Category Archives: The State

Today’s It’s Manafort, Tomorrow It’s YOU: Police State USA

Crime, Criminal Injustice, Justice, Law, The State

Prosecutors “argue,” and a judge agrees, that Paul Manafort is a “danger to the community,” to the public—not the legions of criminals and grifters pouring over the Southern border, but President Trump’s former campaign chairman.

“When Manafort was first arraigned and pleaded not guilty in October, a magistrate judge set a $10 million bail price and placed him under house arrest.”

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will await his trial for foreign lobbying charges from jail.
Two weeks after special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors dropped new accusations of witness tampering on him, US District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Friday revoked Manafort’s bail, which had allowed him to live in his Alexandria, Virginia, apartment under house arrest.

The order marked an end to almost eight months of attempts by Manafort to lighten his house arrest restrictions after he was charged and pleaded not guilty to foreign lobbying violations.
“The harm in this case is harm to the administration of justice and harm to the integrity of the court’s system,” Berman Jackson told Manafort in court.

The judge emphasized to Manafort how she could not make enough rulings to keep him from speaking improperly with witnesses, after he had used multiple text messaging apps and called a potential witness on an Italian cellphone.

MORE.

UPDATED (6/15): A Global ‘Right Of Return’ To The U.S.? Who Knew?

Donald Trump, IMMIGRATION, Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Left-Liberalism, The State

NEW COLUMN IS “A Global ‘Right Of Return’ To The U.S.? Who Knew?” It’s now on Townhall.com. An excerpt:

No good deed goes unpunished. Jeff Sessions wants to restore to America the “sound principles of asylum” and long-standing tenets of immigration law, abandoned by American leaders over the decades.

That makes the attorney general a Hitler, to use liberal argumentation. Condemned for all eternity.

As the left sees it, if America isn’t going to police the world; it must at least provide shelter to all people from unpoliced parts of the world.

That’s the left’s reason du jour for opposing the restoration of American immigration sovereignty.

And now, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is piling on.

By narrowing promiscuously broad asylum criteria—the system is being gamed, attests Andrew Arthur, a former immigration judge—Sessions stands accused of flouting the “right to life” of the women of the world.

No matter that America has its own share of abused women “persecuted by their husbands and ignored by their own governments.” The last, parenthetic remarks were uttered by immigration lawyers, who mask greed with prattle about values.

This legal club is looking out exclusively for the women of the world, not the women of America. To them, we are the world.

Over the objections of such rent-seekers, Sessions has dared to say “no!”

“Asylum was never meant to alleviate all problems—even all serious problems—that people face every day all over the world,” reasoned Sessions, quite sagaciously.

To manipulate Americans, politicians (save the likes of President Trump and his attorney general) use the values cudgel.

With respect to immigration, the idea is to impress upon pliable Americans that the world has a global Right of Return to the U.S. Fail to accept egalitarian immigration for all into America; and you are flouting the very essence of Americanism. …

... READ THE REST. “A Global ‘Right Of Return’ To The U.S.? Who Knew?” is now on Townhall.com.

UPDATE (6/15):

Trump tells Shinzo Abe, “You don’t have this (immigration) problem, but I can send you 25 million Mexicans and you’ll be out of office very soon.” Brilliant audacity.

UPDATED (6/6/018): Guaranteed Taxpayer-Financed Income For EVERY Americans: If Degenerate Dems Take Over, Economy Will Tank

Debt, Democrats, Economy, Free Markets, Government, Labor, The State

When Democrats are not plotting on giving houses to the homeless, paying drug addicts to shoot up, and inviting the world to immigrate to the US—they’re scheming on the ultimate decadent, immoral and unworkable government plan: “guaranteeing every American a taxpayer-financed job”:

Senator Bernie Sanders recently promised to introduce a bill guaranteeing every American a taxpayer-financed job, should they want it. His colleague, Senator Cory Booker, has already written a bill which would test such a policy in 15 places with high joblessness. Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand, three other potential presidential contenders, are co-sponsors. Ms Gillibrand will reportedly soon pen her own plan, too.

In addition to the cost of the program, the giveaway will expand the government payroll by 50 percent. Presumably to administer.

“In April 2018, about 127.34m people were employed on a full-time basis” in the US. (The Statistics Portal)

The Economist’s says America has 148m workers.

Of this, “Government at all levels employs 22.3m Americans.”

This, of course, is not free-market capitalism.

MORE: “Make work can’t work: A jobs guarantee is a flawed idea.”

UPDATE (6/6/018):

1 Reason The State Department Turned On #RexTillerson: He Tried Trimming Budgets & Getting Rid Of Deadwood

Business, Economy, Federal Reserve Bank, Free Markets, Government, Political Economy, Taxation, The State

The Economist notes that Rex Tillerson was a poor secretary of state—but not for the reasons I would advance.

One reason for their opinion is that, “Disastrously for morale, he declined to defend his own department when the White House proposed cutting its budget by 25% or more … Mr Tillerson squandered goodwill with a corporate restructuring that felt to many staff like an invitation to resign. At one point, outside consultants sent round a questionnaire asking: “To optimally support the future mission of the Department, what one or two things should your work unit totally stop doing or providing?” (“Trump Unbound: In foreign affairs, America just moved closer to one-man rule,” March 17, 2018.)

TILLESRSON TRIED TO CUT GOVERNMENT! Defending your employees, The Economist here equates with increasing or maintaining the budget for the department, it diplomats, envoys and other career and or deadwood staff.

State institutions are self-reinforcing and not amenable to reform; they grow through failure.

So while it would be nice if state institutions were able to reform, because of the structure of incentives, the state cannot be corrected. The incentive structure underlying state institutions is antithetical to reform.

To correct processes that may be killing people—affirmative action, when the subject of special privileges isn’t qualified—you have to cut budgets in the billions. This likely will never happen, in state institutions, because they don’t abide by the profit motive. So to express belief in this is to express belief in the possibility of the state fixing itself.

The libertarian grasps that the state grows through inefficiency. The more it bungles—the greater its budget will be. Economically, the state’s incentives are inverted.  A private company, on the other hand, grows through economic and performative efficiencies; by singles the customer. The state is the opposite. As a monopoly, it need please nobody. For example, the education system is a giant failure.  Will it be scrapped? Of course not. The system will reward itself with MORE, not less, funds to fix the problem.

This is a structural fact of the state.

Why can the state grow and prosper through inefficiency? Because it has access to the funds of an indentured third party, taxpayers, and has the promiscuous use of the printing press.

A private institution can come back from the abyss, because, economically, it will go bust if it doesn’t start pleasing customers. However, if, like the Florida bridge collapse, a private enterprise is working in tandem with the state, then taxpayers bail it out.

Profit is privatized, loss is socialized.

Most people no longer read or understand the economics of the state. Ten years ago, I had readers who had at least read Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson.