“Selected Salvos 2” is the second Fun&Freedom Book by Garry Reed, the self-proclaimed Loose Cannon Libertarian. One reviewer said his writing bordered on H.L. Mencken and Groucho Marx. My opinion is that it’s more more akin to an edgy and irreverent hybridization of Harry Browne and P.J. O’Rourke.
“Selected Salvos 2” is similar to his first self-published book, strangely enough called “Selected Salvos from the Loose Cannon Libertarian.” It is another anthology of his essays, opinion pieces, rantings and assorted writings. Most have been published online on his website Loose Cannon Libertarian and under his alter egos, the Libertarian News Examiner and the Dallas Libertarian Examiner.
Most Libertarians know about the Austrian School of Economics and the Keynesian School of Economics. Reed believes in the “Playboy School of Economics,” and claims bragging rights for creating the phrase “Playboynomics,” the theme for this collection.
While he admits that economics is not his favorite topic or strong point, he does opine that whether we recognize it or not, a little bit of economics – or rather playbonomics – touches every part of our lives, usually in the form of the cold hand of some “snaggle-toothed snot-nosed gecko skinned jackalope” disguised as a politician or bureaucrat. Reed certainly can turn a phrase.
The first, and last chapters of “Selected Salvos 2” illustrate playboynomics in its purest (if that’s the correct word) form. The article “Tax Dollars for Sex Scholars” describes a taxpayer funded research project into what types of audiovisual erotica arouse women.
“It’s ‘audiovisual erotic’ when it’s taxpayer funded,” writes Reed. “If you and I pay our own money to watch it, it’s ‘porno.’”
In the last piece, “The Playboy School of Economics,” Reed elucidates on the origin of the phrase in describing another taxpayer funded college study which found a link between the U.S. economy and Playboy centerfolds.
Reed’s talent for coining phrases is evident in just about every article. In “Sand Dollars,” an article about American corporations setting up PO box “corporate headquarters” on a Caribbean island to avoid over taxation, Reed quips: “Atlas isn’t shrugging, he’s moving to Bermuda.”
He explains how both Republicans and Democrats “bleated almost comically stereotypical reactions.” Republicans called it immoral. Democrats played the class warfare card.
Even when Republicans called for a moratorium on relocations, Reed observes that, “some libertarians still have Republicans friends who still believe in the ‘fairy tale’ that the GOP stands for smaller government and free markets.” As you read this sentence, you can hear the amazement in his voice.
Even though the events and incidents Reed writes about are dated, the observations and conclusions are just as meaningful today as they were then. The names, faces, and places may change, but the “moral of the story” endures.
This book is great reading for libertarians, and possibly even those few conservatives with a sense of humor. It illustrates that, despite the seriousness of our beliefs, libertarians do have a sense of humor. As Reed puts it, “Freedom is always the message and fun is always the method.”
Reviewers note: A copy of the book was purchased from Amazon.com. Both books are available in several formats at most of your friendly neighborhood online bookstores: