My Response to Allyson Rowe and the Fallacy of Piety

Shortly after my last video response to Allyson Rowe, a video popped up on her channel telling her followers why they’re not obligated to respond to criticism. While this isn’t a direct response to my comment, I couldn’t help but point out that acting pious and claiming to answer to God rather than man doesn’t do anything to demonstrate that you’re actually right. This is what I’ve come to call the Fallacy of Piety.

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Prager University’s Hypocrisy on Government

prager u.jpg

Prager University produces short videos arguing for conservative political positions.

Before I begin this article, let me quickly say that Prager University has put out some very good videos in the past, particularly regarding basic economics. That being said, on many occasions I’ve been downright disgusted with material that the platform has put out. Besides endorsing opportunist frauds like Candace Owens, Prager University routinely endorses using government force to achieve ends it sees as in the common interest of Americans (i.e. collectivism). However, like most statists, they never really explain why the government is justified in using force to achieve their desired ends but not the ends of their leftist opponents.

Earlier today, Prager University released a video that was hosted by General Chuck Wald. The video sought to explain why America spends so many tax dollars on the state of Israel and why it ought to spend more. The video is below for those interested, but to sum it up, Wald argues that America ought to provide funding to Israel because it is a peaceful, democratic ally in the Middle East. Funding Israel serves both Israeli and American national security interests.

I will not be arguing whether or not General Wald’s assertions in this video are true or false. Wald could very well be correct in his assertion that money given to Israel will help achieve ends that are beneficial to both Israel and the United States. However, even if his assertions are true, the pertinent question is, should Americans be required to give their hard-earned money to the government of Israel whether they like it or not?

If we were having a discussion about abortion, I have no doubt that Dennis Prager and his team would speak out aggressively against it. In fact, you don’t have to imagine. Lila Rose of Live Action has previously done a video for Prager University about Planned Parenthood, and in the course of her video, she emphasized the injustice of the fact that Americans are forced to fund Planned Parenthood whether they want to or not.

However, comparing Rose’s video to Wald’s puts Prager University in an interesting position. On one hand, they argue that American citizens should not be forced to give money to an organization like Planned Parenthood against their will. However, they turn around and argue that Americans should be forced to fund the military activities of Israel whether they want to or not.

Tell me Prager University. Why is the government justified in using force to make American citizens fund the state of Israel, but not the activities of Planned Parenthood?

My guess is that their answer would be that Planned Parenthood is a deceptive and immoral organization, responsible for the murder of millions of unborn children, while Israel is a free democracy whose furthered existence benefits all Americans. However, if we were having a discussion with a liberal, they would undoubtedly tell you just the opposite. The liberal would say that Israel is an oppressive, apartheid regime that cruelly abuses the Palestinian people, while Planned Parenthood is a just organization that provides healthcare to women and leads to lower crime rates in America.

There is no doubt that there are many people who agree very strongly with Prager University or with the liberal in my example above, but that’s the point. While many people disagree about what the government should do with its power, they all agree that the government should have the power to force its citizens to fund things against their will. This is why I have over and over reminded people that the same government that has the power to give you everything you want is a government that has the power to take everything that you have.

I’ll say again that my purpose in writing this article is not to argue against the state of Israel or to argue for Planned Parenthood. I’ve made my stance on abortion very clear in this video series, and I’ve on occasion touched on the Israel/Jewish Question. However, the problem that Prager University does not seem to realize is that when you argue that the government should have the power to force its citizens to fund endeavors they disagree with, what consistent argument are you going to give as to why it is unjustified in pointing a gun at you and forcing you to fund something you disagree with?

As much as I deplore anti-Semitism, I do not think anti-Semites should be forced to give their money to fund the activities of Israel. As much as I deplore many forms of Zionism, I do not think Zionists should be prevented from donating their own money to Jewish causes. Regardless of how strongly you may believe you are right in your assertions, whatever position you take, you must first justify why it is that you and people who agree with you are justified in using force against others, but those who disagree with you are not.

While I share the same values as many of my conservative friends, this is a question I believe all conservatives seriously need to consider. I believe once they do, they will see that Libertarianism is the only position that can be consistently lived out in society. All statists want to use force against others. They just don’t want others to use force against them.

