Boston Tea Party Ron Paul Donation Drive


On December 16th, 1773, American colonists dumped tea into the Boston Harbor to protest an oppressive tax. This December 16th, American citizens will dump millions of dollars into the Ron Paul presidential campaign to protest the oppressive and unconstitutional inflation tax – which has enabled a flawed foreign policy, a costly war and the sacrificing of our liberties here at home.

Please join us this December 16th 2007 for the largest one-day political donation event in history. Our goal is to bring together 100,000 people to donate $100 each, creating a one day donation total of $10,000,000.

Make your pledge at and donate on December 16 at (If you prefer to donate by mail, get your mail-in donation form at here.)

Also please remember that if you want to vote for Ron Paul in the primaries, you must be registered Republican in most states.

I have donated to Ron Paul, have changed my voter registration, and will vote for him in the California primary.

Free: Ron Paul Bumper Sticker

(By the way that’s a Ron Paul bumper sticker that is free, not a bumper sticker saying “Free Ron Paul”.)

Some dude named Jeff Ready is giving away Ron Paul stickers for free. He’s already given away more than 1000. Show your support for the best US presidential candidate out there.

(By the way, unless your state has an open primary, be sure to change the party on your voter registration so you’ll be eligible to vote in the primary. See your local registrar of voters. For US Citizens overseas, please register through the Overseas Vote Foundation as there are special requirements for registering as an overseas voter.)

Province of China (part 3)

For those who missed the update to the previous post, iPetitions has responded that they will be changing their system to remove ‘Province of China’ from the Taiwan entry in their country list. They still have not made the change, but I realize that these things can take time. Until then, please keep singing the petition:

There’s currently 40 signatures on it! That’s pretty impressive.

Separately, I finally got a response from echomusic, the service provider which hosts Kanye West’s official web site. They have opened a ticket in response to my complaint which I assume means that they will at some point change it.

It wouldn’t suprise me…

The DPP announced today a last minute addition to their ‘normal country’ draft resolution that ‘Chinese New Year’ will be renamed to ‘Taiwanese New Year’. This change comes on the heels of an amendment to drop the ROC Calendar in favor of the Gregorian Calendar. Party members at first had proposed scrapping the holiday altogether, but they ran into stiff opposition from those who were afraid of losing out on their week-long holiday. President Chen Shui-Bian was quoted as praising the move by saying, “Once we have a holiday named after Taiwan, A-Bian thinks it will be inevitable that other countries will recognize us as a normal country.”

Province of China (part 2)

I was looking for a site that could host a petition asking Kanye West to stop referring to Taiwan as a ‘Province of China’ when I came across iPetitions which looks like it would be a good place to post a petitions… except that it too calls Taiwan a ‘Province of China’.

So instead, I started a petition asking iPetitions to stop calling Taiwan a ‘Province of China’:

Please click through and sign the petition. (And yes, if you’re in Taiwan you’ll have to select ‘Taiwan, Province of China’ as the country. Oh the irony.)

EDIT (2007-08-29 17:43): iPetitions has responded that they will be changing the listing but at this time the change has not been made. I will leave the petition up until the change is made.

Now that’s a nice response…

Occasionally I will register with or want to order products from a website only to find that they list something called ‘Taiwan, Province of China’ in their country list. Last week I got a newsletter from the Mises Institute about their new Bastiat Collection, a two volume set of the complete English translations of Frederic Bastiat’s writings. I was eager to order a set, as his writings have long been on my wish list but were a bit inconvenient to get previously. I was surprised to find that the Mises Institute also listed ‘Taiwan, Province of China’ in their online store. I sent a complaint to them and got back a very positive response a few days later, and quite emphatically at that:

Thank-you for bringing this matter to our attention. We have finally isolated the file and changed the Taiwan entry in our new e-commerce software’s database. We at the Ludwig von Mises Institute for Austrian Economics do not support the government of People’s Republic of China, or their policies, either directly or indirectly. Having Taiwan listed as “Taiwan Province of China” was nothing more than an oversight on our behalf as we continue to fix and customize our new software to our specific needs.

I couldn’t help but to support such a response by immediately ordering the Bastiat Collection as well as Freedom Under Siege by Ron Paul.

The Kanye West web site also lists ‘Taiwan, Province of China’ in their registration system but they have not responded to or corrected this after two weeks.

Afternic to censor domains

Afternic Decides To Remove Adult & Gambling Domains From Web Site

After extensive consideration, we have decided to no longer accept domain names that promote hate, sex, obscenity or self-destructive behavior, such as substance abuse, violence and gambling. The sole rationale behind our decision is to make Afternic a more comfortable site for mainstream domain name shoppers, especially small business owners. We recognize that taking a leadership role on this issue may have a negative financial impact on our business in the near term. Nonetheless, we believe strongly that it’s the right thing long-term decision for our industry and Afternic.

Basic Economics vs. Politics

One of the most hilarious things I found when filling out my absentee ballot last week was the summary of Proposition 87 [PDF]. Proposition 87 proposes to tax oil producers in California to provide funding for alternative energy research.

The hilarious part: The proposition would outlaw passing on the cost of the tax. Supporters of the proposition actually say with a straight face that this tax will have no cost whatsoever to the consumer.

Ignoring the goals of the proposition in general for the moment, this part of it is such complete and utter bullshit. If you know anything at all about economics, you will know that every cost imposed on a business is passed on to the customer. There’s actually no other way around it.

Critics of this will say that the business can just take it out of their profits. However, the primary purpose of a business is to make a profit. If a business cannot or is not allowed to make a profit, it will stop doing business. Businesses are funded by investors. Investors can and will take their investment dollars elsewhere if they can’t make money.

The supporters of Proposition 87 go on to claim that since the market price of gasoline in California is controlled by market forces and therefore the oil producers can’t raise prices. They are only partly correct. Market prices are an intersection of what a seller is willing to sell a good or service for and what a customer is willing to pay for the same.

What this boils down to is that if costs to a business rise, then the price they are willing to sell at will rise as well. Of course they cannot sell at any price because consumers will stop buying as much (because they are not willing to pay the price offered), or they will get some new competitors who are willing to sell for a lower price. However, no business will willingly sell a good or service for less than their cost for long (they will do so temporarily to promote their products or to clear out unsaleable goods but cannot do this on a regular basis). Neither will they continue to operate if the return on investment is less than they could get elsewhere.

In other words, prices will always tend to be at least how much it takes to sell a good or service and make a decent return on investment. So raising the costs to a business will absolutely raise the minimum price the business can charge and still be viable.

Proposition 87 supporters continue by saying that California oil producers also have to compete with outside suppliers. This is somewhat true, however it implies that California oil producers will be put at a disadvantage to out-of-state oil producers. In addition, bringing in gasoline supplies from out of state will increase shipping costs which again will tend to cause an increase in price. Out-of-state oil producers will also be able to raise their prices because they will have less competition to worry about from Californian producers.

In summary, Proposition 87 will limit the return on investment for Californian oil producers and put them at a business disadvantage to out-of-state oil producers. The long term effect of this is that there will be less investment in oil production in California, and supplies will be controlled by out-of-state business interests. In addition, employment in the oil industry in California will decline. This will probably not happen all at once, but do you really think anyone will want to invest in oil production in California under these conditions?

Proposition 87 supporters try to portray this as some kind of sin tax against ‘Big Oil.’ What it really is is an economically faulty money grab for alternative energy research. One of the big supporters of Proposition 87 is Vinod Khosla, a big venture capital investor. How many alternative energy companies are he and his partners invested in?

The propaganda about how the proposition prohibits higher gas prices is completely unenforceable, and has no economic basis whatsoever. It is nothing but a marketing gimmick to try to fool voters into thinking they get free money for researching green energy.

I think it is a good goal to encourage alternative energy research. I think that it is reasonable to tax energy usage to fund such research. However, this proposition is a poorly designed and economically faulty way to go about this, putting California businesses at a disadvantage to out-of-state companies and making false promises about the impact to prices. An honest alternative energy proposition would tax energy use directly.