The Atlas Society Asks Howie Rich

December 30, 2021 00:57:27
The Atlas Society Asks Howie Rich
The Atlas Society Presents - The Atlas Society Asks
The Atlas Society Asks Howie Rich
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Show Notes

Join The Atlas Society CEO Jennifer Grossman as she talks with the co-founder of U.S. Term Limits, Howie Rich, about the case, efforts, and support for limiting the congressional terms of politicians on the local, state, and federal levels. Listen as they also discuss Howie Rich's longtime activism in the liberty movement and how Atlas Shrugged started him on this path. All this and more on the 85th Episode of the Atlas Society Asks

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:01 Hello everyone. And welcome to the 85th episode of the Atlas society asks. My name is Jennifer on geographic admin. My friends call me JAG. I'm the CEO of the Atlas society. We are the leading nonprofit, introducing young people to the ideas of iron Rand in fun, creative ways like animated videos and graphic novels. Today, we are joined by an old friend of mine, somebody who rarely grants, interviews, and that's how we rich before I even get into introducing him. I want to remind all of you who are watching us, whether you are with us here on zoom, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, you can use the chat, uh, section to type in your comments and we will get to as many questions as we can. Now, how are you rich? Uh, is of course the co-founder of us term limits, which supports limits on, uh, length of office for officials at the local state and federal levels. Um, he is a successful real estate investor who these days, and for many, many years has been, uh, investing in promoting reform of education, property, rights, protection, and government accountability, Howie. It's great to see you. Speaker 1 00:01:31 It Speaker 0 00:01:31 Has too long. So as mentioned, you've been involved in promoting various areas of public policy and reform, but most of your work has been devoted to pushing for term limits for elected officials, term limits. Uh, people may not know have a history stretching back to ancient Athens and Rome. Uh, the United States of course passed the 22nd amendment to the constitution back in 1951, limit the presidency to two terms. So, um, for the uninitiated, what is the political rationale for term limits? Speaker 1 00:02:17 Oh, if you're a number of them, new faces, new ideas for longer, they're an office, a bigger than spenders. They are even studies on that. It's what happens over time. Mainly to Republican Democrats. When they start out, they like governments. Maybe they get a little better at it as time goes on, but it's not much of a change among Republicans. Most of them would not all start out being free markets, small government types. And over time they get co-op and that is the fall reelection rates are enormous. Meet us the direction. Speaker 0 00:03:12 Uh, no, you favor term limits three house terms and two Senate terms. Is that correct? Okay. Um, and, uh, doing a little bit of research, you, uh, argued for them in terms of adverse pre-selection. I had to look that one up. Um, so maybe if you could help to explain it to us. Uh, and, um, is it your contention that the very high reelection rates for incumbents? I think you've cited as high as 95%. Um, and the seniority system that, uh, is, are they discouraging qualified new candidates from running Speaker 1 00:03:56 Adverse pre-selection and interesting concept, suppose there's a successful person who thinks, oh, maybe I'll run for the house of representatives because I want to do something. I want to change something. It could be somebody on the right, somebody on the left. And I want, I wanna, I wanna, I wanna reform, I want to do something. Maybe I want smaller government. Maybe I want lower taxes. Maybe you want to, you know, cut back on regulations or whatever the problem is. If you don't have term limits and you're a successful person, you say, oh, if I run for office, I have to wait my turn. It's going to take me and use 20 years, maybe wonder first, I got a young subcommittee down on the committee and you know, I'm going to be a junior. Speaker 1 00:04:58 It's all based on seniority. It's like a labor union. And so every pre-selection where we see it is that the best people on average don't run, why would I run facing this thing? I'm going to be a rookie. And some political hack is going to control what I do. But if you have real tournaments, the three house terms, you mentioned, Jennifer changes the dynamic completely. Now I'm going to run and I can do what I was elected to do whatever that is. And then I'm going to go back to whatever I did before a doctor, lawyer, entrepreneur, or whatever. And so that's the rationale there was, we think is it's almost like the invisible hand. There are people who should be running, don't run because it's all based on CDR. Speaker 0 00:06:01 All right, well, I've got plenty of other questions, but we are starting to get some questions that are filtering in from the audience. So I'm going to turn to a couple of those. Uh, Josiah on Twitter is asking what is, uh, Mr. Rich's view on revolving door