Category Archives: Capitalism

Socialism Is Destroying America, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The destruction has been a bipartisan effort; both parties love socialism. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

Leave it to the progressives (i.e., liberals or leftists) to point out, indirectly, that conservatives and Republicans are as devoted to socialism as leftists are. The point is well made in an article by Tim Butterworth, a former Democratic Party legislator in New Hampshire.

 

The title of the article pretty much says it all: “’Socialism’ Made America Great.” That’s, of course, the standard mindset of liberals/progressives/ Democrats. But it’s also the standard mindset of conservatives/Republicans! The difference is that the left admits it, proudly, while the right denies it.

Butterworth uses several examples to buttress his point. The big example he uses is the Interstate Highway System, which, he correctly points out, was one gigantic socialist public-works project — the biggest in the history of the world. He points out that it cost $500 billion in today’s dollars, with 90 percent coming from the federal government and 10 percent coming from the states.

Butterworth, of course, has it wrong about socialism making America great, but at least he has a grip on reality. He understands that the Interstate Highway system was a giant socialist project, and he’s proud of that fact. He is also happy to be called a socialist for supporting it.

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Secret History of the Monopolization of Welfare by the State, by Richard M. Ebeling

One pernicious effect of the welfare state is that it crowds out private, voluntary charity. From Richard M. Ebeling at aier.org:

The fundamental political issue always confronting society is whether human relationships shall be based on free association and voluntary choice, or on governmental compulsion and command. Of course, in most societies there are elements of both, often called the interventionist state or the “mixed economy.” But, nonetheless, the basic institutional alternatives are liberty or coercion.

This often seems difficult for people to fully appreciate or understand. We select where we live, we accept or not accept a job offering, we decide on the furniture in our home and what (if anything) we will read in terms of books or magazines, or to watch on television. We pick our friends and choose the clubs and associations we want to join. A thousand other everyday choices and decisions reflect our freedom in still much of what we do.

Political Interference in Market Affairs

Yet, at the same time, we take for granted many aspects and facets of our lives where such decision-making is narrowed or co-opted for us by those in political authority. We are compelled to pay into the government pension system called Social Security; we are taxed to pay for types and degrees of medical and health care that we may or may not desire or consider worth what the government garnishes from our salaries to pay for it before we even see a penny of our earned incomes.

The government regulates how business is done, under what terms and conditions an employer may hire a worker, what products may be produced and with what qualities, features and characteristics, and sometimes the price at which the good or service may be sold.

Continue reading

Have Environmentalists Killed More Europeans Than Islamic Terrorists Did? by Sultan Knish

For some environmentalists, air conditioning is a mortal offense to nature and must be discouraged or banned. Unfortunately, when things get very hot, some people without it. From Daniel Greenfield at sultanknish.blogspot.com:

“Do Americans Need Air-Conditioning?” a New York Times piece asked in July. Air conditioning, it argued, is bad for the environment and makes us less human. It ran quotes suggesting that, “first world discomfort is a learned behavior”, and urging “a certain degree of self-imposed suffering”.

If environmentalists ruled the world, air conditioning wouldn’t exist. And there’s a place like that.

90% of American households have air conditioning. As do 86% of South Koreans, 82% of Australians, 60% of Chinese, 16% of Brazilians and Mexicans, 9% of Indonesians and less than 5% of Europeans.

A higher percentage of Indian households have air conditioning than their former British colonial rulers.

Temperatures in Paris hit 108.6 degrees. Desperate Frenchmen dived into the fountains of the City of Lights with their clothes on. Parisian authorities announced that they were deploying heat wave management plan orange, level three, which meant setting up foggers in public parks and distributing heat wave kits. The kits consist of leaflets telling people to go to libraries which have air conditioning.

France24, the country’s state-owned television network, advised people suffering from temperatures rising as high as 110 degrees to take cold showers and stick their feet in saucepans of cold water.

A 2003 heat wave killed 15,000 people in France. And, in response, the authorities have deployed Chalex, a database of vulnerable people who will get a call offering them cooling advice.

The advice consists of taking cold showers and sticking their feet in saucepans of cold water.

Desperate Frenchmen trying to get into any body of water they can have led to a 30% rise in drownings. The dozens of people dead are casualties of the environmentalist hatred of air conditioners.

Continue reading

Rothbard and War by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

You can’t have a limited, libertarian government at home if that same government pursues interventionist policies abroad. From Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. at lewrockwell.com:

This talk was delivered at the Ron Paul Institute’s Conference on Breaking Washington’s Addiction to War.

Murray Rothbard was the creator of the modern libertarian movement and a close friend of both Ron Paul and me. His legacy was a great one, and at the Mises Institute I try every day to live up to his hopes for us.

One issue was the most important to him, of all the many issues that concerned him. This was the issue of war and peace. Because of his support for a peaceful, noninterventionist foreign policy for America, the CIA agent William F. Buckley blacklisted him from National Review and tried, fortunately without success, to silence his voice.

