The Free Trade
From The Intellectual Activist
The most under-reported
political achievement of the past 50 years is the
steady global expansion of free tradeand
the trillions of dollars in wealth that have been
created as a result. Here's a report on another
move forward in that multi-decade achievement:
the creation of a massive free-trade zone across
Southern Asiaincluding India, formerly a
bastion of protectionismthat may eventually
link the US to an Asian free-trade-zone with 3.1
billion people and a $10 trillion economy.
Thanks to TIA
Daily reader Rob Abiera for recommending this
Rushes to Create EU-Style Market," Eileen Ng, AP
via Yahoo, August 20
eminent domain and property taxes
Thanks to Erich
Veyhl for this link:
Here is an
article I wrote in 2004 on that connection in
commenting on a USA Today article: http://landrights.us/taxes/eminentdomain-taxes-melist-usat-040401.shtml
How to reduce
all taxes on gas and oil, including drilling,
refining, producing and distributing
all restrictions on oil drilling
restrictions on refinery construction
tax breaks for drilling and refinery
Government Should Do to Bring Down Gas Prices
property rights are the foundation of Capitalism
not just about the film industry: whether you're
talking about the pharmaceutical industry, the
information technology industry or filmed
entertainment, the protection of intellectual
property is crucial," said Darcy Antonellis,
who helps oversee antipiracy efforts for Warner
Brothers, a unit of Time Warner. "If we can't
build businesses around ideas, and feel
comfortable that we have the right to those ideas,
then our entire business is threatened." King
Kong vs. the Pirates of the Multiplex
an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is
duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his
person, his faculties, or his possessions. -
rights Number One issue for Americans
Eminent Domain Watch
Supreme Court refuses
to re-hear Kelo
Judge Roberts on
A Supreme Property Rights Disaster in the Making
Institute for Justice
changes tactics after Kelo
IJ and Castle
Coalition take fight to state legislatures, launch
"Hands Off My Home" campaign
States take on eminent
domain after Kelo
The Capitalist Manifesto
Historic, Economic and Philosophic Case For Laissez-Faire.
The books theme is: Capitalism is the system of
the mind. This principle is demonstrated throughout
the book, and is explicitly stated and briefly
explained in the concluding, climactic chapter. Click here to
order from the Ayn Rand Bookstore
Parliament rejects software patent law
Is Capitalism...Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
Steyn says the cure for Africa's problems is
Capitalism. He thinks Africans should study rock
stars' business methods rather than their music.
Click here to
read the editorial
approved by Senate
up to the House. International free trade adds up to
$1 trillion a year to our economy.
to big trade win after CAFTA clears Senate
Domain: Kelo v New London
& the Logic Of Destruction
rights activist Erich Veyhl is interviewed by
Australian webcaster Prodos.
- Maine Landrights Institute - Erich Veyhl's website
- note the connection made between eminent domain and
eminent domain dispute
County is atempting to use eminent domain to seize
Tulsa city property for a new bridge.
right to life is the source of all rights - and the
right to property is their only implementation.
Without property rights, no other rights are possible.
Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort,
the man who has no right to the product of his effort
has no means to sustain his life. The man who
produces while others dispose of his product is a
Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
nail in the coffin for property rights
Salsman writes in Capitalism Magazine:
about the Bush Administration's current judicial
nominees -- the ones who are being opposed so
vehemently by the Democrats? One member of the
Judiciary Committee, Democrat Senator Joseph
Biden, admitted recently that the opposition
stemmed, not from these nominees' views on Roe v.
Wade or prayer in the public schools, but from
the fact that some of them strenuously defend
private property rights -- i.e., uphold the U.S.
Constitution. How have Republicans, led by John
McCain and Lindsey Graham, responded to such
Democrat opposition? They've struck a "deal"
with Democrats that jettisoned a number of the
moves to limit eminent domain
From the NY
DeLay appeared with members of the House and
Senate who are proposing bills to sharply
restrict the government's power of eminent domain.
Hours after he spoke, the House voted 231 to 189
to approve a measure that would prohibit federal
financing for property seizures. Speaker J.
Dennis Hastert of Illinois praised the move, an
amendment to a spending bill covering
transportation and housing, as "an important
first step" to protecting private property,
though it was not clear if the measure would
survive in the Senate.
Illustrating the broad discontent in the House
over the court ruling on property rights, House
members voted 365 to 33 late Thursday night in
support of a resolution expressing "grave
disapproval" at the court decision.
