Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Friedrich August von Hayek

"A claim for equality of material position can be met only by the government with totalitarian powers."

Friedrich August von Hayek

Health Insurance and Auto Insurance

It is beyond sad when our highest ranking elected and appointed officials openly display their ignorance as to how markets work.  The unconstitutional and disastrous "health care" bill is being analogized with auto insurance, however this is either due to complete ignorance (regarding topics such as insurance and
risk) or outright coercion with the intent to control and ultimately plunder and redistribute in order to maintain and gain further control.

Ed Morrissey of writes about the administrations recent attempt to deceive us in his recent post "Holder and Sebelius trot out the auto-insurance canard":

This is such a bad argument that it staggers the imagination why the administration would still be making it.  Drivers carry required insurance to cover damage done to others, not themselves, for one thing.  It’s not applicable at all.  Furthermore, states impose the insurance requirement, not the federal government, because states license drivers and vehicles.  Driving is, after all, a voluntary activity conducted on public property (roads); there is no requirement for licensing or insurance for those who drive only on their private property.  People who don’t drive on public roads aren’t required to buy a license or the insurance.

There are other problems with this analogy as well.  Those who do have auto insurance only file claims when significant damage occurs.  Auto insurance doesn’t pay for routine maintenance, like oil changes, lube jobs, and tire rotation.  That’s why auto insurance is relatively affordable.

Also, auto insurance is priced to risk.  If a driver lives in a high-crime area, then the premiums will rise to cover the risks associated with theft.  If they drive badly (get moving violations and accidents), premiums will go up, or in some cases, the insurer will drop the driver.  Policies are priced for risk according to age as well; the youngest and oldest drivers pay more due to their propensity for causing losses.   Those who drive well and present a lower risk get rewarded with lower premiums.  Right now, the federal government is preventing insurers in some instances from risk-pricing health insurance to impose government-approved fairness.  That means we all pay more, removing the incentive to lower risk.

Finally, let’s use another related analogy: fire insurance.  If we forced insurers to write comprehensive policies on burning homes, we would have no insurers left in the market.  However, Holder and Sebelius want health insurers to do the same thing — and need the mandate to force all of us to assume that risk through the higher premiums that subsidize it.  And, by the way, the government is doing exactly what Holder derogates in the essay — forcing insurers to write policies after the accident/fire/illness.  

The need to reform the health-care economic model is real.  Holder, Sebelius, and Barack Obama have gone in the wrong direction through the imposition of government mandates and the calcification of the third-party payer model.  We need to break that model for routine health maintenance and return insurance to the role of indemnifying against substantial loss and end the tax incentives for the market distortion of the employer-based health care model.  

A free market system is the only path to both higher quality of care and lower prices.  The fact that the people charged with representing us do not understand this is embarrassing.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Marxism in America

Unfortunately, Marxism appears to be much more prevalent in our society than one would think.

Here are the 10 Planks of the Communist Manifesto, many of which sound all to familiar:

1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.
2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
6. Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.
7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.
10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

From the Government, Here to Help

"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help." 

Ronald Reagan - President's News Conference - August 1986

Monday, November 15, 2010

New York’s 25th Congressional District

Almost two weeks after the midterm elections, Congressional District NY-25 has yet to be decided.  The race is so close that the absentee ballots will ultimately determine the outcome.  The incumbent has apparently been in hiding ever since voting with the other Statists for a government takeover of our health care system.  One video from this Congressman meeting with his constituents shows not only an utter disregard for what the constituents want, but a complete lack of respect for his constituents. has been doing an excellent job of following this close race.  We can only hope that the people of this district have heeded the advice of a guest post on Lonely Conservative's website:

An Open Letter to Dan Maffei’s Constituents

To the People of Central New York:

Dan Maffei represents the uninformed and disillusioned in Central New York. He has voted – in lockstep with the Nancy Pelosi agenda – which has lead us to further and more intensive economic strain, both locally and nationally. This should come as no surprise, as the ruling class elites such Maffei have been told that an Ivy League education such as his allows one to make central planning decisions for ones constituency (instead of representing ones constituency as a representative, as was intended with our representative democracy). Maffei learned these tactics from one of Congress’ worst central planners: Charlie Rangel. Maffei has worked on Rangel’s staff and has even accepted campaign donations from Rangel. Rangel, as the Chairman of the committee to determine tax policy, has demonstrated egregiously hypocritical personal decisions (government subsidized Cadillac, four government subsidized apartments, and the failure to pay taxes on  numerous accounts and occasions) that should make him unfit for such a committee position and unfit to serve in the United States Congress. Certainly, this should also make him unfit to serve as our Congressional representatives mentor.

Dan Maffei has signed legislation that was advertised as a “stimulus bill”. This has proven to be an $800+ billion sham thus far. Maffei was either completely ignorant of the fact that his vote was being used to pad the government coffers of the likes of Rangel, Pelosi, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, and Chris Dodd – or Maffei knew the outcome of this bill would not stimulate the economy or help the lower and middle class in financial turmoil. Although the Republican party has also been guilty in the past of running government deficits: the Republican party is currently correct that tax cuts for the middle class does far more economic stimulating than giving the same money to Pelosi, Rangel, Schumer, and Maffei to spend as they, the ruling class, see fit. The stimulus money that congress has allocated so poorly was a prime example of bureaucrats spending your money by throwing good money after bad, useless, and frivolous policies that have helped no one except corrupt politicians.

Maffei has made the atrocious decision to sign health care legislation that will only increase costs, and already has increased costs for some. This health care legislation is thousands of pages long and is purposely complex and confusing so that there will be as little resistance as possible to what is essentially a government takeover of the healthcare industry. Some health care professionals have already suspended the acceptance of Medicare and Medicaid patients as everyone realizes government involvement will only make things worse. How many more doctors will refuse accepting such patients? Or any new patients? Or retire altogether? Likely, the only doctors that support this plan are those who are currently without patients due to lack of skill. Not only does this legislation erode personal and economic freedoms; it gives more power, authority, and tax dollars to industries such as the IRS, Department of Health and Humans Services, and a host of other new government agencies that will only raise costs and be restrictive by nature. This legislation also means that a government bureaucrat will be responsible for rationing care. Rationing of resources exists in everyday life, as most resources (whether it be workers, cash, energy, food, health care, etc.) are limited. Before the healthcare legislation was signed, the health care consumers and the health care providers had far more control of the rationing whatever services deemed necessary. Now a government bureaucrat will decide who deserves what medicine, tests, treatments, or no medical help whatsoever. Now, we will all fear the day when a loved one (perhaps an elderly member of our family) has care refused  by the government appointed allocators of medical resources – of whom do not deem a patient’s life expectancy long enough or valuable enough to warrant the care that is needed.

Maffei sides with those who believe that “health care and health insurance are too expensive”, however this group of people (either knowingly or ignorantly) refuse to address the fact of the matter that is the government is the reason for these high costs. The government subsidies, provided to those who they see fit, raise costs for the rest of us. The government regulations imposed upon everyone – quite often arbitrarily – raise costs for everyone as such regulation takes the ability of the consumer/patient to decide what is, and is not needed, to treat an affliction. The government allows the special interest groups of big business and big labor to dictate policy – many of these special interest groups outside of Central New York have bankrolled Maffei’s campaign for re-election. The government refuses to enact tort reform on a national or state level. State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver works for the largest trial lawyer firm in the state, so therefore he and his Central New York ally within the New York State Assembly – Bill Magnarelli – will always block tort reform despite it being in the best interest of taxpayers, consumers, and patients. Dan Maffei has failed to address any of these factors and despite being one of few people with the means to confront the likes of Sheldon Silver and Bill Magnarelli; he has completely failed us in doing so.