I hope you can see the problem.

And that is my 2 cents. Take it for what it’s worth.

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Alyssa Milano’s Feminist Fail

Shortly after the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, actress and activist Alyssa Milano went on MSNBC to rant about how sexual abuse has been institutionalized in the United States. Citing bogus statistics and demonstrating incredible hypocrisy in her support for real sex abusers like Bill Clinton, Alyssa Milano might just have made the worst #FeministFail yet.

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Citations:

“I Believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is Lying, Here’s Why” https://my2centsvideos.com/2018/09/28/i-believe-dr-christine-blasey-ford-is-lying-heres-why/

Scope of the Problem: Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2018, from https://www.rainn.org/statistics/scope-problem

About RAINN’s Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2018, from https://www.rainn.org/about-rainns-statistics

National Institute of Justice & Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Prevalence, Incidence and Consequences of Violence Against Women Survey (1998).  Retrieved November 28, 2018 from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/172837.pdf

Fisher, B. S. (2004). Measuring Rape Against Women: The Significance of Survey Questions. Retrieved November 28, 2018 from https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/199705.pdf

Sommers, C. H. (2012, January 27). CDC study on sexual violence in the U.S. overstates the problem. Retrieved November 28, 2018, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/cdc-study-on-sexual-violence-in-the-us-overstates-the-problem/2012/01/25/gIQAHRKPWQ_story.html?utm_term=.8aa4c9d3e456

McElroy, W. (2006, May 2). False Rape Accusations May Be More Common Than Thought. Retrieved November 28, 2018, from http://www.independent.org/news/article.asp?id=1719

Kanin, E. (1994). False rape accusations. Archives of Sexual fichavior, 23, Retrieved November 28, 2018 from https://archive.org/stream/FalseRapeAllegations/false-rape-allegations-archive_djvu.txt

Moore, C. (2018, October 04). Boy, 13, Arrested, Cuffed And Dragged From School Over #MeToo Allegations. Retrieved November 28, 2018, from https://www.dangerous.com/49605/boy-13-arrested-cuffed-and-dragged-from-school-over-metoo-allegations/

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Lessons from Marvel’s Daredevil Season 3 (November Patrons Exclusive Teaser)

In November 2018’s patrons exclusive, I give a review of season 3 of Marvel’s Netflix series Daredevil. I also go over three lessons that I thought were encapsulated in the story’s plot. To view the entire video, head over to my Patreon page and pledge at least $1 per month:

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The Free Market and Politics: How Business and Government Collaborate

In part one of this new series, I explain the difference between a market entrepreneur and a political entrepreneur. This video is in part a response to Knowledge Hub’s video, “The Age When Capitalism Went Too Far,” but more broadly addresses the issue of regulatory capture and how the government interferes in free market operations.

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Why Tax Cuts and Tax Hikes are Fundamentally the Same

Federal-Reserve-DC

The Federal Reserve of the United States is the Biggest Scam in History

Ever since President Trump’s tax cuts made it through Congress several months ago, I’ve heard many Republican commentators talking about how much they have helped the economy.  Even whitehouse.gov couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put out a short summary explaining just how the tax cuts are going to, “Provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small business” (“President Donald J. Trump Achieved the Biggest Tax Cuts”, para. 1).  However, well it’s true that tax cuts improve the health of the economy in principle, the current political system combined with the worldwide scam that is the Federal Reserve of the United States ensures that both tax cuts and tax hikes ultimately have the same effect on the economy.

Allow me to explain.  It ought to seem fairly straightforward that when citizens are allowed to keep more of their own money, they tend to spend more on non-essential goods and services than they otherwise would have.  This creates demand in industries that may not have been there if tax rates were higher and so creates job opportunities.  Sounds pretty good right?

Well, the problem is that most citizens don’t see beyond the surface rhetoric that takes place between the two political parties.  If your only source of information is the mainstream media, it would seem that Democrats want to increase taxes in order to fund more government programs, and Republicans want to cut taxes in order to stimulate economic growth as was described above.  However, what’s more important to consider is the government’s budget itself, not simply what tax cuts or tax hikes are passed.

