How does fascism come to America? Gradually, and then rapidly. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:
I think there are really only two good reasons for having a significant amount of money: To maintain a high standard of living and to ensure your personal freedom. There are other, lesser reasons, of course, including: to prove you can do it, to compensate for failings in other things, to impress others, to leave a legacy, to help perpetuate your genes, or maybe because you just can’t think of something better to do with your time.
But I’ll put aside those lesser motives, which I tend to view as psychological foibles. Basically, money gives you the freedom to do what you’d like – and when, how, and with whom you prefer to do it. Money allows you to have things and do things and can even assist you to be something you want to be. Unfortunately, money is a chimera in today’s world and will wind up savaging billions in the years to come.
As you know, I believe we’re well into what I call The Greater Depression. A lot of people believe we’re in a recovery now; I think, from a long-term point of view, that is total nonsense. We’re just in the eye of the hurricane and will soon be moving into the other side of the storm. But it will be far more severe than what we saw in 2008 and 2009 and will last quite a while – perhaps for many years, depending on how stupidly the government acts.
Posted in Business, Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Collapse, Crime, Currencies, Debt, Economics, Economy, Governments, History, Politics
Tagged fascism, Inflation, welfare state
Many debates about government policy fail to note the nature and scope of government involvement in the issue under debate. From Jeffrey A. Tucker at aier.com:
The number one problem of all public debate about politics and economics is the failure to name the state. If this would change, so would public opinion.
There is no shortage of examples. People talk about health care for all, solving climate change, providing security in old age, universal educational access, boosting wages, ending discrimination, and you can add to the list without end.
That’s one side.
The other speaks of national identity, protecting jobs, making us more moral, forming cultural cohesion, providing security against the foreign enemy, and so on.
All of this, no matter how fancy the language, is obfuscation. What all of this really means is: put the state in charge. What’s strange is the unwillingness to say it outright. This is for a reason. The plans the politicians have for our lives would come across as far less compelling if they admitted the following brutal truth.
There really are only two ways to allocate goods and services in society: the markets (which rely on individual choice) and the state (which runs on compulsion). No one has ever found a third way. You can mix the two — some markets and some state-run operations — but there always is and always will be a toggling between the two. If you replace markets, the result will be more force via the state, which means bureaucratic administration and rule by force. If you reduce the role of the state, you rely more on markets. This is the logic of political choice, and there is no escaping it.
Free markets are the most defensible economic arrangement ever, but few defend them and the attacks are as unremmiting as they are fallacious. From Brandon Smith at alt-market.com:
I sometimes think that the free market concept is treated like The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’s Quasimodo in the long novel of global economic history. It is considered ugly and undesirable by most people who judge it at a mere glance without bothering to understand it. It is a bogeyman; a scapegoat for numerous societal problems that it has nothing to do with. In reality, the only time free markets do cause trouble is when they are manipulated or misused by elitists seeking to turn them into something other than free markets. And, even when free markets display their great value and internal beauty, many still prefer other systems that are intrinsically corrupt but flashier on the surface.
There are many reasons behind this persistent attitude. However, they are not coincidental or natural. Human beings actually tend to gravitate toward free markets over and over again in history, and away from centralized government interference and dominance in economic trade. But whenever they do, they get hammered down by the-powers-that-be. In our modern era, establishment elites have chosen to be more subtle (for now) and dissuade people from free markets through disinformation and propaganda.
To break it all down to a simple observation – Whenever disaster strikes economically, free markets are blamed. Whenever something is fixed, even if that fix is a temporary band-aid on a sucking chest wound, government involvement and socialism are applauded. And so the cycle continues until free markets become a pariah with no place in our world and centralization becomes the prevailing answer to everything.
Free market trade is ever present at a local level and always has been. But, those who favor globalism are hell-bent on putting an end to any and all private unregulated commerce forever.
The consequences of higher-than-market minimum wages are everywhere and always tragically predictable. From Joe Guzzardi at theburningplatform.com:
Raising and sustaining higher wages for American workers is impossible as long as the labor pool keeps expanding. Serious discussion about lasting improvements to the lives of the 40 million Americans stuck in low-paying jobs has to include an equally thoughtful discussion about limiting immigration.
While many in Congress and private sector economists embrace raising the $7.25 federal minimum wage where it’s been frozen in place for a decade, few speak out about reducing immigration as a permanent income-boosting cure. The academic exercise is basic – the more available workers, the better for employers. Conversely, tighten the labor pool, then advantage shifts to workers and job seekers.
Recently, the House Education and Labor Committee passed the Raise the Wage Act which would, if it became law, gradually raise the federal minimum wage over five years to $15 an hour. So far, six states – California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York – and the District of Columbia have adopted $15 as their minimum wage. Although not enough data is available to make a final conclusion about the $15 wage’s broad effects, Georgetown University public policy professor and former Clinton administration Labor Department economist Harry Holzer predicts significant job losses that would hurt low-skilled, less-educated minority employees who would resort to accepting cash off the books, and thereby forfeit any benefits they may have had.