Socialism is death. It is sold as life of course. It is sold as a way to get even with those nasty capitalists with their “greed driven” profit motives. A way to bring heaven to earth. Better to let the cronies in government manage things than the people in a free economy. The cronies only have your best interests in mind.
Socialists prey on the ignorant and hopeless.
Socialism is a kind of religion. It has many offshoots and schisms, but fundamentally it is about all too fallible cronies telling other people what to do, and these same cronies thinking that they are smarter than the market. This is the faith.This is the religion. It is about power OVER people. But again, it is sold as liberation.
The way out of poverty is through capitalism, free enterprise, free markets, and free prices. But so many people who I believe honestly want to do good do not understand this. They believe that central planning and aid from “rich countries” will solve the world’s problems even though they have only worsened things in aggregate around the world for decades.
Where poor people can build wealth and enjoy property rights and honest pricing the tendency is toward prosperity. Where there is government intervention, where the government or connected cronies can just seize the limited wealth of the poor (often in the name of “justice”), where prices are obfuscated, there is poverty and misery.
We do not believe in free prices and free markets because we want to keep “what’s ours.” We believe in them because we know, and have seen, how much better capitalism is for everyday people than state intervention and its associated cronyism.
In order for a society to truly proper people need both personal liberty and economic liberty, which are actually one and the same. Capitalism allows for both and offers a path out of poverty. (Not that it is always easy.) But many people just refuse to see this. It fundamentally conflicts with everything they’ve been told, to date.
So as of this moment we are being told that it was another chemicals depot. OK. That is pretty weird especially coming on the heels of the Tianjin explosion earlier this month.
The EPA in many respects, and certainly in this case, is out of control. Truly, there seems a massive divergence between the sane, rational people out in America and the environmental agency in Washington DC which thinks crushing a private citizen under the wheel of the state is perfectly OK.
This is abuse. Actually it’s worse than that.
It didn’t happen. Looks like someone figured out it might not look so good.
Perhaps Bill was getting the lay of the land for Dennis Rodman’s later trip to the hermit people’s republic.
In fairness Pyongyang in the spring is lovely we hear.*
Calls to reform, audit, and even eliminate the Federal Reserve have been growing in recent years. We certainly call for an end to the Fed and I encourage anyone interested in monetary policy and the Federal Reserve to read Free Prices Now by ACC co-founder Hunter Lewis. Hunter is a scholar of the highest order and a remarkably successful financier. If you want to understand the sins of the Federal Reserve read his book.
But many people already understand the sins of the Fed and many of these people gathered in a counter summit to the party the Federal Reserve was having this week in Jackson Hole Wyoming. One of the people criticizing the Fed was Benn Steil who, believe it or not, is a director of international economics at The Council on Foreign Relations.
The rule of law (and not man or woman) is vital to a free society. If might makes right there is little room to do business, to invest, to build wealth, to be secure in one’s person, to be an actualized human being. If contracts can be dismissed and government officials and their cronies (in government and the nominal “private sector”) can do as they please because of their connections, we have a problem. And that is what we have now, and it’s getting worse.
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.
You want to know how to solve the traffic problem in this country? You really want to know. Some of you guys aren’t going to like it because it doesn’t involve light rail or carpooling. (Not bad things in and of themselves.)
We need to increasingly privatize roads. (And really privatize. No public/private “partnerships.”)
The Kochs are a great target. They are rich. They are white. They have business interests in the fossil fuels industry. And perhaps most importantly, they are not Democrats. They aren’t even big government Republicans. The Kochs are custom made for statist ire.
But in my years of following them I am generally impressed. I’ve read Charles Koch’s book which outlines why it is that Koch Industries continues to grow even given its already immense size. (Not easy to do.) I am also thankful for their efforts in the marketplace of ideas. They sponsor Cato and other think tanks (not this one) which do much good. (I have some beefs with them too which I won’t go into here.)
The Kochs have also taken a pretty explict stance against crony capitalism. In fact Charles Koch talks about the need to eliminate it in the economy even while he admits that such cronyism benefits Koch Industries.
The Kochs as we have said in the past can defend themselves. They don’t need us to do it. But in the grand scheme of things anyone who thinks president Obama and Harry Reid have anything like a leg to stand on when they criticize the Kochs just doesn’t understand the situation. Of course Obama and Reid have a problem with the Kochs. Obama and Reid are classic crony capitalists. They’ve made their money through schmoozing and coercion in the public sector. As such they know that if a truly limited government regime was put in place by some miracle, one favored by the Kochs, they would be on the losing end of things along with all their buddies.
The private sector, the sector in which the Kochs largely operate is legitimate. In order to succeed in the private sector one must produce a good or service of value. The government sector, largely (certainly not totally) is not legitimate. It benefits those – often – who are not productive. Obama and Reid know this. But government is the teat at which they and the crony class of both parties suckle. Best to dress up their philosophy in “green” garb and “social justice” than confront the truth which is that on an even playing field they can’t compete with those who succeed in the private sector.
This is nice. Lockheed Martin runs a nuclear lab in New Mexico which gets federal funds, taxpayer money. The company recently lobbied for an extension of its contract with the government on a no-bid basis. Seeing as Lockheed doesn’t have piles of money lying around (they do) the company figured that the best way to secure a no-bid contract was to use taxpayer dollars which were allocated for national security purposes, and to hire a former congresswoman turned lobbyist to help secure said no-bid contract with the money.
That’s right, we allegedly paid for Lockheed to crony it up on the Hill so that the giant company could infuse itself with more of our money. (Without even having to worry about competition.)
Now, you won’t get the credential, the license to join the middle class. You’ll have to figure that out for yourself. And that’s really what all this “free” college stuff is about anyway, the credential, the diploma. It’s not really about education.
It could have been a whole lot worse. The Dow opened down over 1000 points this morning. Then markets rallied. Then they fell off again. Massive shifts in markets. Craziness.
Now the world looks to Asia.
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.