A Call for Renaming “Special Interests”

Though it may be quite hard, since interest groups are as old as the republic, we should demand a change in the common misapplication of the term “Special Interests.”  It’s a term that is overstated and underaddressed.  Practically every politician, including newcomers to the political arena, arouses support for going after and eliminating “Special Interests.”  Since any such pledge is rarely if ever achieved, at least we should eliminate the use of the term in political jargon and substitute in its place a term that better describes the statutory and regulatory phenomenon of conveying legal privilege to certain groups.  I think a more appropriate term might even rally more action against unjust legal privileges.

Why? Special connotes the feeling of “unusual in a good way” or “better or more important than others” or “especially important or loved”.  Or so says Mr. Webster.  The real truth is that “Special Interests”, except among the group members, is anything but loved.  The relationship among group interests is more like a “CLASH” than love – more on the origin of that term and its use later.  There is always an exception to the rule; and that, in the subject question, applies to any group that has successfully hoodwinked the public, via its advertising campaign and other deceptive means, into believing that EVERYONE is a part of the group.  The farm lobby immediately comes to mind.  I am sure that we could name others if we think about it a bit.

At a bare minimum legislative activists and practical anarchists should call those, to whom the term applies, anything but “Special”.  Perhaps then eventually everyone will be persuaded.

What then would be a good substitute for the term “Special” in Special Interests?  What about “Caste”?   Once more relying on Mr. Webster for a definition – Caste: “a division of society based on differences of wealth, inherited rank or privilege, occupation, or race”.

Not perfect, yet “Caste” interests in the United States and more particularly in Missouri are certainly granted privileges, albeit granted by the State but not a privilege that is gained as a result of birth or standing of race.

If we call the groups that receive the benefits from the privilege conveyed by the State castes, shouldn’t we call the legislators Caste Creators?

In his 1945 essay, A Clash of Group Interests, which remains valid and timely today, Ludwig von Mises, who first called such interests “Castes”, argues that there is a clash of group interests and it is the state that has created them.

Mises correctly describes the lobbying process that produces this clash:  “Each privileged caste aims at the attainment of new privileges and the preservation of old ones.  Each underprivileged caste aims at the abolition of its disqualifications.”

Unfortunately, due to the theory of “concentrated benefits and dispersed costs”, the awarding of privileges is successful and continues to expand, rather than contract.

In this same essay, Mises also argues that the only real resolution is to do away with any form of Statism.

While we are working on that, let’s call Special Interests “Castes” and the legislators that support these interests “Caste Creators”.  That’s exactly what they are.   Bruce-thumbnail

Bruce Hillis 9/12/16


How is Missouri doing?

We have seven Royals and six Cardinals going to the All-Star game, the most in the majors. The Cardinals have the best record in major-league baseball and the Royals the best record in the American League.

From the baseball point of view, things could hardly be better in Missouri. But in terms of the economic well being of Missourians, things could hardly be worse.

Missouri GDP growth is ranked 46th LOWEST in the country.

OMG, Missouri is ranked lower than Illinois, the paradigm of state basket cases. Americans for Prosperity is right. This dismal showing has much to do with Missouri’s being a Forced-Union state. Our Democrat Governor bears much responsibility for this as well.

Please contact your Senator and Representative and encourage them to vote to override the Governor’s veto of the Right to Work legislation. Look up your Senator here:  and your Representative here.     Troglo


Political Quickie: Donald Trump just called his hotel guests stupid!

Did he say that?  Well, not exactly – but he did say, in his presidential announcement speech, “Free trade is terrible.  Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have people that are stupid.”

In the same speech he declared the need for a “talented and smart” leader (President) to conduct trade negotiations and abandon the free-trade model. One must question whether “The Donald” understands the concept of “Free Trade”.

Is it possible that he was only talking about trade between countries and not trade between individuals, like his resort guests?  Think about it, how could he have implied that?  There is no trade been countries (except for the goods consumed by the governments themselves;) there is only trade between individuals or their contracted representatives.

And all such trade, to be truly free, must be negotiated only between such individuals or their representatives, without the intervention of governments and their leaders.  Trade negotiations conducted between government leaders is not “free trade;” it is “managed trade”, usually managed via quotas, tariffs or other restrictions.

