Category Archives: Capitalism

The Last Gasp, by Robert Gore

No one is more dangerous than the suicidal.

When you can’t love, you hate. When you can’t build, you destroy. When you’re ignored, you scream. When you can’t tell the truth, you lie. When you can’t reason, you panic. When no one will follow you out of admiration or respect, you compel. When you can’t live, you kill.

This is it, the last gasp of the psychopaths who express their contempt and hatred for humanity by trying to rule it. Compulsion, not voluntary and natural cooperation. Power, pull, and politics, not incentives, competition, honest production, and value-for-value trade. From each according to his virtue to each according to his depravity.

It can’t work. It won’t work. They know it. Do you?

As the totalitarian horror unfolds before our eyes, only the willfully blind will ignore it. Only those who refuse to think will fail to grasp its implications. Only the irretrievably corrupt will embrace it.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. We were warned.

Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness; only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where humans beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?

George Orwell, 1984, 1949

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The Crony Capitalist Thieves Are Back, by David Stockman

It’s harder to get rid of crony socialists than it is to get rid of cockroaches, and crony socialists are less cuddly. From David Stockman at davidstockmanscontracorner.com via lewrockwell.com:

The nerve of it is a wonder to behold. The US airline industry has spent a decade shoving itself into harm’s way by strip-mining their balance sheets to fund share buybacks and goose top executive stock options.

For crying out loud – the reckless irresponsibility of it is mind-boggling. That’s because for decades upon decades this has been a highly cyclical industry – vulnerable to global dislocations caused by recessions, storms, wars, terror and more. Accordingly, airline companies absolutely need deep equity balance sheets and ample standby liquidity, even at the expense of short-term earnings.

Needless to say, the Big Four US airlines – Delta, United, American, and Southwest – were having none of financial rationality, prudence and common sense. As Wolf Richter properly pointed out:

“These stocks are now getting crushed because they may run out of cash in a few months, yet they would be the primary recipients of that $50 billion bailout, well, after they wasted, blew, and incinerated willfully and recklessly together $43.7 billion in cash on share buybacks since 2012 for the sole purpose of enriching the very shareholders that will now be bailed out by the taxpayer.”

We say nothing doing!

If the Big Four Airlines can’t raise enough cash in the high cost long term debt markets or by issuing highly dilutive preferred stock or equity, there is only one solution – and that is chapter 11. Holy moly, that’s why we have this legal protection procedure.

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“Political Anarchy” Is How the West Got Rich, by Ryan McMaken

One of the main and generally unattributed factors behind the West’s rise since the Middle Ages was the lack of political centralization. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

It is not uncommon to encounter political theorists and pundits who insist that political centralization is a boon to economic growth.  In both cases, it is claimed the presence of a unifying central regime—whether in Brussels or in Washington, DC, for example—is essential in ensuring the efficient and free flow of goods throughout a large jurisdiction. This, we are told, will greatly accelerate economic growth.

In many ways, the model is the United States, inside of which there are virtually no barriers to trade or migration at all between member states. In the EU, barriers have been falling rapidly in recent decades.

The historical evidence, however, suggests that political unity is not actually a catalyst to economic growth or innovation over the long term. In fact, the European experience suggests that the opposite is true.

Why Did Europe Surpass China in Wealth and Growth?

A thousand years ago, a visitor from another planet might have easily overlooked European civilization as a poor backwater. Instead, China and the Islamic world may have looked far more likely to be the world leaders in wealth and innovation indefinitely.

Why is it, then, that Europe became the wealthiest and most technologically advanced civilization in the world?

Indeed, the fact that Europe had grown to surpass other civilizations that were once more scientifically and technologically advanced had become apparent by the nineteenth century. Historians have debated the question of the origins of this “European miracle” ever since.

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The problem with attacking for-profit health care…especially for Bernie, by Jess Jones

For-profit health care probably saved Bernie Sanders’ life. From Jess Jones at americanthinker.com:

Bernie Sanders has been running advertisements about “patients before profits,” blaming deaths in America on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry.  I could understand that belief if he grew up in a small town outside Havana where the government controlled every aspect of his information and all innovation had been frozen on the day of the revolution, but he can’t make that claim.  Sadly, the spectacular ignorance underlying the belief is a common problem.

Let’s start to dispel the notion that profit-seeking is a problem by pointing out some current events.  The coronavirus that is causing global panic and bringing superpowers to their knees seems to be the most pressing concern of the day.  According to an article in statnews.com, there are nine treatments and vaccines of note to tackle the global pandemic.  All of them are being developed by for-profit companies.  None of the governments, universities, or NGOs is near development.  Can Bernie explain why it is that Gilead and eight other for-profit companies are closer to helping the world than the NIH, the NHS, the Canadian health care system, Denmark, China, the E.U., or any university?  What happens when his policies eliminate those for-profits?

