Two Cents

    Two Cents – Everything-Voluntary.com

  • On Dishonesty

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Honesty is a practice that many parents try to teach their children. Unfortunately, many of these same parents do two things that teach the opposite. The first is forcing children to apologize for wrongs they have committed. To force an insincere apology (“Tell her your sorry, now!”)  is to teach your child that being dishonest about the way they feel in order to make someone else feel better is appropriate. Is it? Or does the other child also learn a salient lesson about sincerity and apology? (“I’ll accept your insincere apology. Two can play at this game…”) The second is by creating a disincentive to be honest by using punishment as a parenting tool. There is not a child that has ever lived that did not learn to lie to their parents to avoid punishment, which is entirely unnecessary anyway. Now, I’m not inclined to say that honesty is a virtue, but many parents do, and then shoot themselves in both feet. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Politics

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Methinks that if we truly lived in a free country, politics would not dominate public discourse. The fact that it does proves that America is nowhere near the classification of “free country”. Do people argue over whether theft, assault, rape, kidnapping, murder,  et cetera, you know, actual property rights violations, should be legal or not? No, they are arguing over what privileges and economic protections and entitlements they should have at the expense of others. The creation and maintenance of these sorts of laws violate property rights. No country is free where property rights, starting with self-ownership, are not secure from predation. And politics does not dominate public discourse when it is limited to securing property rights, because doing so is boring and noncontroversial. Pundits and plebeians arguing politics is not symptomatic of a free country. Quite the opposite. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Power III

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Clamoring for violent third-parties to use their power disparity on behalf of workers against fat capitalist pigs is a triple-edged sword, two edges against workers. The first edge is the fact that violent third-parties (government) have their own agenda. They’ll be all too happy to assist workers, but they’ll charge a heavy toll in the form of, among other things, income and payroll taxes. The second edge is the fact that violent third-parties don’t discriminate on who they assist. They’ll be just as happy to assist fat capitalist pigs, by way of hindering competition, in exchange for wealth of various forms and promises of position alongside them. It seems to me that violent third-parties, governments, are a bigger threat to the life, liberty, and property of workers than are fat capitalist pigs. But since workers were raised in government indoctrination centers, schools, they’ve been conditioned not to notice.  That’s too bad, and today’s two cents.

  • On Power II

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    When people call for government to regulate business, they are prioritizing their preference for others to have and to wield political power over economic power. Assuming its true that fat capitalist pigs use their wealth disparity to exploit workers, is it truly in the workers’ best interests to clamor for violent third parties to use their power disparity on their behalf? Why should workers’ consider wealth disparity the greater evil to power disparity? Why should workers’ trust someone with having their best interests who wields arbitrary and coercive authority over someone who must do business without threat of force? It never made sense to me why those with greater wealth should be more feared than those with a greater penchant for violence. Does that make any sense to you? And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Impregnation

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Are you reading this? Good. Keep reading. I’ve been writing and podcasting about voluntaryist ideas for over 10 years now. In all of that time, my words have found their way inside the minds of other people, including you. Those words are arranged in the forms of arguments and commentary. They’ve entered your mind, sometimes quickly, other times slowly, but always willingly. Once there, they were either archived away or found a patch of fertile soil. They took root, and grew to some size; maybe small, maybe large; and in some form. In that time, you have been impregnated. One day, perhaps, your mind will give birth, and your words will impregnate someone else. With each generation, old ideas take root, are modified by other ideas, and come out into the world as new ideas. It gives me joy to know that I have impregnated so many others, and they likewise, in this way. I believe that everyone I have impregnated is better off than they were before. Agree or not, their own ideas are affected by my words, and are changed in some way. Always pregnant, always impregnating. That’s why I do what I do. You’re welcome, and thank you. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Utah Politics IV

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    The Salt Lake Tribune reports, “Representatives from the [Mormon] church, the Utah Medical Association and a pro-cannabis group met for seven hours in House Speaker Greg Hughes’ office Monday, trying to hammer out details of a plan” for medical marijuana legalization. What the actual fuck? They, the Mormon Church, aren’t even hiding their political involvement anymore. Article 1, Section 4 of Utah’s constitution reads, “There shall be no union of Church and State, nor shall any church dominate the State or interfere with its functions.” Is working directly with State actors to craft and pass State legislation interfering with State functions? Sure seems that way to me. Far be it from me to give two shits about what some arbitrary constitution says, but the Mormon church does, or at least says it does. At what point does the Mormon Church’s interference in State functions warrant a lawsuit? Does anyone in Utah even have the courage to sue the Mormon Church? This could get interesting. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Identity

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    It has struck me as a peculiar thing that each of us should choose our identities. Humans have a knack for identifying and labeling other things. We identify and label other species, the elements, planets, body parts, et cetera. We even identify and label other humans. When we aren’t aware of a people or culture’s label, we assign them one, often during the act of conquest. Years later, these labels become either derogatory or a badge of pride. These days it’s fashionable to choose your own identity, and then to change it as you desire. I guess it would be nice if identities were obvious and everyone could just use preferred labels and pronouns toward one another, but that’s not how it works. Close friends can memorize and inform on each others’ identities, but I find it absurd to expect strangers to do likewise, and worse, a tragedy that these should ever be a matter of legal enforcement. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Empowerment

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    If you wanted to help someone feel empowered to take control of their circumstances, their life, and to make improvements, would you tell them that everything they want to do is within their power to reach for and possible to achieve, or would you tell them that before they can reach for what they want, they must wait for other people to act first? The latter approach seems incredibly foolish to me if our goal is to increase empowerment. Why? Because it’s completely self-defeating. How can someone feel empowered if you tell them they have no power? It’s tautological, really. To feel empowered, you must feel the power to act. Talk about barriers imposed by others cannot create empowerment, true or not. So why do so many “advocates” (not all) of disadvantaged groups employ this foolish strategy? Methinks empowerment may not be their goal, after all. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Economic Growth

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    There is one overriding theme to everything I’ve learned about economics and economic growth: the importance of secure property rights. In my view, without secure property rights, people’s time preference is too high to spur the creation of capital goods leading to cheaper consumer goods and a rising standard of living enjoyed by more people. Secure property rights allow people to make economic plans further into the future.  Economic growth cannot occur without future planning by investors, entrepreneurs, workers, and consumers. Crime is the antithesis of secure property rights, and because government is organized crime, it is through government regulation that economic growth is either thwarted or steered in favor of special interests. The best that government can do, and the most that government should do, is to protect people’s property rights. Anything more than this is to retard economic progress. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Gun Policy

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Gun control advocates like to talk about the “costs” of gun policy by citing homicide, suicide, and accidental gun death/injury statistics. Something about the concept of “costs” as it concerns issues like this doesn’t sit right with me. Why do or should we consider these horrible events to be the “costs” of gun policy? Are these horrible events a necessary component of particular gun policy? Could the gun policy not exist without the cost paid by these events? The cost of my groceries are the dollars I paid for them, and without trading those dollars I would not have been allowed to keep the groceries. I’m not sure that “costs” make sense here. In each of these horrible events, there are reasons why they happened, and I don’t believe gun policy had any direct effect on them. Calling these things “costs” of gun policy is like calling children getting hurt by running into a table a “cost” of a policy not to place a government bureaucrat as a chaperone of every child everywhere. Or to call any horrible event a “cost” of policy that allows people to exist. This seems like metaphorical thinking, and poor metaphorical thinking at that. What do you think? And that’s today’s two cents.

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