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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Look – here comes the loony lefty likely Labour leader 1

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It would be a most desirable thing, a sweet dream for all mankind, if the evil Left were to perish.

Its years of power in the West may be over. The “long march through the institutions” brought it to the peak of power – the presidency of the USA. And there it has failed. Of course.

There are signs of its demise in America, what with corrupt old Hillary’s pathetic dance, and voters waking up to Obama’s treachery, and someone (Trump) daring to defy political correctness at last.

And in Britain, the dream may be about to become true.

Steven Hayward writes at PowerLine:

More fun than watching the Hillary meltdown and the Democratic Party rage against the results of the Obama regime is to cast your gaze over to Britain, where the Labour Party seems to have forgotten the lesson of their 1983 election platform (which included a call for unilateral nuclear disarmament) which UK political junkies referred to as “the longest suicide note in history.”

Labour was crushed in that election, and having not been chastened by the recent election rout at the hands of the Conservatives and the Scottish nationalist party seems to be hankering for a repeat of 1983. By all accounts, the Labour Party is set to choose as its next leader Jeremy Corbyn, a deep-left radical who is generally regarded as completely unelectable [by Tony Blair] if he indeed heads the Labour Party into the next election.

I can’t do better than Boris Johnson, the colorful Tory mayor of London, who posted the following on his Facebook page a few days ago. Since it’s on Facebook and there’s no general link, I’ll just report the entire piece here:

It begins with a look of slow and wondering amazement – as if he hardly dares believe his luck; and then the certainty builds, millisecond by millisecond. Then the eyebrows go up even higher, and the mouth gapes and the eyes pop and the epiglottis vibrates as he lets out a long, whooping yell of sheer incredulous ecstasy.

That is how police chief Brody reacts in the last reel of Jaws when, by some fluke, he manages to shoot a bullet right into the oxygen tank in the mouth of the shark, and the ravening fish improbably explodes. That is frankly how we in the Tory party feel as we watch what is happening in the Labour movement today.

If these polls are right (and that is a pretty big if these days) then we are at that preliminary stage in Roy Scheider’s masterful portrait of the joyful police chief. We aren’t yet whooping, but our eyebrows are twitching north in incredulity. We are filled with disbelief that this can really be taking place, a distrust of the evidence of our senses.

If all these forecasts are right – the polls, the betting markets, the pundits – then that fearsome New Labour machine is in the process of some kind of violent, unexpected and hilarious disintegration. It really looks as though it might be the end for the ruthless beast that won three election victories and struck terror for so long into Tory hearts. Can it be true? Can this be happening? Are they really proposing that Her Majesty’s Opposition should be led by Jeremy Corbyn?

It is not just that he has next to zero support among mainstream Labour MPs in the Commons; it doesn’t matter that he has rebelled against the party leadership ever since he has been in the House. Indeed, it doesn’t matter that he sometimes identifies the right problems – low pay, underinvestment in infrastructure, or whatever. It is his solutions that are so out of whack with reality.

This is a man whose policies are way, way to the Left even of the last Labour leader –[Ed] Miliband – a man who in the end was resoundingly rejected by the electorate for being too Left-wing. … He would take this country back to the 1970s, or perhaps even the 1790s. He believes in higher taxes and a bigger deficit, and kowtowing to the unions, and abandoning all attempts to introduce competition or academic rigour in schools – let alone reforming welfare.

He is a Sinn Fein-loving, monarchy-baiting, Israel-bashing believer in unilateral nuclear disarmament. … Never in all his wildest dreams did he imagine that he might be leader of what has been – until this year – one of the major parties of government; and now he is having greatness thrust upon him. …

The armies of Labour rank and file … honestly seem to think that this might be the way forward. Yes, there really are a few hundred thousand people who seriously think that we should turn back the clock, take huge swathes of industry back into public ownership and massively expand the state.

The problem for Labour is that they do not represent the majority of people in this country. That is the real lesson of this campaign so far: that the mass of the Labour Party is totally out of touch with reality and common sense. How should we Tories react?  … We watch with befuddlement and bewilderment that is turning all the time into a sense of exhilarating vindication: I told you they were loony. 

And Alex Massie writes at The Spectator (UK):

Lately, I’ve been thinking about Willie Horton and Michael Dukakis. That’s what Jeremy Corbyn’s rise to prominence will do to a fellow. Horton, you will remember, was the convicted murderer who never returned from a weekend furlough granted to him while Dukakis was governor of Massachusetts, and subsequently kidnapped a couple in Maryland, stabbing the husband and repeatedly raping the wife.

