Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: July 5, 2012


Woohoo, Marx is cool again

Marx is making a comeback?  Yes friends please read this bit of propaganda  (beside the nonsense put forward by the “Marxist thinkers” – wait, isn’t that an oxymoron?):

…The Communist Manifesto: "What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable."

[…]

Today, 164 years after Marx and Engels wrote about grave-diggers, the truth is almost the exact opposite. The proletariat, far from burying capitalism, are keeping it on life support. Overworked, underpaid workers ostensibly liberated by the largest socialist revolution in history (China’s) are driven to the brink of suicide to keep those in the west playing with their iPads. Chinese money bankrolls an otherwise bankrupt America.

The irony is scarcely wasted on leading Marxist thinkers. "The domination of capitalism globally depends today on the existence of a Chinese Communist party that gives de-localised capitalist enterprises cheap labour to lower prices and deprive workers of the rights of self-organisation," says Jacques Rancière, the French marxist thinker and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris VIII. "Happily, it is possible to hope for a world less absurd and more just than today’s."

Can anyone spot the elephant NOT in the room?  No? 

What is missing in this supposed formula of disaster in the West?  Why Western government profligacy usually driven by what?  Social welfare programs.   And they’ve produced what?.  Unsustainable debt.  Unsustainable spending.  Crony capitalism.  Etc.

What happened in the West wasn’t, as the left keeps trying so hard to claim, a matter of capitalism or free markets going bad (or unchecked, or unregulated, or, well you name it).

What happened was mostly a product of crony capitalism, much of the problem driven by government policy.  Because of that collusion all the warning signs a market would have sent were paved over or ignored.  It was as much a problem of government policy driving perverse incentives as “greed”.   Greece did not happen because of capitalism.  And, frankly, neither was what happened here a result of capitalism.  Not, at least, as anyone who knows what the word means would define it.

So the real irony is that where a country begins to let markets work as they should – note the word “begins” – it sees rapid and incredible growth as well as spreading prosperity.  That would be China.  And the fact that China is still a Communist country doesn’t at all mean their “socialism with Chinese characteristics” is the reason they’re doing well economically (as they’ll find out soon enough when their bubble bursts).

Mostly, in China’s case, it was a matter of timing, which, by the way, is beginning to turn on them.  Some of the industries that settled in China are looking or locating in India (which, for lack of a better term, is about to become the “new China”).

Why?  Because the prosperity that China has enjoyed because it was well positioned to take advantage of the global markets at the time has driven expectations in China up exponentially.  That means demands for higher wages and better benefits.  That means a higher cost of doing business which will eventually see China priced out of certain markets and industries it now enjoys some exclusivity in.

That’s capitalism and my guess is the Chinese will do everything in their totalitarian power to fight it and thereby hold back the progress of their people.  That’s  how socialism/communism works.

So let Marx make a comeback.  As with most of these periodic absurd paeans to socialism that usually begin in academia, what is always, always, always swept under the rug is that Marxism in its various forms last century was the cause of the following deaths:

Given those numbers (by the way I think the Latin American numbers are low, especially if they include Cuba), it still boggles the mind that somehow there exist out there people who claim to be “Marxist thinkers” and that anyone takes them seriously or, in fact, gives them the time of the day.

It reminds me of the Che chic.  The elevation of a sociopathic mass murderer to cult revolutionary status.  The Horst Wessel of Communism. 

A man who spent much of his time executing helpless prisoners (to include kids) has been scrubbed by people much like the “Marxist thinkers” above to be reborn as some ideal revolutionary.  But under that veneer, he still remains a sociopathic mass murderer  that was bent on achieving the totalitarian subjugation of the people of Cuba and anywhere else he could spread his “Marxist revolution”.

That’s precisely what you’re seeing with the nonsense about Marx being reborn.  A new paint job on the same old totalitarian killing machine.  It makes you wonder about the intellectual heft of those who would, once again, fall for the false promises of an ideology which has proven its bankruptcy with the lives of over 90+ million people.

But they’re out there.


Economic Statistics for 5 Jul 12

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

Initial claims for unemployment fell 14,000 in the June 30 week to 374,000, much better than expected. The 4-week moving average fell slightly to 385,750. Continuing claims in rose 4,000 to 3.306 million with the 4-week average falling 3,000 to 3.304 million. The unemployment rate for insured workers is 2.6%, which is unchanged since March.

ADP’s private payroll count shows a better-than-expected rise of 176,000, hopefully pointing to strength for tomorrow’s employment situation.

Unlike the ISM manufacturing index, the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index stayed positive at 52.1, though that’s still slower than last month.

Chain Store Sales had a disappointing June, with many retailers lowering guidance, reporting lower rates of year-on-year growth than in May.

MBA Purchase Applications fell -6.7% last week, with purchases up 1.0%, but refinance applications down -8.0%.

The Challenger Job-Cut Report’s layoff count for June is 37,511, down from 61,887 in May and down from 41,432 in June last year.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped from last week’s 2-month high to -37.5.

~
Dale Franks
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ObamaCare: It just gets better and better

And, of course, I say that facetiously.   As it stands now, it has fostered more government regulation, more bureaucrats and more intrusion in epic proportion:

"There’s already 13,000 pages of regulations, and they’re not even done yet," Rehberg said.

"It’s a delegation of extensive authority from Congress to the Department of Health and Human Services and a lot of boards and commissions and bureaus throughout the bureaucracy," Matt Spalding of the Heritage Foundation said. "We counted about 180 or so."

So, minimally (we all know they’re not nearly done) 13,000 new pages of regulation, 180+ boards, commissions and bureaus and, of course, scads of bureaucrats to fill them.

Then there are the new broad powers granted HHS and the IRS.

Yes, friends, that’s right, this is how you make health care less expensive and better, not to mention making government less intrusive.

Probably the funniest thing, in a sad and ironic way, is the fact that there are still millions of people out there who believe the propaganda that sold this crap sandwich to the public.    Someone among them I’m sure will someday be able to explain how adding costly regulations and layers upon layers of bureaucracy somehow helps reduce the cost of health care delivery.  

According to James Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, federal powers will include designing insurance plans, telling people where they can go for coverage and how much insurers are allowed to charge.

"Really, how doctors and hospitals are supposed to practice medicine," he said.

Wait, wasn’t one of the primary problems with the old system, per the Democrats, a problem of insurance companies telling doctors how to practice medicine?

See, solved by government, right?

In fact, one master has been replaced by another one, the newest master being the most inept, inefficient and corrupt of the two.  And, of course, no one has yet explained how all of this is going to ensure people have better access to a doctor.  Why?  Because, quite simply, having insurance doesn’t guarantee care.  And with the disincentives provided by massive increases in regulation (and the increase that will cost for compliance) and oversight via these board, commissions and bureaus, my guess is there will be fewer doctors in the future.

So prepare to enjoy the dawning of the age of ObamaCare and the attendant disappointment, shock and anger it will eventually engender among the public.  There are some things that one shouldn’t mess with, and people’s health care is one of them.

Forward.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO