Denmark going down 1

Bernie Sanders’s and Hilary Clinton’s model socialist society is feeling the pinch:

From Online Post – a Danish site, in English.

A new analysis by Arbejderbevægelsens Erhvervsråd (AE), an economic policy institute and think-tank working to promote social justice, indicates that an increasing number of Danes can be considered poor.

Our emphasis – to draw attention to it’s being a leftist organization.

The analysis, which looked at poverty numbers from 2002-2010, conveys that nearly a quarter of a million Danes live below the poverty line, as per the definition used by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

According to Berlingske newspaper, that definition translates to a monthly income of 8,788 kroner [$1,338] a month for a single person or 5,047 kroner [$768] per person for a family with four children.

And it is especially the areas around the capital of Copenhagen that things look dire. Brøndby, Albertslund, Ishøj, Copenhagen and Høje-Taastrup Councils experienced the greatest increase in poverty.

From 2002 to 2010, the number of poor in Brøndby Council rose by 3.7 percent, while it rose by 3.4 and 3.3 in Albertslund and Ishøj, respectively.

In Brøndby, the challenge comes from many residents being poorly educated. According to the council’s mayor, Ib Terp (Socialdemokraterne), the council is meeting that problems by urging youths to get an education. …

But it’s not only blue-collar areas that have experienced a rise in the number of people living under the poverty line. Traditional wealthy areas such as Frederiksberg Council and Holbæk Council have also been struggling. In fact, there is no single council in Denmark that has experienced a decrease of the number of people living in poverty. Struer Council in central Jutland performed the best, with the number of poor increasing by only 0.4 percent over the eight year period.

Overall, Copenhagen has the most cases of poverty in the nation by far. There were 41,419 in 2010, up from 25,170 in 2002. Aarhus Council has 14,166, Odense Council has 9,428 and Aalborg council has 7,696. …

OECD’s definition of poverty has been criticised for being too rigid, but AE has used the definition for a number of years because it is an internationally-approved definition used throughout the EU. …

Karen Hækkerup, the integration and social minister, is awaiting the new Danish definition of poverty, which is expected in the spring of 2013, but indicated that the government has already initiated a number of schemes that are designed to tackle the issue.

The issue of poverty? Or of re-defining the word?

Plain fact: Socialism makes people poor. The fatter the government, the thinner the people.

Capitalism makes ever more people rich. A billion people have been made richer by markets over the last 20 years. The evidence is writ so large over the whole world that it is simply amazing how it can be missed.

As for Denmark – now it must somehow extend its welfare to tens of thousands of Muslim immigrants. Good luck, Denmark, with that!


(Hat-tip to our Facebook commenter, Jeff Leeper)

Posted under Capitalism, Economics, Europe, Socialism by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

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Eminent wrongheadedness 1

Eminent domain: The compulsory purchase of private property by government “for public use”.

Eminent domain:  Sheer robbery.

From Truth Revolt:

The Sheahan family has owned a 400-acre mine in the Nevada desert town of Groom, 83 miles northwest of Las Vegas, since 1889. This was long before the construction of a secret United States Air Force military base in 1950s commonly known as Area 51. But the family is suddenly facing eviction if they refuse to comply with the military’s demands. …

The Sheahan’s may have just spent their last Labor Day on the property. They [had] until [last] Thursday to accept the payment offer from the Air Force or be evicted from their property through eminent domain. However, the Sheahans say the $5 million offer would be shared by 20 people and is “woefully inadequate” to cover 400 valuable acres that includes a silver mine, and all of the mineral, water, and timber rights.

“We want them to leave us alone,” mine co-owner Joe Sheahan said. “This is our property. It’s legal. These are patents that were signed by Ulysses S. Grant. This is not new stuff.”

Co-owner Barbara Manning added, “And we are not their threat. We have been trying to be really good neighbors for all of our lives and so have our grandparents and our parents.”

The mine has been unable to be worked since 1954 when the on-site mill was blown up and destroyed, believed to be caused by a jettisoned engine from an Air Force Jet. But at least once a month, family members take turns visiting the property to carry out maintenance, or just to simply get away.

Though the family has been allowed to stay on the property for nearly 60 years alongside the military testing base, it is now considered a security risk. From the report:

The Air Force now says that private land ownership in the testing area is incompatible with security and safety concerns.

