Saturday, December 31, 2022

Tips from the Rod Williams School if Drunk Driving.

by Rod Williams, Dec. 31, 2021 - New Year's Eve is tonight, the number one day of the year for people driving while intoxicated. Many of these people will be people who only occasionally drink and rarely get drunk, so they will not have developed good drunk driving skills.  

This guide from the Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving is provided to help you improve your drunk driving skills or think about alternatives to drinking and driving. 

(1) Don't Drive drunk. That is the number one tip: don't do it. Getting arrested for drunk driving is only one reason not to drive drunk.  The most important reason is you could kill yourself or someone else.  If you are lucky and don't kill someone else or yourself, getting arrested for drunk driving could cost you your job, your election, your social standing, custody of your children or visitation rights, a lot of money, and maybe your marriage.

If you overindulge, there are alternatives to driving drunk. Uber or Lyft, get a hotel room, call a friend or family member and ask them to come get you. If at a friend's house and you have had too much to drink, stay the night.  

Lyft and Uber are affordable, fast, and convenient.  By now most people who live an active life have probably used one of these services. If you have not used one of the services however, the way they work is that you page a ride using your phone. To do that you must first download an app. Don't wait until you're drunk to try to download the app. Here is a link to the Uber app.

(2) Pick the designated driver before you start drinking.  If you are not going to rely on a commercial service such as a cab or Uber, and you know you are going to be drinking and you are going with other people, then have a designated driver. I prefer being the designated drinker, but someone needs to be the designated driver.
Despite the above advice, I know there will be times when a person will have had too much to drink and not think they are too drunk to drive but will have had a sufficient amount of adult beverage that they could register drunk even though they don’t think they are drunk. I myself have probably driven many times when I would have registered drunk had I been stopped. I am not by any means advocating driving drunk, but if you are possibly driving impaired I am providing these below tips to help you increase your chances of getting home safely without getting arrested.

(3) Know that you don’t have to be “drunk” to register DUI. You do not have to be sloppy, falling down drunk to register as DUI. If you think you should not drive then by all means don’t. See the above tips. Often you will not know if you are drunk or not, so unless you know exactly how much you have had to drink and whether or not that would constitute drunk driving, then assume you are technically drunk. You do not have to appear intoxicated or have any of the symptoms that we think of as “drunk” to have a Blood Alcohol Content that legally makes you guilty of Driving Under the Influence. If you drink and you drive you have probably driven “drunk.”

(4) Track your consumption and don’t have “one for the road.” That is what often happens. If during the evening you are having dinner with friends and you have a pre-dinner cocktail and wine with dinner and an after-dinner liquor with coffee, and a champagne toast, you might register drunk. Try to keep your alcohol consumption to a level that falls below the BAC limit.

On occasion, but not as often as I would like and certainly not as often as when I younger, I like to go to Lower Broadway to listen to live music and party. If I have 8, 12-ounce beers in a four-hour period I should have a BAC of about .068, however, if I have 9 beers in four hours that means I have a BAC of .085 and am legally drunk. “One for the road” could put me over the limit. Actually, I seldom have eight in a four-hour period, but it has happened.

A female can drink less than a male and a slender person can drink less than a heavy person. For a 115-pound female, three glasses of wine in two hours is drunk. Don’t try to keep up with the other people in your party. Know your limit. Skip a round. Drink slower. Some people assume that wine is less inebriating than tequila shots. That is not so. A 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ounce of 100-proof distilled spirits have the same impact on an individual's BAC level.

Here is a calculator that will give you guidance on how much alcohol you can consume and an estimate of BAC. Please be aware that this is only a guide. If you are drinking on an empty stomach, your BAC may be higher than indicated in the calculator.

(5)  Point your car in the direction of home.  Plan your trip. A good car should be able to find its way home, with a little help.  Avoid places where the police might see you. In the days before Uber and when you could still park on Broadway, I would visit the honkytonk strip of Lower Broad. I never would park on Broadway, however. I live on the south side of town, so I would park a block or two south of Broadway on one of the one-way streets heading south. That meant I did not have to circle a block and be concerned about traffic lights and stop signs. The less exposed one is to the police the less chance one has of getting caught. It is worth parking four or five blocks away to reduce your exposure.

