In the attached article Kevin D. Williamson associates functionality and competence a little too closely with Republicans. Saying this his analysis otherwise is right on.
What we saw in Baltimore this week is a symptom of big government urban politics. Why are places like Detroit, much of Chicago, St. Louis, Philly, still large parts of New York, Atlanta, Richmond, a good part of Washington DC, and dozens more cities so poor and so dysfunctional? Largely (but not solely), because in these places the reality of the marketplace is not embraced. (At least not the legal marketplace.)
Why do businesses leave these cities? For many reasons. But a big part is because taxes are too high in major cities, almost across the board. Or perhaps like Seattle the minimum wage is being pushed up to levels which are divorced from reality, which also acts as a tax. There is a reason some cities feel like skeletons, because the business community long ago was picked clean. Urban America killed the goose that laid the golden tax base egg. Now it wonders why all the jobs are gone.
It is like a never ending onion peel with the Clintons.
I’ll give them this – they stay busy.
Call it the new abnormal.
Since 2008 the world has been turned upside down. In our collective panic we have disrupted whatever used to pass for economic homeostasis. Now the globe is moving (moved) toward a negative interest rate environment for government bonds.
Please, take my money. I’ll pay you to take my money! Why am I paying a government to hold my money? Well, because the economy is so healthy of course.
All the paper bugs out there can say whatever they want. Gold is a “barbaric relic.” It’s just a yellow rock. Yet, when the dung hits the fan, it’s the gold which gets sold. (Or in this case pawned.) As true for the degenerate gambler in Atlantic City as it is for the degenerate politicos in in Venezuela.
Oh, it’s a bull market alright. Can nothing stop the QE induced party? The sun has come up and set a few times on this market, yet the DJ is still pumping the music and most importantly the drug dealers are still milling about the crowd.
Ibiza in pinstripes. Or if you prefer Las Vegas in pinstripes.
I don’t know what would have been more difficult to get through, the White House Correspondent’s Dinner last weekend or the The Bryce Harlow Foundation awards dinner, which brings the heaviest hitters in Congress and on K Street together to schmooze and give awards to one another. (That’s right, Congress gives awards to lobbyists, and the lobbyists give awards to members of Congress.)
Steny Hoyer appears to be very happy to be hanging out with the Gucci gulch crowd however.
The Fed will always be able to stop a crash. Just like how the prices of houses always go up?
Many of our readers are probably aware that Townhall Finance regularly features our work. John Ransom, the editor there does an excellent job and we encourage everyone to check out the site if you have not visited. It’s a very good mix of free market thinkers from different schools. Though it is generally not “libertarian.”
That is why I was particularly pleased to see this article in Townhall. A new and broad political disposition is clearly emerging. Though many longstanding libertarians would probably take issue with some of the people calling themselves “libertarians” these days, what we see is clearly progress. In the face of a very activist government (going back long before Obama) and a renaissance of constitutional understanding (largely facilitated by the Internet) more and more people are actually embracing the concept of “live and let live.”
My colleague Hunter Lewis has this to say about Paul Volcker –
“Volcker really cares about the poor and the middle class. He is also scrupulously honest, not a scintilla of cronyism or corruption in him. And he has even admitted that the financial system was actually more stable before the creation of the federal reserve.”
Word is that Al Sharpton is holding a hunger strike to protest the fact that the Senate won’t move on the Lorretta Lynch AG nomination. You can guess why Sharpton think things are held up. One of the real reasons why Ms. Lynch is under such scrutiny is her support of civil forfieture. The seizing of property by the police even if someone has not been convicted of a crime. Across the country police departments have used the tool to feather their nests. The practice is often called “policing for profit.” People lose homes and livelihoods even if they have done nothing wrong.
One such example comes from Frederick County Maryland. A small farmer who ran a cash market sometimes would deposit just less than $10,000 after a sale day in the bank in an effort to avoid the paperwork associated with depositing more that $10,000. This practice is called “structuring” and according to police it is a no no. So the police decided to seize the $63,000 in the account used for the farmer’s market. They did this even though the police said they knew their victim was innocent of wrongdoing.
Let’s get one thing out of the way. Both Paul and and Cruz are libertarianish. Paul more libertarianish than Cruz. Neither however is really pushing a hard core liberty oriented agenda.
In the attached article Paul and Cruz aren’t the real focus anyway. Crony capitalism is.
The author tries to make the argument that crony capitalism is what capitalism actually is. There is no distinction between capitalism partnered with the state and capitalism in general. It’s the same phenomenon.
This is the argument that many big government people try to make all the time on this site, because it is what fits the statist worldview. It is what people have been taught all their lives. I was certainly taught this.
On one side are the “progressives,” owners of progress, good government, making the world better and more fair. On the other side there are the “capitalists” monsters of greed and exploitation. Angels and demons.
This worldview is as simple as it is simple minded.
Iceland stands like a sentinel at the gates of the Arctic and astride the Mid-Atlantic rift. Part of Scandinavia but also the last stone hop to North America it is a place which breeds peculiarity. With a population of under 330,000, less than the population of Wichita, Kansas, this peculiarity is compounded. Throw in month long winter nights and communal hot spring spas and one can understand why the tiny country produces such weird (and often interesting) furniture, music, and economic ideas.
Attached Ash Navabi at the Mises Institute examines one of Iceland’s most recent idea exports, sovereign money.
The income tax is absolutely crazy if one takes a moment to think about it. We’ve become so conditioned to accept it that we don’t even realize how ridiculous it is. The government taxes one for being productive, for creating income for one’s family, for doing one’s part to grow the economy. It doesn’t make any sense.
But there is a vast government infrastructure which depends on your money. There is also a political constituency which believes that it is the government’s duty to take income from some in the name of “social justice.” That this money happens to flow back to many of the people calling for “social justice” is a coincidence of course.
Water policy in California is bizarre. I had no idea how bizarre until Jerry Brown declared his water emergency last week.
With 39 million people living in a semi-arid to desert environment (at least the southern 2/3 of California) doesn’t it stand to reason that at some point water might become a critical issue? A really critical issue? Doesn’t it also stand to reason that the people of California should be priority number 1 when it comes to water, not a politically powerful agriculture sector which only constitutes 2% of the California economy while taking 80% of the water? (Though there are of course apologists for ag.) But the “planners,” like they always do, thought they had the situation in hand.