politicians who jumped from corporate boards to government positions and vice versa? Speaker 1 00:06:26 Well, it's, um, I don't see a revolving door. If somebody wants to, somebody is in whatever government or private industry who wants to run for Congress, that's fine. And we don't, we don't see anything wrong with that. Um, in fact, probably better off if we had people of that ilk want to be in Congress for the right reasons. And remember, if they're going to be in Congress to six years in the house, it's it's number one ends seniority seniority system completely goes away instead of a, um, a system which is really based on sort of union rules. You're going to have a dynamic system. Now we have term limits on 15 state legislators, and they seem to work. We've gotten school choice out of them. And, and the, what they do, for example, one example would be Florida. We, we put that on the ballot in 1992 and the oldest daughter for it was very close election. It was tournaments on the Florida legislature, very close, 77 to 23 in favor. And what they do there is before the end of one term, they pick the speaker and leadership for the next term. It's eight is enough the right after it used the legislature, they go back and doing what they were supposed to do. Speaker 0 00:08:10 Okay. So right now the problem is it's not a revolving door. It's more of a one-way door and yeah. All right. We've got Jim Cherney. He says, great to see my friend. How we, again, my question is whether you have seen and an unintended consequence of term limits to strengthen the influence of staff and bureaucrats that become very experienced, um, and controlling of the often inexperienced elected leader, uh, what he calls the yes. Minister effect. Speaker 1 00:08:47 Hey, Jim, good to hear. You're still around. Well, what's the biggest bureaucracy on earth, us government. It's the biggest bureaucracy on honor. How did it get there career politicians? Could it be worse? The other thing, the other argument that staff argument, oh, staff runs at all. Wait a sec, the buck stops here. You're the Congressman, you're the Senator. You can see if something goes wrong, I'm going to blame a staffer. As a matter of fact, when they get elected, they do have, they do bring in some senior people, but usually they bring in people who they work with. Sometimes even family to be on the staff. And by the way, in Congress, they have staffs which enable them to get reelected. You know, usually they have to a district with district offices, they have an office in DC. So the direct with the argument is really, in my opinion, very weak as a staff argument, we hear it all the time from opponents, that term limits. But I know Jim, you and I know, Speaker 0 00:10:03 All right, well, we have a, kind of a similar related question from Scott Schiff. He is saying, uh, he used to be more in favor of term limits, but he is concerned that with our current politics wouldn't term limits, just haste in the far left from taking more power, uh, like if sh if Schumer were term limited and opening the door for AOC, Speaker 1 00:10:31 Uh, it term limits, I guess you have to look at what's happened in the states. Uh, when we started out and turn on this movement in very early nineties, um, we had a strategy to use the ballot initiative process because it's a very simple thing with term limits. Voters love it. Politicians hated on average. And so the states, um, that have term limits it's, it's it moved for the most part from left to, right. It doesn't mean the turn necessarily lose, right? But in, for example, Arkansas, in the beginning, no term limits, we came in 1992, got the signatures, put something on the ballot. In one thing at one 60 to 40 Arkansas is very strong opposition and it swung the legislature from Democrat to Republican. And that occurred in a whole bunch of states. So I don't think there's any argument one way or the other, that an AOC would have more strength or less strength. On the other hand, if you looked New York city, which is pretty liberal bastion, where I live, um, the city council in New York city is term limited. That was gone in the nineties. Also again, ballot initiative, go to the voters there. I would say you have a point because it's sort of a liberal jurisdiction. It's moved New York city has moved to the left somewhat Speaker 0 00:12:21 Interesting. Uh, okay. We've got a question from Bruce majors. Hey Bruce. Um, he is asking whether you think term limits would open things up for independent R or third party candidates. Do you think, uh, do you still think this would be a good outcome? Uh, do you think it is much more likely with term limits that we would end up getting, uh, you know, other parties, independent parties involved in the process? Speaker 1 00:12:52 I don't think it cuts one way or the other and the American political system is winner-take-all, it's not proportional representation like they have in many countries in Europe, whatever. Um, I don't think it cuts one way or the other with respect to third parties. The problem with third parties in the United States is again, it's winner take all. And if he senses that this candidate is a really good candidate, but when I go to pull the