Category Archives: Economy

Didn’t Zimbabwe Just Oust A Tyrant? Yes, But There Are Plenty More Where Mugabe Came From

Africa, Economy, History, Political Economy, Racism, Welfare

Good luck in taking the tyrant out of Africa’s Strongmen. The reality is that, “in Africa, you oust a tyrant, not tyranny”.

Rhodesia was once the breadbasket of Africa. Who was the Prince among Men responsible for the good times in Rhodesia? We are never told. The phantom was Ian Smith, prime minister of Rhodesia, RIP.

Now that the wicked whites have been replaced and robbed,

“About 90% of working-age people lack formal jobs. The legions reduced to hawking on the streets of Harare and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second city, are preyed on by Zanu-PF thugs demanding pay-offs. Electricity and water are intermittent, even in hospitals. ATMs are empty. State workers’ wages are paid months late. In a residual population of 13m, 3m survive on food handouts from America and Britain. Perhaps 3m Zimbabweans have fled abroad.”

To guarantee the “right” outcome in the upcoming election,

3,000 soldiers have already been sent to the countryside in civilian garb to campaign and bully. Villagers fear that rural chiefs and headmen will withhold food aid if they suspect them of voting the wrong way. Zanu-PF’s national political commissar menacingly told a rural gathering that people should remember 2008, when thousands of MDC activists in the countryside were set upon by Zanu-PF militias and hundreds were murdered. Many analysts think that Zanu-PF’s rural voting bloc should ensure victory for Mr Mnangagwa, even without resorting to violence. “Just the memory of 2008 is enough,” says a former MDC campaigner.

MORE at The Economist: “Zimbabwe’s new president says he is a democrat. Is he?”

“THE land resettlement was a huge success in terms of our people, 367,000 of our people, back in possession of the land,”Says President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the expropriation of most of Zimbabwe’s white-owned farmland since 2000—a move that wrecked the economy and pushed millions into poverty. Was it fair that bigwigs of his ruling Zanu-PF party took several farms each? “No, no, it is one farm, one person,” he says. “I have 404 hectares and I paid for the equipment myself.

… his economic vision is hardly liberal. He extols a “command” model where agriculture is guided by government. He blames the economy’s collapse on sanctions, even though these were targeted on leading figures such as himself. He testily rejects a suggestion that they were far lighter than those levelled against the white-supremacist regime of Ian Smith before Mr Mugabe took over in 1980. “You are plain ignorant,” he tells The Economist.”

A good man:

Another good man deceased:

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  

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, 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

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.

Liberals Complain Trump Has Failed To Fill Many Jobs. But Every Oink-Sector Job That Remains Unfilled Is A Blessing.

Donald Trump, Economy, Government, Labor, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, The State

Leftists—in that label I always include most conservatives—continue to gripe that “hundreds of senior administration posts—including seven of nine top jobs at the State Department—remain unfilled. And positions that get filled often don’t stay that way.” (“Land of the flee: Staffing the White House,The Economist.)

However, every libertarian-minded individual should grasp that government positions not filled is cause for celebration, not lamentation.

These jobs are invariably political appointments, unproductive and parasitical in nature, and a drain on taxpayers. For the most, workers in the Oink Sector are utterly dispensable.

Salvadorean Temporary Residents Are Not Being Deported, Only Stripped Of Special Status. For Now.

Crime, Economy, Homeland Security, Human Accomplishment, IMMIGRATION

On January 8th, 2018, “the United States’ Department of Homeland Security had announced that it would end temporary protected status (TPS) for nearly 200,000 Salvadoreans who got” a generous grant of privilege from the US government in the late 1990s:

… permission to live and work in the country after a pair of earthquakes struck El Salvador in 2001. the United States’ Department of Homeland Security had announced that it would end temporary protected status (TPS) for nearly 200,000 Salvadoreans who got permission to live and work in the country after a pair of earthquakes struck El Salvador in 2001. .. The Salvadoreans are not alone. Smaller numbers of Hondurans and Nicaraguans were granted TPS after Hurricane Mitch wreaked havoc in 1998 (see chart).

… Citizens of all three Central American countries had their status renewed every 18 months for nearly two decades. Donald Trump, who promised to get tough on immigrants when he was campaigning for president, has found TPS a convenient way to keep that pledge.

Ditto “Haitians who were stranded after an earthquake in 2010.” Hondurans may be next.

To emphasize, Salvadorean temporary residents are not yet being deported (I doubt they ever will); only stripped of special status.

One wonders: Is the revoking of temporary protected status (TPS) for central Americans an easy issue on which to appear tough on immigration?

Wondering whether El Salvador a shithole country? Of course not. No unless you consider the following facts a hallmark of shittyness:

* It’s gang-ridden, home to MS-13, which has branches across America.
* Its GDP is pitiful. In fact, “Remittances from Salvadoreans living in the United States account for a colossal 17% of GDP.
* “[M]ore than 40% of workers are underemployed and two-thirds are in the informal sector. The economy creates 11,000 jobs a year for the 60,000 people who enter the workforce.”

But hey, “192,000 Salvadoreans children were born in the United States.” This means they can bring in those who may have to leave and many more. And in any case, “around half of the 195,000 Salvadorean TPS holders will be eligible to apply for permanent residence.”

So the question asked above is answered: TPS revocation represents more political optics than authentic change for Americans.

How much exactly do the American people’s legislators care about the  American people?

Enough to write “four proposed bills [which] would offer permanent residency to temporary protected status holders from El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua. Some of those have bipartisan support.”

That’s how much!

MORE in The Economist.