Wednesday, November 30, 2011

100 Objections to Libertarianism with Libertarian Answers and Rebuttals

Please share and use this libertarian resource and help me to improve and perfect it by using the comment thread below to offer suggestions, criticisms, and commentary regarding the choice and scope of objections as well as the libertarian answers to them. If you know of an article or video that better or more succinctly answers an objection than what I have included, please share it in the comments! If you can think of an important objection that I have missed, please let me know!

Economic Objections to Libertarianism

1. We need the government to prevent monopolies.

This is one of the most common objections to libertarianism. The very best answer to it I have ever encountered is in Ayn Rand's book: Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal. In it, a very young Alan Greenspan (before he sold out) wrote an essay called "Anti-Trust" which demonstrates how theoretically and historically, it is actually only government intervention that can create a true, coercive monopoly, not the free interaction of individuals in an unregulated market. You can listen to the first half of this essay in audio format here. Those of you with no scruples about copyrights can read the entire essay here (but I highly recommend you buy the entire book-- I daresay it's one of the most important libertarian books ever written). Milton Friedman also makes his case here, listing multiple examples of monopolies created by government intervention.


2. Capitalism inherently exploits labor.

This depends firstly on your definition of capitalism. Defining our terms clearly is very important to prevent equivocation during political discussions. If I may say so, one of the best explanations of capitalism can be found at this very website. If this is your definition of capitalism, and it is what libertarians actually mean by capitalism, then the notion that it exploits labor evaporates. Another great explanation and defense of capitalism can be found at Mises.org. Finally, you can simply point out to objectors that since the advent of more capitalist economies, the rate of return on capital (how much profit you can make by investing in capital) has remained steady, as has the rate of return on land (rents from real estate) when compared to the explosive growth in the rate of return on labor (hourly pay). Do workers in more capitalistic countries work harder than their counterparts in less capitalistic ones? They probably work less hard and in better conditions. So why are they paid more? Because capital has made each hour of their labor vastly more productive. Capital and capitalism have done more for the laborer than any other development in human history. For more on this, I again refer you to Ayn Rand's Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal.


3. Cutting government spending would harm the economy.

Libertarians can refute this objection with one simple analogy and a few historical examples. Besides, government spending is almost always, if not always less efficient than private spending, which results in a net economic loss, or at least less net economic gain than would be possible without the government spending.


4. The TARP bailouts were a necessary evil; libertarians would have done nothing and let the economy crash.

In my six reasons not to bailout the "big three" auto companies, I make a solid case against all such corporate bailouts of mismanaged companies. When conservatives make this argument, ask them why they think free markets would have failed to do a better job of resolving this problem than government. Ask them why they support socialism and point out that the TARP bailouts socialized corporate losses by spreading them out to the rest of society. Also ask them why they support welfare and point out that the bailouts were an example of welfare, and that they incentivize more unproductive behavior the same way conservatives feel that welfare for the poor does. When social democrats make this argument, ask them how they could support taking money from the working middle class and poor to give to rich, Wall Street banks. When they answer, as Obama did in one 2008 presidential debate, that it was necessary to keep businesses running so they could continue to employ the working middle class and poor, say: "So you're arguing that if the government gives money to the wealthy, it will trickle down to the poor?? Now you sound like a right-wing Republican!"


5. Libertarianism is good for big corporations.

If that were true, why don't more big corporations support libertarianism? Instead they seem to support more big government. Go ahead, browse OpenSecrets.org for yourself.


6. Libertarians want to take us back to the gold standard.

First of all, even if this were true, what would be so bad about that? Objectors will act as if libertarians are backward and unsophisticated for supporting a gold standard currency, but libertarians should point out that fiat currency is nearly as ancient as currency itself, and that centralized governments have been inflating currency for centuries with the same result each time: monetary collapse, often followed by civil disorder. But secondly, this objection isn't even true about most libertarians. Most libertarians do not advocate some kind of government monopoly gold standard like we had over a century ago because it can be all too easily manipulated; they actually prefer what most libertarians would call a free market of currency that allows individuals to decide for themselves what currency is and how much they trust it.


7. Libertarians would let foreign countries put Americans out of work.

Because protectionist economic policies force American businesses and consumers to pay higher prices for certain things (like steel or sugar) than they would have to pay in a free market, most economists agree that such policies have the effect of a net economic harm to the domestic economy and are overtly anti-consumer. And it is actually protectionist policies that put Americans out of work by causing this net economic harm to the growth of the domestic economy.


8. We need government to stabilize the economy and prevent steep booms and busts.

Booms and busts themselves are actually caused by government intervention into the economy. Libertarian economists who understand this (many of them belonging to the "Austrian School of Economics") have been incredibly accurate predictors of economic booms and busts. They predicted the Great Depression, the stagflation of the 1970s (that their opponents had always claimed was impossible), and the most recent credit and housing collapse. Their predictive powers are the result of their accurate theories and understanding. Here, I'll let "F.A. Hayek" rap it for you.


9. We need government to provide "public goods."

Wrong. No we don't. Not for lighthouses and national defense. Not for dikes. "Public goods" is simply a concept that has been used as the theoretical basis to justify all kinds of disingenuous, rent-seeking behavior.


10. We need government to regulate negative externalities.

The argument that negative externalities are examples of market failure does not necessarily prove the necessity for government intervention, and does nothing to address the possibility unavoidable reality of government failure. Just one example of government failure, for instance, is unintended consequences. Libertarians do have a solution to negative externalities, however, which is using our system of civil law to enforce and protect private property rights.


11. The recent financial collapse proves that capitalism doesn't work.

Myth. Really stupid myth too. How on earth the housing and financial markets prior to the recent bust could possibly be characterized as capitalist is beyond me.


Moral and Religious Objections to Libertarianism

12. Libertarians are immoral hedonists.

Ouch. Not really.


13. Libertarians would let drugs flood our streets.

Portugal has empirically proven this false. By completely decriminalizing drug possession over a decade ago, the country has actually achieved better metrics on drug abuse than it had before and better than we have in the United States.


14. Okay, maybe marijuana should be legal, but not hard drugs like heroin!

Look again to the example of Portugal above, which decriminalized all hard drugs, not just marijuana.


15. A libertarian society would let sexual immorality run rampant.

Like Jesus did when he chose not to use the apparatus of the state to enforce sexual morality, instead telling those around him that he without sin should cast the first stone? And isn't putting politicians in charge of our sexual morality kind of like putting alcoholics in charge of our sobriety?


16. Libertarianism is un-Christian.

That's not what they think at LibertarianChristians.com. Their about page has a lot of good information and links to good arguments explaining that it's perfectly sound to be a Christian and a libertarian.


17. Libertarians are religious fanatics.

On the one hand Christians will make Objection #16 above, but on the other hand, atheists, agnostics, and progressive, mainline Christians will accuse libertarians of being too "extremely" Christian and obsessed with excluding the government from every area of their lives on religious pretexts and brainwashing their children via private, religious homeschooling. Ask them why Ayn Rand was a libertarian then.


18. Jesus was a socialist.

No he wasn't. But he wasn't really a capitalist either. His message wasn't: "This is how you should live" or "This is the ideal form of government." His message was: "I'm God." It falls into an entirely different kind of category and answers entirely different questions from the claims made by capitalists and socialists. Let's just agree to leave him out of this. For those who simply can't agree to this, answer:

"Christ taught that one cannot live by the sword- I'd add that one cannot give by the sword. If the Good Samaritan had robbed the priest in order to take care of the man in need and pay for his lodging at the inn, he would have been the Bad Samaritan. If he had fancied himself charitable while doing so, he would have been the Hypocritical Samaritan. Christ taught to take care of those in need. It is a leap of logic to infer that Christ supported the modern democratic social welfare state."


19. Libertarians are all pro choice.

No we're not. Ron Paul, for instance, a doctor who has delivered hundreds of babies and one of the most visible champions of libertarian thought is 100% pro life. But we're not all pro life either. Libertarianism does not inherently dictate a particular view on this matter.