This message written to you by an independent, middle class, taxpaying citizen with no affiliation to any Democratic, Republican, Liberal, or Conservative Party; no affiliation to any religious or political movement; no affiliation with any lobbyists or special interest groups; and no affiliation with any projects that are funded with government funds or suppressed by government funds. Nancy Pelosi and Charlie Rangel have lead our Congress (both officially and unofficially) during one of the most corrupt, hypocritical, and irresponsible periods that most of us could have ever imagined. Therefore, a vote for Dan Maffei is a vote for the Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid agenda – an agenda that has proven to be not just ineffective, but disastrous. If history has taught us anything, it is that allowing government to allocate money and other resources from high upon the ivory tower to make decisions for the masses will only prove to be cataclysmic and catastrophic. A vote for Dan Maffei is a vote for the hypocritical ruling class elitists who believe that we, the constituents, work for Congress and indeed this could not be further from the truth. A vote for Dan Maffei is a vote for more government control, less government accountability, more government bureaucracy, less individual freedom, less economic opportunity, and more economic hardship for Central New York and the United States as a whole. For these reasons, I beg you to vote against Dan Maffei.


“Publius Siracusa”

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Conservatism, Libertarianism, and Limited Government

"If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is. 

Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to insure that we don’t each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are travelling the same path."

Ronald Reagan - Reason Magazine - July 1975

In order to maintain a functional society of free minds, free people, and free markets, we must never forget the importance and value of military, police, firefighters, and other emergency workers.  A special thanks to Jeff D. with the SFD keeping us safe.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

No Such Thing as Left or Right

"You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man’s age-old dream — the maximum of individual freedom consistent with law and order — or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism."

Ronald Reagan - A Time for Choosing - October 27, 1964

Friday, October 29, 2010

Treasury Inflation Protected Securities

Monday's auction of Treasury Inflation Protected Securities produced an unprecedented outcome for TIPS:

The U.S. Treasury Department yesterday sold $10 billion of five-year Treasury Inflation Protected Securities at a negative yield for the first time at a U.S. debt auction as investors bet the Fed will be successful in sparking inflation. The securities drew a yield of negative 0.55 percent.

Negative yields in T-bills was also unprecedented until December 9, 2008.  Needless to say; negative yielding debt instruments do not signal a stabile or healthy economic outlook.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Monetary Policy and Regulating Consumer Gift Cards

The goal of the Fed:

The Federal Reserve sets the nation’s monetary policy to promote the objectives of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.

Yet somehow the brain trust that is The 111th United States Congress - in their blind ignorance - believes that allocating this important organization's resources not to monetary policy, but to the regulation of consumer gift cards and credit cards:

The Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday announced a final rule implementing recent legislation modifying the effective date of certain disclosure requirements applicable to gift cards under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Treasury Auctions and Fed Buybacks

This past week the Treasury has auctioned off:

$27 Billion in 26-week Bills on October 12, 2010
$29 Billion in 13-week Bills on October 12, 2010
$32 Billion in 3-year Notes on October 12 2010
$25 Billion in 4-week Bills on October 13, 2010
$13 Billion in 30-year Bonds on October 14, 2010

Also, the Fed has conducted a purchase of $4.69 billion in Treasury Notes on October 15, 2010.  Such Permanent Open Market Operations are described as follows:

The purchase or sale of Treasury securities on an outright basis adds or drains reserves available in the banking system. Such transactions are arranged on a routine basis to offset other changes in the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet in conjunction with efforts to maintain conditions in the market for reserves consistent with the federal funds target rate set by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another New York State Failure

No surprise that New York State Governor David Paterson received an "F" from Cato Institute's 2010 Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governor's (page 23).

