Category Archives: Economy

On Trump Tribalism And Clinton’s Sinophobia

Africa, Capitalism, China, Democrats, Donald Trump, Economy, History, The West

“On Trump Tribalism And Clinton’s Sinophobia” is this week’s column, on The Unz Review, America’s smartest webzine. An excerpt:

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee for 2016, has something in common with Donald Trump: Sinophobia.

During a 2011 visit to Zambia, she warned about “a new colonialism in Africa.” This time, the Chinese were to blame. As Clinton sees it, the Chinese are extracting wealth from the continent by buying its raw materials. “We saw that during colonial times it [was] easy to come in, take out natural resources, pay off leaders and leave,” she griped.

Clinton was adamant. She did not want to see a European-style colonial redux in Africa.

Certainly Chinese state capitalism is not free-market capitalism. But is Chinese mercantilism not preferable to American militarism, an example of which is Libya, a north-African recipient of madam secretary’s largess? Not according to Mrs. Clinton.

As Clinton sees it (as do, no doubt, the Paul-Ryan Republicans and the Bernie Sanders socialists), the “old colonialism” saw underdeveloped nations “bilked by rich capitalist countries,” a phrase used by Lawrence E. Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington in Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress.

According to these highly politicized, socialist, zero-sum formulations regarding colonialism, class warfare and “income inequality,” one person’s plenty is another’s poverty. The corresponding antidote invariably involves taking from one and giving to the other—from rich to poor; from North to South.

The notion, however, of a preexisting income pie from which the greedy appropriate an unfair share is itself pie-in-the-sky. Wealth, earned or “unearned,” as egalitarians term inheritance, doesn’t exist outside the individuals who create it; it is a return for desirable services, skills and resources they render to others. Labor productivity is the main determinant of wages—and wealth. People in the West produce or purchase what they consume—and much more; they don’t remove, or steal it from Third Worlders. Wrote the greatest development economist, Lord Peter Bauer, in Equality, the Third World, and Economic Delusion: “Incomes, including those of the relatively prosperous or the owners of property, are not taken from other people. Normally they are produced by their recipient and the resources they own.”

Not unlike Obama’s Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, who “dramatically increased U.S. foreign aid” (as reported approvingly in Foreign Affairs magazine); Mrs. Clinton also committed more funds to the Agency for International Development during her tenure as secretary of state.

When it comes to Africa, it’s worth noting, however, that four or five decades since decolonization; colonialism, dependency and racism no longer cut it as explanations for Africa’s persistent and pervasive underdevelopment. “Pseudo-scholars such as [the late] Edward Said and legions of liberal intellectuals have made careers out of blaming the West for problems that were endemic to many societies both before and after their experiences as European colonies,” noted Australian historian Keith Windschuttle, in a 2002 issue of American Outlook.

The truth is that colonization constituted the least tumultuous period in African history. This is fact; its enunciation is not to condone colonialism or similar, undeniably coercive, forays, only to venture, as did George Eliot in Daniel Deronda, that “to object to colonization absolutely is to object to history itself. To ask whether colonization in itself is good or bad is the same as asking whether history is a good or bad thing.” …

READ THE REST. “On Trump Tribalism And Clinton’s Sinophobia” is this week’s column, on The Unz Review.

TRUMP @ 1238 Says ‘Market Forces Are Beautiful’ & Other Lovely Things

Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Economy, Elections, Energy, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Regulation, Republicans

Twenty eight minutes and 27 seconds into this YouTube of his press conference in Bismarck, North Dakota, Donald Trump emerged to take questions: He has reached and surpassed the 1237 delegate threshold. Behind him stand “the folks, delegates, who got him over the top.”

Trump sounded masterful—and mirthful. If only he put on this hat all the time:

* About Obama badmouthing Trump at the G-7 summit: “It’s good, although Obama used a business term, rattled, and he known nothing about business. It’s good that world leaders are “rattled” by him, Trump. As for Obama’s assessment of his, Trump’s, ignorance, basically who’s he to talk? “Obama has done a horrible job. He’s got to say something. Every time he has a news conference he talks about Trump. Obama has not done a good job; we’re divided, we have tremendous difficulties.”
* VP: We are not going to pander and get a woman or minority just for show. We’ll have women involved, as we do now, but “we’re looking for absolute competence.”
* Hillary: No I don’t want her out of the race.


