For whom I am voting in 2016

So, I get asked quite a bit as to whom I am going to vote and putting out these “voter vote for meguides” is an easy way for people to see how I plan to vote. Hopefully, many will get educated about the candidates and the issues rather than simply going straight down the ballot voting for the “D” or the “R”. If the “D” or the “R” are the best candidate for YOU in a particular race, then that is great. Over the years my philosophy in voting has moved away from strategy to instead voting FOR the most freedom-based candidate and the most freedom-based issues in any particular election. I have limited my selection to only those I personally can vote. If you wish to see more expansive recommendations for Palm Beach County, you can visit the Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County’s Voters Guide. Oh, and way down near the bottom of the ballot you’ll see my name, vote for me!

So, that being said, here are my picks:

President & Vice President

Gary Johnson & Bill Weld

Gary Johnson is clearly the most freedom-minded candidate in the presidential race of the three that will be on the ballot in all 50 states. Floridians will have a choice between six candidates (not including write-ins) for president, but again, only three will be on the ballot in all 50 states so I narrowed my choice to within those three.

United States Senator

Paul Stanton

There are seven candidates for which to choose (not including write-ins) and I am choosing the Libertarian.

U.S. Representative – District 21

Paul Spain

Since only Spain and Frankel are in this race, excluding the Write-In candidate Mike Trout, Spain gets my vote. I am strongly tempted to vote Trout as I have met him several times and there are things I do not agree with Spain on, Spain remains the most freedom-based candidate.

Florida Senate – District 31

Jeff Clemens

Since Jason Swaby recently withdrew his write-in candidacy, Jeff Clemens is the winner of this race as he ran unopposed by a Republican or Libertarian. Perhaps next time around he will be given more serious competition so voters will have a choice. I like Clemens on many issues; however, he is not freedom-focused. 

Florida Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Judges

I am voting NOT TO RETAIN any of the existing judges in these races. If someone can convince me otherwise, feel free to shoot me an email and I will update accordingly.

15th Circuit Judge – Group 4

No opinion and not certain who I will vote for at this time

County Court Judge – Group 11

Gregg Lerman

Good, freedom-minded judge, though he is bound by the law.

The following are NON-PARTISAN races

Soil & Water Conservation District – Group 2

Matthew Bymaster

Soil & Water Conservation District – Group 3

Jesse Jackson OR Stephen Jara

Soil & Water Conservation District – Group 4

Karl Dickey

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS

No. 1 – Solar – NO

I supported and voted for a better version of solar change for Florida during the August 30, 2016, primary which was passed. This version is not the better option as even environmentalists are against it.

No. 2 – Medical Marijuana – YES

Contrary to the scare tactics being put forth in recent advertisements, this amendment is ONLY for using cannabis for medical purposes and nothing more. There are many patients, especially seniors and those with cancer, who could benefit from cannabis treatment.

No. 3 – Tax Exemption – NO

Although this amendment is well-intentioned, it will only cause the rest of the taxpaying population to pay more. We need to get away from what we have been doing by creating tax exemptions for a special class of people and move toward lowering everyone’s tax exposure.

No. 5 – Tax Exemption – NO

Although this amendment is well-intentioned, it will only cause the rest of the taxpaying population to pay more. We need to get away from what we have been doing by creating tax exemptions for a special class of people and move toward lowering everyone’s tax exposure.

Countywide Question – Sales Tax Increase – NO

This 17 percent increase in the county’s sales tax is not only unnecessary, but also immoral. Although portrayed as a one cent increase in the county’s sales tax, it is actually a 17 percent increase. Any news outlet or politician describing it as a “penny tax” is not being honest about what it will cost the general public, especially those in the county who can least afford it.

Democrats Now Fear the Gary Johnson Candidacy as Clinton Poll Numbers Fall

THE LIBERTARIAN VINDICATOR

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Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers against Donald Trump have fallen to all-time lows, and now according to Real Clear Politics is barely holding on to a victory in the Electoral College.

Now that we have seen the collapse of the Clinton campaign the blame is starting to go around and specifically the Clinton machine and Democrats are taking their shots at an unlikely source, Gary Johnson.