20. Libertarians oppose Israel.

Okay, if the person making this objection can read this essay in its entirety (which was written by a Jew), without budging or at least experiencing the sudden onset of a cognitive dissonance headache, I don't know if there's much you can do to help them. You can try my essay, which is addressed to Christians and makes a Biblical case against Washington's foreign policy toward Israel.


21. Libertarians are anti-family.

False.


22. Ron Paul's supporters are like a cult.

'Yet the Paul movement, as should be obvious, is the very opposite of a cult. For one thing, their leader hardly ever uses the word “I.” For another, they have substantive reasons for supporting him. Speak to a Ron Paul supporter and you’ll find someone who knows much more than the average person about topics like monetary policy, the Constitution, U.S. history, economics, etc. That person can give as many solid, substantive reasons for supporting Ron Paul as you have time to listen to.' -Tom Woods


Social Welfare Objections to Libertarianism

23. Who will take care of the poor in a libertarian society?

"Roughly half the American populace currently votes for Democrats and Democratic policies that believe in the role of government as 'collective citizenry' to support the welfare state in order to prevent mass poverty. Yet, these same voters believe that without these specific welfare policies in place, the half of the populace that so deeply believes this would still allow this poverty to occur. Either these individuals are afraid of something ridiculous, or confident in their own hypocrisy." -Eric Olsen

Also some of the very earliest libertarians were primarily concerned with the problem of poverty, and among the first theorists in human history to suggest that poverty could and would be entirely eliminated. As Ayn Rand said, if capitalism had never existed, any honest humanitarian should have been trying to invent it. It has, as a matter of fact, raised the standards of living beyond anything ever achieved by central economic planning in human history.


24. Health care is a necessity and a right, not a product.

What is a right? Health care is not a right, it's a good. That doesn't even make any sense. When you think of it as a right, you create some strange logical corollaries. The first government to guarantee cradle-to-grave health care as a "constitutional right" unwittingly unleashed horrors on its people. Okay, Soviet Russia doesn't count for some arbitrary reason? What about Canada? What about Massachusetts? Government interventions and market distortions are at the root of lack of access to health care in the United States today. Advocates of government-run medicine may have less than the best intentions in mind, and may have some of the very worst, most vicious, most evil ideas at heart.


25. How would we educate our children without government?

The same way that colonial Puritans educated their children without government, producing a universal literacy rate, a feat that bests that of present day America in the era of public schooling. The premise behind public schooling may be well-intentioned, but is grotesquely paternalistic. One libertarian solution, a school voucher program, was tried in D.C. where it produced better results at a quarter of the cost! The program was canceled while government bureaucrats hid the study showing the program's success.


26. So you would get rid of Social Security?

Libertarians absolutely do not advocate the government ripping off people who paid into Social Security. They deserve to get back the money that they put in. We do support allowing people to opt out of paying into a system that we know is mathematically incapable of not ripping them off in the future (thanks to big government). Many of us also support making a step in the right direction by privatizing Social Security accounts.

The net present value of privatizing Social Security is estimated to be as much as $20,000,000,000,000. The historical data on countries that have privatized their government run pension-systems promises us great reward if we follow their example. When Chile made this revolutionary reform to its own government pension system in 1980, the results after 15 years were exemplary.


27. People deserve to make a living wage.

At whose expense? Low-skilled workers? Racial minorities? And what's a "living wage?" Enough to afford air conditioning? Enough to afford a television? An iPhone? Eating out twice a week? Brand name athletic shoes?


28. Libertarians would end student loans for college.

Non-libertarians would keep college expensive.



29. Libertarianism benefits those who already have money. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

This just isn't true and unwittingly betrays an ugly underlying premise which isn't at all concerned with the welfare of the poor, as humorously demonstrated by Margaret Thatcher.


30. How would libertarians make sure people have adequate housing?

By making sure the government stays out of their way; ending the bubbles that create boom and bust cycles created by government interference; not allowing government to displace people from their homes and destroy communities; and lifting zoning rules and government regulations that drive up the prices of housing.


31. The wealthy should give back to society.

Maybe. But that's an ethical claim, not a political one. Even if it is true, it is a different assertion than: "The government should force the wealthy to give back to society." Ask the objector if they believe that the government should legislate private moral beliefs-- regarding sexuality for instance. Ask them how their private moral belief in charity is any different, and why government should legislate that one. Also point out as Milton Friedman does, that the wealthy do "give back to society" when they invest their profits in the capital that improves society's productive possibilities and raises society's standard of living.


Regulatory Objections to Libertarianism

32. Child labor would run rampant in a libertarian society.

Some clarifications.


33. We need regulations to keep us safe.

No we don't. Who regulates the regulators? The perfect example of regulation actually causing the problems that people then call for yet more regulation to solve is the Gulf Oil Spill of 2010.


34. How would libertarians guarantee workplace safety?

By the hand of the free market.


35. Who will maintain housing standards and safety in a libertarian society?

Reread the answers to Objections #30 and #33.


36. How would libertarians keep corporations from defrauding us?

By forcing them to compete for our dollars by providing us value instead of defrauding us of our money by lobbying for it from government. By recognizing that regulation does not prevent fraud. By enforcing contracts that protect our property rights in courts of law.


37. How would libertarians protect the environment?

Remember first of all, that the worst polluter in the world is the United States government. Significantly curtailing its size, role, and influence, especially that of the Pentagon, would drastically decrease the amount of pollution in the world. Remember secondly, that the world is far cleaner today than it was a hundred years ago, and the reason isn't environmental regulation, but private enterprise and the explosion in wealth. This makes sense because environmental protection is a consumption good that we can afford more of as we become more wealthy. Note thirdly, that libertarians offer private property rights with their corresponding legal protections as the best solution to protect the environment. And observe finally, that the language and "reasoning" of environmental hysteria is often without substance, fraudulent in its claims, bears the hallmarks of religious faith rather than scientific inquiry or philosophical discourse, and posits-- without justifications other than aesthetic appeals-- that the pristine, untouched (by humans) environment is somehow intrinsically valuable, and thereby implies necessarily that man is somehow flawed and alien to the intrinsically good "environment" around him, that humanity and the requirements for its survival are evil.


38. What about food safety?

What about it?


39. What about drug safety?

What the damage done to life and liberty by FDA regulation?


40. Who would enforce transportation safety?

Not the government!


41. Who would enforce broadcasting standards?

No one. Though consumers would be free to express their preferences by viewing or listening to programs that matched their differing tastes and standards.


42. Who would promote energy alternatives to fossil fuels?

Entrepreneurs.


National Security and Foreign Policy Objections to Libertarianism

43. Libertarians are all isolationists.

Calling people like Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, and other critics of military intervention in countries like Libya (not to mention Iraq and Afghanistan) "isolationist" would be like calling a high school prom king, president of his senior class, and editor on the yearbook staff, an introvert... because he never gets in any fights.

On both an individual and geopolitical level, violent conflict is not a necessary part-- and certainly not the only means-- of interacting with others, making friends, and being a leader. That anyone should even need to hear that clarification is a bewildering indictment of prevailing American attitudes toward global conflict and Washington foreign policy.


44. Libertarians don't believe in a strong national defense.

Sure we do. We're just smart about it. And we recognize that not all spending marked as "defense" actually makes America safer or our defenses stronger.


45. Libertarians don't support the troops.

That's funny, because the troops support libertarians.


46. Libertarians would leave our borders open.

If the objector means to foreign threats, libertarians would actually protect our borders better than anyone else by worrying less about the borders between foreign countries half a world a way and focusing on defending our own borders and points of entry from potential threats. If the objector means libertarians would support an open door policy regarding immigration, many of us would. Economically immigration is a net positive for American wages, jobs, and productivity. Culturally, we don't see what conservatives are so opposed to in the mass immigration of people from Latin American countries, people who closely share their conservative values of family, hard work, and religious piety-- and even their opposition toward abortion and their respect for masculinity and cowboy machismo. But don't worry, libertarians also oppose letting immigrants take advantage of government handouts (we don't even like American citizens taking advantage of government handouts).


