China is, as we say, The Ultimate Crony Capitalist State. Business and government are an amalgam. Long a crony paradise where a premium was placed on compliance and government favor and not on real pricing.
It looks like reality is finally starting to hit however.
About 6 months ago I was talking to a China energy markets analyst and he explained the complexities of implementing a carbon tax regime in the country to me. One bit I found particularly interesting. He explained that no one knew what the real price of energy coming from a particular plant actually was. A mandate from Beijing had been handed down, that energy would cost X amount, and that was the number used for “business.” Everyone knew the official price was way below the actual market rate but it sounded like no one really knew what the market rate was.
One can’t keep running a country like this. One must have real pricing for long term prosperity. The problem is that real pricing can create problems for the political establishment, anywhere, but particularly in China.
By now most of you have probably seen the video of Mr. Ramos interupting Donald Trump and Trump removing the the guy because he wouldn’t wait his turn.
And even after this Trump still let Ramos back in and let him ask questions so long as Ramos followed the rules. But by grandstanding the way he did Ramos exposed for all to see that he is not a journalist but an activist. He should be treated as such going forward. He really has no business at future press conferences with any of the candidates.
We are not defending Mr.Trump in any way. We have no horse in this race. But Ramos and Univision clearly do. That Trump is suing Univision for $500 million probably has something to do with the scrap too.
But Univision deserves to be examined. It has some serious crony tendencies. (All the big networks do of one sort or another.)
For instance Hillary Clinton signed a deal with the network last year to do a mini-series of her life back in 2014. NBC was going to do it but backed out because the project was even too blatant for them. Univision, headed now by NBC’s former COO was happy to pick it up however.
Speaking of which, let’s take a closer look at Univision’s senior staff.
This is where we are as a country now. The lawyer for the former head of the IRS, Lois Lerner, whose emails magically disappeared and who magically was able to avoid prosecution for obstruction of justice and other things is now handling the dissemination of the Clinton emails to investigators?
This is Washington.
Why is the stock market turning down now? Why the current carnage?
If one wants to fix the college cost problem one would do more good by eliminating federal aid than by expanding it. Easy credit to students is inflating tuition costs and thereby forcing (well not forcing) students to take on ever more debt. But the administrators and tenured professors sure like it.
At this point any rate hike looks like a big giant excuse for people to sell off stocks. People want to sell, really sell, one can feel it, but people don’t want to fight the Fed. However, if Yellen shoots a flare into the sky people will move on it. People just want a reason. Which is why Yellen probably won’t move rates.
It would be a pretty bold move for Yellen to hike in the midst of what looks like a possible looming recession in much of the world (Brazil, Australia, China) even if things are barely positive in the US from her perspective. On the other hand if recession is looming a move now might signal confidence in the US economy just enough to let the Fed gather some ammo for what is coming down the line. (Not that a quarter point would make much difference.)
Alternatively we could just have markets set interest rates, like they should, and we could all stop hanging on the words of a financial politburo. But that would make too much sense.
These protests are a massive reaction against a deeply crony and socialist government in Brazil. The economy is failing. The “Bolivarian” movement in South America embodied by the now dead Hugo Chavez is imploding. Wherever the statist cancer has spread, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, even Chile it has brought with it economic dysfunction. And that is saying something as this IS South America we are talking about.
But the anger exhibited above and below is not simply some Brazilian or South American phenomenon. The sentiment embodied in the streets of Sao Paulo, Rio, and Brasilia this week runs through the world. And it is increasing as middle class people are becoming more aware of the inner workings of their governments.
As the world economy continues to sputter (sputtering would be good) we will see more of this sort of thing in other parts of the globe. People are much better educated on political matters these days thanks to the Internet. They are sick of being abused. The veil of government has been lifted a bit and people, Brazilian, American, Chinese, European, Indian, do not like what they see.
These protesters don’t want bread (at least not now, and let’s hope that doesn’t ever become a concern) they want respect and transparency. It is their money that their government is giving away to the crony class.
There you go guys. Hillary is in serious trouble. Biden’s about to jump into the shark tank. Looks like maybe Gore is too. These guys (and their sponsors) can not fathom Bernie Sanders getting the nomination. Seriously, what do you think is going on at Goldman Sachs these days?
