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Category: Economics

More News and Commentary

Donald Boudreaux on immigration and the many ways in which a nation is not a house.

Thomas DiLorenzo explains why male soccer players make more than female soccer players.

Scott Horton on fighting the last war.

Charles Burris on slavery reparations.

Frank Shostak asks, When will the stock market respond to 2016’s liquidity collapse?

Lance Roberts on Judy Shelton, the Fed, and the realization of a liquidity trap.

And Jeff Tucker on the magic of Tanglewood and its astonishing success.

News and Commentary

José Niño on why the elites look down on manual labor.

Robert Wenzel discusses Alex Tabarrok’s preferring more government interventionism than less in Venezuela, and Tabarrok’s misunderstanding of what is socialist and what is anarchist.

Jacob Hornberger says, Impeach Trump but only for the right reason.

Per Bylund says that tariffs are attacks on property rights and freedom.

Laurence Vance asks, Who actually pays for tariffs?

Robert Murphy debunks 3 modern arguments for tariffs.

Ron Paul says that the Violence Against Women Act does violence to the Constitution.

And Ammo.com with an article on the corresponding rise of antidepressants and mass shootings.

U.S. Bureaucrats Trump and Pompeo Silent on the Importance of Economic Policy

I heard some of the Sunday news shows on Bloomberg Radio, Fox News Sunday, ABC This Week, Meet the Press with Chuck Toady and Fake the Nation with CBS newsbimbo Margaret Brennan, and Mike Pompeo appeared on at least three of these shows.

The big thing is Venezuela. Like most U.S. bureaucrats, Pompeo is obsessed with “democracy” and installing a favorable regime. He’s constantly saying things like, “This is the Venezuelan people attempting to reestablish their democracy. The United States has joined with them…Our mission is to work with a large coalition, now 50 countries-plus who are determined to restore democracy and then, ultimately, a productive economy to Venezuela.”

Okay, just how will “democracy” lead to a “productive economy”? Why is it that politicians are so obsessed with elections and getting the “right people” in charge? Conservative President Ronald Reagan imposed tax cuts, and then tax hikes and he expanded the bureaucracy. The economic boom of the mid-1980s led to the stock market crash of 1987 and a recession that got even worse thanks to H.W. Bush. But the Democrat Clinton administration saw another economic boom throughout the 1990s.

I know, it’s not exactly Venezuela. But the U.S. wants to install some guy now they see as favorable. The problem is not who is in charge.

The problem in Venezuela has been mass starvation. The government seized the means of production and distribution of food. When government owns the means of production, which is what socialism is, that causes shortages, empty store shelves, long lines and chaos. In the case of food production and distribution, when those means of production are in private ownership and control, as is the case here in the U.S., prices are more stable, shortages are avoided, and we don’t have long lines for food. Just look at the food stores in the U.S.: fully stacked shelves, plenty of choices at affordable prices.

But why don’t our politicians like Pompeo and Trump use their positions as a bully pulpit and state those differences outright? Instead, they are concerned about “democracy.” As Jacob Hornberger pointed out, the U.S. government’s chosen leaders of other regimes have been failures.

I don’t think that U.S. bureaucrats think in terms of free markets any more, if they ever did in the first place. They are bureaucrats. They think in terms of elections and voting. And control.

And Donald Trump with his obsession with tariffs. Tariffs are taxes, but really they are fines. The government is imposing a fine on American producers and consumers for buying stuff that these idiot government bureaucrats don’t want people to buy. Just look at the anti-free market Trump with his typical government bureaucrat control-freak attitude.

And Trump’s tax cuts are also a sham. They probably helped in the short term to stimulate the economy. But they expire in just two or three years, and then there will be a tax hike when they expire. Typical bureaucrat shyster.

These Trump and Pompeo people won’t suggest to the Venezuelan people that a return to free markets will enable them to have access to food, because these U.S. bureaucrats are so against free markets. Instead, they are obsessed with control, with government-controlled economies, and their beloved police state.

Time to Catch Up

Ron Paul says that (government) spending is theft.

Former NSA analyst Bill Binney says that the NSA has 32 pages of communications between Seth Rich and Julian Assange, as revealed by a FOIA request.

Ryan McMaken says that yes, Julian Assange is a journalist — but that shouldn’t matter.

Mark Perry on Donald Trump’s washing machine tariffs costing consumers $800,000 per job created.

Robert Wenzel on the new way that socialists are going to hide who they are.

Jacob Hornberger on how Gitmo destroyed our constitutional order.

Lew Rockwell on the college admissions scandal and the political prisoners of the evil FBI.