47. Libertarians don't comprehend the danger of the threats opposing America.

Actually we do. In fact, we might comprehend the danger with a more accurate sense of scale than the fear-mongers who would make this objection. You see, we're just not afraid. And we're not going to let foreign terrorists scare us into giving up our American values and form of government.


48. Libertarians would just let Iran and similar countries go nuclear.

Yeah. So what? To say that Iran having a nuclear weapon is a potential threat to its neighbors is one thing — to say that it is a threat to the United States is quite another. Maybe the best policy to keep America safe in our post-atomic age would be not to antagonize other countries in the first place, so we don't have to worry at all when they acquire nuclear capabilities. And please forgive me for pointing out the absurdity of Washington acting as world police for nuclear weapons, when it is the only government in history to actually use a nuclear weapon on another country.


49. Libertarians wouldn't water board a terrorist to keep Americans from dying.

Neither would John McCain, who knows a thing or two about torture. Neither would Ronald Reagan, who prosecuted a sheriff for waterboarding. And waterboarding does not make America safer anyways. It is a part of very un-American torture techniques "based on tactics used by Chinese Communists against American soldiers during the Korean War for the purpose of eliciting false confessions for propaganda purposes." It does not provide accurate information: "In fact, it usually decreases the reliability of the information because the person will say whatever he believes will stop the pain."


50. World War II got us out of the Great Depression.

No it didn't. Wars destroy wealth by allocating labor and capital toward the destruction of other labor (people) and capital instead of toward producing things. There's an opportunity cost for the first kind of labor and capital and an overt destruction of the second set of labor and capital. Wars also lower standards of living by crowding out consumption.


51. Libertarians like Ron Paul always blame America first.

No, libertarians like Ron Paul put America first.


52. How can we let atrocities happen in other countries without intervening?

We do all the time when they don't have oil, or aren't planning to swap out the dollar for another reserve currency. The humanitarian justifications for war are always just rationalizations, and the effects of Washington's global interventions throughout the last century have been tragic on a horrific scale.


Political Objections to Libertarianism

53. Libertarians don't offer solutions, just criticisms.

Huh. What's this? Or this? Or this? Or this? Or this (a self-described libertarian, who didn't just offer solutions, but enacted them to spectacular effect after becoming governor of his state)?


54. Libertarians are too liberal.

On the contrary, libertarianism fulfills conservative values best.


55. Libertarians are too conservative.

On the contrary, libertarianism fulfills liberal values best.


56. Libertarians are unwilling to compromise.

Actually it's the partisans in Washington's party duopoly that are unwilling to compromise. Libertarians hardly even have the chance to compromise because we're hardly even allowed into the conversation. In fact, libertarians offer many difficult, but necessary compromises that would help solve many of the problems facing America today.


57. You've got to have some taxes.

Libertarians don't necessarily believe in no taxation. They just believe in a lot less than we have today. Though some of them have made surprisingly convincing arguments against any kind of taxation. Ayn Rand for instance, offered a very clever replacement for coercive taxation in the form of user fees for government services that would be voluntary because the user only has to pay the fee if they choose to use that particular government service. One example Rand gives is a fee, paid in advance, for any future enforcement of legal contracts in civil courts. It is from these fees that a properly restrained and delineated government would be able to carry out its basic functions, and Rand even reasons that big businesses and wealthy individuals would and should pay most of these fees because they have the most to lose without a government to protect property rights.


58. Libertarianism can't succeed in America's two-party system.

Actually, America can't succeed in America's two-party system.

"The usual terminology of political language is stupid. What is 'left' and what is 'right'? Why should Hitler be 'right' and Stalin, his temporary friend, be 'left'? Who is 'reactionary' and who is 'progressive'? Reaction against an unwise policy is not to be condemned. And progress towards chaos is not to be commended. Nothing should find acceptance just because it is new, radical, and fashionable. 'Orthodoxy' is not an evil if the doctrine on which the 'orthodox' stand is sound. Who is anti-labor, those who want to lower labor to the Russian level, or those who want for labor the capitalistic standard of the United States? Who is 'nationalist,' those who want to bring their nation under the heel of the Nazis, or those who want to preserve its independence?" -Ludwig von Mises


59. The Commerce Clause allows government to do many of the things libertarians claim are unconstitutional.

Nope. Not true.


60. The Constitution allows government to "promote the general welfare."

Not quite. At least not the way you mean it.


61. The Constitution is a living document.

Whatever-- so long as it "lives" and "breathes" in its own, clearly delineated space and stays out of the space that has been reserved for the people.


62. The government can't just go back on its promises and pull the rug out from under people.

Well actually, it does that all the time (ask the Native Americans), which is one more reason to stop trusting it with more and more of our money, liberty, lives, and future, but most libertarians would agree that we should find ways to limit government growth while continuing to honor promises it has made to the American people (for instance, via Social Security). The only way to do this is to stop making new promises (because the government simply, mathematically cannot continue to do so at the present rate with any reasonable chance of following through), give people the freedom not to be obligated to pay into unsustainable systems like Social Security, and severely curtail the size and cost of the Washington establishment to reduce costs and siphon that money toward paying down obligations until they're gone. This third step involves ending corporate handouts, freezing federal hiring as well as increases in public compensation, and ending all the unnecessary wars and foreign aid.


63. What do we do with all the people who already have government jobs?

Put them to productive work. And don't worry, even some of the strictest of libertarian budget cutters like Ron Paul, don't support firing government employees, but propose to put a freeze on new hiring and diminish the number of public sector workers via attrition, which might be why Ron Paul is ironically getting so many donations from federal workers.


Practical Objections to Libertarianism

64. What about roads?

Oh the roads. They always, always bring up the roads. No worries. The Ludwig on Mises Institute's got your back here, here, and here.


65. What about fire departments?

Nice try.


66. We need some gun control.

Tell that to Malcolm X. He probably makes a better case for gun rights than I could. In case that doesn't work, remind your objector that preventing gun violence won't prevent all violence: determined lunatics like the Virginia Tech or Tucson, Arizona shooters could simply resort to another method like a car bomb. But gun control laws might prevent people from protecting themselves from violence: if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. And gun control is empirically proven as a matter of record to increase rates of crime (and fascism), while more permissive gun laws are strongly correlated with lower rates of crime, which is why jurisdictions with notoriously strict gun control measures paradoxically tend to suffer from the worst rates of violent crime– that is, places like Washington DC, Chicago, and the United Kingdom. Ever try dialing 9-11 while being mugged?


67. What about funding for science and research?

First re-read the answers to the economic objections above regarding market failure and public goods, replacing every instance of "public good" with "scientific research," then read this Mises paper explaining why the entrepreneur, operating by profit and loss, does better scientific research than the government, operating by (...???).


68. You'd get rid of NASA?

Yeah. We don't need NASA. The world would be better off.


69. What about patents and copyrights?

Libertarians are divided on this issue, with some like Ayn Rand who strongly believe in patents and copyrights as a necessary part of property rights, and others like Thomas Jefferson who regarded them as government-granted monopolies that served no useful purpose. So there's really no single libertarian answer to this question, though in a libertarian society, it's complicated issues like this that policymakers should be able to discuss and debate in good faith and with the common goal of maximizing human liberty.


70. What about funding for the arts?

Writing in the 1800s, French economist Frederic Bastiat answers.


71. What about police departments?

Most libertarians believe police departments are legitimate role of government and should be provided by the public sector. Those who disagree provide compelling arguments for a free market in security.


72. How would libertarians deal with major disaster response?

Better than FEMA.


73. Who would deliver the mail in a libertarian society?

Not the USPS. Lol. Free market alternatives and substitutes like: FedEx, UPS, email, text, super cheap long distance plans, cell phones, Skype, Facebook, and on and on the list could go...


74. People would just be allowed to sell their organs in a libertarian world.

So what?


Theoretical Objections to Libertarianism

75. There will never be a libertarian society.

There might never be a society where no one ever murders anyone else. That doesn't mean that such a society wouldn't be preferable to the one we live in and it certainly doesn't mean we should strive by increments toward the goal of living in such a society. This question is irrelevant. The question is whether a libertarian society is a good society. If it is, then the question is not "Will good win out over evil in the end?" as if there is some ultimate "end" in the first place, but here and now, in this very moment: "Will you be good? Will you strive for the good? Will you defend the good against its detractors? Will you oppose what is evil? Will you speak out against it? Will you fight it? Will you thwart it?" If you believe liberty is good and you answered yes, then you are a libertarian. Besides no one can actually be sure of this objection. Ask them, "How do you know?" They'll likely give some of the other objections in this list and you can proceed to answer and settle those. I, for one, usually lean toward believing that there absolutely will be a society more libertarian than any other in human history and that it will happen in the lifetime of my own generation (I was born in the late 1980s).


76. People are too greedy / selfish / imperfect for libertarianism to work.

Right, people are greedy. In fact, people are too greedy, selfish, and imperfect for centralized political power in the hands of an elite few to work. If people are so horrible by nature that they can't be expected to get along with each other fairly, how on earth is concentrating the force of political power in the hands of just a few of these horrible people going to make matters any better? The record of history shows it doesn't. It makes things worse. The historical record of government is a record of greed, selfishness, and human imperfection without limits or restraint, armed with the aura of moral ascendancy and the guns of an army, stomping on the face of humanity, prone to mismanagement, abuse, misuse, malfeasance, corruption, secrecy, lies, mass theft, and mass murder. If people are imperfect and unworthy to govern even themselves, then they are certainly more unworthy to govern others.


77. You can't have no government at all.

Most libertarians don't argue for no government at all. They argue for constitutionally-limited government, which confines itself to the role of acting as a policeman to protect its citizens from aggression. Those libertarians that do argue for no government at all, at least deserve to be heard out instead of dismissed outright on the basis of your preconceived notions of what they believe and how well they can defend it.


78. Libertarians are too idealistic.

Reread Objection #76 --statists and non-libertarians are too idealistic if they believe that the state has their best interests in mind and not the special interests of the well-connected elite and powerful in mind. They are too idealistic if they believe the people who brought you the Postal Service will ever outperform the people that brought you the iPhone. They are too idealistic if they would trust their health care or the education of their children in the hands of a government that took days just to bring water to Hurricane Katrina victims.


79. Libertarianism is too extreme. We need a balance.

Extreme is merely a modifier. Too often in modern political discourse, the word itself is taken as evidence of something sinister, but what's sinister about a man of "extreme integrity?" Or what would we make of the claim that someone was "moderately honest?" Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.


80. Libertarianism is social Darwinism.

The activity of government and of the rent-seekers that shoulder up to the trough of government is more like social Darwinism. Study the history of just about any government to observe the behavior of the strong manipulating and controlling the weak. Contrary to that paradigm, libertarians offer a social order that allows everyone to benefit from the achievements of the able instead of suffer at their mercy.


81. Libertarianism has it all wrong-- I'm an anarchist / voluntaryist / agorist / etc.

When people say this, they're just trying to get attention and feel "badass." Smile and nod. Or ask them this: "So you're an anarchist, huh? Because you believe a society without a state is preferable to one with a state? Because you believe that a stateless society would maximize human liberty? So your criterion here is human liberty? Soooo.... you're a libertarian."


82. Libertarianism could work on a smaller scale, but not with so many people and not in modern times.

Why not? I'm inclined to think that central planning becomes more difficult the more people there are to manage and the more new modern technologies and complexities there are to take into account.


83. You can't just let people do whatever they want.

From my e-book, Learn About Liberty:
'To enjoy freedom or liberty presupposes a prepositional object. To be free from what? To enjoy liberty from what?

Thomas Hobbes understood liberty to mean "license" -license to do whatever one pleases. Hobbes found liberty- as he understood it- to endanger human happiness and prosperity. Without a strong, central government to forcibly limit our destructive whims at whatever price (including the destruction wrought by the government's own whims!), life would be a "war of all against all," rendering the average human life "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

Indeed the liberty to follow any whim or wish at anyone's expense, running roughshod over the lives of other human beings, would be a very dangerous kind of liberty. Who could have any liberty at all if anyone else who pleased could come along to rob, enslave, or even murder them? But there is another way to understand liberty: to be free- not from whatever principle, convention, or constraint impedes one's every terrible whim as Hobbes defines it- but to be free from aggression. It is in this sense that libertarians understand freedom.'


84. It's not a violation of your liberty because you had a chance to vote on it.

You will often hear some variant of this objection to libertarian ideas. Sometimes a critic will just say, "If you don't like it, you can vote to change it." The problem with this argument is the moral impotence of democracy. What makes government so special? And who says voters are so smart?


85. Government does do good things.

At what opportunity cost? With what unintended consequences? And are even the best-intentioned government programs the first step on the road to serfdom?


86. We have to give up some rights to get others as part of "the social contract."

Says who and by what special authority?


87. Libertarianism is adolescent. You'll grow out of it.

Smug condescension is sophomoric. You'll grow out of it.

Also this.


Historical Objections to Libertarianism

88. There has never been a libertarian society.

Answer: "If I were arguing for the abolition of slavery in 1700, would you object by saying there has never been a slaveless society? No? See how that particular objection isn't relevant?"


89.How's libertarianism working out for Somalia?

Actually...


90. So would you repeal the Civil Rights Act?

So would you force a black restaurant owner to serve a Klansman? Would you force a bartender at a gay bar to serve Fred Phelps?


91. Too many libertarians are racists.

What's racist about balanced budgets? Besides, too many politicians are racists... and too many journalists let them get away with it.


92. Libertarians are closet secessionists and neo-confederates.

If anyone makes this objection to libertarianism, RUN LIKE HELL. Get out of there before they eat your brains.


93. Libertarians are "crazy."

This is just empty name-calling. Ask your objector what they mean by that and press them until they stop using vague insults and make substantive criticisms. They'll likely make one covered elsewhere in this list.


94. Libertarians are all conspiracy theorists.

Remind your objector that a conspiracy theory is a particular view of history, a theory that a certain conspiracy has happened or is happening. Libertarianism is an entirely different kind of thing. While it draws on history's lessons to support its ideas, libertarianism is not a particular view of history, but a normative political philosophy that prescribes the best way for human beings to live and interact. If a few, or even if all libertarians happen to believe in certain conspiracy theories, whether those theories are true or false is a separate question from whether libertarian political and economic theories are true are false.

And conspiracy theories themselves are not inherently libertarian. The "birther" theory got started in the Democratic Party by supporters of Hillary Clinton's bid for the 2008 presidential nomination and spread to the Republican Party after the primaries where it is alive and well to this day. The 9-11 "truth" conspiracy theory is also as rampant if not more rampant among Democrats and the political left as it is among libertarians. Every major political group or school of thought is going to have its fringe members with odd ideas that are irrelevant to the school of thought itself.


95. Libertarians are mostly rich, white men.

Tell that to me (poor), Frederick Douglass (black), or Ayn Rand (woman). Libertarian ideas are not inherently modern nor ancient, neither are they inherently ethnocentric, neither are they inherently androcentric. They do not favor any specific class, which is plainly evident in their theory and amply proven by the record of their history. It's funny libertarians should always be slandered as stupidly wide-eyed idealists one minute, and totally self-interested pigs the next. Pick a lane, people! And oh yeah-- actually governments are mostly run by rich, white men. Just in case ya didn't notice. If you're skeptical of "rich, white, man bias," you should be skeptical of government... like libertarians.