As I’ve written and spoken about before, it doesn’t matter who sits in the White House or Congress.  Spending only goes in one direction.  Up. And the Trump administration is no exception to this rule.  This means that the U.S. is still engaging in deficit spending.  So if taxes aren’t going up to cover the interest and principle payments on U.S. Treasury securities, how are they being paid off?

If you’re interested in a detailed explanation of how the Federal Reserve Banking System works, I recommend Mike Maloney’s video linked below.

However, to sum it up.  The U.S. can pay off it’s debt in two ways.  The first is to increase taxes and use the additional revenue to pay down the debt.  The second is to have the Federal Reserve inflate the currency through the issuance of additional treasury securities and pay off older securities with the newly created money.  While both these methods are always used simultaneously to some degree, the former might be cast as the Democrats’ preferred method while the latter might be cast as the Republicans’ preferred method.

However, both methods, at the end of the day, end up having the same effect on the economy.  If taxes are increased, citizens will become more frugal with the money that they pocket, knowing they won’t have as much to spend on that big screen television or brand-new sports car.  This decreases demand in the economy and may lead to layoffs and economic decline.  No one wants to advocate for this to happen right?

However, what of inflating the currency?  Well, if the currency is inflated, in the short term it may look like the tax cuts are having a positive effect on the economy because citizens believe they can be more cavalier with how they spend their money.  Demand is increased and economic growth follows.  However, while it will take time for the effects to show, the new money that the government printed to finance its debt will seep its way into the economy, devaluing the U.S. dollar.

As the people realize that the dollar is less valuable than it was before, prices will rise and investors who thought that the tax cuts meant new economic opportunity will begin to reverse course.  They will attempt to save their assets as they see that their newly saved tax credits cannot take them as far as they initially believed.  As with the effect of tax hikes, this type of economic decline is caused by the government stealing wealth from its citizens.  The citizens simply did not feel the theft as forcefully because no currency was actually taken out of their pockets.  It was simply devalued by inflation.

The economist John Maynard Keynes once said, “By this means the government may secretly and unobserved, confiscate the wealth of the people, and not one man in a million will detect the theft” (Keynes, para. 1).  While I’m not a fan of Keynes’ economic philosophy, he was certainly correct on this point.  Due to the fact that very few people understand the Federal Reserve and fractional reserve banking, most people don’t realize that under the current system, balancing the budget is impossible.

For this reason, there is fundamentally no difference between tax cuts and tax hikes.  Both will have the same effect in the long run.  As always, this political debate between Republicans and Democrats is nothing but a sham designed to stop the people from seeing what the state is doing.  Confiscating their hard-earned wealth and taking away their freedoms.  It’s what the government does and will continue to do until the people wake up.

And that is my 2 cents. Take it for what it’s worth.

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Citations:

Keynes, J. M. (n.d.). A quote from The Economic Consequences of the Peace. Retrieved November 19, 2018, from https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/919069-by-this-means-the-government-may-secretly-and-unobserved-confiscate

President Donald J. Trump Achieved the Biggest Tax Cuts and Reforms in American History. (2018, February 5). Retrieved November 19, 2018, from https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-achieved-biggest-tax-cuts-reforms-american-history/

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2 Day with 2 Cents (Nov 17, 2018)

This week’s news wrap-up features Michael Avenatti’s arrest, the resignation of Victoria’s Secret CEO Jan Singer, the statewide hand re-count of Florida ballots, and Jim Acosta suing the White House for the revocation of his press pass. The weekly hottie is Instagram model Tia McIntosh.

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Michael Avenatti Arrested: https://youtu.be/qrurcqWdKTM

Victoria’s Secret CEO Steps Down: https://youtu.be/hTnJsVJ_IdA

Florida Calls for Hand Re-Count of Ballots: https://youtu.be/d6Au-JpjaGM

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Florida election supervisors trying to steal Senate and Governor wins from Republicans

I’ve already written about how government elections are a scam, but this story coming out of Florida takes it to a whole new level.

WINTERY KNIGHT

I thought this was an interesting story. In Florida, Republicans won the elections for Senate and Governor. But the people counting votes in Broward and Palm Beach refused to finalize their vote counts. And they are preventing any journalists from filming how they are counting the votes.

