Category Archives: Political Economy

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.”

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.

Trump’s America First Policy: Remarkably Sophisticated

Classical Liberalism, Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Neoconservatism, Political Economy, Political Philosophy

“Trump’s America First Policy: Remarkably Sophisticated” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Unsophisticated rambling,” “simplistic,” “reckless.”

The verdict about Donald J. Trump’s foreign policy, unveiled after his five-for-five victory in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island and Connecticut, was handed down by vested interests: Members of the military-media-think tank complex.

People like Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. People Dwight Eisenhower counseled against, in his farewell address to the nation:

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

Naturally, Albright wants U.S. foreign policy to remain complex, convoluted; based not on bedrock American principles, but on bureaucratically friendly talking points, imbibed in the “best” schools of government, put to practice by the likes of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Like so many D.C. insiders who move seamlessly between government and the flush-with-funds think-tank industry, Albright has worked for CFR. (Yearly revenue: $61.0 million. Mission: Not America First.)

Neo-Wilsonian foreign policy is big business.

Wait for the Brookings Institution, RAND Corporation and the Center for American Progress to pile on Trump’s “unsophisticated,” America-centric foreign policy.

Like an invasive, foreign Kudzu, these anti-American forces are everywhere. What Trump’s advocating translates into a reduced profile for them: less demand for their neo-Wilsonian schemes, promulgated in focused blindness by think tank types and by most tele-tarts.

Reduced demand for American agitation abroad will mean fewer “media references per year,” less “monthly traffic” to monetize on websites, less influence in the halls of power and, ultimately, reduced revenues.

We might even see fewer color-coded revolutions around the world.

Trump’s promised change to American foreign policy can’t sit well with the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Freedom House. These have been described by the press as “Washington-based group[s] that promote democracy and open elections.”

More like Alinskyite agitators. …

…Read the rest. “Trump’s America First Policy: Remarkably Sophisticated” is the current column, now on WND.