Category Archives: Capitalism

Resolving creeping communism, by Alasdair Macleod

Alasdair Macleod explains why socialism can’t work, particularly the socialization of money. From Macleod at goldmoney.com:

The thirtieth anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain coincides with a popular resurgence of communism and a drift into more socialism. A collective amnesia sees a return of the Soviet Union’s failed policies in a Marxist Labour party in Britain. Increasing socialism is expressed by US Democrats contending for the primaries.

This article explains the basic economic fallacies common to both. It clarifies why state ownership of the means of production does not resolve the problem of economic calculation in a socialist economy. It also explains the errors in socialistic condemnation of free markets.

And finally, it points out that very few of us realise we are more socialist than we think when we endorse government control of possibly our most important common commodity, which is our everyday money. But there is a simple solution: stop accommodating crony capitalists.

Introduction

This week saw the thirtieth anniversary of the breeching of the Berlin Wall. The elapse of time means most people younger than their mid-forties fail to understand what it was all about. Indeed, many folk older than that will have forgotten that the reason the Berlin Wall fell was because the communist states in eastern Europe and the old Soviet Union were no longer able to suppress their people. And the people were suppressed because suppression of personal freedom is central to communism, the creed that says people must make sacrifices for the common good. Besides the passage of time, the uncomfortable part which makes people want to forget its horrors is that communism is the both the basis and the final destination of modern socialism.

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4 Reasons Why Socialism Is Becoming More Popular, by Alexander Zubatov

Something for nothing is becoming the predominant strain of the American character. It won’t end well, it never does. Alexander Zubatov at mises.org:

The newfound openness of large numbers of Americans to socialism is, by now, a well-documented phenomenon. According to a Gallup poll from earlier this year, 43% of Americans now believe that some form of socialism would be a good thing, in contrast to 51% who are still against it. A Harris poll found that four in ten Americans prefer socialism to capitalism. The trend is particular apparent in the young: another Gallup poll showed that as recently as 2010, 68% of people between 18 and 29 approved of capitalism, with only 51% approving of socialism, whereas in 2018, while the percentage among this age group favoring socialism was unchanged at 51%, those in favor of capitalism had dropped precipitously to 45%. The same poll showed that among Democrats, the popularity of socialism now stands at 57%, while capitalism is only at 47%, a marked departure from 2010 when the two were tried at 53%. A YouGov poll from earlier this year showed that unlike older generations, which still preferred capitalist candidates, 70% of millennials and 64% of gen-Zers would vote for a socialist.

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Doug Casey on What Happens When Socialists Win Elections

A short summary: nothing good. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

Socialists

International Man: Earlier this year, it became apparent a socialist would win Argentina’s presidential election.

The Argentine peso lost 30% of its value in a single day. The same day, in US dollar terms, the value of the Argentine stock market was cut in half.

Doug, you spend a lot of time in Argentina and the Southern Cone. What’s your take on the situation? Is Argentina headed for another currency collapse?

Doug Casey: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was elected vice president and Alberto Fernández was elected president in the October 27 election. They basically destroyed the incumbent Mauricio Macri.

It’s a real pity because Macri is a decent human being whose heart was is in the right place politically and economically. But he was too timid. He did too little too late. Typical of “conservatives” everywhere, he didn’t make a moral argument to the populace. He made no effort to pull the corrupt fascist welfare state out by its roots, explaining why it’s destructive and why the state is the cause, not the cure, of the country’s problems. Instead, he just made some marginal improvements around the edges, and made things more comfortable for the Peronists now that they’re back in office.

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Set Money Free, by John Stossel

Money completely free of government is the only money that has a chance of being honest money. From John Stossel at townhall.com:

Set Money Free

Source: AP Photo/Susan Walsh

House members summoned Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to Washington, D.C., and grilled him — harshly — about his plan to create a new currency, Libra.

“Why should we trust you?!” asked Congressman Mike Doyle.

I liked it when Zuckerberg said, “I actually don’t know if Libra’s going to work, but I believe that it’s important to try new things.”

He was right. That’s very important.

The Libra would make it easier to transfer money anywhere in the world. It also promises stability. Its value would be based on a basket of currencies from different countries, which would protect Libra owners from inflation in any one country.

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Dalio: “The World Has Gone Mad And The System Is Broken”, by Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio runs one of the world’s largest hedge fund complexes. He offers a good diagnosis of the world’s very sick financial system. From Dalio at Linkedin.com via zerohedge.com:

I say these things because:

  • Money is free for those who are creditworthy because the investors who are giving it to them are willing to get back less than they give. More specifically investors lending to those who are creditworthy will accept very low or negative interest rates and won’t require having their principal paid back for the foreseeable future. They are doing this because they have an enormous amount of money to invest that has been, and continues to be, pushed on them by central banks that are buying financial assets in their futile attempts to push economic activity and inflation up. The reason that this money that is being pushed on investors isn’t pushing growth and inflation much higher is that the investors who are getting it want to invest it rather than spend it. This dynamic is creating a “pushing on a string” dynamic that has happened many times before in history (though not in our lifetimes) and was thoroughly explained in my book Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises.

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There’s No Stopping The World’s Most Politically Charged Pipeline, by Irina Slav

Despite the best efforts of the US government to get Europeans to buy higher priced American liquified natural gas, the Europeans inexplicably want the cheaper gas Russia offers, so the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Europe will go through. From Irina Slav at oilprice.com:

This week, Denmark granted Gazprom approval for its Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, a project that is set to bring 55 billion cubic meters of Russian gas into Europe annually. It is one of the most controversial pipeline projects in the world and is now moving ahead despite strong opposition from multiple EU members and the United States.

The geopolitical tensions surrounding the development of Nord Stream 2 are unprecedented. To begin with, Russia has very poor relations with the Baltic states and Poland, nations who will almost always fight against anything they see as empowering Russia geopolitically. Then there is Ukraine, a nation that is strongly against the pipeline due to its fear of losing the transit fees that it currently charges Russia for exporting gas to Europe. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the United States sees this pipeline as a direct threat to its soft power in Europe as well as a threat to its growing LNG exports.

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Six Graphs Showing Just How Much the Government Has Grown, by Ryan McMaken

No matter who gets elected government just gets bigger, and it’s a global phenomenon. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

Federal spending and federal taxation in the United States set new records in 2019. And the federal budget deficit swelled to more than a trillion dollars. Europe is in the middle of an enormous spending binge. But apparently hard-core laissez-faire libertarian purists have taken over the world’s governments.

At least, that’s the case in the minds of many leftists and conservatives who have convinced themselves that “market fundamentalists” have conquered the world’s institutions, and have enacted a global regime of near-zero taxation, free trade, and almost totally unregulated markets.

We hear this over an over again when everyone from The Pope to Bernie Sanders claims “neoliberalism” — a term used to “denote… a radical, far-reaching application of free-market economics unprecedented in speed, scope, or ambition” — has forged the world into a paradise for radical libertarians.

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