Monthly Archives: January 2006

If It Can Happen Over There, Why Not Here?

Last week I learned of the death of Sir John Cowperthwaite, 90. You may ask, “Who?” I certainly did. But I soon found out that this British colonial administrator was one of the unsung heroes of the 20th century. According to the Telegraph, Cowperthwaite was Financial Secretary of Hong Kong throughout the 1960’s, creating “conditions for very rapid growth” and “laying the foundations of the colony’s prosperity as an international business centre:”::::::

Cowperthwaite himself called his approach “positive non-intervention”. Personal taxes were kept at a maximum of 15 per cent; government borrowing was wholly unacceptable; there were no tariffs or subsidies. Red tape was so reduced that a new company could be registered with a one-page form.::::::Cowperthwaite believed that government should concern itself with only minimal intervention on behalf of the most needy, and should not interfere in business. In his first budget speech he said: “In the long run, the aggregate of decisions of individual businessmen, exercising individual judgment in a free economy, even if often mistaken, is less likely to do harm than the centralised decisions of a government, and certainly the harm is likely to be counteracted faster.”

::::::(Let’s remind ourselves that the people of Hong Kong didn’t pay federal, state, and local taxes; the maximum 15% tax rate mentioned above were not just for one layer of government, it was all that they had to pay.)::::::What happened during Cowperthwaite’s ten years as Financial Secretary of Hong Kong? Despite minimal government spending on health and education,“statistics for mortality and disease showed steady improvement,” with:::

a 50 per cent rise in real wages, and a two-thirds fall in the number of households in acute poverty. Exports rose by 14 per cent a year, as Hong Kong evolved from a trading post to a major regional hub and manufacturing base.

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Yesterday’s Downsizer-Dispatch

In this issue . . .::::::

  • Growth numbers:::
  • Gary Nolan to host The Downsize DC Conference Call on Sunday::::::Thanks to all those who participated in the Patriot Act Call-In Day on Wednesday, and especially to those who posted comments about it on the Blog.::::::
  • 1,470 messages have been sent to date opposing the new bills to regulate grassroots lobbying.:::
  • 34,629 messages have been sent to date opposing the Patriot Act extension::::::Eleven people have left comments on the Blog about the Call-In experience. It seems that a number of Congressional offices did get a bit overwhelmed. This bodes well for the future. We need to reach the point where we can gain Congress’s undivided attention in order to compell passage of RTBA, and other Downsize DC legislation that will follow. Toward that end, our army of DC Downsizers has continued to grow . . .::::::
  • 10,295 DC Downsizers are now registered to use our online lobbying system.:::
  • 212,916 Downsize DC messages have been sent to Congress to date.::::::We’ll have an additional report for you next week about the growth of our supporter-created media database. Speaking of media . . .::::::Gary Nolan, the Chairman of the Board of DownsizeDC.org, will be guest hosting for Jim Babka on The Downsize DC Conference Call radio show on Sunday. You may know Gary from his work as a radio talk show host and as a former candidate for the LP’s presidential nomination. You can listen to the show at… ::::::GCNLive.com (click on Listen Live) ::::::The show is live… ::::::Eastern: 5pm – 6pm :::Central: 4pm – 5pm :::Mountain: 3pm – 4pm :::Pacific: 2pm – 3pm :::Alaska: 1pm – 2pm :::Hawaii: Noon – 1pm ::::::Jim Babka will be back from his West Coast tour next week and we’ll be moving forward with a host of exciting new projects. Stay tuned, and thanks for being a DC Downsizer. ::::::Perry Willis:::Communications Director
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    The War Made Me Do It

    George Bush held a news conference Thursday morning. He fielded some tough questions. The TV press, pretending this event was no more than a sporting event, gave him high grades for his performance. ::::::I realized, while I was “living in hotels,” that I really don’t miss the 24 hour news networks. We don’t have cable TV in our home. MSNBC, CNN, and Fox are really redundant and unimpressive. In the view of these networks (especially CNN) Oprah, giving whats-his-name some heck for writing a novel when everyone else thought he was writing a biography, was far more interesting than George Bush. ::::::But what Bush had to say should’ve brought down the house (and the senate too). When asked about unwarranted wiretapping of Americans, Bush basically said that we’re at war. When Congress authorized war (please, someone, tell me when they made an official declaration of war?), they were implicity authorizing him to do whatever it takes to insure American security. ::::::Paraphrasing Flip Wilson, the president was saying, “The War made me do it.” ::::::I’ve shared this quote so many times, it feels trite to me. But I keep repeating it because it’s true – “War is the health of the State.” War is the ultimate Big Government program. ::::::Here is George W. Bush illustrating this principle for us.

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    Patriot Act Call-In Day

    Leave a comment here to tell us about your phone calls to Congress. Did you get a busy signal?

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    Let’s Experiment

    Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .::::::A host of organizations are conducting a Call-In Day to oppose the Patriot Act. We’re going to participate, but with a twist. We want to learn how easy, or difficult, it is to overwhelm Congressional phone lines. With so many groups behind this effort, its possible this could happen. So . . .::::::Please call your Representative and your two Senators right now and ask them to oppose the Patriot Act extension. We’ll give you two ways to find the phone numbers below. Keep trying until you get through. Then, please go to the Downsize DC blog and leave a comment to the posting titled “Patriot Act Call-In Day.” Let us know that you made the calls. We want to track participation. Plus, make a special note of whether or not you got a busy signal at any point. This information will be especially useful as we prepare our tactics for the “Read the Bills Act.”::::::Let’s overwhelm Congress’s phone lines!::::::What number should you call? The easiest way to get the names and numbers for your Rep. and Senators is to send a message using our lobbying system. We provide the information to you as soon as your message is transmitted. Choose one of the following campaigns by clicking on the links . . .::::::

  • Send a message to oppose regulation of organizations like DownsizeDC.org if you have not already done so. Or, . . . ::::::
  • Send another electronic message opposing the Patriot Act extension (this way you hit them on this issue using two weapons on the same day).::::::Let’s try it. Let’s find out what happens. Can we overwhelm Congress’s phone lines? Go forth and conquer!::::::Perry Willis:::Communications Director:::DownsizeDC.org, Inc.
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    Don’t let Congress hide from you

    Yesterday’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . . ::::::First, some good news, and then a very important action item about attempts to regulate groups like DownsizeDC.org. :::

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    James Wilson joins Downsize DC Team

    James Wilson joins Downsize DC Team

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    The Word Spreads, Part 3

    More and more bloggers are writing about the “Read the Bills Act.” You can read the latest example here.

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    The Word Spreads, Part 2

    The Word Spreads, Part 2

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    The Word Spreads, Part 1

    Wendy McElroy makes a favorable mention of Downsize DC and the “Read the Bills Act” in a column on LewRockwell.com.::::::Check it out!

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