He became the star of George Bush’s 1988 presidential election campaign. Lee Atwater, Bush’s most pugnacious strategist, had vowed to “strip the bark” from Dukakis and promised that “by the time we’re finished they’re going to wonder whether Willie Horton is Dukakis’ running-mate”.  The Willie Horton ads were ugly … but, by god, they were effective. They gave Bush a message: he wasn’t the other guy. The guy from the most liberal corner of the most liberal state in the Union, the guy who opposed the death penalty, who disapproved of … the Pledge of Allegiance, the guy who let a first-degree murderer out of jail, not once, but ten times. The same murderer, Willie Horton, who invaded a suburban home and raped a woman. The Willie Horton who said “Obviously, I am for Dukakis” (it didn’t matter that he didn’t vote just as the other nuances of the issue didn’t matter at all).

By the end of it all it was a bloody business. In the second presidential debate Dukakis was asked if he’d still oppose the death penalty for someone who raped and killed his own wife. He said he would. Game over. Dukakis never understood what hit him.

Of course it was ugly and of course it was merciless and sometimes it was unfair too. But that didn’t matter.

All his bark was stripped.

So the question is, How many Willie Hortons does Jeremy Corbyn have? 

An astonishing number. Not just ISIS, not just his support for an inquiry into supposed Jewish influence on government decisions, not just the platforms he’s shared with a remarkable number of unsavoury types. Not just his suggestion Hamas is not a terrorist organisation. Not just his willingness to blame Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine on NATO. Not just his instinctive support for anyone opposed to anything proposed by either the United States or the United Kingdom. Not even just his suggestion, in 2013, that Argentina be permitted a say in the governance of the Falkland Islands. Not just these things, but all or any of them.

Most of these, frankly, should disqualify him from serious office.

And so too should his record on Northern Ireland. A vast amount of guff is now being peddled by Corbyn’s supporters on this. If we are to believe them, Corby’s willingness to talk to Sinn Fein and the IRA in the 1980s just showed how he was ahead of the game. After all, the British government eventually did so too, didn’t it?

This misses the vital point. Corbyn might have wanted peace’ but he wanted it on the IRA’s terms. He wanted Sinn Fein and the IRA to win.

People genuinely interested in peace – and cross-community dialogue – back then didn’t speak at Troops Out rallies. They didn’t invite convicted IRA bombers to the House of Commons two weeks after the IRA attempted to assassinate the Prime Minister and the rest of her cabinet in Brighton. (A bomb, remember, that killed five people.) …

Even now he cannot actually bring himself to condemn IRA atrocities, weaselling out of suggestions he do so by condemning all atrocities. But normal people know that condemning IRA murders does not mean condoning Loyalist murders or, for that matter, the excesses of the RUC and British Army. Corbyn, however, still prefers to sing from the [Irish] Republican song-sheet. …

Far from being ahead of the game, Corbyn was, at best, deluded, and at worst, marginally complicit in the murderous actions of a terrorist organisation that targeted his fellow citizens.

That none of this seems to trouble his supporters says all you need to know about the mess Labour finds itself in.

If – and perhaps this is unlikely – Corbyn makes it to 2020 even the most ludicrous, improbable, Tory could beat him. Running an anti-Corbyn campaign would be the greatest turkey shoot in the history of modern British politics.

The only difficulty would be deciding which of Corbyn’s Willie Hortons it would be most effective to focus upon. Bark-stripping will never be easier.

Choosing Corbyn is worse than a blunder, it’s a crime.

Not if his leadership means the end of the British Labour Party.

We hope Corbyn is easily beatable in a general election. We hope the campaign against him will be managed as effectively as Bush’s campaign against Dukakis was managed.

We hope the British Laboour Party is a spent force. Forever.

And we hope that will be the beginning of the end of the evil Left as a force in national politics in the West.

But we are skeptical and rather pessimistic through experience, and will not be surprised if we are disappointed.

A rising political star 19

Carly Fiorina knows what she’s talking about.

That’s quite rare among politicians.

She is better informed, more eloquent, and a hundred times a better thinker than Hillary Clinton. If the essential qualification for becoming the next president is being female  – as Hillary Clinton and her fans believe it is – Fiorina qualifies. But she is better than most of the male candidates too.

We think she won the earlier Republican debate last night. She was not only more impressive and interesting than the presidency hopefuls she debated, but also more than most of those who came into the “top ten” debate later. (We have to overlook her chant about “God”, as we do those intoned by any other candidate.)

See what you think. Here she is on MSNBC’s Morning Joe:

(Hat-tip to Frank for the video)

Post Script:  But, we now discover, Fiorina swallowed Islamic propaganda whole, as this article explains. It is by Tim Brown at Freedom Outpost, dated June 15, 2015. Perhaps she has since changed her mind about the “greatness” of Islam. If she hasn’t, she disappoints us, and makes us regret that we have praised her.

Posted under Commentary, Economics, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 7, 2015

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In defense of coal 1

Obama’s “war on coal” is actually, of course, his “war on capitalism”.

Stephen Moore writes at Investor’s Business Daily:

At the very moment President Obama has decided to shutter America’s coal industry in favor of much more expensive and less efficient “renewable energy”, coal use is surging across the globe.

A new study by the prestigious National Academy of Sciences detects an unmistakable “coal renaissance” under way that shows this mineral of fossilized carbon has again become “the most important source of energy-related emissions on the global scale“. 

Coal is expanding rapidly “not only in China and India but also across a broad range of developing countries — especially poor, fast-growing countries mainly in Asia”, the study finds.

Why is coal such a popular energy source now? The NAS study explains that many nations are attracted to “(relatively) low coal prices … to satisfy their energy needs”. It also finds “the share of coal in the energy mix indeed has grown faster for countries with higher economic growth”.

In sum, using coal is a stepping stone to prosperity. So much for it being a satanic energy source.

Hardly a day passes without evidence that coal is making a major comeback:

  • Some 1,200 coal plants are planned across 59 countries, with about three-quarters in China and India, according to the World Resources Institute.
  • Coal use around the world has grown about four times faster than renewables, according to the global energy monitoring publication BP Review of World Energy 2015.
  • German coal “will remain a major, and probably the largest, fuel source for power generation for another decade and perhaps longer”, the Financial Times concludes.
  • “The U.S. is dropping coal plants at an unprecedented rate, but still nowhere near as quickly as India is adding them,” Bloomberg Business reckons.

“By the end of this year, some 7.5% of the U.S. coal fleet will have disappeared … . But by 2020 India may have built about 2.5 times as much capacity as the U.S. is about to lose.”

Then, of course, there’s the world’s biggest coal addict by far — the People’s Republic of China. According to a 2014 report from Eric Lawson of Princeton University, a leading climate change apocalyptic on the left:

“The reality is that fossil fuels dominate China’s energy landscape, as they do in virtually every other country. And the focus on renewables also hides the fact that China’s reliance upon coal is predicted to keep growing.”

Lawson’s calculations of how coal use is growing in China are jaw-dropping. “From 2010 through 2013, (China) added half the coal generation of the entire U.S. At the peak, from 2005 through 2011, China added roughly two 600-megawatt coal plants a week for seven straight years. And according to U.S. government projections, China will add yet another U.S. worth of coal plants over the next 10 years, or the equivalent of a new 600-megawatt plant every 10 days for 10 years.”

All this underscores the foolishness and futility of the Obama climate-change regulations designed to drastically reduce coal production in the U.S.

The great excuse for the Left’s “war on coal” is that it’s burning adds CO2 to the atmosphere. And the Left has spread the dogma that CO2, the food of all green plants, is a pollutant, a “green house gas” which “causes global warming”.

But even assuming that to be true, as Stephen Moore apparently does …

As we use less [coal] and the rest of the world uses more, the impact on global temperatures will be very close to zero.

Coal production in the U.S. is much safer and less carbon-intensive (clean coal technologies have reduced pollutants by 30%) than coal from other nations. So Obama’s war on coal may make global warming worse.

Some might say this gesture by the Obama administration to cut off coal production in the U.S. is a useful first step to save the planet. Except this isn’t just a cheap sign of goodwill.

It’s a tremendously expensive gesture that will cost America hundreds of thousands of jobs, raise utility prices by as much as $1,000 per family and reduce GDP by as much half a percentage point a year when we are already barely growing. The poor will be hurt most.

What makes the Obama administration regulations doubly destructive is that the U.S. has more coal than any other nation.

With at least 300 years of supply at a value of trillions of dollars, we are truly the Saudi Arabia of coal.

To leave it in the ground would be like Obama telling Nebraska to stop growing corn, Idaho to stop growing potatoes and Silicon Valley to give up on the digital age.

Ironically, the president justifies his war on coal by arguing, “We must lead so that others will follow.” But outside of dreamland, the rest of the world has no intention of following Mr. Obama’s act of economic masochism.

Most nations value getting richer over getting greener — as well they should.

Given the sad state of our economy today, so should we.

Posted under China, Commentary, Economics, Energy, Environmentalism, Germany, India, Leftism, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 7, 2015

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So only tyranny will save us from being burnt to a crisp? 3

As the president reveals his plan to reduce greenhouse gases to save us from an apocalyptic atmosphere, I wish to remind people of three things …

So Joe Bastardi, chief forecaster at WeatherBELL Analytics, a meteorological consulting firm, writes at The Right Opinion.

1.) The true hockey stick of the fossil fuel era: Global progress in total population, personal wealth and life expectancy.

This is truly amazing. To show how fossil fuels played a roll in expanding the global pie, there are many more people alive today living longer and enjoying a higher GDP. One has to wonder if someone against fossil fuels is simply anti-progress. Ironic since many in the camp of anthropogenic global warming like to label themselves “progressive”. They’re certainly anti-statistic given something like this staring them in the face.

2.) The geological time scale of temperatures versus CO2.

As much as I struggle, I can’t see the linkage. …

3.) EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy admitted that the steps being taken would only prevent .01 degrees Celsius of warming, but it was the example that counted for the rest of the world.

This article sums that up pretty nicely.

This in addition to the fact that, in 2011, she admitted she did not know how much CO2 was in the atmosphere. And its lines of evidence for this are provably false!

Given the facts, I can’t help but wonder: Did policymakers ever take Economics 101, or a course in how to read a chart?

And the writer asks:

All this for .01 degrees Celsius?

Posted under Economics, Environmentalism, government, Leftism, Mysticism, Progressivism, Superstition, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, August 4, 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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Truth trumps good taste and political myths 4

The New York Post reports:

Donald Trump took his act out west Saturday, drawing huge crowds who came to cheer his bizarre, over-the-top claims that Mexico is purposefully exporting criminals in bulk to the United States.

In Phoenix, where immigration has long been a hot-button issue, supporters snapped up all 5,000 tickets to a free rally.

“They’re taking our jobs. They’re taking our manufacturing jobs. They’re taking our money. They’re killing us.”

Trump even promised to charge the government of Mexico $100,000 for every illegal immigrant who crosses into the US.

“Now they make so much money, that’s peanuts,” he told the cheering, laughing crowd.

“I could’ve made it much higher — but I’m nice. I’m in a good mood today.”

Not a bad idea, if it could be done.

And as for illegal immigrants killing us – that’s a hot topic.

Matthew Vadum writes at Front Page:

Left-wingers in San Francisco should be hanging their heads in shame after their borderline seditious, destructive immigration policies allowed an illegal alien felon to murder a young woman randomly in broad daylight.

Nor did gun control laws prevent Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a 45-year-old illegal alien deported five times to Mexico, from allegedly firing one bullet into the upper body of medical device sales representative Kate Steinle on busy Pier 14 … Steinle was cut down in front of her father and mother and died later in hospital.

No motive has been established for the shooting but Lopez-Sanchez is a five-time felon. An hour after the shooting, he was picked up by police roughly a mile away.

Although this violent thug pulled the trigger, progressives, through the laws they have enacted, put this man on the streets which allowed him to murder.

Federal authorities had Lopez-Sanchez in custody in March after he was set free from a federal prison. They transferred him to San Francisco authorities because he was wanted by them on drug-related charges. The feds filed what’s called an “immigration detainer” requesting that the local authorities notify them before releasing the man.

But San Francisco, home of the most militant leftists in America, refused the request because local policy forbids it. The prisoner in effect got a “get out of jail free card” from the left-wing open-borders movement which argues that keeping illegals in jail violates their constitutional rights.

This is how it works. Being wanted for violating immigration laws isn’t enough, in the eyes of progressives, so after they have served their local time illegals go straight from their holding cells to the streets where they are free to murder, rape, and rob the citizens of this country.

Leftist pressure groups pushed California lawmakers hard to force the state’s jailers to set illegal aliens who lacked serious criminal records free more quickly so federal officials would not be able to detain them for deportation hearings.

Kate Steinle is dead because of the damage the Left has done in its crusade to dismantle what remains of U.S. immigration law.

