Tag Archives: Statism

“Capitalism Has Failed”, by Jeff Thomas

Virtually all of capitalism’s critics have never lived under a capitalistic system. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

capitalism

Today, more than at any time previously, Westerners are justifying a move toward collectivist thinking with the phrase, “Capitalism has failed.”

In response to this, conservative thinkers offer a knee-jerk reaction that collectivism has also had a dismal record of performance. Neither group tends to gain any ground with the other group, but over time, the West is moving inexorably in the collectivist direction.

As I see it, liberals are putting forward what appears on the surface to be a legitimate criticism, and conservatives are countering it with the apology that, yes, capitalism is failing, but collectivism is worse.

Unfortunately, what we’re seeing here is not classical logic, as Aristotle would have endorsed, but emotionalism that ignores the principles of logic.

If we’re to follow the rules of logical discussion, we begin with the statement that capitalism has failed and, instead of treating it as a given, we examine whether the statement is correct. Only if it proves correct can we build further suppositions upon it.

Whenever I’m confronted with this now oft-stated comment, my first question to the person offering it is, “Have you ever lived in a capitalist country?” That is, “Have you ever lived in a country in which, during your lifetime, a free-market system dominated?”

Most people seem initially confused by this question, as they’re residents of either a European country or a North American country and operate under the assumption that the system in which they live is a capitalist one.

Continue reading→

Capitalism—A New Idea, by Jeff Thomas

There’s not one person on this planet who has lived under a purely capitalistic system, yet every economic ill and shortcoming is attributed to capitalism. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

Capitalism, whether praised or derided, is an economic system and ideology based on private ownership of the means of production and operation for profit.

Classical economics recognises capitalism as the most effective means by which an economy can thrive. Certainly, in 1776, Adam Smith made one of the best cases for capitalism in his book, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (known more commonly as The Wealth of Nations). But the term “capitalism” actually was first used to deride the ideology, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in The Communist Manifesto, in 1848.

Of course, whether Mister Marx was correct in his criticisms or not, he lived in an age when capitalism and a free market were essentially one and the same. Today, this is not the case. The capitalist system has been under attack for roughly 100 years, particularly in North America and the EU.

A tenet of capitalism is that, if it’s left alone, it will sort itself out and will serve virtually everyone well. Conversely, every effort to make the free market less free diminishes the very existence of capitalism, making it less able to function.

Today, we’re continually reminded that we live under a capitalist system and that it hasn’t worked. The middle class is disappearing, and the cost of goods has become too high to be affordable. There are far more losers than winners, and the greed of big business is destroying the economy.

This is what we repeatedly hear from left-leaning people and, in fact, they are correct. They then go on to label these troubles as byproducts of capitalism and use this assumption to argue that capitalism should give way to socialism.

Continue reading→

Is It Time for a New Direction? by Jacob G. Hornberger

The answer is yes. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

If Americans are not doing some serious soul-searching in the midst of this crisis, they need to start. Where America goes from here is not some sort of esoteric debate. What we do at this point has life or death consequences. Get it wrong, and suffer more death, suffering, and impoverishment. Get it right, and America moves toward life, health, liberty, peace, prosperity, and harmony.

What everyone needs to recognize is that they are facing a choice of systems, not a choice of people. Either stick with the same systems or switch over to new systems. That’s the choice now facing the American people.

Let’s examine four systems under which we currently live and have lived for decades.

America’s economic system

This is a centrally planned and centrally managed system run by the federal government. Its central aim is to “wage war on poverty” by forcibly taking money from everyone and redistributing it to people in need, such as the elderly and the poor. It is based on massive confiscation of income and wealth by the Internal Revenue Service, in the form of income taxes and payroll taxes.

Continue reading

The Hollow Promise of a Statist Economy, by MN Gordon

We can’t all get free shit, somebody has to produce it. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

Not a day goes by that doesn’t supply a new specimen of inane disclarity.  Muddy ideas are dredged up from tainted minds like lumps of odorous pond muck.  We do our part to clean up the mess, whether we want to or not.

These days, individuals, who like John Locke “love truth for truth’s sake,” are far and away in the minority.  Out of the bowels of America’s higher learning institutions comes a young populace with soiled brains.  What’s more, you’ll likely end up on the hook for their idiocy.

Take one Andy Vila, for instance.  The 21 year old immigrated from Cuba to Miami with his parents in 2004, receiving asylum and ultimately citizenship.  Nonetheless, the socialism he escaped from as a kid has become a rallying cry for his political activism.

The fantasy that big government can redirect goods, capital, and services, as Marx remarked, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” has garnered burgeoning support from America’s up and comers.  The anatomy of this transformation travels a common path.  For Vila, who as a teen identified as a “Libertarian-style Republican,” several dosages of fake learning took him down the rabbit hole:

“Course readings led him to question his beliefs further.  He started attending left-leaning campus events, interacting with students of varying racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.  He discovered a Miami beyond his manicured suburban neighborhood.

