Articles






Subway Founder Fred Deluca Decries the Regulatory State

March 5, 2013

Fred Deluca, founder of Subway restaurants, recently noted that “If I started Subway today, Subway would not exist.” Recalling the early days of Subway, he said, “I had an easy time of it in the ’60s when I started,” but today “I just see a continuous increase in regulation.” CNBC reports: Fred Deluca, the founder of privately-held Subway Restaurants, said government regulations are hurting small businesses and that this environment has prevented entrepreneurs from creating value in the market. . . . Deluca said the environment for entrepreneurs in the U.S. has “continuously gotten worse because there are more and more regulations. It’s tough for people to get into business, especially a small business.” Subway is now a worldwide company operating in ninety-eight countries—from the United Kingdom to Israel to Iceland to Singapore—providing dining, enjoyment, employment, and franchise opportunities for millions of people. How many would-be Subways—how many value-creating companies—are being nipped in the bud by business-thwarting regulations? How many would-be Fred Deluca’s are unable to start businesses or to succeed because of government interference? Deluca and every aspiring entrepreneur should be completely free to start and run businesses as they see fit, so long as they do not engage in rights-violating force or fraud. Such freedom is a moral right; government has no moral right to violate it. And the moral is the practical: When and to the extent that rights are recognized and protected, Deluca and other entrepreneurs are able to produce goods and services that make our lives great. Cheers to Fred Deluca for creating a monumentally successful business—and for speaking out against the growth of the regulatory state. Like this post? Join our mailing list to receive our weekly digest. And for in-depth commentary from an Objectivist perspective, subscribe to our quarterly journal, The Objective Standard. Related: Capitalism and the Moral High Ground The Fruits of Capitalism Are All Around Us Image: Wikimedia Commons


The Light Brigade Shines for Capitalism

February 24, 2013

Last Sunday, the Light Brigade, headed by Alex Epstein of the Center for Industrial Progress (CIP), traveled to Washington DC to counter the Sierra Club’s “climate rally.” What was the Sierra Club & company’s target de jure? The Keystone XL Pipeline. What is their ultimate enemy? Industrial civilization and the life-serving technology it consists of and depends on. As Epstein explains, the Sierra Club’s “climate rally” is actually “a blackout rally, as the Sierra Club opposes all practical energy sources–fossil fuels, nuclear, and hydro.” In a press release, Epstein elaborates, The Green establishment’s real enemy is the high-energy, industrial civilization that keeps our lights on. But by exploiting good people’s concern about a healthy environment, they are advancing their blackout agenda. That’s why CIP’s team of energy experts is leading a Light Brigade to come to the event and educate our fellow citizens. We will explain how if you look at the big picture, fossil fuels are an amazing boon to human life. They have helped make today’s environment the healthiest one ever. Scientists, engineers, and businessmen in the energy industry create and supply the lifeblood of modern civilization. Without cheap, reliable energy from fossil fuels—and without the countless products that are actually made of oil—our environment would be filthy, inhospitable, and dangerous. Not only would there be no automobiles or airplanes or clean and efficient heating and cooling; not only would there be wood-fire smoke billowing out of hovels in which people were trying to cook food and stay warm; not only would there be horse dung lining the streets and attracting flies; there would be no plastics or cell phones or computers or bicycle tires or heart valves or ballpoint pens or thousands of other products that we rely on to live and prosper. Shame on the Sierra Club and everyone involved in the “climate rally.” And kudos to Alex Epstein, CIP, and everyone involved in the Light Brigade for standing up for industrial civilization and against the worshipers of filth and darkness. Like this post? Join our mailing list to receive our weekly digest. And for in-depth commentary from an Objectivist perspective, subscribe to our quarterly journal, The Objective Standard. Related: Exploit the Earth or Die Vindicating Capitalism: The Real History of the Standard Oil Company Interview with Alex Epstein, Founder of Center for Industrial Progress


