Monthly Archives: May 2014

Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: Drug Testing Oregon Welfare and OHP Recipients

Do Libertarians believe in drug testing? Obviously, there’s no way to know for sure, but in general I think Libertarians would vehemently oppose such testing as “invasion” or aggression, unless an Individual willingly agreed to, or even requested, such testing. Perhaps such testing could be argued as an invasion of privacy too.

But what if the State is providing welfare, by forceably taking the fruits of the labor of one man, and transferring it to another, at gunpoint? This is the coercion, the aggression of the State against the Individual, which is the very thing we Minarchists say should be prevented by the State, and one of the few valid reasons for its existence, we argue. Since we are being aggressed against to provide this welfare and these medical procedures, is it a crime for us Libertarians to advocate aggression against the Individuals who use these services by drug testing them?

I feel it is outrageous that people receiving welfare benefits, — food stamps, housing allowances, Oregon Health Plan, cash allowances — should be permitted to use what are loosely termed “drugs”, from the least addictive to the most, and continue to receive these benefits.  If someone is on welfare, the entire point of the program should be: to move them off welfare as quickly as possible. (This used to be the attitude of welfare workers up to the late 1950s. With the coming of Liberalism, there came a move to sign-up and keep as many welfare recipients as possible, as this meant constant salaries for the social workers, and a big increase in their departmental budgets.)

Of course, a large part of the welfare problem comes from the racist minimum wage laws, which financially disenfranchise tens of millions of young Americans, and especially hit Black youth. Much of the welfare problem would disappear if the restrictionist minimum wage laws were abolished. Also, the vast unConstitutional communist redtape of America, from business licenses, to keeping business records and filing taxes, keeps many teenage would-be entrepreneurs from even dreaming of starting a business, as they are dragooned into government schools, and then brainwashed into thinking they are nothing if they don’t get a college degree, usually selling themselves into debt slavery to do so. In the old days, a peddler started out with a backpack — no license needed — plowed his profits into getting a pushcart, and he was off. No such luck for today’s tied-down youths. They can no longer get a job at the local grocery store, while anyone hiring them legally for any protracted length would soon have to start worrying about the nanny-tax.

So let’s not blame many of the homeless, and street gang youth, for their positions, and some of their black market operations that would not be legal crimes in a Libertarian society, though they might be moral crimes or vices (for example, trafficking in tobacco). What moral crime could be greater than a working man telling a penniless man that it is a crime for him to work.

Libertarianism is a political ethic based on Natural Law Rights, and non-aggression, those Natural Law Rights being derived from man’s Reasoning mind, and not through some vague, mystical feeling, or religous dogma. Our Intelligence recognizes a malum in se, a crime in itself, when it sees one, which is why almost all societies have condemned crimes like murder, theft, rapine, and contractual fraud. Nature has so constructed our minds, that our Intelligence naturally recognizes these things as crimes, while the cat, slowly torturing the mouse or lizard to death, feels no remorse whatsoever. Nature has blinded the cat’s conscience to the misery it is causing, for without that blindness, it could not survive. (Fortunately, Providence gave us a hinged thumb, so we could develop agriculture, and not have to kill the animals, but the cat was not so fortunate, so it must kill or starve.) 

 Libertarianism can say what is politically ethical as far as property rights and aggressions against those rights, but it can make no moral or ethical judgements as to what Individuals do with those rights.

But as far as drug testing, while I don’t like the idea of some drug-company getting a huge profit at the public’s expense for drug testing all these people, it would save the public far more in taxes and provide better health for welfare recipients, or have them removed from the program if they couldn’t abandon their drug of choice. However, this drug testing must not involve the taking of blood, or the invasion of the body with a needle, or even possibly the cutting of hair. All these are violent aggressions against the body by the State, and should not be permitted. Breathalyzers, urine analysis,, possibly hair analysis and cheek scrapings, should be the first choices.

But, where would I place the cut-off, if any, for drug use? Would it be caffeine or what?

As Governor, I would use the Benowitz scale of addiction, developed by Dr. Benowitz of the University of California at San Francisco. Benowitz was recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on drug addiction, especially nicotine, and he developed a scale of addiction for all the major psychoactive drugs currently being used to blast open the doors of perception. Using caffeine as the cut-off point, I would remove from the welfare rolls anyone using any drug more addictive than caffeine on Dr. Benowitz’s scale. These would include the opiates, opium, morphine, and heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, any of the various amphetamines, ecstasy, barbituates, tobacco, and alcohol. Since so many individuals use these drugs and continue to receive welfare, it would either force them to terminate their use, or save the taxpayer a large fortune. No working person who doesn’t use drugs, or who pays for his own, should be forced to subsidize the drug habits of welfare recipients. That is unconscionable.

There are problems when it comes to cannabis and caffeine. Many individuals now have medical-cannabis cards for the wide array of conditions in which this herb is medically useful, so they should not be denied solely on this ground. Also, someone could easily breathe in second-hand cannabis smoke if they socialized with any smokers between visits to their social worker or doctor, and they should not be penalized just for that.

Caffeine usage should also be theoretically banned, but here again, the caffeine may be the result of a free-will gift, not a purchase, and a person should not be penalized for accepting a free-will offering. Also, there is debate as to whether caffeine is a truly addictive substance. (I believe it is, but just barely so.) Moreover, the practical cost of one cup of homemade coffee or tea is so minimal, that objecting to a welfare recipient using it before a job interview would seem picayune. However, this is a utilitarian cop-out, for the principle should be that not one cent of the taxpayer’s money should be wasted on drugs-for-pleasure. Let’s let the public debate that one.

