Category Archives: Capitalism

NEW COLUMN: Conservative Kids Must Learn Before They Lead

Capitalism, Conservatism, Critique, Culture, Education, Intelligence, Kids, Left-Liberalism, Reason

NEW COLUMN: “Conservative Kids Must Learn Before They Lead.” Read it on The Unz Review or WND.COM.

An excerpt:

To judge by their writing, the youngsters who’ve been given the run of the conservative op-ed pages, pixelated and printed, know little about how socialism differs from capitalism.

To their credit, they’ve chosen a side—the right side—but are incapable of arguing the morality of capitalism and its efficacy (which stems from its morality).

Discredited are their employers for failing to demand that their young, conservative charges methodically and creatively motivate for the right—and the Right—side.

Endeavoring to explain the oft-repeated banality that, “Colleges are turning young people [into] socialists,” one such prototypical writer says this in her dog’s breakfast of a column, for the Washington Examiner:

“Students are gullible and moldable because they have little conviction and no foundation. Too often, public universities teach students to accept basic, shallow ‘knowledge’ at face value. They are not trained to ask why this knowledge matters or how it influences the rest of their education or how it relates to higher principles.”

The writer at once, and incoherently, condemns “shallow knowledge” (whatever that is), yet laments that students are not taught to relate “shallow knowledge” to higher principles. What does this even mean?!

Such bafflegab is published absent the telltale signs of editorial oversight. Or, perhaps the editors of the Examiner and publications like it think that voicing an opinion is the same as advancing an argument.

However, meandering assertions, circular arguments, non sequiturs and assorted banal utterances don’t belong on editorial pages. Agile argument does.

The piece continues in this puerile vain, conjuring the catchphrase that currently precedes every sentence spoken by a millennial: “I feel like.”

“I feel like” columns and essays are a dime a dozen; their purveyors having procured plum positions in the conservative press.

That “students are not learning” in schools and are thus gravitating to socialism is beyond trite—it’s also a non sequitur. For one would have to argue that lack of learning leads to socialism, and not merely assert it.

In showcasing amateurish, intern-quality material in national forums, conservatives are letting the liberal credo guide them. …

… READ THE REST.  NEW COLUMN: “Conservative Kids Must Learn Before They Lead.” Read it on The Unz Review or WND.COM.

Harley-Davidson Had Been Looking To Move Production Off Shore For A While

Capitalism, Debt, Donald Trump, Economy, Free Markets, Trade

Conservatism once had the genius of James Burnham, Russell Kirk, Frank Chodorov, and Felix Morley; now the brand boasts Rich Lowry, Meghan McCain and S. E. Cupp.

The last has learned nothing from the 2016 election. S. E. Cupp, a Never Trumper who hosts a CNN show, is betting against Donald Trump. She says, “Trump Supporters Soon Will Learn That No One Wins A Trade War.”

Where’s the learning curve? I would not bet on Trump losing a trade war.

This is not to advocate tariffs. I am for free trade. But here’s the clincher. We don’t have free-market capitalism. Never have; at least not in recent memory.

Thus, “trade deficits must be seen in the context of state-managed trade and systemic debt.” That’s what Trump is negotiating; he’s not messing with the divine order in which we true free-marketers believe. For it doesn’t exist.

As for Harley-Davidson’s decision to move some of its production outside of the U.S.: Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Kennedy of Fox Business disclosed that the company had been looking to move production off shore for a while and were searching for an excuse to do so.

 

Trade Deficits In The Context Of State-Managed Trade And Systemic Debt

Capitalism, Debt, Economy, Free Markets, The State

THE NEW COLUMN is “Trade Deficits In The Context Of State-Managed Trade And Systemic Debt.” It’s now on Townhall.com.  

An excerpt:

…  What goes for “free trade,” rather, is trade managed by bureaucratic juggernauts—national and international—central planners concerned with regulating, not freeing, trade; whose goal it is to harmonize labor, health, and environmental laws throughout the developed world. The undeveloped and developing worlds generally exploit and pollute as they please.

One of the promises Candidate Trump had made and hasn’t yet violated was to simply make these statist organs and trade agreements work for the American people. To wit, the president believes in reducing trade deficits.

