View Full Version : Obama The Age of Hopey Change™
The Mad Crapper
03-07-2011, 05:45 AM
Traders 'Short' Dollar as Currency Loses Attraction
Hedge funds and forex dealers are betting record amounts against the dollar, reflecting a growing belief that the U.S. currency has lost its haven appeal and that euro zone interest rates will soon rise.
As the crisis in the Middle East has worsened, the latest exchange data show that traders are selling “short” the currency. The big U.S. fiscal deficit and concerns about the effect of rising oil prices have been blamed by some for the dollar’s slide.
Figures from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which are often used as a proxy for hedge fund activity, showed that short dollar positions surged from 200,564 contracts in the week ending February 22 to 281,088 on March 1.
This meant that the value of bets against the dollar on the CME rose $11.5 billion in the week to March 1 to $39 billion, $3 billion more than the previous record of $36 billion in 2007.
In contrast, speculators have added to their euro holdings amid expectations that the European Central Bank will soon raise interest rates to head off rising inflation.
Hidden Debt Makes Governments Insolvent: Bear
As we prepare for the two-year anniversary of the March 9 lows for stock markets, investors are confronted with a number of worries that make it difficult to celebrate the near 100 percent jump in equities since then.
Oil prices are soaring off the back of unrest in the Middle East, there is talk of rate hikes from European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and unemployment remains stubbornly high despite some better news from the US on Friday.
On top of these, a mountain of debt is growing but because it is off governments' balance sheets it has been so far ignored, one man who worries perhaps more than most, Albert Edwards from the global strategy team at Societe Generale, said.
One of the world's most famous bears, Edwards is adamant the global economy and financial markets are not in a good place.
"The global economy is critically ill. The fact that it has just risen from its sick-bed to perform a frenetic Irish jig is more a function of the financial morphine and steroids that have been pumped into its emaciated body than any miracle cure," he wrote in a recent piece of research.
"You don't have to be Dr Doom to expect the patient to collapse back into a deep coma after the stimulus has worn off," Edwards added.
His biggest worry is government debt and unfunded liabilities and he is convinced that default is on the cards across the developed world.
Today we have four hot time bombs, tick-ticking, soon to make history; any one can easily accelerate the revolution that’s already killing Wall Street from within.
1. Wealth gap: Super-Rich vs class wars, death of democracy
The gap: In one generation, America’s wealthiest 1% has exploded from 9% to 23% of America’s income, while middle-class income has stagnated. Even Buffett admits: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and winning.”
But my rich friend tells the real story, of their social disconnect. The rich just don’t care. They live in a different world, live by a self-centered code lacking a moral compass. The public welfare is honored only if supported by tax benefits.
The wealth gap is widening and soon something unpredictable will ignite a Wall Street revolution.
2. Wall Street’s doomsday capitalism vs rule by anarchy
A key Supreme Court decision accelerated and codified Wall Street’s ability to use billions stolen from taxpayers to lobby Washington and solidify its power, all for its own self-interest, through campaign payola, senators’ votes, presidential access, manipulation of regulators, grabbing tax benefits, etc. And it’s every man and woman for themselves.
Don’t believe it? Know this, democracy is dead and you’re in denial. Wall Street CEOs and Forbes 400 billionaires are either engaged in a secret conspiracy, or a classic anarchy picking apart America, oblivious of the fact they are setting up the next big revolution.
3. Pentagon’s perpetual war machine vs America’s budget time bomb
The mathematics of our $75 trillion Social Security and Medicare deficits often seem insurmountable, but can be recalibrated. However, the war-loving mindset of America’s neocons — fueled by China’s military actions, the insatiable expansion of our military spending and a Pentagon prediction that global population growth — is putting more and more pressure on the world’s scarce resources, and will, in turn, increase global wars and the demand for more war spending, increasing the risk of sudden revolutions everywhere.
4. Global population explosion vs resources, jobs, better lifestyles
As the world population explodes from 7 billion to 10 billion in the next generation, the demand for more jobs and the pressure on scarce resources will increase, while expectations will fall as the ratio of haves to have-nots increases, making the world all around Wall Street a burning powder keg setting up a revolution.
Bottom line: Forget jailing Wall Street’s dictators. It’s naïve and too late. We missed that opportunity. But a revolution will do the trick, give us a second chance to jail the crooks.
Until then, remember, these four factors are building to a head, merging into a critical mass that will accelerate into a revolution and destroy Wall Street from within: The widening wealth gap, capitalism’s new rule-by-anarchy, the high cost of feeding the Pentagon’s costly war machine, and the huge global population explosion.
Barack Hussein Obama!
Mmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
The Mad Crapper
03-07-2011, 10:39 AM
Did anybody watch 60 minutes last night?
(CBS News) Unemployment improved a bit last month but it is still nearly nine percent and the trouble is job creation is so slow, it will be years before we get back the seven and a half million jobs lost in the Great Recession. American families have been falling out of the middle class in record numbers. The combination of lost jobs and millions of foreclosures means a lot of folks are homeless and hungry for the first time in their lives.