New York
David Paterson, Democrat
Legislature: Democratic
Grade: F
Took Office: March 2008

Governor Paterson has supported an enormous array of tax hikes during his short time in office. In April 2008, he signed into law a $1.7 billion tax increase, which included a $1.25 per pack increase on cigarettes, a broadening of the sales tax base, higher taxes on financial services, and higher taxes on limited liability corporations and real estate investment trusts. In December 2008, he walloped New York City workers with a $1.5 billion “mobility tax,” which is a new payroll levy to fund public transit. In 2009, Paterson approved a huge $5 billion tax increase, which included higher taxes on personal income, wine, cigars, health insurance, and utilities. The “temporary” three-year income tax hike added tax rates of 7.85 percent and 8.97 percent on top of the state’s previous top rate of 6.85 percent. In 2010, Paterson signed into law another cigarette tax increase to bring the combined state and New York City tax rate to $5.85 per pack. Paterson has also proposed new taxes on soda, health care services, and other items. You would think that with all of these tax increases, state policymakers must have first cut the budget to the bone. But the New York general fund budget has been roughly flat in recent years, not cut.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gerrymandering in New York State

NY1 illustrates even more corruption in the New York State Legislature:

It almost goes without saying that in a functioning democracy, the voters choose their representatives. But some say it’s the other way around in New York where by drawing their own district lines, Albany lawmakers can pick and choose which voters they represent -- a longstanding phenomenon known as gerrymandering.

The article also shows that this is no coincidence:

By law, the lines must be redrawn every 10 years, with New York divided up into districts for each of its 62 state senators; 150 State Assembly members; and 29 members of the House of Representatives.  

So who exactly gets to draw the lines? It’s a process essentially controlled by the leaders of each house in Albany -- the Assembly speaker and the leader of the State Senate. And historically, they’ve drawn the lines to make sure their members get reelected, and that their party remains in power.  

Consider that statewide, Democrats outnumber Republicans almost two to one. Yet Republicans maintained control of the State Senate for more than 40 years. This time around, with Democrats having won a slim majority in the senate two years ago, Malcolm Smith told upstate Democrats earlier this year, "We are going to draw the lines so that Republicans will be in oblivion in the State of New York for the next 20 years."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Financial Crisis Incompetence Commission

The Financial Crisis "Inquiry" Commission is still "inquiring", wasting time, and (of course) has received an extra $1.8 million on top of the panel's initial $8 million budget.

The commission was ill-conceived to begin with, considering it would be constructed by bureaucrats that were in large part responsible for the crisis to begin with. Chairman Phil Agelides, former Treasurer of California, has already been exposed for having an obvious conflict of interest and previously encouraging California's Public Retirement System (CalPERS) to invest in Greece. Obviously Greece and California have both taken a turn for the worst.

Meanwhile, the two government sponsored failures (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) have yet to be addressed and have been completely disregarded by the "Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act". One should not be surprised by this considering that Chris Dodd and Barney Frank were instrumental in exacerbating and compounding the housing crisis, as discussed at length and in great detail by Thomas Sowell in his book "The Housing Boom and Bust".

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Index of Worker Freedom

The Alliance for Worker Freedom (part of Americans for Tax Reform) has created an Index of Worker Freedom and graded New York State with an "F".

The 2009 Index of Worker Freedom (IWF) is the Alliance for Worker Freedom’s second sate-by-state comparative study that measures the level of worker freedom by analyzing actual policy as well as quantitative state data.

New York received an IWF score of three out of fifteen, earning an “F” score. With the highest union density, highest public sector union membership, and second highest private sector union membership, it is crucial that New York pass worker protections to prevent union corruption and coercion. Right to work laws are critical to preserve workers’ right to choose whether they join a union. Without this protection, workers are forced to pay dues to a union as a condition of employment. In the public sector, over 1 million people belong to a union, 70.5 percent of the public sector workforce. Even more workers, 72.5 percent of the public workforce are covered under a collective bargaining agreement.16 Collective bargaining agreements treat all workers exactly the same and do not account for differing abilities, talents, and preferences. They do not provide incentives for workers to excel and get better pay or benefits. New York needs to take further action to protect the freedom of public sector workers by passing paycheck protection laws. Without these protections, unions take dues directly from workers’ paychecks and may use that money for political campaigns. Paycheck protections require unions to ask workers before they spend union dues on political activities.

