Hi, I’m Skyler.

Welcome to my website.
Who am I?
Just a man.
And a husband.
And a father of 3.
Also a writer.
And a podcaster. (Schedule a chat.)
Sometimes a web designer.
But always a seeker of riches.
And the richness of life.
Explore what I do or have done in the menu above. (CV)

 

Contact me if you please.




 

My Latest Content 

  • On Socialism II

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    David Friedman had another debate on capitalism and socialism last month, this one with Ben Burgis. They didn’t really cover any new ground, and the discussion period was a total disaster; viewer beware. However, Friedman leveled the poignant question to Burgis on what would happen to he and his friends if they practiced capitalism (one of them hiring the others for a wage) under his socialist system. Predictably, Burgis kept dodging the question. If Burgis would have conceded that they’d be left alone, then his entire system falls apart. Capitalism, no doubt, would spread like a virus as more people than not would prefer present consumption to future consumption. There just wouldn’t be enough scrimpers and savers to make for business builders. Too many would prefer to be paid an immediate flat wage now and forego company equity. And guess what… that’s totally fine! We’re all different, and we have different time preferences, and at different periods of our lives. Capitalism allows for such dynamism, socialism does not. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Racism

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    I just read a fantastic essay from 2017 on racism at Slate Star Codex titled, “Against Murderism“. I highly recommend it and was intellectually tickled by how it ended. The too long; didn’t read conclusion was: even when real racism is present, it’s still likely just a branch, and understanding the root issue is far more important if we are to ever solve any real problems and avoid civil war. In other words, crying “Racism!” is low-IQ and lazy, and says nothing about the real problems that plague society, and humanity. I’m probably guilty in a similar fashion by decrying “Authoritarianism!” all the time, as even that is a branch relative to the, ostensibly, root problem of hitting and traumatizing children. And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Individualism

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    I’m reading a terrific anthology of individualist thought edited by George H. Smith and Marilyn Moore. One essay was excerpted from Oscar Wilde and focuses on individualism being the least selfish among alternatives. Let me put it this way: I am an individualist first, voluntaryist second. I would prefer that everyone else be a voluntaryist as far as their politics are concerned, but I wouldn’t coerce them to it. If they want to be socialist, that’s fine, be socialist and enjoy your socialist utopia. I will respect your individuality by respecting your individual values and preferences. All I ask in return is that you respect my individuality as well. Can you do that? Can you also be an individualist first, and socialist, or communist, or fascist, or Republican, or Democrat second? Or must you disrespect my individuality by coercing me to accept your values and preferences? Are you truly so selfish (and greedy!) that you insist on coercing others to adopt your ideology? For shame! And that’s today’s two cents.

  • On Exploitation

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    There’s a very simple test you can apply to determine whether or not a market transaction is exploitative: If the transaction is made voluntarily and offers a better alternative to the parties involved, the transaction is not exploitative; If the transaction is made coercively and offers a worse alternative to one of the parties involved, the transaction is exploitative. In every instance, if neither party is coercing the other, then there’s no exploitation. Of course, coercion may not always be direct, eg. a company might be paying or otherwise influencing the local, legal mafia (the “government”) to diminish or completely remove alternatives for the other party. (Parents may even coerce their children into market transactions, thereby exploiting them.) Nothing else matters to this very important question. Just because you have better alternatives, that doesn’t make an unimpressive market transaction exploitative. By all means create better alternatives if you think someone could get a better deal, but the moment you engage in coercion is the moment you yourself become the bad guy. Never forget that, and that’s today’s two cents.

  • Exploited By a Day Laborer & Compounded Ignorance Leads to Hubris (17m) – Episode 464

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 464 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: an article he wrote in September 2011 titled, “That Time I was Exploited by a Day Laborer“; and an article he wrote in May 2018 titled, “Compounded Ignorance Leads to Hubris“.

    Listen to Episode 464 (17m, mp3, 64kbps)
    

    Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “everything voluntary”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc.

    Other podcasts:Thinking & Doing“, “Voluntaryist Voices

    Referral links: Tom Wood’s Liberty Classroom, Ron Paul’s Homeschool Curriculum, Amazon Shopping

  • Homebuying, Early Starts, Propaganda, & Saving Money (22m) – Episode 061

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 061 looks at being prepared to replace significant parts of an older house after buying one; drinking water before bed to help you get up early in the morning; recognizing that even your side of the political spectrum engages in propaganda from time to time (or even most of the time); and paying yourself first after receiving your paycheck by immediately transferring half or more of it into savings.

    Listen to Episode 061 (22m, mp3, 64kbps)
    

    Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “thinking and doing”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc or PayPal.me/everythingvoluntary.