Whatever discourages illegals from entering the country is bad, and whatever encourages them to hop the fence is good in the eyes of the progressives who are destroying America.

We don’t think the day will ever come when “Left-wingers in San Francisco” will be “hanging their heads in shame” for anything they do. If Leftists were capable of shame, if they had consciences, they would have abandoned their ideology and/or committed mass suicide decades ago when that ideology was fully demonstrated to be the most terrible of any that has ever afflicted poor suffering humankind. We are talking about Socialism of course – both the International Socialism of Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, and the National Socialism of Hitler.

Now back to Donald Trump.

We don’t think Donald Trump should be president. But if his bold candor forces others to be bold and candid, then we’re glad he’s in the line-up.

As much as progressives and the Republican establishment hate him, the murder of Kate Steinle would not have made a ripple in the national consciousness were it not for Donald Trump. No, Trump didn’t bring the story to people’s attention, but he did bring the issue to it.

That comes from an article by Derek Hunter at Townhall. Here’s more of it:

When Kate Steinle was murdered by an illegal alien with a felony rap sheet long enough to make him a viable hip-hop star, the world barely noticed. Conservative blogs did. Fox News did. But most of the rest of the world ignored it. When this became impossible, mainstream media covered it … as little as possible.

The murder of Kate Steinle touched a nerve with Americans who are more interested in protecting the lives of innocent people than advancing a political agenda.

Unfortunately, none of those people are elected Democrats. None work in the White House. And only a tiny few can be found in newsrooms across the country.

Kate Steinle’s murder didn’t garner the national media coverage or sympathy given to a drug dealer in Baltimore or a petty thief who tried to kill a cop in Missouri, but it did rekindle a smoldering fire in the American people. Kate was killed for no reason, but she need not die in vain. …

Before Trump’s announcement, the debate over illegal aliens and immigration reform was about amnesty, and far too many Republican presidential hopefuls agreed with the concept, to varying degrees. Trump changed that, much to their consternation.

The Chamber of Commerce, a big money player in politics, wants amnesty; it wants an already saturated employment market flooded with millions of new legal entrants to keep downward pressure on wages.

It’s a myth that big business and Wall Street are “Republican” or “conservative.” They love big government when it subsidizes them or props up their stock price. And they love regulations when they make it nearly impossible for new competitors to emerge. Big business is perfectly happy both to use government as a weapon against competitors and to cry “free markets” when that weapon is aimed at them.

Trump doesn’t need them or their money, so he doesn’t have to soft pedal his talk about illegal aliens to appease them. Every Democrat in the field – and most of the Republicans – willingly cede our national sovereignty to corporate interests, Trump calls a spade a spade. That makes him dangerous. It also makes him wildly popular.

What the GOP establishment doesn’t understand, and never has understood, is its lip service, half-measures and phony compassion are not popular. We see through it. They can cite all the convoluted polls in the world claiming to show support for amnesty should certain hurdles be met, but everyone knows those hurdles will be ignored should they become law. …

Trump isn’t my candidate – I don’t have one yet. But the reason for his current popularity is obvious to anyone who isn’t surrounded by lackeys or those with a vendetta against him: He’s unapologetically himself.

Think what you will of Trump, but if you’re going to hit him be prepared to get hit back, and hard. If you’re going to ask him a question, expect to get an answer unlike one you get from a politician. And people feel he’s telling them the truth, not regurgitating poll-tested, focus-group-approved pabulum.

The establishment is starting its usual “which candidate is electable” dance marathon, but in the last two presidential elections, that marathon has produced John McCain and Mitt Romney. How’d that work out again?

Part of that dance is telling us who can’t win. In 1980, the establishment was certain Ronald Reagan couldn’t win. He was too conservative, too radical, too old, too much of a wild card.

To be clear, Trump isn’t Reagan. But he is Reaganesque in the sense that people believe he’s telling them what he really thinks with a real passion, and he doesn’t bow to pressure to temper it or tell them something else. During an interview with CNN this week, he didn’t tolerate the usual liberal media garbage; he called it out and batted it away.

If one or more of the other candidates don’t find that voice, that honest way of speaking … Trump could be the nominee. Or Hillary Clinton could be president.

And finally, we select some remarks by Mark Steyn. But enjoy the whole thing here. To tempt you – he calls Hillary Clinton “a sleazy, corrupt, cronyist, money-laundering, Saud-kissing liar”, “a dud and a bore”, “a wooden charmless stiff”. He also brings Obama into his range and scores a hit by stating: “the Bernie Sanders surge is a strong sign that, while [the Democrats] are relaxed about voting for an unprincipled arrogant phony marinated in ever more malodorous and toxic corruption, they draw the line at such a tedious and charisma-free specimen thereof”. [Great stuff – but do they?]

