Category Archives: Political Economy

The Inevitability And Irreversibility Of Government-Sponsored Health Care

Christianity, Conservatism, Healthcare, Morality, Political Economy, Socialism, The State, Welfare

Unz Review columnist Dr. Boyd D. Cathey muses about another government power-grab called Trump Care. Naturally, he hopes it’ll be slightly better than the one to precede it. Dr. Cathey hearkens back to a different, inegalitarian time when the principle of noblesse oblige drove the faithful and the wealthy to take care of the needy. With the triumph of 19th century liberalism and the fanaticism of progress, the quest to level society saw the Church robbed of its lands and traditional role. Conditions soon arose that predisposed the downtrodden to Socialism, Communism and the modern welfare state.

Long, sad story; the end of history, but in a bad way.

Dr. Boyd D. Cathey:

“A large portion of ‘news talk’ yesterday and this morning has been about the repeal of Obamacare and its replacement by a Republican-sponsored medical program. The one thing that is crystal clear is this: whenever a new entitlement is enacted by Congress, whatever it may be, it is almost impossible to completely undo or repeal it.”

“If we consider, beginning at least a century and a half ago, the history of legislative initiatives—and not just in what is called euphemistically ‘welfare,’ but also in such areas as ‘voting rights’ and, generally, ‘civil rights’—passage of legislation, even if stoutly opposed and unpopular at the beginning, usually stands. I can think of only one major piece of social or political legislation, actually an amendment to the Constitution—the 18th Amendment, or “Prohibition Amendment”—that was ever repealed.”

“So, it should not surprise us that the Republican majority, especially in the Senate, will probably end up tinkering with rather than completely undoing the massive power grab by the Federal government known as Obamacare. Even in the House of Representatives many ‘moderate’ and establishment GOP solons fear an active backlash from frenzied Leftist demonstrators and, even more, negative characterizations and attacks by the Mainstream Media [MSM].”

“We shall be fortunate, in these circumstances, to get a modified bill out of the House, and who knows what the pusillanimous scaredy-cats in the Senate will do.”

“Right now, to listen to various pundits, it is the pre-existing conditions question that appears to be the sticking point. That is a central feature of Obamacare: that those already sick and already with an illness would be covered by healthy participants. But then, as anyone can see, this is not insurance we are talking about, but, rather, just another form of taxing the healthy to pay for the sick.

“The present Republican plan appears to separate those two groups of people, sets up a separate special fund for the pre-existing ill, with the hope that then the healthy folks remaining in the program can get much cheaper rates. State waiver permission would be given for those states that wish to operate the program differently.”

“It remains to be seen whether this approach will get through the layers of lobbyists influencing Congress and the abject fear that too many Republicans have of the MSM.” …

“… In any case, government-sponsored health care in one form or another is probably here to stay. And therein lies a long history of modern society that affects us all every day. …”

“IN CENTURIES PAST, it was institutions like the Church or local familial communities (especially here in the US) who were responsible for caring for the sick. My friend, the late Spanish scholar Rafael Gambra once prepared an extensive study of the Spanish Pyrenees commune of Roncal. For nearly 1000 years Roncal was almost a self-contained and self-governing entity, owing allegiance to the Kings of Navarra, but administering most of its local services by itself. The Church possessed about a third of the land, the municipality owned about one-third, and the rest was in private hands. Those families without a freehold had the right to graze their stock on both Church and municipal land. The Church, as part of its mission, maintained a kind of primitive medical facility, with both religious sisters and doctors who looked after the inhabitants. Payment was most often in goods, and, for the poor, the Church did not charge. That system was destroyed by the triumph of 19th century liberalism (in 1839) that expropriated all Church lands and municipal lands, then selling them to Madrileno capitalists. The result was that thousands of the poor, who had once had a stake in places like Roncal, were displaced and forced to migrate to industrial cities like Barcelona, where they found harsh impersonal jobs in factories at dirt level wages. And from that condition arose the eventual appeals of Socialism and Communism—and the modern welfare state–to the downtrodden.”

ObamaCare Lite:

John Maynard Keynes’ Influence At Harvard Business School, And Beyond

Debt, Economy, Political Economy, Socialism

Interesting points about what the procession of Harvard Business School elites has wrought on the American economy were made on Tucker Carlson Tonight. Making them was Duff McDonald, author of The Golden Passport.

Nothing in the interview was said about the baleful contribution of John Maynard Keynes’s credit and consumption-based voodoo economics on the entrenched thinking at Harvard Business School, and on world political establishment. (That’s not to say Keynes’ “politically inspired economic theory” is not covered in the book. It could well be.)

Because consumption is its be-all and end-all, consumer confidence is crucial to the Cult of Keynes. If the consumer is not crazy confident—even when he ought not to be—goes the “thinking,” he’ll quit consuming until he drops. In short, Keynesian economic animists hope that the holy spirit of “confidence” will enter the once bitten, twice shy lender, and make him lend. The same spell is supposed to mysteriously move the unemployed and penniless to spend.

