Must Reads For The Week 3/28/20

Posted March 29, 2020 by austrianaddict
Categories: Must Reads For The Week

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

CORONAVIRUS PANIC LEADS TO LACK OF PERSPECTIVE

If you live in a state that has been locked down. Understand that this is a taste of what socialist central planning would be like under Bernie, who is an avowed socialist, or Biden, who wants the same policies but won’t call himself a socialist.

Number Of Global Deaths By Cause – Draconian Muscle Flexing And A Lack Of Perspective, by Cap Allon, at electroverse.net.  To put Coronavirus in perspective,  look at the chart which shows the causes of yearly deaths.

The Scientist Whose Doomsday Pandemic Model Predicted Armageddon Just Walked Back The Apocalyptic Predictions, by Madeline Osburn, at thefederalist.com.  We should be skeptical of computer modeling by scientific “experts”.

Inaccurate Virus Models Are Panicking Officials Into Ill-Advised Lockdowns, by Madeline Osburn, at thefederalist.com. The inaccurate modeling by the scientist talked about in the above article, was used by politicians and bureaucrats to make their decision about the virus.

Media Peddle Bogus Wuhan Virus Stats To Bash America, by Mollie Hemingway, at thefederalist.com.  This is just journalists using data to fit their leftist world view.

The Social Justice Cult Is Falling Apart As The World Faces A Real Crisis, by Libby Emmons ans Barrett Wilson, at thepostmellennial.com.    Excerpt from the article:

“The social justice set has been shrieking about “lives being at risk” for almost a decade. But now that we’re faced with actual devastation to the human way of life, it becomes clear that it was always only rhetoric. Social justice is the culture that cried wolf.”

Is there Wasteful Spending In The Coronavirus Stimulus Bill? (Spoiler Alert: Bigly!), at zerohedge.com. There is never a shortage of grifters showing up when there is a pile of tax payer money to be passed out by congress.

Air Pollution In China Drops During Coronavirus Slowdown. Lauren Sommer, at npr.org.  Are the global warming cultists rooting for the Coronavirus. They believe man is a scourge to the planet. So they have to be happy with the planet getting a measure of revenge. They also have to be happy that the pollution level in China is lower since the outbreak because people are being shuttered in place.

 

WHAT HAPPENED WHILE OUR ATTENTION HAS BEEN OCCUPIED

Burr Responds – Claims He Sold Stocks Based On ‘News Reports’, at zerohedge.com.  My congressman was Speaker of the House John Boehner. Some years ago he was on a local radio show talking about congressmen and insider trading. He said it wasn’t a problem because congress has rules against insider trading. I was so pissed, I called his office and I asked his aide: “if you have a law that isn’t enforced, do you really have a law”?

Since many congressman insider trade because they know that it is “wink wink nod nod” okay. Will the congressional investigators have an incentive to find the truth? Congress should not be investigating their own members.

A Disgusted Nikki Haley Quits Boeing’s Board In Protest Over Bailout Demand, at zerohedge.com.  This is not a satirical headline.

FISA: Senate Passes Measure Extending Surveillance Powers, Abuses Not Addressed, at saracarter.com.  This is an example of a temporary government policy that was implemented after a the 9/11 crisis that became permanent. The FISA court has trampled all over American citizens constitutional rights. The President should veto this. Especially since FISA was used against him by the FBI.

DOJ Files To Drop Charges Against Russian ‘Bot Farms’ That Fought Mueller Indictment, at zerohedge.com.  This just shows the Russia hoax for the scam it was.

California Throws Book At Reporter Who Exposed Baby Body Trafficking, by Thomas Brejcha, at thefederalist.com. I guess being Pro-Life is against the law.

Another Obama Solar Company Burns Out – DC Solar Owners Plead Guilty To Largest Ponzi Scheme In Eastern California History, by Joe Hoft, at thegatewaypundit.com.    This is an example of grifters getting in line to steal tax payer dollars. Check out some other Green energy companies that grifted tax dollars who are either bankrupt or faltering, in this post, Government Investment? or Government Waste?

 

SATIRICAL HEADLINES

Congress Assures Nation They’re Working Tirelessly To Figure Our How To Take Advantage Of This Crisis, at babylonbee.com.

Study: Covid-19 Impacts Men, Women More than All Other Genders Combined, babylonbee.com.

Congress Excite To Find Out What’s In Stimulus Package They Just Passed, at babylonbee.com.

Journalists Investigating Ways To Make Crisis all About Them, at babylonbee.com.

Toilet Paper Crisis Solved As Government Prints Trillions Of Fresh, Soft Dollar Bills, at babylonbee.com.

Planned Parenthood To Offer Drive-Thru abortions During Lockdown, at babylonbee.com.

 

CARTOONS

From theburningplatform.com

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Pat Cross

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Mike Lester

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

 

Solutions? Or Trade Offs?

Posted March 24, 2020 by austrianaddict
Categories: Econ. 101, Government and Politics

Tags: , , , , ,

Diagram of tradeoff

I heard this statement the other day about our present Covid 19 “crisis”: ” Do we save lives and kill the economy? Or do we save the economy and kill lives?

I’ve learned from economist Thomas Sowell that in our imperfect world, there are no solutions, there are only trade offs. What does that mean? It means that the two choices above are not the only choices. These choices are stated as all or nothing categorical decisions. But many of “experts” fail to see the incremental trade offs that can be made between these two extremes.