(6) Be aware that you are impaired. If you didn’t keep track of how much you drank then assume you are may have had enough to register drunk and use your best drunk-driving skills. "Thinking" skills, like perceiving and evaluating risks, or processing information are not easily visible to outside observers, but they are the first skills to be adversely affected by alcohol. Be aware of this.

(7) Stop the Party. You are having a good time. You are joking and singing and laughing. You hate to end the party, but if there is any chance that you are driving with an elevated BAC, then stop the party. Say, “OK folks, we need to straighten up. I need your help in getting us home.” Don’t sing or engage in distracting conversation. Turn off the radio. Don’t talk on the cell phone. Give driving your undivided attention. Don’t let anyone in the car have an open container. You may be perfectly capable of driving, but if a drunk passenger is yelling out the window, the police may stop the car and give you a drunk driving test. The moment you get in the car the party is over.

(8) Check the checklist. Have a mental checklist. You don’t want to get stopped because you failed to use your turn signal. I was once stopped by the police on lower Broadway and forced to take a Breathalyzer. I knew I had only had two beers in a two-hour period so I was not concerned. The reason they stopped me is that I had not turned on my headlights as I pulled out into the street. This was in a previous car, years ago when headlights did not turn on automatically. The downtown area is well lit and this was just an oversight. The police are looking for excuses to stop you; don’t give them one. Seat belts? Check. Adjust the mirror? Check. Turn off the radio? Check. Turn on the headlights? Check.

(9)  One crime at a time! Do not commit other crimes while driving drunk. If stopped for suspicion of drunk driving, don't compound your problems by being arrested for drunk driving and something else.  Don't smoke dope while driving drunk. Don't get arrested for drunk driving and for speeding, or possession of a controlled substance, or contributing to the delinquency of a minor, or soliciting prostitution.

(10) Concentrate; pay attention. Be aware of your driving. Don’t relax. Keep both hands on the wheel. Don’t be distracted. Don't answer the phone. If you feel you must answer the phone, safely pull off the road. Don't even engage in conversation.  Make sure you do not weave. Are you staying within the lines? Drive just below the speed limit. Don’t tailgate. Pay attention to the car in front of you. If they put on their brakes, notice it. If you are approaching an intersection with a traffic light, pay close attention. Plan that traffic light stop. Don’t run a yellow light.

(11) Use your co-pilot. Ask the person in the passenger's seat to help you drive. Ask them to tell you if you weave or tailgate or go too fast. Make them pay attention to your driving.

(12) If you get stopped. Unless you are certain that you have had less than the number of drinks it would take to raise your BAC level to the .08 level, then common wisdom holds that it is a good idea to refuse the breathalyzer test. It generally is more difficult to convict a driver of drunk driving if no chemical tests are taken.

(13) Don't sleep it off in the car.  Should you find yourself drunk and think a nap will revive you or that you may just spend the night in your car, don't do it. Even if you are not driving, if you are in your car drunk, you can be charged with DUI.  See the guidelines above about alternatives to driving drunk. If you can't take a ride-share or call a friend, and you do end up drunk, it would be better to sleep it off in a doorway or park bench than in your car. 

Rep. Bill Beck
(14) Use your influence to get the charge thrown out. Be a State Representative or other person (link) with important friends who can get a judge to throw out the charge based on lack of probable cause for making the stop. Despite the police seeing you drive with wheels over the lane line and observing the smell of alcohol, slurred speech, and inability to walk straight and despite the arresting officer saying you were "absolutely hammered," the judge may rule the arresting officer did not have probable cause for making the stop.

(15) Pray. It can't hurt.

(16) You'r not a kid anymore. As you age, your reaction times can slow down, and you can lose the ability to effectively divide your attention between multiple activities. Aging tends to result in a reduction of strength, coordination, and flexibility. Face it, there are some things you cannot do as well when you are old as you could when you were young.  You may not be safely able to drink as much and drive.

This is an additional tip suggested by a student of the Rod Williams School of Drunk Driving.

(16) If you are seeing double, close one eye. 

