Posts Tagged ‘capitalism’
The whole idea that a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington scans lots of data plus some anecdotal ‘evidence’ every month (with the help of 200 or so economists) and then ‘sets’ interest rates, astutely manipulates bank refunding rates and cleverly guides various market prices so that the overall economy comes out creating more new jobs while the debasement of money unfolds at the officially sanctioned but allegedly harmless pace of 2 percent, must appear entirely preposterous to any student of capitalism.
There should be no monetary policy in a free market just as there should be no policy of setting food prices, or wage rates, or of centrally adjusting the number of hours in a day. But the question here is not what we would like to happen but what is most likely to happen. There is no doubt that we should see an end to ‘quantitative easing’ but will we see it anytime soon?
Read more at ZeroHedge.com
Leave it to enterprising Americans to always find a loophole in the midst of ever-expanding government regulation.
While thousands of Seattle residents lined up for hours to trade their handguns, rifles and family heirlooms away in exchange for up to $200 in gift cards as part of the city’s latest gun buyback program, gun collectors who have seen prices for assault rifles and firearms accessories almost triple since November took advantage of a huge opportunity.
Police stood in awe as gun enthusiasts and collectors waved wads of cash for the guns being held by those standing in line for the buyback program.
Read more by Mac Slavo at shtfplan.com
Surgery center provides free-market medicine.
Three years ago, Dr. Keith Smith, co-founder and managing partner of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, took an initiative that would only be considered radical in the health care industry: He posted online a list of prices for 112 common surgical procedures. The 51-year-old Smith, a self-described libertarian, and his business partner, Dr. Steve Lantier, founded the Surgery Center 15 years ago, after they became disillusioned with the way patients were treated at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, where the two men worked as anesthesiologists. In 1997, Smith and Lantier bought the shell of a former surgical center with the aim of creating a for-profit facility that could deliver first-rate care at a fraction of what traditional hospitals charge.
The major cause of exploding U.S. heath care costs is the third-party payer system, a text-book concept in which A buys goods or services from B that are paid for by C. Because private insurance companies or the government generally pick up most of the tab for medical services, patients don’t have the normal incentive to seek out value.
The Surgery Center’s consumer-driven model could become increasingly common as Americans look for alternatives to the traditional health care market—an unintended consequence of Obamacare. Patients may have no choice but to look outside the traditional health care industry in the face of higher costs and reduced access to doctors and hospitals.
Read more by Jim Epstein at Reason.com
A Thanksgiving Lesson We Need Again
–SNIP– The Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock in December 1620 were motivated by the noblest of virtues. They had vowed to be as selfless as possible and to always put the needs of the group first.
Because provisions were so scanty, they decided that the land would be worked in common, all produce would be owned in common and goods would be rationed equally. It was the agrarian version of Karl Marx’s dictate “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”
Unfortunately, this utopian idea did not work very well. Pilferage from the storehouse became common. Suspicions of malingering were muttered. Over the course of that first harsh winter, nearly half of the colonists perished. Four families were wiped out entirely. Only five of 18 wives survived. Of the 29 single men, hired hands and servants, only 10 were alive when spring finally came.
Read more by Chip Wood at Personal Liberty.com
Next to my computer is a bookshelf overstuffed with books I’ve read and enjoyed but one book stands out because I just can’t get past its first 25 pages. Friends have told me how much they enjoyed ‘Atlas Shrugged’ so I have tried on numerous occasions to tackle this tome that has had such a lasting impact on libertarians and VP candidate Rep. Paul Ryan. Alas, all efforts have failed so I resorted to my college year’s backup plan - I bought an ‘Atlas Shrugged’ Cliff Notes.
I can’t comment on Ms. Rand’s talent for writing but I found the Cliff Notes version written by Dr. Andrew Bernstein infinitely more readable. For the first time I understand how omniscient and how pertinent Ms. Rand’s novel is to what is happening to our country today.
Read more by Alicia Colon at IrishExaminerUSA.com
Thomas Peterffy grew up in socialist Hungary. Despite the fact that he could not speak English when he immigrated to the United States in 1956, Thomas fulfilled the American dream. With hard work and dedication, he started a business that today employs thousands of people. In the 1970s, Thomas bought a seat on the American Stock Exchange. He played a key role in developing the electronic trading of securities and is the founder of Interactive Brokers, an online discount brokerage firm with offices all over the world.
–SNIP– Too many people think that freedom, opportunity and a variety of choices are ever-present features of life in the U.S. — that fundamental transformation of America will not affect accustomed standards.