When a “crisis” pops up, a particular “solution” to the crisis is imposed on us by an “expert”. People who criticize the “solution are usually hit with this statement: “Even if it saves just one life, isn’t it worth it?” My answer to that question is, “NO” it is not worth it.

The question implies that there is no limit to the amount of resources that should be used in order to save just one life. But a price is put on life everyday. If these people were serious about “saving just one life” they would fight to get the speed limit reduced to 20 mph. Would any of us be willing to trade off the economic benefits of a higher speed limit as well as our ability to get places faster, for the lives lost in accidents.

The deaths of coal miners and power line workers are an acceptable trade off to have electricity in our homes. Some of the most deadly professions are fisherman, farmers and loggers. Yet we don’t think twice about the trade off of these lives when we eat crab legs or a steak or build a house.

The point is, there is a trade off between lives lost and the goods and services our free market economy produces. In fact the standard of living produced by free market capitalism has saved exponentially more lives than have been lost in the production of that standard of living.

Swine Flu data from 09-10 shows 60 million contracted the virus and 22,469 died. Influenza data for this flu season shows between 38-59 million contracted the flu and between 23,000-59,000 died. These were no big deal to the media. These lives were an acceptable trade off to the powers that be and the media. So why is our present “crisis” different?

 

Here are some great articles with great information.

Coronavirus Isn’t A Pandemic, by Richard Epstein, at ricochet.com.

Excerpt from the article:

“But why might the dire predictions be wrong? The theoretical answer to the question of how deadly the virus will turn out lies in part in a strong analytical relationship between the rate of spread and the strength of the virus. Start with the simple assumption that there is some variance in the rate of seriousness of any virus, just as there is in any trait for any species. In the formative stage of any disease, people are typically unaware of the danger. Hence, they take either minimal or no precautions to protect themselves from the virus. In those settings, the virus—which in this instance travels through droplets of moisture from sneezing and bodily contact—will reach its next victim before it kills its host. Hence the powerful viruses will remain dominant only so long as the rate of propagation is rapid. But once people are aware of the disease, they will start to make powerful adaptive responses, including washing their hands and keeping their distance from people known or likely to be carrying the infection. Various institutional measures, both private and public, have also slowed down the transmission rate.”

“At some tipping point, the most virulent viruses will be more likely to kill their hosts before the virus can spread. In contrast, the milder versions of the virus will wreak less damage to their host and thus will survive over the longer time span needed to spread from one person to another. Hence the rate of transmission will trend downward, as will the severity of the virus. It is a form of natural selection.”

 

Coronavirus Overreaction, by Richard Epstein, at ricochet.com.

Here is a point that jumps out at me: “Italy has taken the lead with 6,077 deaths……… which stems, it appears, from a conscious decision not to supply ventilators to anyone over 60.” Death panels anyone?

Excerpt from the article:

“Out of over 367,000 COVID-19 cases reported as of noon March 23, 2020, 16,000 people have died, a rough increase of about 9,500 from the past week. China has contributed about 3,500, a figure that is holding relatively stable — if we are to believe the reporting coming out of the People’s Republic of China — as is Iran’s total of 1,812 deaths (another potentially dubious total). In Spain, the death toll is 2,206. Italy has taken the lead with 6,077 deaths, 85 percent of which are of people over 70, which stems, it appears, from a conscious decision not to supply ventilators to anyone over 60. These four nations make up close to 13,000 deaths or about 82 percent of the total. Taken together, these four countries account for over 13,595 of the 16,097 deaths. The good news here is that the growth rates in both Italy and Spain have turned downward in the past 48 hours.

“We need a public debate on the political response to COVID-19, and we need it now. I fully understand the need for immediate responses to immediate threats, like fires, but not for crises that may last for three months or more. At this point, everyone knows that people who are elderly, especially those with chronic conditions, should stay out of harm’s way. But that prohibition is self-enforcing because those people know that it is in their best interest to self-quarantine, at least in place of high incidence, but by no means nationally. But for low-risk groups, a different set of precautions may fit the bill — an emphasis on thorough hand washing, reduced work hours, reducing workers per shift, and better availability of ventilation equipment.”

“The central Hayekian principle applies: All of these choices are done better at the level of plants, hotels, restaurants, and schools than remotely by political leaders. Our governors have failed to ask a basic question: When all the individual and institutional precautions are in place, what is the marginal gain of having the government shut everything down by a preemptive order? Put otherwise, with these precautions in place, what is the extent of the externalities that remain unaddressed?”

“Progressives think they can run everyone’s lives through central planning, but the state of the economy suggests otherwise. Looking at the costs, the public commands have led to a crash in the stock market, and may only save a small fraction of the lives that are at risk. In addition, there are lost lives on both sides of the equation as many people will now find it more difficult to see a doctor, get regular exercise, stay sober, and eat healthily. None of these alternative hazards are addressed by the worthy governors.

 

Podcast: Richard Epstein Talking With Nick Gillespie About Coronavirus, at reason.com. Listen to this podcast. Epstein makes good sense.

 

Article here: The Costs Are Mounting In This Government-Imposed Economic Collapse, by William L. Anderson, at mises.org.

Excerpt from the article:

“Federal and local authorities are stretching their constitutional limits well beyond anything our ancestors would have recognized in their attempts to keep people away from each other and prevent social contact.”