Cheers to Bipartisan Support for Repealing the Medical-Device Tax

February 19, 2013

Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate are putting forward bills to repeal the medical-device tax in ObamaCare. As The Hill reports: A bipartisan group of 180 House members—consisting of about 40 percent of the House—has reintroduced a bill to end the 2.3 percent tax on medical devices that was imposed under President Obama’s healthcare law. . . . The effort to repeal the tax has bipartisan support in both chambers—in addition to the bipartisan House bill, H.R. 523, Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) will introduce a companion in the Senate. The importance of repealing the medical-device tax cannot be overstated; it is literally a matter of life and death—for businesses and for individuals. As Dr. Paul Hsieh, co-founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine, explains, the medical-device tax is “basically a tax on future life-saving innovation.” Many device manufacturers operate on very thin economic margins. Hence, a seemingly small 2.3% tax could mean the difference between a company opening a new factory—or being forced to close one. Or it could mean the difference between a new device that saves thousands of lives reaching the market in 2 years—or 10 years (if ever). (Read Dr. Hsieh’s whole statement at Liberty Against Cancer. For more on the ways in which the medical-device tax is throttling businesses and innovation, see here and here.) Ultimately, the entirety of ObamaCare should be repealed, but that is not likely to happen anytime soon. What Congress can and might do now, however, is repeal the medical-device tax and thus save many thousands of lives that will otherwise come to an unnecessarily early end. All life-loving Americans should demand that Congress repeal this patently immoral and impractical tax. Like this post? Join our mailing list to receive our weekly digest. And for in-depth commentary from an Objectivist perspective, subscribe to our quarterly journal, The Objective Standard. Related: ObamaCare v. the Constitution Medical Device Tax: Immoral and Impractical Kudos to the 800 Companies Demanding a Repeal of the Medical-Device Tax iStockPhoto


Iran’s Growing Influence in Latin America adds to the Already Definitive Reason to Destroy the Regime

January 20, 2013

The American government’s refusal to destroy the Iranian theocracy has allowed Iran’s influence to increase, thus increasing the danger to American lives. As Roger F. Noriega, Cresencio S. Arcos Jr., Otto Reich, Mark D. Wallace—board members of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI)—write: The Iranian regime’s effort to improve ties with Latin America is working. Consider that in 2005, Iran only had six embassies in the region. Today, the number has increased to ten. Far more concerning than its increasing formal diplomatic presence, however, is Iran’s opportunistic effort to improve ties with some of the region’s most notorious rogue state actors. The authors point to to Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, and Ecuador, with Venezuela and Ecuador being the most prominent. It is no secret that Venezuela and Iran enjoy a close relationship, with scores of Iranian companies establishing suspicious operations throughout the country. What is less well-known is that Chavez has provided active support for Hezbollah by allowing it to establish a base of operations and provide terror training on Venezuelan territory. There is also ample evidence that the Chavez regime has facilitated cooperation between Hezbollah and Colombian and Mexican narco-traffickers. Meanwhile, Ecuador’s “radical president Rafael Correa is actively facilitating Iran’s illegal activities.” Ecuador plans to begin mining uranium in the next few years and in late 2009, signed an agreement with Iran “to boost closer and mutually beneficial relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran on a variety of fronts, among them mining and geology.” The entire international community should clearly be concerned by the prospect of an Ecuador-Iran alliance cemented by a steady supply of uranium ore to Tehran. The authors continue: Whether it is using drug cartel thugs from Mexico to plan a bombing in the heart of our nation’s capital or reengaging with Argentina through diplomatic talks and developing ties with anti-American governments such as those of Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador and Venezuela, it is clear that Iran has a strategy to increase influence in Latin America. The U.S. ignores this growing regional threat at its own risk. It is time for the U.S. to wake up to the reality that some of its neighbors in the Western Hemisphere are actively cooperating and facilitating Iran’s nuclear ambitions and terrorist activities. The Iranian regime has killed U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, has long sponsored terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and continually calls for “Death to America.” From its inception, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been an enemy of the United States. Venezuelan socialist dictator Chavez has consistently stepped up his anti-American activities, nationalizing (i.e., stealing) businesses created by Americans, all the while morally supporting those who have promised to kill American citizens. In addition, Chavez has made his country an outpost for anti-American agents and activities. Both the Iranian Theocracy and the socialist regime headed by Chavez are rights-violating dictatorships actively engaged in efforts to harm American lives and property. The United States should destroy the Iranian theocracy and then warn Chavez—and others who have cooperated with Iran in such matters—that if U.S. intelligence sees them involved in any further threats to America, they will be next. Like this post? Join our mailing list to receive our weekly digest. And for in-depth commentary from an Objectivist perspective, subscribe to our quarterly journal, The Objective Standard. Related: “No Substitute for Victory”: The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism Venezuela: No Octavio, The Chavez Government is Socialist Iran Speeding Up. . . Continue »


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Kudos to the 800 Companies Demanding a Repeal of the Medical-Device Tax