The Federalist explains what the problem is:

Three days after election night, when Gov. Rick Scott delivered a victory speech and held a comfortable margin of votes against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, loads of ballots favoring the Democratic candidate mysteriously turned up in Palm Beach and Broward counties — where one official has a history of violating election laws.

State law requires that all early and by-mail votes be tabulated within 30 minutes of the polls closing, but three days later, Broward County Supervisor of Elections Dr. Brenda Snipes still refuses to specify how many people voted, how many ballots have been tabulated, and how many…

View original post 378 more words

Ocasio-Cortez “Grand Vision” DEBUNKED

A few weeks ago, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke with Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks about her plan for America and the Justice Democrats upon her election. New York did indeed elect her on November 6th, but myself Nightshift10000 have taken the time to explain yet again why her lofty vision is nothing but long debunked nonsense.

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Tucker Carlson Fails at Capitalism

tucker

Conservative Commentator Tucker Carlson

This weekend I was on a long road trip, and while I drove, I decided to listen to the Daily Wire’s Sunday Special with Ben Shapiro.  Shapiro hosts a different guest every week to discuss various political and social issues, and his guests have included people on both the political left and political right.  This week, Shapiro’s guest was Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Many conservatives love Carlson’s commentary, and to be fair, I’ve liked how he’s approached some recent political issues.  For example, he was one of the only mainstream news commentators that I know of who actually questioned whether or not Assad was responsible for a chemical attack in Syria this past April.  None the less, I was extremely disappointed with what Carlson had to say on the Sunday Special.

While Carlson claims to be a proponent of capitalism (around the 30:07 mark in the interview he says capitalism is the best economic system he can think of), he openly advocated for one of the most non-free market practices known to history.  Carlson actually thinks the government should outlaw technological advancements in order to “save” the jobs of Americans.

About 29 minutes into the interview, Shapiro asked Carlson about a concern that Carlson raised regarding the prospect of self-driving vehicles in his recent book Ship of Fools.  It’s no secret that from taxi cabs to eighteen wheelers, many Americans drive vehicles for a living.  However, assuming technology continues to advance and artificial intelligence becomes proficient enough, it’s not difficult to see that self-driving vehicles could rapidly replace these drivers on the road.

Shapiro asked if Carlson believes that the government should introduce regulations to prevent this automation from happening, and Carlson said that he would do so without hesitation.  In particular he said,

“In a second.  In a second.  In other words, if I were President would I say to DOT, Department of Transportation, we’re not letting driver-less trucks on the road.  Period.  Why? Really Simple.  Driving for a living is the single most common job for high school educated men in this country in all 50 states.  By the way, that’s the same group whose wages have gone down by 11% over the past 30 years.  The social cost of eliminating their jobs in a 10-year span, 5-year span, 30-year span is so high that it’s not sustainable” (29:27-29:59 in interview).

While I understand this concern in principle, this is yet another example of how neo-conservative economic policies are anything but capitalist and are grounded in the same economic misunderstandings that plague progressives.  To understand why, one must ask the question of how wealth is created in the free market, and why it is that people seek jobs in the free market at all.

So what is the answer to how wealth is created?  In the simplest sense, one could say wealth is created when a person expends time combining labor with resources to produce something useful.  When our ancestors spent their days putting seeds in the ground by hand and then watering those seeds, they did so in order to grow produce that was useful for survival.  By choosing to farm, they demonstrated that they believed that time spent farming was better spent than time spent sitting and doing nothing, and I don’t believe they were incorrect in this assessment.

However, farming by hand took a great deal of time, and producing enough food to feed a large family required that everyone had to pitch in.  A single storm could ruin your crop, not to mention all the insects and other animals that would seek to deprive you of it.  Without modern conveniences such as tractors and pesticides, farming took a great deal of work, far more than it takes today.

But how did tractors, pesticides, and other modern conveniences become a reality?  From the simplest hand tools to the most technologically advanced machines, modern conveniences were also the result of people expending time combining labor with resources.  Someone had to have an idea for how to create something, and then they had to decide that spending time making that idea a reality was worth more than using their time to do something else.