I want to have her in the race. The report is devastating. She’s skirting on the edge. This is her history of bad judgement. I love watching Hillary fight. She can’t close the deal.
* Message to Suzanna Martinez. Nothing much.
* The HuffingtonPost; I don’t read it. Do they cover politics?
* Muslim ban: We’ll look at the solutions. (As of this moment, the ban, it would seem, stands.)
* I’d love to debate Bernie Sanders … for charity. The problem with debating Sanders is that he is going to lose the nomination, as the system is rigged.
* Debating process: We’re not debaters, we businessmen; we put people to work. We businessmen don’t talk, we do.
* Regulating energy: The Federal government should get out of the way. They’ve put the coalmines out of business—which is what Hillary has promised. Energy independence and exporting energy is what Trump promises. Coal can be restored, if regulations are reduced. All I can, says Trump, is free-up coal and let the market work. Market forces are a beautiful thing.
* Give the people of the US a piece of the profits from the Keystone Pipeline and other such projects.
* Lower taxes are key to economic vitality. America is over-regulated. Regulation is even more of a problem than taxes, which will go down.
* About Elizabeth Warren aka …


* On first-day duties: Trump will be “unwinding various executive orders,” not least the ones affecting the porous border on the country’s Southwest.
* Intends to make use of the Republican campaign-infrastructure machine.
* “I won’t forget Indiana.”
* Fracking and our feathered friends: Bernie will ban it; Hillary will ban it. We’re going to open it up. Solar is expensive. It has a 30-year payback. And it’s killing all the eagles in California, one of the most beautiful and treasured of our birds.
* Blessed be the Farmers.
* Accursed is the New York Times, which doesn’t need Donald’s help in discrediting itself.

So what if Trump forgot to bless the cheese-makers:

Bernie Sanders Economics: The Reason Venezuela Is Starving

Communism, Economy, Individual Rights, Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Intellectualism, Private Property, Socialism

If you plant a Bernie Sanders sign in your yard—a man who has promises variations on price controls and nationalization of industries—you should suffer the worst of fates. The problem: Everybody will be affected by your emotions-driven economic and ethical ignorance—ignorance of the natural laws of economics and oblivion to the rights of free individuals to freely exchange titles to private property. In Bernie style, shortages will be blamed on “evil producers.” Further incursions will follow as “evil producers” are roped into bondage by the state. As such interventions beget more of the same, we will end up with the “Venezuela Playbook: The Communist Manifesto.”

… This choice between “fair” prices and arrest is now the norm for business owners in Venezuela. The most outrageous instance of this took place in early November, when government security forces occupied local electronics stores and began handing out TVs and other wares at “fair” (read: rock-bottom) prices. Hebert Garcia, head of the High Commission for the People’s Defense of the Economy, put it bluntly: “We have to guarantee that everybody has a plasma television and the latest-generation fridge.”
Not surprisingly, the masses lined up around the block for their piece of the government’s action. Too bad the government has failed to provide enough electricity to power the plunder. In most countries, this would be called government theft. But, under Maduro’s reign of Marxism, this redistribution has become business as usual. …

Discussion on Facebook.

Michael Walls: The fact that communism appeals so heavily to “intellectuals” is disturbing. Socialism is just “communism lite”, and the communism that socialism derived from is so absurd in it’s details it’s hard not to laugh out loud reading it. Maybe we need to re-examine the term “intellectual”.

Ilana Mercer No, Michael Walls, the fact that some communists are deemed or called “heavily intellectual” is what’s disturbing—disturbing for what it says on how we judge intellect. Your conclusion is 100%.

Educate yourself by reading.

TSA , VA, ObamaCare, SandersCare; Gov.Com: Economically They’re The Same

Economy, Government, Healthcare, Homeland Security, Political Economy, Private Property

To the economically literate: It’s your obligation to know by now—especially if you read this space—that nothing the head of the Transportation Security Administration and Homeland Security can say or do will change the fact of “long waits at the nation’s airports” this summer and any other peak travel time.

Lines—overload, undersupply, malfunction—are a function of a government system, whose incentives were explained in “Why Government ‘Care’ Will Never, Ever Work,” and elsewhere:

Since it “manages” money not its own, government has no real incentive to conserve resources, ensure a job is properly done, or deliver on its promises. Entrusted with the administration of assets you don’t own, have no stake in; on behalf of people you don’t know and who have no real recourse against your mismanagement—how long before your on-the-job performance mirrors that of the government? …

… A monopolist, moreover, doesn’t have to please consumers, because he has them cornered. Therefore, in a politburo, political decisions trounce considerations that would win out in the market place. Consider: HealthCare.gov was coded with the goal of harvesting sensitive information from applicants while concealing rip-off prices from them. Why would the Central Planning Board (aka the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in charge of Obamcare) care that such coding has created a hacker’s dream, when their wet dream is to share data culled through HealthCare.gov with the IRS, the DHS, the TSA, on and on?

Like the communist elite, the Congress elite seldom subjects itself to the same health care or the same laws as the people. Unsurprisingly—and by legislative sleight of hand—lawmakers have used their privileged positions to pass laws exempting themselves and their lackeys from liability. “Governmental immunity” is designed to “stop people from suing the government and government employees and officials in many cases.”

With taxpayers ponying up for any … slip … and responsibility collectivized—fear of being fired or penalized is non-existent among the ruling class. Government failure will never see the closing of a government agency, or the firing of nasty, inefficient, over-paid, affirmatively appointed official.

I hope you are able to generalize from healthcare.gov to TSA.gov, to VA.gov and beyond.

Economically, the incentive structure is the same in the TSA , ObamaCare, SandersCare, Gov.Com.

The nationalization of airports by BUSH II was first explored in “WHOSE PROPERTY IS IT ANYWAY?” (June 5, 2002). Read it. Teach it.