96. Libertarians are heartless.

"What? I thought we were brainless idealists. Which is it?" (Then once again, ask your objector to be more specific, which will lead to discussions of substantive issues.)

And: assuming that statists have a monopoly on the golden rule just because they want to use the most coercive, inefficient, blunt-trauma institution in the world-- the US Federal Government-- to express their love is facetious.


97. You want things to go back to the 1800s?

You want your wealth and standard of living to increase by a factor of six??


98. We need a strong federal government to keep the states in line.

Thomas Jefferson best addresses this in the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, explaining how we need strong states and a strong citizenry to keep the over-reaching, police state powers of the federal government in line.


99. Libertarianism got us into the Great Depression.

Not true! All kinds of massive government interventions preceded and caused the Great Depression.


100. Spending got us out of the Great Depression.

Wrong again! I'll let Hayek take it from here.

The Government Is Expropriating Private Wealth at a Rapid Rate

About a month ago, I posted in regard to what I called “the euthanasia of the saver.” This comment had to do with the fact that nominal interest rates in the United States for financial investments such as bank certificates of deposit and bank savings accounts—the kinds of investments traditionally employed by retired persons and small savers, who wish to gain income without exposing their funds to great risk of capital loss—now fall considerably below the rate of inflation, and hence the real (or inflation-adjusted) yield on such investments is negative. That is, the nominal payoff is insufficient to offset the loss of purchasing power of the money invested.
About a month before I wrote my commentary, my old friend Richard Rahn had, without my noticing, written on the same issue in a commentary article published in the Washington Times, but he had gone beyond the simple point I made. Rahn notes that besides suffering the loss of wealth occasioned by the negative real yield on such investments, the investor has to pay tax on the nominal yield—truly a case of the government’s adding insult to injury. He notes that given the currently prevailing rates of interest, rate of inflation, and tax rates, a small investor who earns a nominal yield of 1% and pays a 20% marginal tax rate, while the rate of inflation is 3.5 %, actually ends up paying a real tax rate of 370%. For example, an investor buys a $100,000 CD, earns $1,000 in annual interest, pays a tax of $200, and incurs a loss of $3,500 in purchasing power on the invested principal. Total (nominal) income is $1,000; total real tax (nominal tax plus inflation tax) is $3,700.
This expropriation of private wealth is not accidental. It is the joint product of the Fed’s near-zero interest-rate policies, the Fed’s money supply increases that underlie the current rate of inflation, and the tax rates established by Congress and administered by the IRS, including the taxation of nominal interest earnings even when they amount to real losses of capital, rather than genuine earnings. The government clearly aims to expropriate private wealth on a massive scale. The only plausible alternative interpretation of these policies requires us to believe that the government officials who set these policies are complete idiots about basic economics.
The expropriation amounts to a huge sum. For example, the value of the Non-M1 component of the monetary aggregate M2—consisting of savings and small time deposits, overnight repos at commercial banks, and non-institutional money market accounts—currently amounts to more than $7.5 trillion. If investors lose 2.7% on this investment each year (nominal yield minus the sum of the amount lost via taxation of nominal interest and the amount lost via the inflation tax), the loss amounts to about $204 billion. Because this type of investment is not the whole of the investments subject to this effect, the total amount the government is expropriating comes to a much larger sum. Because this taking continues year after year, so long as current conditions persist the continuation of this expropriation for another year or two will bring the cumulative amount expropriated in this fashion to more than $1 trillion since the onset of the recession and the Fed’s adoption of the near-zero interest-rate policies, along with its allowance of substantial growth of the money stock and the consequent decrease in the money’s purchasing power. This is a rough calculation for the purpose of illustration. My point does not hinge on a precise estimate, because any well-founded estimate is sure to amount to a gigantic sum.
In sum, the government’s monetary and fiscal authorities are currently engaged in the expropriation of private wealth on a vast scale. Entire classes of investors—especially people who saved during their working years and expected to live on interest earnings on their accumulated capital during their retirement years—are being steadily wiped out. Astonishingly, this de facto robbery  is being committed by a government that misses no opportunity to shed crocodile tears over how single-mindedly it seeks to protect the weak and helpless among us.

It's Official: Obama Is Now The Worst American President As His Approval Rating Plunges Far Below Carter's

We doubt many will be surprised by the latest presidential polling update from Gallup, and certainly not the record nearly 50 million Americans on foodstamps, but here it is nonetheless, from US News: "President Obama's slow ride down Gallup's daily presidential job approval index has finally passed below Jimmy Carter, earning Obama the worst job approval rating of any president at this stage of his term in modern political history. Since March, Obama's job approval rating has hovered above Carter's, considered among the 20th century's worst presidents, but today Obama's punctured Carter's dismal job approval line. On their comparison chart, Gallup put Obama's job approval rating at 43 percent compared to Carter's 51 percent." One can only imagine what would happen to Obama's ratings if indeed the Iranian hostage situation escalated and the president was forced to get involved, in addition to oil spiking to "doomsday" levels of course as Pimco's worst case predicts: "Back in 1979, Carter was far below Obama until the Iran hostage crisis, eerily being duplicated in Tehran today with Iranian protesters storming the British embassy. The early days of the crisis helped Carter's ratings, though his failure to win the release of captured Americans, coupled with a bad economy, led to his defeat by Ronald Reagan in 1980." And while some may say this is merely a one time blip, a longer-term average shows otherwise: "Gallup finds that Obama's overall job approval rating so far has averaged 49 percent. Only three former presidents have had a worse average rating at this stage: Carter, Ford, and Harry S. Truman. Only Truman won re-election in an anti-Congress campaign that Obama's team is using as a model." On the other hand, neither Ford nor Carter has such erudite opponents as Herman "I did not sleep with those 999 women" Cain.
Here are the job approval numbers for other presidents at this stage of their terms, a year before the re-election campaign:
  • Harry S. Truman: 54 percent.
  • Dwight Eisenhower: 78 percent.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson: 44 percent.
  • Richard M. Nixon: 50 percent.
  • Ronald Reagan: 54 percent.
  • George H.W. Bush: 52 percent.
  • Bill Clinton: 51 percent.
  • George W. Bush: 55 percent.
That's right. Not one, but both Bushes...
And here it is graphically via Gallup.

 

InTrade Odds On Euro Collapse By End Of 2012 Now At 50%

One can listen to Eurocrats promising the moon and the stars, and that the EURO.PK will survive come hell or high water, or one can trade the probability of the Eurozone’s breakup based on reality. For those who opt for the latter, they should head over to Intrade where the contract pricing the possibility of “Any country currently using the Euro to announce their intention to drop it midnight ET 31 Dec 2012” is now trading at perfectly even odds or 50%. In other words, the “upside benefit” of the EFSF, the ECB, the IMF and ultimately the Fed have been reduced to coin toss odds. Naturally, if there is a break up in the Eurozone the fallout will be massive and will likely lead to a far worse outcome than the freezing of money markets in the aftermath of the Lehman bankruptcy. In other words, the odds of capitalism surviving for just over a year form now are exactly fifty/fifty.
InTrade Odds On Euro Collapse By End Of 2012 Now At 50% Europ%20Dropped


Corzine Pushed Europe Bet to $11.5 Billion

Jon Corzine bet $11.5 billion on European sovereign debt in his bid to rebuild profits at MF Global Holdings Ltd., almost twice the net amount disclosed to investors, and relied on short-term hedges that left the firm exposed to larger losses if they couldn’t be rolled over.
Corzine, who was chairman and chief executive officer of the futures broker before it went bankrupt last month, overcame resistance from directors, senior traders and risk managers to accumulate the bonds, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. He used the hedges, or offsetting trades, to cut the net risk reported to shareholders to $6.4 billion, according to an Aug. 3 regulatory filing by the company.
A former New Jersey senator and governor, Corzine joined MF Global in March 2010 with a plan to remake the company into an investment bank in the image of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., where he had been co-chairman before entering politics. He repeatedly ratcheted up his wager on the debt of countries including Italy and Spain, booking gains along the way, according to filings. The short-term hedges matured before the bonds, meaning the net amount at risk could increase if investors lost confidence in either European sovereigns or MF Global and new hedges couldn’t be bought.
“If that assumption does not come to pass, their risk mushrooms,” said Matthew Pieniazek, president of Darling Consulting Group, a Newburyport, Massachusetts, firm that advises banks on managing their balance sheets. Hedges that matured along with the bonds would have been prohibitively expensive, he said.
Steven Goldberg, a spokesman for Corzine, and Diana DeSocio, an MF Global spokeswoman, declined to comment for this story.