This is a different line than the family was given back in 1984 when the Air Force sent them the following in a letter:

The Air Force could only terminate your rights through condemnation or purchase of the property. We have no intention of initiating such actions.

The Las Vegas news outlet states that the Sheahans [were]  hoping for Congress to step in to help them avoid eviction … But none of Nevada’s Republican or Democrat congressmen would respond to statement requests. The same goes for Senator Harry Reid and Republican Senator Dean Heller.

The use of eminent domain to confiscate this property may arguably be justified on the grounds that national security takes precedence over property rights.

But eminent domain is too often used to assist powerful commercial interests. The government seizes property and then sells it to private developers, claiming that the new owner will be serving “the public good”.

One entrepeneur who has taken advantage of eminent domain through such a process is Donald Trump.

From the Washington Times, by David Keene:

Conservatives are by their nature a fractious bunch, but through time they have consistently rallied around certain shared values. At times, national defense questions have dominated the national debate and the debate within the movement while at other times, social or economic issues have seemed to define the movement. In fact, however, while the public focus has changed based on circumstances, the basic views of all these hyphenated conservatives have never varied. The organizers of CPAC have for two decades polled attendees as to their core beliefs and have found a consistent belief in free markets and limited government as the dominant definer of the movement.

It’s time for conservatives who share these values to begin questioning the wisdom of the current fascination with Donald Trump. It is true that the man is successfully channeling the conservative frustration with our elected leaders and the media elite. Applauding his willingness to stand up to the false gods of political correctness is understandable as is the outrage at the way the oh-so-comfortable establishment has reacted to him and his rhetoric, but none of that can possibly justify elevating the man to the presidency of the United States. In fact, based on his public statements he is far more philosophically inconsistent or, dare we say it, “liberal” than any of the “establishment” candidates that so frustrate us.

More important perhaps is the matter of temperament. There is always a lot of talk about the “judicial temperament” required of judicial nominees, but the temperament of those we consider elevating to the presidency is even more important. A president’s inclination to abide by the constraints imposed on the office by the Founders is, as we have learned in recent years, directly related to his own concept of his place in the world. The current occupant of the Oval Office finds constitutional limits roadblocks to be bypassed or ignored. Listening to the Donald, one cannot escape the conclusion that he, too, sees himself as too important to be constrained by the scribblings of a bunch of dead white men. That alone is a reason to be skeptical about the man.

One only need go back to his reaction to the Supreme Court decision in the 2005 Kelo case giving government the power to expand the eminent domain power to allow the taking of private property not to build highways, but to give it to others so they can make money and the government can collect more tax money. … It didn’t trouble Mr. Trump, one of the few public figures in the country to publicly praise it. “I happen to agree with it 100 percent,” he said while conservatives around the country were tearing their hair out to find ways to restore the balance between individual property rights, government power and the public good.

Mr. Trump’s position then was predictable. He often entered into “partnerships” with local governments and got them to use their power to go after homeowners standing in the way of yet another Trump Tower, park or monument, and he couldn’t understand why private citizens should be able to stand in his way. A man who thought that way then and continues to think that way, regardless of whether he deserves applause for his positions on this or that issue is not one to be trusted with the awesome power of the presidency.

But it looks more than possible that Donald Trump could be the next president.

And he has some very good ideas. Just to start with, he wants to build a wall on the border with Mexico; hit ISIS hard; and make everybody richer (except hedge fund managers).

We think he would build the wall.

We hope he would destroy ISIS.

And wouldn’t  it be luvverly if he made us all richer?


(Hat-tip for the Washington Times article to our highly valued commenter liz.)

Posted under Capitalism, Conservatism, liberty, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

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Away with the Fed! 1

The Fed’s track record offers no evidence that the nation’s appointed gurus of monetary policy can either spur real economic growth or halt economic downturns.

This important article is from the Daily Signal of the Heritage Foundation, by Jim DeMint. We like it so much we are quoting it in full:

The Federal Reserve opened its annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Thursday. Its experts have assembled to discuss “inflation dynamics.” Concurrently, another group of economists and financial experts is meeting just down the road.  They’re discussing monetary policy, as well, but they’re considering questions never raised at Fed symposia—questions like: “Do we really need the Fed?”

It’s a question worth asking. America’s monetary system is the Achilles heel of the world’s economic system.

Something is seriously wrong when trillions of new dollars are created out of thin air to bail out big banks, “stimulate” the economy and buy government debt. And something is dangerously wrong when the political establishment is afraid even to discuss it.

The common assumption — in financial as well as political circles —is that America’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, not only can manipulate monetary policy to keep the economy rolling, but that it must, if we are to avoid economic ruin.  But ample evidence suggests that this assumption is dead wrong.

Before reviewing that evidence, let’s start with a basic question: “Who decides what money is worth?”  The correct answer is: “We do—the people who use money to buy and sell things.”  As consumers, we decide how much money we are willing to trade for things we want.  As sellers, we decide how much money we require for providing a given product or service.

Money is a proxy for something of value, and it can — and should — work as a market commodity.  In a free market, the dollar price of products and services changes based on supply and demand – based on how we perceive the value of goods and services.  This dynamic is good and healthy for our economy.  But when the actual value of money is altered by a central committee in Washington it is not healthy … in fact, it can be dangerous.

Faith in the Fed is built on three arrogant conceits: that government can create wealth; that designated experts possess the perfect knowledge required to manipulate money for the common good; and that markets cannot sort themselves out without the coercive influence of technocrats.

But the Fed’s track record offers no evidence that the nation’s appointed gurus of monetary policy can either spur real economic growth or halt economic downturns.

Historically, money growth is almost perfectly related to inflation, and near completely divorced from real economic growth. In other words, increasing the money supply increases the prices of the food, machines, and buildings we buy, but in the end, it doesn’t give us more food, machines, and buildings.

As for halting downturns, The Great Depression, the great stagflation of the 1970s, the S&L crisis, and the 2008 financial crisis all occurred on the Fed’s watch. Some argue that the Depression shouldn’t count, because the Fed was just getting started. This conveniently allows them to throw out about 30 years of data — and if you do that, it certainly looks better for the Fed, because recessions were more frequent before World War II than after.

But inconveniently for those who argue the Fed was too young to work its magic in the late ‘30s, Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz demonstrated in A Monetary History of the United States, that it was a major player, even in its infancy. Moreover, Friedman showed that the Fed actually worsened – if not caused – the Great Depression.

Looking at the entire Federal Reserve period, then, we see a different picture.

In 1986 Christina Romer published a paper in the American Economic Review titled “Is the Stabilization of the Postwar Economy a Figment of the Data?”  Its answer to that question was pretty much “yes”.

In that paper, and in subsequent work, Romer and others provided evidence that the Fed really had not tamed business cycles. Some of this research shows that, even with those Depression years tossed aside, recessions since World War II have, on average, lasted longer than pre-war recessions (by almost three months) and taken longer to recover from (also by about three months).

Faced with that evidence, the Fed faithful try to narrow the discussion to the Volcker and Greenspan years, the so-called Great Moderation.  “See,” they say, “The Fed tamed inflation.” But while the variability in inflation came down during those “glory days,” the average annual rate of inflation actually increased—from 3.56 perent in 1948-1978 to 3.74 percent from 1979-2013.

And looking at the full era of the Fed, the record is even worse. The average rate of inflation runs about three times higher than what it was before (less than one-half a percentage point from 1790-1912, as best we can tell).

Some economists will argue that’s not a problem—that higher average inflation is okay because we don’t have as many wild price swings any more.  But most people understand that higher inflation is problematic, that not everything balances out. They realize that not everyone gets an automatic raise every year just because the Consumer Price Index has gone up.

But the fundamental problem with the Fed isn’t its track record. It’s the fact that centralization of monetary and financial power can be just as damaging to our freedoms as centralization of political power. It creates the perception among Americans that their economic futures are out of their control. Unfortunately, this perception is increasingly accurate.

The debasement of monetary policy over the last century is but one element of a larger crisis.  At its root is a presumption among our country’s political and cultural elites that they can override the wisdom and experience accumulated by mankind over the last several millennia.

Posted under Capitalism, Commentary, Economics, government, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 28, 2015

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Sayings of Milton Friedman 2

Our thanks to John Hawkins at Townhall, for compiling these quotations:

[July 31st] would have been the 103rd birthday of Milton Friedman, who was one of the most brilliant economists of the last century. In honor of Friedman, here are his 20 best quotes.

20) “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”

19) “Because we live in a largely free society, we tend to forget how limited is the span of time and the part of the globe for which there has ever been anything like political freedom: the typical state of mankind is tyranny, servitude, and misery. The nineteenth century and early twentieth century in the Western world stand out as striking exceptions to the general trend of historical development. Political freedom in this instance clearly came along with the free market and the development of capitalist institutions. So also did political freedom in the golden age of Greece and in the early days of the Roman era.”