“…….. Military terms such as “shelter in place” now are part of ordinary language as governments at every level issue orders, with governors competing to see how they can be perceived as being “in charge” as they bark out increasingly draconian commands, threatening deadly force if necessary.”

What we are seeing is how many people want governments to respond to a situation characterized by uncertainty. In such circumstances, they demand “solutions” that only can make things worse, and there is no better way to make the masses vulnerable to disease than to impoverish them. Furthermore, the New York Times and the American Conservative’s one-two punch demanding total subjectivity to the whims of government makes it very difficult for there to be even a smidgen of rational discussion as to what is taking place no matter what one’s ideological stance might be.

As noted earlier, all of this is a response to the uncertainty of just how much this virus will spread and what its actual effect will be on the health of Americans. What we do know (at least at this point), however, does not exactly raise our confidence in American politicians and the media, especially the elite media.

 

Prevention Expert:Data Shows Our Fight Against Coronavirus May Be Worse Than The Disease, by James Barrett, at dalywire.com.

Excerpt from the article:

“…..By taking an “at war” approach to fighting COVID-19 widespread shutdowns and isolation of the entire population rather than a “surgical strike” approach focusing on the truly vulnerable, Katz argues, we have set ourselves on the path to “uncontained viral contagion and monumental collateral damage to our society and economy.” 

“The reason this is so dire, he underscores, is that our current approach is rapidly causing severe damage socially, economically and in terms of public health.”

“I am deeply concerned that the social, economic and public health consequences of this near total meltdown of normal life — schools and businesses closed, gatherings banned — will be long lasting and calamitous, possibly graver than the direct toll of the virus itself,” Katz writes.”

“While the stock market might rebound, many businesses and thus many jobs, may never come back, a result that has massive societal ramifications. Meanwhile, by stretching our limited health care resources “so widely, so shallowly and so haphazardly,” we are likely setting ourselves up for failure on multiple levels.”

 

Never Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste

Thomas Sowell: “The first rule of economics is scarcity, there are not enough resources to meet the desires and needs of everyone. The first rule of politics is to ignore the first rule of economics.

If that is the first rule of politics than the second rule of politics is: Politicians are always trying to increase the power of government. But when a crisis hits that effort increases exponentially.

I don’t like the fact that the multiple trillion dollar “Stimulus” bill will bail out banks and corporations that previously used The Feds printed money to buy back their stock in order to prop up their stock price. You and I also know that this will end up being more like 4 trillion dollars when you add everything up. This 2-4 trillion is all debt. This debt will be purchased directly or indirectly by the Federal Reserve’s printing press. We are piling more debt on top of what we all ready have. This is what we did in the 2008 crisis (TARP Bailout). Non of the 08 debt has been repaid. We have a Empire State building of debt built on a sand foundation. It is totally top heavy like an inverted pyramid. But we’ll address the Fed money printing in another post.

I also don’t like the Democrats 1400 page bill that is nothing more than the democrat policy platform for the 2020 election. They are trying to implement their agenda before the election takes place.

Here are a few things that are in the 1400 page bill. Increased fuel emission standards for airplanes. Same day voter registration, early voting, voting by mail, and something called ballot harvesting (no potential for voter fraud here). Reserve collective bargaining power for unions. Expand wind and solar tax credits. Money for planned parenthood.

The Democrats, Republicans and the Federal Reserve are definitely not letting this crisis go to waste.

These articles have more info in them.

Nancy Pelosi Proposes 1,400 Page Coronavirus Bill Stuffed With Pork, at breitbart.com.

McConnell: Dems Holding Up Coronavirus Relief Over solar Panel Tax Credits, at breitbart.com.

Everyone In America Should Read About Dems Killing Emergency Relief Package, at theblaze.com.

 

Thoughts About Covid 19: Pandemic, Panic And Power

Posted March 19, 2020 by austrianaddict
Categories: Government and Politics, Miscellaneous

Tags: , , , , , ,

world Corona virus attack concept. world/earth put mask to fight against Corona virus. Concept of fight against virus, danger and public health risk disease. Virus attack isolated on green

MATHEMATICAL RISK

Compared to other “pandemics” the number of people dying from the Covid 19 virus doesn’t measure up. Look here: A Visual History Of Pandemics, at weforum.org. And I know this has a ways to go before it is contained.

We know the number of people who have died form the virus, because we can count the bodies. But we do not know, and can not know, the number of people who have, or have had, the virus. We know the listed number of people who have the virus are only the people who have been tested. But we don’t know how many people have, or have had, the virus who have yet to be tested or will never be tested. So the number of infections is much higher than the posted number. The math is just a guess because it looks like this: Known Number of Deaths/Unknown Number of Infections.

Here are the statistics: Coronavirus Update (Live), at worldometers.info.

People over the age of 60 and people who have existing medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, hypertension, and cancer are where a vast majority of the deaths occur. And most of the people with these medical problems are older people. Here is the breakdown: Coronavirus Age, Sex, Existing Medical Conditions, at worldometersinfo. Access your mathematical risk according to these charts?

 

An Asian woman storing tissue toilet paper during Coronavirus outbreak or Covid-19, Concept of Covid-19 quarantine. Wuhan epidemic outbreak. Dangerous COVID virus, Doomsday panic people panic lockdown

PANIC

The media has pushed this story hard. It doesn’t matter why. But they haven’t panicked everyone. It has been hard for me to find someone who doesn’t think this is a bit over hyped.   Read this article: As Government AuthoritiesUrge Panic Over Coronavirus One Doctor Breaks Rank, at mises.org.

