Category Archives: Business

UPDATED (12/22/019): Little Guy Shoulders Costs Of Crony Capitalism: Pollution, Red Tide, Ground-Water Contamination…

Business, Capitalism, Donald Trump, Economy, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Free Markets, Globalism, IMMIGRATION

Paul Craig Roberts gets to the nub of American crony capitalism: profits are privatized; external costs are socialized. In other words, The Little Guy bears the brunt of the pillage, be it reckless commercial farming or rampant real-estate pillaging (“development”), fueled by endless immigration central-planning.

External or social costs are costs of producing a product that the producer does not incur but imposes on third parties or on the environment. For example, untreated sewage dumped into a stream imposes costs on people downstream. Runoff of chemical fertilizers from commercial farming produces dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and toxic algal blooms such as Red Tide that result in massive fish kills, make seafood unsafe, cause human ailments and adversely impact the tourist trade of beach areas. The result is lost incomes, ruined vacations, health expenses, and none of these costs are born by the commercial farmers.

Real estate development produces massive external costs. Scenic views from existing properties are blocked, thus reducing their values. Construction noise and congestion impose costs on existing residents and reduces the quality of their lives. Water runoff problems are often created. Infrastructure has to be provided, such as larger highways to provide evacuation from hurricane-impacted areas, usually financed by taxpayers. …

the external costs of coal-fired power plants being built in India by the Indian conglomerate Tata with a loan from the International Finance Corporation, a branch of the World Bank. The ground water in the area has been ruined and is no longer drinkable. Farmers are no longer able to grow crops on half of the area farmland. Heated wastewater that is dumped into the Gulf of Kutch is destroying fishing. The ecology and the livelihoods of the population are essentially destroyed. None of these costs are born by the private power companies.

Tired of being doormats for capitalists and the World Bank, the residents of the affected provinces rebelled. They have succeeded in getting their case before the US Supreme Court. It seems that the International Finance Corporation is so accustomed to financing projects that produce large external costs that it overlooked its obligation to examine the environmental impact of the projects it finances. This oversight resulted in Indian farmers and fishermen getting their case before the US Supreme Court. The International Finance Corporation’s lawyers argued that the World Bank lending agency had “absolute immunity.” The Supreme Court said no and remanded the case to the circuit court to rule on the damages.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about this apparent victory for ordinary faraway little people in an American court against the World Bank, a principle instrument of American imperialism, is that the Trump administration appeared in court as a friend of the Indian farmers and fishermen. The US Solicitor General, represented by Jonathan Ellis, rejected the notion that international orgnizations have absolute immunity. The Establishment exists on its immunity. Here we see the ultimate reason that the ruling Establishment wants rid of Trump.

Already the senior staff of the International Finance Corporation have come to the realization that they have other responsibilities than just to shuffle money out the lending shute. If the Indian farmers and fishermen succeed in protecting themselves from ruination by external costs, perhaps Americans who suffer external costs will follow their lead.

[SEE: “US Supreme Court rules against World Bank’s claim of absolute immunity.”]

No wonder Paul Craig Roberts—he served in the Reagan administration—has been expunged from official Conservatism’s polite circles. All good people have been. Fortunately, we have the Unz Review.

RELATED are my pieces on homelessness and high-tech.

 

As I wrote in “Why The H-1B Visa Racket Should Be Abolished, Not Reformed:

Barricaded in their obscenely lavish compounds—from the comfort of their monster mansions—these social engineers don’t experience the “environmental impacts of rapid urban expansion”; the destruction of verdant open spaces and farmland; the decrease in the quality of the water we drink and air we breathe, the increase in traffic and traffic accidents, air pollution, the cellblock-like housing erected to accommodate their imported I.T. workers and extended families, the delicate bouquet of amped up waste management and associated seepages. For locals, this lamentable state means an inability to afford homes in a market in which property prices have been artificially inflated.

* Image of the Tata Mundra power plant is courtesy of Joe Athialy

UPDATE (12/22/019): And now “Mysterious greenish-yellow liquid [is] gushing from walls on I-696.” Goo will probably contaminate drinking water.

When Powerful Meat Producers Muscle Puny Plant-Based Meat Producers

Business, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Ethics

“The beef industry in America has been urging legislatures to restrict the use of the word ‘meat’ to that which comes from an animal carcass,” reports the Economist.