One of the consequences of the recession that you don't hear a lot about is the record number of children descending into poverty.
The government considers a family of four to be impoverished if they take in less than $22,000 a year. Based on that standard, and government projections of unemployment, it is estimated the poverty rate for kids in this country will soon hit 25 percent. Those children would be the largest American generation to be raised in hard times since the Great Depression.
The Mad Crapper
03-08-2011, 05:56 AM
The Mad Crapper
03-08-2011, 12:46 PM
"Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."
The Mad Crapper
03-10-2011, 02:13 PM
Trade Deficit Destroys 3 Million Jobs a Year: Opinion
EmailPrint..ByPeter Morici, Senior Contributor to TheStreet , On Thursday March 10, 2011, 9:27 am EST
The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The Commerce Department reported the deficit on international trade in goods and services was $46.3 billion in January, up from $40.2 billion in December and $27 billion in mid 2009, when the recovery began. Deficits on oil and with China jumped $1.2 and $2.6 billion, respectively, and the overall trade deficit is blocking the creation of 3 million jobs each year.
This rising deficit subtracts from demand for U.S. goods and services, just as stimulus spending and additional temporary tax cuts add to it. Consequently, a rising deficit slows economic recovery and jobs creation, and the Obama Administration and Republican leadership in Congress have offered little to address it.
Rising oil prices and imports from China are driving the trade deficit, and these are major barriers to creating enough jobs to pull unemployment down to 6% over the next several years.
The economy added 192,000 jobs in February, and that was encouraging, after it gained only 63,000 in January; however, that is hardly enough. The economy must add 360,000 jobs per month over the next 36 months to bring unemployment down to 6%.
Americans have returned to the malls and new car showrooms but too many dollars go abroad to purchase imports and do not return to buy U.S. exports. This leaves too many Americans jobless and wages stagnant, and state and municipal governments with chronic budget woes.
Simply, current policies are not creating conditions for 5% GDP growth that could be achieved to bring unemployment down to acceptable levels. An additional 2 to 2.5 percentage points in growth would create about 3 million jobs a year.
Over the last three months, the private sector has added 152,000 jobs per month, but many of those have been in government-subsidized health care and social services, and temporary business services. Netting those out, core private sector jobs have increased only 110,000 per month -- that comes to 25 permanent, non-government subsidized jobs per county for more than 5,000 job seekers per county.
Early in a recovery, temporary jobs appear first, but 20 months into the expansion, permanent, non-government subsidized jobs creation should be much stronger.
Commerce Department preliminary estimates indicate GDP growth was only 2.8%, significantly disappointing Wall Street economists.
Consumer spending, business technology and auto sales all added strongly to demand and growth, and exports actually outpaced imports for the first time in a year. Pessimism, inspired by rising gasoline prices, health care reforms that drive up insurance costs, and import competition, caused businesses to run down inventories rather than add new capacity and employees.
Fourth quarter exports got a boost from a weaker dollar against the euro earlier in 2010 -- the export effect of a weaker dollar occurs with a lag of several months. In 2011, this situation is likely to reverse, owing in particular to Europe's continuing sovereign debt woes and instability in North Africa and the Middle East. The trade deficit will grow, as oil import costs and consumer goods from China overwhelm further progress in U.S. export growth.
Policies limiting development of conventional oil and gas are premised on false assumptions about the immediate potential of electric cars and alternative energy sources, such as solar panels and windmills. In combination, limits on conventional energy development and excessive optimism about alternative energy technologies are making the United States even more dependent on imported oil and more indebted to China and other overseas creditors to pay for it.
To keep Chinese products artificially inexpensive on U.S. store shelves, Beijing undervalues the yuan by 40%. It accomplishes this by printing yuan and selling those for dollars and other currencies in foreign exchange markets.
Presidents Bush and Obama have sought to alter Chinese policies through negotiations, but Beijing offers only token gestures and cultivates political support among U.S. multinationals producing in China and large banks seeking additional business in China.
The United States should impose a tax on dollar-yuan conversions in an amount equal to China's currency market intervention divided by its exports -- about 35%. That would neutralize China's currency subsidies that steal U.S. factories and jobs. It is not protectionism; rather, in the face of virulent Chinese currency manipulation and mercantilism, it's self defense.
The Mad Crapper
03-14-2011, 04:12 PM
The SEC Employees Watching Porn At Work Were Making Over $200,000/Year
Last year, an investigation revealed that there were 24 SEC employees and 7 employees who had been contracted by the SEC who were caught watching porn on work computers (one of whom admitted doing it for 8 hours per day).
Now Denver lawyer Kevin Evans's letter requesting that the SEC release their names (the SEC refuses) via the FOIA has more details on the employees:
1.The locations the employees worked at were: Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Fort Worth, Texas; Los Angeles; and Washington, D.C.
2.The porn-surfing contractors worked for Labat-Anderson, CACI International, Garda Security, Keane Federal and ISN Corp
3.Repercussions: Some received counseling or discipline.