Far be it from me to endorse tariffs as a means of reducing trade deficits. I am only here questioning the totemic attachment free-traders have to trade deficits, given that Americans live under conditions of systemic debt and state-managed trade that is anything but free.

If free trade is an unknown ideal, it is quite appropriate to question the alleged glories of an aggregate, negative balance of trade, in this “rigged system,” as Trump would say.

As to systemic debt: Yes, libertarians ought to oppose tax increases, which is what tariffs are. We hold that voluntary exchanges are by definition advantageous to their participants. Trader Joe’s, my hair stylist and the GTI dealer—all have products or skills I want. Within this voluntary, mutually beneficial relationship, I give up an item I value less, for something I value more: a fee for the desired product or service. My trading partners, whose valuations are in complementary opposition to mine, reciprocate in kind.

Ceteris paribus (all other things being equal), there’s nothing wrong with my running a trade deficit with Trader Joe’s, my hair stylist or my GTI dealer, as I do—just as long as I pay for my purchases.

And there’s the rub: The data demonstrate that we Americans, in general, are not paying for our purchases.

Americans, reports Fortune.com, actually have more debt relative to income earned than Greeks. “Indebted U.S. households carry an average credit card balance of $15,706, according to NerdWallet.”

Corporate America is likewise heavily leveraged.

The Federal government is the definition of debt. The U.S. national debt is over $20 trillion without federal unfunded liabilities. Those exceed $210 trillion, by Forbes’ 2017 estimate. Total public debt as a percent of Gross Domestic Product, announced the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, is 104 percent.

Our improvident government’s debts, liabilities and unfunded promises exceed the collective net worth of its wastrel citizens.

Given these historic trends, it seems silly to dismiss the yawning gap between U.S. exports and U.S. imports as an insignificant economic indicator.

Because of decades of credit-fueled, consumption-based living, the defining, current characteristic of our economy is debt—micro and macro; public and private. Unless one is coming from the pro-debt Keynesian perspective, is this not an economically combustive combination? …

… READ THE REST. Trade Deficits In The Context Of State-Managed Trade And Systemic Debt” is now on Townhall.com.

The Mercer Column can be read on WND, as well, titled “State-Managed Trade Is Not Free:” “The defining, current characteristic of our economy is debt.”

It’s also on The Unz Review, America’s smartest webzine.

Trump Changing Corporate Culture; Media Start Loving On Free-Market Capitalism

Business, Capitalism, Donald Trump, Free Markets, Left-Liberalism, Media, Trade

The exuberant, America-First patriotism of President-elect Donald Trump is likely causing a chain reaction of sorts. Despite the gush and tosh from the deranged media, Trump has done nothing to pressure corporations to remain in the US—nothing but reiterate his campaign promises. But a powerful persona’s mindset is infectious, especially when coupled with the promise of a better economic climate. Trump is changing corporate hearts and minds about investing in America and its people. In order to frame this good thing as bad, the media have suddenly discovered a love of free-market capitalism. By triggering a change in corporate culture; Trump has the media louts decrying his assault on capitalism and his fostering of crony capitalism.

LOL: Free-market capitalism has been an “unknown ideal” in the US for a long time.

Via CNN:

Ford is canceling plans to build a new plant in Mexico. It will invest $700 million in Michigan instead, creating 700 new U.S. jobs.

Ford (F) CEO Mark Fields said the investment is a “vote of confidence” in the pro-business environment being created by Donald Trump. However, he stressed Ford did not do any sort of special deal with the president-elect.

“We didn’t cut a deal with Trump. We did it for our business,” Fields told CNN’s Poppy Harlow in an exclusive interview Tuesday.
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The $700 million investment will go to the Flat Rock, Michigan plant to produce more electric and self-driving cars. Ford believes electrified vehicles will outsell gas-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.

Ford is planning to roll out seven new electric vehicles in the next five years, including a Mustang Hybrid.

This is a major U-turn for Ford. Trump repeatedly slammed Ford on the campaign trail for shipping U.S. jobs to Mexico (a claim the company said was wrong). The president-elect has kept up the pressure. Just hours before the Ford announcement, Trump criticized GM (GM) for producing cars in Mexico. All of the big car manufacturers currently have some production in Mexico. …

… MORE.