At least his ignorance about how profit benefits patients has been consistent.  An article penned by Bernie in 1969, “Cancer, Disease, and Society,” describes how cancer is brought on by psychological distress caused by “angry b—- teachers” who won’t let children disrupt class, sexually repressive mothers who don’t let their teenage daughters have sex, and forcing children to go to school…among other cancer-inducing stressors.  In that article, he goes on to berate those who think cancer can be resolved by money and “a handful of specialists.”  Perhaps he has missed the good news of the past 30 years, during which a for-profit company called Merck financed the research of a specialist named Dr. Frazer to create an HPV vaccine that prevents most cervical cancer in young women, caused in part by the promiscuity he said would provide the cure.  Thousands of breast cancer survivors can thank the specialists Dr. Ullrich and Dr. Shepard and the for-profit company Genentech for Herceptin, a safe and highly effective antibody to prevent reoccurrence of breast cancer in women — undoubtedly brought on by years of sexual repression and having to listen to those “angry b—-” teachers.  Will Bernie apologize to the millions of women who would have died had we eliminated for-profit health care in 1969?

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Hoppe: The In-Depth Interview, by Hans Hoppe and Jeff Deist

Hans Hoppe is an interesting thinker. From Hoppe and Deist at mises.org:

[This interview with Jeff Deist and Hans Hoppe will appear in the upcoming issue of The Austrian (March–April 2020).]

JEFF DEIST: Your recent talk in Vienna mentioned growing up happy but poor, the son of East German parents who had been driven west during the Cold War by the Soviets. Can you elaborate on the lasting impact their experience had on you, in terms of how you view state power and its attendant evils? Are you in some ways still influenced by their “eastern” roots?

HANS-HERMANN HOPPE: The fact that my parents were both refugees, ending up in the West by the accident of WWII, driven away and separated from their original homes in Soviet-occupied East Germany, played a huge role in our family life. In particular the expropriation of my mother’s family and its expulsion from house and home by the Soviets, in 1946, as so-called East Elbean Junkers, was a constantly recurring topic at home and assumed even more importance after the collapse, in 1989, of East Germany and the following German “reunification.” My mother, as many other victims of communist expropriations, then sought and hoped for the restitution of her property—in which case I would have been set for life. However, as I already knew and correctly predicted by then, this was not going to happen. There was to be no justice. But my parents were shocked and outraged.

The numerous trips we took to visit various relatives in East Germany confirmed my parents’ judgment of the Soviet system. Shortages, waiting lines, empty stores, inferior products, and lousy services. All around controls, spies, and informants. Everywhere grey ugliness and decay. A prison wall built around the whole country to prevent anyone from escaping. And commie-proles droning on endlessly about the great successes achieved under their leadership.

Yet as a little boy and a teenager I did not understand the reason for all this mischief and misery. Indeed, the East German experience did little if anything to shake my own leftist convictions at the time. East Germany, I thought, was just the wrong type of socialism, with the wrong people at the helm.

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Modern Monetary Theory is an old Marxist Idea, by Claudio Grass

Print your way to prosperity, what could be simpler? Only those who profoundly hate humanity could embrace the idea. From Claudio Grass at lewrockwell.com:

There is nothing new under the sun

Modern Monetary Theory, or “MMT”, has been getting a lot of attention lately, often celebrated as a revolutionary breakthrough. However, there is absolutely nothing new about it. The very basis of the theory, the idea that governments can finance their expenditures themselves and therefore deficits don’t matter, actually goes back to the Polish Marxist economist, Michael Kalecki (1899 – 1970).

MMT as a centralisation tool 

MMT says that the national debt means that we owe the money to ourselves, so the central bank in combination with the approval and blessings of the political branch can now together spend as much as they want without facing any consequences. In other words, we can print our way to prosperity. The only real problem according to the theory is that there is not enough money and not that resources are scarce and therefore limited. To understand the basic idea behind this, let’s use the game “Monopoly” as an example. If players decide to double the amount of monopoly-money to play with, the logical outcome will be that people start to pay much higher prices e.g. for the same amount of locations. Whenever more money is chasing the same amount of goods, prices will rise. Another lesson is that the bank will always win, especially when it has the power to change the rules at any time during the game.

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Four Reasons Inequality Isn’t What You Think It Is, by Antonis Giannakopoulos

If you’re a proper American who thinks globally, just remember that for every person above you on the income ladder that you’d like to “equalize” by taking some of their money, there are at least ten people around the world looking at your income who would like to “equalize” you. From Antonis Giannakopoulos at mises.org:

One of the defining characteristics of advocates for socialism is an obsession with equality. According to this line of thinking, inequality is the central problem of the modern world, and it demands a centralized solution. Thus, socialists—and more mild social democrats—push to use the power of the state to force the transfer of wealth from the productive and successful to those who are less so. This is the way to achieve social justice, they contend.

But inequality is not the societal plague that socialists allege it to be.

The Source of Wealth: Consumer Judgment

Contrary to popular belief, the way to make money is not to exploit one’s customers. The reality is the opposite. Wealth is created by identifying the problems that people have and creating products that provide a solution and improve their lives.

In this process, the consumer leads the process by expressing his own preferences in the marketplace. If a consumer feels that a product is overpriced, he will not make an exchange. If a product seems worthwhile, he will buy it willingly. The sum of these individual choices—to purchase or not—make or break a business on the market, and this is the consumers’ prerogative. In order to meet his own needs, a person must produce something that satisfies another’s needs, whether they be labor, industrial machinery, or fine cuff links.

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