Saturday, January 10, 2009

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff 9

Houston Property Rights Association
On Friday, January 16 I will be speaking to the Houston Property Rights Association. The talk will be at the Courtyard on St. James, 1885 St. James Place. Admission is $16, which includes lunch. My topic will be "The Moral Defense of Property Rights".

Can't Have it Both Ways
Last Sunday's Chronicle Business section bemoans the number of development projects that have been cancelled, delayed, or reduced due to the economy and credit crunch. Included in the list is the Ashby High Rise, which has been delayed by the city's refusal to grant permission to the developers to break ground.

At a time when construction is grinding to a halt, the City is making it impossible for the Ashby developers to move forward, thereby costing more jobs in an industry already hit hard by the economy. The City claims it wants to encourage continued economic growth while simultaneously preventing economic activity. The City has a fundamental choice: protect the property rights of the developers (and all Houstonians) or pander to noisy civic groups. The City can't have it both ways.

The Blame Game
As I reported last week, leaders of Houston's black community met this past week to discuss black-on-black violence. And as I suspected, the meeting turned out to be a meaningless endeavor in finger pointing. Several of the ministers in attendance blamed social problems.

A funeral director who attended the meeting, told the Chronicle

Somehow in society, we've missed something.
This was probably the most sensible statement made at the meeting. But the funeral director, as well as everyone else at the meeting, was at a loss to explain the "something" that has been missed.

The truth is, there are several "somethings" that have been missed--reason, individualism, and self-interest are a good place to start. The black community--like much of America-- is mired in faith, collectivism, and altruism. The black community--like much of America-- regards sacrifice to the group as the standard of morality. The black community--like much of America-- seeks to use the coercive power of government to its alleged benefit.

A black youth--or any youth for that matter-- who has these ideas beat into his head could easily conclude that life is a hopeless quest. An education is meaningless-- individual achievement is not as important as the "accomplishments" of the race. Improving one's position in life is pointless-- one must sacrifice his values to others. Productive activities are a waste-- goals are achieved through the political process.

Surrounded by such ideas, it is little wonder that he turns to violence. His community leaders have shown him that banding together and shouting bromides "works". Protests and political power deliver the goods. Might makes right. He's been taught that if you want something, you demand that government officials grab it for you. But why use a middleman, when you can grab it for yourself?

This Will be Politically Popular
I probably should have seen this coming, but I didn't. Porn mogul Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis are asking for a federal bailout. Flynt said:

People are too depressed to be sexually active. This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex.

With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind. It's time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly.

According to CNN, there has been no Congressional response to the request for $5 billion. Apparently, Congress is too busy screwing the American taxpayer to be worried about his sex life.

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