From Politico:

Gary Johnson said a Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump presidency would be deeply flawed and shrugged off the notion that he could play spoiler in a tight presidential contest, despite fears among Democrats, in particular, that he’s snatching votes from Clinton.
“The people voting for me are voting for Gary Johnson,” the Libertarian presidential contender said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” with George Stephanopoulos. “I take great pride in the fact that I am actually offering an alternative. … Fifty percent of…

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The Humble Farm Boy Who Made Britain Great

Each week, Mr. Reed will relate the stories of people whose choices and actions make them heroes. See the table of contents for previous installments.


In 1900, London was the global financial capital, the British enjoyed the highest per capita income in the world, and Britain was the freest of the free-trade nations.

“Peace will come to earth when the people have more to do with each other and governments less.” — Richard Cobden

William Ewart Gladstone, prime minister of Great Britain four times in the 19th century, boasted near the end of his life that, during his years in government, the country’s tariffs on foreign goods were nearly abolished. Gladstone rightly deserves much of the credit for reducing the state’s interference in commerce. An ardent protectionist and defender of the status quo early in his parliamentary career, he learned enough economics to turn to tax cuts on enterprise at home and free trade abroad. As chairman of the Board of Trade, chancellor of the Exchequer, and later prime minister, he played a key role in ridding the books of about 95 percent of Britain’s tariffs. But even Gladstone would acknowledge an intellectual debt to the one man regarded above all others as free trade’s greatest champion of the century, Richard Cobden.

“Amongst the most memorable men of the nineteenth century,” wrote Lewis Apjohn in his 1881 biography of Cobden, “we must assuredly count the small and active band who, first by popular agitation then by a gallant Parliamentary struggle, assailed and abolished the monopolies by which the material growth of the nation had so long been checked.”

Humble Beginnings

Cobden was set on an arduous path to greatness early on. Born in 1804 on a farm that could hardly support the family, Richard was sent to work as a clerk in an uncle’s warehouse at an early age. There he learned some important principles of business. He was later a traveling salesman before becoming an entrepreneur in the calico printing business in Manchester. In his 20s and early 30s, his keen mind and humanitarian impulses led him to speak out against harmful government policies — an interest that became a lifelong avocation thanks in no small part to the influence of another Victorian-era libertarian, John Bright.

Half a century before Cobden’s intellectual pursuits, Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations made the case for free trade in a world that was highly protectionist. In 1815, Britain’s Parliament passed the infamous Corn Laws to protect domestic producers of grain against cheap imports, but Smith’s arguments ensured it was only a matter of time before principled opposition would arise. In 1839, Cobden and Bright formed the Anti-Corn Law League to promote free trade.

Historian Jim Powell, writing in the June 1995 issue of the Freeman, explained how this remarkable pair collaborated to make the league an extraordinary force:

Cobden and Bright helped focus free traders on three principal issues. First, they set an inspiring, radical objective — repealing the Corn Laws. Cobden convinced all supporters that every shilling of tariff inflicted misery on people. Modifying the tariffs, a position favored by compromise-minded chamber of commerce people, was out.

Second, free trade would capture the imagination of people if it became a moral issue. “It appears to me,” Cobden wrote an Edinburgh publisher, “that a moral and even a religious spirit may be infused into that topic [free trade], and if agitated in the same manner that the question of slavery has been, it will be irresistible.”

Third, success would require a national campaign coordinating Anti-Corn-Law associations throughout England — the mission of the Anti-Corn Law League, launched in March 1839. This, in turn, called for vigorous fundraising. Cobden made arrangements to turn his calico printing and marketing business over to his partners.

Cobden hammered the Corn Laws for making people miserable. “He knew of a place,” noted biographer [John] Morley, “where a hundred wedding-rings had been pawned in a single week to provide bread; and of another place where men and women subsisted on boiled nettles, and dug up the decayed carcass of a cow rather than perish of hunger.”

Remarkable Success

The Anti-Corn Law League proved to be a remarkably effective grassroots campaign. By 1846, popular sentiment (and the plight of the starving Irish amid the potato famine) pressured Parliament to abolish the Corn Laws. Fourteen years later, Cobden successfully negotiated for the British what became known as the Cobden-Chevalier Treaty of 1860, the first free-trade pact between France and Britain, historic foes and once-ardent protectionist countries.

