Democracy, a love story

For a long time Democracy has been around our political possibilities. When liberalism came to the world and tried to stop the kings and give power to the individual, Democracy seemed to be a good tool. But, is it a good tool alway? Maybe not.
A good democratic system needs to have a philosophical support and, as I think, a small scale. First, people who is part of a democracy has to have respect for others, I mean an individualist respect. If they had no respect for others, it would be a war in the congress. Like it is now. And, this is more important, democracy is good for small communities, where you can be part of the voting or you can be close to your representative. This is the case of Switzerland, where democracy is very close to the people.
When this two thing can not work, democracy can be a tool for a dictatorship of the majorities. When individualism is lost, collectivism can replace it and use it for driving our society to a statism. They also have thing easier when it is for a big nation, where an individual can not be heard. This is the perfect example of Argentina, where thanks to the democracy the government can do whatever because a single individual can not be listened and can not change things.
We can find a solution. I do think that the first step to start again our democracy is to remember federalism, a concept that every country founded with a classical liberal constitution has. After that we should think another way to choose out President. I do like raffle as a way to choose our president. This will make people be sure that they can be safe of a bad president, so they will limit the power.
Doing so, democracy can help in the local area. We really can have democracy for small comunities like our city, where you can see what they are doing.
This post is not against democracy, it does not try to say that democracy is a bad thing for us. It just try to give an opinion and a possible alternative to improve our system, to get a better society and a really close system to the people.

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Uber and the monopoly

This post comes late to the problem with Uber and the taxis, but it doesn’t come late to the problem with monopolies. This is a clear example of what Ayn Rand wanted to tell us in Atlas Shrugged. The state and, this is important, a group of ·businesman” trying to steal from the people. I say that because the policies applied for this are trying to set a privillege to a bunch of powerful men who can get in the bed with the burocrat.

Uber is a new company which is trying to be part in the market but, it comes with a better service and better price. In Spain, a country I follow every day, has more than 23% of people with no job. It is really bad, and the Government does little to let the entrepreneurs creat jobs. This is a company which could help a lot but they said that they will have to pay thousends of Euros if they try to compete.

This is the world we live in, a world based on colectives trying to eat by giving nothing back. This is corporativism, or crony capitalism. The same bad system we all know is bad.

What taxi drivers should try to do is to get the costs down by forcing the monopoly of force to liberalize their market, they they will be able to show how good their service is and why us, the consumers, should travel with them and not with Uber. But this has to come with a perfect respect to private property and people.

Just quoting Ayn Rand helps to understand what is happening and what has been happening for a long time.

When you realize that in order to produce, you need to obtain authorization from who produces nothing. When you realize that the money is for anyone who negotiates, not in goods but in favors. When you realize that many are high for bribery and influence, more that work, and that the laws do not protect us from them, but on the contrary, they are the ones that are protected. When you realize that corruption is rewarded and honesty becomes self sacrifice. then I could say without unequivocally, that your society is doomed.

Capitalism, freedom and money

First of all, I want to say I’m happy to be back, to write a new post and to share with you my thoughts.
Today I wanted to talk about money. What it means for me and what I see around me about money and the myth of money and capitalism.

First, what is money? Money is a tool that many people do not understand, they just see some people who have more and some who have less and that is all. They also say that people who support capitalism (the real one, not the crony capitalism) talk about freedom but, as they say, we only care of money. That is a very wrong concept, we support the individual and his capacity of take decisions, and it just can happen in a society that respects him and his property, which means laissez-faire capitalism.

We do not say YOU HAVE TO SELL AND BUY THINGS FOR MONEY! It wouldn’t be freedom, that would be a dictator. But, here comes why we support money. Money is our tool to check how much value someone created for others, how much your partner valued our work. Is true that you shouldn’t pursue money if you do not want to have it. But, you should know that you will have to find a way to support your objectives without forcing others to pay what you need for living, you will have to create your own living. How? Nobody knows how.

I wanted to finish this short post saying that people who just want to make money are not evil, they want to build, create value and save their work using money.

It should be privet!

By – June, 18th 2014

Sandy Springs, Georgia may look like any other town in America. It has parks, roads, and beautiful places to live. But there’s one thing that separates this town from every other town: Sandy Springs privatized almost everything.

In 2005, Sandy Springs outsourced almost all functions of the city government (with the exception of police and fire) to a single company, which runs the town. That company is in charge of running all the vital functions of government, from the running the parks, to paving the roads, and even 911 calls!

The town is run very efficiently, with zero backlogs in permit requests. Call the city, and you’ll be surprised to find that you actually get a friendly person on the other line! The city has a 24/7 non-automated customer service hotline which fields about 6,000 calls per month. It also has a state of the art traffic system with cameras and a high tech command center.

When people come to Sandy Springs, they usually have no idea that it’s privatized, says Sharon Kraun, media relations director for the city. There are no signs with corporate logos or anything like that. According to Sharon, “What people can tell is that the city is well taken care of, and the residents who live here or individuals who work here, like being here and are happy with the level of service provided.”