The Oregon Health Plan should also adopt a standard that no one using it could use any drug more addictive than caffeine, but unfortunately, now that so many have been stampeded into it against their will, due to Obamacare, they should not be penalized for complying with an unjust Federal law, instead of paying the outrageous tax penalty to the Federal Government for not complying. If Obamacare is ever repealed, then those using the OHP should be forbidden to use any drug more addictive than caffeine, or be put into treatment if they can’t stop using it, and removed from the program if they continue to use. Those concerned with this problem of hopeless addiction are free to set up private charities to take care of these persons after they are removed from the Oregon Health Plan.

It’s time to stop mollycoddling those addicted to drugs like tobacco and alcohol, who also mulct the taxpayer of the hard-earned fruits of his labor, and who receive welfare and Oregon Health Plan services. They should be given a chance to stop using, but if they can’t, they should no longer be allowed to aggress against the taxpayers.

Paul Grad, paulgrad4governor.wordpress.com

 

Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: How I Voted on Oregon State Initiatives in the Libertarian Primary

The Oregon Libertarian Party’s Primary, paid for by the party and not the general taxpayer, is conducting a primary vote on the Oregon State Initiatives, Referendums, and Referrals measures (IRRs) that will be on the November ballot. In the interests of those voters who might vote for me in the Libertarian Primary, or later in the general election in the unlikely event that I win in the primary, I think it my duty to tell the voters how I voted on these issues and why, so that they can get a better sense of my brand of Libertarianism.

Firstly, there is IRR no.2, which would prohibit all payroll deductions from public employees to/on behalf of any public employee unions. This is a pretty easy one for Libertarians, so I voted yes. Of course, government should have nothing to do with funding any private collective group, whether it be a union or a corporation, and anyone in these groups is completely free to make that payroll deduction on their own.

That said, if I were a utilitarian, I would say that the cost to the state of setting up such an automatic deduction mechanism would be very minimal, and once set up, it would incur virtually no additional costs. In other words, automatic payroll deductions would cost almost nothing to set up and maintain, and would be a great convenience to those who wished to pay into that system. But obviously it is still not the responsibility of the State or the taxpayers to set this up, and the would-be union donor is still as free as a bird to donate money from his paycheck to the unions. It is his responsibility to make that payment, not the State’s or the taxpayer’s.

Since Libertarians base their decisions on Principle, not Utilitarianism, it is easy to decide that this issue requires a resounding “Yes” to prohibit such payroll deductions.

Moving on to IRR no.6, which would prohibit funds directly/indirectly for abortions, we did not vote, for we feel that both sides in the abortion debate are absolutely right. Listening to Murray Rothbard’s arguments for abortion, and Ron Paul’s arguments against abortion, it’s hard not to agree with both of them. Therefore I abstained from voting on this measure.

Moving on to IRR no.8, which recognizes same sex marriage, I again abstained, for I feel that the correct procedure is not to extend the unjust tax privileges that go with marriage, a religious institution, to yet another group of people, but rather to remove marriage altogether from the secular law books and government. Marriage, being a religious institution, should be completely cut off from government, the State, and the lawbooks, in my opinion. However, since this would indicate that I should have voted no on the measure, and I didn’t,  I did so because such a no vote would usually be interpreted as a vote against same sex marriage. Frankly, I don’t give a darn what people do in their private lives as long as there is no violation of the Libertarian non-aggression axiom, but I also don’t think that special privileges should be extended to certain collective groups of taxpayers which force all other taxpayers to pay a higher rate of tax. Instead of legalizing same sex marriage under the law, we should be eliminating all marriage from the law books. However, prejudice is unfortunately so great against gays and lesbians in our current society, that voting no on this measure could easily be interpreted as condoning that heinous prejudice, so I abstained.

Here, we should point out that Wes Wagner, the Libertarian Party of Oregon’s Chairman, made an excellent plea in our voter’s pamphlet, for voting Yes on this measure, pointing out that the Libertarian Party had vigorously opposed Measure 36, passed in 2004, which in effect outlawed same sex marriage. We agree with his arguments, and would have liked to have voted Yes, but Principle forced us not to do so.

Measure IRR no.21, which would de facto legalize cannabis, with a few exceptions, and with state regulation, was one we voted yes for, while holding our nose. The measure is excellent, and duplicates our own view exactly, except for its last part which gives the State the power to regulate, even tax, this powerful and medically-useful herb which is less physically addictive than caffeine. That latter part of the measure spoils it irreparably. The wording that permits “State regulation reasonably defining, limiting, regulating use, possession, production, sale, taxation of cannabis” is so blatantly anti-Libertarian, and so pro-nanny State,that I probably should not have voted for it, but on the other hand, the suffering and misery caused by the cannabis prohibitionists to our fellow Citizens is so great, that voting for this measure is better than voting “no”, and having that “no” vote interpreted as public opposition to the legalization of cannabis. Who is to define what “reasonable” is in this vague measure? Yet, of the three cannabis-decriminalizing measures on the ballot, this is the least Fascistic in my opinion.Cannabis should be completely legal and unregulated, save for delivery to minors, and reckless endangerment issues, and the public should not accept anything less, like a tax, or the government defining what a “reasonable” consumption rate is.

