Capitalists against capitalism 2

We think that capitalism is practically synonymous with civilization.

But we cannot escape noticing that many a successful and powerful capitalist casts his vote, bestows his money, and expends his energy to sabotage the system by which he has become rich and powerful.

A case in point: the president of the US Chamber of Commerce recently visited Cuba, a graveyard of freedom and prosperity, and gave comfort to the communist regime by telling it that he was all for investing in it. Is  he unaware that past “investment” in Cuba enriched no one but the dictators? He surely is. What can be deduced about him then? Is he crazy? Not clinically. Does he like communism? That would make no sense. What then?

Our preferred source of information and comment on Stalinist Cuba is Humberto Fontova, who writes about this:

US Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue … as a guest of Cuba’s Stalinist regime … gives a speech at the University of Havana …

“For years, the US Chamber of Commerce has demanded that our government eliminate the commercial embargo on Cuba. It’s time for a new approach,” proclaimed Donohue this week to an ovation from communist apparatchiks, some who in 1960 stormed into almost 6000 U.S. owned businesses (worth almost $2 billion at the time) and stole them all … 

The Inter-American Law Review classifies Castro’s mass burglary of U.S. property as “the largest uncompensated taking of American property by a foreign government in history”. Rubbing his hands and snickering in triumphant glee, Castro boasted at maximum volume to the entire world that he was freeing Cuba from “Yankee economic slavery”!  (Che Guevara’s term, actually) and that “he would never repay a penny”.

This is the only promise Fidel Castro has ever kept in his life. Hence the imposition of the Cuba embargo, not that you’d know any of this from the mainstream media, much less from Thomas Donohue.

The burglarized (and often brutalized) American owners filed those property claims against Castro’s regime with the US  government. They’re worth $7 billion today – and must be settled before the so called embargo is lifted. This settlement provision for lifting the embargo was codified into U.S. law in 1996 by the Helms-Burton act, which means only Congress can lift the embargo, obviously after a vote. But the votes are not there.

Shouldn’t the President of an outfit like the US Chamber of Commerce be aware of this? Or is Donohue calling for more of Obama’s “executive overreach”?

“The reforms under Raul Castro’s government demonstrate that Cuban leaders understand that direct economic investment can be a powerful tool for economic development,” proclaimed Donahue to another ovation from his communist audience.

Oh, Cuba’s Stalinist kleptocracy understands this alright. But this “economic development” via foreign investment exclusively benefits the tiny Stalinist nomenklatura that has run Cuba since 1959 — and enthusiastically hosted Thomas Donahue this week. All foreign trade with “Cuba” is still conducted exclusively with the Stalinist regime — no exceptions. In fact private property rights still do not exist in Cuba, much less an independent judiciary and the rule of law.

According to figures from the US Department of Commerce, the US has transacted almost $4 billion in trade with Cuba over the past decade. Up until four years ago, the US served as Stalinist Cuba’s biggest food supplier and fifth biggest import partner. We’ve fallen a few notches recently but we’re still in the top half.

For over a decade the so-called US embargo, so disparaged by Thomas Donahue, has mostly stipulated that Castro’s Stalinist regime pay cash up front through a third–party bank for all U.S. agricultural products … And that’s the catch with Donahue’s gracious hosts. They’re desperate to abolish that provision.

Enacted by the Bush team in 2001, this cash-up-front policy has been monumentally beneficial to US taxpayers, making them among the few in the world not screwed and tattooed by the Castro regime … [Cuba] per capita-wise qualifies as the world’s biggest debtor nation, with a foreign debt estimated at $50 billion, a credit rating nudging Somalia’s and an uninterrupted record of defaults. … Just this year the Russians wrote off almost $30 billion Castro still owed them.

Regarding the disconnect seen above between historic truth and Castroite propaganda, what we have here, amigos, is not a “failure to communicate”. Instead it’s perfect communication – between Castro’s propaganda ministry and the US  media (and “business leaders”) to whom they issue press bureaus and visas, after careful vetting. These latter amply live up to their side of the bargain, “reporting” exactly what Castro wants them to report. …

But why?