When the project first started, the University of Georgia estimated that the city would need 828 employees. But because the town is managed by a private company, they’ve cut their workforce down to just 471 people.  Besides fire and police, the city only has eight full-time public employees.

Because of this efficiency, Sandy Springs generates huge surpluses. They have no unfunded liabilities. The city specifically decided not to use the traditional pension model – a model which has put almost every government across America in an unsustainable pension crisis. Instead, employees can choose their own 401K package to prepare for retirement, if they wish.

This has given the town of Sandy Springs lots of extra cash to work with – a surplus that they put into building for the future. According to Sharon Kraun, “The city, as a matter of policy, sets aside 25% of revenues into a reserve during each budget planning cycle. Capital improvements have been a major focus during our first eight years, with more than $185 million invested in capital infrastructure.”

This has lead to lots of improvements around the town. The city has repaved 147 miles of streets, 874 storm water projects, and built 32 miles of new sidewalks.

If part of the government performs poorly, the city can fire that company, and bid the contract to another company. In 2011, the city said farewell to the main company that was managing the vital functions of government CH2M Hill, and opted to go with another company. This saved the city over a million dollars.

Most people in Sandy Springs are happy with the change, and surrounding towns and communities are adopting the privatization model. “To date, our community has been pleased,” said Sharon, “If the polls are indicators, our founding mayor – who ran on the public private partnership platform, won two terms in office with overwhelming support.”  After the founding mayor retired, a new mayoral candidate, Rusty Paul, also ran on the commitment to keep Sandy Springs privatized, and won by a landslide.

Many cities across the world are looking at Sandy Springs.  Oliver Porter, one of the main architects behind the move to incorporate the town, has given speaking engagements all over the world, from Britain, to Iceland, Japan, and Latin America.  ”I’ve been increasingly asked to give advice and lectures around the country,” said Porter in a recent interview with WND, “This is also an international model.”

The great contradiction

Anarchism. What’s that? It means you believe that advocate stateless societies often defined as self-governed voluntary institutions.
The first paragraph makes sence. But, there are another kind of anarchist who defends the collectivist view. That is a real contradiction. Isn’t it? How can someone say that you believe in self government and voluntary actions and say at the same time that you want to have social rights?
Socials rights are a kind of coercive way impossed by the state to give someone’s things to another. That mean you advodcate for some powerful institution allowed to force an individual.
It means that someone who calls himself anarchist and defends “social justice” is not a real anarchist. He is a socialist and as Mises said “bihind a socialist there are a dictator”

Being Rational

As I mentioned previously, one of the ideas that my faculty teach its students is the idea that being rational is acting against others. Another idea about rational people is that reason is acting the same way everyone.

When you see those ideas you can understand why people who studied there oppose to the libertarians. We advocate for rational, free people, and that sounds too bad for them. “You are stealing others” they say, “if comes a crisis it is because people did not act rationally” they also say. Moreover, there are some professors who say that classical economy and the neoclassical economy are the same as libertarianism.

Is it real? I do not think so. Not all at least. Is true that Adam smith and others who were pro freedom and free market developed the classical economy, but they did it so wrong, actually. As I see it, they came from a collectivist society and tried to defend personal freedom but… they thought that they could make a model of how people were acting. That is really imposible. How can you try to say how my behavior will be in the marketplace if you do not know which my values are, which my needs or my information conined will condition me.

As individual, we have many different preferences, values and needs each minute of our lives, so two lines crossing each other can not tell you anything about my behavior and if I am rational or not.
I think everyone is rational because they try to do the right thing with the tools that he or she has, but we can not predict someone’s actions if we do not know him before the situation.

Reason, something unique

Our reason is our principal tool. It is like something that works for almost everybody (I say that because there are some sick people who can not benefit from this tool). But it cannot be understood if you do not undertand that people is unique, each person has uniques values, uniques interests, uniques need, to make it simple your acts will be rational because you respond to your own values and interest which are not known by others. So, when economists like a neoclassical says that when you can’t explain a crisis is because people did not act rationally, he is making a mistake, people’s behavior was correct acording to their own rational believes. Is the economist who did not have the correct information or enough information to answer “Why did this happen?”
But, a usual situation after a crisis under a free society is always the same, a fast recuperation, because people changes his actions and values and they can change their
rality fast. Just check what happend with Singapure after the big crisis in 2008, now they are growing and they just have 2% of unemployment.

That is what I think of what reason is and how economists who called themselves libertarian or classical liberals were wrong trying to define our reason as a mathematic code.

Ayn Rand: “You have to be selfish”

When I read and listened to Ayn Rand I discovered a philosopher that could give me a philosophical base.

