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Clif Sipe
Attended Wright State University
Lives in Ohio
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Clif Sipe

Questions/Issues for Discussion  - 
 
Is Ethanol on the way out? I doubt it. The political will to change directions does not exist, even when environmentalists can't fail to see the harm caused by ethanol subsidies and rules.
For years, the Iowa caucuses have been heavily influenced by the role of agriculture subsidies in the state in the form of ethanol subsidies.
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Clif Sipe

Austrian Economics  - 
 
Mises wrote one of the "classic" books defining liberal ideas in 1927. It was called "Liberalism", which had a different meaning to people back then. Click below to get your free PDF ebook.

The term "liberalism," from the Latin "liber" meaning "free," referred originally to the philosophy of freedom. It still retained this meaning in Europe when this book was written (1927) so that readers who opened its covers expected an analysis of the freedom philosophy of classical liberalism. Unfortunately, however, in recent decades, "liberalism" has come to mean something very different. The word has been taken over, especially in the United States, by philosophical socialists and used by them to refer to their government intervention and "welfare state" programs.

This is Mises's classic statement in defense of a free society, one of the last statements of the old liberal school and a text from which we can continue to learn. It has been the conscience of a global movement for liberty for 80 years.
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Clif Sipe

Questions/Issues for Discussion  - 
 
I lived through those years when Reagan was considered a monster by the left. He still has a good reputation on the right and with liberty minded people, but is it deserved? I don't think so ...
How "Small Government" was Reagan? His policies on Taxation and spending speak volumes.
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Clif Sipe

Questions/Issues for Discussion  - 
 
Molyneux and Whittle discuss the theory that genetics can influence your political leanings. In other words, if you're a progressive, you were born that way. I'm not sure I buy it all, but it does explain some of the resistance to classic liberal (libertarian) ideas that I see in many people.

For many decades, two main reproductive strategies have been recognized by biologists - this is referred to as r/K Selection Theory. When you look at humanity through the lens of reproduction strategies – things quickly begin snapping into place and a battle for survival is revealed.

In the area of public discourse, these two survival strategies battle for ultimate supremacy. Bill Whittle joins Stefan Molyneux to discuss the various political positions and attitudes – including how they are shaped and explained through r/K Selection Theory.
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Clif Sipe

Questions/Issues for Discussion  - 
 
When it comes to ruling others, DEMOCRACY sucks (according to Plato). Do you agree? What alternatives should we strive to see in its place? I think you'll enjoy this 2 minute video from the BBC.
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Clif Sipe

Articles, Essays & Videos  - 
 
I always enjoy Sheldon's articles ...

quote: "Even considering that no one is fit to be president — Hillary Clinton is especially unfit. No one who has done what she has done as a government official should be rewarded with power."

Clinton brags that American intervention in Libya is a good example of "smart power," which speaks volumes about her.
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Clif Sipe

Questions/Issues for Discussion  - 
 
As usual, it is not difficult for Paul Krugman (NY Times pet economist) to line up the usual suspects and hang them In Absentia. His usual suspects include anyone who does not have a D after their name, or even worse, the maleficent forces of under-regulated markets.
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Clif Sipe

Questions/Issues for Discussion  - 
 
Political Arrogance? This year for sure ...
As usual, Stossel provides good examples why government can't do what it promises. He's afraid that our presidential candidates are going to end up bleeding out taxpayers and creating more problems, no matter who wins. I see no reason to disagree ...
http://creators.com/opinion/john-stossel/political-arrogance.html
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Clif Sipe

Articles, Essays & Videos  - 
 
The Federal Reserve is a Cancer
Thomas Sowell (one of my favorite economists) was a long-time supporter of the Federal Reserve (if it could be managed properly). In an interview in 2010, he called the Fed a "cancer" and advocated its abolition. Was it due to the influence of a popular libertarian speaker (Ron Paul)? In any case, it's always a pleasure to hear Sowell speak.

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Vėjas Plevėsavičius's profile photoZephyr López Cervilla's profile photoDr Mikko Arevuo's profile photo
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+Vėjas Plevėsavičius, I guess you mean central Europe. Eastern Europe is mostly Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The only countries that are geographically in Eastern Europe that have entered the UE are the Baltic States (and Finland).

Ukraine is a bankrupt economy riddled with political corruption and victim of its government's bureaucracy and interventionism. They couldn't even afford to pay for the natural gas that the Russians used to "sell" them at a bargain price in exchange of a geostrategic alliance.

In the ranking of economic freedom of The Heritage Foundation, Ukraine is ranked in the 162nd position, right between Burma and Bolivia, and 19 positions below Russia:

«Ukraine’s economy remains “repressed.” The rule of law is particularly weak. The investment regime remains closed, with foreign investment competing with large state-owned enterprises. A rigid labor market and bureaucratic business regulations inhibit the development of a dynamic private sector.»

«In 2014, Ukraine accepted $30 billion in aid from the IMF, World Bank, EU, and other bilateral donors.»

«Pro-Western Ukrainians hoped their 2014 Euromaidan revolution would dismantle the oligarchic politics and deeply rooted cronyism that allowed business owners to amass wealth by exploiting their access to those in power rather than through efficient management, but that corrupt system is still largely in place under the Poroshenko government. The judiciary remains weak, and contracts may not be well enforced.»

«The total tax burden equals 38.9 percent of domestic income. Government spending amounts to 49 percent of GDP, and public debt equals 41 percent of domestic output. The IMF is helping to bolster public finances.»

«completing licensing requirements is still time-consuming. Modern and efficient bankruptcy procedures are not in place. The labor code is outmoded and lacks flexibility. Massive and price-skewing government subsidies (7 percent of GDP on natural gas subsidies alone) have caused deep economic distortions.»

«Bureaucratic requirements deter much-needed growth in private investment. The primarily cash-based economy suffers from a lack of sufficient capitalization. Nonperforming loans continue to be a drag on the banking system.»
heritage.org/index/country/ukraine 

To sum up, Ukraine is the Greece of Eastern Europe. If it isn't so indebted as Greece yet is just because they haven't found yet the propitiatory fool to lend them the money that they will dilapidate.

Those $30 billion in aid the they've been given and won't probably ever return represents about 30% of its nominal GDP:

«Ukraine will need additional bailout financing from outside the International Monetary Fund to keep the war-torn economy afloat, the head of the IMF said Thursday.

The cost of the conflict with Russia-backed separatists has changed the country’s cash needs since the IMF originally designed a $30 billion international bailout program in April, of which the fund pledged to cover $17 billion.»

«But economists outside the IMF say the funding requirement could be larger, and warn any overhaul of the IMF bailout program must include some sort of debt restructuring to ensure the country can return to economic health. The national elections later this month could provide the opportunity for a bailout overhaul, giving the lawmakers a chance to enact another round of politically tough economic policies that would help Kiev get a better grip on state finances. Those efforts could be reciprocated by additional international financing help.»
wsj.com/articles/ukraine-will-need-more-bailout-funding-imfs-lagarde-says-1412876378 

«Fund officials couldn’t say if such a scenario would overwhelm Kiev’s ability to pay its debts and force it into default. The IMF did say that more financing could be needed if the crisis wasn’t resolved in the coming months, more than double the $17 billion the fund has already promised Ukraine under the emergency bailout.»

The Institute of International Finance, an industry group representing the world’s largest private banks and other financial firms, warned as much even before the IMF signed off on the bailout deal.

Mr. Åslund suggests “an amicable restructuring” after the elections in October. The fund should use its 1991 program with Poland as a template: “They wrote off half the debt in return for a very strong stabilization and reform program,” he said.»
blogs.wsj.com/economics/2014/09/17/ukrainian-elections-may-ease-way-toward-bailout-overhaul 
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Clif Sipe

Questions/Issues for Discussion  - 
 
Ethanol? Should we be "willing to sacrifice our children to the corn gods" as Stossel puts it?
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Clif Sipe

Articles, Essays & Videos  - 
 
Aren't you glad that you're a "Classic Liberal"? LOL
Liberals and Conservatives both can be simple-minded and dogmatic
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Clif Sipe

Articles, Essays & Videos  - 
 
I have had to argue some of these myths over and over again. It is surprising how otherwise intelligent people fall prey to the underlying fallacy that voluntary exhange (capitalism) is bad for some people but good for others.

Economic Myths (full article pasted here)
by John Stossel
20 Jan 2016
http://creators.com/opinion/john-stossel/economic-myths-ff40d88386.html

Hillary Clinton: "Of course we want to raise the minimum wage!"

Donald Trump: If we trade with China, "they suck us dry ... take everything. We get nothing!"

