Bernie Sanders doesn’t have the first clue how an EpiPen works or what went into developing it, but he’s sure he knows what one should cost, and he’s sure who should decide — him. You know what Bernie Sanders is? He’s a bum. He was damn near 40 years old before he ever found his way into a full-time job, and that was in elected office; before that, he collected benefits, sold his creepy rape fantasies for left-wing newspapers at $50 a pop, and never lifted a finger toward any genuinely productive enterprise. He’s been suckling greedily at the public teat since way back when he could remember where his car keys are. Funny thing, though: Now he’s a bum with a third home on the waterfront of a Vermont island worth the better part of a million dollars. Every good apparatchik eventually gets his dacha.

Mrs. Clinton is a bum and a crook who used the State Department as a funnel to guide the money of favor-seeking business interests at home and abroad into the Clinton Foundation, a sham charity that exists to pay six-figure salaries to Clintons (Chelsea is full-time executive there) and their courtiers.

These people are parasites. They make: nothing. They create: nothing. They produce: nothing. But they feel perfectly justified — they positively glow with moral frisson — standing between the people who create and build and the people who benefit from those creations. And they don’t just stand there: They stand there with their hands out. I don’t know how much Heather Bresch has in the bank, but without checking, I’ll bet you five dollars it is a good deal less than the Clintons have piled up in “public service.”

Thought experiment: Your child is dying. Who do you go to for help? Sanders? Clinton? Or one of the research scientists who made the EpiPen possible?

Yes, Mylan raised the price of an EpiPen. You know who else raised the price on EpiPens? Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, that’s who, and Joe Manchin, too. You thought Obamacare meant free goodies for you paid for by wicked rich people and evil corporations, right, Sunshine? Remember that medical-device tax? An EpiPen is a medical device. You think the politicians don’t have any self-interest there?

“…to argue the need for MORE socialism…”

Ah yes, I forgot how socialist the United States was – all that worker control of the means of production we presently have seems to be rotting out my memory. Thanks for the reminder, “LibertyPen” and John Stossel.

This is what the Overton Window does. It turns radical concepts devoted to human liberation into one of two things: either socialism is when a more welfare-oriented government does stuff in an otherwise capitalist economy, or socialism is when an authoritarian state concentrates power and oppresses people with a fascist baton in an otherwise capitalist economy. It either needs to be defanged of all power or it needs to be turned into a boogeyman caricature. Either way, the dominant paradigm of top-down control over the means of production by capitalists remains unchanged.

Also, OF COURSE they’d use a blue pill/red pill picture for the video thumbnail.

blog.independent.org
Why One in Five Americans Are on Government Assistance (in One Image)
by Lawrence J. McQuillan

More than 52 million people in the United States, 21 percent of the population, participate in major means-tested government assistance programs each month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. More than 80 federal programs dole out roughly $1 trillion of benefits and services to low-income people annually (see the amazing image above from the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee).

The creation and growth of this massive web of government programs are the result of Washington’s “Iron Triangle”: Politicians who want votes and campaign contributions; bureaucrats who want to administer these programs with bigger annual budgets; and program beneficiaries and well-intentioned advocates for the poor.

Supporters view these programs as evidence of a compassionate society, helping to uplift the poor and disadvantaged. I would be inclined to agree if not for the overwhelming evidence that these programs, in fact, create dependency, do little to alleviate poverty, and shred the moral connective tissue of a civil society.

On the giving side, government assistance relieves individuals of their moral responsibility to personally engage those less fortunate and to provide true compassion and effective assistance to the disadvantaged. Quoting Doug Bandow: “[A]t its most basic level, real charity doesn’t mean giving away someone else’s money. As Marvin Olasky has pointed out, compassion once meant to ‘suffer with.’ Over time it came to mean writing a check. Now it seems to be equated with making someone else write a check.” Jesus said people should follow the example of the Good Samaritan, who did not make someone else pay money to a government program.

On the receiving side, government assistance allows aid recipients to disconnect from civil society by having a claim on the fruits of other people’s labor through government taxes and redistribution. People are lured with benefits and services into a giant web of programs, ensnaring them and their family in government dependency year after year, generation after generation. Assistance programs often create a very high implicit marginal tax rate for low-income people if they transition from assistance to work, making assistance the best option for them. And bureaucrats have a personal incentive to entangle as many people for as long as possible in order to grow their budgets and power.

In 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt foreshadowed the dependency problem: “Continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.” It is immoral to treat humans like pets by providing for their every need from cradle to grave because this relieves people of personal responsibility for their own lives, destroying self-respect, initiative, and creativity. As noted by economic historian Thomas Sowell, non-judgmental rewards and non-judgmental leniency toward counterproductive behavior are not solutions to poverty, they are breeding grounds for poverty.

The U.S. welfare system has cost $15 trillion since the “War on Poverty” began in 1964, yet the official poverty rate has declined by less than 4 percentage points. Relieving people from the responsibilities and challenges of life, especially building skills and performing productive work, does them no favor. Government assistance has expanded to the point that it does more harm than good to the people it was intended to help, allowing people to effectively drop out of society and to live off the labor of others without donors’ explicit consent.

Rather than being a success story, the graphic above depicts a national tragedy. Anyone who truly cares about the well-being of the less fortunate and disadvantaged should work to dismantle this web of government dependency and replace it with a system of private charity, which is the most effective form of assistance in the United States and around the world.

The recurrence of periods of depression and mass unemployment has discredited capitalism in the opinion of injudicious people. Yet these events are not the outcome of the operation of the free market. They are on the contrary the result of well-intentioned but ill-advised government interference with the market. There are no means by which the height of wage rates and the general standard of living can be raised other than by accelerating the increase of capital as compared with population. The only means to raise wage rates permanently for all those seeking jobs and eager to earn wages is to raise the productivity of the industrial effort by increasing the per-head quota of capital invested. What makes American wage rates by far exceed the wage rates of Europe and Asia is the fact that the American worker’s toil and trouble is aided by more and better tools. All that good government can do to improve the material well-being of the people is to establish and to preserve an institutional order in which there are no obstacles to the progressing accumulation of new capital, required for the improvement of technological methods of production. This is what capitalism did achieve in the past and will achieve in the future too if not sabotaged by a bad policy.
Short of rainbows and redwoods, just about every good thing we have in this world is the result of the fact that somebody, somewhere, worked to create it. Some of those people were philanthropists, like the ones who built so many of our libraries, museums, and schools. Some were in business, like the people who are bringing you awesome electric cars and little pocket devices that have more computing power than a major research university could muster only a few decades ago. Epinephrine is unstable, and developing a way to store and deliver it reliably isn’t easy. Others have tried and failed; some have tried and been blocked by federal regulators, who of course have only your best interests at heart. (Federal employees care about two things: serving the public and consuming vast amounts of online porn during office hours. Okay, maybe they care about one thing.) You don’t have to love the people who dream and create — that’s why you pay them. And they don’t have to love you. Hell, they don’t even have to know you …

All that has to happen is for all of us to let it happen. And that’s in everybody’s interest except the vultures, incompetents, thieves, crooks, and parasites who purport to rule us.
theantimedia.org
Why There's a Media Blackout on the Native American Oil Pipeline Blockade
Warning: the media is not a reflection of reality.

As the Lakota Sioux continue their peaceful blockade of the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, the story’s absence from the national media narrative is palpable. Considering the corporate media’s chronic quest for controversial stories on government versus public standoffs, you’d think this situation would garner the typical media frenzy invoked during a right-wing militia occupation of a federal building, for example, or a tense standoff between the Black Lives Matter movement and police. But it’s not.

As of late, the media has faced criticism for its selective coverage of certain events — like, say, focusing on single terror attacks in Western Europe that garner thousands of headlines while basically ignoring similar or worse attacks that occur on a constant basis in Muslim-majority countries.

…One vital distinction between a genuine and a spurious “right” is that the former requires no positive action by anyone except non-interference. Hence, a right to person and property is not dependent on time, space or the number or wealth of other people in the society…On the other hand, an asserted right “to a living wage” is a spurious one, since fulfilling it requires positive action on the part of other people; as well as the existence of enough people with a high enough wealth or income to satisfy such a claim.
whowhatwhy.org
Everything You Need To Know About Medical Marijuana - WhoWhatWhy
Dr. David Casarett makes the case that the FDA, the medical community and even big pharma are all angling for their piece of the brownie.

Marijuana, which has been around for over 2700 years, is said to alleviate all kinds of problems — nausea associated with chemotherapy, pain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, dementia, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders. It may even stop the spread of cancer, but this hasn’t been proven conclusively.

In this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, Dr. David Casarett of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School talks about its medical value, how we can measure dosing and blood levels, as well as the role of the medical community and government.

He assures us that marijuana overdoses are not fatal and that, given the current efforts toward legalization, we all need to learn more.