 to 5 days is a clear deprivation of liberty and property. If the NYPD were to lock residents out of their apartments and shut down proprietors after the conclusion of a criminal or civil trial in which the plaintiff and/or landlord is present, much less might be said against it.

    Sunday, December 4, 2016

    The Red Tape Times (article 11): Trump's Economic Ignorance is Astounding

    Protectionism is an example of the broken window fallacy. Trump's tariffs will be passed off to consumers, reduce the amount of spendable income they have for other goods and services, and reduce profits, and therefore jobs available, for businesses that produce those goods and services. He is basically saying we can tax our way to prosperity. The burden of Trump's new tax will fall disproportionately on working class people who spend the greatest portion of their income on consumer goods. It would have the same effect that a national sales tax would or any other tax on wages.Tariffs only result in increased rents; wages may rise quantitatively but they will decline in proportion to the distribution of wealth, as they have for the past four decades (dropping from 52% of GDP to 42.5%).

    The a priori conclusion is the same. The moral law is cosmopolite; it makes no distinction between country, ethnicity, or race. The right to engage in free exchange of goods and services between countries follows just as necessarily from the law of equal liberty as the right to engage in free exchange of goods and services within the same country. Furthermore, economic rights and social rights are one in the same. They are deducted from the same basic fact of life that each person's freedom of action must be mutually limited by each other person's freedom of action so that all may engage in life sustaining activity, which is necessary for the greatest happiness of all.

    I have no faith in this clown. He has no clue how to fund the additional government largess he's proposed and will in all likelihood run up larger deficits than both Obama and Bush. What's even more remarkable is that this buffoon contradicted himself within the same thought without realizing it, saying he would lower taxes while also raising them in other areas. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a deep recession at the end of his term.

    Monday, November 28, 2016

    The Red Tape Times (article 10)

    Could there be anything stranger than the sentiment that governments should dictate the aesthetic values of their citizens? Imagine if a government were to prohibit certain styles of painting or certain genres of music. That would be fascism you say? But that is the same line of reasoning that municipal governments across the country use to prohibit their citizens from living in houses under a certain arbitrary square footage minimum. The Etowah City Commission amended an ordinance that prohibits houses under 600 square feet on the grounds that it is "not in Etowah's best interest to have 200 square foot housing on a lot that had two regular sized houses on either side"and the slippery slope argument that if allowed tiny homes (under 600 square feet) would become commonplace, instead of remaining the rare exception as they are in cities where they are allowed, and significantly lower property values, consequently reducing city revenue. The Wasilla City Council placed a temporary moratorium on the construction of single family dwellings smaller than 700 square feet. Their reason was an appeal to a time in the past when a tiny home tenement became crime ridden, which was really a result of their own policy failures. The drug epidemics that spur crime waves result from government policy failures, not anything that emerges organically from society. The same is true of poverty and all other social ills. Similarly, the construction code of Boise does not permit homes under a few hundred square feet because the city's central planner is concerned with "the health and safety" of their residents, even thought they are still much safer and healthier than Idaho's 2,247 homeless people and the rapidly growing unsheltered population in Boise, which has increased by 122% in the last year to be sure. In light of this abysmal failure, it seems to me that the wisest thing for these Boise bureaucrats to do would be to swallow their pride and step out of the way of entrepreneurial types who've thought up a new solution to the problem of finding affordable housing.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2016

    The Red Tape Times (article 9)

    Single mother arrested for selling home cooked food without the government's permission
    A Stockton woman faces an impending trial and potential jail time after she joined a social media community food group, and sold some of the meals she cooked, which San Joaquin County officials say is against the law. 
    Mariza Reulas was cited by San Joaquin County for selling an illegal substance, but it wasn't a powder, a pill or a plant. It was her bowl of homemade Ceviche.
    She, along with about a dozen others, were cited for two misdemeanors for operating a food facility and engaging in business without a permit.

    In order to get the government's permission to trade home cooked meals, Mariza would have needed to pay the good for nothing paper pushers $139 for food consultation, and depending on how big her house/apartment is, any where from $318 to $342 for a Food Establishment permit. More than likely, complying with the arbitrary rules of parasitic bureaucrats would have rendered Mariza Reulas' Facebook food group infeasible because overhead costs would have exceeded any profits. One has to wonder if she would have been arrested for carrying out her food trade through barter or by giving her dishes out to friends for free with the expectation that they would reciprocate. The only likely motive is that the parasites felt gypped because they weren't getting their cut of her earnings.

    If permission to sell, barter, or give away food can be denied based on someone's inability to pay extortion fees, it can be denied for any other life sustaining activity. In fact, it was not too long ago that an elderly man was arrested for feeding the homeless. All moral rights are corollaries of the basic fact that an individual cannot sustain his/her life without being allowed the freedom of action to do so. An obvious example of being deprived of the freedom of action requisite to engage in life sustaining activity is being incarcerated or detained. Being required to pay for permits to engage in life sustaining activity is a more subtle example, but the principle remains the same. In both cases the law of equal freedom is violated unless the victim is compensated for his/her loss.