Michigan’s Partisan Battle with Gas Taxes

By Ryan Roberts, UPLP Chairman

On the 1st of April this year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed a proposed bill to suspend a 27 cent per gallon gas tax. This was voted largely along partisan lines in both the house and senate, and because of this the senate could not get a 2/3rds majority vote for the bill to have immediate effect. This means the suspension wouldn’t take place until 2023. Whitmer, along with other democrats make claims that the tax pays for necessary infrastructure such as roads and public-school funding. If we know anything at all about public infrastructure, much of those tax dollars are squandered through useless bureaucracy rather than going to the needed infrastructure. Whitmer, countered in hopes of a bipartisan agreement to suspend a 6% sales tax on gasoline. Instead of thinking about Michiganders being robbed by the state government for already inflated gas prices caused by government intervention in the markets. Democrats and Republicans have instead reduced themselves to Grandstanding and divisive rhetoric for political gain on both sides.

Michigan’s current gas tax is the sixth highest in the nation behind California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New Jersey. With such tax cuts, Lansing would lose between 725-750 million dollars in revenue per year, according to a nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency. This may sound like a great deal of money, but congress could find other means to maintain infrastructure. Better yet, congress should stop funding it all together and allow private enterprise to find a way to pay for necessary infrastructure. This would put that money back in the pockets of hard-working Michiganders, and could allow them to make their own choices, with things such as their child’s education.

With fuel prices soaring at all time highs, our elected leaders could help by not just suspending the gas tax but eliminating it all together. This would effectively put more money into the pockets of Michiganders all over the state, allowing them to make purchases where they need to most, like putting food on the table with ever soaring food prices. Lansing really should stop with the useless politicking, and for once help their constituents in a great time of need. Eliminate the state gas tax.

The Call of Duty:

Will the Libertarian Party Capitalize on Emerging Opportunity?

by Mike ter Maat

It is currently argued by any number of political observers that the present authoritarian moment is bound to foster a backlash in the form of a Libertarian movement.  I would argue that not only this not true, but the current slide into authoritarianism is likely to continue apace, driven by undeniable populist forces, unless something is done to offer the American electorate a robust and credible alternative.

The Fear Factor

Authoritarianism is the assumption of power by politicians granted authority by a fearful electorate craving protection.  This fear is so great, citizens are willing to compromise their own democratic autonomy to be protected.  In America, such fear typically arises in the face of opaque and controlling public institutions.  This is the root of Trump’s populist MAGA theme and the Biden Administration’s populist reticence toward easing mask and vaccine mandates despite growing consensus among elites that such measures don’t work.

Consider as evidence of the extent to which fear drives political realities in America today that, according to polling data, most members of the Democratic Party and most members of the Republican Party . . .

  • believe foreign trade is bad for our jobs market,
  • believe we must maintain Social Security benefits even if it means higher taxes,
  • support government intervention to create jobs with infrastructure projects and industrial policy incentives,
  • want the government to assume the cost of higher education,
  • want to raise the minimum wage,
  • want to increase regulation of Big Tech companies and
  • want to restrict the flow of legal immigration.

So great are our fears that neither party seems enamored of its past aspirations.  Whereas the two parties used to identify themselves along a spectrum running from laisse-faire capitalism to overt socialism, now each party’s platform is driven by conspiracy theories and mistrust.  Each party’s opposition to the other is most clearly understood as the manifestation of fear of the other.

Segregation: Ignorance: Fear: Hatred

As segregation fosters ignorance, so too does ignorance foster fear, and in turn fear fosters hatred.  The vast majority of Americans with an interest in politics gets its news from media outlets with no commitment to airing both sides of any issue.  As a result, Americans on opposite sides of the political divide no longer share a common understanding of problems or in many cases even a common set of facts.

Consequently, most members of each party no longer recognize members on the other side as Americans first and party operatives second.  Both parties claim the other side is wed to identity politics, including racism. And given this lack of common views, neither side can any longer comprehend the other side’s ambitions as fundamentally patriotic.

As a result of this lack of respect, each party has embraced as its political objective not the advancement of the policies that it favors, but keeping the other side out of power, per se.  Fewer and fewer Americans are comfortable with the democratic notion that parties must take turns ruling and being ruled.  As each party has lost respect for the political process, so too has each party become unmoored to the Constitution.  Consider that each party has . . . 

