Actually, you don’t have to focus on the government and Big Tech to fear a government take over of health care. Just look at anything the government currently does. From Tho Bishop at mises.org:
As tech executives continue to be grilled in front of Congress, the growing Bernie Sanders-wing of the Democratic Party is preparing to push its misnamed “Medicare for All” into the political mainstream after its political gains in the midterms. While these two stories seem to have very little in common, it’s not difficult to imagine a not-so-distant future where the two are dangerously connected. After all, so long as the scope of government grows, the continued politicization of all aspect of life will follow – the inevitable consequences of which could be quite horrific.
The State’s Shadow over Silicon Valley
First let’s consider some of the overlooked causes behind the increased censorship from Silicon Valley.
While Republican politicians relish in collecting cheap soundbites railing against the censorship practices of widely despised tech executives, few are willing to point out the obvious influence of government in Big Tech’s growing hostility to free speech.
For example, just recently Facebook announced it was following the lead of Tumblr by cracking down on “sexualized content” on its platform. While both decisions were widely ridiculed by users and pundits alike, largely ignored was the role that recent Congressional laws aimed at cracking down on sex trafficking played in sparking the new policy. Similarly, “anti-hate speech” laws from Europe had very real consequences for American social media users as mechanisms designed to police speech oversees are inevitably used to manage content throughout their global communities.
US relations with China go from bad to worse. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
So much for a trade war truce between China and the US, or a stock market Christmas rally for that matter.
Shortly after the news hit that Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng — also deputy chairwoman and the daughter of Huawei’s founder — was arrested on December 1, or right around the time Trump and Xi were having dinner in Buenos Aires last Saturday, and faces extradition to the U.S. as a result of a DOJ investigation into whether the Chinese telecom giant sold gear to Iran despite sanctions on exports to the region, China immediately lodged a formal protest publishing a statement at its embassy in Canada, and demanding the U.S. and its neighbor “rectify wrongdoings” and free Meng, warning it would “closely follow the development of the issue” and will “take all measures” to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.
Full statement below:
Remarks of the Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Canada on the issue of a Chinese citizen arrested by the Canadian side
At the request of the US side, the Canadian side arrested a Chinese citizen not violating any American or Canadian law. The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim. The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the US and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms. Meng Wanzhou.
We will closely follow the development of the issue and take all measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.
Tesla makes itself part of China’s surveillance state. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:
When corporations get into bed with government, it’s uswho get the fleas. Obamacare, for instance.
Big Med plus Big Government.
Sometimes, you can’t actually see the fleas. But they’re there, just the same.
An example of this unwholesome symbiosis has just emerged – in China. But it involves an American company, Tesla – which sells the same cars here.
Turns out Tesla – which builds electric cars but makes money by leveraging government mandates – has set up its EVs to live-feed information about where each of their cars is at any given moment directly to the Chinese government.
Their car italicized to make the point that it’s not really your car when someone else has open access to it – and so, to your life. The car tracks your movements, records where you’ve been, how long you stayed.
The government takes note.
According to the Associated Press, which broke the story, the Chinese government merely wishes to obtain “data points” for the purpose of “infrastructure planning” and – of course – to “improve public safety.”
How isn’t specified.
Almost all effective monopolies are created, blessed, and sustained by governments. From Mike Holly at mises.org:
Politicians tend to favor authoritarianism over capitalism and monopoly over competition. They have directly created monopolies (and oligopolies) in all major industrial sectors by imposing policies favoring preferred corporations and preferred special interests.
In 2017, University economists Jan De Loecker and Jan Eeckhout found monopolies behind nearly every economic problem. They have slowed economic growth and caused recessions, financial crises and depressions. These monopolies restrict the supply of goods and services so they can inflate prices and profits while also reducing quality. In addition, monopolies have decreased wages for non-monopolists by decreasing the competition for workers. This has led to wealth disparity, underemployment, unemployment and poverty
Monopolies have also led to many societal problems. Unlike truly competitive firms, institutions that enjoy monopoly power have more freedom to discriminate against outsiders, especially women and minorities. They block innovation, the key to long-term prosperity. Monopolies have led to imperialism and wars .
Posted in Business, Capitalism, Cronyism, Economics, Economy, Education, Governments, History, Medicine, Technology, Trade
Tagged college, Health Care, Monopolies, Prices
Even if China were to give in to every American demand, it would not restore the US to the anomalous prominence it enjoyed for two decades after World War II. From Finian Cunningham at strategic-culture.org:
The G20 summits are nominally about how the world’s biggest national economies can cooperate to boost global growth. This year’s gathering – more than ever – shows, however, that rivalry between the US and China is center stage.
Zeroing in further still, the rivalry is an expression of a washed-up American empire desperately trying to reclaim its former power. There is much sound, fury and pretense from the outgoing hegemon – the US – but the ineluctable reality is an empire whose halcyon days are a bygone era.
Ahead of the summit taking place this weekend in Argentina, the Trump administration has been issuing furious ultimatums to China to “change its behavior”. Washington is threatening an escalating trade war if Beijing does not conform to American demands over economic policies.
President Trump has taken long-simmering US complaints about China to boiling point, castigating Beijing for unfair trade, currency manipulation, and theft of intellectual property rights. China rejects this pejorative American characterization of its economic practices.
Nevertheless, if Beijing does not comply with US diktats then the Trump administration says it will slap increasing tariffs on Chinese exports.
The gravity of the situation was highlighted by the comments this week of China’s ambassador to the US, Cui Tiankai, who warned that the “lessons of history” show trade wars can lead to catastrophic shooting wars. He urged the Trump administration to be reasonable and to seek a negotiated settlement of disputes.
Posted in Business, Capitalism, Debt, Economy, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Imperialism, Military, Politics, Technology, Trade
Tagged American empire, China, G-20
There is an affordable electric car that has overcome most of the problems of electric cars. There are two problem—it’s got a tiny internal combustion engine, and GM is killing it. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:
If electric cars are such a grand idea, why is GM killing off the Chevy Volt? It’s the one electric car that actually did make some practical sense, at least.
400-plus miles without stopping and regardless of the weather (other EVs are badly gimped by extremes of heat and cold). Same time to get back on the road as any other car, too.
Other than all the other electric cars, that is.
The Volt is an electric car you don’t need to plan your life around; that you can just get in and drive – on the spur of the moment – and regardless of the state of the battery pack’s charge. If you forgot to plug it in before you went to bed – or just didn’t have time to wait for it to recharge – no worries.
So what’s the problem?