January 6, 2013

Fox Business reports that executives from more than 800 companies and medical-groups are demanding a repeal to the medical-device tax. Here are some excerpts from their letter to the senate demanding its repeal and elucidating why the tax will “adversely impact patient care and innovation, and will substantially increase the costs of health care.” The United States is the world leader in manufacturing life-saving and life-enhancing treatments, and the industry is an important engine for economic growth. The industry employs more than 400,000 workers nationwide; generates approximately $25 billion in payroll; pays out salaries that are 40 percent more than the national average ($58,000 vs. $42,000); and invests nearly $10 billion in research and development (R&D) annually. The industry is fueled by innovative companies, the majority of which are small businesses with 80 percent of companies having fewer than 50 employees and 98 percent with fewer than 500 employees. . . . The tax will stifle innovation and cost thousands of high-paying jobs. It will increase the effective tax rate for many medical technology companies, thereby reducing financial resources that should be used for R&D, clinical trials and investments in manufacturing. The impact will be especially hard on smaller companies whose innovations are not immediately profitable. . . . We must do all we can to encourage and promote research, development, investment and innovation. Instead, increased taxes, such as this one on the medical device industry, coupled with the increased regulatory uncertainty the industry also faces, will lead to further job losses, hinder the development of breakthrough treatments and delay patient access to medical technology. We respectfully request timely action on legislation to repeal this over $30 billion excise tax. Read the whole letter here. Kudos to the businessmen and medical personnel standing up against this immoral and impractical tax. All life-loving Americans should follow suit and demand the repeal of the medical-device tax—and ultimately Obamacare. Like this post? Join our mailing list to receive our weekly digest. And for in-depth commentary from an Objectivist perspective, subscribe to our quarterly journal, The Objective Standard. Related: Medical Device Tax: Immoral and Impractical ObamaCare v. the Constitution Image: CardioDX


Peter Schiff: The Ability to Steal Doesn’t Make Theft Right

December 30, 2012

Peter Schiff discusses in this video why the mob doesn’t have a right to steal his money, and he warns Americans about the continuing assault on the wealthy. I have no doubt that the mob has the means to steal my money, the government has given them the means, we have destroyed the protections that were afforded [to] me by the constitution, and yes the mob does have the means to steal from me, but that doesn’t make it right. They do not have a . . . moral claim to my money. Although Schiff is spot on in most respects here, he does erroneously say the government “has a right to tax” to fund the army and to support the government. To see how the legitimate functions of government can be financed non-coercively, read Craig Biddle’s “How Would Government Be Funded in a Free Society?”. Like this post? Join our mailing list to receive our weekly digest. And for in-depth commentary from an Objectivist perspective, subscribe to our quarterly journal, The Objective Standard. Related: An Interview with Andrew Schiff about Fishing Nets, Hut Gluts, and other Economic Matters Individualism vs. Collectivism: Our Future, Our Choice Independent Thinking, Morality, and Liberty How Would Government Be Funded in a Free Society? Image: Wikimedia Commons


Paul Hsieh: “Speak out Against the Government Narrative” on ObamaCare

December 30, 2012

In his latest Forbes.com article, Dr. Paul Hsieh elucidates the need for liberty-loving Americans to speak out against ObamaCare, saying, “[do] not let the government escape responsibility for problems they’ve created”: As the problems of ObamaCare inevitably emerge, the big question will be whether they will be blamed on the residual free-market elements of our health system or on the new government controls. This will be the battle of the “narrative.” . . . If we let the government shift responsibility for ObamaCare’s problems onto the residual private sector, those problems will eventually be used to justify a government-run “single payer” system. On the other hand, if Americans hold the government appropriately responsible, we stand a chance at adopting genuine free-market health reforms. The government is already planning its own health care propaganda campaign aimed at the American people. California state government officials in charge of implementing that state’s ObamaCare “exchange” want Hollywood to include pro-ObamaCare storylines in popular shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Modern Family” to highlight the supposed benefits of the new law. . . . The electoral battle of 2012 is over, but the battle of the narrative is just beginning. Read the whole excellent article here. Like this post? Join our mailing list to receive our weekly digest. And for in-depth commentary from an Objectivist perspective, subscribe to our quarterly journal, The Objective Standard. Related: Medical Device Tax: Immoral and Impractical Moral Health Care vs. “Universal Health Care” Image: Ari Armstrong


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Medical Device Tax: Immoral and Impractical