18) “It is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare. And you cannot have both. If you have a welfare state, if you have a state in which every resident is promised a certain minimal level of income, or a minimum level of subsistence, regardless of whether he works or not, produces it or not. Then it really is an impossible thing.”

17) “So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.”

16) “When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. That is why buildings in the Soviet Union – like public housing in the United States – look decrepit within a year or two of their construction…”

15) “The great danger to the consumer is the monopoly – whether private or governmental. His most effective protection is free competition at home and free trade throughout the world. The consumer is protected from being exploited by one seller by the existence of another seller from whom he can buy and who is eager to sell to him. Alternative sources of supply protect the consumer far more effectively than all the Ralph Naders of the world.”

14) “Two major arguments are offered for introducing socialized medicine in the United States: first, that medical costs are beyond the means of most Americans; second that socialization will somehow reduce costs. The second can be dismissed out of hand — at least until someone can find some example of an activity that is conducted more economically by the government than private enterprise. As to the first, the people of the country must pay the costs one way or the other; the only question is whether they pay them directly on their own behalf, or indirectly through the mediation of government bureaucrats who will subtract a substantial slice for their own salaries and expenses.”

13) “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”

12) “The supporters of tariffs treat it as self-evident that the creation of jobs is a desirable end, in and of itself, regardless of what the persons employed do. That is clearly wrong. If all we want are jobs, we can create any number – for example, have people dig holes and then fill them up again, or perform other useless tasks. Work is sometimes its own reward. Mostly, however, it is the price we pay to get the things we want. Our real objective is not just jobs but productive jobs – jobs that will mean more goods and services to consume.”

11) “I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.”

10) “There is all the difference in the world, however, between two kinds of assistance through government that seem superficially similar: first, 90 percent of us agreeing to impose taxes on ourselves in order to help the bottom 10 percent, and second, 80 percent voting to impose taxes on the top 10 percent to help the bottom 10 percent – William Graham Sumner’s famous example of B and C decided what D shall do for A. The first may be wise or unwise, an effective or ineffective way to help the disadvantaged – but it is consistent with belief in both equality of opportunity and liberty. The second seeks equality of outcome and is entirely antithetical to liberty.”

9) “When the United States was formed in 1776, it took 19 people on the farm to produce enough food for 20 people. So most of the people had to spend their time and efforts on growing food. Today, it’s down to 1% or 2% to produce that food. Now just consider the vast amount of supposed unemployment that was produced by that. But there wasn’t really any unemployment produced. What happened was that people who had formerly been tied up working in agriculture were freed by technological developments and improvements to do something else. That enabled us to have a better standard of living and a more extensive range of products.”

8) “I want people to take thought about their condition and to recognize that the maintenance of a free society is a very difficult and complicated thing and it requires a self-denying ordinance of the most extreme kind. It requires a willingness to put up with temporary evils on the basis of the subtle and sophisticated understanding that if you step in to do something about them you not only may make them worse, you will spread your tentacles and get bad results elsewhere.”

7)“We economists don’t know much, but we do know how to create a shortage. If you want to create a shortage of tomatoes, for example, just pass a law that retailers can’t sell tomatoes for more than two cents [adjust to today’s equivalent] per pound. Instantly you’ll have a tomato shortage. It’s the same with oil or gas.”

6) “The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.”

5) “Workers paying taxes today can derive no assurance from trust funds that they will receive benefits from when they retire. Any assurance derives solely from the willingness of future taxpayers to impose taxes on themselves to pay for benefits that present taxpayers are promising themselves. This one sided ‘compact between the generations,’ foisted on generations that cannot give their consent, is a very different thing from a ‘trust fund.’ It is more like a chain letter.”

4) “There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40% of our national income.”

3) “Indeed, a major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it… gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”

2) “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

1) “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.”

Posted under Capitalism, Economics, government by Jillian Becker on Sunday, August 2, 2015

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Why socialism must always fail 1

Friedrich von Hayek on why socialism must always fail:

Posted under Capitalism, education, Socialism, Videos by Jillian Becker on Monday, July 6, 2015

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Socialism must always fail 0

Yet another socialist state – Greece – finds itself insolvent. When will they ever learn?