lever and the owning boots, if I think he or she can't win, not going to vote for, and we have a lot of evidence of that, Speaker 0 00:13:40 All right, we have, uh, Jayla pear who who's, the chairman of the board of the apple society is in the room and he has two questions. What implications do you see regarding incentives in dealing with special interests? Uh, if a third of members are not running for reelection, what percentage of the public support term limits? So again, two questions that the, what is the popularity right now of term limits, and then also special interests. Um, what would turn Speaker 1 00:14:20 Easy one first, which is pulling on turn loans to polls this year through national halls on terminals. One was done by McLaughlin, which just do favor term limits on Congress, 80 to 10 and RMG research, 82 to nine. The numbers have always been high, but they're higher than they've ever been, is extremely popular. And then when pollsters asked strongly or somewhat strongly, always comes up more than twice as high as someone also voters want shorter term limits. When what, for the option of three house terms, sorts of six house terms, always three house terms wins way over to the wall. And anything longer than the six house terms is like zero. Nobody's interested in that favors terminals, special interests. I don't, I don't see any, uh, advantage, uh, that special interests get for the terminal in the legislature. If anything, Karen Limon legislators would be more independent and far less likely to be influenced by special interests. And as you know, now, Dan is looking at the system. Special issues, definitely have lot of control. Speaker 0 00:15:45 Uh, Warren Holly on zoom is asking, what about term limits for bureaucrats like Fowchee, um, or at a minimum, no union protection for incompetence. Very interesting. Speaker 1 00:16:00 First of all, I don't think we needed, cause I think I turned them in legislation will him much better than the career politicians we have today. Um, secondly, we followed, was it bill Clinton? Who said kiss, keep it simple, stupid. And we follow that. I mean, there's so many different variations. You can come up, come up with term limits on the Supreme court, carrying on some judiciary. What about banning lobbyists? All kinds of variations, but we keep it simple. We favorite term limits on the house and Senate period in story. And that is what is extremely popular and that's where we're running. Speaker 0 00:16:45 All right. Now you favor, uh, a article five convention to achieve term limits. Um, tell us what that means and why you've proposed it. Speaker 1 00:16:58 I think it go there. I think I have to give you a little history back in the nineties. And we started at on term limits and by the way, it crane who ran a keto was two was the one who actually got me and some others involved in terminals. Um, we came up with a strategy at the time because we knew that voters favorite term limits, but again, politicians are not excited about it. So we in 1992, decided to place initiatives on state ballots in a whole bunch of states to turn them at their own delegations to calm. So for example, I don't know, Zuri, we put initiative on the ballot and misery that if voters voted for it and they did to turn the Missouri two senators and however many representatives, Peter and I on time. And we in 1992, we did that in 14 states, I think to brag a little bit. It was the most in American history who's ever been done in one, uh, election on any one issue. And we were 14 and oh, because voters loved tournaments and there was strong opposition, for example, in Michigan, not only did we have Debbie Dingell, the wife, uh, John Dingell, if you remember him, but we had general motors, Ford, and Chrysler kicking in money opposing the terminals initiative, but we won them all. We came back in 1994 and we did nine more. So this story doesn't end well, but it's exciting at the moment. Speaker 1 00:18:59 Okay. Well that point 23 states the voters in 23 states had turned limited their own delegations to Congress. And when you think about it, they're going to be term-limited. And the other states, we don't have the valid initiative process. Wouldn't have the legislators term limit instead of lose out on seniority. And yet they all want whose vote is love tournaments. And we follow the adage. Unsuccessfully, the Supreme court follows the election returns, and that's why we did 23 states and not two or three states. And we lost a split decision in Arkansas and the Arkansas Supreme court. We appealed to the United States Supreme court in the case of us term limits, birth Thornton, and in a five, four decision, we got the, for the voters, the, sorry, just said, you can't do it that way, either constitutional amendment for conservatives. And it's a great, great opinion, minority opinion written by Clarence Thomas that argued 10th amendment, but we lost and the decision came out. Speaker 1 00:20:23 He needed a constitutional amendment. Well, how do you get a constitutional amendment? The way it's always been done is you need two thirds of both houses of Congress to report out the amendment under article five. And then it gets ratified. If it gets