“By year’s end [2017], he had developed a disdain for capitalism and the political right.  Now the sociology and geography major wants sweeping reforms, including Medicare for all, free access to higher education and a Green New Deal.”

Continue reading

What America Needs Is a Paradigm Shift, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The current paradigm, promoted by both parties, is more government. We need a new paradigm. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

From the Democratic Party debates, it’s not difficult to see that there really isn’t any difference in principle between any of the Democratic presidential candidates and, for that matter, between Republicans and Democrats.

Oh, yes, I know how the mainstream media is portraying the “big” differences between the Democrats and President Trump but that’s just because their mindsets are stuck in the statist paradigm. For a person whose mind is stuck in the statist paradigm, the various candidates within the paradigm appear to have monumental differences. But once a person breaks out of the statist paradigm, he realizes that the differences between the various Democratic and Republicans candidates are minor and really go to degree, not principle.

Consider healthcare. The Democrats favor Medicare for All. Trump and his fellow Republicans favor Medicare for Some.

Now, that’s obviously a big difference to the mainstream media because they are operating within the statist paradigm.

From a libertarian perspective, my reaction is, big deal. There is no difference in principle between Medicare for All and Medicare for Some. The only difference is in degree. The point is that they all support government involvement in healthcare because that’s a core feature of the statist paradigm, just like it is in Cuba.

Continue reading

Decentralize the French State, by José Niño

The real solution to the Yellow Vests’ woes can only come when the French government is dramatically downsized and decentralized. From José Niño at mises.org:

With the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests raging for more than three months, the European Union’s viability as a political entity has come into question.

Indeed, the EU has gone through a whirlwind of economic and political upheavals since the eurozone crisis of 2009. In 2016, the EU experienced a political earthquake when the Brexit referendum occurred, and British voters decided that it was time for the UK to leave the EU.

To a certain extent, the Brexit vote was a manifestation of British populism. Now, the French populists have made themselves known in the form of the yellow vest movement.

But what are the implications of this?

France’s Out-of-Control Leviathan

France is not exactly in the best economic shape. The unemployment rate has hovered around nine to ten percent during the past decade. The cost of living has risen considerably thanks to government regulations. So, Macron’s failed gas tax proposal, which would have hurt the working class pretty hard, only exacerbates France’s sub-optimal economic situation.

And this is only the tip iceberg as far as France’s over-burdened economy goes.

Research from the Institut Économique Molinari found that the tax burden “typical workers” in France face is higher than any of its European counterparts. Fiscal restraint has not been France’s strong suit with government spending accounting for 56 percent of GDP. On the regulatory front, France is a mess. Its Code du Travail, a 1,600 page, 10,000-article legislative monstrosity, has greatly hamstrung its labor market. According to the Heritage Foundation’s 2019 Index of Economic Freedom, France’s Labor Freedom score places it very close to the “repressed” category.

In a cruel twist of irony, France has reverted back to its monarchical political economy, dominated by an interventionist state that heavily regulates, subsidizes, and controls certain sectors of the economy.

Sadly, many of the yellow vest protestors have not comprehended the 800-pound elephant in the room that is French statism.

Continue reading

Denial and Defensiveness: The First Tools of the Statist. By John Hunt, MD

This is an incisive look at the psychology of a statist, and actually all those who cling to indefensible positions in the face of contrary evidence. From John Hunt at internationalman.com:

To protect his fragile ego when informed he may be an addict, the alcoholic uses denial first and defensiveness immediately after. This mechanism is a pre-requisite in essentially all addicts, and the drug that controls the addict relies on these underlying personality dysfunctions to protect itself.

“My friend, do you realize you are an addict?” a caring person cautiously, hesitantly, fearfully suggests.

“No I’m not. YOU are!” The addict shuts you and everyone else down, turns away, leaves in a huff, and will not engage in the conversation.

It’s the standard alcoholic’s reply, and standard progressive statist’s reply as well. Although it might be more sophisticated and intelligently stated than that schoolyard sentence, the denial and defensiveness will be identical. Anger, fighting and general stupidity ensues.

If you know addicts, you will empathize. And if you really know addicts, you know it is virtually impossible to cut through their denial (“No I’m not”) or defensiveness (“YOU are!)”

As far as definitions go, denial is straight-forward: a refusal to consider.

Defensiveness, however, is inaptly named. Defensiveness is best described as going on the offense to deflect the conversation away from introspection. The defensive person goes on the attack against the person who is suggesting something they don’t want to hear. Defensiveness, in the addict’s case, is a form of ATTACK.

Denial and defensiveness are ego protections employed to protect a fragile self-esteem from being aware of one’s internal contradictions (self-delusions).

Denial and defensiveness are destructive personality malfunctions. But they aren’t just used by addicts to enable their addiction. They are used by others too. Sociopaths exploit these personality functions to prey on their victims. The victim lies to herself about what her sociopathic controller really is. He couldn’t be an evil person, because I made the decision to marry him, and I can’t admit mistakes to myself. No logic is involved. Only self-delusion.