Trump is supposed to be the narcissist blowhard celebrity candidate: He’s a guy famous for erecting aesthetically revolting buildings with his “brand” plastered all over them, for arm-candy brides, for beauty contests and reality shows. The other fellows are sober, serious senators and governors.

And yet Trump is the only one who’s introduced an issue into this otherwise torpid campaign – and the most important issue of all, I would argue, in that ultimately it’s one of national survival. And so the same media that dismiss Trump as an empty reality-show vanity candidate are now denouncing him for bringing up the only real policy question in the race so far.

What he said may or may not be offensive, but it happens to be true: America has more Mexicans than anybody needs, and then some. It certainly has more unskilled Mexicans than any country needs, including countries whose names begin with “Mex-” and end in “-ico”. And it has far more criminal Mexicans than anybody needs, which is why they make up 71 per cent of the foreign inmates in federal jails.

Just to underline that last point, a young American woman was murdered for kicks in a supposed “sanctuary city” on the eve of the holiday weekend by an illegal immigrant from Mexico. He had flouted US immigration law for years – or, to be more precise about it, local, state and federal officials had colluded with him in the flouting of US immigration law, to the point where San Francisco’s sheriff actively demanded the return of this criminal to his “sanctuary city”, thereby facilitating the homicide of an actual citizen, taxpayer and net contributor to American society.

This would be quite an interesting topic to air in a US election campaign, don’t you think? Certainly, a segment of voters seems to be interested in it. But bigshot media like NBC and Univision and craphole emporia like Macy’s are telling Trump and everybody else: you can’t even bring this up; this is beyond discussion. The “acceptable” Republican candidates are now obliged to denounce the guy who mentioned the unmentionable: “Will you distance yourself from Trump’s controversial remarks? Do you agree such views have no place in your party?” Needless to say, Reince Preibus and the other jelly-spined squishes of the GOP establishment are eagerly stampeding to do the Macy’s-Univision-industrial complex’s work for them.

Kate Steinle is dead because the entire Democratic Party, two-thirds of the Republican Party and 100 per cent of the diseased federal-state-municipal bureaucracy prioritizes myths over reality.

Yes, it’s distressing to persons of taste and discrimination that the only person willing to address that reality is Donald Trump. But that’s because he’s not the reality-show freak here. The fake-o lame-o reality freakshow is the political pseudo-campaign being waged within the restraints demanded by the media and Macy’s. So, if Donald Trump is the only guy willing to bust beyond those bounds, we owe him a debt of gratitude. If, as Karl Rove proposes, other candidates are able to talk about the subject in a more “inclusive” way, so be it. But, if “inclusive” is code for not addressing it at all, nuts to that. …

Be honest, which would you prefer and which is a bleaker comment on the political health of the republic – Bernie vs the Donald? Or Hillary vs Jeb?

Posted under Commentary, corruption, Crime, Economics, Ethics, government, immigration, media, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Sunday, July 12, 2015

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Socialist Greece near bankruptcy 4

From today’s Washington Post:

In a move sure to increase pressure on Greece’s flailing banks, the European Central Bank (ECB) on Monday decided not to expand an emergency assistance program, raising fears that Greece could soon go completely bankrupt.

The move put a swift crimp on Greek leaders’ jubilation after winning a landslide endorsement from their citizens to reject Europe’s austerity demands and seek a new bailout bargain. Now they must seek a bargain before the money runs out within days, which would likely force them off the euro.

Greek bank heads had said that banks could run out of cash as soon as Tuesday if the European Central Bank (ECB) held firm against them. If the banks fail, it would bring Greece’s economy to a halt, raising the risk of a humanitarian crisis if citizens lost access to food and medicine. …

A senior Greek banking official said after the announcement that Greek banks had been provided with enough money to last until Wednesday evening.

Posted under Economics, Greece, Socialism 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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Socialists are wrong 1

Hear, Oh Greece! And Bernie Sanders fans! And Pope Francis!

Margaret the Great on the virtue of inequality and the vice of egalitarian thinking:

Posted under Economics, Greece, Leftism, liberty, Socialism, United Kingdom, Videos by Jillian Becker on Monday, July 6, 2015

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