Bernie Sanders: "Ordinary Americans are working longer hours for lower wages."

But it's not true! Politicians are so ignorant about economics.

On his blog, Cafe Hayek, George Mason University professor Donald Boudreaux says his main job is showing students that much of what they believe about economics is wrong. I wish he taught presidential candidates.

Sen. Sanders simply gets facts wrong. Today Americans work fewer hours — down from about 2,000 hours per year to 1,800 over the past 60 years — and earn more . It's true that the rich got even richer, but the poor and middle class have done better, too, with about 40 percent higher salaries for the middle class and 48 percent more for the poor over the past 35 years. Politicians lie.

Donald Trump doesn't understand trade. Even if China "dumps" goods on America, we don't "get nothing" — we get the goods. As Trevor Woolley posted on my Facebook page, "The fact that the free market is based on consensual transaction means that no trade can decrease anyone's wellbeing."

Right. Since trade is voluntary, no trade happens unless both sides think they will gain. Trade may eliminate jobs in some industries, but it creates jobs elsewhere, more jobs, and creates wealth for the vast majority.

Helping some American companies by restricting foreign imports, as Donald Trump vows to do, sounds nice, but you can't restrict goods available to American consumers without reducing competition. Protected from competition, companies get lazier, less productive. They innovate less. Prices rise.

Hillary Clinton's minimum wage will help some workers, but overall, it should be obvious it's a job killer . If a minimum really could increase wages without harm, why are politicians so cheap? Let's have a $1,000 minimum wage! But it's just basic economics: If you increase the price of something, people buy less of it. That applies to workers hired, not just goods.

More myths:

—Prices and wages are simply "set" by businesses.

—The rich get richer at the expense of the poor.

—Price increases after natural disasters are caused by "greed" and should be stopped by laws against "gouging."

—Rent control makes housing affordable.

—Business taxes are paid by business.

—Supporters of free markets are "pro-business" and (hence) "anti-consumer."

These are simple notions about economics into which our brains lazily fall. But none is true.

For example, supporters of free markets (like me) don't necessarily support business. I won 19 Emmy awards criticizing businesses. Corporations can be enemies of free markets because they don't want competition. They routinely lobby politicians to squelch it.

Boudreaux says his students arrive on the first day of class thinking businesses just "set" prices and wages. But businesses can't do that. Companies lose customers if they price goods higher than competitors do.

Wages can't be set at will either. Sure, what boss wouldn't like to pay a workforce one dollar per year? But other companies need laborers too, and those that underpay lose good workers. So the bidding process continues endlessly — it's why the median household income in the U.S. is more than $50,000 a year. That wouldn't happen if bosses could just wake up and decide, "Let's pay workers less!"

The credit for good wages doesn't go to labor unions or politicians' passing a minimum wage, though they sure hog the credit. The credit goes to market competition and a growing economy. After all, 95 percent of workers earn more than minimum wage, and most jobs aren't unionized.

Politicians can't see the wonders that the market provides, but they somehow see everything government does as a blessing — taxes that cut into people's pay and regulations that make it more expensive to produce. They don't see that their well-intended "pro-consumer" rules raise prices and reduce choice.

I wish more Americans learned basic economics from economists like Boudreaux — or from me! At StosselintheClassroom.org, I offer teachers free videos that illustrate economic principles and debunk myths like the ones listed above.

Politicians, on the other hand, are lousy teachers.

John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on Fox News and author of "No, They Can't! Why Government Fails — But Individuals Succeed."

COPYRIGHT 2016 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM
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Tagline
Editor, Blogger, Electronics Tech, Old Geek, Anarcho-Capitalist
Introduction
Now using Linux, however, I've spent years promoting Windows Freeware and Free information. Owner-Editor of FreewareWiki.com with over 2000 pages of freebies. Currently, I'm also the Managing Editor and a Contributor at Techie-Buzz.com, a popular blog about software technology and gadgets.
Bragging rights
Husband, Father of 2, Grandfather to 1, Libertarian, Skeptic
Education
  • Wright State University
    Electronics, 1994
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
clifnotes
Work
Occupation
Managing Editor, Electronics Technician, Software Reviewer, Open Source lover, Blogger
Employment
  • Electronics Technician, Software Reviewer, Blogger, present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Ohio
Previously
Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee - Illinoise, Indiana, Tennessee, Ohio