I have never been arrested for drunk driving but I admit I have been guilty of it. I guess I have been lucky. As a young adult, I was more often guilty of it than I have been as an older adult. Nevertheless, from time to time, I still have probably technically met the blood alcohol level for being drunk.

Stay safe. Don't drive drunk. Drive careful. 

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9 Crazy Examples of Government Waste in 2022

You can’t make this stuff up.

by Patrick Carroll, Foundation for Economic Education, Dec. 30, 2022-  With 2022 mostly behind us, many are undoubtedly grateful that this year is ending. From lingering COVID restrictions to the war in Ukraine to economic decline, it’s been a rough go.

Amidst all this, the steady slew of spending coming out of Washington certainly hasn’t helped. While people were struggling to put food on the table and pay for much-needed healthcare, politicians were spending billions of dollars on the most wasteful projects you’ve ever heard of.

To highlight the most egregious of these projects, Sen. Rand Paul has once again published his annual Festivus Report, named after the parody holiday celebrated on December 23. One of the traditions in Festivus is the “airing of grievances,” and so every year Senator Paul uses the opportunity to highlight his grievances with the US government.

Here are some of the craziest examples of government waste that made the list this year.

1) Using COVID relief funds to construct an 800-room luxury hotel

Broward County, Florida spent $140 million in COVID-19 relief funds to construct a luxury hotel, complete with 30,000 square feet of pool decks, a rooftop bar, and an 11,000-square-foot spa and fitness center. Surely that’s not allowed—you might be thinking—and you’d be right. But the county found a clever work-around. In a board meeting this past February, the money was transferred to the county’s general fund and described as a federal payment to cover lost tax revenue. The money was then returned from the general fund back to the project.

Money is fungible, as they say.

2) Using COVID relief funds to purchase luxury cars

The US government has spent roughly $4.55 trillion on COVID relief aid, of which over $100 billion was stolen or put to fraudulent uses according to the Secret Service.

Where did all of that fraudulent money go? As it turns out, $31.5 million of it was used by four individuals to buy luxury cars such as Porsches, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis.

3) Camouflage uniforms that don’t blend in

The federal government spent $28 million on camouflage uniforms for use in Afghanistan which…didn’t match the environment of Afghanistan.

You had one job…

4) Maintaining 77,000 empty Federal buildings

According to the Office of Management and Budget, the federal government spends more than $1.7 billion a year to maintain 77,000 empty buildings. Part of the problem is that the process for selling these buildings is quite long due to the various regulations involved.

5) Subsidizing the free New York Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry is free, and by “free” I of course mean funded by taxpayers. Though New York City picks up most of the tab, the federal government often chips in money as well, and this year federal taxpayers contributed a generous $70 million to this venture.

6) Boosting the Tunisia travel sector during COVID-19 

In early 2022 the federal government spent $50 million on a “Visit Tunisia” initiative meant to boost travel to the country. Tunisia’s tourism sector generated over $1 billion in 2019, but apparently it still needs help.

7) Injecting 6-month-old beagle puppies with cocaine

According to a report from White Coat Waste, the NIH recently spent $2.3 million injecting puppies with cocaine for research.

8) Constructing a Gandhi museum

In Fiscal Year 2022, $3 million was earmarked for the construction of a new Gandhi museum in Houston.

9) Researching if Thanos could snap his fingers wearing the infinity gauntlet

Researchers at Georgia Tech recently got a grant for $118,971 to study whether a real-life Thanos could actually snap his fingers while wearing the Infinity Gauntlet. They concluded that “Thanos could not have snapped because of his metal armored fingers. So, it's probably the Hollywood special effects, rather than actual physics, at play.”

Your taxpayer dollars hard at work…

The True Cost of Government Waste

While it’s easy to focus on the dollar figures associated with these projects, the practical impacts are much more important. As economists constantly remind us, it’s not the dollars and cents that really matter, it’s the lost opportunities.

Every resource that’s used on ill-considered initiatives is a resource that can’t be used to improve our standard of living, and this is the true cost of government waste. People wonder why prices are so high, why services are so scarce, and why economic growth seems so restrained.

Government waste is part of the reason.