Moving on, we come to IRR no.22, which again would more or less legalize cannabis, but would set up a “cannabis commission”, another unnecessary-boondoggle bit of bureaucracy, with its accompanying huge salaries. I believe all State commissions should be eliminated, and their salaries returned to the taxpayers in the form of lowered personal income tax rates. So I voted “no”.

IRR no.23 puts forth a very important point that needs to be introduced into current law, that Natural Individuals have more Rights than corporations/governments, known as “artificial individuals”, and that  Natural Individuals can exercise an undefined privacy right. Obviously, since this is one of my proposals in my platform, that Individual Rights should be put before collectivist, notional, idea’s, known as corporations, so-called rights, I voted for this measure with gusto, despite its vagueness.

Measure IRR no.34, which puts equality of rights for both sexes into the State Constitution, following on a  decision of the Oregon Supreme Court, is long overdue., so I voted “yes”. This should have been the law since the time of the French Revolution, when the State of Oregon didn’t even exist.

IRR no.52 is a very important measure, and one that I believe violates Federal Law. It gives business an exception from anti-discrimination laws for “religious belief”. I voted against it, because it violates the Federal guarantee, printed on every Federal Reserve Note, that that note is legal tender for all debts, private and public. Now, it seems to me that when you advertise a price for a good or service, either in your store window, or in a public advertisement, then what you’ve done is offer an implied contract, which says that you will exchange the good or service offered for a fixed quantity of Federal Reserve notes. Thus, to suddenly discriminate against someone, based on whatever reason except those which pertain to every single Citizen (like “shirt and shoes required for service” in a restaurant), is to violate a business contract that is guaranteed by the Federal Government, a serious Federal Law offence.

Therefore, since it violates Contract law, it should be voted against, and I did so vote.

IRR no.53 is a horrendous cannabis issue, that already has the state creating all kinds of complex rules, red tape, and huge taxes on cannabis. It’s just as bad as the cannabis commission creating bill, perhaps even worse. But voting against it, again might be construed as wanting to keep cannabis illegal, so we obstained from voting on this one.

IRR no.54, which would lead to only two candidates on the final ballot, is a bipartisan Fascist measure if there ever was one, designed to eliminate our elective choices down to the two “main” parties. The mainstream media, and the two behemoth political parties, would like to have you think that politics is a football game between only two political ideologies, Liberalism vs. Conservativism, with George McGovern and William F. Buckley as head coaches. They certainly don’t want the public thinking in third or forth directions, like the total state ownership of everything under Communism, or the wide-ranging freedom of a Free-market, laissez-faire, Capitalist society under Libertarianism, where government interference in life would be very minimal, except to restrain violent criminals. This bill would attempt to institutionalize that restriction of our political vision, by giving us only a final choice between a Democrat big-government supporter, and a Republican big-government supporter.

After all, if this bill had already passed, I couldn’t be on the ballot in November. So I voted “no”.

Measure IRR no.301, which would issue “drivers cards” to anyone, without having to prove legal residence in the U.S., is another one of those utilitarian measures which should be rejected on Principle. There may be pragmatic reasons for driver testing illegal immigrants, to make sure the roads are safer, and we think they would be, but that does not overlook the fact that we are enabling people to live comfortably in America, when they haven’t gone through the long, tortuous process that Naturalized American Citizens have gone through to become U.S. Citizens. It seems to me that this unfairness to those who followed the law would warrant a “no” vote on this measure, even if it has real, pragmatic effects that would argue for its passage. I think the immigration laws should be obeyed, although one wing of Libertarianism to which I adhere, feels that immigrants are a great boon to a Capitalist society, and that anyone who comes here and contributes his skills and labor to our economy, as long as he obeys the Libertarian Non-Aggression Axiom, is an asset to be encouraged, not moaned about. There was very little discussion about “illegal immigration” at the time of the American Revolution, when foreigners came to help.

Last amongst our list of measures, is the horrendous IRR no.402, which would amend the Constitution to require creation of a fund for Oregonians pursuing post-secondary education, and authorize State indebtedness to finance the fund. This is just another measure to aggrandize Government schools, and keep loads more people out of the competitive labor market for many more years, as well as financing the cushy lifestyles of the college and university intellectuals and bureaucrats, who live in a completely different world from the minimum wage earner, the roofer, and the barber. (Just look at the immorally high salaries of our university presidents, personnel managers, investment fund advisors, and athletics coaches. Since when has football had anything to do with education? College sports are entertainment boondoggles — modern forms of Roman Circus, paid for at the taxpayer’s expense.) Many of these intellectuals couldn’t make a cent in the free-market if it weren’t for their State subsidization, although in a Free-Market for education, that rid us of these horrendous government schools and the financial albatross they tie around our necks, the talented amongst these intellectuals would soon find positions at privately-financed schools, or as tutors. Our Government Universities should all be closed, except for slowly phasing out the medical-teaching facilities, and their buildings should probably be used as temporary homeless shelters for all the hobos and homeless young mothers who have been impoverished by the Minimum Wage Laws, and the massive bipartisan monetary inflation that is being carried out under Bush-Obama, which has impoverished so many of those who voted Democratic. Housing the homeless thusly would save the State welfare departments a small fortune in housing allowances.

