Thursday, August 16, 2018

Rick Kelo on Liberalism & Peaceful Cooperation

Richard Kelo
Liberalism does not support the subjugation of anyone by anyone else.  It arose in the 17th and 18th centuries as a political philosophy that focused, as a core value, on peaceful voluntary cooperation.

Classic Liberals like Rick Kelo continue to advocate this pacificstic approach to our fellow man today.  Classic Liberals have long had an ideological opposite in Progressives, who advocate the use of government power to make the world look as Progressives preferred. 

One point Kelo makes is the history of race relations in America, "Progressives fought against civil rights for blacks in America from the 1880s forward.  They created Jim Crow laws, segregation and a host of other programs to impose by force their preferences against peaceful people."  Rick Kelo continues, "Outside of pretty advanced poli sci circles most people don't even realize that the fore-runner of the Progressive Movement was John C. Calhoun, who was also the ideological godfather of the Confederacy."

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Rick Kelo considers Hard Money

For most of human history "money" did not mean "currency" as it does in today's vernacular.  Money referred to something of actual physical value used for exchange.  Historically mankind has favored two main kinds of money: gold and silver.  American currency was exchangeable for its value in gold and silver all throughout our nation's history.  It was not until FDR - by executive order in a reach of power never seen before in American history - forcibly outlawed the private ownership of all gold except jewelry and rounded up everyone's gold, that this changed.

Rick Kelo
Rick Kelo poses a wide range of economic questions, and most touch on areas of political philosophy and sometimes history.  One such topic is what happened in America - and other nations - when those countries used BOTH gold and silver for currency at the same time.

That is what economists call a "bi-metallic standard" as opposed to only a "gold standard" or "silver standard."  Since our nation's economy, and a great many other countries, used a bi-metallic standard for huge portions of our history how well did it function?

Rick Kelo notes that, "Bimetallic standards are inherently flawed because people tended to arbitrage the lower valued metal so the nation was always on either a de facto gold or a de facto silver standard.   If gold was actually worth a little bit more than silver, but the country's set exchange rate for trading in paper bills for either metal differed from the true value, then people noticed this.  They would redeem currency in the under-valued metal, then take it across borders and sell the metal at its higher market value."  Richard Kelo continues, "This has been evidenced in every country to ever adopt a bimetallic system and is known among economists as 'Gresham’s Law.'"

Monday, June 11, 2018

Rick Kelo speaks on Worker's Rights and Socialism

Since the 1840s Socialists have claimed to speak for the worker, and to protect the worker from "exploitation" by business.   Of course, the original socialists like Marx mostly complained about conditions that existed in pre-capitalist economies as laissez-faire economies were only in their infancy when the "Communist Manifest" was published.

Regardless, Rick Kelo asks us to consider where we see persistent & soul crushing issues of exploitation of the little guy: were they in capitalist America or in socialist USSR?  In capitalist South Korea or in socialist North Korea?  In capitalist West Germany or in socialist East Germany?

As Rick Kelo points out, Socialist's argument that the worker is exploited are fallacy from beginning to end because they rely on calling any existence of labor exploitation.  Obviously labor exists in any type of economic system, including Socialism.  The difference to Rick Kelo is that under capitalism the laborer peacefully enters into a voluntary transaction to cooperate with his fellow human being.  Under socialism the laborer is forced by arbitrary dictate to provide his labor, at a below fair price, and murdered if he does not comply.  Also the laborer is free to leave under capitalism & not free to leave under socialism.

If Socialists want to moralize, then they must do so by first recognizing the moral arguments are all on the side of peaceful, free cooperation - the capitalist system.  There are no moral arguments favoring violent, forced coercion - the socialist system.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Rick A Kelo - Socialism is NOT Public Goods

One common Socialist mantra is: "If you don't like Socialism then don't drive on the roads or call the police department if your house gets broken into!"

"This Socialist trope is offensive because of its pure dishonesty," says Rick Kelo.  As a former economist educated at West Point, then later at Chicago Rick A Kelo dissects this widespread Socialist fallacy that even most economics professors won't touch.

"Economics is a specialized discipline, so there's nothing wrong with not being familiar with what it teaches," Rick Kelo points out. He continues, "However there is something wrong with writing and speaking publicly about economic issues if you don't know what you're talking about.  This Socialist claim about roads is one example.  As economics students can tell you, what we're really discussing with roads or police departments are four types of goods."

These are the four types of goods taught in basic economics textbooks:

What Rick Kelo points out is that the whole Socialist argument is a fallacy:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Rick Kelo - In Socialist Societies Citizens Have No Rights

Always challenging the way we view political discourse, Rick Kelo points out something almost universally over-looked.  When politics & economics are discussed a great many Americans hold Socialism in a favorable view.  However, says Rick Kelo, that is only because we haven't stopped to first reason it through to conclusion.

"All civil rights are ultimately economic rights," Kelo points out.  "When we say you have freedom of the press that is because the press is privately owned.  An economic right exists first.  How can there truly be freedom of the press in a Socialist society where the government owns the press?"

Rick A Kelo
A Socialist society has no natural rights because all natural rights are ultimately reducible to economic rights.  Another example Richard Kelo provides is freedom of speech.  You can't have freedom of speech when you can't procure economic ownership rights over a hall to give your speech.  When we say a protester is exercising their "freedom of speech" that implies their freedom to speak in a place where they have some economic property right.  A protester can't force their way into your living room and decide to picket there obviously.  That's because you have an economic property right to your home, but once Socialism wipes out private ownership the protester will be left with nowhere to protest.

Would so many Americans hold Socialism in a favorable viewpoint if they realized Socialism, by its very nature, is the absence of civil rights.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Rick Kelo on the 2 Types of Knowledge

For anyone who didn't feel like torturing themselves in college and sitting through an Epistemology class here's a chance to learn something interesting.  Did you know there are 2 different types of human knowledge?  They exist like 2 mutually exclusive circles:

  • A priori knowledge
  • A posteriori knowledge
Rick Kelo, a West Point graduate and Chicago tax recruiter, recognizes the importance of distinguishing between these two types of knowledge.  They apply in almost every public discussion of any political or economic topic.  A priori knowledge is proven by logically sound deduction.  It cannot be disproved by empirical measurement.  A posteriori knowledge is proven by empirical measurement and can be disproved by contradictory measurements.

This becomes important because something that we know through a priori knowledge cannot be disproved by quantitative measurements.  For example, you cannot disprove the Pythagorean Theorem by running around measuring triangles.

Now consider a hot political topic: the Minimum Wage.  As Rick Kelo shares, economists have a universal law called the Law of Demand.   It was established by logical deduction, or is a priori knowledge.  It states that if the price of something goes up, then the quantity demanded goes down.  So when you apply that universal law to the Minimum Wage it teaches us that if we raise the price of labor per hour, then the hours of labor that employers will purchase goes down.

In other words: unemployment rises!

There have been some poorly conducted empirical studies that seem to show otherwise, Richard Kelo notes.  One such infamous study was a 1990 study by David Card and Alan Krueger.  Except, because we know the Law of Demand is proven a priori any a posteriori study that seems to contradict it must contain flaws, just as Card & Kreuger was later shown to contain.

Rick Kelo

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Rick Kelo - Socialism Requires Force

As people we inherently recognize that forcing someone else to live their life on our terms is wrong.  You would never put a gun to someone's head you passed on the street and order them to go work as a fry cook at a fast food restaurant.  But if they decided on their own that job suited them then you'd never think twice about it.

Rick Kelo thinks the same principle applies to Socialism.  To date there has never been an economy where Socialism has not been implemented by force.  The Baath Party in Iraq, the Khymer Roughe in Cambodia, and the Soviet revolutionaries in Russia are just a few examples.  Socialist countries may hold elections, but does anyone actually believe Bashar-al Assad in Syria or Hugo Chavez in Venezuela were actually elected democratically?  Of course not.

There can never be a Socialist economy without force.  Socialists like to claim that an economy can naturally evolve to Socialism, but that argument is unsound.  A socialist economy cannot be created without force because without a central power imposing it you don't have Socialism.  You have capitalism.  Force is necessary to outlaw all other forms of economic organization except Socialism.

Rick A Kelo
Rick Kelo feels putting a gun to someone's head and telling them they can only work under the Socialist's terms, or cannot work under any other terms but the Socialist's terms, is wrong.  Rick is an outspoken advocate of human rights and he regularly speaks out against prohibitions.  As Richard Kelo teaches, our fellow man is someone to be persuaded and reasoned with, not forced and bulldozed over.