ratified by three quarters of the states, not an easy process, hasn't been done many times. Uh, well we thought about it. Whoa. So we're going to get Congress without an enormous pressure to turn them themselves. I don't think so. So the founders in their infinite wisdom came up with this second method under article fall, the constitution, if two thirds of the states cool for a convention limited to the subject of term limits on Congress, because ratified the same way, the same way as if it had come out of, uh, of Congress itself. And so that's the route we've gone. We've started only four states have done it so far, Florida, Alabama, Missouri, and just pretty recently, West Virginia, we got one legislative house in five states. We think we have a head of steam up. We think we know how to do it and we're moving forward. So the answer to your question is we love article five. Speaker 0 00:21:53 Fascinating. Okay. We have another question here from, uh, Jayla pear asking if you have any thoughts on the implications of ranked choice voting, Speaker 1 00:22:06 I've never been an advocate. Um, I don't feel strongly about it really sort of brings it toward the center and I'm, you know, I'm, I'm a libertarian and I don't want to move politics toward the center. Uh, so I think that has that, that result that outcome. So I'm really not a major fan of it. Speaker 0 00:22:34 Got it. All right. I want to remind the rest of you who are watching us on zoom, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube. Uh, go ahead, tee up those questions. Um, we've got some really great ones and, um, we'd love to see what else we've got and I still have some questions. So, um, you and your wife, Stanford late, late wife, Andrea, whom I had the honor of, uh, getting to know, um, you both have had a long history within the libertarian movement. Um, and Andrea in particular, uh, played a role in the founding of the outlier society for many, many years. Of course she was president of laissez Faire books and hosted the supper club, uh, when, which she invited philosopher David Kelly to address back in 1988, um, so better or worse, uh, that speech, uh, really exposed Jevity and dogmatism of the Orthodox objectivist, um, establishment at the time and inspired David to, uh, found his own organization, which is of course the one which evolved into the Atlas society, which I'm privileged to lead today. Now that was obviously quite a long time ago, but, um, I'm wondering if you can share any memories of the wonderful community that, um, that you and Andrea created then, and perhaps, uh, how the libertarian community has evolved since that time. Speaker 1 00:24:22 I haven't had much involvement with that these days. I really want trip pony caramel, but I just remember just now, as you asked the question that one of the supper clubs, I don't think it was the one David was at one of the separate clubs. Um, I think it was at a Chinese restaurant. It's kind of been 35 years ago, long time ago, they had fortune cookies and, you know, little slip that goes to the fortune cookie. We find that fortune. And so whoever did the event put these little slips in orchard cookies at the supper quo. And, uh, one of the questions was, I don't know why it stuck with me. Um, Speaker 0 00:25:09 So Speaker 1 00:25:12 That was one, but this was, um, what's a libertarian salad and the answer in the fortune cookie, let us alone Speaker 1 00:25:30 Like who's today. Okay. For the days. And it was, you know, you know, let a thousand flowers, bloom is great and we've got all these organizations now, Atlas has done a great job, you know, keto and some of the others. So it's described, but I've really, my focus has been on Terminus. And the reason that I really put term limits, first of all, I think it's extremely important reform. I think it really can really change things in the United States is that there were so many ideas that probably all of us, most of us could agree on. Like I don't like raising the minimum wage. We're all going to agree on all this stuff. But finding that one, you're knocking your head against the wall. We have one here. I don't know how this happens. That is extremely popular term limits on Congress. There are all kinds of motivations, but it's one that is popular and we think we can get there. Speaker 0 00:26:43 So tell us a little bit about, uh, us term limits and the work. I know there's a pledge. W what, uh, what are the priorities? And then how can people get involved? Speaker 1 00:26:56 It's a political as a political strategy. The market here, our state legislators, because we have to get convention calls out of state legislation. So what we do is in campaign season, when they're running in primaries, it could be a Republican primary could be a democratic primer, or in general elections, where there is an election that's competitive. We play, we ask all the candidates, we have a team of people who do this sign of tournaments pledge that they would sponsor and vote for in article five convention core limited to term limits on Congress. And we're pretty successful at that. And in some races, sometimes they're open seat races, but there are multiple candidates. That's the other thing that