In brief, I voted “no” on IRR no.402.

Hopefully, this discussion will give you a glimpse into my interpretation of Libertarian doctrine vis-a-vis these political issues.

The Libertarian Primary is now underway, and results should be announced around June 6th. I thank the Party for giving those of us who registered as Libertarians a chance to voice our opinions on these very crucial political issues, (and a chance to run for office without having to collect thousands upon thousands of signatures). The Libertarian Party of Oregon has done a Good Deed.

Libertarians can vote for me on the Libertarian Primary Ballot. Democrats, Republicans, and Communists can write me in.

Paul Grad, paulgrad4governor.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: Opting-Out of Autopsies

One of the key principles of Libertarianism is the reality of self-ownership. This self-ownership lasts not only through the life of the Individual, but into his death. This is clearly illustrated by the Libertarian opposition to the estate and inheritance taxes, which are a violation of inalienable Property Rights. As we pointed  in our post on abolishing the estate and inheritance taxes, such taxes are violations not of the Property Rights of the inheritor, but violations of the Property Rights of the deceased.

If we hold this principle valid, then we would have to give individuals the option of declining an autopsy, when current law would mandate one, since this is literally an invasion of their property rights in their own bodies. This could be done though a codicil in their wills prohibiting an autopsy on themselves.

Many individuals and certain religious groups view autopsy as an irreligious violation of their personal or religous wishes, and their views and Rights need to be respected. This could be done by letting them include instructions in their wills that would forbid autopsy.

However, I would make two exceptions to this opting out. First, if law enforcement had a strong suspicion of foul play, like they found a bullet in your back, then the solving of such a serious “malum in se”, that is, a major crime in Libertarian Law,  would take precedence over the wishes of the deceased, unless their will specifically requested the non-prosecution of their murderer. Even then, it could be debated that the non-pursuit of a murderer would be a violation of law enforcement’s responsibility to solve malum in se crimes. And it is also fairly unlikely that many citizens would request the non-prosecution of their murderers.

The second exception to the autopsy opt-out would be if the next of kin requested an autopsy, because they, for some reason, suspected foul play, even if the police did not.

Liberty means, not only doing with your body what you want during life, as long as it doesn’t violate the Libertarian Non-Aggression Axiom, but doing what you want with your body after death.

Let’s protect the dignity of the dead, defend Natural Law Property Rights, and prevent these violations of religious observance which the State is currently permitted to carry out in modern America. Let’s legalize opting-out of an autopsy.

Libertarians can vote for me on the Libertarian Primary ballot. Democrats, Republicans, and Communists can vote for me in November.

Paul Grad, paulgrad4governor.wordpress.com

Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: Abolishing PERS, the Public Employees Retirement System

As Governor of Oregon, I will introduce legislation abolishing the heinous public employees retirement system, known as PERS.

There can be little doubt that PERS is bankrupting local governments all over Oregon. It is an outrageous, immoral system, and one which shows how communistic proposals that sound reasonable can lead to horrendous results that undermine an entire society.

Imprimus, let’s remember that the entire idea of publicly funded retirement systems is completely immoral, and a violation of the inalienable right to ones own property in the form of taxes. There is certainly an obligation to pay public employees a salary, just as in the private market, but why should we be obliged to pay a public employee retirement benefits for the rest of their post-60 year old lives? Obviously, we should not be obliged under a system of Libertarian Law, and the property that we are forced to hand over to this sytem in the form of taxes is nothing but theft through coercion. Given the huge benefits accrued, and the annual COLA increase which is larger than most banks pay in interest, where is there in our Jeffersonian Constitution any obligation for the taxpayer to support people after they cease to work for the taxpayer? Since we are all already dragooned into the immoral Federal Social Security System by the Federal Government, and if that system is supposedly sufficient to support people in their old age, why should there be any further obligation on state taxpayers to provide an additional welfare boondoggle to these communistic parasites (and we exclude from this description those state workers who morally objected to PERS but were forced, if they wanted to work for the State, into having to participate in it)?

There is absolutely no reason why people cannot save for their own retirement, or why private retirement funds could not be set up on the free-market that would carry out the same function. State workers should be on the same footing as the Manpower employee who works for the minimum wage, and receives absolutely no retirement benefits.

Whenever the politicians dun you for more tax money for yet another government function, remember that that money probably would have been available if there were no PERS system bleeding local government of its revenues.

Recall that over 1,100 Oregon State PERS recipients currently receive over $100,000 each in pension benefits per year, according to Oregon Live, and a list of the top amount recipients published by the major newspaper, the Oregonian.

The top dozen annual amount recipients are Robert Bellotti — $513, 612, Neil Swanson — $463,053, Frederick Keller — $390,840, Lesley Hallick — $298,176, Steven Goldschmidt — $267,322, David Frohnmayer — $261,234, Frank Anderson — $251,070, William Korach — $249,327, Peter Kohler $246,468, Peter Vonhippel — $245,136, Anthony Montanaro — $241,984, and David Kabat, $238,844. The full list can be found here: http://gov.oregonlive.com/pers/browse/1/

This is the legalized, immoral looting of the taxpayers that goes on under the rule of the Democrats, and their Republican collaborators and enablers.

If you think that over 1,100 former State employees should receive annual retirement benefits of over $100,000, then vote for the Democrats and Republicans. If you think this is utterly immoral and unConstitutional, then vote for me and other Libertarians who would pledge to abolish this fiscal abomination.

