September 15, 2000
IN THIS ISSUE:
Drug-smuggling submarine signals that the Drug War is a lost
cause; Kids must get license to play with toy guns; Startling
new survey finds *millions* of libertarians; New FAQ tells
all about World's Smallest Political Quiz; Mary Ruwart on (1)
whether free market banking will cause another Great
Depression, and (2) if libertarians want to bring back child
labor, sweat shops, and all-powerful monopolies; Beep-beep -
Michael Cloud tells why Big Government is Wile E. Coyote and
libertarians are Road Runners; a FREE tape offer...
All this and *much much more* in the world's largest
libertarian email newsletter...
THE LIBERATOR ONLINE
September 15, 2000
Vol. 5, No. 17
Circulation: 46,447 in 91 countries
Published by the Advocates for Self-Government.
"The World's Smallest Political Quiz is the single best
outreach tool we libertarians have!"
-- George Getz, Libertarian Party press secretary
* Millions of Libertarians!
GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS, UNBELIEVABLE NEWS
* Drug Submarine Proves Folly of War on Drugs
* Kids Must Get Licenses for Toy Guns
* Born to Regulate
* The U.S. Drug War Gulag
ASK DR. RUWART
* Return to the era of sweat shops and child labor?
* Libertarian-style free-market banking: fraud, chaos, and
PERSUASION POWER POINT
* Big Government As Wile E. Coyote
by Michael Cloud
Millions of libertarians!
Millions of Americans who agree with us on even the hardest
New credibility for the World's Smallest Political Quiz and
for the idea of a more inclusive political map!
That's just *some* of the great news we received in a big
breakthrough last week. Here's the gist of it.
Rasmussen Research is one of the world's leading polling
firms. On September 7 Rasmussen announced they had used the
Advocates' "World's Smallest Political Quiz" in a
non-commissioned scientific poll of a broad cross-section of
likely American voters.
This was the first time the Quiz had been administered by a
professional pollster. Breakthrough!
Remember, the World's Smallest Political Quiz isn't a
softcore "everybody scores libertarian" trick. It asks ten
questions on serious political issues, including taxes, drug
laws, immigration, business subsidies, minimum wage laws,
foreign aid and more. To score even moderately libertarian on
the Quiz, you've got to have more in common with libertarians
than with any other political group. And to score high in the
libertarian sector, you've virtually got to be libertarian.
That's why the results of this poll are so exciting.
*Rasmussen found that fully 16% of "likely American voters"
scored in the Libertarian sector of the Quiz.* That's more
than scored Liberal (13%) or Conservative (7%). (32% scored
Centrist, 14% Authoritarian, and 17% fell on the borders of
the different categories.)
And more good news: millions of Americans agree with
libertarians even on some of the "hardest" issues.
* 28% said they agreed with the Quiz statement: "Drug laws
do more harm than good and should be repealed."
* 30% said they agreed with the Quiz statement: "All
foreign aid should be privately funded."
* 42% agreed that "Businesses and farms should operate
without government subsidies."
* 36% agreed that "We should end taxes. Pay for government
services with user fees."
* 28% agreed that "People should be free to come and go
across borders; to live and work where they choose."
This is exciting! Clearly, millions of people are already
libertarian or libertarian-leaning.
And now, here's our challenge. Rasmussen found that, though
16% of Americans scored Libertarian on the Quiz, *only 2% use
the word "libertarian" to describe their views.*
Our job: reach these people! Let them know there's a
philosophy, a label, a movement that reflects their views and
is working for the values they hold dear.
What an opportunity!
Let the Advocates' array of tools, techniques, programs,
publications, and other activities help you reach these
millions with our message in a positive, persuasive way.
A request: While there, please take just a moment to THANK
Rasmussen for doing this! Just click on "FEEDBACK" and tell
them, in your own words, that you appreciate their using the
Quiz. That you are delighted to see them recognize that
libertarians are a big part of the American political scene,
and there is more to politics than just liberal vs.
conservative. Tell them you hope they'll continue to use the
We're so often critical of pollsters for ignoring us. When a
leading company gives us this kind of attention, they deserve
our praise - and enough praise may let them know there's a
large constituency out there for this kind of approach.
