Castro Valley Winery Fined $115,000 For Using Volunteers

Apparently, in California, you can’t pay people with your expertise and knowledge. NO! You must pay them with Government monopoly money, and pay the local Government Overlords their protection money. This is like Atlas Shrugged in real-time!

Below, is an insightful article from The San Jose Mercury News:

CASTRO VALLEY — A small-time vintner’s use of volunteer workers has put him out of business after the state squeezed him like a late-summer grape for $115,000 in fines — and sent a chill through the wine industry.

The volunteers, some of them learning to make wine while helping out, were illegally unpaid laborers, and Westover Winery should have been paying them and paying worker taxes, the state Department of Industrial Relations said.

“I didn’t know it was illegal to use volunteers at a winery; it’s a common practice,” said winery owner Bill Smyth.

State law prohibits for-profit businesses from using volunteers.

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Mike Wallace Interview With Ayn Rand

In this 1959 interview, Mike Wallace interviewed the famous author, Ayn Rand, who is most famous for her 1957 novel, “Atlas Shrugged.” In this interview, Rand, very astutely, explains how, and why Capitalism is far superior to Socialism; and what has gone wrong with the Free-market system, since our Founders first implemented it, with the creation of our new Republic.

Below, is the transcript to the video portion of this brilliant interview:

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The Many Uses of Gold

Below, is a very insightful article, from Geology.com, which breaks down, nicely, the many wonderful uses of gold:

The Most Useful Metal

Of all the minerals mined from the Earth, none is more useful than gold. Its usefulness is derived from a diversity of special properties. Gold conducts electricity, does not tarnish, is very easy to work, can be drawn into wire, can be hammered into thin sheets, alloys with many other metals, can be melted and cast into highly detailed shapes, has a wonderful color and a brilliant luster. Gold is a memorable metal that occupies a special place in the human mind.

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Why Unions Want A Higher Minimum Wage

Below, is a very insightful article, from The Wall Street Journal, called, “Why Unions Want a Higher Minimum Wage”:

Organized labor’s instantaneous support for President Obama’s recent proposal to hike the minimum wage doesn’t make much sense at first glance. The average private-sector union member—at least one who still has a job—earns $22 an hour according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a far cry from the current $7.25 per hour federal minimum wage, or the $9 per hour the president has proposed. Altruistic solidarity with lower-paid workers isn’t the reason for organized labor’s cheerleading, either.

The real reason is that some unions and their members directly benefit from minimum wage increases—even when nary a union member actually makes the minimum wage.

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The True Motivation Becomes Apparent

“When we see that the most ardent advocates of the minimum wage law have been the AFL-CIO, and that the concrete effect of the minimum wage laws has been to cripple the low-wage competition of the marginal workers as against higher-wage workers with union seniority, the true motivation of the agitation for the minimum wage becomes apparent.”

- Murray Rothbard (Making Economic Sense)

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Who Needs Price Transparency?

Imagine, if you will, if our Federal Government, in all their “brilliance,” created something called “The Managed Grocery Act.” And, in accordance with this law, every citizen would have a predetermined amount of their money automatically deducted from their pay checks. In return, every citizen would be issued a grocery card, and depending on the plan they have chosen, would be told which food products they could acquire.

Beyond that, every grocery store owner in the country, by law, would be required to remove all prices from the shelves, and the products offered would be highly regulated by the Government. Every consumer would be instructed as to which products, and the amount, they could acquire, but, by no means, could they be made aware of the individual cost of these items.

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The Kronies (Cartoon/Action Figures)

On John Stossel’s January 30th episode of Stossel, he had on Emergent Order co-founder and CEO John Papola, to talk about cronyism, and how his video cartoon and action figures, “The Kronies,” relate to American politics.

For anyone who despises ‘Crony’ Capitalism as much as I do, you will, likely, appreciate this wonderful video – and it’s concept, and creativity. It is spot on!

