Category Archives: Capitalism

Sorry, Stiglitz: It’s Socialism That’s Rigged — not Capitalism, by William L. Anderson

Joseph Stiglitz is a hack economist, “a one man band for growth of the state.” That’s why he won a Nobel Prize. From William L. Anderson at mises.org:

Ever since winning the Nobel Memorial Prize in “Economic Science” in 2001, Joseph Stiglitz has been a one-man advocacy band for growth of the state. After 9/11, for example, he called for the formation of a federal agency to provide security for airline passengers, which he claimed would send a “signal” for quality. (Stiglitz won his prize for “proving” that free markets are “inefficient” and always result in less-than-optimal outcomes because of asymmetric information. Only government in the hands of Really Smart People like Stiglitz can direct production and exchange consistently to efficient and “just” results.)

More than a decade ago, Stiglitz lavished praise for the socialist government of the late Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, declaring:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appears to have had success in bringing health and education to the people in the poor neighborhoods of Caracas, to those who previously saw few benefits of the country’s oil wealth.

He went on to claim that the Chavez policies of expropriating the capital structure of private oil companies in Venezuela would result in a more “equal” distribution of wealth in that country, something he believes is desirable everywhere. Interestingly, since Venezuela’s socialist “experiment” went south, complete with hyperinflation and one of the worst financial and economic crises ever seen in the Western Hemisphere, Stiglitz has been silent, at least when it comes to explaining why the so-called economic miracle in Venezuela was unsustainable.

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The American Dream, by Jeff Thomas

What’s behind the surge in support for collectivism? The same things that’s always behind it: something for nothing. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

Many people in Europe and North America are shaking their heads at the rapidly-growing support in their countries for a transition into collectivism. At present, this advance is developing especially rapidly in the US.

Since the election of Donald Trump, large numbers of liberal Americans are beside themselves with despair and are responding with vehement collectivist rhetoric.

But, why should this be so? There have been many US presidents who were more conservative in their views than Mister Trump and, in fact, the Deep State, which unquestionably has more control over the future of the US than any president, is clearly moving forward with a collectivist agenda.

Yet, we’re witnessing an anomaly that’s not only unprecedented in US history; its ramifications and the rhetoric that drive it are often irrational beyond the pale.

A racist is no longer defined as someone who treats those of one race differently from those of another race. A racist is defined as someone who is Caucasian.

A sexist is no longer defined as someone who regards one gender as being superior to another. A sexist defined as someone who is a male.

A warmonger leader is no longer defined by aggressive behaviour. A warmonger may be defined as a man who attempts to maintain peaceful negotiations with other leaders.

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It Ain’t So, Alan! Why Greenspanian Central Banking Is the Mortal Enemy of Capitalist Prosperity, by David Stockman

By David Stockman’s calculations, US unemployment is 40 percent. From Stockman at davidstockmanscontracorner.com via lewrockwell.com:

We can thank bubblevision and the Maestro himself for a splendid reminder today that Greenspanian central banking is the greatest menace to capitalist prosperity ever invented. This was made abundantly clear by his pronouncement on CNBC regarding the current labor market:

Tightest labor market I’ve ever seen.” – Greenspan on @CNBC

As an empirical matter, of course, that’s rank nonsense – and is among the stupidest quips the Maestro has ever uttered. That’s because the law of supply and demand dictates that if the labor market is actually the tightest since Greenspan began his career in the 1950s, wage rates should also be rising at the highest rate ever.

In fact, at 2.8% year-year-over year for September 2018, nominal wage growth (red line) is the lowest it’s been since the late 1960s; and in real terms, the story is even worse.

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How ‘Democratic Socialism’ Wreaked Havoc On My Native Sweden, by Anders Ingemarson

Scandinavian “democratic socialism” is not what it’s cracked up to be by those desperately casting around for some acceptable form of socialism. From Anders Ingemarson at thefederalist.com:

Sweden’s experiment with ‘democratic socialism’ resulted in four decades of lost progress. Let’s learn from their mistake, not emulate it.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s July 26 Democratic primary win over stalwart Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district has given “democratic socialism” a new lease on life. The progressive poster grandma and grandpa — Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — have been blessed with a millennial poster grandchild, and mainstream media and leftists across the country are experiencing unseasonal spring fever as we approach the fall election.

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Socialism Destroys, by John Stossel

Just because you put the word “Democratic” in front of socialism doesn’t make socialism any better than the failure it has repeatedly been. From John Stossel at theburningplatform.com:

Socialism is hot.

Famous actors recently made a commercial proclaiming that “democratic socialism” creates some of the best parts of America. It’s “your kids’ public school” (says Susan Sarandon), the “interstate highway system” (Rosario Dawson), “public libraries” (Jay Ferguson), “EMTs” (Ethan Embry), “workers who plow our streets” (Max Carver) and “scientists” (Danny DeVito).

Wow. I guess every popular thing government does is socialism.

The celebrities conclude: “We can do better when we do them together.”

There is sometimes truth to that, but the movie stars don’t know that America’s first highways were built by capitalist contractors. They also probably didn’t notice that the more popular parts of government — public schools, EMTs, snow plowing, libraries, etc. — are largely locally funded.

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The People Give the Orders and the Government Obeys, by Jeff Thomas

One town in Mexico is making something that looks suspiciously like libertarianism work. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

The sign above is located in the state of Chiapas in Mexico. In English, it says, “You are in the territory of Zapatista in Rebellion. Here, the people give the orders and the government obeys.”

Well, of course, what that really means is that the Zapatistas give the orders, not the people as a whole. Still, the people generally regard the Zapatistas as being more representative of their wishes (and less parasitical) than the government.

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Misesian Destructionism: Then and Now, by Thomas DiLorenzo

Socialists want to upend the existing social order while consuming whatever it has produced. Once they’ve eaten their seed corn, they’ve got no idea how to raise a new crop. From Thomas DiLorenzo at lewrockwell.com:

In his classic 1922 book Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis (first English edition published in 1936) Ludwig von Mises wrote of how the object of socialists everywhere had always been the destruction of existing society.  After that is accomplished, then they can begin making vague promises of their “utopian” society.  “Socialism is not . . . the pioneer of a better and finer world,” Mises wrote, “but the spoiler of what thousands of years of civilization have created.  It does not build; it destroys.  For destruction is the essence of it.  It produces nothing, it only consumes what the social order based on private ownership in the means of production has created . . . each step leading towards socialism must exhaust itself in the destruction of what already exists” (p. 414).

This scenario has been played out in country after country that adopted socialism, from the Soviet Union to Venezuela.  The Soviets lived off the capital accumulated by previous generations (and by property stolen from other countries through military conquest); British “Fabian” socialism consumed capital until it all imploded with the “British Disease” of the 1970s; Capitalist Sweden adopted socialism in the 1950s with the result that not a single net new job was created for the ensuing 55 years, 500 percent interest rates in the 1980s, and a struggle to de-socialize ever since.  And of course once-prosperous Venezuela completely destroyed itself in a mere decade after Hugo Chavez, the latest in a long line of Castro-loving communist presidents, nationalized virtually all of industry and imposed universal price controls.

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