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Following up on my post from yesterday, here’s a letter to the editor of EagleNews, the campus paper at Florida Gulf Coast University, aimed mostly at reaching students who identify as modern-day liberals:

President Obama has now fired more cruise missiles than all other Nobel Peace Prize winners combined.

Are you surprised? I mean,  wasn’t Obama the one who was elected on an anti-war platform? Didn’t he condemn Bush’s interventionism in the Middle East? Observe this quote from then Senator Obama in 2007:

‎”The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

Not only has Obama failed to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he has now launched his own war against a country that has not threatened or attacked us. In elementary school, the kid who strutted about the playground punching others who had not hurt him was the much-hated bully. Is Obama any different?

Countless lives, both American and Libyan, are sure to be needlessly lost.

The fact is, both Obama and Bush are nothing more than different brands of the same, crappy product. They differ only as a matter of degree, not principle.

To the betrayed and disheartened liberals: realize that there is no fundamental distinction between Bush’s and Obama’s policies.

The political philosophy that respects and upholds human rights consistently, not just when it is politically convenient, is libertarianism.

If you think we ought to mind our own business and let individuals live their own lives as they see fit, both at home and abroad, you should check it out.

As I mentioned yesterday, now is a great time to reach out to the anti-war element on the left by highlighting the homogeneity of the two parties and offering the pro-liberty alternative. Consider writing a letter to the editor of your campus, community, or national paper.

Also, if you have an opinion on this issue (or others), consider submitting a short piece to SFL’s Liberty Forum Online, a venue for students to exchange and debate ideas.

The one area in which I was even remotely hopeful upon President Obama’s election was foreign policy. After all, it was partly due to Bush’s foreign interventionism that I discovered and embraced libertarianism. But now, as FOX Business’ favorite Judge puts it, it seems we’ve entered Bush’s 3rd term:

Also, check out Cato’s Doug Bandow on The Huffington Post website.

Has there ever been a better time to reach out to those who are now, no doubt, the disenfranchised students of the left?

Allison McCarty is a senior majoring in economics and political science at Pepperdine University and is Vice President of Pepperdine College Libertarians.

Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime. But don’t tell a man to open a restaurant— or he will be eaten alive by self-serving politicians and bureaucrats.

A series of studies by the Institute for Justice, “The Power of One Entrepreneur,” describes how economies benefit when entrepreneurs are free to pursue their dreams. The series also documents political roadblocks that bring entrepreneurship to a grinding halt, thus slowing the recovery of the U.S. economy.

One study highlights the story of Seattle-area business owner Dennis Ballen. The founder of Blazing Bagels, Ballen started the business after being laid off from his job in office supply sales. Starting with a single homemade cart, Dennis developed a thriving bagel shop and deli with three locations and 50 employees. He credits his success to “work, work, work all the time.” Deliveries begin at 4:30 a.m., and Dennis rarely, if ever, takes a day off.

During the recession, Blazing Bagels expanded by 27 percent— providing vital employment and delicious bagels for the community of Richmond, Wash. According to the U.S. Small Business Association, small business owners represent 90 percent of employers and are responsible for 60 to 80 percent of annual net job growth. With unemployment rates hovering around 10 percent, we should encourage— not encumber— the growth of small businesses.

Too often, politicians and bureaucrats do the exact opposite. Entrepreneurship is never easy, but Ballen’s job is further complicated by heavy tax burdens and a complex web of regulations.

Unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation taxes substantially increase the cost of doing business. In Washington, businesses also face the state’s business and occupation tax— which is one of the highest taxes in the nation. Business owners must pay taxes on their gross income, even if they are losing money.

There are the taxes, and then there are the tax penalties. “I missed the deadline [for the unemployment insurance tax] by one day, [and] my quarterly unemployment insurance payment jumped from $850 to $4,500,” Dennis explained. Instead of hiring new employees and expanding his business, Dennis continues to pay off angry bureaucrats.

Excessive regulation is also costly for small businesses. Blazing Bagels must comply with guidelines from the Department of Labor and Industries, the Department of Licensing, the Department of Health, the King County Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Ecology, the state Human Rights Commission and the Department of Revenue.

The Department of Labor and Industries alone issues thousands of pages of regulation. Failing to comply with any given regulation could cost a small business hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.

Regulations may be intended to rein in “Big Business,” but they disproportionately harm everyday entrepreneurs in practice. Large corporations can afford to research and adapt to complex regulations. Small businesses get shafted, and must spend 45 percent more per employee to comply with federal regulation.

Sometimes conflicting or nonsensical regulations make compliance impossible. For example, the Department of Labor and Industries requires that workers be well-hydrated, but other regulatory agencies prohibit drinking water near food preparation areas.

Irrational government interference continually infringes upon Ballen’s right to earn an honest living. Thus far, Blazing Bagels has survived, but other small businesses are not so lucky. Many would-be entrepreneurs decide that the United States is no longer a land of opportunity and surrender their dreams.

To paraphrase Langston Hughes, what happens when an entrepreneur’s dream is deferred? The businessman undoubtedly loses out— and so does the overall economy. We cannot measure the ghosts of economic growth, but we know our economy is haunted by limited economic opportunity, high unemployment and sluggish growth rates.

Politicians seek a metaphorical job creation tree in costly corporate bailouts and stimulus packages. CNNMoney.com estimates that the federal government alone has committed more than $11 trillion to programs designed to revive the economy, but the only clear result is a skyrocketing national debt.

The job creation tree does not grow in Washington. Economies flourish when everyday entrepreneurs like Dennis can freely pursue their self-interest in a manner that benefits their communities. “The Power of One Entrepreneur” suggests that the best— and perhaps the only— way the government can aid economic recovery is to “get out of the way.”

Original post: http://www.pepperdine-graphic.com/perspectives/the-power-of-one-bagel-shop-owner-1.2515200

The episode of The STOSSEL Show filmed at the International Conference will air on Thursday, March 31 at 10pm & 1am ET. Reason and SFL are co-sponsoring a viewing party at Reason HQ and you are invited! We will be gathering at 8:30pm at Reason headquarters for FREE drinks and light refreshments. The show begins at 10pm.

  • What: The STOSSEL Show Viewing Party
  • When: Thursday, March 31st 8:30-11pm
  • Where: Reason HQ: 1747 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Washington D.C. 20009
  • Register: http://www.tfaforms.com/196388

We are excited that the student liberty movement will be showcased on Fox Business, and we hope you can join us in celebration! If you are not in the DC area, consider hosting a viewing party of your own.

Building on last year’s successful summer outreach, Students For Liberty will be awarding student scholarships to two premier libertarian events this summer: FreedomFest in Las Vegas and PorcFest in New Hampshire. All together, SFL will provide 50 scholarships to students to attend these events. The scholarships will cover both registration and housing at the events. Anyone who will be enrolled in college classes in Fall 2011 can apply, but individuals can only receive a scholarship to one event, not both.

Learn more and apply here!

The deadline to apply for either scholarship is Friday, May 6th at 11:59pm Eastern Time.