Grassroot Perspective: Land of the Sorta Free, Compromise and Agree with Me, and More

This column was originally published here on Hawaii Reporter. Scanning the week’s national news, views and clues with you and yours in mind Quote of the Week: “The good news is that, according to the Obama administration, the rich will pay for everything. The bad news is that, according to the Obama administration, you’re rich. “–P. J. O’Rourke  Each week, we’ll be monitoring the web to find the most interesting, challenging, or important items for those who are concerned about liberty, accountability, and big government.  Here are some of the highlights from the past week: Land of the Somewhat Free It will come as no surprise that Americacontinues its mediocre performance on the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World 2012 index.  After climbing to the top 5 between 1980 and 2000, we dropped to 8th in 2005, and now sit at an embarrassing 18th place.  What figures into their assessment?  Things like size of government, sound money, regulation, and freedom to trade internationally.  So it’s not hard to figure out what has happened in the last several years that has caused the precipitous decline.  The size of our government has ballooned, and the current administration (whose anti-obesity campaign should really be aimed at federal government programs) is intent on growing it more.  Our monetary policy seems as though it was designed by a drunk man playing darts at 3am.  And our bloated federal agencies continue to try to justify their existence (and increase their power by stealth) by increasing our regulatory burden. The greatest irony of all is that all of these changes were sold to the American people...

A Community Organizer Among Hunter-Gatherers: Do We Have Socialist or Individualistic Genes?

by Paul Gregory “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” Barack Obama October 13, 2008 The  story below is based on Thomas Mayor’s Hunter-Gatherers: The Original Libertarians. He demonstrates that we are genetically programmed to respect  individual rights to the fruits of our own efforts. Our prehistoric forbearers did not engage in voluntary redistribution. They shared perishable food, not out of altruism, but as insurance and reciprocal gift giving. Consistent shirkers were expelled from the band. If anyone tried to force them to redistribute, they simply picked up and moved on to another hunting ground. Here is the story: “A young community organizer is struck by lightning and is transported back to 20,000 BC, sitting around a fire as twenty five cold fur-clad men recount their day of hunting and gathering. The community organizer feels an immediate kinship.  His Ivy League course on “Liberation Writings from Marx-Engels to Cornell West” taught him that these noble “first communists” constitute “our loving, peaceful, lyrically fair human core.”  Shared belief in collective production and equal distribution make us spiritual brothers. He is fortunate to be able to observe the “blissful conditions of a fabulous golden age of the remote past,” as one writer phrased it. This should be fun. The glorious savages name him their leader.  Anyone who could make fire with the “flick of a Bic lighter” must be a god. Well, if our intrepid time traveler can organize tough Chicago neighborhoods, he can help this clan live up to its principles of  collectivism and redistribution. The next day, the community organizer dispatches the hunters and...