One fine morning in February 2009 the Castro brothers woke up and decided to freeze $1 billion that 600 foreign companies kept in Cuban bank accounts. Another fine morning in April 2012 the Cuban regime arrested the top officers of Britain-based Coral Capital that had invested $75 million in the Castro brothers’ fiefdom and was planning four and luxurious golf resorts. These hapless (greedy, unprincipled and stupid, actually) businessmen find themselves with no more recourse to law than the millions of Cubans and Americans who had their businesses and savings stolen en masse in August of 1960 by Castro’s gunmen.

So not even the well-informed and enlightening Humberto Fontova casts light on the mysterious motivation of Mr Donahue and the US Chamber of Commerce.

*

The same Mr Thomas Donahue and his Chamber of Commerce support amnesty for illegals.

Investor’s Business Daily asks why:

Across Lafayette Park, facing the White House, sits an imposing stone structure, framed by ornate Corinthian columns and comprising a significant chunk of a full city block. It is home to the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, the historic bastion of American business and industry.

Since its founding slightly more than a century ago, the chamber has engaged in countless issues from keeping unions in check to job training and tax reform.

But increasingly, the chamber is straying from its original principles, and there is no greater example than its supporting amnesty for illegal immigrants.

The national chamber is one of the nation’s loudest advocates for amnesty for people who broke the law entering the U.S.

Chamber President Tom Donohue even went so far as to warn the Republican Party on May 12 not to bother running a candidate for president in 2016 absent support from the congressional GOP for immigration “reform”,  a term that has become synonymous with amnesty in recent months. …

But why?

The conventional wisdom is that business wants cheap labor. It’s a cynical argument but one that contains a grain of logic, and cheap labor would certainly be one of the byproducts of amnesty.

But if that’s an insufficient answer, what is the full explanation?

IBD does not know. “The future economic and political fallout of amnesty”, it argues, can only be bad for business and industry.

Bigger government, unsustainable federal spending, a growing welfare state and an electorate to perpetuate it hold the potential to doom the free-market system that the chamber has historically encouraged.

Amnesty would be a disaster for the federal budget. The taxpayer cost of amnesty for the estimated 11.5 million illegal immigrants currently in the U.S. is a staggering $6.3 trillion, according to a 2013 Heritage Foundation study. The group’s research shows that illegal immigrants are likely to receive three times more money in government benefits than they would pay in taxes.

How this level of government spending helps promote free-market commerce is baffling.

Amnesty would also be a disaster by growing the American welfare state. There are certainly some illegal immigrants in the U.S. who possess the education and skills to compete and advance in professional careers, but most do not. Census Bureau data show that the typical illegal immigrant is 34 years old, has a 10th-grade education and an annual income of less than $25,000. Amnesty would qualify millions of people for scores of means-tested welfare programs and would stretch welfare spending to the breaking point.

Less easily quantified is how amnesty would be a moral disaster. The idea of rewarding people for illegal behavior makes a mockery of the rule of law on which this nation was built.

President Obama makes a mockery of it anyway.

Rule of law is also a prerequisite for commerce on all levels; if one particular law or set of laws can be disregarded, any law can be disregarded. The erosion of the rule of law would create a chaotic environment in which commerce cannot be well conducted.

Some analysts have claimed that the only way the Republican Party can increase its share of the Hispanic and Latino vote is to support amnesty, a claim that further defies logic. Those who are legally eligible to vote did not break the law to come here. Amnesty for illegal immigrants would be a stunning insult to the men and women who played by the rules and entered the U.S. legally … For the GOP to believe that amnesty means victory at the ballot box is delusional.

It makes no sense for the US Chamber of Commerce to support such fatally flawed policy, yet it does, inexplicably so. … Amnesty is a very dangerous position for the chamber and one that would make the organization unrecognizable to the men who founded it.

Is it possible that Thomas Donahue is to the US Chamber of Commerce what Barack Obama is to the US – a leader into ruin?