But if you panic enough people on the margin, they can make grocery store shelves look bare. I went to a store to look at what people hoard during a “pandemic”. Here is what I observed. They hoard toilet paper, which I don’t understand at all. Bottled water, which I also don’t understand because the water from their tap is safe. Cleaning products, hand sanitizer, alcohol, pasta, frozen pizzas and cans of soup. Although they don’t buy split pea soup, french onion soup or minestrone. They also don’t buy popping corn or cookies.

But once fifteen to twenty percent of the population is panicked, it seems like everyone is panicked. That’s when the politicians have to step in and “do something”. When politicians see a parade coming down the street they have to get out in front of it so it looks like they are leading.

Our governor in Ohio shut down schools, sporting events, restaurants and Tuesdays primary election, among other things. This raises a few questions.

Why did he shut down these particular activities and allow other businesses, like day care facilities, to stay open? What are the parameters that will make him reopen what he had shut down? Where does he get the power to shut down businesses?

Read this article: Fear Can Spread From Person To Person Faster Than The Coronavirus – But There Are Ways To Slow It Down, at theconversation.com.

 

Hand holding piece of jigsaw puzzle with word problem & solution.

NEVER LET A CRISIS GO TO WASTE

After 9/11, individuals in government passed legislation that gave government more power over “we the people”. We had our civil liberties taken away when congress passed, and Bush signed, The Patriot Act. The bill had a sunset clause where congress had to vote on and pass the bill again after a certain number of years.

I was in favor of this bill because of the sunset clause. How stupid was I? I have read enough Milton Friedman to know this quote: “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program“.

We know our politicians and bureaucrats are going to make a power grab because of this “crisis”. Every time a “tragedy” happens in our country, a particular article gets a lot of hits on this site. The article is: “You Never Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste“. It shows the blue print of how politicians and bureaucrats attempt to expand government power after a perceived or real “crisis”.

Tyrannical power grabs by politicians, bureaucrats and other individuals in government are the norm, not the exception. Here is an example: During this coronavirus panic Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen, of Champaign Illinois, has granted herself  the power to ban the sales of guns and alcohol. Another example: Coronavirus patient from Kentucky has police surround his home forcing him to self quarantine. (Will they shoot him if he doesn’t comply?)

The biggest threat from the Coronavirus is the threat to our individual liberty by politicians and bureaucrats using the power of government to “do something” in order to find a “solution” to the “crisis”.

Here are a few excerpts from this article: Coronacrisis And Leviathan, at mises.org.

“…..the growth of government in the twentieth century can largely be explained by patterns of crisis and response. These crises can be real (World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, stagflation) or imagined (inequality, the various isms). In either case new government programs, agencies, and policies are established, purportedly as temporary responses to the perceived emergency. But, as…..history shows us, most of the temporary measures become permanent—either explicitly or in a revised form based on the original.”

“How will leviathan expand—temporarily and then permanently via the ratchet effect—in response to COVID-19? It’s too early to make any definite predictions, but we can make educated guesses based on experience and our knowledge of how governments work.”

Read this article: They Should Have Called It CONTROLavirus, at theburningplatform.com.

 

Immune bacteria system sign. Antibacterial virus sign. Immune protection antiseptic, anti desease immune icon.

VACCINES AND OUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS.

Read this article: Researchers Discovered How The Body Kills  The Coronavirus, at bgr.com 

Excerpt from the article:

“The coronavirus pandemic is far from being contained, with countries all over the world reporting more and more cases. It’s up to everyone to step up and do their part……….social distancing and hand washing will help do the trick — so that medical systems around the world aren’t overwhelmed. Doctors need time to treat severe cases while some of their peers attempt to develop vaccines or new drugs that will speed up the healing process. The good news for people who catch the new COVID-19 virus is that most people will recover, and that’s because of the body’s immune system. Researchers in Australia have already figured out how the body kills the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and their early results will help others develop new treatments that could extend immunity, and maybe even eradicate the disease.”

“Australian researchers discovered that the human body fights the infection the same way it would deal with the regular flu. The conclusion is valid for mild-to-moderate cases for the time being, which leads to full recovery. It’s still unclear how long the immunity lasts and there’s no guarantee that once healed, the body will not contract the same COVID-19 disease again.”

Are we in a catch 22 situation with regard to Covid 19? There is currently no vaccine for Covid 19. So in order to build up immunity to this virus you have to get infected and recover. But the spread will not only take some of the lives of older people and those with certain medical conditions, the spread might overwhelm the medical system.

Are you old enough to remember “Chickenpox Parties”? Here is an excerpt from an article: Chickenpox Parties: Benefits, Risks, at medicalnewstoday.com.

“People use pox parties as a way to deliberately infect their children with chickenpox. The idea is that the child gets the illness sooner rather than later and builds up a natural immunity to the virus.”

“During a pox party, parents or caregivers encourage uninfected children to play, eat, and interact with a child who currently has chickenpox. This close contact makes it much more likely that the children will catch chickenpox.”

“Chickenpox parties were popular when the vaccine for chickenpox was not yet available. Nowadays, some people who do not want their child to have the vaccine see pox parties as a natural way for them to acquire immunity to the illness.