terminals does, it creates far more competition. Um, we find is one candidate may sign let's suppose the other candidate doesn't sign. We play, we play. These are usually state legislative districts in small states. Speaker 1 00:28:16 We don't play in California. Cause remember under article five, you just need 34 states to move toward a convention. So South Dakota is as good as California for this purpose and districts in South Dakota are very small and very inexpensive play. So what we'll do is direct mail, maybe a half a dozen direct mail patients praising the one candidate and sign the pledge. You're going negative on the candidate of candidates who did not. Um, and we'll also do digital impressions, no TV in these districts doesn't make any sense. They're small districts and we have a great track record, extremely popular issue. And in state legislative elections, it's not much going on. And if you introduce this issue of tournaments, which everybody favors, it moves the ball. Speaker 0 00:29:16 Got it. We got another great question here from Fred young asking something that was on my mind, how many incumbent congressmen support term limits Speaker 1 00:29:29 Fred. That was a softball question. Okay. Um, there's a bill in the house of representative and Ralph Norman from South Carolina is the sponsor. There are 77 incumbent Congressman on it. Uh, one Democrat, 76 Republicans is for three house, two Senate terms. And the Senate, Ted Cruz is a sponsor of the same bill three house, two Senate terms. There are 16 senators on a whole Republicans and this grows and every cycle. Um, it's 77. Now. I don't recall the number in the last Congress, but it's probably in the fifties. We think we may get in the house to over a hundred slightly over a hundred in this cycle. And the way we do that, I want to confuse everybody about the state. Legislative pledge is one thing I mentioned. We have a congressional pledge, and this one says, I played to co-sponsor and vote for term limits amendment for three house and two Senate terms. Speaker 1 00:30:54 And then it has these four words and no longer limit. And the reason for that is that it's divided and conquered. I favor three terms and you favor four terms. That's my favorite six terms. Maybe somebody favors nine terms. You can never get to two thirds in Congress. So we've stuck to this and of the 77 members. I think 73 of them have signed the us term limits pledge, and we hold them to it. You were a couple of congressmen who had signed the pledge six or eight years ago, got on the bill Republicans and then were approached and they didn't get on the bill. Who's last Congress. And so we held their feet for a fire. We put up billboards, we did digital even late in TV. We didn't have to run it because they got on the bill. So this is a separate pledge. Speaker 1 00:31:58 The idea of being in the end game, we believe in the end, it will not be a convention, even though we're moving toward a convention because Congress in the end will preempt. They've always done that. And there's an additional incentive as to why they will react. That is because if there's a convention, the delegates, the different name in the constitution, delegates the delegates, we'll be comprised mostly of state legislator. What does state legislators want to do? Move up to Congress? So there's a convention they're gonna probably not want to grandfather in Congress, want to make it retroactive or partially retroactive. So Congress in very high probability under pressure will do it. And there is history on this, the 17th amendment for direct election of senators. Whenever you think of it, the 17th amendment who's extremely popular as is term limits today. Uh, they, they couldn't get the house in care. The house of representatives voted two thirds of the house voted five times for direct, for direct election of senators in the Senate. Of course wouldn't budge was not in their interest to do it. And so with the activists, did it time is they went all out. We'll fight. It will 48 states. They need 32 states. They got to even 31 convention polls or 27 counted four of them. The suspect by that time, two thirds of the Senate voted for direct election. So now you can vote for Chuck Schumer. Speaker 0 00:33:52 Hmm. All right. Well, um, that a bunch of other questions, but I wanted to take a step back for a moment and, uh, ask you, you know, as mentioned many decades working on this issue on other issues, school choice, property bites, uh, the libertarian supper, clubs, laissez Faire books. What was it that just kind of kindled your interest in limited government? What is it something that you observed from your family? Was it early experiences? Was it a book? Speaker 1 00:34:34 It wasn't family. I think my father was, um, sort of a moderate Democrat Democrats were different than the mother, I think was saying it wasn't family. I think it was, I think he might've guessed this. I rant. Speaker 0 00:34:55 We have to hear your origin story. Speaker 1 00:34:59 I read everything. Okay. And some of them multiple times did great difficulty with the speech and Atlas shrugged. And this was not last week. This is many years ago, but I read it all right. Found that we living