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Most Arguments Against The Free Market

“A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it does this task so well. It gives people what they want, instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”

- Milton Freedman

The Federal Reserve Steals From The Poor And Gives To The Rich

Below, is an insightful post, from former Congressman Ron Paul’s website, “Texas Straight Talk,” in regards to Federal Reserve policies, and how they favor the rich, and politically connected:

Last Thursday the Senate Banking Committee held hearings on Janet Yellen’s nomination as Federal Reserve Board Chairman. As expected, Ms. Yellen indicated that she would continue the Fed’s “quantitative easing” (QE) polices, despite QE’s failure to improve the economy. Coincidentally, two days before the Yellen hearings, Andrew Huszar, an ex-Fed official, publicly apologized to the American people for his role in QE. Mr. Huszar called QE “the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.”

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It’s Not About How Much Money We Earn

If we were to ask fellow American citizens, “do you believe that wages, in our country, essentially, have been stagnate for many years”? I am pretty confident that most Americans would say, “yes,” and agree that wages, today, do not rise at the same percentage that they once did. I would, also, agree with that sentiment, and would add that, once upon a time, companies, perhaps, were much more generous with things such as Christmas bonuses, profit-sharing etc. Unfortunately, however, the commonly accepted belief tends to be that companies, CEOs etc., today, are just plain greedy, and that the average worker is, simply, being screwed. While, there may be some truth to these sentiments, I believe, it completely misses the point, and fails to pinpoint the root cause.

Allow me to quote from this previous post, in which I was attempting to make the case as to why raising the minimum wage is a bad idea, and to point out the unintended consequences that come along with doing so:

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An Amendment To Set A State Minimum Wage?

On November 5, 2013, there will be a Public Question on The New Jersey Voter Ballot, asking voters:

“Do you approve amending the State Constitution to set a State minimum wage rate of at least $8.25 per hour? The amendment also requires annual increases in that rate if there are annual increases in the cost of living.”

And, below that is the Interpretive Statement:

“This amendment to the State Constitution sets the State minimum wage at the level in effect under current law, or $8.25 per hour, whichever is more. Cost of living increases would be added each year. Also, if the federal minimum wage rate is raised above the State rate, the State rate would be raised to match the federal rate. Future cost of living increases then would be added to that raised rate.”

For many, if not most people, this may seem like a fairly reasonable question to put to the voters; after all, the price of goods and services are, without a doubt, rising in cost; but, for me, this is like watching Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand, play-out in real-time!

Allow me to explain:

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Who Are The Real Cronies And Fascists?

So often, in such a politically divided system, such as ours, in The United States, incendiary words such as Fascist, Socialist etc. are, routinely, tossed around, simply because one is opposed to a politician, and their policies. I think it is, also, commonly accepted throughout our population that, a Socialist or Fascist is synonymous with a murderous thug. Certainly, we have seen, throughout the 20th Century, with people like Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Benito Mussolini, that was the case; but, the truth is, both Socialism and Fascism are nothing more than economic systems, which lends themselves very well to those thugs who are predisposed to violence. Simply put, because, such systems centralize economic power into the hands of a few, who, at the same time, also have the power of Government, to make laws and regulations.

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Charity, Economics, And The Bible

Being an American, and having grown up in our predominantly Capitalist country, I have never really had the occasion to ponder economics as it related to my faith. I had always worked, gone to church, and, for the most part, like millions of other Americans, have taken for granted the economic system that we have grown up with.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I began hearing some fellow Americans citing Biblical verses in a manner that was tacitly, if not explicitly, promoting Socialism and Communism. For a Christian person, like myself, who has always cherished the freedoms we have had in this country, and felt blessed for the standard of living that we have had in this country, it is beyond disconcerting.

Over the last year or so, I have had some informal conversations with some fellow Christian friends, in regards to this subject; but, for some reason, over the last few months, I have felt compelled to try to understand God’s true intentions, as written in The Bible, in regards to how Christians should be conducting themselves, economically, charitably etc.

Recently, I began discussing economics with my fellow Christian friend Kori, as it related to our faith. In the past, myself and Kori have collaborated on the subject of Christianity and Marriage, which, with her permission, ended up as an insightful post on this site; and, to which we were fortunate to have many great comments. Since she did such a wonderful job at researching Scripture, and Biblical history, in regards to that subject, I was inclined to ask her to collaborate, once again, with me, on this subject.

