Is the TPP like Obamacare, “Executive Amnesty,” and “Net neutrality”? The public can’t see. Only large vested interests.

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A broad, sweeping, global treaty which will/may fundamentally shift how trade is done in the world and in the USA is still secret and thanks to Senate Republicans is halfway to getting “fast track” status. That is the treaty will be voted on for final approval by Congress with a simple “yes” or “no” vote, without debate or amendments. That doesn’t seem right to me.

Now I am all for free trade. I think goods and services should flow without friction across borders. I say make it easier for this to happen. This creates opportunity and better goods at better prices for nearly everyone.

An example.

When I was a kid I used to get Sears brand sneakers with my mom. (Fashion was not a priority for my parents when it came to the kids.) Every 6 months or so I’d get a new pair. The cost was $35-$40.

Fast forward to now. At Target kid sneakers of much higher quality than my Sears kicks can be purchased at about the same price or even lower. And this isn’t even in inflation adjusted terms. Adjusting for inflation, these higher quality sneakers are probably HALF the price of my old sneakers, or even less.

This is an example of free trade raising the quality of life generally.

The same can be said for t-shirts, technology, any number of things. Our lives are for the most part much better because of relatively free trade.

Of course there are losers in this equation. The people who used to make my Sears brand sneakers no longer have a job making Sears brand sneakers. That’s true. But generally life is better in America for all those Chinese made goods which are made for us at lower cost and with higher quality (often) than products made in the States.

But it concerns me that the Trans Pacific Partnership, a supposedly “free trade” agreement, is being handled with such secrecy. This giant agreement has been negotiated and is being voted on (at least fast track authority) by the Congress, without any public review at all. Is this how we do business in the USA now? Are our leaders so afraid that the people will rise up in opposition that government must now be done in the shadows?

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The Myth of the Free Market Cartel | by Murray N. Rothbard (Video)

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Cartels rarely survive very long without the backing of the government. The big trusts over the years have only continued on over the long term if they had the protection of the state. In a free market with free prices monopolists are constantly undermined by new firms, with newer equipment and better methods. There is no better trust buster than the market.

If however the companies in power at a particular time can buy into the government and create a regulatory moat around their firms the old, less innovative guard can remain in place. A key part of crony capitalism.

Below the master Murray Rothbard discusses this phenomenon in a short excerpt.

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Rove’s Crossroads PAC Is No Longer G.O.P.’s ‘Big Dog’

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There are more groups like Crossroads out there these days. More dogs. But more important than that is that Rove and American Crossroads are associated with George Bush and an era of big government “conservatism”. George Bush and Karl Rove blew up the modern (Reaganish) conservative movement. Many have not forgotten this. That Rove has explicitly targeted the libertarian/conservative coalition hasn’t earned him any friends either in a rapidly changing party.

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‘Prayers please!’ Mother shackled, jailed for honor roll son’s 3 ‘unexcused’ school absences

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Let’s see. The child was on the honor roll, so he was doing OK. But the Sheriff felt the need to put this woman in jail, a working substitute teacher. Because that clearly helps whatever issue is going on, if there is even an issue.

The state should never be given this sort of power. Ask yourself if the child had been the son of a deputy whether that deputy would have been hauled off to the clink. Or the cousin of the DA? Or, well you get the point.

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Republican senator voices opposition to advancing fast-track (Trans Pacific Partnership) bill

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This is a huge piece of legislation. The administration (and many others) want a simple up or down vote on the treaty and no debate (or amendments) in Congress. Obama would prefer the TPP pass before we get to see what’s in it. Some in Congress are saying that they don’t want to do that again.

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Will China build California’s bullet train? (Hope you’re connected)

And here's Nancy Pelosi in front of a Chinese bullet train. Oh, people are going to make bank on this thing.

And here’s Nancy Pelosi in front of a Chinese bullet train. Oh, people are going to make bank on this thing.

China is the ultimate crony state and it may just export some (more) Sino-cronyism to our shores—well, California—soon. Cali wants a bullet train and China has the know how and the financing to build one.

If it’s the best product at the best price, hey have at it. Thing is, bullet train+California+China just has gigantic boondoggle written all over it. It will be a crony feast.

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A man in Denmark fleeing persecution for hurting a politician’s feelings

It's pretty in the summer. But don't offend the mayor or you might just get locked up.

It’s pretty in the summer. But don’t offend the mayor or you might just get locked up.

Some of our more statist readers (and we love you) are prone to saying, “But, but, Scandinavia…etc., etc.” whenever we talk about the ills of socialism and big government generally.

Sorry folks but it ain’t no paradise.

Below is just a small, but scary example of Nordic statism gone nuts for you to consider.

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This Is What Crony Capitalism Looks Like: Boeing Is Threatening to Move Abroad if It Doesn’t Get to Keep Its Ex-Im Subsidies

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Excuse me?

OK, Boeing has every right to go wherever it chooses as far as I’m concerned but this sort of posturing should be kept in mind when it comes time to award defense contracts. Basically the company is holding a gun on some members of congress and demanding money from the taxpayers—or else. This kind of behavior should not be rewarded.

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