I have often said that if private unions do not act in a crony way, they are perfectly legitimate. If a group of people want to come together to collectively bargain and sell their labor in bulk I think this can be OK. A contract can create a sense of stability for both management and workers. But the only moral way to do this is without coercive action from government. Unfortunately unions seem never to stray far from their crony friends in government. (And/or other organizations with the power to compel with force.)
Public sector unions are much worse though. Public employees work for the public. Their salaries and pensions are paid by taxpayers. They should not be able to unionize as public sector unions are fundamentally crony from the get-go. Such unions are tied into government. These unions buy politicians with dues. These politicians are open to fattened contracts. As contracts get fatter, the checks to the politicians get fatter.The public sector unions “negotiate” with these union friendly politicians and the taxpayer ultimately is left holding the bag.
As we’ve said many times, we have no affiliation with the Kochs. Though we think that generally speaking they do a heck of a lot of good and are not at all the evil ghouls those shining citizens Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid make them out to be. I’ve read David Koch’s (last) book which explains his management philosophy and found it valuable. Generally speaking I like the Kochs and have for a long time.
Sacrilege! The Kochs are evil! Evil I tells you!
That has not been my experience. And Charles Koch’s take on the big government “conservatism” of George Bush, and on the need to challenge crony capitalism, are right on in my book.
Hey, it’s only 50 years later. No biggie.
What really happened with the JFK assassination will likely remain a mystery but new information has come to light which may offer historians a few more leads to pursue.
The whole thing is just so weird, particularly the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby days after Oswald shot the president.
I don’t agree with everything Mr. Farage has to say, but I do agree with a good bit. I had the opportunity to listen to him speak in Washington recently and I was impressed. He is as entertaining in person as he is on the floor of the European Parliament. His voice is a critical one as Europe appears to be spinning headlong into an autocratic abyss. Farage wants the UK to pull back from the abyss while it still can.
One the most important things about gold as a monetary foundation is that it forces financiers and economists to deal with reality. Gold is the North Star by which economies and currencies are judged. It’s been this way for millenia, and it likely will remain the case for many years to come. But we have detached our money from gold, and reality. In 1971 Richard Nixon severed the last ties the dollar had to gold. Unsurprisingly the great divergence in the West between the middle class and the very rich really began pretty much right after this sever. With a truly fiat currency, a confidence scheme, the economy became much more financialized. Banking of various sorts grew and grew with nothing to tie the money down. Those who were in on the banking economy did well. Those left in the real economy did less well. This trend continues.
Boeing and GE want their Ex-Im Bank. They’ve had taxpayer underwritten loans for so long they feel like they are owed them. As such they have deployed their lobbyists in a full arm twisting offensive. In the chaos surrounding the impending Speaker vacancy the giant corporations want to make sure they get what they have spread money around Congress to get. They are calling in “favors.”
GE and Boeing aren’t going to let the free marketeers win easily. Both companies desperately want their boondoggle. They want their taxpayer support. The companies have even threatened the American people with moving jobs overseas if the crony corps don’t get their way.
I mean, why wouldn’t taxpayers want to support companies which are so ready to leave the USA even though the American people have subsidized their profits (and not just through the Export-Import Bank) for decades?
This is yet another example which shows that both parties, and in this case particularly the Democrats, are corporatist parties. Ex-Im was long considered “corporate welfare” by the Left. But now, with the chance to end the bank, the Dems have bowed completely and totally to their corporate masters. Unabashed crony capitalism on full display.
The TPP, the Trans Pacific Partnership, has been a strange instance where free marketeers and many people not disposed toward economic freedom but who are generally opposed to corporatism have found common ground. Both groups have highlighted the secrecy around the “agreement” and the degree to which the public generally has been marginalized. Now that it has been finalized we are learning what the American people have “agreed” to.
It should be noted that the only reason we know much at all about the TPP is thanks to Wikileaks and people within the negotiations who have gotten the information out.
We often ask why it is that people continue to live in the urban centers of the Northeast and Midwest. Taxes are high. Traffic is thick. Winters are cold. Crony capitalism runs deep.
The answer we often get back is that people either can’t afford to move or there is something about a particular urban pocket which we just don’t understand. (Which is perfectly reasonable.)
In a time when most white collar workers need little more than a laptop and a high speed Internet connection to do their jobs it just seems crazy to stay in these places.
As with every article which touches on an individual candidate we have to be clear that we support no one for any office whatsoever.
We added the question mark to the above headline from Zerohedge. We think such a depression is entirely possible, perhaps beyond possible. But regardless there are serious shudders moving through the world economy right now and we are deep into the current “expansion.”
So what happens when a recession happens when we are already starting from a lower baseline? Well, you know what happens. Things get ugly. And this time the geopolitical stakes are higher than they were in 2008.
It seems the emissions scandal which started with Volkswagen now extends to many other car manufacturers, though it does not appear that these manufacturers had “defeat devices” like the VWs.
Some believe that this just shows why it is that there must be an even larger regulatory regime. That throwing more money at the issue, and by hiring more regulators, etc. will solve the problem. It won’t. The problem here is that car makers and regulators were essentially both in on the deal. This only becomes more of a problem with even more “regulators.” This is how crony capitalism often works.
Pouring more money into heavy handed, greatly centralized, and relatively easily manipulated regulatory agencies is a recipe for more crony capitalism. It is what one respected economic thinker refers to as “the progressive illusion.”
This then begs the question, “What is to be done?” We don’t have the solution but given the ubiquitous nature of powerful computers in the hands of individuals, we bet some bright, independent soul(s) can find a solution(s) to both the emissions and the regulatory capture issues. (At least in this narrow band of capture.)
People have openly wondered (especially lately) whether certain agencies had the “goods” on members of Congress. Let’s hope that this isn’t the new (?) protocol for the “deep state.” Though it would help explain some things.
Thomas Jefferson was a man of his time, a slave owner yes, but much more importantly a man of the Enlightenment. The people who are calling for this statue’s removal at Mizzou are not forward thinking people, though they likely think themselves as such. They are not “progressive” in the good sense. They apparently have little understanding of historical context. They are reactionaries in a sense, countering the ideas of liberty and freedom (embodied by Jefferson) because their sensibilities have been offended. Better to remove this symbol of revolution and rebellion because, gasp, he had slaves like everyone else of his social status in the world in which he lived. This is the kind of thinking which has found safe harbor in many of our universities. And it’s dumb.
Many people believe that the ideas Jefferson championed actually hastened the death of the institution of slavery. Kind of hard to have slaves, when “all men are created equal.”