The Real Enemy for Trump Is Mercantilism, Not Globalism

Hernando de Soto (the author of the below article) is someone anyone who cares about trade, the betterment of the world, and the rule of law must read. His thinking on property rights and regulation has influenced my thinking on such issues deeply. And indeed in the attached article, and yet again, Sr. de Soto is correct. It isn’t global trade that hurts people. Far from it. It’s that some people, cronies, benefit from the global trade regimes negotiated in places like Vienna,

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Does Clinton’s pass from Comey indicate the dawn of an American banana republic?

“The Big Pass” certainly is a big step toward banana republicanism. Even some of Hillary’s most ardent supporters were taken aback by Comey’s statement on Tuesday.

There is a sense in the country now that there are rules for the rulers and rules for the rabble, and that the “rulers” don’t even have to hide it now.

Consider that all the big bank execs got off without even really having to sweat. Consider that Lois Lerner skated.

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Charlie Rangle says he “deserves” to be protected by guns, You do not however (VIDEO)

There are perfectly reasonable reasons why there are well armed people who should be protecting the Capitol. However, Rangle’s statement reflects clearly the 2 tiered (multitiered?) system in this country. Cronies at the top. The great unwashed (and in Rangle’s hope, unarmed) throngs below.

Part of a crony society is such a tiered system. The cronies, the connected, have a certain group of rules they think that they live by. For the rest of the citizenry, those who don’t suffer from Potomac Fever,

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In Rio’s favelas lack of property rights can be lethal for young men (Not just in Rio, and not just for young men)

Property rights and the rule of law are absolutely vital for the creation of wealth for all, but particularly for the world’s poor.

When even the poor, the least advantaged and often the least connected know that for even them a contract is a contract, that a deed is a deed, that what is theirs will remain theirs wealth can be created. People can begin the road out of poverty.

Economist Hernando de Soto has long made this case.

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Attorneys general seek to intimidate those who voice dissent (from ‘official’ opinion) on the issue of climate change, Target Competitive Enterprise Institute

The Inquisition by Joaquin Pinto

CEI is an excellent organization. I know many of the people there and am familiar with the organization’s work on a variety of subjects. They are champions of free thinking and enemies of crony capitalism. They often break with standard political opinion and as such there are some who don’t like the organization. Some who would like CEI to shut up.

There are those would like to criminalize questioning the status quo.

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CIA leaker: Clinton ‘given a pass’ for emails

It seemed like a few years ago more people wondered aloud whether the United States was becoming a banana republic.

Now however, though we are not Honduras, it is fair to say that in many respects we have indeed become a banana republic. The rule of law has eroded every year in this country for what seems like forever. The crony economy has become pervasive, indeed at this point it is ubiquitous. The middle class is shrinking.  We aren’t creating small businesses at the pace we used to.

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The long, slow death of the rule of law in America

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,

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AT&T Helped U.S. Spy on Internet on a Vast Scale

(From The New York Times)

The National Security Agency’s ability to spy on vast quantities of Internet traffic passing through the United States has relied on its extraordinary, decades-long partnership with a single company: the telecom giant AT&T.

While it has been long known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the spy agency, newly disclosed N.S.A. documents show that the relationship with AT&T has been considered unique and especially productive. One document described it as “highly collaborative,” while another lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help.”

Crony capitalism comes in many forms.

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Appeals Court to Obama: Sorry, no executive amnesty

We decided that wasn’t what we wanted.

Pretty much everyone I think saw Obama’s “executive amnesty” move as at best a power grab and at worst, well, something much worse. But it looks like Obama’s plans are dead on this front. He can still appeal to the Supreme Court but that body has been quite critical of this administration as Obama and Co.have sought to expand executive power in recent years.

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Honduran gangs choke small businesses with ‘war tax’

It is often said that the state is not that much different from a mafia. This is true and it’s not true. But to the extent it is true can be seen in the horrible business climate in Tegucigalpa Honduras.

Want to do business? Pay a crippling tax. Don’t pay the tax? Meet Mr. Bullet.

In the USA thankfully entrepreneurs are rarely shot by the government. But they are shaken down for taxes. And they can go to jail for not paying taxes.

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Protest: The property rights of indigenous peoples in Brazil

I have made the case that one of the reasons the Amazon, African, and Indonesian rain forests are relentlessly plowed under is due to the absence of the rule of law and the general lack of respect for property rights in these countries. The rain forest is in many respects a “commons” which people exploit  as all “commons” are exploited. No one owns the forest, so it’s a free-for-all.

We have argued also that the property rights of indigenous peoples should be respected and that the state is the greatest violator of the sovereignty of many of these groups.

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