Author

Jared Wall

Jared Wall has 17 articles published.

Jared Wall
Jared graduated in 2009 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is currently employed as an energy efficiency consultant in New Jersey, drives for Uber in his spare time, and is an aspiring entrepreneur. He came to the philosophy of liberty through the Ron Paul presidential campaigns, and has evolved into a voluntaryist anarchist through reading LewRockwell.com and listening to the Tom Woods Show.
Economics/Politics

Single-Payer Sucks

Proponents of universal healthcare hold one of the most morally attractive political positions of present day: healthcare is a natural human right and should be readily available to all, regardless of socioeconomic standing.  On top of their moral high ground, they pile on supposed proof of single payer’s merits by pointing to Canada, Scandinavia, and various other countries.  It’s their belief that if only such a system were implemented in the US, the problems associated with healthcare would largely be alleviated. It’s a very emotionally pleasing opinion to hold.  Single-payer advocates pat themselves on the back for being so benevolent to the poor and insurance-less, claiming that if it weren’t for their efforts, countless people would unnecessarily die.  Unfortunately, positive emotions for its proponents is the only good thing that comes from single-payer healthcare. When subjected to reason, the only way for a single-payer system to look attractive is to analyze it solely with emotion.  Logical and economic reasoning, along with an honest moral assessment, serve to show such… Keep Reading

Economics

Inequality Is A Non-Issue (Part 2)

Despite failing to prove his thesis that capitalism generates inequality (addressed in Part 1), the author closes by outlining the policy proposals he’d enact to reduce inequality.  This proposal includes: “…a large cash grant to all citizens when they reach the age of majority, around the benchmark cost of taking a bachelor’s degree at private university in the United States. This grant would be repaid into the national treasury at death.” And: “…an annual wealth tax of two percent on a person’s net worth above a threshold of $80,000.” The first part of his proposal needs some unpacking.  He essentially says that every person, on their 18th birthday, should be given a grant of $48,000.  Upon death, every individual would pay back that grant.   Besides the complete arbitrariness of the proposal, there is no effort to look for possible negatives that would come from its implementation.  First, there is no way of knowing what an 18 year old would do if handed a free $48,000.  While some will… Keep Reading

Economics

Inequality Is A Non-Issue (Part 1)

A large number of people are convinced that rising inequality between the rich and the poor is the primary driver of the ills that plague our society.  Both the #Occupy movement that arose after the housing bubble burst, and the fervent support for the self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders, are proof of this. This opinion is backed by supposed logic and apparent economic law that can be articulated in ways that are quite convincing.  I recently came across an article that attempts to prove the thesis that capitalism generates inequality, and which offers a policy proposal (addressed in Part 2) that will alleviate it.  The author does so in a way that will be perceived as fair, reasoned, and possibly even correct to the lay reader.  Such an article must be refuted. The author begins: “At least nominally, capitalism embodies and sustains an Enlightenment agenda of freedom and equality. Typically there is freedom to trade and equality under the law, meaning that most adults – rich or poor – are formally… Keep Reading

Culture/Philosophy/Politics

The Misuse Of “We” “Us” And “Our”

One of the biggest mistakes in the application of the English language is when the terms “we” “us” and “our” are used in reference to the government.  The fact that many individuals conflate themselves with a completely separate entity that they are not a part of and have no real control over is problematic.  It is this conflation that leads to perpetual conflict between groups of individuals and to ignorance of the actual nature of government. The government is not us.  The government is a group of individuals who claim the right to control and manipulate the lives of other individuals.  We do not set the tax rate, create laws, enact regulations, or determine foreign policy.  A group of individuals do, and those individuals possess powers that all other individuals do not. These people are not our leaders.  It is simply a mathematical impossibility for them to effectively and in actuality lead or represent the multitude of individuals under their rule.  They do not act with our interests in… Keep Reading

Culture/Philosophy/Politics

Don’t Be Manipulated By The “Divide & Rule” Strategy

It’s a tactic that goes back to the dawn of civilization.  The ruling class of a particular area effectively gains control over the dissemination of information.  They then use this control to instigate and perpetuate conflict between various groups under their rule.  The general population (the ruled), having been educated in schools controlled by their ruling class, largely fails to recognize this propaganda.  They fall under the spell of believing that the source of their oppression stems from other groups rather than from the ruling class itself. This tactic is as strong today as ever.  The ruling class benefits immensely by keeping those under their rule (“us”) fighting against each other instead of joining together to fight against them.  Everyday, the state controlled media fills their radio, television, and internet outlets with story after story of apparent wrongdoing being done by one group against another. Perpetuation of conflict between groups is so prevalent that it’s impossible to keep track of them all: Racial conflict today is perpetuated by the… Keep Reading

