About Shawn Kelly

Shawn is a student and father who first took to the ideas of liberty during Ron Paul's first presidential campaign. He now is pursuing a career in economics, the understanding of which he believes is paramount for those who seek a free society.

Price Communication, the Organization of Production, and Freedom

Human beings are reliant on daily interpersonal communication. In order to buy the things we want, express our feelings and thoughts to others, or simply to let someone know we are trying to get around them we use some form of communication. Among the most obvious and common are speech and writing, there are also more subtle ways to get info across such as non-verbal communication like body language (Non-verbal communication). Regardless of the method, without communicating society would shut down. On a grand scale you could picture a breakdown in diplomacy between two bitter nations, or on a smaller scale you could imagine trying to buy something from a vendor without pointing, using words, or writing something for him to read. Everything would grind to a halt. So if communication is what we do to get across ideas, motives, thought etc, would not prices fall into this category?

A Coke Inspired Thought (The Beverage)

Again I have come across an advertisement that I believe relays a message that it’s creators did not intend. A few weeks back my fiance and I went to see the movie 30 Minutes or Less, one of the pre-movie ads was a Coca-Cola commercial depicting two soldiers, of different nations, defending their respective sides of a border crossing.

Video: Coca-Cola Border

Consumers and Voters: Inconsistency

It is the end result of all market activity to provide for consumption, it is also, many believe, the role of the state to serve the “people”. So we have two different social structures that generally aim towards the same goal: The satisfaction of desires. However, I often find that people, all of whom are consumers and many are voters, treat these two social structures very differently. An individual I work with made me sudden realize this during an angry tirade.  This person was very dissatisfied with a certain company after they had failed to meet this person’s expectations, and went about to make it known to the rest of us. I have known this person for some years and to a degree knew this person’s political beliefs. Like many, this person was one who would continue to vote for either the same party or person simply because he/she was probably raised that way. Let’s be honest here, politicians promise a lot and rarely deliver. That is just how it is. Of course I lay the blame on the people out there who continue to give their votes to people who do little to nothing, but this is what we have. So, why is it that people hold companies and politicians to two completely different standards?

Another Hidden Lesson

As a student of economics, I love when I am given the chance to explain or animate a particular lesson or theory in an obvious, and easy to understand way. I love it even more when the chances I get are due to someone (or group of someones) inadvertently displaying a given lesson or theory (Or the idiocy of a given lesson or theory). I had one of those “Ah-ha!” moments the other day during a commercial break for Mythbusters. (Great show by the way) Among leagues of boring and very similar car commercials, a new Audi commercial blessed my TV screen. After searching on Youtube for the video, I found that the commercial in question is called the “Audi A7 ‘Spring Cleaning’ ” TV ad. Here it is for your enjoyment:

Money, and Why Government Shouldn’t Touch It

It is arguable that the most powerful tool the government possesses is the issuance and monopoly over money. Government can maintain control over arms, mail services, defense, courts, and education, yet the most effective way to keep hegemony over a people is to control their money. The issuance of bills, the “deeming” of the money’s worth, the control and manipulation of interest rates and credit, etc. This is how the state can truly maintain a grasp over everything. Money is the core of exchanges, you control those exchanges and you can control how people live their lives. But what is money exactly anyway? What value does money have?  Why would the world’s governments want to control it? What are the effects of government control of money? What forms of control does the government have? I’ll try to answer these question using the knowledge I have gained over the past few years of private study, and  hopefully shed some light on what is otherwise a confusing, although important, topic.

The Non-Aggression Principle

The Non-Aggression Principle (or NAP for short), also known as the Non-aggression axiom, is the absolute moral center of Libertarianism. It is the prime reason for the majority of “libertarian” stances on politics. All the way from ending our overseas wars to the ever growing welfare state, if you could boil all the other reasons for the libertarians political dissent away you would find the NAP. The NAP is a simple and easy to understand philosophical ideal that simply meas: It is morally wrong to initiate aggression or commit harm against someone who has not done anyone harm. It is an ancient principle found in many religions, and is one of the most basic lessons of morality that we teach our young ones. I would bet 99 out 100 people would tell you they agree with this idea, and the other one you back away from slowly…

Now, the NAP is the basis by which almost all actions are judged. If someone has stolen from you, he is in the wrong, for he has initiated aggression against your property. If some group assaults you and  your family they have committed a moral crime (And legal depending on who is doing the assaulting). If you shoot and kill an attacker who is attempting to kill you, you have NOT committed a moral crime. It is the pacifist who calls all aggression immoral, let them do so for they will not get far in our gritty reality, but defensive aggression is not unjust. The use of violence to protect person and property is moral, although at times when we are forced to defend ourselves with our lives to we feel like knights in shining armor. No one wants to experience violence, just sometimes our cards aren’t handed to us like we please.

Election Season Angst

I, as I’m sure many people do, get very tense around election time. Particularly, when there is so much “at stake”. Now I put that in parenthesis because to someone like me, who’s primary goal in anything political is the pursuit and protection of individual freedom, the “at stake” part is not the routing of the failures in Congress or the shift of power from left to right or vice versa. It is that, when one group of people, in this year’s case the Republicans, win a large “victory” over the other. This sweeping sentiment of improvement and hope runs awash through the voting population. They believe that with the great upheaval in the political world will come an improvement in all the things they deem wrong, even if a little. I look at these people with pity, for I know full well that nothing in the grand scheme of things will improve. The continuing trend of statism is simply painted a different color. Again.