Category Archives: Capitalism

Finally, PPE Domestic Production Capacity Predicted To Take Off

Business, Capitalism, COVID-19, Free Markets, Government

Thankfully, the domestic production of personal protective equipment (PPE) is predicted to vastly expand in the next five years.

Back on March 5, a full month before government’s “experts,” national and international, stopped fumbling, lying and dissembling about the effectiveness of masks, I foresaw what IBISWorld, an industry research company, now confirms. I wrote:

A rise in consumer demand for this product, reflected in empty shelves and relatively higher prices, will galvanize business to hire more workers and produce more of the coveted commodity.
Prices are crucial. They are the street signs of the economy. The thing the socialists will soon insist on controlling (“price-controls”) and suppressing are the vital signs of the economy. In particular, scarcity and high prices are vital signals. Mask these natural market indices, and you kill off the knowledge needed by manufacturers and entrepreneurs to decide whether to rush into the production of surgical face masks and N-95 respirators.
Masks and all others pandemic prophylactics are currently exorbitantly priced to reflect high demand and subsequent scarcity. These prices have already been taken by producers as a signal to accelerate productions.

IBISWorld now forecasts an “increased emphasis on domestic production capacity in the interest of national security.” It expects “the industry’s trade balance to shift from a deficit to a surplus over the five years to 2025.”

SEE: “Unmasking Statist, Socialist Propaganda About ‘Face Masks”’(March 5)

IBISWorld further reports that “the PPE manufacturing industry has seen an unprecedented surge in demand for N95 masks, respirators, face shields and gloves. The industry’s largest operators are operating at maximum capacity and are currently or intending to expand their domestic production capacity within the year.”

For this, we owe the profit motive, not American leaders. As a rule, the latter have no compunction about leaving their pliant people in the lurch during disasters.  The U.S. government knows its loyalists will do anything, including to deny COVID is real, to help their leaders save face.

 

NEW COLUMN: Pandemic, Plague & Protests: Will Chile Join The Shithole Country Club?

Capitalism, Democracy, Economy, Left-Liberalism, Socialism, Welfare

NEW COLUMN IS “Pandemic, Plague & Protests: Will Chile Join The Shithole Country Club?” Previously on Quarterly Review, WND.COM  and The Unz Review, read it now on American Greatness  

An excerpt:

Before the coronavirus pandemic and the plague of locusts came the protesters.

From the affluent locales—Chile, France, Britain, Hong King, Catalonia—to the impoverished ones—Algeria, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Lebanon and more; the world was on fire (to borrow from Amy Chua’s brilliant book).

The reasons cited for a world-wide conflagration ranged from the evils of free-market capitalism (says the Left) to the “socialist regimes in Cuba and Venezuela” (says the Right), to “economics, demography, a sense of powerlessness…and social media.”

Some experts spoke of a “youth bulge” of over-educated young people chasing too few jobs. In truth, this was more like ill-educated youngsters with useless degrees, who thought it chic to don a balaclava and lob hard objects at the police and the property it was protecting.

Chile is the jewel of Latin America. In 2014, it even surpassed the United States on the Index of Economic Freedom, ranking seventh to America’s 12th. Since 1990, economic growth in Chile has been as steady as the stability of its institutions. Poverty rates had plummeted and social services had been extended to the needy.

On the right, Pat Buchanan has described Chile as “the country with the highest per capita income and least inequality in all of Latin America.”

On the Left—yet still on the side of a competitive market economy—the Economist agrees. Chile “is the second-richest country in Latin America, thanks in part to its healthy public finances and robust private sector.”

In no-man’s land are the protestors on the streets of Santiago and other cities. What the demonstrators want is unclear. To the extent their inchoate signs and signals can be divined, it would appear that the path the well-to-do Chile will be forced to take is that of less capitalism and more socialism; less of the private sector and more of the state.

Indeed, Chile is beset with protesters determined to bring the elected government to its knees. Many parts of Santiago, the capital, have been boarded up or burned down. The country’s “malcontents” want more state-provided stuff; more health care and more free education and pensions.