Right to Work (RTW) 0 
Union Density (UD) 0 
Public Union Membership (UMU) 0 
Private Union Membership (UMR) 0 
Paycheck Protection (PP) 0 
Prevailing Wage (PW) 0 
Collective Bargaining (CB) 0 
Workers Comp (WC) 0 
Minimum Wage (MW) 0 
Entrepreneurial Activity (EA) 1 
Health Insurance Mandates (IM) 0 
Licensing (L) 1 
Unemployment (UE) 1 
State Corporate Tax Rates (CTR) 0 
Top Marginal Tax Rates (MTR) 0 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Neither Protective Nor Affordable

The "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" does not protect patients, nor does it lower costs, as government intervention (price controls, bureaucratic rationing, and unconstitutional mandates) would only be endorsed by someone completely economically ignorant.

Even two progressives such as David Paterson and Michael Bloomberg did not support this ill-conceived and outright irresponsible legislation, as shown in Reason Magazine:

At the tail end of December 2009, as negotiations on the final Senate version of the health care overhaul were being completed, David Paterson, the Democratic governor of New York, held a joint press conference with independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in which they declared their unified opposition to ObamaCare. The legislation, they warned, would cost the state $1 billion, threaten the continued operation of many hospitals and nursing homes, and force the city to close 100 clinics. Bloomberg told the New York Daily News the law was “a disgrace.” A bitter Paterson groused that he felt like his state was being “punished.”

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Business Council of New York State

The Business Council of New York State has released it's 2010 Pro-Jobs Voter Guide Agenda.

The poorest scoring Assembly members consisted of Sheldon Silver and 62 others receiving pro-jobs ratings of 0%.

The poorest scoring State Senators consisted of Kevin Parker, Eric Schneiderman, and 7 others receiving a pro-jobs rating of less than 15%.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sheldon Silver

Sheldon Silver (also known as "The Worst Politician in America"), lives up to his nickname as he continues to engage in activities that demonstrate a blatant conflict of interest and questionable business practices:

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver 'is the biggest enemy of reform
Shelly Silver, Public Enemy #1
Housekeeping needed in Albany leadership posts
Silver's $200 million slush fund
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is urged to tell all on his gold-lined stock portfolio
Share your secrets, Shelly: Silver must clear up possible conflicts of interest
Sheldon Silver's stock shares in 30 companies may be conflict of interest

Organizations seeking reform to prevent such conflicts of interest, such as NY Uprising, are attempting to implement "a comprehensive annual financial disclosure form that includes disclosure of outside income".  NY Uprising has compiled a list of those refusing to sign such reform, which consists of 92 Democrats and 15 Republicans.  Of course the worst politician in America and many of his close allies within the Assembly are amongst those refusing to sign the petition.

Further examples of this flagrant disregard of ethics and failure to act on the taxpayers interest:

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's firm gets cut of 9/11-suit payouts

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bubble Economy

Paul Krugman on August 2, 2002 in the New York Times:

"To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble."

Keynesians, bureaucrats, elected officials (and/or those who may not necessarily be concerned with conditions left for future generations) are always much more casual with other people's money.  Reaganite Conservatives, Libertarians, Classical Liberals, followers of the Chicago school of economics (such as Milton Friedman), and those of the Austrian school of economics (such as Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek), believe in allowing the markets to work in order to achieve liberty, long term economic growth, and economic stabilization.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Allocation of Scarce Resources

David Merkel summarizes our economic problems perfectly on

Governments are bad allocators of capital.  They borrow money and allocate it to where the political return is the highest.  Those projects may bump up GDP in that year but do little for future GDP.  This is the lie of C+I+G=Y.  Yes, in the short run that works, but in the long run, money spent by consumers and investors yields far more for growth in the economy than government spending.  Our government is only interested in the short run, given their short-run fixation on the election cycle.

Consumers choose what helps them in the short-run, and Investors the long-run.  The government has non-economic motives — their actions merely harm the situation.  Better they should reduce taxes broadly than try to target certain areas that have clever lobbyists.