  • supported steps to subvert the intention of the Constitution to control the composition of the Supreme Court,
  • after its most recent presidential campaign loss, openly expressed frustration with the Constitutional provisions that allowed that to happen, going so far as to label the winner an illegitimate president, and
  • laid the groundwork for claiming its future political losses to have been the result of illegitimate elections.

The Republican and Democratic parties’ drift toward authoritarian populism means that as the two parties’ distance themselves from the Constitution, the distinctions between the two parties seems relatively less consequential.  So too are those differences becoming smaller as each party focuses on the other rather than on issues.  As a result, the last presidential election, in 2020, I would argue was the least consequential in American history.  Consider that there were no importantly articulated distinctions between the two parties’ approaches to national defense, economic growth, the War in Iraq, the War on COVID, the War on Terror, the War on Crime, the War on Drugs or the War on Poverty.  Indeed, the populace is less animated by these issues than by the Culture Wars, regarding which the parties are followers, not leaders.

Call of Duty

While the choice between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party may never have been so inconsequential, the philosophy of the Libertarian Party has never been so important.   The forces driving the two parties of the duopoly together, if not interrupted, will continue to drive them farther from the Constitution.  We must interrupt those forces by offering the American people an alternative path to the future.  This must not be merely an alternative to the Democratic Party, an alternative to the Republican Party, or even an alternative to both.  We must provide an alternative to the political system that is in place today, as it is driven by mutual fear of fellow Americans.

The Libertarian Party of today is in no position to offer such an alternative.  We are not even full participants in the American political game.  We’re not in the presidential debates.  We’re not acknowledged by the media.  We’re not even recognized by the public.

We were not in the game in 2020.  If you’re riding in a bus from town to town you are not running for president in the 21st Century.  You may be doing something good, but you’re not running for president.  And if you’re making concessions to woke culture along the way, your bus may be on the wrong path.

We were not in the game in 2016.  Gary Johnson was in the game, but we were not.  He was our proxy, but he was not one of us.  He was our mercenary, a contracted emissary to the world.  And when he was banished from the stage it was not because he failed to recognize what Aleppo was.  It was because when he failed to remember what Aleppo was, he did not have an army of stalwart followers willing to keep pushing him forward.  His campaign may have been the Trojan horse we wanted, but we were not inside the horse ready to jump out when the horse got inside the gate.

We must get into the game, which means doing something that we have never been able to do in the past.  Doing the same things over and over again is not going to give us different results.  We must be willing to change, to redirect our focus from internal issues and toward the outside world. 

Change is Hard

Whether our party will be able to change is not clear.  We must live in a world of real politics, willing to engage the debates of the day as they are, not as we wish they were.  Absolutism cannot be our weapon of choice.

Our positions must reflect faith in the American individual, dedication to the American system of free markets, free actions and free minds, and optimism about the American future.

  • Vaccine mandates vs human rights
  • Economic lockdowns vs human rights
  • Inflationary willy-nilly vs human rights
  • Foreign interventionism vs human rights
  • Political authoritarianism vs human rights  

This will not be an academic fight.  Most of the outside world has never heard the words of Rothbard and perhaps never even his name.  Nor do most know what a caucus is, much less what each of ours represents.  This is why we must take human action.

We must stop pretending that . . .

  • we can become a powerful force opposing America’s slide into authoritarianism through local non-partisan elections,      
  • we can change people’s hearts and minds by offering a watered-down version of Libertarianism consisting of cherry-picked policies from the two sides of the duopoly,
  • to be taken seriously, we need to recruit one entertainer or another to serve as our presidential nominee,
  • to present as a credible ruling philosophy, we have to recruit the most radical anarcho-capitalist to serve as our presidential nominee,
  • we can only gain traction in the media by co-opting a former Republican or Democratic politician to represent us, 
  • we are a party defined merely by our differences from the duopoly parties. 

We must represent not a compromise, but a fundamental change to the way politics is approached. If the Libertarian Party ever hopes to get in the game, we must field credible players who can help the American people understand not just our tried-and-true principles, not just our lofty future ambitions, but also the immediate and intermediate public policy steps America must take to put us on the path back to a government limited by enumerated powers.

When members of our party fifty years from now, celebrating the LP’s 100th anniversary, look back on this half-century point in our party’s history, I believe they will recognize this moment not so much as a Libertarian backlash, but a libertarian opportunity.  It is up to us whether what they see is a party that was narcissistically consumed with its own internal affairs, or whether it met the call of duty.