4.Some of these SEC employees were making well over $200,000 a year, according to the Daily Mail.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/some-of-the-sec-employees-watching-porn-were-making-over-200k-not-fired-2011-3?utm_source=Triggermail&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Business+Insider+Select&utm_campaign=BI_Select_031411#ixzz1GcAAu6E2
As Treasury Cash Drops To Just $14.2 Billion, And No Bond Auctions Until Next Week, Is America About To Run Out Of Cash?
And so the US Treasury has hit the proverbial paycheck to paycheck sustenance level. After burning $12.8 billion (without a change in gross debt) in cash today alone, and $75 billion in the month of March so far, primarily driven by a back end-loaded tax refund calendar, according to the Daily Treasury Statement, today's cash balance dropped to the scary level of just $14.2 billion. Without the benefit of incremental funding, this is the same amount that the Treasury burns on a good day! In other words, we take back what we said about the US Treasury existing paycheck to paycheck - Geithner now has to scramble to find funding on a day to day basis. If tomorrow operating outflows surpass $14.2 billion (and, again, the amount was $12.8 billion today) the world's "greatest" country (i.e. banana republic) runs out of cash, period. And as the following schedule indicates, there are no Long-Term bond issuances until next week (and the Bill issues are merely funding of rolling issues), we have some trouble seeing how the US Treasury will fund itself for the balance of the week...
The Mad Crapper
03-18-2011, 09:52 AM
The Mad Crapper
03-22-2011, 10:20 AM
March 22, 2011 4:00 A.M.
Running for the Exits
Hedge funds are dumping Treasury bonds. Do they know something?
The wisest and most successful bond investor of all time, Bill Gross, has dumped his bond fund’s $150 billion investment in U.S. bonds. One should not ignore the importance of this event. The largest bond fund in America no longer believes that Treasury bonds are a good investment. Moreover, Gross is not alone. Blackrock, the world’s largest money manager, is now underweighting Treasuries overall and reducing the duration of the bonds it still holds. That means they are dumping their long-term bonds, which are the most sensitive to interest-rate changes, in favor of Treasury instruments that mature in a year or less. Other bond funds, such as the $20 billion Loomis Sayles funds, are also forgoing Treasuries in favor of high-yield corporate bonds. Virtually everywhere you look, from great investors such as Warren Buffett to insurance companies such as Allstate, everyone is dumping their long-term U.S. debt and either buying debt that matures in less than a year or moving their money elsewhere.
So who is still buying U.S. debt? According to Bill Gross, the “old reliables” — China, Japan, and OPEC — are still in the market for 30 percent of all new debt. The rest, however, is being purchased by the Federal Reserve. There is no one in else in the market. For the first time ever, Americans are refusing to purchase their own country’s debt.
March 21, 2011 5:00 P.M.
Q1 Slowdown: Caveat Emptor
We can do a whole lot better.
Caveat emptor: The first-quarter economy is slowing and inflation is rising. A month ago, economists were optimistic about the potential for 4 percent growth. Now they are marking down their estimates toward 2.5 percent. Behind this, consumer expectations are falling while inflation fears are going up.
A recent CNBC All American Economic Survey revealed that 37 percent of respondents expect the economy to get worse in the next year. That’s up about 15 percentage points from the December poll. The key reasons? Worries over rising food and fuel costs. Respondents anticipate prices to climb 6.6 percent over the next year. That’s double the 3 percent inflation registered in the December survey.
Supporting the CNBC poll, the early March consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan dropped sharply, with the reading for consumer expectations falling 14 points. Additionally, one-year inflation expectations have risen to 4.6 percent in March from 3.4 percent in February.
Of course, everyone has been badly shaken by the terrible disaster in Japan. For the U.S. economy, supply-chain disruptions will damage growth. Also, the civil war in Libya and the broad unrest across North Africa and the Middle East have fueled a mild oil-price shock, also subtracting from U.S. growth.
So if the economy ending in the March quarter slows to less than 3 percent, it would mark the fourth-straight sub-3 percent GDP reading. Despite the strength in the manufacturing sector and rising corporate profits, that reading would underscore the softness of this recovery cycle.
The main cause of today’s consumer angst is undoubtedly the jump in gasoline prices. Nationwide, the pump price has climbed to $3.55 a gallon, up from $3.16 a month ago and $2.82 a year ago (for a 26 percent one-year jump). The last leg of this gas-price jump can be attributed to the $10 or $12 oil-price spike, resulting from supply worries in the Arab world. But it’s worth noting that gasoline moved from $2.70 to $3.15 just as soon as Ben Bernanke announced his money-pumping QE2 strategy in late August last year.
All things the same, the gasoline price could knock a half percent off growth and add a half percent to inflation. In fact, the consumer price index has registered three consecutive outsized monthly gains, and is running 5.6 percent at an annual rate through the three months to February. This increase is led by a 79 percent increase in gasoline prices and a 5 percent gain in food prices.
