Archive for November, 2013

A Forgotten British Libertarian: William Bailward on Welfare

November 25, 2013

The more things change, the more they stay the same.That certainly is a dictum to keep in mind as we see the beginnings of the unraveling of the welfare State under our current government

But the horrendous mess the Democrats and Republicans have created in America is no surprise, given the history of welfare in the English-speaking world since Queen Elizabeth I.

In reading William Bailward’s book of essays on what Americans would call welfare, one was struck by how similar the situations and the mentality of Bailward’s day were, circa 1905-1912, with those of present day America.

Bailward’s “The Slippery Slope and Other Papers on Social Subjects” gives a clear picture of the problems that confronted British welfare from 1601 until Bailward’s day, and those problems are indistinguishable from those we now find in America, with 47 million on food stamps, the dollar buying a quarter of what it did in 2000, and 51% of the population receiving a check from the government every month — the exact percentage by which Obama was re-elected. Bailward had obviously not only thought about government welfare a great deal, but he also served as Chairman of a Board of Guardians, which was the body of people who would hear welfare cases directly from the applicants, and then make a dispensation. Bailward must have heard thousands of applicants in his career, which also included election to the British Parliament, and serving on a Board in one of the poorer sections of London. He knew welfare, both in theory and practice, and the insights in his essays should be carefully pondered by both Libertarians and members of the Bipartisan Party who want to raise the standard of living in America.

Bailward traces the history of British welfare back to the days of Elizabeth I, who, in 1601, instituted the Poor Law, which basically said that everyone who was “impotent” (i.e. unable to work or support themselves) should receive aid, while those who were able-bodied should be found work. Sounds a lot like modern America, don’t it.

The results of this were disastrous. For centuries England struggled with terrible poverty amongst its masses, and for many decades virtually everyone in the countryside was on a parish dole. The care of the “impotent” came to be the main function of the Poor Law, and the bit about finding work for the able-bodied was generally ignored. “Pauperism”, a concept Bailward talks much of, was rampant, and a multitude of British thinkers and artists, from John Locke to Lord Byron, wrote out their own schemes for raising the appalling standard of living

This sorry state continued until 1834, when the poor law was revised, and the equal eligibility of the impotent and the able-bodied was changed to make the working man eligible first for aid. This led to a large drop in the number of paupers.

There are several concepts that Bailward discusses which most American Libertarians probably overlook when considering welfare.

Firstly, there was the divergence between “indoor” and “outdoor” relief. Indoor meant the workhouse or poorhouse, where the recipients had to live in the institution to receive aid. Once “outdoor” aid got popular — aid which one could go and pick up and then go home — the number of paupers greatly increased.

Secondly, Bailward makes the very important distinction between “poverty” and “pauperism”. Poor people, or people living in poverty, who worked, lived frugally, and though poor managed to support themselves, are distinguished from “paupers”, who lacked any ambition to get off the dole, often drifted around, spending the days chatting or lounging on the parish lawns, and generally made a career out of cadging money, food, or clothing from various charities or government bodies. “Pauperism” sounds a lot like many of America’s homeless, although their ranks have been greatly swelled since the Bank Bailout Bill under Bush which Obama and most Democrats and Republicans voted for, and which has inflated the cost of necessities three or four times for Americans (and foreigners). Many of the homeless under Obama do not have pauperistic attitudes, but were overwhelmed by his and the Fed’s Inflation.

Bailward is a great believer in private charities giving aid, instead of Boards of Guardians dispensing goverment tax monies. And as in America, the tax rates did nothing but continuously go up in his day.

As Bailward was writing these essays, England was in the process of shifting away from the Poor Law and its 1834 Revision, into a system where each type of welfare had its own branch. For example, they began an old age pension scheme which gave everyone over 70 a pension. Then they had a school feeding program. And then various other programs were introducted. Bailward laments that the various bureaucracies that handled each new type of welfare had no coordination with each other, so that many people were receiving multiple benefits under multiple programs, and there was no central statistical bureaucracy that could keep track of it all. With the coming of the computer, that problem should theoretically be gone.

All in all, William Bailward’s “The Slippery Slope” is a work which all Libertarians should peruse, especially those interested in welfarism. Its discussions will broaden your understanding.

Hooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwww! — Silverwolf

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Congressman Peter DeFazio Helps Kill Thousands in the Phillipines

November 16, 2013

Liberal Democrat Congressman Peter DeFazio’s support for logging, and his current O&C Bill, which would drastically increase logging in the National Forest, show the rotten hypocrisy of the Democratic Party, and their brutal and callous disregard for the implications of their actions around the globe.

We know that trees are carbon banks, which take up free CO2 in the atmosphere, and lodge it within their bosoms until they die and decay, when it is gradually re-released. We have also seen major Democratic figures like former V.P. Al Gore speak out forcefully for some kind of control of global warming, which is increasing the ferocity of typhoons, and making world weather much more volatile and destructive. Yet, when it comes to the money over the environment, so-called “Liberal” Peter DeFazio is willing to continue to destroy the Oregon Forests, selling the wood to Red China, in order to partially offset our horrendous trade deficits, and to continue to expose Oregon residents to toxic pesticides like atrazine, which is banned in the European Union.

But when we see the devastation that has taken place in the Phillipines, as tens of thousands of women and children are killed in a typhoon, we can see the real impact of this immoral politician in Washington and his fellow pro-logging Democrats like Senators Wyden and Merkley, and Governor Kitzhaber,, as they all continues to push for environmental destruction, and disregard the incredible misery they and their fellow Tree Butchers are bringing about in the world, as they pursue their desire for money.