Let’s stop mollycoddling wealthy government parasites at the expense of the public’s safety and those few government functions which are within the purview of the Jeffersonian concept of Libertarian government. Let’s abolish PERS.

Libertarians can check my name on the Libertarian Primary ballot. Democrats, Republicans, and Communists can vote for me if I win the Libertarian Primary (I’m running against three Republicans) on the November ballot, or write me in if I don’t win the Libertarian Primary.

Paul Grad, paulgrad4governor.wordpress.com

Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: Removing Marriage from the Oregon Legal Code

As Governor of Oregon, I will attempt to remove marriage from the State’s legal codes and statutes, and remove the injustices done to single people and those living in concubinage.

In the West, Marriage has always been regarded as a religious function and contract up until the present time. In all the major Western religions, marriage contracts were drawn up, and lodged with the religious bodies. It is only in modern times that we see the State taking over this religious function, and somehow twisting it into something “civil”.

But Jeffersonian Libertarianism deals only with the property rights of the Individual; it says nothing about collective rights, and certainly doesn’t acknowledge that they even exist. Natural Rights Law says that all men are endowed with the same exact Rights, and to give special rights to certain groups or collectives at the expense of those Individual Rights is surely wrong. (The Rights of children differ somewhat in scope from those of an adult, and require a separate discussion.)

Now, marriage gives certain collective rights to married people under current law at the expense of everyone who isn’t married, mostly in the realm of the immoral income tax, where a working man who keeps a wife at home can claim two deductions, while a single man with the same income can only claim one, and thus pays more in tax. This is immoral, and should change. Likewise for the single person, living with a concubine: though these two people are living in identical circumstances to the married couple, they get only one tax deduction on the working partner’s income, not two. In that marriage is a religious contract, this is a violation of the “separation of church and state” that Thomas Jefferson so wisely advised us to vigilantly maintain.

Getting rid of marriage from our laws, and just having the major organized religions, or even a registration group for atheists and agnostics, register marriages as solemn religious or special contracts between two people, would save the taxpayers a small fortune in court costs for divorce proceedings, and put the tax code on a far more just footing, if it is just at all.

However, in the probable event that we could not abolish the income tax, or could only gradually abolish it, I would favor giving a tax deduction to couples with children up to the age of about 16, one deduction for each child up to a maximum of three, and one for the mother if she did not work (if she did, she’d lose that deduction). This would be a family-friendly measure, for I think children should be the last to be penalized for what has been, up until now, a flawed toleration of an immoral law.

Why should a young person in their 20s, saving to start a family, have to pay a higher tax rate than a financially comfortable couple in their 50s and 60s with grown children, who get two deductions instead of the young persons one? But, of course, the root problem is the income tax itself, although a 1% income tax would be much better than a 10% sales tax ,or a 17% “value-added tax” — socialist Europe’s favorite.

Removing marriage from the law books would obviously open the door to any living arrangements people wanted to make. It seems to me that polyandry, polygamy, and so-called Gay marriage would then all be legal and removed as issues from politics, government, and the law books. (The religious court where the marriage contract was filed could settle divorce and inheritance questions.) As Libertarians, all we care about is non-coercion. If people want to live in certain ways, and there is no violence, coercion, or involuntary servitude, then, as Libertarians, what people are doing is none of our concern. It seems to me that what is really perverse is people always looking through their neighbor’s windows and worrying about what those neighbors are doing, instead of worrying about their own behavior.

Let’s abolish this unjust exaction on the backs of singles, and save the taxpayer a small fortune in court costs. Let’s treat marriage as the religious contract it is.

Paul Grad, paulgrad4governor.com

Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: Outlawing Noise Pollution from Air Conditioners and Boomboxes

As Governor of Oregon, I will put forth legislation that outlaws machine noise pollution crossing property lines from air conditioners and boomboxes, though there might be some exceptions for air conditioners.

Those who gripe that Libertarians shouldn’t be putting forth fresh legislation to increase the power of the State have evidently not read Professor Murray Rothbard’s discussion of noise pollution in Chapter 13 of his “For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto”. (Let me interject here that the first two works, which I think every Libertarian should read to achieve a firm foundation in its theory, are the aforementioned work, and “The Ethics of Liberty” also by Rothbard. Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” is also an eye-opener but is unfortunately both out of print and unavailable as an ebook, with only an abridged version, greatly reduced, available online.)

Noise pollution is invasion, and is a crime. Whether we deal with it through private suits, or government prohibitions, it must be curtailed.

Let’s hear what Professor Rothbard has to say in the Libertarian Manifesto: “Noise, too, is a form of air pollution. Noise is the creation of sound waves which go through the air and then bombard and invade the property and persons of others. Only recently have physicians begun to investigate the damaging effects of noise on the human physionomy. Again, a libertarian legal system would permit damage and class action suits and injunctions against excessive and damaging noise: against “noise pollution”. ”

Rothbard goes on, in regard to air pollution although the argument is identical for noise pollution, that “The remedy is simply for the courts to return to their function of defending persons and property rights against invasion, and therefore to enjoin anyone from injecting pollutants into the air.”

Such injunctions against air conditioner noise pollution that crosses property lines would be a defense of property rights, since there are technological ways of greatly reducing air conditioner noise with sound bladders and burms, and the offender is free to adopt them.

