Scott Horton Interviews Will Grigg

Scott Horton, February 22, 2011

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Will Grigg, blogger and author of Liberty in Eclipse, discusses the connection between Federal Reserve monetary policy and increased food prices around the world; the unprecedented scope of US empire (and the correspondingly large payroll); the Jeffersonian, rather than jihadist, nature of protests in Egypt and beyond; the future of militarist oligarchic government, previewed in Madison, Wisconsin; and why all government unions should be abolished, starting with the police.

MP3 here. (18:56)

Will Grigg writes the blog Pro Libertate and is the author of Liberty in Eclipse. Archives of his Pro Libertate Radio show on the Liberty News Radio Network can be found here.

42 Responses to “Will Grigg”

  1. So what would the know-it-all libertarian put in place to make society better? I've been a longtime listener and have yet to hear anything other than whining and complaining about other working people. Is freedom of association a key tenet of any so-called democracy? Yet here you are, Scott, demanding unions be busted. Why? How about having your show shutdown? It's fine for libs to exercise their rights but not others?

    The notion that government can't do anything is another quaint American myth of a frontier existence that no one alive today has experienced, yet it's talked about like libs were there. Livin' the dream in your living room and the dark corners of your mind.

    This is a tragically flawed Romanticism bearing no relationship to reality.

    More than anything libs seem to be crybabies and know-it-alls. Lots of vague assertions with no proof. There's a juvenile aura to libs, which is cute in a way for a 17 year old finding their way in the world of ideas but this half-baked philosophy of Ayn Rand is grossly overrated.

    In short this is an ideology that's best expressed in a beer parlour on a Tuesday afternoon.

  2. I appreciate and Scott's hard work when it comes to US foreign policy, Israel and the war party, but the pro-libertarian slant certainly turns me off. I especially agree with your second paragraph about the notion of government not being able to do anything. Well, when my grandparents were alive, they were getting their social security checks for decades, and the government never missed sending a check. Not once.

    "This is a tragically flawed Romanticism bearing no relationship to reality" – I FULLY agree here.

  3. Unions an example of free association? Hardly. If one owns the business and refuses to associate with them by refusing to deal with them, the guns of government coercion come out and "enforce" the association. So please, you have merely attempted to cloak the true despotic, anti-consumer nature of these government-crony-supported monopoly corporations called unions.

  4. Government run single-payer health care systems provide universal coverage and much better outcomes than the disgusting private system we have in the US. We spend more and get less (and tens of thousands of people die each year because they lack access). There's a simple reason for this: CEO salaries, administrative waste, and paying dividends to "shareholders" soak up premiums that would otherwise be spent to provide care. Our private system is the most inefficient in the world. And it's deadly.

    You may think that owners of wealth should be able to treat workers like draft animals. That's the essential "freedom" you're defending. But ultimately that won't work, unless you want to promote a Nazi like system of police control. People will eventually refuse to starve in harness, and they'll take matters into their own hands. If Koch and company get their way, people will at some juncture cut their throats (along with the throats of their errors and asinines).

  5. "Well, when my grandparents were alive, they were getting their social security checks for decades, and the government never missed sending a check. Not once. "

    Let me let you in on a little "secret." Ponzi schemes rake time to break down. They don't disintegrate 10 seconds after they are created. Get an education.

  6. "Government run single-payer health care systems provide universal coverage and much better outcomes than the disgusting private system we have in the US."

    First off genius we do not have a private system. It is a super over-regulated mess thanks to government. Big Pharma and the insurance companies are merely a big cartel enforced by government regulations. As for universal health-care being better? Thanks for the humor. Now, get an education:

  7. I love it when the leftard parasite worms get cleaned-out by Scott Horton and Will Grigg’s white light.

    Look at them squirm and wriggle under the heat.

  8. Ok enough is enough.

    You are all saying that food prices is causing this. Show me the real proof and not just your esoteric ideas. Show us the proof they are protesting because of food prices….

    Show me one instance where someone in Tahir square said they were protesting because of food prices.

  9. In a tyranny the people are afraid of the government.
    In a democracy the government is afraid of the people. – Thomas Jefferson

  10. Bernie Madoffs "clients" got their checks in the mail for years until…well…you know how that ended

  11. Are you saying that CIGNA and Glaxo-Smith-Klein are not private companies? I imagine you believe the banking system was an over-regulated mess until we finally got rid of Glass-Steagall and set loose all that pent-up financial creativity.

    Should we do away with government-run-a-muck regulations that impede brisk over-the-counter sales of Thalidomide and thereby preventing genius marketeers from plugging it as ideal sleeping aide to help pregnant mothers cope?

    Yes, universal care in France and Sweden are infinitely preferable to the profit-scamming privatized system we have in the US. It seems your brand of libertarianism jives quite nicely with our corporate slime-ocracy. Its cherished goal is to create a utopia of unrestricted exploitation.

    I'm sticking with the Union.

  12. Freedom of Association in democracy? Ok, i dont want to associate with anyone supporting bloodbaths in the middle east or anywhere else for that matter. What, you say? I have to pay for that through my taxes and I'll go to jail if I dont?


    If you call me a crybaby or juvenile for complaining about being forced to pay for the slaughter of millions, (and however else the powers that be decide to rip us off), thats fine.

    anyone whos honestly interested in solutions there are resources, but I expect most people to want to rehash the same old state solutions that have gotten us into the human meat grinder.

  13. Scott: (Part 1)
    The demonstrations here in Madison are not just about pay cuts to balance the state budget. The budget was in the black before Gov. Walker came into office, then the Republicans passed a series of bills to cut taxes (to pay off Walkers major campaign contributors) and put the state in the red. Then he goes on the stump saying we have to cut employee pay/benefits to (pay for these tax cuts) balance the budget. The public employees have taken several pay and benefit cuts in the past few years. The unions have said they would be willing to take all the pay and benefit cuts that Walker has asked for as long as they can maintain their ability to have unions (collective bargaining) and without the unions having to renew their charters every year. Walker said he won't compromise. Which means it is not about the money.

  14. Scott: (Part 2)
    If the unions have to apply for a new charter every year, then all the corporations in Wisconsin should have to apply for a charter to do business every year (and then only Wisconsin organizations can contribute to Wisconsin election campaigns). It's not just about the money, it's about maintaining a level political playing field. Unions are the only political counter balance to corporations in campaign financing.

  15. Scott: (Part 3)
    On your comment that we would all be better if the government dissolved, that would include all the public schools and universities. Madison is a city whose main source of economic where-with-all comes from state sponsored jobs (state government and UW Madison are the biggest employers). If we dissolve the government an economy of a city of 200,000 as well as over 1,000,000 in the county would dissolve as well. I'm not sure you are advocating for that.

  16. Scott: (Part 4)
    You were right when you said you shouldn't talk about this. When you make comments about stuff that I know more about than you and it's an obviously uninformed libertarian knee jerk comment, it undermines your credibility about issues that I am not as informed about. You were only correct that Madison should not be compared to Egypt or any other revolution. Next time, listen to your gut and keep your mouth shut.

  17. It is extremely important that all governments fear the people. It is the only way to assure that they will not become corrupt.

  18. Free Market is different than Fascism. All these corporations are in bed with the government. Theres huge profit in it.

    Regulations only make the situation worse: corporations corrupt the government further…think of former Goldmans Sachs CEO becoming head of the treasury (Henry Paulson) and if i had more time the list would go on.

    This is how the game is played…and no amount of "good regulation" will change it.

  19. R.C. Williams: Seems to me that government is about providing help, assistance and support for those who can't. This is especially true when you consider the fact that government has become the handmaiden to the 'job creators' as some disingenuous spin doctors call them. Fact is most of us won't become filthy rich or famous. There won't be awards and platitudes tossed our way. Why would anyone want to go it alone in this world? No man is an island and without some sort of government, what will you end with? People are communal by design. People will divide themselves in groups and tribes regardless. There's no shame in assisting those who can't.

  20. Whoa, dude. Didn't say anything about supporting wars. Couldn't agree more with you on that point. I didn't mean to suggest you personally are a crybaby but the fact is taxes are a fact of life. In North America the well to do have pretty much decided that they're going to pay as little as possible. Why should others have pick up the bill to pave roads? The rich use them as much as you or I do. What happens to the American state if no one pays taxes? How does anything get done?

    Magic wands perhaps?

    For those who have much, much is expected. That's not the case anymore.

    The question is how do you reinvent the wheel, we all know that square ones and flat ones don't work very well.

  21. Amen, brother! We all know what a life of wealth, privilege, and leisure a public school general science teacher leads as opposed to the underpaid, under-privileged, and over-worked life of an empty-headed radio gab monger. Get a teaching job in a public school, and you'll spend holidays in Acapulco and summers on the Riviera while the proles in private jobs pay for it! If there’s ever been a living example of “false consciousness” it’s got to be Mr. Scott Horton, the airhead of the airwaves.