well, not the night of January 16th. There you go. Okay. I read the wall, it got me involved. That's how I got involved with keto and on and on and libertarian party for a number of years. And I think Rams Speaker 0 00:35:37 Who introduced me to iron Rand or how you picked Speaker 1 00:35:42 Up the book. It, wasn't probably assigned reading in school. I've heard stories that people going through a phone booth and it's a little slip of paper. Wasn't the best that how I got there, the slip of paper and said, read this book or something. I really don't recall how that happened. I don't know. Maybe I picked it up. I just don't know. Speaker 0 00:36:07 Um, and was there a particular book, uh, was it fiction non-fiction that was more compelling to you, maybe. Which one did you end up reading the most times? Speaker 1 00:36:22 Oh, of Rand's books, for sure. I also, after a while was a fan of the Friedman, you know, read all his stuff and thank God Hayak and masons and all that. They're all it all started with. Speaker 0 00:36:42 Well, this is one of the reasons we exist so that we can, uh, bring more how we riches into, into the world. Um, okay. Scott chef has a question on soon, he's asking, is there any risk, uh, that others could agree with your idea for an article five convention, but then grant at a much wider scope for potential constitutional changes, Speaker 1 00:37:14 As we say in the business, that's a very good question. Okay. And when we go to a state legislature, there are objections to this article five route, even though we're limited to, we say we're limited, the convention would be limited to term limits on Congress. One of the objections is, and some of that, sometimes it's hidden is, oh, I'm a state legislator and our legislature isn't term-limited. So when I look disingenuous, if I vote for this article five convention call and we have polling that shows the big enchilada is Congress. And again, I always thought like 80%, if you're new, you're a state legislator. Who's not term limited, but he favorite terminals that time. Whereas you're more or less likely to vote from very, very high. But the other objection, which I think you've alluded to is wait a second. This convention is dangerous. It could run away. Speaker 1 00:38:27 We're going to have pro-life pro-choice nobody will have a gun. Everybody will have a gun. The is falling. It's a constitutional convention. Boy. It's scary. Well, that's the main objection. And we think it is extremely weak. If, if anybody thinks about it, we think is very weak, but they have to think about it. Some people don't think, okay. And it goes like this. And under article five, if you read it, look at the constitution, it is no way. It doesn't say constitutional convention is called a convention for proposing a men. And every one of our convention calls is limited to term limits on the us house of representatives and the us Senate. That's it. And then there's a court system. Well, that's one control. I mean, if every convention calls limited with that and then they want to throw in something extraneous, you would think the courts would strike it down, but I could be wrong on that one. Speaker 1 00:39:46 It's not, I've been wrong before. I think they would strike it down. I could be wrong. Some states have what are called faithful delegate laws. So if a delegate from the state of Kansas goes to the convention and he, she wants to put something else in, they can recall civil penalties, criminal. Okay. So a little protection. He has another, the minor one, whenever it comes out of a convention has to be ratified by three quarters of the states. So 38 states have to ratify it. Good luck with pro choice in Utah. Okay. Good luck with pro-life in Vermont. Okay. You can't get the 38 states. So that's another protection, but the ultimate protection is something I alluded to earlier, which is, it will never be a convention because of politics, because it will be great fear in Congress that state legislators would delegates to the convention will make it retroactive and they'll be out of office. So what Congress will do in the end game week is report out and amendment term limits amendment. And they will grandfather themselves in, and there's precedent for this because the 22nd amendment, when Harry Truman was the president, he was in, he could have kept running once he left two, four year terms and you're out of here, Speaker 0 00:41:42 All right, Instagram is starting to bubble for us. Uh, we got a question here from Isaiah on Instagram. Do you think the upcoming midterms we'll see more Republicans elected, especially Republicans that might be more sympathetic to term limits. Um, after the 2020 election, Speaker 1 00:42:04 At this point, you never know in all, it looks like her Republican year. It has to do with Biden. Biden's favor abilities, loads dropped recently, he's hurting on Afghanistan, uh COVID-19 crisis inflation, all kinds of stuff. And that translates. It's also a history. You know, when a president first gets elected in the midterms, you know, the party usually does work as well. A lot of Republicans talking about really big year, I don't know, but this point looks really good for Republicans. If you, if