Mission Statement

Welcome to the Hoosier Libertarian!
My purpose in starting this blog is to present the case for Libertariansim in both theory and action. I shall draw heavily upon the works of John Locke, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Murray Rothbard, Lew Rockwell, Ron Paul, Thomas Woods, Andrew Napolitano, and others.
So sit back and enjoy the ride.
Oh, by the way, you may want to fasten your seatbelt it's going to be a bit turbulent at times. (I may even address actual elections.)

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Death Of An Old Friend

Today my wife and I went downtown to look for bargains at the Border's Bookstore closing sale. It was a most melancholy experience.

The cafe where I have spent a few hours resting and relaxing from the hustle and bustle of downtown Christmas shopping, enjoying a coffee or two while I perused the periodicals and books offered for sale, is no more. It was one of the first areas of the store to go. Even the comfortable chairs are gone, stacked to the side awaiting sale of the store's fixtures.

The rest of the store has that picked over look that descends upon the unlucky enterprise that is about to be no more. Everything is marked down 25 to 50%. It would seem that bargains should abound. but they do not. The area where a true buy can be found is in the magazine section where everything is marked down 50%, because nobody discounts current issue magazines. The books are marked down 25 to 30% of retail, which means that you can still buy them cheaper on Amazon, especially if it's in ebook form. Yet shoppers were gleefully taking away shopping bags full of books.

Border's, the chain, is in trouble, having filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and whether or the closing of this store and others around the state and nation will stem the hemorrhaging of red ink only time will tell. The biggest hurdle they face is a corporate culture which failed to embrace change and maintained a business plan that was workable in the 1980's and 90's, but was not ready for the e-commerce of the 21st century. They did not deeply discount books after an initial new book discount of usually 30-40%. Their web presence is an afterthought without the deep discounts of their competitors. They did not adopt a signature e-reader platform. E-readers are currently the top sellers for both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. While there may be some nostalgia for the feel and comfort of the printed edition, the ability to have your entire library at your fingertip, any time and any place, is intoxicating. The printed word may be going the way of iceboxes, B&W TV and PONG.

The bottom line here is that regardless of the root cause, the market works. Over saturation of the market is deadly. If you look at the make up of the market in Indianapolis for bookstores, within a two mile stretch of 82nd Street you will find two Border's and one Barnes & Noble. Throw in the Downtown Border's and something has got to go. The most logical choice would have been the Border's in Castleton but it's location in the mall gives them prestige and visibility. I'm sure they pay dearly for that space. The bookstore there has a very limited selection. The location next to the Fashion Mall has a larger selection and a devoted clientele. This location and the Downtown location should have been the ones to stay.

The other question the closing of the Downtown Border's raises is the fate of some prime retail space. Will the downtown area ever finish it's stalled renaissance or will it slide back into disrepair and despair. What effect will the parking meter changes have of the area's vitality? Can the reputation it's getting for crime and violence be eliminated? Will the downtown panhandler problem ever truly be fixed? This last issue had a huge impact on the desirability of visiting the Downtown Border's.

In the meantime the bargain hunters continue to whittle away at the remaining inventory like a cancer robbing the body of nutrients. The store has taken on the aura of an old friend who is quietly wasting away and waiting for death. Rest in Peace, my friend, rest in peace.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Smoking Ban "Hypocrazies", Nanny McState

When it comes to the Indiana State Legislature it looks as if it's business as usual, new regime same old Progressive agenda. Let's toss Liberty and Self-responsibility out and bring in the Nanny State. The House Public Health Committee voted, 9-3, this afternoon to pass the statewide smoking ban, exempting only casinos and horsetracks.

Money talks.

Bars and taverns are not exempted at this point nor are Cigar Bars or Tobacco shops. I guess they're not as important as Gambling Establishments.

Let us consider the case of a cigar store owner. No food is served. No alcohol is available. The only products are cigars and tobacco products and accessories. Let us also assume that this establishment is owned by a retiree and he is the sole employee. No one else works there. He started this store because of his love of cigars. The store is open 6-8 hours/day. He has become something of an expert and customers often seek out his advice, much in the way a wine enthusiast may seek the opinion of a sommelier.

Under the proposed ban he will not be allowed to sample a new cigar in his own store in order to provide advice for his customers.

Who is being harmed and needs to be protected by the expanded ban?

Does he not have the right run his business to best of his ability?

Is he any less deserving of an exemption because he does not have the lobbying clout of the casinos and horsetracks?

Hats off to those Liberty conscious legislators who voted against this travesty.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Game's Afoot

Silly Season, otherwise known as the state legislative session has descended upon Indianapolis and it seems that the primary goal of the first few days is to play childish political games.

I will be posting my thoughts and recommendations regarding the introduced Bills beginning this weekend.