The Mad Crapper
03-25-2011, 07:03 AM
The cost of living in the United States is as high as ever, even worse than before the financial meltdown during the past few years. A Labor Department index measuring the actual cost of living, known as the chained consumer price index, hit 127.4 in February, beating a previous record high 126.9 in July 2008, just as the housing crisis began to tighten its grip, CNBC reports.
That's bad news for most Americans, especially considering the record comes at a time of weak economic activity and high unemployment rates.
"The Federal Reserve continues to focus on the rate of change in inflation," says Peter Bookvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak, according to CNBC.
Food prices continue to rise. The regular inflation rate, known as the consumer price index, increased 0.5 percent last month, the fastest pace in 18 months, although the Federal Reserve tends to set interest rates at inflation rates stripped of food and energy, which rose by just 0.2 percent.
Some say a new methodology is needed and needed now.
"This speaks to the need for the Fed to include food and energy when they look at inflation rather than regard them as transient costs," says Stephen Weiss of Short Hills Capital.
"Perhaps the best way to look at this is to calculate a moving average over a certain period of time in order to smooth out the peaks and valleys."
Even though headline inflation rates may have been nominally much higher in the past, most notably in the early eighties, rising consumer prices hurt just as bad today with incomes remaining flat, if not worse.
Thirty years ago, people earned raises to cope with higher prices and investments returned more: banks would pay nearly 16 percent on a six-month CD. Today, however, money market rates are a fraction of what they were, wages are essentially frozen if not dipping and Social Security recipients have gone two straight years with no increase in benefits.
The Mad Crapper
03-25-2011, 01:13 PM
The Mad Crapper
03-26-2011, 08:39 AM
Last Friday, the Congressional Budget Office scored President Obama’s ten-year budget plan. Their findings underscore a painful truth: The president is failing to engage in the kind of honest dialogue necessary to rally the country behind needed action. His budget — widely criticized for growing our gross debt by $13 trillion, swelling our bloated bureaucracy, and ignoring our surging entitlements — is so filled with gimmicks and manipulations that the CBO found an additional $2.3 trillion in deficits beyond what the White House projected. It is the most irresponsible spending plan put forward by a president in our time.
The Mad Crapper
05-17-2011, 08:54 AM
May 17, 2011
Economists: Obama Stimulus Destroyed 500,000 Jobs
Assuming that the purpose of Obama's economic policy is to drive up unemployment as quickly as possible without setting off armed rebellion, he really got his money's worth out of the "stimulus" looting spree known to bureauweenies as the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act." A study (PDF) by economists Timothy Conley and Bill Dupor found the following:
We estimate the Act created/saved 450 thousand government-sector jobs and destroyed/forestalled one million private sector jobs.
Even with our stratospheric rates of taxation, it takes several wealth-producing private sector jobs to support a single parasitic government-sector job. Obviously, Obamunism cannot sustain itself economically. Soon bureaucrats will be paying themselves with Monopoly money backed by nothing whatsoever, because by sucking all the money out of the economy, they have allowed nothing to be produced. A graph from the study:
Notice the nosedive the manufacture of goods went into right after the Manchurian Moonbat took office. With Obama's union cronies and the demented EPA riding high in the seat of power, it won't be reversing that dive any time soon.
It isn't expected to. After the crash, when Americans are starving by the millions, the Left will be perfectly positioned to finish what FDR started by imposing totalitarian collectivism, per Cloward-Piven.
That's what people voted for when they voted for Obama. Some of them are even conscious of it.
05-17-2011, 12:12 PM
I take it you don't care for O'Jesus. LOL
The Mad Crapper
05-19-2011, 11:21 AM
05-19-2011, 11:26 AM
are you having fun posting and talking to yourself?
The Mad Crapper
05-19-2011, 11:35 AM
are you having fun posting and talking to yourself?
This is a posterity thread. I could care less if anybody wanted to talk to me here.
The Mad Crapper
07-07-2011, 01:09 PM
ATF Director Testifies on Operation Targeting Gun Smugglers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, July 4, ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson testified before investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee about Operation Fast and Furious. Following this interview, Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, expressed their deep concerns about the involvement of the DEA, FBI, and other agencies – including the possibility that they were aware of and even working with people connected to Fast and Furious suspects.
In addition to these concerns noted in the letter to the Attorney General, Acting Director Melson made key assertions to investigators:
-Contrary to denials by the Justice Department, Acting Director Melson acknowledged the agents had in fact witnessed transfers of weapons from straw purchasers to third parties without following the guns any further.
-The ATF group executing Operation Fast and Furious had been placed under the direction of the Arizona U.S. Attorney's office.
03-16-2013, 06:01 PM
Liberalism: A Basic Primer—Or, Why Leftism is Failure Incarnate
Having covered the origins of leftism in the initial article in this two-part series, let’s recap. Liberalism was originally named for its chief aim—as a philosophy based upon liberty, which is now known as Classical Liberalism. The roots of this worldview stretch back to classical paganism. In An Intellectual History of Liberalism, Pierre Manent generally describes Liberalism as “the basso continuo of modern politics, of the politics of Europe and the West for about the past three centuries.” In other words, it is our foundational societal theory. Yet, now the term liberalism has been co-opted by socialism.
