Category Archives: Economy

UPDATED (12/22/019): Little Guy Shoulders Costs Of Crony Capitalism: Pollution, Red Tide, Ground-Water Contamination…

Business, Capitalism, Donald Trump, Economy, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Free Markets, Globalism, IMMIGRATION

Paul Craig Roberts gets to the nub of American crony capitalism: profits are privatized; external costs are socialized. In other words, The Little Guy bears the brunt of the pillage, be it reckless commercial farming or rampant real-estate pillaging (“development”), fueled by endless immigration central-planning.

External or social costs are costs of producing a product that the producer does not incur but imposes on third parties or on the environment. For example, untreated sewage dumped into a stream imposes costs on people downstream. Runoff of chemical fertilizers from commercial farming produces dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and toxic algal blooms such as Red Tide that result in massive fish kills, make seafood unsafe, cause human ailments and adversely impact the tourist trade of beach areas. The result is lost incomes, ruined vacations, health expenses, and none of these costs are born by the commercial farmers.

Real estate development produces massive external costs. Scenic views from existing properties are blocked, thus reducing their values. Construction noise and congestion impose costs on existing residents and reduces the quality of their lives. Water runoff problems are often created. Infrastructure has to be provided, such as larger highways to provide evacuation from hurricane-impacted areas, usually financed by taxpayers. …

the external costs of coal-fired power plants being built in India by the Indian conglomerate Tata with a loan from the International Finance Corporation, a branch of the World Bank. The ground water in the area has been ruined and is no longer drinkable. Farmers are no longer able to grow crops on half of the area farmland. Heated wastewater that is dumped into the Gulf of Kutch is destroying fishing. The ecology and the livelihoods of the population are essentially destroyed. None of these costs are born by the private power companies.

Tired of being doormats for capitalists and the World Bank, the residents of the affected provinces rebelled. They have succeeded in getting their case before the US Supreme Court. It seems that the International Finance Corporation is so accustomed to financing projects that produce large external costs that it overlooked its obligation to examine the environmental impact of the projects it finances. This oversight resulted in Indian farmers and fishermen getting their case before the US Supreme Court. The International Finance Corporation’s lawyers argued that the World Bank lending agency had “absolute immunity.” The Supreme Court said no and remanded the case to the circuit court to rule on the damages.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about this apparent victory for ordinary faraway little people in an American court against the World Bank, a principle instrument of American imperialism, is that the Trump administration appeared in court as a friend of the Indian farmers and fishermen. The US Solicitor General, represented by Jonathan Ellis, rejected the notion that international orgnizations have absolute immunity. The Establishment exists on its immunity. Here we see the ultimate reason that the ruling Establishment wants rid of Trump.

Already the senior staff of the International Finance Corporation have come to the realization that they have other responsibilities than just to shuffle money out the lending shute. If the Indian farmers and fishermen succeed in protecting themselves from ruination by external costs, perhaps Americans who suffer external costs will follow their lead.

[SEE: “US Supreme Court rules against World Bank’s claim of absolute immunity.”]

No wonder Paul Craig Roberts—he served in the Reagan administration—has been expunged from official Conservatism’s polite circles. All good people have been. Fortunately, we have the Unz Review.

RELATED are my pieces on homelessness and high-tech.

 

As I wrote in “Why The H-1B Visa Racket Should Be Abolished, Not Reformed:

Barricaded in their obscenely lavish compounds—from the comfort of their monster mansions—these social engineers don’t experience the “environmental impacts of rapid urban expansion”; the destruction of verdant open spaces and farmland; the decrease in the quality of the water we drink and air we breathe, the increase in traffic and traffic accidents, air pollution, the cellblock-like housing erected to accommodate their imported I.T. workers and extended families, the delicate bouquet of amped up waste management and associated seepages. For locals, this lamentable state means an inability to afford homes in a market in which property prices have been artificially inflated.

* Image of the Tata Mundra power plant is courtesy of Joe Athialy

UPDATE (12/22/019): And now “Mysterious greenish-yellow liquid [is] gushing from walls on I-696.” Goo will probably contaminate drinking water.

Chile: A Well-To-Do People That Wants MORE … Socialism, Not Capitalism

Capitalism, Culture, Democracy, Economy, Egalitarianism, Elections, Free Markets, Race, Socialism

Chile is the country with the highest per capita income and least inequality in all of Latin America,writes Pat Buchanan. “Yet the protesters have succeeded in forcing the elected government to capitulate and write a new constitution.”

The economic issues propelling workers into the streets to protest inequalities of wealth and income are occurring at a time when our world has never been more prosperous. …
Neither authoritarians nor the world’s democracies seem to have found a cure for the maladies that afflict our world’s unhappy citizens. …

What we have in reality is what Pat Buchanan has always warned of:

The ethnic and racial clashes within and between nations seem increasingly beyond the capacity of democratic regimes to resolve peacefully.
As for matters of fundamental belief — political, ideological, religious — the divides here, too, seem to be deepening and widening.