Culture/Economics/Politics

The NBA Flexes Rights That Are Denied To Others

In response to North Carolina’s new law regarding bathroom usage, the NBA announced that they will be removing their 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte.  Fine, good for them.  If they feel that the law is bigoted in nature, or unfair to certain groups of people, the NBA is perfectly within their rights to protest and take action to dissociate themselves with the state and their law. There has been a lot of commentary on sports media pertaining to this decision.  One particularly insightful take on the situation went something like this: The commentator was lauding the NBA’s decision, and went on to say that this is the power that exists when a non-violent injustice is perceived.  Obviously, the NBA doesn’t have all that much power to actually change the law in the short term, but what they do have the power to do is hurt the state financially.  Taking the All-Star Game out of North Carolina will undoubtedly eliminate a potential economic windfall for the state.  Perhaps this, along… Keep Reading

Economics/Tech

Zuckerberg Embraces The Establishment

There are two obvious branches of the economy.  There is the market economy, entirely benevolent in nature and identified by its voluntary and mutually beneficial transactions, its natural coordination of scarce resources, and its ability to increase prosperity.  And the political economy which is entirely malevolent in nature, and is identified by its reliance on coercion and force, its bureaucratic inefficiencies, and its manipulation of fear, greed, and envy to serve the ends of a select few. Actors in both spheres of the economy are driven by a desire to better their own lives, the lives of their loved ones, and their community around them. In the market economy, individuals compete to sell goods and services to other individuals.  These voluntary transactions are mutually beneficial to all parties involved the vast majority of the time precisely due to their voluntary nature (no party would voluntarily enter into the transaction unless they felt they were being served through it).  Rising to the top in the market economy is immensely difficult,… Keep Reading

Culture/Politics

The Gun Debate

As could be expected, the gun debate reappeared in full force after the tragedy that took place in Orlando.  All of the typical arguments from both sides are again being repeated ad nauseum.  From “we need to prevent this from ever happening again” on the left, to “from my cold, dead hands” on the right, and everything in between. In the post-9/11 world, both major political parties are increasingly coming out in support of restrictions on gun ownership.  The idea that anyone who is on a government watchlist (such as the no-fly list) should not be able to own a gun is now supported by both Republicans and Democrats.  Libertarians beg to differ. The problem is the way that these watchlists are assembled.  One simply must be accused of “potentially” being a terrorist for their individual rights and civil liberties to be severely restricted.  There is no presentation of evidence, no opportunity for refutation, little to no recourse for clearing one’s name, and no assumption of innocence until proven… Keep Reading

Politics

The Corruption Of a Local GOP

In the 2013 mayoral election for the city of Syracuse, there was no Republican candidate to run against incumbent Democrat, Stephanie Miner.  To give the people of Syracuse a choice, Ian Hunter, a local conservative, and a small group of activists wore out their walking shoes going door to door to collect enough signatures to get his name on the ballot.  The requirement was 569 signatures.  The group was able to collect 680 thereby securing his nomination.   After their customary review, the Board of Elections ruled that they’d only collected 572 “valid” signatures.  According to people knowledgeable of the process, the BOE will often deem a signature invalid for the tiniest mistake – if the person’s street address is misspelled, a T isn’t crossed, or the name they write doesn’t match exactly to the name on record (i.e. the signator leaves off the ‘Jr.’).  For an institution that is charged with ensuring a fair electoral process, it sure has a lot of power to suppress a voter’s voice.… Keep Reading

Economics

Ayn Rand, Rand Paul, And Paul Ryan Walk Into a Bar…

The age of social media has given rise to an increasingly large group of people who believe that a couple sentences, or even just a few words posted on a picture constitute an effective argument.  While in some ways, political and philosophical debate is healthier than ever before, the over reliance on simplistic arguments is creating a “meme world” where an asinine idea can be conveyed in few words and posted in mere seconds.  Proper refutation, however; takes more than a few words. In the 140 character world of Twitter, these types of arguments exist almost exclusively.  This tweet from “Miss O’Kistic” has made its rounds in the online world: “Ayn Rand, Rand Paul and Paul Ryan walk into a bar.  The bartender serves them tainted alcohol because there are no regulations.  They die.” It’s the classic, “But if not for the state, how would we…” delusion.  People live in such fear over the possibility of government shrinking just one iota, that when confronted with radical reduction of government,… Keep Reading

Economics

James J. Hill And The Liquidation Of Malinvestment

James J. Hill is unquestionably one of the greatest entrepreneurs in American history.  This past weekend marked the 100th anniversary of his passing.  He is best remembered for the successful construction of the only transcontinental railroad to not go bankrupt.  He didn’t accept government subsidies, and argued eloquently against his competitors who did: “The government should not furnish capital to these companies, in addition to their enormous land subsidies, to enable them to conduct their business in competition with enterprises that have received no aid from the public treasury.” His endeavors can claim to be largely responsible for the settling and economic development of the upper midwest United States, and for making Seattle into the commercial metropolis that it is today.  For the best histories of the man and his legacy, these two articles (here and here) are unmatched. Countless business, entrepreneurial, and economic lessons can be learned from a detailed study of Mr. Hill.  One particular economic lesson stems from his entrance into the business of railroad ownership… Keep Reading

