Why does everything need to be banned? Whenever there is a problem, however big or small, the immediate thought is to ban it. Even libertarians joke about how X or Y activity or thing should be banned. With the recent death of Otto Warmbier, an American who was kidnapped and thrown in a cage for a 15 year term starting last year in North Korea, there is growing talk of the US government restricting travel to North Korea. Is there such a pressing number of Americans going over there that the government needs to spend time stopping people from putting themselves in harms way? The results of travel to North Korea seem to speak for themselves. While its only been a few people, the proportion of tourists being kidnapped in North Korea seems to be the highest in the world. The only places more dangerous might be Afghanistan or Daesh Islamic State.
With more and more activists pushing for a $15 minimum wage, and more and more states heading in that direction, research is being done to prove or disprove whether higher minimum wages have negative effects. Of course, research is not supposed to be done to prove either way; its supposed to see what the effects are, not focus on good or bad. In any case, studies have been conflicted for years, which has given both sides ammunition, and new research out of Seattle, which recently began raising its minimum wage to $15 has just added to this. One study shows no ill effects, another shows some workers are losing pay and hours (PDF). The reason for all this uncertainty is there are so many variables involved.
A ransomware attack has been launched worldwide, targeting thousands of computer networks in dozens of country. The program encrypts your computer files and demands a payment of $300 in bitcoin within 3 days, doubling after that, and locking you out permanently in 7. Not without a sense of fairness, the poor may appeal for clemency after six months. One of the biggest targets of this has been the National Health Service of the United Kingdom. Often touted by those who favor a single payer socialist healthcare system (in spite of its very poor record of treating major illnesses), the NHS has been brought to its knees by a computer virus. Thousands of non-emergency patients have been turned away.
Earlier today, a group of people gathered on the State House steps in Concord, New Hampshire. Attendees soon discovered that the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire had an announcement to make. A freshman Democrat state representative, Joseph Stallcop, from Keene was defecting to join the Libertarian Party. He cited his upset with the government use of force against pipeline protestors in North Dakota and his “classic liberal” values conflicting with his party. This marks the third defection from the Democrats in just a few months, the other two switching to Republican.
It must be tough to be a French libertarian, if there even are any. Ive never met one, but maybe they exist. I like to say that French politics consists of ten socialists parties, a globalist party, and a nationalist party. The country itself is a mix of deep socialism and traditonalism. So deeply tangled up in regulations and taxes that several books could be written about, its a wonder they even have an economy. What ever happened to the land that gave us the great Frederic Bastiat?
I was reading a City Journal article about how Californias rulers are leaving its younger population an awful state of affairs: low wages, limited jobs, expensive housing and other costs. The reasons for this are complex, mostly boiled down to big government, however, one thing stuck out at me: California has a massive income gap. Ironic given how liberals are always jumping and shouting about income inequality and their favorite state is one of the most egregious. I speculated that liberal states would be more unequal, and more conservative states would be more equal.
There should be two groups in the United States that must be ripping their hair out in a fury: Trump supporters and libertarians. Now, thats not to conflate the two groups. There is more overlap than libertarians like to admit, however, they are quite distinct. In any case, both have to be frustrated with the media coverage of the new president. Trump supporters are angry that the media will not let go of its deranged pathological hatred of the man, and libertarians wonder where this skeptical media has been.