Source: https://miketermaat.com/the-call-of-duty-will-the-libertarian-party-capitalize-on-emerging-opportunity/

Facing Unpleasant Facts: What You Aren’t Supposed to Say About Ukraine

by Joseph Solis-Mullen

Having been lied into war in Iraq in 2003, the American public swore it had wised up. Sure, it went on to drop the ball by supporting the Libya intervention, itself prefaced by lies, and supported the government’s intervention in the civil war in Syria (or at least didn’t mind it), even though the US sided with the very Sunni extremists it had been fighting a few years before in Iraq. But these were admittedly obscure conflicts, made all the more so by the blatantly biased coverage of events by Western media, which parroted obvious lies about impending massacres and staged chemical weapons attacks.

But in Europe, where the US had extensive military alliance commitments under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US population should ostensibly have been more informed and less prone to beguiling, it has been disappointing to see the American public once again so easily led down the path to supporting a war that never had to be—never would have been—but for the policies enacted by our government.

And just as with the baseless rush to war with Iraq, which every outlet of mainstream media loyally supported, those who refuse to repeat slogans of “Ukrainian democracy” or “Russian aggression” are denigrated, either as cowards or as apologists for the heinous actions of others, for which they are obviously not responsible. Besides being inaccurate, the latter accusation is particularly perfidious because it effectively makes reasoned dissent impossible.

But by pretending that history started with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the story is made simple, a clear case of right and wrong. And while it is true that Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine and so is responsible for the present war, such a Manichean telling of the story does little to further informed policy discussion. Indeed, that is precisely the point: to ignore the decades of declared Russian security interests in the orientation of states directly at its border, as well as to obscure a history of US meddling in Ukraine.

So unless you think context is irrelevant, that recent history is unimportant to understanding current crises, here are four things you aren’t supposed to say about Ukraine but that are absolutely true and that all Americans should be aware of before forming a hasty opinion regarding a deadly serious matter that until a few weeks ago most knew nothing about.

The “Revolution of Dignity” Was a US-Backed Coup

The 2014 ouster of slightly Russian-leaning Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who drew his support primarily from the ethnic Russian–dominated eastern parts of the country, was spun by Ukrainian nationalist and Western media as a ”revolution of dignity.” It was in fact, in the words of Western security analyst George Friedman, ”the most blatant coup in history.” In case the obvious nature of events on the ground weren’t enough, this was confirmed by the leaked phone call between then assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, then the US ambassador to Ukraine, during which they picked their favorites for the new Ukrainian leadership and plotted how to prevent the meddlesome EU from screwing it all up by moving too slowly, potentially allowing Russia a chance to interfere in the obviously illegal ouster of an elected government through a street putsch.

The proximate cause of the coup was Yanukovych’s taking of what was essentially a large Russian bribe to eschew an EU association agreement. In a country ranked 122nd in corruption, literally the most corrupt country in Europe, none of this was a surprise. But what was a surprise was the US move to sweep in and take Kyiv—something US foreign policy insiders publicly bragged about in the immediate aftermath.

There Is a Significant Neo-Nazi Problem in Ukraine

This is something that until a few years ago the mainstream media reported seriously on; of course, that was before they knew they were going to have to try and lie us into another war. Now any mention of what was taken to be an obvious problem just a year ago is decried as “Russian propaganda!”

The empowerment of far right extremists since the 2014 coup, a significant number with openly Neo-Nazi affiliations, is reflected in the dramatic rise in attacks on Jews, feminists, and the LGBTQ and Romany communities. It has further led to the banning of books that question Kyiv’s nationalist propaganda, which itself features the whitewashing of Nazi collaborators.

What are we to think when at the same time that public witch hunts for supposed white nationalists are carried out domestically with something near hysterical zeal, state-of-the-art shoulder-fired antiaircraft and antitank weaponry is shipped in great volumes to extremist white nationalists in Ukraine that would make the top of any of our own domestic terrorist watch lists?

We aren’t supposed to think about it all, at least not critically—just like we aren’t supposed to think critically about anything else.

