The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

Posts Tagged ‘socialism

Slamming Capitalism: The New Youthful Fad

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I see it a lot these days.

Social media posts and memes deriding Capitalism and romanticizing Socialism.

I honestly don’t know where it comes from outside of historical ignorance. It’s puzzling.

A link to such a post appeared in my email the other day. I’ll link to it below if you care to read it. It will provide context to what I’m about to write next.

Authored by a gentleman named Umair Haque. But don’t let the name lead you to assume anything. He’s an American citizen, young, idealistic, and dead wrong when it comes to capitalism.

The title of his article?

Does America Have Capitalist Stockholm Syndrome? – Why Are the Fiercest Defenders of Capitalism Those Who’ll Never Be Capitalists?

Ah yes, evil capitalism and those stupid white men dying to defend it!

Unfortunately, I believe Mr. Haque completely missed the point of their defense. It has nothing to do with their personal capitalistic ventures as he noted with his friend’s father. It has everything to do with the ventures of others which have made their lives, and the lives of their families for generations now, better. Infinitely better.

Period.

Perhaps the best defense for capitalism I’ve ever read comes from Economist Deirdre McCloskey. McCloskey doesn’t like the word “capitalism.” She likes to call our economic system a “technological and institutional betterment at a frenetic pace, tested by unforced exchange among all the parties involved” but that’s too long. Instead, we can use another term she coined, “trade-tested progress.”

Below I post her argument in quotes. If you disagree, provide a better model with an equally compelling mix of evidence, but please don’t go into a tired and fruitless rant about Socialism or any similar construct that has failed miserably over and over throughout history.

“Perhaps you yourself still believe in nationalism or socialism or proliferating regulation. And perhaps you are in the grip of pessimism about growth or consumerism or the environment or inequality.

Please, for the good of the wretched of the earth, reconsider.

Many humans, in short, are now stunningly better off than their ancestors were in 1800. … Hear again that last, crucial, astonishing fact, discovered by economic historians over the past few decades. It is: in the two centuries after 1800 the trade-tested goods and services available to the average person in Sweden or Taiwan rose by a factor of 30 or 100. Not 100 percent, understand — a mere doubling — but in its highest estimate a factor of 100, nearly 10,000 percent, and at least a factor of 30, or 2,900 percent. The Great Enrichment of the past two centuries has dwarfed any of the previous and temporary enrichments. Explaining it is the central scientific task of economics and economic history, and it matters for any other sort of social science or recent history.

What explains it? The causes were not (to pick from the apparently inexhaustible list of materialist factors promoted by this or that economist or economic historian) coal, thrift, transport, high male wages, low female and child wages, surplus value, human capital, geography, railways, institutions, infrastructure, nationalism, the quickening of commerce, the late medieval run-up, Renaissance individualism, the First Divergence, the Black Death, American silver, the original accumulation of capital, piracy, empire, eugenic improvement, the mathematization of celestial mechanics, technical education, or a perfection of property rights. Such conditions had been routine in a dozen of the leading organized societies of Eurasia, from ancient Egypt and China down to Tokugawa Japan and the Ottoman Empire, and not unknown in Meso-America and the Andes. Routines cannot account for the strangest secular event in human history, which began with bourgeois dignity in Holland after 1600, gathered up its tools for betterment in England after 1700, and burst on northwestern Europe and then the world after 1800.

The modern world was made by a slow-motion revolution in ethical convictions about virtues and vices, in particular by a much higher level than in earlier times of toleration for trade-tested progress — letting people make mutually advantageous deals, and even admiring them for doing so, and especially admiring them when SteveJobs-like, they imagine betterments. The change, the Bourgeois Revaluation, was the coming of a business-respecting civilization, an acceptance of the Bourgeois Deal: “Let me make money in the first act, and by the third act I will make you all rich.”