‘My Personal Responsibility’

There was never any doubt about who engineered the sovereign-debt trade.
“Our positions and the judgment about risk-mediation steps are my personal responsibility,” Corzine, 64, said on an Oct. 25 conference call to answer questions about a record quarterly loss and debt-rating downgrade that sliced the firm’s market value that week by 67 percent, or $410 million, as MF Global slid toward collapse.
The firm’s Oct. 31 bankruptcy filing, the eighth-biggest by a public company in the U.S., led to at least 1,066 workers losing their jobs, disrupted commodities markets and undermined investor confidence in futures brokers. The trustee liquidating MF Global’s broker-dealer said more than $1.2 billion in customer money may be missing, and the company is being investigated by regulators and the U.S. Justice Department.

Missing Funds

About $200 million of the missing funds have been found at JPMorgan (JPM) Chase & Co., the New York Times reported, citing people briefed on the matter that it didn’t identify. MF Global had an overdrawn account at New York-based JPMorgan in its final days, the newspaper said. The funds were transferred before its bankruptcy filing, it said.
Marie Cheung, a spokeswoman for JPMorgan in Hong Kong, declined to comment today.
U.S. investigators are unaware of any missing funds in the U.K., according to a person familiar with the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe of MF Global’s collapse who declined to be identified because the matter isn’t public. Peter Donald, a spokesman for the FBI in New York, didn’t immediately return an e-mail after business hours seeking comment.
Kent Jarrell, a spokesman for MF Global trustee James Giddens, said in a statement that the $1.2 billion estimate of missing funds is preliminary and may change. He didn’t comment on whether any of the money may be in the U.K.

Turnaround Strategy

Corzine resigned on Nov. 4, and has hired attorney Andrew Levander, a partner in the law firm Dechert LLP whose clients have included money manager Ezra Merkin in litigation tied to Bernard Madoff’s fraud scheme. Neither Corzine nor anyone else at MF Global has been accused of any wrongdoing.
MF Global reported a loss in the four quarters prior to Corzine’s hiring. Central to his strategy for turning the futures broker around, Corzine promised to bulk up principal trading, or the use of the firm’s own capital to make deals for itself and clients. In the latter half of 2010, within months of taking the helm, he started buying the Italian and Spanish bonds, as well as those of Portugal, Ireland and Belgium.
On earnings conference calls with investors, Corzine described the debt, which matured at various points in 2012, as a low-risk way to profit from “dislocations” in Europe’s sovereign-debt market. To limit its risk, MF Global entered into a minimum of $4.9 billion in offsetting wagers that would pay off if the bonds fell in value, filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission show.

Complicated Disclosure

MF Global’s regulatory filings don’t give dollar amounts for the gross purchases of European sovereign debt or for the hedges. Instead, the investments are shown as percentages of a bigger base of assets, leaving investors to calculate the numbers themselves. Those assets are reported on a market-value basis.
The firm in filings and an October investor presentation disclosed the net amount at risk from its European bonds after hedges. Neither the presentation nor regulatory filings explained that the hedges matured before the bonds and thus would have to periodically be renewed.
MF Global didn’t have any trouble replenishing the hedges through the end of October, when its operations were handed over to trustees, said a person briefed on the matter who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. KPMG LLP, whose London office is serving as the special administrator for MF Global’s U.K. unit, said in a Nov. 17 statement that “the overwhelming majority” of the firm’s European sovereign-debt portfolio, along with the related hedges, had been liquidated.

Board Pushback

Although the trades didn’t require pre-approval by the board, directors (MF) later questioned Corzine’s investment, according to a person familiar with the discussions. After challenging the size of the bets and the concentration on a small number of countries, the board set dollar limits on the amount of sovereign debt its chairman could buy. Corzine came back to the board at least once to get the ceiling raised.
At multiple meetings, Corzine reassured directors that the trades would work out, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were private. Corzine said the European countries he selected wouldn’t default before the bonds matured, and that the market was mis-pricing the debt, according to the person. Underpinning Corzine’s view was the euro zone’s European Financial Stability Facility, which could backstop government short-term debt through June 30, 2013.

Directors’ Dilemma

Some risk managers and traders at MF Global shared the directors’ concerns, according to a former employee with knowledge of the matter. The risk-management department began asking for daily prices of credit-default swaps on sovereign debt to keep track of how the market viewed the underlying bonds, a second person said.
The demise of MF Global, which was spun off from fund manager Man Group Plc in 2007, shows how Corzine’s stature made it hard for the board or underlings to oppose him, even as the crisis in Europe deepened. Directors believed that rejecting the trades would have been an affront to the veteran trader and would have been tantamount to firing him, said the person familiar with the board’s deliberations.
“This was a board that could not possibly have been more expert in exposure to risk, a board with at least as much, if not more, expertise than the CEO,” said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean at the Yale University School of Management in New Haven, Connecticut, and founder of a nonprofit educational and research institute focused on CEO leadership and corporate governance. “This was an example of people not having the courage to stand up to the CEO.”

Trader at Heart

Even after nine years in politics, Corzine never shook the trading bug. He was a prominent presence on MF Global’s trading floor, frequently leaving corporate meetings to check on the markets, according to one person familiar with the firm. He had a reputation for knowing where prices were minute-by-minute, an unusual level of detail for the CEO of a global financial institution.
“He loved to prowl the trading room,” said Mike Fitzpatrick, a former MF Global oil trader who was recruited by Corzine to work in its principal strategies group, the unit that placed proprietary trades. “I find it hard to believe a trader of Corzine’s experience and longevity didn’t calculate, ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’” said Fitzpatrick, who left MF Global in October 2010.
“It got so far out of hand so fast,” he said.

Poor Risk Management

A lack of internal controls eventually doomed the company after a last-minute purchase of the futures-brokerage unit by Interactive Brokers Group Inc. was scuttled when it couldn’t account for hundreds of millions of dollars in customer funds, Hans Stoll, an Interactive Brokers board member, said in an interview earlier this month.
Poor risk management had hurt MF Global before Corzine’s arrival. The company’s shares fell 40 percent in two days in February 2008 after it lost about $141 million on unauthorized wheat trades by an employee in Memphis, Tennessee.
The company sought to tighten its order-entry systems and created a chief risk officer position to calm shareholders. In September 2010, Corzine brought in Bradley Abelow, his chief of staff as governor, to be MF Global’s chief operating officer. Abelow’s duties included overseeing risk management.

Eye on Costs

The tension between beefing up internal controls and trying to improve earnings surfaced during a conference call in November 2010. Then-Chief Financial Officer J. Randy MacDonald was asked by an analyst about the company’s non-compensation expenses. MacDonald stressed the importance of building the “middleware” and distribution platforms across the brokerage’s businesses, saying the company had “some investments to make.”
As the analyst moved on to his second question, Corzine interrupted: “Make no mistake, we’re looking to produce earnings now, and we are keeping a sharp eye on costs.” He said he was mindful of ensuring the company didn’t “bite too quickly on running up costs in front of revenue growth.”
Abelow couldn’t be reached for comment.
To execute his European debt trade, Corzine used repurchase agreements, a type of transaction that allows investors to finance most or all of the purchase, depending on the securities involved, the length of the deal and the credit quality of the borrower. In earnings calls, the CEO said the firm was seeking to profit from the difference between the yield it received on the European bonds and the interest rates it paid under the repurchase agreements.