Ralph Raico describes the original idea:
“Classical liberalism” is the term used to designate the ideology advocating private property, an unhampered market economy, the rule of law, constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion and of the press, and international peace based on free trade…including freedom of contract and exchange and the free disposition of one’s own labor, is given a high priority. Historically, liberalism has manifested a hostility to state action, which, it insists, should be reduced to a minimum.
Having recapped, let’s examine the development of modern liberalism, or socialism. How is it that what was once the philosophy of liberty devolved into doctrinaire, pedestrian socialism—with its inane fixation on controlling the habits of men and extinguishing their freedoms? This occurred because Socialists needed to update their brand marketing, as most Americans considered Marxist inspired ideas unacceptable on their face.
I. Emergence of Modern Leftism—“Old” vs. “New” Liberalism
A. Change of Definitions
How did the term liberalism—originally understood as the philosophy of liberty—become defined as its opposite? Ralph Raico describes this transition:
It is not disputed that the popular meaning of liberal has changed drastically over time. It is a well-known story how, around 1900, in English-speaking countries and elsewhere, the term was captured by socialist writers. For a century now controversy has raged over the true meaning of liberalism. How did this momentous transformation of the term liberal—what Paul Gottfried calls “a semantic theft”—come about?
According to Raico, the Left tells itself an essentially false, self-aggrandizing fable of how the word liberal was co-opted by socialism, while attempting to retain a sense of natural evolution and growth of their movement. Specifically, the Left informs itself that Old Liberals were content with laissez-faire until they realized this method would not work to make the world a better place. They then decided to adopt more government controls for economics and communitarian vision of property ownership.
It is clear, though, that image problems with the term socialist itself was a huge motivation to dump the word. Some persons dropped socialist and called themselves individualists. These began to develop ideas similar to Italy’s Fascist economic policy. John Dewey began to use “individualist” in this manner. Others preferred the term “nationalist,” while a third group adopted “liberal.” Interestingly, such persons—while stealing the identity of real liberals, still saw themselves as the benefactor, not enslavers, of mankind. Note this statement from revisionist socialism founder Eduard Bernstein:
The development and protection of the free personality is the goal of all socialist measures, even of those which superficially appear to be coercive. A closer examination will always show that it is a question of a coercion that increases the sum of freedom in society, that gives more freedom, and to a wider group, than it takes away.
The difference between these two movements could not be more stark. The Old Liberals defined themselves as fierce advocates of freedom, however recipients decided to use this opportunity. The New Liberals are fixated upon outcomes—specifically the great aims of Utilitarianism, “the greatest good for the greatest number,” or practically speaking—happiness and pleasure—however one might measure these. Ironically, liberalism itself grew as a reaction against the welfare state and the bureaucratic “rage to govern”, as condemned by Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau.
B. John Stuart’s Mill: Sausage Maker of Modern Liberalism?
John Stuart Mill is one of the most influential thinkers of the 19th century—nowhere more so than on the subject of liberalism. The famed author of On Liberty is accused of hideously deforming liberalism and casting it into a dark hole. He taught that government’s goal is to maximize human happiness, not simply defend individual rights. Further, he wanted to scupper traditional religion and replace it with a religion of humanism. Writes Raico:
The freedom of opinion espoused in On Liberty was largely part of Mill’s grand strategy—to demolish religious faith, especially Christianity on the way to erecting a social order based on “the religion of humanity.” True individuality would be incarnated in…a being in whom selfishness and greed would be replaced by altruism and the constant cultivation of the loftier faculties.
In fact, it is Mill’s work in creating a humanist religion based upon socialist elements helped create the modern world. Writes Linda Raeder in John Stuart Mill and the Religion of Humanity:
One of the more remarkable developments in Anglo-American society over the past century has been the transformation of liberal politics from a commitment to limited government toward the progressive expansion of governmental direction of the social process. John Stuart Mill was a pivotal figure in that transformation. His self-avowed “eclecticism” allowed him to retain something of a commitment to classical liberalism, and he never completely abandoned the belief in a limited political sphere that characterizes that outlook. But Mill muddied the waters of classical-liberal philosophy and practice by his conviction that the end of government is the all-encompassing “improvement of mankind” and not the preservation of individual liberty-under-law, as well as by his self-conscious embrace and advocacy of the “social” moral ideal. Moreover, Mill’s ambition to replace the theologically oriented society of the Western tradition with one grounded in and oriented exclusively toward Humanity necessarily entailed a departure from classical liberalism.
II. Debacles of New Liberalism
Are Socialism and its big brother, Marxism, an effective means of organizing society and creating prosperity and happiness? No, but this has been well-known for decades. There are no known successes in socialist countries—only failures. Further, somewhere between 100-200 million humans were needlessly slaughtered in communist countries. Here is an expose’ of four of the most notable communist regimes of the last 50 years.