Oklahoma legislator joins movement to limit eminent
I missed a legislator in my survey of those at our
State Capitol who have announced their intentions to
seek limits on eminent domain. State representative
Mike Reynolds, a Republican representing Oklahoma
City, plans to file legislation next year to limit
Oklahoma follow Ireland's example?
one substitute "Oklahoma" for "Ireland"
and retitle this "How to Become a Rich State"?
In other words, could Oklahoma become the richest
state in the country by following Ireland's example?
I'm seeing a LOT of parallels here . . .
Intellectual Activist Daily
joins limitation movement
movement at Oklahoma's state capitol to limit the
power of eminent domain is now a bipartisan one, as
Democratic state senator Debbe Leftwich, representing
south Oklahoma City, announced that she, too, is
requesting legislation to restrict the seizure of
property by the government: Sen. Leftwich
Requests Legislation Protecting Oklahomans from
Government Land Grabs
justice's property targeted
activist has announced his intention to pursue
eminent domain proceedings against land owned by US
Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter for his role in
the majority decision in Kelo v New London.
to a press release on the Freestar Media
Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a
request to Chip Meany the code enforcement
officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire
seeking to start the application process to build
a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the
present location of Mr. Souter's home.
Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out
that the City of Weare will certainly gain
greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a
hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr.
Souter to own the land.
The proposed development, called "The Lost
Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just
Desserts Café" and include a museum, open
to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on
the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a
Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free
copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."
Clements indicated that the hotel must be built
on this particular piece of land because it is a
unique site being the home of someone largely
responsible for destroying property rights for
to Robert Tracinski at TIA Daily,
the collapse of Enron in 2002, the left whipped
up a hysteria about an epidemic of business fraud--an
attempt to substantiate the Marxist view of the
entire capitalist economy as a system of "exploitation."
But as these cases have been brought into a
courtroom, where evidence rather than emotion
rules, many have failed to result in convictions--giving
the lie to the portrait of CEOs as crooks.
From a story at The
New York Times:
federal jury in Birmingham, Ala., today acquitted
Richard M. Scrushy, the charismatic founder of
the HealthSouth Corporation, of masterminding a $2.7
billion accounting scheme at the company,
clearing him of all 36 counts.
is an extraordinary end to what was supposed to
be among the government's most compelling cases
against a chief executive . . .
analysts suggested that the verdict exposed
weaknesses in the government's pursuit of
criminal convictions for white-collar offenses -
most notably the difficulty of proving something
as complicated as fraud - and might embolden more
executives to stand trial rather than negotiate
. Mr. Scrushy, . . . was the first chief
executive of a major company to be indicted on
charges of knowingly filing false financial
statements under the Sarbanes-Oxley law enacted
by Congress in the wake of the Enron debacle.
Court rules cable companies don't have to share
networks with competitors
Supreme Court battle
"Miss Taggart, . . . how long will you remain
willing to be a common carrier?"
legislators wants to limit eminent domain
legislators, including state senator Brian Crain, a
Republican representing Tulsa, and state senator
Clark Jolley, a Republican representing Edmond, and
state representative Mark Liotta, a Republican
representing Tulsa, have announced plans to introduce
legislation that would limit eminent domain in
to one of those
Senator Crain said
. last weeks Supreme Court decision was a
serious blow to the rights of individual property
I support the use of eminent domain for
roads, bridges and other kinds of infrastructure
projects that clearly benefit the public. But I
do not support selling eminent domain powers to
the highest bidder. Thats what Im
afraid this Supreme Court ruling could do,
. . .
believe the Constitution is very clear as to what
circumstances justify the use of eminent domain.
I plan on introducing legislation that will
preserve the power of local governments to use it
for projects that truly are for the public good
but I think the idea of allowing local government
to seize property for the citys financial
benefit opens up the door for cronyism and
corruption, Crain said. That should
simply not be allowed to happen.
Senator Jolley noted that
are already at least eight states, including
Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine,
Montana, South Carolina and Washington that
forbid the use of eminent domain for economic
development unless it is to eliminate blight.
I expect that in light of this Supreme
Court Decision, you will see many states join
Oklahoma in working to pass legislation to ensure
greater protection for private property owners.
Liotta said, in his
that the Supreme Court's ruling in Kelo v New
London "sets a dangerous precedent that
must be fought".
ruling is outrageous and undermines the
foundation of the American dream the right
to truly own your home, Liotta said.
Its a direct slap in the face of
property owners. Eminent domain can be used for
the public good, but the court has stretched that
definition way beyond reason by saying the
public good now includes the personal
financial gain of private developers, if it
translates to increased revenue to the local
government. Every homeowner and potential
homeowner should be outraged.