I have a couple of questions. Would it be better for individuals and the medical system to allow people, who are not in the high risk groups, to get infected in order to build up their immunity to the virus since we don’t have a vaccine yet? So instead of shutting everything down for 90% of the population who are not high risk, would there be lower cost to the economy and a lower psychological cost for everybody if the high risk groups were quarantined to protect them and allow others to go about their normal business?

 

CONCLUSION

I have seen two viruses that were politicized in my life time. AIDs and Covid 19. The government didn’t implement any of the measures it has taken to combat Covid 19 even though it would have been easy to contain AIDs. Why? Because the affected group was a politically protected identity group. SARS in 2002, Swine Flu in 2010, Ebola in 2014, and MERS in 2015 were never politicized. And the main stream media and  politicians don’t even mention the tens of thousands of people who die every year from influenza. Why?

I am skeptical of the statements of politicians, government bureaucrats and the main stream media. The main stream media has hyped a lot of things over the last three years that have proven to be wrong. So they have no credibility. Politicians are not credible because of their incentive to get reelected by any means. Government bureaucrats have no credibility because all they want is to keep or grow their power.

That is what makes this tough to figure out. We know there is a virus afflicting the US and the world. But what do we know for certain after that? Read a lot different articles and trust your instincts. I hope these articles help.

 

Let’s Laugh

Posted February 19, 2020 by austrianaddict
Categories: Miscellaneous

 

OBSERVATIONS

Are the extreme environmentalists, (those who think man is destroying the planet), cheering for the carona virus or for its cure? Since they are for depopulation as a way to save the planet ……….. Well you can probably figure out the answer.

Do extreme environmentalists realize they are polluting the planet by simply breathing. They pump CO2 into the atmosphere every time they exhale. If they want to save the planet they should stop breathing.

President Obama recently tried to take credit for our booming economy. The same economy the Democrat candidates are trashing.

 

SATIRICAL HEADLINES

from the babylonbee.

Bloomberg Stops By Daytona 500 To Had Out Speeding Tickets, at babylonbee.com

Bernie Sanders Confused By New Hampshire State Motto ‘Live Free Or Die – ‘Both Of Those Options Sound Horrible,  at babylobee.com.

Bernie Sanders Frustrated With Having To Ask For Money Instead Of Just Taking It, at babylonbee.com.

Struggling Biden Campaign Now Offering One Month Of Free AOL For Rally Attendance, at babylonbee.com.

MSNBC Reports Republican Voter Registration Tent Deliberately Rammed Unsuspecting Van In Florida, at babylonbee.com.

 

CARTOONS

 

How Can I Help

In Sheep Clothing

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Pithy Quotes from Thomas Sowell

Posted February 13, 2020 by austrianaddict
Categories: Miscellaneous

Thomas Sowell crams so much insight into so few words better than any author I have ever read. I always loved his “Random Thought” articles when he was writing his weekly column. I found out he has a twitter page. He posts what I would call random thoughts on it. Here are some pithy quotes from his twitter page (click here)

 

This is one of my favorites.  “Envy was once considered to be one of the seven deadly sins before it became one of the most admired virtues under its new name, “social justice.”

 

“What do you call it when someone takes someone else’s money openly by force? Robbery. What do you call it when a politician takes someone else’s money in taxes and gives it to someone who is more likely to vote for him? Social Justice.”

 

“The political left has never understood that, if you give the government enough power to create “social justice,” you have given it enough power to create despotism. Millions of people around the world have paid with their lives for overlooking that simple fact.”

 

“One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain.”

 

“You can see the agenda behind the rhetoric when profits are called “unconscionable” but taxes never are, even when taxes take more than half of what someone has earned, or add much more to the prices we have to pay than profits do.”

 

“The left’s vision is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves, as superior beings pursuing superior ends. In the United States, however, this vision conflicts with a Constitution that begins, “We the People…”

 

Related Articles:

Final Random Thoughts From Thomas Sowell, at austrianaddict. com.

Thomas Sowell’s Random Thoughts, at austrianaddict.com.

Random Thoughts By Thomas Sowell, at austrianaddict.com.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Posted December 25, 2019 by austrianaddict
Categories: Miscellaneous

Tags: ,

Some Christmas Music

Christmas memories from my childhood are always brought back through music. Here are some Christmas songs that bring back good feelings.

 

A Christmas Song – Nat King Cole

O Holy Night – Jennifer Hudson

Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley & Martina McBride

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year – Andy Williams

 

Lindsey Sterling: What Child Is This

Let It Snow – Dean Martin

Martina McBride – White Christmas.

Same Old Land Syne – Dan Fogelberg

 

 

THE ECONOMICS OF CHRISTMAS.

How Economics Can Ruin Christmas, In A Good Way, By Art Carden, at aier.org.

Excerpt from the article:

“Some time ago, I resigned myself to the fact that economists are the wet blankets of the world. We can ruin almost any proposal and almost any situation with just a couple of analytical tools and the words “unintended consequences.” Rent control….. Minimum wages…… Laws against “price gouging…….the list of dreams that have been dashed upon the rocks of the principles of economics is long indeed.”

Not content to ruin the dreams of a few idealists, economists turned their attention to Christmas a few years ago. Here are a few thoughts from the Dismal Science that rain on the holiday parade.”

” You shouldn’t have. No, Really. You Shouldn’t have. The classic salvo in the literature on the economics of Christmas is Joel Waldfogel’s “The Deadweight Loss of Christmas,” which provides a bit of evidence that people would be happier if you gave them cash instead of an equally-expensive present.  Yes, it’s the thought that counts, but how many of us have given (or gotten) gifts that have ended up in an end-of-year Goodwill donation or a Spring yard sale?”