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or USSR lasted from 1922 before dissolution in 1991. Socialism, or Russian Marxism was never a success. In fact, at no time did the country support itself because of failed leadership, poor central planning and the inherent defects of Marxism. Lenin and Stalin’s decision to wage war against the Kulaks, the independent peasant farmers, made famine a certain outcome. Consider Stalin’s “Five-Year Plan” as symbolic of the USSR’s history of unmitigated failure:
Stalin decided the economy must be given a quick upgrade, and so he launched his Five-Year Plan, announced in 1929. Richard Pipes, in Communism: A History, describes how this put the entire economy under state control. The government promised if the people worked hard to meet the goal of tripling production, the outcome would be an increased standard of living for all. Neither took place. Instead, Alec Nove, a specialist in the early socialist Russian economy declared, “1933 was the culmination of the most precipitous peacetime decline in living standard known in recorded history.”
If any country challenges the USSR’s record for economic failure and outright disaster, it would certainly be communist China. For example, Chairman Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward represents probably the largest human disaster in recorded history, as up to 40 million Chinese starved to death or died as a result of this foolish and evil policy:
In 1958, Mao announced the Great Leap Forward to transform China into a modern state within a few years. In Mao’s mind, his plan to dominate and revolutionize China would then transfer to the rest of the globe. The Great Leap would occur when collectivized farms saw food production spike from new methodology. A compliant press celebrated massive increases in harvests, such as 100-fold gains in productivity. Yet after 6 months, the program was exposed as a massive failure, and instead of swelling production, widespread food shortages resulted. When reported to Mao, he replied all people would eat less since it was healthier anyway, according to Jon Halliday in Mao: The Unknown Story.
Vietnam is still officially a communist country. Experts believe the war and continued failed socialist policies have dreadfully damaged the economic vitality of this beautiful land. This is even admitted by communist officials. A recent official rebuke was levied at leaders of the failed economic system, according to the Harvard Ash Center:
Vietnam’s ruling Communist party has promised economic reforms and a restructuring of state firms and the banking system after a top-level meeting criticised senior members—thought to include the prime minister, Nguyen Tan Dung—but left them in post. The country’s banks are swimming in bad debt, much of it owed by the huge state enterprises at the heart of the economy. Moody’s downgraded Vietnam last month and said bank reforms should be implemented quickly. The central committee, the powerful body of more than 170 senior members of the Communist party of Vietnam, “came to the decision not to discipline the collective of the political bureau and a comrade member of the political bureau”, the party said in a statement on its website.
Dương Quỳnh Hoa (1930-2006), was named a “heroine of the revolution,” becoming an important member of the communist cadre, a cabinet member of its provisionary government. In a 1990 interview with Stanley Karnow from Vietnam: A History, she especially criticized forced collectivization of farming, and stated:
I have been a communist all my life, but now I’ve seen the realities of Communism, and it is a failure—mismanagement, corruption, privilege, repression. My ideals are gone. Communism has been catastrophic. Party officials have never understood the need for rational development. They’ve been hypnotized by Marxist slogans that have lost validity—if they were ever valid. They are outrageous.
Cuba is also still communist and its economic, political and human rights record is an astounding failure. Cuba was artificially kept afloat by the Soviets during much of their history, for its strategic importance, until the USSR fell apart. Says one writer,
When the Soviet bloc dissolved at the beginning of the 1990s, Cuba suddenly lost the $5 billion to $8 billion in annual Kremlin aid and trade that had kept the island afloat for three decades. Unable to produce enough food, Cuba’s people began to go hungry. Without the generous Soviet oil subsidy, transportation and industry were paralyzed. Without hard currency to pay for them, no food, fertilizer or oil could be imported. Left to stand on its own for the first time in 30 years, Cuba folded. Beginning in 1993, with people eating banana peels just to feel something substantial in their stomachs and with the populace suffering an epidemic of blindess and paralysis linked to vitamin deficiencies, Castro borrowed a page from Lenin’s New Economic Policy of the 1920s and turned to capitalism to save socialism. He legalized the U.S. dollar and opened the door to small-scale private enterprise.
III. Conflicting Visions: Sowell’s Critique of Modern Liberalism
Why do modern liberals war with conservatives at every level? Thomas Sowell, in his brilliant study of ideology, A Conflict of Visions: Idealogical Origins of Political Struggles, explains why people embrace particular beliefs, whether socialist or conservative:
Visions are the foundations on which theories are built…Here a vision is a sense of causation. It is more like a hunch or a “gut feeling” than it is like an exercise in logic or factual verification.
Sowell goes on to differentiate between the constrained and unconstrained vision. Here, in the constrained vision, one accepts human limitations, tragedies, and compromise. For example, Alexander Hamilton sums this up in The Federalist Papers:
It is the lot of all human institutions, even those of the most perfect kind, to have defects as well as excellencies—ill as well as good propensities. This results from the imperfection of the Institutor, Man.
