I love this. The old fashioned 20th Century statism just drips from the attached piece. Vanessa Williamson, fellow at Brookings, arguably the most prestigious statist think tank in Washington, is afraid that people will actually like the idea of closing loop holes in the tax code. She recognizes correctly that if the tax code is simplified, if things are made more simple and more efficient, the government won’t be able to take as much from the citizenry. That is precisely of course why we need to simplify the tax code.
Many people see the federal government as not reflecting their views at all. Some see the unending expansion of the state into every nook and cranny of life, and the gaming of the government by powerful corporate and political interests, as a real threat. Indeed that our massive government is encroaching on the things many Americans hold particularly dear, independence, for some – faith, economic liberty, liberty generally, privacy, and so on.
Are we too pessimistic with regard to China? Perhaps, but who really knows. Seriously, who really knows. The data out of the Ultimate Crony Capitalist State is poor. It is politically manipulated. No one really has a hard sense of what’s actually going on, including probably the Chinese government to a large extent.
Electorally anyway. There remains support among a significant part of the Argentine population for a large welfare state. (Which can be a challenge in a country which occupies a space somewhere between developed and developing.) But this is progress. The soft-fascists (sometimes not so soft), the Peronistas, have been beaten, though they still control the Argentine congress.
We have our problems with Mr. Friedman, particularly on big monetary issues. But he was brilliant as one can see here.
Shocking that such a simple system is failing so badly.
Obamacare has been collapsing for a while. Actually pretty much since it started. A bunch of the state co-ops are dead. More are readying themselves for the grave. And now even the crony partners are starting to abandon the scheme. Indeed repeal may not even be necessary. Ironically the Obamacare experiment may long stand as a testament to one of pro-market economist FA Hayek’s key insights, The Pretense of Knowledge.
Not the Laugh Factory
I’m sorry, but is this Cuba, or Prague circa 1980? Since when is it OK for presidential candidates to come after comedians who make fun of them? Even Nixon went on Laugh-In for crying out loud.
Intimidation is a key tool used in crony systems.
Image: Mint Press News
War is fundamentally crony. There is death and destruction and despair for most, but for some people, companies, and governments there is money to be made too. Sometimes very big money indeed. The conflict in Syria is an example. It’s not really about religion and terrorism. (Though these are hugely important factors.)
I live in the Old Dominion, Virginia, mother of presidents and land of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay. Our tax burden is on the edge of becoming overly burdensome. Thankfully there’s still enough sense in the commonwealth to keep the Northeastern interlopers in check. (They want Northern Virginia to become New Jersey.)
I despise parking tickets primarily because they are such a racket. Washington DC, the major city in which I drive regularly collects tens of millions of dollars in parking ticket fines each year. If one visits DC keep an eye out for the folks in the red jackets. They’ll answer your questions and give you directions but they are also patrolling the streets looking to fine drivers.
I’ll grant you that there are legitimate reasons for parking tickets.
“If you’re walking ’round think’n that the world owes you something ’cause you’re here
You goin’ out the world backwards like you did when you first come here yeah”
-The Staple Singers, Respect Yourself
This is the idiocy we are dealing with. Some think that if they are just earnest enough, “progressive” enough, willfully ignorant enough, that supply and demand (you know, economic reality) will no longer apply.
Image: Zerohedge – The red dots are oil tankers just hanging out waiting to unload in Texas.
Yes the Saudis have been trying to take down the American fracking oil industry and probably the Russians too. (With much success to date at least in the USA.) But this glut of oil is not only the result of our Middle Eastern “friends” turning on the oil spigots. It is also because the world’s second largest economy, China, is slowing and likely will continue to slow.
A few weeks ago we posted on Finnish police wandering the streets of Helsinki looking for pizza which was priced “too cheaply.” The reason? The fear that pizza vendors were selling at a price which didn’t generate enough sales tax revenue for the socialist country. In that post we explained that in many parts of the American big government archipelago, the Northeast, parts of the urban Midwest, and much of California it was likely only a matter of time before “pizza police”
I hated public school I have to admit. I had some wonderful teachers but I also had some – too many – who were not particularly bright and who seemed to be just ticking off the minutes until they retired. And I went to school in one of the “best” public school districts in the country.
Teacher unions are a huge problem in this country. They are among the most crony organizations there are. They operate in the interests of the teachers –