Philosophy

Freedom Is Everything

Although there is very little on which we agree, Marxists and socialists have provided me with some excellent philosophical discussions.  One such person recently wrote this article in which he attempted to take to task the libertarian concept of freedom.  The piece starts out well enough as he does a decent job describing how libertarians view the concept: “What the libertarians mean by freedom is that the government does not interfere in the lives of private citizens.  If we were freed from government coercion, people would have a good life, because the free market would regulate our lives, and we would need no bureaucrat to tell us how to live wisely.” Nothing there that I take issue with.  The rest of the piece, though; is littered with logical fallacies and false conclusions.  His primary thesis is that if an individual must work in order to survive, then he is not free; true freedom is to choose leisure over labor.  Throughout, he draws on his personal experiences in education and… Keep Reading

Economics/Politics

I Fought The Law

In September of last year, I was pulled over by a quota-driven cop and given a ticket for speeding. The ticket carried with it a significant fine and the addition of 4-points onto my license. This past Thursday (May 28, 2015), I successfully defended myself in court, and had the charges dismissed. Leaving aside the fact that I had committed no real crime (there was no victim), the financial ramifications of this “crime” would have hurt me significantly, and I felt a strong urge to fight the charges and pursue true justice. Just a month prior, I had received and was eventually convicted of a separate traffic “crime” which also carried a significant fine and was a 2-point violation. Had I been convicted of the second September “crime,” I would have not only had a significant increase in the cost of my insurance, but because the “crimes” took place within an arbitrary time limit, I also would have been labeled as a Super-Duper-Violator-of-Arbitrary-Traffic-Laws-and-Limits-on-Velocity-of-Travel (or something like that) offender. This… Keep Reading

World

How US Tax Dollars Helped To Fuel The Murders In Garissa

What causes me the greatest sadness and heartache is the loss of innocent life. It happens too often and it happens all over the world. Whether it’s victims of drone bombings, suicide bombers, terrorists, deranged lunatics, overly-zealous cops, or even accidents, every time I hear about such an occurrence, I feel a sorrow that cuts deep. When I think of the victims and their families, I am overcome with sympathy. When gunmen raided Garissa University College in the early morning hours of Thursday, April 2nd, it was one of the more appalling recent examples of such loss of life on a large scale. At least 147 innocent people (the majority being young students) were shot and killed in the attack. This event in particular hit me even harder than most. Two of the most amazing women I know are from Kenya. One of them is currently living there, and the other likely will soon be. Given my relationship with the latter, it is increasingly likely that I could end… Keep Reading

Economics/Politics

A Letter To The Government

Dear Government, As tax season comes to a close, the existing arrangement between you and I has recently been at the forefront of my mind. Looking back over my year’s W2’s, and contemplating the amount of money you’ve taken from me, I couldn’t help but write to express my displeasure with our situation and to insist upon an alternative. The current arrangement is such that you receive somewhere in the neighborhood of 35-40% of all my income. The services, and the quality thereof, which are provided in return are not adequate to meet my value demands based upon what I could pay for similar services on the market. I require a change to this arrangement. I will hereby be opting out of all of your services. You can cross me off your list of future Social Security recipients. Don’t ever worry about me asking for medicare, medicaid, food stamps, section 8, cell phones, unemployment assistance, police, fire protection, or anything else that you seek to provide. I will make… Keep Reading

World

Just Stop It

“We just marched in, we can just march out.” Those were the words of Congressman Ron Paul during a debate while he was running for President in 2012. They were in response to a question of Paul’s desired foreign policy of non-interventionism as well as his call for an immediate and total withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan. “How would he accomplish this goal?” he was asked. The sentiment of his response was that it seemed quite simple for the US to just invade, so it would be equally simple for the US to leave. The CIA described the negative backlash US foreign policy in the Middle East would generate as ‘blowback.’ After more than half a century of intervention and interference in the affairs of the countries of that region, it is no wonder that hatred of US imperialism has developed and militant groups have formed to fight against what they view as an occupation of their homelands. Blowback has come to rear it’s ugly head on far too… Keep Reading

Economics/Politics

How To Win The War On Poverty

Lyndon Johnson launched the “War on Poverty” in 1964. In the fifty years since its inception, hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars have been spent by the government, countless governmental programs have been implemented, and numerous and enormous bureaucracies have been created. The results of these initiatives have largely been that of failure, but excuses continue to be made as to why prior programs have failed, why subsequent reforms have failed, and new programs and reforms are continuously proposed and implemented. In spite of all this, present times and recent history have seen a shrinking of the middle class along with an ever-widening disparity between the very wealthy and those who are barely getting by. Living standards largely do not seem to be improving for the lower and middle classes. For the first time in this country’s history, the younger generations do not have the expectation of doing better than their previous generation. If legislating away poverty was possible, it would have occurred long ago. For poverty… Keep Reading

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