    Other podcasts:Everything Voluntary“, “Voluntaryist Voices

    Referral links: Tom Wood’s Liberty Classroom, Ron Paul’s Homeschool Curriculum, Amazon Shopping

  • Aphorisms in Honor of Liberty, Part Ten (21m) – Episode 463

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 463 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following aphorisms written by Jakub Bożydar Wiśniewski: “A ‘guaranteed profit’ is something akin to a riskless danger.”; “A fool believes that liberty comes from participation in power. A person of reason knows that it comes from dissipation of power.”; “A libertarian does not oppose the welfare state because he does not care about the poor, but because he cares about them too much to believe they deserve being caught in the web of lies, empty promises, perpetual dependence, hate-mongering, and cultural degradation created by self-serving, power-hungry crooks.”; “It takes a common thug to commit injustice, but it takes an exceptional thug to call it ‘social justice’.”; “Collectivism: the practice of exploiting humans in the name of humankind.”; and “All delusions aside, personal development consists in little more than scrubbing oneself clean of endless layers of folly.”

    Listen to Episode 463 (21m, mp3, 64kbps)
    

    Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “everything voluntary”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc.

    Other podcasts:Thinking & Doing“, “Voluntaryist Voices

    Referral links: Tom Wood’s Liberty Classroom, Ron Paul’s Homeschool Curriculum, Amazon Shopping

  • Nonconformity Quotes to Help You Resist the Crowd (38m) – Episode 462

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 462 has Skyler giving his commentary on several quotes about noncomformity published be Jon Miltimore at the Foundation for Economic Education.

    Listen to Episode 462 (38m, mp3, 64kbps)
    

    Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “everything voluntary”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc.

    Other podcasts:Thinking & Doing“, “Voluntaryist Voices

    Referral links: Tom Wood’s Liberty Classroom, Ron Paul’s Homeschool Curriculum, Amazon Shopping

  • Where The Problem Lies & Practice Care Instead of Judgment (13m) – Episode 060

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 060 looks at two Stoic topics: the first from Marcus Aurelius who wrote, “If someone is slipping up, kindly correct them and point out what they missed. But if you can’t, blame yourself—or no one.”; and the second from r/Stoicism, a post by daviddigit, which started, “I wanted to share a practical exercise that really rocked my world this week. I am inherently an extremely critical person, of myself and others. So this week I was at the airport and decided this would be the perfect opportunity to practice care/love instead of judgment.”

    Listen to Episode 060 (13m, mp3, 64kbps)
    

    Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “thinking and doing”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc or PayPal.me/everythingvoluntary.

    Other podcasts:Everything Voluntary“, “Voluntaryist Voices

    Referral links: Tom Wood’s Liberty Classroom, Ron Paul’s Homeschool Curriculum, Amazon Shopping

  • When Are You Willing to Take Responsibility? (23m) – Episode 461

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 461 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: taking responsibility for a fetus whose mother wants to abort it; taking responsibility for a child whose parents want to abandon it; taking responsibility for your neighbor’s welfare; taking responsibility for a criminal’s incarceration; and more.

    Article: “My Personal Views on Abortion
    Podcast: “Personal Views on Abortion & Evictionism (23m) – Editor’s Break 129
    Video: “Prisons in a free society?” by Robert P. Murphy
    Article: “Department of ‘Justice’

    Listen to Episode 461 (23m, mp3, 64kbps)
    

    Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “everything voluntary”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc.

    Other podcasts:Thinking & Doing“, “Voluntaryist Voices

    Referral links: Tom Wood’s Liberty Classroom, Ron Paul’s Homeschool Curriculum, Amazon Shopping

  • Police Academy, Rigged Game, Benign Religion, Passing Laws, & Grand Ambition (25m) – Episode 460

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 460 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics from r/blackpeopletwitter and r/whitepeopletwitter: the preference for a 4 year police academy instead of a 6 month one; the Gamestop incident and revealing the rigged game; non-religious people and privately practiced religion; Marjorie Taylor Greene being allowed to help pass laws while Colin Kaepernick lost his job; and the need for a purpose or grand ambition in life.

    Listen to Episode 460 (25m, mp3, 64kbps)
    

    Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “everything voluntary”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc.

    Other podcasts:Thinking & Doing“, “Voluntaryist Voices

    Referral links: Tom Wood’s Liberty Classroom, Ron Paul’s Homeschool Curriculum, Amazon Shopping

  • Context Imposition, aka Fantasy Projection & the Hedonic Treadmill (18m) – Episode 059

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 059 looks at the logical fallacy Context Imposition (aka Fantasy Projection) and the Hedonic Treadmill cognitive bias.

    Listen to Episode 059 (18m, mp3, 64kbps)
    

    Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “thinking and doing”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc or PayPal.me/everythingvoluntary.