Much of the elite, and then also much of the non-elite of northwestern Europe and its offshoots, came to accept or even admire the values of trade and betterment. Or at the least the polity did not attempt to block such values, as it had done energetically in earlier times. Especially it did not do so in the new United States. Then likewise, the elites and then the common people in more of the world followed, including now, startlingly, China and India. They undertook to respect — or at least not to utterly despise and overtax and stupidly regulate — the bourgeoisie.

Why, then, the Bourgeois Revaluation that after made for trade-tested betterment, the Great Enrichment? The answer is the surprising, black-swan luck of northwestern Europe’s reaction to the turmoil of the early modern — the coincidence in northwestern Europe of successful Reading, Reformation, Revolt, and Revolution: “the Four Rs,” if you please. The dice were rolled by Gutenberg, Luther, Willem van Oranje, and Oliver Cromwell. By a lucky chance for England their payoffs were deposited in that formerly inconsequential nation in a pile late in the seventeenth century. None of the Four Rs had deep English or European causes. All could have rolled the other way. They were bizarre and unpredictable. In 1400 or even in 1600 a canny observer would have bet on an industrial revolution and a great enrichment — if she could have imagined such freakish events — in technologically advanced China, or in the vigorous Ottoman Empire. Not in backward, quarrelsome Europe.

A result of Reading, Reformation, Revolt, and Revolution was a fifth R, a crucial Revaluation of the bourgeoisie, first in Holland and then in Britain. The Revaluation was part of an R-caused, egalitarian reappraisal of ordinary people. … The cause of the bourgeois betterments, that is, was an economic liberation and a sociological dignifying of, say, a barber and wig-maker of Bolton, son of a tailor, messing about with spinning machines, who died in 1792 as Sir Richard Arkwright, possessed of one of the largest bourgeois fortunes in England. The Industrial Revolution and especially the Great Enrichment came from liberating commoners from compelled service to a hereditary elite, such as the noble lord in the castle, or compelled obedience to a state functionary, such as the economic planner in the city hall. And it came from according honor to the formerly despised of Bolton — or of Ōsaka, or of Lake Wobegon — commoners exercising their liberty to relocate a factory or invent airbrakes.”

Don’t let the current version of capitalism where business and industry leaders have become common bed-partners with politicians and government bureaucrats creating a crony-infested mutation, sour you on the concept. Seek to understand it in its purest form and work to move it back to what made it the most productive and beneficial economic system the world has ever seen.

Freedom, liberty, trade, and betterment for all.

Hence the fruits of capitalism are sweet indeed.

 

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Written by DCL

September 5, 2018 at 4:54 pm

Posted in Good News, News, Politics

Tagged with ,

When Will the Sh*t Hit the Fan?

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There is a division in America and it appears to be broken down along the following  lines.  See if you can follow along.

Free Sh*tPoor* folks getting free sh*t and rich* folks paying for it.

The poor* folks who are getting free sh*t, don’t seem to care much for the rich* folks who are paying for the free sh*t these days perhaps because the rich* folks who are paying for the free sh*t are saying they can no longer afford to pay for both the free sh*t and their own sh*t.

Furthermore, The folks who are paying for all the free sh*t want the free sh*t to stop and the folks who are getting the free sh*t want even MORE free sh*t on top of the free sh*t they’re already getting!

Now, the people who are forcing the (rich) people to PAY for the free sh*t have told the (poor) people who are RECEIVING the free sh*t that the people who are PAYING for the free sh*t are being mean, prejudiced, and racist for saying they can’t continuing paying for free sh*t for everyone else.

So… the people who are GETTING the free sh*t have now been convinced they should HATE the people who are PAYING for the free sh*t, BY the very people who are forcing the (rich) people to pay for the free sh*t and GIVING the free sh*t lovin people the free sh*t in the first place!

If you can’t follow that, you’re not paying attention to sh*t.

*The use of the terms rich and poor in this monologue are extremely subjective and in today’s political environment may best be described as:
Poor – A household with 2 big screen TV’s, 1 XBox, 1 car, and no employed inhabitants.
Rich – A household with 2 big screen TV’s, 1 XBox, 1 car, and 1 employed inhabitant.