I think it’s fair to assume that when Trump refers to trade that he is talking about only international trade, which would include the trade that he conducts with his international resort guests. Let’s further assume, for this illustration, that the trades conducted at resorts owned by Trump follow his advice that only the “talented and smart” should negotiate for hotel rooms.

So are Trump’s guests smart or are they stupid?  If they are stupid, do they have talented government agents negotiating for them?  If not, should they?  Trump has resorts in the U.S. and at least five other countries.  Should the leaders of these countries negotiate the rates for Trump’s stupid guests or set quotas or protective tariffs to benefit the competing hotels owned by local citizens?  That’s exactly the way Donald Trump wants to negotiate for the products we (as individuals) buy from China.

He has previously called for a 25% tariff on all Chinese products.  That is effectively negotiating a 25% price increase for us.  How stupid does Trump think we are?

While I may come to trust Trump to negotiate government purchases, I do not trust him to make my purchase decisions or even to negotiate on my behalf.

To show him how smart we are, let’s extend Trump’s call for tariffs to his resort business and advocate for a 25% tariff on all resort revenue, as well as call for the imposition of maximum occupancy quotas for each of his international hotels.

Do you think that then he would come to understand the concept of “Free Trade”?   Bruce-thumbnail

Bruce Hillis

Notes: To learn what free trade really is, read Senator DeMInt here. For currency manipulation see this. Also regarding currency manipulation, look up the Nazi collaborating George Schwarz, now known as Soros, the black knight of progressive extremism who made fortunes harming governments worldwide.

A Century of Masked Robbery


For almost a hundred years private beauty schools have been masking their true motives. This masquerade is designed to enrich the owners of these schools by robbing citizens, especially those pursuing an occupation in barbering or cosmetology.

Beauty schools don’t commit robbery by burglarizing homes or by sticking a sawed-off shotgun in the face of their victims, but by what is better described as “strong-armed” robbery – using the strong arm of the law.

How do beauty schools use the law to enrich themselves? Specifically, they use cosmetology licensure laws that they have promoted, which require the purchase of costly courses that can legally be offered only by licensed beauty schools. These courses are required by state statutes, enacted at the behest of these beauty schools, before prospective cosmetologists, barbers, manicurists & estheticians may pursue gainful employment.

The title of a post by Matthew Yglesias in Slate Magazine pretty much says it all: “Beauty Schools Are Ripping off Their Students. Terrible Licensing Rules Deserve Some of the Blame”.

Have I unmasked the motives of beauty schools yet?

Continue reading

Political Quickie: Marco Rubio for President?

Marco Rubio has disqualified himself by reason of his position on Economic Freedom. Economic Freedom is not just a Republican issue. It is directly correlated to the prosperity of all Americans.

The freedom to trade is one of the principal determinants in the calculation of the amount of Economic Freedom enjoyed by a country or other jurisdiction. Rubio wants to continue to trade the Economic Freedom of Americans for the exertion of political pressure, via an embargo on Cuba, to achieve increased freedoms for Cubans. He wants the national constituency to pay for benefits to his Cuban-born constituency, tenuous though the underlying argument may be.

This philosophy is fundamentally flawed. While the premise may be hidden from as many as were duped by Gruber, it is nothing less than trading one person’s freedom for the freedom of another. It is comparable to exchanging the freedom of one to buy shoes for another’s freedom to buy socks – either way someone’s feet suffer.

Political intervention in domestic and international trade and commerce has helped drop the US from near the top in Economic Freedom to 12th on the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World Index.

We hope Americans will exert pressure on Washington to remove the barriers that restrict Economic Freedom in the United States.   Bruce-thumbnail

Bruce Hillis

OK Show-Me candidates for office – a Texan is showing You!

His state ranked fourth, behind only Delaware and two Canadian provinces on the 2013 Index of Economic Freedom of North America, current Texas Governor Rick Perry has long touted Texas’s economic prosperity, resulting from the relatively low level of taxation and regulation, two of the principal components of economic freedom.

The desire to enhance economic freedom must be spreading in Texas or else there is something in the Lone Star state’s water that prompted the 2014 candidate for governor to announce an initiative that, if implemented, would certainly help create jobs and propel economic growth and freedom in Texas even higher.

Texas attorney general and candidate for Governor, Greg Abbott, has proposed reforming his state’s occupational licensing requirements for jobs that have no direct impact on consumer health or safety, doing away with most.   Continue reading