The Russians Always Objected to NATO Expansion into Ukraine

For example, how about the fact our government always knew the Russians vigorously objected to any NATO involvement in Ukraine but downplayed or dismissed the obvious steps they were taking in that direction—downplayed it to themselves, to the American public, and tried to downplay it to the wider European community. Of course, Germany and France knew better and refused to grant a membership action plan to Ukraine despite Washington’s intense pressure. And though blocked from de jure absorbing Ukraine into the alliance, Washington was taking de facto steps to that effect—conducting joint military exercises in Ukraine at the same time that it was shipping the US-coup-installed government sophisticated heavy weaponry whose only obvious use was against Russia. Since at least 2014, when Putin ordered Russian forces to seize the Crimea to protect the only warm water port of the Russian navy after threats by Kyiv to evict them despite Moscow’s legal lease, Washington has known Putin feels particularly threatened in Ukraine. Even in the years since then, Washington has rejected repeated attempts by Moscow to establish an officially neutral Ukraine, including in the weeks leading up to the invasion.

Biden Could Have Prevented the War

Yes, even at that late date in January 2022—and all it would have taken was agreeing to Putin’s minimum terms: Ukraine could never join NATO, and new missiles could not be deployed in eastern European NATO member states. Outrageous and rightly rejected? Not according to Joe Biden, who claimed NATO membership for Ukraine was not on the table nor a serious priority at any point in the foreseeable future. Taking him at his word, why wouldn’t Biden simply agree to put it on paper and prevent what he himself repeatedly said were imminent Russian plans to invade and destroy Ukraine? What we’re told, and have been told since NATO expansion began, is that “keeping the door open” to alliance membership is a ”sacred principle.”

Perhaps it should be made public exactly how many Ukrainian lives the State Department and the Pentagon reckon this principle to be worth and how such calculations are made.

Conclusion

Really, what this looks like is a tragic combination of the brief 2008 Russo-Georgian War and the decade-long Soviet-Afghan War. In the first instance, US encouragement of actions by Tbilisi directly contrary to Russian interests led directly to a Russian military intervention; in the latter case, the leading US policy maker at the time, Zbigniew Brzezinski, admits precipitating that war on purpose: provoking the USSR into fatally overreaching in an attempt to protect an allied government from being undermined by the US—in this case by funding the proto-Taliban mujahideen in Afghanistan from bases in neighboring Pakistan.

As Poland gets set to potentially play Pakistan to Ukraine’s Afghanistan, serving as a staging area and training ground for rebel fighters slipping back and forth across the border to Ukraine, thereby further threatening war between NATO and Russia, we should recall that this all, in a sense, happened because the local governments in Donetsk and Luhansk could see the obvious: what had happened in Kyiv in 2013–14 was a coup, and they refused to recognize the new government. Further, we should remember that it was only when the Ukrainian military attempted to retake these regions by force that Russia intervened—and that since the Minsk Two peace accords failed to bring about a durable ceasefire, over 80 percent of those killed have been ethnic Russians living in the breakaway regions, and they were killed by the government in Kyiv.

With Democrats and Republicans fighting about who supports intervening in Ukraine more, and with uninformed and misled people increasingly calling for even more disastrous interventionist measures, the American public needs to be reminded that it is entirely possible for us to have a foreign policy that keeps us perfectly safe while not getting large numbers of people killed elsewhere, and further, that most of the various crises around the world that we are told the US needs to play a direct and integral part in solving are themselves the direct result of previous US interventions in those places.

Author:

Joseph Solis-Mullen

A graduate of Spring Arbor University and the University of Illinois, Joseph Solis-Mullen is a political scientist and graduate student in the economics department at the University of Missouri. A writer and blogger, his work can be found at the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, Eurasian Review, Libertarian Institute, and Sage Advance. You can contact him through his website http://www.jsmwritings.com or find him on Twitter.

Delegate’s Convention and General Meeting Minutes – Feb 17, 2022

On the seventeenth of February, in the year two-thousand and twenty two, at ten minutes after eight in the evening in east coast time, the Upper Peninsula Libertarian Party met online for its yearly Delegate's Convention and General Meeting. Present were the Chair, Secretary and Newsletter Committee Chair. Several members were in attendance, as was a guest speaker Evan Space. A quorum was had.

The first agenda item was to conduct a Delegate’s Convention for UPLP members to be delegates at the Michigan State Libertarian Party’s Annual Convention this Spring. Four members self-nominated, and those four members were voted on and accepted as delegates for the UPLP to the state convention.

The second agenda item was to open and conduct the regular meeting, which began with an approval of the previous meeting minutes, as well as the current agenda.

