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Fearless Philosophy For Free Minds: Fearless Philosophy Blogpost of the Month (April 2006)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Fearless Philosophy Blogpost of the Month (April 2006)

April’s selections present a couple of firsts for the Fearless Philosophy Blogpost of the Month worth noting: the first 2-time winner, the first time 2 posts came from the same blog (by separate authors), and the first time 2 previous winners appeard in the same month (and from the very first FPBPOTM no less). I am sure I will think of a couple of other ‘firsts’ later but I’ll resist the temptation to bore my readers with such trivial matters…

Third Place goes to Kevin of The Liberal Wrong Wing with his post: The Minimum Wage is Bad Economics. Yes, the minimum wage is bad economics and Kevin does a masterful job of explaining why:

To raise the minimum wage, ironically, hurts those it intends to benefit the most. Unskilled, poor and young workers will be hurt the most. Those who have minimum wage jobs now would inevitably lose jobs in the event of a minimum wage increase. Those who live in poverty would only seep further into poverty for their jobs would be lost. It is better to have a [low paying] job rather than no job at all.
Statists on the left often use the appeal to emotion fallacy by using such terms as ‘living wage’ (as opposed to ‘entry level wage’) to promote their statist agenda masquerading as people who care about ‘the common man’. For anyone who assumes that minimum wage laws help the poor, I strongly suggest to read Kevin’s post.

Second Place goes to Brad Warbiany of The Liberty Papers who asks the question that many of us who voted for Bush (myself included) in the last election are asking: Why Did I Vote for You? Brad pulls no punches in this post and his honesty is refreshing. This is not the typical ‘Bush bashing’ that is commonplace on the left. Though I do not agree with all (but most) of Brad’s criticizms, all are well-reasoned and articulatley argued. Among his criticizms are Bush’s signing of McCain-Feingold, ‘No Child Left Behind’ without the voucher provision, his perscription drug bill he successfully passed through congress using some ‘fuzzy math’, his unwillingness to veto a single bill after making threats to veto, and hiding behind an undeclared ‘war on terror’ to imprison American citizens without due process. Would we put up with this kind of conduct from a Democrat president?

On the other hand, Brad’s original question tends to answer itself; though many of us may have buyer’s remorse for voting for George W. Bush, how much more remorseful would we be right now if we had successfully voted in Al Gore in 2000 or John Kerry in 2004? Sadly, the field of potential presidential canidates in 2008 does not seem to offer any better choices for liberty-minded voters.

This is Brad’s third selection to the top three (first, second).

And the winner is…

The Fearless Philosophy Blogpost of the Month for the Month of April 2006 goes to Eric Cowperthwaite of The Liberty Papers with his post simply titled: The War on Drugs. If my post does not convince you that the war on drugs is a complete failure and is one of the gravest threats to liberty, perhaps Eric’s post will:

Lest anyone think I’m simply a libertine who wants to get high, think again. It’s quite clear that these drugs are bad things, destructive of mind and body. The problem is, who gets to choose whether I will destroy my mind and body with cocaine? I’m continuously amazed that the same people who believe a woman should be able to choose whether to get an abortion, or not, the same people who believe in a "right to die", are people who think it should be illegal for me to choose to smoke marijuana. Either my body is my own to do with as I please, or it is not.
From there, Eric delves into the human cost of the war on drugs and its threats to the individual’s life, liberty, and property. From the innumerable examples of lives this war on drugs has destroyed, Eric holds up a pair of individuals who were denied justice: Eugene Siler and Cory Maye. The treatment of these men is not atypical and is not the type of treatment a free society should let stand.

Eric closes with his assessment of what the war on drugs cost and to the extent it has been successful:

[E]very additional dollar spent on fighting drugs has done nothing to stop the violence and the corruption. In fact, although violent crime per capita has dropped considerably in this country, it has increased in the inner cities where drugs and drug gangs fight their battles for turf and profits. The use of drugs and alcohol has increased, not decreased. The import and sale of drugs to this country has increased ten fold since the 1950’s. Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama and Colombia are virtually dominated by drug cartels.
This is Eric’s second first place selection (June 2005) and third selection to the top three (March 2005, third place). Eric has announced that he will be soon leaving the blogosphere due to changes in his personal and professional life. I know that I am not alone when I say that he will be greatly missed. If you haven’t read his writings at The Liberty Papers or Eric’s Grumbles Before the Grave, you are missing out on some of the best Classical Liberal writing anywhere.

Congratulations to all of this month’s winners. Be sure to come back next month because you never know - your post could be the next Fearless Philosophy Blogpost of the Month!


Anonymous Eric said...

Thanks Stephen, very much!

3:56 PM  

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