I could forsee a case, though, where a very poor homeowner, with a noisy air conditioner, could make good faith efforts to reduce the noise, say by installing a bladder and building a sound burm, and still emit a slight amount of noise that an adamant neighbor might insist was still an invasion of his property rights. If the offending homeowner, an elderly widow on a pension, could not financially afford to further abate the nuisance, what then? Should she be thrown out onto the street? This is one for public debate.

However, I think we should distinguish between non-necessary non-survival noise, like playing your stereo so loud that the noise crosses your neighbor’s property line without his consent, and essential noise necessary for human survival and safety, like your neighbor cutting his fire-hazard tall grass, or cutting his personal firewood with a chainsaw, or starting his car. But when it comes to voluntary activity for pleasure or non-essential comfort, like the music or radio noise that crosses the property line, which the offender can easily do something about, then I would have to agree completely with Professor Rothbard’s arguments. I think I’d just prefer to also have a government law against such pollution, so that not every infraction would require going through a lawyer to file a damage suit, which might be very costly and difficult, especially for the poorer victim. I have no objection in this case to the government being the hammer of the malefactor, when the malefactor is being so irresponsible as to invade his neighbor with noise pollution.

Rothbard postulates that if courts started awarding judgments and enacting injunctions for noise pollution, then that would spur the market for noise abatement technologies, like quieter motors and better bladders, and thus the free market would finally render air conditioner noise pollution a moot issue.

Environmentalists who think that all Libertarians want to ravage the environment, or necessarily would if they could, ought to read the last two sections of Chapter 13 of “For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto” entitled “Conservation of Resources” and “Pollution”. Even if you don’t agree with Rothbard’s arguments, it will give environmentalists something to ponder over, and may enable them to distinguish between those self-defining Libertarians who want the government and the courts to get out of the way when they pollute, and those who genuinely want to preserve what is left of Nature.

I believe noise pollution is a grave issue, which significantly raises the level of violence in our society, but an issue that the mainstream conformist politicans never bring up, or solve. I think a division of the police force, funded by the money saved by ending the war on drugs and pardoning non-violent offenders, should be dedicated to such environmental enforcement, for such enforcement is merely the government carrying out its Jeffersonian duty to protect your unalienable property rights.

To have a peaceful society, let’s have a peaceful society.

Libertarians can check my name on the Libertarian Primary ballot. Democrats, Republicans, and Communists can write me in.

Paul Grad, paulgrad4governor.wordpress.com

Paul Grad,

Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: Abolishing the Minimum Wage Law

As Governor of Oregon, I will seek to abolish the State’s Minimum Wage Law.

The Minimum Wage Law has often been put forward as some kind of humanitarian, good intent effort, but what it is is a prohibition making it illegal for you to work for wages below a certain level. Somehow it seems strange to me to say you’re helping someone by passing a law that says”You will have no income, because I say so in the name of humanitarianism”, despite the fact that the person who was disemployed was evidently quite willing to work for that amount below the minimum wage, or he wouldn’t have agreed to it. It is a strange morality  that gives the poor man and the hobo no income whatsoever instead of some income. Indeed, he has been denied the choice whether to work at that amount below the minimum wage, so that his Liberty has been severely curtailed. He is forced to sit on the beach, when he really wants to be working to get the dollars that buy him the commodities that make his life bearable, but the “humanitarian” comes in and says “It is forbidden.” Such humanitarians are usually not homeless.

But obviously, from the standpoint of Natural Rights Law, this is an abridgment of the unalienable Right to Contract, a crime against the Individual. That is all the moral reason necessary to repeal these laws.

However, there is a more sinister aspect to the minimum wage laws, and that is the racist aspect. According to Professor Murray Rothbard, before the Federal minimum wage laws were enacted, the unemployment rate for both Black and White teenagers was 8%. When the minimum wage was raised to 40 cents from 30 cents, the rates shot up for Black teenagers to 14% and for White teenagers to 11%. With the coming of the Korean War, with millions drafted into the armed forces, the rates fell back to 8%, but when the war ended, and the minimum wage was raised to 75 cents, the rates now shot up to 14% for White, and 24% for Black teenagers. When the rate was to be raised from $1.20 to $1. 65, Professor Milton Friedman testified before Congress that such a rise would mean 33% unemployment for Black teens. But the raise was passed anyway, and within 6 months to a year, the rate soared to 35% for Black teens, and has never come down. The differential between White and Black teen unemployment had always been zero before minimum wage laws; afterwards it has always been much higher for Blacks than for Whites. So this racist effect is clearly the work of the “humanitarian” minimum wage laws.

The fact that White teenage unemployment also rose after enactment, shows that not only is the minimum wage law racially discriminatory, but also discriminatory against youths in general.

The beneficiaries of this hell visited on Black youths, and youths in general, are overpaid trade union workers, who have successfully disemployed the more marginally-skilled workers, thus reducing labor competition, and in turn boosting the level of their wages. They ruin the lives of Youth in the name of doing good, but they know very well what they do.

It’s also often overlooked that a raise in the minimum wage has the effect of excluding many small startup companies, who may have gotten off the ground and perhaps succeeded with the old minimum wage, but who suddenly are confronted with new costs when the wage is raised, and find their business venture now unfeasible. This lessening of competition means less choice for the consumer and higher prices, something the large conglomerates love.

