We would like to offer the Libertarian view concerning subjects that affect affect us all, such as education, interference with free markets, social mores, individual rights. .
Walking into Adobe Books, an old-fashioned neighborhood bookseller located down the street from me in the Mission at 3166 16th Street, feels like walking into a time warp. It's one of a dwindling number of stores in the area with a real bohemian look and feel to it.
It would be a real shame for it to be replaced by some sterile purveyor of expensive luggage. But according to a piece in the Uptown Almanac, that just may happen. The bookstore, which has been there 25 years and was paying $4500 a month in rent, was first told the rent would be increased to $6000/month and is now being asked to pay $8000 in the face of competing interest from a deep-pocketed chain retailer formerly known as Liz Claiborne Inc., which wants the space for its Jack Spade brand of men's bags, accessories, and apparel.
Unlike many of those who commented on the article, I don't blame the landlord. If he/she is asking $8000 a month for the bookstore to stay, then obviously Jack Spade is willing to pay at least that much. The $2000/month difference between $6000 and $8000 is $24,000 a year.
As I asked in a version of this comment posted on Uptown Almanac, would you take a $24,000 a year pay cut in exchange for keeping your neighborhood funkier and less commercialized, if the workload for you was going to be essentially the same either way?
If you would, and you have the kind of money where you can afford to make $24,000/year less than you otherwise could, in dedication to your aesthetic sense of beauty, justice, and so on, then we may have an easy solution to this problem. Just buy $24,000 in Adobe Books gift certificates for Christmas this year, and promise them you'll do the same next year in perpetuity or until the economy crashes and rents come down.
But in all likelihood you don't have the money to do that, and wouldn't do it if you did. If you would do it, that might well be why you *can't* do it -- because you haven't lived a money-accumulating lifestyle that would enable you to step in with such a gesture. Nothing wrong with that, but it may mean that from the landlord's perspective you're all talk and no walk if you're asking him/her to make the sacrifice.
The real problem here is that efforts to save businesses like Adobe Books under the present arrangement are basically fighting against the law of supply and demand and against market incentives, which is like trying to keep water from flowing downhill...
Opposition to Indefinite Detention: A San Francisco Resolution that needed to pass
Libertarians are notorious for holding government officials’ feet to the fire. However, we are also quick to point out officials’ actions when these actions address our Constitutional Rights and further individual freedoms. One such action is San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu’s submission for approval before the Board of Supervisors of a Resolution expressing opposition to the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act. The Resolution instructs public agencies to decline requests by federal agencies acting under detention powers, urges law enforcement officials to allow detainees to due process, and requests members of Congress to repeal the detention provision of the Act. The Resolution has 11 important sections; however, the first three alone make it clear why this Resolution needed to pass at the Board of Supervisors’ meeting of February 26, 2013:
“Whereas, The Constitution of the United States and the California Constitution are the basis of our representative democracy and reflect protections that no person will be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; and
“Whereas, These founding documents reflect the essential nature of presumed innocence, the right to a speedy public trial before an impartial jury, and other elements of effective due process, and a commitment that no person will be exposed to cruel and unusual punishment; and
“Whereas, the language of Section 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on its face permits indefinite military detention without public trial of any person, including US citizens on US soil…”
The Resolution passed with unanimous votes from the Board of Supervisors. When our Founding Fathers said that our Republic will survive only if we the people exercise “eternal vigilance,” actions such as Supervisor Chiu’s and that of the Supervisors that cast the passing votes are what they had in mind – courage to oppose threats to our basic individual freedoms.
The full text of this Resolution is worth reading. It will give you an insight into the your need to,
1) Urge your local Council or Board to adopt similar Resolutions, 2) Urge your state representatives to introduce legislation to nullify the indefinite detention clause, 3) Urge your United States Congressional Representative to remove the clause from the National Defense Authorizatio Act.
So We Want More Jobs, More Small Businesses?
City Legislation Does Not Help!
In keeping with the Libertarian tradition of pointing out government “solutions” where no problems should exist, we offer our new pick for “Nanny of the Month.” Before we reveal our choice, we note that in order for a nanny to have a job, a willing employer must exist; in the case of a governmental nanny, a willing section of the public must also exist.
The San Francisco Examiner of January 3, 2013, featured an article on proposed new food truck rules. “Never one to shy away from a good food fight,” indicated the article, “Supervisor Scott Wiener has drafted legislation designed to appeal to both mobile and immobile eateries.” Mr. Wiener notes, “Food trucks are extremely popular in The City. Consumers want them. I will not do legislation that kills them, as some would like me to do.” The reason for the new legislation, according to the article, is that existing regulations are “plagued with subjectivity,” and according to Mr. Wiener, they are “creating chaos.”
Thus, we need greater specifications as to “no-truck zones,” and “number of days per week any truck could operate at one location.” Why the micromanagement? Why the regulations at all? Why cannot we just let whatever the public wants most succeed the most? Why ignoring that if we all allowed the market to work freely, the public would have more of what it wants, and the cry babies who clamor for legislative protection would be forced to rise to the occasion or go out of business.
Banning Guns -- Depriving the Honest Citizen of a Fighting Chance
Recent calls for more gun control after the tragic killings in Newtown bring to mind an incident in the late 80’s. The “Night Stalker” was already responsible for several brutal attacks and murders throughout California when suddenly he struck one summer evening in Mission Viejo (southern Orange County), where I was living at the time. The “Night Stalker” broke into a house, shot a man, and raped his fiancé. When news of this attack hit the airwaves, the citizens in the area armed themselves like never before. Gun shops completely sold out of arms, and it seemed like everyone had a gun. Instead of accidental shootings by trigger-happy people, something remarkable happened: virtually all crime came to a complete halt in the area. The authorities and media marveled at how the criminals (smartly) decided to go on leave while the citizens were literally up in arms. An armed citizenry, in this case, was definitely something that gave the criminals pause.
What about sick, suicidal killers such as occurred at Newtown? Would armed school personnel have prevented the bloodshed? Probably not, but they could have cut down on the loss of innocent lives. When a mentally ill person decides to indiscriminately kill innocent people, no gun control law will ever stop him from obtaining whatever weapon he wants, but it will prevent honest citizens from protecting the innocent. Expecting the police to arrive in time to stop the bloodshed is ridiculous. Even if they were doing their job, it is physically impossible for them to be at all places at once. Let’s give honest citizens a fighting chance to protect the innocent the next time a sick killer goes on a shooting spree.
Thank You Ron Paul
Dr. Paul's farewell address to Congress on November 14, 2012, summarizes 36 years of government growth, loss of civil liberties, and fiscal irresponsibility. When he retires from Congress at the end of 2012, there will be no one there to just say no, there will be no one there to speak up against government intrusion, no one there to challenge the Federal Reserve and its incessant promotion of fiat currency. However, is there any doubt that he has sowed seeds of liberty? Any doubt that he has shown a more sustainable path to prosperity? Any doubt that he has planted questioning of our thirst for empire? The Federal Reserve, the enabler, no longer enjoys an unquestioned existence, Congress is full of Tea Partyers who, although by no means Paulians, are at least willing to put on a show of curbing tax increases, and young folks throughout the land are no longer marching lock step with the status quo. An easy place to find Ron Paul's farewell address is on LewRockwell.com