America’s legacy of unparalleled copyright protections and free market orientation has cultivated…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
“Blanket Licensing” – a Collectivist, Bureaucratic, One-Size-Fits-All Deprivation of Property Rights Proposal

America’s legacy of unparalleled copyright protections and free market orientation has cultivated a music industry unrivaled in today’s world or throughout human history.

From the first days of the phonograph, through the jazz age, through the rock era, through disco, through country, through hip-hop and every other popular musical iteration since its advent, it’s not by accident that we lead the world in the same manner in which we lead in such industries as cinema and television programming.  We can thank our nation’s emphasis on strong copyright protections.

Unfortunately, that reality doesn’t deter some activists from periodically advocating a more collectivist, top-down governmental reordering of the music industry in a way that would deprive artists and creators of their…[more]

July 06, 2020 • 02:32 PM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Does Britain’s Coalition Government Show the Way to Enact the Tea Party’s Agenda? Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, July 15 2010
With the Gulf Oil Spill still gushing and the jobs spigot running dry, the likelihood of a nationwide rebuke of undiluted liberalism increases by the day. But the Republicans’ return to power will be short-lived if they think the conservatives and independents providing the margin of victory will be content only with opposing Obama.

Even though every major poll shows Congressional Republicans poised to gain majority control of the House of Representatives – and perhaps the Senate – after this November’s midterm elections, there is no indication the party’s leaders are committed to enacting any specific policies if elected to lead.  But as Britain’s new Coalition Government suggests, sometimes it’s better to wait until after an election to come up with a governing agenda. 

The only way the Democrats’ current electoral prospects could be worse is if President Barack Obama himself were on the ballot this November.  The man who beat the most deliberately non-conservative Republican presidential nominee since Gerald Ford is now enjoying the approval of barely 40% of Americans.  Even worse, only 13% of voters think Obama’s policies are helping them, according to a CBS News poll released this week. 

Add to this the virtual certainty that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is “deem-and-pass”-ing herself out of the Speaker’s chair, along with the welcome news that ultra-liberal Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) are now on the party’s endangered species list.  With the Gulf Oil Spill still gushing and the jobs spigot running dry, the likelihood of a nationwide rebuke of undiluted liberalism increases by the day. 

But the Republicans’ return to power will be short-lived if they think the conservatives and independents providing the margin of victory will be content only with opposing Obama.  The leaders of the GOP need to do more than just throw up roadblocks to the president’s progressive agenda going forward.  They need to create a coalition committed to dismantling Big Brother and the Nanny State piece by piece.  For that, Republican leaders would be wise to copy the playbook of Britain’s new Coalition Government.

After the May general election produced a Coalition Government between the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg discovered a governing agenda based on a shared principle: the central government is too big.  Their strategy for reducing it is contained in an 18 point plan available at ProgrammeForGovernment.hmg.gov.uk.  The plan calls for repealing laws that stifle initiative, reversing the flow of authority so that more power is held by local governments and freeing the citizenry from intrusive monitoring. 

Since the Coalition took power two months ago, it has distinguished itself with three characteristics.  First, it is very specific.  The 18 point plan it lays out is quite specific and commits the Coalition to measureable goals.  If it fails to meet them, everyone will know. 

Second, it is internet savvy.  Both the Chancellor of the Exchequer (i.e. Treasury Secretary) and the Deputy Prime Minister (i.e. Vice President) have unveiled interactive websites asking for input from everyday Britons about how to reduce the impact of government.  Chancellor George Osborne invites visitors to the “Spending Challenge” website to suggest ways to cut government spending “fairly and responsibly” so that services can be delivered in a more efficient, cost-effective way.  For his part, Deputy Prime Minister Clegg launched a website called “Your Freedom” that allows visitors to nominate for repeal laws that burden businesses and individuals. 

Finally, the Coalition thrives on quick implementation.  Among the policies sure to have an immediate impact is the Academies Bill.  It allows any public school rated “outstanding” by the central government to receive automatic approval to privatize by this fall.  No pilot program.  No blue ribbon panel to study the issue and produce a report years from now.  The Coalition leadership seems to believe that if an idea is good enough to talk about, then it is good enough to implement as soon as possible. 

As a broad outline, the Coalition’s agenda could be mistaken for the aims of America’s Tea Party movement.  In this time of economic recession, commonsense people are ready to debate not just the limits of federal spending, but also the limits of federal competence.  Chances are if Republicans would expand their call to repeal ObamaCare into a wider platform to eliminate all federal programs falling outside the Constitution’s text, they would make the ‘Party of No’ into the coalition of ‘Yes, we can!’ 

Of course, Republicans can’t be faulted for sitting completely on their hands while Democrats legislate their way into minority status.  Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) is the driving force behind “You Cut,” a website hosted by the House Republican Whip that lets visitors vote on spending cut ideas.  There’s one crucial difference, though, between Cantor’s “You Cut” and Osborne’s “Spending Challenge.”  The ideas at “You Cut” come from members of Congress, not the public.  

It’s the kind of distinction that proves congressional Republicans aren’t ready to have a two-way conversation with the Tea Party members, conservative bloggers and other patriot activists holding the keys to majority status.   

But there is still time. 

Thanks to a president making rookie mistakes and a Congress led by brazenly corrupt horse traders, there is a unique opportunity for Republicans to recapture the sense of mission that propelled the Reagan and Gingrich revolutions.  The watchword for this election cycle isn’t “reform” – it’s “repeal.”  It’s time some enterprising GOP member figured out a way to channel the Tea Party’s limited government vision into the stateside version of the Coalition’s program for governing.

Question of the Week   
In which one of the following years was the National Park Service established?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Americans put a man on the freaking moon, landed a robot on a postage size stamp of land on Mars, harnessed the power of the atom, defeated Germany in a world war -- twice, invented the automobile, and defeated gravity and invented human flight. Yet right now many of us are sitting alone in our homes behind cloth masks with dubious protective qualities thinking about banning children from attending…[more]
 
 
—Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist
— Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist
 
Liberty Poll   

Do you currently expect your local schools to reopen on time in the fall?