Category Archives: Political 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:

UPDATED (12/26): So You Know: Trump Tax Relief For Individual Workers Sunsets In 2025

Business, Donald Trump, Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Political Economy, Republicans, Taxation

“Really it was very nice to work as a collective towards a unified nation,” intoned Ivanka Trump, who lobbied hard—and successfully—for the Trump Tax Bill, passed.

Only a handful on the “Right” are daring to challenge the fairness of this Bill to individual taxpayers. Business is still über alles in Trump’s GOP.

Question (if one is allowed to question in strictly bi-partisan America): Under President Trump’s Tax Bill, ALL individual tax relief is said to sunset in 2025. Why? Why is Business above all?

The Economist (“Over the Hill: Tax reform has passed. What now?” 12/20):

Workers will benefit from across-the-board cuts in income taxes until 2025, after which, if Congress takes no further action, most levies for individuals will return to today’s levels or even rise.

AND: “Tax reform: How the Republican tax bill compares with previous reforms” 12/9:

… the Senate bill’s cuts to individual income taxes are to be phased out after 2025, to keep the costs down. What is initially a tax cut for most lower- and middle-earners will turn into a tax increase, because of changes to how tax brackets will be adjusted for inflation.

UPDATE (12/26):

Millionaires on average will get an extra $69,660 boost from Trump #TAXPLAN. Those with less than $10,000 will get an extra $10 to play with. … Things change however once 2025 rolls around. If no change is made, what were tax cuts will become tax hikes, even relative to current law. A majority of Americans in a decade’s time will then pay higher taxes, including 69.7% of the middle quintile.

MORE.

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.”