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Tag Archives: rule of law

Honduran gangs choke small businesses with ‘war tax’

It is often said that the state is not that much different from a mafia. This is true and it’s not true. But to the extent it is true can be seen in the horrible business climate in Tegucigalpa Honduras.

Want to do business? Pay a crippling tax. Don’t pay the tax? Meet Mr. Bullet.

In the USA thankfully entrepreneurs are rarely shot by the government. But they are shaken down for taxes. And they can go to jail for not paying taxes.

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Protest: The property rights of indigenous peoples in Brazil

I have made the case that one of the reasons the Amazon, African, and Indonesian rain forests are relentlessly plowed under is due to the absence of the rule of law and the general lack of respect for property rights in these countries. The rain forest is in many respects a “commons” which people exploit  as all “commons” are exploited. No one owns the forest, so it’s a free-for-all.

We have argued also that the property rights of indigenous peoples should be respected and that the state is the greatest violator of the sovereignty of many of these groups. Someone in many cases does actually own the rain forest and has for hundreds if not thousands of years.

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Walter Williams: Free Markets Are Key To Global Prosperity

This op-ed from Walter Williams comes the same week that the World Bank has proclaimed publicly that it “will end extreme poverty by 2030.” If the institution wants to end such human desperation it would be wise to encourage the rule of law and free markets (and free prices).

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The Border Patrol Continues to Act as if a Federal Judge Hadn’t Just Blocked Obama’s Amnesty

The issue here is not really one of immigration for us. As we’ve stated before we are open to immigration generally. People have a right to move. But if America becomes a place where the rule of law is not respected, if America becomes a place where the president and the executive branch just do what they want in spite of the judiciary, then we have a problem.

In this instance it appears that the administration is really pushing the legal envelope. But this is not new.

Pen and a phone baby!

And if we continue down this road, one where the rule of law, one of the fundamental tenets of American identity is tossed aside, how long until this country no longer becomes a destination for people seeking a better life?

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Obama asked if a future president could just issue an executive order absolving citizens of tax burdens: “Absolutely not!” (Video)

I have no love for George Stephanopoulos but his stock went up about tenfold in my book with the below question.

George makes a great point. If the president doesn’t have to faithfully execute the law on immigration (He does, the Constitution expressly says that he does.) why should a future president have to execute the law faithfully in all sorts of other areas including taxes? Boy, Obamacare would fall apart pretty much overnight.

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The Capitalist Cure for Terrorism

Hernando de Soto is one of my favorite economists. (Though as with almost anyone I disagree with him on some important points.) A champion of capitalism and everyday people he is my kind of guy.

His argument basically goes like this:

Poor people are shut out of economies. Cronyism and red tape make building businesses almost impossible. In many countries the poor remain permanently on the margins of society. The poor typically have no property rights (even if they’ve been on a piece of land for generations for instance) and enforceable contracts do not often exist. As a result this situation limits access to capital – no one will provide a loan on a piece of property for which there is no deed – which then keeps the poor poor.

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USA Today: Democrat hopes immigration crisis isn’t ‘Obama’s Katrina moment’

I don’t begrudge someone who gambles it all for a chance at a better life. I understand it and have respect for it on a deep level. If I was Guatemalan and 20 years old there is a good chance I’d be showing up at the US border. I am also no particular fan of the state. I am however a fan of Latin America generally and I speak Spanish. But given that we do believe in the rule of law. Given that we do believe that a reasonable role for our government is protecting the borders. We have to ask, “What in holy you know what is going on along our southern tier?”

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Gallup Poll: Americans feel less free, feel the government is more corrupt than 7 years ago

This is a trend which began in earnest under Mr. Bush and which then began to snowball under Mr. Obama. And most people don’t even know anything about the NDAA (which Obama signed which allows him to jail US citizens without trial, attorney, or even notification of abduction). They just feel it. They know that the NSA lurks online, somewhere and everywhere. They stand with hands up in the radiation machines at the airport. They witness the increased police checkpoints. They see the president disregard the rule of law to pursue naked political ends. They feel the loss of dignity. People feel the loss of freedom and of their liberty.

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Will the Obama-era hypocrisy continue when the next president takes office?

I don’t care if you like this president. I can understand why some people do. There are partisan affiliations which are hard to break. There are ethnic ties which are powerful. There is an opposition party which is not much of an alternative. But make no mistake, President Obama has taken this country down a very dangerous path and now is the time to set the country back on the right one, before the next president comes in and makes things even worse.

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Judge Napolitano to Juan Williams: “You’ve Abandoned The Notion That The Constitution Means What It Says” (Video)

The Constitution is a tool by which we the people can fight the expansion of the system of crony capitalism which infects this country currently. A restoration of the rule of law, of the Constitution (what a concept), is key to reigning in the corporate/crony state. The first step would be revisiting the modern interpretation of the Interstate Commerce Clause. That’s where we begin.

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