Quotations from Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, by Ludwig von Mises –

Wherever Europeans or the descendants of European emigrants live, we see Socialism at work to-day; and in Asia it is the banner round which the antagonists of European civilization gather. If the intellectual dominance of Socialism remains unshaken, then in a short time the whole co-operative system of culture which Europe has built up during thousands of years will be shattered. For a socialist order of society is unrealizable. All efforts to realize Socialism lead only to the destruction of society. Factories, mines, and railways will come to a standstill, towns will be deserted. The population of the industrial territories will die out or migrate elsewhere. The farmer will return to the self-sufficiency of the closed, domestic economy. Without private ownership in the means of production there is, in the long run, no production other than a hand-to-mouth production for one’s own needs.


All rational action is economic. All economic activity is rational action. All rational action is in the first place individual action. Only the individual thinks. Only the individual reasons. Only the individual acts.


The average man is both better informed and less corruptible in the decisions he makes as a consumer than as a voter at political elections.


When we call a capitalist society a consumers’ democracy we mean that the power to dispose of the means of production, which belongs to the entrepreneurs and capitalists, can only be acquired by means of the consumers’ ballot, held daily in the market-place. 

Posted under Capitalism, Commentary, Economics, liberty, Socialism by Jillian Becker on Monday, July 6, 2015

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A clean, cool, beautiful, fertile planet – praised be mankind 12

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentinian Communist and Pope, is telling whoppers.

Fortunately, Christopher S. Carson puts him right with a wonderfully cheerful story. It comes from Front Page. We slightly abbreviate it:

Last week, Pope Francis released his controversial environmental Encyclical, Praised Be, to the public.  It is not simply a matter of global warming endangering the planet, he writes.  The Pope has a comprehensively dark vision of the world.  He writes that

The Earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth … beautiful landscapes are now covered with rubbish … Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years.

In other words, the Industrial Revolution is to blame for covering the planet in rubbish.  But if it’s covered in trash, it’s a strange kind of trash that has caused global crop yields to increase by 160 percent since 1961 and deaths from droughts to be reduced by 99.8 percent since the 1920s.

It’s an odd kind of “mistreatment” of the planet over the life of the Industrial Revolution that’s resulted in the global life expectancy rising from 26 years in 1750 to 69 years in 2009.  This is in spite of the fact that Earth’s population increased from 760 million to 6.8 billion and incomes (in real dollars) rose from $640 to $7,300 during the same period. …

If the globe were truly turning into a great heap of exploited waste, you would expect natural resources to become more expensive as the cost of extracting rises and scarcity becomes the norm.  But natural commodities are cheaper today than ever.  The real price of almost all natural resources – from iron to salt to coal – is cheaper today in than 50 or 500 years ago.  In Britain, artificial light is 20,000 times cheaper per man hour worked than it was in 1300.

On a global scale, with only a few exceptions like China, air and water is cleaner than ever. Since the late 1970s, pollutants in the air have plunged.  In advanced countries, lead pollution declined by almost 100 percent, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide by more than 50 percent; ozone and nitrogen dioxide declined as well.

A car today emits less pollution cruising at full speed than a parked car did in 1970.

In the America of 1900, about 25% of all deaths were from contaminated drinking water.  Today, hardly anyone here dies from this scourge.  The Pope seems oblivious to the fact that the richer the nation is, the cleaner its environment.

Despite the masses wading around in the Pope’s seas of “filth,” and despite a world population of 7.3 billion, the poorer countries’ incomes have surged since 1975; since 1981, the number of Earth’s people in extreme poverty fell by an amazing 1 billion, even as the population increased by more than 1.5 billion.

But if there is one environmental issue that most exercises the Supreme Pontiff, it is global warming.  “A very solid scientific consensus,” he writes, “indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system. In recent decades this warming has been accompanied by a constant rise in the sea level and, it would appear, by an increase of extreme weather events.”

Well, the warming over “recent decades” apparently does not include the last two decades, because over the past 18 years no net increase in global temperature has been recorded, despite the atmosphere’s CO2 content rising by 8 percent.  Both the Arctic Ocean and Antarctica have this year posted record high ice packs.

The Pope’s letter seems quite concerned about the poor of Africa experiencing crop failures as a result of global CO2 emissions.  But the opposite appears to be true: CO2 is plant food, and the rising CO2 levels are helping to water and green the continent.