When we lived in the U.S.S.R., locked away from the world, kept from traveling abroad and surrounded by government-controlled sources of information, we couldn’t imagine what kind of life people had on the outside. Simple things, like tomatoes in stores in winter, seemed improbable.
–SNIP– It’s stunning for an immigrant from a socialist country to hear in the speeches of Democratic Party leaders platitudes taught in socialist countries. Even more stunning is how they resonate with people born in the free world.
Read more by SVETLANA KUNIN at Investors.com
The American Dream has been one of history’s most potent forces for change and improvement. It’s rooted in a myth that a man shapes his own destiny. In fact, that’s never truly been the case. From the tariff to the railroads, from the Food and Drugs Act to the Pell Grant, the US government has intervened to shape the market and help people fulfill their ambitions. But would they have remained so ambitious if they thought that it was collective rather than individual action that was ultimately responsible for their success? Maybe not. Of course, capitalism is a team sport. But the idea that an individual’s merit is the product or property of the community is the antithesis of the pioneer spirit.
Read more by Tim Stanley at Telegraph Blogs
New documents shed new light on his ties to a leftist party in the 1990s.
On the evening of January 11, 1996, while Mitt Romney was in the final years of his run as the head of Bain Capital, Barack Obama formally joined the New Party, which was deeply hostile to the mainstream of the Democratic party and even to American capitalism. In 2008, candidate Obama deceived the American public about his potentially damaging tie to this third party. The issue remains as fresh as today’s headlines, as Romney argues that Obama is trying to move the United States toward European-style social democracy, which was precisely the New Party’s goal.
Read more by Stanley Kurtz at National Review
On Thanksgiving Day, Americans gather with their family and friends to celebrate the blessings that Providence has bestowed on their beloved country.
A deep appreciation of these blessings involves understanding that they were earned. It is to understand the awesome truth of how “God helps those who help themselves” applies to the Mayflower Pilgrims and their First Thanksgiving at America’s birth.
This is an appreciation and understanding of which those on the Left are incapable - for it would mean celebrating the capitalist freedom that made that original Thanksgiving possible. This no liberal, no Democrat, no leftie can do. Thus they must distort history instead.
The distortion starts in Kindergarten, with the childish make-believe of your kid’s school play portraying the noble Squanto teaching the helpless Pilgrims how to feed themselves.
–SNIP– That freedom and abundance is today being threatened as never before by a Fascist Left determined to destroy it. Now more than ever is the time to focus anew on all that we love about our country, to know that Providence has always smiled upon it - for we, like the Pilgrims have the capacity to choose capitalist freedom over socialist slavery.
With that choice, the original Americans created a civilization out of the wilderness. With that choice, we Americans of today can rescue our civilization from the wilderness of the Fascist Left led by President Zero.
That choice liberates us from their power-lust and make us impervious to the poison of anti-America hate that eats at all liberal souls. That is why we are what they are not: grateful for our country, for the very existence of America, for the priceless privilege of being an American.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
Read more by Dr. Jack Wheeler at To The Point News
The idea that big banks damage the broader economy has considerable resonance on the intellectual right. Thomas Hoenig, the recently retired president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, has been our clearest official voice on this topic. And Eugene Fama, father of the efficient markets view of finance, said on CNBC last year that having banks that are “too big to fail” is “perverting activities and incentives” in financial markets - giving big financial firms “a license to increase risk; where the taxpayers will bear the downside and firms will bear the upside.”
The mainstream political right, however, has been reluctant to take on the issue. This changed on Wednesday, with a very clear statement by Jon Huntsman in The Wall Street Journal on regulatory capture and its consequences. Before the 2008 financial crisis, he wrote, “the largest banks were pushing hard to take more risk at taxpayers’ expense.” And now, he added:
This message could work politically, for five reasons.
First, for anyone on the right of the political spectrum who thinks at all about the issues, this is a coherent and appealing position. Mr. Fama had it exactly right when he said, in the same interview that “too big to fail” “is not capitalism; capitalism says - you perform poorly, you fail.”
“Too big to fail” is not a market-based concept; it’s a government subsidy scheme - of the most inefficient and dangerous kind.
–SNIP– Second, serious senior figures within the Republican Party have long been pointing in this direction. In 2009, for example, former Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady said, “First we should just come out and say it: the financial system that led us to the brink of disaster is broken.” And former Secretary of State George P. Shultz has emphasized that we should “make failure tolerable,” suggesting, for example, “an escalating schedule could be required of necessary capital ratios geared to size and matched with escalating limits on leverage.”
Republicans like to discuss who is and is not a true Republican. How can any true Republican condone the subsidies that underpin our biggest financial companies today?
Read more by Simon Johnson from the NY Times via Yahoo Finance