Volume 15, Issue 24: June 11, 2013
- Institute Fellows at FreedomFest to Offer Solutions for Economic Renewal (Las Vegas, July 1013)
- Will the Latest Whistleblower Become a Martyr?
- Exaggerating the China Challenge
- Audit the IRS
- New Blog Posts
- Selected News Alerts:
1) Institute Fellows at FreedomFest to Offer Solutions for Economic Renewal (Las Vegas, July 1013)
Is the United States following the Roman Empire down the road to ruin? If so, how might we change direction and ensure the success of the American Experiment, with liberty, prosperity, and peace for all? Please join us at FreedomFest in Las Vegas, July 1013, and find out! Some of the Independent Institutes most prolific Fellows will be on hand to explain how liberty and free markets can revive the U.S. economy. And please visit us at the Exhibitors Hall. (Our booth will be at Exhibit #217.)
FreedomFest bills itself as the worlds largest gathering of free minds. We agree. And if youve never attended before, were sure youll find the speakers intellectually stimulating and the energy that comes from seeing so many interesting and dedicated people positively exhilarating! Were especially delighted to participate on the following panel on Friday, July 12, at 9:00 a.m. at the Palace Ballroom:
No More Caesars: How Liberty and Free Markets Can End the Economic Crisis
- Chairman: Stephen Moore, Senior Economics Writer and Editorial Board Member, Wall Street Journal
- Peter J. Boettke, Research Fellow, The Independent Institute; University Professor of Economics and Philosophy, George Mason University; author, Living Economics: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
- John C. Goodman, Research Fellow, The Independent Institute; President, NCPA; author, Priceless: Curing the Healthcare Crisis
- Anthony Gregory, Research Fellow, The Independent Institute; author, The Power of Habeas Corpus in America: From the Kings Prerogative to the War on Terror
- Benjamin Powell, Senior Fellow, The Independent Institute; Director of the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech University; co-editor, Housing America: Building Out of a Crisis, and editor, Making Poor Nations Rich
Register today to attend FreedomFest!
2) Will the Latest Whistleblower Become a Martyr?
The big news this past week was, of course, the revelation about the National Security Agency/Verizon cyberspying program. Edward Snowden, the contract employee who leaked details of the program, called PRISM, to the Washington Post and the Guardian, has been compared to Daniel Ellsberg, the former RAND analyst who leaked documents to the press revealing the extent of U.S. deception of the public about the Vietnam War. Ellsberg ultimately escaped prosecution due to government malfeasance. Does anyone believe that Snowden will be as lucky? Independent Institute Senior Fellow Robert Higgs certainly doesnt.
I have no idea what the gang is concocting as a means of destroying Edward Snowden, but I have no doubt whatsoever that the wheels of injustice are spinning furiously in Washington, DC, and Langley, Virginia, Higgs writes at The Beacon. If you are betting on this heroic young mans living another five years, insist on heavy odds.
Higgs is outraged that telling the truth about the U.S. governments activities risks criminal prosecution. And hes appalled that much of the public seems to believe officially promulgated poppycock about Uncle Sams supposed need for so much secrecy. Such a cosmic Stockholm syndrome more than boggles the mind, he writes. Meanwhile, Independent Institute Senior Fellow Ivan Eland argues on RT that the policymakers who authorized the surveillance program are violating the Constitutions prohibition against mass searches for evidence of unspecified crimes; the nations charter grants them no exception for national security. If they want to do it, he says, they have to amend the U.S. Constitution.
What the State Fears MostRevelations of the Truth about the State, by Robert Higgs (The Beacon, 6/10/13)
What Would Obama Have Done with the Leaks in the Pentagon Papers?, by Melancton Smith (The Beacon, 6/10/13)
Verizon Surveillance: Do We Feel Safer?, by Melancton Smith (The Beacon, 6/7/13)
Event transcript and audio: Secrecy, Freedom and Empire: Lessons for Today from Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers, featuring Daniel Ellsberg, Barton J. Bernstein, Edwin B. Firmage, David R. Henderson, and J. Victor Marshall (Independent Policy Forum, 10/23/02)
3) Exaggerating the China Challenge
Is China an emerging threat to the United States? Recent news reports have caused some in the U.S. foreign-policy establishmentmany of them unapologetic Iraq War hawks looking for the Next Big Enemyto wave the warning flags. One report was about Chinas military hacking into U.S. government and business computer systems. Another involved Chinas contracts to develop Iraqi oil. A third discussed Chinas purchase of Russian military equipment. According to Independent Institute Senior Fellow Ivan Eland, these and similar stories have been blown out of proportion.