The solution to this problem is both the easiest and the hardest thing in the world. The easy part is figuring out what needs to happen: a massive scaling back of government expenditures.

The hard part is convincing the politicians, bureaucrats, and special-interest groups to give up their political racket.

This article was adapted from an issue of the FEE Daily email newsletter. Click here to sign up and get free-market news and analysis like this in your inbox every weekday.

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My End-of-Year Giving Guide

by Rod Williams, Dec. 18, 2022- I am kind of late doing it but I have just completed by year-end giving. This is not all of my giving.  I give more to political campaigns at election time and I give to causes throughout the year from time to time, but the list below reflects where most of my charitable giving goes. If you are thinking about donating to a worthy cause, I would like to suggest you consider the following organizations that I support.

If you look at my list, some may say that this is not charitable giving but much of it is support for political organizations.  To my way of thinking, there is no more deserving use of my money than conserving the American Founding.  I want to leave the world a better place than I found it and I want future generations to know the blessings of liberty, justice, individualism, a free-market economy, limited government, and a world not dominated by authoritarian and totalitarian tyrants.  Freedom is the greatest gift we can leave our descendants.  Also, free markets is the greatest mechanism to lift people out of poverty. I do not make a distinction between political giving and charitable giving. 

Unfortunately, sometimes charity does more harm than it does good, both foreign and domestic charity. A good documentary that makes this point is Poverty Inc. Before giving, I ask myself if this organization just perpetuates dependency, or does it respond to a crisis, or support actions that really help people long-term. Sometimes it is hard to know.

I don't want homeless people freezing on the streets so I support organizations like The Salvation Army and The Nashville Rescue Mission but do not support The Contributor which really is not much more than a permit to beg. In fact, I favor adopting the policy of Brentwood which prohibits solicitation in the right of way.  I never give money to beggars holding signs on the side of the road. I don't want to subsidize bad behavior. I am not trying to pick a fight if you disagree, but this is my view

My giving list changes from year to year.  Sometimes my passion for a project simply wanes.  My wife died of an Alzheimer's-like condition two years ago and was sick with it for many years. For several years I gave to the Alzheimers organization.  I have stopped. Not because I have had any falling out with the organization but because my focus just changed.  I myself have had cancer the past year, but I have not developed any passion for supporting the Cancer Foundation. Giving is a personal thing and to each his own, but I am more motivated by other values than contributing to the awareness of or supporting research for a particular illness.

For several years, I gave money to an organization that saves places of natural beauty in Tennessee.  I still think they do a worthwhile job doing what they do. However, in one of their email communications a year or so ago, they went off-topic and expressed their support for BLM and I seem to recall that pledged a commitment to equity and diversity, and social justice.  I support tolerance, equality, and non-discrimination but not modern woke concepts of social justice and equity. I marked them off of my giving list. I am not going to support any organization whose values I do not share. If it is not germane to what the organization does, then it does not seem wise to ostracize some of your supporters. 

Another organization I supported as late as last year, which I have now removed from my giving list is The Heritage Foundation.  For many years I held this organization in high esteem.  I probably have been giving to this organization since its founding almost fifty years ago.  Even in my years of poverty, I managed to send the minimum fee for an annual membership. They were a free-market, pro-national defense, anti-communist, limited government think-tank. They had top conservative scholars analyzing public policy issues and issuing position papers.

A couple years ago or so they established a grassroots political wing called Heritage Action. I get the local newsletter called Nashville Sentinel. It is Trumpinista, critical of our policy toward Russia's Putin and support for Ukraine, and flirts with various conspiracy theories. It is sad to see this once great organization descend into Trumpinista populist ignorance. I seem to think the main organization is still a responsible organization and it is the grassroots chapters than have gone rogue, but I don't know. Anyway, for now, they are not getting my charitable dollars. 

Another organization that I supported for many, many years which has gone Trumpinista-populist is The American Conservative Union. They are the organization that puts on the annual CPAC events. Twice I attended CPAC. It was informative and motivational. It is sad to see the change in this once outstanding organization, but the ACU no longer represents my values. 