This is the Conservative view. The other, being uconstrained, never accepts any level of failure, built in flaws, or compromise. This is the modern liberal or socialist view which has caused much misery in the modern world. Sowell cites the quintessential unconstrained position, that of radical William Godwin:
Godwin regarded the intention to benefit others as being “of the essence of virtue,” and virtue in turn as being the road to human happiness. Unintentional social benefits were treated by Godwin as scarcely worthy of notice. His was the unconstrained vision of human nature, in which man was capable of directly feeling other people’s needs as more important than his own, and therefore of consistently acting impartially, even when his own interests or those of his family were involved.
In essence the unconstrained constrained vision demands the good be perpetually traded in for the perfect, destroying mankind’s chance for success and happiness at every turn.
IV. Why Marx Fails: Reasons Socialism Always Collapses
Max Eastman wrote a highly influential expose’ upon the failure of Marxism titled, Reflections on the Failure of Socialism. He lists several issues as being especially egregious in socialism’s failure, including the planned economy, the immorality of communist ethics, socialism and its failure to address human nature, and the dangers of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, etc.
Other authors have compiled a list of the manifest failures of socialism. Here is a summary of the crucial differences between socialism and capitalism:
The strength of capitalism can be attributed to an incentive structure based upon the three Ps: (1) prices determined by market forces, (2) a profit-and-loss system of accounting and (3) private property rights. The failure of socialism can be traced to its neglect of these three incentive-enhancing components.
The main reason socialism fails as an economic theory is it does not account for price of commodities, and therefore cannot adequately ration any finite good. Further, socialism fails on a psychological level because it treats human motivation as a perverse fiction, irrelevant for producers, and therefore ignored. Finally, it fails as a political theory because it cannot value humans as being any different than machines.
Kelly O’Connell hosts American Anthem on CFP Radio Sundays at 4 pm (EST).
Kelly O’Connell is an author and attorney. He was born on the West Coast, raised in Las Vegas, and matriculated from the University of Oregon. After laboring for the Reformed Church in Galway, Ireland, he returned to America and attended law school in Virginia, where he earned a JD and a Master’s degree in Government. He spent a stint working as a researcher and writer of academic articles at a Miami law school, focusing on ancient law and society. He has also been employed as a university Speech & Debate professor. He then returned West and worked as an assistant district attorney. Kelly is now is a private practitioner with a small law practice in New Mexico. Kelly is now host of a daily, Monday to Friday talk show at AM KOBE called AM Las Cruces w/Kelly O’Connell
Kelly can be reached at: email@example.com
03-20-2013, 08:17 PM
http://deprogrammingliberalism.com/nuclear-counterarguments-1/#Do You Value Freedom? Lets See
03-20-2013, 08:24 PM
That's enough, Dave.
03-21-2013, 07:12 AM
The Rules of Socialist Acquisition
(a representative sample)
1.To each according to his ability to work the system.
2.Compassion without coercion is useless.
3.Never ask when you can use the government to take.
4.The vast majority of the rich in this galaxy are undertaxed.
5.All we want is what's yours.
6.Monopoly is evil unless the government runs it.
7.Class envy makes a good running mate.
8.If a government program fails, repeat.
9.Every rake deserves to be stepped on twice.
10.It is critical that the expected "returns" on any "investment" are never defined.
11.Never feed the hungry on an empty stomach.
12.Always know who you're buying.
13.Exclusive knowledge is power.
14.Never be afraid to mislabel an opponent.
15.Be clean, articulate, and non-threatening.
16.When in doubt, throw a friend under the bus.
17.Never allow others' self-interest to stand in the way of your common good.
18.A liberal without guilt is no liberal at all.
19.When someone says, "I'm not a racist," he's lying.
20.A dead vote is just as good as a live one.
21.A good vote is worth casting twice.
22.Actual progress is not guaranteed.
23.Small print is the best invention since snake oil.
24.Entitlements and handouts will always overcome freedom and opportunity.
25.Integrity is no substitute for campaign cash.
26.A friend in need is a potential donor and land deal partner.
27.Never confuse powerful financial backers with luck.
28.Make sure your campaign cash doesn't cost you more than it is really worth.
29.Beware of relatives giving speeches.
30.There's nothing more dangerous than an honest political adviser.
31.The most beautiful thing about the environment is that you can turn it into an election issue.
32.Citing Global Warming yields more cash than pointing a gun.
33.Always trust a person wearing a suit better than your own.
34.Moral choice is a complex personal issue that is better defined by focus groups.
35.Morality has limits. Moral relativism has none.
36.Never make fun of a Democrat candidate's family. Insult something he cares about instead.
37.Be careful what you legislate. It may do exactly what Rush Limbaugh says it would.
38.Compromise means the absence of opposition to Democrats.
39.War is good for political activism.
40.People could afford housing and healthcare without the government - if it weren't for the government.
41.Talk is cheap. Heap it generously on the public.
42.There isn't a gaffe by a Democrat politician that the media won't overlook.
43.Never argue with a loaded Kennedy.
44.Labor camps are full of people who opposed someone's beautiful dream.
45.Entitlement is the easiest way to enslave a population.
46.Democracy has limits. Dictatorship has none.
47.Saying stupid things is often smart.
