Posted tagged ‘Crony Socialism’

Must Reads For The Week 10/14/17

October 15, 2017

ECON MUST READS

Our Crazy-Making, Profiteering Education Career Maze, by Charles Hugh Smith, at oftwoinds.com. CHS lists 7 things that you would do if you wanted an education system that fails. He calls our current education system a “career maze”. By design, a maze is difficult to get out of. The question is; who does our education system benefit? The students? No! The beneficiaries are the receivers of the borrowed money.

Excerpt from the article: “Clearly, it would be enormously beneficial to teach the skills needed to learn on one’s own and adapt successfully to changing circumstances. The current system is a hierarchy of credentialing that enriches those dispensing and funding the credentialing…………When the student graduates after borrowing a fortune and discovers their diploma has low value in the marketplace or is in a field they’ve found they loathe, then suggest the “solution” is to borrow another fortune and invest more years in obtaining another credential.”

The answer is always the same. Do more of what got you in the mess in the first place.

How Higher Education Became A Obscenely Profitable Racket That Enriches The Few At The Expense Of The Many (Student Debt Serfs), by Charles Hugh Smith, at oftwoinds.com. Another article by CHS concerning our education system. He offers great analysis. Excerpt from the article: “Student loan lenders are skimming tens of billions in profits guaranteed by the taxpayers…….The number of employees in central system offices has increased six-fold since 1987, and the number of administrators in them by a factor of more than 34…..While the higher-ed status quo is failing the students, it’s enriching itself immensely Assistant deans of student loans and thousands of other administrators who be managed to do without a generation ago are racking in huge salaries and fat benefits/pensions.

Financialization And The Destruction Of The Real Economy, by Charles Hugh Smith, at oftwominds.com. What happens when government leaders regulate a free market economy so much it becomes a crony capitalist (or crony socialist) economy, and the central bank (our Federal Reserve) prints (counterfeits) money? The real economy starts to consume it’s own seed corn (capital). Whoever has access to the printed money first is stealing the production of the people who don’t have access to the printed money (that would be you and me). The economy gets hollowed out similar to what termites do to wood. Termites eat the joists in a floor and the studs in a wall from the inside out so all that remains is the veneer of stability, but no interior strength.

Excerpt from the article: “Strip an economy of capital, productive incentives, talent and yes, ethics and what are we left with? An economy spiraling toward an inevitable collapse…….like a Yellowstone forest fire. The deadwood of bad debt, extreme leverage, zombie companies and all the other fallen branches of financialization pile up. But the central banks no longer allow any creative destruction of umpayable debt and mis-allocated capital; Every brush fire is instantly suppressed with more stimulus, more liquidity ad lower interest rates. As a result the deadwood sapping the real economy of productivity and innovation is allowed to pile higher. The only possible output of this suppression is an economy piled high with explosive risk. Eventually Nature supplies a lightning strike, ad resulting conflagration consumes the entire economy.”

More Spending Does Not Drive More Employment, by Per Bylund, at mises.org. Excerpt from the article: “There is no escaping the fact that production precedes consumption in a very real and fundamental sense: that entrepreneurs endeavor in production before they know that they will be able to sell the goods produced. Spending is a possible outcome of entrepreneurial production, but not the other way around. The former does not employ people, but the latter does…..What drives the economy is not demand or spending, but entrepreneurship and production. In other words, entrepreneurs bear the uncertainty of their enterprise. They anticipate that consumers will value their goods and, based on this, estimate the price. That price, in turn, determines what costs and entrepreneur can reasonably expect to cove in production, which means the entrepreneur’s actual choice is for the cost structure in production – the price is an anticipation of consumer value.”

What does this mean? Production is the creation of wealth. The more you produce the more wealthy you become. Spending on the other hand, is the consumption of what has been produced. It is the destruction of wealth. This is true even though we know the reason we produce is so we can consume. We either consume what we produce, in the present, or we save what we produce for consumption in the future. We also use what we save for future production. It is like saving a portion of the corn we produce so we can plant it in the future in order to produce more corn. Production has to stay ahead of consumption or we start eating our seed corn (capital consumption).