Thank you! Enjoy this issue of the Liberator Online.
Sharon Harris, President
PS: If you like Michael Cloud's column this issue - "Why Big
Government is Wile E. Coyote" - you'll be delighted to learn
that it's an excerpt from an exceptional speech of his
entitled "All That Glitters," full of similar wisdom, insight
We're offering that tape absolutely FREE with any order from
our online catalog during the next 10 days. The Advocates has
a great collection of tapes, books, T-shirts, communication
tools, and much more. I hope you'll take this opportunity to
check them out! See our "Product Review" at the end of this
issue for details on this offer.
GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS, UNBELIEVABLE NEWS
by James W. Harris
Drug Submarine Proves Folly of War on Drugs
Wednesday, September 6, 2000 should go down in history as the
date that everyone finally realized the War on Drugs will
never, ever work.
On that date, police in Colombia stumbled onto a half-built
submarine - being assembled for drug smugglers.
The sub was found in a warehouse outside the capitol, Bogota
- 7,500 feet up in the Andes Mountain. Fully 210 miles from
the nearest seaport.
The sub was 100 feet long, extremely strong, and very
high-tech. Finished, it would have been capable of crossing
entire oceans, submerging fully 100 meters under the surface,
and rising anywhere to drop off up to 200 tons of cocaine.
Even the Colombian navy admits it lacks the expertise to
build a sub of such quality. A Navy expert described it as
"unmistakably of superb naval construction." Clues indicate
Russian engineers may have been involved, and Americans as
Even veteran Drug Warriors were stunned at the discovery.
Smugglers have used passenger ships, planes and tunnels to
smuggle drugs... but no one had ever suspected something like
this. The warehouse was empty, and no arrests were made.
The tremendous profits of drug smuggling - a result of Drug
Prohibition, of course - have created the incentive for such
innovations, and provide the funding. And as long as Drug
Prohibition continues, there will be huge profits to be made
from meeting that demand... and people willing to go to
extraordinary lengths to make the extraordinary profits.
(Source: Associated Press, September 8 2000)
Kids Must Get Licenses for Toy Guns
It sounds like something out of a parody of political
correctness. But it's real.
Kids as young as four in New Zealand are being forced to
apply for "licenses" before being allowed to play with toy
The idea started at a kindergarten in Nelson, South Island.
And, according to London's Daily Telegraph newspaper, the
idea is "spreading rapidly."
Upon applying to school officials for the license, children
are asked questions. They must tell why they want the toy
gun. If they say they want to "shoot" endangered animals,
they are lectured on why this cannot be done. If they want to
play cops and robbers, they are told that New Zealand police
are generally unarmed, so shooting is forbidden. Acceptable
uses include: euthanasia of an injured horse, and hunting
possums (regarded as a pest in New Zealand). Sounds like a
lot of fun, doesn't it?
Before being granted a license, children must also learn
rules about guns. "The first rule is that you never point a
gun at anybody," says the teacher who conceived the plan.
If granted the license, children must carry it on their
person when they play games involving guns. According to the
Daily Telegraph, "Police have given the scheme their tacit
(Source: The Daily Telegraph, London)
Born to Regulate
Marthe Kent is director of the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration [OSHA] safety standards program and heads
OSHA's controversial ergonomics program.
In an interview in May in the trade journal of the American
Industrial Hygiene Association, Kent gushed ecstatically
about her destiny to control others, and the sheer
intoxicating thrill of exercising that power:
"I absolutely love it. I was born to regulate. I don't know
why, but that's very true. So as long as I'm regulating, I'm
happyIf you put out a reg, it matters. I think that's really
where the thrill comes from. And it is a thrill; it's a
(Source: News of the Weird; thanks to Christopher Burleson)
The U.S. Drug War Gulag
A study by the Justice Policy Institute (JPI) reports that
the United State has almost 500,000 of its citizens
incarcerated on non-violent drug charges. The study is
entitled "Poor Prescription: The Costs of Imprisoning Drug
Offenders in the United States."