    Other podcasts:Everything Voluntary“, “Voluntaryist Voices

    Referral links: Tom Wood’s Liberty Classroom, Ron Paul’s Homeschool Curriculum, Amazon Shopping

  • When Does Law Become Criminal? & Technology Kills the State (22m) – Episode 459

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 459 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following topics: an article he wrote in August 2011 titled, “When Does Law Become Criminal?“; and an article he wrote in May 2018 titled, “Technology Kills the State, Over and Over“.

    Listen to Episode 459 (22m, mp3, 64kbps)
    

    Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “everything voluntary”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc.

    Other podcasts:Thinking & Doing“, “Voluntaryist Voices

    Referral links: Tom Wood’s Liberty Classroom, Ron Paul’s Homeschool Curriculum, Amazon Shopping

  • GameStop Short Squeeze, Ontario Barbershop, & Scottish Secession (28m) – Episode 458

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Episode 458 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following news stories: the short squeeze that happened to, at least, GameStop stock, costing one hedge fund $13.1B in losses (see Wikipedia); from CTVNews.com, “Ontario barbershop reopens despite provincial lockdown using loophole“; and from Reuters.com, “Scottish nationalists lay groundwork for second independence referendum“.

    Listen to Episode 458 (28m, mp3, 64kbps)
    

    Subscribe via RSS here, or in any podcast app by searching for “everything voluntary”. Support the podcast at Patreon.com/evc.

    Other podcasts:Thinking & Doing“, “Voluntaryist Voices

    Referral links: Tom Wood’s Liberty Classroom, Ron Paul’s Homeschool Curriculum, Amazon Shopping

  • Does Belief Prove the Constitution, Legal Codes Apply to Anyone?

    Post by Skyler J. Collins (Editor).

    Had a chat recently with a fellow redditor in the r/shitstatistssay subreddit (ironically) regarding the applicability of the United States Constitution, or any government constitution or legal code for that matter. As shown below, all the evidence offered in support of this claim are beliefs and opinions. That’s all these people can every offer, faith. Constitutions and legal codes don’t actually apply to anyone, but plenty of powerful people believe they do and use that belief to make peaceful life difficult for others. If you challenge this, you “can’t be serious”, he says. Also this gem if circular reasoning: “if you are a citizen of the US, then the Constitution applies to you.” This is the shared quote that spurred my initial comment:

    Steve Insigne Mifsud: You consent to income tax when you sign the papers accepting your job. The whole ‘taxation is theft’ argument is just anarchist nonsense.

    Enjoy!


    Skyler: This assumes without evidence that the income tax code (and constitution) applies to anyone.

    Cato208: If you live in the US, then it apples under the 16th amendment to the Constitution.

    Skyler: What evidence do you have that the Constitution applies just because of physical location?

    Cato208: Well, given that the Constitution is the highest law of the land, I’ve got about 300 years of precedent supporting that notion. So, considerable evidence.

    Skyler: How does “the highest law of land” prove it applies to anyone? What does that even mean?

    Cato208: It means if you are a citizen of the US, then the Constitution applies to you. It is the basis on which the sovereign government that occupies this land adheres to as “the law.” Every court organized under the US government derives it’s power from this document. If you were born in the US, you are automatically a US citizen, subject to its laws. If you want to become a US citizen from abroad, then you consent either explicitly or implicitly to these laws. The “law” comes from a variety of different sources, but each of these sources are adherent to the Constitution. Either way, if you are here, then the law, thus the Constitution, applies to you. If you want a more detailed explanation of “the highest law of the land,” then I suggest you take a constitutional law course, as I have done, and virtually every judge and legislator has done.

    Skyler: How would I know if I were a citizen if you haven’t provided any evidence the constitution applies in the first place? You keep assuming what you need to prove.

    Cato208: I seriously can’t tell if you’re trolling or you actually don’t/can’t understand. Edit: You should clarify if you’re talking about in general, or by constitutional provision. It should be explicitly clear in the latter case that it applies if you are a US citizen.

    Skyler: To call me a citizen is to assume that the Constitution, which outlines what a citizen is, applies to me, or to anyone, because of our physical location. Rather than making assumptions, why don’t you provide evidence to support that claim.

    Cato208: You… you can’t be serious. Let me ask you something, if the constitution doesn’t apply to you, do you believe it’s laws do? Edit: guess I should also ask if you reside within the boundaries of the US.

    Skyler: I am physically located in the Salt Lake valley. What evidence do you have that the Constitution applies to me just because I’m physically located in the Salt Lake valley? Burden of proof is on the person making the claim of jurisdiction, is it not? Seriously, what evidence do you offer to prove this claim as true? Let’s start there before moving on to legal codes created pursuant to the Constitution.

    Cato208: Yeah, this is one of my ways of eliciting my evidence. If you believe the constitution does not apply to you, then do you or do not follow its laws? Do you believe you’re bound by them?