Continue reading

Tele-Prompter Boy and Obamacare, by Eric Peters

Much of what TV newscasters read as news is actually editorializing. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

Listen to this lead-in by a CNN Tele-Prompter readerabout a federal judge in Texas ruling that the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to buy health insurance is unconstitutional:

“The law that brought health care to millions of Americans has been struck down by a federal judge.”

First words out of his mouth.

That’s what they used to call editorializing – as opposed to the statement of fact without the color of opinion you read just above it, in the lead to this story – about the same subject.

The Tele-Prompter reader leaves no doubt as to his view about both the Texas judge’s ruling and the Affordable Care Act, which is annoying right out of the gate because who cares what this Tele-Prompter reader’s opinions are about anything? It’s one thing to listen to a veteran newsman who’s earned some bona fides offer up his slant on an issue, especially if it’s something he’s been covering for decades and maybe thus the man has something to say that’s worth listening to.

But this kid?

Continue reading→

The Broken Clocks’ Minute, by Robert Gore

Sometimes the reasons you’re wrong turn out to be the reasons you’re right.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Old Wall Street adage

Anyone who has consistently sounded cautionary or outright bearish notes during the last nine years of relentlessly rising equity markets has been cast aside. Wall Street is bipolar. You’re either right or wrong, and wrong doesn’t buy mansions and Maseratis. Like that broken clock, the so-called permabears have had a couple of minutes when they were right, far outweighed by those 1438 minutes when they were wrong.

Or maybe it’s all a matter of perspective, and it’s the last nine years that amounts to two minutes. In geologic time nine years isn’t even a nanosecond. Perhaps even on time periods scaled to human lifetimes and history, the last nine years will come to be seen as an evanescent flash that came and ignominiously went.

Markets don’t listen to reasons. They’re exercises in crowd psychology and crowds are emotional and capricious. That doesn’t mean that reason is a useless virtue in market analysis, quite the opposite. It’s reason that allows the few who are consistently successful to separate themselves from the crowd and capitalize on its emotion and caprice.

Reason identifies rising stock markets as one symptom of a sugar high global economy. Since 2009, staring into the abyss of debt implosion, central banks acting in concert have promoted furious debt expansion as the finger-in-the-dike remedy. Governments expanded their fiat (aka out of thin air) debt, and central banks monetized that debt with their own fiat debt. Not only did that create loanable reserves within the banking system—private debt fodder—it drove interest rates so low that yield-deprived investors were herded into the stock market. Borrowers won, savers lost.

Continue reading

Doug Casey on the Coming Holy War

Doug Casey predicts a holy war, probably starting in Europe. From an interview with Casey at caseyresearch.com:

Justin’s note: Today, we have another brand-new Conversations with Casey to share with you. In the interview below, Doug Casey and I discuss holy wars in Europe.

I’m not talking about the Crusades, either. I’m talking about a modern-day holy war.

Some folks will think I’m crazy for even entertaining this idea. But a few weeks ago, Turkey’s foreign minister said that “wars of religion” are coming to Europe.

That’s a major warning. You have to take it seriously.

So, I recently sat down with Doug to discuss this matter. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.

Justin: Doug, Turkey’s foreign minister recently said that “wars of religion” are coming to Europe. Do you think this could actually happen?

Doug: Well, human nature hasn’t changed in many thousands of years. And religion is important to the human animal. Perhaps it’s always been something that people were prone to fight about, but the historical record shows that religious wars only started with the invention of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Of course, these religions—which have always been at war with each other, and all other religions—are similar in that they believe in one god. Pagan religions were and are accepting of other people’s gods and beliefs.

The question is, which god is the right one? Should you believe in Yahweh, or Jesus, or Allah? Because it appears to me that they’re all very different, based upon what they say and what they have their followers believe. Islam and Christianity have been duking it out since the 7th century, and that’s unlikely to change. They both claim to have the one and only true god, but they’re very different gods—not at all the same one. So it’s an irreconcilable difference.

Justin: So, the ingredients for a holy war have always been there?

Doug: Yes. Up to about 100 years ago, Christians felt a moral obligation to convert everyone, including other misguided Christians. Now it’s mostly just the Muslims who feel that way. It’s entirely possible, even likely, we’re going to have an outright war of religion. Although, in the highly Politically Correct West, it will have to be called something else.

The ongoing invasion of Europe by Muslims is one aspect of it—although that’s not so much a religious thing per se. That’s partly because the Muslims are migrating mostly for economic reasons. And because religion is a dead duck in Europe today. Europe is a post-Christian society. Very few people go to church or take Christianity seriously in Europe, it’s a very secular society. Which is a bit of a problem, because they’ve taken the State for their new god.

But the State doesn’t promise anybody an afterlife. So, in my opinion, Europeans are actually ripe for conversion to Islam. It’s a serious problem, because Islam is incompatible with, and antithetical to Western Civilization.

To continue reading: Doug Casey on the Coming Holy War