With Kori’s permission, I would like to share her recent e-mail correspondence to me:

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The Job Of The IRS Is To Violate Our Liberties

Below, is a very insightful post, from former Congressman Ron Paul’s website, “Texas Straight Talk,” in regards to the recent IRS scandals; as well as the politically harassing, and corrupt history of the IRS:

What do you expect when you target the President?” This is what an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent allegedly said to the head of a conservative organization that was being audited after calling for the impeachment of then-President Clinton. Recent revelations that IRS agents gave “special scrutiny” to organizations opposed to the current administration’s policies suggest that many in the IRS still believe harassing the President’s opponents is part of their job.

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Defending The Republic With Yaron Brook

Please check out the below, June 4th, Blog Talk Radio broadcast of “Defending the Republic,” with Southern Sense, Annie Ubelis, and her co-host, Cool Mike:

Their special guest was Dr. Yaron Brook, the executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute. He is a columnist at Forbes.com, and is featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Investor’s Business Daily, and many other publications.

This interview (figuratively-speaking) is like a Libertarian sermon! Anyone who values Limited Government, should listen to this interview with Yaron Brook.

Enjoy!

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Taxation Is Theft – So Why Do Americans Put Up With It?

Below, is a very insightful article, from Foxnews, by Judge Andrew Napolitano, called, “Taxation Is Theft – So Why Do Americans Put Up With It”?

With a tax code that exceeds 72,000 pages in length and consumes more than six billion person hours per year to determine taxpayers’ taxable income, with an IRS that has become a feared law unto itself, and with a government that continues to extract more wealth from every taxpaying American every year, is it any wonder that April 15th is a day of dread in America?

Social Security taxes and income taxes have dogged us all since their institution during the last century, and few politicians have been willing to address these ploys for what they are: theft.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry caused a firestorm among big-government types during the Republican presidential primaries last year when he called Social Security a Ponzi scheme. He was right. It’s been a scam from its inception, and it’s still a scam today.

The Constitution doesn’t permit the feds to steal your money. But steal, the feds do.

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Withholding Is Involuntary Servitude

“The withholding feature of the income tax is a still more clear-cut instance of Involuntary Servitude. For as the intrepid Connecticut industrialist Vivien Kellems argued years ago, the employer is forced to expend time, labor, and money in the business of deducting and transmitting his employees’ taxes to the federal and state governments — yet the employer is not recompensed for this expenditure. What moral principle justifies the government’s forcing employers to act as its unpaid tax collectors? The withholding principle, of course, is the linchpin of the whole federal income tax system. Without the steady and relatively painless process of deducting the tax from the worker’s paycheck, the government could never hope to raise the high levels of tax from the workers in one lump sum. Few people remember that the withholding system was only instituted during World War II and was supposed to be a wartime expedient.

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Warnings From The Wise About The Welfare State

Below, is a very insightful post, from FEE, in regards to The Welfare State:

“A February 27, 2013, article in The New York Times on last month’s Italian elections included this interesting paragraph:

“Increasingly, experts on both sides of the Atlantic are asking whether politicians in some advanced nations, faced with high debts, aging populations and slower growth, are capable of promoting plans that offer a way out of the malaise—or whether they could be elected if they did.”

So the “experts” are finally beginning to wonder if the welfare State is affordable and sustainable. I guess that’s progress. But in my view, these Johnny-come-latelies aren’t experts at all if they didn’t see it coming.

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Gold And Silver Approved As Legal Tender By Arizona Senate

Below, is a very encouraging, and insightful, post, from The Tenth Amendment Center:

“Arizona may become the second state, after Utah, to recognize gold and silver as legal tender authorized for payments of debts and taxes.

The Arizona Senate voted Thursday to approve SB 1439, the Constitutional Tender Act, which allows businesses and the state government to accept payments in gold or silver. The vote was 17-11. (see how reps voted here)

The Legal Tender bill specifies that legal tender in Arizona consists of all of the following:

1. Legal Tender authorized by Congress.

2. Specie (containing gold or silver) coin issued at any time by the U.S. government.

3. Any other specie that a court of competent jurisdiction rules by a final, unappealable order to be within the scope of state authority to make legal tender.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

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The Income Tax: Root of All Evil

Below, is a great book, by Frank Chodorov, called, “The Income Tax: Root of All Evil.”