Favorable Accounting

After setting up the trade so the bonds and the financing agreements matured on the same dates in 2012, accounting rules dictated that MF Global treat the transaction as a sale rather than a collateralized loan. Those rules meant MF Global had to book all of the profit upfront, rather than recognizing it over the life of the contracts, and kept the assets and liabilities from the trades off of its balance sheet, according to Peter Testaverde, a partner in New York at accounting firm EisnerAmper LLP who does audits of hedge funds and brokerages.
The multiple transactions were conceived as a revenue- generation strategy that would improve the financial results for MF Global’s nascent trading unit, according to the person familiar with the board, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

Complicated Disclosure

MF Global disclosed in a May 20 filing that its net holdings among the five European countries consisted of $6.3 billion in debt at the end of March that had an average maturity of April 2012. The company said in the Aug. 3 filing that its European sovereign portfolio had risen to $6.4 billion of debt with an average maturity of October 2012. In both instances, MF Global said the figures were “net of hedging transactions the company has undertaken to mitigate issuer risk.”
While reporting its net holdings had increased 2 percent, MF Global had expanded its bets to $11.5 billion as of June 30 from $7.64 billion as of March 31, according to data contained in the SEC filings. The firm didn’t quantify its holdings at the end of 2010. The firm’s hedges, known as reverse repurchase agreements, jumped to $4.93 billion at June 30 from $1.08 billion as of March 31, the data show.
Revenue from the European sovereign trades was about $47 million during the fiscal fourth quarter ended March 31, or 16 percent of net revenue, and $38 million, or 12 percent, in the following quarter, according to an October investor presentation.

Beginning of End

“This perspective reinforces our strategic view that diversifying into client dealing and principal trading works to reduce dependence on a single line of business and allowed us to grow revenues even in a difficult environment,” Corzine told analysts during a July 28 conference call.
The deal began to unravel in August when the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority told MF Global to add capital to its U.S. brokerage to back the trades. Then on Oct. 24, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded MF Global to one level above junk status, citing its ongoing inability to meet earnings targets and concern that it wasn’t sufficiently managing risk. The next day, MF Global reported its worst-ever quarterly loss.
By the end of that week, the broker’s credit ratings were cut to junk, its bonds were trading at distressed levels and it had drawn down its entire $1.3 billion revolving credit facility.
Corzine’s strategy may ultimately have proven “very profitable” had the firm been able to hold the trades to maturity, said Josh Galper, the managing principal at Finadium, a Concord, Massachusetts, investment research and consulting firm. The firm’s collapse stemmed from a cash shortage, with trading partners and lenders seeking more collateral after the credit downgrade, rather than actual losses on the bonds, Galper said.
“If MF Global had bought the same trade without leverage, there would have been no issue,” Galper said in an interview.

Financial red alert: Europe stands on verge of ‘apocalyptic’ debt crisis with only days remaining

After years of working diligently to raise the alarm on the precariousness of the global financial system, it has become clear to me that most people still do not grasp the reality of where our global financial system really stands. We are on the verge of a systemic financial implosion that could very nearly wipe out the currency holdings (bank accounts) of hundreds of millions of people, and with each passing day, that long-postponed day of financial reckoning inches ever closer.
“If the European summit could reach a deal on December 9, its next scheduled meeting, the eurozone will survive. If not, it risks a violent collapse,” writes Wolfgang Munchau of the Financial Times (http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d9a299a8-1760-11e1-b00e-00144feabdc0.html). Two years ago, such language would have been spat upon as “doom and gloom fear mongering.” Today it is the mathematical reality across the European Union.
The Polish foreign minister said today that what Europe faces is “a crisis of apocalyptic proportions” (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d29da7fc-19ee-11e1-b9d7-00144feabdc0.html) and urged what is essentially more useless debt bailout tactics to try to delay mathematical reality a little while longer.
I now believe that when the dust settles after the coming debt implosion wreaks economic havoc across the globe, more than a few banksters and money-changers will find themselves indicted, imprisoned, or possibly just hanging from a tall tree at the end of a short rope. That’s how angry the public is going to get when the full realization of the unprecedented theft and criminality of the global banking elite hits them, I fear.

10 days to the economic implosion of the Eurozone?

The EU’s present economic system may not survive the next few weeks. Even if some creative, shifty accounting can be ginned up to keep EU nations solvent, it will only be done so as a temporary delay in the inevitable financial collision that now approaches. Before long, even the denialists and mainstream news minions will have to admit that these global banksters have destroyed the economies of entire nations in much the same way that the Federal Reserve has all but destroyed America’s economic future. The dishonest, debt-mounting schemes which have been pursued by the derivatives-infected global banking industry are nothing less than campaigns offinancial terrorismwaged against the working people of our planet — people who shall, of course, foot the bill for the inevitable damage and destruction that will result.
The criminality of the banksters now seems emboldened by a sense of lawless arrogance:
A large brokerage firm known as MF Global recently collapsed and simply stole the assets of all its customers (http://www.infowars.com/gerald-celente-cme-the-white-shoe-boyz-club/). Meanwhile, Britain is drawing up emergency plans for the collapse of the Eurozone (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2066862/Britain-draws-emergency-plans-collapse-Euro-warnings-Italy-needs-500bn-bailout.html). And we now learn that secret Federal Reserve loans pumped $13 billion of profits into the hands of banks which were on the verge of systemic failure (http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/d9a299a8-1760-11e1-b00e-00144feabdc0.html).
The banksters are stealing everything from the working class, and governments are going along with the theft, riding shotgun on what is without question the greatest swindle in history. This is what happens when you give up your national sovereignty or turn over control of your money supply to a private, non-government corporation such as the Federal Reserve. This is what happens when you deregulate financial institutions and let the Goldman Sachs controllers influence Congress to get the (corrupt) legislation they want. What we’re dealing with here is runaway criminality…not capitalism.
… and it’s all about to blow up right in the faces of those who have tried to cover it up for the past several years.

AFEMARESCUE camp is ready and waiting for you

Now, in case you’re thinking about taking to the streets and protesting all this when the financial implosion steals whatever might be remaining of your hard-won savings, think again: The U.S. Senate is moving to enact a law that would allow military troops to march on U.S. soil and arrest American citizens with no due process, no trial, no legal representation and no protection under the Bill of Rights. Americans could be thrown in secret military prisons, interrogated, tortured and held indefinitely without ever being charged with a crime!
It’s all part of the new “National Defense Authorization Act” (S.1867) which features a section called the “worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial” provision.
“The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself,” says the ACLU (http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/senators-demand-military-lock-american-citizens-battlefield-they-define-being).
Sen. Lindsey Graham even explained in plain language that the bill is being written to detain American citizens anywhere in America! His words on the Senate floor: “…1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.”
In other words, the total military police state tyranny will soon be overt and official. So let’s dispense with the silly talk that we live in a “free” nation. Enough of the childish accusations that people like Alex Jones are only spouting “conspiracy theories” about the police state. When the U.S. Senate fronts a bill that, in plain language, authorizes the use of the military to conduct secret arrests of American citizens on any “battlefield,” including the “battlefield” right outside your front door, the tyranny is no longer a theory, folks — it’s an historical fact! It’s time we all woke up to the nightmare reality and did something about it for a change.
This legislation, not surprisingly, was drafted by the globalist traitors Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.). Sen. McCain, himself a prisoner of war in Vietnam, apparently believes not enough Americans have yet experienced what it’s like to be held under a tyrannical regime with no legal rights. So now he’s making sure the U.S. government acts almost as if it were the North Vietnamese, or North Korea for that matter. Heck, even in North Korea, the police don’t feel your genitals at checkpoints. That’s uniquely a USA form of “sexually perverse tyranny.”
If passed into law, this act would allow the U.S. military to arrest and imprison American citizens for merely being suspected of so-called “terrorist-related activities.”
“This means Americans could be declared domestic terrorists and thrown in a military brig with no recourse whatsoever,” writes Paul Joseph Watson of InfoWars.com. “Given that the Department of Homeland Security has characterized behavior such as buying gold, owning guns, using a watch or binoculars, donating to charity, using the telephone or email to find information, using cash, and all manner of mundane behaviors as potential indicators of domestic terrorism, such a provision would be wide open to abuse.” (http://www.infowars.com/senate-moves-to-allow-military-to-intern-americans-without-trial/)