The study estimates that there are 458,131 non-violent drug
offenders behind bars in the U.S. For perspective, that is
far more than the entire prison population of the European
Union *for all crimes combined* (356,626) -- and the EU has
100 million more citizens than the U.S.
While the U.S. has only 5% of the world's population, it has
25% of the total number of prisoners in the entire world -
two million of the eight million prisoners worldwide. The
Drug War plays a major role in this.
Of the almost $40 billion the U.S. will spend on prisons and
jails in the year 2000, $9.4 billion is to imprison those
458,131 nonviolent drug offenders.
There are astounding racial disparities. Black Americans are
being imprisoned for drug offenses at a rate 14 times that of
white Americans. The numbers are even worse for young drug
offenders. Young whites are incarcerated at a rate of 30 per
100,000; young blacks 511 per 100,000. (1996 figures.)
Every year since 1988, the number of drug offenders
imprisoned has exceeded the number of violent offenders
(Sources: Justice Policy Institute; Drug Policy Foundation)
Conservatives on Drug Legalization
"it is our judgment that the war on drugs has failed, that
it is diverting intelligent energy away from how to deal
with the problem of addiction, that it is wasting our
resources, and that it is encouraging civil, judicial, and
penal procedures associated with police states. We all
agree on movement towards legalization, even though we may
differ on just how far."
-- the editors of America's leading conservative magazine
(founded by William F. Buckley Jr.), National Review,
February 12, 1996.
* * *
"Good News, Bad News, Unbelievable News" writer James W.
Harris is co-editor of the Liberator Online. His articles
have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including
The Nation, Reason, The Freeman, the National Taxpayers
Union's Dollars and Sense, the Atlanta Constitution, and many
more. He has been a Finalist in the Mencken Awards, given by
the Free Press Association for "Outstanding Journalism in
Support of Liberty."
ASK DR. RUWART
How can you answer difficult questions about libertarianism
-- in short, positive, persuasive soundbite-sized responses?
It's a challenge every libertarian communicator faces.
Dr. Mary Ruwart is a leading expert in libertarian
communication and author of the international bestseller
"Healing Our World." Her new book is "Short Answers to the
Tough Questions." In this column she provides Liberator
Online readers with "Short Answers to the Tough Questions"
that libertarians are frequently asked.
If you'd like Dr. Ruwart to provide effective answers for
YOUR "tough questions" on libertarian issues, just email the
questions to her at: mailto:email@example.com. *Due to
volume, Dr. Ruwart can't personally answer or acknowledge all
email queries.* But we'll run the best questions -- and Dr.
Ruwart's answers -- in upcoming issues.
Extra Tip: Dr. Ruwart suggests that answers are often best
preceded by a "Ransberger Pivot" statement, to establish
common ground with the questioner. (Example: "Like you, I too
want to live in a world where the environment is clean...
Like you, I too want to see greater abundance for all
people...") For more on the Ransberger Pivot communication
technique, see previous issues, or contact the Advocates.
Dr. Ruwart's past answers are archived in searchable form at
* * *
Return to the era of sweat shops and child labor?
"I watched a bit of the Libertarian national convention on
C-SPAN the other day. I was shocked that libertarians propose
getting rid of Social Security and Public Education. I'm
sorry but... have you people ever studied history? One
hundred years ago sweat shops and factories working child
laborers over 18 hours a day were commonplace -- just like in
Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle! There was also
blacklisting, company stores, tenement dwellings, etc. A
total libertarian-type of system would promote a brief period
of very intense competition, but once winners were
established, those winners would use their power and
influence to change the rules in order to maintain their
status in the market. They also could establish a monopoly on
schools and turn them into a place of indoctrination. It's
why we have anti-trust laws today! A simplistic analogy would
be a football game without officials and rules."
My short answer:
"History does indeed remind us that child sweat-shop labor
was common in the 1800s. History also shows us why.