December 10, 2012

Fox Business’s Elizabeth MacDonald writes, “Starting January 1, medical-device makers must pay a new 2.3% excise tax on sales, regardless if they make a profit, to raise $30 billion over the next decade to pay for health reform”—that is, ObamaCare. Already, venture capital funding in the medical device industry in the third quarter plunged “to the lowest dollar level since 2004,” with just $434 million going into a paltry 65 deals, says a new report from consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. . . . The prospect of the new excise tax on gross sales is the biggest cause of this collapse in venture capital investments in the medical-device sector, Allison Giles, a top executive at Cook Medical, the world’s largest privately owned medical-device company, in Bloomington, Indiana, tells FOX Business. The federal government will now be taking $30 billion out of the industry that develops new treatments to limit patient deaths and suffering. Like every productive person, businessmen in the medical-device industry have a moral right to keep and use the products of their efforts. It is bad enough that government loots the earnings of these productive men and women who provide valuable goods that enhance and save lives. That the government, via ObamaCare, now aims to loot more of their money—and to do so when their companies haven’t even made a profit—is obscene. In addition to and because of this expanded violation of rights, companies must cut back on innovating and hiring—and they must start now. As Eric Claude, general manager of MPR Associates, explains: Our business is being adversely impacted by the impending tax. We employ nearly 200 people in quality high-tech science and engineering jobs providing outsourced research and development services to medical device manufacturers across the country. The prospect of the device tax taking effect next year is causing our customers to cut back on R&D spending, directly impacting our business. As a result, I am being forced to scale back our hiring plan. Not only will the device tax adversely impact innovation in an industry in which the US has been a global leader, it is impacting U.S. businesses and U.S. jobs right now, today. This is yet another instance of the fact that ObamaCare is as impractical as it is immoral—and of why all life-loving Americans morally must demand its repeal. Like this post? Join our mailing list to receive our weekly digest. And for in-depth commentary from an Objectivist perspective, subscribe to our quarterly journal, The Objective Standard. Related: ObamaCare v. the Constitution How the Freedom to Contract Protects Insurability Memo to Justice Kagan: Taxes Are Coercive Help Joshua Lipana Fight Cancer—Update 2 Image: iStockPhoto


Chemo-Baths for Single Organs, A New Ear from One’s Own Tissue, and a Wealth of Knowledge for the Developing World: Good News Abounds

November 21, 2012

A few items from the benevolent news front: BBC reports that “A ‘chemo-bath’ which delivers toxic cancer drugs to just one organ in the body has been used on patients in the UK for the first time, say doctors.” Dr Brian Stedman, a consultant interventional radiologist, said: “To cut off an organ from the body for 60 minutes, soak it in a high dose of drug and then filter the blood almost completely clean before returning is truly groundbreaking.” This means that in treating select cancers, the poisonous effects of chemotherapy can now be isolated to just one part of the body, thus dramatically reducing the side effects of chemotherapy. Doctors at John Hopkins grew a new ear using a woman’s own tissue. CBS Baltimore reports, “her own body has replaced what an aggressive form of cancer took away. . . . But now, in a groundbreaking and complicated set of surgeries, Johns Hopkins doctors have attached a new ear made from Walters’ own tissue.” Ross England writes that Amazon’s “Kindle has produced a (perhaps) unanticipated benefit: the availability of books in the developing world where books remain scarce. Susan Moody of Worldreader, a non-profit dedicated to bringing e-readers to the developing world, explains why the Kindle is ideal for their purpose.” The Kindle . . . actually meets the needs of the developing world very nicely. Kindles have become increasingly affordable, the battery-life can be as long as a month, and they are easily recharged using wind or solar energy. Since they use cell-phone networks to operate, which are already omnipresent even in the remotest parts of Africa, they don’t require new infrastructure in the schools. And the kids can read them outside, even in the brightest sunlight. Best of all, one Kindle holds more than a thousand books, and new books can be downloaded in 60 seconds. That means printing costs disappear, and shipping gets reduced to nearly nothing. Suddenly it becomes feasible to imagine every child having access not only to books, but to a choice between thousands of books from all over the world. Like this post? Join our mailing list to receive our weekly digest. And for in-depth commentary from an Objectivist perspective, subscribe to our quarterly journal, The Objective Standard. Related: Congratulations to Felix Baumgartner and Red Bull Stratos Extraordinary Courage, Bionic Eyes, and Remarkable Manufacturing: Good News Abounds Adventures in Flight and Science: Good News Abounds Image: iStockPhoto


Jonathan Hoenig: Hopeful and Fearful about the Future

October 19, 2012

In an interview with Tracy Oppenheimer of Reason TV, Jonathan Hoenig, manager of Capitalist Pig Hedge Fund, expressed a view that is likely shared by many lovers of liberty: recognition of both great potential for progress and great potential for destruction in the future: When I see what man can do when he’s left free to achieve, to accomplish, to think—how can you not be hopeful? . . . [W]hen I look at these buildings, when I use my iPhone, when I explore all that’s going on and that’s exciting in this world, I am tremendously hopeful. But I’m also fearful . . . because I see so many out there whose purpose is to destroy; only to destroy. Let’s work to ensure that the destroyers, such as Obama, wither away and that the producers, such as Hoenig, thrive. Like this post? Join our mailing list to receive our weekly digest. And for in-depth commentary from an Objectivist perspective, subscribe to our quarterly journal, The Objective Standard. Related: An Interview with a “Capitalist Pig” Steve Jobs’ Philosophy of Life