Eland emphasizes the huge technological advantage of the U.S. military. Chinese yearly defense spending is still only a fifth of that of the United States, he writes, and the results of that annual disparity have accumulated over many years in a vastly superior U.S. military force. Moreover, some of Chinas military purchases, such as its purchase of a used Ukrainian aircraft carrier, reveal Beijings inexperience and/or domestic political considerations unrelated to power projection.
One of the biggest misconceptions involves Chinas forays into energy development abroadmostly recently in Iraq. Because a worldwide oil market exists and any new petroleum being produced anywhere lowers the price for everyone, Eland writes, Chinese state-owned companies may be indirectly subsidizing U.S. oil consumers by bringing to market oil deposits that would be uneconomical for private firms to find and pump. Of course, implicitly, a worldwide oil market would also obviate the need for the military forces of the United States, China, or any other nation to secure oil.
Threat from China Is Being Hyped, by Ivan Eland (6/6/13)
No War for Oil: U.S. Dependency and the Middle East, by Ivan Eland
4) Audit the IRS
Do the recent congressional hearings into IRS harassment of conservative organizations portend a long, hot summer for the agencys leaders and staff? Perhaps. MyGovCost Policy Direct Cherylyn LeBon makes the case in recent piece at the MyGovCost blog.
LeBon examines allegations made by groups such as Linchpins of Liberty, the Coalition for Life, and the National Organization for Marriage, along with reports of lavish spending on IRS conferences. No wonder a poll conducted by the New York Times/CBS News found widespread bipartisan disdain for the agencys reputed harassment of policy groups. IRS officials, LeBon argues, should prepare for a long, hot summer.
The hearings will continue and perhaps, more revelations of targeting conservative groups, misconduct, and wasteful spending may be revealed, she concludes.
A Long Hot Summer: The IRS and the Targeting of Conservative Groups and Beyond, by Cherylyn LeBon (MyGovCost News and Blog, 6/6/13)
5) New Blog Posts
From The Beacon:
What the State Fears MostRevelations of the Truth about the State
Robert Higgs (6/10/13)
How Policymakers Can Act Smarter: Simple Lessons about Complex Systems
John C. Goodman (6/10/13)
What Would Obama Have Done with the Leaks in the Pentagon Papers?
Melancton Smith (6/10/13)
Did Capitalism Put the Great in The Great Gatsby?
Sam Staley (6/7/13)
Verizon Surveillance: Do We Feel Safer?
Melancton Smith (6/7/13)
Same-Sex Marriage and Individual Rights
Randall Holcombe (6/6/13)
Goodbye to the War on Drugs?
Alvaro Vargas Llosa (6/5/13)
The Hubris of Policymakers Often Harms the Poor
John C. Goodman (6/5/13)
From MyGovCost News & Blog:
Lay Your Burden Down: Proposition 13 Revisited
K. Lloyd Billingsley (6/10/13)
Ranking Your States Debt
Craig Eyermann (6/8/13)
A Long Hot Summer: The IRS and the Targeting of Conservative Groups and Beyond
Cherylyn LeBon (6/6/13)
Government Fast and Furious Against Whistleblowers
Posted by K. Lloyd Billingsley (6/6/13)
3034 Hour Work Weeks Going Bye-Bye
Craig Eyermann (6/5/13)
Collected and Wasted: The IRS Spending Culture and Conference Abuses
Mary Theroux (6/4/13)
Government High-Speed Spending Always on Track
K. Lloyd Billingsley (6/3/13)
6) Selected News Alerts: