Walter WilliamsWhat does it take to be able to own and operate a taxi and earn $30,000, $40,000 or more a year? You need to purchase a used car and liability insurance. Compared with other businesses, the startup cost to become a taxi owner/operator is modest; that's until you have to come up with money for a license. In May 2010, the price of a license, called a medallion, to own one taxi in New York City sold for $603,000. As referenced in my recent book, Race and Economics, New York City is not alone. In Chicago, a taxi license costs $56,000, Boston $285,000, and Philadelphia $75,000. It's not rocket science to understand the effect of laws that produce these prices: They discriminate against anyone getting into the taxi business who lacks tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars or bank credit to be able to get a loan.

Becky AkersI was researching REAL ID, the Feds’ scheme to turn driver’s licenses into a national ID, when I stumbled across this bombshell at the National Motorists Association:

Eliminate the Driver License

Georgia State Representative Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta) introduced House Bill 875 in November 2009. The first two sentences of that proposed legislation, better known as the “Right to Travel Act,” summarize what the bill is about: “Free people have a common law and constitutional right to travel on the roads and highways that are provided by their government for that purpose. Licensing of drivers cannot be required of free people because taking on the restrictions of a license requires the surrender of an inalienable right.”

Wow, I thought, that’s incredible! Drivers hardly ever object to the State’s usurping of their right to travel – and if its victims don’t, the politicians benefitting from the whole corrupt system never will.

The tyranny of licensing incenses me; I’ve written several articles advocating its abolition. Opposing the State’s power over our movement, much less the dominance licensing gives it, ought to be a no-brainer. And controlling us is just the beginning of licensing’s wickedness: it also paves a very broad highway into our wallets since it enables government to “sell” us a scrap of paper in the first place and then fine us thereafter.

Yet most folks take this oppression for granted; if they think about it at all, they welcome the State’s “protection.” Even some of liberty’s lovers squawk that licensing keeps dangerous drivers off the roads. And for sure I can’t recall ever before reading that a politician had condemned licensing’s despotism, let alone taken steps to end it. Yet here was a state representative arguing persuasively and from principle that we should never entrust rulers with the authority to decide whether we may drive cars we’ve bought on roads we’ve paid for.

Who is this guy? I wondered. And so I Googled “Bobby Franklin.” Gracious, what a champion of freedom! In one article alone, I read of his “author[ing] HB 3, the Constitutional Tender Act, which would require state transactions to be conducted in gold or silver”; next, I learned that “the east Cobb lawmaker doesn't take kindly to county restrictions on what kind of animal you can have in your yard. So he introduced HB 2, which prevents local governments from interfering with a resident who wants to raise chickens, rabbits or goats”; then he referred to our travelling without asking the State’s permission first as a right “enshrined in the Magna Carta in England in 1215”; I also cheered his “opposition to the government's ability to require vaccinations during a pandemic. He has therefore introduced HB 11, the Freedom from Compulsory Pandemic Act.” For good measure, he vehemently, unashamedly condemns murdering unborn children and promoting official sodomy.

In short, each time government encroached on a Georgian’s natural right, it seemed Mr. Franklin tried to stop such abuse. Granted, his bills seldom if ever passed, but still ... He’s a local Ron Paul, I thought, as I toyed with the idea of moving to his district. He’s astonishing, inspiring; why haven’t I heard of him before?

I came to his entry in Wikipedia – and a sucker-punch felled me. Bobby Franklin, dedicated hero of liberty; devout and unashamed Christian; bold, fearless, consistent defender of the Constitution and the Bible, had died three or four days previous.

Oh, no, Lord God, no, I prayed. Please tell me this is all some horrible mistake...

It wasn’t. His family buried him this past Monday.

I can’t tell you much about that family: Unlike the usual run of elected megalomaniac, Mr. Franklin cherished his privacy. He didn’t drag his wife and kids into the spotlight to convince us he’s just a normal guy in a sociopathic profession; he didn’t belabor us with personal details in the egocentric delusion that we pant for news of Our Masters. He considered his private life no one’s business, and since he not only refrained from prying into our affairs but also tried to prevent his colleagues from doing so, we’ll respect his wishes.

Naturally, a hero tirelessly battling Leviathan in this totalitarian age made an irresistible target for the beast’s cheerleaders. You could probably spend the next month or two reading the vitriol poured on poor Mr. Franklin; you’d also fill a large number of buckets with your half-digested lunch.

My stomach wouldn’t tolerate more than a few such columns, but I was intrigued at the fact that these dimwits seldom if ever addressed Mr. Franklin’s actual arguments and legislation. Instead, they exaggerated and distorted, then vilified him for the resulting straw dogs. For example, here’s a feminist defending her “right” to murder her unborn child and pretending that Mr. Franklin’s proposed law against that would imprison women who miscarry. (Warning: the author’s vocabulary is as impoverished as her intellect, so she relies on vulgarities, profanity and ad hominem attacks to carry her points. She also mistakes anecdotes for proof, subjecting us to a gory description of intensely personal moments. Odd, the limited imagination here: we might just as easily contend for Mr. Franklin’s law with anecdotes memorializing the lives abortion snuffs. Even odder is feminists’ homicidal hatred for an entire class of women: those yet in the womb, awaiting birth.)

I am an anarchist without any faith whatsoever in the State’s benevolence; I’ve seen and suffered too much overwhelming evidence of its evil. It guarantees war, slavery, atrocities, poverty and utter misery, never the peace and prosperity it claims. There is no managing or harnessing it: we must instead extirpate it completely, must flog this lying, thieving, genocidal monster from the face of the earth

Mr. Franklin obviously disagreed with anarchy: he cherished the belief that if we limit government, if we confine it to protecting our rights while preventing it from “redistributing income” and engineering society, it can be a force for good.

Ironically, his life testifies to the practicality of anarchism and the unworkable idealism of “limited” government (we’ll be able to “limit” tornadoes, smallpox and the vanity of the human heart before we succeed in curbing a single bureaucracy, let alone all government). Here we have as heroic a patriot as ever lived, one who indefatigably fought for freedom and who sponsored a multitude of laws to defang Leviathan. Yet few passed, and Georgia continues sliding into tyranny as quickly as any other state.

“Sure,” you say, “but we could restrict government if we had a legislature full of Bobby Franklins – or even half full. We just need more guys like him.”

Which pounds the stake through limited-government’s heart: Bobby Franklin was as rare as he was principled.

Ralph ReilandIt feels like we’re dealing with an Amy Winehouse form of governing. “These overdoses happen because these guys drink 20 beers and then reach for their heroin,” a friend of mine said after the late star’s recent death, at 27. “You can’t think straight once you’re totally blitzed.”

Selwyn DukeWhile discussing socialism on a talk show recently, I was confronted with the question: If “capitalism” is so great, why has it failed? Of course, ever since our financial crisis hit, this query has become all too common.

Thomas SowellMany years ago, the Saturday Evening Post was one of the best-known magazines in America. But somehow I learned that the Saturday Evening Post was actually published on Wednesday morning. That was a little disconcerting at first. But it was one of the most valuable lessons, that words do not necessarily reflect reality.

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