However, with this type of innovation there’s always a measure of risk.  When our ancestors who farmed by hand expended time trying to create tools, that was time that they weren’t spending farming.  The risk was always there that their idea wouldn’t work, and they’d never get that time and those expended resources back.  For this reason, they would be more inclined to experiment with new ideas in times of abundance when the resources they needed to survive were plentiful and required less time and labor.

It’s here that we realize that there’s more to creating wealth than simply expending time combining labor with resources.  What truly creates wealth is not simply a combination of time, labor, and resources but rather finding ways to achieve your desired ends without expending as much capital as you did before.  When a new technology allows one worker to accomplish what it previously took five to accomplish, you can still achieve your desired end, but now you have time, labor, and resources freed up to be used for new endeavors.

Now, on to the question as to why people seek out jobs in a free market.  When a person takes a job, they are choosing to exchange their time and labor for a particular compensation that leaves them better off.  As we just discussed, they’ve decided that the time they spend working is better spent than using that time to do something else.  Given this, it seems intuitive that having more jobs is better than having less, and for this reason, people like Tucker Carlson sometimes advocate that government regulations should be used to maintain conditions where more people are required to accomplish a task than less.

But what this type of thinking doesn’t account for is what new endeavors will become feasible once capital has been freed up.  Returning again to an age of primitive farming, imagine if a farm hand had come to a man working on a new farm tool and said, “Stop that.  If your invention works, we won’t need as many people working in the fields every day.  Don’t you care about the jobs of hard-working farm hands?”

Now, jump ahead to the age of the first automobiles.  Imagine a rancher coming to Henry Ford and saying, “Quit working on that Model T.  Don’t you know how many people make a living raising horses, making saddles, and building wagons?  If your invention works, thousands of people will find themselves without jobs!”

The list of examples could go on, but a search of history will not reveal a period of time where thousands of former employees starved to death due to technology taking their jobs away.  Instead, what we see is that as their time was freed up and they sought new ways to make a living, entirely new industries emerged that no one had even dreamed of as much as a decade earlier.  Do you think farm hands would have been nearly as concerned about the prospect of losing their jobs if they could look into the future and see the internet, smart phones, and drive through restaurants?

A recent example of how increased economic efficiency helps everyone can be seen in the discussions about the effects of international trade with countries like China.  Some people point to the correlation between Chinese imports and the loss of American manufacturing jobs as evidence that the government should intervene with trade restrictions, such as tariffs, to save American jobs.  However, research conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis found,

“Increased import competition from China leads workers to relocate to other sectors; thus, the share of employment in services, wholesale and retail, and construction increases. The role of intermediate inputs and sectoral linkages is crucial to understanding these relocation effects. Import competition from China leads to decreased production among U.S. manufacturing sectors that compete with China, but it also affords the U.S. economy access to cheaper intermediate goods from China that are used as inputs in non-manufacturing sectors. Production and employment increase in the non-manufacturing sectors as a result. As an example, we found that in the long run, about 50 thousand jobs are created in construction as a result of the China shock” (Caliendo, Dvorkin & Parro, 2018, p. 28).

Admittedly, the prospect of losing one’s job isn’t fun.  There’s always a measure of uncertainty about the future, and many people would like for the government to make that uncertainty go away.  However, if and when it does, it only forces employers to do business in a less efficient manner, preventing the freeing up of capital for other purposes.

Tucker Carlson may believe that government intervention like what he proposes saves jobs, but it actually prevents the creation of newer ones that make better use of the labor.  In the short term, self-driving vehicles may lead to the layoff of many professional drivers, but as the costs of transportation go down and therefore the prices that customers must pay to use those transportation services, there will be more money in the pockets of Americans who pay for transportation and a large pool of workers available to provide labor in new sectors.  This is a recipe for innovation and an improved standard of living for everyone.

Bottom line, don’t discourage innovation with government regulation Tucker.  Embrace it and watch as our society reaches heights we never thought possible.

And that is my 2 cents. Take it for what it’s worth.

Citations:

Caliendo, L., Dvorkin, M. A. & Parro, F. (2018, September 26). Trade and labor market dynamics: General equilibrium analysis of the China trade shock. Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis, Working Paper 2015-009F. doi: https://doi.org/10.20955/wp.2015.009

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