Written by DCL

February 7, 2013 at 1:34 pm

The Things They’ll Say Among Friends

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“It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw, and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. … So, that’s our general philosophy.” – Environmental Protection Agency administrator Al Armendariz

EPA Al ArmendarizThe statement was made in 2010 with all seriousness as Armendariz spoke to his staff (friendlies).  “I was in a meeting once, and I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy of enforcement, and I think it was probably a little crude and maybe not appropriate for the meeting, but I’ll go ahead and tell you what I said,” he began. In a video obtained and released by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., Armendariz then shared his bloody analogy.

Now, in an all to familiar pattern from the left in recent weeks, he has come out with a “heartfelt” apology for his “poor choice of words”.  Seems those on the left and in particular serving in Obama’s administration make rather poor choices on a regular basis.

Michelle Malkin opined on this newest revelation from the Obama camp:

“Echoing President Obama’s “punch back twice as hard” treatment of his political enemies, Armendariz explained to his underlings that “you hit them as hard as you can, and you make examples out of them, and there is a deterrent effect there. And, companies that are smart see that, they don’t want to play that game, and they decide at that point that it’s time to clean up.”

In other words: Suck up, fly left, or face prosecution. The goal isn’t a cleaner environment. The goal is political incitement of fear.  The record shows that Obama environmental overlords run amok.

It was Obama’s Interior Secretary Ken Salazar who vowed to keep his “boot on the neck” of BP after the Gulf oil spill in 2010. Salazar and former eco-czar Carol Browner colluded on a fraudulent report — condemned by federal judges — that completely distorted a White House-appointed expert panel’s opposition to the administration’s job-killing, industry-bashing drilling moratorium.

It was Obama’s EPA that railroaded a senior government research analyst for daring to question the agency’s zealous push to impose greenhouse gas rules. When Alan Carlin asked to distribute an analysis on the health effects of greenhouse gases that didn’t fit the eco-bureaucracy’s blame-human-activity narrative, he was gagged and reprimanded: “The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision. … I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.” Public relations management trumped truth in science, the deliberative process and fairness.

It was Obama’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in cahoots with the witch hunters at the Department of Justice, that raided Gibson Guitar factories in Memphis and Nashville three years ago over an arcane endangered species of wood. The guitar police have yet to bring charges, leaving the company in costly legal limbo.

And as Inhofe pointed out in response to Armendariz’s “apology”: “Not long after Administrator Armendariz made these comments in 2010, EPA targeted US natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming. In all three of these cases, EPA initially made headline-grabbing statements either insinuating or proclaiming outright that the use of hydraulic fracturing by American energy producers was the cause of water contamination, but in each case their comments were premature at best — and despite their most valiant efforts, they have been unable to find any sound scientific evidence to make this link.”

Indeed, Armendariz the Executioner tried nailing a drilling company — Texas-based Range Resources — to the cross in 2010 with an emergency declaration that its fracking work in the Lone Star State had contaminated groundwater. The Texas Railroad Commission, which oversees the oil and gas industry, found no scientific evidence of the Obama EPA’s claims.

Forbes magazine reported: “In recent months a federal judge slapped the EPA, decreeing that the agency was required to actually do some scientific investigation of wells before penalizing the companies that drilled them. Finally in March the EPA withdrew its emergency order and a federal court dismissed the EPA’s case.”

Vice President Joe Biden is right about Obama’s “big stick.” Too bad he’s using it to beat down America’s domestic energy producers and wealth creators instead of our foreign enemies.

Malkin’s piece plays nicely into this video.

Does anyone see a trend here?

Socialism Explained for 8 year-olds

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President Obama loves to talk about fairness but fails to include everyone in that conversation.  How can there be fairness when one segment of the population is used to provide “fairness” to another.

Even if you’re older than 8 watch the video and marvel at the common sense of it.

Written by DCL

April 19, 2012 at 6:28 pm