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Every once in a while, you come across someone you’ve never heard of who’s changing the world.

Meet Caleb Franz, founder & executive director of The MilLiberty Initiative. Caleb interviewed me on his own podcast two years ago, and he’s been doing big things ever since.

Today, we discussed MilLiberty’s Reintegration Project–an advocacy program for American businesses to commit to hiring nonviolent offenders–and their new annual Second Chance Trailblazers Award.

Both ventures are market based solutions to our broken criminal justice system, which is precisely what we need.

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Meet the hosts

discussions

  • What role (if any) should the gov’t play in the continued funding of cutting-edge scientific research? According to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and  Development), approximately 10% of all R&D conducted globally is directly funded by governments, with approximately 60% done by private industry and 20% by educational institutions. Granted, this number probably doesn’t take into account indirect gov’t funding through tax subsidies and incentives. That 10% goes towards projects on the cutting edge of science, such as NASAs various space ventures and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (funded through the governments of the member states). Proponents of big gov’t science, such as Neil Degrasse Tyson, have stated in the past that projects like these are unlikely to be privately funded due to their high risk, high cost, and lack of return on investment. Gov’t, claims Tyson, is required to make the initial step and take all the risk so that private firms can follow in its wake with a clear picture of the requirements of such endeavours. TAM 2011: Our Future in Space Would such high risk, high cost projects be possible without gov’t backing?

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  • It can be a challenge to keep up with all the taxes one needs to pay throughout the year, and than to deal with all the paperwork that needs to be filed can be frustrating. What would be a good way to simplify the Tax Code? Below is a list of some of the taxes that we the people need to pay, or at least we experience their effects at one time or another. -Medicare, Medicare, Social Security, Federal Inocme Tax, State tax, Local Tax, Corporate tax, Sales Tax, Property Tax, estate tax, alcohol tax, tobacco tax, gift tax, tariffs on imports and exports, etc. Would a simple flat or consumption tax do the trick?

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  • Venezuela has the highest violent crime rate in the world. Though it is not moral or justified, people choose violence over starvation when there are no alternatives. Of course, “we” libertarians all know that this situation was created by government/s coercion’s consequences, but so few among the greater population seem to recognize that. It seems like a similar fate faces the whole world.

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  • I had a serious epiphany driving home from work today. I had realized, I don’t have to feel guilty or afraid anymore because of what society or the government would label me as. I just drove home and felt…pureness. Innocence for ONCE in my life. And it all came from the feeling of Freedom. Having Freedom, and recognizing it in others. Even before a court of “law.” They have no right to take my Freedom away, and in thinking this I realized, that I was already, and always will be, Free. When I parked at my plot I saw two young girls and a boy, and one of the girls had a puppy and the puppy was SO HAPPY! Full of joyful curiosity for adventure, and then I realized Freedom was in that puppy. And I thought…that is Freedom. As the boy and girl with the puppy walked ahead, I saw the other girl turn back and walk towards a rose bush, she picked a rose from the bush, and then I had witnessed… that is Freedom. No one has ANY right, to take that away from anyone. NO ONE. Neither YOU nor me, God or the Devil himself… NO ONE! (Not that I’m religious mind you, no offense.) Freedom is more than just speaking freely and choosing freely.  It is being able to be like that puppy, or like that girl that had the ability of CONSCIENCE to pick that flower out of her own Free Will. In these moments I had the epiphany of TRULY respecting EVERYONES Freedom and understood what Freedom was all about. Maybe I’m just a sentimental bastard, or maybe I’m just an emotional. But I do know, that this feeling of Freedom is too beautiful for ANYONE to take it away from anyone else. I personally feel that we can rehabilitate thousands of people in the penal system, if we simply explained to them the concept of Freedom: that it brings happiness and joy and compassion to others, and without Freedom, there will be none of those things. They will not exist. Freedom is pain, Freedom is suffering, but its also joy, life, happiness and compassion! Have any of you had moments like this? Where time just slows down and catches up with your thoughts? And then BOOM! It clicks. It makes sense, you have an epiphany of the human soul. Hopefully there is someone out there that has had it.

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  • Perhaps you will find this magnificent BBC documentary interesting. It tells the story of the ancient city of Caral, a little north of Lima on the coast of Peru, which is arguably the oldest city in and the beginning of civilization in the Americas. The Lost Pyramids Of Caral There are two points I would like to make about the story told therein of Caral which I think are relevant to libertarians. 1) The early civilization of Caral apparently arose purely out of commerce. This confirms the insights of the Austrian school of economics. And it may be an example of a commercially organized cooperative human society that antedates the rise of any state. 2) This contradicts the presumptions brought to the study by the archaeologists. For one example, at 7:20 one states the following. You can’t build … on the basis of consensus. You have to have leaders and followers. You have to have specialists. You have to have people who are in charge. People who can tell individual groups, alright, today you will be doing this. This group you are going to be doing something different. In other words, in his academic world, the possibility is inconceivable of that human cooperation could be organized by trade — the marketplace — rather than authority.

    Jump to Discussion Post 8 replies