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.
Not all “intellectuals” but a good number of them. Many who populate sociology, and political science departments that’s for sure. And English, and, OK, pretty much every department except business, and even then.
OK, so you lose Ex-Im and the sweetheart deal which goes with it. So you decide to take your ball and go play – wherever – outside of the United States. Fine.
But it seems reasonable then, going forward, not to award Boeing any lucrative military projects. That’s only fair. Go live off the Swedish taxpayers. They like socialism.
As we’ve argued many times before, arbitrarily raising the minimum wage, particularly to a level which is far above the real wage rate is an idiotic move. It creates unemployment for low wage earners, and in many cases for the people who formerly employed low wage earners. A “living wage” sounds nice. It sells to economically unsophisticated people. But a job doesn’t suddenly become “worth” more just because the government declares that it is. One can not revoke gravity. Likewise one can not revoke supply and demand.
Magic is not real, no matter what the politicians say.
This is an old article, but given the current debate it is worthy of a post.
Ralph Nader is one our favorites here at ACC. We disagree with him on a myriad of issues. He likes government quite a lot. We, well are more skeptical of the state. Saying that though, there is no doubt that Mr. Nader is an enemy of crony capitalism and one of the good guys running around Washington. (There are a few.)
Below is a declaration. A call to town halls. A call to take the rhetorical fight directly to our elected officials during their summer recess. If our representatives are going to ignore us in DC they will have a much harder time ignoring us at community meetings and grandstanding events. Turn on your iPhones. Record responses to hard questions. See what happens.
They do work for us.
Obamacare is a giant jack. And no, single payer is not the solution. That is the last thing we need. Single payer is an excuse for all sorts of other cronyism. Not to mention that socializing healthcare in the 21st Century is just a backward idea. We should be opening up healthcare not centralizing it.
There is some debate around here as to the world’s most crony company. There are many candidates but consistently in the top 5 or so is Goldman Sachs, Government Sachs.
Few companies have exploited the taxpayer and political connections to the extent Goldman has. Truly it is a company built fundamentally on cronyism.
In 2008 Goldman Sachs was leveraged more than 100 to 1 on its assets. (That is probably a conservative estimate.) When the economic tide turned it was fully exposed. It should have died the disgraced death it deserved. It should have been crushed under the wheel of the market.
Goldman however had a former CEO at Treasury, Hank Paulson, who bailed out his buddies with money taken from taxpayers.
If you really want to understand why the crony capitalist system is so insidious as well as ubiquitous I highly recommend listening to this bit from the master Murray Rothbard. If you really want to get what is so messed up about government and the “privavte sector” partnering up, one must know at least a little bit of his work.
Warning though. Rothbard can rattle one’s whole understanding of politics and economics.
The change is happening actually. I feel a shift, on a broad scale. It has just started, but pay close attention. Statism is failing and people are beginning to remember (or learn) that real markets solve problems and allow people to create wealth.
The everyday person is becoming more aware that tossing one’s lot in with the Grubers of the world is just foolish.
It will take a revolution in economic thinking to turn the USA around, and I am more optimistic now than I have been in a long time that such a shift can happen. Indeed that it is happening.
Ron Paul calls out the Plunge Protection Team on CNBC. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it mentioned on financial television. Seriously anyway.
And boy is he right. There is an assumption that the Fed will never let stocks (and other assets) revert to real levels.
The thing is the Fed for all its power is still subject to the laws of thermodynamics, just like the rest of us. That is, even the mighty central bank will feel the sting of its hubris.
Of course so will the rest of the planet. Which let me tell you is a real bummer.
Some surprises here. Did not know that Long and Foster, a real estate broker was the largest business in Virginia.
There was a time when I had more time and I used to play poker sort of seriously. I still play occasionally. I enjoy the game. I find it endless in nuance and full of lessons about life.
As Kenny Rogers says, know when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em, when to walk away, and when to run. (Though I would say that if you ever find yourself running away from a poker game it’s probably time to consider another pastime.)
Poker, real poker, is a great analogy for life. Some of us come to the table with big stacks. Some of us come to the table with small stacks. Big (tall) stacks are a huge advantage. Small stacks are harder to work with.
Now why oh why oh why would McDonalds, which is under pressure from the marketplace (my kids refuse to eat at McDonalds – I still like an egg McMuffin on occasion) and the unions which are whining that fast food workers aren’t paid enough (really they just want the minimum wage adjusted up so union wages will be adjusted up) hire an Obama insider to build a revamped “progressive” burger joint?
Shoot, I’ll tell McDonalds how to do it right here. For free.
It is fair to say that the Republic is in serious peril and that this president has done GREAT damage to this country.
The silver lining to the Obama presidency has been that many people have finally become aware of what our system of government is supposed to look like. Many more people have read the Constitution since Obama came in than before. For too long Americans took our system for granted. It has taken an accelerated assault on the Bill of Rights and our founding document generally – from the White House – to wake at least a large minority up.