Biden and Gore figure they are in fact the heirs apparent if Ms. Clinton doesn’t make it to the debates which at this point is a real possibility.
Just remember, among other things, Al Gore, Mr. Green, sold his TV network Current TV to a bunch of oil barons from Qatar for $100 million. What do you think the ongoing carbon footprint is on that deal? And then there’s the whole massage business of course.
Wonder if Megyn Kelly is going to moderate any of the Democratic debates? We’ll bet not.
I am guessing that the powers that be in China didn’t think Tianjin would “blossom” into a fireball of such massive size that it could be seen from space.
There is little which is “progressive” about “progressive politics.”
The “progressive” ethos celebrates the nomenklatura, the government bureaucratic class, which is enriched. Interestingly also in this country the tendency is to enrich the big companies (and their managers) with close ties to the government. The rest of society, and particularly the middle class is tossed aside. In the “progressive” world there is little time for such bourgeois values as liberty, property rights, economic freedom, privacy, and self determination.
No, there are the managed and the managers. That’s it. As such “progressive” politics tends to favor those who do not think for themselves and don’t want to, and those for whom power is an end.
Free markets in contrast, with free prices, allow organic economic growth and wealth creation. It is from the wellspring of the free human mind that true PROGRESS comes. Free minds are not a priority however for “progressives.” Compliance and conformity are what are valued. Entrepreneurs are trouble makers. Free thinkers are to be considered with suspicion. Innovation is a headache.
If one is not born into wealth the very best shot one has to die with wealth and perhaps some security for one’s family is in a free society and a free market based economy. If you develop skills, hustle, are smart about the deployment of limited resources one has a chance to do something extraordinary, to actually progress.
In a “progressive” society the only thing which progresses usually is the rate of human decline.
There is simply no reason for this. Not this kind of cost. She is not the President even, she is the First Lady. And this sum is just for the flight?
“Living rich” on the taxpayer’s dime is a common form of crony capitalism. People get into government (or in this case marry into it) and forget that the taxpayers pay for pretty much everything that they do.
I’m not saying that Ms. Obama needs to fly coach on United or anything, but I am willing to bet that the $360K bill for the flight alone could have been pared down a bit.
Air Force One is not the presidential Winnebago.
The title of the video says that the activists were “Black Lives Matter” activists, and this may be true though I didn’t see or hear any indication of that.* Frankly whatever group they represent these folks represent the insanity of the deep statist camp. Sanders is a guy making their case and the activists still blew up the event. Doesn’t seem too smart to me.
It should also be noted that certain powers that be are not happy that Bernie Sanders is polling even with a certain former Senator from New York.
We are going to assume that Hillary doesn’t actually know how much of a jerk Kanye is. But she is I am sure aware of the vast intellectual void which is Kardashia.
Kardashia is a vast windswept plain, littered with empty lip gloss containers, and $2000 purses. It is bright and colorful but nothing grows in its soil. It is a wasteland.
But there is a vast population in Kardashia these days, and they all seem to have the right to vote in the United States. A dual citizenship I guess. People who read People Magazine, watch Entertainment Tonight, care what dress people wear at the Oscars, who give a darn about Jennifer Garner and that guy from Good Will Hunting. Hillary knows that residents of Kardashia might tip the balance in 2016.
I’ll say from the outset that this article is not for everyone, (and it is LONG) but I found it intriguing and potentially very useful for people who are trying to get their heads around what the economy – what I would consider the REAL economy – is doing right now.
And on a personal note I have to give a nod to my dear old Dad who, back in the early early 80s was explaining to his kids why coders would someday roam the business world and change every facet of that world.
Read on for valuable insight.
Every once in a while we have a reader assert that the government is in fact US, you and me. That to try to rein in government, to see the state with caution, to recognize the reality that government fundamentally is coercion and more often than not does not work in the interests of the people is to see things incorrectly. The government is composed of people. As such the government is a tool of the people.
It’s a quaint notion and one which has been used effectively by the powers that be to keep the peasants in check for centuries.
The notion however is not true. Below are some thoughts on the subject from Murray Rothbard.