The Myth Of Infrastructure Spending, by Ryan McMaken, at mises.org. Does infrastructure spending stimulate economic growth and create jobs? On the surface it seems logical that they do. Deeper analysis shows us a different picture. Excerpt from the article: “….it is assumed that government infrastructure programs were all necessarily “proven winners” for the metaphorical construct known as “the economy……But infrastructure spending is not some one-time thing that blesses the nation with new wonderful things that everyone can use indefinitely. It is often a commitment to simply spend much more money in the future. So, you’d better be sure you’re buying exactly what you need……. Building a new bridge or a new road brings totally unproven or hypothetical benefits, especially….. in less industrially dense areas. What’s worse, the promoters of such spending do not take into account the opportunity cost of the spending. After all, this sort of spending requires that the money must first be removed from the pockets of taxpayers. It is assumed that this is justified because it creates “stimulus.” It creates new jobs in building highways, and makes roads everyone can use. But what would the taxpayer and the worker have done in the absence of that spending?”

“……Borrowing immense sums to spend on infrastructure that doesn’t boost productivity actually cripples an economy by channeling scarce capital and tax revenues into projects that only boost spending for a few years at best, while the costs of borrowing the money pile up for decades to come……If a new highway is needed in Peoria, let the Peorians pay for it, either with a toll road or local taxes. If the benefits of infrastructure spending is so abundantly obvious, then it will pay off for every metro area that builds a new road. The great benefit of federal spending on infrastructure, however, is that the new spending can be forced on the taxpayers with much less political effort than would be required to obtain a new local tax.”

Paul Krugman Destruction Worshiper, at ecoomicpolicyjournal.com. It is hard to believe that economists could think that destruction of things which still have years of service left is some how stimulative to an economy. Have they never heard of the ‘broken window fallacy’? Or are they too smart to understand something so basic? Excerpt from the article: “ Ludwig von Mises once allegedly tried to encourage his students to speak up more freely in class by saying: “Don’t be afraid to speak up. Remember, whatever you say about the subject and however wrong it might be, the same thing has already been said by some eminent economist.”

 

CARTOONS

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Drifting Towards Fascism

September 20, 2016

man drifting in a boat

First let’s define Fascism so we can begin at the same starting point. Fascism is an economic system where the state doesn’t own the means of production, but the state makes the rules that producers and consumers have to follow. There is a bureaucratic layer between businesses and politicians which plans the economy. It is crony capitalism on steroids.

Fascism places politicians and bureaucrats as the ultimate rulers aka decision makers. The individual has no rights or liberty except what the rulers say they have. Order comes from the state, (top down) not from the individual, (spontaneous order).

I saw a great chart (below) showing America’s drift toward Fascism, in an article titled, The Road To Fascism In Just Two Charts, at bawerk.net. I have always thought economic systems fit on a line where at one end no government exists, and at the opposite end there is total government control. Where an economic system is placed on this line depends on how much government intervention exists, or put another way, how little governmental intervention exists.

WHAT IS AN ECONOMY? WHAT IS SOCIAL FREEDOM?

An economy is what results when each individual is free to decide what to produce, consume, exchange and save in a world of scarce resources which have alternative uses. Simply put, you own what you’ve produced or what you’ve received in exchange for your production. It is your property and you have a right to do with it what you wish.

Production is the creation of wealth. Consumption is the destruction of wealth. Exchange is the increase of wealth as both parties place a higher value on what they received than what they’ve given up. Saving is the preference of consumption at some point in the future to consumption in the present. Savings is the basis for capital formation. Capital formation is what increases productivity. Increased productivity is the creation of larger amounts of wealth.

Each individuals decision on what and how much he will produce, consume, exchange and save according to what he  subjectively values in a world of scarcity is the essence of freedom.

In order to have economic freedom you have to have social freedom and in order to have social freedom you have to have economic freedom. In other words, economic freedom and social freedom are different sides of the same coin. Individuals are free to act. Each individual is responsible for the consequences of his actions if they bring harm to others or himself.

I have a quote by F. A. Hayek at the top of my web site. It is my favorite quote because it sums up the choice individuals have faced since the beginning of time:

F. A. HAYEK: “THE COORDINATION OF MENS 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.

Let’s take a look at the chart and see what it reveals.

true-political-axis

Zero Government intervention into the economy starts at the bottom left of the chart and moves upward and to the right as Government intervention starts to increase. Zero Social Freedom starts at the top right of the chart and moves downward and to the left as the level of Social Freedom starts to increase.

Communism, socialism, fascism and democratic socialism are on the top right of this chart. They are economic and political systems that strangle individual liberty. Their very nature means intervention into, or control of, what is produced, consumed, exchanged and saved.

Anarcho capitalism, free market capitalism, classical liberalism and our America constitutional founding are on  the lower left of the chart. They are economic and political systems that strangle Government and allow individuals the freedom to produce, consume, exchange, and save as they see fit.

What exists today is the middle ground of crony capitalism, crony socialism and other forms of government interventionism. This is the utopian middle ground that elites think mixes the best parts of both ends of the chart. They know that free market capitalism produces great amounts of wealth as seen by our standard of living. But the elites don’t like the way the wealth is “distributed” and want to use the force of government to make this distribution  “fairer” according to their idea of “fair”.

The elites attempt to redistribute wealth differently than it would exist in the free market, creates incentives that ultimately decreases the wealth that is being produced. It divides us into groups that can be pitted against each other by political opportunists.

These statements by Ludwig von Mises tell us all we need to know about the above chart:

The issue is always the same: the government or the market. There is no third solution.”

The middle-of-the-road policy is not an economic system that can last. It is a method for the realization of socialism by installments.”

Anti capitalistic policies sabotage the operation of the capitalist system of the market economy. The failure of interventionism does not demonstrate the necessity of adopting socialism. It merely exposes the futility of interventionism. All those evils which the self-styled “progressives” interpret as evidence of the failure off capitalism are the outcome of their allegedly beneficial interference with the market.”

CONCLUSION

We are in the chaotic middle. Our choice is to move towards freedom and free markets. It is going to take a lot of time and effort to educate enough people in order to tip the scales toward freedom. Is the cost too high? It’s your decision.

 

Related ArticleCapitalism vs. Crony Capitalism, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleSocialism Sounds Great, at austrianaddict.com.

Related ArticleWhat Creates Wealth? Freedom, at austrtianaddict.com.

Related ArticleWe Can’t Recreate The Garden Of Eden, at austrianaddict.com.

 

Must Reads For The Week 10/23/15

October 24, 2015

A Challenge To The GOP From Bernie Sanders: Put Up Our Shut Up On Capitalism, by Dan Mitchell, at freedomandprosperity.org. Sanders is correct for wanting reporters to ask Republicans: ‘are you a capitalist’. Socialism is government ownership of the means of production. Sanders and Hillary don’t want socialism. They want government intervention, redistribution and crony socialism. Capitalism is private ownership of the means of production. Republicans candidates think they want capitalism. But what they propose is varying degrees of government intervention, redistribution, and crony capitalism. It’s going to take decades of elections to replace politicians who have this mindset with people who understand free markets and liberty. Inch by inch.

Sanders, Trump, and John Maynard Keynes, by Hunter Lewis, mises.org. Sanders thinks our current Keynesian crony capitalist system is capitalism. Trump thinks our current Keynesian crony capitalist system is socialism. Their cure is more government intervention in different ways. Sanders wants redistribution of wealth, and Trump wants a mercantilist attitude about trade.

Donald Trump’s Contempt For The Free Market, at economicpolicyjournal.com. Trump wants to stop Ford from building an auto plant in Mexico by putting a tariff on the goods Ford will bring in from Mexico. Government regulations and taxes incentivized Ford to move the plant. So instead of using more Government force to create different incentives, why not get rid of the regulations and taxes that produced the original incentives?

My Letter To The NY Times re: My Advice To The ECB And The Fed, by Patrick Barron, at patrickbarronblog.blogspot.com. Excerpt from the article. “If the Fed wishes to prevent financial crises, it only needs to stop initiating them. The Fed’s hubris that it can fathom the proper interest rate for our vast and complex economy must rank among the greatest fallacies of all time. The Fed sees the world through the completely discredited Keynesian lens which posits that aggregate demand–what the rest of us know simply as spending–is the path to prosperity. Anyone who believes this nonsense need ask himself why he has not liquidated his own savings on frivolous consumption…

Global Stocks Soar On Surprise China Rate Cut, by David Gaffen, at reuters.com. Is anyone shocked that global stock markets soared when China’s central bank cut interest rates and the European central bank said they will increase the size of its quantitative easing (electronically printing counterfeit money) program? How strong is the world economy when the central banks of China, Europe, and the U.S. have to lower interest rates and print money to keep it afloat?