Thus the consumer is doubly robbed, first by paying more for goods due to the artificially higher wages received by the trade unions, and then in higher costs due to lack of competition from startup companies priced out by the higher minimum wage. The quality business that could have been but never was is a social cost of the minimum wage law that the Left never mentions, or even thinks about. But the Consumer suffers from that “never was”.

Moreover, one problem that is never mentioned is how the minimum wage laws rob the young of any experience in handling money and dealing with the economic problem, which is usually the main problem in most American’s lives. The child who could work in his uncle’s or neighbor’s business a few hours a week, or doing gardening or babysitting in the neighborhood, could learn something about earning and spending his own money. This economic experience is invaluable in this society, but minimum wage laws, if observed, rob modern children of this experience. The minimum wage, as it is raised, forces young people to get jobs in the one sector that can afford to pay it easily, the giant corporate sector. Working for one of these financial behemoths, the young person is forced to conform, to act like a robot, and to violate his moral code or get thrown out immediately. Is this the initial work experience we want to throw at young people, turning them into obeying robots? Between government schools and corporate jobs, it is no wonder we have such a passive country.

Ridding ourselves of the minimum wage will give teens a chance to work all kinds of different jobs, at different wage rates. Even the teen who is economically exploited may learn something, and resolve to never let himself be exploited again.

Additionally, in a country that is always verbally praising the free-market system and our freedom, in which there are no “maximum prices” on essentials like food, clothing, and shelter, why is it that in this one area of labor, we are willing to accept a government restriction that could mean the difference between hunger, starvation, and avoiding these miseries for a destitute person? Why in this one area in the Free-Market restricted, when no other area necessary to life is?

If we really believed in Capitalism, we would abolish this overthrow of the Natural Law Right to Contract, an unalienable Right of Mankind.

Libertarians can vote for me by checking the box on the Libertarian Primary ballot. Democrats, Republicans, and Communists can write me in.

Paul Grad, paulgrad4governor.wordpress.com

Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: Implementing Vegetarian Diet in Prisons and Schools

As Governor of Oregon, I will seek to implement a vegetarian diet in prisons, and in government schools if we cannot close them. By vegetarian, I mean without meat, fish, or poultry, but possibly with dairy and eggs. Perhaps I  would implement a vegan diet in prisons, but permit prisoners to purchase forms of dairy products and eggs that do not require refrigeration, like powdered milk and dried eggs, or products containing them at the prison commissary. Forms of meat that did not need refrigeration, and had no disposal problems, like beef jerky, would have to be permitted in packages from outside. A sausage in a plastic wrapper or boiled eggs would not be permitted, because of sanitation concerns in disposing of the wrapper or shells. We are only talking of implementing vegetarian or vegan diet within the prison cafeteria and commissary. Prisoners should probably be offered B12 supplements if they request them. (Powdered milk usually contains B12, which it gets during processing.)

This measure would save the taxpayer a small fortune, not only in prison food costs, but also in refrigeration and disposal costs, and prevention of salmonella poisoning. Additionally, thanks to studies on groups of long-term vegetarians like the Seventh Day Adventists, it has been possible to show statistically that a vegetarian diet leads to lower rates of morbid disease. This would mean an additional huge savings to the prison system in the future in saved treatment costs, or no treatment costs at all on a case that might have arisen from a conventional diet.

Moreover, since the American Medical Association opined, years ago, that a vegetarian diet was a completely healthy diet, there would be no moral reason not to implement it in prisons, in order to protect the property rights of the taxpayers, who must fund the prison budgets. Food costs are obviously a big factor in those budgets.

Lastly, we should not forget the Property Rights of those taxpayers who are observant Hindu-Americans. It is an outrage that their deepest religous sensibilities can be trampled on by the law by forcing them to pay taxes that will go toward the purchase of meat, especially beef. This is equally a crime against the many taxpayers who are Buddhist vegetarians, as well as the many sects within the major Western religions that are strictly vegetarian, like certain Catholic religous orders, and the Seventh Day Adventists. Then add in the the secular, atheistic, and other types of vegetarians, and you have a large number of taxpayers, forced by coercion against their wills, in having to financially support that which they feel to be most morally reprehensible. This should not be, and can be rectified by implementing the vegetarian/vegan plan I outlined above.

Public schools are slightly different in that, since it would probably take a Constitutional Amendment to close the government grade schools, years 1-12, they will unfortunately probably have to be maintained for a few years, much as we’d love to abolish them and liberate the children overnight from their forced dragooning into these horrendous institutions. Children are not criminals, and in the case of prisons above we are dealing with criminals. That means that while school cafeterias should still serve only vegetarian/vegan menus, children should be able to bring whatever they want to school to eat. Also, children need fats for the development of their nerves, so we could not morally put forth a diet in schools that excluded vegetarian products that had fats in them, like whole eggs, whole milk, or low-fat yogurt. Still, these products could be brought to school by the children, if they felt they needed or wanted them, so perhaps school kitchens should also be as vegan in product choice as prisons. That is for public debate.

Prison and government school diet is a very important issue which the bipartisan politicians never talk about. But, if elected Governor, I will.

Let’s protect vegetarian taxpayers who are forced by government to violate their most sacred beliefs. Elect me, and I will implement this very necessary and just reform.

Libertarians can check my name on the Libertarian Primary ballot. Democrats, Republicans, and Communists can write me in.