It increasingly looks like Sebastián Piñera, Chile’s president, may just be forced “to scrap a system” that appears to have served Chile well.

READ THE REST … NEW COLUMN IS “Pandemic, Plague & Protests: Will Chile Join The Shithole Country Club?” Previously on Quarterly Review, WND.COM and The Unz Review, it’s now on American Greatness.  

* Image is via The Economist

US Has Over 6,000 hospitals. Only 1,300 Are Private For-Profit Institution

America, Capitalism, COVID-19, Free Markets, Government, Healthcare

If you imagined America has a free market in medicine, read “Diagnosis: opaque: Donald Trump wants hospitals to be more upfront about prices”:

The country has over 6,000 hospitals. Only 1,300 or so are private for-profit institutions; the rest are non-profit or government-run. The lack of an overt profit motive has done little to rein in prices, however. Hospital costs have risen at an annual rate of close to 5%, compared with below 1% for drug prices. … Nor has a charitable mission dampened the ambition of bosses at big hospital chains; seven-figure salaries are not unheard of at those with revenues exceeding $500m a year. They have also been on an acquisition binge. The number of deals has jumped from around 55 a year between 2002 and 2009 to 90 or more these days. Since 2018 non-profit hospitals have been the acquirers in three-quarters of the transactions.

How do government-run or subsidized hospitals engage in the capitalistic act of mergers?  They do so on the backs of taxpayers. Profits are privatized; losses are socialized. This is the stuff of cronyism.

Free market medicine we do not have. Before Coronavirus, Trump was looking to reform the nation’s hospitals.

MORE:

“Diagnosis: opaque: Donald Trump wants hospitals to be more upfront about prices”

* Image courtesy The Economist.

There Is More Cronyism Than Capitalism In Corporate America (Boeing? Oink, Oink)

America, Business, Capitalism, Economy, Free Markets, Globalism, Labor, Trade

In “Why Tax Breaks Won’t Stop High-Tech, H-1B Human Trafficking,” I explained how, “The H-1B visa racket,” like so much of the rent-seeking global, corporate America does, “is … a taxpayer-subsidized, grant of government privilege. Duly, profits remain private property. The costs of accommodating an annual human influx are socialized, borne by the bewildered [American] community.”

the corporations that hog H-1Bs act like incorrigibly corrupt rent seekers. Not only do they get to replace the American worker, but they get to do so at his expense.

Here’s how:

Globally, a series of sordid liaisons ensures that American workers are left high and dry. Through the programs of the International Trade Administration, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the International Monetary Fund, and other oink-operations, the taxpaying American worker is forced to subsidize and underwrite the investment risks of the very corporations that have given him the boot.

Domestically, the fascistic partnership with the State amounts to a subsidy to business at the expense of the taxpayer. See, corporations in our democratic welfare state externalize their employment costs onto the taxpayers.

MORE in “Why Tax Breaks Won’t Stop High-Tech, H-1B Human Trafficking.

Now, via Washington Examiner’sWhen foreign airlines go under, US taxpayers could be stuck with the bill” comes quite a positive description of the sordid liaisons and transactions on the backs of American taxpayers:

Subsidizing Boeing jets has generally been the Ex-Im Bank’s main activity. Typically, about 40% of all its financing supports Boeing exports. That’s why the agency has earned the nickname “Boeing’s Bank.”
As a result, airlines in China, Turkey, Bangladesh, Canada, Mexico, and all over the world have benefited from U.S. taxpayer-backed financing to buy Boeing jets in recent years. Many of them still owe their lenders, meaning the U.S. taxpayer is still exposed via the Ex-Im Bank. There’s a decent chance some of those foreign airlines will default on some debt payments. That could result in the Ex-Im Bank having to make the creditors whole.

There is more cronyism than Capitalism in the operation of the giants of corporate America.

UPDATE:  Just desserts.