The Cronies: Half Of All Export-Import Bank Benefits Go To 10 Companies, at economicpolicyjournal.com. The Exim Bank, backed by your tax dollars, finances transactions so foreign customers can buy from American companies. These are transactions that private banks wouldn’t make because of the commercial and political risks inherent in these deals. It’s easier to be risky when it isn’t your money. By the way, does this seem like a money laundering scheme?

A Tax I Can Support, by Per Byland, at mises.org. This just might work. Unfortunately politicians would never pass it.

Justin Trudeau Elected Canada’s Prime Minister; Young Liberal Star Compared To Obama, at mercurynews.com. How could this happen? Were Canadian citizens not aware of what has been going on South of their border over the last seven years? Oh wait! What about this article? Obama Campaign Team Hands Canada Over To Lib-Left, at canacafreepress.com.

Is The New Higher Seattle Minimum Wage Destroying Restaurant Jobs In Seattle? at economicpolicyjournal.com. The answer is yes. Because the law of supply and demand states: Less is demanded at a higher price. This includes labor.

Actors In Los Angeles File Lawsuit Against Actors’ Equity Over Wage Hike, at latimes.com. I guess a minimum wage increase is only cool when it doesn’t affect you.

Michigan Governor Signs Bills Reforming Civil Asset Forfeiture, theoaklandpress.com. Some good news for liberty.

Rhonda Rousey Shuts Down Feminist.

There’s a difference between merit and value. You don’t get payed for how hard you work. You get paid for the value you produce. Who works harder; a man with a shovel digging a ditch, or a man on a backhoe digging a ditch? It doesn’t matter. The real question is; who produces the most value?

 

Must Reads For The Week 10/3/15

October 2, 2015

Every time there is a mass shooting there’s one thing you can count on. The President will trot out in front of the cameras before the bodies are even cold and play politics. I wrote an article in December of 2012 after the Sandy Hook shootings titled “You Never Let A Serious Crisis Go To Waste” (click here). It showed the template politicians and radicals use to exploit a crisis. The President followed the template then, he has followed it religiously since then and he is following it now. I don’t even have to update this article, just read it as is.

Investing In Schools: Capital Spending, Facility Conditions, and Student Achievement, at nber.org. Study by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds no evidence that capital sending by schools improves student achievement.

Pro-NYC Charter Schools Group Airs TV Ad, ‘Progressives’ Scream Racism, at tammybruce.com. Teachers Unions don’t care if children get a better education. They only care about growing the number of teachers, and the salaries and benefits of the teachers.

Milton Friedman – The Way To Improve Schools video from libertypenblog.blogspot.com.

Questions To Millennials: Why Are You Not Mad As Hell Yet? at davidstockmanscontracorner.com. Millennials are going to be stuck paying for their student debt, Obamacare, social security (that they will never see), early retirement for government workers, all the debt Government officials have piled up just to name a few. It is inter-generational theft. You should be pissed off at my generation for getting you into this mess, I know I am. The question is: What are we going to do about it?

UN Aims To Eradicate Extreme Poverty, Hunger, Illiteracy and More, at tammybruce.com. The UN panel of 27 eminent thinkers said the number one threat to achieving these goals is, drum roll please, climate change (aka global warming). It is easy to set dates on goals, when your excuse for not reaching these goals can never be denied.

The Dirty Truth About “Organic”, by Henry Miller, at hoover.org. If Government officials are involved in setting the standards for what constitutes organic, do you think organic could possibly be a scam?

Crony Socialism: Government Bailouts Do Not Save Jobs, by Doug Reich, at capitalismmagizine.com. Businesses fail because the consumer has decided that they are not productive economic activities. Government officials bailing these businesses won’t change this reality. HT libertypenblog.blogspot.com.

From Ireland to Germany to Italy to Mexico: How Americas Source of Immigrants has Changed in Each State From 1850 to 2013, at pewhispanic.com. Hat Tip to Carpe Diem Blog. It is interesting to see the changes in the country of origin of immigrants to the United States over the decades starting in 1850. In certain periods in history you would have thought we were being invaded by the Irish and later by the Germans. The difference is these immigrants weren’t immigrating to a welfare state.

“Bacha Bazi” Obama’s Silence On Afghan Military Raping Children, at michellemalkin.com. All you multiculturalists who think that all cultures are equal and shouldn’t be judged, read this and tell me what you think. Our soldiers are being punished, by our military, for trying to stop child rape by Afghan military officers because it is part of their culture. Our guys should be receiving medals for stopping child rape.