The arguments in the following essays and letters are strongly influenced by the political philosophies of John Locke and Ayn Rand, and the economic doctrines of the Classical and Austrian schools. While they are arranged in reverse chronological order, because they make arguments in terms of fundamental philosophic and economic principles, the oldest are equally as topical as the most recent. I'm very proud of the endorsement given my letters to the editor by my favorite economist, Dr. George Reisman, who writes that "Chuck Braman, a professional jazz musician, is a highly articulate advocate of Objectivism and laissez-faire capitalism. His letters to the editor are models of clear, persuasive argument in brief format."
Below is the opening argument I made during a debate on public education hosted by Motion Debate in New York City on February 22nd, 2017. My partner Roberto Guzman and I argued the dissenting view, with me focusing on the philosophic arguments and Rob focusing on the economic and statistical arguments. We managed to increase the number of audience membe... Continue reading
That Mayor Bloomberg believes that “tax policy is the way government uses capitalism… to encourage the right behavior” is shocking. It belies a fundamental ignorance of capitalism, while revealing the mindset of a dictator.
Capitalism is the system wherein the government exists solely to protect the right of the individual citizen to make his own choices based on his own judgment, so long as he abstains from violating the equal rights of others. A dictatorship, by contrast, is the system wherein the gov... Continue reading
Senator Obama’s speech was an evasion of the issue that it was allegedly intended to address. His beloved reverend is a hateful, racist, anti-semitic, anti-American crackpot. By what stretch of the imagination can Senator Obama claim him as his “spiritual mentor,” and faithfully listen to his vicious ideas week after week for twenty years, while simultaneously claiming not to share them?
As demonstrated in this election and countless other aspects of contemporary culture, race is no longer a significant issue... Continue reading
In order to solve a problem, such as our looming recession, we must first identify the causes that over the past several years have led to it. One is the massive expansion of crippling business regulations (such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002). Another is the massive expansion of government spending (such as the Prescription Drug Act of 2003). Another is the massive inflation of the money supply by means of credit expansion, which is also the cause of the collapsing housing bubble and the radical devaluation of the dollar.
&n... Continue reading
In "The Greens vs. Germany's Welfare State," writer Martin Hefner attempts to deny the economic destructiveness of the Greens' policies by ignoring their motives and absurdly claiming that the Greens are "allies" of business.
In fact, the premises held by the Greens are the exact opposite of the premises held by businessmen. According to Environmentalism, the business production that makes possible the urban and suburban environment of man should be eliminated because it "destroys" the "natural" environment o... Continue reading
Youssef Ibrahim states that “America’s war on terror is premised on the rejection of religious tyranny and the separation of mosque and state.” Would that that were true. The sad reality is that our culture at large, including our current president, has lost the ability to grasp the core American principle of inalienable individual rights and its corollary principle of the separation of church and state. As a result, “freedom” for our deeply religious president means the spread of unlimited majority rule—by means of war, if necessary—to a pa... Continue reading
By conflating Japan’s right to self-defense with pacifism (“The Limits of ‘Self-Defense’,” October 1) the New York Post creates a false alternative (aggression vs. pacifism) while obliterating the concept of a proper military policy.
Just as it is the essence of a statist country’s military policy to use its military to initiate war, it is the essence of a free country’s military policy to use its military to defend itself against the aggression, or the objective threat of aggression, from such countries. As... Continue reading
Bush’s presidency has consisted of one anti-American betrayal after another. After declaring that “you are either with us or with the terrorists,” he invited the fundamental source and sponsor of Islamic terrorism, Iran, to join us as a partner in his so-called “war on terror,” while simultaneously turning a blind eye to its nuclear ambitions. After declaring an opposition to “nation-building,” he has ceaselessly worked to create a brand-new terrorist state in Palestine. After waging two wars, he has openly championed the goal of sacrificing... Continue reading
The million in restaurant fines that the Health Department expects to collect this year is essentially a transfer of wealth from the patrons of those establishments to the city government. This to support a regulatory agency that gives passing inspections to rat-infested restaurants, while fining clean restaurants 0 to 00 for such “crimes” as cooking a whole turkey.
Dismantling all of New York’s unnecessary and incompetent regulatory agencies, beginning with the Health department, would remove the s... Continue reading
[Note: This letter refers to a report that the UK is rewriting its history books to omit references to the holocaust, for the sake of not offending Muslim students.]
England’s decision to teach lies rather than facts, for the sake of not offending anti-Western Muslim racists, may mark a turning point in history.
Western civilization is the civilization where reason replaces faith. It is through the application of reason to human problems that knowledge, science, industry, freedom, prosperity and... Continue reading
In “Global-Warming Hysteria,” Philip Stott states "The real crisis for 4 billion people in the world remain poverty, dirty water and the lack of a modern energy supply. By contrast, global warming represents an ecochondria of the pampered rich.”
This is true as far as it goes, but it does not go nearly far enough. As economist George Reisman states in his essay “The Toxicity of Environmentalism,” “Energy use, the productivity of labor, and the standard of living are inseparably connected, with the two last en... Continue reading
Mayor Bloomberg says that New Yorkers pay more taxes because they get more services; this is just another way of saying that New Yorkers pay more taxes because New York’s government spends more of their money. He also says that he doesn’t “know anybody that’s urging us to reduce the services.” Oh really? May I be the first then? We could make a start by not only reducing, but by eliminating, all of the economically destructive “services” provided by the meddling licensing and regulatory agency bureaucrats who use their arbitrary powers to pr... Continue reading
Only in a modern politician’s twisted mind could dancing be construed as a criminal activity unprotected by the constitution, on the grounds that it allegedly poses a threat to the public’s “health, safety, and general welfare.” The central purpose of the constitution is to protect the individual’s rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness from infringements by the government or private individuals. In this context, the cabaret laws that prohibit dancing and live music are clearly unconstitutional; they are a infringeme... Continue reading
For President Bush to compare the Iraq war to the American Revolution, and, by implication, himself to George Washington, is morally obscene. The American Revolution was fought to establish the first and only country in history explicitly based on the principle of the recognition and protection of individual rights. The Iraq war is being fought, neither to protect the rights of Americans, nor to establish a new, free country that protects the rights of its citizens, but rather, to establish the so-called “right” of a philosophically bankrupt... Continue reading
There is one detail that is being ignored in Representative Rangel's proposal to reinstate the draft: the free will choices of the Americans whose lives he literally assumes that he has the right to dispose of.
Whatever happened to America's founding principal that every American citizen has inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Does there even exist in this country anymore a political party that will acknowledge the principle of individual rights, much less defend it?Continue reading
[The following letter was sent in response to a writer who expressed confusion as to why the Democrats, who "are the ones who stand up for the little guy" would, in a recent Supreme Court decision, vote away the little guy's rights to keep their own homes whenever a private company can allegedly demonstrate that seizing their land for its own use would better serve "the public interest."]
The essence of the political left is not that they "stand up for the little guy." Modern liberalism is built on the philosophic foundation of alt... Continue reading
Only New York Times "experts" could describe the nationalization of private industries currently taking place in Russia as examples of "corrupt capitalism," rather than as examples of socialism. As defined by novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand, "capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned." Socialism, its antipode, is "a theory or system of social organization which advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production, cap... Continue reading
[Note: This letter was written in response to an article describing how the city was able to close down an adult bookstore on the grounds of the so-called "negative secondary effects" its existence caused, such as attracting criminal types, increasing litter, etc.]
Using zoning laws to close down businesses on the grounds that they create "negative secondary effects" means using the coercive powers of the state to punish one man for the crimes of another.
In the long run, New York City’s... Continue reading
Imagine if Microsoft created substandard products and was able to force all working Americans to pay for them, whether they used them or not, and to force its unsubsidized competitors to only offer products that were essentially similar. Would that be anti-competitive?
Of course, this is not a description of Microsoft—a company that has achieved dominance by offering superior products in a free market—but of our public school system. How ironic, then, and yet how proper, that Joel Klein, the vicious and econo... Continue reading
Reducing the city workforce is the very best thing that Mayor Michael Bloomberg could do to help the economy ["Time to Tighten Up," Jan. 31], not because it would reduce the city's payroll, but because it would reduce the number of bureaucrats who have the power to prohibit peaceful economic activity.
As a New York musician who is forcibly under-employed due to bureaucratic meddling, I hope that the mayor eliminates both the bureaucrats who administer the bizarre cabaret laws that criminalize the hiring of mu... Continue reading
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