“Frank Chodorov was an extraordinary thinker and writer, and hugely influential in the 1950s. In this classic work, he argues that the income tax, more than any other legislative change in American history, made it possible to violate individual rights.

He argues that income taxes are different from other forms of taxation because they deny the right of private property and presume government control over all things.” – Amazon.com

Enjoy!

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Why We Should Stand With The Two Percent

For almost 4 years now, since the inauguration of President Barack Obama, we have been hearing a seemingly never-ending attack on rich people in our country. And, for those of us who believe in a free-market economy, free of incessant Government interference, we completely understand that money in the hands of private citizens, used for their own economic purposes, whether it is in the production, or consumption, of goods and services, builds far more value, and economic growth, then in the hands of Government, where wealth is consumed, destroyed, and mostly thrown down a rat-hole. We also understand that rich people, unless their money is sitting in a safe, or under a mattress, put their money to use in some productive manner, which will, inevitably, create more goods, services, jobs, and economic opportunities.

We often hear from the current class of Democrats, and those on the far-left, that rich people are not paying their (so-called) fair share; but, for the objective observer, that notion has been put to rest, many times over, as it is common knowledge that rich people, by far, and by virtue of amount, pay the most taxes in this country; which is used to fund our Government(s), social programs etc. But, even in light of these facts, the rich, to some, are still not handing enough of their money over to Government!

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The Real Reason For Withholding Taxes

“The real reason for withholding taxes is the unwillingness of workers to share their incomes with the government and the consequent difficulties of collection. To overcome this handicap, the government has simply impressed employers into its service as involuntary and unpaid tax collectors. It is a form of conscription. Disregarding the right of privacy, which is an essential of liberty, the government’s agents may, under the law, invade the employer’s office, demand his accounts, and punish him for any infraction which they believe he has committed; they can impound his property and inflict a penalty for not having collected taxes for the government. This violation of our vaunted rights was highlighted by Miss Vivien Kellems, a Connecticut manufacturer, several years ago. To test the constitutionality of the law, Miss Kellems refused to collect these taxes and notified the government of her intention. She asked that she be indicted so that the matter could be brought to court. At the same time, she instructed her employees to pay their taxes regularly, helped them compute the amounts, and saw to it that they had proof of payment. The government refused to indict her. Rather, its agents, without court order (the government is not hampered by such formalities), impounded her bank account and demanded a penalty from her for not collecting taxes which had been paid. The only thing she could do under the circumstances was to sue the government for recovery of her money. In this she was successful. But the matter of constitutionality was assiduously avoided by the government’s attorneys, by legal tricks, and she was never able to get to it. Laws are made for citizens, not the government, to obey.”

- Frank Chodorov (The Income Tax: Root of All Evil)

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Atlas Shrugged, By Ayn Rand: A Brief Summary

Below, is a brief, yet very insightful, synopsis, of Ayn Rand’s classic book, “Atlas Shrugged.” Enjoy!

The story of Atlas Shrugged takes place in the United States at an unspecified future time. Dagny Taggart, vice president in charge of operations for Taggart Transcontinental Railroad, seeks to rebuild the crumbling track of the Rio Norte Line that serves Ellis Wyatt’s oil fields and the booming industrial areas of Colorado. The country is in a downward economic spiral with businesses closing and men out of work. Other countries in the world have become socialist Peoples’ States and are destitute. Colorado, based on Wyatt’s innovative method of extracting oil from shale, is the last great industrial center on earth. Dagny intends to provide Colorado the train service it requires, but her brother James Taggart, president of Taggart Transcontinental, tries to block her from getting new rails from Rearden Steel, the last reliable steel manufacturer. James wants to do business with the inefficient Associated Steel, which is run by his friend Orren Boyle. Dagny wants the new rail to be made of Rearden Metal, a new alloy that Hank Rearden developed after ten years of experiment. Because the metal has never been tried and has been denounced by metallurgists, James won’t accept responsibility for using it. Dagny, who studied engineering in college, has seen the results of Rearden’s tests. She accepts the responsibility and orders the rails made of Rearden Metal.

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