The Economist concurs that Chile has it quite good, writing that it “is the second-richest country in Latin America, thanks in part to its healthy public finances and robust private sector”:

Sebastián Piñera, Chile’s centre-right president, at first took a tough line with the malcontents. “We are at war,” he declared during the rioting. The state’s response was heavy-handed. Although most of the deaths occurred because of arson …

What the people of Chile want, it would appear, is less capitalism and MORE socialism:

Under a model developed by free-market economists during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who ruled from 1973 to 1990, citizens are expected to save for their own retirement. … In many other countries, public pensions are financed by taxing current workers and giving the money to current pensioners—a system that comes under strain when the population ages. Chileans, by contrast, invest the money they save in privately managed funds. This system has helped Chile manage its public finances and encouraged the development of long-term capital markets, which in turn has boosted economic growth.

IS this good? You bet it’s good.

The conservative Mr Piñera is unlikely to scrap a system which in many ways has served Chile well. It is the second-richest country in Latin America, thanks in part to its healthy public finances and robust private sector.

BUT the people are not interested.

* Image courtesy The Economist.

NEW COLUMN: Homeless In Seattle, Part 1: High-Tech Harm The Homeless

Business, Economy, Globalism, IMMIGRATION, Labor, Technology

NEW COLUMN is “Homeless In Seattle, Part 1: High-Tech & The Homeless.” It is currently on Townhall.com , The Unz Review and WND.com.

To expatiate on the subject of homelessness in Seattle, Tucker Carlson regularly invites on his Fox News show a Republican liberal who broadcasts out of Seattle.

Aside from a pastiche of liberal ideas, Sleepy in Seattle has nothing remotely perceptive or probative to say about homelessness in the Emerald City. Eventually, this young know-nothing will read this column and parrot it back to Tucker.

Then, perhaps, will Carlson’s viewers stop being gulled by Big Tech and the other multinationals who are exacerbating the problem of homelessness in Washington State.

For these stateless corporations are the major importers, into King County and the surrounds, of a high-tech, feudal elite that compounds the homeless quagmire.

If anything, the corporations who straddle the globe rely on immigration ignoramuses to perpetuate the single-cause theory of homelessness: addiction or mental illness.

However, even if drug addiction and mental illness are seen as necessary in causing homelessness, they are seldom sufficient. Substance abuse and mental anguish can, in themselves, be the consequence of other exogenous, existential and intractable circumstances.

Like being priced out of your homeland’s housing market. For good.

Big Tech must be quite pleased to see homelessness attributed exclusively, by the usual cast on TV, to addiction and mental illness—when, in fact, homelessness is driven, primarily, by the systematic and permanent eviction from the housing market of vulnerable, working-class people.

In truth, our country is consigning its economically weakest members to the homeless encampment, through the never-ending importation of a high-rolling, high-tech elite, which, in turn, artificially inflates the price of housing. In perpetuity.

According to the Seattle Times, “fewer than 50 percent of people without homes are addicts.” “There are more families with children than chronically homeless people” in the encampments.

Underlying homelessness are factors such as “loss of a job,” “eviction,” medical bills and foreclosure, the last of which “destroys credit ratings, making former homeowners no longer eligible for loans or, in many cases, rentals.Forever.

“We must no longer allow politicians, policy influencers and the media to get away with the laziness of conflating substance abuse and homelessness,” inveighs Lola E. Peters.

Peters, a local writer, is correct. Alas, while implicating the tech-driven population explosion in our state’s housing crisis, Ms. Peters frames the unrelenting influx from China and India as an organic, natural, made-in-America population explosion. …

 

… READ THE REST. NEW COLUMN, “Homeless In Seattle, Part 1: High-Tech & The Homeless,” is currently on Townhall.com, The Unz Review and WND.com.

WHITE MALE MISERY In America

America, Drug War, Economy, Multiculturalism, Psychiatry, Race, Racism

The Economist’s writer is no angel. But he is dancing like so many angels on the head of a pin in order to minimize the effects of systemic hostility toward white men in America:

… thoughts of suicide were slightly higher on average amongst less-educated whites than other groups.
… heavy drinking was higher amongst whites than other groups.

… opioid abuse along with other prescription drug abuse and illegal drug use remain much higher amongst non-college educated whites. Other research has shown that whites commit suicide at a higher rate than blacks and Hispanics: according to the CDC, white non-Hispanic Americans commit suicide at around three times the rate of blacks and Hispanics, with the highest and growing toll amongst older men.

…increased suicide rates among white men may be caused in part by a decline in income and status.

The Economist also cleverly attempts to minimize the dire situation of white men in America by implying that these “poorly educated” white ingrates are still “better off than women and minorities.”

Then of course, there are the solutions of shallow economic reductionism:

Increase the minimum wage. Provide more generous earned income tax credits. (“Because of lower incomes, minorities and women are more likely to be eligible for EITC payments, and to benefit from minimum wage increases.”)

READ: “Depression is increasing among Americans reaching middle age: Misery is spreading across all groups, but poorly educated white men remain the unhappiest.” (5/15/019)