She talks about you being selfish and many people hate her because of it. I do understand why they do, because as people understand selfishness today, it is a bad thing. but, is it a real bad thing? When Rand says selfishness is good, following your objectives is good she is not saying “kill others if it is necessary”. She was one of the greatest defenders of freedom to everyone, I have to remind you that she supported gay people, abortion and legal drugs…

When I read her I understood that selfish for her meant that you have to be yourself, try to be the better you can and act as your mind tells you you have to act, always being respectful with other’s rights. She shows as examples of what she defend businessman, architects, people who want to do what they feel without expecting others to understand him/her.

A few days ago I watched Stossel, a libertarian show that was talking of Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand’s philosophy. A visitor said that she was agaist helping people. I think she wasn’t, she had never told you you must not help others, it should be your decision to help or to do what you think, not other’s decision of your actions.

An example is Howard Roak, the architect in the fountainhead, where professors and the “public” tried to tell him that he should build a specific kind of buildings and he did not wanted to do it. Was he a bad person because of it? He was not!! He just wanted to design another kind of buildings, expecting someone to value them.

Another thing I heard angaist her was that she opposed to those who work together. That is so wrong as I understang her. Think of it for a while. She supported creative companies, isn’t a company an example of people working together, trying to pursue a common goal or not a common goal but working together because it helps to get what each person involved wants…

So, being selsish is good. Not letting others decide how you should live, how you should spend your money is good. It doesn’t mean you cannot hear other’s advice. It means you should have the last word.

Just imagine if your classmates have to decide how your adult life will be. Would you be happy if they tell you you will have 9 children with a catholic husband or wife? Would you be happy if someone knocks your door and tells you that you have to give him half of what you have earned to pay his needs without thinking if you want to give it to him or not. That is what Ayn Rand says you should decide by yourself, she does not says you don’t have to do it.  She oppose to the moral that the person is a slave of the community and he has to do what others want without thinking if he wants or not. The moral that tells you “it is good for others, your intersts don’t matter, they want you to do that, so you have to do it, getting nothing for what you have done for them is fair because you are nothing without them, you do not have value”.

That is what I understand.

I cannot be free

Liberty comes with responsibility, that’s why most men are scared of it.
The real world comes and many people are not prepared to deal with it. That is what you can see around your. Friends that justify regulations because they don’t feel strong enough to do or stop it. The perfect example is cigarettes, most people want to ban it because they are scared of the consequences of smoking it.
Everything people don’t know how it works is bad and others shouldn’t be allowed to learn, use or experiment with it.
Everyone knows that smoking is bad but people can try it, and leave it too. The fun comes when you realize that they are the same people who likes to talk of “fair things”.
They understand that is fair that if you are successful, you should pay a higher percentage of your income to pay what they want. They call unfair that if they cannot stop doing something you don’t support a banning law for it.
So, you live for them, that is what they finally mean when they try to do fair things by law.
“I cannot have it, you shouldn’t have it neither”
“I can’t see how to get something I want, you should provide me what I want”
And, they are who call us selfish, too. Yes, we are selfish, but we don’t tell them how to live their lives. Instead, they want to live and say how to live ours. That is fair for them, very fair.

We need more creative peoole

When you watch or read Atlas  shrugged you learn many thing, but the most important thing you learn is the difference between a creator and a taker. The writer set a very clear difference between both, and I do think it is important to know.

I started to watch a couple of years a go some creative people on YouTube who work hard and make awesome things. Some of them are so good and some companies, including YouTube pay them or give them something to keep them motivated. I think that’s awesome and it needs to be recognized as an example of what Rand was telling us.

For example, there are a twins who started to make videos at home, now you watch them on YouTube and they became professional film makers. Such a good news that there are more like them, working on their dream, trying to be better in what they enjoy, making people have a good time watching their creations. They create value for them, maybe it is some money or maybe opportunities , and create value for those, like me, that enjoy watching theirs adventures. They also create value for some companies who discovered a new way to promote their products.

It happens when people are free and fight for their happiness. It is as simple as letting people “alone” and we can see how right Rand was wen she warned as about the collectivism as a system and as a philosophy.

I hope to see more examples like those youtubers.

All is real

I finished my classes yesterday. I’m really concerned of what is going on. I didn’t want to believe that university can be one of the most destructive weapons in the word, and it really is.

I’m studying economy and I’m very surprised about the ideas that people and  professors say. Things like: acting rationality means you act against others, if you let a friend ask a question before you, it is altruism and you are  not rational, we have to think as a collective, retirement for people who have never saved money is good because it is fair (the professor did not give a economic explication of it), the fact that companies win money is not fair, they make too much…

The list can continue but it is only an example of why Argentina is and will be in a crisis for ever. This ideas are more destructive thant a full world war two inside the country every day.

What is more sad is that people and students think that and they don’t ask themselves why hong Kong or Singapore are so successful. Because those countries learned that collectivism does not work. Hare they don’t.

I’m so tired of discussing with friends and listening those things. I do not know what to do for changing that, which seems to be part of them, like a hand or a nose…

PS: all I said as examples are real things you listen in the class from professors and students.

I wanna leave this country and fight for freedom in the only country where I see hope, the USA!!