Some people support museums, or the symphony, or their alma mater. Some may criticize one for supporting local ballet instead of starving children in Africa.  I don't. The world needs culture and beauty too.  I just encourage you to follow your heart and give, but give some thought to it before writing that check. Make sure your giving represents your values.  Also, there are charlatans that raise a lot of money to live a lavish lifestyle and little goes to the cause they supposedly support.  A few years back several televangelists were exposed as frauds. A couple good resources for seeing how honest, transparent, and efficient an organization is Charity Navigator and Charity Watch

If you are looking for a place to give, please consider the following.

Rod's End-of-Year Giving List

The Beacon Center is my favorite non-profit and gets the largest single chunk of my charitable giving.  It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and independent organization dedicated to providing expert empirical research and timely free-market solutions to public policy issues in Tennessee.  Time and time again, Tennessee is recognized for being one of the most fiscally responsible and economically free states in the union.  Much of the credit for these honors are due to the work of the Beacon Center.  The Beacon Center has worked to insure the Right to Work by pushing to overturn professional licensure laws that serve no purpose but to keep out the competition. They have worked to prevent local government from banning work-from-home opportunities like recording studios in homes in Music City. Beacon is responsible for enshrining the protection against being forced to join a union in the State constitution.  Beacon gets much of the credit for the advancement of educational choice in Tennessee.  Beacon produces the annual "Pork Report," highlighting the most egregious examples of government waste in Tennessee.

Nashville Rescue Mission is a Christ-centered community committed to helping the hungry, homeless, and hurting by providing programs and services that focus on a person’s entire life-physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and social. We are devoted to restoring the whole person through a Christian approach that helps the homeless and addicted learn how much God loves them and gain the biblical insight they need to lead a productive life in and for Christ.

We provide emergency services that meet immediate and practical need for people experiencing homelessness, hunger, disappointment, and regret. By meeting these most basic and immediate needs, not tied to any expectations, we provide “hope for today” in a nurturing environment that reflects the love of God in tangible ways.

Guests are cared for in a safe, supportive environment where they can find refuge and rest. Once their basic and immediate needs are addressed, case managers work one-on-one with each person to identify next steps, including healthcare and treatment options with a goal of helping them change unhealthy patterns of behavior.

If you or someone you know is in immediate need of food, clothing, or shelter, Nashville Rescue Mission serves three hot meals a day and is open 365 days a year. You are welcome here.


The Mercatus Center is a research center at George Mason University that advances knowledge about how markets solve problems and help us lead happier, healthier, and richer lives. For more than 40 years, Mercatus has supported leading talent and scholarship in the mainline economics tradition, applying rigorous research to real-world concerns. Through our continuing efforts to bridge the gap between theory and practice, we strive to realize a world where markets operate at their full potential to increase abundance, civility, and well-being. Your gift to the Mercatus Center ensures free-market ideas are championed in public policy, the academy, and the broader public discourse. 100% of your donation supports educating tomorrow's academic leaders as well as generating peer-reviewed research on today's most pressing issues.

Doctors without borders Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) translates to Doctors without Borders. We provide medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare. Our teams are made up of tens of thousands of health professionals, logistic and administrative staff - bound together by our charter.  Our actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of impartiality, independence and neutrality. We are a non-profit, self-governed, member-based organization. MSF was founded in 1971 in Paris by a group of journalists and doctors. Today, we are a worldwide movement of nearly 63,000 people.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee opened its doors in 1978 with commitment from several community leaders. The purpose of the organization was to provide a central distribution center for companies, groups, and individuals who wished to help provide food for hungry people in Middle Tennessee. During my years of working for a non-profit agency, we were a Second Harvest outlet.  This organization provides food, mostly bread, that would otherwise be thrown away, to needy people.   

The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) is a 501(c)3 educational nonprofit that is changing the world by developing leaders for a free society. Our transformational programs teach the principles of limited government, free-market economics and honorable leadership to students and young professionals in America and around the world.

By offering a portfolio of more than 20 different academic programs, fellowships and seminars, the TFAS Journey helps cultivate future leaders from high school, all the way through to their university studies and professional careers. 

Today, there are more than 42,000 TFAS alumni making the difference in their communities and throughout the world by championing the values essential to the preservation and success of a free society.

Truth in Accounting. Founded in 2002, Truth in Accounting believes truthful accounting is the key for citizens, legislators, and the press to clearly understand the truth about government finances. To be knowledgeable participants in their governments' financial decisions, citizens need accurate and complete financial information. Our work has focused on encouraging public entities to produce financial reports that are comprehensive, clear, and transparent; and informing the public of the importance of truthful accounting.

The Salvation Army has Been Serving Nashville For Over 125 Years Through Much Needed Social Services And Programs. A 90-bed Adult Alcohol and Rehabilitation Center for men was opened in 1900 and served the community for over 100 years. In 1940, The Salvation Army built and opened the “Red Shield” Community Center – rebuilt in 1984 as the Magness-Potter Community Center which offered Army-administered youth and adult leisure activity programs. Now, the community center houses the United Way-sponsored Family Resource Center, the Red Shield Kids Club after-school and summer day camp programs, the Life Skills Learning Center, the Second Harvest Food Pantry, and the Emergency Services Program.  In 1980, the Area Command facility was moved from Demonbreun to Dickerson Pike, receiving the name the “Center of Hope”, and opened a 75-person transient shelter, an emergency shelter for men, and a day and night child care center serving homeless and other families in urgent need. Today, the Center of Hope and the Magness-Potter Community Center, along with the three worship centers, serve Nashville by being strategically placed in the neediest areas of the community. Our services are provided to all of Davidson County, as well as Cheatham, Dickson, Hickman, Williamson, and Sumner Counties. Your donation will directly impact your community.

The Salvation Army has been many things over the years as communities’ needs have changed over the years, but today, the focus of the Nashville Salvation Army is to fight poverty and prevent homelessness in our community through a myriad of comprehensive programs designed to bring a holistic approach to the individual’s or family’s need.

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) is an educational, research, and human rights nonprofit organization devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to pursuing the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes.

Institute for Justice. IJ is a nonprofit, public interest law firm. Our mission is to end widespread abuses of government power and secure the constitutional rights that allow all Americans to pursue their dreams. Donations to the Institute for Justice enable us to represent our clients at no cost to them—and to stand with them no matter how long their cases take. And when we win for our clients, we secure precedent that protects the rights of all Americans. IJ’s work is powered by nearly 10,000 supporters from across the country who believe in the Constitution and its ideals. 70% of our funding comes from individuals like you. Please join our fight for freedom and justice today. 

IJ has been involved in several high-profile fights over the years in Nashville. IJ defended a small music studio owner from efforts of the city to take her property by condemnation for no other purpose than to provide room for expansion of a bigger neighbor.  In the pre-ride-share days of Uber and Lyft, IJ defended an innovative entrepreneur who wanted to provide cheaper limo rides. IJ has defended homeowners who wanted to work from home.

The American Enterprise Institute is a public policy think tank dedicated to defending human dignity, expanding human potential, and building a freer and safer world. The work of our scholars and staff advances ideas rooted in our belief in democracy, free enterprise, American strength and global leadership, solidarity with those at the periphery of our society, and a pluralistic, entrepreneurial culture.

The Center Square. The disappearance and decline of journalism concern me.  Nashville went from two daily papers to one newspaper that is only a shadow of its formal self.  While there are lots of people, like me, blogging and sharing opinions, without staff they can seldom break stories.  Journalism needs paid boots on the ground. News, especially local news, most often comes down to shootings, car wrecks, sports, and reposted press releases.  There are far too few outlets looking for scandals and corruption.  The watchdog of democracy has died.

The Center Square is conservative but without the rancor, sensationalism, and conspiratorial mindset of what defines many so-called conservative news sources today. 

"The Center Square was launched in May 2019 to fulfill the need for high-quality statehouse and statewide news across the United States. The focus of our work is state- and local-level government and economic reporting. A taxpayer sensibility distinguishes our work from other coverage of state and local issues. As a result of this approach, our readers are better informed about the focus of state and local government and its cost to the citizens whose tax dollars fund governmental decisions.