This decision opens the door for massive
corruption at all levels of government,
Liotta said. Every community is now open to
the possibility of hidden deals between
unscrupulous developers and their cronies on city
councils or state legislatures to take property
for private gain.
expropriates land owned by one business to give to
The following letter was posted in The Intellectual Activist
liberal majority on the Supreme Court which just
permitted governments to seize private property
and turn it over to developers in the name of the
"public good" have unleashed another
such travesty before the ink was dry on their
decision--this time in Texas as two waterfront
seafood companies are being seized for the sake
of a large scale private marina and hotel
The Supreme Court's Kelo v. New London decision
has truly unleashed a wave of legalized fascism
in which government and private cronies use the
powers of oppressive government to trample
private property rights. It would have been
envied by the 1930s New Deal court-packers who so
admired Mussolini and FDR.
-- Erich Veyhl
defeated in Kelo
- Conservative justices oppose corporate welfare
In a shocking defeat for individual property rights,
the US Supreme Court has ruled that cities have the
power to use eminent domain for economic development,
even when it involves seizing private homes in an
"unblighted" area to give to a private
developer. New London, Connecticutt officials
maintained that boosting economic growth outweighed
homeowners' property rights. The 5-4 decision led
Justice O'Connor to issue a dissent which argued that
"Any property may now be taken for the benefit
of another private party, but the fallout from this
decision will not be random," . . . "The
beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with
disproportionate influence and power in the political
process, including large corporations and development
that this is a perfect illustration of why there
should be a complete separation of state and economy.
As Justice Stevens wrote in his opinion for the
majority, "It is not for the courts to oversee
the choice of the boundary line nor to sit in review
on the size of a particular project area." If
the courts are not willing to draw the line between
individual rights and economic benefits, between
private property and public power, then what is there
to hold the government back from seizing any property,
rights or individuals at whim? The idea that a bigger
economic benefit can justify throwing a family or a
smaller business off their property in favor of a
bigger, potentially more profitable business will
only entice governments and developers to collude to
use more and more government power to displace bigger
and bigger pieces of the economy to pursue bigger and
bigger "economic benefits". The recent case
involving the City of New York's seizing of a city
block containing thriving multi-million dollar
businesses in order to provide a new headquarters for
the New York Times is a perfect illustration
of course, is an illusion, because an economy is not
developed by redistribution but by creation, that is,
by innovation and production. And, of course, what is
to stop a government from using eminent domain for
aims other than "economic development"?
There are places in this world where critics of those
in power have had their property seized. Consider,
for instance, what has been happening in Zimbabwe
under the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe.
domain is a direct attack on the principle of
individualism. It is a dangerous flaw which is
undermining the principle of freedom which the
Constitution was designed to implement. It should be
abolished along with every other government
intervention into the economy. The Supreme Court's
ruling in Kelo vs New London shows that the
government will exercise no restraint if left to its
Rules Cities May Seize Homes
new SEC nominee really admire Rand?
Institute issued the following press
release today (Monday, June 6, 2005):
OF AYN RAND TO HEAD THE SEC?
IRVINE, CA-- President Bush has nominated Congressman
Christopher Cox to head the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC); the New York Times (NYT) has pegged
Cox "a devoted student of Ayn Rand, the high
priestess of unfettered capitalism."
"We certainly hope the NYT is correct in its
assessment of Mr. Cox," said Dr. Yaron Brook,
executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. "Because
if it is, Mr. Cox would work to abolish the SEC,
which is what any devoted student of Ayn Rand would
do with such an opportunity."
Unfortunately, there are reasons to believe that this
will not be Mr. Cox's intention at the SEC.
"For example," Brook noted, "in his
short speech to accept his nomination, Cox stated
that 'The rule of law that the SEC enforces has given
America the most dynamic and vibrant capital markets
in the world.' But Ayn Rand held that the SEC has
been the major obstacle to the dynamism and vibrancy
of America's capital markets. The rule of law--of
proper, objective law--is exactly what the arbitrary
powers of the SEC make impossible. Witness for
instance the Sarbanes-Oxley Act--Congressman Cox
voted for it--which punishes innocent businessmen for
the (alleged) crimes of others. Any self-respecting
student of Ayn Rand--and any lover of justice--would
work to remove such power from the government's hands."
a race to the top!
"French voters are trying to
preserve a 35-hour work week in a world where Indian
engineers are ready to work a 35-hour day. Good luck.