“The spectacular wealth we enjoy today has created the epitome of a first-world problem: over-gifting. It used to be that giving a gift required a meaningful material sacrifice. Today, baubles are so cheap that our problem isn’t a lack of generosity. It’s poorly-channeled generosity. You have probably heard people joke that kids are usually more interested in the boxes the toys come in than the toys themselves”

“If we’re honest with ourselves, we will see some of the ways in which Christmas lays bare our hypocrisy. You’ve probably heard someone say “don’t give until it hurts; give until it feels good,” and again, I think that if we’re really honest with ourselves a lot of our charitable endeavors have less to do helping the least of these among us than with showing that we’re the kind of people who care about the least of these among us. I’ve written before that “let not your left hand know what your right is doing” is not merely a sound Biblical injunction regarding our giving. It’s also excellent economics. If you haven’t read about people anonymously paying off others’ layaway accounts at Kmarts around the country, it’s an excellent example of what I’m talking about.”

“As a mentor has told me, economics shows us that it is very difficult to be charitable in ways that actually benefit the people we’re trying to help. Some people might find this sad–dismal, even. I actually think it’s kind of liberating because it suggests that–at the risk of being dramatic–a better world is possible. A new paradigm for charity and justice will require a lot of thinking outside the donation box. With Christmas 2019 and a brand new year right around the corner, it’s a challenge I look forward to meeting head-on.”

 

SATIRICAL HEADLINE

Santa Claus Accused Of Quid Pro Quo For Giving Children Gifts In Exchange For Good Behavior, at babylonbee.com.

Must Reads For The Week 11/23/19

Posted November 24, 2019 by austrianaddict
Categories: Must Reads For The Week

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“The coordination of men’s activities through central planning or through voluntary cooperation are roads going in very different directions, the first to serfdom and poverty, the second to freedom and plenty.” – F. A. Hayek

 

ECON STUFF

Socialism Guarantees Failure And Suffering – So Why Do So Many Americans Support It?  by Victor Davis Hanson, at foxnews.com.

Excerpt from the article:

“Add up a lost generation of woke and broke college graduates, waves of impoverished immigrants without much knowledge of American economic traditions, wealthy advocates of boutique socialism and asleep-at-the-wheel Republicans, and it becomes clear why historically destructive socialism is suddenly seen as cool.”

“Regrettably, sometimes the naive and disaffected must relearn that their pie-in-the sky socialist medicine is far worse than the perceived malady of inequality.”

“And unfortunately, when socialists gain power, they don’t destroy just themselves. They usually take everyone else down with them as well.”

 

4 Reasons Why Socialism Is Becoming More Popular, by Alexander Zubatov, at mises.org.           From the article:     “ 1) Ignorance of History.   2) Government Bungling.  3) Universities Ideological Monoculture.  4) Coddled Kids.”

The Long March Has Paid Off: Millennials Love Socialism, by Onar Am, at zerohedge.com.     Excerpt from the article:

“Socialism has failed wherever it has been tried and communism has cost the lives of more people than any othher ideology in a comparable amount of time.”

“Historical circumstances produced a near-perfect scientific test of the system in the 20th century. In every case, communism failed – ending in a bloodbath, regardless of race, ethnicity, culture, and development stage.”

“Simultaneously, near-capitalist societies were tested with those same ethnicities and cultures: East- versus West-Germany, North- versus South-Korea, and Hong Kong versus mainland China. The outcome was as conclusive and decisive as any social experiment could ever get: While capitalism lifted people out of poverty and created largely stable and prosperous societies, communism produced murderous and oppressive hellholes from which people desperately tried to flee.

Seattle’s Socialist City Councilwoman Loses After Amazon Dumps Money Into Race, by Chrissy Clark, at thefederalist.com.            Even Amazon’s Jeff Bezos knows that Socialism is a step too far. He just wants government to pass enough regulations to allow him to sustain and grow his market share. Government can keep out and/or make it difficult for potential competitors to enter the hampered market. Free markets allow competitors to compete for consumers when the big companies don’t deliver on quality and price. Big businesses love free market competition when they were start ups. But they hate free markets when they become the big guys. In other words, they hate government interference when they are small but love it when they are big.

Powell Tells Congress Federal Debt Is ‘Unsustainable’, by Paul Davidson, at usatoday.com.   Powell has some nerve blaming this on congress even though spending bills start their. The only reason the Federal government has been able to accumulate this much debt (spend more than they take in taxes) is because the Federal Reserve is funding the debt. The Fed purchases Government debt by electronically printing counterfeit money. And they keep interest rates artificially low.

There is a limit to how much the government can tax out of the free market economy. People will eventually revolt. There is also a limit on how much debt they can fund in the financial markets if interest rates reflected the actual risk of getting repaid. The printing press takes care of both problems.

Three Steps To Save America From Collapse, by George Gilder, at discovery.org.  Excerpt from the article:        George Gilder is always interesting to read. His three ideas revolve around getting rid of the Governments monopoly on money. And getting back to some form of gold standard. But you and I know that the Federal Reserve and our Federal Government won’t give up their power in these areas without a fight. Just look at how government insiders in Europe are doing everything in their power to keep Brexit from happening.