During the 1950’s, Murray worked for the Volker Fund, and in a letter to Ken Templeton in 1959, he complained about the situation:  “I can think of no other magazine which might publish this, though I might fix it up a bit and try one of the leftist-pacifist publications. The thing is that I am getting more and more convinced that the war-peace question is the key to the whole libertarian business, and that we will never get anywhere in this great intellectual counterrevolution (or revolution) unless we can end this . . . cold war-a war for which I believe our tough policy is largely responsible.”

Continue reading

Socialism isn’t a failure. It’s a fraud. By Mark E. Jeftovic

Socialism is a lie, which is obvious from its basic premises and should not have needed over 100 years of failure to demonstrate. No one of sound mind can ignore that history, even if they don’t put two and two together from the basic premises. From Mark E. Jeftovic at guerrilla-capitalism.com:

“Want to be rich? Start a good business.
Want to be really  rich? Become a socialist.”
— Unknown.

There is no shortage of empirical data that socialism fails every time it has been tried, and leaves the largest body count in it’s wake. Dr. Kristian Niemtietz’s “Socialism: The Failed Idea that Never Dies” documents the three distinct stages socialism goes through

  1. The Honeymoon Phase
  2. The What Aboutery Phase
  3. And finally, when all that’s left is a smoking crater and a pile of bodies, “the not real socialism phase”

Niemietz documents each occurrence of socialism in the 20th century in his book to show that central planning and redistribution simply do not work.

Then there’s the Black Book of Communism, which tallies up the body count of the socialist regimes of the 20th century (over 100 million souls).

So it’s curious, why are our intellectual, cultural and sundry political and economic elites decrying capitalism and promulgating socialism as a cure for societies perceived ills?

The answer, I think, is because socialism isn’t actually meant to succeed economically. It’s successful if it keeps the population under control, and the elites in charge.

Continue reading

Capitalism Isn’t the Reason We’re Unhappy, by Ryan McMaken

Capitalism is supposedly responsible for most of the world’s ills, while government generally gets a free pass on everything. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

Many critics of capitalism have given up trying to claim capitalism makes people poorer. Faced with so many obvious gains in the standard of living, and in reducing poverty worldwide, markets have won the economic debate over whether or not capitalism is the path to material riches.

But the doctrinaire anti-capitalists have other strategies. They’ve now branched out into blaming capitalism for a host of other social, ecological, and psychological ills.

Sometimes, the tactic is to blame capitalism for destroying the earth. Other times, it’s to claim that capitalism, in spite of the material plenty it delivers, makes us miserable.

For example, George Monbiot, columnist at The Guardian blames pro-capitalist ideology for making people, sad, lonely, and unhealthy. Writers cite polls claiming people in richer countries — i.e., more capitalistic ones — are more miserable than people elsewhere. Holly Baxter at The Independent suggests capitalism is the reason elderly people are now so lonely and isolated: capitalism makes us more concerned with buying things than with visiting poor, dying Aunt Ethel.

Claim: Capitalism Wants Us to Be Sad, Needy Consumers

And it’s all by design, it seems. According to Monbiot and other critics of “neoliberalism” — by which they just mean anything resembling a market system — the capitalist ideology is designed to isolate us, and turn us into soulless consumers. This then paves the way for an endless cycle of misery and consumption.

Continue reading

America’s Well-Documented Decline Amid Wars in the Air, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

The movie Network proved to be prophetic about America’s decline in a media-centric age. From Doug “Uncola” Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

In 1976, some of the families sharing older ancestral lineages in my hometown were asked to march together in our bicentennial parade.  Although I was at an age where I found it somewhat embarrassing, I did enjoy waving at my friends and schoolmates along the way. Especially the girls.

Although the Saccharine Seventies manifested as a tarnishing patina on the silver platter of Norman Rockwell’s America, much of the shine still remained then in my hometown; even in the years before Ronald Reagan’s repolishing as the table was set again for his 1984 “Morning in America”commercial.

Ah, the power of television. What began with Elvis and his now iconic gyrating pelvis, later made Richard Milhous Nixon appear as the scowling ogre before Sir John F. Kennedy’s Camelot. Then, the next thing we knew, a former actor had become president, followed by shock and awe warfare, a stained blue dress, hanging chads, and elections predicated upon melanin and genitals.  Today, we view Reality TV political press conferences almost as exciting as productions staged by the World Wide Wrestling Federation.  Who knew?

Ironically, the film “Network” was also released in 1976.  In watching it again recently, what struck me was how well-identified were the seeds of America’s decline – even back then, more than four decades ago.   The film starred many Hollywood heavy-hitters including Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, and Ned Beatty. It was a critical and commercial success that was, in fact, nominated for ten Oscars and won four.  Twenty-four years later, the movie critic Roger Ebert likened the film to “prophecy”.

Continue reading→