On the question of why numbers of the most successful capitalists vote for the regulation of business and socialist redistribution (by voting Democratic), and positively encourage the survival of communist dictatorship, we invite readers to offer their theories.

We also invite opinion on the question of amnesty.

  • Don L

    Thomas Donohue’s motives are not easily discernible. He is, however, a lobbyist’s lobbyist … deception, deals, concealment, misdirection are some of his tools.

    It is my belief that the vast majority of business leaders and managers have no idea about free market capitalism. What they know of economics is what they had forced on them which is predominantly mainstream Keynesianism or monetarism. They accept the lie that an economy must be managed.

    I have personally spoken with CEOs, COOs and CFOs of large corporations and they are truly ignorant of basics of economics and of America’s real economic system. They don’t appreciate that they are in fact fascistic in their attitudes and opinions as to the relationship of government, business and the public.

    Further, the successful and celebrity entrepreneurs have questionable purposes in their political leanings: e.g. Warren Buffet Owns the railroad hauling oil from Canada…he supports delaying the pipeline and the green initiative…hmmm.

    But any business owner tends to want to implement a plan for government to improve. They fail to comprehend that a bureaucratic system will never respond and react as a free enterprise work force does. Without a P&L motivation and measure of success, based on consumer satisfaction, the greatest business man will fail. The limited powers of government can be managed, but government is incapable of managing an economy or the mail, railroads, highways or roads, education…all those areas that government was never empowered to deal with.

    Then, of course, is the conflict between acquiring wealth honestly and the guilt foisted by the mooches of the world…that is everyone in the business of religion, like government they provide nothing just take, and the politically correct victims. The rich are made to feel guilty.

    Indeed. our entire culture has been inundated with the profit is bad, if you’re rich you are obviously a criminal, you don’t deserve to make more than anyone else. yada yada. The successful feel like they have to calm the crowds and do the humble dance. If you don’t use your wealth correctly, you can be ostracized from the floor of the US Senate.

    The left has managed to distort words and meanings very successfully. Liberalism used to mean conservative. Gay used to mean happy and joyous. Today, free enterprise and/or capitalism means fascism: government control of the economy through regulation, taxation, statute and other means of government executed against privately-owned businesses. Regrettably, Milton Friedman has done more to foster this distortion than anyone.

    His speeches ans books are often held up as examples of free market capitalism. They are not. His acceptance and advocacy for government intervention in the economy through monetary control is mutually exclusive of free Market Capitalism. Specifically, Capitalism relies on an honest price system and manipulation of the primary price, the interest rate, precludes free market operations.

    So, business leaders and managers lack an education in economics, specifically no knowledge of Free Market Capitalism, cultural forces target success and wealth causing guilt as a force against capitalism and even free enterprise icons foster confusion and anti-capitalistic ideas given acceptance of the FED’s anti-consumer permanent inflationary policies. And, entrepreneurs fall into the Pretense Of Knowledge Fantasy trap thinking government and business can be similarly managed.

    It drives me up the wall when I see the founders of Home Depot show up on TV saying government regulation is so bad now they could never start up nowadays. Then they start a litany of further regulations and government actions that will help the economy .. thereby, of course, making matters worse. It is an example of failed education. Like the beloved Krauthammer, whom like Friedman, claims to be a free marketeer and then expresses a need for the FED. It seems for some, “I know what needs to be done”, precludes ever asking, “should it be done and do I really know?
    _________________________________________________

    Absolutely NO AMNESTY…Round ’em up and ship ’em back from whence they came. A predominance are here as enemies occupying geography. This is an idea promoted by the Mexican government.

    They come here and steal our resources. Start their own revolution and fix their own damned countries. Another reason for Term Limits on these career-politicians…this is all about votes for democrats.

    Ah, another thing government can’t manage…a list of people here.

    • liz

      Agree on the amnesty, and you’re probably right about the ignorance and mis-education in Keynsianism of today’s businessmen.
      But it’s got to be more than just ignorance when the President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce visits Cuba and is supportive of communists. I think he’s one of them, just like Obama, and he’s using the position he was smuggled into to promote their agenda, just like Obama.