The third agenda item was Evan Space’s speech. He announced his desire to run for Governor of Michigan as a Libertarian, and described his falling away from the Republican Party. He heard comments and answered questions, and mentioned his goals of making Michigan strong again. He thanked everyone for having him and was thanked for attending.

The fourth agenda item was a Treasurer’s Report. The treasurer being absent, a reference to the previous budget report was given by the Secretary. 

The fifth agenda item was a Newsletter Report. The Newsletter Chair and the Secretary, who is a member of the Newsletter Committee, both gave the report, by explaining their progress and that of the website and email campaigns.

The sixth agenda item was to discuss measures to finalize the Purpose Statement of the Newsletter Committee, which was marked as “tentative” upon the committee’s creation. In accordance with the UPLP bylaws, this oversight must be corrected, and so a vote on the matter was passed, accepting the tentative statement as it was written originally.

The Newsletter Chair brought forth a motion, for the Newsletter Committee to add to their Purpose Statement, a “code of ethics.” Short discussion caused the body to elect to table the motion until the next General Meeting.

The meeting was adjourned by a vote at thirteen after eight, post meridiem, in east coast time.

*These minutes are approved by the Secretary of the Upper Peninsula Libertarian Party

The War on Covid

by Zach Kincaid

We find ourselves 20 months into flatten the curve, the latest excuse for state expansion and abuse, in the 20th month of you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide. It should be surprising to see Americans, who claim such a rich history of rugged individualism and a codified protection of universal human rights and liberties, so eagerly trade personal responsibilities and freedoms for authoritative centralized control, tyranny disguised as a false sense of security. It should be, but fear can be leveraged by petty despots, inspiring enough doubt among the masses to convince even those generally considered secure and steadfast to relinquish not only their own sovereignty, but also that of their fellow countrymen. This could be no more apparent given only a brief overview of the repeated failures of the War on Poverty, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, and our current bout against an abstract enemy where the overwhelming majority of Americans beg for a savior even when the most well intentioned intervention consistently delivers not only dangerous and destructive, but generally opposite results of the stated goal.

None should be faulted for their panic clouded judgment, perhaps unaware of the costs of their decisions or possibly a misguided faith in the state to act in a way best benefiting society as a whole, but they should be encouraged to withdraw their consent or at the least disavow the misplaced authority being claimed by those self declared leaders and experts. Unfortunately, the societal trauma experienced over the last two decades of propaganda and outright lies, where the narrative is canon and dissemination of any non approved messaging is a heretical crime worthy of censorship or exile, has discouraged any expression or defense of individual rights either by the dismissal classical liberal American culture and philosophy, or worse, by the demonization or mischaracterization of anyone holding the ideals espoused in the Declaration of Independence.

It is a daunting task, however, to ignore their complacency and complicity, especially while many have been trained to view those speaking out against government action as enemies of the people endangering the common good. We view government action, especially when couched with rhetoric surrounding the common good or national security, as detrimental to a free people and to the advancement of society in our examination of the lies, propaganda, and obscene transfers of wealth we have experienced in modern times. External threats, imagined or exaggerated, are the tool of choice for those bent on attaining or maintaining power and control, and the programming promoting the lies merely pivots from alleged crisis to crisis to maintain its relevance. Slogans and threat assessments get upcycled, “weapons of mass destruction” becomes “misinformation” and “terror alert level red” becomes “county covid tier purple.” In every case, the solution takes our society further away from actually solving the crisis. At no point will a less free and prosperous society offer actual outcomes worth the sacrifice.

The towers fell; the virus has spread. How we behave following a disaster is an important part of our surviving it, especially if we expect to keep our humanity intact. We have spent twenty years erasing the foundation of the freedom, liberty, and individual rights promised to us, and now we have spent twenty months knocking down the remaining pillars. Some lessons can only be learned after it’s already too late.

A Libertarian Rallying Cry for Candidates

by Ryan Roberts – Chair

The 2022 election year is upon us, and the Upper Peninsula Libertarian Party (UPLP) is actively seeking candidates to run for office. Every State house seat in the U.P. is up for grabs. The 108th and 109th seats are non-incumbent races. John Damoose, of the 107th district, will seek reelection, as will Greg Markkanen of the 110th. The 38th district State senate seat is opening, with incumbent Senator Ed McBroom seeking another term.