48.Never cross Michelle Obama.
49.Never let the electorate know what you're thinking.
50.Never admit anything that can't be later blamed on Republicans.
51.Only the Democrats could screw up New Orleans so badly and keep getting elected.
52.Knowledge is bliss, ignorance is power.
53.Give someone a fish, you feed him for one day. Teach him how to fish, and you lose a Democrat voter.
54.Pursue social justice; money and power will come later.
55.All voters are suckers.
56.Every once in a while offer a compromise; it confuses the hell out of Republicans.
57.There is no substitute for an unnecessary government program.
58.Never do something that the government can do for you.
59.Never spend your own money when you can spend the government's.
60.Money taken as profit is immoral; money taken by government is the highest form of Lightworking.
61.If it can get you elected, say it!
62.Only fools say what they believe.
63.Faith moves mountains of "Obama" memorabilia.
64.Poverty is no crime. Better yet, it's an excellent source of votes for the Democrat party.
65.Even in the worst of times, someone always gets elected.
66.Never snort cocaine and have sex in a limo with a homosexual drug user named Larry Sinclair.
67.Oil is a stolen product.
68.Practice saying it in front of the mirror: "This isn't the Almighty God that I know."
69.Law makes everyone equal, but presidential pardons go to the highest bidder.
70.There's nothing wrong with big business as long as they donate to anti-business causes.
71.Never buy votes if ACORN can fix it for nothing.
72.Friends and family are the rungs on the ladder of success - don't hesitate to step on them.
73.Blood is thicker than Kool-Aid.
74.Blame Bush first; ask questions later.
03-21-2013, 07:21 PM
03-23-2013, 08:18 AM
Here are just a few of the things I miss since America entered the golden age of Hope and Change in January 2009.
o Going for minutes, hours, even days, without worrying about what weird insanity the government is dreaming up next
o Having money
o The Border Patrol
o Looking up at the moon and thinking, "America - we own space!"
o Having a president whose background isn't more closely guarded than the formula for Coke
o Going on vacation without the TSA auditioning me for "Stella Does Dallas"
o Not feeling like I have to whisper, if I say something that's not completely, 100% complimentary about our president
o Listening to the latest rant against Israel at the UN, without wondering if it's coming from the American Ambassador
o Feeling protected
o Having a president who doesn't want to fundamentally transform me
o Getting a doctor's appointment right away and not thinking, "That was nice while it lasted."
o Having a president who would never, ever bow to the Saudi king, the Chinese premier, the Japanese prime minister and the mayor of Tampa
o Gazing up at the sky and not wondering if that's a bird or a drone
o Snacking on whatever I want, while the First Lady remains calm and indifferent
o Having a president who thinks it would be unimaginably crazy to bring the 9/11 conspirators to New York for a civil trial
o Separation of State and Media
o College graduates with a future in America, not China or Hong Kong
o Having a president who inspires us to feel that Americans are all in this game together
o A dollar that's worth 100 cents and isn't signed by a tax cheat
o America's Triple-A rating
o Having a president who doesn't seem needier for attention than Paris Hilton
o Strolling through the mall without worrying about racially-motivated flash mobs
o Looking at maps without trying to figure out where I can run
o Reading 1984 as an interesting work of fiction
Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/07/what_i_miss_about_america.html#ixzz20Q19549h
03-23-2013, 08:28 AM
What happens when Austrian Economics rules?
/look I can cherry pick countries too
Many people have often wondered what it would be like to create a nation based solely on their political and economic beliefs. Imagine: no opposition, no political rivals, no compromise of morals. Only a "benevolent dictator," if you will, setting up society according to your ideals.
The Chicago School of Economics got that chance for 16 years in Chile, under near-laboratory conditions. Between 1973 and 1989, a government team of economists trained at the University of Chicago dismantled or decentralized the Chilean state as far as was humanly possible. Their program included privatizing welfare and social programs, deregulating the market, liberalizing trade, rolling back trade unions, and rewriting its constitution and laws. And they did all this in the absence of the far-right's most hated institution: democracy.
The results were exactly what liberals predicted. Chile's economy became more unstable than any other in Latin America, alternately experiencing deep plunges and soaring growth. Once all this erratic behavior was averaged out, however, Chile's growth during this 16-year period was one of the slowest of any Latin American country. Worse, income inequality grew severe. The majority of workers actually earned less in 1989 than in 1973 (after adjusting for inflation), while the incomes of the rich skyrocketed. In the absence of market regulations, Chile also became one of the most polluted countries in Latin America. And Chile's lack of democracy was only possible by suppressing political opposition and labor unions under a reign of terror and widespread human rights abuses.
Conservatives have developed an apologist literature defending Chile as a huge success story. In 1982, Milton Friedman enthusiastically praised General Pinochet (the Chilean dictator) because he "has supported a fully free-market economy as a matter of principle. Chile is an economic miracle." (1) However, the statistics below show this to be untrue. Chile is a tragic failure of right-wing economics, and its people are still paying the price for it today.
04-09-2013, 09:14 AM
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