Voters in "old Europe" - France, Germany,
the Netherlands and Italy - seem to be saying to
their leaders: stop the world, we want to get off;
while voters in India have been telling their leaders:
stop the world and build us a stepstool, we want to
Friedman in the New York Times
Court overturns Andersen conviction
On May 31,
the US Supreme Court ruled that a lower court was in
error when it convicted Arthur Anderson LLP of
wrongdoing in connection with the Enron scandal. The court found, in a unanimous
that the jury was improperly told not to consider
Andersen's honesty and lack of intent. Arthur
Andersen had a written policy regarding routine
document-shredding which was being followed in the
case of the Enron doicuments. 28,000
Andersen employees lost their jobs after the firm
shut down due to the Justice Department's prosecution
of this case.
cites ruling in appeal
Suisse First Boston banker Frank Quattrone, citing a
U.S. Supreme Court ruling this week that overturned
the conviction of accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP,
urged an appeals panel to reverse the guilty verdict
in his case.
get tax cut
Oklahoma Legislature passed a tax cut before ending
its regular session. The cut reduces the state income
tax rate from 6.65% to 6.25%, increases the standard
deduction, and includes a refund possibly worth $100
million. This means Oklahomans will get to keep more
of the money they actually earned in the first place.
Great Oklahoma Tobacco Tax: DOA?
One of the
great altruist crusades of our time appears to be
sputtering out, as revenues from the state's new
tobacco tax are coming in at about one-third the rate
No billboards in space
kidding: The Federal
Aviation Administration proposed Thursday to amend
its regulations to ensure that it can enforce a law
that prohibits "obtrusive" advertising in
zero gravity. "Objects placed in orbit, if large
enough, could be seen by people around the world for
long periods of time," the FAA said in a
Security and Capitalism
Social Security may be the best opportunity to
redefine the fundamental relationship between
government and governed.
courts, and military: $600 billion
Debt service: $400 billion
Regulation: $50 billion
Subsidies: $240 billion
Welfare: $400 billion
Social Security and Medicare: $850
projected Federal expenditures for 2005: $2.6
birthday, Ayn Rand!
2, 2005 is the 100th anniversary of Ayn Rand's birth.
Ayn Rand: A
Legacy of Reason and Freedom
poor Ireland! NOT!
has transformed Ireland into one of the world's
strongest economies, leading the EU to rate it the
best place to live in Europe. Could Oklahoma learn
anything from Ireland's example? OKC Chamber of
Commerce, are you paying attention?
Ireland Is Suddenly Rich
Magazine names Burt Rutan
"Entrepeneur of the Year"
Rutan has hit a big milestone, one
that could ignite a revolution and even change
the way we view the universe. But his achievement
isn't really a matter of altitude or new types of
space vehicles. It's about the business model.
Rutan managed to send human beings out of the
atmosphere without the benefit of an army of
engineers and hundreds of millions of dollars in
government funds. Instead, he did it the same way
a fast-growth software or biotech company
develops products -- with a small team, angel
funding, freewheeling management, a willingness
to take big risks, and a belief that serious
profit lay on the far side. Not surprisingly,
Rutan sounds a lot more like a venture capitalist
than a salaried aerospace engineer. "The
government is poison for the process," he
says. "The flying that America has done in
the last 20 years is by far the most expensive
way to get to space and the most dangerous. This
can't be done with NASA funding. It absolutely
has to be privately funded."
Oklahoma Capitalist congratulates Burt along
with Paul Allen and everybody at Scaled Composites and Mojave Aerospace
Ventures, as well as Richard Branson and his new
and Peter Diamandis and everybody involved in the X Prize for reminding the world that
great things truly are possible without the
government's help! (Hey "Project NEXT"
leaders: if you're looking for ways to make OKC the
"coolest of the cool", how about getting
the government to get out of the way of all those
"creative" people you're trying to attract?)
engineering achievement funded with private financing!
another story that proves that truly creative people
don't need the government's money or help: a massive
new bridge in France - the world's tallest - has been
built without government funds! It was even
making money before it opened for traffic! Remind me
again why Oklahoma City needs MAPS?
Court takes on eminent domain
30th, 2004, Michigan's Supreme Court ruled that using
eminent domain to seize private property for private
use is unconstitutional.