More Government Spending Won’t Make The Economy Grow, by Frank Shostak, at mises.org.      Excerpt from the article:

“…through the increase in real savings, a better infrastructure can be built and this in turn sets the platform for a higher rate of economic growth.”

“Higher economic growth means a greater quantity of consumer goods, which in turn permits more savings and also more consumption, all other things being equal. With more savings, a more advanced infrastructure can be created and this in turn sets the platform for further strengthening in economic growth.”

“Note that the savers here are wealth generators. It is wealth generators that save and employ their real savings towards the buildup of the infrastructure. The savings of wealth generators is employed to fund various individuals that are specialized in the making and the maintenance of the infrastructure. Real savings also fund individuals that are engaged in the production of final consumer goods.”

“Since government does not produce any real wealth, it obviously cannot save and therefore it cannot itself “fund” any activity. Hence for the government to engage in various activities it must divert funding (i.e. real savings) from wealth generators.”

“As a rule, such activities amount to providing support to various non-productive activities that add nothing to the pool of real funding — for instance, providing a large amount of money to various non-productive activities in order to protect employment.”

“Since government activities in essence only consume and do not generate real savings, government cannot grow an economy. An increase in government spending thus means the weakening of wealth generators, and thus it is not strengthening economic growth as popular thinking and various empirical studies assert.

Markets Saved The Whales In The 19th Century, by Vincent Geloso, at aier.org.      Excerpt from the article:

“At the time of writing Moby Dick, market forces were already beginning to operate in the United States as to push the industry into decline. That decline, unlike that observed elsewhere, was not the result of a dramatic decline in whale populations. Quite the reverse as it appears that the American industry did not overhunt whales (unlike the whaling industries of other countries). If anything, the story of Moby Dick takes place on a background, warns us of the unforeseen consequences of government intervention and point to the potency of market forces in terms of protecting the environment.

Brexit Is A Symptom, Not the Problem, by Tom Luongo, at tomluongo.me.

Excerpt from the article:

“We live in a rapidly decentralizing age where technology gives us access to information in real time that used to take us months, if not years, to properly disseminate and then it was only to those who were already fellow travelers.”

“And that has empowered in ways no one currently wielding power is comfortable with.”

“The reality of reaching out en masse to others along the political and socio-economic spectrum to discuss the merits of changing the course of society was simply not possible even ten years ago.”

“And today those forces of decentralization are the real problem facing these elites who have enjoyed the illusion of running the world for the past few generations.”

“But these events like Brexit, Trump, Catalonia and others are castigated as the real problems not the symptoms of the much deeper problems caused by unsustainable political and economic systems based on fraud, cheap money, theft and propaganda.”

“And today, three years after Brexit and Trump’s victory, powerful forces are working expressly against the people to overthrow both of these results through cynical and reprehensible acts of political vandalism, hamstringing leadership without a care of the long-term societal damage it is causing.”

“In fact, I’d argue that the societal damage is the goal of these moves to thwart the people’s desires in the hope that they take it out on each other rather than the ones setting the table in the first place.”

 

MISCELLANEOUS

Transit Cop Arrests Man For Eating In Public, at themindunleashed.com.    This shows we have too many laws on the books.  Shouldn’t officers spend their time enforcing laws against real criminal behavior?

How School Districts Put Politics Before Children, by Matthew Bankert, at mises.org.       At every level of government people with power are tyrants and are dangerous to individuals.

The ‘Sissifying’ Of America Continues, by Sarah Cowgill, at zerohedge.com.     Football coach gets suspended because his team won their game by more than 42 points. According Nassau County NY’s  Secton 8 Lopsided Score Committee, being 42 points behind is the arbitrary number of points that embarrasses individuals on the other team. What’s the difference between 40, 41, or 42? Are they not embarrassed when they are down 40 points? Is 52 to 10 worse than 50 to 10?

We hurt our kids ability to deal with life when we shelter them from reality.

 

TRUMP THE OUTSIDER vs. THE STATUS QUO INSIDERS

Trump Foreign-Policy Doctrine: Deter Enemies Without Intervention, by Victor Davis Hanson, at nationalreview.com.      “Trumps new foreign policy bets that a booming economy, a beefed-up military, and U.S. energy dominance will deter enemies without the need for preemptive invasions.

And who sets foreign policy for the US? The President or the State Department? If you said the President you were correct.

Donald Trump Versus ‘The Interagency Consensus, by Mark Hemmingway, at thefederalist.com.        Excerpt from the article:

“Trump was elected in no small part because tens of millions of Americans do not approve of business as usual in Washington, and specifically the lack of democratic accountability that can be brought to bear on the status quo. And Trump is enough of a natural disruptor that he threatens that status quo in both good and questionable ways. In response, lots of people in D.C. are willing to bend the rules to stop him.

“Further, long before Trump arrived there was so much institutional pressure and money sloshing around in the federal government, not mention the trips through the revolving door between already well-compensated federal jobs and even better compensated special interests. Any responsible person ought dispense with the idea that civil servants are always, well, civil. And they ought to apply the same level of appropriate scrutiny and suspicion to federal employees in the news as we do politicians. At least with politicians we have ourselves to blame, but nobody elects an “interagency consensus.”

The Military-Intelligence Complex, by Victor Davis Hanson, at amgreatness.com.     Excerpt from the article:

“Many retired high-ranking military officers have gone beyond legitimately articulating why President Trump may be wrong on foreign policy, and now feel free to smear him personally or speak openly of removing their commander-in-chief from office. And the media and the bipartisan foreign-policy establishment are with them every step of the way.”

