May the Fourth be With You!

rsz_millennium-falconMay the Forced blog post be with you: Its Star Wars day! Sean Malone at the Foundation for Economic Education asks if the Galactic Empire was really so bad, and concludes that there isnt that much indication about the political or state of affairs in Star Wars, but if the Empire is restrictive, then the Rebellion is good. I would have to disagree on all of that. There is a lot of talk about smuggling and farming and commerce here and there. A movie about just economics would likely not interest people very much. Star Wars is actually marketed as a space opera and a fantasy story, NOT science fiction. Its a story with traditional tropes, some real world themes, but not serious.

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Where Were You People the Past 100 Years?

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CNNs Wolf Blitzer

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.

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What is a Pre-Existing Condition?

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Obligatory image of a doctor

As moderates and regular Republicans argue over how soft or hard the Obamacare repeal and replace should be, one of the things almost everyone agrees upon is ensuring that so-called pre-existing conditions should be covered. But what does that even mean? Why do so many people want them covered? What would happen if they werent? And how does it affect the economics of insurance and healthcare?

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Whats Next in Drug Legalization?

2017-Map-of-US-State-Cannabis-LawDespite Attorney General Jeff Sessions intent to recriminalize marijuana usage (rather than focus on what his boss was elected to do: immigration), legalization is going full steam ahead. Proponents are now probably where gay marriage supporters stood around 2008-2010. The outlook seemed good, but its not over yet. As it stands, the entire west coast and Alaska has legalized and life has gone on. They are joined by Colorado, and New England is making moves with Maine and Massachusetts voters having passed referendums to legalize. New Hampshire is a mostly legislative state and the House has passed legalization and decriminalization several times, but either the Senate or the Governor stops it. We finally have a governor willing to sign decrim (a Republican, after twelve years of Democrats who refused). And with states like Arkansas and Florida finally getting medical thru, the land of the free is at a crossroads. Only seven states retain a total prohibition. Now, its only a matter of time.

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The UK Liberal Democrats are NOT a Libertarian Party

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Not libertarian

British Prime Minister Theresa May announced an early election last week to help her with Brexit negotiations. She currently has a slim majority from David Camerons 2015 victory and polls show she would go from 330 seats to over 430 seats, out of 650. This will ensure more flexibility in negotiations and getting the withdrawal approved. Additionally, many remainer MPs could be ousted by voters who wanted Out, which means it will be smoother sailing. Conservative candidates will have to say they support the Prime Minister and leaving the European Union.

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Trump Officials Move to Arrest Assange

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Julian Assange

Statements have come out from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and CIA Director Mike Pompeo that the US will seek to arrest libertarian hero Julian Assange, known for heading Wikileaks. The organization has been a dumping ground for all sorts of incriminating activity by the US government in particular and has frustrated three administrations and a presidential campaign. Assange has been under an effective house arrest for several years since fleeing to the Ecuadorian embassy in London to escape interrogation for alleged rapes in Sweden. Ecuadorian officials brainstormed multiple plans to get Assange out of the embassy and to Ecuador, but none of them were considered viable. He has also had run-ins with embassy staff and after leaking many Hillary Clinton campaign emails, his internet was temporarily shut off. There was a brief concern that if a right-wing candidate won the recent presidential election, Assange would be asked to leave.

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Will There be Regulations in a Libertarian Society?

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The GEICO gecko mascot

Libertarians and conservatives often talk about the importance of deregulation in order to free up the economy and create more prosperity. However, regulations often solve very real problems and conflicts that otherwise might be difficult to deal with. For example, how do we incentivize drivers to drive safe? The mere threat of an agorist lawsuit against the perpetrator of an accident is not enough to get a driver to be safe. And what about pollution? Surely, courts could rule a class action lawsuit against a nearby factory belching smoke, but there are a lot of costs on both ends. Insurance solves almost every single one of these issues. In fact, some have claimed that government itself is an insurance program. Already in the hampered market we live in, insurance exists and protects us from each other and acts of God.

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