There are numerous Statewide positions that will need to be filled. These include University school board positions, Secretary of State, and Governor/Lt. Governor. Michigan’s 1st district for US congress is open with incumbent Jack Bergman seeking reelection. All county commissioner races are partisan races, while most city and township races are non-partisan races. These are opportunities that are within easy grasp of a 3rd party candidate. They should be a primary focus for Yooper libertarians.

It is a great way to expand our grassroots support while getting new candidates familiar with politics to win bigger races in the future.

Unlike the two big parties, the Libertarian Party does not participate in primary elections. Instead, candidates are nominated at local and state conventions held during election years. Dates and locations are determined by a committee selected by the state executive board. Once nominated, our party can help our candidates submit the necessary paperwork to local or state officials.

I believe with great charisma and leadership we can win elections. One of the great advantages we have as Yooper libertarians is our furious independence. Our way of life in the UP is one of liberty and justice for all, and disregard for big government. We choose to be a free people. And we need people like us to represent us.

If you are serious about presenting libertarian ideas to the public and want to run for office, then look no further than the UPLP. Reach out to me personally. Get involved and help us become a force to be reckoned with. I may be reached at President@UPLP.Org.

Classical Liberalism, Rhetoric & Discourse

by Joshua Jongema

Libertarians come from a tradition of Classical Liberalism, which was a mix of the English philosophy of the Whigs and the radicals. For about 140 years, America has been a liberal nation. Today liberalism is a term that is misused, but classically, it means limited government, personal and economic liberty, and justice for all. Classical liberal, John Locke, improved upon the field of discourse through his understanding of rhetoric. A study of each of these concepts will lead to a greater appreciation for the truth we all share.

Rhetoric is the observation of persuasion, and developed due to a recognition of uncertainty. It taught three ways to communicate knowledge- sensation, reflection, and demonstration. Its purpose is for common people to defend their own views with arguments, character, and emotion. To use it requires no expertise.

Aristotle believed that people can trust human sense and empirical discourse. Gorgias was skeptical, and felt that language was for performers, that we are always in the process of becoming, and that perhaps communication is not possible. Language philosopher Rudolph Carnap taught that people could communicate best if they adopted the language or syntax of science.

John Locke was most famous for his epic work, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, which gave his reasoning on the limits of what humans can claim to be true. He wrote on ideas and their origin, perception and retention, discernment, the use of the mind and modes of thinking, and of relation, cause, and effect.

The limit of our claim to truth can be called our confidence level. There are levels of confidence like ‘more sure than not’, and ‘beyond a shadow of a doubt’, but these use deductive reasoning and are found in courtrooms and newsrooms, not science labs. Scientists measure things mathematically. To call something ‘probable’ is an argument that must be found using statistics, inductive reasoning, and a repeatedly tested and unrejected hypothesis. No scientist would claim absolute certainty of anything. unlike politicians and prosecutors, for example.

The only thing certain is change. So we should be mindful of the limits of our understanding, and respect the plausibility of the beliefs of others. We all hold pieces to the puzzle called life. We are each, physically, a piece of this thing we call truth. Whether we cooperate in assembling pieces, or compete to test them, the flow of human society is dedicated to either the protection or destruction of truth. In these dark times, let us be its protector, granting it both liberty and justice.

Free Markets & Human Liberty

by Joshua Jongema

A free market does not require a government, regulations or licensure, and benefits everyone. In order to benefit fewer people, lobbyists work to change laws which allow them to make money more freely than others. In that sense, the quote from the novel Animal Farm rings as true today as in any time in America’s history, that, “Some are more equal than others.”

The state will naturally choose the economic practice which profits the state and its more equal constituency. This results in the push for more central planning under an administrative state that can rule over the judiciary and the legislature on a whim, by decree. In that sense the state transformed from monarchy, to a secular democratic nation controlled by monarchs, to a nation free of monarchy, and full circle back to a monarchy. For the executive branch to have the power of kings, and to dictate morality and enforce it upon the populace as if it were a just war, is antithetical to the nature of America’s purpose and struggle throughout history.

Still, the struggle of humankind is between and beyond the concept of the nation-state, which has more or less benefited imperialism and monarchy for its existence over only several hundred years. Ideas are fragile, like the illusions they represent, and would be ignored completely by the daily business of every person on earth were we to tear down the concept of borders and practice commerce freely between each other, without fear of men with guns confiscating our wealth upon each transaction. If the markets were free, people would be free, and the whole earth would rejoice, but for the control put on us, again, historically, by imperialist monarchism.

