Mr Reich generally needs to be taken with a grain of salt. He has been, and as far as I know, continues to be fundamentally wrong on the most important economic questions. Saying that, he has flashes of insight on political issues, and here’s one.
Of course we issue the standard disclaimers with this piece that we do with many of the folks we choose to feature here who we feel are too enamored with the state.
That he still can’t grasp (or is frankly willing to admit) that for the most part this country should thank it’s lucky stars for the TEA Party and the mini-revolt of 2009 is a big flaw in his argument. Another one is that he says that the TEA Party promoted “outright racism.” (I almost didn’t run his piece because of this chunk of baloney. A few memes promoted in the Huffington Post don’t count. I was there. I never saw it. Ever. I’m betting Reich didn’t attend many rallies.)
And yet another myth he promotes is the idea of some kind of post-World War 2 golden age of government. That is just a flat out misunderstanding of the situation.
In 1964, Americans agreed by 64% to 29% that government was run for the benefit of all the people. By 2012, the response had reversed, with voters saying by 79% to 19% that government was “run by a few big interests looking after themselves.”
This may be true but this is because before the information revolution the average person didn’t understand how the game, the government game, was played. It is, and has always been played for powerful interests. It’s just that we know it now. It was because Americans were basically ignorant (through no fault of their own) that 64% of people thought government was run for the benefit of the people.
They may have THOUGHT it was. But it wasn’t.
We woke up. Mr. Reich hasn’t. At least on this very important point.
So why run his piece?
This is a long fight and getting rid of the Export-Import Bank is just the beginning. A battle in a larger war to reduce the size and scope of government and to reduce the power of the current crony capitalist system. It will be a slog. Blood will be lost. But make sure most of the blood comes from the cronies and not from those who strive for a reasonably honest government and economy.
This reminds me of another article which we ran years ago about Apple. The article was also from Politico and basically amounted to a warning to the profitable company – “Throw some money to the lobbyists, or else.”
This article isn’t as heavy handed, indeed it may be a straight report, not a threat.
But that some of these newer, more innovative food companies are not “paying to play” clearly irks some within the Washington political class.
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.
If you don’t define it you can’t stop money from flowing to it. Which is the point.
Seems obvious to many of us but still there are many who don’t understand that liberty leads to greater human actualization. This actualization leads to a more satisfying life generally.
An interesting and somewhat desperate statement on corruption from a fan big government in Salon.
Thing is, as we say often, government is inherently corrupt. One can’t just get “good people” into office and then things will change. Government must itself be reduced.
Yes this means that many big modern liberal dreams must be abandoned.
I do not write this flippantly. I understand that this would constitute a political sea change.
It’s the same party with 2 wings. The Washington Crony Party. If one can fleece the taxpayer it will be done, Republican, Democrat, whatever, so long as money is funneled to the narrow interests which fund your campaigns.
The Republican Party, though it has a free market wing which is young and growing is still dominated by the older big government crony Republicans. How long that generation can hold on, and how much damage they will create to the economy is anyone’s guess.
Good on ya Uber.
If you can make it, and beat the cronies in New York, you can make it anywhere. Take that cabbie cronies.
Of course Bill deBlasio is still going to try to make Uber pay for part of the Subway system. We’ll see about that. Right now the mayor is huddled up in Gracie Mansion licking his wounds and wondering how he got beaten so badly.
And that is a very good thing for New Yorkers. The longer he’s in the fetal position the better.
Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick has said he wants to refashion the car-booking company into a sort of politician to fight against the taxicab industry. Kalanick should get the confetti ready because Uber just won perhaps its biggest campaign yet. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio backed down on a plan to stall the growth of Uber and similar ride-hailing apps.
Buried within the mounds of tweets, retweets, newspaper editorials, insulting app “features,” television commercials and press releases, a lot of stats have been thrown around by both camps in the hopes of swaying New Yorkers. Here are eight of the most cited numbers that helped shape the debate, and eventually tilted the campaign in Uber’s favor.
Click here for the article.
It’s true. Free people stand up for themselves. Free people respect others but question why it is that they must fall in line.
This general disposition annoys politicians and perhaps more importantly it annoys the people who do not see any value in standing up for themselves, in thinking independently. Why can’t you just get along? Why do you have to question everything? What makes you so special that you get to challenge the system which is obviously (sic) in place for the greater good?
It really is a question of what one thinks it means to be alive. It’s that fundamental.
Napoleon tried to do it. Hitler tried to do it. Both failed. Europe in the post medieval era has never been fully conquered. Europe has remained multiple states. Given that it is a continent defined by mountain ranges, peninsulas, and islands this makes sense. It is a landmass of cul-de-sacs. It is not a vast plain which is easily overrun. But now the eurocrats (many unelected) are trying to take over Europe via administrative means.
The goal is a “United States of Europe,” but don’t be fooled. This USE is not a democratic endeavor, as the recent subjugation of Greece shows. It is about domination and coercion.
As Nigel Farage head of the United Kingdom Independence Party said recently a USE would be more like the USSR than the USA.*
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.
The Left-fascists, the PC police, the thought police, the progressive regressives, the anti-intellectual advocates of post modern newspeak, whatever you want to call them, are bullies. They are shallow thinking bullies. They know that if there is a debate around certain issues they will lose and lose badly. As such they seek to shut debate down before it begins. That is their only defense because they know deep down that their worldview, based on the Hegelian-Marxist dialectic is excrement.
But it’s their religion and they cling to it and their gun control.
This is a very interesting article. The author basically makes the case that there are 2 distinct kinds of billionaires, crony and generally non-crony. And he argues that though non-crony billionaires have little if any impact on growth (I haven’t looked at his data but this doesn’t seem crazy to me.) the crony billionaires have a huge negative impact on economic growth.
Though the author implies that that non-crony billionaires are a neutral factor (in growth terms) in an economy is some sort of surprise to we free market types, it is not. Sub-billionaires (the non-crony version) are probably WAY more important to growth. They are still building fortunes, and businesses, etc. In other words Bill Gates might not have that much impact on growth now but he sure as heck did as he was building Microsoft.
I am pretty much against bottled water in principal. Though I will admit on occasion I’ll stop at a 7-11 after a trip to the beach or after a hike and guzzle a bottle down. However it is never lost on me that I am paying for something which is essentially free. I am paying $1.50 for the convenience of a cold bottle of water. But I will also say that I never feel good about it. Bottled water, in the USA at least, is pretty much a waste of money.
Apparently some honchos in the National Park Service have a similar disdain for bottled water, but it appears for different reasons. It seems that bottled water, sold in national parks, creates lots of waste. It’s expensive to deal with. As such there is an effort afoot to ban the sale of bottled water in national parks.
The bottled water companies are understandably not happy about such a ban and are unleashing their lobbyists to head off the bottled water prohibition.