"In the 1800s, wealth was created slowly. Most of the
population, children included, spent the better part of their
lives working just to survive. Childhood, as we know it
today, didn't exist for most people. In rural areas, even
children of four or five years had chores to do. Their very
survival often depended upon their participation in the
"Eventually, industrialization helped us to create wealth
rapidly. Eighteen-hour days, the rural standard, gradually
turned into today's 8-hour standard with adults becoming the
family's sole support. A non-working childhood, as we know it
today, was born.
"An interim step in this transition was the 10-12 hour
factory day for both children and adults. We won't return to
this situation unless we limit the creation of wealth.
Studies show that the greatest single factor limiting wealth
creation today is government intervention in the economy
(e.g., Fraser Institute's Economic Freedom of the World
Report, 1997). The poverty of the Third World is directly
attributable to this government intervention. Children in
these poor nations often must prostitute themselves just to
survive. Business has been so strangled by government that
sweat shops, benign by comparison, frequently aren't an
"Government programs, even well-meaning ones like Social
Security and public education, are wasteful. Their
inefficient intervention in the economy decreases wealth
creation, thereby jeopardizing the welfare of our children.
"Without government intervention, monopolies are rare.
Rockefeller gained 90% of the market by producing high
quality oil at a price that the masses could afford. However,
only a few years later, competitors, who were willing to sell
for even less, captured a large part of his market. Antitrust
action, which came decades afterwards, simply wasted taxpayer
dollars. For details, see Chapter 7 of my book, Healing Our
World, available as a free download at http://www.ruwart.com.
"If this 'history' doesn't match what you learned in school,
remember that today's government has a monopoly on what is
taught. Children are forced to attend a school which meets
government standards, including approved textbooks. You
wouldn't expect such schools to teach you the benefits of
freedom -- you'd expect them to indoctrinate children into
thinking that Big Brother knows best.
"Check out the research for yourself. That way, you can't be
manipulated into supporting and voting for the very things
that you despise."
* * *
Wouldn't libertarian-style free-market banking result in fraud, chaos,
and lost savings?
"How would the monetary policies of a libertarian nation be
controlled? Before the Federal Reserve, the FDIC, and the New
Deal, there were runs on bank, banks that failed and thus
lost their depositors' savings, and everyone could print
their own money. How would the banking system remain stable?
Would we revert to the chaos of the 1800s?"
My short answer:
"Contrary to popular opinion, chaos in the banking system is
usually caused by central banking (e.g., Federal Reserve) and
regulatory bodies (e.g., FDIC). Problems in the U.S. during
the 1800s were largely a result of state regulations
requiring banks to hold part of their reserves in government
bonds. When a run on the bank occurred, these reserves could
only be liquidated at a loss.
"Scotland, which had free (unregulated) banking until 1845,
had fewer problems. Each bank issued its own currency, which
was accepted by other banks only when it wasn't inflated
excessively. Thus, each bank was 'regulated' by its
competition and the personal liability of bank owners. Banks
informally insured each other's deposits by covering them if
a competing bank went under. In this way, banks kept the
confidence of the Scottish people.
"Canada had a similar system in place during the Great
Depression, so Canadians lost only 3% of what U.S. depositors
did. The Depression was caused by the Federal Reserve, which
was established in 1913. The Fed allowed banks to inflate
their currency excessively, which led to bankruptcies when
depositors tried to recover their cash.
"A libertarian society would have a system similar to that of
Scotland in the early 1800s and Canada in the 1920s. As a
result, we'd have safer banking and less chaos.
"You might wonder why free (unregulated) banking was
abandoned and central banking established, if free banking
worked so well. Central banking allows governments to inflate
currency, thereby levying an invisible tax on their people
and giving great profits to banking interests. Of course,
you'd hardly expect government-run schools to share this
"For more detail, see the chapter 'Banking on Aggression'" in
my book, Healing Our World. You can download it free from my
website at http://www.ruwart.com."
* * *
Should the U.S government forcibly open foreign markets?