“Had any of the current generals said anything similar about President Obama in the fashion they now routinely attack Trump, their public careers would have been ruined.”

Attacking Trump in “contemptuous” fashion is not speaking truth to power but a confirmation of the existing status quo of the media, progressive orthodoxy, and the general Washington bipartisan bureaucracy.”

Its Trump Vs. The Deep State vs. The Rest Of Us, by Ryan McMaken, at mises.org.     Excerpt from the article:

“One of the best side effects of the Trump presidency has been the hostility of the so-called “deep state” or “intelligence community” directed at the president.”

“This, in turn, has led many Americans to realize that America’s powerful, un-elected secret police agencies serve an agenda all their own, and that they choose sides in political controversies. Consequently, polls show one’s views of the CIA and the FBI depend largely on one’s ideological bent”

“But the fact Trumps considered an outsider in Washington by so many should suggest there are reasons to support him over the entrenched bureaucracy.”

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Deep State And It’s Feeding The Anti-POTUS Mob, by David Stockman, at targetliberty.com.      Excerpt from the article:

“Whether out of common sense, naiveté or just contrariness, the Donald has dared to question and disrupt the Empire’s core policy on the Ukraine/Russia file. And that’s apparently exactly why the whistleblower de jour, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, wrote his now ballyhooed memos.”

“He feared that Trump’s appropriate desire to get to the bottom of the well-documented Ukrainian involvement in the Obama Administration’s illegal spying on his 2016 presidential campaign would undermine the bipartisan consensus on Capitol Hill for Washington’s utterly wrong-headed Ukraine policy.”

“Stated more crudely, Washington overthrew the duly elected government of Ukraine in early 2014 because its leader was deemed too cozy with Moscow. And in the vanguard of that illegal meddling in the governance of a sovereign foreign state was Obama’s state department led by neocon Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland, Washington’s self-appointed roving proconsul John McCain and at length Vice-President Joe Biden.”

Anatomies Of 2020 Election, by Victor Davis Hanson, at nationalreview.com.

Excerpt from the article:

“What sinks presidencies, either preventing reelection or de facto ending them in stasis and crises are unpopular wars (Vietnam, Iraq), perceived recessions (1980, 1992), or major scandals (Watergate). Trump may cause furor by pulling back tripwire troops in Syria, but the move will probably continue to poll at over 50 percent with the public. He is unlikely to insert forces in optional engagements. A tit-for-tat missile or bombing response to an Iranian or ISIS attack would likely win approval.”

“Impeachments and scandals, as the case of Bill Clinton reminds us, are two different things. So far, Donald Trump is the most transparent, investigated, and cross-examined president in history. The result is not much dirt, but a lot of now-predictable and boring duds — the voting machines, impeachment 1.0, the emoluments clause, Stormy, Michael Avenatti, Michael Cohen, the 25th Amendment, the McCabe-Rosenstein Keystone Kops coup, Robert Mueller’s investigation, taxes, and now Ukraine.”

“The public may find the latest blood sport amusing at first and support an inquiry. But as it drags on and Schiff burns up the Constitution, they will tire and prefer to weigh in during the election — when they will likely opt for a continued resurgent U.S. and a strong economy over socialism and finger-wagging at a sinful America.”

10 Reasons I Like Donald Trump, From A Former-Democrat Immigrant, by Saritha Prabhu, at thefederalist.com.   Here are a few reasons she likes Trump:

First, he is sui generis, a singularly unique individual who has single-handedly transformed almost everything about American politics.

Second, by loudly questioning everything in his unorthodox way he has made us re-examine many things.

Fifth, he is clearly a no-ideologue and pragmatic.

Seventh, he has had the greatest influence, perhaps, in transforming how we talk about needless, endless foreign military incursions.

Tenth, I like his chutzpah and pugilistic style, with its underlying theme of “Honey Badger don’t care.” It’s perfectly suited for this moment, where the overarching issue is: Who is really in charge in this republic, the voters or arrogant, unelected federal bureaucrats who think they know best and try to override the will of voters? He seem uniquely suited to take on the combined onslaught coming from many quarters.”

 

SATIRICAL HEADLINES

From The Babylon Bee

Millennial Wishes There Were Some Historical Examples Of Socialism We Could study To Have Some Idea How It Might Turn Out, at babylonbee.com.

Airport Revenues Soar After Allowing Travelers To Pay To Turn Off CNN, at babylonbee.com.

Cop On Laptop Protecting Community From Drivers On Cell Phones, at babylonbee.com.

Authorities Horrified At Women Who Killed Baby With Meth Instead Of Traditional Sucking-Device, at babylonbee.com.

CNN Criticizes Pregnant Woman For Shooting Poor, Defenseless Man Who Was Simply Seeking Asylum In Her Home, at babylonbee.com.

Elizabeth Warren’s Plan To Pay For Medicare For All: Spend So Much The National Debt Clock Rolls Over To Zero, at babylonbee.com.

Kamala Harris Proposes Dropping Kids Off At School When They Turn 5 And Picking Them Back Up When They Turn 30, at babylonbee.com.

 

CARTOONS

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I Want To

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Political Cartoons by Tom Stiglich

Political Cartoons by Pat Cross

Political Cartoons by Tom Stiglich