Zero Hedge with an article on a study showing that electric cars cause more Co2 emissions than previously thought. As the article also notes: “Add to this the CO2 emissions of the electricity from powerplants that power such vehicles, and the actual Tesla emissions could be between 156 to 180 grams of CO2 per kilometer (249 and 289 grams of CO2 per mile).”

James Bovard says that hysteria over school safety won’t keep us safe.

And Hans Bader says that lifting the ban on kidney sales would save 30,000 American lives annually.

Walter Williams on Reparations

Walter Williams has some things to ponder:

Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential elections are calling for reparations for slavery or for the study of reparations. Senators Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren are leading the charge. Slavery was a gross violation of human rights. Justice would demand that slave owners make compensatory payments to slaves. Since both slaves and slave owners are no longer with us, such punishment and compensation is beyond our reach.

So which white Americans owe which black Americans how much? Reparations advocates don’t want that question asked, but let’s you and I ask it. Are the millions of European, Asian and Latin Americans who immigrated to the U.S. in the 20th century responsible for slavery? What about descendants of Northern whites who fought and died in the War of 1861 in the name of freeing slaves? Should they cough up money for black Americans? What about non-slave-owning Southern whites, who were a majority of Southern whites — should their descendants be made to pay reparations?

On black people’s side of the ledger, thorny questions arise. Some blacks purchased other blacks as a means to free family members. But other blacks owned slaves for the same reason whites owned slaves — to work farms or plantations. Would descendants of these blacks be eligible for reparations?

Capitalism Is Moral, Socialism Is Not

At the Mises Institute Gary Galles says that capitalism “a.k.a. self-ownership,” is the only moral economic system. That’s free-market capitalism, to be clear.

The way I see it, the kind of capitalism we have in America now is a combination of free market capitalism, and “crony capitalism” or crony socialism in which wealth is redistributed via protectionism and regulation that favors established firms over those attempting to “get one’s foot in the door.”

Galles explains how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie have it all wrong. He writes about the moral aspect of free-market capitalism, which is “better defined as a system of private ownership of resources, including one’s labor, not simply ownership of capital, coordinated by solely voluntary arrangements. Private property prevents the physical invasion of a person’s life, their liberty, or their property without their consent. By preventing such invasions, private property is an irreplaceable defense against aggression by the strong against the weak. No one is allowed to be a predator by violating others’ rights. In such a system, capitalists need the voluntary consent of laborers in their arrangements, preventing capitalists from exploiting laborers.”

And Thomas Knapp writes about how today’s socialists hate the gig economy that yesterday’s socialists wanted. Yesterday’s socialists wanted worker ownership of the means of production, yet today’s socialists reject that.

Knapp gives the example of drivers for Lyft and Uber, in which drivers own their own cars (worker ownership of the means of production) and have control over their hours worked rather than being controlled by a boss.

But today’s “democratic socialists” fought tooth and nail to preserve the capitalist “medallion cab” monopoly, and having lost that fight they’ve re-oriented their struggle toward roping the drivers, and the companies they choose to work with, into the old-style capitalist “wage employee” system.

They don’t want the wage system to go away. They just want to run it.

They don’t want the workers to own the means of production. They just want to tax and regulate it.

They don’t want a classless society. They just want to be the new ruling class.

Those who believe in the moral way of life, that of self-ownership and voluntary (not coerced or compelled by government) contracts would favor the independence and autonomy of working for Uber or Lyft, and the authoritarians would favor enslaving the drivers by forcing them to have to spend a life savings on a medallion and be under the control of  a dispatcher boss.

But the conservatives these days are almost just as bad in their rejection of free markets, private property and voluntary contracts.

In any event, Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocrazio-Cortez and Commie Bernie are the least moral characters when it comes to policies they favor: government theft of private wealth and property, government-compelled enslavement of the workers and producers, and the POLICE STATE to enforce their immoral tyranny.

More Articles

Jeff Tucker says the socialists always come for the kids eventually.

Walter Williams says that our planet is not fragile.

Richard Enos with an article on a Harvard immunologist who says that unvaccinated children pose no risk to anyone.

Veronique de Rugy with a NY Times op-ed asking why the Republicans are embracing economic State planning.

Laurence Vance on gun rights and property rights.

Richard Ebeling says the global economy desperately needs freedom.

And a Fox News article stating that Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, has now been jailed for refusing to testify on behalf of the gubmint’s secret grand jury investigation of WikiLeaks. Here is more on the story. Manning is a true hero for defending the freedom of speech and freedom of the Press, and the right of the people to know the truth about the criminality their own government is up to. Manning is the kind of hero that Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin and all those talk radio chickenhawk ditto-heads will never be, as they are the ones who love and defend the authoritarian State. WikiLeaks is good for them only when it reveals Democrats’ corruption, but God forbid it should reveal the corruption and criminality of their beloved U.S. military and national security state.