To put it bluntly; politicians have no incentive to create long term prosperity, stability, or safety and therefore believe that spending other peoples money  regardless of how inefficiently that money is spent — will create short term illusions needed for reelection.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Eleven Strategies

David Boaz writes in 1997 on The Freeman:

About a century ago a group of brilliant Italian scholars set out to study the nature of the state and its monetary affairs. One of them, Amilcare Puviani, tried to answer this question: If a government were trying to squeeze as much money as possible out of its population, what would it do? He came up with eleven strategies that such a government would employ. They’re worth examining:

1. The use of indirect rather than direct taxes, so that the tax is hidden in the price of goods

2. Inflation, by which the state reduces the value of everyone else’s currency

3. Borrowing, so as to postpone the necessary taxation

4. Gift and luxury taxes, where the tax accompanies the receipt or purchase of something special, lessening the annoyance of the tax

5. Temporary taxes, which somehow never get repealed when the emergency passes

6. Taxes that exploit social conflict, by placing higher taxes on unpopular groups (such as the rich, or cigarette smokers, or windfall profit makers)

7. The threat of social collapse or withholding monopoly government services if taxes are reduced

8. Collection of the total tax burden in relatively small increments (a sales tax, or income tax withholding) over time, rather than in a yearly lump sum

9. Taxes whose exact incidence cannot be predicted in advance, thus keeping the taxpayer unaware of just how much he is paying

10. Extraordinary budget complexity to hide the budget process from public understanding

11. The use of generalized expenditure categories, such as education or defense, to make it difficult for outsiders to assess the individual components of the budget

Notice anything about this list? The United States government uses every one of those strategies—and so do most foreign governments. That just might lead a cynical observer to conclude that the government was actually trying to soak the taxpayers for as much money as it could get, rather than, say, raising just enough for its essential functions.

In all these ways, government’s constant instinct is to grow, to take on more tasks, to arrogate more power to itself, to extract more money from the citizenry. Indeed, as Jefferson observed, The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Enough Already

As shown by Enough Already NY, we are subject to the following taxes:

Alcohol Tax
Cable TV Tax
Cell Phone Tax
City 911 Surcharge
City Sales Tax
City Utility Gross Receipts Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Electricity Tax
Entertainment Tax
FCC Subscriber and FCC Universal Charges
Federal Excise Tax
Federal Universal Service Fee
Gross Revenue Tax
Home Phone Tax
Hotel Occupancy Tax
Individual Income Tax
Motor Fuel Tax (Gas and Diesel)
MTA Commuter Transportation District Tax
MTA Excise Tax
MTA Payroll Tax
MTA Sales Tax
MTA Surcharge
Natural Gas Tax
Parking Garage Tax
Property Tax
Sales Tax on Supply and Delivery
Sales and Use Tax on Company Purchase
State 911 Surcharge
State and Local Sales Tax
State Surcharges
State Franchise Tax
Tobacco Tax
Weekday Peak-Hour Cab Surcharge
Weeknight Cab Surcharge
Other Miscellaneous Business Taxes
Other Miscellaneous Personal Taxes and Surcharges

Lao-tzu and Libertarianism

David Boaz writes:

"The first known libertarian may have been the Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu, who lived around the sixth century B.C. and is best known as the author of the Tao Te Ching."

Libertarianism: A Primer (page 27)

Selected chapters of the Tao Te Ching support this claim:

60 - Governing a large country
is like frying a small fish.
You spoil it with too much poking.

Center your country in the Tao
and evil will have no power.
Not that it isn't there,
but you'll be able to step out of its way.

Give evil nothing to oppose
and it will disappear by itself.

75 - When taxes are too high,
people go hungry.
When the government is too intrusive,
people lose their spirit.

Act for the people's benefit.
Trust them; leave them alone.

81 - True words aren't eloquent;
eloquent words aren't true.
Wise men don't need to prove their point;
men who need to prove their point aren't wise.

The Master has no possessions. The more he does for others,
the happier he is.
The more he gives to others,
the wealthier he is.

The Tao nourishes by not forcing.
By not dominating, the Master leads.

Chapter 13 also states that "hope is as hollow as fear".