Even statist Milton Friedman admitted that economic freedom is tied to political freedom, but that is not enough. Human liberty is tied to human action, which is constrained by governmental coercion through regulation and taxation, and the undue threat of violence by armed men.

Libertarians advocate for a market that is free, and yet America is on the fast track away from that ideal. For that reason I advocate secession for the UP.

Automated Speed Enforcement Systems

by Aaron Gardner

The [Michigan State Libertarian Party] Legislative Committee would like to inform you of a bill that has been introduced in the Michigan House that we believe represents a clear threat to individual liberty.

The proposed bill would add a section to the Michigan vehicle code, that would allow various levels of government to establish “automated speed enforcement systems”. These systems would take photographs of alleged speeding cars that would be used to issue citations against vehicle owners.

Aside from the fact that this bill makes it easier for governments at all levels to further extort individuals, the biggest problem with it (there are many), is that it establishes a de facto guilty-until-proven-innocent scenario, in which a registered owner of a vehicle is presumed by law to be the driver without proof. Owners would be forced to provide sworn testimony in defense of themselves.

This is likely a violation of the 5th Amendment which guarantees that no one is compelled to testify against oneself. This law would allow courts to penalize individuals who exercise their right to remain silent, under the guise that a civil infraction is not considered a crime. We recognize that this is functionally a difference in semantics only as a failure to comply with a court’s ruling on a civil infraction leads to criminal charges.

This is complete bullshit and sets a dangerous precedent.

This is a call to action for our party members to contact everyone on this Committee to get the following bill REJECTED. Please call and email these committee members and tell them that not only should they vote down this bill, but they should also ceremoniously burn a printed copy on the steps of the capital, as a show of support for the rights of the constituents they were elected to represent. The bill to amend 1949 PA 300, entitled “Michigan vehicle code,” is HB 5284. Committee on Judiciary Members Graham Filler (93rd District), Mike Mueller (51st), Steven Johnson (72nd District), Bronna Kahle (57th), Daire Rendon (103rd), Ryan Berman (39th), Douglas Wozniak (R), 36th District, TC Clements (56th), David LaGrand (75th) Tenisha Yancey (1st), Kyra Bolden (35th) Kara Hope (67th), Kelly Breen (38th).

Call or email these legislators today to ask them to vote Nay on HB 5284.

The Budget of Michigan State

by Joshua Jongema – Secretary

While Michigan’s budget promises to help small businesses and the little people, every action by the state has crushed those very people and small businesses without relent. The semi-permanent coronavirus state of emergency has been a windfall for the state of Michigan and the mega corporations that operate here. These companies benefit from the policies of the state which destroy the economic liberty of small businesses and individuals.

Despite claiming a deficit for the state in early 2020, and a need of billions in emergency assistance, last year Michigan pulled in a surplus of over 3 billion dollars. Michigan has yet to spend about 1.8 billion of its federal dollars, and has passed a 70 billion dollar budget for the next fiscal year. The state can hardly spend your money fast enough, and is now placing 500 million dollars of it away for a “rainy day.”

With money poured into the coffers of the state and big business through bailouts, it is amazing that two years into the largest theft in American history, the state cannot seem to come around to spending money to help people in the Upper Peninsula. From up here, it is easy to imagine beautiful shining cities of vast wealth downstate. Otherwise, where would all that money really be going?

The new budget promises to be the injection of capitol into the economy that is needed during this time of need, but with a massive surplus it is hard to see why intervention by the government is even necessary. It funds important things like schools, but has in the past shut down schools that elect not to follow decrees and mandates by unelected bureaucrats.

This budget gives free pre-college classes and childcare to a few hundred thousand children and adults, but this hardly seems like more than window dressing. It fixes only a few hundred bridges. This all seems like run-of-the-mill stuff for a state. Why the large price tag for this bill?

The new budget also raises the wage for direct care workers. While this seems like a popular move, fixing the wage of employment denies those workers and their companies the right to negotiate their own contracts freely. Wage fixing harms people because employers will not simply raise the wage of all the people it employs. It will fire some portion of them to keep its bottom line fixed. Less people will have jobs at that higher wage, and that won’t benefit them due to inflation.

If the government cannot tighten its belt and save money then we will all be more broke than before. This taxation without due representation is theft.