you scratch a Republican running, most of them sign off pledge, but the congressional pledge, um, do you scratch him and ask him privately that he really liked term limits? It's it depends on the Republican. I wouldn't bet my life on it, but they are signing the pledge. They do get on the bill and we hold their feet to the fire. Speaker 1 00:43:12 And I think we're going to get more and more, but we are also, we, we play in democratic primaries. Uh, we're we're looking to play on in one we're nonpartisan. This is democratic primary in Texas 28. We just kind of out in this recently. And, um, the incumbent is a moderate Democrat, Henry Clay lore and the challenger. This is a rerun of 2001 by just a couple of points. The challenger, Jessica Cisneros has been endorsed by AOC. So we did a poll in the district about three weeks ago, only amongst Democrats because there's democratic primary and the numbers game. This is a startling numbers and democratic primary. Your favorite terminals on Congress, 84 to 11, consequently, the AOC supported Democrat, Jessica Cisneros signed the terminals. We got to her and she signed it. We're putting pressure now on Henry Clay LAR to sign a pledge. I don't know if he will or won't, but if you asked me to bet on and I think so, um, we'll go anywhere and everywhere to play. Speaker 0 00:44:40 Yeah, well, uh, it, it should be a bipartisan issue. Um, another question on Instagram, Manny McGillion asks thoughts on limiting how often Congress can assemble fewer days, or maybe even once or twice, every couple of years, Speaker 1 00:45:02 Government has gone gotten so large that, you know, so many tentacles it's very difficult to go there. It just, Congress, I could see some legislatures like the Texas legislature meets every other year. Many, many legislatures are part-time, but Congress would just be very difficult to do that. If we have smaller government, I'd be a strong advocate of that. Speaker 0 00:45:33 Yeah. Uh, Olivia Jean Mary on Facebook, uh, asks any other major libertarian policies you support aside from term limits. Speaker 1 00:45:46 The answer is all of them, but my focus, I like it's not a hundred percent it's 99.98% is on term limits. It's it's, it's a rifle, not a shotgun. And by the way, back to the idea of bi-partisan, we think it's very important because remember our market, our state legislators, it's very important not to take on other issues. He ran on talking about the term limits movement, where us term limits the group I'm associated with. And so we go right down the middle, we don't talk about taxes, regulations, spending any of that. We talk about two things, term limits, as you can imagine, and corruption or corruption stories all the time, usually associated with long time being in an office for a long time. And so we point out corruption in term limits because the truth is we need Democrats in some of these legislator legislatures. And so that's what we do straight back, straight down the middle. My personal views are, as you can imagine, hardcore, libertarian, Speaker 0 00:47:11 And speaking of, uh, hardcore libertarian opinions on the modern libertarian party. Do you see it as an effective agent for change or does it simply siphon off votes for viable candidates who might realistically enact? Speaker 1 00:47:31 Well, first of all, I have a long checkered past because I was involved in the Victorian party in the eighties I was involved in, uh, uh, I ran a ballot drives 1988 for president. Uh, very, very involved. I was involved in conventions. I ran four campaigns that prevention back then ran the floor campaign. They clock in 1979. In those days we had adventures and autonomic years today, the LP, I think it has a place again, it's winner-take-all to third parties are an extreme disadvantage, but I think it has a place. And I don't think it really there's an argument to say, well, maybe it takes votes away from Republicans, but I don't think it really does. I mean, there've been Christina left there, there were left wing issues, libertarian left wing issues on fourth amendment. Uh, so I don't think it does. In fact, there was an election several years ago where analysis done afterwards. I think it was a Virginia election. I can't recall the name of the, um, the LP candidate who ran and was, there was an analysis and things seem to be took votes from the Democrat and the Republican both. So I don't think it hurts. And I think it's a good thing that the parties around Speaker 0 00:49:05 Question from Bruce majors asking what opportunities do you think the libertarian movement may have missed since the 1980s? Which opportunities do you believe it should make use of in the future term limits? I guess Speaker 1 00:49:26 You stole my thunder. They should, as a matter of fact, um, libertarian presidential candidates, always, uh, at least the last few. Um, um, but again, doesn't resonate unless they get on the debate national debates, it doesn't resonate, but they've signed. We have a presence. We have places to everybody plays for presidential candidates and they all signed the presidential, uh, pledge. I don't, uh, I, I'm not a big advocate these days of the LP. Uh, I think I'm glad it's there, but again, one trick pony. I'm not, it's not something that at this point that I'm really interested in. Speaker 0 00:50:24 All right. Well, in that case, we are getting bunch of about the LP. So we're not going to go too much down that. Uh, but, um, you know, I would love to just hear about how you, you gave us a little bit about your ideological start, but, uh, talk a little bit also about how you got your start in business and, um, how you got into real estate development and maybe even bringing us up to the past couple of years, uh, whether your businesses were affected by these things like this rent, moratoriums, um, and, and how the economic climate is affecting. It looks like more people are with inflation looking to, to real estate investments as a possible store of value. Speaker 1 00:51:15 Yeah. Um, I'm in multifamily real estate these days, and we did very poorly in the great recession. And I made a prediction when the first COVID thing hit and it were eviction. It was an eviction ban, which I think was like takings, most horrible thing. I'm going to imagine, particularly if you're real estate, I made a prediction. I said, 30% of our tenants wouldn't be paying rent, which would pretty much put us out of business. And fortunately, like many of my other predictions, this one was completely incorrect. Okay. We had some people who were behind in their rent and didn't pay rent, but it worked out fine. Um, so my background really has been real estate when I put two nickels together, way back when I started out buying real estate in Manhattan. Uh, at that time the sellers were mom and pop sellers. And I wasn't even that sophisticated at that time in real estate. Speaker 1 00:52:25 And, um, I got lucky or whatever areas I started buying and, uh, got better. And, and so it worked. And then there was a section on their IRS section 10 31, where you can trade like kind exchanges, section 10 31. I utilized that section. I got out of Manhattan and started buying elsewhere. And right now real estate lease multi-family real estate is doing very, very well. I think inflation, Jennifer does help real estate does. Uh, but we've done so well in recent years. I don't know how we could do much better with inflation, you know, rents have gone up. One thing to worry about, I think, um, at least on the margin, uh, is I don't want to be Dr. Here is rent control, which of course horrible policy. Um, and there's been little noise here or there because rent is less building markets work. And so there's clamoring for, in some places, California or Oregon or for rent control. Speaker 1 00:53:47 Oregon is a joke. I mean, they they've got these like laws that, uh, I don't have any real estate, but they have these laws that, uh, you know, restricted, they're worried about, uh, there's going to be urban sprawl or whatever. And so they got these laws is extremely difficult to bill. So as a result, there were fewer units in great demand. So what happened, rents went up, so what do they do? They impose rent control. Okay. It's like such, such a stupid, stupid, stupid concept, but there's concern about that. This could happen elsewhere and it's something that could happen downline right now. Uh, the real estate business at least multi-family is doing very well. Speaker 0 00:54:39 Well, um, we are coming up at the top of the hour. Our time has absolutely flown by. I want to apologize to the people that are now, of course, as we wrap up getting flooded with, uh, with questions, but we got to quite a few of them and I promised to let, uh, how we get back to his new bride. So mazal Tov, by the way, on that, uh, any final thoughts Howie? Speaker 1 00:55:13 Yes. You know, you have elections and we're going to let so-and-so to the us Senate or the other guy or woman. Well, we get six years out of that or maybe it was on, but it's for now tournaments a little different, if you can amend the constitution and impose term limits on politicians is for the generations is too sturdy. And that's why we're in it. This one is for the generations. And I say no more. Speaker 0 00:56:03 All right, well, on that note, Howie, thank you so much for this time. Thank you for the work that you've done on so many issues, but, uh, particularly, uh, being just an Atlas, please don't shrug when it comes to term limits, it, it will happen and it will be because of you. So, Speaker 0 00:56:24 Uh, I don't want to thank all of you who have joined us, uh, today. Um, thanks for your terrific questions. Uh, if you are enjoying these webinars, if you are enjoying our animated videos or graphic novels, our student programs or social media, please, we've got a couple more days consider making a tax deductible donation to the Atlas society. We very much appreciate it. And, um, join me tomorrow on clubhouse, uh, and join me also next week. I'm going to be talking with Kara Dansky. She's the author of the abolition of sex for something completely different. We're going to be talking about, uh, the transgender agenda and, um, the downsides for, uh, particularly women and, um, and the gay community. So join us then. Thank you, Holly. Have a wonderful evening and have a happy new year.

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