  22. Hey Bruce, I didnt mean to come across angry. We are all brothers and sisters in this and we have to find solutions…i say peaceful ones. By peaceful, i mean not throwing or threatening to throw people in jail if they dont pay for something. Thats just plain wrong. If you propose a solution involving that, then it doesnt stop with “how to do we pay for the police.” Once down that road, those in power have a free pass to take more and more and come up with any excuse possible “war on terror, drugs, illiteracy etc.” They dont care about ACTUALLY solving these problems, they just want more power and money.

    Now, there are big questions on how to solve problems non violently (or threatening violence). If you are actually curious, which most people arent, you can check out , , and from there the subject grows. But having the solutions ready arent as important as understanding that we need to put down the guns, and stop threatening to throw people in jail if they disagree and wont do/pay for what we want them to.

  23. Hey Bruce, I didnt mean to come across angry. We are all brothers and sisters in this and we have to find solutions…i say peaceful ones. By peaceful, i mean not throwing or threatening to throw people in jail if they dont pay for something. Thats just plain wrong. If you propose a solution involving that, then it doesnt stop with "how to do we pay for the police." Once down that road, those in power have a free pass to take more and more and come up with any excuse possible "war on terror, drugs, illiteracy etc." They dont care about ACTUALLY solving these problems, they just want more power and money.

  24. and i think we need to start with "put down the guns!" If I disagree and wont go along with some regulation, what do you support happening to me? If i dont pay my taxes, dont follow a regulation etc. is the solution "send people with guns to throw them in jail,"… In my book, thats sick and immoral and we need to accept that fact.

    Solutions to the tremendous problems of the state? Well, would you have said in 1860, "we cant let these slaves go, we need to know exactly where they are going to live, how they will make a living, etc., etc.??? (for ideas, check out, and thats a start.

  25. no problem assisting man….people are generally very helpful. just dont point a gun in my face if i decide not to follow some dictate. Thats the problem. In a society let by government, its all not so veiled threats of "follow this, pay this, or men with guns are coming to throw you in jail." There has GOT to be a better way, for heavens sake.

  26. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Objectivism News, food4thethinkrs. food4thethinkrs said: Will Grigg « Antiwar Radio with Scott Horton and Charles Goyette via @AddThis [...]

  27. that's a bit harsh … so tell me, when did drafting people to be public school teachers start?
    left all teary-eyed with remembrance of my 7th grade English teacher who frequently brought his ouija board to the classromm and held seances.

    you're missin' the whole point.; deliberately so, the better as deflect critique.

    the teachers & co. are the only volunteers in the entire school racket. everyone else is forced – as in the application of State violence – to pay and/or participate. it doesn't matter how shitty the school YOU WILL GO and YOU WILL PAY.

  28. oh. my. god. it's the potholes-in-the-roads argument.

    If Jefferson only knew how much more important potholes are when compared to the juvenile quaintness of Liberty.

  29. R. C., others have mentioned the Ponzi aspects – it is a FRAUD for many reasons besides. My landlord has to maintain my security deposit in an interest-bearing account – no so Sam & his SS scheme.

    Think – no certain – you will find LBJ & Co. looted SS and went to a casino in Saigon.

    No, the money is long gone, it's all steal from the next guy and hey, I'm Uncle Sam and I'll do what ever I f*ck*ng please – so there!

  30. Will Grigg is brilliant, as usual. Every time I listen to him or read something that he has written, I am struck not only by his breadth and depth of knowledge, but also his ability to concisely and eloquently deliver profound and insightful commentary on virtually any topic.

  31. If Stansberry's right this whole discussion will be moot sometime this year. America's on its self-induced skids. When the gross national income of all taxpayers won't pay the interest on the national debt, crunch time isn't far away. Union and non-union alike will get bitten, but ordinary Americans are about to get a good look at what made Unions important once-upon-a-time.

  32. Quoting Jefferson was an apt approach, and one that leads me to offer the following observation:

    Looking at america from the outside peering inward, it appears that america is host to a cold war and has been for several decades. This cold war is unlike the former cold war condition maintained between america and the USSR. Here, we see america facing a cold revolutionary war. The opposing sides have both inflicted casualties upon each other, albeit disproportionately. From the massacre at Kent State University to the more recent armed struggle against what the american regime calls the "militia movement" and "right wing extremism", the world has witnessed america at war with itself. It is important to note that there have been instances of violence committed by americans against "their" government. Indeed, both sides have been inflicting casualties upon their "enemy" for decades.