    Skyler: Am I? Do you have any evidence that I am? What I believe is irrelevant to whether or not you have any facts proving your claim. People believe the Earth is flat. Is there evidence to the contrary? Yes. Do you have any evidence that the Constitution applies to anyone just because of their physical location? If you did, you’d probably have presented it by now. Right?

    Cato208: I mean now you’re avoiding the question. Do you mind answering it so I can continue with my argument? If you believe the laws don’t apply to you, do you follow the speed limit? I see you’re a door dash driver, do you spit in peoples food? If not, why not? The laws don’t apply to you, so other than ethically why follow them? You’ve already inferred the constitution doesn’t apply because it’s a document that has “no proof” other than itself. I’m trying to get you to realize that because you live in the US the Constitution applies. If you have an issue with it, tell the government that you don’t believe it applies to you. When you do this, let me know what they say. For now, I’d like you to continue and answer my question.

    Skyler:

    I’m trying to get you to realize that because you live in the US the Constitution applies.

    Do you have an evidence that doesn’t rely on anyone’s belief? Do you have any facts to support this claim? Or do you only have opinions? What people believe, including me, or you, or the people who call themselves the Federal Government is irrelevant and immaterial to the challenge. We can address all of this after you provide factual evidence proving your claim is true, that the Constitution applies to anyone. You’ve had several opportunities now to provide this evidence, and have not. What can we conclude from that?

    Cato208: In United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez 8 in 1990, the Court said that “the people” refers to those “persons who are part of a national community,”9 or who have “substantial connections” to the United States.10 The touchstone was not citizenship, but the extent of one’s connection to this country. This definition of “the people” applied consistently throughout the Bill of Rights, the Court said.11 In District of Columbia v. Heller12 in 2008, the Court approvingly quoted Verdugo-Urquidez’s definition, and similarly suggested that the term “the people” has a consistent meaning throughout the Constitution.13 But Heller also said that “the people” “refers to all members of the political community.”

    The above cases point to the meaning of citizenship and its application to those residing within the geographic. My direct evidence, other than what is cited above, is that if you live in the United States, tell me what happens if you kill someone. Hell, even if you are not a citizen, if you kill someone here in the US, then under the laws of the land, you’ll be tried for murder. Factually, you’ll be arrested and tried for murder. If you do this, please please please make the same claim you are making to me, that might even give you an insanity defense, when you try and argue that the Constitution doesn’t apply to you and then ask the state for their proof that it does.

    There, I have provided you with court opinions from the highest court in the land, that serves the sovereign which governs the respective land, what defines citizenship. Additionally, I have run you through the ramifications of compliance and non-compliance with the law of the place you are living in. You live in Utah, assuming you are here legally or were born here, you are a citizen. As such, the Constitution applies to you.

    Skyler: More opinions, then? So you don’t have any factual evidence that the Constitution applies to me, or you, or anyone? Just people’s beliefs and opinions? Am I reading you correctly?

    Cato208: I actually don’t have enough crayons to explain this to you. As such, good luck with what you believe in. Now, you’ll walk away from this claiming “victory” because according to you, I have “not produced any evidence,” despite the fact that I have and that I have demonstrated how the Constitution of the United States of America applies to a delivery driver residing in Utah, and backed that up with what most people (at least the ones with the guns) believe to be evidence. This is a flawed belief, but it does neither me, nor you to try and get you to understand why. At that point, we clearly differ.

    Let us then let the subsequent readers (and not troll accounts) judge who has prevailed in their argument. Good day to you, and please don’t forget my silverware!

    Skyler:

    I have demonstrated how the Constitution of the United States of America applies to a delivery driver residing in Utah

    You haven’t. You’ve provided ample evidence of peoples’ belief that the Constitution applies, but have failed to provide any evidence that the Constitution actually applies to anyone, anywhere.

    Plenty of people believe the Bible is the word of God. Plenty of people believe the Quran is the word of God. Plenty of people believe the earth is flat.

    Are those beliefs evidence that those books are the word of God and that the earth is flat? Based on your logic, it would seem so. Good day to you, too.

    Cato208: You’re a moron, and also blocked lmao


    Clearly, Cato208 could provide no facts or evidence to support his assertion that the Constitution applies to anyone based on their physical location. The most he could provide are beliefs and opinions. Is that enough? Should that be enough? Is all we need to prove our rules apply to others, justifying our use force against them when they break our rules, a matter of belief and opinion? Is that rational? Is that ethical? Is that right? Cato208 seems to think so. I feel sorry for him. All any lunatic needs to convince Cato208 that he must comply with his will is belief, apparently.

    Or, we recognize that these lunatics only have their faith that their constitutions and legal codes apply to us, and deal with them accordingly. There’s no point in sharing in their delusion; doing so will only serve the lunatics, as it has for centuries, unfortunately.