The police state crackdown is being rushed into “law” before the total financial collapse strikes

It is no coincidence, of course, that the invocation of unconstitutional military powers (and TSA-led highway checkpoints) is happening at precisely the moment in history when the global banking system is on the verge of a systemic collapse. The ramping up of FEMA camps, the armed raids on raw milk farms, the “trickle-down tyranny” now infecting the very fabric of our nation (http://www.naturalnews.com/034221_trickle-down_tyranny_America.html)… these are not chance events. They are all part of an engineered oppression of liberties being thrust upon the American people in anticipation of large-scale social unrest (riots) which will almost certainly follow the financial implosion that’s now at our doorstep.
People, it seems, are not happy when everything they’ve worked for is stolen from them. Gee, I wonder why? As Gerald Celente says, when the people have lost everything, and they have nothing more to lose,they lose it!
For the record, I do not condone rioting in the streets, which is why I work diligently to teach people about all this realitybefore it happensso they are not surprised and shocked by it. Rioters, by definition, are those acting out of emotional anger, and that comes from beingsurprisedby a sudden escalation that was unexpected. People like myself (and hopefully you) who see all this coming won’t be surprised at all, and we share in the realization that violent rioting achieves nothing other than a whole lot of spilled blood — and that blood should be avoided, if at all possible, I believe.
Nevertheless, only a small percentage of people alive today are willing to awaken to reality. Most will subsist in a state of self delusion and irrational denial, all the way to the very day that they lose everything to the global banking elite.

The laws of mathematics cannot be argued with

That day of rage is unfortunately coming in America. I’ve been warning people about this for years, and it now seems closer than ever before.
The gullible sheeple, of course, still chuckle and grunt at the idea that the value of their precious dollars could somehow evaporate virtually overnight. They do not grasp the mathematics of leveraged debt, and they have no real awareness of how global fractional reserve banking really works. These “ignorant masses” will lose everything. And being shocked by the sudden change in their fortunes, they will riot in the streets, at which point they will be rounded up and railroaded into FEMA camps. That’s when the incinerators will be fired up, says Max Keiser (http://www.maxkeiser.com/), and the next horrific holocaust will commence under a police state system of eliminating the “useless eaters.”
If that happens, the U.S. government will of course hand-pick the incinerator administrators from the top ranks of the TSA. After all, someone who is willing to openly violate an innocent person’s Fourth Amendment rights andsexually molestair passengers is only one step away from gleefully operating the Zyklon-B gas emitters in the shower chamber full of “terrorist resistance fighters” (i.e. innocent protesters). As the Milgram experiments have long proven, a whopping 70 percent of the population will actively murder innocents if directed to do so by a person in an apparent position of authority (http://www.naturalnews.com/025141.html).
(No tyrannical police state has ever suffered from a lack of willing, power-hungry volunteers who love to wear a uniform and crush the skulls of innocents, by the way. Even today, TSA jobs are strongly sought after by those unqualified to do anything other than act as police state bullies…)
Oh, is this all too much for you? Let’s tone it down, then, and imagine governments never commit acts of evil against the People. Let’s play la-la-land pretend time for a moment and imagine that the U.S. government in particular will always respect your civil rights, your human rights and the Bill of Rights — because, we’ll imagine,the government operates from a philosophical foundation of ethical behavior. (Yes, see if you can swallow that thought for a minute and actually keep it down…)
Ah, but hold on. They’re already violating the Bill of Rights with unreasonable roadside searches and checkpoints. The government has already openly admitted to running inhumane, grotesque human medical experiments that used innocent human beings as guinea pigs to enhance the profits of the drug companies (http://www.naturalnews.com/034221_trickle-down_tyranny_America.html). The FBI has already been caught actually masterminding the “terrorist” campaigns across America that it then takes credit forhalting!(http://www.naturalnews.com/033751_FBI_terrorism.html). And the ATFadmittedlyoperates a criminal gun-running operation that has put tens of thousands of guns into the hands of Mexican drug gangs (http://www.naturalnews.com/032934_ATF_illegal_firearms.html).
None of this computes with the bizarre belief that the government is protective of life, compassionate toward the People or even capable of operating within the bounds of limited government under which it was originally created by the People.
And yet, there is one industry the government absolutely loves: The banking industry. Trillions of dollars in magical new money have been created and handed out to the wealthiest criminal banksters in the USA and around the world. These are the golden elite of the world’s wealthiest criminals. They’re so rich and so deeply invested in obscene criminality that when they bet the wrong way and stand to lose a few trillion dollars, the central banks of the world leap to attention and crank up the printing presses to bail them out! (… leaving you and I to foot the bill through the loss of value in the currency we foolishly hold by depositing our money in many of those same banks!)
No government of the world, you see, will bail out its own citizens. But they will gladly bail out the wealthy, elite banksters who, more than anyone, deserve to be publicly prosecuted for committing the most heinous white-collar crimes our world has ever seen.

You won’t be bailed out; you’ll be buried

So don’t expect for one minute that YOU are going to bailed out, or have your rights protected, or valued in any way whatsoever by the global governments or the banksters that pull their strings. You and I are fodder to the globalists. We are already soylent green on the menu. Our cash is already in the process of being stolen, we just haven’t fully added it up yet.
Our rights have already been dismissed and trampled, and now the thuggish grunt-minded minions of the TSA are merely trying to drive that point home in the minds of Americans by groping, molesting and in some cases sodomizing innocent Americans. What Sandusky did to little boys over the last fifteen years at Penn State, the TSA — a bastion of pedophilia and psychopathic criminals — is doing every single day across the airports of America.
Prison is not nearly appropriate enough for the crimes these government psychopaths are committing right now under the guise of “protecting us from terrorism.” These uniform-wearing monsters deserve a special place in Hell that’s reserved for the serial rapists, the mass murderers, the pharmaceutical drug reps and evil genius bioweapons scientists. I predict there will be noreconciliationagainst these tyrants who now believe they are above the law (and above the “little people” like you and me). When the masses are finally awakened to the full extent of the tyranny that has already been unleashed upon them, I pity those who took part in this system of great, unforgiveable evil — a system that may yet give Nazi Germany a run for its money in the degree of evil being unleashed upon our world.

Financial collapse and tyranny go hand in hand

The clock is ticking on both counts: The financial implosion and the total tyrannical crackdown against liberty and freedom. They are strongly correlated events, as the former forces the hand of Big Government to roll out the latter.
Those who are caught sandwiched between these historical trends will find themselves either broke, imprisoned or incinerated (or maybe all three in a row). Only those who have the presence of mind to recognize the reality around them will have any chance at surviving all this and then taking part in the restoration of civil liberties and fundamental freedoms in the next society.
It’s going to be an interesting ride. May God have mercy on the souls of those who have unleashed the destruction we are about to witness, because I do not believe the once-awakened sheeple of the world will have any mercy at all. They’re the ones, after all, that will be surprised by everything that is about to unfold.
Thomas Jefferson famously wrote the following commentary about rebellion:
“God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty… And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”
It is my great desire that we can find a way to refresh the tree of libertywithoutthe blood of patriots and tyrants. Peaceful revolution — and the rationalrestorationof liberty is always preferable to bloodshed. And yet, as JFK famously said on this very point, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”