Now the US Supreme Court has taken on a case that
truly could reverse the nationwide epic of eminent
domain abuse. Arguments in Kelo vs New London are
scheduled to be heard on February 22nd.
for info on this suit at the Institute for Justice
City doesn't have to wait for the Supreme Court to
issue its ruling to get a jump on this idea, of
course. There's no reason why it couldn't simply
abolish the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority,
the Oklahoma City Redevelopment Authority and the
Oklahoma City Riverfront Development Authority right
now. The sooner these bodies are out of the way, the
sooner Oklahoma City's private entrepreneurs can get
started on creating some real economic development,
unfettered by any need to worry about having to find
"friends" in the government to curry favor
Casket cartel case appealed to Supreme Court
. . . while baseball may be the national pastime of
the citizenry, dishing out special economic benefits
to certain in-state industries remains the favored
pastime of state and local governments.
10th US Circuit Court of Appeals
While that may sound like some people's idea of
the relationship between Oklahoma City and Bass Pro,
it actually refers to state protections granted to
Oklahoma's casket industry, protections upheld by the
10th Circuit on August 24th, 2004. The Institute
for Justice is appealing the 10th Circuit's decision
to the US Supreme Court.
bill of rights" proposed
Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs says Oklahoma
needs a "Taxpayers Bill Of Rights (TABOR)"
modeled after a constitutional amendment passed in
Morality of Wealth Creation
businessmen he met seemed to wish to evade the
subject of his trial. Some made no comment at all,
but turned away, their faces showing a peculiar
resentment under the effort to appear non-committal,
as if they feared that the mere act of looking at him
would be interpreted as taking a stand. Others
ventured to comment: "In my opinion, Rearden, it
was extremely unwise of you. . . . It seems to me
that this is hardly the time to make enemies. . . .
We can't afford to arouse resentment."
"Whose resentment?" he asked.
"I don't think the government will like it."
"You saw the consequences of that."
"Well, I don't know . . . The public won't take
it, there's bound to be a lot of indignation."
"You saw how the public took it."
"Well, I don't know . . . We've been trying hard
not to give any grounds for all those accusations
about selfish greed--and you've given ammunition to
"Would you rather agree with the enemy that you
have no right to your profits and your property?"
"Oh, no, no, certainly not--but why go to
extremes? There's always a middle ground."
"A middle ground between you and your murderers?"
"Now why use such words?"
"What I said at the trial, was it true or not?"
"It's going to be misquoted and misunderstood."
"Was it true or not?"
"The public is too dumb to grapple with such
"Was it true or not?"
"It's no time to boast about being rich--when
the populace is starving. It's just goading them on
to seize everything."
"But telling them that you have no right to your
wealth, while they have--is what's going to
"Well, I don't know . . ."
"I don't like the things you said at your trial,"
said another man. "In my opinion, I don't agree
with you at all. Personally, I'm proud to believe
that I am working for the public good, not
just for my own profit. I like to think that I have
some goal higher than just earning my three meals a
day and my Hammond limousine."
"And I don't like that idea about no directives
and no controls," said another. "I grant
you they're running hog-wild and overdoing it. But--no
controls at all? I don't go along with that. I think some
controls are necessary. The ones which are for the
"I am sorry, gentlemen," said Rearden,
"that I will be obliged to save your goddamn
necks along with mine."
Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
Thursday, September 8th, 2004, I attended the town
hall meeting at Cox Convention Center organized by
the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce under the
banner of "Project
What is Project NEXT? Ostensibly it is an
effort to leverage "diversity" for "economic
development" by promoting "tolerance"
and "communication". Purportedly it is a
response - at least in part - to the ideas of Richard
Florida's book "The Rise of the Creative Class",
which ties economic success in a given area to the
increased "tolerance" and "diversity"
supposedly prized by "information workers".
While it would seem a given that intolerance
would drive the most creative people away from an
area, the Chamber of Commerce managed to
spend 3 hours detailing how the light bulb finally
went on in the heads of the supposed powers-that-be
here in OKC. While somewhat hazy on the details of
what the Chamber intends to do about this, they did
review the effort they put into conducting 10 focus
groups in the previous weeks involving various
segments of the population to get their ideas on
NOWHERE in this presentation was there any
mention of the word "freedom".
Somewhere in all of this, the words "MAPS
3" were spoken. What MAPS 3 is going to be,
remained unmentioned, aside from something to the
effect of making OKC the next "in" spot.
However, in conjunction with MAPS 3 - whatever it
turns out to be - an extension of the MAPS sales tax
So: is Project NEXT really MAPS 3? Whatever it
is, it looks like it will involve a campaign to
extend the MAPS sales tax.
But WHAT are they planning to spend it on?
entertains ideas for improving city