Fergus Hodgson

Posts by Fergus Hodgson (page 3)

  • El amiguismo: Un problema más allá de la ideología

    Los ricos y políticamente relacionados versus los pobres y desconocidos Cuando trabajé como reportero en Nueva Orleans, en el año 2010, durante las secuelas del derrame de petróleo del Golfo de México, me encontré con varios comunistas declarados. Ellos fueron a la ciudad para protestar por las acciones de "British Petroleum", y algunos de ellos se hicieron amigos míos. A pesar de los desacuerdos de ideología y economía, estaban gustosos de hablar conmigo, y aportaron con citas para mis artículos noticieros. Incluso me ayudaron con una primicia sobre la plataforma del Partido Comunista Revolucionario de EE.UU., que se convirtió en una noticia nacional. Algo que quedó grabado en mi memoria, es la forma en que se rieron de la idea de que el presidente Barack Obama sea un socialista. (Utilizaban los términos "socialista" y "comunista" de manera indistinta).  Muchos voceros incluso etiquetaban a Obama, pero los verdaderos seguidores pensaban que tal idea era absurda. Uno de ellos explicó que Obama había supervisado los rescates del sector financiero así como también había continuado o expandido un sinnúmero de acuerdos preferenciales para diversas industrias. Ellos vieron este amiguismo como una redistribución de la riqueza lejos de la clase obrera hacia la "clase capitalista", y directamente en contra de sus objetivos. Hubieran  preferido llamarlo un compinche-capitalista.
    Fergus Hodgson, September 20, 2012
  • Beyond embarrassing for “the land of the free”

    The most astounding part of the latest freedom rankings from the Fraser Institute is the painfully rapid decline of the United States, from 2nd in 2000 to 18th this year. As a native of New Zealand, which came in third, I would caution people against reading too much…
    Fergus Hodgson, September 18, 2012
  • Article V: The powerful tool we (state legislators) never use

    This is a guest post from State Senator Curtis Olafson (North Dakota). For more on the NDRA, please see my recent blog post which includes links to a variety of sources for further reading. For the last year, it has been my privilege to serve as the National Spokesman for the National Debt Relief Amendment (NDRA). The NDRA is a state-initiated, non-partisan effort invoking the rights of state legislatures to propose and ratify amendments to the United States Constitution using the process our Founding Fathers wisely provided in Article V of the Constitution. This experience has led me to conclude that we who serve as state legislators should fully understand the powerful tool we have at our disposal in Article V. If we are to restore and preserve our great Republic, we must be willing to use it. The NDRA is a very simple 18-word amendment that is very easy to understand. As I travel the country and visit with citizens and state legislators, I have found that our challenge lies not with convincing people to like the amendment. The challenge is to overcome the fact that a majority of state legislators are unfamiliar with the amendment process. That unfamiliarity prompts concerns that are founded in fear of the unknown, and not in fact. Once people understand the state-initiated amendment process, their concerns are resolved and their fears are allayed. Under Article V, there are two methods by which an amendment can be proposed for state ratification: either Congress can propose an amendment by a 2/3rds vote of both chambers, or 2/3rds of the state legislatures (currently 34) can join together in making “application” to Congress to issue a call for a time and a place for a convention of the states. Once Congress has specified a time and a place for the convention, Congress plays no further role in the process until such time as the convention agrees on an amendment or amendments. If the convention comes to an agreement (and they have no obligation to do so), Congress must specify that ratification be decided either directly by the state legislatures or by popular conventions within each state as regulated by state law. (All of the amendments added to date except one have been ratified by the state legislatures). Whether amendments are proposed by Congress or by an amendments convention, 3/4ths of the states must ratify the proposed amendment(s) before it can become part of our Constitution. Other than the limited powers given to Congress to issue a call for a place and a date for a convention of the states and to choose one of two ratification methods, the states control the process and decide the outcome. The Supreme Court, the president, and state governors play no role in the application process or in convention deliberations. Thus, the only authority in our Republic that has the power to both propose and ratify amendments is the several states. The Founding Fathers did not give that power to Congress, the Supreme Court, or to governors. They intended that the amendments conventions process would provide a check and balance whenever federal power was misused. I believe that our Founding Fathers intended that we, as state legislators, would not only understand that we have the right to use Article V, but moreover, we have a duty to do so when we see serious challenges facing our nation that are not being solved by our federal government.
    Fergus Hodgson, September 17, 2012
  • Enough pointing fingers at federal debt: The states can stop it

    Recklessness regarding growth in federal debt has been bipartisan, particularly since the year 2000. The prevailing debt limit is just a charade; congressional representatives have raised it 75 times since 1962. Rather than throw up our hands, however, we can do something about it at the state level.
    Fergus Hodgson, September 14, 2012
  • Mises TV streaming live today: central banking, deposit insurance, and economic decline

    9:30 a.m. David Stockman How Crony Capitalism Corrupts the Free Market 10:00 a.m. Walter Block Fractional Reserve Banking 10:45 a.m. Douglas French TAG: Unlimited Insurance, Unlimited Risk 11:15 a.m. Peter Klein Inner Workings of the Fed 1:15 p.m. Joseph Salerno The Fed, the FDIC, and Other Problems 1:45 p.m.
    Fergus Hodgson, September 14, 2012
  • His own man: Peter Thiel the libertarian role model

    Peter Thiel was alumnus of the year at the 2012 International Students for Liberty conference, and for good reason. He has been extremely successful, both as an entrepreneur and as an action-oriented promoter of liberty. Although published late in 2011, The New Yorker has an insightful and lengthy…
    Fergus Hodgson, September 10, 2012
  • McCrory’s UI comments indicate a step in the right direction

    As reported in the Greensboro News & Record: Gubernatorial hopeful Pat McCrory said Friday that he would consider borrowing money to make good on the state’s unemployment insurance debt to the federal government, which totals some $2.8 billion. North Carolina’s Unemployment Insurance system is in crisis.
    Fergus Hodgson, September 10, 2012
  • A bridge too far: Tax increases at the federal level

    The American Institute for Economic Research has just released a revealing graphic—one which highlights the impossibility of covering prevailing spending levels through taxation alone. As Julie Ni Zhu notes, in “the postwar period, the highest personal income tax rates have been as high as 92 percent and as low…
    Fergus Hodgson, September 6, 2012