The Center Square is staffed by editors and reporters with extensive professional journalism experience. We engage readers with essential news, data and analysis – delivered with velocity, frequency and consistency. We distribute our journalism through three main channels at no cost to our partners or readers: a newswire service to legacy publishers and broadcasters. The Center Square is a project of the 501(c)(3) Franklin News Foundation, headquartered in Chicago."

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and Pre-Born! are both organizations that partner with life-affirming pregnancy clinics all across the nation. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, several states where abortion is still legal have become key destinations for vulnerable women seeking abortions. Planned Parenthood is working to place mobile abortion units on the borders of states where abortion is illegal. 

Both of the above-sited organizations provide ultrasound equipment to pro-life pregnancy crisis centers.  Data shows that when an expectant mother sees an ultrasound image of her baby and hears the heartbeat, she most often decides to keep the child.  I don't know which of these organizations is most efficient at what they do, so for now I am supporting both.

National Review Institute. Your support ensures that NRI will continue to preserve and promote the legacy of William F. Buckley Jr. and advance the conservative principles he championed: limited government, free markets, individual liberty, personal responsibility, a strong national defense, and the rule of law. Your philanthropic investment is a vote of confidence in our mission and our methods. 

Foundation of Economic Freedom. FEE's mission is to inspire, educate, and connect future leaders with the economic, ethical, and legal principles of a free society. These principles include: individual liberty, free-market economics, entrepreneurship, private property, high moral character, and limited government. Here are some highlights from 2021: We broke a world record for the largest online economics lecture. We made 95 mainstream media appearances. Our videos received 11 MILLION views and over 1.8 MILLION shares. On TikTok, we went from reaching 65,000 people to over 2 MILLION in just seven months! We reached over 83 MILLION Gen Z online.


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Monday, December 26, 2022

'Economics in One Lesson' Is as Relevant Today as It Was in 1946

Amazon link
by Rod Williams, Dec. 26, 2022- I have had on my to-do list for a long time posting a list of books I recommend that conservatives read.  I still want to do it, but it is something I keep putting off. My good friend Gene Wisdom, has posted in this blog his own Ten books every conservative should read and it is an excellent list and there would be some overlap between his list and mine.  I still hope to compile my own list with a commentary on each book. One of the books that would make my list is Economics in One Lesson

I find that many educated people are fairly uninformed about economics.  Physical science or mathematics does not differ between Marxist science or Christian science or Western science or Eastern science. If it is science, the same rules apply.  If you step off of a ledge, you will learn about gravity regardless of your political or religious persuasion and two plus two equals four even if one is committed to "equity."  In economics, there are also laws that apply even if one wishes they didn't. The theory of scarcity is true even if you don't want it to be.  Supply and Demand is a law of economics. If a country inflates its money supply, inflation will follow. 

The Foundation for Economic Education has published a review of Economics in One Lesson.  I am reposting it below. 

Why 'Economics in One Lesson' Is as Readable Today as It Was in 1946

The wisdom in "Economics in One Lesson" is still relevant generations later.

Henry Hazlitt
by Cruz Marquis, The Foundation for Economic Education, December 18, 2022 - One of the first economics books I ever read was Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt and I could hardly have asked for a better introduction to the science of human action. Generations later, no update needs to be written, it is just as timely and just as applicable in the 21th century as it was in the last.

Originally published in 1946, Hazlitt wrote in a different world. The Second World War was a year in the history books and the armies were demobilizing, to the horror of the New Dealers who treated the military as a massive employment program. Socialism was defeated in Germany, but the US accomplished this by adopting some of the same tyrannical controls her enemies did.

Liberty, though loudly proclaimed as a slogan, was an unpopular ideal.

Even though the “Sophisms” of many contemporary economists denigrated liberty, Hazlitt went against the stream by writing a book with the express purpose of knocking down the most persistent and pernicious fallacies in the field. He had the foresight to avoid making very particular arguments with the statistics, headlines, and quotations of the day, which may have disappointed readers decades ago, but is to the benefit of readers today. By not being bogged down with verbatims and numbers, he crafted flowing arguments which rebut the wider form of falsehood as opposed to specific instances. Did Hercules defeat the Hydra by attacking each head as it regenerated (specific economic falsehoods), or by attacking their source (generalized falsehoods)?