Signed just five years before Cobden’s death, the treaty was the fulfillment of something he had said a few years earlier: “Peace will come to earth when the people have more to do with each other and governments less.”

In the decade after the signing of the treaty, the volume of trade between the two nations nearly doubled.

Noninterventionism

Cobden would deserve a place of high honor in the history of liberty for his work on trade alone, but he had much to say about other issues, too. He was consistently noninterventionist, both at home and abroad.

In a March 1993 Freeman article, John Chodes presented Cobden’s view that Britain’s leaders had long “inhibited discovery and improvements by wasting millions on the military.”

Cobden saw Britain’s

obsession with the doctrine of the balance of power as a source of conflict, not stability. “Empires have arisen unbidden by us; others have departed despite our utmost efforts to preserve them.”

Gladstone was echoing Cobden’s sentiments precisely when he declared, “Here is my first principle of foreign policy: good government at home.”

When Cobden died in 1865 at age 60, the French minister of foreign affairs eulogized him with these words:

He is above all in our eyes the representative of those sentiments and those cosmopolitan principles before which national frontiers and rivalries disappear.… Cobden, if I may be permitted to say so, was an international man.

Perhaps the greatest words of tribute came from Benjamin Disraeli, twice prime minister and an opponent of Cobden’s at the time of the Corn Law debate:

He was, without doubt, the greatest politician that the upper middle class of this country has yet produced … not only an ornament to the House of Commons but an honour to England.

I proudly display a sketch of Richard Cobden in my home office. The world needs his idealistic spirit now more than ever.

(This essay was adapted from the author’s article “Richard Cobden: The International Man,” in the September 2012 Freeman.)

For additional information, see:

 

Lawrence W. Reed


Lawrence W. Reed

Lawrence W. (“Larry”) Reed became president of FEE in 2008 after serving as chairman of its board of trustees in the 1990s and both writing and speaking for FEE since the late 1970s. Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

Artie Lurie out with endorsement of Five for Florida

Libertarian Party of Florida candidate for Florida House District 90, Artie Lurie, came out this morning, July 1, 2016, with an endorsement of Americans for Prosperity of artie-lurieFlorida’s “Five for Florida” plan. Lurie is in a head-to-head competition with Democratic Party incumbent, Lori Berman.

American for Prosperity Florida’s (AFP) “Five for Florida” is a five point plan:

  1. Make taxes fair and end political favoritism through crony capitalism and corporate welfare
  2. Don’t make financial promises taxpayers can’t keep
  3. Be stewards of good, transparent government
  4. Empower students with the best education
  5. Free entrepreneurs to pursue the American Dream

Lurie stated in his official endorsement this morning of AFP’s Five for Florida, “As the Libertarian candidate running for Florida State house of representatives in district 90, I am the only candidate that is running on a platform of liberty and small government, and it is with great enthusiasm that I endorse your Five for Florida plan! It is without question, the only way we can greatly reduce the size and scope of our state government. It is imperative that we point out how big our state government is and how much money it is wasting to our taxpayers every year. There is no doubt that our state government doesn’t work. It can’t educate our children properly, it can’t keep our streets safe, it can’t keep our environment clean, it can’t do anything well except recklessly spending our tax dollars. We must get our state government out of all of these areas immediately! Once we get government out of the way, we can repeal the state sales tax and cut property taxes in half, a savings of at least $5000 to the average family. The end result will place much more control over our own lives. Services like health care and education will improve dramatically, and will be much more affordable than it is now.”

Americans have long tired of the favoritism shown through crony capitalism and corporate welfare to billionaires by their elected officials. The Federalist used a Common Dreams article as the basis for calculating the real cost of corporate welfare to the average American citizen and it isn’t pretty. It is a practice that both Republicans and Democrats regularly participate in the supposed promotion of “economic development” which rarely offers a net positive return to taxpayers. Rather than allow the free market to thrive in Florida, bureaucrats from Tallahassee all the way down to the local level interfere by creating unfair competition among businesses, essentially picking winners and losers. Democrats and Republicans alike seem addicted to this unethical method of “economic development” even when shown how it actually costs taxpayers in the end.