    The cold war condition appears to be a result of the fact that both sides in this affair appear to be sufficiently afraid of the other. On the one hand; the citizens live in absolute fear of "their" government – knowing full well that "their" government will kill them before relinquishing control. On the other hand; the american populace is an armed society and, as such, there always exists the possibility that armed insurrection could be successful in taking control from the regime. Therefore, a state of cold revolutionary war persists between the american regime and those whom it seeks to rule.

    Your comment gets a "thumbs up".

  33. You can't eat a ballot.
    Pragmatism trumps Idealism.
    Things that actually work are really neat.
    Does someone die in a foreign, colonial misadventure thinking that their personal sacrifice will preserve 'Liberty'?
    Even when Rights and Freedoms are granted by men with public consensus and can be revoked by men at any time?
    Using the flimsiest of excuses:
    "They hate us for our Freedoms".
    Really? I thought it carpet bombing.
    How silly of me.
    I like things that work.
    I like roads that don't require a pack mule to traverse.
    Makes it easier to get to work (if you're fortunate to have a job).

  34. "…obviously uninformed libertarian knee jerk comment"

    Typical idiot leftist knee jerk response. I can play that game too. How about you keep your mouth shut, he who knows so little? Your ignorance is typical but tiresome. Good day.

  35. "What happens to the American state if no one pays taxes? How does anything get done?"

    To the first question, who cares? To the second, are you really saying that nothing would get done without the existence of the state? I realize we're to some extent in the realm of the hypothetical here, but I don't think people would sit around waiting to die without the state telling them what to do. I'd say most of gets done now happens in spite of, not because of, the state.

  36. What about the "despotic, anti-consumer (and worker) nature of these government-crony-supported monopoly corporations"?

  37. CIGNA and Glaxo may be nominally private companies, but they depend massively on government interventions for their success. Same with the banks. There are two kinds of regulations: the kind that protect consumers and workers and the kind that protect the corporations from competition and help ensure their profitability. I think you're overlooking the second kind, which I'd say are the cause of so many of the problems that make the other regulations, the kind you favor, necessary.

  38. Is the American empire on the way out? Shit, I hope so. The main things the U.S. exports today are war and warmongering. Of course, the U.S. Government itself is lawless. What this country needs is nullification and/or secession, as the case may be. . . .

    I agree with Grigg that police unions are especially harmful. They exist only to protect the interests of their hide-behind-the-badge miscreants.

  39. Parasites?!
    Teachers? Professors? Firefighters? Postmen? Park Service?
    Scott, are these the parasites you were referring to?
    Really? are these the people that are ruining our Government? Really?
    Unions gave us 5 day work week and fought for safety in the work place!

    True, some unions have grown into corrupt organizations that do not serve the society or even their members and those must be investigated and changed accordingly. The police serve their Ruling Class masters and like good guard dogs and will be give a bone after every bark and bite.

    But, I'm sorry where Libertarianism breaks down for me is this place where some how we are supposed to entrust Corporations with everything rather than a active democratic government.
    It seems very misguided.
    This means a commodification of everything. It seems to allow for child labor, slave labor, higher education for elites only, environmental destruction as long as the markets bears… granted we are headed that way now but this is after many years of good education and no slavery, and no child labor.

    Libertarianism seems to be a theoretical ideal that is not grounded in actual social problems and solutions.

    It seems very white and very white male.

    Outside of that Scott, I love your show and your stand on rights of the individual, war and foreign policy. I don't miss an episode and think you are one the finset additions to Pacifica in a very long time. Congrats.
    Long, long time listener and contributor. I miss the music lead in BTW. haha!

  40. Walker = Ferdinand Marcos (and loads of other dictators); union protesters = People Power rebels (and other rebels). Tea-partiers = typical pro-dictator thugs.

  41. Lawrence :
    “So please, you have merely attempted to cloak the true despotic, anti-consumer nature of these government-crony-supported monopoly corporations called unions.”

    Lawrence, do you really think human beings are to be considered “consumers” ? This is a strange philosophy. People do not exist simply to buy and sell shit, sorry.

  42. Will Grigg is the man, and writes beautifully.

    It is an error though, to phantasize about the nature of the Egyptian and Tunisian intifadas as opposed to the protests in Madison. The Egyptian uprisings for years have been underpinned by workers, this is a fact that those who have bothered to look into the history of the region know about.

    The simple fact is that the struggles in Egypt and in Madison are not so much about money as they are about POWER. And the labor unions provide a balance to the the power of the business/govt kleptocracies.

    It always makes me chuckle how some naively believe that a corporation can be a more moral institution than a government. They’re both tyrannies.

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