"Do you think it is appropriate for the US government to use
its power to open foreign markets to US companies? I'm
thinking in particular of how a few years ago we almost had a
trade war with Japan because Japan wouldn't open its domestic
car market to US manufacturers. What do you think about this
My short answer:
"Individuals should be free to trade -- or not trade -- as
they choose, without government interference or tariffs. If
American consumers feel they benefit from buying inexpensive
Japanese goods, they should do so freely. If our government
puts tariffs on Japanese cars because Japan won't buy
American, we hurt ourselves as a nation of consumers to
'protect' a few auto workers. These tariffs force us to pay
more for cars, so we have less money to spend on other
things. Production of these other things goes down, and the
Americans producing them lose their jobs. In the end,
protectionist measures put some Americans out of work so that
others (e.g. auto workers) can make more."
(See also the last third of Chapter 18 in my book, "Healing
Our World" for more details.)
* * *
Dr. Ruwart's book "Healing Our World" features persuasive
arguments for liberty, backed with *over 500 references*
showing how liberty works. You can browse the entire book
online at: http://www.ruwart.com/Healing/
You can order it at a special reduced price of only $12.95
(plus shipping) from the Advocates. Check out our online
catalog at: http://www.reliablehost.com/self-gov/opp.html
Dr. Ruwart's newest book is "Short Answers to the Tough
Questions," also available from the Advocates for $12.00
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PERSUASION POWER POINT #96
Big Government As Wile E. Coyote
by Michael Cloud
Ever watch Road Runner cartoons?
They explain the secret of government.
Road Runner is the Free Market. Road Runner moves fast and
fends for himself.
He's self-reliant. An individualist. He doesn't interfere
with others. He's free...as a bird.
Wile E. Coyote is Big Government. Wile E. Coyote wants to
live off Road Runner.
Acme Products are Big Government programs.
Every episode, Wile E. Coyote unveils a brilliant new Acme
Product to get the Road Runner. Acme Products have great
blueprints and schematics and seem foolproof.
Every episode, the brilliant new Acme Product fails, smashes,
crashes, explodes, careens, short-circuits, jams, and
collapses. Wile E. Coyote is folded, spindled, mutilated, and
crushed by the Acme Product. Usually after the hapless coyote
falls half a mile into a ravine.
Wile E. Coyote is hopelessly optimistic that the next Acme
Product will get Road Runner. In spite of the fact that every
Acme Product ever built has failed to get the bird.
Acme Products makes huge profits selling these impossible
schemes and unworkable products to a Coyote too dumb to
notice that he never gets Road Runner - and always gets
smashed by the new Acme Product.
Wile E. Coyote is spending a fortune buying the next Acme
Product. A tax-funded fortune. For an Acme Product and Coyote
that will fail and fall on us.
Meanwhile, Road Runner eludes and evades, outruns and
outsmarts Wile E. Coyote and the new Acme Product.
If the Coyote realized that Acme doesn't work, he might stop
wasting our money...and maybe even stop bugging Road Runner.
The folks working at Acme could do something productive.
Road Runner could run farther and faster - and maybe even
safely stop for birdseed now and then.
Road Runner will never be safe until he permanently shuts
down Acme Products -- and demands that Wile E. Coyote keeps
his hands off Roadrunners.
Next time someone proposes a new government program, next
time someone calls for continuing to support and sustain a
government program, remember Wile E. Coyote, label it "Acme
Products" and answer...
"Big Government As Wile E. Coyote" is adapted from Michael
Cloud's tape "All That Glitters," and this is just a small
part of a truly delightful and inspiring talk. To get that
tape for FREE, see "Product Review" below.
At the 2000 Libertarian Party Presidential Nominating
Convention, Libertarian delegates from across America voted
Michael Cloud "Best Libertarian Communicator" and awarded him
the coveted "Thomas Paine Award."
Michael Cloud is also creator of "The Essence of Political
Persuasion," the classic 3-tape libertarian communication
course, also available exclusively from the Advocates at the
*give-away* price of only $7.50 postpaid (includes First
Class postage!). For more information, or to order, click
See you in two weeks! You can contact the Advocates at:
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