Paul Grad, paulgrad4governor.wordpress.com

Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: Outlawing Pitbulls

As Governor, I will seek to protect the safety of the public by implimenting the British Dangerous Dogs Act, which basically outlaws pitbull types, along with the Japanese Tosa, the Dogo Argentino and the Fila Brazilierno, because these dogs were specifically bred for fighting. Additionally, we know the pitbull has especially powerful jaws that can crush, and far too many Americans have died or been severely injured in pitbull attacks, while the mainstream politicians never bring up this very important issue.

After hearing stories for years of Americans dying in pitbull attacks, I recall a case I read of years ago in Oregon. A young boy  had had his face crushed by a pitbull, and spent 30 days in the hospital, as well as needing several reconstructive surgeries afterwards. That a child should have to go through that ordeal because of the irresponsibility of pitbull owners, and the irresponsibility of the State, is an outrage, and it must stop. If elected Governor, I will stop it.

My Bill would be slightly more lenient than the British Act. Current owners, in my bill, would be able to keep their dogs, though they would have to register them, as they do in England, but they wouldn’t have to have them microchipped and tatooed. Dogs would have to be confined at all times, and, when in public, would have to be both on a leash and muzzled. Letting a pitbull, or one of the other three types listed in the British bill, run loose in public would possibly get you 6 months in jail and an $8,000 fine.

Basically, the law would outlaw the possession, sale, and breeding of pitbulls, and current owners would have to register them, and keep them leashed and muzzled in public.

In my opinion, letting a pitbull run loose in public is akin to firing a gun in the air in the midst of a metropolis. It’s reckless endangerment of the severest kind.

Once this law is in place, a lot fewer Americans will suffer a horrible death or disfigurement, and irresponsible lawbreakers, who don’t give a damn about the safety of their fellow citizens, will be sitting in jail, just like that little kid who had to spend 30 days in the hospital, except that their faces won’t be crushed in.

The British law calls for a fine of 5,000 British Pounds, about $8,500, and/or six months in jail. It wisely refers to pitbull “types”, so that someone can’t get around the prohibition with the defense that his dog is a pitbull mix.

The Oregon Constitution gives the State the responsibility for the safety of its Citizens, and by introducing this bill, and having the legislature pass it, I, as Governor, will be carrying out that responsibility.

Libertarians can check my name on the Libertarian Primary ballot. Democrats, Republicans, and Communists can write me in.

Paul Grad, paulgrad4governor.wordpress.com

Paul Grad for Oregon Governor: Outlawing Second-Hand Tobacco Smoke Exposure

As Governor of Oregon, I will initiate legislation which would outlaw second-hand tobacco smoke which invades any non-consenting individual’s air space within a reasonable distance as defined by law. This is the grave crime of “Invasion” in Libertarian Law, and it must be put a stop to.

One of the most despicable acts I can think of is to invade another persons body with refuse from tobacco smoke, the most addictive drug on the list of Dr. Benowitz’s scale of addiction. (Dr. Benowitz served at the University of California, San Francisco.) When the crime is against a child or adolescent, it is doubly despicable, and deserves jail time.

I would make smoking tobacco within 10 feet of a child a Class A Misdemeanor with mandatory jail time, perhaps a week in solitary. This would soon put a stop to this crime against children.

Smoking tobacco within 50-100 feet of another person, depending upon their age and the distance, should carry penalties of Class B and Class C Misdemeanors, with 72 hours and 24 hours the respective mandatory jail terms. Repeat-offending scofflaws should be dealt with more harshly. I believe such a program would soon end the anti-Libertarian scourge of permitting our citizens and children to be poisoned by tobacco smoke without a peep of protest from the Governor, and the “progressive” legislature. A Doctor should know better, and use his bully pulpit to try to make smoking tobacco socially unacceptable. He should point out tobacco smoking is a serious health problem equal to heroin and meth addiction or morbid obesity. What the Governor says in his speeches carries a lot of weight, especially with children, and an admired Governor, who publically preached the virtues of tobacco abstention, would save many children from eventually being cursed with this monkey on their backs.

However, let’s remember that the Liberty to Choose is of the highest moral value to the Libertarian, even if the morality of what is done with that Liberty is dubious. Self-destructive behavior, like smoking tobacco, may be an immoral act against the self, but it is not a crime in law if the smoke is only confined to the smoker. Vice is not a crime, and should not be made illegal.

Additionally, as Governor, I would set aside areas for smokers in State Parks and other areas, were tobacco addicts could dose themselves, since quitting tobacco is one of the hardest addictions to overcome, and we should have compassion, and not condemnation, for the person who either is trying to quit, or who has decided he wants to keep smoking cigarettes, no matter what anyone says. I would also urge counties and municipalities to follow suit and set up “Compassion Areas” for tobacco addicts. These areas would be well-segregated in distance from the non-smoking public, and warning signs would be posted.

End the silence on this anti-Libertarian crime of “invasion” with a poison, by voting for me for Governor of Oregon, and thus bringing this very vital issue to the foreground.

Let’s stop mollycoddling tobacco addicts, and defend the children from this assault on their health and their bodies by irresponsible and callous adults. Children can’t vote; we can.

Libertarians can check my name on the Libertarian Primary ballot. Democrats, Republicans, and Communists can write me in.

Paul Grad, paulgrad4governor.wordpress.com