In his wonderfully learned book, The Failure of the ‘New Economics, Henry Hazlitt summed-up the essence of Keynes’ General Theory: “The great virtue is Consumption, extravagance, improvidence. The great vice is Saving, thrift, ‘financial prudence.'” Duly, Keynes’ acolytes in all administrations are always vowing to make credit flow “the way it should.” Never mind that “all credit is debt,” and that, in Hazlitt’s words, “proposals for an increased volume of credit are merely another name for proposals for an increased burden of debt.”

NEW COLUMN: TRUMP TAXES

Donald Trump, Individual Rights, Left-Liberalism, libertarianism, Political Economy, Private Property, Taxation

“TRUMP TAXES” is the current column, now on Townhall.com, America’s “top source for conservative commentary.” An excerpt:

….At the risk of offending the crass utilitarians who make up the cattle that is the commentariat, I’ll talk natural rights.

It has become anathema to float the outrageous idea that a man owns the proceeds from his labor, completely, and that whatever government takes from him or her amounts to private property stolen.

It’s considered an equal outrage to so much as suggest that your prime real estate is your body. And that what you do to sustain your corporeal self—the money you make—is an extension of your body and 100 percent yours.

Certainly from the fact that the state skims 30 percent or 45 percent, or some random sum, from your pay—it does not follow that this law is preordained by a higher power.

Neither does it follow that, by virtue of being decided by 535-odd clowns in the Lower and Upper Houses, property confiscated by force—taxation—is sanctioned by the same higher power.

You may also wish to consider that the US government no longer pays for its obligations, but continues to borrow against the future earnings of its people. What is not borrowed by government or counterfeited by the Federal Reserve is confiscated from individual Americans via taxation.

So preventing a thief and counterfeiter from seizing funds that’ll be further misused and misspent is a laudable thing. Moreover, what the state takes from you is fungible—in other words, the government can put your money to use as it sees fit, not as you see fit. It can meddle all over the world, sponsor the importation of refugees who may kill Americans and consume resources you’d rather see spent on America’s own displaced and destitute.

While I’m making mischief, in the context of self-ownership, consider the following:

Liberals insist a woman owns her body. That’s what undergirds their insistence that she may eliminate fetal tissue from within her body.

But if ownership of their bodies is the ethical basis upon which women can choose to abort their babies; why can’t a man or a woman, for that matter—both of whom presumably own their bodies—keep private property accrued through the use of that same body’s labor and smarts? …

… Read the rest. “TRUMP TAXES” is the current column, now on Townhall.com, America’s “top source for conservative commentary.”

Swollen Heads At National Review Exposed

America, Elections, Family, Labor, Neoconservatism, Political Economy, Race, Republicans, Welfare

National Review’s Kevin D. Williamson “reached peak leftism” when he declared his sympathies were “more with John Brown than John Calhoun,” in an article titled “We Have Officially Reached Peak Leftism” (June 24, 2015). In 1856, Brown’s free-soil activists snatched five pro-slavery settlers near Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas and split the captives’ skulls with broadswords, in an act of biblical retribution gone mad.

So it’s not that surprising that Williamson’s exquisite moral compass has led him to wish death upon white, working-class America. According to Breitbart.com, Williamson wrote this:

The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.

This is not passionate writing; it’s plain hateful. Whatever merit there is in the indictment of working-class Americans—a case made well by political scientist Charles Murray, in “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010”—this ain’t it. Williamson writes in arrogance and contempt.

But, as further divulged by Breitbart, another National Review staff writer feels as Williamson does. He is David French (the object of my new column, “Someone Should Tell Bill Kristol Dwarf Tossing Is Cruel”). The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol’s candidate to run an independent presidential campaign is down with Williamson:

[French] described Williamson’s piece as “excellent” and said that Williamson’s words were “fundamentally true and important to say.”

French went on to dismiss the struggles white working class Americans endure.

“Citizens of the world’s most prosperous nation, they face challenges — of course — but no true calamities,” French wrote.

While French suggests that the decline of America’s middle class and manufacturing power is no true calamity, others could argue that the greater a nation or culture, the more sorrowful it is to witness its decline — much the same way that history would mourn the destruction of the Palace of Versailles more than the totaling of Justin Bieber’s car.

French insists that the devastation of the working-class’ livelihoods is unrelated to failed federal policies such as mass immigration …

I hate the, “Would he be saying this if … ” game. But I’ll indulge this once. It’s apposite. Would Williamson and French ever lay into the black underclass with the same degree of venom?


MORE AT “Bill Kristol’s Candidate: It’s ‘Important to Say’ White Working Class Communities ‘Deserve to Die.’”

RELATED: “Someone Should Tell Bill Kristol Dwarf Tossing Is Cruel.”