His premise was that economics contains everything needed to obliterate the generalized falsehoods, and from there all the specified ones: “The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate, but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy, not merely for one group, but for all groups.”

This is the lesson, no more and no less.

Simplicity was the name of the game with Economics in One Lesson. Although he explicitly named Ludwig von Mises as an inspiration, Hazlitt was not creating a treatise like Human Action. That being said, one would err by saying the “one lesson” was incomplete; indeed the book says all that needs to be said.

The present is yesterday’s tomorrow, or in other words, the day that bad economists gone before told their contemporaries not to worry. Keynes famously quipped, “In the long run, we’re all dead,” and this attitude of disregarding long-term consequences in favor of results today has helped breed poor policy and the economics of the present. In concert with the time frame fallacy, there is also the group benefit, one which looks only at one “group” and how a policy affects them, while ignoring all others. What looks good for X may be detrimental to Y and if only the former is examined, the policy will be thought universally beneficial because the group under the microscope excelled, even if the group just beyond the lens was sacrificed.

These interconnected fallacies come in a variety of species. Hazlitt enumerated over twenty of them and methodically applied the lesson to them. These included, but were not limited to: Protectionism, disbanding the WWII army, and public works.

With protectionism and tariff mongering, the state, in collusion with politically connected corporations, levies duties on imports in order to keep American producers from being undersold by their foreign counterparts. The myth that this is economically beneficial became especially topical when former-president Trump resurrected the tariff as a political issue from the depths of the 19th century. On one occasion he tweeted: “Billions of Dollars are pouring into the coffers of the U.S.A. because of the Tariffs being charged to China, and there is a long way to go. If companies don’t want to pay Tariffs, build in the U.S.A. Otherwise, lets (sic) just make our Country richer than ever before!”

Hazlitt made short work of this myth by pointing out that tariffs only protect the inefficient businesses that cannot stay afloat in a competitive market. Say Britain can produce sweaters cheaper than the US and the tariff is repealed. The protectionists are right, Hazlitt says, in that the US sweater industry will lose jobs; but the customers who formerly bought from them will get an equal or better product cheaper and with the money they saved they will buy from other firms.

This saved money grows another, more efficient industry in America and the jobs lost in the sweater industry are compensated for by gains here. By failing to see the consequences for the consumer and the more efficient industry and only looking at the sweater industry, the protectionists mislead and advance shadowy, narrow, corporate interests over the general interest.

When it came to demobilizing the war machine that defeated Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo, Hazlitt writes of the hand-wringing by the professional class in Washington over what would come of it. After all, where will the money come from to employ all of these new prospective workers? Instead of disaster, Hazlitt showed, there was a boon.

With the war over, the US could cut back on government spending for the military and cut taxes across the board. Lower taxes mean more investment and more personal consumption, which leads to massive job growth. Like magic, the demobilized army and fleet provide all the labor needed to staff offices and factories. Once the new workers are employed, the gains from trade created by exchanging labor for remuneration generate more wealth. Since the old warfighters not only are no longer supported by the taxpayers, but also produce gains from trade through employment in the private sector, there could scarcely have been anything better than demobilizing the WWII military force once it had served its purpose.

Look also at the public works meant to provide employment rather than produce something essential, like an army depot. Hazlitt conjures up a bridge; its construction will cost $1,000,000 and put 500 men to work for a year. The jobs created and the new bridge are all the statist economists want to see, they ignore that the cost is funded out of taxes and the money used to pay those would have gone elsewhere, stimulating employment in some other place than the bridge construction site. The bridge did not create a net gain of jobs at all: “Therefore for every public job created by the bridge project a private job has been destroyed somewhere else.”

These are but three examples of the lesson applied, and more could of course be added beyond what Hazlitt wrote in his book; it is hardly possible to write a complete taxonomy of economic folly (let alone a hypothetical one).

In each case, regardless of its particulars, the costs of disregarding the long-term and other groups are the downfall of statist schemes. The wisdom in Economics in One Lesson is still valid generations later, and to prove it, the book is still in print and an author can hardly look for a better legacy for his work.

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