Peter Defazio, with his $150k annual Congressional salary, and his fat pension which he will enjoy in his retirement home in New Zealand, will not have to suffer the way the people of the Phillipines are suffering because of his actions, and the actions of loggers around the world. He will not have to leave his island home in the South Pacific and “relocate”, as his immoral pro-logging agenda continues to raise sea levels, and destroy the drinking water and living spaces of the South Pacific Islanders. His actions show he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about them.

In Silverwolf’s opinion, Congressman DeFazio didn’t kill tens of thousands of Filipino children in the typhoon — he murdered them. He knows very well what chaos and misery his actions are causing around the world, but he persists with them.

But we’re sure he’s sleeping very comfortably in his bed tonight, as a typhoon of suffering engulfs the women and children of the Phillipines.

These are the men you elect to office.

Hoooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwww! — Silverwolf

Three Political Suicides: Thatcher’s Poll Tax, Gillard’s Carbon Tax, Obama’s Obamacare

November 11, 2013

How the mightly are fallen, and all because they wanted to mulct that little bit of extra out of the golden goose of the Public. When we look at political collapses we can see how taxing the people at the wrong point and in the wrong way quickly leads to political death for the arrogant politician, and no better examples serve to illustrate this truism that those of PM Maggie Thatcher of the isle of Great Britain, Julia Gillard of the isle of Australia, and Barack Obama of the isle of Chicago.

Thatcher’s Poll Tax was a valiant attempt to impose the fairest tax of all, the Poll Tax, on long-suffering British property owners, on whom, as in America, the whole cost of local government fell. The Poll Tax is the fairest tax because it hits every citizen equally, and excludes none from the depredation. But the fact that millions of people. who previously never had to worry about paying tax, now had an annual financial burthen on their hands, was too much for the general public, and Thatcher’s Guy Fawkes explosion of British Politics was soon over.

Julia Gillard, always trying to sound like a cross between Winston Churchill and Richard Nixon, put her 30% carbon tax on mining just at a time when commodity prices had already peaked, and were obviously due for a huge “correction”. You’ll notice that Gillard never once called for an end to logging in Australia, or pressured the Indonesian Forest Rapists to curtain their destruction of the planet, but she thought she could mulct 30% out of the commodity corporations to shore up her huge Socialist bureaucracies. A few months later, and Ms. Gillard has crashed, and Tony Abbott is the new archdeacon of Aboriginaland, now called Australia after the Theft.

Finally we come to the current example, as arrogant President Obama, who thought he could ram Obamacare down the throats of the American People, and did so, has to back up his blatant lies about people being able to keep their insurance plans if they liked them, with a Clintonesque addendum explaining that people didn’t really hear what they heard the first time. We saw an initial report from NBC that 7 million Americans would lose their current plans and have to pay higher premiums, folks who undoubtedly thought that Obamacare wouldn’t touch them. When we saw that, we knew Obama’s Party had probably lost the next election. Obama won by about 1 million votes, but raising the premiums on 7 million “folks” who didn’t expect it is going to lose Obama and the lying Democrats far more. His popularity has plunged in the last few weeks to a reported 39% approval rating. People know when they’ve been lied to, and they don’t forget hits to their pocketbook.

But that was a week ago. Yesterday we read a report that over 50 million Americans could lose their current insurance and be forced to pay higher premiums for “better coverage”. What do you think that is going to do when those angry millions visit the voting booths in ’14 and ’16?

Three arrogant politicians: Thatcher, Gillard, and Obama. Three beautiful Political Suicides.

Hooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! — Silverwolf

A Deca-Millionaire’s Library for $5

November 3, 2013

One of the great advantages of the cyber world, one of which evidently few take advantage given the number of downloads registered, is the possibility of acquiring a digital book collection comparable to anything any Lord or Noble of the last 500 years could have assembled. When you consider the cost of building rooms to house tens of thousands of books, often having the shelves extend to the roof so that a ladder mounted on a rail was necessary to access the upper reaches, and the cost of heating those rooms so the books didn’t develop rot, along with the cost and bother of cataloging and labeling (and perhaps hiring a full-time librarian), you can see that, up until now, only a wealthy nobleman or business magnate has had the capacity to enjoy such a library

Nor does this consider the time, cost, and bother of visiting hundreds of bookstores in assembling a collection, or paying the exorbitant prices that books have reached during the last 30 years. This vast expenditure of time, effort, and money, was formerly necessary to anyone suffering from the disease of Bibliomania, and its attendant perversion, Librophilia.

But no more. Now, for about $5 worth of CDs or DVDs, the avid but economically modest Bibliophile can legally obtain a collection that would rival any ensembled in the last half-millenium by the wealthiest of the wealthy. Nor would he have to go from room to room, climbing ladders and re-descending, to look at a few books. On the computer, he could visit these tomes in moments, and know if they are the ones of which he has need or desire.

But given the pathetically low number of downloads we see on scholarly and literary books of all kinds, after years of being available online, we can see that this vast gift is not being taken advantage of by hundreds of millions of people.

Mankind is slowly degenerating in mind, and his language reflects this. Reading the prose of people who lived before the age of homogenized Fascism, we are brought in contact with ways of perceiving reality that are lost to the modern robotized man. And not only is that prose perceptive, but aesthetically elegant, unlike the dry bureaucratese that modern writers and politicians think and talk in.

There’s an old saying that if you’re carrying books and gold, and you fall down and drop both of them, first pick up the books.

So live like a wealthy nobleman in Cromwell’s day or the Deca-millionaires of our time, with a literature collection the envy of all Mediaeval England. Go pick up the books.

Hooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwww! — Silverwolf