According to a 2007 study in the science journal Geology, Africa is currently “experiencing an unusually prolonged period of stable, wet conditions in comparison to previous centuries of the past millennium. … The patterns and variability of 20th century rainfall in central Africa have been unusually conducive to human welfare in the context of the past 1400 years.”

If the trends of higher CO2 concentrations continue, and political strife abates, Africa, far from being a ruined land of desiccated drought, could well become the breadbasket of the world.  All it needs from the West is fertilizer and genetically hardened crop strains that resist insect damage.

“Praised be” … Mankind, which has so rapidly improved his lot and that of his Earthly home.

Time to blame the Third World – and bring back empires? 1

Countries trying to be nice help bad countries to do worse.

The people in Third World despotisms are victims for sure – but not victims of the First World. They are the victims of their own tyrants.

By accepting those who flee from them, the successful, prosperous, civilized West is allowing the tyrants to carry on as usual.

This is from an important editorial in Investor’s Business Daily:

At 60 million and rising, the global refugee population has never been larger. But instead of blaming the states that take in the refugees, isn’t it time to demand accountability of the nations that create their misery?

The UN’s refugee agency’s “Global Trends Report: World at War” got virtually no press when it was released Thursday, but it should have. Its stark data signal a global crisis of refugees and a great wrong in the established world order. Fifty-nine-and-a-half million people were driven from their homes in 2014 as a result of war, conflict and persecution, the highest number in history, as well as the biggest leap in a single year. A decade ago, refugees totaled 37.5 million. An average 42,500 are displaced each day, 1 out of every 122 people on earth, or, if placed together, a nation that ranks 24th among world populations.

“We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.

Guterres rightly sees the scope of the problem, and as a global bureaucrat can be forgiven for his concern about “the response required”. But that focus on the response is precisely why the crummy Third World dictatorships, terrorist groups and corrupted democracies that create the refugees keep getting away with it.

Where is the scorn for the nations whose anti-free market, oligarchical and hostility-to-minority policies are the root of the problem?

It seems that the only criticism and attention that ever comes to refugee issues centers on whether the countries are able to take them in.

Southern Europe, for example, is being browbeaten by the UN, the Vatican and the European Union for not rolling out the welcome mat for the thousands of smugglers’ boats full of refugees from Syria, Niger, Chad, Libya, Afghanistan and elsewhere fleeing to their shores.

The same can be said of the United States, which is watching a stop-and-go border surge of Central Americans who insist they’re escaping gang violence in their home countries. Australian and Southeast Asian states have been berated by the same actors for not wanting to take in thousands of refugees sailing from Bangladesh and Burma.

The Dominican Republic is taking global brickbats for trying to preserve the integrity of its borders.

Are there any war-crimes tribunals in the works for captured Islamic State members whose terror is the No. 1 reason for refugee flight? Where’s the criticism of the government of Afghanistan, which makes corruption the priority over a livable homeland?

How about the governments of Chad, Niger and Somalia, or the leftist regimes in Central America, that actually encourage refugee outflows so they can live off their remittances instead of developing their economies through free markets?

Are any of these places being kicked out of international organizations for the misery they are responsible for? Has anyone ever been singled out for their failure to make their states livable? Not one.

Colombia was a creator of refugees a decade ago, but no longer. Why? It put itself under the wing of the US through Plan Colombia in 1998 and learned how to take control of its country and initiate free-market reforms.

Which brings up one idea that isn’t being discussed amid so much wretchedness: empire. In a 2014 article in the Atlantic Monthly, geography expert Robert D. Kaplan pointed out that empires are the foremost creators of stability and protectors of minorities. The topic is taboo. But in light of the growing failures of the international community to halt the refugee problem, it belongs on the table just as much as the UN’s solution — throwing more money at it.

With global refugees on the rise, it’s time to talk about the cause of the crisis as well as the cure.

The song of Western triumphalism 0

Listen to this inspirational song that is sung continually by white men, capitalists, Israelis, and American conservatives:

Posted under America, Capitalism, Islam, Israel, jihad, Muslims, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Saturday, June 20, 2015

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The 100th Man 0

Here is a refutation of Socialism in under 10 minutes.

An African parable on how profits work to the benefit of all society. Produced by the Free Market Foundation as a gift to African Students For Liberty.

Posted under Africa, Capitalism, Economics, education, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, June 19, 2015

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