When big business, nay massive, begins to muscle small business (with a tiny share of the food market), you ask critical questions—that is if you are a fair-minded thinker, as conservative and libertarian-minded people ought to be.

The latter must certainly reject restrictions on speech in advertising.

Which is why it is clear on whose side a fair-minded person will be in the case of the meat producers vs. the makers and marketers of plant-based meat.

Remember, the word “meat” is NOT A TRADEMARK, it’s a noun in the English language.

So longs as plant-based meat producers are clearly listing the ingredients on the packaging of their products and are not defrauding the consumer—I know on whose side I am. But then I’m fair-minded, not partisan.

FROM “Plant-based meat could create a radically different food chain”:

..At least nine American states—including Arkansas, Missouri and Mississippi—have now agreed. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is also asking the Food and Drug Administration, the federal regulator, to outlaw what it sees as misleading labelling of plant-based meat. In April the European Parliament’s agriculture committee recommended the introduction of a ban on plant-based meat producers using such terms as “burgers” and “sausages”, although the proposal has not yet been debated or voted upon by the full parliament. The European Court of Justice ruled that many plant-based alternatives could not be labelled “milk” in 2017, but this did not noticeably affect demand.
The fight over labels is a sign that meat producers are on the defensive, says Mr Friedrich of the GFI. “The meat industry attempting to define meat as something that comes from a slaughtered animal is every bit as absurd as trying to say that your phone is not a phone because it doesn’t plug into a wall any more,” he claims.
When plant-based meat becomes common, language will no doubt adapt. The word “meat” may one day simply evoke the sensory experience that comes from eating a particular blend of fats, amino acids, minerals and water.
Whether that is made by slaughtering animals or by some other means depends on the ingenuity of the new meat makers. …

* Image courtesy of The Economist.

Surprise, Surprise: Ramaphosa Can’t Fight The ANC’s Pro-Corruption, Pro-Crime Lobby

Business, Crime, Government, Labor, South-Africa

In South Africa, reports The Economist, “Economic life is dominated by big business, big labour and big government.”

only an elite few ever have a place at the table. … Firms face too little competition, cushy labour laws lock the jobless out of work and the public sector provides woeful services. Many well-paid teachers barely teach. Many bureaucrats do little but slow-walk paperwork and embezzle. Most are never held accountable. A quarter of South Africans enjoy a middle- or upper-class life, while the rest struggle to get by. When a country has an insider-outsider problem, you cannot let the insiders dictate terms.

The problem, really, is that African National Congress bosses will have Ramaphosa’s head if he does anything to threaten their hold on “big business, big labour and big government.”

Ramaphosa is near-powerless before “the pro-corruption lobby within the ruling African National Congress (ANC).”

MORE:The need for speed: Cyril Ramaphosa is running out of time to reform South Africa.”

But let’s not beat about the bush: Ramaphosa has failed to recognize—and aggressively move against—systemic crime against his white, productive minority. In fact, Ramaphosa categorically denies the ethnic cleansing of South Africa’s white farmers.

On The Tucker Carlson Show, It’s Whine, Whine, Whine About Harvey Weinstein

Business, Conservatism, IMMIGRATION, Media, Nationhood, Republicans

Non-stop coverage of corporate corruption is now the standard fare on Tucker Carlson’s show.

The Fox News host used to, courageously, tackle the national existential questions of immigration and the future of America as we know it, once it is entirely swamped by an imported Democratic constituency. Mr. Carlson now hardly does so any longer (or, perhaps I don’t listen long enough).

Today, October 23, 2019, there was the usual, daily whine, whine, whine about Harvey Weinstein and the MSNBC cover-up. Like I care.

Then it was on to some anon crook who got rewarded mightily by someone despite having run a Ponzi scheme. How unusual and news worthy is that in America? Never happens, right? Of course

The country is crumbling. Big national issues loom with terrible urgency. The borders are open, and, by the looks of it, no court will permit a president to EVER shut them. Yet Tucker Carlson
devotes 30 minutes of each show to whine, whine, whine about Weinstein and MSNBC.

The Tucker Carlson Show appears to have become one long Republican talking point.

* Image courtesy The Unz Review.